Almond Flour Pumpkin Banana Bread

In all honesty, baking is not my strong suit. I much prefer cooking. I usually get good results with baking if I follow recipes to a T, but I like to experiment and make healthy modifications. Sometimes this leads to success but, more often than not, I’m left disappointed. This happened a couple of weeks ago when I attempted to make a healthified pumpkin bread with Jackson and it was a total flop. I ate a piece but wound up trashing the rest because it just wasn’t good at all. This past weekend, though, I discovered a winner! I decided to modify a banana bread recipe from Detoxinista (whose recipes I love!) and was pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out. The original recipe is already healthy so my modifications were mainly due to the ingredients I had on hand (or didn’t have, like arrowroot starch) and my desire to use up some leftover pumpkin. I didn’t have high hopes after my last baking fiasco, but the end result was a moist, flavorful banana bread (free of dairy and gluten!) that I couldn’t stop eating. David gave it two thumbs up too!

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Preschool Update! How Jackson is Doing

Almost three months ago, David and I were gearing up for Jackson’s first day of preschool. Now that we have all had time to get used to the new normal, I wanted to share an update about how things have been going. Truthfully, the start was rough. I knew Jackson was going to be resistant after the whole summer at home with me, but I didn’t expect him to be quite as resistant as he was. Given that he had been in two different daycares (both full and part-time) since he was six months old and transitioned relatively easily there, I figured this would be a similar situation, but it wound up being much harder than I had anticipated and caused a lot of anxiety for both of us.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

With Thanksgiving coming up in just a few weeks, I felt inspired this past weekend to whip up a batch of mashed sweet potatoes. I have no problem with white potatoes, although they often get a bad rap, but sweet potatoes pack a better nutritional punch and I find them equally delicious. They also tend to cook faster, which is always a plus in my book!

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Books for Kids Starting Preschool

As I mentioned in my last post, Jackson is starting preschool this year, and it’s a big milestone! Although he has been in daycare in the past (full-time when I was working and part-time since I’ve been at home), preschool feels much different. It’s the step before starting legit school and it just makes Jackson seem so much more grown up! Not gonna lie, I’m freaking out a little bit. I know it’s going to be so great for both of us though. We just have to get through the transition! 

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Jackson is Three!

Almost a month ago (on June 24th), Jackson turned three years old. The night before his birthday, I went down the rabbit hole of looking at old pictures and videos (anyone else do that?), which of course brought on all sorts of emotions. It’s amazing to me and also kind of scary how quickly you forget the earlier phases. All I can say is thank God for cameras! 

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Summer Bean Salad

I live for fresh, flavorful salads in the summer. This bean-based salad is insanely easy to throw together and doesn’t require any heat or cooking. My mom made it for Emmy’s birthday party and I loved it, so I knew I had to share it here on the blog. It makes a perfect side dish to a BBQ or picnic, especially for those who don’t eat meat, and is great on top of greens or even by itself. Don’t let the short list of ingredients fool you. This is anything but bland! Although not necessary, I recommend making this salad the day before you plan to eat it because the longer the flavors marinate, the better it tastes, in my opinion.

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Emmy’s First Birthday

Emmy is ONE! Her birthday was on May 30th and we had a little family party the weekend before to celebrate the big day. Although the first few months after she was born were extremely challenging and felt like an eternity at the time (in case you missed it, you can read about that here), I look back now and can’t believe that was a full year ago. I feel like I blinked and all the sudden I have a one-year-old. I guess that’s how it goes, right?

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Why I Became a Beautycounter Consultant

I recently decided to join Beautycounter as a consultant and I want to share a bit as to why. First, what is Beautycounter? If you’re not familiar, Beautycounter is a brand with a simple mission: to get safer products into the hands of everyone. They sell high quality personal care products–from cosmetics to skin and hair care to sunscreen–that are free of questionable ingredients,1500 of them to be exact. Beyond simply selling products, part of their mission is to advocate for better laws within the personal care industry, and educate consumers about the need for safer products. You can read more about the company here, but that’s what they’re all about in a nutshell.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas (all from Amazon Prime!)

I’m not sure about you but, since becoming a mom, I find it hard to stay on top of holidays, birthdays, etc., let alone plan for them in advance. I’ve become that person running out to the store the day of a birthday party to buy a gift bag, tissue paper, and a card. All I can say is thank God for Amazon Prime! It has saved me countless times when I couldn’t make it out to a mall or specific store to buy an in-person gift.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner on May 12, I thought I’d round up some gift ideas for the moms in your life that can all be purchased via Prime. Doing something with your mom in person on Mother’s Day is always the best gift of all, but that’s not always in the cards. Even if it is, it’s always nice to give her a little something special! Since returning things on Amazon can be a pain, I only included things that have been heavily reviewed, with ratings of 4.5 or 5, and that don’t need to be tried on. If you’re stumped on a gift this year (or just really short on time), I hope this offers some inspiration!

1. A silk pillowcase: Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is supposed to do wonders for your hair and skin. Is that true? Who knows. If nothing else though, it feels super luxurious and fancy! I’ve been meaning to snag one for myself and this one has excellent reviews and Good Housekeeping’s seal of approval.

2. Throw blanket: No matter the season, a nice throw blanket can provide a little comfort when you’re trying to relax. They can also add a decorative touch to a room. I have quite a few throughout the house and I use them daily. I know my mom does too. If leopard print isn’t appealing, this blanket comes in lots of different colors.

3. Mom Tote: This bag is basic but practical and I think it’s adorable. I love the idea of filling it with things your mom loves, like specific books or magazines, wine, speciality food items, beauty products, etc. That would make for a personalized and thoughtful gift I think any mom would appreciate!

4. Diffuser & Essential oils: I recently started diffusing essential oils at bedtime. It elevates my whole nighttime routine and kind of makes me feel like I’m at a spa! If your mom is into candles and doesn’t have a diffuser, I think a diffuser with a sampling of essential oils would make a nice gift. I really like the look of this diffuser because it isn’t massive and bulky like many others. It resembles a candle and doesn’t stick out in a room like a sore thumb. When it comes to essential oils, you have to be careful about the quality, especially since it’s something that’s being released into the air you breathe. I would stick to top rated brands, like Young Living, which I linked here.

5. Ceramic ring dish: Every time your mom drops her rings (or other jewelry) on this dish, she’ll get a little reminder of you and how much you appreciate her. How sweet is that?

6. Best Mom Ever Mug: I hesitated about featuring a mug here but I think this one is worthy of inclusion. I love the design and I like that it comes with a lid and a spoon.

Do you shop on Amazon for gifts? Have you found any gems?