Baby led weaning ideas.

Hi mamas and papas,

Since I started my Lara on solids I’ve had so many questions asked about what I feed her. It surprises me so much on how scared we are as parents to start feeding our babies something other than milk!

We started Lara on solids right on 4 months because she showed interest in food. She would watch us intently as we ate and would open her mouth if I brought a spoon or food to her lips. Every baby is different though, and some take longer than others. I believe you should listen to your baby and go with what they want:- that’s where baby led weaning is fantastic!

If you are thinking about starting your baby on solids but are not sure where to start, try this – The very first thing we gave Lara was baby rice cereal mixed with her formula. Mixing the cereal with her formula makes it taste familiar, and also make the consistency quite runny so it’s easy to swallow. As your baby gets more confident with food you can increase the consistency to be more thicker. If you’re still breast feeding you can mix the cereal with your breast milk.

Now look, I’m no expert or dietician, and before I started feeding Lara solids I had no idea what to do. I asked everyone I knew who had kids and what they did, I googled, I scrolled for hours on Pinterest, I spoke to the maternal health nurse:- and everyone had a different way or different opinion. You have to listen to yourself and go with what feels right for you and your baby.

Below is a list of some the foods I have given and still give to Lara that she likes and are very easy for her to eat. Baby led weaning is pretty much about letting your baby choose what they want to eat by touching, feeling the texture of the food, smell and taste. Sometimes they will eat some, sometimes they won’t and most of the time it will end up on the floor so make sure you put a towel or matt down! You will soon learn what your baby likes and dislikes which will make life a bit easier for you when it comes to prepping meals. Plus it’s super fun watching your baby taste different foods and watching their facial expressions.

Baby led weaning ideas;

  • Roast pumpkin pieces
  • Steamed brocolli
  • Boiled eggs
  • Tuna patties
  • Tuna and rice balls
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peanut butter on toast (no crusts)
  • Avocado slices or on toast
  • Mini quiches (no crusts)
  • Banana
  • Hash browns
  • Sausages
  • Steamed apple and pear slices
  • Cheese slices
  • Mini pancakes
  • Steamed zucchini

At meal times I put 2-3 options on Lara’s high chair and let her investigate, play and eat. Once she’s had some time to eat then I top her up with either a sachet of food or something I’ve made to make sure she’s eaten enough. I also give her a sippy cup with water to help wash it down.

If your baby has no teeth yet like my Lara (8months) or if your baby is in the early stages of eating then just ensure the food you give your baby is really soft. The usual rule is if you can squish it with ease between your thumb and finger then a baby can mush it with their gums.

Also, your baby will gag, but remember this doesn’t mean they are choking. It takes practice to learn how to swallow food and baby’s have a very good gag reflex so don’t panic, they are just sorting them selves out. Learn the signs of choking:- if your baby isn’t making any sound, looks distressed and isn’t breathing then your baby is choking. Always ensure the food you give to your baby is super soft. A baby will choke if the consistency is too thick or too hard as this will get ‘stuck’ in their throat. This has happened to us – I fed Lara some mashed sweet potato but didn’t water it down so it was really thick. One spoon full later and she was choking and ended up vomiting all over me. Lesson learnt!

If you are worried about egg and nut allergies then speak to your doctor first. I gave Lara natural peanut butter and egg from 4 months to build up her resistance. My advice is if you’re wanting to try egg, start by just cooking up the egg yolk. The egg white is full of protein and can be too overpowering for little bodies which can make some babies sick if they are sensitive. So introduce the egg whites slowly. A good way to do it is by making scrambled eggs and slowly increase the egg white ratio as the weeks go on.

Starting your baby on solids shouldn’t be stressful or scary, it’s fun and exciting!

Don’t feel like you have to go out of your way to make your baby special meals, because it will just cause you more stress in the long run:- Unless you’ve got all the free time then go for it! I feed Lara pretty much what we eat, sometimes just making a few easy adjustments. This way she will learn to eat the same food as us which will make dinner time much easier and you won’t have to worry about cooking different meals for everyone.

Again, I’m no expert, and what I do works for us! Lara loves her food and eats very well. We are now working on her feeding herself with a spoon, which is giving me more anxiety than anything because now she can flick food across the room on the spoon and the clean freak in me can’t handle it *facepalm :- but she has to learn somehow so let’s just roll with it.

Pinterest is really handy for baby led weaning ideas and also tips on how to cut and prepare foods to make it easy for baby to eat without being a choking hazard.

I hope this has helped you in some small way and gives you a little confidence to start your solids journey with baby.

Remember, be patient with your little one and have fun! Don’t force them to eat things they’re not interested in because this will just push them further away from the experience and will end up with fussy eaters in the future.

I’d love to hear how you go, so make sure to leave a comment.

X Jes

Baby led weaning banana and blueberry muffins.

My Lara is 6 months old and is eating anything and everything! She is such a good eater, but I’m constantly researching new recipes to try as I sometimes feel I can’t keep up with her.

Lara started eating purée foods at 4 months old and at 6 months old she is eating almost everything. I try to let her feed herself as much as possible even though the mess drives me insane. Baby led weaning has been really interesting for Lara and let’s her experiment with different textures and flavors.

These muffins are great for baby led weaning or even snacks for toddlers. There’s no sugar either! Even I have been sneaking some with my afternoon coffee! Lara loves these muffins and eats them so well! I cook up a batch of these on a weekly basis, they are super easy, minimal ingredients and healthy!

So if you’re like me and always on the look out for new things to try, then I hope this recipe appeals to you.


  • 2 medium bananas mashed with a fork.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  • 100g of melted butter.
  • 1 and 1/3 cup of plain flour.
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Blueberries (fresh or frozen)


  1. In a mixing bowl, mash up bananas with a fork.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla and butter.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the wet ingredients together. The batter should become smooth, yellow and a little frothy.
  4. Add the flour and baking powder and beat for a further minute or so to make a well-mixed batter.
  5. Portion into an oiled muffin tin. The mix makes 12 standard size muffins or 30 mini muffins.
  6. Top the muffins with a couple blueberries (or if you prefer, mix the blueberries into the batter)
  7. Bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes. (Cooking times will vary on different ovens so keep checking them)
  8. Cool and serve! Yum!

How to host a clothes swap party.

Did you know Australians buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discard about 23 kilograms* into landfill. Two-thirds of those discards are manmade synthetic/plastic fibres that may never breakdown. Sadly only 10-15% of donated items end up in op-shops for reuse/resale because the clothing items are in bad condition from being left out in the rain, are filthy dirty or ripped/ruined.

We know that over 95% of textiles in landfill are reusable so there’s really no need for any of it to be there.

Our throwaway culture is creating a serious environmental problem, with 24% of people saying they threw out a garment after one wear. One in six people binned at least three garments they’d worn only once, ONCE!

Is it because people are so caught up in social media land that they feel the need to post a photo with a new outfit on every time they go out? Or they just can’t be seen in an outfit more than once?!

I’l admit I’ve been there, and I look back at all the clothes I’ve bought and money I’ve wasted over the years on new clothing and it actually makes me feel sick!

My wardrobe now is very minimal and I like items I can wear over and over styled in different ways.

Of course it’s nice to buy new clothing items, but there’s no need to buy new items on a weekly basis. We are living in a culture now that is so demanding for new fashion trends, and because the demand is there, fashion chains are just going to keep supplying us with new looks faster than we can even keep up.

We need to be more aware of our spending habits on clothes, and start reusing items we already have in our wardrobe already.

One of the best things you can do to help our environment is to host a clothes swap party! A party where you get the girls together with a bunch of your unwanted clothing and swap them around with each other.

My best friend and I put on a clothes swap this afternoon and it was a great success and it wasn’t any trouble at all to host it.

All you need to do is pick a date and a location to host it. We had our party at my besties house and used some rope and wood to make clothes rails and hung them from the beams on the pergola, but if you can get your hands on some clothes racks, even better!

We had about 12 ladies come along and everyone brought at least 5 items of clothing to swap. Once guests arrive, hang up all the clothes on the racks. We sorted the clothes into sections of tops, dresses, pants/bottoms and then a table for handbags and accessories.

The rules we had in place were;

*Each guest must bring a minimum of 5 items and a maximum of 15 items to swap. Items can be clothes, bags, hats, jewellery. The items must be in good condition, clean, ironed and on a clothes hanger.

*However many items you bring to swap, that is the amount of items you are aloud to take home. You can write up a chart to ‘register’ all the clothing items to keep track of who brought what and who’s taking what, but we felt like all our guests would be honest and fair so didn’t bother documenting it.

*Any items left at the end of the swap can either be taken back home with the guest or the host will donate to a local charity/opshop (and not just dumped out in the rain)

The more guests that come along the better style and size range there will be. So get those invites out early and let guests know to save there wardrobe clean out for the clothes swap.

It’s a great way to clear out your wardrobe of items you don’t wear anymore and pick yourself up some new items without spending money or throwing out good clothing that will most likely end up in landfill.

You can tweak the rules as you wish, but you get the gist of it.

Our event was so successful that we are already planning one for 6 months time! Plus it’s a good excuse to get the girls together, have some nibbles and a cheeky wine and have a shop, all while saving money and saving the environment.

X Jes

The side hustle.

My last post was all about budgeting with a baby and some little things we were doing to help save money and cut costs. Since then my husband has read the ‘barefoot investor’ which has stepped up our game. If you haven’t read it, then go out and get it now! It will change your entire mindset on saving money!

Anyone who has read this gem of a book will understand how all the bank accounts work and the ‘plan’ to save some good money while also being able to have fun and live life. It has really helped Aaron and I clean up our bank accounts and finally have some direction on where we are going with our finances.

We have become extra savvy with shopping, and how our money is being used, but It somehow got me feeling like I was letting the team down by not working and bringing in good money like I used to before I had Lara. It made me realize that buying our dream farm is a long way off and it’s not going to happen any quicker by living off Aaron’s wage alone. But what’s a mama to do though? Childcare is around $90 a day, which almost defeats the purpose of me going back to work, and I’d rather not work and spend quality time with my daughter and raising her how I want we to be raised than going to work, making a small buck and having someone else raise her. So what on earth are you supposed to do? Centrelink is a joke, and pretty much just laughs in your face while providing you with a lousy $30 a week to be a stay at home mama, I mean how is $30 going to help my family live?!

While wallowing in self pity, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a friends post about making money from a side hustle. Mikhailla from explained whether it’s selling items you no longer need or use for a small dollar or putting your house on air bnb while you’re away on a holiday for $400 a weekend, it’s all money that adds up and helps reach your goals. Her post really got me thinking and I instantly felt less guilty about not working. She made me realize I am contributing, and I am working my bum off to help our family become financially secure:- and it’s all thanks to the side hustle.

For example, today I have cleared out my wardrobe of clothes that I just don’t wear anymore, and il be taking pictures and uploading to Facebook to sell. $10 here and $20 there all adds up. I’m all for reusing and recycling and if there are items in the house we no longer use then I will happily sell them to help our savings grow.

I have 3 main side hustles that bring in money for us, while it’s not a lot of money, it’s still money that is helping to put food on the table and money in the bank.

I’m a qualified hairdresser so I can do hair from home, I make jewellery and smudge wands that I sell online and I also do photography sessions. Each one of these hustles makes me happy & I enjoy doing them. I can do all of these things from home with Lara, or on days when my husband is off from work. While I work hard to make time to be able to do these tasks and be a full-time mama and keep the house in order, I never realized the importance of these side hustles, and the small contributions they bring in for my family and my mental health. As Mikhailla said, ‘doing something is better than doing nothing’, and while I’m not earning what I used to when I was working, an extra $50 – $200 a week makes up a huge difference in our lives, and just takes that pressure off living on one wage.

We all want extra money, for a savings goal or to have as splurge money, and whether you work full time or are a stay at home mama like myself, the short cut to having it all is doing it all. I hope this post inspires you to start that side hustle, sometimes you just need that little push to get things moving.

Thank you Mikhailla for reminding me I’m a kickass mama with a side hustle.

Happy money making!

X Jes

Follow Mikhailla on Instagram at @mikhailla

My hustle instragram handles;



How to throw a dreamy Summer Solstice party.

In case you didn’t realize it, the Summer solstice is fast approaching… Friday 21st December. It not only marks the first official day of Summer but it’s also the longest day of the year here in the Southern hemisphere. 

The word “Solstice”originates from two Latin words: “sol”, which means “sun” and “sister”, translating to “to stand”. So it’s basically a given to get your best girlfriends together and throw a party to celebrate the change in seasons ans officially welcome Summer.

The Summer solstice is all about celebrating nature, the longest day of the year, and honouring the sun. The more natural feel to your gathering spot, the better. I think having your party at the beach or in the forest would be the perfect setting.

When it comes to a dress code, you could suggest all-white attire, as it’s worn in some traditional celebrations and represents purity (The Solstice is believed to be a time of spiritual renewal).

As an ode to the sun, light up your space. Start by hanging fairy lights to set the mood and scatter mini tea lights around your space. Add foliage & vases of fresh flowers, and garlands of greenery is the perfect way to decorate. The day/night should be more go with the flow, so set a boho atmosphere by scattering throw pillows and blankets as comfy outdoor seating.

One popular tradition is that people pick flowers and craft wreaths to hang on their wall or wear on their head. You can honour Mother Nature by setting out fresh flowers and greenery that guests can weave into flower crowns or mini wreaths. I personally like this idea as it also means everyone can wear their flower crown at the party and will take home a little something to remember the event.

Now a party isn’t a party without food and drinks right?! I think bowls of fresh Summer salads, fruit platters and delicious cakes dressed up with edible flowers. Grazing boards are such a popular way to feed your guests, so why not get creative with some cheese, crackers, bread, dried fruits and nuts. Whip up sparkling and fruity drinks like a tequila sunrise or Mojito. 

I love the idea of adding a mystical tradition to your party. While the sun is still in view, lead your guests through a renewal ritual. The is believed to be a time of spiritual renewal so why not use this magical time to wash away unwanted negative energies with a sage wand and set intentions for your year ahead. You and your guests can take turns to sage each other. It is really such a beautiful gift to be smudged by someone else. Visit to get your smudge wand.

A bonfire makes the perfect end to a party where everyone can lounge around and relax. If you don’t have access to a fire pit or are somewhere with fire restrictions, sparklers work just as well. They are a fun way to close the party, plus they look super amazing in photos. 

So now you have all the tools you need to host your own Summer Solstice party! Get those invites out ASAP as you’ve got 1 week to get things sorted!

Happy party planning and sun worshipping.

X Jes


Budgeting with a baby

Before Lara came along I was never really one to budget, neither was my husband, so I guess we were a bad influence on each other when it came to money matters.

We were both living out of home at 18 years old, renting with friends. When Aaron and I met back in 2006, we moved in together a year after we started dating. We still rent the same place we first moved in to which is pretty special I think, and I guess pretty lucky to be able to rent the same house for 10 years and counting.

Let’s be real, renting is dead money! And it’s so hard to save for a house while you’re paying someone else’s home loan. Unfortunately we don’t have the privilege of moving in with parents to help save for a house deposit, so it looks like we will be stuck in the renters trap for a few more years yet!

Before Lara we basically lived pay cheque to pay cheque! We had new cars, we went away all the time, we travelled overseas, went out to dinner at expensive wineries every weekend, and basically just lived life not really caring about the future, and just lived in the moment, splurging on anything and everything we wanted.

Realizing how much money I used to spend on hair, beauty and clothes blows my mind now! I used to get my nails done every two weeks, spray tans, facials, hair colour every 6 weeks, extensions, eyelash extensions, shopping sprees every week… the list goes on! Buying pointless, unnecessary shit that I thought would make me happy.

When we got married last year we did the first grown up thing and opened a joint bank account and got private health insurance. When I fell pregnant a month later we knew things had to change because not only was a baby on the way, we knew that I would be finishing up at work soon enough, which meant we would only have one income. The company I worked for were closing up around the same time Lara was due to be born, so once I finished work there was no job to go back to.

We started off with our mobile phone plans. We switched them both to the same network and cut down the plan and immediately saved $100 a month! How crazy! We then got onto all the amenities and researched cheaper providers, and we did the same with our car insurance. It took us both by surprise at how much money we could save just by doing a bit of research for cheaper providers, but still get the same quality service and cover. We should have done this years ago!

We wanted to save as much money as possible while I was still working, but we both had quite a bit of credit card debt and thought it would be best to pay them off and clear all debt before Lara came.

We ended up having to pay around $5,000 for Lara to be born in a private hospital which didn’t help the little savings we had. If I could go back and change it, I’d still have Lara at the Bays Hospital because it was the best experience and care anyone could ask for! We will be having all our babies at the Bays, so I guess we better start saving!

We stopped eating out so much, and became quite mindful of our spending habits. One of the biggest money savers we found was our grocery shopping bill. We never did a big weekly shop EVER! We would just pop into the shops every night on the way home from work and buy ingredients for dinner which was such a trap because you’d end up spending $40-$60 a night!Now we plan out the meals for the week and write a shopping list. It’s actually a bit of fun trying to keep the bill under $100 every week, the lower the better and more exciting! Did I really just say that? Ha! Obviously the weeks where we need to buy formula, nappies and wipes, the bill goes up by $70 but that’s expected.

Before I fell pregnant with Lara we had a big clean out at home and threw out clothes, homewards and just stuff! It was a huge declutter, and the thought of clearing out the clutter and creating more space was so refreshing! I read a lot of books about minimalism and slow living and it really changed my mindset about the accumulation of ‘things’. Everything I buy now is thought out. “Is it necessary? What is it’s purpose? Do we actually need this?” I hate clutter, and everything in our home is there because it has a purpose. It’s quality over quantity, and that’s the mindset I have especially for Lara’s belongings. She has a small amount of toys, but they are quality toys.

Life is definitely very different to how we were living before Lara came, but that’s the sacrifice you make when you decide to have a baby. I no longer go to the day spa for pampering, and I get my hair colored maybe once every 6 months. I did find it very hard in the beginning not being able to just buy what I wanted when I wanted, but it really does make you think about what you’re spending your money on. I know from Aaron’s perspective he feels a lot of pressure to be the sole income earner, and it makes me more aware of my spending habits. Each pay day I withdraw myself $50 cash for the week and that’s for me to spend as I wish. It’s my coffee date with friends, tickets to the maze or aquarium, or a little something for Lara or myself. Or I can save it up for something big. It’s money I can spend without feeling guilty that I’m just spending all Aaron’s hard earned wage and any big purchases we always discuss before doing so.

Having the cash in my purse really makes me question what I spend it on. When you just use your card, you just constantly ‘tap’ purchases and you don’t realize how much you’re actually spending. There’s something about having the physical cash in your purse that you can see that makes you stop and think if you really need or want a coffee.

People keep asking when I’m going to go back to work, and truth is I probably won’t be on the job hunt any time soon. We want to have more babies and we want to have them within the next 4 years (before I’m 35) so there’s no real point in starting a new job and then having to leave again, plus I don’t want to put Lara in day care. I also just don’t want to work for anyone. I know that probably sounds a little selfish but I’m just being honest. I don’t feel called and I have no desire to be in a 9-5 mediocre job. If I’m going to work I want to do purposeful work, something I absolutely love…

I recently just started up my own online business which was a little scary to get started as we had to outlay some money to get things up and running. Starting your own business is risky because you don’t know if it’s going to work or not, You just have to jump in and see what the universe has to offer in return. This project is a great creative outlet for me which does wonders for my mental health. I get so much enjoyment from creating things with my hands, and it makes me excited to put myself out into the world and have people purchase my creations. It’s even better that I can do all this while being at home with Lara! I’m hoping that this little business can keep me busy and hopefully help us toward our savings goal.

Life doesn’t have to boring when you’re on a budget. There’s actually a lot of things you can do that don’t cost anything! Entertaining babies/kids isn’t hard and doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. We spend our days going for walks, the park, beach, gardens, & foraging. We have picnics with our friends, and go for hikes to magical places. There’s free story and activity time at the library, local play group for $2, and music, messy play and so much more that has very little costs involved. When we’re having home days we play in the back yard, and make our own sensory games and messy play. We still go out for breakfast and lunch etc but it’s once a week- once a fortnight if anything. You don’t need to have money to have fun!

While our dream to purchase a farm house over looking the hills is now further away than ever, and the luxury lifestyle is now no longer… Having Lara in our lives is all worth it. I don’t care if I don’t have the newest clothes, expensive makeup, or fine dining, I couldn’t care less for material items anymore. As long as Lara is clean, healthy, there’s food on the table and a roof over our head, then I’m happy! You don’t need alot to have a happy life. And with having less than I ever had before, I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life.

Your priorities definitely change once you have babies, and it’s a good thing!

A mama’s mindset

Since becoming a mama to my beautiful daughter Lara, I’ve had so many other mamas and mamas-to-be asking for advice on how to mentally transition into mamahood, and doing so with a positive mindset.

I’m sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have the perfect answer. I can however tell you about my own experiences and how I have managed to keep my slow living lifestyle with a baby.

2 years ago I started a journey of mindfulness. I wanted to experience life deeply and be as present as I could. This meant slowing life right down and intentionally doing things rather than just mindlessly rushing from one thing to the next.

I particularly delved into this lifestyle when I became pregnant because I learned that by keeping myself calm, relaxed and quiet during my pregnancy was good for my stress levels, good for baby’s stress levels and it would ultimately result in having a calm and content baby. Now who wouldn’t want that?!

Over the years of living this lifestyle, it has really helped me transition into mamahood with understanding and patience which are two important things to have when you are a new mama.

I’m not going to sugar coat anything here, and I’m being completely honest when I say that the first month was the hardest for me. It’s not that parenting is hard, it’s just that life is different to how it used to be. And it’s an instant change that you can’t really prepare for until you’re living it! You’re now responsible for someone, and that someone is completely dependent on you. That in itself can be pretty overwhelming.

I questioned everything I did in those first few weeks, and all I wanted was for someone to tell me the right way to do things. Patience and understanding really helped me from loosing my mind. If Lara was upset, I would make sure I stayed calm and relaxed, and I found that Lara would pick up on my energy and she would relax too.

I remember when the midwife came to our home during week one for a check up and she was going through some programs and she passed me a brochure about shaking your baby. Now we all know that shaking your baby can cause permanent injury and even death and that you should never do it. But I can honestly understand how it can happen. There are some frustrating times of being a mama, and sometimes it’s not just the baby that makes you feel this way. It can be too much pressure from your partner for you to do more around the house while they are at work, feeling lonesome and isolated when the new born bubble disappears and friends and family drop off the radar, or just the fact that your hormones are all over the place and you feel like an emotional wreck! There are so many reasons to not feel good mentally, but if we just slow down and take each moment as it comes with calmness and mindfulness it not only makes life with a baby a little less stressful but it makes life in general more clear.

I really try to be present as much as possible when Lara is awake. I take her for walks and show her things up close and talk to her about life. We explore nature and I get her to feel the different textures of plants, flowers and trees. We go on bush walks, sit at the beach or just lay in the forrest watching the tall trees sway in the breeze. Being out in nature calms us both, and it makes me feel so good to receive earth medicine.

When she tests my patience, I sit her up on my knees and look into her eyes and I tell her how I’m feeling. It somehow makes me feel better to vent out my frustration by talking to her, rather than just getting myself all worked up. In that moment you kinda stop and breathe, and get that sense of calmness back which helps get through the situation at hand.

Children are only children for a very short period, and they learn the most from birth to age 5! I really want to be as present and feel so deeply in these precious times so I can give Lara the best upbringing possible. I resigned from my job 2 weeks before I gave birth, and I’m in no rush to get back into the workforce anytime soon. I love spending my days quietly and slowly living life with Lara by my side, nurturing her and loving her with my full and complete attention.

To end this post il leave this quote. One that I read and will keep with me. An insight into a mama’s life who wishes she didn’t mindlessly rush through life. A reminder to treasure every moment.

X Jes