Dairy-Free things that don’t totally suck

With a multi-allergy kiddo, I have discovered many awesome allergy friendly foods.  MiniThor definitely has his favorites and to help out any other dairy-free families out there, we’ve started a list of dairy-free foods that have the MiniThor Seal of Approval!

-His Beloved Vegan “Cheese”

 

Daiya Foods cheddar style slices and shreds are on literally every single grocery list we make.  MiniThor loves this vegan alternative to cheese.  We use their various flavors of “cheese” for making sandwiches, pizzas, and even cheese stuffed pretzels!

-MiniThor’s Favorite Mac & “Cheese”

Dairy Free Rice Mac & Cheeze

Amy’s Kitchen Vegan & Gluten Free Mac & Cheeze  get’s MiniThor’s vote for best dairy-free mac&cheese!  This is individual size and believe me, he will eat the whole thing!  These can be cooked in the microwave, in three and a half minutes you’ve got cheesy goodness!  Amy’s has many vegan options from pizzas to burritos, they’ve got it! We also like Daiya’s Cheezy Mac when cooking for the whole family.

-Pizza Pizza Pizza!

ANAF_FrenchBreadCheezy 

Ian’s Natural Foods French Bread Pizzas are one of MiniThor’s most favorite things!  These are great to keep in the freezer for quick meals.  They are free of many allergens without lacking in taste!  You won’t even know these are allergy friendly!  We also love Daiya’s Fire Roasted Vegetable Pizza!  MiniThor loves pizza so we tend to keep several options in the freezer at all times, we also make our own personal pizzas using pita bread or tortillas.

– Yo Yo Yo Yogurt

Strawberry Yogurt Alternative

So Delicous Strawberry Yogurt Alternative is MiniThor’s absolute fav dairy-free “yogurt.”  They have several other flavors, vanilla is his second favorite, but he request the strawberry yogurt for breakfast almost every day.  He likes to eat it with fresh berries mixed in.  There are a few other brands of DF yogurt out there, Silk and Daiya have their own versions, but we must say that the So Delicious (cultured coconut milk) yogurt alternative is our favorite.  So Delicious has many diary free products, I for one love their coffee creamers!

-What is cereal without milk?

Silk Original Cashewmilk

Silk’s “Original” Cashewmilk is the only milk alternative MiniThor wants for his cereal.  We have tried MANY different nut milks and different brands and this is the one he has settled on.  And he only wants the “original” flavor, one time I bought him the vanilla and he just would not have it, haha.  Everyone has their preference when it comes to milk alternatives, you just have to find what works for you and your family.

-Everyone NEEDS Chocolate Milk

Dark Chocolate Almondmilk

Silk Dark Chocolate Almondmilk is the favorite for chocolate flavored milk alternatives.  MiniThor looooves this stuff!  It also comes in single serving boxes which are great for packing in lunches!

-I scream, you scream, we all scream for dairy-free ice cream!

Minis Coconut Almond Bars

We always have Minis Coconut Almond Bars in our freezer!  Whether you can have dairy or not, these are amazing!  MiniThor loves these!  When you are grabbing some of these out of the grocer’s freezer, go ahead and grab so of the other So Delicious Dairy Free Desserts, we have yet to try one that we didn’t love.

-Replace those Cheez-its

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You would have thought the kid had won the lottery with how excited he was the first time we found Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor Squares!  Cheez-its are often a snack at school and MiniThor was feeling rather heartbroken about being left out.  Luckily, Earth Balance had our back!  These “cheese” crackers are amazing!  The first time we bought them, the box didn’t even make it two days!

-Butter that bread with some buttery spread

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We also love Earth Balance for their Buttery Spread.  It is heavenly on toast!  We’ve also used it to replace butter while cooking.  We make some killer dairy free quesadillas using this buttery spread, the daiya cheese we mentioned above, some taco seasoning, and some organic black beans!

-Backpack Snack

SkinnyPop Original

MiniThor has a serious love for Skinny Pop Popcorn It comes in big bags and also single serving packs which make it great for sending in the backpack for snack time!  We also like to take Skinny Pop with us to the drive-in movie!

-Chocolate!

 

When it comes to chocolate bars for treats or chocolate chips for baking, we know we can trust Enjoy Life Foods!

 

-Other things we love that are dairy free that perhaps you didn’t expect..

  • Oreos
  • Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough
  • Many of the Duncan Hines Cake Mixes (some flavors do have dairy, so be sure to check the labels)  Try our (Dairy-Free) Double Dark Chocolate Fudge Cookies that you can easily make with cake mix!
  • Sweet Chili Doritos (these are the only Doritos that are dairy free, but we’ll take it!)

-We gave you some pre-made foods and snack options here, but we also like to cook up fresh foods as well.  We love Skinny Taste for great recipes, they even have a dairy free section on their website!

We hope this post opens up some new options for you!  We will add to this list as we find more products that are MiniThor-friendly and that get his seal of approval.  If you have found a great dairy-free product, please comment below to clue us in!

-Kate

(Product photos included in this webpage are from the product websites linked)

New Year’s Resolution: Positive Perspective

  

Oh I cannot even begin to count how many “new year -new you” themed posts, ads, and commercials I’ve encountered during the last week.  Ugh!  Why should we suddenly decide on January 1st that we are not good enough? Why do we suddenly thrust upon ourselves a spirit of discontentment?  We seem to take this time of year to find all of our negatives that need “fixing,” ironically so, right after a season in which we are to be thankful and joyful.  Personally, I don’t want to think of myself as being broken or below par.  My New Years resolution won’t be about getting thin or doing more cardio (although I probably legit need more cardio)… My resolution will focus on seeing the positives that already exist all around me and within me every single day.

Kate and MiniThor’s New Year Resolution: Positive Perspective

I want to see the good in every day, in every person, in every adventure…

This probably seems like a simple task but sometimes we just straight up have bad days and it is on those days that this concept turns out to be not so simple after all.  Some days the bad seems to just compile and compile and we feel like we are stuck down in a hole we can’t get back out of.  So how do we crawl up out of that hole?!  Find some good things down there buried under the bad. Look for three good things that happened that day. 

This has become a nightly practice in my home. It is part of our bedtime routine.  I tuck MiniThor in, I read him a book, and then I ask him, “tell me three good things about today.”  This is two-fold, he is looking for and expressing positives from his day and I am hearing positives that always seem to melt my heart into a puddle.  After we talk about our three good things I ask him what was his very best part of that day.  Today he replied, “that you love me!”  Let me just tell you, I smiled so big I must have been glowing!

I encourage you to give it a try too.  Look for the positives in your day.  Sometimes it’s tough, but the good is there, even if you have to dig for it. You may have overslept and had to rush to work..but you have a job and can provide for your family.  You may have a sink full of dishes waiting to be washed.. But you cooked a healthy meal for your family, you had food to feed them.  You may have been super busy today.. But look at how much you accomplished!

Try asking your kiddos for “three good things” from their day.  Not only will you gain insight into their daily lives, but you will also gain some positive perspective yourself. Chances are one of their good things will be something you did with them that day. It’s moments like that which make us parents feel like superheroes!  So go on, look for the good, and be your awesome superhero self this year!
-Kate

Many Merry Traditions of Kate and MiniThor

When I became a mother, Christmas became much more magical.  Every year the excitement and magic has grown along with MiniThor.  It is an absolute blast to watch him light up when we go see Christmas lights and to see his excitement growing as we count down the days left until Christmas!

The holiday season is a time for making memories.  Every year we make memories with our many merry traditions.  We would like to share these with you!  Maybe our traditions will inspire some new ones for your family.

  1.   Have an attitude of gratitude!    This time of year is great for reminding your children to be grateful for what they have and to teach them to say thank you for their gifts.  Reiterate that if someone gives a gift, that person took the time to buy or make that gift.  Remind your kiddo that it is the act of giving, not the gift itself, that counts most.  Therefore we should be thankful for the gift and say “thank you,” even if it wasn’t a toy from our list.
  2. Sending Cards to Soldiers:    This tradition started long before MiniThor was able to read and write, we’ve sent many cards filled with scribbles.  Every year we send a stack of cards to soldiers.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a simple holiday greeting will make a difference and put a smile on a soldiers face.  I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to spend the holiday season away from home and family.  Here’s a link to one of the ways to send cards http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes
  3. Going to See Christmas Lights:    Our town takes lights seriously; the local power company sponsors a huge lights display in the park.  We love going to see this each year.  The best part is the only charge for admission is that you bring a canned food item to donate!  Last year, MiniThor said his favorite part of going to see the lights was that we donated food to someone who didn’t have enough.  That melted my heart into a puddle!  We also drive around to see Christmas lights in our neighborhood! 
  4.  Countdown to Christmas with Books:   Every year we count down the last week until christmas with reading a new Christmas book each night.  I wrap up seven Christmas books and label them with how many more sleeps we have until Christmas.  MiniThor gets to unwrap a book each night and we read it together.  I am really looking forward to it this year, as MiniThor will be able to read some of the books himself!
  5. Make Reindeer Food:  We added this tradition two years ago when MiniThor’s amazing preschool teacher (Shout out to Mrs. Christy!) made Reindeer food with his class at school!  We make “reindeer food” by simply mixing together oats and sprinkles!  Then, on Christmas Eve we sprinkle it out in the yard to help the reindeer spot our house and to give them a snack to enjoy while Santa is putting presents under the tree!
  6. Donate a Bag of Toys:    Every year I have MiniThor fill up a bag of toys for us to donate.  This had two purposes, primarily it is to instill kindness and teach the act of giving without expecting anything in return.  Secondly, this helps clear some space out in the toy bins for the new toys that will be unwrapped. Haha.
  7. Donate Canned-goods:  MiniThor absolutely loves doing this!  I am very excited that this year we will be able to donate through a food drive hosted by his school.  Also, our favorite comic book shop collects canned goods, how cool is that?!
  8. Handmade Gifts:  I want MiniThor to know that giving doesn’t have to be expensive, instead it should be an act of love.  By helping him make gifts for family members, he can give them something special and the act of giving becomes personal and exciting instead of the obligatory tone that sometimes accompanies Christmas gifts.
  9. Random Act of Kindness:  This is another of MiniThor’s favorite things; we don’t just do this during the Christmas season, but it seems like a good time to share this with you.  Do something kind randomly and anonymously.  This can be anything from leaving an encouraging note on someone’s car windshield to leaving a bag of groceries on the doorstep of someone in need.
  10. Open One Present EARLY on Christmas Eve:    This is a tradition from my childhood that I have been doing with my little guy as well!  He gets to pick one present from under the tree to open early!  It’s seriously exciting!  Plus, it’s fun to watch him try to decide which present to open early.
  11. Hot Cocoa Floats: this one is super neat and super simple.  MiniThor cannot have dairy, so no whipped cream on our cocoa.  Instead we top it with a scoop of (dairy-free) ice cream.  It slowly melts into the cocoa and makes a creamy beverage fit for the holiday season.  Plus, it cools down the cocoa which is helpful for little ones.
  12. New PJs:  one of our Christmas Eve traditions is to wear a new pair of Christmas Jammys!  This ups the excited on Christmas Eve, plus we look super cute in Christmas morning photos!
  13. Make Cookies (and leave some out for Santa) … This one is pretty self explanatory
  14. Grinch Night:  All of our cousins and aunts and the like get together one night during the kiddos Christmas break and watch the animated Grinch movie.  We share special green treats, make crafts, and play “pin the heart on the grinch.”
  15. Give a Gift (or two) that Includes Spending Time Together:  Among the toys, I like to include a gift that MiniThor and I will enjoy together, something that will have a bonus gift of quality time.  This could be anything from a puzzle to a craft kit.  This  year it is a fort building set and a wooden truck building/painting kit … But don’t tell MiniThor!

The most important thing is to spend time together, make memories, and enjoy the hope, love, and joy of the season!   

We’d love to hear about your traditions, feel free to leave a comment below!

Keep on making memories,

-Kate

To blog or not to blog, that is the question…

MiniThor and I are always up to some sort of adventure.  Even though you haven’t seen a blog post from us in about a year, we’ve still been making lots of memories.  I’ve finished my Associated Degree and MiniThor finished preschool and the last year has been quite a whirlwind of excitement!   

   Surviving singlemotherhood while being a full time college student, working, and volunteering, has made for busy days and tired nights.  Writing was pushed to the back burner, but I’ve received request to begin again and I must admit I’ve missed it!  So perhaps you’ll see some post from the world of Kate & MiniThor again soon.

  

Been away for a while now

So we’ve been missing in action lately huh?! We’ve been having lots of fun of course but I kinda suck at time management and getting blog posts finished and published hasn’t been happening lately haha. In fact, I have several partially written post that need finishing.

I don’t know about you, but being a mommy sometimes means that your lucky to get a chance to eat let alone do the stuff you want to do haha!

To me, what’s important is making sure that my son feels loved and making memories with him! 🙂 Therefore, sometimes the toys stay in the floor and the dishes stay in the sink…aaaaand sometimes the blog gets neglected haha.

So to tide you over until I get some posts published (like my famous fried chicken nuggets recipe, how to make ninja turtle ooze, and some other fun stuffs!) here are some adorably awesome pictures of Mini Thor from during our blogging absence 🙂

Being adorable in his Aunt PeyPey’s sunglasses!

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Playing in puddles!

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and his first time fishing!!!

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We hope you get to make some memories of your own today 🙂

A big thank you to everyone who follows the blog and our Facebook!

-Kate

Hello world!

First Post…Woot Woot!  The little one is sleeping and mommy is blogging!  I am so excited to share our adventures with you.  Especially those that include me finding foods that my picky little pumpkin will eat!  There will be much more to come soon, thanks for taking a peek at the start of Kate and Mini Thor!