Summer Spinach and Strawberry Salad

 

One of our favorite seasons is summer. Not only because of the California weather and beaches, but because there are tons of local fresh produce waiting to be added to our dinners. One of my children’s favorite fruits is strawberries. So anytime I can combine their favorite fruit with some veggies I am always over the moon. Below you’ll find one of our go-to salad recipes that our children cannot get enough of.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together shallot and vinegar. While whisking constantly, drizzle in oil to make a vinaigrette. Add spinach, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.

 

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Local Traveling With Kids; Our Stay at The Parker Palm Springs

Majority of our customer inquiries tend to be in the range of product details, car seat suggestions, mom-to-mom questions; like how long did you nurse and lastly where and how do you travel with kids, specifically toddlers. Having two little ones so close in age traveling out of the state has yet to happen. Currently we prefer local travel which saves money, helps to keep sane by avoiding airplanes and overall supports local business. One of my absolute favorite places to visit is Palm Springs. From the hot weather to the short 1 1/2-hour drive, Palm Springs has been our go-to when needing a quick getaway with the kids.

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This time around we chose to stay at The Parker Palm Springs. If you haven’t had to pleasure to stay at their fabulous, lush and kid-friendly hotel you definitely must add it to your bucket list. From their gorgeous landscaped property to their amazing customer service The Parker Palm Springs definitely does NOT disappoint. To be honest, upon arrival I was a little intimidated. The crowd is extremely upscale and the hotel is beyond posh. Imagine Hollywood Hills mixed with Ralph Lauren. The hotel architecture and design is beyond breath taking.

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Having two wild children both under 3 at first caused a little anxiety. I began to think, “is this hotel kid-friendly enough? Are my kids going to rip and run and tear everything up? Are we a little to hippie for this spot?” But to my surprise there were more kids than I could count. Kids running wild, playing through the gardens, laughing, screaming and having a ball. After settling into our room we explored the property. Beautiful is an understatement! Gardens, Fountains, Croquet, Petanque and even fire-pits. One of the best amenities was the kid pool. I truly believe all hotels should have kid pools. It allows your kids the opportunity to jump, splash, canon ball and just enjoy without you having to worry whether your kids are disrupting the lady reading her book.

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After all the fun of visiting the pool, eating locally for dinner and watching movies in our bed we all called it a night. First thing in the morning and before checkout we decided to visit the “highly reviewed and rated” Norma’s for breakfast. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!! I truly could stay at The Parker Palm Springs solely for Norma’s it was so amazing. As soon as you get seated you are greeted with a freshly juiced smoothy. This pregnant mama has been dreaming about that smoothy since we left. AMAZING!!! The food was superb to any breakfast we’ve ever had, and trust me we take our breakfast pretty seriously. Again, amazing customer service. Our waiter was amazing and the prices weren’t too bad. We truly had an unbelievable getaway. The Parker Palm Springs was more than good to us and definitely will be one of our go-to hotels to stay when visiting Palm Springs.

For our moms wondering what my must have travel accessories are, here are my must haves on any vacation: Babytime by Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, Lunchskins Reusable Sandwich Bags,  Nena and Company Day Bag, In2Green Eco Throw and of course my Boba Carrier.

Eco-Friendly Products You Should Know About

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Many believe that in order to live a “Green” lifestyle you must jump through hoops and make drastic changes, but there are actually numerous quick and easy ways to live a more eco-friendly and non-toxic lifestyle. The first thing I learned when becoming a more eco-conscious parent was that nothing can change overnight. Little by little you begin to learn and with knowledge comes change. If you rush into trying to change everything too quickly it becomes overwhelming and stressful. The best advice I received was to start switching out the things you use on a daily basis. In turn when you switch your daily essentials to eco-alternative options you are making a huge step in ridding yourself, your family and our earth of toxic chemicals.

The most common daily essentials are plastic bags from grocery shopping, water bottles, dryer sheets for laundry care, and pots and pans for cooking.

- Next time you go grocery shopping try using a reusable tote bag to avoid using the plastic bags.”If used once per week, four or five reusable bags will replace 520 plastic bags a year” according to Nick Sterling, research director at Natural Capitalism Solutions.

- Instead of grabbing a disposable plastic water bottle, try a reusable Mason Jar Tumblr. Durable, Stylish, Eco-alternative to disposable plastic bottles. Also try adding fruits to your water in your mason jar tumblr, it’s a great way to add antioxidants to your daily water, making it fruit infused water. Did you know, “Bottled water companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic, but laced into plastic bottles are other chemicals that can seep out if bottles are exposed to heat or sit around for a long time. Some of these chemicals are possible endocrine disruptors. No one knows for sure what the health outcomes are.

- Laundry…everyone’s favorite daily activity (said no-one ever)! But if you are forced to do laundry like majority of us Americans try switching from using common dryer sheets to wool dryer balls. Did you know the common dryer sheets contain toxic chemicals such as: Pentane, Ethyl Acetate, Camphor Alpha-Terpineol, Chloroform and many other chemicals. Instead use wool dryer balls, they are non-toxic, help to separate laundry, reduce dry time, sustainable alternative to dryer sheets, ideal for all laundry including cloth diapers, naturally soften fabrics and 100% wool.

- Last but least, mealtime. Switching out your cookware is a must! Common non-stick cookware is loaded with PFC’s. “Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are a family of fluoride-containing chemicals with unique properties to make materials stain-and stick resistant. There are many forms of PFC’s, but the most commonly found contaminant is: *PFOA or Perfluorooctanoic acid, used to make Teflon products. Our favorite eco-alternative cookware is made from our friends over at The Original Green Pan.

Balance is everything, knowledge allows growth and growth allows change. Remember take your time, research and try not to stress when “greening” your lifestyle. You’d be surprised how many little changes make a huge difference.

What’s In Our Diaper Bag Giveaway with Nena & Co. & Freshly Picked

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Today we’re honored and excited to share with you all things diaper bag related. Being a mother of two little ones, ages 2 & 1 I find myself always needing to overpack. I need a diaper bag that has compartments, space and more than anything one that is stylish.

Recently I was introduced to Nena & Co. and immediately I fell in love. Why you ask? Where should we start? First, Nena & Co. is an eco-friendly company. They upcycle!! Their bags are the end product of the intricate process of creating hand loomed huipils that began hundreds of years ago.  The fabric used to create each bag used to be a beautiful woman’s shirt or huipil. Nena & Co. bags are uniquely handcrafted and capture the magic and depth of the Maya people. The best part is when you purchase one of their bags you’re helping create jobs at home and also providing freedom from poverty for the beautiful, hardworking women of the Maya highlands. Use MOTHERS20 at checkout to snag your very own Nena & Co. bag at 20% off, make sure you check out her full line which includes: Turbans, Camera Straps, Clutches, Day Bags, Totes, Weekender Bags, Makeup Bags and Men’s Weekender Bags.

What’s in my diaper bag you ask? I make sure to include all my absolute must have’s like, diapers, wipes, a pacifier and sippy cup. Not to mention my “just in case” stash of items to make sure I’m prepared in case of an emergency like sunscreen, toys for meltdowns, snacks, diaper balm and of course my all time favorite; a pair of moccasins from Freshly Picked. There have been many occasions in which I needed an extra pair of shoes on hand and these fit so perfectly into any diaper bag without taking up too much space.

Now to the fun part!!! We are stoked to share that we are teaming up with Nena & Co. and Freshly Picked to bring you our What’s In Our Diaper Bag Giveaway valued at over $450!!! Yes that’s right!! One lucky reader will be the winner of a Nena & Co. bag, a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins, Seventh Generation Diapers, Wipes, Pacifier, Sippy Cup, Sunscreen, eco-alternative toy, Happy Family Organic Snacks, EcoLunchbox and Diaper Balm!!!!!! So get excited and make sure you enter all ways possible.

To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below. The contest is open to US residents only and will start Monday, February 10th and will end Monday, February 17th at 12:01PST. Good Luck! And remember you can enter once a day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

>>>>> Official Rules:>>>>>>

Eligibility: Must be 18 years of age or older, a legal  resident of the 50 US States and the District of Columbia, and a fan of the Mothers Organic Facebook page to enter. Employees of Mothers Organic or its related companies or suppliers (and their relatives) are ineligible to enter.
Contest Period: The contest or giveaway period will be displayed in the social media posting.

How to Enter: For Facebook contest or giveaway, participants may only enter once during the contest period. For Pinterest contest or giveaway, participants may enter more than once during the contest period and will be asked to include a hashtag for each entry in order to qualify. Any comment or photo entries that are deemed to have vulgar or inappropriate content by Mothers Organic will be deleted and be ineligible to receive any prize.

 Participants may be asked for their email address to participate in giveaways or contests. This information will only be used for sending updates and announcements from Mothers Organic. We will not share, sell or trade participant’s personal information with any third party.

 No purchase or payment is necessary to enter to win. A purchase will not increase your chance of winning.

Winner Selection and Notification: For Facebook contest or giveaway, winner chosen at random within 5 business days at the conclusion of the giveaway or contest. For Pinterest, winner will be chosen within 5 business days at the conclusion of the giveaway or contest and will be determined on creativity of entry or entries as determined at the sole discretion and judgment of Mothers Organic, which discretion and judgment shall be final. Winner’s first name and last initial will be posted to the Mothers Organic Facebook page timeline.

Prizes: Prizes awarded shall be those described in the Facebook posting. Allow up to two weeks after name and address for winner has been confirmed for delivery of prize.

Other than randomly selecting the winner and sending the prize to the winner, Mothers Organic assumes no liability relating to entries nor any responsibility for lost, missing or improper entries

Start Your Mornings With Oatmeal Pancakes

Stack of Oatmeal Pancakes with Fruit

Pancakes!! Doesn’t everyone love pancakes? With green smoothies currently taking over breakfast it’s always nice to enjoy a good ol’ American favorite like pancakes. There are tons of ways to jazz up a pancake, like adding fruits to fulfill that sweet tooth or even by changing from your regular routine of boxed pancake mix to this healthy alternative of oatmeal pancakes.

Oatmeal Pancakes Topped with Fresh Organic Pomegranates & Organic Blueberries  

Ingredients
2 cups organic milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cups quick-cookingrolled oats
1/2 gluten-free all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation

1.  In a large bowl combine both your rolled oats and organic milk, then make sure to sit for about 5 minutes.

2. In another large bowl whisk together your whole wheat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

3. Whisk eggs and your 1/4 cup of butter into milk mixture until blended. Next, pour over flour mixture and stir just until all is combined.

4. Next you will need to heat a large teflon-free skillet over medium heat. Add a very then layer of butter to your skillet. Add about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into skillet. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until pancake is golden. Repeat with your remaining batter, make sure if needed to adjust heating to avoid burning.

5. Lastly, top your pancakes with organic pomegranate & organic blueberries for a sweet addition.

What are some of your favorites toppings for pancakes?