Archive for December, 2010

Easy and Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Being pregnant during the holidays can be good and bad.  On one hand, it’s great spending this special time with your family, overindulging in wonderful holiday treats, and dreaming about the future with your bundle of joy.  On the other hand, none of your clothes fit, you have trouble sleeping due to said bundle of joy playing kickball with your insides, and your energy simply is not what it used to be.  If you’re like me, your holiday to do list is long, your desire is strong, but your body is TIRED.

With this energy crisis in mind, I wanted to share a few shortcuts that might just help you get through the holidays in one piece.  First the obvious:  Buy your husband’s gifts at CVS while you are picking up TUMS, tie ribbons around his “gifts” or stick them in a multi-colored bag and call them wrapped.  For the more advanced among you, use photo-shop to splice together a “respectable” family photo for your holiday card.  Finally, and most importantly, below is a shortcut recipe to keep in your back pocket; this is from my friend Meghan and has always been a huge hit at parties.  I was surprised when she told me it was a modified version of the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsel package.

So, if you need to wow the in-laws over the holidays, or just want to treat yourself to some well-deserved moments of chocolate bliss, below is the recipe that will get you there.  It really is easy, and it really will be a hit!  Happy Holidays!

Instructions from Meghan:

Use the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Morsel Package http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/Original-NESTL%C3%89-TOLL-HOUSE-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies/detail.aspx

Slight modifications:

  • Only make two dozen (two trays of twelve)
  • Add an extra ½ cup of flour.

Exact Instructions:

  • Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together then add the eggs and vanilla. (Note, beat the eggs and vanilla together with a fork in a mug)
  • Beat eggs into to the butter/sugar mixture then gradually beat in flour mixture.
  • Mix in chips. Make two trays of 12 and bake for 11 min at 375. (make sure to bake 11 minutes only)

Mini Crib vs. Portable Crib

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Is there really a difference…or is it just a matter of you say tomato, I say to-mah-to?  Well, it depends.  Let me start with a brief history of the “infant bed” (and I do mean brief!).

In stone-age times, babies slept on soft, smooth, rocks.  Fast-forward several thousand years.

In the 1700s, children often slept in their parent’s rooms in what was probably more of a cradle.  As homes became larger in the 1800s, cribs came into existence.  These were usually homemade, made of solid, durable wood and passed down from child to child.

In the early 1900s, there is the first mention of a playpen (the forerunner to the portable crib), and was used to keep children safe while the parents were occupied.  They were originally made of wood, and when parent’s lives became busier and more mobile, portable cribs came into existence.  They look like an actual crib, but fold away for temporary storage or travel.

Today, this portable crib has been updated according to safety standards but looks relatively the same as the portable crib that evolved years ago.  However, Pack ‘N Plays and other play yards are also referred to as “portable cribs” and have become the more popular option for travel since they are less bulky than the original portable crib.

Since the Pack ‘N Plays have gained popularity as a “portable” crib solution, parents today are looking for a more permanent, smaller than regular sized crib for a variety of reasons…space issues, a baby temporary sleeping in a different room (i.e. parent’s room), or grandma’s house (this is my favorite!).

Since the mini crib has increased in popularity as a more permanent solution, they have become even closer to resembling a regular sized crib.  The mini crib mattress is now offered in 5 1/2  inch thickness, which is thicker than the original 1 – 3 inch thickness also available.

Back to the original question…what is the difference between a mini crib and a portable crib?

1)   The original portable crib (not the Pack ‘N Play) and today’s mini crib are the same size.

2)   Portable cribs can fold up for travel or storage, whereas mini cribs typically do not have this feature.

3)   The mini crib bedding and portable crib bedding will fit both pieces of furniture. To be on the safe side (especially with the new mattress thickness offered), check the dimensions listed on the tag.

The emergence of the Pack ‘N Play has impacted the popularity of the portable crib as the travel crib option; while the mini crib has gained popularity as a more permanent, smaller crib solution.

So the moral is, if you don’t have a Pack ‘N Play, make sure you invest in a separate mini crib for grandma’s house!