What I’m Currently Reading

What I'm Reading - Girl Nesting

Happy Friday all! I wanted to share with you what I’m currently reading! It’s not a steamy novel… it’s a cookbook! Before you think “not for me”, think again. Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good“, is all very good. She focuses on food being in fact medicine for our precious bodies! We are what we eat in fact….

I have always felt like I’ve known Gwyneth…jeez that sounds weird! LOL! I remember her days of modeling as a celebrity “kid” back when we were all teens…that was the cool thing happening in fashion back then. Maybe it’s because she looks identical to my best friend in high school who was also a health freak…that could be why..either way I don’t know her, but I get what she’s saying. I share her love for blue jeans and being an all natural gal.

What I'm Reading - Girl Nesting

Gwyneth’s cookbook, “It’s All Good” is a New York Bestseller. The book is filled with easy and delicious recipe’s that make you look and feel great. The photographs are beautiful!!! They make me want to move to a beach home or a farm near a stream or something…I already feel this way – it’s just intensifying my desire. Her writing of her experiences that led her to focus on her health, are relatable and real. She adores her children and shares her reality of taking better care of herself so she can be there for her kids, for hopefully forever; she is just so very honest! I love it and get it. You wish to live forever for your children. Now that we’re parents; Mike and I started jogging, eating healthy and we only drink a glass of wine on occasion. We care more than ever how we treat our bodies because we want to be there for our little monkey Zoë. It’s funny how children make you more aware of time…:)

Click here to purchase!

Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles

 Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting

This is a treat!!! These popsicles are sooooo good! I can’t even tell you how good!!! You’re going to thank me later…or now ;) 

I was inspired by a Pinterest pin I found yesterday, found here! I wanted to add my own love to it with some additional sweetness. The post had how to make the brownie’s as well… but I’m a busy working Mom, and really didn’t have the time…so I shamelessly bought my favorite brownies already made at Mariano’s – SO GOOD! I’m also watching my figure and thought I better stay away from whole milk, so I went with 2%. I reduced the sweetened condensed milk a bit as well. From there I sort of just made this goodness happen and carefully wrote my notes down, so I could share it all with you!

This didn’t take long at all! Buying the pre-made brownies really helped me save time. I also loved how fast the popsicles were frozen! I did 7 hours; it ended up being my treat after work - perfect! I just purchased these classic popsicle molds found here. They are the best! I swear, it’s like they are THE BLOGGERS POPSICLE MOLDS! LOL! You see them everywhere right?! l had to have them ;) They’re awesome and I loved using them; super clean and easy.

Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles!!!! OMYGOODNESS!!!! HEAVEN!!!! :)))) You ready?! ;)

Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl NestingBrownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl NestingBrownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting

Brownie, Raspberry & Milk Popsicles - Girl Nesting
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. Brownies
  2. About 2 cups of Fresh Raspberries
  3. 1 1/2 cup of 2% Milk
  4. 1/2 cup of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Instructions
  1. Spoon brownie into popsicle molds to about 1/4 high, mush down with teaspoon.
  2. Then spoon in raspberries 1/4 high, mush down again but try not to mix together (this is a technical term - to mush lol ;)
  3. Combine Milk and Condensed Milk in a microwave safe container and warm in microwave under beverage setting.
  4. Pour warm milk mixture carefully into popsicle molds. You might need to push down with spoon again to fill bottom with milk; so that there are no empty spaces.
  5. Add popsicle sticks and freeze at a minimum of 6 hours.
  6. Enjoy!!!! ...and try not to eat all of them at once ;)
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Time for School Kiddo – Picking a School

 Time for School Kiddo - Picking a School - Girl Nesting

The time has come. Zoë started early education today!!! The day every parent remembers so well decades down the line, has happened! I felt excited and nervous lol! Zoë felt…I think confused, but happy to be there! Her orientation yesterday went far beyond our hopes of going well…she didn’t even want to leave! She made friends! After a two hour introduction to the class on her own, I took her hand to say farewell. I was touched to hear all the children say in their sweet little voices, “goodbye Zoë, see you tomorrow!”.

Get the kleenex!!! My daughter has a life of her own :) 

Picking a School (School name is confidential for the safety of our child.)

Finding the right school was a lot like buying a new home. We wanted a place we could grow and feel comfortable in. Trusting your child with people outside of your family – heck, sometimes even in your family…is not an easy thing to do! Mike and I had our list of what was most important to us in finding the best match:

Reasonable Cost

Wonderful Staff

Safe Environment

Clean

Early Education

Structure

Creativity

Healthy Meals

Positive Reviews

Low Turnover with Staff

Do the Kids Look Engaged and Happy?

Does Zoë Like It?

That’s quite the list! Everything a parent would want from a daycare or school. At first, it seemed like you couldn’t have it all…there were always things missing! So frustrating. We were always weighing the pros and cons of each of our options. What could we do without? Lowering our expectations just didn’t settle well with us. It didn’t seem right when it came to our child’s well-being. We wanted to feel comfortable. We decided to look a tad further than our neighborhood. A place that even though we couldn’t walk to, we could make work.

I had seen a sign about a daycare/ kindergarten that focused on early education. I never liked how a lot of the daycare’s lacked subjects to teach the kids! Where was the structure?! I was taking Zoë to classes in our neighborhood because I knew it got her excited to learn and be challenged. She enjoys being challenged…not just babysat! This add spoke to me and what I felt would be a great fit for our daughter’s personality. So, I checked it out.

  • Best place to start is online. Check out the schools website.
  • I googled reviews of the school from parents; reading carefully their personal experiences. Very helpful!
  • I asked around, seeing what Nannies and Parents thought about the school. They all heard great things, knew friends who were attending/loved it or were in fact sending their kids there themselves!

I gave the school a call and set up an appointment to meet and take a look. I liked the fact that they didn’t accept walk-ins. I never felt comfortable with the schools we checked out in the past that let strangers just walk into their classes whenever! 

For our meeting we brought Zoë with us. Zoë was in fact the new possible client at hand!

  • We made notes of the neighborhood. Is it safe? Is it a busy street? It was a great neighborhood and it wasn’t a busy street with rushing traffic. There was a park nearby. It was pretty! Funny thing to notice, but it was. That’s appealing to a Momma! It looked like a nice place to attend.
  • We also noticed right away that it had strong security. We couldn’t get in! LOL! That was a great thing! We were buzzed in. There was a woman at the desk right as you entered, followed by another locked door to be buzzed in after that.
  • Food is organic and catered from a trusted supplier. I was thrilled that they serve food pre-cut specifically for toddlers! Did you know there’s a food regulation of how big those pieces should be for a toddler! Hey… that’s a good questing to ask when you are looking into schools. Never assume they’re doing what they’re supposed to! It’s very important to ask questions.
  • Class schedule consisted of math, science, English, yoga, music, painting, Spanish and Mandarin! This is a world where we communicate a lot with outside countries for business. Spanish and Mandarin will be very useful in their futures… Starting early with a second or third language is always better than starting later…children are like sponges!
  • The rooms were bright, clean and organized.
  • Kids looked happy to be there! Interested in the lessons for the day!
  • They also had a gated outdoor space with padded floors, mostly shaded, a small climber with soft beveled edges and even a section for kids to garden!!!
  • The staff was incredibly kind! Zoë loved it!!! She just joined in and made herself at home. They couldn’t believe she had never been in a daycare before! She was happy and comfortable on her own, with them. That right there, puts your heart at ease. 
  • The cost was doable, reasonable. We could make it work!

Finally we found a school that fit us :)

I hope sharing this experience can help someone else! Do your research and trust your gut ;)

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Skip Hop ‘Zoo Pack’ Backpack

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