Meet a Gugu Guide: Anya Machala. Anya is a pastry chef and now SAHM of two girls ages three and one. Anya and her family love to get outdoors no matter the weather. She loves to craft and do anything DIY and is always looking for new fun sensory and learning activities to make for her girls. This Rhode Island mama of two girls LOVES fall and here shares some of her favorite fall activities and a few product recommendations too. From her go to carrier to a delicious recipe for the whole family and an easy Halloween costume idea, check out her fave Fall picks below.
Fall Baby Carrier Pick: Sakura Bloom Scout
I admit, I do have a bit of a carrier stash problem but my favorite right now is the Sakura Bloom Scout. I can carry both of my girls comfortably in it for hours. It has the ability to carry from newborn and while at that point my favorite was a Happy Baby Carrier, now with them weighing more, I find the Scout disperses weight better for me. I can tandem carry my girls, or just chase one while carrying the other on my back and it gives me the ability to be hands free. We frequently take long walks and I always reach for my scouts. They have beautiful color options as well as different fabrics too. I personally like the leather option on the arms straps as I feel it gives me a little more support. For carrying in the fall I use an Ollie & I Pendleton carrier cover. The wool keeps out the chill and I love the option of the removable hood. My youngest daughter was an infant las winter and it gave me the option to get my toddler outside almost every day without the fear of her getting cold. Because it’s not really safe to carry a baby with footies on, due to the possibility of cutting off circulation, the carrier cover was the perfect option.
Fall Recipe: Picky Eater-Friendly Risotto
Quick, simple, flavorful and customizable
My girls love rice. I mean who doesn’t but what is better than creamy risotto? Especially during fall. Both of my girls are dairy free due to allergies so it’s not easy to find something that will substitute the creamy texture while having to sub dairy. Enter veggie medley risotto. Not only is it filling, it can be customized to the pickiest of palates.
What you will need
– 1lb of chicken. I use tenderloins since they easy to cut up into chunks
– Chicken stock
– Small onion diced
– 1 garlic clove minced
– Arborio rice
– Small pot
– Measuring cups (liquid and dry)
– Frozen veggies (any kind my girls like peas)
How to make it
1. Cut chicken into small chunks and season with salt and pepper
2. Dice onion and mince garlic
3. Measure out 3 cups chicken stock
4. Put a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until softened about 3 min.
5. Add chicken to pan and brown
6. Add a mounded 1 cup of arborio rice to pan and stir until coated with olive oil.
7. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer
8. Simmer without stirring until almost all liquid has reduced
9. Slowly add remaining chicken stock little by little stirring after each addition
10. When rice is cooked and liquid is almost all gone add in 1 cup of the frozen veggies of your choice and stir to combine. The residual heat and small amount of remaining liquid will cook veggies.
DIY Halloween Costume: Fluffy Chicken Costume
In my quest to find a super cute outfit for my daughter I stumbled upon a fluffy chicken. Only problem was THEY WERE 175$ ON ETSY!! I really didn’t want to pay that much for a costume that might only get used once (being reused again this year for my second daughter) so I found a way to DIY one. Scrolling amazon I found feathers but tried to think of the easiest way to attach them. Single feathers would be tedious and take forever so I thought maybe a string of feathers? Enter the feather boa. Super fluffy, easy to work with and so many color choices. Next I thought how to attach them? My husband suggested fabric glue or hot glue but that would weigh down the feathers and make the outfit stiff. My sewing skills are not top notch so I watched a video on simple ways to tack items and found out how easy it could be!! I ordered two onesies, one for underneath for warmth as well as protection from feathers and tack spots (my daughter gets itchy easily), suspender leggings in yellow so they don’t fall down, a crochet chicken hat from Etsy (I can’t crochet and yay for supporting local businesses) and yellow moccasins.
I laid out all the boas and tacked them on to the onesie one by one. Make sure when doing this you hold up the onesie to check for bare patches. I started with the arms and across the collar. The arms are the most tedious because of turning them inside out to see where you’re attaching the feathers. Then I zig-zagged across and up and down the onesie to cover it fully. Again make sure to test out on your child BEFORE wearing out (I found a few bald patches that looked full when doing this early this morning with my 3 year old’s grey chicken costume). Be fair warned that your house will be full of feathers and everywhere your child walks will leave a trail of them!! I did simple one flat colors for my kids but I’m sure you could add in another accent color for some dimension. I seems daunting but it’s so easy and really fun to see the smiles on my kids faces as they are running around!