Hello domestic goddess, goodbye store-bought bread

Melissa, February 5, 2011

I’m feeling a bit smug. The smell of freshly baked homemade bread is wafting through my house. It’s the third batch this week and my family is not tiring of it… and neither am I tiring of making it. Forget about needing a bread maker, forget about labourious kneading. The secret is in the preparation and the preparation is, well, easy. Really, really easy. The recipe comes curtesy of the wonderful Chef at Home, Michael Smith. No Knead Bread – a beautiful bread recipe that requires no kneading. It is truely amazing. Just four simple ingredients (flour, yeast, salt and water) in a bowl, quick stir, leave overnight, gather into a ball, leave a little longer, then bake. The result is picture perfect crusty bread requiring all of about 5 minutes effort from you. Here is the recipe: http://chefmichaelsmith.com/Recipe/country-bread-city-bread/ There are lots of yummy variations on the basic recipe, like whole wheat and multigrain or you can get a bit creative and start throwing in combos like garlic powder and dried rosemary or sun-dried tomato and basil. And if a bread recipe that requires so little effort doesn’t convince you to whip up a batch for your family, then take a quick peek at the list of ingredients in a loaf of bread from the store. There are way more than four, that’s for sure.

We Heart our Retailers!! Win $100 Gift Card!!

Melissa, February 3, 2011

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day we wanted to show our retailers some love!! Wean Green is offering one lucky reader a $100 gift certificate to any one of our awesome retailers (and of course a pack of Wean Cubes). Entries will be accepted until midnight MST on February 13th. The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day! Here is how it will all go down… 1. Purchase Wean Cubes from any of our great retailers. 2. Let us know which color and where you purchased them on this blog post  (no fibbing mamas, we will need proof;) For the more competitive players, earn some BONUS POINTS! – share the contest post on your facebook & twitter (make sure you let us know!)

Recipe of the Week is WEELICIOUS!

Melissa, February 2, 2011

This super cooking mama is my hero! I love cooking in the kitchen with my two little ladies but would never dare have someone video the chaos:) Catherine, the founder of weelicious makes every recipe easy enough to do with your kids AND ensures the recipes are delicious enough that even your most discerning eaters will enjoy them! So I am dedicating this week’s recipe of the week to the beautiful mama of 2 behind weelicious! Raspberry Banana Puree (straight from the weelicious recipe box!) 1 Banana, peeled 1/2 Cup Raspberries, rinsed 1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree, or place in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. 2. Serve. For more awesome recipes, lunch ideas, great information  and cute videos please go to http://weelicious.com/!

Recipe of the Week! Slow Cooker Peachy Carrots

Melissa, January 25, 2011

I was recently given some amazing farm carrots. When they started to go bad I decided I needed to make a big batch of something with them so I made a peachy carrot puree that I have used on pasta (as well as fed some neighborhood babies;) This is a great sweet supper for any weaner that has had both carrots and peaches! Slow Cooker Peachy Carrots 10 peaches, pitted and diced 20 carrots, peeled and diced 1 1/2 cups water Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Puree. Yields Approximately: 3-4 cups

The Paperback Princess

Melissa, January 23, 2011

Ask me what I’m currently reading and the truthful answer is mainly Dr Seuss and Robert Munsch. My kids have a lot of beautiful books, but the monotony of reading them over and over can really take the magic out of them. I would find myself selecting the shortest book just to get it over and done with. That’s why my new favorite outing is to the library, where there are more books than you can ever read and a lot more besides. Storytime, child friendly computers, CD players, magazines, DVDs, reference books and quiet reading areas make the library a destination for a really pleasant couple of hours. If time is short, then I can just run in a grab one of their quick pick bags containing a varied selection of age-appropriate books and usually a music or story CD too. The online service is pretty amazing too, where you can search and put items on hold, renew your books, sign up for registered programs and let the little ones watch a storytime anytime video. Amongst many others, we’ve discovered the delights of “The Great Stroller Adventure” by Denis Markell & Melissa Iwai and “Gordon Loggins and the Three Bears” by Linda Bailey & Tracy Walker, and my 2 year old son just loved a factual book about Velociraptors. So if  you ever feel that you’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar one too many times, head to your local library, get yourself and your kids a card (in Calgary it’s $12 per year for adults and free for children up to age 13) and start borrowing! I also recommend signing up for Library Elf (www.libraryelf.com) so you don’t get stung with any late fees when your baby brain forgets when they are due back. An ever changing selection of new books has really made story time a lot more enjoyable for me and will hopefully encourage the young ones to be avid readers. Plus, I can always pick up a few good, age-appropriate, books for myself.

Are you there world? It’s me, Peita.

Melissa, January 23, 2011

Is it wrong that I’ve always been a bit jealous/suspicious of mommy bloggers and wonder how on earth they find the time to do it? Don’t they have enough to do running round after the kids and then just want to slump in front of the TV watching some trashy show whenever they have any spare time? Suddenly, I am one of them. Eeeek! Nope, no idea where I will find the time either. The inclination came about because I need to find something to keep my brain ticking over and have a little creative outlet for myself. Plus, Melissa kinda begged me and bought me lunch. My vital stats: – Two children: one boy (will be 3 in April), one girl (1 in February) – Very happily married. We never fight. Weird, huh? – Moved to Calgary from native Scotland almost 5 years ago – Scottish accent that I never plan to lose. Ever. – Likes: travelling, baking, swimming, walking, singing, etsy.com, skype, Bobs and Lolo, confusing Canadians by throwing in weird Scottish words/phrases into daily conversation Slange Var!

2011 Pre Golden Globes Boom Boom Room

Melissa, January 18, 2011

I had such an amazing time meeting some beautiful and amazing celebs as well as being placed in the same room as so many great companies!! Here are some pics from the event!!

Rid Phthalates!

Melissa, January 18, 2011

One very good reason to be a proud Canadian is that this beautiful country acts against harmful chemicals and tries to keep them away from our little ones. I read the article, “Phthalates to be restricted in children’s toys” on CBC News this morning and I am thrilled with the report. This is not the first time this topic has come upon my blog, if you are interested in learning more about the dangers of some of the chemicals used in plastic check out http://blog.weangreen.com/dangers-of-bpa-and-other-chemicals/! With many more chemicals to be banned from our products all I have to say is, good riddance phthalates!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Emily Press Labels

Melissa, January 14, 2011

I believe every born teacher has a ridiculously overwhelming need to label things. In my classroom I believe I even labeled my name tag. It was scary. My weaners’ toys bins are all labeled (and not it doesn’t help them put them away) and my desk is neatly labeled. My garage is nicely labeled and yet I find myself always searching for good labels! I am excited at the opportunity to meet Emily Press Labels in the Boom Boom Room and discover what else I could possibly label (she has actually given me a few new ideas but I know there will be so many more!) I am also thinking we need to get some labels made up for all you super mamas that make your own baby food and store it in Wean Cubes! I can’t wait to meet the mastermind behind the labels!! I am feeling a little self conscious about my name tag, I wish I would have known about the companies a little bit sooner:) Even the Emily Press Website is organized, I LOVE IT! Want to win a $25 gift certificate to Emily Press Labels? ME TOO! Luckily for you, my entries count for nothing! This is for the grand prize Swag Bag that will include the gift certificate! I am starting to think this idea will make me a new friend:) If you are unfamiliar with the contest, freshen up on our January Contest Post. Once you have entered the newsletter you will automatically qualify and you can earn extra points by saying hi to Emily Press Labels on twitter!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Gum Drops Hair Candy!!

Melissa, January 14, 2011

Someone must have told the event organizers that I am awful at doing my weaner’s hair!! Along with an adorable and colorful website Gum Drops Hair Candy rock!!I am so excited that there is another absolutely adorable hair company filling the tables at the Boom Boom Room!! The awesome mama behind this company is such a sweet business owner there is no way that she won’t be wildly successful! These cute hair accessories are made by the mama behind the company and are available on her site! I am ordering some of the cute ponytail holders!! Gum Drops Hair Candy will add a little swag to our Swag Bag Contest!! I am sure you now know that if you want extra entries you can reach out and connect with Gum Drops Hair Candy on twitter and facebook! Don’t forget to comment below if you did it!!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Kiddo Tags

Melissa, January 13, 2011

I am one of those crazy mamas who has been obsessively writing my weaner’s names in big black sharpie on everything since the day they were born! I believe Kiddo Tags was invented to put peoples minds at rest and avoid the ugliness of big black sharpie on all those absolutely adorable kids belongings. I am thrilled to be meeting the team behind Kiddo Tags next week, and you should be thrilled that you have an opportunity to win a gift bag with a little something in it from them!! With over 80 designs to choose from you can label everything for your kids (and self)!! They print all their labels in the US and “they are Dishwasher and Microwave Safe, Waterproof, Weather-proof (UV-Resistant) and scuff-proof”!! If your weaners are anything like mine this will excite you!! If you would like to win Kiddo Tags inside your Swag Bag full of Hollywood loot make sure you enter the contest! After you enter you can earn extra entries by following Kiddo Tags on twitter! Remember to comment below if you have done it!!

January Contest- Swag Bag!

Melissa, January 13, 2011

For those of you I haven’t gloated to yet, I am headed down to LA to go to the Pre Golden Globes Boom Boom Room with Wean Green. Thanks to social media I have connected with some other fabulous companies that are meeting me there in less than 2 weeks! January’s Wean Green contest is for a swag bag from the Boom Boom Room.  I will be collecting the prizes at this infamous event and drawing a winner live from Hollywood on January 15th at the end of the day! Who knows, maybe we can even get a celeb or two to throw in some autographs??!! Some of the contributors are: Today I Ate A Rainbow! SnoozeShade, Little Trendstar, Wean Green and so many more!! Everyone that has subscribed for our newsletter before January 13th will be entered to win. You can earn some bonus entries by sharing the contest on twitter & facebook (just comment below after).  Also make sure you ‘like’ us on facebook and ‘follow’ us on twitter! And as usual, I accept bribes in the form of flattery, pretty things and wine. Good luck to everyone! I wish I could bring enough back for every single person!!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek!ZoLi

Melissa, January 12, 2011

I had the awesome opportunity to meet the fabulous mama behind ZoLi at the ABC Kids Expo in October (yes it was probably a little awkward when I tracked her down and told her I am her biggest fan) and I was so thrilled when it was announced that she was joining the Boom Boom Room this year!! ZoLi has such a great selection of baby items and I always include one of their munch teethers into my baby gift sets for friends and family!! We are getting so close!! Okay, for extra entries…Say hi to ZoLi on twitter and facebook! I am so excited! Okay, if you haven’t read the rules go back to the January Contest Blog. Everyone else, you know what to do:)

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Way Tutu Cute!!

Melissa, January 12, 2011

Hello ADORABLE! Oh and the really cute selection of tutus, hair accessories, clothes, gifts and SO much more!! This awesome mama run company scoops up products in USA and Canada from talented parents who hand make the products! WayTutuCute.com is exactly that. So cute!! This companies eye for style is what caught my attention! It is so nice to have a chic little boutique that locates the awesome products for you and puts them all under one roof…or website:) Nothing has changed in the contest! You can still find all the initial information on our January Contest Post and you can earn extra entries by chatting with Way Tutu Cute on twitter and facebook.  Are you starting to believe me that this swag bag is jammed pack full of goodness:)? I can NOT WAIT until Saturday night when we do this draw live from Hollywood!! Don’t forget to comment below after you have chatted:)

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Ella Bella Hair Clippies

Melissa, January 12, 2011

Hello beautiful ! Ella Bella Hair Clippies will be joining the crew in LA this week for the Boom Boom Rooms and as a mama to 2 girls I couldn’t be happier!! I think one of my favorite things about these clips is that they will fit in my weaner’s fine hair and still look super cute!! They import their material from Switzerland, and if their material is as good as their chocolate and cheese we should be laughing! These clips are made by hand and I am blown away at the selection!! My favorites are the critters and creatures:) If you are in it to win it you can earn extra entries by saying hi to Ella Bella on twitter or facebook. If you are a rookie to the contest make sure you read the rules on our January Swag Bag Contest Post!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Morning Chicness Bags

Melissa, January 11, 2011

If you have ever tried throwing up into an empty pop bottle you will understand the need for these bags! I remember that first trimester and being stuck in traffic with nowhere to pull over and having the undeniable urge to vomit (I know, I should have done a disclaimer for this post:) and the only thing I could find was an empty pop bottle. There was seriously nothing else I could do unless I wanted to catch it all in my lap! Morning Chicness Bags is adding some bags for our January Contest. We are happy to know that at least one mama can save her lap from disaster! Tara, the smart mama behind this company, knew there was a need for this product when she was suffering from Hypermesis Gravidarum during her pregnancy and the closest thing she could find to a portable bag that she could stuff in her purse and pull out in an emergency was airline bags. She tells about how difficult they are to obtain and the airline logos not being the most fashionable accessory. So for all you preggo mamas out there, now is your chance to enter the contest! And after signing up for our newsletter you can get extra entries by communicating with Morning Chicness Bags on twitter! Make sure you comment below with your link:)

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Belly Button Boutique

Melissa, January 10, 2011

There is a retail store joining us in the Boom Boom Room this week! Bellybuttonboutique.com has agreed to give us a product that they will have at the Boom Boom Room for our January Swag Bag Contest, WOOHOO! Thanks Karla! This gorgeous mama has put together a boutique that is dedicated to making your pregnancy a comfortable one! Yep, could have used this a while ago! Like many mamas who suffer during pregnancy (with anything!) Karla spent hours and $$ trying to get through both her pregnancies. I think having 2 babies makes her an expert in itself but you can tell that she has also continued on with her research. Save the time and money and just ask Karla!! If you would like to win an item from Bellybuttonboutique.com make sure you enter our January Contest! Want more entries?? Say hi to Karla on twitter and then let me know in the comments section!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Puppy & Bean

Melissa, January 9, 2011

Along with having an incredibly cute business name, Puppy & Bean, this awesome team has some adorable shirts (and accessories!) that are very suited for my weaners! They have such a great selection that you are sure to find something suitable for your little one!! Love what they say on their site, “Our mission is simple: to design products that bring levity to the demanding, but rewarding, job of parenting. Each of our t-shirts is inspired by our own experiences raising kids, particularly toddlers. Anyone who spends time with young children will relate to our simple, upbeat and honest messages. These are the t-shirts your kids will wear on the weekends because they make you smile.” So here it is! If you need a refresher contest on the whole January Swag Bag Contest read the Post! For bonus entries you can chat with Puppy & Bean on twitter or facebook! Make sure you have signed up for the newsletter AND comment below with your Puppy & Bean hellos!

Swag Bag Sneak Peek! Today I Ate A Rainbow Kit!

Melissa, January 8, 2011

Yes, DOUBLE TROUBLE! This will be our first rendevous since our last stint in Vegas! Today I Ate A Rainbow will be in the Boom Boom Room and YES I have volunteered her to give away a prize:) Any opportunity to get weaners to eat more fruits and veggies and I am 100% on board!! Today I Ate A Rainbow was designed by one of my fabulous mama friends! The kit comes with a nutritional chart and magnets so they can track their fruit and veggie intake daily! The book is a great educational tool for teaching kids why they need to eat their fruits and veggies and the bookmark will hold your spot (because yes, you will be reading it every night!). The kit also comes with a shopping cart so that you actually remember to BUY a rainbow for your weaners to eat-she has thought of everything! For all the info on your chance to win a Rainbow Kit as well as a ton of other awesome products check out our January Contest Post! If you have already signed up for the newsletter and are looking for extra entries drop a line to Kia on twitter or facebook and leave a little note in the comments section so you get the extra entry!

Swag Bag Sneak Peak! Little TrendStar

Melissa, January 7, 2011

Along with absolutely adorable models Little TrendStar has the cutest t-shirts for weaners! These awesome shirts are made in the USA with non-toxic eco friendly ink!! I am so excited to meet this company and feel this soft baby ribbed cotton!! The two lovely ladies behind this beautiful brand are providing us with an awesome shirt for our Swag Bag contest!! “Little TrendStar is all about the young budding trendsetter and our goal is to make style stars out of all of them!” Just my kind of mamas:) Alright, go over the rules on the Contest Post to find out how you could win a Little TrendStar shirt with a bunch of other awesome products!! And once again, earn some bonus entries! Say hi to Little TrendStar on twitter or facebook and comment below with the link! Don’t forget, if you aren’t signed up for the newsletter I can’t give you any entries!!

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