The Great Origami Mobile (that I’ll never make)

Complex Origami Mobile

I started this quest with an interest in making an origami mobile for my baby’s room, but … that’s just not gonna happen. So for you artsy craftsy types…. here’s some inspiration:

This Origami mobile is beautiful. I’d say it’s THE DON of origami mobiles, and trust me… I’ve googled long and hard.

butterfly mobile, origami mobile, best, how to make a mobile, mobile, nursery, origami, pinterest

The one pictured above is a mix of shapes and animals, from fish to cranes to pointy balls, and it was the first to inspire me.

Another nice one is the butterfly punchout one.

Paper Butterfly Mobile
Paper Butterfly Mobile

More pictures and instructions available on the original blog it’s from here.

The butterfly punchout is available at giant art stores (Michael’s in Canada) or on Amazon here. I found the size a bit smaller than I would have liked (so check it to make sure it suits you). You can also get the non-monarch butterfly which has no holes and would look more like this (below):

Butterfly Mobile

Full tutorial for this one is available here (by its creator Carina Gardner)

Good luck! Oh, and if all else fails I’m pretty sure Pottery Barn has one. (+ More can be found on this board)

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15 Minute Meals: Quinoa Sliders (I literally made these between 8:00 and 8:20 on Tuesday Morning)

Toddler Quinoa Burgers
Toddler Quinoa Burgers
Toddler Quinoa Burgers

No one can argue with Quinoa. It’s the pinnacle of healthy food with all it’s protein and amino acids. I’m sure you’ve heard lots about it, I won’t go into the nutritional preaching, but I will say – it’s an EASY, forgiving grain. It cooks in 15 minutes – not 45 like some of the other super-healthy grains.

I have made these slider burgers several ways, but the recipe below is the one I use when I literally have almost no time to cook. We’re talking super fast action in the morning, while Raquel does laps around the kitchen island.

What you need: 

1 cup Quinoa
1 cup water
2 tbsp steamed, minced carrots*
1 heaping tbsp almond butter
1 heaping tbsp hummus
Dash of vegetable salt (herbamare), Olive oil, tamari, and other spices to taste

*Or minced dried fruit like apricots or apples, or steamed peas, or whatever you have handy. They’re fine plain too.

Directions:  

1. Rinse quinoa in a metal sieve.

2. Cover with water (the 1:1 ratio means quinoa should be just covered.)

3. Bring to a boil, then simmer with lid on (on low, but still an active bubble or two). After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let it sit in the pot, cover on, absorbing all the extra moisture.

4. Check for doneness – if too hard (it should be bouncy but not crunchy), simmer longer. Add water if it’s completely dry.

5. Add almond butter, hummous, salt, olive oil and tamari and stir until distributed.

6. Take a small handful and squish like it’s a little mud pie, so it sticks together (as pictured).

7. Lay patty in shallow, wide container to cool. Refrigerate (or eat when cool).

TIPS: If this is your first time making quinoa for your little one and you’re not sure how it will go over, just make a few patties. The rest you can eat yourself (it’s yummy), especially if it doesn’t go over well. You can also bake or fry these if you like, but that’s extra work and extra oil. These patties are crumbly, but even baked and binded with egg, they’ll still be crumbly, just harder.

SERVING TIP: Serve with the leftover soft steamed carrots or another vegetable or sliced fruit.

She eats everything….

I wouldn’t have guessed my 10 month old would be eating these things, but she has a mind (and flavour palette) all of her own. And growing up in our house, there will be no shortage of interesting things for her to try. Here’s a few of her oddest choices:

1. Pickled burdock root.

We get it from Sanko (Japanese food store in Toronto) and she gnaws on it like it was licorice. She doesn’t bite into it or swallow, but for gumming it has been her favorite teething food. Bizarre! (The vinegar level is probably higher than recommended, but burdock itself is a reputed calming herb, and she had no bad reaction)

yamagobo

2. Hummus.

I’m not a huge hummus fan myself but I wanted to try something with veggie protein since I don’t cook with many beans or lentils. Lo and behold, she loves it. Particularly with pita and cheese.

Hummus

3. Jambalaya. She went nuts for this clam-juice and tomato soaked rice. (I left out the meats for her portion.)

creole jambalaya

4. Cranberry sauce It was her favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. She loved the turkey quite a lot too.

cranberry sauce

5. Mango. This might not sound strange, but my kid isn’t a fan of apples really, or bananas, or strawberries. Her pick is mango. Eats it for breakfast 7 days a week. Funny little monkey. I buy the Europe’s best frozen mango, blanche it, and cut it up small.

mango

Need a baby shower favor idea?

Easy Baby Shower Ideas Baby Shower Bomboniere Ideas Mason Jars

In January my family threw a lovely shower for us, and I couldn’t resist doing the favors myself. What I came up with was sourced from a lot of different ideas around Pinterest and Google, but I adapted to keep it simple (mainly with no printed labels, although they look good, if you’re up for it.).

So these are them! I hope you can tell from this picture how ADORABLE they are… I loved them! On the cards I just wrote a little Thank You note.

Like? Hope so. : )

What you’ll need: 

– 3 – 5 rolls of thin ribbon
– 12 sheets japanese or stiff craft paper (available at craft stores)
– (# of guests) x 250 mL mason jars and lids, enough for each guest and a few tests.
– (# of guests) x 1 cup of candy. (I got 2 cups of everything and filled two different mason jars with each candy type) <– picking the candy is THE best part. I went to Bulk Barn. Probably gained 5 lbs.
– hole punch

How to: 

1. Sanitize and dry each mason jar
2. FIll jars with about 1 cup of candy, close lid.
3. Cut japanese paper into small squares (about 2″ x 2″)
4. Write your thank you note on each square. Hole punch one corner.
5. Measure and cut ribbon x # of mason jars, long enough to tie a bow.
6. Tie ribbon around neck of mason jar (secure with glue gun if it slips, mine stayed though)
8. Tie a knot. Then thread the thank you square onto ribbon.
9. Tie a bow. Trim the ribbon.
10. Done!

 

Natural Childbirth?

6 weeks away and the hardest part is waiting. Ok it’s also hard to know that the home stretch will include quite a bit more stretch (another inch or two??) … and not much home (still working, till the 39th week).

I’ve researched and read a lot about birth and I’ve decided that I’m going to try for natural, unassisted, birth. I know it’s going to hurt but honestly – so what? I’ve never had pain before that so obviously leads to the greatest pleasure imaginable (my little girl, plopped onto my chest). And I’m starting to feel like my athletic experience and build will be helpful, psychologically and physically.

I found this AMAZING birth book called Birth Skills by Juju Sundin which details all the ways to keep the pain of labor manageable, like using your hands and legs, making sounds, breathing, using visualizations, positions… And some other things I’m probably forgetting.

It explains that the major pain of labor is from muscle fatigue. Specifically, the uterus being tired from all that scrunching your baby out. What an insight! It’s actually not the pushing that hurts or the giant head making its way down your tiny vaginal canal … It’s just a tired muscle. Like a bicep or a quad that’s been working too hard and too long.

Well… I don’t know about you but this seems manageable to me. I’ve been an avid mountain biker and yoga student for over a decade now and I definitely know the pain of hills and prolonged positions. Not to say that it’s anywhere close to what I’m going to feel in 6 weeks or so, but hopefully at the very least I’ll understand the pain.

Birth Skills also explains that using up the adrenalin produced by labor helps activate the body’s natural painkillers – endorphins. In other words, using my legs (squatting perhaps!) will help burn off some off the extra energy that the body produces to cope with the birth itself. And then…. Burning off that extra energy helps the endorphins naturally kill pain.

It makes sense then, that lying flat on your back with all this fight or flight response going on would keep the endorphins from doing their painkilling thing. And mamma want that painkilling!

Anyways I think I’m getting at least a basic understanding of the impending doom known as b..b…b…birth!!

How to make an Origami Mobile

I started this quest with an interest in making an origami mobile for my baby’s room, but with lots of searching and some careful thought, I’ve been swayed more toward the butterfly mobile. Although origami mobiles (as pictured) are exotic looking, they seem like they would be very labor intensive with a short lifespan…

butterfly mobile, origami mobile, best, how to make a mobile, mobile, nursery, origami, pinterest
butterfly mobile, origami mobile, how to make a mobile, mobile, nursery, origami, pinterest, best

The one pictured above is a mix of shapes and animals, from fish to cranes to pointy balls, and it was the first to inspire me. But it’s not so much a DIYMPLE (DIY Mamma Project that Looks Easy) as a… PRIC (Project that’s really complicated?). In any case, I would use YouTube for a head start on the animals (crane video here, fish video instructions here) and then string them together just like the mobiles below, with fishing wire and sewing circles. If you have an ambitious and talented group, this is also a great baby shower activity! At least then you can source some help on all that Orgami.

When I discovered the “punchout” I shifted gears and really fell in love with this butterfly version:

Paper Butterfly Mobile
Paper Butterfly Mobile

More pictures and instructions available on the original blog it’s from here.

The butterfly punchout is available at giant art stores (Michael’s in Canada) or on Amazon here. I found the size a bit smaller than I would have liked but that just means…. more butterflies! You can also get the non-monarch butterfly which has no holes and would look more like this (below):

Butterfly Mobile

Butterfly Mobile

Full tutorial for this one is available here (by its creator Carina Gardner)

I haven’t made mine yet but I will be sure to post my pics and tips once complete!

How to make homemade baby wipes

I’m EXCITED to start making things at home, especially when there are stories everywhere about big companies putting sh*tty, dangerous ingredients in baby products, including wipes (I’m looking at you HUGGIES).

Below is my favorite recipe, mostly because of the apricot oil and castile soap, but my instinct is to substitute chamomile instead of tea tree. This is just personal preference because my skin has always reacted so poorly to tea tree.

So the basic idea is to take a roll of paper towel and cut it in half, then remove the cardboard core. What’s left is a tube that you can pull from, through a narrow plastic top opening (like the typical baby wipe container or even more like the household wipes style tube container.) Once you’ve got your half roll and your container, you just poor on the solution and then let it soak in. VOILA!

Homemade Natural Baby Wipe Solution

• 1 tablespoon almond or apricot oil

• 1 tablespoon Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (comes in several natural scents)

• 2 drops tea tree essential oil (an antibacterial agent)

• 1 drop lavender essential oil

• 1 cup water

Thanks go to My Organic Baby http://www.my-organic-baby.net/organic-baby-wipes.html

The baby wash and baby oil method is also popular, and the instructions are good on these:

http://babyparenting.about.com/cs/diapering/ht/wipes.htm

How To Make Your Own Homemade Baby Wipes