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Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Posted by Jenn L. on

If you're family is anything like mine, carving pumpkins is a non-negotiable. It is a rite of passage to choose the perfect pumpkin and get your hands dirty! I love carving pumpkins but more than anything, I love the fact that at the end of it we are able to make delicious pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients

I used to keep the recipe simple until I was introduced to this simple spiced pumpkin seed recipe and there is no going back.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

INGREDIENTS

  • Pumpkin seeds, cleaned of pulp, rinsed and laid out to dry overnight. 
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 
  • 1 Pinch Cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch Cumin
  • 1 Pinch Cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Lay out seeds on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  3. In a small bowl, toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and honey.
  4. Spread seeds back on baking sheet. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Scrape from pan and stir seeds as they cool to prevent them from sticking.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Roasted Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Final Product

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Back to School Bento Box Recipe

Posted by Jenn L. on

The back to school transition is one of the hardest times I can think of (for us parents, too!) For some of our little ones, it might be the first year they are staying an entire day and will need to pack a lunch. I'm a huge fan of bento box style lunches these days and we are lucky enough to have a really fun and easy plan of attack for your dinosaur loving kiddo thanks to our go-to Chef and Mama, Addie Gundry. It's almost too cute to eat!

Lunchables Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Handful of Pretzels
  • 4 pieces of boiled or Steamed Broccoli
  • 1 Hard Boiled Egg (with green spots – using a permanent marker)
  • Red Leaf Lettuce (as the bed for the dinosaur sandwiches)
  • 4 slices of white sandwich bread (or any bread! I used Texas Toast bread for a thick slice)
  • 2 pieces of salami
  • 2 pieces of Swiss cheese
  • Mayonnaise and mustard (optional)

Container is from a frozen TV dinner. I removed the items and washed the container.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place broccoli in one compartment.
  2. Place hard boiled egg in the center compartment.
  3. Place pretzels in the third compartment.
  4. Lay down a bed of lettuce.
  5. Using a dinosaur cookie cutter (or any fun shape), cut 4 pieces of bread. Place a piece of salami and a piece of cheese in each dinosaur. I used a cookie cutter to slice my salami and Swiss cheese so it would match the cookie cutter. Spread mayonnaise and mustard if desired.
  6. Enjoy!
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Backpack Round-up!

Posted by Jenn L. on

As much as I want to pretend like we have months left of Summer, the reality is that we are weeks away from the start of the school year and we need to start prepping now. We've rounded up some of the coolest backpacks to get our kids psyched for the year ahead.

Designer backpacks we love...

1) SoYoung  //  2) ModernNaked  //  3) Hershel  //  4) Fjallraven  //  5) Petit Collage  //  6) JCrew Girl  //  7) JCrew Boy  //  8) Patagonia  //  9) Beatrix New York Little Kids  //  10) Unicorn Meadow  //  11) Treasure Hunt

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How to Find Your Mom Tribe

Posted by Jenn L. on

Becoming a Mom is hard - but navigating motherhood without support from friends makes it even tougher. You might have a great set of friends from before you became a parent, but if they don't have children, they probably just "don't get it". Finding your Mom-tribe is essential in surviving this crazy thing called parenthood (really!).

Maybe you've just had your first baby or maybe you've moved to a new town with all three of your kids (yep, happened to me).  Regardless, you will need to put yourself out there to build these new friendships. Here are some tips to get you going...

Use Your Resources

Social media is going to be a huge help! Facebook has tons of moms' groups and most towns (even neighborhoods) have their own groups to join. If you live in a big city, chances are there are multiple moms' groups so take some time to look through them all to find the best fit. 

One tip: try searching for groups that are age specific. It's hugely beneficial if you can find other moms with have babies around the same age as yours. Trust me, this is possible! 

If you're pregnant, getting ideas from instructors and other soon-to-be parents in your prenatal classes is a great place to start.  Most places that offer prenatal instruction will also offer a new moms class. Some of my very first and best mom friendships originated in those exact classes.

There's a great app called Peanut that can help too! "Peanut is an app (free on iOS and Android) that helps you connect with moms who share similar interests and are located in your area. Similar to dating apps, after building a profile, you get matched with other moms." It's easy and fun - definitely worth a look during your next middle of the night feeding!

Put Yourself Out There

It's not easy because it can feel somewhat awkward but finding new mom friends might mean needing to go outside your comfort zone. It is going to take some work but if you can hit the ground running, it will pay off in the end. Make an effort to go to those get togethers that might not seem appealing at first. Try a new playground. In fact, try ALL the playgrounds! You're not going to meet anyone new just sitting at home.

Keep in mind that it can be a process.  Keep your eyes peeled for other moms doing the same activities as you as you go about your daily routine.  If you see a mom at the playground the same time of day as you, chances are you are on similar schedules. Maybe you hear a mom talking while you are shopping at your favorite store... go and strike up a conversation. If you are new to the area, tell them! Often times, moms will want to help newbies to the area and will be so happy to chat. Recently, a woman approached me while I was shopping with a friend and began asking about my kids.  We got into a nice conversation and she literally said to us "Will you be my mom friends!? I haven't found any yet." It was so sweet and endearing and clear how much she needed to find her tribe. 

There can be a lot of nerves going into your first "mom-friend" date. Maybe you're headed to your first new mom meeting at the prenantal yoga studio or you've made plans to meet a few local Moms for coffee with your babies. Regardless, you are all feeling the same feelings. The best advice I can give is to be honest and be yourself. All these women are all going through similar experiences (maybe even feeling not so great and happy) so sharing your story even if it feels slightly embarrassing or self-conscious will be the one thing that makes that mom smile or feel like she's not alone!

So... take a deep breath and feel confident knowing that your Mom-tribe is out there, you just have to find them!

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Father's Day Gift Guide (FROM THE DADS)

Posted by Jenn L. on

While I contemplated creating my own gift guide for Father's Day, this year I decided to let the Dads tell us what they want (isn't that easier for us, anyways?) We've rounded up the coolest Dad's we know to find out what's on their wishlist this year.

father's day perfect gift

Mach - Connecticut

What's your day job?
I run my own marketing and design consultancy called 4 Mile Creative.

What does your dream Father's Day look like?
The perfect Father’s Day includes a new adventure with the fam. A few years ago, my wife planned a hike with the kids - partially along the Appalachian trail - that ended with a cheese, bread, and a cold-beer spread while overlooking this serene lake (only to be interrupted midway through by a real Appalachian-trail hiker taking a bath in said lake).

If you could pick your own Father's Day gift this year what would it be?
All dads love gear and the best father’s day gifts are ones that you wouldn’t go out and buy yourself. Like this baby-carrier hiking backpack, which my wife bought for me to use on the hike and made the whole outdoor adventure feel legit.


fathers day gift guide

Matt - New York

What's your day job?
I work as an Executive Producer for BBDO, an advertising agency in New York City.

What does your dream Father's Day look like?
Something fun outdoors with the family, followed by a BBQ and some leisurely hanging out at home.

If you could pick your own Father's Day gift this year what would it be? I'm pretty deep into smart home automation research right now - so maybe a Nest or August Smart Lock, or a Samsung SmartThings Hub!


father's day from the dads

Jeremy - Connecticut

What's your day job?

I'm an Endodontist (dentist who specializes in root canal treatments).

What does your dream Father's Day look like?

An early morning round of golf followed by brunch with the family and a nap in the backyard. In the evening I'd love to go out on a date to our favorite restaurant and to a movie of my choosing -- probably an action or sci-fi movie. The end of the evening goes without saying :)

If you could pick your own Father's Day gift this year what would it be?

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch


fathers day

Brian - California

What's your day job?
I work on the finance team for a new men's brand that Gap is launching called Hill City.

What does your dream Father's Day look like?
I would like to have my wife get the kids in the morning, I would roll downstairs around 8:15, get a coffee that has been prepared already, then head out for a dog walk with the gang. When we get back, we could head over to the pool and swim until lunch.  Then we would head home, clean up, then head to a nice dinner out all together. Keeping it simple is the best advice.

If you could pick your own Father's Day gift this year what would it be?
I want the Kindle that my Mother In-Law promised for my Birthday but hasn't yet delivered!


Swag - Connecticut

What's your day job?
I work as a surgical resident so am in the middle of a pretty long road of training.

What does your dream Father's Day look like?
Taking a day to go camping/fishing trip to a nearby lake with family and friends. 

If you could pick your own Father's Day gift this year what would it be?
I have a 1971 Bronco that could use a lot of parts...

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