Orchard Girls

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WWEW: Link Party & Summer Pasta Salad

Hello everyone! Thanks for joining us for another What We Eat Wednesday. Be sure to link your recipes below so we can all check them out!

Before the party, I thought I'd share a super easy pasta salad I whipped together one night. I pretty much raided my pantry and fridge to see what we had, and came up with this. First I pulled out the ingredients. The only thing I decided to add later that isn't in this picture are some mini pickles.
The whole inspiration came from those noodles. I picked them up on a whim at Target, waiting for a reason to use them. I think they would be awesome in a mac & cheese, too!

So, I used:
1 pkg Simply Balanced organic trottole
about 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
about 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 small can of sliced olives
1 large tomato, diced
about 1/2 of a cucumber, diced
lemon juice from half of lemon
about 1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
and about 10 mini pickles, sliced

I basically cooked the noodled al dente, ran them under cold water to cool them down, and added all of the other ingredients. I gave myself time so it could sit in the fridge for a while before dinner. On a normal night, I would probably add ham or pepperoni & some shredded parmesan cheese.
We enjoyed eating this outside, looking at the beautiful blossoming trees all around us! The orchard is so gorgeous this time of the year.
Now onto who I selected to feature this week from last week's linky party.
The delicious looking No Bake Butterscotch Haystacks from Eat Drink and Be Mary!
I really want to try to make these for this weekend. I LOVE butterscotch, so I'm sure I'd love these.

Okay, everyone, time to link up! Share a few of your favorite recipes down below. Also, our party hasn't gotten very big yet, so please help us share the news that we're hosting a party where there's a chance to be featured the next week. We love finding new blogs and new recipes to try. Make sure you check out our co-host Alexis at Laugh.Eat.Learn, as well.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Loving our #Urbini Touri Travel System! #MC #Sponsored

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Urbini. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.” All opinions and thoughts are my own.

As a mom of an 18 month old and soon, a newborn, an absolute necessity is the best travel system. We've recently discovered the Urbini Touri Travel System sold at Walmart. This system comes with a lightweight, compact stroller and infant car seat. 
    The Urbini Touri baby stroller has been great for us. Once we got it, I had my husband assemble it, which was super fast and easy. Of course, like most men, he didn't use the instruction booklet ;) but didn't have any trouble setting it up. The stroller is lightweight, which is perfect, when I have about a million other things to carry. It is easy to unfold, however, I have to admit the second time I unfolded it I had forgotten how to do it. This was quite humorous actually. Picture this, Kenzie, Adeline, and myself were in the TJmax parking lot trying to remember how to open the stroller. Mind you, we are two very obviously pregnant women (pregnancy brain got the best of us!!) We had Addie in the open truck of the car, and I'm down on my knees pushing buttons and Kenzie is holding up the stroller, and watching Addie. Lol. Anyway, within a few minutes we figured out the obvious way to open the stroller. It was pretty funny. 
     The stroller is compact, which is nice, another feature I like is the height of the handle for whoever is pushing the stroller. I have found that some stroller handles are low and I feel like I'm hunching over, while pushing it. Not with the Urbini, it is the perfect height for me. Another plus of the stroller is the cup holder, however, I have had a few issues with it not staying in place, making me feel like my drink is going to fall out. The underneath basket is nice for carrying your purse or other small items while on the go. It's not huge, but because it is a compact stroller, that's to be expected. The seat also has a multi-position reclining feature which is great for times when baby gets tired and needs a little nap. It doesn't lay back totally flat, but it does recline enough to give a comfortable place to catch a few Z's. 
    I am loving the car seat part of the travel system, as well. It too, is light weight. The material is nice and I am excited we purchased the black version of the travel system. (It also comes in blue, red, pink, and green) I feel like it won't get as dirty, or at least won't be as visible :) Here is the "blue" version:
The carseat is great also, because the weight limit is up to 35lbs (4-35lbs), and up to 35'' tall. The car seat is easy to use/install. I haven't actually "used" the car seat, but practiced installing it for when our baby boy arrives. 
     My overall experience using the Urbini Touri Travel system was positive and I am excited to continue to use it consistently in our busy schedule and upcoming summer months! This system gives you the flexibility to travel comfortably with your baby and at a price of only 149, you get a GREAT deal. Here is a link to other reviews of this product, including my own.

To explore more of the awesome Urbini products visit their Facebook or Twitter page!

If you're looking for a travel system, hopefully this post and review of this product was helpful for you. Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Super easy DIY Baby Blanket Tutorial (with minky and cuddle fabric)

Happy Friday! I can't tell you all how excited I still am about my new sewing machine. I have been teaching myself (the best way for me to learn, sometimes I'm slow) ;) Anyway, all the projects I've tried so far have been pretty beginner status, and easy. This is another one of those, so if you're new to sewing (like me) this is a great project for you! I love how this blanket turned out. I think the fabric is so adorable (I chose the owls), and I can't wait to wrap our sweet little boy in it, once he arrives.
Kenzie did this project too, and her blanket turned out just as cute! I love her forest animal print fabric, it goes perfectly with her nursery theme.
Okay, here I go to attempt to give you a tutorial on how to make this blanket. I swear it is even easier then how I explain it....
1. Purchase 1.5 yards of each fabric that you will be using. I chose minky and a "cuddle flannel" fabric. I purchased both of these from JoAnn Fabrics. You will have a little bit left over from each.
2. Cut your fabric into 45 inch squares - this made a pretty big blanket. You can measure down if you're looking to use it for just a cuddle blankie, or a smaller blanket for in the carseat. For instance: a 30x30inch, which is what Kenzie decided to do with hers. 
3. Once you've cut your fabric, put the "right" sides together and pin your fabrics together. PIN, PIN, PIN! Be sure to pin and secure the corners, then pin about every 10 inches all the way around. I think this is the secret to this project, at least when you're working with minky. This is a tricky fabric and it stretches a bit when you're sewing it and the cuddle fabric doesn't.
4. One of your 10 inch slots will be left open. Be sure it is about the middle of one of the sides (makes it easier then a corner). You can mark it by putting your pins a different direction, or whatever works for you.
5. Using a straight stitch, sew all around the blanket (leaving one 10 inch slot open) Being sure to back stitch where you start, and stop. (1-1.5 inch edge)
6. Once you finish sewing all the way around - use your 10 inch opening to pull the blanket through, so it is right side out. Flatten your blanket out (iron if you'd like, I didn't, cause I'm lazy! Lol.) If you do iron, be sure to check the settings on your iron so they're not too hot, especially when working with the minky.
7. Now all you've got to do is straight stitch all the way around the edge again, this time sewing together that 10 inch opening. I used about a 1-1.5 inch edge as my guide when sewing around the blanket.
That's it, I hope this tutorial was clear for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment and let me know. I'd be happy to help you, in any way I can.Thank you for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment and say "hi" we love checking out other people's blogs and making new friends! :)
Linking this project to these lovely parties HERE!
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