kind of personal...

I have gotten all sorts of {surprising} comments when I say I make all of Barrett's baby food. Some negative in the form of a backhanded compliment, but really most people are so kind and supportive. I feel like some people can't believe that I would put forth "all the hard work and effort" [although if you really know me or have done it yourself you know that's not the reality] to make his food. Let me tell you why.

I feel like I failed him.

Before my sweet, amazing baby boy was born, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to breastfeed him. It's natural, it's best for baby, and good for me as well. No questions. I had read up about breastfeeding, had mostly supportive family and friends (among the ones who would talk about it), and "knew" it was natural and would happen for us.

I was wrong.

When he came, I was so happy and thought we had it all down pat. I didn't need the lactation consultant's help. The nurses told me he and I were doing fine. When we got home, we did great for a few weeks. One of my close friends was with me and encouraged me constantly. I thought we were doing great. At about the four week mark, things went downhill.... He would scream and cry. I didn't know why. I assumed he wasn't getting enough. I don't even know now. {I suspect a growth spurt.} So we started supplementing. I continued pumping and bottlefeeding him that way because I thought maybe he was a lazy eater. Even now, I'm not sure. I wish I could go back and just keep nursing him. I think we could have made it. Maybe not though.....

I'm just opening up to tell you why I make his food. Just like breastfeeding, I feel like it's the absolute healthiest thing for Barrett. And I can keep doing it. I can choose to make him the most nourishing foods to eat. I can be a positive food influence in his life. I hope that I am. I think that I am.... That's why I make his food.... :)



 When Barrett goes to my parents' house he sits in the white chair and Cathy puts out all of his little toys as well as the metal bowl and a couple spoons for him to play with. He has so much fun! He likes to bang on the bowl and put everything into it and then sometimes he even puts the bowl on his head! :)
I love how much fun Barrett has with his grandma! She is always doing new things with him and he loves all the attention she gives him! I love this picture :) That toy entertains babies and puppies! HaHa


My sweet boy is getting so big! He gets up on his hands like a push up and he kind of gets on his knees! He will do "the worm" backwards and pull himself forward with his arms... Thankfully he hasn't truly started crawling yet. But I know it'll be soon! 

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

I am SO excited. I found a delicious recipe that TJ loves! He had two helpings for dinner tonight and made himself a "to-go" portion for work tomorrow! :) Here's the recipie:

Ingredients:4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.
**I used Liquid Aminos instead of Soy Sauce. It's full of all sorts of amino acids so it's a bit healthier.

It was still delish even though I didn't have any garlic or real onions. I did use onion powder so at lease it got some flavor.... I also didn't have sesame seeds. STILL AMAZING! :)


Date Night!

Can I just say how thankful I am for my husband?! He is the perfect guy for me! I guess God knew what He was doing when he paired us up, eh? ;) Well anyway, tonight we were fortunate enough to get to go on a for real date! We had such a blast! I am a movie fanatic. I cannot express to you how much I love going to the movies. The popcorn, soda, the bigscreen, holding hands with my honey... man oh man you just can't beat it! Anyway, TJ actually wanted to go see the movie "Red Tails" and so did his friend Uncle Buck. {His name is Eric, but everyone calls him Uncle Buck because he looks like John Candy...} I didn't really know what it was about but hey, I'll go to a movie! So we saw that with Eric and Marsha and then we went to eat at Iggy's. All in all, the night couldn't be beat!

The movie was excellent! The story line was great [althought TJ said it wasn't exactly historically accurate] and the effects were incredible! Honestly though it made me feel kind of dumb. I am not dumb at all and I like to think I have a pretty good grasp, and maybe better than the general population, on the basics of history, but watching this movie made me realize that I hadn't ever been taught about the Tuskegee airmen in school. Were you? Just kind of confused me I guess... It seems like something big and important that I should have been taught. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention and missed it? {History was definitely my least favorite subject}


On another note, Barrett is getting so stinking big! I just want to share with you some of my favorite things about him right now:

  •  How happy he is and how bright red his cheeks are when he wakes up
  • His sweet, adorable, addicting laugh
  • How much he loves food and how quickly he is learning to eat new things
  • How fun it is to watch him try to scoot around {so far he scoots in circles and does the worm backwards}
  • I love watching him try to catch Bogey's tail
  • That he puckers his lips and makes bubbles
  • All of his cute noises and his "talking"
  • When he gets stuck in awkward positions because he wants so badly to crawl
  • That he always  finds the tags on things to eat and play with [makes me want to make him a tag blanket, maybe it could be his lovie]
  • He finally will put himself to sleep about half the time
  • Watching him and TJ interact. I think this might be one of the best things to me. It is so neat to see Barrett light up when TJ gets home or picks him up out of his crib. I don't love that I work three nights a week but I am thankful because the two of them have an awesome bond because of it...


One more thing I want to share... I told you about how I've been trying to eat better and reduce chemicals in our home. Well, I'm very happy to report that I'm still sticking to that (for the most part). I've been eating lots more fruits and veggies. What I've been trying to do is fill up first on them, then eat rice or whatever else, then the meat. I generally end up eating like half the amount of meat compared to what I used to eat. Overall, I've lost a little over five pounds up to this point, but I certainly feel much better! I think my biggest problem is how much I love dessert. I'm not talking "Oh yay I just love dessert let me eat a cookie or two." No. More like, "OH YA I LOVE DESSERT SO MUCH I'M GOING TO EAT THIS WHOLE DAMN PIE! OH THERE IS ICE CREAM TOO?!?! HALLELUJAH!" So I've been trying to make vegan desserts and other basic substitutions to the full fat {and complete deliciousness} recipes. So far it's going well. Like did you know banana is an excellent substitution for butter? Just mash it up to get the desired amount. Also, honey or pure maple syrup is a better choice than sugar. You can also use agave nectar. [Um, I don't keep that in the house and I usually want to make something on a whim and don't really want to drive to the store.] If you want to try one of my desserts, let me know and I'll share recipes with you! And if you have something for me I would looove to try it! :)


flax seed! how delightful!

Well, as you know, I've been trying to eat better and make better choices. Yesterday Barrett and I went to Draper with Steph to see Katie. She was telling us about how her and Dave have been eating {mostly} vegan and have been adding flax seed to their food. Have you ever had one of those "AH HA!" moments? I did. She reminded me about how awesome flax seed is! Then I came home and didn't really think much of it... But I decided to go grocery shopping at Sam's Club and guess what was sitting on the shelf beckoning me to take it home. FLAX SEED! So I did. :) This morning, Barrett and I had flax seed smoothies for breakfast and it was delightful! :) Would you like the recipe? OK!

  • 1 cup of fruit (your choice)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 3 tbsp flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
I used pineapple and orange (so it was more fruit) and I used Greek yogurt because I like it better. Yep, so tasty!

And here is Barrett enjoying his smoothie :) And yes I am a day late on my project52 photo but here it is anyway! Also, he has been getting up on his knees and scooting backwards. It kind of looks like the worm so I really need to get it on video... I will try!


Best Saturday EVER!

Oh man oh man! Today was an amazing day! :) TJ volunteered his time to fix the planes that were damaged in the windstorm at the HAFB Museum which left Barrett and I all alone today. I decided today was the day to get some projects done I've been eyeing online for a week or so! Here goes:

 The first project I decided to tackle was making my own household cleaner {in place of 409} that was easy to make, didn't have any harsh chemicals, and smelled great! Well my friends, mission accomplished! So far I love this combination. To make it, I added 2 teaspoons of Borax, 4 tablespoons of vinegar, and not quite 4 cups of water. I also added a bit of eucalyptus oil and about 15 drops of 100% pure orange oil. Eucalyptus oil is supposed to be a great disinfectant and orange oil is great at cutting grease and smells great! :)

The next thing I wanted to get done was make my own laundry detergent. Barrett has a couple skin issues and I'm wondering if all the icky chemicals in the wash are the culprit. So to make this, I first grated the Fels-Naptha then adding 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda. Then all you have to do is mix it really well. Then you can put it in your container. I found that glass one with the silver screw on lid at Hobby Lobby for less than $5. I thought that was a pretty good find! Unfortunately, I used a grater that made kind of big pieces of the soap so I used the blender to make it all uniform size. I was really really really wishing I had a food processor because I think that would have been about a gagillion times easier. Hm, future present perhaps??? ;)

Anyway, this is the after product. I love that it's all swirly and imperfect!

Ok, here's the part that I'm most excited about now. [Originally I was most excited about my homemade soap stuff] If you are on pinterest, you have probably seen tons of super cute craft ideas. Well, I decided I wanted to actually make one of those crafts! So today I made a super duper amazingly cute Valentine's Day wreath. If you decide to make one of these, just know you need an insane amount of ribbon. I had enough but I sort of wish I had a little more. Anyway.... I had nine rolls of ribbon and most of them were 9 feet long but a couple were 12 feet and one was even 15 feet. So yeah, you need LOTS.

 The first step is to wrap ribbon all the way around the wreath form. Yes, I didn't wrap it all the way around. If I do this again, I think I'll skip wrapping the whole thing and just do the bottom half.

 {Pretend I put this picture underneath the one right below this....}

 You cut the ribbon into 4 1/2" strips and then fold them in half and hot glue them. If you know how to thread the bobbin on your sewing machine you can use that to sew them all. I'm pretty sure that would save you a lot of time.... Otherwise, do like me and hot glue those puppies down! Then you open the little bottom part and hot glue that onto the wreath form. You'll do the same thing even if you sew the strips.

 This is the wreath maybe halfway done.... Keep on truckin' my friends.... Lots of time and hot glue gun burns!

 Ta-Da! All done! Isn't it so cute?! I LOOOOOOVE it! I think it's so fun and cutesy! And then there's a close up pic so you can see all my fun ribbon patterns! :)

So! What do you think of my day? What things have you made lately?


Recipe anyone???

So the other night I made beefy BBQ macaroni. It's one of my favorite super easy delish meals! It also brings back lots of great memories with my aunt and uncle and their little girlies :) Anyway, I just thought I would share the recipe with you guys!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter/margarine
  • 1 cup cheese
  • dash cayenne pepper
In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic; drain. Add macaroni, BBQ sauce, pepper, and cayenne; mix well. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter/margarine until melted. Stir in cheese and melt. Pour over macaroni mixture and combine. Add more cheese if you want!

This recipe is SUPER easy and delish! I love it this way but to make it a little healthier use ground turkey and whole wheat pasta. If you try it, let me know what you think!!! :)


Here is my sweet boy this week! :) I'm not going to lie though, it's been a strange week. Barrett has been extra grumpy lately. I'm not really sure why either.... I'm thinking it's either his teeth or his bum. He has a yucky diaper rash that is starting to open up in a couple spots. It gets worse when I use sposies and desitin so I'm sticking with cloth and using cornstarch. I hope it will get better quick! It's so sad because he's never had any diaper rash issues up to this point...


Barley and Sweet Potatoes

Alrighty, barley is like quinoa in that you should rinse it. Anyway, first I cooked the sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 for a little over an hour. I used two but for the baby food only used one. {Sweet potatoes are so yummy so I had one for lunch!}

 Cook the barley according to package directions....

 When the barley was done, I added the sweet potato in chunks, as well as a bit more water and cinnamon for some tasty flavor. You can leave that out or add other spices that you like.

 Let it cook down a little longer until most of the water is absorbed, then just blend it according to your baby's needs...

All done! Let it cool on the counter for a bit before putting it in the freezer.

***Side note, there was some leftover and it would have only made about half a tray so I just put it in a tupperware and shared it with Barrett the next day. I'm surprised that I kind of like barley. I think it's a texture thing for me... The flavor seems pretty typical but I like the chewy, bubbly texture. I definitely will be adding barley in place of rice in future soups/stews! Good luck! Let me know if you do anything different and how it turns out!

Broccoli and rice

So I decided to make broccoli and brown rice for Barrett. I feel like this is something that we as a family will eat and it's mostly nutritious. :) {That's why I chose brown instead of white rice...} Basically, all you do is cook the rice and the broccoli. [I think it's ironic I am using my rice cooker for the broccoli instead of the rice haha] Then combine them and blend. I used a stick blender because it gives more of a "rough chop" than a puree but just do what your baby needs. Also, now that he's bigger and I feel ok about it, I add a little bit of provolone cheese on top when I warm it up to give it a little extra flavor. Yum!

 Steaming the broccoli

 Cooked brown rice

Finished product!

I added ginger because "they" say it helps with gas.... Honestly I'm not convinced. You probably have to add a substantial amount and I didn't because I didn't want to completely change the flavor of the broccoli. Maybe I'll add more for the next cube I warm up for him and see if it makes any difference.

I love our broccoli with lemon juice and butter melted on top and then a bit of parmesean cheese sprinkled over it. I think that would be another option for this!  

A few new pics...

 The two pictures above make me laugh so hard! Barrett got ahold of Bogey's rawhide and Bogey wasn't quite sure what to do! Although honestly I'm not sure that Barrett did either. :) I love that Bogey is licking his chops! I'm very glad Barrett didn't start chewing on the rawhide... although I'm pretty sure at some point he will, and he'll get into the dog food, and water... oh joy!

 Barrett has gotten the hang of feeding himself a little bit! He loves it! I am not going to lie, I love it also! It's kind of nice to sometimes have the option of putting him in his high chair with little bites of food and he'll stay occupied for a bit.

 The toy dinosaur he's chewing on here has a bouncy part in the middle and it bounces balls out of it. It's supposed to encourage kids to move, which I suppose it does because Barrett keeps getting stuck in all kinds of awkward positions trying to get those balls. I'm guessing it won't be too long before he's on the move! eek!

 TJ and I got Chinese food for dinner last night and Barrett was trying to grab daddy's bowl! It was super funny. So TJ gave him a little bit of rice from the ham fried rice and Barrett LOVED it! I would imagine so! LOL lots of flavor! He kept reaching up to his mouth to make sure it was all in there and that there wasn't any on his face. Very funny :)

Barrett and I were having some serious cabin fever this morning so we decided to go for a walk. I was nervous that it would be really cold but it was surprisingly tolerable outside!We were walking for nearly an hour and then I decided we should go in because Barrett's chubby cheeks were cold... I'm pretty sure he was fine and would have been quite content to stay outside though! I'm thinking we'll be going on more walks in the future!


Quinoa Babyfood Breakfast

I'm going to explain how I made such a tasty babyfood breakfast for Barrett. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures but you really do need to just trust me on this and make it. Honestly, you should whip up a batch right now because you can eat it for breakfast (awesome oatmeal substitute) or even for dessert (better than a cobbler)! If you want to read about the awesomeness that is quinoa, check it out here!

What you'll need:
  • quinoa
  • banana
  • a couple of small apples
  • a can of pears
  • cinnamon (if you want to use spices you can, just double check with your pedi that it's ok)
  • a little butter (again, only if you feel comfortable and it's ok with your boss pedi)
  • water

The very first step in cooking with quinoa is to rinse it. I am not kidding. Don't skip this. If you do, you won't like the taste of it it's very bitter. So, rinse the quinoa and add the water according to your packages directions. I used 1 cup of quinoa and 1 and a 1/2 cups of water. I also added about a half of a tablespoon of butter. Then you cook it kind of like rice... Stir it occasionally and let it absorb the water. After it is done, I added a chunked up banana, a can of pears, and two small apples peeled and chopped into small pieces. Add a little bit more water and some cinnamon and let it all absorb and get soft and delicious, then you could blend it or mash it up more finely. I used a stick blender because I wanted everything to be a bit smaller but not tiny. Anyway, I think I ate about a third of the final product I am not kidding it is super tasty!

Enjoy! Let me know what you think :)


Homemade Baby Food

Well, as you know I have been making Barrett's baby food and I love it! :) I have so many friends with babies just a little bit younger than Barrett who are starting to ask how I make his food. As a result, I've decided to start posting about what I make and how I do it! I guess to start I'll talk about what supplies I've found work best to make baby food!

  • Ice cube trays (any will work. If you're a perfectionist you may want square, silicon trays)
  • Spatula
  • Blender (When I first started I preferred the baby bullett to start, then used a full size blender, and have now been using a stick blender. Use what works best for you!)
  • Deep pots for steaming foods
  • Steaming trays that go in pots
Now you need some food! The first foods I made for Barrett were peas, carrotts, and sweet potatoes. You can start with whatever you want! Just keep in mind that if you start with fruits, some babies might not want to eat veggies because they aren't as sweet... That's why I started with veggies. Also, if you are a worrier about things, you might want to do some research about which foods are best to start for allergy sensitivities as well as nitrites {which I know nothing about...}. I wasn't too worried about that because neither TJ or I have any food allergies. Here is a great site that has tons of info about making baby food. [And once you check it out, I probably won't be that helpful. ;)]

The first step is to cook the food! Steaming and boiling are best because it keeps the most nutrients. When your baby is first brand new, you'll need to cook it very very well so that it is soft and easy to blend. After it's fully cooked, put the food in the blender and add a bit of breastmilk, formula, or water and blend. [FYI: I preferred to use breastmilk/formula because I felt like it added a bit more nutrition when Barrett was going through his "I don't want to drink anymore just eat everything I possibly can" phase. Now that he's past that, I just use water or the water that the food cooked in because there is still some nutrition in it. Blend it all up and pour it in the ice cube trays! I've found they work well because it's always right about one ounce and is easy to defrost. Plus, it's easy to put in ziplock baggies and store in the freezer. Just be sure to write what the food is and when it was made. They usually only last about three months in the freezer which is actually perfect because often they'll be ready for more texture by then! :) Good luck! Feel free to message me with any questions and I'll answer them as I can! :)

Barrett loves quinoa!

I cannot tell you enough how much I LOOOOOVE making Barrett's baby food! It is so easy, fun, and I know exactly what he's eating! That's all for another post but I just thought I would show you how cute he is eating his delicious quinoa. :)

"you comin' at me?!"

Project 52

One of the blogs I follow did a project last year called project 52. I'm not totally sure of all the details but I think the jist of it was that she took a picture a week of her baby and then compiled them at the end of the year. This year she's doing more and taking a picture a day. That seems like a bit too big of a challenge to me so I'm going to do one every Wednesday. At the end of the year I would like to make a picture book and/or a slideshow of the year. I think it will be so fun to see such drastic contrast in just one year! So, here is today's picture: