Sunday, January 12, 2014

Leo Turns One

When you become parent, every other parent tells you that time flies when you have a baby.  And it gets really, really annoying. But they're right.  And then you realize…you are now that parent that says it to your pregnant friends.  ha!  It IS hard to believe that it's been a year since we had our tiny, fragile Leo and now he's such a big, strong, smiling, funny, smart little boy.  He loves to play with toys that make noise and music, eat leaves and tiny pieces of paper off the floor, rock back and forth to Stevie Wonder, make beats on his high chair tray, take dirty bottles out of the recycling bin, empty the office trash can, rip up important documents, unplug power cords, change the channel to CSpan on the TV, chew on straws, make funny noises, play Peek-a-boo, push buttons on Daddy's laptop, say Da Da when he's happy, and Ma Ma when he needs something. 

People that know me…know I LOVE a good theme.  January themes are hard!  Snowmen?  But I found inspiration for this Airplane Themed Birthday Party on Pinterest and loved it.  Then I started pinning away and getting grandiose ideas of remodeling our house.  It's a lot of pressure to try to be Pinterest Perfect.  I had many projects in mind that I was sure I would have time to do (i.e. gluten-free Cloud Sugar Cookies) that either completely bombed or I ran out of time for.  It's just not realistic and I my poor tortured husband convinced me at midnight (after folding 40 paper airplanes) that it was time for bed.  OK.  You win, Stupid Pinterest.

Once I let go of the fact I couldn't pull off a donut tower with Leo's face taped onto toothpicks…I relaxed and had fun.  I loved having our first "kid party"!  We had 4 couples and 8 kiddos come over to play and celebrate with us.  It is so wonderful to have friends in Nashville that feel like family.  Thank you Sullivants, Knowles, Mitchells, and Chaffers for being in our lives!

The thing about Leo's birthday that I toiled over the most was his cake.  I know it's tradition to let kids have their first taste of sugar on their birthday…but I just couldn't do it.  He's never had sugar (other than fruit) or any grains. He also has an egg allergy.  I did a lot of researching on gluten-free, vegan, paleo, sugar-free blogs and still couldn't find a cake that didn't have something in it I wanted to avoid.  So I concocted my own.  It's not pretty…and it's not sweet…but it looked like a cake and did the trick.  ha!  Leo loves bananas and will pretty much eat anything that you put in front of him at this stage in his he enjoyed it.  And mama was happy.  (See recipe and other links below)

Leo's Banana Smash Cake Recipe
grain, gluten, egg, dairy, sugar, and nut free

Preheat oven to 375
Grease cake pan with coconut oil

1/2 cup organic coconut flour 
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup organic coconut oil 
1 banana
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 Tb. potato starch 
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Melt coconut oil.  Then put coconut oil, banana, applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla in blender to puree'.  Add to dry ingredients and mix on low speed until smooth.  Bake in small round cake pan (I did 2 thin layers but you could also do one)  for 20-25 minutes until firm on top.  Texture will be more like a muffin, not a fluffy cake.

11 ounces of Culinary Coconut Milk (aka Coconut Cream)
1 Banana
1 tsp vanilla
1 drizzle of local honey (optional)

Blend until smooth in blender and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour until thick.  Ice cake within 1-2 hours of serving.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy!  We love you to pieces!

Theme Inspiration:  The Vintage Pearl
Paper Airplane Wall:  Printer Paper & Duct Tape
Paper Airplane Onesie:  Dirty Hippie Studios on Etsy
Party Invitation:  Room 1117 on Etsy
Round Helium Balloon:  Shindigs & Celebrations
Instagram Prints:  Printicular iPhone App (prints to Walgreens)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Summer Breeze...Makes Me Feel Fine

"Yacht Rock" is a mythical genre of music that includes soft rock hits from the late 70's & early 80's.  For people of my includes songs you know but didn't really know that you knew.  Ya know?  They were the songs that your parents listened to on the radio when you were a kid.  Think Michael McDonald, Linda Rondstadt, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Hall & Oats.  Songs that make you want to sip a Pina Colada on a large boat, perhaps.  But...also make you wanna sway, and groove.  There's some funk behind the smoothness.  haha...How's that for a description?

Billy and I actually have a Yacht Rock cover band called Summer Breeze that we started about 5 years ago.  Don't laugh!  Cover bands can be cool, people.  :)  The band that includes some of our closest friends who also happen to be exceptionally talented musicians.  We all originally lived in the KC area but now we are spread out to Nashville, KC, and Texas.  Now we play once or twice a year plus private events.  It has evolved into such a fun thing.  We actually have fans!  Fans who love yacht rock jams, wearing captains hats, and coming out to sing and dance their hearts out to songs like Rosanna and Rich Girl.

We just had our best show yet.  We had an after-Christmas show on December 28th and it was awesome to have so many friends, family and fans come out.  Our audience has outgrown our beloved Record Bar in KC, MO so we have relocated to the amazing Kanza Hall in the suburbs.  Our great friend Jason (who you might recognize from film & TV) happens to be a big yacht rock fan as well.  He loves to sit in with us for a song or two (and throw in a little Nate Dogg rap) when he's in town for our shows which makes it an extra special treat for us and the audience.

Here are some great photos by p.binder photography.