Having a Moment at High Hand Nursery

After hearing great things about High Hand Nursery, we decided to go pick up plants as a family. What a nice surprise it turned out to be!

Essentially a toddler paradise, the nursery offers plenty of space to roam free (supervised) among plants and trees. 


Unlike other shopping experiences, I didn’t have to worry about small hands constantly pulling things off shelves. 


They also have a cafe, which I look forward to exploring next time around, and an indoor market with antiques.

Pushing the cart (with daddy and doggy) is icing on the cake!

If you live in the Sacramento area or head to Tahoe often, High Hand Nursery is right off highway 80 in Loomis.

(And if you don’t, consider exploring the nurseries in your area with your littles in tow.)

Pajama Jam

American Made Baby Brands

After a season of sleeping in fleece pajamas that aren’t made anywhere near here, it was refreshing to find organic cotton two piece sets that are made right here in California.



Brian the Pekingese earns bonus points for having a memorable brand name. These pajamas are perfect for the transition to warmer weather and have the retro look of a Hannah Barbara cartoon, featuring their namesake canine in a boat and rocket ship.

As a plus, their pajama tops are nice and long; perfect for long torsos and big bellies! The organic cotton fabric is nice and soft, and holds up wash after wash.

The company even offers garment recycling, which is both environmentally responsible and smart, considering how quickly babies and toddlers move through sizes.

Available directly on their website:brianthepekingese.com

Or on Amazon: Brian the Pekingese Boys 100% Organic Cotton Pajamas (2T, Blue Rocket)

(I purchased the long…

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Why Going Local Is Best for the Moment

As I write this, I’m on a plane aching to get home to my little guy, so take this travelogue with a grain (or several) of salt. 

It will be a rare thing for me to write about traveling, because we don’t take vacations very often. And when it comes to business trips, my new normal is to get in and get out as quickly as possible (for said reason above).

Either way, I find the best moments while traveling occur when we seek out local experiences without overplanning ahead of time.

When it comes to vacation, my main pre-planning involves accommodations that are as close to “home” as possible (or a step up with points!) and reducing the stress of getting there. Other than that, the best laid plans are no plans until we arrive.

In Nashville, we lucked out staying at an AirBnB that reminded me so much of the early 1900s home that we had renovated in Midtown. The owners easily could have passed for our Nashville body doubles.


Even if we go the hotel route, neighborhoods are a great place to start. I like to stay in a walkable neighborhood whenever possible. So we can grab coffee or dinner without making reservations – especially helpful when we first get to town. 

The first day for us typically involves relaxing, attempting to unplug, and walking around to get our footing. After a day or two of doing very little, then we start making plans.

I also like exploring other neighborhoods where we’re not necessarily staying, by foot, as well. We found the downtown Nashville area to be too touristy, so we explored other neighborhoods like Germantown, Music Row and towns like Franklin and found them to be just what the doctor ordered. 


I had a blissful moment in this adorable Germantown coffee and chocolate shop, Tempered, waiting for my almond milk latte while we scouted out brunch spots nearby.

Finding great local restaurants is another activity best held until we arrive in town. Between Yelp, Instagram, recommendations from Lyft drivers and hotel/AirBnB hosts, we can usually get a sense of what the most popular  spots are with the locals.

From there, we only make reservations for the can’t-miss dinners. Otherwise it will depend on what neighborhood we end up in and what we’re hungry for.

In Nashville, the stars aligned with the following spots:



Pharmacy Burger had the most amazing farm burger with an egg on it, and local craft beer garden. We were able to avoid waiting in line because a Lyft driver told us about the No Wait app, where you essentially reserve a place in line.


After a sweaty ride on an on-off bus, we developed a craving for oysters. Through a combination of Google Maps, Open Table and Yelp, we found a quirky spot, South Street, near Music Row. Their giant Gulf oysters and bottomless fountain drinks hit the spot!


Somehow we mustered the appetite for dinner that evening, and thank goodness we did because Butcher and Bee turned out the be our favorite meal in Nashville.


No trip to the South (or any part of the globe, in my book) would be complete without mac & cheese. Our day trip to Franklin gave us an opportunity to try Puckett Grocery, which we had heard was the place to get an authentic Nashville experience.


Franklin was also home to the most adorable shop full of American made products, White’s Mercantile, perhaps named after the gorgeous white brick storefronts that lined its streets. I could have spent hours in there!


The last clandestine meal was the result of searching Google Maps for a coffee shop we could swing by on the way back from returning our rental car. Yeast Bakery came through big time, both for great coffee and amazing savory pastries, including their famous Czech kolaches.

This formula has worked for all kinds of destinations, from big cities to beaches. It also helped me stay in the moment and enjoy much-needed vacation, since homesickness crept up much more this time around.
The good news is after writing this, I’m now two hours closer to touching down!

What are some ways you find the best local spots while traveling?

Mamas Making Moments: Haylie from Bee Bear Children’s Designs

American Made Baby Brands

Maintaining quality and family time is top priority for Haylie, while she mindfully grows her collection of Texas-sewn nursing sleeves, paci bibs, and teething necklaces.


She relies on her husband to hold down the fort while she spends one week a month at the Dallas Market sharing her wares with the world.

Haylie’s idea to create waterproof sleeves (patent-pending, in fact) and bibs sprung from the “24/7 spit up” that blanketed her clothes and house when her baby was battling acid reflux. She felt “the community needed something” and that’s grown to include special needs kids, too.


She put her degree in fashion & merchandising, along with her days as a home ec teacher to use to create “overly designed functional products” that moms will feel proud to blend with their wardrobe. In fact, the bib’s snap can hold everything from pacifiers to teethers and toys.

Haylie also enjoys tinkering…

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Mamas Making Moments: Sarah from Piperoos

When I spoke with Sarah, founder of Piperoos, she was navigating the kind of day that any of us working mamas are all too familiar with. Work meetings, childcare musical chairs, and a little one that’s down for the count (meaning extra snuggles are in order – the silver lining of it all).

As if she wasn’t busy enough, Sarah is on an admirable mission to create environmentally conscious baby products with the ultimate goal of carving out more quality time with her daughter Piper.


Sarah set out to create all-purpose pads similar to cloth diapers and the homemade flannel pads she received as a gift before Piper was born. Her “environmental compass” was to make Piperoos with all organic cotton, recycled packaging, low impact dyes — and locally made to cut down on transportation impact. She even pays to offset the carbon footprint of shipping.

Sarah and I share a desire to help other “corporate” mama-to-be’s prepare for and return from maternity leave. While that’s a whole other topic in itself, it was a pleasant surprise to find someone else from the “made in the USA” community with similar experiences and passions. 

Get the full scoop on Piperoos here: Mama Maker: Sarah from Piperoos

Finger Food

Mealtime is an adventure when toddler hands get involved, so here’s a perfect plate for divvying up finger food whose eventual fate is on the floor.

Re-Play Made In USA 3pk Divided Plates

I’ve become a fan of Re-Play’s products, which are made in the US from recycled milk jugs.

Like little soldiers, they come in packs, hold up well to battle and clean up nice.

Source: Stepping Up to the Plate