Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Road Trip Survival Kit

Summertime road trippin’!  You’ve got places to go and people to see.  Just pack the kids in the car and off you go, right?  Right.  It’s always that easy.  Here’s our Road Trip Survival Kit with a little something for everyone…

First things first.  Let’s not get the kids run over when we stop to get something somewhere.  To that end Parking Pal Magnet is a must-bring in every vehicle.  It’s a handy, cute magnet to stick on your vehicle and get the kids to stand with their hand on it.  Keeps the kids occupied for that nano-second you need to get yourself organized and ready to move.

Anyone’s kids do the “I need to pee” the VERY instant you pass the last exit with a gas station?  Now you’re scrambling, pedal to the metal, to get to the next exit.  Oops! Sheet’s Waterproof Cotton Car Seat Cover will be your new best friend.  An elastic perimeter makes for quick on/off and Velcro openings accommodate the car seat’s harness system.  Best of all, the Oops! Sheet Waterproof Cotton Car Seat Cover is machine washable and reusable - ready for the next road trip.

Travelers get hungry! BPA-free EasyLunchboxes® make meal-time on the road fun and easy. Avoid the drive-thru and unhealthy fare at rest stops. EasyLunchboxes compartmentalized containers have easy-open lids are a great shape for little (and big!) laps. And check out EasyLunchboxes Cooler bags which fit up to 3 containers in one cooler bag, meaning lots of food in a compact space.

Littler travelers will appreciate the Primary Colors sensory tag lovey by Baby Jack Blankets. Silky satin top fabric and plush minky dot backing with ribbon Tab accents will provide entertainment, security and comfort throughout the car ride and road trip making your child feel right at home.  These adorable baby blankets are designed by Moms with babies in mind; handmade in the USA.

Last but not least, something for the grownups.  You may end up with a vehicle full of squabbling kids and here’s something to help you look good while you’re at it. 
Joe Jacket reusable drink sleeves.  Style up that cup of coffee, turn up the radio and enjoy your wild and crazy family road trip adventure!

Safe Travels!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chai Mommas Indian Inspired Summer Meal

Please welcome this month's guest bloggers. They are one of our favorite group of Mommy Bloggers, the Chai Mommas! These 4 cool Mommas wanted to treat you all to a fabulous summer BBQ dinner with an Indian twist! Enjoy...  and don't forget to connect with them on their blog.

The Chai Mommas are all about healthy and easy meals. And with the summer season here, our minds are busy thinking about light, but satisfyingly fresh recipes that we can enjoy outside.  To give this complete BBQ savory meal a bit more of a twist, we are spicing it up with some Indian inspired fun, including a lil’ kick to the drink, (we’ll leave it up to you to make it either a mocktail or a cocktail!).  Hope you think our summer recipes are as ‘hot’ as we do and enjoy!


Spicy Yogurt Bread
Cubes of organic bread lightly pan-fried in a spice infused yogurt mixture to crisp perfection. The perfect starter to this meal.


  • ·         1 loaf of organic Italian multi grain bread cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ·         1 ½ cups of plain non fat yogurt
  • ·         1 tsp chili pepper
  • ·         1 tsp minced garlic
  • ·         1 tsp ground dhana (coriander)
  • ·         ½ tsp ground jeera (cumin)
  • ·         ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ·         ½ - ¾ tsp salt (to taste)
  • ·         2 tbsp canola oil
  • ·         2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
  • ·         1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ·         ½ tsp turmeric powder


  • ·         Cut bread into ½ inch cubes
  • ·         In a small mixing bowl, mix the following ingredients:
  • ·         yogurt, chili pepper, garlic, dhana (coriander), jeera (cumin), cilantro and salt
  • ·         In a large skillet or frying pan (on medium high heat), add canola oil and cumin seeds
  • ·         When the cumin seeds begin to turn slightly brown, add mustard seeds
  • ·         Once the mustard seeds stop popping, add turmeric and then add the bread
  • ·         Turn heat down to medium. Toss the bread occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes or until slightly crispy
  • ·         Pour the yogurt mixture evenly over the bread and stir until all of the yogurt is absorbed into the bread
  • ·         Reduce heat to low and allow bread to become slightly crispy
  • ·         Serve with your favorite dipping sauce - organic tomato ketchup or a cool cilantro mint chutney

Garlic Pepper Edamame with Lime
Boiled pods of edamame quickly sautéed with minced garlic and green chili.  Topped off with fresh cilantro, sea salt and zesty lime. A delicious and light accompaniment to the meal, which can be nibbled on while the grill is getting fired up.


  • ·         1 pound frozen edamame pods
  • ·         1 tablespoon organic olive oil
  • ·         1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ·         1 teaspoon minced Serrano pepper
  • ·         1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • ·         1 lime – washed, cut into half
  • ·         sea salt


  • ·         Cook frozen edamame in salted boiling water until tender (approximately 5 minutes, drain)
  • ·         Heat 1 tablespoon organic olive oil in skillet over medium heat
  • ·         Add pepper and cook 1 - 2 minutes
  • ·         Add garlic and cook another minute (be careful not to let it brown)
  • ·         Stir in the edamame and cook for another 2 minutes
  • ·         Transfer to serving bowl
  • ·         Squeeze ½ lime juice in and sea salt to desired preference, toss gently
  • ·         Sprinkle cilantro on top

Main Course:

Tandoori Marinade
A delectable yogurt based marinade flavored with fresh garlic, ginger, green chilies, cilantro amongst an array of aromatic spices present in most Indian dishes, (which can be found in any Indian/Middle Eastern food market).  This marinade can be used for poultry, seafood, vegetables and tofu.  Serve with freshly cut lemon wedges to bring out the flavors even more.


  • ·         1 cup of yogurt
  • ·         1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • ·         1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • ·         ½ tablespoon freshly minced green chilies
  • ·         ½ handful finely chopped cilantro
  • ·         ½ tablespoon garam masala
  • ·         ½  tablespoon ground ajwain
  • ·         ½  tablespoon ground jeeru (cumin)
  • ·         ½  tablespoon ground dhana (coriander)
  • ·         ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ·         1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ·         1 tablespoon of Tandoori paste
  • ·         1 tablespoon of tomato paste


  • ·         Mix all ingredients thoroughly
  • ·         Add to marinade, cut pieces of chicken, fish, vegetables or tofu
  • ·         Cover and marinate for a 3-4 hours in the refrigerator
  • ·         When ready to eat, skewer and grill

Summer Mocktail/Cocktail:

Chai Mommas Coconut Quencher
This drink is not only delicious with its Indian inspired mint plus spicy-sweet flavor, it’s also super hydrating and just perfect for children and adults spending long hours in the sun on those fun BBQ days. The best part is that the juicy pineapple in the drink can be eaten after your glass is empty for an extra after dinner treat. 


  • ·         enough coconut water to fill a large pitcher (young coconut is best
  • ·         ½ part fresh lime juice
  • ·         small spoon of raw organic brown sugar
  • ·         handful of mint leaves
  • ·         3-4 slices of fresh de-seeded jalapeño (optional)
  • ·         medium sized pineapple chunks (about 7-8)
  • ·         rum blanco (for cocktails)  


  • ·         Muddle the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves in a tall glass 
  • ·         In a large pitcher, combine the muddled mixture with the coconut water, pineapple chunks and optional jalapeño slices
  • ·         Let the pitcher chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving (or even overnight for an extra boost of flavor!)
  • ·         Spike with 2 parts rum blanco for adults, if desired
  • ·         Serve with one pineapple chunk in each glass

ChaiMommas ~ Neesha

Saturday, June 22, 2013

3 Tips for Summer Parenting ~ The Summer Balancing Act

Summer is officially here. Kids are excited to play outdoors, swim, and stay up a little later. But how do you manage them for two to three months without hearing the dreaded “I’m bored” or “I don’t have anything to do”.  I hope you find these three tip very helpful this summer.

Tip #1: Create a Daily Fun Chart: Kids are on a school schedule for 9 months out of the year. Then summer comes and they have no schedule. They don’t have any structure or expectations from their parents. Children don’t realize it but they crave structure and schedules. It helps them to feel safe in their little world.  The solution: Create a Daily Fun Chart and post it on the wall in their room, kitchen, or bathroom. Break it down by 2 hour segments. In each segment of time write several suggestions of things to do and allow for some flexibility.  If your children are a little older they can help you make it and will feel empowered. You will thank yourself for this wonderful parenting tool. 

Tip #2: Reward:  Children love being rewarded for their good deeds and behavior.  At school their teachers are very good about rewarding with stickers, smiley faces, candy or other great treats.  During the summer children still crave positive attention for their good behavior. Think of fun ways to reward your children for helping around the house, doing something without being asked, for saying please and thank you, for picking up after themselves or being proactive. One fun thing to do is a very back to the basics but very effective tool; the good-old sticker chart.  Create and hang up a sticker chart. Tell your children the rules and rewards including how many stickers they need to get a reward and how to get a sticker. You will be amazed at the results – guaranteed!

Tip #3: BOND:  Use this fabulous summer time to really bond and connect with your children. Don’t let the 3 summer months go to waste. Find one on one activities to do with your children. Try cooking or baking together, read each other books, go swimming and make up fun games together instead of laying by the poolside.  Summer may seem long but it’s really rather a short time that you get to be with your child 24/7. Take advantage of it and you will be so happy.

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