Monday, October 28, 2013

Holiday Special

Well, another giveaway has come and gone and our winner is....

Amanda West!!!

Amanda, you should have received an email on Saturday regarding your prize. Please get in touch with us TODAY and claim your custom longies!

But wait, there is more! I know you are probably disappointed if your name is not Amanda West, however, there is still a chance for you to get some fabulous longies from The Raspberry Patch Boutique at a steal! For the next seven days you can purchase a package from Malina for nearly $20 less than the regular price!!

Usually, the package below would cost almost $60 after shipping! If you private message the code: HOLY GUACAMOLE to Malina at The Raspberry Patch Boutique, she will ship these 3 items to you for the price below! You could buy Christmas gifts, or just pick up some awesome goodies for your favorite kiddo!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five on Friday!

Wow, is it really Friday again? Where did the week go?

ONE.
Re-reading a jewel this week. There are not many books I can read over and over again, this is one of the few. In every season of my soul it has spoken truth to me. One of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Give Me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to Me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to Me, give yourself to Me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.” 
No half measures will do.
TWO.
Teething babies are no fun. Really and truly. However, teething makes you appreciate your happy, babbling, excited baby so much more! This has been one of my most challenging weeks as a mommy to date. Blaze has cut his two front teeth, a molar, and one of his incisors all in a matter of 7 days! We have cried together, whined together, and learned together more this week than any week of his life so far!

THREE.
I am really, really, really looking forward to the return of this show come January! So I can live vicariously through its characters (in my imaginary world, I am a midwife that does home births, in case anyone is wondering).
Call the Midwife!

FOUR.
We planned to go to Burt's Pumpkin Farm last Saturday. Sometimes my plans are disregarded. LOL. So, this Saturday we will go to Deal's Pumpkin Farm. I even invited some friends so my dearest, most beloved husband cannot thwart my desire to have pictures of our family at a Pumpkin Patch each Fall!

FIVE.
I kind of have baby fever. I know, I know, I have a baby! Yet, something inside of me is ready for another one. Not too sure if it is my age, or just because I always wanted my kids close together so they would be pals. Either way, I would not be upset at all if another one showed up in the near future.....maybe our 3 year old foster child will fix me!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five on.....

Obviously, this should have been posted yesterday, however, I was busy welcoming this angel into the world!
6lbs 11oz of pure joy!
Nora Rose!

This mom is kick butt during contractions!
 ONE.
Sophie the Giraffe made a comeback this week. Little man worked hard cutting his top two teeth aaaaaaaaand a MOLAR! Yep, my 9 month old now has a molar. It would be nice if frozen wash cloths and mesh feeders would soothe his teething woes, but Blaze only likes Sophie, well, and Hyland's teething tablets. Maybe he won't get anymore teeth for a while.
Yes, we have two!

TWO.

Without fear of the future....
During my time with the Word this week, I have been drawn to this scripture and all it requires. For years, I just dove into whatever new venture was before me, without fear of the future. To be honest, most of my early adulthood, I envied the future, looked forward to it, reveled in the beauty of it. Now, as a mother, the future contains so much completely out of my control. This babe in my arms is swiftly growing into an independent boy, to soon become a young man. He will form his own opinions and make his own choices - good or bad, I will only be able to share my thoughts with him, I won't have the final say. THAT SCARES ME.

I want Blaze to live a life dedicated to God.
I want his future to be filled with success, joy, health, and good character.

Yet, I really don't get much say in the matter.
This week, I have been trying to come to terms with that and still laugh without fear of the future.

THREE.
Our third anniversary is soon approaching. We found a cabin and are going to spend some wonderful time in the woods with some of our dearest friends (and previous pastors). I have not looked forward to a vacation this much in a long time. Blaze is old enough now that he actually enjoys certain things too. There is this wonderful Thai Food restaurant in the area we are staying, and I am sincerely hoping my dear husband takes me there for our anniversary dinner! The owner is from Thailand and her food is outrageously delicious! Only 33 days and we are off to celebrate!
Moments before we left for our very first anniversary trip; we still looked like newlyweds!
FOUR.
Party planning has begun (can you sense I am a planner?)! Blaze will be ONE in less than 3 months! Be still my heart! I keep wavering between a super simple family and closest friends only event or a big bash with all his baby buddies included too. We don't have a very big budget since his birthday falls in our "Crazy Holiday" season - from November to February it feels like we have a major holiday/celebration every week. In chronological order: our anniversary, our nephew's birthday, Thanksgiving, my mother-in-love's birthday, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, Blaze's birthdays, my birthday, and Valentine's Day!


So far, the plan is to do a circus themed party. I found some adorable ideas on various sites and I already purchased a custom made diaper for his big day! My next hurdle is planning the cake sweet treat that will hold birthday candles. We don't plan on giving him any refined sugar or any grains until around two years old.....maybe I can create a fresh fruit tart?
http://strawberry-chic.blogspot.com/2012/02/simple-circus-birthday.html
FIVE.
Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!
We are headed to Burt's Farm tomorrow with my parents and I am really looking forward to starting a Fall family tradition!
http://www.burtsfarm.com/

Hope you enjoyed your week! Don't forget to sign up for our current giveaway!



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Plumber Issues?

So, my son is in the 99th percentile.
For weight.
For height.
35+lbs and 31 inches at only 9 1/2 months old.
He wears 24 month and 2T clothing and is nearly the height and over the weight of your average 2 year old.
He takes a couple steps here and there and stands by himself.

Most of you already know we cloth diaper. The above stats can make finding a good quality, great fitting cloth diaper a challenge. It has been a great experience overall and we are very happy with our choice. However, if you cloth diaper you know you are always working on some part of your system. For us, we found the type of diapers that work (you can read more about that here), but now we occasionally have fit issues. We do buy used cloth diapers sometimes and the best brands for our big boy are Heidi Oh and Little Fancy Pants in a size 2. They work well and fit well, but at $25-40 a piece new, they stay kind of out of reach for us.

So, how do I find a diaper that covers my son's, er, crack adorable bum, and not pay a lot of money for it? While purchasing used diapers I bought some Work At Home Mom (WAHM) brand diapers for only $5 a piece, and fell in LOVE! They are cute, soft, they hold his pee, and they fit!!!

Snuggly Baby Boutique is the shop name. Check out how adorable my baby is these are.
I ordered some new ones with some money I made selling off our pocket diaper stash, and I am so impressed!
I might just have to buy 10 more and use only her diapers! Anyone feel like donating $150 to our cause?

Since we are so pleased with her diapers, I thought I would do a review of them so others can get an understanding of just what I love about them and why they work so well for us. I was not asked to do this review, nor did I receive anything in return for doing it. Although I am hoping she might let me host a giveaway one day!

I am going to cover several categories that I find important when choosing diapers for our son, and rate each on a scale of 1 to 5.

5 - Go buy these diapers, NOW!
4 - Reliable, should definitely own a few.
3 - Good diaper, not perfect.
2 - Eh, it is okay, get one used?
1 - I really want to like them, but....no.

Absorbency - 4 out of 5

I own 10 different brands of hybrid and fitted diapers. These are up there with the best of them when it comes to absorbency. It took us a few months to find diapers that he does not pee through right after he is changed. Last night, Blaze wore one of our used Snuggly Baby diapers with an added bamboo soaker and NO WOOL or cover over it, just his pajamas. He went to bed at 10pm and woke at 8:30am.....his diaper was soaked all the way around, but his clothes, the bed, and I were not! The diaper held all the moisture and did not leak. I consider this a HUGE selling point. The only reason I do not give this category a 5 is that I do have some hybrids that do not get as damp on the exterior when used overnight. All in all, this diaper is very absorbent. 

Customer Service - 5 out of 5

Hands down, Kim was easy to communicate with, listened to my requests, and created a product that I like. She kept me updated every few days by asking me questions about specific details I wanted (snap colors, interior fabric options, etc.), and let me know when she shipped the diapers. She even let me make two separate payments! Also, she makes more than one type of diaper, you can order AI2s, pockets, covers, and fitteds from the same place!

Dad Appeal - 4 out of 5

This is kind of specific to my baby's dad. He has big hands. Diapers with snaps are a challenge for him. He also is not so great with figuring out the best way to position soakers. Velcro/Aplix is the way to go for my husband, That said, this diaper is pretty straight forward. Snaps, a soaker, bam! We like it.

Cost - 5 out of 5

Folks, you just can't complain when you get to choose your sizing, fabric, colors, and type of diaper for only $15 plus shipping. Seriously, I have purchased used diapers for what I paid to get these custom made for my son. Enough said.

Drying Time - 4 out of 5

I think this really depends on what the out fabric is made of. My two used Snuggly Baby diapers dry differently. One is a knit and the other is a woven. The woven dries pretty quickly (35 minutes because we use 8 wool dryer balls), but the knit often comes out of the dryer and the exterior is slightly damp. I usually just hang it to finish drying. The snap in soakers actually dry faster than my Heidi Oh and Little Fancy Pants soakers.

The Fit - 4 out of 5

As I said before, this is a big deal for us. We buy diapers and they fit his waist but show his crack, or they cover his bum but are too tight in the waist. Half the time I am not sure if it is a rise issue or a waist issue. Our first two Snuggly Baby diapers fit Blaze pretty well, although he occasionally had that plumber's crack bottom going on. They were cut as a One Size (os), to fit 8-35lbs and he was pushing 35lbs when we purchased them. He actually had quite a bit of room to spare in the waist.

Our most recent purchase from Snuggly Baby Boutique were custom made larges with a little extra added to the rise. They are a great fit for Blaze. He actually has room to grow in the waist and rise! 

Another note about these diapers and fit: they are not bulky. Compared to other hybrids in our collection, I would consider these pretty thin actually. He still has a darling fluffy butt, but it is not overwhelming. I could slip pants over these diapers quite easily.

Cuteness - 5 out of 5

This one is easy! Snuggly Baby Boutique has lots of fabrics to choose from, a variety of snap colors, and plenty of interior choices. These diapers are pretty much designed to your taste exactly and then she makes them for you! Adorable, adorable, adorable!

So, there you have it! I found a great diaper for a great price at Snuggly Baby Boutique and so can you!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wooly Little Bottom

As you have probably figured out by now, we cloth diaper our son.
I love it.
It is economical, better for his health, and environmentally less taxing.

And an entirely new world.
Blaze is now 9 months and I think we finally have navigated through the cloth diaper world.
Our destination: fitteds/hybrids/flats and covers.
You can read more about our routine here.

Today I want to share another place in Cloth Diaper world. It is called Wool.
Oh wool! Intimidating until you handle it yourself.
No, you can't just toss it in the washer.
However, for my friends that cloth diaper, you understand the value of a nighttime system that works!

And wool works.
If you find the right diaper to go underneath your wool, you will NEVER have a leak.
We haven't in 3 months.
It is very, very nice not being wakened by a warm bath on my belly and hips around 5am each morning.

My favorite place to get wool: The Raspberry Patch Boutique

Listen, wool longies and shorties can completely ruin the economical part of cloth diapering. Some companies charge anywhere from $60 to $150 for longies or shorties. Malina, of the boutique above keeps hers below $20 a piece including shipping! Not only that, but she is mom to 6 beautiful children (ages 7 weeks, 17 months, 3, 6, 7, and 9 years old) while providing her family's sole income! She started out creating doll/play sized cloth items and eventually fell in love with the idea of making the real thing! She enjoys shopping for fabrics and at one time, her entire dining room was covered in them!

An example of applique Malina does.
These belong to Blaze!





























I have purchased multiple items from Malina and her product is well made, plus, her customer service is stellar. Once, something I ordered was not a great fit for my son....she made two brand new ones and shipped them to me free of charge!

If you cloth diaper, I strongly recommend checking out her shop! And.....getting in on this GIVEAWAY!!!

Yes! The Raspberry Patch Boutique is sponsoring a giveaway! One blessed mama (or daddy) and their baby will get to work with Malina to create a custom pair of longies with an applique of their choice! Wool or fleece, you pick!

Enter. Share. Win. Yay!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Namesake

It has been asked for time and again.
The recipe.
That inspired.
This blog.

SarahRuth's Holy Guacamole (endearingly deemed "holy" by the husband).

In all its glory.


  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 small/yellow onion
  • 1T fresh, minced garlic (in a pinch, organic garlic powder will suffice; 1t)
  • 1 small tomato or 1 can of lime and cilantro Ro-tel
  • Juice of 1 lime or 1T lemon or lime juice
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Dice your onion and your tomato and throw in a bowl. If you use a can of ro-tel, drain it first and then put in a bowl with the onion. Also put your garlic in the bowl. Cut your ripe (squishy ripe) avocados into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss all remaining ingredients and your avocado in the bowl. Use a fork (or your fingers, or your child's fingers) to mash the ingredients together. We enjoy ours pretty chunky so I don't mash much. If you like a smooth guacamole pour all of your ingredients in the blender. Voila!

Note: I choose organic produce and spices for my family.

So simple. So good.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ch-ch-ch CHIA!

The 80s were stellar! I couldn't resist!
Did you have a chia pet?
If you did, I bet you were born in the 80s!
It is items like this that show my age. I tell the girls at my church I am 74 1/2 plus 2 weeks. I can't stand to think I am nearly twice their age (more than twice some of their ages). Where, oh where, has the time gone?

So, back to the future folks! Along with my morning coffee (which is currently this Fall version), I have been finishing off a bag of chia seeds my good friend brought with her to our home during her last visit before leaving for China!
Anna on the right, Blaze's God-mother; my very best friend sister!
Apparently, chia seeds are quite healthy. Did you know that one tablespoon of chia seeds contains the following?

  • Fiber - 5 grams
  • Total Fat - 3 grams
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Alpha Linolenic Acid) - 2.9 grams
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acids - 0.31
  • Saturated Fatty Acids - 0.41 grams
  • Calcium - 92 milligrams
  • Magnesium - 44 milligrams
  • Iron - 1 milligrams
  • Zinc - .75 milligrams
  • Niacin - 1.5 milligrams
  • Folate - 7 micrograms
  • Vitamin A - 7 International Units
When my chia seeds are not donated by amazing friends, I like to get mine from Amazon. This is the brand I like.

I prepare my chia breakfast pudding the night before I plan on eating it. Reminiscent of tapioca or rice pudding (I enjoy both) due to its texture, this is a great morning meal with a good kick of protein if you prepare it as I describe below.

Good Morning Chia Pudding

  • 1c organic milk (you can sub any type of milk - coconut, almond, rice)
  • 1t organic or homemade vanilla
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Put in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 2 hours). Enjoy!

You can add in any of the following:
  • Dried cranberries
  • Slivered almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Shredded coconut
  • Bananas
In my bowl this morning! Just delicious!


Mocha Chia Pudding


  • ½c brewed coffee (chilled)
  • ½c organic milk (again, any type works)
  • 1T organic almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1t organic or homemade vanilla
  • 1T gelatin
  • 2-3T grade B maple syrup
  • 1T unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
  • ¼c chia seeds
Blend all of your ingredients EXCEPT THE CHIA SEEDS in your blender or food processor until well incorporated. Pour the mixture over your chia seeds. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before eating (I let mine sit overnight).

I hope you enjoy this delightful breakfast treat as much as I do. It is definitely my go to breakfast at the moment. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tastes Like Fall II


My very favorite fall stew is the sweet and savory Mulligatawny. An Indian curried soup, with a delightful mix of root vegetables and fruit. I prepare mine in the crock pot. Every year, in early or mid October, I bring out this food splattered, hand written recipe; my beloved friend Hannah-Joy introduced us to this culinary delight, and we have enjoyed it each Autumn since she first prepared it for my husband and I while we were still dating six years ago! We have added our own personal touches, and it has become a staple in our home!

Oh, and I use entirely organic and/or local ingredients for ours.

MULLIGATAWNY STEW

A sweet and savory Indian inspired dish. This recipe provides
8 ample servings. Nicely paired with rice or naan.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2lbs Chicken (thigh or breast)
  • 2 apples (any kind but granny smith)
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 turnip
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 4 red skinned potatoes
  • 1/2c golden raisins
  • 1/2c currants
  • 10 carrots
  • 3T brown sugar
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1T Himalayan pink salt
  • 2T coconut oil or real butter
  • 1/2t nutmeg
  • 1t coriander
  • 1t allspice
  • 1/2t clove
  • 1/8t cardamom
  • 1-4T curry powder (based on how strong you like your curry)
  • pepper, to taste


DIRECTIONS

1.   Heat your coconut oil in a skillet. Chop and add the garlic and onion. Caramelize.
2.   Scoop out your caramelized onion-garlic mixture and add your chicken, curry powder, and ¼ cup water in the same skillet without washing or rinsing it out. Add the caramelized onion-garlic mixture back in. Brown on both sides. Cut into ¼ inch pieces.
3.   While your chicken browns, cut up all of your vegetables. Good sized chunks work best for this recipe (1/4-1 inch).
4.   Toss all of your ingredients together in the crock pot.
5.   Make sure to add all of the juice from cooking your chicken.
6.   Fill your crock pot with water until only ½ inch of the veggies are not covered.
7.   Cook on low for 8-12 hours, stirring occasionally.


Serve hot over rice or with homemade naan. May also be garnished with cashews. I often eat mine topped with extra sharp white cheddar cheese.

If you would like to print a recipe card for this recipe, I made one for you! It can be viewed here.
Mulligatawny stew is fully endorsed by this adorable 9 month old. 


If you click on any of the ingredient links it will take you to Amazon, which is where I purchase many items for cooking. I participate in the Amazon Affiliate program where I receive a very small commission if you purchase something through one of my links.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five On Friday!

ONE.
Do you meal plan? Well, I do! Gearing up to make out the next two months' worth of plans. I usually only do a month at a time, but the next 8 weeks are so busy I figured I better get ahead. Our favorite family meal is white chicken enchiladas with homemade salsa and guacamole. Guacamole has a near holy status in our home (we eat it at least three times a week)!

TWO.
My son will be 9 months this coming Monday. NINE MONTHS. As in, he will be as many months as I carried him in the womb. This makes me sad, excited, scared, and joyful all at once. Our lives are so beautifully full with our little man crawling, er, walking around! Every night we sit in the glider and I nurse Blaze while singing over him and praying for his future. As I hold onto his solid little body and caress his back, head, feet, I am in awe of the Creator. How does He trust me with such greatness? What do I really have to offer this babe? All I know is He gave me one of the most precious jewels on this Earth. Every day is precious, every moment an opportunity to enjoy God's gift to us! My favorite pictures of our Blaze are when he is in pajamas! So sweet.
Morning snuggles.
THREE.
As of Monday we are three-fourths of the way to breastfeeding for ONE YEAR!!! I knew from the beginning I planned to nurse Blaze for at least a year. Now that we are in it, that goal has shifted to at least two years. I cannot describe the beauty of our relationship. It took quite a bit of time and effort at the very beginning, but once we figured it all out, it has been one of my favorite parts of motherhood. There is nothing like looking at your sweet chunk, his little rolls, and bright, healthy eyes knowing you nourished it all with your own body! 

And of course, nursing brings on this as well:


FOUR.
Dances, human videos, monologues, solos, casting, scripts, and schedules, oh my! I kind of volunteered to head up our church's annual Christmas production. This includes writing the script, choreographing 4 dances and a human video, creating the power points, designing the set, and a lot of other things I cannot even fathom right now! Here is to hoping I can pull it off with excellence.

FIVE.
Our third wedding anniversary is swiftly approaching. My husband has requested three days of work. We don;t have much of a budget, but would really love to go somewhere this year, since last year I was only 7 weeks from my due date and we only went out to eat. We are not exactly sure what we want to do. Camp? A cabin? November 20th is perfect weather for camping, we just aren't too sure about taking a 10 month old camping!