Weekend Recap: Blackouts, Delicious Food & Art Fair

By: Annie Wagner

Annie here – we had quite the weekend in Ann Arbor. Brian and I had date night plans on Friday to celebrate our five year anniversary since we have a new live in nanny – my sister, Emma ;). Our plans were foiled by crazy storms and a 20 hour power outage. Thankfully we have very sweet friends Hunter, Jillian and their daughter and Margot’s bestie, Maya, invited us over for a sleepover in their air conditioned house. Thank goodness for good friends (who also happened to have power). We made the best of the situation and woke up early Saturday morning and had a lovely breakfast on the patio before it got too hot to be outside.

While we waited for our power to come back on we enjoyed one of our favorite gourmet lunches, chicken bakes at Costco – YUM.

After lunch and some errands, we came home to our power back on and all took naps in the air conditioning. We ended our Saturday with dinner and water games outside back at our friends house. Jillian made a delicious meal – Shauna Niequist’s Lemon Dill Soup and Summer Salad from her cookbook Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are (recipes pictured below) – nothin like hot soup on the hottest day of the year! Call us crazy but it was SO good and refreshing. I’d eat that soup on the sun.

Sunday morning was a little cooler so we decided to head to the Ann Arbor Art Fair. This is one of our little towns biggest events of the year that brings artists from all over the world and over 400,000 visitors! We enjoyed all kinds of art as well as some delicious fair food.

After a very hot weekend, we decided to stay in Sunday evening and make tostadas and watch season 2 of Big Little Lies. If you don’t have HBO, now is the time to start your free trial and binge watch both seasons of BLL – we haven’t finished the second season so no spoilers please!!

Sending cooler weather your way!

xoxo Annie

4th of July, Family, Food & Fun!

By: Nicole Mikluscak

Greetings from Omaha! We extended our 4th of July celebration into the weekend as some of my husband’s family was in town. We spent A LOT of time around the pool, soaking up the sun and swimming with the girls! We decorated our yard with Brittany’s fun yard stars, AND Lily lost her second front tooth! We’ve been keeping the Tooth Fairy busy!

Nicole’s Sunglasses
Nicole’s Swimsuit
Pool and puppy time!
Lily’s Top

My sister-in-law Lori and her husband celebrated their ten year wedding anniversary on Saturday evening. She planned a perfect beach theme party complete with a walking taco bar, and refreshing vodka + fruit lemonades. Maeve had three cupcakes!

Happy Anniversary!
Cupcake monster

I made two recipes this weekend to share! I copied Emily and made her cold, delicious cucumber salad. So easy, fresh and colorful!

Fresh mozzarella, cucumber, tomato, your favorite Italian dressing, salt + pepper!

I also made pink champagne Jell-O shots for the anniversary party. I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and will post the link below. They were a hit! I found the star toothpicks and sprinkles on Amazon!

You’ll love these!
Edible Gold Stars
Gold Star Cupcake Toppers

Champagne Jello Shot Recipe

Whew, this weekend was truly a marathon! I’m ready for a nap! Stay tuned for my Amazon Prime Day post coming this week! ~ Nicole

Margot Maeve Turns ONE!

By: Annie Wagner

We had a busy weekend in Ann Arbor celebrating our youngest sister cousin’s first birthday! My parents came to town from Southern California for the weekend and we started the celebrations on Thursday night at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Nothing like a barefoot baby dancing around a beer garden to kick of her birthday weekend!

We got home Thursday night to a broken air conditioner and then spent the day Friday in our sauna of a house doing all the party food prep (going into heat stroke to make your daughter’s first birthday special – priceless). We made pulled pork sliders in the crockpot and served them with a fruit salad, arugula salad, and our family’s famous potato salad (recipes below). 

Saturday afternoon was party time. The ac was fixed just in time for 25 people to be in the house. We had all of Margot’s little friends over and they played games and celebrated all afternoon. Margot went to town on her Lemon Raspberry Cake – we had to pry it away from her and distract her with all of her new birthday presents! We felt so grateful for all of the people who spoiled our little girl on her big day. There’s nothing like seeing how much your loved ones love your baby :).

On Sunday we went to a birthday brunch at our new favorite spot in town – Anna’s House. The birthday girl took a long nap that afternoon while we packed up for our trip to Clear Lake for the week! Monday morning we got on the road bright and early to head to the CLC motherland! We got to stop in Brooklyn to see family and two statues that were put up to honor Mollie <3.

Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th! Stay tuned for updates from Clear Lake!

Xo, Annie

Recipes

Homemade Potato Salad:

5 pounds potatoes

8 – 10 hard boiled eggs

3 cups mayonaise

1 1/2 cups mustard

1/2 cup pickle juice

1/2 cup diced dill pickles

1/2 cup diced green onions

Salt and Pepper to taste

Paprika for garnish

Instructions: Boil and peel eggs. Peel and boil potatoes until easily pierced through with a fork (15-20 minutes). Chop eggs and potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add pickles and onions. In a small bowl mix together mayo, mustard, pickle juice, salt and pepper. Add the mayo mixture to the large bowl and stir everything together. Garnish with paprika and store in the fridge.

Arugula Salad:

1 bag baby arugula

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

1/2 cup toasted almonds

1 pint blueberries

1/2 cup shaved parmesan

2 Tbsp E.V.O.O.

Instructions: Combine ingredients and serve!

Fruit Salad:

1 cup diced pears

1 cup diced nectarines

1 pint raspberries

1 cup diced kiwi

Instructions: Combine ingredients and serve!

Tried and True Baby Food Recipes

By: Annie Wagner
Annie’s Homemade Baby Food PurĂ©es

When it came time to start introducing solid foods to my now 10-month old daughter, Margot, I was extremely overwhelmed. Going from exclusively breast feeding to all the endless food possibilities was pretty intimidating.

I was inspired by some mom friends to try a few baby food recipes and realized how easy and cost effective it actually was. The best part – Margot loves it! She hasn’t turned down any homemade food yet, plus the added benefit of knowing exactly what you’re feeding your little one! Don’t get me wrong – we still love the baby food pouches for travel or days out and about.

Margot loving her zucchini, broccoli, applesauce & ginger purée!

These are all simple recipes that babies will actually eat. Each healthy combination includes a wide variety of nutritious fruits and veggies and is much more affordable than buying pre-made pouches or jars. Once I started, it was fun to get creative with food combinations. Don’t be afraid of adding flavor and spices either. The earlier you introduce different flavors, the less picky they will be later…at least that’s my hope!

I was able to make all of these recipes during Margot’s nap one day. Three hours of baby food making created about 6 weeks of meals – not bad! I store all of the purĂ©es in the freezer in Freezer Safe Glass Storage Jars or Silicon Ice Cube Trays with Lid. Every couple of days I take out enough food for 2-3 days of meals and put in the fridge to defrost. When it’s mealtime, I take a jar from the fridge and pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and voilĂ !

Baby food storage in ice cube trays and freezer safe glass jars.

The steps are as simple as this:

  1. Roughly chop fruit and veggies.
  2. Steam veggies to soften.
  3. Blend mixes in a blender or food processor.
  4. Pour mixes into jars/trays
  5. Store in the freezer for 3-6 months.
  6. Defrost/store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Ingredients/Shopping List:

4 Zucchini

2 heads of Broccoli (or medium bag of broccoli florets)

8 medium Carrots (or medium bag of baby carrots)

2 ripe Pears

2 pints of Blueberries

4 ripe Bananas

2 Avocados

1 Butternut squash (I buy the pre-cut bag from Trader Joes)

2 Sweet Potatoes (peel before steaming)

1 can of White Beans (drained and cooked)

2 tsps. ground Cinnamon

2 tsps. ground Ginger

Juice from one large Lemon

2 cups Organic Applesauce

1 cup Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

2 cups Whole Milk Plain Yogurt (I use Mountain High)

Mixes:

Zucchini, Pear, Banana

Carrot, Applesauce, Pear

Blueberry, Banana, Avocado, Lemon

Broccoli, Squash, Ginger, Lemon

Carrot, Squash, Cinnamon

Yogurt, Banana, Peanut Butter

Sweet Potato, White Bean, Cinnamon (Margot’s favorite)

The goods.
Steaming veggies to soften before blending.
Prepping baby girls food!

I hope this inspires you and makes homemade baby food less intimidating!

Power Breakfast Choices

By: Nicole Mikluscak

Hi all, it’s Nicole! I was on a quest this weekend to find some healthier grocery ‘swap outs’ for my family. While I was hoping to find a bit of culinary inspiration for myself, my girls were in need of high-fiber breakfast options (that they would actually eat)! I’m happy to report I found three options my girls gave the stamp of approval:

Nicole’s Copy-Cat Egg Whites and Baby Kale Breakfast Bowl with peppers, sausage & gouda

While in the frozen foods aisle, I stumbled upon the Dr. Praeger’s Egg Whites and Kale Breakfast Bowl. With ingredients like scrambled egg whites, kale, gold potatoes, onions, peppers and cheddar cheese, I thought, Surely I could make this myself right? I gave it a try and was pretty pleased with the results. One of the best parts of a breakfast bowl is you can tweak it according to your taste or diet. If you are doing low-carb, you can leave out the potatoes. My copycat bowl started with sautéed baby Kale and red peppers, Applegate Farms Chicken and Maple breakfast sausage, and some scrambled egg whites topped with shredded Gouda. It was surprisingly delicious and filling. (Not to mention cheaper!)

Hope this helps you get a healthy start to your day! I can’t wait to share more “foody finds” soon!