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Free Summer Entertainment

posted July 5, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

Looking for something a little different to entertain the kids? There are some great free weekly events that occur in the greater Holland area for families to enjoy! 

Holland Street Peformers : Thursdays, 12- 8:30 , enjoy a variety of performances.

Sailboat Races : Head down to the Holland State Park every Wednsesday, starting at 6:45

Kids Activities at the Holland Farmers Market : Every Wednesday through August, a different activity each week after storytime (9:30-12)

Holland American Legion Band Summer Concerts : Tuesdays at 7:30 pm at Kollens Park in Holland. 

Zeeland Soundz of Summer Concerts  : Tuesday nights in July at 5:30.

Zee Bus : With a variety of stops all week long, the Zee Bus encourages children to excited about reading.

Zeelmania : Every Monday in July - August from 6-8, downtown Zeeland. 

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Tulip Time Fun for Families

posted May 3, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

What is there to do during Tulip Time for families? 

We came up with a quick list of some of the fun family-friendly activities to make sure to check out. (As much as we love it, you may want to save a visit to Nelis Dutch Village until after Tulip Time this summer to avoid the crowds!)​

Saturday, May 7 - Sunday, May 15 (10-6) : Family Rest Area A free place for families to relax downtown during Tulip Time! In the pocket park on 8th Street : free activities and snacks. Changing tables, nursing area, family restrooms and handwashing stations are also available. 

Friday, May 6 - Sunday, May 15  : Carnival -  Located at the Civic Center, rides and fun for all ages.

Saturday, May 7 (8am)  : Tulip Time Run -  Starting at Kollen Park, participate in the 5k/10k and the Kids 1k Fun Run! 

Saturday, May 7 (2-4pm)  : Vintage Baseball Game -  Take in this wonderful (FREE) vintage game of baseball, at Riverview Park in Holland.

 


Saturday, May 7  - Sunday, May 8 (10-6)  : Historic Dutch Trade Fair -  On Windmill Island! Wind your way through the historic camp filled with colonial merchants and re-enactors.

Saturday, May 7 - Sunday, May 8 (11-6)  : Kinderplaats -  Kinderplaats is a place where children and their families can learn and play together, while becoming immersed in Dutch culture, history and heritage through activities, games and crafts.

Saturday, May 14  : Fireworks  -  Celebrate the last week of Tulip Time with a bang, at Kollen Park!

also check out the full schedule for:
Dutch Dance (and Kinder) Performances
or the Parades

If you are looking for tulip beds for pictures, check out the Festival Map for some recommended options!

 

 

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Muscle Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms

posted March 8, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

by Raechel Haller, Massage Sci LLC (Mommy Massage Club)

 

I make it a habit to always ask my massage clients who come in with sore muscles what they do during the day. Their jobs or hobbies can shed helpful light onto why they may be experiencing certain aches and pains.

A response I’ve heard countless times is: “Oh, I’m just a stay at home mom.” To which I reply, “Moms are never ‘just’ moms.”

Moms often perform stressful and complex repeat muscle movements on a daily basis. And that can really take a toll over time. Below is a few common scenarios of how moms can strain their muscles, and at the end some easy care tips.
 

ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE

Have you ever sat at the kiddy table for a long coloring session only to find when you stood back up you were greeted with a killer charlie horse?

Playing with or helping little tykes often involves getting down at their level. This involves asking some of our long muscles to remain in a shortened position for the duration. And when we’re in that position often enough, muscles may actually adapt and shorten further, reducing the range and functionality you may have been used to.

 

THREE, FOUR, OPEN THE DOOR

Have you ever found yourself carrying a heavy diaper bag, kid on the opposite hip, free arm opening the front door, and a foot shooing the dog back inside?

Through a wide variety of scenarios, moms are often balancing weight with athletic precision. This involves using our large “power” muscles in the legs and hips to lift, while also engaging smaller stabilizing muscles to keep it all together. If the balance act comes tumbling down, we can easily strain or injure ourselves. And even when busy moms manage to keep everything juggled, repeating such feats day in and day out is straining and requires care to prevent long-term harm.

 

FIVE, SIX PICK UP STICKS

Have you picked up the same dozen toys more times than you can count, and one day you experienced that proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back?

Very often when we “throw our backs out,” there’s no singular event, but rather a gradual lead up from repeat actions. Our muscles offer a variety of options when it comes to complex movements like bending down, which is wonderful, but with so many options, we also have “bad” options too choose from as well.

 

SEVEN, EIGHT, LAY THEM STRAIGHT

So what to do? Busy moms are busy. But still, they need to take time for themselves. Take time to care for your body that in turn does so much to care for your family. Here’s a few simple tips:

- Long Hot Bath/Shower. Changes are you might already know this one, but here’s why heat can simply do wonders for muscles. It’s soothing, but more so, it dilates the blood vessels. To use a      simple metaphor, heat turns what would normally be a two lane road, into a four lane highway. More blood flow means more nutrients and oxygen in, and more metabolic wastes out. An electric  heating pad or microwaveable beanie also works great.

- Change Up the Movement. If you find yourself repeating the same movements, try to be intentional about doing some opposite, or different ones. Teach your body to be flexible, to be prepared to do many different types of moment well. Do you do a lot of cardio from running after twin toddlers all day? Mix it up with a slower, more controlled movement like yoga. Do you find yourself lifting weight often? Mix it up with some flexibility and elongation movements like in pilates.

- Expand Your Toolkit. Sometimes we can’t just stop the world for a long hot bath, or attend a yoga class. For the days when you just need to get through and your muscles ache, have a few things on standby to help. Products that contain menthol are affordable and easy to get at the local drug store. Menthol provides a “distraction” by sending cold signals to the brain, this can override pain signals. Capsaicin, found in many “hot” brands, works similarly, but sends a hot signal instead of cold. Foam rollers, theracanes, and tennis balls are another handy tools one can use to work out a tense muscle area.

- Make Time to Relax. Sometimes all we need is some rest and relaxation. Scheduling a massage, practicing mindful meditation, or simply curling up with tea and a book can do the mind and body a lot of good.

- - -

​Raechel Haller is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Massage Sci LLC, which specializes in effective therapeutic massage. To learn more, visit http://www.massagesci.com.

Moms in Tow Members get 20% off all single pregnancy massage treatments.

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Meats Made Easy! Local Review : HarvestBox

posted February 24, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

What is it?

HarvestBox was started by Byron Center Meats to create a better way to eat meat. They wanted a better way to connect families directly with family-owned farms, thoughtfully raised and healthy meats, with convenient delivery. Byron Center Meats has over 70 years of meat processing experience.

Meats (beef, pork, salmon, and chicken) are packaged and shipped directly to you.The meats are free from antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids, and animal byproducts and has been fed and raised naturally and humanely. Products are cut by hand, vacuum sealed and flash frozen.

 

How it works

You can choose a sampler package if you want to try it or are just looking for smaller quantities, or choose from the larger bundle packages. They ship every Monday, with the meat in heavy duty insulated coolers with dry ice. No signature is required, so the driver will leave the box at an exterior door. An important thing to note is that shipping cost is included in the price you see while shopping. But, if you are local, you can choose to pick up your package in Byron Center, and you will receive a gift certificate to Byron Center Meats. 

 

Our order

We received the Grill Meister Sample (2 delmonico steaks, 2 chicken breasts, 3 ground beef patties, and 12 oz. smoked bacon) I came home to find the box, sitting by our front door.

When you open the outer box, you will see the insulated cooler.

Inside the insulated cooler is the dry ice on top of your box of packaged meats.

The meats are mostly packaged individually, but also could be coupled together. Our steaks and chicken were each individually, with the 3 beef patties in one package, and the bacon in another.

They were all still frozen rock solid. Since they were already pre-packaged, all I had to do was throw them in my freezer (and not separate them myself like I usually do from the store). Easy!

There was also a variety of information about thawing the meats, internal cooking temperatures, and information about the farm where the meat came from.

We aren’t huge meat connoisseurs, but I had no complaints about the quality of the meat. No excess fat, they all thawed out great, and cooked up well!

The HarvestBox website also has a variety of recipies. We tried the “Gourmet Chicken Breasts”  and it was fantastic.

 

Overall

I really appreciated the ease of this service!

As a mom, having a package with a variety meats delivered right to my door saved me so much time at the store. The idea of being able to shop for high-quality meat from home is priceless. A huge component of our main meal as a family could be made with so much less effort! Also knowing that the meat is healthier than most options in the store makes you feel better about what you are feeding your family.

My only (very minor) complaint was that I would have preferred the patties to not be bundled in 3 (we only needed 2 since our daughter eats 2 bites of burgers - so used the left over for spaghetti the next day). Depending on your family size, this might not even be a minor thing at all.

This isn’t low grade meat, so it is not the cheapest : but if you value healthier, quality meat, then this option is definitely worth it and the delivery and convenient packaging is a bonus! According to their website though "when comparing price per pound, HarvestBox meat bundles cost up to 40% less than our competitors and offer more servings per bundle." 

++HarvestBox is holding a sale until the end of March : 10% off their bundles!



We are required to acknowledge that Moms in Tow received a sample package from HarvestBox at no cost to provide a review for this product. However, we promise to still reflect our honest opinion in this review!

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Love Everyone

posted February 14, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

We are kicking off the Love Everyone campaign! 

Follow our Facebook event page as we challenge families to complete 10 random acts of kindess in the next few weeks, in their local communities! 

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20 days of Challenges for Moms

posted February 8, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

We recently hosted a one month personal challenge group for local moms.

And it was awesome!

I loved seeing the pictures and stories of all those mamas loving on themselves and challenging themselves in different ways. 

The original list was a bit more detailed, but here is the list of challenges in case you wanted to particiapte yourself! 

 

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2016 Membership Donations

posted January 5, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

Last year, we started giving $5 of each membership to local non profits.

It was amazing : We were able to give away almost $1,000 to 3 different local non profits. 

So we are continuing this year! We have choosen two organizations to support and donate to in 2016:

&

So a big thank you to all of our members and partners : you are helping us support our local community - which means the world to us. 

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Try New Foods

posted January 3, 2016 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

Looking for some new, healthy recipies to try? My amazing foodie sister, Kelli Borgman, is a registered dietitian in West Michigan - and put together a few of her favorite recipies for us! Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup  

If you aren't into cutting up butternut squash, there are already diced freezer options at most stores, and some nicer produce sections stock it already cut up and ready to go.

This recipe freezes really well, too.


Gluten Free Pizza Crust

This would also be really good to make ahead of time and freeze so you have a quick dinner on hand. You can't go wrong with a simple fresh mozzarella and basil combo. Try it in mini sizes for the kids! 

Serve with salad (try this dressing, it's pretty easy to whip up)- I shake up mine in a mason jar.

Otherwise, Against the Grain is one of my fave gluten free brands at Nature's Market- this recipe is a copycat of theirs. They're a little pricey, which is why I sought out this recipe. Try any of their products in the freezer section,  you can't go wrong! They're all delicious. 



Dark Chocolate Bars

You do need a food processor for this one.
And now for the sweet side of life- I try to do healthy, homemade sweets to keep my sweet tooth happy while adding quick nutrition to my day. These bars are my new go-to. I like my chocolate dark, so these are the perfect sweetness for me, however, I can see adding a bit of maple syrup or more dates if you like yours sweeter. Try subbing dried cherries, mango or raisins for some/all the coconut would be yummy and perhaps a bit sweeter, too! The chia seeds are so good, I just loooove the texture of this, and with all those healthy fats and minerals it really satisfies! (Check out this link- dates for better birth?!). 


And a couple great recipes for the babes:
Apple + Butternut Squash //  Apple + Cranberries

 

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Love YOU Challenge

posted December 2, 2015 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

We really hope you can join us in our upcoming online challenge group! 

Pom pom hat and $25 gift certificate from Velo City Cycles

Cowl or hat from Tugboat Yarning

Make up application by Rachel Harnad from Bombshell Blow Dry Bar

Prize package (t-shirt, mug, excerise band) from Nephew Physical Therapy

3 month family membership from Holland Aquatic Center

45 minute massage from Mommy Massage Club

Blooming Plant from Jonkers Garden

3 1-month memberships from Girlfriends Fit Club

10 1-free trial class from Baila Cardio

 

Make sure you are logged in to your Moms in Tow account, and sign up

HERE

(if you are not a Moms in Tow member, we will do a drawing from a waiting list. To be on the list, email : kara@momsintow.com)

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Giving Tuesday Bonus

posted December 1, 2015 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

Today is Giving Tuesday! 

A global day dedicated to giving back. Help us give back back to our local community : we will be donating 50% ($15!) of each new membership sign up today.

The donations will be passed on to 3 local non profits we have been highlighting this year (all year we have been giving $5 of each membership/renewal to these organizations). Thank you for your help is supporting local!

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