Gail's Nest · Refashion

Refashion Challenge – The Before (Gail)

Two Nests One Tree

Lydia and I are doing a mother/ daughter refashion challenge. If you have been following us you know that I sent her 2 thrifted items (total cost: $10), that she received in the mail and it’s up to her to create something new for herself out of them.

Then Lyddie gave me 2 thrifted items and I was to do the same. Here are the items she sent me:

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Yeah. Thanks, Lyd! The burnt orange pants are huge, the sun dress is not my style and shows a little too much skin for my comfort zone. But the colors match and I think my creative juices are flowing!  Stay tuned for the reveal! Coming up later this week!

Lydia's Nest · Refashion

Refashion Challenge: The Before (Lydia)

It’s here! I got the package from my mom containing the thrift store items she picked out for me to refashion/ (Confused? Check out this post for an overview of what’s happening!) wanna see?

So these are the items i get to change. I haven’t done anything yet besides try them on.


There are two maxi dresses. They are both strapless. The animal print one is a light peachy nude color, made with chiffon fabric and an elastic waistband. The blue one is cotton and has a stretchy, smocked top. Here’s what they look like on (I kept a comisole on underneath so thats what the straps are).





I like that this dress has a nice drape.  The fabric is light and flowy, whic will be fun to work with! The top part is unlined, so that will need to change. 


This dress has a nice feel- the cotton fabric is very soft. Also, I love the print! You cant see in the pictures, but its a little short. 

I haven’t totally decided what I want to do with these yet. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Love,

Lydia

Lydia's Nest · Parenting

Baby-Led Weaning: Our First Month

Sucking on some pasta

So we have officially started baby-led weaning, and now that we’re about a month in I wanted to share a little bit what the beginning is like. There are a lot of seasoned BLW’ers out there with lots of great advice, but once you’re in it its easy to forget what it was like at the very beginning.

We started Deacon on avocado on his 6 month birthday. Since then he has had things like cucumber, roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, noodles (without sauce), banana, chicken, pork, strawberries, watermelon, things like that. He has done great, picking things up, putting them in his mouth, and tasting.

We have already given him all major allergens, per our doctor’s recommendation. They now say that early introduction can reduce risk of developing an allergy, and since there is no family history of food allergies, we dove right in.
Here are some of the things that surprised me or caught me off guard about the process:

  • They gag a lot. I knew to expect this, but it can be very disconcerting when you’re in it! however, it is normal and is actually a sign that they are learning how to eat. This graphic was a super helpful reminder on the difference between gagging and choking:

  • They make a mess. Oh goodness do they make a mess! Because they are learning how to chew, food gets spit out most of the time. Even a month in, Deacon still spits out probably half of what he puts in.

    Attempting to figure out how a spoon works
  • Get CPR certified. Before we started, I purchased an infant CPR training kit, and I was really glad that I did. I haven’t had to use these skills, thankfully, but it gives me so much peace of mind knowing that I know what to do in an emergency.
  • Make sure baby is in a good mood. We found that if Deacon was tired or hungry (ironically) he would be fussy and frustrated when he had trouble picking up food. I always try to nurse him before each meal so he is full and ready to enjoy exploring new foods.

    Peppers are tasty
  • Food waste. This was definitely something I hadn’t anticipated. When your baby is dropping and spitting everything out, a fair amount of food just goes to waste! I’m pretty frugal, and it felt strange throwing away perfectly good broccoli just because it had fallen on the floor. Some things that helped were only giving him one or two pieces of food at a time, and laying a drop cloth under the high chair so when it inevitably fell on the floor I could just pick it up and hand it back.
Broccoli is a good source of iron

So those are some of the things I learned in our first month! Hopefully it can help you be better prepared for BLW!

Love,

Lydia

Uncategorized

Two Nests Refashion Challenge

Two Nests One Tree

Hey guys! I have something super exciting to share with you! Mom and I are doing a refashion challenge for the month of May!

It’s super simple: We will be buying each other something from a thrift store, mailing it to each other, and then transforming it into something for ourselves. It will be so much fun!

Here are the details:

  1. We have to buy something from a local thrift store for the other person.
  2. Our project must be mostly from the thrifted item we receive, but other fabrics or thrifted items can be used to supplement.
  3. The refashion must be completed by May 30, 2017.
  4. Progress pics etc. will be shared on Instagram with the hashtag #twonestschallenge, and then we will each make a post of the finished product and process.

If you guys enjoy this kind of thing, let us know! We’d love to do another one with more people, round robin style.

Stay tuned!

-Lydia

Family Activities · Lydia's Nest · Parenting

Baby Led Weaning

Lydia is beginning the transition to solid foods with a method that I had never heard of before, called Baby-Led-Weaning.  When Deacon turned six months, instead of starting with rice cereal like I did when Lyddie was 6 months old, she is giving him real, unpureed solid foods from the get-go. Naturally, I had questions but after observing the results and watching it first hand I am a believer. Come and eavesdrop on our mother/ daughter conversation:

Gail: What is Baby-Led-Weaning and where did you hear about it? (Thinking, “WHAT are you doing to my grandson!!”)

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Lydia: Baby-led Weaning is an alternative method of teaching a baby to eat. Instead of spoon-feeding him cereals and purees, I simply put some of whatever we are eating in front of him, and let him touch it, pick it up, put it in his mouth, and taste it. He is in complete control of what goes in his mouth. This is different than traditional weaning because of the order of things babies learn: when they are spoon fed, they learn to swallow first and then chew later. This way, Deacon is learning to chew, move things around his mouth, and use his mouth muscles before he learns to swallow. He spits almost everything out at the moment!

I don’t remember where I first heard about it. Probably somewhere on the internet. But as I was learning about it, I bought the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook. This was a super helpful resource – the first five chapters or so explore what it is and how to do it safely.

Gail: Why did you choose this method (thinking, “Why aren’t you doing it the way I did it?”)?

Lydia: BLW has a lot of benefits – by exposing him to flavors and textures now, he will hopefully be less of a picky later on. Also, by not taking the time to spoon feed him, we all get to enjoy meals as a family. I get to eat while my food is still hot! Another factor for us is that it is cheaper and takes less time. I don’t have to buy baby food, or spend hours making homemade purees.

Gail: Isn’t he at risk of choking (picturing a vision of baby gagging, turning blue, and dialing 911)?

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Lydia: No more so than purees. Because he is learning to chew first, he is learning to handle foods before they get anywhere close to his airway. He might gag, but there is a big difference between gagging and choking – a baby’s gag reflex is much further forward in the mouth than an adult’s, so their little bodies are designed to protect them!

Also, we definitely take common sense safety precautions. Before we started, we took an infant CPR course to prepare ourselves for the worst (hopefully we’ll never need it!).  I also have yet to give him anything that is too hard to gum – no raw apples or carrots. Other major choking hazards are things the size of grapes or cherry tomatoes. These can be quartered lengthwise to make them safe, but I’ve just not introduced them yet.

The other important thing is to simply make sure everything is washed down, so he gets water during the meal and then I usually nurse him for a minute or two afterwards to make sure his mouth is free from obstructions.

Gail: Does he get enough nutrition? It seems like he spits everything out!

Lydia: At the moment, all of his nutrition is coming from breastmilk. I nurse him before every meal. This is totally fine for him – he doesn’t really need much else until he’s a year old (the saying is, “food before one is just for fun!”). The biggest concern is his iron intake. Breastmilk does have some iron, but not much. I remedy this by keeping my own iron intake up, and making sure to give him iron rich foods like red meat, broccoli, spinach, and eggs.

Also, it might seem like he spits every single thing out, but I know he must be swallowing at least some things, because they come out the other end!

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Gail: Giving him foods willy-nilly seems extreme. Can his system handle strange tastes?

Lydia: Yes! It is important to wait until six months for his digestive system to finish developing, but after that, he can handle anything. Breastmilk adopts strong flavors, so he has actually already been exposed to some things. Just like an adult, there may be things that are too spicy for his taste, but it’s all part of the learning experience (his and mine – I’ve been learning what kinds of things he likes and doesn’t like).

Gail: Will you ever give him pureed foods?

Lydia: Not unless I would eat it pureed, like applesauce or smoothies. We haven’t given those yet, but when we do we will use “pre-loaded spoons” which basically means I will dip the spoon in the applesauce, and them lay it in front of him so he can pick it up and put it in his mouth himself.

Gail: Look at him! He’s totally loving that avocado! Meal time sure is a happy time. I am remembering parents of my preschoolers complaining how they can’t get their kids to eat, or that the table is a battlefield.

Lydia: That’s one of the best parts of Baby-Led Weaning! Obviously there will probably come a day when I need to tell him to eat his dinner, but for the moment he can learn to love food and taste different flavors and textures without any stress or pressure. There are some days when he doesn’t try much, and that is ok!

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Gail: Ok, I am convinced you’re on to something! I guess there’s always something new to learn and that the way I did it isn’t necessarily the only or best way to parent. How about if you pass me more of that humble pie?

Watch our video to witness BLW in action:

Gail's Nest

Fun Window Treatment

Does your bathroom need an update? Mine did. My blinds were dirty, my valence full of cobwebs and bathroom mold. Time for a spring cleaning.

This is my update. Next I’ll show you how I did it.

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First, I started with an old piece of molding that was sitting around. I bought twisted paper from a craft store and untwisted it. Then I wrapped it around the molding.

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Next I used purchased Spanish moss to hot glue onto the paper.

 

The last step is the fun part. I hot glued ribbon, and shells, and old timepieces.

When I’ve done this before I’ve used silk flowers and really anything that suits your fancy.  The last thing to do is to attach metal hooks so that the molding will fit over your curtain rod.

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Here is my result:

 

Blessings!

–Gail

Entertaining · Family Activities · Gail's Nest

Dinner Party Idea- Chopped Competition

Have you seen the cooking show Chopped? Four chefs are given mystery ingredients and have to create meals with them. One person is eliminated after each round. The winner takes home $10,000. We have taken the basic idea and turned it into a fun evening for family and guests. You may have seen an earlier blog post describing how we did it with our family, when our adult children were home for Christmas. Well, this time we did it as a dinner party with guests.

food

When I called my guests to extend the invitation I asked if they would bring a mystery ingredient.  I asked one couple to bring something  unusual from the produce dept. of our local grocery. Another couple was to bring something unusual from the dairy dept. and the third couple was to bring an odd flavor of soda. I provided the meat.

My husband and son were the chefs. They were surprised to see beef cutlets, parsnips, plain yogurt and goat cheese, and two different sodas – one was cherry tarragon,and the other was guarana. I told them they had to use all of these ingredients (but only one of the sodas – their choice), and they could use whatever else was available to them in our fridge and pantry. They had one hour to cook us an entree.

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What do I make with this??

The guys scrambled around the kitchen. It was quite entertaining! The guests loved watching, and added to the fun with their friendly banter.

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One hour was a good amount of time. We’re just not as fast as the experienced chefs on the actual cooking show who only get 30 minutes. But an hour is enough time to sip some wine and visit while dinner is prepared.

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Then it was time to plate the food. Each guest got 2 entrees.

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This was Steve’s entree – braised pepper steak with mock scallop potatoes au gratin with sauteed beans and parsnips.
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And Ben’s entree was stuffed beef roulade with cherry-tarragon-yogurt sauce, served with julienned beans and parsnips and buttered new potatoes.

The fun part, of course, was eating together and chatting over what we might have done differently and how delicious it all was. Then we rated each entree 1 to 5 (1 being terrible and 5 being excellent) in 3 categories: taste, presentation, and creative use of ingredients. Scores were calculated and the winner announced. Ben was the chopped champion.

Everyone raved over how much fun it all was! I served chocolate cake for dessert, as we weren’t about to wait around another hour for a dessert round! All in all, it was a nice evening with friends and family. I highly recommend trying it. Let me know your result!

Blessings-

Gail