Monday, April 28, 2014

It's Easy!

"I can help with that...
  • Grab each side of material
  • Take the hard piece on the material and match to hole
  • Push on one side of hard piece to make the other end stick up a bit
  • Push the (sticking up end of the) hard piece through the hole a bit and hold
  • Turn hard piece to be fully through the hole
  • Repeat for full length

Buttoning a shirt can sound complicated when being told how to do it, but people do it every day. Cloth diapering doesn't have to be hard.
  • Place on body
  • Pull sides to be snug but not too loose or too tight
  • Close (snap or affix aplix)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's simple

"It's so simple, though! Here, I'll walk you through the steps:
  • Place on body
  • Pull each side so it's snug, but not too tight or too loose
  • Cross each side over
  • Pull one end down and under/through the other
  • Pinch one side so the material has a loop
  • Wrap the other side around and pull through the opening you created
  • Pull until tight
See? Simple!"

.... it sounds really confusing walking someone through tying a shoe, yet people do it every day without a second thought.

Could a diaper really be that much more complicated?

  • Place on body
  • Pull sides to be snug but not too loose or too tight
  • Close (snap or affix aplix)

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Rumparooz fit chunky babies!

    Since starting my cloth diapering journey, I have tried various brands of diapers and used them on two very differently shaped children. Bobble was born a month premature, and never really chunked up with rolls, though he did start to show signs that he was a very solid child after he started packing on his weight. He never was fat/chubby, but he is a very... well.... solid kid. (No, not even "big boned"... he's just a bit thicker than average children, but still skinny/all muscle, if that makes sense).

    Let's just throw a few pictures of Bobble up from over the years to give you an idea:

    Bobble at 5 days old, nearing 6 lbs

    Bobble at 6 months old

    Bobble at 14 months
    See? Thick, but not chubby.

    Then there is Squiggle. She is a ball of chub, and I love it! Very different from my son, and the diapers fit her very differently. She is the first I diapered from birth. And for proof I didn't give birth to a little buddha, here is a picture of her in a newborn Lil Joeys diaper from Rumparooz:

    Squiggle at 3 days old - born at 7lb 7.5oz

    Squiggle at 6m (in a RAR cover over a thick fitted -- night time diaper!)
    Squiggle in a RAR pocket at 9mo - 23lb and wearing a 2T for girth (definitely not height!)

    Squiggle in a RAR pocket at 9mo - 23lb and wearing a 2T for girth (definitely not height!)

    Squiggle in a RAR pocket at 9mo - 23lb and wearing a 2T for girth (definitely not height!)
    In that last picture above, she has 4 snaps at the hip snaps undone, and 2 or 3 of the waist snaps undone. There are PLENTY more snaps to use, and the rise is even snapped down one! We've never had them leak on us, either.

    So, after sharing the diversity that was my diapering experiences, I must say that I'm astonished people still say Rumparooz diapers do not fit chubby babies. They fit Squiggle well, and she's a chunk! There is a lovely video that was put out by Rumparooz to help you get a good fit, which I will share below:

    Also, a few pointers:

    ALWAYS pull that thigh chub out of diapers!
    • It doesn't matter what the brand or style of diaper is, the thighs should not be in them! The diaper should rest on baby where your underwear or swimsuit would rest on you (well, not boy-cut undies, but you get my point, I think).

    Pull up on the diaper and on the diaper tabs, NOT the diaper AND insert!
    • The material on the Rumparooz is very stretchy, and will easily stretch to accommodate even the pudgiest of babies. If you are trying to pull the insert along with the diaper, you're limiting yourself with fit as the inserts are not stretchy
    Enjoy, and happy diapering!

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (8)

    Anyone out there love pancakes? If you love pancakes and haven't tried crepes yet, what are you waiting for? Crepes are delicious, too! Unfortunately, finding a crepe box mix that is simply delicious isn't the easiest to do, and restaurants seem to be hit-or-miss. Lucky me, one of the MOMables recipes I got was for some Strawberry Nutella Crepes, and the crepe batter recipe it included is the best I've ever had! To learn more about MOMables (and to enter the giveaway for 3 free months!), go here!

    Since this recipe is not one of the free recipes, the actual recipe itself will not be shared.

    My husband is the pancake maker, so I asked him to make the crepes. (If you're curious, it's pronounced cr-eh-p... like the 'e' sound in 'text' or 'yep'. If you are saying cray-p, you are referring to a type of paper.) The best part about that (aside from having breakfast made for me) is I got to take more pictures during their creation because I was not busy!

    The batter was super simple for him to make, and they were cooking before I knew it.

    Strawberry nutella goodness all rolled up and ready to eat! MOMables even offered a Nutella alternative... a nut-free nutella you can make yourself! That recipe is free, so here ya go!

    I devoured my crepes as quickly as they were being made, and Squiggle wanted to help, too. She cruised right over to steal my food from me! She only got pieces of crepe without anything on them, but she made no secret of the fact that she loved them!

    This crepe batter was so easy and so delicious, in fact, that it inspired my husband to try and make his own beer batter from scratch that night to bread and fry fish with. (Also the best beer batter we've EVER had at home.... all thanks to MOMables inspiring him!) Overall, best crepes I've ever had (actual crepe batter), and delicious filling! These will be made again and again in this house!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (7)

    The following is one of the free recipes, so it's included in the post! For more information on what MOMables are, check out my info post and giveaway HERE

     * * *

    For the record, I’m not coming at this recipe from a mom point of view. I’m coming from a busy professional who is queen of the household and frequently has family dinners point of view. Not so different if you think about it. Kids or no kids “what’s for dinner” is still one of my least favourite questions, so when someone points me in the direction of a delicious recipe, I’m game!

    I made the MOMables recipe of Turkey Pad Thai. I love a good pad thai, and this is an excellent recipe to follow to make a quick one at home. I was able to make the sauce while the water for the noodles boiled. I was able to chop cabbage (I also included carrots - personal tastes) and cashews while the turkey and the noodles cooked at the same time/pace.

    I made this during intermission of a hockey game, and didn’t miss a single minute of it, so there are no complaints there. I will definitely be making this again, and for the whole family next time for sure. My only adjustment, is that I will be making just a little bit more of the sauce; I loved the flavours of it, I just wanted a bit more and the man of the house agrees.

    Turkey Pad Thai was a very easy recipe to follow, a very quick meal to make, and doesn’t require a lot of attention, which means I can easily entertain my 8 year old niece who never has to ask twice for Aunties attention. The variations that you can put on the recipe will probably having you make this in a few different ways, and the best part is it’s very satisfying. 

    * * *

    Disclosure: Tarah was not compensated in any way for her review. These opinions are Tarah’s and may differ from those of your own.

    Baby K'tan Giveaway

    Are you looking for a baby carrier for your new little one? Have you considered a Baby K'tan? Enter to win one below!

    Welcome to the Baby K'tan giveaway.
    Hosted by Conservamom
    Sponsored by Baby Tots Den
    Baby wearing is one of the best things you can do for your little one, from providing them with a sense of security to strengthening your bond with them the benefits of baby wearing is endless. This carrier has the following features:
    • Free matching sash included - sash converts to handy storage tote!
    • Easy to use! No wrapping or buckling.
    • Innovative double loop design - cross between a sling, wrap and structured carrier.
    • Built in back support band - second loop provides additional support and security.
    • Carries infants and toddlers in multiple positions, from 8-35 lbs.
    • Made of 100% soft natural cotton.
    One Winner will get their very own Baby K'tan in their choice of in-stock* color and size. Giveaway open to US residents only. Ends on 4/24 at 11:59pm.
      *In-stock at Baby Tot's Den.     a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: This Blog is not responsible for the fulfillment of prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are my own. Open to the US and must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Conservamom will not be responsible for prize fulfillment. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (6)

    I tried a MOMables crock pot recipe for dinner on Monday, and I must say I was pleased! First, I've never made a dinner in my crock pot. In fact, I had only ever tried to make a baked bean recipe in it and it turned out horrible. Man, have I been missing out on crock pot cooking! Dinner was Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore, and it was another great MOMables recipe! For more information on what MOMables are, check out my info post and giveaway HERE!

    Since this recipe is not one of the free recipes, the actual recipe itself will not be shared. 

    The recipe was easy to follow, and the prep time was minimal. I sliced the fresh veggies, at that was pretty much the bulk of the work. No, seriously. It was. Slice, add, turn on the crock pot, voila!

    Pre-shredding the chicken
     I left the crock pot to do its thing, and the house started smelling wonderful a few hours later. 5 hours later, and I boiled a bit of pasta to complete the meal. While the water was heating, I opted to shred up the chicken (you don't have to, but it works great!). The pasta finished and everything was ready to eat!

    Shredding the chicken (in a dinner bowl so I don't have to dirty the cutting board)

    After adding the shredded chicken back in

    Everyone liked it, though hubby thinks it would have been better over rice. I could see that, so next time I think I will just make rice to go along with it. It would also have been yummy in a little tortilla.

    Dinner is served!
    All in all, I think I had 20 minutes of prep work and then the time it took to boil the pasta (which I had the chicken shredded well before that water even boiled). Very quick meal, very delicious!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (5)

    I've been making a LOT of MOMables recipes lately, and so far every one has been a success! The Greek Tortellini Salad recipe was no acception. It was another delicious MOMables recipe! For more information on what MOMables are, check out my info post and giveaway HERE!

    Since this recipe is not one of the free recipes, the actual recipe itself will not be shared.  

    This recipe looked really easy, but it was a bit trickier than I planned on. Squiggle wasn't letting me put her down, and my carriers (all but my ring sling) were not available. I don't know how to do a back carry in a ring sling yet, so I attempted to keep her happy with the hip carry, but she kept reaching for the knives.

    Other than the delay that caused, this was a pretty easy recipe! I prepped all the other ingredients (washed, cut, etc) while the water for the tortellini was heating to a boil (and then while the tortellini cooked).

    I threw the dressing together in my glass measuring cup and just left it there until I needed it at the end. Honestly, the most difficult thing was chopping the kalamata olives. The skins on those just don't like being cut well! I think, while delicious, we may have started a feud between kalamata olives and me.

    It was super simple to make and everyone devoured this, too. Bobble ate all of his, Squiggle kept snagging items out of his bowl to eat (happily, so she liked it too!), and hubby got seconds and then started eying the left overs. We ate the left overs for lunch the following day and they were every bit as good as before.

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review - Chocolate Syrup for Chocolate Milk!

    Another delicious MOMables recipe found below! For more information on what MOMables are, check out my info post and giveaway HERE!

    Do your kids love chocolate milk? Okay, so my kid had never had chocolate milk when I first tried this... but I sure loved it plenty! I hated that the ingredients on the Hershey's Chocolate Syrup bottle were so... fake? Unappealing? Both? I totally get that it's not supposed to be healthy. After all, it is chocolate syrup, thus full of sugar. Just because something is sugary doesn't mean it has to be artificial.

    The store bought ingredient list (found here) lists HFCS and then Corn Syrup as the first two ingredients and then sugar as the 5th. Is all that really necessary? Isn't sugar enough? Last I checked, sugar was pretty sweet... never mind the fact it has artificial flavour. Why? Cocoa powder takes fairly chocolatey, right?

    Okay, so I'm pretty irked by all that... when I stumbled across a MOMables recipe for home made chocolate syrup. Honestly, I think this recipe is what turned me on to the MOMables in the first place. This was definitely the first recipe from there we ever made.

    My husband was always the one to make this. It turned out so well (and disappeared so quickly *cough*) that he started making larger batches and just refilling our old chocolate syrup bottle. It was super easy to make and would be done very quickly. He has had to throw a batch (or two?) out before as he left to do something instead of staying and stirring it. That, of course, led to a burnt taste. Soooo, if you make this, stay and stir it. It doesn't take long. It's also delicious!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

    MOMables Recipe Review (4)

    For dinner the other night, I made Green Goddess Grilled Cheese. Another delicious MOMables recipe! For more information on what MOMables are, check out my info post and giveaway HERE!

    Since this recipe is not one of the free recipes, the actual recipe itself will not be shared.

    I'm going to share the MOMables picture of the sandwich first because, well, it's simply a much higher quality picture.

    The recipe looked super easy (after all, it's a sandwich!), but tasted like it should have had a lot more work put into it. I used a lot more spinach in our sandwiches than was shown in the MOMables picture, but we are pretty big spinach fans in this house.

    Everyone devoured it. My toddler ate every last bite, which was surprising since he isn't the biggest fan of sandwiches. Rather, he likes the ingredients, but he normally picks them apart to make a big mess. Bobble ate this as a proper sandwich.

    If I change anything about this sandwich, I might add some grilled portobella mushrooms to it. Being picky like I am, however, they would have to be grilled. I think this would be a fabulous recipe to accompany grilled veggies anyway, so this spring/summer, I might throw some of these together while hubby grills some corn or zucchini, and have him throw a few portobella caps on the grill, too. All in all, this was definitely another MOMables recipe win!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (3)

    On to the next MOMables recipe review! This one is one of the free recipes, so it's included in the post! For more information on what MOMables are, check out my info post and giveaway HERE!

    The next recipe I wanted to try out was the Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Bites recipe. I have fresh strawberries on hand, and while my little one loves to eat them by themselves, I thought it would be fun to change it up. I made this as a dessert to accompany the MOMables recipe I made for dinner last night, but that review will come later.

    I don't have a food processor, but that's okay... my KitchenAid mixer will do just fine for some cream cheese and powdered sugar! I didn't buy whipped cream cheese, but I just put on the whisk attachment and let it whip the cream cheese while I cleaned the berries off and patted them dry.

    Another super easy recipe in terms of prep. The longest part of this recipe? Crushing graham crackers and washing/cutting ends off strawberries. I opted to do that during nap time, so when Bobble woke up he could help me finish the snack... but Bobble skipped his nap. Instead, I just did it on my own while the munchkins were playing with hubby. Speaking of the munchkins, this is a great recipe to involve your (older) toddlers with or young children with. They will enjoy dipping strawberries or rolling them in crumbs.

    I made both strawberry and blackberry cheesecake bites. They were delicious!!! Again, cell phone pictures and poor lighting mean the photos are not top quality, but the taste sure was! I actually ended up having to go and make more with the rest of the cleaned berries!

    I'd love to make this with blueberries, though it would be very hard to dip those. I think, if I did blueberries, I would probably leave the graham crackers whole, spread the cream cheese mixture on the cracker, and just stick blueberries on top. Mmm. Yummy!

    This is a delicious recipe and a great way to get kids to eat more fruit (if you struggle with that). You could also add this to a lunch with a little container of dip and graham cracker crumbs next to the fresh cut fruit and let them dip their own fruit however they please. (Granted, that would work best for older children.) I think this would be great to do with giant blueberries, too. Mmm, yum!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (2)

    Last night we needed something quick and easy for dinner. We had left over homemade chicken strips that my husband had made the night before that needed to be eaten, but we had nothing to go with it. I decided to turn to MOMables for a solution! To learn more about MOMables (and to enter the giveaway for 3 free months!), go here!

    I saw the Not From the Box Macaroni recipe and decided that was the perfect dish to go along side chicken strips. Since this recipe is not one of the free recipes, the actual recipe itself will not be shared. There are other mac-n-cheese recipes available for free, but none of them are this actual recipe.

    First, I'd like to share the actual MOMables picture since my pictures were taking in poor lighting via my phone.

    Doesn't it look awesome!?

    I grabbed the ingredients, and got started. I actually had a very fussy Squiggle, so I ended up putting her in a ring sling while I was preparing this. It was easy enough to prepare that I actually succeeded in doing this with a grabby baby in a ring sling! YAY!

    I started making the sauce (which was surprisingly easy), and even got it stuck a bit to the pan due to trying to get Squiggle in the sling while she fought it, so I wasn't stirring like I needed to be. It still turned out great, I just made certain to not stir too hard as to stir up what I accidentally stuck on the bottom. (Nobody likes that burnt taste, right? -- actually, when I went to clean the pan, I realized it wasn't actually burnt, but had JUST started sticking to the pan. I would have been safe, but better safe than sorry!)

    The pasta finished cooking and I dumped that in the strainer while I turned to finish the sauce. A few minutes later and I had completed cheesy macaroni! It was a fabulous consistency, too! I was very impressed.

    Now that I have made this recipe once (following the directions), I think I would tweak it a wee bit to change up the flavour. I think it could have used a bit more cheese and a bit of different variety. I probably would have added a few different types of cheese just to give it some zest. I still love this recipe and will be using it again! I never knew it was so easy to make mac and cheese from scratch!

    Best yet? EVERYONE ate it! Success!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own

    Friday, April 4, 2014

    MOMables Recipe Review (1)

    This morning I made our kids the Banana & Almond Butter "Quesadillas". It was one of the lunch ideas I got as part of my trial subscription to MOMables (see my info post on MOMables and enter the giveaway here!). I thought it would work well for breakfast, so I opted to serve it for breakfast since Bobble isn't going to preschool today.

    Since this recipe isn't one of the free recipes, it will not be included in the post.

    I grabbed our tortillas out of the fridge, grabbed some banana and sliced that up, and heated up a pan. It was super easy to prep for this!

    Honestly, the longest part of the process was heating the tortillas because I decided to try this with some thicker brand of tortilla. If I were to remake this, I would definitely either get some thinner tortillas, or fry these up instead of just warming them.

     When it was done, I just slid it onto a (non-plastic) plate, sprinkled with topping, and sliced using a pizza slicer. I have a feeling I should have used smaller tortilla since it suggested cutting into 4ths, but at least the whole family had enough!

    And that was it! Super easy, delicious, and ready for my toddler to devour!

    Disclosure: These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

    Lunch Rut? MOMables to the rescue!

    We're nearing the end of the school year, and those of you who pack lunches for your kids might be stuck. Stuck in the same old lunch rut. PB&J? Lunchmeat? Does your kid wish for something else? Do you wish you had time for something else? Or maybe just some more ideas? MOMables can help! You may have seen my previous review on MOMables, or maybe you've never heard of them... but it will change the way you do lunch!

    The About MOMables page will give you all you need to know, but I've taken a snippet for you to get the general idea:

    What is MOMables™?
    MOMables shows busy parents how to make fresh school lunches in 10 minutes or less.

    MOMables = ˈmɑm·á·[bles]. Mom made, simple and nutritious. We’ve worked with dozens of moms, a chef and a nutritionist to create healthy lunches kids will actually eat.

    Every parent I know, wants to pack a wholesome school lunch for their kids, but packing them daily, and oftentimes year-round, can be time consuming and boring. As a mom of 3 kids myself, I know this process very well.  I personally pack over 540 lunches in one school calendar year. Without a plan, I run out of ideas fast.

    Okay, so they save you time, are healthy for your kids, and aren't boring! Where can you sign up!? No really, you can sign up! You can get 3 months for $18, or sign up for a year for $60.

    You may be wondering why it's worth signing up. I mean, why pay someone for lunch ideas, right? Well, you get a new meal for 5 days a week. You get alternatives and tips for picky eaters or people with allergies. You even get suggestions on how to use leftovers for lunches. Not only that, but you get a shopping list with each email so you just print it out, have recipes, meal plans, and a shopping list! Everything you could possibly need! Check out their Sample Menu page!

    Wait, your kid doesn't go to school in the summer... why pay for summer time? During the summer, you get meal ideas. Dinner ideas (and some that lead into lunch ideas via left overs) are always helpful! Just because your kid might be home doesn't mean they won't enjoy some of these delicious lunches... and you will too!

    MOMables has some free ideas on their page as well, so go check them out and get an idea of what they are all about!

    There will be a handful of recipe posts in the next week highlighting various MOMables recipes (some listed for free, some under the paid subscription. Actual recipes will not be provided for the paid subscription only recipes.), so keep your eyes on the blog to see what we cook up!

    You can also enter to win a free 3 month subscription! The best part about the timing is not only will you have some awesome lunch recipes to finish up the school year, but you'll get an idea of what you can get during the summer! Enter below for your chance to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Disclosure: I receive sample(s) of the product for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s). 

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    What's the word?

    My little Squiggle is now 9 months old, and cruising like mad. She's cruised for a bit over a month, but she's a pro at it now. If she has a walker toy, she grabs it and is across the room. I have a feeling she will be walking much sooner than Bobble did (at 12mo).

    As always, things have been crazy. While I've been reviewing a few products for you guys, most of my time was spent searching for a job and juggling ailments with my children. Squiggle ended up getting tubes placed in both ears last week for a very *VERY* bad ear infection that wouldn't go away, but they are hoping that will help a bit with her hearing (she's never passed a hearing test in her right ear).

    I've faced a lot of difficult situations lately, though all hypothetical. It's difficult trying to find work knowing that it will literally change everything about how we live. There is nothing for me (professionally) where we live now, so I haven't had much of a choice but to look elsewhere and/or consider graduate school. That "elsewhere" has been pretty much everywhere. A lot of places are taking longer to get back because of the healthcare change. Places are waiting to see how it will affect them before taking on new employees. I understand that. What concerns me is moving far, far away. From the little things like "will there be a cloth diaper store near us?" to the big things "will family ever be able to visit us?", everything is dependent upon what I do (or don't) do. That's a lot of weight on one's shoulders!

    Just a little update for everyone wondering what happened to us. Reviews will be coming soon, so keep an eye open!