homemade ginger: February 2011

80 Free Swagbucks!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Right now through Monday, Feb 28th, you can earn 80 Swagbucks for creating a new account!
Search & Win
If you aren't familiar, Swagbucks is a search engine that earns you money.  I was skeptical at first, but I have earned almost $100 in Amazon.com giftcards just by using swagbucks.com instead of google and also completing the ocassional survey.

I was able to buy these much needed shoes on Amazon for Lula:



As well as this potty chair (that she still refuses to sit on!)




I also stocked up on some Charlie's Soap which we use for our cloth diapers

Anyway, Swagbucks is a great thing if you want to earn a little extra money.  To learn more details on how Swagbucks works, you can read this previous post.
To get your 80 Swagbucks, type in the code: BirthdaySaving in the Swag Code box on the homepage after you have created your new account.

Homemade {Whole Grain} Baby Cereal

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


(If you stopped by from money saving mom, welcome! Feel free to check out more of homemade ginger!)



I was too intimidated to make homemade cereal for Lula, but I decided to take a stab at it the second time around.

Come to find out, it's super easy.  I also love that it is so frugal and healthy since you are able to use whole grains and control what goes into it.

(I adapted much of my info from wholesomebabyfood.com )
I made brown rice and oatmeal for Jane.  All you need is brown rice and old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind!)




Grind the rice or oatmeal in the blender to make a fine powder.  This will take a few minutes depending on how good your blender is.  The rice is a little more difficult to get finely ground.




When you are finished, you should have rice powder and oatmeal powder.



This step is not totally necessary, but you can sift the powder to make it even finer.  I did this with the rice powder because my blender isn't great and there were still some chunks in it.  I found the cereal came out much smoother in the end. But, you could skip this step if you want.



Most recipes I found called for 1/4 cup powder and 1 cup water, but I like to double it so that I have lots of extras that I can freeze. 








Boil 2 cups water and then add 1/2 cup of the powder.  Whisk frequently for 10 minutes.  Then, you are done!




You can save the extra powder for later.





When it's done cooking, it should be a fairly smooth cereal.  You can add breast milk, formula and/or pureed fruit.  If you feel the cereal is still a bit too thick, you could blend it once it's done cooking.




Stick a few servings in the fridge and put the rest in an ice cube tray to freeze. You could freeze the cereal by itself or mix it with a fruit and freeze.  This is my first time freezing the plain cereal, so I will have to report back to you if the texture was weird after thawing it.




The banana/rice mixture turned out great once thawed.  Once your ice cubes of cereal are frozen, pop the cubes in bags.  One cube is one ounce. 




Watch your baby enjoy!
  
*update! I found that the cereal is fine after thawing, but a tad on the "gummy" side.  as long as you mix it with a bit of water after thawing, it's fine.  however, after experimenting, my best recommendation is to mix the cereal with a fruit and then freeze.  This produces best results after thawing!
* you can store the leftover oatmeal and rice powder in a dry, cool location. leftover prepared cereal needs to be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours. Check out this website for more info about storage.


** If you are concerned about the fact that homemade baby cereal is not iron fortified, check out this great article!

Wonderful Wreaths

Monday, February 21, 2011

Even though spring isn't quite here yet, my winter wreath is looking a bit too "wintry" these days.  Maybe if I make a new spring wreath, the weather will follow suit. 

I'm not sure what route I'll go...ruffles? burlap? another yarn one? felt? so many options. Here are some ones I'm loving right now!


I love this felt ruffled wreath. It's so simple and elegant...and it looks so easy to do!




How fun is this Monogram wreath? So different and fun!





This modern wreath would look so cute in bright springy colors.





It would be super easy to recreate this sweet easter wreath from pottery barn.






I'm in love with this one from 33 shades of green. So fresh!




I don't think I could attempt to make this, but it's so beautiful. It's just perfect for spring.  You can buy it on Etsy here!



I can't decide what to make! I will let you all know what creation I end up with!

Featured!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Remember when I painted my brick fireplace?


Well, it's being featured on Remodelaholic

Go check it out!




Baby Boy Shower


Over the weekend I helped host a baby shower for a friend from church who is due with a boy in a few weeks! I had so much fun decorating with boy things since I don't get to do that often! We decided to do bright primary colors for the decor and I think it turned out pretty cute!






I made a paper flag banner which was so easy. I've seen these around online and I love the one I sewed for Jane's room.  All I did was cut out triangles and sew them together with my sewing machine.



I hung the banners all around the house.







I had enough paper leftover to make some tiny flags for the cupcakes.

I made Martha Stewart's coconut cupcakes, which were super yummy!







I also made the Pioneer Woman's phyllo mushroom bundles.  They look fancy, but only require a few ingredients. And they were so good! 






I also had so much fun picking out boy fabric to make some burp cloths and bibs.  The burp clothes have 2 layers of flannel to make them super thick and absorbent.


The bibs are also lined with flannel.  I added some rick rack to jazz things up a bit. 


Can't wait to meet that new baby boy!

A Valentine Post (a few days late)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011



I meant to post this on Monday, but I've been confined to bed with a high fever for the past 36 hours or so. 

I'm starting to feel human again, so I'm getting around to blogging.  My wonderful husband brought me these beautiful flowers above for Valentine's day.  He actually brings me flowers quite often because he's awesome like that. The ladies at the flower shop know him because he's a "regular". 

I made Lula some jammies for her Valentine's day present. She's very picky about her pajamas, but she liked these!!


The pattern for the pajama pants was so easy. It probably took me 30 minutes to sew them.  I did the flower design on her shirt using a freezer paper stencil. (There are so many tutorials for this online, it's so addicting!)

Since Lula is very skinny and yet very tall, she needed a size 1 in the pattern, but the length of her legs are super long. The jammies came out rather short, so I added some cute ruffles at the bottom

I think they look cuter this way! I will have to do a tutorial on these easy ruffles soon.



I'm going to have to make more of these pajama pants. They would be the perfect project for someone who has never sewn. So easy!

Of course, I couldn't leave Jane out...


I decided to add some fancy ruffles to her bib.
I love projects that can be complete from start to finish during naptime!




Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

100 Followers Giveaway Winner...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Using random.org to select a winner...(there were 86 entries!)

The winner of the fabulous fat quarters is...

Commenter #4, Haley!

Congrats, Haley, I know you will  make something super fun.

I will contact you with details. :)

Thanks everyone, I plan on doing more giveaways soon!

Baby Food + Dirty Diapers = Yuck

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I've been doing some of this lately...




Homemade baby food is really so simple. 

Jane is loving the sweet potatoes...

But it makes her diapers extra nasty.

Which is a problem when your baby wears cloth diapers. You can't exactly just throw the diaper away...and you can't really dump the contents in the toilet either. 

Sorry if this is getting graphic, but the consistency is a little difficult.

That is why I just broke out these:



These Imse Vimse flushable diaper liners are a lifesaver for cloth diaper wearing kiddos.




This is still a huge stack leftover from Lula. It's super affordable and they last forever!


Just put one inside the diaper...


Flush it down if its dirty, Or, if its just wet, just wash it along with your diapers. You can reuse them about 3 times before they break down.


I'm a fan of anything that makes cloth diapering even easier than it already is!


Don't forget, there is still time to enter the giveaway!

Just a can of white paint...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ok, well maybe a can of primer and a can of paint...and some leftover blue wall paint from the kitchen. That's all it took to transform our living room.  I absolutely love how it turned out. I've been wanting to paint our fireplace since we moved into our house a little over 1 1/2 years ago.  Get ready for some amazing before and after shots!

To be super dramatic, this is what the living room looked like when we bought the house:


BEFORE

Lovely dark wood paneling everywhere and really nasty carpet.



Then, we painted the walls and wood. The sellers put in hardwood floors...



A huge improvement! This is how it has looked for the past 1 1/2 years.  


Then, after looking for a bigger area rug for that long, I found this one for super cheap:



So, we added the rug which really helped...but I still haven't liked the brick fireplace and ugly brass and black fireplace screen...


It took some convincing, but finally Reid was on board with the idea. Don't get me wrong, I do love exposed brick in some settings...but not here.


I also had the idea of using some leftover soft aqua paint from our kitchen to paint the backs of the shelves. I figured it would make the objects pop...


Ok, get ready...


AFTER

Ta Da!!



It makes the room feel so much brighter, airy and modern!


It really only took one coat of primer and one coat of paint.



And the larger area rug makes a world of difference.



The most annoying part of the process was painting in between each brick with a brush before rolling on the paint.  If you attempt this, use an old brush that you don't care about because it will be destroyed by the end.
 


I had fun rearranging some objects and adding in a lot of white things to showcase them against the now blue backs of the shelves. (recognize that owl?)



I even spray painted some old picture frames white to keep everything bright.



The fireplace screen needed a few more extra coats of paint. It's not as smooth as I'd like it to be, but you don't really notice unless you are up close. Maybe we will eventually get a new one, but this does the trick for now.


We just had to use a razor to scrape the excess paint off the windows.


So, if you have brick you don't like, go paint it! It's a little gutsy, but totally worth it. 

To recap the project...

BEFORE:




AFTER:


* I just used regular latex paint and primer for this project and it has held up perfectly so far!


Next, we will tackle those beams...and hopefully paint the ceiling fan.. But, that will require a very high ladder and some upper body strength. :)

Has anyone else had brick painting success?


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