#SimplyHealthyKids Giveaway with Gnusante

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Hazel and I received some samples of GnuSante Creations Gnubees earlier this summer and they were the perfect addition to our picnic basket. Gnubees are a nutritional beverage for kids (and adults) created right here in Burnaby. They are hand crafted in small batches and are made of all natural ingredients and contain 15% of all recommended vitamins and minerals. One of the great things about Gnubees is they are sold in pouches with a spill proof spout and choke free cap. They can be served room temperature or cold. This makes them a perfect beverage for when your on the go as they can be kept in ones purse, diaper bag or car!

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Since we love our Gnubees so much we of course want to share some with you! Gnusante is very generously giving away several one month supplies of Gnubees and we have one to give away to one lucky reader! To enter to win a Gnuesante Snack Pack you simply have to leave me a comment below using the hashtag #SimplyHealthyKids about what you do during the winter months to keep your kids active when the weather isn’t ideal to go outside. Make sure you fill out the Rafflecopter as I have several ways for you to earn bonus entries too! Once you’ve entered head on over to the Gnusante site where you can enter to win another Gnusante Snack Pack and have a series of DIY crafts, recipes and much more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to residents of Canada. All entries will be verified and any found to not follow the criteria will be removed. Giveaway closes September 30th at midnight.
Xo. Andria

GH Cretors

Growing up there was nothing better than sitting down to watch a movie and snacking on a giant bowl of popcorn just dripping in melted butter. There was something about the flavor, the warmth of the melted butter and how it made your fingers nice and greasy that just screamed comfort food. With the addition of microwavable popcorn and seasonings specifically for popcorn, this has drastically changed the way we look at popcorn. Gone are the days of greasy popcorn and in are the days of healthy popcorn that can be enjoyed as an everyday snack.

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Last year at my nephews birthday party I was introduced to GH Cretors Chicago Mix, this was the first time I have ever seen cheddar and caramel flavored popcorn mixed together in one bag! I can’t believe it took  me 20 something years to discover this combination. To me this was mind-blowing, why would anyone want to mix these two flavors? I like both savory and sweet snacks but I don’t like to mix them. Yes, I am that person, the person that stands there hovering over the bowl picking out all the caramel corn and leaving the cheddar behind for everyone else. My sister-in-law laughs at me but is slightly thankful as she enjoys the cheddar J Don’t get me wrong I like the cheddar flavor but the caramel just has a special place in my heart, err belly.

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Recently a large box of GH Cretors popcorn showed up on my door and I was beyond ecstatic. Yes I know you can get very large bags of the Chicago mix at Costco, but you can’t get the bags of JUST caramel! Two bags of just caramel popcorn and  this mom was in heaven and believe me I wasn’t sharing. I pretty much consumed an entire bag the other night before dinner, oops!  What I love about GH Cretors popcorn is that it is made with all nature ingredients and is completely free of GMO’s and artificial flavors and colours. The caramel corn is made with Cane sugar and real butter, allowing it to almost melt in your mouth as you enjoy. The Cheddar popcorn is made with real cheddar which contributes to its full flavor. Because it’s made with natural ingredients I don’t feel guilty sharing this snack with Hazel. Of course because she is so young I make sure to break up the pieces so she doesn’t choke and boy does she love the cheddar popcorn!

I have yet to find the just Caramel corn locally but have found the just Cheddar and of course the famous Chicago Mix. Each bag of the Chicago Mix contains 2 cheese to 1 caramel, but if you ask me it should be the other way around ;).  The GH Cretors website has a list of local grocery stores that sell their popcorn, you can find that information here and of course you can always go online and have the popcorn shipped right to your door!

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Xo. Andria

 

Disclaimer: GH Cretors kindly supplied me with a sample to facilitate my review, however all opinions stated in this post are 100% my own.

Toddler Meals

I’ve been pinning again! This time I have been busy pinning away toddler meal ideas.  Hazels taste buds are growing and she is being more and more adventurous with what she eats lately. Not to mention she is so busy running around, that shes been eating like crazy trying to store up energy. How cute are these bento boxes I found on Pinterest by Marvelous Mommy?

 

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I think I will have to try to recreate these for as I think she would really enjoy them! You can find more toddler meal ideas that I have been posting over on my Pinterest Page. If your not following along yet, come and join us!

Xo. Andria

Go to baby gift

I know, I know, two gifting posts back to back. I’m sorry but I’m shipping these items off to Oklahoma in the morning and they are just too cute to not share with you!

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Aren’t those moccasins the sweetest? They are giving me some serious baby fever over here. You can find them at Minimoc and a few specialty retailers in the Vancouver area.

The headband is part of the new Vonbon collection they just released last month. I am loving all the new patterns they’ve introduced and there are more new leggings coming soon!

The Zoe Organics Baby Bath Time tea is a favourite in our house. It smells so delicious, I could almost drink the bath water! It’s completely natural and great for soft and delicate baby skin. I purchased mine from local online retailer Eco Diva Beauty

There you go a few of my favourite baby items. A modern spin on traditional baby gifts if you will :)

Xo. Andria

Gifting made easy

Still have a wedding or bridal shower to attend this year and stuck on ideas for a  gift?  When it comes to wedding shopping there are always so many do’s and don’ts, how much do you spend or give if you are giving cash. What colours do you get if picking towels or sheets. The list goes on and on. Since a lot of it is personal preference and in this day and age most couples are already living together or have two established households, I find the easiest thing to do is go off of their registry. The registry is a great pointer at telling guests what items they currently don’t have or would like to upgrade as well as what colours they have in their house. In saying that the registry is not set in stone but it’s a great tool to ensure what your putting together matches the couples taste.  We recently went to our 3rd wedding of the summer and here’s what I put together for the bride and groom.

To put together the above gift I went straight to their registry and picked out the focal part of the gift, the roasting pan. From their I wanted to personalize the gift, make it my own. Evan and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. We both usually work together to prepare our meals, only on the odd occasion is it just one of us in the kitchen cooking dinner. I thought it would be fun for this couple to cook a meal or two together, especially knowing this groom isn’t to handy around the kitchen (he may or may not have recently burnt a bag of jelly beans that were on the stove) So I picked out one of my favourite cook books for couples cooking. If you have a beautiful roaster and a nice meal you just spent hours preparing (ok maybe 30 minutes) you have to have something nice to serve it with. So when I spotted the gold serving spoon on the Chapters website I knew it was the perfect fit. I went with chocolate brown placemats and matching napkins, keeping the colours neutral to go with the couples décor. The initial napkin rings were a nice little touch, especially since the bride is taking the grooms name, it gives them just a bit of sentimental value. I picked out letters for their first and last names. And to finish it off I placed a bottle of my favourite wine from Blasted Church which I picked up on our recent trip to the Okanagan. The finished product (I of course wrapped it nicely before giving it to them)

 

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And there you have it a simple wedding gift from the couples registry with just a few personal touches to make it special. Here’s hoping they invite us over to share the wine and enjoy a recipe from their new book :)

Xo. Andria

 

 

To the mom crying in her car, I get it

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Well yesterday was Hazels first day at day care, to say it was the easiest day would be a lie. I have been back at work for just over a month now and have been leaving her with friends and family. She has been doing great, some minor fusses in the morning when I drop her off but overall has been having a great time. Today was different, today I was dropping my child off at a business. A place where I have been a couple of times on walk throughs to see how it was being set up and to meet the staff. I have no personal connection with these people, in one sense I was dropping my child off with complete strangers, hoping and trusting that they would give her the love and care she receives at home.

As I pulled into the parking lot today I noticed a mom get into her car and immediately throw her head into her hands and start to sob. I felt horrible for her, I wanted to run over and knock on her door and give her a hug and let her know she wasn’t alone and everything was going to be ok. I told myself today that I wouldn’t cry when I dropped her off, I knew she was going to be ok. The center is great, the staff is great, and she’s very independent so I have little worries for her. But I still cried. I didn’t cry about leaving her, I cried because I was so frustrated with how she and I were treated this morning when I went to drop her off. I wish I left crying because I was sad to leave my child in the hands of strangers and not because I was worried my child wouldn’t be a priority.

We arrived at the center just after 8am this morning, a lot later than we normally will be showing up, but as I was just getting over a stomach bug I took the day to rest some more, this also allowed us to not be rushed for our first day of daycare. When we went to sign into our room it was discovered that we were not on the sign in list, no big deal they added our name to the bottom and I signed her in. I thought it was a bit weird that we were missed but not the end of the world, I pointed to the large pile of files asking if we at least had a file but no one seemed to care. At this point I would have liked / hoped to talk to one of the staff about where to put her belongings and quickly go over her schedule. Not what happened, the staff member I was dealing with turned to check in another child that had arrived while the remaining 3 continued to dot on the screaming children, leaving me and Hazel standing aimlessly in the room.  They then proceeded to go over the next child’s file with the father and discuss his schedule while I attempted to discuss Hazel’s schedule with another employee. When I tried to address the time at which she would need a bottle the employee looked at the clock and simply rolled her eyes, as if  there was no way that was happening and the screaming child in her hand was more of a priority. At this point I was beyond frustrated, I quietly slipped out of the room, leaving my child to wander a room of screaming children and disorganized staff and made my way to the entrance. By now I was in tears, I was both confused and questioning my decision.  Why were we not greeted and checked in the same way as the little boy behind us? Did I put my child in the right center? Will they pay attention to her if she’s not screaming or will they only focusing on the unhappy kids all day?

I sat down with the Director and the Office Manager and I explained my concerns. I completely understand that today was day one for everybody, but that doesn’t excuse the way they should be treating everyone. It was purely chaotic  in that room and it didn’t seem like one person had any control over it. Thankfully the office manager was willing to go over Hazel’s schedule with me and found her file (in that large stack I had pointed out) and went over the last few forms I needed to fill out. She also took the time to ask me if Hazel had any food allergies, something that no one in her room asked me about.  Which makes me think if they hadn’t pulled out her file when I was in the room, do you think they would have checked it before feeding her?

I overheard the director speaking to the staff about my concerns as I was leaving, which I think helped them put focus to their morning. That they needed to take a step back and take a couple of minutes with each parent to go over their child’s routine. That we weren’t just dropping off our dry cleaning and hoping it comes back at the end of the day. But that we are dropping off a part of our selves, something that we took 9 months to grow, loving it more than we could ever imagine, long before we heard its first little heart beat. So to the mom in the car cry this morning, I get it, I’m with you every second of the way, sometimes we just need a moment or two to let it all out.

Xo. Andria

 

Fall Fashion Mommy Edition

It’s moms turn for some fall favorites! These days that old rule about no white after Labour day seems to be thrown to the way side, I mean technically we are already before next Labour day right? There is nothing like embracing fall and winter with some soft neutrals. Soft Gray tones and crisp whites match the changing air temperatures and skies as the days get shorter and colder. Here are a few of my favorites I have found online for fall.

Fall Fashion for mommy

Alway Skinny Skimmer Jeans from the Gap

Grouse Sweater from Aritzia

Leather bucket bag from Zara

Michael Kors Salem Booties from Nordstrom

Crystal Solah Collar Necklace from Olive and Piper

I am dying over those Michael Kors booties, I just wish they would fit into my mom budget, unfortunately it looks daycare and diapers have priority ;) And that leather bag from Zara, big enough to stash a couple of diapers in! Anyone with me on not dragging a diaper bag around 24/7? I love mine but find it gets so heavy!

Xo. Andria

 

It’s Wordless Wednesday….err Thursday

I have to apologize I haven’t had much time to focus on the blog over the last week. Life has been crazy busy lately and my downtime has been limited. A day late but here’s this weeks Wordless Wednesday and what we have been up to in pictures :)

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Toddler Boy Fall Fashion

On Monday I posted some of my favorite fall finds for toddler girls, if you missed it you can find that post here. Well it wouldn’t be right to leave the boys out, so here are my favorite Joe Fresh picks for the little boy in your life. Everything shown below can be found at Joe Fresh in the toddler boy section.

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Great news for my American followers, Joe Fresh has just launched their US website for online shopping!

Xo. Andria

Wordless Wednesday

This weeks Wordless Wednesday is brought to you by…oops to much Sesame Street for me! This week is car selfies, crazy hair, lakeside bath times, epic ice cream cones and stagette fun!

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Isn’t that view from Blasted Church Vineyards to die for? It’s my favorite winery in BC!

Xo. Andria