We are so lucky…

A particularly grateful moment! We are SO lucky to have family in Florida!

A particularly grateful moment! We are SO lucky to have family in Florida!

So, gratitude is a big thing that I try to instill in Aria. And myself. “We are so lucky”, seems to be my catch phrase these days. So much so that just the other day, Aria called me on it and said, “Mom, you say that ALL the time!” And indeed I do.

But realizing how lucky we are is something that I want her to know. I want her to look for all the good in every situation, and always focus on the positive that life hands her. To know that she is fortunate and blessed and to hold on to that.  To not be spoiled or complacent,  but really appreciate every good thing that our life holds.

Quite often she and I will run through all the good people we have in our life– those who love her so much, as well as all the good things we have. Or we recap our day and talk about how lucky we are to spend so much time together doing fun things.

I don’t think we could ever wear out the phrase “we are so lucky.” My hope is that she will always feel gratitude and realize the good and wonderful things life holds for her. After all, we are so lucky.

A Simple Green Smoothie That Will Change Your Life

Ok, so it might not change your life, but this smoothie will indeed make your mornings a little sweeter.

Last summer I got both a Vitamix and Nutribullet (which I LOVE incidentally– read more on that here), and my go-to morning brew is now this simple smoothie. It’s filled with good stuff and the splash of apple juice and ice (surprise–who says green juices need to be room temp?) make it refreshing and oh-so-good.

Kid Tip: Sometimes, after I pour out half for me I’ll throw in some banana and a few frozen berries and blend up the rest for Aria. Totally toddler approved.

green smoothieIngredients:

1-2 Celery Stalks cut up.

1 Persian Cucumber (or about 3-4 inches or so off a regular one. I find the persians sweeter and tastier).

1-2 cups of baby kale or spinach or mixed smoothie greens (often baby kale, chard, and spinach).

1/4- 1/2 cup of Apple Juice (depending on sweetness desired)

1-2 ice cubes

*go organic on as much as you can!

Directions:

Throw it all in blender of choice and blend! Pour into a pretty glass (adds to the enjoyment) and indulge in the deliciousness.

Imperfection is the new perfect.

So, as we start off a new year, amongst other things, I look forward to being more diligent with updating this blog. I got on here today thinking about reposting holiday memories and pictures or posts I intended to do weeks ago– like our fun trip to Botanical Gardens Train Show and thoughts on how the magical wonder of the holidays comes back when you have little ones– but, alas, it is 2015 and it feels like nobody has the need or desire to revisit the holiday season or the year past.

So, instead I sit and think about why it is that I so often have good intentions of writing but then don’t. Sure, time is one factor, and the very un-endearing quality of procrastination that I possess another, but bigger yet is my perfectionism. As great as it is to expect top quality from myself, it’s also my biggest barrier. How many posts have gone unwritten, videos unedited,  projects ended before they began, and great ideas never taken off the ground because they were not “good enough” or “thought out enough”(when indeed they were likely over thought), and, ultimately, how many opportunities have I missed because I never put out there what was imperfect (or at least imperfect in my eyes)?

So in 2015, I say imperfection is the new perfect. Over thinking and perfecting is so 2014. Instead, I look forward to many more posts (grammatical mistakes may be included), and following up in action where my many ideas take me… imperfect and all.

 

Summer In The City…

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Having fun at Pier 25 Sprinkler Playground

A full list of Hudson River Play areas here.

We also still love to do this at the river.

 

 

 

 

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Scooting all over town on Mini Micro Scooter

 

 

 

 

friends

 

 

 

 

 

Girlfriends and bubble parties in the courtyard.

And when it’s REALLY hot… these work too.

Mini Oat Banana Bread Loafs (& muffins)

After Aria devoured the Simple Banana Oat cookies (recipe to come) I baked over the weekend, I went to make more and realized I didn’t have enough oats. I had plenty of ripe bananas though so I went for a simple banana bread recipe. I combined a few I found online– my main goal was keeping down the sugar (no need for it as ripe bananas are super sweet and the last thing kids need is more sugar). I did however throw a few semi-sweet chocolate chips in some of the batch as a special treat for her since I chucked the chocolate chip cookie the enamored diner waiter gave her yesterday.

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INGREDIENTS
3 RIPE mashed banana
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular, soy, coconut, etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat or better yet whole wheat pastry flour
1/2a rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl combine mashed banana, applesauce, honey, egg, almond milk, vanilla and oil/butter (if you choose to use). I used a smidge of melted butter and a teaspoon or so of coconut oil just to ensure moistness. Combine all until wet ingredients until creamy.

In separate medium bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined (don’t overmix).

Pour into loaf pan, mini-loaf pans, muffin tins. Sprinkle oats over top (if desired), and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.

Time for baking in a standard loaf pan is 60m but I had no time for that and found my mini-muffins and mini-loafs were good to go in about 15-20m.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely. Keep bread/muffins tightly wrapped to maintain moisture. They will last a few days and likely be sweeter on the second day!

Waterfalls & Wonder

Magic days of summer. Winding trails and hidden gems. Deep forest discoveries. Waterfalls and a secret swimming hole. Simple pleasures and child-like wonder all around.
swimming hole garrison

This was our day today after faint recollection lead us on a little treasure hunt. To a secret  place tucked away but oh so close (who knew this was only a few miles from the house we go to every weekend?). We felt like we were worlds away from everything.

waterfalls

5 Essential Potty Training Tips (And why NOW is the perfect time to start).

So, Aria is now over 2 1/2 and has been potty trained for quite some time. I hear girls are easier to train than boys, but while most of her little girlfriends are still running around in pull-ups, she has been diaper free for over 6 months. Here are the things that I found got her using the toilet in no-time.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 4.52.54 PM1) Get that Potty:  As soon as Aria showed interest (following me into the bathroom and looking up with curious eyes) we bought her her own potty. She was just over a year old, and while for months and months she just sat on it (even with her clothes on) and did nothing, the seed was still planted. So, find a fun potty that they love and make it another special thing for your little one.

2) Talk it up: Talk, read, show & tell, heck, even sing about using the potty if you have to! We used all the methods. Explaining why we use the potty, reading about how Elmo goes to the potty, and even watching the Daniel Tiger Episode about using the potty (over and over), and of course singing Daniel Tiger’s song “if you have to go potty STOP and go right away!…” (Aria still sings it to us) all helped tremendously.

3) Put them on & Be Patient: Most toddlers don’t know when they have to go to the bathroom (at least not initially). Remind them that they have to use the potty– and moreover put them on it regularly. Patience is going to be a big virtue during this time because you’re going to have to wait over and over again.

4) Celebrate big: When your little one has a go at it and makes it to the potty, celebrate big! We had a lot of clapping and celebratory “pee pee dances.”  Some parents do sticker books or reward charts to track progress.

5) GO Diaperless: This is the big one!! Yes, even before your child is trained, pulling them out of the pull-ups is a great way to help them get prompted to use the potty. Let them pee on themselves (and unfortunately possibly your floor or chair or any innocent bystander) because only then will they really realize what not using the potty results in. SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME because at least there is a much higher chance of that “accident” being outside. Aria had two pees on the deck and one on the floor and quickly started telling me when she had to use the potty. She did not like being covered in pee (that’s my girl!) Diapers only prolong the process.

Stay tuned, next post is about the one potty ALL moms should buy. It will make your potty training life SO much easier.