Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Wreath Craft to Make with Your Child

We've been in a crafting mood lately and this is one of our latest projects which now adorns our front door :)

toddler crafts fall wreath

Emma and I went out and picked leaves, little tiny acorn shells, and other tree droppings from a nearby park. All of which found a place on our wreath.

What you will need:
Paper Plate
Plain or lightly colored paper
Leaves
Tree "droppings"
Scissors
Crayons
Glue

First we glued the leaves to the paper so that they don't move.

toddler crafts gluing leaves for fall wreath

toddler crafts gluing leaves for fall wreath

Next we used our crayons to draw/roll over the leaves.  This left gorgeous prints on the paper.  Originally we were just going to cut out leaf shapes out of colorful paper but I included this step after seeing the beautiful leaves Kelly did with Willow.  And it came out so much better!

toddler crafts rolling crayons on leaves for fall wreath

Then we cut out the leaves, made a hole in the plate and glued leaves to it.

toddler crafts fall wreath materials

Emma loved this part, and the wreath started taking shape and this is what it looked like

toddler crafts fall wreath gluing detail

toddler crafts fall wreath

Once this step was done, the rest was easy.  We used hot glue (but you can use any liquid glue) to stick the acorns, and other tree fruits to the wreath.  I applied the glue and Emma placed the ornaments. To the back of the plate I glued a small piece of string so that we can hang it.

toddler crafts fall wreath

And this is it! Our beautiful wreath on our front door.  It is Emma's pride and joy.  She will show it to whoever will listen :)

  
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral!

I've been hopping around different blogs and I found this button.


It turns out to be a really cool program which erases your blog's carbon footprint by planting a tree for your domain.

All the traffic our blogs generate cause CO2 emissions, mainly through use of computers, servers, cooling systems. By planting a tree these emissions are neutralized. Apparently, on average blogs emit annually 3.6kgs of carbon dioxide, and while it is difficult to calculate how much CO2 trees absorb this site estimates that for a young, just planted tree, CO2 absorption is about 5kgs.  You can read more about it by clicking on the button.

So, count me in :)  I'm proud to say that My Blog is Carbon Neutral!

  

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Snack O' Lantern - Halloween Food

We had a great time at the pot luck Pre Halloween, Halloween Party I brought some fruit muffins and Snack O' Lanterns! 

Snack O' Lanterns were a huge hit!  They came out great!

snack o lanterns fruit salads halloween food

snack o lanterns fruit salads halloween food

I used Merlin oranges.  They were just the right size and the had perfectly thick skin!

I cut off the top of the orange and used the knife to slice around the inside the orange about a third of the way down.  I scooped that out and placed into a bowl, but then I basically pealed the orange from the inside, so that I was left with a perfectly intact orange peal.

After that I carved the oranges.  I carved each orange a little bit differently, square teeth, jagged teeth, big eyes, small eyes, crooked smile, big smile basically just had fun with it. 

I filled the gorgeous lanterns with freshly chopped fruit, bananas, apples, pomegranate, pears, strawberries, oranges.  I used fresh orange juice to coat the fruit so that it doesn't get discolored but I made sure it was completely drained so that it wouldn't leak through the openings in the lantern.

I picked up the official recipe from the Family Fun website which I came across through Lizz's site.

I hope you find it useful... enjoy :)


  
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Muffin Tin Monday - Halloween

This week's theme on Muffin Tin Monday is Halloween.

Thank god for Pre Halloween Halloween Parties, or I'd have nothing to put in this tin!
Here's this weeks muffin tin:

Muffin Tin Monday Halloween theme
Top Row: Snack o' lantern (fruit salad),  yoghurt with apple skin bat, milk in a trick or treat cup from the party
Bottom Row: fruit muffin with what is meant to be eyes & mouth a la jack o' lantern, rotten eyeballs and worms (or peas & rice), and chicken with jack o' lantern cheese.

I got the idea for the snack o' lanterns from Lizz and decided to make it myself, they came out great! I will definitely be making those again.

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
  

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Handmade Doggie Halloween Outfit

We were invited to a Potluck Pre-Halloween Halloween party.

Besides having to bring something edible to this party I had to find a way to get Emma into a costume.   Knowing how much she hates dressing up, this was carefully orchestrated by me over two weeks ago.  I explained Halloween again, told her how all the kids will be dressing up and asked what she'd like to be.  And she said, a pink and red doggy, of all things. Which basically meant I will have to make this outfit myself.  We kept talking about it over a two week period, she even helped me create it, but when the time came to wear it she still said no.  After some coaxing, we got her to put it on!

Handmade Doggie Halloween CostumeHandmade Doggie Halloween CostumeHandmade Doggie Halloween Costume

Given that I've never actually used a sewing machine before, it was a bit of a challenge to make but really there's nothing to it.  This is how I did it:
  • I picked a pink and a red baby grow (the ones with long sleeves and fully covered feet)
  • I used the pink as a base and sewed on irregular red spots all over the body and legs
  • I used the red baby grow to sew a hood (I drew a shape from another hoody of Emma's and sewed the two pieces together)
  • I cut off the feet from both baby grows and used the red ones for ears and the pink one for a tail. (The red ones I cut off a bit longer because I didn't need to keep the length of the baby grow)
  • Then I sewed the bottoms of the pant legs so that the material doesn't run.  That was it :)
Handmade Doggie Halloween Costume sewing
Emma & I working together

Handmade Doggie Halloween Costume sewing
Finalizing the hood
Handmade Doggie Halloween Costume sewing
And this is where the ears will go
  

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Voila! My new blog!

I'm happy to present my brand new blog =)
Now I do need some small tweeks here and there until its exactly how I want it to be.  Changing a font color here, a font size there but all in all, this is it!

Tell me, what do you think?

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blog Changes - We're under construction!

Emma's Lunch is undergoing changes.  Can't wait until my new blog is installed.  In the mean time, please bear with me while the blog takes on a strange appearance as its being pampered :)


Photo Credit: http://nfocentrale.net/

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Turkey Crafts

Besides fun lunches, Emma and I spend our free time (of which there is not a lot) playing and creating.  We've been talking a great deal about the seasons, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.... and since Thanksgiving is not a Cypriot holiday I talk to her about Autumn and changing leaves and of course turkey. Christmas turkey, the sounds a turkey makes, turkey colours etc.

Today I took a craft I remember from school and we made a turkey.  This is how we did it...

You will need:
Orange & brown paper
Markers
Glue
Scissors



I traced Emma's hands and feet on brown and orange paper.  And she loved this part.

Next time I'll make sure to use a stronger pen, but you get the idea.

I cut out two feet and six hands.

This is where Emma got a little distracted. In retrospect I should have these things cut in advance and just start working on gluing and putting together.

She's only 2.5 years old, so her attention span is not as long as I needed it to be for this project! :)

After it was cut I had her colour two of the hands red, and two yellow/brown.  Two I left the colour of the paper.



After cutting the feet from the brown paper, we glued one brown foot on another to make the turkey body (heals where the head should be).  This is what it looked like...

Emma then helped me put glue on the back of the body so that we can glue the turkey tail, the legs, the wattle and beak.   Here is our final product.
Now, Emma had a huge issue with the beak.  She just didn't want it on the turkey.  I made it 3 times and stuck it myself. And every time she would unglue it and throw it in the garbage.  I barely managed to take the photo!
This is what our turkey looks like now..... beak-less....


We placed this beauty on our fridge to wait for the right season to display it on our wall.  :)
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Freestyle

There's no theme for our Muffin Tins today. So Emma's is a regular dinner. No bells and whistles just her meal in a muffin tin :)

That's what's so great about Muffin Tin Meals.... just your plain, regular food served differently puts a smile to Emma's face.


Top row: grilled chicken with a cheese flower, bourgouri (bulgar wheat), grilled chicken
Bottom row: bourgouri, yoghurt with cheese flower, bourgouri

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
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Friday, October 15, 2010

My Trilingual Child

Have I told you lately that Emma is trilingual?

With this world becoming so globalized, soon enough there will be more multilingual children than not, its useful to talk about. 

Emma is 2.5 years old and speaks three languages, doesn't mix them and translates to people who don't understand.




My husband and I speak English to each other, he speaks Greek and I speak Serbian.  There was never any thought about which languages Emma would learn, it was automatic in our minds that she will know all.

When Emma was born we continued the exact same pattern. I spoke to her only in Serbian and hubby only in Greek, no matter where we were and who was around. English she heard when we spoke between us and she goes to an English speaking kindergarten.

Today, at 2.5 years old Emma speaks all three languages. She knows exactly which language to use with which adult, not just parents but also grandparents, friends, teachers. If she talks with Daddy she turns around to translate to Mommy (although I know Greek myself).  With her Greek speaking grandparents she speaks in Greek and translates to them if they don't understand.

Emma very rarely mixes the languages and I think this is due to the fact that we are very consistent with who speaks which language.  She only does so if she doesn't know a word in one language or another.  In which case, we'd say "I don't understand, how does Mommy/Daddy say it?" and either she'd say it in the language we ask for or we'd tell her how it's said and next time she'd do the same.

So what advice I can give to new parents planning to raise multilingual children?  
  • Be consistent
  • Do not mix languages
  • Stick to one language per parent
  • Pretend you don't understand the other language thus forcing your child to think of other ways (languages) of saying the same word. 
  • Do not feel bad that other people around you don't understand what you're saying.  Tell your child in the language you want and then translate for your friend. 
  • Don't worry about old wives tales, your child will not stutter or be confused, or start speaking at 3. Being bilingual does however make the brain more flexible.
.
So if you have another language in your household, start using it with your child, it is really the most rewarding thing...  

Check out also this site about raising bilingual children.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baby Food - Veggies

Although this is a website documenting Emma's lunches now that she's a toddler, there were a lot of things I used to do with Emma's food when she was a baby. 

She had started solids at 5 months.  I intended to start at 6 months but due to her lactose intolerance we started a little earlier.  I loved making baby food and I never actually bought any ready baby food for her.


Her first food was carrots, then potatoes and then zucchini and so on.  I started her with veggies because I didn't want her to get used to sweet flavours first.  We introduced fruits much later.  The lesson I wanted to give is that not everything that comes in a spoon is sweet.  Its very important to find a pediatrician who supports your views.


first foods
Emma eating solids for the first time
You may think that it's hard to do it yourself, or it takes a lot of time but it really didn't.  Its easy to do for any working or stay at home mom.
I'd actually prepare the food pretty much once per week, on Sundays.


baby food


Recipe: 
  1. Buy the veggies, anything you find at the fruit shop; carrots, broccoli, zucchini, corn, green peas, cauliflower, leek, spinach, egg plant, squash, baby asparagus, sweet potatoes*, potatoes* etc.
  2. Clean & chop
  3. Steam or boil (steaming keeps more of the nutrients, I used to boil only the potatoes)
  4. Blend each food separately. I used the Braun Mulitiquick Hand Blender
  5. Place each food separately in ice cube trays.  
  6. Cover with ceran wrap & freeze.
When needed, you can pick any cube, it takes about a minute or two to defrost without using the microwave.  Mix and match 4 or 5 cubes of all different foods, or all the same or just two types of veggies,  whatever you are in the mood for, warm up in a small pan for a minute or so (I never used the microwave but you can do that too).  When it was warm I'd place it in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of olive oil.


In this picture, we're about to prepare green peas, carrots and corn for Baby Emma.

And that was it. No salt.  The only store bought product I did use was rice flour to tie together some of the more watery veggies like zucchini. But I did a lot of research and got pediatric recommendations on the brand with no additives, no preservatives, no added sugar etc. I used Novalac the original baby rice (not the fruity ones or any other flavors).

* Potatoes are an exception, I'd always boil them and I'd never freeze them.


Hope you find this helpful.  As baby grew I'd make more sophisticated recipes. I will add some of those in the future.

















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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - I (heart) Pumpkins

So this is my fourth Muffin Tin Monday, and today's theme, appropriately enough for the season is Pumpkins.  I, however, have no pumpkins, or pumpkin shaped cutters, or any pumpkin related ideas.  So I took the liberty to follow my own theme of hearts!






Left to right: grilled chicken cubes in silicone heart, yoghurt in smaller silicone hearts, oatmeal waffles, cucumber hearts, rice with heart shaped carrots  in heart shaped silicone container, berries.






Emma loved it. I had to explain that berries and waffles are for desert, but otherwise we were fine. I love Muffin Tin Monday!


Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
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School Run Snacks

Our mornings are usually chaotic because we NEVER wake up at the time we intend to. And on the rare occasion that we do, something always gets in the way of us leaving the house on time.  So basically, I'm always late for work.


And while Emma has breakfast, snack and lunch at school, I still like to feed her at home before we leave.  On the days we're really late ,we forgo everything and have a Car Snack and it usually looks like this.



It is Special K in a small bowl with an even smaller bowl of yoghurt.  Emma likes to dip the cereal into the yoghurt.


She likes it so much that now she always wants it in the car with her. So even if we have breakfast at home, she still wants her little bowls with her, and she finishes the whole thing by the time we get there.   Tweet It! Facebook Digg It! Stumble Delicious Technorati Reddit!
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mickey Mouse Dinner

Emma actually napped today! I'm sure she's not going back to the way she used to nap, but it was good that she caught up with some of the missed sleep.  I came back from work to pick her up at 5.30pm and she was still sleeping!  Needless to say she hadn't eaten at grandma's, so my dear mother-in-law packed the food she made for her.  Another day I get off easy!





Mickey's face: macaroni in chicken stock; Mickey's nose: cheese circles ; Mickey's left ear: yoghurt with carrot hearts ; Mickey's right ear: chicken (used to make stock).


It is true that often grandma's back up plan for Emma's food is pasta. That's why I never make pasta at home :P  I like the presentation of this food, but it could so do with more green!


Never the less, Emma ate her fun meal, you should have seen her face light up when she saw Mickey! Tweet It! Facebook Digg It! Stumble Delicious Technorati Reddit!
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

With a Little Help...

Tonight's dinner was courtesy of Emma's grandmother.  But even the food I don't cook myself I like to present to Emma in fun ways. So here's what was on Emma's plate. =)


From  left to right: Grandma's Makaronia tou Fournou (or baked pasta with minced meat and bechamel sauce) with cheese hearts and flowers, carrot hearts to be dipped in the yoghurt, and grilled salmon.


Emma ate everything except the salmon, granted we also had it earlier in the week, but salmon (or any meat for that matter) could never compete with pasta when on her plate!


I'm not too happy with the look of this plate, but I had very little time to do it.  Emma was very hungry so I rushed the presentation to get it done.  Working mothers, unfortunately, don't have the luxury of time. Thank god for grandma's share on this plate or Emma would have gone to bed hungry! Tweet It! Facebook Digg It! Stumble Delicious Technorati Reddit!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Follow Me Back Tuesday!

I just found out a great new way to meet new people, learn a little and have fun in the process! So I'm totally in =)


Photobucket
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