Best. Weekend. Ever.

Posted: August 1st, 2010 | No Comments »

I saw Andrew Bird this weekend. I can die now.

My super wonderful husband managed to get us passes to the Newport Folk Fest at the last minute. Holy smokes you guys, it was awesome. Not only was yesterday gorgeous weather-wise (I wore jeans & didn’t feel like dying!) but it was probably the longest amount of time Jesse & I have spent together, alone, since Violet was born almost 4 years ago.

We walked down to the water & hopped on a water taxi and got there just in time to see AA Bondy. He was incredible. He was on a small stage, so we had a really good view & at one point it started just barely raining. The ice cold drops of rain on such a sunny day combined with his music was almost magical. I wished his set had lasted forever.

So many great bands played yesterday; we saw Calexico, Blitzen Trapper, O’Death, Horsefeathers and the icing on the cake was Andrew Bird (for me anyway). When I was a kid I played violin and honestly? For a little kid I was pretty good. Giving it up is something that I still regret every day. Needless to say, I have always been a sucker for any music with strings, Andrew Bird being one of my favorites. He played the main stage & we were allowed to get close for the first couple of songs, It was heavenly. I never really get that geeky over musicians but hey, I’m a sucker for any guy that can play the violin AND he whistles like a champ. Well, and he is super dreamy…

We were supposed to go today and we were going to take Violet but she ended up running a fever all day. Jesse managed to make it down to see The Swell Season, I’m glad one of us got to.
Yesterday was so great that I wasn’t too sad about missing today (especially because I am currently rocking one of my worst sunburns ever); and I’d stay home with V & cuddle if she needed me to no matter what was happening. I’m mostly just disappointed that she didn’t get to go, I know she would have had such a good time. We were going to have ice cream & everything! Ah well.

I feel so honored to have been able to go, it was such a treat! You can listen to streams of all of the Folk Fest performances on NPR Music, I highly suggest you do.


Drop(p)ping the wasteful detergent habit (giveaway now closed)

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | 126 Comments »

Laundry…..ugh. Am I right? Not only do I hate folding it & putting it away but I always pour too much detergent in & get some on my hands. I know it’s soap & it shouldn’t gross me out but hell, it does. Then I’m always driven crazy by the last bit of detergent in the bottle that just won’t. come. out. no matter how much water you add. Bah! Not to mention how much room those big bulky jugs take up in my recycling bin.

Last week I stumbled upon Dropps, a company in Philly making awesome detergent in, you guessed it, drop form! They kindly sent me some to try and I’m addicted. Dropps are nifty little pods of detergent that you just toss in your washer and voila, done. No annoying bottles, drippy liquid, messy powder. Dropps are pre-measured perfection! They come in 3 varieties: Fresh Scent, Scent & Dye Free and Baby. We tested all 3 and were happy with each one! I am SO sensitive to heavy detergent smells so I’m always happy to find scent-free detergent, However, even the Fresh Scent was light enough that it didn’t bother me. Call me a domestic nerd but I get really excited about stuff like this. I’m the gal who drools over appliances and new cleaning products.

The thing I love the most about Dropps is how eco-friendly they are. Not only is there no more dealing with big plastic jugs, you don’t have to worry about being too heavy handed with your detergent as I know I always am. The only waste with Dropps is the small plastic bag they come in (and I’m pretty sure you can even recycle that!). Dropps are HE compatible, Biodegradable, Phosphate, NPE & Chlorine free as well as safe for septic tanks. At 6x concentrate, there’s NO water in these babies! Using these definitely Dropps your carbon footprint (get it? get it?).

Shipping at Dropps is always 5 bucks and if your order is over 35.00, it’s free! Dropps also offers bulk ordering AND an auto-ship program that will save you an additional 10%! You can set the frequency and then you never have to think about buying laundry detergent ever again. I am so signing up for that as soon as we get settled in our new place. If there’s one thing I love, it’s buying in bulk. If there’s another thing, it’s saving money.

All temps, all colors, all washers, all temps, all fabrics. Dropps are awesome! And speaking of awesome Remy (who is awesome) is offering up a 2 month supply of Dropps to the winner of this giveaway! That’s right, a giveaway! All you need to do is Dropp by (I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself) Dropps, tell me what variety you would use & why. You can earn extra entries by Becoming a fan of Dropps on Facebook, Becoming a fan of Littlewhirl on Facebook, following Littlewhirl on Twitter, following Dropps on Twitter, Blogging about this giveaway (with a link back to this entry), Tweeting about this giveaway (@littlewhirl with a link to this entry), or updating your Facebook status to mention this giveaway (with a link back to this entry). Just don’t forget to leave a separate comment for every entry that you do or it won’t count! A lucky winner will be drawn August 20th. Good Luck!


Follow Friday (a few of my favorite links)

Posted: July 23rd, 2010 | No Comments »

I think I’m going to try to do this every Friday. When I switched over from Wordpress, all of my links disappeared (something I am also working on fixing) so I figure I’ll give you a handful of links every Friday to tide you over. Let’s see how that goes……..Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

Cooking with my kid This is one of my new favorite websites, it’s fantastic! We ate bite sized greek salads for dinner last night & loved them.

Darth Vader robs a bank not kidding

Girls Rock RI on WRNI My awesome friend HIlary started GRRI & this summer was their 1st girls camp. Congrats Hilary!

Robert Rust Paintings Robert used to live here in RI and he makes AMAZING paintings. I’ve always wanted one. I want one so bad in fact, that I’m considering trading my car for one when we move to Portland. Is that crazy?

I hate my ex vanity plates Well now that’s just hysterical.

Fruit & vegetable MRI’s these are so so cool.

Download a free live album from Calexico via the always amazing CASH Music!

The Old Spice Guy loves Libraries! *swoon* me too.

Toast Recipes Yum, I heart toast.

Well, that was easier than I thought! I suppose I could do that every week! xo

*photo courtesy of tveskov.


The Tag*a*long: Hands-free hand holding! (and giveaway!)

Posted: July 21st, 2010 | 42 Comments »

I love clever ideas. I love when I find something that makes me say “Damn, why didn’t I think of that”? The Tag-a-long from the fabulous Naptime Industries (best name ever by the way) is definitely one of those things.

Having two kids is crazy. It’s especially crazy when the older one starts to go through the “I want to walk everywhere” phase, which V is totally hitting. To push a stroller and keep a toddler in check is a demanding task, which is why I was psyched to stumble upon the Tag-a-long.

The Tag-a-long is the creation of Stephanie Arnold who resides in lovely Pennslyvania. She was looking for a way to make strolling with her son easier and she built her first prototype out of supplies from the hardware store. Come on, you’ve got to love a crafty mama! Now, it’s a full fledged product manufactured in the USA (and BPA-free). Go Stephanie!

I personally love this. They are easy to install & remove, so you can stick them on almost anything …..strollers, shopping carts, bags, etc. and they are bright. We have an orange Tag-a-long that is always visible to Violet and she loves holding onto it. She even sometimes loves to pull her sister’s stroller with it (insert eyeroll here). It’s been a huge help to us in the grocery store, in crowded areas & especially crossing the street. I can tell that it makes her feel like a “big kid” to not have to constantly hold my hand & it’s so freakin’ adorable. AND, they are a mere ten dollars! I’m seriously considering getting one more for the other side of the stroller.

So dear readers, Stephanie has decided to let us do a giveaway! All you have to do is visit Tagalongkids.com and tell me what you love about the Tag-a-long and what color you like. You can earn extra entries by Becoming a fan of Tag-a-longs on Facebook, Becoming a fan of Littlewhirl on Facebook, following Littlewhirl on Twitter, Blogging about this giveaway (with a link back to this entry), Tweeting about this giveaway (@littlewhirl with a link to this entry), or updating your Facebook status to mention this giveaway (with a link back to this entry). Just don’t forget to leave a separate comment for every entry that you do or it won’t count! A lucky winner will be drawn August 6th. Good Luck!

For more information on The Tag-a-long, visit www.tagalongkids.com


Crooked: Kristin Hersh

Posted: July 20th, 2010 | No Comments »

In my last post I mentioned how much I love music. So I guess this post is fitting as a good follow up. This album is very close to my heart.

Kristin Hersh is an amazing lady to say the least. Not only is she sweet as pie but she manages to raise 4 amazing boys (and homeschool them to boot!), make super awesome spring rolls, has the best laugh, the most everchanging hair-dos and after all that, she is one of the most prolific musicians I’ve ever known. Not only does she have a solo career, she performs with Throwing Muses & 50 Foot Wave. Growing up in the same small town she did, her band back then, Throwing Muses were a big deal (obviously). I mean, they were awesome! I can’t believe I’m about to admit this but I seriously stole a due date card from our school library once because Tanya Donelly had taken the book out (God, I am so lame. Kristin, if you ever read this, please don’t judge me, I was 16).

As Kristin went solo, my listening faded, not because I didn’t like it, I was just kind of exploring other stuff, you know how it is. 4 years ago, my husband started working with Kristin on CASH Music, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides musicians the ability to communicate, promote and sell products directly to their audience (that’s the short version to say the least). In the years that they’ve been working together, I’ve had the luxury of getting re-aquainted with Kristin’s music and hear the new music she’s been putting out. Sometimes I am seriously stunned by how talented she is, it’s crazy.

Crooked is the newest release from Kristin and it’s been published in book form. Filled with lyrics, essays & breathtaking photographs by Lisa Fletcher (with layout done by my insanely talented husband), Crooked is pretty groundbreaking an album/book. It was a true labor of love for everyone involved, and to watch it unfold from the beginning was pretty amazing.

You can hear the full stream of Crooked here, buy it on iTunes here & order it on Amazon here.


Music to my ears: Cambridge Soundworks i525

Posted: July 12th, 2010 | No Comments »

I love music. I always have. I remember my first radio, it was a red single cassette boombox w/ detachable speakers & I thought it was the greatest thing ever. One of the first purchases I made with my first serious boyfriend was an Aiwa stereo, dual cassette and I think it had a cd player as well. With the onslaught of technology over the years, stereos sadly became obsolete to me (and to pretty much everyone I guess). I listened to music on the computer mostly, or in my car, and eventually on my ipod.

We fell into the nasty habit of not listening to music in our house. What is up with that? When V was in utero, I used to put my ear buds on my belly and play her songs on my ipod that she would hardly ever here after she was born. Jesse & I always talked about getting a stereo, but when you’re young, poor & have a new baby, it’s not really at the top of the “need to buy” list. I finally broke down and spent 30 bucks on an ipod dock at Radio Shack and the sound quality was so bad that I ended up mostly using it to just charge my ipod.

Then the best thing ever happened; Cambridge Soundworks sent us their new SoundWorks i525 iPod/AM/FM Clock Radio System and it is AWESOME. It’s a very unassuming little thing but it sounds amazing. If any of you know anything about Cambridge Soundworks, it should be that they are probably the best in the biz when it comes to audio quality. They’ve been doing it for twenty years after all… And so as not to bog you all down with a bunch of audio nerdspeak, I’ll just tell you again that this little thing kicks ass and it’s only 149.00, So cheap! It’s better than most stereos I’ve ever heard and we use it every single day. a LOT. Violet and I sing along to The Modern Lovers and have dance parties to DEVO in the kitchen. It’s the first thing we put on it the morning and the last thing we turn off at night. I love it, and It is so nice to have music in the house again. I want my girls to grow up knowing how important & wonderful music is and I’m sure they will now.

For all the information on the SoundWorks i525, visit www.cambridgesoundworks.com


Vapur Winner!

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | No Comments »

Congrats to Jen! She left the Facebook comment: “these bottles are so cool, I am dying to get one for Madeline! I love that you freeze the water and it is perfect by lunch time-this product is really awesome“!

I’ll be emailing you for your information soon, congrats!


Look out parents, here comes the 2010 Bumbleride Flite!

Posted: July 6th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

This, ladies & gentlemen, is the stroller that made me kick my Maclaren Volo to the curb. Say hello to the 2010 Bumbleride Flite, their most compact stroller yet.

I read somewhere that someone called this “the Lexus of umbrella strollers” and really, I couldn’t agree more. The Flite, while small, is decked out with all the bells & whistles: cupholder, car seat adaptor, adjustable footrest, adjustable backrest, super easy fold, carry strap, zipper pocket, rain shield, zip off canopy and shocks that are better then the ones on my car (I’m not kidding). And most of all, it doesn’t tip when you take baby out and still have your bag on the back. Did you hear that? It doesn’t tip!

Bumbleride is a California based company that has been churning out great strollers for years. Not only to they come in the most exquisite colors and sport some seriously great design, they seem to have a lot of thought put into them. And now, with the addition of the Flite, they have a great range of strollers for any of your needs/wants.

The nice folks over at Bumbleride sent us a Flite along with a carrycot, that is compatible with the Flite (!!!) and we took it with us when we vacationed on Block Island. Not only was the Flite an amazing travel stroller, but the carrycot provided us with a nice little pram for Clementine to sleep in that was up off the ground. She was instantly comfortable in it and we were able to shade her with the hood from both the carrycot and the stroller. At a mere 13 pounds, It was so much better than lugging a heavy pack & play with us. She loves to go for strolls in the carrycot and often climbs in it to “hang out” when we’re at home. She just loves it that much I guess…

A few things that I love about the Flite are:
1) It has a 50lb. weight limit and a nice tall back. This means I can use it for both Clementine (8 months) and Violet (3.5 years). This stroller lives in the back of our car and we use it all the time for both kids all the while taking up very little space in the back of our car thanks to it’s nice compact fold.
2) It comes standard with a car seat adaptor! I’m pretty sure that Bumbleride is one of the only companies that don’t charge you an additional 50 bucks for an adaptor bar (total ripoff!). Big points to Bumbleride for this one. The Flite is also an excellent replacement for the dreaded but useful snap frame.
3) The adjustable footrest. We had a Peg Perego stroller when V was small that had an adjustable footrest and she *loved* it. We haven’t been able to find a decent stroller with this feature since. More big points to Bumbleride for that.
4) The recline. With the press of a button, this stroller has almost a full recline. Clemetine sleeps in the Flite like a champ.

The only two things I am medium about with the Flite are that the sun canopy falls a little short. I wish it had one more panel on it and then it would be *perfect*. However, I can quickly unzip the canopy & adjust it accordingly. The other concern is the top bar between the handles pops out of it’s straight position often. It doesn’t affect the structural integrity or safety of the stroller at all, it’s just mildly annoying. Although, it’s designed like that for easy folding purposes so i’m willing to put up with it. I’ve heard people that aren’t happy with the basket size, but I’ve had no problem loading it pretty full of groceries during a quick trip to the market.

I know a lot of parents who have a bigger, everyday stroller and they almost always also have an umbrella stroller for quick trips, etc. People, do yourself a favor and get a Flite if you are in the market for an umbrella stroller. It’s been said that good things come in small packages & in the Flite’s case, it’s totally true. You get a lot of bang for your buck with the Bumbleride Flite (which is not something I can say about a lot of other pricey umbrella strollers that shall remain nameless…). This stroller rules.

For More information on the Flite, visit www.bumbleride.com


Sleeping soundly with Naturepedic.

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Everyone wants what’s best for baby, but sometimes it seems like those ideals are skewed. Fancy designer baby gear is often replacing the real things that are actually “best” for baby.

Babies sleep. A LOT. In fact, it’s said that they spend almost 70% of their early life sleeping and/or playing on on a crib mattress. They are breathing in whatever is in that crib mattress you buy, so wouldn’t it makes sense to make sure it’s good for them? A few weeks ago, Naturepedic sent me one of their No-Compromise Organic Cotton Ultra Mattresses. This mattress comes fully loaded with a Premium Organic Waterproof Cover, Organic Cotton Filling & an Orthopedic Innerspring. It’s the most beautiful mattress I have ever seen and Clementine was instantly happy when I put her down on it (see the before & after photographic evidence above). Since we’ve been using it, I swear she’s been sleeping better. Naturpedic mattresses are completely free of vinyl/PVC and polyurethane foam, are hypoallergenic and have been tested for chemical emissions and certified by GREENGUARD® to meet their strict standards for children. They feature organic cotton fabric with an easy-to-clean clear food grade 100% polyethylene waterproof coating. Stuff just literally wipes right off of this mattress. I give it a quick wipe when I change Clementine’s sheet and it looks brand new again.

Naturepedic was founded by Barry A Cik, a seasoned environmental engineer (and a very nice guy) and is the first and only mattress company that specializes exclusively in the design and manufacturing of infant and children’s mattresses that promote natural and organic materials, a non-toxic design, fire-safety, and baby health. They’ve enlisted the help of pediatricians, orthopedic specialists, chemists, and engineers to make the best mattresses possible. Barry founded Naturpedic while waiting for the arrival of his first grandchild. After searching for a suitable and safe crib mattress and coming up emptyhanded, he decided to do something about it himself. We owe Barry a big Thank You as far as I’m concerned. Thank You Barry!

So the next time you’re coveting a 900.00 crib or a designer diaper bag, I say skip it and spend the money on one of these. Your baby will thank you later I’m sure. Naturepedic also offers a huge line of bedding accessories and larger mattresses so Mamas & Papas can sleep safe and comfy too! For more information visit www.naturepedic.com and sleep well little babies.


I am going to eat this all summer long.

Posted: June 30th, 2010 | No Comments »

The other day I stumbled upon this recipe for Avocado Chimichurri Bruchetta via the Vegetarian Times Facebook page. I made it last night and it is AMAZING. It’s rare that I post recipes on here (which will hopefully change once I free up some more time) but I absolutely had to post this one. I encourage you to go make it immediately. It’s the perfect summertime snack! (photo courtesy of Siri’s Corner because I ate all of mine before I had a chance to photograph it.)