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    EATING CLEAN WITH RAISED REAL

    Location: the kitchen

    A few months ago I was venting to Miles about how I wished there was a deliverable “homemade” baby food service. I have home made all of my babies’ food from scratch since they started on solids. The primary reason for making all my own baby food was in trying to fill a big void in the industry for healthy, nutritious, affordable baby food options, especially for vegetarians like ourselves. I was only able to find one company that didn’t use preservatives, but literally cost so much money, it wasn’t ever an option for us.  So when Raised Real reached out to us a while back and asked if we’d like to partner together, it made perfect sense!

    Raised Real is a service that equips parents with everything they need to home-make organically sourced, PhD developed, nutritionally dense meals in under 20 minutes. One of the reasons we’ve especially loved using Raised Real is because it has so widely expanded our knowledge of compatible ingredients, and furthermore has pushed us to use ingredients we would have never thought to have chosen for our babies on our own. I of course also love the ease of being able to have perfectly portioned meals at my fingertips, yet not having to compromise quality or hours of slaving away in the kitchen.

    I can appreciate the thought and effort that is put into good branding, especially since becoming a parent. The simplicity and organization of each box is extremely appreciated and helpful, not to mention, such a confidence booster! It’s literally mindless to make the food, but you’ll feel like a gourmet chef. Raised Real puts such care into each and every box, it really goes to show just how much care is put into their recipes and even more so an extension of that, our babies’ health & well-being. And there is simply nothing more important than that.
    Not only does Raised Real provide the food, but they have a meal maker specific to their foods! It steams and blends each meal, and, my favorite part, is the extremely easy clean up! Here is Harlow waiting for his next meal. He knows when the timer dings, it’s time to eat!
    Each pre-portioned food package has a corresponding card that gives you all the details and necessary instruction in regards to that particular blend. You’ll find all the nutritional facts and specifics as to how each ingredient is working together to strengthen different parts of your baby’s anatomical development. 

    Another perk in subscribing to Raised Real are the adult friendly emails that accompany each box! For example, in this past box, they sent me an email on how to spruce up the sweet potato blend to make fluffy potato pancakes! Eek! It’s like a Pixar film, throwing in a little bit of love to humor the adults involved, and I really love that!

    It has truly amazed me just how versatile the service is. When I first started reading up on it, I wasn’t sure how friendly it would be for us long term since Harlow had already started eating foods that were less pureed and more textured, but then after receiving my first shipment I realized, not only could I feed it to Harlow, it would be functional for Luca too. The foods can be prepared three different ways: completely pureed, partially pureed, or completely unblended, and you don’t have to prepare any of the foods differently to get the consistency you need. I will usually put two of the same packs in the steamer, scoop out half for Lu, and then partially puree the remaining half for Harlow. One quick steam, two kids fed!

    And you guys, here’s the bananas in the cereal (pun intended) Raised Real includes a baby hotline that comes with your subscription. They provide you with a 24-hour number you can text whenever you need help, have questions, or just need a little encouragement on the parenting front! I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little bit of that.

    Raised Real is offering our readers an exclusive 15% off your first order for any of you who want to try it! Sign up here and enter FOREST15 at check out for 15% off! There is also no commitment so you are free to skip weeks during the month or cancel at anytime so you can remain flexible with you and your lifestyle. Parenting can be really hard, but being able to feed your little ones shouldn’t be. Also, side note, Raised Real is currently offering a free meal maker when you subscribe today, so definitely don’t miss out on that!

    Head on over to my instagram to learn about how you can enter for a chance to win a box of meals & a meal maker! You can also follow Raised Real on Instagram to follow along in all the goodness they are cooking up and spreading around!

    this post was created in partnership with Raised Real, as always, all words and opinions are my own.
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    FOR THE EASTER BASKET

    Location: COTTONTAIL TRAILS

    ^^^A little Easter Sunday flashback to Luca last year! ^^^

    If you know me at all, you know I love all the Holidays. Seriously, if it were socially acceptable to celebrate flag day, I most likely would. I suppose this love of holidays stems from growing up with a mom who celebrated all the holidays. She would make each one special in their own way. There was a magic she created around each one, and honestly, I probably believed in the Easter bunny, Santa, and Leprechauns much longer than most kids, and I just want to create that same magic as long as possible for my own little ones.

    Egg-stravagance, isn’t necessary (see what I did there?!) But really, there doesn’t need to be huge amounts of money spent, and stress on your part in putting it all together. It literally comes down to the smallest gestures–Making your little feel special in a way that is unique to them. Thoughtful, is what it comes down to…The jelly bean trail from their bedroom to their basket, a personalized letter from the bunny himself, the littlest things in their basket they love the most–the most minimalistic gestures make the most maximal impact, this I can promise.

    Here are a few of my favorite current finds for your little bunnies’ baskets! Read more

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    FEBRUARY FAVORITES

    A few favorites from the month of February! We were 15 minutes late to Luca’s field trip today because I totally forgot about it (palm to face) but we quickly threw ourselves together and showed up anyway. Sometimes I think that might just be the most important thing, showing up. So even though I have probably a million and a half other tasks to handle, I really wanted to show up and share this month’s favorites with you, so here I am, and here they are. Read more

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    EASY VALENTINE GIFTS FOR KIDS

     

    1:: Made With Love Onesies | 2:: Tiger Sippy | 3:: Bath Bombs | 4:: Snuggle Puppy Book | 5:: Valentine Mailbox | 6:: Sugar Lip Gummies | 7:: Valentine Card Kit | 8:: Heart Stickers | 9:: Mini Play Doh 

    With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would put together some quick and easy gift ideas to put together in a little basket for your kiddos. How cute is the wiener dog mailbox?! Now that Luca is older and in a pre-K, he can appreciate all the little things that make each Holiday so fun. Also, the Bath Bombs are a newer brand I came across at Target. Each bath bomb has a little surprise inside, which I know Lu will love! We have the snuggle puppy book, and it has a tune that goes along with the text that Luca and I love to sing while we read along. And everyone knows, you can’t go wrong with play-doh and toddlers! Harlow is still too young to understand, but those onesies are too cute to pass up! Hope this helps get your ideas flowing–What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your little ones?

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    FAVORITE THINGS: JANUARY

    Location: On the Cusp of February

    Here we are, already just a few days away from February. January was fast and exhausting. It had us hustling with the rush of the new year, collecting W-2s, and trying to keep up with the crazy weather patterns we’ve been having in San Diego. Sharing a few favorites of mine from the month of January!

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    AUGUST FAVORITES!

    Can you believe August has already come and gone? I certainly can’t! August was great, but I’m definitely ready for September, fall, and all the other leaf changing festivities. I have a few trips planned in October, so September is definitely going to be my month to prepare for those. I already sent in for our passports as one of our trips is abroad, and now, in the mean time, I’m just researching all I can about traveling with multiple kids! It will be an adventure for certain! Keeping with the monthly favorites, I’ve rounded up all of my favorites for the month of August! I wasn’t able to film as my camera is broken right now (ehh!). Next month I’ll make up for it, but until then, my words will have to hold you over! Hope you like!SEPTEMEBER FAVORITES

    Comotomo Bottles | I just recently started introducing a bottle to Harlow. I wanted to know how much he was eating and I feel like a bottle before bed is more filling (since you know, if they fall asleep, exactly how much they ate). I began to pump my milk for back stock too so I could go out from time to time. I decided to try these silicone bottles out as they are lighter than glass, but safer than plastic. And I must say, they really impress me. They are three pieces total, excluding the cap, which we can all be extremely thankful for, and they are so good at keeping out air, it’s incredible. I wish I’d had known about these with Luca, especially because he was formula fed and had a really sensitive stomach (so many dishes, and so many ruined clothes. Clothes that had to go because they still smelled like spit up even after washing them a trillion times). Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. For the love of fewer dishes and full tummies, I love these so much, I can’t even tell you.

    Dock-A-Tot Deluxe | This has been so great for co-sleeping. We used to use the snuggle nest, but it was extremely annoying to put back together after washing it, and it also wasn’t all that soft. This is like a little inner tube for your babe. It’s not inflatable, it’s made up of a soft cotton tube and thin pad. It totally warps around your little one’s body and makes them feel super comfy and secure. It’s also great for going to the park, traveling, and tummy time. The bottom unclips as your baby grows to make room for their feet. Harlow sleeps like such a champ in our dock-a-tot, I’m probably just going to stick it in his crib once we transition him here soon.

    Organic Pajamas (for Toddler/for Infant) | I have found it really hard to find matching outfits for my boys. Luca is already in 4T and Harlow is in 6-9 month clothing. Maybe it’s the age gap, but I feel like I see little girls and their baby sisters matching all the time! I can’t find hardly anything for my boys. I was sold when I found these pj’s from Finn & Emma, that also happen to be organic (major plus for us). They are so soft and dreamy.

    Baby Milestone Cards | Because, I never remember to write anything down on paper! Despite nearly everyone telling me to write down all of Luca’s firsts and when they happened, I didn’t, and, of course, now I’m so bummed! I love these milestone cards, because you can take a picture with the card and/or write down the date on the card. I picked the activity milestone cards because Harlow had already accomplished a lot of the milestones  in the baby deck by the time I came across these. They’re so fun to go through, and especially to get ideas for first activities that you may not have done otherwise!

    Washable Rug | It’s about time this was invented! All joking aside, I love that we can wear and tear all we want on this rug and at the end of the week, we can throw the entire thing in the wash. It’s made of one material (doesn’t have that sticky rubber on the bottom) and so you can even tumble dry it. It’s genius. They have lots of really cute prints to boot.

    SEPTEMBER FAVORITES

    Hydro Flask Water Bottle (flip cap) | We are not plastic water bottle people, and so we’ve worn down many reusable bottles at this point. Miles found this Hydro Flask on amazon, and he was hooked once he ordered it. He loved that it kept his drinks hot or cold for a sustainable amount of time (I think 24 hours cold, and 12 hours hot…don’t quote me). He loved it so much, I thought I’d give it a spin myself. I feel like when you carry around your own water bottle you drink way more water throughout the day. I ordered the 40 oz bottle and I absolutely love it just the same. It’s durable too, which, with two kids is a must because I’ve dropped it about 500 times at this point. If you’re in the market for a good water bottle, this is one to consider. Also I’ve linked the flip cap, which Miles has on his bottle, for easier drinking–it would also be a way better option if you have coffee or something hot in your bottle. I personally like the spin cap it comes with already, and use that.

    Ice Roller | This is something I’ve only recently gotten into, but really love. I use this on my face whenever I feel the need. I feel like it really tightens up my pores and wakes me up in the morning, but is also soothing before bed. I’ll hold it under my eyes to dry and diminish the dark circles, and I can also use it for Lu, if he gets a boo boo. I kinda just bought this in the dark, thinking it sounded like it would feel good on your skin (I love extreme temperatures, cold or hot) and I lucked out, because it really does! I know a ton of people swear by jade rollers, and higher end ones, but I personally think this gets the job done just fine.

    #AskGaryVee book (audiobook/hardcopy) |Life changer of a book! I recently read listened to this book on audible, and I don’t want to give too much away! But if you are into business or social media at all, this book is definitely a must read. The audio book is great because the author actually narrates it and adds a lot of pizzaz + information that isn’t in the hardcopy. You can get a 30 day free trial and a free book here, if you want to try out audible. It’s my latest obsession because I don’t have a ton of time to read with two little ones, so listening in the car has been so great.

    Mophie Battery Case (for iPhone 6/for iPhone 6 plus) | I am the queen of low battery. I’m not joking, my battery is always at 10% no matter what the circumstance. I have the 6 plus, so my phone is pretty bulky already, but I needed an extra battery pack and I didn’t want one that would hang off of my phone. This one is an actual case, and it does make your phone a bit bigger, but honestly, It’s worth its weight in gold. It will charge your battery wirelessly, and It charges pretty quickly as well. This has been a must have in my purse while I’m out and about, because let’s all just be real, a dead phone is the worst!

    Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock | Last, but not least, I didn’t have this included in the photos above, but I’ve posted one below to give you a better idea of how it works. It clips onto whatever shopping cart you have and is literally a hammock for your baby! I love that I can put all my groceries under the hammock and still utilize all the cart space, and I love that I don’t have to steer a double stroller in one hand and a shopping cart in the other. Let’s just put it this way:  If you love target and have a little one, you need this, ha! But really…where else are all the things you didn’t come for supposed to go??

    I hope you enjoyed my august favorites! A new video will be underway soon, once my camera is fixed, that I can promise you! Happy September! Bring on the cooler weather!

    watch my July Favorites here | read about my July Favorites here

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