Toddler Theme Tuesday: Apple Unit

Crisp Autumn air, crunchy leaves, eggnog in the stores: this is my favorite season of the year! I have some fun plans for Little E next week.

I have been trying to find some inexpensive activities that Little E will be interested in. Here are a few things I found:

Little E loves getting his hands in paint and Duck Duck Souper Mom has a cute handprint tree:

There are lots of great ideas on The Adventures of Bear. I especially like this one for identifying parts of a tree:

This activity from My Montessori Journey uses a song to the tune of Bingo:

1+1+1=1 has lots of activities for the younger crowd, including this simple three piece puzzle.

I can't wait to try this yummy looking apple cider slushie from Little Wonders' Days.

Another one from My Montessori Journey, this playdough is scented like apple pie!

I think Little E will really like this Practical Life activity from Making Montessori Ours, cleaning and peeling apples.

Preschool Alphabet has a unit around 10 Apples on Top, including these beanbags that I want to use for counting practice.


Recipe of the Week: Mustard Glaze and Baked Squash

It's Autumn! Time for comfort foods! Last night for dinner we had a beef roast with the most delicious mustard glaze from Smitten Kitchen. Our house smelled soooo yummy while it was baking.

I also picked up some delicata squash that were on sale at the supermarket. I'd never had them before, but as I have yet to meet a squash I didn't like, I decided to give them a try. A quick Google search led me to this recipe. A-ma-zing. Even my husband, who doesn't normally go for squash, thought they were delicious. And they made a perfect side dish for the roast.

We also had corn bread and green beans.

I love Autumn cooking!


Recipe of the Week: Spinach Quiche

We have been trying to stretch our grocery budget lately. One of the ways we do this is try to put off grocery shopping until we really don't have anything left to throw together into a decent meal. The longest we have gone is 10 days! Hopefully, as I learn more and get more creative we can strech it out even longer.

So, a few days ago I was standing in front of my almost empty fridge, wondering what in the world I was going to make and really hoping I didn't have to go to the store. And then I saw them. The eggs! I can make quiche! I ran and printed off some recipes and got to work.

Little E was thrilled to help and we had fun, even if it meant there were a few egg shells in the quiche, and quite a bit of egg splashed around. I love this "little helper" stage!

I adapted this recipe from the Food Network. Here is my version:

Spinach and Ham Quiche

6 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cups cream
3/4 cups milk
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup chopped ham
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 (9 inch) pie crust in a glass pie plate (I used this Martha Stewart recipe and the crust was wonderful!)

Preheat oven to 375.
Combine eggs, cream, milk, salt, and pepper.
Layer spinach, ham, green pepper, and cheese in crust.
Pour egg mixture on top.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set.

Even my skeptical husband, who had never had quiche before, approved. (Although he still believes it's best for breakfast)


Etsy Love: Pregnant Lady's Dream

Yes, as a stereotypical pregnant lady, I crave pickles and ice cream.
I don't know what it is about the sour and sweet, but I can't get enough of either!

So, in honor of my cravings, here are some fun Etsy finds.

Montessori Monday: Guiding Principles

So, I hope you don't think this post is a cop-out, but we've been sick at our house lately. Hopefully we're over it just in time for the autumn flu/cold season.

While I have been interested in Montessori education for quite some time, I didn't know much about the basic philosophy. These are some resources that helped me understand the basics, the guiding principles, of Maria Montessori's philosophy.


Recipe of the Week: Sandwich Bread

Both the picture and recipe in this post are copyrighted by farmgirlfare.com

I love making bread, but had not yet found one that was light and non-crumbly enough to truly use for sandwiches. Then, this delightful recipe entered my life. A-MAZE-ING. I was so happy with my loaves and so was the family!

I found this recipe on one of my favorite sites, Farm Girl Fare. If you are relatively new to bread baking, as I am, you will find her post, which includes numerous tips and explanations, extremely helpful. If you already know what you're doing, here is the simple recipe:

Simple White Sandwich Bread

Makes 3 loaves


4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 TBS instant yeast

2 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS melted butter

4 cups warm milk

6 cups bread flour

1 1/2 TBS salt


In a very large bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, yeast, and sugar. Pour in milk and butter. Mix well. Slowly add 1 cup of bread flour at a time, until you have added 4 cups. Dough should be sticky. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Add salt and 1 cup flour. If the dough is too sticky to knead add more flour, up to one cup. Knead on floured surface 8-10 minutes. Add flour as needed to keep from sticking.

Let rise until doubled, about 65 minutes. When the dough is ready, you should be able to push a floured finger deep into it and leave an indentation that doesn't spring back.

Preheat oven to 375. Divide dough into 3 pieces. Shape dough into loaves and place seam side down in greased pans. Cover and let rise about 50 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and let cool 40 minutes before cutting.

*I made a couple changes: I didn't have bread flour, so I used all purpose. I substituted 1/2 cup flour with instant potato flakes to help the bread be less crumbly.*

Perfect with honey butter and strawberry jam ... Enjoy!


Montessori Monday: Practical Life

The child can only develop by means of experience in his environment.
We call such experience work.
—Dr. Maria Montessori

If you have a two year old, you might have heard the following phrase in some form: “Me do it myself!” We are certainly hearing this often around our house these days. Using the Montessori practical life is a great way to fulfill the needs of young children to feel independent.

What is practical life?

Family life is practical life. Small children love to imitate. When given opportunity and encouragement they often choose real work over imaginary play. Allowing children to participate in family work teaches them that we value and respect them and that they are a part of the family. Practical life is generally divided into three areas. I have given some examples for each.

  1. Care of Environment – folding washcloths, dusting, setting their place
  2. Care of the Person – washing hands, zipping coat, pouring own water
  3. Grace and Courtesy – introducing themselves, saying “please" and “thank you”

“The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to … help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society ... Practical Life Exercises also aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will in turn also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking.” - www.infomontessori.com


  • Demonstrate first (Teach by teaching, not by correcting)
  • Break the task into small parts
  • Use everyday activities (washing dishes, sweeping, preparing food)
  • Provide “real” tools

What do they learn?

  • To concentrate and finish an activity
  • Respect for environment, self and others
  • To contribute to the family in a meaningful way
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Working in a social group

Etsy Love: Crocheted Hats for Baby

Cooler temperatures and longer days are here! Autumn always makes me want to break out the yarn and start crocheting! And who better to crochet for than Baby-Boy-Wilde? I've been seeing adorable crocheted and knitted baby hats everywhere and I want to make one!

Here are some cute ones I found on Etsy: