•October 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment
We visited Great Sand Dunes National Park in August. It’s a uniquely beautiful place, and though we were worried that it might be unpleasantly hot that time of year, the weather was very comfortable (high temperature each day in the low 80s). There is a creek that flows at the base of the sand dunes, and we expected that it would be dry by that time of year, but a wide shallow stream was still flowing. The stream was really fun for little ones to play in, and pleasant for everyone to cool their feet in. We also rented sand sleds and had fun sledding down the dunes. We briefly attempted hiking up the tallest dunes (which are the tallest in North America!), but there was a lot of wind during the morning we made the attempt, and hiking through sandstorm-like conditions was not our idea of a good time. This National Park is not super well known, and rather isolated, so we enjoyed that it was not crowded.
We stayed at the Great Sand Dunes Lodge, the only non-camping option near the park. Check out the lovely view from our patio at the Lodge, and our hummingbird friend! The Lodge was perfect for us: a quick drive from our area of interest, with a quiet room including a small fridge and microwave, and an indoor pool in case we needed an indoor activity during our stay. Our two-year-old loved the “sand dudes” and proclaimed that she wanted to live there!
•September 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment
We spent several summer weekend mornings picking berries at our favorite local farm, Garden Sweet. Mostly we just gobbled those sweet berries up within a few days (or hours!), but I also got a chance to incorporate them into some yummy treats like strawberry banana pancakes and raspberry orange corn muffins. And I finally tried my hand at making jam, but the easy kind of jam…chia jam!
I liked the “easy chia jam” instructions that I found here. I opted to briefly cook our strawberries, although it’s not strictly necessary to do so. And the only other ingredients were 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 heaping tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 heaping tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chia seeds. I went light on the maple syrup since Jeff is a very low sugar kinda guy, but even he thought more maple syrup would have been nice. The consistency was great, and here’s what the finished product looked like on a pice of toast! Yum!
•February 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment
I’ve tried a lot of gluten-free breads over the past few years, and until recently, Udi’s millet-chia bread was my default bread. It’s pretty good toasted, and not bad fresh. That probably doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, but most gluten-free breads are at best edible when toasted and barely edible fresh. Then one morning at the grocery store, Jeff noticed Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bread. I decided to give their 7-grain bread a chance, and the rest is history.
Their slogan is “love bread again,” and it is apt. This bread tastes great fresh or toasted, and is even a little chewy! Bonus #1: their products are also dairy-free (and nut and soy free, although I am lucky enough to be able to eat those things). Bonus #2: they are based in Loveland, CO, which is just south of where I live! I like being able to support a local business, but even if they aren’t local to you, it looks like they sell their products in thousands of stores, and ship from their online shop.
•January 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment
I took this photo in early January, when we had a bit of snow. Some scenes are so lovely that they even look nice in phone snapshots taken through the window of a moving car.
•January 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment
I didn’t publish a single post in 2014! I’m sorry, little blog, but being a working mom is exhausting (and also not the topic of this blog, so enough about that). But in the last few months I’ve taken more photos of things that aren’t my family, and even experimented in the kitchen a bit. So let’s prepare for a small blogging comeback in 2015!
•March 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment
“We spend so much of our lives thinking back, or looking ahead, and even though a photo captures only one moment in time, with a bit of thought it can freeze the process of moving forward, or the promise of things to come. Your challenge this week is to seal one such moment in amber.”
•March 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment
These chocolate cupcakes with mint chocolate chip frosting were devoured by adults and little five- and seven-year-old taste testers alike, and nobody suspected that the cupcakes were secretly rather healthy.
For the chocolate cake, I used my chocolate zucchini muffin recipe, with a little less sugar than usual since I was planning to frost them. For the frosting, I made this really simple coconut cream-based mint chocolate chip frosting. I didn’t have any powdered sugar, so I just used regular granulated sugar, and using a hand mixer resulted in surprisingly fluffy frosting. Despite the mint flavor, you can still taste the coconut in the frosting, but we all liked the way it tasted.