Three Things on Thursday

Hi, friends! Happy Thursday. SO CLOSE to the weekend I can almost taste it. I’ve got three totally random things I’d like to share with you today:

  1. Eco Chic Movement. Last month, Dr. Alexis from Eco Chic Movement reached out and asked if I’d like to try some baby products from her all-natural line. I of course said yes because I’m always on the lookout for safe products to use on Wes. We received the baby basics travel set which includes baby lotion, massage oil, diaper cream, baby face cream, baby skin conditions cream, and shampoo & body wash.

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All of the products are 100% natural and made in Ottawa by Dr. Alexis who is a chemical engineer, toxicologist, and naturopathic doctor. The shampoo & body wash came in a foam pump and I had to pump it quite a bit to get enough to lather onto Wes’s head and body, but I could tell it was nice and gentle on his skin. His hair was light and fluffy after his bath too!

The baby lotion had a very thick consistency which also made it a bit harder to dispense, but it was nice and creamy on his skin. I don’t usually use a separate cream for his face, but we tested this out as well and again was very clean and gentle on his skin. I’ve yet to use the other products, but have them on hand when needed!

I also received a couple of trial sizes for creams and lotions for myself and my favorite is the peppermint foot cream. I used this after a night time shower and put socks on afterwards and my feet stayed nice and moisturized (which is quite the feet in this dry altitude!)

Pros: 100% all-natural products; made in Canada; safe for baby!

Cons: The containers my samples were sent in got opened in the mail and they were hard to pump when I wanted to use. Not sure if shipping is to blame for that?

Thanks again, Eco Chic!

2. Checkout 51– This is one of my latest favorite apps. Every Thursday, they load new list of offers (grocery items, office supplies, BOOZE, pet supplies..etc). You simply pick the ones you’d like, purchase them from any store, upload the receipt, and when your account hits $20, they send you a check. Basically, coupons without the physical coupons.

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I’ve already redeemed quite a bit through them. And my favorite part is that you can redeem the offer even if you already have a coupon and/or the product is on sale at a given store. Pampers Baby Dry diapers were on there this week, so I looked for where they were on sale in my area, used a $3 off coupon I already had, then uploaded the receipt for an additional dollar off. Boom, I’m a penny saving genius.

PS: US friends, this is available to you too!

3. Homemade Protein Bars. I decided I needed to let go of my beloved Quest Bars (I’ve had one EVERY SINGLE DAY since Wes was born) because they are just too dang $$$. I looked up recipes on SIMPLE homemade protein bars and came across Lindsay’s No-Bake Protein Bars.

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Here’s what I used to make them:

  • 1.5 c oat flour
  • 1.5 c Vega Proteins & Greens protein powder in Vanilla
  • 1.5 c Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 T chia seeds
  • 3/4 all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 3 T water

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl combine flour, cereal, protein powder and chia seeds.
  2. In another bowl combine peanut butter, milk and honey.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. Add water as necessary to make sure the ‘dough’ is moistened. (it will be crumbly)
  5. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and press dough into pan.
  6. Freeze for roughly 20 minutes.
  7. Cut into bars.

If you click over to Lindsay’s original recipe, you’ll see mine turned out completely different than hers. Mine were super tasty, but I think I can improve on them a bit. Next time, I might try almond butter, rice krispies and omit the chia. I mean, if I HAVE to keep making them, I GUESS I’ll just have to suffer through eating all of them, right? 😉

Do you prefer locally made/natural items for your/your baby’s skin care? What do you use?

Do you have a great homemade protein bar recipe I could try??

From the Week

Icy Conditions + Desire to spend approximately ZERO dollars = we didn’t do much this week. Besides walking the dogs (which was an absolute nightmare) I didn’t leave the house. Except for Monday when we went grocery shopping and then I broke a jar of salsa in the garage when we got home. That was fun.

Still, there are things to share! I suppose.

Passed out on the job:

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Eats from the week: Turkey BLTs, Grilled Cheese & soup, Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Salsa Chicken.

I made Double Chocolate Chip Cookie bars that were delicious. I used this recipe but subbed white chocolate chips for semi-sweet chocolate chips. I baked them for 15-ish minutes. They’re gone already!

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I also made slow cooker applesauce which is out of this world delicious. 12 apples + 2t cinnamon + 2 T lemon juice on HIGH for 4 hours. MmmmmMMmmm.

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Wes is eating a LOT more ‘regular’ food which is pretty great, because I can just throw stuff on his tray and eat my own meal while he helps himself. Granted, he makes a MASSIVE mess, but it’s fun to see him do it. His current favorite is pb toast and bananas. Kid hoovers them in! Plus, he’s gotten a kick out of feeding the pups with his pb fingers.

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And we did a LOT of riding on the car. (PS: Check out my Instagram for this week’s #WesOnWheels)

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His second and third tooth (bottom left and top right) are making their way through so he’s gotten up in the middle of the night 2x this week. Luckily, he was easily calmed back to sleep. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS SO EASY FOR ME Y’ALL. (PS: Why do I say y’all? I’m not southern) Anyhoo…tonight I’m enjoying a glass of the good stuff.

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And that’s it! We have no set plans for the weekend, so I’m hoping to just get in some good ol’ quality time with my guys. And maybe lots of shut eye.

Perfect Protein Pancakes

I thought I’d dedicate a post just to my favorite pancakes of all time. Ok, they’re my favorite ‘healthy’ pancakes that I eat on the regular. I didn’t start making these until after I purchased my Vitamix because I think the machine is what does the recipe justice. (How do I know? Because my previous cuisinart blender was a piece of crap and even my parent’s Ninja blender can’t hold a flame to blending the ingredients just right).

What you need:

  • 3/4 oats (I use quick oats)
  • 3/4 greek yogurt (I use plain 2%)
  • 2 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into blender* (i use the dry container for my Vitamix). Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour silver dollar sized amounts of batter onto hot, sprayed skillet. Flip when you see the edges starting to look ‘dry’.

Yields: 12-16 mini pancakes

*Note: I will add egg whites first, oats then greek yogurt. If oats are placed in first, it makes it difficult to properly blend and you’ll make a couple attempts of scraping down the sized of the container with a spatula. And then when that happens, the batter will splatter around the container when you turn it back on. 

Once in a while I will add a 1/4 cup fruit into the blender for a pop of color and/or flavor.

And unless we are somehow out of it (OH THE HORROR) I always top my pancakes with Canadian maple syrup. Noms.

What are you favorite pancakes?

Late Weekend Recap

In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to lately, it’s only really been one thing: trying to keep a baby alive. Holy hell is it time consuming or what?! The days are pretty easy, but it’s getting him used to the nighttime schedule that has been the absolute pits. I think mostly because I’m tired + I’m convinced I’m doing it wrong + it’s kinda scary and lonely being up alone at night trying to figure out the whole baby thing. And don’t get me started on when I google all things baby on the internet, because it leaves me feeling even MORE confused and overwhelmed and anxious and any other similar adjective.

Good thing my mom is here.

She has really helped take over when I reach my breaking point and just start crying for no reason (see? I am crying now. Mostly because I’m convinced my child hates me. That’s normal, right? Because he seems to settle when anyone else makes an attempt. Except for me)

Ok, so on to actual things we did over the past few days. Note: Must type fast so I can squeeze in a nap before baby wakes up

Friday: Whitney came over to take a bunch of pics of Wes. I am DYING to see all the photos. She was really great with him and I would pay her to come over everyday to swaddle him. She already posted a sneak peak on Facebook and I’ve been staring at it nonstop.

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That night, Tyler and I went to The Keg for dinner to celebrate our anniversary/first week of baby. We told the waiter, but he didn’t give us a free dessert…so that sucked. We did order a bottle of wine and I had a glass but felt so guilty about it and now I’m afraid to drink because I’m paranoid about passing it to the baby. Among other unknown guilt feelings.

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Saturday: I think we did nothing? I don’t remember. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I stayed in my jammies all day and fed/changed/burped a baby. Maybe I showered. Definitely didn’t sleep. There was a hockey game on TV at some point. My mind is so fuzzy.

Sunday: After a lovely feast of bacon and eggs, my mom and I took Wes to Cross Iron Mills (outlet/regular mall combo). Yeah, BAD IDEA. Everyone from the city of Calgary was there. I don’t do well with crowds. Especially when 95% of said crowd was comprised of unruly children. We squeaked out with a few outfits for Wes then came home to a nice steak dinner. After feasting on a caramel apple, of course (we split just one of those. Guess how much they cost? $9 EACH. Insane)

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{insert 60 minute break to feed/bathe Wes. Naked new babies are really cute}

Monday: Again, not too much to report. I started the day with some peanut butter banana protein pancakes. NOMSOHARD.

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For six silver-dollar sized pancakes:

  • 3/4 c oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 c greek yogurt
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana

Add first 4 ingredients to immersion blender until smooth. Pour batter on hot skillet and top with thin slices of banana. Flip. Top with maple syrup. Jam into face hole.

My mom and I then took Wes to Market Mall and bought OURSELVES some makeup. #treatyoself. Although I’m dying a little on the inside at how much it all cost. Whatever.

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Which brings us to today. PHEW. Wes is on somewhat of a schedule (eat, change, activity, sleep. REPEAT A BILLIONTY TIMES). And we’ve managed to have him sleep in his crib at night which is apparently a miracle? Although I’m glued to the monitor the hole night since I’m convinced he will be stolen or something.

How was your weekend??

PB&J Smoothie

Yup, another smoothie. And it’s SO good. Per usual.

I had kind of fallen off the peanut butter train for a while, but my dad came home from a trip to the grocery store with two large jars of pb the other day so I HAD to indulge. What better way than to add some of the sweet stuff to a smoothie!

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Gosh. I really do love my Vitamix. There are way too many combinations of smoothies I can throw together- especially now that I have a blender that actually BLENDS.

Saturday morning, I was craving a PB&J but didn’t really want the actual sandwich for breakfast, so I decided to try to whip something up in my handy dandy blender to mimic the awesome PB&J taste.

PB&J Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries (or any other berry)
  • 1 spoonful peanut butter
  • 2 spoonfuls plain greek yogurt
  • 2 T quick oats
  • Cashew milk (enough to make smooth consistency when blended)

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Noms. It was so good and tasted exactly like the sandwich! (but healthier??)

I also apparently felt compelled to draw a little heart in the new jar of pb. I must’ve been low on blood sugar or something.

Your turn: What’s your favorite PB&J version?