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Healthy Holidays: Healthy Holiday Side Dishes

Ahh yes, the holidays are finally approaching! According to most department stores, we’d better start Christmas shopping! (Yes, Halloween was just a couple of days ago! It’s a little ridiculous if you ask me).

While many of us tend to stuff our faces with cheesy potatoes and fudge, we’d like to take another approach around here this year. Healthy Holidays! That’s right, we want to teach people that the delicious comfort food we all love to eat can be tweaked just a little for a healthier, and even tastier version. So, let me introduce to you the next roundup in our Healthy Holidays series…

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oakiewear childrens outdoor gear

Children’s Outdoor Gear- Oakiwear Review

Oakiwear Review Children's Outdoor Clothing

We took a hike on a chilly autumn day last week, but something was different…. Our children didn’t stay on the dirt path- they wandered through the bushes, down the creeks, and stomped in puddles. Although we take nature hikes quite often, they enjoyed this one more than any other.

Were they cold? Nope. Were they wet? Nope.

Outdoor Clothing Explorer Gear for Kids Review

They had clothing that was made for exploring the outdoors. It was well-made, warm, and waterproof! We have never seen our three year-old daughter enjoy getting muddy and tromping through water and weeds before, especially in the crisp fall air! Normally she will cry because her clothes get wet, or a thorn catches her pants. The hiking experience we went on that day changed the way our children feel about nature. They were able to explore and enjoy it while still being dry and comfortable, and that’s why we love our Oakiwear!

Kids Outdoor Clothing Oakiwear

Sue from Oakiwear believes,

“if we truly wish to get kids active again, we need to provide them with the right gear at an affordable price to open the door to new possibilities in outdoor exploration.”

This children’s outdoor gear did exactly that. They went off the path and explored the world, and loved every minute of it.

Oakiwear Outdoor Kids Gear Review

Here’s a little more about the particular gear we were wearing:

We were given the opportunity to try Oakiwear’s Children’s Neoprene Rain/Snow Boots, Trail Pants, and Trail Fleece Lined Jackets. I tend to avoid doing product reviews, however this company is one that our family loves for several reasons…

Oakiwear Review Children's Outdoor Gear

Quality

The quality of Oakiwear outdoor gear is comparable, and possibly even better than well-known outdoor clothing brands. The material their products are made out of are warm and can endure just about anything without tearing.

The Rain/Snow Boots were fantastic. We have yet to find similar neoprene boots made of this quality for the price that Oakiwear offers them. They are warm, waterproof, and comfy!

Oakiwear Children's Outdoor Gear

Sizing

One thing that definitely makes Oakiwear different from other outdoor clothing companies, is that it’s sizing starts all the way down at 2T! Most of their clothing is adjustable around the wrists and ankles, so you can also purchase them a little big, and adjust them as they grow. That means you can get a couple of years of wear out of one piece of their outdoor gear.

Oakiwear Review Children's Outdoor Gear

Price

The price of Oakiwear products is unbelievably reasonable for the quality product you receive. Their waterproof trail pants are currently only $32.99, and they are AMAZING. Since they are adjustable at the ankles, and have a stretchy neoprene waste, I’m fairly certain my children will get at least three years of use out of them. If you divide $32.99 by three years, it ends up being right around $11 per year. THAT is beyond worth it for our children to be able to enjoy the outdoors without a care!

Oakiwear Children's Outdoor Gear Review

We love our Oakiwear because it gives our children a chance to enjoy exploring the outdoors  comfortably. Many may not realize how important outdoor play and exploration is for young children. Get your babies comfy and warm and encourage them to explore. You will see something new in them. You will start hearing questions and excitement coming from them. It is truly wonderful. It’s worth it. I promise.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love  our newsletter; or if you would like to see more pictures of our outdoor adventures and natural learning, follow us on Instagram!

oakiewear childrens outdoor gear

 

 

Healthy Halloween Treats Featured Image

Healthy Halloween Treats

As we welcome fall, we also begin welcoming many occasions where our kids get to overload on sweets, and unhealthy foods become the norm at seasonal family gatherings. My stomach hurts just thinking about trying to recover from the multiple Thanksgiving dinners our family attends each year!

Because of this, I’m here to tell you that there are healthy alternatives to the traditional holiday treats or meals. In our Healthy Holidays series, we will cover Healthy Holiday Sides, Healthy Holiday Deserts, and in today’s post, Healthy Halloween Treats.

Healthy Halloween Treats

Whether you are hosting a Halloween party, or just handing out treats to little ghouls and goblins at your door, you will be sure to find adorable inspirations from these fabulous blogs.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Harvest Chex Mix | Betty Crocker

Coffin Sandwiches | Kraft

Frozen Banana Mummies | Lexie’s Kitchen

School Approved Frankenstein | Sparkles to Sprinkles

Creepy Crawlers | Parents

Jack-O-Lantern Sweet Potato Fries | Babble

Candy Corn Popsicles | The Girl Inspired

Pumpkin Patch Dippers | Parents

Fall Trail Mix with Free Printable | Make Bake Celebrate

Healthy Halloween Bat Energy Bites

Healthy Halloween Bat Energy Bites | Chelsea’s Messy Apron (Pictured)

Jack-O’-Lantern Mandarin Orange Cups | Becoming a Bentoholic

Halloween Spider Cracker Snacks | Lajolla Mom

Healthy Paleo Apple Bites | Paleo Grubs

Halloween Candy Corn Fruit Pops | Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

Jack-O’-Lantern Smoothies | My Recipe Magic

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds | The Clever Carrot

Apple Mummies | Two Healthy Kitchens

Healthy Halloween Tangerine Pumpkins

Tangerine Pumpkins | Bren Did  (Pictured)

Frightful Fruit Kebabs | She Knows

Spooky Spider Snack | Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

Jack-O’-Lantern Fruit Plate | Wholesome Dinner Tonight

Witches Broom Snacks | Raining Hot coupons

Monster Sandwiches | My Own Road

Healthy Halloween Treat Orange Jack-O-Lantern

Orange Jack-O-Lantern Cups | Frugal Coupon Living (Pictured)

Goblin Potion | Clean and Scentsible

Savory Owl Snack | Parents

Funky Frankenstein | Little Food Junction

GoGo Squeez Mummy Pouches | The Nerd’s Wife

Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail | Family Fresh Meals

Apple Monster Mouths | Spend with Pennies

Owl Inspiration | WIP Blog

Healthy Halloween Cheese Monsters

Cheese Monsters | Danya Banya (Pictured)

Grape Poppers | Made From Pinterest

Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds | She Wears Many Hats

GoGo Squeez Pumpkins | The Nerd’s Wife

Spiders On a Log | Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Apple Mummies | Marci Coombs

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our post with 45+ Fall Crafts and Activities for Kids. Don’t forget to sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter  for updates and articles from Young Earthy Mama as well!

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We Co-Sleep

We Co-Sleep, and I’ll Tell You Why….

We Co-Sleep at Our Home.

We co-sleep

Yep. Our whole family squishes into one bed every night. It didn’t start out that way, and in fact before having children I was completely against the idea.

After becoming a mother of two, it seemed like there was always a little one sleeping next to me at night. I always just pinned it on the fact that I just can’t say no when a sweet little face asks if they can sleep with their Mama. Or when one of them wakes up in the middle of the night and crawls into my bed to find their place between my arms.

Honestly, it was a goal of mine to get them sleeping in their own beds soon, until last night…

I had just finished reading them their bedtime story, and Miss Three had fallen asleep sucking her thumb. Mr Five cuddled up to me, and turned to look at his sister with his expression so sweet and caring. He smiled slightly, and said “She’s so sweet, isn’t she mama?” I replied by whispering, “You know, you can give her a goodnight kiss on the cheek if you’d like.” His smile grew bigger, and he leaned over and softly rubbed his nose on her face, and then kissed her on the cheek as she continued to suck her thumb.

He then said, “She never lets me do that… I want to listen to her heart,” while placing his ear tightly to her chest. He whispered, “It’s beating Mama, that means she’s healthy. My sister’s healthy.”

He kissed her a few more times on the cheek, and then cuddled himself up in the blankets and dozed off while watching his sissy sleep.

Because of last night, I’ve realized this…

You Know What? Co-Sleeping is Okay.

Yes. I said it, and I’m certain many people will disagree. But for our family it works. I appreciate those special moments we share as we all fall asleep together. Our children feel comfortable; they feel safe.

Just as we believe in letting them learn at their own pace, and try new things at their own pace, we have decided that they can move to their own beds when they are ready. We won’t be sharing those precious moments forever, and if it is working for us why change it because others don’t agree with it? Co-sleeping actually has several positive benefits that many may not realize as well, including security, closeness, and ease of nursing.

Yes our kids can be bed hogs, and yes, I may have been startled awake by a foot to the face a time or two. Knees and elbows in my back are a regular occurrence as well, but the benefits outweigh the negatives for us at this time.

If you are considering co-sleeping with your child, I would definitely advise purchasing a co-sleeper (affiliate) during the time they are tiny babies. I do agree that co-sleeping while you are an extremely exhausted new parent can be unsafe, but as your children get a little older and they want to snuggle with their Mama or Daddy, I see no problem with that.

Soak up those sweet cuddles while you can!

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Fall Crafts and Activities for Kids featured image

45+ Fall Crafts and Activities for Kids

Little ones love learning about the seasons, and with fall quickly approaching, I’ve put together a huge list of 45+ fall crafts and activities for your littles! There’s no better way to learn about autumn than to do hands on activities and even a little exploring!

Autumn Crafts and Activities for Kids

 Kids Fall Crafts and Activities

Creating a Fall Nature Tray from Edventures with Kids

Stone and Shell Owl Craft from Rhythms of Play

The Art and Science of Leaf Rubbings from Edventures with Kids

Sewing a Fall Leaf Crown from How Wee Learn

Unique Fall Crown from Rain or Shine Mamma

Nature Walk: Autumn Leaf Masks from Outdoors Mom

Fall Craft Activity- Sensory Jars

Fall Sensory Jars from Kids Play Box (Pictured)

Fall Button Trees from Hands On as We Grow

Nature Scavenger Hunt (Free Printable) from Young Earthy Mama

Let’s Build a Nature Wall from Meri Cherry

Top 10 Fall Nature Crafts from Rhythms of Play

Fall Tree Art from Kids Play Box

Name Activities with Colorful Pumpkin Seeds from Fun-a-Day

Fall Craft for Kids

Fall Leaf Letters from How Wee Learn

Lego Stamped Indian Corn from Crafty Morning

Coffee Filter Fall Leaves from Popsugar Moms

Search for Signs of Autumn from Rhythms of Play

Fall Leaves Garland from A Beautiful Mess

Pine Cone Splatter Art from Mess for Less

Autumn Woodland Treasure Sculpture from Filth Wizardry

Autumn Kids Craft Bark Owl

Bark Owl Craft from Fireflies and Mud Pies (Pictured)

Autumn Leaves and Gems Color Sorting from The Imagination Tree

Faces from Fall Leaves from Fun Family Crafts

Fall Leaf Rainbow from Love in the Suburbs

How to Preserve Leaves from Buggy and Buddy

Autumn Sensory Bin from B-Inspired Mama

Autumn Nature Table from The Imagination Tree

Ways to Play with Nature from Modern Parents Messy Kids

Fall craft activity for kids

Fancy Stick Crown from Mama Miss (Pictured)

Autumn Mobile from Red Ted Art

Fall Leaf Suncatchers from Cute and Peculiar

Tiny Guests from Manomine

Fall Leaf Lacing from Rhythms of Play

Autumn Leaf Mason Jar Candle Holder from Spark and Chemistry

Salt Dough Leaf Impressions from Freebie Finding Mom

Paper Plate Owl from Huppie Mama

Maple Tree Leaf Globe from Premeditated Leftovers

Fall Wind Chimes from The Benson Street

Autumn Leaf Craft

Autumn Leaf Bunting from The Artful Parent (Pictured)

Pine Cone Owl from Broogly

Fall Leaf Painting from Minne-Mama

Leaf Hedgehog from Crafty Morning

Fall Play Dough Invitation to Play from Fantastic Fun and Learning

Acorn Activities for Kids from Still Playing School

Fall crafts and activities

DIY Acorn Peg Dolls from Rhythms of Play (Pictured)

Tissue Paper Fall Wreath from Happy Hooligans

Leaf-y Jack-O-Lantern from How Wee Learn

Fall Slime Recipe from Learning Through Playing

I hope that you found fall crafts or activities your kids or students will enojy! Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for more great ideas, or sign up for our newsletter and get them sent straight to your inbox!

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