Grateful


This is just a little Friday afternoon note to thank you for reading my blog. I'm grateful to have this creative outlet to share and document our days! 


I read this today and I wanted to take the time to share it here.
If you start living for the smallest reasons, that's when you know you're really living. The smell of rain after a thunderstorm, the shades of pavements when it's autumn, the harvest season and the unspoken competition to pick the freshest tomatoes, the mediocre midnights and the color of the sunsets, the smell of bakeshops early in the morning, the frosty breeze of the fast-approaching winter, the thickness of paper when flipping through magazine pages, the smell of new books and new clothes and new things. When you start looking at things, really really looking, you'll start living. Because then you'll understand how it is to be a human in this world full of people.
This weekend, I wish you days filled with small moments lived with a joyful heart.

XO
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Starting Solids


Magnolia is just about eight months old and we decided last week would be the perfect time to introduce her to the new world of tastes and textures. Up until this point she has been 100% exclusively breastfed - no bottles, no pacifiers, no cereals, no sippy cups. She's relied solely on her momma's milk since the day she was born. Considering the pain I dealt with in the beginning of nursing her, I am very proud of how far we've come. And I don't see us stopping anytime soon. It's been hard work, but the bond and beauty of our relationship far outweighs the challenges. She pulls from my body to nourish her own. She's grown strong, and beautiful, and intelligent. Not only does she come to me for nourishment she comes to me for warmth, closeness and comfort. Breastfeeding her is one of the most soulfully rewarding things I've ever done in my life.

The World Health Organization suggests that all babies wait until at least six months old before being introduced to solids. Waiting past six months only provides even more health advantages. At the end of this post I'll share a few links to sources of my research about all the health advantages of waiting to introduce solids, along with why we will not be feeding her baby cereal, and why to ditch the sippy cup.


I am making all of her baby food at home with organic vegetables and fruits. I'm referring to this cookbook for recipes and ideas, also I love this baby food blog. I shared on my Instagram stories a few images of her first baby food being made in the steamer and blender. I made organic peas with breastmilk and freshly chopped basil.


She's really not a fan of the baby food yet! Each morning after she nurses she tastes her baby food. Today she did just a little better than the day before.


I keep her doll close by so that we can pretend to feed her. I usually pretend to (and sometimes I actually do) take a taste of her food.


One day she knocked the entire bowl off the tray and her baby food went everywhere! My mornings are a whole lot messier now.



We love our bowl, spoon, and bib from Silikids. The spoons encourage independent eating habits with the textured handle that gives a tactile experience. The bib goes straight to the sink to be washed each morning after she tastes her baby food. The bowl comes with a lid that can be used as a plate, and it can also be used for storage. Silikids have such great products, all of which are a wonderful alternative to plastic.

This was her reaction to her first few tastes of food. Ha!


Below are links from my research about starting solids, sippy cups, and baby cereal.
10 Reasons to Delay Solids
Starting Solids from Kelly Mom
Starting Solids - The Facts Behind Today's Media Hype 
Cup Confusion: Are Sippy Cups Bad For My Baby?
Four Reasons to Skip Rice Cereal
Stop Feeding Your Baby Cereal

XO


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Front Door Sign


Ryan teases me that his cell phone sounds like a slot machine because he'll get an email notification each time I order something off of Amazon. I do a lot of online shopping and that means we have the UPS and FedEx guy at our house several times a week 😉. I cannot tell you how many times Magnolia has been woke up from one of her cat naps because of the doorbell. Why I ever waited seven months to have this sign made for our front door, I do not know! This would make a GREAT baby shower gift. I wish I would have had it when she was a brand new baby.


I also have a huge pet peeve about shoes being worn in the house, and now that Magnolia is crawling around on the floors I'm even more concerned about all the gross stuff that is tracked in from outside. Here are nine reasons NOT to wear shoes in your home. To take the awkwardness out of asking every single visitor to please remove their shoes, I had the back side of the sign made to ask visitors to take off their shoes. When we are expecting guests I can simply flip the sign over!


The sign was custom made from Enchanting Patina on Etsy here.

I hope you're having a happy little weekend.
XO

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When It Gets Crisp In The Fall


Autumn just happens to be my favorite season, and I'm also one of those pumpkin-spice-everything lovers. I've never decorated much for my favorite season. Ryan actually encouraged me to fill our home with all things fall this year. As Magnolia and I were shopping for our festive decor, I walked by the Christmas products, and it dawned on me. I've always loved fall because of the anticipation that comes with it - the Christmas season is around the corner. Christmas just happens to be my favorite holiday! Looking forward to something is half the joy, I'd say. I'm glad Ryan wanted our home to be full of pumpkins, pinecones, and little reminders of the season of gratitude. Now we get to enjoy all the warmth that fills our home as the air begins to turn crisp. This is the season for chunky sweaters, hot chocolate, fuzzy blankets, and lots of cuddling. 

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Canceled Vacations


Last winter I was on the sofa sitting next to Ryan as I rubbed my big belly and felt Magnolia kicking and somersaulting around inside of me. Ryan's phone rang and it was a salesperson asking if we'd be interested in traveling to one of their resorts for four nights for x amount of dollars. It was a great deal and we jumped on the offer. We knew we wanted to start traveling early on with Magnolia so she'd be a pro at being away from home, and we figured she'd love exploring as much as us. After she was born we picked the resort in Florida and we booked our flights. I started shopping for itty-bitty swimsuits, beach towels and coverups, sunscreen and swimming diapers. We couldn't wait to show Magnolia the ocean, my most favorite place in the world.


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Fall Inspired Protein Packed Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oat Squares


It's that time of year to enjoy all things pumpkin and spice and today I'm sharing a recipe for a healthy protein packed treat. And it has chocolate in it, even better!
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Little Lucca Love + Coupon Code


My little sister Mallory is the shop owner of Little Lucca Love, a children's boutique. All of her items are handmade with love and the most beautiful of detailing. She has the prettiest selection of bonnets and for this fall she's added new items like the waffle knit peplum top and bloomies that Magnolia is wearing here. In her shop you'll also find rompers, polka dot peplums, and crochet sweaters.


What I love about small shops are the unique looks of each item. I love to dress Magnolia in items that you cannot find just anywhere. A touch of unique makes each outfit especially hers. When you buy from a small shop you're supporting an individual, a mom, a family. You'll feel part of a community that makes a big economic impact. And short & sweet, you'll feel really good about your purchase. Each time you put a handmade bonnet or bow or bloomies on your babe you'll know it was made with passion & love, something you cannot get from a factory made item.




My sister left her teaching career to stay at home with her babies and she started Little Lucca Love as a way to bring in extra money. Slowly but surely she grew a large following on Instagram and now her shop brings in enough money to support her family. Her fall line was such a big hit that she had to close the shop for a week or so just to get caught up. She has been working hard to add new pieces to her shop that re-opens today. And our Sweet Magnolia just happens to have a coupon code (found at the end of this post) for 15% off your entire purchase!




Magnolia has quite a few of the Little Lucca Love bonnets and at first I used to try and match her outfits with the prints. Eventually I found that adding a floral bonnet to any outfit, regardless of what her outfit looked like, was super sweet. Babies are meant to mix and match the cutest of prints!






You can find Little Lucca Love on Instagram here and Facebook here.

For 15% off your entire purchase enter coupon code: MAGNOLIA15 at check-out. You can shop her boutique here.

XO
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Autumn Bucket List


It's September and the mornings are chilly, the air smells crisp & fresh, and the leaves are beginning to turn to bright warm colors. Autumn is by far my favorite season and my soul gets all the warm and fuzzy feelings. I'm ready to throw on a fuzzy sweater, sip on a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and take my hubby and baby to wander around the streets that are covered in leaves.
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Our New Cedar Deck


When Ryan and I bought our home not even two years ago we knew it'd be a place we'd passionately renovate over the years. We did quite a bit to the interior right away, and we still have a long list of things we still want to do, like a new laundry room (hopefully next spring) and finishing the basement. Eventually we will update all the bathrooms. Last year we did the front yard landscaping and Ryan's hobby is making the lawn as lush as a golf course. This spring and summer we had the exterior painted, and we installed all new light fixtures. We also had our small deck removed and a much larger cedar deck added. I shared progress photos of our deck as it was being built on Instagram. Today I'm doing a proper post to share some of the after photos along with our source information at the end.
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