Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A simple number recognition activity...

I am always looking for simple ways to motivate Andrew to engage in more learning activities. He has just turned four and his abilities are really sky rocketing, unfortunately his focus is not, so we have to keep it fun!
preschool math

This is a super simple Number Recognition activity that I put together today. It was a huge hit and Andrew made noticeable gains within the ten minutes that we played. It is basically a flashcard activity with the added bonus of some gross motor skills and a tasty reward!

preschool math

I cut out 12 paper circles, wrote a number on each and popped them into a muffin tin. Andrew then tossed marshmallows into the cups and identified the number he landed on. If he could identify the number he got to eat the marshmallow.

number recognition

As you can see, he is quite motivated by sweets... I think we'll try blueberries next time!

Looking for other simple ideas for learning at home with your little one? Check out my Pinterest Board, Learning at Home, or some of these older posts:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

cornbread muffins with honey...

The past few weeks have been rough around here. Not one, but two stomach bugs have stormed through, taking down everyone in their path. Sore tummies, and dreary weather have kept us indoors constantly and we are all hoping for a break soon! On the bright side, all of this down time has left me with lots of opportunity to put my new mixer to good use! I have been coveting the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for years, and this Christmas, Rob made my baking dreams come true with a bright and shiny red one!

Yesterday I made some cornbread muffins sweetened with honey. They are fluffier than most of the cornbread recipes I have made and have a nice crunch. With just a hint of sweetness, they make a great side to soups and stews... perfect comfort food for chilly days, and upset bellies.

cornbread recipe

cornbread recipe

Corn Bread Muffins with Honey
{makes 12 muffins}

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400°. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add to it, the rest of the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour muffin batter into lined, or greased muffin cups to 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 min in tin, and then remove.

cornbread recipe

*Note* because these muffins are not made with butter or oil, they are fairly dense and best enjoyed hot from the oven. They dry quickly so enjoy them all at once!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Popular Posts from 2013...

Today I am sharing "And Away We Go's!!" most popular posts from 2013. It's never too clear to me why some posts get more traffic than others. Maybe an idea resonates with pinners and strikes them as useful. Maybe it's the simplicity of a project. Or,  maybe it's the combination of marshmallows and chocolate that is generally irresistible! One thing is for sure, when Jen Jone's from I Heart Organizing features a post the traffic will go through the roof! At any rate, the people of the blogisphere found the following posts interesting and I am so happy to have had them noticed!!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Organize Your Christmas Cards...

For the last couple of years, before the Christmas decorations are packed away, I have taken some time to organize all of the amazing Christmas cards sent to us throughout the holiday season into a little flip book. I was never sure what to do with all of the cards, you only need so many Christmas tags and I can't stand the thought of tossing the beautiful photos of our friends and family. These Christmas Card flip books pack away easily and are so fun to look through each year!

To make the flip book, I use a pair of ring clips and a hole punch. I use our family Christmas card first which eliminates the need for a cover because the year is easy to see. 

To make sure that the cards line up nicely I start by punching the cover and then use it as a guide for each of the following cards. I love the amazing custom photo cards that so many people make. I think we received an all time high of these this year!

These flip books  also allow you to secure any little photos that have been included as well as smaller cards. 

The boys enjoy flipping through to see all of their friends... Henry was particularly enamoured with one of his besties, sweet little Ayla! It will be fun to pull these out next year to see how much all of these kiddos have grown!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Holiday Recap...

Happy New Year!! I hope that you have started this New Year happy and healthy! After a wonderful and busy trip to Canada we have begun to settle back into our normal routine here at home... regular meals and bedtimes are being enforced and we are all better for it!

This holiday season was extra special for our family! Returning to Canada to spend time with loved ones after being away for 6 months was full of joy and excitement! We kept things simple... lots of play time with cousins, coffee dates with best friends, and meal after meal of our favourite foods. I was thrilled to spend so much time enjoying these luxuries, the things I miss the most from home.

The boys were ecstatic. Everyday details seemed like full out events for Andrew:
"Want to go with Auntie to pick up Alana and Jacob from school?"
"Want to help Uncle TJ feed his cats?"
"Want to have a bath in Nana's tub?"
"Want to sleep in Daddy's bed from when he was a boy?"
All questions that were met with enthusiastic celebration! It was so nice to watch them get so much joy from spending time with family.

I tried to take lots of photos, but as always realized that many were missing. No shots of the boys with their grandparents, no obligatory shot of all four cousins in front of the Christmas tree and none of the boys with their buddies:( It's so difficult to get them all!

 Henry got his first haircut from our favourite stylist;)

Andrew and his two favourite people

 Christmas morning with their favourite gifts.

 There seemed to be a bit of a costume theme this year!

Go team Canada!!

We loved every minute of our time in Canada, but I was pleasantly surprised to be content and ready to return to our home in Baltimore. It's nice to know that after 6 months, this place really does feel like a home to us, and that the relationships we are building with new friends will sustain us throughout this adventure!

Happy New Year!