We're Moving!!

Don't forget to change your readers and bookmarks to www.firstimpressionsbaby.com/blog! We won't be here for much longer (we have a new home)!

Monday, June 30, 2008

All Natural Pet Remedies

All Natural Pet Remedies:

-For fresher breath in dogs : Fresh chopped Rosemary. If your dog is less than willing to eat it, try baking it into some homemade dog treats.

-Sore Stomaches and Car Sickness in dogs: Ginger. Because Ginger has such a strong taste, you may want to try a capsule like Blackmore’s Travel Calm Ginger. Also, you can grate ginger and add it to homemade peanut butter dog treats. Slippery elm is another natural digestive calmative. Try adding a crushed tablet to your dog’s food to calm an upset stomach or halt diarrhea.

-Worms and Parasites in dogs: Garlic. Add grated or chopped garlic directly to dog food to keep your dog’s intestinal tract clean and healthy.

-Cuts and Abrasions: Aloe Vera (just like for people)

-Fleas (cats or dogs): Eucalyptus, fennel, rosemary, rue, wormwood and yellow dock all have flea repelling properties. Blend together equal amounts of these dry herbs; mix well and sprinkle over the coat of your pet. Be sure to work in thoroughly down to the skin and avoid getting it in their eyes, inner ear, nose and mouth.

You can also add 1 teaspoon (or 1 tablet) per day of Brewer's Yeast to their food.

For hot spots related to flea bites (and your pet gnawing the bites), rub a little bit of diluted tea tree essential oil on the skin (keep away from the eyes and genitals) - this will keep your dog from licking and making it worse. Use with caution on cats and small dogs.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Online Coupons

Check this out! : http://www.retailmenot.com/
A website with current listings and links with special promo codes and savings for the stores you shop at most. Easy to navigate.
(Thanks, Michele!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Babywearing: Intro

Babywearing is a constant theme in nature: Kangaroos, Gorillas, Koala Bears - and even some human cultures. In addition to the obvious freeing up of hands that is involved with babywearing, wearing your little one has many other advantages as well. According to Hunziker and Barr in their article in Pediatrics, babies who are carried cry on average 43% less overall and 54% less in the evening hours. And, according researchers such as Barr, Brazelton, Lee, and LeVine, in cultures where babies are carried almost continuously, babies cry much less than those in non-carrying cultures. Additionally, while in a sling or pouch, babies spend more time in a “quiet, alert state” when carried - which is ideal for learning. When carried, your child sees the world from your perspective and can experience the world fully, yet feel safe and secure. Not only does your child experience the world, but studies have shown that they bond with the person carrying them and often become independent at an earlier age.

So, what is babywearing? Babywearing is the term used to describe wearing your baby. Many babywearing devices have been constructed that will allow you to hold your baby in a variety of positions, depending on their stage of life.

Is it too late for me to wear my child? The best ages to wear your child are from infancy to early toddler-hood.

How do I do this? You’ll need a baby sling/pouch/wrap. Later, I’ll go over each type in more detail, so be sure to check back.

What types of activities can I do while wearing my child? You can clean, cook (please be very careful while using sharp and hot objects), hike, shop, play with children, craft, read, and a lot more because your hands will be free. We geocache with ours!

Where can I get my own babywearing “device”? It depends on the type that you want, as there are many different types. Please check back soon for the in-depth article on types of baby carriers and our recommendations for each (and where to buy)!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Soleo Organics Natural Sunscreen

In the last few years, we have been bombarded with reports of skin cancer and the many dangers of the sun. We were instructed to wear SPF 30 anywhere we went in order to help protect ourselves, our body. So, sunscreen sales and products that contained sunscreen (moisturizers, lotions, etc.) skyrocketed. One would assume that if the sunscreen (that's supposed to protect us) sales went up, cases of skin cancer would decrease. Unfortunately, this is not and was not the case. Instead, the incidence of skin cancer in the United States has tripled in recent years.

There is good reason to be concerned about skin cancer - but most sunscreen products do more harm than good. In fact, many sunscreens actually contain suspected carcinogens (which can cause cancer). Wait, did you hear that? Some sunscreens could actually CAUSE skin cancer because of their ingredients.

Soleo Organics Natural Sunscreen is an all natural alternative to the common synthetic sunscreens (what you find at Target and Walmart). It's safe for all skin types, and for any age...even babies and pregnant mothers! Which means that you no longer need to lug around that 40lb beach bag with 10 different sunscreens for every body part and skin type and age group. Now, you can head to the beach with ONE tube of sunscreen that's safe for the entire family!

Soleo Organics Natural Sunscreen uses only organic or naturally sourced ingredients and uses patented nanofine zinc technology that won't leave your skin white. This sunscreen has a broadspectrum SPF30+ and is 3 hr water resistant.

If you plan to be in the sun this summer, you will definitely want to check out Soleo Organics.

Further Reading:

Ingredients List: grapeseed oil, macadamia oil, green tea extract, roman chamomile extract, sunflower oil, capric/caprylic triglycerides (plant oil derived), beeswax, theobroma butter, candelila wax, lacithin, vegetable oils, cucumber extract, tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E).
Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide 22.3%

Excluded Ingredients:
NO Chemical UV Absorbers
NO Titanium Dioxide
NO Synthetic Preservatives
NO Synthetic Colours or Fragrances
NO Octyl Methoxycinnamate
NO Oxybenzone
NO Padimate O
NO Benzophenone
NO Butyl Methoxydibenzoyl Methane
NO 4 Methylbenzylidene Camphor
NO Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid
NO Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
NO Diazolidinylurea

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne

Bertolli Chicken Parmigiana & Penne

Difficulty Level: Easy as pie, only easier.


Okay. I cheated. I admit it. This stuff rocks, and the bag shown is all you need (besides your pan/pot) to make it. Unfortunately, it costs a little more (around $7-8 dollars) and is not at all healthy for you (like eating at most restaurants) and only serves 2. The upside? It's fast, easy, and so darn delicious!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sleepy Wrap and Geocaching

Before L was born, Steven and I enjoyed an activity called geocaching - an activity in which you use a GPS system to find caches, or mini- treasures, located at specific waypoints across the globe. It was a fun and incredibly cheap (FREE) activity that combined exploring, physical activity, and treasures. What's not to love?

Unfortunately, having a small child can sometimes put a bit of a damper on the geocaching experience - especially when it involves walking for extended periods of time and up steep hills and loose gravel, walking through poison ivy, and braving things like: creeks, ticks, mosquitoes, and the like! We had thought that we'd have to give up geocaching, unless of course we lined up a babysitter - we had never realized how a simple Sleepy Wrap could change our whole experience.

The Sleep Wrap is a stretchy and soft baby wrap that you methodically tie around your body to create a "nook" for your child. Unlike other wraps, the Sleepy Wrap is not only comfortable, but it can also be worn for many positions and different sized children - from infant to toddler! Oh, and the goodness doesn't stop yet: This is the ONLY wrap I have found so far that will fit both my 5'1" and 87 lb frame AND my almost 6' non-87 lb husband's frame! I love that when I get tired, I can switch the wrap with my husband, and he can wear her for a while. Or, when she stays with her Mimi or Granny - it'll fit them, too!

Sleepy Wrap
is wonderful, no matter what you like to do. It's appropriate and comfortable for so many activities! In fact, you might want to try out some new activities once you get your own Sleepy Wrap.

Click here to buy your own Sleepy Wrap, available in many colors.


A little Comic Relief

Alex sent this funny video. Thanks, Alex!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman

Your house is messy, dishes in the sink, and nothing but Healthy Choice frozen dinners in the fridge. Oh wait. That's my house. And, it doesn't make for good entertaining, or for a very welcoming home - that is, IF I invite anyone over.

In Karen Ehman's book, A Life That Says Welcome, she explains that you don't need a chef, maid, or a living room straight out of a Real Simple magazine to make others feel welcome in your home. Instead, she illustrates how to have meals ready in a matter of minutes when unexpected things come up, how to decorate on a budget - any budget, and many other simple ways to be prepared for the unexpected visits that could bless your life.

Inspirational. Uplifting. Encouraging.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When your baby chokes...

What to do when your baby (less than one year) chokes:

1. Place the infant face down across your forearm (resting your forearm on your leg) and support the infant’s head with your hand. Give four forceful blows to the back with the heel of your hand. You may have to repeat this several times until the obstructing object is coughed out.

2. If this does not work, turn the baby over. With two fingers one finger width below an imaginary line connecting the nipples, give four forceful thrusts to the chest to a depth of 1 inch. You may have to repeat this several times until the obstructing object is coughed out.

**From the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kick My Gas.

Gas prices are rising, everywhere - and, it's estimated to rise to $4.50 in Western KY by the 4th of July weekend. You don't need me to tell you how ridiculous it is, because most likely, you already know! For some of us though, it's more than just a few more dollars...

There are families across the United States right now that can LITERALLY not afford gas. But, they buy it anyhow, as to not lose their jobs. They sacrifice food and basics for overpriced gas - but why? Not, why do they buy gas...but, why is it overpriced? And, why are we just sitting here, doing nothing? It's time to make a change. It's time to stand up and take back OUR AMERICA. You don't have to fight front lines to be a hero, you can be a hero in your own hometown by helping families be able to afford food again...

Here's How:
-taken from a Lime Newsletter....

Thursday's Dump the Pump Day! Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Assn., Dump the Pump Day invites all to liberate themselves from the gas pump — and its sky high prices these days — by opting for public transportation. Many transit agencies across the nation are offering free rides and organizing fun events, so check with your local bus or rail company to get in on the good deals.

Dump the pump every day by joining the Kiss My Gass protest, which kicked off on Sunday. The campaign basically asks people to avoid a chosen oil company — at the moment, ExxonMobil — for a month, in an effort to simultaneously protest high gas prices while encouraging people to rethink their dependency on gasoline. While the organizers concede their actions likely won't bring the oil companies down in and of themselves, Kiss My Gass still encourages people to take direct, individual action to combat a big, worldwide problem.

If you're really angry at Exxon, join the Exxpose Exxon campaign. This effort, led by major environmental and public advocacy organizations like Greenpeace and Sierra Club, seeks to make the world's largest private oil company to face up to and take action to combat global climate change — as well as pay all of the punitive damages awarded to fisherman, Alaskan natives, and others injured by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Exxpose Exxon's action center has everything from a petition you can sign to tips on "adopting" a gas station.

Of course, the most direct action you can take against Exxon and other gas companies is simply to dump the pump!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Alfredo Chicken And Biscuits


  • 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 carton (10 ounces) refrigerated Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup biscuit/baking mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed


In a large skillet, saute the broccoli, carrots and onion in oil until crisp-tender. Stir in chicken and Alfredo sauce; heat through. Transfer to a lightly greased 8-in. square baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the baking mix, milk and dill just until moistened. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture.
Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits are golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.

**picture and recipe from Taste of Home


The two winners of the Organizational books were:

Cindi and Jodi! Thanks, ladies! (Your books are on their way!)

Simple Fun Tip

Gather some cookie sheets or metal pizza pans and some magnets. Let your child play with the magnets by sticking them to the metal pans and then peeling them off. We use the free flat magnets with business advertisements, as there are no small pieces that could be swallowed...and, nothing to be broken.

If you don't have those, or you'd just like more fun, try creating your own fun magnets by buying magnet sheets or rolls and using some of the following to make customized magnets -

Glue magnets to the following:

Magazine cut outs
Pictures of family
Small toys (think gumball machine toys)
Words that have been printed out
Cut up pieces of sandpaper, fabric, sponges, and other materials with a range of textures

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer Fun and Natural First Aid

Whole Foods has more than a great store full of products that are great for your body and soul, they now have podcasts on their blog! The following are two podcasts by respected professionals that I thought you could put possibly put to use. (Just click on the links to go to each one.)

Summer Fun, Not Sore Muscles
Don’t let sprains, strains and pain get in the way of your summer fun! Discover homeopathic, herbal and lifestyle recommendations for supporting the muscles, joints and whole body before during and after your activities. Dr. Tiffany Binder is a Naturopathic Physician, a general health care practitioner and a leading expert in nutrition and supplements.

Natural First Aid for Summer
Sunburn and scrapes, bites and bruises remind us that summer’s not all easy. Fortunately, there are effective natural products for addressing nature’s small challenges. Learn how to create your own summer first aid kit with essential oils, vitamins, herbal ointments and homeopathic remedies. Malia Curran, MS, MPH, is a nutrition and health consultant.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Potette plus

Summer is here - and so are long road-trips, sports games, camping, and boating - all of which can put a damper in pottying, whether trained or not. There are a lot of options out there for mini potties, and even training potties, but most make it hard to travel with and stow discreetly when not in use (who really wants an extra potty just laying in the floorboard - regardless of how many times Dora's face appears on it or how vigorously you scrubbed it clean??). Here's a new option for you, though: 2 in 1 Potette plus by Kalencom.

The Potette plus has a contoured seat and a sturdy, balanced base which will help your child feel comfortable and secure (meaning he/she will actually use it). The lightly scented liners can be secured to the potty and will hold up to 5 ounces of liquid. When finished, just tie the handles together and discard the liner (much like a disposable diaper). Simply wipe down the seat, fold it up, and it can fit in your purse/diaper bag/beach bag or under a car seat.

At home, this nifty seat can transform into a trainer seat for the "big potty." Simply fold the "legs" so they are completely out and a click is heard. Position the seat towards the front of the adult potty, and you're good to go - the nonslip legs will ensure comfort and stability.

Potette plus would be a great choice while you're out and about. And hey, I can think of more than one occasion where I wished I had one handy...for me.

It should be noted that the seats are good for 50 lbs and under. If for some reason you find yourself in need of a bathroom...and fast...please just keep that in mind. (Don't say I didn't warn you...)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Have you ever thought about the possibility of staying at home with the kids, but you wondered how you'd do it on just ONE income? You thought it was impossible? Think Again. Jonni McCoy writes her book, Miserly Moms, from experience and offers tips on exactly how to make it work.

In addition to the set of guidelines to save money in the home, Jonni also offers valuable tips varying from cleaning recipes, average grocery price lists (to help you compare), advice on budgeting and saving money (up to 10,000 dollars!), menu plans and tons more.

It really is true that just because you choose to live on one income, you do not have deprive yourself. This book offers a great set of guidelines on how to make your money work the best for you - from vacation ideas to menu planning ideas and more.

And, considering the economy at present, this would be a great investment for moms (and dads alike!!), regardless of your working status.

You don't want to miss this!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mabel's Labels

Whether you have decided to begin organizing your life, or you simply need help keeping track of what's what to make life easier, Mabel's Labels will have something you need. Pictured above, is a label from the Canister And Spice collection - all of which are dishwasher, microwave, and UV safe!

Next, are the Classic Stickies, which are awesome for sippy cups, diaper bags, toys, lunchboxes, and anything else you can think of! These little guys are also dishwasher, microwave, UV, and kid - proof. I love the idea that you can put these darlings on virtually anything your child owns, and it will STAY there - no more worrying about sticky or white residues where the sticker should've been...and no more worrying about which one is which!
Another favorite are Mabel's Tag-Mates. Simply peel and place the specially designed stickers (they miraculously withstand washing and drying) on the clothing tag and VOILA! Nobody will have to guess which pair of shorts belongs to Suzie or try to decipher marker bled-out initials.

Regardless of your children's ages, these are great for: Daycare. Play-Dates. Siblings. Stay-overs. School.

You name it, they've got it covered: Check out more labels and collections at www.Mabel.ca

Monday, June 9, 2008

Parenting 101 Part VII

*Received these in an email. They were not credited. If you are the creator/owner or know who is, please let me know so I can credit them!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is coming up. June 15th, actually. Are you ready? Dad's skip this post (you can come back to it June 16th. )

Some ideas:
(click on photos for more info. Photos from Martha Stewart's website)

Show dad you love him (or, um...the kids do) by letting them decorate his office supplies - well, everything except the computer monitor.

Make him a "Dad's Travel Car Kit" complete with simple tools, a maintenance log, a pen-light and more!

Use bow-ties to wrap dad's gifts. Unless of course he hates bow-ties, then scrap this idea all-together.

Give dad a coupon book for some outrageously coolness - like 100% off the next lawn-mowing, breakfast, and more...

Check out Stark Raving Dads for some other ideas...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Snuzzler by Kiddopotamus

My daughter amazes me in so many ways. Like, when she was younger - how she could sleep in her carseat with her neck all twisted and bent and still MANAGE TO MOVE it at ALL when she woke back up. Amazing, I tell you. But, that HAS to hurt. Ouch. It hurts me just thinking about it.

So, here's a product I wish I would've known about before: The Snuzzler by Kiddopotamus. Made out of soft velboa fabric, in rich shades, it's great for infant car seats, joggers, baby swings, strollers, bouncer seats, convertible car seats, bike trailers, and more!

"Okay, fine," you say, "But, why is this a must?"

Oh, I don't know...there's the fact that the Snuzzler gently supports baby's head, neck, and back for proper posture (read: no more sore neck). Then, there's the fact that the head support can be used separately, or re-attached to the body piece. And, then the Snuzzler fits all harness systems (no need to thread any straps when switching to different car seats, either), it's an award winning design, and was crash tested for safety.

Of course, if all of that's not enough for you... The Snuzzler IS machine washable, too.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Picky Eaters

We've recently started a new phase - and have been involuntarily shoved into a group some may call: The Picky Eaters Club. Yes, that's right. After spending 2 hours grating, chopping, frying, and cooking two delicious meals...Lorelei decided she didn't want them. Either of them.

I tried both dishes myself, and I can tell you both were good (in fact, they became my lunches). So, why would she not eat them? Easy. Because they are not the baby equivalent of fig newton bars - fruit filled cereal bars, whole wheat bread, or bananas. Anything else gets thrown off her highchair tray to the dog (who should've been named Hoover).

The veggie fritter? In the floor. Fritatta? In the floor. Pasta Bites? Floor. Sandwich meat? Floor. Baby Food? Floor! All of her used-to-be favorites are no more - they've become very expensive dog food. And, she's left calling out "nana! nana? nana!!!!" - Code for: banana!!! Now! This child will eat as many bananas and as much bread as you will let her - I have a feeling that when this phase is over...she will like neither.

So, what do you do when your kid is a picky eater?

- Keep re-introducing foods. Sometimes it takes several tries for them to generally accept it. Don't try to guilt them or punish them for not eating. Simply offer it, and if they won't eat it, seal it up, put it in the fridge and try again at the next meal.
-Try presenting the same foods in unusual ways. For older kids, you can use cookie cutters to make crazy sandwich critters. Use bow tie pasta (or other pasta shapes) instead of spaghetti if they no longer want spaghetti.
-Give them what you are eating. If you give JR peas and carrots and you are chowing down on pizza, isn't it obvious that they are going to want what you have? So, you should be eating what they are eating - so as not to give the impression that even mommy/daddy doesn't want the food they have to eat.
-Give less liquid DURING or before meals. Hand over the cup after they finish eating...or moderate quick sips in between.
-Introduce new foods along with foods you know your little one likes, and in small amounts. Be sure to introduce new foods when child is hungry, so they are more likely to try them.
-Minimize nearby distractions
-Look for ways to make the foods he/she eats more nutritional - adding fruit to cereal or oatmeal or plain yogurt, making a smoothie, adding veggies to sauces or "hiding them" in foods.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Zucchini & Tomato Frittata

Try this great and healthy dish for young and old alike...


2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
4 eggs
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

How to:

Heat the oil in a 9-in nonstick frying pan. Add the onion and zucchini, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.

Beat the eggs with the milk and pepper, and pour over the vegetables. Cook over med. heat for about 5 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

*You can mix in other veggies, and add cheese, too if you want!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June Giveaway!

Last week, we had a great giveaway but very few participants! So, I'm thinking it HAD to be a fluke, right? So, we're starting it up again. If you left a comment in the other post, consider yourself automatically entered into this contest. So, come on ladies and gents, we want to hear from you!

Just leave a comment with your best organizational tip when it comes to either managing your time or organizing your stuff. (The two major areas her (Karen Ehman's) book covers) And/or tell us your biggest organizational challenge or time management fiasco.

We'll be drawing winners from the comments (which answer our questions) to receive something great! So, be sure to ALSO leave your name and email address as well (in ADDITION to your answers)!!

We'll draw TWO winners, and you'll each win a FANTABULOUS book by Karen Ehman. Contest ends Saturday...so, what are you waiting for!?

Tasty Tuesdays - Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

1 stick melted butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp chopped onion flakes
1 can chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 large can chicken breast
2 servings size can green peas
2 servings size carrots
1 can peeled, sliced potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 can biscuits (homestyle best used)

9x13 baking dish

Over medium heat,brown flour and onion flakes in melted butter.
Stir in broth and milk.
Add chicken and vegetables, stirring until well blended.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly grease baking dish. Press ½ can of the biscuits out to be a little flatter, so they won't rise a lot and will be "crust-like". Place the pressed biscuits on bottom of dish. Pour chicken mixture over biscuits. Top with remaining biscuits.

Bake according to biscuit can directions.


*If you use a smaller dish, like a 9x9, buy only one serving each of the veggies (look on the back of the can).

*If you like chunk chicken, be sure that you buy that in the can, or chunk your own.

*You can use almost any vegetables you have on hand...and, even leftover chicken.

*We actually used 2 cans of biscuits. Hey, we like loads of bread. So, if you do too...you may want to pick up 2 cans!