Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crazy Good French Toast

So, we have been doing e-mealz for a year now, and I love it. I love not having to come up with meals for us to eat every night and having the same thing over and over again. I think maybe one meal has been repeated all year and that was okay, because it was one of my favorites. I have repeated some of them myself, because we just loved them that much.

Tonight was one of those nights. I made some really awesome French toast. I am going to give you my variation on it, because the original recipe called for croissants to use for the bread and I just thought that may be way too rich.

Banana Pecan French Toast

French Toast
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 t cinnamon (I just sprinkled it in until it looked good to me)
1 loaf French bread sliced (I sliced my bread about an inch thick.)
3 T butter (for greasing the pan)

Whisk eggs and milk together. Stir in cinnamon. Butter heated pan. Dip bread in egg mixture on both sides and place in pan. Cook until lightly browned.

1/2 c corn syrup
1/2 c maple syrup (I just used our regular syrup. Nothing fancy here.)
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans
2 bananas, sliced

Heat corn syrup, maple syrup, brown sugar, and pecans in saucepan over medium heat until it starts boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Add bananas and stir to coat. Serve on top of French toast.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Smucker's Peanutty Snack Mix

I found this recipe on the jar of our peanut butter and I thought it sounded good. Since I can't seem to find it online so that I can "pin" it, I am going to save it here.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 c honey and nut breakfast cereal
1 cup honey roasted peanuts or roasted peanuts
1 cup mini pretzels
(optional: cayenne pepper to taste) (I would probably leave this out)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Combine butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 35 to 45 seconds, stirring until well blended.
3. Combine cereal, peanuts and pretzels in a large bowl. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture. Toss well to coat. Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet.
4. Bake 10 to 12 minute, stirring occasionally. Cool. Store in resealable plastic bag.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday

I meant to post some other things this past week, but obviously that hasn't happened. Here is our muffin tin meal for today.Plain yogurt, tomatoes, veggie muffins, ham, grapes, and mozzarella cheese.

The veggie muffins were a hit. I made them during nap time, and even though I forgot to get eggs at the grocery store today, they turned out okay. I added some applesauce and a little extra yogurt to counter my lack of eggs. They probably would have risen a bit more, but I'm not going to complain. The ham and cheese weren't really eaten today, but since we had a melt down in the middle of lunch, I guess that is understandable.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday

From left top: grapes, plain organic whole milk yogurt, pluots, colby jack cheese, whole wheat crackers, and ham (please excuse the dog chewed spoon. I didn't notice it until after I had taken the picture.)

I recently found the blog Muffin Tin Mom and thought her idea of using muffin tins for meals was a unique and interesting one. C really likes to have things in their places, so I figured having everything in his meal in its own separate spot would be right up his alley. I have fixed a couple of his meals this way and he usually eats them up. Today he really seemed to like the pluots, the yogurt, and the crackers.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Crafty and Free Storage Bins

I found this storage bin while perusing Pinterest recently.

I thought it was a pretty cool idea, but since we cloth diaper I don't really have a problem with diaper boxes laying around. I do, on the other hand, have wipes boxes that were given to us with hand-me-down clothes. So, I thought that I could probably use those. Also, since I didn't want to buy anything, I decided to paint my boxes with chalkboard paint that we already had and line them with fabric I was given. So all in all, this project was completely free. I didn't even buy the original wipes!

Here is a look at what I started with and what I ended up with.

On the left is a wipes box that I haven't done anything with yet, and on the right is my completed project.

Here is a quick how to:
1. cut lid flaps off box
2. paint box with chalkboard paint (I painted 3 layers and alternated the direction of my brush strokes between layers)
3. sew liner for box (Here is the basic tutorial I used. I just didn't make ties for mine, because I am pretty much a somewhat straight line sewer and I didn't want to get too difficult.)

This is a picture of the progression of my boxes. (from left: plain box, one coat of paint, two coats of paint, and finished product.)

I'm not going to detail how to make the liner, because I am not the best at sewing and I doubt that I could explain it very well. This project took me a little more than two nap times, so that is probably about 3 hours total, not including waiting for the paint to dry. I haven't written on them yet, because they are supposed to cure for 4 days.

I am going to use these in our loft area that I am slowly (very slowly) turning into a play/learning space for C. When I finally get that finished, I will have to post some pictures.

Friday, June 10, 2011

June 2011 Ten on Ten plus one

Today I participated in Ten on Ten from A Bit of Sunshine. I took a picture an hour for ten hours. It was nice to take pictures just to take pictures, and I ended up with a neat snapshot of my day.
8 Good Morning Sunshine
9 Freshly Made Bed
10 Nap Time
11 Sunning
12 Lunch
1 At Play
2 Project3 Present
4 Hands on the Wheel
5 Party Time
*bonus: 6 Party Girl

ten on ten button small

A Winner of a Dinner

One thing I struggle with nearly every day is what to feed Mr. C. He will pretty much eat anything, so that isn't the problem. The problem is that I want to give him things that are good for him, but that are also easy for a baby with barely one tooth to eat. I have found a few websites that help me out a lot in this area, but I also like for him to eat what we're eating. It saves a lot of time to not have to make two meals.

Last night, from our e-mealz menu, we had chicken pitas. Well, I cut up the chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, cheese and pita bread and made a very pretty plate for Coleman. (Please excuse the quality of these pictures. Sometimes I am just too lazy to use the good camera)

I also struggle with knowing how much to feed him. Food is something I have gotten no help on from the pediatrician. I thought they would at least give some guidelines, but mine hasn't at all.

Anyway, I just have to say, that this meal was a total success. All of us were part of the clean plate club last night.
I want Coleman to be a healthy eater but I don't want him to be that kid who never gets treats. I guess I am still trying to find a balance as well as figure out what constitutes good meals for a one year old. Any suggestions?

Here are a few websites that have helped me figure out what to feed Mr. C and when:
Wholesome Baby Food: This website has handy printable charts for what foods should be offered when. I tried to offer most of the foods on the chart, but sometimes it had stuff that we never really eat, so I didn't do everything.
The Homemade Babyfood Recipes Blog: This has some fun and easy recipes that are tasty not only for babies, but for adults too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Trip to New Orleans

This past week we went to New Orleans. I thought I would share some reviews on our trip.

We took the train from Atlanta to New Orleans. It took about 12 hours to get there. It takes less time to drive there, but we figured with all the stops we would need to take for Coleman and the cost of gas, we would come out pretty even. We reserved a roomette for our trip. It was a little room with two chairs that faced each other. The two chairs became a bed and you could lower another bed from the ceiling. All of our meals were included while we were on the train as well. On the way there, Coleman had trouble sleeping for any length of time. I think the most was an hour or so. This made for a cranky baby. On the way home, we figured out how to lay down the seats, so he took much better and longer naps.

Leaving AtlantaSleeping on the train

Pontchartrain Landing
We rented the cottage at Pontchartrain Landing and shared it with my sister's family. It had two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a kitchen/living room. The downside was that Jason, Coleman, and I had to share a room. We brought a queen size air mattress for Coleman to sleep on since we wanted something easy to pack and set up. It worked fairly well, but I don't think any of us slept very well the whole time we were gone. The campground was fairly nice. It had a nice pool and good washers and dryers.
First time swimming

It seemed like most of the time we were there we were eating at different places. Here are some of the places we went:
Tujagues The rehearsal dinner was here. It is located in the French Quarter and is one of the oldest restaurants in NO.
Reginelli's Really yummy pizza.
Central Grocery Tasty muffalettas. They are located in the French Quarter really close to Tujagues. There isn't a whole lot of space to eat, but I think it was worth the wait in line.
Johnny's Po-Boys We shared a shrimp po boy. It was quite tasty.
Gumbo Shop I think this was probably our favorite place. It served Creole food and a really good praline sundae.
Cafe du Monde A trip to NO isn't complete without a trip to Cafe du Monde for beignets. Definitely a place to stop.
Plum Street Snoball This was a short stop for us because it was raining. Apparently snoballs are a pretty big NO treat. This was the place my friend recommended. Snoballs are kind of like sno-cones, but the ice is very fine. We got the almond flavor, but they have a ton of different kinds.

Beignets from Cafe du Monde

Almond Snoball from Plum Street Snoball

Traveling with a baby
We had no idea how this trip would go. We knew that we would get Coleman totally off of his regular schedule and routine. For the most part, he did very well. He definitely didn't get the sleep that he is used to, but with a wedding to attend and everything, we didn't have much choice. We definitely couldn't do a lot of what we would have probably done had we not had Coleman with us. We had to work around nap times and everything. Coleman is really a trooper though and, for the most part, did really well. He likes to see new things and new people and he did a lot of that on this trip. We didn't bring a stroller with us because I don't really like having to push it around places. It just seems more difficult. Most of the time I carried Coleman on my back in our BabyHawk. While it wasn't always the cool option, it was nice to be able to move through crowds and go in places without having a huge stroller to push around. All in all, I think we had a good trip. I don't think we will choose New Orleans again anytime soon, because it wasn't necessarily baby friendly, but I am glad that we got to go for a few days.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Getting Ready for a Birthday

Coleman's first birthday is coming up and we are throwing him an Eric Carle themed party. Coleman loves his Eric Carle books, especially Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I have a lot of ideas, but I'm not sure if all of them will get accomplished. I did make the invites to send out on Tuesday. They are inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I found a link here to some invites I really liked. I didn't have time to paint a whole bunch of paper, so I used different patterns and textures of scrapbook paper.

Here is the how-to:

assorted patterns, textures and colors of scrapbook paper
yellow scrapbook paper
4.5 in x 6.5 in cardstock folded in half
16mm round craft punch
coffee mug
glue stick

1. punch circles out of the scrapbook paper
2. glue two lines of circles on the bottom of the front of the card
3. trace coffee mug circles on the yellow scrapbook paper
4. cut the circles out
5. cut the circles in half
6. glue half a circle onto the top of the card
7. cut rays for the sun and glue on the card
8. put message on the inside

I may decorate the inside in some way, but I'm not sure yet. I have to get the invite information printed and I'm not sure how much space that is going to take up. I found some cheap cards and envelopes in the dollar bins at Michael's, so I bought those and I will use the envelopes to mail the invites.

I have a whole bunch more projects that I will be completing in the next few weeks to get ready for this party, so I will probably be posting some more soon!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Recipes, One for the Parents, One for the Baby

I have found a fun site called pinterest and because of it I have found all sorts of things I want to try, both recipes and projects. I thought I would share a recipe I found there and one I found on a baby food site that both Coleman and I really liked.

For the parents:

Nutter Butter Banana Pudding Trifle

This is a tasty recipe that includes home made vanilla pudding and whipped cream.

For the Baby

Banana Oat Bars

These were super easy to make and extremely tasty. It was almost like a cookie for a baby. It doesn't include any sugar. I added dried cranberries and golden raisins to our bars. Coleman and I shared one this evening and I think it was a hit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To Cloth or Not to Cloth

The other day a friend of ours asked us about our cloth diapers and since the email I sent him had so much information, Jason thought it would be good to post here.

Why do we use cloth?

I don't have any huge environmental reason to use cloth diapers, but my main reason is that I hate buying things to just throw away. That idea is kind of what started me down the path of cloth diapers.

What kind do we use?

Most of our diaper stash is one size FuzziBunz. We really like these because you can adjust the size at the leg and they have many snap options at the waist. They should also last us until Coleman is potty trained. We do have some sized FuzziBunz that we were given that he should be able to use a long time as well. They aren't as bulky as the one size, but they aren't as adjustable as the one size.

Where did we get our diapers?

I bought our most recent diapers here: http://www.cottonbabies.com/. You can usually find a coupon code of some sort for that site. Another good site to go to just to learn more about cloth diapering is here: http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/. Their new to cloth section has a lot of information. You can also do a diaper trial there if you want to take a little time and figure out what kind of diapers you like before totally committing.

A good portion of our stash came from craigslist. You kind of have to stalk craigslist for a while to find what you are looking for, but they are there. I just did a search for FuzziBunz and found some for $10 each. That is about half off the price of new.

Here are some terms I come across during my research:
pocket diapers: these are what we have. They have the diaper part and an insert that soaks up
the liquid. You need that insert to use a pocket diaper
AIO: all in ones. These are probably most like a disposable. They come all in one piece, but
because they are all in one piece they take longer to dry.
Pre-folds: These are like the old fashioned diapers that require a cover. We didn't use any of
these, because I wanted to go with something that was super easy for Jason to
do. They are probably the cheapest route to go though.

Some things I didn't think of until we were cloth diapering:
cloth wipes: for a while we just used regular wipes and that is what the sitter uses, but at home we have a bunch of baby washcloths that we use. We just keep a squirt bottle by the diapers and wet the washcloth and throw it in our diaper pail with the dirty diapers.

detergent: You can't just use any detergent. We use regular powder Tide. There are some all natural soaps out there, but I didn't really want to have to hunt for soap or spend a fortune on it.

What do you do with a used diaper?

When we are home, we have a trash can with a lid that has a cloth laundry bag in it. I probably should have bought a large wet bag that fits into the trash can, but this works for us. If the diaper has any solids in it we scrape them off into the toilet and then put the diaper in the trash can.

If we are out of the house or when Coleman is at the sitter's, we put soiled diapers in a wet bag. It is basically a plastic lined bag with a zipper. I have been known to use grocery bags, but that probably isn't the most environmentally friendly solution. I bought our wet bag at Target for $10 or so. It gets washed with the dirty diapers.

How do we wash our diapers?

We do diaper laundry about twice a week. Once I went back to work it wasn't feasible to do diaper laundry every other day, so we bought some more to add to our stash. I run a rinse cycle on the diapers first. Then I wash them with detergent in a hot/cold cycle. If my washer did it, I would probably do a hot/hot cycle, but it doesn't. I then rinse the diapers again to make sure all of the soap is out in either a cold cycle or a warm cycle. It just depends on whether or not I remember to turn the dial. Once the diapers have finished washing, I hang them up to dry. If it is sunny and warm, I put them outside. That is the best method for removing stains. Otherwise, they hang out in out guest room/office with the fan on.

I think I am going to stop here for now. I just wanted to share a little bit of what I have learned in the short time we have been using cloth. I like that we never run out of diapers or have to make a late night run to Kroger. Coleman rarely gets diaper rash and they are just so cute!

Long Time, No Blog

Wow, I was just looking back and it has been nearly a year since our blog was last updated. In some ways, that is hard to believe and in others, I can totally believe it because so much has happened. I could go into a long post about everything, but I don't think I really want to. I will give a brief synopsis of what has been going down since the last post.

On June 3rd, 2010, we welcomed our son into the world. Life has never been more hectic or more exciting. I am still teaching, but this will probably be my last year for awhile so that I can stay home with Mr. C. Some days I miss him so much it hurts. I hate that I only get to see him for a few hours a day during the week. Jason is still doing sales, but as of the beginning of this year, he is working from home. He seems to really be enjoying it and it gives him a lot more freedom.

Anyway, that is a short update. I am planning another post on some baby related stuff soon.