Monday, May 23, 2011

Make-It Monday!

We've missed a couple (or was it a few?) weeks, but we're back with a VERY simple Make-it Monday!!!

Sweet Potato Pancakes!!!

They may sound not so yummy, but my family loves them more than plain 'ol boring pancakes!! Here we go! Bake a few sweet potatoes... not yams! Make sure they are indeed sweet potatoes. There is a difference! Just bake them as you would a plain potato in the oven or microwave. Let them cool some then remove the skins and puree the insides in a blender or food processor. You will need to add some water to give it a pancake batter consistency. Don't worry about adding too much water, just keep adding a little at a time until it's nice and smooth.

At this point my favorite thing to do is to portion it out into 1 cup portions and freeze it in individual zip top bags! This way you're ready for Sweet Potato Pancakes anytime!

Next you will make you pancake batter. Any kind will do - the just add water stuff, a from scratch recipe or my go-to: Bisquick! Add 1 cup of sweet potato puree to your pancake batter along with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. Cook them as you usually would and ENJOY!! The sweet potato adds extra vitamins and nutrients and your pancakes taste just a little bit sweeter without any extra sugar!!

Have a fantastic week!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Smart Music


   I recently began listening (which means my daughter did too) to nothing but classical music, I heard that children who listen to and are exposed to classical music tend to be "smarter" than children who do not listen to classical music. Now all this hype, called The Mozart Effect, started in the early nineties when some research on the matter was put out by the University of California at Irvine. I must admit from the bits of research I've read its both interesting and amazing to me (I'll spare you all the details and scientific terms, as this is a blog and supposed to be lite reading!) As with any coin there is always a flip side, there are many who argue that it doesn't matter what type of music you listen to, it does not make you smarter. Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong!
   I cannot say for sure what side is correct, I just don't know. However, I will say that there is definite educational gain to be had from listening to classical music! Since, we began listening to classical, three months ago, we have been exposed to concertos, sonatas, opera, chorales, composers, conductors, minors, majors; and on top of that there are so many cultures intertwined,  from Austrian composers to French and Italian operas...and even then the list goes on! How can all this not be gainful?!
  Sometimes while listening to the music we will try and picture what type of action goes with that music, for example, this sounds like a girl sneaking out to the kitchen in the middle of the night to get cookies, or this sounds like something sad just happened. I love that my daughter is listening and interpreting, and feeling the music, and I don't even have to worry about it! So much of what is on the radio these days is not child friendly, heck, not even adult friendly. There is a lot of "junk" out there. It warms my heart that my daughter loves to sing along with opera (I don't know how she does it?! The operas are usually in a foreign language, and well, very high pitched, none the less it is extremely entertaining for the both of us! ha ha! She loves when the fat lady sings! He he!) I know you've all heard the saying "garbage in, garbage out", is that not true for the music we listen to as well? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying, " that if you don't listen to classical music, you're listening to garbage." (please no angry emails or comments, ha ha!) There is a lot of great music out there, and as parents we all get to make the executive decision of what we expose our children to. I just thought hey, there's a chance those smart people at the university are right, why not give my daughter every advantage I can, especially if it's as easy as turning the dial or pressing play...I like to think of it as vitamins for the ears. If nothing else we have found something new that we enjoy!
   Those are just some of my thoughts on classical music and it's benefits, but I want to leave y'all with this question: If listening to Mozart can make you smarter, will listening to Lady Gaga make you dumber?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

   The other night I was sitting, reading a book and my daughter was across from me playing. She had turned the couch into a makeshift boat for her sock monkey collection and herself! They had to get upstream to be saved from the piranha! (At least that was the storyline I picked up from her narration lol!) I stopped reading and was just sitting there giggling at her playing! There are so many times that she says funny things and doesn't even know it!
   To this day my mother still reminds me of when I was a child and how I would ask for "chicken Popeye's" for dinner instead of "chicken pot pies", and how whenever we arrived anywhere; I would be in the back of the car saying, "don't forget the baby"! (Obviously I wasn't much of a baby if I was able to say that ha ha!)
  Over the years I have jotted down a few things that my daughter has said that have made me laugh or smile! I thought I would share some of them and see if they could bring a smile to your face as well! Most of them are from when she was a bit younger...but I'm sure when she is "old" with children of her own I will remind her of how cute and hilarious she was as a child!

-After collecting her allowance money,"I'm doper, I'm stronger....I'm richer than you!" (That's when I stopped listening to Kanye West in the car ha ha!)
- after falling on her bottom, " Ow www Mom, I think I broke my butt knuckle!"
- What did the three wise men bring Jesus? Layla's response " Gold, Milk, and Sugar"
- steak sauce is "snake sauce" and she doesn't want A1 she wants "A2"
-in reference to my niece's contact lenses. " Oh, Emily you look so nice you have your eye tacs in!"
-"See ya later crocodile"
-"I want a  peanut-colada smoothie."
-"Mom, it's not an apple tree, it's a papercot tree!"

   Those are just a few of my all time favorites! Layla just recently turned 9yrs old and she usually gets the words right for what she's talking about now ,and sometimes surprises me with really BIG words (however, her spelling is quite hilarious still! It's very creative! For example julery = jewelry.) Time passes by so fast and the things to laugh at are new everyday, I wish I could remember all of them! I encourage you to keep a notepad on the fridge or somewhere handy. When something tickles your funny bone write it down. This way you can laugh in the present and in the future!
  I would love to hear some of your top favorites of what your kids have said! Kids are so funny and one can never tell what they're going to say!!