Nobody wants a safe pinata!

darth pinata

 

I am looking for some pinatas for the kid’s 8th birthday party.  I kept seeing these “pull string” pinatas and I couldn’t figure out what the heck these were.  I was immediately going to call my friend Simone who does all things party but I figured either she would tell me, or make fun of me for not reading the description. There is a thought! I read the description and it has pull strings that release the candy instead of having to hit it.  Super sad face, boo, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

The adult in me is saying this is a great idea because I can’t imagine how many kids went home crying becuase they got wacked in the face by an over zealous kid trying to get the candy.  The other adult in me is imagining what kind of crazy looks I’ll get when  I instruct a bunch of 8 yr old boys to pull a string instead of beating the crap out of the pinata.  The superior adult in me sees string pulling to not be fun at all and would rather not even have a pinata.  Seriously?

After like no pondering at all the end result, is that I bought the pinata with strings so that my son and his friends can bash it until the legos fall out:)

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So we are going to do this vaginally are we?

baby-pod_2622399a

I am a huge fan of music.  Music has the ability to change my mood, intensify my feelings, and or just make me get up and dance!

I play music for my children.  My 7 year old is a dance machine who thinks he’s Usher, and my one year old just bops up and down.    We are a family of Beliebers and proud!

I didn’t do the belly headphone things with either of my children.  I would like to believe they are both still smart, and they clearly love music.  Well now the belly buds are not enough.  The music must penetrate deeper they say! (you know I am laughing hysterically and myself now, right?  I said penetrate! hehehehehehe)

babypod1

The Spanish have come up with the Baby Pod.  It is to be inserted vaginally and you play music through it via, your phone or ipod.  Sooooo while I support every mom’s right to introduce their child to Bob Marley early, this may be where I do a hard pass.

See for yourself.

www.babypod.net

National take your parents to lunch day.

This is all sorts of awesome and I personally will be at the kid’s school with my lunch on the 14th! His school lunches have come a long way from the oil soaked burritos with mystery meat in my cafeteria.  I will admit i used to love the macaroni and cheese with ham.  It was disgusting now that I look back on it I mad at my mom for allowing me to sincerely enjoy such bad food lol.

I have always been an advocate for healthy lunches.  When looking for schools for my children the lunch menu is generally the second thing I look at.  A child can’t learn properly on poor nutrition.  I was a huge fan of the Jamie Oliver show Food Revolution when it was on.   He had such an important message and was shedding light on a major issue. My mother is actually from the unhealthiest city in America which is where he was on the first season.  Watching that episode just made me realize how proactive I have to be in every aspect of my son’s education. You can check out the first episode below.

Most days the kid brings his lunch to school and he loves it.  The biggest challenge I had was other kids trying to trade him their electric blue gummy snacks for his homemade desserts.  He wanted oreos, so I made some.  He wanted gummies, so I made some.  Anything he wants that is unhealthy, I do my best to make a healthier version of it so that he doesn’t feel deprived and is not tempted to accept the trades.  I have only been defeated by flaming hot Cheetos. I hate them and I wish they never existed!

This is a great opportunity for you to see what is going on in your child’s lunchroom. If your children’s school is not participating you should definitely send them the information since there is a 1,000.00 grant up for grabs.  If you click on the picture you can check out all of the details.

National take your parents to lunch day!
National take your parents to lunch day!

The Jungle Book Trailor!!!!!!!

Happiness and Joy and Joyfulness!
Happiness and Joy and Joyfulness!

This has totally made my day!!!!!!!!!!!  I cannot wait to take the kid to see this.  I wanna be like you-hoo-hoo!!

The fact that it has Scarlett Johansen in it makes me even happier.

Idris Elba as Shere Kahn also makes me pretty, prettaaaay happy!  As you can se I am overwhelmed with emotion! I am so excited to see this.  I’m happy that my son likes Jungle Book!  I’m sad that my sisters live in Philly and Toronto so I cannot geek out with them on the day of release.  I’m sad that this will scare the slobber out of my daughter so I will leave her with daddy who could care less about Jungle Book.  That in itself is pretty disrespectful, however, he is African so he gets a pass.  He has barely seen any Disney Movies.  So sad.

Why I say????
Why I say????

Now, for the confusion.  I have no idea why Disney and Warner Bros. are both doing a version of the movie?  No shade to my former employer but I’m totally going to see the Disney version.  Who knows maybe I will see both.  I just feel like merchandising nightmare.  Which movie will win out the happy meals and such and so forth?  Furthermore, will the children who love the other movie be disappointed?  This does not make me happy.

Labor Day Coupons!

click here to shop
click here to shop

Labor day is coming up this weekend and we want to give you the opportunity to shop now so you can enjoy your vacation.  If you are a mom, right about now you might be uttering the words “What vacation??” The pretend vacation you will have with your wine after the kids go to bed, or the 3 mins and 28 seconds you are in the bathroom by yourself.  That vacation!

Here are two coupons for you to use effective pronto tonto!

Flip Diapers Cloth diapering system
Flip Diapers Cloth diapering system
ecodough
ecodough
Begin Again Toys Lemonade Set
Begin Again Toys Lemonade Set

The coupon code PUSH will take 30% off all regularly priced merchandise*

The coupon code AFTERBIRTH will take an extra 15% off sale items.

For those of us who are expecting with overdue babies, may your labor day be filled with labour!  (this is especially for one of our customers who is 9 days overdue)! For the mommies, grannies, and super aunties, our only goal is to not labor to hard chasing kids, cooking, cleaning, playing taxi, or concentrating on ignoring the tug of war over skylanders in your living room during this holiday.

A cups!
A cups!

Dads, just ignore the credit card bill.  The kid’s needed it:)

YES!!!
YES!!!

Check out the site for swaddles, strollers, playpens, bottles, and a bunch of other fantastic offers!
*The PUSH coupon cannot be used with any other coupons.  There has to be a minimum purchase of $30.00 for the PUSH coupon to work.  The AFTERBIRTH coupon can be used with other coupons. There has to be a minimum purchase of $10.00 for the AFTERBIRTH coupon to work:)

click here to shop
click here to shop

Making bad food better – Pop Tarts

Finished product!
Finished product!

Yesterday while we were at church I saw my son harboring a pop tart with intent to ingest.  That type of thing really rots my cabbage.  My son is not allowed to eat food coloring laced processed foods.  He knows this but I don’t think we have every come across a pop tart so he probably didn’t know he couldn’t have one.  As soon as I saw him with it I gave him the eye and he knew to put it back. The disgruntlement is strong with that one, it is.

tops and bottoms
tops and bottoms

After church I explained to him why we don’t eat pop tarts and I told him I would make him some.  So I did.  I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  I had previously used a hand pie recipe but I wanted something a bit more sturdy, so I found this one.

Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Pastry
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam. I used Crofters strawberry jam and coconut spread:)
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

To make jam filling: Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

Glaze:

4 Tablespoons of powdered sugar and milk

Mix powdered sugar with milk until it just coats the spoon.  You shouldn’t need more than 1 tablespoon of milk.

filled with strawberry coconut jam
filled with strawberry coconut jam

Directions:

Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately (see Warm Kitchen note below) or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9″ x 13″ pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Bake the tarts: Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

After the tarts cool for about 20 minutes, brush with glaze and sprinkle with sugar.  I used Maggie’s Naturals red sugar.

filled and ready for baking.
filled and ready for baking.

Cloth diapering is not as unsexy as we once thought!

Flip Diapers Cloth diapering system
Flip Diapers Cloth diapering system

As the owner of an eco-friendly store I do my very best to minimize my carbon footprint.  One of the things that comes to mind when one has a baby is cloth diapering.

My struggle with diaper options is evident in my store offerings in that department.   We used to carry Nature Baby Care which is a biodegradable diaper.  I loved that diaper brand however, once I started seeing them in clearance bins at Babies r’ us I knew we needed to phase those out.  I have tried a few others and I haven’t found the perfect diaper yet.  I’m still looking.  When I do, I will offer them for sale on the site!

As of now I have literally tried 5 different brands and my daughter is only 5 months old.  Some were good enough, some were disastrous.  All of them were eco diapers.  One late night, I realized I had 2 diapers left, a sleepy and whiny 6 year old, and an overly tired infant.  I desperately needed to stop and get diapers and at this point I was using Earth’s Best.  The only place I could get those in my area was target.  I was not up for the production of target.  There was no way that I would escape the Avengers displays and the 90 million questions of “mommy can I have, because Captain America is my favorite, and the Hulk is awesome, and mom did you know Tony Stark is an inventor like me, so when can I have it now please.” demands disguised as questions.  I decided to go home and cloth.

One size fits all!
One size fits all!

I have carried Flip diapers for the last 3 years and my customers have loved them.  I have had nothing but positive feedback.  Me, I don’t like poop.  I’m not going to voluntarily sigh up for something that means I have to touch poop more than I already do.  I spoke to my sister who has 2 young ones and has purchased the Flip diaper system from me and she raved about it.  Down to just one diaper at this point, I figured either I used the cloth diapers or my kid is going to have paper towels tied to her until I go to the store.  Cloth diapers win!

The Flip diaper is a hybrid system, there is a diaper insert that  you use and once it’s soiled you take it out and replace it.  Genius! The shell is waterproof so you can just rinse it and keep it moving if need be.  My daughter made it all through the night with no leaks, no issues.  I tossed the insert into the wet bucket and washed them later that day.  This really was super easy. How could I have denied myself this wonderful diaper??  Flip also travel diaper so that you can dispose of the insert when you are done instead of washing it.  I must say I am in love!

how to use flip diapers
how to use flip diapers

I’m not 100% committed to only cloth diapers, but I’m definitely on board the cloth diaper train.  I figured if I only used cloth diapers at night I would save 30 diapers a month which equals about $15.  $15 dollars times 12 equals $180.  I can go to the spa, buy new shoes, or fly to Miami!  I have decided that my daughter will wear cloth diapers anytime we are in the house thus doubling or tripling my savings.  The other great thing about the Flip diaper is there is never a need to buy a bigger size.  They grown with your baby.

You can purchase them at www.shophappymango.com