Saplings Summer 2014

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summer 2014


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36 Summer 2014/contents 9_ La Petite Peach summer finds 10_ We are the good ones 36_ Interview with Alexis McVicker 54_ Style and Motherhood 68_ Wynwood girls rocking Wunway 80_ A summer Daydream 88_DIY Bubble wand 89_DIY 4th of July windsock 90_ Neon is back 106_Resort style with Marie Chantal


112_ The gift of reading 114_ Happy 4th of July 124_ Sweet Moments 134_Creating Neverland 146_ Playing comes natural 152_ Food for thought 153-161_ Recipes 162_ Family process art



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Contributors Shannon Sewell Leslie Schor Samantha Scott La Petite Peach Lila Purdy Ashley Stamper Marjolaine Richards Oona Cruger Lailani Levy Audrey Blake Brooke Logue Monika Garcia Janel Peyton Merriment Photography Helen Rodriguez Ari Dorfman Shelley Judge Joscelyn Abreu Andrea Arcuino Hui Ping Meri Cherry Heather Landry

Cover image Photographer: Isla Charm Photography Creative consultant and Stylist: Leslie Schor Wardrobe provided by Wunway.

































An interview with designer Alexis G. Mcvicker of

Little Name Designs by Leslie Schor.

Photography by Lila Purdy Hair and Styling by Ashley Stamper


What was the inspiration behind Little Name? Little Name is something with small humble beginnings but big to my heart ... it evolves as I evolve and is certainly always a design in the making. I adore little things and the ability to slow things down and create a visual and interactive world. I love the potential of creating a meaningful thought or encouraging a creative exchange. Childrenswear to me holds so much magical potential.


Can you walk us through your design process? My experience in the fashion industry is mostly as an apparel Print / concept and color designer ... So for me the life and narrative of the collection begins and in a sense is directed by the development of my prints. Once this sense of tone and story is collected, I begin to access the functionality and purpose of what I want the collection pieces to achieve and how I’d like them to feel and work together.




Tell us about the Rain or Shine collection. The ‘Rain & Shine Collection’ is a made in NYC collection inspired to be whimsical and functional. Silhouettes of the collection were designed to be size flexible and adjustable as well as fun and intuitive to mix and match and layer from Spring all the way into Fall. This was intended to make the investment in a quality Made in Nyc piece as economical and verstile as possible. Some collection pieces include . . a Sundress that’s sun-protective material has an oversized collar that blocks the shoulders from the ray of the sun . . a reversible water-resistant Raincloak . . reversible beach bonnets, bloomers and decorative collars. . and spill-proof pocketed Aprons, suspenders and bowties. My goal was to create a collection that would feel versatile and functional for the consumer along with whimsical pretty qualities while still embodying a sense of nostalgia and a free-spirited playwear sensibility with the freedom to spontaneously get dirty in if need be!



Having worked as a fashion educator in a university setting, what advice would you offer to designers that are beginning their journey in the industry? I would at first say that the industry is competitive and inevitably takes a lot of passion and perseverance, patience and sacrifice. I would also say that having a firm understanding of your intentions and the way you evolve as much as possible is key. For me, I knew that my end goal was to ultimately create an opportunity by drawing my gradually gathered industry experience together to create an independent brand of my own . . this is both freeing and liberating and a challenging unpredictable path. Little Name is beginning completely as a solo act . . which means having a handle on all aspects from webdesign, promotion and sales to the concept, design, sourcing and production of the collection. I would say a solid handle on brand development and how a meaningful and visual story of branding unfolds is completely key and valuable to emerse yourself in. Once this frame-work is thoughtfully placed and considered . . I feel the rest falls into an intuitive rhythm as a designer.





Your line feels very nostalgic. What are your thoughts on some of the current trends in children’s fashion? I am happy that you feel my collection is nostalgic...Nostalgia truly drives a lot of my inspiration as a designer from the very beginning... Whether it was through my photographs in my undergrad as a photo student or my writing as I found a voice to what I wanted to say...I tend to personally believe that trend can be empty without reason... And true trends evolve and have power when they envoke meaning. Childrenswear for me has such meaningful potential in this way...I love the idea of creating a feeling that could potentially encourage a child to feel comfortable and creative in their own mind and skin. There is something in a child’s mind, sense of being and untainted discovery of self that I feel should be prolonged as much as possible if not instilled forever.






Has there been a specific milestone in your fashion/ design career that you are most proud of? In an industry and personal sense...I am a true introvert, so I have to say my ability to adapt and adjust and find success, even though being extroverted and self-promotional wasn't and isn't my natural part of self... it was something I had to find and accomplish. In saying this, it has been a continuous challenging and wonderful personal accomplishment to find a balance of developing my own independent brand and the ability of working from home, while maintaining the personal and family life I am striving for. I am so fortunate for my industry experience and feel lucky for the life that surrounds me on a daily basis.

Which word would you use to describe your designs? Reminiscent



style and motherhood with Lisa greenwald An interview with Lisa Greenwald, designer of Chewbeads and a VP at J.Crew by Leslie Schor Photography by Shannon Sewell



Tell us about your background and experience in the fashion industry. Has it always been your passion? I always loved shopping whether it be at the mall or second hand/vintage stores. I would take clothes from the vintage stores and cut off sleeves or make them shorter or add rhinestones (it was the 80's), so I definitely had a passion for product! Immediately after college, I started working at the GAP headquarters where I was able to use my "business" education and passion for product to begin a career in merchandising/buying. From there I've sort of followed my passion for brands and bosses! I moved to NY (the center of the fashion industry) to work for Club Monaco, a company I thought was always on trend and saw growing in the US market. Ultimately my (indirect) boss at the GAP took the reigns at JCrew - so I followed him there as he has always been an inspiration to me and teaches me everyday! At the end of the day, I love putting input into products that go to market and that consumers want to buy.




How did the idea for Chewbeads come about? The idea for Chewbeads originated with a JCrew "bauble" necklace that I wore all the time. After I had my son, Benjamin, I realized quickly that he (and pretty much any other baby I picked up) loved to investigate, touch, and chew all the beads on my necklace whenever I was wearing it. The lightbulb went off and I thought I need to make a necklace that is safe for babies to be able to touch, tug, and chew. What inspired the design of the Essex necklace? What is your design process when designing for Chewbeads? The Essex necklace was inspired by the current trend in tribal jewelry. We wanted to do something that had a little bit of a natural or handmade feel something that could have been made by potters (sort of a ceramic or clay feeling). When designing, we want to stay relevant in relation to what's being shown in the marketplace - as we want our customers to be able to wear Chewbeads as if it's their "real" jewelry.





How do you balance your career, business, and family? Is there something in particular that you struggle with? I definitely have a busy day, but with that being said, I balance them all with a little help from my husband and nanny! I definitely struggle with not being able to go to every family morning at Benjamin's school, or not being able to take my little one, Jordan, to his gym classes, etc. But, I make it a point to walk Benjamin to school and in turn, ask not to have any meetings before 9:15am to accommodate. After the kids go to bed, I spend most nights working on my computer after my kids go to bed and on the weekends I do nothing but spend time with my kids. When it comes down to it at the end of the day, I have to prioritize the things I deem important for my kids (Doctor's appointments, Parent/Teacher Conferences) with the things I have to let go of (tiny tots gymnastics with Jordan or playdates in the middle of the day/ week). It's a balancing act and you can't have it "all" all of the time. What advice would you give ambitious mothers that want to have thriving careers and happy families? Just go for it! Your family will be happy if you're happy. I can't tell you how happy I am to get home to my kids at night and finding fun family activities to do on the weekends. You have to be really decisive and trust your gut with decisions both at work and at home. Trust the people that are helping you with your kids. And most importantly, have a career that makes you happy, that you are passionate about, and gives you fulfillment (as you don't want to spend time away from your kids/family if you're doing something you don't like).


How can moms of young kids incorporate fashion into their daily lives? Well first and foremost, Chewbeads can be paired with anything! But, in terms of clothing and other dressing, it's so easy, especially now a days when there is such a casual influence on everyday clothes. Sneakers are a fashion statement these days. Everything from Nike hightops to New Balance running shoes - you can incorporate bright colors or cool silhouettes onto your feet (plus it's really comfortable). Also, sweatshirts aren't just for lounging anymore. There are so many great fashion fleece styles on the market, it's easy to be comfortable, effortless, but still look on trend. I wouldn't recommend all of them at once though! Sneakers can be cute with cropped jeans and a woven shirt, whereas the sweatshirt can be paired with skinnier jeans and ankle boots (or a more refined flat). What are some of your favorite family activities? Living in NYC, going to the local parks is always a favorite activity! Besides that, we try and switch up what we do and where we go. Last weekend we took the kids on the NYC Water Taxi and took a tour of lower Manhattan (Statue of Liberty, Wall Street) and ended up at Brooklyn Bridge Park. After some "play" we ended the day at world famous Grimaldi's Pizza in Dumbo (there is no better family activity than eating together!!) Where do you like to vacation during the summer? We took our first trip to Bermuda last summer and booked it again this summer! It's an hour flight from NYC, but it's a world away! The island is beautiful (my husband likes to say "there is not a blade of grass out of place") and there is so much to do (golf,tennis, pool club, beach, etc). We also love Montauk. It's the far east end of Long Island, and it's absolutely gorgeous when you get out to the lighthouse and it's just ocean as far as you can see! Really spectacular views, great lobster rolls, and beaches!





Wynwood girls rocking Wunway Wunway is an online shop curated and run by three moms, Melanie Chu, Nicole Kim and Elle Kim, on a mission to provide kids with fun and lighthearted designs that will help shape their views of fashion. Wunway carries various independent designers and offers very reasonable and competitive prices. Here, we get to know the moms behind the shop and get a little behind the scenes information on Wunway.

Photographer: Isla Charm Photography Creative consultant and Stylist: Leslie Schor Wardrobe provided by Wunway. Interview By: Leslie Schor



How did this collaboration and business come about? Melanie: We have all known one another for a very long time. Nicole and I, we’ve known each other since freshman year in college, and Ella is my identical twin sister. We have always wanted to do something together and one day we were talking about clothes for our kids and it just clicked. We didn’t really have to think about it because as mother’s of 10 young children, we knew what existed, or better yet what didn’t, and how we would be different.

Nicole: We focus on the ages one through eight right now because we believe that when kids get to a certain age, they’re going to wear what they want to wear. So, we’re focusing on the most formative years, where we can guide their fashion sensibility and how to dress… The rest is up to them. We also only focus on product for girls at the moment because we want to make sure we get it right and we can’t be everything to everyone from the onset. Been getting a TON of requests for boys though, so stay tuned =)






Wunway is such a young and playful shop, what is your curating and shopping process like? Melanie: Our passion is our children and fashion so we don’t really overthink it too much. We go with what feels right and makes sense to us. Our aesthetic is always going to be playful and fun… not so serious. Nicole: All of our clothes are easy to match. That’s why we show full looks on our site. We also emphasize quality and comfort. If the clothes are uncomfortable, no matter how cute, my kids won’t wear it. I guess you can call it on the job training! LOL... we are mothers first after all. What individual qualities do each of you provide to the brand? Melanie: I worked as a consultant in the commerce and digital space. My sister Ella oversees our manufacturing and sourcing. Nicole: I studied fashion and design in Japan before moving to LA. I worked as a designer in LA but after baby number 3, I put my career on pause… until now! Our day to day is a true collaboration however. We are constantly bouncing ideas off of one another and having fun with it. How do you stay focused on the business aspects of the brand admist all the creativity and chaos that comes with motherhood? Nicole: We are passionate about this. We don’t really look at it as a business. It makes us happy and the kids notice. They are our #1 cheerleaders and that gives us a lot of strength when it gets crazy at times! Melanie: Being a mom is probably the hardest job in the world, but it’s the most rewarding. With so many children, I think we have become very efficient multi-taskers. It can get crazy at times, but it’s something that we love to do. It doesn’t really feel like ‘work,’ so we keep going. A glass of wine here and there refuels the soul too. What do you hope for the future of Wunway? Our vision is a well put together world of confident children with an empowered sense of self… expressed through great style. We have a long way to go, but like we always tell our kids, we will try our best, follow our hearts, and most importantly have fun. Oh, and always say please and thank you.




A Summer Daydream Photography: i.Levy Photography Set and prop styling: i.Levy Photography Wardrobe: Well Dressed Wolf designed by Sarah Prince Lemoine and Shannon Caserta Headpieces: MariJo Jeldes Hair: Danielle Sampson Makeup: Sandra Price Lighting: BRCHS AICE Photography 78 SAPLINGS








DIY Bubble wands

What kid doesnt want the fanciest bubble wand! What you need: Copper wire and a wire cutter Beads Instructions • • • •

cut 12 inches of copper wire (you can use any wire). make a circle the size that you want and twist the wire together so that the circle stays insert the beads at random loops the bottom so that the beads don’t fall out


DIY 4th of July Windsock!

This project is so much fun for kids of all ages! What you need: Tin cans (tomato sauce or coffee can size) Twine Red and white ribbon Star stickers Glue • • • • • •

Strip the tin can of any paper and spray paint blue (This is the grown up part) Allow 20 minutes for drying Using a hammer and a nail poke two holes at the top of the can (large enough to stick the twine through) Pull a piece of twine through the holes and tie on the inside Cut red and white ribbon to the size of your liking and glue to the inside of the can Once the glue dries, have child decorate the outside of the can with stickers! SAPLINGS 87















resort style with Marie Chantal Chambray, jersey and soft cotton dresses in bright hues, nautical and floral prints paired with flip flops, are perfect for looking chic while having fun on summer holiday. For those breezy summer evening strolls, luxurious and lightweight cardigans are a beautiful addition to any outfit. Fitted polos and denim shorts with rope belts are fit for climbing trees and keeping boys neat and fresh.



Photography: Brooke Logue Photography Stylist: Leslie Schor Wardrobe and shoes provided by Marie Chantal Accessories: Georgia Blue Hair: Monika Garcia 104 SAPLINGS








The gift of reading

By Heather Landry

One of the most important gifts we can give our children these days is the gift of our time. Time spent helping them to learn and to love reading and the many diverse benefits this simplistic activity provides, for both the parents and the children. We all know that learning to read is important, but as parents, what do we do to facilitate this milestone? Do we just send our children off to school and conclude that it is the schools and the teachers jobs to teach this to our children? No, as parents WE are their first and last teacher, we must take it upon ourselves to invest in their lives and futures, by giving them this important foundation and fundamental love of reading. Below are my top 7 favorite reasons of why this is a pastime every parent should do with their children and the varied ways it positively affects everyone’s lives. 1. Reading to/with your children allows for a closeness that you both will treasure, both in the here and now and for those later in life memories. Holding your child in your arms or holding their hand, while getting lost in the unfolding adventure in the pages of the book, this snapshot is beyond priceless in a way, that the most expensive gift could never compare. 2. The more you and your child reads, this has a dramatically profound effect on their education. It helps to advance their development in many ways, such as: hearing/ pronouncing different and sometimes difficult sounds, enhancing their language skills, their vocabulary, and helping to expand their understanding of life and help build imagination and character for our children to use every step of their lives. 3. Studies have shown that when a parent encourages and includes reading into their children’s bedtime routine, that they thrive in that environment and that kind of atmosphere is where a child is encouraged to dream and look towards and bright and limitless future, where the sky is the limit and nothing is impossible. 4. Reading will foster your children’s ability to listen, pay attention and extend their attention spans, to learn critical thinking, and problem resolution, as well as encourages conversation between you and your child, about a myriad of different topics, either related to the story your reading or

something in their lives that’s been bothering them in which the story gives them an opening to bring this up for discussion. 5. Reading inspires children and helps them to extend their understanding giving them a balanced way of viewing life and better helping them as they grow up. To their own developing minds, thoughts, feelings and way that they relate and communicate with others; their friends and family, in addition to teaching them role playing and great character qualities they might see would like to see inside themselves. 6. Reading keeps your children’s growing and developing brains active, expanding, and healthy, as it creates, develops, strengthens synapses in their brain. This gives them an advantage in life and in school over those children who don’t participate in this amazingly simple and inexpensive activity. 7. Reading is an extraordinary tool for shaping, developing, and creating positive behaviors, concentration, memory, discipline, visual stimulation, imagination, deduction, literacy, drive, creation, understanding, perspective, communication, vocabulary, writing, sense of right & wrong, listening skills, and social skills. Why wouldn’t we as parents use every single tool in our shed when it comes to our children and helping to shape them into the most amazing young adults.



Cheers to dirty knees, endless nights, sun-


-kissed faces and the smell of sunscreen!

Written by: Audrey Blake Breheney Photos by: Audrey Blake Photography Styled by: Melissa Adler – Dirt and Noise Kids SAPLINGS 115


Summer is here and nothing marks the season more so than the biggest American secular holiday, Independence Day!!!! When I close my eyes and think about what the 4th of July was like for me as a kid, the memories come flooding back in a mix of smells, sights and sounds. I can hear kids laughing and running around bare foot in bathing suits at dusk. I remember catching fire-flies in plastic cups, eating juicy watermelon and letting that delicious pink juice drip all over! I remember the smell of hotdogs and sausage cooking away on the grill, and doing canon balls until my legs were wobbly. The nights felt endless in the best possible way‌ I want nothing more than for my children to have joyful 4th of July memories like I do.


Freedom is the founding premise of this country. We, as Americans, are linked together by the notion of freedom. With this freedom has come growth and accomplishment for people of all shapes, sizes and colors. It is the reason so many people have come to America to start their lives, create businesses and grow their families. We all come from distinct backgrounds with a colorful mix of stories about how our ancestors arrived in America. It is this variety that makes up the beautiful and dynamic fabric that is our country. Share your story with your children! Let them know why you are proud to be an American. If you don’t know about your own background, do some digging and share the knowledge! Who knows, you might find some discoveries of your own!




Summertime moves so quickly, and in order to savor every moment, we need to squeeze out every last drop of sunshine and fun. Here are some ways to help make this holiday last all summer long: • Keep that American pride going strong and have an Independence Day party on a day that ISN’T July 4th! Why not celebrate with sparklers and BBQ’s every chance you get this summer? • Children find it easiest to understand when we refer to the 4th of July as America’s Birthday! Make a cake with your kids and let them all blow out the candles and sing the National Anthem! • Get a map of the United States and point out how different the weather, landscape and culture can be from state to state. This is where the seed for adventure and learning is planted. Giving them a reason to take interest in the country they call home is the best place to cultivate that pride.



Happy 4th of July!


Photography/Concept/Creative Design: Janel Peyton Models: Anna Stein & Mia Stein Location: Gosser Farm - St. Louis, MO Wardrobe: Fleur & Dot & JCPenney Hair: Micaela Lukens - Identity Salon Makeup: Laura Katseanes Truck: Frosty's Favorites Prop Styling: Mary Price - Finch Vintage


Sweet Moments SAPLINGS 125





















Playing Comes Natural Naturally simplistic for mother and child


hildren have a natural gift for play. Their imaginations are endless and their sense of adventure is boundless. When we explore the world of natural toys, we find the Natural Baby store by owner Florencia Martinez. A source for clean, environmentally and children friendly toys. A purveyor of wooden toys such as Grimms Wooden Toys, Cloth diapers and so much more. Since becoming a mother, Florencia’s goal was to find healthier and safer alternatives for her child. Having joined forces with Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas to start the first breast milk bank in Florida, Florencia has proven to be a voice for mothers interested in the quality of their child’s lives.

Leggings: Ollie Jones Clothing Tops: Gap Styling: Helen Rodriguez Toys: Natural Baby of Pembroke Pines Photography: Ari Dorfman 146 SAPLINGS






Food for thought‌ by Shelley Judge

We drill into kids the importance of reading to learn to nourish their minds. Have you ever thought about what part food plays in nourishing their minds? The food they eat can dramatically change their mood. The effect of the extensive list of refined sugars used today is well known, giving children highs and lows that affects their concentration and therefore ability learn. In fact all of the food we feed children has a large impact on the way they develop both mentally and physically. In the early years of life, the body is in its most critical developmental stages. As an infant, the brain is only at 25% of the final adult weight however, by the age of three the brain is nearly at the final adult weight due to the growth of billions of cells and nerve connections. Without the correct nourishment in the first three years of life children will not grow to their full mental and physical potential. Healthy fats such, as omega 3 is important to include in their diet to assist brain development. Vitamin C and E found in cruciferous vegetables have also been found to improve brain development and prevent mental decline. It is important be fun and creative when preparing the healthy dishes for your children. By adding broccoli to fritters or blending it up and mixing it into lean mince to make

into meatballs is a creative way to make them eat these important foods. The best way to get children to eat the healthy food you present to them is to get them involved in making it. As children my sister and I were always in the kitchen helping my mother, whether it was with the baking, making dinner, or simply making our school lunches. Through that interaction with the food we ate, we learned the benefits of a good diet and the healthy habits we follow today. It was also a great time to spend extra time, sharing experiences with your mother. By getting kids involved in the kitchen and making it fun, you will find they get a sense of pride over what they have created and are usually more willing to be adventurous and try the food. As well as this the biggest benefit is the life long habits they will learn and to take into adulthood, which will ensure they develop p into their full potential. The last thing to remember is that your children will view food and nutrition the same way that you do. We can’t help what children see in the media but really, you are their biggest influence. Eat whole foods, exercise and most importantly have a positive relationship


with food and a healthy lifestyle and your children will as well. If children are brought up on healthy foods (and yes the occasional treat is acceptable, they are kids after all), you will find that they are not only more educated about what is good for them, but will have an interest themselves and care about what they eat.

Biography Shelley is a nutrition and food science student at the University of Queensland, Australia. She is passionate about nutrition and development and creating healthy recipes that nourish and fuel the body. Follow her on Instagram @ shelleysgoodeats for daily inspiration or take a look at her blog shelleysgoodeats. for her healthy recipes!

4th July Cupcakes Light fluffy sugar and Gluten free cupcakes perfect for the kids to decororate for 4th July festivities. Makes 12 6 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla extract 2 tbsp. organic maple syrup ¼ cup coconut oil ½ cup coconut flour 1.5 tsp. baking powder Method: With an electric mixer, beat the eggs until light and fluffy (about 6mins). Add in the vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut oil and beat for a further 5 minutes. Finally beat in the coconut flour and baking powder until just combined (make sure not to over mix). Then scoop ¼ cup batter into lined and greased muffin trays. Cook in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. By: Shelley Judge (shelleysgoodeats) Icing 2 tins coconut cream (leave in the fridge for 48hrs) 1 tbsp. organic maple syrup 1tsp vanilla extract 1 punnet raspberries 1 punnet blueberries Method: Open the coconut cream and slowly pour off the coconut water (keep it to use in smoothies). Then scoop out the firm coconut cream in a bowl. Add in the maple syrup and vanilla extract and then beat with an electric mixer until it has thickened into a smooth cream. Spread over the cupcakes then top with blueberries and raspberries to mimic an American flag. SAPLINGS 153

Vegan Chocolate Oatmeal Pancakes Makes 8-10 pancakes

1 cup oats 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder 2 teaspoons baking powder pinch of salt 2 bananas, mashed 3/4 cup almond milk 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. flax meal mixed with 6 tbsp. water) 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or sweetener of your choice In a large bowl, combine oats, flours, coconut, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together bananas, milk, flax eggs, coconut oil, and syrup. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy. Pre-heat your griddle or large pan on medium heat and coat with coconut oil or nonstick spray. Pour batter, by 1/4 cup scoopfuls, onto hot griddle. Flip pancakes when bubbles start to form on the surface. Brown lightly on both sides. Serve with fresh fruit, toasted coconut, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup

By: Joscelyn Abreu (wifemamafoodie) 154 SAPLINGS

Creamy Lemon-Avocado Pasta serves 3-4

10 oz. uncooked pasta, any will do 8 oz. grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise 3 large garlic cloves, peeled W 3 whole ripe avocados, peeled and pitted 1 lemon 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for roasting 1 cup fresh baby spinach 3/4 tsp. salt, plus more for roasting 1/2 tsp. pepper, plus more for roasting red pepper flakes, vegan parmesan cheese (optional) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put sliced tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. While tomatoes and garlic are roasting, begin cooking pasta according to package directions. In the meantime, grate the yellow part of the lemon peel, and set aside. Juice the lemon and add to a food processor, along with the avocados, 3 roasted garlic cloves, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until creamy. When pasta is done, drain, reserving a small cup of pasta water, and return pasta to pot. Stir baby spinach and grated lemon peel into hot pasta until spinach is wilted. Fold in avocado mixture and tomatoes, adding a little bit of pasta water to thin the sauce, if necessary. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle red pepper flakes and/or vegan cheese on top. Serve immediately.

By: Joscelyn Abreu (wifemamafoodie) SAPLINGS 155

Cocoa Bliss Balls Ingredients:

1 and a ½ cup nuts 2 tablespoons of maple syrup 8 pitted dates 1 teaspoon cocoa 1 tablespoon water coconut flakes


1. Place all ingredients except for the coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until it is well combined and mixture is no longer crumbly. (If it’s still too crumbly, add an extra tablespoon of water) 2. Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball shape. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. 3. Roll the bliss balls in the coconut flakes 4. Place in fridge for at least an hour. Enjoy!

By: Andrea Arcuino (Foodbloggerandrea)


Choc Mint Truffles The perfect energy filled snack for children (or yourself), with the rich chocolately flavour they wont even know they are healthy.


1 cup almonds 2/3 cup dates (soaked for 10mins) ½ cup shredded coconut 2 tbsp rice malt syrup Ÿ cup mint leaves 2 drops mint essence (optional) 1 tbsp chia seeds 3 tbsp cacao powder (extra for rolling) 1 tbsp coconut oil

By: Shelley Judge (shelleysgoodeats)


In a food processor blitz almonds and coconut until mostly fine. Add dates and blitz until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blitz until well combined. Then get the kids involved and let them help you roll into balls, slightly smaller then golf balls. Finally roll in cacao powder. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Watermelon Pops!

Cube some fresh watermelon (about 4 cups) 1 tablespoon of honey (this is optional) 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lime juice Use a blender to mix the watermelon, honey and lime juice. Place the mixture into popsicle molds or ice trays and freeze until solid! If you are using the ice trays, place toothpicks or popsicle sticks cut in half into the popsicles when they are slightly frozen.


Watermelon Salad Watermelon cubes or balls (1 inch chunks) Feta Cheese ( 2 cups) Sweet Onion (a small one – diced) Mint leaves ( 1 cup chopped) Lemon – 3 tablespoons of juice Olive oil – 1/3 cup Sea salt – 2 teaspoons Ground pepper – ½ teaspoon Wisk the oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and pepper together. Add in the watermelon chunks and the onion. Toss gently. Add mint and your done!

By: Audrey Blake Breheney SAPLINGS 159

Fun and Cute bread balls Summer is a great time for picnics. These bread balls are easy to make, can be made in advanced and are so kid-friendly, they are perfect food for a great picnic outdoor.

You will need: • • • • • •

Slices of bread of your choice Your favourite filling for the bread ball (eg. Peanut butter & jam, egg mayo, etc) A sheet of nori Some uncooked angel hair pasta Cling wrap Silicon cups or cupcake liners

Method: 1. Trim the sides of the bread and make a small cut (about 1cm) at each side of the bread. Keep the sides of the bread as we will use them in Step 5. Tip: The sides of the bread can also be used to make croutons for your summer salad or used for your bread pudding. 2. Put the filling in the centre of the bread. Tip: Depending on the filling that you use, this is a great way to sneak in some vegetables into your kids’ food. 3. Place the bread on a cling wrap and bring the four corners together. 4. Wrap the bread tightly and shape it into a ball. Place the bread ball in a silicon cup or cupcake liner. 5. Next, to make the bread ball into a bear, use the sides of the bread that we saved in Step 1, cut out 2 circles for ears, and 1 oval for the nose. Cut out the eyes and nose from the sheet of nori. 6. Use the angel hair pasta to secure the ears on the bread. To stick the nori pieces on the bread, use the bread filling as “glue”. Tip: If nori is not available, you can use chocolate, candy or fruits to decorate the bread ball This is also a great activity to involve your kids and get them to decorate the bread balls. Turn these bread balls into cute bear, bunny, piggy, puppy or kitten. Be creative. By: Hui Ping (hpbento)









Family Process Art - Why it's great for the whole family I have been inspired by art since I was a little girl. My mom and her three sisters are all artist's in their own way, and my grandmother is a master crafter. She can do anything and everything with her hands. Growing up I took countless art classes and often would hide away in my room creating. Art was a source of peace, happiness, and confidence. It was something that came naturally to me, that both my parents supported. It didn't feel like anything I had to learn necessarily, it just came out of me and I loved it. Now, as an adult with two young daughters, I am consciously looking for ways to bring creativity into our lives. It's one of the things that is most important to me as a parent. I want to foster children that are problem solvers. I want my girls to take risks and think outside the box. Art is the best way I can think of to achieve that goal. Plus, it's really fun! My girls are so young that guided projects haven't been a possibility just yet, and as a result I have dove heavily into the world of process art. Process art is just as it sounds; art that is about the process and exploration of materials, not the outcome. Process art is perfect for young children, and at it's core, provides an experience that is open ended and engaging. There is no wrong or right in process art. There is no outside the lines or inside the lines. There is just what is. I remember visiting the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco several years ago with my husband. We came across a Roy Lichtenstein drawing on a coloring book page. None of the colors were inside the lines. My husband was absolutely fascinated. "What is this doing in a museum?" he asked. "I can do that!" Later, he shared a memory from his childhood where he felt like he wasn't an artist because he had trouble drawing inside the lines. He shut himself off from art and decided he just wasn't an artist. After seeing that piece in the museum, something changed in him. He began to express himself more freely and actively engage in hands on projects with our girls. To me, that is the power of process art. You never know what will come of it or how it can affect you, but it certainly does. Process art is not only fun for your children, it's fun to do with your whole family. You can invite as many people as you want to experience whatever paints, markers, papers, clays, or other materials you have on hand. All ages can participate at their own level and pace. Process art brings about communication, opportunities for sharing, problem solving, fine motor skill development, introduction to new vocabulary, risk taking and imagination. It can hit all the senses and be a truly fantastic bonding experience for your family. We recently got to visit with my mom, the girl's grandma. We don't get to see her often. Process art was the perfect way for us all to be together talking, painting, laughing and exploring. We used simple, natural materials we found in our backyard and explored them together with some paintbrushes and paint. This is just one of many ways to experience process art. I hope you give it a try and don't be afraid to go outside the lines. Meri Cherry




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