I know, at this rate I’ll be posting every 4 months. When you’re editing and writing parenting content all day and reading tons of it for your job, it’s hard to feel inspired to write even more. But, onwards.
Can someone who’s a “Game of Thrones” fan explain the appeal of it to me? I’m attempting, rather poorly, to catch up to my husband and am just entering Season 2. I read the first book and the first season seemed pretty much what I remember reading many many moons ago. But it all just seems like the same thing over and over again.
Let me sum it up for you: Boobs, naked prostitute, family fights, sad people in the desert, evil incestuous queen, sad people in the snow, more naked ladies (where are the naked MEN, people?!), gross tween king whose mom clearly did not practice attachment parenting, awkward-looking sexual encounters, really.angry.men, candles, wall, weird creepy dragons, beheadings. Oh, there’s a wolf in there somewhere too. Did I capture it?
So tell me, is it worth continuing or should I just cut my losses?
Maybe this sums it up better than I can:
Have you heard of Just Mayo yet? Every time I’d wander through Whole Foods, my eye would be drawn to these very affordably priced (which is like a unicorn sighting at that store!) condiments with the cute packaging (yes, I’m a total sucker for good packaging.)
Lucky for me, we were fortunate enough to be gifted a set of Just Mayo’s four amazing flavors – the plain Just Mayo, Garlic, Sriracha and Chipotle. Their website describes it as “outrageously delicious, better for your body, for your wallet, and for the planet,” and I can now personally vouch for the “outrageously delicious” claim. And while vegan mayo may have you scratching your heads, trust me, you won’t be missing the eggs one bit.
In the months since, these little squeeze bottles have gotten TONS of use – and I mean tons because who doesn’t like mayo?! And knowing exactly what’s inside of these dairy-free mayos is just icing on the cake. Here’s what the ingredient its on the back says: non-GMO expeller-pressed canola oil, filtered water, lemon juice and white vinegar.
Here are just a few of the ways we use our Just Mayos:
* We love using both the Garlic and Chipotle Just Mayo on burgers in lieu of traditional mayo or ketchup.
* The Sriracha Just Mayo is an amazing dip for sweet potato fries or any other type of baked vegetable.
* Garlic Just Mayo is a perfect pairing for an ooey gooey Grilled Cheese – just try it once, you’ll never go back!
* The Chipotle version also makes for a creamy, delicious dip for raw veggies.
* Try the Sriracha one in an egg salad – it adds a whole new flavor profile that takes it over the top! Just thinking about this makes me hungry again.
* All of them, but especially the Sriracha one (can you tell I love spice?), make a perfect dipping sauce for asparagus fries. Both kids and adults love them!
* Spread some on top of salmon before you broil it for a quick, moist and flavorful weeknight dinner. Saute some veggies and serve with your grain of choice.
And in case you didn’t know, the same creators of Just Mayo have a line of all-natural preservative-free cookie dough called – you guessed it – Just Cookie Dough. You’ll be tempted to just eat it straight out of the container, but once baked it’s the perfect chocolate chip cookie – I’m hoping they’re planning on releasing more flavors soon!
The Razor Jr. Mini Mod Scooter is a chic little (emphasis on the “little”) electric scooter for toddlers. It has a seat they can sit on and a little foot pedal they press to get it going and zooms off at speeds up to 2 mph. Much more reasonably sized (and priced) than those electric car counterparts, my 4-year-old had a complete blast riding up and down our street and her 18-month-old sister is dying to have a turn herself one day. That said, there are some things parents should know about this scooter if they’re considering this purchase.
Features I Love: This thing is sloooooow. Like 2 mph slow. When we first took the scooter out for a test drive, Grandma was all freaked out about how fast that would be and worried about a possible tumble. Well, a few minutes after seeing exactly what 2 mph looks like on this thing, and all her fears were assuaged. Seriously, they WALK faster than the scooter. It’s almost comical. And I really appreciate the on/off switch on the back for when her little sister tries to climb on and push the pedal (granted, that makes her very mad.)…
NOTE: Don’t read this if your’e eating or about to eat or squeamish. Just a friendly PSA :)
So I have a totally irrational fear of throw up. Mine and anyone else’s. My husband can attest that he never witnessed me throwing up the entire decade we were together, and when I was pregnant with my first I fell into hysterics because I felt like I was about the yak. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. (The mind is stronger than the body, my friends.) So you can imagine that one of my greatest fears prior to even thinking of having kids was one day having to deal with that inevitable kid vomit. I guess I’ve been fortunate that in Little Miss’ short three years, I’ve never had to deal with it and off I lived in ignorant bliss.
This past weekend I had the brilliant idea to take Little Miss on a special Mommy-Daughter date to a nearby bakery where I was going to order a baby shower cake. After waiting for the crotchety old man who seemed to be running the show, we were finally seated in front of his ornate desk. Little Miss – with excitement shining in her eyes from all the cakes surrounding her – opens her mouth to say something… and a stream of vomit promptly flies out Exorcist-style. I guess it’s true what they say about your mom instincts kicking in, because despite my extreme hatred of this particular bodily fluid, I quickly flew to her side to comfort her when another stream came spewing out. Towards my face. I totally know what projectile vomit is now. Guys, it TOUCHED MY FACE. Seriously. Is there anything more disgusting?
The even more amazing part? I didn’t do a thing but continue to sit there and rub her back while she emptied the contents of her stomach (undigested grapes and all) in five short heaves all over her shoes, my shoes and the grumpy old man’s carpet. Yea, he was NOT happy. Basically threw me a roll of paper towels and a plastic bag and walked off in a huff. Not a single question of whether she was all right. But that’s ok, I get it, it’s gross.
Obviously, I didn’t order the cake there. Nor am I ever showing my face in there again.
Life is all about timing my friends. How this happens the one hour she was out of the house all day is beyond me, but maybe the Universe is trying to teach me a lesson in facing my fears. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad.
So it was National Coffee Day yesterday and I totally missed it! Although I guess I unknowingly “celebrated” by drinking three cups (aka survival fuel for an entire day with two kids by yourself.) So in belated honor of that drink we all need to get through a Monday – or any other day – revisit a collection of my most lusted-after coffee recipes from around the web. And to think I wrote that post when I only had one kid! Ha!
The awesome spoon pictured above can be purchased on Etsy.
So a few months ago we left our cramped apartment in the heart of the city and hightailed it on out to the ‘burbs and bought a house where each kid could have their own bedroom (score!) and there was ample free parking with NO street cleaning (I know – I thought that was impossible in LA, too.) While we’re thrilled with our super family-friendly street and the ample space, owning a house – especially once kids are already in the mix – is a ton of work. Decorating a new space once filled me with excitement and joy, now I just see the scant free hours we have slipping away while we surf endlessly online for the perfect rug, or try to haul two little ones to a furniture store (HINT: it never ends well.)
One area in our house I’ve been staring at and envisioning is this large swath of empty wall between two windows in the family room. I’ve always wanted to attempt a gallery wall, and this wall is just begging for a bunch of frames. But where to start? I quickly got lost in an internet spiral searching for prints, adding things to multiple shopping carts and never checking out. Then along came Minted. If you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s kind of a one-stop-shop for independent artists to be able to have their work showcased to the world, and for regular people like us to find them. What’s not to love?
I had long perused Minted for holiday cards every year, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that they also sold art prints. You can even get them pre-framed. One feature that I particularly love about Minted -besides feeling like you’re supporting independent artists – is the “art styling” tab where you can see gallery walls created by fabulously creative people to inspire and guide your choices. And when you click on a print, below it you’ll see curated gallery walls that incorporate that print so you can get even more ideas on how to style it – which is just so awesome.
Here are just a few of my faves – clearly you can see I’m all over the map:
And don’t even get me started on the loads of adorable prints for a nursery – that may be a whole post in itself! So I’m finally feeling ready to pull the trigger on my Minted shopping cart and can’t wait to share how it turns out!
Did you know TIllamook (yes, the cheese makers) also make oh-so-delicious ice cream? I didn’t either until they reached out to partner with them and Farm Box LA to celebrate the end of summer. (Hey, I live in SoCal, it’s still summer in these here parts, as the 90-degree weather can attest.) And who can say no to ice cream and berries? Not this girl, that’s who.
So when life gives you berries in the middle of a heat wave (fresh-picked and literally delivered to your door, thanks Farm Box LA!,) what does one do but crank up that oven and make a crunchy, gooey, sweet and tart berry crisp? Seriously – I am not a huge dessert person, but this was right up my alley. Note that I normally halve the sugar in recipes because I don’t like things that are overly sweet, so if you have a major sweet tooth, I’d suggest adding in a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more brown sugar.
Blueberry & Raspberry Crisp
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 raspberries (I used gold raspberries, but traditional red would work too)
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups butter, sliced into cubes
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional – I just happen to add chia seeds to most things)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put berries in a large bowl and carefully toss with the white sugar, place in pre-greased baking dish of choice (I used a 9×13).
- In a separate bowl (or food processor,) combine flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and chia seeds (if using).
- Add in the cubes of butter and combine with either your hands or food processor until the mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle the crumbly mixture over the top of the berries, making sure it’s distributed evenly across.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top looks golden brown.
- Place a healthy scoop of ice cream on top and enjoy!
While for this particular pairing, I used the Oregon Blueberry ice cream, we also received tubs of Oregon Strawberry and Oregon Black Cherry as well – all of which were extra creamy, flavorful and filled with chunks of real fruit, aka delicious.
This is a super quick and easy recipe that’s a perfect way to use up the last of those summer berries just hanging around before they go bad. And the ice cream on top? Forget about it, it’s THAT good.
Can you tell I’m a sucker for well-designed children’s products? If you’re looking to furnish your nursery or kid’s room with unique pieces that stand the test of time, Hooplaroom is a beautifully curated online store filled with enough modern and whimsical pieces to make your fingers itch to grab your wallet. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Hoopla Room’s founder and CEO, Adeline Bron – another French mother living in the US. (Seriously, the French are just so stylish!)
Some of my favorite pieces from the shop are these charming polka-dot animal book ends, the ever-so-useful Three Sprouts toy bin, and musician wall decals. I also love how you can find certain pieces there like these super fun kids bean bag chairs that you can’t find anywhere else in the US (I mean, seriously, Little Miss would just DIE if she saw that.)