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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Since we quit nursing back when Berlin was nineteen months, she has gained a full on addiction to her pacifier. We make attempts at getting rid of it, but none of have been very successful. Our goal is to eliminate it all together come December when her cousin is born, we have told her that at that time she will have to “give all her paci’s to her new baby cousin.” We shall see how that goes…I have a feeling Berlin will win (yet again).

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: For the most part she is even tempered and well mannered,  but there are times when she doesn’t get her way that all hell breaks loose. This particular moment was because she didn’t want her picture taken. But that’s what moms do…



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Healthy & Quick Toddler Snacks

Coming up with healthy snack options for Berlin is a never ending quest in our home. Seeing as she eats non-stop, I have to be prepared to feed her around the clock. I whole heartedly believe in the grazing mentality for a child; allowing them to eat as they please, and eat several small portions, rather than sit down to a full meal. I trust a child’s natural intuition to eat when they are hungry, and its our job to provide them nutritious food options. But as easy as it sounds, its not so easy to come up with healthy options when your toddler is suddenly demanding food, or when you are busy out and about running errands. While the simple solution is to reach for a box of crackers or cheddar bunnies (believe me, I know!), its not providing our active toddler with the nutrients they need to sustain their ever so rapidly growing little bodies and brains.

I was recently in this snack snack rut; it was bananas, yogurt, and cheese for every meal. So I sat down and jotted a quick list of all my snack ideas so I could be better prepared. I have found it most helpful to review the list and prep her snacks in the evening. Then there is no full on toddler meltdown the next day when hunger strikes. It means less tantrums from her and fewer times being caught off guard for me. All in all, it has made our days go smoother.

Here is a roundup of my latest snack list. Please feel free to jump in and add your favorites, always loving to hear new ideas!

FruitSkewers

Apple Pizzas: Core an apple, slice, and top with almond butter and toppings of choice (granola, coconut flakes, slivered nuts, goji berries…)

Roasted fruit: top fruit of choice (peaches, plums bananas…) with butter and honey and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, top with yogurt and nuts

Steamed Veggies: boil an inch of water in a small pan, add veggies and steam for 5 minutes, top with butter and unsalted Herbamare

Ants on a log: cut celery sticks in half and top with sunflower butter and raisins

Veggie chips: slice any veggie (kale, carrots, sweet potatoes or zucchini) into thin slices, top with olive oil and parmesan cheese, and bake for approx 15 mins at 350 degrees

Frozen banana: dip banana in yogurt, roll in ground flax seed or blended walnuts and freeze

Almond butter banana: spread almond butter on banana and sprinkle with coconut flakes

Tomato surprise: slice cherry tomato in half, fill with cream cheese and top with small slice of avocado

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Fruit skewers: alternate fruit with cheese on a wooden skewer

Frozen yogurt: mix yogurt with flax or chia or drizzle with honey and freeze (I freeze in reusable toddler snack packs)

Canned salmon topped with avocado (buy only wild Alaskan canned salmon)

Boiled Eggs: great to make a batch ahead and have on hand all week

Handful of sliced, organic, raw nuts: almonds, cashews, walnuts…

Raw Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, hemp…

Fresh figs topped with goat cheese or dried figs in off-season

Dried fruits: cranberries, mango, goji berries…(use sparingly as the sugar content is high and can damage toddler teeth)

Poached chicken: boil organic chicken with some bay leaves and garlic for approx 10 minutes

Frozen homemade waffles: here is a great buckwheat spinach recipe I make for Berlin all the time

Frozen homemade pancakes

Edamame

Seaweed snax

Smoothies: here is a link to one of Berlin’s favs

Hopefully this list helps you prepare for your toddler’s never ending hunger. Once again, please feel free to add any snacks you and your little one love.



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Feeling Thankful

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Most days I feel as if I’m autopilot; taking care of Berlin, running errands, cooking and cleaning…taking little time to soak it all in and enjoy the little pleasures that are my life.

Then there are days when it hits me, I look around at all the beauty that life has to offer and I wonder how it is I don’t recognize this daily.

I live in one of the most coveted cities in the world, a place where people can only dream about visiting. There is tremendous beauty and breathtaking views around every corner. There is an abudant amount of culture to experience and a community of artists and creatives spreading their inspiration throughout the city. An environment full of entreprenurial spirits, making groundbreaking product that are affecting how the world operates today.

I married the man of my dreams; one that inspires me, encourages me and allows me this wonderful opportunity of staying home with our daughter. One that also has faith in my abilities and encourages me to pursue my dreams. One that also gave me our beautiful daughter.

Berlin brings laughter and magic to our world and forces us to look deeper and see the extraordinary in the daily mundane. She is the perfect combination of both my husband and myself and already exhibits the charming characteristics of Ryan that made me fall in love with him. She embodies all that is true and and real in our lives.

I don’t nearly bring bring up my family enough, but I’m blessed with a large extended family that is a big part of my life, one that has made me who I am today. I have the benefit of living in the same city as my two younger sisters and the privilege of having aunties in Berlin’s every day life. I have parents that have believed in me from day one and whom have never held me back from creating and experiencing my own path in life.

I apologize for the regurgitation of emotion this morning, but these moments of clarity are embarrassingly to far and few in-between and needed to be documented.



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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Nap time continues to be a struggle. About half the time I can get her to sleep, and that is after two hours of her singing and playing in her crib. But when she does sleep, she wakes up happy and content. If only it could be more consistent.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

 

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Twenty-Four Months

Growing / At her two year visit she was steadily going up on the charts, reaching almost thirty percent in weight (amazing, considering her slow weight gain!). Her feet are growing way too quickly (just cleaned out her shoe bin recently, she has little shoes left) and her hair is out of control. I would chop it myself, but I know its grounds for divorce if I do.

Eating / She has recently become very picky, I guess this is the norm for toddlers her age. She only wants yogurt, cheese, pancakes, waffles, bagels…I’m sure this is all too familiar for those with toddlers. My once adventurous eater has gone rogue on me.

Speaking / Like usual, I’m stunned by her vocabulary. She mimics everything I say-verbatim, and remembers (and repeats) everything. She is up to six word sentences, one of her favorite being “no mama music, only Beno music.” If you don’t recall, she refers to herself as “Beno.” Her other favorite sayings are “no nappy time,” “I like this one,” and “how about this one mama.”

Learning / She is learning to run (faster) and steadily climb over and on top of things (she is still a bit delayed in this area as she walked so late). She is still working on getting her clothes on and off. She can remove most all her clothes, but has a harder time putting them on, but she continues to try.

Mastering / She has mastered the art of not napping. Its been almost two months now that she has been fighting naps. One might give up at that point, but I’m adamant that she will nap again! She has mastered the word “no.” She used to just have a whiny “nooo,” but now its a very forceful “NO!”

Loving / She loves removing her diaper. When I put her down for naptime, the first thing she does is remove her diaper (sometimes soiled with you know what). She also enjoys taking off all her other clothes, no matter where we are. She recently removed her clothes at the grocery store, much to my surprise. Her new favorite activity (since the kitchen was remodeled) is to run around in circles around the island. I think its safe to say, she is enjoying our new kitchen.

Loathing / Naptime. Bathtime. Getting dressed. Changing her diaper. Wearing a diaper. Being told no.

Laughing / Nothing like tickling her or smothering her with kisses to get this girl laughing. She is super silly and it really takes very little to make her laugh.

Playing / Currently she loves playing with her horses, Dr. Suess flashcards, push car she received for her birthday, and her new sandbox (also a gift for her birthday). She still spends the majority of her time reading. We visit the library on a weekly basis, getting new books, and half the time I just end up buying the book as she loves it so.

Sadly I missed the twenty-third month, but life has been busy lately. Hopefully I’ll remain on track go forward.



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 “A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: This week she has suddenly grown very “concerned” for others; mainly characters in her books. She is quite distressed over the Bernstein Bears being chased by bees or with Curious George falling off his bike. Her concern has grown so large, she will continue repeating her worry throughout the entire day-until she finds something else to obsess over. She’s a deeply sympathetic little gal, could be worse.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



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 “A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Once again another image of my messy, sand-encrusted daughter. She loves nothing more than caking herself head to toe with sand and mud. We should really reconsider living in Northern California with how much this girl loves the beach.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Always giggling, smiling and enjoying life.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


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Vegan Almond Quinoa Cake

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Here it is again; one of my famous {not so famous} sugar-free birthday cakes. Some might find a sugarless cake a disgrace, but I find them quite delicious.

I cheated a bit by adding a sugary frosting, which of course ended up being Berlin’s favorite part. But this cake is delicious without the frosting and is perfect as a morning treat to dip into your coffee-yum!

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Almond Quinoa Cake
2 cups Almond Flour
1 cup Quinoa Flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
Flaxseed Egg Replacer (or 3 eggs)
3/4 cup Pure Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Coconut Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk (from can)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Prepare flax eggs by combining 9 tablespoons of water with 3 tablespoons ground flax and letting sit for approx five minutes (until gelatinous).

Mix flax eggs with coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for approx 30-40 minutes.

While the cake is cooking, prepare the frosting by mixing all the ingredients until the frosting is smooth and creamy. You may need to play with the ratio of sugar to coconut milk.

Then simply frost the cake and enjoy.

QuinoaAlmondCake

I’m off to Los Angeles this weekend with the hubby and a few friends. This will be my first ever extended getaway without Berlin. While I’m crazy excited for a solo weekend, I have to admit I get a little teary eyed just thinking about being away from my little one. But its been two years, so the time has come for us to separate a bit.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend! I know I will be enjoying every minute of it.



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