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Posted in Food

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins ( + Chocolate Version)

This recipe is so good!  The best one I have tried so far.  The original recipe was for blueberry muffins, but the base works well for other flavors.  I forgot I had this recipe until the other day when I was craving Costco muffins.  They might not be as big, but the definitely satisfied my want for a good blueberry and chocolate, chocolate chip muffins.  Also, I think the blueberry version would be really good with a streusel topping.

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Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 8oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 8 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Xylitol or Erythritol (or 2 TBS Pyure Stevia and Erythritol blend)
  • 20 drops English Toffee Stevia
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

For half chocolate

  • 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 20 drops chocolate stevia*
  • 1-1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Lilly’s)

*(Can sweeten to taste with a granulated sweetener)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together cream cheese and butter, add sweeteners and vanilla. Slowly beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together coconut flour and baking soda.
  4. Combine the wet and dry until everything is incorporated
  5. Add blueberries, or, divide the batter in half.
  6. Add blueberries to one half and the cocoa powder, extra sweetener and chocolate chips to the other half.
  7. Bake in a medium muffin tin (well greased or with paper liners) for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. ENJOY!

Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Posted in Blog

The Toy Box Purge

​Took advantage of daughter’s nap time a few days ago and purged her toy box. I collected a bunch of things that should have been thrown away, items “stolen” from the kitchen or bathroom and extra stuffed animals.  The interesting thing about this box full of toys bound for the donation bin is, they are all mine.

I’m a sentimental pack rat. When I was packing up all my belongings in preparation for moving after I got married I kept every toy that I still liked. (Yes, 22 years old and I still had toys I liked.) My thought was “Oh, my kids can play with these someday”, little did I know just how many toys my first child would collect within the first two years of her life.

I tend to hang on to every little thing that meant something to me.  Most of these animals were stocking stuffers or gifts in my Easter basket. I enjoyed them all as a child. I loved them as a child. They were my favorites as a child. I’m not a child anymore and my child has plenty of toys and stuffed animals. It’s time to let another child enjoy these. Letting go of things from our past can be hard, especially when they were once precious to us, but if we don’t want to be ruled by stuff we own there comes a time when we have to let them go.

I’ve been reading Maria Kondo’s boom The life-changing magic of tidying up”, and though I don’t believe the objects we own have feelings, their is one practice she has in her book that I have found useful, and that is thanking a possession before you let it go. Like I said, I don’t believe things like toys, clothing and books have feelings, but thanking something for once bringing me joy before saying goodbye has helped me let go of stuff I was only keeping for loose sentimental reasons. Something about saying it out loud helped me not feel guilty for getting rid of it (and rejecting thoughts of, “but so-in-so gave me that”, “it would be a waste” etc.).

Most of the time my daughter’s play area does not look this nice.  I get to it maybe a couple times a month and really tidy it up.  Out of all the messes is my life, my child’s toys scattered around or mixed up doesn’t bother me, it actually makes me smile.  We do live in our house with an active two year old, toys all over the place is just evidence to life being lived.

What are some of your mommy purge stories?

Posted in Food

Almond Meal & Flaxseed Loaf

Another Pinterest find and grain free loaf experiment number 2. This one so far is my favorite. I baked it longer than the original recipe said to give it a nice crust and it was perfectly crunchy. I also added about 1 TBS worth of raw honey, just because I like the flavor and touch of sweetness it adds. Another change I made was excluding the whole flaxseeds, just because I don’t care for seeds in my bread.

For the orginal recipe head over to keyingredient.com or click HERE.

Here is the recipe with my personal alterations.

Almond Meal and Flaxseed Loaf

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/3 & 1 TBS flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
  • 6 TBS meltes butter
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Line or grease medium sized loaf pan
  3. Mix dry ingredients until well combined
  4. Blend wet ingredients until well combined
  5. Add 1/3 of dry to wet and mix well. Continue until all the wet and dry and well combined
  6. Pour mixture into loaf pan, smooth out to make sure it is distributed evenly
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and a tester comes out clean

Posted in Blog

Living My Dream

 

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Every child is asked this probably about a billion times.  If someone else isn’t asking them, they are asking themselves.  I spent a lot of time thinking about this topic as a child, mostly coming up with answers for the many adults who asked me.  First it was a nurse like my mom, but I decided I hated needles too much for that.  Then (of course) it was a ballerina, but I didn’t like the costumes.  (There was also the “secret agent” stage where I desperately wanted to learn martial arts, travel the world and kick bad guy butts. 😛 )  Next a musician, but musical theory was like taking math and math and I were not on good terms.  For a while I thought about being a singer, but voice lessons were not really an option financially.  Then I discovered writing, but that’s not the dream I am talking about.

Even through all the indecision of childhood reasoning and dreaming, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was the only thing that made sense to me when I thought about my future.  The only thing I could see myself doing.  The only dream that made me smile and feel excitement, but it seem like a suitable answer when adults other than my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was as if they didn’t see it as a real dream/job to have and I didn’t understand why.  What did I want to be?  A wife and a mom.

Yes, that was what I wanted to be when I grew up, a wife and a mom.  From a very early age I just knew that’s what God wanted me to do.  My baby dolls were precious to me, and I would swaddle them and hold them like they were real, to the extent I usually didn’t let other people hold them. They were my babies and I was their mommy.  All my Barbies and stuffed animals had a family with a mommy, a daddy and children (or more accurately, a mommy, a daddy, a teenager, a little sibling and a baby.)  I made families out of everything, from buttons to the different sized rods we used for math. (You home-schoolers know what I am talking about.)  I loved it, but whenever I gave my honest answer to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, nobody seemed to take me seriously.

When God also called me to be a writer, one of the things that made me excited about it was that I could do it and still be a stay at home wife and mom.  I could still home-school and be a writer.  I didn’t have to go to school or get a degree, I didn’t have to commute to a job, I could be at home.  I didn’t realize how much I loved being at home until I got my first true away-from-home job (babysitting/nannying didn’t count).  Like any young adult I wanted to get out of the house and away from my family (nothing against my family, they are awesome and I love them).  We’ve all been there, when we think it’s time for us to spread our own wings and leave the nest.  I worked four days a week and for a while it was nice not being home, but it didn’t take long for me to miss it.  I missed having time to play in the kitchen, I had to actually catch up on what was going on instead of being a witness (that felt weird).  It made me feel out of touch with home and my family even though I still lived there.  I wanted to be home again.

When I graduated High School I was bombarded with questions about college, degrees and careers.  It drove me crazy.  I didn’t want to go to college, I didn’t feel God leading me toward college or a degree, but that just wasn’t the norm.  I took a couple of classes just because it’s what I was “supposed to do”, but boy, was I one happy girl when I walked off that campus for the last time.  After that, when I was asked if I was going to school and I answered no, I’d get looks that to me said, “That’s strange”, “Is she just not smart?” “Poor lost soul”, even from church members.  It was sad and a bit discouraging.  I was just trying to follow where I thought God was leading me.  I didn’t need a degree to be a writer, a wife and a mom, but I was the only young woman I knew who wasn’t going to school and pursuing a career.

Now however, all those odd looks, wondering and seeking, all those voices whispering and telling me to just go with the status quo are all things of the past.  They are silent and gone, not because people have changed their view, but because I chose to stop hearing and seeing them.  I may not have a degree, but I am studying to be a Godly wife and mom.  Staying home may look boring on the outside, but I have time to pursue my interests, whether they be cooking, reading or writing.  I love being here when my husband walks through the door.  I may not be the most amazing house keeper, but I love organizing my house and the satisfaction of looking around a room I just finished cleaning.  Now I have a daughter who loves reading stories, singing songs and is growing into mommy’s little helper.  She is busy and most days may wear me out, but she is such a joy with her giggles and kisses.

It may not be what this world views as the norm, but this is my dream and I am living it.  To you young woman who is seeking God’s will for your life and may be going through that same stage in life, don’t for a minute think that being a wife and a mom isn’t a dream worth having, or a career worth pursuing.  It is.  The path that God has planned for you is more worth while, more fulfilling and better than anything this world has to offer.  So tune out the controversy, set your sights on Him and keep dreaming.

~Reblogged and revised from a post I wrote in 2015~
Posted in Food

Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

This recipe is so creamy and rich!  I found the original recipe HERE, but I ran into a problem freezing in as it was REALLY thick and a little grainy because of the cashews (even so, it tasted SO GOOD). I changed the sweetener in my version to make it sugar free, I also did not add the espresso powder, since my two year old would be enjoying this with us.  Here is my sugar free, altered thickener, so espresso version.

Creamy, Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Coconut Cream
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup Pyure Organic Stevia blend
  • 1 dropper full Liquid Chocolate Stevia
  • 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1-2 oz dark chocolate (depending on how rich you want it)
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

Directions

Combine Cream, milk, stevia blend, stevia liquid, cocoa, extracts, and Sea Salt and Xanthan Gum in a high powered food processor.  Blend until well combined.

Pour into sauce pan and slowly heat until it reaches a light scold.  Add dark chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate melts and is totally incorporated (no chocolate specks, one solid color).

Allow to cool,  then pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufactures instructions.

Store in an airtight container.  (Once stored for a long period in the freezer, it will need a few minutes to thaw to make it scoop-able.)

Enjoy!

Posted in Blog

The Diaper Bag

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It’s so unassuming, just sitting there by the door.  An inanimate object that carries more than just spare clothes, toys and snacks.  The things it’s seen, the memories stained into the worn fabric.  It changes with the child, stretching to accommodate larger clothing, diapers and a growing collection of play things.  It comes in all shapes and sizes, brands and materials, sometimes there are more than one, we’ve gone through three, but it’s always by our side.

Yes, this is a post about a diaper bag.

I was looking out ours recently, a gray and green backpack, and it made me thing about how fast time goes by and our babies grow up.  It only seems like a few days ago it held burp cloths, spare onesies, tiny diapers, a nursing cover and teething rings. Now the diapers barely fit in their pocket, the inside is stuffed with a books, “big kid” clothes, various snacks, a sippy cup and toys with lots of buttons.  Every so often I have to dump everything out and remove those things that are no longer needed.  It’s like a step into the not so distant past and look at the all to close future.  Her clothes will keep growing, the snacks change and diapers slowly disappear.

One thing I was told constantly while pregnant was to treasure everything because I will miss it.  Well, I’m not going to miss the sleepless nights, the screaming in the car seat, refusal to eat, or spit up.  I will miss my little baby snuggles, those adorable baby talk words and tiny clothes, but I’m keeping myself in the moment and enjoying how she finds joy and wonder in every new discovery, and dream with her about how far she will go.

She’s growing up, the stuffing of her diaper bag changing, but it’s all part of the adventure.

Posted in Blog

Hello New Blog

I started my first blog in 2009, I was 18 and a senior in High School.  That blog holds eight years of memories and growth, even so, it came time to retire it and begin again with a clean slate.  So much has changed in those eight years.  That first blog was about my story as a writer and single young woman living at home, now I am a wife and mother, my story has changed.

For those of you who have followed my journey on A World of Scribblings, I hope that you will continue to follow along on this new journey in Full Hands and a Messy Bun.