New Fave Easy Dinner + 8 Month Old Baby Updates

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.

greek chicken pasta salad easy

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.

greek chicken pasta salad easy recipe

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!

brine chicken with pickle juice

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. ;)

avocado 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:


  1. 1

    I’m happy for you that you can spend more time with your little one! I’ve recently adjusted my schedule for more time at home and I’m loving it. It was definitely the best decision for us. Thanks for the recipe! I am looking for some new ones I can entice my husband to eat and minus the artichoke hearts (wah) and def with chicken I think he will eat this!

  2. 2
    Elizabeth says

    Hi Anne! You probably have lots of recipe ideas already, but thought I’d put a plug in for “Real Baby Food”, a cookbook that I loved for starting our older son on solids. Has lots of easy, healthy, and delicious recipes that are good for adults to share too. We now have a 5-month-old and looking forward to letting him experiment with solids soon!

  3. 4

    That pasta dish looks really yummy and easy! Riese is such a millenial, only liking avocado toast, haha. She is super adorable and seems like a really happy baby :)

    Have a great weekend!

  4. 6

    Wow, Riese is getting so big! She’s gorgeous.
    Thanks so much for featuring my recipe, Anne! :)

  5. 8
    Roadrunner says

    Sounds like a nice decision; glad it is all working out. And what a wonderful picture of her!

  6. 9

    Thanks for the mention Anne! I love hearing that you’re finding my blog useful. 😀 My daughter is so into the toast version of avocado, too. 🤷‍♀️The link doesn’t seem to be going to the right page, so for those of you interested, here’s the blog post Anne was talking about:

    • 10

      Sorry about that Renae! I just updated the link :) Thanks for your great blog – I’ve been finding it really helpful!

  7. 11

    I’m so happy you liked this recipe! Your pasta looks delish and when did Riese become your husband’s twin? :) So cute!

  8. 13

    Is the link to the finger foods site working? I keep getting sent back to the post from yesterday of throw together meals, which was great, but would like to see the BLW finger foods post! Thanks!

  9. 15

    Random comment but thanks for posting the article on type 1. My 20 month old son was diagnosed 2 months ago and it’s akways helpful to read other stories (and i had very similar reactions (for my son) that he had.

  10. 17
    Heather C says

    Love your blog! My child and I are doing many of the same things as you and Riese (I can totally relate to the backwards crawling and storytime at the library is so fun)!!!!

    As for the bath, if you have a rain head shower, you could experiment with taking her into the shower with you and singing to her (Singing in the Rain – ha, ha). That might relax her. My child doesn’t have problems being in the bath, but doesn’t enjoy getting out (i.e. complete meltdown), so we incorporate a deep tissue massage after bath time and he is much more relaxed about it all.

  11. 19

    Have patience with the baby in the bath thing. After a while it changes from hating the bath to loving it and you will be unable to get your little one out of the tub! They will splish and splash until the whole bathroom is a soggy mess. That’s my one and a half year old anyway. :)

  12. 21

    Gosh I miss the fun of feeding babies! (but not so much the mess ;)). Riese is just precious and getting so big! And thank you for the shout out <3

  13. 23

    Wondering what site you posted on to find other local moms? I’m not in DC but have a 7 month old and am really starting to feel the cabin fever! We’ve started storytime at the library but looking to find other moms in my area. Thanks Anne! Love your blog.

    • 24

      Hi Michelle! :) Thanks for reading! I posted on a local/neighborhood moms listserv, so very specific to here unfortunately, but I would check out the site NextDoor and see if there is one set up in your neighborhood!

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