About our blogger: sugarloafbaby

Mother to one crazy but delightful daughter, my days are full of diaper surprises, never-ending nursery rhymes and rewarding baby belly laughs. Follow me in my daily discoveries of what this motherhood thing is all about!

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Posts by sugarloafbaby:

November 16th, 2014

A Gift a Day: Grocery Bag Holder and Fleece No Sew Hat

The grocery bag holder evolved out of my need to hold grocery bags in a convenient way that didn’t take up a lot of wall space. I found a tutorial for making one out of a kitchen towel, using a few pieces of elastic to scrunch the top and bottom and attaching a ribbon for hanging. It turned out so well I am making a lot more for gifts! A kitchen towel is only $1.

The fleece hat I made to match the scarf I made a while ago for my youngest. I may have made the hat a bit on the small side, so I hope it fits. It was very simple and quick- no sewing involved. I used fabric scraps for the scarf and hat so these projects were free.
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January 8th, 2014

2 Years of Breastfeeding!

Snowflake turned 2 this week, and she also officially weaned a few weeks ago. My original goal with her was 18 months and I was able to make it to just about 2 years! Although the last few months were short feedings in the evenings only, we still enjoyed the time together and she was able to get some more of that wonderful milk, concentrated and sweet I’m sure! I feel very blessed to have breastfed her so successfully and to have met a milestone I know most never see. It was truly not something that came easy for me, as I have trouble making a lot of milk. My body in fact does not respond well to a pump (I can barely get an ounce even when feeding a newborn), and because of that I never gave Dahlia a bottle. She has never had a sip of formula either. This required a lot of commitment on my part- I never left her for more than 4 hours at a time, and I did nightly feedings for over a year. I nursed on demand to keep up a decent supply, so most days I nursed every 2-3 hrs in the first year. I was happy to do it though, I knew it was good for her and good for me. Breastfeeding relaxed me immensely, something that I needed a lot of having children just 18 months apart! I am so proud to have extended breastfeeding, and I just want to encourage any other mothers out there that it can be done and be a beautiful thing.
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December 10th, 2013

Celebrating Advent

We are celebrating Advent this year by doing different activities every day until Christmas. Since we got back from our Thanksgiving travels on the 1st, we didn’t really get started until the 4th but the girls will never know ;).

I have made a board on Pinterest with inspiration projects and crafts. There are so many good ideas it’s hard to narrow it all down!

Yesterday Dahlia colored a snowman decoration (the kind that comes in the $1 Kits at craft stores) and Dallas practiced making snowflakes. Since her preschool teacher wants her to work on her scissor skills, this will be something we do all winter long! I used coffee filters to make the snowflakes.

Today, Dallas went to the library with me and checked out a few more Christmas books. I have started displaying the seasonal books on our bookshelf in the living room, which is free decor and helps the girls want to read them! We also made ornaments for the tree, using a cut out small circle wreath from cardboard and gluing Pom Poms around it. Dahlia didn’t really understand you were supposed to keep the Pom poms on, but she had fun taking them off and putting them back on! Dallas’ survived but needs a lot more glue than I thought for it to hold up. This was more of a good idea in theory!

February 5th, 2013

Baking Bread

One thing I have committed to making myself for our family is our bread. We feel so much better when we have homemade bread and I feel at ease knowing exactly what’s in it. I use out bread maker for our everyday bread, but I bake the sourdough in the oven. The sourdough is actually the easiest! I bake it in a deep baking dish and no kneading is required, just a long rise time. I made my our starter from scratch so I am really pleased with how well it has been doing.

The last photo is a kid friendly way to eat chili! Recipe from family circle magazine.

Snowflake is 13 months old now and doing well. She is very advanced in her motor and language skills compared to her sister and she is still getting plenty of momma milk! I love watching her little personality take shape!
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December 18th, 2012

2.5 Years

Dallas will be 2.5 years old in a week or so! She has turned into such a fun-loving, emotional, energetic little girl! I love her to death, but she is quite the challenge most days. Her terrible twos seem to have made a reappearance as of late, after several months of improvement. She really is annoyed by her sister most of the time and we have to constantly remind her to be nice and not hit, to share and to not erupt into a scream every time her sister says something!

She is still not potty trained, but I am not worried. I am taking my time with it, as I have no desire to begin training and end up at a dead end of frustration due to her not being fully ready. She is not showing ANY signs of readiness so we will leave it at that. I plan on starting to train her closer to 3. For now, it’s 2 in diapers still!

Dallas is finally Read the rest of this entry »

October 16th, 2012

White Beans n’ Bacon with Cornbread

We had something new for dinner tonight – beans and cornbread! A true pantry meal, everything about this dish is quick and easy. Daddy C loved it and so did Snowflake. Peanut liked her cornbread but wasn’t as much of a fan of the beans. But, 3 out of 4 taste-buds, I’d say that’s a winner.

Here is our recipe:

White Beans N’ Bacon
1 can of Great Northern White Beans (or 1.5 cups cooked)
1.5 TBSP Bacon Grease
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
dash of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup water

1. Drain and rinse beans. Meanwhile, melt bacon grease in a small pan.

2. Add beans to pan, stirring to coat. Add additional seasonings. Add water and cornstarch. Turn to low.

3. Cook until soft and thick. Serve over cornbread with a cold glass of milk.

You can use boxed corn-bread, but why do that when it’s easy to make your own? I made up a mix of whole wheat cornbread mix quite a while ago and so I used that. Here’s the recipe for that:

Whole Wheat Cornbread Mix

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups corn meal
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbs baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ cup oil (olive or coconut)

Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt, until well blended. Drizzle oil through the mixture and work until fine crumbs. Store in a sealed baggie.

1 cup of mix = 1 box of purchased cornbread mix.

To use: To 1 cup mix, Add 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk. Pour into greased muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-25 minutes or until done.

October 3rd, 2012

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

When Snowflake was just a few weeks old, she developed a nasty eczema rash. At first, we figured it might be a food allergy so I went on an elimination diet for several weeks with no luck. Then we speculated that it might be an environmental allergy to certain chemicals in her baby wash, lotion and detergent. At the time, I was using a pretty standard laundry detergent, Johnson’s baby wash and Johnson’s baby lotion. We threw out the lotions and baby wash and replaced it with Dr. Brommer’s baby mild soap, an all natural lotion and I started using an all natural detergent. That seemed to do the trick, and her rash cleared right up!

Well, after some time using the new detergent, we ran out again and I decided to make our own and see if that works just as well. I was amazed at how easy this detergent was to make!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe:

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September 23rd, 2012

Peanut’s Favorite Books

Peanut (26 months) is an avid reader. She reads all throughout the day, and we have an impressive children’s library to help sustain her appetite for books. Yet she still chooses the same books over and over and over and over again. And just when you think she has had enough of the book, she asks for it again! Here are some of her favorite books at the moment:

The Little Red Caboose - This was Daddy’s C’s book when he was a boy, so it’s a special book handed down to Peanut. She LOVES this book. The reading is repetitive, but the illustrations are so involved, it’s no wonder she likes looking at all the pages. I think I have this one memorized!

Little Red’s Autumn Adventure – I bought this book at Ollie’s last year to go along with our leaf theme week awhile back. I wasn’t expecting too much fuss over it, but it has become an all-time favorite read for her. The writing is clever and the illustrations are captivating.

Pajama Time – This i s a great bedtime book with a catchy rhyme-song. Daddy C and I both read it differently Read the rest of this entry »

August 22nd, 2012

This Week’s Frugal Activities

Here is a list of the frugal things I have done this week:

I lined dried all my clothes. I actually did less laundry this week, so I saved on water.

I canned another 3 pints of tomato sauce from tomatoes harvested from our garden. I reused the water in the canner from the first time, since I had just used it the day before.

I read a book from the library and returned others that we had finished. I also renewed some that were about to be overdue, saving myself from racking up overdue fines.

I combined as many trips as possible when running errands. Since we live about 10-15 minutes from the main shopping area, I try and get at least 2 errands done at once to save on gas. The most I am usually able to do is 4, but any more than that becomes difficult since Peanut and Snowflake don’t do as well with extended trips.

I did not need to water the garden for on several days due to rain! It’s nice to finally get some rain around here, although for many crops it is a bit too late. My 2nd zucchini plant finally bit the dust after a particular hot afternoon last week, so I only have one producing plant now. I really thought I would have harvested more than I have from these 2 plants (as well as my 30 tomato plants), but I guess the weather just was not favorable this year.

I shopped for our upcoming vacation and bought all our food for the trip at the discount store (Aldi) and Kroger here in town. The cabin we will be staying at is a bit more remote, and the grocery store is very expensive there, so we are saving a lot of money buying our food beforehand.

August 12th, 2012

This Week’s Frugal Activities

There is a forum I frequent that has a topic entitled “What Frugal Thing Have You Done Today?” Rather than update on the forum, I have decided to update it here on my blog instead. I’m hoping to start posting weekly again, and this gets me started.

  • Line-dried all my clothes. I do this exclusively now that it is summer. Our clothes smell so much better, last a lot longer, and I get sunshine and exercise to boot. The sun also is a great disinfectant, so I usually feel they come out cleaner this way. Yes, I line-dry all our towels, socks, underwear, you-name-it. Our dryer has been unplugged for the past several months. :)
  • Ate lots of leftovers. We didn’t have ANY leftover waste this week, which is a huge accomplishment, since leftovers tend to pile up for us. I always hate throwing out food, since it’s basically throwing away money!
  • Went on a hike as a family. We went to a nature preserve close to our house and so did not pay much for gas. This was a fun, FREE activity that we love! Dallas hiked the entire way by herself over roots, rocks and other barriers. She was so excited to lead the way, reminds me a lot of myself as a child!
  • Stayed home and played outside in our backyard. Staying home is frugal since we don’t spend any money on gas or other shopping while out! Dallas played on her swing-set and Dahlia crawled around on a blanket in the grass throughout the whole week.
  • Ran the dishwasher only once a day with full loads only, and let them air dry instead of running the heat-dry cycle.
  • Washed all the clothes except cloth diapers in cold water.
  • Used cloth diapers half the week – this saves a ton of money!
  • Researched and planned for our upcoming 2 week vacation. I worked on menu plans, shopping lists and Rob helped research campgrounds to stay in. We will not have any lodging costs on this trip except campgrounds since we will be staying in a family cabin the rest of the time. Menu-planning helps ensure we only eat out on planned days.
  • Did not have to water the garden on several days due to rain, hooray!
  • Successfully canned 5 pints of tomato sauce from tomatoes harvested from our garden. I also froze about 10lbs to save for the next canning session.