Sunday, March 31, 2013

Baby's First Adventure

Wow...our first adventure!

Boy oh boy were we stressed.  This past weekend, the whole fam (dog included) took an adventure up to our friends house in Washington.  We were so stressed.  “what would we forget, not bring enough of, would Remy sleep, etc etc etc.

Well Remy did the best, as my mom predicted.  As I have said in past blogs, bring way more than you think you will need.  We stayed for two nights.  I brought plenty of outfits, however I didn’t bring enough spit rags and swaddles.  

A great thing I learned and will remember for the future, is when you are traveling, your daily routines and goings on will get amplified.  You might not noticed that you usually use a couple different swaddling blankets over the course of a couple days.  But when traveling, that habit is amplified if you only bring one.  I just sat and watched it get dirtier and dirtier.  Additionally, I brought one spit rag for each day.  However I forgot that we usually rotated a couple spit rags throughout the day.  So poor Remy wasn’t getting as clean as he could have been.

None the less....we packed a TON of stuff!!!  And Remy was well taken care of.  However we did forgot many things for ourselves.  My final recommendation is to remember that you are important too.  Take the time to make sure you have what you need to be comfortable.  If you don’t and aren’t, you are going to be your best for your baby.

Final lesson can take two phones and make a baby monitor.  If you just keep an ongoing call you can listen to what is going on.  The phone you keep with you, put on speaker phone and mute.  That way the sound doesn’t travel to the baby and you can hear if they stir.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Organization: Breast Milk Storage

How to best store breast milk.

Well, this was a lesson learned for me.  When I started pumping, I froze my milk.  When I started I didn’t think about how much milk I would actually be storing so I didn’t think about efficiency at all.  But, boy does your freezer fill up fast if you don’t take proper care to store breast milk in a tidy fashion.  I just sat the milk in the freezer and could only get about 5 3oz bags in a 6 inch run.

I learned quickly that this wasn’t going to work in the long run.  Our whole freezer would need to be donated to breast milk storage.  So to fix this I did the common sense thing I should have done in the beginning...froze the milk flat.
Kind of a duh moment.  But there could be other sleep deprived new moms out there that might need a little help in this department.  So what I do is lay the milk flat in one particular area of the freezer.  You could even use a tuberware for this, but I just set the milk bag on the shelve laying flat.  I then just wait for it to freeze and then stack it upright like library books.  

I get double the amount of milk into the same space and since the milk is thin, it thaws quicker too.  Yeah for my husband when he makes a bottle!!

DIY: Saving Time on Hair

Saving time is a must!

Finding ways to save time creates a whole world of opportunity for a busy person.  If you can even shave 15 minutes off of you morning routine you can have time for breakfast, one last cup of coffee, time with your family, or some crunches and push ups.  I have always been a morning person and a breakfast person.  I wake early and before I head off to work I need to have breakfast and I don’t like to feel rushed.  That is why I look for ways to sleep as long as I can while still having time in the morning.  I don’t like to get up before 6am if possible (I know I am starting to sound like a pre-madonna) so I want to trim time off of my morning routine.  Now that I have a baby, my morning routine has been rocked.  To get some more time in I have started to shower and wash my hair the night before.  This might be a “duh” moment for everyone else but I never really washed my hair at night before.  This has help greatly.  I have naturally wavy hair and like to style it curly or straight.  Here is what I do for either:

This is the easiest one.  I just put some mousse in my hair and put it into two buns.  Next morning I just wash my bangs.  Dry my bangs and take the moisture out of the rest of my hair.  I then curl the ends.   

Now this one takes a bit more time.  At night I put it up in a top knot.  In the morning I do have to blow it dry, but it takes far less time.  Flat iron and I am out!

Next Day Wavy:
Now this one takes more time.  Up in a bun the night before. Dry shampoo and curl out the frizze.

Next Day Dry:
This is the easy one.  Top knot the night before, dry shampoo in the morning and a flat iron.   

Here is the process and what I look like through it :)

Over the past 2 years I have started to utilize dry shampoo as well.  Again in order to save time in the morning and since you don’t have to wash your hair everyday, I have started using dry shampoo.  This is a time saver and is better for your hair.  I like the TRESemme’ products.  They have one for straight styles and one for curly.  I like them both, but the one for straight hair does work a little bit better.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Product Review: Make-up on the Cheap

Just a couple great make-up products!

I am always looking for cheaper make-up products.  Make-up is so expensive and I always want more.  I am always looking for work arounds!!

I have oily skin so a primer is a must for me.  Monistat Gel is a great substitute for primer and at a fraction of the cost.  It has many of the same ingredients as department store primers and works great!  It is about $8 a tube versus $15 and up!

Also, I have used Wet n Wild before.  Especially when I was a young girl.  It is tremendously hit or miss.  Some of the lip products stink...literally.  Additionally some of the staying power is in the dumps.  However I have been very impressed with their new Fergie line of lipsticks.  I have tried their matte lipsticks before and they were exceptionally drying.  These new Fergie lipsticks are great for a matte lipstick.  Not cakey like some matte colors.  Also...only $8!  You can buy some fun and trendy colors and not feel guilty one bit.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

DIY: Fabric Update

New an update on the cheap?

I have a great option if your favorite towels, pants, etc need somone freshening up.  I do this with black clothes all the time.  They fade so easily no matter what you do.  So to get black clothes back to black, I simply dye them.  

When I was a kid I did tie-dye all the time.  This inspired me when my favorite black pants turned charcoal.  Today, I am working on some towels that I like.  They are in good condition however they have been faded by thousands of washes as well as bleached here and there because I have piled them up with cleaning rags in the past.


How To:

1.) I dye in the washing machine and the first step is to prepare dye bath. If you use Rit Dye there are instructions inside the box.  Prepare the dye bath.  Fill the washer with enough water for fabrics to move freely.  Dissolve packet into 2 cups of water & then add into dye bath.  Make sure the water in both is hot.

2.) Wet towels in hot water and then add to dye bath.

3.) Set on long wash cycle (make sure the towels are in dye for 30 minutes).

4.) Since this is a dark shade, I am going to wash it with detergent and then through the towels into the dryer.  Done and Done


Now this isn't as though they are new towels, but it definitely extends the life.

Make sure to run your washer empty with a bit of soap when you are all done.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Back at Work

Well, back at work again.

It has been two full weeks since I have been back and work.  There are great things about going back however on many levels it sucks.  On the superficial level, sucks that I still don’t fit into all the clothes that I use to wear.  It is a little depressing when you once loose slacks are now tight.  Or your collared shirt is tight in the arms and wont fit around your bust.  Thank goodness for casual Friday!  OOTD

But of course the real issue is being away from my sweet baby.  He is in great hands with his dad however I miss him dearly when I am at work.  I love to teach him things and engage him all day long, but I need to work.  That is what I keep telling myself.  I am not depriving him of anything I am providing.  Still is a bummer whooo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Big Day Out...Lessoned Learn

Wow, first big day out!!

Well we had our first really big day out.  1:30pm-8:00pm  We thought we were prepared.  I had a bunch of diapers, an extra outfit, plenty of wipes, changing pad etc.  However, my husband and I learned we need two of EVERYTHING not just diapers :)  

We just didn't run out of the typical kind of stuff like diapers and wipes.  We had plenty of those.  It was just everything else.  What could have happened, did happen.  Blow-outs, going while we were still changing, spit up galore.  Now we didn’t think that we would be out but a couple hours but we ended up being out 8!  

So this was our lessoned learn.  Bring multiple burp rags, changing pads, soiled diaper bags and most importantly...bring a couple plastic grocery bags.  We needed to pack in a bunch of dirty clothes and changing pad.  Having a couple grocery bags as back-up would have been great.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

DIY Travel Changing Pad

Changing diapers on the fly!!

Whenever I have had to change Remy on the fly I have been bummed that he has had to be on a hard surface.  They range in cost from $10 and up.  I just wanted a simple pad though.  Easy to clean, stylish, and comfortable for Remy.  

I have gotten a lot of use out of the crib bedding that I purchased while pregnant.  I used one of those pads and simply wrapped it with a durable fabric that I like.

Sewing machine is still broken (and I haven’t made a good attempt to fix it, boo I know).  So I just cut and wrapped the fabric around the pad and hand sewed it up.  I left the ends opened so I can slip the pad in and out.

Then just folded the ends in like a pillow case.

Then you just need to roll it up and tie it with a ribbon.  Done and done!

I got going on this project before I thought I should share this on my blog!!  So I missed the beginning.  I do think this is pretty self explanatory, but if not I can make another one and take more shots.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Product Review: Baby Stuff

Baby Stuff Product Review!!

I have another baby product review.  There are a couple things that I have been loving and some stuff that I haven’t.  On to the carriers I really like.

I have two different kinds of carriers.   It is nice having two for different purposes.  The Moby Wrap is great.  It isn’t cheap, at about $50 from target, but it is worth it.  
This is the carrier that I go to most of the time.  It is very comfortable and Remy is very secure in the wrap.  The down side is, it is huge.  There is a lot of fabric and it takes up a ton of space in the diaper bag.  Since that is the cause it is awesome we have Infantino Union Baby Carrier.

This is cheaper $30 at target, and works pretty darn good.  I don’t feel like Remy is as comfortable, but he is very secure.  It is also nice that it doesn’t take up too much space when I have to carry it around.

Now on to the disappointment.  The Homedics Sound Spa Lullaby Relaxation Machine has been a disappointment.  
It makes noise which is great.  There is also a good sleep timer option.  What sucks is the projection broke a couple months in.  There is a projection screen that rotates different images.  It worked great in the beginning.  But after some time the motor started to get louder and louder and then finally it just stopped rotating.  It is a bummer because Homedics is a good brand and the fact that the project screen didn’t last totally sucked.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saving Money With Vinegar


While disgusting all by itself, vinegar can be a very useful tool.  On an April Fools when I was about 8, my best friend offered me a glass of water because we had been playing very hard in the front law.  I took a huge gulp and promptly was thoroughly disgusted and spit it out.  She gave me a cup of vinegar.  YUCK!!

Now, years and years later, I use vinegar almost daily.  It is an ingredient everyone should buy in bulk and keep in their kitchen.  Apart of baking & pickling uses, there are other great uses of vinegar.

Everyday I use vinegar as a cleaning solution.  We have our standard cleaning supplies (Simple Green, Comet etc.) but for an everyday cleaner we use diluted vinegar.  Utilize an old cleaning bottle so you don’t have to purchase a new one of those & mix in distilled white vinegar on a 1:1 ratio.  This is a terrific everyday cleaner.  Works great, inexpensive, and non-toxic.

Additionally vinegar can be used as a fabric softener.  It doesn’t work quite at the same level as your standard fabric softener, but it is significantly less expensive and better for sensitive skin.  Just use the same volume of vinegar as you would have used fabric softener and away you go!  Just like you use vinegar to kill out perfume that is too strong, the vinegar will cut through any smells in your clothes without leaving a vinegar smell.

Great way to pinch pennies with a healthful product.

Health Quest Update

Health Quest Update

So I have a mid way update on my quest for better health.  I am working on diet and exercise.  I have been doing good on exercise and still working on the diet.

My running program is shaping up nicely.  I am not up running 2 miles very hard but I am proud that I am doing it.  The program wasn’t designed for someone who has recently delivered a baby so I have modified a bit.  If you want to try it yourself, talk to your doctor and listen to you body.  Post delivery it is extremely important to listen to your body and go only as hard as your body will let you.  Here is the program and my modifications.  I run 3 days a week:

Week 1:
Run ½ a mile walk ½ mile and do that twice.  
My twist: Run ¼ mile walk ¼ mile and do that twice

Week 2:
Run ¾ mile walk ¾ mile and do that twice
My twist: Run ¾ mile and walk ¾ mile

Week 3:
Run 1 mile walk ¼ mile run ¾ mile
My twist: run 1 mile walk ¼ mile

Week 4:
Run 1 ½ mile walk ½ mile
My twist: Run 1 ½ mile walk ¾ mile

Week 5 (My twist)
Run 1 ¾ mile walk ¼ mile

Right now I am on Week 6.  When I am running 2 miles, it isn’t pretty and sometimes I do have to walk.  But I listen to my body, I want to push myself but not over the top.  I am not a college athlete anymore :)  I run through our neighborhood which has some subtle hills that kick my butt.  I will keep working towards a solid 2 mile run and then move to the next challenge: Running 2 miles up a steep hill.  I am also still loving my Baboosh.  I run with it and I truly think it helps me run hard and lose inches.

Twice a week I do strength training.  See my blog:

Now onto diet.  When you are breastfeeding you need about 500 extra calories a day.  I am trying to stick around 1,600 calories however sometimes I do need more.  I don’t deny myself if I need them I just really try to make sure that I need them.  Key things I try to hit: 2 tablespoons of flax seed, one cup of spinach, one cup of broccoli or cauliflower, one fruit.  Now I need more of all veggies.  It would be great to get three cups of spinach (or another dark leafy green) and three cups of broccoli or cauliflower, and three cups of colorful veggies and fruit.  However, today I am just not going to eat that many veggies.  Working towards it though.  Whenever I get hunger pains, I drink a glass of water and have a Cert.  Sounds funny but it helps me not eat when I am thirsty or when I am bored.

This is working for me.  The lbs. aren’t flying off, however I am losing a 1/2lb to 1lb a week.  Anytime I have dropped 3 pounds in a week I have gained it back right away if I have a big dinner or a salty lunch.  If there is anything that works well for anyone here let me know!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Timbers Home Opener

Remy in Action!!

Timbers home opener.  We had so much fun!  It reminded me that we really haven’t been leaving the house that much.  With the baby we have become a bit recluse.  Getting out into one of the loudest and packed places in Portland reminded us that Remy is fine!!  He can get out into the public and be okay.  He might actually have fun as well :)

Additionally it gives me and Rudy practice just functioning outside the home.  Breastfeeding, using the different carriers etc. etc.  I recommend anyone with a new baby force yourself out of the house :)  You will feel bettering and have more fun with your baby.  And who knows, they might start enjoying it too :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Healthy Quest Working Out With Baby

Working out with my baby!!

So this is a little update on my back to health quest.   Twice a week I do strength training.  I am still breastfeeding which keeps ones joints loose.  Because of that I haven’t felt that I can amp up my strength training.  A day after my workout I can feel the stress in my joints and the stress in my muscle.  I am looking forward to ramping it up more and more, but right now this is working well.

Simples workout which I blogged about previously.  And very easy to get Remy involved:



To the Side Sweetheart nothing cutesy about squats

Monday, March 4, 2013

Money Saving Tools: Olive Oil

You can use Olive Oil for EVERYTHING!!!

Like I have said before, my husband and I are always looking for money saving tools and practices.  One thing we always look for (as I have said before) are things that have multiple purposes and/or can become something else when they are done.  Olive Oil is one of those kinds of products.  

Olive Oil can be used for many different things.  It has great medicinal values and taste.  The traditional use, cooking.  We cook with Olive Oil almost everyday.  It is great in food, to cook food in, and to boil with pasta or rice.  The non traditional uses though are what can really keep this oil out on the kitchen counter.

It all comes down to it’s healing values & non-harsh acidic content.  First, it can heal cuts.  Our puppy Lobo had licked a sore onto his body.  I needed to help it heal, but I needed something non-toxic.  I dabbed Olive Oil on it a couple times a day and it healed his sores quickly.  Additionally, since I breastfeed, I have used it when I had cracked and dry nipples when I was just starting to breastfeed.  That kept me feeling good and there wasn’t anything that was too harsh for Remy if I didn’t clean it well enough.  Finally, with Olive Oil’s healing powers, I have used it on Remy’s head.  He has a little bit of cradle cap so I have rubbed it on his head and it has cleared nicely!

Other uses include eye-makeup remover.  It isn’t harsh on my eyes but works really well.  I don’t break out from it and I get all my make-up off!

This ends up saving you money because you are able to get more bang for your buck and either buy in bulk and/or saving on the fancy eye makeup remover, nipple creams, etc. etc.