After Ryan researched aquariums within a reasonable driving distance of Charlotte, the aquarium in Gatlinburg popped up again and again so we’re off to check it out. If you have any other recommendations for kid-friendly things we should check out while we’re in the area, please let me know. We won’t be in Tennessee for very long but we’re determined to make the most of our short stay!
And now before I go into crazy packing mode this morning, let’s take a minute to dive into my usual roundup of favorites from the week. It’s Things I’m Loving Friday tiiiiime!
I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day weekend and I hope to see ya back here next week!
Things I’m Loving Friday
I briefly mentioned how excited I was to try Plant Therapy’s Wellness Sampler KidSafe Essential Oils around the holidays when I first bought them for our family and my sister’s family but now that we’ve been using them for a few months, I wanted to report back and share just how much we’re loving them. A few years ago, I attended an informative session about the safety and efficacy of essential oils and I left the class a firm believer in the power of essential oils… but I also left feeling motivated to use high-quality oils and wanted to do my due-diligence before using and diffusing certain oils around the boys.
Plant Therapy oils are wonderful and while it’s possible to sift through information and find out what oils and blends are kid-safe, (this post highlights which oils should be avoided around children), their KidSafe line takes all the guesswork out of the equation and I love the three blends they’ve created in this Wellness Sampler: Germ Destroyer, Immune Boom and Sniffle Stopper. Chase was really into the oils the moment I began using them around him and loved helping me pick oils to add to our diffuser so much that I actually ended up getting him his own mini diffuser. He thinks it makes “clouds” for his toy airplanes to fly through!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… You guys provide the BEST recommendations and save me over and over again! When I mentioned Ryder’s tummy sleeping diaper leaking issues on the blog last week, more than a few of you chimed in to recommend Sposie booster pads. The pads are easy to insert into any diaper and we’ve been putting them in Ryder’s overnight diaper before bed and haven’t had a single leak since they arrived on our doorstep! Thanks so much for weighing in and recommending these pads to us. They’re the best!
We were on a big-time strawberry shortcake kick in our house this week! Growing up, my mom always made strawberry shortcake in a way that almost resembled drop biscuits rather than the spongy variety I often see. I’m sure nostalgia is to thank for my love of the biscuit-style shortcake, but to me there’s no contest! We dug into bowls of strawberry shortcake three times this week after I made a big batch on Monday night.
I used Pamela’s gluten-free baking mix as the base and simply added some sugar, whole milk and coconut oil until I had a sticky dough. (For the sake of transparency, I am partnering with Pamela’s in the near future but this shout out is not sponsored!) Once everything was baked and ready, we topped the shortcake with strawberries and coconut milk and it felt like summer in a bowl! I didn’t measure any of the ingredients or look up a recipe so I was kind of shocked at how well the shortcake turned out. The one major fail: We didn’t have any whipped cream on hand. Next time we will be ready!
Sweet Potato in Smoothies
This week I randomly decided to throw some leftover sweet potato into my smoothies and it blew me away!! Something about the flavor of the sweet potato gave my smoothies an almost pumpkin pie/carrot cake-like flavor and I was all about it!! My favorite combination included sweet potato, frozen banana, cashew butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, frozen cauliflower, coconut milk and spinach. Don’t knock it ’til ya try it!
Adding to the PBF Team
I am so, so, so ridiculously excited to tell you guys that I’ve added a few people to the PBF team! Before I share any more, I want to say that first and foremost, not a lot will change around here from a content standpoint because I will still be the only one writing and creating content, recipes, workouts, etc. I just felt like there were two areas of blogging where I could really use some help — photography and social media — and I realized I was driving myself crazy trying to do it all when all I want to do when I have time to work is write and create content for this blog. That’s where my heart is and that’s how PBF began back in the day before social media even existed!
Spending hours scheduling social media shares and photographing recipes takes me away from what I truly enjoy and in an effort to bring back some of the joy I find in blogging, I spoke with some blogging friends, all of whom outsource help for their blogs and encouraged me to do the same. I realized it was time for me to loosen the reins a bit and get help in the areas where I feel weak or where a lack of passion lies. When I mentioned this in my 7 month postpartum update, I was truly floored and overwhelmed by how many of you reached out to me wanting to help. THANK YOU to everyone who emailed me. I am so, so grateful for your readership and your interest and truly wish all of you could come on board!
I ended up hiring the incredibly talented Laura of the blog Sprinkles & Sea Salt to help with recipe photography. I will still be photographing a bunch of my own recipes, but I’m hoping to have Laura help me out when I need help and also re-photograph past recipes that look like death. And, after a couple of weeks of interviewing a handful of ridiculously talented and qualified people, I hired a talented and hardworking woman named Amber to help me with social media sharing and scheduling.
I just wanted to be upfront with you guys about adding to the PBF team because sometimes it seems like bloggers are out there killin’ it and doing everything on their own and so often that is NOT the case and there are a bunch of people behind the scenes helping them keep everything running smoothly. I’m hoping Laura and Amber will be two wonderful assets to the PBF team and am excited for you guys to “meet” them!
Favorite Toddler Muffin Recipes (If you’re looking for a fun green recipe to make for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day, try the green smoothie muffins in this post! So easy to make and healthy, too!
Jump Rope + Resistance Band Upper Body Workout (This workout targets your upper body by focusing on your back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest and also incorporates bursts of jump rope for a cardio element that will get your heart rate up in between strength exercises.)
Question of the Day
Any Gatlinburg, Tennessee recommendations for me!?
What is one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend?