June 7, 2012

For the love of Pesto

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I've been making a lot of pesto lately and we love it!  I usually make a batch every other week and freeze it to use throughout the week in recipes.

3 cups packed fresh basil
4 cloves garlic (use 1 - 3 more if you love garlic)
1/2 cup softened butter
2 cups parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
olive oil

Add first 5 ingredients to food processor.  While blending, slowly add in olive oil until your pesto is the consistency of a thick paste.  At this point, I like to taste it and add in a little extra garlic if needed.

June 6, 2012

Cloth Diapering

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Cloth diapering, of CD'ing, isn't just for hippie mamas anymore!  Where I live it's very common for moms to cloth diaper.  ACtually, most of the kids in our daycare where cloth - which I love!

So why do I use cloth?

First and foremost, it's cheaper.  Disposable diapers average about $1,600 to $2,000 for the first 2 years of a child's life.  That's if you're lucky enough to have your child potty-trained at age 2.  I have a boy, so that's not quite realistic.  So you can add on an additional $600 - $1,000.  That's a lot of money!

I purchased several different types of cloth diapers.  I have the basic prefolds with covers, then a little bit of everything else.  I found lots of deals online on Craigslist and Ebay, some at consignment stores, and several I purchased new for a deep discount on Black Friday.  And yes, it's safe to purchase used.  I use the sanitary cycle on my washer and a splash of bleach and my diapers are like new.

Secondly, I cloth diaper for the environment.  Disposable diapers are the third largest item in landfills.  During the course of infancy, a child in disposables will create over 1 ton of garbage added to our landfills.  That's a lot of trash, folks.

There are also tons of perks to cloth.  They're super cute and come in great colors and patterns.  They are gentler on baby's skin and can cut down on diaper rash, and for a baby with sensitive skin like my kiddo that's really important.

Here's a list of some of our favorite cloth diapers:

Flip Diapers - These are covers with a simple, removable insert.  They also sell disposable inserts for travel.

Thirsties Covers - PUL covers that go over a prefold.

Fuzzi Bunz Pockets - Easy to use diaper with a removable insert that slips into a "pocket".

For more cloth diapering info I highly recommend the book Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering.

June 3, 2012

Buying Used Baby Gear

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Babies require so many items.  You have to have a car seat, stroller, crib, bouncer, clothes... the list goes on and on.  One of the best ways to save money on baby gear is to buy used.

Most baby items can be purchased used.  The only items that need to be brand new are car seats.  If buying a used crib, be sure it hasn't been recalled or doesn't have drop-sides.

Consignment sales are a great way to save money and get some nice, gently used items.

Craigslist is also great for getting baby items.  Often items I see moms selling clothing by the lot, which is a great way to buy a bunch of items and not have to meet up with several sellers.

Ebay.  I've found some great diaper bags - I'm a little bit of a diaper bag addict - on Ebay.  There are lots of gently used baby items and clothing lots.

Consignment Sales

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Everyone knows that having a baby and buying all the gear they need can be expensive.  It can be, but it doesn't have to be.  When I was pregnant I decided I wasn't going to break the bank in order for my baby to have everything he needed.  I was able to score several cloth diapers, bags and bags of new-looking clothes, and lots of bottles.

I started by going to consignment sale events.  These are different than actual consignment stores.  Consignment events usually take place over a weekend at a warehouse or empty store.  Families price their own items and you'll usually find tons of items at good prices to choose from.  A consignment store also has items from families that they're consigning.  The prices are typically higher, but sometimes the quality is better.

Kids Consignment Sales has a database of most of the consignment event sales by state.  

Consignment Mommies has a database of consignment stores by state. 

June 2, 2012

My Favorite Things in May

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I signed up for Target's Spring Beauty Bag and I was so excited when it arrived.  I got a really cute pink cosmetic bag filled with samples and coupons for popular beauty products.  One item in it that I am now addicted to was the Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes.  Whoa baby, these are awesome.  They take off all my makeup, including my mascara.  And they smell divine.  I would buy them by the case if I could.

I love love love this song by Fun. I've been hearing it all over the radio and I'm hooked. Definitely my favorite song this month.

For my first Mother's Day I was spoiled.  My awesome husband surprised me with a Kindle Fire, something I've been wanting for a while.  I downloaded several books on it to read before bed. It also has wi-fi so I can browse the web and feed my Etsy addiction.  

May 30, 2012

Crescent Chicken

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I found this super easy recipe on Pinterest, of course, and we love it.  I've changed it up a little bit to suit our tastes, though.  We like a little kick, so I've added paprika and sour cream.

Image and Recipe via Comfy In the Kitchen


1 (8 or 6 jumbo count) package refrigerator crescent rolls
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (about 2 - 3 breasts)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk (If you don't have milk on hand, use 1/2 can of water and 1/2 cup of sour cream)

Preheat oven to 350
Prepare soup using milk and set aside. Separate crescent rolls. Spoon chicken and cheese onto each crescent; roll and seal to enclose filling. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour soup over rolls. Sprinkle with paprika to taste.  
Bake at 350 uncovered for 30 mins.

Serves 2 - 4

Price per serving ~ $2 per person


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I was lucky enough to find an amazing daycare for PJ.  They absolutely love him, and he adores them as well.  There are two women who run the infant area who are so kind and warm.  PJ spends his day being read to, getting lots of snuggles and singing songs.  There is an infant area that's seperated, but during music time they bring the infants to the toddler area so the babies can watch and participate.

During PJ's first week they posted lots of pictures on their parents-only Facebook page.  I love being able to see updates and pictures of him throughout the day.  It makes being away from him all day just a little bit easier.

Here's my favorite picture of him enjoying his friends at daycare.

May 29, 2012

Creamy Tortellini Soup

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I discovered this recipe on Pinterest and am hooked.  I made a batch last Sunday and had it for lunch each day.  It was so yummy and filling, the perfect lunch for work.

Image and recipe via BHG


1 1/2 - 2 oz. white sauce packet 
4 cups water
  14 oz. can vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 - 8 ounce package dried cheese tortellini (about 2 cups)
12 ounce can evaporated milk
6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach
Ground black pepper (optional)
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Place dry white sauce mix in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Gradually add the water to the white sauce mix, stirring until smooth. Stir in broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Stir in dried tortellini. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour more or high-heat setting for 45 minutes more.

Stir in evaporated milk and fresh spinach. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

3 Months Old

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My boy is already 3 months old.  My, where has the time gone?  It feels like just yesterday he was a tiny little bean snuggled up on my chest.  Now he is a busy little guy, giggling and cooing at the sound of my voice.

To get me through the last few months there have been a few products that were absolute lifesavers.

We love the Summer Infant SwaddleMe blankets.  PJ loves to be swaddled and he sleeps soooo much better when he's snug in his swaddle.  And being the frugal mama I am, I was able to find these at consignment sales for about $2 each.  Score!

The Rock n Play sleeper was highly recommended when I was pregnant.  I was so glad we invested in one.  During his first few weeks PJ slept in the Rock n Play next to the bed and I could easily reach over and check on him.  Being cuddled up in the confined environment helped him sleep better, plus being inclined help with his hiccups and spit up.  I bought mine on Craigslist and had hardly been used.  Plus, it's very easy to completely take apart and wash.  Great for the mama of a pukey baby like mine.

Our most favorite product, by far, is the Homedics SoundSpa.  This magic machine has 3 different songs, plus 3 nature sounds.  Our favorite part, though, is the projection.  There are 3 different discs included that project rotating images on the wall or ceiling.  Once we lay PJ down and turn on his "show" he stares at it and coos until he falls asleep.  He also loves the Rock a Bye Baby song and instantly settles down when we turn it on.

March 10, 2012

Photo Card

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