Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Look what I got Julia to eat!

That's right, I got her to eat spinach and broccoli pasta. Recipe below.

Getting Julia to eat vegetables has been a challenge. She has the teeth for it, she just doesn't like raw or plain vegetables, with the exception of sweet potatoes.

The second problem is getting me to eat more vegetables, mainly ones that she will also like. While we were at my dad's house she ate a ton of vegetables and I finally figured out why: They were served mixed in with other things or prepared in interesting ways. For example, she loved the kale we had. Granted, it was tempura battered and fried, but still, she ate more than most of the adults.

So I came up with simple solutions to get more veggies in our diet. This first way was simple and delicious and she was literally asking for more the entire time. I make big batches so that I can freeze some ( it's great make ahead meal that freezes well, especially with baby #2 on the way) and have another day or 2 of meals for us. Here is the recipe:

Broccoli and Spinach Pasta
1 TBL butter
1 TBL flour
1 cup milk (for a lighter sauce, use skim)
1/2 cup grated cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cooked pasta of choice, about1 cup uncooked (I recommend wheat or fortified pasta)
Vegetables of choice, chopped finely

Melt butter and stir in flour. Once it is smooth slowly add in the milk, using a whisk to get rid of chunks. Bring to a light boil so that it thickens. Reduce heat, add in cheese and salt, and voila! Sauce is ready.
Add in vegetables of choice and keep on low heat so they get soft. Add in cooked pasta and you're ready to go. With the extra pasta (if there is any) divide it into plastic bags portioned for your toddler and freeze. It reheats in about 1 min, stir after 30 seconds.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it is simple, completely flexible and healthy! I know that the makers of baby/toddler foods have the best intentions, but this is preservative free and way cheaper than buying pre-made food.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

But mom...

Julia is such a big girl now. People ask how old she is, and even though technically she is 14 months, I still tell people she is a year old. I'm not into telling my people my kid is 19 1/2 months old...what does that even mean?!

Here is Julia at 14 months:

She can identify about 10 different body parts, properly.
When watching Bubble Guppies or Blues Clues (her favs) she dances and claps along.
She loves to feed herself, even when stuff doesn't make it to her mouth.
She can properly tell us a few sounds that animals make, like a sheep says "baa baa"
When we say "time for prayer" she folds her arms
During lunch/dinner when I blow on her food to cool it down, she blows, too.
Dad taught her to blow kisses.
Fruit is her favorite and is an easy sell.
She does not like carrots. No matter how they are served.
Her and Walter are buds and she "plays" with him, i.e. chases him around the house giggling.
She is a teething monster...we're waiting for her last two to break through (we can see them), but other than that she has her whole row of teeth on top and bottom (minus her big kid molars).
We are bottle and pacifier free!
When we give her milk, she knows that it is nap time and heads upstairs. Willingly.
She does all of the motions we've taught her to "Monkeys jumping on the bed" which is adorable.
She is getting infinitely better at telling us what she wants, either by mumbling something that sounds like the word or pointing. The other day she pointed to a tylenol measuring cup to let us know her teeth hurt.
I feel like she is growing like a weed because she is already fitting into some of her 18 months clothes and we just went up another shoe size.
She is our cute little mimic.
She is learning to help cleanup (so nice).
This girl is the happiest girl (99% of the time) and we love love love her!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Party Planning 101.1

This is an ode to my mother who may be the best party thrower ever! Here are some preliminary tips on party planning...

The beginning stages

  1. Pick a theme. My mom is already planning, purchasing, and scheduling her Halloween Party. She has been in the works for quite some time, I'd say a good six months. Not all parties need this much advanced planning, but hers does. The theme this year is like an Old Hollywood/ celebrity theme. Once the theme is narrowed down it makes it super easy to start collecting decorations, invites, etc. 
  2. Start Collecting. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the last xyz at a store, then to find out that it can't be ordered in time. For Julia's birthday party I found the cutest little gift boxes at a garage sale in April as well as themed cupcake decorations at a post-Easter sale. If I had waited until June to get these things I probably would not have found what I was looking for or I would have had to of settled for the next best thing. I also purchased all of the table clothes, cups, plates, decorations a month in advance just to make sure we had it all and I didn't have to stress last minute. Seasonal items also tend to be available in greater supply months before the actual holiday.
  3. Make your guest list. Even having a tentative idea in your mind of how many people are coming will help with small last minute details. Try and send out a Save The Date card, text, FB invite, etc so that people have plenty of time to get work off so they can be there. This is especially important at catered events, like our Halloween Birthday party 2 years ago, or say, a wedding...
  4. Make a tentative menu. Start collecting recipes, advice, ideas, etc to help make food planning and preparation a breeze. I had my menu made about a month in advance for Jackson's baby shower and I was able to tweak it accordingly. I didn't have to stress about less thing.
I will stop here. These are the first 4 steps to a great party, but trust me there are more to come.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

4 Year Anniversary

Today is our anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful, amazing, loving husband!

4 years later...
...1 kid, 1 on the way
...2 dogs, 1 gone
...3 years in Utah
...4 fun filled anniversary celebrations

Brenan is the greatest and I'm so glad I married him 4 years ago! I love you.

3rd Anniversary in Arizona

 2nd Anniversary in Vegas

1st Anniversary in Colorado