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The Sarahs tell it like it is, sharing the salty + sweet, big city + small town, ups + downs, the pretty + not so much of modern motherhood. 

               

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Tuesday
Apr242012

Joining the Minivan Brigade

It's official! I am a minivan mom...and proud of it!

We picked it up on Friday and I wanted it to be a surprise reveal today, but my husband blabbed all over Facebook this weekend. I mean, I am a mom blogger! Doesn't he understand that telling everyone I'd bought a minivan would involve a complete social media STRATEGY. Sigh.

First, let me say this. I can hear some of you drafting comments in your head calling us out on our Austerity Plan. Yes, this was a major purchase but this is a 2005 Odyssey with some serious milage on it. It wasn't free but it was pretty cheap as minivans go. We've recently put a major dent in our debt and the truth is we just couldn't remain a single car family much longer. There is only so many times my parents will loan us their cars. 

So, when this baby popped up at my uncle's car lot, we jumped on it.

I've already gotten horror-stricken looks from several of my female relatives. They fought the minivan tidal wave with a vengance and, in their defense, I understand why to a certain extent. Minivans ten or twenty years ago are not the swagger wagons of today. I remember our minivan growing up. It had ONE door, faux wood paneling, and none of the back windows rolled down. Hip it was not. 

However, I've got to be honest. Even if the minivan marketers had not done such a great job of updating their image, I wouldn't care. I don't care if people see me as a mom because I drive a minivan. I AM A MOM. I don't care if people see me as old because I drive a minivan. If dying my hair gray and walking with a cane made it easeir to get my kids in and out of a carseat, you best believe I'd do it!

No, I love, love, LURVE my new minivan. I can open both doors and have Griffin climb up in his seat while I buckle Amos in his (without bending over!). I can actually purchase furniture and not have to worry about how to haul it home. For the first time since Amos was born, we can fit in one car with my parents for trips to the lake or even just to dinner.

Does the gas milage suck? You betcha. Do we still drive the Prius most of the time? Yep.

But if anyone asks me I drive a minivan? I will put a smile on my face and exclaim proudly, "Yes, I do!"

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

Monday
Apr232012

Dirty Work: Creating Edible Gardens with Kids

When was the last time you played in the dirt? Following my son’s example—he regularly wears a shirt that reminds, “A little dirt won't hurt”—I joined him for an afternoon in our backyard. We dug. We planted. We watered. We finished with soil under our nails, mud on our shoes, and, don’t ask how, dirt down my shirt and his diaper! (Perhaps the latter could be the result of a toddler’s zeal for using his very own garden tools.) We created our first edible garden this weekend. And the timing proved perfect since it also happened to be Earth Day.

I know gardening together left an impression and made my son feel a strong connection to nature, to his food, and hopefully to each other. He immediately asked to eat the Hot and Spicy Oregano straight from the pot, dirt and all. During our evening ritual, he shared that his favorite part of the day was his plants. He even asked to see them before bedtime.

It’s my hope that by planting and growing his own container of herbs, he will begin to understand what “farm to fork” truly means—the steps to growing food (including patience!) and how it ultimately lands on his plate. In a time when children’s obesity is on the rise and hours in front the screen far exceed those spent outdoors, tending to an edible garden is an ideal way to encourage him to make healthy eating choices. It’s also an important way to inspire him to live a green, eco-friendly life.

If you want to nurture nature, here’s how you, too, can make your own container garden (green thumb not needed).

Select your favorite herbs from your local nursery, garden center, or big box store like Home Depot or Lowe’s—I purchased organic varieties of rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, cilantro, and mint. Be aware, however, that the mint must be planted in its own pot because it will spread and overgrow the others. 

If using a big pot for your container garden, you can reuse the plastic nursery pots to fill the bottom half to save on the amount of organic potting soil needed while still allowing for drainage. 

Before removing the herbs from the nursery pots, water the plants to saturate the roots and help loosen the soil from the sides of the plastic containers.

A trick to easily remove the herbs is to roll the pot on its side while using gentle pressure.

Once out, make sure to break apart and separate the roots that have been compacted at the bottom of the pot.

Arrange the herbs equidistant from each other. Dig holes. Place plants so their base is level with top of soil. Cover roots and fill any gaps with the remaining potting soil. Water.

Enjoy in cooking (or as a garnish in your evening drink!). 

~ The Other Sarah

Friday
Apr202012

{Featured Friday Review & Giveaway} pediped footwear

I am a shoe snob. Not about my own shoes, mind you. Most of my shoes come from Target or Payless but about my kids' shoes. While dressing little boys is more fun then I had imagined it would be, I still don't get to play with a lot of accessories. There are no bow boards in my house, no adorable little tights or necklaces.

Boys have shoes. 

And if that's all I've got to work with you best believe they are going to be cute. I have pretty exacting standards. No characters or flashing lights (except for the one pair of flashing Spiderman tennis shoes that Griffin OF COURSE won't take off...there's a lesson here somewhere). I prefer leather and I want something that is comfortable, durable, and easy to take on and off.

When pediped sent me a pair of the Flex Flipper in navy for Griffin to try out, I was immediately impressed. First, I'm not going to lie. I just liked the way they look. I love the no sock loafer look on little boys and these had an adorable nautical style. Plus, I find navy to be the most versitile color, especially in the summer.

I was also particularly impressed with the Flex system. Flex shoes come with an additional insole you can slide in for better fit and extended wear. Griffin has recently been in a bit of an in between size so the insoles were perfect. Considering we have had unseasonably warm weather recently, they've also been holding up really well to lots of outside play. 

pediped also sent me a pair of the Originals Jones in green for Amos. I absolutely love these shoes. They remind me of frogs. Once I put them on him, Amos immediately pulled his feet up into his mouth, which I think is as close as you get to his stamp of approval. He's not walking yet but doing some definite cruising and he seemed to be very comfortable in the shoes while doing so.  

*****

Like Sarah Stewart Holland, I also appreciate when form meets function in a shoe for my Little Dude. Here in California, we spend our weekends riding bikes at the beach, skipping along the wooden Santa Monica Pier, and playing in the sand. So I've been searching for a versatile shoe that is suited for all these activities and I found it in the pediped Flex Delmar, which the company sent me to try out.

The Delmar is what I call an amphibious tennis shoe—one that is perfect for land and water—because its flexible but substantial sole provides the foot support and traction my son needs for playing sports, pedaling his trike, climbing jungle gyms, running across hot sand, investigating tide pools, and splashing in the waves of the Pacific. The smooth material is comfortable on his bare feet when it's both wet and dry and doesn't cause any irritation to his skin, perhaps because it's made out of eco-friendly materials or maybe because the velcro closure allows us to better control the fit. I like that my son can manage to independtly put on the shoes, I find the on-trend grey/orange color scheme appealing (you know we're big fans of this combo here at S&N), and I love that I can toss them in the washing machine when it's all said and done.

pediped footwear Giveaway


This giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to Emily (comment #23), who was chosen at random as the winner!

pediped is going to give one Salt & Nectar reader a pair of shoes.

To enter, leave a comment below telling us what you look for most when shopping for kids' shoes.

As always, we will use Random.org to select a winner. The contest will run from today until next Friday, April 27th at 12PM PST.

No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received (duplicate entries will be deleted and only one will be counted). This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older only.  

To learn more about or purchase pediped footwear, visit its Web site, "like" it on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter. Moms, you also can become a pediped insider today by visiting its Web site for news of special promotions, new product introductions, and more!

Neither Sarahs nor Salt & Nectar were paid for this review. It is our own opinion based on our use of the shoes, which were supplied by pediped for the purpose of an experiential review.

~ The Sarahs

Friday
Apr202012

The Everyday

Friday
Apr202012

Sarah's Favorite Things

 

Image via Homemade Obsessions

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe...then she turned it in to a DOLLHOUSE. WHAT!

I LOVE this idea...mainlyl because I hoard those plastic name badge things and would love to have a use for them!

I nodded so hard reading this post by Tara Mohr I almost hurt my neck. 

You know what you need? More Pinterest boards to look at!

Yes, to the Playborhood. Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. 

~ Sarah Stewart Holland