Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Could've bought a pumpkin at Publix...

...but you really don't get the experience! And how weird does it look trying to position your unwilling child in the pumpkins next to the produce and floral section?

This weekend we ventured to the Old Baker Farm annual Pumpkin Patch in Harpersville, AL. I did a BAD job of prepping Dad about our visit. He was confused as to why we drove nearly an hour to what he was picturing as a field of pumpkins. Little did he know it was SO much more...involved and costly.

Why did Barrett have a collared shirt and jeans on? Photos. Why was Mom dressed in jeans, boots and something other than a t-shirt with make-up on and hair done? Photos. Why are we driving to Harpersville, to the middle of nowhere, to get a pumpkin when we have three on the front porch? Photos.
Lots of photos.
We met some of our BFF's at the pumpkin patch, with their TWO kids, the youngest of which is just a month old. We decided during our trip, the whole experience warranted a blog post with a list of tips. 

Photos with pumpkins, in a vintage truck with sunflowers and cotton.
So here are some things to remember when visiting the pumpkin patch:

Take a wagon or stroller. The ground is not level so a jogger or wagon would probably be best. For your convenience, there is stroller parking right before the hayride. And beware the stroller jam that can occur when people have exited the hayride.

It's dirty and dusty and potentially muddy. Wear boots or shoes you aren't concerned with getting too dirty. It is a farm, after all.

Bring a camera! Photo ops everywhere. It's presh. There were people who didn't have children out there in fringe booties and sweater dresses lighting instagram and snapchat on FIRE. #pumpkinpatchselfie #whyareyouhere

Don't try to carry a toddler or baby AND a pumpkin. It ends badly for the pumpkin, and then you have to start over. This is not what you want; you worked hard for that damn pumpkin and the tractor for the hayride is pulling up...just grab whatever is closest as a replacement and call it a day.

Or just let the kid carry the pumpkin! W trying his best.
Baby wearing is a definite must if you have one small enough for a sling, backpack or other carrier. Having two arms is a huge convenience for hoisting yourself onto the back of a trailer that is covered in hay and picking pumpkins and chasing other children and avoiding pumpkin vines.

Baby wearing Exhibit A. Popcorn can also be seen in this exhibit, as well as family-of-four preciousness.
The popcorn was a lifesaver while waiting in line for the hayride and getting back to the car. We happened to visit on the fall festival weekend so there were vendors selling everything from food to crafts. Popcorn is the perfect, occupying snack for kiddo and Dad. Otherwise, bring your own snacks.

Cash or check ONLY. It was $10 for everyone two and above which includes a pumpkin. FYI - B turns two in November if anyone asks.

This should be an ad for cotton or toddler clothes.
Photo op in front of the old house. We started a trend, people were lining up after us.
So head out to the pumpkin patch as a lovely fall activity! Besides, it's Decorative Gourd Season, motherf*$&#@s

*If you haven't read the article at this link, PLEASE do it pronto.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Take Them Food: Restaurants to Try

Here in the South we like to take people food. New neighbors get baked goods, new moms get entire dinners. It's awesome. People come see the baby, hold the baby, and bring you food. Then they leave...and you can stuff your exhausted face in your bathrobe while breastfeeding. I can't wait!

I will say the etiquette is different depending on the family. When some of our BFF's had their first child, we brought them dinner and we stayed to eat with them. But most of the time it's an early evening food drop with limited baby viewing. You rub yourself down with sanitizer and coo away.

Restaurants in Birmingham have gotten wise to the idea that people not only take meals to others, but sometimes just need a good dinner to pick up and serve to the family - no cooking involved. I have done some research recently because of new babies in the family and thought I would share a list of options. I know there are more, but this was what I came up with pretty quickly.

Ready to Eat -

  • Urban Cookhouse - Crestline, Summit, Homewood. Pick up meals after 3 pm.
  • Maki Fresh - Rice bowls for four, definitely unique. I haven't had the chance to try this one yet.
  • Taziki's - Many locations! Pick up after 2 pm.
  • Zoe's - Multiple locations, two different serving size options.
  • Costa's Mediterranean - Trussville and Hoover. They have all sorts of options for 2 or 4 person meals. You can also get their baked pastas uncooked and ready for the freezer!
  • Little Donkey - Homewood. I could only find the info on the "taco packs" under the online take-out ordering. Four options with sides. Another one I haven't tried, but their tacos are damn good. Now if we could just get to-go cocktails...
  • Taco Mama - Crestline Village. One option that feeds 4 hungry people!
  • Iz Cafe - Hoover (Rocky Ridge) and English Village. They have a monthly menu of take home meals available Tuesday thru Thursday.
  • Jim 'N Nicks - Many locations! And you get the option of buns or cheese biscuits...cheese biscuits, every. time. please. thank you.

Cook at Home (or freeze for later)

  • Ashley Mac's - Cahaba Heights, Inverness, Riverchase."Gourmet To Go" casseroles and prepared foods (appetizers, desserts, salads, etc). Definitely get dessert and pick up a dozen sour cream biscuits for you and the lucky recipient. They just melt in your mouth!
  • Homewood Gourmet - Homewood. Rave reviews from everyone who has received one of these bake-at-home gems. Don't forget the gigantic cookies and/or brownies. Remember...bathrobe eating is better done with dessert in-hand.
  • Dishn' It Out - Crestline (next to Saw's Juke Joint). Extensive selection! I often peer through the windows at their freezer collection while waiting to eat at Saw's.
  • What's 4 Supper by Edgewood Catering - Homewood. I haven't tried this place yet, but they put out a weekly menu that looks great. They offer frozen and freshly cooked.

*Most of these places do have prepared foods (chicken salad, pimento cheese, etc) but they specifically offer a "Meal for 4" or "Family Dinner" option that is all ready to eat when you walk in the door.