Friday, July 29, 2011

My Newest Project, err, Sorta

I have a dream...sorry MLK...that my backyard will become more of an entertaining area.  We usually have several barbeque's, wine parties, nights by the fire and just general enjoyment in our backyard with friends and family.  This year has been our off year.  I'm sure it's mostly due to having a baby which tends to change your previous habits, but I love to entertain.  Our house, unfortunately, isn't really the best set up for entertaining because the kitchen and living area are so seperated and the kitchen is pretty tiny.  So the chance I get to spend outside entertaining I usually take up.  The other force against us has been this unbearably hot summer and the fact that our deck gets sun ALL.DAY.LONG. 

I knew some changes were in order so we can enjoy and use our house more than what we're actually getting out of it.  Especially since the economy has left us in a situation where we can't sell our house for what we'd like.  My plans are this:

Powerwash deck
Stain Deck
Build Pergola
Stain Pergola
Buy new patio furniture
Buy patio rug
Buy pillows to liven up the area
Keep up with weeding

I've started the thought process and now it's time to actually DO.  We're getting to the perfect time of year to be thinking about purchasing patio furniture since everything is being discounted due to the end of the season.  I've been etsying (yes, I just created that) and here are some pillows and such that I'm loving

Coral Lumbar Pillow - $26 found here

Octopus Pillow - $40 found here


Mason Jar Chandelier - $120 found here
 I'm hoping by October this would all be done but we are slow about our projects so let's plan for next spring :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tasty Thursday - I Failed!

I'm sorry to let you all down.  Usually I have no problems making a post about food, considering how much I love it.  We went to the state fair last night, which was Addie's first visit.  My intention was to take pics of everything we ate, which looking back was a lot of hotdog related items, however with Addie, the heat and my hunger I forgot to snap a single pic.  So I'll leave you with 2 things, first, a list of what we ate:

Coney Dogs
Chili Dogs
Footlong Chili Cheese Dog
French Fries
Inky Dinky Donuts

Second, Addie at the fair, loving every minute of it:

We walked through the mister to cool off


Lastly, I'll leave you with a teaser.  We bought a VitaMix whilst at the fair!!!!  I'm so excited.  More to come on that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

January Momma Shout Out

Some of you may or may not know this, but I belong to an online group of mommies who all had our babies around the month of January.  We have been online friends since before most family & friends knew about our pregnancies and have shared stories along the way that are usually baby related but sometimes not.  We still chat on a daily basis (sometimes hourly) via Facebook and some of us have branched into the blogger world.  I challenge my readers to check out some of the blogs below and follow my January Mommy friends if you like their blogs.  Please let them know I sent them your way as I'm sure they'd love to have new followers:

 http://www.growingupgeeky.com/
 http://firefly-chasing.blogspot.com
 http://lifeasweknowit22.blogspot.com/
 http://amormeaevitae.blogspot.com/
http://withlovechrancy.blogspot.com/
  http://www.armywife-style.com/
 http://librarianandbaby.blogspot.com/
 http://supermummyyam.blogspot.com/
 http://www.thehowtomommy.com/
http://betweenthechaos.blogspot.com/
 http://www.ashleymorganphoto.blogspot.com/
 http://usdoingthings.blogspot.com/
 http://baby.alcoff.com/
 http://www.chadandcristy.blogspot.com/
 http://drinkslikefish.com/
www.tengreatyears.blogspot.com
www.ftlauderdalefit.blogspot.com
 www.thefamilygus.blogspot.com
 http://bisforberry.blogspot.com/
 http://www.layersofmeaning.com
 http://www.hellobabyjack.blogspot.com
 http://www.ourlifeblog.net/
 http://adventuresofafoodaholic.blogspot.com/
 http://prestonjohnbabyblog.weebly.com/
 http://meghan-claussen.blogspot.com/
http://www.mouthyredhead.blogspot.com
 http://www.pregnancyroadtripandbeyond.com
 http://enjoyingwhatlifethrowsourway.blogspot.com/
 http://www.andrewlovesdanielle.blogspot.com/
 http://regankimberly.blogspot.com/
http://theplanetslastdance.blogspot.com/
 http://stefanielynnphotos.wordpress.com/
http://mymonkeyprefersprunes.blogspot.com/
 http://crazycasak.blogspot.com/
http://wollmans.blogspot.com/
 http://shrinkingmommy.blogspot.com/
 http://nobryan.blogspot.com
 http://glutendairyandsoyfree.blogspot.com/
http://www.bsherrardphoto.com/

Wordless Wednesday: My Baby Loves Water

A few short words on this Wordless Wednesday.  Sunday, Rick and I took Addie to the local Jazz & Rib Festival.  It was a sweltering 100 degrees so we were all dying and didn't stay long, but when we spotted the water fountains for kids to play in we knew we had to strip Addie down (she has loads of sunblock on) and let her play in it.  The girl loves water like she loves milk!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby Product Addie is Currently Digging

Addie cannot tell you all enough how much she loves the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo.  When we first purchased, I'll be honest, she didn't do much.  She played with some of the toys and didn't really get a lot out of it.  She'd make it about 5-10 minutes at a time before she had a meltdown.  She just needed a little time to warm up I guess because the girl loves the thing now!  Literally two days of not being in the jumperoo and we put her in it only for her to go nuts jumping.  Here's the FP Rainforest Jumperoo:

Here's Addie enjoying said Jumperoo (I apologize for the sideways video, not quite sure how to fix that:

video
Note:  I was in no way paid to promote this, it's merely something we really love!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday

Yup, that's right, it's Tuesday.  So join me and other baby related bloggers for Toddle Along  Tuesday.  You can connect here.

How Time Flies

This is a couple days late but better late than never right?
Just 6 short months ago I gave birth to a beautiful 7lb 12 oz baby girl.  She didn’t enter this world the way I envisioned but that it is how things often go.  I won’t give you the entire birth story, we’ll save that for another day, but here’s a brief snippet. 
Leading up to delivery my ultrasound tech and OB said there was a chance that if my water broke there would be a lot of water.  My Dr. also followed that with not too many women actually have their water break naturally.  This was sort of a fear of mine, that I’d be out somewhere and it would break and I’d be incredibly embarrassed.  Naturally I packed a bag to keep at work just case.  Good thing too because my water broke at work!
It was a Thursday during lunch and there was a serious snow storm on its way in.  I had planned to do my weekly visit with the OB in a couple hours but when my water broke the office suggested I head into the hospital.  Of course, not having contractions, I took my time.  We landed in the hospital about 2 hours later, had there not been a storm moving in I probably would have went home for a couple more hours before heading in.
I was put on pitocin and it was cranked through the night to get me to progress.  After hours of little progress and painful pitocin contractions I called for the epidural.  I was moved, rotated and put in some pretty uncomfortable positions but still nothing.  At 6 AM my OB came in and made the c-section call.  This was the one thing I hadn’t planned on.  I should have at least thought about it considering 1/3 deliveries is the result of a c-section. 
By 8 AM I was in the delivery room and being prepared for surgery.  I was nervous; I had never really been in the hospital for anything in my 28 years.  So to have a major surgery at the same time I was having a life changing moment, I was concerned.  The anesthesiologist was great, he commentated on everything that was happening.  He was our camera guy and captured some pretty gruesome shots but I’m so glad we had him there because we probably would have forgotten. 
I was told there would be a lot of pressure as they tried to push her down and out but I wasn’t prepared for that either.  I think because she was still sitting just under my ribs they had to press down on me more than usual.  I lost my breath for what seemed like a minute but it was all worth it because just a few short minutes later, we heard her first cries! 
At 8:21 am on January 21st, Adalyn Grace was born weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19 ¾ inches long.
So much has changed in 6 months which is a reminder to enjoy every minute with her. 
20 hours of labor and 30 hours of no sleep

My Ham at 6 months!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tasty Thursday - My Take on the S'mores Bar


Seriously!  Who doesn't love S'mores, if you don't you may be crazy.  A couple days ago I was getting my baking itch and wanted to see how this would work.  I've seen S'mores bars and S'mores cookies before but I didn't have Hershey bars so I figured I'd try to wing a recipe in my mind to see what the outcome would be.  So here's what I did

Graham Cracker Crust
  • Package of Graham Crackers
  • 1/4 butter, melted
  • 1/4 sugar
Combine all of these and press into a 8x8 baking dish.  Bake for 10-15 min in a 350 degree oven.

Chocolate Center - brownie recipe
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended.  Spread batter over crust.  Bake 20-25 min.  I'd lean on the slightly undercooked side since they'll continue to cook with marshmallow topping.

Marshmallow Topper
  • Mini marshmallows
Sprinkle marshmallows over brownie and broil until marshmallows start to brown. Keep a close eye on these as they brown quickly. 

These are best eaten when still warm and are super messy!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is This THE Dress?

Finally, the wedding dress pictures are uploaded and I’ve written the post for your reading pleasure.  As you remember, I joined a group of ladies Friday on a hunt for THE dress for my BFF, Mary.  We all piled into the Suburban and drove to Cincinnati to the Reading Bridal District.  Here’s the group:

We had one appointment scheduled and hoped to find the dress there, however we had plenty of other options if we didn’t find it.  Our first stop was at Bridal and Formal seen here

Mary had a lovely host decked her pleather pants assisting her along the way.  The rules, find 7 dresses to start within Mary’s budget.  Here’s Mary in the midst of a closet full of wedding dresses

I can tell you that we were easily able to pull 7 dresses between the 9 of us.  Mary tried each dress on but dress #1 became the winner.  The dress looks amazing on Mary; then again, all of them did because the girl has a ridiculous figure.  I can post no further pictures as the dress is a secret!
With the dress shopping done we made our way to the Hofbrauhaus for some good German food, drink, and entertainment.  We all had a great time but a particularly memorable experience was doing the chicken dance on our chairs.  Here’s a shot of the crew waiting for dinner

After all the drinking and eating we walked around the riverfront on the Kentucky side which is beautiful.  The Cincinnati Reds were having a game and the Sausage Festival was going on so the place was busy.  Here is one of the bridges connecting Ohio and Kentucky.

We headed to our hotel for the evening and all piled into a room for some continued drinking.  Clearly we were having loads of fun and for some of us, we were feeling the wine.  Here’s Mary’s aunt and namesake showing off her skills

Aunt Mary is recently retired and has spent much of her time cooking and taking pilates classes.  Her goal was to be able to do the splits by her 60th birthday.  Check that one off her list!
We had such a great time and it was nice to get an evening out with the girls and a breather from the baby.  It made returning to her so much more special!

Wordless Wednesday: The Toes are Just as Yummy as the Thumbs!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thank You to My 50 Followers

Thank you so much to all of my followers!  I'm so grateful to have people who want to hear what I have to say about my life in general.  I want to give a special shout out to follower #50 - mommacommaphd.  You can find her blog here.

To the rest of you and any of you who read the blog but aren't yet following on Google Friend Connect, I propose a challenge.  Help me hit 100 followers and I'll have a special giveaway.  As I approach the 100 mark I'll update you on what the giveaway is for as well as the rules for entering.  So pass along the word to your friends to follow me!

Ciao!

It's One of Those Days

So let me start by saying it's not a bad day and I realize there are a lot more things people are actually worthy to complain about, but today has been one of those days. 

I wake up every morning at 5:30 to get into work at 7.  This morning, when the alarm went off, I dismissed the alarm and climbed back in bed.  Usually I wake up about 10 minutes later and notice there is some sun shining through the curtains.  This morning I woke up after 10 minutes and it was still dark so I figured I had some time.  Little did my mind/body know, it was pouring rain outside so it was darker than usual.  I woke up at 6:25 which is the time I usually leave for work!  I rolled out pretty fast and did the bare minimum to get out of the house.  Luckily, Addie chose this day to sleep later than normal so I was able to leave without feeding her first.  I got into work with 2 minutes to spare, thank God!

Yesterday, I made an appointment with the wellness center on site at work about my shoulder.  It's been really hurting me lately and I know it's a result of lifting a 17 pound baby.  I've been having this pain for several weeks but over the past several days I was also experiencing a lot of soreness in my throat that hurt every time I swallowed.  She confirmed what I suspected, my shoulders are out of whack from the stress my right shoulder is experiencing which is the reason my throat is hurting.  All the muscles in the upper right side of my shoulder/neck are under stress.  She prescribed me with physical therapy twice a week, ibruprofen, muscle relaxers, and heat when possible.  I really hope this clears up as I cannot imagine dealing with this for however long Addie needs lifted.  In the meantime, I think I may have some frozen yogurt after dinner to treat this crazy day!

How about you?  Any of you experiencing pain from lifting your babies?  I've heard stories of women needing realigned at the chiropractor.

Toddle Along Tuesday

Good Morning,

It's that time again, Toddle Along Tuesday takes place every Tuesday and is an opportunity for other blogs related to babies/mommyhood to link up and connect via blogs.  I typically connect through Growing Up Geeky so if you're interested I suggest checking out Mama G's page.

Also, I'm 3 followers away from 50.  My goal is to reach 50 followers by August 1st.  After checking out the page and you like it, please follow me and come back for updates!

- Stephanie

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quick note to all my followers - a bloggy friend of mine is celebrating her 100th follower by doing a giveaway.  Tales from the Mothership is giving away a Twinkle Twinkle Little Violet (or Scout) to a random reader.  I love the idea of this product.  Addie currently has the Fisher Price Gloworm and though she loves it, it only plays music for about 5 seconds.  This is especially not ideal when we're trying to get her to take a nap and have to hide below the crib with our arm drapped over the side pressing the tummy every time it stops playing music. 

Please head over to her blog to read the entry requirements.

I'm Back & It's Monday

I am back from a great weekend. As you'll remember from this post Friday, I went out of town with some girlfriends to wedding shop for my BFF who is getting married in May.  I'll have a post later today with the details on that fun but for now, an excerpt from this blog about holding your babies.  I couldnt have read this at a better time as I spent my time Saturday night cuddling up with my little monkey:

At the breastfeeding group that I volunteer at, the most common non-breastfeeding-related concern the new mums have is that they are holding their babies too much. This is an open letter to them, and to all mothers who worry that their babies are spending too much time in their arms.

Dear mama,

I know how you’re feeling. I really, really do. I remember those days pinned to the sofa, enjoying the soft cuddles with my baby but constantly worrying. The laundry, the dishes, the hoovering, the dinner… and of course, the echo of The Baby Experts ricocheting around my head, warning me to put my sleeping baby down, lest they ‘get used’ to sleeping in my arms. Don’t pick them up as soon as they make a noise, don’t feed them more than every two hours and for goodness’ sake never ever let them nurse to sleep.

The thing is though, mama, worrying about these things is wasted time. Precious time that you’ll never get back.
I remember the frustration, and the irrational thoughts that you’ll never get off the sofa/sleep/do anything without a baby attached to you ever again. I remember the guilt – wanting to cuddle your baby but worrying that you’re doing him a disservice by doing so. I remember the patronising smiles from older relatives after they encourage you to try to put your baby down more often, and you tell them you can’t bear to hear them cry.

A baby’s natural habitat is their mother. Your sweet baby grew within you; nine whole months hearing your heartbeat, your voice, your laugh. Your baby doesn’t care about the pretty moses basket you bought him. He certainly doesn’t think much of the bouncy chair, or the crib. And that musical mobile that was supposed to entertain him – forget it!
Hold your baby.

Your baby wants you. More than that, he needs you. He knows of nothing but your warm arms, your sweet fragrance, and how you make all of the bad feelings disappear with nothing but an embrace. You are part of him, and he of you. Nobody knows that little baby better than you do, mama – and nobody knows you like he does.

I promise you that these weeks will fly past at a frightening rate. Before you know it, your tiny little bundle will be a rambunctious child, running you ragged and becoming increasingly hard to pin down for a cuddle. I know everybody says that you’ll miss it when it’s gone and it’s hard to believe that right now, but there’s a reason why they keep saying it. It’s painfully true. Watching your child grow is so bittersweet, and infancy is so fleeting.

Hold your baby. Listen to the instinct within that tells you that your baby belongs on your chest. Let him rest his sweet head on your shoulder, and gaze at his beautiful sleeping face. Listen to the sound of his breathing. Stroke him, kiss him, and adore him. Smell his intoxicatingly sweet, milky breath. Hold him not just in your arms, but also in your heart. Enjoy every single fleeting second while you still can.

Hold your baby. I promise you won’t spoil them. I promise you won’t make them clingy.  I promise you will regret it if you don’t.

I cuddled up especially close this morning as well. I really didn't want to leave her this morning and I have a feeling I'll be spending all day counting down the minutes until I can eat her up again!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's Friday, Friday, Friday...

Well at least for me, today is my Friday.  I’ll be heading out of town with my BFF who will be getting married next May.  We’re going dress shopping with her and several friends and family members.  Though I am incredibly excited to be with the girls and enjoy a night out, I’m terrified to leave my baby girl.  It’s the first time I’ve left her for longer than 8 hours in the 6 months she’s been born so I’ve asked the girls to be prepared for who knows what may happen.   They know I’m really anxious and plan to make sure I have a drink in my hand the entire 24 hours I’ll be away from her. 
So enjoy your weekends, it’s supposed to be gorgeous here.  I plan to take lots of photos of our fun to share with you all!
Tasty Thursday: Do You Know The Muffin Man?
Scratch that, do you know the Muffin WOMAN?!  It would be me.  I made these night before last.  I’ve been craving some homemade blueberry muffins and thought I should just get in the kitchen and make them.  What better reason than Tasty Thursday?  This is the final product (yum-o!) with directions below.

Ingredients
½ c softened butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ c milk
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 c blueberries (frozen are fine)
2 tbl sugar
Set oven to 375 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Combine beaten eggs and milk to creamed mixture (looks soupy at this point).  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients and add slowly to the creamed mixture.  Fold in blueberries.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Add sugar to top of each muffin.  Bake for 20 minutes.
Variations:  I used ½ frozen ½ fresh blueberries.  I didn’t have nutmeg so I omitted.  I used wheat flour in place of white flour.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Little Etsy Love

One of my favorite sites is Etsy. If you don’t know about it it’s a site where you can purchase vintage or handmade items.  Today I found this gem for $25:
Combo Color Tutu - Teal & Red

I’m already thinking about Addie’s first birthday party and teal and red is an option I’m thinking about.  I love the color combination and how cute is this.  You can check it out further here.

Wordless Wednesday: Ahh, Sleeping Baby


Linked up with Wordless Wednesday found here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weekend Weeding

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, you can read here, we did a lot of cleaning up the front flower beds.  Here’s the thing, I actually enjoy working in the yard and it’s not as bad as some people think it is.  The problem is when you combine it with 95 degree full sun working conditions = no fun.  I suppose we slacked on keeping up with the weeds because we’d both rather be spending time with Addie.  When Addie’s awake, one of us has to keep her occupied and that leaves the other person to do the work and neither one of us really wants to be the one out there working by ourselves.  So we realized we had to do something when it got to this point.


So, the game plan began:
-          Remove all weeds and plants that have gotten out of control
-          Remove any plants that we now hate. (Example, we have yarrow which is actually pretty with the red color, however, it attracts flies for some reason)
-          Purchase flowers at local nursery
-          Arrange plants in bed, step back and make changes as necessary
-          Plant in placed spots within flower bed
-          Mulch
-          Water, water, water
The one plus about purchasing plants mid season is we were able to get 50% off all plants we purchased. We ended up buying approximately 20 plants to include rose bush, hostas, hibiscus bushes, red coneflowers, lilies, etc.   We then purchased absolute black mulch in bags.  We love the look of absolute black up against our tan house.  We did bags this year which are easier and faster to spread, however they’re more expensive.  More than likely, next year we’ll go back to the local mulch company and purchase a truckload of mulch.  After we were finished we were both exhausted but so happy it was done.  Now we just need to keep up with the weeds and do some preventive pulling.  I can’t wait to see what the beds look like next year.  The beds still look a little scarce in areas but we’re anticipating the plants to grow quite a bit.
Without further adieu, here is the before and after side shot

Next year my plan is to build window boxes to place under each of our front windows.  We can add annuals to give the front of the house a splash of color!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday

It's not quite Tuesday but Toddle Along Tuesday takes place every Tuesday and is an opportunity for other blogs related to babies/mommyhood to link up and connect via blogs.  I typically connect through Growing Up Geeky so if you're interested I suggest checking out Mama G's page. 

Also, I'm 13 followers away from 50.  My goal is to reach 50 followers by August 1st.  After checking out the page and you like it, please follow me and come back for updates!

- Stephanie

Weekend Wham-o

Yes, today is Monday and an ugly one to boot!  So let me just jump right into how our weekend shook down.

Friday night - after putting Addie down for the night Rick and I had a glass of wine and then we, too, called it a night.  Having a baby tends to make you a morning bird.

Saturday - we went to a local nursery for some new plants.  Our beds were looking awful and we needed a lot of new plants.  Luckily the nursery was have a 50% off sale on just about everything in the store.  We ended up with a rose bush, hostas, hibiscus bushes, red coneflowers, lilies, etc.  I'm so excited for next year to see how they'll do.  After we got home we spent a couple hours laying out the flowers, planting, and mulching.  Why we waited until mid July when it's 95 degrees out, I don't know.  If you read my post on Saturday you also know that in between planting and mulching I was able to make Addie's next round of baby food.  She experienced carrots.  You can read that here

After all that hard work we decided a trip to the pool was in order and Addie was in heaven.  The girl loves water!  We were even able to get a trip into Toys R Us as Fisher Price was having a BOGO free sale on all of their 0-12 month toys. We were able to get Addie's Christmas and birthday shopping done.  Now if I can just wait another 5-6 months for either of those occasions.  We did give her one of the purchases early so she could enjoy it now since it's not something she'll be able to enjoy in December/January.  The girl also loves to swing.




Sunday - we had Addie's 6 month photo shoot.  She turns 6 months next Thursday but I'll be out of town this weekend and thought it would be easiest for us all to do them this past weekend.  Can't wait to see the rest of the shots, but here's a preview for you.



We got a lot done this weekend, which I was incredibly happy to do.  I love marking things off my running list of to-do's around the house.

Check back tomorrow for Toddle Along Tuesday's Blog Hop.

Picket Fence Blogs

Happy Monday All!

My Messmerized Life is now on
Picket Fence.  What is picket fence you may ask?  What do we need to do as followers?  To sum it up, Picket Fence is a blog ranking service.  Each blog is ranked based upon popularity and traffic to each blog.  Each visitor can rank the blog once a day.
So, what can you do to help My Messmerized Life in the ratings?

-       Vote for us daily at http://www.picketfenceblogs.com/vote/4541


Thanks in advance for helping us become a top ranked blog!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Addie Eats Carrots

I was at it again.  Between flower shopping and landscaping the front flower beds yesterday, I made Addie carrots.  Honestly, I thought it was going to go over poorly due to the fact that they stunk. Bad!  I hate cooked carrots and, well, Addie is my daughter so I thought she would despise them.  She shocked me though as she loved them.  So this week Addie will be eating carrots.  Research suggests introducing one food at a time until you're certain there's no allergic reaction to that food so we'll give it at least 3 days before any new food is introduce.  Next will either be squash or peas so look forward to that post.  In the meantime, I've provided some steps as well as a picture of Addie's love of carrots!

1 - I bought a bag of frozen baby carrots (how appropriate I know).

2 - Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the carrots.  I was following the directions on the package, however they suggested cooking until soft but not soft enough to puree so I'd boil those babies for at least 10-15 min.  Check periodically with a fork.

3 - Once carrots are soft, DRAIN WATER!  It's very important to note that carrots are one of the foods that contain nitrates when boiling so you don't want to use this water to thin your puree.

4 - Let carrots cool completely then dump into your food processor or blender.  I did the blender again and next time I'd do the food processor.

5 - Add your desired liquid to thin if necessary.

6 - Pour into your ice trays and freeze.

Without further adieu, Addie and her carrots...

Note:  After I had already dumped the carrots into the boiling water I realized I could have roasted these.  Next time I'll roast them!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me (scratch that, for Addie)

I'm not really a green person.  I should be more concerned about recycling and being a much more green person but I never have been.  I recycle if there's a trash can nearby and I don't litter, it's actually a pet peeve of mine.  But I'm not doing anyting proactively to help the ice caps from melting.  So, when I was pregnant with Addie I talked to Rick about cloth diapering.  He was a total no, I wanted to do it if for nothing else that it was a money saver.  He never did get on board with that so I never invested in the diapers (I'd still like to CD by the way).  So when as we approached Addie's 4 month birthday I really started to think about what I wanted to do when she was ready for solids.  The thing is, I really wanted to make her own baby food.  It's really not hard at all and will save you money.  It just takes a little bit of time and preparation.

So, let me start by saying I did take pictures of this process but apparently I'm still a beginner with my Nikon as all the pictures turned out blurry in auto mode (boo!).  However I wanted to give you a step by step guide on how to cook the peaches to make baby food.

1 - set your oven to 400 degrees.  You'll need a pan, some water and your peaches. 

2 - cut the peaches in halves.  You can pit at this time or after cooking whatever your preference.  I waited to pit until after they cooked. 

3 - please the peaches cut side down in your pan.  Fill the pan with about an inch of water.

4 - place the pan of peaches in the oven and cook until the peaches start getting wrinkly and are soft to the touch.

5 - when the peaches are down let them cool (those suckers are hot) and remember the water is now a syrupy consistency so that can burn you.

6 - when the peaches are cool remove the skins and pits if you haven't already.  Save the water from the pan in case you want to thin your puree

7 - toss the peaches in a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency adding the leftover whatever as desired.

8 - put the puree into freezer trays and freeze!

I have to say this took me a little while only because the peaches took some time to cook.  It was incredibly simple and tastes so good with no additives.  Baking the peaches gives it such a nice sweetness and retains a lot of the flavor and nutrients.  I can't wait to let Addie try these and will post pictures when she has her first peach puree.

Do any of you make your own baby food?  If so, what's your favorite food to make?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hello Etsy

I love Etsy!  It's an amazing and very addictive place to shop, dream, and create ideas.  In case you don't know Etsy is site focused on vintage or handmade items.  You can find everything from clothes to pictures, furniture to jewlery, and loads of baby stuff.  When I was pregnant with Addie and creating her nursery, I knew I wanted something that wasn't too childlike, weird I know considering I was about to have a child.  Children's characters just are not my style.  I knew Etsy would be the place to find lots of cute pieces that I could put in her room without being to child like and still stylish. 

Anywho, I could ramble about how much I love Etsy for hours, instead let me show what I found today that I love.  The color combo of teal and red are amazing!

Eye Candy - SEA GLASS Spiral - 7x7 Fine Art Print, TTV, Square, Polaroid Style, Clear Glass, Aquamarine, Coil, Ocean, Seascape, Turquoise, Cyan, Teal, Sea Foam Green, Lime, Chartreuse, Cherry Red, Textured - Photography by Jean Lannen, The Other Jeanie
7x7 Fine Art Print "Eye Candy Sea Glass Spiral" $25

Tasty Thursday - Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans


I love this recipe.  It's incredibly easy for anyone to do.  I used a little less cream cheese since my husband isn't a huge fan of cream cheese.  You can place this on top of rice or serve in tortillas.  Love, love, love this!


 (variations can be found on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
    • 4 -5 boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) cans black beans
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans corn
    • 1 (15 ounce) jars salsa, any kind
    • 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
Directions
  1. Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.
  2. Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.
  3. Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. Shred chicken to prefered consistency.
  4. Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.
Like this recipe?  Want to see more?  Please follow me!!! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slap It On!

How many of you are old enough to remember the slap bracelet?  I definitely am, but if you're not, check them out here

You may have recently seen the new SLAP watches on wrists around town.  I saw the new watches on an episode of Ellen several months back while on maternity leave.  They're actually pretty cute considering you slap the sucker on your wrist and hope it stays put.  Well, today while shopping on Totsy, they have the Slap Happy Watches on sale for a really great price of $20 which gets you the clock portion of the watch and 2 interchangable bands so you can match up your outfit to your Slap watch.  They also have an attach anywhere watch which would be great attached to your diaper bag.  I don't know how many times I'm scrambling to find a phone or clock wherever I am to find out if the reason Addie's getting fussy is because she's tired or hungry. 
 
Attach Anywhere Watch
Classic Slap Watch



Please Note:  This not a plug, I'm not getting paid for this, I just happen to love the look of the new take on Slap bracelets.

Wordless Wednesday: I Heart My Bumbo



Happy Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Baby You're A Firework

Yesterday, like many of you, we celebrated Independence Day.  However this year, we celebrated with someone new to our lives.  That’s right, this year was Addie’s first 4th of July celebration.  Over the weekend she joined us in spending time with family and friends at various parties.  She attended her first fireworks display, though she slept through the entire thing with her earmuffs on.  Rick and I enjoyed a lot of food and drinks, Addie had her fair share of blueberries to suck on though.  It was a great weekend and entirely too short.  It makes me wish even more that I had the ability to be a SAHM (stay at home mom) to spend every moment with Addie.  I appreciate every moment I get to spend with her as I know it’s only a matter of time until I have to be away from her for a short while.  The best thing in the world is to see her smile at me every day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom Isn't Free


We all know today is Independence Day, but what does that really mean?  Independence Day is the day this GREAT country won its independence from Great Britain and signed the Declaration of Independence.

To some it means parades, barbecues, fireworks, beer, and a long weekend.  To others it means much more.  It means sacrificing for the good of the rest of this country, not only in time away from family and friends but oftentimes in death.  


My brother in law is one of these individuals.  Nick joined the army after graduating high school in 2003.  He was killed in action on May 8, 2005 by an IED.  He was the kindest person I knew with an amazing smile and personality.  There wasn’t a single person who knew Nick and didn’t love him.  Nick knew there was a chance he’d lose his life if he joined the Army.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice in order for the rest of us to remain free.  


So remember when you’re enjoying your parades, barbeques, and fireworks that Freedom Isn’t Free.  

John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

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