Tuesday, December 18, 2012

French Onion Pasta Recipe

I have been so busy working on making Christmas gifts lately that I haven't had much of a chance to post anything. While I have several baby food recipes that I need to type up, I haven't had the time. So, I thought I would share this [grown up] recipe that I found on Pinterest and tried. The recipe turned out great, and is awesome when you are sick of traditional/Italian style pasta dishes. The recipe calls for chicken stock, but I substituted vegetable to keep it vegetarian (for my husband). If you aren't vegetarian, I think it would be delicious with some chicken breast chunks mixed in for more of a complete meal.

The recipe is from the Stephanie Cooks blog, and all pictures are my own, from the first time I made it (and I made it again tonight!). All notes in parenthesis were added by me.

All the ingredients

Source: Stephanie Cooks Original!


2 cups of uncooked penne pasta
1 to 1.5 cup of chicken stock (or stock of your choice)
1 packet of Lipton's Onion Soup mix
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup of marsala wine (wine is optional)
4 tablespoons of light cream
1 tablespoon of flour
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if you desire!)
1 tablespoon of EVOO


1- Cook pasta according to directions, set aside and keep warm.

2- In a saucepan, heat the EVOO. Add the scallions and garlic, stir continually until soft and fragrant.

Sauteed shallot and garlic.

3- Add the marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck on pieces of onion. (Note: I did not use wine, instead I just increased the amount of vegetable broth)

4- Add the stock and soup mix packets, allow to cook on low for about 20 minutes.

Sauce simmering

5- Stir in flour, whisking continually until well incorporated and thickened.

6- Add the light cream, mix well.

7- Add the pasta to the sauce, stir well.

8- Pour into an oven safe dish. Top with the mozzarella cheese.

Extra cheesy!

9- Set it under the broiler until the cheese gets a little crispy.

Crispy cheese!

And enjoy!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fluffy Fridays: Softbums Overload

So, not a pic on the baby, but it is pretty in it's own right. A lot of Softbums I got off of the Cloth Diaper BST on Facebook. 4 Softbums Echos & 4 Softbums Omnis.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sewing Project: Gingercake 3 Layer Clutch

Apparently I like sewing, who knew? I've done a few projects now, ranging from stuffed animals to diapers. I stumbled upon this pattern the other day and I figured I had to try it!

Blurry pic of the cover.
 From Gingercake's site: "I originally created this wallet for myself since I wanted to have a piece that I could keep in my bag or just bring the wallet alone. I loved the idea of layers to make this wallet multifunctional- wallet, zippered pouch and notebook. I have been using this wallet for months now and I love it! It has all that I need and I love the versatility of carrying it in my purse or just using it as a clutch."

6 Credit Card Slots

I am more or less a beginner, but I was able to figure my way around the pattern without much difficulty.

A couple slots for cash, cheque book, coupons, receipts...

This was my first time working with a zipper, and it was not as difficult as I expected. But, if you do want to make this pattern you have to be sure that your sewing machine has a zipper foot.

Zippered compartment.

One of my favourite features of this pattern is the notebook holder. The clutch holds a 5x7 spiral bound notebook. As someone who likes to take notes and make lists, I think this is awesome.

Notebook compartment, with a pocket on each side.

I am not really pleased with my fabric choices on this one. I really get overwhelmed when I go in the fabric store and see soooo much fabric at once.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Softbums Pod Absorbancy Tests

Previously I compared the absorbancy of the Softbums (old style) Super Pods to the Softbums Dry Touch Pod. Now that I have had a chance to accumulate a few more types of pods I thought I would continue with the comparisons.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, these results do not mean that you should expect your pod to hold X ounces of pee, it is just to determine a baseline to be able to compare the absorbancy of one pod to the next. I also want to note that pretty much all of my inserts have come to me pre-loved, so a brand new insert may perform slightly differently. Also, Sarah from Softbums noted "that absorbency has a lot to do with washer type, detergent used, and compression. Most people have better luck with bamboo, especially if their baby is older, or they have a front loader. Most top loaders can get the microfiber to it's total absorbency, but front loaders sometimes cannot. And, keep in mind that prepping might take up to 10 washes for the pods to get fully absorbent. So, if you are new to cloth diapers, or this brand, keep washing!!!" 

On to the testing!

I started with the Small Dry Touch Mini Pod and Small Bamboo Mini Pod

Left: Small Dry Touch Mini Pod   Right: Small Bamboo Mini Pod

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My NimblePhish creations!

I have spent the last few nights making a couple Christmas presents for DD. I made both these creatures from patterns I bought from NimblePhish patterns on Etsy.

Considering I really only started sewing a few weeks ago, I am quite pleased with the results!

Lolly the Dragon
My nameless monkey

Best Buds!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fluffy Fridays: How NOT to wear a Softbums Echo...

Softbums Ocean Echo with a Super Dry Touch pod sticking out!
This is what happens when my husband does an early morning diaper change....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple Squash Tofu Puree

Simple ingredients: Soft Tofu and a pre-prepared puree

Tofu is a great source of not only protein, but also iron and calcium. My daughter is being raised vegetarian (like her daddy) so it is important for us to find alternative iron and protein sources for her. American guidelines recommend waiting until 8 months or older to introduce tofu or meats, whereas Canadian guidelines say you can start tofu and meats at 6 months. If you are unsure, check with your doctor. My daughter is 6 months old, and our doctor recommended starting tofu.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dried Prune / Dried Plum Puree Recipe

Prunes are often cited as the go to food when little ones are experiencing constipation. In addition to being high in fibre (which helps keep bowel movements regular), prunes/plums are also high in Vitamins A & C.

It is a little late in the season for fresh plums here, so I made this recipe using organic dried plums.

Also, it should be mentioned that there has been a push lately to rebrand prunes as "dried plums". So, if you are looking for prunes, but can only find dried plums, don't worry, they are one in the same.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My First Homemade Cloth Diaper

I had to share. I made my first attempt at sewing a cloth diaper tonight. I made this diaper using 31Rubies Little Round One one size diaper pattern I found on Etsy. My sewing skills are marginal at best, so it's not pretty if you look too closely, but for a first attempt I think it is okay. Now we just have to see if it will survive a wash cycle. If it does, hopefully I will post some photos of this diaper in action!

Smallest Setting

Larger Setting



Fluffy Fridays: Softbums Omnis!

Please ignore the applesauce on her shirt!

We had a good mail day last week, 4 Softbums Omni diapers! A brand new Sprout (green), brand new Giraffes, used Snowcone (light blue) and a slightly faded, but still adorable Blooga (blue ooga booga pattern).

Apparently the Slide2Size system is fascinating.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Green Bean Puree Baby Food Recipe

Organic Frozen Green Beans

Green beans are often recommended as one of baby's firsts foods. Green beans are high in Vitamins A, C & K, as well as Calcium, making them a good choice for your baby's diet.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Apple, Squash & Yam Medley Baby Food Recipe

Diced organic Gala Apples, Yams & Acorn Squash

After making some other baby foods I had 3 things left over: gala apples, acorn squash & yams, so I decided to put them all together! You can use acorn or butternut squash for this recipe and yam or sweet potato. If you are buying a squash for this recipe, keep in mind that acorn squash is (in my opinion) very difficult to peel! If you do use acorn squash I recommend cutting it into strips along the furrows then cut off the peel.

This recipe can be pureed for a smoother consistency, mashed for a thicker/lumpier consistency, or served as is as a finger food.

  • 1/2 Squash (approx 1 lb)
  • 2-3 Apples 
  • 1 medium Yam (approx 1 lb)
  • Water as needed to achieve desired consistency
Recommended for:
  • 4-6+ months
  • Approximately 24 oz 
Cost Comparison:
  • $0.12 per oz (I used all organic) vs. $0.27 per oz for the commercially prepared organic baby food (based on $1.20 per 4.5 oz glass jar).
  • Peel apples, yams and squash and chop into cubes.
  • Put diced apples, yams and squash into a baking dish. You may want to add a splash of water in with it. I also lined my dish with foil, because I didn't use any oil or anything the veggies have a tendency of sticking to the pan.
  • Cover and bake at 400° for 45 min, or until the yams are tender. You should be able to easily mash them with a fork.
  • Allow the mixture to cool a bit before transferring into the blender/food processor/baby bullet.
  • Add water as desired and blend. I added about 8 oz of water to reach a consistency suitable for my not-quite-6-month-old. Because yams are more starchy than most veggies it may be a bit harder to blend than other veggies. You can stop and kind of shake the blender a bit to help it along.

Before roasting

After roasting

In the Baby Bullet and ready to blend!


You can use whatever type of containers to have on hand to refrigerate or freeze your baby food, but there are a couple things that you should keep in mind:
  • Any baby food you put in the fridge should be consumed within 3 days.
  • Frozen baby food is optimal if consumed within 30 days, but can be used for up to 60 days.
  • Keep baby food in small portions, as you will have to discard any left over from each feeding. This is because babies (and adults!) mouths are full of bacteria, once this bacteria touches the spoon and gets into the food it starts to grow. If you put this food back in the fridge the bacteria will continue to grow, and feeding this to your baby later may make them ill. 
  • Do not freeze puree that has been made with previously frozen breastmilk. If you want to use breastmilk in your puree, it is best to use fresh breastmilk.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Canadian Baby Deals of the Week: November 2 - 8

Sorry, I am a little late on posting this week!

Every week Smart Canucks posts a list of the Canadian baby deals available. This list is an awesome tool for Canadian mamas looking to save a few bucks without having to shop around. I definitely recommend checking it out!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WAHM of the Month: The Fluffy Elephant

I have decided to do a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom) of the month spotlight. There are so many talented ladies out there who just don't get enough recognition. With my monthly spotlight I hope to bring attention to some of these amazing moms.

Custom Plaid Fitted & Custom Dumbo Fitted Hybrid

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rockin' Green: Rock a Soak

Just how do you Rock a Soak? Follow these directions found on the Rockin' Green website:

1. Fill your washer with hot water and 3 Tbsp of Rockin’ Green, along with your diapers or clothing.
2. Let it soak for approximately 30-60 minutes. Then launder several times skipping the soap. If you have a HE machine, you may have to consult your manual but you can usually do a soak by pressing the start or pause button.
*Tip: Repeat this process anytime you need a good deep-cleaning.
Disclaimer: Items like PUL or TPU need to be washed with care, so please refer to the manufacturers washing instructions for more details. Avoid excessive soaking of PUL/TPU and natural fibers to extend their life span.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Canadian Baby Deals of the Week: October 25 – November 1, 2012

Every week Smart Canucks posts a list of the Canadian baby deals available. This list is an awesome tool for Canadian mamas looking to save a few bucks without having to shop around. I definitely recommend checking it out!


Fluffy Fridays: Softbums Berry Owls Echo

Softbums Berry Owls Echo

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Softbums Halloween Giveaway!

If you don't already love Softbums diapers now you have one more reason to! Softbums is doing an awesome giveaway for Halloween. There are several prizes to be won:
  4.  SUPER GET GOING PACKAGE, includes 6 Super pods, and 3 Echo Shells. 
If you haven't already entered make sure you do by clicking here.

DIY: Finger Paints

This picture has been making the rounds on Pintrest and Facebook for a while now, but I felt the need to share it as well. I love that these are edible and chemical free, so if they wind up in your little one's mouth there is no need to worry! If my daughter were old enough for finger painting I would definitely give it a try!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's in my Diaper Bag: Ju-Ju-Be BFF packed for a 4 month old

I could go on and on about how much I love my Ju-Ju-Be Cobalt Blossoms BFF...but I will save that for another time. For now I will just show you what I have packed in my diaper bag. These pictures are almost two months old, so this is packed for a 4 month old, but I use virtually the same things for my now 6 month old.

 My beautiful Ju-Ju-Be Cobalt Blossoms BFF! It is stuffed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Squash Puree Baby Food Recipe

Organic Gala Apples & Organic Acorn Squash

I found this recipe on Wholesome Baby Food and decided to try it out. The recipe called for an entire squash, but I halved the recipe as an entire squash would produce more than I could fit into my Baby Bullet at once and I doubt that I could use that much up over the next month or so. So keep in mind you can double this recipe.

This recipe can be used for grown ups as well, just sprinkle with some pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and a little brown sugar and skip the pureeing!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meal of the Day

Left: Banana Avocado Puree  Right: Avocado Puree
Both purees were made in the Baby Bullet using the recipes I previously posted:
Avocado Puree
Banana Avocado Puree

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baby on a Budget: My Coupon Stacking Steals!

Anyone who has ever watched Extreme Couponing will know the amazing deals that Americans can get by stacking coupons. Unfortunately for Canadians, there are not many Canadian retailers that allow coupon stacking. London Drugs is one of the few retailers that I am aware of that allows coupon stacking. Their policy is that the coupons are allowed as long as the coupons have different UPC/barcode numbers. You can stack coupons up to the value of your product, but you cannot go over the value and receive "overages" or cash back, as is often seen in Extreme Couponing.

So today I went to London Drugs and stacked my 3 Playtex coupons for a Lil Gripper cup and 2 cans of Good Start formula. I was able to get the cup for $1.99 after coupons (retail price $5.99) and the for $6.99 & $8.99 (sale price $27.99). If I had a couple more Good Start coupons I could have gotten the formula a tad bit cheaper, but I was quite impressed with myself! $17.97 total for $61.97 worth of product. That's a 71% savings! I know that's not quite "Extreme Couponing" savings, but it's definitely a good feeling when you see this at the bottom of your receipt!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Banana Puree Baby Food Recipe

bananas & formula in Baby Bullet
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 - 6 oz (60 - 180 ml) liquid (water, formula or breastmilk) if desired
Recommended for:
  • 6+ months
  • Approximately 12 oz (12 x 1 oz servings)

Canadian Baby Deals of the Week: Oct 19-25 2012

Every week Smart Canucks posts a list of the Canadian baby deals available. This list is an awesome tool for Canadian mamas looking to save a few bucks without having to shop around. I definitely recommend checking it out!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Softbums Dry Touch Pod vs Softbums original Dry Touch Super Pod

Softbums has had a variety of pods available over the years. I have recently acquired a few and decided to put my pods to the test to see how much liquid the older Dry Touch pods would hold compared to the older version of the Dry Touch Super pod.
Left: Dry Touch Super  /  Right: Dry Touch

Avocado & Banana Puree Baby Food Recipe

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 banana
  • Approximately 2 oz (60 ml) liquid (water, formula or breastmilk) 
  • 2 drops lemon juice, optional (this is to prevent browning of the puree)
Recommended for:
  • 6+ months
  • Approximately 10 oz (10 x 1oz servings)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Avocado Baby Food Recipe

Avocado is often recommended as one of baby's first foods because of it's high nutrient content and good fats, which are crucial for healthy brain development. Avocado can simply be mashed and served, but some prefer a thinner consistency, especially when just starting on solids. This recipe will create a thin, creamy puree for your baby.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fluffy Fridays:Softbums Chocolate Echo

Softbums Chocolate Echo

Starting Solids!

Please excuse my poor photography skills!
My daughter is nearly 5.5 months, and once she started grabbing food off our plates we figured it was time for solids! I received a Baby Bullet as a gift and have been experimenting with making homemade baby food. I will be posting some of our concoctions as we go along.