Top 5 Time Saving Tips For Moms

Top 5 Time Saving Tips For Moms
As a mom I know how busy it can get during the days. There is a saying that could relate to this --- "There is never enough time in the day". I feel that this is true for many of us moms. There is always our planned out day plus all the other surprises that may come our way. Sometimes you may think, why did I even bother to plan out this day, when nothing seems to be going as planned. I often feel this way. That is what I love about being a mom though. I enjoy these unpredictable events that somehow tend to pop up out of nowhere. 

Loaf Pan Warm Apple Cinnamon Cobbler

I just love the combination of apples and cinnamon. I just tried this recipe recently and was very happy with the result. I think the apple and cinnamon mixture could even be eaten by itself. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. I made a loaf pan sized serving, though this recipe can easily be doubled and fill a round cake sized pan. 

DIY Colored Cloud Dough

Cloud dough is very easy and cheap to make. It consists of only three ingredients, all of which are edible. 
The consistency of this dough is very nice and soft feeling and quickly turn to a damp feeling when being squeezed and molded. 
Cloud dough is a wonderful sensory activity for small children. 

Buttery Tea Biscuits

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Buttery Tea Biscuits

If you are looking for a tasty treat to go with a cup of tea or coffee then these little tea biscuits are perfect!
To be quite honest the batter looked almost more tasty to me than when the biscuits were done. I thought the finished biscuits looked quite bland. I really thought this would be a failed recipe, however thankfully I was wrong. They are very light, soft inside, and a little crunchy on the outside. It may be good to mention that they are not overly sweet either. They were very quick to whip up and the ingredients are ones that most people would already have on hand. 

Homemade Granola Cereal

Granola can be a very healthy food choice as long as you opt for a variety with low sugars and fats. Choosing to make your own granola is one way to control the levels of added sugars and fats. It is best to choose granola that has been sweetened with honey, syrup, or dried fruit. Granola contains rich fiber, provides beneficial fats, supplies vitamins, and is a good source of minerals. It can help with constipation.  Granola can also give a good energy boost.
Eating granola following labor in pregnancy is also benegicial since the oats contained in granola digests slowly and helps to rebuild muscle strength.
Granola can be enjoyed anytime during the day. 
This recipe for granola cereal includes basic ingredients and is very quick and easy to make.
I only made a loaf pan sized amount as this was my first time making this. Next time I will most likely make a cookie sheet full. 

Packing hospital bags for delivery

Notice how in the title I wrote bags and not bag! No it is not a mistake or typo.
This will be my second delivery at the same hospital so I already know what I need and don't need. For anyone delivering for the first time in hospital I highly recommend contacting them and either request a list of what is needed. or at least get some idea of the essentials and non-essentials required. You may still need to add to this list as you may have a desire for some items not listed. 
So getting back to why I wrote two bags instead of one. I know that some moms like to have one bag for herself and one bag for baby. That is fine if it works out well. I personally find it so much easier to have one bag ready for the delivery room and a second bag ready for the after delivery stay. 

The bag on the left is my delivery room bag and the bag on the right is my after delivery bag!

Hospital Delivery Bag

Most Useless Baby Items

There seems to be a fear among many parents that lead them to believe that they need to have nearly everything out there made for babies. This is so far from being true. For the most part many baby items out there on the market today are a real waste of money. Better to save this money for a future need for your child, such as a college fund. 

The following are items which I chose not to purchase and my reasons for not doing so. They may work for some moms and that is great. These are simply my own opinions. If there are products listed here that do/have helped you please share your experiences. 

Mango Custard Egg Free Recipe

Mango Custard Egg Free

I was recently cleaning through my freezer and had noticed three small pieces of mango. It was not enough really to make a cobbler or smoothies. So I thought I would try adding it to a plain custard recipe. Nothing fancy. I used an egg free custard and it turned out well. 

Sock Sorting Activity For Toddlers

Sock Sorting Activity For Toddlers

This is a great activity to encourage the development of sorting skills as well as fine motor skills. At the same time this activity will also help with recognition of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes. All of these skills are very important for young children. These types of activities also provide healthy stimulation as well as fun and entertainment at the same time. Another plus is this is completely free. It does not cost a penny.

Egyptian Basbousa

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Egyptian Basbousa

Basbousa is a term in the Middle East that refers to a sweet semolina dessert like cake. While it is baked all over the Middle East there are various ways to make this. My husband is from Egypt so of course I have learned to make it the Egyptian way. This cake is very simple and quick to make. Ingredients are very basic. Some basbousa recipes include eggs however the recipe I use is egg free.

Enter Into The Last Month Of Pregnancy

My last month of pregnancy is now beginning. In my previous pregnancy I was one week overdue. Because of this I believe that I am not in as much of a hurry to get everything prepared as I was at that time. I know that is not the way to think as all pregnancies are different. I should be expecting this little one to make his entrance any day now. Still I am finding it hard to get started. I thought because of this I would write this post on what to expect in the final month of pregnancy, what to do to prepare for the big day and also offer some helpful tips to make the transition a little smoother.

The final month: What to expect

DIY Shoe Box Sewing Basket

I am one of these ladies who has yet to own a sewing machine. Instead I have a whole bunch of little sewing instruments and threads packed into two zipper pouches as well as a plastic bag. Not quite a sewing basket that anyone imagines. It would also seem that our home had some extra shoe boxes laying around that were not being used. I love shoe boxes as they don't cost anything extra and they are great for storing little items!

So I ended up dumping all these sewing items into a shoe box. However that just looked like a big mess. I got to thinking about the cute sewing baskets I have seem in the past. I thought I could do something similar with a shoe box that would take very little time and effort. 

So here is what I did!

Firstly I gathered up the materials I was thinking to use. This is where recycling little boxes comes in handy! 

Materials pictured here include:

1 shoe box
various small sized boxes to fit inside the shoe box
1 piece of cardboard to act as a divider between the 2 tiers
wrapping paper
hot glue gun

Natural Relief of Heartburn During Pregnancy

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During both first and second trimester in this pregnancy I rarely had any heartburn. I am now down to the last 5 weeks. For the past 2 to 3 weeks heartburn has become a daily hindrance for me. 

The image below may explain why all of a sudden I have been hit with this awful feeling. 

Some other causes of heartburn during pregnancy include: 

1. Certain foods including caffeinated beverages, chocolate, fried and fatty foods, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tomatoes, and alcohol which should be avoided during pregnancy for so many reasons. 
2. Consuming large meals. 
3. Eating too close to bedtime thus not giving food a chance to digest. 

Bath Time Fun

My 16 month old son loves to take baths. Up until recently he has been quite content with just splashing water all over and playing with his rubber duckies. It has come time to experiment with objects which can be added to his bath that are both fun and safe for him. All of these objects we already have in our home so no need to go out and make any special purchases. 

Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Looking for a smoothie with a little chocolate goodness without any added sugar or sweetener? Then try this tasty chocolaty banana smoothie. These are wonderful to have in the morning to get you off to a good start. They can also be enjoyed at anytime during the day.This is a very simple recipe that contains only five ingredients, two steps, and takes only a few minutes to make. 

Chocolate Banana Smoothies 

Non- Cooking Uses For Eggs, Egg Shells, and Egg Cartons

Looking for other ways to use eggs other than consuming them?? Would you like to hold on to those cracked up egg shells instead of throwing them out? What about egg cartons? Do you already have some clever uses for those that others may not be aware of? Feel free to share!
In this post I will share some of my uses and tips on how to use up everything from the egg shells to the egg cartons and of course the egg itself.

Chocolate Truffles - No Bake

Here is a very easy recipe for chocolate truffles. This is a no bake recipe which requires only four ingredients. These truffles will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week when placed in an air tight container. They can also be stored in the freezer as they will not harden much.
Great to have a batch ready in the fridge or freezer. This is perfect for when you have guests coming and you have no time to make sweets. Serve them up with coffee or tea!

Natural Methods For Preventing and Relieving Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

I am now in the third trimester of my second pregnancy. Overall I have been feeling good and time seems to be passing by so quickly. What I didn't expect were these awful leg cramps that have been occurring during the night. This has just started recently and occurs during sleep. I wake up to this pain that feels so intense. I did not experience this during my first pregnancy so I had no idea what to do except grit my teeth and bare it. I knew though that I could not continue having this without trying to do something about it. So research it is! 

Here is what I found out! 

Leg cramps are very common in pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. So that explains it for me!!!

While they are more common during the night, they can happen any time during the day.

Treat Cups Made From Recyclables

I seem to be constantly trying to come up with new ways to recycle items that would normally make its way to the garbage. I have really started to become a little bit nutty in the garbage department but for now I think that's okay.
This is a cute little project that even little ones could help with. I think they would be great for party and shower favors or could even make a cute little gift holder.

What you will need for this project:

- empty yogurt containers
- plastic bags
- glue or tape 
(I used tape at first but found it didn't work well so ended up using hot glue)
- scissors
- crumpled paper similar to tissue paper 
(I used paper that our peaches were wrapped in)
- stickers (optional)
- treats

Health Benefits And Uses For Olive Oil

Health Benefits And Uses For Olive Oil

In many households, including mine olive oil is considered a food staple. But did you know that this oil contains health benefits as well as uses from personal care, green cleaning, home improvement as well as others.
Important: Do not store olive oil in direct heat or light. Storing the product this way can damage to the oil by creating oxidation, resulting in the change of beneficial chemical compounds. It is best to store it either in a room temperature cupboard or refrigerator to keep it cool. 

Extra Gooey Goodness Brownies

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Extra Gooey Goodness Brownies

Here is a very quick and easy brownie recipe that is very gooey yet so good! This recipe is also egg free, making it perfect for those times you may be out of eggs or have someone in your home with an egg allergy.
It is great when you happen to have a craving for chocolate and don't have any eggs on hand.

Tips To Save You Money In The Bathroom

Everyone wants to save money, right! 
Tips To Save You Money In The Bathroom

So how far would you go to save money in your bathroom? 
Is toilet paper really necessary?
How can that little piece of leftover soap be of any use?
If you like challenges as I do then this is right up your alley!

Lemon/Lime Curd and Parfaits

I absolutely love both lemon and lime curds!

I wanted to share with you this delightful recipe for making delicious lemon or lime curd.
This is a quick and simple no bake dessert recipe and great to use in pies, tarts, cakes or cupcakes, cheesecakes, parfaits, and trifles. 
It should take no more than 10 minutes to make this and makes about 1 cup.


1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten         

Learning With Homemade Picture Boards

Now that our toddler son is 15 months, we want to encourage him into learning new words. We know this will take time however there is nothing wrong with encouraging him, especially when he is showing interest. He really likes to bring picture books to me and watches and listens as I point to the picture saying what it is. Only problem is he has only two books which are both waterproof and tear proof. So I got to thinking of making him something that would give a similar effect.

This is what I came up with:

 Homemade Picture BoardsHomemade Picture Boards

Nutty Coconut Slice

Nutty Coconut Slice

Looking for a way to use up some mixed nuts that may have been opened for some time? 
Well I had some opened almonds, pistachios, and peanuts. All combined together they almost made up one cup. I also had some leftover sweetened condensed milk.

Getting Enough Water During Pregnancy

I am now in my third trimester of pregnancy.  Up until recently I have had no problems making sure I get the fluid intake required.  I have become slack. I always seem to start the day off right however somewhere in between I tend to lose focus. So how will I fix this? First of all I did a little research on fluid intake during pregnancy and looked for ways to help get myself more disciplined.

Starting today, I am setting a goal of having no less than 10 full glasses of water per day. Wish me luck!

Tips for water consumption during pregnancy

Here is what I learned in my research:
How much water intake should a woman have during pregnancy?  
Most professionals say a minimum of eight to twelve eight ounce glasses per day. More is required during hot weather and when doing physical exercise.

What other beverages besides plain water count as fluid intake? 
Milk, juices, as well as both de-caffeinated and caffeinated drinks. Having juices and caffeinated drinks are fine. However it is important to limit juices and soda because of its high sugar content and no more than twelve ounces daily of caffeinated drinks due to risk of miscarriage.
Myth: Caffeinated drinks cause dehydration!

How do pregnant women benefit from adequate fluid intake?
Getting the needed amount of fluids in pregnancy has shown to reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids, bladder infections,  and constipation. 

Egyptian Kunafa Recipe

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 Egyptian Kunafa Recipe

Kunafa is an Arabic dessert dish. Countries all over the middle east have their own variations for this recipe. Some being very similar while others have their own uniqueness. This dish is made of shredded phyllo pastry, a simple syrup and a filling.There are many variations of fillings including banana, cream, raisins, nuts, cheese, to name a few. The shredded phyllo pastry which resembles shredded wheat, can be found either fresh or frozen in supermarkets which stock middle eastern food products.

Many people are intimidated by this recipe thinking that it is very complicated. To be honest I too was a little intimidated at first. However once I did it and saw my result I was able to make it more simplified and still have a delicious taste!
The following recipe I have listed here is an Egyptian variation. It is very simple and is comprised of a raisin filling.

Wonderfully delicious served with a cup of tea or coffee :)


For the syrup:

* 2 cups sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 a small lemon

For the cake:

500 grams of Raw Kunafa dough
* 5 to 6 tablespoons of butter (for best results use Ghee)
* 1 cup raisins

Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C)
Grease generously both the bottom and sides of an 8" X 8" round pan.


Steps for the syrup:

Helpful tip:

Make the syrup after putting the kunafa in the oven. The syrup will still have plenty of time to cool down. I do this every time and have never had an issue.

1. In a medium sized pot and pour in the water and sugar.

2. Stir over medium heat for 10 minutes until you feel that liquid thickened. You can test this by touching the mixing spoon with a finger. If it feels sticky it is ready. Be careful of the hot liquid.

3. Squeeze half the lemon on the thickened liquid and stir for 2 more minutes. Cover up the syrup and leave it aside to cool down.


Steps for the cake:

1. Melt butter

2. Place the kunafa dough in a big bowl and begin separating it with your fingers.

3. Pour 5 tablespoons of butter into the kunafa.

4. Using your hands mix the butter into the kunafa thoroughly. Keep mixing until the kunafa feels moist. Add another tablespoon of butter if needed.

5. Add half of the buttered kunafa mixture to the pan. Using your hands press the mixture into the surface of the pan, working your fingers around the pan ensuring a level surface without lumps.

6. Once you have completely flattened the mixture, add the raisins. Spread them evenly over the flat surface. Keep away from the sides to avoid burning.

7. Add the remaining mixture, covering the raisins. Repeat the same process of pressing the mixture down very well until flat and level.

8. Place the kunafa in the oven for 35 minutes leaving it to become a golden color.

9. Switch off bottom heat in oven and turn on above heat (broil) for about 5 minutes. Turn the pan after each minute to allow an even golden color.

10- Once you take out the kunafa from the oven, pour the syrup on top of it evenly.  Leave it aside for 10 minutes to cool down, then you are ready to serve.

A lesson in Ghee:

* Ghee is "clarified butter" made from raw unsalted butter. Water and milk solids are removed. 

* A better choice of fat than butter and other saturated fats because of its distinctive healing property not found in other fats.

* Rich in natural antioxidants

* Can withstand higher temperatures than butter.

* Lactose free.


Tips To Save You Money In The Kitchen

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Tips To Save You Money In The Kitchen

Sometimes old habits can be difficult to break. It can take time to let go. Just recently I have been trying to cut down on some of my costs in running a household. I love challenges. Challenges are what seems to keep me motivated and striving for more. Of course the biggest benefit from cutting costs is the money saved. In my home it seemed as though the kitchen was the best place to start.
Here are some good money saving tips I want to share. I have begun to implement each one. So far so good! 

Chocolate Cobbler Recipe

Chocolate Cobbler Recipe

Do you ever get a huge craving for chocolate but need something quick and easy? 
This recipe is sure to take care of that craving with ingredients you may already have on hand. This tasted so good after it had been cooled just a little and just as good after it had cooled completely.

Kitchen Safety Tips and Personalized Drawer For Toddlers

My 14 month old son loves to follow me around our home. I am sure that one of his favorite rooms to be with me is the kitchen. The kitchen has drawers and cupboards filled with various and interesting items sure to attract any toddler. Of course having a toddler hang with you in the kitchen is not all fun and games. 

Safety should of course be first priority. 

Here are 5 safety tips I use when cooking with my toddler: 

Homemade Butter Cookies

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I really like the plain butter cookies that are sold in stores. What I don't like though are the many ingredients put in these cookies. I decided that I try and attempt to make these. I went on the hunt for recipes. I don't know what it is, however when I do find a recipe that would seem to be okay I always feel a need to make a change or two. I usually tend to decrease the amount sugar or salt since I find that these are usually measured out more than is really needed. Tampering with a recipe can at times work out well and other times may lead to a disaster.

Ice Treasures and Recycling Yogurt Containers

In our home we consume a healthy amount of yogurt.  Of course that leaves us with many empty yogurt containers. We use single serving cup sizes. At first I was throwing most of the containers in the trash. I was getting a little irritated by this. I know that might sound crazy but I am one of these people who keep anything from ending up in the trash if I can find some use for it.  

Yesterday I did a project with my son. He is 14 months and loves to explore and feel things with his hands. 

I filled three yogurt cups with water and added some food coloring. Then I placed one smsll item in each cup and put them in the freezer. 

After they froze I removed the chucks of ice from the containers for my son to explore and play with.  I put them in a large bowl and added a little plain water so that when the started to melt he would see the water change colors.


Brownies For Two

If you are looking for a quick and easy brownie recipe for just two this is one to try. 
Or if you love chocolate as much as I do than you can do this for one person :)
The result is a very moist, soft and chocolaty tasting brownie.

Important to note: These brownies are more of a fudge brownie and less of a cake brownies. 

Brownies For Two

Uses For Vaseline

Before our son was born I made sure I had purchased all the necessary products needed for a newborn. One of these products was Vaseline. Just the plain petroleum jelly. I purchased a large tub as it was more cost effective. I had planned on using this on our son between diaper changes. Apparently though it is not healthy for the cloth diapers. So I decided to try and keep it away. He is now 14 months old and I have not had to use it on him.

So what to do with this large jar of Vaseline??


Simple Mango Cobbler Recipe

Simple and Delicious Mango Cobbler

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Looking for something sweet to go with your coffee that is both quick and easy to make!
Why not try this delicious mango cobbler recipe? This has to be one of the best desserts I have ever made. In fact so good that it was over half eaten the same evening I baked it. Only my hubby and I to eat it so it must have been good.

This recipe is probably even better with sliced fresh mango. I used fresh mango which I had frozen a few weeks back as they were beginning to turn and I did not want them to spoil. I thawed them almost completely and sliced them into thin pieces. 


For the bottom layer:
1 cup water
tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups sliced mangos
1 teaspoon lemon juice1 1/2 teaspoons melted butter

For the cinnamon sugar mixture:
tablespoon granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk

1. Mix water and cornstarch in a cup. Pour mixture in a saucepan. 
2. Stir in sugar. Add fruit and lemon juice. Heat, stirring well.
3. Pour into a 9" pan and dot with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar cinnamon mixture over the top.
4. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
5. Cut in butter until mixture looks like meal. Now stir in milk and mix well.
6. Cut in butter until mixture looks like meal. Now stir in milk and mix well.
7. Drop by spoonfuls over the hot fruit. 
Bake at 375° F (190 C) for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Both are yummy though I prefer the warm. Makes 8 servings.
Optional: Serve with ice cream or whipped topping.

Enjoy your mango cobbler!

Tips For Breastfeeding In Hot Weather

6 Tips to Help you Keep Cool While Breastfeeding in Hot Weather

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Tips For Breastfeeding In Hot Weather

Breastfeeding a baby during the summer months can become uncomfortable at times for both mom and baby. With this being World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 - 7 2013 I thought I would share some helpful tips with other breastfeeding moms.