Cut up food for baby quicker! #Momhack

Mom hack: A quicker way to cut up baby food into tiny pieces

Do you regularly need to cut up food into little pieces? Try using a pizza cutter.

Every baby hits a magical age when he eats real solids (that aren’t liquid). You are not sure how much those four front teeth will really cut into the food, and you start chopping.  And chopping. And chopping.

For me, I spent plenty of time cutting ZJ’s food into baby portions. We transitioned into some baby-led weaning techniques that didn’t require a knife, but we did our fair share of slicing and dicing in the beginning.

A pizza cutter would make the task that much quicker!

 

Easiest way to clean your shower curtain liner

Clean your shower curtain liner effortlessly. Yes, this hack works!

The easiest way to clean your shower curtain liner is to throw it out and buy a new one.

I used to do this all the time. Until I ran across this hack.

Just throw your liner in the washing machine, add detergent and push start. No pre-scrubbing is needed! You will want to add a few small towels to balance the load. After the wash and spin cycle, the liner will look brand new.  Then just re-hang it in your shower to let it air dry.

I was so happy that I didn’t have to scrub, or better yet, replace my liners anymore.

One small step in making bathroom cleaning easier!

Clean your shower curtain liner

Before

Scummy liners no more!

After!

Alternatives for Halloween giving

What’s in your pumpkin? Alternatives to Halloween candy

Our family is trying something new this year for Halloween: we’re handing out miniature Play-Doh tubs. What a delightfully messy alternative to candy!

We are not opposed to giving out Halloween candy, and in fact, we’ll still give some out.

Halloween giving alternatives to candy

This was a spur-of-the-moment decision.  While at BJs wholesale club, we found this 80 pack of Play-Doh cans. It was relatively inexpensive and we thought it was fun.

Of course this supports healthy kids by eliminating some of the candy in their pumpkins, but more so, we wanted to hand out something that would last longer than a momentary sugar rush.

As we consider the tween set that may come by our house, we will likely supplement our Play-Dohs with candy bars. We are still figuring out the details.

Here are some resources if you are considering eliminating some, or all, of your edible treats this Halloween:

1.  Mommy Poppins has some great ideas in this blog post for those too old for Play-Doh. The blogger recommends visiting Oriental Trading Company’s website, where you can find tons of Halloween novelty items in bulk. Check out these Halloween tattoos here.  whoppee cushions or googly eyeballs are also recommended.

2. Check out 10 Ways to Wow Your Trick or Treaters Without Candy by Tip Junkie. What an amazing resource to create non-edible Halloween treats for kids of all ages. This site has quite a few DIY tutorials if that’s your thing.

3. The Jenny Revolution has 50+ recommendations for candy alternatives. I particularly like the idea of handing out glow sticksmini koosh balls or mini slinkies.

Today we have so many options for Halloween treats. Our family will start this year by giving out Play-Doh and see how that goes. Luckily, any leftovers can be used for next year!

Alternatives to Halloween Candy

Dear Mom who is about to give birth

Dear mom who is about to give birth

Recently, a good friend was gathering advice to share with a soon-to-be mom who was expecting any day. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been at that point but it made me think. What advice did I receive? What helped me through the beginning of this journey?

It inspired me to write a letter. I may need this advice again sooner or later.

Dear future mom,

Your son or daughter is already a part of your life as she kicks and hiccups and does somersaults in your tummy. I’d love to give you solid advice on what you are about to go through, but I can’t. This particular journey is individual. It’s unique and special to you and your child.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned since my son’s birth is that there is no one-size-fits-all guidebook to giving birth and being a new mom.  However, my friends helped with some key points which I will share with you:

1. The Birth: It will likely be different than what you imagine.

No matter how you give birth — in a hospital, at home, in a tub, in a operating room, in a car, with drugs, without drugs, with a midwife, or even adoption — you can’t predict your exact childbirth experience. It’s easy to get disappointed if you do and you’ll miss the beauty of welcoming the new one to your family.

Your baby is going to come out at his or her own speed. Just focus on providing warm and accepting arms for your new one, no matter how it occurs.

2. The meeting: Don’t be upset if you don’t immediately fall head over heals in love with your child. For some, there will be an instant bond. For me. I cared for my son immediately but it took months to fully bond.

You may need time to get to know your child. Or you may not. It will come. Let that bond happen on both of your timelines. Don’t let TV or a friend’s experience set the bar for what you feel.

3. The first month: It’s okay if your first month is a little difficult. You may panic. You may not. But if you do, get support. Pray or meditate. Hug your child. Call a friend. And know it will get better. Get more support if needed.

Again, it’s an individual experience and you shouldn’t compare it with anyone else’s.

I was told that something magical happens one month after the birth and it did. Breastfeeding became easier. The baby’s sleep was a little more predictable. I became more confident as a mom. You have a little more time to make better meals for yourself.

You start to remember who you were before you gave birth.

At the beginning I fought this journey. I did not gracefully enter motherhood and it’s comical that I am even writing this letter now. I was not a model first-time mom.

But now I see how my life is changing for the better — how I am being pushed to grow in ways I didn’t know I needed to.

I’ve learned to give up expectations of how my days should go. They rarely follow my plans, and at first this frustrated me. Well, it still frustrates me a little, but I’ve learned a bit more patience, and a bit more grace.

I also learned that a hug from your child is much more rewarding than a clean living room.

Now I love my new life and I would not have it any other way.

So the best piece of advice I received: Just let go of your expectations and enjoy the experience. Just wait long enough and whatever circumstance you are dealing with will likely change for the better. At least, it did for me.

Enjoy the journey!

P.S. Yes, in case you were wondering, you will sleep again.

Microwave hack: DIY popcorn. Healthier, cheaper and super easy!

Microwave hack: Make your own {cheaper and healthier} popcorn in a bag

Did you know that you can make your own microwave air-popped popcorn bag? I am not sure why I didn’t think about this before. It’s genius.

You simply put popcorn kernels in a paper bag and it works just like the ones you buy at the grocery store. What’s better about this method is that it’s healthier, cheaper and you can control the portion size!

I was inspired by this article in The Christian Science Monitor that gives a great overview.

Microwave hack: DIY popcorn. Healthier, cheaper and super easy!

All you need is a brown paper lunch bag and corn kernels. And, of course, a microwave.

1. Place about 1/3 cup of corn kernels in a brown lunch bag.

2. Seal the bag the best you can by folding it a couple times in various directions.

3. Microwave. It took about 2 minutes in mine but you will need to figure out what is the best timing for your microwave.

Microwave hack: DIY popcorn. Healthier, cheaper and super easy!

4. Toppings! Because the bag is not lined, it’s probably wise to add your toppings after the fact. The first time I tried this, I added salt and butter. I am looking forward to trying kettle corn seasoning soon.

I’ve made this twice so far and have not been disappointed. It’s cheaper and I am happy that I know EXACTLY what ingredients are going into my food.