It's October! Fall is upon us. Yesterday I felt the crisp cool breeze and was happy to know fall was on it's way. Life has been a storm lately. Making it through summer, getting my husband back in school for his last semester, and tons of other responsibilities have kept me away from blog-land.
But as I am taking the first day of October as a metaphor to the first day of a fresh start for me I wanted to share with you tidbits from around my home. I spruced up my home and love the inspiration I see, reminding me of my new start.
Before I ever had a baby I really really wanted a Baby Bullet Blender to make baby food. I think I was more excited about that than actually having a baby... (alright that's not true! But pretty close.) So I wanted to share with you what I have figured out when making your own baby food. I have found that all it takes is spending about 40 minutes once a week, so if you were worried about the time commitment that should ease your mind. Ok let's get started.
When to start solid foods:
At 3 months old I began adding about a tablespoon of rice grain mush to my baby's bottle. He really seemed to enjoy being more full. I did notice that it took him a lot longer to get through his bottles so I upgraded to a bottle nipple with a higher flow.
At 4 months old I started solid foods. Since my baby was already used to rice grain cereal I started with that. The whole first week he had rice cereal for his meal one time per day.
Try to introduce solid foods slowly. I chose to only introduce one new food each week to make sure my baby didn't have any allergies.
What foods to start with:
When starting solid foods you want to begin with really easy to digest vegetables. At month 4 my baby really enjoyed butternut squash, sweet potato and bananas. Around 5 months I added zucchini to his diet.
Preparing the vegetables:
I am going to show you how I prepared 2 weeks worth of sweet potato and zucchini in about an hour. You will get about 2 weeks of baby food from 1 large zucchini and 2 sweet potatoes. First, wash and peel the vegetables. Cut into small cubes and place in an oven safe dish. Add water to almost fill the dish.
Cooking the vegetables:
Preheat your oven to 350* and bake for 40 minutes. This gets the veggies all nice and soft to go through your blender. When they are done cooking, let them sit for about 15 minutes.
When it has cooled, place place the chunks into your blender. Any kind of blender, Cuisinart,or baby blender will work great! When pureeing sweet potato add about 1/2 cup of water. Blend until the mixture has become a very soft, smooth puree,without any large chunks.
You want to be more careful how you store your home-made baby food than store bought because it doesn't have the same preservatives. In the refrigerator it will last about 4-6 days. When you package it up to store it you want to keep that in mind. I store 6 small containers in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. This is how much food I was able to make.
How cute is this little 5 month old boy? He was definitely playing it up for the camera.
The Sandy Hot Air Balloon Festival seems to be a gathering point for local photographers. I was surprised to see so many people that looked like they knew what they were doing! I definitely felt out of the loop :) There was also a Nikon rep there to answer any questions, and they let you check out a camera to take some shots. Next year I'm going to be ready to stay later and take lots of pictures!
Holden is lifting his head up really well now! He loves being outside and really liked the bright colors of the hot air balloons.
So I've been photo editing like crazy! I am way behind on scrapbooking, well "behind" is a bit of an overstatement. More like I have never even started one. So I am gathering all the pictures I have from when my husband and I started dating to now. It's a really big project, but it has been fun to look back over the last couple of years. I have also been editing pictures and wanted to share a couple of my favorites!
I saw these cute ideas on Pinterest and wanted to do my own versions. It was really fun except for the fact that I hate being photographed! I made my husband take A TON of pictures so I could pick out the ones I thought turned out :) The hardest part about having your husband take your pictures is that he always thinks you look much cuter than you actually do. It is a sweet compliment actually, but at the same time it is almost horrifying to look at the pictures of you he thought were cute!
I was so happy to catch Holden in almost exactly the same position as his ultrasound picture! What a cutie :)
I am so excited to share how I made this fun and whimsical mobile! It is simple and easy to make and can add pizzazz to any nursery. I have also seen people use the bird pattern for other crafts (I made Christmas ornaments for my tree a few years ago...) My son loves staring at the bright colors and patterns that I chose for his mobile. (Most of the fabrics I used were scraps, so it's also a thrifty project!) If you're ready then I'm ready! Let's get started.
loads of fun fabric
The pattern for the birds is from a website that is no longer up and running. I don't have a way to post a pdf, because I am not that good at computers! But if you would like a copy of the pattern below leave a comment with your email and I will send it to you :)
First you need to cut and match the 2 pieces of your bird together. This is the creative part! Don't be afraid to get a little bit crazy mixing colors and patterns. Babies love to look at bold colors and contrasting patterns.
Pin 1 edge of the belly to the body, right sides together, starting at the tail.
Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew the two pieces together from one dot to the next. Make sure you do not sew the tail closed. Repeat for the other edge.
Sew head together from belly to dot.
Turn the bird right side out and stuff.
Sew the tail closed. Your first bird is finished!
Turning the birds into a mobile takes some planning and trial and error. This is the way I came up with, but I am sure it is neither the best or easiest way!
I began by threading fishing line through the top of the head of the bird and securing with a knot. After doing this with all 10 birds I tied the other end of the fishing line to the embroidery hoops to hang at various levels. I used 2 embroidery hoops, but it would have been just as cute with one. I also had to attach the hoops together with string. After the birds were all attached I wrapped the hoops with yarn to give it some color. When that was finished the final step was hanging. I ordered a mobile arm with a clamp from Buy Buy Baby for about $10.
We live in a very material world. We are continuously bombarded by images from commercials, advertisements and t.v. sitcoms that tell us that feeling special comes from spending money, buying the lastest and greatest products, and owning much more than we need. Planning my nursery I often felt slightly cheated that I couldn't SHOULDN'T go out and purchase a brand new everything.
I decided on three easy guidelines to create the nursery of my dreams without spending loads and loads of money.
1. Look for used furniture. Furniture is the largest (and most expensive) items that go in a nursery and they can be pricey! While being necessary it is not necessary to spend a fortune. I purchased a used crib from KSL.com for $30. To make it more special I painted it gray and distressed the edges. I spent a total of about $50 when you add in the spray paint. Compare that to the baby store! Other furniture items I found used (and for free) are the changing table, nightstand and glider. I bought baskets for the changing table, fixed up the nightstand with paint and new hardware and completely redid the glider, but all for a fraction of the cost.
2. DIY whatever you can.DIY-ing takes energy. Sometimes you are just not in the mood. But overall I feel like you can get an incredible sense of accomplishment by adding these elements to your room. Some of the items I chose to DIY were the crib bedding (minus the crib sheet), the bird mobile, and a hand-stamped curtain. I had a lot of fun doing this and it is easy to create a one-of-a-kind, special feeling in a room if you are willing to get creative!
3. Purchase only a few small items. I like to treat shopping as an activity. I can fill a whole day by tripping down to a special store to look for a small item. I treated myself to a darling patterned crib sheet from PB Kids. Not only was it fun to head down-town with my mother-in-law, grab some lunch and check out a few stores, but I felt very special getting to pick out something from PB Kids and take it home to my house! By picking small items to buy you can get the same feeling of taking home a whole new nursery without your wallet feeling like you did.