Thursday, March 31, 2016

To Do List: Berries & Cherries

It is a little known fact that March is the Berries & Cherries Month.

Why not spend the last day of March celebrating these wonderful fruits with the following activities:

Breakfast: French toast and berries is a no-brainer, turning them into sticks is sure to entertain your family.  Lets face it, kids love finger foods, and with a recipe this easy - we love making them!

Storytime: Blueberries for Sal, by Viking Kestrel & Robert McCloskey (author of the beloved Boston based book, Make Way for Ducklings) is a classic.  Chances are you already have it in your collection - this is the perfect occasion to re-read this time tested tale.

Lunch:  When you're dealing with Berries & Cherries, you don't need fancy recipes to make food taste great.  Your kids will love a classic peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich, and even more so when you pair it with a fresh berry lemonade

Playtime: Listen, we're not saying that tie-dye is making a come-back... lets put that on the record!  But we know for sure that this is an activity that everyone will love.  Not only is Berry-Tie Dye fun, but its 100% green.  So get in touch with your very distant past, pull out the rubber bands and show your kids how to tie-dye like a pro!

Dinner:  Its important for your kids to experience new flavors.  Try topping your regular grilled chicken dinner with berry salsa. Its an interesting twist on a basic meal, the flavors will delight the whole family.

Late-Night Cap:  We all know the Cosmo - early Carrie Bradshaw, no need to say more.  Try the Merry Berry Cosmo for a new flavor profile on the classic vodka beverage ... 4-inch heels not required!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Plan Ahead! National Walk to Work Day is April 1st

With a little planning ahead, the whole family can enjoy National Walk to Work Day!

First, have your favorite to-go mug ready for your morning cup o'joe.
Personally, we are loving this cold brew recipe and have gone as far as brewing a special batch just for the ice cubes so there's no watered-down taste! 

Have an activity that requires the car after work?
Have your hubby pick you up after work or see about leaving the office a bit early to head home and grab the car!

Afraid you'll work up a sweat on the way in?

Wear layers and carry a backpack for the extras (we love to use these carabiners on the backpack because they are perfect for looping through coats/sweaters/and even some shoes).

Need to drop the kids off on the way to work and don't want to be stuck with an empty stroller for the day? Ask your daycare if you leave your stroller there until pick-up (ours doesn't mind)!
If walking with the kids, don't forget to sing their favorite walking song!

Walking walking. Walking walking.
Hop hop hop. Hop hop hop.
Running running running. Running running running.
Now let's stop. Now let's stop.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

4 Momma Approved Boxed Wines

Yes - we said it - BOXED WINES!

Now, dont let your mind go back to your mom's box of Franzia that occupied that middle drawer of your white fridge growing up each summer.  Boxed wines have changed!

This trend has been growing strong for a couple years now - so remove the mental stigma.  Next time you're looking to try something new - pass on by the bottles and take a look at the boxes.  You will be surprised at the great variety and quality of wines.

Save Waste:  One of the great benefits of boxed wines is that it stays fresh for much, much longer then its bottled counterparts.  Now you can have a glass or two, or whatever (ahem) without having to toss the rest the next day.   And on the flip side - when you have an impromptu mommy playdate, you dont have to worry about running out... usually (ahem ahem).

Save Time: Boxed wine is an inevitable time saver - most boxes contain the equivalent of 4 bottles.  Now, if this doesnt save you from at least one or 2 trips to the package store I would like to see your current wine cellar!

Save Money:  Even the higher quality wines that are now available in boxes are more reasonably priced than if you had bought the equivalent number of bottles.

After many, many, (ahem) many diligent taste tests - here are our selections for the 4 Mommy Approved Boxed Wines:

From The Tank, Vin Rouge:  This organic wine is a great choice, you may even recognize it from several restaurants throughout Boston.  As described by their importer, it is from "a wine cooperative of local growers in the south of France comes this high quality, powerful blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan grapes. Delicious from beginning to end, it has dark cherry notes that make it particularly tasty with meat hot off the grill."  We also recommend the white wine version - equally delicious.

Le Vin de L'Uncle Charles:  Uncles Charlie is a man after our own heart.  This is a very easy to drink wine, and this fitting description "Uncle Charlie  likes his wine light, with a nice balance of earth and fruit.  Not to mention low in alcohol so it goes down easy in the hot afternoon sun on the terrace."  Delightful!


Bota Box Shiraz:  Bota Box wines can be found in almost ever liquor store in New England.  Its not the best on the market, but it is reliable and really well priced.  As described by Bota Box, their Shiraz is a "juicy red wine―rich with ripe blackberry flavors―packs a punch. Though pleasantly supple, it is robust enough to cut through the spiciness of Mexican and Cajun dishes."


Bandit, Pinot Grigio:  Now technically it isnt a box - so dont confuse Bandit wine for your Coconut Water!  Packaged in a little green Tetrapak, Bandit Pinot Grigio is described by Wine Enthusiast as "totally dry, and the lime and grapefruit flavors are balanced with ultra-crisp acidity. Great with grilled veggies, sole with a squeeze of lemon, and Asian fare."

So have we convinced you to give the box a try? Is your fridge already stocked?  Share with us your finds & recommendations!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Puts the "OH!" in To-Go! Mom Hack for Feeding Babies on the Move

We're loving this genius all-in-one baby food dispensing "Squirt" spoon by Boon!

If you're hittin' the road or just heading to the park down the street and need some food to-go, pack up a Squirt with your baby's favorite yummies, put the cap on and you're ready to go!

Who needs to fill their diaper bag with spoons and jars and use both hands to feed their baby on the road? Not you!  Just squeeze a Squirt!  (Did we just say that!? Lol - yeah, we did!)

p.s. This handy tool is also BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Go Ahead...Let Them Use Glass!

Have we banned all tupperware? Nope!
Can you find our kids eating off of plastic plates? Yes!
But on occasion, lets pull out the good stuff!

Now we can let them eat from real plates with ease.  Give your little ones a boost by supplying them with Duralex's Glass Toddler Dishware found on Mighty Nest (a one-stop shop for learning how to make your nest healthy and then buying the supplies to do so).

The French have been trusting their bebes with Duralex's dishware since 1946!  Not only are they free of lead and BPA, they are also 2.5x stronger than glass!

Now, don't you think it's time for Junior to pitch in by clearing his plate?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Love This: Custom Baby Quilt

Boston Baby Quilt, by Haptic Lab
When left to choose between flowery pastels and football graphics choosing baby bedding can be underwhelming for parents who like a modern house, not Mickey Mouse.

 Don't fret, Beacon Street Baby has the answer - Haptic Lab.  Not only are the designs crisp, linear and colorful - but yes, they are maps!

Beacon Street Baby loves the Boston Baby Quilt (pictured above), but many other cities and regions are available.  And it gets better - Haptic Labs will customize the quilts with your little one's name, birth date and even mark 3 personalized locations on the map.

How great is that - Love This!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cooking with Kids: Let Them Eat (Yogurt) Cake!

Bonjour!  We’ve just finished re-reading Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman.   

We’ll let you decide what you make of this controversial guide to the essentials of French child-rearing – but one take away that everyone will enjoy is a recipe for gâteau au yaourt (Yogurt Cake)!   

One part of the book that we loved was the focus on engaging the family through food.  A ritual for many French families is to spend a portion of each weekend baking and cooking together, as a family.  The little ones learn to contribute in the kitchen as soon as they can lift a spoon!  

Gâteau au yaourt is a classic children’s recipe that bébés can make on their own (with a bit of loving oversight from their mamans and papas).

Gâteau au yaourt

  • 2 six-ounce containers plain whole-milk yogurt (use the empty containers to measure the other ingredients)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 containers of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Just under 1 container vegetable oil
  • 4 containers of flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Crème fraîche(optional)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Preheat over to 375°F.

Use vegetable oil to grease 9-inch round cake pan or a loaf pan.
Gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.   

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.  

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; mix gently until ingredients are just combined (don’t over mix).   You can add 2 containers of frozen berries or 1 container of chocolate chips, or any flavoring you like.  

Bake for 35 minutes, then 5 minutes more if the cake doesn’t pass the knife test.  

Let it cool.  Serve with tea and a dollop of crème fraîche.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Real Parties: Little Peanut Baby Shower

Lil Peanut

Friends and family gathered to wish Alexandra and Andy the very best with their first baby.  The peanut theme was a no-brainer, Alex had long referred to her little girl as her "little peanut".  From invitations to party favors the peanut theme was tastefully intertwined throughout the garden party.  A wonderful turn out and perfect weather made this a baby shower to remember.

Little Peanut Baby Shower Custom Invitations by Sassyrae Expressions
Garden Party Bar, featuring Sour Cherry Lemonade (both virgin & spiked available)
Beautiful & delicious cake by Konditor Meister of Quincy, MA
Homemade Peanut Brittle favors, offered in adorable packaging from The Party Fairy
Centerpieces of fresh Hydrangeas in vintage teapots mixed with whole peanuts in glass jars

Little Peanut Baby Shower photography by Nneka Anadu


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Love This: Non-Candy Easter Basket Filler

We at Beacon Street Baby are proponents of filling your little one's Easter baskets with items other than candy.  Not only will the items last longer, but come on, no child needs three pounds of sugar to celebrate the resurrection! 

A perfect example of non-candy Easter basket fillers is this adorable eco-friendly wood and felt bunny & duck kit by Topozoo.  The pieces are big and sturdy, the design is clean and bright.  It is like a puzzle for kids to assemble, and once they are put together your kids have these wonderful toys. 

So walk right past the aisles of green plastic 'grass' and skip those chocolate eggs filled with yolk-flavored corn syrup -- this is a basket filler that will put a smile on the faces of both your kids and their dentists!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Grow, Garden, Grow!

It's officially Spring!  

That means it's time to get those little ones out in the garden!  This could be starting a few pots of herbs on your windowsill, getting to work on the community plot down the street, or getting started on a garden all of your own!

Gardening is a wonderful way for kiddies to learn all about our planet, where our food comes from and gives them a chance to explore nature.  Who's in the Garden is a classic peek-a-boo book designed to introduce children to all of the creatures they can expect to see in the garden!  Flowers, bunnies and ladybugs - oh my!

The publisher of this book is a New England favorite.  Check out Barefoot Books for more books that encourage creativity, explore cultures across our planet, promote sustainability and stretch the imagination!  Better yet - if you're in the Boston area, treat your family to a trip to Barefoot's community center and shop in Concord, MA.