Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bento Trend

This year is starting off really great - I am starting a new job in two weeks and I am really looking forward to something different and a little more up my ally.  Part of the New Year New Me motto is eating a healthier diet.  I am always so drained and feel like I don't give Bear the attention he needs once I get home from work.  So I have decided to pack lunch and eat breakfast.  Sadly, I have just been a "skipper" according to the new McDonald's adds, I don't eat breakfast and don't eat lunch.

I saw a groupon for Bento lunch boxes and jumped right on the trend.  I have searched a bunch of blogging moms who do bento lunches for their kids but not many that pack for themselves.  So, I will share :)

Day 1 Bento:

Bear has breakfast on top and lunch on the bottom (bottom left image)

Breakfast necklace - various types of cheerios and a few apple jacks on a string
One clementine and eight blueberries
Chicken nuggets and tator crowns with ketchup on the bottom (not shown)

My lunch and snack (top left image)
Granola and blueberries (not shown)
Spinach salad with red peppers and honey balsamic dressing
One clementine

Day 2 Bento (just me, bear is home on Wednesdays):

Pasta carbonara (last nights dinner)
Granola and "protein poppers" (recipe here/not shown)
Spinach salad with honey balsamic dressing
Strawberries and blueberries

Now all I need to do is fit in a workout before work...thinking something simple like jumping jacks, crunches and some early morning meditation :)


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Immune Boosting Smoothie

Tis Sick Season!  My facebook wall has been flooded with poor flu victims all week long and I am determined to keep me and my family healthy.  Tim is already iffy feeling a little sick for the last two days but I - after only two servings - swear by this smoothie recipe!

I got this from PinkPistachio and made it on Friday at work (I actually made 4 because they were quite popular)

I used my magic bullet and made single servings of the ingredients instead of making one large batch so I didn't use her directions and found it cold enough so I left out the ice.

This smoothie is green but does not taste leafy and is quite sweet with no added sugar.

Spinach - antioxidents and vitamins
Clementines - vitamin c/d
Orange Juice - vitamin c/d
Bananas - vitamin b6, potasium & fiber
Frozen Pineapple - vitamin c/d
Organic Plain Unsweetened Yogurt - natural antibiotic

I just threw a handful of each, blended then added more yogurt to thicken.


Stay healthy,

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making Toddler Clothes

I am just going to touch on the subject right now because I am short on time but want to share my latest DIY endeavor and provide some resources for anyone interested.

For my birthday my loving man got me one of these...

YAY - I recently came to the realization that come the spring out back-log of kids clothing will be depleated and we'll have nothing left that fits for summer.  I spent some time looking at second-hand clothing in bulk (people selling backs) but everyone wanted anywhere from $35-55 and that is just not do-able right now.  So I will be making all of Bear's clothes!  Well a good chunk of them at least.  

Although I am still working out the kinks on the neck of my shirts (I don't have a serger which makes this WAY easier) I wanted to share where I started.  

I made my own patterns with the help of made's blog tutorial on drafting patterns: HERE

And used a combination of her tutorials for PANTS and SHIRTS to create this outfit (keep in mind I will be re-sewing the neckline to fit better)

For the shirt, I made one with the envelope neck as shown in the tutorial on made but it fell off his skinny little shoulder so I pulled up THIS tutorial from to attempt the neckline. 

I was very surprised at the results, I thought I would have trouble making the sleeves but it was so easy! I tried two different methods and both worked great.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Easiest Meal. Ever.

I asked Bear what he wanted for dinner last night and apparently someone throughout the day had mentioned pizza to him and he SWORE someone promised him pizza for dinner.  Wasn't me.  Anyways, it was 7 PM and we didn't have money to order or pizza on hand.  My super quick solution for a child needing pizza:

Bear's 4 Minute Pizza

Cut the crust off two slices of bread
Top with a tablespoon of red sauce (pizza or spaghetti is fine)
Throw a handful of cheese on top (we had cheddar on hand)

Pop in the oven on broil for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.  I served with sliced apple.

I always hated english muffin pizza and bagel pizza growing up but I actually ended up eating this for dinner too.  Not bad!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nutrition & Healthy Living

Like a large chunk of Americans, ok most, we don't always eat proper meals.  Not going to lie, Bear's diet is mostly hotdogs.  He has taken an interest in oatmeal, apples and yogurt more recently (yay) but it's safe to say we should be offering him more healthy choices when it comes to breakfast and dinner.

I was looking through some websites to find good recipes for toddlers for my some of my pinboards and came across Super Healthy Kids which has great resources for healthy kids.  Here are a few of the things I found helpful!

Toddler Portions with examples of a few different plates

Recipes, including these yummy looking chicken nuggets

Some ways to get your kids involved in gardening and learning where food comes from

There are tons of resources on there - go check it out!

Another great one is  especially this entry on "Healthy Eating on a Budget"


Sunday, January 6, 2013

To Bear From Mommy

I wanted to share a project I have been working on for about a year now.  A while back google had an advertisement about a Dad making a google account to give her daughter when she turns 18.  He uploads videos, fills in a map and writes blog posts to her.  My project is white similar but I have been writing letters to Bear in google drive.  I made a folder called "To Bear From Mommy" and I will give them to him sometime in the future.  I don't stick to a schedule of writing but rather just when I feel inspired or when something has happened that I want him to be able to reflect on in the future.

I highly recommend this even if you never intend to share with your children.  The act of writing my feelings and documenting life events in a private setting have been extremely therapeutic.  If you decide to do this and need some inspiration, here are a few topics I've touched on...

Ode to Bear - What I love about you no matter what
Death of a family member - it's ok. We stick together and remember the great times shared
It's your birthday - look what you're doing now
Funny quotes - things a two yer old says
A list of firsts - looking back

Feels free to include pictures and maps and family vacations - have fun with it!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pretty Rice

I got this idea from momtastic but decided to use our neon food colors.  I didn't have much rice but this will be a craft we definitely do again and again.  As we were playing with it for the second day in a row, I think I plan to use this for a future "space" themed birthday party - moon sand anyone?  Bear really enjoyed playing with it in the baking pan with trucks and trailers.

Here's my how-to:
1 bag uncooked white rice
White vinegar
Ziplock baggies
Desired colors food coloring
Separate rice between baggies, pour in 2 tablespoons of vinegar/1 cup rice.
Add 4 drops of coloring/1 cup rice.
Squeeze out air and seal baggy.
Pour rice out onto a flat baking pan and store in a safe place (turned off oven) until dry.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Now on Pinterest

Nifty Things for the Thrifty Mom now has Pinterest!!

Follow my boards @ThriftyNiftyMum for tutorials, kid fashion, little crafts and neat articles!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Please ignore the fact that old posts are popping to the top of my blog.  I am in the process of adding tags to better organize my sidebar (to the right) into easy to find categories!

It will be better so, bear with me!


New Years Resolutions

C S Lewis Quote
"I am going to succeed because I am crazy enough to think I can."

Res-o-lute: Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.
Re-solve: Settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter).
Res-o-lu-tion: A firm decision to do, or not to do something

Taking all of the above into consideration my New Years Resolutions are (drum roll please)
1. Be Happy
2. Move Forward
3. Wake Up Earlier

I can make list upon list of things I need to be doing, or things I should be doing, or things I can do to better our lives but when it comes down to it I need to make sure my family is happy, I need to make sure we do not dwell on the past and I need to get my butt outta bed (seriously, I am late for work every day).

What are your resolutions for 2013?


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Easy-Peasy Hand Warmers

Awesome gift for any winter holiday, birthday or just because - hand warmers! SOO easy.  I used the left over fabric from some Monster Sillybets and Bear's pretend camp fire.

What you need:

Some fleece or flannel fabric pieces (for each you need 2 - 4" x 4" pieces)
Scissors - good ones help
Sewing machine OR patience to sew by hand
Needle & Thread
Uncooked rice (NOT Instant)

How to:
Put two pieces of fabric together and cut out your shape of choice. Sew about 1/4" from the edge all the way around leaving a 1" opening to fill. Use a funnel, or a steady hand to fill the "pouch" 3/4 full. Sew the opening closed by hand.  I went back and trimmed off some of the excess so I had a nice even edge (not pictured).  If you do not want any fabric on the outside then flip inside out before filling.

Bear had fun piling these into the back of his truck so I plan to make him some rice bags later for playing.

If you feel fancy, you can use oils to give your warmers a cozy smell (rose, lavender, etc) I chose not to because I was feeling lazy. You can also make larger ones as heating packs for cramps, aches and pains - good mothers' day gift!