Traveling with Young Toddlers

Traveling with babies ItemsOne of my dear friends is traveling with her petite to Hawaii in a few days, I was trying to remember what all we packed for our little one when we traveled to California when she was 13 months old and then to Ireland when she was 16 months.  There are a few things that really saved us on our travels:

Stacking cups were great for her because we could put snacks in them and then hide things under them as well.

AquaDoodle book is a must for any kid who is on a plane or in the car it is great.  At 4 years old she still uses it in the car.  It was one of the best purchases we’ve ever made, just don’t lose the water pen.

Easter eggs are great too, buy them now, I always seemed to want them when it wasn’t near Easter.  They are great to put little snacks in or you can put beans in them and make shakers.  Plus they are fun for the kids to open, its like a little present.  Try to find the eggs where they shells are attached that way you wont have to try to find tops or bottoms.

Colorful Post-its these are fun to stick onto the tray table as well as window.  They are also fun to pull off of the little stack, not very environment friendly though.

Blue Painters Tape this stuff is awesome, same idea as post-its, fun to peal on and off of the tray table and windows

Cheerios we used these in the eggs when the petite was 12 months, then used them with pipe cleaners when she was 16 months, she enjoyed putting them onto the pipe cleaners and then eating them

Fruit/Veggie Squishies these are a must for traveling babies, they are the perfect size to take on the plane and virtually mess free.

Toddler or Baby Crayons these are awesome, you can color on small notebook pages. Really easy for little hands to hold onto.

Window Clings I just saw this one on Pinterest, and thought it would be a good idea to have these little cute clings to decorate the window.

Some other items to pack, an extra shirt for you especially if the petite will be sitting in your lap.  A scarf/pashmina for nursing in private.  Extra set of clothes for the petite and binkie if they will use them.

I am sure there are a ton of other ideas out there for traveling with toddlers, if you have a suggestion for something that you do and love please let me know in the comment section.  All of the stuff I listed above can be found at Target, the only thing that I have to order online was the AquaDoodle and you can find it here.

Traveling with a little one can be very overwhelming, I find that the more planning I did the better things turned out and who knows the petites might even just sleep the entire time.  🙂sleeping

Happy Travels.

 

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Starting Seeds Indoors in Egg Shells

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Kentucky Wonder Green Bean

As spring rolls around in most parts of the country, here in Seattle, we usually have a few warm days and lots of rainy days intermixed.  I don’t mind the rain for sleeping in, lounging and reading a book, sipping tea etc.  For planting seeds, it is often too soggy.  A few years ago I had a student who made me a grow light and stand in wood shop – awesome right?  However, I have no idea where my precious light went.  So this spring I have decided to try a new way of starting seeds inside.  Egg Shells.

I had seen and read about people using egg-shells, and I wasn’t really sure how this would work, in the past I’ve used the little peat pots, or the starter discs that fill up with water.  Last spring, I used those little discs and the batch I got was infested with bugs and once I started watering the plants the bugs hatched – super gross.

I also really am not a fan of paying for things that have temporary uses  – like those little dirt discs or peat pots.  My thinking is that we eat a ton of eggs, probably should have chickens we eat so many eggs.  Since I have an abundance of free egg shells I thought I would give it a try.  Let me tell you, I am so glad I did.

I was able to grow seeds in  lightning speed.  Within one week the seeds were doing amazing and some were even overachieving like the one on the left.  Okay let me tell you what we planted in our egg-shells.

Going from left to right:one week in

  1. Kentucky Wonder Green Beans
  2. Tender Green Beans
  3. Straightneck Yellow Squash
  4. Zucchini
  5. Cucumbers
  6. Kentucky Wonder Green Beans

After two weeks some of the green bean seedlings were getting so big they needed a larger space, so I put a few of them into smaller pots.  It is still in the low 40s at night, sometimes still frosting and I am planning to keep them inside just a little bit longer before the hardening off process will take place.

Cucumber

Cucumber

What I thought was so interesting about using the eggs is that the roots seem to be so much more extensive than I have seen in the past, I don’t know if it is the thin membrane on the eggs, but look at those roots.  photo 2The petite and I had so much fun pealing the egg off of the new little plant and putting them into bigger pots.

After already planting these little seeds I read that sometimes smaller seeds do better (oh well, mine did just great), so now I just need to make a frittata, quiche or something to get some more egg shells to start my next batch of seeds, as you may have seen me mention the petite wants to grow “salad” in the gutter garden, so we need to get seeds sown to make her gardening dreams come true.  I loved doing this project and it is really so easy to do.  The hardest part is remembering not to demolish the egg-shell when you crack it.

A really great blog that I am loving to read about all things garden related is Gardening Betty, she has given me some amazing ideas on using found items at home and ways to shop the local dollar store for items that I don’t have around the house.  I am most jealous of her amazing avocado tree, if only one would grow in Seattle.

Yay for Spring!

 

Pinterest Garden Obsession

I don’t know about you, but I look at Pinterest all the time.  It used to be a time suck, but now I do a lot of pinning while I am nursing the baby, so I count it as multitasking.  I love looking at all of the neat ways people out in the world maximize space in their gardens.  My latest obsessions are these amazing gutter gardens.  There are so many neat tutorials out there on how to make these awesome gardens.  Here is one that I loved from this super cute blog Borealis, my only problem is we don’t own, so we can’t drill into the fence.  I have been brainstorming ideas in my head for a few weeks now and came up with what I think to be a pretty solid idea.  To complete the gutter garden I need exceptionally large washers, and some sort of chain link, gutters (obviously) and end caps.  I really am hoping my idea works without, a. breaking the fence; b. falling from the fence; c. looking so bad I have to take it down; and d. all of the above.

This sent me and the petites to Home Depot.

Step One: Find Parts Needed.  I found the 10 foot long gutter right away – check.  Then the end caps were right underneath it – check.  Pushing a cart with a 9 month old strapped to the front of you and a four-year old trying to hold a 10-foot long vinyl gutter – not possible.

Step Two: Cut Gutter. So I asked the wood people if they would cut the gutter for me, “no can do Mam”.  Then I am directed to a self cut station.  With one petite in the cart the other strapped to me, I think yep, I’ve totally got this.  Yeah nope.  Luckily for me a nice man happened to walk by and saw me trying to saw a vinyl gutter with a nine-month-old strapped to the front of me.  He took pity on me and cut it for me.  The younger me, would have been mortified that I couldn’t do it all, that as a woman I would need help from a man.  However, now, I must admit I am very fond of my petites fingers that I said heck yeah, cut this gutter please and thank you.

Step Three: Find parts to hook it to fence.  Now for a way to get it to hook into the fence without doing any damage.  Here was the sort of laughable part, everyone is so friendly and really wants to help you find what you’re looking for.  Lucky for me, when I described how I wanted to craftily put the gutter garden to the fence the employees were able to direct me to all the parts I needed.

Step Four: Pay for ALL the items.  I decided to check out at self check and pay for all the items or so I thought.  Until a slightly terse lady notified me that in fact I had not paid for all of the items; that one of the petites had been sitting on some of them and I did indeed need to pay for them.  Fabulous.  I left being slightly embarrassed, but with all of the parts needed to make my awesome gutter garden.  (Another location that may or may not have a picture of me and the petites in some backroom – see my post on our art museum trip)

picstitchSo here is what everything looked like.  As you can see it’s craftily put together and for us that is just fine, it is holding dirt and water successfully and as you can see the fence is still standing.  Yay!  There are much better tutorials out there about making real gutter gardens.  For example here and here.

With that said, if you rent too and want some craftily put together gutter gardens here are the steps:

  1. buy one vinyl gutter, 6 gutter end caps, 14 feet chain (I chose 16lbs. chain), 4 very large washers, 1.5 inches in diameter, some wire(I used old wire from IKEA picture frames), zip ties.
  2. cut gutters into three sections
  3. put end caps onto gutters – they just push on
  4. drill holes all through gutter for drainage
  5. drill holes into gutter walls to hook chain
  6. use zip ties to hold chain and gutter together
  7. measure out how far you want gutters to hang apart, if they are slightly crooked it isn’t a big deal, it’s better for drainage
  8. hook wire to top of chain apex and then attach washer twist it together to hold tight
  9. repeat steps for single gutter that is left (more than two gutters would be too heavy with water and soil and plants)

I will post more pictures once the plants start growing.  The petite has been telling everyone she wants to grow salad, so that is what we will grow in the gutters.

Happy gardening,

E

A Veritable Shit Show

photo 1Over the last few months we’ve been working on getting my girlies’ epilepsy meds sorted out…what this means is that my lovely daughter who was always terribly sweet, empathetic, polite and charming turned into a wild, loud, rude, angry, aggressive, overtly emotional kid.  The type of kid that you may see in Target screaming because you won’t let them buy those cheap  princess toys at the checkout line.  Or maybe you just happened to see us at Target.  Everything became a battle, literally almost everything was a bargaining session.  There was door slamming that was tantamount of my teenage years.  (sorry about that Mom) There were moments where I would pretend to go to the bathroom just to escape.  Sometimes I would go in there and just silent scream.  You know where you scream and no sound comes out and somehow that makes you feel better.

Worse yet it was the effing meds.  So she couldn’t even begin to try to control it, so getting frustrated seemed incredibly ill placed.

Right after this was taken the strolled was kicked into the gorgeous painting behind it.  Umm...Shit.

Right after this was taken the strolled was kicked into the gorgeous painting behind it. Umm…

Now that the meds are more controlled when we see these behaviors, we are always wondering is it residual issues with meds, is it the anxiety that we’ve seen come before having a seizure, or is it just plain old 4-year-old behavior?  Not sure.

I don’t know about other families but when one of the four of us is in a foul mood or having a rough time, it seems to spread rampantly.  We had one of these days a few weeks ago while we were at the art museum of all places.  My petite, kept crossing the line into exhibits, getting damn close or even touching the art.  To the point where the staff was following us from room to room, at one point I swear I even heard over the walkie talkies, they are coming your way.  We left moments before I am sure they would have kicked us out.  A few days ago they were giving our free tickets to the museum, but since I am pretty sure there is a picture of me and the petites on some back room wall, we opted to stay home.

No big deal just having a timeout in an art museum, complete with a foot stomp.

No big deal just having a timeout in an art museum, complete with a foot stomp.

All of this makes me laugh a little because now that the meds are getting sorted out we are seeing a lot less of this craziness, but you know it still happens and it’s really all about how you react to it.  I have a really hard time not being mortified when we’re in public and she throws a fit, I feel like it’s a reflection of my parenting.  This of course doesn’t help when bitchy people (sometimes even other moms, WTF?) give you snarky looks – like control our child;  wow, what a brat; ugh, glad my kids are so perfect.  I also love the parents that give me the look like I’ve been there, those parents are my favorite.  I’ve really tried not to freak out about what other parents or people think.  My handsome hubby has really helped me to let it go and not worry about this.  Now my mantra is: do I know these people?  Do I really care what they think?  If I did know them what would they do?  Odds are if I was out with my friends when this happens, well I was at the museum with a friend.  She laughed hysterically with me, then we went to a local brewery for a mid-afternoon lunch/mommy beer.  Don’t judge, we deserved it, we were basically kicked out of an art museum.

My not so expert recommendation for veritable shit shows, try to keep your cool and if you can’t get the hell out of there and laugh about it with a friend.

E

An English Majors Daughters

One of my very first memories as a child was reading a book, it was this book (the exact book my petite is reading), I loved all of the pictures that werephoto 3 in this story so much, plus it is a huge book.  I remember sitting on a chair and holding this book looking at all of the amazing illustrations when the book started to slide off of my lap, I tried to hold onto it and in the process ripped the page.  I remember being horrified that I ruined the book.  My mom reassured me that it wasn’t ruined and a little tape would sort it all out.  Now, my daughter pulls it out and the rip is still there…but she doesn’t seem to mind.    Now that she is almost five she doesn’t want to take naps anymore, boo!  So we have a quiet time rule, she lays in bed and reads books.  It is pretty cute to see what her top choices are.   She takes quite a large pile of books to bed with her each day.

I think by now everyone has heard that reading with your kids has amazing benefits, time spent with them, time modeling being a reader, spending time talking about illustrations, or favorite parts of stories.  As petites get older they can read to you, it’s basically a win-win situation.  As a teacher I am always recommending to parents who ask what I can do at home with my kids – read!  Be a voracious reader, surround yourself with books, magazines, comic books, whatever.

Since I’m a bit of a nerd my petite has had books galore before she was even born.  I religiously read books to my belly and when she was born, I continued even before she was able to hold her head up let alone a book.  I think one of the first items we bought for her nursery was a bookcase and it was over flowing by the time she arrived.

One of my favorite things about this petite is that she has an amazing memory for things like stories and songs, and she has photo 1a few that she knows all the words to and she now will read them to her little sister.  Recently a good friend of mine introduced us to these amazing books – A BabyLit – they are an English majors dream come true for their kids.  These books are so incredibly cute.  My friend went on a mission to get all of them for her petite.  When holidays, birthdays or births would happen my very literary pal would get ones for my girls.  A-Mazing.  Love like-minded mommies.

Recently, I was at Costco and they had these gems in two packs for under $10 – WHAT?!  The only problem was the way the packs were divided I already had one of each in the pack.  I should have just bought them all at the time, Costco remorse (the feeling when you think it will be there always and you go back three, no kidding, three days later and they are all gone).  Anyway, they are just really cute primers that are easy for bigger kids to share with smaller ones and well if you are an English Major or book lover they are even more fabulous.  photoThere are a ton of them and they can all be found on Amazon so that is awesome.  There are new ones all the time so you can pick which baby versions of your favorite classics you like the best.  Or like me and my pal just try to buy them all, however, I need to get shopping because I only have six at the moment and I believe there are 14!

Just to share a little more about my love for Jennifer Adams BabyLit books – she has other totally cute products that I covet.  Check out these incredibly cute totes – so cute for a trip to the library.  After perusing her site a little more I found these cute little play sets that go along with the books – could these be any cuter?  Oh buddy, then if you’re looking for decor, the illustrator sells the prints from these books!  Lovely!

Basically, I am in love with these books and so are my petite’s.  I usually give books to expecting mommies and now these books always make it into the Petite Stag’s favorite book list/gift.  If you know another book lover I am sure that these books will not disappoint.  Also, how cute would they be packaged in a little tote!? Come on, cutest gift ever.

Happy Reading!

E

Erin Go Bragh – Trip Planning

After I posted yesterday I got to thinking about our trip to Ireland, romantically thinking, about how incredibly wonderful it is.  My hubs and I both agree that you can walk out of the airport in Ireland and be good to go.  Meaning, Ireland is a place where you feel safe all the time, you feel welcome all the time, no one ever gets pissy with you – even if you don’t know how to maneuver the roundabouts, are trying to sort out how to drive a stick shift in a parking lot, or accidentally bump someone’s car as you are trying to get the hell out of the busy streets of Dublin.  In my last post I shared my top 5 (okay, really six) places that I loved the most.

Now, I want to share about the planning and prep-work that we did to get ready for our amazing travels.  I hit the local public library and checked out every book they had on Ireland, literally every book.  I have the library fines to prove it.  I watched all of the Rick Steves episodes about Ireland – in the end deciding I am not sure I like Rick and his ambiguous accent.   After religiously pouring through the travel books, I decided, to buy these three books:

51ZwWi3RndL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA160_ 51yPwmHan0L__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ untitled

So as you can see I love the DK Eyewitness Travel books, they are very visual which I like, it also gives a little snippet of historical info which I find to be super helpful.  The reason that I would recommend these books above the others, are mainly for the maps, visuals and accuracy of the information in them(as long as you get a recent one).  The back roads book was so helpful in looking at the different ways one could drive around and points of interest along the way – I loved seeing the potential of our trip(this was the book that got me the most fines).  The Dublin Top 10 may not have been necessary, but we had used one of the DK Top 10 books when we traveled to Washington DC and it was so helpful, gave a lot more detail of places to eat and have a pint etc.  Another reason why the DK books worked well for us is that we chose a B&B package where you paid all up front and then got a little travel book of all the B&B’s that qualified.  So we didn’t need a book that would offer places to stay…if you are looking for a travel book that will offer advice about places to stay these are not the books for you.  Books that give advice about where to stay that I really enjoyed are, wait for it: Rick Steve’s Book, they have a lot of staff working to make their guides awesome – and unlike the reruns of his trip to Ireland from what seems like the 80s, seriously, with the backpacks, I can’t handle it –  thankfully the books are up to date.

book5

My personal travel guide

But here’s the real deal, when you’re traveling you have limited space, so you’re not going to bring a library with you that will take up space in your suitcase when you consider how much room you’ll be needing to bring back bottles of Jameson.  At the time, I read a blog that said you should take the books apart and make your own book.  EEK!  As a book lover, taking a book apart is…well it’s not going to happen.  So, I opted to copy the pages that I thought I would need and made my own book (see below), I took notes on places that were of interest to us all in this little composition style notebook.  I personally loved having this as we would pull up to places, I could spout out what I knew about it and write down other notes about the places we went.  I also kept lists of the things we wanted to see, and then marked them off as we saw them.  It was great.  But I am a bit of a nerd, and I loved putting together this special book.  If this is not your thing, the books listed above will be great, if I had to buy just one book, DK Ireland would be my go to guide.  In thinking about it, we have been other places and I have not done anything like this again, I think I did it because I knew how special this trip would be to us, how it was our dream adventure that I would never want to forget.

book1book2book4

The next time you come, you’ll be home.

When my petite family went to Ireland in 2011 we didn’t really know what to expect, it was our first trip overseas and we were so excited.  We had planned out our self driving tour of Ireland – two weeks to cover the entire country, Irelandeven though our travel agent really advised us not to move so quickly.  Little did we know that what he said would mean something else when we returned.  It was not about seeing everything, it was about being in the moment and being able to take the time to get acquainted with this remarkable place.  In retrospect it was perfect for us to get a small sampling of so many different areas, because in all honestly, once we saw the lovely fields and all of the green we were sold.  We were greedy and took all that we could get of this amazing place.

Top Five in Ireland

I couldn’t commit to finding just five attractions that I liked the best so we are going with places…here goes…

In Dublin, we did all of the touristy things, we got a pass to ride the hop on hop off, best deal, when we did take a cab – the asshole, not an Irishman took us on a long journey through the city, when we were essentially a handful of blocks away.  Boo!  I think my top three of Dublin would be 1. Kilmainham Gaol; 2. Long Room @ Trinity College; 3. Jameson Distillery Tour – I was an official taster.  Awesome!  My Hubby’s top three were 1. walking the streets over the bridges of the River Liffey (although there were some super sketchy people as the sun went down – I am a bit of a wuss though) 2. Jameson Distillery – he wasn’t a taster 😦 3. Trinity College seeing the amazing long room.  You could spend a ton of time in Dublin and still not see everything.

In Wiklow, oh my goodness, when you think of Ireland and see the green fields and the lochs with the misty mountains in your mind, IDSC_0576 am pretty sure you’re dreaming of Wicklow. After leaving the grit of Dublin it was our first “country” experience and it did not disappoint.  Go to Glendalough!  Seriously, go, right now, I think I might have even cried I was so overwhelmed with the immense beauty of it all.  The pictures cannot capture it all.  The old monastic settlements just standing there for you to walk through, there is a loch to go and stand and look at the gorgeous beauty of it all.  In fact it is so lovely that tons of movies have been filmed in Wicklow – Braveheart, PS I love you, Becoming Jane, there is a whole website about doing film drives in Wicklow.  Had I known this before hand the hubs and the petite and I would have been reenacting FREEDOM!!!

Cobh and Cork, so if you happen to be one of the 35 million people in the US who claim Irish heritage odds are your DSC_0063people last touched the shores of Ireland in Cobh pronounced “cove”.  Before we left I had done a ton of genealogical work about my Irish ancestry, I even have relatives still in Ireland (stay tuned), so it was an important stop for me to see what my great grandpoarents last saw.  It is a gorgeous little town.  On to Cork, see how I really have six favorites, but I put two together…sneaky…Cork is awesome, I loved it there, made my hubby go shopping with me at this totally fun store Oasis, the open air market was awesome – we picked up goodies to eat on the road so much fun.

County Kerry, I would move here in a millisecond, seriously, I would pack up the petites and go to Kerry, more DSC_0424specifically Portmagee felt like home.  My family is from Portmagee, has lived in the same parcel of land for hundreds of years, and some still live there, we had the opportunity to randomly meet them, but that’s another post.  Kerry is like Wicklow in the sense that it feels like the purest form of Ireland.  I was so nervous and excited to roll into Cahersiveen and then into Portmagee, for me it was all about where my people had come from and how even generations ago impacts who I am today.  What made Portmagee so amazing was the PEOPLE!  What amazing people, seriously, you felt like you were meeting old friends.  People say that kind of thing all the time, and I had previously thought yeah right, strangers aren’t that friendly – no in Ireland they are – okay maybe just much more so in Kerry.

Clifden, I used to have this calendar, you know how you buy a calendar of places you’d rather be then where you are, well I DSC_0079ripped out a month and saved it like 10 years ago and it was Clifden.  The place looks like a postcard.  We splurged here and took our 16 month old out to a fancy dinner, haha, she was so good, previously she would fuss a bit because she wanted “real food” – as in not boiled veggies.  We stayed at this B&B that was our favorite in all of Ireland, Ardmore House.  As I write this I am thinking of the place we stayed the night before, the B&B house dog was so cute and the petite wanted to see it, she also wanted to see the cows (working dairy farm – should have known better) and the dog jumped all over me and covered me in shit.  I mean I smelled, well, I smelled like cow shit. Sorry I digress.  Okay, back to Clifden, some of my favorite pictures from Ireland and memories are from this lovely place.  Behind the B&B were cliffs, what?  Cliffs in Clifden – say what?  So I laid down in the grass by the cliffs and it was just this completely serene moment I will never forget.  And my hubby actually captured the moment, how sweet is that?

Ireland is all everyone says it is, so amazing, we miss it, it is a place where I felt like I was at home, in fact after chatting with a local historian in Portmagee about my family he looked at me and said, well dear, the next time you come, you’ll be home.  Until then…

Baby Shower Games and Goodies

Shower Games

I think we all have been to showers and had to play games that made us roll our eyes or just aren’t terribly fun or the worse the ones where I feel like a bad mom because I don’t know the nursery rhymes.  I tried to think about our audience and make choices that would be appropriate from ages 20s – 80s.  There are tons of super cute games to choose from, my mommy to be in this case is a very practical mommy, so I chose to have one of the games be:

The Price is Rightprice is right shower gameThis game is so much fun to do.  You choose some baby items and pick them up at the store and have shower guests guess how much the items are and then come up with a grand total.  It was so fun to then go through and say how much things actually were, lots of people who either hadn’t had babies yet or in a while got a huge kick out of this game.  Then the best part, the mommy gets to keep all the goodies.

Daddy Knows Best

This is a hilarious game.  There is a list of questions to ask the daddy-to-be (you do it beforehand) and then have the mommy-to-be guess what the daddy said.  Guests try to guess how many questions the mommy-to-be will get right.  It is hilarious.  You go through each question one at a time, read it, mommy answers, then read the daddy’s.  In this case, the daddy is pretty funny and we all got a kick out of the answers her provided.  Daddy Knows Best Shower Game

Baby Gift Bingo

This is a really fun game for guests, it is also nice if mommy-to-be is a little shy about opening presents in front of everyone.  You simply print out a bingo board and have guests write down gifts that they think the parents will get, then they shout out bingo when the get five in a row.  There are tons of cute options to purchase on ETSY, or you can make your own.  Baby Shower Bingo

Prizes

I wanted to have cute pink prizes for the three game winners, so I chose to buy a light pink polish Essie has tons of options.  I put a cute little ribbon around the top.  I didn’t think to get a picture beforehand and then it seemed a little silly to ask the guests to put them back so I could take one.

We did three games and I think that was plenty.  We did The Price is Right while everyone was eating, then as they were finishing up we did Daddy Knows Best.  Then we were going to open presents, so we passed out the bingo cards.

I got lots of compliments about the games at the shower, lots of people said that they were the most fun shower games that they had ever played.  A few of the guests, asked for the extra copies so they could use them at showers they were going to host.  Overall, I loved the games and was really excited about how people received them.

Shower Favorsphoto 2

The mommy-to-be is a huge tea drinker, so for the favors I chose to give tea.  Inside each of the cute little bags were 4 jasmine tea bags.  The little sticker says “A Baby is Brewing…expected delivery _____”, I just picked these little stickers up at the stationery store and put the wording I wanted into the template.

Crostini Four Ways

crostiniThere is something about small bites of food that I just love.  Part of it is that you don’t have to commit to a huge portion, you can try a lot of different options.  I love that crostini toppings have so many different flavors and textures.  Also who doesn’t love toast, did you know that crostini means “little toast” in Italian?

For the baby shower I hosted I wanted to do crostini, but I couldn’t decide on just one, so I opted for four different toppings.  All of the recipes make 2 dozen, maybe even a few more depending on how you slice the bread.

These first two recipes are from my uncle, he is a fabulous cook, he’s been making these for years and once you try them you will see why, they are delicious.

Smoked Salmon Dijon Dill Crostini  salmon

baguette sliced 1/4 inch, brushed with olive oil and baked at 350 for 10-20 minutes flipping over halfway

1/2 cup goat cheese

6 oz. smoked salmon

dill for garnish

Dijon sauce: 2 tbsp. red onion finely chopped, 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 4 tbsp. honey mustard, 4 tsp. chopped dill  (can be made ahead of time, I made it the night before).

Toast crostini, spread with goat cheese, dollop the sauce onto the goat cheese, place small piece of smoked salmon on top.  Put a small piece of dill on top for garnish.

Tapenade Crostini  tapenade

baguette sliced 1/4 inch, brushed with olive oil and baked at 350 for 10-20 minutes flipping over halfway

1 cup kalamata olives

1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

3 – 4 tbsp. olive oil (add in while mixing)

Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse till it is a coarse mix.

Spread on crostini.

The Balsamic Strawberry Crostini was a Pinterest find, however, I modified it a little bit, but here is where the idea started.

Balsamic Strawberry Crostini   cro

baguette sliced 1/4 inch, brushed with olive oil and baked at 350 for 10-20 minutes flipping over halfway

1/2 cup goat cheese

2 cups strawberries chopped into small pieces

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup basil chopped

coat strawberries in balsamic vinegar and bake at 350 for about 10 -15 minutes on a baking sheet.  Spread crostini with goat cheese and put strawberries on top, add basil as a garnish on top.

This recipe was originally an open face sandwich form, but it was so good, why not make it into a smaller bite.

Pesto Prosciutto Egg Crostini  proscuitto

baguette sliced 1/4 inch, brushed with olive oil and baked at 350 for 10-20 minutes flipping over halfway.

classic pesto sauce (or make your own)

6 slices of prosciutto

4-5 hard-boiled eggs sliced ( I don’t use the end pieces because they lack the yolk)

So easy to make, you can use any type of pesto you like or you can make your own. Put a layer of pesto, a small piece of prosciutto and a hard-boiled egg slice.  This is an amazing sandwich too, but such a delicious bite as a crostini.