When I had my kids, my mother and mother-in-law were on the spot with meals. What a godsend!
Today, many people don’t live near family so friends step in to provide meals. When my girlfriend had her baby last year that was the case, and when I stopped in with another meal I saw a pile of casserole dishes waiting to be returned owners.
While that reflected the love of many, I thought about the extra work we had caused. She didn’t have to make the meals, but in her little kitchen the empty casserole dishes took up valuable counter space and were a constant reminder of something she needed to do. Return them.
Use Disposable Dishes: Since witnessing that collection of dishes piled on her counter, I’ve moved to using disposable containers that can go in the freezer when making meals for new moms. It eliminates clean up and removes the burden of trying to return all the dishes to the people who dropped them off.
Food Allergies and Preferences: Another thing to consider when making new mom meals is any food allergies, preferences, and restrictions. For instance, when making a meal for my girlfriend I knew not to include mushrooms if I wanted to keep her other children happy.
And if you don’t know the family well, be sure to ask about any food allergies. If a family has dairy issues, macaroni and cheese doesn’t work.
Along with this, if the new mom is breastfeeding, find out what foods her doctor has told her to avoid. For instance, my doctor told me to avoid tomatoes, chocolate, and spicy foods. With those kinds of restrictions in mind, I’ve made a mild chili and delivered it with a bottle of Red Hot to be added by those who want to add a little spice to their serving.
Call or Text Ahead: Don’t just pop in on the new mom. You certainly don’t want to risk waking her from a much needed catnap! Contact them first to see if it is okay to drop off a meal.
Along with bringing the meal, consider dropping off disposable utensils and plates so clean up is as easy as dumping everything into the trash. When you stop by with the meal, avoid the urge to stay and visit; remember those first couple of weeks are exhausting!
Photo credits: armigeress
Today’s round-up shares a way to get paid to DIY around the house, a few delicious recipes, a game, and more.
Amanda’s Cookin’ shared a vintage recipe for a Lazy Daisy Cake.
Army Wife to Suburban Life showed us how to get paid to DIY.
Sand in My Toes showed us how to make a number hunt game.
The Crafty Blog Stalker shared a recipe for cabbage and pineapple slaw burgers.
DIY Beautify taught us how to make a bird feeder using thrifted plates.
The Casual Craftlete shared a recipe for lemon blueberry chia jam.
Photo credit: Amanda’s Cookin’ and Kenarry
Today’s round-up has a first birthday badge, puree, a summer reading list, non-toxic sunscreen, and more.
It Happens in a Blink shared a tutorial for a first birthday badge.
It’s Always Ruetten shared her summer reading list.
Army Wife to Suburban Life gave us 15 ideas of things to do when you’re alone.
Sand in My Toes taught us how to make a parking deck out of a cereal box and other items you have around the house.
A Mom’s Take shared her recipe for a moisturizing non-toxic sunscreen.
Carolyn’s Homework shared a guest post and taught us how to make peanut butter and jelly cookies.
Photo credit: It Happens in a Blink and It Bakes Me Happy
I consider my self to be a crafty gal when it comes to projects involving paper, stickers, glue, beads, or glitter, but my patience for elaborate baking projects is pretty limited. So, when it came time to make my son a birthday cake, I waited until the last possible minute to decide what to make.
I really wanted to do a pinata cake like the one on Claire K. Creations. My son has been a huge fan of pinatas since Grandma brought one to his third birthday party. But, the actual assembly of the traditional pinata cake looked beyond my limited patience.
In a stroke of brilliance/utter laziness, I realized that I could get a really similar look with an angel food cake pan. I used a box white cake mix, baked the cake, then tossed several colorful Chewy Lemonhead candies in the center. Once I frosted it and added sprinkles, it looked no different from a regular cake.
The look on my son’s face when we cut the cake was priceless. Even though it wasn’t picture perfect like the Claire K. Creations cake, it was close enough to make his day.
This idea could be adapted in any number of ways. You can use any kind of cake mix in an angel food pan, but a regular cake mix won’t rise as high as angel food cake.
Next time I try this, I think I’ll make yellow cake with M&M’s in the middle and chocolate frosting or do an angel food cake with a fresh strawberries in the center and strawberry frosting.
Photo credit: Dana Hinders
Today’s link round-up has recipes, wire word art, fun summer recipes, and more.
Kalyn’s Kitchen shared a recipe for raw zucchini carpaccio.
The Neighborhood Moms talked about three baby gadgets that may be bad for children’s development.
View Along the Way showed us how to make easy wire word art.
A Mom’s Take shared some ideas for a baby essentials kit.
Gingerly Made taught us how to make watermelon Rice Krispie treats.
This Silly Girl’s Life showed us how to make mini mint s’mores.
Photo credit: Kalyn’s Kitchen and Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Today’s link round-up has tips for helping children with learning disabilities, a slaw recipe, tips for buying your first home, protection for your pets, and more.
Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared a recipe for carrot and bok choy slaw.
The Neighborhood Moms have five tips to help children with learning disabilities.
View Along the Way gave tips for first time home buyers.
A Mom’s Take shared tips for keeping pets protected from pests.
Sweet and Spicy Monkey showed us how to make homemade banana coconut ice cream with homemade chocolate syrup.
Gingerly Made showed us how to make Kool Aid lip gloss.
Photo credit: Confessions of an Overworked Mom and This Silly Girl’s Life
Cooking is an important life skill that your children will need to be independent adults, since eating nothing but fast food for three meals a day is not good for their wallets or waistlines. Cooking also teaches children to be more adventurous eaters, since they are more likely to try unfamiliar foods if they’ve helped assist in the meal preparation process.
Most experts don’t recommend letting a child use the stove until age 11 or 12, but younger children can assist you in the kitchen by washing fruits and vegetables or measuring the ingredients for a recipe. With some guidance, they can also be taught to make simple salads or cold sandwiches independently.
When teaching your children how to cook, remember that mistakes are part of the learning process. My own mother loves to tease me about the time I confused sugar and flour and made the world’s worst tasting cookies. My nine-year-old can can sometimes be a real help in the kitchen, but he’s dropped more eggs on the floor than I can count.
Recipes from cookbooks designed for kids can be a fun way to make cooking more enjoyable for your child. Cooking classes are another way to help kids build confidence in the kitchen.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay area, your children can take part in the COOK! Classes for Kids from Paulding & Co. These culinary courses are for kids ages 9 – 18 who want to learn basic skills, as well as how to prepare specialized types of cuisine.
When your children complete a Paulding & Co. course, they’ll gain the confidence they need to cook for themselves, friends, or family.
Photo credit: Paulding & Co
Today’s link round-up has collecting tips, ideas for summer toys, ways to recharge, and more.
Homemade Interest showed us how to make a personalized family handprint plank.
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a patterned floor with linoleum tile.
Mind Body Green gave us 27 ways to recharge your batteries.
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom gave us the rundown on fun summer toys for fine motor skills and creativity.
Suzy Sitcom shared a clothespin doll tutorial.
Photo credit: Homemade Interest, Chocolate Covered Katie, and Hobbies on a Budget
Today’s link round-up showed us how to make a summer wreath, coconut oil lotion, patriotic snow cones, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make raw cheesecake.
A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for eggplant Parmesan subs.
Thrifty Jinxy taught us how to make patriotic snow cones inexpensively.
Suzy Sitcom shared a Parmesan crusted chicken recipe with wine.
Crafts by Amanda showed us a cute craft to do with the kids—make a kite from a paper plate and a few other supplies.
The Crafty Blog Stalker taught us how to make coconut oil lotion.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Homemade Interest