Sep 182014
 

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

As a busy mom to two active young kids, I spend most of my day on my feet – cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, wiping noses, or running around the park.  It is easy to get burned out this way, so I try to remember an important lesson I learned from my own mother and take some time for myself to recharge and regroup.  I often tend to just go go go and sometimes need a reminder to take time to just sit and relax.  This is good not just for me but also for my kids, who get to have a happy, refreshed mom to play with!  It’s also crucial for them to learn by example that everyone needs time to rest and take care of themselves – even Mom!

As fall approaches, my favorite way to do this is to curl up with a mug of this yummy vanilla oatmeal steamer, a family recipe from Costa Rica.  Known as atol, it is also a favorite kids’ drink.  It is nutritious, with all the benefits of milk and oatmeal, with just a touch of sweetness.

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer (Costa Rican Atol)

Ingredients

Milk (whole milk is best for real creaminess) – approx 1 1/2 cups per serving

Oatmeal (either instant or rolled, depending on desired consistency)

Sugar

Dash of vanilla

Whole cloves

Cinnamon sticks (or can use powdered)

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

The exact amounts of each ingredient depends on your preference.  For example, I like a lot of oatmeal, while others like just enough to thicken the milk.  As seen above, powdered cinnamon can be used, though it will give the drink a light brown color.

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and hit on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickens.  Remove cloves and cinnamon.  Serve warm!  Best enjoyed with your feet up and eyes half closed 🙂

Be sure to check out more Mom wisdom and great ideas for enjoying milk!

Spiced Vanilla Oatmeal Steamer and Learning to Take Time for Yourself | Alldonemonkey.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jun 092014
 
 June 9, 2014  babywearing, breastfeeding, family Comments Off on Connecting with an Older Child While Nursing Your Newborn {Post on the piri-piri lexicon}

Connecting with an Older Child While Nursing Your Newborn - All Done Monkey on the piri-piri lexicon

Tending to an older child while caring for a newborn can be tricky.  It requires a great deal of patience and creativity on your part, but with a few simple tricks, you can create an environment that works for everyone.  A good friend of mine from the fantastic blog the piri-piri lexicon just had her second child, and she has asked me to share some tips about how to connect with an older child while nursing your newborn.

Connecting with an Older Child While Nursing Your Newborn {Post on the piri-piri lexicon}

This really is one of my favorite blogs, so take a look around while you’re there!  And be sure to leave some comments as well – I’d love to hear your tips, too!

May 142014
 
 May 14, 2014  cloth diapers 4 Responses »

Cloth Diapering: Tips & Resources to Get Started - Alldonemonkey.com

Cloth diapering is not as hard as it may seem!

I have spoken with many expecting parents who want to do cloth diapering but don’t know where to begin.  Moreover, they are worried it will be too much work, but once you have your system down, it is really quite easy!

Here are some resources to get you started and feeling comfortable with cloth:

Cloth Diapering Overview: Post from Mama Smiles

For general information about cloth diapering, check out this great overview from Mama Smiles.

Considering Cloth Diapering? What You Should Know - Alldonemonkey.com

If you are not sure whether you’d like to give cloth a try, here are factors to consider.

Getting Started with Cloth Diapers: What You WIll Need - Alldonemonkey.com

Once you have decided to diaper your little one in cloth, here is a list of what you will need.

Cloth Diapers: The Diaper Change - Alldonemonkey.com

Now for the nitty-gritty – how do you change a cloth diaper?

Finally, here are some that I have compiled on cloth diapering, as well as other aspects of natural parenting.

Be sure to follow my Natural Parenting board on Pinterest!


I am so excited to be a part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year. This amazing ten day event represents a massive effort from over 40 bloggers to provide the best advice on celebrating all of those firsts of a baby’s first year. Today we are talking about Taking Care of New Babies.

For more great tips, visit our group Pinterest board: Follow Dayna :: Lemon Lime Adventures’s board Everything Baby on Pinterest.

As an additional surprise for you, The Colic Solution by a Mom, for a Mom is 70% off for the duration of this event. Click here to apply the code:ULTIMATEBABY. Here are all the great topics being covered today: Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Baby ~ Lemon Lime Adventures

Diapering

 Unexpected benefits of cloth nappies ~ Winegums & Watermelons Cloth Diapering How To ~ All Done Monkey All I’ve Learned about Cloth Diapers {After Three Years} ~ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies to Help your Baby ~ Powerful Mothering

How osteopathy helped my kids  ~ La Cité des Vents

Vaccinations/Well Visits

 What to Expect at Well Baby Visits ~ Still Playing School

Sleeping

Getting Your Newborn to Sleep: Tips & Tricks~ Let The Journey Begin Encouraging Infant Sleep Patterns ~ Trust Me, I’m a Mom

Babywearing

DIY Baby Carrier ~ Kids Activities Blog Remembering babywearing with my son ~ Wildflower Ramblings

Bedtime

Bedtime Routines – How Dads Can Get Involved (and give mom a break)~ The Jenny Evolution

Finally, enter the giveaways! We have eight – yes, eight! – giveaways going on this week, so don’t miss out on your chance to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dec 042013
 

Today I have a special treat for you!  We all know how hard it can be to provide healthy food for our kids, especially once they know the joys of fast food!  That is why I am so excited to be a part of a special event brought to you by the Sustainable Living Blogger Community, bringing together healthy, kid-friendly alternatives to fast food!   My contribution is healthy homemade french fries.  You can find links to all of the participating blogs and more about the Sustainable Living Blogger Community at the end of this post.  You won’t want to miss it!   A big thank you to Anna of Kids’ Play Space for organizing this event!

Healthy Homemade French Fries - Alldonemonkey.com

When Anna of Kids’ Play Space  suggested this collaborative project, I knew right away what I wanted to contribute.  Monkey loves oven potatoes, so I thought I would tweak the recipe to make them more like french fries.  The result – fabulous!  This recipe is so super-easy, and my picky eater loved them, so hopefully yours will, too!

What you will need:

1 or 2 potatoes (Russet will give the best flavor, but Yukon will also work well)

Olive oil

Seasonings (I use salt and garlic powder)

Healthy Homemade French Fries - Alldonemonkey.com

Instructions:

Chop the potatoes to matchstick size.  Toss with olive oil and seasonings.

Spread in an even layer on a foil-lined pan and cook on 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  (To save energy, I use our toaster oven.  Cooking times will vary depending on your oven).

(For a crispier bottom to the fries, try preheating your pan!)

Healthy Homemade French Fries - Alldonemonkey.com

That’s it!  Just serve and enjoy!

 

Sustainable Living Blogger Community

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs to find more ideas for healthy, kid-friendly alternatives to fast food!  For more from the Sustainable Living Blogger Community visit our Google Plus Community or our member directory.

Anna from Kids’ Play Space gets kids involved in cooking Healthy Homemade Takeaway Chicken

Jo from Down to Earth Mother says there is a time and place for McDonald’s, but it’s not childhood. See her tips on the best fast food for kids, plus an attempt at a Homemade Happy Meal.

Bekka over at Just for Daisy  shares a healthy smoothie/ice cream option.

And for a DIY Soft Serve Ice cream, head on over to Julie at Ladybug’s Spots!

Finally, if it’s a healthy snack you’re after, Kara at ALLterNATIVE learning has some Healthy Holiday Snacks – Dehydrated Fruit!

 

Nov 142013
 

I am so excited to share with you some of what I have been up to lately that you may have missed.  I am grateful to be involved in some exciting projects and don’t want you to miss out!

Multicultural Kids Gift Ideas - Multicultural Kid Blogs

First of all, today Multicultural Kid Blogs published its first ever holiday gift guide – and it is beautiful!  Be sure to visit to find innovative and fun products for your kids, as well as homemade gifts, family service projects, and organizations to support.

Unity Tree Craft {Baha'i Faith} - Alldonemonkey on Kid World Citizen

Speaking of holidays, earlier this week I had the pleasure of doing a post for Kid World Citizen.  Monkey and I made a Unity Tree for the Bahá’í holiday the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.  It was a fun way to talk about unity in diversity, and how we can celebrate our differences since really we are all “leaves of one tree.”

The Baha'i Faith - Interview on Learning to Be the Light

I was also interviewed about the Bahá’í Faith by my friend at Learning to Be the Light as part of her Religion series.  I was impressed by how thoughtful her questions were.  It was a lot of fun!

Interfaith Activities for Kids - Alldonemonkey on Brilliant Star

My article on Interfaith Activities for Kids was published on the new website for the award-winning children’s magazine Brilliant Star.  What an honor!  I grew up reading this magazine!

Water-Pollution-for-Kids-A-Science-Experiment-Mud-Hut-Mama

Then just yesterday my dear friend at Mud Hut Mama included my piece on understanding water pollution in her Conservation Corner.  Monkey and I had so much fun with this science experiment, and I was glad to support this wonderful series.

Kid-Friendly Allergen-Free Foods: Multicultural Meal Plan Mondays on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Finally, I shared kid-friendly allergen-free foods as part of Multicultural Meal Plan Mondays on Multicultural Kid Blogs.

So that’s our news!  What have you been up to lately?  Let’s catch up!

Oct 272013
 

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

Yes, I am the mom in the neighborhood that passes out organic lollipops and toys instead of candy.  Yes, I used to tell my son that the candy he got trick-or-treating was “yucky.”  (He’s old enough not to believe me anymore!)

It’s not that I’m against sweets.  Far from it!  I’m just against all the artificial, chemical nastiness in most candy.  So when we have sweet treats, I just try to make them natural, simple ingredients.

I have had a lot of success using natural dyes in baking, so this year for Halloween I decided to make some healthy (but still yummy!) cupcakes for Monkey and his friend.  (You can find more Halloween ideas on my Fall Fun for Kids Pinterest board!)

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

I started with a delicious recipe for sweet potato muffins from one of my favorite cookbooks: Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes.  Monkey and I both love them, and they already have a warm, brownish – orange tone.

I wanted to use this recipe for another reason – it uses grated, not cooked, sweet potatoes.  I added some raisins and told Monkey and his friend the cupcakes had bugs and worms in them!  I thought their eyes were about to pop out!  I finally told them the truth because I wasn’t sure they would eat them otherwise 😉  A good carrot cake recipe would also serve the same purpose.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

To make them into cupcakes, I created a variation of the cream cheese frosting I did for our fruit pizzas last spring.  I made half a batch of frosting as usual to make the “ghost” cupcakes.  (I did substitute agave for the honey, so Baby could try some, too).

The other half batch was my experiment.  I really wanted to make orange frosting for “jack-o-lantern” cupcakes, and I read in several places that carrot juice could be used for this.  I was concerned, though, that the juice would make the frosting too runny, so I experimented with using what’s left over after you juice a carrot.  The color from this alone wasn’t bright enough, but it let me use less carrot juice and added an extra nutritional boost!

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

I was so happy with how the frosting turned out that I added a little dollop in the middle of each cupcake before baking – mmm!

Here’s how you can make these healthy Halloween cupcakes yourself:

Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye 

I will continue to tinker with this formula, but I was pleased with how it turned out on my first go:

Juice enough carrots to make about 1/2 cup of juice (you won’t need this much, but while you’re at it you might as well make a little extra!)

Mix 3 T of the carrot juice with 1 – 1/2 t of flax seed meal.  Set aside.  (The flax seed meal will help the juice to thicken).

Take about 1/2 c of the carrot pulp and spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 200 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until dry but not toasted.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

Let cool then grind it.  (I used my baby food grinder, though a spice grinder should also work).  It won’t quite be a powder but it should be in very small, fine pieces.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

 

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

(for one dozen cupcakes)

4 oz cream cheese, softened

3 T carrot powder (see instructions above)

3T carrot juice

1 T coconut oil

3 T agave nectar or to taste

1 – 1/2 t flax seed meal

Note: If you want to avoid artificial dyes but don’t mind using sugar, skip the flax seed meal and agave and use powdered sugar instead.  This traditional ingredient in frosting also works as a thickener.

Healthy Halloween Cupcake: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

Mix flax seed meal and carrot juice and set aside.  Mix cream cheese, carrot powder, and coconut oil in a medium bowl on medium speed until well blended and fluffy.  Add carrot juice mixture slowly, mixing well.  Add agave to taste.

White Cream Cheese Frosting

(for one dozen cupcakes, thinly spread)

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 T coconut oil

3 T agave nectar or to taste

Mix cream cheese and coconut oil in a medium bowl on medium speed until well blended and fluffy.  Add agave to taste.

The white frosting I used for the ghosts, of course, and the orange for the jack-o-lanterns.  I decorated some of the orange cupcakes with dots of white frosting, and other cupcakes with raisins and dried cranberries.  The kids loved the “spooky” faces.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

These Halloween cupcakes were a big hit at our house, so we will definitely be making them again!

This post has been shared at the Kids Co-op.

Oct 032013
 

Garbanzo Mashed Potatoes - Allergen Free Diet - Alldonemonkey.comThis past spring, suspecting that Monkey might have undiagnosed food allergies, we put him on a strict allergen-free diet for several weeks and then slowly began introducing possible allergens to test his reactions.

Thankfully, he did not react to any of them, so he was able to resume his normal diet after a few weeks, but they were some very looooong weeks.  I have utmost respect for anyone who must follow this sort of diet all the time because, although there are many more resources available now than ever before, it is still very difficult to maintain.

Even more to try to enforce on a picky preschooler!  I was not at all sure how Monkey was going to react to having so many of his favorite foods eliminated, but he did amazingly well, and we discovered several new recipes that we are still using today (you can find them on my Elimination Diet Pinterest board).

I also by chance came up with this recipe while attempting to invent another variation on a gluten-free bean burger.  As the base, I was using mashed potatoes, to which I added garbanzo beans, olive oil, and seasonings.

Before long Monkey was poking his nose over the counter asking what I was making, so I let him try some before I tried forming it into patties.  Next thing I knew he was handing me a bowl and asking for “More, please, Mommy!”

And so our garbanzo mashed potatoes were born.  They did make decent burgers, by the way, but we much prefer them served with a spoon as Monkey ate them that first time.

Whether you are trying to eliminate allergens, go gluten-free, or just incorporate more beans into your child’s diet, this is an easy, delicious dish you can use.  Thanks to the garbanzo beans it is so creamy, yet the taste of the beans is so mild that Monkey did not even notice it.  This dish is the ultimate comfort food plus the protein and minus the guilt!  It also makes wonderful baby food!

Garbanzo Mashed Potatoes - Allergen Free Diet - Alldonemonkey.com

Ingredients

4-5 medium potatoes

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 2 T olive oil or coconut oil

Salt and garlic powder to taste

Rice milk to desired consistency

Garbanzo Mashed Potatoes - Allergen-Free Diet - Alldonemonkey.com

Chop potatoes and steam them until soft.

Cool a bit then place them and all other ingredients in a food processor.  Mix until creamy.

Add more rice milk as desired and adjust seasonings.

Note: If you use coconut oil, beware that this may give a slightly sweet taste to the dish.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jun 032013
 

The Big Giveaway banner

There is something so yummy, so kissable, so squishable about kids.  One of my favorite bloggers (and mompreneurs) knows all about this: Lisa from The Squishable Baby has three little “squishes” of her own, and they are the inspiration for her blog and her clothing designs.

In her spare time – don’t know where she finds it! – Lisa hand dyes and sews Merino wool and bamboo pants for babies.  They are soft but durable and made out of sustainable materials.  Win-win for your little one and the planet!

 Ultimate Stash - Squishable Baby Review and Giveaway - Alldonemonkey.com

When Lisa found out I had a baby, she was kind enough to send me two pairs of handmade pants – one wool, and one bamboo.  I was wowed by how well-made the pants were.  I was also amazed that they could be so utterly soft and yet tough enough to stand up to all the roly-poly activity babies will put them through.

And, as you can see, they are adorable!

Ultimate Stash - Squishable Baby Review and Giveaway - Alldonemonkey.com

So I am thrilled to get to participate in an incredible giveaway that Lisa is running.  Don’t miss your chance to win this amazing, no – ultimate stash of goods from The Squishable Baby!

Enter below for a chance to win:

  • 1 pair of Hadyn Merino Wool Longies in your color of choice.
  • 1 pair of Arlo Merino Wool Shorties in your size and color of choice.
  • 1 pair of Alice Bamboo Longies in your size and color of choice.
  • 1 pair of Isla Bamboo Shorites in your size and color of choice.
  • 2 Sonnet Meriono Soakers in your color and size of choice
  • 4 Merino wool diaper liners
  • A set of 10 bamboo wipes
  • And more!

 

The winner will be given a few extra surprises in the prize package!

This is a once in a lifetime giveaway!

This prize is valued at over $150.00

This prize package is perfect whether you are, or are not, cloth diapering! Longies and shorties can be worn as regular pants. Substitute the diaper liners and soakers for extra bamboo goodness.

The super soft and squishy Merino Wool longies/shorties works perfectly as a cloth diaper cover!

The soft Merino Wool diaper liners make nighttime diapering a breeze. They make diapers bullet proof, and they can be washed on hot right along with your diapers!

Don’t let this perfect opportunity pass you by! Visit The Squishable Baby to view the wool and bamboo pant styles and colors.

 Sponsors for this Giveaway

 

Zephyr Hill Blog unschooling_zpse6bbb0d5 All Done Monkey
gogreenbuttoncopy Rambling Momma modern hippie momma

Anne @ Zypher Hill Blog

Keisha @ Unschooling Momma

Leanna @ All Done Monkey

Angie @ Trying to Go Green

Teri @ Rambling Momma

Amanda @ Modern Hippie Momma

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents 18 years and older.

Enter the giveaway below:

Click here to enter

May 282013
 
 May 28, 2013  cloth diapers 1 Response »

The Big Giveaway banner

It’s coming!

I am so happy to be part of this incredible giveaway from The Squishable Baby!

Between June 3rd – 14th, you can enter to win the following items:

  • 1 pair of Hadyn Merino Wool Longies in your color of choice.
  • 1 pair of Arlo Merino Wool Shorties in your size and color of choice.
  • 1 pair of Alice Bamboo Longies in your size and color of choice.
  • 1 pair of Isla Bamboo Shorites in your size and color of choice.
  • 2 Sonnet Meriono Soakers in your color and size of choice
  • 4 Merino wool diaper liners – or an extra Isla bamboo shortie (if you are not cloth diapering)
  • A set of 10 bamboo wipes
  • And more!

This prize package is valued at over $150.00

This prize package is perfect whether you are, or are not, cloth diapering!

Don’t let this perfect opportunity pass you by! Visit The Squishable Baby to view the wool and bamboo pant styles and colors.

Sponsors for this Giveaway

 

Zephyr Hill Blog unschooling_zpse6bbb0d5 All Done Monkey
gogreenbuttoncopy Rambling Momma modern hippie momma

Anne @ Zypher Hill Blog

Keisha @ Unschooling Momma

Leanne @ All Done Monkey

Angie @ Trying to Go Green

Teri @ Rambling Momma

Amanda @ Modern Hippie Momma

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents 18 years and older.

May 122013
 

Sophia's Jungle Adventure - Giselle ShardlowEnter our contest below to win a copy of Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, a yoga-inspired children’s book by Giselle Shardlow

My Monkey loves to move!  Even when reading or playing a video game, he simply cannot sit still.  On a recent visit, my dad couldn’t stop laughing as he watched Monkey watching a video.  First Monkey was laying on his stomach, then sitting, then hanging over the edge of the couch, then upside down, and so on.  At our preschool playgroup, he is the same way.  He can’t just sit and sing the songs with the other kids.  He has to get up and dance.

So I was thrilled to come across Kids Yoga Stories, the yoga-inspired children’s books by author Giselle Shardlow.  Giselle bases her books on her own experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom.  She was kind enough to send us a copy of her wonderful Sofia en una Aventura por la Selva (available in English as Sophia’s Jungle Adventure), and Monkey loved it straightaway.  Finally a book that spoke to the way he likes to read – in motion!

As someone who has always loved yoga, I adore these books because they finally give me a fun, easy way to introduce my son to yoga.  I tried to teach him some movements myself when he was younger, without much success.  And as my own yoga practice has fallen by the wayside, so has my motivation to teach him.

Kids Yoga StoriesEnter Kids Yoga Stories, which make yoga fun for kids by setting the movements within the context of a story, so that each motion taught is linked to an action in the storyline.  Kids zoom like an airplane as Sofia and her family travel to Costa Rica (yes, our beloved Costa Rica!),  salute the sun with Sofia before she begins her hike through the jungle, and act like the monkeys and jaguars she sees.

Along the way, they also learn about the importance of saving the environment for these beautiful creatures, in a way that is easy for children to understand and therefore to care about.

The book is also a great resource for parents, who can refer to the full, illustrated list of poses and a parent-teacher guide at the back of the book.giselle-and-anamika1-300x200

Monkey loved acting out the story and imitating Sofia’s poses.  I was impressed with his attention to detail, as he even made sure to hold his hands the same way as she does.  Of course, he often decided to change things up a bit: “How about like this?  How about upside-down?  How about like a robot?”

This kind of creativity is encouraged by Giselle, whose motivation in creating these interactive books is to “get children moving, learning, and having fun.”  Mission accomplished!

You can find more about this and other books and resources from Giselle at Kids Yoga Stories or on Amazon worldwide.

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop - Button - May 2013

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

I am so pleased to be able to offer a copy of this great book as a prize to one reader, as part of the amazing Kid Lit Giveaway Hop!  Each participating blog (find a list of all of them at the end of this post) is running a book giveaway to celebrate Children’s Book Week.

The contests will all run through May 19, 2013, so see how many you can enter this week!

But before you do, make sure to enter below to win a copy of Sophia’s Jungle Adventure!  The winner can choose either the English or Spanish version of the story.

 

Enter now to win this great book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
   

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