Posts from March 2015

Mommy & Me

March 16, 2015
by vicki, links i love

Mommy & Me... Something You Want, Something You Need, Something To Wear, Something To Read! #joyofmom

 

Mommy & Me

Something You Want, Something You Need, Something To Wear, Something To Read

 

Mommy

Want: Another Feather’s Single Range Ring: Simple, stunning and timeless. We absolutely love this uniquely shaped ring. It’s perfect worn solo or stacked with other favorite rings. Another great aspect of this brand is that each piece is handmade by the designer in her studio.

Need: Think & Ink Studio’s Geometric Wool Blanket: Spring is almost here and this gorgeous wool jacquard blanket is a must-have. They’re thick, warm, big & cozy. Wrap yourself and your littles in this blanket and snuggle up by the fire for family movie night.

Wear: All Saint’s Dungarees: These dungarees are perfection for Spring! A classic look with a twist. These would look great with a comfy white tee underneath, cuffed and paired with your favorite sneakers. We can’t wait to rock these on a trip to the farmer’s market or for date night to a local sushi joint.

Read: ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey: We hear that Tina Fey wrote about her experience with motherhood in her autobiography, and we are eager to read about it! She writes about deciding whether to have a second child or not, her struggles with breastfeeding, and her day to day life with her family. We are looking forward to reading this book on our next getaway.

 

Me

Want: Wooden cash register: This is such an adorable imagination-play toy for kids. This wooden register inspires hours of play in a child’s play kitchen or “super market shopping” games with friends. This toy is not only tons of fun, but it works on math, fine motor, social & imaginative skills.

Need: Trace Moroney books: Trace Moroney is one of our favorite authors of kids books. Her voice is extremely positive, loving, and promotes kindness and positive attitudes. We can’t recommend her books enough! (Our personal favorites are “Things I Love About Me” & “Things I Love About Bedtime”.) Plus the illustrations absolutely precious!

Wear: Emerson Apparel’s Salt Water Slouchers: We are seriously crushing on these super cool pants for kids. Handmade from the softest materials (and insanely stylish), these pants are made for adventures outside which makes them perfect for Spring. We also love how this brand is mostly unisex, so siblings can share!

Read: How to Catch a Star: Everyone loves Oliver Jeffers as a writer, and this book does not disappoint. It’s a story about wishing, persevering, and reaching for the stars. We love a warm story that has a happy, meaningful message. This book would be great for a new reader to read out-loud before bedtime.

Weekly Roundup

March 14, 2015
by vicki, links i love

Head on over to Joy of Mom for the best of what the internet has to offer in our Weekly Roundup! #joyofmom

 

Joy of Mom’s Weekly Roundup

What a beautiful, thoughtful proposal. Made us cry!

Who can resist matching babies & puppies?

5 things happy people do before getting out of bed every morning.

Bravo, Ashton Kutcher!

A shirt every mother needs, and deserves.

Chills. So wonderfully amazing this baby survived.

These are hysterical!

The perfect reason to retire.

Beautiful, powerful images of women in history.

Why it’s good to start the day with lemon water.

What parenting really looks like.

Awesome Spring Break Activities

March 13, 2015
by vicki, family

Awesome Spring Break Activities For The Big Kids! #joyofmom

 

Awesome Spring Break Activities For The Big Kids

Spring break is among us, and it’s time for us mamas to get planning. While play dates, science camps and gymnastics class will be great activities for the kids, there will be plenty of down-time. We’ve come up with 10 fun and exciting activities to entertain the bigger kids in our families, but that the little ones would also love to be a part of.

*Cupcake Crayons: It’s always a bummer when crayons break or become too short to color with. Don’t throw away the broken or blunt pieced, instead, grab a cupcake tray and make new crayons! It’s simple to do and makes for a fun spring break activity. Simply remove any paper from the crayon, line the cupcake tray with cupcake liners, and place a handful of crayons in the liners. You can either keep like-colors together or mix the colors up – kids’ choice! Heat the oven to 350°F and bake cupcake crayons for 2-6 minutes, or until the crayons have melted. Remove from oven, and allow to cool. Once cooled, the kids can get to coloring and make fantastic spring break art.

*Bake a “rainbow veggie pizza”! The beauty of this recipe is that is incorporates a ton of healthy vegetables, while being colorful and fun for the kids. We love this recipe, as it’s not too time consuming and is packed with healthy ingredients. If your kids will go for it, we suggest adding spinach, kale, and squash as pizza toppings. All three are loaded with incredible vitamins, fiber, and nutrients.

*Garden! We love these tips from Earth Easy. The idea of beautiful sunflowers and organic veggies growing in the yard is so exciting, and will fill your children with a sense of pride and accomplishment when they see their plant start to sprout. You can garden in your backyard, or put the seeds into pots. You can create a small box garden, or pull out weeds, re-soil and re-plant. There are lots of options for spaces of all sizes, and they all provide lots of fun!

*Go on a picnic. Picnics are a great way to get the entire family out of the house and spending some quality time together. Put your kids in charge of the menu, and maybe even preparing the food! Pack salads, fruits, cheeses & crackers – easy and healthy foods – plus a blanket and all the utensils you’ll need. Pack some soccer balls and footballs, maybe a Frisbee or two, and head out. Let the afternoon unfold as it may, under the springtime sun with the ones you love most. {If the weather is still too cold for picnics where you live, have a picnic inside! All the fun, minus the rain & chill!}

*Create a scavenger hunt for your kids! Give them 10 things to find around the house, time the hunt (we suggest 10 minutes, but you know what’s fair for your kids) and let them run wild! Hints like: “you wouldn’t dare sniff this after a trip to the gym” (Dad’s workout socks), or “a *blank* a day keeps the doctor away” (an apple). After the 10 minutes and 10 clues, if they complete the hunt, their prize is a trip for frozen yogurt or to the local doughnut shop. (Of course, there are no losers, so froyo for everybody!)

*In our home, we believe it’s important to teach the value of community service. We are so blessed to wake up each morning in warm beds, have a nice breakfast with our family, and enjoy our days. Some are not as fortunate. Spring break is a great time for our families to volunteer at local animal shelters, soup kitchens, or visit with elders at retirement homes. Remember those cupcake crayons we just made? It would be wonderful to create art to bring to the elders during your visit. Small gestures to us can mean so much to others.

*Are your children as obsessed with trucks and airplanes as ours? We thought so! That is why we are loving this tutorial on how to make a paper airport. The same idea can be used to make a race car track or monster truck rally track. This would be an awesome activity when a friend comes over for a play date. Seriously adorable and quite genius if you ask us!

*Plan a 90’s movie night with the entire family! Have your kids seen Honey, I Shrunk The Kids yet? Or Little Rascals or Dennis the Menace or Home Alone?! The 90’s were a great time for funny, innocent movies for kids. Pop some popcorn, make some fireplace s’mores, and play a 90’s movie marathon! The kids will love it.

*Have any old white t-shirts or bedsheets hanging around? Throw a tie dye party for your kids. Personally, we are loving indigo tie dye right now. You could make cool tie dye napkins and tea towels, bedsheets, t-shirts, socks – the options are endless! Pick up a dye kit online, set up your station outside or in the garage, and have a fun and artistic afternoon with the kids.

Create, build, explore, design – challenge your kids to put their imaginations to the test! Build forts, design superhero capes, explore the backwoods of your neighborhood, and create art! Write short stories, read books together, inspire poetry-writing, bake a cake. Implore your children to be creative and try new things. Spring break is the gift of time, to make memories as a family and to reconnect. Enjoy every moment!

Natural Tips for Teething Babies

March 11, 2015
by vicki, links i love, motherhood

Natural Tips for Teething Babies! #joyofmom

 

Natural Tips for Teething Babies

Nothing breaks a mother’s heart more than when their baby is teething. The discomfort, tears, restlessness and whimpers of pain just about brings a mother to her knees. For every child that is going through the teething process, there are two parents searching high and low for any remedy that can soothe their unhappy child.

While Children’s Tylenol can help during the worst of nights, you might not want to, and really shouldn’t, give your baby Tylenol around the clock. We’ve done our research, tried these methods for ourselves, and can tell you that we have eight tried-and-true natural remedies to help alleviate your child’s pain – that really work!

Let’s kick things off with The Frozen Hand. Throw this hand in the fridge or freezer to make it as cold as possible, and then let your baby chew the pain away. The frozen hand has multiple textured surfaces to massage your baby’s gums and cutting teeth, is easy to grasp, and BPA free. Even frozen, the hand is still soft. Babies and mamas everywhere swear by this teething toy, and we can say from experience that it works great.

Another frozen option is putting ice or pieces of frozen fruit, like apple or pear, in these mesh bags. Because of the mesh, no pieces of fruit or ice and get through so they are very safe for baby. Your little one can hold on to the plastic handle and gnaw as much as they’d like to help cool down their burning gums. Just beware of melting ice (we suggest tying on a Numpfer bib to catch the run-off).

Have you heard of Camilia? We swear by it. Camilia is a single-dose, natural liquid teething relief. It’s fast acting and benzocaine-free, so you can feel good about giving it to your baby. Camilia can also be given for restlessness and irritability. In conjunction with Camilia, you can give your baby this Baby Banana to chew on. It’s made to be a “starter toothbrush” for babies, but it also works wonders for teething! 100% food grade silicone teething toy that is also BPA, phthalate, latex and toxin free. Any part of this toy can be chewed on, including the most effective parts – the massaging bristles and side “banana peels”. Plus, isn’t it adorable?

Speaking of chew toys, how could we leave out the famous Sophie la Girafe? Everyone loves Sophie. You can’t go anywhere where babies will be without seeing a handful of Sophies. Sophie Is made from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree. Sophie is soft, safe and non-toxic for baby to teethe and chew, lightweight and easy for little hands to grasp. She gently squeaks as well, which is amusing for little ones. A must-have for all babies for sure.

Have you tried a Baltic Amber necklace yet? It might seem like voodoo but many swear by these necklaces. As your baby wears the amber, her body heat releases the succinic acid which has anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties. Plus, they look adorable on.

A chiropractor friend of mine once told me that Milk of Magnesia is one of the best treatments for sore, aching teething gums. With a clean finger, dip your finger into the milk of magnesia and gently rub onto baby’s gums. This should help to alleviate the pain. (I’ve also heard it can help with diaper rash!)

Last but not least, try a facial massage on your baby. Simply rub baby’s face, jaw and gums in a circular motion. Sometimes they will resist, but other times it hits the spot. You might also notice that baby “self massages” by rubbing her jaw against her mattress or pulling her ears while nursing.

Teething is a tough time, for both mama and baby. We hope these natural tips can help to soothe baby during this uncomfortable time. Best of luck, mamas! We are sending healing thoughts to your baby’s gums.

In the Home of a Stylish New Mama

March 10, 2015
by vicki, links i love, motherhood

10 Pieces You’ll Find in the Home of a Stylish New Mama! #joyofmom

 

10 Pieces You’ll Find in the Home of a Stylish New Mama

We love discovering small, independent shops from around the world. There is something so special about things made by hand, with love and care. Our children deserve only the best, made from the cleanest of materials and highest of standards and integrity.

We spend countless hours, researching and reading up on these types of brands to bring you, our cherished reader, the best of the best. For all the products mentioned below, you can count on the designers, makers and materials to be only the very best for your littles.

For new mamas, it’s important to purchase high-quality, well-made pieces for your baby. As a gift giver, we know you have the same standards, as you should. We’ve compiled our top 10 favorite must-have pieces for baby, and we know you’ll agree on their beauty and functionality. Enjoy!

1 ~ Numpfer multi-use bibs: A handmade bib, burp cloth & wash cloth all-in-one! This super soft bib is made from the highest quality organic bamboo terry cloth, which is extremely absorbent for our drooling, drinking, and nursing babies. We love multi-use products and are just gaga for Numpher’s simple and delicate designs. Truly the perfect gift for an expectant mama.

2 ~ Vonbon’s Ikat blanket: One of the first purchases for new moms is always a soft and beautiful baby blanket. Baby blankets have so many uses, including swaddling, tummy time, warmth, nursing privacy, emotional comfort (remember your first “lovey”?), and many more. Vonbon is known for their exceptional quality and beautiful designs. Organic, handmade, and hand-drawn designs – perfection!

3 ~ Speaking of warmth, we recently discovered Will & Co and instantly became fans. Hand-knit & sewn baby & child items by the beautiful husband and wife duo, Corey and Julia, out of Canada. This toque (Canadian term for “hat” or “beanie”) is so beautiful and classic, it’s a must-have for any and all children. Psst… Corey and Julia… We’d love one in an adult size too, please!

4 ~ When it comes to cleaning up messes, every mom needs a handy tea towel for quick wipe downs. Our favorite is this mixed pattern tea towel from Think & Ink Studio. As a mom, we are constantly walking around with a cloth, paper towel, or tissue in our pocket. Milk spills, water drips, boogies, drools, and crumbs – they seem to follow our children wherever they go. We love the idea of a soft (and cute!) handmade tea towel for wiping up little messes. Why go through two rolls of paper towel a week? Save a tree and use this beautifully designed tea towel!

5 ~ Tse Tse by Raplapla: Made with organic fair-trade cotton, this doll is light, easy for babies to hold and feels great for those teething gums to chew on. Above all else, he is super soft and machine washable. We love that 10% of the sales of this product are donated to UNICEF to defend the rights of children. Also makes for a great gift as it comes in a cute little cardboard house decorated by Quebec illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.

6 ~ Etiquette baby sock box: Truly one of our favorite gifts to give and receive for babies. These sock boxes come with 6 pairs of luxurious socks for newborns and toddlers. Crafted from the finest Italian combed cotton, we love the designs and texture of these. Plus, they are some of the only baby socks that actually stay on. “Vintage boy” is one of our favorite color-ways these come in, and while it says “boy”, we love these patterns for boys and girls. Simply gorgeous, and very well priced!

7 ~ We have been fans of the brand Goat-Milk NYC for years now, and think their onesie set is a must-have. This set includes one short sleeve onesie and one sleeveless onesie. They are 100% organic ribbed cotton, soft like butter and classically stylish. Nothing is lovelier than a baby in a soft, simple outfit, resting sweetly on their mama.

8 ~ Padraig Cottage slippers were first created by the lovely Helen for her son in the winter of 1977. Since then, Helen’s company has grown and evolved into what it is today. Though the company has expanded, they are still independently owned and operated, ensuring product quality and support of their local community. Their booties continue to be hand crocheted and hand dyed in small lots, insuring each pair is one of a kind. We simply adore these beautiful slippers for children of all ages. Soft, warm, cozy and gorgeous – fantastic for the entire family.

9 ~ Every baby teethes, therefore every baby needs Ringley natural teethers. Made with custom certified organic cotton and untreated natural Beech wood, these adorable teething toys help to soothe achy mouths. The character easily removes from the wooden ring to allow for machine washing. Plus, that little elephant character is so cute, how can we resist!

10 ~ Last but not least, we simply adore these Mitani towels. Bath time is such a special time between parent and child, and these towels are a must-have for your sweet babe. This luxurious soft and absorbent hooded towel is made from Mitani’s exclusive organic cotton sateen and lined bamboo/organic cotton terrycloth. Each towel is handmade and comes with a coordinating washcloth. It’s important to use high-quality towels for your children because their skin is so sensitive, especially after a bath, and it’s important they are wrapped and dried in soft organics.

What are you favorite must-have pieces for your child or your new mom friends? Let us know on our Instagram account, as we love to discover new independent brands! Happy shopping mamas.

Inspirational Mamas

March 9, 2015
by vicki, inspiration

Inspirational Mamas: Katya Mosely, Licensed Acupuncturist!

 

Inspirational Mamas

Katya Mosely, Licensed Acupuncturist

Last week, we were honored to have the opportunity to sit down with well-known acupuncturist & herbalist, Katya Mosely, to talk holistic medicine, herbology, and how to incorporate Eastern medicine into our daily lives. Katya specializes in women’s health, pediatrics, stress & mental health, and pain management (just to name a few), so naturally we jumped at the chance to pick her brain. As busy mothers constantly on the go, chances are we are not getting the proper rest and nutrition that our bodies need. Katya is not only smart, forward-thinking, charming and beautiful, but she is also a mother of two little girls. We found Katya’s advice and knowledge to be extremely eye-opening and motivating, and we hope you do too. At the close of the interview, you can find Katya’s contact information, as she is available for in-person appointments as well as skype and phone call sessions.

* * *

JOM: For those who aren’t familiar with acupuncture and the benefits, please fill us in.

Katya: Acupuncture is the insertion of super fine needles into several points along the body to influence the flow of one’s energy, or Qi. It can be used to treat various conditions from irregular periods, post partum depression, aches and pains, insomnia, digestive issues, the list goes on and on. It is often used to prevent the onset of disease or to do what my patients call, “a forced meditation”.

JOM: What part to herbs play? Is there an herb people can take daily to improve their overall health?

Katya: Herbs are a wonderful compliment to everyone’s life. Think of them as supplements, as medicine, as vitamins – they are natural powerhouses that keep you feeling good! The beauty of Chinese Medicine is that they can be custom blended to serve each individual’s needs. So instead of taking five different things to treat your five different imbalances, you can take just one that was made with your specific needs and constitution in mind. Its like buying custom-made instead of off the rack! On a daily basis, a mild Ginseng tea can do wonders for your energy, immune system, digestive and respiratory health, as well as your overall well being.

JOM: Could you name three commonplace herbs people can consume for optimum health?

Katya: Some people believe that medicinal herbs need to be prescribed or found in remote parts of Chinatown, but you probably already have several in your kitchen that would be great for daily use. Goji berries are excellent blood tonics. They can be found in almost every grocery store these days and they can replace raisins in your granolas, trail mixes and baked goods. Mint is another wonderful herb that is energetically very cooling. Pour some hot water over it to make a replenishing tea the next time you or your kids experience a fever, anxiety or high stress. Ginger is another one of my favorites. Add it into your diet to help ward off any digestive issues or drink it as a tea to help regulate morning sickness.

JOM: If people could add one thing from holistic health into their daily lives, what should it be?

Katya: Wow, Chinese Medicine is so individualized that its hard to give one answer for everyone, but generally speaking, everyone could benefit from more breathing. It’s so simple, it’s so cheap, its so obvious, but none of us are doing enough of it. I’m not taking about the kind of involuntary breathing that happens without us noticing, I’m taking about the breath that we take to insert a pause into an argument we are having with our partner, or the breath that we take before reacting to our kid’s tantrum. Mindful breathing, whether it is one breath in a heated moment or 30 minutes of meditation goes a long way in helping to keep our Qi flowing, our blood pressure down, and our hearts open. (Read here for more information.)

JOM: What is one thing you consistently see your patients doing or ingesting that they should stop and why?

Katya: Patients are constantly searching for the Magic Pill/Diet/Antioxidant/Herb. Chinese Medicine is all about the long game, meaning that one appointment or one detox cannot permanently resolve and improve all of one’s health concerns. Being healthy comes from making a series of choices that are repeated throughout a lifetime. Prioritizing some daily exercise or movement, eating mindfully, managing stress (not just on your yoga mat but off as well), getting regular acupuncture, will all have much longer lasting positive results than chasing the latest fad diet ever will.

JOM: On your site, you speak about the large role nutrition plays in our overall health. What are a few pieces of advice you could give to our readers about elevating their nutrition?

Katya: I’m certainly not the first to point this out, but move away from the processed foods. The more steps that food goes through between the farm/ocean/garden/orchard and your plate, the less healthy nutrients it can bring with it. I don’t usually promote squeaky clean diets because I believe that there has to be some wiggle room for birthday cake and champagne, but if people can stick to an 80/20 diet of whole, organic, unprocessed foods with the occasional “slip ups” then we would all be generally feeling much better. It’s especially important to add as many greens into your diet as possible.

JOM: What is it like for you to be a working mom? How do you juggle it all?

Katya: The struggle is real! I’m lucky to have found a balance, though it’s not what I thought it would look like and some days it doesn’t feel balanced at all. I work multiple days a week doing what I love (that part is KEY) and the rest of my time is spent hanging out with my two girls, 1 and 3 years old. I was much more anxious to get back to a fuller work schedule after having my first daughter, but now that I have a second, I’ve realized how quickly the years go by and it helps me appreciate my days with the girls much more.

* * *

Thanks to Katya’s advice, we plan to incorporate more herb-based teas, fresh green herbs and produce into our daily routines. We sincerely hope you feel motivated to do the same! Here at Joy of Mom, we truly care about you and your health, and want to provide you with the best resources, support and education available.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and you’d like to learn more about how Tradition Chinese Medicine can help you, Katya can be reached here. Young or old, healthy or unwell, we can all benefit from acupuncture, herbs, and the guidance of a licensed TCM practitioner.

Many thanks to Katya Mosley for her time and for sharing her wisdom. She is truly an inspiration to us all.

Weekly Roundup

March 7, 2015
by vicki, links i love

Head on over to Joy of Mom for the best of what the internet has to offer in our Weekly Roundup! #joyofmom

 

Joy of Mom’s Weekly Roundup

~ We love this poster. Truer words have never been spoken.

This gave us a giggle.

A beautiful article about parenting.

~ A yummy alternative to burgers.

~ 10 easy ways you can add physical literacy into your child’s daily routine.

~ A stunning skirt for Spring.

Freezer fudge to combat sweet cravings.

~ If Disney princesses were historically accurate.

~ A simple & environmentally friendly way to do laundry.

Surf’s up for this cutie.

Fitness tips for every age group.

Our Favorite Springtime Pieces for Kids

March 6, 2015
by vicki, links i love, motherhood

Our Favorite Springtime Pieces for Kids! #joyofmom

 

Our Favorite Springtime Pieces for Kids

Spring is upon us! In just a few more weeks, it’ll be official. Flowers are starting to bloom, the sun is peaking out through the clouds, and the air is crisp and clean.

The other day, we were walking down the street and noticed a row of cherry blossom trees, all in full bloom. It inspired us to curate a fun and fashionable Springtime favorites list for our kids, their friends, and you!

Nothing is cuter than a little girl in a dress, and we are gaga over this Zara boho dress. The mustard color reminds us of a mustard plant, which is very indicative that Spring has sprung! It has a fun 1970s flare to it, and looks super comfortable. Pair the boho dress with these striped footless tights from Gap and you’ve got a crazy cute outfit on your hand. Footless tights are great for Spring because they provide the light warmth and protection kids need while playing and running about, but allow your child to be barefoot and stick their toes in the sand. Plus, we are such suckers for stripes.

For a younger sibling, these Stallion leggings by Vonbon are perfection. Made from the softest organic cotton, the hand-draw stallion print makes these baby leggings ideal for boys and girls. I have a secret desire to sell all my belongings and move to a farm in the middle of nowhere. Wild horses running around is part of that daydream, so I’m really drawn to this print for that reason.

Speaking of Vonbon, how about this Infinity Cowl scarf? In most cities, Springtime welcomes the sun but there is still a bit of a chill in the air. These organic cotton cowl scarves are ideal, providing a light warmth and total style. I wish them came in adult sizes!

To pair with the Stallion leggings and cowl scarf, Minimoc moccasins would be just the thing. We are crazy for baby moccasins, as many of you are – maybe because they are just so adorable and go with any outfit! We particularly love these Minimoc moccasins in Jelly Fish and Elk, two colors perfect for Spring. In our minds, the purple and nut brown colors represent flowers and the soil they grow in. Flowers in bloom simply warm my heart and excite my soul.

For the youngest of babes, we are eyeing this ‘Crown’ Swaddle from Coveted Things. Wrap your baby up in it, or lay it on the ground as park blanket for the little one. Made from 100% cotton and non toxic inks, this blanket incorporating a beautiful message would make a great gift, could be worn as a scarf {fantastic for breastfeeding privacy!}, and just screams ‘enjoying some time outside in Spring’ to us!

Our favorite Mama brand Ace & Jig has designed some pretty fabulous pieces for kids, including these Holland Stripe pant. These elastic waisted pants are super-soft, super cute and super perfect for Spring. Lightweight, stylish, and ideal for horsing around with friends at the playground. The bright green color reminds us of fresh cut grass and brightly colored leaves filling in through the tree branches. Your child will almost blend in as he climbs to the top of a neighborhood tree!

For the boys, we are absolutely loving this Majestic Howler Tee from Emerson Apparel. Made from the softest materials and printed by hand (an image the designer drew!), this tee is everything a boy could possibly want – comfort, style, and boy power! Mama will love this tee because the 3/4 sleeves allow for optimal dirt play without having to worry about the sleeves getting in the way {and becoming filthy dirty}. We think this tee and the Ace & Jig Holland pants would be a funky fun outfit together.

To complete any outfit, throw on a pair Native shoes or Salt Water sandals on your kiddo and they are ready for a day of adventure and fun. Native shoes are great because they protect the entire foot and are waterproof, so splashing in creeks are no problem. Salt Water sandals are classic and cute, but also can get dirty and wet without an issue. Simply rinse either shoe off with a hose once you get home and they are good as new.

Springtime screams excitement, adventure, digging in dirt and splashing in ponds to us. Allowing our children to explore nature and get a little dirty stimulates their imaginations, showers them with vitamin D from the sun, and allows them to express themselves and their creative self. Nothing beats an imaginary games of “pirates” or “hunting for polar bears” while breathing in fresh air and appreciating all that nature provides. Let’s all embrace the beginning of Spring with open arms and enjoy some time outside with our families.

Fresh and Refreshing Recipe

March 5, 2015
family, recipes

Fresh and Refreshing Recipe! #joyofmom

 

Fresh and Refreshing Recipe

Citrus, Fennel & Avocado Salad

I recently made this salad for my family and myself for lunch and it was delicious. Light, refreshing, and bursting with flavor, everyone was loving it and has been asking for it again ever since! Right now, citrus is in season and at its maximum freshness. It’s easy to make and super healthy. Enjoy!

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 cups of arugula
2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
1 fennel, bulb
1 lemon, juiced
2 blood oranges
2 oranges
1 ruby red grapefruit
2 tbsp of fresh parsley
1 tbsp of fresh mint
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with lemon juice, mint, parsley, salt and pepper to create the dressing.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the dressing. Divide the dressed arugula onto plates.
  3. Top each plate with 1/4 cup of each kind of citrus and 1/4 cup fennel. Finish with 4-5 avocado slices each and serve.

Benefits

Because citrus is currently in season, the health benefits are simply exploding from the fruit. Oranges boost heart health and protect the skin due to it’s high levels of beta-carotene. Blood oranges are high in vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. The beautiful ruby red grapefruits boosts metabolism, supports the immune system, and can even help reduce stress! Lemons are alkalizing for the body, plus are high in vitamin C and flavonoids to help combat flus and colds.

From the fennel, you will receive potassium, vitamin A, calcium and magnesium. Avocados provide tons of potassium (more than bananas!), heart-healthy fats, and fiber. Parsley is a great herb, jam-packed with vital vitamins like vitamin C, B-12, and A. Last but not least, the refreshing mint not only promotes digestion, but can help reduce inflammation in the body.

As you can see, this salad is not only bursting with flavor, but is loaded with vitamins, fiber, and immune-support. Nothing beats fresh citrus at the peak of it’s season. Gather around the table with your loved ones, indulge in great conversation and enjoy your seasonal salad. Bon appetit!

Joy of Mom & Little Dream Bird Giveaway Winner!

March 4, 2015
by vicki, family, links i love

Joy of Mom & Little Dream Bird Giveaway Winner!

Joy of Mom & Little Dream Bird Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations are in order for the lovely April Proveaux! April is our lucky winner of a piece of her choosing from the gorgeous LDB collection.

April is currently 30 weeks pregnant with a baby boy, due in May! Her sister is also pregnant and due next week. April and her sister got to experience pregnancy together – the bliss, the excitement and the back pains. What a beautiful blessing that the two cousins will get to grow up together, side by side. Instant best friends!

April lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband Erik. Together, they own a natural foods restaurant called Fuel Cafe which is inside of a renovated 1920s gas station. {Too cool!} They also have a food truck, called Fuel Food Truck, which brings the healthy, delicious food to people out in town. We are secretly jealous of the citizens of Memphis – we want a Fuel Food Truck in our hood!

If being pregnant and running a restaurant & food truck weren’t enough, April is also a vintage clothing buyer for a boutique in downtown Memphis called Red Velvet. Okay, now we have to go to Memphis! A veggie burger and vintage dress shopping… We’d be in heaven!

April loves the entire LDB collection, as do we, and has her eye on the light weight car seat cover in ‘A Little Lace’. We think April is picking the perfect piece, as it will provide her new baby boy with shade and privacy for the summer months while April is on the go, running her restaurant and working at the boutique.

Congratulations to April and her family on the upcoming arrival of their baby boy. We wish them lots of love and happiness.

Thank you to everyone who entered our LDB giveaway. Check back often, as we have many more fantastic giveaways planned.

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