Saturday, November 30, 2013

Little Green Pouch Giveaway!

Last week I told you that I love reusable pouches to put Calvin's food and snacks in.
I thought I'd give you another idea or two for ways to use them.
Those of us that have seen recent reports and videos of parents finding not-so-good surprises in their kids pouch foods and drinks (whether they are valid or not) may now be leery of serving these prepared foods to our kids.
One of my favorite things to do is to cut them with something else and put them into one of my reusable Little Green Pouches.
I've done this for a while now because those pre-made pouches can be pretty spendy and I wanted a way to make them go further.

I've mixed them half and half with organic applesauce, whole milk greek yogurt or purees I've made myself.
It gives you a way to get the convenience of using a pouch, the variety from the premade pouches, (blueberry, parsnip and buckwheat anyone?) all while making it more economical and you can SEE if the food is ok before you feed it to your kiddo.
Win, Win, Win.

Calvin loves his Little Green Pouches.
I love them too. They're easy to fill, easy to clean and I KNOW what's in them!
His eyes light-up whenever he sees one and I think the kiddo(s) in your life will love them too!

Now for the fun part!
You can try them for yourself because,
We're giving away a Little Green Pouch 4-pack!
Just enter in the form below.
Giveaway ends Saturday, December 7th, just in time for Christmas!
You can purchase the Little Green Pouch and a bunch of accessories Here!
Like them on facebook and get 5% off your order.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

This Post and Giveaway is in partnership with Little Green Pouch.
I was not paid for my endorsement and all opinions are my own.
Open to US residents only. Must be 18+. Winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
Little Green Pouch will be responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I hope every one had a wonderful Thanksgiving that left your hearts and bellies full!
I'm just going to give you a quick run-down of our day because I am busily preparing something extra fun and exciting for you guys for tomorrow.

We spent the day at my Mom and Step-Dad's house with my brothers, Step-Grandma and
my Aunt, Uncle and cousins that drove in from Missoula.
Dinner was early, casual and totally delicious.
 Calvin liked the fruit tray and the sweet potatoes.

My pumpkin pie (which I made from an actual pumpkin!) got rave reviews.

I used this recipe for the filling, although I added extra cinnamon since I tasted a bit too "clove-y" for me, and this recipe for the crust.
I'd never made either before but it was a huge hit so I will definitely be making it again.

Calvin got a little cranky in the evening since he had no afternoon nap, so my Uncle Jeremy had some "wind-down" time with him.

Some of us had a few rousing rounds of Uno.

Auntie Beck hiding her last card.
I emerged victorious 3 out of the 4 games. 

It was a great day and I was so glad to have spent it with family.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homemade Baby Food & Yummi Pouch

 When Calvin was smaller and starting to eat solids I made 80% of the baby food he consumed.

I've started writing the "homemade baby food" post a dozen times and just didn't know where to go with it. Mostly because it's easy but there are so many different foods and combinations I didn't really know where to start.

Baby food is pretty straight forward.
Freeze in ice-cube trays.
Transfer to Ziploc and store in freezer.
Thaw and feed to baby.

All his food followed those basic steps.
I did have a few baby food books that I loved and still use.
While I loved the idea of having a baby food maker, any blender or food processor will work.
I have this one.

Here's my favorite tip:
Don't waste your time making applesauce
I did it once. I'll never do it again.
By the time you buy them, peel them, core them, dice them and cook them, you've put so much effort into it and probably spent twice as much as if you'd just bought a big jar of natural/organic applesauce.
Trust me.

My very favorite vehicle for my homemade purees is reusable food pouches!
They are dishwasher and freezer safe, and totally BPA free.

The Yummi Pouch comes in a few different sizes:
The 2.5oz pouch shown below is AWESOME for quick snacks.
I was a bit worried about how I'd fill this once because the zipper is at the bottom instead of the top, but I found that it balances perfectly on it's cap and is super easy to fill.

Calvin loves to suck his applesauce out of his pouch.
And they're SOOOO much less expensive than buying applesauce pouches at the store.
PLUS you know exactly what's in there.

The Bright Yummi Pouch holds up to 6oz which is perfect for a meal and they come is several fun designs.
I send one with Calvin whenever he goes to his baby sitters house.

Below is a days lunch, snack and dinner.

In this pouch I mixed homemade pumpkin and sweet potato puree with store bought applesauce.
It's filling, vitamin-packed and just sweet enough that he practically inhales it.
You can find lots of great recipes at

You can purchase these pouches at

They also make a 10oz Yummi Pouch Sport which I unfortunately do not have a picture of in action.
It's one of the biggest reusable food pouches on the market and it's perfect for smoothies.
Imagine freezing a smoothie in one and sending it with your older child for an after school snack to get them through sports practice.

So, there are some ideas about how to feed your kids.  I have more to come so stay tuned!

This post was in partnership with Yummi Pouch. I was not paid for my endorsement and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pintester Movement: Ho Ho Ho Edition!

Yep, The holidays are just around the corner, so Sonja at the The Pintester has challenged us to make a Christmas ornament that we've seen on Pinterest. 
 Find ALL the ornament creations Here.

 I found this super cute felt flower ornament at The Crafted Sparrow.
Unfortunately, none of the pictures are available, so I had to wing it based on the pin picture and the instructions.

3 sheets red felt
2 sheets of green felt (different colors)
Red ribbon
Red beads
Styrofoam ball
Hot glue gun
Unique Stitch or Tacky glue

I used a pint glass ('cuz that's how I roll) to outline circles on my felt.  I was able to get 8 circles per sheet. Then I cut out 24 of them. You may need more or less depending on the size of your circles and how big your Styrofoam ball is.

Cut all those circles into a spiral. 
Just eyeball it.

If you want to avoid a lot of hand cramping and frustration, use sharper scissors than I did.

kinda looks like a sperm...*snort*

Roll the felt, point side in, using the little circle/sperm head thing as the base. Put some glue between the felt roll and the base so it can't unravel.

Make A LOT of them.

The original instructions say to use a hot glue gun for the entire project.
I didn't want to.
I have a love-hate relationship with the glue gun. So I scoured my house looking for a bottle of Tacky Glue, which I know is in this place SOMEWHERE...but I couldn't (and still can't) find it.
I did however, find some Unique Stitch, and felt is in fact a fabric so... there ya go.

Cut a leaf shape out of the lighter green felt.
Use that one as your template and make 3 more.
Glue 2 of them to the dark green felt and cut them out.
Then glue the other 2 light leaves the the other side of the dark leaves you just cut out so you'll have 2 leaves total with a light center on either side.

When I couldn't avoid it anymore, I brought out the glue gun.
Don't get me wrong.
I like hot glue, it's awesome stuff.
I don't love the strings and the fact that I burn myself because I don't pay close enough attention.

My Styrofoam ball had a hole at one end.
So I filled it with hot glue and shoved the ends of the ribbon into it.

Then glued on the leaves and started sticking on the flowers.

I found it helpful to put the ball-o-flowers in a glass to aid in attaching the bottom flowers.

The original ornament had one bead in the center of each flower.
I had red seed beads already (I'm not sure why) which are quite a bit smaller, so I just plopped a little hot glue in the center of each flower while cursing at the glue strings and sprinkled some beads in.

When you're done, step back and revel in your creation.

Tah Dah!

This bad boy is getting shipped to Jodee over at the Cheesblarg for her very first Christmas tree!
I hope it's a biggie because this ornament is Gigantic!

If you don't want a ridiculously large ornament, use a smaller ball and use a smaller glass as your circle template.

So there you have it. My first Christmas Craft of the season.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Clean Your Nasty Microfiber: The Easy Way!

Let's get a show of hands:
How many of you have a microfiber couch/chair(s)/ottoman that you thought was going to be SOOO great when you bought it, but is now horribly stained beyond recognition?

I do.

When Tristan and I first moved in together I bought a beige microfiber ottoman to serve as our coffee table.
It saw us though meals, partiess and numerous spilled beverages.
It got so gross I bought a blanket for the sole purpose of covering it.

I tried cleaning it with soap and water and even got a can of Resolve carpet and upholstery cleaner. It left a weird residue and helped very little.
I was just about ready to throw it out.

Cut to 4 years later.

I came across this post on Pinterest from and it peaked my interest.
Windex eh???
I got that!

Here's the before picture:

It was so disgusting I couldn't bear to actually take a picture of the whole thing, but I feel like you get the point.

So basically, you just spray your microfiber with Windex ( just so it's damp, not soaking) and scrub, scrub, scrub with a scrub brush.
I worked one square panel at a time.
Then I used a rag-towel to kind of wipe it off.
Then just let it dry.

And I'll be damned...
That towel was white... ewww.

It worked!
I have to admit, I was skeptical. 
But check out the after!

This was a ketchup stain that was at least 4 years old.

One final word of advice,
I don't recommend doing this right next to a wall (or mini-blinds... *ahem*) because you will end up with tiny little dirty splatters EVERYWHERE.

We no longer use the ottoman as a coffee table, but when we have parties or gatherings it does come in handy for extra seating and now I can use it, uncovered, without shame.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


First off, I need to say a 
to all my readers.
Your messages, comments, emails, pins and feedback are more appreciated than I can ever hope to express.
My chicken pot pie recipe was way more popular than I ever imagined it would be, so I promise more recipes are to come!

November has started out crazy for us!

"Falling back" from daylight savings time is SERIOUSLY overrated.
Sure you get an extra hour to sleep (if you don't have a baby)
but I'm sitting here writing this at 4pm and it's already almost dark.
I have so little motivation to do anything when it's dark outside.
We discovered that shifting Calvin's nap and bed times by a half hour the day before helped a ton with adjusting his schedule.

The other reason I have been so tardy with a new post is that on Tuesday I woke up with really bad vertigo.
The room was spinning so fast I actually blacked-out and fell.
I'm totally fine now. But it was really scary.
I was super lucky I didn't hurt myself on the way down.
The doctor said I most likely had an virus in my inner ear that was messing with my equilibrium.
I visited my chiropractor and got my neck adjusted too, just to cover all my bases, and I'm feeling great now.

Calvin is running amok all over the house these days.
His favorite thing to do right now is grab a book from the book shelf in his room, bring it to you saying "boooo" (which means "book"), then he plops in your lap so you can read it to him.
It's so sweet, you can't say no.
Then he does the same thing over and over again.

He's also really been enjoying sitting in a big box and poking at it with crayons.
It's definitely not "coloring" yet.
Poking is a much better way to describe it, but whatever he's doing, it makes him happy.

I think he's also growing, teething or fighting a cold (or all 3!) right now.
He's been soooo sleepy.
He's slept 12 1/2 hours the last few nights and right now he's up to almost 4 hours of naps today.
He's been happy and eating normally, but his nose is a faucet.
I don't know.

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving!
Eating and family, two of my favorite things!
I'm also raring to go on my holiday shopping list.
We just received Calvin's present which totally put me in the shopping mood... not that I need much motivation to shop.
We ordered this  6' Canvas Teepee (we got ours from, but this is the same one) and I can't wait to let him play in it!
I think it's something that he'll enjoy for several years.

So much to do and enjoy right now.
Here's hoping for a happy and healthy holiday season because ready-or-not...
It's here!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

Happy November!
Pardon my tardiness with the Halloween post, I had to recuperate and work and had various other events to attend.


I thought I'd share what Halloween looked like for us this year.

Get a load of this kid.

I know it totally looks photo-shopped, but I swear that Jack-O-Lantern is REAL
Isn't that monster costume to die for?!
We bought it last year at Babies-R-Us during their after Halloween sale for $6.95!
A total steal.
The only down-side was that it was so bulky that I had to take the entire thing off him to put him in his car seat. So anytime we had to go somewhere, we had to strip it off him, drive, then put it back on.

Halloween afternoon I loaded up the kiddo so we could visit Tristan at work.
All the office ladies loved our little monster.
Calvin had fun running around the office.

That evening we headed over to Tristan's Brother and Sister-in-Law's house to catch up with the cousins and grandparents and have our Halloween Photo-Op.
I can't tell in Noah is smiling behind his Ninja Turtle mask but I think he is.

We had to get a group shot of all of us in costume.

Then we hit the road again and stopped by my mom's house.
Monster's gotta hydrate too.

We intended to take Calvin to the mall to "Trick-or-Treat" there because it's well-lit, warm, has a nice flat ground and they mostly give out stickers, but we didn't want to re-costume him again.

Tristan and I love group/couples costumes...
OK... I love them and he humors me.
This year we were Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler from our favorite show, The Big Bang Theory.
The best part is that we just bought clothes that we can wear in real life. Just put together differently. Halloween costume AND new wardrobe pieces?!

I'm going to warn you guys now, next year we're totally doing a family costume. 
I'm already planning it.
We managed to get one more year of no candy out of him.
We handed him a couple pieces but he didn't know what they were so he just threw them on the ground or smushed them in his hand.
I'm considering employing the legend of the "Switch-Witch" on him in the years to come to keep the candy eating to a minimum.

Do any of you have any tricks for keeping your kids from eating 10lbs. of crap every year?
I'd love to hear them.