Lost in the Stroller Jungle? {Uppababy Vista Review}

Posted on by Susan Posted in Baby, Product Review | 5 Comments

A couple of months go, when we were still living in Canada, something funny happened to me on my coffee run at Starbucks.

I haven’t had my morning cup of coffee yet, so when a lady dressed in all black with matching black sunglasses came up to me and asked: “Do you love you stroller?” I looked at her with a question mark in my face (because of my lack of caffeine, I suppose). Then I realized she was pregnant, because why else would anyone ask that question, right?

I was really excited to share my thoughts with her, because secretly I really enjoy talking about baby stuff.

Actually, I wanted to shout at her: ”Heck, yes, I’m loving my stroller!” but kept it to a short “Yes, we’re really happy with it!”

My son is riding in the Uppababy Vista. I quickly explained to the lady what I loved most, and I was inspired to share this information right here on the blog.

Image: Uppababy.com

We’re usually not huge into buying every piece of baby equipment, and have always been trying to keep things simple and to a minimum. But after a year and a half, I can happily say that this stroller was one of the best pieces of baby equipment we own. It was a gift from my mom and her partner, thankyouverymuch!! :razz:

So why did we pick the Uppababy Vista?

Pros:

  • It comes with everything you need: Bassinet for the first few months, multi-position toddler seat (can be used facing you or out and reclines into 4 or 5 positions for napping), raincover, and mosquito cover.
  • It has a huge storage basket underneath, which makes grocery shopping without a car much easier

  • It’s easy to “drive” and fold
  • There’s a huge sun cover (UPS 50) attached to the canopy, and this is the only stroller that I’ve ever seen with an attached sun cover. You will need to buy this for other strollers (little umbrellas that attach on the side or mesh covers, etc.)
  • Car seat adapters are available for a number of car seat brands (we have a Maxi-Cosi Mico), so it easily can be transformed into a travel system
  • It is comfortable for my toddler to sit or nap in, especially with the multiple recline-positions. The big wheels makes it easy to turn the stroller and shocks absorb bumps on the road to keep the ride as smooth as possible.

Cons:

  • The cup holder (purchased separately) is useless. Drinks will always spill, if the cups are close to full. It’s not a good idea to have hot drinks above your baby’s head anyway, but definitely don’t rely on this thing.
    However, it seems that Uppababy has recently released a new cup holder.
  • It’s fairly large - on the other hand it folds easily to save space.
  • It’s not cheap. I’ve seen it on a deal website for $499 a while ago, but I’m not sure if that’s a recurring deal or not, so I think it will probably cost anywhere between $600 and $800 nowadays.

When buying a stroller, it’s best to keep your lifestyle in mind: Do you like to run? Do you need storage space? Do you like to keep things small and out of the way? It’s easiest to just go to a baby store and try out a few models, before you commit to such a big purchase, but having used our stroller for the past year and a half, I can highly recommend it.

It will last from the newborn stage through toddlerhood (and up to 50 lbs). You can also purchase a variety of accessories, such as cupholders, colour swap kits, and even a booster seat for your growing family.

With my son being one and a half, we are encouraging him to walk, so we’re not using our stroller as much as in the beginning (well, in the very beginning he actually preferred his Moby wrap). However it’s definitely been used on an almost daily basis (we don’t own a car and walk a lot) in the last 20+ months.

So, thank you, mom-to-be at Starbucks, for inspiring me to share my love for the Uppababy Vista. If you’re expecting and looking into such things right now, then I really hope you find this review useful.

Feel free to comment, if you can recommend other strollers or let me know if you have a question!

Cheesy Cauliflower Whole Wheat Spaghetti {Meatless Monday}

Posted on by Susan Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

I was brainstorming for a Meatless Monday dinner, so I came up with this recipe. It’s really quick and easy and I wanted to share it with you all.

Whole grains: check

Veggies: check

Cheese: check :D

Easy Peasy Cheesy Cauliflower Whole Wheat Spaghetti

You will need whole wheat pasta, 1 cauliflower, butter, flour and milk (I’m usually eyeballing the amounts for bechamel sauce – or cheat and use ready-made Alfredo sauce), sharp cheese (I used a mix of Comte and Trader Joe’s cheddar/Gruyere melange, but Gorgonzola is fantastic too), salt and pepper to taste and extra freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

  • Cook your pasta according to instructions
  • In the meantime, wash cauliflower and boil in a big pot until tender but still has a bite to it. I usually just put the whole head of cauli in the pot, but this time we were hungry, so I just chopped it roughly into bite-sized pieces and microwaved it with a Tsp. water for about 7 minutes
  • Make Bechamel sauce (in a saucepan, melt butter – about 1 Tsp – , add flour – 1-2 Tsp -, whisk in milk until sauce thickens to your desired consistency ) and add your cheese of choice and whisk until melted
  • Toss cauliflower with pasta, pour cheese sauce on top and top with fresh parmesan and freshly ground pepper
What do you think of this Meatless Monday Dinner? Pasta is such a no-brainer for our family and we often have it multiple times a week, so it’s nice to switch things up from our usual Pasta Bolognese routine. How do you get your family to eat their veggies? 
Other Cauliflower recipes:
What is your go-to cauliflower recipe?

Getting Ready for Summer

Posted on by Susan Posted in Health, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Hi friends, how are you?
This whole car-centered lifestyle in the California is getting me into deep trouble here! Last year I posted my spring fitness plans to motivate a healthy lifestyle – umm not happening right now. :/
Why?
1) We’re driving EVERYWHERE! :( I used to walk to everything (grocery shopping, errands, etc) or take transit and as a result I was in much better shape just a mere 4 weeks ago. Then we arrived in Suburbia – and the pounds are piling on… Needless to say I am less than happy with myself! 2) Delicious food. Enough said.
With less of my time spent walking around (although I’m still chasing after a busy toddler all day), I’m making it an extra effort to schedule workouts for the coming week, for both family coordination and motivation.
This is how it went last week:
  • Monday: 40 min walk/run
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Off (walked around in the Botanic Garden for 2.5 hours…)
  • Thursday: Barre
  • Friday: Off (sore from Barre)/ dip in the pool while pushing the little guy around in his float
  • Saturday: Off (still sore)
  • Sunday: 1 hour hike/walk in our local ‘back country’
Not too bad, although I would love to sweat a little more.

Here’s the plan for this week’s workouts:

  • Monday: Family Evening Hike/Walk 1 hour (done!)
  • Tuesday: Zumba
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Barre class
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Yoga
  • Sunday: Family Hike

Hope I can stick to it!

Off to enjoy the park and then Zumba!

Do you plan your workouts or play by ear? Also, do you do at-home workouts and if yes, how do you like them? I’m just never in the right mindset, trying to bust out some exercises in my living room, but maybe I should simply give it a try. If you can recommend any DVDs, feel free to leave a comment and let me know!