Last week I made Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins and I can’t begin to describe how good they were. I had a few bananas that were too ripe and I was seconds from tossing them in the trash, but then I decided to do a quick search on Pinterest, and thank goodness I did because I think these muffins will be making multiple appearances for the rest of the summer. I found the recipe via My Frugal Adventures.
I followed her instructions almost exactly (see below). However, instead of using 1.5 cups of all purpose flour, I used 3/4 cup. Then I added 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, and the recipe still turned out beautifully.
Let me tell you: Porter LOVED these muffins (and so did David. They didn’t last long in our house.) After the muffins cooled, I gave Porter a small taste, and he went absolutely nuts for it. The next day when I grabbed one to snack on for myself, he wasn’t letting me get past him without sharing. I’ve never seen him go that crazy for a food before. It was Porter’s first taste of Nutella and I have a feeling it’s going to become an obsession.
The recipe was a cinch to put together (even with a toddler at your feet.) Here’s what they looked like all ready to go in the oven. I got carried away with the Nutella for a few of the muffins. By the way, I use these silicone baking cups.
And here they are baked and ready to be devoured.
Here’s the recipe for those of you who would like to try it. Porter highly recommends them. They are great for breakfast, a snack, and even for dessert. Like I said, they didn’t last long.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway! If you didn’t win, you can use the code “babyBlythehighpants” for 10% off in the Baby Highpants shop. Baby Highpants is already having a 20% off sale, and this coupon code will give you an extra 10% off. This coupon code will be valid through August 5, 2014.
It seemed that Porter outgrew his first diaper bag months ago. We were stuffing it full every day, and it just wasn’t as functional as it once was. So when Baby Highpants offered to send me their Poppy diaper bag to review, I jumped at the chance, and guess what? You all will have a chance to win one as well!
You guys, this diaper bag is amazing. It’s incredibly well made (I love the canvas it’s made from!), stylish, has tons of pockets, and it’s huge. It also came with a changing pad, shoulder strap, and stroller clip. Baby Highpants offers a variety of colors and the winner will also get to choose the inside fabric/pattern.
As you can see, this diaper bag holds a lot. Now that Porter is a toddler, here’s what I keep stocked in our bag.
plastic bag (for unexpected messes) / extra outfit (sometimes more than one)
Now that you’ve seen what I carry in my diaper bag, now it’s time for one of you to win one of these amazing Poppy diaper bags from Baby Highpants. Make sure you use all the options to enter in order to increase your chances of winning! This giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. (central time) on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
As every mom will tell you, “they grow up so fast,” but it’s true. I can’t believe how quickly the past 18 months have gone, and I know that just around the corner (figuratively speaker) Porter will be starting kindergarten.
That being said, I think it’s important to document these precious times. Now don’t go assuming anything crazy and think that I have Porter’s baby book finished. Because I don’t. It’s on my summer “to do” list, though, so hopefully I can finish it in the next few months.
I do, however, have photo books that document my pregnancy with Porter as well as his birthday and birth story [Read Porter's birth story here.] These books are really special to me, and I hope they will be special to Porter someday, too.
I know there are myriad of photo book companies and options. I’ve used and experimented with a few, but I always go back to Shutterfly. By the way, this is not a sponsored post; I truly love Shutterfly and their products. Their photo book making process is easy (which is not the case for all photo book companies), and they have many templates and options to get you started.
pregnancy photo book, I was very diligent about taking pictures each and every week to document my pregnancy. I also tried to compare the size of the baby to the size of a fruit/vegetable, but that didn’t happen every week. When I look through the book, there are some weeks in which I look absolutely dreadful, but I know I will continue to treasure this in years to come (despite the way I look in the pictures.) I also included his birth story at the very end.
Here are a few of my favorite pages from my pregnancy book.
I used to have them displayed on our tv stand, but Porter figured out how to climb on top of Maggie’s toy basket in order to reach them. Now I have them packed away, but thankfully Porter didn’t rip any of the pages. The hard covers are a plus, too.
Here’s more proof that Porter likes these books almost as much as I do…
If you’re interested in trying them out, Shutterfly has a promotion going on that will allow you to save up to 40% on photo books. Likewise, if you haven’t signed up for Shutterfly already, you can earn 50 free 4 x 6 prints for signing up!
For awhile I considered ditching all my microfiber inserts and using cotton prefold diapers to stuff my diapers instead (we use bumGenius 4.0′s). I replaced about half of them a few months ago and was happy with the results, but I just hadn’t gotten around to replacing all of them.
Well, in the last few days, I replaced all my microfiber, prepped the rest of my prefold diapers, and I’m only using cotton prefold diapers now. I am thrilled with the results.
Don’t get me wrong: microfiber gets the job done. Microfiber inserts (the ones that come with bumGenius and many other types of diapers) are very absorbent. I had very few leaks, and I microfiber allowed me to feel confident about cloth diapering when I first started. Truth be told, microfiber worked really well for us for about a year. Once we hit 13-14 months, I started to suspect that my diapers–or at least the microfiber inserts–weren’t getting clean enough (see this post about my cloth diapering troubleshooting.) We have really hard water, and even with a softener, I suspected that my wash routine wasn’t working for us. David and I were completely frustrated, and we were close to throwing in the towel and being done with cloth diapering once and for all. It got that bad.
I pretty much solved that problem when I started using Tide and switched up my wash routine a bit; however, the problem was only solved temporarily. A HE washer and our hard water were just making it too difficult to get the microfiber clean. I researched about what the best option was for pocket diapers and discovered Green Mountain Diapers (cue the hallelujah angel music.)
There are many types of prefold cloth diapers out there, and I’m sure many of them will work just as well, but I purchased the Cloth-eez prefolds, and I am obsessed. They are so absorbent, and here’s the best part: they get really clean.
I purchased the medium red-edge diapers which cost $37.00 a dozen (about $3.08 per diaper.) You can purchase replacement microfiber inserts for roughly the same price, but I knew if I went that route that I’d just need to replace them again after another year or so.
I want to be honest. There are a few cons to using prefolds:
1) They make it a smidge harder to stuff diapers
2) They are not one size; I probably need to purchase the large, brown edge diapers soon
3) You have to prep them ahead of time (meaning they are not super absorbent and ready to go right out of the package)
Prepping the diapers is really easy, though. Essentially, you could just wash the diapers on hot several times (about 5-6) and they’d be good to go. However, I wanted to speed up that process a bit, so I decided to boil my inserts.
I filled my biggest stock pot with water and once boiling, I carefully placed 5 of the prefold diapers in the pot. I made sure all diapers were submerged and set the timer for 20 minutes. I also checked on them every few minutes to make sure I wasn’t burning down the house. Once the 20 minutes were up, I carefully removed the diapers with tongs and placed them in a colander set over a large bowl. I allowed the diapers to cool, and once I could handle them by hand, I washed and dried them on hot 3 more times.
After this process, the diapers were super fluffy, and you could tell they were ready to be used. You can see the difference below. On the right, I have 6 prefold diapers straight out of the package, and on the left, I have 6 that have been boiled, washed, and prepped.
As the picture below shows, they do shrink a tad after prepping. Do you see how soft and cushiony they are, though?
On another note, my switch from microfiber to prefolds has changed our night time diapering routine just a tad. I still LOVE the Best Bottom diapers, but I’ve started to pair a prefold with a BabyKicks hemp insert. I do this and either stuff in a bumGenius 4.0 or place in a Best Bottom diaper cover. Either way works and we haven’t had any leaks! Best Bottom also has hemp+cotton inserts that I might try!
So thank you, Green Mountain Diapers for reviving my love for cloth diapers!