A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

If You Have Some Extra Time…

Links to Visit | PepperDesignBlog.com

I really love it when blogs support one another by sharing favorite projects and links. There are so many out there that sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of all of the good stuff that’s happening!  So if you have some extra time, you might enjoy checking out favorite finds and what’s catching my eye today:

Bar carts are drawing me in… and this one made from a shelf is so cool.

Oh, paper plates.

And honeycomb cookies. (That’s what those polygon cookie cutters are made for). Speaking of, Taylor’s birthday is next month! I’ve got some planning to do.

Love me some cool embroidery hoop crafts and this West Elm look-a-like is pretty great.

A top that will never. ever. go out of style. (do I need another?)

Six signs that you’re doing what you love :)

A set of these planters would look great on our deck.

These 15 international food etiquette rules make me want to travel!

What a beautiful wedding with so many pretty moments (very today, no?).

This kitchen makeover, the wall sconce is my favorite!

PS I love when blogs have weekend link roundups. I don’t know if I plan on making this a regular series or just dropping it in here and again but I hope that you enjoy them, too!

Living Room Addition: A Miniature Rocking Chair

A Mini Rocking Chair for the Living Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

I was driving past one of my favorite little consignment shops the other day when I spotted an itty bitty rocking chair perched outside.

A Mini Rocking Chair for the Living Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

Do you remember when I was dreaming of adding some wicker or rattan to this space? Something about that raw, honey-colored wood and smaller, almost woven lines that adds texture and an organic element. There is not a whole lot of room left in our living room, but this mini rocker fits so perfectly.

A Mini Rocking Chair for the Living Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

I raced back to the consignment store (Stuff on Adams Ave for my local San Diegans), examined the chair closely, haggled the price down to just over $30 and brought my new find home with the spot just in front of the window in mind. Liv was equally smitten! She was ready to move the chair into her room but we negotiated.

It’s not wicker or rattan but instead more of a bent cedar. I know I’ve seen these chairs many times before outside of ski lodges and cabins, but I can’t recall the formal name. Aren’t those lines pretty?

A Mini Rocking Chair for the Living Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

Love me a happy find that sort of falls into your lap (how often does that happen??). My pink pillow from the Wild Canary Shop softens it up and ties it into the rest of our room perfectly. Though I’m not opposed to just the fanned wooden back either.

A Mini Rocking Chair for the Living Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

Happy mid-week, guys! Speaking of reminding me of the mountains, we are planning on heading up to nearby Julian this weekend for our annual girl’s trip. We bring our favorite crafts (it started as a scrapbooking weekend back when we all scrapbooked ages ago!), a couple of crates of wine and our best chick flicks. Every year I start the previous year’s digital photo album and every year get to about the month of April. And then I run out of time ;). I have about five half albums (ah!).

The boys will be on full time kid-duty and I love how they always improvise. There are probably about a dozen preschoolers, toddlers and babies between our group and they’ll probably all end up at the same place with children lined up camp-style sleeping. One big party.

It’s crazy how much I look forward to my girl time. I’m mentally getting ready!

PS The full living room can be seen here and all of the projects for this space are thumbnailed right here.

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2 | PepperDesignBlog.com

I promised an update on T and her love of eating…

I’ll preface by saying that I’m in love with this form of introducing food! Baby-Led Weaning is a form of ‘self-feeding’, or allowing babies – from their very first introduction of food – to control their solid food consumption and their overall food experience. Weaning is a bit deceiving as BLW is not weaning in the formal sense (aka giving up breast milk in exchange for food), instead, it’s more of a theory of putting your baby in the driver’s seat when it comes to food (making it easier on mom and developing an awesome palate for baby).

This one decision (which I initially learned about on another blog prior to Liv’s introduction to foods, though I can’t recall which as it was so long ago…) has probably been the best child-rearing decision I’ve ever made. I hesitantly and carefully introduced Liv to BLW when she was six months old, by the time Taylor was the same age I excitedly and happily launched into BLW with full force.

You can read all about our experience the first time around (part 1! with more details on what foods we introduced and when) here.

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2 | PepperDesignBlog.com

That first introduction of food, so priceless!

Taylor has had not a drop of baby food (think rice cereal, cream of wheat, jars of peas) nor a blended meal (with the exception of little cups of applesauce) and instead munches on roasted veggies, chicken, fish, tortillas, cheese, fruits… whatever we’re eating for our meal.

Now that I have a three-year-old who was raised on BLW, I can look back and see the wonderful benefits that it has allowed us. Liv, for the most part, eats everything. We skipped over bland purees and invited her to dine on curry chicken or soups filled with fresh herbs and her palate has like-wise followed suit. The other night Kevin ordered oysters and Liv didn’t bat an eye at trying one (while I was turning blue in the corner). I’m coveting these moments because I know that eventually she will become more picky… as most preschoolers do… as she realizes what other kids like and dislike and as she begins to realize that she has a choice.

If you’re interested in this style of introducing food to babies, I highly recommend the formal Baby-Led Weaning book as there are too many details to go into here (I just wouldn’t do the system justice, plus it’s helpful to read up on your baby’s gag reflex and the way they develop swallowing techniques so that you can feel like a safer, smarter parent).

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Such hesitation, and then such joy with that first ‘food discovery’ :)

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Oh man though, it’s the best!

Self-feeding means that you provide a range of foods and babies explore, feel, taste, mush and gnaw. This goes on for a month or two, and then, as if a light is switched, they start to swallow and ingest. Babies control what goes into their mouth, how it goes in, when it goes in. They begin to love all flavors and they are excited to sit down to a meal.

There are no spoons, no messy purees, no making separate meals for separate members of the family, no packing cold boxes of pureed food for traveling or to the park, just babies enjoying the food that we eat everyday. (We still adhere to all doctor recommendations as to when it’s okay to introduce nuts, honey, milk, etc).

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2 | PepperDesignBlog.com

A few iPhone shots of Taylor’s journey. The best part is how excited she is to eat! Babies who are introduced to all foods don’t know that some of them are not supposed to be loved by children (think dishes that are well spiced, straight from the sea or ethnic foods). Everything is a special treat, whether it’s cut up dates, avocados, pad thai, roasted peppers, tri tip or a piece of toast.

My thinking is is that if babies are not introduced to unusual flavors such as rosemary, cumin, cilantro, cracked pepper… when will they learn to try and love them? We haven’t introduced any of the above herbs on their own of course, but they are all a part of regular meals.

One thing that we are especially careful with is the size of foods that are handed over to Taylor. Right now she gnaws on large, fist-sized chunks of food (sliced veggies, hunks of meat – she holds the bulk of the food and sucks/teeths from the other side) or foods that are cut up to be roughly the size of a raisin to avoid choking and to teach chewing/swallowing. Teeth are not a requirement however :). Amazing what babies can do with strong gums!

Baby-Led Weaning, Part 2 | PepperDesignBlog.com

This new one leg up trick is so funny – who eats like that? This girl. All of the time. T is now 10 months old and we’ve been using BLW for just over 4 months, happy to report that we are still as in love with the concept as we were when we gave it a go with Liv.

Interested in reading more? Check out this link and this account from another mother who loves BLW.

PS You know how I am always talking about hanging planters? Well these ladies have launched an awesome kickstarter campaign and are selling their planters at amazing prices! Let’s help these ladies launch.

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