Fresh Thoughts and Ideas : Eco Friendly Parenting and More!

Joining a cult... the good kind February 19, 2017 15:00

(This post includes an affiliate link but all opinions are our own). 

So we've joined a cult. In the best way. It took several coupons before we jumped on board, but since we did it's been food happiness. The cult is helping us be more eco-friendly, waste less, save money, and be exposed to a wide range of new things. "What is it?" you ask. It's Blue Apron

What is Blue Apron? 

Blue Apron sends you a weekly package of groceries and a recipe. Simple right? But no, the super yummy meals are designed to be easy to make, use seasonal ingredients, have an adjustable spiciness, use only basic kitchen utensils, and be different every day (for a full year)! They create recipes from a wide range of cultures and do a great job at veggie options. Oh and did I mention they use lots of perfectly fresh veggies in every dish. Not everything is organic, but they always try to use local farms, and sustainable seafood options. I wonder constantly how they can accomplish so many goals. I can barely do that for one meal, let alone doing that cost effectively with perfect portions day in and day out.

How Blue Apron fixes a bunch of problems 

My first impression when I heard about Blue Apron was that it was going to be expensive and unnecessary for us. I can buy groceries and look up recipes right? Also, if I want groceries delivered, wouldn't I just use a grocery delivery service that lets me get ALL the groceries I need? I was mistaken. Turns out that Blue Apron fixes a bunch of problems we had. Firstly, it's helped us reduce waste and we're always looking for ways to be more green. The measured portions in each package means we're using exactly what we need with no food waste. This eliminates that situation where a bottle of mystery sauce gets used for 1 teaspoon and then sits in the fridge for 6 months until it expires. In addition, we had been in a pattern of buying groceries without a great meal plan and then having things go bad. We'd look in the fridge, realize we were missing key ingredients and opt to go out for dinner at the last minute. This meant wasted food and money. Enter Blue Apron to help us out.

Blue Apron - is it eco friendly?

Blue Apron helping out in the kitchen - Piperoos

Is it Eco Friendly ? 

Now from an eco-friendly perspective, Blue Apron has received some criticism for their packaging. They do encourage people to recycle the boxes, as well as the bubble wrap and plastic that holds the ice packs. I am hopeful that they'll continue to focus more on their green efforts and find a way to work with reusable packaging. That said, generally I think their vision is on the right track. Also, when the alternative is restaurant eating, that can also present some green challenges. Overall, the benefits above have made it worth it for us to stick with the cult for now. Here's to happy eating, and a happy belated valentines day to all!  

Try Blue Apron and get 30$ off your first order

The mall Santa photo... 2016 edition January 15, 2017 00:00


Every year around the holidays parents and children stream to local malls to get their photo taken with Santa. This tradition has been around as long as I can remember. With kids dressed in their designer duds and parents on-the-go, sweating in heavy coats, stress creasing their foreheads as they try to endure the proceedings. Usually the outcome is a slightly grainy, overly cerise looking image of a mildly entertained kid, to be stored away for years to come.

This year I noticed something new. This year there seemed to be a HUGE number of people who proudly shared photos of their kids in great distress with Santa. As it continued I started to get curious. Were people doing it on purpose? Was it the Christmas 2016 meme to have your kid screaming their head off with Santa uncomfortably hovering to the side?

While at the mall I tried to scope it out. It seemed that at least 30% of the parents were incredibly entertained by their screaming child, and another 30% were simply out of ideas to fix it. So I welcome your thoughts and insights... What drove this trend (if in fact that's what it was)? I can't deny that I saw a couple hilarious shots of angry babies, but did parents truly embrace this trend or was it simply a case of holiday exhaustion being turned into comedy? Either way, hopefully you used an eco-friendly / green mindset when shopping this holiday season!

(A special thanks to Oh Snap! Photography by David Bean for the photo). 

Living the green life with Tree People November 9, 2016 11:48

What a great day! It's verging on a fall day here in LA with a light breeze and some clouds to offer a break from the beating sun. This morning we took the opportunity to go for a local hike with Tree People. I had heard of the organization before, but just thought they supported green initiatives like charity tree planting events and had no idea about how nice of a space they have. Turns out they have a beautiful hiking and education space at the top of Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. They host family educational hikes (see schedule on their site), and show off their LEED certified building and their eco friendly education facilities. They have things like a sample "normal" residential home and they contrast that with eco friendly water management tools on their sample "eco friendly" home. We got to hike around with lots of other families (sporting some designer hiking gear of course... it is LA after all), and learn about soil management, types of drought resistant trees, and best of all we got to "call" coyotes. Sadly, we didn't get a response this time around, but apparently sometimes they do!! So grateful to have found this spot. We became members, so I anticipate more gorgeous hikes to come!

Premium Halloween in Studio City October 31, 2016 11:39

It's that spooky time of year... kids have been planning costumes for weeks, college students are plotting how to maximize social "opportunities" through the best outfits and parties, and Studio City is going INSANE!

We have a great neighborhood, but we have more people passionate about Halloween here than I've seen anywhere else. No joke folks... Studio City Halloween isn't just about pumpkins and trick or treating, we have a neighborhood filled with landscape designers crafting the wildest Halloween scenes you can imagine. For weeks we've had premium light shows, blocked streets, designer blow up creatures and more. A lot of this is driven by Boney Island which is a creative (and free) haunted house which delights babies and kids for miles around. Each year our little pocket gets ~800 ecstatic kids, a police presence to manage traffic, and a bunch of media attention. Last year the 101 Freeway was briefly shut down, and we had multiple news helicopters covering the scene. 

Premium Halloween in Studio City -

Just a little glimpse into our world during this part of the holiday season. Seems like Studio City has been designed for a premium Halloween!