Friday, November 21, 2014

The JBF Lynnwood Toy Sale is here!

Have you shopped a JBF pre-sale before? Did you know that there are 3 ways that get you in the door before the public?

Consigning

Volunteering
Winning a Pierogie Mama giveaway ;) (well, for a JBF Lynnwood or JBF Everett event, anyways!)

This event was my 3rd time consigning (2nd time for JBF Lynnwood) and I got to knock out ALL of my Christmas shopping for kids + two nephews in one fell swoop. Let's all breathe a collective sigh together. Because if you're like me, it's really easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, searching for the right toy at the right price. Imagine my glee that I got it all done in the span of an hour last night. !! More time for the real reason for the season, right?!


So as Pierogie Mama JBF tradition goes, I like to post a few pics on instagram and then I like to post after my pre-sale shopping on the blog so that when you go shopping for the rest of the event (which is today, Friday 11/21 and tomorrow Saturday 11/22 - see times at the bottom of the post) you sort of know what to expect and maybe will get a chance to snag what I left behind for ya!

Here's what I picked up:

Psst... had to omit a few things because there's certain aunties who peruse the blog and I didn't want to give away Christmas surprises too early! :)


Here's some fun stuff that I saw:


The JBF Lynnwood Toy Sale and Holiday Bazaar is a little different from other JBF events because the primary focus is taking care of your holiday needs. For consigned items it's mostly toys, with holiday clothes and home decor thrown in. Heidi, the owner of JBF Lynnwood, also invites local vendors to set up their table at this event and they get to share their products and services with you (many have great event specials going on too!). Unfortunately I didn't get to see all the vendors last night because most were just getting set up, but I can tell you that I saw Jamberry, Miche, 31, Tupperware, Usborne, Strider Bike and Smith Brothers Milk tables. Those are already big crowd favorites!


The schedule for this year's JBF Lynnwood Toy Sale:
Friday Nov. 21st 2014 9ap to 7pm

Sat Nov. 22nd- 8am to 3pm (50% off sale from 12-3)
*Free admission- suggestion canned food donation to Mill Creek Food Bank
Located at Gold Creek Chuch
4326 148th St SE, Mill Creek, WA 98012


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by JBF Lynnwood. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Penny for your thoughts (vol 3)



Look, that leaf is running away from the wind!

I want you to take me up the North Mountain.

It's a STICKOSAURUS!

Only girls have boobies. And mamas.

When Santa comes to our house, I will get chocolate from him. Really really REALLY mommy! We will share it.

In a very angry, teeny tiny toddler voice: Wurt (Squirt, the dog) tried to trick me! So I went upstairs to hide in the bafroom. Wurt, stop trying to find me! Mama, Wurt ate my sawich. I need it back!

I think I like Ruby Booby.


What do leggings look like? A horse, pants or a kitchen box? I ask her questions in the same format, so now she's trying to test me!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Copycat Crispy Chicken Caesar Wrap


This didn't take a secret lab with multiple testings to uncover the perfect copycat recipe, but hey, when you got it you got it. And let's just say that from the time that I made these for dinner on Thursday, in the 5 nights that have passed since...we've had them for dinner or lunch 3 more times. So log this one away for an easy, short ingredient, 20 minute dinner or lunch recipe. You'll be happy that you did!

You will need:
Tortilla
Breaded Chicken Strips (Zaycon Fresh has the yummiest!)
Your favorite cheese shredded - hubby likes Pepperjack, I like Asiago
Romaine lettuce
Creamy Caesar dressing (sometimes I mix it up and use Wishbone Spicy Caesar!)

You'll do:
1.Prepare the breaded chicken strips according to package instructons
2. Cut your tortilla in half and smear a good amount of dressing onto it.
3. Layer the lettuce, a crispy strip (or two!) and a sprinkle of cheese.
4. Roll it!

And that's all it takes. Wrap them up as to-gos for the car or for a lazy night in.

Zaycon Fresh is my #1 source for purchasing our meats, and we've ordered the breaded chicken fritters every time they've come available. They come pre-cooked, so all you need to do is crisp them up in the oven. For a limited time, pay $2.90 per pound with promo code FRDEAL at check out.



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lotus Bumz diaper review + giveaway!

This giveaway was originally part of the FluffMas Giveaway Hop.
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For the last month I've been trying out a new cloth diaper that I've heard about for a few years but haven't gotten a chance to try in person. What's the brand? Lotus Bumz!

Lotus Bumz is family owned by Lorain and the diapers are ethically made in China. The diapers that I got to review are a one-size pocket diaper. If you are new to the cloth diaper lingo game, "one size" means that the diaper is made to fit most babies from usually 8 - 35 lbs, and "pocket diapers" means you stuff an insert inside the cover.
One size pocket diapers are the bread and butter of my stash. They are my first choice in diapering because I'm currently diapering two, a toddler and an infant, so it's very very handy to be able to use the same diapers between the two girls. All I have to do is adjust the rise. I love pocket diapers because the insert always stays in place and they are the easiest to get non-primary caregivers on board with. From the changing diaper standpoint, they go on just like a disposable (with the exception of snaps versus velcro). I just prep them in one big load after I'm done with my wash and they wait patiently in a basket until it's time for a change. Grandparents, aunties and uncles don't have a problem changing them because there's nothing to it. 

Besides the cute prints that you can only find on Lotus Bumz diapers, I really like the quality of the PUL material. The PUL (polyurethane laminate) is the exterior part of the diaper and is the printed fabric. It's the waterproof layer. If you have gotten to feel different brands of diapers, you might notice that some PUL fabrics are slick versus kind of "sticky" on the inside. I don't think there is a benefit either way, in my experience one is not more waterproof than the other. But what I have found with a "stickier" fabric is that it's a little harder to stuff them because your skin gets caught on the sticky PUL or the insert does. Lotus Bumz have a slick PUL interior, which makes it easier and quicker to stuff. It's all personal preference, but when you've got a TON of diapers to stuff and two girls begging for you to play...well, let's just say that I take whatever shortcuts are given to me and I appreciate a quick stuffing diaper! The material the touches the baby is fleece, which is soft and hasn't caused any irritation on either of my girls. The diapers come with a standard microfiber insert.

In trying these out on both of my girls (Penny is 32 months and Ruby is 8 months) I've had no problem with fit or leaking, which is what everyone wants to know when buying a cloth diaper!

Now here's your chance to win a 3 pack of Lotus Bumz diapers, and you get to choose your print (as long as it's in stock)! Check out the giveaway widget below to enter.

This giveaway has ended. Thank you to all who entered!

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Pierogie Chickens vol 1


I think it's high time I introduced The Pierogie Chickens to you! We've had them for about 9 months and the learning curve was surprisingly easy - seriously, the internet will tell you everything. We got these ladies as a complete flock as year olds and about a month before Ruby was born. I've let Penny name each one of the girls and over the course of 9 months we've got 4 out of 5 named.


Baby
The easiest to spot and the first to be named. I guess Penny thought she was a baby because she's the only yellow one, and thus the name has stuck. She's the Queen of the Roost, but unfortunately goes broody every few weeks. A broody chicken doesn't do me any good around here; I don't keep a rooster so she fruitlessly tries to hatch eggs that just aren't going to hatch. It's heartbreaking and silly all at the same time. She's a Buff Orpington.

Bazinga
Yep, my daughter made a BBT reference. And I totally didn't encourage it. We taught her the word about a few months ago, but she rarely says it. One afternoon while playing with the chickens she decided that one of our black hens is now to be called Bazinga. It took almost 5 months to find the difference from her sister, but I found that this girl has a larger, floppy comb. She is a Black Sex-link, which means the female chicks are born black and the male chicks have a white dot on their heads.

Puffy
The other Black Sex-link. Her comb is straight up and she seems to be a little smaller than Bazinga.

Brown Fluffy
She's the smaller of our two Rhode Island Reds and has 4 points on her comb. Unfortunately both of these characteristics are really hard to see at a glance, they usually move too quickly for me to count the individual points on the combs..

??
Well, last week I thought I had finally figured out a difference between our two RIR besides the "count the comb points" / "which one is smaller" game. This one had a black feather in her tail, which made it really easy to figure her out. So I called her "Black Tip," like a black tip reef shark. And then it rained and I realized that perhaps it was just a dirty feather or she lost it. So I'm back to square one. So perhaps a new name will come to me soon.

Related: 3 reasons why keeping backyard chickens is good for my toddler

Thursday, November 6, 2014

11 Handmade giveaways

This week I've focused on a few giveaways that will give you ideas for Christmas gifts and how to support handmade. Click here to see all of the other Pierogie Mama giveaways you can enter!

Thankful for Thorns and I have teamed up with eleven other amazing handmade shops to help you get a start on your Christmas shopping! Because really who doesn't love some handmade goodness?!


My long time sponsor, Stargazer Soaps,  is giving away a $20 shop credit! You can choose from her handmade soaps, sugar scrubs, lip balms, bath bombs, lotions or body butter!
Jen's Tie Dye Creations is giving away an adult custom tshirt.
Sew Cute Cards is giving away a set of four hand-stitched thank you cards with envelopes.
StorkStopover is giving away a fitted pocket diaper package that includes the following:
  • Fitted pocket diaper in choice of size, gender and closure
  • minnette wipes with case
  • extra zorb inserts in appropriate size for diaper
Embitchery is giving away a $25 shop credit that can be used on anything in stock or a custom design.
Nora's Nook and Gifts is giving away a momma of an angel purse.
Cook Crafted is giving away TWO shop credits! A $20 and a $30 shop credit to use on anything in the shop.
Thankful For Thorns is giving away TWO things! A $20 shop credit and a canvas tote.
Homespun Aesthetic is giving away a $20 shop credit.

Charmed Creations by D is giving away an adorable 8" Owl.
Niko's Treasures is giving away a $25 shop credit.

WOAH! That's a whole lot of prizes!
So go ahead! Entry away.

The first two entries are mandatory for entering but anything after that is completely up to you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: The Pierogie Mama and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Handmade merino infant hat from Öko Creations

This post was originally published as a part of 
Green Mom's Network Handmade & Eco-Friendly Holidays
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Bald babies. I got em! It wasn't until Penny was almost 2 years old before she grew a respectable amount of hair, and as a result hats are simply a part of our lives around here.

What catches my eye when it comes to shopping for a new hat for my littles?

-Anything that reminds me of an animal - it's got to be cute!
-Material; I look for high quality, alternative fibers, durable and organic where ever possible. Bamboo or wool are a favorite.
-Mode of manufacture: was it hand-made or at least ethically made?

I was so excited for Ruby to test-run an Öko Creations Merino wool baby hat! I have been a facebook fan for a while and am honored to get to share about their product and company with you.

Merino wool is highly desireable as a textile because the wool is so versatile in heat retention as well as breathability. Especially for those bald baby heads, you want something that keeps their skin warm but not causes them to overheat and sweat; because then you've got a wet hat and that's much worse than not wearing a hat at all. Best of all, organic merino wool is naturally antibacterial!

Oko Creations hand makes all of their products; has an intense focus on responsibility for the environment and to their customer (by providing the best quality materials as well as limiting environmental impact) and based on their awesome facebook and instagram feed it's fun to work there too! :)

It's important to me to support and share about businesses just like Öko Creations. Hand-made products are so special because you can just imagine the dreams and inspiration that went into the product that you hold in your hand; in this case, I know that someone lovingly made this hat with the idea of my little girl in mind. It was important to Marie-Noël and Melanie Beetz, the owners, and their seamstresses that Ruby and other babies are kept warm and healthy by making the commitment of higher quality materials and sustainable practices. And that, instead of the ease of picking up a $5 hat at a local chain, is why I will continue to support hand-made, small businesses like Öko Creations. And I hope you will too! 

And let's face it, this hat is adorbs. So adorbs, in fact, that Penny has dubbed it as Ruby's "snail hat," because the two peaks remind her of snail antennae. And snails are kind of her current obsession.
Isn't she a stinker?

In addition to the very cute snail antennae, I like that it covers her ears and back of her neck appropriately. She just looks so cozy and squishy. And that little tongue - well, that's kind of her signature expression right now.
These hats come in two sizes (NB-3 months, 4-12 months) and Ruby is in the larger size. The material is stretchy and forgiving, I can see her using this hat well past her first birthday. It doesn't feel like wool either, it feels like an interesting mix between bamboo and wool to me. It's well sewn and even when Ruby is done, I can see using this for another baby down the road. ;)

Öko Creations is offering a Pierogie Mama reader one too! Öko Creations is based in Canada, however if you are in the US and want to place an order, send an email to info@okocreations.ca and they will take your order and arrange for US shipping.  They are working to make US ordering easier. 

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review, but as always, all opinions are my own and I only share what I love! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Making Me Time on Road Trips

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and PEOPLE® and Sunset®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #MeTimeMags http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH
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The holidays are upon us and what that means for us, and probably you, is increased road trips. Am I right? Extended families tend to get together more often during the holidays and there's lots of fun things to do, such as light shows. In a study by AAA in 2013, they found that 91% of Americans travel during the holidays by car.

Throughout the internet you'll find tons of lists of what to pack for a road trip with infants, toddlers, teenagers, tweens, grandparents, dogs, cats, perhaps even the family gerbil. But NOWHERE do you find what a mom should pack for herself! So I decided to visit my local Safeway and compile a list of my favorites to take along on the road trip and to show you how you can easily turn a few hours in the car with your family into a pseudo-me-time moment. Ready?


1. Treats.
Because you're a smart mom you already packed the kid snacks and their favorite toys and made them readily accessible for your non-napping toddler. But because they are in the backseat and you are in the front seat, this may be the perfect time to pull out those secret mama-only treats! My favorite is always chocolate; it's an act of true love for me to share any, so I do whatever I can to sneak it in moments where I don't have to share! I also like to pack popcorn or tortilla chips with hummus or mango salsa!

2. Something to drink.
You know you're going to have to stop for the kids' potty break anyways, so keep yourself hydrated too - be it a Starbucks or a bottle of water.

3. Reading material.
How often, as moms, do we get uninterrupted time to sit and read? I take full advantage of this in the car. Luckily I don't get carsick anymore! If I'm not in the middle of the current young adult fiction series, one of my favorite magazines to read is Sunset. It's a good mix of local and national travel, food and decor ideas. The other guilty pleasure (along with the chocolate) is the current issue of People. Don't judge! I have to learn about the latest scandal or who the current starlet is!

Did you know that Safeway's Just For U program currently has a coupon to save $1 on one participating magazine title PEOPLE, PEOPLE StyleWatch, Sunset, and InStyle available through the Just4U online portal? You can find it on the website or app from 10/23/14 - 11/20/14 (while supplies last).


4. Comfies.
If I'm in for a long road trip you'll find me in yoga pants (ok, let's face it, when DON'T you find me in yoga pants these days?!) and layering a soft zippy with a tee. I keep a lap quilt in the car and I pack a small soft pillow. The pillow is great for sleeping on (duh) or propping my reading material up with.

5. Clean up.
It just makes sense to keep a case of baby wipes and a spare grocery bag handy. Someone is bound to make a mess.

6. Communication.
A fully charged cell phone + a car charger is on my must have list too. This way, even when I'm on the road I can make sure the blog isn't blowing up or open up the Netflix app and hand it back to Penny in case of a serious melt down.

..Oh, and I guess I should mention if all else fails, you can also chat with your driver! ;p

And there you have it! That's what you'll find in my foot well on a 3-4 hour road trip.

What do you always pack for yourself? 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thankful for YOU! / Smiling Tree Toys Giveaway

This post was originally part of the Thankful for our Followers Giveaway Hop
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2 years ago, I began the journey of taking my blog to the next level. When I started this blog in February of 2012, my goal was to keep an online journal / baby book for Penny. After a few months of writing about topics that were important to me, I saw my stats and numbers increasing!  As an attachment and natural parent, I found that my parenting style was supported and influenced by bloggers sharing their experiences and I wanted to be a part of that. There were so many occasions where I doubted my gut and instincts because what I was doing wasn't always the way my friends and family did. I never got harsh judgement, mind you, but I would get such relief when I'd find a blog post, written by another blogger, talking about and justifying some of the choices I was making.  This experience drove me to also become a source for moms in their journey.

One of the first businesses that I worked with was Smiling Tree Toys! I approached Kathleen because I loved the esthetic of wooden toys and their approach to providing all natural, safe products for families. We worked together on my first review and giveaway - Penny's first Christmas ornament! It was only fitting to work together again on Ruby's first Christmas ornament too.

I'm happy to see that even after two years, the quality and craftsmanship with Smiling Tree Toys remains the same, even though the popularity of the business grows! The ornaments (as well as any of the other wooden products in their shop) are created from sustainably harvested American Maple trees and finished with their homegrown Camelina oil and beeswax. These ornaments will be heirloom pieces for my girls; that will be hung on Christmas trees for many decades past my time and enjoyed by future generations of my family. And I think that's root of Smiling Trees Toys goal too - to create products that will be enjoyed for years and years while being respectful to our Earth and honoring the gifts it gives.

Smiling Tree Toys is expanding their product line this season - in addition to ornaments, rattles, balancing toys, wooden blocks, wooden musical instruments(and so much more!), they are launching Smiling Tree Home. Keep an eye on their facebook for more teasers and information!

Keep up with Smiling Tree Toys 

And don't forget all the ways you can be social with
The Pierogie Mama!

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was provided.

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