8.11.2014

Load up your lunch with this AWESOME (Beanfields!) giveaway

Last month you may or may not have seen my review on the vegan chip brand "Beanfields." (AKA the most magical vegan chip in the Universe). If you didn't see it yet, you should go read it, but whatevs, I'll give you a quick low down on the company again!

Beanfields is a family-owned snack company that wants to make good food for good people! They want to leave a lighter foot print, all while making a delicious VEGAN chip. They have seven ridiculously amazing varieties: unsalted, sea salt, salt and pepper, barbecue, pico de gallo, RANCH and NACHO!!!!!  Yeah, you'll basically never think about Doritos again, they're that good.

In addition to be utterly delicious, they're also way more stacked than your run-of-the-mill chip. They're also a complete protein (hello beans and rice in chip form), they've got more protein and fiber in one ounce than a tortilla chip, potato chip or egg, and they're FREE of the eight most common allergens. Oh, and did I mention they're CERTIFIED gluten free too? Yeah, so you basically have no reason not to run out and by these in hoards. For reals, HOARDS.

They also come in two tasty sizes: the "shareable" 6oz bag and the pack-in-your-lunch 1.5 oz bag. We sent Pearyn off to preschool with a small bag and they were more than enough for her to snack on and have a little leftover for an afterschool tidbit.

And because Beanfields is such an awesome company AND you're getting ready to send your kiddo (or yourself!) back to school, they have generously and graciously offered to let me host a giveaway for one lucky reader to receive their very own CASE (yes, you read that right, 24 1.5 oz bags of these awesome chips) for FREE!

Seriously, you have no excuse to not blow up social media with this killer giveaway, because if you haven't tried these chips yet, you need to. And if you have tried them, then you know you want more.

To enter, simply follow the instructions through the Rafflecopter widget! You can earn more entries by liking Chubby Vegan Mom on Facebook, Twitter, leaving a comment on the blog about what YOUR favorite school lunch was and by tweeting it out!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

8.08.2014

Let's stop the parent bashing already

I've said this before and I will more than likely say it again (and again and again): You are the absolute BEST parent you will ever be, BEFORE you have children.

There's a growing trend on my Facebook friends list. An imaginary, but very evident and very clear line is starting to be drawn.

It's the non-parents vs the parents.

And folks, let me tell ya, one of us is being really, really unfair to the other.

I get it, as non-parents, you probably get really tired of seeing 95 pictures of my baby's first bite of carrots. Or maybe you didn't like reading the gory details of by 18-hour labor, I can understand that. I remember seeing those posts before I had children and sure, I'd roll my eyes and scroll on. But you know what? All those pictures, the videos of my babies' first steps, the TMI-posts, those are things I write because I'm proud or excited. They're not designed to offend, tear-down or hurt YOU or any non-parent in any way.

But your posts, the ones about how "no good parent would let XXXXXX happen to their child," those, they're critical, they're mean and they're rude. Sure, maybe you think they're funny, and sometimes, they might be. But they're also funny, because they're picking at all us parents out here who, guess what, don't ALWAYS know what we're doing.

Newsflash, parenting, it doesn't come with a handy guide, and kids, they're not like purchasing a car where you just let them know the make and model and everything make sense. No, kids are much, much more complex than that. And just when you think you have them figured out, they change the game on you again.

So you post something maybe you think is harmless. Like a picture of a warning label that appears on a giant tub. It warns you not to let your child play in the giant tub with the lid because they might become trapped in there. And then, well, you know, something really, really awful might happen. Sure enough I had a friend post something on her Facebook about this. And then all the others joined in on the fun: "I hope if you can't keep your kid out of a big storage tub that you don't have kids." Or, "wow, they really need a warning label on that? How smart are parents today." My favorite would have to be "I don't know whether to find this label hysterical or be completely scared that it's needed."

Hardy har har. Aren't y'all sooooooooooooooooo funny? Having a kid is sooooooooooo easy. No good parent would let their kid play in a storage bin, duh. Don't they know it's dangerous? DUH.

Guess what? When you actually take time to BECOME a parent, which I can only hope you'll lose the judgmental attitude by then (for the sake of your child, who, like you, will be imperfect), you'll find that nearly everything in your day-to-day life should come with a warning label. And even if it shouldn't, you'll be able to come up with about 1,000 ways it should. Because that's what happens when you become a parent. You love this tiny little creature so much, that you start to see all the dangers in the world.

Take for example my son's predilection to jam his chubby baby thighs in his crib slats. Even knowing he only had them stuck in there for oh, three minutes, made me delirious with thoughts of him losing all the blood in his leg and needing it amputated. Or me breaking his tiny little knees trying to get his legs out. Are those things likely to happen in three minutes? Probably not. But when you become a parent, this is the kind of crap that runs through your brain, 24/7.

And you know what? It's exhausting. EXHAUSTING. In fact, it's so exhausting, we should invent a different word for it to truly encompass how DAMN exhausting it is, but we can't, because we're way too tired.

Guess what else happens when you have a child? All those responsibilities you had before having a child? Yeah, they're still there. Birthing a child doesn't automatically include a nanny, a maid or a personal chef. So eventually, you have to start cleaning your house again. And a lot of us go back to work again. And have seemingly normal lives again. Except now, we don't just have to remember that trash day is Friday and the mortgage is due on the first of the month, we have to remember that little Jimmy has a checkup on Wednesday, Suzie has gymnastics on Tuesday, soccer on Friday and a playdate on Saturday with little Jimmy down the road who can't have nuts. And let's not forget when the preschool money is due. Or that the cat needs fed. Or the pile of dishes in the sink. Or that you have a meeting on Wednesday. Or which store your husband is working out of in case you need to call him to pick something up from the grocery store, which you inevitably forgot because you were trying to deal with little Suzie's meltdown because you won't let her have a king-size candy bar. And most importantly, don't forget to schedule time for yourself. Because you wouldn't want to have a nervous breakdown when all these people are relying on you.

See what I mean? It's kind of overwhelming to think about all the things we have to think about in a day. And that's just scraping the surface.

And on top of all this, guess what? Becoming a parent, doesn't make us immortal super heroes. In fact, it makes us a little more human and a little more imperfect. So have I let my kids play in a storage bin? Probably. If it granted me three minutes of peace and stopped them from screaming, I probably giggled as I watched my four-year-old push around my son in a laundry basket.

And all those dangers you think "I should know about or I shouldn't even bother becoming a parent," they sneak up on you out of nowhere. And then they haunt you forever. When Pearyn was still a baby, probably six months old or so, I locked myself out of the house with her in it. Alone. On the loose. With no spare key. That's probably not something a "good" or "prepared" parent would do, right? So I probably shouldn't have had kids, right? Because if I could make such a dangerous mistake, surely I'm an unfit mother.

In the 60 seconds it took me to realize what I had done, my instincts took over. I grabbed the ice scraper from my car and broke the basement window. I put a blanket down to hopefully keep the shards of glass from cutting me and I went, with reckless abandon into that broken window and creepy basement, because in the moment I made such an awful mistake, that's the fastest way I could see to rectify it. I ended up with a small gash on my hand and butterfly stitches. And Pearyn was none the wiser. But I still remember what happened. I still check my purse for my keys 19 times before I leave the house.

It's easy to think you know everything before you have a tiny human of your own. It's easy to laugh and point at our mistakes. But just know that while you might be sitting high and mighty now on all your knowledge of "how to raise your non-even-born-yet child," we parents will be over here waiting for you. We'll be waiting for you to lock yourself out of the house on accident, we'll be waiting for your child to fall from a high chair that you swear you tightened as much as you could. And when that happens, most of us, the ones who've been where you are, we'll welcome you with open arms and maybe a really, really stiff drink. Because even though it's your first time, we've been there. And we know how hard it is.

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8.01.2014

Give yourself a HighFive (Naturals!)

You probably know this about me, but I have an extreme love of cupcakes. I mean a super, over-the-top, try to translate every dessert under the sun into a cupcake kind of love.

However, I have been lacking one thing SERIOUSLY when it comes to baking.

Pot holders. Oven mits. Trivets, all that crazy stuff. I own those items, but I never really like them enough to keep them handy for when I'm actually baking. So I'm usually stuck grabbing a kitchen towel and pulling my baked goods out, meanwhile trying not to burn whatever part of my hand I accidentally didn't double up on the towel layers.

Yeah, I get it, it's my fault, but seriously, who really has enough space for pot holders to just be hanging around. Ain't nobody got time for that. And am I the only one who seems to find a way to burn myself with those, too?

So one lucky days I was sorting through some emails, when I came across a ridiculously timely one from the HighFive Naturals. They wanted to know if I would give their silicone cooking gloves a go! And since I've been busy burning myself in the kitchen, I figured, what the heck, it was worth a shot!

We've had these babies for two weeks now and I'm happy to report they have not been tossed aside or hidden in some drawer. In fact, they've been in our sink, on the oven, on the counter, basically any and everywhere my baked goods go. They've even traveled outside to help us grill some veggie burgers and a pizza!

Want to know another secret? I've used these to open a jar of pickles (because we all know that's basically impossible unless you're like, a man, or maybe they're just Chubby Vegan Mom, proof), rendering my husband ALMOST useless. ( I keep him around because he's pretty, not just because I can't open a jar by myself!)

So the details on these gloves? They're heat-resistant to 446 degrees, 10-fingers, super duper easy to clean (I just rinsed them off in the sink), sure-grip and odor and mildew resistant. We've used these to turn things in the oven, to pull steamy vegetable bags out of the microwave and to carry in that ridiculously scorching pizza pan from our grill.

Other suggestions for these can be easier handling for a campfire, in a smoker, a wood stove or even to handle those super frigid items before they give you frostbite!

I haven't tried these suggestions yet, but I can't wait to pop these on the next time we have a campfire. I'm always the first person to burn my hand on the vegan marshmallow stick holder, not to mention the fire pit thing itself, so I have a feeling these will come in handy.

These silicone gloves are eco-friendly, cruelty-free and a super bright, awesome orange color. You can snatch up your own pair at amazon for only $20, and if you decide you HAVE to have them right now, you can save 20% through August 14 by simpling entering the code "SGLOVES1" at checkout!

Stay tuned to my next blog for a recipe with my absolute favorite cupcake in the WHOLE world!

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