Homemade Edible Fingerpaint

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Seeing as it is now summertime I am always looking for ways to get us outdoors in the sunshine. Doing something creative while soaking in the the summer breeze is an added bonus.

I have recently been on the hunt for some non-toxic, edible (because Lord knows everything goes in his little mouth) finger paint for the little man as I thought it would fulfill the above requirements and provide him with a great toddler friendly sensory experience. Low and behold, finding this type of paint on the market is no easy feat. Thus, I elected to go the homemade route. I did find a couple different recipe ideas here and there out there in Pinterest-land, but they were limited and not exactly what I was looking for, so I tweaked things a bit to meet our needs.

As a base for the fingerpaint I used unsweetened coconut milk yogurt. Little man still doesn't really do much dairy, so that's why I elected to go this route. However, you could certainly swap for whole milk, greek or any other yogurt option. To make three small portions of paint, I used about a container and a half of the yogurt. 

For the color, I wanted to avoid artificial dyes and utilize all natural food sources that were not only bright, but nutritious. I opted for blueberries, beets and turmeric to do the job. 

You need very little beets to create a huge pop of reddish color. I would recommend pureeing them first, then mixing them into the yogurt. 

For the yellow paint, simply add dashes of turmeric until desired colored has been reached.

The blueberries were a little trickier to work with, but I ended up smashing them with a fork (thinking you could blend too) and then mixing them into the yogurt. I then strained the yogurt out, leaving the large chunks of blueberries aside. 

Then it was time for the fun to begin. I used a large foam board we had on hand for our canvas and just dumped the paint out and plopped the toddler on. (Oh, and I would definitely recommend this be a diaper only affair as these ingredients will leave a nice mark on any and all clothing, unless you have an impeccably neat toddler.)

He was definitely unsure of it at first. But once he dipped his fingers (and toes) in and mommy showed him how it was done, he was all in. 


First Birthday Card Book

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
I am always grateful each year when my birthday comes around for the sweet and thoughtful cards my family and friends spend time picking out and filled with crafted messages of love and celebration. I may even hang several of them on our refrigerator for awhile afterwards to brighten my day as I pass by. But then I often wonder, what should I do with them after that?

Do I throw them up in our attic in a box to store to be looked at once every couple years when I am in the mood to either to a) reminisce or b) for a good purge session?

Or do I just go ahead and bite the bullet and recycle them immediately after I have read them as I know that is most likely their impending doom when I get into one of my minimizing clutter frenzies down the road.

When little man's first birthday rolled around just a few short weeks back, I was left with the same dilemma. That being said, the sentimental mommy in me felt like I just couldn't let go of these cards quite yet. They are a reminder of all those who celebrated this momentous occasion with us. So once I had made up my mind to save them, the real question came in to play - what to do with them? 

Instead of throwing them up in a box in the attic, I decided to repurpose them. Little man loves books and textures these days, both of which I could accomplish with our birthday cards. Not to mention the book content was nothing short of loving and personalized to the babe! 

Putting the book together was simple. I grabbed a large binder ring we had on hand downstairs and some left over ribbon from his party banners. I then created a cover page by modifying his party invitation a bit. I had DIYed his invites which made this simple, but you could really create a cover page any way you'd like. Finally, I hole punched the corner of each card and placed them on the ring. Within minutes we had a new book to add to our collection and an actual use for all of those birthday cards again.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, mister man is loving his new book.


Paleo Smash Cake Sesh

Thursday, June 8, 2017
I pondered a great deal over what kind of cake to make for our little man's 1st birthday. I scoured Pinterest (as creating my own recipes is far beyond my baking skill level) looking for something that would be as nutrient rich as possible, while still tasty for his special day. I ran across this Coconut Blueberry Layer Cake from the Foodie Teen, and while not intended to be a smash cake, I decided it just might work.

The ingredients were on point with a coconut/almond flour base and the frosting created with coconut milk and maple syrup. No refined sugar or grain! It was a go. The original called for 3 cake layers, but seeing as our newly turned one-year-old toddler was the only one devouring it, we thought two layers would be beyond plenty, and it was.

As you can see, he was completely unsure of it to start. My little man who loves destroying anything in his path, delicately picked the blueberries off the top and sampled them while all of our eagerly awaiting birthday party attendees watched in anticipation of the big "dig in" moment.

I gladly took an opportunity to show him how it was done, and was pleasantly surprised - the cake was delicious! Little man, seriously you were missing out. He was eventually victorious in snagging his very own bite of actual cake, but the whole scenario was comically anticlimactic.

Until we decided to bust out the one piece we happened to save for our "cake smash" photo session the next morning. Apparently our child just isn't into showing off for a crowd, because he downed this piece like it was his job. Just picked it up whole like a champ and in it went. 

I have to admit I am glad that we got photos from both scenarios as they both give me a good giggle for different reasons. This kid never ceases to surprise me, and I can't wait to see all that we have in store for this next year. One thing is for sure, he did end up loving his cake - which was the ultimate goal - so it comes with the babe (and mama) stamp of approval for fellow first time cake smashers (and beyond). Snag the recipe again here.

Special thanks to my sister for her cake baking skills and Marissa K Webb photography for capturing these precious moments.