How To Make DIY Ikea Hack Kids Bookshelves

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Our children’s new bookshelves

As our children book collection grew larger, we didn’t have any place to arrange my children’s books! And I certainly didn’t want to spend a lot of money to store them. While surfing the web one day, I came across the idea of an Ikea hack kids’ bookshelves and the day came to make it! In that post they painted the shelves white, we, on the other hand, thought to make them cheerful and colorful!

What did we do to make these Ikea hack kids bookshelves?

First of all, we bought some inexpensive selves used for storing spice containers. We used the ones from IKEA, which cost 6.99$ each. I am sure there are other selves or spice racks suited for this as well, but those were used also in the original article I got the idea from, so I used them, too.

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Thank you!

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Ikea shelf

Next, we bought some plastic-acrylic paints– they were cheaper than the ones made for wood. We went for the colors green, yellow and red and our super-dad painted them. You can choose any colors you like, so it will match the room’s decor. Also, chalk paints are very popular these days, you could use them, too! And I am sure, spray paints would work great as well!

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Everything is ready to start painting

After they were completely dry, our dad put them together. Although first, we wanted to make one shelf green, one yellow and one red, our dad assembled it using different colors – brilliant!

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All colorful, dry and ready

Then he got his drill and put them up on the wall. Come to think of it, all the hard work was done by my hubby. Thank you so much for that!!!

And here is the result! Colorful, vibrant kids bookshelves, perfect for any kids room! Aren’t they great?

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Finished children’s bookshelves

The kids loved them, they immediately wanted to start reading their books!!! You can read a post about our most children’s favorite books and our book advent calendars!

Healthy Toddler Recipe: Meatballs with Veggies

healthy toddler recipe meatballs with   veggies
Meatballs on a stick

This recipe has helped me so much! My little girl was never much of an eater, and so I had to make every bite count! And this healthy toddler recipe to make meatball with veggies is just perfect for that! It is also a great healthy recipe to make for when the baby is starting with baby finger food since the meatballs are soft and can be shaped or torn apart into baby mouth friendly sizes.

Ingredients for healthy meatballs with veggies

(please consider the age of your baby and what it is allowed to eat by your pediatrician)

  • ½ kg minced beef, turkey, chicken or veal meat
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 slices of whole-wheat bread
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • small onion
  • carrot
  • red pepper
  • green pepper
  • zucchini
  • ½ cup parsley
  • salt, pepper (if your kids are old enough)

How to make this healthy toddler recipe

  1. In a food processor, process the onion, the carrot, the zucchini, the peppers, and the parsley until they are very finely processed.
  2. In a food processor, process the slices of bread until they are very finely processed.
  3. Make sure there are no larger bread or veggie pieces. Remove anything that looks to large.
  4. Put the minced meat, the egg, the olive oil, the breadcrumbs, and the finely processed vegetables and mix everything with your hands. Add oil or breadcrumbs necessary, until it has the right consistency and it can be shaped into small balls.
  5. Let the mixture rest for at least half an hour in the fridge.
  6. Shape mini meatballs
  7. Bring water to the boil and add the number of meatballs needed. Let them boil for about 15 – 25 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs. You can steam-cook them if you prefer it. Now my kids are older, I even bake them in the oven.

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click an ad link and purchase something, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Some tips for the meatballs with veggies to make your mom life easier

You can add whatever vegetables your kid likes to the meatballs, like eggplants, tomatoes, broccoli, and even some rice. Just keep an eye on the consistency of the mixture, so that the meatballs keep their shape.

You can freeze the rest of the meatballs for the next time. Just line a freezer container with some parchment paper, arrange the meatballs so they don’t touch each other, put the container in the freezer overnight and the next day, you can take as many as you need, or transfer them into another smaller container or freezer bag and keep them in your freezer for when you need them!

Related: Baby finger food ideas and tips – and a meatball recipe

If your kids are older and like my older one, than they might like the meatballs on a stick! It ads fun, but be careful with the sticks!

Later on, this recipe can be made for the whole family!

Related: Healthy and Fun Pizza Recipe for Kids

Pizza Dough Recipe with Garlic and Oregano

Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite recipe for home-made, delicious Pizza!!! I mean, who doesn’t love Pizza? I don’t think a lot that can resist a slice, especially if it is home-made, with the best ingredients and toppings of your choosing! Our garlic and oregano pizza dough recipe is super yummy and aromatic! We love garlic and oregano in our recipes! But if you don’t like them, just make our recipe without them, it’s still a delicious pizza dough! Also, check out our favorite tomato sauce recipe and toppings for the perfect pizza!

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Our yummy pizza!

Garlic and oregano pizza dough recipe (1 pizza) ingredients

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2/3 cup luke-warm milk
  • 8 gr dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dry oregano (or to taste), 1 tablespoon
  • 1 garlic clove (or to taste), minced
  • olive oil, 1 tablespoon

How to prepare the garlic and oregano pizza dough recipe

Measure the dry ingredients and set them aside in cups. Have your kids throw all the ingredients, except the milk and olive oil, into a bowl. Mix them together. Then add the milk and knead (I use the stand mixer for that) and close to the end add the olive oil. Your aiming on getting a smooth, not too stiff, dough (maybe it will need some more milk or flour). Form the dough into a ball and let it rest in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with some plastic wrap, in a warm place (I use the oven for that, at 40 °C).

When the dough has about doubled its size (takes about an hour), knead it slightly. You can roll it out on a lightly floured surface – or put it on your baking tray which you have lined with some baking parchment – and roll it out.

Tomato sauce recipe ingredients

  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes (or canned tomatoes)
  • mustard, 1 tablespoon
  • pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon 
  • dried oregano, 2 teaspoons
  • olive oil, 2 teaspoons

Oregano Tomato sauce preparation

While the dough rests, prepare the tomato sauce. Peel the tomatoes and process them in a food processor, then put them into a saucepan. Boil a little until thickened, add the rest of the ingredients, stir and remove from heat. Let it cool down a little.

My all-time favorite pizza toppings

These are my favorites, but you can use whatever you like. Also, the amount of the ingredients is totally up to you! My kids like their pizza plain, with just tomato sauce and the cheeses, but they sure miss out on some yummy toppings! I hope they will add some when they get older!

My favorite classic toppings

  • mozzarella cheese, grated, 1 cup
  • gouda cheese, grated, 1 cup
  • red pepper, sliced, 1 cup
  • champignon mushrooms, sliced, 1 cup
  • ham, sliced, 1 cup
  • Extra virgin olive oil

My favorite alternative pizza toppings

Sometimes I like to mix things up a little, so I add some of these pizza toppings to the tomato sauce and cheeses. Here are three of my favorite pizza toppings!

1. Greek pizza toppings

  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Oregano
  • Crumbled Feta cheese
  • Sliced olives
  • Extra virgin olive oil

2. Tuna pizza toppings

  • One can tuna, crumbled
  • Onion slices
  • Capers, strained
  • Slices olives
  • Extra virgin olive oil

3. Hawaian pizza toppings

  • Canned ananas slices
  • Ham
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Finishing our aromatic pizza

Now let your kids spread the tomato sauce and the mozzarella! Then let them arrange the rest of the ingredients, except for the gouda cheese.

Put the pizza in the preheated oven (180 °C) and bake for about 15-25 minutes, or until the pizza dough is done (it depends on how small the pizzas are and how thin you have rolled out the dough). Take the pizza out and spread the gouda on it. Throw it back into the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Related: Healthy Toddler Recipe: Meatballs with Veggies

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Pizza muffins for birthday parties or a snack

This recipe is also perfect to make some pizza-muffins! Pizza muffins are always a hit at our birthday parties!!! To make them you need to roll out the dough, use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out some dough circles. Take your muffin tray and spray it with baking spray. Line each muffin space with a round piece of dough, making sure to have dough on the sides (like making a tart). Fill the pizza muffins with sauce and toppings and bake them until golden brown!

That’s it! I am sure you’ll enjoy it!!!

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click an ad link and purchase something, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

We made pompoms!!!

my pompoms
Those are the first tries – it’s going to get better, I promise!!!

As promised, I took my kids today outside and on the way to the grocery I made a quick stop at a store with yarns. We made plans to have some fun play with pompoms!

I bought a few nice ones – actually, some were chosen by my three-year-old son (you know how they choose, right? Son: “That one mom, I want that one!” Me: “Oh that’s nice! But isn’t this one with the many colors super-great?” – Well, it worked half the times and we, fortunately, avoided that awful brownish one he wanted at first!).

So, back at home, we began with the pompom making!!! That was fun!!! First, I tried a few methods and determined that I liked the one with only using the hands better. Next, I asked my boy for his helping hand. Literally! I used his sweet little hand for the first step. He was delighted! I don’t think he stands often that still for that “long”. Meanwhile, my 18-month old girl decorated the whole house laughing and running around with the neon-yellow yarn! She was having a blast!!! As soon as my son’s job was done, he moved on helping her decorating! You can imagine what my house looked like!

Next, I made the knot (it has to be as tight as possible). And then the cut with the scissors (you’ll need a good scissor for best results). And then… well then… well, at least my kids loved them, lol!!!

It took a few moments for me to realize that trimming the yarn was of out-most importance!!! Also, I maybe should choose some thinner yarn next time. Oh, and next time I’ll choose some funny yarns, too. You know, those fluffy, or flattened ones. And I saved the yarn that was trimmed. I really don’t know why!!! Maybe I’ll find some way of using them, stuffing something with it, perhaps.

Anyway, it was fun and we will surely make lot’s of them – after all, we have the yarn!!!

Amazing Dried Citrus Ornaments for DIY Christmas Decor

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Dried citrus fruit ornaments (image source)

Making our own Christmas ornaments with my kids is one of my favorite activities this time of year. One cheap but awesome and beautiful idea is to make some Dried Citrus Ornaments for DIY Christmas Decor, using citrus fruit peels! Sooooo nice!

You can use any citrus fruit you like; oranges, mandarins, limes, grapefruits or lemons. Then, you have two choices. Either cut the fruit carefully into thin slices or peel carefully the skin off the fruit.

Dried orange slices and other natural craft material can also be found on Amazon.us:

 

If you choose to slice the fruits, arrange the slices on a lined baking tray and put the tray in a preheated oven at about 90-100°C. They should not touch each other. Bake them for about 2-3 hours, depending on how thick the slices are while turning them on the other side every 30 minutes or so. You should check every slice separately and when one dries out, get it out of the oven and let the others dry some more. Let them cool down completely and then pierce a hole in them. Now you can use anything you like, some yarn, cord or a nice ribbon, depending on the use you are planning for them. Even paper clips or ornament hooks could do the trick.

Using cookie cutters to make citrus peel ornaments

If you choose to use the peel, take some nice cookie cutters, like for example a star-, moon-, tree- or heart cookie cutter and cut the shapes out. Now, do the same as above. Isn’t it easy?

You can use also some spices or essential oils for more aroma, and even decoration!

Related: Orange Peel Roses: Step by Step photo instructions

Related: Orange Peel Rose: a Romantic Dried Fruit Decoration Idea

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Dried citrus fruit ornament with cinnamon decoration (image source)
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Dried citrus fruit ornaments on hooks (image source)

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Thank you!

Did you know you can buy dried natural materials to create your wreaths or garlands? There are even whole dried oranges or handy mixes of materials… You can find them here from Amazon.co.uk:

For more DIY Chrismats Ornaments, check out some of our other ideas:

Baby finger food tips and ideas

baby finger food

Somewhere after the age of 9-10 months, babies start demanding to eat food with their hands. And by all means, let them do exactly that! It will create a mess, agreed, but it is a very important development stage for your baby to do exactly that. It needs to explore the food, get to know it, examine it in every aspect, not just to fill the belly. So, in order for your baby to get to love food, here are some baby finger food tips.

Offer a variety of foods

Give your baby a great variety of foods. Use different foods with different colors, shapes, and texture, and let your baby explore. It will squeeze it, smash it, smear it, and hopefully, taste some of it. The amount that ends up in its mouth is of secondary importance.

Let your baby show you how much food it needs

Let your baby decide about what it eats from the things you put in front of him, and how much it eats. After all, your baby is the only one who really knows when its stomach is full. However, you will decide the time for eating, which should be – as much as possible – constant. Also, you need to be the one who decides what you put on the table, especially when your baby becomes a toddler and, later, a preschooler. Don’t push your toddler to eat more than it wants to or else it will have difficulty learning to listen to its own body saying “I’m full”.

Keep mealtime without distractions

Don’ t use distractions like loud music or TV to “trick” your baby into eating. That could cause overeating and establish bad habits.

Choose healthy foods for baby finger food

Iron-rich foods are very important. They should be on your meal plan most days of the week. Such foods are beef, turkey, chicken, veal, lentils, beans, and spinach. Give a little orange juice to your toddler, or include some Vitamin C rich foods on the menu, such as broccoli or lemon. Vitamin C helps in absorbing iron.

Don’t mind the mess

Your baby will create a mess. You will clean it up. Again. And again. And, for an unbelievable number of times, again…

Hold on to memories

Have a camera at hand. Nothing beats the cuteness of such a little face covered in sauce!

Find yummy, toddler-friendly recipes and foods

Having said all that, you can find our favorite, full of nutrients meatball with veggies recipe here. This one is perfect to make small meatballs for your toddler to tear apart and taste! This recipe helped me with my little girl, who wanted to eat by herself from very early on. She never was much of an eater, so I needed to make every bite count. And, to be honest, we all love eating them!

Related:

5 Rainy Day Ideas for Toddlers

Healthy Toddler Snack: Whole Wheat Apple Muffins Recipe

DIY balance beam hack for toddlers using carpets

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click an ad link and purchase something, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

My first award!

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What better way for me to close a somewhat stressful day, than to accept my first blogging award, ever!

Thank you Sanjana from http://feedingthesonis.wordpress.com/ for nominating my blog, you can’t imagine how much it means to me!

And of course, thank you from http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ for creating such a great award! It is worth the effort, cause it makes people like me happy!

So, now the difficult part. I am supposed to write some random thing about me! Well, let’s see… So, after about 10 minutes of thinking what to write about me, I decided to write that I love going to a certain playground on the beach on a sunny early spring Sunday with my kids!!! It is the best thing to do on such a day!!!

The next thing to do is to name 5 blogs that I, and I quote “enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts”. So here they are!

1.  http://mysmallpotatoes.com/

2. http://sweetrevelations.wordpress.com/

3. http://nothymetowaste.org/

4. http://5kidswdisabilities.com/

5. http://kidsheartrealfood.com/

Thank you, everyone!!!

First post… ever!

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Children laughing (image source)

So this is me, posting for the first time.

I just want to say hello to the traveler that sees my posts.

This is going to be a positive, most of the times, blog.

It is about children and what makes them feel good.

Because whatever makes children feel good, can’t be bad for the grown up’s either, can it?

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Children having fun (image source)

Enjoy your stay and drop by whenever you feel like it!

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Imagine something beautiful (image source)