Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...


Lately our son has been saying more words. It’s quite fun to have him attempt to repeat us and see how fast he picks up on a word… or doesn’t. His little mouth tries so very hard to pronounce the words we say to him.

Our favorite right now is “cookie.” I’ve been baking and he helps me, well, makes a mess while I make them. He has been asking for them since he sees them cooling and now my husband and I know a new language, toddler. He says “ckck-ckk” or something of the sort. It makes smile and laugh every time he says it but he continues to try again and again.

Since he has been growing and understanding things we have always tried to ask him to tell us what he wants when he begins his toddler jibberish. We ask him to show us and we will follow since obviously he isn’t fully aware of words or how to say them correctly.

When we ask him to show us or tell us it helps our communication. While we both may not know exactly what it is, he knows we are trying to help him rather than allow the tantrums to progress.

Truly, he understands quite a bit that we say and ask of him. He loves a task and having something to complete on his own. He will put his clothes in the hamper, sometimes confused with trash. Whoops. But he likes to throw things away too. He also really LOVES to cook meals and have us try them in his play kitchen. One of my personal favorites.

We know communicating with children isn’t the easiest for anyone but we do what we can as their parents. The best thing we ever did was teach him baby sign language when he was teeny tiny. I really didn’t have high expectations for it because well, I am a first time mom and only heard about it. How did i know it would be so beneficial to us? We worked at it and kept at it consistently. It has paid off for us all!

He says quite a few that really helps eliminate frustration among all of us and to help him get what he wants easier without as many tantrums. He can sign milk, water, more, all done, please, and thank you.

While that did help us and still does, we are enjoying the new stage of him learning his words vocally. I may regret that statement later on. 😉

My favorite part of communication with my son is laughter. He has the very best belly laugh that makes my entire world stop. He loves when we laugh at him and he begins to laugh more.

No one needs to know what you’re saying when you’re all laughing.

And right now, that’s the best thing we can do.

Posted in Recipes To Try, Two Cents Worth of...

Recipes cooked in quarantine

We’re cooking a heck of a lot more than we ever imagined during this quarantine. I’m not sure anyone signed up for that part of this. Yes, you can order take out, but eh.

Here is a list of some of the recipes we have made during quarantine. They are all kid friendly, but then again my kid eats everything still! They’re all pretty easy too so you could make it a family activity to try together if you would like! I hope you enjoy and can try something to change up the regular menu items you’ve been surviving on!

Click on the name of the recipe or the image to go to the site for the recipe!

Cacio e Pepe

My absolute favorite recipe to make at home that is from a great restaurant in Pittsburgh. Nothing beats ordering it in their restaurant, D’Anoia’s Eatery. We made it with homemade noodles one day too and that was even better! This is a super easy recipe and fun if you do the homemade noodles with the kids!

The image at the top of this blog is when we made it recently with our homemade noodles. Notice our puzzle pieces spread out as well for some quarantine activities!

Honey Soy Baked Chicken Thighs

These were delicious! We love chicken thighs if we cook chicken because they’re never as dry as the breasts but these truly reminded me of a Chinese dish you may order in a restaurant.

Make a side of rice or lo mein noodles to go with it and you’ll have a great homemade dish that will be your new favorite!


My mom found this one on the same site as the baked chicken thighs and shared it with us. My tip on this one, take it easy on the hot ingredients. If you like your nose to run while you eat food, go for it, but you can probably omit the crushed red peppers and hot sauce. The Cajun seasoning is plenty of flavor! Also, add what you want in regards to the meat. There is no real rule to that! We had chicken sausage, chicken and some shrimp. No okra here, though I’m sure it’s delicious in it!

Ground Beef Meat Pies

We made our own version of these but I used this recipe as my directive. Also, we had canned biscuits already in the fridge so I used those instead of making homemade. Worked great! We even froze 2 for later, prior to baking, so they’re ready to go when we need a quick meal.

Scalloped Potatoes

My husband insists on always having a 10-pound bag of potatoes in our house. No matter how much I complain about it, we have them. Therefore, I have to come up with potato recipes before they go bad. This recipe reminded me of my childhood and was such a comfort food dish! Super easy to make and we had all of the ingredients here.

Healing Turmeric, Lentil, Farro Soup

This one does require a few odd ingredients you may not have on hand. I had them at the time I made this because I wanted to make this for 2 mama friends of mine who just had newborns when this quarantine began so I stocked up.

This was made for me when my son was born so I wanted to pass along the favor because cooking is the last thing you want to do when you have a new babe at home. It is a great, flavorful soup! It freezes well too.

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

These were something I was craving because I saw Auntie Anne’s advertising home kits. They were fairly easy to make too! I need to work on rolling them a bit longer and thinner because they really swell up and rise. Overall, a great, easy recipe to make for a snack at home!

Give one of these recipes a try! We still have some time on our hands to try something new and bake or cook with the kids. I hope you can enjoy them as much as we did.

Keep yourselves safe!