DIY uncrustables: PB&J pocket sandwiches

I found guilty pleasure in those addicting pockets of pb&j by Smuckers! They are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives so I decided to make my own!

A 4ct box retails around $2.99, but my goal is to use better quality ingredients and minimal preservatives.  You could certainly save money making these by using low-cost ingredients or finding them on sale.   

I almost bought this little gem on Amazon for around $7 but I found one at my local Publix for under $4. (Augusta Kroger and Target did not have it) Wonder sandwich sealer

Next time I will probably try using Ezekiel bread and freshly pressed peanut butter, but I used what I had on hand.  The only ingredients in the peanut butter include organic peanuts and salt.  The fruit spread contains 4 simple non GMO ingredients and has no added sugar. 

You can use any bread you like, but I would recommend not using a bread With the indentation at the top (as pictured above) because it makes it harder to seal. 

Hot, yummy breakfast in 1.5 min

As I’m figuring out by trial and error how to do this “Mom” thing, finding the time to eat minimally processed nutritious meals has been quite a challenge.  

Strategic Meal planning and prepping is the key to balanced wholesome meals when you’re a busy mom.  I’ve started making breakfast foods ahead of time and just reheating on busy mornings.  

Last week I made  10 breakfast burritos with 10 eggs, 10 slices of bacon and some shredded cheese.  I just cooked the bacon, scrambled the eggs with cheese (you can add cheese later instead), added the ingredients to the tortilla, and rolled them up into burritos. I wrapped the ones I froze in freezer paper, then Press-n-seal.   A few went into the refrigerator, and those were just wrapped in press n seal.  To reheat, just remove the press-n-seal, leave the freezer and microwave the frozen burrito for 30 seconds, turn it upside down and zap for another 30 sec.  Remove press-n-seal from refrigerated burritos, wrap in paper towel and microwave 20 sec on each side.  

This week I made sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches.  One lb of sausage makes 7-8 patties. I whipped up 8 eggs in a bowl and then used egg rings to make egg patties.  

These were my tools 

 I let everything cool and then put the egg, sausage and cheese in a Baggie for each sandwich.   To reheat, you just put an English muffin in the toaster, and microwave just the sausage 30 sec.  Flip it, add the egg and cheese and zap for another 20 sec.  This is for refrigerated.  I hve not yet reheated frozen.  I did put wax paper between the egg and sausage to make it easy to separate the frozen ingredients.  

. Just don’t overcook the eggs (I left them a little wet) since they will cook a little in the microwave.   

I’ve heard great things about these too but haven’t tried them: 

Mini quiches

Of course, I would skip the Pam and use organic ingredients.  

Note: I realize bacon and sausage are not necessarily minimally processed but we eat meat in this house and it’s level 2 or better (whole foods animal welfare rating standards) and it beats fast food any day! 

***Your microwave times may vary.  I have a 1200 watt inverter microwave, if that helps. 

Bon Appetit! 

Breast is best….except when it’s not.

Why do perfect strangers feel the need to ask my if i breastfeed my baby and then proceed to congratulate me for doing so? Would I be criticized if I said I feed her formula?

What if I had given it my all and it just didn’t work out? And what if I was still really upset about it. There are so many reasons why moms don’t breastfeed and I totally get it.

Breast is best except when mom can’t take the meds she needs to be well.

Breast is best except when it’s too much pressure and stress for a working mom. Maybe all the stress decreased milk supply and she wasn’t able to recover and build back up to baby’s needs.

Breast is best except when baby simply cannot latch for whatever reason… Inverted nipples, previous breast surgery, premature baby etc. Oh, “just pump” you say!? Just hook yourself up to a machine every 2 hours, properly store the milk and then clean and sterilize the equipment. Now it’s time for a feeding and then get ready to repeat the cycle.

I love breastfeeding, but I can see how it’s not always the best thing for mom and baby. My supply recently decreased and I was fortunate enough to have several days off of work to have a “nursing staycation” and build my supply back up. It’s tough sometimes, especially being a working mom.

This mom thing is really tough, but so rewarding. I want to take a second to say “Good job fellow mommies!” If you’re doing your best, you’re a wonderful mom. I was formula fed and I turned out awesome! I’m breastfeeding because it works for us and that makes me feel awesome.

A few things that have worked for me building up supply:

– Mother’s Milk tea
– pump after and/or in between feedings.
– let baby nurse as often as possible instead of on a schedule
– don’t go more than 2 hrs without nursing or pumping. (4 hrs at night, if possible)
– stay hydrated and well nourished!!
– easier said than done, but try to let go of some of that worry and stress. Relax. Keep calm and lactate on.

DIY stencil onesies

I keep seeing these adorable minimalist onesies with phrases that make me chuckle. I come across them on Pinterest and ETSY and they’re usually sold for $15-20 each. I did a little research and figured out how to make them myself!

1. Freezer paper
2. Acrylic paint
3. Fabric medium for acrylic paint. (like this)

*or use fabric paint instead of #2 & 3

4. Die cutting machine (Cricut or Silhouette)

Alternative: print reverse image onto non-shiny side of freezer paper and cut with exacto knife.

Alternative: draw or trace reverse image onto dull side of freezer paper and cut out with exacto knife.

5. Iron/ ironing board

6. Onesie

7. A piece of cardboard to go in between layers of onesie

Here are my finished products! The green one was the first one I tried and it didn’t come out great but I’ll still use it. I was much happier with the second one.



Here is an instructional link if you don’t have a die cutting machine:

** I would recommend keeping your design simple if you are cutting it out by hand

This is where I got info for using my silhouette cameo click here.

A few tips if using a silhouette (as I learned from trial and error):
Don’t use a brand new cutting mat (it will be too sticky and tear or curl the paper)

Don’t use an overused mat ( the blade will get caught in some of the deeper cuts and snag the paper)

For best results use a new blade

The cut settings that worked for me were: blade setting: 2, speed: 2, thickness: 10

The Baby, the Boobs and the Wardrobe: Your guide to nursing-friendly clothing

So there I was, 2 weeks post partum… Still looking 5 months pregnant and realizing that I hadn’t thought of everything. I had read all the books and articles. I had harassed all my experienced mommy friends with question after question about motherhood. All the stuff on my registry was purchased and I was supposed to have all the tools and resources I needed to do this mommy thing. I thought that the nursing tanks and bras I had purchased were all I needed to comfortably and conveniently breastfeed. I was wrong. Here are some things I learned about dressing for success while nursing. 1. You may shed the baby weight fast, but just because you’re back to your pre-baby size (or near it) doesn’t mean your clothes will fit. For example, I’m only 5 lb away from my pre baby weight but things just don’t fit the same. The only non maternity pants I fit into are my yoga pants and my one pair of “fat” jeans (the ones we put on when we are feeling bloated and blah). I had to go up 2 sizes. Maybe I’ll get back to a size 0 some day. Maybe not, and that’s okay. For now, squeezing into my old clothes is not comfortable or attractive. Give yourself a break, and give yourself some time. Remember that these changes are a result of the miracle of life. 2. Think ahead when shopping for maternity clothes. I wish I had invested more money on maternity clothes that would double as nursing attire. I am thankful that I purchased some wonderful nursing tanks in my 2nd trimester because I wore them through my pregnancy and almost everyday now. My favorite is the Essential Nursing tank by Bravado. Target also has a less expensive line of nursing tanks called Basics by Bravado. I’m also a fan of the seamless nursing tank by Motherhood Maternity. All of these have enough support that I feel comfortable wearing them without a bra. I bought a few nursing tops post pregnancy that were expensive and I wish that I would’ve chosen these instead of some of the maternity ones I bought that are now packed up in a box because they are no good to me now. 3. Go through your existing wardrobe and pull out any wrap or faux-wrap tops, or cowl neck tops that you can simply pull down or pull aside. Also, loose fitting tunics can easily be pulled up if you are wearing a nursing tank underneath. Make a fashion statement while being a functional nursing mommy with your collection of scarves. You’ll want to make sure they are thin and breathable. Those chunky knit scarves will be hot and annoying to your little one. (See pics below) 4. Do it yourself. If you can thread a needle, you can turn a flowy cardigan into a nursing cardigan with some scissors, a needle/thread, a button and some ribbon. (See 1st pic below) 5. Shop smarter. Try searching your favorite stores online and use keywords like “wrap top” “wrap sweater/shirt”, cowl neck, mock wrap. I found some great ones at Banana Republic, The Limited and New York & Co. I’ve attached a couple links below.





2015/01/img_1541.jpg 6. Loosen up your buttons, baby. Button up shirts with a nursing bra or tank underneath also allow for easy access!


If I give a mouse a cookie in 2015

If I give a mouse a cookie this year, it will be a dozen or more delicious made-from-scratch, with lots of love and anonymously delivered cookies. Then I can just imagine the surprise, happiness and gratitude that ensues. I won’t be subjected to the disgust and disappointment as I watch them take a bite, spit it out and and say “you call this a cookie!?”

I know, I know, who would actually eat a box of anonymously delivered cookies these days. People are crazy. The point is that my giving spirit and my “light” we’re being compromised by people that I thought HAD to be in my life. I didn’t think I had a choice.

It gets exhausting when someone takes and takes and takes and has nothing to offer in return. Not even respect or gratitude. I think a decade of bending over backward to help someone “get back on their feet” is more than generous. And I’m still waiting.

Have I lost hope? Never. I’m letting go of the parasitic relationships because I want to focus more on my symbiotic relationships. I brought a brand new being into this world a few months ago and I want to be the best mommy to her. I have a wonderful husband who deserves my best too. Some of my friends are more like family. Some of my family is like family. They lift me up, inspire and encourage me.

2015 is about letting go, and working on being a better version of myself. Forgiveness… Well maybe that’ll come in 2016 or 2020. Baby steps.

Best sports bra for larger cup sizes. Perfect for nursing moms!

You’ll be happy to know that Victoria’s Secret now carries cup size DDD, the equivalent to F. This is great news for women who have a hard time finding bras that are big enough in the cup but not too large around. The incredible by VS became my hands down favorite bra before I was pregnant since it comes in a band size as small as 32 and has adjustable shoulder straps ( a must for petite or tall women). Well now the larger cup size and the front zip closure makes it the perfect bra to wear to work and to be able to pump easily. Even if you’re a G cup, you may be able to go up a size in the band and fit into a DDD. There just aren’t many options for great support while nursing. I find myself just wearing nursing tanks under my shirts because they are comfortable and somewhat supportive. I mean, I wouldn’t go jogging in them or anything. I’m exited about hving great support and easy access as I return to the gym and work. I just bought 2 today since they are buy one get one 50% off. Online they have some colors on clearance for $34.99 (reg $55-60). I’m sure there are plenty of great sports bras out there for average sizes but for larger cup sizes, especially with small band sizes you will not find a more comfortable and supportive sports bra for less. The zip front is the icing on the cake for a nursing mom. Oh and NO uniboob = sprinkles on the cake 🙂


Decorating a nursery with unconventional colors

When I began exploring ideas for what I wanted our baby’s nursery to look like, I was discouraged by the plethora of pastels and animal themes. I knew I wanted something more modern but still soft. There’s always time to do bolder colors and geometric patterns but they’re only babies for a while. I’m obsessed with corals, peaches, Aqua/teals and matte gold. Which store offers this combination of colors in nursery decor, you ask? None. Here are some quick tips for putting together a nursery you love:

1. Brain storm on Etsy and Pinterest. Look at magazines or Google images… Whatever works.

2. Decide on a budget. This can be precise or broad, but it is important. You do not want to clear out your savings or build your nursery on credit card debt. There are plenty of things your little one will NEED (diapers, clothing, college,maybe??) and a designer nursery is not one of them.

3. Pick a focal point. For me, it was bedding. Other ideas might include furniture pieces such as an antique refinished dresser, window treatments, a rug, or wall art.

4. Collect swatches. Paint swatches are free and can help you develop a color pallet. Ask for furniture or fabric swatches from wherever you are looking to purchase from (bedding, furniture, curtains). Sometimes they are free, sometimes not.

5. Window shop. Price compare. See something you love? Can you do it yourself or find it at a consignment shop or thrift store? Don’t forget eBay, Craigslist and other ‘for sale’ ads. I found my gently used Potter Barn crib and changing table on Craigslist for $400. It is still available to purchase new for about $1200.

6. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Make it. YES. YOU CAN. My husband watched some you tube videos and refinished the coral changing table you see below. Does he consider himself crafty? No. I wanted a gold lamp and I pinned one to my baby board that retailed $500. Pshhhh… Got mine at kirklands on sale for $40 and spray painted it. Also spray painted 3 of the 4 frames on the wall collage seen below. Spray painted the black metal side table I found at Homegoods. I couldn’t find any Christmas decor to match, so I made my own. Watch tutorials on you tube or Pinterest. If you want some links, I will provide them later, just ask. I have to feed the baby now.







I’m not sure if I will be any good at this or if it will be helpful to anyone. Reservations aside, I’m hoping to share things I’ve learned either first hand or through friends, books and other resources.  These are things I wish I knew or I’m glad someone shared with me.  These are my experiences, failures and successes in my journey through pregnancy and motherhood as a nursing (breastfeeding) nurse (RN) who loves the outdoors, crafting/DIYing, indie music and fashion. I’m a self-proclaimed fashionista in the practical look good- feel good without breaking the bank sense.  You won’t find the hottest NY/LA runway styles here.  I don’t do Walmart but I LOVE recycling and consignment shopping. My mantra for motherhood/parenting is pretty much what I strive for in everyday life. Instead of comparing yourself or competing with whatever is going on in Hollywood or social media or with the “Joneses”, just try to be the best YOU. Being the perfect mommy (or wife or friend or employee etc) means knowing your limits, doing your very best, and embracing the flaws that come with being a real live human. Love, laugh, live and let live.  Cliché, but words I live by.

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