Making the Switch to a Self-Hosted Blog

Making the Switch to a Selt-Hosted Blog

I’ve moved to a self-hosted blog with an awesome new design. I’d love it if you would come check out my new site here. I’ve got a couple giveaways planned in honor of the new launch, one of which is a cloth diaper.I won’t be posting here anymore, so if you are a current follower, I’d love to have you follow me on my new platform.

Wanna know how the move went? Check out my post here



7 Quick Takes Vol. 1

Linking up with Conversion Diary for 7 quick takes from the past week.

1. Penguin Exhibit at the Zoo

Friday was the opening day of the penguin exhibit at the zoo. Jordan surprised us by taking the morning off and coming with us. Because we are members of the zoo, we got to see them before the public. The line was crazy long as in it took us 45 minutes to see the penguins and it was super cold out. Noah wasn’t too happy about waiting in line and having to wear a coat and a hat. I  tried nursing him while standing up with an Ergo that was only half way on. It was quite the site.


2. Trunk or Treat

Saturday we took Noah out for his first Trunk or Treat. Noah went as Saint Francis and turned into Saint Francis the Minion by the end of the night because he it got cold. Noah managed to open a sucker when I wasn’t looking and then got a little upset with me when I wouldn’t let him finish it. I did let him have the pretzels and fruit snacks he got though.

3. Read “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers”

I finished The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose and Sanity by Meg Meeker, M.D. I was pleasantly surprised with this book, especially after the last book I read. Dr. Meeker had several great points, including how we need to stop competing with other mothers.

Every one of us mothers competes with other mothers in some way. The biggest difficulty with the game is that it is usually disguised and deeply hidden from even our own sight. And most of us would never admit that we do it. But if we really want to live healthier, happier lives, we’ve got to call ourselves on it. We compete not just because it is the ‘nature’ of some of us, but also because we live in a world that coaxes us to compete with one another. (Meeker p.70)

4. Sick Baby Who Opens Ovens

Noah has been sick with a runny nose for about a week now. I’ve had the humidifier running constantly and I’ve been battling him with the snot sucker. He’s having a hard time nursing because he can’t breath out his nose. Because he’s not eating as well, he’s also not sleeping as well and we’ve got a cranky little boy on our hands.

One of the nights, I was up late with him. I decided to bake some apple spice muffins. I opened the oven to check on them and then closed it. I turned around for a second and I hear the oven open. Noah figured out how to open the oven. I tried not to freak out as I told him we don’t open the oven because it’s hot. He smiled and tried again. I think I’m going to have to keep the baby gate up when the oven is on.

5. My 25th Birthday

Did you know my birthday is on Halloween? Well, it is. And this year, I turned 25. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished so far and I can’t say that I’m too upset about getting closer to 30.

Milestone this year: No extra fees for a rental car…not that I rent a car all the often, but it’s nice to have that option.

6. I won something!

I’ve got a guilty pleasure…I like to entering giveaways. I don’t usually win anything, but I don’t mind Liking a Facebook page to be entered in a drawing.

On Tuesday, I happened to be checking Facebook and noticed that Rockin’ Green Soap was having an open house on Ustream with prizes.I decided to join in because secretly I need laundry detergent and I don’t want to buy it. And since I was one of the 5 or so people who were watching, I won something. I haven’t received it yet, but I do know that it’s a cloth diaper prize package. Not exactly laundry detergent, but hey, I’m happy with a cloth diaper prize package.

And on my birthday, I won another cloth diaper. This time it was from Abby’s Lane. I’m on a roll. Of course this would happen after I told myself I wasn’t going to be entering so many giveaways after this month.

As for what I’m going to do with newborn cloth diapers, I’m either going to build up my newborn stash for future children or give to someone who’s going to have a baby soon. I haven’t decided yet.

7. Lunch with My Husband

Jordan surprised me and took me out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory on my birthday. I know, technically this one should go under #5, but I needed a seventh quick take. We haven’t gone out to eat in a really long time and while it wasn’t exactly relaxing with a toddler, it was nice to spend some time with him.

Getting a Toddler Into the Car

When Jordan and I were going through our marriage prep, one of our teachers gave us a little bit of advice, “Don’t read parenting books, the only thing that really accomplishes is to make you feel like a horrible parent”. So far, I’ve followed that advice and I’ve avoided parenting books for the most part.

But lately, Noah has been fighting the car seat every single time we get in the car. I’m talking the arched back, the grasping for anything he can hold on to with an iron grip, screaming fit.  It makes running errands a little difficult. I’ve tried talking to him about it but as a one year old, talking him down has not been exactly effective yet. Eventually I end up having to hold him down to get him into the car seat.

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

Not knowing how to deal with it, I borrowed Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort from the library. It’s a gentle parenting book that focuses on the fact that both the parent and the child are learning throughout the process and that we need to respect the needs and desires of our children.

While I don’t agree with every part of this book it does have some good advice. We often equate our child’s behavior to our success as a parent. For example, if Noah is throwing a temper tantrum in public, I may try to stop the temper tantrum to try and avoid people assuming that I’m a bad parent. When in fact, Noah has a right to be upset by whatever it is and I need to empathize with his frustration.

Treat your child as your equal, which she is. Equal does not mean the same. She lacks experience and deserves to have her limitations respected as well as enjoyed. Entering life later than someone else does not render anyone less worth or deserving of full respect. Your child is always doing the best she can, just like you (Aldort p. 227)

Testing Out The Theory

Aldort suggests giving a child more freedom and trusting them to make their own choices. We assume that by giving a child more freedom we risk them controlling us instead of vice verse. She points out that we should not try to control our child but be more of a guiding hand.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt. After all, I can see how it would be frustrating to have someone just strap me into a car seat without my consent. The next day, I didn’t have to be at the store at any particular time so I let Noah play in the car a little bit before we left. He explored the back seat pocket, touched the seat, poked the buttons that roll down the window. And then…he just got into his car seat by himself and sat still while I buckled him in. I was shocked. I thanked him for getting into his seat and we left with out a fight, without a temper tantrum.

I’ve started leaving the apartment earlier so that he can sit in the car for a little bit before it’s time to get in the car seat. There have been a few times where I didn’t have time and we had a huge meltdown. And I should say that giving him time does not always result in him getting into his car seat. However, it is a lot more peaceful the majority of the time and I think Noah appreciates the fact that I’m not just forcing him into the car seat.

Take What You Like, Leave What You Don’t

Aldort believes that a child has the right to say no. To the point that if I child doesn’t want to run errands, you should only run errands when your spouse is home so that they don’t have to go out.

I agree that they have the right to say no, and I’ll try to respect that as often as I can. However, there are times when I do need to go places, like the grocery store or a doctors appointment and I can’t always cater to his wishes. In those cases, I try to empathize with him.

In the real world, he’s going to have to do things he doesn’t want to do. Getting a project done for work or school is going to be a must whether he wants to or not.

As far as the advice our marriage prep teacher gave us, I would say that reading this did make me feel like a bad parent. Aldort listed out several ways that I could be ruining my son’s emotional health. However, I am glad that I read it because it did give me some helpful insight into raising a child.  I took what I liked from the book and I’ll leave the rest. And so far, I don’t think Noah’s trying to control me because I give him a little bit more freedom.

Do you have any suggestions for getting a toddler into a car? Have you read a book that changed your perspective on parenting?

DIY Monkey Cupcakes

DIY Monkey Cupcakes

How cute are these cupcakes? Since Noah’s party was going to be at a park, I didn’t want to worry about cutting a cake. Cupcakes were a great alternative.

This is adapted from the Simply Budgeted version of monkey cupcakes.

What You’ll Need

  • mini vanilla wafers
  • regular vanilla wafers (I used Trader Joe’s vanilla butter cookies)
  • cupcakes
  • chocolate frosting
  • red gel icing
  • black gel icing

Bake your cupcakes and let cool completely. Once cook frost with chocolate frosting.

To make the monkey face:

Take a regular sized vanilla wafer and draw two dots with the black gel icing to make the monkey’s nose. Draw a smile with the red gel icing. Place the cookie on the bottom half cupcake top. I found it was easier to do the drawing before putting the cookie on the cupcake.

To make the ears, place one mini vanilla wafer on each side of the cupcake.  Then draw two black dots for the eyes.

Ta da! You’ve got a super simple and adorable monkey cupcake. I used these for Noah’s Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb themed party. But these would easily work for a zoo theme or sock money theme.

MonkeyCupcakes 2


Monkey Cupcakes

Giving When There Isn’t Extra Money: The Gift of a Loving Family

The Gift of a Loving Family

My past two posts in this series have focused on helping people outside of the family. But I really want to focus on the actual family unit though. The family is the core of society. Without focusing our energy here, all the time spent on society isn’t going to do much good.

I was reading up on what the Catholic Church teaches when it comes to raising a family. She takes it very seriously, just take a look at paragraph 2207 from the Catholic Catechism.

The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

The Importance of Daily Interactions

The more reading I’ve done, the more I’ve realized how important my daily interactions with Jordan and Noah are. Noah is watching Jordan and I every day. We are defining marriage for him. We are defining what it means to be a Mother and a Father. We are setting the expectations for how we treat other people. He’s watching us to see how we handle our finances, health and emotions.

The things we teach him now will echo throughout future generations. Jordan and I realized this the other day when we were talking. Jordan’s Dad used to pray with him every night before he went to bed. Jordan has continued that habit into our marriage and is now passing it on to Noah. Those few moments before bed have the potential to touch several generations.

The other day I was talking with Noah and he turned to the picture above the fireplace and said “sesis”. I was amazed that he had picked that up. I usually just walk around the apartment with him and point to things and say “This is [fill in the blank]”. While he probably doesn’t fully understand who Jesus is, we’ve made a start. I think he’s absorbing more than I know.

Defining Love

There are so many books, movies and TV shows that misrepresent what love is. Can you only imagine what would happen if we could help shape his definition of it to be the real thing? To show that being selfless and caring are more than just the emotions and the love of use.

Definition of love

If we can give Noah the gift of knowing the true definition of love, than all those other things will fall into place. He will know how to serve his community. He will know all the gifts he receives are from God. He will know the importance of treating everyone with respect, because that is love. And if he can live in a way that shows love than he’s going to make the world a better place. And I know that he will be happy deep down, because true love brings happiness.

Giving when there isn’t extra money can mean a lot of things.It can mean giving anyway or finding more creative ways to give of our time and talents. In the end though, doing these things as a family is going to strengthen our family and consequently strengthen our society along the way.  Maybe we won’t change the whole world. But I bet it will at least make a difference, even if it’s only in the lives of our children.

Read Part One: The Importance of Tithing

Read Part Two: 10 Ideas to Bless Others

Five Favorites Vol. 3

Linking up with Moxi Wife today to list out five of my favorite things from this past week.

1. Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pie

We made this for Noah’s actual birthday. He had cake for his party and I didn’t feel like giving him more sugar packed goodness. So I tweaked this recipe a bit and Noah got his very own little pie. It was pretty cute and yummy if I do say so myself. You can check out the recipe here.

2. Minion Hat

I won this little hat from a giveaway over at Our Sonny Life. I love Despicable Me (1 and 2) and I couldn’t pass up entering to win this adorable little hat.

Noah isn’t a fan of wearing hats right now. He’s going to have to figure something out unless he magically grows more hair though, because that little head is going to get cold come winter time.

Minion Hat

3. Target Cartwheel

Cartwheel Logo

How have I not tried this before? I assumed that since I don’t have a smart phone, I couldn’t use it. But you don’t have to have a smart phone to use Cartwheel, you have the option to print the bar code. They have a savings of 5-20% on everything from food to diapers to clothes.

Then you can stack the coupons and/or manufacturer coupons and that makes for some awesome deals. I saved over $10 on a $30 purchase last night just using Cartwheel and a couple other coupons. Win!

4. This Outfit

The other day, Noah and I went and walked around the mall. I don’t spend much time in each store when we go “shopping” because he does get bored. It’s more of an activity for us to do  outside of the house. Anyway, we were walking through Old Navy and I found a mannequin dressed in this outfit.

I’ve never been a big fan of skinny jeans, but this looked adorable and I want a pair. I might even get brave and buy a pair in another color like maroon or blue. I didn’t try them on though. Hopefully it’s not a case of looks-better-in-my-head-than-it-does-on-me.

Photo Credit – Old Navy

5.  “To the Bookish Mother of Littles” Blog Post

Another great post from Haley over at Carrots for Michaelmas. Noah LOVES to read. He’ll randomly bring me books and climb into my lap to read to him. Or I just ask him if he wants to read a book and he goes to pick one out. It’s adorable and I love reading Corduroy to him for the 11th time. BUT, my personal book list has been lacking a little bit lately and I feel a little under-read. Here’s what Haley has to say about that,

You’ve read THOUSANDS of books this year! They just happen to be mostly board books read repeatedly hour after hour. You are not an intellectual failure! Just mother to small children!

Check out her post here. I promise if you have little ones, you’ll get a good laugh out of it.

Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pie

I made these the other night for Noah’s birthday. The recipe is meant for muffin tins, but I decided to cut the recipe in half and just make one little pie in a tart pan. It turned out really well and was the perfect size pie for the three of us. I usually don’t like the crust but this one was perfect.

I adapted this recipe from Knit and Bake’s recipe here. I used whole wheat flour instead of white and cut out a lot of the sugar. The apples were plenty sweat for us and didn’t need all that added sugar from the original recipe. I also wanted a healthier option after all that cake and chocolate frosting from Noah’s birthday party last week.

Pie Crust

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons (or a little more) ice water
  • 1 tsp salt

Apple Filling

  • 2 to 3 apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cut the butter into the flour and salt until crumbly. Add in the cold water and mix until the dough forms. Gradually add more water if it looks like it needs more. Put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, chop up the apples and mix with the other ingredients.

Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out. Cut out circles to fit your muffin tins. Use a fork to poke holes on the bottom of the tin to keep the crust from puffing up. Put in some filling and then either cut another circle of dough for the top crust or make a lattice crust on top, using strips of dough.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the crust gets golden brown.

Mini Apple Pie2

Warning: Your house is going to smell amazing.

A Day in the Life of Efficient Momma

A day in the life of efficient momma

I’m linking up with Winding Road to write about a day in my life. I had already picked the day I was going to write about before it unfolded and I feel like this day turned out to be particularly inefficient. BUT I decided to write about it anyway, because it is after all, a day in my life.

Be warned, this is fairly detailed, but there is a lot that goes into a day.


I wake up to my first alarm. I don’t even get the chance to turn it off because Noah is fast asleep on my arm. I try to move to turn off the alarm and he sticks his little leg up on my stomach and flops his arm across my stomach. He doesn’t want me to move. I let the alarm turn itself off. He isn’t fazed.


Noah still won’t let me out of bed. I try to sit up and he crawls back onto my lap and falls back asleep. I lay back down with him and wait for him to fall into a deeper sleep. I inch my arm out from under his head only to have him roll/climb onto my chest and fall asleep. Normally, I’m able to get out of bed without waking him up and I can get a couple things done. But today he’s very insistent on me staying in bed with him.


I finally get up and carry Noah to the arm chair and he stays asleep (this is so unlike him). I sit with my laptop and catch up on Facebook, emails, check my guest post for comments. Noah finally decides to wake up and I go take a shower. The bathtub is full of toys from his bath last night. I don’t put them away like I normally would because we’re going to be late for our play date at 10:00.

I get Noah dressed and start cooking eggs while I put my make up on. Noah is running around the apartment pulling books off shelves and taking my hair products out from under the sink. Once my makeup is on, I sit Noah in his highchair. We eat our eggs and a kiwi. I drink some tea because my throat seems to be a little stuffy.


I’m running around the apartment because I can’t find my shoes. I found one behind the toilet, thank you Noah. Where was the other one you ask? Well behind the couch, because isn’t that where everyone keeps their shoes? Thank goodness I have a Noah that makes sure things are put away. I walk out to door and realize it’s a lot colder than I thought. I scramble to find another sweatshirt for Noah and decide I don’t need anything.


We get to the park a few minutes late. We play on the swings for a little bit with our friends. We decide to take a walk around the park. Noah decides he wants to walk by himself and not in the direction of the path. I spend the rest of our walk trying balance moving forward and letting him walk and discover like he wants. The ground is wet and his little hands are turning purple from the cold.

Since we were near where my husband works, we  visit him for a little bit and warm up in the office. Noah is ecstatic that he gets to see his Daddy during the day and runs as fast as he can into Jordan’s arms.


Noah is clearly tired and falls asleep as soon as I pull out of the park parking lot. I get home and successfully transfer his sleeping little body into the Ergo and head the to the apartment. I’m starving and I have to pee really bad. Somehow I’m able to go to the bathroom without waking him up, but the flushing toilet wakes him up. I take him out of the Ergo. I mentally beat myself up for flushing the toilet, but then forgive myself when I realize he’d probably try to play in it before I got the chance to flush it.


I try to heat up some leftover Chili on the stove while he’s crying at my feet. I don’t even bother to heat up the food all the way because Noah is clearly just wanting to fall back asleep. I try to offer him some Chili but he just wants to bang the spoon on the bowl I’m eating out of. I finish my food while he throws a fit. I just need to eat.


Noah nurses to sleep again. I think he’s either teething or not feeling well as he doesn’t normally sleep this much. I pull out the laptop and get some work done while he sleeps on my lap. I finish my work for the day and spend some time on Pinterest, Facebook, planning our vacation and checking out some blogs.


Ellen Degenerous is on and Noah is still sleeping. I’m staring at the laundry that needs to be folded, the carpet that needs vacuumed, the bed that needs to be made and the crock pot that does not have dinner in it yet.


Noah is STILL sleeping…what the heck! I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to make for dinner. I’m still stuck in the big chair watching TV because he doesn’t want me to move. He just wants to cuddle. I’m starting to think he doesn’t feel well or maybe he’s going through a growth spurt.


Noah finally wakes up. He’s running around and I’m doubting me previous thoughts about him being sick. I pick up the house and start a load of laundry. Noah likes playing under the kitchen sink. I used to have all of those towels and garbage bags lined up nicely. I gave up keeping it organized. Let’s not even talk about my Tupperware cupboard.

Day in My Life

Four light bulbs went out the day before so I decide to make a quick run to Target before Jordan gets home. I print off a coupon for light bulbs from Targets website and we’re out the door.

Noah is in the Ergo while I attempt to read through the giant wall of light bulbs and wattages. Noah gets impatient and wants out. I end up just grabbing the light bulbs and running over to the clearance sections. I find a lot of coloring books for $1, but decide we don’t NEED them. Besides, while I’m trying to dig through the pile, Noah starts arching his back so that he can get out. I set him on the ground and he proceeds to climb the shelf.

I tell him it’s time to go and he’s squirms because he wants to run around. I practically run to the check out to avoid a scene. Why did I push my luck?


Jordan pulls up next to me as I’m’ getting Noah out of the car seat. We walk in together and start cooking dinner. Noah decides he doesn’t want what we are having for dinner. Again, he’s never like that. He usually will anything we put in front of him. I’m blaming the full moon….if there is even one going on right now.


Jordan gives Noah a bath and I start cleaning up dinner and check Facebook and my blog for any comments. Noah comes running out into the living room without a diaper on. Jordan is running after him asking me to help him put the diaper on Noah. He claims Noah won’t hold still. I have no idea what he’s talking about. Noah always holds still when he’s getting his diaper changed. Ha…not.

I wrangle the diaper on Noah and he decides he wants to nurse. The bath must have been calming because he falls asleep. I’m not sure if he’ll stay asleep or if he’s going to consider this just a nap. There’s no point in waking him so I let him sleep. He has been kind of off today anyway.

Jordan and I talk and watch a little TV.


It was just a nap. Noah wakes up and starts playing. We say our nightly prayers as a family. I attempt to go to bed with Noah and Jordan. Noah starts blowing wet raspberries all over my stomach, stopping every now and then to laugh at himself. Jordan jokes that it sounds like I ate a bunch of bad Mexican food. After a while Noah and I go hang out in the living room so that Jordan can get some sleep.


I read Noah books, we build with some legos. I answer Noah’s constant stream of “This?” as he points to everything asking what it is.  He’s running around showing no signs of exhaustion. I’m bored so I decide to turn on the TV. I skim through the channels and end up on QVC. I find it amusing to watch these people try and sell porcelain reindeer. The over use of the words “rich”, “durable”, and “limited quantity” make their subliminal marking strategy not so subliminal.

Did you make it through the whole day? Or did you just skim? I really wouldn’t mind if you just skimmed, I’m not sure I would actually have read through the whole day either.

Winding Road

The Dinner that Failed

Ever make a recipe and it just turns out so awful that you wonder if someone just pulled a prank on the Pinterst world? We had one of those last night. Granted, it is partially my fault for choosing the recipe in the first place.

Noah was cranky when I was trying to meal plan for the week, so it was a little rushed. I skimmed the recipe, realized I had the ingredients and just put it on the menu.


When it actually came to making the recipe I noticed that there were no seasonings in this sweet potato, black bean veggie burger. It was just sweet potato, black beans corn and flour. I threw in some chili powder, salt and pepper to add a little finesse. It didn’t work. Or at least it wasn’t enough. Noah was clingy so I really didn’t have the time to try and fix it more than what I already did.

I am trying to go Dairy free for a couple weeks because of the eczema on my hands that just won’t clear up. So top the nasty burgers with soy cheese and you’ve got a whole lot of nasty on my homemade hamburger buns.


It was gross. Jordan normally is very nice, but he bluntly told me this was “not a make again”.

Have you ever tried a new recipe and had it not turn out so great?

Cloth Diapering for Under $70

How To Cloth Diaper for Under $70

I’m guest posting over at  Messy Wife, Blessed Life today!

One of the biggest costs associated with having a baby is diapers. When we had our son Noah, we started out using disposables and I was amazed by how many diapers we were going through every day. It only took a few months before we decided to switch to cloth diapers. While it can save a lot of money in the long run, the initial start-up cost can be intimidating, especially when a lot of the diapers out there are $20 a piece. We didn’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on cloth diapers, so I scoured the internet for ways to cloth diaper our son on a tight budget.

During my research, I stumbled on this article about a recent Yale study showing that 1 in 12 low income mothers can’t afford to buy diapers for their babies. Often times these mothers have to choose between buying food and buying diapers, forcing them to reuse disposable diapers. Hearing that broke my heart. I couldn’t imagine how hard that would be for a mother and I wanted to find a way to help.

I’ve found at least four options that will fit even the tightest budget. Each option includes the basics needed to start cloth diapering for $70 or less. continue reading at Messy Wife, Blessed Life…

This is my first official guest post and I had so much fun writing it. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I’ve recently gotten passionate about is making sure all babies can wear a clean diaper.

While you’re visiting Messy Wife, Blessed Life, I hope you read through some of Mandi’s inspiring posts. She has great insights on motherhood, marriage and life in general.