One Recipe, 3 Meals-My Mom’s Lasagna

Posted 11-27-2013 at 08:45 AM by happysmileylady

My mom makes awesome lasagna.  Despite the fact that I have been out of my parents house for over 15 years now, and married for almost 12, I have never before attempted to make it.  It intimidated me.  It is one of those things that is so good at home, in it’s original environment, that it’s hard to imagine that any other version could do justice to the original.  Well, after watching Garfield for several weeks now, I got a craving for lasagna so I decided to try it.  I first called my mom for the recipe and she emailed it to me.  I made sure to list all the ingredients on my grocery list and made sure to plan to make it on a day when I would have the time, because like most good meals, it can take longer than a half hour to make.

This recipe is not sized up for feeding a large group, however, it does use a 9X13 pan and is very filling.  There are 6 in my family, although 2 do not eat full sized portions yet.  My family can easily get 2 dinners out of one pan of this lasagna, especially when paired with a salad.  If you are feeding a smaller family, you might be able to get even more meals out of this one recipe.  In addition to the pan of lasagna, there is a lot of leftover sauce and other ingredients.  So after the lasagna is put together the leftover ingredients are used to make a second dish for a third meal.


1lb of lasagna noodles, cooked, drained and rinsed

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 lb each of ground beef and ground sausage

1  28oz can of diced Italian tomatoes

3 6oz cans of Italian tomato paste

2 cups of water

Diaper Swapers

Non-Toxic Polish Choices For Breastfeeding Moms

Posted 11-27-2013 at 08:06 AM by yoliyoda

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the effort and energy to doll myself up–hair, nails, and makeup. However, now it has been almost 4 months and now I’m getting back into the swing of things. But, some beauty routines simply have to change to adapt to my little one. While I had already thought that my large hoop earring would have to be shelved until further notice, there was another aspect of my beauty routine that I hadn’t thought of changing until recently: my nail polish.

Like many breastfeeding mamas, at times I find it necessary to stick my index finger between my little one’s gums, into his mouth, to break his suction on my nipple. Until recently I had only thought of my hands simply needing to be clean, not toxin free. I recently did a cute style on my nails. I was admiring them when the smell of chemicals hit me. It wasn’t until the first time after that when I placed my finger in him mouth did I wonder what my polish might taste or feel like to my little man.

So just what is in nail polish anyway? Every brand has different recipes, but most include “film forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents, and coloring agents” (DiscoveryHealth). One of the main ingredients is nitrocellulose. Guess where else you can find this ingredient? Dynamite.

In terms of plasticizers and resins, you might find amyl and butyl stearate, castor oil, glycerol, fatty acids and acetic acids. Butyl Stearate is a known irritant.  Acetic Acid can be used to treat ear infections, but hasn’t been study for use in patients under the age of 3. Glycerol can be “ taken by mouth for weight loss, improving exercise

My Milk Sharing Journey: Part One

Posted 11-26-2013 at 09:55 AM by angelaw

After I gave birth to the twins via surrogacy, the parents asked if I would pump milk and send it to them. Of course I agreed. I don’t know if I realized what a commitment it would be, but knowing that I was giving them an amazing gift kept me going strong. I pumped every three hours round the clock for 6 months, collecting approximately 60-70 ounces daily that I would freeze and then ship to them once a week. I appreciated the extra calorie burn that came with making milk and I was quickly down to well below my pre-pregnancy weight in no time!

After the six month mark, I had some issues with the parents and I had decided to stop pumping and shipping to them. However, since I was pumping so often, just stopping would have caused some extreme engorgement. I chose to continue to pump and store the milk, but to slow down significantly on how often I would pump. I was pretty much weaning myself from the pump.

By the time I was done pumping completely (around 12 months postpartum), I had built up quite a stash of milk. I had heard from a lady I worked with about moms looking online for breast milk donations for their little ones. I decided to check it out. I will admit that at the time (before Facebook and other social media sites were a big deal) I had a tough time finding moms in need of milk. I, instead, came across many men who were looking for the milk for, um… “personal reasons”. After posting an ad on one site that I had milk available, I finally started getting some emails from somewhat local moms looking for milk.

Which Detergent Makes The Most Sense?

Posted 11-26-2013 at 09:38 AM by yoliyoda

Tide for our linens, Dreft for baby clothes, BumGenius for cloth diapers, homemade soap for everything else–it was all just too much!

It seems that if you asked 100 cloth diapering moms how they tackled laundry, you’d get 100 different responses. So, to see just how diverse viewpoints were, I took a poll here on the site. I asked moms what type of laundry detergent they preferred. As of the date of this article, of the moms that answered about 63% used a major-labeled brand, 15% used cloth diaper specific detergent, 14% used a home made or natural option, and 8% weren’t picky about what they used.

One of the detergents that I noticed kept coming up in the thread was Tide. Some mom’s opted for the Free & Gentle version, while others stuck to the traditional. Some moms used powder,  while I’ve heard other moms swear by the liquid. Some moms went for the more generic brands like Foca and Kirklands.

When it came to the natural store bought option, Charlie’s Soap kept being mentioned. For the price of $24 for 128 ounces, it is an affordable no-frills natural option for those who want to keep it basic. Allen’s Naturally Liquid, at around $42 for a gallon, was another option mentioned.

The option of making your own powder is always near and dear to me. I actually enjoy making our laundry soap, other household and beauty options. A few moms used SoapNuts, while others mixed their own concoctions. A few were even nice enough to share. One of the recipes is listed below for newbies.

 Other factors that came up in the discussion about which type of detergent was selected by moms for their cloth diaper loads is the type of washing machine that they had, and if the local water supply was hard. High Efficiency machines and standard top loader seem to need different type of soap. Also, just like hard water can

Cost Savings of Breastfeeding

Posted 11-22-2013 at 07:21 AM by angelaw

I guess I never really thought about it until recently, but there are HUGE savings for the breastfeeding mom’s family over using formula. I have nursed my two boys for well past their first year of life (youngest is 26 months and going strong!) and have never supplemented with formula. I honestly didn’t know how much it cost until I looked it up to make sure I was accurate before writing this blog.

I am part of an online baby and children’s resale group and noticed a lot more demand for formula. Even at a ‘discount’ mothers are paying around $15-17 a can from other moms on the site. I have heard that a can usually lasts around 3 days maybe up to 5 and that the retail of the average can of formula is around $25. So, just by nursing exclusively the first six months, I saved my family approximately $1500! Now, I’m sure that if I were to have chosen formula, I would have used coupons and shopped sales, so that may not be an exact. But, I think that my estimate is pretty close to the savings I have benefited from by breastfeeding and what I figured above was just for the first six months each time.

I won’t lie and say that there are no costs when you choose to breastfeed. I, myself, bought a breast pump and around 5 nursing bras and a couple nursing tank tops. I also would consider the increase in the cost I saw when I went to the grocery because of my ‘nursing mom’s appetite’. But, if I am supposed to add all of those up when comparing breastfeeding over formula feeding, I should probably consider all the bottles, bottle cleaning tools, drying rack, purified water, etc. that also come with formula feeding.

Handling SPD

Posted 11-22-2013 at 07:10 AM by whitneywalters

What is SPD?
– SPD or symphysis pubis dysfunction is a stiff joint the connects your pelvic halves. Your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which softens your ligaments to get your body ready for birth.
You pelvic joint moves a lot more during pregnancy, which can cause inflammation and pain. It may lead to SPD.

Common symptoms are -
Back, hip or pelvic pain.
A grinding or clicking feeling in your pelvic area. ( I had it with my last two pregnancies and again with my current. The best way I can describe the sensation is sand in your joints. )
Pain in your thighs. Often made worse by walking up stairs, getting out of bed and parting your legs.
Pain is often worse at night, making it hard to sleep.
If you get SPD in one pregnancy, you are likely to get it again. SPD can develop after pregnancy as well.

For more information –

I have had SPD in my past two pregnancies and again in my current. The first time I did not start getting symptoms until around thirty weeks, it was around twenty five  weeks the second time and now in my current pregnancy I started getting the pain at twenty weeks. There are several things you can do to try to lessen the pain. 

Storing Diapers Between Kids

Posted 11-16-2013 at 08:30 AM by whitneywalters

One of the greatest things about cloth diapers is the fact that you can use your stash for multiple children. There are proper ways to store your diapers in between children, making sure you are going to get the most use from your stash.

1. Cleaning
– You want to make sure that your kids are very clean before putting them away. I am in the process of cleaning all my OS diapers to store for when my baby ( who is due in Feb ) is bigger. I am going to strip them all and then sun them until they are completely dry.
Not cleaning your diapers could lead to them becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. You also need to make sure they are completely dry to avoid molding.

2. Proper storage
I will be storing all my diapers in a plastic tote on a shelf in my basement. You want to make sure your diapers are safe from water and critters. The last thing you want is to pull your diapers out and find mold or that they have been used for a nesting ground for mice.
Good plastic totes and space saver bags are a great way to store your diapers.
I have been told not to store diapers in sheds, garages or attics. Weather that is really hot or really cold is very hard on your diapers. Mine will be stored in the basement and we have a dehumidifier down there.

Cloth Diapers and Minimalism Do Not Mix

Posted 11-15-2013 at 02:12 PM by happysmileylady

First, I do not consider myself a minimalist.  I do however consider myself thrifty, my husband would say cheap, and often, thrifty and minimalist tendencies go hand in hand.  That’s why even though I am not a minimalist, I have a minimal amount of diapers.  I have always had two kids in cloth diapers at the same time.  I have never had more than 20 diapers at any one time.  I have always only purchased and used the absolute bare minimum of diapers I needed for my kids.  But there are drawbacks to this.  One of the drawbacks is that laundry must be done very frequently.  Then, because of that, it’s possible to run out of diapers.  And, all that washing over and over and over is hard on the diapers.  I have learned that when it comes to cloth diapers, there are good reasons not to be minimalist about them.

I have to do laundry every day.  My routine is pretty simple, but the entire process can take several hours.  First, I have to get the overnight diapers off the two kids.  This requires that I make sure I have at least one diaper for each still clean.  After changing them, I put the load of diaper laundry in the washer and run a single rinse cycle.  I keep the diapers in a dry pail and don’t rinse after I dump dirty diapers, so this initial rinse cycle is important to ensure they get clean.  This takes about a half hour to run.  After that, I run a full wash cycle, with detergent.  This takes another half hour or so.  Then, I hang them to dry, assuming it’s nice out.  It takes about 10 minutes or so to hang the entire load.  Then, the amount of time it takes to dry depends on how warm and dry and sunny it is out, but it takes a few hours.  I have AIOs now, which take longer.  Often, I have to pull at least two off the line and run them in the dryer for a short time in order to change the kids, because I have run out of diapers before the process is finished.  While I can still manage other tasks while waiting for cycles to finish or for the diapers to finish drying on the line, it still takes up a large portion of my day, every day.

As I mentioned, I often run out of diapers before they are totally dry.  I have heard it said that having cloth eliminates the late night runs to the store for a package of diapers.  It is true that all I have to do is wash them to get a new diaper, the reality is that having my child run around with no diaper on for

Storing Your Stash

Posted 11-15-2013 at 11:42 AM by whitneywalters

Now that you have your diaper stash you may be trying to figure out where to store it all. One thing about cloth diapers is that they take up a lot more room then disposables. How you store your stash is really up to you, there are a lot of great options out there.

When I first started cloth diapering I stored my stash in a rolling nursery storage station that I bought at babies r us. The storage area was made of fabric and it snapped onto a plastic frame. I thought it would be perfect and it was at first. As my diaper stash grew, the weight of my stash got to be to much and the snaps would come undone and the fabric would  collapse. I made due with it for the first three kids but once I got pregnant with my fourth and my third was still in diapers, I knew I wanted something else.

The room we have the nursery in is not a very big room. It is about a 10×10 space. You put a changing station, crib, toy box and other baby gear in there, the extra space is very limited. I needed somewhere to store my stash and did not want to use a dresser drawer. I needed room in the dresser for clothes and my diapers were to pretty to stick in a drawer and shut. I wanted them out to be seen and enjoyed.

How to Sew a Pocket AIO Cloth Diaper

Posted 11-15-2013 at 11:00 AM by JayJaysMama

This one of my favorite diapers to make. It combines the ease of a aio, with the practicality of the pocket diaper!

The insert once sewn agitates out of the diaper with ease!

I hope this video tutorial aids you in sewing up your very own pocket aio diaper!

Materials used:

  • Square Winged Pattern (my own)
  • Waterproof PUL Outer (22*22 inch diaper cut)
  • Suede Cloth Inner (22*22 inch cut)
  • Kam Snaps (or Hook and loop)
  • Polyester Thread (Guitermann)
  • Organic Hemp Fleece for the Insert! (1/4 yard)

Here are some photos of the finished product:


Until next time swappers,