final thoughts on baby-led weaning

baby-led weaning

Isla turns one in pretty much one second and I thought I should wrap up this whole BLW convo since most one-year-olds are well into solids at this point. But a funny thing has happened. I thought I’d write this final post about baby-led weaning and brag about how Isla eats everything we eat, including all her veggies, and tell you how she’s the best eater in the world. But, um, no. Blame it on teething, stubborn baby syndrome or just plain old pickiness, but Isla has been fighting me on solids. Every last bit of everything ends up on the floor and I’ve come to find myself with a spoon in my hand (GASP!). I know, I know. Defeats the purpose of baby-led weaning to now, at 11 months old, be spoon-feeding purées, right? But I choose sleep. If she doesn’t get enough to eat she doesn’t sleep through the night, and without that spoon-fed bowl of yogurt or other mushy something or other at dinnertime, this girl is up and hungry in the wee hours. So alas, after this long journey, this babe is rejecting almost all veggies (peas and corn to the rescue!) and wants to be spoon-fed. It’s a work in progress, folks.

Now for the good news.

First, smoothies are the best thing ever. I put ANYTHING and everything in them. Vegetables are easily hidden in fruity goodness. Isla drinks about 10 ounces of smoothie each day and sometimes it’s the only way I can get her enough fruits and veggies.

Second. Meat. She’s a carnivore, that girl, which means chicken nuggets for everyone!

Third. She’s learning to spoon-feed herself … sort of. I’ve been giving her loaded spoons of food for a while and from the very beginning she had it figured out. Lately though, with all the mush that’s being served, I started helping her actually use the spoon to scoop food off the tray and out of the bowl. She’s zero for about 100 tries on her own, but trying is the operative word. She now requires that she have her own bowl and spoon during most meals.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos this last month of eating. Sorry! But let’s talk about the new foods we tried anyway …

Potatoes. Can you believe it took me this long to give her regular old potatoes? I got so used to making sweet potatoes I kind of forgot about these guys. Needless to say, she’s a fan. Mashed, smashed, boiled. No matter.

Shrimp. Our doc told us early on that if we’re having shellfish for dinner we’re welcome to give some to the baby, but that it’s not really a food you go out of your way to introduce. Well, we were having this shrimp bruschetta and since I almost never make a separate meal for Isla unless we’re eating something seriously unhealthy, we decided to let her have a taste. Overall, she liked the shrimp, but, as always, she was more interested in the cheese and pasta. Also, this same meal brings me to …

Olives. A few weeks before the bruschetta meal, I gave Isla a piece of a calamata olive I was eating and she was obsessed! I didn’t give her too much since olives are really salty, but I am quite proud that I have an infant who loves olives! She makes a really funny face with every bite but always goes back for more. She even chooses the olives over the shrimp in the bruschetta!

Turkey. Thanksgiving was a success! Isla enjoyed her first official turkey dinner, complete with gravy, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing and everything in between.

Cheerios. She eats about a handful after breakfast. And I say after breakfast because if she even sees the box beforehand she will not eat anything else.

Spinach. I’m not sure if we’ve talked about spinach before, but I put it in her smoothies. Her favorite is spinach + frozen sliced peaches + yogurt  + banana + apple cider. She sucks that puppy down.

Quinoa (cooked in low-sodium chicken broth). I’m thinking of adding this to smoothies also, but for now I add it to her dinner purée of veggies/fruits to give it some texture. She tried to eat piles of quinoa with her fingers but it didn’t work, for obvious reasons, and she still can’t quite get it from the spoon to her mouth without it all falling off. We’re working on this.

Cucumber slices. Blech. Even slathered in her beloved hummus, these slices end up on the floor every time.

Red grapes. I peel these and cut them in half and Isla eats them like candy.

English Muffins. Isla loves the nooks and crannies, just like the commercial said she would! No, I’m kidding, but she does love these, especially when slathered with cream cheese or peanut butter.

So what have I learned during this six-month journey with baby-led weaning? I would absolutely do it again. While we may be in the midst of our roughest patch since we started, it’s clear my babe is a fantastic eater. If I had to do it all over again (and hopefully I’ll get the chance again some day with baby number two), I wouldn’t change a thing. While the fear of choking never really goes away, I’m certain BLW has helped Isla learn how to handle her food from the very beginning. She truly does eat what we eat at mealtimes most days and she rarely meets a food she doesn’t like. For a not-yet-one-year-old, I think that’s pretty impressive.

Thanks for following along! As always, please share your own tips, questions and suggestions in the comment section.

For more about our journey with BLW:
BLW week one | BLW part two | BLW part three | BLW part four |
BLW: an overview | BLW part five | kid-friendly cheesy broccoli bites |
egg-free banana-blueberry yogurt pancakes | BLW part six | macaroni and cheese w/ broccoli | baked chicken nuggets
Instagram (hashtag #BLWwithIslaBee)

baby-led weaning

Posted in Baby, Baby-Led Weaning, Food & Drink | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

this is not a fashion blog

dark and moody | really risa

The other day a good friend of mine said to someone, “Risa has a fashion blog.” I took it as a compliment since she seemed to be implying I’m fashionable, but I’ve never actually considered this a fashion blog. I think of it more as a Look, I Got Dressed Today blog that has been hijacked by a baby. With that being said, I got dressed on Saturday and this is what I wore! To be fair, I think I also wore this another day last week but I can’t be sure. The holidays combined with freezing cold weather and being trapped inside with an adorable monster means my days have kind of blurred together. Chris and I went on a date on Friday night though! It’s been about 11 months since we’ve done that (cough, baby, cough). We grabbed burgers and beers for his birthday while his parents kept the monster busy. I missed her and we talked about her a lot, but it was pretty amazing to be out just the two of us. We really needed that. I even wore heels! Well, sort of. I wore these booties, which do technically have heels. I found them in my closet when I was getting ready and they literally had a layer of dust on them. Now that, my friends, is sad, sad, sad.  I don’t know how you other parents do it, but it seems to me like having babysitters on speed dial is a must for both your personal sanity and that of your marriage. Time to get on that.

dark and moody | really risa

dark and moody | really risa dark and moody | really risa dark and moody | really risa

dark and moody | really risa {Zara sweatshirt + jeans; H&M top; Costa Blanca vest (via Kendi Everyday‘s old shop, Bloom); Gap hat (last season, but I love this one); Anthropologie bag; Boden boots (same boots in suede); NARS “Never Say Never” velvet matte lip pencil}

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mad for metallics | holiday decor on a budget

Target gold bead garland in a metallic Christmas tree mug | really risa

 Gold bead garland (Target) + Christmas tree mug (Marshalls)

Right around Thanksgiving I realized we owned not one piece of holiday decor other than a few ornaments. I’m not kidding. Not even one. Since we’re hosting Christmas at our house for the very first time this year we clearly needed to step up our decorating game. But with Chris’ birthday (yesterday), my mom’s birthday (tomorrow), Isla’s birthday (January) and all the gift-giving that comes with Christmas, our budget is kind of limited (read: SPENT!). Challenge accepted. I scoured Target, A.C. Moore, Marshalls, Etsy and everything in between to find inexpensive decor that will work both for Christmas and for Isla’s birthday party, as well as some things that will work year-round. I’m obsessed with everything gold and brass and already own a lot of silver mercury glass from our wedding so I did my best to find both shimmery pieces and muted elements to tame the metallic chaos, like feathers, ceramics, greenery and acorns. Gaudy is just not my thing. Here’s a look.

Using Christmas Tree Branches as holiday decor

We had to cut a few branches off of our Christmas tree so I chopped up some of the remains and used them around the house, like here on the marble ledge in our kitchen. Then I added candles I already owned and fake metallic and red berries (A.C. Moore). Tip: Every time I’ve been to A.C. Moore this season its entire holiday decor selection has been 50 percent off!

Metallic Christmas decor |really risa

 I found this pretty deer bell (Home Goods) a few weeks ago for only a few dollars. I’m thinking this guy is going to stick around even after the holidays.

Christmas tree branches in mini vases on desk in home office

More fresh snips from our tree on the desk in the office/guest room. I’m determined to make the entire house smell like Christmas.

Metallic Christmas decor | really risa

The nutcracker + the tall, sparkly strands were also only a few dollars (A.C. Moore).

Metallic and rustic holiday decor | really risa

I love the gold branches (A.C. Moore) in the rustic vase (from our minimoon in Cape May two years ago).

Dining Room Decor: Eucalyptus in white pitcher

Black furniture shows EVERYTHING. It also makes our dining room feel really dark. To brighten it up a bit I opted for a simple white pitcher (from our wedding registry at Pottery Barn) with stems of Eucalyptus (A.C. Moore). I’ll fancy our table up a bit for our Christmas Day buffet, but I like this simple, clean look for every day.

Succulents in Moscow Mule mugs | really risa

I’m planning to use succulents to decorate the dessert table at Isla’s birthday party but I love having them around the house. I bought seven for about $2 each (at a local garden shop in our neighborhood called Urban Jungle) and planted them in the many mercury glass votive holders (Pottery Barn) leftover from our wedding, mint julep cups (from Amazon a few years ago) and a Moscow Mule mug (Target).

Metallic Christmas trees and succulents in mint julep cups | really risa

My trio of trees. I wanted one of those bottle brush trees in gold but instead found this silver one (Target) + that gold mercury glass beauty (Marshalls).

Holiday Decor: Eucalyptus in a gilded vase | really risa

Eucalyptus in a gilded vase (from local shop Occasionette) on my bedside table.

Metallic Christmas ornaments | really risa

I love childhood ornaments, like this gold and white silver dollar, circa 1993. While I was decorating this year I broke the ceramic ballet slippers with my name on them from 1988. I nearly cried. I’m hoping they can be saved with some super glue. Shame on me.

Holiday decor: feathers and eucalyptus | really risa

Feathers are another element I picked up for Isla’s first birthday party (from Plumule Feathers on Etsy). In my opinion, feathers have the potential to be very cheesy so I went with neutral colors and simple containers, like this glass apothecary jar I’ve had for forever.

Metallic Christmas ornaments | really risa

This gorgeous bowl was a wedding gift and we already owned these gold and red ornaments. Though now our tree is looking a bit naked!

Metallic holiday decor plus feathers and acorns | really risa

Acorns (from Target) + more feathers in a gifted vase (from HOME Boutique) + a (crooked) look at the bookshelf.

Target gold tinsel garland and silver mercury glass candlesticks | really risa

Metallic tinsel garland (Target) + a mercury glass candlestick (I think I bought it at Home Goods a few years ago).

Metallic Christmas ornaments | really risa

Gold, platinum and bronze ornaments in a gold polka dot bowl (Marshalls). I plan to use this bowl year-round. I just love it! There were matching mugs, too, but I had to talk myself down.

White ceramic vase of feathers | really risa

Another look at these muted feathers in a ceramic vase (HOME Boutique).

Metallic Holiday Decor | really risa

I bought the gold and white trophy cup (HOME Boutique) a few months ago. And now let’s talk about these gorgeous brass candlesticks …

Vintage brass candlesticks and Metallic Christmas Decor | really risa

I bought this set of seven vintage solid brass candlesticks for less than $2 each on Etsy. EACH! I felt like I was stealing! It was the best price I found for such a gorgeous set all across the internet. They were a bit tarnished but cleaned right up with a little lemon juice and baking soda. I am obsessed! I’ll be using them to decorate our Christmas food table as well as for Isla’s birthday decor and beyond. One of my best purchases in a long time.

So that’s that! I’d love to see pictures of your holiday decor, especially if you love metallics as much as I do. Mention me (@reallyrisa) or tag #madformetallics on Instagram so I can see!

Happy Holidays!

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