Sunday, September 14, 2014

Baby Bath Win

Babies are expensive. For various reasons. One of those reasons is the gear. Oh, the gear.

But no matter what the baby gear industry tells you, there are a lot of products out there that are on various "getting ready for baby" lists that no one really needs. Sure, you need the essentials like a car seat, a crib, clothes, diapers, etc., but there are a lot of items on those lists that are just silly. Wipe warmers? Bottle warmer? Diaper genies? Ugh, when I saw a diaper genie for sale at Babies R Us a few months back, it took everything on me to not stand there and point and laugh at it hysterically. Seriously.

You gotta be smart about it, friends.

We put a lot of thought into the things we've bought for Eddy. I didn't just buy everything on the "you need these" lists and really thought about where everything was going to go in our tiny house, and whether the item was a necessity or just a luxury. We shopped Craigslist, graciously accepted various items second hand, and did a lot of research so that we only purchased items that could be used for a longer period of time or in several different ways.

One of the things that the baby gear industry tries really hard to tell you that babies need are special bathtubs. Yes, babies need baths, and yes, you have to be careful when bathing your baby since doing it incorrectly could be dangerous. But the baby bath items out in the market are ridiculous. Before Eddy was born, we bought an inexpensive foldable bath that fits into the sink so that we could bathe her during her caterpillar stage. Of course, she grew out of this quickly. Soon we were bathing her directly in the bathroom sink. But now she's grown out of that as well.

So we found ourselves on the hunt for a baby bath. I wanted something simple. Something that would fit her little body but would allow her to splash around and play. A bathtub would do that, but the thought of filling an entire bathtub every other day seemed a bit wasteful. So we searched and searched for something simple and came across options that ranged from too much to silly to absolutely outrageous. Did you know there are baby jacuzzis out there? Ones that bubble and stuff? Ugh. Then there are the ones that are made of awful plasticky colors that are contoured for the baby's little tushy. These require the baby to lay back and be a perfect little angel in the water. Our Eddy is not this. She likes to move and play, and there was no way she was going to sit still in one of those, not to mention she would grow out of it so quickly. Then we would be stuck with this hunk of useless contoured piece of plastic.

After chatting with some friends for ideas, we finally came up with the perfect plan.

Storage tub + small bath mat = instant baby tub!

So I took a trip to Fred Meyer and got a shallower storage tub. We just used that at first, but found that the bottom was way too slippery for her to be able to sit in it herself. A small bath mat fixed that problem right up. And guess what we have after she grows out of this tub? A regular old storage container... to probably store baby stuff.

So much fun is now had at bath time. Eating the bubbles is the best.

So happy!
$15 baby bath tub for the win!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chocolate Tapioca Decadence

Since giving birth six months ago, I have become a certified chocoholic. Don't get me wrong, I have always liked chocolate, but my love for it now has gotten to the point where it is a bit of a problem.

I used to prefer milk chocolate, and dark chocolate was always a little much for me. But now... now is a different story. I could eat an entire bar of 70% dark in one sitting. No problem. So delicious. I could do it every day. (I also love coffee. Not for the caffeine, for the taste.) The 70% is perfect for my taste buds, but I could eat the darker stuff too. I have discovered that 90% dark chocolate is perfect for s'mores. Try it. It's true.

Anyway, I need chocolate like it's oxygen. It's just something I inherited with Eddy. Naturally, I am always on the lookout for various ways to ingest this new addiction that doesn't look like stealing chocolate chips from my baking stash. (Though in an emergency, that does the trick.)

One of my favorite light(er) desserts that is super easy and quick to make is tapioca pudding. We always have extra eggs and it's super satisfying. Making it yourself allows you to make it fat free and lower in sugar as well. Winning.

So naturally, eventually I was going to make the discovery that I could make tapioca pudding with cocoa powder. Turns out, it's delicious.

1/4 cup small pearl tapioca
1/2 cup water
2 cups milk (moo or almond)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (or more if you need it :))
dash of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Soak the tapioca in the half cup of water for a half an hour. Add the milk and dash of salt and slowly bring to just before boiling. In the meantime, mix the sugar and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl. (Side note: here is proof that my addiction is no joke, when adding the cocoa powder, I was super tempted to eat a spoonful. Gross, right?) Add the eggs and whisk together. Once the milk and tapioca mixture is hot, bring the heat down to low and slowly whisk in the egg/sugar mixture. Keep it on the heat until the mixture thickens, stirring often. Turn the heat off, let the pudding cool for a bit, and stir in the vanilla. Enjoy hot or cold. You could garnish with some whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon if you'd like. So decadent.

You're gonna love it. Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

I didn't have any whipped cream on hand. I know. Shame on me.

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