February Foodie Penpal

Yes, I said FOODIE PENPAL!!!!

On Valentine’s Day I received a package in the mail, no, not from my valentine. But from Christina my Foodie Penpal @ Food.Fitness.Fun.

Question: What is a foodie penpal?

Answer: Someone who sends you a package in the mail full of food items they want to share or introduce to you. 

A look at the box of goodies I received (minus bag of cheese pops):

Everything out of the box:

I quickly opened the STARBUCKS Hot Chocolate and made some:

Delish!

Then I examined the box further:

 The Taste of Nature bar was awesome.  I have yet to eat the HALO S’mores bar (looks like heaven) and the KIND plus bar. (saving them for a special occasion – or after a GOOD workout).

A few days later, Lilly and I tried the Neal Brothers Organic Cheese Pops!

Lilly and I agree – these are a winner.

We just have to locate them in a store around here 🙂

The Chai Spiced Black tea was great and Lilly loved the rice crackers.

There was a nice little note from Christina but I took a bad picture of it 😦

If you want to see what I sent to my foodie penpal you’ll have to go check her blog;  Lisa @ J(and)Me – Cooking Jamie 

I am going to do this again in March – so check back at the end of the month to see what I received from my new foodie penpal.

Oh – AND if you want to try it out, check out the details below!

Are you interested in being a Foodie Penpal (Open to Canadian & US residents)

Details on how to participate:

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send  an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com by March 4h and include the following information:

Your full name, Your email address, your blog name/address, Your twitter handle (if applicable), WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only.

That’s it!!!!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you end up participating – I’d love to hear Foodie Penpal story!

Guest post on AMP Diapers!

Well I am excited to say that I am a Guest blogger on AMP Diapers.  You can see the post here!

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You decided to cloth diaper your little one once they arrive into the world but where do you start? How many diapers do you buy, how do I clean them and what about the poop?

First off – congratulations on deciding to cloth diaper, you are going to save a lot of money. The average family can spend $2000 – $3000 on one child for disposable diapers. With cloth diapering you invest in diapers that you can use on multiple children. Cloth diapers run between $15 – $28; some include microfiber, bamboo or hemp  liners. Woah! Micro what? Bamboo ? Hemp Liners, what are those?

Where do I start?

1. Research – take your time to find out what cloth diapers are all about. Find out the difference between an AIO (All-In-One), AI2 (All-In-Two’s, Pocket diaper, Prefolds and the list goes on. This will help you understand the design, fit (Size Small 6lbs to 18lbs and Large 15lbs to 35lbs), inserts and boosters (Hemp, bamboo, microfiber). Don’t forget about choosing the colour of your diapers too!!!

2. Save your Money – If you have the opportunity to save during your pregnancy that is great. Try to put away $20-$30 a pay cheque which will roughly cover the cost of one diaper but remember you will use this diaper over  and over and over again. You could spend that $20-$30 on disposable diapers but you cannot use them again.

If you decide to cloth diaper once your baby arrives, then you will need to invest a few hundred dollars to start your collection of cloth diapers. You could start with 5 of six diapers or ten to twelve to get you through one full day of cloth diapering.

3. Prep Your Diapers – Once you get your diapers home you must prep them for usage.  I would strongly recommend purchasing laundry detergent that is cloth diaper friendly such as Allen’s Naturally, Rockin’ Green. When buying your diapers don’t forget to ask for recommendations for laundry soap. You will need to wash your diapers and liners between three to four times before they can be used. This will ensure that the diapers and inserts will absorb all liquids and solids. It is recommended that you stay away from bum ointments as they can stop the absorbency and effectiveness of the cloth diaper.

           Before Washing

After 3 washes:

4.Accessories: There are lost of accessories for cloth diapering; wet bags, wipes etc. Wet bags are extremely handy to have in the home and while traveling. Once a diaper is soiled you want to rinse it out and then place it in a wet bag. This wet bag could be in a dry pail for storage until you are able to wash your cloth diapers. You can also purchase odour tables or use a drop of tea tree oil in your wet bag to help with the smell.

Pail with Liner:

5. Storage – Now that you’ve done your research, saved money and purchased your diapers and accessories you need to store them in an accessible place. Clean, ready to go diapers can be stored in baskets, hanging wall storage bins and dresser drawers that are handy to your change table.  Once you have a wet or soiled diaper you should rinse it right away and put it in a wet bag. It is recommended that you wash your diapers every two to three days.

Now you have the basics on how to get started with cloth diapering. Enjoy and have fun!

Motivation Monday #7

Motivation Monday #7

February 27th 2012

“No one is going to push you to work out – you must push yourself if you want a healthy lifestyle by pushing yourself to be active”.

-Anna (Piper’s Run).

(photo found on Pinterest).

Family time in Prince Edward Island

Last weekend, Lilly and I packed up our things and left for Prince Edward Island to spend the weekend with Saï (my hubby and Lilly’s daddy).

For those who don’t know where Prince Edward Island is:

See the small purple island – that’s it. It’s on the east coast of Canada. One of the most beautiful places in Canada (my opinion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maritime Provinces: PEI is the small island near New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Now PEI might be small but it sure is mighty and BEAUTIFUL!!!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The drive

We left the Valley at 10am, after buying some local bacon to have at bunch on Sunday (a reason not to be vegan – sorry Saï). When driving for more than an hour I usually have a stash of toys and books in the front seat. That way I can pass them back to Lilly as she drops them on the floor of the car. I feel like I am perfecting this skill and she is perfecting playing with the toy or book for longer periods of time. I put Lilly’s “new to her” shoes on instead of boots because I thought she might get too hot with winter boots on for a few hours. She eventually took them off and at one point I turned around to see what she was doing …. as things were quiet …. and I found her licking the bottom of her shoe. OH MAN!!!! Strike # 1.

We made it pass Truro and hit up the Masstown Market for lunch. This place was great; local foods, a place to sit, gift store to stroll around. We walked around for a bit and Lilly was making friends every corner that she turned …. a little smile here and a wave there. I think Lilly was more interested in watching people eat their lunch rather than focusing on eating her own lunch.

We finished lunch and packed up but of course, went to the washroom to changer her nappy etc. This was your normal women’s washroom with the change table right beside the wheel chair accessible washroom – so the door kept hitting me in the back. Once Lilly was changed it was my turn to use the wash room and we went in the wheel chair accessible washroom as we could both not fit in the smaller stall. Well this was a disaster. Lilly started to look under the washroom doors – in all directions and then laid down on the dirty washroom floor. Strike #2.  I couldn’t reach her as I was mid pee – inside I was freaking out. A public washroom floor is not …. clean. So I stopped peeing and picked her up in the football hold and held her there until I was done. I don’t recommend this. Traveling on your own with a toddler was not as easy as I thought it would be, but it was so worth the trip.

 

You either have to take a ferry to PEI or travel on the Confederation Bridge, we took the bridge:

We got to PEI around 3pm and my cousin and his girl friend greeted us. Lilly and I hung out until Saï arrived home from school around 4:30.  The best part of the trip is always when Lilly “see’s” Daddy for the first time. It’s like she’s won a million dollars and it melts my heart. I heard him backing into the driveway so we went to sit on the stairs and waited for him to come in. Saï opened the door and Lilly’s arms shot up like lighting bolts – “DADDY”. To say she was excited was an understatment. Ahhh, at last, together as a family!

Saturday

We decided to take it easy Saturday as PEI was getting a dump of a snow storm. We did manage to buy Lilly some new Wellies that she picked out and some groceries for dinner. Later that afternoon while Lilly slept I decided I would go for a run….in the snow storm. I’ve done it before but this wasn’t really all that fun. I got on the bike for 10 minute to warm up and then went on my run. The sidewalk had just been plowed so I thought it would be okay – not so much. Then there were parts of the sidewalk where the snow was half way up my shin, so I ran on the road. I only got splashed by a few cars and two soakers, both left foot – cold wet soggy snow puddles to blame. I arrived back after 16 minutes of running and jumped back on the bike for 10 minutes – this time I put the TV on so the time went by fast.

We took Lilly outside to play in the snow once she woke up from her nap – she was loving it! We saw a few dogs, snow banks to discover, boulders of snow to carry and puddles to splash in. See post on “10 Steps Guide to Playing in the Snow with a Toddler here.

 

Sunday

On Sunday, Saï had made plans with a classmate, his wife and their 18 month old Lola – she was so cute. We went swimming at UPEI’s CARI facility – talk about fantastic facility for families. It was a perfect place for Lilly to go “swimming” and play in the water. We had a great time. Then we went back to his friend’s place for brunch – that’s why I brought the bacon. It was great to just hang out as a family with some of Saï’s friends and classmates. One of his friends ended up knowing a few friends of ours – such a small world after all !!!!

We usually spend Sunday afternoons skyping with Saï’s mom who is in England. It wasn’t the best call as Lilly was kinda woken up by Saï so we could make the call – Strike #3. She was cranky but after a little snack she was happy again. We didn’t last too long on the call as Lilly was starting to loose it again so we called it quits and I went to make dinner. I made the Vegan Mac and Cheese we’ve made before, you can find it here. However, Lilly wasn’t loving it so I had to put some real cheese on it.

Monday

Monday was “Islander Day” or Family Day in other Provinces, so Saï had the day off school. Nova Scotia doesn’t have Family Day – kinda sucks – so I took it as a vacation day. We had to pack up and spend another 5 hours traveling back home. Lilly was completely in love with all of her books and managed to play with them for the majority of the ride. While stopping as the Masstown Market on the way back, a college of mine from that region of the province had come for a meeting. He sat with us to have lunch …. it’s always a nice surprise when you run into someone you were not expecting to see.

Home and back to Reality.

I usually love coming home but this time not so much. I’ve mentioned this before, I much prefer life with my husband home as opposed to being a single parent. Life is just better with him.

We unpacked the car, made some dinner and back into our normal routine.

I didn’t work out, I didn’t do the dishes. I did manage to get a load of laundry on and watched mindless television for an hour.

We had a great trip to PEI and a wonderful weekend with my hubby/daddy. Three more weeks to go and Saï will be home for his on the job training.

I sure am wishing the weeks away!

Tasty Dip

I’ve been trying to find foods our daughter will eat which is sometimes challenging. She’s a picky eater and doesn’t eat any vegetables …. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh man.

I am across this dip back in January from the Daily Garnish and thought I would try it out. Well, it’s taken me weeks to finally get the items for the recipe, and list isn’t long … crazy eh! Grocery shopping with a toddler isn’t always fun so I’ve been doing small runs here and there after work or on my lunch break. Today, I took Lilly grocery shopping and it wasn’t bad because it wasn’t busy and we were in and out in no time. Not to mention she always makes a few new friends while out and about.

“Cheesy” Black Bean Dip from Daily Garnish:

  • 1 can tri-bean blend (kidney, pinto, black)   * I made the mistake of getting chic peas, kidney etc – I’ll stick to her recommendation of kidney, pinto and black beans next time.)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt   *I used sea salt as that’s all I have.
  • tortilla chips
  • I also added 1 teaspoon of ground flax-seed – I had this to everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

1. Rinse and drain beans.

2. Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth!!!!!!!

3. All done – eat with tortilla chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yum Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My only food critic at the moment is Lilly. She tried it and came back for more!!! Success … at least for today! This was such an easy dip to make, so tasty and VEGAN!!!  I know my husband is going to love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is tasty Mom!

Toddler Talk

It’s been really amazing to watch our daughter grown and develop over the last 20 months. In the summer she learned how to sign the word “more” after months of showing it to her. This fall she started to say a few more words and then around 18 months her vocabulary  seemed to triple over night. We were kinda shocked as she’s our first and have no idea what to expect….ever!

She even said her first swear word – whoops!

The last two months her vocabulary has grown again. She will now copy and repeat what you are saying. This is good and bad I am learning.

Each night we say good night (night night) to the alphabet that is plastered around her room on single pieces of paper. A is for Armadillo, B for Bear, C for Camel etc. To my surprise one night she said Camel, another night she said Porcupine – or more like “pork pine”. She now can say Sheep and Turtle. Every day I am amazed at what she says, repeats and attempts to say. Tonight it was Octopus  and Dolphin while playing in the bath.

She is also getting into multiple words: hold it; eat it, I love you – “laahh ou”. What’s also fun is when I ask her a question and she say’s “no” and shakes her head; “yes” and shakes her head yes. The sitter mentioned Lilly is saying “okay” a lot. While taking a bath tonight I asked Lilly if she was going to learn how to pee on the potty … she looked at me and said “ohhh kaaay”.

Today I came across a blog or tweet that mentioned “25 words your toddler likely knows”.  Since I can’t find the actual blog that posted the link, I just googled the topic and learned that it’s everywhere!! Of course!

A list was compiled of the 25 most commonly used words and expressions by children at age 2:

  • mommy
  • daddy
  • baby
  • milk
  • juice
  • hi/hello
  • ball
  • no
  • yes
  • dog
  • cat
  • nose
  • eye
  • banana
  • cookie
  • car
  • hot
  • thank you
  • bath
  • shoe
  • hat
  • book
  • all gone
  • bye bye
  • more

After reading the list I realize that Lilly can say all of these and more. Thank you is more “thanks” but she still attempts to say it.

Everyday this little person amazes me (and her father). I’m just loving this part of being a parent and look forward to many more of these moments along the road of parenting our daughter.

What does your little one do to amaze you?

 

 

10 Step Guide to Playing in the Snow with a Toddler

10 Step Guide to playing in the snow with a Toddler.

Step One: Watch tractor clear snow from inside house with Daddy:

Tractor; a.k.a. “cract or” by Lilly.

 

Step Two: Watch the snow plow from outside the house with Daddy.

Step Three: Assess the snow plow.

Step Four: Walk in Daddy’s foot steps (wait up Daddy).

Step Five: Follow me Daddy

(Meaning – I’ve got you wrapped around my finger).

Step Six: Hold my hand.

Step Seven: Successfully pick up snow ball!

Step Eight: Making toddler tracks in snow.

Step Nine: Size up the snow bank.

Step Ten: Take picture with photographer, a.k.a. Mommy.

Then, take a nap!!!!