Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why I don't watch rated-R movies anymore

Recently I had a friend on Facebook share her negative experience with a movie she had seen. I was really impressed by her strength and courage to let everyone know how horrible the movie was and how falsely it was advertised. Growing up I was taught:
 "Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit."
I'll be real with you, as a teenager I did not always take that advice seriously. I watched plenty of rated-R movies and it wasn't until I got older and realized the consequences of such things that I decided to cut them out of my life. And it isn't always rated-R movies, they could be any rating for goodness sake!  I saw a movie that was totally advertised as being a family comedy, rated PG, and I was appalled at how much they swore in the movie. I would never want my two-year-old repeating the things they were saying. And it ended up not being very funny anyway...
I decided to stop wasting my money on movies that make me feel uncomfortable, awkward, grossed out, embarrassed, or that I wouldn't want my kids to see. That's really what it is, a complete waste of money for a bad experience. Don't be afraid to walk out of a movie if it turns offensive (and what is/isn't "offensive" is different to everyone).
I have learned to wait for the "funny" movies to be on tv where I can at least watch them edited...for free. Yes, I have seen the Hangover, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express-- but all edited and probably just as enjoyable as in the theater. More enjoyable for me, and I can watch them in yoga pants and a t-shirt, with no makeup on and I can talk as loud as I want through the entire thing.
You may think that I sound like a total square, if you know me you know that's not true, I just choose to live without the consequences of gross media. And I've got more money in my pocket, too :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nursing Pad Recommendations

I'll be real with you, when I had Julia I was completely oblivious to nursing pads. I never even thought about them or realized I needed them until my mom brought me a box while I was at the hospital. And I kind of feel like Lansinoh & Medela has the market in nursing care, but there are so many other options out there! Here are my recommendations for disposable and re-usable nursing pads.


I don't love these...It's annoying that they are individually wrapped (who needs the extra trash around??) and they are folded in half so it gives you an awkward shape when you wear them. Plus, the insides remind me of a diaper, so once they get wet they feel like a saggy diaper on your chest. And they are pricey... Upside? I guess being indiviually wrapped makes it good for travel in a diaper bag. That's it.


So, similar story with these, they are individually wrapped and have a fold/crease, BUT they definitely contour better than the Lansinoh and they way they are sewn helps the milk to not just sink to the bottom of the pad, it distributes much better. I would choose these over Lansinoh any day. They have good nighttime pads as well.

These are my favorite. They are at a great price point and they aren't individually wrapped. Plus, they aren't folded in half!! They are shaped to fit and contour, they don't get that "soggy" feeling, they are very absorbent, and, well, I love them.

NUK Ultra Thin Nursing Pads - 60 Count - Nuk  - Babies"R"Us
So, these are inexpensive and work okay. I got them to try something new, but since they are "ultra thin" they wrinkle and you have to re-shape them a lot. They also don't have a sticky pad, which I wish they did. Other than that, they worked fine.

Re-usable Avent
I really liked these and it's great that they're reusable. They were soft, flexible and I never had any leaking problems. The downside is that you have to be on top of laundry otherwise you won't have any pads.

Re-usable Nuk
I didn't like these as much because they were super thin and less absorbent, but they did have a waterproof outside so I would pair them with my other reusable ones if I needed to.

Lily Padz
Lilypadz Reusable Nursing Pad
I also love these. A lot. They are a soft silicone pad and they are especially great if you ever chafe  They stick on and don't move until you peel them off (I would even use lanolin with them and they stayed on just great). They are excellent for swimming in and really help you to stay comfortable. The only downside is that they are not absorbent so if you nurse in them, you may leak from your opposite side (usually only if you're wearing them wrong). Other than that they are great!

These little piggies...

I realized I haven't done an "official" update on the kiddos for a while, so here they are! And these are all pictures from my phone, so don't be too impressed...

Julia is a fish. She would be in or play in water all day if I let her. She tells us she has to go potty so that we let her in the bathroom, at which point she gets on her stool and asks for water.

She also loves herself some chalk. Luckily the weather is getting nicer so we can go outside and play with it.

 She also loves cuddling. This is a new development and I LOVE it. She always brings a "bacon" (blanket) and she will lay down and watch cartoons with us (lucky us!). This girls vocabulary is exploding and she is linking 2-5 words together now. She also has learned 6 shapes, 4-5 colors, animal sounds, her body parts, 2-3 numbers, and she learns new words everyday. She picks up concepts she sees on TV and it is cute to see these new expressions from her. My favorite is probably when she puts on her hat and says, "yee-haw." We did not teach her that...thank you Bubble Guppies.
My little Jack :) This kid is too cute. I absolutely love his chunkiness and he is getting so big. Just today he pushed himself up to sitting (on his own) from his stomach. He is definitely mobile and can get anywhere, but he is almost crawling. He gets on all fours and scoots backwards. Still no teeth yet (which is kinda nice since I'm still nursing him), no bottles yet (heaven help me) and he has started to eat solids (hallelujah!). He also loves the dog. He has recently started babbling what sounds like "mama" and "dada"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Peanut butter chocolate chip banana muffins

So I adapted this recipe from one that Emily posted on our other blog and I'm telling you they are delish! The regular version are fantastic as well, but peanut butter seems to make everything better :)

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chunky
peanut butter
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda**
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Line or grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
Beat together the butters and sugar in a medium bowl, then add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Divide batter into the muffin cups, they’ll be nearly full. Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean, 23-28 minutes. Remove from oven and after a couple of minutes transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

**this recipe is for high altitude, so if you live at a low elevation, increase the baking soda to one teaspoon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Caprese Bruschetta

I wasn't sure what to call this, but I figured caprese bruschetta described it best. And let me tell you, it's good. Like so good I literally dreamt about it all night after eating it and so good that I had to make it again for lunch the next day.

4 Roma tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
8 slices Italian bread
Olive oil
Garlic Powder
Dried Basil

Step one, dice and seed your tomatoes. Put them in a medium sized bowl.
Step two, dice your cheese into squares approximately 1 cm x 1 cm. You want your cheese to tomato ratio to be 1:2 (so half as much cheese as tomatoes--or whatever suits your personal tastes).

Step three, season. Add about two dashes of pepper, a pinch of basil, and a few dashes of salt and garlic powder. Mix the tomatoes, cheese, and seasoning.

Step four, lightly drizzle your bread with the olive oil and bake at 350 until it gets just crispy (about 5-10 min).

Step five, remove the bread from the oven and add your toppings. We like ours nice and full, but you should definitely be able to get 8 slices from this amount of mixture.

Step six, bake until the cheese melts, approximately 10 minutes. Then enjoy it already!!!
And yes, day two I accidentally left it in too long...It was still delish though. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dress Alteration

I decided to call this an alteration instead of a refashion since I didn't change the actual dress itself, I just added material to alter its length. I got this dress as my Easter gift to me and little did I know that it was just a smidge short in the back (thanks to this ghetto booty, I'm sure) so I decided that it needed to be lengthened. The only trouble with it was that I couldn't find any eyelet fabric at JoAnns, so I had to use eyelet-type ribbon/trim. It still turned out cute though and I'm very thankful for the extra inches!

Here is the dress before.

I pinned my eyelet trim just under the bottom scallop of the dress and sewed slowly.

I left some extra trim at the beginning so that when I had made the complete circle around the bottom I would have somewhere to sew the end of the trim to.

Then I sewed the two ends of the trim together, and afterwards sewed the seam flat.

Then I added my second row of trim, sewing it just at the bottom of the scalloped edge (again).

 Repeated sewing the ends together, and sewing the seam flat to the dress.

Voila! Super quick fix and it turned out great!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Freezing Strawberries

We are a big time smoothie family and now that the weather is getting nicer, fresh produce is much cheaper. Whenever I see strawberries on sale I buy a ton and freeze them so that we have them throughout the summer, but better yet throughout the winter. Buying and freezing them now is much cheaper than buying frozen strawberries (or any frozen fruit really) from the store. Here's three ways to freeze them.

Option #1
Rinse and trim the green off of your berries.
Place each berry in a square of your ice cube tray and freeze. This is great if you have a narrow freezer like mine. If you don't plan to use them quickly then after they're frozen seal them in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.

Option #2
Rinse and trim the green off of your berries.
Place wax paper, parchment paper, or foil onto a cookie sheet, completely covering it.
Set your berries on the sheet and freeze! This is a great way to do a lot at once and works well with wide/large freezers. Same story, if you don't plan to use them quickly then after they're frozen seal them in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.

Option #3
Rinse and trim the green off of your berries.
Set them out to dry on paper towels.
Once they are completely dry (and I do mean completely) put them in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Then freeze them. If they are stuck together at all once you try to remove them, re-seal your bag and drop them on the ground to loosen them up. It works like a charm.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Greek Yogurt Recommendations

Greek yogurt has been this new-ish product that I have had a lot of interest in, especially now that it has become mainstream. However, it is kind of expensive so before I jumped in and started buying a lot I wanted to see which was the best to like. Here is what I found.

Hands down my favorite and here's why. It is super thick and the little side cup of fruit/honey gives it just enough sweetness. It almost reminds me of eating cheesecake...enough said.

I think that this brand has probably the largest selection of flavors, however their Greek yogurt is not as thick as others. I really enjoy the thickness, but if it is off-putting to you, try these guys out.

No, John Stamos doesn't really appear when you eat this, but this is my second favorite Greek yogurt. I like having the fruit on the bottom, not mixed in, and this has a nice creamy thickness to it. 

Yoplait Greek
It wasn't memorable. Not horrible but not amazing either. It had a medium thickness to it, like Chobani.

Great Value (Walmart)
Equally as good as Dannon's Oikos, but cheaper. This is what I usually buy :)

For supposedly being French I was disappointed. If you've ever been to Europe their yogurt is SO much better...not this one. It was about the same thickness as Chobani. I was kind of disappointed.

They have a very unique selection, like a berry lemon that I love, but I don't particularly enjoy Splenda/Stevia as my yogurt sweetner. And for whatever reason their yogurt seems to have more protein than other Greek yogurts...weird, but really nice! They have a light and regular version and I definitely recommend the regular kind. The light Greek yogurt was bland.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter weekend

Look at my cute babies! Jack was such a champ wearing a bow tie all day (and the hat) and Julia luckily sat still for one photo with the hat on.We had such a great Easter and we were glad to spend the day up at my mom's house. And as an extra bonus, we all got Sunday naps which NEVER happens. Julia didn't really understand why she was getting gifts from everyone, but she loved the silly string, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles the most. She asked for her bubbles the entire trip home (nearly an hour). "Bubbles. Gamma. Bubbles. Bubbles..."

Reading her new book with Grandma.
We had an Easter egg hunt in the house when she woke up, followed by opening her gifts and eggs. Jack got some baby-friendly gifts, too :)

Then there was the Easter egg hunt at Neptune Park on Saturday. Girlfriend fought me trying to run out on the field while we were waiting, but once she got out there and got one egg and a drink, she sat down and said, "all done." I had to keep telling her to stand up and get more eggs/candy...

Her angry face since I wouldn't let her go on the field yet...

Happy with her finds!

Just chillin' afterwards.