Tuesday, October 21, 2014

muffin tin tuesday

In honor of Halloween (which is only next week - eeeek!!!), Elise and I filled a muffin tin with orange-colored foods for our afternoon snack.  It'd been awhile since we'd had a special-themed snack in a muffin tin, and Elise LOVED it.  Food is such a fun and meaningful way to explore colors, textures, and shapes - I need to remember to do this more often with her!

from the top left:  

chipotle tortilla wedges, sweet mini pepper, goldfish crackers, orange juice
shredded golden beet, rotini pasta, sesame stick crackers, mandarin oranges
cheddar cheese cubes, garden carrots, dried apricots, sun gold tomatoes

Did I mention Elise LOVED this snack?!  She really did.  While she's usually an eat-and-run kind of girl, this snack captured her attention for awhile.  Maybe all those little muffin tin compartments appealed to her sense of order?  ;)

Do you ever make special-themed muffin tin snacks for your little ones?  I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, October 17, 2014

spooky spooning

What's spookier than a bowlful of spiders?!
A bowlful of hidden spiders, of course!!!!


This past week, Elise has enjoyed using her wire strainer 
to sift plastic spiders out of a bowl of red lentils.

If you don't have a wire strainer, try using a slotted spoon or just your hands.

It's quite thrilling to sink your fingers right into the lentils, and feel around for the spiders...  
that is - if you dare!!!!!

Happy weekend, friends!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

pumpkin scrubbing

On a recent trip to the grocery store, we were delighted to discover 
the pumpkins had arrived!  Yipee!

Better yet, they weren't your typical, shiny grocery store sugar pumpkins...
Oh, no - these little gems were cheerfully coated in a layer of pumpkin patch grime,
just begging to be scrubbed!

As soon as we got home, Elise gathered her supplies and went to work:

This activity should more appropriately be titled "pumpkin spraying" 
because that is without a doubt the part that two-year-old Elise likes best  
- after the pumpkin, of course.  ;)

My girl is completely enamored with that little, orange squash,
greeting it each morning with a kiss 
and calling out a "Good bye, pumpkin!" every time we leave the house!

Spray, scrub, dry

Even though out little sugar pumpkin has been quite clean for several days now, 
Elise continues to enjoy the whole process.  

That makes this Montessori mama happy because
nothing beats scrubbing for strengthening little fingers!

If you're uncomfortable about all that soap and water inside, 
That's what we did last year, and it was a HUGE hit!

Happy 1st day of October, friends!

Monday, September 29, 2014

favorite fall reads

Then, sometimes quite suddenly, a fresh wind blows and the summer is over.  The days are shorter.  September is here.  Now the days are cooler and a sense of change is in the air...

- Alice and Martin Provensen (from The Year At Maple Hill Farm)

Yes, the days are certainly growing shorter and cooler around here.  That means more time to snuggle up with a good book - and blog!  What have you been reading with your little ones?  Looking forward to catching up with everyone!  :)

  • Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
  • Leaves by David Ezra Stein 
  • The Year At Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen
  • The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
  • One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert
  • Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

Monday, July 21, 2014


  ^^The birthday girl sprinkling crushed eggshells on her plants - this is one of the few photos I have of her wearing something other than her birthday suit!  Ha!^^  

We celebrated Elise's second birthday earlier this month
- I can't believe I'm now the mama of a two-year-old!  Yee haw!
Here are a few of the highlights from the special day...  

We started the morning off by adding
a second beeswax candle to the birthday ring.

The decorations were inspired by the Montessori "celebration of life" birthday tradition 
- homemade collages of Elise's first two trips around the sun.

Elise's gifts from Hubs and me included a collection of objects starting with /e/:  
an envelope with a special birthday message inside, 
a Schleich elephant
a marble egg
a framed photo of Elise
and a felt eggplant

Elise loved giving these rainbow crayon party favors to her little guests 
- check out the tutorial here.

For the birthday "cake," I made a rainbow fruit pizza.
I don't have an exact recipe to share, but it's basically a sugar cookie 
topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit.  Yum!

Friends and family came over to help us celebrate with a picnic lunch.  
Last year, Elise invited one friend and his parents, this year she invited two!  

Overall, it was a fun and busy day, but I felt like we kept things simple enough
that we were able to keep our focus on celebrating Elise and her second year of life!  :)
Check out E's first birthday here.
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