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

Berlin: The best part of the pumpkin patch was throwing hay in her hair. Beyond that, Berlin found everything to be “scary.” We are going through an intense phase at the moment…

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 hates when I take photos of her, but just sometimes she will comply, and this is the result.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


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Vegan Pumpkin Banana Pancakes

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Fall is my favorite time of year for so many reasons; I love the weather (especially in San Francisco when we finally get some heat), I love the change of the seasonal colors, and I love that its my birthday season. But more importantly I love the  autumn vegetables that come with this time of year; squash, brussels sprouts, yam and pumpkins. I could sustain on these vegetables alone, especially pumpkin. There are so many mouth-watering and nutritious meals that can be made with pumpkin, everything from sweet to savory, the possibilities are endless. For children, preparing recipes with pumpkin is ideal, it gives the food an added sweetness (and we all know they love that!) and it provides them with a wealth of nutrients including, Vitamins A, C and E, while being rich in dietary fiber. How can you go wrong, really?

As you know from previous posts, I frequently make large batches of waffles and pancakes and freeze them for own-the-go breakfast meals and snacks. I make them so often, that I’m continually trying to mix up the recipes so Berlin doesn’t get bored, each time sneaking in various vegetables that she otherwise wouldn’t eat. For this pancake recipe I knew I wanted to add pumpkin (tis the season) and wanted it to be vegan, hence why it evolved into a pumpkin banana recipe. Bananas are a great alternative to eggs when baking, and most kids love bananas, so its a perfect choice. However if you are not vegan and don’t care for banana, then you can just use one egg instead.

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Vegan Pumpkin Banana Pancakes

3/4 whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger & nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl (flours, baking powder, and spices).

Then blend wet ingredients in another bowl. Its best to mash the banana a bit, then blend with a hand blender for best results.

Next combine the wet and dry ingredients together, getting out all the lumps (feel free to add more milk if needed).

Next spoon batter onto a lightly greased, pre-heated pan, and cook for approx five minutes each. Then serve with toppings of choice.

I have found that the more banana in the batter, the longer it takes to cook through , so it may take longer than five minutes.

Remember these are perfect for freezing, so if you like to have a bunch on-hand I would suggest doubling the recipe. Enjoy.

 


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Twenty-Six Months

Growing / Her feet seem to grow the quickest of her little body. I swear she outgrows her shoes monthly. Her waist is still teeny tiny, but now she has a little pudgy belly. She has the longest fingers I ever did see on a child, and her fingernails grow like weeds.

Eating / She is a real tyrant in the food department lately. All things she once enjoyed (or shall I say, all healthy things) she no longer likes. I feel like a short order cook, constantly trying to find something that will please her. She is obsessed with yogurt packs (which I’ve recently banned) and is back to drinking kefir at bedtime. She insists on always having the whole piece of anything, for instance, she must have an entire Cliff bar (and out of the wrapper). If I dare break off a piece and hand it to her, she has a meltdown, same with leaving it half wrapped in the wrapper.

Speaking / Her speech never ceases to amaze me. She literally pops up from bed when she wakes and starts telling me stories, either about what she did the day before or what she would like to do that day. She enjoys telling me what she “likes” and what she “loves.” “I like this song mama,” or “I love bunny.”

Learning / She is working on walking up and down stairs. She can do so if there is a handle to hold onto, if not she will resort to crawling instead. She is learning to put on her shoes and take on and off her pants. She has become very good at putting away her own clothes and shoes (sometimes not in the right bins, but close), and she is learning to put away her toys (this skill however, is less desirable to her).

Mastering / She has mastered getting into the pantry and retrieving her own food. She knows where we keep all the goodies and helps herself to a treat (mostly crackers or raisins ). She is sadly mastering the art of tantrums. She is definitely evolving into her terrible two’s and has sudden meltdowns over the slightest things (I believe the behavior is mostly due to extreme tiredness though, the girl won’t nap!).

Loving / She is in love with her blankie, it used to be a plush owl blankie and now its a pink monkey blankie. When she asks for her blankie, paci and bunny, we know its time for bed. She thoroughly loves shutting all the doors in the house and turning on all the lamps.

Loathing / She is terribly afraid of the dark suddenly, she now sleeps with a nightlight that stays on throughout the night and a turtle that illuminates stars on the ceiling. She also requests the hall light to be on and the door left open when she goes to sleep at night. She is still loathing nap time. I put her down every afternoon, and at best, she sleeps 2-3 times each week.

Laughing / Rough housing really gets her going, she loves being thrown on the bed or up in the air, or playing horse on Far’s back. She also finds it quite funny when Ryan and I kiss. She giggles each time we lay one on each other, its really quite cute.

Playing / She loves singing lullabies and dancing around the room. She sings her alphabet frequently and does a mash up of all the lullabies into one (its pretty inventive I must say). She enjoys playing with Playdough and making animal shapes with cookie cutters, and playing with watercolor and paints. She loves doing toddler yoga, we have a great book entitled “Toddler Moves” that she just loves following along with.

Ok, so I missed a month, but I landed this one on her twenty-sixth birthday. That must count for something. :)


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

Berlin: We have begun the process of potty training. While our attempt is to make Berlin actually go pee pee in the potty, thus far potty training has involved a lot of running around the house naked (occasionally peeing on the floor) and sitting on the potty reading.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

 


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A Woodland Nursery

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Now that the kitchen remodel is behind us, its time to finally decorate the other six rooms in the house. I’ve slowly been chipping away at each room, but feeling as if one room is never fully complete.

For Berlin’s room I’m attempting to create a modern, rustic, cozy vibe. I’m obsessed with all creatures and anything furry, and my obsession is not contained to Berlin’s room. Before I know it, we are going to have a furry forest in our home!

Here is just a handful of things I’m coveting for her room at the moment,. And for those of you that are not familiar with Dot & Bo, I strongly suggest checking out their website. A mass amount of fun product, and incredibly well curated.

One- Porcelain Deer Wall Mount // Two- Multi Animal Coat Rack // Three- Fox Print Bedding // Four- Bunny Ear Alarm Clock // Five- Furry Fox Rug // Six- Faux Fur Beanbag // Seven- Bunny Mirror // Eight- Horse Storage Basket // Nine- Bear Throw Pillow // Ten- Fur Throw.




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Mini Getaway

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My dad has been visiting from Colorado for the past week and we had the pleasure of showing him around the bay. It was a wonderful excuse for us to get out of our rut and go explore the beauty that is Northern California. In all my years living in the bay area, I had yet to see the famous lighthouse at Point Reyes National Seashore. If you are ever in the bay area I highly recommend you explore this area. The drive to the lighthouse entails miles of endless scenery, with twisting, winding roads through redwood trees, farmland and views of the coastline for as far as the eye can see. Its a bit of a hike to the base of the lighthouse, with over 300 steps, but well worth the exercise. If you do make the trek, make sure to stop by Point Reyes Station for an awesome farm to table lunch and drop by the Farmers Market to stock up on the most fresh, best tasting local produce.



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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!

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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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