Hey Saint Louie! | Spring Break 2014

smokey os stl

Smokey O’s BBQ

http://smokiosbbq.com/

seal stl

St. Louis Zoo

 

city stl

City Museum

http://www.citymuseum.org/site/

 

arch stl

Arch

montys stl

Monty’s Subs

http://stlmontys.com/

farm haus stl

Farm Haus

http://www.farmhausrestaurant.com/

The best meal of my life!

city 2 stl

City Museum

http://www.citymuseum.org/site/

stl

Union Depot

Advertisements

Suzie Homemaker | stay at home mama excitement

So I was expressing my excitement to a friend about finishing three books in eight days.  I am not a reader mind you.  The last book I read cover to cover was Charlotte’s Web in the 3rd grade.  I got on this kick and I couldn’t stop!  My friend reminded me of all the “mom” things I am doing in my life.  I am reading, Olive and I go to yoga together, story hour on Mondays, I take a sewing class, I make my own baby food and I have become the avid bargain shopper all will holding two part time jobs and running my photography business that has just reached 211 likes on Facebook! Blog High Five!

Look out world, I feel as if I am on top of you!  It was a really great feeling to have her point them out.  I have been finding ways to fill my time all the while filling hobbies I have always wanted to explore.  Years ago, my husband would give me shit about not having a hobby.  I would tell him that I didn’t have the time or there wasn’t anything that interested me enough to make the time.  Sometimes we would even argue over it, he wanted to do one of his four hobbies on his time off and I couldn’t understand why he thought it was so fun.  I resented him for having so many hobbies but now I understand, it’s nice to see him happy for me and it’s nice to share my triumphs and new beginnings with him.  It’s also nice that we make time for our hobbies and we make time for each other.  Marriage should be named Compromise instead.

IMG_1734

Page from Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres : Pulled my heart strings a bit.

Sewing class is instructed by my dearest friend’s mother.  Miss Pat teaches me the basics and while I quilt a blanket of my old clothes for my daughter, she plays with Olive.  It truly is the greatest!  Also she makes a delicious breakfast and has great coffee!  Sewing machines are like riding a bike, once you get going it all comes back to you.  The threading of the machine and doing the bobbin will take some practice but hey I am 40% done with it and I pat myself on the back for jumping to with little question.

IMG_1726

The plaid fabric is from wool pants I got in high school, I spent to much money on them from Abercrombie & Fitch and the blue floral pattern is from a pair of Old Navy pajama bottoms.  There is also a pair of my maternity jeans and a dress shirt of Steve’s.  All blues and perfect size for a floor blanket or to fit Olive’s toddler bed.

Next up, baby food.  For my first Mother’s Day my dearest friend gave me a recipe and educator book about making your own baby food.  I skimmed through it read what pertained to my age baby and pureed some peas.  At 6 months she was eating two times a day.  I gave her fruit and rice cereal in the morning and then vegetables with oatmeal cereal in the evening.  Now she is 7 months, still on a similar schedule but with oatmeal cereal in the am and multi grain cereal in the pm.  I will also be working in a third meal at some point depending on her schedule.  Olive loves to eat food.  She loves sitting in her high chair and putting on her bib.  She eats her whole meal no matter the contents or the size with no complaints.  A few breaks but no complaints.  She hasn’t dissed a food yet either, she’s a good eater like her parents! Bottles on the other hand are a whole new topic of frustrating discussion!

IMG_1778

Olive here at 7 months eating Spinach & Apples.  Notice the mess of happiness on her face and in her hair!

I spend one day for 2 hours every two weeks in the kitchen making her food.  Labor day I made: (by ice cube tray) squash, carrots, peaches, apple & spinach and blueberry & banana.  I also froze applesauce into ice cube trays for convenience and mixing with other fruits and veggies.  I also had peas and mangos left over from the last batch a few weeks ago.  I buy frozen, steam or defrost the veggies and fruit and put it in a Magic Bullet to puree.  I use breast milk to thin out if needed.  I date the batches, label what it is and if I used BM (breast milk) or F (formula).  After they are frozen in the trays I transfer the cubes to plastic bags with the same labels.  Every night before bed I take out her meals for the next day, put them in little tupperware containers with lids and stick them in the fridge, no microwaving to defrost.  Mix up her cereal, combine and serve.  Easy Peasy!

IMG_1777

She likes mixtures.  I bought some of those packets of baby food to try other flavors.  Test the water before I spent the time.  She likes those packs but prefers the home made stuff more!  She loves her mama’s cookin’!  I do think that is a great way to see if your baby likes certain foods though, I bought the Target brand ones at 89 cents a piece and she gobbled them up.  I keep them on hand for on the go, which they are AWESOME on the go.  Squirt some on a spoon and into the mouth, so easy!

Some would say that opening a jar or a pouch is much easier and comparable in price which that’s their option.  I like knowing what is going into her body and knowing that I made the effort to provide her that yumminess.  I don’t believe the cost is comparable at all since one bag of steam ready squash is $1.24 and it makes 4 serving which one pouch is 89 cents at one serving.  Yes you factor in time but it’s one – two hours every two weeks, it’s very doable if you’re not lazy! 🙂

Being a stay at home mama has brought me more joy than anything in my life.  I like being able to provide her with love and attention, giving her what she needs and playing games, singing songs and teaching her life lessons with out missing any milestones or smiles.  Not only has staying home with her benefited her well being but it has also benefited mine.  I have really taken this opportunity to find my own aspirations and seek out hobbies that I thought I didn’t have time for.  I feel more focused, more centered, more alert and more myself than I ever have.

IMG_1674

 

Date Night #1

Wednesday night was our “first” date night at home.  I mean first as, we are making the effort to have a date night at least once a week, we realized how fast life goes by as parents and we don’t want to lose touch with one another along the way.  So we will be cooking a meal together eating it together at the table and talking about how awesome we are.

I subscribe to Everyday with Rachael Ray.  (It was my birthday present last year from Steve.)   We pulled a recipe from the July issue, we made Grilled Bread Salad with Chicken.

Bread Salad

This meal was delicious.  Steve had doubts about the salad but he quickly changed his mind…

I chopped the cucumber, tomato, onion, basil and olives and put it all in a bowl.  Poured some olive oil over the mix, sprinkled salt and pepper and tossed.  The bread took 5 minutes on the grill. I cubed the grilled loaf, laid that cubes on a platter and then dumped the tomato mixture over then bread.  The mixture had enough time to break down to make a little juice, the hot grilled bread soaked up all those juices and presto you have a delicious Bread Salad.  Awwwesome!  Lay your chicken on the platter and juice one lemon over everything, then devour!  You want to keep eating it and you will but it does fill you up full.

So simple, so clean and super tasty!  I love cooking with Rachael Ray, her recipes are straight forward, everyday foods that that make your tummy happy after you create one of her dishes.

*I like to personalize mine, this called for Feta and I am not a fan, so I left it out.  When I make Bread Salad again I will be adding fresh Mozzarella.

A Birthday Adventure.

I had the most amazing birthday.  My husband, my daughter and I toured our own backyard.  We left early in the morning and visited a donut shop not like any other donut shop.  Glam Doll Donuts is a retro inspired donut cafe with some out of this world flavors.  My husband order a dozen so we could try a little of everything.  All these beautiful donuts were packaged up in this very cool pink box.Glam DollGlam Doll had a VERY vintage photo booth that I could not reisits!  It was baby and I’s first photo booth visit.  I can’t wait until we can make funny faces together!  Thank you Glam Doll Donuts for the amazing sugar high and the kick off to my birthday adventure.Photo Booth

So my birthday was all about visiting places that I have never been in my own city.  Next up was the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park.

 _MG_0019 _MG_0074_MG_0011bw_MG_0040bw _MG_0060 _MG_0066

It was also Baby’s 4 month birthday, so we did a little photo shoot in the Mill Ruins Park.

_MG_0084 _MG_0095 _MG_0101 _MG_0124

The Guthrie Theater was a place I’d heard so much about and never been.  My friend has season tickets and her and her mother go almost every Thursday night.  I’ve had photographer friends shoot families and engagement photos there, so since I was so close I figured we needed to check it out!

panarama

_MG_0155 _MG_0151

_MG_0184

_MG_0204 _MG_0201 _MG_0165bw

Lunch time was upon us and we set off for the Midtown Global Market.  I was thankful that it wasn’t very busy so we got to see every thing in there.                                                     We ate gyros at the Holy Land Deli.

_MG_0215

What a day!!  After we napped for an hour, the baby had been on the go all day and did a great job.  She’s a trooper and loves to travel!

We meet my in-laws for dinner.  I have been to Mozza Mia before, right when they opened.  I wanted a caprese salad and their’s is the best!  They make their mozzarella            homemade everyday.

Mozza Miacaprese

What a fantastic day.  Year 28 started out with new beginnings and an adventure.  I sure hope that the rest of my year is as enjoyable.

-A huge thank you to my husband and my baby, without either you it wouldn’t have been as much fun ❤

Tips for your own stay-cation:

  • Research your city.  Visit your cities website to find attractions and events going on.  I searched “cheap things to do in the Twin Cities.”
  • Use urbanspoon or opentable to find restaurants that you’ve never been.  I watch all local channels on TV, I found Glam Doll Donuts on Twin Cities Live.
  • Map out your adventure.  We used the Maps app on my iphone, I put in all the addresses and once we left one spot it directed us to the next.  It was very nice!        –I thought of this once we were out but use public transportation instead of your car, it will really feel like your on vacation.
  • Have fun with it!!  Every time we saw something new or had a fun experience we would say, “I can’t believe I’ve never been here.”  It helped set the mood of a “vacation.”