Saturday, January 28, 2012

Little man's mustache bash!

Everyone always told me how time really does go by in a flash.  When I was a kid, I just couldn't seem to fully grasp this.  But then the elementary years flew by.  Then high school and college came and again, they flew by in a flash.  Next thing I know I'm married and living in a new country.  It was only then that I even began getting this lesson.  Then came the birth of my first child, and again friends and family told me this time will fly and I will miss it.  But now, I suppose this is a lesson I will continue to expand on every day of my life.  As my son has just celebrated his first birthday.  And though I don't wish to go back in time (I'm liking this age so much!) there are times I can't believe this big boy is the same child I held so carefully in my arms just one year ago.
I have been looking forward to throwing my child's birthday parties long before I even had parties.  I had so much fun at birthday parties when I was a kid, and I couldn't wait to share that joy to my own little one.  And so, the planning began.  I spent countless hours scouring the internet for creative 1st birthday party ideas.  I thought of a Japanese theme (but did that for the nursery), I thought of a hungry caterpillar theme (but that's been done too many times), and finally found something that stood out to me.  A barber shop.  Though this theme wasn't geared toward a 1 year old, I thought it was perfect for our situation- since Zach is as bald as they get.  But as I researched more and more, I found this was going to be extremely difficult for a FIRST birthday.  Maybe in the future.  But that's when I began brainstorming a new idea- a mustache bash with a little man spin on it.  I mean it doesn't get more manly then a mustache bash with ties!  And so, the planning began.
I found someone online to help me design all the favors and decorations.  Thank you so much to Three Little Monkey Studios for all your help in my little man's bash!  These items really set the scene for my party!
Loved these labels!

I'd love to stay and chat, but I really "must-dash"

These were supposed to be tie shaped turkey melts but they didn't work out well

I mustache you a question but I'll shave it for later

how adorable was this sign?

And so with the food prepared and decorations set, the friends began arriving!
Ready to party!

Whatcha looking at?

I had the great idea of setting up a photo booth upstairs.  I've seen it done a few times before, and thought I could definitely put a "little man" spin on it.  And so, I decorated the hallway with green wrapping paper and blue crepe paper and supplied props for guests to dress in.  Guests were allowed to take three shots and I then would email them out.  This was a huge hit and the guests had so much fun doing it! 
Alicia and I

Natalie and Courtney

Emmy, London, and Joey

The Coats kids

Ben and Claire

Eric and Ashley

Jess and Claire

Steve and Louise


My crazy husband

Yes- a photo of me!

My family

And it was time for the must fun part of a 1st birthday party- the cake!  I decided to make a bunch of "mini" cakes in the shapes of mustaches and ties.  I spent a LONG time trying to get these cakes to look right.  It was extremely hard, and I was not happy with the result.  This is why I don't bake!  But thankfully, nobody seemed to care about the appearance because they tasted great, including Zach!
He was so interested in these balloons 

Not that interested in anything but those balloons

Oh hey, this is good though

Just a bit messy

Taking a break to grow my stache

And then he got to open presents!
He loves reading!
Thanks to this toy, he now has a fascination with cars and trucks!
pink paper?

Some of the other kids found presents of their own

He loves this farm animals book.  

We had such a great time at our little man's mustache bash.  I had so much fun planning, and am looking forward to many more parties in the future.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

baby friendly banana bread muffins

This week, out of nowhere, I have adopted a new son.  My sweet, bald, little boy has been replaced by a stubborn, but still bald, mischievous little man. No longer will my boy allow Mama or Dada to spoon feed him.  Oh no, he will try to grab that spoon from our hands and get food all over the place.  He will fuss and turn his head every time that spoon of whatever yumminess comes toward that little mouth.  What a little booger I now have.  I believe I will be inventing the term "stubborn 1's" for the next year of his life.
He will eat finger food (and of course throw some on the floor for the dog to eat) every morning and evening.  But heaven forbid a spoon comes out.  So lately, I have been trying to give him any kind of finger food so he will at least eat something!  I have been giving him pieces of tofu coated with infant cereal, and have been racking my brain for other alternatives to cheerios at breakfast.
Zach loves bananas, so I thought banana bread would be a great breakfast food for this picky little man.  Unfortunately, I racked the internet for days searching for a wheat free egg free recipe, but found very little.  I figured this was ok, as wheat is fine in moderation for little ones.  I started searching for vegan recipes, since they didn't contain any eggs.  After some searching, I found the perfect recipe for moist, banana bread muffins, perfect for a certain stubborn bald boy over at The Clean Eating Mama.  I found the recipe to be exactly what I was looking for, and went to baking.  They came out perfect, the only issue I had, was they came out a bit sweeter then I was comfortable with feeding an infant.  Next time I will decrease the sugar a bit, but not too much.

Here's the recipe:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil oil OR 1/4 vegan butter like Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup organic raw sugar 
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached organic white flour and 1 cup organic whole wheat    flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 360 degrees 
Cream oil with sugars. In a separate bowl mash bananas with a fork. Add bananas to oil and sugar and mix well. 
Now add the dry ingredients to the wet, making sure to scrape the sides and mix well. 
Spray cooking spray in a muffin tin and add dollops of batter into each slot – 3/4 of the way full. 
Bake for 25 minutes. 
Makes 12 muffins. 

This recipe was perfect for both babies and adults alike!  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

cheerios muffins

Every morning I start my day sitting down for breakfast with Zach.  He always indulges in some cheerios while I have my omlette.  Often I will bake a batch of muffins as well so on occasion he will have a muffin and cheerios.  Today while browsing pinterest, I stumbled upon a recipe for cheerios muffins.  I couldn't believe what i was reading.  Cheerios AND muffins?  I think Zach would be the happiest kid in the world if i made these for him.  And so... I baked.

I found this recipe on smashed peas and carrots but had to change a few things around to make it for an 11 month old.  Her recipe would be great for big kids though!

Here's my recipe:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
5 cups of Cheerios
2 tablespoons flaxseed
6 tablespoons water
1 tsp vanilla
homemade buttermilk (2 tablespoons lemon juice+ breastmilk/formula to make 2 cups)

To make the buttermilk put 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a measuring cup and add milk to make 2 cups.  
Add the flax seed and water to a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes while you gather other ingredients.
In a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients and set aside.  
Mix all wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients making sure to incorporate well.  
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and wait about 30 minutes for the cereal to soften.  
Pour batter into a lined muffin tin and bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  
This recipe should make about 2 dozen muffins.