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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fresh Quinoa Salad

I love this salad so much. It is delicious, nutritious and refreshing. I have made several variations of this over the years but today I am going to share my favorite variation. Even my husband (who is not a fan of quinoa) will eat this one. I am still working on the kids eating all of it- they will currently pick out the corn and the beans.... which is good I guess for 17 month olds!

Now that I have been trying to cook more from scratch this is going to be added to my monthly menus!!


Quinoa Salad

3 Cups cooked quinoa
1 diced red onion
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can sweet corn (drained)
1/4 cup diced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 drop lemon essential oil or 1 tsp lemon juice (If using oil make sure it is of food grade quality)
1 drop lime essential oil or 1 tsp lime juice (If using oil make sure it is of food grade quality)

Mix all ingredients together and let set for at least 4 hours (overnight is better) to get the flavors mixed in.

I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do. It is perfect for taking to potlucks as well as for a side dish with a summery dinner!

Thanks for reading,
Zoe


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sleep Regression, Fevers and Co-Sleeping- Oh My!

In the past two weeks my seventeen month old daughter who had previously been sleeping through the night has experienced a sleep regression. She won't go to sleep by herself at night, she wakes up screaming in the middle of the night and it takes a while to calm her down. Last night my son was also up with a fever which leads to a very sleep deprived Mommy.

This sleep regression has me thinking about baby and kid sleep... and reflecting on how hard dealing with sleep has been for us in the past year and a half.


I have done everything you're "supposed to do" and "not supposed to do" with these two kiddos. Our various sleeping arrangements over the past year and a half include:

-swaddled in bassinets
-swaddled in swings
-co-sleeping in bed
-co-sleeping in chair
-rocking to sleep
-nursing to sleep
-sleeping in pack & plays
-crying-it-out
-sleeping half the night in bed with us
-sleeping the whole night in bed with us
-sleeping in pack & plays with each other (very very briefly)

And every single decision I stressed and stressed about! Which is crazy. 

I understand the need for safe baby sleep and I know that sleeping is really important for development and health. But what I don't thinks is helpful (or true) is those that insist your baby or child not sleeping well is due to something YOU are doing wrong or that it means something is wrong with your child. 

So many people are struggle with infant sleep!  I firmly believe it is because all infants and small children were not designed to sleep 12 hour stretches. I know it happens with some, but for many it just doesn't happen- no matter how hard you try or how much you stress about it.  And I do believe sleep training can help some infants/children sleep better, but not all of them.

So this sleep regression has been different. I have changed my attitude about it and found that we are doing what works best for us all to get the most sleep. Right now what works best is  having Little Miss go to sleep with me and my husband and then moving to the nursery or guest bed as Little Man wakes up.... and we are making it through (with a little extra coffee in the mornings).

This change in attitude has been good for all of us. I am not worried that I am starting bad sleep habits that will "ruin" my children. I am taking care of their needs while still getting enough sleep for me to function. And I know this time will be short- I will look back and wonder where these precious years went. 

I am not judging those who sleep train (I did it too and I feel it was necessary for us at the time) but I do encourage those struggling with sleep to take a step back and know that your kid will be fine no matter how you chose to deal with their sleep and that sleep troubles and sleep regressions are perfectly normal!!

Thanks for Reading,
Zoe



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIY Hearth for a Wood Burning Stove


This winter we had a wonderful addition to our house. We added a wood burning stove and hearth.  My husband is so talented that he built it himself.  My brother in law helped with the stone wall and I helped with the layout on the stone wall.

I love how it turned out and the wood burning stove was amazing this winter and spring!


Building up the stone wall.


Completed hearth before stove installation.


It is so pretty! Love how the slate tile turned out.


And because we have little ones- a hearth gate to protect from the stove.

I will be linking up with these parties.
Check out my other blog

Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Matching Christmas Dresses

For Christmas last year I wanted to make my little girl and my niece some cute Christmas dresses that match.  I used this pattern from Simplicity. I was happy with how they turned out, but little girl's dress was a little too big!


I kept the pattern because it has several different options for the collar, hemline, and sleeves. It was a pretty simple pattern to make, so I am sure I will make it again.



Check out my other blog too- Simple Essential Wellness!
Thanks for reading!
I will be linking up with these parties.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Owl Themed First Birthday Party



For the twins' first birthday I chose an owl theme. It was a lot of work, but so fun to put together.  I just wanted to share some of the things that I made!

I want to invite you all to read my new blog- www.simpleessentialwellness.com

It was a beautiful day to celebrate these beautiful babies!


My sister made my invitations!




My Mom made this awesome fruit owl. This was her inspiration pic.


Birthday Banners!


I made these cakes for them! I used the tutorial found on Joyfully Home



They were a lot of work, but so so cute!!


Celebrating Baby Boy's First year!


Celebrating Baby Girl's First year!


First Birthday Cupcakes


Nom nom nom


We love cupcakes!

I will be linking at these parties!!

Thanks for Reading!
Zoe

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