Toddler Activity – MLK Day Artwork

With Martin Luther King Jr day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do an activity with Mila.

Plus, I thought it’d be fun to share beforehand in case you have your child home from school and want to do a productive activity with them.

Mila and I talk about race a lot. It’s important to me that she grows up anti-racist, especially in the world we live in now. It’s never too early to start those conversations. She has black barbies and dolls, books with diverse characters, and watches shows with people of all races.

Still, talking about MLK with her was a must. During this activity, I mentioned his name and talked about how people have different skin color. We also talked about how she would play with anyone, no matter what they looked like. She seemed shocked when I told her some people don’t like others because of the color of their skin.

Back to the project though!

This is an easy art project that actually took less than five minutes. The conversation we had before, during, and after spanned beyond that though.

Things you’ll need:

I started off by asking Mila what she thought her skin tone was between the three colors. She chose the middle color which was called “Territorial Beige.” It was interesting to see her perception of her skin tone.

This shade went in the middle because I wanted an ombre affect. Of course, you can do whatever color sequence you want.

I took a paint brush and painted her hand. Then we pressed it on the canvas. When pressing their hands down, make sure to get all of their fingers too. If not, it’ll be really faint. Finally, I cleaned her hand off and did the process two more times.

That part really is that easy.

After her handprints, or she calls them paw prints, dried, it’s time for the words. I ended up painting the phrase, “small hands change the world.’

You can use any quote or phrase here. There are a ton of MLK quotes that would work perfectly.

I have some more ideas to do for Black History Month that I want to share. They’ll be posted in the second half of the month. I have a few special activities for Valentine’s Day that I know you’ll love just as much!

If you like this activity or try it, let me know in the comments!

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Seven

Kids have amazing imaginations and Mila is no different. She loves to pretend, which makes me happy that she’s so creative and playful.

Sometimes though… she takes it to the next level.

Her favorite thing to pretend to be is a dog. Normal, right? Every kid goes through this stage. It’s fine. But, every morning as of lately, she goes and gets Cookie Crisp and says it’s her dog food. I fill up her bowl and she’ll eat it all.

That’s one way to get your toddler to eat!

Then, she took it one step further. After asking for a bowl of milk, I figured she’d just put her ‘dog food’ in there. Nope. She had to make me laugh and do this.

Toddlers are just weird, especially mine.

Un-talked About Nights.

This is the side of motherhood that doesn’t get talked about a lot.

The times where it’s 2am and there’s been an accident. Instead of getting mad at your child who’s already upset, you choose to do the harder thing.

You strip the bed, get it cleaned up, and then take every clean blanket to the living room.

They’re still crying. It’s disappointing and when you’re almost three, you have big emotions. A single accident feels world shattering, but it’s not.

It’s the decision to sleep in another bed or, in our case, make a huge, blanket sleep space in the middle of the floor. You tell them it’s much more fun to have a sleepover in the living room anyways.

Then, you calm them and help get them back to sleep.

No. It’s not the night you wanted. I mean, who wants to sleep on the floor? But just because it was a physically messy accident, doesn’t mean it needs to be emotionally messy too.

Parenting is hard. Parenting with lack of sleep is even harder.

These nights are not in the greatest hits moments. Yet, something tells me these un-talked about nights have lasting effects.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole Recipe

Okay everyone, I originally had another meal planned for today, but knew this one had to go out first. You’re going to want to make this as soon as possible.

This casserole is easy to throw together and tastes GREAT! Mila ate a whole bowl full.

Here’s all you need:

  • 4 cups of shredded chicken (any cooked chicken will do, I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic and Onion Powder
  • Butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can Grand Biscuits
  • 4 cups of frozen veggies (I used carrots, green beans, corn, and peas)
  • Cheese (optional)

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

While oven is preheating, take large skillet and put it on medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and add frozen veggies to cook for 10-15 minutes. Then, place biscuits on a baking sheet.

When oven is preheated, Place the biscuits pan in the oven to prebake them for 8 minutes. They’ll finish baking when you put the whole casserole in. When they’re done, take out of the oven, but don’t shut the oven off.

Add the chicken, milk, cream of chicken soup, and spices to the frozen veggies. Stir for 5 minutes, until it’s bubbly hot.

After it’s mixed and heated, pour into a 9×13 dish. Then take the prebaked biscuits and put them on top of the mixture, baked side down and raw side up.

Before placing into the oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, mix in garlic powder, and pour over the biscuits. This will make your biscuits tastes extra delicious. At this point, I also sprinkled cheese over top of them too.

Then, bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

This meal is mouthwatering.

It feels great to find some meals that aren’t Mexican that Mila loves. This tastes like home and makes me feel all warm inside. I’m glad it made her happy too!

I’ll make sure to share the other recipe next week. Spoiler alert, it’s Mexican inspired, but just as yummy.

If you make this recipe, let me know what you think!

New Year. New Look.

I’m not the ‘new year, new me,’ type of girl, but I’ve been aching for a change.

My hair has been the same since Mila was born. Then, in the time between her and Jensen, I didn’t do much to myself. Grief is hard on a person and with Jensen went a big part of my fun and spontaneity.

It happens. That was the worst time of my life.

Something has been calling out to me the last few weeks, this was it. So, what better time is there to reinvest in yourself than the present?

The glasses are fake, well blue light ones. I’m digging them, but my hair. Oh. My. Goodness. I’m completely obsessed with it.

I used to have crazy highlights and stay up with the latest trends. Now, I feel like I got a little of myself back. I think Jensen would be happy with it too. Even if Mila didn’t look at my for the first twenty minutes.

A night at the salon, (thanks Tina!) made me feel brighter and gave me the change I’ve been needing.

New year. New look. Same me.

The Spooky Strikes Back.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while and can remember clear back to the summer of 2019, my house had a… spooky occurrences.

Yes, the blessing helped tremendously for a while. The unexplainable things in my house calmed down, but I still have to burn sage weekly. If I don’t, the house starts to feel strange again.

I know not everyone’s a believer, it’s just terrifying when it happens to you.

So, I won’t get into any of the recent happenings, but this week, Mila said something that stopped me in my tracks. Instantly, I called my mom (yep, still that person), and asked if I was hearing Mila correctly.

Turns out… I was.

I don’t know who Jo-Jo is and never want to either. Anyone that lives in the basement is NOT a friend of mine.

After I stopped recording this, Mila informed me that Jo-Jo is a baby, plays with her, and goes with her places. She also danced with him and she gives him bottles. It’s quite creepy. I don’t know a Jo-Jo, but I definitely need to research more.

Let’s just say, I’ll be sage-ing my house everyday for a long time.

PSA: You’re Still a Good Mom If…

In a perfect, social media world, beautiful dinners are made every night and the house is always clean.

As much as I’d love for all of that to magically happen, I live in reality. Some nights the floors go unswept and quick meals look like this.

Guess what… I’m still a good mom and had a happy kid. We even snacked on carrots after too.

Whatever you need to do to get through the day, night, or minute, do it. Sometimes that means pizza bagels for dinner and not doing the dishes after.

You’re still a good mom if you don’t make Pinterest worthy meals every night or have a perfectly cleaned house. In your kids eyes, you’re always the best.

Just keep doing you.

Documenting Gratitude in 2021.

Earlier this week, I talked about how I failed to even remember 2020’s word of the year. I also didn’t keep up with something that was important to me.

I’m sure you’ve seen it on some type of social media, but it’s a gratitude jar. Every day or week, you write down something that made you feel grateful. Last year, I tried to do every day and I succeed until March.

This year, I’m challenging myself to one every week. Plus, Mila is going to be accountable to tell me what made her smile this week.

I want Mila to know she’s important and that she has a big space in our home. Even though she told me chocolate milk was the best part of last week… which is also funny if you read yesterday’s post.

Anyways, every Sunday, Mila and I are going to have a little chat about our week. Whatever we’re thankful for, I’ll write it down. Then, I’ll keep it locked up tight in our jar.

By the end of the year, there will be 52 or more pieces of gratitude on paper.

Hopefully, this will make the both of us smile. If 2021 is relatable to 2020, we’ll need the moments of gratitude next New Year’s Eve.

Have you thought about ways to document this next year? I’m also keeping a journal too.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Six.

It’s 2021 and toddlers are still weird as ever; especially mine

Sometimes I’m shocked by her new phrases and what she comes up with. Her latest proclamation has me constantly giggling though.

If you didn’t know, Mila is still nursing. She’s not ready to stop and I’m just following her lead. Now that she can talk and understand what I’m asking her, she’s let me know more about her experience with ‘boobie.’

Curious to why she likes it and still wants to nurse, I asked her a specific question. What does it taste like?

Without any thought, she told me it tastes like chocolate milk. But, she likes boobie milk better.

Since chocolate milk is her go to drink, I guess I’ll take her comment as a compliment. At least I somewhat understand why there isn’t an end to nursing in sight.

Kids say the darndest things, right? Or maybe my toddler is just super weird.

Zucchini and Chicken Casserole Recipe

The first recipe of the new year was a crowd favorite for my family. Mila even stole bites from my plate!

It’s a tasty, low prep meal that will become one of your family’s favorites.

Here’s the ingredients:

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 box of chicken stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • Cheese

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a basking dish.

While it’s preheating, melt the butter and then, in a bowl, mix it with the chicken stuffing mix. I added a little more butter to this, but do what you think works best. Set aside half of this combination for the topping.

Then, pull and shred your rotisserie chicken. Make sure to get out all of the bones. You could also use chicken breast or thighs too.

Next, dice your zucchini in bite sized pieces.

After everything is cut, combine the chicken, zucchini, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream to one of the stuffing halves.

Mix it up and then spread this to your baking dish. Add the other half of the stuffing mixture and cheese on top.

Put it in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 40 minutes or until it’s warm through and the top is golden brown.

One of the best part of this recipe, besides it being easy and tasty, is Mila was able to easily help me make it! Cooking with her most nights creates memories I know I’ll never forget.

I love finding meals she enjoys making and eating to keep her interested in cooking.

If you try today’s recipe, let me know what you think in the comments!