Look at who is getting to be such a big girl! 7 months already. Wow.

This month brought big milestones:

  • Juliet starting sitting, unassisted.  It literally happened overnight about 3 weeks ago.  One day she was super wobbly and couldn’t sit without being held up, the next day she was all “I got this, you can let go now”.  
  • She started sleeping on her tummy at night.  She decided this was the preferred method of sleep, much to my dismay.  I know once they are strong enough to roll over it is perfectly safe to sleep on their tummies, but I am a high anxiety new momma and I find myself staring at the video monitor at night and checking in on her multiple times.  Juliet continues to be a good sleeper, for the most part, and only once in a while wakes up at 3 or 4am to eat or for some soothing. 
  • Being a bouncy baby in her jumperoo.  My mom bought her one a couple months ago and Juliet would just sit in it and play with the toys.  Now she jumps and laughs and yells.  Her legs move like a little Irish dancer and I am way too entertained by this.  The iPhone videos of her bouncing are out of control.
  • Juliet started daycare.  My mom watched her all summer and boy was she spoiled.  Rocked during her naps, held all day, lots of stroller rides.  It was a great summer for grandma and Juliet and I was so happy knowing my sweetie had the best care.  The day after Labor Day I dropped my sweet girl off at daycare.  It is a great in-home daycare and good friends of ours take their little one year old girl there.  Juliet has been doing really well and making new friends.  The older kids adore her and when I drop her off in the morning they exclaim with joy, “Juliet is here!”, which I find so sweet and adorable.  The only tears with the daycare drop-offs have been mine, but I’ve been doing a lot better the past week or so.  
Sweet girl, the best part of each day is coming home to see you.  We have so much fun in the evenings playing with toys, reading, eating yummy squash and green beans (your faves) and snuggling while you breastfeed.  Our weekends are filled with so many fun adventures; the apple orchard, long walks with daddy, visits from Grandma Karen and Uncle Justin, sleeping in and cuddling in bed and lots of family time with grandma and grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousin Chloe.  
Just as every parent I know has told me, it gets better and better everyday.  I love seeing you take in the world with your beautiful, big eyes and you make me so happy with your smiles and giggles.  Momma and daddy love you way too much, girlie! Happy 7 months!
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It probably seems like every Monday I come around and say I just had the best weekend ever. Well, it’s because as a working mom, I now LIVE for the weekends.  I can’t wait to have hours stretched out before me to spend with my baby girl, without having to worry about making bottles, getting her ready for daycare, etc.  Weekends with my little family are the best.  Always.

And this one was especially awesome because it included a date night with Erik (our first since Juliet was born) and a trip to the apple orchard where my little one took in all the sights with her pretty, wide eyes.

Erik and I woke up on Saturday morning and went grocery shopping.  He carried the girlie in the Becco Gemini while I ran up and down the aisles.  We made a breakfast skillet with potatoes, sausage, onion, green peppers, eggs and cheese and I drank pumpkin spice coffee.  It was an awesome morning.

Erik went golfing in the afternoon while Juliet and I spent time going on a walk, snuggling and lots of playtime and reading.

On Sunday Erik dressed Juliet in her Vikings jersey and the two of them watched some football while I did a few chores.  Then we said goodbye to daddy and took off to meet my family at the apple orchard. Erik is a hard-core Vikes fan, so he doesn’t miss a game for anything.

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This colorful party was sent to me by Jessica of Live the Fancy Life blog.  She styled the entire event for her friend Lisa’s son Miles. Lisa wanted a modern chic Curious George themed birthday party with fun activities for the kids.

Jessica and I have never met in person but have been internet friends (that sounds kind of nerdy, doesn’t it?) for a couple of years now.  She is super sweet and has an adorable toddler named Bodhi, and has been kind of enough to offer advice and support when I became a new momma.  She recently left her corporate/day job to pursue freelance writing and event styling.  If you are in the Twin Cities area you should definitely consider hiring her for your next event.  She styles beautiful parties (like this one!) and has great taste.  Be sure to check out her son’s 1st birthday party and his amazing nursery.
Cake pops will never get old, will they?  Yum.

Intricate fondant cupcake toppers of little bananas and monkeys.  Cute!The cute birthday boy, enjoying the art station for kids which includes canvases to paint, custom coloring sheets and other goodies.
No shortage of adorable Curious George detailsI love these pinwheel cupcake toppers, they were DIY by JessicaThis dessert table is complete awesomeness.  I love the chevron paper detail that was added to the table.  And sometimes a simple, white cake is a perfect centerpiece.


Such a creative use of the paper backdrop flowers.

Miles’ mom already owned this yellow table, making it the perfect canvas to display the desserts.

Party favors wrapped with ribbon and finished with a cute favor tag
I love this simple and cute dot cake topper
What a fun and vibrant birthday party! Thanks so much to Jessica for sharing!

Vendors:

Printables: Shannon Bradshaw with Grace and Guy Paperie on Etsy
Photography: Jessica Flannigan of Live the fancy life
Event styling: Jessica Flannigan of Live the fancy life
Pinwheel cupcake toppers: DIY, Jessica of Live the fancy life
Fondant cupcake toppers: Two Sugar Babies 
Cake pops: Beyond the Bar Bakery
Cupcakes: Nadia Cupcakes, Maple Grove
Cake topper: Bee Buzz Paperie
Backdrop paper flowers: Shop Sweet Lulu 
Backdrop: DIY by Jessica of Live the fancy life

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{Photo credits: Martha Stewart}

I’m sure you’ve guessed by my lack of posts lately that I’m busy as hell. It’s work, mostly. It’s been insane.  I work after Juliet goes to bed. I wake up early and work before I leave for the office.  I work on the weekends. I am counting down the weeks until my busy season is over and I can go back to a 40 hour work week. It can’t come soon enough.  Other busy working moms…seriously, how do you do it? 

And though I will always prioritize any free time I have to spend with Juliet, there are times when I miss baking.  I used to bake up a frenzy.  Weekends were free and time was endless.  I’d bake bread and nap when the dough was rising.  Breakfasts always included homemade muffins or scones.  Those days are long gone!

So now if desserts are even on the radar, they have to be easy.  These no bake options seem right up my alley.  My sweet tooth never went away after my pregnancy and most evenings I open the pantry hoping to see some cookies or anything sweet, even though I am the one who grocery shops and rarely buy that stuff. 

Chocolate covered bananas
Peanut butter chocolate parfaits

Do you have any super easy baking recipes?  Please share!

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Ok so homemade baby food is definitely not pretty but this is my life lately so it’s making its way onto the blog.    

As a way-too-busy working mom, I thought I wouldn’t have time to make Juliet’s food. But I’ve found time and it’s been really easy. 

Juliet loves green beans, they are one of her favorites right now, along with squash and pears.  She hated avocado (she made the funniest face, gagged and spit it out).  So far I’ve made homemade squash, plums, carrots and green beans.  I have no problem buying store-bought baby food, but thus far have stuck with organic (I like Earth’s Best and Plums products).  The veggies and fruits I’ve made homemade have not been organic, but most have been from farmers’ markets.  I do prefer feeding Juliet homemade purees because it’s cheaper and I like knowing exactly what she’s eating and for the most part, I do think homemade purees taste better than store bought (yes, I do taste all her food).

These green beans were from the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market.  They were super tasty and the batch made enough to fill an entire ice cube tray (one serving is typically 1-2 ice cubes worth).

The recipe is super simple, here it is:

Homemade pureed green beans

Ingredients/equipment

One bunch green beans, ends trimmed
Food processor (or blender or immersion blender of fancy baby bullet)
Pot and steamer

Preparation

Fill water just over the steamer, add green beans.  Steam for about 15 minutes or until very tender.  Let cool.  Save the cooking liquid.

Transfer beans into the bowl of the processor, process until very smooth, adding the cooking liquid until you achieve the consistency you want (for Juliet I make it extremely smooth with quite a bit of liquid).

Green beans can be a little stringy, so I push the puree through a fine mesh sieve, but you can skip this step if the puree is nice and thin. 

Divide evenly in an ice cube tray and freeze.  When frozen completely, store in ziplock storage bags or in airtight container.

I hope your little one enjoys!

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Labor Day weekend was fun, but busy!  Erik’s mom and brother were in town and stayed with us at our new place.  We finally have enough space to have house guests.  Karen helped paint two bedrooms, we were very productive thanks to her.

We had my family over for a BBQ and as usual, had way too much food.
More meat than 12 people would ever need.  This equals leftovers for Erik and I all week.Karen’s cucumber salad, which is one of Erik’s favorite foods.Italian vegetable pasta salad, made by Karen. Yum.Delicious, cheesy potatoes.  I was late to the game in getting photos of the meal, as you can see by the almost-gone potatoes.I made caprese/crostini for an appetizer. And there is my sweetie-girl looking so cute in her little white dress. Grandma Karen bought Juliet a high chair this weekend. She loves it and it really beats using the bumbo or one of us holding her while she eats.  We got the Graco Duo Diner, so far it’s great. Doesn’t she look like such a big girl here?  She can completely and totally sit on her own now.  I am amazed by this.  Yummy, oatmeal cereal mixed with pears.Karen and Justin left Monday morning and Erik and the girlie hung out a bit while I tried to get some work done.  She just loves front-facing in the Becco Gemini. Sunday afternoon was spent at my parent’s house. We were going to walk to get frozen yogurt but then found out it was closed, so we went to the grocery stores and bought vanilla ice cream, snickers, peanut butter cups and snickers and made our own ice cream treats.  Here is our weekend in instagram.  Erik and I also bought a brand new car this weekend (a Ford Edge).  It’s the first time I’ve ever had a new car so I’m quite impressed with it.  I was in an accident a couple weeks ago and totaled my car (Juliet was not in the car thank goodness).  I’ve had some back pain since  so now I’m going to a chiropractor.  The accident was scary and made me realize how necessary it is to have a safe car.

Huge thanks to Karen and Just for all their help this weekend!  It was so great to see you both and spend the weekend together.

Juliet starts her first day of daycare on Tuesday, so naturally I have some anxiety about it.  I’m really happy with the daycare I’ve chosen and we have good friends with a one year old that go to the same place, so I know she’ll be in good hands.  My mom watched Juliet all summer, and it was nice having her with grandma and getting such great one on one care and LOTS of love.  Grandparents are really the absolute best.  It’s hard to imagine that anyone can love your baby as much as you, but they do.  It’s a wonderful thing.

Any advice from other mommas on how I get through Juliet’s first day of daycare?  I’ll be slammed at work, so hopefully that’ll keep my mind preoccupied and I know I need to resist the urge to call and check-in on her…

Three day weekends are the best, I am really sad to see it end.  

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