Inspiration

INSPIRATION :: A Curated Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Sometimes, I get lost in the tyranny of the urgent. Lost in the chores and the clutter and the cooking and the cycle of washing, drying, folding. I get lost and forget that all around is beauty, even inside these four walls. We were created to know beauty, and it’s worth every bit of conscious effort to choose to see it, even in the whirlwind. The Weepies knew this when they sang“All this beauty…You can ask about it, but nobody knows the way. No bread-crumb trail to follow through your days. It takes an axe sometimes, a feather, in the sunshine and bad weather. It’s a matter of getting deeper in anyway you can…All this beauty; you might have to close your eyes and slowly open wide.”

I believe in making a beautiful home, something I learned from my mother (although I’m nowhere nearly as good at it as she is). “Anything can be made beautiful”, she always told me, “though a combination of cleaning and contentment.” And she proved this, too, over and over and over again throughout the years.

Maybe you have a mother like that too, someone who has always managed to create peacefulness and a sense of home and beauty no matter what. Or maybe you have a mom who whips up magic in the kitchen, or throws the best parties, or has endless athletic energy, or is always on top of the fashion game. (Honestly, isn’t Supermom a little bit of all that and more?)

Keeping everything a mom does in mind — and with an eye toward seeing beauty in the whirlwind — I’ve teamed up with JCPenney to bring you gift ideas for any kind of mom.

A @JCPenney #Momisms Mother's Day Gift Guide curated by the Oaxacaborn blog // #JCPHostMom #JCPFitnessMom #JCPDecorMom #JCPChefMom #JCPTrendyMom

#JCPHostMom | 1. Lantern | 2. Copper Bowl | 3. Plates | 4. Card
#JCPFitnessMom | 5. Yoga Mat | 6. Tote | 7. Hair Tie  | 8. Towel
 #JCPDecorMom | 9. Basket | 10. Rug | 11. Pillow | 12. Art |
#JCPChefMom |  13. KitchenAid | 14. Eat | 15. Cucina | 16. Tray | 17. Bowls | 18. Mortar & Pestle
 #JCPTrendyMom |  19. Lace Tee | 20. Bracelet | 21. Bag | 22. Pants
Even MORE  gift ideas | JCPenney Mother’s Day Hub

This week, I’ve also joined JCPenney in tweeting little snippets of motherly advice. Being a total rookie in the mom department, it probably comes as no surprise that my quips have been of the “Don’t suction-cup the dog”, “Don’t lick the sidewalk”, and “Don’t stick potato chips in the outlets” variety. But you can use the #momisms hashtag to tweet your own, much wiser motherly gems of wisdom — and you’ll be entered to win one of several $100 gift cards JCPenney is giving away, so YOU can buy a little something for yourself!

(Pssst…a little secret? Don’t worry if you aren’t one of the winners of the #Momisms sweepstakes, because I will host a separate $100 gift card giveaway here very soon. Sign up for Oaxacaborn email updates so you won’t miss it when it goes live!)

Leave me a comment on this post letting me know which of the items above is your favorite. Since I curated the list, I can safely say….I love them all!

Disclosure of Material Relationship: I received compensation in exchange for promoting JCPenney’s #Momisms Sweepstakes/Giveaway. I personally selected all the items displayed in this curated guide, and was not required to present any specific products as gift ideas. All the opinions and experiences shared here are in my own words and are my own honest evaluation. Please be assured, I only accept sponsorship opportunities for brands I personally use and/or would recommend to close friends and family, and I will always disclose any such relationships.

Baby/Toddler Food

Thoughts on Baby Food :: 3 Reasons Why I Don’t Buy Prepared Baby Food

Recently, I’ve had many people ask me what Aveline eats (I suppose the questions are fueled by Facebook status updates like “Aveline is eating copious amounts of ratatouille for lunch!”) I have a lot of thoughts on this subject, so I’ll break it up into a series of blog posts. I’ll start out by talking about what she doesn’t eat: store-bought baby food. There are several reasons I don’t buy prepared baby food. (UPDATE: Sylvia of Artsy Ants brings up a good point; these reasons are specific to the US).

Aveline feeding herself

1. PRICE: This should be obvious, right? There is a very, very high markup on prepared, packaged baby food. I can’t bring myself to spend that much on just a couple of ounces of food, especially when most of it is going to end up rubbed into Aveline’s hair or stuck to her eyelashes anyway. ;-)

2. IT’S BRILLIANTLY OVER-MARKETED: The baby food industry uses clever marketing, people. Remember this. Last time I checked, farms aren’t growing any separate specialty crops called baby oats, baby rice, or baby sweet potatoes.

3. ADDITIVES / EXTRA INGREDIENTS: This is a huge issue. I’m not comfortable with my daughter consuming additives at such a young age. I want her to eat foods made from real, whole ingredients.

You wouldn’t think baby food contains extra things, but it does. Let’s look at a few examples. (I didn’t go out to try and find the most shocking examples of added ingredients, I just clicked around at random on the Gerber site.)

For instance, one would assume Gerber Oatmeal and Banana contains oats and banana, right? Well, it does. Sort of. But the oats are in the form of oat flour, to which Gerber has added wheat, and there’s soy lecithin and soybean oil in the ingredients list, too. Oh, and tocopherals (a preservative) and added vitamins.

I’m a big proponent of eating organic (we personally follow the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen when buying produce), but use common sense when it comes to prepared food that’s labeled organic. It might be called Gerber 2nd Foods Organic Green Beans, but that doesn’t mean it contains only green beans.  This particular product also contains tuna oil and gelatin.

Most pediatricians recommend that when feeding your baby new foods, you should introduce them one at a time, and wait three days for any adverse reaction before introducing another new food. If the food you’re introducing is on the Top 8 Allergens list, you need to be even more careful. Ok, you’re probably thinking…how does this relate to packaged baby food? Well, oatmeal and bananas aren’t on the Top 8 list, but the packaged oatmeal-banana cereal contains wheat and soy, which are both on the list. And green beans aren’t a common allergen, but fish, one of the ingredients in the prepared green bean baby food, is on the Top 8 list.

So, read labels. Don’t fall prey to clever marketing. And mostly — you don’t have to spend a ton of money to feed your baby!

In future blog posts, I’ll share how to easily make your own baby food (it’s so much easier — and cheaper — than you think!). I’ll also list suggestions for easy baby meals and talk specifically about what Aveline eats.

(Click here to receive email updates when the Oaxacaborn blog is updated.)

Guest Blog

Guest Post: Summertime Means Popsicles

Amelia of More Fun with an Apron eating a homemade fudgepop with popsicle recipe

I’m so excited to write my first ever guest blog post! I was very flattered to be asked and the first thing that came to mind was “Slow Drip Fudge Pops”. I started making “slow drip pops” for my daughter last year and she loves them. I love that they hold up well in the summer heat. You can get creative with homemade popsicles by mixing and matching different fruits, yogurt, and juices. Mix in some chamomile tea with fruit juice for a teething baby. I like that I can control the amount of sugar in the popsicles and I can also avoid nasty artificial dyes and flavors.

More Fun with an Apron Homemade Fudgepop Popsicle RecipeMore Fun with an Apron Homemade Fudgepop Popsicle Recipe

This recipe can be made with almond or rice milk but I happened to have left over organic whole milk from making yogurt so I used that. You could even live on the wild side and use heavy cream or half and half. It will be our secret.

Amelia of More Fun with an Apron eating a homemade fudgepop with popsicle recipe

Homemade Fudgepops

2 cups milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup of sugar (or add to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
1 package Knoxx gelatin

In a medium sauce pan heat all the ingredients and stir until sugar and gelatin has dissolved and cocoa powder has been incorporated well. Cool slightly before adding to the popsicle molds. Makes 6-10 pops depending on your type of molds.

There you go! The gelatin is the secret. It keeps the liquid from dripping!

I hope everyone has a safe and blessed Summer!

Lindsey Costa is a lover of all things vintage and retro. A Virginia girl in California, she’s a mixture of 1940’s vintage, a southern belle, and a hippie. Lindsey describes herself as a “wife, mama, Christian, homemaker, baker, amateur herbalist, homebirther, crocheter and sewer”. Read her lovely blog More Fun with an Apron or follow her on Twitter.

Life in Photos

all in an afternoon lunch

mmm, lunch. a latte with water-processed decaf mocca-java, organic soy milk and deliciously caramel-like coconut palm sugar. organic tofu scrambled with dill and onion, then tossed with quinoa and a splash of olive oil. juicy pieces of navel orange mixed with half an avocado and sprinkled with a little sea salt. wide-eyed baby staring out from her cozy little nest. delicious!
pieces of navel orange and half avocado on cutting board with paring knife

aveline alenka - nine and a half weeks old