Squeasy Gear

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This post is my honest opinion in exchange for product.

 

I hate plastics. I try to avoid them as often as I possibly can (although they seem to control the world), especially when buying products for my boys. So when searching for an easy-to-take-along, non plastic water bottle that wasn’t quite as costly as stainless steel or glass, I was delighted to discover the Squeasy Gear Snacker and Squeasy Gear Sport 100% food grade silicone squeeze bottles.

 

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These bottles are seriously the best. Not only are they fun to drink from because you can squeeze and squish them, but they’re also leak free, incredibly easy to clean with no small parts, and can be used for purees, apple sauce and yogurt as well-making them that much more versatile.

 

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The Squeasy Snacker is 6 ounces, and I’ve loved using it for quick snacks in the car or for after parkour class or trips to the beach. They’re quick and easy to fill with whichever squeezable snack you choose, and won’t soak up the water from melted ice in a cooler. These will be a staple for snacking while we’re camping this summer.

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The Squeasy Sport is 16 ounces, and we’ve absolutely loved using this one strictly for drinks, especially in the hot summer heat. It’s a must have for us to take along on any day trip as it holds a perfect amount of liquid for my older son, and because it’s fun to drink from really encourages him to drink a lot more water. The added bonus of it being silicone, is that when you do choose to put juice in them, the bottle won’t stain or absorb the smell.

 

Squeasy Gear bottles are now available in Canada at Wal Mart, or online at Squeasy Gear’s official web site.

Family Cooking feat. Hello Fresh Canada

  • This is a sponsored post and is entirely my personal opinion in exchange for product.


I’m a very big fan of getting kids in the kitchen and letting them help, whether it be baking, or cooking a meal, or even just meal preparation-getting them involved not only exposes them to a variety of different foods in their different forms (cooked/uncooked/whole/cut open), but also encourages them to try new things and can help with fine motor skills, as well as skills for later in life when they’re cooking on their own.

So when Hello Fresh Canada approached me about featuring one of their meal boxes in a blog post, I was pumped. I, like I’m sure a lot of mom’s out there, love to cook-but absolutely hate meal planning. It’s stressful, I always end up forgetting ingredients, and sometimes the recipes end up being more complicated then they were first thought to be.


That’s where Hello Fresh saves the day. Meal prep is as simple as logging onto their app or web site, choosing the box you want for that week, placing your order, and ding dong, the box arrives on your door step filled with all the quality, fresh ingredients you need to make healthy, home cooked meals for your family.

The look on Little’s face in this picture says it all. This kid loves food and cooking so much, he was squealing when the Purolator truck pulled up and handed us our box. He definitely did not want to wait to take a picture before we opened it.

When we did finally dig into the insulated box, it was super easy to unpack, with each meal separated into their own individual, labelled boxes filled with all the ingredients you would need for that specific recipe. We chose Hello Fresh’s vegetarian box, because as a family, we generally eat vegan about 60% of the time due to a handful of reasons.

We pulled out the bright,colourful,step by step recipe cards,and quickly picked the recipe we wanted to make that night-the Farmhouse Vegetable Gratin.


Pulling up his helper chair and laying out the ingredients-we got right to chopping, organizing and of course tasting all the yummy, fresh zucchini,eggplant, bell peppers etc and getting our dinner cooking.

It was not only really easy to make, but also really easy to eat, as we finished the entire dish in one meal.

If you’re interested in trying HelloFresh Canada yourself, they have very generously offered our Canadian readers 50% off their first box with the promo code LOVELY50 to be entered at check out. You can find them on their web site here or download their easy to use app in the AppStore today!


Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Happy cooking!

Living Healthy As A Family With RIPE Juicery

 

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As a family, eating healthy is super important to both my husband and I. From the get go with Little, we’ve always tried our best to focus on a wide variety of organic (mostly) fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low sugar snacks (with plenty of cheating on this one lol), cruelty free meats and free range eggs. Its important to know what you’re putting into your body and especially, knowing where your food is coming from. And it’s important to know how much your body, and your overall health, can truly benefit from clean eating.

 

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When RIPE Organic Cold Pressed Juicery opened up downtown in our little city, I’ll admit, I was super excited. Not only were owners Meghan and Lindsay super friendly and welcoming, but here was a easy, and enjoyable way to make sure we were getting more then enough of our fruits and vegetables in the forms of juices, salads, acai bowls, nut milks, smoothies, energy balls and elixirs. All made fresh in store, I might add.

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Most importantly, they had their RIPE Minis Line, geared especially for kids-in four super fun, and super delicious flavours. Little adored them the first time he had them, and from then on, I started getting daily queries of, “We go get a super juice, mama?” (In reference to the Super Hero Orange he loved so much.) or “I have a strong apple, mommy?” (Referring to the Hulk Apple Juice). With pleasant fruit tastes, and added kick of greens, these kids juices are divine.

Hulk Apple- one of our favourites, made with apple, kale and lemon.

Superhero Orange- our second favourite in the line up, made with orange, carrot and lemon.

Green Monster- Made with pineapple, spinach and lemon.

Pink Candy- made with pineapple, strawberries and beets.

 

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If juices aren’t your Little’s style, I definitely recommend you try one of RIPE’s smoothies. Made fresh for you with raw, organic ingredients, they’re creamy goodness in a cup. One of our favourites is the Strawberry Fields, so yummy and subtly sweet from the addition of dates, that even the smallest of mouths (my 1 year old niece in town for a visit) enjoy it.

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For an extra special treat on occasion, we add one of RIPE’s energy balls in with our smoothies or juice. Offered in a variety of scrumptious flavours, our go to has always been the peanut butter. Dense, a little bit gooey and chewy, we could probably eat about a dozen of these little morsels in one sitting-and they are definitely a must have treat to try for everyone, large and small.

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Make sure to stop in at RIPE in beautiful downtown Barrie. And I highly recommend you check them out online HERE– they also have local delivery available.

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Photos (and beautiful baby girl) courtesy of my wonderfully talented sister Kate.

An Easy and Fun Lunch for Valentine’s 


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to share a super easy, fun, and nutritious lunch that you and your little can make together to celebrate the day of love.

You will need the following:

  • Two slices of whole wheat bread. (We chose an ancient grains bread.)
  • A natural, organic peanut butter.
  • A organic, low sugar jam. (We used strawberry because the red worked well to make our heart-but any flavour will do)
  • A heart shaped cookie cutter.
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries or blueberries or another berry of your choice.
  • Butter knife easy for little hands to grip/use.
  • A spoon easy for little hands to grip/use.
  • Nutella

Step One


Take your cookie cutter and make a heart in the centre of one of your slices of bread.
Step Two



Spread peanut butter on whole piece of bread. A lot or a little, it’s totally up to you.
Step Three



Put your slice of bread with the heart cut out on top of your slice with peanut butter on it. Spoon jam into the heart shaped hole until filled.
Step Four, Five and Six (I had a little helper that was too excited to eat his creation then let me take pictures lol)



Slice up strawberries and whichever other berries you chose and place in separate bowl. We chose to add Nutella as a special dip for the fruit-but Greek yogurt or anything of your choice works too.

Serve with a cold glass of almond milk (Or drink of your choice).

Enjoy!

Simple, easy and fun to enjoy the season of love!

ChooMee Rocks! 


If you’re a food pouch loving mama like me, but aren’t exactly a fan of some of the things that company’s add to their purees, look no further then ChooMee’s new Snack’n Reusable Food Pouch.

These cute little critters hold 5 ounces of home made purees, apple sauce, yogurt or even thick smoothies in a BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate free pouch, that are dishwasher (top rack) and freezer friendly. They’re totally leak proof, and super easy to fill and wash out through the wide mouth zipper opening in the bottom.

If you want to maximize the usage of your pouch, throw on one of ChooMee’s Sip’n Spouts to protect your little one’s mouth, and prevent food from squirting everywhere. We’ve used the silicone spouts since Little started on solids at six months, and still love them all this time later. They’re so easy to loop over the lid of a pouch and toss into a bag, knowing that not only are you giving your little person something cushiony to put in their mouth, but also that they’re not going to end up wearing it.

If you want to make the little things in life just that much simpler, check out ChooMee’s full range of products here. Pouches are unfortunately currently not able to be shipped to Canada, but Sip’n Spouts are available at Snugglebugz and through Amazon.ca.

In the Kitchen with Kids


I think teaching kids to love food is one of the greatest gifts to give. Food is a part of everyday life, part of our culture. It brings families together for meals and chatter, it can comfort you on bad days, it can hold memories. We need it.


Since Little was, well, little 😜, I’ve been getting him in the kitchen with me. He helps me bake, helps me cook, helps me prep-and it’s time I love with him, I look forward to it, and he does too.


It’s not only great bonding time, but it can help develop fine motor  and basic math skills as well. One of the best purchases we made was the inexpensive plastic kids cutlery from IKEA. While we don’t use it for eating (I have a thing with plastics lol) they’re the perfect size to help encourage little hands to learn how to cut up produce, scoop and mix with spoons or spear things with a fork, and maybe just get a little messy for fun. 👍🏻💕  Also, helping to measure out ingredients can assist in number knowledge and early math skills.


In my opinion, it can also help picky eaters start to overcome their distastes by introducing new foods, or letting them experience known foods in a different way. When I cook with Little, he always asks to try-and unless it’s something I know that could make him ill, like raw meat, I allow him too. He’s tried anything from red onion and different kinds of olives, to baking soda and egg shells 😝🙃. But the great thing is, he tried it-and on his own accord. He’s generally the kid that will choose the fruit over the sweets at a birthday party, so I’ve never had any major concerns about his eating habits, but getting him involved in the process of making family meals has opened up a whole new world for him.

Try it next time dinner time rolls around or your making cupcakes for the school bake sale-you never know, you might be raising the next Gordon Ramsay (hopefully without the temper and language lol 😘)

Happy dining! 🍴🍽🍴🍽

The helper stool was made for Little from his super cool Uncle Aaron. The pink mat is from EZPZ.

Strawberry Banana Bread 

I love banana bread! It’s so yummy and moist and subtly sweet. So when I realized I had some brown bananas that needed to be used up, I’ll admit, I got excited. 🤓🤓 but then when I realized we had a handful of strawberries left that needed to get used, I got even more pumped.

So, I set out on a quest to find the best recipe for strawberry banana bread.


Behold-the recipe I found in all its glory. Low in sugar and no butter, it’s dense, moist and super yummy with a cup of coffee at breakfast. Oh-and 100% toddler approved-Little loved it.

The recipe is on a web site called Averie Cooks and you can find it here.

Bon appetite 🍌🍓🍌🍓

Love Child Organics Savoury Baby Blends


Love Child Organics very graciously sent us a box of their new Savoury Baby Meals to try-and as expected-we were beyond impressed.

These organic, nutritious little power pouches pack up to 4-5 g of plant based proteins in each one-and coming from a dairy free, doesn’t really like meat toddler mom, the serving of protein is a blessing.

The texture of these pouches is quite a bit thicker and more textured then their others, and it threw Little for a bit of a loop the first couple of slurps before getting used to it.

The best thing about them-as usual-is that Love Child adds absolutely no additives, preservatives or any hidden ingredients-just yummy, delicious, natural food.


If you’re looking for easy, on the go, nutritious and organic food for little’s-definitely stop by your local Wal Mart to grab some-you won’t be disappointed! $1.67 CDN per pouch. Be sure to check out the rest of Love Child’s other amazing product line while you’re there.

A little added tip-if you worry about little gums and teeth getting sore on food pouch spouts, grab a 2 pack of ChooMee’s Sip’n Spouts-handy little silicone spout toppers that help protect little mouths and prevent spills. (You can see the orange one in the picture above). Available at SnuggleBugz.

Fed Is Best


This is more of a personal post, if anything. But I want the other moms who struggle like I did to know its ok, you’re not alone. The debate between bottle or breast is a real one-and I whole heartedly promote and feel that breast feeding your child is the best choice. But sometimes things just don’t work out the way they should-and well, I wanted to share my struggle in hopes that if I can make one other mom out there feel better about themselves, then I’ve made a difference.

When I was pregnant with Little, I was bound and determined-when he popped out, he was going to be a breastfed baby. My mom had breastfed my siblings and I, my sisters have breastfed their children-why wouldn’t I choose to do the same for mine?

I didn’t know how real the struggle was going to be.  Not only did I receive very little breastfeeding support during my hospital stay- Little’s birth was unexpectedly quick, and as a result, we had a few minor issues with his sugar levels being too low and him getting the “trembles”, and his poor teeny heels being pricked for blood work every hour. Because he needed to get his levels up, he ended up being supplemented with formula.

Despite being tongue tied, he latched on to my breast quite quickly and easily, and we began trying to schedule feedings before we left the hospital, to what seemed like great success. When we got home, he’d feed on each side for extended periods of time, and then fall asleep, and we slowly started to fall into a routine.

But then I began noticing the times between feedings grew shorter and shorter, until I felt like I was constantly breastfeeding at all hours. He began not wanting to latch, until one evening, when he was a few days old, he just became inconsolable. He was refusing to latch, but was rooting feverishly, and just seemed panicked. It was fairly clear he was hungry, but was adamantly not wanting to latch, when before he’d been such a champ at it. We had been given premixed samples of formula from a friend of mine, and when we’d exhausted every other option we could think of to console him, we tried that-and well, he very quickly gulped down two full vials of it.

My heart broke right then. I thought that breastfeeding had been going so well, but in fact, my milk had not come in. He had been getting next to nothing from me, when I thought I’d been feeding him adequately.

We scheduled an appointment with a lactation consultant and tried several suggestions she had to get my milk to come in, to no avail. I tried pumping, but would end up with a half an ounce after pumping both sides for half an hour or more. I began taking Fenugreek with no luck. We read books, I researched myself silly online of possible solutions until each time it came to feeding, not only was Little wailing and in tears, but so was I. It just wasn’t working.

I felt like I had failed as a mom. How could I not be able to feed my child?

That’s when I realized that fed is best. It doesn’t matter how he was fed, just as long as he was. It didn’t matter how he was growing and developing, just that he was. I found support online and in person from other moms that had felt like I had-and I slowly began to realize I hadn’t failed as a mother. I was still caring for my child, loving my child, nourishing my child. It just wasn’t necessarily the way I had planned.

Motherhood is the hardest job in the world-it truly is. And as mothers I feel we need to lift each other up, support and encourage each other instead of judging one another just because we may not feel their choice is best. We all have our struggles, each and every one of us.

If you are a struggling mama, whether with feeding or anything else-I highly recommend you check out Similac’s Sisterhood of the Mommyhood. It’s an awesome support site where you can connect with other moms, and as they say “get encouragement, not judgement. A place to nourish each other, like we nourish our children.” When you’re there, be sure to watch their #EndMommyWars film as well.

Because as Ellen always says, “be kind to one another.”

😘😊