Tag Archives: green baby

Bumbledoo Review: Converted Prefolds!

When I first started exploring the world of cloth diapers, I really wanted to use prefolds. Not only were they inexpensive and one of the most natural choices, but there was something about the look, feel, and very idea of a prefold that made me feel a little bit more connected with so many generations of moms before me, ones that didn’t have the luxury of snaps, aplix or PLU.

Call me old fashioned, but hanging prefolds out on the line just gives me the sense that I am part of a tribe bigger than I can imagine! <<happy sigh>>

But when it came time to use my prefolds, my plan fell apart a little. I either bought diapers that were too big or I was just really bad at folding them, and my poor Little Man was left nearly unable to walk with the wads of fabric under his diaper cover. Poor kid. :(

So, I tried a few pocket diapers and the rest is history. I was hooked, and Dada and Grammie loved them too (which is SO important!) But, as all cloth mommies know, pocket diapers can get expensive…and I had a bunch of nice, soft, practically new prefolds just sitting around…

That’s when I found the talented Malia at Bumbledoo!

Malia does prefold conversions, so I sent her 3 of my prefolds to have them converted into fitted diapers. I thought it might make them easier to use, and WOW! It really did!

As soon as the holiday spending is done, I’m having 5 more converted!

But what IS a converted prefold? I’ll show you…

Here is one of my standard unbleached Indian cotton diaper service quality (DSQ) prefolds, before conversion:

And here’s what it looked like after conversion:

SO much easier to use! No folding, no need for pins or a snappi…just put it on, snap a cover over it, and go!

There’s even an extra soaker layer sewn in, and some snug elastic around the legs to keep messes in (we’ve had no leaks with these.)

Here, you can see how trim the diaper fits now (under a Thirsties cover.)

No lumps, no wadded up fabric. Little Man is totally comfy!

If you have any prefolds laying around that just didn’t seem to work for you, I urge you to have them converted to fitteds! Malia’s prices are very reasonable (some as low as $3.50!) so it’s a great way to increase your stash of fluff for only a few bucks! Or, if you’re just starting out, you could buy a few new prefolds and have them converted right off the bat. You’ll still save a lot over traditional fitteds (some run close to $20 each!)

If you’re into something a little fancier, Malia offers lots of customization. You can have colored fabric or even PUL added! Needs snaps? No problem. She’ll do that, too. For a full list of prices and offerings, along with Bumbledoo’s full range of products, visit Bumbledoo.com

Look for:

  • Diapers
  • Diaper Accessories
  • Bumble Pockets
  • Bumble Booties
  • Toddler Aprons
  • Mama Pads
  • Nursing Covers
  • Nursing Pads
  • Wee Pouches

Every time I reach for one of my converted prefolds, I get a little twinge of satisfaction knowing I made use of something I already had instead of buying something new. Love that.

Tell Bumbledoo that ABCs and Garden Peas sent you! ;)

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Do you use prefolds? Do you find them easy to use? Difficult? Would you consider having them converted?

Malia had an auction on her Facebook page and I bid on my 3 prefold conversions at a reduced price. I received no compensation for this review and the opinions mine, based solely on personal experience with the products/services mentioned.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Product & Service Reviews

Sweet Potato Casserole, with a Sunny Twist!

Shhhh...don’t tell the Santa. I’ve been a very naughty blogger.

I’ve been just terrible about taking photos lately, and it’s been an eternity since I’ve passed along a good recipe.

But I’d like to make it up to you with my favorite sweet potato casserole recipe!

As a kid, I love the toasted marshmallow casserole that came loaded with brown sugar. But now, I’m kind of over it. I’ve replaced the candy-fest with a casserole that’s just different enough to pique everyone’s interest at the holiday dinner table, and just traditional enough that everyone will welcome it as a familiar favorite. It has the warmth of autumn’s sweet potato harvest and the bright, sunny taste of orange, nestled under a sweet, tangy topping with just a little crunch.

Yom. :D

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but it actually comes from Eating Well Magazine. (Brilliant folks, they are. Eating Well never lets me down!) To find the original recipe, click here.

Those familiar with my blog will know that I couldn’t just leave the recipe as is, untinkered with, so I made a few small changes to suit my tastes. (I cut the salt in half, substituted agave nectar for the honey, left out the eggs and butter, and used coconut oil rather than canola. I also added some dried cranberries for texture and a tangy kick of flavor.)

But I did leave ALL of the freshly grated orange zest. In fact, I may have gone a bit heavy on it. It’s my favorite part of this recipe, and one of my favorite ingredients in general because it adds SO much fresh flavor, eliminating (or cutting down) the need for less healthy ingredients like fat, sugar and salt.

And although I don’t have a recipe photo for you, I do have a photo of the very beginning of the taters we used to make this casserole for Thanksgiving. (A small reminder that colder weather will NOT last forever…the green will come back someday!)

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe, with a Sunny Twist!

adapted from Eating Well Magazine

Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk (may substitute coconut milk for a vegan recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate (frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preparation:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
  2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″ square (or similar 2-qt) baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk oil and agave nectar in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Add cranberries and stir to distribute evenly throughout mixture. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish.*
  4. To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and oil in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35–45 minutes.

*A note to those with toddlers: I think this is a great toddler recipe, but there are many differing opinions on when to introduce nuts and/or tree nuts to your child. If you are concerned about reactions with the pecans in this recipe, reserve a small amount of sweet potato mixture for baby before adding the cranberries and pecan topping.

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Filed under Green Living, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

A Friday Full of Good Things

Bah, HUMBUG.

Yes, I can be a bit of a Grinch. I’m not sure why, really,  but I’m just not that into Christmas. 8O

I’m hoping my views change as my son gets older, but the consumer madness (coupled with short, dark days full of ice and snow) really gets me down. I much prefer the lovely “bloomy” feeling of spring! :D

But yesterday, a few things happened that lifted me a bit from my funk and, yes, I just may have felt a twinge of holiday happiness! (But if you tell anyone I said that, I’ll totally deny it!)

1. The local radio station played my Flashback Friday request first, so I got to ROCK OUT to Paul Simon’s Me and Julio on my commute–just me and my big cup of gingerbread decaf! (Usually, it’s Sesame Street or Signing Time songs…over and over and over…)

2. My husband was off with Little Man while I was at the office. Not really a good thing in itself (bummed me out a little), but when I got home, I found out that my two favorite boys took a field trip to a Fair Trade Fair at the local university and brought me back some chocolate! Lots of points for the dada today. He rocked it.

3. The office Holiday Cookie BEER Exchange! Glancing around our biggest meeting room and seeing 24 cases of festive microbrews, imports (and even a homebrew or two) definitely helped with my humbuggery! I now have a lovely mixed case of 24 different beers, and I’m finally at a point with breastfeeding where I feel OK about splitting one unique bottle each night with my husband. Look out! I’m back on the sauce! (Yeah, um, not really. But sampling new beers sure beats the cookies of years past…bleh!)

4. Little Man learned something new that just melted me into a puddle. I said “Kiss, kiss” and he leaned his forehead toward my mouth, so I could kiss it, then erupted into giggles once I did. He did it, like, a hundred times. Too cute! :)

So, since happiness is a’brewin over here, I’m going to pass a little of it along to you! I happen to have a brand new one-size Kawaii pocket diaper in white, and since we can’t use velcro anymore (he’s figured out how to pull it off! ) I’m going to give it away!

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Mandatory Entry:

Just leave me a comment here letting me know one good thing that made a recent day really happy, holiday-related or not. Make them good ones, folks – we still have a few weeks of this holiday stuff to get through, and I need the inspiration!

Extra entries:

  • Follow me on Twitter @ABCGP and tweet this giveaway (may tweet up to 2x daily. At least one hour apart, please!) Leave me a comment with tweet URL for each. Here’s a tweet to get you started: ‘Tis the season to win a one size Kawaii #clothdiaper at ABCs and Garden Peas! Ends 12/30. http://wp.me/pTRQh-xJ
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog and/or post about it on a forum where cloth mamas might see it! Leave me a comment with a link (2 entries for this one if you do both.)

Entries will be open through the end of day on Thursday, Dec 30th. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified via email on Friday, Dec 31th.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize via email or a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to EVERYONE! Good Luck!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering

Could you eat the same thing every day?

When I talk about cooking in batches so that my family can avoid fast food and eat well even when our schedule is out of control, I often get the same response:

“Oh, I couldn’t do that. I can’t eat the same thing 2 days in a row.”

Really? My first reaction is “Sheesh. Picky much?:roll:

Not me. In fact, back when my relationship with food was, well, less than healthy, I ate the same exact thing for 12 weeks straight.

Yup, every day, the same food. I figured out the calories, and in my mind, I couldn’t go wrong. Here was my menu (I don’t think I’ll ever forget it):

  • Breakfast: One double fiber English muffin with one Morningstar Farms meatless sausage patty
  • Lunch: One frozen diet entree (approx. 300 calories)
  • Dinner: 3 oz tilapia and one bag of Steamfresh broccoli

That was it, for 12 weeks straight. It worked, too – I lost a good 25 pounds!

Since then, however, I’ve learned that such monotony is no way to live, and that kind of restriction and deprivation aren’t healthy for my body, mind or spirit. Losing the processed foods and experimenting with more whole ingredients reminded me of the wide world of beautiful food out there that I was missing, and I’ve been on a new, much more balanced path ever since…

But, one aspect of the diet stuck with me: How EASY it was! Admittedly, it was no way to achieve and maintain good health, but knowing exactly what I needed at the store, and exactly what I would be cooking each night, took a ton of weight off my shoulders!

So, now that my schedule is beyond maxed out, I’m calling on the better parts of my old diet plan to help me stay on target! Those prepared, processed and even “drive-thru” foods look SO good on nights when it’s late and I’m tired, but they sure don’t make me feel good at all (and now that little man is eating with us, I have to plan meals with as many natural and organic ingredients that he can enjoy, too.) So my new mission is to write up a menu when I get a little time during the week, shop on Sunday, and prepare as much as possible in advance to help my weekday self out!

Last week’s plan? I roasted a chicken on Sunday and served it with homemade gravy, smashed potatoes and spinach from our winter garden.

On Monday, shredded chicken was tucked into tortillas with a touch of cheese to make quesadillas. We paired them with some fresh organic salsa, guacamole, hummus and a touch of plain Greek yogurt (all of Little Man’s favorites! You should have seen him chow down!

On Tuesday, the small amount of remaining chicken was sauteed in a skillet with some garlic, then layered in a bowl with black beans and the remainder of the salsa, guac, and yogurt.

By Wednesday, we were ready for something different, so we had easy baked salmon, leftover black beans and steamed veggies (an extra salmon filet doubled as lunch at Grammie’s house for 2 extra days!)

Thursday? Pizza piled high with mushrooms and diced veggies from our summer garden harvest. For Little Man, some lentil veggie blend that we had on hand for him (no pizza for him just yet!)

(Sure, you could argue that chicken 3 nights in a row is a lot, but to make a chicken stretch that far, the actual portion sizes need to be really small. We do a lot of meatless nights, but when we do eat meat, we try to make sure it is only a small component in the meal.)

Bonus? There was almost nothing last week that my husband couldn’t help prepare! There wasn’t one night all week that either of us spent more than 10 minutes preparing dinner!

This week? A turkey! I’m thinking sandwiches, followed by soup with lots of fresh veggies!

As a blogger and admitted foodie, I’d much rather be preparing interesting meals off the cuff each night, based on what’s fresh and seasonal and what “food mood” I might be in at that particular moment, but right now it just isn’t an option, and I have to be realistic. There have been too many nights when the day’s gotten away from me and we wind up with no plan for dinner, and that’s when unhealthy foods infiltrate my kitchen. I have a responsibility not only to my family, but to myself as well, to make good, real food a priority.

And to those who say “No” to eating the same thing a few days in a row, I would just say that I’m very thankful to have the choice!

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Do you ever cook in batches, or plan your meals in advance? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

One Whole Year: My little boy’s first birthday!

 I just can’t get over how much I’m loving motherhood so far, and how much there is to learn! My sweet, funny little boy has really completed me, and I fall more and more in love with him every day! I even told him so in a letter, which has been sealed away in a birthday card, to be opened by him a long, long time from now.

Here’s a peek into our day…

A Harvest Spice cake with a simple organic vanilla buttercreme for the birthday boy…(I’ll be sharing the recipe in a post very soon…)

And here are the cupcakes I made for the adults, based on the ones I saw on the cover of this cupcake book.
They aren’t very bright because I used turmeric and a speck of carrot juice instead of yellow food dye, but aren’t they the cutest? :)

Cute ducky cupcakes for baby's first birthday. Colored with turmeric and a touch of carrot (except for the faces.)

Look who crashed the duck party! It’s Boon Duck Bob! We love Bob! (Especially now that we’ve moved up to the big tub!)

Cute ducky cupcakes! Hey, who's that Odd Duck in there? #Boon

Our new Boon duckie was joined by a set of blocks from Uncle Goose (they’re gorgeous!), a Wheelie Bee (recommended by Kim at The Girl is a Mom. Thanks, Kim!) a Green Toys dump truck, a sleepy donkey from Under the Nile, lots of books and more. It felt like Christmas! Even though it was low-key, there was a lot of excitement and no nap. But, true to form, our boy held up like a champ.

Where did the year go? It seems like just yesterday I met this new love…

Well, here’s to year 2! I can’t wait to see what it’s like to mother a toddler. 8O

Oh, wait. I have one more surprise! Head on back to the One Whole Year main post and leave this comment:  ”I read your ducky post” for one last bonus entry into the package giveaway! ;)

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday