Month: October 2017

Easy Halloween Trick-or-Trio

Easy Halloween Trick-or-Trio

Blurriest picture ever

I really enjoy encouraging the kids to get into upcoming holidays. Madi doesn’t know what Halloween is yet, but Karissa seems to remember! We are going to be attending Boo at the Zoo! at the LA zoo dressed as 4 characters from My Little Pony (Matt is Princess Twilight Sparkle, I’m Applejack, Karissa is Pinkie Pie, and Miss Madilyn is Rainbow Dash). I like to plan little craft activities during the week to entertain them that are themed around whatever we do for the upcoming weekend. Aquarium week we made our own construction paper fish tanks and fish, zoo week we do animals, arboretum week we do plants. It logically follows that Halloween week we do Halloween.

These are constructed for very young children where focusing on the end result isn’t as important as the activity.

Craft #1: Spooky Sticker Tree

Supplies:

Computer paper or construction paper, color of your choice

Brown or black marker

Halloween stickers (I got a book of stickers at Dollar Tree)

Steps:

Prep: Draw a Spooky looking brown or black tree trunk. Older kids can do this part, or if you want to let your toddler do it that’s cool too. Mine will do a brown scribble, but I think she enjoys having an actual tree drawing to decorate too.

Simply give them the paper and some stickers and let ’em at it!

Craft #2: Halloween Collage

Supplies:

Construction paper

Glue

Colorful baubles and things to glue to paper. We are using torn up tissue paper, feathers, pom poms, and paper shapes. Foam Halloween shapes or sequins would be cool if I could find them in the closet.

Steps:

Give them their paper, some decorations, and some glue (maybe a small amount, Karissa goes nuts). See their creativity blossom.

Craft #3: Paint a Pumpkin

We don’t have time to carve a pumpkin this year, so today we are going to paint our own mini pumpkins. I am sure Karissa is going to love this!

Supplies:

A small pumpkin or multiple pumpkins

Paint (we use washable tempera right now)

Brushes

Something to cover your workspace

Apron to protect little one’s clothing

Glue, glitter, sequins, feathers, rhinestones, or whatever else seems fun

Steps:

1. Prepare workspace by covering it (if you’re the kind of person who is inclined. I’m not). Put an apron on kid (again, if inclined).

2. Give kid pumpkin and painting materials. Let them paint.

3. If you have a child that will let paint dry before trying to further decorate with glue and things then congratulations, thousands of us envy you. If not, just give them the sequins and whatever else. It will be messy, but they’re having a blast.

That’s it. I hope you have a fantastic holiday full of magic for the kids. Happy Halloween, everyone!

 

Immune-Boosting Vegetable Soup

Immune-Boosting Vegetable Soup

The weather is being weird. It cools off, I get excited like “oh hey, it feels like fall!” and then it shoots back up into the 90s. I know that you guys in Texas are feeling it too, it’s not just here in SoCal.

The name “vegetable soup” is kind of a misnomer–the base is, ideally, bone broth. You can use water, vegetable broth, or canned broth if you like, but to get the wonderful benefits of this soup you should really brew up some healing, nourishing, fantastic bone broth. Using bone broth as a base will give you, among many amazingĀ things, protein, fat, and gelatin.

I’ve been making this since last week. Eat a rotisserie chicken, throw bones in crockpot for a day, strain and make soup. Ooh, found marrow bones in the freezer–score! Crockpot for two days, strain and make soup. It’s a wonderful cycle. This soup is definitely a great addition to a rotation of autumn flavors.

Immune-Boosting Vegetable Soup

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Author Kristy

Ingredients

For the Broth

  • Marrow bones, meat scraps, vegetable scraps
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Soup

  • 1-2 zucchinis or yellow squash
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2 cups peas
  • 3 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 3-4 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder or cayenne something for heat and blood flow
  • 2-3 tbsp paprika
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp black pepper

Instructions

For the Broth

  1. Combine your broth ingredients in a crockpot (or a regular pot, if you must).  Cover with water. Leave stewing for 12-48 hours, depending on your ingredients--shorter for vegetables and chicken or lamb, longer for beef or bison. Check periodically to make sure water level stays above the bones/veggies.

  2. Once it is time, use a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to strain. I have a HUGE problem with finding small bits of bone in my soup (it makes me not want to eat it) so I strain it and then add the chunks of marrow back in.

For the Soup

  1. Dice onions, carrots, and zucchini. Combine all of the onions, half of the carrots, spinach, half of the peas, and half of the zucchini in a pan and fry over medium heat  with a little bit of oil or butter until soft.

  2. Remove from heat and transfer to blender with a small amount of water. Add raw garlic and blend until smooth. Adding some winter squash here is great too, I tried pumpkin last week and it was wonderful.

  3. Combine your puree and bone broth in a large pot and stir. Toss in your herbs and spices and the remaining vegetables. If you want to add cauliflower, meat, or anything else to give the soup some texture feel free to get creative! Cover and place over low heat for around an hour to let the flavors properly combine.

Tales (Tantrums) of a Two Year Old

Tales (Tantrums) of a Two Year Old

Most of my writing is really for my own benefit. It gives me space to process all the strange things in my life–tantrums, diapers, snot, whatever–and try to give it context that makes sense. It calms me down and helps me with my parenting.

I couldn’t be level headed and loving as much as I am without this. My space where, even if no one reads it, I can tell myself that other parents are relating to my plight.

My wonderful oldest daughter is two now. It’s amazing! She is so funny, smart, adorable, and has the most interesting personality, but she is getting extremely defiant. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is my kid when I tell her not to do something (ex. Don’t stick your hand in the litter box) and she gives me this grin, tilts her head to the side, and leans in closer. Just like her mommy. It’s maddening, though. Today she even climbed over the fence, turned around and smiled, and said, “Mommy, I love you very much.” As if to say, I love you but I’m going to do what I want.

And that really is the emerging theme here. She is TWO and is discovering how much she can do. I asked my mom a few days ago what I was like at this age and she said, “Well, I just had to keep you…engaged.” Oh! Makes sense to me.–if Karissa isn’t engaged then she’s pouring water on the floor/playing in cat litter/climbing the cat tree. I have to remind myself sometimes that she is still new to the world, so even if she acts like it, she doesn’t know if something is dangerous or irritating me, she is just discovering!

And Madilyn is almost one, so she is watching her big sister like, hey that looks fun. Hopefully this will expedite the process of being two years old for Madi and then we can just be done.

I read something great last night though that really hit home. I had had an awful evening with Karissa climbing everything and really pushing my buttons, so much so that I just screamed a frustrated scream before sitting down to cry. After I put them to bed I read a story about when this girl was a kid they got a kitten, and the kitten went over and started to claw the couch so her dad picked the cat up and put it outside. Thirteen years later that cat still clawed the couch every time it wanted to go out. We have to be careful what we teach.

So anyway, I’m not sure what the point is. For anyone else out there experiencing an adventurous, bored, bold toddler, hang in there.

 

 

Butter Pecan Coffee

Butter Pecan Coffee

Excuse the dirty countertop.

I just noticed that this nomdescript picture looks strikingly similar to my picture of keto cocoa, but they are different, I promise. I love the flavors of fall, and even though the seasons haven’t noticeably changed much here in southern California, my mind has still switched over to the autumn mentality. What better way to kick off the beginning of fall than butter pecan flavored coffee?

My husband is a creature of habit, but when he tasted this instead of falling back on his regular cup of coffee, he said, “Oh wow I want that.” That’s a win in my book.

Butter Pecan Coffee

Delicious, aromatic blend of butter, pecans, and cinnamon added to your regular ol' cup of Joe. 

Ingredients

Pecan Cream

  • 1/2 Cup Pecans Soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 Cup Almond milk

Coffee

  • 1-2 Tbsp Pecan cream Store remaining in fridge
  • 2-4 Drops Liquid stevia Or other sweetener to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp Salted butter
  • 1 Mug Coffee Leave room for frothy deliciousness. Use whatever coffee you like--I use Elite instant coffee.
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Tsp Allspice

Instructions

  1. Soak pecans overnight. Drain water.

  2. Combine soaked pecans and almond milk. Blend until mixture is a smooth consistency. 

  3. Pour your cup of coffee.

  4. Add butters, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweetener, 1-2 tbsp of pecan cream mixture to blender (I use a magic bullet.)

  5. Pour coffee over mixture. Allow butter to melt for a moment before blending. If you use a bullet like I do you need to be quick, and take the lid off fast! Don't let the pressure build up inside from the heat.

  6. Pour into mug. Should be bold, frothy, and delectable. 

This would be amazing with maple syrup in it, but alas, I am simply not able to do that yet.