Mini Piccolini! a family lifestyle blog

It’s Friday!

It’s finally Friday! What are your plans for the weekend? Is it spring already where you are?

We are dead tired after a week of our minis waking eachother up at 5am (Nonie has been ready to go every morning at 04:40 – me not so much) and are so ready to just flop down on the couch, order up some Thai and watch The Good Wife until we fall asleep.

Here are some links I think you should check out:

What it looks like when fathers are allowed to take over 400 days of paternity leave.

This Ellen clip really inspired me.

Good for her. Not for me.”

How to be more Scandinavian in your everyday life.

My cool second cousin Mats is getting a lot of attention for his super cool wrist cell phone (with GPS!) for kids. Pre-order a Tinitell here!

The trouble with bright girls. This makes so much sense to me.

He passed away a couple of weeks ago and his thoughts on time and mortality are so very very worth reading. Really moved me.

This is why I really choose to limit my kids’ screen time too.

This is so genius! Yay Holland!

Also – Easter is coming up, and with it, spring! I love this time of year and I’m especially excited this year since all of The Creative Collective‘s blogs will be posting Easter-themed inspiration next week! On Tuesday, March 31st, we will all be sharing something on the theme “candy” and on Thursday, April 2nd, we’ll all be sharing something on the theme “eggs”. We’d love for you to join in and share anything Eastery that you are creating. Use the hashtag #tccspåsk. It’ll be so much fun!

Photo of Nonie from my Instagram

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Cooking for Baby

It may not be the cookbook that I would take with me to a desert island, but it is definitely one of the most-used cookbooks in our kitchen. I bought Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes before Alec started on solids, way back in the day, and I have cooked from it a lot since then.

Today I made roasted red pepper and goat cheese purée for Léonie’s lunch. It’s the third time I’ve tried this recipe with my babes, and to be honest, none of them have really loved it. But I love that they get to try such a wide array of flavours, textures and spices right from the start.

My friend Kacey once said “Alec eats better than I do. Even on date night”. It was an exaggeration of course. But I do love the variety of food that my babies eat, and the fact that it’s all fresh and un-processed and almost completely organic. It feels right to me that I don’t mind tasting their baby food, and that it tastes good, even to me. It’s something that I am proud of.

But that doesn’t mean that it has always been easy.

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Pre-school ABC Learning Activities

Louis’ group at pre-school has suddenly become really interested in the alphabet. Most of these kids are just between two and three years old but they’re really into it.

Even with such small kids, even without pushing too hard, there’s a lot you can do to encourage an interest in letters and reading. Here are some of the best ideas I’ve found:

Sand trays are a classic montessori tool for practicing letters. A great way to use to them is to start with just tracing shapes, like a wave, or a zigzag. The tray on the left is a salt tray. I like that there is a slot for the letter (or shape) the child is practicing. The tray on the right is a sugar tray.

Another great way to practice letters is tracing them with your fingers. Sandpaper letters are a common Montessori tool. These ones are made with puffy paint, and since I recently made my own DIY puffy paint, I’d love to make these for the kids.

An alphabet museum is a great way to learn letters. It’s so hands-on. Up top is a Montessori sound object box and below is a much simpler diy alphabet museum. I would love to make one like that with the boys. For more on how to work with a Montessori alphabet box, see here.

I think “erasing” letters on a chalkboard with water is a great way to playfully get small children to practice tracing letters.

Did I miss any great learning tools that you’d recommend? How did your children learn their letters?

The photo at the top is the cover of Alec’s ABC book that we made for him a year ago. Maybe it’s time to make one for Louis now!

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18 Great Wallpapers for Kids’ Rooms

I love wallpaper, but it’s the scariest thing, no?

I think when you get it right, there is no better way to decorate a room. But it’s such a huge decision. We took the plunge and wallpapered a wall of our bedroom last fall and we are so happy we did. We love the wallpaper we chose, and I think it really makes the room. Now I’d love to find the perfect wallpaper for the play room and the kids’ bedroom.

The play room is all aquas, light blues, greys and creamy whites. And their bedroom has pops of hot pink, sunny yellow, lime and sky blue. For the play room, I’d probably choose something more neutral (like the little dots) and do the entire room, but in the bedroom (which is a smaller room), I’d love to go with something more bold, but maybe just do one wall.

Here are some of the papers that I have been looking at (click the photos for links). Which one(s) do you like? Would you wallpaper a whole kids room?

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The Best Easy Everyday Veggie Burgers

Around here, veggie burgers are always a good idea for dinner. We have a few different burgers we make but these Sweet Potato Cannelini Bean Veggie Burgers are definitely a favourite of mine. They are super quick and easy to make, healthy, and always enjoyed by all. The children LOVE them. And I love the good stuff they are getting in these burgers.

The kids usually have theirs with a little ketchup and bbq sauce (they love bbq sauce – probably because it’s basically just spicy sugar sauce, right?) on the bottom half of a bun with a lettuce leaf on top instead of the top half, so they’re not just filling up on bread for dinner. I sometimes have mine in lettuce instead of on a bun. The patties freeze really well too, which makes them an even easier weeknight dinner, or a great quick lunch. Click past the break for the recipe!

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Getting Organized

Do you ever just get the urge to pull everything you own out of every little corner of you home, sort, throw away and put it all back in order?

Right now I feel like I need to go through every inch of our home. Everything feels cluttered and unorganized. I know it’s not really as bad as it feels – it hasn’t even been a year since I last put in a major effort to get organized – but the itch has hit me hard this time.

Fortunately (?) our builder is AWOL, so instead of moving the whole family out for a month while our bathroom is re-done, we’re going to try to tie up some loose odds and ends at home and I am hoping to really really really get organized.

When it all hit me yesterday, Sumit made a couple of attempts to get me to hold off a few days until we have some time to get it done (instead of just pulling everything out of everywhere and then not having time to put it all back), but I couldn’t really. So I moves stuff around in the kitchen already and it felt so good!

Do you have the de-cluttering itch right now too? Is it just the new year getting me do you think?

Photo: Real Simple

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