All About Mali

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It's about time our first child had her own post! Mali (sounds like "Molly") is our fur baby, and fancies her role in the family as the Nana dog of the Darling children in Peter Pan. In reality, she's more like a sibling to B since they get into quite a bit of trouble together ;). 

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We got Mali the morning after we came home from our honeymoon! We committed to getting her before we left for the wedding in Sonoma, but didn't get to bring her home until after our trip. We named her after the placed we stayed in Fiji, and changed the spelling a little to help with confusion of pronunciation (although we still get a lot of questions about her name - I'm just laughing now and glad we did this weird name spelling thing to a dog and not a human!)

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The number one question we get is "What kind of dog is she?" Mali is a Goldendoodle! She's a second generation Goldendoodle, actually. She sheds like crazy, has the nose and legs of a Poodle, and the goofy, sweet personality of a Golden Retriever. She's insanely smart, and was essentially potty trained when we brought her home (thanks to her breeders who had her a week and a half longer than normal thanks to our honeymoon!) 

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A few other funny facts about Mali:

  • She's a big, big dog. Not only is she tall, thanks to her Poodle legs, but she's also 70 lbs.
  • Mali is our living vacuum cleaner. I rely on her way too often to help clear the floor after mealtimes - also the reason for those new 5 lbs at the last vet visit.
  • Mali will bark at anyone who walks by the house, so we've gotten in the habit of putting her "to bed" before nap to avoid any barking episodes while I'm putting B down. B loves to tuck Mali in to her bed in our room every afternoon, kisses and all.

Below are some of our favorite Mali things, including a fancy bandana! Also, totally recommend the Chuckit! launcher for avoiding slobber hands when playing fetch with your own pup.

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Local Feature: Elderslie Farm

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I'm SO excited to share this Local Feature with you all - almost as excited as I was to visit this adorable farm for the first time! We've been hearing how amazing this place was for awhile, and finally made the (short) trek out to Elderslie Farm to try all the blackberry things. 

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The first thing we saw was the pen of goats, and B loved that! There were other kids feeding them leaves off the ground, so B got in on that action. 

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Elderslie Farm has tons of blackberry items on their menu, but they also make their own cheese there (remember the friendly goats?). I’m kicking myself for not trying anything made from their local goat milk, but that’s just another reason to come back ASAP (I really want to try their gelato next time!) We had the Linzer Tart and Blackberry Lavendar Muffin with Blackberry Lemonade and iced tea for my mom. All of it was crazy good!

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We came on a Thursday when they were serving their breakfast menu, but they also do a lunch menu Fri - Sat (closed Sunday) and a farm to table dinner Thurs - Sat (more info on those linked here. I’m dying to go to one of their dinners, hint hint, husband!!)

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This is definitely one of the most family-friendly places I’ve posted about! It’s the opposite of chaotic (which, to be honest, is exactly what I picture when I hear “It’s family friendly!”) It’s gorgeous, pure Kansas farm vibes, with plenty of space to roam. They had also just wrapped up their weekly storytime (Thursday's at 9:30!) when we got there, so we’ll be coming back for that another time too! I 

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Berry picking season starts July 2, and you can find out more about that here.

Elderslie Farm's Bramble Cafe is open through July 28, Mon - Thurs 7AM - 11AM and Fri - Sat 7AM - 1:30PM. They are a seasonal business, so visit ASAP this summer! You won’t regret it. 

Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Daily Harvest Review

I've been loving these Daily Harvest cups for MONTHS, and I keep saying I'll put together a review of some of my favorites, but time just slips away. Well, I've gotten to try their newest cups of lattes and cold soups (literally incredible - trust me) and I had to share finally!

Daily Harvest has Smoothies, Chia Parfaits, Overnight Oats, Lattes, Soups, & Harvest Bowls. They come in the mail, and go directly into your freezer for later (or right away - no judgement!) Each cup has directions, and they're the simplest ever. Their Harvest Bowls and Soups have saved me from eating a whole pack of Girl Scout cookies for lunch on many occasions! I put together a review of cups I've tried below, and included photos so you can see the final product.

If you're on the fence about trying these, I have a code to tempt you a little! Use my code ASTOREY for 3 free cups on your first order.

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Chaga + Chocolate Latte
I whipped out the milk frother just for this occasion! The Latte cups come with three single serve portions so you're really getting 3-for-1 here, and just one serving was all I needed for the morning. This particular flavor was AMAZING. It reminded me of Mexican Hot Chocolate, and it's rich enough to be delicious as a frozen latte as well. I made mine with regular milk, but it would be just as yummy with any other non-dairy milk. A few other things to note: Daily Harvest's thing is special, extra nutritional ingredients in every cup. This one has Chaga and Reishi Mushrooms (that I never would've believed were in there) to help boost your immune system. It also has Organic Cacao, and the website says that ingredient boosts your serotonin levels. So while it didn't have caffeine in it, it totally boosted my mood and it tasted like actual heaven soooo there's that.

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Cinnamon Protein + Banana Overnight Oats
All I can say is... YES. I'm the worst about eating breakfast, and this is amazing in the morning. I added sliced bananas, chia seeds, and coconut chips on top just because. This cup has cocoa nips in it, and when you eat it hot they get melty and delish! Also totally suggest doing these like traditional overnight oats, and placing them in the fridge w/ your liquid of choice for 6+ hours. I've also tried the Mulberry + Dragon Fruit oats, which were amazing as well. My favorite thing about these is that they're easy for a busy morning because you can literally prepare them the night before.

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Quinoa + Chipotle Harvest Bowl
This was easily one of the best lunches I had all week! These are totally great without all the extras, but if you're bringing it to work, I'd suggest adding 1/2 cup of black beans or chicken for protein + an avocado because it's SO good with avocado. I fancied mine up because I had everything on hand. I made a taco salad with fresh greens, avocado, sliced tomatoes, cilantro, queso fresco, and hard-shell tortillas. Drizzle a little spicy olive oil + lime juice on top for dressing! I wish I could eat this everyday gehhhhh.

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Tomato + Bell Pepper Chilled Soup
This is a brand new soup that's out for summer, and I was STOKED to try it because I'm a huge tomato fan. It has all the right salsa vibes. I added my homemade bone broth to it, and would recommend doing a chicken stock or bone broth as your liquid for this one. It's a chilled soup, so you eat it cold, and it's totally refreshing. I love love love their hot soups, and can't wait to try the other two chilled soups sitting in my freezer.

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Blueberry + Hemp Smoothie
B and I shared this one, and she drank way more than her fair share ;). It has hemp protein in it, which is a really specific taste (and yes you can taste it) but I didn't mind the flavor. Overall, it tastes like a blueberry smoothie, and the hidden greens were an added bonus. Their smoothies are always good, in my opinion. They usually have something special that I wouldn't think to add or be able to find in my local grocery store. 

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Strawberry Cheesecake Sundae
B and I are official smoothie and sundae taste-testers together - they're her favorite after-nap snack, of course. There's tons of hidden veggies AND they're vegan (we made ours with vanilla almond milk) so they're perfect to share with my kiddo. I love that they included toppings for this one. It had a graham cracker/cheesecake crust vibe, without the guilt!

Final Thoughts
Some of these cups are more on-the-go friendly than others, and a few lend themselves to snacks more than meals. It completely depends on what you're wanting, and Daily Harvest has a lot of variety to make your box of cups work for your needs. What I love about them is the convenience factor + health factor without losing on taste. I'm a bit of a smoothie snob, and I like my smoothies not to be too watery, green-tasting, etc. I have loved every single smoothie so far, and each one has been B approved. Many of their smoothie cups soothe a sweet tooth, which is also a huge win in my book. Finally, their bowls and soups save me on the regular when I forget to make myself lunch (mom problems). I find myself adding things to the bowls and soups, but they're super yummy on their own. I usually get a mix of cups for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and love that they have something for everyone.

Try out Daily Harvest with 3 free cups using my code ASTOREY, and let me know what you think!