Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This mom's pre-baby product list

It's week 37 of this edition of Pierogie Pregnancy! While my two previous children were not early by any means (39 weeks and 41 weeks), a little spot in my mind remains open to the idea that I just might have a baby boy in my arms in a week or two. Cue mind-splosion.

Nesting has been in full bore for about 2-3 weeks and I've been diligently knocking off items on my "end of pregnancy to do list," which I purposefully kept simple. Enjoy my baby showers, have my much anticipated special run Natibaby carrier arrive, refinish a dresser for baby boy, prepare our guest room for about 6 weeks worth of guests, get the big sisters into their swanky new bunk bed and truly the most important and probably time consuming task - organize all the baby things.

Having 3 kids in the span of 5 years does help you stream line a lot of things. Through baby #2 I quickly realized what worked for us and what I don't really need to hold on to. Hallelujah for consignment sales! I have been able to periodically destash baby items through out the years and recoup some cash and valuable space thanks to those. But, even though it's only been 3 years since my last pregnancy, some fun new items come onto the market that weren't on my radar before. So let me share with you a few of the new products that have caught my eye and landed on my "pre-baby product list."

The Dockatot was something that kept popping up on my facebook feed and I was really intrigued by the idea. We are a bed-sharing family and I typically sleep with my kids full-time until they are night weaned; around 18 months. We practice safe sleep methods that are essential for bed-sharing and thus there aren't a whole lot of products that fit in for making any of it easier. The Dockatot is an all cotton sleeping pad with bolstered sides, which creates a safe microclimate for the baby.  A concern I had with bed sharing with the baby this time around is that in the last year we have switched to an all-foam, no spring mattress and that doesn't provide air circulation as well as it should for bed sharing. I'm excited to share our full review once baby is here! Already shopping? Save $10 on DockaTot here.

And while we're on the topic of safe sleep, I wanted to mention that I've been doing a ton of research on mattresses and safe materials for children ever since we upgraded our 5 and 3 year old daughters from two toddler beds to their "you'll have this until you move out" bed set - a twin over full bunk. Buying the bed frame was the easy part; the hardest part was finding that balance between comfort, quality of materials, affordability and safety in the mattresses! We found My Green Mattress to fit all of those qualifiers! Even though it's not exactly a traditional "pre-baby" item, everyone goes mattress shopping and at some point you'll definitely be asking yourself the same questions when shopping for your children's mattresses that I did- so stay tuned for that update as well! Already shopping? Save 5% on any My Green Mattress using code WELCOME5.

How do you take care of your body immediately following birth? With my last child I experienced an interesting tear that made me so so thankful that I decided to give cloth menstrual pads a try. Cloth pads, or mama cloth, are really easy to use especially when you are already cloth diapering your baby. You just wash your pads along with the diapers (pre-rinse if that's important to you). Oko Creations has your back (well, bottom). I've reviewed their pads in the past and they still are my favorite pads to buy. The material is the most absorbent I've ever used and the quality is amazing.

One of my favorite gifts from my baby shower was not for baby at all...it's all for me! Well, and the family. Have you jumped on the instant-pot train? I have never cooked with a pressure cooker but a few of my friends of 2+ kids have raved that this is the must have item for streamlining family meals. Several of my gal pals pooled together and gifted one for our family. I'm so excited to try out new recipes! So far I've tried Beef Stroganoff, shredded chicken, white sticky rice (ahhhhhhmaaaaaaaaayzzzzing) and Mexican Rice (honestly, I prefer my old school dutch oven way though). Apparently one can make creme brulee using an IP so that is certainly going to happen in my near future! I'm thinking it'll either be a "my baby is late, leave me alone" or "he's here!!" dessert.

It's really interesting how one's parenting transforms over several children. For my first daughter - a stroller was a believed must have. Everyone needs a stroller for their baby, right? We used our stroller a lot as we lived in neighborhoods that had sidewalks and we took family strolls quite often. With baby #2, I was getting more into babywearing and she rode in the stroller very rarely - she always preferred uppies and the stroller became our diaper bag carrier whenever we were out on trips. With baby #3, living in the country without sidewalks in sight, and having more or less streamlined my diaper bag to the bare essentials, we are actually selling our stroller and just babywearing exclusively. Over the last couple years I've gotten into woven wraps and have always loved soft structured carriers so this time I jumped in on a very special co-op through Natibaby and got a SSC in standard and toddler size of the Seattle skyline! Squeee!!

Are you expecting? What are a few of your must haves that you're excited about?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Some of the products are upcoming collaborations that will be featured on The Pierogie Mama in the future. I receive items in exchange for my honest review, but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Apothecary Spa in Anacortes WA

It's Baby Boy Pierogie's 35th week of pregnancy, y'all! As my time is drawing to a close my to-do list gets more and more intense. Prenatal appointments mixed in with my kids' appointments that I'm trying to get out of the way so that the next six months or so we don't have to worry, swimming lessons, end of school year stuff, consignment sales, you name it. And while things like baby showers are awesome milestones that mean baby boy is one step closer to being here, this mama is bone tired and sore at the end of the day.

So what is one of my favorite end of pregnancy must do? A prenatal massage, of course!

Tucked away on teeny tiny Fidalgo Island (Washington) is a little town that I love called Anacortes. Over the last 10 years I have visited often as my in-laws live there and it's just such a beautiful place. I honestly think that the weather is somehow always great in Anacortes; it's got to be the quickly changing pace of the winds of this little port town. From Anacortes you can take ferries to the San Juans and Victoria B.C. There are tons of delicious seafood joints, bakeries, thrift stores and antique shops to peek around in.

One of my favorite places to visit periodically has been the historic building of the Majestic Inn and Spa. Anacortes was founded in 1891 and the Majestic Inn, though it has had several job changes, remodels and restorations, brings Gilded Age beauty with modern luxury to 2017.  My husband and I have snuck away for anniversary lunches at their restaurant and my girlfriends and I have enjoyed lemon drops on their rooftop lounge. It's truly an amazing piece of Anacortes (and Skagit) history, but at the very least a beautiful building to look at.  A tidbit of information that I learned was that the whole building was relocated about 20 years after it was built by being rolled up the street on logs by a team of horses!

In addition to being a hotel and bistro, The Apothecary Spa is located on the second floor of the building and I have waited with so much anticipation for my chance to go experience what so many of my friends had told me to be "hands down the best spa ever!" That's a big pair of boots to fit into, don't you think? Let me tell you without a whole lot of gushy fluff (and quote me to your husband when he asks you what do you want for your birthday/Mothers Day/Christmas) - "The Apothecary Spa at the Majestic Inn in Anacortes IS the best spa ever!"

What are my qualifications? Well, I am no spa connoisseur (though I wish I could have a blog completely devoted to spa experiences) but I will say that my husband does the right thing and sends me for a massage or spa experience usually once or twice a year. I have maybe a dozen experiences to draw from, ranging from budget to swanky. However, The Apothecary Spa takes my #1 slot over several other very high quality (and more expensive) spas for a ton of reasons.

Let me give you a run down of my time there.

The Apothecary Spa encourages their guests to check in 15-30 minutes before their treatments to get changed into their robe and sandals, take a steam in their steam room (something I'll have to go back another time for, as it's not a good idea for us preggos), lounge in their sanctuary room and have a little snack and drink of various infused waters or teas. Which is exactly what I did!

The spa menu is vast; I will make note that although most spas offer a short list of "upgrades" such as paraffin treatments, choices of oils or different techniques, The Apothecary Spa had a robust list of enhancements that in my opinion fully rounded out my 60 minute massage. In addition to my massage I opted to add eye brow waxing, a honey glaze treatment for my dry hands and a nourishing scalp massage.

Prenatal massages can be hit and miss. I've had a few massages in previous pregnancies where they were called "prenatal massages" but unfortunately they really didn't know how to arrange a very pregnant mama or how a woman's physiology changes and that it's a very different experience to get massaged late in pregnancy versus earlier on. My massage therapist, Cynthia, made sure that I had everything I needed to be supported while being massaged on my side and when I switched to laying on my back she adjusted the table to be tilted so I didn't feel the full weight of my belly pressing up onto my lungs. Her massaging technique was gentle but confident; there wasn't any hesitation or uncertainty of the elephant in the room and she very effectively massaged my whole body without the impression that she was afraid of my belly. When we chatted before my massage I asked for a full body massage with the focus on my back (as that is normally what aches most during pregnancy), but as she got to work I realized that really what I loved was getting my legs and feet rubbed - and she very fluidly switched to spending more time on that. Both of my girls were born in March so I guess I've never really had issues with swelling at the end of my pregnancy, but this time around I have definitely noticed the cankles making their appearance and Cynthia had the perfect technique of gently massaging those areas directly with oil and later switching to massaging over the draped blanket. I really want to go back just for that part!

Towards the end of the massage she let me know that she would be starting my honey glaze hand treatment followed by the scalp massage. She massaged my hands, applied the glaze and wrapped them in warm towels. While the glaze soaked in she started my scalp treatment. I'm a believer of the amazing uses for coconut oil, and have heard about using it as a hair and scalp treatment but have never done it personally - and Lordy I am hooked on this as well. She poured coconut oil along my hair line and then spent the next 20 minutes or so working it in through my whole scalp and base of my hair. Then she cleaned off my hands, gave me a whole decollete, arm and hand massage and finished off with another glaze on my feet and more massaging! Cynthia knows how to treat an expecting mama right!

After my treatments I was invited back into the sanctuary where I attempted to come down from my post-massage giddy high with a shred of maturity with another glass of cucumber + blueberry infused water. My experience was the perfect storm of truly needing some end of pregnancy pampering and an amazing spa staff. On my way home I called my mom, whom I would say probably is the closest person I know to being a spa connoisseur, and told her that I kind of need to get gift certificates for all my friends and family to go because there is no way you can go through life without experiencing this. There goes my attempts at quelling that "post-massage giddy high with a shred of maturity" spiel. But it wasn't said in haste - seriously. Go. Do it.

419 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA

Disclosure: I received a complimentary massage in exchange for my honest review. 
All photography and opinions are my own. In case you couldn't tell, visiting The Apothecary Spa was the highlight of my third trimester and I can't say enough lovely things about it! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Just Between Friends of Marysville-Mount Vernon Presale Sneak Peek!

This weekend is the Just Between Friends of Marysville-Mount Vernon consignment sale! Would you believe me if I told you that I shop for my two daughters' clothes just twice a year? It's true! The Just Between Friends consignment sales are all I need because there are literally thousands of items in all kids sizes that I can choose from in one place at amazingly low prices. Plus, I get to unload our outgrown clothes by consigning them as well!

So you can easily scan my blog to find out all the reasons why I love JBF, and one of my favorite things to do is make sure I get to shop early at the presale event by consigning. But don't worry - even if consigning isn't on your radar, the public sale is chock full of great stuff. Let me show you!

But first; my ever so sweet Ruby. Isn't she just darling? She admired herself in front of this vanity for a few minutes.

Tons of great babywearing gear at this sale! MeiTeis, a few woven wraps, Beco, Moby stretchy wraps and others.

And a kids wrap! Because babies wearing babies is the cutest thing ever.

Sorting through the books is one of my favorites. I always find something super old from my childhood and I feel like I need to rescue it.

Sports fan gear..need I say more?

And the girly stuff. Swoon! My wedding anniversary is on the 4th of July so I am always on the look out for cute patriotic outfits for the kids.

So many summer items. Mostly boys bikes this time, but I also snagged a plastic pool (you know the kind!) for my kids and their cousins to "whirlpool" in this summer.

So as you know, I have two daughters aged 5 and 3 and then baby boy is on the way for this summer. My 3 year old is lucky enough to get all of her sister's handmedowns from last summer, so I did very little shopping for her. My focus at this sale was bigger sizes for the 5 year old and adding to our growing stash of boy stuff.

One of my favorite things to do after a presale shop is to compare what I would have paid for my items if I had bought them in store and what I paid for them at JBF. It's ASTOUNDING.  I'm a fairly frugal person at heart, so spending a ton of money on kids clothing is really not my thing anyways, but I always give myself a pat on the back after shopping at JBF. Buying used clothes is important to me not only because of the cost savings, but because of the environmental impact as well. Think of all the resources we are using up because so few clothing items are passed on. And trust me, I'm a mom of almost 3 kids, I know that some clothes just can't be passed on. They've had a good life. And that's what textile drives are for! Most thrift stores that you can donate clothes to have an outlet for where their "unsellable" items get sent to and that includes textile recycling.


Taking a look at all the brands that I bought and running a comparison online, these same items for my 4T/5T daughter would have cost me $114 retail. Instead, I paid a whopping....

And SQUEEE! I got to venture into boy land for the first time ever! Our little Pierogie Boy has been immensely blessed by handmedowns from two families and our baby showers, so again, I don't have a ton of shopping to do for his arrival! But I had to pick up some cuteness at the sale.

The boy clothes blew me away.. $142! A few of the items I picked up were retailed a little pricier than I imagined.

And there you have it! So much to stock up on for this upcoming summer and beyond.

April 28 - 30, 2017
Skagit County Fairgrounds, Mount Vernon Wa
Find out more details on the full sale schedule here

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Just Between Friends of Marysville-
Mount Vernon. All photography and opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

80 lbs of chicken - 9 ways

Get $25 off any order of $99+! Ends 11:59pm PST 5/13/17. Use promo code SUPER25.
 Sign up for Zaycon Fresh to get your unbelievably fresh meat!  

Often I am asked how do I save money for my family. Our food budget is something that I rarely skimp on because I think it's one of the best investments we can make for ourselves. However, there are a ton of ways to be able to save money without skimping on quality.

I learned about Zaycon Fresh a few years ago and am a believer! We order chicken breast, chicken fritters, pork tenderloins, wild Alaskan Salmon and a few other meat products. 
The chicken breast comes fresh and straight from the farmer, so it ends up being a lot fresher than what you buy at the grocery store. For example, my last case of Zaycon Fresh chicken breast had a bar code with a time stamp for the butcher date that was 3 days prior to my receiving it. I recently went to my local grocery store to see what their time frame is - and their chicken was 15 days old and also had 3% water injected. It's really not much of a discussion on which chicken I prefer to buy!

What is Zaycon Fresh? It's super easy. You sign up, enter in your zip code and it will populate "events" near you. Each event will bring fresh or frozen meets to an agreed upon place and time. You place your order for what you'd like and then on the day of the event you bring your order slip and they put your case of bulk meats in the trunk of your car for you. You don't even have to get out of the car! Throughout the year they will offer different products; such as delicious bacon, fresh ground beef, fresh chicken breasts, frozen breaded chicken fritters (I like to make this), select steaks, even turkey and ham! Our all time favorite is their salmon. They are constantly adding more.

When you sign up, they'll send you non-spammy newsletters letting you know what they're adding, great recipe ideas and you can refer friends to get credit for your next purchase. Truly, I haven't bought meat any other way for a long time now.

Ok but then the question comes up with what do I do with 40 lbs of fresh chicken breast? Friends, let me show you what I did for this last order, which I am using to prepare for Baby Boy due this summer.

First, when I receive my chicken I cut it down to different sizes to help spread the meat a little further. Each lobe of chicken breast becomes a cut of breast, a tender and I slice the breast to an even thickness and save the top portion as a "cheek," which is great as Chicken Parmesan Cutlets.  For our family of 2 adults and 2 small kids I package a dinner meal either as 2 breasts, 5 tenders or 6 cutlets. I also use a Foodsaver instead of freezer bags. For each of the recipes below I used 1/4 c of marinade per "dinner package." Some of the recipes are larger than others so adjust the ratios as you need. 

Without further adieu, here are my most recently used recipes:
Brown Sugar Balsamic Chicken

I used about 1/4 c of marinade per 2 breasts.

Lemon Garlic
Chicken TacosUsing a grinder attachment, grind your chicken breasts
taco seasoning recipe

Chicken Enchiladas

1 large can of enchilada sauce
directions: boil your chicken breasts, shred them either with forks or with the paddle attachment on your kitchen aid, pour the sauce in! Freeze the meat as is or prep into enchiladas and freeze individually.

Tangy Teriyaki:
2T of grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
makes enough for 2 breasts

"Hawaiian Style"  / Moana1 can of sliced pineapple
2 cups of orange juice
4T ketchup
4T soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2T of grated fresh ginger
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar 

Tangy BBQ
1/2 c Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
4T ketchup 
2Tbrown sugar
4T balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken stock

Lime Sweet Thai Chili1 c stock
1 bottle sweet thai chili sauce
1/4 c lime juice

Spiced Rub with Apple Cider Vinegar2t paprika
1t chili powder
1t cumin
1t thyme
1t salt
1t garlic powder
1t pepper
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix all of the ingredients, pour over 12 chicken breasts and rub it in. It should be a loose paste.

Ready to save some moolah? Sign up here

Monday, April 3, 2017

My hometown favorite - Just Between Friends Marysville - Mount Vernon Spring Sale

Hey Skagit Mamas!

My little family and I have officially lived in Skagit County for A YEAR and I am reminded of this because my first blog post last year about our move was also about the Just Between Friends Marysville - Mount Vernon Spring Sale! Since then we have gotten to know the community a lot better, have completed a year of pre-school, Awana, met local readers and found all the awesome places for kids to explore (especially to break up those winter blues and cabin fever).

Now that Spring is here, and I literally looked out my window for a break of rain and a hope of sunshine, I am ready to start prepping for warmer weather. I've been going through the girls' clothes - and in more exciting news; thinking ahead of our upcoming Summer Baby BOY - I am looking forward to this edition of my local JBF sale.

So you already know from following my blog that I love JBF for many reasons; it saves us money, it saves the environment and supports local families too. I've been a shopper and consignor for the better part of 5 years and my consignor check sort of rolls into the next sale for what I'm going to need to buy for the next size up for my kids. It's such a blessing to not have to worry about that sort of thing.

Over the years I've seen a ton of stuff for sale at these events and I am always surprised with something new. One year I got a play circus tent, which has been perfect for summer outdoor imaginary play. I've gotten tons of Disney Store brand clothing at a fraction of the cost. Keens & Crocs shoes are a staple in my house and I always am shopping for bigger sizes and consigning the smaller ones, because those shoes are seriously indestructible and work well in our climate for most of the year. "Standard" items in my two girls wardrobe is always leggings, long sleeve and short sleeves, Columbia style zippies and sweat shirts - also really easy to find and shop around for an awesome deal; usually $3-4 a piece. Pretty soon I know we'll be entering the arena for sporting equipment and from what I've seen the selection and condition are great at these sales.

Do I need to go on to show you just how pumped I am??!! 

The Just Between Friends Marysville - Mount Vernon team is partnering with me to get two winners an awesome prize package - each winner will get a PRIME TIME PASS + $10 JBF bucks to spend at the sale!! Woop woop! The prime time pass gets you in the door as early as Thursday April 27 from 3pm - 9pm, but if you can't make it that day you can shop anytime during the sale and still be able to use your JBF bucks. So check out the giveaway widget below; remember there are tons of ways to increase your odds of winning by coming back daily too!

April 28 - 30, 2017
Skagit County Fairgrounds, Mount Vernon Wa

Find out more details on the full sale schedule here

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Pierogie Peepers Vol. 2

Last year I wrote a little blog post chatting about the new chicks that had landed on our new homestead - Pierogie Peepers Vol. 1. I've been keeping chickens for about 3 years but Spring 2016 was my first batch of chicks. I went a little crazy (well, at the time I thought I was!) and got an assortment of 11 chicks and 3 broad breasted turkey poults.

Over the course of that summer, two of the chicks were lost to an overnight raccoon attack and I ended up with three roosters. Life and loss are something to be expected out in the country; it certainly wasn't easy dealing with their loss but you have to move on.

In November the turkeys were at their ideal butcher weight and we slaughtered them ourselves, along with one rooster that didn't end up getting rehomed. Some might ask if that was a hard thing to do, and initially I planned to not be a part of the slaughter process. At the last minute I decided that it was my responsibility to see it through; because it's not fair or responsible for me to continue to want to raise them for the future and not be fully aware of the entire process. You can read about our first year of raising turkeys (I did not include any graphic pictures, I promise), but I found that because of the equipment we had rented it made the process quiet, easy, not traumatic for anyone and the animals passed without incident.

That left me with a dozen hens for the winter and it took until past the Winter Solstice for most of those chicks that were hatched in May to begin to lay.

I am a part of several chicken keeping facebook groups and it was recommended to me to see about raising chicks in the winter. The idea is that those chicks are hatched from hens who have the hardy gene to continue laying through the winter and a big plus is that I'm done with the hard part of raising chicks before the summer! And for those of you following along... I am due with Baby #3 (a boy!) in June so that is really ideal for me this year.

So I set out with the idea that maybe I'd get 6-8 new chicks this winter. That doesn't really work out well when your good friend raises Black Copper Marans and hatches an incubator full of gorgeous dark chocolate colored eggs on New Years Day. So 6 peepers came from there. Naturally, one is always looking to add color to her egg basket so I also decided that this year would be my year to get some "olive egger" chicks, which are a mix of a blue laying hen and a dark brown gene rooster to create a stunning olive green colored egg. 6 Olive Egger babies came a couple weeks after my Marans.

A photo posted by Bianca @ The Pierogie Mama (@thepierogiemama) on

Then finally to round out this craziness, since I was already knee deep in it, I decided to order 6 Cinnamon Queens from Cackle Hatchery. I had added two Cinnamon Queens to my flock in 2015 who started laying at the tender age of 14 weeks, which is crazy in comparison to the Peepers from 2016, who started laying at around 28+ weeks! These girls were added as my power layers.

Those babies arrived after a perilous journey from Lebanon, MO all the way to Skagit Valley, WA on the one day that it has snowed in the past 5 weeks. Great! So we hurried those little peepers home, put them under the heat lamp with their first drink and meal since their birth. As it turned out, I got an additional production red baby to tag along too.

Silly me, I thought I was done. After all, I had made myself promise that I would only do 3 rounds of my favorite and "must have" breeds for 2017. But chicken math does not work that way!

Around 5 weeks of age I had each of the phases moved to outside in a segregated run underneath my chicken coop and main chicken run. This gives the 2017 chicks the opportunity to see and interact with my existing flock of 12 laying hens but protects them from being pecked on.

Sadly a couple weeks ago I lost two cinnamon queens who got smooshed at the bottom of a cuddle puddle overnight. I was so sad, because the cinnamon queens breed is "sex linked" which means boys and girls are different color right when they hatch so you know immediately if you have pullets or roos. I tried to stay strong; every year chicken farmers experience a little bit of loss and I knew something was probably going to happen that is outside of my control. Then I found a stellar deal on free shipping + $5 off for 10 chicks through Tractor Supply; so a friend and I split an order of 10 cinnamon queens. This time I PROMISE, I am done for the season!

More sadness.. the shipment of 10 cinnamon queens (plus an extra, just in case) suffered major losses. 10/11 of the chicks died in less than 24 hours. Thankfully Tractor Supply gave me a full refund immediately, but it is a bit traumatizing to see so many chicks die for apparently no reason so quickly. The remaining chick will be going home to my friend's farm.

Where does that put me? 12 original hens and 17 Vol. 2 Pierogie Peepers = 30 chickens. I have gone off the deep end, haven't I? I do have to keep in mind that my 6 Marans and 6 Olive Eggers each have a 50% chance of being roosters, because they were purchased "straight run", and as a certain troll on my instagram feed learned this past week - roosters don't live for very long at my house. My primary goal for raising chickens is for pleasure and the second is because my family loves eggs and we sell our excess. In a free range or breeding program setting roosters are valuable members of a flock, but in my case our chickens are always kept in a protected area as we have many predators and I'm not breeding chickens, so roosters are unnecessary. I do my due diligence to try to rehome them if someone else has a breeding program.

Are we all entitled to differing opinions on where food should come from? Yes. Is raising animals for meat for everyone? No. So to put to rest any questions on what happens to roosters at my property - they get humanely and efficiently slaughtered and my family eats their meat. I don't do it heartlessly, I look back at pictures of my rooster, Babcia, fondly and remember how cute HE was when he was little. But the truth was, he wasn't able to be rehomed and he kind of became a jerk when he was the only rooster in the pen. I couldn't risk having him attack me, or my kids, whenever we go into the run. Which is every day. I've been trolled by several people and baited into arguments - and the fact of the matter is that all of my animals are given a loving life and I make sure that their last moments are not filled with fear. That's saying so much more that what the meat that we buy at the grocery store can say.

...End rant.

Anyways, that's the start (and end) of this year's fuzzy butt journey!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Just Between Friends of Everett/Monroe consignment Spring sale!

Good morning, Snohomish County friends!

Each Spring and Fall I get a little bit of an extra buzz because it's that time of year where I do most of my kids clothing shopping. And I don't despair because to outfit 2 growing girls it is literally a steal to do my shopping at Just Between Friends consignment sales! Let me tell you why -

I've gotten this shopping thing down to a science. I go through my girls' clothes a few weeks before to see where we stand on the condition of our standard options - leggings, sweat shirts, t shirts and long sleeves. I set aside what my 3 year old has grown out of; deciding if the clothing item is acceptable to consign or if it can be donated or passed on to a friend. I store my 5 year old's outgrown clothing for a season so that her little sister can grow into it a little. Then I inventory where are the gaps that we need to fill and what we may need for the upcoming season. 

With that little list in hand, I head over to the JBF shopping venue and am able to look through the well organized racks of clothing for the cutest and best deals.  Eunice, the owner of JBF Everett/Monroe and her team, are sticklers for making sure all of the consigned items are in excellent used condition - it's rare to find any items that have even the lightest little grease stain on them. The prices are extremely fair and the best part is - it's a local family who consigns those clothes so your purchases are literally helping a neighbor. 

Have you ever heard of what is affectionately called "JBF"? It's a bi-annual sale held across the country where you can shop for family related consignment items - the most popular items being baby and kid clothes, though you can find anything from nursery furniture, babywearing gear, cloth diapers, maternity & teen clothes, movies, games, and so much more. 

Over the last 5 years I've been to over a dozen JBF sales throughout the North Cascades region and I've snagged so many awesome deals! Here's a snippet of what you can find at a JBF sale.

Even my kids know what it means when we go JBF shopping!

As an ongoing relationship with JBF Everett/Monroe, I am so excited to get to share another awesome giveaway from Eunice and her team! I've got three prizes - $25 JBF bucks to spend at the sale or two prime time tickets (valued at $10 each) to get in before the public! Check out the giveaway widget below.

To get your shop on, mark your calendar for

April 5- 8 2017

Evergreen State Fairgrounds
Monroe, WA

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pierogie #3 is a boy! --26 week ramblings--

Like most moms who are chasing around kids during pregnancy, I just haven't had the time to sit down and reflect on this little one a whole lot! So here's a brief run down of the first 2/3 of my third pregnancy.

First trimester:
  • tired and nauseated. Surprised, anyone?
  • cravings for steak and soft cheeses like NONE OTHER.
  • Interviewed two birth centers and picked our favorite. What a totally different experience it is to be in the position to interview your midwife and make sure that her scope of care fits into what I want. Being a 3rd time stand alone birth center, water birthing mom, I had a lot of specific questions and preferences! I was so happy to find the perfect fit between the two birth centers and have been loving the care that I've been receiving, feeling supported and also the recognition that I'm a "no muss, no fuss" kind of pregnant gal. 
Second trimester:
  • The love for food came back with full force! Woo hoo!!
  • Energy to play with my kids came back too! Yippeee!!
  • 20 week ultrasound - the only one we plan to schedule - revealed that we will be adding a BABY BOY to our family! Big Sister Penny (age 5) had guessed that baby is a boy and is really excited about it. Big Sister Ruby (age 3) was hoping for a baby sister and has recently warmed up to the idea of a brother. What a fun and exciting new journey this will be for all of us.
  • Alas, starting around 24 weeks my hips started to ache. Thankfully I already knew about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy and was able to meet with a well recommended chiropractor in our area. She's been working on getting me aligned and subluxation free to help carry this baby effectively and comfortably.
  • Pierogie #3 loves to move around the most in the evenings when we are relaxed in bed and quiet. It's become very obvious when he is doing somersaults and rolling from side to side. 
  • We celebrated the big sisters' birthdays - they are two years and a week apart so the first part of March is a birthday extravaganza for us! It was so sweet to reflect on my births for each child and how the experience of being pregnant changes as your children get older.
    // Read Penny's birth story // Read Ruby's birth story// 
  • At 26 weeks weeks and over this past week I've had to be very proactive about taking care of my hips and pubis. Thanks to a few specific stretches, hot tub date nights, more chiropractic adjustments and a ring sling I've been able to keep the pain and discomfort at a manageable level but the pregnancy waddle has started early!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Win Valetine's Day Build A Bear and Cookies!

What do you think of when it comes to Valentine's Day? Gifts, from small to extravagant, are the rage for February 14th and what sweetie doesn't love the traditional teddy bear and cookies?

Every year, Feb. 14 marks the search – or sometimes scramble – for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Whether you plan in advance or do a last-minute dash, stepping outside the traditional gift of flowers with something a little more personalized, loveable – and tasty – can go a long way toward showing your love and affection.

If you’re still on your search, Cookies by Design and Build-A-Bear Workshop can help with an easy and delicious gift idea. Hand-decorated cookie bouquets combined with huggable, adorably outfitted bears are the best of both worlds and make great presents for everyone from your longtime sweetheart or new flame to your favorite kid or kid-at-heart.

Each cookie bouquet is made-to-order and every cookie is decorated by hand – you can even have your custom love note or photo printed right on the cookies!

Last-minute gift givers can take advantage of ready-made Build-A-Bear Cookie Baskets, available at all Cookies by Design store locations with nationwide delivery, and specially customized baskets only take an additional day or two to create.

You can stop in at any Cookies by Design location or order online at: http://www.cookiesbydesign.com/build-a-bear-bouquets

Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time you can order these special bouquets, though. Cookies by Design also makes them year-round for birthday, baby and get well gifts.

Now for the fun part! Cookies by Design is offering the chance to win two special occasion baskets – one for the winner (you know you want one for yourself!) and one to give away - plus one $150 Visa gift card, which could come in handy for a cozy dinner date. Just fill out the form below for a chance to win. This giveaway is open to US only and ends on 2/9 at 11:59pm EST. Must Good luck!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cookies by Design and facilitated by Conservamom

Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US residents only , must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted through email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pick your Tula giveaway!

Tula's are one of the most popular baby carriers around. Their fantastic design,style and prints have become a favorite among moms. Because we love our readers so much , A bunch of fantastic bloggers got together to help reward you for being such amazing readers. One lucky winner will have the chance to enter to win any In-stock Tula over at Green Path Baby!

Each Baby Tula Carrier:

  • Can be used in both front and back carries
  • Can be used from 15-45 pounds (baby sized carriers) and 25–60 pounds (toddler sized carrier)
  • Provides an ergonomic M-position seat supporting optimal development for baby’s body
  • Easy to care for and machine washable
This giveaway is open to US & CA and ends on 2/13 at 11:59pm EST. Must be 18 years + to enter.

Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US &CA ,must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Our trip to Disneyland (AND a giveaway for a free night at Country Inn & Suites hotels!)

Country Inn & Suites is celebrating because they've opened a new hotel right within walking distance to Disneyland! Check out our visit to Disneyland and read all the way through to learn how you can enter to win a free nights stay at any Country Inn & Suites location!

I'm sure that most of us growing up, Disneyland was the ultimate dream vacation for any child. My biggest excitement was seeing my favorite Disney movie characters in real life, in their environments and getting to truly interact with them. The second most important thing I looked forward to were all the different amusement rides. It was a great mix of thrill or adventure.

My family of origin took us to Disneyland once during my childhood and the rest of our family vacations were mostly road trips around the Western US, sprinkled with a few visits to our family in Poland. My husband's family, on the other hand, visited Disneyland almost annually as their budget for family trips. So when I married into his family, the love of Disney was set in quite early.

A photo posted by Bianca @ The Pierogie Mama (@thepierogiemama) on

My husband and I took two trips to Disneyland before having children. What a different experience it is go to to Disneyland and experiencing it as an adult! We got to zoom through the park, not a care in the world how long the wait lines were, stay up late for the fireworks show and didn't worry about character signatures and rode the coolest rides.

Then, my sister-in-love moved to the San Diego area this year and the whole family collectively gasped - we can go to Disneyland when we visit her! This past November the four of us flew down to visit her family and play at the park for 3 days, which we spread out over a week. Now getting to experience the magic of Disneyland through our daughter's eyes (aged 4 and 2) was something my husband and I will never forget. This time the priorities were very different; find our favorite characters to get signatures, ride only a few of the age appropriate rides and just simply look to soak it all in. There is so much to see in the details at Disneyland if you aren't distracted by rides! Pirated of the Caribbean is one of my favorite things to see at Disneyland because they have done such a great job at temporarily making you forget where and when you are. It's easy to get swept up in that creaky boat in the Louisiana bayou, duck your head in the midst of a drunken pirate canon ball brawl and yo-ho-ho with Jack Sparrow.

Some of our favorite memories were watching Penny and Ruby meet Elena of Avalor. It's a relatively new show and that day happened to be Princess Elena's first debut in meeting her friends at Disneyland. We also got to see an extended preview of the upcoming movie Moana (in the old Bug's Life theatre, so there were ocean sprays, smells and wind gusts!) and we had a caricature done of the girls at Fisherman's Warf. One night my husband and I left the kids with their grandparents and we went back for some night time roller coaster rides on the Matterhorn and Big Thunder.

As I mentioned before, Country Inn & Suites just opened up a brand new hotel that is within walking distance to Disneyland! With 174 gorgeous rooms that have family friendly open floor plans, spa-inspired bathrooms (for mama to relax after a day of chasing kiddos, duh), a 24/7 gym, free breakfast and an outdoor pool with views of the Disneyland fireworks, it's an easy sell for me! By saving a little bit of extra cash on transportation, parking and one meal of the day being covered, you now can shamelessly indulge in those delicious Dole Whips outside of the Tiki Room! Not going to lie, I had at least 3 a day while we were there because I was 8 weeks pregnant with #3 and that was about all I could stomach at the time!

And when I talk about saving a little bit of cash, how does one night free at any Country Inn & Suites location sound to you? That would put a little extra change in your pocket for your next vacay, right? So here's the deal - follow the rules at the bottom and you'll have your chance to be one of my readers to win this awesome prize!

To enter the giveaway:
1. Watch this short video on the all new Country Inn & Suites in Anaheim location and leave a comment below telling me one interesting thing that she said. Include your email address so that I can contact you if you win!
2. For a second entry (first option must be completed!), visit the Country Inn & Suites website and tell me in a separate comment which location you would stay at if you won.

2/1/17: The winner is comment #47, which is Sheila P! Check your email!

Giveaway rules: This giveaway is sponsored by Country Inn & Suites, not by The Pierogie Mama. The contest is open until 1/31/17 and the winner will be contacted via email only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email in order to claim their prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. No purchase is necessary to win, but if you do want to enter you have to play by the rules described above. The comments must be relevant to the question, otherwise they won't count. If you don't provide an email address, I don't have a way to contact you. Good luck and I can't wait to see who wins!


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