Tucson Part III: Great Harvest Convention

April 13, 2013

Splish, splash. Someone had his first dip in the pool!

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He loves bath time so he loved this too. Lots of splashing!

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I bought this rashguard shirt with UV protection and it was great.

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In the sunshine, we sipped prickly pear and jalapeno margaritas – yum!

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That evening, all of the Great Harvest owners gathered for a Southwestern BBQ.

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I was still full from lunch but I nibbled through this plate for dinner – more grilled foods in different flavors!

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The best part of convention is simply talking to other owners and finding out what breads and sweets they make, what struggles and successes they have and more.

Plus the yearly reunion with Jeff + Janet of GH Charlotte!! Two of the nicest people on earth.

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Mazen has done amazingly well with the time change. We’ve been putting him down for a late nap that has allowed him to stay up through dinnertime until about 8:30-9pm. Everyone loves playing pass the baby.

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We dined outside for breakfast the next day

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Fresh fruit, egg burritos and Naturally Nutty almond butter toast on Great Harvest Tempe, AZ bread! Note I tried 3 stripes of almond butter variety on my toast :0)

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We spent some of the morning inside in sessions and some of it in the room for morning nap and some of it walking around the grounds for activity time. Matt soaked up as much business knowledge as possible while I split my time between convention partner and baby playmate

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Lunch was a seated meal with an amazing strawberry + grilled artichoke salad

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Pistachio chicken and roasted veggies

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And a tres leches cake! I was still feeling partly full from the day before, so as much as my mouth wanted to eat everything I tried to keep my portions on the small side. I hate it when you never get hungry on vacation, but it’s such a hard cycle to avoid!

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We were thrilled to win one of the “Top sales for a young store” awards at convention this year!!

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We had more pool time in the afternoon and a really fun fiesta that evening with homemade tortillas, handmade guacamole and fish tacos. Everything tasted great, but the lighting in the ballroom was terrible so I left my camera untouched.

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On Tuesday we woke to rain and freezing (as in 50* “freezing”!) temps. Boo. But by late morning the sun had come out a bit and M and I walked all around the grounds.

Our new Uppababy G-Lite stroller has been awesome to have. Our room was at the very far end of the resort – the opposite corner from all of our convention activities. I’d guess it was 1/3 of a mile walk for every meal and meeting! So glad we brought this stroller for easy transport.

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We had a sandwich bar and salads for lunch and then the vendor hall where I had my annual taste test of all of the Naturally Nutty flavors – SO many delicious ones!!

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Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower and Vanilla Almond Butter are my favorites, but add Chocolate Vanilla Almond Butter to that list! Katie and Tim send me home with a jar in my suitcase : )

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After Mazen’s afternoon nap, we headed out in the shuttle for one last desert adventure –

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An hour hike with Gina and Liv at Sabino Canyon.

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We actually appreciated the cooler temps for this one

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Convention concluded with a nice dinner, some cocktails, an AMAZING cheese display, dancing and a final night talking with other owners (some happen to write blogs!).

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We had a few delay bumps in our travel day and were SO glad to get home to Cville (where spring is in full swing!) Mazen and I both had a really hard time keeping our skin hydrated in Arizona, and I’m so thankful for humidity. I know some people hate it, but I am not one of them!

That wraps up my posts on our trip out west – until next time!

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shari April 13, 2013 at 8:00 am

Looks like a fabulous time! :)

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2 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! April 13, 2013 at 8:06 am

Wow! Such great food and events! GH seems like a great company to be a part of!

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3 Paige @ Your Trainer Paige April 13, 2013 at 8:10 am

Sounds like ya had such a great time! Mazen seems like such a happy trooper. I moved out to CO in January, and I miss the humidity, too!

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4 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 13, 2013 at 8:12 am

All of that food looks amazing! Sounds like you guys had a great time!
I’m not a huge fan of humidity in the summer, but I’ve never lived anywhere dry so I can’t really compare!

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5 Emily @ The Swallow Flies April 13, 2013 at 8:20 am

Those margaritas — well, and all of the food, really — look unbelievable. I so want one right now, even though it’s only 8:30 a.m. :)

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6 elizabeth April 13, 2013 at 8:39 am

Mazen’s rosy cheeks are too cute! And I YES, why do we never get hungry on vacation when there is so much delicious food to enjoy? I’m glad I’m not the only one. Glad you got home safe and it’s too bad the desert was a bit chilly for part of your trip, it’s plenty warm again now!

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7 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 13, 2013 at 8:55 am

Congrats on the award! Natural Nutty tastings sure looks awesome. I just ordered Nutty Butter after hearing about it here & in the blog world. I wish I had some GH bread worthy of the gourmet nut butter!

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8 Andrea @Pencils and Pancakes April 13, 2013 at 8:57 am

Looks so beautiful there. I would love to visit. So different!

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9 Lindsay April 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

I really didn’t realize how beautiful AZ was. Makes me want to visit :)

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10 Elise @ Expeditions of Elise April 13, 2013 at 9:04 am

I have never been to Arizona, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to live without humidity! Especially being from St. Louis, where we have two big ol’ rivers that keep us nice and moist here. I totally get what you’re saying about never getting hungry on vacation because I had the same problem during spring break at home. There’s always so much delicious food that you want to eat that it feels like you’re eating non-stop but you’re never REALLY hungry. Such a burden ;)

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11 Tara April 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

Congrats on the award! Mazen is such a cutie, I love his rosy cheeks.

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12 Sunnie@moderngirlnutrition April 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

What a great end to the trip! I have yet to try Naturally Nutty- I think I need to ASAP :) Have a great day!

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13 Karen April 13, 2013 at 10:03 am

Ha…love Mazen’s EMK T-shirt! I just stocked up on a summer assortment myself.

Nice to see Karen looking so (typically) radiant in these past few posts!

Oh, and huge congrats on the GH sales award achievement!

Happy weekend :)

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14 Leslie April 13, 2013 at 10:24 am

Looks like your company throws a great convention! We were in AZ about two weeks ago and I enjoyed pool time, hikes, just being warm and dry (I am from OR), but seeing your pics makes me really wish I’d had a prickly pear margarita!

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15 Melissa April 13, 2013 at 10:38 am

Kath,
It was such a pleasure to meet you and Mazen in Tuscon. Thanks for the short walk and talk. Your insight was very helpful. Glad you had a fun filled “business” trip:)

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16 KathEats April 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

You too Melissa!

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17 Nina @ Too Hottie For That Body April 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

Yay! Congrats on the award. How long have you guys been owners?

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18 KathEats April 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Almost 2 years

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19 Jola April 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

Seems you had a blast! :)

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20 Elisabeth April 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

Congratulations on the award!

Arizona is beautiful – I’ve never been, but now I’m itching to go :)

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21 Kelly April 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Congratulations on your award! Looks like you had a great time. We went to our local Great Harvest this morning for the first time and it was absolutely delightful! Raspberry chocolate chip scones and cinnamon chip bread :-)

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22 KathEats April 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Yay!

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23 Alex @ Raw Recovery April 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I love the picture of Mazen holding the cutting board award. So cute!

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24 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Omg all those pictures of Maze are too adorable!!! I’ve only really spent time in Flagstaff, AZ, which is pretty different from the rest of the state, so I’d love to explore other areas. And congrats on the award!

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25 Kelsey G. April 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Hot mama! You have such a GORGEOUS family!

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26 Simply Life April 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Looks like such a great trip & congrats on the award!

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27 Shel@PeachyPalate April 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Mazen looks so deep in thought in that first pic by the pool! Hella jealous of the nut butter tasting; the slice of breakfast toast = my idea of heaven!

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28 Ashley April 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

So funny – I like humidity, too! I’m an Austin, TX native (a lot of people don’t realize how much water is in Austin….and therefore, humidity!) then lived in Florida for a few years. Now I live in Tucson and totally missed the humidity when I moved here – everyone thought I was crazy!! But after 4 years here I’ve grown accustomed to the dry climate and when I go back to Austin to visit family I always find myself complaining about the humidity, lol!

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29 Susan Mc April 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Hi Kath!
It’s been way too long since I’ve said “hola”… but could NOT resist today cuz YOU WERE IN MY ‘HOOD!! I grew up south of Tucson in Sierra Vista and went to U of A for undergrad, All of my family still lives in Tucson and SV, so I am loving your AZ stories!! I’m now officially homesick and need to plan a trip!
You did an amazing job showing off the beauty of the foothills desert, it is not at all what many people think of as desert (desolate sand and tumbleweeds) but it’s lush and diverse and GREEN and beautiful! You saw it at its best between Canyon Ranch and Ventana. Weren’t the mountains incredible? Thank you for all the details, it sounds like a great trip and Mazen seems like a born traveler! I love his toofie!
Have to say, I moved to Atlanta after college for work and I’m still here, and I don’t think I’ll ever prefer humidity. While I love that my skin benefits, a sticky summer is so much harder for me than a dry one. I feel like I need 3 showers a day during an ATL summer. I’d rather have 110 degrees dry than 80 and sweaty. One of the biggest shocks when I moved here was discovering mold/mildew… and so many bugs!
Thanks SO much for this series, I have really missed your “day in the life” posts, this was a real treat!

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30 KathEats April 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

:) Glad I could give you a taste of home!

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31 Molly April 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Is that an “Eat More Kale” onsie????

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32 KathEats April 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

It is!!

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33 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Congrats on the award! :)

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34 Morgan April 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Tempe is my Great Harvest store! How fun. So many delicious foods…I’m literally drooling. Thanks for sharing

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35 Lis April 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

how did the Uppababy stroller fare on your hike in the canyon?

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36 KathEats April 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Good! We were on a paved path, so it was fine. I like it a lot

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37 Kristi April 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I thought you said the time change was awful? Or did you mean returning to EST? I was also planning on trying the late nap and late bedtime while in AZ. Don’t know why I’m so worried about it but I am!

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38 KathEats April 14, 2013 at 5:57 am

It was the first night when he was up for the day at 4am and we had just gone to bed. He slept on the flights but we didn’t

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39 Ella P April 14, 2013 at 3:48 am

Dear Kath & Matt,
I congratulate you for the awards!

Thank you, Kath, for sharing with us this experience. I have never been to those places and it is so interesting to read about them.

Just one question, if I may ask: will those delicious looking nut butters be part of your GH portfolio in the future?

Ella

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40 KathEats April 14, 2013 at 5:55 am

They already are!

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41 Ella P April 14, 2013 at 10:24 am

Good good :)
I was misleaded by “…add Chocolate Vanilla Almond Butter to that list! Katie and Tim send me home with a jar in my suitcase : )”, I (wrongly) deduced you did not have them yet.
A slice of good bread & good nut are my daily super-healthy treat!

Ella

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42 KathEats April 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

Just not that flavor!

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43 Mallory April 14, 2013 at 7:46 am

Congrats Kath and Matt!

Mazen is always smiling. What a cutie.

And Kath, you look great!!

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44 Alyssa April 14, 2013 at 8:34 am

That is nice how the company is such a close knit one! I love Great Harvest :-)

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45 Alicyn April 14, 2013 at 9:50 am

Congrats on the win for the store! I wish the Great Harvest around Northern Virginia sold some of the same stuff you talk about on your blog!

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46 CaitlinHTP April 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

What a cute little fishie :) Glad the convention went well!

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47 Paula April 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Looks like a great time for everyone. Mazen seemed to adapt well which is wonderful for future travels. The food looks marvelous too. I make Tres Leches cakes but only once a year or so and only when we have guests because we could eat that whole cake in one sitting. :)

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48 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) April 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I have that exact same polka dot tank in that picture of you with Mazen. You have such great taste. ;)

What a fabulous excursion you guys are having!!!

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49 Louise @ Live-Healthy.org April 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Loved reading this post after coming across your blog. Many congrats on the award :)

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50 Jenna Newberry April 14, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Sooo happy to see Janet and Jeff from the Charlotte Great Harvest in your pics. Between 2002-2004 we lived on Morehead St…right around the corner from the Kings Court GH. Since then we have lived in Huntersville an still make our weekly run to the Kings Court store. Just a few weeks ago, Janet got to meet my lil man that is just two weeks older than your babe. With all my babbling, they are such nice folks! I wish all the best for them and you guys as well! I hope we can visit your Charlottesville store one day too :)

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51 Sara April 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm

What’s the best delivery food I c-ville?

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52 KathEats April 15, 2013 at 6:18 am

Moto Pho

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53 Emily April 15, 2013 at 6:13 am

Wow, who knew there were so many different types of almond butter? I just tried almond butter for the first time ever yesterday and I think it’s definitely something I will be adding to a lot of my breakfasts! It’s a good alternative to peanut butter, which I eat obsessively

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54 K April 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Both peanut and almond butter are awesome, but wait until you try Sunflower butter! I’m lucky if a jar lasts me two weeks, and that’s alternating with both PB and AB. I don’t know why it took me a bit to come around to it. It’s salty, slightly sweet and the smooth, gritty, gloppy texture is the best! Geez, no wonder my husband thinks I’m wacky! At least it seems that nut and seed butter obsessions are not uncommon. Also, I must ask Kath, what was the Cherry Almond Butter we can just catch a glimpse of in that jar line-up pic? :)

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55 Gina @ LifetotheFdegree April 15, 2013 at 8:31 am

Those Naturally Nutty nut butters look amazing! I would definitely get a stomachache trying to tate each one!

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56 Ethan Parker April 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

Congratulations on the award! The place looks amazing and I will definitely pay a visit there soon :)

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57 Susan H @ The Food Allergy Chronicles April 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm

All the food looks amazing! Congratulations on the award. :) That was one busy, fun-filled weekend you enjoyed.

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58 cathy April 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Congrats on the award! The picture of Matt and Mazen at the convention is adorable.

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59 Maria Tadic April 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Looks like you had a really great time – and congrats on the award! Can you get that nut butter in stores or only online? Some of those flavors sound awesome!

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60 KathEats April 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

In some stores, yes, like Great Harvest.

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61 Sloane Pitman April 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

This is AWESOME! Looks like so much fun, and Tucson is beautiful. Prickly Pear and Jalapeno margs?? Send that my way please.

I wish the GH in Chattanooga hadn’t closed. It was such a treat to stop there when I was young and pick out the “special dinner bread” for the week (this spinach, sundried tomato and feta loaf was my favorite) and for special occasions. My sister and I would shamelessly sample all the breads of the day. Oh the nostalgia! I’ll have to get up to Charlottesville soon! Looks like such fun :)

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62 Mommypage April 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm

This all looks like a lot of fun! The different almond butters sounds delicious- that must have been fun you could try all the different flavors. I hope you had a great trip!

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63 Rachel April 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I just have to say that picture of Mazen holding the award is sooo cute! I think you ought to frame it and hang it up somewhere in your GH store :)

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64 ~Christy@wonderofallthings April 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Ah, it was such a great time! I really enjoyed meeting you guys (love the pic here with Karen and Mazen!) and talking with you over dinner. And thanks for the shout out here…it’s huge! :)

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65 Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health April 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

Just catching up on a few posts and have to say thank you for all of the cute pics of Mazen! His smile is infectious and brightens my day! :)

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66 Lisa April 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

Your son is the cutest!! What an adorable child!

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67 Maggie Finley August 26, 2013 at 4:37 am

What a cute smiling baby on a UPPAbaby Stroller…

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68 Amy March 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

After what felt like months of researching, I read your blog about umbrella strollers and finally committed to the Uppababy Glite. We LOVE LOVE it! For some reason I can’t find it on your site, but wanted to see if you bought a stroller travel bag. The Uppababy one is $50 and not sure that it is worth it. Just curious if you had any input. THANKS!

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69 KathEats March 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Glad you like it!! No we didn’t buy one. Just let it take a beating. It’s held up really well during flights, although that reminds me I do need to WD40 the tire

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