The Carolina Chocolate Drops

One of my favorite things about Chicago summers is the abundance of live music.  FREE live music.  Tonight, we will be enjoying The Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Pritzker Pavilion.   For those of you living or visiting Chicago, the Pritzker Pavilion is one of the many great sites at Millennium Park.  Whenever my husband and I have guests visiting Chicago (in the summer) our itinerary  usually includes a picnic and live music at the Pritzker.

Are you familiar with The Carolina Chocolate Drops?  If not, watch the video below.  If you like them this link: The Carolina Chocolate Drops will lead you to their YouTube channel.

I fell in love with them after watching this.

Enjoy!

Farewell to Friends

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A stop by the park before our 6pm reservations at III Forks.

We just got home from a delicious dinner at III Forks. We enjoyed a special meal with our dearest and closest as we bid farewell to a couple leaving us for better things in Michigan. It is always wonderful to meet people you connect with. This couple has been a part of our Chicago life. We have celebrated each others’ graduations, weddings, and the birth of our little one. We wish them the best of luck in their new chapter and can’t wait to visit them in Michigan.

It was great to have a farewell dinner doing what we always do when we get together. We had delicious food and great conversation.

I ordered the Chilean sea bass while my mister had the rib eye.

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If you are a family looking for a fine dining experience III Forks is great. With a great park and water fountain nearby, your little one has a place to burn off energy before or after your meal. The beautiful indoor setting provides a lot to look at and the huge windows provide a nice relaxing element. The food is delicious and the service excellent. It was a wonderful dining experience for us, our toddler, our close friends and their one month old, and the rest of our party. III Forks provided the perfect atmosphere to celebrate our friendship and wish our friends happiness for what is to come.

Summer Must Have #2- Kangaroo Carrier WeeRide

My first priority this summer is spend a lot of time outdoors with my little guy.  Our summer will be full of these opportunities.  We will be camping in Yosemite, taking several trips to the Morton Arboretum, many bike rides along Lake Michigan, and lots of park time.  To help us live it up this summer I present to you the Kangaroo Carrier from WeeRide.

Right when the weather started to warm up I began daydreaming of long bike rides with my hubby and little one.  I pictured our little family biking for a few hours on the weekends, my husband pulling our little one along in a bike trailer while I rode beside it.  Our little guy may even fall asleep in it and while my husband and I would continue our ride.  I spent hours reading reviews on bike trailers.  In my research I found that there are a lot of great bike trailers on the market but my research ultimately led me in a different direction.  It led me to the Kangaroo Carrier from WeeRide.

Kangaroo Carrier from WeeRide

The carrier offered one very important feature that the bike trailers did not, it allowed us to be close to our little one during the bike ride.  Unlike with a bike trailer, our little guy would be right up there with us.   Luckily for me, a coworker was looking to sell his.  Score!

We have now had the WeeRide for more than a few months.  We have been using it a few times a week.  Sometimes for short rides to the park, others for weekend rides around Chicago.  Last weekend, we took our longest bike ride around the Morton Arboretum.  What I love most about the WeeRide is how I am able to interact with him as I ride.  If I want to talk to him, I just lean in and whisper in his ear.  I am able to hear and see how he is reacting during the ride.  I learned that he gets scared and lets out a whimper if he feels we are going too fast.  When he is having fun, he’ll yell out ‘weeeee!’  Sometimes, when he’s feeling grown up, he’ll grab the handle bars and try to steer (which as he gets stronger I could see becoming an issue).

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The start of last Saturday’s bike ride.  Our little guy is strapped in, excited and ready to go.

Other aspects of the WeeRide I like are:

  • It is stable and secure.  The WeeRide securely attaches to both my bike and my hubby’s bike.  We have two carrier bars, one for each of our bikes.  We can easily remove the kangaroo carrier and transfer it between bikes without worrying about the loss of structural stability.
  • Our little guy is very comfortable.  Once we buckle him in, he sits in the carrier as if he were sitting in a chair.  He’ll looks around.  He’ll rest his hands on his knees.  He’ll point at things that catch his interest.  He’ll point to my  husband and yell, “Ba!” (which means dad in Vietnamese).  If he gets tired, he could even rest his head on the headrest located between him and the handle bars.
  • The leg rests are adjustable.  One of the major differences between the WeeRide and other kangaroo carriers I researched was the adjustable leg rests.  Thinking long term, it was important that if biking were to become a big part of how we spend our free time, our little guy needed to be comfortable.  Some other kangaroo carriers do not offer the same degree of comfort the WeeRide does.
  • It fits into my attachment parenting style.  I love that I can have my little guy right up there with me.  It’s like babywearing while biking.  We are in constant communication and I am able to read his cues.

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Here we are a little further into our ride.  He is looking comfortable and has been having a good time.  My mister was able to get him to look at the camera in this shot.  I, of course, kept my eyes on the road. 

For parents looking into biking with their toddler, I highly recommend a kangaroo carrier.  My mister and I are very happy with the WeeRide.  Later on down the road, we may eventually get a bike trailer.  But, the WeeRide will last us a few more years.  The WeeRide website states that the maximum recommended age is 4 years and weight is 40lbs.   Great news for us because this means a few more years of  ‘weeeees’ and ‘woo hoos’ from our little one.

If you would like to see the WeeRide in action, check out my video:  We put the ‘Wee’ in WeeRide.

When riding with your kids, you must always have them wear  a helmet.  For our little guy, he is wearing a Giro helmet in size xsmall.  We purchased the helmet from REI.  My helmet happens to be on incorrectly.  My ponytail was too high for the helmet.  A helmet tip to those with long hair:  you want a low ponytail when wearing a bike helmet.

*I was not compensated for this review.  I purchased and own the Kangaroo Carrier WeeRide.  All opinions, ideas, images (except first image of the Kangaroo Carrier WeeRide.  That image is from the WeeRide company website), and videos are my own and property of yellowlovesgrey.  They cannot be used without my written consent. 

Food Smart: Nutrition Labels

This week, I revisited my healthy lifestyle goals and I went to workout for the first time in a year (gasp).  The workout got me thinking about what I eat.  I have to be honest with myself, I don’t know much about nutrition. With a toddler, I am more thoughtful with food.  I meal plan, stay away from processed food much more than I have before, but that doesn’t guarantee a balanced diet for our family.  I don’t really know what a true balanced diet would look like.

I have decided to get my food act together.  I am determined to get myself food smart.   To start, I need to understand those darn labels on the back of food packages.  Now, at least, when I’m munching on my Pirates Booty, I will know what I’m doing to my body.  Good or bad.

I found this helpful video explaining how to read nutritional labels. Take a look. Maybe you’ll learn something new. I did.