9 ways to make pancakes healthier

Pancakes are fairly new on the  menu in our house.  I grew up eating a couple of these with a side of scrambled eggs as a child and yearned for the day when I could share weekend breakfasts with my kids since my husband could careless about an AM meal.  But I patiently waited almost three years…and after his tonsils came out and he felt like eating…my son Jai was throwing back 6 or 7 of these bad boys a day!  I was happy he was eating anything after surgery but was pysched that he finally developed a taste for and asked me for pancakes!  Soon after, my other little guy turned one and instead of a traditional cake…on the morning of, I decided to make him a ‘pan-birthday-cake’.

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farm fresh to you: organic produce delivery review

farm fresh to you delivery


So recently we got asked to try out Farm Fresh To You, a certified organic produce delivery service. I usually buy my fruits and veggies via my local farmers market every week, or from a local organic grocery store that where I know I can trust my produce won’t be sprayed with chemicals ever or have not traveled from far away places like Costa Rica.

I was excited about Farm Fresh To You since their story is so sweet.

Thaddeus and Moyra, who work in this family company and have two children, Lola and Lucca.

Born on the farm in Capay, Thaddeus showed an early proficiency in the machine shop and is responsible for designing some of the custom tractor modifications and tools used on the farm today. In 2004, Thaddeus graduated with a degree in Agriculture Engineering from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and moved to San Francisco to start the company’s first retail store and pursue his appreciation for the art of real food and cuisine at culinary school. In 2005, Thaddeus felt driven to continue his connection to the family farm and took on the role as farm manager, actively focusing on selecting, growing and testing specialty produce varieties – chosen for taste not transportability. Today, Thaddeus continues his work of growing a better food system through their own farm and our connection to their farm partners. As a well-spoken and passionate advocate for local and sustainable food systems, he shares his farm experiences with CSA members in a weekly farm news, leads classes for future farmers, participates in panels/conferences and speaks with the media as an industry expert on the progressive change in our food system.

 Their farm itself, Capay Organic, is a second-generation organic farm that got its start in the Coastal Range’s Capay Valley, 90 miles northeast of San Francisco and 35 miles west of Sacramento, (not too far from where we live in SoCal).

The Capay Valley’s unique microclimate and soil type provides an environment in which we successfully produce an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Taking it one step further, Capay Organic takes special care to select and grow specific crop varieties where exceptional flavor is the focus, (yum).

The farm was founded by their parents, Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, in 1976 – marking the early stages of the organic foods movement. Understanding the sometimes harmful methods of modern agriculture, they realized that there was a niche for quality organic produce grown the way that nature intended it to be – organically.

Kathleen spent her life raising her four boys and farming there, so it just means so much as a fellow momma that I know this place was one of love, toddlers running around and a true wish for family healthy organic living.

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2014 holiday educational toy list – Chaimommas.com

Tis the seasons to rush out to the stores and try to find those perfect gifts for all your loved ones.  Sounds easy huh?  But as working parents, staying at home moms, dealing with nap times, feed time, homework, after school activities, making meals..we ask ourselves WHEN are we going to have time to go shopping?  Not sure about all you other mommas but for the chaimommas, having a list of ideas of what you can buy your kids is really helpful.  Amazon has a great  2014 toy list, but we wanted to focus more on learning so check out our top 2014 holiday educational toys!  We have linked it all to Amazon so you don’t even have to go to the stores to go buy it :)  Yes chaimommas LOVE Amazon but love Amazon Prime even more!

2014 Holiday Educational Toy List

2014 Holiday Educational Toy List – chaimommas.com


Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure

This wooden activity center is packed full of exciting features! Includes 4 quadrants with a variety of activities: 6 tracks with animal-themed gliders, 6 bead runs with colorful wooden beads, a spring flower and more.

Hape Alphabet Abacus

Alphabet Abacus by Hape is a double-sided abacus and its innovative design gives the ABC's a playful twist with letters and pictures. Develops motor skills and stimulates imagination. Quality Craftsmanship from Baltic Birch plywood and hardwood. Durable child safe paint finish and solid wood construction are hallmarks of this Hape toy.

Crayola Doodle Magic Lap Desk

With the Doodle Magic Lap Desk, kids can enjoy creative play at home or wherever they go. This portable art desk includes Doodle Magic markers, which produce bright, vibrant color while still being completely erasable. The contoured drawing surface fits neatly on kids' laps. And it's easy to clean, so kids can doodle and draw without creating a mess. Designed for ages three and up, the Doodle Magic Lap Desk comes with four Doodle Magic markers, an eraser, and a wipe cloth.

ALEX Toys - Artist Studio, Portable Art Set with Carrying Case, 352-150

The Alex Toys 352-150 Artist Studio Portable Art Set will introduce children to the creative world of art. This 150-piece set comes complete with watercolors, pastels, colored pencils, a paintbrush and more all held together in a convenient carrying case. This kit is recommended for all ages, from toddlers to teens and everything in between.

LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids' Learning Tablet, Green

The best-selling, kid-tough learning tablet-now with an easy, one-step recharger pack included. You'll never have to buy batteries again.

T.S. Shure ArchiQuest Master Builder Wooden Building Blocks Set (136-Piece)

Archiquest Master Builder - 136 Pieces

Tiggly Shapes

Tiggly Shapes are rubberized toys (circle, square, triangle, star) that toddlers and preschoolers between 18 months and 4 years old can use for learning and play with an iPad and three different Tiggly apps. With Tiggly, toddlers and preschoolers develop spatial reasoning, motor skills, language, creativity, and more.

Lulu Jr. Illustory - Newest Version Craft Kit

Lulu Jr. Illustory - Newest Version Craft Kit

Laser Maze Logic Game

Lights and mirrors may make it feel like magic, but it’s really science and a good dose of brain power that’s needed to direct the laser beam through this series of mind challenging mazes. From the makers of Rush Hour and the inventor of The Laser Game: Khet 2.0! With challenges by world famous puzzle-creator Wei-Hwa Huang. YOUR GOAL: Arrange the tokens to reflect and split the laser beam to hit the targets.

Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie

The Super Sorting Pie teaches early number skills and attributes, including colors and fruit shapes. Provides supportive visual cues, thanks to the sorting cards that slip into the bottom of the pan. Top crust becomes a bowl to conveniently hold counters. Reinforces fine motor skills when children use jumbo tweezers, featuring depressions that guide little hands into the proper pincer grip. Children are sure to sort, count and relish large servings of fruity pie fun!

50 Counting Bears with 5 Cups

Eureka Manipulative are great for teaching early childhood learning and a great tool in helping students recognize connections within each educational topic. Each set includes 50 plastic bears (10 each of five different colors) plus five cups in the colors that match the bears for extra sorting fun. Great for match prep!

14 Piece Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Tints

"Click-Clack." It's the iconic sound of two Tegu Blocks coming together. Tegu has reinvented the wooden block in a way that brings new life to a favored classic. By safely embedding magnets into each piece, Tegu Blocks become curiously attractive for both kids and kids at heart. Defy gravity and push your imagination in ways never before possible. No instruction manuals or electronics; just toys that demand imagination and inspire limitless creativity across all ages. Open-ended play is endangered, but we're bringing it back. Created with beautiful Honduran hardwoods and safe water-based finishes, these blocks have proven wildly addictive for kids (and kids at heart) and will encourage the simple joy of creating for generations.

Goldie Blox and The Movie Machine

On the eve of the annual Bloxtown Film Festival, Goldie learns the movie theatre's projector is broken. that means the festival will likely be cancelled! Heartbroken - but determined - Goldie resolves to engineer a solution to save her favorite Bloxtown event! Gathering her friends - Ruby Rails, Li Gravity and Valentina Voltz, Goldie and the gang work together and invent a way to save the day. As kids read the story of Goldie and the Movie Machine, they learn to build their very own zoetrope using the GoldieBlox pieces in their tool kit. In addition to building the machine, kids learn how to make their own movies, first with stickers, then guided illustrations and then with their own drawings and ideas. GoldieBlox is a toy company on a mission to inspire future innovators.

Sick Science Fast Physics Kit

Popsicle sticks are great for holding frozen treats and reading the occasional joke off of, but did you know they're excellent for demonstrating potential and kinetic energy? It's true! If you weave popsicle sticks together just right, you can create a chain reaction that will create a dazzling display of flying popsicle sticks!

SmartLab Toys It's Alive Slime Lab

Measure, mix and concoct icky-sticky goo like a real mad scientist with this one-of-a-kind laboratory kit. The motorized Slime-O-Nator makes your slimy concoctions appear to grow, dance and mutate. Use the slime poker to stretch and bend your slime. Like all Smart Lab toys, this goo-fy kit features projects that teach the science behind the fun. The 16-page lab book includes 20 slippery activities that use common household ingredients.

Spirograph Deluxe Design Set

Spirograph is back, and it's better than ever. Your whole family can have hours of creative fun with the amazing Spirograph Deluxe Set. Since it was first introduced in 1965, Spirograph has made it possible for aspiring artists of all ages to create beautifully intricate designs. Originally developed by mechanical engineer Denys Fisher for use as a drafting tool, the Spirograph's distinctive wheels and rings cleverly combine the principles of art and mathematics in a way that has inspired and delighted generations.

ThinkFun Zingo

Zingo! brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo. Slide the Zinger to reveal picture tiles, make a match and fill your card to win. Images with printed words and two levels of play make this the perfect game to grow with.

ALEX® Toys - Early Learning, Tots First Chunky Pegs for Developing Motor Skills

Early Learning, Tots First Chunky Pegs for Developing Motor Skills, 1953 lets little ones sort colors and shapes while developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Stack, sort and match chunky pegs that are perfect for tiny hands! This 20-piece set includes colorful chunky pegs and a pegboard. ALEX Toys 1953 Early Learning Tots First Chunky Pegs is recommended for children 18-months and up. ALEX Toys takes the mission of providing children with quality creative products that foster personal expression and build self-esteem to heart! ALEX products are currently sold in over 80 countries worldwide in specialty toy and retail shops. Visit www.amazon.com/alex-brands for more information on Alex Brands and our best-selling line of educational and entertaining products for kids.

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

Learn and create with the Touch & Learn Activity Desk by VTech. The desk features an interactive desktop and four double-sided cards that introduce numbers, letters, animals, people and more. Flip up the desktop and create a masterpiece using the easel or chalkboard.

Explorer World Desk Globe Assorted Colors

The vibrant Replogle Explorer Globe puts the whole world right at your fingertips for hours of hands-on learning. This globe contains more than 4,000 location names and distinctive political boundary markings, and includes a gold-colored base and semi-meridian. This globe measures 12 inches in diameter.

Melissa & Doug Basic Skills Board

Incredible value and superior craftsmanship make this item a top seller and childhood favorite. Brightly colored, smooth-sanded pieces help build early shape, color and size differentiation skills. Newly redesigned!