Couscous Salad

My friend made this amazing light summer salad recently at a block party in our neighborhood. I loved it so much I had to ask her for the recipe to try it myself. I made it the other night and Mr Chocolate also raved about it. We paired it with a simple grilled chicken and it was perfect.

Couscos (1 of 1)

The original recipe my friend found used orzo, but she changed that for Israeli couscous.


  • 1 lb orzo (or couscous)
  • 3 lemons
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 oz baby arugula
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups feta cheese

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Work Travel With Two Little Ones At Home

I am recently back from a crazy couple of months of traveling, particularly the last three weeks. I’ve been on trips to Albuquerque, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, and New York over the last few months, with trips in three straight weeks. I’ve been fortunate enough to have almost all of my travel domestic, in sharp contrast to my previous job, but it can still be tough to manage with two toddlers at home. Many of my colleagues have family in town who they can rely on to pitch in, but our family all live across the country so for the most part, Mr. Dolphin is on his own when I’m gone. For all those fellow parents with work travel, here are the ways the Dolphins manage my travel schedule.

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Love looking at these pictures when I’m gone.

Supportive partner: Without a doubt, the only way we are able to manage is because Mr. Dolphin is fully supportive of my travel. He is willing to put his foot down at his own job and say that he has a hard stop at a certain hour to ensure that he has ample time to get home to pick up the kids, even factoring in the potential for the infamous DC metro delays. Whenever I mention a potential trip, Mr. Dolphin’s response is always to go for it, even when it means I may be gone for an entire week or on the weekend.

Flexibility when I am in town: On my most recent trip, Panda spiked a fever at the end of the day at daycare and wasn’t permitted to go in the next day. As a result, Mr. Dolphin had to take the day off work and stay home with Panda because his job doesn’t allow for teleworking. To make up for the fact that Mr. Dolphin may have no alternative but to stay home or leave work early in these situations, I tend to be the one to take over doctors appointments and sick days when I am in town. Of course, the fact that I can telecommute when necessary is a huge benefit here.

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Darien Lake with a 7-Year-Old, 3-Year-Old, & 7-Month-Old

Earlier in July — actually over the Fourth of July weekend which was fun for us Canadians! — we travelled south to Darien Lake, a water park and theme park in New York, not too far from Buffalo. There’s no way that the Mac and Cheese family would’ve ventured there on our own, but my mom set it up as part of our visit to Orangeville, so it was only about two and a half hours to drive there!

Mom got a crazy good WagJag deal, which meant that she, her partner, my 7-year-old niece, 3-year-old M, 7-month-old A, and Mac Daddy and myself spent two nights and three days at the park, housed in an RV that was already there waiting for us. With that she also got daily breakfast buffet comps, some in-park credit, and a coupon book with a few deals, so we were really set up to have a good time.


While I used to head to Disney with my family once a year as a kid, and Mac Daddy was a Canada’s Wonderland enthusiast during his southern Ontario days, we haven’t been to anything larger than community fall fairs since having kids. Needless to say, M was thrilled at the idea of going to an amusement park! I didn’t really know what to expect from it all, but now that we’re on the other side of a good time, I have a few suggestions for others who are considering a non-Orlando theme park visit with similarly aged kids, and those who are considering a trip to Darien Lake specifically.

Theme Park Tips:

Measure your kid before you go to avoid any height-related meltdowns ahead of time. Darien Lake’s website explains the height restrictions for every ride so I measured M in advance and showed her all the cool stuff she could go on — there’s a little kid’s section which was perfect for her age, and a somewhat more advanced kid’s section where she could ride probably 75% of the attractions with a companion. Apparently there’s actually a measuring station where you can get your child a colour-coded wristband indicating that they’re tall enough for whichever height limit they hit, but I didn’t know about it ’till we got back!

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Summer Hats & Sunglasses for Kids

Living in San Diego we pretty much get sun all-year round. So while it may already be July, there is still time for fun in the sun this summer! I love buying hats and sunglasses for the kids. They’re functional, keep them protected from the sun and they look super cute on them too! Here are my top picks for hats & sunglasses for kids this summer.


I love these hats because they provide ample face coverage in the sun and definitely fit my kids’ personalities. I am a huge fan of hats that are easily thrown into the wash and extra points if they can be folded up for easy storage or worn while in the pool and dry fast after.

1) Floppy Straw Hat | 2) Stripe-band Straw Fedora | 3) Floppy Hat with Poms | 4)Pineapple Trucker Hat | 5) Safari Sun Hat | 6) Minion Baseball Hat | 7)Cat Bucket Hat | 8) Shark Bucket Hat

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First Trimester in Review (the good, the bad, the awful)

Hello again! I have been missing around the hive here for quite some time, and I wanted to re-introduce myself now that I plan to continue my blogging journey here on Hellobee. I’m Mrs. Jellyfish, mama to almost 3 year old Bug (also known as Ace). We live in Phoenix, Arizona and we are busy bees! I started writing here months ago, right before I had some big life transitions that held me back. I ended up with appendicitis right around the holidays, and my recovery was not as easy as I thought it would be. Then several weeks after my surgery, I started a grad school program. Life was busy, full and fun, and then we went and decided to mix it up a bit more, and add to our family. That’s right, I’m pregnant!

The first 16 weeks of my pregnancy were the hardest weeks of my life. I was incredibly ill, bedridden, and I also had to take care of a really wild 2.5 year old. And then there is that grad school I mentioned. I’m happy to say I survived my first semester at school, and my first trimester of pregnancy, due in part to the wonderful Daniel Tiger and all the other shows on the PBS app. Ace definitely watched a ton of TV and I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt about it. I just started feeling better, and I’m trying to make up for all of our sick time with plenty of trips out and adventurous activities that he loves.

Now that I have been in my second trimester for about 6 weeks, and my extreme nausea has let go of its hold on my body for one beautiful month, I feel like I can finally look back on my first trimester and reflect on how it went.

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Language Boom

It finally happened; our little guy is talking! He’s two and half, and after almost a year of therapy, he’s speaking in phrases. A few changes in our interactions with him finally tipped his speech development. While he’s not totally caught up, it is so wonderful he can communicate his wants and needs. Here’s what seemed to help.

Our little guy had always tested far ahead in receptive language (understanding speech) for his age, it was his expressive speech that was delayed. Our little guy had a large vocabulary of single words, but he couldn’t link the words together for phrases. This baffled me, until I realized the missing piece of language for him – verbs.  If you listen to toddlers’ phrases they tend to say things like “hold cup” or “go bye-bye mama.” Those phrases include verbs. Often toddlers can say verbs and not the nouns, but the situation was reversed with our little guy. He could name any item in a book: cow, car, tree, etc… He also had higher level language skills, at the time, because he could say descriptive and comparison words like big and little, and his colors.

Once I realized it was verbs he was didn’t have in his vocabulary. I changed how I talked to him. Before, I would say “let’s eat eggs,” or “pull your wagon with the toys.” I was using longer phrases trying to build his vocab like I did with our daughter, which worked for her. But with our little guy, I switched to shorter phrases, and repeated the verb. If it was breakfast time, I would ask, “Eat? Eat breakfast? Eat eggs?” Sometimes I would even act out the verb, which I’m sure made me look ridiculous in public. At first he didn’t understand what I was asking, but then he made the connection. He started using single words, but verbs instead of nouns.  I thought he had regressed because he stopped using nouns for a week, but then shortly after he started putting together phrases. Not just two word phrases either, he was saying three and four – word phrases.

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Eating with the Season: Summer

I love sharing food and recipes. Cooking and baking has always been a passion of mine, and I’m on the eternal quest for the best recipes. One thing I love about food is how it brings people to together. I remember when my husband and I were on our babymoon and we went out to dinner at The Grey for a romantic meal together. We sat next to a great couple and we chit chatted on and off almost the entire meal. They were ahead of us in their meal, and suggested things to try. It’s a lovely memory! This isn’t really an unusual thing for us. For instance, my hubby or I will lean over and tell someone eyeing what we ordered, and encourage them to get it. It’s also great when you have friends or family over and they sound like Bob eating what you made for them. That fills my heart with joy. Food is awesome.

However, I digress. What I am here to talk about is how one of the best ways to get good food is to cook with the season. The ingredients are fresh and full of nutrients. Petit Macaron loves all the berries right now – he can’t get enough blueberries (this is probably TMI, but his poops smell fruity now, haha). I can’t help but pop a berry in my mouth when I see it sitting on the counter. So good!

We enjoy going to the Farmer’s Market as a family on the weekends and grabbing a fruit or veggie to try out at home. I think this is a great way to introduce Petit Macaron to new fruits and veggies – even if he’s just seeing them and not letting us feed them to him (which is sadly most of the time…except for fruit, that is always a win).

Besides from what you see at a Farmer’s Market, another great resource for figuring out what’s in season is the blog Cookie and Kate. She makes a monthly guide sharing what’s in season and ideas on how to cook and/or bake with it. July is nearing its close (holy cow!), but here’s the guide she posted. I’m sure August will be coming up soon, but until then here’s last year’s post. Another resource is The Old Farmer’s Almanac. You can find it’s list for summer foods online here. And if you do a quick online search, you’ll find many more like Cooking Light or The Kitchn.

Here’s my suggestions for what to make this summer:

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