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


Monday Mommy Find....Vogue!!

     Okay so I know its WAY past Monday, I have been one negligent blogger...already. Life has kept me quite busy enough, especially since my husband has been away for a few weeks now. I am one tired mama!
    I am so excited that there is a new beautiful addition to our extended family! One of my very best friends had a little baby girl, and I couldn't be more thrilled. This is girl number three, daddy is in trouble! She is perfect and tiny and so so loved. Last night I started going through my daughter's "old stuff" bin to see if there was anything that my friend would like, and there I was bawling my eyes out! All the clothes were so tiny I couldn't even understand how she was ever that small. The beautiful "newborn" stage where your just getting to know each other and all they want is to be held, when everything is a first and everything is so exciting, it is such a magical time. That being said its also a time where sleep deprivation is a serious problem and other mommy worries that are no fun.
  I love the age my daughter is at right now, so inquisitive, so silly, so quick and unbelievably intelligent. Its like having a pet parrot, which can definitely keep you on your toes. 
I guess there is something so fun about every stage of your child's life, the only problem is it goes frighteningly fast. 
  Congratulations to my best friend and her beautiful family on another wonderfully girl-y addition Keiran, these girls could seriously take over the world, WATCH OUT! Ha!

  Now on to the Mommy Finds! I was going to feature Ellie's new spring wardrobe on Friday's Frugal Fashion Finds, but mommy got a few wardrobe additions so those will be featured instead. ( Thank goodness for birthdays!)
 I am IN LOVE with the clothing for toddlers this spring/summer. It is so whimsical and girly and romantic, quite similar to mommy's fashion pics actually! There are beautiful pastel colors, lace and flowy whimsical dresses that are very vintage inspired. I seriously can't get enough of the ballerina inspired pieces, tutus, and bodysuits, flats and that wonderful ballerina pink. Oh I just think its perfect for little girls.
 I hope everyone likes these pictures because man oh man it was hard to get my model to cooperate! But she was SUCH a little trooper, mommy tried to make it as quick and painless as possible. Even so this will be our last baby fashion post that she models...ha.

   Nothing beats a beautiful, easy dress for summer, whether it be for baby or mommy. I'm also a lover of white.....yes I know she's a toddler, my "girly" girl happens to be quite clean. She's just not the roll in the mud type of gal, so I feel it is safe.

                    Hello? Anyone there?
Oh hello beautiful! What else I love about white is that I have a TON of Babylegs and tights that will be able to get lots of use with this number.

   It is a little bit big, but it will fit perfectly by summer. Its a nice comfortable, soft cotton and I just love the lace details. From Baby Gap: $30, Tights Babylegs from Babysteals: $20 ( including shipping for a set of two)

            This is Ellie's special Easter dress also from Baby Gap: $35.

                  It has such a wonderful vintage feel, she looks like a little southern bell.
                     She was loving it too!!
This dress is Ellie's FAVORITE! She asks to put it on all the time, I think it will be getting a lot of use this summer.

     And at only $15 from Old Navy, mommy loves it too!
       The buttery yellow is just so sweet!
 This dress was also a steal at only $16 from Joe Fresh (superstore)
 Joe Fresh is one of my "go to" brands for a bargain. They always have super cute and current styles for awesome prices, and the best part?? You don't have to brave a mall with your little one to get it! And if you don't already know their baby/toddler socks ARE THE BEST!!

 This cute Roxy jumper is from Premium Label Outlet ( In Langley) for $20. Such an easy summer outfit! The sandals are from Children's Place for $12.

Does that little knit cardigan look familiar? Looks a lot like the one that mommy has, featured in Friday's post. It was a bit of a splurge at $37 from Baby Gap, but it will get lots of use. It will pair so nicely with any of her dresses or leggings and a cute top for spring. Shirt Baby Gap $20, Jeggings Levi's $15 The Bay, Sandals Children's Place $12.
 Somebody is getting sleeeeepy!

    So there is our toddler wardrobe additions for spring/summer. If your wondering why she has so many items from Baby Gap, well.......#1 I LOVE their clothing and #2 We had a TON of gift cards from Ellie's birthday. Normally I wouldn't splurge on so many expensive items, since lets face it they don't wear it for long enough!
 For next and upcoming weeks I'm working on some fun stuff for everyone...maybe even a contest or two, fingers crossed!
- Rebecca


Frugal Fashion Friday...getting ready for spring??

  Well its April.15th and its still a winter wonderland in Edmonton, but spring has to come eventually...right?! RIGHT?!
  In order to keep my sanity I have started to add to my spring/summer wardrobe...although its hard to find inspiration...maybe I need to google some beach scenes...
 Although I am wasting your time whining, things are actually looking up, the snow is melting and no flakes have fallen today...yet.
 My precious daughter met the Easter bunny today, she liked him a lot from afar....up close, not so much. I know I was kind-of terrified myself, what is it that's so creepy about bunny suits?! Eek!

  Now on to the goods, please excuse the shotty photography, self portraits are more difficult than you would think! HA! I promise I'll practice and get better.

   The first thing I purchased was a maxi dress off Haute Look for $45 (55% off  the retail price). I've been on the hunt for one for a while, and I am so happy with this buy.

I love how feminine it is, and its seriously comfortable. It has such a wonderful vintage look to it, but will look MUCH better when the beige doesn't blend into my pasty winter skin, yikes!
  I love how the metallic bead work on top just adds the right amount of modern and glam.

  Good for a night out or a day at the beach.

The next item is a pair of navy bell-bottom pants. I've scoping for a pair like these for a while and I found them for $27 at Forever Twenty-one, they are the most comfortable pants EVER!
  They have much more flare in person, perfect for flats or heels. Plus I'm just excited to wear something other than skinny jeans!  Knit sweater $27 also Forever 21.
   There is something about navy and yellow, they are perfect for each other.

I also got this gorgeous crochet number from Forever 21 again for $23, I'm excited to pair it with a romantic floral skirt or shorts when the weather permits.  Oh and please ignore my new and unhemmed curtains, this is the excuse I need to get on it!
So there you have it! Just a few additions, but I'm on the right track to blue skies and sunshine-y days of summer. I'm still on the hunt for a chunky wedge sandal, some floral shorts/ skirts, a short romper, and anything with eyelet lace!! And man oh man do I need to get back into wearing accessories. I stopped wearing them when I had my daughter, fashionable accessories + baby = no go. I'm so happy that this season seems to be about ultra feminine and vintage inspired pieces...that's my FAVORITE! What trend are you excited about wearing this spring/summer?

Next Friday there will be a special little model showing off her new "fashion finds", and they're always WAY better than mommies!

Now to sleep....after I finish the dishes....why oh why I always leave them until 1am I will never know. See you for Monday's Mommy Find, you won't want to miss it.



Easy, Healthy, and lasts 3 days in the fridge!!

  What am I referring to you ask? Well its Wednesday, and that means I'm going to share a delicious recipe!

Grandma Sim's Seriously Delicious Lentil Salad of course!
    I first tried this salad at Josh's grandparent's house during a visit years ago, and I was hooked!! It is light and so flavorful, with flavors you can't quite put your finger on but LOVE. It is Packed with nutrition, seriously, lentils, brown rice, and olive oil to name a few. It makes a perfect side dish or a great lunch. My favorite part about this salad ( besides the fact that my picky toddler will actually eat it! ) is that it lasts in the fridge for 3 days, and trust me you wont get sick of it by then. It finally occurred to me to get the recipe from Grandma when we were visiting over Christmas and I've made it several times since. Enjoy!!

1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cayenne  Tip: This does actually make a difference on the taste, so if your tempted to skip it (like I was) don't!
One 19 oz can of lentils ( rinsed well )
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 
2 cups of cooked long or short grain brown rice
3/4 cup diced red onion  Tip: If your not a fan of red onion or are planning on feeding this to a child, chop them finely.
1/2 cup currents
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, cinnamon and cayenne.
  2. Toss in the brown rice until just combined.
  3. Add the parsley, red onion, currants, dried cranberries, and mint. Toss until just combined. serve, cover and refrigerate, lasts up to 3 days.

Ellie with her great grandma and grandpa.
   I can't wait to hear what everybody thinks of this seriously yummy salad. Serve it to your kids or serve it at a dinner party, everyone will be impressed, and you can pretend you made it up ;)
I'm very excited for Fridays post, even though I haven't had time to do any of my spring or summer clothing shopping, I did purchase a couple items recently from a certain online fashion/deal website.

- Rebecca


The very first Mommy Find Monday!!

   Although Monday is almost over ( still trying to find the right time to blog) the first Mommy Find Monday is a website that EVERY mommy needs to know about. In fact I'm pretty sure any mom that reads this will already know, if not I ask, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!
  The website I am referring to is http://www.babysteals.com/. I began religiously stalking this site in February 2010, and from there I was hooked to getting all my must have baby, mommy, and toddler items for ATLEAST 40% off....sometimes even up to 60%! Seriously!
 Babysteals really is one of the very first "one time deal " sites. This is basically how it works, at 9 am sharp a new item will come up on the website for a highly discounted price. You have to get the item you want quickly because once it sells out, that's it, you lost your chance.  And with 115,102 fans (and counting) on their facebook page alone, the items often sell out in minutes. They have also added another "steal" at 9pm, so there are two chances you may "need " to buy something....great my husband will be soooo happy.
 As a http://www.babysteal.com/ "veteran" I'm going to give you some insider tips that will insure you always get the steal.

1- Make a google checkout account WAY BEFORE and SIGN IN before the steal comes on, this will give you precious few seconds that could be the difference between scoring a steal or not. It is completely secure and simple to use.

2- Become a fan of their Facebook page. Not only can you get hints on future items but they also have "surprise steals" from time to time. Although there can be some mommy drama on the page, it is a great tool for any questions, from breastfeeding to cloth diapering to colic to husbands!! There will be a momma who has some advice for you. http://www.facebook.com/#!/babysteals?sk=wall

3- Be advised there is a Babysteals Archive....this means that if you missed an item that you want, you can see if it turns up on there. It is usually updated, and there are often cancelled orders:) http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.babysteals.com%2Fdailydeals%2Farchive.php&h=8234d

   Some of my favorite items that I've "stolen" are, the Baby Signing Time, Nochi's Original Blankie Ellie's favorite blanket, and we have LOTS of blankets, Buggy Bagg, Grovia diapers previously called Grobaby, my absolute favorite cloth diaper, Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags, Innobaby packin smart, Babylegs, Lilac maternity clothing, Lollitops hats, and of course Aden + Anais. PHEW!

  Not only does Babysteals find you the best items for the best price but they also have INCREDIBLE customer service. They will always find a generous solution to any problem with any product...seriously.

   Oh is your baby not a baby anymore...well there is a http://www.kidsteals.com/ too!! Don't have kids? Love to scrapbook? Well, introducing http://www.scrapbooksteals.com/!!
  Now you know! And if you already knew, sorry to bore you! For future Monday Mommy Finds if the item can be found on Babysteals I will let you know.

  Enjoy ladies! I'm off to bury myself in laundry and dishes...sigh.
- Rebecca

And so it begins...

    I have been debating whether or not to start a blog for some time now. I have so many things I come across in my life that I believe other mothers and women will appreciate. Whether it be an experience, a recipe, an awesome deal on a must have baby item, or just a mommy challenge that we all have.

Josh and I at our highschool graduation 04.

    I should start off by telling a little bit about me and my beautiful family. I am married to my high school sweetheart, it sounds cheesy I know, but its true! We started dating at 17 and have been together ever since. Josh joined the military in 2005 when we were on a "break"... oh being a teenager!

    Well, we got back together and I moved to Edmonton, once Josh was posted there, to start our life together. As a BC born and bred girl it was a seriously hard transition, but it was such an important test of our relationship. We made it through and managed to form a stronger relationship, and we are truly best friends first and foremost.

   But there were more trials to come, in the fall of 2008 we found out that he would be deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. That Christmas we got engaged, and in early 2009 we found out we were expecting. We were thrilled but also scared, at the time I thought the timing was wrong, but I also knew that I wanted nothing more than to be a mother. I was the child that played with baby dolls all day long, and when people asked me what I wanted to be when I was grown-up I would say, " A mommy and a singer." haha well the second option was a bit off....
    I remember going to my aunt's house and if my baby cousin was sleeping, I'd be so disappointed that I'd sneak into her room and walk VERY loudly, cough as LOUD as I could until she woke up, and then say, " Oh auntie!! She's awake!"  My aunt took it with such grace, I'm not sure if I would have felt the same!! 
   My pregnancy was very normal and besides feeling lethargic, I felt wonderful most of the time. Josh doted on me whenever he was home and not away on training, preparing to go on his deployment. We took that summer to spend 4 weeks together in BC with our family before he had to go at the end of September. I knew right away that I could not have our baby in Edmonton all by myself, so I made the decision to have her in BC and stay with my parents for the 6 months he was supposed to be gone.
  As the day came closer, I grew more and more anxious, it seemed unfathomable that I should have to say goodbye to him. The day I drove Josh to the base, where he got on a bus to take him to the airport....I think will be impossible for me to explain. I really felt as if my heart was being torn out, I was terrified and in anguish. At the time I wasn't sure if he would be able to make it for our daughter's birth in November, I also wasn't sure if she would wait.

 Well the day came that I picked my love up from the airport, looking like a beached whale....she waited. Six days later ( my actual due date) I was induced thanks to my wonderful obstetrician. I'll spare everyone the gory details, but may I just say....EPIDURALS ROCK!

Ellie, one day old, feels like forever ago!

  November, 19th, 2009 was the best day of my life. As soon as I looked into my daughter's eyes I knew that was where I belonged, that nothing I would ever do in my life would compare to this moment, and that I would do absolutely anything for my beautiful baby.

 Mommy, daddy and baby Ellie spent 11 magical days together before we had to say goodbye to daddy.....anguish. It was the most magical time of our lives coupled with the most difficult time. We celebrated an early first Christmas with presents and dinner and fun and sadness on Dec.1st, on Dec.2nd we sent daddy off.

  I put my heart and soul into our child, and every time I felt like life was unbearably hard and felt sorry for myself, she made sure I was in check. I couldn't possibly stay sad, all I had to do was look into Ellie's eyes and I felt an unmeasurable amount love, isn't love the greatest cure?
    My husband's time away was much harder, he was not able to have a break for weeks at a time, lost friends, and was unable to contact me for long periods, the longest being a month. That month was a very hard time for me, I tried to remember the old saying, "No news is good news." But your mind is racing with what-ifs. Even thinking back to this time makes me feels anxious all over again.
   In retrospect I can see that I was depressed, I hardly ventured out, I put all my energies into Ellie, but shut everyone else in my life out. I skipped out on any outings or holidays that would involve questioning about Josh or being around couples. I did eventually start going to workout classes with my best friend a few days a week which helped my spirits immensely.
   I now see that getting pregnant when I did was the PERFECT timing. Without Ellie I never would have been able to be as strong as I was, I never would have been able to smile so much, I never would have been able to feel so much love and hope. I tear up just thinking of those months, Ellie looking into my eyes with adoring devotion and letting me know that everything was going to be alright.
  Josh ended up staying 2 extra months in Afghanistan, it seemed like we couldn't catch a break, it seemed like his spirit was breaking. And in the midst of this I was trying to plan our wedding, not actually knowing when he would be home. The wedding became immensely important to me, when marriage wasn't very important to me previously. But to me it came to symbolize, moving on, moving forward and starting our life together.
  I eventually managed to plan our wedding and Josh finally came back to us at the end of May 2010. Bliss followed.

Our special day
 We got to spend a glorious summer traveling around BC as a family , celebrated our marriage on September 17th, and then moved into our first home all together at the end of that month. The rest has been beautiful yet challenging.

together again

  I am so proud of my husband and so grateful that he came home to us, so many men weren't able to come home. He is such a strong person to have gone through everything he has and still not lose his genuinely kind heart. He is the real deal, I can't believe how lucky I am.Whenever I see him with our daughter, love in his eyes, my heart melts.

  Learning to accept help from my him was probably the hardest transition. Sometimes ( as I'm sure every other mother understands in some way) its difficult to find enough of "me" for everyone. I give 100% of myself to my daughter and that doesn't often leave much left for my husband. But life is about balance and I'm learning as I go along. As my daughter is entering full out "toddlerhood" balance and time is very important in my life.
  And seriously how fun and challenging is raising a toddler, so fascinating!!

      I hope some people will be able to skim through this novel HA! I wanted to get our unique family story out of the way so we can move on to the really fun stuff I have planned for this blog.
 Some of which includes;

Mommy Find Monday's- Where I will be highlighting some of my absolute FAVORITE baby, toddler and kid products and companies ( and how to get them for the best price) and also some great finds JUST for mommy's too!

Recipe Wednesday- Do you have a ultra picky toddler like me? Or possibly a Gluten-allergy like I do? Or a husband that LOVES cookies like mine? You'll find tons of easy ( I only do easy ) recipes here!

Frugal Fashion Fridays- As a lover of fashion and a mother I have to find fashion fixes that fit more into the family budget but still make me feel amazing!! When I don't have time to wash my hair or put on make-up nothing makes me feel better than a good outfit.

    See you soon!
  - Rebecca