Monday, July 21, 2014

Door to Door Organics: Chicago

I have been on a mission this year to support more local businesses.

I debated for a while about joining a CSA for a local farm to receive local produce...then I wanted to support local livestock farms as well for meat and dairy, and before I knew it I was $1,150 deep in supporting local for groceries and had more than I knew what to do with. So before I clicked "order" I took a step back and a friend told me about Door to Door Organics.

It is a box delivery service that gives you the option to receive all local, fresh produce, meat and dairy without needing to buy the whole cow - literally.

We have received one box so far and I'm hooked! Not only is this supporting local agriculture, it's helping me expand my cooking knowledge base! Here is a shot of the contents of our first box + some extras I added.

For under $30 every other week (weekly option is available) we receive this big bundle of produce. It changes every delivery based on what is available and in-season from our local farmers. Our first box (pictured) we received, cilantro, red onions, zucchini squash, cucumber, fennel, collard greens, rainbow chard, collard greens and kale. I added local bacon and Billy's local whole milk to our delivery as well.

I had so much fun learning how to prepare all of these new foods! And learning what to sub out for next time (No thanks on the fennel - not for us!).

Unfortunately, the chard expired before I was able to cook with it. The box arrived on Thursday and we had a wedding Fri & Sat to attend so I just couldn't get the most out of this produce in time.

However, the rest of the produce lasted REALLY well and was absolutely delicious. The greens all had dirt on them. Like, real dirt. That came from the ground. It was so awesome to see and know how fresh our food was.

I used this recipe for kale chips and have officially become an addict. I usually love to have a salty snack while I watch TV in the evenings when coffee toffee ice cream isn't stocked in my freezer (I'm only human) but kale chips are my new favorite snack. They were light, crunchy and deliciously satisfying. Not to mention all that folic acid, amiright?!
The bacon was unbelievable. I will not be buying commercial bacon any more, the extra cost for supporting local farmers is so minimal when the result is this quality! I've added it again to my order this week and can't wait to receive it!!!

This week our order looks something like this:
That much organic, local produce, meat and dairy for that price tag makes me feel pretty great. Knowing I am feeding my family the best possible quality and supporting local at the same time makes me feel so warm and fuzzy.

If you're looking for a great way to source local produce, meat and dairy, check into D2DO and see if they have a chapter around you!

**This post was not sponsored by Door to Door Organics and at the time of publication I did not receive any kind of monetary support. These opinions are strictly my own. 
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Easiest-Ever Triple Berry Pie

Did you know berry pie is ridiculously easy to make?! And REALLY delicious?! I did not, until I tried baking one this weekend.
This is all you need:

5-6 cups frozen berries (I used the Costco triple berry blend)
1/2C sugar
6T corn starch
1C water
2 prepared pie crusts
1 egg, beaten

I simply put the berries and sugar into a medium sauce pan and warmed them up on medium heat. Then, I made a slurry with the corn starch and water. Once the berries were barely bubbling I stirred in the corn starch/water slurry and left the berries to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Lay one pie crust out into your pie pan, poke holes with a fork. Add berries and the other pie crust on top, cutting slits to vent the pie. Crimp the edges and egg wash the top. Bake at 400ยบ for about an hour - until the crust is golden and berries are bubbling. HOLY COW IS IT DELICIOUS.

It's taking all of my self control to not eat this pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I would have taken a photo sooner, but...life and stuff. Enjoy!!!
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Jamberry!

News update: I am now an Independent Consultant for Jamberry! 
I got sick of having to schedule my manicures and pedicures around when I had three hours to leave the house. Plus, with dry time it meant I wouldn't be able to clean anything up or do a dish for an entire day...so that meant going out to eat to prevent dishes from piling up and frankly I'd had enough! When I discovered Jamberry Nail Wraps my idea of mani/pedis was forever changed. Now I can give myself a mani/pedi in minutes with no dry time! Check out all the fun patterns and learn all about Jamberry on my official Jamberry website: http://jessbedsole.jamberrynails.net/ 

If you'd like to host a party, reach out to me! I would love to help you earn free nail wraps and other great hostess rewards. Online or in-home, Jamberry Parties are fun for all the ladies in your life! 
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Tub Turd

I've learned recently that there comes a sweet part of toddlerhood. The part where your child listens (sometimes) when you say, "No," or "Please bring that here," or, "Be careful". The part where you can calmly sit and watch bath time without jumping every time they lose their balance in the tub.
This time, I've learned, is also the poop-in-the-tub stage. They are now comfortable enough while they sit or stand in the tub without you hovering that they start to make that face. That horrible, terrible, hilariously innocent and guilty all at the same time..."Poop face".

It happened to me this weekend. I was sitting there, enjoying a moment of relaxation while I watched Billy take a bath and thought, "Boy isn't life grand!" and WHAM. There it was: Poop face. Promptly followed by a turd in the tub.

Panicking, I didn't know what to do. My immediate response was both immature and inappropriate. I laughed. Well, laugh is probably too light. I burst into an unrestrained, tears down my cheeks, full-bellied cackle. Billy thought it was so fun to see mommy's fit of hysteria that he too began to giggle.

"WHAT DO I DO?!" I shouted, mid-scream-laugh. Without thinking, I reached in with my bare hands and plucked the turd from the water. Then, startled by the texture of my son's freshly released feces, I laughed so hard that I dropped the turd on to the tile floor. SQUIRRRRT it jittered across the floor, leaving skid marks in its turdy trail.

"OH GOD!" I shouted to Hubs. "I LAUGHED SO HARD I DROPPED IT. I DROPPED THE POO."

Shaking with laughter, I picked it up between my pointer finger and thumb and plopped it into the toilet, squealing while I rushed to flush that bad boy down. Immediately, I washed my hands.

While I dried my hands, I peered back into the tub where Billy had been giggling at me. Little did I notice the face he'd been making while I had my own episode....there in the tub, were two more turds.

"BABE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I shrieked. "Get me a bag or something! HE did it again!!! POOP IN THE TUB! POOP IN THE TUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

At this point I was dancing around the bathroom in disgust and confusion, while still overflowing with laughter. Arms flailing, tip-toeing around in my own tribal dance. Poo-dance.

All the while, Billy laughed. What a silly mommy.

Finally, I came to my senses and realized MY KID WAS BATHING IN SHIT WATER so that needed to be addressed.

Hubs came to the rescue with a baggie and the turds were extracted from the tub. The water was drained and I was able to compose myself long enough to scrub Billy from head to toe and shower him off with clean, non-turd-infested water.

Later, I asked on some Facebook groups what other moms do in this situation and learned some valuable tips:

If your kid poops in the tub, keep a cup nearby. Scoop the floaters and flush them down. DO NOT REACH IN WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. And for crying out loud, keep it together. Your kid could trip and fall in the tub and drown, you know. 
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Marble Salt Dough

Hi! I'm here! Shocking, I know. Summer is just too magical of a time. When we have a moment to spare, we spend it outside! Therefore minimal blogging is the result. Sorry, but I'm not that sorry :)

Since someone in this house who's name starts with B and ends in ILLY loves to wake up at the crack of dawn most days, we have lots of time to play before I have to get to work for the day. Last week, I decided we would play with salt dough at 6am. Because why not?!

To make the salt dough I used the same recipe as I did when I made salt dough ornaments:
2C flour
1C salt
1C cold water

I mixed all of the ingredients together to form the dough, broke it out into four chunks, then added a few drops of food coloring to each chunk and kneaded it in. The result was a fun, marble effect. Billy loved it!



I put it out with some little bowls and rolled some pieces of the dough into balls so he could squish and plop them in the bowls...instead, the bowls became the play thing.

 And then the bowls went into the bucket....
 And then Billy went into the bucket :)


We've taken the dough out a few times since (I have it stored in air-tight containers and it's still good as new). Billy is just reaching the age where not EVERYTHING goes into his mouth, but some things definitely 'need' to go in his mouth. Some days, the dough NEEDS to go in his mouth. Then he makes a face at me like, "Why'd you let me do that?!"

Always stay nearby and pay close attention with your toddlers during sensory play :) It's fun, messy and sometimes needs to be nibbled.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Little This Or That

I haven't blogged in two weeks?!!? Shhhiii..... SORRY!

I've been so busy! And on vacation! How is it that I leave for 4 days and it takes me a week to clean my house....from no one being here? How does that happen? Every day I've been taking time to organize one corner or another and clean the floors and fold the laundry. Wait, that last part is a lie. I have three loads of clean clothes just wrinkling their way into oblivion right now.

This is my last two weeks in photos:

We went on a road trip from Chicago to Cleveland to Pittsburgh. First trip ever without Billy!! I was a wreck. In Cleveland we ate at Michael Symon's Lola - a bucket list restaurant of ours. It was amazing.

In Pittsburgh we went to the Phipps Conservatory which made me learn that I LOVE conservatories! Who knew? Flowers are pretty!! And surprisingly not boring. 
 Saw some Chihuly glass. Beautiful
 Yellow roses, my fave.
 Went to a sweet art festival and walked down to the river. It was a billion degrees at least, so we cooled off by dipping our toes in this beautiful fountain.
 Flat Jesus came with us to the Cubs/Pirates game at PNC Park!
Then when we got home I continued sewing - this time, water slings!  I didn't have a fabric marker so I used washi tape. That stuff works for everything.
Look! Our finished sling! And me in a new swimsuit! I only tried on 400 to find ONE that I didn't hate. Hooray!
Also, I just tried my first set of Jamberry nails. Queue addiction. Yes they are ombre and yes they are easy. Even better?? There is NO DRY TIME. So I went immediately from putting them on to doing the dishes. Hallelujah. I'm on day 5 now and they still look brand new.
And some other cute stuff happened like Bill decided to steal the ring sling and wear Billy. Adorable. This is his "I don't want to be on the blog" face. Sorry, Babe! 
 Billy and I have enjoyed many trips to the park.
 And done some yoga.
And we can't forget this weekend we celebrated Dad aka Papa. This coming weekend we celebrate Grandpa!
We've been busy and we've had fun and that's what summer is all about :) Just livin' the dream!
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DIY Ring Sling!

Okay, I have to start this post out by admitting to you all that I am a cheater. I've been using Facebook on my phone through the mobile browser. GAH!!! I am such an addict it's unbelievable. I promised to "Walk the Walk" and I'm totally failing. BUT, it's for good reason, I swear. (Excuses, excuses. I know.) 

Last night a friend and I made our own ring slings!! We used the tutorials from Sleeping Baby Productions and had a ball!

First, I signed up for emails (for clearance alerts) on fabrics-store.com and got this sweet linen for about $5/yard!

The rings are from slingrings.com - I bought two pair of bronze and two pair of silver for Lauren and I. I thought the bronze would accent that warm olive linen well. 

Then I had to wash the fabric and wear it a bit to break it in. 
Followed by ironing it....foreverrrrrrrr. Ironing 5 yards of linen that has been washed, dried, crumpled and worn was not my favorite thing. 
BUT! Then came time to cut the fabric down to size and try it on. It fit!
Following the video tutorials very closely, we sewed our slings with two different shoulder styles. We used the "Eesti" shoulder style and a simple gathered. I didn't take any in-progress photos (bad blogger) but here are both finished slings I sewed! 

Eesti shoulder (a hybrid of a pleated shoulder and a gathered shoulder. Less labor intensive than an all-pleated shoulder):

 Gathered shoulder:

After posting these photos to my thread on the Babywearing DIY and Advice group on Facebook the woman who created the video tutorials and owner/operator of Sleeping Baby Productions commented!!!!!! And gave me a great suggestion for how to wear my slings more comfortably. HENSE why I was Facebooking on my phone. 
And then I freaked out. 

I can't wait to use these slings when I have to run into the store for something, shop at garage sales to keep Billy in one place, or around the house when he simply won't be put down. I have loved my Ergo Performance and Baby K'tan Breeze but I think these ring slings are a wonderful addition to my babywearing "wardrobe". 

Do you babywear? 
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