We love food that is both delicious and nutritious. These guilt free muffins are a perfect fast breakfast or a healthy snack on-the-go.
1 1/2 cup organic flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 TB canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup spinach
1 tsp lemon zest
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
2. Prepare muffin tray with butter or non-stick spray.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
4. In a standup mixing bowl, whisk together egg, honey and apple sauce.
5. Add canola oil, spinach, vanilla, and lemon zest to wet ingredients and whisk until combined.
6. Gently mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
7. Pour batter into muffin tins.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
9. Pop muffins out of pan and let cool.
That's it! These spinach muffins prove that it can be easy being green!
We love the use of a gallery wall. It’s a visual pleasing design feature that adds classic character and makes a house feel more like a home. For Lindsay’s birthday this year, her husband surprised her with some of her favourite black and white framed photos featuring loved ones and cherished memories. These images are now displayed beautifully in their dining area. Check out a few of our top tips when creating your own gallery wall.
Think outside the (picture) box
While the gallery wall we’re featuring consists of images only, we love the use of other items mixed with your favourite snap shots. Letters, eclectic mirrors, clocks, marquee signs and inspirational quotes on banners are all fantastic additions to combine with framed photographs.
Pick your wall
Once you’ve selected what you’d like on display, the next step is to decide which wall will be your feature wall. If you have quite a few objects and images you’d like to use, then obviously you want a good size wall to ensure things don’t look cramped. A smaller collection would work perfectly for a smaller area. Peppered up a staircase, displayed above the bed, or like Lindsay, using a spare wall in the dining or living area, are all excellent options.
Create a layout
While it will take much less time to just hang images and items on the wall randomly, you likely won’t get the gallery wall look you’re trying to obtain. Lindsay started by tracing around each frame on kraft paper, writing a description of the image on each sheet and cutting them out. Once complete, the cut-outs were displayed on the floor to figure out the best layout. Paper can then be taped to the wall and removed easily. This way, you’re not putting unnecessary holes in the wall if you happen to adjust the layout as you go.
Largest piece first
Lindsay started with the biggest image first to act as an anchor or focal point and then proceeded to build out from there. This helped to create a sort of spiral effect with the other images. From there, two-inches was measured around each frame. But there are lots of different design options when planning your layout, so don’t feel like you have to stick to a perfectly symmetric gallery wall.
Whether you’re showcasing loved ones and cherished moments, or featuring some of your favourite finds from travels near and far, a gallery wall is the perfect way to keep those memories fresh all year long.
As you may have figured out by now, we jump at the chance to turn anything into a party, and that includes watching a group of men walk on miles and miles of chemically-treated grass while trying to get a tiny ball into a tiny hole. This past weekend we dusted off our putters, pulled up our argyle socks and donned our green blazers (read ‘Adidas green track jacket’) to celebrate the final day of the 2018 Masters Tournament.
Lindsay’s home was transformed into Augusta National Golf Club on a snowy Sunday afternoon. Lots of greenery and bright blooms were peppered throughout the main level to bring the outdoors in. Signage included “Members Only,” “Clubhouse,” “Washrooms,” “First tee,” and much more. Upon entering the house, guests were asked to retrieve their individual scorecards and a pencil to keep track of the afternoon’s events.
While the pros were vying for the ever-coveted green blazer, our guests were duking it out for serious bragging rights (and a small prize). We went head-to-head in multiple challenges, including chip shots into baskets, guessing how many tees are in the jar, Tiger trivia and a par 3 course that would rival any mini putt in town.
Our Masters clubhouse featured a delicious spread for hungry golfers. Individual cheeseballs, zucchini patties, deviled eggs, breadsticks, meatballs and lots of munchies kicked off the afternoon. Our main course featured lentil burgers with red potato salad and spiralized zucchini salad. A delectable carrot cake and peach crisp seriously satisfied our sweet tooth. (We’re still full!)
Lindsay’s bar was transformed into the ‘watering hole’ featuring signature cocktails and refreshing bevvies for all. The azalea cocktail is a favourite at Augusta so we knew we wanted to give it a try. With pineapple juice, lime or lemon juice, a splash of grenadine and gin, this Southern staple was a refreshing drink after a long day on the greens. Perrier, local brews from Nine Locks, Gatorade and a classic sweet tea with fresh lemons were just some of the other options for thirsty golfers.
For the second year in a row, Jacqueline proudly took home the prize. She clinched the victory after guessing the exact number of tees in the jar (83). And her acceptance speech? Well let’s just say there were tears, cheers and more emotion and excitement than all of the best actor and actress speeches at the Oscars combined.
Masters Party 2018 was a success, and the only question now is, how will we top it next year?
Easter is fast approaching, and it’s another special first for our little ones. Even though they’re both still a few months shy of the one-year mark, we couldn’t resist sourcing out custom Easter baskets and filling them with fun goodies. While we were tempted to go the self-indulgent route and fill their baskets with chocolate, gummies and other delectable treats we may enjoy (that would be wrong…right?), we put our sweet tooth aside and decided to find a few things just for them. If you’re looking for alternatives to chocolate eggs and marshmallow peeps (do those still exist?), check out our shopping list of baby-friendly Easter gifts.
Baby’s Easter Basket Bundle
Many of these items are future purchases, so while the basket is for baby, the contents are also checking a few items off of Momma’s shopping list (win-win!).
What will your little ones find in their Easter baskets?
The countdown is on to April showers and May flowers! To welcome in a new season, we’ve put together a little checklist of spring to-dos that will have you (and your home) ready for the months ahead.
Out with the old, in with the new
Anyone else use a new season as the perfect excuse for a little retail therapy? Spring clothing lines are calling our names and that means it’s time to make room in our closets for new fashionable finds. We’re both guilty of holding onto items of clothing longer than necessary. If you haven’t worn it in several months, it may be time to go your separate ways. Sure, that double-breasted pinstripe blazer with linebacker shoulder pads may come back into style, and when it does, it’s just another excuse to purchase a newer model!
Don't forget to remove clothing from your kiddie's closet that no longer fits!
Kitchen clean out
Just like your closet, your kitchen likely has a few things taking up space and collecting dust. Go through your fridge and cabinets and check expiry dates. Donate any unopened, but not past-its-prime items, to your local food bank. Kitchens can clutter quickly; stay ahead of the game with a seasonal clean out.
It’s amazing what a few minor switch-outs can do to bring your home into a new season. Lighter throw cushions, fewer textured layers, a touch of floral or greenery and softer shades and fabrics in curtains and throws will breathe new life into any space.
Clothing isn’t the only seasonal shift we’re excited about. A new batch of fresh produce for spring salads, smoothies and other yummy dishes are also returning to our local markets, grocery stores and backyard gardens. With little ones, we are huge fans of making meals ahead of time to have on-hand throughout the week. If you’ve opted to make your own baby food, freeze large batches to ensure you’re never left in the lurch at meal time.
Boost your bedding
Our fingers are crossed that the heavy duvet and extra throw blanket at the bottom of the bed will become a thing of the past in just a few short weeks. Strip away those extra layers for lighter comforters. Try a softer hue in sheets and throw pillows to give your bedroom an airy feel.
From knee-high heeled boots to cozy Sorels, we love a good winter boot, but we’d be lying if we said
we weren’t excited to slip our feet into a classic heel or simple ballet flat. Warmer temps mean our ankles will breathe once again (and our razors will be put back into rotation…)! Do a once-over on your seasonal shoes and check soles, heels and toes for scuffs and nicks. Give them a little TLC with a simple shoe shine.
Treat yo' self!
Your home is set, your meals are done and your closet is clutter-free. Now it’s time for a little self-love. A pedicure is the perfect way to welcome in spring. Your toes will soon be on display, so now’s the time to prep them for their big debut. A massage, manicure, facial or cut and dry are all great ways to feel refreshed for the sunny season ahead.
What will you do to welcome in a new season? Happy spring lovelies!
We love a meal that is fast to make, tastes delicious and good for us. This green smoothie bowl ticks all those boxes. Whether it's a quick breakfast, an after workout treat, or part of a healthy lunch, this smoothie bowl never disappoints.
1 cup spinach
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp nut butter (we love peanut or almond butter)
In a blender, combine all ingredients until smooth.
To serve, spoon into a bowl and top with desired toppings such as coconut flakes, granola, blueberries, chia seeds and hemp seeds.
This refreshing green bowl is so yummy; just in time for Saint Patrick's Day.
To say we love birthdays is an understatement. We love a reason to celebrate - big or small. This past weekend was Jacqueline's birthday. To commemorate this occasion, we decided to live like tourists in beautiful downtown Halifax.
Before we married and had babies, we lived in downtown Halifax. Our condo was situated along the boardwalk and we seriously felt like the world was our oyster. When we weren't working, we were dining out with friends, shopping in boutiques, fueling up on coffee from cute cafés, listening to local musicians or watching local theatre. We travelled mostly on foot and we loved it.
Our lives are different now, but for this weekend, we wanted to relive a bit of our downtown days. So, we rented an Airbnb in downtown Halifax to accommodate our families, packed up what seemed like the entire contents of our homes (our babies are small but they need so much stuff!), and set out on a birthday staycation!
We arrived at our destination on Friday afternoon and did not get back in our cars until we left Sunday afternoon. We walked everywhere; pushing our strollers up Halifax's hills to get where we wanted to go (now that's a workout!).
On Saturday, after a delicious breakfast prepared by Jacqueline's husband in our kitchen, we kicked things off with some shopping. Biscuit General Store is one of our favourite shops. They carry unique fashion apparel as well as some quirky home goods, affordable jewellery and one-of-a-kind gift ideas.
Biscuit General Store
With shopping bags in hand, we headed to the Halifax Central Library. This space is a book and architectural lover's dream. (Side note: Lindsay's book, Winds of Change - The Life and Legacy of Calvin W. Ruck can be found here!) Although the library is filled with books, it also has a play area for toddlers, tablets and video games for older kids, a computer learning lab, public use computers, coffee shops situated on two different floors, and lots more. The glass building also offers some amazing views of the city. We had so much exploring to do!
Halifax Central Library
Feeling peckish, we decided to go to Prince George Hotel for a few nibbles. We're so glad we did. The service was fantastic and the food was delicious. Our server even provided Jacqueline with hot water to warm up her baby's bottle and another staff member directed Lindsay to a conference room so she could breastfeed in private. The lounge is also very stroller accessible.
Prince George Hotel
On Sunday, after devouring the delicious breakfast prepared by Lindsay, we headed out to the Halifax Seaport Market. Saturday is the market's busiest day of the week and Sunday is much calmer - especially for little babies who may not be used to crowds. That being said, there are far less purveyors on Sunday.
Both babies fell asleep so we casually shopped for fresh veggies at Noggins Corner Farm Market, and sipped kombucha while they napped. We decided to have lunch and found a table on the top floor overlooking the vendors' stalls. There were even local musicians playing fiddles, which made for a quintessential East Coast Sunday afternoon.
In addition to exploring all downtown Halifax has to offer, there were several other lovely perks.
Lindsay ordered a dozen cupcakes from layers cupcakes. These sugary treats are so, so good!
Jacqueline's mother-in-law sent Jacqueline a beautiful bouquet from The Flower Shop.
The Flower Shop
Jacqueline's husband treated us to caviar, dahling!
Chef Craig Flinn
The weekend was made complete by home cooked meals and quality family time. Oh, and our mom's blueberry cream cheese pie, aka Jacqueline's birthday "cake"!
Have you ever taken a staycation?
Today on the blog we thought we’d share some real talk – some baby etiquette, if you will. We’re both first-time moms. We realize there are several stereotypes that come with that title, including over-protective, slightly anal and 24/7 worrywarts (do people still say worrywarts?). And while bringing up this topic will likely do nothing to banish those titles, we still would love to know if any other moms feel the same way we do.
We spend every minute of every day caring for very tiny humans and we’ve not surprisingly become completely obsessed with them, We do everything in our power to always make sure they’re safe and comfortable. Because of this, we’ve had the somewhat awkward misfortune of saying the phrase, “No, you may not hold my baby.” Today we’re sharing a few tips that we feel moms should be completely comfortable enforcing when it comes to their babies interacting with others.
No two babies are alike
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard, “Oh, babies love me.” Well that’s great, but we can’t guarantee our babies will love you. What’s so incredible and beautiful about babies is each one is born with their own personality. Each baby has his or her own likes and dislikes, comfort levels and random quirks. While we’re sure many babies have loved you, that doesn’t mean we’re ready to hand ours over to you, an individual whom he or she does not know, and just expect it to go swimmingly. Don’t take it personally; perhaps she’s just not that into you.
If we don’t offer, that may be a sign not to ask
Timing can sometimes be everything with a baby. If she’s tired, fussy, getting hungry or just feeling clingy, that’s likely not the best time to be passed off to someone else. Parents know their baby best, so they’ll let you know when they’re ready to be in someone else’s arms.
Furthermore, if we’re not ready to hand our baby over to you, then your small children are definitely on the hands-off list. Yes, we’re sure your children are lovely, but children are children and they have very little experience holding fragile objects in their hands. There’s a reason why our mother never let Lindsay into any retail stores selling crystal vases and fine China. She just couldn’t be trusted. And don’t get us started on the germs kids can carry with them once they start mingling with other humans their own age. No thank you!
If you’re visiting a newborn, as soon as you enter the home head straight for the sink and wash your hands thoroughly. We keep organic sanitizer in our homes so it’s on-hand (no pun intended) when guests come to visit. A brand we love is Babyganics. It’s alcohol- and fragrance-free and comes out as a foam.
Can’t touch this
If you see a cute baby, please resist the urge to touch or kiss (aahhh!) their feet, hands or (dear God, help us) their face! There’s a bubble that should not be broken with a newborn. Stay outside of that bubble perimeter.
No close talkers
Remember on Seinfeld when that man Elaine was dating would get right in people’s faces to talk to them and it was awkward and uncomfortable? For some reason, people have the same instinct with babies. Yes, babies are small, but they’re not ants. There’s no need to put your face directly into theirs to see their features. A little bit of space might make the meeting much more enjoyable for them and for you.
At first we felt uneasy and somewhat apologetic about this subject. But with every passing day, our mama bear instinct seems to increase ten-fold, and if we know our baby is not going to feel great joy by being passed off into someone else’s arms, then it’s just not going to happen. Sorry…not sorry. Any other mamas feel the same way?
*Photos by Welcome Arms Photography
When we found out we were pregnant (within weeks of one another), we quickly realized we were entering an unknown world. All of a sudden, our minds were consumed with questions like: What items will I need within the first few weeks of giving birth? What’s the deal with babywearing? And what on earth is an Ubbi? Once that stripe turned pink, we had nine months (and two weeks) to jump into this new world and try to figure out what works best for us.
When we first walked into Nurtured, we immediately felt like the store was giving us a great big hug. We know that sounds cheesy, and yes, we were slightly nauseous and overly fatigued at the time, but there was just something about this baby oasis, located in the north end of Halifax, that had us talking to the staff for over an hour about all things baby- and pregnancy-related. During that conversation, we also found out about their annual Pregnancy Party. That’s right, they throw you a party for being pregnant, and there are no awkward ‘guess what’s in the diaper’ or ‘don’t say the word baby’ games (thank God!). Needless to say, we bought our tickets immediately and circled the date on our calendars.
What to expect
For this festive affair, the Nurtured staff puts together a super team of experts and wellness gurus, ranging in everything from naturopathic and chiropractic care to a massage therapist to give expectant mommas a little rest and relaxation. A certified babywearing educator will show you how to turn a piece of cloth into a hands-free holder (still blows our minds!) and a party isn’t a party without drinks and nibbles! Couples will float from station to station and the goal is to leave the party feeling well informed and a little more prepared for this next crazy/amazing chapter of life!
Did someone say discount?
While we loved the many helpful tips provided by local experts, we must admit that the fantastic giveaways and exclusive party discounts didn’t hurt either! We have two of the items that will be on special for this year’s party. Besides the cute names, the Ubbi diaper pail and Peanut Changer by Keekaroo have become an important part of our daily routine and we can’t imagine changing a diaper without them! The Ubbi is fashionable yet functional and comes in a kaleidoscope of colours (not to mention it masks those dirty diaper smells like a boss). The Peanut, also available in multiple colours, is a sleek alternative to the traditional change pad. Its water-resistant material makes cleaning a breeze and it can easily be transported from room to room.
Shop ‘til you drop
By the end of the evening, our cars were bursting with amazing products (a lot of which were snagged at discounted prices!), that we not only knew would keep our babies safe, but because of the product experts on-hand, we actually knew how to use them!
Besides looking fabulous on a Sunday stroll, the Guzzie + Guss Connect stroller is easy to collapse, has an adjustable handle and seat for forward or face-to-face positions and its extendable canopy with ventilation provides serious sun coverage. We were so excited about this purchase that we were tempted to take it for a spin around the block before our baby girl was born.
THE CONNECT STROLLER BY GUZZIE + GUSS
Another Guzzie + Guss favourite (did we mention this is a Canadian company?) is the super sleek Perch highchair. This floating phenomenon takes up little space, hooks directly onto the table and closes up into a tidy carry bag for on-the-go dining. How cool is that?
GUZZIE + GUSS PERCH HIGHCHAIR
There are certain items you want to make sure you absolutely love when shopping for baby gear. Items that will be complete game-changers and just make you say, ‘yyyaaassss’. The Baby Knightly Everston Glider Recliner (say that five times fast) is one of those items. As soon as we sat down in this chair, we knew we had to have it. We were ready for a nap as soon as our somewhat swollen feet were propped up by its leg rest on the Nurtured retail floor. Word on the street is that the Knightly glider has a new sister chair featuring a tufted back that is just as cozy as its counterpart. (Are two chairs in one nursery over the top? We’re asking for a friend.)
BABY KNIGHTLY EVERSTON SWIVEL GLIDER RECLINER
Photo credit: Welcome Arms Photography
And what’s a party without a goodie bag? Each couple will leave with the infamous Nurtured swag bag, full of fun and useful items for mommas-to-be and their babes. Three cheers for free stuff!
The bottom line is, if you’re expecting, this is a not-to-be-missed event. This year’s shindig is slated for Sunday, February 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Nurtured’s retail store, located at 2543 Agricola Street in Halifax. To snag your tickets, click HERE. We know you’ll have a blast!
Click HERE to see more of Nurtured's products and to check out other upcoming events.
*Unless otherwise stated, all images by Craig Flinn.
*This blog post is sponsored by Nurtured Products for Parenting. All opinions expressed are our own.
We are so excited to share this recipe with you! Honestly, it's so good. Valentine's Day is just around the corner and this chocolatey breakfast is sure to impress your Valentine.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped strawberries
3/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup plain Greek yogourt
3 TB honey
2 tsp cocoa
pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.
To serve, spoon into a bowl and top with slivered almonds or additional fresh strawberries if desired.
This super simple breakfast will have you feeling the love this Valentine's Day.