How to make the perfect trail mix


Way back when, I did an internship with the DC area food bank and one of the tasks I was given was coming up with easy, healthy recipes that people who came to the food bank could make with the food they were given. The recipes had to use ingredients from the boxes they received, and they had to involve minimal cooking (since many of our customers didn't know how to cook or have access to stoves). One easy recipe that could provide a nutrient punch? Trail mix.

In the years after my time at the food bank, I worked as a camp counselor, student teacher, and now a mom, and have had plenty of time to refine my trail mix recipe. And I learned: there's a formula for making the perfect trail mix and it looks something like this:

3 cups grain (think pretzels, puffed rice, cereal, cheerios)
1 cup nuts
1 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup something sweet (think mini marshmallows, white or dark chocolate chips, m&ms)
1/3 cup seeds (pumpkin and sunflower are our faves)

Trail mix is one of mine and A.'s favorite things to make at home, it involves no real cooking but lots of measuring and stirring (which feels like cooking to a little kid). And she can pick the ingredients she prefers, within the parameters of the recipe, which is also big deal for my independent "I'll do it myself!" toddler on the cusp.

The trail mix we're currently snacking on is 3 cups pretzel chips, 1 cup pistachios, 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds. Yum!

Do you have a favorite trail mix recipe?

Visiting with Norfolk Fire-Rescue


The Norfolk Public Library has been offering some amazing free programs this summer. Last week, the Larchmont branch hosted one: a visit by the Norfolk Fire-Rescue. Even though she has declared she has no interest in firefighting since red is no longer her favorite color (a serious consideration for future career priorities), A. enjoyed seeing the fire truck up close and even getting to sit up front and pretend to drive. 

The visit was also a good chance tohere
review (or in our case, bring up) the topic of fire safety with the kids: from planning a meeting place and escape route should their be a fire in the home, to teaching the kids about calling 911, to even meeting a firefighter in full gear so that children won't be scared in an emergency, it was all good information to know. Norfolk Fire-Rescue provides free resources on fire safety

Did you know you can schedule a fire truck visit to your kids school or community center?  You can also call to schedule a tour of a local fire station (this might have to go on our next year's not-bummer-summer list!) There's also the Norfolk Police and Fire Museum downtown, which we visited a couple of years ago. Teeny-weeny Anouk! Awwww. 

Inspired by: origami


We've been really interested in origami since our visit to the Above the Fold exhibit at the Hermitage last week and can't stop looking for more origami creations to inspire us! Here's a few of the things we found while poking around: 

A folded paper activity book that combines reading skills with art 

A bright origami pillow

For older kids (and the grownups), a game of folding puzzles

Beautiful decorative porcelain cranes  

Adorable origami tees (I love this falcon) for the little ones

Have you ever done origami with your kids? How old were they? A loves making "origami" creations but at four, the real stuff seems a little tiny bit outside her pay grade still. 

Happy weekend! 

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