Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

When I was a kid I absolutely coveted Quick Strawberry Drink Mix. It was a special treat, and boy did I celebrate the weeks when it made an appearance in our grocery shopping cart. It was the perfect mix of artificial flavors and toxic food colorings that I found so very satisfying and delicious back then. Plus, it in no way resembled the actual taste of a real live strawberry, and that was all right by me. I think I even  considered it a part of my fruit servings for the day.

Fast forward a "few" years and luckily my tastes have changed. Admittedly, this recipe for strawberry almond milk will take you longer to make than Strawberry Quick, but I think you will agree the flavor and health benefits will make it well worth the effort. Also, after the initial soaking period, this recipe is pretty quick and easy to make. Rowan won't touch plain almond milk, but this made the cut.

Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

1 1/2 cups raw almonds
4 cups filtered water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla Bean
1 or 2 dates to taste
1 cup of fresh strawberries
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Nut milk bag

Soak almonds for at least 12 hours with salt. Drain almonds and rinse and add to a blender with 4 cups of filtered water. Blend until almonds fully pulverized. Pour mixture into a nut milk bag and strain. Pour liquid back into blender and add vanilla, dates and strawberries then blend.

Pumpkin Votive Candles

Trace a votive on the inside of your sliced gourd.

Kids can scoop out the center.

I think 4 is going to be my favorite age yet. Rowan is old enough to communicate in the most hilarious, wondrous ways, but young enough to still be a baby who needs his mama. He is magic right now. His imagination is boundless (along with his temper and bossiness), while his energy is exhausting, but so delightful. He is beautiful and crazy and surprises me everyday.

We are still getting our footing here in San Diego. At times, I can tell that Rowan is thrown off by the big changes in our life. I know that rhythm, and routine are very important to him right now. Most afternoons we try to have "quiet time" in lieu of the naptime we said goodbye to when Rowan was just two and a half (sigh). Some days we listen to stories or play or read. Today we made these candles with inexpensive gourds I got at grocery store. Rowan had fun scooping out the "icky! gross!" pulp and seeds, and I enjoyed the simplicity of a project that made quiet time, well quiet.

Pumpkin Votive Candles

Small gourds
Small candle
Pairing knife
Large Knife

Using a large sharp knife to cut the tops of the gourds. Then, place candle on the top of the cut gourd and trace. Using a pairing knife cut out the shape of the candle. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Insert candle.

Construction birthday party

My sweet Rowan turned 4 last month. Things have been so crazy with our move, but I got my act together, and put together a fun construction truck party. We had a few of Rowan's buddies over to our new backyard and set it up like a little construction site. We had some fun activities that really went over well. Especially, the house we made out of our left over moving boxes. We gave them paint and brushes and let them go at it. They had a blast and most ended up covered in paint which I took as a good sign.

A Little Fairy House

I love that Rowan believes in fairies. I love that he wonders, and is curious, and that we can have serious conversations about the magic that goes on in our backyard. He wonders if the fairies will scare away the skunk that lives in our bushes, or if they sneak in the house at night or do they like chocolate ice cream. In the evenings, we fill the water bath and talk about how thirsty the fairies must be with all that flying around they do. These will be some of my favorite conversations I have ever had. I need to record them, so I never ever forget.

Here are some scenes from the fairy house we created this week. This is starting to become a bit of a ritual for us. We have just moved into a new house after being in transition for months. Making sure the fairies feel at home in our yard, is becoming the thing that we do that says, "Yes, this is home".

Fairy House

Cardboard box

We cut the box flaps off to create a shadowbox. Smear glue along the inside of the shadow box and line the inside of the box with the moss. This creates a beautiful bed and cavelike little fairy bed. Smear glue on the outside of the box and stick leaves around the outside. Fill your fair house with little woodland creatures, pine cones or anything else you wish or can imagine.

Check out our other fairy endeavors:

Paper Blocks

Download and Trim Box Template HERE.
This works best printed on card stock.

Then Color or Paint.

Fold paper along the dotted lines and fold.
Adhere with scotch tape.

I love making things out of Rowan's original artwork. He still wears this shirt that we made out of a painting he created last year. Every time I put it on him, I smile at the memory.

I printed out a cube template, and we both colored in the squares. He was super proud of our creations which add to his enjoyment of these simple paper cubes. We were stuck inside home all morning waiting for a Fedex delivery and this did the trick to pass the time.

Mini Canteloupe and Blueberry Kebabs

I have been making a big effort to get a bigger variety of foods into my picky eater. His idea of what is good to eat has gotten so limited since he turned 3. I can sympathize because even though I LOVE food now, I too was a picky eater as a kid. So, I get it, and I am trying not to let is drive me crazy.

Rowan already likes some fruit, but whether he is in the mood to eat  it differs from day to day. I thought by making them into these cute kebabs they would seem more appealing.

I did cut the sharp tops of the toothpicks, so they would be safer for kids. Plus, I kept an eye on him while he was eating.

Get more snack ideas for kids HERE.

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