Friday, July 19, 2019

Life With Baby: Diaper Bag Essentials

What to Pack in a Diaper Bag


These days I'm out and about quite a bit with my little one. My right hand man (aside from dear hubby of course), is my diaper bag.


I have this one from Skip Hop and find it to be really roomy and great for cramming a lot of stuff into. The one con of this diaper bag is also that there's space for a lot. You want to stream line and clean it out from time to time so you're not lugging around extra things when you don't need to be.


I try to carry the minimum amount of extra items in my bag but here are the staples that I can't go without.

Note: I love the idea of having a backpack diaper bag because it means you are hands-free but if I were to buy one today I would go with my original instinct to buy one in a faux leather look - something that I can take to any occasion and not feel like I need to take a different bag.

This is the one I originally wanted but the grey one we went with was my hubby's choice - either way - both great bags!

Change Pad
This one from Skip Hop is great - it has a change pad as well as a place for your diapers and wipes so everything you need to change a diaper is in one place.


Wipes
I always have a light container of wipes (choose one that is skinny and light so it doesn't bulk up your diaper bag). If you buy the Change Pad - it actually comes with the perfect container for wipes too.  I also got a sample of a soft dispenser like this which has come in handy.

Diapers
We love Pampers Swaddlers the most. I have tried other brands and styles but these are our favourite for fit and leakage protection. I also love that it has a wetness indicator built in, so you know when the baby needs a change based on the colour of the line.  (yellow for dry, blue for wet)





Diaper Cream and Dry Cloth
We use Earth Mama's Organic Diaper Balm and love it. It's actually great for any scratches, cuts and rashes too. I used this on sunburn and it helped heal it over night! We also keep a dry wash cloth to wipe up any access moisture before putting on a new diaper.

Tip: buy washcloths in two colours - one for bum stuff and one colour for wiping their face and for baths.

A Set of Clothes
I like to pack socks, an extra outfit (t-shirt onesie, pants or shorts) and something comfortable to go straight to sleep in if we are out late.


Extra Items


There are some things you can add to your bag to make it your own and to help you out while you're out of the house.

  • face cloth 
  • burp cloth
  • bibs (2)
  • hair brush                                         


A Few Other "Nice to Haves"

Muslin Blanket
These blankets are a must have and I love buying them in fun colours and patterns. We use these to put down on the floor when we are out so baby can play on it. We also use them to keep her warm, or even as a nursing/car seat cover. There are so many uses for these thin, light blankets - we even play games with them or use them as a burp cloth in a pinch. So versatile! 

Car Seat Cover
I have really enjoyed having a car seat cover. It's great for creating a quiet and dark space if your baby needs a nap, but it was also great during cold and flu season for an extra layer of protection. The one I bought is by Milk Snob and doubles as a nursing cover. It's super lightweight and rolls into a little ball so it's easy to carry around.



Nail clippers
I don't know why but babies' nails grow extra fast and they are razor sharp! Always good to have some clippers in your bag in case you didn't get the chance to do it at home.


Sweatshirt or light jacket
I like to be prepared so I tend to keep a sweater in a neutral colour in her bag too.


Pacifier and clip
If your baby takes a pacifier, it's something you will want to pack along if you're headed out. I love having a pacifier clip too. These are awesome for clipping toys, soothers and teethers to your babies' clothes or car seat so they don't fall and get dirty. I've linked a similar one to what I have here.




Stroller fan
We purchased a stroller fan when we were going on a beach vacation but it's been amazing for summer walks and time outdoors. Our baby runs hot so this is great for keeping her cool and comfortable.

Noise-canceling headphones
These headphones have been a life-saver for us on more than one occasion. We have used them to help our baby get to sleep while we went for dinner, at a sporting event and at a wedding. We are getting great use out of these!


Hope these tips help you as you pack and prepare a diaper bag for your little one. When we go out we also like to keep a rain shield and bug net with our stroller in case we need it. They are super helpful!


If there is something else you like to pack along with you when you head out with your little, let me know! Find me on Instagram @angeliesood

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Motherhood: Tips for Getting Out of the House with an Infant

Leaving the House with a Baby

New moms will know, sometimes it takes awhile to get a groove going and to streamline certain aspects of life with a baby. Take going out for example- there's a lot more moving pieces then there used to be.



From getting the baby ready, feeding and changing them, to packing a bag and trying to figure out all the extra items you may need for your outing - the "getting ready" process can take forever!

I knew I had to figure out a way to make the process easier on myself otherwise I would just end up staying home all the time.

Here are my tips for getting out the door a little bit more quickly and efficiently with a baby (though I think some of these tips would work for parents of toddlers and school age children too).


Have a Catch All


We have a basket in our front foyer that we use to catch all of Liyana's miscellaneous going out items. Her diaper bag, a warm blanket, a muslin blanket, a sun hat  - all of these are housed in the same place. This cuts down on going up and down the stairs trying to find that one thing with a crying baby on your hip.
(If you want to know what baby items I usually take with me for an outing then you can read about my Diaper Bag Essentials here. )

Don't Unpack your Diaper Bag


I keep my Diaper Bag packed and ready for the most part. If there were no accidents that day, I just leave the same emergency outfits in the bag for the next outing. It really cuts down on time spent packing extra sets of clothes for the baby. I use a thin packing cube to contain the extra clothes so they fit nicely in my Diaper Bag.


Restock your Diapering Essentials At Night


When you come home from an outing or day trip, check to make sure you have enough diapers and wipes for the next time you will be going out. It's much easier to do this when you don't have a time crunch or when you need to get out the door quickly.



Have an Emergency Bag in the Car


I learned this one the hard way. I had just come back from vacation and the next morning we had a Mommy and Me dance class. I rushed out the door without checking my Diaper Bag and Liya picked that day to have a major blowout. Of course I had no extra clothes for her and it was rough. Luckily the other moms in the class came to my rescue and lent me a onesie for Liya to wear and we were good to go. Since then, I decided to keep a few extra things in a zippered bag in my car. In the kit I have an extra outfit (a long and short sleeved diaper shirt and pants - this will work if it's warm or cool) and extra diapers and wipes.

To see what else is in my emergency kit, you can watch here.


Buy Certain Things in Pairs


While I love the Minimalist approach, I find that with certain things, it's helpful to have pairs. Stroller fans, hair brushes, pacifier clips, nail clippers, car seat covers, sunglasses and sunhats are a few things that I'm enjoying having doubles of right now. For her car seat cover (also a nursing cover - I have this one) I found having two was helpful because I could wash one and still have one available for the next time we went out.







Other Tips


  • Keep your stroller in the car
  • Keep your stroller accessories with the stroller (mosquito net, rain shield , stroller caddy etc)
  • Go easy on yourself and take your time to learn the basics. It took me a couple of outings and week by week I learned how to use a different piece of baby gear until I felt comfortable taking her out on my own
  • Smile! It may take awhile but the more you practice, the easier leaving the house will be!

Hope these tips help to stream line your "getting out of the house" process so you can enjoy more outings with your little one!

Have any tips to share with me? Send me a message on Instagram @angeliesood I'd love to chat!





    Monday, July 1, 2019

    Recipe: Fresh Watermelon Coolers

    Refreshing Watermelon Cocktails


    It's Canada Day and that means backyard hangs, barbeques, picnics and parties. We started our holiday Monday off with this delicious and refreshing drink at breakfast. It took less than ten minutes to make, but it was truly a special and celebratory concoction.


    We had a virgin version of this drink but if you like you can always spike it with some vodka for a drink to take you from day to night.

    What I love about this recipe is that it is healthy - no added sugar or sweetners, just pure, clean ingredients. This makes it a guilt-free indulgence that looks pretty and tastes like summer. Here's how to make it:




    Watermelon Cooler

    Makes 2-4 Servings (depends on your glass)
    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    1/2 cup of ice
    2 cups of fresh watermelon, cubed
    1 lime, juiced
    splash of water
    mint to garnish
    lime zest to garnish
    2 oz vodka (optional)


    1) In a blender, combine watermelon, water and ice. Blend until desired consistency is reached.

    2) Add fresh lime juice and vodka(optional), stir on low to combine.

    3) Pour into glasses and garnish with lime zest and mint sprig.




    Enjoy on the patio all summer long!


    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala


    How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala

    Lately, I've been craving lighter and healthier meals. But since I love food, I still want to make sure that whatever I prepare is satisfying and full of flavour. The other day, my husband requested Indian food and I wanted salad so I put the two together and the result was a hit for both of us.




    I mean you can never really go wrong with a classic.  I did a little experimenting and made a Chicken Tikka Masala which was succulent, spicy and delicious. The curry is so flavourful you could pair it with some naan too but we ate it with a salad and it was equally as satisfying.


    It's a dish that's perfect for meal prep because you can make a big batch and enjoy it in different ways. This one is definitely going to be in a biweekly rotation.


    Find the recipe below so you can make it at home, and let me know how it goes!


    Chicken Tikka Masala

    Preparation Time: 15 minutes
    Cooking Time: 15 minutes
    Serves: 4


    Ingredients 

    2 tbsp canola oil
    1/2 cup of milk
    3 chicken breasts, cubed
    1 large onion, cubed
    1/2 red pepper, cubed
    1/2 zucchini, cubed
    1/2 green pepper cubed
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 inch of ginger, minced
    1/2 tsp of cumin seeds (divided into two portions)
    1/4 tsp of salt
    1/4 tsp of coriander powder
    1/4 tsp of cumin powder
    1/4 tsp of garam masala
    1 tsp tandoori powder (divided into two portions)
    1/3 tsp turmeric powder (divided into two portions)
    1/2 a green chili, minced
    2 tbsp tomato sauce
    2-3 tbsp of water
    juice of 1/2 lime
    coriander leaves to garnish



    1) Start with your chicken in a mixing bowl and add the milk. Stir to make sure the chicken is coated in the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.

    2) Add oil to a pan (I use non-stick) over medium heat.

    3) Add cumin seeds and allow them to begin to pop.

    4) Add the chicken (discard the milk) to the pan along with the salt, 1/2 of the turmeric and 1/2 of the tandoori powder to the pan. Stir to coat the chicken in the spices.

    5) Cook the chicken and remove it from the pan. In the same pan, add a little more oil and the rest of the cumin seeds.

    6) When the cumin starts to sizzle add the onions and veggies.

    7) Once the vegetables become a bit tender, add the coriander powder, cumin powder, more turmeric and tandoori powder.

    8)Add the garlic, ginger and green chili.

    9) Add the chicken back into the same pan and stir to combine everything.

    10) Once the garlic and ginger have cooked a little, add the tomato sauce and garam masala. Cook for a few minutes.

    11) Add a splash of water to thin out the sauce. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is the consistency you are looking for.

    12) Squeeze fresh lime juice over the chicken and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.



    This is such a great way to get some protein in your diet. It's quick and easy as well as healthy!
    I eat this chicken with a salad or in a wrap. You can also enjoy it with some rice or naan.




    Monday, June 24, 2019

    Lifestyle: Five Things to do to Boost Your Mood

    What to do When You Experience a Low 

    It happens to all of us- you're minding your business, going about daily life, when bam! Something hits you and you're not feeling as "go get em" as you once were. It could be a comment from a friend, a suggestion from a coworker or a compliment gone wrong from your spouse (LOL- we've all been there).



    Whatever the trigger, you're feeling low and mopey. When we're feeling this way, we tend to busy ourselves with passive activities - scrolling through social media feeds or binge watching a tv show in our pjs. But because of our mood, instead of feeling relaxed or inspired by these activities, we end up feeling worse then when we started.

    Low moods are part of life and what goes up, must come down- but there's no need to stay there too long. 

    Here's a few ways you can pull your socks up a little quicker and get your mind and your heart back on track fast.


    Go Outside

    Stepping out into the fresh air is a great way to change your mindset. Doing this in the morning especially, can have a great impact on your mood. The air is generally cooler and makes you feel a sense of renewed energy. 


    Exercise

    The quickest way to feel better fast, is to get some steps in. Going for a walk/run, doing some yoga or even an online workout video, will get you to a great mindset in no time. Even better- head to the gym. You will get out of the house and get some endorphins flowing which will definitely give you a rush of positivity.

    Breathe

    Doing a quick meditation will really help get your positive juices flowing. Try a guided meditation video on Youtube like this one. 

    If you need an instant mindset shift, try aromatherapy. I use a pure essential oil in an uplifting scent like Lemon, to give me a little boost if I need some positive energy flow.

    Just apply a drop of a citrus scent (make sure to use only the purest essential oils - I use DoTerra brand oils. Connect with me on Instagram to order them in Canada. )

    Put a few drops on the palm of your hands, rub them together, place them over your nose and then take three deep breaths in. You can also put a few drops in a hot cup of water for a DIY diffuser. But if you don't have any essential oils at home, peeling a fresh orange or zesting a lemon will definitely give you the same type of therapeutic benefits. Just take some deep breaths while you do it. 

    Read (Listen or Watch)

    Reading something inspiring- whether you have time to commit to a book or a one page article, can quickly enhance your mindset. In the same vein, watching an inspiring documentary or TedTalk or listening to an uplifting podcast can make all the difference in your day. The most recent talk I watched was Brene Brown's The Call to Courage on Netflix and it gave me so much to think about. 

    I recently also got back into Podcasts and I love them. These, along with my Audible "reads" give me life when I'm driving, walking or even doing household chores. It's a great way to consume knowledge while you do your daily activities and it's the ultimate answer for those who feel they don't have time to read.

    Connect

    Make plans with a friend who inspires you. It could be someone who makes you laugh, someone you have great conversation with, or someone you just haven't seen in awhile. The point is connect in person. Reach out to a friend and meet for a coffee. It will force you out of your lull and get you out of the house. You'll have fresh conversation, feel warm and fuzzy from hanging with your friend and generally be in a better mood.


    It's natural to have low moods from time to time. But it's definitely important to be able to pull yourself out of them too. If you're feeling low,  hope these tips help you get back to your positive and energetic self quickly!

    If you find that the low mood persists and you just can't shake it - please reach out to a friend, your health care provider or find help online by clicking here .