Jul 30, 2009

Best Intentions

I had the best intentions today to post about how fabulous and easy it is to make your own cloth baby wipes from material around your house. I went through the baby blanket drawer and pulled out four receiving blankets that are too small for actually swaddling a baby, pulled my sewing machine out of storage (I use it about 2x a year) and gathered all my supplies. I measured and cut my fabric squares and started hemming the edges. To my dismay, the sewing machine would not produce properly tensioned stitches - and the tension adjustment could not solve the problem. So I'm sitting here totally frustrated trying to figure out how to fix my sewing machine. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon and can have my dream post!

Jul 29, 2009

Water Friendly Baby Sling

On our recent excursion to Galveston, Texas, I realized that I would need to bring something to carry Logan around in. I knew we would be out and about and that the stroller would not be a viable option. We have a Baby Bjorn front carrier and a side carrier, but both are black and made of heavy material. In the hot TX sun they really were not the best choices for being out half a day at the pool.
When I was shopping for cloth diapers at Nurtured Family (my favorite store, can't you tell!) I discovered the Taylor Made Water Mesh Baby Sling. I have stayed away from slings in the past as they seemed complicated to get the baby in and out of. I went ahead and purchased the white water sling, and the woman at Nurtured Family helped me practice putting the sling on and getting a baby doll into it. I am totally happy with the purchase! It was great to have at the pool, I could go into the water with Logan secured and both my hands free for Aidan. The breathable mesh keeps baby cool while out of the water and the fabric dries quickly (faster than my bathing suit!)

I am still learning how to getting him in and out of it, so it takes a few minutes to get going - I would say it's close to the same amount of time to get situated with our other carriers with all the safety clasps. I think the thing I am most impressed with is the versatility of positions: front, side, cradle, back, forward facing (though Logan doesn't like that one because his legs have to be tucked in front of him.) My only complaint about the sling is that it limits that range of motion you have on your left arm, as the sling is spread over that shoulder (for a right handed carrier) to disperse the weight of the baby.
To end on a good note - the sling takes up very little space, so it is perfect to stash in your diaper bag when not in use. I am so enamored with this product that I am even considering forgoing the stroller when we take our next flight!
Do you have a favorite "baby on the go" product? If so, please leave the name of the product and why you can't live without it!

Jul 28, 2009

Eco-friendly Baby Shower

I found this post on throwing an Eco-friendly Baby Shower you might be interested in. I think it's a great idea for not only baby showers, but other parties and gatherings. I personally have china sets and silverware I received as wedding gifts that have only come out of the cabinet 3 times in the last 5 years! There are so many ways to be kind to our earth if we just step back, look at what we already have around the house, and think a little outside the box.

Jul 27, 2009

Finding Balance

I am notoriously a perfectionist. I must have certain things done in a very particular manner (just a little OCD.) Most of the time, I feel that it is not worth doing something if you are not going to give 100% effort towards completing the job the right way. I will admit that all of the propaganda I saw growing up of women from "the old days" taking care of the house and family must have gotten to me on some level.

(Image from http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/)

Now that I am not working, I feel the need to live up to this 50's housewife model. Don't get me wrong - I'm not about to do housework wearing a dress, high heels, and make-up. But somewhere deep inside I want to have the house clean and clutter free, the kids behaving, and dinner on the table when my husband comes home. It might be guilt that I am not helping to pay the bills any more or the aforementioned perfectionism. There is so much to do around the house and I feel bad when I don't complete everything.

I have realized that I need to find balance between my inner Joan Cleaver and my 2009 self. I can't do everything on my To Do list in one day, unless I make them more realistic. Here is the list I had made myself yesterday:
  • Wash cloth diapers

  • Wash dark clothes

  • Pick-up the husbands new glasses

  • Get the Groceries for the week

  • Look at & research refrigerators

  • Go to dollar store for table place mats

  • Clean the bathrooms (2.5)

  • Iron

  • Vacuum

  • Mop

  • Make cloth baby wipes

  • Make appointment for children's photos

  • Decide on & order photo prints for baby book

Of those items, I managed to complete six tasks - on top of having to bring the kids to daycare and the hubby to work (his car decided to die last week so it was brought to the shop yesterday morning.) If I had superpowers I might have been able to complete that list, but alas I do not.

I am mindful that I need to step back and look at the most important things in my life and set priorities. Since I have been home 2 months now, the kids have become complete Mamma's boys. The baby (Logan) will go to my husband for short periods of time, then demand for me by screaming and stretching out his arms. The older one, seeing this, cannot be outdone and will then climb onto my lap and try to crawl all over me. It gets very tiring having a constant demand for my attention and trying to keep the house in order.

The other big drain is getting dinner on the table. Once 5 PM rolls around, the kids are fussy and Logan needs to eat his dinner. It makes it very difficult to prep wholesome meals when you are trying to feed a baby and keep a 3 year old from having a melt down. To solve this problem I have decided to make weekly menus. After completing the grocery shopping, I will prepared all the fruits and veggies for the first 3 days of meals. That way I can just pull the containers out of the fridge and throw together the meal. Mid-week I will prepare the second half of the weeks produce and repeat.

I'm sure, in time, I will come to grips with the demands of my new life and find my balance.

Jul 26, 2009

Cloth Diaper Testing Continues...

We are back in the cloth diapering swing and testing out the diapers again. Fuzzi Bunz (with booster), Blueberry (combo terry/hemp liner) and the bumGenius 3.0 all have passed the overnight test. I am impressed with the pocket diapers natural stain resistance so far, none of them have any trace of the poop that once resided in them. The bumGenius is a different story - after the first poop it was stained on the liner. As I have stated before, the bumGenius does need extra dry time so if you hang them outside the sun can also work as a natural bleach (seeing how you can't use the real stuff on diapers!)

The gDiapers are proving useful for outings as you don't need a wet bag, but I really don't want to buy inserts for them and they don't work well with a standard prefold. I should say that my prefolds may not be the best on the block either as they are 3 years old and been washed a ton. I probably need to strip the residue off of them if I want to seriously consider their use. I had tried one under the bummis super brite cover seeing how I hadn't finished conditioning the Kissaluv's fitted diaper, totally leaked right through the cover! We have the Kissaluv's diaper on him with that same cover for the current nap, so an initial review will probably be up in the next few days.

I have decided that it is silly of me to be doing cloth diapers and still use disposable wipes. So my next step in my green conversion is to switch over to cloth wipes....story to come soon!

Jul 24, 2009

Eco-Friendly Friday

The family is back from our mini stay-cation to Galveston. The kids had fun and I had a chance to try out a few new products I picked up from my new favorite baby supply store (see my last post, or check it out through the link on my side bar!)
I thought I'd start a segment on my blog called Eco-Friendly Friday's. The purpose will be to highlight a environmentally friendly option used to replace a wasteful habit. I will only mention things that I personally use (as with all things on this blog.) Just before the trip, I picked up a new product called the Diva Cup. Warning: if you are a man or at all squeamish about discussing feminine products I suggest you stop reading this post!
The Diva Cup is a revolutionary menstrual product that is actually a re-design of a older product. It is a sanitary product that you wear internally, wash, and reuse. Not only will you help save the planet by reducing the amount of plastic waste that goes into landfills from tampons and pads, but you will also save money! Are you sick of pads bunching and tampons leaking down the string? If so, this may be the product for you.
The cup is made of medical grade silicone and is sold with a fabric storage bag and detailed directions for product use. I can attest that it takes a couple days to get the hang of inserting the product, but once that is figured out you will be leak free and it can go a long time between emptying when you are on lighter days. The directions have the last step as a "spin" of the inserted product - this is where I was having trouble but once I got that down I have been leak free. When it leaks due to improper insertion it gets very messy very quickly. You will end up with blood all over the cup and your hand and will most likely have some bloody discharge for a little while after proper insertion.
One of the neat features of this cup is that it just collects the blood and does not remove the natural lubrication of the vaginal canal like tampons do. One downside to the product is that you do need to rinse it out, making public restrooms a bit challenging. The directions say that you can just empty it out into the toilet and wipe it off during outings and just wash it when you are able to. Seeing how I did vacation with this product, I know that you can wear it during all normal activities without issue - swimming, walking, running, etc.
If you have any questions or have used the product and can add anything, please leave a comment!

Jul 20, 2009

Preview of Cloth Diaper Experiences to Come

I went back out to my local natural Mom and baby store, Nurtured Family, and picked up a few more diaper models to try on my little model. If you ever need natural products for Mom or Baby I would suggest this store. They know their products and will make recommendations if you need direction. They also have their products online, if you are not close to their store, and the prices are competitive with others for the cloth diapers (haven't checked other products.) I really like this store (recently opened) and I want to see it stay, so please check it out!

It will be a few days until the reviews of the new diapers are posted as I am taking a short vacation, and honestly I don't feel confident enough with cloth diapers to take them on the trip. Anyway, these are the the models you can expect reviews on soon (plus updates on the other models):
  1. FuzziBunz Fitted Pocket Diaper
  2. Blueberry Pocket Diaper with snaps (combo hemp/terry soaker)
  3. Kissaluvs Hemp Fitted with a Bummis Super Brite cover

If you have a favorite brand of cloth diaper (or you are a WAHM and make your own) I would love to hear from you, just add a comment to this post with your suggested brand and I'll check it out!

Jul 19, 2009

First Days of Cloth Diapering

True to my word, I went out and bought several brands of cloth diapers to try out. I picked up a FuzziBunz one size pocket diaper (with snaps), BumGenius Organic one size AIO (with snaps), GroBaby one size (with touch tape), and last but not least gDiapers. I washed all the diapers before use with an extra rinse to make sure all the detergent was removed then dried them in the drier on medium heat. I did put them in with a normal load of the kids clothes, but it was not overfull by any means. After the drier ended (and sat in the dryer all night as I put them in before I went to bed) the BumGenius diaper and GroBaby soaker were both still damp where the multiple layers are sewn together at the ends. I turned the liners inside out and returned them to the drier for another 20 minutes. The GroBaby soaker was dry but the BumGenius was still slightly damp and required to be hung to dry for a little while.

First up on our model - FuzziBunz in Sage:

The diaper was a little difficult to line with the soaker pad due to some bunching, I'm sure with practice it would be fine. There is plenty of room to get your hand under the liner and all the way to the top for adjusting the soaker pad. I tried this diaper without the extra booster and had no leaks. One of the neat features of this diaper is the ability of elastic adjustment. The elastic along the back and leg openings can be adjusted in a similar manner to the waist adjustments in the baby jeans at Old Navy and Gap. The diaper was a bit bulky on my skinny boy, but it did not interfere with his movement that I noticed. I think the booster pad (based on its size would make the diaper bulkier - and I would probably only use it for overnight stretches). I was entered into the world of cloth diapers with a smooshy poop about an hour after I put this diaper on. Yes, it was utterly disgusting trying to wipe the poop off the diaper into the toilet - I now see why a mini-shower might be a good idea (we have a low-flow toilet so there is very little water in the bowl to "swish" in.) To my surprise it completely rinsed off the fleece liner in the sink with no scrubbing required. Then, it became my first addition to the dry pail after very easily removing the soaker pad. I am happy to report it came through the wash with no stains and dried with one dry cycle.

Up next was the GroBaby in Kiwi:

We were getting ready for nap when we put this diaper on, so it is shown with the booster pad inserted. This diaper is very easy to adjust and put on. There are three sizes for the rise, we went with the medium setting (he's in a size 2-3 in disposable diapers.) All you need to do is snap the soaker into the liner and place the booster on top of that then diaper the baby as you would with a disposable. The touchtape is very nice, not scratchy at all - I will have to see how it holds up with wear. As you can see from the picture this diaper does have a bit of bulk (again it does have the extra booster pad) and a slight "puff" at the top of the tushie. I might try the small snap setting to get rid of the puff, but I will have to wait. After the second wash and dry (according to manufacturer directions) the elastic on one of the leg openings detached - rendering the diaper unusable. I have called the company (nice customer service rep) and they said they will replace the diaper. Anyway, when I changed the wet diaper shortly after his nap I noticed that the mesh liner was a bit damp. I wouldn't have reused the pant with the wetness, so I am not sure about just swapping out the soaker pads as they advertise.

Third brand on our model is the BumGenius Organic AIO in Blue:

This diaper is the closest to a disposable - in that you don't have to stuff or attach any pads and once it's dirty all you do is throw it in your diaper pail. To put it on the baby, adjust the rise and proceed as you would a disposable. There is a lot of room for adjustment at the waist and the snaps are easy to manage, though I had to keep rolling my wiggle worm over so I could finish attaching the snaps. The diaper did not leak and is fairly trim in its styling. The downfall for this diaper is drying time. With the second wash and dry, again I had to put it back in (with the GroBaby soaker) for an extra 20 min and both were still not dry even at the end of that cycle. So if you plan on using these for their convenience remember that you will need to allow for extra drying time in the dryer or finish on a drying rack/line (what I'm doing.)
The last model we are exhibiting is the "hybrid" gDiaper:

This diaper is a cotton shell with a nylon liner that snaps in place. A flushable/compostable soaker is placed in the liner and you actually attach the diaper with the Velcro to the back (so little hands can't easily strip.) It is not difficult to Velcro, though it does require a little maneuvering having the Velcro in the back. This diaper is not the choice for you if your looking to reduce your diaper bill. The soakers are as expensive (if not more) than a traditional diaper. On the company website they do show a reusable cloth soaker is available for purchase through them. In the mean time I tried the diaper with a prefold tucked into the liner and it worked fine with no leaking. If you have a heavy wetter or are going to use that for nighttime, you might want to add an additional trim booster - just make sure the elastic band on the liner is in contact with legs. One additional downside (other than cost for the flushable liners) is that there is a small portion of nylon in contact with babies skin at the front and back of the diaper near the waist where the liner curls over the soaker to keep it from coming in contact with the cover. I live in a very hot and humid city and noticed while I was out today that the area where the nylon hit was a bit red. I'm guessing it was from the heat, but it is something to consider if your baby has sensitive skin.
After all this, I am still not sure what style I'm going to end up using. I think I might continue with these and add a few more to the mix in hopes that I find something I absolutely adore.

Jul 17, 2009

How Big is Your Environmental Footprint?

With the announcement yesterday that Walmart will be working on a sustainability index in order to label all its products with a green rating is certainly intriguing. I love the idea of being able to pick up any product and see how much energy was put into producing it or how much waste was generated. I have never been a big fan of Walmart due to some human rights issues (violating the right to freedom of association) and other practices, but having Walmart "Go Green" might change my mind about the retail giant.
It seems that they are still in the idea formulation stage of this process from the information that has been released. It appears they will have a survey of questions for their retailers and no clear index system created yet. What I hope will come out of this process is not just the executives of the companies putting in trash numbers to make their product look green, but actually have some oversight in the system to verify the true environmental impact. It might be a good place for some environmental watchdog groups to focus their collective energy.
This could prove to be a revolutionary step in the retail world and manufacturing. I would be willing to bet it would cause a few manufacturing company's to re-evaluate their materials acquisition and packaging to reduce waste, reduce energy, and increase sustainability. I would love to walk into a store and see products packaged in recycled cardboard with recycled paper tags, only using recycled plastic. Better yet, why don't we go back to little to no packaging at all...just a tag with the product name, price and UPC. What I would love even more would be one of these giant nationwide stores to get rid of the plastic bags! Insist that customers bring reusable shopping bags or offer them boxes the canned goods, etc have come in (think warehouse club style.) The reusable shopping bags are far superior in strength and volume anyway. I can fit a normal grocery run, for a family of four, with a weeks worth of groceries into 4-5 reusable bags (bags cost around $1) where if plastic were used it would be packed in at least double the amount of bags.

So here are my questions to you:
  1. Would you choose to shop at a store that offered a "Green Index" (Walmart or other) over one that did not?
  2. Would you pay more for items that had a lower environmental impact due to increased costs for reclaiming or recycling products used in production? (Example - reclaiming metal from alkaline batteries which is cost prohibitive now, but a major contaminator of the environment.)

Any other comments, as always, are welcome :)

Jul 16, 2009

The Cure for the Picky Eater

As most people with young children know, there comes a time when your child will turn up their nose to anything you offer them. Just think of the TV commercial where there is a little girl in the grocery store saying "I don't think I like waffles." If you have experienced this I have a solution for you! Now this probably won't work for every food and possibly not every time, but I think it's worth a shot. Today I decided that my sons boycott of eggs was going to come to an end. In his short three years of life, I haven't once been able to get him to eat eggs - until today!
I proclaimed mid-morning that he was going to help me make lunch today, an exciting event for him. A little before lunch, I got out all the supplies we needed to make some wonderful egg salad sandwiches. He helped me put all the ingredients for the sauce in the bowl and mix it up, chop the eggs (with a closed chopper), mix again, and assemble his sandwich. He was delighted by the entire process, including wearing his very fashionable apron.

I am happy to report that the sandwich was a success and he ate the sandwich - spinach leaves and all!

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Inaugural Giveaway: Green Magic Skin Care

While looking around the web for other green mommy blogs I came across the Mom Going Green Blog. She seems to be very similar to me interest wise. She is also doing a giveaway of some natural skincare products which you can check out here: http://momgoinggreen.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/inaugural-giveaway-green-magic-skin-care/

Happy Surfing!

Jul 15, 2009

Use At Your Own Risk

I have been compulsively researching cloth diapering and trolling the review sites. Those of you who know me can attest to the fact that I am completely OCD when it comes to researching anything I will be investing a great deal of money in! Anyway, I have come to the following conclusion: use at your own risk. Now don't get me wrong, the same can be said for the use of disposables with the famous poop-up-the-back incidents common with their use (I can't even count how many I've cleaned.)

What I'm getting at is this: no matter what the product is there will be people who love it and there will be people who hate it. I not-so-fun part is weeding through all the information and reviews with a nice heavy dose of skepticism. Remember that people are more likely to review a product if they have had a negative experience with it. For those of you looking into cloth diapering for the first time, let me help you out with what I've learned:

Basic Styles:
  1. Old Fashioned flat or pre-folded diapers: clipped or pinned and put under a diaper wrap or cover
  2. Fitted Diapers: cloth diaper that has snaps or Velcro so no pins or clips required, still need an outer wrap or cover to hold in wetness
  3. Pocket Diapers: Usually have a waterproof shell and and inner lining that you stuff with an insert.
  4. All-in-Ones (AIO's): a complete diaper all together - cover, insert, lining, and Velcro or snap closure. They are similar to a disposable in that you just take off the old one and put a new one on, throwing the old one in the wash. Most of these require you to buy different sizes as your baby grows.
  5. One-Size: either pocket diapers or AIO's but they have a snaps to adjust the rise and on a few models the leg openings adjust as well.

Common Complaints:

  1. Fit issues - seems that thinner kids are prone to leaking around leg openings, large kids have a hard time getting a fit that is not too tight or rise ends up being insufficient causing leaks at the waist
  2. Closure issues - saw a large number of complaints over Velcro closures pilling and becoming unusable or irritating the babies tummy or legs, some had issues with snap closures not allowing enough sizing flexibility
  3. Wetting through - issues with the inserts not being absorbent enough or repelling urine instead of absorbing it after some extended use
  4. Customer service issues - some diapers did not get favorable reviews due to interaction with the company not being up to the reviewers standard - or not receiving the accommodation desired
  5. Materials/production issues - some diapers where written off because they were all or in part constructed in China. Others claimed that product quality varied depending on where it was constructed (one that comes to mind said that USA product was less absorbent than Chinese product of same brand.)

In the end (no pun intended) I believe you will just need to try several types and see which work best for you and your baby. Each baby is built differently so you need to see what brand/style fits your child best as well as your lifestyle. You might get lucky and have the 1st diaper you try work, but it might end up taking several trials before finding what works.

Here are some sites you might want to check for info and reviews:





In the meantime, I'm going to check out my local earth friendly baby supply store and see some of these brands up close and personal before I invest any money.

Barley Cereal Revisited and Cauliflower

Yesterday was trial day #1 for the "semi-chunky" barley cereal with Logan, he gave me some weird looks at first but is doing fine with it now. He has caught onto the chewing action quite quickly as well. I have been mixing it with some of the acorn squash or pumpkin, warming it slightly and thinning with a little breast milk.

I attempted another preparation method for the barley that failed miserably. I thought I could pulverize the dry barley in the food processor then I could just cook what I need for the day and be done - wrong! The barley was barely changed after several aggressive attempts, a mortar and pestle might work but I don't have one in my kitchen and frankly that's too complicated for me. If you are looking to make a smooth cereal from pearled barley I would suggest my original method then push it through a medium sieve to get the big chunks out.

Pureed Cauliflower
I prefer cauliflower to broccoli as a first food as its taste is milder. Logan has turned his nose up at carrots due to their strong flavor so I've been going with the milder vegetables.

Cut one head of cauliflower into medium sized florets and wash thoroughly. Place the washed florets into a microwave safe bowl, add water to coat the bottom of the dish and cover. Microwave on high for 10 min or until a fork inserted into the stem meets no resistance. Scoop the florets into the bowl of a food processor, add water until it reaches 1/4 to 1/3 of the side and puree (depending on the texture you desire). Portion into an ice cube tray and freeze then move to a storage container (I use freezer bags) until use.

Jul 14, 2009

Should I go Cloth?

For both the economical and environmental reasons, I have been contemplating a switch to cloth diapers. I've started researching cloth diaper types and have to admit I am completely overwhelmed - who knew that there were so many types to choose from! I think that there is a swing back to cloth diapering in progress, as evidenced by the modern and bright prints available for the diaper covers. Most of the many brands I have looked into have very similar features: waterproof out layer (usually colored or with a print) with either snaps or Velcro closure; a pocket to stuff a liner into; and sometimes a "booster" liner for heavy wetters or nighttime use. There are a few more revolutionary types out as well. The gDiaper system is marketed as a hybrid diaper featuring a waterproof outer shell that is used for multiple diaper changes and an insert that can be flushed or composted. The GroBaby system also has a waterproof shell designed for multiple diaper changes coupled with cotton inserts that snap in place, so no stuffing (or removing a soiled insert) is required.

I still haven't decided which route I would like to go, I'll probably try several types to see which work best for me (and Logan!) I'll let you know what I recommend - in the meantime, if you have experience with cloth diapering please leave a comment sharing your expertise!!

Barley Cereal and Acorn Squash

I have a love-hate relationship with the prepackaged baby cereals. They come as dehydrated flakes that have no resemblance to their original food and they are only found in the most common grains - rice, oatmeal, wheat and mixed grain ( the other three together). Logan has had the rice and absolutely hates the oatmeal, so I want to try Barley. I bought some organic pearled barley from the bulk food section of my local grocery store and attempted to make cereal from it last night. I boiled 3 c water and added 1 c barley, simmered for a little over an hour then blended in the food processor. The first batch I blended was very chunky and gluey - like overcooked oatmeal. The second batch, which I blended with a lot more liquid turned out a bit smoother but was still a little on the chunky side. I haven't attempted to feed Logan the slightly chunky cereal yet - so the verdict it still out over the consistency. I'm going to start giving him foods with a bit of texture as he has been doing quite well with the smooth solids and has very little extrusion reflex (not to mention the 7 teeth!)

I'm going to try processing the barley before cooking it next time to try and get a smoother consistency...I'll let you know how it goes!

Here's a successful baby food recipe that yields the equivalent of ~8 first food jars for a fraction of the cost:

Pureed Acorn Squash

Cut 1 acorn squash length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place in a large microwave safe bowl with lid and add 1/2 c water to the bowl. Cover loosely and microwave for 10 min on high power, or until tender. Carefully remove the hot squash from the bowl and let cool until able to handle on a plate or cutting board. Scoop the squash off the skin using a large spoon and place in a food processor. Blend with some of the steaming liquid until the desired consistency has been reached. Scoop into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, remove from the tray into a labelled freezer bag. When ready to use, remove the desired amount and thaw in the microwave or fridge.

Jul 13, 2009

Cheese Tortellini with Squash and Browned Butter Sage Sauce

I have a love for squash and pasta, so I made a tasty (and quick!) dinner combining them.

1 pkg frozen winter squash, prepared according the pkg directions
1 pkg refrigerated cheese tortellini, prepared according to pkg directions
4-5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 tsp dried sage (fresh is better if available)

Add the butter to a small skillet over medium heat and melt while swirling the pan. Once melted, add the sage and stir constantly. You will see the butter foam up then start to form brown specks as it clarifies, about 2 minutes (careful not to burn it!). Mix the butter sauce with the squash, add 1/2 cup pasta water to thin the squash if desired. Toss with the pasta and serve.

Alternative: You could substitute 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp Nutmeg and 1 Tbsp Brown sugar for the sage to create a sweet dish. Simply melt the butter and bloom the spices in it, once the foaming subsides add the sugar. Stir to dissolve and remove from heat.

A Fresh Start

This blog is more than me just joining the "Mommy Blog" craze, it is a fresh start for me. I am leaving my old way of life behind (for the most part) and you, my readers, are along for the ride. I'm sure it will not always be pretty, but I hope it will at least be informative.

My desire is to blend "the good ol' days" with our modern conveniences to arrive at a simple life with wholesome quick food, enriched & happy children, and promote a healthy earth - all while trying to cut costs!