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Showing posts from September, 2017

Cliches, Colds, and Birthday Cake

Kids grow up so fast. I know this sounds totally cliché, but it's true. When my eldest daughter turned one, it felt like it happened so fast, and now my second daughter just turned one, and I don't know how it happened... Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital last week? Once I think about it all, so much has happened this past year that I can only wonder how the last twelve months managed to squeeze itself into just one year, but I am not ready for my baby to be a toddler yet... Stop growing! Of course I don't actually want my children to stop growing, and I look forward to them growing up and watching them achieve great things in their lives, I just want time to slow down, that's not too much to ask, is it?


I am sorry to say that my baby spent her first birthday fighting off a cold. Actually, both of my girls are sick. Last night, the two of them had me catering to them off and on all evening, that every time I got them back to sleep and came downstairs…

Cleaning, Cake, and Teething Monsters

After my laundromat experience this week, I decided that I would wash our laundry by hand until our machine gets fixed - hopefully sooner than later - for a number of reasons, including the fact that the laundromat is expensive, it smells like bleach, and I don't want to wait an entire week to wear the same shirt again, or maybe I'm just crazy and want to give myself more work to do, who knows.  I have been keeping up with laundry as it accumulates, so I am only at the sink to wash a couple items at a time. I even opted to try out the cloth diapers this week, which has been going great! I am pleasantly surprised at how incredibly absorbent they are, and equally as pleased with how cute they look. I have been using cloth wipes for a little while now, so it's not a lot more work to wash a diaper after each change as well; at least in the meantime while the washer is broken, this is the easiest way to stay on top of the laundry.

I tried running a load of laundry in the washe…

Vegan Chocolate Cake

With so many birthday's coming up, I have been searching high and low for vegan cake recipes. After searching around, I decided to freestyle a cake and see how it went. Well, it actually turned out pretty great! I baked the batter into a cake, and a couple of cupcakes as well. I wanted to frost them with coconut whip cream, but my first attempt at that was an epic failure, so I opted for a "buttercream" style frosting made with vegan margarine and a ton of sugar. I would still like to try a coconut whip for next time, so if anybody has any tricks or tips for a successful recipe, please send it my way!


Vegan Chocolate Cake
Ingredients 2 Tbsp Ground Flax 6 Tbsp Water 3 Cups Flour 1 tsp Baking Soda 2 tsp Baking Powder 1/4 tsp Salt 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder 1 Cup Sugar 1/2 Cup Vegan Margarine  1 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk or Almond Milk 1 tsp Vanilla 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Instructions In a small bowl, mix together ground flax, and water, and set aside for approximately 10 minutes.
In a larg…

Cha Ching, Wash, Repeat

To my recollection, I have only been to a laundromat twice in my life. Once, when my dad took us as kids - which I am now pretty certain was to get caught up on laundry before my mom got back from a business trip - and once today, because my washing machine will not work any more, and I had a pile of laundry that has been steadily growing. I also received my cloth diapers today and was so excited, until I remembered our washing machine was out of commission. I am mentally and physically prepared for the work that comes with using cloth diapers, but not if I have to wash them all by hand... I think we'll be waiting for the washing machine to be repaired before I make the big diaper switch. 


After I brought the girls to casual care today, I spent the afternoon at the laundromat, which was an interesting - and expensive - experience. There are not many laundromats on the map around here, so I picked the closest one I could find, and stopped by the Starbucks drive-thru to pick up a c…

Spaghetti Squash Tater Tots

I was inspired by a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Tater Tots, from Kirbie's Cravings. They looked delicious, and I had never used a spaghetti squash for anything other than an alternative to pasta noodles. I came across this recipe on Pinterest, and altered it a bit to accommodate the ingredients I had available in my pantry, and the fact that we don't use eggs. I was pretty excited when these tots came out of the oven, in tact, and actually looking like tater tots! They had the same consistency as tater tots, and if they tasted less like squash and more like potatoes, I would've been completely fooled. My daughter was pretty excited to dip hers in ketchup, and in good tater tot etiquette, I did the same.  Here is my revised recipe for these Spaghetti Squash Tater Tots:


Ingredients:
1 Spaghetti Squash 1 - 2 Cups Quick Oats 2 Tbsp Ground Flax 1 tsp Salt (Optional) 1 tsp Pepper (Optional)
Instructions:
Cut Squash in half, remove seeds, and place both halves, flesh side down in …

Fall is in the Air

Autumn is my favorite season, I love the overall warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I think about everything Autumn. The thought of snuggling up on a crisp fall day, with a cup of tea or apple cider, sounds wonderful. The smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice, practically warm me up the second I smell them. The colors that take over the trees - the rusty reds and vibrant yellows - are all so beautiful. I just love fall. So when I take my girls for a walk in the woods this time of year, it is hard not to stop and have a mini impromptu photo shoot. The colors all around us were stunning, and the leaves crunching on the ground and falling around us made it feel like the perfect, stereotypical autumn day that made it so picture perfect. Here are a few snaps from our walk today...





While the girls napped this afternoon, I enjoyed a cup of coffee with coconut milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, which was delicious. It was a spontaneous decision when I saw a container of my cinnamon sugar ju…

Vegan Shepherds Pie

Last week was pretty cold, and I was looking for some comfort food style meals to warm us up. Growing up, my grandparents would often make us "mince and potatoes" when they babysat, which to me, was basically a deconstructed shepherd's pie. I have never followed a proper recipe for shepherds pie, and have always made it based on taste to get it as close as possible to the mince and potatoes that I ate growing up.  Since switching to a vegan diet, I have tried to avoid the pretend-meat alternatives, like 'tofurkey', and have embraced the vegan diet for all of it's vegetable goodness. So for my vegan shepherds pie recipe, you will not find any ground round or any other pretend meat, this healthy, delicious recipe is made with lentils and veggies, and is a meal that the whole family can enjoy.


Vegan Shepherds Pie
Filling: 1 Cup Dried Green Lentils 2 Cup Carrots 1 Cup Mushrooms 1 Cup Corn and/or Peas 1 tsp Nutmeg 1 tsp Ground Cumin 4 Cups Vegetable Stock 2 Tbsp Wh…

Weekend, Walking, and Words

I am a hermit. Just kidding, although if it wasn't for my girls and my husband, I would probably stay in the house a lot more than I already do... I guess you could say I am a homebody. Busy places generally stress me out (even more so when I have two little munchkins to keep an eye on).  Given the option, I would much rather go out during the week than on a weekend, when going to any public place feels like walking into a herd of wild animals... Maybe it's just me, but the thought of going shopping on a Saturday makes my heart speed up a little - and it's not because I love shopping. 
This weekend we stayed in. I thought several times about going to the store and picking up 'xyz' and then just decided to add it to a list and make a trip on Monday. The last couple days at home had it's quiet moments and it's crazy moments, and a couple big moments for my youngest daughter who stood up completed unassisted, and took a few steps before sitting down. She took…

Chaos, Cookies, and Coffee

We have had an interesting couple of days. I don't feel like we have got a whole lot accomplished, but I do feel like we have been a little bit unorganized, which is funny, because last night, both of the girls slept right through the night without stirring even once until morning. Turns out they do better with a crazy schedule than I do...
Let's rewind a little bit here. Earlier this year, we purchased a new dining table. The day it arrived, we were so excited, and then noticed a pretty big defect on the table top. We have a technician come out and deem it 'unfixable', so we scheduled an exchange... Well this happened with the next three tables as well - different defects, but unfixable and had to be returned - which we received in exchanges over a course of about 6 months. We finally decided to pick a different table from a different manufacturer. We paid a little extra for our second option, but it was a lovely table, and I was so excited for it - especially becaus…

Unplugged

Some of you will start reading this post and think 'yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before.'  but I encourage you to really read through what I have to say. Maybe I am just another person telling you about the perils of technology, but I learned a lot today, and even had a couple "ah-ha!" moments, and I really think a lot of people could benefit from this too. 
As much as I hate to admit it, I am on my phone way too much. To the point that if I leave a room without my phone, I nearly feel like I am missing an appendage. I know I am not alone, in fact, I am willing to bet that the majority of the population under 30 feels the same way. I truly believe that our cell phones have become an addiction to some of us. So often I find myself in the middle of doing something, and then because I get a message notification on my phone, I open it up and then get sucked in to checking all of my other apps and social media accounts while I'm at it. I even bring my phone with …