Hey! I wrote an article about the importance of gardening with children and it’s in a magazine that just got released! Check out this amazing magazine, AVY Seedings Magazine and all of it’s wonderful articles!
This morning, my son and I decided to bake some cookies. They were nothing fancy, just the recipe from the back of the Ocean Spray Cranberries…but we added out own little twist!
We washed our hands, put on our aprons and I got all the ingredients ready while my son brought his stool over. We started by creaming the sugar and butter. I measured the sugar and my son poured it into the bowl. He knows to keep back when the mixer is on and we had a little taste before I added the eggs! We mixed all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl which again, I measured out and my son dumped in before stirring it all together.
Here, we added some cinnamon which isn’t in the original recipe!
Scoop by scoop, my son added all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl while we took breaks to gradually mix it all together. We both measured (and tasted) the cranberries and chocolate as we added it to the mix. I let my son help measure here because when was too much chocolate or cranberries a bad thing?!?!
I gave my son a spoon to help place spoonfuls on the cookie sheet but he wasn’t able to do it and decided to snack on some more cranberries while I did that on my own.
The cookies only take 10 minutes to bake so during that time, I cut my son off from the cranberries and sent him to play while I cleaned up the kitchen. Once the cookies were ready and cooled, we sat down with a cup of coffee and a glass of milk and enjoyed a plate of freshly baked cookies for our morning snack!
Recipe (from Ocean Spray but with a Twist!)
- 2/3 cup butter
- 2/3 brown sugar
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups of flour (I used whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup of white chocolate chunks or chips
- we added 1/2 tsp cinnamon
let’s face it, Bald may be Beautiful but Patchy…not so much!!!
It’s been 9 months since my diagnosis of Lichen Planopilaris and I’m happy to say I’m in a pretty good place. It feels great to have it out in the open and not feel that I have to hide or be ashamed of my hair loss, although I am still self conscious about it.
When I wrote before, I described how painful it was, but now I feel I have a pretty good concoction of medication helping me manage my condition. Although I still have to wear a hat outside to prevent my scalp from feeling like it’s melting, the regular, every day itching and burning is almost non-existent!!! However, if I miss a couple of days applying my protopic cream, it’s incredibly itchy and sore, I have learned to stay on top of my prescriptions!
I’ve come to terms with wearing a hair piece! The type of piece I need is actually called a “toupee” but I’m not ok with calling it that or wearing a “toupee”, I am not an old man. I will soon be ordering and wearing a “hair piece”. I went to a consultation and got everything I need…colour match, measurements, etc. I’m still doing some research and want to shop around but I’m pretty excited about ordering it and being able to go out and wear my hair down for the first time in over a year! WooHoo!!! Once I have picked and ordered my hair piece I’ll be sure to fill you in with all the steps and details it takes to get a new look! (Stay Tuned!)
I’m still losing my hair, but the hair loss has thankfully slowed down. It can still be challenging to cover up my scalp but with my new options of hair pieces and my growing hat selection, I’m feeling better about things and more confident. When I see the back of my head, I still get taken back…”Is that my head? Where did my beautiful hair go?!” but it’s starting become more familiar and I am accepting that.
Over that past few months I’ve learned a lot. I’ve found a great online support where I am able to learn a lot through others’ experiences. I discovered my grandmother had a form of Alopecia, although it was never talked about. This information helped with the “why is this happening to me” question but saddened me to think my grandma suffered in silence and that it is in fact hereditary and I can pass this down to my children. I have come across great articles regarding hair loss and have had lots of inspiration through hearing other people’s stories.
So again, I write and encourage you to learn about as many rare medical conditions as you can, know what’s happening to your body and learn to recognize when your body is telling you something is wrong. Don’t suffer in silence, seek out support and no matter what, love yourself, because in the end, that’s what makes the difference.
We love pizza, it’s that meal you can have again and again and you never get sick of it because there are so many varieties out there. Sometimes we like to get take out pizza but most of the time I make my own pizza from scratch, it’s so easy!
If you Google Papa John’s Pizza Recipe, loads of options come up and I don’t know who was the original or where I got my recipe from because it’s been too long but I follow the Papa John’s Recipe which is so easy, here it is!
- 2 1/2 – 3 Cups of Flour
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 1/4 Tsp of Fast Rising Yeast (1 Envelope)
- 1/2 Tsp of Salt
- 1 Cup of very warm water (120-130C)
- 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
I boil some water in my kettle while I get all the ingredients out. I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer to do the dirty work but you can do it all in a big bowl by hand.
First, I combine 1 cup of flour, the sugar, undissolved yeast and salt and turn the mixer on to blend it. I use the Kitchen Aid Flex Edge Beater at this stage. Once it’s mixed I gradually add the water and oil until it’s all mixed together. When it’s all mixed into a wet paste I add another cup of flour until it’s a nice dough. I stop the mixer, remove the Beater and scrap the edge of the bowl and put on the Kneader attachment to finish the job. After beating it for a few minutes I knead it by hand for a bit until it’s smooth and elasticky, adding more flour if I need to.
Put it in a clean bowl, cover it with a tea towel and put it in a warm place to rise…this has been sitting in my hot car outside, on a window sill, near my fireplace…get creative to help speed up the process. My favourite thing about this recipe is you only need to let it rest for about 15 minutes!
While the dough is rising, I either make another batch to make 2 pizzas or I start preparing my toppings. I have pre-cooked pieces of chicken, ham and ground beef in my freezer in Ziplock bags ready to be spread over a pizza…some of our favourite combos are:
- BBQ chicken: BBQ sauce, chicken, red onion and mushroom
- Deluxe: Tomato Sauce, Farmer Sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms (any pizza friendly veg that needs to be used up)
- Hawaiian: Tomato Sauce, Ham and No Name Pizza Tidbits (they’re a nice size for a pizza)
- Gourmet: Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozarella, Fresh Basil, Balsamic Vinegar
- Cheeseburger: Tomato Sauce, ground beef, onions, mushrooms
Once your toppings are ready and you’ve oiled your pan, preheat your oven to 425-450C depending on how hot your oven gets, I prefer 425C.
Go get your dough. I use a cookie sheet because I can roll the dough out perfectly, however I also put a bit of parchment paper in the middle because my cookie sheets aren’t very nonstick anymore. Roll or press out dough onto pan/cookie sheet, prick with fork and let stand for another 10-15 minutes.
This is when I usually make my sauce:
My Tomato Sauce Recipe:
- Can of Tomato Paste
- 1 Clove of Minced Garlic
- 1 Tsp of Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tsp of Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Frank’s Hot Sauce
Brush crust with oil and bake for 5 minutes. Take your pizza out of the oven and put on your sauce, some cheese (I use pre grated double cheddar or TexMex), your toppings, some more cheese and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Put it back in the oven to bake for another 5 minutes and you have a delicious meal!
I’ve also used this dough to make garlic sticks by rolling them out and covering them with melted butter, garlic and italian seasoning!
I used to steam and purée kale and mix it with scrambled eggs when my son only ate soft foods and remember saying to my baby, as I spoon fed him, “You’re eating green eggs like in Dr. Seuss!” I can only assume that he understood and appreciated the connections!!! But I kept the meal idea in mind and now that my son is older I made him real green eggs and ham, only I didn’t go as far as to serve green ham!
I got a few leaves of fresh kale from my garden, grocery store works just as well.
When it was cooked I drained it and puréed it. I used to use the Baby Bullet but that’s put away and I didn’t feel like messing my big blender for such a small amount so I used my handheld blender and it worked perfectly!
While I was making lunch, I thought it would be fun to show my son the YouTube video for Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham because I wasn’t organized enough to get the book out of the library. It worked perfectly because the video was just over 8 minutes so it kept my kiddo happy and entertained while I was in the kitchen.
I had roasted a big ham a while ago and had frozen slices to fry up with meals as well as small pieces for my homemade pizzas (stay tuned!) so I defrosed a couple of pieces and fried them up with the eggs.
There you have it, a fun and easy meal for you kids that sneaks some vegetables into their diet! You can also do this with spinach.
My kiddo loves Timbits. He often recognizes the Tim Horton’s drive thru and starts saying “bits bits” when we go through. Who doesn’t love those little balls of heaven? …I mean donut?! But they’re not exactly a healthy snack.
Last Christmas I got a Cake Pop maker and let me tell you, the possibilities are endless! There are obviously 1000s of ideas on Pinterest for cool decorating tips but my favourite thing to do is throw some muffin mix in the machine. That’s right, my child thinks he’s eating Timbits but really I’m feeding him healthy muffins! Wahaha! Yesterday my son helped me make Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini “Timbits”. He loves them and so do I! They’re super chocolatey and moist. They’re not the healthiest recipe I’ve made but they have vegetables in, so I’m happy!
In the past we’ve made Blueberry, Banana Chocolate Chip and Carrot, the possibilities are endless! These recipes are even better because I use honey and applesauce instead of sugar.
So if you want to try out a fun new snack for your kids, I highly recommend a Cake Pop maker, mine is PC brand but there are a variety of machines on the market so take your pick and have fun! It’s also great for the summer because you don’t have to turn your oven on, and each dozen only takes about 5 minutes to bake, depending on the machine and recipe! It’s also way easier to clean than a muffin tin, a very important added bonus!
- Colouring book
- Easter notebook
- Story books
- Children’s Bible
- Bubbles (check out this homemade bubble recipe!)
- Bubble bath
- Bath toys (rubber ducky)
- Bath crayons
- Craft supplies
- Letter sponges for painting or in bath
- Easter stamps
- Bunny bowling
- Hot wheels or Toy cars
- Thomas trains
- Disney Princesses
- My little Pony
- Mr. Potato Head
- Little People
- Stuffed animals
- Finger Puppets
- Flash cards
- Game (memory or matching game)
- Stacking cups
- Plastic animal toys
- Letter magnets
- Easter magnet
- Play food (plastic or felt)
- Sandbox or beach toys
- Sidewalk chalk
- Shirt (Easter or Spring themed)
- Big Boy or Girl Undies
- Slippers (bunnies!)
- Spring/Summer Pajamas
- Flip flops
- Child’s umbrella
- Hooded towel
- Summer hat
- Bow tie or Tie
- Lip chap
- Hair accessories
- Jewellery (cross necklace)
- Bunny Ears
- Children’s nail polish
- Playdough (check out this homemade Playdough recipe!)
- Some seeds (wheat grass, alfalfa, etc.) and a photo of child’s face and do this craft together later!
- Cute hand soap
- Tooth Brush
- Body wash
- Twisty straw
- Plate set
- Training Chopsticks
- Easter themed cups or water bottles
- Wind up toys
- Bouncy ball
- Beach ball
- Plastic Easter Eggs (filled with snacks)