March 22, 2017

That time we almost bought a Cadillac...

Our family car was a 2001 Toyota Sequoia.  It was an absolutely amazing car.  It was HUGE with a V8 engine and 3rd row seats and was just the BEST family car.  I would have driven that car forever, I absolutely loved it.  Over the last two years I would estimate that we have sunk $5,000 into the car trying to keep it running.  In June, it broke down in the middle of a 4 lane bypass during morning rush hour. Ever since then, things have been going down hill no matter what hubs did to try and fix it.  Over the past two weeks the malfunctions got severe and not worth the cost to fix it all.  We just couldn't risk it anymore.

We saw an advertisement for a Cadillac SUV with low mileage and well within our price range.  While we were not in the market for a luxury vehicle, we felt like we had to go see if it was too good to be true.  We looked at the car and even test drove it.  It was an amazing vehicle and we wanted it something awful...I have never once cared about what kind of car someone drives.  Both of our vehicles were 16-17 years old and I am SO proud of that.  I just could care less about bells and whistles....but that Caddy just exuded coolness. It was a little intoxicating. The downside to being a parent is having to make responsible decisions...

Between the white leather seats, being too small to fit a stroller and sports equipment as well as no third row...We had to sober up and remember that we have kids.  Leather and baseball/football cleats don't mix.  White and kids don't mix.  Sans stroller means I would have to haul Vivian around on my hip and if you hadn't noticed, shes got some junk and its not just in the 18 lbs and 5 months old.  Needless to say, we had to let go of the #fancydream and move on with our search to find our next family car.

It was so hard to let go of the Caddy.  I could just see myself stepping out of that car, swinging my hair back with Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" blasting, looking like one of those fancy stay-at-home mamas I see picking up their kids in the car pick-up line, with their perfect hair, skinny jeans and booties on.  The reality is, we are more of an after-school program family, as both the hubs and I work full-time, complete with our car filled to the brim with baseball equipment, dirty clothes, diapers, bottles, bills and red Georgia dirt ground into the carpet.  Fancy ain't really our game.

After enduring several dealerships and some super sleazy, very stereotypical, car salesmen, we ended up being very successful in our car search and purchased a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder.  I have to say, I never thought we would purchase anything other that a Toyota.  We have been a Toyota family for the last 6 years and they have served us very well.  In the end, the Nissan won us over.  Still feeling a little sting over having to let that intoxicating Caddy go, but we made the best decision for our family. Thanks, kids.  Y'all are why we can't have all the fancy thangs!

What have your car shopping experiences been like?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway we have going on this week!

March 20, 2017

How to prevent a huge mess...

So I have no tips on how to prevent your baby from creating messes.  If you solve that issue, please let me know ASAP.  I have, however, had a couple of people ask me about how I have made some of Vivian's baby food and how I store it, so i thought I would share a recipe as well as my go-to products.

PS-There is a really awesome giveaway at the bottom!

*Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor...please speak with your pediatrician before introducing foods to your baby.*

One of Bubba's first foods was sweet potatoes and to this day they are one of his favorite veggies.  So in true form, Vivian is following in her beloved big brother's footsteps.  Like a true southern girl, she loves sweet potatoes just like her brother did.  The great thing about using sweet potatoes as baby's first food, besides being a superfood, they are extremely easy to prepare, store and freeze.  Right now, Vivian eats a very small portion of food 2-3 times a day so she is still drinking formula and breastmilk for all of her other meals. 

| H E L P F U L   T O O L S |

 | I N G R E D I E N T S |

Sweet Potatoes

That's it. Nothing else!  No sugar, no spice.  This is your chance to be in control of your children's taste buds.  Help them to appreciate vegetables in their purest states.  Introduce them to all the veggies and fruits, even the ones you don't care for.

| M E T H O D |

Pre-heat oven to 425, Wash and scrub sweet potatoes, pat dry

Place sweet potatoes on foil lined baking pan and bake for 45 minutes or until completely soft

Let cool then begin removing skin ( I do this by cutting sweet potatoes in half, then peel the skin off)

Use whatever processing tool you are using and blend until completely smooth, I prefer an immersion blender simply because I already had one and it has a really handy food processor attachment to it.

I store these as pure sweet potatoes, but when I serve them to Vivian I add a splash of water or breast milk as sweet potatoes are pretty thick for a stage 1 eater.

For storage, I prefer Kiinde breast milk and Foodii storage bags.  Vivian is eating a little food, but is also still drinking formula and breast milk.  All of my breast milk is stored in Kiinde bags.  I was able to pump directly into the Kiinde bags and avoid messy transfers.  I can even feed Vivian my thawed milk directly from the bag I pumped into as they have handy bottles you can put the bags in to feed your baby.  These bags are just perfect because they handle everything!  I love that I only need to buy ONE product to store everything.  I love that the bags are inter-compatible with one another, so I am able to use my remaining stash of Kiinde breast milk storage bags to store sweet potatoes and other pureed foods in.  These bags hold up really well in the freezer and are completely recyclable.  

I used 5 medium sweet potatoes for this batch and ended up with about 6 cups of baby food.  That will last a while, so most of the stash is in the freezer.

The kind people at Kiinde (see what i did there?) are offering one lucky Red Velvet Rooster mama a free starter set. The starter set includes: 20 storage bags, 14 breast pump adapters (these are what allow you to directly pump into the bags from whatever pump you use), storage bag keeper, feeding bottle, slow-flow, medium-flow, and fast-flow nipple with cases and nipple cleaning brushes.  I am telling you, YOU want this.  Even if you are not bottle feeding this is a great starter set for those looking to store homemade baby foods.  Enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Monday, Y'all!


March 17, 2017

The first taste...

Over the past week we have begun introducing food to Vivian, per our pediatrician's approval.  I felt very strongly about making as much of her baby food as possible, I think in large part because I was unable to breastfeed for as long as I had hoped.  This is my way of overcompensating because of the mom guilt I feel for my inability to breastfeed for a year.  I know, I shouldn't feel any guilt...but I do, so I have harnessed all of that guilt and put it towards something that is in my control and is much more productive than moping.  I am very new on this journey of homemade baby food, but I thought I would share my must-haves for that first month of introducing new foods. 

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.*
Immersion blender // Re-Play Bowls // Kiinde Storage Bags // Training Sippy Cup // Copper Pearl Bibs // Baby spoons // Re-Play Divided Plates

I have not purchased a special processor for Vivian's baby food because, so far, there has not been a need to.  Currently, I am using our immersion stick blender that we received as a wedding gift over 6 years ago.  I have heard great things about the Baby Bullet.  I, personally, am just trying to avoid buying a specialized kitchen appliance (I have enough of those) that will take up space in my cabinet.  The Re-Play bowls and plates are made from recycled milk jugs which I find so cool and the Nuby spoons change colors to let you know if the food is too hot.  I just love baby products.

One of my absolute favorite things on this list are the Copper Pearl bandana drool bibs.  They may say drool bibs, but I use them as general bibs to catch all the things that can possibly dribble out of baby's face...from spit up and drool to food to snot...They are just great for everyday use and wash really well...Plus they are stylish, which is the most important part here, obvi!

Copper Pearl is offering 10% discount exclusively for Red Velvet Rooster readers! I have a ton of mama's out there that I know will love these...some of you already use them!  Use code REDVELVET10 here to receive 10% off. Code is good for 1 week!

Happy Friday sweet friends!  Thank you for reading and supporting my blog.  It is greatly appreciated!

*This post contains affiliate links*

Linking up with some of my favorite friday blogs!!