Made-From-Scratch Baby Food Recipes.

I often have the "highlight reel" conversation about our Instagram because clearly the meltdown family photos and cardboard box shipping photos from the warehouse aren't the ones that attract new followers or get a lot of likes. But, the things I do share are the ones that are important to me, the ones that I love the most.

And it is true what they say about the meticulous level of care and caution provided to baby #1 vs baby #2 (and baby #3 in our case - who's featured here, love him!). I think part of it is parenting experience and knowing what to expect, while a lot of it is simply a lack of time and more focus on what is truly important. But, one thing I loved doing and truly believe made a difference for my little ones was making their own baby food.

It started when I tasted one of those dreadful pouches for myself. If you haven't done it I'd certainly recommend you give it a try. Another motivator was my quest to provide cleaner, more pure & organic ingredients and food choices for my family, right from the start. And as a third thought, I think exposing your children to fresh, new ingredients every day helps to make them more flexible and ambitious eaters for life.

While my "recipes" are always like my Grandmothers, teaching tips & discussions and loose approximations, instead of full recipes the below have been some of my favorite, simple combinations for you to try if you're looking to make your own baby food.

  • Peas + Mint
  • Sweet Potato + Sage
  • Apple + Cinnamon
  • Carrot + Nutmeg
  • Broccoli + Apple
  • Butternut Squash + Cinnamon
  • Spinach + Pineapple
  • Cherry + Pear + Kale

Other Baby Food Tips ....

  • For the purees I would simply steam the fruits + veggies and add them to the blender to puree. Sometimes I needed to add water to thin the puree and I'd add the water straight from the saucepan to take advantage of the nutrients. Add the fresh herbs at the end for a final puree.
  • For most ingredients I used fresh, organic fruits + veggies but for some things, like broccoli and peas I would go frozen (organic) as they're just as good and much easier sometimes.
  • I didn't have a lot of luck with fruits that browned easily - apples, pears + bananas - as the purees tended to brown quickly and taste not so great. And really, these tended to be the softer foods that I could mash with a fork and just feed to the kiddos with much less ease than a puree.
  • For the more "bitter" veggies, I tend to add a sweeter fruit component (like apple, pineapple, or peach) to jump up the flavor, while still keeping the nutrients and variation of adding another food to the mix
  • I make batches at a time one or two times per month. It goes more quickly and efficiently this way and gives you enough in the freezer to get you through.
  • Fresh herbs from the garden are such an easy way to amp up the flavor and give your babe a lot of flavor and variation from such simple ingredients.
  • This is in no way an endorsement but having tried everything from large ice cube molds to "baby food" containers, I loved this little squeeze pouch food system so, so much and I couldn't imagine making + storing baby food without it.
  • I would usually pair my purees with some organic brown oatmeal or plain yogurt to give a more complete meal.

Good luck - I'd love to know some of our favorite pairings and tips as well!

Also, be sure to take a peek at our new Baby + Child section on the site, including these Railroad Stripe and Bull Denim Bibs (which also come with the option of a great handstitched monogram as well)!

 

Photography by : Heidi Geldhauser / Silly Goose Photography

A Western-Inspired Nursery for my Little Cowboy

Since my youngest turns one next month (insert gasp + tears) I thought I would share a little glimpse into his nursery before he heads off to college. "The days are long but the years are short" really does ring true with your third.

Western Nursery Table
Giraffe and Crib
Giraffe and Hats

There is no space I love designing more than a nursery. It’s such an open book and allows you to have so much fun in the details. And, I believe it truly sets the tone for your little one when they’re just starting out. And with #3fourandunder I’ve had a lot of practice with nurseries over the last few years.

mom and newborn shot
newborn shot

Our youngest is Waylon and with an “outlaw” name like that, a western-inspired room was kind of a no-brainer in my book. Beyond his room, the inspiration for his room came from a vintage painting in my moms house that was painted by my great, great aunt of two men on horseback wandering through a prairie-like landscape. I love it and am still holding out hope that she’ll let me have it in his room at some point (hi Mom).

As you know, my thing is always about integrating heirloom pieces into your space in a way that doesn’t feel dated. These pieces bring your home to life and knowing the stories behind the pieces adds to the adventure when folks are touring your space.

Waylon’s space is one of my favorite rooms structurally in our house, it’s a cozy little room just off the master bedroom which has truly been the perfect place for him. The high roof and open rafter look with our shiplap just makes it feel cozy and sweet.

Hallway to Nursery
Hat Closeup
Nursery Window

The cowboy hats in the space line both sides of the bright window and we found them at the farm. Shane’s brother and cousin wore them growing up when they showed horses.

My always-neutral color palette helped bring everything together and cohesive, letting the tones and textures be the hero. A little bookcase and school-house chalkboard that was in my room growing up, with my guitar on the matching entrance wall welcome you upon entering. I cut out a few illustrated pages from a chapter book that belonged to my stepmom for display on the board, and the book sits on the shelf with her name (maiden) inside in third-grade type cursive writing. The book sits next to a row of vintage storybooks that my cousin recently gave me. They once belonged to my dad and his siblings and they are just so beautiful and special to me.

Heirloom Guitar
Vintage Storybooks
Vintage Picture Books

I always love functional but cute storage elements for a kids space and love using one of our Steele Canvas Baskets for toys, blankets and such. This sweet little rocking chair from my Great Aunt Ashley (my namesake) was also passed down to me and is often home to a monkey or teddy bear, depending on the day.

My mom sewed and hand-painted the strong little felt banner for his space, inspired by an old vinyl record. We’ve had so many comments on it that we just added these little banners to our site as part of our Southern Artisan Collection (thanks Mom) so you can have one too. And, the giraffes were gifted from my Dad, one for each of our first two children. We were holding our breath that a third one didn’t show up this go-around.

Steele Canvas Basket

As for the furniture, we moved this lengthy antique buffet table up from our dining room to sit in as a changing table. It’s the best one I’ve had, so much space and the perfect height, and I can stash the non-pretty essentials in the space below. I helped carry this up the stairs, so I really do appreciate it up here. We also inherited my Grandmother’s old campaign dresser, which once sat in a guest room in her home. It was originally a robins egg blue, but we painted it black to be a strong element in the room. I love the tarnished brass accents. This campaign-style has become especially popular over the last year or so, so we’re right on trend pulling in this classic piece.

Repurposed Buffet

I know we are so fortunate to have be passed down so many special treasures from our family before us. If this isn’t the case for you, start by checking out some pieces that family members may have (and be willing to part with) and think about how you could incorporate them in your own space. And, when you’re purchasing new pieces, consider at least buying one or two things that are truly special so your little one has something they could use in a nursery for their own children one day.

Now, onto planning a first-birthday party over here…

family portrait

A Winter Garden Party.

It's not every day you get to throw a 1st birthday party... I can't believe my sweet little Sawyer Rose is turning ONE next month. It seems like just yesterday I was sharing her newborn photos. But I am excited for the new milestone and to celebrate along with her.  Inspired by her middle name, Rose, we are hosting a little Winter Garden Party for her #1 and I couldn't {*couldn't*} be more excited.

After I got to pinning {because if you follow me, you KNOW I love pinning ...} I fell upon the theme almost instantly. And suddenly, my pinboard was alive and thriving - take a peek:

Winter Garden Party

Winter Garden Party 2

 

Floral headpieces are kind of a thing these days, especially in the wedding world, and what better to create for this special occasion.  I've been reading up on some DIY crowns, scouring the farm for greenery to use, and will plan to visit the wholesale market for fresh florals. Winter through me for a tiny loop, but I quickly realized there would be no lack of  greens & winter whites or blush florals this time of year. What blooms would you recommend?

Because I can't spill the beans yet on all of the fun festivities we have planned, I can share her invitation! It sets the stage for the theme of the event so perfectly, and is always the guests first impression of what they have to expect. So, I headed over to Minted to pick out the perfect invite. This invitation is perfection - I couldn't have designed it more perfectly if I had created it myself. I absolutely love the color palette,  and you know I love a good kraft design. And, you just have to see the floral design of the backside I chose {here} because I can't even handle it.

1st birthday invitation floral

I am currently looking for sea foam / mint dress for Sawyer to wear to her little party {so send them my way if you find something!} And, still working on the final details for her cake, hoping to perfect some long-lost decorating skills because you know it must be homemade in my house!

Can't wait to share the full birthday with you and celebrate my sweet Sawyer turning 1!

 

Special thanks to my friends at Minted who helped to contribute to Sawyer's party invitations and decor through our collaboration! Minted is authentically my go-to for invitations, cards & more because the designs are so fresh and the process is so super fast and easy. This busy mom + business owner appreciates that combo - thanks Minted! x

Sawyer's sweet birth announcements {and a minted giveaway}.

At last, I shared Sawyer's sweet newborn session with you, and today her equally adorable birth announcement {c/o minted}. minted birth announcement

I love the formality and tradition of birth announcements. What a wonderful way to share our special new baby girl with our closest family and friends. We didn't send a holiday card this year {which, if you know me was a BIG deal} but I was 9 months pregnant with Sawyer and just couldn't bear the thought of sending a card with our family photo that didn't include her sweet face. So, we waiting until her arrival instead.

I searched and search for the perfect announcement, and loved the simple floral touch this design had. Because her middle name is Rose, I loved the undertone and it was a great match to her nursery. The blush coloring of her skin in the photo also worked so well aesthetically.  It's a great treasure to add to her baby book in celebration of her first arrival.

minted giveaway

So ... onto the equally exciting part. My friends at minted have generously allowed me to host another giveaway! Who wouldn't want a $150 to use on birth announcements {or anything that suits your fancy, really}? I know about 75 lovely ladies who are pregnant right now, and this couldn't be more perfect. So, click here to enter to win between now and Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 11:59PM est for your chance to win!

* some restrictions may apply. click here for full official rules. in full disclosure, I am a customer of minted.com because I love their customer service and great designs. they were kind enough to provided me with a credit to use towards the purchase of my birth announcements for this order.

introducing ... sawyer rose.

I've been anxiously awaiting the moment when I could share my sweet new daughter. Introducing ... Sawyer Rose. She's our new bundle of joy { well, new-ish as we've somehow hit the 2-month mark already } and she couldn't be more wonderful. It seems like just yesterday we were in the midst of Wyatt's newborn session. He is now two and running circles around me - which made this shoot even more fun. I just love their sweet little shots together - so much love.

newborn sessionnewborn sessionnewborn sessionsiblings siblingsnewborn session newborn session newborn session

Big, big thank you to my friend Heidi at Our Labor of Love for yet another gorgeous set of photos for us to capture this special moment in our lives.

And, stay tuned tomorrow - I'm sharing Sawyers birth announcement with fabulous giveaway from Minted that you won't want to miss!