I haven’t posted much lately – but I have a new post coming up soon! In the meantime, check out this video I posted on YouTube of our Hurricane Florence experience.

I fell in love with the art of herbalism completely by accident. After I moved back in with my mom, she allowed me space in her garden. I started buying your typical herbs found at area “big box” stores but that wasn’t enough for me. I began looking online for more unique herbs to grow. Eventually my mom told me that I either needed to calm down my spending habits or else find a use for the herbs. So I choose the later option, taking that as the initiative to start my own business. I now sell mostly online and at events local to my area but one product has always remained a favorite of my customers – my handcrafted herbal tinctures.

For the rest of this post, join me over at Minnesota Country Girl where I have the privilege of guest posting for Homestead Winter Prep: A Series of Harvesting & Preserving!

This past Saturday, I found myself breastfeeding in public for the first time. Well, public in this sense. I have breastfed Caleb in the car many, many times when we have either been coming or going somewhere. It’s not like I have been avoiding breastfeeding in public, it’s just one of those things that never needed to happen. When I’ve gone somewhere, typically I will feed Caleb before leaving. Now that he’s a little bit older, we usually are able to give him a little something from our plates.

On Saturday, however, a local coffee shop welcomed a group of breastfeeding women as part of the Global Big Latch On.

Global Big Latch On events take place at registered locations around the world, where people gather together to breastfeed and offer support to each other. 20,562 children were counted as breastfeeding during the one minute count (and quite many more were attending but snoozing during that moment). The purpose behind the event is to promote and support breastfeeding families. There were a couple of lactation consultants attending this event available for question.

All in all, there were 17 babies attending this event with about 12 breastfeeding at the same time. Our local newspaper was present to cover the event and we even had someone taking pictures of the moms and their babes. It was great getting to meet with other women and share our experiences with one another. It’s been hard for me to find other moms to connect with in person since this is a small town. There typically aren’t a lot of opportunities out there for connecting.

These photos were taken by Amanda Kielar Photography. She took a ton of great photos that you can view on her Facebook page. These are just some of the ones featuring me and little man (there are a couple more on her page).

I’m so glad that I was able to attend this event. I had a hard time breastfeeding when Caleb was first born. To be honest, without Robb encouraging me and pushing me, I think that I would have given up. Yes, I do give Caleb formula on occasion at daycare (when I’ve had a stressful day at work and just can’t pump much) but at home, he is 100% on the breast. I use a special organic formula sourced from Germany that I’ll feature in another post.

In light of the recent Pepperidge Farm Goldfish cracker recall, I thought that I would bring you this guest post from Candess Zona-Mendola, Senior Trial Paralegal at The Lange Law Firm who also runs MakeFoodSafe.com.


I sat down to read my morning news this morning to find out that a snack I packed in my kids’ fieldtrip lunchbox was recalled for Salmonella. What?!

As a food safety advocate, panic immediately set in. I called my kids’ summer camp to get their camp counselors to remove the offending fish from my kids’ lunchbox. I interrogated them to ensure that my toddler had not snuck a snack before lunch. Five deep breaths later and two pictures of intact Goldish boxes later, I am back to my normal self.

But honestly, I had nothing to worry about anyway. The type of Goldish that were recalled were not the ones I packed for my kids this morning. But I did not take the time to read that. I went directly into “momma bear mode” – protect the young, now!

So, I want to do for you what I should have done for myself. Give you a little bit of info so you can breathe a little easier, and decide if you need to take further action.

Here’s the Lowdown

Pepperidge Farms initiated a recall on these popular kids snacks just yesterday. So, if you did not know about it until just now, it is not your fault. I am just a paranoid foodie who reads the food news every morning.

Here are the quick facts for you on this recall:

  • There is no outbreak of Salmonella linked to Goldfish at this time.
  • The recall is only “out of an abundance of caution.” This means there is likely only a small batch of contaminated products, but lots of products recalled.
  • No kids are confirmed sick with Salmonella from eating Goldfish crackers at this time
  • The recall is on only four Goldfish products, which are:
    • Flavor Blasted® Xtra Cheddar
    • Flavor Blasted® Sour Cream & Onion
    • Goldfish® Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar
    • Goldfish® Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel
  • No other Goldfish or Pepperidge Farms products are subject to the recall.
  • These products have different packaging depending on sizes, flavors, etc. You can visit the link here for a list (with pictures) of the recalled products.

It is important to mention that the recalled products were distributed in all 50 states. This means that they could be in your home, your friend’s house, at the daycare, at the summer camp your kids attend, at church, at grandma’s house, etc. Let the other people in your life who feed you kids know about the recall, so they can get rid of the products.

What Do I Do Now?

The first thing is not to panic, like I did. Check your pantry and see if you even have a recalled product. If you do, do not feed it to your kids – even if they have already eaten some of the fish inside. You can return the recalled products to your nearby grocer for a refund.

After that, just keep an eye on your kids. The telltale signs of a Salmonella infection are:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting

In the more severe cases, there may be some additional symptoms, like bloody diarrhea, headache, chills, and body aches. It is highly recommended that you take your kids to the doctor if they are showing any of these symptoms, and ask your pediatrician for a stool test to confirm if they have Salmonella.


Like all mothers, Candess wears many hats. With 15 years of paralegal experience, she has worked on many different types of litigation.  Candess began her career helping people in family law, civil rights, and employment cases and became a paralegal in order to help people.  When Candess learned that millions of Americans each year were becoming sick from food contaminated with pathogens, she wanted to do something about it. Ever the problem solver, Candess began by finding ways to get more helpful information about food safety concerns and solutions to families (especially other mothers) in a timely fashion.

MakeFoodSafe.com is Candess’ third food safety blog.  Her first food safety blog has won multiple awards and has been recognized as a: Top 30 Food Safety Blog; Top Mommy Approved Blog; Top 10 Blog Posts by Texas Bar Today; and the Blogger Recognition Award.

Candess works closely with Jory and the food safety team to develop and cultivate the firm’s food safety cases. From intake to trial, Candess ensures everyone gets what they need when they need it, even the most challenging matters.

A mother of two, Candess lives in a suburb of Houston with her husband, Tim.  When she is not saving the world one deadline at a time, Candess can be found channeling her inner chef or with coffee and a book.

You can follow Candess and MakeFoodSafe on Facebook

I love muffins. They are delicious, easy to fix, and I tend to make enough to have them last for a couple of meals. When I was thinking up ideas of what Caleb could eat in lieu of purees, I instantly thought of muffins stuffed with delicious (and soft) foods that he had already tried. We are going with a more Baby-Led Weaning approach to introducing food to Caleb which has been fun, a bit scary, and super messy!

These muffins come together in no time which is essential when you are trying to cook in the kitchen and wrangle a baby that has just began to discover crawling.

Start by mixing your dry ingredients in a bowl.

Then you’ll add your wet ingredients. The only real wet ingredients here are the applesauce, avocado, and banana. You can mash them together BEFORE you add them to your dry ingredients but I just threw them in and mashed them all together in the bowl.

 

Once everything is all nicely combined, you spoon the mixture into your muffin tins. This recipe creates 24 mini muffins which is the perfect size for your little one. The muffins don’t rise so what you put into the muffin cup is pretty much equal to the size of the muffin once you remove it. The muffins will still be moist in the middle when you remove them but that’s okay. A dry, crumbly muffin seems like a nightmare to me for a baby to try to eat.

Caleb had a lot of fun watching me work in the kitchen. I put a few toys on the ground for him, including the bowl that I used to mix up the muffins in and just let him go to town with it. He ended up being a sticky mess afterward but it was worth it.

I don’t have any shots of the muffins after they finished baking so here is a picture of Caleb enjoying them. Belle, our dog, enjoyed them a little bit more than Caleb did, I think. His favorite part of the entire muffin was feeling it squish in his hand but he had fun playing with them and I had fun making them. These little muffin bites would make a great addition to a snack bag or lunch box.

Robb tasted one after I finished and even he thought that they didn’t taste half bad!

 

Print Recipe
Healthy Baby Muffin Bites
Course Baby/Toddler
Servings
24 mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
Course Baby/Toddler
Servings
24 mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. Make a well in the center and add the banana, avocado and applesauce. Mashing and stirring until well combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the 24 mini muffin cups. Bake for 14-16 minutes until set.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or freeze individually for up to 30 days.
Recipe Notes

Please note that this recipe creates a muffin that is a bit more moist on the inside than typical muffins.

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