Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cloth Diapers

I'm sorry to have another post about this - but I am so frustrated and getting discouraged with the whole cloth diaper thing after over a year of no problems.

Now, the diapers do not really smell in the pail - I washed them seven times to "strip" them and cleaned out the pail really good to start everything fresh. So that seems to be working.

The problem I am now having is that when I go to change Emily - the diaper smells so strong (when just wet) that I can hardly breathe. This is not an exaggeration.

The other problem is that after being back in cloth for less than 48 hours since I did all of the above - she is starting to get a little bit of rash. We have never had a problem with this and I am wondering what is starting this now?

I have not changed detergents, added anything different to the diaper pail (I don't add anything right now), or changed anything about my routine of washing them. The only different thing is that they were washed so many times recently.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what the problem is? Thanks for any help you can provide - my budget thanks you too because if this keeps up - I may consider switching to disposables (and I don't really want to).

Monday, January 30, 2006

My Weekend

It was a very nice weekend where I felt like I got a lot accomplished!

I helped at church with a New Mom's Brunch - by doing some decorating - which was a fun way to start my Saturday! And then did a bunch of chores at home.

A friend called with extra seats to our Women's Center (like a crisis pregnancy center) Fundraising Banquet - and I'd been interested in going, but it was pretty expensive. So, it worked out in the end that I was able to go! It was really great and I am glad I went.

The key note speaker was Janet Parshall and she did an excellent job presenting information about several issues in Washington DC right now relating to the sanctity of life. I learned a lot and was reminded again that our country as a whole does not value life.

Sunday brought church and a relaxing afternoon...hope you all had a nice weekend too!

Friday, January 27, 2006

From the Archives

Scanning through some photo files yesterday afternoon, I found some favorites I have never shared. Hope you enjoy the random sampling of photos!

Once in a while our neighbor brings us flowers that her florist friend cannot sell ~ I really enjoyed these pretty pink roses!

Ocean waves and foam - taken at Ormond Beach, Florida last Fall.

Taken at sunset one evening from a boat landing near our house.

An adorable little pumpkin from my Mom's garden!

Stairs inside the Hunting Island Beach Lighthouse.

At our Thanksgiving table - a simple votive.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Blah is what I feel about my blog this week - I can't seem to think of anything even remotely interesting to post here. Hmmm, blah is kind of how I've felt this week - maybe there is a connection. All I can say is that I am anxiously awaiting the end of the first trimester sickness! And, should be almost there.

As for blog inspiration, I have some Valentine's Day ideas swimming around that I want to share but am forcing myself to wait until Feb 1st hits the calendar.

I apologize to those of you who actually read this that it has been so boring this week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cookies and Milk for Emily

Enjoying a cookie!

Asking for "more".

Yummy, I like milk and cookies!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Humble Pie

I recently had a post regarding the price of tortillas at Wal-Mart. They did not raise the price of the name brand tortillas - I was apparently looking at the price for a different size package.

Regardless of my sometimes less than loving thoughts toward Wal-Mart - I should not have believed the worst about their business practices and especially wanted to correct my error.


Ok, I've just figured out the 0-12 month clothing sizes and now I am curious about the "T" sizes for kids clothes. Since I shop ahead and clearances, I am looking at the bigger sizes for Emily now. So, here is what I can't figure out:

- Is a 2T the same as 24 months? Or does 2T come after that?
- Is a 4T the same as a 4? Or do the single numbers pick up after the "T" sizes?

Thanks for helping!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In My Oven

It is Saturday morning and everyone in my house is still sleeping! I love getting up and making something yummy for breakfast that is ready when others get up!

Here is what is in my oven right now:

New York Crumb Cake

Mix together:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix and press into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

In a separate bowl mix together:
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 sticks cold butter or margarine

Cut together until mixture resembles crumbs. Crumble over the top of the batter. Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Recipe from: Martha Stewart

Friday, January 20, 2006

Apple Tree

I have always wanted to grow apples. I love canning apples: apple pie filling, applesauce, apple butter, I even made my own apple juice one year.

Anyway, I finally decided to try growing them. The Coastal South is not an ideal location for trying this. But, I had a coupon for a plant company and they have a lifetime guarantee to either give you a new plant or your money back if things do not work according to your satisfaction.

So, I decided - it really isn't that much of a risk. It is a tree that has five kinds of apples on one tree so that it self-pollinates the other types. Big help if you don't want to buy five apple trees!

I am not counting on getting any apples for the first several years - but it will be so hard to wait! I just hope that it survives and produces apples!

This article will be a big help - any other tips?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Homemade Staples

No, I haven't resorted to bending and forming my own staples for holding papers together! I'm talking about food staples!

Aside from the usual tips for saving on your grocery bill: clipping coupons, shopping sales, not buying convenience foods, etc... I also like to make some things from scratch. I know others of you do too, as I've been reading such posts on your blogs lately!

Two of my favorite recipes for these homemade food items are for Cream Soup Mix and Maple Syrup. I store both in the refrigerator in glass canning jars. Enjoy!

Maple Syrup

Combine in saucepan:
1 3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. water

Bring to a boil, cover, and cook one minute. Cool slightly.

1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

Cover saucepan for a few minutes as syrup cooks to melt down crystals; helps prevent syrup from crystallizing later in storage.

From: More With Less Cookbook

Cream Soup Mix

2 c. powdered milk
3/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. chicken bouillon
2 Tbsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. basil leaves
1 tsp. thyme, ground
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients in an airtight container. When you have a recipe that calls for cream of chicken soup, blend 1/3 c. of dry mixture with 1 1/4 c. cold water. Cook, stirring until thickened. Use as recipe requires.

From: Joan Nusbaum

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

From My Garden

I think Pansies are the happiest flowers! I wish I could personally deliver some to each of you today ~ hope you can enjoy them from here!

Diaper Cake!

I made this "cake" of diapers for my friend's baby shower scheduled for this Saturday! She is expecting her third baby and therefore has many of the items she already needs, so practical is the way to go for her!

But, I didn't want to just give her a gift bag with two packages of diapers in it. I wanted it to look cute and more fun! So, remembered receiving one of these myself and decided to try my hand at making one. It did take a little time, but wasn't too hard. The one I received had little rattles, spoons, etc... tied on, but I chose to tie on little cards with Bible verses about the blessings of children on them.

When I looked for directions on-line, I found that they were very different looking than the cake I had received, so I made this one from memory as best I could. Start with a cardboard tube or piece of a cardboard box taped into a circle. Layer diapers inside each other and go around and around. Tie the first diaper onto the cardboard base with ribbon and then tie around the entire layer with ribbon.

On this cake, I used two packages (48 each) of diapers and a little less than 6 yards of ribbon. I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Great Gift!

My Mom gave me this book for Christmas! It is so very good. Sunday afternoon, David built a fire in the fireplace for me, moved the rocking chair in front of it and while Emily was napping, I spent about an hour and a half of uninterrupted reading time! It was heavenly!

I have only read the first two chapters - but can tell this will be a book I'll enjoy for many years to come. It is part storybook, part cookbook, part how-to book, and lots of inspiration.

MaryJane Butters is an organic farmer, homemaker, and lover of all things simple and pure. There are sections in this book on sewing, gardening, cooking, friends, etc...

You can visit her web site (which is also full of info) by clicking here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Can You Help?

Two questions for all you moms out there!

1. How do you teach a 14 month old to respect books and not tear them? I want her to be able to play with them because she loves books and likes to look at the pictures, feel the textures, etc... but, I do not want her to think it is acceptable to rip them to shreds.

2. Any suggestions for keeping the cloth diapers waiting to be washed from smelling? I have two bins (both with lids) that I keep for the diapers. The wet ones go into the larger bin and the dirty ones soak in water in the smaller bin. I wash them twice a week. Here is the problem, the wet ones really start to smell after about 24-36 hours. I've tried water to soak, bleach/water to soak (ruined two diapers and one cover that way) and am willing to try any other suggestions. I've even tried washing every other day. None of these options seems to be THE answer. I don't mind the cloth diapers and it is really working out very well - except for this problem.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Submit A Name!

As we enter 2006, I am pleased to say that our family will be growing! We are expecting a baby in early August!

With Emily, we kept the name a secret and came up with an "alternate" and gender-neutral name to call her in the meantime so we had something to call the poor child! We called her "Moonbeam".

Well, the time is upon us to come up with another such name to call this baby and we are having a hard time thinking of something. So, can you help? Please submit any ideas! Thanks!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Broccoli Chicken Fettucini Alfredo

I have tried tons of homemade alfredo recipes - and not one has ever really turned out very well. I have finally found a mix made by McCormick that is very yummy and easy! I love making this for dinner!

1 bunch broccoli flowerets, cut into bites and steamed
1 pkg. McCormick Alfredo mix
1 c. milk and 3 T. butter for mix
1 chicken breast cut into chunks
Fettucini noodles

In a skillet, place a small amount of oil. Brown chunks of chicken and remove from pan. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and prepare according to package directions. In the skillet, melt butter and stir in milk and alfredo mix. Stir well with whisk. Cook until thickened. Stir in broccoli, chicken, and drained fettucini. Serve!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Yesterday I did my monthly grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. One item I buy nearly every visit is tortillas. And this trip was no different.

But, what I found in the tortilla aisle was a bit different and, if you ask me, sneaky of Wal-Mart. I used to always buy the "Mission" tortillas for $1.56 for a package of 10. I noticed that they have come out with their own store brand of tortillas so I was checking the prices. They have raised the price of the "Mission" tortillas to $2.44 and made theirs 2/$3!

I did not want to buy the store brand merely on principle of them doing this, but why would I pay almost $1 more? And, *that* my friends, is why Wal-Mart has the reputation with me that they do.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Going to the doctor...

Somewhere I read about a mom who took her daughter to the doctor and took along her robe, so that when she needed to undress, she could be more comfortable waiting in her own robe.

I decided to give it a try myself - hating the paper covers they give you to "wear". It was great! My dr. did not mind and I was much more comfortable waiting. A little planning ahead can make the visit (or at least the waiting) more pleasant!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Cute Little One!

Happy New Year from Emily!
Enjoying her red wagon - a
loving and special gift from Daddy for
the whole family!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Thrill!

Oh, how I love Target clearance racks! Especially at our closest Target!

Now, those of you who have been with me very much know that I have been highly disappointed in the customer service I receive at this particular Target and though today was a good experience, overall they are still very lacking. But, here is the diamond in the rough. If you are willing to be the thorny customer who asks how much something is that is not marked, has no bar code, was on a clearance rack, and seems to be the only one in the store - you can usually get a good deal!

Today, my deals included a play grocery cart for Emily which I am planning to save for her birthday. I think I'll fill it with play food and dishes I got at a thrift store last summer! And, two boxes of "Making Memories" brand card making kits regularly hideously priced, purchased today for just $1 each because they were probably ready to get rid of me (and the clearance merchandise) ! By the way, if anyone reading this receives one of these card kits as a gift - try to forget you've read all of this! :)

I left excited about my deals and even though it is a pain to ask and I hate to be one of "those" customers, it is worth the effort and time to do it.

If you've ever been around my Mom or I for even a short time, you've probably overheard, "I just love Target clearance!".

Cookbook Arrival!

My free cookbook arrived this week! I wasn't expecting it until March! If you're interested, check out page 55 for my Broccoli Chicken Lasagna recipe! Fun!

Update: The ladies at Gooseberry Patch are always requesting new recipes and ideas. If you are interested in getting a free cookbook, submit your ideas and recipes and if chosen - you'll receive one!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Well, I am finally back after a two week absence! It gets so busy around the holidays - blogging is one thing that gets put aside.

But, we had a wonderful time in Colorado celebrating Christmas (no snow though) and all our travels went smoothly.

Now, I feel like I'm in a super clean mode after the holidays (usually am) and I keep telling myself it is too early for Spring Cleaning. But, I'd like to work on a few organizing projects anyway.

January is such a month of fresh starts it feels like - what is January to you?