Birthday Weekend

Oh I used to count down the days until my birthday arrived but the older you get you try to balance out the days leading up to the day with cocktails! At least I am still hanging on to my 20' a single tiny thread :) I am a girl who likes to celebrate the whole week leading up to my birthday, spoiled I know, blame my Mom. It's really a great excuse for whatever you want that week, try it but don't tell your sig.other I told you too ;)When I first met my hubby he couldn't remember if it was the 3rd or the he refers to it as May turd. Nice huh? Whatever works I guess and he has never forgotten the day. Also people assume he won me over with lavish gifts. Think again. He won my heart with a cheese grater, you heard me right! He knew I loved to cook and he is very uhhhh let's say eclectic. That has to be one of my favorite qualities about him, anyways never again has he bought me a household object for any gift, he knows better. That same grater sits right next to my sink this very day.

20140505-123205.jpg The best "non gift" thing I got was my lovely child sleeping in 5 hour incriments. Yeah yeah, poo on you people whose child already sleeps all night but my child must just love me more because she wants to see me more often. Kidding :) Oh and let's not forget the other one....SHE IS TAKING A BOTTLE!!!! I couldn't love this face more right about now.

20140505-123615.jpg Opening day of the downtown Des Moines farmers market was Saturday and what a perfect way to start my day. Awesome weather, sun a shining, and baby all strapped in her Baby K'Tan wrap. I will not add to the mess of dogs or a stroller, much too busy and my dog would be another dogs lunch. Breakfast was a Farm Boys burrito oh and a cinnamon roll from Java Joes for later. Hey it's MY birthday.

20140505-124316.jpg Some of my favorite actual gifts I received were jewelry from Stella and Dot (love), a new purse (thanks to my love), and Birkenstocks (oldschool kicks). I have been wearing these shoes all weekend! I forgot how comfy they are. Call them what you want: Jesus shoes, mom shoes, old, or ugly, these babies are all mine to wear :) Don't mind my big fat toes creeping in the photo!

20140505-124901.jpg Dinner/date night Saturday with the hubs was awesome! How do people live without family close by?? My Mom is a saint. I picked to eat at the new Eatery A in downtown Des Moines off of Ingersoll. Arrived at 6pm ( close to gray hair special time) and put our name in. A 40 minute wait, but sans baby, I would wait for hours. We stood at the bar and I ordered my first martini since baby, a Pompeii Rising. Perfection.

20140505-125430.jpg The atmosphere is airy, relaxed, and current, if that makes sense? Contemporary style with a mix of the old using barn boards to contrast. Great windows, lighting, and a patio to please all ages.

20140505-125603.jpg For dinner we ordered a few things to try of course and we were not disapointed at all! We started with chicken croquettes, the hummus plate with pickled veggies, and our waitress picked the Sambusak. Her pick was actually our favorite! Get your own order because the plate only has 2 and you may want more :) We agreed from all of the reviews we had to try the wood fired pizza. #5 was our pick, lamb gyro, feta, pickled onion and raita. Don't worry I googled almost everything I ordered, under the table of course :). This pizza was BOMB, yes I am yelling!

20140505-130238.jpg Dessert was on the house thanks to my loud mouth husband telling them it was my birthday...I picked the Salted Caramel Budino which was like a caramel pudding, heavenly.

20140505-130319.jpg After dinner I was rolled to the car. We will be back! Sunday was my relaxing day, just taking in all of the weekend while enjoying one last day with my family. Who am I kidding? My birthday is long over once it actually hits, that is why I tell you to celebrate the week before :) Sunday was laundry day...with my helper.

20140505-130616.jpg And a trip to Whole Foods for goodies to make baby food for the month. I tasted everything I made and why don't I remember my food tasting that good? I was tasting all of it! Kale, green beans, potatoes, and parmesan, what's not to love?

20140505-130851.jpg All in all it was a great week and Facebook has a way of making you feel like 100 people really care that it is your special day! Thanks to everyone for making my weekend awesome :) Until next year....

Homemade Baby Food-Sweet Potatoes

Yes you can do this! It is much easier than I ever thought it would be. I know what you may be thinking, " You only have one child and no job away from home, you have time." Am I right? Hopefully by the end of this post you will be able to judge for yourself and if you have the time to read this, you have the time to do this :) I did a little trial run so that when I am ready to actually stock up and make food in bulk, it will go nice and smooth. I have been taking tidbits and suggestions from the internet and from other moms who make their own baby food too. I decided to start with sweet potatoes. I chose to buy Organic because I wanted to use the ends for a starter in my garden this coming Spring. Yes, I am going to overachieve and try to grow some of the produce I will be feeding my baby. I have had a garden for the past 3 years and thought why not change up my crop! If you are just starting out on solids, make sure you are only introducing 1 new food at a time with at least a week between foods to observe for any allergies your baby may have. If you are going to make your own I found this chart on Pinterest to be helpful of when you should buy organic. You may have heard of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.

20140224-135302.jpg What you will need:

20140224-111520.jpg Steam bags- Glad brand or ZipLoc Zip'N Steam bags is what I have on hand and worked great Food Processer- I was going to buy the Baby Bullet because I thought I needed it, wrong. I have a regular Magic Bullet AND a food processer which worked perfect. I used the Bullet because it was going to be an easier clean up, just throw it in the dishwasher (except the machine part). There are so many cups and sizes with the Bullet I will be able to puree multiple things in the future without stopping to clean each cup. Knife Vegetable Peeler Cutting Board Saran Wrap- to cover your ice cube trays while they freeze ZipLoc Freezer Bags Baby water if you don't want to use tap water or filtered water from your home (your choice), formula or breast milk.

Ice Cube Trays- I used  these silicone because the food pops out easier then banging the plastic ones on the counter until it comes out, plus that may wake the sleeping baby! P.S use a 20% off coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond to save extra money on these trays!

Directions: Wash your produce. This should always be the first thing you do before you eat something so obviously you should do this before feeding it to your baby.

20140224-110844.jpg Peel your potatoes and chop into cubes. Place into steam bags and microwave according to package directions. Glad bags states 3 cups of potatoes, steam for 7-8 minutes.

20140224-111040.jpg While you are waiting for your taters to steam, set up your Bullet. I used the large cup with the 4 prong blade. The flat blade did not puree as well, leaving chunks. Once your microwave dings, remove and let cool for a few minutes! DO NOT BLEND POTATOES PIPING HOT OR IT MAY EXPLODE. I know this from watching Chopped on the Food Network :) I blended this into 3 batches so I could make sure it was all pureed, plus I had no idea what I was doing. If you have any liquids leftover in the bag from steaming, use them, they have some nutrients from the potatoes. You will have to add more liquid of your choice, a lot more than I thought initially. I chose to add water because I did not want to use my already pumped milk and because the formula we have on hand expires in June. Add water a little at time to achieve the consistency you prefer. Once pureed, pour or spoon into ice cube trays, cover with Saran wrap and freeze.

20140224-111407.jpg My 2 large sweet potatoes made 26 "cubes" of food, which is plenty to start with because I need to see 1.) If she likes it 2.) If she has any allergies toward it 3.) She won't start out eating more than 1 or 2 cubes at a time, that is already almost 2 weeks of taters! Now throw your Bullet pieces, knife, peeler, ice cube trays when food is frozen, cutting board, if it will fit (mine does), into your dishwasher and you are done! Once frozen, about 3-4 hours later, pop out of trays and put into your freezer ZipLoc bags. Make sure you label the bag with the date and what you are freezing! Your food should be good up to 3 months in your fridge freezer and 6 months in a deep freeze. My husband told me to start looking for a deep freeze before I take over our fridge freezer. Haha.This little taste of making my own baby food seriously gets me excited to make my own concoctions and to puree what we are eating. She will hopefully develop a diverse palate and learn to love food!

20140224-110502.jpg So ya think you can handle this?? Let me know if you try to tackle homemade baby food and please share your favorite baby recipes with me! After she starts eating her sweet potatoes we will be tubbin more often in our pink whale!