Thursday, March 26, 2015

chicken tacos with pineapple slaw & mango salsa

Today it was 85 degrees. What?! It is full on Sprummer here in California. So it is time for a yummy, light recipe that matches the sunny vibe.

Chicken tacos with pineapple slaw and mango salsa

 These tacos were so yummy and definitely hit the spot on a hot day. They taste very fresh and light, but are also packed full so we really didn't have any room for sides.

Make coleslaw in advance, even right when you wake up in the morning, it is always best to let it marinate, it really gets better throughout the day the longer it all mingles in the fridge
 Pineapple Coleslaw
  1. Bag of cabbage mix
  2. 1 C mayonnaise
  3. 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 tsp Celery seed
  5. 2 Tbsp sugar
  6. 1/2 inch chunks pineapple cut from fresh pineapple or from a can (drained and rinsed)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Celery seed is key and it makes coleslaw have that unique "coleslaw" taste haha so don't skip it!! It would also be good to cut back a little of the sugar and add in pineapple juice for a fuller pineapple taste. Cover and put in fridge until dinnertime. Let mingle for AT LEAST 1 hour to get the best taste out of your slaw!

 Mango Salsa
  1. Jar of your favorite salsa
  2. roughly chopped chunks of mango.
I kid. Kind of...haha thats exactly what I did, and you should do it too because it's way easy. I suggest getting a saucier salsa rather than a pico de gallo because it will be just a tad sweeter to go with the mango. There are tons of great mango salsa recipes online so make it from scratch if you are feeling ambitious! ; )

Other ingredients & Extras
  1. Small taco sized tortillas (wheat or corn)
  2. Mexican blend cheese
  3. Grilled, sliced chicken made and seasoned to your liking 
  4. Fresh Avocado 

The evolution of a taco.

1. Melt cheese on to tortilla 2. Add heaping serving of mango salsa 3. Add grilled, sliced chicken
4. Pile on pineapple slaw 5. Top with fresh avocado 6. Skewer that bad boy to keep it closed!

It was so, so yummy and super filling! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

DIY mini succulent garden

Spring has sprung (although now today is rainy...hmmm such is spring I suppose) so the hubby and I decided to bust out our "green" thumbs and do some yard work/ sprucing. At the moment we rent our home so we wanted to make some curb appeal upgrades that we can take with us when we purchase a home of our own! I am all about the succulent craze so I decided to make my own mini potted garden for the porch. 

{to collect: bucket or large pot, cactus mix soil, different varieties of succulents, shovel, gloves}

Make sure to get cactus or succulent mix, it has all the goodies needed for these desert plants!

I had this great vintage FIRE bucket I have been wanting to use for a long time. Once upon a time my mom gifted it to me with a flower display in it...and my black thumb killed I am trying to redeem myself by replanting something that hopefully I won't kill!

Try and plant your largest succulent first so there is room for all the others. I originally planted it right in the middle, thinking there would be ample room on all side for the others, but ended up moving it since the bucket was a little smaller when I started sticking all the plants in. 
make sure to kind of "fluff" out the roots before adding to the pot so they have an opportunity to spread and take root in their new home!
Add all the rest of the succulents...and not the cacti was NOT an easy fellow to work with!! 
use a folded up roll of newspaper or really thick gardening gloves to transfer a cacti from its small pot to its new home. These guys are NOT afraid to bite!

With anything make sure to use common sense and do not place a display with a sharp cactus near any place where a small child or animal can get into it. The cactus thorns are really, really sharp and have something in them that make their puncture sites itchy! 
No fun for a baby or animal!

I was very happy with the way my little bucket turned out and it has made our porch more homey and pulled together!

I only had to bribe this little one with 2 graham cracker halves to be patient while I did my planting too
so score!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

butternut squash teething biscuits

ridiculously easy homemade teething biscuits (or dog treats for that matter)

Piper is teething and will chew on anything and everything. My iPhone was getting a little slobbery and I had half a leftover baked butternut squash - so these crazy simple biscuits were born!

{Pre-heat oven to 425}
 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 -3/4 C mashed butternut squash (or pumpkin or banana) 2 Tbsp coconut oil, and 4 Tbsp water.

place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix. And mix and mix and mix. You don't want these to be light and fluffy, you want these suckers to be rock hard. Roll out onto a floured surface with a rolling pin so they are relatively thick (I am a very precise baker, as you can tell)
Cut in fun shapes - a circle! a heart! a christmas tree!
I did the funnest of them all - a scalloped circle. Piper is gonna love it.

Bake for 15 minutes or until rock hard (but not burnt, come on now)
give to baby.

{obvi always supervise your baby while eating, I cannot promise these will not break off in to pieces)
store in airtight jar or tupperware

Piper loved them! I'll be honest though I had to break it in half to let her know it was food and not an actual toy. They are are that rock hard. They gum up nicely and do not break easily. It entertained her for a good 20 minutes while I prepped dinner. Win!!

She dropped the other half on the floor and it took the dog a good 5-10 minutes to play with and eat too so... double win!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

diy cloth wipe solution

I have written about cloth diapering and how I use cloth wipes as well. Before you call me crazy, hear me out. I think it is easier. You toss the cloth diaper and the cloth wipe into the diaper pail and call it a day. No need to separate out a disposable wipe (and risk touching...well...all the crap)it just all gets washed together.
There are dozens of wipe solution recipes out there but this one is so stupid easy I have just never ever tried another (lazy much?!)


  1. Dr. Bronner's baby wash - 2-3 squirts. The baby wash is so mild its perfect for cleaning sensitive little baby bottoms.
  2. Tea Tree Essential oils - I buy mine at Whole Foods, but everyone and their mama is selling oils right now so just look to your left...and to your right...and I'm sure your neighbor and all her friends can sell it to you also. ; ) 3-4 shakes. The tea tree oil prevents mold, prevents diaper rash and soothes any rash that does crop up. It is potent if used directly on baby's skin. *
  3. H20 - enough to fill the tupperware you choose            

That's it. So simple. 
I keep my tupperware in the fridge and the solution lasts about 2 weeks. About every 2-3 days I wet a stack of cloth wipes and divide them between 3 Lunch Skins (aka reusable sandwich baggies). One for the diaper bag, one for her changing table and one for my purse. 

I love Lunch Skins (the yellow one below) because they are the perfect size for the wipes, fit easily in any baby bag or purse and their patterns and colors to choose from are fab! Also they double as a tiny wet bag for the wipes if need be so I always carry an extra empty one for that reason! 

 I exclusively use Family Cloth Wipes sold on Etsy. They are the best IMO. Perfect size, thickness and shape. I love, love, love them. The small ones also fit perfectly in my tupperware so - score!

There you have it. The easiest cloth wipe solution ever. Perfect for a busy mama like me!
 (and all of us really...what mama ISN'T super busy?!)

cloth diapering

There are SO many posts out there about cloth diapering, I want to throw my 2 cents in, if I may.

I always planned to cloth diaper, not really for any strong, convicting reason (I mean I love the earth, some might call me a little crunchy) other than I like the idea of it. It has been great for us and over the last 6 months I have been mildly successful at it so I thought I'd share my thoughts and go to essentials!! Disclaimer I do use disposables at night to prevent prolonged exposure to urine on sensitive baby skin so I digress I am not perfect. ; )

The Essentials

We exclusively use gdiapers - an Oregon based company. Really only because a friends used them on her daughter and I liked them. I don't know all the weird cloth diaper lingo but they have a cloth cover, a snap in liner and cloth or flushable inserts (we almost always use the cloth ones). Its important to use a cloth diaper that fits YOUR needs. Try a couple different ones out, check out what friends are using and see what fit your schedule and kiddo the best. Gdiapers work best for us. Try it and see how you like it! 

At first the price is a little shocking...but UBBI really is the way to go if you are cloth diapering!! The metal frame seriously keeps the stinkiest of stinky diaps from stinkin up the room! They are clean, modern looking and its one of the only pails that you can use a cloth liner with that meshes with the
whole cloth diaper deal! I LOVE our Ubbi, we have one in white. The little door on top is super handy too when your hands are full just press down and push and in the diaper goes!

Honestly I am probably the worst cloth diaper rebel ever...shhh don't tell...I don't really use special cloth diaper detergents. Whoops. I use plain old Mr's Meyers laundry detergent and Nellie's laundry soda. Now before you slap my wrist let me say - I do an extra rinse and a second wash so the diapers get thoroughly rinsed (the have a tendency to get clogged up with detergent - much like towels do) and Mr's Meyers and Nellies are very gentle and natural on their own. I don't think I would use a standard commercial detergent on my diapers. Ive never had a problem with clogged up diaper liners so I have never switched or tried to find an alternative.

My theory is - if you are gonna do cloth diapers why not just do cloth wipes too?? For me it just makes sense, I toss the cloth wipe in the diaper pail with the cloth diaper and voila. Done. No separating at all. For me it is easier, not the other way around. I discovered the best cloth wipes ever before I gave birth and I went a little nesting crazy and bought 60. Yes you read that right I bought 60. 6-0. And I'm glad I did! (although I could get by with much less!). I exclusively buy my wipes from Family Cloth Wipes from Etsy. They are fab. They have 2 different sizes, tons of colors, the thickness is perfect. I can't say enough nice things about them. 

wipe solution:
{in a square tupperware}
*couple squirts Dr. Bronner's baby wash
*couple shakes tea tree essential oil
* fill the rest up with good old H20

{tutorial to follow}

I keep my wipe solution in the fridge in a small square tupperware container. I use those reusable sandwich bags to store my wipe in. and make enough wipes for about 2-3 days. The tea tree oil keeps the mold away. I make 3 bags. One for the diaper bag, one for Piper's changing table, and one for my purse just in case.

Ok so I saved the (usually) most hated part of cloth diapering for last. The dreaded wet bag. So you are telling me I have to change the poop and then lug it around with me for the rest of the thanks! Ha...I know what you are thinking but it really isn't that bad! Wet bags are designed to hold the smell in and I have never had a problem with them. I use Planet Wise wet bags and I love them. Tons of colors and patterns to choose from and different sizes too! I use a medium one in my diaper bag and it is plenty big enough to hold 3-4 diapers at a time.

So there you have it! My cloth diapering essentials. I do not have a toilet diaper sprayer although I would love to try one out sometime!
I don't have tons of time on my hands or more than 24 hours in a day -  I am a busy working mama who loves cloth diapering and have really made it work for me and my hubby! Believe me if I can do it - you, whoever is reading this you can to! 

I mean is there any thing cuter than a cloth diaper front butt? ; )

family christmas traditions

Now that we have a babe I have been trying to think of special traditions for our little family to do together. Even though Piper is tiny and won't remember any of this, I wanted to start thinking of what is fun or special for us to do each Christmas.

Christmas Tree farm (even though we usually get our tree from Home Depot - shhh!)

{Thoughtful gift giving}
I have to be careful because I LOVE giving gifts. It is easy for my to go overboard on Piper because lets be real buying baby clothes/shoes/accessories is WAY too fun. I tried to stick to just a couple things for Christmas because I don't know - she's only 5 months old! Ha! Its not easy folks I tell ya.
But thoughtful gift giving is something I want to make a tradition. I love the idea of

Want : Gingiber for Land of Nod Sheep Pillow

Need: Lets be honest she NEEDS nothing. No need gift this year!

Wear: Tiny Toms because well tiny Toms.

Read: Flora and the Flamingo Its actually a picture book with no words. I bought it because I think it is beautiful but also because Greg is such a creative storyteller I thought it would be a fun daddy/daughter book they could make up stories together with.

It cuts down on the excess gifts and it allows grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc to be able to give them special gifts as well without it becoming some crazy over indulgent holiday.

I also want to make sure I always participate with my kids in acts of giving especially around the holidays. It truly isn't about the gifts we get but sharing our time and the joy and hope of Christ with others - which can be so overlooked with all the stuff!!

 Christmas countdown snowman made by my mother-in-law. Perfect new family tradition!
I always, always display my cards on the tree. Love seeing them grow year by year!
Making our own Christmas card via Tiny Prints - one of my favorite parts of the holiday!
Stockings. This year they are cheesy loud and store bought - but I love them!!!

We of course also have traditions that we participate in at our Church too!