3rd Annual Holiday Gift Guide

Posted on December 06, 2014 by Amanda Holliday | 0 Comments

It's that time of year again—time for our annual Holiday Gift Guide where we share what items we are loving for the kiddos and ourselves. Maggie, Melissa and I have each put together a few of our favorites things for newborns, toddlers, school age kids, expectant moms and all moms. Below are link to all the items. 

 

Gifts for newborns. Let's be honest—newborns don't need much. They won't remember this holiday season and can't open gifts. Plus, mom and dad have probably already been bombarded with so many gifts for little one. So keep the gifts small and go for more unique items that you can't find everywhere.  

(1) Birth Announcement pillow ; (2) Rattle ; (3) Cate and Levi Stuffed Animal

Gifts for toddlers. The challenge here is finding gifts the kids will like just as much as (hopefully more than) the box. Melissa's little ones love building things and then knocking them down and creating things from art to buldings.  

(4) Lil Paint Pods ; (5) Janod Kubix - 100 Dominos ; (6) Memory Game ; (7) Wooden Easel  ; (8) Mini Piano

Gifts for school age kids. Maggie's boys are loving anything they can ride or build. This is also a great age for kids to learn a new skill, like playing the guitar.

(9) Spot It Junior Animals ; (10) Ezy Roller Riding Machine ; (11) Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Discovery Kit ; (12) Confetti Guitar

Gifts for expectant moms. These are things I am loving or covetting this holiday season. A pregnancy pillow is a must for any expectant mom. If she doesn't have one, buy her one now! This was my first pregnancy purchase and worth every penny. The other items are gift to spoil mom-to-be that she might not buy herself.

(13) Pregnancy Pillow ; (14) Slippers ; (15) Hatch to Hospital gift set ; (16) Solly Wrap ; (17) Character Necklace

Gifts for all moms. Make mom's life easier with a robot vacuum. You can never go wrong with coffee, a cute new bag or sunglasses.

(18) iRoomba Robot Vacuum ; (19) Coffee Subscription ; (20) The Berliner Satchel ; (21) Boots ; (22) Sunglasses 

What are you and your kiddos wishing for this year? 

Posted in Christmas, Favorite Things, Gift Guide, Holiday

8 Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

Posted on December 05, 2014 by Amanda Holliday | 0 Comments

Leslie Vandever shares tips for staying healthy when traveling over the holiday season. 

If you’re like most Americans, you face the holiday season—that period from just before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day—with a mixture of pleasant anticipation and a sort of resigned dread. There are fun presents, goodies, feasts, pretty decorations, parties full of laughter and camaraderie, and the opportunity to spend time with the extended family. It’s the very definition of “the most wonderful time of year,” as the old song goes.

But traveling during the holidays can add its own, special challenges—and nobody wants to face them while fighting off a cold, or feeling run-down and generally unhealthy. This year, stop and take care of your health before you hop in the sleigh to Grandma’s house.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Be physically ready to travel. Whether you’re going 200 miles by car or 1,500 miles by air, it can be overwhelming and exhausting. So, in the weeks leading up to the trip:

 

Get vaccinated. If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, get it at least two weeks before your trip. That way, you’ll be far less likely to catch it from someone. Vaccinating against pneumonia, whooping cough, and shingles is smart, too.

Drink water. Try for at least 8 measuring cups full each day. Water helps your body function at its best and flushes impurities that can slow you down from your system. You’ll look, move, and feel better if you’re well-hydrated.

Rest well. Make sure you hit the hay each night at a reasonable hour. Shoot for seven good hours of sleep. During the day, take frequent, short rest breaks—but avoid napping for more than 15 minutes. Consider deepening your rest with simple meditation exercises, like counting your breaths or slow, deep breathing.

Decompress the stress. As busy as the holiday season is, we often forget to take breaks for fun and relaxation, but they’re vital for good mental and physical health. Meditation is a good way to beat stress. So is playing a game, dancing in the kitchen, and doing a little last-minute work in the garden before winter descends.

Eat mindfully. Plan your time so you’re not stuck wolfing junky, high-calorie fast-food on the run. Instead, make it a point to sit down for tasty, balanced, nourishing meals. Mindful eating will help keep your energy levels and spirits high while helping your body function at its best.

Move your bod. Five short minutes of exercise, done five or six times a day, is just as good as 30 minutes of sustained exercise. It keeps your blood moving and oxygenated and helps your muscles, brain, and other organs work at top efficiency. Try running in place, doing jumping jacks, stretching, or using resistance bands or hand-weights.

On the Road

Once you’re on your way, there are a number of things you can do to stay healthy.

Dress in layers. Nothing’s worse than shivering or sweating with no way to get more comfortable. Dress in thin layers as you travel. It’ll make it simple to add or subtract clothing to fit the temperature and your activity.

Wash your hands. Traveling means being in heavily used public places, which are teeming with gazillions of viruses and germs. Avoid catching or spreading colds or the flu. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds at every opportunity. Or, carry a small bottle of antibacterial gel in your pocket or purse and use it frequently.

Take care of you. Continue that mindful eating, resting, hydrating, and exercising. You’ll feel your best and have a really great, really healthy holiday season.

 

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in Northern California.

References:
Holiday Health and Safety Tips. (2014, Feb. 5) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on November 26, 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/

Posted in Holidays, Travel

The Best and Worst Things About Being Pregnant During the Holidays

Posted on November 30, 2014 by Amanda Holliday | 0 Comments

Two of the most magical times are upon us (or me, at least)—the holidays and pregnancy. I am currently 5 months pregnant with my first child (a boy), and could not be happier. Being part of the Little Green Pouch team for over 2 years, I live and breathe all things babies and kids. But no matter how many moms and dads I talk to, mommy blogs or articles I read, there are some things you just don't understand until you are in the trenches yourself. 

I have really enjoyed being pregnany so far, and (knock on wood) have had a pretty uneventful 22 weeks. But being pregant during the holidays has its benefits and drawbacks, so I thought I would share what I have found to be the best and worst things about being pregnant during the holidays.

The Best

Maternity Clothes

Can we say elastic waistband? This may be the only time you actually enjoy wearing maternity clothes. I know my husband was jealous during Thanksgiving dinner. 

You're Supossed to Gain Weight

As a woman, pregnancy is possibly the only time in your life you will be required to gain weight. While I have been trying hard to stay active and eat healthy, it's still my job for 18 more weeks to gain weight. And what a fun job it is! 

Your Hair and Nails Have Never Looked Better

My skin may look like that of a teenage boy, but my hair and nails have never looked better. Not that anyone is looking at my hair and nails (hello, belly), but it makes me feel good, at least.  

The Worst

No Wine

Avoiding alcohol during this pregnancy has really not been bad. It's so worth it for what we get in the end. But, I'd be lying if I said there haven't been times a glass of wine would have really hit the spot. And when my family is gathered around the fire at Christmas drinking a really good Napa Valley Cabernet is going to be one of them. My seltzer water with lime just isn't the same. I just keep reminding myself how good it will taste in April. 

Everyone Wants to Buy Gifts For The Baby

What about me? I know, I know, totally selfish. But I am well aware that once this little man enters the world, it's going to be all about him—as it should be. So this is my last chance to score something for myself during the family Secret Santa exchange. 

The Hormones—My God, The Hormones

I have been lucky that my hormones haven't turned me into a raging lunatic (yet), but I will cry at the drop of a hat. I thought the Hallmark commercials were bad before, but this is a whole 'nother level. Any video or clip including a dog or a dad playing with his kids is totally off limits for me or else my husband will find me on the couch drowning in a puddle of tears.  

 

What do you think are the best and worst things about being pregnant during the holidays? 

Posted in Holidays, pregnancy

5 Crock Pot Baby Food Recipes

Posted on November 18, 2014 by Amanda Holliday | 0 Comments

We all know and love the crock pot for its magical powers to make comfort food for the whole family. But have you ever thought of using it to make homemade baby food? 

These tasty baby food recipes freeze great and are so simple they almost cook themselves! With just a few minutes of prep, healthy meals can be ready for baby in time for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Here are 5 crock pot baby food recipes to get you started. And don't forget to enter our Comfort Food Slow Cooker Give-away (give-away ends December 5th). 

Tell us...What are your favorite slow cooker baby food recipes?

Posted in Crock Pot, Giveaway, Homemade Baby Food, Real Food, Recipes, Slow Cooker

Comfort Food Slow Cooker Give-Away

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Amanda Holliday | 261 Comments

CONTEST CLOSED. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED!

While it's still technically fall, it feels like winter in much of the country. And when it's cold outside, we crave comfort foods that cook low and slow in the slow cooker all day. The slow cooker really is a parent's best friend—it does all the work while you're at the office or running errands. Our slow cooker lives on our counter top throughout the fall and winter.

In addition to the convenience, the versitility of a slow cooker makes it a great tool for Real Food baby and toddler meals. You may already know about one of our favorite crock pot recipes—Pear Applesauce . But what about Herbed Pumpkin and Rice, or Spiced Carrots and Raisins? Or cook up a batch of Beef Stew for the whole family (you can puree baby's portion if needed). Check out our Pinterest board for more great slow cooker recipe ideas. 

In the spirit of the holidays and these slow cooker recipes making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, we're hosting a giveaway, complete with everything you need to make slow cooker meals for the whole family. 

 

Enter in 6 Ways for 6 Chances to Win

Sign in below to get started via...

  1. Pinterest: Follow Little Green Pouch on Pinterest. 

  2. Email: Join our mailing list to stay in touch and get the latest promos, contests and recipes from Little Green Pouch. 

  3. Facebook: Visit Little Green Pouch on Facebook
  4. Comment: Leave a comment on this post with your favorite slow cooker meal
  5. Instagram: Follow Little Green Pouch on Instagram
  6. Bonus Entry: Share this contest on social media

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will chose a winner at random on December 6th and announce the winner within 48 hours. Make sure we have your email so we can contact you if you win!

BONUS: Two runners up will each receive the Little Green Pouch Starter Kit and a copy of the Everything Organic book. 

CONTEST RULES

  • Must be 18
  • Open only to residents of the US & Canada
  • Entries due by 11:59pm Pacific time on December 5th
  • One grand prize winner will be selected at random from all entries along with two runners-up. 
  • Each person may enter once each via Pinterest, Facebook and email
  • Posted in Crock Pot, Giveaway, Homemade Baby Food, Real Food, Recipes, Slow Cooker

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