Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March for Babies

On Saturday, March 27th, I will be participating in the March of Dimes' March for Babies. I am doing this in honor of two special babies - my daughter and my friend's newborn son, who was born 11 weeks premature. My team goal is $1000 and my personal goal is $250. There are badges on this page where you can click to donate online and help support this cause.

Imagine if you had a baby who was born prematurely or with major birth defects. Wouldn't you want research to have provided medicine to help save and improve your baby's life? Do it for all the babies out there that are depending on us to give them a healthy start in life.

If you're in the Gainesville, FL area, come join me on this walk. It will be wonderful. Strollers and leashed dogs are welcome. There will be tents along the way with food and drinks and children's entertainment at the finish line. Let's March for Babies!!

Help me reach my goal!Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pantry Perfect........Cupboard Cuisine

I do not particuarly love to cook.

I like to try new recipes and do new things but on an everyday basis, I am uninspired and not really that interested in planning, cooking, and cleaning up for dinner, all the while listening to two screaming children (and that's no exaggeration, they usually are both screaming).

Enter what I like to call "Pantry Perfect" or "Cupboard Cuisine". These are quick and simple recipes made with things that I already have lying around. Recipe varies each time I make them, using whatever ingredients I have. Good last-minute things to whip up. I will start posting some of the ones that are good (or at least edible).

First on the list is Black Bean Enchiladas.

Black Bean Enchiladas

1 can black beans
Soft flour tortillas
1 can corn
Cooked rice
Green Peppers (if desired)
Sour Cream

Chop up onions and peppers. Put tortillas in 13x9 dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon black beans, corn, rice, onions, peppers, and cheese on one side and roll up. Top with salsa (can also add cheese and corn to the outside for extra yumminess). Bake in oven at 375 for about 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and a side of tortilla chips, a salad, or choose to make the rice as a side dish.

*Meal tastes best when accompanied by a cold beer or margarita ;)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Green Product Find: Dr. Bronner's Magic Organic Fair Trade Hair Creme

I am always looking for a good styling product for my hair. It's hard to find something that helps smooth the frizziness and style it nicely. I decided to try Dr. Bronner's Magic Organic Fair Trade Hair Creme and I really like it. It makes my hair smooth and supple and manageable. It also smells like peppermint so it has a great invigorating scent. I would recommend this product to anyone with thick hair. Just don't use too much at one time or else it might leave your hair looking a little limp. Buy it at You earn money back at any of the partners so it's well worth it.
Happy Styling!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fishy Fun

Yesterday we went on a family day trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

We were meeting family and thought this would be a great place to entertain the kids so we could visit but WOW, we were ALL entertained. The grown-ups probably liked it just as much as the kids did. They had some great exhibits and shows too. Olive's favorite was the Penguin Promenade, which was pretty neat. The little penguins were so cute waddling around! They also had a shark show, a dive show, and a Wetlands show that we saw. There were so many fascinating aquatic animals. My favorites were the sea dragons - a creature related to the seahorse that looks like floating seaweed and lives off the coast of Australia. (see picture below) They also had a bunch of very pregnant seahorses - and did you know that the males are the ones that bear the children? How great!

There were also some "Touch Tanks" where you could touch sting rays, sharks, starfish, and sea anemone. Otters, alligators, and more were swimming around the Wetlands exhibit. One of Olive's other favorites was the outdoor playground. (go figure!) They do have a water playground in the warmer months.
The aquarium is located in downtown Tampa, right next to the cruise ship terminals. We saw two massive ships in the port, which was almost as exciting as the creatures inside.
Prices were fairly reasonable. You do get a $3 discount per ticket if you purchase online. Parking is $6 per car. They do have food there in cafes and the food was pretty decent and not terribly overpriced. (Tip: The kids meals are bigger than adult meals at half the price). Enormous gift shop that is fully stocked with everything (both cute and tacky). Olive came home with a stuffed striped pink fish and Buttons got a mermaid book (both very tasteful and adorable).
All in all, a great outing. So next time you're in the Tampa area, check it out!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adventures in Baby Food (the healthy way)

When Olive was a baby and first started eating table foods, I played it safe and simple and bought lots of Gerber foods, with a few Beech-Nut thrown in for good measure.
Now that Buttons is eating real food, I am approaching things much differently. I have been making a lot of her food myself. I didn't do this the first time because I was intimidated and, well, lazy. I thought it would be much harder than it is so I didn't bother. I know now that I can simply make some extra of whatever we're eating (sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, peas, etc etc.) and pop it in the blender with some water, pour it in an ice cube tray, and voila!! Meals for days!! How easy is that?! So I've been trying to make some foods for Buttons so as much as possible, she can eat what we're eating, especially since that's what she'll be eating when she can tolerate chunkier foods and the peas that we eat taste nothing at all like the peas that Gerber sells. A friend recently recommended a website with lots of guidelines, recipes etc on it for making your own baby food. I haven't really explored it yet but the site is called Wholesome Baby Food and looks to be very promising.
As satisfying as it is to make your own baby food, there are times when you need a little help. Enter Sprout baby food (it's like takeout for babies!) Sprout food is organic, tasty, and different. I like that it's organic - that's phenomenal. But on top of that, there are so many other good attributes. The recipes are different and unusual combinations that leave baby begging for more. The roasted bananas and brown rice is a bit hit at my house (even with Olive and me too!) as well as the oatmeal with roasted cinnamon applesauce. The green beans and peas are interesting as they are mixed with mint (who'd have thunk it?) We are still fairly new to Sprout and still trying out the various flavors. Another neat thing about Sprout is that they are packaged in resealable pouches instead of cans or plastic containers. This makes them the perfect meal to throw in your diaper bag for lunch on the go. It is also an eco-conscious idea because it reduces the space it takes for shipping, therefore reducing the number of boxes needed to ship a certain amount. Another thing I am thrilled about with Sprout is that they offer a monthly subscription on their website where you can tailor your order to your baby's tastes (and change it monthly) and have it delivered right to your house!!! How great is that?! Genius, I tell you. Pure genius. I will certainly do this after the sale on Sprout at my local Publix grocery store is over ;-)
So there you have it...simple ways to feed your baby nutritious and wholesome meals while still making life easy on you. Nourishing your baby and watching him enjoy new foods should be fun and stress-free. Now it is. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

A New Direction

I miss blogging.

I love to write. It gives me a feeling of peace and serenity. I also feel like I have so much I want to say that sometimes I feel like I might burst. I always have ideas, just not enough time to pursue them all or share them all. Upon reflecting on how much I have been neglecting this blog, I have decided to take it in a new direction.

For those of you that have been following, I will still occasionally put some updates about my adorable kids (Olive and Buttons) so you can continue to see what kinds of shenanigans we get into around here. Plus, they are just plain comic relief sometimes. Who can resist cute kids getting into mischief?? But I want to focus on some other aspects as well. I do still want to continue to point out the little things in life that make me happy and that I must savor because the moments flee so quickly and are soon forgotten. I want to bring you tips on things that make life easier and simpler so you can also take some time to enjoy the little moments. I will bring you product reviews (the good, the bad, and the ugly - but mostly the good), money-saving deals, quick and easy recipes, and general humor and fun. I am also making a concerted effort to be more "green" in my everyday life so will share with you my journey on that. This blog will be directed towards anyone and everyone who feels that their life is just a little too busy and hectic and could use some moments of zen sprinkled in. I don't want to be another one of those "mom blogs" because although they are useful, there are so many of them, and I want to appeal to more than just moms. I will always be looking for new products to review, new deals to be had, and all sorts of input from others so please please please contact me with any ideas or if you have a product you'd like reviewed (or if you want to advertise on the site).

I'm always open for comments and suggestions so please give me ideas of what you'd like to see. I will also return to doing some giveaways too.

Happy reading!!