bikes and things

This post is brought to you by Monkey Bar Storage. Storage options for every hobby and every garage. Locals visit here.

Our favorite outdoor family-time activity would have to be on our bikes. We all joke that the happiest (and most quiet) our grumpy two-year-olds can be is riding in their bike seat or in the trailer. There’s nothing like taking in your city or town with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face! Here are some favorite bike and accessories we’ve been loving:

must have bike items!

1. Kids bikes are like lots of gear for kids… You get what you pay for. It can either be a one-time investment that you can pass down to each of your kids and their siblings, or it can be something you find yourself buying and upgrading each season. There are a lot of great high-quality bikes out there, but we just can’t get over the look and feel of Linus Bikes. They are gorgeous! So high quality with a density, sturdiness and weight that you don’t find often anymore. This is the Lil’ Roadster, in midnight blue with leather handlebars and seats, and a sweet little bell. All of Linus’ bikes and accessories are stellar, check them out here!

2. Is there anything cuter than a bike basket? The classic woven baskets are darling, but we love the bright pop of color on this metal basket from Hayneedle. Pack your basket with lunch, a good book, and head to the park!

3. Do you live a bike-friendly city? There is something so charming about seeing bikes all over town. For our boys, this Kikkerland “This Bike Is My Car” bell couldn’t be more true.

4. Adding a quick accessory like this rear rack opens up a whole new world of things you can bring along on your bike rides! These portable roll up blankets  are perfect for on-the-go activities. Just strap it down with the velcro and head to a picnic, or throw it around your kiddo if temperatures drop suddenly.

5. Bike seats are getting better and better! The ones we rode in as kids were uprightly stiff and uncomfortable, but iBert’s Front Mounted Bike Seat is anything but. This seat mounts without any tools, gives kids full range views, and has a little padding for the bumpier rides.

6. If you buy one thing this Summer make it the Ivation Bullet. It’s a portable Bluetooth speaker that attaches right onto your handle bar, and works with pretty much any device you can think of. How far we’ve come from the portable boom-box!

7. We are such long-time Nutcase helmets fans. They’re adorable but not bulky and come in the most fun patterns. Polka-dotsUnion JackEvil Knievel and Melon Head for the win!

8. Bike Trailers are such a good time when you have little ones. Burley Bee Bike Trailer is compact, safe, and has lots of options for sun, wind, rain shade.

9. To make your trailer or kids’ bike extra safe, we love the retro look of this Avenir Safety Flag. So even if they’re view is restricted, everyone else can see them coming!

10. Add a little flair to your bike brigade with this Burger Bell!

11. When it’s time for the fun to stop we can’t recommend the Monkey Bar Storage bike rack enough! It’s the only rack we’ve found that holds up to six bikes while only taking up 4 feet of space in your garage or shed. They have storage options for just about every sport, gardening, and tools you have lying around – see them all here!

Bell Pepper Flowers

Photos by Jylare.

It’s been awhile since our last food art post, but if it’s any consolation today’s food art is even healthier and tastier than the first! Filled with protein and vitamins, and almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Here’s how you’ll do it:

Bell Pepper Flowers

PREPPepper Flower Prep

First you’ll need to trim the bottom couple inches of your asparagus. You can either snap it with your fingers, or cut it all in one fail swoop. Then wash, drain, and lay asparagus flat to dry. Then slice your whole pepper flowers in inch rings. Then you can trim out any seeds or membranes. You’ll want thick slices for the peppers so they make a nice border for the egg to stay inside of. Then wash and slice your strawberries in half long ways and you’re all prepped to cook!

COOK

Pepper Flower Cook

Asparagus: On a tin foil lined baking sheet, drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over your trimmed asparagus. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper and put in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes.

Peppers: Heat a skillet with a tight fitting lid to medium and warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brown one side of the ring about 1 minute and then flip. Immediately crack your egg into the center of the pepper. Let the egg cook for about one minute and pour a 1/4 cup of water around the peppers and cover. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes or as tender as you like your yolk.

Once your veggies are cooked now you can assemble the flowers! Use a spatula to transfer your peppers and eggs to the top of a wide plate.

Bell Pepper Flowers

Then add a couple stems of asparagus and halved strawberries as the leaves. Salt and pepper your eggs as desired and enjoy!

Bell Pepper Flowers

BELL PEPPER FLOWERS

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers in red, orange or yellow.

Bunch of asparagus

2 eggs

1/4 C water
3 T Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Tin Foil and Lidded Skillet
Wash asparagus, drain and place evenly on a tin foil covered cookie sheet. Drizzle 2 T over top and sprinkle salt and pepper as desired. Cook at 400 for 20 minutes. On medium heat warm 1 T olive oil in skillet. Slice bell peppers width wise in about 1 inch thick pieces and place them in oil. After one minute flip to other side. Crack egg directly in to the center of the bell pepper. Let fry for one minute. Pour water in the skillet around the peppers to steam, and cover with lid. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until yolk achieves desired tenderness.
More healthy ideas for kiddos:
A kid-friendly cleanse, our favorite on-the-go snacks, and a printable chart to encourage adventurous eating.
*Our free parenting webinar with Positive Parenting Solutions is tonight at 7 pm MST! We’ll be online chatting throughout the class and would love to see you there. Sign-up here!*

DIY tea party set

Today marks our third color challenge with our favorite Vintage Revivals and crew! You can find our hot pink post here, and the gold challenge here, but today is all about purple! From the Orchid color of the year pick by Pantone, to the hot Spring hue of lilac, purple is having its moment for sure! How about a sweet dotted tea party set DIY? And a steal at less than $10! Here’s how we did it:

DIY Ikea Tea Set

First, grab a set of espresso cups from Ikea. They’re the perfect size for tiny hands, and $1.50 for a cup and plate. Grab a tea pot and saucer while you’re at it for $5 and you’ve got yourself a nice little tea set. Then we grabbed Martha Stewart Opaque Glass Paint, which comes with the perfect tip already installed for small flourishes. They come in pretty much every color so you can get really creative using your girl’s favorite color, a multi-colored mural, this is just the type of thing that could turn into a treasured family heirloom, but today – purple it is!

DIY Ikea Tea Set

We had a few patterns in mind, but ultimately had to go with this sweet little polka-dot pattern. Squeeze the bottle gently and the tip creates the perfect little raised dot, no problem. Best part is, if you over-do it, you can wipe it off and try again without any streaking! Just use a clean paper towel.

DIY Ikea Tea Set

When you’re done, you’ll have a pretty impressive set like this! After reading reviews of the paint we followed one tip to let the paint cure (air-dry) for an hour, and then bake as directed. Another great tip to keep the color virbant was to put the set in a cold oven, then turn it on and let it pre-heat with the set inside. Once the oven reaches the instructed temperature then you’ll set the timer for 30 minutes.

DIY Ikea Tea Set

DIY Ikea (Espresso) Tea SetIf we’re being honest, our boys had the best time playing tea party, but we figured they might not want those photos on the internet ;), so here’s our sweet little lady-friend Stella taking it for a whirl.

DIY Ikea Tea Set

We love they way these projects add a little personalization to simple pieces. Check out our other projects with ceramic paint here and here!

DIY Ikea Tea SetNow let’s check out what our other link-up geniuses have created for this challenge today! We have fallen in love with each blog since starting this challenge and know you’ll all love them too, click right on the image to be taken to the corresponding post!

Image Map

Tiny Tour : Washington, DC

We are so excited to have Rebecca and Suzanne from A Fêteful Life sharing their favorite family friendly stops in Washington DC today! A Fêteful Life is a one stop destination for all things party. Party ideas, recipes, printables, favors and everything in between, their motto is “Always simple, never plain” which we are so on board with! You guys will love their DC stops, welcome ladies!

Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

“1. Art Museums – the National Portrait Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden both have fabulous kid-friendly art and activities. The National Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard offers a great spot to cool off on a hot day, too. And since both are free, there’s no problem if your small fries last for just a little bit.
Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

2. Lunch Spots – Ted’s Bulletin (serves breakfast anytime, including a kid’s pancake with a bacon smile, out of this world shakes, and homemade pop-tarts. AND there’s a location in the newly-revitalized 14th street district full of great design and homeware stores) and Comet Ping Pong (fabulous pizza and, not surprisingly, ping pong! plus great beer for the adults) are our favorites.

Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DCSmall Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

3. Outdoor Play – Yards Park is the best summer spot in the city for waterplay and on Friday nights during the summer, hosts free music concerts with food trucks. The National Arboretum is our go-to most anytime of the year. It offers city kids wide open places to run, play and discover, and has a special children’s garden. And we can’t resist adding the National Zoo to our list of outdoor play spots. In addition to all the great animal exhibits, the zoo has an outdoor “tidal splash pool,” a carousel, and a kids “pizza garden” playground that are always favorites with our kiddos.

Small Fry |Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DCSmall Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC4. Other Museums – The National Building Museum has a great discovery room for the younger set and plenty of building opportunities for kids of all ages in its “Play Work Build” exhibit, which includes a huge lego table and mini and oversized Imagination Playground materials. And in the summer, the Building Museum sets up a super awesome architecturally designed mini gold course! We also love the National Museum of the American Indian, which has a wonderful interactive exhibit where littles can build an igloo, participate in a daily craft, and stamp their American Indian passport as they travel through. And a really great cafeteria, too!

Small Fry |Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DCSmall Fry |Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

5. Random – the infamous The Mansion on O Street (part “spooky mansion,” part treasure hunt, part bookstore and antique store, and part art gallery) has provided our kids with hours of entertainment as they treasure hunt for 32 secret doors. We’ve never been anywhere else like it and highly recommend it for the 3 years-old and up crowd.”Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

How amazing are all these stops? We hear DC in Spring is something to behold with all the Cherry Blossoms, it might be time to make the trek! Don’t forget to visit A Fêteful Life for more!

Got a case of the wanderlust? Check out the rest of the series:

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 |

FRYday : Nicole

Those of you who know me personally, and maybe some of you who don’t, know that our little family has been learning quite a lot about addiction over the last few years. We’ve seen it in all stages, and felt just about every emotion as we have been in the midst of it. Some days I can stare it bravely in the face, and others, I feel hopeless want to hide and let it win. I have to be honest, most days, it’s the latter.

nic-fryday

But on both of these kinds of days, I have to sit back and say to myself, “you can’t control this.” Like a lot of things in life, addiction of a loved one is out of our control. And sadly, but in reality in some ways, out of the addict’s control too. I like to be in control, don’t we all? Its been super hard to grasp this idea that I am powerless. But when I learned this, things changed for me.

Regardless of where my family is at in this recovery, and despite the outcome, I am grateful to have this opportunity to learn about this disease. Wow, it is prevalent in our world! Now you may wonder why I’m wasting my breath, and I’m certain there is a large portion of you who don’t feel the need to be enlightened, and that’s perfectly fine! But there is also a another portion of us who are dealing with it first hand, or know someone that is. I know that the more light we can bring to this topic, the more likely our struggling loved ones are to get help.

Why is this written on a children’s blog? I would have asked the EXACT same question before this struck our family. But let me tell you, the most important thing I’ve learned thus far in my husband’s recovery, is that it GREATLY impacts our children.

One of the leading players in addiction is shaming. I’ve heard countless addicts talk about being shamed as a child. A lot of the time, in mild criticizing, and many times, completely innocently by the parents. But these are things that stuck with these children throughout their life and caused them feel less than, worthless and have a lack of hope, and in result, turned to things that can cause addictive habits. I’m as guilty as anyone. But I feel that learning this lesson early in my children’s life is one of the most beneficial things I’ve ever been taught. As a 4 year old, your mistakes are small and simple, (although sometimes they seem to be the end of the world, when our couch or rug is ruined because of a accidental spill). As they grow, their mistakes may be more substantial, and sometimes even occur out of rebellion. In any case, shaming them for wrong doings will cause damage that sometimes is irreparable. Instead of shaming, there are healthy ways to help children learn from their mistakes, without bringing them to such a low place and causing these emotional wounds. I’ve decided as a mother to constantly build them up, and help them feel valuable and important, always. When mistakes are made, they already feel sad enough. As humans, we have guilt built into us, our conscience, and we know what we have done is wrong.

Now, I’ve also learned that addiction is a life long disease that cannot be cured. But I do know people can overcome it and be in remission, sometimes forever! I don’t know what this will mean for my family tomorrow, or in a year from now. But the lessons I’ve learned have changed ME and will change the life of people around me permanently, especially my children and how I treat them.

If you are in as great need as I was to learn more about Addiction Recovery, I have found this resource to be the most wonderful and beneficial to me.

xo-

Nicole

Read Nicole’s brave first post about addiction right here.