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NOTE: This blog is under construction. While I grow it, please feel free to follow along in the posts that I have already created, but please be sure to check  back because I am adding more and more each day!

Welcome to my blog, please make yourself at home! I hope you enjoy following along as I attempt to dominate domestic life (and in the very least, I hope to provide you tips on everyday living learned from my trial and errors)!

About me: A young attorney turned stay-at-home mom, my blog focuses on my personal attempts at arts and crafts, healthy and organic recipes, homemade baby food recipes, and easy at-home baby-friendly exercises (for beginner through expert!). A blog is supposed to represent the author, right? So just like in real life, there will be an assortment of random things on my blog in addition to the above – things I find funny, beautiful, helpful, etc. I’m also a HUGE fan of my city! Saint Petersburg, Florida is the BEST. Seriously. I know it has a bad reputation as being, let’s say, for the older folk, but I will show you that this city is, in fact, a city full of art, nightlife and BEAUTY! Any who, just follow along and I hope you enjoy! Cheers!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blog Post: Conversing with a 6-month old



Ever since my son was born, I've come across many articles about how important it is to talk to your baby. "They" say it helps with language skills and what not. Well, being that I am often home alone with my son, it helps to break up the quiet in the house if I regularly converse with him.

Some days, I'm not gonna lie, I stay in my jammies. If I don't have an errand to run or we have poor weather, we party indoors. He can be a bit more demanding some days, so I either drop my 'chores' completely and hang out, or I'll try to see what I can distract him with in order to get some housework done.

To entertain him, I label objects and give them to him. He enjoys the 'new' item and I get stuff done while his language development - win, win. Now that he's 6 (going on 7) months old, it's become quite a game for me to guess what he's thinking as I point out things around our house and name them as well as the action I am performing. I basically narrate our conversation, and it typically goes something like this:

Me: "Gunner, what's mommy doing? Mommy is folding laundry."
Gunner: "That sock looks delicious. [inserts into mouth]"
Me: "No, no, baby. That is a sock. Socks go on feet. See, here's your foot."
Gunner: "That foot looks delicious. [inserts into mouth and has a foot party for 10 minutes allowing me to get the laundry done. thanks, foot.]

-----

Me: "Gunner, mommy is opening the mail. See this, this is paper."
Gunner: "I love it. Give me." [has a paper party for 20 minutes allowing me to get the bills done. thank you, paper.]

-----

Me: "Gunner, this is a hanger. Mommy hangs clothes clothes on these."
Gunner: "That hanger is covered in paper. Paper. I love paper. Paper. Give me."
Me: "Ohh, that's dangerous baby. Here, have your Sophie."
Gunner: "NO, I WANT HANGER WITH PAPER." [cries for paper; damn you, dry-cleaner hanger.]

-----
Me: "Gunner, that's mommy's coffee. Here, take your sippy."
Gunner: "No."
Me: "Here, want the remote? Look, buttons. This is a button. You push the button."
Gunner: "OOOO it lights up. I love this remote. [10 seconds elapse] I hate this remote. I want your coffee."
Me: Damn you, remote.

-----

Me: "That's mommy's phone, baby. Mommy is talking to Auntie. You love Auntie!"
Gunner: "Phone."
Me: "Here, look at this remote. See the buttons? Push the buttons."
Gunner: "I love this remote." [pushes TV off button; cries]
Me: [pushes TV on button] "It's ok. There, see. It's on."
Gunner: [pushes TV off button; cries]
Me: [pushes TV on button] "Look, it's back."
Gunner: "I understand, mommy. Push button, tv off. Cry, tv on."
Me: [damn me.]

-----

The list goes on and on, and on. It's become a game to see what I can entertain him with. He has a million and one toys, and he's fine playing with them most of the time. But then there are those days. Some things I think to myself, "he won't be interested in this" and voila! Loves it! Others, I'm like "yea, this is the money maker here." Hates it.

This is such a fun age. I'm sure you have similar conversations with your little one, and I'd love to hear about them!

XOXO! ~Meg

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Yay for half birthdays!

I came across the idea for a half birthday - you know, 6 months before your actual birthday - and thought it was a pretty great idea. The child gets half of a cake (to share with the family, of course!), no presents (or maybe a small one in this household), and a special dinner. I think it's a great out-of-the-blue idea that will make your child's day. And what an adorable memory to look back and remember! So when Gunner turned 6 months in January, I started the tradition.

We threw a BBQ for friends and family - we really wanted to take a minute and sit back and relax with friends. The years seem to go by quicker as we get older, and we often don't see each other as much as we'd like. It was great to have everyone together, and for them to interact with Gunner. He's growing up so fast!!

Here's pics from the party. We had a really great time!


The overview. The left corner is a photobooth backdrop made from plastic tablecloths from the dollar store! I trimmed the bottoms and used the rest on the chandelier, just to spice it up a bit!


Up-close on the photobooth.


My goofball husband and nephew posing for me.


I made the "Happy Half" banner. It was simple - construction paper, permanent marker, paper straws, hot glue and colored twine. Pirate and chest cake topper from here, twine from here, and cake from Publix.



I made these and I must say - I am proud of them! I found everything I used in a single kit called "The Classroom Kit" at Tj Maxx for like $6 on clearance! I googled the company and apparently it's Australian-based and costs $40 to ship to the United States. I have to say that I SCORED!


I affixed a bandana from Target to his high chair.


And provided some stick-on mustaches and bandanas for photobooth props. I also placed a photo of him in his "1/2" onesie for everyone to sign. I think it'll be awesome in years to come when he looks back on the photo and sees just how long the people who love him have been in his life! The onesie was a custom order from here.



So simple and budget-friendly - streamers from the dollar store cut into slices and affixed to the wall with mustache duct tape, because it's adorable.





The 1/2 birthday boy himself.


Destruction.


Mmmm cake.


The very next day I used the red plastic tablecloth for the backdrop of his Valentine's photos! XOXO!



~Meg

Baby Food Recipe: Peas, Greek yogurt, Carrot Juice


As always, please follow the general guidelines about HOW and WHEN to introduce food to your baby.  These guidelines are important to follow for safety and allergy reasons. A simple Google search will yield quite an array of guidelines which vary somewhat - with the older guidelines being a bit more limiting and the newer guidelines allowing for more flexibility. Also check with your child's pediatrician.

As you know from my previous post, Gunner loves Greek yogurt. I buy the large container so a lot of his food is prepared with it in varying amounts. I also use the same carrot juice, because once I buy it, I want to make sure it's used up and is not wasted! So here's what I used:

-1/3 cup frozen peas
-2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (I used French vanilla but you could always get creative!)
-1 to 2 ounces of carrot juice

Here's the yogurt and juice I prefer to use, but if you have a favorite, definitely use that!


You'll need to steam the peas before pureeing. I LOVE my Pampered Chef microwave steamer, and I use it ALL the time when preparing his foods. I added about 1/3 cup of water and put in the microwave for 2 minutes.



This is so simple - just place all of the ingredients in your blender/baby food processor and voila! Blend long enough so the peas are fully pureed and there are no large pieces of the pea.



Use the carrot juice to thin the consistency to what is safe for your little one. Gunner is ok with a little thicker puree, so I tend to use 1-1.5 ounces, but you could make it thinner and use 2 ounces.

This recipe actually yielded three servings, but I over-poured into his bowl and was only able to refrigerate one serving.



Another yummy success! Happy cooking!

~Meg



Friday, January 31, 2014

Baby Food Recipe: Fuji apple, Greek yogurt and carrot juice

Finally a baby food recipe post! Gunner recently turned 6 months (we had a 1/2 birthday celebration - post to follow soon!) and his pediatrician gave us the go ahead for solids. To say that I'm excited to experiment with his food is an understatement. I have done quite a bit of research into what to feed baby and have made up my mind that he will NOT have a bland selection of foods. Healthy AND tasty is my goal.

That in mind, please follow the general guidelines about HOW and WHEN to introduce food to your baby.  These guidelines are important to follow for safety and allergy reasons. A simple Google search will yield quite an array of guidelines which vary somewhat - with the older guidelines being a bit more limiting and the newer guidelines allowing for more flexibility. Also check with your child's pediatrician.

Anyway, back to the recipe! Gunner loooovvveesss Greek yogurt so I've been putting in the mix with a lot of his foods. It's good for him and he enjoys the taste! Win-win! So here's what I used:

-1 medium fugi or red delicious apple, peeled and sliced with core removed
-2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (I used French vanilla but you could always get creative!)
-1 to 2 ounces of carrot juice

Here's the yogurt and juice I prefer to use, but if you have a favorite, definitely use that!


Then I just added all the ingredients to my Baby Bullet (any food processor should work fine, just check for any small chunks that baby could choke on).


It's look more orange at first but the more you purée it, the lighter it gets.



This small amount of food yielding this morning's breakfast, plus two additional servings which I placed in my Baby Bullet storage cups and dated for today's date (so I know when to toss if it doesn't get used).

He was a big fan! Happy cooking!



~Meg




Sunday, January 19, 2014

$6 Organization Bin for Baby Tub!

 I have found the PERFECT tub for my almost 6 month old. We have used a bath sling seat since his birth, and it worked out great until he hit 5 months old and decided to sit up out of it. I have been searching for something where he can sit up completely in the bath because he is the happiest sitting on his own. I think it's his way of asserting independence, but who knows. I've seen many posts on Pinterest where moms have put toddlers in a laundry basket, but I needed something that would work for a 6 month old. Ya know, something not too big or short where he could lean back and NOT fall into water because of the extra space - or to keep him from diving head first into the water going after a toy that's just a bit out of reach.


I just happened to be perusing the aisles of Big Lots (and scored some seriously awesome deals on Christmas items) and came across this storage bin organizer. It's perfect because he can't stick his arms and legs out of the holes in the bin and it's the perfect size to keep him upright when he gets lazy. (NEVER leave your child unsupervised in the tub.) An added bonus: it keeps all his toys within reach so he's entertained the whole time! Happy bath time! -Meg



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Easy, healthy cold pasta

Being a new mommy, I have been trying to stock my refrigerator with things that I can quickly throw together for a bite - something delicious AND healthy. So instead of the Easy Mac, I mixed these ingredients from my refrigerator to create a seriously tastey (and nutritious!) lunch.

Bonus: I made extra to store and eat for lunch/a snack. Depending on how much you make, you may want to add the greens and sprouts when serving so they stay fresh and crispy. 

So here's what I used:

-whole grain pasta  (I used penne)
-grated Parmesan cheese 
-Organic Girl's "Super Greens" salad blend
-marinated artichoke hearts (in the glass jar)
-alfalfa sprouts
-salt and pepper
-olive oil
-garlic



Cook the noodles al dente and mix together with all of the ingredients.  This dish is largely based upon your tastes, so add as much or as little as you prefer. I've made it a few times, and each time I change up the ratio (and it is ALWAYS delicious)!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reuse that crib mobile!

So, my son is just over 5 months now and has started acting like changing him on his changing table is some sort of personal attack. I have met many mothers through online outlets who have never used their changing tables, and if this is you, then maybe this post is completely irrelevant. But for me, I have used my changing table since DAY ONE. I mean, I have a son and with that comes a fire truck hose of urination for the first few weeks (not to mention the other stuff that makes its way out and ALL OVER anything in the vicinity). I'd rather have the pee, poo, medicine/spit-up, etc. that makes its way out of baby land on the changing pad cover than my comforter, carpet, etc. It's just easier to clean!

Anywho, back to the real focus of this post - my son is getting older and stronger and more curious. He has hated being placed on his changing table lately and has resorter to turning himself over while I try to diaper him or tugging on my hair even though I have secured a toy to a slat on the changing table.

Then the other day while I was rearranging his room due to the onslaught of Christmas gifts and purging the millionth bag of clothing/shoes/accessories he has grown out of, I found myself with an extra crib mobile. I love this mobile. It's simple. It has four little animals - a giraffe, owl, elephant and turtle - with a little chevron touch here and there. It's a wind up and plays the classic lullaby. It's nothing special and I absolutely love it (got it at Target:)). I started looking around his room for a place to put the mobile because I wasn't ready to part with it yet. Then it struck me. Let's add it to the changing table! It'll help distract him (maybe) and can still be incorporated in his room!!

Well, turns out one full crank of the mobile lasts about as long as a diaper change and he just loves it! And just couple of cranks later, he's lotioned and dressed after a bath without the fuss! Here's a pic of him admiring his mobile even after I've changed his diaper!