Shameless Plug

Flash cards by Rosita Designs

Let's just call this post what it is. A chance to brag about Auntie Rosita. As I'm sure you know by now, Auntie Rosita has her own design business...Rosita Designs. She makes all sorts of awesome stuff like Christmas cards (what?! you haven't started thinking of yours!?), wedding invitations (and all that comes with it), birthday invitations, party invites and all sorts of other paper goods. BUT! she doesn't stop there. She also makes super cute canvases of animals or words or whatever you want!, name frames, fun hair clips and pins, necklaces and flash cards. And if you're wondering who made my super cute banner and button? Yep, Auntie Rosita. Really, the girl's talents are endless.

So how can you get your (insert desired item from list above)? It's easy really. Just click on her website here: Rosita Designs and shoot her an email about what you're looking for. And as always, I'm not just saying she's awesome cuz she's my sister. She really is awesome.

Wordless Wednesday

This is why I'm not a huge fan of gardening.

Muffin Tin Monday

As you can see, we're still running a bit slow around here...since I'm posting Muffin Tin Monday on (ahem) Tuesday. But here it is, nonetheless!

I know there's a lot of fruit, but she hadn't had much over the weekend and I was hoping that some Vitamin C might get that gunk outta her system. I attempted to follow a theme this week, too! Rainbow was the theme last week, but hey! it's a start.

Don't you love those little hands that really want that muffin tin?!
Clockwise from top left: Dark purple grapes x2, kiwi fruit x2, butternut squash muffins x2, green beans x2, avocado x2 and strawberries x2.

As usual, she gobbled it all up, starting with the avocado.

We're still on the mend, but we're getting there! At least she is in good spirits so we're trying to spend time outside since the weather is B-E-A-Utiful!

Foto Friday

Whew. We've been home since Monday, but since Sweet P develops a cold almost every time we travel, we've been quarantined while we (yes, we) get well. I got whatever she has once we got home. While we recoup, enjoy this foto for Foto Friday. And as usual, I don't really know what I did. We have an old version of PhotoShop so I just toy around with gaussian blue, contrast, colors, ya know, the easy stuff.

And here in Iowa, fall is definitely upon us. Sweet P just loves that muhmuh (pumpkin), when we come downstairs in the morning she can't help but point and smile at it. Pumpkin and squash courtesy of our farm.



Off to the Big Easy

We'll be in New Orleans for the next few days for Auntie M's wedding. Sweet P is a flower girl! Can't wait to see Gammie and the Aunties again (and Uncle Will). We'll see you when we get back!

Oatie Date Balls

Let me apologize ahead of time for the lack of pictures for this post. But you saw a picture of the oatie date balls yesterday here so that's good enough, right?

These snacks happened on accident. I made my first attempt at homemade Lara bars (because let's face it those things are crazy expensive and my kid downs them like nobody's business). So in my first attempt, I realized I shouldn't have used an entire apple. It's WAY too juicy. And here's what happened:

The Recipe: Oatie Date Balls

What you need:
1 apple (peeled and chopped)
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup oats

Puree apples, dates and raisins in a food processor (I use a mini). You'll get a thick applesauce consistency. Transfer to a bowl and add cinnamon and oats. Stir well to mix in oats. Mixture will be sticky (and messy). Roll into 1 inch balls (or smaller for your munchkins). Place on a cookie sheet (or wax paper) and put in freezer overnight. In the morning you'll have a yummy sweet treat.

I also tried baking a didn't go so well. They baked alright, but they mostly fell apart. Sweet P LOVES the frozen ones. Dates taste a lot like brown sugar so these are perfect, healthier dessert. Try them, if you like dates, you'll them.

More attempts at Lara bars coming soon!

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Today's Muffin Tin:

Clockwise from top: Strawberries, carrots, quinoa garden pagoda pasta, sippy cup (water), dragon's tongue green beans (from the garden), oatie date balls

She loved this meal, especially my accidental oatie date balls (more on those tomorrow). She also loved that balloon, it didn't leave her hand through lunch (or after lunch for that matter). I had to convince her to say goodnight to it and leave it downstairs before we headed up for bed.

Where'd you go?

My motivation. Have you seen it?

Anyone ever feel like they're lacking motivation? (You can't see me, but my hand's raised. Really high.) For the past few weeks I've just been slugging along (and nope, not preggo). Lack motivation to blog, motivation to clean, motivation to run around. I still do all those things, I've just lost. my. get the point.

So, I've decided to become more organized! After reading about Jessica's system at Our Family for His Glory, I decided I needed a system, too! I tend to get overwhelmed all at once and then try to clean my house all in one day! Then I get sidetracked by something and end up missing tons of chores. So, organization...Here I come! I, like Jessica, need to break things in to days so that things are done daily and then deep cleaned every few months. Obviously some things get done every day (sweeping the kitchen, dishes, wiping out the sink, etc), but the bulk of it just needs a set day. That way I don't have laundry coming out my ears with the floor needing to be vacuumed and dust starting to pile up. Here's what I decided and if all goes well, I'll update you on my progress. This may not go smoothly this week since we leave on Wednesday for a wedding in New Orleans and I did a lot of cleaning today (hence this epiphany I'm having). And why yes, I am a little bit anal about having a clean house.

Mondays: Bathrooms, Laundry (towels/bedding)
Tuesdays: Deep cleaning of one room
Wednesdays: Mop kitchen floors, clean porch
Thursdays: Dust, clean windows
Fridays: Vacuum, stainless steel wipe down
Saturdays: Laundry (clothes)
Sundays: Day of rest!

Diaper laundry gets done every 2 or 3 days so it gets in there, too. Picking up gets done EVERY day and since the Farmer takes care of the trash, it's not on the list. I'm really looking forward to this!

Do you have a system? How do you make it work!?

Thanks, Jessica for the great ideas and inspiration!

Recycler in Training

About 2 months ago, we taught Sweet P to throw away her dirty diapers. Now, this task doesn't happen often since we now cloth diaper almost exclusively, but every now and again she'll be in a disposable for one reason or another (current reason: sad, sad diaper rash from something she ate and needed to use some major diaper cream). So after she learned about the trash, we started asking her to throw other things away. She'll throw away dryer sheets while I fold towels or pieces of string she finds or other things that don't recycle. So far, she only throws things away when we ask her to.

A few weeks ago, we started asking her to "recycle" things. Because the kid LOVES the recycle bins we have in the kitchen (they are just her height). So she started recycling paper, tags from new clothes (thanks to Gammie), raisin boxes, plastic containers...ya know, the usual. Well, she's never recycled something unprompted. Until today.

I wasn't home to witness our baby reducing her carbon footprint, but the Farmer said "She recycled her raisin box tonight."

Me: "Did you tell her to?"

Him: "Nope. She just brought it over and put it in the bin. She took it back out again, played with it, looked for more raisins, took it into the living room and then decided she was really done with it and dropped it back in the bin."

So there ya have it. Teach them young, I tell ya, teach them young.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am super thankful for my scrumptious little Sweet P. She makes my day. Even when she's in trouble, she makes me smile.

Like yesterday when she was playing with the tiles from Apple Scrabble (choking hazards, I KNOW!) and I was watching her closely to make sure she didn't put any in her mouth. She starts out playing with them, pulling them all out of the apple they come in, stacking them, throwing them off her high chair, then after about 5 minutes I see her stick them in her mouth. I gently squeeze those chubby cheeks and say OUT. And reach in and take them out (because that kid is NOT gonna spit them out). As soon as they're out, she grabs another handful and sticks them in her mouth (she's fast. I mean, really fast). I grab those out too and say, "You're done. We're all done. No more playing with scrabble." and take her out of her chair before she grabs another handful to stuff in her mouth (because you know that's where this was headed).

As I scoop them off the floor back into the apple, she's about a foot away and says, "Maaaamaaaa?" in this innocent little voice and comes and wraps her arms around my neck. Like she knows she did something she wasn't supposed to and is trying to make it all better. How can you be upset with that?! How?! Ahh, what a little toot, but I'm so so thankful for that little toot.

Muffin Tin Monday

My inspiration for this post comes from Muffin Tin Mom, creator of Muffin Tin Monday.

Since Sweet P loves a variety of food and loves to feed herself, I decided to start doing muffin tin meals. It gives her a chance to choose from a variety of foods, see an assortment of colors and feel different textures. Here's my first attempt at a muffin tin meal. Happy Muffin Tin Monday!

Clockwise from top left: kiwi, raw firm tofu, tomatoes, macaroni shaped quinoa pasta, dried, unsweetened coconut, chopped date.

Does Sweet P like Muffin Tin Monday? Mmm, I think so.

Back to school

I love to scroll through the blogs I follow during the fall because most of them are headed "back to school." Homeschooling, that is. And I love hearing all of the fabulous things they are doing in their home classrooms. Truly, I can't wait to do this with Sweet P (ok, I can wait, because that would mean she'd be older and I just want to freeze her at this age).

I have a couple of questions for you veteran homeschooling mamas out there (for us "newbies" to homeschooling).

1) How long do you typically spend on school work each day? (or does it depend on the day)?

2) Do you use one curriculum for your entire family or dabble in different curriculums for different children?

3) What do you do on days when you lack motivation to teach/school?

4) Do your children ever ask about "going" to school?

5) And last, do you have any ideas for a child who has a hard time doing what you ask of him/her?

I'd love to hear some answers from you mamas out there! If you'd like to share your thoughts with me, please leave your answers in the comments section.

AFTER THOUGHTS: Thank you to those who have responded! You have great ideas and suggestions! The Farmer and I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and responses. Keep em coming!