Wife, Mummy, Nurse: July 2013

31 July 2013

I FOUND it!! {Yarn Along}

Last week, I wrote I wanted to start on my daughter's birthday gift, but could not because the yarn was MIA. Well, I found it and was able to start.  I'm thankful that I'm still able to knit things in front of Charis. She's oblivious that it's a pair of Hello Kitty longies for her, but I think that's because I've knit so many baby items recently, that she doesn't think of herself. The pants are similar to these ones, except I'm using bulky yarn.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

25 July 2013

Roasted Summer Squash

Summer squash has been bountiful in our CSA box the last 3 weeks.  I'm thrilled.  Let's just say, Drew is not as thrilled, but if it's "appropriately seasoned", then he's happy.  One day, I roasted it, and the next week sautéed.  I prefer it roasted, but with the high temps the last 10 days, I haven't made it this way.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While the oven is warming, wash and cut summer squash and onions into bite sized pieces. 

Place the vegetables in a bowl.  Toss with olive oil.  Add a pinch of sea salt and garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste.

Put squash and onion mixture in a shallow pan.

Roast in oven for 45-60 minutes.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve warm or cold with dinner.

This is a delicious way to eat summer squash, and it's one of the few ways my husband tolerates eating. 

How do you like to eat your summer squash?

24 July 2013

Owlie Hat {Yarn Along}

On Saturday, Charis and I will be going to a baby shower, Lord willing. It's now a habit to knit a baby gift for the newborn to wear. I decided to stash bust and knit the owlie hat. I love it, but part of the reason is I like owls in baby wear/accessories.  I started with less than one skein of yarn and still have enough for another hat, but it's progress. There's no need to hoard.

I bought a fitted crib sheet from Target, since
they had this on their registry. It has animals, including owls,
on it. That's why I decided to knit the owlie hat.
In other news, I was planning to begin Charis' birthday gift today, but I can't find any of the three skeins of yarn I bought for it. I hope I did not leave it in PA, but I don't know where else it could be.

What are you knitting or reading?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

Almost Wordless Wednesday

On Tuesday mornings, we usually do grocery shopping.  Even though it's summer and HOT, Charis often makes sure to grab her favorite hat; a froggy hat that Grandma bought for her at our local thrift store. Just a reminder that one person's trash is another person's treasure. It just needed to be washed before she wore it.
Do your children have any special accessories that they like?

21 July 2013

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins

It's blueberry season.  I had hoped to go pick blueberries with Charis last week, but the farm near us had their blueberry fields closed until Saturday in order for the blueberries to ripen.  We went to a Spicknall's Farm Market to get our berries.

I had grand plans of baking muffins when we got home, but I locked my keys in the car and had no way of unlocking our apartment door.  1 1/2 hours later and after calling three different people, Drew came home and let us in.

On Saturday, I decided to bake them. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. {Yes, I immediately started saying, "What am I thinking?"} Butter muffin tin.

Then mix dry ingredients together: 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup almond meal, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, and 1/4 cup Rapadura Sugar.

Whisk 6 eggs. {Feel free to let your children help. My daughter LOVES "helping Mama."} Add one mashed banana to eggs. Fold in blueberries. {I often do this with a spatula trying not to break the berries.}

Add 1/4 cup batter to each muffin tin. {This recipe makes 9-10 muffins.} Bake for 12-15 minutes, until muffins are brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes before taking out of muffin pan.

Eat and enjoy. According to my daughter, "They're yummy."

How do you like to eat your blueberries?

18 July 2013

The Ugly Truth

This week, mainly yesterday and today, I've been feeling depressed, down, frustrated, etc. I did not sleep well at all last night and tried napping when Charis napped today, but was unable to fall asleep.

On Wednesdays, Charis and I attend prayer meeting and every single time, at least one person asks, "How's the job search for Drew?" Each time I say, "There's no news." I'm tired of saying the same thing week after week after week...  This is something we've been praying about for the last three years.  The bad part is, I feel like giving up. I know God can provide a job for Drew, but I don't know why He hasn't.  He's applied to numerous private schools-both for Spanish positions and Social studies positions, and the school he was a long term sub for, he applied for two positions, and they did not even call him for an interview.

On top of that, the last two summers Drew's hours have increased for tutoring, but this summer, they've decreased.  We're already living from paycheck to paycheck and are stretched.  We're in a one bedroom apartment, and I feel like I'm at my wits' end. I don't know how much longer, we'll be able to do this.  As I told Drew last night, "It sucks." Yes, I said that and now wrote it, and I'm thankful he did not ream me out for saying that {He's never reamed me out or shouted in anger/frustration at me.}  Instead, he prayed for me and with me.

Sorry for rambling, but I needed to write it out.  My journal's in the bedroom where Charis is sleeping.

17 July 2013

Soaker and Because of Winn-Dixie {Yarn Along}

I'm currently knitting a small soaker for a giveaway that runs through the end of July. Enter here. I am using up yarn I had lying around.  I'm getting frustrated at all the clutter in our one bedroom apartment, and Drew had better watch out.  I'm about to start purging.  Every so often I go through this phase and then stop when things are in order.

This next paragraph contains an affiliate link.  I finally finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to Charis, and we started reading Because of Winn-Dixie on Monday.  It's a FAST read; I read at least 2-3 chapters every sitting and am already on page 60-something.   It's about a girl {Opal} who moved so her dad could become the pastor at Open Arms Baptist Church in Naomi, FL.  She met and befriended a dog at the grocery store and took him home with her the first summer in Naomi.  So far, it's an enjoyable book, the stories are pleasant, and I love putting on an accent while reading it to Charis.
What are you knitting or reading?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

Hand Knit Wool Soaker {#SummerFluffing Giveaway}

We're Summer Fluffing and having a blast… with this Giveaway Hop, hosted by the So Easy Being Green and According to Jenny.
I will be giving away a small hand knit wool soaker; it's not yet complete.  Here's the last picture I took of it.  Once I'm finished knitting it, I will lanolize it in Woolybottoms Love Spell Lanolin, which is scented. 
Have you used wool before?
Tell me about your experience with it.
Enter in the Rafflecopter form below.

If you're looking to win some great cloth diaper prizes, you’re at the right spot.  Each blogger in this Event has a Fluff Prize Package worth at least $25!
Good luck on winning my fluffy prize, but why stop now?  The more you enter, the more chances to win a Summer Fluffing Prize!  So hop around on the linky and don't forget to enter to win the huge Grand Prize for this Event…
According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Summer Fluffing participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

16 July 2013

Banana Bread

Last week, I bought seven bananas and forgot about them.  Yes, that's right, seven.  How I forgot about them, I don't know.  Between Charis and I, we usually eat 2-3 bananas per day.  Last night, I noticed they were brown and mushy, so today we made banana bread, recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

I laughed when I read this:
Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on rack. Wrap; store overnight before slicing.
No, I did not follow any of those directions, within five minutes, I was slicing and eating the first piece.
What have you baked recently?

13 July 2013

doTERRA Essential Oils: These are a Few of My Favorite Things {#Sponsored}

When I was in nursing school, I thought that patients who used essential oils were crazy, and often wondered, "Why don't you just take a Tylenol?"  But as the years have gone by, I have a greater realization that there is a potential risk with any medication you take.  There is a natural way to treat many common ailments.  Essential oils are natural, aromatic compounds that have healing products.  According to Dr. David Hill essential oils can be up to 70 time more effective than dried herbs.  doTERRA essential oils have no fillers or artificial ingredients and can be administered topically, internally, or inhaled.

I received a doTERRA Introductory Kit to review.  It includes lavender, peppermint, and lemon essential oils, along with a CD by Dr. David Hill introducing essential oils.  On thing I wished was that he cited the few studies he spoke about.

Peppermint: The only oil I used before receiving the kit was peppermint oil.  Peppermint oil is energizing, and if I have a headache, I often drink water and put one drop of peppermint oil on my temples. 

Lavender: Lavender oil is relaxing.  Last week, I was having trouble falling asleep; at 2 AM, I finally decided to get out of bed and put 2-3 drops on my pillow.  Within 5 minutes, I was asleep.  In the past, I would have reached for Benadryl, but been sluggish in the morning.  Instead with lavender oil, I woke up rested.

Lemon: Recently I was cleaning the fridge, there was food that spoiled and had an offending odor, I put 1-2 drops in a small amount of baking soda and left it in the fridge.  8 hours later, the fridge no longer smelled. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you have experience with essential oils?
Enter to win your own Introductory Kit from My Natural Family.

The product I reviewed and the giveaway prize was provided by My Natural Family
and will be shipped to the winner by My Natural Family. 
All opinions expressed are my honest opinions based on my personal experiences. 
If you own a blog and would like to run a giveaway like this, check out their blogger program.

Sun Safety Saturday {Giveaway}

*I was provided products at no cost in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I've talked about the importance of covering children's skin when they must be in the sun, but what about clothing for in the water?  Thankfully, companies like i play make a wide-range of swimwear and clothing options to protect sun-sensitive kiddos' skin, without hindering their water play!

Part of i play's philosophy is to create healthy products that "encourage healthy development through play". I was delighted to have the opportunity to test two of i play's swimwear products: the M&M Short Sleeve Rash Guard and the Classics Flap Sun Protection Hat.

One of the things I love about i play's UPF 50+ Rash Guard shirt is that it covers a large amount of D's body...which means I don't have to apply sunscreen there!  The rash guard is made of a stretchy, lightweight coated material, that moves easily during play and dries quickly after wear.  At first I thought that having a shirt in the water would hinder Declan's movement and get in the way of him playing.  After trying it out, although the shirt does stretch a little when wet, it stays pretty close to D's skin and doesn't get in the way of play.

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I thought that the hats with flaps always looked silly...until I had a baby with translucent skin.  i play's Classics Flap Sun Protection Hat is rated for newborn (0-6 months), but I wanted this hat for Declan because it's ties and the coverage it offers.  Thankfully, the hat fits D's head at a year old (which makes me wonder how big it would actually be on a newborn), and the flaps offer excellent sun protection (UPF 50+) for his neck and ears, again, without hindering play.  The material is extremely lightweight and breathable (it has a mesh lining to promote air flow), so much so that I was shocked that D was able to forget that it was on his head.  The ties are excellent because my guy hates wearing hats and always pulls them off.  The long brim in the front provides an amazing amount of shading without getting in the way.  As you can see in the photos, my blue-eyed little man is actually not squinting in the sun (a rarity in our sunny day photos)!

To view a wider selection of gear, visit i play's website at www.iplaybabywear.com.  You can also connect with i play via Facebook and Twitter.

i play has been kind enough to offer ONE lucky winner their choice of either the Flap Sun Hat OR Rash Guard shirt!  Enter through the form below:

What tips do you have for sun safety?

12 July 2013

A Few Blessings on July 11, 2013

July 11-a few blessings.

Charis pooped all by herself; there was no prompting or asking, "Do you need to poop?" I was in the kitchen and heard, "I pooping." 

Charis napped for 4+ hours! I had to go in at 5:10 PM and wake her up so we could go walking. 

I walked a total of 3-4 miles-to the park and of course 7-Eleven so we could get a free small slurpee.

My husband made it home safely, which is sadly something I take for granted.

Since I'm talking about blessings, for Ann Voskamp's July 11 Joy Dare-"3 Gifts in Jars".
  1. Tea. Tetley British Blend tea in my tea jar.
  2. Homemade jam. Not made by me, but it's yummy.
  3. Peanut butter. Had 1-2 Tbsp. with a banana/apple mixture today.

11 July 2013

An Old Sweater {Yarn Along}

I have not taken on any new knitting projects this week.  Instead, things have bee slowly getting back to normal after Charis and I arrived home from travelling to Pennsylvania.  Chores still need to be done, especially cleaning the kitchen floor.  When I was visiting my parents, my mum gave me my FAVORITE sweater my sophomore and junior year in high school.  It was given to me by my Granny; she lived in Northern Ireland and most likely knit it as well.  I wore it everyday, but stopped because the yarn on the right sleeve was wearing thin.  I had {and still have} no clue how to fix it, but I'm hoping to repair it.  The seam is also coming apart where the right sleeve attaches to the body, but that's easily fixed.

You can see where the green is peeping
out underneath the cardigan.

Where the sleeve is wearing thin.

Charis has enjoyed "knitting" this week. AKA, "Mummy, please cut the yarn and give me knitting needles." No knitting actually occurs.

I was reading The Chamber, but stopped because I'm doing other things.  I NEED to see if the library has it as an audio download and listen to it instead.  Two of the books I read to Charis were Lester's Dreadful Sweaters and Curious George Visits the Library.  {The next links are affiliate links.}  Lester's Dreadful Sweaters is about Cousin Clara who comes and stays with Lester and his family.  She loves knitting him sweaters, but they are badly knitting or bold, ugly colors.  Lester destroys one, but the next day gets a new sweater.  Thankfully, my Granny did not knit ugly sweaters.  Growing up I loved Curious George.  I borrowed Curious George Visits the Library from our library; I borrowed it because I sometimes try to take Charis to story time, and it's a humorous look on what NOT to do at the library.

Do you have any tips about how I can fix the sleeve on the cardigan?
What are you reading or knitting this week?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

10 July 2013

FunBites and Peter Rabbit Organics {#anythinggoes giveaway hop}

Anything Goes Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Anything Goes Giveaway Hop

This event is hosted by The Review Wire and Review Wire Media. This hop is dedicated to...anything! All participating blogs have a giveaway of at least $20 so hop down the list to see what they have in store for you. Make sure to also check out the Grand Prize over at The Review Wire and enter to win a pair of Bluebuds X Headphones from Jaybird, a retail value of $170!

My giveaway consists of your choice of FunBites and 10 assorted Peter Rabbit Organics pouches.  Be sure to click through the linky and enter the other blog giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on July 31, 2013. The Anything Goes Event Bloggers are not responsible for shipment of prize or sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by The Review Wire.

09 July 2013

Peter Rabbit Organics Review {#Sponsored}

Often I am on the go-walking, running, shopping, or just being out and about.  At times, Charis gets hungry, and I like foods that are not messy and convenient.  So, I often have fruit pouches with me.

Peter Rabbit Organics is a small, privately owned company, based in Oregon, that sells organic fruit snacks and veggie blends.  There products have no added sugar, salt, or artificial ingredients. 

I was sent three of their different blends to review.  The first thing my daughter noticed was that it was "Peter Rabbit applesauce." Even the blends that did not have apples were applesauce. My daughter enjoyed each fruit/veggie pouch.  As a mother, I like that Peter Rabbit does not have any high fructose corn syrup.  It's just fruits and vegetables; that's it-nothing more. Their pouches are also BPA free. 

The one downside is that their pouches are not recyclable. 

I highly recommend Peter Rabbit Organics, especially if you are often on the go.

Check Peter Rabbit Organics on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

What flavor would your child most likely want to try?
I was sent three Peter Rabbit Organics pouches for review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

FunBites Review {#Sponsored}

Two things my daughter loves are:
  1. Hearts
  2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
I was thrilled when FunBites agreed to sponsor and upcoming giveaway.  FunBites is a tool cutter than cuts food into bite sized pieces.  It was started by a mom who was tired of cutting her child's food into bite sized pieces.  What I like about FunBites, they are made in the USA, are top dishwasher safe, and are BPA free.

I was sent the hearts cutter in pink.   I used the cutter on a few sandwiches, a hamburger, and cheese.  It cut through easily, and my daughter enjoyed her food in small hearts and clapped when she saw her food.

The one drawback was that it was hard getting some food, especially peanut butter and jelly, cleaned out of the cutter.  The trick that helped was using my daughter's old toothbrush.

If you have a toddler or enjoy making bento lunches, check out FunBites on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Which one would you choose?
I was sent the FunBites Heart Cutter to review.
All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way.

03 July 2013

Shorties {Yarn Along}

The American flag shorties are finished.  I tried embroidering stars, but I did not like the way they looked, so I removed them.  I'm also knitting red newborn shorties, but they're not complete yet.  I battled a headache yesterday, and today, I did errands.  Needless to say, knitting has been on the backburner the two days.

What are you reading or knitting this week?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

01 July 2013

Handknit Wool Shorties {#redwhiteblue giveaway}

What better way to celebrate the Land of the Free than Free Giveaways!?
Welcome to the Red, White, and Blue Event hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.  We're celebrating Independence Day with a bang - an Event full of giveaways!  Each giveaway is either patriotic, made in the USA, OR color themed!  So, be sure to hop around and see the fun, unique prizes at every blog!

I have two giveaways-handknit wool shorites.  One giveaway is open to Canadians only and the other is open to the United States only.  I hope to post a photograph of the shorties no later than Wednesday.  My camera battery died.  But the charger is at home, and I'm away from home.  Here's a teaser for the American Flag Shorties.  The Canadian shorties are red.
Now that you've entered to win on my blog, be sure to hop around to all the other bloggers offering fun, patriotic giveaways.  If you're a cloth diapering fan, you'll want to check out the color themed giveaway from Thirsties - an USA cloth diaper company!

Enter the Grand Prize Here!

According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Red, White, and Blue participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Have you used wool for cloth diapering?
Tell me about your experience.