Monday, November 24, 2014

Living the Hug Life with Little Dude N Dudette {GIVEAWAY}*

While pregnant with B, I was lucky enough to connect with several incredible women also due with bambinos in April.  I usually like to keep my cheese on a cracker, but these mamas make my little Grinch heart grow three sizes with their friendships and daily encouragement.  

Also: their poop jokes and ferret videos

One of these lovely lasses recently channeled her creative prowess into a side business, and we're all pretty damn jazzed to support her endeavors... especially when adorable and unique baby duds are involved! 

Lindsey's Little Dude N Dudette offers fresh picks for babies and toddlers printed in small batches on super soft American Apparel onesies and tees.  If you're looking for something with a little bit of edge for the tiny meatloaf in your life, definitely give the LDND Etsy shop a gander... We're partial to the Hug Life Onesies and Toddler Tees, but pint-sized Lebowskis and collectors of pants of sassier varieties are sure to be delighted by these designs as well. 

Missfit Tee

To celebrate the initial success of her shop, Lindsey was kind enough to offer three EA readers a free short-sleeved onesie or tee of their choosing! 

Giveaway Rules & Details
  • For one giveaway entry, simply visit the Little Dude N Dudette Etsy shop and tell me which design is your favorite in the comments section
  • For up to 4 additional entries, follow @littledudendudette on Instagram, follow the Little Dude N Dudette Facebook page, add the LDND Etsty shop to your Favorites, and/or pin a LDND design to one of your Pinterest boards 
  • If you qualify for any additional entries, just let me know in your comment!  
  • Additional entries are on the honor system, y'all.  Don't be an asshole. 
  • Comments will close Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm CST.
  • Winners will be announced Monday, December 1
  • Your email must be connected to your comment for your entry(ies) to be valid.  Not sure if you're all linked up?  Read this tutorial to make it happen! 
Lindsey's delicious little hamhock Porter

EA readers will also receive 15% off any purchase of Little Dude N Dudette products during the course of the giveaway with the code EAFRIENDS.  I reckon there's a few stylish kidlets on your holiday  list who'd love to be living the Hug Life this December! 

A big ol' thanks to and loads of jazzhands for Lindsey and Little Dude N Dudette!  

Good Luck! 

*The opinions stated in this review / giveaway are 100% my own.  Giveaway winners' prizes will be provided by Lindsey at Little Dude N Dudette.  However, I purchased B's Hug Life Onesie with my own funds, because I love the product, love shopping small, and love supporting friends.  Basically, there's a metric fuckton of love up in here.  Lindsey did send me a free matching Hug Life toddler tee for L, because she's a total peach like that,, but I was not compensated in any other way for this post.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nutty Grain & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cherries

What's been shakin' around here... Let's see...

It's been cold.  Did you know it's been cold?  We all remain skeptical of the cold.  I don't know how you folks up North do it...sunscreen and water bottles and sunhats and extensive knowledge of indoor play spaces I can do.  If it's 104 for the 16th day in a row and there are two cranky kids to entertain, I'm your gal.  But bundling those same two meatloaves up when the windchill is 17 degrees is an ass-whip, man. The baby doesn't even have shoes! {Because, yaknow, Texas!} And all of L's leggings and sweaters that I totally thought could power through another winter are capri pants and crop tops, respectively.  I'd say we've spent this first cold snap in legit Goof Troop Mode.  

We are getting Top Marks for funny hats and fleece and be-earred hoodies, though. 

I enjoyed a very cold, very fun, and very blurry evening out with friends last Sunday.  We had dinner at Cook Hall at the W {yum!} and saw The Black Keys {very different from The Black Eyed Peas, if you were wondering... there was a little, um, confusion as to who was on the marquee by one party who shall remain nameless.  thankfully, she wasn't too upset by the absence of Fergie-Ferg}. 

Great concert... made even better by great friends, the guy in front of us who randomly shared his popcorn wealth, and an excellent cover of Never Met a Girl Like You Before.  Good stuff. 

I had the brilliant idea to make clove oranges last week. I was carrying around some sort of false and misplaced nostalgia which convinced me this little project would be a fabulous mother-daughter craft.  Well apparently I've been suffering from a rare type of highly specific DIY dementia, as making clove oranges is (a) not at all toddler-friendly and (b) THE WORST EVER.  But because I'd gone to three separate stores hunting for whole cloves and we're not apt to eat big oranges, I finished those little finger-shredding fuckers myself and allowed them to dry in the fridge, where E claimed they scared the pants off him every time he went to grab a snack. Personally, I think the fact we have four jars of jalapenos taking up prime refrigerator real estate is scarier than any aromatic fruit decor, but what do I know. 

The pint-sized hellraisers are insanely glorious to the nostrils so I suppose all was not for naught. And now that my bathrooms are guest-ready {up to snuff - or sniff! - one might say} {har-har}, I can get serious about my Thanksgiving menu.  A family friend is bringing her sweet potatoes, but this recipe would surely be gracing my table otherwise.  A seriously delicious twist on a traditional holiday staple, this is a hit for celebrations great and small {I celebrated not selling my pre-threenager to the circus with it just last Tuesday!}.  It's a really excellent vegetarian / vegan offering to boot! 

Nutty Grain & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cherries
inspired by With Style & Grace

- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup farro {I used Trader Joe's 10 minute farro -- you need one that will cook in 10-15 minutes}
- 1.5 cups chicken or veggie stock
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly 
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 heaping tsp. cumin
- 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan bits 
- 1/2 T sea salt

In a medium saucepan, add quinoa, farro, and stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for around 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, then pour into salad bowl. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato, onion, and garlic together with a small glug of EVOO.  Cover a baking sheet with foil, spritz with EVOO, and spread potato mixture evenly {in a single layer} over sheet.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until soft, giving everything a flip with a spatula halfway through. 

Combine potatoes, cherries, pecans, and cumin in the salad bowl with the quinoa and farro.  Drizzle with about 1/2 T of EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt.  Toss to combine and serve warm. 

Serves 4-5, so you might double it if you're hosting a large holiday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

bits and bobs

After the excitement and ginormous sugar crash that was Halloween, we were due for a low-key weekend.  My mother-in-law powered through a marathon surgery on Friday {13 hours... she's battled three kinds of cancer over the last 6 years - not something I mention often as it's not my story to tell, but she/we are always appreciative of healing thoughts and juju and prayers, if you're the type who has a few extra to spare}, so E spent a good chunk of Saturday and Sunday in the ICU {no kiddo visitors allowed yet}.  We did carve out some family QT, though...

We took advantage of the glorious weather and hit up the park.  B loved watching the big kids play soccer and lacrosse.  He was less enthused with the baby swing.  I made the exact same face when we decided to sup at El Phoenix afterwards {it was one of the only feasible options near the hospital} -- I do not understand born and bred Dallasites' loyalty to that place; I think their food tastes like sweat socks.  But!  Margaritas! 

We played Early Birds on Sunday to beat the church / hungover hipster crowd at Dream Cafe.  We brunched here nearly every single weekend when I was pregnant with L and brought her with us quite often as an only child, but I think we've only taken the complete foursome once or twice.  A couple of Sky Waffles in 7+ months really is unacceptable.  Sister geeked out over the Mickey Mouse pancake, and we celebrated a very big milestone for B... Baby's First Bacon.  I failed to photograph his reaction, but, as expected, he's big on the pig. 

Sunday afternoon was our buddy Nora's 3rd birthday party.  It was another seriously gorgeous day for a park celebration.  L was a big fan of the flower-in-a-cone activity, the swings, and the cookie cake.  She passed on the potato sack races {sad times}. 

Sunday evenings are for grocery shopping and salad bar feasting al fresco.  Navigating the market with two is a tad trickier now that B prefers to sit in the basket {crazy kid doesn't like facing out in the Beco but now does this contortionist back bend move while facing in}.  Praise Baby Cheesus for in-store wine-by-the-glass. 

Someone housed an entire carton of raspberries before we even made it through the produce section.  I hope she likes public school, because those $6 appetizers are really eating through her college fund.  That girl sure does keep us in stitches, though... At one point during dinner on the patio, she suddenly put her fork down, climbed off her chair, and said "I just have to dance now!" That's the spirit! 

Gearing up for a chilly week... Grumpy Bear says Stay Warm!