Hi friends! Happy Friday. I’m so glad you enjoyed my round up post yesterday featuring Easy Throw Together Meal Ideas from blog readers! We already used one of them ourselves this week – the Greek Pasta Salad idea.
This was such an easy and yummy meal – thanks again for the idea, Lesley! I chopped up green pepper, cucumber, and tomato and mixed it with pasta, jarred artichoke hearts (drained and chopped) and a container of feta cheese before adding a simple vinaigrette as the sauce (just equal parts lemon juice and olive oil with a splash of apple cider vinegar and a hefty squirt or two of dijon mustard) along with some salt and pepper.
And because Matt likes to have meat with meals or he doesn’t feel they are complete, we added some pan seared chicken to the mix as well. Chickpeas would be another way to add some protein here, if you aren’t feeling the meat! Also, a random idea/hot tip: if you have leftover pickle juice from a jar of pickles, use it to brine/marinate your chicken before cooking it!
We had enough of the pasta salad to have it for dinner last night, too, which was nice because Matt was only home briefly before heading back out to play soccer. Fast meals FTW.
In other news, I discovered that while Riese isn’t super into plain mashed avocado, she likes avocado toast! I got the idea from this great blog post about the best finger foods for babies – the video has some helpful ideas for different ways (in terms of shape/presentation) to feed certain foods to babies using the baby led weaning approach. Renae’s blog is really great in general in terms of baby led weaning ideas – check it out if you’re interested!
I cut the avocado toast into finger-sized pieces for her with the crust cut off (too hard for her little gums). That bowl of stuff that you see with the toast is applesauce mixed with almond butter, in case you were wondering – she’s really into it! I like having the almond butter in there to add some protein and fat.
Here was my breakfast that day: avocado toast + fried eggs + the ends from Riese’s toast. 😉
Speaking of Riese, she turned 8 months old this week! This is such a fun age – she is so wiggly and busy nowadays it’s hard to get a photo of her, but I love how happy she is in this action shot, and it has been really fun to see her interact more with friend’s babies, too. She is not fully crawling yet but I think she will be REALLY soon – she’s doing a lot of rocking on all fours, and some slow backwards crawling and turning around in a circle while on her belly. Her favorite thing is still jumping – she will jump up and down in our laps or in the bouncer seriously all day! I think we have a future gymnast/trampoline lover on our hands. 😉 No teeth yet, but that doesn’t surprise me as I apparently still didn’t have any teeth on my 1st birthday!
We still love taking lots of walks together – both in the stroller and the carrier although OMG she’s getting heavy it’s becoming more of a workout – and this week I discovered that she likes the rain! We got caught with the dog in a TOTAL downpour on Wednesday afternoon and I didn’t have an umbrella. I was nervous because Riese doesn’t like baths (any tips there?!) and always cries when we get her hair wet, but for whatever reason she was totally unfazed by getting soaked by the rain! Too funny. And yay for a built-in bath. 😉
In other baby news, I decided to drop Friday childcare – so I will be meeting AnneTheRD clients and working on the blog and other side projects 3 days a week now, Mon/Tues/Thurs. I’ve been thinking about doing this for months but I was nervous to talk to our nanny about it because we really love her and I didn’t want to reduce her hours unless she was 100% okay with it. I ended up talking to the family we share her with beforehand and they were up for giving her some Friday hours if she wanted them, but in the end she just wanted Fridays off to be with her grandkids. Win/win. I’m incredibly grateful and feel so lucky to have the flexibility work-wise to get another full day each week with my little love. It has been hard to figure out how much to take advantage of my flexibility/how much I can and want to compress work stuff while still giving myself the time and space to get what I need to done and to fit in client meetings, but I came to the conclusion over the past couple months that I think I can be more focused/efficient on Mon/Tues/Thurs to make up for the lack of time on Fridays. It also helps that Riese is going a little bit longer in between nursing sessions now (and obviously this will continue to stretch as she eats more and more real food and approaches the 1 year point), so that will free up some extra time/flexibility on my work days moving forward as well. Anyway, we’ll see! I’ll still be publishing a blog post on Friday mornings, but I’ll be pre-writing it and pre-publishing it now vs. sharing it live – so that said, there may be some Fridays where I disappear and now you will know why. 🙂 Today is our first Friday off together, and we have big plans – a storytime outing at the library and a play date later. I put on my big girl pants and posted on a local listserv to try to find some mom friends with kids around the same age who are free at least occasionally during work hours, and I got a few responses already, so that’s exciting. Glad I took the initiative – yay for potential new friends for both Riese and me!
Have a great weekend, guys! I’ll leave you with a few links I thought would be of interest from around the web:
- 5 Minute Homemade Breakfast Cereal (yum!!)
- Living with Diabetes: What You Should Know (interesting and well written post from a dietitian blogger’s husband who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes)
- Baby Led Weaning Ideas for 8 Month Olds (she has ideas on her site for other months, too – so helpful!)