7.29.2014

Cloth Diapering 101 with Newborns

First off, this post is intended for anyone who will be cloth diapering a newborn or who is considering taking the plunge and starting cloth diapering with their baby. What I write and share is my honest opinion. The great thing about opinions is just that... they are opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that's what makes the world great! While what I share may work for some of you and your little ones, it may not work for others. Every baby is different (trust me on this, I've had four babies) and what works really well for one baby may not work so well with another. 

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A little background: I started cloth diapering almost two years ago with my then almost 6 month old. I came across some cloth diapers at Target (Charlie Banana's) and bought a box thinking it would be really easy to cloth diaper. I was right, and wrong, all at the same time! After reading a little more about cloth diapering, I quickly realized that it was a real commitment. Not just in the money to buy all of the supplies needed for cloth diapering, but in the time as well.

With disposable diapers, it's really easy to buy a package from the store, take it home, change you baby, toss your diaper in your trash pail, and be done! With cloth diapers it's a little more complicated. Before you can even use a cloth diaper you have to wash it/pre-treat it. Then you can use it on your little one. Once it's time for a change, the soiled diaper has to be placed in a wet bag (hanging or in a pail) and you have to wash them every couple of days {I will get into my washing routine in another post} and dry them.

Once I did my research I increased my cloth diaper "stash" (all of the diapers and wipes you have) and jumped in! I will be the first to admit that the first couple of months of cloth diapering is hard. You have to figure out the best brand and style of cloth diaper for your little ones bum, then you have to learn how to put it on your baby so that it doesn't leak. (My daughter went through many outfits a day during our trial and error period -- so don't feel bad if you do too!) I finally figured it all out and now have my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE cloth diapers to use on her -- she's now two. {I will be sharing about her cloth diapers in another post too!}


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7.11.2014

Officially two plus FOUR now! Welcome baby Jacob!!

Now that our little guy has arrived, my new blog title is right! 

After passing my due date by a couple days... my little guy finally made his debut! I was induced {more on that in another post} and it was a fast labor and a quick delivery!! 



He was my smallest baby by more than a pound! But the moment we saw him we fell in love instantly. 

He had this cute little scowl on his face for most of the time we were in the hospital. I'm pretty sure that since he was induced he was just a little grumpy because he wasn't ready yet.. haha! 


There is something about newborns... you just can't help but smile just to look at them! He has such kissable, squishy cheeks! 


I love baby toes, wrinkly, flaky, purple and all! They are cute and kissable. I always forget to take pictures of my babies little feet... but this time I remembered! I am so glad I did. It's fun even now -- almost two months later -- to look back at these tiny toes! ♥


I LOVE this little guy! 


He was able to stay in my hospital room the whole time with us. I loved it because we could just sit and stare at him... which was most of the time. With each of my babies I always had a hard time sleeping when they sleep because I just want to look at them! I know we are supposed to sleep when they do so we can get our much needed rest... but I just find it so hard to do! 


His big brother and sisters (the younger one not pictured because she can't seem to keep her little 22 month old body still for a picture) were so excited when we brought him home! 


I will post more later... including a short version of my birth story if anyone is interested. For now, I'm off to feed my little guy! Have a great weekend!! 


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4.15.2014

April Visiting Teaching Message and Tag

Sorry I'm late with this one.. and I realized I didn't do one for March. This pregnancy has kept me super busy! 

Here is the printable for this month's Visiting Teaching Message


{download yours here}

I cut out the tag, punched a hole in it, and tied it to a cute little Easter basket that I filled with colorful plastic eggs. Inside the eggs I put various little chocolate candies... because really, who doesn't love chocolate!??! 

The tag and message printable are on the same page, so it will print both. Feel free to use just one of them or both! Mount it on some thick cardstock, embellish it with your own stickers, washi tape, or twine. Have fun... 

HAPPY EASTER!! 



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4.07.2014

Coming Soon -- Little Ark Fabric Line -- PLUS... a HUGE Sale going on NOW!

It is always fun to add new fabric to the shop and these are just too cute NOT to share! I'm so excited {**eeek!} for these new fabric prints to arrive. They are set to get here in a day or two... and YES, I will be stalking the UPS truck! 


I am planning to make at least one quilt using this fabric line to add to the shop... and maybe one for baby #4! These prints are just too cute!!!!! 

This line comes from designer Carina Gardner and is released through Riley Blake. Here is an up-close look at the new prints. Once they are listed in the shop I will link to their listings here so you can get a hold of them too!








Perfect for quilting!! 


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Just in case you haven't been to visit the shop in a while.... everything in the entire shop is currently ON SALE for 20% off! I'm gearing up for baby #4 {due in a little more than 4 weeks} and trying to make room for some new inventory. SO.... I'm having a spring cleaning sale! The discount has already been taken on all items in the shop... so you don't have to remember a coupon code! Woohoo! 



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4.02.2014

SunButter Cookie Recipe - Peanut Free Cookie Option

One thing you probably don't know about me is that I am a HUGE peanut butter fan! Well... peanut butter and cheesecake!

So, when we found that my son had not only a peanut allergy, but an allergy to dairy and eggs as well ... I literally saw all my favorite foods flash before my eyes. A little dramatic, maybe, but ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that I am the worst person to have a child with allergies because I love peanuts and dairy so much! 

On the upside... I am the best mom for my son because I have learned how to adapt recipes, create some of my own, and hunt recipes down! I stumbled upon this delicious recipe in a magazine I subscribe to called Allergic Living. The recipe is actually from SunButter.  If you or anyone in your family has food allergies you should look into it... seriously! 

Don't these SunButter Cookies look delicious!?! 


They don't taste like peanut butter, but it is very similar and the texture is the same! PLUS, I was able to make this recipe dairy and egg free as well by substituting a couple ingredients!



SunButter Cookies:
from SunButte

Ingredients
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup SunButter
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sunflower kernels

Directions
Mix in order as listed. Roll into balls, Dip into sugar; flatten with glass or spatula on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350ยบ for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

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This recipe is great because a) it only requires 1 egg which lends itself nicely to egg substitutes, and b) it is already virtually dairy-free! Two biggies in my house. Here is how I adapted the recipe for our needs:

Dairy-Free and Egg-Free SunButter Cookies
adapted from SunButter

Ingredients
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine (I like to use Fleischmann's unsalted)
1/2 cup SunButter
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1-1/2 tsp egg replacer mixed with 2 T warm water
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
Same as above, but instead of using a glass or spatula to flatten my cookies, I used the fork method {just like homemade peanut butter cookies}. To me it gave them a more "classic cookie" look. I only cooked mine for 8 minutes and let them cool on the cookie sheet for another 2-3 minutes before transferring them to my cooling rack. This way they don't over cook and they are still nice and soft.



*Chocolate Topped Option



I sprinkled some dairy-free chocolate pieces (we use ones by Enjoy Life) on top of some of my cookies after I took them out of the oven. Once the chocolate had melted enough I used the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate around. The kids LOVED both the chocolate and the regular cookies. I am a purist and just wanted the regular cookies.

As an alternative to a peanut butter cookie, these are not bad at all! My kids don't know the difference and they are really, REALLY tasty. ENJOY!!!


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