3 Instagram Shops That Dazzle Me

When I joined Instagram, I had no idea what a treasure trove of small businesses I would find to shop with!  My daughter is the outlet of my inner fashionista, so it all started with children’s clothing and accessories.  It has since grown to so many more awesome shops with a wide variety of products.  As my blog gained readership, I decided to feature the shops I love, and that I think you would, too.  Let’s go shopping!

Keep reading because the 3 shops featured here are not to be missed!  

QuarkAndAtom

Razz Dazz Mom Blog QuarkAndAtom
Photo courtesy of QuarkAndAtom

https://quarkandatom.com

Use code Ella15 for 15% off of your purchase!

Just in time for this November’s upcoming extremely important election, and the holidays, the smartest girl’s apparel on the block is here!  You can shop via Etsy, Instagram or the website.  Owner Danielle Rutter has given our kids a voice with her activist and STEM-inspired clothes.  I proudly dress my daughter in the wide variety of shirt styles and leotards – and they even have awesome socks!

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Give them a voice with this shirt!

Other messages include “In books we dream” (pictured above) “Believe her FOR ME”, “Future Mathlete” and many more.  When I tell you I want everything in this shop, I am not being hyperbolic.

Order now to get yours in time for election day!

Piper Finn Footwear

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www.piperfinn.com/

Get 15% off your first purchase when you join their email list.

There is so much value in purchasing something that is fun to open from the moment you lay eyes on the packaging.  Ordering from this company was a joy from start to finish!

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From oxfords to sandals, Piper Finn Footwear is among the best companies I have found for baby and toddler shoes.  Their focus is smart, fun, fashionable shoes for baby at an affordable price.  I ordered the Rose top grain sandals, and they arrived in the most wonderful bag!  Ella is absolutely obsessed with them, and wants to wear them everywhere, with everything.

Having a child with dainty, narrow feet, open-toe sandals can be a struggle to keep on!  I really appreciated the insert that came with them for that very purpose.  They were easy to adhere to the shoe (and they came with simple instructions) – and they really work!

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Follow them on Instagram to stay up on the newest styles and sales.

Amazeowl

Order on Amazon: amzn.to/2xAPczi

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amaze_owl

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I do not have a green thumb.  As a matter of fact, I often joke that I have a black thumb.  So, when I discovered artificial succulents in the cutest handmade owl pots, I was all in!

Amazeowl is a Los Angeles-based company created by 2 best friends (Emily & Chester) who decided to buck the 9-5 grind by creating a must-have product that combined their love for all things owls with allowing them to be their own boss.  I am so happy to share them with you here.

This product comes in an adorable box, with 6 unique owls and succulents.  They are cute, fun and look really pretty in every room in my house!  Ella is absolutely obsessed with them.

Order yours for just $15.99 on Amazon & give them a follow on Instagram!  You won’t be sorry.

Go Shopping!

If there has ever been a time to support small business, it is now.  These three shops are truly awesome.  The owners are fabulous, the products are top-notch and the shopping experience was really great with all of them.

When you order, be sure to tag them in your photos on Instagram.  Let me know what you bought in the comments and you can also tag me on IG here.  I can’t wait to see what you buy!

*** I have note received any financial compensation to write this post.  I just want to promote their amazing products & share my great experiences! ***

Feature photo by Fletcher Photography

www.instagram.com/fletcherphotography Website: www.fletcher.photo/

What Dazzles Me – Zoku Mini Mold & A Blog

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Our family loves food!When we eat at home, we prefer to follow a Paleo-ish diet.  Whole foods are a priority to us as well.  So, as we raise our daughter, we made helping her develop a diverse & healthy palette a priority for meal and snack time.  We eat together, at the dinner table on a regular basis.  As a result, we have a tiny 2-year-old who eats like a famine is just around the corner.  And now we have an extra pair of hands to assist in meal preparations and clean up as well.

Since I didn’t inherit my mom’s incredible talent as a cook, I often rely on the wisdom of others who share recipes online.  So, when a friend recommended Baby FoodE  I was absolutely delighted to find a wonderful blog whose tag line is adventurous recipes for babies & toddlers.  I’ve had fun trying out various recipes, and EllaBean is always up for eating what I serve up!

I recently read one of her posts with recipes about popsicles for babies and toddlers that are made of fruits & vegetables.  I had molds that I’ve been using to freeze yogurt as a sweet treat, but they are huuuuge, and unmanageable for tiny hands, so I took the advice in the post and ordered Zoku Mini Molds.

Our first batch are the Strawberry, Raspberry, (butternut) Squash.  With my lovely assistant by my side, we had so much fun making this easy  recipe today.  Since I roasted my own butternut squash, I also have enough for another batch of pops (mango, pineapple, squash) and tomorrow’s starch ready to heat as a bonus.   Honey, maple syrup or agave nectar are optional sweeteners, and I added a tiny drop of honey because I overdid it on the lemon juice.  I added some acai puree for extra antioxidants, and that’s all it took.  The result was ready in just over 2 hours – just in time for dessert – and they are delicious!

Even as summer comes to an end, I will continue to make these frozen treats.  The health benefits of everything in them are all that I could ask for, and the molds are awesome!  I didn’t have to run water over them or struggle to pull them out.  I just pushed the bottom round up and the perfect size pop for Bean’s little hands pop out on a tiny handle.  They are also awesome for a little something sweet for parents too.  Well done, and thanks so much to BabyFoodE for helping me on my quest to dazzle my little girl with good eats.

If you have a favorite toddler recipe, please share in the comments section.

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Dear Scottsdale, AZ, You Dazzled Us!

Traveling with a toddler can be intimidating.  As infants, they're so portable, predictable, go-with-the-flow in comparison.  As we prepared to tag along on L's business trip to Scottsdale, AZ, I knew that we had to prepare in a whole new way.  Ella is a laid back little girl, but she's still a toddler and lack of preparation can lead to meltdowns, and meltdowns are just not fun.  Luckily, there are parents who have come before me & they have posted their own lists.  Between Scottsdale's official travel site & the wonderful blog of Mommy Poppins, along with our own family interests leading the way, we were set for a wonderful time in this scenic city.  There is no shortage of fun, and the good food is plentiful!

Day 1 – We landed at PHX airport at about 5:30pm, and had reservations at The Roaring Fork.  Ohhhh my goodness, was it good!  We ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup for Ella.  It arrived as a plate with a perfect circle of shredded chicken, cheese, avocado and cilantro & then the broth was poured, tableside, around it.  The result is what is hot remains hot, and what is chilled, is slowly warmed up so that the flavors meld together perfectly!    IMG_3729

L & I checked out the menu the night before, and it was clear immediately that we were not having lite faire for this meal (though the menu offers it if that is your desire).  We ordered and shared: BACON-WRAPPED PORK TENDERLOIN with White Falls Mill Cheese Grits & Mexican Street Corn (photo below) & ROARING FORK "BIG ASS" BURGER Poblano Pepper, Cheddar, Smoked Pepper Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Onions, Pickles, French Fries (sorry, no photo because we got too excited and I forgot before we attacked it).  Delicious, and our favorite meal the entire trip, by far!  What a way to kick it off.  Not only that, but our waitress, Amy, was lovely & very sweet with our little one.  Even better, there were 3 very elegant drunk women celebrating a birthday at the table next to us so they were delighted when Ella belted out her new favorite song, "Happy Birthday!" at the top of her exhausted, delusional lungs.

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After dinner, we checked into our room at the Embassy Suites by Hilton.  From the moment we arrived, the staff was friendly, courteous & extremely helpful.  They delivered a playpen for Ella to sleep in for our stay so we didn't have to lug our own along.  Lovely!

Day 2 – While Momma went to work, Mommy & Ella hitched a ride on the hotel's courtesy shuttle to Scottsdale Fashion Square.  This expansive mall offers shopping, food and play area.  After we shopped, we played in the kids play area.

**I am always looking for a great deal. I love shopping the clearance sections in other states because it's always sunny in California, so we benefit from the change of seasons in other places.  This trip, Ella's gorgeous 18-24 month & 2T clothes were found at babyGap, one of my favorite stores for kids fashion.

Butterfly Wonderland held the magic and wonder that made family time even more exceptional than usual.  Butterflies move just as they are depicted in movies, or by artists, giving them a surreal quality..  As we moved through the sanctuary full of fruit & brightly colored flowers, more than 3,000 butterflies surrounded us in all their brilliance.  IMG_1194

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This really is a must-see, one-of-a-kind experience when you're in the area.  It delighted all of us.  Though we cannot touch the butterflies as the oils from our skin can harm them, one did kiss Ella's cheek.  All of this magnificence is topped off by an awesome gift shop.

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant (Granada Bar & Grill).  The pizza seems to be their specialty, but it doesn't come with a spatula to serve it, so that's something for the suggestion box.  We had the deviled eggs as an appetizer & they were delicious!

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Day 3 – Swimming at one of the hotel pools was great.  Ella & I were alone, except for a lovely couple from England who were reading and napping on the other side of the deck.   I picked up a fabulous Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jacket at Target & Ella had a wonderful time with more independence in the water!IMG_3805

Family dinner that night was at Bootleggers where the Moms tried delicious & refreshing peach moonshine, and ate pulled sandwiches (the perfect blend of smoky, sweet and tangy) and waffle fries.  Located in the heart of Olde Town Scottsdale where there is no shortage of fabulous eateries, this was a spur-of-the-moment decision that did not disappoint. 4.5 stars (my waffle fries were overdone otherwise it would've been 5)!  We shall return!

Day 4 – Ella & I packed then walked back to the mall to check and see if Mommy had missed anything on my sale spree.  Then we caught the courtesy shuttle back with Brad, the lovely driver from the resort.  One of the front desk staff  (whose name I'm sorry I didn't get) gave Ella a little bag of M&Ms.

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As we headed to the airport to fly home, I was filled with gratitude for this trip.. Ella & I got to relax and have fun without the demands of life at home, and we got some great quality family adventure time.  We will see you again soon, Scottsdale.  Thank you for the wonderful trip!

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**The statements made in this post are my own opinions.  I wasn't paid anything to promote anyone or anything.**

 

 

 

 

 

What Dazzles Me – DinDin Smart Bus Platter

I’ve decided to post some of my favorite things related to kids and parenting, beginning with this gem from InnoBaby.  At this time, nobody has given me products or paid me to talk about or photograph their products.

• Such a fabulous platter, designed with perfectly portioned sections that baby simply loves to eat from.  Using finger foods or food that calls for utensils works.  Versatility is key in a day in the life of a baby-person.

• It elevates mealtime.  This is a kiddie bento box.  Totally trendy!

• I love making meal and snack time fun!  This takes makes it so easy.  It makes introducing new foods an exciting adventure, rather than a chore.  Baby is excited to see what makes up her plate.

• We can have interesting discussions about food groups, types of fruits, veggies, colors, etc.

• Now I can take fresh, healthy ingredients on the go rather than to depend on pre-made food like crackers and pouches.

• I got the one with the lid so that we can take it to the park. I discovered this when a nanny brought one with her little charge.  It was chock full of blueberries, cheese, strawberries & grapes – all sorts of good, fresh foods.

• The bus design is something that my girl loves too!

• Its slim design slides into our diaper bag perfectly.

At $19.99 for the version with the lid ($17.99/$4.99 for the 2 separate pieces), I think this high-quality contraption is a great addition to my parent tools!

http://innobaby.com/eat/din-din-smart-bus-platters/

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