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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baby Bullet Product Review

Making your own baby food has never been easier. Parent's growing commitment to healthy living has led many new Moms and Dads to prepare fresh, additive-free pureed fruits and veggies as their baby's first foods. It's also very economical. You don't need to be a tree hugging Martha Stewart to pull it off either, with lots of cool products on the market you can become a ga-ga gourmet in no time. 

Since pregnancy I'd been eyeing the Baby Bullet, made by the creators of the Magic Bullet. For approximately $60 the system includes: a large batch bowl/blender, short cup with lid for individual meals, power base, soft tip spatula, baby blend blade, milling blade, pocket nutritionist guide, user manual and cookbook, 6 date-dial storage cups and a storage tray for freezing. The Baby Bullet does not have an all in one steamer like other systems, but the date-dial storage cups were more of a must-have for me. Baby Bullet does make a Turbo Steamer which I have not purchased.  The steamer is currently running as a bonus item for free if you purchase the Baby Bullet system online. 

The pocket shopping guide was a great score. I take the manual along with me on my shopping trips to Whole Foods for organic produce. I use the recipe guide to pick fruits, veggies and grains that are age appropriate. We started with basic items like oats, sweet potatoes, apples, pears and eventually tried more interesting options like eggplant, kale, cantaloupe, avocado, watermelon and mango. Even if your baby is older than six months and has been eating prepared foods for a while consider making food at home. The system allows you to make smooth pureed food as well as more textured meals, even with meat and pasta for older infants. 

The Baby Bullet box and all it's trappings make you think it's more challenging to use than it actually is. After thoroughly reading everything I came to the conclusion, I probably could have figured it out with common sense. It's pretty much a glorified blender with various blades and basins. The milling blade works beautifully for oats and lentils. I'm plan to try black and garbanzo beans next month. Fruits and veggies are a breeze as well. Steaming anything from apples to potatoes usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Pureeing less than two minutes. From start to finish; prepping, steaming, blending to storing I can make a week worth of food in a little over an hour. Clean up is a snap also. The BPA free parts are all safe to place in your dishwasher, though I tend to wash them by hand. 

My baby girl has always enjoyed mealtime, but since using the Baby Bullet to provide the freshest food possible she is even more excited! Her little taste buds can surely tell the difference between her new, improved selections and the bottled stuff. I've tasted everything I've made and it is delicious. I'm talking utterly scrumptious!  

In all I have been very pleased with the system contents, ease of use, quality of product and clean-up required. I highly recommend it to parents concerned about nutrition. Making your own food guarantees that you know what's going into your baby's food and subsequently into their little bellies. 

MommyMorphosis Grade - A 

For more information about the pros and cons of making your own baby food check out this article by Gina Shaw on WebMD:

If you like the idea of a steamer/blender combo item check out the $120 Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Mrs. Michelle Obama! 10 Things To Know About Our Fantastic First Lady!

Today our fabulous FLOTUS Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama celebrates her birthday! 
Lady O made history when she moved into the White House with her husband Pres. Barack Obama three years ago, but has lived in pursuit of excellence, community activism and scholarship for 48 years. 

How well do you know Sasha and Malia's Mom? To celebrate her special day I'm sharing 10 interesting facts about the First Lady.

10. Mrs. Obama was born in Chicago , IL to Frasier Robinson III, who worked the swing shift in the boiler room at a water purification plant; her mother, Marian Shields, was a stay-at-home mom until her two children were grown. The family lived in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment; she and her older brother Craig shared the living room, which had been separated by dividers. Craig is currently a Men's Basketball Coach at Oregon State University.

9. The Robinson and Shields families can trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. Specifically, her roots can be traced to the Gullah people from South Carolina's Lowcountry region.

8. Michelle majored in sociology at Princeton University, after she graduated from Whitney Young High School. She is also a Harvard Law School graduate.

7. She was a young lawyer and assigned to be Barack's mentor when her future husband came to her Chicago firm, Sidley Austin,  for a summer job.

6.  FLOTUS hates pantyhose - too "painful" she says.

5. On their first date Barack took her to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing.

4.  At 5 ft 11 ins, she is tied with Eleanor Roosevelt for tallest First Lady.

3. Lauded for her sense of style and fit appearance "Chelly O" is on her way to becoming a fashion icon. She appeared on the cover and in a photo spread in the March 2009 issue of Vogue. Every First Lady since Lou Hoover (except Bess Truman) has been in Vogue, but only Hillary Clinton had previously appeared on the cover.

2. After a year as First Lady, she undertook her first lead role in an administration-wide initiative. Her goal was to make progress in reversing the 21st century trend of childhood obesityShe has named the movement "Let's Move!She has earned widespread publicity on the topic of healthy eating by planting the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt served as first lady.

1. First Lady Michelle Obama was the class of 2011 commencement speaker at Spelman College and received an honorary doctorate of laws degree by the all women historically black institution's president, Beverly D. Tatum.

Happy Birthday to FLOTUS, my fellow Chicagoan and Spelman sister! You are an inspiration!





Sunday, January 15, 2012

5 Ways to Inspire Your Children's Dreams

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential and respected leaders in history, I often think about his parents. How strong, wise and loving they must have been to raise such a dynamic individual. People like MLK Jr. didn't just turn out great by happenstance. Clearly there must have been family members, mentors, teachers and peers that saw his potential and nurtured it. I humbly offer my thoughts on how to encourage the special boys and girls in our lives to create a vision for themselves, achieve their dreams and make an impact on the world at large.

5. Look & Listen

"It (destiny) is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives." Paulo Coelho, "The Alchemist"

Practice close observation and active listening skills when interacting with your children. Talk to them. What are they into? What can't they stop jabbering about? You can help them identify and explore their healthy interests. Dig a little and educate them about the possibilities. A kid obsessed with transforming robots today, could be tomorrow's science and technology innovator. 

4. Homemade History Lessons

"The history of the world is but the biography of great men." Thomas Carlyle 

All things tangible and real in our world  were once someones dream. Teach your children to appreciate the men and women throughout history who turned nothing into something, and they will realize that they too can bring their visions into fruition. Retrace the steps taken one by one to turn dreams into reality. 

3. Encourage Literacy
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.  Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
Little readers are little dreamers. Books transport us to worlds unknown and plant ideas in a way that no other media can. Your budding bookworm will develop a better vocabulary, ability to focus and critical thinking skills by shelf surfing at the local library .

2. Expose them to the unfamiliar
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Rachel Carson

Make sure children know that the world is a huge, varied place. There is more to life than their block, city, state, country and continent. While their minds are sponges help them understand that no dream is too big. Their imaginations may lead them to ponder the implausible, but teach them that nothing is impossible. Visit museums, parks, art galleries. Travel by train, plane and automobile. Answer their questions. When you don't how to respond fess up and research the topic together. Encourage exploration that titillates their senses. See the sights; smell the scents - stinky and sweet; touch the soft and prickly; hear the noise and quiet; develop their taste for life! 

1. Keep Living Your Own Dreams

"When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old." Bill Clinton 

When we become parents, guardians or teachers we agree to put our needs second to what is best for our kids. Sometimes through great sacrifice we put what we want on hold to provide what they need, as it should be. But remember, the way we live provides a road map for how our children approach their lives. Talk to your children about your personal story, your failures and successes. Are you thriving or surviving? Even if you are excelling professionally, personally and spiritually think back to when you were a child. Rediscover some of that joy and curiosity. Set new goals, embark on new adventures, make new memories and you will inspire your children to do the same.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Daddy Dear

“They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She makes him feel like Christmas. In exchange, he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years, the mistakes she makes or the secrets she keeps.”
— Everwood

The bond between fathers and daughters is said to be one of the sweetest loves with a lifelong ripple effect. Moms raise the girls and Daddies spoil them. A father's love for his little girl should be wrapped up in adventure and adoration, fishing and fingernail painting. Dads have a way of making us feel strong and beautiful through our tears and scrapped knees. The signs of an active, or absent, father leaves footprints on a girl's heart that she may not be aware of.

I have always been close with my Mom as her only child, but my father and I have a mutual understanding and appreciation that is unique. We're like bohemian nerds that share the same wavelength. As I've gotten older his shoulder and his ear still bend for me whenever I need him. And though he might be an unlikely candidate, he is who I go to for most advice about my marriage. Now that I have a daughter I pray that she and I will have more fun than fights, and that I will be her confidante. However, I'm excited about the thought of her and my husband's budding relationship. He was busy selecting poems for her before she was born, and his special love for her is easy to see.

I found a great article recently written by Michael Mitchell, 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters, that inspired this post. Check it out :-)