Monday, July 21, 2014

Rasberry Kefir Popsicles

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#KefirCreations  #CollectiveBias
Raspberry Kefir Popsicles
Raspberry Kefir Popsicles
Raspberry Kefir Popsicles
Raspberry Kefir Popsicles
Raspberry Kefir Popsicles

It's summertime and it's still hot and I keep making popsicles (raspberry kefir this time) like my life depends on it!

I was super excited when Lifeway asked me to make a recipe with their kefir since I have been eyeing it at the store for ages and this was the perfect excuse to dig in. I wish I hadn't waited so long, everything I've made with it has been delicious—it's actually amazing just straight up too—and it's chock-full of probiotics. I'm a big fan of things that are good for you and tasty!

You can mix it into pancakes (think sourdough flavor), make a healthy tangy ranch dip or mix it into smoothies or your morning granola.

If you're looking for a healthy snack to cool you off, definitely give these a shot. They are super delicious, refreshing, healthy and soooo easy. You could mix and match any berry or fruit combo. I want to try a peach strawberry version next!

Raspberry Kefir Popsicles
(makes 10)

1 1/2 cups kefir —I used Lifeway. You can sign up on their website to get a pretty awesome coupon
1 1/2 cups raspberries, frozen or fresh
1/4 cup honey or sweetener of choice

Mix all ingredients in a blender until the berries are completely blended and pour into popsicle molds (I use these ones from amazon) and freeze!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DIY blended coffee and other almond milk recipes

“This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.” #silkalmondblends #collectivebias
DIY Blended Coffee - Recipes with almond milk

I've been drinking smoothies with almond milk for years, I'm pretty sure that is lesson #1 in How to be a vegetarian. It's easier on your stomach, has fewer calories, a little boost of protein and gives your smoothies a subtle nutty flavor. Lately, my morning smoothie has been switched out with a morning blended coffee. Two birds, one stone!

Portland is having a major heat wave right now and all I want to do is lay on the couch with something cold to drink and not move all day (have I mentioned that almost no houses here have A/C?). The hot weather is not my favorite but I'll take any excuse to drink frozen coffee all day. Or these peach-mango-almond milk popsicles too!

The "icy"-ness of these type of drinks usually melt pretty fast so you have to sip quick—or maybe thats just me and my crazy hot house right now.

DIY Blended Coffee - Recipes with almond milk

Blended Coffee

1 cup cooled double strength coffee—I used a french press to brew mine)
1/2 cup silk almond milk—I used the silk almond milk protein + fiber  which I found at Safeway
2-3 tablespoons of honey or desired sweetener
1 cup ice

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until everything is mixed and the ice is super fine. I used a vitamix so it only took about 10 seconds. Any blender of food processor will do the trick though!

DIY Blended Coffee - Recipes with almond milk
DIY Blended Coffee - Recipes with almond milk
^^lovingly picking out my silk almond milk + staying cool in the refrigerator section!

DIY Blended coffee - recipes with almond milk

Hope you're staying cool with frozen treats too! If you try out this recipe, let me know (and tag me if you post it on instagram!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Taking stock

Taking Stock - June
(outtake from my puff paint peter pan collar tutorial)

Making : A colorful DIY pillow that I'll be sharing soon

Cooking : Avocado basil pasta—a summer favorite

Drinking : Cold brew coffee

Reading: Hands Free Mama still...

Wanting: To be swimming somewhere tropical

Playing: The fault in our stars soundtrack (it's real good)

Sewing: Crib sheets

Wishing: time would slow down!

Enjoying: The slow days at home playing with Beck

Liking: The cool-for-june weather (70 degrees—yes please)

Wondering: If I'll ever be good at returning emails

Hoping: to get rid of a bunch of stuff before we move in 2 weeks

Marveling: at how quick Beck is learning new things

Needing: to want less...

Smelling: the smell of rain through the open window next to me

Wearing: jumpsuits and rompers... everyday

Thinking: I should go on a sugar fast really soon

Feeling: ^ like I don't want to :)

Bookmarking: popsicle recipes

Play along! I could read these all day (Taking stock idea from here)

Friday, June 20, 2014

The minimalist hospital bag - What to pack

Packing the hospital bag is a pretty exciting milestone in pregnancy—you're getting so close to meeting baby! I wanted to bring the bare minimum but still feel adequately prepared and like I had everything I needed or wanted. And yet I still overpacked somehow! Here's my list of the things I ended up using and finding essential. The minimalist hospital bag - What to pack
Nursing Tank & Jersey Skirt  - These were a MUST for me because I absolutely despise hospital gowns. I knew I wouldn't be comfortable in one so I asked if I could wear a short stretchy skirt and nursing tank and they said OF COURSE! It was comfortable, allowed me to move freely and I felt totally normal walking the halls. Plus there's something about being in "regular" clothes that made the whole experience feel really everyday and normal and less I'm-stuck-in-a-hospital.
You'll want to be sure to check with your OB or midwives beforehand but I can't imagine it'd ever be a problem.

Black slippers - I'm not a barefoot kind of girl so I bought a pair of little black ballerina slippers for walking around during labor and wearing in bed for recovery also. I still wear them around the house everyday, I love them

Journal - I wanted to write down little snippets of what I was feeling (emotionally and psychically) during labor and the sweet first memories with your little baby. You're so tired and there are definitely things you won't remember unless you write it down. This also came in handy for keeping track of nursing times and baby poops, which I didn't expect to do but the hospital wants to know these things :)

Bike shorts - When all is said and done you'll obviously be very tender "down there" and to keep all the pads and ice packs in place I just slipped on some bike shorts over everything (even the mesh panties). It keeps it all nice and tight against you even when you're maneuvering in and out of the bed. This saved me from a lot of pad/ice pack rearranging... if you know what I mean.

Nursing dress/shirt - Getting the hang of nursing (even if the baby latches great) takes a lot of work so bring something that makes it super easy on you. This isn't the time to fiddle with holding up a t-shirt while trying to nurse.  I had a dress very similar to the one above and it was perfect. We had tons of visitors the day after Beck was born and I felt totally comfortable and presentable in the dress. The nursing tanks would be good too!

Not pictured:
Make-up - Call me vain but lots of photos are taken during this whole deal and I wanted to make myself feel as nice as I could. This was important to me but it may not be to you! I even put on waterproof eyeliner in between contractions...

Knot hat - Because the pink and blue hospital ones aren't the best. We got one of these and he not only wore it in the hospital but at home all the time too!

Swaddle Blanket - We used the hospital ones the first day but they aren't very soft or cozy so we used the one we brought, plus you'll need something to cover the baby up with when you're going home.

Footed PJ's (newborn size) - It really isn't necessary to bring multiple outfits, socks, hand mittens, ect. Beck was only in the hospital kimono style onsie and swaddled the first day and we changed him into little footed pj's the next day and took him home in that. 

There are other things you'll want there but these are totally obvious and I'm sure you don't need a list to tell you that you'll want/need them, like: Cell phone/charger, toiletries, wallet, ect

And here's what you DON'T need:

Pads - the hospital will you give you plenty and even send you home with some
Diapers and wipes - same as above
Breast pads - your milk probably won't have even come in by the time you leave the hospital (mine didn't) but even if it does the hospital has these too
Pacifier - It's usually a no-no to use one so soon if you're breastfeeding but even so, the hospital gave us one to take home
Nursing cover - Believe me, the last thing you'll care about is covering up while nursing at the hospital.
Pillows/Boppy - I didn't bring either of these and I didn't miss them. The nurses will bring you as many pillows as you want so its one less thing to pack and have to carry around with you.
Dvd's or books - I had a pretty relaxing labor but still the farthest thing from my mind was sitting in bed and watching a tv show... I can't imagine you'd want to be doing that if labor was super intense either.

I also didn't care about snacks, drinks, candles, suckers, ect.

Hope this helps and if you have a question about something I packed or didn't, ask away!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Afternoons in the park (and a GIVEAWAY)

The weather has been pretty perfect the last couple weeks which has meant many trips to the park close to our house. We usually just sit under some shade and read or talk. It's my happy place. We also introduced Beck to the baby swings and he smiles and laughs the entire time.

Since he's getting pretty mobile (not crawling but somehow getting around everywhere) we started bringing the Breeze playard with us so he can play and roll without grabbing twigs or grass (maybe i'm over protective but I'm pretty sure those things are covered in animal feces). Plus it really comes in handy when our park time overlaps with nap time.

Afternoons in the park
Afternoons in the park
Afternoons in the park
Afternoons in the park
Afternoons in the park

Edit: 4moms brought to my attention that the breeze should only be used on hard surfaces so I took down the photos I had in this post with the breeze on the grass. Safety first of course! But you can still see how amazing the breeze is in the photo from 4moms above :) 

I'm gonna brag on the Breeze for a second, ok? I have dealt with quite a few playards and they are pretty cumbersome to put together and take apart. I don't know if thats where the name came from but Breeze is the perfect description for it, one-step open and closed (watch the video and see for yourself). The first time Josh took it out he was like "Whoa.. that's amazing. And easy." It's also not ugly, which I know doesn't matter that much but I love when baby products are minimal and classy, not loud and obnoxious. I'm a breeze believer, for sure. It'll also be a lifesaver once summer hits and we need a sand free spot for him at the beach.

Now for the best part of this post, 4moms is giving me one of these to give to YOU!

To enter: Leave a comment below and tell me how you would use your breeze. (I'm using rafflecopter to keep track of the comments so make sure you click on the widget saying you left a comment)

You can also earn 4 more entries by liking 4moms and Vanilla & Lace on Facebook (optional)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

They are also giving away a breeze every day in June on their facebook page, so you have 24 more chances to win a breeze.

Good luck!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Beck at 6 months

Beck - 6 months
Beck - 6 months
Beck - 6 months
Beck - 6 months

A whole half a year has passed since this little guy made his way into our lives. It seems impossible. But watching him learn and grow is so much fun (and also bittersweet)

At 6 months:

He has two teeth (ouch) and more coming in. He rolls and scoots all around. Speaking of rolls, he has lots of those. We've introduced a few foods: his favorites are butternut squash and a pear/spinach combo. He the happiest and most easy going baby, even on the rough teething days. He jumps and jumps any chance he can get. He's finally napping on a regular schedule (hallelujah). He has my eyes but still mostly looks like Josh. Our favorite nickname for him is Roo and thats what we call him the most.

Now time... slow down pleeeease!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

DIY Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap

DIY Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap
DIY Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap

There's a DIY craze right now, I'm sure you're well aware of it (hello pinterest)! I'm a big fan but usually only if it means I'm saving money. I say all that because you might be thinking "Are you serious? Just buy the dang liquid soap!" I feel that way half the time I see DIY things but when you see how easy and cheap this is, you'll change your tune. This one got me!

I love Mrs. Meyers soap, we've been using it forever and I'm obsessed with the basil scent. I was perusing every aisle at Target (as you do) and I found the bar soap and knew immediately I had to be one of those people and make my own liquid hand soap. It was actually really fun and took all of 10 minutes actual hands on time... can't beat that.

So lets break it down:
The liquid soap usually costs around $3.99 for a 12.5 oz bottle... So a gallon would cost approximately $40!

Since I already had the glycerin all I had to buy was the bar of soap which was $3.99. That's like 90% off, which makes the crazy frugal lady inside me very happy.

Like I said I got my soap from Target. If they don't have it, you can get it on amazon! It's a couple dollars more but still so cheap considering how much soap it makes.

To make the soap you'll need:

1 bar of soap
2 tablespoons glycerin

Heat up a gallon of water in a very large pot over medium-high heat
Grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater (This was my favorite part, its very satisfying)
Add the soap to the hot water. Stir occasionally. When the soap has melted completely, add the 2 tablespoons of glycerin and remove the pot from the heat
Let the mixture sit for about 12 hours or until the soap has "set"

Mine didn't take quite 12 hours. I took a whisk to it when I noticed it was cool and gelatinous.
The consistency was perfect, exactly like the kind you buy. However if your mixture is too thick you can add a little bit more water to get the consistency you need!

How easy is that? And now you don't have to buy soap for a year (or more?!)

DIY Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap
DIY Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Social media!

pretty macarons pretty macarons

Soooo I finally made an official facebook page for this blog! I guess facebook is a big deal or something? ;) If you want, I'd love for you to go "like" it. I'll make it worth your while!

You can also find me on twitter, usually talking about my kid, asking for advice or retweeting Friends' quotes. There's instagram and pinterest too!

And last but not least, do you use Bloglovin? Its my favorite blog reader site; so clean and easy to organize. You can follow this blog through there too!

Now your turn! If you blog, would you leave a comment with a link to it! I'd love to check it out and add it to my bloglovin list!