Thursday, April 1, 2010

Matzo Brittle and other thoughts.

Mr. Saucy and I have an "interfaith" household, so we celebrate both Christian and Jewish holidays to respect and continue our individual traditions. When we started to date seriously, we discussed the implications of having different religions, so we wouldn't end up like this couple. We are fortunate to both come from very accepting families, who understand that our affection and devotion to each other transcend our religious differences. So, our household encourages and fosters religious tolerance and diversity. We celebrate our respective holidays (and like to throw the occasional solstice and equinox celebrations in for good measure) surrounded by both families. And, let me tell you, we throw big parties. For Christmas 2009, we hosted approximately 30 of our nearest and dearest relatives and friends. This week are observing Passover and hosted a seder for 17 on Monday. New on the menu this year was matzo brittle. I used a recipe that was similar to this one. It was AWESOME and enjoyed by all. We also served my famous pineapple "bread" pudding that I make by substituting Passover honey cake for bread and cutting the sugar.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I recently posted about the pleasures of using olive oil as a beauty product. In this post I shall extoll the virtues of vinegar. In lieu of conditioner, you can use apple cider vingar to rinse your hair after shampooing and make it tangle free. (dilute a tablespoon of ACV in a large cup of water and use to rinse) I promise that the odor fades, and you will not smell like salad dressing.

For the most part, I don't use vinegar as part of my daily beauty regime, but it is number one in my arsenal of cleaning supplies. And now that spring is upon us, it's time to break out the cleaning supplies and scrub away the winter grime. Vinegar is an amazingly versatile product that you can use to clean every room of your home. I use a mixture of diluted vinegar (with water, approx. 2 T vinegar to 2 cups of hot water) with a spoonful of borax, a squirt or two of castille soap and essential oils of my choice (i like peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus) to make an all purpose spray that I use everywhere (except glass). If you add a little tea tree oil, this concoction makes a great bathroom cleaner. You can use vinegar and water to clean glass and wipe down hardwood floors. Vinegar and baking soda works wonder in declogging and freshening sinks. (Note, you can also use baking soda to scrub tubs and sinks, but that's another post). I also use vinegar and water to routinely wipe down Baby Saucy's toys, since it is a non-toxic way to disinfect them. I assure you that the vinegar smell does dissipate once it dries.

I recognize that there are a number of non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market, Seventh Generation, Method, CleanWell to name a few, that I use and love (Method Baby laundry detergent smells so good). But for an extremely inexpensive and versatile product that you probably already have in your home, cleaning with vinegar is worth a try.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oiled Up

Since my pregnancy, I have been interested in less "toxic" and more environmentally conscious beauty products. I even tried the no "poo" baking soda/ACV rinse regime. If you are interested, instructions can be found here. I have also tried a variety of paraben-free moisturizers, such as this and this and this. However, my most favorite, least expensive, and most readily available moisturizer is olive oil. Yes, just plain olive oil - either extra virgin or mild - whatever I may have in the cupboard. After a shower, I rub a little olive oil into my skin or mix it with my body lotion (which makes any lotion sooooo much better, I promise). I also use olive oil on my face - yes, oil on my face, the horror! Actually, it's lovely. I have little blue bottle with a dropper that I picked up at Whole Foods, where I store a little oily potion that I concocted using this book. Incidentally, I've been meaning to pick up more of those little bottles. They are so fun for storing potions and the like, and I feel like a scientist or a little witch when I use them. There are a variety of other carrier oils (apricot, jojoba, etc.) that you can use instead of olive oil, if your prefer, to combine with essential oils that are suited for your skin type. My potion consists of olive oil (mild, I believe), a few drops of lavender oil and a few drops of peppermint. I use it every evening before going to bed, and I wake up with wonderfully soft skin.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's my blog and I'll brag if I want to.

Baby Saucy is nearly 10.5 months old, and I am still breastfeeding him with gusto. Well maybe not "gusto," but my dedication has not waned, and I'm so very proud of my commitment and accomplishment. Since I am working full time, I do pump at work, but I nurse in the morning, at night, and over the weekends. Admittedly, pumping is a bit of a chore, and it's not nearly as easy to pump at 11 months as it was at 3 months. The days of pumping 15 oz. in a single 10 minute pumping session are long gone, and these days, I'm delighted to get 3 oz. and estatic if I can pump 4 or 5 oz. during one session. I commend women who have exclusively pumped since birth, and think those women are just amazing. My plan is continue pumping at work until he is a full 12 months and then slowly begin to reduce my pumping sessions. I will continue to nurse when I am home for as long as it is mutually desired.

For those who know me, it is no secret that I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding. I was fortunate because Baby Saucy is also a big fan, but that's not say that we never hit any bumps in the road. For mothers who want to to continue to breastfeed their children for at least 12 months (12 months is recommended per the AAP), the key, in my humble opinion, is dedication. Someone told me that 6 weeks postpartum was a magical time when breastfeeding would just click, but I would be lying if I told you that at 8 weeks postpartum I didn't sit on my couch and cry because Baby Saucy still fussed at the breast and my experience was so far from the romantic fantasy of rocking my child at the breast while we gazed into each other's eyes. But we kept going, and it got easier. Then at 6 months when Baby Saucy was still nursing 'round the clock, everyone suggested a little formula to help him sleep longer, because breastfeeding was becoming exhausting. I chose not to supplement, so we kept going, and it got easier. Now at close to 11 months, Baby Saucy still nurses at night, although not nearly as frequently. Yes, it can be hard to be jolted from sleep by hungry baby wails and maybe he doesn't "need" to nurse at night, and, yes, it may be a comfort nursing thing. But I need the comfort just as much as he does. I am away from him all day when I work, and I love to snuggle with him and nurse him to sleep in the comfort and safety of my arms, even it if may be 2:00 a.m.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back to the blog

It's been ages....but I'm going to give blogging another shot. Life has been incredibly hectic, although extremely fulfilling. Since my last post, Mr. Saucy and I reproduced, and I bring you Baby Saucy! His adorable little coming home outfit is compliments of the very talented French Meringue.
(Just an FYI - Baby Saucy was born 5/17/09 - so he is quickly becoming "Toddler Saucy").
In all likelihood, assuming I can keep up with it, this blog will go in the direction of yet another mommy blog. But let's face it...that's my life right now, and I'm lovin' it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Princess had a first birthday!

Ophelia Magdalene, the Princess of Poo, is turning one on March 25th. But with Easter on the 23rd, we decided to throw her a party this past weekend. And what better to celebrate our little 'Phelia than to throw her a very regal, very royal themed party. As an aside, I adore theme adore them. Any opportunity to don a costume and I am so there. So Mr. Saucy and I got ourselves gussied up (as the King and Queen, of course) to attend this gala event. Here are a few pictures:

Princess Ophelia and her charming brother Prince Romeo: (both outfits were made by Queen Saucy, using my own patterns)

The "set" - "Ophelia's Castle," Welcome ye royal subjects:

Ophelia's castle is interactive: you can climb inside.....

And stick your head out the other side!

And, of course, we had a castle cake:

I used a nordicware bundt pan that purchased at Williams-Sonoma two years ago. I'm not thrilled with the results. Despite overly zealous buttering and flouring, the darn thing still stuck. It's also very, very difficult to clean. I will try a spray next time.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I want to grow cherry tomatoes all winter long...

I can do many things around my house but gardening is not one of them. I can't even grow weeds, which may be a good thing depending on how you look at it. When Mr. Saucy and I purchased our house, the previous owners had respectable landscaping....well groomed azaleas, blooming hydrangeas, tulips sprouting in neat rows...but as soon as we took over, something unpleasant happened. Even the relatively mainenance-free ivy-like ground cover around the trees began to look like crappola (possibly because I sprayed it with poison ivy kill and raked it) our lawn, while "greenish," is not technically grass since it's so weedy but from a distance it looks okay. The squirrels dig up my bulbs, my azaleas are overgrown, and my hydrangea bushes barely bloom. But I don't let these little set backs get me down. Ever summer we build a little garden on the back deck (our yard doesn't get much sun, so we keep boxes on the deck). We have grown tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in the past. Despite our best efforts, our plants never yield much fruit, but that single edible tomato is always a treat. But I just decided that I NEED an Aerogarden. An aerogarden is an indoor growing system that enables you to grow herbs, veggies, and flowers right in your kitchen. Apparently, it creates a "near-perfect rainforest growing environment." But the best part is that success is 100% guaranteed. No green thumb required...sign me up! I want to grow fresh herbs and vegetables in my kitchen and feed my family healthy loveliness all year long! I have been making an effort to buy more fresh produce and fully intend to support my local growers come farmer's market season. But, really, what is more local than my kitchen?