Thursday, October 31, 2013

Things I Wish I Had Known Before Having Kids: Guest post from Mommies With Cents

Holly is a wife and work at home mom of three littles. She blogs at Mommies With Cents. In her spare time she enjoys shopping, crafts, baking and reading.

I was a nanny for almost 10 years before I had kids of my own. I thought I had things pretty figured out. I got married, we bought a house and we started fixing it up just the way we wanted it. Then we had kids. Looking back, I'd do some things differently. Here are a few examples.Doorknobs. Who would have thought there was a right and wrong when it comes to kids. While these lever knobs look really nice, they allow small children to open doors long before they would learn to turn a standard door knob. Child safety devices for these knobs are not only much harder to find, they're more expensive too. We ended up switching back to regular knobs on many of our doors. Had we known, we would have saved a decent chunk of change by not spending more money on these fancier knobs to begin with.

While we always get compliments on this sink in our "guest" bathroom, it's horrible for small kids. This bathroom happens to be the only one with a bathtub and the one our kids use most often. Right now we don't want to spend the money to replace it but this thing drives me nuts. It's hard to clean under and just not very functional at all. Looking back I would have purchased a normal sink.

As you can see, blinds and my kids do no get along. No, I do not "let" my children do this. It happens at nap time when they'd rather try to look out the window than actually rest their pretty little heads. It was too late after the first time and even though we've had plenty of talks and discipline to curb this behavior, they just can't help themselves. Other window treatment options would be preferable in kids' rooms.

I won't gross you out with a picture of the last one. For some reason I chose a sort of stucco style textured paint for our kitchen. I can tell you that peanut butter and jelly does not easily wash off of wall textured like sand paper. Nor does just about any other food or substance that reaches the wall via grubby little hands. Try as I might, I just can't embrace this "artistic" look.

What are some things you wish you would have known or done differently before having kids?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A reader survey

Hello awesome readers!

I can't believe that it's been almost a year since I took my blog from being mostly a family read blog to something bigger & more public. It all sort of started when I hosted my first review & giveaway for Barlean's flax seed oil! So much has changed since then!

I'm currently working with a fabulous designer to freshen the blog's appearance and wanted to take this time to thank you for reading my thoughts, commenting with yours and sharing me across your social circles. It's happened on more than one occasion where I share a link in a facebook group and someone comments "you're The Pierogie Mama?! I read your blog!" or when about a month ago I was recognized in my church parking lot as "The Pierogie Mama." I mean.. who am I to be recognizable?? Seriously humbling, I tell you.

So as the blog itself is getting a face lift I also want to make sure my words are interesting and worthwhile to you all as well. If you have about 5 minutes of spare time, I'd love it if you could fill out my short little survey about what you like, don't like or would like more of on the blog. Don't worry, it's completely anonymous and I won't be hurt by criticism :)

Thank you again & as always, I love connecting with my readers so send a little note if you wanna say "hi!"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Get baby's groove on with Funky Fluff!

This post was originally published as a part of the Ditch the Disposables Giveaway Hop.


By and far the one reusable product that has changed my family's life has been cloth diapers. In my roughly 18 months of cloth diapering I've had the chance to try all types and brands of fluff - prefolds and fitteds with covers, a few newborns, one size, pockets, AI2's, snaps/velcro, microfiber or 3 different types of natural fiber. I've gone camping with cloth diapers, we've moved 4 times and I've had to change our laundry routine each time as a result (but have stuck with the same brand of cloth diaper safe detergent, Country Save). I've shared my stash with friends, posted my experiences here and spent a lot of time talking about it offline. And I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means, but I'd say that I've done my research.

This past month, my friends, I've discovered a new type of diaper that I didn't know existed.

Enter, Funky Fluff.

Funky Fluff diapers are an "all in 3" system. Say what?? So most cloth families are familiar with the term "pocket," "all in one" or "all in two" - but an "all in 3" almost seemed like the holy grail. Friends, I may have struck gold.

The Funky Fluff diaper system offers you the flexibility of using it as a pocket diaper, an "A1O" or "A12". Or a combination of all 3 for a super stuffed fluff.

Here, let me show you.

Pretty ridiculous stuff, right?

So in addition to being a 'one size fits all' for your little one's way of wearing a diaper, Funky Fluff has a couple other tricks up their sleeve.

Double gussets. Now I've seen double gussets on covers before, but never have come across a pocket style diaper that has double gussets.
Stay Dry (suedecloth) material shown
Because each diaper fits a child differently, I wanted to show you how it fits Penny. This is a Stay Dry diaper stuffed with one insert (like a pocket) and another snapped on top (like an AI2). It's not bulky to the point where the gussets don't do their job. This diaper lasted her from about 7pm - 8:30a, including a poop. Pretty impressive!

They offer two materials for the internal lining - their Stay Dry diaper has suedecloth and the Fusion Bamboo has bamboo for the material that touches baby's skin. We got to try out both materials and I love the lining material and inserts for both styles. I was really impressed with the microfiber inserts, and after fully prepping the bamboo inserts they were still super soft and dense (but not thick and bulky). If a doubled up microfiber diaper can last my medium-wetter over 12 hours, I daresay that the bamboo inserts will last a heavy wetter just as long since bamboo holds more liquid than microfiber. Because both of those inserts hold so much liquid I reserve them only for our night time option.

One thing to note, the other OS diapers we use (BG and Sunbaby) are still snapped in the middle setting, whereas Penny fits these best in the largest setting. The weight range is the same between the different brands. It's not something I'm personally worried about but is worth mentioning.

To round out the review we also got a Funky Fluff Double Pocket Wet Bag, which has two waterproof pockets. Super handy! It also holds up to 10 diapers so it's perfect for a day out.

Enter below to win a start pack from Funky Fluff, which includes a Stay Dry diaper, Fusion Bamboo diaper, double pocket wet bag and inserts. Open to residents of US and Canada, 18+.

This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered!
Are you interested in having your product, service or business featured on The Pierogie Mama? Contact me here.

Disclosure: Thank you, Funky Fluff, for providing me with product to review for this fabulous giveaway. The Pierogie Mama, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Ditch the Disposables participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The perfect pants for cloth diapers!

Cloth diapers during the summer are adorable. Doesn't matter if it's a solid or a pattern, seeing a little bit of fluff peek out from underneath a wispy dress makes my heart swoon. But here in Washington State, that's a short lived season. So the other 10 months out of the year I'm looking for options to keep my baby girl looking cute and not like she's got a badonkadonk.

As a cloth diapering parent you quickly learn that mainstream children's clothing brands sizing just doesn't work. Their pants seats are designed to accommodate a trimmer 'sposie butt. So then you end up buying a size up and usually have to roll up the legs. This past month when I did my bi-annual shopping spree at Just Between Friends, I picked up a few sets of sweat pants for Penny in size 24m and 2T - judging solely on how loose the diaper area looks. When I slid them onto her, I was shocked that the waist and seat fit almost perfectly but there were literally 2 extra inches of pant leg. Yes, I have a shorty. 

But sweat pants aren't a big deal. They're lounging around the house clothes and I could easily give you a wonderful slideshow of the frumpy comfortable options we have available to us. What I'm meaning to write about today is how to dress your cloth diapered little girl with at least somewhat of a sense of fashion.

For us, I've found one bulletproof way of keeping Penny cute and ensuring that one day she will not look back at her baby pictures with pure embarrassment. A very high hope, I know, but at the very least I will spare her from the bus-backup noises that ensue when she wears a 'regular' pants and shirt option that is common for children her age.

My tip: Leggings and play dresses.

Play dresses are awesome for us because:
  • even if you buy them a size up (as I do), it doesn't make a huge difference because the longer the better for covering up the diaper area.
  • the play dress / leggings combo works for Spring, Fall and Winter - you can always use short sleeved dress-shirts in the summer too.
Still, most leggings that you buy are reminiscent of those 'mom pants' that we all remember our mothers wearing in our growing up years (cue the bazillion red faces of grandmothers all around the country) and therefore.. not very cute. Sometimes they come with a little ruffle or lace at the bottom, but most of the time they're just a solid spandexy pant that we want to hide under a dress.

And then there's Doodle Pants.

Doodle Pants make me want to let Penny run around (with reckless abandon, of course) sans play dress. They are just too cute! You'll find each one with an adorable print on the tushie. The best part? The seat of the pants give a ton of room for those cloth diapered babes.

Want to add some cuteness to your fluffy bum? Get 15% off + free shipping here!

Connect with Doodle Pants

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I LOVE Doodle Pants!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monthly Its: October

So over the last 3 months I've been sharing some of my experiences with handmade soaps by StarGazer Soaps. Today Nicole will be sharing with you a boiled down explanation of how she makes her soaps! Read through to the end, because there's a surprise in store for you :)

Pre-Order here!
It took a long time to develop my soap recipes.  I have several tried and true that are a part of my main lines, but I am always looking for ways to improve them.  In fact, recently I added cream and cocoa butter to my silk soap, and LOVE the change!  My soap is even silkier than before!  So why cream?  Why do I use the ingredients I do?  I can't make claims about what my soap or any of my ingredients in my soap will do for a person.  But I use pure oils like olive, coconut, avocado, and butters like shea, cocoa, mango.  I also use silk & cream.  Each ingredient has a benefit, and adds to the luxury feel of the soap.  I choose each ingredient with great care, and test everything extensively before offering it to you.

When I make soap, I sit with my children and we smell my fragrance supply.  We chose which one inspires us, and then choose the color scheme.  Sometimes we decide on a design, but usually I have no idea what I am going to do until I am ready to pour my batter in the mold!  All soap starts the same way – Lye solution and oils.  When the Lye solution and oils meet, the magic begins.  I have some time to play with scent, color, and design.  Then the next 24 hours saponification takes place. This is the process where the Lye solution and the oils work together to make soap!  Within 24 hours, the Lye disappears, and glycerin is formed.  While safe to handle and use at this point, it really takes 6 weeks for the soap to fully cure.  Soap is like wine – it gets better with time!

If you haven’t tried handmade soap yet, now is the time!  
Visit and use coupon code NATURAL
for 10% off your order until November 30th.  

Feel the difference.  
Handmade soap has honestly changed the lives of my family in more ways than one.  
I for one will never have commercial soap in my home again. 

Thank you Nicole for sharing that awesome discount with Pierogie Mama readers! Don't forget to check out my review of StarGazer soaps (my favorite has been pure and natural grapefruit, but I've definitely got my eye on a few to check out this holiday season!)

And now on to some more awesome reads :)

This Pierogie family loves their pooches, Romeo and Squirt. Though when we first had Penelope, we were a little anxious to see how the dogs would react to the new baby. Green Mommas outlines a few important points on your child's safety as well as your pet's comfort in mind when introducing each other.

I didn't give Penny a bath for a week after she was born. Yup. The vernix that covers a newborn is extremely moisturizing and goes along with my belief that a healthy body wouldn't produce something 'gross' or harmful for the baby. The result? Never any skin issues, cradle cap and oh my gosh the most intoxicating smell in the world resting upon my newborn daughter's head. Here's some more scientific reasons on why not to wash the vernix off your newborn, by Raising Natural Kids.

How to be a Supermom pretty much took away any guilt I had with my toddler and her level of screen time.

I read this the day of our ultrasound. I had a case of the mommy-worries, which are so destructive. This post came on a day I needed it. Trusting our children to God is not an easy feat.

Doesn't Pioneer Woman have a way with making you eat a bunch of stuff that is so freaking delicious but you know is just so bad for you? Well, in this case, she puts together a 'carb buster' breakfast that for all intents and purposes covers some pretty important food groups. It's on my to-do list for one of these weekend mornings.

Want an easy, fun and educational way to keep your toddler entertained for hours? That Mama Gretchen shares a water pouring activity.

And finally.. this one resonated deeply with me. I'd like to call myself a 'natural' and 'attachment' parent but Lord knows there has never been such thing as 'the perfect parent,' well except for the Lord himself ;) LOL! So this made me feel better one day when I was at my very own wits end and just wanted Penny to nap, and was on the verge of losing my own shit.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bamboobies and SleepBuddy giveaway!

This post was originally published as a part of the Natural Bump and Baby Giveaway Hop.


I feel like I'm in a really interesting position in my mamahood - I'm expecting #2 and my toddler just turned a year and a half old.. Where is the time flying?

So these days when I do my research I am looking at newborn and toddler products, activities and clothes. Thus, it reflects on the blog with what I share with you :)

In celebration of two milestones in my mamahood, I'm giving away two products that have been a huuuuuuuuge support for me in the past and one that is currently helping Penny with her night time independence.

Read our journey to more independent sleep 
for the previously bed-sharing toddler with the help of SleepBuddy.

Are you interested in having your product, service or business featured on The Pierogie Mama? Contact me here.
Photo of Byron Bay - one of Australia's best beaches!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Under Construction: Cabinet Assembly Part I

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!

On Friday we picked up our cabinets. Yep, a week after placing our order we got our cabinets! Last time we placed our order sometime before Thanksgiving and picked them up in mid-January. ugh. Adam picked them up during his lunch, took out a door and sent me a quick text. Wow. We decided that we felt awfully silly in having spent three times the amount on our cabinets in the last house. Yes, we have to put them together ourselves.. But when it's such a huge difference it's totally worth it!!

The color can be described as a coppery-honey, with a black glaze. 
Adam started putting them together on Saturday morning. The only tools we needed were wood glue, the supplied hardware, really long clamps and he opted to use our nail gun for extra measure.

We brought them upstairs to check out what they'd look like in the light and Penny discovered a new hiding place :)

These cabinets come with dovetail and full extension drawers. 

So far there has only been one glitch, but we're going to see what we can do to work around it. I wanted a dedicated cabinet for my KitchenAid mixer that has a articulating shelf that will bring the mixer out of the cabinet to counter height. Unfortunately the cabinet rep didn't catch that.  Hopefully it's not going to be too much of a pain for Adam to work around, but his engineering mind craves these kinds of problems. ;) We'll see how it turns out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Creamy Smoked Cheddar, Potato and Chicken Stew...In a crockpot! : Guest post at Apronista

What speaks more of fall than a crockpot, chicken, potatoes, cream and cheese?  
Probably pumpkin spice and crinkly leaves, but you get what I mean.

over at Apronista's month long Crocktober extravaganza! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Helping the bedsharing toddler transition to independent sleep with SleepBuddy

From day 1 to day 558 Penny slept in our bed with us. I loved bed sharing; it helped us maintain a solid nursing schedule, gave us a little extra family snuggle time during the period where Adam was commuting over 4 hours a day, and most of all.. I had such peace of mind. I knew my little one was close, safe and I could be there for her immediately should anything go wrong.

But right after her 15 month birthday we learned that little Miss Penny was not going to be the one and only for that much longer. We learned that after literally a month of TTC, we had a Pierogie #2 on the way. By the way, we revealed this little one's gender this past week!

That meant there needed to be some changes in our household before little girl #2 gets here. The biggest change of all... mama and daddy needed their bed space back. I also felt that Penny was ready to begin to night wean - and let's be serious here - nursing through the first trimester was tough work, and the night time nursings were the first that I had to cut out in order to get the rest I needed.

So between her 15th and 18th month we began the process of fully night weaning and transitioning her to more independent sleep by having her spend as much of the night as possible in a pack n play in our bed room. Each one of those steps was met with a little bit of push back, but ultimately she adjusted within a few nights and we all started to sleep better.

The final change was when we moved into our new home. Penny got a big girl bed and I cautiously laid her down in it on our second night. She fell asleep without any worry - but I slept with baited breath. Was she going to wake up screaming, terrified, that she's in a new house, not in her pack n play and her parents are no where around? Truth be told, she woke up several times, but never once with an ounce of fear in her voice as she called for me.

As the weeks passed by, she continued to stay in her room for most of the night but the wake ups for back rubs and rocking increased. There was a 2 week stint where I think I would have gotten more sleep if I had a newborn instead of a toddler. It was rough. I had to look into options on what we can do to gently show Penny that it's time for sleep.

This photo wasn't edited - the brightness and color you see is representative of SleepBuddy at its brightest setting
When I found the SleepBuddy, I had a feeling this would be it. I had looked into other night-light timing systems / clocks, but they all had almost scary looking faces of celestial bodies and most featured a clock face. Penny is too young for a clock face and I wanted something simple, well designed and easy to understand. So the SleepBuddy arrived at our home and we put her to use!

SleepBuddy is a complete sleep system designed to help teach your children when they should be staying in bed, and when they can get up. The process is simple for you and fun for your children.

Penny's night time routine adapted to the flow of our new home. Around 7pm we start a bath, which she plays in for about 15-20 minutes. Around 7:15p her SleepBuddy light turns on, casting a gentle blue glow throughout her room. "Penny, do you see that? It's time for nigh-night!" We tell her. So we read a few books in her somewhat dim room, give some last minute kisses and hugs to Daddy. Then Penny and mama have our last few minutes of time together for the evening - usually a 20-30 minute nursing session and she usually lays down somewhat awake. Sometimes it takes a little bit of patting, singing or additional rocking.

Since establishing the presence of the SleepBuddy, Penny's night time wakings have been less frequent and much shorter. Sometimes when she wakes up she just points to the SleepBuddy and sleepily reminds me that it's 'nigh-night!' Most nights she just needs to be laid back down in her bed and given a rub for a few minutes and I can quietly exit. Our next step will be to helping her stay in bed until the SleepBuddy shuts off in the morning. I'm not sure that she is developmentally ready for it yet, but until then the 6am wake up call and snuggles in the big bed for another hour suit us just fine.

SleepBuddy was developed by fellow mom, Laura, a certified child sleep consultant. Like so many other parents, she struggled with her son refusing to stay in bed during naps and night time. She developed this very simple and easy to use light to help him and other children grow towards independent sleep. As your child grows older, you can also use the included rewards chart for positive reinforcement.

Connect with SleepBuddy via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Interested in trying one out? 

Disclosure: Thank you, SleepBuddy for helping Penny bravely transition into her own room.
Product was provided for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Patchin' at Bailey's Vegetables in Snohomish: A guest post at Cherry Valley Macaroni Kid

This past weekend we visited Bailey's Vegetables in Snohomish for their pumpkin patch, corn maze and variety of other fall family fun activities. I had purchased their stellar deal off Living Social about a month ago: $25 for 4 adult passes to the corn maze, 2 kids passes to their play barn and a $20 credit for carving pumpkins to boot! This was something I could not pass up! So we invited our friends and their little girl (who is 3 weeks younger than our Penny) out to the farm on Saturday morning and had a total blast. 
Read on at my guest post at the Cherry Valley Macaroni Kid blog!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gender Reveal Party

Today was our gender reveal party. We had our ultrasound on Wednesday last week and it was tough keeping it a secret from the family until today. I pretty much had to be on a 'text only' basis, otherwise something was going to slip.

Our menu:
Balsamic spinach pasta salad (my mother in law's delicious recipe)
Deviled eggs
Crackers with a topping of cream cheese, smoked salmon and my mom's homemade pear sauce
ruske / potato and cheese pierogies (but of course!)
prosciutto and melon appetizers
fruit, veggie, meat/cheese/cracker platters
Baked brie with walnuts and cranberry sauce

And the grand finale:
the gender was revealed by way of cakepops. I used's The Kitchn's cakepop recipe using devil's food cake, sweet cream cheese and chocolate almond bark to coat.

The family members were told that the flavor of the cakepops is chocolate and only one of the 20 pops will have the gender of the baby revealed by the color of the batter. Kind of a Charlie Bucket and the golden ticket kind of thing.

We are so excited for Penny to have a younger sister. I don't have a sister and I think their closeness in age will be wonderful.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sour Cream Banana Bread with Coconut Oil {Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Oil Review & Giveaway}

I'm a big fan of butter. Don't get me wrong. Butter just makes things better. Better with butter. But with heart disease being fairly prevalent in my husband's side of the family, I've really got to tone it down. After doing a little bit of research, I found that coconut oil is a totally viable and healthy alternative to butter in many aspects of cooking. You can substitute it as a frying oil, buttery spread and in baking. Tropical Traditions has graciously provided me with a jar of their Gold Label Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil so that I could give it a try with my tried-and-true sour cream banana bread recipe and we were all pretty impressed with the results!

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is certified organic & traditionally made. This coconut oil meets our strictest standards and is handcrafted by family producers in the Philippines using traditional methods passed down from previous generations. Recent studies show that traditionally-made coconut oils have the highest amounts of antioxidants. Tropical Traditions also has tons of info if you want to learn what virgin coconut oil is and how to use coconut oil

You will need:
non-stick cooking spray
a mixture of 1/4 c of sugar 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for dusting
1/2 c Tropical Traditions Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
3/4 c raw honey (or 1 1/2 c sugar)
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas
2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 c flour
optional: Add 1/4 cup of mix-ins such as chocolate chips, golden raisins, organic shredded coconut or candied nuts).

You will do:
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
2. Spray 2 bread pans with your non stick spray.
3. Dust both pans with the cinnamon-sugar mix. You don't have to use it all, just enough to lightly coat the pan.
4. In a larger bowl, cream the coconut oil and remaining sugar together. Add eggs, bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend until well mixed.
5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly incorporate into the banana mixture.
6. Divide batter between your pans.
7. Bake for 50-60 min, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
8. Allow to cool and enjoy with a smear of coconut oil.

Ready to bake some of your own banana bread with coconut oil? I thought so! Check out the giveaway below to enter to win a jar of coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. (ps - if you just can't wait - they are running a BOGO sale on their quart sizes of Gold Label! That's $20 for 2 quarts of amazing coconut oil!)

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

Big long scary disclosure: I am not a health professional! Please consult your physician or other health official regarding any questions regarding health claims with any products. Nothing I have written here is intended to treat, cure or otherwise prevent any disease. I received a free sample of the product from Tropical Traditions for the review using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. This post contains affiliate links.   If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 years of age or older. Winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hour to respond before another winner is chosen. The Pierogie Mama is not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pierogie Babies: 19 weeks, belly bump and a girl with her galoshes

Our ultrasound was yesterday and we are keeping the gender a secret until after Sunday. We're hosting a gender reveal party for our families and it is going to be SO HARD to keep things on the DL until then. I already have several people hounding me via phone calls and texts.. I'm probably going to have to shut off my phone pretty soon ;)

The baby is perfectly healthy, all fingers and toes are accounted for. I was feeling a lot of anxiety yesterday leading up to the ultrasound and it was a huge relief to get the initial report back from the tech that everything is as it should be. We'll get the full details in a few weeks at my next midwife appointment, unless something needs our attention sooner.

Based on my bump and the purposefully obscure ultrasound photo, what is your guess?
A boy or a girl?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Baby Birthday Trend: Tips for the First Birthday Cake Smash Photo Shoot

When your baby turned (or will turn) one, did you do the celebratory cake smash?

Penny's cake smash was a two part event. The first part was at a photo shoot in a portrait studio, the second part was the real thing at her birthday party a few days later. 

Here's a recap of her first birthday party
For her first shoot there was no holding her back. She wanted that cupcake and I'm thankful that the photographer was ready because this girl was lightning quick. The second time around she looked at the cupcake for a lot longer and it actually took some encouragement from us to get her to eat it. 

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a successful cake smash, whether you do it at home or in a studio.

1. Keep contrasting colors in mind. Just like any other photoshoot, you want to make sure that the focus of your picture doesn't melt into the background. So if your (cup)cake has white frosting, go for a contrasting color of shirt. Or better yet, go diaper only (cloth diapering mamas like me get excited when we get to coordinate an outfit with diaper color!). Try to keep backgrounds not too busy either.

2. Have that camera ready! It's a good idea to have help when preparing to take pictures of your little one go after their first baked sweet. If your child is like Penny, they will lunge at that cupcake as soon as you set it down. Tag team the occasion by having whoever is more comfortable with the camera taking pictures while the other manages the birthday baby.

3. Clean up crew: If you are doing your shoot at home, buy a disposable table cloth (again, remembering contrasting colors) to place baby and cake on top of. This way once it's all done you don't even have to mop up (too much). You can also do the cake smash in a high chair. Have some baby wipes at the ready to help with sticky hands that can make their way into little eyes. 

Pin this infographic on the simple 4 step process to baking a birthday smash cake with Betty Crocker.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 
You can find tons of fun ways to make a birthday smash cake on the Betty Crocker website.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Under Construction: the Island and Cabinet meeting

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!

Another short update - not much went on this week, and next week will also be pretty non-existent.. But stay tuned for later this week because I'll have a belly picture and an ultrasound to share!

Adam put up the sheet rock to one side of the island, and will close it up in time for our gender reveal party this Sunday.

We met with our cabinet rep and finalized our plans. 

He also showed us a sample of granite that I'm drawn to. Like several other things with this kitchen, I find that my tastes are a lot different than what we did last time. Our previous counter top was a gorgeous gray swirl. This is white and gray flakes with garnet intrusions. 

Adam has also been in the shop working on the pellet stove child safety gate, but isn't far enough along to share pictures.


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