Tuesday, May 19, 2015

harper wears: briar handmade bonnets

i've had a briar handmade bonnet on harper's wishlist for too long and finally decided on this navy stripe print, which goes with nearly everything in her wardrobe. i adore these bonnets because they are handmade with quality fabrics + stitching, stay on with a simple tie, and are perfect for any climate. because of this, i always make sure to keep ours in my diaper bag if she's not already wearing it out the door...the weather here in southeast alaska can change dramatically throughout the day!

and oh my goodness, the way these bonnets frame little faces really makes their eyes pop. harper gets endless compliments from everyone we pass about her blue eyes when she's wearing her bonnet!

briar handmade recently announced a new print i am dying over, just released a brimmed sunhat collection (so you can say goodbye to unattractive bucket hats!), and i can not wait to get my hands on a pom-pom style this winter! to ensure you don't miss out on any new releases, check them out at briarhandmade.com, or on instagram, facebook + twitter.  i know you will love these bonnets as much as i do!



*i was given a briar handmade bonnet in exchange for my review, but it was already on my wish list and i will only ever recommend products i truly love. thanks for your support!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

moving road trip

the best way for us to move to a remote part of alaska was to drive from colorado, through utah, idaho & oregon to the ferry terminal in washington. we started our drive north bright + early on april 16th, with garrison driving ahead in his truck pulling our moving trailer, and me following in the subaru with harper. we had walkie-talkies, so that was pretty fun. as luck would have it, there was a snowstorm for the majority of the drive that day, but we had plenty of time to take it slow.
we spent the first night in a hotel in ogden, utah (which was the same day one of my grandma's passed away not far away in orem). idaho was such a boring drive, but thankfully fairly short. the minute set crossed into oregon we were admiring the scenery. trees everywhere! we decided to camp out at emigrant springs state park, and had a way better night's sleep breathing that fresh, cool air (we were all a little sick & it helped immensely).
finally after 3 days of driving we made it to bellingham, washington. it was a really cool, hip town  + i would totally love to go back there for a visit! we had an extra week before catching the ferry, so we  dropped off the truck + trailer, spent that night there, then in the morning we loaded up into the subaru + headed back to the oregon coast.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

goodbye colorado

the time has come to say our final goodbyes to our life in the roaring fork valley. colorado will always hold a special place in my heart; it's where i became a little braver, broke out of my shell a little more + where my first baby was born. we were lucky to live in the small town of carbondale, hike mt. sporis + camp in breathtaking places like telluride. i am going to terribly miss it all! but i suppose our next adventure awaits.

before leaving town, we went out to dinner with garrison's co-workers who all said such great things about him. we also had one last group picnic in redstone with our church friends, and had to make a stop with some mama friends to get cronuts too!

Friday, April 10, 2015

recipe: vegetarian taco salad

a few years ago, i came up with our family's taco salad recipe and we still use it to this day! it's one of my favorite dinner salads because it is so flavorful + filling. i recently discovered gardein meat-free products, and their chipotle black bean burgers are delicious + perfect for this recipe. i hope you try this recipe soon!

vegetarian taco salad
recipe by brooke field
serves 4 as a main dish

salad
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
15oz can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 teaspoon each chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, salt & black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 lime, juice only
2 heads romaine lettuce, cleaned & cut into 1/4" strips
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
9oz tortilla chips, crushed or 4 taco salad bowls
1 avocado, diced
4 gardein black bean burgers

dressing
8oz sour cream
1 1/2 limes, juice only
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced
1 teaspoon each chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, salt & black pepper

instructions:

prepare quinoa according to package instructions to make 1 cup.

meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add onion, peppers & corn and saute until they are tender, about 7 minutes. add seasonings, 1 tablespoon water & beans. saute one more minute then remove from heat. add cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cilantro & lime juice.

transfer taco mixture to a large bowl and prepare the black bean burgers on directed on package, then slice.

mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. refrigerate until ready to serve.

in a large bowl or on 4 large plates, combine lettuce, taco mixture, black bean burgers, cheese & tortilla chips. top with a dollop of dressing. 

serve leftover filling as cold tortilla wraps for lunch the next day.

baby eats // 6-12 months

i planned to start feeding harper solids at 6 months old (because it's recommended to wait until 6 months old, when they can sit up unassisted). but to be honest, i was feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea and it seemed like a ton of extra work. so at 6 months, she was just really just gnawing on large chunks of food to get the taste, but not really swallowing anything. but with some pressure from garrison to start the process at 7 months old, i decided on a combination of feeding her some form of what we were eating, in addition to making purees to freeze in case our meal wasn't baby friendly and to use for lunches + snacks. 

at 9 months old, she would really only eat 3-4 bites at each sitting. i started to worry that all my homemade baby purees that were taking up a good portion of our freezer would go to waste! but by 10 months she was eattingt about 1/4 cup at each breakfast + dinner. such improvement in just a months time! it didn't take long to put a dent in our stockpile. between 11-12 months old, she was eating 3 meals plus 2 snacks per day, in addition to nursing, and now at 12 months + 3 weeks, she is completely weaned from breastmilk.

it's so easy to make your own healthy baby food! all you need is a pot, steamer basket, blender + storage containers.

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here are some of the foods she enjoyed during this 6 month period:

breakfast:
 
oatmeal + berries: this is what i made myself for breakfast anyway, so i started sharing it with her, and continue to do so at 12 months old. i never pureed it or used 'baby' oatmeals. prepare your favorite oatmeal to make 1 cup, stirring in fresh or frozen berries at the end. you can add a bit of plain yogurt if desired, but no sugar for baby. at 12 months old, add a few splashes of cow's milk.

snacks:

plain yogurt 

banana - the easiest baby food ever

tropical yogurt with avocado, banana + pineapple - blend 1 banana, 1 avocado, 1/2-1 cup pineapple + about 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt until smooth

banana + coconut milk + cinnamon

green smoothies - share your favorite smoothie recipe with baby once she's a bit older + won't mind the coldness, just make her portion a little thicker + without cow's milk or sweetener

applesauce + cinnamon - it's so easy to make your own applesauce! just peel + core a few apples, add to a pot with 1 inch simmering water + a steamer basket, cover + let simmer until tender, then blend with a dash of cinnamon

apple + strawberries + banana + chia - same instructions as above, but add a few strawberries, a half or whole banana + a tablespoon chia seeds when blending

whole peas - harper's favorite snack since 10 months old, add a pinch of salt + pepper if desired

lunch + dinner:

pea + avocado - if you add spinach to this one, i suggest using it raw (not blanched)

beets + radish + chia

broccoli + potato + olive oil - i add a little salt + it makes a great side for the whole family!

apple + quinoa + yogurt + cinnamon - she didn't like this texture until 11 months, also it gets dry in the freezer, so mix with extra yogurt when serving

meat - harper loved all meat from the beginning! give them a large chunk to gnaw, or dice it up plain or mixed into a veggie puree

leftovers:

every week, we seemed to have an extra ingredient leftover that i would make into some sort of puree to freeze. either search for a baby food recipe on the internet that includes your leftover ingredient, or just think about what might be good. one week we had pork tacos with coleslaw for dinner, and i made a cabbage + rice + pork puree with the leftovers, which she loved.

in addition to leftover ingredients, go ahead + puree your leftover meal too! spaghetti, chili and veggie soup + rice were some of harper's faves.

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spices: don't be afraid to add flavor with spices right from the start!

storage: i loved the idea to use breastmilk storage bags for freezing homemade baby food! since these are included through my health insurance and i don't pump, i was happy to put them to use. spoon 1/4 cup into bag, label + date, place flat in freezer until frozen, then you can stand on end for easy retrieval. to thaw: place in fridge for several hours or place in a water bath.

peanuts: research/opinions are always changing regarding when to introduce peanuts to children in hopes of avoiding peanut allergies. i personally lean toward the idea that either you have an allergy or don't, but that is based on zero research. whenever you do decide to introduce peanuts, here's a tip: mix 1-2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter with a few splashes milk of your choice & stir, adding more milk until your desired consistency is reached, then spoon feed to baby.