TOT IN THE KITCHEN | Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Edith loves to be in the kitchen. Seriously the Learning Tower (similar/similar) is one of the best purchases ever and gets use multiple times per day. Today we headed to the kitchen to make kale chips. This is one of our favorite snacks and they are so much fun to make at home.

I usually like to make them in the dehydrator but we had a “must have now” hankering for them so we turned the oven on and went the quicker route.

You can find the full recipe right here.

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips spinner

Edith was my little helper for this recipe. She helped me de-stem the kale and the she spun in it in the salad spinner for me (seriously awesome kitchen tool for kids). After I added the seasoning and kale to the zip bag I zipped it and let her get down to massaging the kale. You could just do this in a bowl but this method cuts down on mess as the kale is flung around the room due to enthusiastic massaging and mixing. It also means no oily hands that you just can’t seem to get fully clean. Plus it’s just more fun!

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

tots in the kitchen kale chips action shot

Here’s an action shot for you. Looks like someone is having a blast despite being sick, not sleeping and being cranky.

Tots in The Kitchen - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips muncher

 

The best part for tots about making their own food is eating it. While Edith loves kale chips anyways I do think she enjoys them even more when she helped make them.

Does your child like kale chips? What’s your/their favorite flavor?

Happy Friday | Reader Survey

The Pumpkin Patch - sosh&editharms

Happy Friday! What does everyone have planned for this weekend? Anyone heading to the puimpkin patch or the apple orchard? Before you get your weekend started we are hoping you could take 30-60seconds to fill out a quick reader survey so that we can improve our content on the blog. It’ll just take a minute (or less)! You can find the survey here.

The Pumpkin Patch & Babywearing With Umi Sling

I love, love, love Autumn. It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of the crisp air, the changing leaves, squash, pumpkin beer, warm apple cider and all the seasonal activities. We had our first seasonal outting this weekend to The Pumpkin Patch on Portland’s Sauvie Island. We went with friends of ours who have a daughter a month younger than Edith and a son a month older than Alder; it’s so much more fun to do these things with friends.
ThePumpkinPatch-RingSling ThePumpkinPatch-Sling

I decided to use my Umi Sling (more about this sling at the bottom) for this outing because the color and design went best with the pumpkin patch (yes I choose carriers based on my outfit and our destination).  I hadn’t worn this sling in a over a month and when I put it on I was instantly happy I had chosen this carrier because it just felt great on my body and Alder went right to sleep in it. I even had to take him out about 45 minutes into our visit to nurse him and I put him back in and he again snoozed for a bit. Anyways back to the pumpkin patch.

ThePumpkinPatch-E ThePumpkinPatch-Edith

We started of the morning checking out the huge pile of pumpkins and all the different varieties that The Pumpkin Patch had to offer. They had big orange ones, ones with “warts”, Cinderella ones, ghost ones and blue/grey ones (those were my favorite).  We arrived a little bit before our friends so after checking out the pumpkins we went into the market and looked at all of the veggies with Edith. We went down the line and named all the veggies and then went to check out the massive cabbage and before long our friends arrived.

ThePumpkinPatch-Edith&Shosh

Of course the girls had to take advantage of the photo opportunities around the farm.

The Pumpkin Patch - pumpkinpatch

We debated doing the corn maze but decided to do the cow train first and then see how things were after that. In the end we just did the cow train and the little hay bale maze and tower.

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ThePumpkinPatch-guysandgirls

We couldn’t leave without getting a snack and while we really wanted fried dough or a candy apple we went with fresh corn on the cob with a little salt and pepper instead.

The Pumpkin Patch - corn

We ended our trip to The Pumpkin Patch with family photos because you never pass up the opportunity to have a family photo taken.

The Pumpkin Patch - family

What did you do this weekend? Have you taken a trip to a pumpkin patch or gone apple picking? What are your favorite Autumn/Fall activities? 

I wanted to share a little bit more about Umi Slings with you.  I first came across Umi Slings at MommyCon. A friend of someone working in the babywearing lounge with me was using one (the most beautiful one I have seen yet – black and white ikatish color).  She was telling me about it and I just fell in love but I knew I had no excuse to get one because Edith was getting older and I really couldn’t justify another carrier.

Fast forward to this past Spring.  I connected with Umi Slings founder Megan about receiving one for blog review purposes and she sent me the Gold Geo ring sling that was used for their latest photoshoot (see more photos here).  This ring sling is unlike my others and is made of organic cotton and is hand printed.  It is a really wonderful sturdy fabric that creates a nice sung hold making it perfect for both infants and toddlers.  I also find this to be one the more supportive slings that I have come across as it has great fabric coverage across the back which helps to provide more support for the wearer.

One other great thing (probably the greatest thing) is that for every sling purchased one will also be made and given to Project Baby Bilum, helping mothers improve the health of their babies by providing closeness and access to the life-giving breast milk they need to survive. Every purchase of an Umi Sling supports moms in need in rural Papua New Guinea- how great is that?

Also a huge congrats to Umi Slings founder Megan on the arrival of her third daughter who arrived just 1 week before Alder.

P.S> Portland friends Umi Slings is local and you can find them in some local shops along with the mini slings for your littles.

Outings With A Toddler & Newborn | Adventures at the Oregon Coast

*This post was written in collaboration with Orbit Baby.
NetartsVacation2014-CapeMearesOuttake

It’s been a few weeks now but we recently made a trip to the Oregon Coast and had an amazing time and adventure. Vacations just aren’t the same as they once were when we were kid free and honestly they have changed quiet a bit since adding a second child but anyway you look at it a vacation is all about having fun. After sharing some fun photos and tidbits from our trip I’ll also share some tips at the bottom. Enjoy!

NetartsTrip2014-View NetartsTrip2014-Edith&AlderPillows

We rented a house just two blocks from the beach in Netarts, Oregon with my parents. This was our first trip to this part of the Oregon Coast and it was so incredibly beautiful. Check out the view above! Yes that was our view from our rental house, what’s not to love?

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NetartsTrip2014-Bay

We arrived in the late afternoon on Friday, unpacked and enjoyed a yummy dinner and then of course we had to make a trip down to the beach. Getting down to the beach was a little bit of an adventure as we had to basically go down the side of a steep hill to get there but luckily the Ergobaby Wrap came in handy or rather gave me hands to help get Alder and myself down to the beautiful, quiet and clean beach. We played in the sand and watched the sunset. We then made our way back to the house for bedtime.

NetartsTrip2014-CapeLookOutSunTrees NetartsTrip2014-CapeLookoutView NetartsTrip2014-CapeLookoutEveryone NetartsVacation2014-CapeLookoutHike NetartsVacation2014-CapeLookoutBeachWalk NetartsVacation2014-CapeLookoutBeachEdith

We started our Saturday out with a short hike at Cape Lookout.  The forest was so beautiful and check out the sun through the trees – how beautiful is that? This was my first postpartum hike so we didn’t go to far but nonetheless we had wonderful time. I wore Alder in the Ergobaby and Neil wore Edith up in the Ergobaby Performance. Edith is now getting old enough that she likes to do a lot more of the hiking/walking on her own so she walked back down the trail and headed straight to the beach to play before lunch.

NetartsVacation2014-PacificCity

I had to share the photo above because look how beautiful this (last weekend of) September weather was! Unfortunately after taking this photo we walked over to Pelican Brewing and the wait was over an hour so we ended up turning around and headed back to the car to have lunch back at the rental. Lots of tears were shed when Edith found out we were no longer going to the restaurant although I have a feeling that she might have been disappointed anyways because we have come to find out that restaurant = Veggie Grill in Edith’s world. Oh well at least we got a great photo at the beach.

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We spent Saturday night just relaxing at the house attempting to put together puzzles and trying on funny hats.

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We woke up Sunday morning and after breakfast and packing up we made one last stop to Cape Meares Lighthouse before heading home. Of course on the 15 minute ride over to the lighthouse Alder fell asleep but YAY for the Orbit Baby Car Seat and Stroller*! I was able to move him from the car to the stroller base and put down the Paparazzi Shieldwithout waking him.

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NetartsVacation2014-CapeMearesLighthouse

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NetartsVacation2014-CapeMearesSign

 

Unfortunately it was really overcast so the views were not as amazing as they would be on a sunny day but we had a great time at Cape Meares.  Neil has a thing for reading informational signs and he is getting Edith into it; they stopped and read every sign they saw. It was super quiet so we had the entire park to ourselves and we took our time checking out the views – okay who am I kidding we took our time because it was all uphill back to the car park and there was a side wind slowing us down. We made it back to the car park and I hung out with sleepy Alder while Neil and Edith went to see the octopus tree and then after a few diaper changes and a nursing session we were back on the road to home.

 

 Tips for Travel with Two

  • Travel during nap times: We left right after lunch when Edith usually naps and 10 minutes into our trip both kids were passed out. The drive to Netarts is around 1 hour 45 minutes and Edith woke up 15 minutes before arriving.
  • Keep your routine (or at least try to): When you are traveling solo time/routine doesn’t seem to matter but with kids, especially toddlers it is important to keep some structure. We aren’t ones to follow the clock but we do follow a routine which is usually breakfast, play, lunch, books, nap, play, dinner, play, books and bed. We try to keep this same routine even while traveling because it means a happier child and more relaxing vacation. Nap time actually forces us to slow down and relax which I am finding to be really nice.
  • Do what you love (aka life isn’t all about kid focused activities): so maybe you can’t go out for fancy dinners or to beer/wine tastings (although you can find some friendly brew pubs and wineries) but it also doesn’t mean you have to spend your vacation at Chucky Cheese’s.  Take your kids to do things that you love and enjoy and most likely they will enjoy themselves as well. We love hiking (or rather Neil loves it and I enjoy it) so we take the kids along with us.  We take them (or rather try to) to restaurants that we want to eat at and don’t worry if they have a kids menu or not. We do things as a family and we always (okay 99% of the time) all enjoy ourselves because we are doing it together.
  • Travel with friends or family: We rented a house with my parents which meant they had someone else to play with aka we had someone else to entertain our children at times.  This gave us a break and made us feel like we were really on vacation and not just spending the weekend at someone elses house. Maybe going away with family isn’t for you but maybe you have some really great friends with kids your child(ren)s age and you could rent a house together.  I find that when Edith is with her friends she’s like ‘mom who’? and the kids spend their time entertaining each other which gives me a little bit of break.
  • Give yourself lots of freetime.  This is a follow up to keep your routine. Make sure that you don’t over plan your days. Playtime doesn’t mean you have to have some planned activity it just means doing something fun.  If you over schedule yourself/over plan you are going to end up exhausted and disappointed. Focus on one or two things that you “must do” on vacation and have a few other things you’d like to do but don’t over commit. It’s vacation! Relax and unwind!

What are your tips for traveling with two? 

This was our first mini trip with two kids and we have a bigger trip to Seattle planned at the end of November and then an even bigger trip in August to Vermont for a friends wedding. So more tips and sneak peeks of our adventures to come!

Newborn Favorites | Baby #2

Newborn Favorites - Baby #2

I can’t believe I am saying this but Alder is officially 2 months old today! Seriously where does the time go? It’s passing faster than ever and part of me wants time to slow down just a little but a little part of me can’t wait for Alder to get a little bit older so he can play with Edith who everyday begs him to play with her. I just love watching Edith and Alder grow and how the interact with each other. Edith loves to dote on Alder and he is starting to really take to her and will smile and (almost) laugh at her.

Anyways on to the point of this blog post. Back when Edith was a newborn I did a few round up posts of must haves, nice to haves and unnecessary items; you can find those posts here and here. We didn’t have to go through the trial and error process this time so we were able to pretty easily figure out the items we would really need. One unfortunate thing about moving cross country and not necessarily planning on baby  #2 is that we basically had to buy most everything brand new.

Here are our favorite newborn items for baby #2:

aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket: these are actually one of the baby items that we did keep, although I’m sad to say a few ended up getting tossed after a few major blowouts.  These are one item that are not just for newborns but are also great for toddlers and I have to say I really like them for a light blanket to throw over me in the car or to even wear as a scarf. While we didn’t purchase any of these this time around I think we might have to get a few more because we only have two and I LOVE them so much.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer: So I don’t love this specific bouncer but we found it back in January at target for $18 and couldn’t pass it up. We also didn’t even start using it until last week just because Alder wasn’t a fan at first but now he is really enjoying the vibration setting. The only problem is that once the vibration setting turns off he often becomes restless or if he is sleeping he wakes up.

Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling: It’s no secret I love babywearing and I am thrilled to have a little baby again to wear. We have tried a number of styles of carriers but currently Alder and I are both loving the ring sling. I find that ring slings are one of the best carriers for newborns because it holds them nice and snug and securely.  The trick is learning to use one and after that it’s easy.

Arm’s Reach Concepts Mini Arc Co-Sleeper Bassinet: When Edith was born we used a pack n’ play in our room for the first few months and then attempted to transition her to her own room. As you can see I say attempted because in the end she just ended up co-sleeping with us. That being said we knew this time around what worked best for us was co-sleeping/bedsharing and so we went with the Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper and it has been amazing. I am seriously kicking myself for not buying one of these when Edith was a baby.

Boppy Newborn Lounger: This is one item that we loved when Edith was a baby and I actually didn’t think we needed to buy one this time around because I thought Alder would just grow out of it too quickly. Well Neil convinced me that we needed to buy one and I am so thankful he did! This has been such a lifesaver and honestly even when he “grows out of it” we will still be using it because Edith LOVES to use it as a seat. So it has a longer life than just an infant lounger.

Ergobaby Swaddler Blanket: I love the idea of swaddling with a muslin blanket but when it comes to actually doing using it I end up having to re-wrap at least twice before getting it right. That’s when a nifty swaddle blanket that does all the work for you is nice. We have used a few different styles and so far Alder likes the Ergobaby one the best. I’m sad to say however that he has grown out of his small/medium sized swaddle and we just might need to get the medium/large.

Orbit Baby Double Helix Stroller Frame: Now we have done a lot of debating around a double stroller and we have been loving our Orbit Baby. It’s been a bit of a transition using a double stroller because well it feels like I’m pushing a bus but this stroller has been great for us. Now it’s a little on the expensive side and probably isn’t something you’d gravitate towards unless you own the car seat as well but it really has been awesome. Edith loves this stroller and I love how easy it is to put together and to move Alder from the car to the stroller base.

Orbit Baby G3 Infant Car Seat Plus Base: Okay so of course since we have the stroller we also have the infant car seat. Now I know this car seat is expensive but I’m telling you it’s amazing. I was seriously skeptical of this car seat at first; I mean what really makes this car seat any better than the one we used with Edith? Let me tell you it’s 10x better than Edith’s old car seat, this isn’t to say that her car seat isn’t a good and safe one just that the Orbit Baby is superior. So why is it better? Installation is so much easier and you can get it more accurate. The swivel feature that it has on the car seat base makes it so much easier to get Alder in and out of the car and when he falls asleep it’s so much less of a disturbance.  The car seat has a deep-cradle design which is a little bit of a different design than your standard car seat and I just like the way Alder sits in it better and he seems more comfortable. It is BFR-free. It is easy to clean and we know this from personal experience (blow out what?) I also love the sunscreen(Side note we have used two other brands/styles of car seats over the years and most recently was using Edith’s old car seat for Alder in my parents rental while my parents were visiting and so I was really able to compare the two.)

What are your favorite newborn items?

Disclaimer: we have been working with Orbit Baby and the stroller and carseat were given to us; as always all opinions are our own.  Affiliate links included in this post.

minted. | Alder’s Birth Announcements

There are only a few events in our lives that warrant sending out announcements. So, when they come around, I like to take advantage of them. We’ve been lucky enough to send out Save The Dates and invitations for our wedding and a birth announcement for Edith and now it’s time to send out Alder’s birth announcement to our family and friends.

Minted trio

Our first exposure to minted was the birth announcement of Neil’s co-worker. When it came time to pick out birth announcements the first place I headed was minted.  I was impressed with the variety of styles and layouts. The only problem was once Neil and I got started we found ourselves in love with almost every design so I went in and created a dozen or so options to get us started. I figured that once I did that, Neil would zero in on one that he loved the most. Of course, like me, he had a hard time narrowing it down to just one.

We wanted to do something different for our announcements than the typical postcard style. One of the options for your announcements with minted is a magnet. We thought it would be fun to send an announcement that could go on our friends and families fridges. There were also a number of options that we loved that weren’t available as magnets. In the end, we compromised and ordered a mix of magnet and post card announcements.

Minted

I practically squealed when our box from minted. arrived. I barely made it from the mailbox and into the house before opening the box. Inside I found two packages of announcements that were nicely shrink wrapped with a ribbon and personalized sticker with who packaged up our announcements.

Minted 2

Below is the magnet version (FYI: any friends and family who are reading this, this belongs on your fridge).  This one is my absolute favorite of all the designs because it’s clean and simple. You are provided sample text but I chose to customize it to make it our own. I also made sure to note that Alder was born at home because for us it was a big deal and we wanted to share that bit of news with our friends and family.
Minted magnet

Below is the postcard version and this was Neil’s first choice of announcement and I have to say I love it too. I love the watercolor effect and how peaceful Alder is. I also love that it says LOVE across the middle.

Minted  LOVE

I thought I should mention that the photos were taken by me. We debated hiring a photographer to take newborn photos but due to moving and budgeting it just didn’t work out for us so I DIY’d it. I used our Canon Rebel T3, our bed, the Boppy pillow under our white duvet and I opened up the windows to let in as much light as possible. I stood on top of a small kitchen ladder and snapped away. The photos aren’t professional but I think they turned out well and they made great announcement photos.

While this will probably be the last announcement that we have for a while, it certainly won’t be the last time we use minted. While perusing the birth announcements I also took a peek at their other products. We are getting professional family photos done next month and after this great experience we plan on  using minted. for our holiday cards this year.

Thanks to minted. for sponsoring today’s post!

minted. provided us with a credit to use towards purchasing our birth announcements. As always all opinions are our own. 

Fashionable Nursing & Maternity | Belly Dance Maternity

orbit NOM family photo

I think I had a pretty fashionable pregnancy with Edith and I totally regret not keeping my cute maternity clothes for the second time around. However when it came to postpartum/nursing wear I was a hot mess. I lived in old t-shirts, nursing tanks and maternity jeans for months and months and by the time I was mentally ready to buy new clothes I was pregnant again.

This time around I am not waiting 15 months to buy clothes that I feel good wearing. While I am still struggling with embracing my new postpartum body I am working on it. Luckily I have a few great pieces of postpartum clothing including the beautiful NOM nursing top that you may have seen in my Nursing Wear YouTube video.

First I want to thank Belly Dance Maternity for sending me this beautiful top to share with you.  I am absolutely loving it.  I love black and white strips and this top has a bonus feature it is nursing friendly. You just unbutton the snaps on top and lift up to easily nurse. I don’t have any other nursing tops like this and let me tell you I plan on buying a few more. It’s so much easier than wearing a nursing tank under my shirts and having to lift it up every time I need to nurse. Plus you’d never really know it’s a nursing top from looking at it. It is also a fantastic maternity top and the ruching is great for an expanding belly or in my case a postpartum belly.

NOM nursing belly dance maternity

NOM nursing top

Belly Dance Maternity features fashionable gear for your entire pregnancy and postpartum. I am loving their new Fall clothes and am making a list of items I want to buy. I am seriously lusting after MICHAEL STARS POSEY SURPLICE MATERNITY TOP (also great for nursing),  SERAPHINE BLACK JOLENE KNOT DRESS (because cute nursing friendly dresses are hard to find and the holiday season is upon us so of course I need a dress for parties and events) and seriously how cute is this LOYAL HANA CROSSHATCH CARRIE POCKET SHIRT.  If anyone is looking to get me a late birthday gift …..hint hint.

What are your favorite nursing/maternity styles? How do you stay stylish while pregnant or nursing or being a mom in general?