Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grain Free, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are amazing.  Seriously.  I have tried a ton of recipes and I really, really love these.  I combined a few recipes I found online and this is what I came up with.  And yes, I have made a new batch every day for the past few days.  Not because I am compulsively eating them.

1 c. almond flour (I like Honeyville the best)
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. real salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
3 T. coconut oil
3 T. real maple syrup
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. or so of Enjoy Life chocolate chips
I add a large handful of raw, sprouted pecans or walnuts -- totally optional!

Mix coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.  Add in all dry ingredients.  Then add in chips and nuts, if desired.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 min and then LEAVE ON TRAY for 5 minutes.  This is super important when baking with almond flour.

This recipe makes 10 cookies.  And you will eat them all in less than 10 hours.  But honestly, if you're going to indulge, these are pretty harmless.  At least I hope so.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grain Free, Gluten Free, Banana PB muffins

Wow, that's a mouthful.  I combined a few ideas I found online and created these gems today.  And they are delicious.  I've been gluten free for over a year now but my alternative doc recommended I try grain free a few months ago so I am always looking for ideas.....of things that taste good.  I'm not into eating cardboard.

1 c. peanut butter (yes, another nut butter would be healthier but I looooove pb!)
2 very ripe bananas
2 organic eggs
1 t. Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
3 T. pure maple syrup

Throw all this in the BlendTec and blend until smooth.  (eggs first makes it easier to blend)
Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 15 min. at 375.  This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy 4th of July Weekend

It's been the best weekend ever....parades, festivals, pool parties, family time, fireworks, games and more.  I love this time of year.

Today, I ran across this throwback picture of Gabe from when he was 2.  Awwwwwww.  And now he's 7.  Sniff.

Monday, June 9, 2014


The girls recently performed some violin and piano pieces downtown, at a benefit for Buckeye Ranch.  It got us talking and we decided to create a Be Someones Miracle Summer List (BSMSL) to complete this summer.

I let them create the list completely on their own.  Here are some of the things they came up with:

* Invite a random family to dinner (and cook a great meal!)
* Bake and deliver cookies to a nursing home
* Pay for a stranger's meal
* Buy a stranger ice cream
* Cook breakfast for Hazel's House of Hope again
* Make another blanket for a child with cancer

Here's a picture of Lauren performing.  On our way home that night Madeline commented, "Well, I've officially performed at a bar!"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spring Piano Recital

The girls had their spring piano recital last night and it was wonderful.  It was such a proud moment for me to watch them performing with some of the best students in the city.  Hundreds of hours of sitting through piano lessons (yes, I am required to sit in on all lessons!) and a gazillion hours of daily practice (on 2 pianos!) truly paid off.

This year, Madeline competed in TAP through the Royal Conservatory's Development Program and all 3 girls competed in Guild, a national audition program.

Madeline received a trophy for "Top TAP score" and also for "Outstanding Student."  Truuust me, these girls are up against some stiff competition.  You wouldn't believe some of the performances we heard last night.  Abigail took home 3 trophies last year (a record!) so Lauren said next year.....is HER year.  GO BUG!

Just found a quick clip of 2 of the students who performed a duet together:


Friday, May 30, 2014

3rd Annual HHI Trip!

We made our 3rd trip to Hilton Head Island and it was the same as the previous years.....spectacular.  I think I love it most because it's 9 days of completely uninterrupted time with our kiddos.  No distractions, no meetings, no sports, no school, nothing.  We even all agreed (ok, girls may have been a tad reluctant ;)) to turn off our phones except a quick 4 pm check each day.  That was even more incredible.  

We stayed at Shipwatch this year and loved, loved it.  Already booked it for next year!  Did I mention we loved it??  We rented bikes (obvi!) and biked all over, per the usual.

Bike rentals this year:
1 tandem (Abby and Lauren)
2 bikes with alley cats (Mads and Linc and Daddy and Gabe)
1 bike with a baby seat (Kendie and me!)
Trust me, we are quite a sight traveling around the island!

I managed to capture this moment of 2 of my beauties (no pose!) as we walked around Harbor Town in Sea Pines one evening.  I stopped right there and thanked God for all the incredible memories we have been able to make on these trips.  They are so very precious to me.  I am blessed beyond words.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter 2014 - Forget the Frock!

A friend shared the Eyes That See organization with us today and we were intrigued.  They are all about breaking traditions in the name of love.  Forget the Frock is about passing on that new Easter outfit for a much cheaper tee shirt, and donating the money to feed children.  For a month.  

I am only all about this kinda thing only if it comes from the heart.  And no guilt!  Please know that there have been many a year that I go out and buy exactly what I want for my family so we all look adorable for that perfect Easter picture.

I traipse through the mall looking for that perfect dress.  Oh and shoes.  And a sweater -- we do live in Ohio -- which means probably tights.  And let's not forget I need to times this all by EIGHT.  It's exhausting.  And expensive.  So when I read through their website today, it took about .8 seconds for me to be.....IN!  SIGN ME UP!  YES, PLEASE!

I wanted to run it by the family though and I was so proud of them for taking about as long to sign up also.  We showed them the website and read the mission to them.  One of the kiddos said, "So no fun new Easter outfit?"  And another said, "But, we do get to feed a child for a month!"  And then they all said, "LET'S DO IT!"

Love this gang.

So, when you see us on Easter, we will be in our blue jeans, flips and these lovely tee shirts.  Anyone wanna join us?  :)