Zoo Noel at the Philadelphia Zoo

Today we took advantage of our Zoo Membership & headed to the Philadelphia Zoo for Zoo Noel. In October we had a blast at Boo at the Zoo so I was excited when I learned there would be a winter themed weekend as well.

We live in Fairmount so we can easily walk to the zoo, which is why we got a yearly membership – Brooks loves being outside in the stroller and it was pretty mild outside today. So it was the perfect time to take advantage of some fun at the zoo.

zoo noel

We waited until after Brooks’ first nap to head out – so when we got there we headed straight for Santa, before it got too crowded. We waited in line about 15-20 minutes {which was no Fast Pass like we had in NYC} but it was bearable. Santa and a little Elf village was hanging out in the Treehouse area of the Zoo, which was nice.

treehouse

I was crossing my fingers for some smiling & happy pictures with Santa – unlike the classic crying photo we got in NYC - but no such luck. Brooks really isn’t into dudes with beards.

santa fail

Brooks did give a few smiles to some lady helpers who were there trying to make the kids laugh, so we got a few pictures of Brooks not completely freaking out, but he wasn’t into it.

Oh well.

santa

After Santa we did a little arts & crafts project where Brooks “made” an ornament out of recycled fabrics.

Ok, I made it, but I still think it’s cute.

I also think it was a fun little project for kids and a fun thing to take home with them – it was free too!

ornament

Family Zoo Noel Selfie:

family

After the Santa area we headed out to walk around the zoo.

Unlike Boo at the Zoo {which was completely crowded & nuts} today the zoo was pretty empty. There were no crowds or lines anywhere and all the animals seemed to love the cooler temps -> everyone was out to play!

Check out this great {iPhone} shot I got of the snow leopard:

snow leopard

I also got a “selfie” of sorts with another leopard, which was really active exploring the perimeter back and forth.

rawrselfie

Brooks got in on the action too:

blurleopard

The cats at Big Cat Falls were really active too -> I had never seen them so many times crossing the catwalk!

big cat falls

We also got to see the new tiger cubs – all 4 of them – which was pretty fun. They were rolling around and playing – it was so fun to watch them!

lion cubs

I had also never seen the bears out like this before either! It was so much fun to see all the animals out and about and so active.

bear

And check out this peacock – umm..gorgeous!peacock

Brooks loved being in his stroller and watching the world go by – and especially when he is warm and cozy all bundled up. So he enjoyed people watching and animal watching too. Zoo Noel was a fun excuse to get out of the house today and enjoy the fresh air. It was mid 40’s today, so it wasn’t too cold out – the perfect day to walk around and get our legs moving.

Zoo Noel is happening next weekend too – so if the weather is looking good, you should totally check it out!

boys

All in all, it was a fun-filled day at the zoo! I loved walking the grounds with a chill in the air, but I have to say, I am already excited for the spring weather too!

1santa

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What was the best part of your weekend?

Please share!

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philly

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An Ode to The Sandwich

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Sandwiches are my favorite.

I love a good lunchtime break {while little man naps away!} with a killer sandwich as the main event. It’s recently been fun to get creative in the sandwich department to see what Brooks will and won’t eat as I combine different tastes and textures to my favorite bread.

sara lee

I recently partnered with Sara Lee® to share the love about their delightful breads and their tasty sandwich creations. I’ve always been a fan of Sara Lee® breads because they provide delicious taste and delightful texture with 45 calories per full-size slice. As a new mom, I’m not counting calories, but I am being very aware of what I am eating to make sure I keep that baby weight at bay! The Delightful breads are all heart-healthy and provide an excellent source of fiber in each serving (2 slices), with no artificial colors or flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup.

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 I was totally in love with all the fun sandwich recipes on the Sara Lee® website, so I had to share my favorite -> The California Chicken Sandwich!

california chicken sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of Sara Lee® Hearty & Delicious® Multi-Grain Bread
  • 1 cup cubed oven roasted breast of chicken
  • 3 slices baby swiss cheese
  • 2 stalks diced celery
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp. spicy horseradish
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. toasted walnuts
  • 6 leaves fresh field greens
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

How To:

Mix together cubed chicken, celery, cranberries, walnuts, horseradish and mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread chicken salad mixture on one slice of bread.  Top with cheese, field greens, and remaining bread slice.  Cut in half and serve.

lunch

Side Note: I also enjoy all the different Sara Lee® flavor options -> a new flavor Oatmeal joins the current line which includes 100% Whole Wheat (made with real honey), Healthy Multi-Grain and Wheat.

Enter to be a Sara Lee Delightful Person -> Celebrate your healthy transformation by entering to be one of 45 finalists in the Sara Lee Delightful Person contest. Each week, Sara Lee Bread Facebook fans will vote on which Delightful Person they find most inspiring. The person that receives the most overall votes will win $4,500! Don’t forget to share your own story by participating in the 45 Delightful People program. Each participant in the 45 Delightful People program will automatically receive a free tee-shirt.

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Now it’s your turn to share ->

What’s your favorite sandwich of all time?

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The Sara Lee® Delightful line is available in supermarkets nationwide and has an average price of $3.29 per 20 oz. package.


breadso good

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sara Lee®.

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Friday Favorites: Stocking Stuffers

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Don’t forget to check out my Instantly Framed & Eat Smart Giveaways – Happening Now!

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For this Friday Favorites I wanted to share with you some of my picks for Stocking Stuffers -> For Him, For Her & For Baby. I picked a few of my favorite things for the men, ladies & babies in your life -> a few items are tried and true and others just look like a lot of fun.

So without further ado, here are my Friday Favorite picks for this week – check them out, let me know what you think and feel free to share your favorites too!

Happy Friday!

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c6For Him

For Him:

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

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For HerFor Her:

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

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for baby

For Baby:

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

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What’s your Friday Favorite this week?

Please share!

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Eat Smart Gourmet Salad & Stir Fry Kit Giveaway

I feel like Brooks starting solid food has been the best thing for our family. It has totally reignited my love for cooking and eating fresh food. Feeding my little man a wide variety of tastes, textures and flavors is very important to me.

salad kit

Unfortunately, time is not always on my side when it comes to cooking. Brooks is currently on a great little schedule but it doesn’t always leave me tons of time to create the amazing meals I want. Since we have been going the baby led weaning route, it’s made things a little easier because {for the most part} we try to feed Brooks what we are eating. But I always have a backup meal for him because his tastes & opinions on what he likes and wants changes pretty frequently.

veg

So when I had the opportunity to try out the new Eat Smart Gourmet Salad & Stir Fry Kits, I was pretty pumped. Eat Smart Gourmet Salad and Stir Fry Kits are chef-inspired, fresh vegetable products that deliver an exceptional taste experience. Each salad and stir fry kit is packed with five to seven beneficial superfoods and designed to deliver true value by combining highly nutritious, premium culinary recipes with convenience and ease that the whole family can enjoy.

salad

When I tell you those kits are so SO easy to put together and they are jam-packed full or flavor with lots of fresh vegetables. Each meal took minutes to put together but tasted like I had been cooking and chopping away all day in the kitchen {love that!} Here’s a little rundown of the stir fry & salad kits I got to try:

Sweet Kale Salad Kit: A unique blend of seven superfoods including kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, roasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, complete with a delicious poppy seed dressing.

Ginger Bok Choy Salad Kit: Offers six superfoods including sugar snap peas, carrots, Napa cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and red cabbage, all complemented with peanuts and a ginger sesame dressing.

fry

Wild Greens & Quinoa Salad Kit: Features seven superfoods including kale, beet greens, julienned broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, quinoa almonds and a avocado dressing <- this is my favorite salad! SO GOOD!

Kale and Red Chard Stir Fry Kit: This stir fry sauce is a fast, easy way to get five superfoods including broccoli florets, red chard, kale, snow peas and carrots <- my favorite stir fry kit! Beyond yummy!

Shanghai Blend Stir Fry Kit: Sweet and salty hoisin sauce gives this kit a delicious, tangy kick. Complete with five superfoods including Brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, snow peas and carrots.

kale saladThese kits are the fast and flavorful way to eat your veggies every day. Many of the kits are made with delicious and sophisticated combinations of ingredients like kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, and/or quinoa and toppings like roasted pumpkin seeds, almonds or dried cranberries. It’s a fast, delicious and healthy way to feed my family.

grilled cheese

My husband & mother-in-law got to enjoy these meals with me as well and they were just as wild about them as I was – I will totally be buying these again soon -> especially the wild greens salad kit and kale & red chard stir fry kit {just add chicken!}

EatSmart1

Want to try Eat Smart out for yourself? Up for grabs today are five full-value coupons for Eat Smart Gourmet Salads or Stir Fry Kits ($30 value).

Enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Monday, December 15th / Winner will be notified via email.

The giveaway is only open to US residents age 18 and older residing in the following states: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington, DC.

For more information including a grocery store locator and quick and healthy recipe ideas, visit www.EatSmart.net.

chicken and veggies

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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