Archive for November, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Trail Mix

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

We eat a lot of trail mix in our family because it’s a healthy vegan snack that travels easy. It’s crunchy, sweet, and salty all rolled into one. The best part, it’s soooo easy to make! And much cheaper to make your own! You can use just about any mixture of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. You can use roasted and lightly salted nuts/seeds or use raw ones if you prefer. Consider the following recipe as “starter” for a base trail mix and play with ingredients according to your own preferences. Also this recipe makes a small amount so you can easily double or triple it to make extra.


1 cup of almonds or cashews

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 cup cocoa nibs

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. If you are using unsalted nuts/seeds, you might want to sprinkle the mixture with a little bit of sea salt. Other ingredients you might add are cereal, pretzels, small crackers, dried pieces of fruit, peanut butter chips, or any type of nut works well in trail mix.


Do you have a favorite trail mix ingredient? Would love to hear what you use to make trail mix at your house!


Are hot showers a thing of the past for you since having children? Can hot showers and kids co-exist? Find out in tomorrow’s post!


Sunday Funday Giveaway | Sophie Giraffe

Sunday, November 27th, 2011
This picture inspired this week’s giveaway!
How do you get a 9month old to look directly at the photographer and smile? Put Sophie Giraffe on the photographer’s head and squeeze the squeaker! The happy noise it omits is guaranteed to get baby’s attention! Okay so besides being a perfect photography prop, you might wonder what else is so great about Sophie Giraffe? I admit I was skeptical too…but also very curious. Why did I hear so many mothers raving about this toy? Now I know why….because babies LOVE it. 🙂

Sophie Giraffe is designed completely with the developmental needs of a young baby inmind. It’s unique design stimulates all 5 of baby’s developing senses. Sophie Giraffe is made of a soft material, similar to the feel of mother’s skin. The shape and size make it easy for little hands to hold and manipulate. When gently squeeze,  the giraffe makes a fun squeaky sound which helps babies understand the concept of cause and effect. Even the contrasting spots on it have been strategically placed to stimulate baby’s vision. Also this is one toy you won’t mind your baby putting in their mouth because it’s made of 100% natural rubber and food paint. It’s safe and eco-friendly for teething babies to gum/chew on. It even has it’s own special smell to it; the natural scent of Hevea tree makes it easy for your baby to identify this favorite toy.

Want to win this week’s giveaway for Sophie Giraffe? You could win it just in time to make a great Holiday gift for your own baby or to gift to a friend! 🙂

Silent Saturday | Hello Sunshine

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Oh hello diapers are happy to see you!

Cloth Diapers: Hook and Loop Closure or Snaps?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Many cloth diaper brands are now letting the consumer make the choice if they prefer hook and loop closure or snaps by offering their diapers in both styles. For example, the Thirsties DUO Diaper comes in both options as shown in the pictures below:

Thirsties DUO diaper Snaps (above) and Aplix (below)

When purchasing cloth diapers you maybe unsure which to select, especially if there is a nominal difference in price between the two. I have experimented with both styles across various brands and I personally tend to prefer hook and loop closure. The main reason is because the diaper is basically a custom fit every time. Snaps are fastened at pre-determined increments which may end up not fitting your baby exactly right. The hook and loop closure allows you to pull the diaper tabs across as far as needed to be snug, yet comfortable for baby. A properly fitting diaper is essential to avoiding leaks and blowouts.

Additionally, I find that snaps take a little bit longer to diaper baby. This may not be a big deal when diapering itty-bitty babies who lay peacefully still while you change their diaper…however once they are a wiggly, rolling baby, snaps can definitely be more of a challenge both in getting a messy diaper off and putting a clean one on. That being said I know many cloth diapering mamas who prefer snaps.

One of the primary reasons for preferring snaps is that Aplix gets yucky (for lack of a better word) over time in the washing machine. I certainly can attest to that! Mine have had all sorts of “interesting” things stuck in them. However, I have found a trick to cleaning Aplix. You can use a toothbrush to clean the Aplix. Simply brush against the Aplix very gently with the toothbrush to loosen debris. Once the gunk is loosened you can pull it out with your fingers. It’s rather easy to do, just a tad tedious. Although sometimes a rote task such as cleaning the Aplix on your cloth diapers can be strangely theraputic and rewarding. 🙂

Dirty Aplix on a bumGenius

Aplix on bumGenius post "toothbrush cleaning"

Another reason some people don’t like Aplix is because it can prematurely wear out your diapers if the Aplix loses its grip. This mostly occurs from washing the diapers, not from general diapering use. When you wash and machine dry cloth diapers with Aplix closures they will hook onto each other requiring you to forcefully pull them apart after washing. Over time this will wear out the Aplix. Many cloth diapers have “laundry tabs” inside them to avoid the diapers hooking together while tumbling in the washer and dryer.

Laundry tab on a Thirsties

The laundry tabs also help reduce lint build-up in the hook tape. I will be honest that I rarely (okay virtually never) use the laundry tabs on my diapers, but I like the fact that they are there…just in case I ever decide to. 🙂  I should note however that I almost always hang dry my diapers which means they are not tumbling around in a dryer on a regular basis.

All in all there are pros and cons to both options and it really comes down to personal preference. Also your preferences might change over time as your baby grows or you try out different brands.  I have both styles in my diaper stash and consistantly find myself grabbing for diapers with Aplix. I know it’s time to wash a load of diapers when I only have clean snap diapers available. 🙂

What do you prefer; hook and loop or snaps? What do you like/dislike about each option?

PS. Tomorrow is a day to express gratitude so on that note I will share a few things I am thankful for!

Tasty Tuesday: Pita Chips

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011


pita bread cut into triangles

Pita chips seem to be a popular item in grocery stores right now. I see various brands and flavors displayed at stores more frequently now than I have in the past. My kids really enjoy pita chips, however a bag of them goes rather quickly and is kind of pricey. So we’ve been experimenting with making our own! Homemade pita chips are super easy to make. The prep work only takes a few minutes and they bake in about 10 minutes. The added bonus is you can make organic and/or whole wheat pita chips which are hard to find in the ready-made brands. It’s typically much cheaper to make your own pita chips, you have more control over the ingredients, and homemade pita chips are ‘heartier’ than store bought brands making it a more substantial snack for your little ones.


Pita bread

Oil (you can use any type of oil you like…Olive oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, canola oil, etc)

Seasonings: Now this is the part where you get to have fun and be creative! You can flavor your homemade pita chips any way you’d like. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Cumin, salt, and chili pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • All purpose seasoning (Braggs make a good one)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutritional yeast

Baking in the oven


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pita into triangle shape wedges. (Tip: Use a pair of kitchen shears). Drizzle with oil. Use enough oil to generously coat your pita bread. Sprinkle with seasoning to taste. Mix pita bread to thoroughly coat with oil and seasoning. Spread on baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Yummy cinnamon and sugar pita chips

Voila! Yummy, homemade pita chips are really that simple! Pair with some hummus and raw veggies and you have a delicious, healthy snack or light lunch. You can also follow the same process to make your own bagel chips!

If you try making your own pita or bagel chips I would love to hear what flavor you made and if your family enjoyed them. 🙂
Getting ready to purchase cloth diapers but not sure if you want to go with the hook and loop closure or snaps? Check out tomorrow’s post that reviews the pros and cons of both options.