Maple Syrup- One of the Four Main Food Groups!

Elf Syrup Quote

We love syrup around our house- especially homemade! This year I will be decorating some of my hoarded jars for some of our neighbor gifts. It’s a nice gift because I already know they like it, and it is something that can be tucked in the fridge and used at any time. I might even include a bag of frozen pancakes with it as well.

Maple Syrup
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Monica at Monzanita’s
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup light corn syrup
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup of water
  • Dash maple flavor
  • 1 Tbs. butter or margarine
Instructions
  1. Combine syrup, brown sugar and water. Cook on the stove on low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in flavoring and butter. It can be served hot off the stove, or after being refrigerated.

I had an empty bottle that was from olive oil- washed out it was a perfect bottle to give away some syrup in. For ourselves, I just use a water bottle that we were able to get for free from one of our utility companies. It works perfectly! I know my mom uses a gravy dish and in the past I have used a large glass measuring cup to hold my maple syrup too. There are so many options and cute ways to hold it.

Handmade Gift Idea: Maple Syrup

If I buy ink before Christmas I’ll attach some of the Buddy the Elf quotes to the syrup when we give them away. Feel free to print it off and use it for your gifts too!

My Favorite Toddler Bedtime Stories {Gift Ideas}

Toddler Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

Before my toddler’s bedtime, we sit on his big bear and read books. I have a few favorites, and I think my son loves them because he can tell how much I love them. I try to only keep good books around, and “good” can mean many things. The main thing “good” means is that it doesn’t annoy me, or teach my son to annoy me. It also won’t usually bore him or bore me. These are a few of my favorites that are great bedtime stories for a toddler.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite in our house, we even based my son’s first birthday party off of it. It makes the list of one of our top bedtimes stories because it’s a very relaxing story, it’s easy to read (and follow along with) as well as there are plenty of things that my son recognizes and likes to point out.

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

Happy Birthday, Moon is a favorite bedtime story because it’s simple and cute. It is a conversation between the bear and the moon. It’s something that my son doesn’t understand yet, but when he makes the connection he will love the story even more. Right now there are plenty of little things that my son loves to point out while we are reading it, so it makes it fun for him but not overly-stimulating.

 

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is my favorite. (I know, I say that everything is my favorite!) I love that my son loves this book now too. He didn’t get it at first because the Big Hungry Bear is talked about but never seen. He loves this book so much now that he mouths the words along with me, and sometimes will recite them for me. I love that this book is such a cute story but it also doesn’t take all night to read it to him. (All of these books are pretty short and sweet compared to lots of children’s books. Unless you ask my husband- he thinks they are all way too long.)

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr, John Archambault, and  Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka ABC is a shorter and simpler version of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that I read in grade school. It is on our top bedtime stories list because it is so short and simple and because it has an awesome beat. I think it is my husband’s favorite book to read to our son because it is the shortest on this list, but really we both love it.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a story that is pretty much a pigeon throwing a two-year-old’s temper tantrum. Don’t let that scare you though, I don’t think this teaches kids to throw temper tantrums.The way this book is set up it shows kids how silly they are. Just from the title (and when the bus driver asks you) it makes the kids be the ones in charge so they are supposed to keep the pigeon from driving the bus. If you haven’t read this book you should go check it out at your local library and see why it has made our favorite bedtime stories list.

What are your favorite bedtime stories? Are there any I need to go out and read so I can add them to my list?

This post is not sponsored by these authors or publishers but if you click on the links and happen to buy something from Amazon you will be helping out Monzanita’s in a small way, so thank you!

A Valentine's Day Gift for My Child

In my family we always did a little something to give to everyone in our family for Valentine’s Day. It would be something put at their place at the table to let them know that we cared. Sometimes they were handmade, usually they were the leftover valentines that we had from giving them out at school. My parents usually gave us a box of chocolate or some type of candy.

Last year I wanted to do something for my (then) baby, but seeing as he couldn’t have candy and had more than enough toys I decided on a book that I had been wanting to buy for him. See last year’s Valentine’s Day gift here.

I decided to do the same this year, and keep the tradition going. There will always be a need of some sort of book! We bought him a book that I know I will enjoy reading to him, and this one he will enjoy playing with. I know that because he was already playing with it in the store. This book is a fun counting book, but it didn’t make my Top Toddler Bedtime Stories.

Do you give Valentine’s Day gifts to your children? If so, what do you give them?

Check out some other fun Valentine’s Day ideas!

Mustache Valentines Made by My Sister