Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Saving Money When Having A Baby


I currently have two toddler girls 11 months apart. I wish I had someone tell me how to prepare for how much money would be spent on having them so I could've prepared MONTHS in advanced and probably would have saved hundreds of dollars in the long run. You get caught up in the wonders of having a child. Baby gear, clothes, bottles, formula, food, toys and bouncers you name it we bought it. Here's some helpful tips I found that helped us prepare for the second and now our third!

FORMULA
I wish I stuck with breastfeeding longer than I did for both of my kids (3-6months). I was buying 2 cans every month, and they were $18 at our drugstore and most of the time on sale for $16. I was roughly paying $32 a month for formula. When I started off I was using Enfamil, and that ranges from $30 - $40 PER CAN. That's outrageous! I Then came across the same store brand at our local wal-mart for $12 a can. Saving me 8$ per month, and when I was able to aquire coupons from the manufacturer and in-store I was saving almost $15 a month, which in turn was a free can of formula, WIN WIN! Another huge tip, DO NOT buy the liquid formula, stick to powdered formula, you'll end up saving even more and lasts 10x longer.

DIAPERS
Big decision. Cloth or disposable. Cloth diapers are actually pretty easy and a little extra work with cleaning them out, laundering them and what not but it'll save you money in the long haul. I used disposable's because they were just super convenient for me at the time having children 11 months apart it was one less thing I had to do during the day. Disposables can range in prices depending what store you go to like a pharmacy, super-store or grocery store, but if you use disposables choose name brand not store brand. The increase in accidents, leaks, and clothes that got stained and damaged because I thought I was saving money buying cheaper diapers cost me more money to replace clothes and whatever else that got destroyed by baby blowouts. Buy the biggest box most are on sale every month. Before your baby is born, do not stock up on newborn diapers, you will find out they hit a huge growth spurt in the first week and the diapers are useless and have to buy the next size. Both my children were in size 1/2 diapers by the 2nd week they were born and I had 2 boxs of newbie diapers unused.

BABY GEAR
Buy stuff that converts, cause seriously everything nowadays is at least $100 for something and it'll add up after a while. I bought a travel system so my car seat went from car to stroller with a click. Our high chair changed from a high chair to a booster seat. Our crib went from a crib to a toddler bed, to a day bed, to a double bed, and both of our kids used it until it was on it's last legs and we had to throw it out and now there in a bunk bed which will stay with them until there at least 9/10 years old. Don't buy a change table even though it seems very convenient with all the storage and drawers and shelves attached to it. We had a long dresser that I put a change table pad on it and it worked out perfectly. Buy secondhand if possible. Also try creating a gift registry at your local baby store for basics like a stroller, car seat, or bouncer is the best way to start. It'll help save money. Test drive stuff when you buy it too. My mother bought me a double stroller on a whim and thought it'd be convenient, but I can't even steer the damn thing and that was $300 down the drain and it's still sitting in our shed.

CLOTHES
Don't hoard baby clothes in advance. Baby's go through sudden growth spurts within the first few weeks after birth. By the second week both my kids were in 3-6 month clothes. Skip the shoes. Until they start walking. Socks & little booties will keep there tootsies warm. If you have your baby in the colder days of the year opt for a car seat bag and a onesie thermal suit. Choose some unisex styles as if you plan to have another and you buy everything pink, purple, frilly and frou frou, if you have a boy as your next child, he wouldn't be wearing a tutu.

HEALTHCARE
Call your pediatrician first before scheduling an appointment. I saved so much time and money doing it this way. It was much faster to just call her, explain our situation, and let her give us a diagnosis over the phone, and if she thought it needed a look at, then she would ask us to come in. Don't buy an ear thermometer. You can buy some awesome digital oral/rectal thermometers at the drugstore for a fraction of the price, and it's 10x more accurate.

BREASTFEEDING
Opt for a breast pump instead of an electric one. A decent pump goes for about $35 - $45 and an electric runs for about $100+. Choose reusable breast pads (disposable one's aren't that expensive either) if you opt for that choice. I found a pattern online to make my own and made a gazillion of them and saved me a bunch. Don't rush for a maternity/nursing wardrobe either. See how it goes for the first 2 - 4 weeks and then splurge on a nice nursing t-shirt and a couple of nursing bra's to get you started for when you need to nurse publicly. And don't buy maternity clothing until it's absolutely necessary. I went to Thyme Maternity and bought 2 pairs of small maternity pants, and a bunch of shirts, that only fit me until I was 5-6 months pregnant and I just ballooned like an elephant and nothing fit. 180$ of stuff down the drain, and I had to go out and buy all new stuff for 6 - 9months because I didn't want to be living in spandex for the next 4 months lol

MAKE YOUR OWN BABY FOOD!
Don't get caught up with the "baby bullet" either. My mum bought me one and it was honest to god a piece of crap that cost her almost $100. My blender I've had for 4 years did a better job. But do make your own food. Jarred baby food goes for about 45 - 50 cents a jar, sometimes even more if it's organic, but I'll go out and buy a squash, some carrots and pea's mix it all together and I have enough food to last me 2 months. Stop by your local dollar store/dollar tree and they have these little plastic containers you can store the food in and can keep your baby food frozen up to 3/4 months. I just used to use Ice cube trays, fill them, freeze them, then pop them out into a freezer zip lock bag and take 1 - 2 out as I needed and warm it up. Convenient and cost effective.

GET A PIGGY BANK
Before I got pregnant I didn't save any money whatsoever from the time before and during my first pregnancy. The day I found out I was pregnant with our second I bought a huge plastic container, cut a hole in the top and every week I made sure I put at least $5 in the jar, if not all my spare change I found lying in our couch cushions or under the seats in our car. I saved almost $250. It was our reserved fund box in case we needed something important and were tight on funds. It will help you out in the long run.

These are what have helped me prepare for our third. Yes there is a lot we will have to buy this time around, and still don't know if it's a girl or boy yet, but I know this time around I will be saving A LOT more money and it'll help make things easier for the whole family if we don't splurge on every baby item and peice of furniture we see.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Momma Monday: 6 Toddler Friendly Snacks for Traveling


We've all been there. The dreaded long car rides where you get 5 minutes down the road and the children in the backseat are already wanting food. But stopping at the golden arches or getting a box of tim bits can get quite costly especially on long car trips. So pack up the cooler and get out your zip lock bags, because here are 6 great snack foods that aren't messy, healthy, and easy to prepare before you hit your destination.

CHEESE & DELI MEAT

This combo is a sure fire way to keep the little ones at bay for a while. I usually get cookie cutters and cut out cool shapes of the meat and cheese so that it's something different. Or you can cut the cheese into easy pick-up cubes for little fingers, use string cheese, and even add in some crackers for something crunchy.

TRAIL MIX

My kids love trail mix, and because you can either buy it at a bulk food store, or make it yourself, it makes for a great snack on the go. You can use dried fruit pieces, nuts, chocolate chips, pretzels, etc. to suit the wants of whoever is eating it.

FRUITS & VEGGIES

Also another huge hit. I use carrots, cucumbers, celery, berries, banana, apple slices, grapes, you name it you can put it in a baggie or little snack box and they'll be happy.

GRANOLA BARS

Opt out for the chocolate covered, ooey gooey caramel filled ones and you'll have a snack full of fiber, easy to eat and will keep them full until you reach your destination. You can also find great recipes online to make your own granola bars :)

MINI SANDWICHES

Huge hit with my kids. They love PB&J so i make a bunch of those and throw in some deli meat & cheese slices in another, and its like a mini lunch that doesn't make hardly any mess (give or take some crumbs) and will leave them satiated.

CEREAL

Last but not least. Fill up those little snack packs with cereal like cheerios, fruit loops, lucky charms, reese puffs, mini wheats, you name it. I opt out for only fruit loops & cheerios because there not full of lots of sugar, and even if they drop some they don't break into a gazillion crumbs everywhere.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Weightloss Wednesday: 5 Protein Packed Smoothies


Smoothies are always convenient, and great for those of us who are on the go. There great meal replacements (when done properly) and post-workout snacks to replenish your body with nutrients. Yet using protein powder can be quite costly and high in calories if your not careful on what types you buy and how many grams of protein you get out of each scoop of powder. I found this protein called Dyna-wave and its only 30$ a bag you can find it online, at no frills, Costco and some other nutrition stores. Per 1 scoop is 135 calories with 30g of protein.

Different Forms of Protein
Peanut Butter                    Coconut Milk
Flax Seeds                        Oats
Chia Seeds                       Milk
Almond Butter                  Quinoa
Raw Egg                           Yogurt

Those are just a few ways to add protein into your smoothies without using protein powder, saves on calories also. Here's a few recipes of mine I use on a daily & weekly basis, ENJOY! :)

Peanut Butter Power Banana Breakfast Smoothie

  •  1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 banana cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2-3 icecubes
Makes 2 servings

Calories: 239 Per Serving
Protein: 22.5 grams

Chia Green Protein Smoothie

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2-3 ice cubes
 Makes 2 Servings

Calories: 300 Per Serving
Protein: 26 grams

 Very Berry Banana Protein Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup flax milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 2 ice cubes
Makes 2 Servings 

Calories: 288 Per Serving
Protein: 24 grams

Go Green Protein Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 - 1 cup kale
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Makes 2 Servings

Calories: 295 Per Serving
Protein: 26 grams

 Strawberry Chocolate Protein Smoothie

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 ice cubes
 Makes 2 Servings

Calories: 270 Per Serving
Protein: 27 grams


And there you have it, 5 delicious smoothie recipes to try for any time :)













Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Weightloss Wednesday: How Many Calories Should I Eat?

When I began my weight loss journey I didn't know where to begin. How does one lose weight? It's not rocket science, right? I've heard many different ways. Like padlocking your mouth and throwing the key away :) The point is, to lose weight, you have to eat less calories than you burn. Or start off by changing your diet piece by piece. Switch out soda & high sugared fruit juice for water, eat one piece of cake instead of the whole thing, if you go out to McDonalds or whatever order a salad or a grilled chicken burger WITHOUT making it a combo. These are sure fire ways to help you start on your weightless journey.










When I first started out losing weight I tried playing around with daily calorie intake needs and it started me off at eating 6 meals a day equaling out to 1600 calories, and I did 1-2 hours of exercise daily. I GAINED weight within my first week. I looked even more like a beached whale and I died a little on the inside. There is so much that your CI depends on. Whats your weight, height, age, gender, BMI, BMR, etc... Because everybody is different and unique that everyone's CI will be a lot different. Same as if you start off at 200lbs (like me) I had to eat 1200 calories to start off with to create a calorie deficit to actually lose weight whereas now im 145lbs and I eat 1400 calories to keep losing my weight. Weird huh? This site is what helped me and is very useful is a DAILY CALORIE NEEDS calculator. Plug in your information and get going :P










The site said I needed to eat 2099 calories (which I nearly gagged) to maintain my current weight, 1679 calories for fat loss, and 1260 for extreme fat loss. So I came to a median between the two and stick to 1300-1400 per day :) It also gives you this really cool 7 day calorie cycle (the zig zag), and also has meal plans for all calorie needs and shows you what the meals should look like that your eating.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Wedding Update: Bridal Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses

I have finally set my options to 5 different dresses I really like, there mostly back-ups as I have this one dress im set on and would probably do just about anything to have it haha! With that being said I have also picked out a handful of bridesmaid dresses, and just thought people might want to see what plans I've got stewing in my little wedding pot :D







As you probably have noticed they are all made of organza with a ruffled mermaid/fit and flare skirt. Minus the first one which is Sabelle by Maggie Sottero (the most amazing bridal designer EVER) which was originally my first choice and was in love with the dress, I even got to see it in a bridal salon when I was with my sister in law trying on bridesmaid dresses and was like I WANT THAT! Then a couple months later I laid eyes on this puppy (below)

I can't even begin to explain how this dress makes me feel. I have never tried it on (YET) i haven't seen it in a store, yet the first time I looked at it my heart skipped beats, my palms became sweaty, my breath got caught in my lungs, and I teared just a little bit. I knew this was to be my dress I got married in and that I will do whatever is in my god almighty power to make sure it happens. But my biggest fear is actually going to a salon, finding the dress, trying it on, and hating how it looks on me or if it wasn't what I truly expected of this dress. I'd be devastated and most likely heartbroken and cry myself to sleep for a few weeks at least hahaha.  WOO! Now onto the bridesmaid dresses!

My only problem finding a dress for all my girls is I want them to either have all the same style dress and color, or all same color different dress, cause all of them have gigantic boobs (minus 1 poor SIL) and are all really tall or short so im like. well. heck this sucks! haha  AND they HAVE to be in something that is comfortable for them because there the ones wearing it all day and if it's strapless everyone's just gunna be yankin' there top up all day haha Here are my options so far





They will either be a dark aubergine purple, or a minty green/pale blue. My husbands military so he'll be wearing his dress uniform as will his groomsmen so I'm just trying to color co-ordinate, WHO KNEW THAT COULD BE SO HARD!?? haha it really does suck, but it'll be so worth it in the end.

SEPTEMBER 5TH 2015

is our wedding date


It was a hard decision cause we were going to get married this year but I am still in the process of losing weight (hehe down 59lbs! WOOOOO!) and we just did reno on our bathroom & basement so our money is out the window pfsh GONE haha Plus we had to do a lot of planning around Charlotte's birthday who will be turning 3 that year. Jesus. Had to re-read that 4 times just to make sure I was not losing my sanity already :P 

But yes, those are my wedding updates as of right now and I shall post more when I figure out what's going to be what and such :) If you read this far, Kudos to you! I rant way too much, Sorry! <3

UP NEXT ON THE AGENDA
- DIY Invitations
- DIY Decor, centerpeices, favors, and more!
- Vows! (ooo exciting)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Weight loss Wednesday: A Guide To Clean Eating

About a month ago I decided to start clean eating, and it's been one of the hardest yet gratifying and rewarding things I think I've ever done. It took me about a couple weeks to get into the swing of things because I had no one to help me and basically followed everything off of websites because I had no idea what foods are okay, and what foods I should avoid. After that ordeal I thought to myself, there has to be an easier way to do this. So I have put together a Guide on how you can start clean eating too without all the hassle and hopefully have an easier transition than I did :)

1. Throw out ALL the junk in your fridge and pantry.
I didn't throw away all my food I gave some of it to my parents and kept some for my husband who still needs to eat that crap because he's in the middle of bulking up while im trying to widdle down so our diets collide quiet frequently, and also makes this process a lot harder. Sift through to make room for all your new healthy foods :) The easiest way to do this is to check the ingredients, if you can't pronounce it, have no idea what it even is, or if theres an ingredient list of 10 gazillion things, CHUCK. IT. OUT. Say your goodbyes and give it the boot. The more junk food like chocolate, chips, ect you don't have stashed in your cubbards, the less tempted you'll be to inhale them when nobodies around and lie to yourself that you don't feel bad for eating them anyways :)

2: GROCERY SHOPPING
The hardest part of my transition. Finding a BASIC clean eating diet grocery list was like finding a needle in a haystack in the middle of a blizzard.

TIP: It will be a bit difficult at first but try substitution first rather than just dropping everything cold turkey if you think you won't be able to stick with it right away. I went cold turkey and it was EXTREMELY difficult to keep to it at first but eventually my taste buds got used to what I was eating instead of the crap it had before.

Here's a list of everything you should try to incorporate into your new clean eating diet.

 TIPS
- Steam, Bake, Grill, or eat your food raw
- Fill 2/3 of your plate with veggies
- Eat Fruit for dessert
- Drink your body weight in water daily (or at least 64oz)
- If you incorporate red meat into your diet have it 90% lean or higher beef


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Fashion Trend Tuesday: Spring Makeup Video Tutorials



Spring is an amazing time of year for bright colorful makeup. Keeping it subtle but vibrant will have all eyes on you and the compliments will be endless. Some top trends of the 2014 Spring scene is light pinks, bright orange all over, color blocking eyeliner, glowing radiant skin, and a bold colorful lipstick to match. Let's get started

Spring Sunrise Inspired Makeup by Carli Bybel

Spring Inspired Makeup by Easy Neon
 

 

 

Those are the top 5 in my books. There vibrant, make your eyes pop, and I follow all their youtube channels religiously and are just amazing people and their tutorials are to every detail and so easy to follow, enjoy playing with your makeup! :)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Freebie Friday: Easter Printable

I am so happy about this Easter! My children will both be old enough to have their first real Easter Egg Hunt by themselves! :D I can't wait. I went out and bought those plastic eggs that you can fill yourself so instead of just hunting for little chocolate eggs, they get eggs, candy, and small toys like bouncy balls, pretend jewelery, crayons, etc. I am just so excited to see their little faces light up when they wake up Easter morning and discover that their are Bright colorful Easter eggs spread about the house that the Easter bunny left behind the night before :)

As with every holiday that comes around I've created a simple Easter Subway Art Printable for you all to enjoy!


Monday, 24 March 2014

Momma Monday: The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide & Daily Cleaning Schedule


It may still be frigid outside with -20 degree weather, and it may blizzard occasionally, but it's finally that time of year! SPRING! Where the snow melts and green grass takes it's place, and icy tree branches bud with new leaves and foliage. Where flowers begin to bloom and birds begin to sing. But with spring, comes spring cleaning. There are many people who dread this time, but me, I lavish in it. It's a secret of mine that I actually ENJOY (yes you read that correctly) cleaning. I love organizing. Yet you wouldn't think so because of the amount of toys, my husbands work gear, and nick nacks in absolutely every corner in every room. My family apparently doesn't like organizing. haha But I love going through every room, every space and throwing out junk, wiping down my decor and getting rid of those pesky little dust bunnies that decided to make the space behind our couch their home away from home through the winter. There is honestly so much to do, and never enough time, nor space to do it, especially with two little ones running around as well things will always be hectic. So I did a little researching, and came up with a massive list of stuff that is what I usually do every spring, and I have also supplied you with a daily cleaning list which I follow as if it were my bible, and my house went from disaster WW5 to just messy looking, which is as good as it'll get for right now Guaranteed.

Below is both printables, and I hope you enjoy and get rid of your junk this spring! For another person's trash is another person's treasure :)



Thursday, 6 March 2014

Food Frenzy Thursday: Oatmeal Pancakes


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I usually have a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and half a banana and a big glass of milk, a protein shake, or my favorite. PANCAKES! Yet usually after you've made your batter, cooked them till golden brown, slathered them in butter and ooey gooey maple syrup, your already at 600 calories for breakfast. That's half my daily intake allowance (not cool). I surfed the web for hours the other day because I needed to find something that was still healthy, but as delicious as a normal wholesome stack of pancakes. I came across a bunch of oatmeal gluten-free pancakes, pancakes without sugar, and flour, and the possibilities were endless. So I decided on these (which in turn were fantabulous)

OATMEAL PANCAKES

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Quaker Oats
  • 1 1/4 cup Skim Milk 
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Directions
  1.  In a medium bowl, mix oats with milk, let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Add in egg and oil, and mix.
  3. Add dry ingredients until just well blended
  4. Drop by 1/4 cup measurements and flatten out a bit
  5. Cook on hot nonstick skillet or pancake griddle until brown
  6. Flip and cook until lightly golden
  7. Top with whatever you like (not including in nutritional value)
Makes 4 servings.


** I like to add peanut butter and 1 mashed banana to my pancakes sometimes, they taste super good and are jam packed with loads of protein :) Also try using a sugar free syrup 
* I also

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Momma Monday: The Jyst on Diastasis Recti






As we all know being a new mom brings with it so many things. The happiness of finding out you are pregnant. Watching your tummy grow and grow and smile every time you feel a kick or flutter of movement within you. The first time your baby is placed in your arms, and you are so overjoyed with love and happiness that you would do it all over again in a heartbeat. But as time goes on and you watch your child take their first steps, say their first words, learn to dress themselves and feed themselves, you notice that your stubborn little "baby pooch" has been there through it all as well, and will not make itself scarce.

This condition is known as Diastasis Recti. Where your lower abdominal muscles have stretched so far apart during childbirth, that you actually have a gap between those two muscles. Your core, now doesn't hold the ability to hold everything where it belongs. FACT #1: Did you know that most core/ab exercises actually make it WORSE?! I know right! I've been doing planks, crunches, sit-ups, working my obliques and all the rest of that good stuff in hoping to tighten up that stubborn pouch of fat, but I've just been making it worse. FACT #2: Did you know that 95% of women who have experienced childbirth, also suffer from this condition but are unaware? And that the other 5% are the rare lucky ones that get to walk out with a taught tummy and there pre-pregnancy skinny jeans.

To check to see if you have Diasastis Recti, Click Here :)

THERE IS HOPE! I have a mild case, where I am only about 2-3 finger widths, instead of other people out there who are 6/7 finger widths. If you have a bigger width between your abdominal's, then your doctor may suggest surgery as an option. But you can go around this. I was told to get a tummy splint, or belly band and wear it 24/7 for at least 4 weeks and only take it off to shower, and wash the band itself. Another is to do special exercises [ and if you do it with the band on too it's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone ] These exercises are used to change your alignment, strengthening your transverse abdominal and to help bring them back together so your insides aren't sticking out  :) What a lovely mental picture and thought, my apologies.

I've found a few exercises on Google & Youtube which you can do at home, you do them maybe 3 times a day every day until you start to see an improvement. You can't just go and jump into them though, if you can't flex your TRV then there's no hope in working out and it actually doing its job. Try to see if you can flex your TRV muscles by GENTLY pulling your belly button into your spine. You should not be holding your breath, or sucking in, or any of that crap which you've probably been doing for a few months now. I tried hiding mine in my clothes, which didn't work out so great.

Figure out if you have mild - severe Diasastis. Take the chance to get back that flat stomach of yours, and get a stronger core to hold yourself up higher, get rid of back problems, be able to have more strength to do more :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Momma Monday: How to fold a fitted crib sheet


My obsession with fitted crib sheets has gotten the best of me since having two little girls. Not to mention the internet is my enabler when it comes to cute, bright, and colorful patterned bed spreads that you can match your bedding with everything and anything, or even mix and match :D Yet coming to the realization that most of the time my linen closet looks like a rumpled pile of sheets and bedspreads because trying to fold these suckers is super hard unless you know how to do it properly, which I`m trying to perfect, but with not much luck haha.

One day I decided to search on how to fold them properly. There`s only so much you can do to try and make them LOOK neat without them really being neat and tidy and easily stackable in your closet.

I came across this youtube video How To Fold A Fitted Sheet. By far changed my life, and it`s super easy to follow. It takes a couple of tries to actually get it right I kept losing my corners in the process of folding and felt like shredding them all, but after a while I got the hang of it :) Once you become a pro, the biggest demise of motherhood has been conquered :D good luck!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Food Frenzy Thursday: Homemade Pita Chips



When it comes to chips & dip, all my willpower to eat healthy fades fairly quickly. One bite and your taste buds are in heaven! I love my Tostitos and salsa but they are so high in sodium that the next day I feel like a fish out of water haha. I came across pita chips, and I was skeptical at first because like really? Just dipping bread into dip.. or whatever. Not very appealing. Then I found out how to make them myself so there's nothing added to them, and there actually a healthier version :D BONUS! Not to mention, freakin' delicious. Once you've had these, you'll never buy a bag of chips ever again. I swear it. I haven't.

Baked Pita Chips

INGREDIENTS
  • 12 pita bread pockets (whole wheats optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of EVOO or any cooking oil of choice
  • your spice of choice [ i usually use ground Cajun spice ]
HOW-TO
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees F. 
  2. Cut eat pita bread into 8 slices and place on a cookie sheet
  3. Brush the tops of the slices with olive oil
  4. Sprinkle your spice of choice over top
  5. Bake in the oven for about 7-8 minutes until golden and crispy. They burn REAL easy if you walk away and forget and come back 10 minutes later, they will be like rocks haha
  6. Enjoy with your favorite dip or salsa!



Sunday, 9 February 2014

Momma Monday: How to toddler-proof your floor vents



I'm sure I'm not the only mother out there who has had this problem. Where our children decide to show their adventurous side and explore all the small things they can find between the slits of our floor vents, or even taking them off to make sure that what they have in their hands WILL fit down that mysterious hole in the floor. I've tried everything to stick it to the floor, to pry my daughters eyes away from how much fun she's having shoving all her toys and things down there, and have come to an impasse. Last week I actually had to pry the vent away from the floor, go into the basement, flip the metal tubing upside down and shake out everything but the kitchen sink out of it.

I found barbie clothes, 5 soothers, socks, a WHOLE bathing suit, 12 mega blocks, 2 bottles [yes bottles, which happened to have a very gross liquid sitting inside them], crayons, and half of her play kitchen utensils & plastic food in there too. I'm still surprised any heat was actually traveling through there. I'm surprised she even got the vent off the floor considering I hot glue gunned it to the floor. Impressive for a 2 year old.

Now I think I have the king of all solutions. I did a little researching, and came across multiple solutions. I have all new hardwood flooring upstairs, so I really didn't want to do something drastic that would destroy it and my husband freak out haha. My solution was getting mesh netting [ the strong stuff for like screen doors ] cut a piece to fit the opening of your floor vent, fold the rough edges underneath and staple gun it to the the inside of the vent. This way if they do shove something down there it'll catch everything and won't go all through your vents. Next put your vent back on, and find either 2 big nails or screws and screw or nail it to the floor. Presto. Since then, my daughter's left it alone because she can't pry it off, and there's only so much stuff in her room she can shove down there when I'm not around, mostly the fridge magnet letters but now I don't have to go fishing around for god knows what down there, and I know that she won't cut herself on the direction flaps in the bottom or anywhere else on it, because it's metal. Winner winner chicken dinner!

Hope I can be of some help to those mothers who just are really fed up of cleaning out their duct work haha!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Freebie Friday: Valentines Day Subway Art

I love valentines day, and all the cute, sappy, adorable things that comes with it. Candy hearts, love notes, kisses, romantic evenings, flowers, chocolate, and just a day to show those who are important to you how much you really love them :) This year will be different for me unfortunately because my husbands away on course so he's gone till mid-may, bummer. But each day I do some crafts with the kids so when he comes home he'll have a box of stuff to open :D love it!

Anyways here I made some simple subway art, hope you all enjoy! Just right-click to save as onto your computer :)

** not sure why my background went grey, working on fixing that! :)




Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Fashion Trend Tuesday: Momma Spring Trends for 2014

I am so glad that soon [i hope!] winter will be over and spring will be here. It's one of my favorite seasons. It's always so pretty outside with flowers blooming, animals waking up from their hibernation, trees growing back their foliage, and the nice sunny warm weather that slowly creeps in. I find every year I'm in the same predicament, I'm still stuck in the winter rut of big poofy jackets, sweaters, zillions of layers, scarfs, and big clunky boots, and when the weather gets warmer I'm still dressed like it's -40 outside haha.

Apparently the trendy colors for 2014 are bright pastels. I LOVE pastels. Not only do they subtly compliment anything you wear, but they add a pop of color and aren't overbearing. A lot of the looks this year are crop tops, fringe, bomber jackets, button down shirts, sheer, and exaggerated silhouettes like big boxy jackets, and huge flared pants. There's also florals, tea length skirts, and knit sweater cardigans [thin ones of course.]

Personally, a lot of the "trends" they post on the internet, or TV are WAY too out of this world for regular everyday life, or even the on-the-go mom. Like think about it, wearing big flare pants and a boxy jacket that makes you look like you should be on a runway instead of running around and yelling at your 4 kids to behave when your out in public isn't realistic.

Below are some outfits that are reasonable for spring, and for moms on the go! :)



- Trendy, yet not over the top. Also I would probably switch out the heels for some comfortable black flats





- this one is my favorite. i LOVE green, and it's just so simple, comfortable & classy, yet very casual :)


Monday, 20 January 2014

Momma Monday: Top 20 things NOT to say to the Parents of Toddlers



I came across multiple versions of this on babble.com and it just made me laugh because 100% of it's so true. How many of us are asked ridiculous questions about our growing toddlers, or people have given there opinion about where our children should be on the milestone track when according to others, there "falling behind". This is one of my biggest pet peeves indefinitely. I didn't used to mind, until we were in a grocery store one day and my daughter was about 15 months old, and a lady was stating that A child that age should already be potty trained, and talking in mid-full sentences. I'm like, what planet did you come from, one with super kids or what? I will not stand for others comparing my child to somebody else as they all grow up differently, and at there own pace, and we can't force that.


What NOT to say to Parents with Toddlers

Strangers Are Weird
"Oh is she shy?"
No she doesn't know you and it takes her a few minutes to be comfortable in a new environment.

On Things That Are None of Your Business
"Isn't she potty trained yet?"
Exactly how old were you when you stopped pooping in a diaper?

On Little Boys With Long Hair
"When are you going to cut that hair?"
My son has his own (pretty darned cute) ideas about hair style and length, thank you very much.

No Naps = Zombie Toddler. LEARN THIS.
"Oh, he can miss his nap - it won't hurt!"
Oh sure, you won't mind babysitting them say from 5:00 PM onwards; getting them dinner and tucked into bed would you? However, Zombie Toddler will appear to eat your brains during these hours wherein their exhausted little brains and bodies cry foul.
** this is what happens to my kids. They become Crankzilla, queens of the underworld. 

SO TIRED
"I KNOW, me too."
The response I got when stating I was tired to a twenty-something Barista with no kids. I just laughed and laughed.
Babies & Toddlers Cry. KNOW THIS.
"Why won't she stop crying? What's wrong with her?"  Must be your face. Also? BABIES/TODDLERS CRY.

 ** this is my favorite. I'd love to see a baby&toddler not cry so much. Even if it were for a day, it'd be really nice :)

So Funny! So Smart!
"Oops, I guess the littlest one was a surprise, eh?"
Actually I had 7 miscarriages in 4 years. Would you like to know anything else about my child bearing history?
** this one is on ball. My mother tried for 12 years to conceive a child and adopted my brother & sister, had more miscarriages in between, and didn't know she was pregnant with me till she was 5 months along. So i was known as the surprise or even worse, the accident.. but they don't know how hard and long it took her to actually bear her own child.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
"You know, MY kids never acted like that…"
LIES. All LIES. Your memory sucks.

And It’s Your Business How?
"You're still nursing? But she's so old now!"
Natural weaning is between the ages of 2 and 7. Yes 7. I nursed my first baby until age 5 and I plan to do the same with my second. Not sure why it bothers you?


Ask a Silly Question…
"Does he/she always behave like this?"
Only when you're around.
Organically Grown
"Oh twins!?! Are they natural?"
Why yes they are 100% human, or are you asking if I used fertility treatments?

What’s Wrong With YOU?
"What's wrong with him?"
HE'S TWO.

Such a Zealot
"You must have a lot of time on your hands to be making such healthy meals from scratch all the time!"
I've got to give my kids some sort of material for therapy when they're grown, don't I?

** I have two kids under 3, and even I can still find time to make a healthy meal, weather it be quick and simple, a freezer meal I made days ago, or a simple fruit, veggie, cheese, and kabasa platter. Your children can't live off of hotdogs, grilled cheese, and kraft dinner forever.

For The Single Parents
"You don't need to date, you need to focus on your kids until they're out of the house."
You need to focus on your words before they come out of your mouth.

Just NO
"I used to spank my kids and they turned out just fine!"
Says YOU.

Don’t Talk To Me About Magic!
"Ok -- I know there's a ton of them... ok - here's one; I am always kind of amazed when my kids are in meltdown mode, throwing full on tantrums, I am completely dishevelled and / or crying, and we are in public - usually eating at a cafe or something and some older woman (who has forgotten everything or never had kids) says, 'remember this time forever. It's magical. You are so lucky.' GAAAAHHHHH! In fact, ANYBODY who says this to parents of young children should stop doing so. First of all, we do NOT need MORE guilt for thinking of our children as tiny dictators at times, and second - we KNOW it goes fast, we KNOW it's a magical time, but it feels and looks like the army when you're in it. A look of sympathy and maybe helping put my kids' boot back on would be more helpful." 
On Co-Sleeping
"It irritates me when people tell me not to let my son sleep in my bed. It's our special time to cuddle, he feels safe and secure, it builds our relationship. That is what is important to me!"





Thursday, 9 January 2014

Food Frenzy Thursday: Favorite Side Dishes

I do have to apologize that I haven't been keeping up with my food posting [sigh] which is one of the things im so good at usually because im always constantly baking, cooking, or prepping food throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes dessert if I find a spare 10 minutes to whip something up :)

I love side dishes. There such a nice way to compliment a main dish and just tie in all the wonderful satisfying tastes together. I've learned from the best of how to incorporate side dishes. My mum was king of the kitchen. I remember my mothers famous pork tenderloin roast that would be accompanied by peas, corn, carrots, mashed AND roasted potatoes, roasted parsnips, stuffing [with the mmm scrumptious crunchy bits] and topped off with a ladle of gravy :) DELICIOUS! No offense but its probably why 3/4 of my family was overweight growing up lmao we were just a family who loved to eat :D [and still do]

SWEET POTATO FRIES
 YIELDS 1 SERVING
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 sweet potato
  • cooking oil/spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
preheat oven to 400 degrees. cut your potato into strips [with or without the skin on] {i like mine with some skin} . Lightly grease a cookie sheet and spread the fries out evenly. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper [ i use a lot of cajun spice on mine sometimes ] bake for 30 - 45 minutes turning every 10 minutes or so to make em crispy and not stick to the tray. Let cool 5 minutes and stuff your face.

* I also like to dip my fries in either ranch, or my favorite, roasted red pepper, garlic and chili aioli. IT IS SO GOOD!

NUTRITION FACTS
Per 1 Serving: 80 calories
Total Fat: 1g
Sodium: 40mg
Carbohydrate: 18g
Fiber: 4g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 2g

ROASTED SPICY CAULIFLOWER
YIELDS 4 SERVINGS
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 head cauliflower [cored and cut into florets]
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ground black pepper [to taste]
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cut up cauliflower, oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss around to evenly coat the cauliflower. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until soft and golden brown [30 - 45 minutes] Serve Hot.

NUTRITION FACTS
Per 1 Serving: 100 calories
Fat: 7g
Sodium: 85mg
Carbohydrate: 8g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 3g
Protein 3g

SAUTEED SLICED CARROTS
YIELDS 4 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 - 3 medium sized carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
DIRECTIONS
preheat skillet on med-high heat. Thinly slice your carrots. Heat oil and butter together. Add your carrots. Sautee for 10 - 15 minutes until they start to soften. Mix onion & garlic powder together in a bowl with your soy sauce and brown sugar. It might make a thick paste if so add a bit more soy sauce till you get a slightly runny consistency. Add this to your pan. Cook for another 15 minutes until the carrots are soft and have a nice golden coat to them. Serve Hot.

* I hate cooked carrots, and I just threw a bunch of stuff in a pan with sliced carrots and holy crap I ate almost the whole entire pan. They were DELICIOUS!

NUTRITION FACTS
Per 1 Serving: 118 calories
Fat: 4.7g
Sodium: 383.4mg
Carbohydrate: 9.8g
Fiber: 1.8g
Sugar: 4.2g
Protein: 1.4g

ROASTED PARMESAN GREEN BEANS
YIELDS 4 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
  • 12 oz green beans [ends trimmed]
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • pepper & salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp parmesan (shredded)
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. In a bowl drizzle beans with oil, salt&pepper, and garlic powder and toss to coat. Lay evenly on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes shake the pan a bit to turn them, and then bake an additional 5 - 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.

NUTRITION FACTS
Per 1 Serving: 60 calories
Fat: 3g
Sodium: 240mg
Carbohydrate: 8g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 3g

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Grocery App EVERYONE Needs!

As we all know, a healthy lifestyle and weight loss doesn't just consist of exercise. It begins in the kitchen. If you ate like a pig but went to the gym for an hour a day, kudos, but you wouldn't see much of an improvement in your overall health or well being. Unless your one of those people, who like my husband, have an incredibly high metabolism and food disintegrates before it even makes it past your esophagus and you can eat all the crap you want, enjoy it while it lasts. Because i'll be one of those who laughs when you turn 30/40 and get really fat. Ugh, so fat :) haha

I'm a stay at home mom. Trying to find time to make a proper healthy meal that my kids will eat and enjoy at the same time can be very limiting. I do a lot of make a head meals, and they are a godsend. Seriously, they have saved my life, and am forever in-debt to pinterest&blogger for finding these amazing people who posted such incredible ideas. Spend 5 hours a day cooking to make 1 - 2 months work of freezer meals so I only have to cook 30 - 60 minutes a night instead of 2 hours. WINNING!

I am also really bad for going to the grocery store and overspending. I do write a list, but its more of a rough guideline haha. I'm also very anal about how I shop. I have my list planned out with categories like produce, meat, dairy etc, and when someone gets me off track and I recheck my list and I've missed a bunch of things, I get angry and frustrated because not only did I miss items that are ESSENTIAL, I now have to spend another half hour back tracking to pick those items up. Not impressed. BUT, one day, I stumbled across the most amazing grocery app in the world. I will use this every time I shop, and nothing else. It's changed my life, and has saved me and my family SO much money on groceries that I feel like that woman off that IKEA commercial yelling to start the car! running with a shopping cart in red vibrant heels feeling like wonder woman :)

The app is called myShopi. you can download it for FREE for your android, tablet, iphone, ipad, anything that supports apps, it's free :) YIPPIE!
Now here's the functionality of the app:

Organize By Category
like beverages, produce, bakery, dairy, meat/butcher, incidentals etc. you can even organize by aisles!

Database of 1000 Predefined Items
 stuff like bread, milk, chicken, broccoli, and bananas. My favorite part about the database is you can add in any product you like to buy into the database and add a picture of that product either from google, your storage device, or take a picture of it. SO FREAKING COOL!

Track Your History
the app keeps track of frequently purchased items from previous grocery shops so you can backtrack to add them to your new list for next month, week, whatever. Also, you can add items to favorites, which is even quicker to add to new lists.

Multiple Lists
you can create a wide range of lists by the store and what they offer to person, etc. so you could get a grocery list for wal-mart or nofrills, or you can shop by person like your husband, or kids, or sister and add items that they want to their own specific lists. super duper awesome!

Send by E-mail & SMS
Seriously. It's just too good to be true. I do my BIG list on my Ipad, but i'm not going to lug around my ipad with my husband and two kids AND a cart to do grocery shopping, it's not just logical. So I send it to my email and when I click on the link, it gets sent directly to the myShopi app on my phone. Not to mention, you can send it to ANYONE who has the app downloaded. If you need someone to pick up something for you, send the list, BAM they go get your stuff.

Price Description
My other fav on this app. You can enter in the price of each item you want to purchase and you can buy by box, can, package, lb, g, kg, ml, l, etc, and it'll tell you how much your grocery list will cost (before taxes obviously)




This is a screenshot of what it looks like on an Iphone. You can see what categories are already in the database, along with the items in that category. Like look how much variety you have in just the fruits category, and you can add more! If you suck at grocery shopping and aren't a coupon fanatic this app could just change your life.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Momma Monday: Mother Knows Best



Two years ago I got pregnant with my first child & then 11 months after she was born had my 2nd. I didn't want to take prenatal classes because I didn't see a need for them but my mother forced my hand into going. The way I saw it was if I really had a question, why couldn't I just google it, watch a video, read an article, or hell pick up a prenatal book that's available in any store anywhere, instead of paying someone a 130$ to talk my face off for an hour about how to be the "proper" parent.

By the time I had given birth to my daughter, I was complete basket case. I worried over nothing and everything, and had anxiety attacks on a frequent basis. I wouldn't allow anyone in our home who was sick. I never let her out of my grasp because I feared if I left her too long somewhere her head would start to warp. Any small noise in the night I would rush to her side fearing something was wrong when really she was just sleeping. SIDS becomes a mothers worst nightmare. You can't have any bedding like bumper pads, pillows, blankets&quilts or even stuffed animals in the crib. SIDS. Don't let your child get too warm during sleep, but keep them warm, but not too warm or your baby can overheat (WHAT?!) I even went out and spent a lot of money on sleepers and onesies that had a temperature dial integrated into the fabric so if there body temperature got over a certain amount it would change color. I got all the gadgets for anything and did everything by the book. I ate healthy & exercised throughout my whole pregnancy, took my prenatal vitamins, got sleep, drank plenty of liquids, everything. I inherited anxiety throughout this pregnancy, and it's not something you need on top of having postpartum depression as well.

I was so upset with how books, media, and those pesky prenatal doctors and nurses think they know EVERYTHING about how to raise a child, yet the majority of them don't even have children. Go figure.

I sat down with my mother and had one of the longest talks about children, their upraising and much else. Back when my mum was raising us she had all the stuff in the crib, she left us in the bouncy chairs and whatever else for hours even if we fell asleep. She used to put whiskey/rum on our gums when we were teething. Put baby cereal in our bottles to help us sleep through the night to give her 5 minutes peace. My mum even has a picture of her breastfeeding my brother with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, and smoked through 1/4 of being pregnant with me because she didn't know she was, and none of her kids died, or had anything wrong with them.

All in all I am so sorry about this rant it just maddens me to be told that I am an inadequate mother because I don't do things by the book, or whatever. My kids are healthy, doing there own thing, and nobody should ever feel like they are raising there kids wrong.


There is no way to be a perfect parent, 
but there are a million ways to be a good parent.