Family-friendly Local Travel: El Capitan Canyon… Camping done RIGHT! plus BIRDLING BAG & $150 worth of M.O. Goodies GIVEAWAY!!

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We are always looking for fun and exciting ways to incorporate travel, family-time, nature, memories and new experiences into our lives. Being a busy family running a small business you don’t always seem to find time to sit back and just enjoy. For awhile now my husband has been hinting that he would love to do a family camping trip. My husband and I are a lot alike but when it comes to roughing it, I’m just not your gal. Plus having two kids under 3 and another bundle in the oven just made the idea of camping not too exciting. My first thoughts were: no bathrooms, no showers, kids wondering off, bears, bugs and more than anything pregnancy late night “can’t hold water” problems. I know this all sounds dramatic but these truly were my thoughts of camping, especially at this current stage in our lives. Did I mention I’m 6 months pregnant with a two-year old and a three-year old? The idea of camping just didn’t hit the “relaxing trigger” in my mind.

Well boy oh boy was I wrong!!! Recently we were introduced to the idea of “Glamping”. For those still new to the term, “Glamping”, Oxford Dictionary defines it as,  ”A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping”. This seemed more up my alley. An opportunity to experience nature, shower within the comforts of my bathroom, have a potty close by for my toddlers and also those frequent “pregnancy can’t hold water” visits, electricity and so much more. Meet our newest annual family summer vacation spot: El Capitan Canyon.

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Where do we begin? El Capitan Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara along an unspoiled stretch of the California coast, is renowned as an all-season comfort camping destination. Originally a traditional campground, El Capitan Canyon reopened in 2002 as an upscale, outdoor destination and quickly became known for its picturesque canvas safari tents and contemporary rustic cedar cabins. It was one of the first to be coined “luxury camping.”

Nestled against the Los Padres National Forest with access to 3,500 acres of pristine nature preserve, the Canyon is set on 350 acres of rolling hills and creek canyons and is a five-minute walk to El Capitan State Beach. During the summer months, the Canyon becomes a place for families to reconnect as it offers a no-fuss, back-to-nature camp experience with s’mores by the fire, hiking, and outdoor concerts. Family-owned since 1975, El Capitan Canyon provides affordable luxury in nature. Set amidst a grove of California oaks and sycamore trees are six adventure yurts, 26 canvas safari tents and 122 individual cedar cabins, including 13 new Corral Cabins. These comfortable accommodations are arranged in villages.

Truly this place is a campers dream! What we enjoyed most was that we still felt connected to nature. We still felt we were camping and enjoying all the things traditional camping has to offer plus the convenience of “luxury accommodations”. We stayed in one of El Capitan’s Cedar Cabins. The Cedar Cabins feature spacious decks, full bathrooms and kitchenettes. Many have fireplaces. Guests can choose from a Creekside King with soaking tub, Canyon Suite, Canyon Loft, Creekside and Canyon Queens, Creekside Double with soaking tub, Canyon Bunk cabins, or the newest cabin type, the contemporary rustic Corral Cabins, set slightly aside from the main camp for more privacy. All cabins include linens, duvets, towels, picnic tables, grills and fire pits. Another great thing about El Capitan is they also offer other styles of camping for those that prefer the camping experience of a tent.

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Once we arrived we quickly dove right into the many activities that El Capitan has to offer. First we hiked through the camp grounds to explore the property. We were amazed to find all the amenities such as: a playground, a heated pool, a petting zoo, a market full of eco-friendly items and toys and last but not least a staff that was more than accommodating. Like most moms when on vacation hotel staff is sometimes as important as comfy sleeping arrangements. We need to check in fast, have staff that may understand the tired crying baby, staff that greets you with a smile and staff that reassures you that you made the right choice by bringing your family to their location to make memories. We also loved that they mapped out exactly what was offered at El Capitan to make our trip even easier .Truly we can say this was one of the most relaxing, exciting, enjoyable vacations we’ve ever been on. El Capitan truly gets the Mothers Organic family stamp of approval for BEST LOCAL FAMILY TRAVEL.

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*** I know most our moms are curious as to what we packed, how we packed and what was our must-have items to bring. I have put together a short list of items to bring and best of all a GIVEAWAY we are including in our review of El Capitan Canyon.

Let’s start with our luggage!!! I am always on the hunt for the “perfect weekender” bag. You know that magical bag that you can fit everyone’s clothes into? Yeap, the one you’ve desperately always wanted but couldn’t find? As a busy mom of young children packing is always such a hassle. Traveling with multiple bags in tow always seems to make our trips more difficult. That was all until I discovered Birdling Bags. Birdling Bags are proudly made in America and offer the finest quality in materials and customer service. I cannot express to you enough how convenient it was to have one bag for all four of us. YES MAMA’S, all four of us!!! Having one bag for clothes made this mama jump for joy. The best part is the Birdling Bags have cool compartments for separation. Trust me when I say you’ll never need another weekender! Our picks for must have camping items are: Sunscreen, Sanitation Hand Wipes, Sanitizer Spray, Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle, and Snack Storage.

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With all that said, since we are still beaming from our amazing vacation at El Capitan Canyon along with the remarkable experience of traveling so light using our Birdling Bag we want to offer our reader and customer base the opportunity to WIN a Birdling Bag of their own along with $150 worth of “travel must-have” goodies from our store.

To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below, also do not forget to leave a blog comment below. Tell us when and where was your last family vacation? The contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run from Thursday, August 14th, 2014 through Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 12:01PST. Good luck! And remember you can enter once a day!

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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

Stremick’s Heritage Organic Milk Giveaway

Heritage Milk Giveaway and Prmotion

As we mentioned before, one of the first and by far easiest steps we took when beginning our quest for a more healthy and natural lifestyle was our switch to from regular milk to organic milk. It was the first step to ridding myself and my family of harsh chemicals and pesticides. With the same dedication as our team here at Mothers Organic to insure that all products are safe for our customers and their families, I personally take extreme pride in providing my family with pesticide and hormone free foods.

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Although there are a few different options for organic milk our go-to remains Stremick’s Heritage. Stremick’s Heritage Organic Milk  is a staple in our household. They are a family owned business committed to making great products. Meaning handing down only the best traditions, ideals, and products from one generation to the next. “Our high quality beverages with top tier health standards reflect the same standards of excellence we would expect in our own home.  Our integrity and manufacturing processes highlight our commitment to ensuring the health of future generations.”

As a gift to our readers our friends at Stremick’s Heritage Foods are generously offering up a three (3) month supply of Heritage Organic Milk to (1) lucky winner!!  To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below, also do not forget to leave a blog comment below. Tell us how many cartons of milk do you buy monthly! The contest is open to CA residents only and will start Monday, January 27th, 2013 & will end on Friday, January 31st at 12:01PST. Good luck! And remember you can enter once a day!

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>>> While you are here please enjoy this AMAZING Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe from Stremick’s Heritage Organic Milk.>>>

 

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Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Discover how to make real vanilla bean ice cream with this delious recipe. The real vanilla beans are steeped in this custard that literally perfumes the ice cream releasing its aromatic flavor.

Makes about 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups whole organic milk
2 vanilla beans
5 large organic egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup organic heavy cream

DIRECTIONS: 

Add milk to a medium saucepan. Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise with a knife. With your finger or knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan with the milk and add vanilla pod to the mixture. Stir and bring mixture to a simmer and steep for 30 minutes. Strain mixture, reserve milk and discard solids.

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, for about 3-5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.

Prep an ice water bath.

Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding half of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly until blended. Add new mixture to sauce pan with remaining milk. Stir consistently over low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove saucepan from heat and immediately stir in cream. Place an empty bowl over the ice water bath. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into empty bowl and chill for at least 3 hours to overnight in the refrigerator.

Freeze custard in ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in freezer until ready to eat.

 

>>>>> 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.

 

 

Keeping Up with Toddler Giveaway ($110 in Prizes)

Fall is almost here, and we’ve got an amazing giveaway set that’s perfect for keeping on-the-go babies and toddlers stylish and snug when the temperature goes down.

The Keeping up with Toddler Giveaway includes a pair of moccasins from Freshly Picked, $25 gift card to Hello Apparel and $25 gift card to Mothers Organic – that’s a $110 value.

The winner will choose a pair of high-quality moccasins from Freshly Picked from a gorgeous selection of colors that’s perfect for boys and girls. These moccasins are so durable and made from the highest quality leather or suede.

Keeping Up with Toddler Giveaway - Mothers Organic

Check out Kaila (daughter of Mothers Organic co-owners Jason and Kelly McKnight) wearing her first pair of Freshly Picked moccasins. Kaila’s moccasins were passed down from her older brother JJ. These moccasins are made to last and work well for siblings – even between boys and girls – like Kaila and JJ.

 

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Keeping Up with Toddler Giveaway - Mothers Organic

Hello Apparel is an online apparel company that features hip designs from talented artists on everything from t-shirts to tote bags to temporary tattoos.

Both Freshly Picked and Hello Apparel are companies operated by moms – just like Mothers Organic. Check them out for new fall collections for babies and toddlers.

Giveaway

Ready to enter the Keeping up with Toddler Giveaway? It’s easy. Sign up for the Mothers Organic email newsletter and get bonus entries when you enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck!


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And The Spring Into Green Giveaway Winner Is…

Mothers Organic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations Mothers Organic Spring Into Green Giveaway Winner Raquel B.!

Be sure to check out all of the fab prizes Raquel won…

Will you be our next winner?

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