Tips for Mother’s of Newborns

 

With less than a month away from my second son being born, I’m trying to rack my brain of all the lesson’s and tricks I learned when having a newborn with my first born. Thought with 6 kids between us, my partners and I might have some words of wisdom you new mamas might find useful too!

Here you go!….

  • Carry an extra pair of your underwear in your baby’s diaper bag. Getting shower time is tough! You never know when the opportunity might arise. – Julia
  • If you are experiencing discomfort sitting on your sensitive area after birth and don’t want to lug around a donut in public, a beach towel or thick sweatshirt can be shaped like a horse shoe and sat on discretely to provide some ease and relief to your unmentionables – Julia
  • My advice is …all my kids have been completely different babies and none of them liked the same thing. So I have no idea. Just be flexible and try to get sleep if at all possible. – Angie
  • Milk the milking! Take every advantage of bossing people around while you’re breast feeding. “honey, can you do the dishes and the laundry. I can’t, I’m feeding the baby.”, “Grandma, can you bring me a glass of water and a sandwich, the baby’s hungry and I can’t get up”, etc. – Julia
  • Take you baby with you everywhere you go-they will become more flexible at an early age. – Bernie
  • Stare. Just stare at their little faces, and hands, and feet, and tushes. You will have a million pictures of them, but it’s the uncaptured moments that will stick with you forever – Julia

Sweet Things in Life: Healthy Alternatives to Refined Sugar

Now let me start off with saying that our pops are first and foremost a treat. Just because we strive to make them healthier with every ingredient made from scratch, no refined sugars/corn syrup and we sneak in some veggies, don’t think you can give up taking your vitamins or your leafy greens when you eat one of our pops! We are simply trying to create an alternative frozen treat that parents don’t feel guilty about giving their kids. And parents, in turn, don’t have to count it as a cheat day when they indulge in a pop themselves!
So with that said, I don’t mind tooting our own horn and saying we managed to make a pretty darn tasty pop while cutting the fat and sugar! I will let you in on a lil secret…before joining the Mom and Pop Shop team, I had never really made a popsicle before! Aside of pouring OJ in ice cube trays as a kid, this was all new territory for me. I wasn’t coming into this with sacred family recipes past down from generation to generation, I’m kinda just winging it! To be COMPLETELY honest I don’t even have much of a sweet tooth (NERD ALERT: here’s
a really interesting article on how people perceive sweetness:
I do love food, though, and I know what tastes good and I LOVE LOVE LOVE cooking and putzing around in the kitchen so I took on the task. Every time I thought of a super creative pop flavor I would google it and, sure enough, I’m no culinary genius it already existed, but here where lies the challenge…how to make it healthier?? You can make anything taste good if you jam it with enough sugar and cream, so that’s where I found I could be creative and make our pop stand out. There was a lot of trial and error (A LOT) and without giving away too many of our secrets here are some tips I can share with you on how to sweeten up your dishes without having to bust out thee ‘ol bag of sugar:
1–Mix it up with some dried fruit, like apricots, raisons and dates. Add these sweet morsels to your oatmeal, cereal, or cookies. Dates are my go-to! Soak a couple of dates in hot water and use the sweetened liquid or puree the water and date to make a sweeter-than sugar paste chalked up with fiber!
2–Swirl in agave. Substitute agave directly for sugar, and it will have an added benefit of moisture so your banana bread won’t be a dried out brick!
3–Juicy ripe seasonal fruit. Can’t beat natural sweetness from fruit at its peak! You don’t have to worry about adding sugar to your smoothie or dessert when the ripe fruit provides all the sweetness you need! Super ripe brown bananas, in my book are gold (well…brown gold)! I put bananas in anything that needs sugar…pancakes, cake, homemade ice cream! It brings such a great texture too.
4–Splash in homemade fruit juices, like grape or apple which has a milder flavor so that it can sweeten your dish without overpowering. Just blend up your desired fruit with some water and strain.
5-Coconut oil and coffee, what? I was never a coffee person, mainly because of the bitterness and I didn’t want to add pounds of sugar, but then I had a kid and my coffee boycott went out.

Code Red, Freezer Down! | Julia

 

5:15am, Mission accomplished…So at 3:30am I am up with my son with a
feeding and the power goes out. Aw that sucks but no big deal, right? NOPE! I have 200 pops in my freezer for my wonderful sister in laws bridal shower and a festiv
al at the end of the month! Power won’t be back on till 9:30am says the power people. What do I do?! My 3G isn’t working so I can’t look up where to get dry ice in the middle of the night. I make a quick decision to just pack everything up and take the pops to my
parents’ (who’s freezer is already jammed with pops but there is some wiggle room). I lug everything down two flights of stairs (elevator is out) to my subterranean garage only to learn the gate won’t open because…you got it, power out! Luckily, my husband parked on the street so I run back upstairs, waking up every dog in my building,
I slink inside to not wake the baby, grab my husband’s keys then I’m on the road at 4:30ish. When I get to my parents’ I pray I don’t startle them and get greeted with my dad and a baseball bat. Thankfully, I am in and out without them noticing. Now I’m on my way home probably just in time for Jimmy towake up at 6am and demand a feeding. Well, this was a fun start to my day! If there were awards for people in the frozen food industry I should get one for “Total Badass Dedication”
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Mold Madness

We are learning quite a lot being new to the froze treat business. We recently ordered new molds and had very high hopes that they would make the process easier. In actuality, we are having a difficult time figuring out which sticks to use, what temperature to pull them out and how to keep them from not breaking. We will push through and figure it out, but in the meantime, if you are in the business and have any advice it is greatly appreciated, or if you have words of encouragement, that is welcome too;)

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Welcome Baby Honey

This week our troop grew a little bigger-Angie and Gary welcomed a new baby girl, Honey Elizabeth Martinez! She is all sorts of cute and just an itty bitty thing. Words can’t express her cuteness, so here are some photos:

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Honey, welcome to this amazing place called Earth. We cannot wait to watch you grow! We are planning a special edition “honey pop” just for you!

Perseverance at the Abbot Kinney Festival

Per·se·ver·ance  ˌpərsəˈvirəns/

noun | noun: perseverance

steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

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This word sums up our day at the Abbot Kinney festival. We decided to participate in the festival this year to introduce our business to the community. It took a lot of work, including trips to Orange County to make the popsicles, brainstorming flavors, coordinating with the event planners and redesigning of signage and display. We couldn’t wait to showcase our little truck at the event, even with its temperamental history.

The day came, we met at 6:30am to load the truck only to discover the semi flat tire. We were racing the clock to fix this knowing we could not enter the event after 9am. With a gas station in sight, we drove the truck to the gas station to patch the tire. After waiting for the rubber cement to dry, the car would not start. It was 8am by now. After calling 3 different tow companies using only one phone, because Angie’s phone broke the night before, the time was slipping away. We were receiveing outrageous quotes from tow companies. We were deflated (no pun intended) and were actually fancying the thought of quitting. Without our truck, the whole event would be impossible. Our popsicles would start to melt and we had no set up to sell them out of. Our kids were looking forward to this event, it was a perfect hot day and we had no transportation. We also found out Julia was sick with a 102 temp, and on her way up with more pops. The only option was to not give up-and we figured it was worth doing whatever it took to get our truck there.

We finally found a trusty tow from our friend Victor and he delivered us there in style. We set up just in time for the event to start and from the minute it opened to the minute it ended, we were busy. We met so many amazing people, shared our healthy pops with kids, shared our children’s book with new families and spent time with our kids. Turned out to be a good day!

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Why Treating Your Staff to Healthy Treats is a “Cool Idea”

It’s the end of the summer and we have been pretty busy. Lately, we have seen a lot of  corporate companies treating their staff and you know what, it is pretty awesome!! Here are a few reasons we think treating your employees with a healthy special treat is a great idea:

-Shows appreciation for hard work

-Introduces your employees to local, healthy alternatives

-Creates an experience outside of the normal day-to-day routine

-Treating them to something natural shows you care about their health

…and lastly, we love seeing people treat people kind, and the most kind thing to do is give treats!

 

 

 

Meet Bernie-Photogapher & Graphic Designer

Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read. My name is Bernie,  and since I was a child, I wanted to work with strong, talented, and kind people doing what I love most: creating.

Angie and I have been friends for about 14 years now, and we were always coming up with new ideas. Angie, being the entrepreneurial type, would dream about different art endeavors, and me, being the excitable type, would always jump on board. We were always dabbling in new things, like starting a jewelry line repurposing old photography slides or creating art installations in the middle of the night.

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Time passed, and we acquired more life/work experience , so when Angie came to me with the idea of a popsicle/art truck I was 100% on board. Thinking about driving a cute popsicle truck with our kids and selling healthy frozen pops and art…my brain just about exploded. I couldn’t wait to start brainstorming the logo, the colors, the flavors, the photography, and oh, how the kids could have a lifetime of popsicles to eat made by Julia, another long time friend- it was all too exciting!!

Now, here we are, learning all of the things that go along with starting a business together. It is fun, it is scary, but most of all, it is exciting! I have learned a new appreciation for all business owners out there. I am so excited to be along for the ride with these lovely ladies. Oh yes, and I could not do any of this without my husbands unconditional support and the crazy energetic love from my two boys, Frankie and Charlie!

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Meet Julia-Our Popsicle Creator

Hi! I’m Julia, co-owner of Mom and Pop Shop and creator of our signature healthy pops! Well, let me just get this out of the way…no, I’m not a real chef. For the record, I have not received any formal culinary training. Nope, I am just a product of a generation that grew up with the Food Network and the protégé of the most excellent and talented of home cooks, my dad. I grew up with a passion for food and during summer breaks while my friends were going to the mall and riding bikes in the park, I was reading cookbooks like they were the latest Judy Blume novel, and watching hours upon hours of cooking shows, writing letters to the hosts to get their recipes from my favorite episodes (yes, this was before the internet and snail mail was still king). So when my friends started this company and approached me last year with the awesome challenge of creating healthy pops, I was in! Actually, my background is in academia and community education.

Yep, I am a bona fide nerd. I graduated from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and have been doing preventative research at UCLA for underserved communities in LA, one of which research studies, dealt with obesity and diabetes prevention. I have been able to apply the valuable information I gained on nutrition and weight loss from that study to our pops to make them as heathy as possible. Since joining the Mom and Pop team in October 2014, I became a first time mama! So now I get to spend my days making healthy treats for Southern Cali with my 8 month old son, James, and my wonderful, dessert aficionado husband, JJ, who both happily act as guinea pigs for my latest mad scientist pop concoctions.Julia

 

 

A little about us…Meet Angie-Artist & Entrepreneur

We have formed a power team of women/moms to get this company off the ground.  Since we are all full-time moms with other jobs we rely on each other for support and we know none of us could do this on our own.  We have found the perfect balance from this group and we feel so lucky to have a strong core of women to build on. Let’s meet Angie-

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Hi I’m Angie,
I’m an artist and mom filled with an entrepreneur spirit.  Tired of sitting in front of a computer as a graphic designer day and night, I wanted to think of something to do that my babies would be a part of.  And this was the rough beginnings of Mom & Pop Shop. Inspired by my dad who was always creating new companies to better the world, and my mom (with 5 kids) who supported him no matter what, I knew that working for someone else was never my destiny.  I knew I would one day start something of my own filled with passion. Filling my own love for all things sweet, health food, and art just so happened to be a very logical business plan.  With my husbands support and the support of my super talented business partners I knew there was no turning back and we were on a Pop adventure.