I am using other outlets for creativity.
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I’d love to go crazy together!
***Originally posted February 12, 2014***
It’s a last-minute post, but I *just* figured out how to package this up. You’ve probably seen “Flubber recipes” all over Pinterest. The basic idea is to mix Elmer’s glue, warm water, and food coloring in one bowl, and water and Borax in another bowl. When you combine the two, you get Flubber! We made some over the summer, and the kiddo LOVED it. We had it in a tupperware container, and it lasted for months.
As you’ve seen before, I’m a fan of simple gifts that aren’t necessarily food when giving gifts to classmates. I’m just wary of dietary issues, and creating the expectation that all celebrations have to involve sugary treats! (What a party pooper!) But really, I want to give things that kiddo can help make, and that are an alternative to the inevitable influx of candy. (Trust me, I LOVE the candy…) So I thought giving out homemade flubber would be a great gift for 2-3 (or 4 or 5 or 6) year-olds.
Generally speaking, it’s not that hard for me to satisfy cravings. I’ve accepted the gluten-free requirement, and have found some lovely replacements and tricks for things that I really really really want. Except. Cookie dough. I miss gooey, yummy chocolate chip cookies, and now that I can’t eat the raw eggs safely, I REALLY MISS chocolate chip cookie dough.
So as I was browsing Instagram today, I saw a tasty-looking photo from MindOverMunch, and decided to check out the recipe. And OMG, it’s egg-free, and gluten-free, and requires no special ingredients or equipment! So I tried it, and damn. It’s tasty. So I’ll share with you!
I know, that doesn’t sound super delicious. It harkens back to the sawdust-like biscuits trying to pass themselves off as real food. But, I tried it, and I’m convinced. They’re scrumptious.
The hubby and kiddo have been on a baking kick lately, and per my request, they use wheat flour so I can’t actually eat the whole pan of whatever they make (I have an autoimmune intolerance to wheat). But it’s a cruel joke, because when you smell brownies, and see brownies all day, all you want to do is EAT FACEFULS OF BROWNIES. Like some kind of itchy addict. And, as a pregnant wheat-free mama, I NEED more fiber and WANT more chocolate in my mouth. So I trolled the internet for ideas and found these Blueberry Muffin Bites on MyWholeFoodLife via Pinterest.
Since I’m craving chocolate, I decided to go with a more chocolate-coconut flavor palette.
I’ve posted about our crazy garden before. The previous homeowners were very conscientious organic gardeners and had worked their way up to a self-sustaining edible and flowering garden. It was amazing when we first saw the house, then it quickly became a tangled, invasive jungle. I mean, kale growing 6′ tall. Bushels of flowering broccoli (aka, beyond edible). And then the morning glory, wisteria, alstrumeria, Chilean jasmine, midnight berries, and others that were just TAKING OVER. (Doesn’t it sound like I know something about plants? I don’t. I just fake it.)
I thought I could handle it myself. So I pulled, chopped, yanked for about 12 hours straight. And managed to tweak my neck to immobility for a week. Fail. Oh, and all that overgrowth came back in a few weeks! Plus some!
It’s been birthdaymania at our house this month. My husband and I celebrate birthdays 3 days apart, then 2 weeks later, we have the kiddo’s big day. In my life, birthdays have always been a Very. Big. Deal. My mom would bring us McDonald’s at school to have a special lunch with us on the day, and she always planned fun parties for us, regardless of our age. In fact, I just found the tape (yes, cassette) of MY 4th birthday party, where our favorite kidertainer, Audrey, brought her guitar and sang to us. Unfortunately, I need to hunt down a cassette player to hear it, but how cool is that?
On top of wanting to make it a special day, we weren’t able to have a 2nd birthday because kiddo came down with some mysterious contagious rash/virus thing that caused a 1 1/2-week quarantine. We still baked cupcakes together and opened presents, but there’s something about having friends over, singing over candles, and just making the birthday girl feel special. So this year, I wanted to incorporate some of her favorite things into the party: the ocean, the color purple, and chocolate cake.
I did a lot of digging around and couldn’t actually find much information on activities for a 3rd birthday party. There’s a ton of inspiration out there (ahem, Pinterest) on setting a pretty snack table, but little kids don’t eat a lot, so putting that much effort into overdone treats didn’t seem worth it. So I’ll share our experience and hope it helps you plan your party for your little one(s).
Because our home has been utter chaos over the last week, I felt the need to assert some control over what I could. Ignited by that -AND- the need to do some spring cleaning, I tackled the rats’ nest that was my jewelry drawer. I didn’t want to spend any money, and use whatever I could find lying around, so I came up with this:
The last few days have been really tough for me. Hubby overseas, my back went out, and the basement flooded with sewage.
Navigating that stress has been a challenge, since my best stress relief is exercise, which I CANNOT DO right now. SO. I may have lost my cool a little. Especially when the idiot insurance adjuster misread my contract and had me convinced for a few hours that the damage would not be covered. (Turns out, it was. Idiot.) Which brought me back to a trick I learned in high school.
Now that the holidays are over and we’re deep into January gloom, I can reflect on our first Advent-ure with an advent calendar. (See how I did that?) I wish I could tell you that I had a deep understanding of the advent tradition. In my family, it was just a countdown to Christmas. Some years my great aunt would send us a calendar with a little chocolate behind each day, and most years, we’d move a small teddy bear around an advent quilt. Since I didn’t want to get the kiddo all sugared up every night before bedtime, and I don’t have the skills to make an advent quilt, I decided to go with what I know: Post-Its and doodles.
Hey everyone, I’m excited to have my very first guest post. And I’m even more excited that it’s by my very own sister!
Since she was a more diligent MDG-er than me, I asked her to write about her experience with the Challenge. Her account is inspiring me to continue on!
As for my experience, I’m proud to say that it worked for me–with some pitfalls in the middle. I was up SIX pounds right after Christmas, but thanks to her encouragement, and my new FitBit, I was able to turn things around and get active and healthy again. Sidenote: while the measure for success was weight, I realize there are so many other factors to good health. I’ll probably be talking more about those in another post.
Here’s my favorite quote form her account: “Any time I’d tried to change my habits I tried to go all out all at once and would feel better, but would give up after a week. Taking things one week at a time and changing everything each week appealed to my need for variety.” You can read her whole experience below.
It has been so much fun to join the challenge this year. This was my first year joining the Maintain, Don’t Gain Challenge and the payoff was far greater than I expected. I had plans to spend two weeks in Seattle with my sister so I thought it would be fun to be on track with her when I arrive. Plus my weight was higher than I’m really comfortable with and the holiday treats were already arriving at work, adding temptation to already bad habits. Maintaining sounded realistic. I had no idea how much I would learn along the way.