Monday, September 29, 2014

Lazy Girl Gnocchi

There's definitely a legit, old school, traditional way to make gnocchi. Friends, this is NOT a tutorial on how to do so! I'm positive that there are several really good Italian girl blogs that share their nonna's passed down recipe.  This is my lazy girl / busy mama / using all the leftovers recipe for gnocchi. Take what you will, but I promise that it's a delicious way to use your leftover mashed potatoes for a new meal that your family will love!

Gnocchi is a versatile dish. You can serve it with your favorite red sauce, or make a delicious pan sauce with the meat that you are cooking that night and pour it over gnocchi as a side. On this night I experimented with making an Alfredo style sauce with lemon essences, which needs some tweaking. A couple summers ago I shared a Gnocchi Mac n Cheese recipe that I found on Pinterest, which uses Gruyere, Fontina and Parmesan. Delish. Truth be told, that was my first pin ever. You know how you remember your first CD? Well, I guess I won't be forgetting my first pin either!

This recipe will make enough for 2 adults. If you have more mashed potatoes or want to make extra to freeze, just follow the ratio of 2 cups of flour : 1 cup of mashed potatoes.

You will need:
1 cup of leftover mashed potatoes (it's ok if you seasoned them with cream, sour cream, salt / pepper, whatevs. Again, this isn't traditional gnocchi so everything goes!)
~2 cups of flour
1 egg yolk

You will do:
1. Make a little volcano of mashed potatoes on your work surface. Dump your yolk into the crater.
2. Work the yolk into the potatoes using your hands.
3. Add 1/2 c of flour at a time, working the flour into the dough. You might not use all of the flour, it just depends on the consistency of your potatoes. Continue to add flour until your dough is firm but not hard. Keep your hands and working surface well floured to avoid sticky dough.
4. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into a log, about the width of your finger.
5. Cut 1/2" long pieces (perfection is not necessary).
6. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
7. Using a fork, gently roll each piece up the fork to create the trademark indentations. Keeping your fork floured will help prevent the gnocchi from sticking to it. Fun fact: the ridges on gnocchi are there to hold sauce to the noodle better. All pasta noodles were developed with different shapes to compliment the type of sauce they are served with. You can freeze them on a floured cookie sheet at this point for later use.
8. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and wait for them to float, should be about 2 minutes.
9. Scoop them out and allow them to drain.
10. Most people top them with their favorite sauce at this point, but I like to give them a quick pan fry in a bit of olive oil to give them a slightly crispy side.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Currently (vol 3)

Thinking about // Christmas and the holiday season. Already. Yep. The weeks are counting down and it always amazes me with just how busy we are. I think it happens once every 8 weeks or so when we have a weekend that we don't do anything. It's always a house project or family event that we're spending out weekends doing. So I've already pulled out the calendar and have started planning our next quarter. Who's birthday is when, sending out feelers for parties, coordinating the holidays and all the fun stuff that accompanies that. Scheduling weekends where we stay home for projects and scheduling weekends for REST.

Watching // We started Once Upon A Time (now that we've finished Orange is the New Black) and I'm intrigued. Last week the girls and I fell victim to an awful cold and we spent the week watching the entirety of our Disney Princess Collection - aka 3 movies. Frozen, Tangled and The Princess and The Frog. That set a fire under me to start adding more of my favorites to our collection, which started with The Lion King. And I realized that even 20 years later (OH GAWD I AM OLD) I know each and every line.

Thankful for //
my seriously blessed life. This morning as I was playing with Ruby before Penny woke up, I thought about just how giving and generous God has been to me. I have an amazingly supporting family and in-laws, an honorable, hardworking and loving husband, a beautiful home that we are crafting together and my two daughters. When I was pregnant with Ruby I prayed so hard for a second daughter (but of course, no matter what I knew I'd be happy). And this wish, all these wishes and dreams, have been granted. It blew me away as I mentally checked off all these blessings in my life and made me think about how I can turn this around and bring more glory to Him.

Enjoying // my sister-in-law, Molly. This week we've spend 2 (tomorrow will be 3) mornings processing apples that we picked a couple weeks ago to make applesauce and pie filling. We've been in each other's lives for a short time but I'm truly enjoying getting to know her beyond family gatherings. She's an awesome mom, a great listener and I'm enjoying learning more about her and becoming closer friends.

Photographing // Myself - which is RARE. This morning as I was brushing my hair I realized that my bangs are too long. My mom normally cuts them for me, but with her in Germany for the next two years I came to the conclusion that now is the time to learn. I cut Adam's hair and so why not learn how to cut my own. So I did it. I trimmed my bangs. And it wasn't so bad.

Instagram Me.
Making me happy // the transition into fall. I'm burning candles, planning better meals, cleaning the house, sorting and purging clothes for the upcoming JBF sale. And pulling out what Penny calls my "cozy clothes" (sweat shirts, yoga pants and socks).

Loving // the rain. No kidding. I'm a Washington girl, through and through. I've been loving the sound of cars driving over wet pavement, rain throughout the night and early morning fog on my drive to Molly's for more apple peeling. I know I'll be complaining come February, but I love the clean feeling after a long time without good rain.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Benefits of Pretend Play + Giveaway

Have you ever given it a second thought that your child pretending or dressing up actually has psychological benefits and reasons? Great Pretenders, a children's costume and dress-up company, opened up the discussion with me regarding how children playing dress up actually helps promote their development and is more than simply 'just playing.' Read Kate's 5 reasons why pretend play benefits children and check out a fun giveaway we have in store!

Children learn by imagining and doing. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. Dress-up play is vital to a child’s development. According to licensed child psychologist Dr. Laurie Zelinger, “It fosters the imaginative processes, and allows for play without rules or script. Dress up allows for experimentation, role play and fantasy.“

Major benefits include:

Social and Emotional Skills

Dress up allows for experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, children learn societal rules such as how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. Character play means that the child is "walking in someone else's shoes" and it encourages teamwork along with an interest in peers. The child also learns to negotiate which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. Since children see the world form their own point of view, cooperative play helps them understand the feelings of others. 

Language Skills

When children engage in pretend play, you will hear words and phrases you never thought they knew. Pretend play requires children to invent and tell stories and since almost all children narrate their pretend play experiences, they train their minds to transform ideas into words. Children usually mimic words and ideas from parents, teachers, daycare or what they hear on TV. This repetition builds vocabulary and helps kids visualize what they say, especially when adults offer feedback to help kids better understand the words they use. This also helps with grammar – they may not know the rules but they are training themselves to speak like adults. This also helps make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help them to read.


Young kids typically have little self-control. During pretend play, children have to take a role and play within those boundaries, especially when other kids are involved. Studies show that children control their impulses significantly better during pretend play than at other times. Did you ever wonder why parents often make up a game to get their children to eat their vegetables or finish chores? Transforming an unappealing task into a make-believe game is a popular trick among clever parents and educators.

Problem Solving Skills

Pretend play also provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it’s the logistics of sharing toys or a pretend problem the children are escaping from, the child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever. Role playing games lead children to face situations that far exceed kids' real-life experiences. Children work out confusing, scary, or new life issues. Through these role plays, children become more comfortable and prepared for life events in a safe way. Children often use pretend play to work out more personal challenging life events too, whether it is coping with an illness in the family, the absence of a parent or divorce, or a house fire. Although kids may not always act logically during tough pretend dilemmas, the very process of problem solving becomes habitual. By practicing problem solving in an artificial environment, kids are better prepared to think of creative solutions to their own real-life problems.


By giving your child complete control in their pretend world and accepting them as a silly character, you are enhancing their self-esteem. While they use their own initiative to develop story lines, their creative imagination to expand stories and their own personality to choose a character they enjoy, you are enhancing their self-esteem by allowing them complete power in the world & enjoying it with them. Take for example superheroes. Considering the thrill children get out of pretending to be a grown-up, it's no wonder that they're also crazy about mimicking the most powerful version of adults: superheroes. Pretending to be Batman or Wonder Woman allows a toddler to feel brave and invincible, which helps them develop self-confidence. Similarly, all that running and leaping keeps them active and builds strength, balance, and coordination.

-Kate Muddiman, Creative Director, Great Pretenders

“Confidence is brought about in children by the realization that they have the ability to be anybody they want in this life and accomplish anything they desire. Our goal at Great Pretenders is to help kids achieve that level of confidence and to start young” 
"Surely pretend play has many benefits for child development but one of the main things is that it’s also FUN for parents and for children! It’s a great bonding experience, especially when you participate in your child’s make believe world." 

Great Pretenders offers a variety of quality childrens dress up costumes and accessories - perfect for Halloween and every day play! Today I'm excited to offer one Pierogie Mama reader the opportunity to win a Fancy Nancy dress (ARV $35 CDN). Check out the giveaway widget below and cross your fingers!
This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Great Pretenders. All opinions expressed as my own. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

My First Day of College + giveaway

This post was sponsored by Goodnessknows snack squares
which are pretty much my go-to snack now!

Here's the story of my first night in college. 

I lived in the dorms and was so relieved that I was rooming with my good friend from high school. She and I had sat next together in band from 7th grade - 12th grade, she played flute and tenor sax, I was on bari sax. Yep, I've been ousted - I'm a bonafide band geek. I even majored in music for my first year in college.

Anywhoo, I've always been the kind of person who can't sleep when I'm anticipating something great. And my first day of college, without a doubt, was meant to be great. So Stepha (short for Stephanie; the nickname came from the jazz song we played "Stella by Starlight") got top bunk, I got bottom bunk. I kept my sax case next to my bed, I guess there wasn't space under it. 

I tossed and turned. This was a weird bed, a weird room. The bed was a extra long twin, or whatever is standard in the dorms, and the mattress was beat. I was incredibly spoiled because I slept on a king sized bed at home, so I was extra paranoid about moving around because I knew I had a lot less space. So all night I worried about the next day, tossed and turned, worried that I would embarrass myself and fall out of the bed. Finally relief came and I passed out.

6:00a came with a beep beep beep as my alarm started going off, letting me know that it was time to get up and trudge my way over to Music Theory 101. The least exciting and most difficult class that I would take that year. Normally alarm clocks don't bother me, I wake up and can just turn them off. I was a morning person back then. That morning however, maybe it was the fact that I got no sleep and the little sleep that I did get I was dreaming about random scenarios that would prevent me from making it to class on time or somehow embarrassing myself in front of everyone, the alarm clock did scare me and I woke up with a start and found myself flying out of the bed, knocking over the sax case and falling into the middle of the room, all tangled up in sheets and everything else within a 2 foot perimeter. Good thing my roommate already knew me, otherwise that would have been even more awkward!

Freshman year
So that's my first day of school (well, one of the 17 first days of school I had, I suppose). What's your embarrassing first day of school story? 

These days I'm snacking on goodnessknows snack squares, which are pretty delish and are a snack that I can share with my toddler (if I feel like sharing, which in this case I really don't want to!).

goodnessknows packs a delicious punch of 150 calories, 2-3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. You can find them in 3 great tasting flavors: 

• Very Cranberry – Roasted almonds and rolled oats get a hint of natural sweetness from tangy-sweet cranberries. 

• Nutty Apple – Crunchy peanuts, roasted almonds and tangy apples are the perfect combination for snack time, a treat post-meal or during a favorite indoor or outdoor activity. 

• Peachy Cherry – Sweet peaches and cherries accompanied by wholesome roasted almonds and deep chocolate blend to create a satisfying crunch.   (My favorite!)

Connect with goodnessknows 

goodnessknows® snack squares are only available in stores in Denver, Boulder, Portland, Seattle, and Dallas but can also be purchased online at

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

Disclosure: This post was written as part of One2One Network's Goodness Knows Snack Squares Social campaign.  All opinions and thoughts about frozen treats are my own.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

JBF Everett Fall 2014 Consignment Recap

Did you miss it? Read my 4 tips on how to prepare to shop a JBF sale!

Each time I shop at the Just Between Friends of Everett consignment sale I am amazed at how quickly this event grows. I first shopped at Eunice's event in Spring 2013 and each time the rows and rows of clothes and toys just grows and explodes! I love shopping at JBF sales because I'm always able to snag such great deals, find items that are well taken care of and you'll get a mix of current and past fashions. Personally I like shopping past fashions because then my children aren't dressed exactly like every other little girl who's parents picked up their fall wardrobe from the local department store. 

So what did I snag at this sale? Well, this time around I got a preview of what awaits at the sale because I am consigning (for the first time!) and also volunteered 8 hours. I got to see what other consignors had brought when I went to drop off my items and because of my volunteer time I got to shop the pre-sale at 1:30 today! Like a secret agent, I walked through the aisles during consignor drop off and made little mental notes of what I wanted to snag the following day. The #1 thing on my list was this fun pop up circus tent and guess what..

Amazeballs, right? ;)

Let me delve further into my JBF winnings.

2 knit sweater bundle $4 // Cinderella dress up $5 // Princess dress up $2
// Pottery Barn piggy bank $4 // Christmas jammies #2
Oh, and you know how JBF is typically known for it being geared towards maternity, baby and kid? Well, while dropping off our consignment items, my husband did a little perusing too. He found a really cool car model (which, being the vehicle engineer he is, meant I got to endure learn about how this specific Porsche sets itself apart from all other Porsche 911s and how it's a really desirable car..yadada..) and it was $8. You know how sometimes at the store you buy a small toy for your child just to appease her? That just happened, grown up style. ;)

Anywhoo, the JBF Everett Fall Sale was tons of fun and there are many many wonderful items that I've left behind for you to snag up. You're welcome. I instagrammed a few items during the pre-sale, and I'll be back for the 1/2 off sale to pick up some extra good specials too!

Friday 9/12/14
9a-7p Public Sale Day 1, $2 Admission Fee or Get a Free Admit Pass

Saturday 9/13/14
9a-5p Public Sale Day 2, new items have arrived, FREE ADMISSION
530p-7p 1/2 Price EARLY BIRD SHOPPING $2 Open to public, Free Admit Passes not accepted Buy Tickets

Sunday 9/14/14
8a-1p 1/2 Price Public Sale, many items 50% OFF, FREE ADMISSION

Located at The Evergreen State Fairgrounds (14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe, WA 98272) 

Follow along on instagram:

Be social.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by JBF Everett. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ruby: 6 months

Dearest Ruby...

How on earth has this time flown by? 6 months? Obviously you've been keeping me busy because I seem to have skipped your 5 month update as well.. so .. hrmm.. What's new?

Well as you can see, you're a sitter, a very good one at that. Your plump little bottom and chubby legs definitely help ground you and create a solid foundation. That happened in the early part of last month. Now that you're a big 6 month old, you've advanced to lunging forward and pushing yourself up onto all fours. Shock and awe. Do all second babies seem to be so ready to fly the nest?

You've also awed your daddy and I by insisting on getting real food. I thought had would have at least a month of dedicated booby time. So it all started with a slice of orange, which moved on to watermelon, cucumbers and avocado. Baby led weaning at it's finest.
Now you've also started start calling for mama when you're not happy with what's going on, like if your sister is giving you a squishy face or if you are done playing with your toys. In the last couple days there's been a definite "maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" sound.

And your stats.. on 7/14/14 you were 15 lbs 8 oz, 25.25" tall. August 4th you were about 17 lbs (can't find your card), and your next appointment for the 6 month mark is in a couple days so I will be sure to enter that into your baby book as soon as we get home. I promise. I know I need to be better about keeping that updated.

I love you, my rolly polly baby, but please take your time in growing up. I'm not ready for your first birthday, or first Christmas, for that matter.


Breathing New Life into a Craigslist Dresser Set!

At the start of this year I was in my 3rd trimester with Ruby and in some crazy nesting mode. I felt the urge to manage Penny's bedroom and actually put an effort into making it her own. Because of the perpetual state of renovation we just hadn't gotten into making any room feel homey and I wanted to finally put Penny's clothes into real drawers (instead of laundry baskets) and also begin to prepare for the day when our daughters would share a room.

So I started to scour good old Craigslist to find a cheap dresser set thrift a fabulous dresser set in need of love and to finally have a project of my own.

Then I found this lovely.
You might be thinking.. hey, that doesn't look so bad. And it didn't...from 5 feet away. As you got closer you could see that the black was one of many coats of paint, including missing or thin spots and runs. And let's not start on the night stand. So I got to work with a sander and brought it all down to an even layer.
On the account of being pregnant and all, my handsome hubby offered to take over on the rest. I initially really wanted to do an Annie Sloan treatment, but the hubs saw the price tag on the paint and put a nix on that. Instead he primed the pieces and used high quality furniture spray paint. Hold back your laughs, I know you think that sounds cheap but I can assure you that the effect was awesome. And yes, much less expensive.

While the primer was drying, I waffled between these designs..

And here's what we got!

...Still working on finishing the night stand and the mirror, but hey, it's a start!

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!
Find my sources of pinsperation for this French Provincial dresser

Dreaming, Scheming, Thrifting and Pinning for a Sister Room

Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.

Ahhh renovations. We love it, we bought our second house on the cheap and have been chipping away at our to-do list. Using our talents and staying out of debt is how we are able to do whole-home renovations, but gosh it takes a long time.

Today I'm going to share our most complete room..which is no where near complete! We bed-shared with Penny until she was 18 months old, and on the first night that we moved into this house we set her up in her big girl bed in her own room and waited with baited breath. Was she going to wake in the middle of the night and be scared? As I am reminded many times, I under estimate her too often, and she loved her new room.

When we bought the house, we gave ourselves 2 weeks to get the carpet replaced, the walls painted and start on the kitchen renovation.

This was the state of Penny's room through out my pregnancy with her little sister, and upon Ruby's birth I started dreaming, scheming, thrifting and pinning for a Sister Room.
Thrifted Bed Canopy // Stuffed friends // Train table // our fabulous Blinds
Woah, want to see how this beauty started out?
With my girls 2 years and a week apart, I hope that they'll be the best of friends and enjoy sharing a room together. With that in mind, while I still have the time of Ruby bed-sharing with us (and not having to worry about creating a "nursery" style room), I've begun collecting the pieces that will become Penny's Room Phase 4 - also known as The Sister Room.

And now for my dreams and ideas for what we can do with the space. Chime in on what you think works!
Storage, Beds or Fun?

A couple accent pieces; I love chalk designs. And a coat & hat hanger is a must.

The current window coverings in her room are standard blackout curtains and Bali 2" Fauxwood blinds, but we are looking to swap them out for a cordless option as they are more child safe. I love these floral prints from and am excited for my samples to come in! In October I'll be sharing about window coverings for child safety month so keep an eye out for that post.
Laura Ashley Cellular Blinds
And then I've got this interesting little alcove in the room. Can't quite decide what I want to do here (except stop storing random stuff in it).
Oh and there's one last thing I need to be sure to add... Cheer and love! All this work wouldn't amount to much of anything if we missed out on that! As I continue to embark on this journey of being a mother of two daughters, I continually reassess what values and morals I want to instill in these two hearts that have been entrusted to me. I don't have a sister to call my own (instead a gaggle of wonderful sister in laws!), and I want to be intentional in the relationship that I help cultivate between them. As the days pass I see so many precious and tender moments between them; I can only hope that my girls will remain close for their entire lives.

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!
Find my sources of pinsperation and watch me add more to my Pinterest Board for The Sister Room

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)
  • Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family's home.
  • A Tour Of My Hybrid Rasta Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes you on a tour of her kitchen complete with a Kombucha Corner, a large turtle, her tea stash, and of course, all her must-have kitchen gadgets. Check out Hybrid Rasta Mama's most favorite space!
  • Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
  • Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
  • Why I'm Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling's Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn't have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia's nursing nest and changing room in spaces they already had.
  • The Gratitude Tour — Inspired by Momastry's recent "home tour," That Mama Gretchen is highlighting imperfect snapshots of things she's thankful for around her home. Don't plan to pin anything!
  • Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada's Yukon Territory.
  • natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
  • I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
  • Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
  • Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
  • Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family's newly renovated home and how it's set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
  • Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
  • Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
  • Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
  • My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
  • Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen's life is now host to her family's homeschool adventures and a room they couldn't imagine life without!
  • A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
  • Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she's created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
  • The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
  • My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
  • To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
  • Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Funky Fluff New Release: Funk eh Forest (and a giveaway!)

I love Funky Fluff! Do you? I've been following the #FunkyFluffNewRelease teaser posts and had fun guessing what the new print would be...And here it is!

Funky Fluff New Release Giveaway

Funky Fluff's new release is an exclusive print designed by Toronto-based artist, Glen Halsey. Glen created the Canadian forest creatures that populate this autumn-inspired print, and Tricia at Funky Fluff took care of placing the fauna on the final fabric design.

The new print, called Funk-eh Forest, is available on the Bamboo and Stay-Dry 2.0 diapers, as well as the new hanging pail and double pocket wet bag. The products will be available to purchase on the Funky Fluff website on September 7, or from your favorite retailer as soon as possible (some retailers may take pre-orders).

If you want to join the other fabulous families in the Funky Fluff community, come hang out in Funky Fluff's official Facebook group (members have access to special announcements before the general public, exclusive giveaways and advance access to seconds sales). You can also follow Funky Fluff's Facebook page, along with Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Eager to get your hands on the new print and more? Well, to celebrate the release of Funk-eh Forest, Tricia and Kathy are offering $100 to spend on Funky Fluff to one lucky winner!

Thank you to the following bloggers for helping promote the new release and this exceptional giveaway:
This giveaway is open to Canada & the US. Please see the Rafflecopter form for full terms and conditions.
This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Being Brave

This morning was the start of the MOPs year and I left the meeting feeling refreshed and thoughtful. It's not often that I take the time to write so candidly; so bear with me while I free-write for a minute and pour a little bit of my soul into a cup for you.

This year's theme is Be You, Bravely. We started off the morning talking about ways that we are brave, things that have pushed us to be brave, dreams that we don't dare to share. How somehow in the midst of life we are waiting it live, instead of living it.

Couldn't have picked a better theme for this season of life for me.

Last year we a tough year for me to participate in MOPs, even though I loved the ladies at my table and made several friends. Penny was just too anxious about me leaving her in the care of the MOPPETS. Until I was pregnant with Ruby, Penny had barely spent several hours away from me, but always with a close family member. How could I expect her to be comfortable in a situation where I'm not there and leaving her in the care of strangers? We tried throughout the year, but it just didn't work. I learned that I must listen to my daughter; I don't want to be the kind of parent (and never have been) who forces their child to do something when they're so clearly not ready for it. So we took the backseat and this year I wanted to try again.

I started preparing Penny for this yesterday. I reminded her about how we'd get to play with the kids at church, how her friend Emmalyn will be there, and that I'd like her to try to be brave. I dropped her off in the care room where other 2 year olds played, introduced her to a very loveable great-grandma and left. I prayed for Penny's bravery and courage. I want my daughter to have fun and I need this time to re-coup as a mother.

I met my new table of MOPs moms, several of which who I met last year and also new faces that I'm excited to get to know. We talked about how are we brave, what are our dreams. Mine, no surprise, was to get this house renovation done and to rest with my family. We've been experiencing so much pull in opposite directions in getting the renovations done vs spending time together. My husband getting help with the renovations vs me getting help with the kids. I am so ready for there to be a balance, for the renovation to be complete. That is my dream for this year, and my goal is to find the bravery to make this dream become a reality.

How can I learn from the lesson in bravery that I'm trying to teach Penny and apply this to succeeding in my dream? How can I be brave and serve my family in getting the projects done that we need to do while balancing actually living life? Will I have the courage to take on extra work, even though I'm dog tired at the end of the day, to get this project done?

Tell me - What are your dreams for this season, and how will you be brave to accomplish them?

A Penny for your thoughts (vol 1)

Adam tells Penny outside our door as I am nursing Ruby down before family movie time: "please be quiet, its quiet time because Mama is helping Ruby go nigh-night." Penny walks in and announces in her loudest bossy voice "mama -  it's quiet time!"

"Oh nooo! The scary beast!" When I walked over to her to get her attention when asking her to do something.

Mama: Do you have to go potty?

Penny: I just wanna be happy for now.

Penny to the chickens: Please don't peck my butt!

I'm the mama because I'm wearing a bra today.

Hi, My name is Penny Penelope. (but she pronounces it as "Pe-woh-pee")

I want a ponytail on top of my head. Like a mountain.

We visited the great white mountain (Mt Rainier). It's also called Olaf.

I'm on a blog!

I have to 'sowesuken' (show you something) crazy special!

I wasn't going to share this gem, it was just too embarrassing, but then what doesn't explain motherhood better than this?
I'm sitting at the dining room table; writing up a blog post. Penny comes up next to me and pulls up the side of my shirt to expose my side. She leans over and breathes in deeply, smelling my side. She gets a very contented look on her face and says "You smell like mama." Aww, my mama heart strings are plucked. I remember taking my mom's scrunchie with me to kindergarten once, because it smelled like her. I asked Penny, "What does mama smell like?" Penny says, without skipping a beat, "Poop."
For the record, I do not smell like poop.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dark Hope: A young adult novel fit for busy mamas!

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for easy reads. The list of books that I've read since college have been The Twilight series, The Hunger Games series, Fifty Shades of Gray and The Help. You can't really blame me, the last 2 1/2 years have been full of nursing babes, pregnancy and toddler play time. Delving into deep reads that scour the depths of my soul just can't happen when I get 5-10 minute snippets of time to read!

So a few weeks ago I picked up Dark Hope (the first book of the Archangel Prophecies), by Monica McGurk, and I was intrigued. I like a mix of paranormal in my reading, and the twist of biblical history was a new genre for me so I gave it a shot.

Dark Hope is about Hope, a high school girl who was abducted in childhood but somehow the authorities were mysteriously led to her whereabouts and she was saved in just the knick of time. Fast forward to the present and we see Hope as she acclimates to her new high school after living with her overly protective dad. She meets Michael, a dream boat who actually wants to be her friend and has this protective aura about him. Sounds familiar? If you liked Twilight & the unassuming heroine role, this book will draw you in.

What thickens the plot deeper is Hope's entanglement in Atlanta's child trafficking underworld (could this be in connection to her own abduction?) and her father's biblical teachings (read: rantings) start to make more sense. Finally, Hope discovers the truth about Michael and his place in her life...and nothing is ever the same again.

Oooooooh boy, it's so hard not to spoil this for you guys! I can't wait for the rest of the series! This book draws you in, but it's also a fast, easy read so even us busy moms can fit in a few pages here and there. At first I felt that maybe I was a little "too old" for this book, Hope doesn't even drive yet, but I promise that by page 90 (uhm.. that may be a hint..but don't read too ahead!) you'll be happy that you invested the time!

Who wants to win a copy of Dark Hope: Book One of the Archangel Prophecies (ARV $13.99)? Comment below with your recent favorite young adult easy read and I will pick a winner on Monday Sept 8 at 12:00 (noon) PST . (Open to US only)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Doodle Pants Galore!

I love me some Doodle Pants! I've been using these as my go-to for when it comes to how to dress my cloth diapered girls, and now Doodle Pants keeps rolling out the new accessorizing t-shirts, sweat-shirts, body suits (onesies) dresses and even more leggings designs.. I'm pretty much in Doodle heaven over here.

Elephant Bodysuit
Can't you just eat up this delicious sweetness? I am so in love with my squishy baby!

I love dressing my girls in their Doodle Pants outfits because Lorain's designs are adorable, the quality of the printing is great, and I love how well the leggings withstand washing too. You don't get "runs" in the legs like you do in other brands.

Pink Monster T-Shirt
Pink Monster Dress
The Pink Monster line has been Penny's favorite, though we also do rock the pink fox leggings, rainbow leggings, and even have matching sister piggy leggings for big and little sis. With the holidays around the corner (uhm like 12 weekends to go until Thanksgiving!), I've gotten the chance to bring some holiday cheer a little early and got these cuties to try out!
Moose // Penguin
Penny calls her moose pants her "Sven pants," because...well, you know. Can't really escape Frozen from any aspect of our life these days. :)

Connect with Doodle Pants
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I received product to try out in exchange for my honest review, though all opinions are my own. I love Doodle Pants!

Ready to Pop: Labor Day Inspired Prizes for Mama and baby!

Welcome to the Ready to POP! [a Labor Day inspired Giveaway Hop] hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!
This year we're celebrating Labor Day in a totally fun way – by offering fabulous giveaways for Mamas and Babies who have done some of the hardest labor out there! Each blogger in this Hop has a fabulous Mama or Baby prize for you to enter to win – so be sure to hop around to them all after you’ve entered to win the fabulous Grand Prize, featuring Buttons Diapers and Beautiful Earth!
I love my Pierogie Mama sponsors - each one is a fabulous shop that is easy to work with, offers quality products and best of all, are small businesses owned by a mom or family. So in honor of this great relationship, we've come together for this giveaway hop to give you the best of their best!

First up is Doodle Pants. You've seen them show up on the blog in the past as how to dress a cloth diapered girl and also their toddler sweatshirt line! Lorain is always dreaming up new ideas and over the summer she's debuted new leggings styles as well as coordinating body suits, dresses and t-shirts to compliment our favorite Doodle Pants leggings. Oh, and did I mention that you can totally coordinate these styles with the schmancy limited edition BumGenius prints, like Chaplin, Jules and Spence? Check out my two cuties in their new Doodle Pants outfits to see her new styles.

StarGazer Soaps is my longest blog sponsor! Last summer she sent me a few bars of handmade soap and I've been hooked since. Nicole is an absolute sweetheart and her dedication to her family's health is so inspiring. She was finally fed up with the chemicals in commercial bath products and needed a solution to her family's skin problems. She started making her own soaps and found that people wanted to buy them! I mean come on, look at them. They're gorgeous! But the best part is that not only are they beautiful to look at and smell, they really work. Read my testimony on how her Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap has helped cure Ruby's cradle cap. 

Sankofa Diapers runs a deal on two cloth diapers per week (follow on facebook!) and she's got my heart because Sankofa Diapers use diaper inserts that are a bamboo-microfiber blend. Oh, and Penny just loves her froggy princess diaper. They're super absorbent and what makes them stand out is how you can layer your inserts to accommodate boys (who pee more towards the front of a diaper) vs girls (who pee more towards the middle). Plus, again with the cuteness, who can resist prints like these?

My Kiddies Kloset is your place to go if you're looking for adorable baby accessories on a budget. You can find baby shoes, hair bows and bands, ties and bow ties, leg warmers, food pouches, and so much more.

Each one of these sponsors also offers Pierogie Mama readers a discount - check these out:

Doodle Pants: 15% off with promo code PIEROGIE15
Stargazer Soaps: 20% off with promo code PIER10
Sankofa Diapers 15% off with promo code PIEROGIEMAMA

My Kiddies Kloset: 10% off with promo code CUTEKIDS

So are you ready to give these sponsors some love and enter to win my fabulous prize pack that is perfect for mamas and their kidlets? Check out the giveaway widget below!
This giveaway has en

Disclosure: The Pierogie Mama, So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Ready to POP! participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


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