Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday- Tuna Casserole

This casserole is really easy to make and really good.

2-3 cups of cooked noodles
1 can of tuna
1 can of creme of mushroom soup ( look at last weeks recipe if you want to make your own)
1 onion diced up
Salt and Vinegar potato chips.

Cook noodles in large pot of salted water.

While the noodles are cooking, take a tbsp of butter and melt it in saucepan.  Add onions and cook till soft.  Mix in 1 can of creme of mushroom soup and 1 can of tuna.

When the noodles are done cooking, drain.  Add to the mushroom tuna mixture.  Put into a greased casserole dish.  Put crushed potatoes chips over top and cook in the oven for 30 mins at 350F.

Serves 2-3

I usually make a double batch of this as it makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Wash Routine

Product Name
There are lots of ways that people wash their cloth diapers. I use my top loading machine.  It is not HE.  It is a plain regular top loader made by Kenmore.

I put no more than 20 diapers in the machine esp if they are poopy.  I run a cold rinse to get the poop and pee out them. Then I run a hot wash cycle with the regular amount of Purex Free and Clear with a cold rinse.  Then another cold rinse.  This gets my diapers clean and I have had no issue doing this.

For a time I tried Nellies to clean my diapers.  While it did a great job on clothing, I found that my diapers were not clean enough and I was starting to get stinkies in my microfibre.

There are lots of debate on how much soap you should use.  A lot of people use a limited amount of soap as they don't want build up, however only a little soap doesn't really clean your diapers well.  I prefer to use a bit more soap and have clean diapers.

When the wash is done, I hang up all my PUL covers and throw everything else- microfibre inserts, fitteds, prefolds, and wipes into the dryer for 30-40 minutes.

Diapers hanging out in the sun this summer
Some people prefer to hang dry fitteds, but I don't have too many of them and prefer for them to dry faster.  PUL covers can also be put into the dryer on low for 20-30 minutes.  It allows them to dry, but not ruin the PUL.  When I had less diapers I did that from time to time.

When the weather is nice, I like to hang my diapers outside.  The sun is a great natural bleaching agent.  Sunning diapers can get all the poop stains out of your diapers and leave the insides white and clean looking again.

I have only put bleach into my machine once.  Benjy had a case of the stomach flu and his diapers came out smelling not so fresh.  This was from not rinsing the diapers enough before I washed them as there was lots of poop residue.  The bleach helped slightly and did make the interior of my diapers white again ( as it is not a great time to sun diapers when it is -10 to -20C) .  Most of my diapers are now back to their smell free state with only 1 or 2 having a faint smell.

To get rid of poop on my diapers not that he is no longer EBF and is eating solids, I use a poop spatula.  It gets the poop into the toilet and then I rinse the diaper in the sink.  I had bought a diaper sprayer, but unfortunately my plumbing is old and my husband could install it without a pipe possibly breaking.  His poop is getting even more solid so sometimes it just rolls off the diaper straight into the toilet.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012


Inside of gDiaper
I kept seeing gDiaper ads everywhere.  I imagine as I search cloth diapers a lot on google that most of my ads are for cloth diapers.  I was curious about gDiapers so I bought two used from a fellow member on a cloth diaper group.  gDiapers have a cotton outer and an inner waterproof pouch.  They have disposable inserts or reusable insert.

This is known as a hybrid diaper as it combines both disposable inserts with a reusable cover.  I never used the diaper with the disposable option although I do have some.  I find them huge.  I also don't have one of their reusable inserts so I used a newborn prefold inside.  It works great.

medium on mr Monkey
Large cover, front view
gDiapers also look backwards.  The velcro does up in the back which is handy for a kid that likes to rip off their diaper.   The gDiaper is also a sized diaper coming in tiny ( for newborn), small, medium, and large.  It comes in a variety of colours and stripes.

While I don't hate the gDiapers, they are not my favourite diaper.  I think they would be good for a skinny baby.  I found Benjy even though he is slimming out to be too chunky for it.  The top elastic part would dig into him.  Also the sizing did not even go close.  The medium says 13-28lbs.  He is tipping the scales at 22lbs and I can't get the medium to do up on him anymore.  I have a large one as well.  It still fits him.

A plus side to the gDiapers is that they are very slim and fit well under lots of clothes.  I don't mind them for pees only, but poops are a scary thing and get all over the place.  The gPouch can be switched out as the outside of the diaper doesn't always get dirty.

I don't have a picture of Benjy in the gDiaper as he has been moving all over the place and getting any diaper and a picture of him in has not been easy.

Large Cover, back view

Inside of the diaper without gPant Pouch

gPant Pouch that snaps into cotton shell

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Double Gusset Alvas

Alva diapers are diapers that come right from the manufacturer.  Many people resell these diapers as this is a diaper manufacturer.  The double gusset diaper is known by them as colour snap. There are several double gusset diapers on the market.   Alva diapers are pocket diapers that have a PUL outer with a suede cloth or fleece liner with a microfibre insert.

The double gusset helps to keep poops, esp messy ones contained.  It has been very effective in preventing any excess poop from escaping the diaper.

It has openings on either end of the diaper.  This allows the insert to agitate out in the wash.

The diaper comes with one snap in microfibre insert.  This is very convenient.  Just be sure to unsnap as I have had an insert pull a snap out of the main part of the diaper.  You don't have to unstuff it though.

The Double Gusset ones also have a hip snap to prevent wing drop.

It is also called the colour snap as it has very colourful snaps.  It also has 4 rise snaps for great adjustment of fit.

I really like the fit of these diapers.  I own 4 of them in different colours.  They fit nicely, are very trim, and very easy to put on.

The diapers come in a very limited number of colours and prints, but they are a great price of $6.99 USD with free shipping from alvababy.com.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


Boingos are one of the newest things to hit the cloth diapering market.  They are fasteners for cloth diapers, primarily prefolds.

Boingos vs Snappi
They are similar to pins in the sense that they  able to be used independently in the diaper.  They are similar to snappis in the grip mechanism that they use.  I am not great at putting on prefolds, but I like the way the Boingos work.
The back of the Boingos

My only complaint is that they leave some marks prefold.        

The size of the Boingos

Boingos in action
Boingo being used just singly
The snappi
I find that snappis put a lot of pressure on my son's tummy.  I don't have a picture of him in a prefold as he does not want to stay still for pictures so I used his monkey instead to illustrate the difference. The Boingos do not press against his tummy and are much easier to adjust a prefold with.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Benjy Update

Benjy is now 9 months old.  At his last baby well visit he weighed 22.9 lbs and was 30.5 inches tall.  Like many breastfed baby he gained a lot of weight at first and now has plateaued.  I am not complaining as it is nice that he is able to get good use out of his clothes as he has been in 12-18 month stuff for a few months now.

He currently has 3 teeth that are in with 4 and 5 emerging.  He has his two bottom middle teeth with his top left middle tooth in.  His tooth to the left is half way in and his tooth to the right of the middle his coming in.  I don't think it will be long till his other top middle tooth comes in as I can clearly see it outlined.
Here he is modeling the diaper I made him for Valentine's Day

Benjy can crawl very well and very quickly as the cat has found out.  He has been able to crawl since he was 7.5 months.  He has been standing up in his crib since just after 7 months.  He can stand up unassisted now and has taken a few small steps although he prefers to crawl as it is faster.  He cruises along the furniture and climbs onto of things like boxes to reach something if he can't get it.  He has taken a few of my tea cups ( which are not hot by the time I get to drink them) and dumped them over. For Christmas he got a walking toy and loves using it.

Food wise he is eating 3 meals a day with snacks plus nursing lots.  He eats oat cereal in the morning mixed with breastmilk most days, but sometimes prefers to have a piece of Farley's biscuit.  His morning and after snacks are fruit puree mixed with cereal.  His meals are a meat and a veggie usually mixed together.  I am allergic to tomato so I was hesitant to give him some.  I did one day and he absolutely loves it and has had no reaction.  He still reacts when I have straight dairy ( like cheese) so I am still avoiding it and haven't given him any.  He is fine though when I have diary that is baked into an item ( like bread or a donut). I am really hoping he outgrows this intolerance.

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Wordless Wednesday- Jan 25, 2012

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday- Homemade Creme of Mushroom "canned" Soup

Due to Benjy's apparent milk intolerance, I cannot have any milk either as we are still Breastfeeding.  I really like Tuna Casserole.  The core ingredient besides tuna and noodles is a can of cream of  mushroom soup.  Looking at a can we had in our cupboard, there didn't seem to be too ingredients so I thought I would make my own.  The Chief decided to google to see if he could find a recipe for it and he did.  I tried it and it turned out perfectly.  We couldn't even tell it was not the "real" stuff.

Here is the recipe originally found here:


    • 1 tablespoon pareve dairy-free margarine
    • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
    • 1 tablespoon minced onions
    • 3 tablespoons pareve dairy-free margarine
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 1/4 cups soymilk, heated


  1. Melt 1 tbsp margarine and sauté vegetables lightly.
  2. Remove from pan.
  3. Melt 3 tbsp margarine.
  4. Whisk in 3 tbsp flour and seasonings.
  5. Cook for about one minute, stirring frequently.
  6. Slowly add hot soy milk, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps.
  7. Cook until thick, stirring constantly.

This is thick and perfect as a base for casseroles.  According to some of the comments, rice milk could be used instead of the soy.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday- Megwich Sloppy Joes

We have lots of ground meat in our house purchased from a local farmer.  It is lean and so yummy.  This is one of the recipes I have been making lately.

The original recipe is from here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sloppy-joes-ii/, but I have changed things up a bit.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup  prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and red  pepper; drain off liquids.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To get the flavours to really mellow, putting it into a crock pot for a few hours is a great way to keep it warm and allow the flavours to mix.  
We serve outs on hamburger buns.  It is also great left overs for lunch the next day.

My husband named them Megwich ( inside of manwich).  

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Monday, January 16, 2012

What is currently in my stash

My cloth diaper stash has grown by leaps and bounds.  I have lots of different types of diapers and nicely it did not cost me all that much.  I am pretty sure that with taxing and shipping I have spent less than $750.  Probably more than $500, but less than $750.

The main part of my stash is pocket diapers.  I have lots of those.  ( not too sure how many at the moment).

I also have fitteds, prefolds, flats, AI3s, and covers.  I also own 4 snappis and a set of Boingos.

The easiest one to list are my covers.

1 MotherEase Rikki Wrap in Size Large
1 GenY cover in Medium
1 Thirsties Duo Wrap in Size 2 ( in Owl Print)
1 Rearz Couture Cover in Med
2 Kawaii Covers
1 WAHM  cover in a red maple leaf print.
As well as 3 pairs of upcycled wool longies and 1 wool cover in large.
I also have some Kushies and Prowrap covers that are too small and have been put away for whenever baby #2 comes along ( not for a while longer)

Plain Diapers
I have 5 flour sack towels and 12 Kushies Flats.  They are convenient to use when I am running low on diapers and to stuff into pockets.  They also work well at night as they are pretty absorbant.

I have some newborn prefolds that work great stuffed in pocket diapers or just tr-folded in covers.  I have 9 medium Rearz prefolds that I like to use around the house.  I prefer pockets for going out.

Diaper Fasteners
I have both snappis and a boingo.  I didn't mind the snappis when he was smaller, but I find he is too wide and the snappi rubs against his waist.

I got a set of Boingos last week and I have to say that I like them.  Much less pressure on his tummy.

4 GlowBugs- 2 GlowBug Print, 1 Squares, 1 Cow Print ( see my review here)
4 Double Gusset Alvas- Red, Blue, Green, Black
4 Done with Disposables ( see my review here)
Pockets Part 1

10 Alvas in various prints
10 SunnyBaby Diapers in Royal Blue ( see my review here)
4 Kawaii Original Square Tab ( 1 Orange, 1 Blue, 2 Yellow) (see my review here)
1 Kawaii Heavy Duty in green
1 Kawaii Bamboo Minky in Blue
1 Kawaii Square Tab Fun Print White with Green Stars
1 GoGreen Champ in Blue  with Stars ( see my review here)
Pockets Part 2

1 Bee Changed Pocket
1 noname diaper in owl print

Fitted Diapers
Fitteds - Goodmama is the teal and the Bububebe is the Dr.Suess Print
3 MotherEase One Size- 2 cotton, 1 unbleached
Rearz Smitten in medium
5 Momentum BabyWear fitteds ( made by me) as well as a few failed prototypes or too small ones

Sweet Pea All in 3 in owl print
Lil Helper ( on its way)

Grovia Shell in Planes
Gdiaper in Medium and Large

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Madame Benoit's Molasses Hands

Madame Benoit's Molasses Hands ( with some adaptations from Me)
5 c flour
1 tbsp baking soda
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup lard or shortening
1 cup sugar ( white or brown)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup strong tea ( different teas add different flavours so experiment)

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking poweder, and spices.  
In a separate bowl, cream the lard, gradually adding in the sugar and eggs.  Beat until light cream consistency.  Add the molasses and tea, then slowly add the dry ingredients.  Mix well and refrigerate for a few hours.  

Roll on a well flour surface to 1/4 inch thich and cut out with cookie cutters.  Recipe makes at least 10 dozen 1.5 inch cookies.  

Bake at 400F for anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes depending on oven.   

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GoGreen Champ Review

The GoGreen champ is a double snap double gusset pocket diaper.

It comes in a wide variety of colours and prints.  Even a few of them are minky.  The double gussets are great for poop staying inside the diaper and not escaping.  The diaper has two openings so the insert can agitate out by itself in the wash.

The snaps on the diaper are double in the middle which makes the diaper fit nicely.  They also have a hip snap to prevent wing droop.

The diaper comes with 1 insert.

The insert snaps into the diaper.

There are 4 rise snaps in the front.  Currently my son is on the 3rd set so he still has lots of room to grow.

The diaper is quite trim and fits quite nicely on my 9 month 22lb son.

The GoGreen champ is a very affordable diaper retailing for around $15.95.  It fits well and is generously sized.

All these thoughts are my own and I have not been compensated for this review.
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Going back to work soon

One last month before I go back to work.  There is a part of me that wants to go back and another part that wants to stay home with Benjy.  I do enjoy teaching a great deal so I feel torn.  Ultimately though we need the money.  One income will not support us.

In preparing to go back to work, I am getting Benjy more diapers so I won't have to worry about preparing diapers so often.  I will still wash every few days, but having a larger stash will help me limit what I have to do in the evenings.  My plan is to bring a 20 or so diapers every Monday and bring home the dirty ones every night.

My plan also is with clothing to bring several outfits so that there is not so much that I have to bring over each day.  I am not sure if this will work out, but it is worth trying it.

Anyone have any other advice about going back to work?
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