An Adoption Story: Jessica Swenson

For a while now I have felt that it was time to share my story. I don’t know why, maybe just for me. I have held onto things that happened in my past for so long and they have often been binding. I coped by being quiet and putting sad, angry, horrible memories into a box to be forgotten. It’s easy to let the bad things that have happened, hold us back and keep us from progressing. It’s been a long journey but after many years I have finally found peace and happiness.adoptionweek

My biological parents were extremely addicted to alcohol. It consumed their lives and made them unavailable to be the kind of parent a child needs. I am the oldest of my sibling and from a super young age I had to be the mom. I had to find ways to feed us, change diapers, and make sure everyone stayed close and that they didn’t get hurt or lost. We faced trials of every kind and as a child there was only so much I could do to protect them and myself. I was physically, sexually, and emotionally abused because my biological parents weren’t coherent enough to protect us. That led to a lot of guilt, depression, confusion, and anger and it took a very long to time to overcome. Read more

time to eat!

Calling all Boon lovers! The Boon FLAIR high chair just launched in 8 different colors combinations exclusively on Amazon.com! We took it for a whirl snacking on our favorite shelf-stable goods from Thrive! Ready to check it all out?Boon FLAIR

We picked the white base chair – which is all one piece. Super easy to clean and there’s a button at the base so you can easily use your foot to raise or lower depending on what surface you’re eating together at (just like a salon chair!) Then we picked a coordinating color – orange! Boon FLAIRThere are lots of colors to choose from with their 8 combos- blue, green, orange or pink seat pad with a coordinating or contrasting tray liner! Impressive line-up, right?

Boon Flair

The seat pad not only makes the chair more comfortable but gives it that modern pop of color that we love so much from Boon. They truly have nailed it with color options, and their feeding, bathing, nursery and accessory lines all coordinate! No matter what stage you’re in whether it’s infancy, toddler or big kids or a combination of all three, Boon’s products grow with you!Boon FLAIR

Snack time is simply a breeze when you have all these well-thought out designs! We tested out ThriveChic’s awesome baby snack recipes for this and she’s letting us share her Raspberry Apple Sauce recipe! (Find it at the bottom of this post!)

Boon FLAIR
Raspberry Applesauce

1 cup of Apple Sauce Granules from Thrive
1/4 cup Raspberries
 2 1/2 cups hot water and blend for 30 secs to 1 min.

Find a bunch more ideas and ways to work in healthy freeze-dried foods into your child’s favorite meals at Thrive Chic’s YouTube channel and Facebook page – they’re both awesome resources for healthy eating for the littlest Small Fries!

FRYday: Nicole

As mothers we relish in the nurturing and caring for our children. It is fulfilling and time consuming and fills us with a sense of completion at the end of each day. I’m sure none of us could have imagined the joy it would bring. This doesn’t mean we all go to bed feeling like the perfect mother. DAYI know none us feel like perfect mothers, and always feel like we are falling short. However we all want to be, so we dive into motherhood head first and before we know it we have forgotten about ourselves. There just isn’t time for “me”. I’ve said these words a million times over the last 5 years. After caring for our sweet children and facing all of the other curve-balls life throws at us, its really, REALLY hard to find time to think about what we, as women, need. For the first time in YEARS and years, I’m taking this seriously. I’m finding the time. This doesn’t need to mean depriving your children of your time. But setting them up with some play dough and giving your self an at home manicure (using this tutorial and loving it!)

I’ve never taken care of my body or what I put in it. I feed my kids fairly healthy food, but continuously skipped myself and filled up on some Doritos.
I’ve never thought about putting any thought in to my skin, or the health of my hair. Things that as women can really add to or subtract from our self-confidence. The rest of the house was typically clean-ish, but my bedroom always took the back seat.
I’ve learned that these simple things were taking such a toll on me. On ME. They may not be the things that you need to feel taken care of. But I’m sure there are things that everyone needs and wants and because of your motherly-selflessness, you aren’t getting it.
It takes slightly more energy, and sometimes means getting 5 minutes less sleep so I can make my bed before hopping into it and get some lotion on my legs. But in the larger scheme of things, these little things I can fit in for myself have improved the quality of life for me and for my sweet children. Go for it, guys! Find the time, and have a great weekend!
–Nicole

 

minnetonka

Have you already fallen for the amazing line of booties and slippers for kids at Minnetonka? They’ve been around since 1946 but their classic design and sturdy craftsmanship keep them feeling fresh year after year. They have that perfectly effortless look to them that instantly adds a little bohemian, free-spiritedness, even a little edge to any outfit.
Minnetonka Adventure | Small FryDash in the classic moccasin // Hayes in the Tramper Bootie // Cal & Rilo in the Double Fringe Side Zip // Emily in the Double Fringe Side Zip

We all wear them year ’round, but surprisingly the most in Spring. They’re easily slipped on, perfectly breathable and hardy enough for hikes, but brush up and clean up nicely for a BBQ.

Adventures in Minnetonka

 

Each pair (excluding the indoor slippers – Nicole and Jenna love the Cally Slipper) has a thick rubber sole with rounded traction beads. It makes climbing and hiking no problem, as well as great options for when it’s snowy or icy outside in the colder months.

Minnetonka Adventure | Small FryCal in a Zara t-shirt, Gap skinny jeggings (on sale for $16!) // Emily in a Gap Split neck blouse (sold out, similar) and destroyed F21 Jeans (sold out, we’ve heard amazing things about this AG pair 40% off at Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale!)

Minnetonka Adventure | Small Fry

Hayes in a Cotton On Kids t-shirt BabyGap frayed cut-offs, the Tramper Bootie and a fitted baseball cap.

Adventures in Minnetonka

Dash in a Crewcuts gingham button-down, H&M khaki trousers

Adventures in Minnetonka   Rilo in a traditional Puebla dress (similar here!), a Wunway Kitty headband and PomPom scarf & the Double Fringe Side Zip.Adventures in MinnetonkaAdventures in Minnetonka

Find your favorite Minnetonkas here. And enter to win a pair of your choice for you and a friend on our Instagram here.

WHERE TO SHOP:

Cal in a Zara t-shirt, Gap skinny jeggings (on sale for $16!) & Double Fringe Side Zip.

Emily in a Gap Split neck blouse (sold out, similar) and destroyed F21 Jeans (sold out, we’ve heard amazing things about this AG pair 40% off at Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale!) & Double Fringe Side Zip.

Dash in a Crewcuts gingham button-down, H&M khaki trousers & classic moccasin.

Hayes in a Cotton On Kids t-shirt BabyGap frayed cut-offs and a fitted baseball cap & Tramper Bootie

Rilo in a traditional Puebla dress (similar here!), a Wunway Kitty headband and PomPom scarf & the Double Fringe Side Zip.

best travel buddies

Now that school is out we’re excited to take some family vacations! Traveling with kids is a completely different animal and should probably not be called a vacation, maybe just classified as a trip! It’s a lot of work, but something we each feel is so important. They don’t have to be extravagant or expensive or far away, but having that quality time taking in a new environment and new experiences is a fond memory we each had as kids and want to pass it onto the boys! Here’s some things we’ve found for traveling with them that have helped ease the load:essential items for your child's traveling!

1. This Melissa & Doug Trunkiis amazing! It is a suitcase on wheels so it makes carting it through the airport a breeze, but it gets better! There’s a perfectly molded seat and leash so your kids can sit on the suit case and you can pull them through the airport when they get tired. GENIUS! $30

2. The Safe Sippyis a must-have for traveling. It’s hard enough to keep hydrated in the warmer temperatures as it is, but being away from home and familiar stops makes it even harder. This one has either a straw or sippy so it’s great for any age, and is no-spill which is vital for road-trips! $15

3. When Will We Get There? Speaking of road-trips or long flights… This book is filled with travel appropriate games and activities. Keep them busy and hopefully avoid the “Are we there yet?” question. $4

4. LilGadgets Wireless Headphonesare another must. Each kid having their own headphones means not annoying other passengers, you can listen to that audiobook, and these headphones are wireless so no hassle, no tangling, no losing cords! $49.95

5. This Skip Hop Packis so darling, and having a suit case of their own to pack with whatever they want to bring along helps get them excited and also feel more comfortable and in control. It also has a removable leash so you can keep track of the runners in your life. An absolute must for a couple guys over here – cough – Sunny and Cal. $16

6. LunchSkins Reusable Sandwich Bagis great for packing lunches on-the-go. These can be tossed in the dishwasher, are waterproof, and if everyone has their own sack it’s easier to keep track of who’s eating what. These are also just about the right size for wet kids clothing, which is nice to have somewhere to store that doesn’t get EVERYTHING else wet. $22 for 3

7. Honest’s 2 Ounce Hand Sanitizer is vital for travel, especially air travel. It is TSA-approved and chemical free. $5.95

8. Packing a toy your kids love is vital for travel. Also, packing something brand new that they’ve never played with is just as vital. Wrap small surprises to open when they get restless! These Olliblocks are not only for building towers, but they’re great for imaginative play and story-telling. If you have limited space in your carry-on get the most bang for you buck you can! These are great for boys or girls and that makes them the perfect choice! $12

9. Bringing gum for kids on flights has saved us. When pressure changes and little ones can’t clear their ears (it’s even hard as an adult!) having gum to chew and keep that jaw moving helps so much! Grab Dubble Bubble Gumor if they like that minty flavor, peppermint gum will help with nausea, too! $2

10. iGuy iPad Caseis awesome! It stands on its own and it’s soft foam so it’s nice and comfortable for little hands. Not to mention it’s a protective case, which is a non-negotiable. $32

Are you heading anywhere with your family this Summer? Check out our family-friendly city tours! If we haven’t featured your city yet, let us know in the comments and we’ll get right on it!

Hong Kong, China | London, United Kingdom | Oahu, Hawaii | Perth, Australia | New York City, New York | Palm Beach, Florida | San Francisco, California | Dallas, Texas | Mackinac Island, Michigan | Midway, Utah |