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Thursday, September 30, 2010


Guess what?! We are rolling out two new blogs, both linked to Baby in the Kitchen.

One is a Holiday Gift Guide, and the other is a Review Blog! They will correlate with eachother as we enter the 2010 holiday season, and then the review blog will continue to host all incoming reviews as we begin 2011.

I hope you will check them out, our first review posted today!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy and Healthy Mom Fair Philadelphia

On Sunday, September 19, I had the pleasure of attending the Happy and Healthy Mom Fair as a guest.  Not only is this a subject near and dear to my heart (and blog!), I thought this would be a great excuse to visit the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.  We took Ava in the spring and though she had a ton of fun, she wasn't quite old enough to really get it.

Upon entering the lobby of the Museum, I was instantly awed by the colorful tables set up- there was both an outer circle of vendors and an inner circle. I registered first and received an amazing "swag bag".  Registration was also the table of Belly Button Boutique (AN AWESOME online boutique that features everything a mom or mom-to-be could ever want/need!)- their owner Karla was one of the main organizers of the event (the other was Premier Baby Concierge) so I was excited to meet her in person (we had been tweeting for a few weeks prior).

After meeting Karla and checking out her table, I made my way around to the vendor tables (by now JP and Ava were taking over the Septa bus one room over).  I met another local photographer and traded info with her, learned about some awesome products (KT Steppers, Wrapadoodle, Wow Baby Gifts).  I also got to speak to the owner of Belly Pilates and so wish I lived just a bit closer to her studio because she is more than a pilates instructor~ she has all kinds of support for moms-to-be and new moms, including workshops!

Prizes were raffled throughout the event (I so wanted that Britax Stroller!) and seminars were offered too.

As a mom and a special education teacher, I really wanted to talk to Express Yourself, Baby, but somehow completely missed their table!  I also was hoping to speak to Healthy Fit Girl (so up my alley!), but she was popular and I could not seem grab a moment to chat.

There was one other vendor there that I just loved talking to (though it was brief because Baby A was DONE)--O'Boy Organic!  They offer classes for moms, children's parties, AND they are a personal chef service from beginning eaters to toddler meals. You have to check out their site, the baby meals look good to ME! YUM!

Overall, it was an awesome event and I am so lucky to have participated in it. My husband and daughter loved the please touch museum and the freebies in my swagbag, and they will continue to benefit from all the resources I learned about!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten On Tuesday

1. JP and I had an awesome date in Center City on Saturday. Ava was seeing Sesame Street Live with my in-laws and we had to drop two of my photographs off downtown to be judged for a juried art show (they got accepted!!!), so we parked and started walking and we ended up at El Vez. MMM. That guac is to-die-for!

2. Still no soda! Actually, much less DD in the last week, too!

3. After eating out Saturday, we ended up having to grab dinner on the run Sunday evening (we had not planned on it, nor did we prefer to). It was a big issue trying to decide where to eat. J suggested fast food places. I did not want to participate. Him and Ava weren't feeling well and it was getting late so I agreed to go. We got in the drive through and NOTHING looked good. We got Ava chicken fingers (ew), a banana (can you guess where we went?), and milk. They were out of milk, boo. Well guess who refuses to eat chicken fingers? Yup, that's my girl:) We stopped at Wawa for me where I got a turkey sandwhich on wheat and split some mac and cheese with her.

4. We have decided to challenge ourselves to not get any takeout until 10/6 when we go out for sushi to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday.  This is good in theory, but I'll be going to NYC with my sister today, so I'll have to break that a little bit, then we'll get back to our plan.

5. I have eaten spinach everyday since Friday. Random huh? I've been making huge spinach salads and soon will freeze it and get back to my smoothies. I buy the huge bag from Costco, but usually cannot get all the way through it before it starts to turn, so I freeze it!

6. I had the best ego boost EVER last week! I had to make a return @ Ann Taylor Loft and had some huge coupons that were going to expire soon.  A sale associate came up to me to see if I needed help and I asked if she had a maroon sweater in a certain size. She looked me up and down and said, "That's not for you is it?" And I said, "Yup, the __ didn't feel right, so I think I need to go up a size". She was not swayed. This turned into a two-hour makeover session. She introduced me to the world of petite sizing (I am 5'2) and hooked me up with beautiful outfits that FIT like a beautiful glove! I felt petite! I felt sexy! I felt WONDERFUL!!!!!!! 

7. Squash is huge in the fall. I just don't love it.

8. I can't wait to take the baby pumpkin picking again this year!

9. We were never big on having fresh fruit in the house and now thanks to Miss Ava, I need it in the house! She just started eating grapes and LOVES them. I had held off due to them being choking hazards, but now just cut them into about six pieces each. It takes two seconds and gives me peace of mind, so it's worth it!

10. Now that Ava is over one year old (she's 18 months), I have started giving her honey. MMMM!!! She LOVES it! I always buy pure local honey, which costs more money but tastes amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

FREE event!

Don't forget about this wonderful event this weekend!
Thanks, Jenny!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Make a Healthy Home- Physical Activity Tips

  1. Limit screen time. Aim for less than 2 hours per day and substitute the rest of leisure time with physical activity.
  2. Plan family outings that involve physical activity like hiking, bicycling, swimming, etc.
  3. Give your children chores that involve physical exertion- raking leaves, scrubbing floors, taking out the garbage.
  4. Observe sports and activities your children like, then find out about lessons and clubs.
  5. If it's safe to walk or bike rather than drive, do so. Use the stairs instead of elevators.
  6. Stay involved in your child's physical education classesa t school.
  7. Discourage homework immediately after school and let children find some diversion from their school day.
  8. Choose fitness-oriented gifts- a jump rope, mini-trampoline, tennis racket, baseball bat. Choose the gift with your child's interest and skill level in mind.
  9. Take advantage of local recreational opportunities- fun runs, camps, soccer leagues, etc.
Thank you to Empower Me for the great hand-outs at CHOP's Healthy Kids Day.

Ten on Tuesday

1. I discovered an amazingly delicious drink while visiting Delaware Valley College's Market last week- Alo Juice. There are chunks of Aloe in there! Sounds awful but it was quite refreshing!

2. I eat out wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much. It's easier and way more exciting than packing but so bad for the wallet and the wasteline. I try to make good choices while I am out and often I do, but it's still silly to be buying food so often.

3. Ava and I started Mommy + Me yoga on Friday and we LOVED it. It was a serious workout but soooo fun!

4. I am averaging one workout per week. I think about it all the time but I just don't do it. Like tonight, I'm writing this post at 8:51pm and it's my first time sitting down all day (except for 2 hours at the office). Oy.

5. Spinach is back in our lives. We took a smoothie break recently but have had spinach salads for the past three nights. My favorite salad recipe- spinach, fresh tomatoes, onions, a hard boiled egg, and salad dressing from one of our local farms. Mmm!

6. I tried to lay off the DD coffee this week and it worked. My nutritionist said it didn't matter if I took cream and sugar in my coffee, but have you ever seen the amount of sugar that sits at the bottom of an iced coffee? Ack!

7. I made spaghetti and clams last night for myself, while I made pasta and sauce for JP and Ava. Don't you know the little bugger (Ava) ate MY dinner??

8. Do you keep a food journal? I have majorly been slacking and have nothing to send to my nutritionist this week. Oops.

9. Speaking of my nutritionist, she's awesome. She always reminds me that I can start making good choices with the very next meal or snack.  Sometimes it's so easy to get into an unhealthy eating pattern all because we feel like we were "bad" with one meal.

10. I need to learn to love some lower fat comfort foods:)  I have been so stressed at work which unfortunately can lead to making less-than-good food choices. Oy.

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Half Off Sale Tomorrow!

If you didn't get to the Treasured Twice Consignment Sale today, make sure you go tomorrow- it's the half-off sale!

Treasured Twice Consignment Sale
Saturday, 9.19 | 9:30-12:30
Sunday, 9.20 | 12:30-3:30 (1/2 Price Sale)

Sale held at ACPPA Community Art Center - corner of Haws Avenue & W Airy Streets, Norristown, PA 19401

Money saving coupons and more information on our website at

Shop from hundreds of gently used items including fall and winter clothing, toys, books, infant equipment, strollers, furniture, and SO MUCH MORE!!!! We are the only sale in the area to offer coupons...don't miss out!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How to Make a Healthy Home- Nutrition Tips for Picky Eaters

  1. Start by introducing healthier elements into foods you child already likes (ie: blueberry pancakes, carrot muffins, fruit slices over cereal, chunks of bell pepper in potato salad, or shredded veggies over rice).
  2. Include your kids in the prep work.  By being involved in grocery shopping and food preparation, your kids will have more 'buy-in'. If they feel some ownership over the meal, they are more likely to eat it.
  3. Don't buy unhealthy foods.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If chips and cookies aren't around, your kids can't eat them.  They may resist at first, but when they get hungry, they'll start munching on carrot sticks.  Keep healthy foods on hand.
  4. Schedule snack time and stick with it.  Kids like routine.  If your kids know they will only get food at certain times, they will likely eat when they get it.  Try having snacks that incorporate two food groups (ie: cheese and whole-grain crackers, apple slices with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese).
  5. Have healthy finger foods available.  Kids like to pick up food, so give them food they can handle. Fruit and veggie chunks are great finger-food options.
  6. Repeal the "clean your plate" rule.  Kids know when they're full so let them stop. 
  7. Encourage kids to eat their colors.  This game works well with younger kids.
  8. Don't cut out treats all together.  Moderation. A scoop of ice cream or a serving of Oreos is all right occasionally.  If you cut them out completely, your kids are more likely to overeat when they do get them. 
  9. Veg out at the dinner table, not the TV. Kids may not notice they're full because they're wrapped up in the TV show.  Eating as a family is a good time to catch up.
  10. Be a good role model.  The best way to influence kids is by example. Don't expect them to eat spinach if you won't touch it.

Thank you to Empower Me for the great hand-outs at CHOP's Healthy Kids Day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do you like to save money?

Don't forget to check out the Treasured Twice Consignment Sale this weekend!

Treasured Twice Consignment Sale
Saturday, 9.19 | 9:30-12:30
Sunday, 9.20 | 12:30-3:30 (1/2 Price Sale)

Sale held at ACPPA Community Art Center - corner of Haws Avenue & W Airy Streets, Norristown, PA 19401

Money saving coupons and more information on our website at

Shop from hundreds of gently used items including fall and winter clothing, toys, books, infant equipment, strollers, furniture, and SO MUCH MORE!!!! We are the only sale in the area to offer coupons...don't miss out!

Local Peeps- FREE Car Seat Check!!!

Hi everybody! Thanks to Jenny, one of our readers for sharing information about this wonderful event!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Fresh Solutions for Bucks County

As you may remember, I attended a screening of the movie Fresh last month in Doylestown.  While there, I received a really comprehensive list of tips and resources, including 10 Fresh Solutions for Bucks County.

10 Fresh Solutions for Bucks County
  1. Buy local products when possible, otherwise, buy organic and fair-trade products. Ask your grocer or favorite restaurant what local food they carry and try to influence their purchasing decisions. You will support your local economy and small farmers, reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides, improve the taste and quality of your food, and protect the environment from fertilizer and pesticide run-offs.
  2. Shop at your local farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get weekly deliveries of the season’s harvest, and by buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to stocking local foods.
  3. Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food. When at a restaurant, ask (nicely!) your waiter where the meat and fish comes from. Eventually, as more and more customers ask the same question, they’ll get the message!
  4. Avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)! When buying processed food (anything packaged) buy organic to avoid GMO. (Since almost all the soy, corn, and canola in the US is genetically modified, over 70% of all processed food contain GMOs from by-products of these grains.)
  5. COOK, CAN, DRY & FREEZE! Our culture has forgotten some of the most basic joys of cooking. Not only is cooking at home better for you and more economical, but it’s an invaluable skill to pass on to your children.
  6. Drink plenty of water, but avoid bottled water when you can. Water bottles pollute the environment and bottled water is often mere tap water. Plastic is harmful to your health and to the environment. Buy a reusable water bottle and invest in a good water filter.
  7. Grow a garden, visit a farm, volunteer in your community garden, teach a child how to garden. GET DIRTY! Have fun!
  8. Volunteer and/or financially support an organization dedicated to promoting a sustainable food system. Stay informed by joining the mailing list of the advocacy groups you trust.
  9. Get involved in your community! Influence what your child eats by engaging the school board, effect city policies by learning about zoning and attending city council meetings, learn about the federal policies that affect your food choice and let your congress person know what you think.
  10. SHARE your passion! Talk to your friends and family about why our food choice matters.

Which ones are you practicing? Do you have any more to add? Leave your responses in the comment section!

Ten On Tuesday

Since I teach, own a photography business, and am a mom and wife, a lot of my posts are set to auto-publish.  Essentially, this blog runs on it's own a lot! I thought it might be fun to try to come up with a weekly feature that is relevant and maybe a little personal, so I am going to incorporate 10 on Tuesday.

1. I have been soda free for one month! I still crave it sometimes, but then I remember that I "don't drink it" anymore, and find something else to drink. Generally I am thankful because what I was really craving was water and I have been feeling much more hydrated.

2. I have Crohns Disease and was diagnosed when I was 10. I had a small bowel resection in 2005 to fix 3 partial bowel obstructions and have been virtually pain-free since then. I have a mild case of Crohns (in my opinion)- no diareah, no huge food aversions, no ultra-skinny body!  Though I would love to be smaller, I am thankful for not having the other issues daily!

3. Though I knew it was against my better judgement, I had 1/2 a cheesesteak and some crab/cheese fries on Sunday and within an hour was so sick! I wasn't sure if it was the stomach virus my family had recently passed around, or a Crohns flare, but as it went on and I didn't have any of the symptoms my family members had, I decided it had to be Crohns.  This scares my husband because he automatically fears that I have new bowel obstructions, but I keep trying to stay calm and remind him that though I've been in remission since the surgery, it's normal to have flares.

4. I'm sick of our meals. I'd love for you to share a healthy family favorite with me!

5. I am still seeing a nutritionist and really enjoy my visits with her. It's totally free thanks to our insurance, but we only get six visits per year, so we have to space them out.  My particular nutritionist is positive and really sweet and has me email her weekly with my list of foods eaten and exercise.  She helped me curb my 4pm pig-outs by encouraging more protein at breakfast.  It's really been helping!

6. I used to drink the coffee at work, but after returning from maternity leave in January, I realized I couldn't stomach it anymore and have become fully addicted to Dunkin' Donuts.  In January, I often allowed myself to eat a breakfast sandwich while I was at it, but thanks to my nutritionist, I realize just how terrible those little sammies are for me, and I do not get them anymore. My body and waistline thank me for that. I'd like to curb my DD habit a bit, but I really, really look forward to my delicious beverages after seeing students!

7. My go-to breakfast has been coffee, zucchini muffins, and sometimes a hard-boiled egg as well. Mmmm. My husband HATES hard-boiled eggs. The smell makes him sick. I don't get it.

8. I wish I lived on a farm without having to do any work. I hate getting dirty.

9. I flirt with the idea of cutting out all processed food, but am still really not sure if I could handle it.

10. I need to exercise way more than I do. I think about it, I really do, I just always find something better to do!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toddler Tip : Mixed Veggies

A good rule of thumb: mimic the rainbow. Frozen mixed veggies are perfect for this!!!
She also had: mozz cheese, watermelon, yogurt, and a pickle:)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last Week of Voting!

Most of you already know that I am a photographer.  We are honored to be in the running for Philadelphia's Best Children's Photographer!!!!!!! Please take a moment to visit the MyPhl17 Hot List and vote for us!!!! 

We would love you even more if you pass this along to family and friends so they can vote, too!

Leave a comment if you vote!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Make Your Own: Applesauce

Well, it's that time again---fall is rapidly approaching and I am so looking forward to cool days, crisp apples, and dreamy cinnamon-flavored concoctions!

I love that this recipe is not drowning in sugar- perfect to give little ones!!!

This is a perfect first food for a little one. I’ve been making it for Kenya since he started eating solids, but for some reason I forgot to put my recipe on weelicious. Applesauce is THE baby food standard. Inexpensive, healthy, sweet and complementary to so many other fruits and 
vegetables, apples should be one of the stars in your babies diet.
Full of vitamin C and fiber, you can make sauce from almost any kind of apple you can find, although Fuji’s and Gala apples are especially sweet and 
I add a touch of cinnamon just to give it a little zip, but you could easily leave it out. Why spend more money buying jarred when you can make this in minutes?!

Apple Sauce (6 Baby Servings)
2 Apples, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
1. Place apples in a steamer pot over boiling water.
2. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until fork tender.
3. Place apples and cinnamon in a food processor and puree until smooth.
4. Cool and serve.

Thanks, Weelicious!

Friday, September 3, 2010

This article is extremely informative and it was not that long ago that I thought some of these were good choices (granola bars!!).


6 “Healthy” Kids Snacks That Aren’t

Find out which snacks to skip.
Find out which snacks to skip.
Feeding your kids can get confusing. Between pushy food marketing and bewildering labels, it’s no wonder that most folks are misled as to which kids snacks are really healthy. Here’s the real deal on what you’ve been buying.

#1: Yogurt
Cows don’t make purple, hot pink or even blue-colored yogurt — that’s what I tell my kids every time we hit the dairy aisle. Those neon yogurts are loaded with sugar (including the infamous high fructose corn syrup) and lots of additives and preservatives that don’t do any favors to little bodies. Give kids a punch of calcium and protein from healthier dairy products. If your kids are pining for yogurt, here are some healthier options:

#2: Granola Bars
Although a basic granola bar includes a combo of nuts, oats, seeds and sometimes dried fruit (all healthy stuff), many packaged varieties add in pieces of chocolate or candy or loads of sugar and fat. Check out our favorite snack bar brands or make your own granola mix.

#3: Meat & Cracker Combos
While they’re convenient kid-favorites, most packaged lunch combos come with a side dish of excess salt and fat. With a laundry list of ingredients and preservatives, you’re better off packing your own. On your next trip to the market, pick up a package of whole-wheat or rye crackers, Swiss or cheddar cheese and  low-sodium turkey or ham (or leftover turkey or chicken) and pack in compartment-type Tupperware.  You’ll save money and control the ingredients.

#4: Veggie Chips
Once fried and processed, even veggies aren’t that healthy. Heat and various processing techniques destroy many of the vitamins, which are not typically replaced once they’re made into chips. Pack a serving (about 15 chips) for a once-in-a-while snack, but don’t substitute them for actual vegetables.

#5: Fruit Snacks
Fruit snacks might have the word “fruit” in the title, but don’t be fooled. Most of these chewy snacks contain corn syrup and “natural” and artificial flavors. If you carefully examine the list of ingredients, you’ll also find vitamin C added back as it’s destroyed during the processing of the snack. Nothing can replace a juicy, fresh fruit, but if you want to serve it up as an occasional treat make sure to brush those little teeth right away.
#6: Juice Drinks
Lemonade, iced tea and other such juice drinks are loaded with calories, sugar and not much else. Look for 100 percent fruit juice and limit kids to a maximum of 4 fluid ounces per day. Don’t be fooled with the claim that it’s excellent source of vitamin C — you can get just as much (if not more) from good old fresh fruits like kiwi, citrus fruit and strawberries and even a few veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Giving Up Soda

I recently came to the realization that I do not really like soda, but I really like drinking it. Wuh?

I don't enjoy the taste, but love the bubbles, the caffeine, and that's probably it.

I talked to my nutritionist about it and she suggested an easy fix- seltzer water.

Easy enough. I've been drinking seltzer water with a shot of juice in it (100% fruit juices- and I am careful to read the ingredients before I buy---I like Simple Orange Juice) at lunch. I usually only have one per day, like I did with soda, but I feel better about it!