A KIWI CRATE CAKE

04/23/2015

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The warm weather has finally arrived here in Nashville (please stay!) and we’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible outdoors. This is our favorite time of the year—dewy morning walks after breakfast, sunny picnics in the backyard, visits to local parks, and weekend farmer’s market strolls. The kids tend to want to get outside as soon as possible during the spring, so when the early evening hits we head back home and wind down just before dinner with some relaxing indoor activities. Puzzles, drawing, reading, and crafts are pretty much our go-to. We recently received a new Kiwi Crate delivery, which is always an exciting event. As I’ve mentioned before, Kiwi Crate is an award-winning subscription service that sends kids everything they need to make 2-3 crafts, right to your doorstep. It’s actually much cheaper and much easier than running to the craft store and searching for materials. Our kids love the activities in each box and we love any excuse to keep them occupied and using their imaginations. The step-by-step directions are simplified to make it easy for kids to follow along with a little help.

As soon as our new box arrived, the kids were dying to open it up and dive right in. Birdie wanted to make the My Frosted Cake project, which came with cute miniature foam pieces of cake, an apron and baker’s hat, clay icing, and bright cut-outs in shapes of candles and fun toppings. They iced their cakes with little piping bags full of pastel colored clay. Birdie helped Sailor with his and then added decorative white icing borders to the outside of the cakes—so cute! Then they added fruit toppings, stars, and different colored candles to their finished cakes and had a blast pretending to blow them out. They loved this little project so much!

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Kiwi Crate has become a favorite pastime in our home—it keeps the kids busy and happy with unique crafts ideas that I could never come up with myself, and I love that there is very little mess to clean up afterwards. For moms with older children, Kiwi Crate offers projects for kids of every age. Plans start at just $16.95 a month and there is always free shipping with every crate.

Bonus: Sign up today and save 30% off your first month subscription using discount code: BB30 at checkout.

This post is in partnership with Kiwi Crate, a service our family uses regularly and adores.

WORN / 30

04/22/2015

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Worn / 30: Vintage color-block sweater, thrifted. Patchwork jeans, Bsides. Pearl Cuff, Another Feather. Sandals, Proud Mary.

PEA, MINT, & FETA FRITTERs

04/21/2015

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Over the past year and a half I have gone from stay-at-home/work-from-home/teach-from-home mom with a fairly flexible schedule to full-time, multi-business building, multi-tasking, work-o-holic mom—juggling school schedules, after school activities, wife-duty, mom-duty, and the like. My days are busy and sometime when I’m in the thick of it all I forget to take care of myself. I tend to grab my coffee and go most mornings and work through the lunch time hours. Before I know it, it’s a-quarter-to-four and I’m starving. So, I’ve been making an effort to stop and eat lunch lately—sounds silly, but a girl’s gotta eat. We found this awesome recipe on Pinterest the other day and decided to give it a try because it looked delicious and healthy! The recipe is pretty simple and quick to make, plus it’s gluten-free, vegetarian, and grain-free, not to mention oh-so good!

Pea, Mint, and Feta Fritters with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Yogurt Sauce:
½ cup plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly cracked ground black pepper (to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Pea Fritters:
2 cups fresh (or thawed frozen) green peas
2 large eggs
One medium shallot (or 2 green onions), thinly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
The zest from half of an organic lemon, finely grated
2 oz. feta cheese
¼ cup coconut flour, sifted
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Coconut oil for frying

Let’s make the yogurt sauce first. Whisk together greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and freshly chopped mint in a small bowl until smooth. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and lightly drizzle the top with olive oil. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Now let’s begin making the pea fritters! In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook peas until just tender, which is about 3-4 minutes. Drain and mash peas. You can use a fork or briefly pulse peas in a food processor, just be sure not to over do it. In a large bowl, combine eggs, coconut flour, shallots (or green onions), mint, feta, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add the pea mixture to the bowl and blend thoroughly. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes to allow the coconut flour time to absorb some of the moisture. Take heaping spoonfuls of the pea mixture and begin to form the fritter rounds (which don’t have to be perfect, just round). In a large frying pan, melt a thin layer of coconut oil over medium heat and place pea rounds in the skillet. Press down lightly to flatten and flip when golden (about 2 minutes each side). Place fritters on parchment paper to remove excess oil. Serve immediately alongside the chilled yogurt sauce and additional lemon wedges for squeezing.

Original recipe found right here.

LEIPER’S FORK

04/16/2015

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A couple of weekends ago, we loaded up two cars and drove 45 minutes outside of Nashville to a little town called Leiper’s Fork with some friends of ours that just moved to the area from California. Aubrey goes to Leiper’s often with “the boys” on his motorcycle because it is a truly breathtaking drive and they always stop for burgers and listen to local artists play at this cool spot called Puckett’s. On the way, we stopped at a giant bridge to look at the view and take some fun photos. Afterwards, we ate lunch at a little farm-run cafe called Joe Naturals. It was some of the best food I have ever had—so fresh and delicious. I should have taken a photo of the spread because it was beautiful, but apparently we were too hungry to think about the camera. If you are ever in the area, go there! Joe Naturals is only open 12 hours a week, so check their hours before going—you don’t want to miss out! Their menu changes daily, but if you see the burger on it, order one! I highly recommend it. It’s only of the best and most unique burgers I’ve had in a long time.

After lunch we played outside, met some nice horses, climbed trees, rolled down hills, and soaked up the sun before heading back home. A nice and peaceful Saturday, right there.

VANITY PROJECT / 15

04/07/2015

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Name /Occupation: Shelley Suh, Founder and Designer of Loyal Hana

Currently working on: Loyal Hana is my passion project. After 16 years in fashion and two pregnancies, I was inspired to design chic clothing for moms to wear during pregnancy and nursing. Loyal Hana designs are stylish and comfortable pieces that the modern woman can wear during the transition from the bump, the boob, and beyond. With discreetly hidden zipper openings and machine-friendly fabrics, every piece was designed with us in mind.

What’s in or on your vanity?

Before listing my vanities, I want to mention that I believe we should all meditate on breathing, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and making sure we get enough sleep. I recently met an amazing woman, Dr. Kathy Dooley, and I love her health tip, “Eat less, breathe more, think less, move more, hurt less, laugh more, frown less, smile more, jog less, sprint more, sit less, walk more, stress less, love more.”

Dermologica Ultra Cleanser. I have used Dermalogica for 7+ years. I have tried other brands here and there but always come back to the Ultra Calming Cleanser because it cleans off dirt and makeup without stripping or drying out my skin. It feels just right and worth every penny.

Dermalogica Toner. I have been using this toner just as long as the cleanser. It’s light, refreshing, and does not have a heavy scent. Within a couple of weeks of using both Dermologica products, I saw a difference in my skin.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20. I don’t like wearing heavy foundation, so this is a perfect product to use daily for light coverage. It gives me a little extra color, so I feel happy. It has all the essentials that I look for: moisture, SPF 20, and makes my skin look naturally beautiful.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation- For special occasions, I use this foundation. I feel that it takes off 5 years from my face and keeps my skin looking flawless after a full day (or night).

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick. This is a great matte lipstick that stays on all day and gives a pop of color when you need it. It’s a fun line to play with and while looking good, it also has skin-conditioning emollients, antioxidant fruit extracts, cili fruit, goji berry, and vitamins A, C, and E help to protect the lips throughout the day.

Shiseido Ulitmate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50. This vanity is hugely influenced by my mother. I have watched her try so many different products–I deem her as an expert. My parents live in the sunshine state of California and use this sunscreen religiously. For our summers, I swear by this and I use it on the whole family, including both kiddos.

Shiseido Future Solutions LX Night Cream. This is another one of my mother’s favorites. I love to put it on at night before bedtime. It’s so nourishing and you can feel it working on your skin. I have noticed a vast improvement in my skin and it has helped my age spots too!

First Aid Ultimate Repair Cream And Cleanser Duo. Nothing feels better than a really great hand cream and boy did I need it after the East Coast winter we had. This one penetrates the skin without feeling too greasy and the scent is mild.

Chanel Mascara Inimitable. During the day, I’ll usually wear this Chanel mascara in brown for a natural look. At night, if I’m wearing more makeup, I’ll use black. I also love the waterproof version for summer days at the beach.

Which products you can’t live without?

Young Living Essential Oils. I cannot imagine living without the sense of smell. Key essential oils that I keep around at all times include: Lavender for relaxation, Thieves to boost the immune system, and Eucalyptus for rejuvenation.

Maybelline Expert Wear Black Liner. I have had this in my make up bag since I was 20. I use it every day to line my eyebrows. I don’t think I have ever been without this pencil liner in my bag, wallet, or purse.

Naturalpathica Arnica Muscle Gel. I am extremely active and love yoga and spinning, a true jock at heart. For any muscle aches this is amazing. I got mothers wrist after having my kids and this stuff feels really amazing. Along with this I take Boiron Arnica Montana a homeopathic medication.

Vanity Project and illustrations by Alessandra Olanow for Bleubird.

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