Saturday, May 29, 2010

Garden Fresh--Homemade baby food

Lydia is now 3.5 months old--and will be eating table food shortly.  Sooo....I've decided to start making her baby food now before it gets too late :)

I went to the downtown Red Stick Market today and the produce stand earlier this week to pick up some wonderful fresh veggies.

I actually bought the "wrong" kind of squash.  Butternut Squash--what is that!?  Well I discovered those large pear shaped, gord like veggies today at market and picked some up.  In fact, they are baking in the oven right now :)

It's really not that difficult to make your own baby food, and it's much more economical in addition to much fresher.  I wouldn't eat jarred baby food, but this--is wonderful! 

I steamed the carrots and green beans, baked the sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  After it's cooked, throw it in a blender with the liquid from cooking and extra water, puree to right consistency, and pour.  Pour into ice cube trays.  One tray = 2 cups.  Each cube is approximately 1 oz. and there are 16 cubes per tray.  I originally only bought 3 trays, but returned to get more today.  They fill up quickly.  This is something you definitely want to do in "batches."

Once poured, cover the trays with saran wrap.  Freeze overnight.  Pop out cubes the next day.  Put in bags or other containers--labeled with contents and date.  It's that simple.  When ready to serve, remove cubes as needed.

She's already tried the carrots and really likes them!  I can't wait to experiment with mixing fruits and veggies and meats! 

Stay tuned for messy face pics :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Under Construction...

Just a small hint of what is to come :)Can't wait to get things going!  Stay tuned for more details........

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bar Keepers Friend --Review

Well, I may not be a Bar Keeper--but this stuff is definitely my friend--and I recommend you develop a relationship with it too :)

When we moved in our house almost five years ago (yes, five years--amazing!) we inherited the porcelin, stain-loving sink that came with it. Now--I love how deep and wide it is, but it sure LOVES tomato sauce, blueberries, and any other substance that stains.

I wonderful friend told me about Bar Keepers Friend. I LOVE this stuff! It's a powder cleanser like Comet, and it will clean any stain from porcelin, copper, brass, stainless steel, etc.

What it's great for:
  • my porcelin sink--just sprinkle in sink--and use brush or scouring pad--and without much effort--it's crisp and white :)
  • the stainless bathtub (or sink) faucets. Those get sooo crummy and scummy from the shower (sorry, no before and after pics of my shower or sink). Once again, sprinkle and scrub--and they are sooo shiny! I love it
  • Brass. This week we were cleaning our 750 sq. ft porch (needless to say--it's not done yet). Brett wanted to polish the door handles. He made a paste, applied it to the brass, let it "soak" and scrubbed it. You can see how beautiful they came out!
  • Stainless Steel Cookware. I finally purchased a small set of stainless steel pots/pans. Now besides the challenge of cooking on them (that's an entire post/internet search on it's own)--they stain. Sometimes they stain really badly. But a little BKF sprinkled--scrubbed with a brush--and they are shiny again in a snap!
    Brass door handles before cleaningBar Keeper's Friend applied After :) Brett-- you and your "friend" did a wonderful job! They look great :)

You can find Bar Keepers Friend at Bed Bath and Beyond (where I first purchased it), and now at Wal-Mart.

Let me know if you have used it! I'd love to hear your testimony :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Unloading Planks

I was recently thinking about life.... in particularly....the scars of life.

Everyone has experienced injury at one point or another. I have a nice scar to my right knee from when I was nine and attempted to jump off the top of a barbed-wire fence. I ended up hanging from it instead! Or the scar to my right thumb from the glass that broke while washing it. And my most treasured "scar" of the stretch marks that "earned" me a beautiful baby girl! All of these physical marks--are reminders--of various events in my life.

But not only have we all experienced physical injury, but I would have to say emotional injury as well. We've been hurt by family, friends, church leaders, co-workers, etc. etc. etc. But choosing to look at the "scars" and have them consume you can be dangerous.

Forgiveness. The Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines Forgiveness as "the act of forgiving." Wow--that's profound :) So what is "Forgiving"?

Forgiving--allowing room for error or weakness

Wow--what a great definition! We all have a choice.... to forgive or not to allow room for error and weakness in other's lives .... or not to.

I am typically a pretty forgiving person and don't have a tendency to hold grudges, and recently I examined "why." What makes it easy for me to forgive others when I see so many around me have difficulty doing so? For starters, I think that when I'm hurt by another--typically I think--"they know not what they do." Most people do not make their morning TO DO lists and include "hurt someone today." It just happens. Hurting people--hurt other people.

But more importantly, I guess I am often reminded of Jesus and the forgiveness that He has extended to me. While I was yet a sinner--He died for me (Romans 5:8 paraphrased). Or what about the charge to forgive others and He will forgive us (Matthew 6:14--paraphrased). How can those words just be ignored?

"But I've been wronged!" I am sure you have. It is probably true... you have been mistreated, possibly abused, lied about, misused.... There is no denying your hurt or abuse. Never should injuries be made light of or made smaller than they are, but I have always found that I have no other choice but to forgive the offender in spite of the injury.

Forgiveness does not mean to trust the offender again. It does not mean they were right. It does not mean you have to be best friends again. It simply means that you do not hold them in contempt any more. It means that you simply choose to allow for error and weakness in others' lives. It's choosing not to stare at the scar and make it your focus. Because if you do--it can consume you. It is often a process....taking step by step. And it's definitely not always easy.

"But, But...." There will always be a "but...what about....?" That's when I am reminded--to take the plank from my own eye before attempting to locate and point out the speck in another's eye. When I reflect on my own life, I definitely need for others to allow for "error and weakness" in my life. What "right" do I have not to extend the same to others?

I've been hurt. I've been abused, mistreated, lied about, but I'm going to make a choice-- to (1 Peter 4:8) to love deeply--because love covers a multitude of sins. God is my defender, my attorney--and I just need to plead the fifth and allow him to speak on my behalf.

He will justify me (and has) and if not now...then one day in eternity. Until then, I've got to get busy unloading my planks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zoo Trip

So, last Saturday, we wanted to have a little "outdoor" activity. We planned with some friends to go to the Baton Rouge Zoo. Granted--the sun was shining and it looked absolutely beautiful. I balked at the fact Lisa's son's baseball game was being cancelled that afternoon because of "bad weather." Hump. Looks fine to me.

So we packed up... to meet the Gibsons.....forgetting umbrellas, towels, etc. because after all it was such a beautiful day! ha! I think Lydia knew what was coming. She had this lovely disposition the entire time. No smiles. Just calm, cool, and collected. Mark and Brett read about the birds, while I stared at the darkening sky. I think we should have brought the umbrella!Thankfully, Dana had been to the zoo many times before--and knew where the closest shelter was. So when the downpour came, we ended up hanging out with the otters and nutria for a while, but at least we had some protection from the rain since we were already rather soaked by this point. But Lydia knew no difference!Lydia loves her Snugli! She refuses to sleep in a stroller, so I have learned to pack the Snugli carrier in times like these (especially after I ended up carrying her 1/2 mile around LSU lakes while pushing the stoller one day--while she was screaming. What fun!) Daddy loved carrying her!The new tiger exhibit. Aren't they beautiful!? And this picture was taken through the viewing glass!
Madeline was the smart one--the only one with a hat!Beautiful Caroline--before the rain! By the time we left, we were all pretty wet, and we dried off with extra bibs I found in the diaper bag!
So it wasn't the "best" zoo trip ever--but as I like to say "We're just making memories!" Memories I won't forget! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daddy's Pretty Princess :)

We have been so blessed! We thank the Lord every day for such a wonderful blessing. Sometimes I wonder--what did I do with all of my time before her?

How amazing that God entrusted two imperfect people with such a precious treasure. Oh, what a responsibility!
3 months old

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weeping may endure for the night....

....but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5

What joys do indeed come in the morning! Intense labor and 10 months of harsh changes in my body--surely brought forth JOY! Be encouraged--that trials do not last forever!
Lydia upon waking this morning : ) Definitely my JOY!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Awesome Mother's Day

I had such a wonderful week-end! In spite of the fact that I worked nights Friday and Sunday (and was exhausted all day Saturday)--It was awesome.
Brett planned a dinner out with another couple on Saturday night at Ruffino's (he said they had a gift certificate and were inviting us--smart man--because he knows I'm on a budget!)
He "lied" to me to get us to a friends house--where we dropped off Lydia. Surprise #1--a babysitter! I was near in tears because we haven't done anything together since she was born. I thought "wow" these men are great--planning for us two couples to have dinner together.

Surprise #2--We weren't meeting the other couple and we weren't going to Ruffino's! We went to French Market Bistro off Highland. When we got there we had a sweet corner table and there were roses and a card already placed! My husband is definitely the romantic planner. I was impressed.

Then we drove to Ville Platte yesterday and spent the day with my mom and two sisters and my neice. We had a great day. I brought a little basket of soap for all the ladies :)
My Surprise #3--was checking my "blogroll" this morning and finding that I won a gift certificate to The Vintage Pearl! I'm sooo excited. I've been reading Erin's blog for a long time and have enjoyed reading about her family and being inspired by her mompreneurship. This is a picture from her blog (hope she doesn't mind). So head on over and check out her awesome jewelry Thans Erin--you've definitely made my mother's day even better!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Snail Shirring Bonnets

I wanted to share a two sweet bonnets for Lydia. I actually made both of these bonnets before she was even conceived (I was hoping for the girl) :)
Both bonnets utilize a technique called "Snail Shirring." If you notice how the lace is gathered in kind of an S shape and attached to the bonnet--that is Snail Shirring. I learned this technique and made the bonnet with a kit from The Old Fashioned Baby. It is also hand embroidered on the top and ties with silk satin ribbons! Sooo sweet :)
The OFB was located in Baton Rouge. I spent many hours there visiting with ladies who love to sew beautiful heirloom garments. I learned so much there. I remember when I found out I was pregnant. I drove immediately there to purchase something wonderful to make for the new baby--and I found the "We're closed" sign on the door. I was devastated! I pressed my nose against the window and wanted to cry! I immediately called Jeannie. But....the good news is that she still has her online shop at
This bonnet was made with antique lace (also purchased at OFB). It was yellow, and I soaked it in Biz for a few days--and it came out like new. I also sewed a few pin tucks in the bonnet for variety. This bonnet is gathered in the back unlike the other one.
Jeannie, the owner and pattern designer, makes wonderful baby patterns and is an excellent teacher! I have purchased and made many beautiful heirloom items from her patterns--and they have by far some of the best instructions! (I hope she reads this!) I will post other gowns later.

You can also visit Jeannie's blog for tips and techniques for sewing heirloom garments.
Now--isn't this little girl soooo sweet. Look at that nose and those eyelashes!
Oh, how we love her!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sweet Sleep!

That's my sweet baby girl.....sleeeeeping!

For the last week and a half--baby girl has been sleeping for 9 hours at night! Woo hoo! It's amazing the growth and changes that can occur in just a few weeks. She goes to sleep much easier than before and sleeps longer. What more could I ask for?

I know she's sleeping in the "taboo" sleeping position. But since she was 6 weeks old, she would NOT sleep on her back. We flipped her....and it made all the difference in the world. She loves being on her belly. When Lydia's happy --Moma's happy.

Like those crib sheets? Those are easy to make! Maybe I'll post a little tutorial tomorrow (although you could do an easy search online to find others if I don't get to it ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Where oh where has the time gone? Going back to work has definitely been a challenge. I was just beginning to get the hang of everything--then I went back to work. The "stack" has grown again and I feel like I need to hire a babysitter just to catch up. I am determined though--to conquer the schedule! :)

Last week-end I had the opportunity to be "Nana" and hang out with some of my favorite people. One of my fondest memories of childhood is making cookies every week-end (or it seemed that way). I still have the old cookbook pictured above that I used to use as a little girl, and I pulled it out recently to make a batch.

But with my little Annie Lauren over we decided to go the "short" way (especially because it was 10 pm!)--and make "bag" cookies. Actually, the Betty Crocker bag cookies are pretty good.....especially if you add a few special ingredients. I start with the chocolate chip cookie mix, add more chocolate chips, nuts, and the secret ingredient---toffee bits. Everyone thinks they are the best cookies. And oh soo easy. Easy enough for a 1st grader.

And this was her first ever batch of cookies! She was sooo proud! We both wore cute aprons, and she even shared the cookies with her brother! :) I can't wait until Lydia grows up so we can bake together, too.

Speaking of Lyida--She's growing up soo fast. She's oohing and ahhing a lot more and starting to laugh out loud a little. It's really amazing how fast they grow. I want to cherish every moment now because I know this season won't last long.

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About Me

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Hey--It's me. I'm a simple, crafty, adventure loving wife and mom who loves to learn about almost anything. I enjoy the blogging community and love learning and growing from reading other's experiences. I became an RN (after being a teacher) and then realized I had lost the creative outlet of my classroom. I've always enjoyed arts and being creative, so I began sewing, smocking, soap making, and delving into other new hobbies! :) I live with my wonderful husband who is my best friend and our sweet little girl. Together we have entrusted our lives to Christ and His purposes. So through this blog, I invite you to walk along with me and my family through our daily adventures!