Yummy (& Healthy) Sweet Potato & Veggie Fritters

Dairy Free Gluten Free Grain Free Sweet Potato Cauliflower and veggie fritterIngredients:
1/2 head cauliflower
1 green pepper
1.5 cups grated carrots
2 oz Wild Harvest Veggie Purée carrot purée
Green onions to taste
3/4 cup sweet potato
Coconut (or olive) oil

Instructions:
1. Wash and puncture sweet potato. Place in microwave (gasp, I know) on high for 6 – 9 minutes (until soft).
2. Finely slice and dice cauliflower and green pepper and place in sauté pan. After they start browning, add in grated carrots and carrot juice, turn heat to low, and cover pan. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Take sweet potato out of microwave, peel off skin and mash in large bowl.
4. Once mashed, fold in cauliflower, green pepper and carrot mixture. Using a masher, mash mixtures until well combined.
5. Place skillet on the stove, pour in enough coconut / olive oil to coat pan and let the pan get really hot.
6. Spoon out mixture and shape into hamburger sized patties and place onto hot skillet.
7. Fry each side for 2-4 minutes, flipping twice.
8. Let cool and enjoy!

wild veggie frozen puree healthy yummy avocado beet brownies

9 Months!

H9months

 Hat: H&M // Tee: Mama Said Tees // Pants: Gap // Shoes: Converse

Height: 30 in
Weight: 24.5 in
Wearing: 18m
Teeth: 0

Tuesday, October 14th 2014 – as of 5:59pm MST, Harrison Edwin was 9 months (and 39 weeks) old. I want to call this his equinox birthday, as he has officially been on the outside as long as the “inside”! Our little chunk is still chunky as ever, but leaning out a little due to his constant motion, and brings so much joy (and craziness) into our lives every minute of every day. Some days are better than others and I feel like supermom – getting H down for naps seamlessly, making dinner and doing laundry while deep cleaning the bathroom and putting on real clothes after brushing my teeth and washing my face, but those are still few and far between. Mostly I’m crazily trying to tidy up what messes we created while he was awake and tackling the ever-growing piles of little person laundry and keeping as much dirt and bark out of H’s mouth as possible.

It seems crazy to think he’s been here for 9 months already, it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but I also can’t even remember what I did with my days before having him. I love experiencing life through Harrison’s eyes, it reminds me to stop and enjoy the littler things in life – like how he giggles and claps when the tree leaves blow in the wind, and I am so thankful to him for showing me that.

Also? I realized I’m terrible at measuring H – last month I measured him at 32.5 inches, but apparently he’s actually only 30 – whoops!

A few happenings from this month:

  • Still no crawling (thank goodness), but he wants to so badly! He loves getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth and has started planking.
  • We’ve come to get him several mornings and found him sitting up on his bottom, so apparently he knows how to roll from his back to his front and push up onto his bum!
  • He can right himself really well if he starts tipping over.
  • While he isn’t pulling himself up (again, thank goodness), he can stand unassisted for the most part while holding onto the edge of the sofa or a table!
  • He still loves clapping all day, especially when he’s happy or excited or really really loves whatever food he’s eating.
  • He has been teething like crazy, but still no teeth, so I’m pretty sure we’re in teething purgatory and I’m so ready for something to just pop through.
  • Even though he’s been pretty miserable, we’ve been getting the BEST and BIGGEST smiles! He loves when we sing to him or when I throw him up in the air, and giggles when tickled.
  • He’s totally starting to copy our movements! If I put my hands in the air and shake them around, he’ll throw his hands up and wave them while making crazy noises, it’s SO fun!
  • Holding him is getting pretty difficult as we have become his personal climbing gyms and his life goal is to conquer “Mount Mama” & “Mount Daddy”.
  • He was on a food strike for a while, but is slowly starting to put the food in his mouth again. For a while, he would just play and smoosh it in his hands, and then throw it on the ground.
  • He is starting to get major stranger danger, and only want to be held by myself, Zach, or his grammy and grampa. It’s adorable, because when we’re walking around holding him and he sees people he doesn’t know, he’ll bury his head in my chest to hide himself, and then peek to see if anyones still there. Ugh, my heart melts when he nuzzles into me for safety.
  • He’s starting to get object permanence! If I hide a toy under a blanket, his eyes will follow what I’m doing, and then he’ll lean over and pick up the blanket to find the hidden object!
  • Especially at meals, he moves things from one hand to another really seamlessly.

September 15 – 21

September 22 – 28

September 29 – October 5

October 6 – 14

Citrus Lane September Box Review (and coupon code)

citrus lane review

Citrus Lane is a baby-geared subscription box service. Depending on what plan you choose, it ranges from $19 (annual subscription) – $29 (monthly subscription) per month.

You head to the website, give them your child’s name, birthday and gender, and they hand pick “the best toys and products” for your child’s age. You can check out examples of products that are geared towards your child’s age group, purchase “shower boxes” and even gift subscriptions! My favorite aspect is the “add to box” where you can choose items that will ship for free with your monthly box. I was given a $10 off code when I first signed up to use towards an Add To Box purchase and bought H some stackable cups (that have quickly become his new favorite!) from Green Toys which only ended up costing me $.95 after my coupon!

This September box was my third box so far, so I’m going a little out of order, but I’m glad I didn’t cancel after the first month and continued receiving the boxes. This month we were given 4 items and 2 coupons along with a note from Citrus Lane that read “September means its officially fall here at Citrus Lane. With the days getting cooler, we tried to think about things you might need now that you’re spending more time inside. We’ve selected an adorable bodysuit from Tea Collection to start off your toddler’s fall wardrobe in style, a fun set of bath toys from Boon, and a couple of little extras for baby and mom. We hope you enjoy!”

citrus lane september box review and coupon code

Links 3D Foam Bath Pieces from Boon ($11.95): While we still shower H rather than give him baths, I anticipate switching over soon and know he’ll love these. I like that they don’t absorb water, so I don’t have to worry about mildew / mold as much, they’r soft for my teething dude to chew on, and they are great for problem solving and practicing fine motor skills.

Lemon Verbena Dish Soap from Mrs. Meyers ($1): I’ve bought the full size of this before from Target and love everything Mrs. Meyers. This will be nice to keep in our kitchenette so we don’t have to keep a full bottle on the counter and it smells so wonderful.

Happy Tot Organic Green Bean, Pear & Pea Food Pouch from Happy Family ($1.59): If you follow my Instagram, you know that we do baby led weaning, but I have scooped up a few organic pouches for long car trips and snacks on the go just in case. I like that its a combo of organic fruits and veggies and they added Chia extra omega-3s and fiber.

18-24 Month Bodysuit from Tea Collection (and a $25 of $50 purchase coupon) ($26.50): This is so ridiculously cute! I love the colors and how soft it is and it will look adorable on H. I also appreciate that they asked what size I would want in clothing and I was able to choose 18 month instead of getting a 6-12 or 9 month piece that would be far too small on him.

A $2 Coupon for Happy Child Super Nutrition Shakes: I don’t see us using these by the time the coupon or product expires, so we’ll be passing it along to a mommy friend who can take advantage of the savings.

A Coupon for a Free Box for a Friend ($29 value): I think it’s great they sent this to me to give away!

Total value of box: $41.04, $70.04 if you include the free box for a friend (not including the $25 off $50 and $2 coupon because I’m not sure if I’ll actually use those or not)

Total paid for box: $19 – totally worth it this month!

I am legitimately one of the cheapest people on the planet and hate spending money (although it may not seem like it ;)) and even on months that I haven’t loved everything, I’ve always gotten way more moneys worth than I paid for the box. I’m planning on keeping some of the toys “hidden” from H for a little while, so that I can start to rotate out what he has now and keep things “fresh” and save a few for Christmas. I also love that I’m getting “green” toys and things that don’t require batteries and make obnoxious noises. In fact Green Toys was a brand I was totally unfamiliar with pre-CL subscription, but now I’ve purchased two additional things in addition to what I’ve received in my boxes because the quality and the fact that Harrison seems to love them so much! This month for sure I would give a 10/10 if asked.

Want to try it out yourself? Head over to Citrus Lane and get 50% off your first box!

Healthy (ish) Beet & Avocado Brownies

wild veggie frozen puree healthy beet avocado milk chocolate brownies

Have you heard of MomsMeet? It’s an awesome online community that “empowers moms to connect, learn, and share their thoughts on raising healthy families and living green.” They also offer “exciting opportunities for moms and their friends to try and review natural, organic and eco-products and services, and share their honest feedback through the Mom Ambassador program.” So far, I have sampled Wild Veggie Frozen Purees and BeechNut baby food and have loved getting to try new products and give my personal feedback.
When I was sent the Wild Veggie pack, I knew right away I wanted to use the beet puree to make brownies. My family is so anti-beet, which just breaks my little beet loving heart, but if there’s one thing they love it’s sweets, especially when chocolates involved. I love that the purees are minimally processed, GMO free, and all the prep work is done, so all I have to do is thaw (if I so choose) and get cooking!
IMG_2247
You will need:
  • 10 oz Wild Veggie Beet Puree (one container)
  • 6 oz chopped unsweetened baking chocolate
  • ⅓ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup avocado, mashed (or substitute coconut oil, vegetable oil or melted butter)
  • 1½ cups coconut sugar (or substitute raw sugar, or cane sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine Wild Veggie Beet Puree (no need to pre-thaw), baking chocolate, cocoa, oil, sugar and vanilla.
  3. Stir occasionally until melted.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to touch (too hot and it will scramble the eggs).
  5. Wisk together eggs and stir into brownie mixture.
  6. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Stir into mixture and pour into a greased 9” x 13” baking pan.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool. garnish with powdered sugar (optional).

I’d say these were a definite hit! My hubby ate a few before even asking what was in them and was shocked that beets and avocado were my secret ingredients! The consistency was similar to mochi, which we enjoyed, and they were creamy and fudgey. My health-concious mind was delighted that I was able to sneak in a few extra good-for-you vitamins and nutrients without risking the yummy and indulgent taste of brownies.

wild veggie frozen puree healthy yummy avocado beet brownies

 In the spirit of full disclosure, MomsMeet provided samples of Wild Veggie for me to try. No payment was given and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Graze.com Snack Box Review (and coupon code!)

graze review

Graze.com is a newer subscription box for healthy (and healthy-ish) snacks delivered to your home or office every week, every two weeks, or whenever you so choose. The price per box is $6.49, which includes shipping, and you can choose from a “nibble box” and pick from over 100 different snack varieties, or a “calorie counter box” where each of your total servings is less than 150 calories. You can also go to your “dietary preference” page and “trash” (meaning you will never receive) snacks with ingredients that you don’t eat and customize your flavor preferences.

Once signed up, you can peruse the 100+ snacks which range from dried fruits and nuts to merengue and shortbread, and choose to “trash“: never send me this, “try“: happy to try, “like“: send occasionally, or “love“: send regularly, each selection. After completing your flavor profile and scheduling your first box, you will begin to receive a wonderful little 100% recyclable (my crunchy little heart just loves this aspect) box containing 4 one-serving sized snacks! Once trying your selections, you can log back into your Graze account and give feedback on the snacks you’ve just tried.

Your interest piqued yet? If so, head over to Graze and use code: ZYVPYRK2P to get your 1st (and 5th if you decide to continue the deliveries) absolutely FREE!

I am super obnoxious and made life difficult for Graze by choosing to “trash” spicy foods, foods requiring a microwave, and 99% of the snacks that contained dairy since H hasn’t grown out of his diary intolerance yet. I also “trashed” anything with white or milk chocolate or that sounded too sweet. To my surprise, with all of those contingencies, I only got rid of 60 of the 100  current options so there were still plenty of snacks to choose from. I did make a note that I loved dried fruits, especially mango, in hopes that they’d send me some in my box.

So here’s what I was sent:

IMG_1706

Salsa Corn Chips: Mini flax nachos and tomato salsa fresca.
Verdict: LOVE. I mean, chips and salsa? How can you go wrong? I’m glad this is a portion controlled size, because I easily could’ve eaten an embarrassing amount of these chips and the cilantro and lime salsa. Random thought for these guys: flaxseed is great for breastfeeding moms, so really, by eating these, I’m just helping out my supply!

Garden of England: mini strawberries, blackcurrants and soft apple pieces.
Verdict: LOVE. I’m an apple fiend, so no surprise that I enjoyed the dried apple, but I was happy that they were flavorful and not overly soggy or dry. The strawberries were delicious and tasted like my favorite fruit leathers. I’ve never had blackcurrant before, but I may have found a new favorite! They are slightly tangy and almost remind me of a dried cranberry / blueberry, and did I mention delicious?

Summer Berry Flapjack: rustic rolled oat flapjack with strawberry and raspberry-infused cranberries.
Verdict: LOVE. SO yummy! There are actually three small bars in the one container and is so incredibly moist and delicious! It reminds me of strawberries and cream granola and similar to a Chewy granola bar, but it’s softer and the perfect amount of sweet, but not overbearingly so.

Bananas Foster: fudge pieces, honey almond slivers, pumpkin seeds, and dried banana.
Verdict: LIKE. This was a little sweeter than I usually like, but the flavors were delicious. I had a nice surprise when biting into the banana coins as they were chewy rather than the hard and crunchy that I’m used to in most dried fruit mixes. With the almond slivers and pumpkin seeds, there was a nice balance of sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy. The only reason I’m giving it a like rather than love is the sweetness factor is a bit much for me, but the flavors were pretty delicious.

graze review and coupon code

I have set up another box to be delivered to my house in two weeks because I enjoyed the snacks so much. I like that they’re all individually wrapped, because that means I can throw them in my diaper bag and have a healthy snack to reach for, rather than feeling compelled to stop and pick up fast food. Want to join in on the deliciousness? Head over to Graze and use code: ZYVPYRK2P to get your 1st (and 5th if you decide to continue the deliveries) absolutely FREE!

You can cancel at any time after receiving your first box, but here’s my thinking:
– Each box is $6.49, but you only pay for 3 (box 2, 3 and 4) and get 5.
– Your total for 5 boxes is $19.47.
– Which means each box is only $3.89.
– Which means each serving is only $0.97!
I definitely couldn’t get that good of a deal at any of my local stores – especially if you factor in gas and the “emotional taxing” of wrangling an 8 month old ;).

8 Months!

H 8 months old

 Tank: Gap// Shorts: Carters // Shoes: Converse

Height: 32.25 inches
Weight: about 24.5 lbs
Wearing: 12-18m clothing, but definitely more towards the 18
Teeth: Still nothing!

What the heck?! Three quarters of a year – gone, when did that happen?

A few happenings from this month:

  • H has become an excellent napper and I’m continually pinching myself for how lucky we are that this boy loves sleep.
  • Still no crawling yet (thank goodness! I’m not ready to baby proof yet!), but in the last  few days, he has started preferring spending time on his tummy and has been kicking his legs behind him.
  • Baby led weaning is going fantastically. This kid would eat all day if it were up to him! His new favorites are raspberries, green beans, asparagus and lamb gyros.
  • He is so incredibly sturdy when sitting up it blows my mind. I remember a few months ago when he could barely sit up and now he can right himself if he starts to topple over!
  • He loves singing to music, especially while sitting in his high chair as I’m making him something to eat.
  • He still reaches for me if anyone else is holding him, and it still melts my heart into a big puddle.
  • He has started signing for “Milk” and I think he’s starting to get the hang of “All Done” – proud mama over here.
  • Our cat Healey is his new best friend, much to her chagrin ;)
  • He went to his first concert: Crosby, Stills and Nash at the local Botanical Gardens, and promptly fell asleep two songs in!
  • We took him to his first wedding, where he was ogled and loved on by everyone and sneakily ate a ton of my food.
  • We went to the aquarium with our mommy friends and H loved petting the Manta Rays and was totally captivated watching the fish swim around.
  • He now giggles for just about everyone, whereas before Zach was really the only one who could get him to laugh.
  • He started clapping purposefully! Most of the time if I start saying “yaay” and clapping my hands, H will join along with a big grin!
  • My cousin moved into the dorms at the local college and we are so so so excited to have more family living here! H accompanied us to get pedicures and after giggling at the man doing Lainey’s toes, he promptly passed out until we were done.
  • He has officially completely outgrown his infant carseat and we are in the convertible Britax carseat full time. It’s amazing how much he looks like a big kid in there!

August 15 – 17

August 18 – 24

August 25 – 31

September 1 – 7

September 8 – 14

My first Stitch Fix box ((& Review))

I received my first StitchFix box earlier this week!

If you haven’t heard of StitchFix by now, you may or may not be living under a rock or blissfully ignorant of the rampant promoting they do on Facebook and other such websites. It is a personal shopper-esque experience, all done from the comfort of your own home! You do pay $20 for the service, but it’s credited back to you if you purchase anything from the box, and if you keep all five items they also give you a 25% “buy all” discount.

- When you sign up, you have to take a super detailed survey about your sizes, style preference, body type, etc. They ask you what feels like a million questions to get to know what your comfort zone is and if there are any colors, trends, fabrics that you want to stay away from (like my choices: orange, polyester and wool). Here you can also give them links to your Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest inspiration board – which is highly recommend to get an even better style vibe so they can choose your perfect pieces.
– After filling out your “style profile”, you can choose when you’d like your “Fix” scheduled and how often you’d like it to be delivered. I chose a one time Fix just to try things out and make sure that I would want to continue.
– 5 items are chosen for you based on your survey and shipped out to you by your requested delivery date.
– Once you receive your box, you get to try everything on and decide what you keep and what you return. You also log into your account and give them feedback on what they sent. You answer questions about the fit, pricing, and style and are given the opportunity to tell them why you did or didn’t keep each item.
– What you don’t like gets put into the pre-paid return mailer within 3 days of receiving your Fix, and that’s it!

Not gonna lie, at first I almost cancelled my service due to lack of communication from SF. I was supposed to have my box delivered on September 8th, but after two *unbeknownst to me* reschedules, I didn’t get my box until almost 2.5 weeks later. After emailing them several times, they apologized and promised me I’d have it by the 23rd. I was so excited to see what I had waited three months to receive, that I ripped it open the moment I got home and saw it on my porch.

ARK N CO Rylee Waist Twisted Maxi Skirt

ARK N CO Rylee Waist Twisted Maxi Skirt – $68

ARK N CO Rylee Waist Twisted Maxi Skirt — $68.00
This was a really hard choice for me. I loved all the details it has: the soft silky fabric, the slit, the rouched detail, and the hidden snug fitting midi skirt underneath. While it’s a beautiful skirt, it just wasn’t “wow” enough to keep for almost $70 when I have two other plain black maxi skirts.
Verdict? Return.

KUT FROM THE KLOTH Kelsie Braided Detail Belted Maxi Dress — $48.00

KUT FROM THE KLOTH Kelsie Braided Detail Belted Maxi Dress — $48.00

KUT FROM THE KLOTH Kelsie Braided Detail Belted Maxi Dress — $48.00
Im pretty sure this is the softest dress ever, so I was pretty bummed about this one. The coloring is a little too pink and it was too big on my waist and didn’t drape quite right. Once again, this one had a slit on either side of the skirt, which is usually my kryptonite.
Verdict? Return

RD STYLE Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan — $74.00

RD STYLE Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan — $74.00

RD STYLE Vivianna Open-Draped Knit Cardigan — $74.00
I love this sweater so so much and am keeping it as a birthday gift to myself. While I’m sure I could find something similar for a little less, the cut is beyond perfect. It is the first open-draped cardigan I have ever tried on that has not made me look incredibly hip heavy and unproportional and I was elated that it was long enough for my torso! My only upset on this was that it was sent to me with a red strip of tape on it, that once removed showed a little hole and a black smudge. I did contact Stitch Fix and they righted the situation, but I’m still a little upset that they would send me an item that was obviously known to be damaged and still charged me full price for it, when at a department store it would be either pulled from the display or put on the clearance rack.
Verdict? Keep!

SUSANA MONACO Santo Fitted Ruched Halter Tank — $98.00

SUSANA MONACO Santo Fitted Ruched Halter Tank — $98.00

SUSANA MONACO Santo Fitted Ruched Halter Tank — $98.00
The color is gorgeous, but I would never spend $100 on a halter top. It fit perfectly, except for the weird draping that was super unflattering on my postpartum hips and unfortunately it was too low cut for my nursing bosom and I just felt too exposed over all. Yes, I know I could wear a jacket or cardigan with it, but if I’m going to spend that much on something I don’t want to cover it up! Also, did I mention it is NINETY-EIGHT DOLLARS?! No way would I spend that on a halter top. Jeans or a dress? Sure, but not something I’ll wear mayyyyybe once or twice a year.
Verdict? Return

COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS Wintor Leopard Print Cross-Front Blouse — $38.00

COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS Wintor Leopard Print Cross-Front Blouse — $38.00

COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS Wintor Leopard Print Cross-Front Blouse — $38.00
This is probably my favorite piece from the box! It’s a tiny tiny bit short on my torso, but I love the drape and the coloring. I never would have picked it up off the rack in the store. I love leopard, but am not a pink person and would think that the billowy drape would be incredibly unflattering, plus, my hubby hates leopard print with a passion. To my complete shock, he gave the thumbs up on this, so it was a super pleasant surprise!
Verdict? Keep!

Overall I was really pleasantly surprised with what they sent me, even though I only kept 2/5. I think it’s great they send you a sheet with outfit ideas for all the pieces and a little note on why they chose the items for you. Even though I’m back to pre-pregnancy weight, my clothes just fit differently and I kind of hate 90% of my closet (I know, major first world problems), plus, trying to wrangle an 8 month old to go out for a few hours of shopping and trying out outfits pretty much sounds like pure hell. Also, the downside to wearing as much of your non maternity clothing as possible during your pregnancy is that they tend to get stretched out don’t look quite right without a rotund belly.

One thing I keep hearing is that each Fix you receive should get better and better every month with the feedback you give, so it’s really important to tell them why you are or aren’t keeping each piece. I’ll definitely be scheduling another fix for sometime in October / November!

If you want to learn more about StitchFix and order yourself a box of 5 pieces, check them out and let them know I sent you! (Shameless plug, I know, but if you use my link I get a referral credit, which I would really appreciate!)