Monday, January 23, 2012

Cherry & Apple Baby Puree!

I thought I'd share a baby food recipe with you in hopes it would inspire you to give it a try.

Recently I made a Cherry & Apple Baby Puree which was yummy (YES, I tried several spoonfuls) and super easy!  Check out the details below and give it a try!

Recipe Courtesy of

3 Apples (Organic)
1 Cup Cherries (I used White Cherries)
Dash of Vanilla
1 Cup of Water

1) Peal and chop apples.
2) Take the pits out of the cherries.  Tip: Use a potato peeler and stick it in the center where the stem protrudes.  Rotate the peeler and it will grab the seed, sorry the picture is a bit blurry.

3) Combine all of your ingredients in a saucepan on the stove.  Steam until everything is soft (it might help if you put a lid on the saucepan leaving it just off center so there is room for the steam to escape.  This takes about 20 minutes).

4) Once everything is soft, go ahead and puree it in the appliance of your choice (blender, bullet, baby bullet, etc.).

5) Finally, store food in freezer portion trays (and put what you plan to use within 48 hours in the fridge).  Once frozen, you can pop the portions out and store in freezer bags so you can use those portion trays again.  Its recommended that you store baby food in the freezer for more than 3 months but it's best to use within 1 month.

Go ahead and give it a try!  Hope your little one enjoys this recipe.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making Your Own Baby Food!

Making your own baby food doesn't take much time and gives you a sense of pride that you are feeding your little one the very best.  Honestly, in the time it could take you to watch an episode of The Real Housewives of (fill in city/state here), you could make enough baby food for the whole week.  Cooking options vary too so you could have one food item steaming and something else baking at the same time.  

The internet offers tons of websites with recipes.  Two of my favorite sites are below:

One thing to keep in mind when buying groceries to make that baby food is the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen.  This is a list of produce that will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic.  Here is the list of the Dirty Dozen (and the site for your reference

Dirty Dozen

Buy these organic
– imported
Grapes – imported
Red Pepper
Sweet bell peppers
– domestic
Kale/collard greens

Do you have any other baby food recipe sites to recommend?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby Shower Hostess Gift Ideas

A baby shower hostess gift isn't required but it's a nice gesture.  Keep in mind you don't need to have it at shower; it can be given to your hostess any time after the party (of course, ideally before your little one is born).  Here are some gift suggestions:

- Depending on who the hostess(es) are you might want to give them a frame that says Grandma or Aunt that they can use once your bundle of joy arrives.

- Another idea: Is there something the hostess(es) are really into?  For example, I am a notebook freak so I would love a special notebook picked out for me. Are they into photography?  Think about a gift certificate for, pretty camera straps or even a mobile printer.

- What was the theme of the shower?  Maybe a tea party.  Think about getting the hostess(es) tea party cookie cutters, a chest filled with a variety of different teas, etc.  See if you can match the theme to the gift.

- I especially like the idea of giving an umbrella to the  hostess(es) for a baby shower.  It is a bit of a play on words, they threw you a shower so your gifting them an umbrella

- Gift Cards are always nice to receive so why not give those.  You can go with one for, Starbucks, or a store where you know they often shop.

- Another option, make an edible gift basket for them.  You can include cookies, chocolate dipped fruit, candy they enjoy, a fruit compote and maybe even coffee or wine!

- I love giving Lolita Glasses.   They have so many options which makes it easy to capture your  hostess(es) personality.  They have Beach Bum Pilsner Glass, Diva Martini Glass, even a Hostess with the Mostess Wine Glass.

- Other Options: A Spa Day for themselves or with you is a wonderful treat, a plant or flowers delivered to them (even at work which is always a great surprise), Wine or Spirits and anything Monogrammed.

Suggestions you have that I've missed?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coupon & Freebie Tips

You don't have to be a featured on Extreme Couponing to figure out how to get discount coupons for shopping.  I have spent some time looking for the best sites and thought I'd provide some suggestions to help you save money too.  To keep savings in check, something I suggest is not buying an item you don't need just because you have a coupon for it.  Plan out what you want to buy and then look for coupons for those items only. Here you will find several pages of coupons available and you simply click on the ones you want to clip.  Once you are done with all of the pages you simply choose to print all the coupons clipped.  The deals change weekly. This is a site created by an actual extreme couponer from the TLC show.  She bestows details on weekly sales and tricks to get the best deals.  I prefer the Print Coupons section of her site best.  She has links to dozens and dozens of coupon links.  For best results on the Print Coupons page, hit CTRL+F and then search for the item you plan to buy.  If there is a coupon available for it, she likely will have a link to it. This is a site where the money you save goes into an account for college savings.  The savings can be applied to a student loan you might already have and are currently paying off or to a savings for your child or a friend/family members child.  There are several ways to save.  1) You can clip e-coupons, 2) Get Travel Deals or Online Coupons (used for an online purchase), or 3) Start at their site for a percentage back into your account on any online purchase you are planning.  If for example, you plan to shop at Carter's, visit Upromise, go to the Shop Now section and search for Carter's then click on the link to that store.  Today you can get 3% back on your planned purchase into your upromise account by simply starting here for a Carter's purchase. Similar to Upromise, this site gives you a percentage back on your planned purchases and supplies coupon codes for those online purchases.  The difference, they send you a check every quarter as long as your savings for that quarter is $5.01 or greater.  I have been a member since 2008 and to date have received $287.84 back on purchases I planned to make anyway.  Here is your personal link referral: This is just like  I use this site if I don't see the store I'm looking for on ebates or upromise.  I suggest staying with one site primarily for your biggest cash back check though. Reference Link is : <a href="">Mr. Rebates</a> If you join this site, you can get 20% off diapers and wipes purchased online. This site gives you coupon codes for online purchases, as well as, printable coupons for in-store shopping trips. This site provides tips and tricks on getting discounts.  However, the Freebies section is my favorite.  You can get free food and beverage samples, beauty samples, baby and kid samples, even free magazine subscriptions including Baby Talk Magazine. This site has daily sales on clothing for baby and mom, toys, books and more from various brands.  Some savings can be up to 80% off retail.  The deals sell out quick but I love the savings!  Your personal reference link is here:

Here are some additional suggestions.  Join mailing lists for companies you often purchase products from as they may send out coupons.  Also, join their facebook pages where they might offer deals to their members.  Finally, and most un-digital, get the Sunday paper delivered and clip the coupons that come in it.

Happy Saving!

Any tips on saving you can suggest that I've missed?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 10 Baby Registry Must Haves

I remember spending an unbelievable amount of time compiling my baby registry.  I would add something, read reviews, remove it, and then add a replacement.  It was something I literally worked on for months.  Honestly it's a good thing I started preparing it when I was still in my first trimester or I might have had a panic attack trying to get in done in time for the shower with all of the research I did.  I would like to save everyone that stress and list the TOP 10 MUST HAVES for your baby registry.  Sure, there are other things you'll need (nail clippers, outlet covers, pacifiers, but those you could always buy those yourself if necessary) and want (should I really spend $100 on the outfit I plan to take baby home from the hospital in?) but these are the few that you'll need sooner then later.  

10) Nursing Tops/Breast Pads/Lanolin Cream/Nursing Bras: you may only want to register for the breast pads (whether you plan to nurse or not) and the Lanolin Cream but you will definitely need Nursing Tops and Bras too if you plan to breastfeed your new bundle of joy (you could pick those up online).

9) Baby Tub/Towels/Soaps/Lotions: A baby bathtub is essential, as well as, towels.  You can also include the soaps and lotions but I find people will buy them for you even if not you haven't requested them so adding these to your registry is your decision.  I also was given extra towels I hadn't registered for just because they were cute, so I recommend only registering for two or three.  

8) Baby Monitor: This is something I couldn't live without.  There are different options of course but they one I would suggest should include a camera and viewing screen; similar to this one.  It gives you peace of mind that even when baby is quiet and you want to make sure he/she is still breathing (because you know exactly what I'm talking about) you can check to watch babies chest moving up and down.  This way, you don't need to take the chance of waking that sleepy baby by going in their room and watching them until they move or bringing a mirror in and putting it under their nose to make sure it fogs up. Keep in mind they can be expensive, anywhere from $149.99-$249.99 but without a doubt it is worth every penny!

7) Pack 'n Play: These are great to use as a bassinet in your room while they are still too small for the crib.  I like the models that include a changing table too so when you wake in the middle of the night you don't have to go to their room to change them, just do it there.  They also sell models that include a newborn napper which is actually what I have.  However, I never really felt comfortable leaving baby in their to nap so save the money and skip it.

6) Boppy/Cover: This is great for breastfeeding baby, bottle feeding baby, tummy time, and just for baby hanging out time.

5) Disposable Diapers/Wipes: Get as many as you can of these for free as you will go through countless amounts.  If you plan to use cloth diapers, you can add them to your registry too.  However, I found that if you tell people you plan to cloth diaper they either a) generally think you are out of your mind, b) think you won't stick to it, or c) think you just don't get how hard it is to have a baby.  Based on this, they will most likely buy you disposable diapers instead and think you'll thank them later (which may happen).  In any case, it would probably be best for you to invest in most of the cloth diapers and cloth wipes yourself.  

4) Fisher Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper: This is really a lifesaver.  I know many people invest in a swing or a bouncer and if you have the space register for those too if you want.  I on the other hand, have a smaller home so I went for the Rock 'n Play sleeper and have never looked back!  It folds up so it's easy to store, you can use it as a bassinet, a place for baby to hang out, to rock them, etc.  Oh, and did I mention it retails for only $49.99.

3) Swaddle Blankets: Sure they sell sleepsacks and wearable blankets but I found that a good swaddle blanket will do the trick.  My favorites are from Aden & Anais and once they don't want to be swaddled anymore you can still use them as traditional blankets while you'll be packing the wearable blankets away.

2) Stroller with Car Seat Adapter: You'll want to find a stroller that either includes a car seat adapter or has a car seat adapter accessory that you can purchase.  Again with the adage "never wake a sleeping baby", this will allow you to move easily from the car to the store, back to car, and to the park without waking that little angel.

1) Infant Car Seat with Extra Base: This will allow you to have just one infant car seat and the ability to switch it from Parent A to Parent B's vehicle without any trouble.

Are there any baby necessities you couldn't live without that I haven't mentioned?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Some Cloth Diaper Inspiration

I recently was talking to someone about cloth diapering and they asked me if I knew anyone else who cloth diapered, anyone who explained to me it was an option.  I told her that I only read about it online but didn't know anyone who did it when I started.  HOWEVER, I'm proud to say that I've convinced at least one person since my daughter was born that it's an option and she is now cloth diapering her twins - success!  I thought I'd share some of my cloth diapering advice obtained through my hours (more like days and days) of analyzing the idea on the internet.  

My favorite Cloth Diapers are: Rumparooz (a US company started by a WAHM) and Kawaii's (nice and cheap).  Although, I do have a bunch of others I like too: BumGenius (because they aren't very bulky) and BabyKicks (organic and very absorbant but take longer to dry).  

There are many different options when it comes to the type of cloth diaper you choose (pre-folds, All-In-Ones, Pocket Diapers and more).  I have chosen to go with the One Size Pocket Diapers which in my opinion are pretty easy (meaning YOU CAN DO IT!).  For this type you essentially put an insert in a pocket.  You have to take the inserts out every time you wash them and once they come out of dryer or off the clothes line put the inserts back in the pocket.  

You'll need a small wet bag for your diaper bag to put soiled diapes in when traveling about.  They usually can fit two diapers so if you plan to be out for a long time get two.  You will also need a big wet bag to store the diapes between washes.  This is the one I have and it works great:  

Additionally, a diaper sprayer is required (I have the BumGenius one).  It basically works like a removable shower head sprayer.  There's no dunking the diaper in the toilet anymore folks (it is 2012 after all).  Just spray the soiled diaper into the toilet and you only have to rinse those with brown/green surprises.  

Now what kind of detergent does one use for cloth diapers.  I've read about a bunch of different kinds but I use Rocking Green  I can also give you details on stripping diapers in a future post, message or comment if you need advice sooner then later!  The other wonderful thing I've learned from cloth diapers: wait for it, wait for it... The bleaching power of the sun!!!  If the inside of the diapers come out of the wash with a little stain, sit them in the sun for an hour or so and the stain will completely disappear; it is AMAZING!  

Now, who's going to try it!

My First Post!

I've been meaning to start a blog for sometime now and today I finally had the motivation to do so (might I add I also had the sleeping baby and husband to do so).  Most people who know me, know that I look up pretty much everything on the internet.  The biggest reason I created this blog is to share some of what I've learned in my hours of online research (so you don't have to waste that time too)!

Some of the practical info I've learned during my endless hours of perusing are related to cloth diapering, making baby food and couponing.  Some less helpful wisdom (i.e wastes of my time) included how many words a minute I can type, what my IQ is thanks to a half a dozen quizzes which all provide different results, and posting countless pictures on my GET FIT MOTIVATION Pinterest board while doing nothing to actually get fit!   

Hope you enjoy my shared internet wisdom!