Back to School

I can’t believe it’s almost back to school time! I always feel nostalgic this time of year. I still remember the beginning of the year jitters as a teacher like it was yesterday! August, to me, always means the start of fall. I’m beginning to get super psyched for the cool nights, apple crisp, and sitting on the porch with a blanket and candles.

Time seems to be FLYING by! Before I know it, Turner will be getting his back to school clothes and backpack for the school year! But, for now, he’s all mine…which is why we started “Babygarten”. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spending all day with this cute little munchkin! But, honestly, it’s time to socialize.

Babygarten is a class at our library. We meet one morning a week for about an hour and sing songs and read a book. Turner isn’t a big fan yet. He seems to be bothered by the large crowd, everyone clapping, and babies running amok. Then again, who wouldn’t be?

Turner and his friend, Lola, are in the class together. Which means the mommies get some time together!
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Now, Lola is as pretty as she can be. And, I’m sure in a few years, Turner will be in love with her. But, at the moment, he’s a bit intimidated by her. It’s probably because she likes to bounce up and down on her knees waving her hands in his face like she’s putting him under a spell! I can’t wait to show them this picture when they’re in high school!
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This past class was a little better. There were no tears! Turner seemed to be better at socializing. Although, in the beginning, he crawled AWAY from the crowd to the corner to play with a toy.
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I had to pick him up and put him in the mix. He might be shy like his daddy when he grows up!
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This class is a hilarious break from real life. It’s like we are transported to a happy little bubble full of nursery rhymes and “YAAAAAAY”s. Plus, there’s so much baby chunk in one room that I can’t HELP but love it! We only have a few classes left, but I hope Turner warms up to the other munchkins in the room!

Babyproofing the House

We knew this day would come. It was only a matter of time. Turner has gotten really good at scooting everywhere. I definitely can’t take my eyes off him for too long, or he’ll be getting into trouble. Yesterday, it became real. He’s crawling! It just HAPPENED. I had a book that he wanted, and BAM, he crawled to me!

So, this weekend, it’s time to baby proof! Where to begin?! I did a walk through of the house. We don’t really have too many hard corners, so I think we’re good there (for now). So, I counted up our outlets, plugs, and general “danger zones” and made a list! Hope this is helpful for you too!

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Outlet Cover (if something is plugged in at all times)
Outlet Plugs for unused outlets (16 downstairs & 8 upstairs)
Cabinet Door and Drawer Locks-kitchen, bathrooms, cleaning closets, desks, etc (14 doors 4 drawers)
Baby Gate (2)
Oven Door Lock
Bath Spout Cover (works if your shower diverter is on top of the spout)
Corner Cushion on hard edges (tables, windowsills, etc)
Power Strip Safety Cover for entertainment centers/computer areas (works with regular plugs, not big bulky ones)

Safety Notes:

  • check smoke detectors in every sleeping area.
  • carbon monoxide detector on each floor.
  • unplug appliances when not in use

Feel free to share your baby proofing experiences too! I’d love to hear them.
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Bath Time

I absolutely love bath time. It’s got to be my favorite part of the day. No matter what kind of day we’ve had, Turner always looks forward to his bath.
Once he started sitting up, we would sit him in his baby bathtub with his butt behind the hump. That worked well for a while, because he was still supported. He was starting to get a little uncomfortable, so we just recently starting sitting him in the big tub with just a few inches of water. He loves it even more. He loves to splash around and play with his toys. I took some pictures to capture his cuteness!
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Hope you enjoyed sharing in our bath time fun!

Sunday Randomness

It rained on Sunday, a lot. We were gonna go to the beach, but the clouds rolled in. So, we did a bunch of random things to make the best of our rainy Sunday together. We started with our daily morning snuggle session in bed.
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Then, we headed downstairs to eat breakfast. Turner had his oatmeal with peaches and blueberries. Then, he snacked on some watermelon while I made Paleo French Toast (recipe to come).
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Turner went down for his morning nap, and Stew and I cleaned the house and did laundry…two of my favorite things (no, I’m not kidding).
When Turner woke up, we headed to Babies R Us to use my gift certificate that I’ve had since before he was born (sorry Zhenya and Kelly)! The high point of my day was trying the new Orange Spice Iced Coffee from Starbucks! I don’t know how it’s possible to put this time of year into a flavor, but THAT was it! It was bright and summery, yet had the spice of fall (which I’m already planning for)!
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On our shopping spree, we came across those foam letters you put on the floor. In my past life, I told myself I would never own a toy that was so brightly colored, but alas, we were in need. Our rug is SO hard and uncomfortable (beauty is pain) that I needed to put some sort of cushioning down for Turner to play on! So, here it is…
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I actually do love it, and so does Turner. Isn’t that all that matters? I’ll have my house back someday! We had a great rainy Sunday. We played, ate, napped, and relaxed. Sometimes, rainy days are good for the soul!

Paleo “Spaghetti” with Sausage and Peppers

I know I’ve been posting a lot of food lately, but that’s about the most exciting thing we’ve got going on in our house. Turner is teething AGAIN. This time, it’s his top teeth. He is NOT a happy camper. He’s been waking up the past 3 nights, every half hour, moaning/crying. Luckily, I haven’t had to get out of bed. He just sort of drifts back to sleep. Poor baby. So, cooking makes me happy and calms my nerves! Therefore, that’s what you get!

A few days ago, Stew decided he wanted to try the paleo diet (after we just bought 3 loaves of bread). This all stemmed from this program my mom and stepdad were watching when they babysat last week. It was about the “perfect” diet. I’ve been seeing a ton of yummy looking paleo recipes on Pinterest, so I figured, why not!? I love any excuse to use funky ingredients to make a meal. Hell, I did the raw food thing for months! So you’ll be a part of my experimenting!

I saw a recipe for crock pot sausage and peppers over spaghetti squash. So, I made my spin on that. I didn’t use the crock pot at all. I feel like it would have turned to mush if I did. So I made a sort of spaghetti with meat-sauce meets sausage and peppers dish. Again, I was experimenting. But it came out DELICIOUS! Spaghetti squash is such an underrated vegetable (fruit?). It was light and delicious but had that sort of comfort food feel.

I started by cutting the squash in half lengthwise. Ok, to be honest, Stew cut it. That sucker isn’t easy to cut through! I filled a casserole dish with about 1/2 inch of water and placed the squash cut-side down in the dish. I used the tip of a knife (a fork would be safer) to poke some holes in the skin. I covered with foil and baked at 400°F for 45 minutes.
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In the meantime, I made the sauce. I chopped the peppers, onion, and garlic, and sauteed them in a dutch oven for about 5 minutes. While the veggies cooked, I removed the sausage from its casings and had them ready to go!
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I took the pepper mixture out to rest and popped the sausage in that same dutch oven. I used a hard spatula to break up the sausage into tiny pieces and cooked them until they were no longer pink. Then, I added the jar of sauce and pepper mixture back in. I let it cook on low for another 5 minutes.

Once the squash was finished, I used a fork to scrape all of the flesh into a bowl. I dished out the squash and topped with the sausage and peppers sauce. It was so good! I’m glad we have leftovers 😮 You’ll have to let me know what you think when you try it!
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Paleo “Spaghetti” with Sausage and Peppers
Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
3 links hot Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce
basil for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Fill a casserole dish with about 1/2 inch of water, and place the squash cut-side down in the dish. Use a fork to poke some holes in the skin. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, heat Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Slice 1/2 an onion and peppers into long strips, and sautée for 5 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper over the pepper mixture. Mince a clove of garlic and add to peppers and onions. Cook one more minute.

While the peppers and onion are cooking, remove sausage from its casing. Take onion and pepper mixture out of the Dutch Oven and put on a plate. Add sausage to the same pot and break up with spatula into small pieces. Cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

Add the jar of sauce and pepper mixture to the Dutch Oven. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 5 minutes.

Once squash is finished, remove from oven. Let cool so it’s easier to handle. Use a fork to scrape the flesh into a bowl. Divide quash among 4 bowls and top with sausage and pepper sauce. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Eggplant, Pear, and Plum Puree

My lovely friend, Cara, and I were trading baby food recipes a few weeks back. She said that eggplant and pear was a favorite in her house. I never thought of that flavor combination! I bought an eggplant and a few pears the other day. We had some plums in the house that were starting to get soft, so I decided to mix them in! It turned out delicious. I’m seriously thinking of starting a baby food business!

Whenever I make baby food, I always use organic. Turner has such a perfect little system, I don’t want to junk it up! To me, it’s worth the extra few bucks. I also have a little potato brush that I use to clean all of his fruits and veggies before I peel them. I like to be extra safe.

My recipe calls for the pear to be steamed. I only did that because it was hard as a rock! If it was super ripe and soft, you could just peel it, cut it up, and throw it in the blender with the cooked eggplant. The plums were very soft. So I just peeled them, cut them up, and threw them in the blender without cooking them. I really think your little ones will love this! Let me know what you they think!

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Eggplant, Pear, & Plum Puree 
Yields 2 cups
1 medium eggplant, washed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pear, washed, peeled, and cut into chunks
2 plums, washed, peeled, and cut into chunks

Fill a large steamer basket with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, peel and chop the veggies and fruit. Place the eggplant and pear in the steamer basket (Note: if you have a very ripe pear, you don’t have to cook it. You can just peel and blend once you’re done cooking the eggplant. My pear was rock hard, so I steamed it). Cover and let boil for 15 minutes, or until eggplant is easily pierced with a fork. Pour the cooked veggies and fruit into a large blender (I used a Vitamix). Add the plum pieces and blend until smooth. I blended it on high so that the little seeds in the eggplant were pulverized. Hope your munchkin enjoys!
*Remember to introduce one new fruit or vegetable at a time for at least 3 days to ensure that there are no allergies.

Weekend Recap

I love our weekends. Not because they’re particularly exciting, but because I love our time together as a family! We usually do a lot of stuff around the house: cooking, cleaning, Pinterest projects, etc. This weekend was no different. We wanted to go the the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, but we got rained out (surprise surprise). So, after Turner’s morning nap, we opted for a Whole Foods trip. We planned out our meals for the week and made our grocery list. Whole Foods is always a good time!

Later that night, we had a super duper date night lined up. Stew’s parents got us a gift certificate for Husk a few months ago for our anniversary. We were thrilled! We’ve been trying to get in there for months! We got decked out and hired Gigi and Paw Paw (my mom and stepdad) to babysit!
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Our dinner was nothing short of amazing! First of all, the restaurant is in this old Charleston house. When we walked in, there was a HUGE chalkboard (I was obviously excited) with their ingredients and which local farm they got them from! We sat on the second floor balcony. It wasn’t hot at all, and there was a nice breeze blowing. We started off with wine and some homemade rolls with bourbon infused butter (SO GOOD). My first course was an heirloom tomato and pole bean salad with local goat cheese and homemade ricotta salata. FLAVOR CENTRAL.

Stew started off with a sweet corn soup with blue crab, fennel, and squash. YUM

Then, we moved on to our main courses. I had the flounder with blue crab and local carrots. Stew indulged in a wagyu sirloin with fingerling potatoes.


We also got a skillet of cornbread which was cooked with bacon. Wow. We were stuffed! It was the perfect date night; eating great food in my favorite town in the world!

Sunday, we got a wild hair and decided to do some weeding in the backyard. We had a TON of mulch that we had to put down.mulchphoto
So off we went, on our hands and knees, pulling a zillion weeds out of the garden. I must say, it was a lot of work, but it looks amazing now! Just a side note, if you’ve ever wondered how to have your baby outside while you’re doing things, like lawn work, but don’t want him to get eaten by mosquitoes, put a crib sheet on top! GENIUS! My husband is quite a thinker.
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So after a few hours, we cleaned up. Hmmm…how can we end our weekend? How about a trip to Target? So we packed up for a little walk around Target. As you can see, Turner was just as excited as I was!
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I could walk around there all day. They have their back to school stuff out already! I always love this time of year. I’m already thinking of decorating for Fall…I know I know, it’s still Summer. I can’t help it if I Live in fast-forward!

We ended the night with our usual dinner, porch swing, bath-time routine. There was a little twist. Turner decided he didn’t want to sit down in his tub. He preferred to stand. And honestly, how could we say no to this face?!
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We hope you had a great weekend!

Sweet Potato, Corn, & Apple Puree

I am all about making Turner amazing food! He is such a foodie already! I’ve been making all of these great concoctions that I’ve wanted to share but haven’t had time to photograph! His absolute favorite is kale, apple, and carrot puree with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I threw in a little barley last night and he gobbled it up!

He’s been eating a lot of the same veggies lately, because I usually give him what’s in season. Today, I wanted to create a new combo. I already had some organic granny smith apples and corn from our farm share that I needed to use. We took a trip to Whole Foods to see what looked good! We found some nice sweet potatoes that I thought would pair perfectly! He’s had all of these separately, but not in one puree. So home we went to steam away!

I know it seems daunting to make homemade baby food. But, if you make a HUGE batch over the weekend, you have baby food for the week! When I make a big batch, I keep about 3 days worth in the fridge and then freeze the rest in these baby food trays. Each cube is about 1 oz. I pop a few out into a tupperware overnight to defrost in the fridge. That way, I have a few more servings ready to go!

When I make a big batch of food like this, I throw everything into my giant steamer basket and then into my Vitamix.
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It makes cooking things like this a lot easier! The main difference between the vitamix and other blenders is the tamper (big black thing used to smash everything down). I use it to mash all the food down while it’s blending so that everything gets incorporated. It’s definitely expensive, but it’s worth the investment! Hope your little ones enjoy!
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Sweet Potato, Corn & Apple Puree
Yields 4 to 5 cups (depending on size of potatoes)

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 ears corn,shucked and cut off the cob
2 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Fill a large steamer pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, peel and chop the veggies and fruit. Place all of the pieces in the steamer basket. Cover and let boil for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Pour the cooked veggies, fruit, and cinnamon into a large blender (I used a vitamix), and blend until you reach your desired consistency. If you want a thin purée, use a bit of the steaming liquid to thin it out.If you are not using a vitamix, you will want to stop every so often to scrape down the sides of the blender. Hope your munchkin enjoys!

*Remember to introduce one new fruit or vegetable at a time for at least 3 days to ensure that there are no allergies.

Boating Extravaganza

I absolutely adore our supper club. Not only is it a chance to talk to people who don’t speak Baby, but it’s also a time to be as festive as possible and eat GREAT food! We have such a blast every time we get together. Our July supper was hosted by Missy and Jody. They took us out on their boat for our 2nd Annual Boating Extravaganza Supper Club! Unfortunately, John and Kirsten couldn’t make it! So it was just three couples. They were definitely missed!

Jody was in charge of driving, and the rest of us were in charge of drinking. Annie and Jeremy brought the drinks, and they were DELICIOUS! Margaritas, beer, lemonade…what else do we need??
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The weather was absolutely gorgeous! It had been raining on and off all day, but once we got on the boat, there wasn’t a storm cloud to be seen! We rode around for quite a while. Here is a shot of the Ravenel Bridge as we approached. It was awesome seeing it from this angle.
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After at least an hour (I lost track of the time), we headed to Morris Island to set up our picnic. Missy and Jody brought the main course: chicken salad sandwiches, caprese sandwiches, coastal deli sandwiches, and an arugula, watermelon, and bleu cheese salad…YUM. It was a light and refreshing meal to pair perfectly with our sunny beach picnic!
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I was in charge of dessert. I wanted to make something that would travel well but would still go with a beachy theme. So I found a recipe for S’mores bites that was perfect!
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All in all, it was a great time! We drank, ate, and laughed A LOT. We took “honeymoon shots” and met strangers that made an impression that will last a lifetime, I’m sure.

Here’s one of many honeymoon shots that were taken that night…
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And here is a picture of Missy, Jody, Annie, and me (Stew and Jeremy were….swimming).
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This supper club was one for the books. It was a perfect break from reality! No phone-calls, no babies, no work…just friends!

7 & 8 Month Favorites

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1 Munchkin Food Feeder Holy moly, I love this thing! Turner loves it more. Currently, his favorites in the mesh feeder are watermelon and frozen peaches. He chews on them and sucks the juice out until they disintegrate! It’s so funny to watch.

2 Sun Protection Hat My mom got this for Turner in the orange color. It is so stinkin’ cute! It’s nice and thin, so his head doesn’t sweat like when he wears his other hats!

3 Float Activity Center with Canopy We have an awesome pool in our neighborhood. I ordered this puppy for him a few months ago, and he loves it! He likes to chew on the little toys that came with it. Sometimes, he’ll lean back on the head rest and just relax. I wonder if it comes in my size??

4 Huggies Little Swimmers As most of you know, we do cloth diapers. These are perfect for when we go to the pool, because I don’t want to ruin his diapers with the chlorine or have him sit in a 20 lb water logged diaper all day. So, little swimmers it is!

5 L*Space Rio De Janeiro Halter Top Wait…how did that get in there!? Oops…that one is definitely for Momma. Ok, I’m completely obsessed with this bathing suit. And come on, how often does one buy a new bathing suit!? I’ll tell you what, for this momma, it’s not often! Can’t a girl indulge once in a while?

6 Infantino Shopping Cart Cover I love this shopping cart cover. Shopping is so much easier now that I can pop Turner right into the shopping cart! This cover is super thin, so I can fold it up and put it in our diaper bag. I love the material! It also comes with a buckle that I can loop through the back of the shopping cart (since most of the buckles on shopping carts are broken). I even use it in high chairs at restaurants and as a play mat. It’s so perfect!