No Chemical Oven Cleaning 101 – Specifically for Non- Danny Tanner Level Clean Peeps

I’ve been baking these at home egg muffin thingies for breakfast (Recipe will be Upcoming!).  They are a great alternative for a healthy breakfast and I love that I can make them at the beginning of the week, put them in some ziplock and I’m ready for the week!  However… I overfilled my muffin tin with ingredients and things spilled in the oven… It happens… no big deal… a fire alarm may have gone off with all the smoke… that’s normal, right?!


Now, I LOATHE cleaning… specially scrubbing, but no matter how much I scrubbed with an oven cleaner, the stuff was not coming off and when I used the traditional store bought oven cleaner iit reaked to high heaven.

So… I got creative!  I remembered reading that lemon, baking soda and vinegar were a fantastic natural cleaner, so I got to mixing!  I added the Dawn to help cut through the grease and the Essential Oil because I have just discovered their “powers” and wanted to see what it would do!


I created a “runny paste” of:
A Few Drops of Dawn Dish Soap
4 T Baking Soda
5 T Vinegar
Juice of a Lemon
A Few Drops of Lemon Essential Oils (I used Doterra)

Tiny plug for Pampered Chef: If you don’t have their citrus press, you need to contact your rep and get one ASAP!  This sucker gets ALL of the juice out of your fruit without any pulp/seeds/mess.  If you want more of a paste in this recipe, use half a lemon, or don’t use your press ;)  I’m telling you, it gets ALL the juice out!


Now… be careful when you combine this!  If you aren’t careful about SLOWLY pouring in the lemon/vinegar to the baking soda, you will end up with your very own in-home 5th grade science experiment like I did… WHOMP WHOMP


Next, you spread the mixture (I used a scotch pad to scrub just a scoach and get it all in there!) all over your oven, with extra “scoops” on your trouble areas.  Don’t forget the sides, back, and window!  Then close your oven and walk away!


It smells fantastic with all of the lemon… just go and do something else!  I put the mixture on around 5:45 and then went back around 10 (honestly, I meant to come back earlier, ,but I completely forgot!).

I used the scotch pad when I came back to it (again… smelled freaking amazing) and was SHOCKED at how easily things were coming off!  It was like one of those infomercials where they just swipe a paper towel and it all comes off!  Now, of course I had to use some extra oomph and “elbow grease” on a few spots, but considering I couldn’t even get things to lift using traditional oven cleaner – this is a MAJOR win!  Then you wipe it all down with a kitchen cloth (Hello, Norwex, peeps!) or some paper towels!  DONE.

Check out how my oven looks now!  I feel like we just moved in!  It has NEVER looked this good!  I want to bottle this stuff just to have on hand for crazy hard messes!


Do you have an all natural cleaning product or mixture you use to cut through messes like this?  Share in the comments!


Seiler House of Sushi

It has been a LOOOOONG time since we had a homemade sushi night, so we decided to do it up right!  It can take a little time and energy with shopping for ingredients and prepping, but it is so worth it and a lot of fun!

We discovered (and perfected) our sushi making when the Hubs had to do a project during his undergrad where he had to learn a new skill, document it and then teach his class.  Well… he didn’t learn a skill… and a week before the project was due, we figured out how to make sushi and I photographed him making rolls in various stages in various outfits (even paused so he could shave!).

Back in the day… we would have “LOST” watching parties every week and make sushi!  We named all of our favorite rolls after characters and major scenes from the show and everything ~NERD ALERT~

Watch the video to see a quick tutorial on how to roll and slice your sushi roll and see below for the shopping lists and full directions!  Appearance by the No Pants Seiler toddler as well

The Shopping List

From your grocery store:
*Leg Style Crab Meat
*Cocktail Shrimp (If you’re lazy like us)
*Cream Cheese (We don’t do this for the rolls, but if you like cream cheese in your rolls, get an icing bag to help ya out)
*Soy Sauce
*Any other fillers you may like… we’ve done jalapeño and mango even!

From your Asian market:
*Nori (The seaweed wrapping used to roll your rolls)
*Sweet Eel Sauce (Labeled Unagi Sauce)
*Japanese Mayo
*Miso Soup
*Sushi Rice
*Rice Wine Vinegar

From your Fish Market – BE SURE TO GET SUSHI GRADE FISH!
*Any other fish you like!


1. Making the Sushi Rice

*Take 3 cups of sushi rice and rinse in a large bowl with water.  You’ll do this until the water becomes clear.  This may take 3 or 4 bowls of rinsing water.
*Once clear, add rice to 4 cups of clean water into a large pot with lid.
*Bring to boil and cover with lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.
*Once rice is cooked, take off burner and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
*Pour rice into large bowl (NOT METAL! the vinegar you will be adding will have a reaction in a metal bowl and you will hate yourself!)
*Add 1/3 cup of the rice vinegar and FOLD in softly.
*Ideally you are to stand with the rice, fanning it and folding… but ‘aint nobody got time for that, so we place bowl in safe area to cool.  We usually do this either in our garage or on our bed under the ceiling fan (Makes our bedroom smell amazing).  Once initially cooled, cover bowl with a damp dish towel to keep moist.  You can also place in the fridge if short on time.


2. Prepping Your Fillers – wait for the rice to cool about an hour and then do this while your rice continues to cool

*Cut Avocado in half and remove pit.  Scoop out the “meat” and cut into nice little “bridges.”
*Detach shrimp tails and slice in half
*Un-clump crab meat and cut into smaller “sticks”
*Cut cucumber into small “sticks”
*Slice Tuna and Salmon into thin stick like pieces and some into thin rectangle like shapes.  You will use the stick pieces as filler and the rectangle shaped pieces on top!
*Cook and cut your eel in a similar fashion to your tuna and salmon


3. Rock & Roll
**Wrap your sushi mat in Glad Press N Seal for a MUCH easier experience!

*Place nori paper “shiny” side down onto the sushi mat and wet hands.  Place rice onto sheet with hands and flatten to cover paper.
*Pick our “insides” and place in the first 1/3 of the paper.
*Roll and simultaneously tighten sushi mat, pausing once your fingertips hit the board to give a good squeeze.  This is important in keeping the roll together.
*If you’re putting ingredients on top, place those and then take Cling Wrap and place over the top.  Then take your sushi mat and give a good squeeze.
*Wet sharp, unserrated knife with a combination of water and rice wine vinegar.  We keep this in a bowl (see video!).  And slice, cleaning and rewetting the knife after each slice.
*Remove serán wrap over roll if you needed to use it and place on your plate!
*Top with Tobiko, sauces and other garnishes as you please.


You can also get fancy with these rolls and then dip them in some tempura batter and panic and deep fry them!  We’ve done this at times when we have a group of people over and it’s been a great hit!  Just be careful with that oil, of course ;)

Let me know in the comments if you decide to try sushi night in your own home and how it goes!

Bink Free… Now What?

Our Tiny Human decided that Sunday night would be the night to give up the bink.  I don’t think he understood he was making that decision.  He simply didn’t pick them up (yes, he had one for his mouth and one for his hand) before he hopped into bed.  His two-year molars have been coming in and I think he just didn’t “need” them in that moment.


Now, the Hubs and I have been trying to figure out when to tackle this bink situation.  We had decided that Spring Break would be perfect.  Nick would be off of work, so if he got up in the middle of the night, only one of us would be super exhausted.  We had it all planned out.  And then homeboy didn’t take them that night.

Parents exchanged glances and Nick pocketed the binks.  We finished out bed time routine, complete with book and goodnight kisses, turned off the light and left the room…. anticipating a full melt down.  He just feel asleep.


Monday morning he woke up around 5:15ish.  While this isn’t completely uncommon to get up that early, we could see on the video monitor he was tearing his bed apart looking for the binks.  He usually spits it out after he falls asleep and puts it under his pillow.  A few minutes later, he cried for them and Mama and Dada.

We told him they were “all gone” and, after a minute, he moved along his day like normal.  Now… we did give him binks for diaper changes… so finding an alternative “bribe” took a minute of thinking.  We now give him a little snack or his juice cup and he’s fine.  The only other time he sort of sobbed for his binks was in the car.  This was easily fixed by distracting him with singing the alphabet.
By the 3rd car trip he took, he was fine!  So fine… that he discovered there were “CARS” outside those windows!  It never occurred to me… but with the bink in his mouth to restrict his talking… and a focus on the other bink in his hand… he wasn’t SEEING the world around him when we drove.  I wish I had it on video, but he screamed “CAR!!!!” and his little arms flapped up and down like an excited muppet.  “TWO CAR!!!” “REE CAR!!!””TRUCK!!!”

He hasn’t asked for it since Tuesday, which is great progress considering we started on Sunday.  Now, I can’t guarantee that he won’t find one that he’s hidden, much like a dog with a bone, and refuse to give it up.  Or that we won’t see another child with one when we’re out and about and have a melt down…

But we are a bink free home!  Even threw them all away last night for good measure.

Now… who has some other “bribes” you can suggest? ;)

Today Is My Son’s Second Birthday.

Today is my son’s second birthday.  I have been repeating this sentence over and over in my head today and it still doesn’t seem real.  Today is my son’s second birthday.  Where has the time gone?  I specifically remember a night, not too long after we brought our tiny human home from the hospital: he was screaming due to his reflux for probably the second straight hour for the evening.  I thought to myself “Self, you just need to get him to 2… just speed up time and get us out of the colic… and for everyone to sleep… and eat… just get him to 2”

I wish I could go back to that poor exhausted woman and her equally exhausted husband and tell them so many things.

1.) The colic will end and you will sleep through the night.
I know it’s going to be a while… I know it will seem like it will never end… but there will come a day… around 21 months or so… when he will be asleep through the night.  You won’t have to wait in the room with him for what could be hours until he drifts off.  You won’t cry as he cries from the pain of reflux causing the colic to be at its worst from 6-10pm.  You will give him his bath, change into PJs, tuck in him into bed, read a story, kiss his forehead, turn out the lights and leave the room.  You will then have 45 minutes to watch whatever television show you’ve been trying to watch before you pass out on the couch… choose wisely.

toddler bed

2.) He will be a leader.
This is what one of the kind and amazing ladies that work at our son’s early learning facility has told us.  He’s not stubborn… he’s a leader.  He knows what he wants, he knows what he has to do/say to a certain person to get what he wants… and when he doesn’t… he will tell you all about.

Gretchen - 26

3.) Considering the fact that he is a “leader,” he will be particular.
I realize that this is probably a given, considering item #1… but your son will one day decide that he does not want to eat any fruit that is red.  He will take said red fruit out of the fruit cup and separate them from the other fruits on the edge of the table.  After he is done eating, he will then take each red fruit and throw them off the table individually until you can get to his hand to stop.  He will one day decide that he can’t eat anything unless it’s cut into the tiniest of pieces, even chips or crackers.  Then the next day he will refuse to eat anything cut into tiny pieces and demand to eat like a big boy.  This will include full slices of pizza… 4 slices per meal… like a teenager.


4.) He will have his own fashion sense.
While right now, Past Lauren, you’re worried about constantly keeping footed pants on the child, as well as a hat, at all times.  No-Pants Seiler will remain the Supreme Being in your home.  He will be an amazing sort of super hero… able to take off his pants and run from you faster than a speeding bullet.

NP Seiler

5.) He will make friends.
Few things will warm your heart more than when you will see him actually playing with other children.  He will give hugs, giggle, give kisses, hold hands and sometimes share toys.  note sometimes He will dance, chase and run… which brings us to number 6.


6.) He will run… Fast.
Past Lauren, I see you on the floor… urging him to roll over- putting toys and color objects just out of reach to get him to inch toward you little by little.  Cherish these moments.  Once this child is on the move… he will never… slow… down.    Invest some time in some sort of couch to 5k routine so you can keep up with the child.  Never take your eyes away for a second when you’re out and about, because he will zoom past you in a blink of an eye… leaving you running after him and people laugh.


7.) Once he nails the word “Dada,” he will eventually say “Mama”
It will take a long time for him to say your name, Past Lauren.  And when it clicks, it will be one of the most poignant moments in your life.  He will call to you in the morning when he wakes up, if he needs something, if you go to the bathroom, if you are sitting right next to him, when he is hurt… and no matter what circumstance… it will be amazing.


8.) He will grow into a caring soul
He will learn to understand music.  He will know in an instant when you are watching a show or movie together that something sad has happened and ask “They OK? You OK?”  He will cry when the child in front of him in line cries.  He will offer a toy or book to another child when they look sad.  He will be a sensitive boy.


9.) He will love you no matter what.
I wish I could stress this enough, Past Lauren.  It really won’t matter which book in the “That’s Not My…” series you read to him that night (which are amazing board books as a side note) or that his pants didn’t match his shirt on the one day he wore pants.  It won’t matter that he had peaches for both lunch and dinner as his fruit or that his way of eating vegetables is the tomato sauce on pizza.  He will love you and protect you fiercely.  He will only allow you to hold his precious Elmo for a time.  And he will repeatedly give him to you when you leave precious Elmo in another room when you get up to make dinner.  He will wrestle and climb you.  He will pull you by the hand to show you what object you can chase him around for the evening.  He will be your little sidekick and will shower you with kisses from the kiss monster (insert toddler growl) and spider monkey hugs.

Gretchen - 1
Today is my son’s second birthday.  We now get to look forward to removing the magical “bink” from our daily routine.  Somehow we will find a way for him to eat vegetables and eat with a fork and drink from a cup with no lid.  Potty training will be on the horizon before we know it.  He will start to really talk soon.  Most likely with questions that I won’t always know the answer to. He will challenge us in every way a two-year old can and should.

I’m not saying I want him to go back to when he was just a squishy little 8 pound newborn… because those days were tough in their own unique way… but I’m going to make this next year for him one that I cherish and remember and not wish away.  The day of his birth 2 years ago feels like a lifetime and a completely other woman away for me.  I’ve grown as a woman, a wife and a mom over these two years so much.  Today is my son’s second birthday.

Happy Mother’s Day, Super Moms!

Super Powers every Momma has:

1.) Super Human Strength- You can carry a toddler on your hip with a diaper bag and groceries up a flight of stairs to your home. If that’s not super human strength, I don’t know what is! Those heavy weight champs would have quite a competition if they were up against moms. 

2.) Mind Control- With just a glance you can have your tiny human, husband, and even your dog be on their best behavior or complete a given task for you. I’m still working on this power… It might be that it is just not be in my wheel house

3.) The Power to Steal Time- You have a house guest that wants to play with your adorable kiddo? Perfect. You whisk out of the room, take a quick bathroom break and put a load of laundry in. Then while chit chatting you can declutter the room your in, and they probably won’t even notice. A nap time session can get you a prepped dinner, clean dishes, a chance to check your e-mail, and maybe if you’re lucky even 20 minutes of trashy TV. 

3.) Super-Sonic Hearing- We can hear a quiet baby cry even though you’re in a room so loud that you can’t hear yourself think. Your super-sonic hearing kicks in best at night, if your tiny human makes so much of a whisper, you’re awakened out of a dead sleep. 

4.) Deciphering Codes- Every super mom quickly learns how to decode secret languages. Your tiny human utters a whine, and you know that he wants a drink immediately. You know from just one quick cry that your he has another burp stuck in his tummy. Everyone else thinks you’re weird, but you just know. 

5.) Amazing Healing- We’re just now really developing this power and it is AWESOME! A quick kiss on a boo boo or hug in a tantrum can solve all the world’s problems.



Comment below with more super powers!

Why So Long No Post?

I had a baby.  Then I went to back to my full-time job.  Started making my own baby food from scratch.  Discovered Downton Abbey and True Detectives.  Became a professional Bag Lady.  Learned how to curl my hair with a flat iron.  Now I have a toddler.  That about sums it up!


Throughout this time that we’ve been a part a multitude of things have changed in our lives.  For one, we talk about poop a lot more than we ever have in our entire lives.  We attempt not to crack up as the Tiny Human “tests his limits.”  Our house isn’t perfect.  I constantly have some sort of random toddler induced stain, hair out of place or smudged make-up… but we’re happy and that’s all that matters.

More to come, peeps…

Building a Tiny Super Hero’s Hidden Lair

All we are waiting on is our little super hero!  The nursery is complete!  We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on what we are calling “Henry’s Fortress of Solitude” so I thought I would break down everything we did and where we got things from!

When we found out we were pregnant, my hubby and I made a deal… if the baby was a girl, I could chose the décor for the nursery… which would have been Wizard of Oz, complete with blue checkered curtains, a yellow brick rug and red ribbons and shoes.  If the baby was a boy, Nick chose the décor for the nursery… which would mean a super hero’s lair.

I had no idea how we were going to pull it off.  I looked on Pintrest and found a few ideas, but I can honestly say that we were committed to making it work.  The plan was to keep most things neutral, so when you did see a bold color, it was from a super hero.  This would keep the room in balance and not be too much of a seizure inducing nightmare.

Crib, Dresser/Diaper Changing Table, Keekaroo Diaper Changing Pad, Henry Train

Crib, Dresser/Diaper Changing Table, Keekaroo Diaper Changing Pad, Henry Train

First of all the furniture is incredible.  We got the dresser (which will transform from a diaper changing table to have an extra shelf or room for a TV if we decide to go that route when he is older) and the crib (which transforms to a toddler bed and then a twin bed) from All About Kids Furniture in Pittsburgh, PA.  They were wonderful to work with, and I highly recommend them if you need kid’s furniture!

The changing pad is a Cherry Red Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer.  Not only is it made out of this awesome material that can be wiped down with a wipe if/when it gets filthy, but it’s soft and has some good cushion for Henry!  Plus, it looks like a cape ;)

The Train on the top shelf is from a shop on Etsy called Vibrant Trains.  Her link is:  She was wonderful to work with and does all kinds of custom work.  The train is magnetic and DOES indeed roll, so when he’s big enough, it will be a great toy!  For now, it’s the perfect Avenger’s decoration ;)

The Gotham City Skyline Wall Decal

The Gotham City Skyline Wall Decal

The Batman Gotham city skyline came from another Etsy shop:  This was originally going to go much lower on top of a baseboard, so Henry could either save or destroy Gotham as he pleased, but we were warned that it is a choking hazard until he gets bigger.  Wouldn’t want him to pick a little off the wall!  So it will stay up above the changing area (with Batman guarding) until he is older.

Super Hero Mobile!  Featuring Batman, Spiderman, Thor, Captain America and Cyclops

Super Hero Mobile! Featuring Batman, Spiderman, Thor, Captain America and Cyclops

The Mobile, which is hung from the ceiling light from Ikea, came from yet another Etsy shop:  She also does custom work.  The mobile we saw in her shop had a few different super heroes and she was able to switch them out to the ones we wanted!  Ours includes Spiderman, Batman, Cyclops, Thor and Captain America.  I will say that our crib’s railings were all WAY too wide, making finding a mobile arm extremely hard.  After trying several times to Frankenstein different mobiles together, we gave up and just hung it from the ceiling light… which actually looks pretty cool in my opinion!

Spiderman wall decal

Spiderman wall decal

The Spiderman sticker is another Pottery Barn find.  Nick picked this one out and I have to be honest… I was not fond of it when he purchased it!  I tried to reserve too much judgment until it was up on the wall.  I was afraid it would look way too menacing, but the muted colors make it work.  Plus, he hung it from the vent… how adorable is he?  It really looks like it’s painted, but it’s just a big wall sticker.

Crib, X-Men Photo, mobile, Book Case and Shield

Crib, X-Men Photo, mobile, Book Case and Shield

Captain America’s Shield on the wall is actually one from Nick’s Halloween costume last year!

X-Men babies:  Featuring (from left to right)Shadowcat, Colossus, Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Storm

X-Men babies: Featuring (from left to right)
Shadowcat, Colossus, Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Storm

The photo above the crib is one Nick found of the X-Men Babies.  We found it, resized it and had it printed by an online store on canvas.  I think it looks pretty fun and Nick loves that his X-Men are front and center in the room!

Bookcase with Super Hero bins

Bookcase with Super Hero bins

The books case is a Closet Maid case.  We created the storage, but getting the colorful Closet Maid bins and then cutting out felt based on the logos and hot gluing them onto the bin!  Make sure you have a pen knife… it’s hard to cut the detail in say the superman logo with normal scissors ;)



The curtains came from Pottery Barn for Kids.  They are blackout, but the color is bright enough for this baby’s room.  I LOVE THEM!  And we got them on super sale… so what’s not to love more?!  The chair is being covered right now by Nick’s Batman Snuggie that he got for Christmas… we have such cute and homemade blankets that will be the actual blankets, don’t worry mommas!

The Telephone Booth closet door is something I went back and forth on about 80 times.  I was afraid it would be too much red in the room.  I was afraid it was just a little too nerdy.  I was just afraid of doing something THAT drastic.  Everything else in the room could be taken down, removed or totally scrapped.  We screw up this big closet door… and UH OH!

Painted closet door with the blue "Windows"

Painted closet door with the blue “Windows”

First we painted the “windows” a blue a little bit off from the wall color blue.

Painted door with the red for the booth

Painted door with the red for the booth

Then we went back and painted the “booth” a muted red.  It’s a similar color to the dark red in the  Spiderman wall decal and the red star finials on the curtains, so there’s a little bit of cohesion happening.

The finished telephone booth!

The finished telephone booth!

Get it?  Just like superman... it's where his change of clothes will happen!  I can't wait until he's old enough to go inside (of course the storage at bottom won't need to be there) and change into his cape and bust out to fight crime!

Get it? Just like superman… it’s where his change of clothes will happen! I can’t wait until he’s old enough to go inside (of course the storage at bottom won’t need to be there) and change into his cape and bust out to fight crime!

We then hung it back up in the bedroom and scouted for the perfect Telephone sign.  We finally found one on Ebay!  We attached it with some heavy duty Command Velcro picture hanging strips.

And here are a couple photos of us in the room now that it is all complete!

The nursery is complete!  And it's a good thing too!  I'm 39 weeks and 2 Days pregnant when this photo was taken yesterday!

The nursery is complete! And it’s a good thing too! I’m 39 weeks and 2 Days pregnant when this photo was taken yesterday!


The happy couple in the nursery! All we need is Henry!
Now that I look at the shirts we’re wearing… could we BE any nerdier?!

We’re hoping that when Henry gets here (ANY DAY NOW!) he will love his nursery!  A BIG thanks to all of our family and friends for their help (both physical and emotional) for making this nursery happen!