6 Toddler Painting Activities

Bellow you will find some easy painting activities to try with your toddler! Painting is a good way to explore creativity, colors, and it’s a great sensory experience! For all of these activities I used the taste safe paint recipe I posted last week. You can find the link bellow. One batch of paint was enough for ALL of these activities. I tried storing the paint in the refrigerator to see if it would last longer, which it did! But it did thicken it A LOT, and made it a bit chunky. I knew we were not going to be making projects to be treasured forever so this wasn’t a big deal to me. The taste safe paint also has a high water content, so it may cause your paper to get easily waterlogged. A canvas or maybe watercolor paper would hold up better. All that being said, the paint is great because I don’t worry about Asher eating it, and he loves to help pick and mix up the colors for each activity. https://turtlelion.com/2021/07/23/homemade-taste-safe-paint/


Finger Painting Tree

The idea for this activity is to trace your hand which acts as your tree trunk. I did mine because getting Asher to let me trace his hand sounded hard. Then you let your child fill in the “leaves” with their finger prints. This was a great example of expectations vs reality. Asher is just barely 2 so his focus level is still pretty low. He loved finger painting though! So regardless of the expectations of the finished project, he really enjoyed it. I’ve linked to the inspiration bellow if you’d like to see what it is supposed to look like. https://www.artycraftykids.com/art/autumn-handprint-tree/


Blow Painting

Asher LOVED doing this activity! For this one using a taste safe paint is important just incase they inhale the paint up the straw. I watered down the paint a little bit and then put little dabs onto the paper. I showed him how to blow through the straw and he was off!


Painting with Unconventional Objects

This one is pretty self explanatory, go around the house and pick out some things to try painting with. We tried a pom-pom, feather, big lego, some q-tips tied together, a pipe cleaner, and some shapes. He especially liked the feather and the shapes.


Painting on Tinfoil

For this I just taped down a piece of tinfoil, but you could also wrap a baking dish or something else. I crinkled it up a little bit before taping it down. The paint behaves a little differently on the tinfoil so it is a fun new medium to explore. Also I have his paint in a little silicone ice cube mold. These are great because they don’t slide around easily.


Slide Painting

This one was also super fun! Tape down a large piece of paper to the slide. I used one of those rolls that goes onto an art easel, but butcher paper or even wrapping paper would work. I put down some plates with paint, rolled the cars in it and let them go! This could also be done with balls or anything that can roll down the slide. We did this out in the driveway where I didn’t care about the mess. The paint I made will eventually wash away. You could put a container at the bottom to catch things if you are worried about the mess.


Box Painting

This last one I didn’t manage to get a picture of. Basically you tape down a piece of paper in the bottom of a box, and put dabs of paint around the edges. Put a ball into the box and either, gently roll it around, or close up the box and shake it around. It will result in a really fun abstract style painting.


I hope you enjoy these activities! I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and enjoy!

7/25 Meal Plan

Not quite sure what to say about this last week. Asher had his 2 year check up and is doing great! He is a model patient, his doctors and nurses are always shocked at how well behaved he is. This wasn’t always the case! I have started talking to him about his appointments before we go. So I’ll tell him, “tomorrow we are going to the doctor and they are going to do XY&Z”. I will try and tell him everything that I can possibly think of. The only time he cried during his check up was the thing I forgot to tell him about, that he was going to get weighed and measured 😂. He even got his fingers poked 2 times for a blood test and he didn’t cry! It also worked at the eye doctor this week! Kind of amazing. I think things are less scary to him if he knows what to expect. If you have a hard time with appointments, give this a try! Maybe it will work for you too. Now to move on to why we are here, the meal plan!

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…..

  • Vegetarian Burrito Bowl (lunch)
  • Cilantro Lime Salmon Burgers
  • Moroccan Chickpea Stew
  • Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

Shopping list……

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list for everything on the menu. I have separated everything by recipe, so there are a few duplicates of pantry staples.


Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

10 Lunches https://herbivorecucina.blogspot.com/2021/06/vegetarian-burrito-bowl.html

The recipe above only makes 2 lunches, I tripled it and it easily made 10 lunches. I really simplified the recipe by just using plain black beans, canned corn and store bought salsa. I also chose to dice the bell peppers because I think it makes for easier eating. The original version looks super good, I just didn’t have the time to do all the elements.

Cilantro Lime Salmon Burger

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://foodwithfeeling.com/cilantro-lime-salmon-burgers-w-tequila-avocado-sauce/

We love these salmon burgers! When making them it feels pretty weird to blend up your salmon, but they are delicious! The recipe calls for bread crumbs as a binder, but I sometimes use almond flour. Watch your heat when you are pan frying these, they can burn easily. I left the tequila out of the sauce, but it is good with tequila or rum. If you look at the original post they served the burger on a bun with pickles, sprouts, and red onions. I served these with a packaged salad, and sweet potato fries.

To make the fries: cut the potato into fry shapes, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes flip them and cook for 15 more minutes.

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

At least 10 servings https://www.simplyquinoa.com/slow-cooker-moroccan-chickpea-stew/?epik=dj0yJnU9bThfQU9uNU5YU0t4TGFZWWY4V1VwUF83YjBrVnpLUk8mcD0wJm49c1pscDlBcjZWbExBRWxldkdwbHZGUSZ0PUFBQUFBR0QwWGRv

This was an awesome veggie packed meal! It was so easy to make, you just throw everything in a crockpot and let it cook. It is zucchini season, so I tossed that in the last hour of cooking. This dinner made a TON! I ended up freezing half the leftovers. Hopefully it will freeze well and we’ll have an easy meal later. I also wasn’t able to find a small butternut squash. So I cut up half of one for this dinner, and froze the other half. Butternut squash freezes great! I felt this needed a bit more salt than the recipe called for. Of course salt to taste.

Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

4 adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners https://www.gohealthyeverafter.com/easy-healthy-sesame-chicken-stir-fry/#recipe

When I picked this meal I thought it would be a good quick dinner, I wasn’t expecting it to my favorite meal of the week! It was super easy to put together and I loved the mix of veggies. They gave some suggestions of veggies to use, and they weren’t things I would typically choose. The veggies aren’t a part of the regular recipe, but if you scroll to the bottom of the recipe there are extra instructions for the veggies. I used snap peas, baby corn, carrots, and bok choy. Asher really loved the snap peas! I was a little unsure if he would try them since we’ve never had them before, but he tried them and then asked for more!


I hope you enjoy this weeks meal plan! If you try it out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share and enjoy!

Homemade Taste Safe Paint

Painting activities are so much fun! Asher pretty much puts everything in his mouth so I worried about trying paint activities with him. I was so happy when I came across this paint recipe. It is easy, and can be made with things that are probably already in your pantry! I used this paint for the paint fight that we did for my 30th birthday, and we use it for other things all the time!

I got this recipe from Mother Could. The link bellow will take you to a page with this recipe, but it also has all sorts of other recipes for sensory activities. Definitely check it out and follow her on Instagram. https://mcusercontent.com/39d416d85bf7961fbbb56da88/files/8362431a-3bf8-4593-9568-dd71d5ba7505/SENSORY_RECIPES_2020_SMALL_FILE_SIZE_PDF.pdf

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


Ingredients…..

  • Corn starch
  • Water
  • Food coloring

Supplies…..

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Small pot
  • Mixing tools
  • Painting dish

In a heat proof bowl add 1/2 a cup of corn starch and then mix it with 1/2 a cup of cold water. Next slowly add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water, I added 1/2 a cup at a time. As you mix this it may reach your desired paint consistency. If not move onto the next step

If your paint needs to be thicker, put it in a pot on the stove. As it heats you’ll start to notice, thick, clear, gloop at the bottom. When you see that give it a good mix to check the consistency. When you think it is ready take it off and mix it well. If it got overly thick just add a bit more water. For me, this made about 2 1/2 cups of paint base. Allow to cool completely before moving onto the next step.

Next up is to mix your colors! I used a little silicon ice mold. I scooped a little bit into each dome, then added a few drops of food coloring to each one. They get great color without to many drops. Next, unleash the your creativity! Be aware that the paint is likely to dye your skin.


Homemade Taste Safe Paint

Ingredients…..

  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Food coloring

Supplies…..

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Small pot
  • Mixing tools
  • Painting dish

  1. Combine corn starch and cold water
  2. Gradually add boiling water, and mix thoroughly. If the paint has reached your desired consistency stop here! If you’d like it to be thicker move on to the next step.
  3. Add your mixture to a pot and gently heat on the stove. As you mix it you will notice a thick gloop at the bottom of the pot. Mix it in to check how thick it is. Once it reaches the right texture remove from the heat. If it has gotten to thick, add a bit more water.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Divide into different containers and add food coloring. Mix it up and get painting!
  • Store any extra paint in an airtight container. It will stay useable for a few days.

I hope this helps unleash some creativity in you and your little one! I will be sharing some painting activities soon, that will hopefully provide some inspiration. If you try this out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and play!

7/18 Meal Plan

This has been an exciting week, Asher turned 2!!! I cannot believe that I have been a mom for 2 years, it is pretty wild. On Asher’s birthday morning Kyle came into the bedroom and said, “Happy ‘you birthday a nine pound baby’ day!”. You know what it was Asher’s day, but yeah happy “birth” day to me too😂. As a parent I think birthday’s are about more than celebrating getting older. It’s about celebrating everything it took to bring the child into the world, celebrating keeping them alive another year, and celebrating all the highs and lows in between. So happy birthday Asher, can’t wait to see what this next year brings.

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…..

  • Moroccan Couscous Salad (lunch)
  • Sheet Pan Mediterranean Herb Chicken
  • Vegetarian Bibimbap
  • Grilled Pizza

Shopping list…..

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list for everything on the menu. I have separated everything by recipe, so there are a few duplicates of pantry staples.


Moroccan Couscous Salad

10 Lunches https://www.glowingblush.com/moroccan-couscous-salad-with-chickpeas/

The recipe for this salad says it only makes 2 servings so I, 4X the recipe which ended up easily making 10 lunches. You’ll notice I left off a few things including the lentils. I mostly just didn’t want to cook them. The salad was plenty filling without them. I chose to mix the dressing in with the couscous so that the spinach didn’t get soggy. If you like your salads to be a bit more saucy I’d up the dressing recipe a bit. Neither Kyle or I are big fans of raisins so I swapped them for dried blueberries, which was delicious. They made for a nice sweet bite. You could substitute them for any dried fruit, apricots, craisins, mango, whatever you might like.

Sheet Pan Mediterranean Herb Chicken

4 adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners https://www.all-thats-jas.com/sheet-pan-chicken-and-potatoes/

This meal might not look like much, but it packs a refreshing lemony punch! It recommends quartering the potatoes, but I would definitely cut them smaller. If you don’t, you run the risk of the chicken over cooking while the potatoes undercook. I also made the “tzatziki” sauce they recommended somewhere in the post. It was just ok. I would make a more traditional tzatziki in the future.

Vegetarian Bibimbap

3 adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners https://iheartumami.com/vegetarian-bibimbap-recipe/

Calling this a bibimbap is a bit of a stretch, but it was good. When I think of bibimbap, I think of the really crispy rice at the bottom of the bowl, which you don’t get with this. This is more of a giant veggie bowl. That being said it was good. They want you to cool the veggies after you cook them, which I didn’t do because it sounded better to be all hot. I definitely recommend adding an egg to make it more sustainable. The date based sauce is sweet and a little savory. I served it on the side for Asher to let him try it and decide if he wanted to add it or not. I find giving him the choice makes meal times a bit more fun. He loves to dip and it gives him a little “control” over his dinner.

Grilled Pizza

Make as many as you want! https://turtlelion.com/2021/04/30/grilled-pizza/

I asked Asher what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he said, “PIZZA!” So we made these super easy grilled pizza’s. They are fully customizable and fun for the whole family to get involved in. For leftovers I find it is tastiest to cut up all the toppings the first night and store them. Since they take 15 minutes or less to cook, I grill fresh pizza’s each night. They do make fine leftovers if you want to do them all one night though, I just prefer to do it this way.


I hope you find something to celebrate over with this weeks meal plan. If you try it out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!

7/11 Meal Plan

Happy Free Slurpee day everyone! Make sure you hit your local 7-Eleven today to claim your very own free slurpee! (Not sponsored just a big fan of free slurpees 😅) I have not posted anything in a while! Life has been so crazy, writing everything up has just gotten away from me. Asher and I haven’t been doing that many new activities lately because we’ve been exploring nature while the weather is warm. I am happy to hop back into it this week with some extra yummy meals! Keep scrolling to check it out.

A reminder of how this works. There will be 1- meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3- dinners with the intention of leftovers every other night. On the 7th night we either have a family dinner, eat extra leftovers, or get takeout. One of the dinners will be vegetarian. It is one small way we are trying to improve our imprint on the world.


What’s on the menu….

  1. Thai Peanut Salad (Lunch)
  2. Creamy Vegan Gnocchi
  3. Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Bowls
  4. Herb Turkey Burgers

Shopping list……

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list with everything you’ll need to make all these meals. I have separated them by meal, so there may be duplicates of pantry staples with each meal.


Thai Peanut Salad

6-Lunches https://seekinggoodeats.com/thai-peanut-salad-low-carb-keto/

This is admittedly not my most beautiful photo, but what are you gonna do. That being said it was tasty! I am usually somewhat skeptical of cabbage, but by slicing it thin and letting it soak in the yummy peanut dressing it becomes delicious. If I were to make this again I would definitely add chicken like they suggest, to make it a bit more filling. I would probably just grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. You’ll also notice this only made 6 lunches for me so adjust accordingly.

Creamy Vegan Gnocchi

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://joytothefood.com/dinner/creamy-vegan-gnocchi/

THIS WAS SO GOOD! Not only was this unbelievably delicious, it came together in 30 minutes or less. I forgot to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours. You can speed this process up by pouring boiling water over them and letting them soak for at least 30 minutes. If you remember to soak them longer, even over night the sauce will blend smooth more easily. I only used one package of gnocchi but there is easily enough sauce to cook two. As I was eating this I was wishing I had some yummy bread to soak up the sauce. Ours I served with a packaged salad, and I threw some frozen peas in Asher’s to quickly cool it down and for some greens.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Bowls

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://claudiastable.com/mediterranean-grilled-chicken-bowls/

The way I am going to post this meal is a little funky because the original link above is mostly a suggestion for how to assemble the bowls. So I’ll also link to the sauce, and chicken marinade. You could really make this your own. I followed their suggestion of couscous, and zucchini. I decided to grill my zucchini, and I had half of my cabbage left from making lunches so I threw that on the grill too. This would be great to serve at a party, let everyone mix and match their own bowls.

Chicken marinade: https://claudiastable.com/yogurt-herb-marinated-grilled-chicken/#recipe

Sauce : https://claudiastable.com/yogurt-dill-dressing/#recipe

Herb Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://turtlelion.com/2021/04/15/herb-turkey-burgers-and-sweet-potato-fries/

As I said earlier life has been so busy! So this week I pulled the second batch of turkey burgers out of the freezer for a quick meal. This is such a great trick to be able to pull out for those busy days.


There you have it, a quick weeks worth of meals! I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and enjoy!

6/28 Meal Plan

I swear I was just writing up last weeks meal plan. Just like that it’s already time for another one! Where does the time go?! This weeks plan has a couple extra treats for these hot summer days!

A reminder of how this works. There will be 1- meal prepped lunch for grown ups, 3- dinners with the intention of leftovers every other night. On the 7th night we either have a family dinner, eat extra leftovers, or get takeout. One of the dinners will be vegetarian. It is one small way we are trying to improve our imprint on the world.


What’s on the menu……

  • Chickpea Salad (lunch)
  • Mediterranean Sautéed Garlic Shrimp
  • 3- Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken
  • Cauliflower Tacos
  • Orange Coconut Milk Popsicles
  • Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Shopping list……

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list with everything you’ll need to make all these meals. I have separated them by meal, so there may be duplicates of pantry staples with each meal.


Chickpea Salad

10 Lunches https://www.knowyourproduce.com/chickpea-salad-vegan-oil-free/#recipe

This lunch was light and super nutritious! I tripled this recipe to make 10 salads. It also came together so fast! I had made 10 lunches in 20 minutes or less. I opted for cherry tomatoes instead of roma tomatoes, and I also added some left over corn I had to help round out the rainbow effect of this salad. You know you are getting a nutrient blast if you can see the rainbow in your meal, I’m only missing blue here. If I were to make this again I would add some nuts, maybe some mozzarella to add a little fat.

Mediterranean Sautéed Garlic Shrimp

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.themediterraneandish.com/sauteed-shrimp-zucchini/#recipe

This was hands down my favorite meal this week. It came together so quickly and it was so yummy! Asher LOVES shrimp so he was really excited to eat this meal. He didn’t dare touch the zucchini, but he worked hard on his spoon skills pulling out only beans and shrimp. We of course try to encourage him to try foods he is unsure of, but we never force him to eat anything. Right now we are mostly working on keeping foods he doesn’t like on the table and not flinging them onto the floor.

3- Ingredient Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.healthy-liv.com/2-ingredient-crockpot-pulled-bbq-chicken/

3 ingredients, you can’t beat that for simplicity. All you need is chicken, broth, and BBQ sauce. I chose to server it with broccoli and a mashed sweet potato. While I love sweet potatoes, I would serve this with either cubed potatoes, or smashed potatoes next time. It would also be good as a sandwich. I chose broccoli because Asher loves it (he literally had 3 servings each night) and it’s easy. If I were to make this again I would only use 1 cup of broth not 2. The sauce was really soupy. I ended up simmering it down and adding about a teaspoon of corn starch to thicken it back up. You can see I served Asher’s with the sauce on the side. He loved dipping everything in it, and he even drank it at the end.

Cauliflower Tacos

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://veganheaven.org/recipe/vegan-cauliflower-tacos/

The things you can do with cauliflower are kind of amazing! I loved these tacos, but they were definitely a labor of love. I’m not sure where they got the 20 minute prep time, because it took me FOREVER to make these. It also took more than 3/4 cup to coat them in Panko. I’m glad they were delicious! I made half of them BBQ and the other half with hot sauce. Also served it with some roasted corn. I served Asher’s deconstructed as he is still not sure about tortilla’s for some reason.

Popsicles!!!

It is so HOT outside I thought it would be fun to have some popsicles to cool down. I didn’t want to buy them from the store because they have so much sugar in them. I made these using a little popsicle mold, which you can usually find at the grocery store this time of year.

The first flavor I made was the orange coconut milk. It kind of reminds me of a creamcicle. With only 3 ingredients it is pretty great!

https://figjar.com/orange-coconut-milk-popsicles-df-v/#recipe

The second flavor was the strawberry yogurt. Mine are no where near as beautiful as the original blog but they do taste great! I opted to use honey instead of sugar because I prefer it as a sweetener. These were definitely more work but they were still simple to put together.

https://www.keep-calm-and-eat-ice-cream.com/strawberry-yogurt-popsicles/#recipe


Another week down! I hope you enjoy this weeks meals, I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share and enjoy!

Letters and Numbers Learning Activities

It is never to early to start working on reading and counting. Bellow you will find some fun activities to try with your child to help get started! We’ll start with some really basic places to start and move forward to some more advanced activities.


Lets start with the obvious… reading! These are some of our favorite alphabet books. Asher is really hooked on Pandas Love Pickles right now. He loves to laugh at all the different food the animals are eating. He also really likes the See, Touch, Feel ABC. It is a great interactive ABC book. These kinds of books are great because they help kids associate letters with words. For instance you can ask Asher, “What is A for?” and he’ll say, “Apple!”
Another great place to start is with puzzles. Asher was completely obsessed with this alphabet puzzle for a while. Underneath the letters is a picture of something the letter goes with. Another great way to pair letters with words. He also likes the puzzle above it with the numbers and shapes (so much the 9 is currently missing). This one is a great way to practice counting, colors and shapes!

For this activity, I taped down a large piece of paper with all the letters and numbers written on it, and used the pieces from the other puzzles. I resisted the urge to do a typical rainbow order with the letters, and instead matched the colors to the puzzle piece. This helped him match them. I would say, “Can you find the purple A?” I ended up taping this to the back of my cutting mat and he has asked to this activity over and over.

This is a magnetic letter search. I covered our letter fridge magnets with a mixture of rice, oatmeal, and beans. I gave Asher a little magnet wand to search around for the letters. For Asher finding the letters and talking about them was enough, but you could add a letter matching element for an older child.

For this activity I made little paper pockets on the wall using construction paper and painters tape. I then made little paper letters again matching the colors (red A, red pocket) Asher loved putting the papers in the pockets, and especially enjoyed ripping it all off the wall later. He definitely did not do a lot of matching, but at this age its more about the repeated exposure to the letters and sounds. You could also do this with numbers by putting up the pockets with the numbers and putting different quantities into each pocket. This would be ideal for a slightly older kid.

I got these great letter and number cards of Amazon. I think they were about $13. This is another great way to match letters to words, and to have a visual quantity attached to each number. So for the number 10 they have a picture with 10 piranha. They come with all the cards and little wooden letters that fit right into the grooves. These are a nice way to practice because inevitably the cards get knocked around but because the letters fit right in they don’t go flying. They also came with a little bag to keep everything in so they clean up really nicely.

This sidewalk chalk alphabet wash was probably Asher’s favorite. Add water to an activity and it is 10 times more fun. He worked on this for at least 30 minutes. I started by writing out all the letters(I couldn’t resist a rainbow moment), I then got him a little water bucket, a sponge, and little water dropper (a turkey baster would work). You can say, “Can you wash away the letter B?”. He really liked using the dropper to wash everything away. You could also easily do this with numbers, colors and shapes. With numbers you could maybe start with 10 shapes and wash them away one at a time and count as you go.


I hope these letter and number activities are fun learning activities for your little one. I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please like, share, and play!

6/20 Meal Plan

Happy Fathers day! So happy to get to celebrate Kyle this weekend. He is such a great dad, Asher and I are lucky to have him. You may or may not have noticed there wasn’t a meal plan last week. Life was crazy busy last week so we ended up having to eat out more than usual. One night Asher ate fried chicken, mac and cheese, and french fries 🙀. This felt like a total mom fail to me, but I had to remind myself that it is about a big picture not one meal. 99% of the time he eats a well balanced meal, so the occasional junk meal is going to be all right.

A quick reminder of how the meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for the week, 3 dinners intended to have leftovers every other night, the 7th night we either have extra leftovers, a family meal, or take out. 1 dinner will be vegetarian/ vegan, it is a small step we are taking to try and reduce our impact on the planet. Another thing to note is that I am only cooking for a family of 3 so you may need to adjust portions for a larger family.


What’s on the menu……

  • Sweet potato black bean bowl (lunch)
  • Chicken pesto
  • Teriyaki salmon
  • Slow cooker butter chickpea’s

Shopping list…..

Bellow you will find a complete shopping list for everything you need for this weeks menu. I have separated everything by meal, so there are some duplicates of pantry staples. So don’t buy a bottle of olive oil for each meal. 😝


Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls

8 lunches https://itsavegworldafterall.com/sweet-potato-black-bean-meal-prep-bowls/#recipe

This lunch was so simple to put together and very filling. I doubled the recipe to make 8 lunches, but I think it could easily have stretched to 10. I opted to use quinoa instead of rice for 2 reasons. The first is it cooks way faster, and the second it has a much higher nutritional value. This salad was very simple, if you wanted to add a little more excitement you could add some corn, bell peppers, or maybe some salsa.

Chicken Pesto

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-pesto-baked-chicken-whole30/#wprm-recipe-container-16959

The basil in my garden was starting to get out of control so that means pesto! I love this pesto recipe it always turns out great. I love that it has spinach in it, a great way to sneak in some extra veggies. I added half a lemon to it just to keep the color from changing and to brighten it a little. I served it over my favorite lentil and veggie noodles by Cybeles. They are really great low carb noodle but don’t make great leftovers. I usually will cook fresh noodles for each meal. You could also follow this recipe from the same blog for a spaghetti squash pesto.

https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/chicken-pesto-paleo-spaghetti-squash/#wprm-recipe-container-16813

Teriyaki Salmon Bowls

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.simplehealthykitchen.com/teriyaki-salmon-bowl/#wprm-recipe-container-7834

These salmon bowls were really simple to make. I doubled it to make enough for 2 dinners. I liked all the topping options they had, I just picked a few that sounded good to me. Asher was being a total toddler when we had this dinner. At first he didn’t want to eat it. So I tried loading his spoon with just some rice, which he ate. Eventually he ate all the elements and decided he liked it. The key was I had to load his spoon for him. Toddlers… what are you gonna do!

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas

5- adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.delishknowledge.com/slow-cooker-butter-chickpeas/#tasty-recipes-20907-jump-target

This was a great plant based meal! Normally I stay away from soy products, but this week I decided to go for a little tofu. I prepped this the night before by, cutting the onion and garlic, mixing all the sauce ingredients, and prepping the tofu and garbanzo beans. In the morning I quickly threw it together and set the delay start function on the instantpot. When I got home later that day I just made some rice and added some frozen peas and we were ready to eat!


I hope this helps make your week a little easier! If you try these out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share, and enjoy!

6/6 Meal Plan

I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial day weekend! It is always nice to have an extra day off with the family, but it always makes it hard to get back into the groove of things. It has also been unbelievably HOT here! We had some fun mornings outside before it got to hot to be outside, and also had a good afternoon in the splash pad. Bring it on summer!

A quick reminder of how the meal plan works. There will be 1 meal prepped lunch for the week, 3 dinners intended to have leftovers every other night, the 7th night we either have extra leftovers, a family meal, or take out. 1 dinner will be vegetarian/ vegan, it is a small step we are taking to try and reduce our impact on the planet. Another thing to note is that I am only cooking for a family of 3 so you may need to adjust portions for a larger family.


What’s on the menu……..

  • Greek chicken bowls (lunch)
  • Sweet potato tacos
  • Slow cooker beef stew
  • Healthy orange sesame chicken

Shopping list…….

Below you will find a full shopping list for everything you’ll need to make all these meals. I separated the groceries by recipe so there are repeat ingredients. So obviously don’t buy a bottle of olive oil for every meal.


Greek Chicken Bowls

10 lunches https://greenhealthycooking.com/greek-chicken-meal-prep-bowls/#wprm-recipe-container-6571

Usually I try to keep our lunches meat free, but every now and then I will do something with chicken. This lunch was so fresh and easy to put together. I worried that it wouldn’t be filling and thought about adding a grain, but I felt satisfied after each meal. I doubled it to make 10. I love that you just put everything together in the oven. For some reason the original poster forgot to add chicken in their ingredients so I just guessed how much to use from the video they had.

Sweet Potato Tacos

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals http://mariereginato.com/home/2015/6/2/sweet-potato-tacos-with-mint-cilantro-salsa-vegan-gluten-free-dairy-free

This meal is so quick and easy to put together! I saved some time by using a store bought salsa, but the homemade salsa they have is also really good. A also added a scrambled egg just for a little something extra. Asher is a total weirdo and doesn’t like tortillas. I still always offer some to him in case he changes his mind.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://www.jessicagavin.com/slow-cooker-beef-stew/

I really enjoyed this stew! It was pretty simple to put together, but I think it would not be ideal for throwing together first thing in the morning. Maybe if you browned the meat and got it ready the night before and just turned it on in the morning. If I were to make it again I would definitely cut the veggies smaller. No one wants to have to cut up their soup! I served it with some bread, but it was pretty hardy on its own.

Healthy Orange Sesame Chicken

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals https://britneybreaksbread.com/healthy-orange-sesame-chicken/

We also had this orange chicken I posted a few months back. I love how the sauce for this dish thickens up. It really reminds me of a take out orange chicken! I served it with broccoli and rice.


Another week of yummy meals. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! If you try them out I’d love to hear from you. Please like, share and enjoy!

7 Activities for the Truck/Car Enthusiast

Asher is a HUGE fan of trucks and cars. We live on a busy road and he loves to sit in the window and watch all the cars go by. He also is super excited about construction equipment. We had an excavator and dump truck come to our house to fix the road this week, he literally ate lunch in the window so he could watch them! I try to incorporate vehicles into our activities all the time. Here are 7 activities for the truck and car enthusiast!


Dirt Container + Trucks

This is the first of a two part activity, I’ll post the second part bellow. This one is so simple, and yes a bit messy. There’s just about nothing Asher enjoys more than playing in the dirt! Just add a few trucks and you have long lived entertainment. I had some extra dirt from filling our raised garden beds, so I just filled this plastic tub with it. You could definitely do this right in the garden though. The advantage to the tub is that when the activity is over, you simply pick it up and stop more mess from occurring after you are finished.

Muddy Truck Wash

The second part of this activity is a muddy truck wash. To start I just added water to one side of the tub and let asher drive his trucks all around getting them all muddy. After he got them nice and dirty I got him a bucket of soapy water (which he immediately dumped into the dirt box, so I then got him a second bucket😂) Then I showed him how to wash his trucks and got him a little scrubby. We then rinsed them off in some clean water and set them out to dry. He LOVED this activity and has asked to do it again.

Create a Car Ramp

This is a super easy activity to set up, and is always a hit. Asher loves to drive his cars down his slide, but you could easily make a ramp off the couch with some cardboard or drive them down a hill. Simple but effective.

Truck Sidewalk Paint

This is a fun and creative activity, also great for talking about colors. To make the sidewalk paint, you mix almost an even mixture of cornstarch and water, and a few drops of food coloring. You probably want to add a slightly more water so it isn’t to thick, but you want it to be thick enough that it sticks to the wheels. It will just wash away with the rain or a hose. I also brought out a couple other things to paint with, like paint brushes and pom-pom’s. Be warned this could stain your cement! The blue left a slight stain on mine, but I know eventually it will fade.

No Mess Car Squish Painting

To do this you add a paper and some paint inside a ziplock bag. Squeeze all the air out and tape it to the floor, really sealing it. Then you let your child drive their cars over it spreading the paint all around. Asher was feeling grumpy when we did this so he wasn’t willing to participate with the trucks. Which is fine! This is a good example of expectations vs. reality. He did enjoy squishing it with his hands. When you are done you can pull the paper out and let it dry. It might get a little wrinkly. You could also do this with a small canvas.

Car Rescue

This is so quick and easy to set up! You just tape down the cars and let your child have at it! I like to do it on this cutting mat because it is easy to make it up on the table and then put it on the floor when we are ready. You could also just tape right to the floor, table, or high chair. This is really great fine motor skill practice.

Bubble Trucks

This bubble foam is fun on it’s own….but by adding trucks it makes the color blending just WOW!

Ingredients….

  • 1/4 cup tear free baby soap/ bubble bath
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBSP flour*
  • Food coloring

Equipment……

  • large mixing bowl
  • hand mixer/ kitchen aid with whisk attachment

To make the bubble foam combine all the ingredients and mix until a thick foam has been created. Repeat for different colors.


I hope these activities will bring some excitement to your vehicle fanatic! I’d love to hear from you if you try them out. Please, like, share, and enjoy!