It’s ALIVE!!!!!

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We get quite a lot of emails asking us about work from home opportunities. The majority of the work from home opportunities out there are all pyramid schemes and scammers. My advice to you if you are looking for a work from home opportunity is to create your own job!

Matt has helped me create my very own work from home project! I have started my own baby boutique called 5 Minute Recess!

I have to thank my friends for volunteering their time and their children to taking product shots and for my favorite amigos down south for taking a chance on this wannabe work from home momma!

I have very lofty goals of expanding, but slowly and surely is the pace. The best advice I have for starting your own business is to take it slow. Do not spend a lot of money in inventory until you are sure you can sell that in a short amount of time.

Other business opportunities may be dog walking, cleaning, babysitting, photography, and so on. Business licenses and tax id numbers are relatively easy to get. If you get lost there is always your best friend google waiting to help!

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Hug Your Grandmother For Surviving the 195os

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Matt’s brother sent us this article a few days ago and it made my stomach flip.

The Daily Mail in the UK wrote an article on this 1950s actual newspaper article posted on Twitter by History in Pictures.

This is a frightening look at the general attitude towards women at that time. What most of those men were describing is abuse both psychological and physical. “…it will remind them how well off they are.” Mister Davis is eluding to the fact that women must be spanked in order to realize that they have it good. I would love to know what his definition of having it bad was!

When I was little I was embarrassed of my grandmother, and didn’t understand her ways. After reading this newspaper clipping it makes me wish she was still alive so I could give her a hug. I am so sorry that she wasn’t born in a more liberal time.

Thankfully today such behavior is punishable by law and completely unacceptable. This article stands as a wonderful reminder of how far we have come as a country as far as women’s liberation.

Because We Can, Can, Can: Part II

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I don’t believe in easing into anything gently. I decided to can all the produce from our garden this year and in order to make it worth my time and effort, I had my hubs extend our planting. We had 34 tomato plants, 5 rows of green beans (a spring planting and a summer planting), 4 zucchini, 4 yellow squash, a few cucumbers, and a few other random things all in a 9 by 27 foot area.

I didn’t even wait for the garden to begin producing to can. I wanted farm fresh fruit as well. First up, strawberries and homemade strawberry jam. Again, no small canning here, I picked three times and brought home 2 gallons each time, for a grand total of 22 pints and 4 half pints (for gifts) of jam.

Strawberry jam was a good way to begin canning and because Rachel already blogged about jam in Part I, I’ll move on.

Next up were green beans. This is where I was initially intimidated because of the use of a pressure canner. You must pressure can less acidic foods that don’t reach a high enough temperature to kill any potential bacteria in the food when using a water canner. In a pressure canner, you put less water, lock the lid, vent excess air, and watch the pressure build in the canner. Processing beans is relatively easy. I won’t go into extreme detail here because you can read how to do it in the Ball Blue Book or on their website, I have to admit that it wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated. It just takes time. Don’t underestimate how long it takes the canner to reach the proper pressure and then after the processing time how long it takes to return to zero pressure and a point when you can remove the lid and jars. There were many nights when I didn’t get to bed until midnight. So now we have about 22 quarts of green beans and are hoping for another 20 or so if our second planting come in.

Oh tomatoes, how I love and hate you. Our 34 plants of tomatoes began producing. First off, we had to accumulate tomatoes over a week or so just to have enough to do a small recipe of Basil Garlic Tomato Sauce, found here. Let me tell you, 20 pounds of tomatoes is A LOT! You must have a huge pot to cook this sauce. Another useful tool is the Victorio Food Strainer. This is how you get the sauce smooth and remove all the seeds and skins. The hubs and I called it a night after this step and stored the strained sauce in the fridge. Night #2 was for reducing the sauce and canning it. So again, build in time for the entire process or plan on stopping points where you can begin another day. Canning, water bath and especially pressure, puts out quite a bit of heat so we chose to can in the evening, after the little prince went to bed. This produced 7 pints of sauce. Not as much as I would like for all the work involved, but I know EXACTLY what is in my food and we grew all of it except the garlic. Next year, I’ll know what to expect.

Tomatoes take 2 was Fiesta Salsa found here This only produced 4 pints but the work involved wasn’t nearly as much as the sauce and it is an amazing salsa. We love it!

Tomatoes take 3 (yes, we still had a ton of tomatoes) was Seasoned Tomato sauce from the Ball Complete Book. I started the cooking of the tomatoes before bath time and used too high of a temperature. The tomatoes scorched to the bottom of the pot! I was so upset! I thought I had just wasted another 20 pounds of tomatoes. Fortunately, my hubs convinced me to keep going and give the sauce a shot. What emerged was a “fire roasted” seasoned tomato sauce. I wouldn’t try to replicate it again on purpose but I’m happy with how we were able to save the scorched sauce we started with.

Enter the blueberries. My first blueberry picking didn’t bring home enough to do any canning recipes with so we just ate them. The second picking brought home about 3 pounds of berries which gave us enough to try a blueberry pie filling, recipe found in the Ball Complete Book. The gelling ingredient is Clear Jel. Let’s pause here and talk about Clear Jel. Clear Jel does not equal Sure Jel. Sure Jel is used for making jams and is readily available in your local stores. Clear Jel is a commercially developed product that is difficult to find and most often has to be purchased online. I didn’t know this when I decided to make my pie filling. I found a website that gave an equivalent of clear jel to tapioca so I used tapioca and followed the directions of the recipe. I probably should have bypassed the pre-cooking of the pie filling before canning. During canning, the filling seemed really thick so my pie filling may become a blueberry tapioca jellyfish concoction.  I guess I’ll see when I open one of the four jars we made.

Tomatoes take 4 (and yes, still more tomatoes) was simply whole canned tomatoes. I was tired of making recipes and didn’t have the time to do another one any way so it was time to just get them in the can. I can make them into sauce when I pull them out later.

And because I didn’t have enough to do already, I decided to pick a bushel of peaches. A bushel is actually more than you’d think. Try about 50 pounds of peaches. Those 50 pounds became sliced canned peaches (because I couldn’t fit my hand into a regular mouth quart jar), halved canned peached (because I went and bought wide mouth quart jars and could fit my hand into it), and 9 quarts of peach pie filling. I’ll admit, I’m most excited about the pie filling. We had a little extra that wouldn’t fit in a jar so we added it to our homemade vanilla ice cream we started in the maker after the peaches started processing. The ice cream is AMAZING!

A sampling of my canned goods

A sampling of my canned goods

That was my first year of canning and it was BUSY but now I know what to expect for next year. Have you tried canning? Did you have any great recipe finds? Any recipe fails?

Happy Frugal Homemaking,


Need Someone To Talk To?

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7 Cups of Tea7 Cups of Tea is a brand new start up that connects people trained as active listeners with people who need and want to be heard.

  • Want to vent about your child not sleeping?
  • Want to commiserate about lip ties with another breastfeeding mom?
  • Need to reach out to another parent with a special needs child?
  • How about you plain old want someone to listen?

If you have answered YES to any of the above questions then I highly recommend signing up for 7 Cups of Tea. … and the best part about this service is that it is FREE!

As a first time mom living far away from all of my family and close friends I had a rough start to motherhood. All of my friends at the time were childless. They did understand what it was like to have poop shoot across the room at 3 am and hit the cat. All I wanted was someone to witness my pain! I felt very alone and very isolated.

After hearing about this service and remembering how much it sucked to be alone with a baby all day, I signed up to be a listener. I want to be there for other caregivers who needed someone to witness their trials and tribulations! It also seemed like it could be a fun opportunity to make some extra money during nap time! I enjoy that I can chose whether to accept chats through my phone or the web interface or I can opt to chose to talk on the phone. As the inherently shy person I opt for the chat interface 😉

I truly feel this new service will help not only first time moms but any parent, family friend, or anyone really who wants someone to hear what they have to say.




How to Go to the Bathroom Sans Baby

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I am a stay at home mom with no family nearby. This leads to a whole boat load of problems.

For example:

  • How do I fold laundry with one hand? – babywearing
  • How do I clean a toilet when the baby is awake? – babywearing in a back carry
  • How do I cook dinner? – babywearing in a back carry

and the most important one…


potty_walkerWalkers, bouncers, high chairs, and bumbos are a gift from above for the stay at home mom who just needs to pee! On most days I put the exercise saucer into the bathroom upstairs and put the walker into the bathroom downstairs.

The exercise saucer is great to keep my needy daughter occupied while I sing to her when I am in the shower. She loves show tunes sung in a very bad Russian accent!

The walker is great for quick potty breaks because I can still see and talk to her and I am normally done and my hands are washed before she figures out how to back out of the bathroom.

In a pinch I have put the bumbo on the floor, or wheeled her high chair in the bathroom.

If you have an older baby, and your baby area is “kid-proofed” you can always do the spoiled kid method.

spoiledSome may say my daughter is spoiled, but I say whatever it takes to keep her busy for 5 minutes while I have to go!!

On a side note you should never pay for a new exercisesaucer, bouncer, bumbo, or high chair. Do you research on which models have been recalled and then hit your local flea market, garage sale, craigslist, or mom swap. The total cost for our daughter’s high chair, bumbo, exercisesaucer, and bouncer was $52.

*While I have gone to the bathroom with my daughter in a front carry when I was out and about and had no other option I do not recommend making this a habit while you are at home.

We would love to hear about your ingenious ways to go to the bathroom without a baby!




It’s My Birthday and I will Giveaway If I want to!

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Today is my birthday and in order to celebrate my time here on this earth I have decided to combine 2 of my most favorite things! Raffles for charity and babywearing!

This year I have picked out something special for all of our fans!

For our first prize winner we have Matt’s favorite wrap design along with our favorite colors combined…. any guesses?!?!

A brand new size 5 KoKaDi‘s Fire Birds wrap!

Little Miss and I modeling our giveaway at 7am in the morning!

Little Miss and I modeling our giveaway at 7am in the morning!

For our second prize we have a brand new Babies Beyond Borders baby size half buckle mei tai!

babies beyond borders

The best part about this giveaway is the proceeds will go to benefiting a charity that is very near and dear to my heart! Ruckabye Baby! Ruckabye Baby is a new non-profit that matches wounded service members with carriers so that they can bond with their children even if their injuries prevent them from safely holding them!

Please enter the raffle below for a chance to win one of these great prizes and support an excellent cause!

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Ear Infections: What You Need to Know

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As many of you may or may not have read on our facebook page our little miss caught an ear infection in each ear while on vacation in South Carolina. Let me tell you, it is not pretty!



According to the Mayo Clinic here is the definition of an ear infection,

An ear infection (acute otitis media) is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections.

Here is what I have learned about ear infections and infants thus far!

  • When you child is abnormally fussy and spikes a fever do not hesitate to take them to their doctor or urgent care as soon as humanly possible. 

Stella woke us up at 3am and was howling and completely congested and miserable. When I took her temp it was only 100.6. By the time 9am rolled around she was more lethargic and her temp spiked up to above 103. She never touched her ears and we had no clue it was an ear infection until the doctor looked in her ears! Again when a rising fever is involved go directly to the doctor’s office or urgent care.

  • After the first 24 hours of antibiotics you wee one should be doing much better but keep taking the antibiotics as prescribed.

Even if your wee one is no longer symptomatic still give their antibiotic. There is a risk the symptoms can come back or the child may develop an immunity to the antibiotics if stopped early.

  • Any hope of normal sleep will go out the window

Do not expect your little bundle of misery to sleep through the night for the next 7-10 days. The middle ear sucks at life and will cause your child great discomfort when they are horizontal for long periods of time, and especially at night. Your child will most likely wake up more frequently from pain and is looking for comfort.

Ear infections frequently are painful because of inflammation and buildup of fluids in the middle ear. – Mayo Clinic

  • Our doctor recommended putting the baby to sleep in the car seat in her crib.

We haven’t tried that option yet, but the theory is that it keeps her upright. This causes her nose to drain instead of building up pressure while she lays flat.

  • Get a humidifier for the baby’s room

A humidifier will keep the nasal passages moist to prevent mucus from drying, compacting, and thus causing pain

  • A warm compress on the ear to lessen pain

Try a warm wash cloth over the baby’s ears to help ease their pain and discomfort

  • Try non-medicated plain saline drops in the the infant’s nose

Again this is a measure to be used to keep the mucus following. Go go snot rockets!

Most episodes will resolve within 3 months, but 30 – 40% of children may have recurrent episodes. Only 5 – 10% of episodes last longer than 1 year. – NY Time Health

  • If you go the antibiotic route please be prepared for a yeast infection. If you are nursing start taking probiotics immediately. Whether you are nursing or not start putting virgin expeller pressed coconut oil on the diaper area (if you are nursing also put some on your nipples a couple of time throughout the day)
  • Chocolate cake will solve everything

While your child is healing it will take a toll on your sanity. When in doubt chocolate cake and gummy bears makes all of the fussiness and crying better!

We would love to hear your ear infection survival stories!


Product Review: The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems

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I must preface this review with the following statement, I only read this book for tips on getting baby to sleep through the night.

The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems


  • Very well written 
  • Excellent case studies
  • Easy to follow instructions


  • My 5.5 month old was dehydrated when I tried to put her on the 4 hour schedule
  • I felt trapped and depressed putting myself on the 4 hour schedule
  • The pick up put down method didn’t work
  • There was 7 days of 5+ time a day meltdowns
  • I was getting migraines and physically ill from listening to my child scream for 45 minutes 5x a day

Again I did not read any other section of the book, but I really did not like her sleep training method at all. There is nothing routine about having a baby, and there has to be a sleep method that factors in some flexibility. There are some days when the line for the post office is out the door and we are going to miss a nap or have to adjust a feeding.

I modified her routine from EASY (eat, activity, sleep, you time) to EAESY(eat, activity, eat, sleep, you time). I also was rotating through them at a much faster pace. My girl can only stay awake about 1.5-2 hours at a time. She is very active during her time awake and is curious about everything. Her curiosity makes her a distracted eater. Withholding food for longer periods of time so that she will eat more per sitting is not my idea of a proper plan.

Again as I said in an earlier post, you have to do what works best for both YOU and your baby’s personalities. If you are into strict routines and your child eats a decent amount each sitting then perhaps this book is right for you! If you child is a distracted eater, and your life slightly more hectic than I do not suggest reading this book for anything more than purely pleasure!


You Are A Good Parent! Now Get Off The Internet!

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I only have twenty minutes to write this before my little sensitive bundle of joy will start screaming.


The past two-ish weeks of my life have been consumed with finding the perfect nap and night time sleep solution for our little family. There are dozens and dozens of books, bookmarked webpage,s and forums that I have yet to visit. The amount of information is daunting, and I have only had time to skim headlines. Complete sidebar, if you are writing a book on how to fix a child’s sleep habits, do us all a favor and make it bullet points. I don’t have time to read cutesy little antidotes while I am mired in the trenches of hell trying to persuade my precious little flower to sleep!

Some researchers insist that one should never let their child cry. Other studies point to post-traumatic stress disorder being linked to children who cry. My all time favorite is the forums that rip women to shreds because they found something that works for their family.

After spending two weeks waking up everyone morning with Matt’s favorite phrase, “Fuck My Life”, I decided this has got to end. Everything I read made me feel like a failure of a mother because I don’t want to co-sleep, and there are quite a few nights I just wanted to shove her face into the mattress and scream, “SLEEP MOTHERFUCKER!”

So here is my ode to all of the overly stressed, tired, and super grumpy parents and parental figures out there:

Y ou should understand infants and children suck most of the time, and that is why we love them.

ne in a while you are going to want to kill them, and that is ok as long as you don’t actually do it 😉

nder no circumstance should you ever take your child’s behavior towards you personally. Their brain is still smaller than your labradoodle.


ll other parents will give you their advice. Just nod and smile and don’t really listen.

emember just as you get used to one way your child will completely change and you will have to start all over again.

veryone struggles with parenthood. I do not care what anyone says this is true of all parents.


A t times you are going to feel like giving up, and that is ok. Call for help from a neighbor, friend, family, coworker, online friend, or anyone you feel comfortable asking for help. It is ok if you need a hand or just someone to witness how much having kids sucks.

ood times will come. If you need to print that out and hang it on every mirror in your house.

O ne day they will be all grown up and you will only remember the good times. I know that doesn’t help at the moment, but keep that in the back of your head!

O ne source will tell you crying is bad, and the other source will tell you not crying is bad. Screw them both and do what you can mentally and emotionally handle. Everyone else be damned.

D on’t forget US Army Rangers and the elite military forces of the world would crack after an entire night of listening to an infant scream.


eople on the internet suck even more than raising an infant sucks. Don’t let them make you feel like less of a parent because they don’t agree with what you are doing.

A ll children at some point suck. Once you accept that this is going to suck at some point you will be pleasnatly surprised at how well you can handle a sucky situation.

esist the urge to read every study on the internet. If you must read them first find out who paid to have the study completed and who is paying the researchers salaries. That should give you a good clue what the study is about before even reading the article!

ventually this will seem easy breezy and then you have your second child!

N ever judge another mother who is trying her hardest to stay afloat. You were once there!

ake some time and remember this shit sucks. You are doing the best you can.

For the love of everything that is good in the world…




Giveaway: Milkmakers Lactation Cookies!

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Milkmakers lactation cookies were such a big hit at the Monterey Cloth Diaper Party that we decided it would be an awesome idea to give a dozen away!

For those of you who don’t know what Milkmakers lactation cookies are they are super yummy cookies with ingredients that are proven to boost your breastmilk supply!

milmakers cookies

This is a perfect give for yourself, a nursing mother you know and love, or for that special milkie donor momma in your life!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not only are we giving away a dozen Milkmakers cookies to one lucky fan but Bumpboosters is giving away free pregnancy cookies to everyone! Check it out here!