Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

HoPe It WaS sPooKtAcUlAr!!
 This was Bean's first beggars night so we wanted to make sure she had the full experience. Costume? Check. Trick-or-Treak bag? um....(I did throw that one together last minute with fuzzy fabric, safety pins and ribbon) Check. Trick? well, I did look one up just in case we get asked so, Check. Destination? Grandma n' Grandpa's, daycare & neighbors. In all, that's about 5 houses.

We started with the costume. I love those striped tights!
 She didn't mind the costume and loved her final look! See that big smile?
 Bean was totally in character and even moved like a ladybug on all fours! Bean liked looking in her little bag when treats were placed inside. She didn't smile a whole lot on our trick-or-treating adventure but she was very patient and loved watching all the other children walk about the neighborhood.





We had to have a photo of Daddy and Bean on this momentous evening!




....and I really wanted one too!!


 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baby Food

So, I always thought I'd make my own baby food for my child. However, when the day came Bean was ready for baby food, I wasn't. I was still trying to figure out how to be a working mom (...sometimes I think I'm still trying to figure it out) so I felt my time was limited when it came to cooking extra food. I mean, I already had laundry, dinner, cleaning the kitchen and getting my child to bed before I could think about feeling exhausted. I had thought it was much easier to just go to the store and buy a jar of food for my child.

After about 4 months of baby food and realizing how much it was costing us, I thought to myself, not only will it save us a little money but I will know what is exactly going into my child's belly if I take a little extra time each week to make just one thing for her (plus, I know what I make her is made with lots of love). By doing this we can supplement the jarred baby food and/or solid table foods with some homemade baby food. I do have to say that jarred baby food is great for traveling and it's nice to buy the combination fruits or veggies for some variety.

I finally decided to started making my own baby food when the three of us went to the Downtown Farmer's Market a few weeks ago. I bought basil, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. I bought enough butternut squash and sweat potatoes for baby food as well as a meal or two for our family. I ended up purchasing some basil to make homemade pesto. I figured while I was making baby food I might as well make pesto (what was I getting myself into).

That weekend, after the farmer's market, I baked the butternut squash, pureed it and poured it into ice cube tray's. This gave me cubes that are easy to store in a freezer bag. It also helps that I can just take 2 cubes out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and, ta-da, it's ready!
After this great experience I thought, this was so easy! I actually had fun doing it so I thought I'd try pureeing up some breakfast food for Bean.

So, for about $6 I got a large bundle of bananas, a few pears, and two containers of raspberries. I already had organic plan yogurt at home that I'd planned to use for the breakfast purees as well. When I got home, I got started...
I started cutting up my bananas and pears, then added the plain yogurt. I blended it and poured the mixture into my ice cube trays. I still had an ice cube tray empty so I decide I'd make the raspberry puree next.
The raspberry puree had yogurt, berries and bananas. I leave my puree's a bit chunky since Bean is eating the stage 3 baby foods and doesn't need them so thinned down. It turned out good! I even made of of these puree's for myself this morning as 'breakfast' (I consider it a smoothy of sorts)!
I wish I would have started all this much earlier but, like I said, adjusting to being a mom is exhausting and so if you didn't, can't or haven't had the time to make your own baby food, don't feel bad. In my opinion, as long as your baby is getting the nutrition and love he/she needs, that's what matters :)

BTW, the pesto turned out great in the ice tray cubes and now I can use it for pasta dinners throughout the winter. I also had some fresh rosemary that I had growing through the summer. I ended up chopping it and storing it in the ice cube trays with some water for use of fresh herbs throughout the winter. Boy, I feel like I'm preparing for hibernation!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Perfect fall food

Cornbread!! Need I say more? I fell in love with this corn muffin recipe I found on the Food Network website. I did make a couple tweaks to the original recipe. but I found it to be pretty darn close to the muffins at Famous Daves - which are amazing! (Hubby thinks that comment is stretching it... but I obviously disagree)

Honey Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey

Directions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.


Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. 

Happy baking!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yard Work

We've completed the first step of one of our important projects this past weekend... Landscaping! We had 5 evergreen bushes that needed tore out. My husband and father-in-law started to use a pick-ax to dig these out and finally decided to head to the hardware store to find a more efficient option. They found a tow strap and hook that they planned to tie around the bush stump and pull out with the Excursion.
 Here we have three stumps removed and two left.

They dug around the stump so that the tow strap can firmly fit around the base of it. Here's a video of the removal. I think the guys had a lot of fun tearing these things out. Anyone need stumps pulled out ;-)
video
Part 2 of the project is now buying soil to level the area and possibly getting something planted before winter. We will see how far we get over the next few weeks. Until next time, enjoy your time outside in this fall weather. Before we know it there will be snow on the ground!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We finally took our trip to the pumpkin patch and boy what a beautiful day it was....
There he is. The love of my life driving us to Howell's Pumpkin Patch. What a handsome man he is.
 Here we are waiting in line to take the hay-rack ride out to the pumpkin patch. Lil' Bean kept these sunglasses on her face for about 3.2 seconds before trying to pull them off.
 On our way out to the pumpkin patch we passed this beautiful field of flowers so I just had to share the view.

Once we got to the pumpkin patch we walked around for quite some time trying to find that perfect pumpkin. Well, we found it! Bean was interested in the pumpkin for about 5 seconds and interested in the dirt and vines for 5 minutes.

Once we got back from the pumpkin patch we found a couple other pumpkins and some gourds to take home with us. Bean was totally into the small gourds she could pick up herself. It was a lot of fun taking her and watching her take it all in. We will definitely be making the pumpkin patch experience a family tradition. What a great trip with my little family! Now to decide how to carve these baby's...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reading in circles

Many of you may know that I enjoy reading (when I have time, of course, which can be few and far between). Regardless of how often I get to read, I think it's a very important part of who I am and therefore I have been looking for a way to show that in our home. You might think 'why doesn't she just display her favorite books in bookshelves?'. Well, if you've seen our home, you know we don't have a lot of room and built in bookshelves weren't a part of this 1980's layout. So I'd been waiting for the perfect project to come along and it did, about 6 months ago.

I found this wonderful blog post by Lindsay at Living With Lindsay. I fell in love with this wreath made from book pages (how perfect, right?) and decided to follow her tutorial to make my own. I think it turned out great! (Now, all I need is a little color on the wall...but that's another project.)