Jo Frost's Toddler Rules- Finished Book Summary (Stuff I need to remember)

I have read a couple of parenting books this past year and skimmed through several Parent's Magazine. However, Jo's book is the first book that really makes sense to me. I always loved watching her on Super Nanny, but her book is even better. She is one woman who knows her stuff. Everything I have practiced on Sunny has worked.  These notes are mainly for my own records to reflect back on when needed.

Here are my favorite tips she shared.

1. Write down your house rules, even if kids can't read yet.  Word them in simple language and put the rules somewhere you can see them everyday. For me, this will most likely be on the fridge or our Dinner Menu White Board.

Sample Rules For a 2 year old can look like:

1. Listen and Follow Directions
2. Clean up your toys after use

I like to offer a Consequence Board as well

1. After two warnings, you will get a time out. Time out will be in a corner where you can still see mom, and will be 2. and a half mintues (your age)

2. If you refuse to stay in time out, you will lose a priviledge, (This one may have to wait. Sunny has no clue what priviledges are).

Communicating With Your Child

When you are stating your boundaries and expectations, Jo says to speak in a way that your toddler understands what you are saying to them.  Here are her tips:

1. Get close to the child, no more then 3 feet away.
2. Make eye contact
3. Express yourself in a simple, straightforward language. "I want you to put your book away on this shelf now."
4. Always show conviction and respect in your tone.

Three Simple Steps to Positive Behavior

1. Tell the child what to do
2. Show the child how to do it (role model)
3. Praise and reward when child does it correct.

I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement and avoiding any negatives such as using "No" all the time. I think by stating what you want the child to do instead, works better. Here is an example.

If I notice that Sunny has not picked up her toys, saying "Sunny, I love when you pick up your toys, you are so good at it, can you show me how good you are at doing it right now." Timing her with a stopwatch and saying, "Hurry, Hurry, you have ten seconds" this method works like a charm.

Another important Rule that I need to set for myself is to limit screen time.  I have been so awful at putting her in front of the TV while I get things done. After reading Jo's book, I know that screen time should only be 30 minutes or less at age 2.  Kids brains develop from interaction and fine motor skills.

I also am working on having more structure in her day and to not get so uptight about messes. Because, according to Jo: Toddlers and messy and it is good. Parents need to allow it. Messes such as fingerpaint, clay and sand, etc, playing in dirt or mud, it is all good for them.

Sunny gets very bored and wants a lot of interaction. The issue I run into when it's just her and I at home, is how to constantly entertain her and get things done as well.  Her attention span is only so long, and both of us do get stir-crazy if we are confined in the house for to long.  Taking her out of the house and having her be entertained by others (besides me) is what I am aiming at.

Rodney and I were talking and we both decided that Sunny needs to belong to something where she is around other people and learning at the same time. We are looking into different programs offered here such as possibly dance, toddler yoga or tumbling, toddler art classes.

I think the more stimuli she gets, the better her behavior may be. It may be worth the extra expense.

Some other info that Jo shares is using consistant discipline.  

I have been so lacks at discipline.. At first, I let her get away with things, just to avoid a tantrum or crying. Now I know how wrong that is. According to Jo:

Kids feel the most safe and secure when they know their boundaries and have consistant discipline. Kids who are not disciplined are the ones who feel the most insecure.

Parents teach positive behavior through love, praise and modeling correct behavior.  

One huge eye opener Jo emphasized is:

Kids need the most discipline up to Four years old. That is when their brains are learnin and developing for life. If correct behavior is not taught until after 4, it is often too late and kids have an established behavior that may be difficult to break.

Toddlers need constant communication and repetition. Reading the same book over and over is increasing her vocabulary, and looking at more ISPY books is great at keeping her attention. She loves those kinds of books.
  I have started communicating to Sunny more and letting her know what is going on, where we are going, what we are doing, and what behavior I expect from her. I see a huge change in behavior.  Here is an example:

When we are going somewhere, I will say, "Sunny, we are getting ready to go somewhere, let's go find our shoes and put them on."

"Sunny, we are going to get into the car now, can you put yourself in your carseat and buckle yourself in." Do you need my help?"

"Sunny, we are going to an appointment and I need you to be on your very best behavior while we are there."

"Sunny, this is an elevator, it will take us up to where we need to go."

"Sunny, we are now at the appointment, do you remember when I told you to be on your best behavior" Can you show me what a good girl you always are."

"Sunny, I see you are being so good right now. I have been watching you and I am so so proud of you."

This method works amazing. I have seen not only her vocabulary expanding, but her behavior is improving too.

There are more notes I need to take, but will do so later.  Highly recommend this book.


Dried Citrus Fruit

Next Christmas, I'm onto something different.
                           Smells so good
Why oh why didn't I think of dehydrating citrus fruit earlier.

Anyway, next year:

1. I would love a real tree. I LOVE the smell of pine.

2. I want everything decorated in dried citrus fruit. Limes, grapefruit, lemons, oranges and cranberry acorn garlands. I can just smell my house. Yum!

This year, I am already done. I was tempted to take down tons of my decor and put some citrus fruit and cranberry garlands up that I've been working on. But, I am tired for a real good reason ;), and I know I can wait to go all out next year.

I decided to purchase some citrus fruit and cranberries (to practice) and make some lovely citrus ornaments and garlands, just a few. It is so easy, and much cheaper then buying common ornaments at store.

To dry the fruit, all you do is slice each fruit with stem on. You can add a little vanilla and cinnamon if you like. They are not for eating, but might be tempting for a certain toddler to try out. This idea below is awesome.  I will attempt that next year.

These are two great ideas I found from happytrailswildtails.com

Next year,  this will be our family home evening craft.

To make the dried fruit:

Place on oven rack not baking sheet and bake at 120 for 2-3 hours.

Allow to cool,  then poke a needle through with string attached for garland, or for ornaments,  just do the same, but shorten length to desire.


Holiday Style

About 6 years ago, I thought about being a fashion blogger. I have a huge wardrobe from back when I worked full time and then shopped for cool clothes and spent waaaaay too much money.

I thought about showing off my wardrobe with all my unique finds. But, I never got around to it.  Life, work, then motherhood happened.  I certainly don't shop now much, but I am quite glad I got my big ol' closet full of past cute clothes. I often get asked, "Is that new, I love it." If you call 7 years ago new, why not, haha.

Since I was a kid, I loved getting a new holiday dress. This year, I got an early present:  This gold skirt.

I LOVE gold for Christmas.  I love it mixed with black. Gold and black are perfect together.
In the past, I have stuck with green or red, but this year, I am really into metallics, pure white, forest green, blush pink and sequins.

Tomorrow we are heading to a fancy holiday party and I decided to try on different outfits. This outfit is a winner. I don't plan to wear this hat, but for a more casual party, the hat may work.  (The hat came in handy today since my hair is BAD and no makeup on)



Hearty, Healthy Breakfast Ideas

It's Monday and I think i'm ready to tackle thus week by getting back to my routine.

And by routine, I mean sticking with healthy lifestyle routine. I made a rule for myself because I thrive off good routine.
M-F is where I limit as much treats and sweats as I can. The exception is dark chocolate.   I can not live with out my dark chocolate.  I also stick with a good workout routine. That means some sort of cardio and yoga. I know I sound like a broken record stating my routine. But, I have to give myself continuous affirmations.

The weekend has no routine. This is where I don't give a stink and will do what I want.

The problem is,  when Monday comes, I have a hard time hopping on the health bandwagon again.

Rodney made a batch of ginger bread cookies. I ate about 8.

Today started out right. I woke up and decided to make a hearty healthy breakfast bowl which I am going to share with you today.

I start out by making steel cut oats the night before so they are sitting on the stove ready to eat.  This is perfect for Rodney who wakes up early and will have breakfast ready for him. To prepare steel cut oats ahead of time, you simply boil 4 c of water and add 1 c of steel cut oats. Allow oats to boil for one minute. Turn off heat, cover pot and go to bed.
When you wake, steel cut oats are ready to serve. Most people top oats with fruit and milk, but not today.  Today,  I will show you how versatile oats are and what you can do to create the best breakfast.

1. Scoop your prepared steel cut oats or oatmeal in a bowl. About 1/2 c.

2. In a pan, cook about 1-2 eggs, easy side up, or poached. I prefer poached. Cook your sausage or bacon as well. You can use already cooked meat to make it faster.

3. In smaller saute pan, add 2 T. Oil and salute a handful of spinach leaves or kale, a handful of cabbage (purple/green cabbage), add a bit of jalepeno pepper. Once it sauteed, add about 2 tsp. Rice vinager and 1/2 T. Tamari or soy sauce.

4. Top the oatmeal with chopped sausage or bacon,  over easy eggs, and veggie mixture. Add more tamari sauce if you desire.

This is so incredibly good.  You must try it.

My other favorite is classic avocado toast.
I love to add a bit of egg, Tabasco sauce, and tomato on top for more flavor. Some even add cheese.
Perfect breakfast for kids too.

And here is a quick note on Sunny. Her fever never got past 104, thank goodness. She got extremely hot a few nights ago, wasn't peering like normal and was extremely lethargic.I used my Onguard oil on her and diffused some and she seemed to recover okay. Sunny has been sick alot this year, so I'm glad I got these essential oils.


Sunny's sick

We are sitting in insta care right now, waiting to get Sunn checked out. Her temperature has been rising and got up to 104.4, even after tylenol. This was enough for a doc visit. I have never felt her so hot.  Her head felt so hot, I felt an egg could cook on it. My poor baby.  I think it hurts me more then Sunny.
Being a mom is so hard emotionally. We as mama's love our kids so so much, it hurts. When we can't erase their pain, it's like torture to us.
Tonite was our incredible ward Christmas party, but I just couldn't feel joy I needed to. So much work was put into it. My mind was on Sunny, worrying about her increasing fever, but the spiritual aspects of the party were so defining & uplifting.

She's been sick a lot lately, but this is the first time i've panicked like this. Fevers are good for the body, but also scary.
updates to follow. Please keep our precious girl in your prayers.


Lobster or Crab Slaw

Today I feel like sharing and blabbing. Here goes the blab.

About 5 years, I decided to make some serious changes in how I eat.

Eating healthy can be expensive.  But let me say this: It is so worth it.

6 years ago, I was wearing size 12 in jeans.  Some people may not recognize me if they saw old photos. I was a huge carb eater. I felt like a slug.

Something had to change.
I read my patriarchal blessing. It gave me all the answers I needed. I prayed and studied.  And by study, I mean I read my scriptures, sought revelation, and read loads of books on health and nutrition.  My brain felt overwhelmed. I decided to allow the paleo lifestyle into my life.

Oh my gosh.  The paleo diet was my answer.  I felt so good, so happy, so energetic.  People wondered what was up. Why was I always so annoyingly happy all the time.

I call the paleo diet the Happy Diet. It really makes you nonstop happy. Kind of like when you run, you get lots of serotonin and you feel so good.  The paleo diet does the same thing, without the run.

Why does the paleo diet make you feel so great, you ask? 

There is alot of detail I would need to go into. Too much.  To sum it up, you are eating no sugar. None.

I don't like to get into too mant health topics. Many people don't care to hear about it. It can be controversial,  much like politics. 

Many people are aware that carbs are sugar.  Depending on the carb, refined, simple, or complex, carbs all break down into sugar. 

Here is an example. Refined sugar or simple carbs like white bread, white rice,  refined corn products, and many crackers, all break down to sugar.  It's similar to eating a candy bar. 

Complex carbs are whole wheat flour or brown rice.  This breaks down much slower, but still ultimately breaks down to sugar.

Sugar overload causes issues with one's health. 

All things in moderation.

I am not bold and I don't like to talk about nutrition unless someone invites me to discuss it with them. My hope is that people educate themselves. 

During my pregnancy, I ate very low carb. Excluding Sunny's weight and water, I gained a total of 7 pounds, that's it.  This frustrated my doctor. She ordered me to see a nutritionist. I said no thanks. In fact, I rejected half the things she recommend to me. 

My body felt good. Like super good. I ate well, avoided sugar, and felt amazing. At 39 weeks I had energy that suprised people.

Sunny was born healthy. A bit moody, but healthy. 

Trying to avoid treats this time of year is so hard.  (Sorry about that cookie post) Trying to eat perfect with a family and budget is so hard.  I get it. But if you want to make lifestyle changes, you can do anything you set your mind to.

What if you lack support?  Say you husband and kids don't want to eat the way you do. Make modifications.  If you have tacos for dinner, make yours a lettuce wrap. Same goes with hamburgers or hotdogs. 

I eat carbs,  but I don't eat many. With a family and child, it is hard to not. Moderation is important. 

In our home, rather then avoid carbs all together,  we reduce them and try to avoid simple sugars completely. We are not perfect, but I try my hardest to do my best. Like my cookie recipe the other day. In moderation. 

Enter this salad. Low in carb. It was my lunch today. Yum!

Look at the gorgeous colors. So healthy and hearty. I use imitation lobster or crab. Much cheaper.

Here is an example of low carbs in our home during the day.
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, banana, sausage or hard boiled egg. Green smoothie.

Celery sticks and peanut butter
Carrots, cucumber in ranch dip for Sunny

Lunch: avocado and sharp cheddar (sunny can eat aged cheese, but I can't)
Apples, pecans and cashews,  chicken nugget or fish stick. Peas, oranges,  and any other fruit in season. Sometimes a sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread.

Dinner: butternut squash chili or Speghetti squash with meat sauce. Or we will have tacos or Speghetti depending on whether carbs were eaten at lunch. 

Lobster slaw

1 1/2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Honey
1 T. Olive oil
1/4 tsp. Poppy seeds
1/4 c. Chopped green apple
1/2 c. Thinly shredded red and green cabbage
1 T. Parsley or cilantro
1 package of imitation lobster or crab. Or use the real stuff if you can afford to.

In bowl,  combine first three ingredients and whisk. Stir in seeds and everything else. Mix and serve. Serves 2-4

Source, louiskemp.com



As I finished my last post a few hours ago, I decided to write a second post today about what I am thankful for. It's always been a tradition for everyone to say what they are thankful for. I remember years ago, my sister, Becky, started this tradition. She insisted that everyone gather in a circle. I love this because this exemplifies what Thanksgiving is all about. I realize I posted a gratitude list on my blog a couple weeks ago, so with this list, I want to describe five powerful, uplifting people who are true rocks in my life and have shaped me into who I am today.

*Humility: I met this this gal, the summer of 2012.  She was pregnant with her first child, Hunter, at the time. She went through infertility for over ten years and wanted to help me get through mine. Even though she hardly knew me, she and I talked for an hour about God's plan for each of us. She explained everything so humbly. Although I had only experienced unexplained infertility for only 3 years, I was lost and alone. C understood and shared so many personal stories with me that lifted my spirits that day. She and I became great friends even though I lived up in Layton at the time. One day, she suprised me with a HUGE gift of something she put together herself, to help me cope with my infertility. Whatever she did must of helped because I conceived right after she gave me the gift. I was so touched, I cried. This gal is truly an angel in my life. I Feel so beyond blessed to live right next to her and watch her 2 children grow.

* Loyalty: I can't even begin to describe a certain friend in my life who has helped me reach my excercise goals and has become such an example too. She is such a missionary to this day.
 I am such a slacker at sticking with any routine and for three months, this lady still keeps me strong. Here is one example. She has picked me up at 8:30 am, when she's been pregnant and exhausted and up half the night. She has come in the rain, in the cold, etc.  There were days when i didnt think she would come, but no, she is always there. She is so dedicated and I wouldn't be where I am without her. I love her to death.

Generosity: This is an attribute that comes from my sister. She is so incredibly generous, and has been an example to me throughout my life. I could list hundreds of examples of how generous she is, but for time sake, will just stick with one. One day, a few years back, we were on our way home from California.  We stopped at Barstow and got out to stretch. My sister, mom, and I, went inside a fast food restaurant.  When we came out, my sister noticed a family holding signs asking for money. My sister,  without hesitation,  gave them her freshly made fast food,  all our snacks in the car, and all my mom's dark chocolate.  She pretty much cleaned out all food and drink we had in our car, and handed it over to these people.  My mom was upset about losing her chocolate,  but my sister explained that someone else needed it more. What an example my sister is to everyone around her.

Patience: this comes from my husband. We have been married 7 years now and he is still the most patient man I know. He has taught me to slow down and not sweat the small stuff. In addition to his patience, he is so hardworking and always is cheerful and kind. What a great example to me.

Motivation Towards Success. This is an attribute that comes from several of my high school friends that live in different states now. These ladies have showed how hard work truly pays off. I remember my junior year of high school and dreams of my future where becoming more evident. These ladies were powerful examples to model hard work and success. I don't think I would of ever strived to work as hard as I did to get into BYU, without these girls examples. To this day, I thank them.

We all have people in our lives who have shaped us in some positive way. This Thanksgiving is the time to really pay extra attention to what we are thankful for and WHO we are thankful for. I love the hymn, "Each Life That Touches Us For Good" as it a reminder that good people are out there all the time just waiting to touch a life, or be touched.

Giving Thanks, Christmas Lights, & Cranberry Orange & Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

This was probably one of my most favorite Thanksgiving this year. Here is why:

* We hosted and I wouldn't want it any other way. The last several years has been spent going to other people's homes and everything was on their schedule.  Since we hosted, it was on our schedule.  We got to decide what time dinner would be served as well as how it would be organized.  And everyone knows how organized I am, right? Just look at my fridge.
Okay, that's not really my fridge. I just had to share this image I found in a Oprah magazine I was browsing through.

*Rodney and I made everything from scratch this year. No processed food whatsoever. Wednesday was spent making homemade rolls, pumpkin pie and yams. The only thing left on Thursday was the turkey prep, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing (made from our own homemade bread) and green bean casserole.  We were super organized this year and everything was done by noon. We were able to clean up as food was made and eat promptly at the time we said.

*After the feast, we had some good old fashioned fun.  People were engaging with each other rather then with their phones, nobody was rushing out the door for Black Friday sales, and everyone was actually interacting in a normal human manner. We sang Christmas songs, engaged in conversation, watched Mrs. Miracle, and had a great time. Is this rare?

I definitely have a strong opinion about how Thanksgiving should be spent. I won't waste time elaborating on how awful certain companies are to start Black Friday on Thanksgiving.  If more people took the time to really spend their Thanksgiving giving thanks and appreciating being home with loved ones, more store employees could be home with their families too.

Our tradition is to decorate with outdoor lights the day after as well as go to the temple to see the lights and nativity. I was super awed at the lights around the town square (Children's Museum). I am still decorating for Christmas and hope to be done this week.

I love to shop for great deals. JoAnn offered 70 perc off on Saturday, so I picked up some buffalo snow as well as other bargains to put on and around our tree. We are doing kind of a polar express theme so the snow fit in beautifully.

I am not done. I still have a little town village to organize and some more white snow theme stuff to work on.

Sunny has her own Christmas tree theme. I decided to center it around babies since she is really taking interest in baby Jesus. I decided to pull out my huge stash of crocheted booties, hats and doll clothing so she could engage with her babies. She loves changing their booties, hats, blankets around and it keeps her busy. I have not crocheted in years and probably forgot how to. :(

In other news, Rodney is accelerating through business school like a breeze. He took 24 credits last semester while working full time. He did excellent in his classes and is scheduled to graduate a whole year earlier. We are so proud of him.

I wanted to share a cookie recipe that I love. I don't eat much dairy but I love shortbread. These cookies melt in your mouth with pockets of cranberry and white chocolate and orange extract and dried rosemary.  Heaven.

*you can reduce the sugar and omit the white chocolate for raisins or macademia nuts, if you prefer.

Ingredients, preheat to 350

1 c. Butter, softened
3/4 c. Powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1 T. orange extract or orange peel grated
1/2 c. Dried cranberries
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 c. White chocolate chips
1/4 tsp. Dried rosemary
2 c. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking powder

Beat butter until creamy, add sugar, extracts and rosemary. Stir in flour and baking powder,  salt and chips/cranberries.  Beat on low until combined.

Drop onto parchment paper rounded scoops of dough. Bake 10-12 min. Cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes. Com


Sunny at 2.5 months

Just just turned 2.5 months. I think there is a huge difference in her maturity this past month. Here are things I've observed about her that I don't want to forget. After all, kids change so quick.

Sunny loves kids and is very friendly.  She is easily excited too. She is the most social kid I have ever seen.  Here are some examples. 
Whenever we are out shopping, she will wave and say hello to any child she sees. If she is confined in a cart that is. If she is out of the car, she will proudly approach a child, say hello, and hug them or pat them on the shoulder. She is so affectionate.
  She has always been super affectionate. I can recall her going up to complete strangers and hugging them. One time a lady with a child noticed this and told her husband. When we saw them months later at the park, she told her husband that Sunny was the child she was talking about.
Sunny loves nursery. She has never been one who cried when either of us left.
 Sunny is the only kid I have ever seen who runs up to Santa and jumps on his lap. Even Santa told me today that he had never seen a two year old so outgoing.

Sunny seems wise beyond her years. If we are out in a store and she sees a little boy, she will go up to him and say, "Hello little boy, how are you?" She will then hold her hand out to shake his hand.  When she sees a little girl, she will say, "Hello friend" even if she doesn't know her.
Sunny answers "Sure" instead of "yes"
 Sunny is very polite. After leaving daycare or any place I pick her up, she will tell others "thank you, and goodbye"

Sunny is very much a right brained little gal. She loves anything to do with the arts.  Music, dancing, cooking.  She has taken a huge interest in singing.  At church she will sing hymns as loud as she can (pretending). She also has impressed quite a few people who have observed her art. When she watercolors or colors, she stays in the lines very well. This has come from months of practice.
 She has also taken a huge interest in cooking. Anytime we are cooking on the stove or chopping things up, she will grab a chair and pull it over so she can help.

 Sunny loves to do everything herself. If anyone takes over and does it for her, she will start over again until she does it on her own.

Sunny has been potty trained for a couple of months but she does go through her rebellion. There are days like today that she only wants to wear a diaper because I guess she wants to stay a baby longer.  There are also days she refuses to go in the potty and goes in her panties instead, even though she knows better.
 She has become a much better eater this last month (since daylight savings time) and has a much larger appetite.

She doesn't take naps much, but she is so much better at sleeping through the night then she used to. I will take it.
 She is extremely irritable if she is over-tired. But she is angelic as can be if she is well rested. That is with most kids.

She is starting to talk in complete sentences. She sometimes is lazy and doesn't want to take the time and pronunciate, but I know she can do it, because she has.  For example, she can say "Grandma" perfectly, but sometimes will say "Mama" because it's easier.
 She would rather be outside then inside

She is very much in tune to human emotions. Just yesterday I picked her up from gym daycare in the evening, and one of the supervisors told me that she went up to a lady who was crying and gave her a hug and told her, "It's okay."
 I love you Sunny. You are the light of my world.  You are my shopping buddy, my daytime companion, and my forever friend.  

My thoughts on motherhood:  Having a baby changes you completely. Your life before will never be the same as it is now. Motherhood is beautiful and rough and rewarding. I believe motherhood teaches us valuable lessons of patience, love, understanding, empathy. As mothers, we can remind ourselves that we can do hard things.  Nurturing a child, keeping a child alive and healthy, and raising them right, are all very overwhelming to think about. Perhaps that is the greatest anxiety all mothers have.  I know the Lord wants us to pray for guidance when we need help the most. He trusts us with all his heart to take care of his children who he sent to us.


Our Week In A Nutshell & Peanut Butter Protein Bites

This week went by fast. How is Thanksgiving already on Thursday.  Shopping for the feast is always a madhouse. That is why I do my shopping before 8 am. 

I try not to overlook Thanksgiving too much with all the Christmas going on. We do play Christmas music all day long from the radio. It's the way to go. No having to stop and worry about changing a CD. Playing music really helps bring the holiday spirit into our home, as well as hit a few tender nerves,  such as when Christmas Shoes plays or songs of Christ come on. (Bring on the Kleenex ).
 Sunny got an early Christmas gift. This GORGEOUS table and chair set was made by a sweet neighbor. I seriously can't stop looking at it and everything i've dreamed of having for Sunny (to pass down to generations even)

Yesterday afternoon we headed to the park. Then later that night we headed to a movie, then over to family,  and watched a Christmas movie.
          She loves hanging or swinging on        bars. Maybe gymnastics in her future??
                           Loves the slide
                 Fresh Autumn air is just what                                        she needs.
                         Loves to expore

I started reading these two parenting books.
Jo, from Super Nanny, discusses raising toddlers and effective ways to discipline.  The second book, Bringing Up Bebe, is about one woman's experience raising her toddler in Paris and how different Europe's approach is to the US approach on discipline and raising kids.  I highly recommend both these books. They are huge eye-openers to me and I see a major difference in Sunny's behavior. 

Here is one of my favorite protein snacks. One of these bites really hits the spot. They are packed with fiber, protein, and taste great. I love offering these to Sunny when she needs a bit ofprotein. These are also great to pack up in a sandwich bag when we are out n about running around and need a pick me up. Perfect snack anytime.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Energy Protein Bars (Ball shaped).

 No Baking Required & Sugar Free.

2 c. Oats
1 c. All Natural Peanut Butter
1 c. Ground golden flaxseed
1/4 c. Chia seed
1/4 c. Shredded Coconut (unsweetened preferred)
1/2 c. Agave nectar or honey. You can reduce this and add 1/4 c.
2-3 T. Coconut oil
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Mini chocolate chips

If you don't want chocolate chips, you can opt for dried fruit such as blueberry or cherries chopped up.

Combine everything in a bowl and shape into balls. Place on parchment paper on flat surface and refrigerate a couple hours. Ready to eat.


Christmas, Parks & California Sushi in a bowl

We get our Christmas out a little early. It drives some people crazy, but it makes us happy.

Seeing Christmas through a child's eyes is magical,  whimsical,  enchanting.

Every year, we choose a theme. This year, we chose nature. All our decor is of wild animals, birds nests and eggs, owls, acorns, swings, and trees.

Before Sunny was born, I prepared her nursary with the same theme. The twigs, birds, and branches are a decor I love.

She loves the tree lit up. Christmas is our favorite.

Here are a few pictures and updates from this past week.  We went to a park in town and Sunny was so adventerous, doing things I would never want to do. She also came out of her "stormy period' and is back to her old self.  Since our family pet Tigger died, she has been behaving like a cat and meowing a lot. That is for another post.

I was at storytime at the library a couple months ago, and there were these people from this place in town. I can't remember the name, but they do all sorts of music and crafts and fine motor things. They recommended that at 2 years old, a child should start stringing beads onto twine or whatever. It is supposed to be great for their fine motor skills. I picked her up these beads and some twine and she has been making necklaces and sorting beads by color. She loves it and it is good for her.

This was my birthday treat. 

After I devored my sushi, I thought of something I never had before. Why not have all those wicked good flavors (I spent a summer in Maine once) in a bowl, without having to worry about rolling it up and all the extra effort.

I looked up a recipe and found many. To get your sushi bowl to taste like a real authentic California Roll, you probably need to visit a store like Harmon' s if you have one in your town. They have everything and pickled ginger and Japanese sticky rice is essential for making sushi in any shape or form.


1 c. of sticky rice, cooked, divided into equal portions.
8 oz of imitation crab meat
1 avocado,  chopped
1 English cucumber, match sticked
1 carrot, match sticked
Pickled ginger
1-2 toasted seaweed, broken up into pieces

1 T. Soy sauce
3 T. Rice vinager
Wasabi powder to taste
Whisk until combined.

Add Sesame seeds

Pour dressing over rice in equal amounts.

Assemble everything in groups on top of rice.  Add French's fried onions on top if you prefer. Enjoy. Don't forget to see yesterdays post.

recipe adapted from pickledplum.com


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)