Monthly Archives: January 2012

Finny and Zook Wall Art

Finny and Zook specializes in whimsical prints that are perfect for a nursery or big kid’s room. There are alphabet images for every letter that would be adorable framed and hung next to each other to spell out a child’s name or initials. And the most important part? The prices range from only $8 up to $40 for larger prints, which is a steal!

Bonus: Zulily has Finny and Zook prints on sale now through Friday morning for only $7.99 a print! Plus, they have additional graphic prints that are not available in the Etsy store.

Seriously, how cute are these?!

Courtesy etsy.com

Courtesy zulily.com

Courtesy etsy.com

Courtesy zulily.com


Take Your Bump Shopping!

Courtesy loft.com

When I was pregnant, nearly all of my maternity clothes came from Gap and Target. This was mostly because, other than maybe Old NavyMotherhood, and A Pea in the Pod, there was nowhere else to go. Don’t get me wrong, I thought Gap and Target had really cute, inexpensive maternity clothes, but there’s only so much variety when you can count the stores you can shop in on one hand. Of course, now that I’m no longer pregnant, so many more stores are launching maternity lines. So, for all my pregnant mama and mama-to-be friends, here are a few more shops you can check out to dress the bump!

Loft Maternity  Just like the regular store, Loft’s maternity line offers great options for the office that are classic and versatile.

Courtesy hm.com

Forever 21’s Love 21 Maternity It probably feels a little weird shopping for maternity clothes here, surrounded by 13-year-olds, but they do have good inexpensive basics. There are a few items online, but you’ll need to find a participating store to get the most out of this maternity line.

H&M H&M’s Mama line is a good bet for cute jeans and tees. Several stores, including the Tysons Corner store for those in the DC area, have a pretty good selection.

There are also a few online deals sites that have great maternity selections, including. . .

Zulilly This site is mostly known for their great deals on things for the little ones, but they nearly always throw in a few deals for moms and moms-to-be as well.

Totsy Similar to Zulilly, this site offers daily deals on maternity brands in addition to their other deals.

Know of any other great places to find cute maternity clothes? 


Tackling the Little One’s Closet

I decided a few days ago to tackle the little one’s closet. There is so much wasted space, and we need to make the most of every bit of storage for all of her toys, books, blankets, etc. I went onto the Home Depot web site and designed a new closet layout using the Martha Stewart design tool. Unfortunately, the closet system I came up with, while amazing, was hundreds of dollars—and that was with us installing it ourselves. You don’t even want to know how much it costs to have someone else put up some shelving and bars in your closet! So I’ve decided to go the DIY route, using bits and pieces of things we already have, a few new drawers and shelves, and my handy husband’s skills and power tools. It will probably take a while longer than getting a ready-made system, but it will be worth it.

While trolling the interwebs looking for organizational inspiration, I came across this genius baby shoe rack from The Land of Nod. It’s a bit expensive for a rack, I think ($42.99), but I love that it holds 8 pairs of shoes up and out of the way. This could be a great addition to one of the walls inside little O’s closet.

And while maybe not for inside the closet, I love the idea of using spice racks from Ikea as bookshelves, as seen on IKEA Hackers. We could paint them white and mount them low enough for her to reach. At $3.99 a pop, this idea is a no-brainer.

If you have any organizational tips or suggestions that have worked well in your little one’s room, I would love to hear them!


Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

These chicken enchiladas were so quick and easy, not to mention delicious! To make these super fast, you can use a precooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or even canned chicken. Using canned chicken makes this an easy meal to keep on hand in the pantry. My husband and daughter both loved these, and the leftovers reheated really well for lunch the next day!

 

1 lb cooked, shredded chicken

1 cup chopped onion

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp minced garlic

1.5 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth

2 tbsp taco seasoning (low sodium if you can find it)

1 (8 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

5 large tortillas (fresh is best, older tortillas tend to dry out and crack)

1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400°. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute; sprinkle with flour and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat. Spread a couple of tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Pour half of the remaining sauce over the shredded chicken in a bowl and mix well. Soften the tortillas in the microwave, wrapped in a damp towel, for 20-30 seconds. Add a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture to each tortilla and roll up, tucking in the ends. Place each enchilada seam side down in the casserole dish and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

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S**t Kids Say

If you missed “Modern Family” last week, Lily dropped the F-bomb (bleeped, of course), and it was freaking hilarious. Or at least I thought it was, but I happen to have a mouth like a sailor—sorry Dad. Apparently, the Parents Television Council did not find it very funny, calling the episode’s storyline “in poor taste.”

I definitely watch what I say around my daughter because she’s like a sponge, and no parent wants to get that call from daycare about the choice words their kid busted out with during circle time. But fret not fellow sailors (or people who just have a sense of humor), experts say it’s no big deal. “Kids say swear words as soon as they talk,” according to Timothy Jay, a psychologist at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts who studies psycholinguistics and obscenities.

Apparently, 2 years old is about the time some of us will get that awkward phone call from daycare. But the bottom line is that little ones don’t really understand what they’re saying, and they certainly don’t learn it from television. That’s where we come in as parents. It’s our job to monitor what our kids are watching or listening to, and to watch what comes out of our own mouths. Still, no matter how vigilant you are, it will happen. I remember my angel of a little sister asking my step-mom what “sh*t” meant when she was 4 or 5 years old and then immediately bawling when she realized it was a bad word—it happens to the best of them. Just try not to let them see you laughing.

Now I better go put a quarter in the swear jar for my post title (and probably for my lovely artwork too)!


Brighten Your Day with Old Navy’s Spring Line for Toddlers

It’s a soggy, dreary day here in the DC area, so how about some bright springtime duds to brighten the mood? I love Old Navy’s new spring line for toddlers, and I especially love that nearly everything is $20 or less. It may be close to freezing outside, but in my house, we’re in a breezy, 65° state of mind! Now, time to shop!

Toddler Boys' Cuffed Skinny Jeans, $19.94

Toddler Boys' Plaid Poplin Shirt, $14.94

Toddler Boys' Chevron-Stripe Windbreaker, $22

Toddler Girls' Scalloped-Trim Dolman Top, $16.94

Toddler Girls' Colored Skinny Jeans, $19.94

Toddler Girls' Babydoll Trench, $15


Finn’s Mickey-Themed First Birthday

My friend Shannon’s son just turned one, and she threw him a Mickey Mouse-themed party to make Walt Disney proud!

A friend of ours—Brooke Granger of Granger & Wit, a boutique firm that specializes in floral and event details—did an amazing job with the party details, including the invitations, banners, Mickey and Minnie party hats, “photo booth,” name tags, and signage. For the photo booth, Brooke created a fabric backdrop along with fun chalkboard signs that said “Hey Folks!” and “Future Mouseketeer” for the little ones to hold. With the party hats on, they were just too cute!

The cupcakes came from Klein’s ShopRite Supermarket in Bel Air, MD, and the cookies were made by our friend Desi (both turned out great!). Shannon had the party catered by Famous Dave’s, which was not only delicious but made the party prep a breeze. The vintage Mickey plates and bowls came from Target and were an absolute steal!

As Mickey would say, “Oh boy! What a party!”

 


The Great Cheerios Controversy

General Mills recently came out with Peanut Butter Cheerios, and the move has parents across the nation up in arms—especially parents who have children with peanut allergies. On the one hand, I personally love peanut butter and can be found most afternoons eating it by the spoonful at my desk, so Peanut Butter Cheerios sounds delicious to me. But on the other hand, I have two good friends with severe peanut allergies, so I know just how dangerous it can be.

As a mother, I cannot even imagine how nerve wracking and scary it must be to have a child with a food allergy. Toddlers are notorious for putting anything and everything in their mouths, and children often share food with their friends. Because Cheerios are a playground and lunchroom staple and a familiar snack, I get why this new cereal worries parents who have allergic children.

For their part, General Mills has released the following statement:

Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS. Cheerios has a commitment to allergen management. We can say with complete confidence that MultiGrain Peanut Butter Cheerios will not cross-contaminate other Cheerios varieties.

 Currently, Honey Nut Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, and Oat Cluster Cheerios Crunch contain ALMOND.  Only Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS.

All other varieties, including original Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, and Yogurt Burst Cheerios, do not contain nuts.

As always, If you’re concerned about allergies, we highly recommend that you always consult the allergen listing and the ingredient label on any product you may consume.

 

So what do you think, should Peanut Butter Cheerios be banned as many are suggesting?

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Freezer to Crock-Pot Chicken Curry

I came across this recipe from Mama and Baby Love on Pinterest and decided to give it a shot. I spent about an hour on Saturday chopping veggies, deboning chicken, and mixing up all of the ingredients for the Chicken Curry and the Healthy Mama Barbecue Chicken recipes.

This morning, before I left for work, I pulled the Chicken Curry out of the freezer and threw it in the Crock-Pot on low. When I walked in the door this evening, the smell was absolutely mouthwatering. I made some quick whole grain cous cous to go with it, and dinner was ready—and it was freaking delicious!!

A couple of notes: I used chicken thighs (as the recipe called for), but because the recipe also called for me to cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, I spent 25 minutes trimming and deboning about 6 chicken thighs. Next time, I might use boneless breasts instead to speed things up. The recipe makes 2 gallon-sized freezer bags’ worth, which equates to a very full 7 qt Crock-Pot. It was enough food for at least two meals for two adults and a toddler, so you might want to plan accordingly.

Chicken Curry
Source: Mama and Baby Love 

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons curry powder
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes
2.5 cups baby carrots
2 cup coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion
1 zucchini chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chicken bouillon
.5 cup raisins (for garnish)
.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish)

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.

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It’s a Slippery Slope. . .

If you haven’t heard about SOPA/PIPA, educate yourself: http://gizmodo.com/5877000/what-is-sopa