- Spraying Water Bottles - you can buy these at a grocery store or $.99 cent store.
- Play dough - I bought the big tub at Target for $20. It has so many little gadgets to cut, mold, and do everything else you want to do with play dough.
- Using sponges - I bought little sponges at Walmart for $1. The shapes are things like: stars, hearts, teddy bear, etc.. We dip them in water and make shapes all over the concrete. (fun when it's hot)
- Beading - I bought him BIG beads at Ross. (Melissa & Doug set)
- Painting & Chalk Writing - I just bought him an easel at Ikea for $15. Paper $5 Paints - Lakeshore $8 with brushes
- Coloring & Scribbling
- Stacking - I bought the SOFT ALPHABET BLOCKS at Lakeshore
- Lacing (Lakeshore)
- Buckling (Lakeshore)
- Zipping (Lakeshore)
- Tieing (Lakeshore)
- Buttoning (Lakeshore)
- Dressing and undressing themselves
- Scissoring & Cutting & Tearing (Sometimes when we are on our walk, I let Baby P tear leaves)
- Ice Cream Parlor Set - By: Melissa & Doug (Lakeshore Learning)
- Shape Sorter
- Letting them DIAL A PHONE
- Lining up CARS or DOLLS
- Mega Blocks - Ross Dress for Less ($10)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Toddler - Fine Motor Skill Activities
Friday, August 28, 2009
12 Grams of FIBER = 1 gnu Bar
Love these bars!! Chocolate Brownie is my favorite flavor so far. You can buy these at Whole Foods or sometimes, Trader Joe's. (approx $1.69/each)
They taste really good and are REALLY filling.
12g Fiber makes a HUGE dent in the 25-30 grams women should be getting a day.
I usually eat one around 10a at snack time. :)
These are all natural so they claim they are safe for toddlers and children. (see below)
My son hasn't tried them yet but after reading their website I'm going to see if he likes them?The following ingredients and article re: toddlers and children needing more fiber, is from their website @ http://www.gnufoods.com
Ingredients: Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic kamut, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, dark chocolate chips (chocolate, cane sugar, lecithin, vanilla), cocoa powder, canola oil, plums, rice, wheat protein isolate, natural flavors, baking powder.
At last, a delicious, safe way to relieve your child's constipation.
Parents, rejoice! Rather than give your child laxatives or fiber products that are loaded with artificial sweeteners, chemicals, stimulants or other questionable ingredients, now you can give them a delicious bar they'll gobble up with no fuss. It’s Flavor & Fiber. Together at Last®
Gnu Bars are an all natural, effective way to help with the challenge of your child's occasional constipation. Constipation is not uncommon in children during toilet training or the toddler years. Even if your child does not have occasional constipation, you may want to throw a Gnu Bar in their lunch box or offer it as a snack. Gnu Bars are a healthy source of fiber and whole grain.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your child's diet and/or bowel habits, or if you suspect that your child may be suffering from a more serious medical condition than occasional constipation, please consult your pediatrician or other health care professional.
NOTE: If your child has any sensitivity to wheat, psyllium, peanuts/tree nuts, do not give them a Gnu Bar.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Annenberg Community Beach House Santa Monica CA
This is such a great place to take the kids and family or for really anyone who wants to relax by the pool or beach.
THEY ARE CLOSING M-F AS OF EARLY SEPTEMBER BUT WILL STILL BE OPEN WEEKENDS.(check the website for exact dates) THEY WILL RE-OPEN IN JUNE. BUT WILL BE OPEN ON WEEKENDS.
Admission : Adult $8 Kids $4
Parking: 1 hour $4 / All Day $8
MONDAY'S SPECIAL: Everyone $1
- Kids can not wear floaties or life vests (you have to wear their vests).
- Pool opens at 10:00am
- Get there a little early, people fight over chairs :)
- They have a family room and women & men's locker rooms with WARM showers for the kids to rinse off in
- Back on the Beach Cafe is next door and has good kid's meals. Kids can play right in front of you on the sand. (very convenient)
- All in all, fun day but can get a little pricey if you have to leave in 2 hours for nap time.
Quick Pack-up Lunch or Snack Idea
Crackers are from Whole Foods
Organic Cheese and Low Sodium Meat are from Trader Joe's
Organic String Cheese & Lite Mild Cheddar - Trader Joe's
SNACK CHEESE = Good protein source
Annie's Homegrown Crackers "SALTINE" & "BUTTERY RICH" - Whole Foods
0g Trans Fat
0g Saturated Fat
MADE WITH ONLY THE BEST INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC WHEAT FLOUR, ORGANIC EXPELLER-PRESSED VEGETABLE OIL (SAFFLOWER AND/OR SUNFLOWER), SALT, YEAST EXTRACT, ORGANIC MALT SYRUP, BAKING SODA, YEAST.
Organic Bunny Classics Buttery Rich -
0g Trans Fat
0g Saturated Fat
MADE WITH ONLY THE BEST INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC WHEAT FLOUR, ORGANIC EXPELLER-PRESSED VEGETABLE OIL (SAFFLOWER AND/OR SUNFLOWER), ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, SALT, YEAST EXTRACT, ORGANIC MALT SYRUP, YEAST, ORGANIC NATURAL BUTTER FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, ANNATTO EXTRACT FOR NATURAL COLOR
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (like a healthy candy bar) - Trader Joe's
Organic Mini Cheese Sandwich Crakers - Trader Joe's
Monday, August 24, 2009
3 Minute PERFECT Brown Rice - Trader Joe's
This is such a TIME SAVER, so HEALTHY, and actutally turns out PERFECT in 3 minutes. I was so not a believer until I broke down and bought a box to try.
**Sometimes I will mix the Jasmine White Rice from Trader Joe's, depending on who I am feeding. Yes, they have white rice as well.
- Rice & Beans
- Rice over the Herb Salad Mix (TJ) with evvo and balsalmic
- Rice with eggs in the morning
- Rice with sauteed tri color bell peppers (TJ)
- Salmon over BROWN RICE
- Chicken over BROWN RICE
Friday, August 21, 2009
OXO Apple Slicer - A MUST HAVE!
I bought this at Bed Bath and Beyond, $10 (had 20% coupon so $8)
(When I Googled it, I found a "how to" video on it ?:)? hmmm...makes you wonder)
Will Rogers State Park - Good FREE fun for toddlers
You can also bring your dog. :) Weekends I'm sure are much more crowded.
For more info, I posted the link to the right.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Turtle Mountain - Purely Decadent Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Super Easy Baked Salmon - Prep Time 10 mins
This was exactly what I was looking for last night for dinner.
Salmon - Whole Foods (2 fillets, approx $10)
Frozen Brown Rice - Trader Joes
Frozen California Blend Organic Veggies - Whole Foods
BAKED SALMON II - (from allrecipes.com)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons light olive oil (note: this make A LOT of juice, you can cut back the oil.)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice (note: I added 2 T more b/c I love lemon on fish)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
1.In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
3.Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.
Friday, August 14, 2009
FREE Ticket on your Birthday @ DISNEYLAND
Disneyland is offering a free ticket on your birthday. Also, anyone under 3 years old, gets in free. This is a huge savings.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Dinner Tonight - Apricot Glazed Pork Loin, Brown Rice, and Peas: Prep Time 15 mins
For Baby P, I clean a little of the sauce off so it's not too overwhelming for him.
(Picture is from the Food Network Website along with recipe)
- Pork Loin - Trader Joes
- Tamari Sauce (Like Soy Sauce) - Whole Foods
- Apricot Preserves and Berry Perserves -TJ (I use both for the recipe)
- Frozen Organic Brown Rice - TJ
- Frozen Organic Peas- TJ
Apricot-Glazed Pork Medallions
Recipe courtesy Robin Miller
•1 pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
•Ground black pepper
•2 teaspoons sesame oil
•1 1/4 cups apricot preserves
•1/4 cup tamari sauce
•1 tablespoon chopped pickled ginger (I don't use this)
Season both sides of pork with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear 2 minutes per side. Add apricot preserves, tamari sauce and ginger and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through and sauce reduces.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Miso Crusted Black Cod with Soybeans and Jasmine Tea Rice- Nathan Lyon
**This is sooooo good. I made this for a special dinner one night. It takes a bit of prep time so I did it in stages throughout the day. I have learned with a 2.5 yr old running around, long recipes are best done in stages. :) This is so fresh and so TASTY.
EVOO, as needed
3/4 pound Black Cod, Sea Bass, or Talapia
1 tablespoon miso paste
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
A pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine miso paste, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
Spread the miso mixture over all the fish and allow to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature. In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon EVOO and heat until shimmering. Place the fish, skin side down into the pan and transfer to the oven and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the thickness, to medium. The flesh will become opaque yet still moist, and flake when properly cooked. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
The suggested substitution ratio for Seasoned Rice Vinegar is 3/4 cup plain rice vinegar plus 1/4 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons salt. So, I’m thinking it would be something like this: 3/4 tablespoon Seasoned Rice Vinegar equals 3/4 tablespoon Rice Vinegar plus a big pinch of salt, and 1/4 tablespoon sugar, and for those who are adventurous for the classic ingredients, include a dash of sake. However for those looking to lower their sodium and sugar intake, purchase rice vinegar and then adjust the amount of salt and sugar to suit your own taste. If nothing else is available, get the ‘low sodium and sugar’ version of seasoned rice wine vinegar and adjust to taste.
Jasmine Tea Rice
1 cup Jasmine brown rice
1 teaspoon Jasmine tea, in a tea-ball, or tea bag
2 cups vegetable stock or water
Green onions or chives, chopped, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Using a fine-mesh colander, rinse the rice with water and rub the rice against the side of the colander until the water runs clear. Using non-stick spray, spray the inside of the rice pot. Add the rice, stock, and tea, to the rice pot and cook. When the cooking is complete, turn off the cooker and allow the rice to steam for an additional 10 minutes before removing the lid. Fluff the rice, season lightly, and stir in the chopped green onions.
1 cup cooked shelled Edamame (soybeans found in the freezer section of your grocery store).
Salt to taste.
1/2 block, or roughly 8 ounces "silken" or soft tofu
1 cup fresh carrot juice
1-1/2 tablespoons ginger juice
A few good grinds of black pepper
Using a hand wand or blender, blend the ingredients together, transfer to a small sauce pan and warm slowly.
In a shallow bowl, add 1 cup of rice to the middle. Place the fish on top. Pour some of the sauce around the rice and finish by adding some Edamame on top of the sauce.
Ginger Noodle Salad - Nathan Lyon
Ginger Noodle Salad
1/3 package cellophane noodles, aka, bean thread, or glass noodles
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup mint leaves, torn
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, small dice or scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut in half on an angle
1 cucumber (preferably English, Japanese or Persian), peeled, seeded, and sliced thin on an angle
1 carrot, peeled and grated, or thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons EVOO
Soak the noodles in a bowl of very hot water for 15 minutes, with a plate on top of the noodles to keep them submerged. Drain the noodles and rinse in cold water for 1 minute. Drain well. In a second bowl combine the ginger, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and lime juice. Stir until the honey dissolves. Whisk in the two oils and set aside. In a large bowl combine all of the salad ingredients then dress with just enough dressing to your liking. Season, garnish, and serve.
Antioxidant Foods List - ABC News
Antioxidant Foods List
By E. J. Mundell
HealthDayNews - ABC News
A variety of veggies, fruits and nuts battled it out this month for the top spot on a new list of the 20 most antioxidant-rich foods, ranked by nutrition scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In the end, small red beans won the day, narrowly beating out wild blueberries as the food with the highest concentration of disease-fighting compounds per serving. Antioxidants fight damage to cells from rogue molecules called "free radicals."
Experts believe this assault on cells may fuel killer diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and even aging itself. The new Top 20 list, published in the June issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, "is a relative ranking of the capacity of foods to interfere with or prevent oxidative processes and to scavenge free radicals," explained list co-creator Ronald L. Prior, a USDA nutritionist and research chemist based in Little Rock, Ark.
Prior and his colleagues used the most advanced technologies available to tabulate antioxidant levels in more than 100 different types of fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and spices.
Their TOP 20
1) Small red beans (dried).
2) Wild blueberries.
3) Red Kidney beans.
4) Pinto beans.
5) Blueberries (cultivated).
7) Artichokes (cooked).
12) Red Delicious apples.
13) Granny Smith apples.
15) Sweet cherries.
16) Black plums.
17) Russet potatoes (cooked).
18) Black beans (dried).
20) Gala apples.
There's "still a lot we haven't learned" about why some foods are richer in antioxidants than others, Prior said. Even though the small red bean came out on top, "we don't have a lot of information on beans," he added.
Berries are better understood. "The components that contribute a lot of the antioxidant activity are what are called anthocyanins, the compounds that give many berries their dark blue color," he said.
FOOD COLOR MAKES A DIFFERENCE In fact, color may be key to spotting foods that fight free radicals, said Roberta Anding, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and a nutritionist at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
"If you're looking for the best places to get antioxidants, I will usually tell folks to look at the colors of the rainbow," she added. For example, "you'll find lutein with some of the yellow pigments found in corn; orange can be the pigments from the carotenoid family that are found in cantaloupe, butternut squash and mango; red could come from things like lycopene, found in tomatoes and watermelon. And then the darker colors - the purples, blues, in berries," she said.
But Prior cautioned that just because a food has proven to be antioxidant-rich in the USDA's lab, that doesn't mean all those nutrients will be successfully absorbed by the human digestive tract. "As we learn more and more, we're finding that, depending on the chemical makeup of antioxidants in different foods, some of them aren't apparently absorbed as well, or else they are metabolized in a form where they are no longer antioxidants," he said.
Whether a food is eaten fresh, frozen, processed or cooked can also affect its antioxidant potency for good or ill, he said. Blueberries are best when eaten fresh rather than cooked in a pie, for example. On the other hand, research has shown that gentle cooking raises the antioxidant power of tomatoes, he noted. Although experts are working hard on the project, ongoing efforts to come up with daily dietary guidelines for antioxidant consumption will be "a long process," Prior said.
"How antioxidants behave, how they act within the body, the dose-response - we just don't know enough about it," he said. For her part, Anding said people shouldn't get too hung up on gorging on one particular food, but "cast your net widely," eating generous daily servings of a variety of fruits, vegetables and other wholesome foods.
Looking over the USDA's list, Anding suggested creating what she called an antioxidant "power salad." First, she said, "put together a salad with a variety of mixed greens. Then I'd throw in some dried cranberries or blueberries from the health food store, toss in a few nuts, with a low-fat salad. Again, choosing from the colors of the rainbow."
Dr. Oz - Ultimate Checklist for Great Aging
By Elizabeth Borer, About.com
•Antioxidants - Dr. Oz suggests 5 servings daily with examples such as: blueberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli and acai (a rainforest fruit with twice the antioxidants as blueberries)
•Green and White Tea - 4 cups daily
•Red Wine - 1 glass daily
Dr. Oz Anti-Aging Spice List:
•Cinnamon - to decrease blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol
•Ginger - to decrease blood pressure, help with arthritis pain and reduce the risk of cancer
•Curry/Tumeric - help with arthritis pain and to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease
•Paprika/Cayenne - to decrease blood pressure and improve circulation
•Rosemary - Dr. Oz explained that the herb can help with focus and learning
Omega-3 Fatty Acid: Daily omega-3 can be found in: flax seed (which needs to be ground or roasted to release the oils), walnuts, spirolina algae (fish get their omega-3 fatty acids by eating this)
Olive Oil: Dr. Oz recommends 1-2 tablespoons daily, but not cooked in a frying pan because it loses its benefit, but on the food after cooking or coat the food before cooking
Exercise for Great Aging:
Cardiovascular exercise: 20 minutes of cardio at your ideal heart rate 3 times a week is what Dr. Oz suggests. The formula he provided for finding your ideal heart rate is to take 220 minus your age multiplied by .8
Strength Training: Muscle burns 50 times more calories than fat, so Dr. Oz included 30 minutes of strength training weekly by doing lunges, leg lifts and pull-ups - simple home exercises
Flexibility Training: Dr. Oz provided yoga positions as a way to become more flexible, including: the plank position, up dog, down dog, and warrior position
Meditation: 5 minutes of meditation a day says Dr. Oz to "reboot your engine and get back on track" by praying or finding a quiet place and making a vibration noise - Dr. Oz suggested yum and drawing out the word
Required Sleep and Sex for Great Aging:
Dr. Oz says that lack of sleep is a factor that is causing many people to age quickly. He suggests preparing for sleep by cleaning up and remembering to floss - it can take 2-5 years off of your real age - before heading to bed. Dr. Oz also explained that watching TV or computer work will alert the mind and body, so only do things that are soothing to help fall asleep.
The average American is having sex once a week, says Dr. Oz, increasing that to 2-3 times a week - in a loving relationship - will take almost 3 years off of your real age.
Dr. Oz's Ultimate Vitamin List:
•Vitamin D: Dr. Oz shared that over 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D - he recommends 1000 IU daily
•Calcium: Calcium may make you constipated, so Dr. Oz suggests taking it with magnesium - 600mg of calcium and 200mg of magnesium twice a day
•DHA Omega-3: Similar to fish oil, says Dr. Oz, DHA omega-3 comes in a pill form but doesn't have the side effects of fish oil - he recommends 600mg a day
•Baby Aspirin: 2 baby aspirin a day for people over 40 is Dr. Oz's suggested dose - 2 baby aspirin have half the amount of 1 regular aspirin
•Multivitamin: Dr. Oz explained the benefit of cutting a multivitamin in half and taking 1 half in the morning and 1 half in the evening - it will spread the vitamin intake evenly throughout the day
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Dinner Tonight - BEANS RICE SALAD - 10 mins
- Organic Black Beans - Trader Joe's, in a can, washed and strained really well (this helps eliminate some of the "gaseousness" of the beans :)
- Saute approx. 1/4 c of already diced onions & 2 garlic cloves (Both TJ) in EVVO
- Add the BEANS
- Add approx. 1/4c Organic Chicken Broth (TJ)
- Simmer covered for 10-15 mins
- Organic Brown Rice - (TJ) Frozen microwave 3 mins!!
- Carrots, Cucumbers, & Tomatoes with dipping sauce (evvo with balsamic vinegar)
(Thank you M & S for reminding me of how wonderful Black Beans are...YUMMY!! and so good for you.)
Free Websites & Blogs
Monday, August 10, 2009
LA Kid's Consignement Sale
- It's 2x a year.
- It's in Van Nuys.
- If you volunteer and are a consignor, you get into the "PRE SALE."
- A consignor has to consign 30 items min which have to be in excellent condition.
- If you are a consignor and volunteer for 3 shifts (3 hrs each), you get into the "PRE SALE" at 8:00am
- 2 shifts at 9:30am.
If I try it this year, I will follow-up with my review. :)
Friday, August 7, 2009
Dr. Oz on "ENRICHED" Wheat Flour
HFCS - High Fructose Corn Syrup ???
I have turned into a crazy label reader now that part of my job duties is feeding my son. There is such controversy in regard to HFCS that I have pretty much eliminated it from our diets (but not totally, look at the ice cream cake a few posts down:).
When you start to look, it's in EVERYTHING, ..another good reason to look for ORGANIC products.
Some condiments like organic ketchup take a little getting used to BUT... my 2.5 year old son doesn't know any different, which makes my job a little easier. :)
Environmental Working Group - BEST Easy-To-Find Sunscreens
(When it comes to my 2.5 year old, the sunscreen usually ends up in his eyes and I'm sure a little in his mouth.)
The EWG's investigation on sunscreen in 2009 found that nearly 500 name-brand sunscreens didn't protect from sun damage and/or contained hazardous chemicals.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
SKIN DEEP - Cosmetic Safety Database (Baby & Mommy Care)
This is a great website where you can look up the BABY CARE products and MOMMY CARE products you are using and how "HAZARDOUS" certain ingredients in them may be. It is unbelievable how much stuff you may be putting on yourself or your baby that could be potentially harmful. I had no idea until I did some research here.
This is definitely worth checking out considering your skin is your largest organ:
Thankfully, I use a lot of California Baby which is rated super low on the 0-10 scale and conveniently sold at Whole Foods.