Friday, February 28, 2014

Meatless Fridays : Easy Quinoa Soup

So what exactly is a quinoa { KEEN wah }? It is a seed that can be cooked like whole grains ( like barley or rice) . Quinoa is high in fiber, has plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a healthier alternative than white rice. If you want to read more about quinoa , its benefits, and history you can read it here : World's Healthiest Food ( whf.org) . There are also a lot of recipes that you can use quinoa or incorporate them too like salads and soups.

I sometimes put it with my beef stew recipe. Quinoa Kitchen Recipes offers good and tasty recipes. Buying it organic is best. I buy mine in bulk at Costco. We do not have a Whole Foods store near us so I really do not know the price or savings that I can get. Buying it at Costco is usually cheaper than the nearest grocery store here. This quinoa soup recipe is very simple and easy. Even our two girls had them for dinner. Flavorful and pack full of nutrients.






Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup Quinoa
1 cup fresh chopped tomatoes
1 - 1 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable Broth
2 cups water
1 cup Black beans, homemade or use canned,  no salt added
1/2 cup green peas
1-2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup Parsley

Directions:

In a large pot , Heat oil and Saute your onion . Add garlic tomato , cumin and basil. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.


Add the carrots , quinoa  bay leaves,


and 2 cups of broth only. Cover and let boil.


 Add the rest of the broth , water, peas, broccoli and parsley.

Let it boil and add the black beans ( I added the black beans lastly because it was precooked and it do not want it to be mushy).

Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the broccoli is tender.



Simple , healthy and really good.





  Don't forget to pin and share!





Quinoa Bites

Crunchy Biscuit Chicken 
  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY Baby Memory Frame Box

The birth of our girls was one of those life's precious moments that I will never get tired to reminisce.  My hubby once told me , Lucy made us a family and Lily made our family complete. I am a sentimental junkie. I am proud of it. However , I do have a problem. A good one though. I find it really hard to let go of some of their baby things. You know..those onesies...the bibs ( yes, the bibs! ). I love to document their "firsts". I have a ton of keepsakes!

Trying to choose from all of the memorable keepsakes of our newborn s challenging for me. We can not hoard on everything.  There will be a whole lot of "Firsts" in our children's lives. I was so excited to be able to come up with a keepsake box. A memory box that will showcase their first day with us. This is such an easy and frugal project to make. Deciding which stuff to put inside was the hardest..I think!






I decided to include the following,
Onesies -- the onesie that my husband bought from the hospital's gift shop right after their birth. It has milk stains on it...they wore it during their first weeks. I didn't even bother to remove the stains. They are special like that.

Lily's beanie from the hospital.

Lucy's mittens

Hospital birth cards and bracelets

Their beautiful picture at the hospital.

 Ultrasound pictures.

For this project you will need:

Shadow Box Frame

Some Scrapbook paper for the background

Glue gun to secure your materials

Embellishment to decorate your memory box, I made  flowers out of felt fabric.


All you have to do is decide how are you going to showcase or design your shadow boxes. Use a glue gun or a pin to secure the baby keepsakes. You can also use scrapbook stickers. You can also include their foot and hand prints!

It always bring a smile to my face whenever I see this,  it never fails.  How fast they grow..

 
I have these proudly displayed in our hallway.


A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for ”

 

 

 


Check these easy projects too!

DIY Family Signs







Wednesday, February 19, 2014

To the Momma who breastfeeds..Proud of you , But please don't rub it in.

 Before anything else, I BREASTFED our youngest daughter Lily until she was 18 mos. It wasn't easy at first..dang it hurts. A week into painstakingly non stop breastfeeding , I went to see a lactation consultant. I am determined to breastfeed her because I want all the best for her like all mothers. I don't care even if I was crying or in pain , there's got to be a way. Maybe I was breastfeeding her wrong. After seeing the doctor and lactation consultant (thanks to clogged ducts) I know now , what to do.

I refused to take antibiotics and did all the homeopathic remedies I could..( and you could imagine). Fast forward now.. yes I am really proud I gave that gift to her. I know all the breast milk benefits..the bonding..the savings it offers , the time you can save .. just that precious bonding between you and your baby. I know all of that.





Now , with our eldest. I was not able to breastfeed. She was born through emergency C section ( so much for my birth plan). She had a rough start , we call her a miracle baby. I was very blessed to be in the right hospital at the right time. Since she ingested a lot of meconium  , she didn't have a heartbeat when she came out.

Fast forward a few hours later  she had to go straight to NICU. I did not see our beautiful daughter until the 2nd day. I wanted to breastfeed. No matter what. But I couldn't. I felt helpless because of the way she was born, that was not my plan. They had to monitor her to make sure that all of her organs are working. They can't offer my milk yet and  not even a formula. We had to wait for every "passed medical test" before feeding her.

I did ALL the best I can. We made sure to inform every nurse who took care of her and will take care of her to NOT give formula when she's  finally given the green light to eat. I pumped the heck out my tatas. Every two- three hours. I've turned in bags and bags of frozen breast milk to the NICU. Going home without our first born was the most difficult one. Even then we did not falter. We still kept the breast pumping session on schedule.

Even though she stayed almost a month in the NICU, not a single bottle of formula was given to her. We did a lot of trips to the hospital to see our precious baby and to deliver that golden liquid. I also did the best I can to offer the breast. Did the nipple shield... you name it  I did the best I can. When we got home, my husband and I tried over and over again to offer the boob. She just won't take the boob. That was a whole new level of frustration and helplessness I got really sad. There are times that I would blame myself and overthink what was I doing wrong. What would other moms will think of me? That I am selfish? or that I am not mom enough.
 
I wanted that bonding everyone was talking about. I felt like a bad mom. My hubby was a great support reminding me of how strong , good and determined of a mother I am. I am her Mom. I will bond to her.

When I see and read any post or message on social media about breastfeeding. It is one thing to be proud of it and to be an advocate of it..but it is one thing to just rub it in.  Not all mothers are fortunate to have that privilege, there are a lot of circumstances and situations where a mother could not breastfeed. All mothers wants the best for their precious baby. I am an advocate of breastfeeding  and I will encourage you to keep on trying even when it hurts..keep your eye on the goal even if all you see is just a drop of milk after several minutes of painful feedings.  What I will not support is the bashing.

Let us leave the bashing to those..who beats and abuse their children or neglects their babies.

To the breastfeeding mom , kudos to you. It may not be the right choice for some mom but it is the best choice. You are amazing ! It is not easy but I promise you that it is worth it. If you breastfeed in public , because you know your baby needs it...if you know that your babies needs is much more important than the people who might be offended when you breastfeed . I admire you.

To the mom who can't breastfeed , you are amazing too! You are not powerless. You will bond to your child. You are not failing. There are a million ways to be a good mother. Don't listen to that guilt . You do what you have to do for your baby and you. Being a good and awesome mom does not stop at breastfeeding so don't beat yourself up when your situation calls for a bottle. A happy and healthy momma matters too.














Monday, February 17, 2014

Letters of Week : Bb and Cc


 ** The Letter of the Week for Preschool series  may contain affiliate links . Read full  disclosure HERE. It will also feature several links and other awesome blogs to which I will give credit for their great job .

 
To save money , local library is a good option. You can also use whatever books you may have in your home library to supplement with the lesson. 

Books to read 


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

I Like Bugs: The Sound of B (Wonder Books Phonics Readers; Consonants)

Ben, Billy, and the Birdhouse: The Sound of B (Phonics Friends)

Bb (Alphabet Set I)

Bears on Chairs

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You : Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises (Bright and Early Board Books)

Where Is Baby's Belly Button? A Lift-the-Flap Book

Butterfly and the Bog Beast : A Book about Butterfly Camouflage (Magic School Bus)

 Start out by saying the letter out loud. Teaching her  the phonetic sound of the letter. Next is the tracing of both  upper case and lower case letter B.


Do a Dot Activity

Download the Letter Bb , do a dot page here for free :

Confessions of a Homeschooler ( please read her terms with printing her free printables , it is for personal use only and it can not be use for monetary purposes)


Markers and Do a Dot Markers Can be purchased here :

 

We did a Bb is for Ballerina puzzle , it also teaches number sequence.
This puzzle can be downloaded for free here : Confessions of a Homeschooler Printables 
They are for personal use only. Please read her guidelines.


Cut and Paste Activity

Using a block letter B , we cut small pieces of construction paper , and she pasted the cut outs making a collage.


And another puzzle...


We read the books , I've suggested above. When you read to them , make sure you put emphasis on the words that starts with the letter B. Also , when reading it is good to run your fingers on each word ..and sentences. You can actually let them repeat the word after you.

We ended the lesson with computer time . I used ABCmouse.com and starfall to supplement with the Bb letter of the week.

For a list of free learning online resources/ websites , see here : List of Learning Websites - free printable




Letter Cc

 Books to Read
 


Cc (Alphabet Set I)

Celine and Cedric Go to the Circus: The Sound of Soft C (Phonics Friends)

Cassie And Carl (First Sounds)


 Chelsey And Chad (First Sounds)


 Carrie's Surprise: The Sound of Hard C (Sounds of Phonics)

The Construction Crew

 The Cat in the Hat (Beginner Books(R))

 Chicken And Cat

 The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Start out again by saying the letter C out loud. Teaching her  the phonetic sound of the letter. 

We did line tracing , to practice her fine motor skills.
 

and we also did a lacing activity.


Find this C is for caterpillar magnet page here : Confessions of a Homeschooler 

It is free and for personal use only. I bought this glass rocks at the dollar store . If you prefer to use the power magnets, which any kid loves ( just put the piece of paper on top of a cookie sheet) , order or buy here :  Officeship 100 Pieces Power Magnets, 3/4 inch Diameter, Assorted Colors  






Look for different things in your house that starts with the letter C.


Though your young ones, may already knows most of it.  Print or write labels on each of the items you found , read it out to them. Make them repeat after you while running your fingers on each of the word.


We did an upper case and lower case matching ( and color matching too!)




A do a dot activity after reading the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.


painting and art activity.


of course Jumping bean does some painting too.



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