Family, Uncategorized

Tips for Surviving Your SECOND First Trimester (Newly Pregnant with a Toddler in Tow)

Hi friends, and happy Monday!

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the summer sun!

In case you didn’t know, you probably do after reading the title… Brandon and I are expecting baby # 2! We are over-the-moon excited about this news, but I had to wait to post this because we have been keeping it a secret from our families for THREE months!

Now that the news is out, and I’m officially pushing through my second trimester, I thought I’d share how I survived the first one. Because let me tell you, it was HARD. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve never been more exhausted in all of my life. I’m thankful Ben is still taking 2 naps a day, because some days, I had to too (definitely at least one, or I wouldn’t have made it through most days).

Unlike in my first pregnancy, where I was working back-to-back 12 hour night shifts AND picking up overtime day shifts, working on our kitchen renovations, and going to CrossFit 5-6 days a week during the first trimester, this pregnancy has been full of going to bed early, being nauseous all day with no appetite, and resting as much as Ben will let me.  It’s funny how life has changed in two short years.  I was so active, determined to have a fit pregnancy last time.  That still sounds great, but this time around, the thought of going for a run makes me need a nap so desperately.  Thankfully, much of my energy has come back with the start of my second trimester, and I’m hoping to work out again soon.  But for now, I’m listening to my body.  The demands of taking care of the house and my very spirited toddler are how I’m staying active.  Here are my most helpful tips on surviving that difficult first few months when you need to be a mama first.

 

Tip #1: Small snacks and bubbly water.

I don’t know why people refer to it as “morning” sickness, when it really lasts all day long.  When you’re feeling yucky and your appetite is nonexistent, it’s best to keep something small in your stomach at all times.  That really helped me to keep nausea at bay, since I found I felt my worst when my stomach was totally empty.  Instead of eating 3 large meals, try eating 5-6 smaller ones, and always keeping snacks around.  I also drank lots of LaCroix, which is carbonated water with natural flavors.  It helped to keep me hydrated when even water didn’t sound very good.

Tip #2: Ask for help.

Brandon was so helpful and understanding of how terrible I felt.  As soon as he got home from work, he’d step right into Dad duty so I could rest, cook dinner, or some days, take a nap.  It’s okay to ask for extra help.  Your body is going through so much, and a little break could keep you from totally breaking.

Tip #3: Celebrate ALL Victories.

Every ultrasound, every new week, every load of laundry folded deserves a reward.  Take it easy on yourself, and celebrate even the smallest of victories.  Reward yourself with a little treat, a face mask, a solo trip to Target, or even an early bedtime.  Growing a human deserves some recognition, Mama!  That’s multi-tasking at its finest!

Tip #4: Diet is KEY.

Cravings are REAL.  Aversions are REAL.  But try to remember that whatever you eat, your growing little baby is eating, too.  Since working out hasn’t been in the cards for me much (yet) this pregnancy, I’m working on focusing on what I can control, which is what I eat and how much I’m eating.

  • You aren’t actually eating for two whole people, so most doctors recommend only upping your calories by 150 during the first trimester.  That could be used on 2 Oreo Cookies, or you could enjoy something filling and nutritious instead, like some rice and veggies that will help you power through your day.  (And really, who can stop at just 2 Oreos?!  NOT ME.)  Also, don’t drink you calories!
  • Protein is also really important, so I’ve been fitting it in throughout my day wherever I can.  I’ve been choosing eggs over a bowl of sugary cereal, chicken with my salads, or a protein bar snack.  Comparing my diet thus far with my first pregnancy, I really believe this is the main contributor to the reason I’ve been able to successfully keep my growing belly relatively small and hide-able for months (and fit into a bridesmaid dress at 16 weeks that I ordered prior to getting pregnant!).  I’m still gaining a very healthy amount of weight, but I’m just making smarter choices.
  • I’m also not giving into every single craving I’ve had– I’ve found that usually a few bites is all I need to satisfy it.
  • If there’s ever been a time to go organic, this is it.  Brandon and I had already switched must of our produce and daily staples to organic ones, but I’ve been trying to really step it up.  After learning about the pesticides in literally EVERYTHING we eat and realizing that they all add up, and thinking about the little person growing so quickly and depending on you for nutrients,  I’ve realized I want to give them the best start I can.

Tip #5: Plan Ahead.

Prepping meals ahead of time– even pre-making PB&Js to throw in the freezer, pealing/cutting fruits, or portioning out snacks– will save you tremendous amounts of time, as well as help you to make healthier choices for you and your family.  Each week, I made sure to keep up with my menu planning and grocery lists and do what I could on Sundays to prepare for the week while Brandon was home to help me.  I also looked ahead at any local activities going on for kids and families, which helped to keep Ben busy and engaged with other kids without as much planning on my (already fatigued) end.  Some of our favorite days were spent trying out new playgrounds and activities put on by our library!

Tip #6:  Go outside!

I’ve been really fortunate to be pregnant during beautiful weather.  Getting some fresh air and sunshine totally changes my mood.  It’s also great for Ben, who would be outside from morning to bedtime, if I let him!  Playing in the rocks or with bubbles keeps him entertained for hours, and wears his little body out for naps and bedtime, which I consider a mom win!  Just some chalk, toy trucks, and a bubble mower will provide endless fun without any stress or mess for me, and watching him play and learn is the best part of ANY day.

I hope you’ve found this list helpful!  Do you have any tips for mamas trying to survive pregnancy with a toddler?  (Any third trimester tips?  It’s creeping up on me REAL QUICK!)  I’d love to hear them!

(I surprised Brandon– and apparently Ben ^^– with a mini photo session to tell him our news, and it was a success! I’ll post more about that soon!)

Family, Traveling

Our 2018 (mostly free!) Family Bucket List

Summer is finally here! After such a long Ohio winter that I thought would never end, it feels so good to have the sun shining on my skin. Ben loves being outside more than anything, and would spend morning until bedtime playing in our backyard, if I’d let him!

He’s 18 months old, which is SUCH a fun age. It’s also such an ACTIVE age, and I’ve found that letting him run around outside burns so much more of his endless energy! Compared to last year at this time, when he was practicing sitting up unassisted and would roll everywhere he wanted to go, he is on the move this summer, which has inspired me to create a list of things for his curious little mind to see, do, and learn!

Here is my list of 42 fun summer bucket list activities for our family! (The best part? Most of them are FREE! 🤗)

  1. Splash in puddles
  2. Go to the pool
  3. Visit the library
  4. Explore the beach
  5. Go to a baseball game
  6. Go camping
  7. Play with glow sticks
  8. Have a popsicle bath (I got this idea from Suzy at busytoddler.com and LOVE it!)
  9. Go to Touch-a-Truck
  10. Go on a roadtrip
  11. Hiking
  12. Eat watermelon
  13. Find great deals at garage sales
  14. Go to the zoo
  15. Pick flowers
  16. Volunteer at church VBS
  17. Go to a fair
  18. Watch a movie outside
  19. Have a picnic
  20. Visit a fair
  21. Have a campfire
  22. Play in the rain
  23. Make s’mores
  24. Play with the hose / sprinklers
  25. Dance at an outdoor concert / music event
  26. Pick berries
  27. Play with sparklers (mom & dad activity)
  28. Go to the splash pad
  29. Lots of bubbles
  30. Go to a parade
  31. Watch fireworks
  32. Shop at a farmer’s market
  33. Catch bugs
  34. Take Jack to Dog Beach
  35. Play with chalk
  36. Make sandcastles
  37. Go on vacation
  38. Join a summer reading program
  39. Plant flowers / a garden
  40. Visit farm animals
  41. Make new friends
  42. Make someone’s day

As I was typing it out, I realized that we are well on our way to finishing the list already! We have been making the most of the longer days and have made so many memories. What’s on your family’s list of fun things to do this summer? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Here are some photos of our summer so far (scroll over each image to read about it)!

Cooking, Family

8 Dairy-Free ( & Toddler-Approved) Snacks

Happy first day of SUMMER!  Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year?!

I wanted to talk about something I feel parents are always looking for: new healthy snacks.

Ben is ALL about snacks… He’s his Mama’s boy, for sure!

Several times a day, he asks for “snaaaaaacks!” and will proceed to hand me anything that can hold some treats– cups, bowls, even building blocks turned upside down.  My boy sees opportunity in anything!  He isn’t picky at all, and his only request is for a food he can feed himself.  He’s already so independent in that way.

Ben’s happiest when food is involved!

I, on the other hand, am a little pickier when it comes to what he eats.  He still doesn’t handle dairy very well, so his snacks must be dairy-free– NOT an easy task in the land of convenient toddler snacks of cheese crackers and yogurt bites.  I prefer for him to have snacks low in sugar (but still allow him to have an occasional treat, of course), the more natural, the better, and convenience is definitely a plus!

I’ve made a list of my 8 favorite dairy-free (& toddler-approved) snacks that will hopefully inspire you with some new healthy ideas for if your kids are as snack-obsessed as mine is!

  1. Fresh fruit will always be first on my list.  Not only does Ben love them, but fruits like clementines/oranges, watermelon, and bananas are inexpensive, full of nutrition, and are a quick grab-and-go, all-natural treat. Image result for fresh fruit
  2. Dairy-free yogurt is a newer one on our go-to snacks, but now that I know how much Ben loves them, I try to always keep a few in the fridge.  They are a wonderful source of protein and are becoming more popular all the time, so the variety of choices is becoming greater.  Our favorites are the SO Delicious CoconutMilk flavors!Image result for so delicious dairy free yogurt
  3. Kirkland Signature Organic Animal Crackers were among the first things we purchased with our new Costco Membership. They come in a gigantic container (seriously, it’s huge!), which means we run out less often.  I usually throw a handful in a container for my purse or car, and Ben loves that they’re just the right size for his little hands.  You can also purchase them on Amazon if you aren’t a Costco cardholder.Image result for kirkland organic animal crackers
  4. Oyster Crackers are also always in our cabinet as a convenient grab-and-go snack.  They’re filling, and the Savoritz brand I buy at Aldi are inexpensive ($.79/ 10 oz bag) and have the smallest list of ingredients I’ve seen in any oyster crackers. Image result for savoritz oyster crackers
  5. Organic Raisins are Ben’s current most-requested snack lately.  He’s been going through so many that I’ve started purchasing them at Costco, too (but can again be found on Amazon)!  Since grapes are on the dirty dozen list, we feel better buying these organically.  Image result for sun maid organic raisins
  6. rX Kids Bars are a little more of a splurge snack, but Brandon and I love knowing exactly what’s in them and being able to count the list of ingredients on one hand.  Ben thinks they’re delicious and loves being able to feed them to himself. Image result for rx kids bars
  7. Aldi’s Little Journey Organics Pouches are the best! What kid doesn’t love a pouch, and what parent doesn’t love the convenience of squeezable organic fruits and veggies?!  These are great to keep Ben from having a hangry meltdown when we are at a restaurant waiting for our food.  When he was younger, we would squeeze them out on a spoon for him, but now he loves being able to drink them himself.  They are a fantastic deal and have a variety of flavors without added nonsense. Image result for little journey organic pouches
  8. Chex Cereal was always a favorite of mine as a kid (heck, I still love them!), and Ben loves them now. We can pour a few into a cup or bowl and they are a great size for a handheld snack.  Image result for chex cerealI hope this list will help you out of perhaps a boring snack slump.  My son and I approve of them, so I’m sure you and yours will too!  Do you have any dairy-free snack ideas your family loves?  We are always looking to try new things!  Have a great week, everyone! 
Family, Traveling, Uncategorized

Ben’s First Camping Trip

Hello, everyone!

We are well into the week now, and man, this one really seems to be flying by for me.  Anyone else?  Brandon, Ben, Jack, & I went on Ben’s first camping trip to a lake about 45 minutes from our house over the weekend.  We had heard amazing things about this place, but for some reason, had never been.  My goodness, it was so beautiful!  We are already excited to go back!  We met my parents there, who were camping for the whole weekend.  They let us set our little tent up on their campsite, and we were so anxious to make s’mores and something called “Woofem Pies” on the fire.

The day was scorching hot, so the lake felt amazing.  We took their new kayaks out for a try (which only made us want to get kayaks even more than we already do!), and were  having the best time.  Jack even went in for an impromptu swim at the lake while I was letting him get a drink.  I should’ve known better than to trust a lab around water to just “get a drink”… I ended up bouncing all over some huge rocks as he dragged me around so he could cool off and splash around!  We went back to the campsite for lunch and to swim in the pool.  Ben LOVES the water, and it makes me so proud that he is so comfortable around it like I’ve always been.  He was one tired little fish!  It was so sunny and beautiful.  The forecast was showing this perfect weather all weekend… no rain in sight…

and then it rained.

I mean, RAINED.  Out of no where, it began DOWNPOURING and hailing.  The wind picked up and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it rain so hard in my life!  It didn’t take long until we were all completely drenched.  Actually, that’s an understatement.  I don’t think I could’ve gotten more wet if I was submerged in water.  And since the storm was so sudden and unexpected, our tent window was wide open, and it was like we were inviting the water in.  Our air mattress almost became a raft that floated away, had our tent not been steaked into the ground.  But just as quickly as it came on, the rain stopped, the hail melted, and the sun was out again.  We couldn’t do anything but laugh as we tried to wring everything we owned out to dry in the sun.

Well, it ended doing that again about an hour later, with another bad storm to follow.  Others in the campground were losing their tents, their canopies… everything.  No one even saw the storm coming.  Pairing that with Ben being SO exhausted but having trouble falling asleep in such a weird place, with a sopping wet dog that is terrified of storms, and the fact that we clearly weren’t as prepared as I tried to be, we decided it was best if we just made a late night drive home to all sleep in our DRY, cool beds before the next storm came.

To make a long story short, Ben’s first camping trip was just a long day trip.  We are planning a more prepared (and hopefully overnight!) camping trip later this summer, and I will share with you all how it goes!

I keep thinking about ‘if Id known, I would’ve done *this* differently’, but I’m trying to stop myself when those thoughts creep up.  The thing is, I did the best I could based on the forecast I saw and for our first night in a tiny tent with a baby and a dog.  I planned, prepared, and packed, but sometimes, God has other plans.  I’m thankful we had an amazing day, we got to see my family, and that the drive was short enough to make it home that night to sleep in our beds.  We made some amazing memories, so all you can do is brush it off and laugh!  I’m choosing to look at life that way.

I hope you all decide that no matter what is going on in your world, you can change your mood if you change your mindset.  Take charge of your situation, look at all the good, and turn it into a positive experience!

Have a great rest of your week!

20180616_105358
Ben helping Brandon set up the tent
20180616_121414
Getting ready for a day on the lake! Jack is the most adventurous dog and is always along for the ride.
20180616_124318_001
Brandon and my dad going out on the kayaks
20180616_125003
Ben and my mom playing in the sun.  He loves his Grammy!
20180617_111031
Cooling off at the pool
Family, Uncategorized

January 2018

We kicked off our year in the way most parents of 1-year olds do… ASLEEP! Brandon and I put Ben to sleep around 9, popped open some bubbly (sparkling apple juice 😂) while watching an episode of Parks and Rec, and were in bed by 10:30.

*cue the grandma/ grandpa comments*

I know, we sound SO lame for some 20- somethings. But talk to me when you know your baby will be bright-eyed and ready to climb furniture eat the dog’s food destroy the house play just a few hours after you fell asleep. No one said keeping the kids alive making responsible parenting choices was easy all the time 🙄

We still had an amazing New Year’s Day, albeit a cold one here in Ohio. Brandon was off work so we spent the day hibernating and playing with our new Christmas gifts. We also booked our vacation for our 10 year anniversary in May! (Sidenote: I seriously can NOT believe we starting dating 10 years ago and got married 5 years ago this year. Time flies, and the older I get, the quicker the years seem to go.) We decided on a cruise, which is what we did for our honeymoon and it was amazing. It will be a whole new kind of fun with a toddler on board, and we are so excited to make vacation memories with him. I’ve been doing some research on taking toddlers on cruises. (Have you guys done it? I’d love to hear your advice!) The cruise being booked is also giving me some motivation to get back into working out, which I’ve neglected doing due to the cold and winter blues.

Ben has been CRACKING us up lately with his adorable personality. He is so independent and fearless, which is enough to keep this mama on her toes! He’s figured out that if he climbs Jack, he can get up onto the couch or coffee table. It’s like an undiscovered jungle gym up there! He’s also learned how to shake his head no, which he uses very freely and appropriately when we ask him to eat foods he doesn’t want to, or to get down from the coffee table. We’ve been taking him to play areas more to get some energy out, and he loves playing with the other kids. He’s the sweetest boy, always smiling, sharing, and curious.

We took him sledding for the first time after getting several inches of snow. He was NOT a fan of the cold, or maybe it was the dozen layers we bundled him up in. He could hardly move his arms and he kept tipping over from the weight of his coat and snowpants, which made him pretty upset, so we didn’t stay long. We’ll try again next year!

Any time we go to the store, Ben loves to wave and blow kisses to everyone, making friends wherever we go. He also knows lots of body parts and points to them when you say their name. He fake coughs and fake laughs, and it’s the cutest. He loves making others laugh, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the class clown at school one day. He is the best boy at naptime and bedtime, and I’m so grateful. He will roll over and put himself to sleep in his bed. I couldn’t be more proud of the little boy he’s becoming.

We’re having a great month here, and if it’s any sign of what’s to come for the new year, I think we are on a great path! Thanks for reading!

(He almost didn’t make it to 12 pm for the toddler “Noon Years” celebration at the library, after missing his morning nap! 😂)
Family, Traveling

“I think breastfeeding is GREAT! But only if…”

“I’m all for breastfeeding, but only if…”

No, stop right there.

If you find yourself telling a breastfeeding mother that you believe in breastfeeding, but ONLY:

  • If she covers up
  • If she does it away from everyone
  • If she is sitting on a public toilet hiding away
  • If she stops when the baby has teeth
  • If she stops when the baby reaches x weeks/months/ years old

… then I shouldn’t have to say that you are NOT actually for breastfeeding.

The only thing worse than someone that is against the most natural thing on the planet… the thing God designed our bodies to do– feed our babies– is someone that acts like they’re okay with breastfeeding (or worse, tells everyone they support it), but has all kinds of stipulations and fine print associated with their statements.

I’m in complete awe over the lack of education and support in America in 2018. I really thought we would’ve gotten it together by now. I’ve had blankets thrown over my baby’s head while he’s eating, all because someone else has felt uncomfortable. What’s the shame in him eating? If I had a bottle of formula in my hand, would you still throw a hot, heavy blanket over him on a sunny day, putting him in the dark and away from fresh air and seeing his mom’s face, all because you feel what we are doing is obscene and pornographic? What if I told you this was a woman that did this wholeheartedly believes she was supporting me and insists that she believes breastfeeding is great? This was after asking if I would rather sit on a public toilet and lock the stall door because everyone else was eating and I was “making a scene”.
Would you like to eat your lunch in a public bathroom or with a blanket over your head? I didn’t think so.

To all mothers and caregivers: do not be hesitant to feed your baby. Breast or bottle, in public or private, feed and comfort your baby. You do not need to cover up or hide away, unless YOU want to. Don’t let someone that “feels uncomfortable” stop you from giving your little one exactly what you know they need.
Mamas, please feed your babies WHATEVER you want, HOWEVER you want, WHENEVER you want, and WHEREVER you want, for AS LONG AS YOU WANT. You know what is best for your child.
The law is on your side, and no one can make you stop because they feel uncomfortable. Let’s be brave, encourage each other, and educate those around us of the many wonderful benefits of nursing our babies to normalize the beautiful art that is breastfeeding.

These (unedited) photos were taken by my supportive husband on our first vacation as a family of three, when Ben was 6 months old. We had just hiked the steepest mountain I’d ever been on, and the view from the top was breathtaking. It was incredibly hot and Ben was getting hungry, so I decided to skip the cover, even though there were people all around. The confidence I felt after a difficult hike and giving my son the healthiest, most natural food for him, with a view like that, was invigorating. When a woman nearby saw us and smiled, telling me what I was doing was beautiful, I felt so proud. Someone could’ve easily ruined that memory for me right then and there, but thanks to her encouraging words, I’ll never forget that moment.

The happiest baby is a FED baby! 🙂

Cooking, Family, Health

My Favorite Dairy-Free Snacks (& treats)

Happy Monday!

Brandon left for a work trip early this morning, which leaves me at home in chilly January with a wild little toddler!  We wanted to go with him, but since he was only going to be gone for 5 days, spending the money on a flight, rental car, and to board our dog didn’t make sense.  We are a little sad, but trying to make the most of it!

Saturday, I went to my mailbox to find a care package from a lady I met a few weeks ago.  She was asking if anyone had any extra breastmilk they would be able to donate for her twin granddaughters coming into town from out of state for the holidays.  I am very thankful to be able to produce enough milk for Ben plus enough for our freezer, in case of emergencies.  As our breastfeeding journey continues, I haven’t needed to dip into the stash very much (and he prefers getting his milk from the tap!), so I’ve been able to give it to (now) 4 babies that also need it.  It brings me so much joy to be able to do so.  Anyway, this care package was unexpected, but included a kind thank you note, a photo of the adorable little babies, and a roller of an essential oil mix that she called, “Happy Mama”.  It smells so pretty and I’ve been using it to help me relax while he is gone.  It really does make me feel calmer, and knowing how much they appreciated my milk makes my heart smile so big!  I love nothing more than unexpectedly showing true gratitude.  I could tell she genuinely appreciated the gift when she came to pick it up, but this gesture went above and beyond, making my whole week.

Today is a rainy one, so we have decided to stay in our jammies and spend lots of time snuggling while Dad is gone.  Ben takes after me in his love of snacks, which I’ve stocked up on for this week!  Dairy unfortunately upsets Ben’s belly, so we have cut out snacks and treats with butter, milk, and cheese from both of our diets, since it travels through my breastmilk to him. It was a little tough to remove dairy from my life.  I’ve ALWAYS enjoyed milk, cheesy/buttery meals, ice cream, yogurt, and milk chocolate.  You don’t realize how many things contain dairy until you start looking at labels.  The good news is that it has gotten significantly easier.  I have found so many dairy-free and vegan treats that I have found to taste similar, or even better, to their COWnterparts (get it?).  Since so many people I know have babies with sensitivities like Ben, or are realizing the adverse effects of dairy and are adapting to the dairy-free lifestyle like me, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorite snacks and treats that contain zero dairy (and SOY)!

SNACKS

  • LÄRABAR has been a favorite of mine since before Ben came around!  They have over 20 flavors with minimal ingredients, are all natural, and are individually packaged, making them super convenient for diaper bags and purses.  I always have one with me!

Image result for larabar

  • Nuts are another great, natural treat.  My husband’s favorite are the mixed assorted nuts from Aldi.  They are perfectly salted and contain lots of healthy fats and some protein.  I keep a little container of them in my car while I’m running errands so my hunger doesn’t get the best of me and lead to bad decisions (I see you, Chick Fil-A!).

Specially Selected Deluxe Mixed Nuts with Sea Salt

  • Apples seem like such an obvious choice, but I have a new appreciation for an organic apple, sliced, with a little peanut butter.  Sometimes, I’ll put the slices on a plate, sprinkle them with cinnamon, and will warm them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  It tastes so much like apple pie without all the added sugar!  Bonus: Ben loves them too!
  • I came across THESE Maple Walnut & Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Healthy Life Redesign when I was looking for a healthy snack for our vacation last summer.  I made them for hiking snacks, and Brandon and I devoured them all!  They are totally amazing and provided us with a lot of much-needed energy to hike with our 6 month old in the mountains along The Blue Ridge Parkway, and didn’t come with any guilt or a sugary crash later on.  I’ve made them several times sense, and they never last long!

 

TREATS

  • Theo Peanut Butter Cups are my newest obsession!  Reeses are made with milk chocolate and lots of added chemicals I don’t want to consume.  These guys are organic, vegan, fair trade, and are shaped like hearts (which I’m totally convinced makes ANYTHING taste better!).  They are the perfect treat without being too indulgent.

Image result for theo peanut butter cups

  • SO Delicious Dairy Free Bars are also so incredible.  It’s so difficult to find a treat to satisfy my sweet tooth that doesn’t taste really coconut-ty or contain dairy or soy.  For the times you want to totally indulge, these are perfect and creamy.  SO Delicious has several flavors of treats I can’t wait to try, but these double chocolate ones are my favorite!

Double Chocolate Delight

  • “Nice Cream” is what I call the dairy free ice cream I make at home that is so healthy and yummy!  I peel a few ripe bananas (the more ripe they are, the sweeter they will be), break them into 3 or 4 pieces each, and pop them in the freezer.  When you are ready for a treat, take them out of the freezer, put them in your blender or food processor (I have a Ninja chopper that does a perfect job), add a little almond or cashew milk, and blend!  I’ve also made this with cocoa powder and peanut butter powder to make different flavors, depending on my mood, but it’s so good as is.  My picky husband wasn’t sure he’d like it, but when I gave him a bite of mine one day, he ended up finishing the whole bowl!
  • Chocolate chip cookies are one of my all-time favorites.  But with all the butter in the usual recipe, I can no longer enjoy them like I’d like.  I found THIS recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron on Pinterest and have made them many times.  Not only are they dairy and soy free, but they are gluten free and low in sugar, as well.  No funky chemicals here.  When made with dairy-free chocolate chips like Enjoy Life brand, you can enjoy a few after dinner without the guilt!  I’ve made them as stated and also as double chocolate by omitting the cinnamon and adding cocoa powder.

I’m always looking for healthy and yummy treats for Ben and I to enjoy.  Do you have any favorites I should try?  I’d love to hear what you think about these ones!