Monday, February 28, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Carnival Week

Well I've been in hiatus for the past week, what with the sickness and everything I just didn't have the energy to update the blog...

So we're back this Monday with another muffin tin.  Our theme today is Carnival.  It is Carnival week in Cyprus with all the kids dressing up pretty much everyday of the week with the final big party climax on Sunday, I though I'd honor this week with a little bit of Carnival.

Our angle on this was what would kids dress up as. So we basically added most of the things Emma talked about, well the things that I could recreate in food!

So here we go:


We've got homemade strawberry, blackberry, blueberry jam sandwich butterflies, star sprinkled yoghurt angels, cheesy butterfly sandwiches,Hello Kitty bourgouri, yoghurt with sprinkles and a bourgouri bunny!

Emma loved it! She ate everything except a little bit of the rabbit! :)

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Weekly Lifesavers

We didn't make a muffin tin this Sunday because I've been down with a cold.  But the great thing about Muffin Tins is that you can serve your child's food in a tin any day of the week. 

Emma's been asking for Muffin Tins lately, and this is something I just threw together one day for her snack.

What's in the tin?  Special K cereal, yoghurt, Baby Bell cheddar cheese, cheese sandwich, banana slices and remainder of cheese sandwich.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goodbyn Bento!

Emma asked for pasta with cheese last night.  This is usually the last thing I want to serve to her.  But since we haven't had pasta in a while, I thought why not?  It was a perfect opportunity to try out our new Goodbyn lunchbox!

I have to tell you that this thing is huge! It could easily hold the food for two or more kids! I guess it will really come in handy once she starts going to school.  The great thing is that each compartment is completely separated, you could easily have various foods in there knowing they will never touch.  Thanks of course to the cover which seals each compartment individually.

It comes with great stickers which Emma already used up to customise her new lunch box!

So here's Emma's cheesy pasta meal.  In addition to the Dora pasta shapes, I added cucumber sticks, a cup of yoghurt, some more cheese, a banana and raisins.  The small bottle includes milk.

Emma loved the Goodbyn, she loved the colour and pretty much ate the whole thing! Despite being so big, its very kid friendly and the fact that Emma loved it earned it some extra points.  It very versatile and I'll definitely use it again.  Maybe for a road trip??  You could easily place mini ice packs in the big compartments.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Valentine's

Its Monday and its Valentine's Day! So its no surprise what today's theme will be! :)

muffin tin valentine's theme

Here is our Valentine's Day tin.

From the top: Strawberries, heart shaped chicken nuggets, bread pieces with butter and home made strawberry & blackberry jam (it came out a bit runny because I tried to reduce the amount of sugar), green peas, more bread pieces with jam and yogurt. And I almost forgot, the middle of this hearty flower is a small round cup with Special K cereal.

I went with pink and red hearts.  What ever was red color I put in a pink heart and whatever wasn't red was in a red heart!

I'm happy to say, Emma devoured this whole tin albeit not in the order I would have preferred...

Happy V-Day to all the lovebirds out there.
Muffin Tin Monday at

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Children & Business Travel

(I originally posted this just before my trip to Frankfurt on Mums in Cyprus where I guest blog, and I thought I'd share it here as well)

My career used to be my driving force.

When I lived in New York I was this go-getting professional 20 something, with an ambition without limits.  I loved my time at Uni even though I spent it working full time and studying full time.  An experience I would never, ever change.

I worked to pay for tuition, living expenses; I worked for the experience; I took unpaid internships in Finance; I volunteered to teach at schools with underprivileged children in East Harlem; I worked because I loved it.

Finally after graduation I got my cushy job on Wall Street.  It was great, I had been waiting for that moment since starting Uni and it was all I ever dreamed off.  Until of course I realized that family and Wall Street don't mix so well.  Which is when I finally accepted that marriage proposal and moved to Cyprus.

I was still determined to have a career and I found a great job in Finance that required extensive travel.  I was going from Almaty (Kazakhstan) to Cannes, Minsk to Istanbul; Tbilisi to London.  It was amazing. I loved every minute of it.   I couldn't believe that I'd found such a job in Cyprus and I really enjoyed it.

Until of course my lovely daughter was born.  Once she was born, everything changed.   I couldn't care less about my career.  It was the last thing on my mind and my "career" now was all about her.  It felt so phony to go and work for something I felt was so secondary to the new little life I had in front of me.  I was now a 30 something mommy and that's all I wanted to be.

It also didn't help that the maternity leave is only 4 months.  I refused to have someone else bring up my child for me and I stayed at home with Emma up until a couple of months after she started kindergarten.  I only started work when she was 20 months, when I realized that after school she'd sleep until about 4pm.  So working until 5 wouldn't be such a bad deal.  I could have the best of both worlds!

The one thing I didn't count on was the travel (and a change in her sleeping patterns!).  And while the travel is much, much less at my new job, its still so heart breaking when I have to go.  I'm leaving tomorrow.  I'm going to Frankfurt for a whole week and I can't bear to be away from Emma.

She knows that I'm leaving, I've been preparing her for a week and every time she says "But not today".  As the time gets closer she gets clingy. She follows me around the house, she wants to only be with me... Is it better not to prepare her in advance?  Is it better to tell her just the day I'm leaving? I don't even know anymore...

I'm leaving for a whole week and as she gets older its worse.  In October, I was gone for 2 days (only 1 night) and she had regressed in her potty training!  I dread business travel so much that I am this close to bringing them with me (my husband and Emma).

To make matters worse, in a month from now I'm going to Dubai. Again for a week.  I used to love this.  I would still love it if I didn't have those big lovely brown eyes waiting for mommy at home.

My career used to be my driving force; now my driving force, my energy is the time I spend with Emma and I count the minutes every day for when I'll be home with her again.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - My Little Helper

Maybe just a few words :) This is Emma. My helper and my inspiration, without whom this blog wouldn't exist.  This picture was taken when she was helping me make The Most Scrumptious Apple Pie Recipe with Streusel Topping.


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Monday, February 7, 2011

Cat Purse Toddler Craft

This is a fairly simple craft to do with your toddler.  There is a lot of gluing involved which toddlers love! Some cutting preparation for you and really that's about it! 

What you'll need:
Yellow Felt
Red Felt
Pink Felt (scraps)
White Felt (scraps)
Green Felt (scraps)
Black Felt (scraps)
Clear glue (we used white but clear would work much better as you'll see in the photos)

Preparation for Adults:
  1. Cut two 5 inch / 13 cm circles of yellow felt
  2. Cut two semi circles from red felt (about 2.5' or 7 cm in diameter) and then leave about an 1/2' or 1cm border and cut out the inside to make a handle
  3. Cut ears out the yellow felt
  4. Cut 2 triangles of pink felt for inside the ears
  5. Cut 2 small circles of green felt for eyes and two eye shapes from the white felt
  6. Cut a black nose and 2 thin strips of black felt for cat's mouth.

Toddler Fun:

Get some clear glue (we used white glue but later realized that it shows through the felt, it got better as it dried but still) and have your toddler glue all the pieces in the right places.

I just now realize how huge this brush is!

Start with gluing the white of the eye to one yellow circle.  This is to become the front of the purse. Younger toddlers may need more guidance, Emma was just going for it and putting all the features in the right places.

Add the nose and the mouth.  Gluing the thin black strips for the mouth was a bit difficult for toddler fingers, our brush was also bigger than needed.  I had to add the glue and Emma pasted it where it should go. Another alternative would be to draw the mouth with a black marker.

Once that's done, glue the red felt on the inside of each circle to make handles. Glue the ears to each side of the face close to the handle. And then glue the two yellow circles to each other, making sure to leave an opening there where the handles are glued.

And here is our Cat shaped purse.  We had to leave it to dry for quite some time, the white of the glue disappears somewhat once its dried, but really its better to use clear glue for this project.

Emma loves her new little purse, and carries it around the house.  You could pretty much substitute any color for cat face and eyes.  

Another alternative is to stitch the the two yellow circles if you so wished, with yellow thread or any other color for a more fun, whimsical effect.

Good luck! Let me know how you get on.

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