Monday, February 18, 2013

Carob Banana Smoothie

Hello all! I had decided to get some coco powder to try and get my chocolate fix via my breakfast smoothies, at the store today carob powder was actually cheaper, and it's also a caffeine free chocolate alternative. I made a smoothie for a post-dinner snack and was delighted by the taste! I wanted it a little colder so I stuck it in the freezer so I could write this recipe for you guys.

So here it is:
  • One banana (I would use a frozen one so you don't have to pop it in the freezer like I did.)
  • Two tablespoons of nut butter (I used almond butter)
  • Two tablespoons of carob powder
  • One teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • One tablespoon of chia seeds
  • Two dried, pitted dates
  • One cup of your choice of milk. I used regular milk but I imagine it would be just as good, if not better with almond or another milk. I will also try it with plain greek yogurt in the morning for an extra protein kick. 
  • a drop or two of vanilla extract
I crammed all this is my mason jar and blended it up. (Did you know that almost all blenders will fit a regular sized mason jar?! Less clean up!)

As a testament to how yummy it is, I was halfway finished drinking it when I realized I meant to take a picture for you guys. And you can trust a preggo when it comes to chocolate! (Or in this case "chocolate")

It's not the best picture, my computer/camera/phone all decided not to cooperate tonight. But here it is!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

8 of my Favorite Garden Tips and Ideas from Pinterest

As a professional gardener (taking a break now that I'm pregnant, but it's always on my mind!) I am always looking for new ways to make things more convenient and fun. Especially for my home garden, which tends to get neglected the more work I do for other people. Basically, I'm looking for shortcuts to stunning flowers and easy and cheap ways to get the most out of my produce. I also look for natural and organic ways to work in the garden. So here are the best tips that I will be using this year, along with a couple I already use. Just in time to start thinking about getting seeds ready!

What are your favorite gardening tips? What will you be doing different this year? Any container gardens out there?

1. This Composting Infographic from
Original Pin
 Composting 101 I love this infographic. I'm going to print it out for my compost bin.
Not composting? You should it's very simple. I have a large Tupperware type container  with holes poked in the sides and worms in my kitchen. I put dirt from a few of last years pots (that had no pests). All the approved items go in. I'll have homemade compost ready this spring without ever leaving my kitchen! When it gets full I'll have hubby carry it to a larger pile out back.

2. This companion planting post from HGTV Gardens
Original Pin
Companion Planting. I'm hoping this eliminates any need for pest control in my veggie garden this year.  I don't like to add anything, even organic pesticides to my food. Did you know that even organic plant based pesticides can be harmful?
Planting "BFF" plants not only counter acts disease but can boost growth and flavor.

3. My Favorite Pin I've seen this year so far (Home made seed tape!) from
Original Pin
Home made seed tape. I got really excited when I found this idea. (Seriously I talked about it for days.)  I would never spend the extra money on seed tape. I would rather hover over my beds and cause knee pain than PAY for that kind of convenience (I didn't say I was smart... just cheap!). This idea however might be my favorite thing I have found this year.  Perfectly spaced rows my HUSBAND can plant without much effort? Heck yeah! Especially considering I'll be 9 months pregnant (or a new mom) around planting time this year. I can have an OCD garden this year after all!

4. Toilet paper decomposing seed starters from saidosdaconcha's blog.
Original Pin
I cant find the story for this on her blog but this is the blog it came from. I may do this this year. I always have a thousand TP rolls rolling around. My husband tends to trash them the second I find something to do with them though. C'est la vie!

5. Vine and Chicken Idea from
Original Pin
Vines over the chickens. This is adorable, will keep your chickens cool, and I think it might keep the squash borers at bay this year.  If you don't have chickens (I hope to VERY soon) you can grow your squash vines over your shade veggies that need to keep cool.

6. Rock garden markers from
Original Pin
Cute, simple, cheap and a fun way to spend an afternoon with the kiddos (or your best friend!) What's not to love about these cute little marker stones?  The ones that stick in the ground always get lost and/or smashed in my garden. I'll be doing these for sure.

7. Pot-in-pot planting from
Original Pin
This was another DUH moment for me. I have crappy dirt, crappy grass, and crappy curb appeal to my house.  It's a rental and I have fairly free range of what I can do to my yard, but I don't want to invest in plants that will take multiple years to mature not to mention cost me a fortune. I also dont want to digg through ancient sod to make beds EVERYWHERE. Most of my garden budget goes to growing veggies.  This idea will enable me to plant several cute seasonal flowers that can be changed a few times though out the year. (plant sales here I come!) Not to mention my hubby can pick up the pots, mow over them and drop them back in, leaving my neighbors to wonder how he got so close to the plants without destroying them with the weed-eater.

8. Re-purposed Planters from
Original Pin
Most of the plants I love to grow seem to like excellent drainage. My garden doesn't have excellent drainage. There is no way it could without some serious work, and I've already had hubby till it, turn it over, mix in sand, ect. Still, there is no way drainage dependent plants are gonna dig it there.  I don't want lots of boxes in addition to my already large bed so I have several containers already and I am going to add drawers from an old dresser to my collection.  I'm also hording tin cans like a crazy person. I'm pretty excited about it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birth Center Packing List

(link to printable at the bottom of the page)
I looked high and low on the Internet for a birth center packing list. I found a couple, I wasn't sold on their lists though they either had too much or not enough. I found a lot of "Hospital OR Birthing Center" lists. Also not a perfect fit. Since I haven't actually given birth yet I am sure this list will be edited, and I welcome (encourage!) comments about what you found useful during your labor and birth, or if you have ideas.

Keep in mind that the birthing center doesn't provide everything the hospital does, meaning diapers, onsies, caps, etc. You're also expected to wear your own clothes (going naked IS an option!) I am also planning on a water birth.  Another interesting difference is that you leave the birthing center 6-12 hours after the birth if there are no complications. They do this my sending a midwife to your house to check on you afterwards.

I have compiled a list from several I found on other blogs, websites like, among other places.  I also read though reviews and comments to find out what other moms used and didn't use.

I have a free printable for you at the end of the post (let me know what you think!) And I am also going to go down the list and explain some. It seems like a lot but all in all I will have one bag for me, the diaper bag, and a backpack for daddy.

As soon as I get around to buying things and putting the bags together I will update with pictures! I am compiling the list now while I am 30 weeks so I have time to buy everything to get my bag packed at a reasonable time.

Here it is!

For Dad to carry to car:
  • My boppy pillow (everyone should have one. I can't sleep without it.)
  • Towel and trash bag for car (in case of my water breaking before/during the car ride.)
  • plastic bag (I hear you puke)
  • Mommy's bag
  • Daddy's bag
  • Diaper Bag
  • Car seat (ideally already installed)
In Mommy's Bag:

toiletries bag (I have a few clear plastic zip bags to put inside my suitcase to keep things organized)
  • comb/brush
  • hair tie
  • hair scarf (my hair wont all stay up on its own)
  • chapstick (nothing worse than dry lips, and I anticipate breathing out of my mouth a lot)
  • coconut oil (works for diaper cream to keep meconium from sticking, massage oil for during labor, and nipple cream since I am breastfeeding)
  • travel shampoo and conditioner
  • travel body wash (I hear the after baby shower is GLORIOUS)
  • toothbrush (new one so I don't have to remember the one I am currently using)
  • travel toothpaste
  • travel deodorant
  • make-up (I may not use this one but I may regret not bringing it for after labor. Lots of pictures. Call me vain!)
  • glasses and contacts (I've heard several times glasses during birth being a pain, and I can definitely see that with a water birth.)
  • Big pads/depends. (I haven't decided yet. I don't like the "diaper" idea but I may feel more secure about walking around if I'm not afraid to bleed on my clothes.)
  • old bathrobe
  • comfortable nightgown for labor
  • P.J.'s to change into for nursing/visitors after the birth
  • Going home outfit (comfortable and roomy! Probably a dress since I'm delivering in spring)
  • socks
  • old comfortable black underwear (for after delivery, not sure the mesh ones I hear about are available)
  • swim top for water birth (I don't think I'll want it but I'd prefer to have it around!)
  • nursing bra
  • slippers
  • flip flops
  • wet bag for dirty laundry. (I may be over confident in my laundry skills but I'm sure I can save some ruined things)

  • cough drops (I love the cherry ones, and I kinda see my self as a loud laborer=sore throat)
  • snacks (this will be another list entirely, YES I am allowed to eat whatever I want during labor.)
  • drinks (lots of water and drinks with electrolytes)
  • ID and insurance cards (in case of transport)
  • music (I will be making a play list)
  • heat sock (I love my heat sock)
  • massage tools (tennis balls, I also have a machine that is wonderful)
  • aromatherapy oils (lavender, I love lavender) 
  • Birth plan
Daddy's Bag:
  • cellphones and chargers
  • camera and batteries
  • written call list (I like hard copies of everything)
  • book (I hope he will be too busy comforting me but, there is the off chance he will get bored)
  • change of clothes (you never know what you will get on you!)
  • deodorant
  • toothbrush and paste
  • bathing suit (if he wants to get in the tub or shower with me)
Diaper/Baby Bag:
  • 4 different outfits (Not sure of his size, he has the potential to be 10+ lbs!)
  • mittens
  • 3 blankets (light since I'm delivering in spring)
  • 8 prefolds and 2 covers (I'm using less expensive prefolds to get though the meconium stage (that early poop stains I hear) and/or until one size pocket cloth diapers fit him.)
  • baby book for footprints
  • knit hat
  • socks
  • nasal aspirator
  • comb
  • nail clippers
 Emergency Bag:
  • extra change of clothes
  • ID/Insurance card
  • Birth plan

    UPDATE: I was transferred to the hospital and ended up spending 5 days there.  I used EVERYTHING in my bag at one point or another.  My doula, who has been a doula since the early 80's said I was the most prepared mom she had ever seen. So, pack what you want but I did literally use everything in my bags. My doula even used my computer during my 3 day long labor. I even used the cloth diapers because baby had a reaction to the hospital's disopsables.  Hubby had to go home and get more.

  • Here is the printable! If you have any problems printing it please comment and I'll e-mail you the file.

Free Birthing Center List Printable