Weekend of Partying

We LOVE the weekends. I work at home, so I get to spend A LOT of time with Turner. But, there’s just nothing like family time! Stew works long hours during the week, so we really look forward to weekends. Last Wednesday he didn’t get home until about 8pm, so he didn’t get the see Turner at all! This week he has a few night shifts thrown in there. So, now you see why we cherish our weekends!

This weekend was nothing short of amazing, as usual. We squeezed in all of our favorite things…working on the house, of course, going to the Farmer’s Market downtown, and seeing our friends at Turner’s friends’ birthday parties (yes two parties in one weekend)! Turner’s a pretty popular kid. Everyone wants him drooling on their cake! I took some pictures to capture the fun!

Saturday morning, after Turner’s first nap, we headed to the market. It was the perfect morning to walk around Charleston. It wasn’t too hot, and the sun was in and out…no sunburn for Baby!
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We got our favorite Kettle Korn from the popcorn man and had some fresh smoothies for lunch!IMG_1267IMG_1275
We hung out in the park while we drank our smoothies.usIMG_1276
We left around 2. I fed Turner in the car, then we headed to party number 1! Turner’s friend, Wyatt, just turned 1. Turner pretty much spent his time swinging in the cool truck swing (note to self, we need one), and laying on his tummy in the backyard playing with the grass and dirt (he already loves getting dirty…good luck Momma).IMG_1278
We actually remembered to have someone take our picture! We have thousands of pictures of Turner, and probably three of all of us! Thanks John :o) P.S. Turner had pants on earlier in the day, but he got too hot, so we had to take them off!
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Saturday night, we got home, I fed Turner, and Daddy picked up some pizza and Stromboli. We chowed down and Turner had bath time. Then, Daddy and I kicked our feet up and caught up on The Voice!

Sunday, we worked on the house in the morning. Stew’s been putting up window trim and chair rail in the parlor (pictures to come). During Turner’s morning nap, we primed and painted it. We still have a few finishing touches, but it looks incredible! It’s amazing how some trim can totally transform a room.

After that, we cleaned up and played with Turner. He’s been experimenting with his voice. He’s started this new squealing that is just adorable!

Turner Squealing from Emily on Vimeo.

That afternoon, we hit the road for party number 2. Turner’s friend, Olivia, was turning 1 as well! Maribeth and Ben (Olivia’s parents) had a BBQ at Riverfront Park. Turner hung out in his stroller while we caught up with friends :o)IMG_0949

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend! We have so much fun with this little baby! Every moment is special. I know it sounds cheeze, but it’s true!

No Fry French Fries

I know it’s been a while since I posted a food recipe!  My FeastUrEyes blog has been out of commission (if you haven’t noticed). I made the switch to this blog to simplify my life. So, side note, if you were subscribed to FeastUrEyes, I lost you! So subscribe to this one :o)

Potatoes get a bad rap…poor little guys. They really aren’t bad for you! They are starchy, yes, but in moderation they’re fine! The reason they get a bad name, is because people usually eat them fried or doused in oil!

There’s nothing like a good french fry. Am I right? Stew and I made these one night and became instantly obsessed.  They are just as crispy and flavorful as those naughty french fries we know and love but without the guilt! And to top it off, they’re super easy to make! I’ve even used this same method with sweet potatoes. I sprinkle those with some cinnamon which is amazing! I promise this recipe will replace any french fry recipe you’ve used in the past!

I start by cutting up the russet potatoes and soaking them in cold water for a few minutes. This removes some of the excess starch. Then, I take them out and spread them in an even layer on a kitchen towel. I roll it up like a jelly roll. They need to be very dry so they crisp up, so let them sit in that towel while you vacuum the house or feed the baby (in my case)!

Spread them on a cookie sheet, drizzle oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands. Spread them in an even layer so they’re each laying flat on a side. Pop them in the oven. Flip halfway through the cooking time. Remember to make sure they are laying flat on one of their sides. IMG_0509
Once they’re browned and crispy, take them out. Sprinkle them with a little more salt and pepper, if you’d like, while they’re hot. Dish them up and gobble them down with a big helping of ketchup! IMG_0524IMG_0531
No Fry French Fries
Serves 2-4 depending on the size of the potatoes
2 Russet Potatoes, cleaned and peeled
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Clean and peel the potatoes. Cut them into matchsticks. Soak them in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. This removes some of the excess starch. Spread them in an even layer on a kitchen towel. Roll it up like a jelly roll to dry the potatoes. Spread them in an even layer so they’re each laying flat on a side on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands. Bake for 25 minutes. Make sure to flip occasionally during the cooking time, and make sure they are laying flat on one of their sides. Once they are browned and crisp, remove from the oven. Sprinkle with some sea salt to taste.

Dresser Update

Everyone has this dresser! It’s either sitting in your parents’ house, or it’s in your house because they don’t want it anymore!dresser I have a set in my bedroom at my dad’s house. I do love them because they remind me of my childhood, but they definitely don’t match my decor!

This baby has been sitting in our closet for 3 years. We keep it because we need the storage! It never dawned on me to repaint it, because it has that thick shiny surface that nothing sticks to…until now! This primer is a miracle. You don’t even need to sand the piece you’re painting! It truly sticks to any surface! Once I discovered it, I went back to the store and bought their whole supply! This is what I did:
1. Lay drop cloth down on bathroom garage floor.
2. Remove all handles and throw away because they’re terrible
3. Place all drawers face up on the drop cloth.
4. Spray with primer and let dry (It took 1 1/2 cans for this piece)
5. Choose two colors of spray paint. This is what I used (primer on left and cream and gray paint on the right)IMG_1146
6. Spray entire dresser with base color (I used gray) and let dry.
7. Tape the dresser if you want a design. I chose to do stripes on the sides and top.
8. Spray with top color (I used a cream color).
9. Pull off tape.
10. Replace draw handles (make sure to measure!!).
11. Admire you’re amazing work!
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It’s missing a few handles. They only had one pack at Target, and I needed two! For an added touch, I found bins at Target that fit PERFECTLY into my top drawer. This helps everything stay in its place and look organized. Note** You don’t need to organize your underwear by color, I’m just a bit obsessive! :o)IMG_1145Supply List:
1. 2 cans Majic All Purpose Enamel Spray Primer-Found at Tractor Supply
2. 2 cans of spray paint (1 of each color you choose)
3. Drawer handles (make sure to measure from hole to hole)
4. Painter’s tape
5. Drop cloth
6. Bins to organize drawer (optional)
7. Face mask (this stuff stinks!)

Coffee Nook

One of our projects over the weekend was creating a coffee nook in the kitchen. We found this old piece at a consignment furniture store. It looked so beat up, but I had a vision. We used our amazing Majic Spray Paint Primer that sticks to ANYTHING. Then, we used 1 1/2 cans  of Valspar La Fonda Mirage Spray Paint. Once it dried, we took it in and set up all of our goodies! Slide1Here’s a close up of JUST the coffee bar, so you can get a good view.IMG_0801I am so excited to wake up and drink my coffee every morning! It’s amazing how simple and inexpensive changes can make such a huge difference!

 

 

 

Linguine with Avocado “Alfredo” Sauce

I am a huge fan of pasta. There’s nothing like a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs after a busy day! The only problem is that a meal like that leaves me feeling very heavy and uncomfortable. This recipe is the perfect comfort food without all the cheese and guilt!

I love rice pasta. I honestly can’t tell the difference. That’s pretty much the only kind of pasta we eat at our house! My husband loves it too. At least he likes it better than the whole wheat I would try to give him! I even made rice pasta for my father in law when he was here once and didn’t tell him until AFTER! He said he couldn’t tell a difference. Ok, are you sold yet?? Plus, eating a lighter dinner saves room for ice cream!

My husband loves pasta with alfredo sauce. I’ve never been a fan of creamy sauces on anything. So this is the perfect compromise! It’s so rich and creamy, yet it’s full of healthy fat and doesn’t weigh us down. Plus, I add a little crispy prosciutto on top which makes everything better!

I start by baking the prosciutto and tomatoes in the oven.IMG_0293 IMG_0298

While those bake, I cook the pasta and make the sauce.IMG_0299

I mix the sauce and the pasta together, adding some pasta water to thin it out. Then, I plate it in big white bowls and top it with the crispy prosciutto, tomatoes, parmesan and parsley. IMG_0309This is a flavor explosion! It’s definitely one of our favorite pasta dishes. I hope you enjoy it!

Linguine with Avocado “Alfredo” Sauce- Serves 4

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 slices prosciutto
1 10 oz pack of grape tomatoes
4 servings brown rice linguine
2 avocados
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
salt
pepper
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
chopped parsley for garnish
shredded parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place 4 slices of prosciutto on a cooling rack. Place the rack onto a sheet pan to catch any fat that drips off. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp. In the meantime, place grape tomatoes on another sheet pan and drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and begin to pop.

Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine avocados, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour the avocado sauce into a large bowl. Using tongs, add the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the avocado sauce. Use the tongs to mix well. Use more pasta water to thin out the sauce if you’d like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Plate the pasta in large bowls and top with crumbled prosciutto, tomatoes, some parmesan cheese, and parsley.

5 Month Must Haves

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Chicco High ChairWe originally registered for the high chair you can just put on a regular chair, but a friend of mine gave me this high chair. I love it! It has a final outer layer so food comes off easily. It folds up easily and has a place to attach the food tray for easy storage and travel. It’s an investment but definitely worth it!

Baby Bullet I always planned on making my own baby food but never really thought through the process. My mom and grandmother got me this for my birthday, and it is incredible! It’s small so I can store it in my cabinet. I pick one veg a week, steam it, blend it, pour it in the little happy cups, and BOOM, a week’s worth of food DONE! When I’m feeling lazy, I just blend an avocado with some breast milk and that’s a wrap. I feel so good about using this, because I know exactly what Turner’s eating, and I can choose the best ingredients for him! Now that my CSA farm share comes each week, I usually just pick a nice organic veg from there for him (last week was asparagus).

Soother Ring Teether Turner’s teeth are gonna come in an day or week or month now! He drools so much that he soaks through two bibs a day! He is constantly chewing on his fingers and hands. I pop this baby in the fridge and hold it in his mouth for him to chew. At first, he wasn’t crazy about it, but he’s starting to like it more! It’s BPA free and dishwasher safe which is nice!

California Baby SPF 30+ Fragrance Free Sunscreen It’s that time of year! Turner has such sweet baby skin that I want to protect it every chance I get! This is a bit more expensive, but I think it’s worth it. It has no toxins and doesn’t burn in the eyes. So far, he’s done well with it!

Genji Pop Up Tent Stew, Turner, and I went to the beach a few weekends ago. We were prepared, so I thought. I brought the beach caddy, a blanket, towels, chairs, our new tent, a diaper, and an almost empty pack of wipes. Well, Turner had a poopsplotion on the way, which didn’t worry me too much since his poops have been a bit more solid lately. So, we find a primo spot, load up the caddy, and walk onto the beach. I lay Turner down to change his diaper, and two wipes were NOT gonna cut it. Poop everywhere…on Turner, his blanet, my hands, my leg! I cleaned him up enough and put on his new diaper. Next, on to tent assembly. I got this great SPF tent from Bed Bath & Beyond. It looked simple enough…WRONG! Stew’s trying to set it up while I’m reading the directions. It’s one of those tents you have to thread the long sticks through the holes, like an actual tent. Definitely not something I could do alone! Needless to say, after our beach debacle trip, I returned that baby to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought this Genji pop up tent. AMAZING! I practiced popping it up and breaking it down a few times in the house. I feel confident that Turner and I can handle this when we venture back to the beach!

Nesting Much???

Oh my word, I’m usually an organized person, but I’ve taken it to a whole new level lately. I’ve been in full on organize everything in my house/life/computer/office mode! I never really had the nesting instinct when I was pregnant, probably because I’m nesting every day of my life, but I would imagine this is what it feels like! I am determined to go through every single room in my house and have a basket/bin/jar/label for every single thing (hence my Target trip)!

This weekend, Stew and I went on a major organization/remodel spree! We painted the front porch floor, the fireplace, my dresser, a wall in our room, a kitchen hutch, a night table, and installed window trim and chair rail in 2 days! It started when I found this incredible primer spray paint at Tractor Supply that sticks to EVERYTHING (on left).IMG_1146 I’m not joking. It has changed my life forever. It literally takes 5 minutes to prime a piece of furniture! I am so excited to share all of my projects! I took pictures of everything. It’s just a matter of getting them up. Look forward to some home improvement posts in the next few days!

The Day We Lost Our Keys in Target…

Last night, after work, we decide to take a trip to Target. I’ve been in full on Spring cleaning/organize everything mode, and Target has some great baskets! We spend a solid hour walking through the isles and gathering goodies that are on my checklist.

We finally make our way to the check out line. As we’re walking to the door Stew says, “got the keys?” At which point I reply, “no. You never gave them to me”. We go back and forth trying to convince the other that they have the keys. I finally come to and realize I DID HAVE THE KEYS, they’re just not on me! Oh boy…mommy brain is in full force at this point. I completely forget what I did with the keys as soon as we walk in the doors, but I remember them jingling in my hands. So Stew and Turner wait in the food court, guarding our cart full of baskets and pretzel chips and ice cream, while I retrace my steps (luckily Turner loves Target).PicShellsbaby
No luck…

Then we switch roles. As Stew’s walking through the store, my mind is racing trying to remember where I put the stinkin keys!! Then, IT HITS ME!!! We switched shopping carts by the picture frames!! I call Stew and tell him my revelation! I stay on the phone while he roams the isles looking for the shopping cart. And then….HE FINDS THEM!! What a relief! It’s a good thing he and Turner are both patient men, otherwise I would have to hear about this all night! Of course, I could always use the excuse, HEY, I BORE AN 8 AND A HALF POUND BABY GIVE ME A BREAK!oops

 

 

Sleep Training/Schedule

Definitely read the post below. But HERE is my most recent sleep training post since I’ve had my daughter. It’s much more detailed!

I just talked to a friend of mine about sleep training. Our conversation prompted this post. It’s definitely NOT easy! In fact, it’s probably used as a form of torture in some countries! I started sleep training around 5 weeks. Some would argue that it’s too soon, but I say it’s never to soon to get on a schedule! Honestly, when you’re in that phase of parenting, I feel like anything that can comfort you and give you hope is worth a shot!

I started reading Preparation for Parenting by Gary Ezzo (author of On Becoming Baby Wise) when Turner was about 2 weeks old. It gave me comfort that SOME DAY my baby would sleep! I talked to two women who read this book and implemented the sleep routine at an early age too. Their advice was, “babies cry! It’s their way of expressing themselves” and my nurse’s advice was “If you’ve fed him, changed him, he’s not cold or hot, them put him down and let him cry for 15 minutes. He won’t hurt himself. You’ll go crazy if you don’t!”

Needless to say, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do! I would let him cry for MAYBE 5 minutes at first. I’d pick him up, he’d stop crying, I’d put him down and he’d start again. I basically did this during his whole “nap time” for a few weeks. I would let him go a few more minutes each week. Eventually, his crying went from lasting the whole nap (with me picking up and putting down) to lasting 15 minutes and then passing out, to lasting 5 minutes and passing out. He got to the point where I would put him down and he would just fall asleep without making a sound!

People can’t believe how “content” Turner is! The girls that watch him at my gym say how he’s content when he’s by himself and plays on his own. My in laws can’t believe it either! They are amazed at how calm he is. Now, he was not always that way! When he was first born, he was eating every hour to hour and a half. Stew and I were sleeping in 30 minute increments. I really didn’t think I’d survive. I had to use a pacifier to stretch out his feedings (also my nurse’s advice). It took a few weeks for the pacifier/sleep training to set in. But it is the BEST thing I’ve ever done. Turner started sleeping through the night (8:00pm to 7:00 am) around 10 weeks. I attribute it to the sleep training. He will wake up and fall right back to sleep on his own and he is such a happy baby!IMG_0070

Here is a sample of our daily schedule now at 5 months as a work at home/breastfeeding mom…

7:00 am Turner wakes up (in his own room and crib) talking to himself. I change him and then feed him in my bed.IMG_0913
7:30 He sits in his Boppy next to me in bed while I pump and drink coffee :o)
8:30-10:30 He naps while Mommy gets some work done. If he wakes up early, he likes to do tummy time and roll around in his play gymIMG_0587IMG_1103
10:30 Change Turner, breastfeed, give Turner his veggies (which I make with the Baby Bullet and completely recommend–this week is zucchini)!photo
11:00-12:00 Turner hangs out in the office with Mommy working and listening to music.
12:00-2:00 Turner naps while Mommy works
2:00-3:30 Change Turner, breastfeed, take a walk/play, get some work done.
3:30-5:00 Turner plays in his bouncy seat while Mommy works.
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5:00-6:00 Change Turner, breastfeed, second helping of veggies. Turner sits in his high-chair while Mommy makes dinner.
6:00-7:00 Daddy comes home and plays with Turner. Mommy and Daddy eat while Turner sits at the table in his high-chair.
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7:00-7:30 Bath time
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7:30-Mommy and Daddy read Turner a book, sing him some songs and give him his night time bottle (5 oz. pumped)
8:00 Mommy and Daddy watch TV and eat ice cream. Currently our favorite shows are Flashpoint and The Voice (even though there are new coaches). Mommy pumps before bed. IMG_1100