Recipe of the Week.............. Quinoa "Fried Rice"

          Happy Thursday everyone! Yesterday Ellie and I took a trip to Costco and bought the first of our spring plants. Including a beautiful lavender plant for inside, it already smells wonderful even though it hasn't bloomed. 

Hopefully buying outdoor plants doesn't jinx the beautiful, mild weather we've been having. I was just craving greenery, since after the snow melts in this wonderful city, every plant and piece of green is dead and brown. 
 Its supposed to rain this weekend, so we've been trying to enjoy the weather by spending lots of time outside.

      Now on to the recipe for this week. I sort of threw this together one day when I was trying to get Ellie to eat some vegetables. She ate two servings of this the first time I made it, and every time ever since. I shared the recipe with a few friends and their kids also devoured it!
A lot of the reason is because kids LOVE quinoa. Its a mild tasting, tiny little grain that is absolutely packed with nutrition. I started eating quinoa about four or five years ago when I was a vegetarian, since it contains more protein and nutrients than any other grain. At that time you could only find it in health food stores and it was quite pricey. Now Quinoa is everywhere! You can find it at the best price, by far, at Costco.
 For more nutritional information about Quinoa click here.
 This recipe is sort of thrown together ( as my recipes usually are) so you can decide how much of everything you would prefer to add.

 Quinoa " Fried Rice"

 What you will need:

- Quinoa
- vegetables of choice
- two eggs ( whisked )
- ham, chicken or any other meat of choice
- soy and Worcester sauce.
- vegetable oil ( I use sesame oil but it isn't necessary)

 How to put it all together:

1- Cook one serving of quinoa as instructed. ( one cup of quinoa to two cups of water) You want it to be slightly undercooked, it should still be a little bit crunchy. Set aside.
2- Chop vegetables and meat into small pieces. I chop mine as small as possible so my daughter doesn't realize whats in it.
3- Put chopped vegetables and meat in a large skillet, pot or wok with some vegetable oil and add small amount of  soy, Worcester and seasonings of choice. Cook on medium/high until vegetables are tender.
4- Add the quinoa, stir.
5- Add small amount of soy and eggs ( whisk before adding ).
6- mix and cook well. Enjoy!

  This makes a great lunch, or even an easy dinner if your in a hurry.

   If you noticed that I titled this "Recipe of the Week" instead of "Recipe Wednesday", its because I've decided to post when I can, instead of a certain day of the week. I was setting myself up for failure really, I am NOT organized enough for that! HA!

  I hope everyone is having a great week. Can you believe we're already five days into May?!

- Rebecca



And the winner of the BabyBoo Giveaway is.............................

             Lizzie Fofonove!!

Congratulations Lizzie, BabyBoo will be emailing you shortly! Make sure to post a picture of your little one in your winning hat on BabyBoo's facebook page. I can't wait to see what you choose!

  Thank-you everyone for entering and supporting Baby Steps and BabyBoo, I wish everyone could have won! And thank-you to Olga (owner of BabyBoo) for allowing this giveaway to happen and being so generous.

I am working on more wonderful giveaways for the near future, so keep an eye on the blog!

- Rebecca


These are a few of my favorite things...skin care edition.

     I thought I would throw in a random post about something I would be interested in. There is always a fascination between women and what products they use. Looking into a women's purse....or diaper bag...can be a window into they're soul!
   My purse would have loose cheerios, bobby pins and 5 or 6 random lip glosses to name a few things. How glamorous!
  The same goes for a woman's vanity or bathroom cupboard. I have had a skincare routine since I was about thirteen or fourteen. As soon as I started "wearing" make-up ( No there NOT be photos posted! ) my mother made sure I cleansed my face every night. She threatened the consequence of not washing my face would be pimples galore...which is true, and it scared me into being religious about my routine. I have tried almost everything available for my combination, blemish prone skin.
   Which is why when I moved to Edmonton I got a job as a skincare expert at Sephora West Edmonton Mall. It was very easy for me to help people since I myself, have tried it all. I am extremely picky when it comes to the products I put on my skin, although I am less so now that I am a mother. Now it is more important for me to have highly effective products that are not too complicated.
    I also try to stick to products that are more natural, or at least ingredient driven brands. What I mean by that is, the more non-sense on the bottle that I cannot pronounce, the less likely I will purchase it. I am even more so picky when it comes to the products I will use on my daughter. The studies that link diseases to chemical or unnatural ingredients aren't always the most accurate, but I prefer to take precautions and use products that choose to use more natural plant based ingredients. Better safe than sorry in my opinion, but obviously every mother knows whats best for their own child.
 So for this post I am going to share what I am using at the moment, and also what Ellie uses.

 When ever I try something new I always end up going back to this great, easy cleanser. It takes off eye and complexion make-up so easily and makes your skin feel so clean. It is sold in 4 different sizes at Sephora, and is suitable for ANY skin type.

In the last few months I have been using this set from Ole Henriksen and I LOVE it. Its been really hard on my skin living in such a dry climate. Since I have combination skin and its sometimes hard to find a balance between moisturizing enough and clogging my pores. This set is perfect, it has your exfoliator, moisturizer and a great serum. Its so easy to use and all the products are non-comedogenic ( which means they will not clog your pores). My skin has been looking bright and refreshed from all the brightening ingredients in these products ( vitamin c, licorice root extract, AHA's)  The price is also great for such quality skincare at $70 for the set ( almost half off if you bought them separately) Available at Sephora.

This eye cream is just easy and basic. It a gel so it sinks right in and hydrates. ( available at Sephora )

I am so lazy when it comes to protecting my skin from the sun, so this is perfect for me. I can keep it in my purse or diaper bag and just brush it on when needed. It wont make you greasy or clog your pores. LOVE! ( available at Sephora)

 Last product for me is this great body butter from LAVANILLA. The smell isn't too over powering,  its super hydrating and full of great antioxidants for your skin. (available at Sephora)

  These baby products are TO DIE FOR! If you were to bottle the smell of a baby, this scent would be as close as you could get. We've tried other brands for Ellie but none have even compared to this one. The wash and lotion are natural, smell great and are very affective. The only down side? Live Clean Baby is a little pricey at 7-8 dollars a bottle, but I find the bottles last quite a while. You can purchase it at any drug or grocery store, I find it is usually the lowest price at Superstore.

           I hope every one found this interesting and not too superficial. I think that its important to take care of your skin as a part of your over-all health. Especially when you are a mother, you have to remember to take care of yourself as well. We slather lotions and sunscreens on our babies and then forget about ourselves. I am going to make it a priority to take care of my skin this summer. After all, how can I tell my daughter its important to protect her skin if I'm not doing it myself?
Next week I'll let everyone know whats in my make-up bag and then my curly hair must haves!

Don't forget to enter the BabyBoo Giveaway! The contest ends at 12pm tomorrow (MST) May.2nd, make sure you enter if you haven't already. You do not want to miss out on the chance to win a BabyBoo hat for your little one, they are the ultimate accessory.
Here's another picture of Ellie in a BabyBoo hat strolling around the mall a few months ago. Good luck to everyone who has already entered, I can't wait to see who wins!

- Rebecca


Quick, Easy Toddler snack/lunch recipe.

         We have been super busy over the last couple days, visiting our family in beautiful BC. Ellie is always thrilled to see everyone, and of-course all the birdies and choo-choo's Langley has!!! We've talked about the choo-choo train almost everyday since she saw it on our last visit, I cant wait to see her face when we see it tomorrow in Fort Langley. Our Ellie is quite the sensitive soul, she cries when any of Dora's friends are in trouble, and always does a long, "awwwwwwwwwwh." whenever she see an animal. So we were surprised that the big train that runs through the beautiful, historic town of Fort Langley ( Josh's hometown and where we got married) didn't spook her. Its even too loud for mommy's ears sometimes! Instead she squealed with delight and went on and on about that big choo-choo she saw. So cute.

    This weeks recipe is a no brain-er. I have the hardest time finding new snacks and lunch ideas for Ellie.  I found myself making too many grilled cheese sandwiches and opening too many cans of lentil soup. I saw a similar recipe to this on a mommy forum and decided to try it out. I found that even I love it! Who would have thought that a savory pancake would taste so good?! That's right a savory pancake.

    Yummy Savory pancakes;

What you will need;

- Vegetables of your choice, chopped finely ( about 3/4 cup) We love to use shredded carrots, bell peppers, green onions, zucchini, and mushrooms.
- Cheese of your choice ( about 1/2 a cup) We love to use strong cheddar.
-  Deli Ham chopped into small pieces ( about 1/2 cup ) or whichever type of meat you prefer, we use nitrate-free deli meat.
- Pancake mix We use Bob's Gluten-free pancake mix, which isn't very sweet to begin with.

1-  Satay the vegetables and ham in a pan with a small amount of oil and seasoning to taste, until slightly tender. Set aside.
2- Prepare pancake mix.
3- Add in vegetables and meat mixture, and then cheese.
4- Cook pancakes as instructed.

Serve them with toppings of your choice!
- Butter
- Salsa, guacamole
- Ketchup
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Hummus or Tzatziki
Or whatever toppings you see fitting! Enjoy.

  These are a great way for me to get vegetables into my daughter without having to threaten bedtime. And who knows how long that will work anyways, HA!

  I hope everyone is having a great week. Don't forget to enter the BabyBoo Hat Giveaway below, there are only a few days left! Its our first contest so the chances of winning are seriously high. The best part? You win a hat of YOUR CHOICE, and they have a ton of options for your little one. Don't miss out.
  I love giveaways, and enter them all the time, why not get something for free? We spend enough on our kiddies! Too bad I cant enter this one because I would be ALL over it!
Here's a pictures of Ellie in one her BabyBoo hats, at 5 months old, almost exactly one year ago...sigh. She just melts my heart!

- Rebecca



               Anyone who knows me and my daughter, knows I am OBSESSED with hats, and if they know me well enough to know that, then they also would know that the hats I am MOST obsessed with are BabyBoo Hats. Since Ellie was born I have probably purchased at least ten of these amazing hats! I don't know about all of your children, but my Ellie went through some seriously awkward hair "stages". First there was the "cul-de-sac", and then the "reverse mullet" and now she is plagued by "back of the head frizz". Isn't it just easier to put an adorable hat on your child rather than battle with their crazy hair?
  Why are these hats so amazing you ask? Well take a look for your self....

There are many more adorable hats to be seen at http://www.shopbabyboo.ca/, check them out!
       Okay, I want to have a boy next just so I can buy a Mohawk hat for him!! I am totally eyeing the yellow with the purple flower next for my daughter, its perfectly bright for spring and summer.
       When Ellie wears her BabyBoo's we constantly get compliments. I love that they are light enough for spring and fall, even summer, but some how they are still warm enough for winter! Because they are made with such a soft, stretchy and light bamboo-cotton blend, they are comfortable for your little one to wear, and your little one WILL wear them. These are the only hats that my daughter doesn't immediately pull right off her head! My girlfriends toddler will not leave ANYTHING on her head, but she will keep a Babyboo hat on.
    Every hat is unique and made with love and quality materials by a stay-at-home BC mom, Olga. I just love supporting local brands made by moms... we have to support each other ladies.
   Like I said before, I have purchased over 10 hats for my daughter and have NEVER had a problem with the quality of a hat, that's pretty rare if you ask me. Not a stitch out of place, not a petal falling, not a detail lost...notta! It is a real testament to Olga's work, she makes each hat with so much care and love. After all, her wonderful talent allows her to work from home and have more time with her two young children ( who yes sport BabyBoo hats ). Olga also happens to be an incredibly sweet person, and wonderful with customer service. If you aren't able to find the exact hat you were wanting from the boutiques they are sold in around BC and Saskatchewan ( which you can find on the BabyBoo facebook page ), or on her website, then you can custom order the hat you want for a small, fair fee. I recently got a custom creation for my little one and it is PERFECT!

       You know I couldn't resist an opportunity to throw in a picture of my little princess. The pearl with the rhinestones is absolutely stunning and classic, I'm totally in love with this hat on my daughter!

  Okay so before we get to what YOU could WIN, lets re-cap what is so great about BabyBoo Hats;
- They STAY ON!
-  They are ultra soft
-  They are light enough for spring, summer and fall, but also warm enough for winter. Seriously.
-  They are ultra stylish, cute and fun.
-  Your child WILL NOT even notice that its on!!!
-  They are made by a local stay-at-home mom.
- They are made with such care and quality and stand the test of time or of a child I should say!


   And now onto what you all are waiting for....

   is giving away a hat of choice to ONE lucky winner!!!

Here is how to enter;
*please read carefully there will be no exceptions to the contest rules*

 - Become a fan of the BabyBoo facebook page by clicking here and then clicking "like", leave a message on BabyBoo's wall saying you did so on behalf of this contest, and then leave a comment on this post with your first and last name and email address letting me know you did.

  Its that easy!!! Want to increase your odds?? You can....

1- Follow Babysteps blog then comment on this post with your first and last name and email address saying you did.

2- Share this contest on your facebook page, encouraging your friends to enter and again comment on this post with your first and last name and email address letting me know you did.

     So in total you have three chances to enter! Keep in mind the first entry ( becoming a fan of Babyboo on Facebook) is MANDATORY. The other entries are optional. There will be NO exceptions to the rules, so make sure you read them carefully. All entries will be thoroughly checked before the draw. The contest is open to all Canadian and U.S residents.

 Contest will close on Monday May.2nd at 12pm MST. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Tuesday.

  Thank-you to BabyBoo for being so generous, I cant wait to see who wins!

Good luck everyone!
- Rebecca


Earth Day!

   Tomorrow is Earth Day! In order to show our appreciation for the earth, the computer will be unplugged, so will the TV, there will be no driving, and we will be using cloth diapers for the day. I think it is important to separate yourself from technology every once in a while and really enjoy the day. Ellie and I will be heading to the park to have a picnic and feed some ducks, and appreciate nature for a day. One huge difference I noticed when I moved to Edmonton from BC is that people just don't appreciate the outdoors as much. It is a little hard to celebrate mother earth when she covers us in white stuff 90% of the year! Will all you Edmonton residents be taking a moment to appreciate the earth tomorrow?

  On behalf of Earth Day I'm going to share a really awesome natural all-purpose cleaner recipe that I found in Canadian Family Magazine, this works amazingly well!

  Earth Day All-purpose Cleaner!
  -Take 8 cups of warm water and add 1 tbsp of Borax, 1/2 cup of liquid Castile soap ( vegetable based soap in organic section of grocery store) and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Put in a reusable spray bottle and its ready!! It is great for kitchen counters, floors, and bathrooms, pretty much any mess you can think of.
   Obviously there will be no Frugal Fashion post tomorrow, but it will be posted on the weekend.
 What will everyone be doing to celebrate Earth Day?

- Rebecca

Recipe Wednesday....Easy Easter Treat!

          Easter is just around the corner, and i just love this holiday! It may or may not have something to do with the fact that i am addicted to chocolate...
  I also think it is so fun to spend the day outside searching for hidden items, pretty dress on, basket in hand. My dad used to write riddles for us to find our hidden Easter presents in the house. It was always so much fun to try and solve them and hunt for our yummy prizes! I'm so excited for Ellie to be at the age where we can do the same thing for her.
 This recipe can hardly be called a recipe, its just too easy! This is meant to be a fun treat to make with the kids that looks super cute when displayed, tastes great and takes minutes!

Here is what you will need for Jelly Bean Bark:

- Easter colored jelly beans ( any size or type of your choice)
- White Chocolate ( about 12-18 ounces, I used 2 packs of Baker's white chocolate squares)
- Semi-sweet or milk chocolate ( about 8 ounces, I also used Bakers )
- A baking sheet
- parchment paper

 1-  Melt the white chocolate in a double broiler over boiling water, with 1.5 inches of water in the pot . * If you don't have a double broiler, be creative. I used a medium sized pot and the bowl from my rice steamer. It fit perfectly and worked like a charm! * Stir the chocolate frequently until fully melted.
2-  Line the pan with parchment paper
3-  Pour white chocolate into lined pan evenly
4-  Place semi-sweet chocolate in broiler and melt the same way as the white chocolate, once completely melted, set aside.
5- Add jelly beans to white chocolate in pan *use as many as you want, but in my experience more is better*
6-  Then spoon semi-sweet chocolate on top creatively.
7- Place pan in fridge until firm, break apart and voila!

    I prefer it chilled, I love that cool crunch you expect from a "bark", but it can be stored either room temperature or in the fridge or freezer.
      I think it looks so fun, especially for how easy it is to make! I know Ellie had so much fun adding the chocolate, well more like licking the spoon....and adding the jelly beans, well more like licking the jelly beans. Ha! 
    I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend! We are eagerly anticipating daddy coming home for Easter and my 25th birthday, and visiting family and new baby Keiran in Beautiful BC, aka home.

- Rebecca