about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Made In America.

When I was pregnant with Cullen, I can remember obsessing over Amazon reviews and baby registry sites – feeling so overwhelmed and all-consumed by choosing all the right stuff for our impending bundle of joy.  It is funny to think back on now, as it all felt like such a HUGE deal at the time.  But like every new parent, I wanted to make what I felt like were the best choices for our baby, and so I over-analyzed and obsessed like (most) new parents do.

I remember laying on our couch in Fremont reading my local library copy of Baby Bargains, and reading the section all about choosing your baby’s crib.  For some reason I got completely hung up on the info about chemicals, toxins, and looking for cribs that were locally made.  I’m not sure why this particular item felt so important – maybe because I knew he’d (hopefully) be spending so much time in there? – but either way, I set out to find a crib that was made right here in the US of A. 

We ended up choosing the Land of Nod Straight Up Crib, which served Cullen well for two years and is now being put to good use by Graham!

land of nod crib

And while we have certainly bought and received products from all over the world in the two years we’ve been parents, I’ve done my best to look for things that are as environmentally-friendly and eco-conscious as possible.  Pickwick & Weller is an apparel company that specializes in clothing that is ethically made in the USA.  Right now they are hosting a Made in America campaign, asking people to remove one foreign made item from their closest and replace it with something made here in the US:

Did you know that 98% of the clothing in America is imported from abroad? Simply removing one foreign made item from your wardrobe and replacing it with an American made garment or accessory can create a meaningful impact on US job growth. In fact, if everyone in America spent just $20 on apparel made in the USA this year, we could create 62,500 jobs. Buying a small amount of American made clothing each year is one of the most surprisingly simple and immediate ways to put Americans back to work. We invite you to join the movement and take the Made in America Closet Pledge.  By removing one foreign made item from your wardrobe and replacing with an American made garment or accessory you’re supporting ethical working environments and keeping valuable jobs in our country.

In the spirit of their campaign to highlight American-made products, I thought I’d share some of our favorite children’s’ brands and products that are made here as well…

Green Toys

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These toys are all made entirely from recycled plastic, and there is a good mix of toys for all ages and stages.  In our house, we have the dish set to go with Cullen’s play kitchen, the dump truck to move mulch chips around in the backyard, and of course  – the trash truck!  For little guys like Graham, there is also a nice twisty teether and a colorful set of stacking cups!

Lifefactory

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While we certainly have a mix of toys from all over, and a healthy mixture of plastic, cloth, and wood (and even – gasp! – electronics), I feel most passionate about the things that I know are going to be chewed and gnawed on.  I try to be really mindful of the teethers and chew toys we buy, and look for things with no PVC, BPA, and other harsh chemicals.  I really like these Lifefactory teething rings because they are made locally out of good materials, and they are a great shape and size for tiny fingers!

In addition to some of these “fancier” and sleeker newer brands, you might not realize that some of the kid classics are made in America too. 

Little Tykes, anyone?

While I have done my best to not let our house get completely overrun with neon colored plastic, I can also recognize the value in having fun things for Cullen to play on outside (or bring in during the winter!) that are easy to clean and durable in all types of weather.  I scored this ride-on tractor on Craigslist last year, and it was $20 well spent.  He’s been riding it inside all winter, and when friends come over they love to take turns riding in the back. 

tractor

And another amazing Little Tykes Craigslist steal – the Endless Adventures Tikes Town playhouse!  I spent all of last summer scouring Craigslist for a playhouse that wasn’t pink and purple, and ended up getting this awesome schoolhouse for $30.  Cullen absolutely loves it, and he even played inside when we got some snow last weekend. 

outdoor fun

Step 2 is actually the largest toy manufacturer in the United States – selling classic outdoor play items like playhouses, the cozy coupe car, and kids’ picnic tables.  We bought our adjustable sand and water table from Step 2 last summer, and it was a hit all summer long. 

We also love the Step 2 Van For Two car that we found on the side of the road in our neighborhood (and cleaned up!) earlier last year.  The quality of these toys is long lasting, and they can really hold up to hard use from toddlers, and even winters left outside. 

cozy coupe

Who wants to go for a ride?  :)

California Baby

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While I don’t think you can expect to do anything 100% naturally, I tend to be a stickler when it homes to beauty and cleaning products.  All those chemicals scare me, and even more so when I imagine them on the soft baby skin of my kids.  We love California Baby soap and bath bubbles, and it is our go-to sunscreen in the warmer months.  I have a tube in the car, one at one, and one in my diaper bag at all times!  Products are made in – you guessed it – California!

Last but not least, I thought it would be fun to include something that is not only made in the US, but is actually made right here in Yakima, WA – just outside of Seattle! 

Liberty Bottleworks

Capture

These awesome bottles are the only metal bottle that is made in America, and they are also the only bottles made entirely of recycled materials.  These drink bottles come in both kid and adult sizes, and you can choose from a variety of gorgeous patterns and cap colors.  Each bottle is designed by a different artist (many of whom are local to Seattle!) and their profiles are featured online along with their bottles.  Love!

So there you go – a short round-up of some of my favorite USA products, in celebration of the Made in America campaign.  Buying “local” can be as close to home as your neighborhood farmers’ market or independent shop, or it can simply mean checking the bottom of a toy to see where it was manufactured.  But every small purchase adds up to make a big difference for jobs, for our environment, and for our communities. 

This post was sponsored by Pickwick & Weller.  Thank you for your continued support of Daily Garnish!



Getting My Fix.

Happy Friday Monday, my friends!  I have spent the past 48 hours – basically since the minute I hit publish on my last post – flat on my back with my worst case of mastitis yet.  No fun at all.  But I’m slowly starting back to feeling like myself this morning, so I thought I’d try to pop in with a fun weekend post.  (So that’s as far as I got on that post before I needed to go back to bed – oops!)

After several days of horrible mastitis, including an ultrasound to rule out an abscess, I am now finally feeling 80% better and am definitely on the mend.  It’s always something, right?  Moving right along…

I will never in a million years pretend to know anything about fashion, as the bulk of my wardrobe comes from Target and Old Navy.  But I learned early on in this work-at-home, stay-at-home-parent gig that spending all day in sweatpants and hoodies makes me feel and act like a slob.  I’m not dressed to the nines by any means either, but I try to find a nice balance of clothing that is functional for wearing around kids, but also makes me feel like an adult.

Having spent 18 months of the last three years in maternity clothes, my closet has needed a slight facelift.  I’ve also changed sizes quite a bit through various stages of being pregnant and postpartum.  And while going shopping and looking for new clothes is typically a fun endeavor, it is anything but when you have little ones in tow.  Even when I only had Cullen, his attention span in the stroller isn’t that long, and I’d find myself managing meltdowns and cleaning up Cheerios in the fitting rooms rather than actually trying anything on.  Throw Graham into the mix now and it is game over

Enter – Stitchfix!

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I had seen Stitchfix on several other blogs before and never gave it much of a second thought, until my friend Lacey tried it herself.  She seemed to really like some of the clothing she’d received, but it wasn’t until she showed up at my house in an adorable skirt covered in Eiffel Towers that I was sold.  Eiffel Towers, you guys!

Many of you probably already know all about it, but for those of you who don’t – let me show you the light. 

Stitchfix is a personalized styling service that delivers five hand-picked clothing/accessory items to your doorstep each month.  You fill out an extensive style profile and talk about what you’re needs and wants are.

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Then the clothes are delivered for you to try on in the comfort of your own home – so convenient!  You keep what you want (and are charged for those items), and you send the rest back in a provided pre-paid envelope.  And as for the cost…

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It’s $20 a month, but as long as you keep one item you can apply that toward the price.  So you only lose money if you don’t keep a single thing (and you get a discount if you keep it all!). 

I signed up back in December and got my first “fix” in early January.  I filled out my profile and said that I had recently had a baby and was looking for breastfeeding-friendly clothes that would fit a postpartum figure.  My box arrived and I was so excited…and nothing worked.  Womp womp.

My box included: a scarf that I didn’t need, a cardigan that was way too big, a shirt that was too loud and trendy (holy chevron), a dress that wasn’t practical, and jeans that didn’t fit.  I was so disappointed!  But like anything, I figured it was worth a second chance and I shouldn’t have expected a home run on the first try. 

I sent it all back and filled out my feedback survey online.  I mentioned that I wanted more basics and that most of the fits were too bulky and boxy.  I also asked for no accessories, since I don’t wear many or need any.  My second box arrived last week, and was so much better!  My stylist definitely listened to my feedback, and seemed to understand what I was looking for much better the second time around.  Here’s a look at what I ended up with… (bring on the awkward posed photos!)

1.  Aleah Heathered V-Neck Dolman Top ($48)

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I loved this as soon as I pulled it out of the box.  I’m a big fan of this style, and the stretchy, slouchy neck is perfect for breastfeeding.  Love that it’s cute and flattering without being clingy.  Keep!

2.  Ashland Plaid Tie-Neck Tab-Sleeve Blouse ($38)

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This is the perfect example of one of those things I would have never tried on myself in a store, but ended up loving.  The neck unties to make it easy to feed Graham, and the sleeves can roll up and button right under the elbow.  I wore this the day I received it and got a ton of compliments – keep!

3.  Slouchy Stitched-Stripe Open Cardigan ($48)

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I was so excited when I saw this in the box, as it’s totally my style but I don’t have anything quite like it.  I loved the material and colors, but once I tried it on I felt like it was just a little bit too small?  It seemed like it should have come around my front a little bit more, and I sadly admitted it probably wasn’t the right fit.  Returned (but would have exchanged if I’d had that option!). 

4.  Danny 5-Pocket Knit Pants ($78)

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My stylist mentioned that she included these because she thought they were perfect for being down on the ground with young kids (which I loved!).  They were basically jeans made out of yoga pant material.  They were a bit too long, and while they were insanely comfortable, they were a bit to “jegging” for me (especially for the price).  Returned!

5.  Catina Belted 3/4 Sleeve Silk Dress ($78)

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Under no circumstances did I need this dress, but I loved it as soon as I put it on.  My awkward picture isn’t doing it justice, but it’s the perfect fit for me and is really flattering.  There is a silk slip inside and a looser outer shell with a tie-waist and pockets – my favorite!  Didn’t need it but kept it anyway – I can wear it for my birthday this month!

Also included with the clothing was this handy styling card with ideas for how to wear each piece – something wonderful for style-challenged people like yours truly.  I have no idea what I’m doing!

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In the end, I kept three of the five pieces totaling $124 (one sweater, one shirt, and one dress) – not cheap but also not outrageous, and the style and quality were both very nice.  I tossed the other two items back in the envelope provided and dropped it into the mail. 

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In case you haven’t seen this already, I wanted to share because I think it’s really fun.  It’s something that anyone can enjoy, but I personally love it because it eliminates the need to drag two kids along shopping with me, and it’s something fun to look forward to each month.  I am not stylish and you will never catch me doing moody modeling poses where I stare off into space, but I’m happy to share my monthly “fixes” here if it’s something you guys find interesting.  Looking forward to the next one!

I am not affiliated with or paid by Stitchfix, and all opinions are my own.  The link included is my affiliate link, which gives me a small credit if you decide to sign up!

Lastly, I need to formally post the rockaRoo winner!  Many apologies on the late announcement.  Our lucky winner is…

Carolyn who said “I would love to rock my sweet baby girl Olive to sleep! She is 6 weeks old and loves to be rocked,.,just making it hard for her Mama to get things done.”

Thanks to all who entered!

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