To Do In Baltimore: The Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre

I am so happy for this warm Maryland weather. It seemed like winter was holding on for dear life, but she is gone! Warm weather means sundress season, beaches, and amusement parks. For our family, it also means drive-in season!  Continue reading “To Do In Baltimore: The Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre”

Toddler Chia Pudding + Product Review

Some days, I don’t know if it’s worse raising a picky eater or being married to one. My McNugget is not adventurous with new foods…at all. We really have to dramatize each bite of our own food to get him to try the smallest piece of something. Strangely enough, he loves chicken, smoothies, and chia pudding. I really didn’t expect for him to like it when he shoved my spoon in his mouth one night, but he did. Now, he signs for it whenever I eat it. 

Since I am not always in a sharing mood, I began giving him his own pudding. This also allows me to sneak in some of his least favorite foods. Here’s a basic recipe I’ve been following, along with some mix-ins/toppings I add for him.

 

Toddler chia pudding recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 pureed banana for sweetener

2 cups milk of your choice. We use breastmilk or whatever non-dairy milk we have.

 

-Add the chia seeds and pureed banana to a bowl. Mix well.  Add the cinnamon, vanilla and sweetener and mix again

-Add the milk and mix again.

-Add any additional ingredients (listed below) and mix well.

-Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.

 

Optional serving suggestions:

Add 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Add an extra 1/2 pureed banana and frozen strawberries

Omit pureed banana and add pureed vegetables with seasoning of your choice

 

a188d6b746eec53601957f12fbfc6468d96c0defSince my family is always moving, we needed a to-go option for his pudding and smoothies. When we received* the Cutielunch Reusable Squeeze Pouches, they were right on time. First, they are indeed cute! I love the little cartoon fruit on the package. While these pouches are made to be reusable, we treat them like disposables. They are very durable and are super easy to use. There was a bit of a learning curve figuring out how much the pouches could actually hold, but it was a breeze once we got used to it. My son LOVES showing off his big kid skills with food pouches, so I love that he can eat directly from them. Although this product was sent to us for free, it is a product my husband and I plan to repurchase and keep on our Amazon shopping list. If you’re looking for durable food storage pouches for your homemade baby food, you can purchase a 4-pack here.

 

 

 

 

Weekend Getaway: Founders Inn & Spa

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Last weekend, Jon and I took a last-minute trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Having attended Hampton University, Jon is pretty familiar with that area–as a resident. When it comes to booking hotel stays down there, (or anywhere else, really) the task is left to me. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I ALWAYS get a good deal on hotels. In a future post, I’ll give a full explanation of my process. For now, I’ll just let you know how I landed such a great deal and my thoughts on the accommodations.

First, (for those of you who don’t have pets) traveling with or without your pet is hard! You have to decide if it’s cheaper to board your dog or just bring her along for the ride. Since we were only staying overnight, we decided to just bring Phoebe with us. Once you make that decision, your choices for affordable lodging becomes more narrow. Such was our case.

As I said before, I go through a long process before selecting accommodations. I ended up booking through Priceline’s Name Your Own Price (NYOP) tool. I put $50 as my max and set a filter for three-star hotels (Hyatt, Four Points, Marriott Courtyard etc.) or better. I also set a filter for pet-friendly hotels. If you’re unfamiliar with NYOP, you cannot see the hotel you’re booking until the transaction is completed. The seconds before you submit your credit card information is always scary. I was relieved to have gotten a room at Founders Inn. My sorority held a retreat there a few years back, so I knew it had to be great–and it was. I just wish we had more opportunity to explore.

What I liked: 

Pet-Friendly atmosphere: They went a little further than just allowing pets to stay. There’s a large pet area that is adjacent to the rooms. They even provide poop bags! That was great

Rooms were separate from check-in: This is something I loved about Las Vegas hotels. It was nice to see the rooms were in another building…away from the check-in/lobby, event rooms. When you’ve been to conferences and trade shows, you know how easily “conference noise” can find its way to your room. This was not a problem at all.

Walking distance to several necessity shops: There was a 7-11, Waffle House, and Chinese restaurant across the intersection (among other things).

Homey feeling: When you enter the room, you feel like you’re at home. There were beautiful quilts on the bed. The bed also embraces you. This is something my husband and I particularly loved. Oh, and the shower. My goodness! I almost didn’t want to leave!

Things that were awesome, but I didn’t get a chance to experience: The spa, hence the name. The two restaurants. The indoor pool. The landscape. We didn’t really plan to do anything but rest at the hotel, so we didn’t plan accordingly. No worries, though. We’ll be back.

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