Tipp’s Staples

I have always enjoyed a home-cooked meal over prepared or frozen meals and this is no different when it comes to what I want to offer to Tipp.  Knowing that I am giving him wholesome foods and sneaking in a few extra veggies makes me feel good, however my role of a working mom makes it a little difficult.  The last thing I want to do is make not only one meal , but two after a long day in the office.

Don’t let this post fool you…we certainly enjoy our fair share of chicken nuggets, fish sticks and peanut butter & jelly during this picky toddler phase!  I have however, found a few recipes that I can make ahead of time that I know Tipp will devour on any given day!  Whether it’s a hectic morning when I am trying to get us both ready and out the door, or after a long day at the office with a cranky toddler who is ready for dinner and bed, I can usually pull something “homemade” out of the freezer in have it ready for Tipp in seconds.

Zucchini Yogurt Multigrain Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 24 muffin cups.
In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the zucchini, carrots, pecans, and raisins. Scoop into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
Turkey Veggie Meatballs
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine all ingredients except cooking spray in a bowl; stir well. Shape mixture into 30 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until done.

Veggie Bites
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli & cauliflower, steamed & chopped
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix chopped veggies, bread crumbs, cheese & eggs together until moist and able to form. Using either a small cookie scoop, a spoon or your hands form about 20 small balls the shape of a chicken nugget. Place on a foil lined cookie tray and bake at 20-25 minutes. Turn over after 15 minutes and press down with a spatula to evenly brown.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2011 Cliff Notes Version

So…2011…where to start?  How about at the beginning?

January – Tipp had his first day of school, which was very sad for us.  We were fortunate that I had 20 weeks of maternity leave then our family pitched in with childcare through the holidays after I returned to work.  Regardless, it was a very sad day for us and I must have called 10 times to check on him!  Within 2 weeks of starting daycare while I was in the midst of my first quarter end close as a working mom, Tipp became very sick with RSV and the beginning of a series of ear infections.  After many breathing treatments, antibiotics and lots of TLC he was feeling much better.

February – We celebrated Tipp’s first Valentine’s Day and received his first artwork from school.  For President’s Day weekend we had plans to go down to the beach, but another bout of wheezing and an ear infection almost stopped us.  In the end after a quick Saturday morning follow up, we packed up in a hurry and headed to the beach thinking it’d give us all a nice break from crazy day to day life at home.  It was just what the doctor ordered and we had a very nice sunny weekend playing outside.  We also discovered Tipp loves swinging…funny since he was never fond of the baby swing!

March – We celebrated Ben’s birthday and Dad & Son did it in style with their matching hats! We had several St. Patty’s Day celebrations including Tipp’s first St. Patrick’s Day festival at the beach.  We love this festival as it is usually the start of the warmer days to come that lead us to our most favorite time of the year.  I also signed up for an 8K Shamrock run in Raleigh at the last minute with my mom and it proved it be a very challenging course through beautiful, but very hilly downtown Raleigh neighborhoods.  Another first for Tipp was a beer fest in Myrtle Beach.  We brought our fellow beer snob friends, Tara and RIck down to the beach for the weekend and met up with my Sister and her boyfriend, Drew for the festival.  Looking back we spent a lot of March at the beach soaking up the sun we had been craving all winter.

April – What a busy and stressful month…with lots of projects at work for me, schoolwork for Ben and more ear infections and wheezing for Tipp.  By the time Easter weekend came around we needed a break.  Tipp enjoyed his first night away from us and went to spend the night with his Gommy.  Ben and I had a date night complete with dinner, a movie, a night cap at Tyler’s and late night pizza which we caught up on our DVD.  For the rest of the weekend we celebrated the holiday with family.  Our Easter morning started off with Tipp enjoying his first Easter basket from the Easter Bunny then dressed in our Sunday best we headed to church.

May – This was such a fun month!  We spent lots of time together as a family picking strawberries, going to the park for runs and swinging, celebrating my first Mother’s Day and enjoying Tipp’s first time playing on the beach.  My first Mother’s Day could not have been more perfect.  My boys surprised me by letting me sleep in and bringing me coffee, breakfast and gifts in bed.  We got to see all of our family over the weekend at some point to celebrate the special women on our lives that are mothers.  For Memorial Day weekend we headed to the beach where Tipp got his first taste of the sand (literally)!  He absolutely loved crawling all over the beach and kept us on our toes as he wanted to taste every shell.  After this weekend I knew this was going to be the best summer yet!

June – What a big month for birthdays!  I turned 30 and we celebrated Tipp’s 1st Birthday – I think we spent the entire month celebrating, but who could resist with everything we have to be thankful for?  We celebrated my birthday multiple times with family and friends.  Once my celebrations were over I went into fully party planning mode and wrapped up all the loose ends for Tipp’s Jungle themed party.   I loved planning his celebration and every detail came out as perfect as I had envisioned it.  I’ll have to write a separate post just for his party and all the pictures, but needless to say we all had a blast and he is one very loved little boy!

July – Another very busy month, that ended with a week vacation at Pawley’s Island.  We ate and drank too well, played in the sand, splashed in the water, read lots of books and enjoyed relaxing in the sun.

August – Similar to our “First LIttle Family Vacation” last year, the three of us (and Freddie) headed to the beach for a weekend of just playing.  We spent most of the weekend on the beach and watching the sunset as our little boy played in the surf.  Nothing could be more perfect that my view!  My college roommate, Meg is expecting, so Tipp, my mom and I went to DC for her shower a little girl’s weekend.  We cannot wait for the arrival of Miss Lilah in October and yes there will be a pre-arranged marriage!  Once home from DC, Tipp had surgery to get tubes in his ears as well as have his adenoids removed after 9 ear infections since January.  The surgery went well and I selfishly enjoyed the time I had taken off work to spend with Tipp.  He has recovered well and is now back to his happy self.  We are very much looking forward to healthier winter as fall is quickly approaching!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who Says Boys Can’t Wear Pink & Plaid?

Is this not the cutest little boy you have ever seen?And how is he a little boy and not a baby anymore?

Saturday we celebrated my sister’s 23rd birthday and had my family over for pre-dinner wine and appetizers, so of course I had to dress Tipp is his best.  Tipp and I made an herb cheese ball, bacon wrapped stuffed dates and had plenty of red wine on hand before our Italian dinner at Daniel’s.  Tipp had a ball showing off his new tricks which include standing on his own and taking a few steps.  He had a blast playing with the girls and at times got so excited and caught up in the moment he had a few accidental run-ins with the floor!    It is so sweet to hear the cackling laugh that comes out of his little belly as he plays –  it makes my heart swell that he is so happy.

Posted in birthdays, little boy clothes | Leave a comment

Long long long time ago….

Hello blog world this is Ben  aka Jenni’s hubby. I am posting an update because after having Tipp in our lives time seems to fly by and I noticed that it has been too long since the last update. A lot has has happened since December! Our sweet boy has now started to crawl, wave, and today understand sign language and relay his needs this way! We did the sign language for “more” and he repeated it today! Super exciting to see our boy grow and develop, but a little bit sad to see him grow so fast. A stage in his life is about to be over and the next is coming up way to fast. This reminds me of my mom and how she  loves to hug my neck, and now I know why, because when she can via the help of stairs, it makes that moment feel like she is still holding that small little baby a long time ago. When I hold my son, I know one day I won’t be able to hold him like this for ever and a hug around the neck might be the next best option. 

Our son like I said before is starting to crawl and it is fun and funny to watch. It is more of a “just got shot in the leg” using only my arms kind of crawl but hey he is going forward and that  makes us proud! Since Christmas time we have had the pleasure  or not of  Tipp’s daycare sickness,  and doing this whole “parent” thing for the first time has put a toll on our saneness. Not knowing what to do exactly we resort to doctors, friends, family, and blogs to help our boy during his times of being sick. At times it feels like, we have been in the past 3 months in the doctor’s office more than in our own bed!
Recently our boy turned 9 months old and it seems just like yesterday that we celebrated his half year mark, soon he will be a year old! At the beginning,  my thought process was oh I can’t wait till he is old enough to play ball, golf, soccer, or help me brew beer! haha But know I notice myself craving and wanting him to stay small and hold him a little bit longer. I guess Jenni and I are learning just as much as Tipp is but for us it is how and what to do right for him, but for him it is what and how this world works! 

Besides Tipp activities, Jenni and Marianne ran the Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Run and they did very well! Tipp and I cheered them on!  I recently turned a year older = 31, but I find my son’s upcoming bday way more important than mine! 
FYI he loves laugh and that might be the best part of our day! 
Above is me at on the left at 7 months and Tipp on the right at 8 months. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!

This is the Christmas I have been waiting years for!  The one where we will celebrate as a family of three, just as Joseph and Mary did so many years ago while holding their baby early in the morning in the manger.  And now that I have a son of my own – I think it means so much more…more than I actually describe!




Over the next few days I am looking forward to many firsts – Tipp’s first Christmas Eve Church service, Our first Christmas morning of bounding down the stairs to see what Santa left, the first of many gifts with Tipp’s name on them from “Mommy & Daddy”, taking Tipp in his adorable Christmas outfit to visit family and hopefully a White Christmas (a first for all of us)!

Luckily I have the next 10 days off to spend with Tipp…so let Christmas Vacation begin!!  We have lots of fun things planned – but secretly I want to be snowed in with no where to go.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy 5 Months!

Yes – this is a little late considering we are halfway to 6 months, but such is the life of a working mother!  I cannot believe Baby T is 5 months old.  He has cut his first tooth and another one is on the way!  IMG_6870

We are now getting much more structure to our lives and it’s quite possible that it is the result of me returning to work.  Going back was easier than the anticipation, but there have been a few days when I would just love to stay at home all day playing with Tipp!  Ben keeps Tipp Monday, Tuesday and Fridays.  On Wednesday and Thursdays he goes to Nana’s house.  They usually have fun playing, cooking, running errands or just hanging out with the girls after school.  I’d say we have settled into a nice little routine.

My first day off was Veteran’s Day and it was heavenly to spend the day with Tipp doing what we used to do.  We both snuggled in bed and slept in until 730am.  We spent the morning watching The Today Show and Kathi Lee & Hoda, then went shopping with Aunt Sara. 

We have adjusted to nursing and pumping while I am at work and so far that is going well.  I cannot believe my initial goal of 6 months is coming up! 

This month has been filled with visitors and weekends away.  We took Tipp to the Outer Banks for the first time while Ben and I ran the OBX Half Marathon.  We celebrated Halloween in Sanford at a big neighborhood party.  Tipp rode the hayride to trick or treat for a few houses, then decided he would much rather ride in the comfort of his own car seat.  We also survived daylight savings time – which is a curse to anyone with children!IMG_6758

Tipp is “talking” a lot more, reaches well for objects and can sit with assistance.  He also loves his Jumperoo and can finally reach the ground to bounce.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Holiday Wishes Made Easy

As the holidays are sneaking up on us and I’m thinking more and more about simplicity this year, I have fallen in love with Shutterfly holiday cards.  Every year Ben and I take a picture to send in a Christmas card to our family and friends.  Many of you may remember last year’s card where we “announced” the upcoming arrival of Tipp by standing in front of our Christmas tree holding one of the first ultrasounds we had of our baby. 

For over 5 years now, I have used Shutterfly as a means to upload and store photos, print pictures, and make photobooks for our wedding, vacations and other special moments.  After Tipp’s arrival I made it easy on myself and ordered his birth announcements – I could not have been more thrilled with them and they were a piece of cake to make!  Never mind the quick turn around!  Typically for Christmas cards I find them on sale the previous year, print each photo and stuff them myself.  But, this year I think I would much rather let someone else do that work and spend the time with Tipp. 

I love receiving Christmas cards, especially with photos of our family and friends.  As our families are growing it is a treat to see updates, as well as get personalized wishes for the Holidays and New Year.   And honestly, my first thought when we found out we were expecting was being able to send adorable Holiday photo cards featuring Tipp year and after year!  This year Shutterfly has so many bright and cheery designs that I do not know how we will narrow down our choice.  They range from classy to whimsical and have cards to fit every personality.  Here are a few of my favorite designs:

image Perfect with 5 pictures…because how could I ever choose just one of Tipp!

image So classy…now we just need a family picture!

image I love this one…I have dreamed of a holiday picture in black and white with Tipp laying in a pile of lights! 

Now the only other hard part will be narrowing down my favorite photo or photos of Tipp to send! 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy 4 Months!


Oh My Goodness…I can’t believe you are 4 months old!  You are no longer a newborn and growing into such a big boy with a bright personality.  Although at times you are very unpredictable…when you decide you want something – you want it NOW!  That must be a Stafford trait!

It’s been a busy month with lots of milestones for you.  You have discovered your hands, started reaching for toys and you can roll over!  Mostly you enjoy rolling over from back to front, then get frustrated being on your belly.  Once on your belly you have gotten great at pushing up onto your elbows and holding your head up.  As soon as I can flip you back you have rolled back to your belly.  You have also started bearing weight on your legs and love “standing up.”


We had your 4 month appointment where you weighed 12 lbs and 4/5 oz…still at 10%, but gaining appropriately.  You are 25 inches tall and your head is 16 1/2 inches…both are in the 50% range.  We are learning you are going to be a lean baby!  In the past month breastfeeding has gotten a lot easier and you have become an efficient nurser, but becoming more distractible!  You also got 3 vaccines, which made for a sad and fussy evening.  You were so pitiful and we felt so sorry for how bad you felt. 

You spent your 4 month birthday weekend in Williamsburg shopping with me and Gommy.  You were such a trooper spending 10 hours shopping with the girls and everyone thought you were so cute.  I hope you enjoyed your weekend with the ladies since next year you will be having a boys weekend with Daddy – he missed you so much!


I am enjoying every second with you as the next few weeks are the last of me being at home.  Even when you wake up at 5am for the day, I look forward to bringing you to bed with me and dozing together while you nurse.  I also love playing with you and making you smile…I could stare at your smile all day as literally smile with your entire face.


We love you Baby T and look forward to what the next month brings to our lives!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Gracing the cover of the newest Cooking Light was Peanut Butter Banana Bread…a perfect idea for the extremely ripe bananas I threw into the freezer the morning Tipp was born.  I had planned on making an extra loaf of banana bread, but time got away from me.  Whenever I have ripe bananas, but no time to make banana bread, I peel the bananas and freeze them in chunks. 

This issue had several versions of Banana bread including a Bananas Foster recipe, which I think we will making very soon!

The Peanut Butter version was awesome!  I could have drank the icing!


Peanut Butter Banana Bread (Cooking Light)


  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/3  cup  creamy peanut butter
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 6.75  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4  cup  ground flaxseed
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • Cooking spray


  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  1% low-fat milk
  • 1  tablespoon  creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tipp Rolling Over

Sunday morning, Tipp rolled over for the first time and since then he has not stopped!  He is best at rolling from back to belly, then gets frustrated…he hates tummy time!  As soon as I help him roll to his back again-he rolls over to his tummy.  He is quite proud of himself and smiles immediately after his “trick” then gets fussy out of frustration.  Luckily he is forced to get more tummy time and in the past few days he has been able to push up on his elbows more.

Monday, he kept rolling over anytime I turned away even if just for a second!  But, I finally caught it on camera very early Tuesday morning.  I guess we will start trying to wean him from his Swaddle Me soon and take the bumpers out of the crib as he gets more and more mobile!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment