A Simple DIY Baby Binder

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Being organized is one of my stronger qualities and I only need a simple excuse to create a binder. When Greyson came along I knew I wanted to have something in place where all of his important documents could be kept safely. It can be overwhelming, the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. When Greyson first started going to the doctor I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. And since we travel, it’s nice to have an easy way to take his medical information with us in case of an emergency while out of town.

Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Creating Your Binder

Any organized binder begins with a, well, binder! Any width will do, but since it’s just Greyson and he’s our only child we went with the thinnest. Then it’s all about pocket protectors, dividers, and stickers for labeling. I used Keynote to create each page and added photos of Greyson for a little fun touch.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Info At-A-Glance

The first page in Greyson’s binder is his medical contact information at-a-glance. It is perfect for locating important phone numbers and addresses as well as other info like his birthday and social security number. This page is essential and is important to have on hand in case anyone needs to call 911. This binder is also a great resource for family members or babysitters who may be looking after your child and an emergency occurs.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Any binder needs cute divider tabs and these ones from Target were so cute! I love the material because it’s sturdy but also allows for easy application and removal of my Avery tab stickers. By using stickers I can interchange the dividers over time as I need to.

Growth Tracker

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Another great page I created was a growth tracker for each month up until he turns one. I’ve included his weight, height (length) and percentile for each. My OCD and love for filling out forms is excited to visit our pediatrician for Grey’s wellness checkup so I can fill in his previous months! During the months in between visits I weigh him on our home scale and record it. That way I can stay on top of his weight and keep an eye on things especially as we introduce more solid foods into his diet.

Pockets Go A Long Way

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

Another favorite aspect of my baby binder are these plastic page protectors. I love keeping his immunization records and pediatrician printouts all in one convenient pocket so it’s easy to slip in and out.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Sometimes it can be overwhelming the amount of paperwork and copies of documents new parents receive both from the hospital after delivery and again once you find a pediatrician. I felt like I would lose something if I didn’t have a convenient and safe place to keep these things. Thus I created this baby binder, which has been the perfect thing to ease my mind and keep all of Greyson’s medical information all in one spot. Let’s take a peek...

In these page protectors I have kept important information that’s been given to us like his immunizations and circumcision F.A.Q. I have also kept handy any payment confirmations or bills that we’ve received so that we have a paper trail on all of our payments for Greyson in case of any discrepancies (which happen more often than not!). Once we paid our delivery in full we made sure to have documentation from the hospital as proof. I always recommend keeping on file your payments or bills so that you have these at your disposal when dealing with insurance companies or others trying to unnecessarily bill you. Also, some of these forms can be super helpful during tax season too!

Creating your own baby binder is such a simple answer to this organizational problem and really helped us cut down on stacks of paper around the house or having the documents we need going missing. Having just created Greyson’s I’m already at ease about where to place his important documents and each time we go to the doctor I can just slip his paperwork into the appropriate pocket and put away – done!

How do you keep your family’s documents safe?

 photo Signature.001.jpeg

Finding The Perfect Family Costume

My Halloween costume last year when pregnant with Greyson.

Anyone who knows me know that autumn is by far my favorite holiday. Just the mere thought of PSLs, pumpkin patches, and an entire month dedicated to scary movies makes me happy somewhere deep inside. Oh, and don’t forget the boxes stuffed away in our storage of fall themed home decorations I get to dust off (you’re welcome, husband), new dollars spent on every scented candle that makes me feel like we live in the woods, and the beginning of my journey into seasonal diabetes due to the amount of baked goods I make. Each year it’s been a little tradition of mine to really plan ahead and find fun themed activities for us to do as a twosome and this year I am even more excited because we have our little guy to celebrate the season with.

When it comes to Halloween, we know that planning a family costume is something that takes time, extreme thought, and creativity. I used to always love dressing up and even though my husband isn’t really into costumes, this year and every year for the next forever he will be forced into fun participation of dressing up with Greyson and I in cute coordinated outfits. That is until Greyson is too cool to dress up with his mom. But never mind that because he’s never growing up 😉

After scouring the best of Pinterest searches here are my top favorite ideas for family costumes this Halloween. Which are your favorite?

Jurassic Park
This is most likely going to be our costume choice this year. I love that she was able to find their outfits from local thrift stores (Ventura has plenty of those) and who does not find her daughter’s dinosaur costume to be just the most adorable thing ever. Also, we should all take a moment to remember the greatness that is the ORIGINAL Jurassic Park film.

Image Source: Emily via Cupcakes & Cashmere
Image Source: Emily via Cupcakes & Cashmere

Ratatouille
I love a good Disney rendition for a family Halloween costume and the key is to finding the cutest baby outfit to match. I just adore their costumes and love how simple they are to put together! This is also a fun costume for us since my husband and I both love to cook!

Image Source: The House of Cornwall blog
Image Source: The House of Cornwall blog

Finding Nemo
You seriously can’t deny just how great this costume is! I love the take on Finding Nemo that isn’t your traditional fish theme. The fact this family went with Darla and the dentist is just perfect!

Image Source: Elizabeth Parrett Instagram
Image Source: Elizabeth Parrett Instagram

This family who wins at life…

The Lego Movie
Did I mention I’m a fan of Disney/family movies? This family just blows my mind with how they recreated the popular Lego characters straight from the movie! I hope to one day find the time and effort to put into creating this costume. #parentinggoals.

Image Source: Randomama Instagram
Image Source: Randomama Instagram

Beetlejuice
Both my husband and I are avid fans of the Beetlejuice movie since it played such a fun part in the movies we saw growing up. We had discussed a Beetlejuice costume for a little while now and it was so much fun to see what other families interpreted this movie! I think the below photo may just be too intense for my little guy at the moment, but I couldn’t help but share how awesome it came out!

Image Source: Stephanie via costume-works.com
Image Source: Stephanie via costume-works.com

Aren’t these parents awesome for planning and putting together some pretty great costumes for the family? #momgoals. I still have some time to figure out what we’ll be doing – but I’m curious, what costumes are you planning??

 photo Signature.001.jpeg

Celebrating Fall & New Traditions

Ringing in fall in our home is quite the event. In September I begin to plan our #verydanielhalloween (a cute hashtag I made up years ago) and fine tune what we’ll be doing for the month of October. The last few years I’ve arranged for different activities such as watching a list of our favorite scary (and some not so scary) movies, decorate a haunted gingerbread house, going to the pumpkin patch and carving the pumpkins we pick out. Last year I was pregnant and so this year is especially special because now we have our little guy to celebrate the season with.

This year my husband and I have picked our favorite horror movies and a few new ones to watch for the first time. I thought it would be fun to plan meals around each movie and that we would snack on them as we watched. I also took it a step further to include themed cocktails as well! I am always on the lookout for new food recipes and lately we both have been dabbling into mixology too. So, as October first arrived and we enjoyed our first food pairing night with a success I am so much looking forward to the rest of the menus we have planned for each movie!

Today I am sharing with you how our family celebrates one of the best seasons ever and how easy it is to share the love with your family by starting your own traditions!

img_3289

Try this Pumpkin Spice Martini! It’s perfect for those hotter fall days…

I love fall for many reasons: comfy and cozy clothes, a slight chill in the air, comforting colors, warming food such as chilis, squash, and meat(!), autumnal scents (because who doesn’t love a good scented candle?), and the excuse to over consume pumpkin everything. Fall brings a shift in the year and officially kicks off the holiday season beginning with Halloween, transcending into Thanksgiving, then ending with the ultimate and most enjoyable holiday ever: Christmas. What makes this holiday season so much richer for me and my family is the addition that Greyson brings to it all. It’s a chance for us to establish these traditions we so badly wanted when we were younger, but that we now get to share with him.

The first major step in planning anything for your family is simply planning. I use Pinterest as my source of inspiration as well as ideas we both shoot off of each other. So after we narrowed down our movies it was relatively easy to find appetizers and treats that go with that particular theme of the movie. After you have your meals planned it’s all about creating the grocery lists ahead of time that way you don’t miss any ingredients when you go shopping. I even cross-referenced ingredients for each week’s menus so that nothing goes to waste!

img_3291

Bon Appetit’s Pan Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas (yum!)

Fall is all about delicious comfort food too! I love looking through various food blogger’s recipes to find inspiration that uses seasonal vegetables and incorporate those warm and fuzzy fall spices. I just recently discovered Harissa at Trader Joe’s (and whoah it’s spicy!) and now I literally want to put it into everything. This Bon Appetit recipe for using Harissa on chickpeas is one of the easiest recipes that is packed with flavor. Besides, who doesn’t love a good crispy roasted chicken thigh on top? I literally put the leftover chickpeas on everything the following day…

img_3409

Each movie night I have our menu printed off and displayed in this simple Ikea frame.

Bone marrow is surprisingly easy to make and quite fancy given it’s considered scrap.

For this year’s celebration it is all about food and cocktail pairings! I was so excited and spent a good few weeks finding new dishes that correlate to the scary movies we will be watching throughout this month. For example, last night we kicked off our #verydanielhalloween with a viewing of The Skeleton Key while munching on roasted bone marrow spread on toast, fresh homemade pecan pralines, and sipped on dirty martinis. The bone marrow recipe I found just kicked up this dish to another degree and highly recommend it for everyone to try. I had my very first praline when my husband took me to New Orleans as our first trip together and I also happened to discover a dirty martini there as well. Monday will be a Swedish horror film called Goodnight Mommy and we’ll be enjoy ‘mummy’ snacks such as these jalapeño poppers and the family favorite of hot dog wrapped mummies. Also, I’m excited to try the halloween cocktails this year and tomorrow it will be a ghostly take on a White Russian (but we’re calling it a White Swede for the fact that the film is Swedish). Cute, right?!

img_3411

My first attempts at making these pecan pralines!

All month long I’ll be sharing the movie and food pairings as we make and enjoy them on Instagram so not only be sure you’re following along (for your own inspiration!) but you can also find me on Instagram using the hashtag: #verydanielhalloween. I use the same hashtag every year so that it keeps a little photo diary of our annual shenanigans. Want to also find the recipes that I’ve selected for this year as well as the cocktails? Check out and follow my Pinterest: Fall Inspirations board!

 

 photo Signature.001.jpeg

Making Your Own Baby Food

Making your own fresh baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Follow these easy steps and take the guessing out of what you’re feeding to your baby.

It’s easier than you’d think!

My husband and I both knew pretty early on that when Greyson was ready to begin discovering and eating solid foods we wanted to prepare them ourselves. With the food industry the way it is, leaving foods often unregulated in its preparation, it was important for us that he be introduced to wholesome healthy fruits and veggies versus the store-bought packets or jars.

Now, realistically speaking I was worried that our good intentions would be flanked by having little time to prepare our own baby food considering, you know, taking care of a baby – but thankfully that couldn’t have been further from the truth. All we needed was a few inexpensive materials such as Ziploc baggies, cheap ice cube trays, a blender, and some time carved out for steaming and puree the fruits and vegetables of our choosing.

Making your own fresh baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Follow these easy steps and take the guessing out of what you’re feeding to your baby.

To start making your own baby food, simply pick out your favorite fruits and veggies that you would like to introduce to your baby. Greyson is still in stage 1 of solid foods, which just means he’s limited to simple veggies (orange & green) and fruits that are puréed smooth.

Going to your local farmers market is also a guaranteed way to provide farm fresh produce and veggies for your family and there’s often a wide variety of what’s in season that you can’t find in stores. However, we always shop at Trader Joe’s and I’ve always been happy with their selection of fresh and seasonal produce/veggies.

OUR FAVORITE PUREES:

Peas – Broccoli – Sweet Potato – Butternut Squash – Carrot – Peach
Breakfast Medley: oats (made with breastmilk), blueberries, raspberries, & bananas puréed altogether.

Prepare your foods by steaming them or roasting in the oven. Then, using a blender (or a Nutri-Bullet like me) blend your fruits or veggies until smooth and there’s no chunks. Add water or even breastmilk as needed or until desired consistency is reached.

Using your cheap ice cub trays, spoon into molds until full. (We use these trays from Target for only $1.99). This is about one full serving for baby and is the perfect amount. Pop into the freezer for 2-3 hours so they firm up then place them in a Ziploc or other freezer-safe bags, label, and you’re good to go!

Making your own fresh baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Follow these easy steps and take the guessing out of what you’re feeding to your baby.

Making your own fresh baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Follow these easy steps and take the guessing out of what you’re feeding to your baby.

When you’re ready to serve simply take out a cube of whatever you’d like to feed to baby and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. I like freezing the foods separately then mix and match once thawed. That way you get more options out of each set of veggies/fruits and you can change it up as often as you’d like or as your baby’s tastes change.

Making your own fresh baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Follow these easy steps and take the guessing out of what you’re feeding to your baby.
Homemade carrot puree.

We’ve been making our own baby food this way for about two weeks now and it has made introducing new foods to our son so much easier and less of a hassle! I love being able to put just a little effort in the beginning and in the end having enough food to last us a few months by freezing them into the cubes. I also love mixing the different flavors and seeing what Greyson enjoys eating as well as changing it up when he doesn’t seem to like certain flavors (like peas!).

Making your own fresh baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Follow these easy steps and take the guessing out of what you’re feeding to your baby.

Do you have any other baby food suggestions for Greyson and I? What foods does your infant just love to gobble up?

 photo Signature.001.jpeg