Father’s Day Craft

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Mike’s Birthday was last week so I decided to attempt a craft with Grace for her to give him. It was definitely more difficult than when she was younger and we made Santa handprint ornaments. She tried eating the paint, rubbing her hands on any piece of furniture  she could see and trying the smudge our project…but we finally got it done and I think it turned out great.

It was so cute when she gave it to him too. He unwrapped the present and she saw what it was and are running over talking mile a minute. She then grabbed the picture from him and walked around the house with the biggest smile on her face. She was so proud and I guess she wasn’t quite ready to gift her project yet :)

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Memorial Day Shopping

Normally this weekend would mark the first weekend our family would head to a lake. This year we didn’t head back to Wisconsin or a Texas lake…. instead we did a lot of shopping (very unusual for my husband).

Here are some of the great items that we found on sale for Memorial Day. Memorial Day

1. Ralph Lauren Dress

2. Gap Romper

3. Little Me Swim Suit ( I have posted this one before but I think it is so cute and now it is on sale – use code spring20 for an additional 20% off sale price and while you are there check out these cute PJs here and here).

4. Egg By Susan Lazar Dress

5. Old Navy Flower Jeggings – with the extra 30% off right now you can pick these up for under 7 dollars

6. Old Navy Mint Jeggings – If you cannot tell I love mint for this spring/summer and these are also under 7 dollars

7. Under Armour Capri Pants – How cute are work out clothes on little ones? Pick these up for under 12 dollars

Save Money on Groceries Without Coupons

I must admit, I have a secret obsession with Extreme Couponing…the one problem…most of the items that have coupons are processed foods I don’t buy often. Ok there are some more problems…such as I noticed that since having my daughter I sneak to the store whenever I can…often forgetting my coupons and I just do not have the time to search for and clip coupons like I use to.

Luckily I just found two apps that have solved most of these problems for me.

The first one is Ibotta. For this app you complete small tasks such as watching a very short video or answering a poll question to unlock your coupons. Then, you take a picture of your receipt and money is added to your account (which will be transferred to your paypal account). It is so simple and best of all you can complete the task after you go shopping (since I always forget before going to the grocery store…it just needs to be in the allotted time frame) and fruits/vegetables have coupons as well.

Checkout51 is another one. I don’t see as many fresh fruits and vegetables on this one but there have been a few. This one again you are just required to take a picture of your receipt and you will be paid cash into your paypal account.

Friday Favorites

Here are some of my favorite products right now.

favorites

1. See Kai Run SKR Gloria II Shoes – How cute are these shoes?! These are also top on my list.

2. Petit Collage Alphabet Cards Animals A-Z – I love doing flash cards with Grace as she learns to talk. We are working on animals and I love using these. They have such cute pictures, are a great size, and best of all…Grace proof. She chews on them and they are still in perfect condition. We have both the sea and animal versions. These would also look amazing framed and on your nursery walls.

3. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Farm Hide & Seek

4. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Hide & Seek Board

Grace loves playing with both of the Melissa and Doug Hide and Seek board. She loves opening and closing the doors and taking the pieces in and out. It keeps her entertain for a long time!

These products can all be found at Diapers.com, enter this code JLKE0468 for a discount.

Quinoa Fried “Rice”

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This is one of my go to recipes! It’s quick, easy and best of all tastes so good (it also keeps/reheats well for lunches). If you couldn’t tell before – I love using quinoa because it’s a complete source of protein, high in fiber and packed with nutrients – yet can be used in place of a grain.

What you need:

– One zucchini

– 4-5 medium size carrots

– 1/2 Medium onion

– 2 cloves garlic

– 1 8 oz package of mushrooms

– 4 eggs

– 3-4 cups cooked quinoa

– 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

– 2 Tablespoons teriyaki marinade

Steps:

1. Dice all vegetables or use this  (it works so well and makes dicing a lot of vegetable so much easier) and sauté them along with the garlic in oil – I use either coconut oil or olive oil (depending on my nutritional stance on coconut oil at the time)

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2. Once the vegetables are soft push them to the side of the pan making a hole in the middle, crack the 4 eggs into this hole and scramble them

3. Once the eggs are cooked add the quinoa, soy sauce and teriyaki marinade.

4. Stir together and ENJOY

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Since Mother’s Day is just around the corner I thought I would share some of my favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas. Last year I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day and I am looking forward to another one…especially now that Grace is giving the sweetest hugs.

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1. Bobeau One-Button Fleece Wrap Cardigan – This might just be one of my favorite pieces of clothing in my whole closet (my other favorites are my Bobeau cardigans in other colors). It is very comfy to wear lounging around but also can be dressed up. Warning: you might just become addicted to this once you buy it!

2. Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay Collection – This scent smells so good and I love that the collection includes a candle.

3. Illesteva ‘Leonard’ Sunglasses – I love the shape and style of these sunglasses.

4. Tory Burch ‘York” Buckle Tote – Once your a mom I feel like you have a ton of extra items to carry around with you automatically. This tote is big enough to fit it all in style. I also love that there is a divider to separate items.

5. Kendra Scott ‘Susanna’ Line Bracelet – I love Kendra Scott Jewelry – it is always a safe bet for a gift. This mint and gold bracelet will look lovely for the spring!

6. Tory Burch Fit Bit Leather Wrap Bracelet – Fit Bits are everywhere now and a great way to keep track of your physical activity….however wearing the rubber bracelet throw off outfit. This one is so cute.

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We are BACK!

The last month has been a busy one at the Kessenich household. We spent a week in Whistler with my husbands entire family – that included 12 adults and 2 babies under 1. Then there was a trip to Cabo, Easter and Grace’s FIRST birthday (with of course a first birthday photo shoot and cake smash). Needless to say I am way behind on my post due to a very busy month.

Here are some of the pictures from the past month.



Whistler

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Birthday

Grace’s favorite birthday present…her KicKee Pants Footie Pajamas…mostly because each pair has 3 or 4 tags attached and she loved playing with them! If only all present shopping was this easy. I just need to look for the items with the most tags and buy it!

Items from above:

Birthday Girl Bloomers

I Play Sun Hat

i play swim diaper and Honest Company Swim Diaper

Sherpa Baby Hat

Sherpa Baby Booties

Baby Omelet Sticks

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Now the Grace is older she LOVES to feed herself and of course be able to throw her food EVERYWHERE! I try to prepare most of her food on the weekend and freeze it or have her eat what we are eating but that does not always work. I prefer spicy food and we have a lot of salads for dinner that are not always baby friendly. This is my go to QUICK meal – and it is delicious!

Best of all both eggs and quinoa are great sources of protein and you can include lots of vegetables for your little one.

What you need:

– 3 egg yolks or 2 whole eggs

– 1 Tablespoon milk or water

– 1/4 cup Quinoa

– 1/4 cup frozen broccoli – defrosted and finely chopped (you can use any fresh vegetable too, but I always have frozen broccoli  on hand so it make this recipe very easy)

What to do:

1. Whisk eggs and milk/water in a bowel until mixed

2. Pour egg in a 9 inch skillet pan so a thin layer covers the bottom of the entire pan

3. Sprinkle quinoa and broccoli in to the egg mixture

4. When the egg is cooked on the bottom flip the entire thing over to cook the other side (since it is so thin it only takes about 1 minute on each side)

5. Cut into strips and serve (you can also top with some shredded cheese and serve with fruit to include all food groups)

Plate: Boon Plate Edgeless Nonskid Plate

Highchair: Fisher-Price SpaceSaver High Chair – Tan Lattice

Bib (I am not using but should have been): BABYBJORN Soft Bib – These are the best to catch all the food she drops

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Homemade Applesauce

I make this recipe EVERY Sunday night. Not only because Grace loves it, but it seems like whoever ends up feeding her loves it as well. I cook the apples with the skin on to give the applesauce a nice pink color and I find it easier to scoop the inside of the apple out than peeling all the apples ahead of time.

What you need:

– 2 pounds of Organic Gala apples – I use this Gala because it makes the applesauce the perfect sweetness without needs added sugar or juice like other recipes.

Side note:Try organic if possible since apples are number 1 on the ‘dirty dozen’ list –      which just means they contain the most amount of pesticides out of all the tested            fruits and vegetables. See this website for more information on this.

– 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

– Steam pot – I LOVE this one

Beaba Babycook , Food processor, Blender – Something to puree the apples or a fork if you prefer a chunkier consistency

Steps:

1. Cut the apple in to fourths around the core

2. Place apples into steam basket and cook for about 15 minutes (until the apples are soft and you can stick a fork into them easily)

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3. Let cool – once cool scoop the inside of the apple out of the skins and place into food processor, blender or I use my Beaba Babycook

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4. Add the cinnamon, blend and ENJOY – if you want chunkier applesauce just mash with a fork instead to the desired consistency.

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I portion out 4 containers that I will use in the next day or two (depending on who is all eating it) and then I scoop the rest into a Beaba Multiportion Freezer Tray

Applesauce is great to add to oatmeal, yogurt, meat purees and can be add instead of oil to baked goods for you or baby – it’s always great to have on hand.

Combining Solid Foods

Following up with my previous post about Starting Solids, I wanted to address how to continue adding healthy foods to your babies diet.

After about a month of introducing foods one at a time, I started making some combinations. I noticed that many other resources often have a fruit and vegetable combinations. I wanted to stay away from that so she would learn to like the taste of vegetables alone without having to have them mixed with fruit. Although every now and then I do include fruit in my combinations.

I started with mixing the food she had already tried. Some combinations were:

– Broccoli and cauliflower

– Asparagus and sweet potato

– Zucchini and carrots

– Oatmeal and Blueberry – I used Earth’s Best to start and then I started making my own but pulsing the oats to a fine powder prior to cooking

Next I started adding additional food items as a third choice. I really wanted to start adding in spinach, kale and other green leafy vegetables. I didn’t serve these items alone because I am not a fan of cooked greens (I love them raw) and I always taste the foods I am serving Grace to make sure they are palatable. I remember when I was taking my nutrition exams we were told that if we didn’t know the answer to a questions that started with “name the best source of”…to ALWAYS choose green leafy vegetables if it was an option because they contain SO MANY nutrients.

Some of my favorite combinations:

– Asparagus, sweet potato and leek

– Broccoli, Sweet Potato and Kale

– Broccoli, spinach and leek

-Blueberry and mango (I used organic frozen mango)

Once I introduced some of these combinations I started to add quinoa to the mixtures. Quinoa is a super grain that is a complete source of protein, high in fiber , high in Iron and high in other important nutrients. I found that adding quinoa to Grace’s diet was much easier than trying the pureed meats.

When starting combining foods I often would puree the foods separate at first and serve them in this divided container. I would slowly mix the two foods a little at a time until I knew how much of each item Grace liked in her combinations (to be honest…she just loved to eating pretty much anything). It also prevented me from wasting purees that I knew she liked by itself but might not like mixed with a certain item. Once I knew she liked it then I started making the combinations altogether from the start.

Happy Mixing!