Love Overflowing

Kiddie sushi-style rolls

I love cookbooks. Plain and simple. Buying them, renting them from the library- it doesn’t matter. I just like recipes. My sister asked me awhile back if I had any good recommendations on toddler cookbooks. I gave her the name of a couple that I had and looked on Amazon for some more. I came across one that I wanted to check out.

I’m a try before you buy kind of gal so I requested it from the library. A month or so later (apparently, a lot of people wanted to peruse it) I got to go through it. There were tons of recipes in there! I think I will have to buy Annabel Karmel’s book. I did note some recipes that I HAD to try though.

Yesterday we tried our first recipe. I think it went over pretty well.

Kiddie sushi-style rolls

* Makes one portion

2 slices white bread, crusts removed
half a 6-ounce can tuna (she said “in oil”, I used “in water”) drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup (I omitted this)
2 drops Tabasco sauce-or to taste (I omitted this as well)
2 inch piece of cucumber, cut into strips
2 inch piece of carrot, peeled and coarsely grated

  • Using a rolling pin, flatten the bread until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Mix the tuna together with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, the ketchup and the Tabasco (if using).
  • Spread the remaining mayonnaise over the bread.
  • Spread the tuna in a line about 1/2 inch from one edge of each slice.
  • Arrange the cucumber strips on one side of the tuna and grated carrot on the other side.
  • Roll up from the filled end and press down to seal.
  • Trim the ends to neaten using a sharp knife, then cut into three little rolls.




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Swim lessons

I really wanted Emily to have swim lessons before we go to San Diego in August. Yesterday was her first lesson. She was SO excited! Her little friend Slade is in the the same class as well so that added to the excitement. On the way over I asked her if she was ready. She said “I see Julie. Hip! Hip! Hurray!!!! I give Slade a kiss!!!” Her enthusiasm was bubbling over when we reached the YMCA. She did really well waiting until the previous class was over but she was itching to get into the water. This child truly has no fear.

We worked on hand paddles, back floats, jumping into the water. She was a little questionable on the back float and she truly did not like the songs that we sang. They made her cry. Or maybe it was just my bad singing. Who knows?  I did have a hard time getting her to focus on the task at hand. She was too excited that she was in the pool and just wanted to play. I think I need to get a different swimsuit because Emily kept trying to climb up my chest and flip over. Not sure the other moms appreciated my itty bitty sliding out of my top as she got her foot caught in my suit.

She was NOT a happy camper when class was over. She was not ready to get out.  I finally flung her over the edge of the pool and tried to hurry to get out. Little stinker is fast!!! She ran to the edge of the pool, on the other side of the rope thing where I could get over to her. I was yelling at her to stop, don’t jump in and this grandma looked at me smiling. “Ha ha, your kid is going to jump in. Now that’s funny.” Umm, no. But thanks for your help hag. Thank God Julie is fast and saw then gleam in Emily’s eye. She grabbed her before the little stinker could jump in.

I think I am going to have to keep my eye on this child!

PS- Would you believe there are no pictures of this momentous event? 😉

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Spilt milk???

A long while ago I read a post on one of my favorite craft websites, No Time for Flashcards, about a book by Charles G. Shaw. It piqued my interest and I tucked the title away so I could get it from the library. Three months later, I remembered! I am so glad I did. 

Is it spilt milk? Is it an ice cream cone? Emily was kept guessing until the end. She loved the book! We have read it probably 5 times since our library trip earlier this week.

On No Time for Flashcards, they did a cute little art project in conjunction with the book. I did my own spin on it. She used cotton balls while I used crumpled tissue paper. I thought Emily might like helping me crumple paper but I was wrong. I think Emily enjoyed the glue part more than anything! She did like putting the paper onto the glue. She sure was proud when she showed it to Daddy when he got home.

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Pudding- toddler style

I found this idea in a book I got from the library about St. Patrick’s Day. Their recipe is called “Leprechaun’s Magic Pudding” and used pistachio pudding. The kids would watch the pudding “magically” turn green. I didn’t know how well pistachio pudding would go over so I used sugar-free cheesecake pudding.

Here’s what you need:

1 tablespoon instant pudding mix
2 tablespoons cold milk (I needed a bit more)

  • Place pudding mix in a small jar or container with a lid.
  • Let your child add cold milk.
  • Help her fasten the lid securely and have her shake the jar for about 45 seconds.
  • When the pudding has thickened, let her eat if out of the jar!
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Easter weekend

To us, Easter is not just about candy, painted eggs and bunnies. It’s about getting together with our family and reflecting on the true meaning of Easter. Miracles, new life and the fulfillment of our faith as Christians. We celebrate with Mass and continue our celebration with family.

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! 

Emily doesn’t quite get the concept of the Easter bunny nor did we really explain it to her this year. She just thinks the Bunny is scary and that’s it. We did tell her that the bunny hides Easter eggs but that’s about it.

She enjoyed another hunt from the Easter bunny on Saturday. We also dyed eggs Saturday night. You might notice in the pictures that Emily’s paint shirt is wet, as is the table. Green…..all over the floor. No green eggs for us! The good thing is that everything cleans so no harm was done. I was actually surprised that neither of her shirts nor her jeans or Stephen’s socks were green after laundry today. Who knew??

On Sunday, the Easter bunny left some eggs full of coins and stickers. “Money!!! I love money!!” He also left her a basket full of goodies. She has truly discovered the delicious-ness and addiction of candy. She’s open an egg and try to shove all the candy in before I got to her. We have to ration and hide.

After church, we spent the afternoon with Stephen’s parents and sister. We had a wonderful lunch. Everyone had a good time watching Emily try to shove marshmallows in her mouth when she opened the eggs. Grandma and Papa had an Easter gift for Emily. Too bad the weather was too yucky (today also!). Emily still hasn’t gotten to play in her new sandbox! It was a good day though.

I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful life.

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Bubbles vs Rain

Emily wanted to blow bubbles so bad yesterday. She got a new bottle of bubbles and was itching to do some blowing. I told her that she could go outside after her nap. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas.

What to do…what to do….What do you do when your child is adamant about blowing bubbles? Listen to her scream or find a way? I chose the latter. Something with a nice and easy clean up!

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Oatmeal Raisin cookies

Yesterday I decided to use up a ton of raisins that we had and saw a great recipe on the back of the bag. Surprisingly, I have never made oatmeal raisin cookies before. Actually, I haven’t made too many cookies that didn’t involve a roll of dough before Emily came around. I think they turned out pretty well.


3/4 cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg  (I used 1 tbl flax plus 3 tbl water in place of the egg)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup white flour and 1/2 cup of wheat flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins



HEAT oven to 350 F.
butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
ADD to butter mixture and mix well.
in oats, raisins and nuts, if using. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
BAKE 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets.
COOL on wire racks.


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Easter card

I saw a really cute idea for an Easter card on The Crafty Crow. I decided that it was an activity that Emily would like to do. I decided to do my own spin on the cards. Instead of using washable markers (which we don’t own yet) I painted Emily’s thumb and forefinger to make the bunny body. I then transformed the prints into bunnies by adding ears and a tail. I also decided to put my own flair on the inside of the card. In order to get it done, I had to bribe the toddler. With 4 gummy bears. I pulled out the big guns. But it was totally worth it!

Front of the card

Front of the card


Inside of card

Inside of card

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Happiness is a butterfly

Yesterday Emily and I went to the Butterfly House with some of our friends. It’s always a good time when Chase, Slade and Kara are around! Emily squeals with excitement every time I tell her that we have an outing planned.

The Butterfly House was no exception. Butterflies, butterflies everywhere! It was so amazing! I love going there, being surrounded by nature and beauty. Every time you go is a different experience. This was the first time that Emily was on foot when we went. She enjoyed not being strapped into a stroller and being able to run through butterfly clouds and look at the waterfall.

After we sweated it up watching the butterflies, we let the kids play outside on the giant caterpillar for a few minutes before we headed over to the carousel. Carousels, carousels…Emily loves carousels! She’d ride one all day long if I let her. I usually have to carry her off the platform, mad because the ride is over. Tuesday was no exception.

A great day overall! Thanks Julie and Cassie for a good time! Can’t wait for the next outing!

PS- You know I took a ton more pictures. They are in the April 2009 folder in the Picasa album linked on the left.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Emily loves to bake so for Valentines Day I found this little baking mat at the Dollar Store. It had a recipe for chocolate cupcakes. I didn’t know if the recipe would be any good or not but I figured it was worth a try. Emily would love it because it involved adding ingredients together. We decided to try it out yesterday. I had bought some Easter cupcake liners and sprinkles for the occasion and we decided to send them with Daddy to work.

Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vinegar

Mix all of the ingredients well with a mixer. It should be brown and smooth. Free of lumps. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cupcakes will be moist and delicious.

Buttermilk or milk may be substituted for water. Melted butter may be substituted for oil.

My notes:
I made the recipe exactly as is. They turned out ok. There weren’t bad but they weren’t Betty Crocker. If I were to make them again, I might try adding a bit of vanilla and possibly substituting milk to make it creamier. We also added a few chocolate chips to the top of each cupcake as well.

The recipe didn’t say how many cupcakes this made. I made 18. I would say, going off the basic recipe, that you should make 12. They don’t rise as much as boxed mixes.

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