Household Mag.

Food + Drink

Balancing it All, Mealtime Included

Food + Drink, MotherhoodHailey AndresenComment

If you’ve been following along here for even a small chunk of time you already know that the time we spend as a family around the table consuming meals is just about the most cherished part of our days. Food is important to us to say the least and instilling this distinct belief and appreciation in Owen is something that Zack and I discussed before Owen was even born. These conversations first came up when I was pregnant, and at that time it seemed a little daunting, but somehow it seemed far enough away that it was easy to put in the back of our minds. It wasn’t until we were truly in the thick of it that we really started to weigh our options on exactly how we would introduce foods to Owen. When he hit the six month mark we decided to start with Baby Led Weaning which has been fantastic for us ever since. Over time, Owen has proven to be an incredible and adventurous eater and mealtimes (provided everyone is well rested) are generally very enjoyable for us all - which I didn’t realize was such a rarity with small kids until recently so I feel really lucky.

All of that being said, it’s often difficult to get quality meals on the table three times a day. I’m fortunate enough to work from home, so not only to do I have the opportunity to make a living and take care of Owen, but we have the opportunity to eat each and every meal together. But, life is busy and shopping, prepping and cooking for three meals a day feels basically impossible. Most weekdays I’m juggling work, Household Mag, taking care of Owen and quality meals often times fall by the wayside. Whether it’s acceptable or not for myself is one thing, but it’s something I really struggled with for Owen. Our busy lifestyle shouldn’t mean that he’s lacking nutrients or that we are rushing through meals to get to the next activity or task. I was beginning to feel a little desperate for some help and then like magic, I stumbled upon Nurture Life’s website.

For those of you who don’t know, Nurture Life is a ready-to-eat, subscription based food service for children between the ages of six months and eighteen years, which delivers fresh, wholesome, organic meals, weekly and straight to your door. Nurture Life’s passion is to impact the healthy development of our children. When you sign up for their service you provide your children’s ages, dietary preferences and their chefs get to work. Each week you have the option to make adjustments based on your child’s eating habits and your schedule - you can even pause your subscription if you know it’s a week where you won’t need the assistance quite as much. Nurture Life offers a menu designed by their team of chefs and a pediatric dietitian, full of flavorful options and kid-friendly favorites, so that you can choose the meals you’d like for your little ones. They even offer a “Chef’s Choice” menu that auto populates your order for you if you are too busy to choose or just want to try out something new. Meals are delivered once a week and are cold, but never frozen - you simply refrigerate once you receive your shipment and reheat throughout the week as needed. Prices vary depending on the age of your children and the amount that you order, but for our weekly box, which includes five toddler meals, we pay $47, and they also have an option for ten meals which costs $89.

Since placing my first order with Nurture Life, I had the chance to chat with one of the co-founders to hear a little more about their story - a story that sounds all too familiar. The founders of Nurture Life started the company because they too, were busy and were finding that there weren’t nearly enough hours in the day to balance it all, mealtime included. After working our way through a couple weeks worth of food from Nurture Life there are a few aspects of their service that have really sold me on making their subscription part of our weekly routine. I wanted to share this with you guys because I realize it takes a village and sometimes we all need a little support - especially during the busy holiday season we are in the midst of.

One, the option for five meals is perfect for us and our schedule - although I can see how nice having ten would be as well. I essentially look at our subscription as five meals I don’t have to worry about prepping or cooking for Owen. Often times we turn to his Nurture Life meals for lunch because midday is the busiest time of the day for me while I’m working at home which is such a relief for me. Two, not only is the preparation and cook time completely removed, but I’m also saving the time I would spend recipe planning and grocery shopping for these meals - so helpful! I am able to pause each day for lunch and really connect with Owen over our meal rather than hustling to get food on the table and rushing through the meal. It’s given me some time back and that’s such a treat! Three, because of the team of chefs and pediatric dietitian Nurture Life works with, I know that I can trust that their ingredients are the highest quality and that they are developing recipes that will support Owen’s growth and development.

So, if you’re finding yourself in the same position as me, take the help. I know I have a hard time letting go of control, but sometimes you need the support and it’s okay. In this situation it’s especially okay, because Nurture Life has you covered. Learn more about Nurture Life’s services by visiting their site here.

Photography by Amy Frances.

This post was sponsored by Nurture Life. Use the code HOUSEHOLD2016 through December 31st to receive $30 off your first order. 

 

An Intentional Autumn

Motherhood, Food + DrinkHailey AndresenComment

Where do I begin? Last weekend I was lucky enough to join Rebecca, her beautiful team and the best group of women I may have ever had the chance to meet. Please take me seriously - I don’t say this often. As I’ve gotten older I’ve made more and more female friends, but generally speaking my crew is made up of men. I’m typically okay with this, but I left Foxfire Mountain House feeling more refreshed than I have in years after being surrounded by women for four days. I might have laughed in your face if you told me this would be the case a short year ago, but it’s the honest truth. This retreat was the first trip I’ve taken away from Owen since he was born, and while I’m sure a lot of you might like to hear that it was difficult - it really wasn’t. A year in and I felt like I needed and deserved a weekend to myself and for myself, and guess what - I missed him and I missed Zack, but no one burnt the apartment down, everyone lived and I truly believe I came home better because of it all.

I learned at our final dinner that I wasn’t alone in saying I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I booked my ticket for “An Intentional Autumn”. That isn’t to say that Rebecca didn’t do an excellent job at describing the weekend - I knew it would be beautiful, I knew there would be a focus on food, hospitality and styling, but outside of that it was fairly open ended which allowed for a mix of ladies with different backgrounds and interests to attend. It was exactly what I needed and from what I gathered through the weekend - it was exactly what everyone else needed too. In an industry where so much of my time is spent behind a computer screen it was the greatest and most necessary gift of all to sit down, eat a home cooked meal (while it was still warm), drink one too many glasses of wine most nights and connect with women that I immediately admired and was inspired by. It’s almost sad to say, but I didn’t realize how much I had missed this sort of connection until I was smack dab in the middle of it all.

Anna Watson Carl, the author of The Yellow Table, and her team prepared all of our meals (three meals a day to be exact - with dessert at each meal), she also lead workshops on hospitality, baking homemade granola and poached pear tarts. If I had to select one love language it’s most likely food, but as we sat in the living room and each shared what hospitality means to us I found myself with tears in my eyes. I realize it might sound cheesy, but the conversation fed my soul and tapped into why I started Household to begin with - the desire to cook and bake and share despite being in a new place and knowing under five people - I learned to connect online after a long line of avoiding the internet and claiming to be “bad at it”. Hospitality originally started for me at my mother’s table, the table that in her most recent move she had the legs removed so it would fit into her and my dad’s new loft in Downtown Phoenix. There are still marks in the table top from mine and my brother’s homework. I can still remember each Thanksgiving and Christmas and plenty of the other meals spent there with our family, friends and neighbors - it was a place to gather, eat, share and connect - no matter who you were you were always welcome. As an adult I found this sense of hospitality again in the restaurants I worked in, and in the past year and a half I have found it right here. So thank you for being here.

Our other workshops focused on weaving, setting the table, forging and floral arrangement, defining your brand, and food styling and photography, primarily lead by Rebecca - who I left feeling so unbelievably inspired by. The effort, time and thought that went into her retreat is difficult to put into words. From the selection of Foxfire Mountain House for the venue, to the food and gifts we received, to the morning yoga, to the carefully organized schedule and set of workshops she put together, to the group of women she attracted - it seems too simple to say that she really hit it out of the park, but she really did. Her focus through each and every activity was intentional living, which I admit I was nervous about before I arrived. My work is primarily done on a computer. I wondered, would this be considered intentional living? Since I’ve had Owen I’ve been pretty intentional with my time, but what would that mean by Rebecca’s standards or by the standards of all these new people I was meeting?

I think we all left on the same page. An intentional life is simple - it means that everything you do is done with intention (yes, even watching TV). It doesn’t mean that there are things you should or shouldn’t be doing, but that whatever it is you are doing should be with intention. I struggle with being checklist obsessed, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about how much you do, but how you do it. It’s about realizing what you need and making time for it. That’s at least what I left feeling. It doesn’t mean you have to take on more work, I actually left feeling like maybe I need to take on less, but focus more on the work that matters. And that ultimately I need to make more time for everything that matters - Zack, Owen, friends, family, me. It’s easy to bury yourself in work, but in ten, twenty, thirty years will it matter? Finding balance is key and making time, being intentional with your time is what it’s all about.

A huge thank you to Rebecca for teaching us, for welcoming us all and for putting together one of the best weekends I’ve experienced in some time. There’s no way anyone left “An Intentional Autumn” feeling less than they did walking in. Sign me up for your next retreat please. ;) 

Photography by Amy Frances

Graze Cacao Nibs Brownies

Food + DrinkHailey Andresen1 Comment

I've always been a big fan of brownies, but there's something to be said for making them from scratch. Today I'm teaming up with Graze to share the brownie recipe you see in the video. Follow the instructions and enjoy! 


Ingredients:

  • 8oz Graze Cacao Nibs
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt butter and soften cacao nibs in a double broiler, stirring constantly. 
  • Once your butter has completely melted remove from heat and pour into your food processor. 
  • Blend until desired texture has been reached. 
  • In a separate bowl whisk your eggs. 
  • Add your sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt to your eggs and whisk again. 
  • Add in your butter and cacao mixture. Whisk. 
  • Once combined add in flour and mix again. 
  • Spray two, 8 x 8 brownie tins and divide your mixture between the two. Cook for thirty minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Videography by Amy Frances

This post was sponsored by Graze.

To receive 10% off your next order use the code GET10 at checkout.