Tuesday, April 29, 2014


It seems like news breaks at the most inconvenient times. Whether you are halfway down the stairs of a bus (Which is where I found myself when Elizabeth Smart was found) or on your way out the door to something "important." The newscaster interrupts the typical programming and says, 'Listen to this it will make everything else in your life menial. Those other "important" things no longer matter.'

As with Breaking News - this discovery is also at an inconvenient time. But it is so BIG that these other things can wait. Rather than cleaning, organizing, packing, and doing all other things associated with moving/long trip preparations I am here sharing a few of my new favorite discoveries from my health journey.

"Why is this so important?" , you ask. I just had the most wonderful lunch. Zoodles (which I am newly addicted to) and Cauliflower Alfredo.

First let me explain zoodles and why I love them. For years people have been using Spaghetti Squash in place of pasta, but a new age has come and people are spiral cutting and julienning all kinds of fruits and vegetables for use in low carb diets. Zucchini is probably the most common (Hence the ZZZZoodle). Despite all the Z's I just typed zoodles are not something to sleep on. If you love pasta as much as I do (which is probably not possible) you should try this out! I tried my first zoodles yesterday and couldn't wait to have them again today for lunch. One small zucchini is only 23 calories opposed to the 100+ in a small serving of pasta. Plus- it's a vegetable, who isn't looking for a way to add more vegetables into their diet?

As for the Cauliflower Alfredo - even Mr. Sam said that it was good and couldn't even guess what it was made of. If he put his stamp of approval on something low cal and healthy then you know it's good.

Recipe I used for a guide found on Tastefully Crafted - obviously I did things a little differently because I didn't use pasta and I also only used about 3 cups of water and since I don't keep Italian seasoning on hand I used about 1 Tbs of Basil and 2 tsp of Oregano. With some sautéed zoodles and a chicken breast it made for a healthy, filling lunch. And the sauce is so creamy I could eat it all day!

I loved this so much that I haven't even cleaning it up yet - it is still warm on the stove while I write this. Hence the Breaking News.

Other happy discoveries on my healthy journey this last month have been:
-Oatmeal with blueberries (frozen) with a little brown sugar and if I have toast I make it whole wheat and substitute coconut oil for butter (I don't even notice the difference!). I have this almost everyday!
-My whole life my parents have enjoyed cottage cheese on salad and I thought it was the most disgusting thing I had ever heard of. Recently I tried it instead of ranch for a healthy fat and added protein and it was great! Just add some salt and pepper, or my favorite Salad Supreme, right on top and it is delicious.

I hope you enjoy these tips or try out zoodles. They are great! And this sauce is seriously creamy. I was actually very surprised that it was so good. And now I end this breaking news to clean my fridge and scrub my floors...fun.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Diapers are Stinky.

They really are.
When we were pregnant with Hobbit Jo we talked about doing cloth diapers because we are destitute students. Nothing organic or natural about it, we just didn't want to go into debt for something that was going to be thrown away after a few hours (sometimes a few minutes) of use.
However, the start up for cloth diapers can be PRICEY, so the resourceful woman that I am. I decided to take advantage of my discount at work and buy diaper flannel, elastic, and snaps for a fraction of the price that it would be to buy diapers. With a borrowed diaper from my sister-in-law I set to work.
Before I share these tips on sewing your own diapers I have to say this one thing. DON'T DO IT! If you can shell out the $150-$200 dollars (at the least) to start diapering then DO IT!
After many hours, days, trials, prototypes and tears. I have settled on our current diapers.
Tip #1 - The elastic was pointless.
Tip #2 - Tri-folds are pretty awesome for burp rags and as diapers.
Tip #3 - You will be pee soaked and smell a good majority of your life.
Tip #4 - Get a good bucket with an air-tight seal.
Tip #5 - Research your choices and how to care for your diapers and especially covers.
Tip #6 - Care for your covers. This needed said twice because they are important. They are your only defense against the pee.
Tip #7 - Strip your diapers at least once a month.
Tip #8 - If you can afford it, spring for flushable wipes, because poopy wipes that aren't wrapped up in diapers reek!
Tip #9 - Keep disposables nearby.

Our system is cloth during the day and disposable at night (otherwise we would need to wash her sheets almost everyday. We also use disposables for adventures like church, playgroup, grandma's house, or if we are doing errands or shopping for a long time. We have only needed to buy 1-2 bags of diapers per size and towards the end of the last two sizes we had to use them for awhile to use the rest of the bag. As gross as it was to get use to swished out poop in the toilet and the gust of stink when you open the bucket to throw them in the wash, I like it. It's cheaper, I never have the fear of running out and needing to run to the store; if we run out we can throw on a disposable while the others wash. Another bonus is flushing the stink. Hobbit Jo's diapers keep getting stronger and even more stinky than the last so it is great to flush it away. The paper diapers that are full of poop in the garbage stink more than anything.
All-in-all it is totally worth it to cloth diaper.

Tips about making them - skip the elastic, sew around the edges with a serger if you can, go around the diapers twice to insure they won't fray or shred, buy your covers (they are expensive but you'll be grateful).

Diapers are stinky. They really are. But when they are poop-free, in a bucket they stink a lot less than poopy in a garbage.

"If in doubt, Meriadoc, follow your nose."
-Gandalf, Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien-