Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tie-Dye & Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

When my sister passed along a TON of plain white onsies, I knew instantly that they wouldn't stay white for long. Not because of stains from baby vomit or other bodily fluids... but from tie-dye!!! Therefore, Ross and I decided to throw a little tie-dye party to help us make them all. 

So I made some summer treats.

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs 

1 pound organic strawberries 
1 large Angel Food Cake
1 bag marshmallows (we used vegan Dandies) 
Almond Bark or other melt-able chocolate 
Bamboo skewers 

Slice the green blossom off the strawberries and cut into bite size pieces if needed, the rinse thoroughly. 
Cut the angel food cake into bite size pieces. 
Assemble your kabobs - skewer the strawberries, cake and marshmallows in the pattern of your choice. 
Then melt the chocolate according to the directions on the package and drizzle on top of the kabobs. 
Let cool and enjoy! It's really that simple, and the result is delicious! 

Invited over some friends and family.

Some friends came all the way from Alaska - so happy to see Michelle from The Runner's Plate and her sister Kristy! 

And we dyed some onsies!!! It's really quite simple - pick up a pack of dye from your local craft store (like this one) and follow the directions. The great thing about it is that you really can't mess it up - just tie the shirts with the rubber bands and dye away! 

The results were beautiful! 

I can't wait to dress our little one in these! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Third Trimester

The third trimester is coming to a close... and while I'm not done yet, I thought I would share some thoughts just in case they don't get written down. 

This trimester is definitely more difficult than the second, but I think better than the first. Second tri is great - I felt energetic, belly wasn't so big it got in the way, and I don't have morning sickness like in the first, though my appetite has definitely been wonky lately. I've been craving more carbs and meat while some veggies have just not been as appealing to me. 

This idea of being "full term" at 37 weeks is weird... it basically means that baby will be healthy on her own outside the womb, but chances are high that you'll still be pregnant for another 3-4 weeks and it is good for her to come out when she is good and ready. On the other hand, I'm starting to feel good and ready for her to come out. 

This baby girl is active - it is so crazy to see how much she moves. 
Pre-natal yoga at Blooma
Baby Showers!!! 
Maternity Photos at Rod Radtke Photography 
Receiving my first mother's day cards/gifts 
Moving into our own place and finally setting up a nursery 
Feeling a bit more like myself again
Insurance FINALLY came through for us... more details to come =)
Childbirth classes - we feel so much more empowered and prepared!
Savoring one-on-one time with Ross  

Being anemic and having to supplement iron = slow digestive system 
Stretch marks... Sigh. Welcome to motherhood! 
Even some of my maternity clothes are getting snug...
I have this crazy fear that she's a he. 
Rolling over at night and crawling out of bed to use the bathroom are definitely Olympic events. If she was due later in August, I would travel to London to compete. 
Work is getting exhausting... it is challenging to be on my feet for 6-8 hours and I feel like whimp even though I shouldn't (I am growing a person after all). 

28 weeks 

29 weeks 

30 weeks 

31 weeks 

32 weeks 

33 weeks 

34 weeks 

35 weeks 

36 weeks 

37 weeks - FULL TERM!!!

Three questions everyone asks: 
1. When are you due? 
2. Is it a boy or a girl? 
3. What's her name? 

I am getting really tired of them.... so I start making things up. I've been telling guests at work that it's a surprise so we don't even go to question #3. And I lie about her name to everyone... I keep saying it will be "Liberty Belle" since she's due on the 4th of July (after Juno's little sister). Ross tells everyone that she is going to pick when she's old enough. 

Well - here's to hoping and praying for a safe, speedy delivery and a healthy baby!!! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shrimp Kabobs

Shrimp Kabobs

One of our favorite easy summer meals are making kabobs. It's also a great meal full of nutritious whole foods! Simply gather some good ingredients - we used bell peppers, red onions, fully cooked shrimp, and red potatoes (I roasted them ahead of time). You could also marinate some chicken,  or add pineapple or apples to the skewers for some sweetness. 

Chop the veggies into large bite-size pieces and place them on the grill! We used the George Foreman because we didn't want to go find our camping grill in the basement, but any grill will do! 

Delicious! Ahhh the glory of summer. =)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cloth Diapering

My Mother-in-Law found a little gem in Blaine called All Things Diapers - and was a treasure it has been! They are a great local business, answered all our questions (and believe me, we had a TON) and got us all set up for cloth diapering. They even have great workshops and education events as well.

Why on earth use cloth diapers?!?!?! Because we're crazy. Crazy broke and crazy in love with the earth. And disposable diapers are just that... disposable. They go right into landfills and don't biodegrade (even biodegradable diapers don't because the conditions in landfills are not conducive to it). Solid waste then goes into trash cans instead of into the sewer system.  

To be honest though, it's not really an all-or-nothing thing for us. For instance, we really won't start using cloth until she grows out of newborn size (I didn't want to buy cloth newborn diapers for what would be such a short time, so we'll use disposable for a short while. Plus it'll be just a little bit easier in the first few weeks that I'm sure will be crazy enough anyway.) And I'm definitely using disposables when we travel/camp - it just doesn't make sense - how on earth would I wash them? 

AND... it's a heck of a lot cheaper. Thanks to wonderful family and friends, we have only spent $9 towards getting our cloth diapering system ready. But even if we hadn't been gifted so much it still would have cost only about $200 for everything on this page. Disposable diapers cost about $1000 a year. So add in a little extra laundry detergent and a little extra on the utility bill... the cost savings is just incredible. 

The Basics: Cloth Diapers 

Initially when I started researching cloth diapers and read a bunch of blogs it seemed like all-in-one diapers like the Bumgenius were the best - they were cute, convenient, and so highly recommended that we thought that was for sure the way to go. After going into All Things Diapers and getting a little tutorial and looking at our options, however, we decided that the classic pre-fold route was not only cheaper (by more than half) but the process was more appealing to us. I think what it comes down to are which companies are getting bloggers to write about them... and it had me convinced. Ross and I are pretty happy with what we decided to try out - and will definitely let you know if we are still happy with it after! 

So we have the pre-folds, which are just an absorbent cotton diaper worn against the skin. 

Then of course you need the waterproof outer diaper! You need 1 cover for every 4-5 diaper changes, which of course will vary as they get older. We got four from Thirsties -  their duo diaper. They ran $12.95 ($1 more for prints) in the store. We got 3 with snaps and one with Velcro - I personally feel like the snaps are more durable, but thought we could try out the Velcro as well. Who knows what we will really like. Great thing is we can return/exchange everything!!! 

I like that the Thirsties come in a size one and a size two - so you should only need two sizes until potty training as opposed to ones sizes in newborn, s, m, l, xl. They get a bit better fit than one size, but are still very adjustable. 

This one was on consignment for $6 so we decided to try it - a Bummis size small. (That's another great thing - they have a used/consignment section!)

These next two are one size and adjustable - we have them snapped to the smallest right now (I should have taken pictures with them unsnapped). This is a Rump*a*rooz cover. 

And these two are Econobums which were by far the best deal at only $8.95, and we definitely wanted a couple plain white to go under certain outfits. As cute as the colors and prints are, we thought they might show through some clothing and having plain colors would be nice.  

The Accessories 

No more pins!!! For which I was relieved. The are called Snappi Diaper Fasteners and work the same way that those little metal clips on an elastic bandage would. 

Something awesome that my soon-to-be cousin-in-law (1 week til her wedding!!!!) Jenna found were these flush-able, biodegradable diaper liners from OsoCosy. The line the pre-folds so that solid waste easily goes right where it should - down the toilet. Makes for easier clean up and as my sis-in-law said, she would be much more willing to work with cloth diapers if should could use these liners. A pack of 100 cost $8. Not sure if these will be a permanent part of our system, but maybe! Makes for a nice hybrid between cloth and disposable. 

These are flannel wipes from Osocozy - instead of buying wipes! You just wet them with warm water and use one every diaper change. Toss them in with the diapers when you are ready to wash and you're good to go! These were also a great deal - $6.50 for 15. 

Seems like it could be the worst part right? Eh... shouldn't be too bad. 

My dear friend Krystal sent us this beauty (along with a few diapers and such) - a hand held diaper sprayer (among other things)! It just attaches to the toilet and when you wish to use it you pull the lever and have a high powered stream of water to use to rinse soiled diapers and put solid waste directly into the toilet. 

Also we got two diaper pail liners (large) to keep diapers in between washes (recommended is every 36-48 hours) and a small wet bag to use if we are out and about. Both are cloth, waterproof, and go right into the wash with the diapers. I imagine we may need to pick up another small travel one, but we'll see how it all goes. 

Many brands of cloth diapers make their own laundry detergent, but really you just need something that is additive free like Seventh Generation Free & Clear. Plus you can find this brand at Target or the like - which is much easier than worrying about ordering it from a website.

 For washing you just use a hot wash, cold rinse, extra rinse perhaps, and it's best to line dry in the sun (will remove the most stains) but tumble dry is fine in the winter. 


You can see the use of the Snappi here. 

Then we tried a couple covers on our Slumber Buddy Frog. This one Ross did... and then he ran away when I grabbed the camera. Oh well. 

Looks like Froggy is giving us a thumbs up! 

Any tips or advice for using cloth diapers? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad

I love food with lots of colors and lots of flavor. I have been trying to make some meals ahead for the week so that I have easy, healthy options to take for lunch at work, and this is my favorite so far!!! 

1 cup dry quinoa
1 cup frozen corn 
1 bunch fresh cilantro, torn 
1 bunch green onions 
1/2 medium red onion
1 tomato
1 bell pepper 
1 jalapeno pepper, if desired 
1 lime
1-2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed) 
Seasonings al gusto: salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic

First cook the quinoa according to the directions (I did 1 cup dry quinoa with 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth, cooked on the stove-top until all the liquid has been absorbed.) 

While the quinoa is cooking you can chop up all those other colorful ingredients into small pieces.

The in a large bowl mix the quinoa, beans, and everything else! Squeeze the juice of 1 lime and add seasonings as well. I just put it in the fridge overnight to let the corn defrost and it was ready to go! 

This tasted so fresh and summery wrapped in a tortilla with a little bit of cheese. It's a super easy salad that would also work great for a summer potluck. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Nursery

Getting ready for baby... 

We were so excited when we found our duplex because the smaller bedroom was already painted green! It really didn't take too long for the nursery to come together, and I love how it turned out! 

A couple things in this photo that I'm excited about include the little frog on the top of the cube wire shelf - a slumber buddy! It plays white noise and shines stars all over the ceiling. I also love the color the fabric storage boxes add - they are full of books, bibs, toys and one is empty! 

The dresser/changing table is awesome and gives us a lot more storage. The top drawer is full is butt paste, diaper rash cream, baby sunscreen, and all sorts of things. The other two drawers are full of blankets, extra crib sheets and the like. We've also got a cloth diapering system in the works though it is not complete, and I'll talk about this more and share how it all goes for us as well. 

I LOVE the big leaf canopy from IKEA as well as the hanging mobile of bugs. The decals for the wall came from Target and are just adorable, and they really add some color and character to the room. 

This is a poster I bought while I was in college and decided that right above the changing table was the perfect place for it, and that it fit the theme of the room so well. The poster is a shortened version of the poem, and I think the advice is sound for a little one who is growing and all of us. 

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud 
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots

Feel the wind and the sun 
Be content with your natural beauty 
Enjoy the view!

This rug was also an IKEA purchase and one of my most favorite things in the room. I can't wait to see our little girl crawling on the rug and how it might spark her imagination as she grows! 

The wall decals are from Target, we only $12 and really gave the room some character. At first Ross and I poured over nursery sets and couldn't decide on a perfect one, but in the end I realized that getting a matching set is not only super expensive, but it's not as much fun as just letting some pieces inspire you. 

Plus the homemade quilts and other gifts make it so much more unique - like this quilt my dear college roommate Megs made, or the teething caterpillar my friend Hayley picked up at the Fremont Market

For a while we were worried that the room was too green and bland, so we decided to hang this quilt that my Great Aunt made - cute and pink with butterflies. 

The close is full of all kinds of goodies! I love this hanging organizer, and it was fun to wash and organize all kinds of tiny little onsies and dresses. Also got a Pack'n'Play!

Some things we decided to buy with Baby Shower gift cards include a Boppy and a Bumbo

All kinds of goodies for breastfeeding - a pump, bottles, tubes, and lots of storage bags. 

My dad got us an Ergo Baby Carrier which we are very excited to have! It will be perfect for our hiking and outdoorsy adventures. We also got a Moby Wrap which we spent some time last night practicing how to tie. I'm excited to get to try it with her outside of my belly! The amount of fabric that the Moby Wrap has was definitely intimidating, but after practicing tying I decided it's not that bad at all! Just like learning new knots for rock climbing. The Moby is definitely a better choice for us that the Baby K-tan (which is essentially the same kind of wrap but pre-sized) because the Moby is adjustable and both Ross and I can use it. No point in spending the money to buy two! I can't wait to try them out and let you know what I think.