1st Birthday Party Planning – First Installment

Yes you read it right…baby J might only be 8months and 3weeks old but I am already deep in the birthday planning trenches.

Thank goodness for lovely Pinterest so I can at least bring order to the crazy.

I can’t even believe that in exactly 100 days my little beaner will be 1 year old!  Wow!  {in case you are wondering what is going on in this picture…he was helping me work from home on Friday by attacking my computer cord…totally unsafe but I was keeping an eye on him}.

…no I did not dress baby J in the dark.  I really did love all the colors that he is wearing…even if the teal pants are for girls…I just didn’t realize how they looked together until this very moment.

And so my planning for his birthday party has begun.  Thus far I have:

{a} nailed down a theme – “moustaches and bow ties”

{b} booked a photographer

{c} decided on a venue

And I managed to scrape together a few inspiring photographs and articles as well.  Here’s a sneak peak of what’s really going on in this brain of mine.

{chocolate banana pudding / pancake brunch / teal and pink shower / denim accents / guinnes cake / bow tie baby shower / rustic party / moustache circles / nutella macarons}

Wednesday Favorites

With Halloween and Thanksgiving {both US and Canadian} behind us, I am finally starting to get into the Christmas spirit!

We re-organized, packed away the running stroller, and baby J’s exersaucer in an effort to make room in our condo for a Christmas tree {operation-find-a-tree will be underway shortly}.  I even managed to get in a massive Costco run and stock up on some treats!

Here are some of my favorites from this past week.

Steve Jobs autobiography and new iPhone.  I couldn’t get one without the other now could I?!

Organic candy canes.  Yummy.

A Charlie Brown Christmas for baby J….we already have the music cd.

Joe Fresh flannel baby pj’s, for under the tree.

And my absolute favorite moment of the week.  I came out of the shower on Sunday morning to this…

Baby and Toddler Friendly Muffins

Since baby J started eating on his own he has become obsessed with eating EVERYTHING!  He loves loves loves Cheerios, but I’m afraid they have too much sugar so I wanted to limit the amount of cereal I gave him {I did try the healthy kamut cheerios but he hates them}.

I decided to experiment with making healthy sugar-free muffins that would be safe for babies and toddlers…and thus the Apple-Banana-Blueberry Toddler Muffin was born!

apple banana and blueberry muffins

Ingredients {makes 12 muffins}:

2 ripe bananas

1 cup of grated apple

1/4 cup of apple juice {I used juice that I made}

1/2 cup of frozen wild blueberries

2 cups of flour {see below for substitutions}

1 egg

1/4 cup of melted butter

1 tbsp cinnamon

1tsp baking soda

1tsp baking powder

** Substitutions:**

all purpose flour = gluten free flour = rice flour

egg = binding agent

apple  and apple juice = crushed pineapple and pineapple juice

*note that I used all organic ingredients but you don’t have to.

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 370 degrees and grease a muffin tray.

2.  Mash the ripe bananas, add the melted butter, egg, apple juice and grated apple and whisk.

3.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon and sift together.

4.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

5.  Add the frozen blueberries.

6.  Spoon mixture into the muffin tray and bake for 30minutes or until golden brown.

**please note that because of the grated apple the inside of the muffin will be very moist!…perfect for those little guys and girls.  You can freeze half of the muffins and thaw them as needed in the microwave for 20 seconds.

apple banana and blueberry muffins

apple banana and blueberry muffins

Baby J loved every bite!

apple banana and blueberry muffins

Precious Moments

On most weekends I tend to spend a fair bit of time photographing, planning and working on the blog, but not this past weekend.

I took a blogging course a few weeks back and it was amazing, inspiring and provided some really valuable insights.  But I also found that I started feeling pretty overwhelmed by it all.  It wasn’t the course that overwhelmed me, it was myself.

I started thinking about what this blog means, where I want it to go and what I want it to be.  I’ve been obsessing over wanting to post about topics that people want to read, vs posting about the things that I love.  The thoughts just kept coming…and then I shut them down.

I realized that I already got a whole lot from writing.

I’ve made some great friends.  I’ve explored different passions {ie. baking a whole delicious cake}.  I tapped into a love for photography that I didn’t know I had.  All the while keeping our family around the world updated on our lives.  And the readers…well that’s a lovely bonus.  The fact that even just one person whom I’ve never met would read something I wrote, look at my photos and take the time out of their busy lives to stick around for a little while is simply amazing.

The moments we have with our partners, family, children, friends and even pets are so precious.  They come and go so fast, that sometimes we might miss them all together if we’re not paying attention.  So this past weekend I decided to take time to just enjoy my life..and with the exception of our bloggy lunch I just did what I wanted to do, what I would have done anyways…and photographed a little {mostly precious moments with my phone}.  These are the photos I took for me, for my life, and for my memories.

Apple Berry Yogurt Parfait

Its official, baby J is allowed to start eating dairy…as per his pediatrician, and no I didn’t just make that up.

So I started him on organic sheep’s milk yogurt, mixed with an apple-blueberry sauce, and he LOVES IT!  And if you’re wondering why sheep yogurt and not cow…its because sheep’s milk is very high in nutrients and calcium…more so than cow’s milk.

This is how I make his organic apple berry parfait {baby food}…he can’t seem to get enough of it.

What you need:

apples

frozen blueberries {I prefer wild}

plain full fat yogurt

1.  Steam organic apples and puree until very smooth.

2.  Place frozen organic wild blueberries in a sieve.

3.  Pour hot apple sauce on top of the frozen blueberries and let stand for 2 minutes.

4.  With a large spoon press the blueberries and sauce through the sieve so that the sauce is smooth without any skins.

5.  In a glass jar, pour yogurt at the bottom and apple berry sauce on top.

Toronto Bloggers Meetup

I had such an amazing weekend, I’m really sad that its over.

Despite the not so amazing weather {insert rain}, I had a really relaxing time, lovely sleeps, amazing meals, great friends and spent lots of snuggle time with my baby.

But definitely one of the highlights of my weekend was our Toronto Bloggers Meetup on Sunday.  A huge part of why I write in this blog is to meet people, to be a part of a community and to make friends…and meetups are such a great way to do that.

In the end there were four us blogging ladies who enjoyed a delicious brunch at Brassai in Toronto.

Andrea of Silence and Noise, Tracey of helena and ali, Maaike of creJJtion and myself.  Unfortunately Randalin {Harvesting Kale} was home sick, and a few other bloggie friends couldn’t make it due to the very last minute plans on our part :(  We’ll definitely be putting together another meetup for January and this time we will make sure to give everyone ample notice…ekk I’m already excited about the possibilities.  Some suggestions have been thrown around for fun activities such as wine tastings, crafts, maybe even a cooking/baking class?!  {that last part was totally just dreamed up by me right this second}

We had a really lovely afternoon, and it was nice to make some new friends, talk about our passions and enjoy yummy food.

Maaike gave us these super lovely tree ornaments that she made herself.  They are so delicate and lovely, I can’t wait to put up our tree so I can use it!  You have to check out her blog its full of holiday goodies!

Naturally we all took out our cameras and iPhones and documented everything!

I love the next photo, it came out by accident while Andrea and I were trying to take photos of each other photographing, but it came out so lovely…that its definitely my favorite of the bunch now.

…and what it was supposed to look like

The lovely ladies!

{Andrea}

{checking in on baby J and daddy}

{my delish eggs benny}

And finally I had to take one last photo of Andrea and Maaike in front of the beautiful Brassai red door.  It was too lovely to pass up.  Too bad Tracey had already left and missed it, but we’ll have to take lots more at our next meetup in January!