Category: Holidays

4th of July Fork Painting

4th of July Fork Painting

This is really simple, but with my younger girls I often find that simple is best.

Supplies:

Tempera paint–white, red, and blue

Red or blue construction paper

A fork

Directions:

1. Hand out paint, paper, and forks.

2. Let the kids draw by dipping the fork in paint and using it on paper. I had hoped that the forks would help make firework and stripe patterns, but it turns out that they are 1 and 2 and mommy’s complex art ideas can be a bit silly to them.

Easy Whipped Cream

Easy Whipped Cream

Sometimes you need a quick and easy whipped cream recipe–whether it’s for a quick fatty snack, perfect pumpkin pie, or to top off a delicious keto frappuccino.

So here it is! This recipe is 4 ingredients and whips together in a magic bullet or similar blender so fast it’s unbelievable.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

A sprinkle of cream of tartar

1/4 tsp vanilla

15-20 drops of stevia

Directions:

1. Combine ingredients in magic bullet or other blender and blend. With the bullet it takes about a minute (this can vary). Watch it, though. It will thicken to a nice, creamy consistency–you can sometimes hear it change when whipping, but you don’t want to blend it for so long that it separates.

2. Enjoy your whipped cream!

Paper Tulip Bouquet

Paper Tulip Bouquet

Happy Mother’s Day, moms!

Last night I wrote up my first instructable for a gift I’m giving my mom tomorrow, and this morning it’s featured on the front page, so that’s awesome. If you don’t have something for mom yet you can find it here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Tulip-Bouquet/

My other projects are on here but for this one I suggest looking at the link on Instructables, because you really need the pictures laid out with it and I love how their site handles it.

And A Happy New Year

And A Happy New Year

It’s officially 2018, hurrah! I think everyone loves new beginnings. It’s exciting to anticipate change and rejuvenation, and the new year always does that for me.

So talk of a new beginning always leads to a predictable topic: resolutions. I suppose I’m going to lay mine out there for the sake of accountability.

Most people give up on their new year’s resolutions pretty fast. Oh well. That’s why I’m not calling these resolutions–it’s more like refocusing my efforts in specific areas: health, the kids, and the family.

In terms of health I am beginning a Hashimoto’s thyroiditis healing protocol this month, starting with a 2 week liver detoxification, followed by adrenal support and then gut repair. It will certainly be interesting! I want to regain some more energy (although the synthroid is already helping tons) and try to repair my body. I know that healing hypothyroidism isn’t common, and remission is a lofty goal, but I’m a lofty-minded girl. I’m comfortable shooting for the stars. I’d like to lose some more weight, and I’ve been doing well so far, but losing weight isn’t the priority–health is.

With the girls I want to be more hands-on than I am. It’s difficult for me to focus on being an interactive mom when other people besides the kids are in the house, and too easy for me to turn the TV on and let them listen to nursery rhyme songs repeatedly (and they love it). It’s not bad in moderation, but imaginative play is important. Reading is important. Running around outside and getting dirty, and falling and getting scratched up and all of that stuff is really important, too. Arts, crafts, and music are important. I want to really find my groove with them. Part of me thinks that this isn’t going to happen until we move and that’s okay.

And with the family as a whole, and just in general, I want to improve. Such a broad statement, but it’s true. We want to relocate. I can wash dishes and sweep floors and mop more frequently. I can vacuum and pick up toys more. I can get kids to help me with clean up! I want to focus on writing and my online stores a lot more than I have. A lot of this stuff is energy based, and I’ve gained a lot of energy and motivation back since starting my thyroid medication so it’s all good.

After Christmas I bought myself a small gift. Well, three, actually–three small notebooks labeled goals, fitness, and projects. Fitness is primarily for meal planning, because if I don’t have a dedicated place to write down my meal prep I won’t do it (and I desperately need to do it). Projects is intended for organizing my plans with the kids–small “lessons,” crafts and activities, anything kid related is going in there. Goals was intended to be just a generic planner where I could write out what needs to get done when, but I think it’s going to be more than that–something greater! There are pages dedicated to goal setting and executing them, and I’m going to use them.

What are your plans for the new year? I’d love to hear!

Powdered Chocolate Cookies

Powdered Chocolate Cookies

Ho ho ho. I found out that I have Hashimoto’s recently, which explains a lot, and because of this I’m on another unforgiving diet (aren’t I always?) It’s AIP except with nuts and cocoa. No nightshades, eggs, dairy, grain, or soy.

I started making these cookies because of how easy they are. All you need is a few ingredients laying around and bam–you’ve got chocolate cookies! I like them with powdered swerve sprinkled on top, they remind me of crinkle cookies like this. My measurements are always guesses, since I usually don’t measure when I bake. I am sending these to work with my husband and making a huge batch to take to my in-laws on Christmas day, too.

Powdered Chocolate Cookies

Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 Dozen
Author Kristy

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Almond flour I've used coconut flour too. Alternatives are fine, I love almond flour
  • 1/4 Cup Tapioca starch
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Cocoa powder
  • Pimch Sea salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Swerve sweetener I used confectioners powdered. You will want a little extra for dusting.
  • 1/2 Cup Almond milk
  • Dash Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well with a fork.

  2. Add almond milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Mixture should be a good consistency--not too doughy or liquidy. To correct too much liquid simply add more tapioca starch, and more almond milk if too thick.

  3. Spoon onto parchment paper on cookie sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove when still soft, they will firm up as they cool. Dust with powdered swerve and serve. 

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Trying to get two small children immersed in the spirit of the season can be tough. It involves lots of music, lights, walking, crayons, wrapping paper and bows. When you add crafting components it can get loud and messy. That’s alright though–we had a ton of fun! Karissa kept saying, “It’s pretty, mommy,” as she poured it through her fingers over the pinecone. Fun fact: everyone was 85 percent less frustrated than usual. That’s a win for me! Heads up, my one year old did nothing except eat glue and chew on the brush, so that could be in your future.

Supplies:

Elmer’s glue

Pinecones (we used three)

Paintbrushes or sponges

Festive colored glitter (we mixed green and silver, and red and gold)

Ribbon

Steps:

1. Brush glue over the outside of the pinecone.

 

2. Pour glitter over the pinecone.

3. Set aside and allow to dry.

4. Tie a ribbon to hang.

Nourish and Nurture

Nourish and Nurture

Well, December is here! Confession, I don’t have much to talk about this week. My mom’s birthday was yesterday, though–happy birthday mommy! This is mostly a rambling family update.

So here in Southern California it’s in the 70s and I’m really missing Texas December. I miss cold. I got some blood tests done and I’m super Vitamin D deficient, my thyroid hormones are off, and I had high RDW, which I think means leaky gut issues again. I feel like there might be some adrenal fatigue mixed in there. Fun stuff!

It seems that for our family the holiday season is going to have to be all broths, meats, and immune support. Sure, that’s ideal, but we’re an indulgent, dessert-loving lot (except Madilyn, who doesn’t seem to like sweet much). Hard to accept that I can’t have a slice of pumpkin pie and whipped cream. It’s taken a long time to figure out that cheating on eating right is only cheating myself.

So this is why I don’t really know what to say. We’ve gone back to Autoimmune Paleo to try and resolve issues for both me and Karissa: that means no nuts, dairy, nightshades, seeds, grains  (which is always), soy, eggs, or legumes to eliminate inflammatory sources and will reintroduce some foods in the spring. For now its all soups, scrambles, and stir-fry.

It’s tough to get myself outside to get enough vitamin D sometimes, especially in the winter. Increasing my supplementation has already made me feel quite a bit better, but I’m still tired a lot.


Still working on moving. No news. Seems like one final Christmas in California. I have an Amazon wishlist for the girls, some ideas for Santa or whoever. Anyway, have a great holiday season!

Festive Fall Centerpieces

Festive Fall Centerpieces

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If you’re like me and prepare everything for the holidays at the last minute, then this is for you.

I tend to buy flowers, change the water a few times, and then leave them dying in the vase. Today this tendency actually proved itself useful when I decided to make fall decorations for Thursday:

You can do this alone or with your kids, up to you.

Supplies:

A mason jar (or many of different sizes)

Fresh, dried, or dying flowers

Optional: coordinating ribbon

Steps:

1. Cut the flower heads off of stems. Discard stems.

2. Pluck the petals from most of the flowers. Leave some intact for variety and dimension. My kids liked this part!

3. Arrange flowers and petals in mason jars. Have fun! Top with a large flower.

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!

 

Father’s Day Print Cards

Father’s Day Print Cards

We have another round of holiday cards to paint for some super special people today–dads!

I decided to go with a western theme this year with my girls helping.

Supplies:

8 1/2 × 11 cardstock cut in half

Tempera paint–brown, green, and tan

Acrylic paint–yellow and pink

A paintbrush

Red and blue or black construction paper

Glue

A ballpoint pen or black marker

 

Steps:

1. Have a little helper place two brown footprints (one of each foot) on the inside of the card. These are chaps! You can see in the pictures that mine are too high up and too big, my 6 month old is a giant! You could size your paper up if you would like, I just have small envelopes. I also had her put a small handprint for a little cactus. Let dry.

2. Have a helper (I had my 20 month old do this) add a large green handprints to the front of the card. This is a prickly pear cactus. Let dry.

3. On the inside, glue a triangle of blue or black construction paper down between the chaps for a body. I used patterned paper. Paint a head with tan paint and let the glue and paint dry.

4. Add some cactus needles and arms to your little cowboy man. I also added a foam cowboy hat sticker (he is tipping his hat, otherwise it would be hanging off).

5. It’s coming together! Give your cowboy some stick figure arms and a smiling face with a pen. Cut a small triangle out of red construction paper and glue on top of the shirt around the neck.

6. Using pink acrylic paint (I used acrylic for the different texture and layering of the paint) and the wrong end of a paintbrush (handle side), place a few scattered dots on your cacti. Wipe the end of the brush off and, using yellow paint, surround the pink dot with yellow flower petals. Add whatever finishing touches you like, and you’re done!