3/6/22 Meal Plan

Is it March already?!?! Where did February go? I swear it just started! March has me excited that spring is almost hear. As I type this it is literally snowing, but if I close my eyes I can see sunshine and green things starting to grow. I don’t have much else to say this week so lets get to it!

A little recap about what you’ll find bellow. Kyle and I are on a health kick, and have been successfully dropping some unwanted pounds. More importantly we are both feeling stronger, and all around better in our skin. We’ve done this with A LOT of hard work in the gym, and most importantly with our food! Part of how we’ve done this is by counting the macro’s. This is seriously so much work, so I’m going to share it with you since I’ve done it already. I’ll share my whole day of meals. This week I meal prepped breakfast, and lunch. Then I made 3 dinners with the intentions of leftovers every other night. On that seventh dinner we either eat extra leftovers, eat out, or have a family dinner. I hope you enjoy!


What’s on the menu…..

  • Brownie Baked Oatmeal
  • Chinese Chicken Salad
  • Creamy Bean Soup
  • Chicken Satay Rice Skillet
  • One Pot Lemon Pasta

Brownie Baked Oatmeal

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZwQm3xDcT-/

I have a major sweet tooth, so when I am trying to eat well I ALWAYS crave sweets. So when this popped up on my Instagram feed I had to try it. While it is no where as sweet as I wanted it to be, it definitely has a satisfying cakey texture. And if you get a chocolate chip it feels indulgent. This is also super easy to meal prep. I found that the recipe made 1.5 in the ramekins I have. So I tripled the recipe for the whole week. Then I just popped them in the microwave for a minute and they were ready to go. I also found that they took more like 30 minutes to bake. Make sure to put something underneath them incase they overflow.

294 Calories36 Carbs13 Fats9 Protein

Chinese Chicken Salad

6 lunches https://whatgreatgrandmaate.com/whole30-chinese-chicken-salad/

I love the dressing for this salad! It is slightly sweet and vinegary. For the chicken I used a grocery store rotisserie chicken. It made prepping these lunches a breeze! I also left off the dates because that didn’t sound good to me. I would have added crazins or something if I’d had them. I left the dressing off, and we just added it each day.

283 Calories30 Carbs14 Fats11 Protein

Creamy Bean Soup

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals, https://www.servingdumplings.com/recipes/creamy-bean-soup-with-sausage/

I am so sad to say that I lost the recipe to the stew you see pictured. It really is sad because it was delicious. Above I have shared a similar recipe that was just as good, or even better when we made it a few weeks back. She doesn’t share the recipe for the red pesto, so I made the one shared bellow. It will change your life! I now want red pesto on every meal! SO GOOD! Also because this wasn’t the soup we ate, I don’t have the macros for this. https://www.greatitalianchefs.com/recipes/red-pesto-recipe

One Pot Lemon Pasta

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/one-pot-lemon-pasta-greens-sundried-tomatoes/

This dinner seriously came together in 20 minutes or less! It is really simple but has great flavor. I went for it and just added 2 lemons, which was a little bit strong for Asher. I’d start with one and see how it goes. I also was really hungry this night so I added a chicken breast. Super easy, super tasty, I’ll make this again.

497 Calories83 Carbs11 Fats31 Protein

Chicken Satay Rice Skillet

6 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://rhubarbandcod.com/chicken-satay-rice-skillet-with-pickled-veggie-ribbons/

This was by far the BEST meal of the week. It takes a little planning because the chicken wants to be marinated, and you will want to pickle the veggies. The recipe says for both of those things to sit for at least 8 hours. The good news about this is you could do it the night before for a super easy dinner the next day. Well I didn’t read the instructions ahead of time so mine only sat for 4-5 hours and they were great! Do not skip the pickled veggies. They brought such a great brightness to this dish. Even though this took some foresight, once you actually get cooking it came together quickly. I want to eat this again next week, it was that good! The macro count is definitely off here, I calculated this for 4 servings because that is what the recipe suggests. This easily made at least 6 adult meals.

704 Calories64 Carbs39 Fats53 Protein

I hope you enjoy this weeks meals! I know we did. If you try anything out I’d love to hear from you! Please like, share, and enjoy!

2/13/22 Meal Plan

Operation, “get moving” continued this week! We’ve been at this for over a month now, so naturally some cravings are starting to work their way in. So this week I tried to work in a couple guilty pleasure foods. This also unintentionally became the week of the wraps. Lets be honest… a tortilla makes everything taste better!

A quick reminder of how this works. I will be sharing what we ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. I typically meal prep breakfast and lunch for the week, and plan 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. This help keep me from cooking nonstop throughout the week. I also try to include one vegetarian or vegan dinner. I will also include an estimated macro count for each meal. I’m already doing the work for myself so I thought I’d share!


What’s on the menu…..

  • Breakfast Burrito
  • Sanoma Chicken Salad Wrap
  • Naan Pizza
  • Spring Roll Bowl
  • Italian Kale Soup

Breakfast Burrito

No recipe here, just put together what sounded good to me. To start with I used a Seite brand cassava flour tortilla. They seem like they aren’t going to be good when you take them out, but they soften up great when you heat them up. Then I filled it with 2 eggs, a little onion, marinated bell peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and half an avocado. Totally delicious, totally satisfying.

321 Calories 21g Carbs17g Fat15g Protein

Sonoma Chicken Salad Wrap

10 lunches https://robustrecipes.com/sonoma-chicken-salad/

This is the kind of lunch that I crave. A little sweet, a little crunchy, a little creamy. You’ve probably had a salad like this before. I always have loved it at baby showers served on a croissant. This week I served it on Xtream Wellness brand spinach wraps. I made the chicken salad ahead of time, and we just filled the wraps each day. This is definitely messy, so bring napkins if you are on the go!

403 Calories39g Carbs20g Fat15g Protein

Naan Pizza

Again there is no recipe for this, but it is pretty straight forward. You can buy packs of mini naan, and then whatever pizza toppings you like. You sauce and top your pizzas and then stick them in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Pizza night is always fun because everyone makes their own. Asher likes pepperoni, cheese, and pineapple. I had pepperoni, sausage, red bell peppers, onions, and marinated artichoke hearts. We also served this with some roasted broccoli for some extra veggies. The macro count below is for my pizza and broccoli.

341 Calories40g Carbs16g Fat13g Protein

Spring Roll Bowl

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.thegardengrazer.com/spring-roll-bowl/

This was my favorite meal of the week! So colorful and fresh. Rice noodles on the bottom, all the veggies on top, and the peanut sauce really made it feel like a spring roll. I decided to add tempeh for some extra protein. Added a nice texture difference. I decided only give Asher carrots and some cucumbers. I’m trying to convince him to try cucumbers so I didn’t want to overwhelm him with purple cabbage too.

531 Calories71g Carbs19g Fat29g Protein

Italian Kale Soup

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://theproducepack.com/italian-kale-soup/

This was a very flavorful hearty soup! They didn’t have any fennel at the store so I just replaced it with celery. Most of the work for this dinner was in the prep. After I got all the veggies chopped it came together pretty quickly. Asher liked this soup so much he had 2 bowls!

648 Calories44g Carbs41g Fat28g Protein

There we have it! I hope you find something you like in this weeks delicious meals. I’d love to hear from you if you try anything out. Please like, share, and enjoy!

Toddler Valentines Activities

Valentines is just around the corner! I was excited to come up with a variety of activities to try with Asher. I wanted to come up with lots of different things so that there was something different for every type of kid. Bellow you will find activities involving, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, crafts, an easy treat, and a couple sensory plays. Most of these you could set up with stuff you likely have lying around the house. Lets jump in love bugs!


Love Jump!!

This super simple activity is great for kids who LOVE to move!! I cut large hearts out of felt, but you could also use paper. I used painters tape to stick them to the floor so they didn’t move around. Have your little on practice jumping from heart to heart. Move them around into different patterns. Practice going fast and slow. Let your little one run wild!


Candy Heart Sort

This simple activity is great for practicing fine motor skills! I used magnet tiles to make the color matching boxes, but you can use whatever works best for you. We also used little tweezers that came with our water beads, but you could also use kitchen tongs. They often have kids sized tongs at the dollar store. I demonstrated this for Asher and he picked it up right away. If you watch the video, he is so proud of himself after he drops on in. 😍


Sponge Heart Stamp

For this you need sponges, washable paint, and some paper. I cut a couple sponges into hearts, and dipped them into different colors. I always tape Asher’s paper down so it doesn’t slide all over, but this is totally optional. Asher thought the sponges were really fun painting tools. If you wanted to make this a bit more complicated you could do a “love tree” using your child’s handprint including the forearm for a tree trunk.


Fancy Dipped Pretzels

This treat could not be easier to make! Only 3 ingredients, pretzel rods, white chocolate, and sprinkles. Simply dip the pretzel rod in melted white chocolate, then coat in sprinkles. Let the chocolate set up and BAM! You have a very cute Valentines treat. Another great thing about this treat, is you can make just a couple. So you don’t end up with a whole batch of cookies to deal with for days to come.


Valentines Ice Rescue

You honestly can’t go wrong with water activities. To create this I froze little felt hearts and pompoms in dyed water. We have lots of ice cube molds but you could use a muffin tin, or sand castle mold, a bowl, whatever you have on hand. I made the felt hearts, but right now there are tons of little heart shaped things you could use at craft stores or the dollar store. When the time came I gave Asher some warm water and different scoops to play with. There are a few variations you could do with this.

  1. Do this in the bathtub or kitchen sink! No cleanup, same level of fun.
  2. Make a big ice block instead of cubes. Provide smashing hammers, salt, and warm water to melt it.

Valentines Sensory Bin

Another thing you can’t go wrong with is a sensory bin! I decided to make some dyed rice and beans. When I first saw sensory bins made with dyed pasta, rice, or beans, I thought it was really daunting. Honestly, it is very easy to do, and you can use it over and over again. Just store it in an air tight container. I will post the recipe bellow. I took the time to make this look very “instagram-able”, but in all honesty your child would enjoy it just the same if you just dumped it all in there. I added some more felt hearts, and Asher’s favorite scooping tool…a digger. Any scoops and containers are great.

Supplies:

  • White rice, dried beans, or pasta
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Cookie sheet
  • Ziplock(or other sealable container)
  • Parchment paper(optional)

How to:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees. (Baking this is optional, but it speeds up the drying process significantly)
  2. Put your rice, beans, or pasta (I used about 1.5 cups for each color. This made a lot! The recipe stays the same regardless of how much grain you use.) into your sealable container. Add about 2 tsp of vinegar and food coloring. Shake it up until everything is coated. Add more food coloring until you reach your desired color.
  3. Dump out the mixture onto your parchment lined cookie sheet and put into the oven for 15 minutes. TURN OFF the oven. Check the dryness at this point. If it is still wet, give it a mix and and put it back in the oven while it cools down. Checking occasionally.
  4. As soon as it is dried and cool it is ready to play with!

Happy Valentines my friends! I hope you enjoy these loved up activities with your little one. If you try them out I’d love to hear about it! Please like, share and enjoy.


Activities inspired by the following posts:

*https://www.andnextcomesl.com/2016/01/valentines-gross-motor-game-for-kids.html *https://www.swaddlesnbottles.com/toddler-valentines-day-activity-dipped-pretzels/ *https://activelittles.com/valentines-day-activities-for-toddlers-and-preschool/ *https://busytoddler.com/2016/02/valentines-day-sorting-activity/

1/30/22 Meal Plan

Hello lovelies! I am back after a VERY long hiatus. So many things have happened since I last posted. The biggest thing we’ve been up to is potty training. Which is so draining and so much effort. I will do a whole “what did we do” post when I feel like we’ve finally figured it all out. We’ve just started night time training which is also exhausting, but will ultimately be good. Of course the holidays came and went, Asher was so much fun this year. He grasped the concept of Christmas. He woke up Christmas morning and said, ” PRESENTS!” 😂 We also had a lovely family New Years at Zion National Park. It was so beautiful with the snow on the red rocks. Asher was such a trooper, rode in the backpack for over 5 miles of hiking.

And finally Kyle and I have been on a fitness and health mission! Both of us have felt like we needed to trim down a bit, and really get ourselves moving. Diet wise we have been focused on whole foods and monitoring the macros, which is seriously SO MUCH WORK! So since I am doing the work already I am going to share the whole day worth of food WITH the macro breakdown if you are interested in following along. I was told that I should eat about 1800 calories a day, 137 g protein, 57 g far, and 180 grams of carbohydrates. Kyle needs about 100 more calories a day, so we incorporate that through snacks. Depending on what your goals are, you should calculate your own numbers, but these are mine! On top of all of this we have each enrolled in a fitness program and have been super strict all month. We both have lost some weight so far which is great!

Last thing to note before we jump in, is that I am only going to post bi-weekly for the next while. There is obviously a lot going on, I don’t want to commit to an every week thing, but if I’m up for it I will post extras! Now after all that ranting lets get to it!


What’s on the menu……….

  • Homemade Green Smoothie (Breakfast)
  • Moroccan Farro Grain Bowl (Lunch)
  • Creamy Garlic Red Pepper Chicken
  • Instant Pot Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
  • Mongolian Beef and Broccoli Bowls

Homemade Green Smoothie

https://www.crispyfoodidea.com/2020/03/healthy-homemade-green-smoothie-recipe.html

This recipe was really more of a guideline than a recipe. I used frozen mixed berries, banana, kale, oat milk, and I substituted nut butter for the protein powder. The protein powder we had made it too sweet. Not sure why, but mine never actually turned out green. This was a simple, and light thing to have for breakfast

140 calories, 30g carbs, 2g fat, 5 g protein

Moroccan Farro Grain Bowl

8 lunches, https://mealpreponfleek.com/moroccan-farro-grain-bowl/#recipe

I’ve posted this one a few times, and it is probably my favorite meal prepped lunch. I LOVE farro! It has such an good chew to it, and it feels satisfying to eat. Usually I substitute the dried apricots for mangos, but they were all out! So I just left them off this time. Still super delicious!

623 calories, 88g carbs, 33g fat, 22g protein

Creamy Garlic Red Pepper Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.servingdumplings.com/recipes/creamy-garlic-red-pepper-chicken/

This has quickly become one of our very favorite dinners. I was really happy to work it in this week. I totally forgot to order the red bell pepper, luckily it was still delicious. I served this over brown rice with some oven roasted broccoli. Asher’s LOVES broccoli, so I try to cook it often.

405 calories, 29g carbs, 20g fat, 35g protein

Instant Pot Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://40aprons.com/instant-pot-healthy-chicken-pot-pie-soup/

Another one of our favorite meals. I’m convinced this is the best soup on earth.😛 It comes together so quickly, and who doesn’t love an instant pot meal. Asher is really sensitive to hot foods, so I used the trick of quickly cooling it down with some frozen peas. Typically I would make my unbelievably easy bread, but to watch the carbs we had some sweet potato crackers instead. Not as good as bread but still satisfying in that way.

609 calories, 44g carbs, 31g fat, 41g protein

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals, https://www.cottercrunch.com/paleo-mongolian-beef-broccoli-rice-bowls/#tasty-recipes-42996

This week was full of old favorites and this is no exception. I have “riced” the broccoli like they suggest in the past, but I personally prefer it roasted. I also am obsessed with roasted cauliflower right now so I added it to round out the meal. I accidentally grabbed the rice wine vinegar when I was looking for sesame oil for the beef “marinade”. It was a happy accident. I only added a splash, maybe a teaspoon. It added great flavor and I think it made the meat more tender. Everyone was a happy camper with this dinner!

513 calories, 30g carbs, 27g fat, 41g protein


I am so happy to be back! I hope you enjoyed this weeks meal plan. Let me know what you think about all the stuff we are doing in the comments bellow! Please like, share, and enjoy!

11/6 Meal Plan

I think this week is another week where the theme was comfort! I think it must be because the weather is getting colder, and I just want to be cozy all the time. I am rushing to get this written before Asher wakes up from his nap, so lets get to it!

A quick recap on how this meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. One of the dinners will be vegetarian/ vegan. This is a tiny step we are taking to try and lower our impact on the planet.


What’s on the menu…..

  1. Chinese Chicken Salad (Lunch)
  2. Moroccan-inspired Lamb Meatballs
  3. Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup
  4. Roasted Veggie Burrito Bowls

Chinese Chicken Salad

6 Lunches https://whatgreatgrandmaate.com/whole30-chinese-chicken-salad/#recipe

This salad was SO GOOD! The recipe only makes 6 salads, so I doubled it to make 12. The date dressing was sweet and savory and really made this salad crave-able. I didn’t feel like having chopped up dates in the salad, so I used dried cranberries. This would also be really good with the classic chicken salad topping… canned mandarin oranges. To make this quicker, use a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Moroccan-inspired Lamb Meatballs

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://healmedelicious.com/moroccan-inspired-lamb-meatballs/

You may have seen before that we get a lamb every year from Kyle’s family farm. So I try to use it as often as I can. The recipe calls for a “no-mato” sauce. They have linked a recipe to it, but from what I can tell it is a replacement for tomato sauce. I didn’t feel like making it so I just used a jarred tomato sauce. We all absolutely loved this meal, and will definitely make it again. You could serve this over rice or roasted veggies. I opted for a chickpea based pasta.

Roasted Veggie Burrito Bowls

5 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://turtlelion.com/2021/11/06/roasted-veggie-burrito-bowl/

Made this one up on the fly this week. It turned out so well I am happy I got to share it! This oven roasted cauliflower is something I’ve been craving lately. We all like it so much that Asher always asks for extra servings of it, and Kyle and I can’t stop eating it directly off the pan. Pair that with the spiced sweet potatoes, sweet corn, and hearty black beans, you’ve got meal everyone will love!

Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://40aprons.com/instant-pot-healthy-chicken-pot-pie-soup/

I have shared this soup before and it probably my favorite soup I’ve ever made. My best friend just had a baby, so I brought this over to the new parents. This has become my go to “you just had a baby, here’s dinner” soup. It is just so yummy and comforting, it is the perfect thing. I also made some of my Unbelievably Easy Bread. This is obviously not a requirement for this dinner, but I do recommend it or another kind of bread with this. I have linked it below. Because I made this for a friend I had to rush out before dinner so I didn’t catch a new picture. https://turtlelion.com/2021/03/20/unbelievably-easy-homemade-bread/


I hope you enjoy this weeks set of comforting meals. If you try them out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!

Roasted Veggie Burrito Bowl

At our house we are big fans of burrito bowls! This week I didn’t pull up any specific recipe, but just bought some ingredients. I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. It was filling, nutritious, and of course delicious.

Did you know that sweet potatoes are the most nutrient dense food we can eat? I try to cook with them often! Most people peel them, but the skin is 100% edible, and there is great nutrition in the skin. So if you are into it, leave the skins on! The grocery store only had the golden/white sweet potatoes, but this would also be great with traditional sweet potatoes too. I originally thought I was going to make cauliflower rice, but lately I have been really into this roasted cauliflower. It’s way less effort, and maybe my favorite part of this meal. We chose to add a fried egg on top, which is always yummy. To make this vegan of course just omit the egg, and I suggest adding an avocado.


Roasted Veggie Burrito Bowl

6 servings – 15 minute prep time – 35 minute cook time


Ingredients…..

  • 1- head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2- large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2- cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1- can sweet corn
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1-1.5 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Eggs (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place sweet potatoes a parchment paper lined (optional, but makes clean up easier) cookie sheet, and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle cumin, 1 tbsp or paprika, salt and pepper over the top and mix. If it seems like they aren’t well coated, add the last 1/2 tbsp of paprika.
  3. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then stir them up and cook for 15 more minutes
  4. While they are cooking lay out the cauliflower in a single layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Coat with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the sweet potatoes have been cooking for about 10 minutes, add the cauliflower to the oven. Leave them in until the potatoes are done, or when they have gotten nice and golden on the bottom.
  5. When there are 15 minutes left, heat a large skillet over medium heat with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stirring regularly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the black beans, corn, and salt and pepper. Heat through for a few minutes. Once everything is nice and hot it is ready!
  6. To serve add the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and black bean mixture. Optional add a fried egg or avocado. Serve with your favorite hot sauce or salsa and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this roasted veggie burrito bowl! If you try it out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share and enjoy!

10/31 Meal Plan

Happy Halloween! Halloween is much more fun with a toddler around. This week we went to a pumpkin patch which also had a little haunted forest. It was so funny to see Asher walk through it and get spooked when something moved. He really was so brave, and walked through the whole thing. He did need to hold mom’s hand every now and then. Costume is going to be completely ridiculous, so keep an eye out for that on Instagram later on today.

A quick recap on how this meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. One of the dinners will be vegetarian/ vegan. This is a tiny step we are taking to try and lower our impact on the planet.


What’s on the menu…….

  1. Sonoma Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps (lunch)
  2. Paleo One-Pot Beef and Vegetable Stew
  3. Pesto Pasta
  4. Paleo Orange Chicken
  5. Best Ever Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Sonoma Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

6-8 Lunches

https://robustrecipes.com/sonoma-chicken-salad/

You have probably had a chicken salad like this before in a croissant at a baby shower or wedding. It is a little sweet and has different crunchy elements. The recipe above is just for the salad, so serve it however you like! We are trying to watch the carbs so I served it as a lettuce wrap witch is delicious, but a little messy. We have also had this salad as a wrap.

Paleo One-Pot Beef and Vegetable Stew

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://myfreshperspective.com/paleo-one-pot-beef-and-vegetable-stew/

I love this stew! It comes together so easily and the flavor is so rich. The original recipe has potatoes in it, but forgot to buy them. So I just added extra carrots. This would be really good with some artisan bread. Fall definitely calls for soups and stews, so this is the perfect way to get it started!

Pesto Pasta

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-pesto-baked-chicken-whole30/

At the end of summer when my basil plant was out of control I made a ton of pesto and froze it. This made for a super easy dinner! I used the pesto recipe above, which also includes a baked chicken which is great! This made for a super easy dinner! This week I wanted to try a different veggie based pasta, and chose an edamame pasta. It was good but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the lentil pasta. The nice thing about using a bean based pasta is that you get a full serving of protein in the pasta! So it is really great vegetarian option.

Paleo Orange Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.foodfaithfitness.com/paleo-orange-chicken/

I love the flavor of this orange chicken. The sauce is slightly sticky like you want to be, and is nice and bright. The chicken has a nice light crisp to it without the heavy breading you’d get with takeout. I serve this with roasted cauliflower, and intended to have broccoli but apparently forgot that too. Luckily I had a zucchini laying around. I cut into thin quarters and quickly pan fried it. I loved this meal!

Best Ever Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

https://www.inspiredtaste.net/35546/easy-roasted-pumpkin-seeds-recipe/

We always roast the seeds after we carve pumpkins but they usually are ok, but not great. These pumpkin seeds are great! I used to just clean them, season them, and throw them in the oven. This recipe has an extra step where you boil them in salt water first. Do the extra step! It is totally worth it. Season them however you like, plain salt and pepper is always good. I did a mix of salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and a BBQ chipotle mix. We seriously at 3 pumpkins worth in a day.


I hope you enjoy this weeks meals, and also have a lovely Halloween! If you try them out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!

A Review of MotherCould Activities

MotherCould is probably the queen of DIY kids activities. I have shared a couple of her her activities before including the play dough and the paint. Knowing how great those activities are I wanted to try out some of the others. One thing I find interesting about many of her sensory bases, is that she claims they are intended to last at least 6 months. I have found this to be true for at least the play dough. The first batch of play dough we made was in March 2021 and Asher still plays with it! Some of the activities we did are definitely single play, but I look forward to seeing how some of the others hold up over time.

I will be reviewing these activities on a few different factors. 1. Difficulty and time to make 2. Mess and cleanup 3. Asher’s entertainment 4. Multiple uses. I will be giving each category a score from 1-5.

Before we dive in be sure to follow MotherCould on Instagram, and check out her blog. I also have posted a PDF below that has the recipes for most of these activities, as well as many others including the play dough and paint. I will share links to video’s for each one as well.

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mothercould/

Recipe PDF

https://mcusercontent.com/39d416d85bf7961fbbb56da88/files/8362431a-3bf8-4593-9568-dd71d5ba7505/SENSORY_RECIPES_2020_SMALL_FILE_SIZE_PDF.pdf

Blog

https://www.mothercould.com


Taste Safe Slime

You can find the recipe in the PDF, how-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbqrFGEhIRg

Asher really enjoyed this activity. It definitely reminds me of slime, but it honestly reminds me more of a more stable ooblek. I decided to make 2 colors, I just split the recipe in half. Asher really enjoyed mixing them together. If you make 2 colors, pick colors that will mix well. These turned a nice purple. Honestly I also really enjoyed playing with this. It did stain our hands when we played with it, but for me it is not a big deal.

  • 1. Difficulty and time: I give this a 3, mostly because of the time. You have to soak the chia seeds over night.
  • 2. Mess and cleanup: Also a 3. I obviously stripped Asher down to a diaper to avoid ruining his clothes, a smock would also be good. I put a silicon baking mat underneath which helped with cleanup, but it did get all over the floor. It sticks to itself, so cleanup isn’t hard. When it dries it is easy to vacuum.
  • 3. Asher’s entertainment: 5! Asher loved this! Played for at least 45 minutes. He also loved helping make it.
  • 4. Multiple use: 4. This can be stored in the fridge. It gets hard, but you just add about a tablespoon of water and mix it back up. We have played with it 3 times so far.

Taste Safe Blocks

Recipe in the PDF, how-to video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPnlIocIK7A

What attracted me to this is that MotherCould compares this to waterbeads, but they really are not similar. Basically you are making Jello and cutting it into blocks. She uses clear gelatin, but if you wanted to just make Jello you could. The benefit to the gelatin is that it is edible, but not delicious or sticky. If you watch the video she uses 2 packages of gelatin, which she doesn’t specify in the recipe. If you buy a bulk gelatin like I did, a package of gelatin has about 2.5 tsp in it. The recipe is intended to go into a pretty small container to make them more block like. I used a 9×9 pan and they were pretty flat. So you might consider doubling. She also makes her’s in a rainbow, but in real life, no ones got time for that.


1. Difficulty and time: I give this a 3, This requires at least 3-4 hours of time to set up. You also have to use boiling water which is a little bit of a hazard if your little one likes to help.
2. Mess and cleanup: Also a 3. Again, I stripped Asher down to avoid staining. I bought one of those disposable roast pans, which honestly contained this pretty well. This also got all over the floor which was kind of a pain to clean up.
3. Asher’s entertainment: 4. Asher did enjoy this for about 30 minutes. He liked it most once he had some scoops and toys to play with in it.
4. Multiple use: 1. This is a one time activity

Shower Paint

How to video https://www.instagram.com/reel/CThb8jBg69b/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

This was by far Asher’s favorite thing we did. Setting it up felt like I was probably teaching him some bad behavior. In fact that last photo looks like a toddler caught in the act of “being to quiet” I couldn’t find an actual recipe for this but if you watch the video she basically fills up the muffin tin with shaving cream, a few pumps of baby soap, and food coloring.

1. Difficulty and time: 5! Took less than 10 minutes to set up.
2. Mess and cleanup: I give this a 4! Obviously it is messy, but because it is in the shower it is so easy to clean up. I quickly sprayed down the walls and it was gone! At the end I gave Asher a little bowl and a sponge and he enjoyed cleaning up too! A 2 for 1 activity!
3. Asher’s entertainment: 5!!! Asher absolutely loved this! He keeps asking to paint in the shower.
4. Multiple use: 1. This is a one time activity

Dyed Pasta

Recipe in PDF, how-to video https://www.instagram.com/p/BvM3INtg0TC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

I have to start by saying I 100% did this wrong. I just watched the video quickly and thought she’d added water, when in reality it is vinegar. I still got a good result, but they took a long time to dry and they stuck together. Also because I order my groceries, I did not get the kind of pasta I wanted. These work fine, but Asher really wanted to eat them. I think a larger pasta would be less eatable. I did go for the full rainbow with this because it was really simple to do. To be more environmentally conscious I used Tupperware to shake these up in rather than ziplock bags.

1. Difficulty and time: 4, these did take about 24 hours to dry, could have been my fault with the water. It was VERY easy to do though.
2. Mess and cleanup: I give this a 4. Asher did dump them all over the floor, but they were quickly vacuumed up.
3. Asher’s entertainment: 3.5. Asher did enjoy these, but it didn’t hold his attention in quite the same way as the other activities.
4. Multiple use: 5! These could be used an endless amount of times!

Taste Safe Kinetick Sand

Recipe in PDF, how-to video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v8MSxUS8yc

This was our only complete failure. The texture just did not work out. It is more of a clay than a sand. Maybe I did something wrong. Asher also had no interest in playing with this. If the texture had worked I think he would have liked it.

1. Difficulty and time: 4, Didn’t take long but there are are quite a few ingredients. Which can be a little chaotic when working with a toddler.
2. Mess and cleanup: I give this a 3. Asher made quite the mess with the corn starch, and then once it was finished he threw some and then was done.
3. Asher’s entertainment: 1. Asher really had no interest in this.
4. Multiple use: Unsure of how to rate this. It says it can be stored in the fridge so I think if it worked out there could be multiple uses.


I hope you enjoyed my review of MotherCould’s activities! After doing all of these I still think she is the queen of kids activities, and will definitely be trying more in the future. I hope this helped give you some idea’s of what to do with your little one! If you enjoyed this please like, like share, and play!

10/17 Meal Plan

I’m not sure what happened last week! I intended to write up a meal plan….and suddenly it was Sunday afternoon and I had forgotten. It was Kyle’s birthday last week and it has been a never ending whirlwind of food! On his birthday we made pizzas. For Sunday dinner we made meatball subs, and I made oreo cheesecakes. Lastly, for his present I took him to an Airbnb that had a little movie theatre in it with all the movie snacks included! So needless to say, we have been INDULGING. So this week I am happy to be getting back on the wagon.


A quick recap on how this meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. One of the dinners will be vegetarian/ vegan. This is a tiny step we are taking to try and lower our impact on the planet.


  • What’s on the menu…….
  • 1. Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad (Lunch)
  • 2. Sesame Beef
  • 3. Sheet Pan Indian Chicken
  • 4. BBQ Chickpea Veggie Burgers


Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

6 Lunches https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/crunchy-cashew-thai-quinoa-salad-with-ginger-peanut-dressing/

This salad has a great peanut dressing and is of course crunchy. I decided to use edamame instead of chickpeas just to mix it up a bit. I also decided to try out honey peanuts as suggested, which are of course like candy and delicious. I really enjoyed this salad. I don’t often pick asian flavors for lunch, but I’m glad I did!

Sesame Beef

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://omnivorescookbook.com/sesame-beef/#wprm-recipe-container-29403

This dish was super easy to put together and has a light but distinct flavor. I couldn’t find the wine they suggested so I used cooking sherry. I served it with some rice and roasted broccoli. Asher loved this! Quickly gobbled up 2 bowls!

Sheet Pan Indian Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/sheet-pan-indian-chicken-and-veggies/

This ended up not being the most beautiful meal, could have used some color. I chose to only make the cauliflower and left off the broccoli, which would have helped. Even though it wasn’t beautiful it was tasty. The spice mix was great! Asher actually ate the cauliflower, which he hasn’t done before. Usually he’ll only eat it if it is rice, so that was an accomplishment!

BBQ Chickpea Veggie Burgers

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://vanillaandbean.com/bbq-chickpea-veggie-burgers/

I was in a hurry so I pulled the other half of these burgers out of the freezer. The first time I made these I was so unsure about all the ingredients blended up together, but they really are delicious! Also the fact that I was able to freeze half made for such an easy weeknight meal.


Whew! I got the meal plan up in time this week! I hope you enjoy the meals I picked out, I’d love to hear from you if you do. Please like, share, and enjoy!

10/3 Meal Plan

This has been an exciting week at our house! There has been so much going on it has kept us on our toes. We had our driveway finished, so we had all kinds of construction equipment in our yard. We also moved my garden to the new house, which was an adventure! I have to admit it doesn’t seem to have liked being moved, but it is the end of the season so the risk seemed worth it. Also moving the garden officially marks the end of moving!

I am going to make some changes to the meal plan this week…. I am not going to include the shopping list. 🙈 It takes a lot of time to put together and I’m not sure anyone is really downloading it. If you LOVE the shopping list, please let me know and I will think about doing it again. Leave a comment bellow letting me know what you think!

A quick recap on how this meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3 dinners with leftovers every other night. One of the dinners will be vegetarian/ vegan. This is a tiny step we are taking to try and lower our impact on the planet.


What’s on the menu………

  1. Nourish Buddha Bowl with Tahini Harissa Dressing
  2. Everything Bagel Salmon
  3. Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Chili
  4. Paleo Lasagna

Nourish Buddha Bowl With Tahini Harissa Dressing

10 lunches https://jessicainthekitchen.com/nourish-buddha-bowl/

This salad was simple to make, and I loved the slightly spicy dressing. The dressing was really more like a hummus. I chose to shred the purple cabbage in the same way as the carrots, and mix it in with the carrots and quinoa. If you look at the recipe, they make this as a mason jar salad and they prep all the dressing on the bottom of the jar. I decided just to leave it off and add it each day. Also if you look a the recipe, it has a little toggle so you can customize how many servings you want to make.

Everything Bagel Salmon

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://bitesofwellness.com/everything-bagel-salmon/#wprm-recipe-container-20623

I am OBSESSED with everything bagel seasoning. So this recipe immediately jumped out at me. This is so easy to put together, and the best thing is the whole meal was cooked in the oven. I served it with asparagus and wedged potatoes. I cooked them the same way as I did with the lamb roast I posted a few weeks ago. I will post the link bellow. I also served it with an avocado yogurt sauce. So easy, so yummy, totally worth a try.

Avocado Yogurt Sauce

Blend all ingredients until smooth

  1. 1- Avocado
  2. 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  3. 1/2 lemon
  4. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  5. Salt and pepper to taste

For the potatoes https://turtlelion.com/2021/07/31/ginger-garlic-lamb-roast-and-crispy-potato-wedges/

Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Chili

4-6 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://freshapron.com/slow-cooker-fall-harvest-chili/#tasty-recipes-1677-jump-target

Fall means chili. Every year my family has a chili cook off to celebrate the first snow, and it can get pretty competitive. While I won’t be sharing my chili cook off winning recipe, I am very happy to share this one. As far as vegetarian chili’s go, this one was very filling and had great flavor. It had all kinds of veggies hidden in it, which is great for feeding kids. I also like to have corn bread with my chili. Normally I am a from scratch kind of girl, but when I went to buy the ingredients I saw a boxed cornbread and that sounded like the right amount of effort. Asher loved helping me make it.

Paleo Lasagna

4+ adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.foodtofeelgood.com/best-ever-paleo-lasagna/

We love this lasagna, and have been making it for years. The recipe calls for a paleo noodle, but I’ve never been able to find it in stores. So I actually substitute it with thinly sliced eggplant. Don’t be scared away by the cashew cream. It is easy to make and really is delicious. If you are cutting out dairy, this is the meal for you!


I hope you enjoy this weeks meals! If you really miss the shopping list, please leave a comment bellow. If you try anything out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!