Saturday, April 30, 2011

Say Bye Bye to Plain Walls

Like all expecting mothers, when I found out we were expecting I became very excited about decorating the new baby's room.  I was on pins and needles trying to patiently find out whether our baby would be a boy or girl.  When I found out I was having a boy, I knew I did not want the typical blue room.

Instead, I wanted to use colors that were neutral.  After much thought I decided to go for brown and green.  I knew I wanted to cover the bare walls with a splash of color but painting was out of the question for me.  I didn't want to start a project like that knowing I have to finish it,  so I decided to look into wall decals.

I went into Pottery Barn Kids (PB Kids) and found some wall decals I fell in love with.  They had a yellow & brown giraffe and two brown monkeys which I thought would go well in the room.  I was at first intimidated by the size of the decals wondering if I can position them correctly on the wall and  hoping I would be able to stick them correctly the first time around.  When it came to putting the decals on, it was a lot easier than I thought.  I was able to peel the decals off, arrange them on the wall to my liking, and stick it back on the wall with no problem.  It only took me 15 minutes.  After putting them up, the wall was complete, and it no longer looked bare.   I actually had people who saw them and thought they were hand painted which was great since this was the look I was totally going for.

Giraffe and monkeys decals

  My sister also used decals from PB Kids to decorate her daughter's nursery. She chose a more intricate pattern of branches, leaves and birds.  It took her more than just 15 minutes since there were more sections to her decals as well as trying to balance each side perfectly.  She ended up taking 1 1/2 - 2 hrs putting the decals up due to the pattern she chose.  In the end, the wall gave a beautiful feel to the room.  She was satisfied with how the wall decal transformed her daughter's nursery.

"Hayley" decal

Overall, the PB Kids decals were fun to use and gave a great feel to the room.  If you want to fill in some bare walls consider using these PB Kids decals.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easy Pasta and It ain't Mac & Cheese

I glance at the clock and it's 4pm (still on my maternity leave).  Time to cook dinner for my hubby and myself while my sweet prince is napping.  Sure we can order takeout but after having takeout for a couple of days one craves homemade food.

Instead of preparing dinner I go on Facebook.  I love to cook but after my little one was born, i can't cook the way i used to.  I now rely on quick and simple recipes.  Once on Facebook, I see my cousin's wife posted a picture of sun dried tomatoes pasta with garlic and coriander.  This recipe called for you to saute garlic in olive oil, to add coriander, and to toss in some pasta.  What do  you know... this was the quick and simple recipe I was looking for!

I made some modifications to the recipe.  Instead of using spaghetti, I used farfelle (those bow-tie pasta).  I prefer using smaller size pasta to avoid using my big pots.  I substituted the corainder for zucchini, yellow squash, and basil.  My hubby and I needed to eat more veggies to makeup for all the takeout we've been eating.

You can pre-cut the veggies ahead of time and cook the pasta in parallel with the veggies to save time.  Overall, it took me no more than 15 minutes to cook dinner! It was quick, easy, yummy, and most importantly healthy!

Recipe Summary
  • 3/4 - 1 lb of farfelle pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium size zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium size yellow squash, chopped
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • handful of basil, chopped
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook the pasta in a medium size pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 8-10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes until garlic is aromatic, about 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash until tender, about 3 minutes.  Season with the chopped basil, salt, and pepper.  Finally, add the drained pasta into the large pan. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes.

garlic, zucchini, basil, sun dried tomatoes, and yellow squash
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional) and serve.

Sun dried tomato basil pasta with garlic and veggies
If you have other quick and easy recipes feel free to send us an email,  Many thanks to my cousin's wife!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taking a Long Flight? Consider Playtex Drop-in Bottles

My hubby and I recently took a trip to visit his parents overseas.  The total flight time was 18+ hrs and included 2 stopovers  This meant I would have to feed my little “cupcake” 6 times during the whole duration of our trip. 

Two concerns I had while I was pondering on what to pack were:
1.) I didn’t want to pack six 8 oz bottles in our carry on with all the diapers I was going to have to lug around.  
2.) I also didn’t want to use the water on the airplane to wash the bottles (especially since there’s a sign in the bathroom stating the water is not to be used for drinking).

I found out about Playtex Drop-ins from my cousin who had taken her daughter to Italy, so after looking it up online I decided to try it out.  With Playtex Drop-ins I just had to pack one bottle, 6 bottle nipples, and 6 Drop-in liners.   When it came to washing I just needed to switch the bottle nipples and toss the liner after each feeding.  No need to wash the bottle!  I am aware this isn't the "greenest" solution, but with the amount of time I had it was the best.

Otherwise, this was one happy mama.