lemon ice cream

This lemon ice cream was so easy to make and delicious!

IMG_2802

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • lemon oil to taste

Blenderize the above ingredients, transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker, and serve with sprinkles if you’re feeling fancy!

my favorite smoothie

A chocolate peanut butter smoothie is one of those things that is so delicious, but so hard to look appetizing in a photo.

IMG_2476

I had gum graft surgery in November, so for two weeks I was on a mushy-food-only diet while my mouth healed. This smoothie was great for liquid nutrition for those two weeks, but I like it so much that I still have it for breakfast a few times a week. It’s super simple: a banana broken into a few pieces, enough nut milk to cover the banana in the blender, a big glob of peanut butter, and a spoonful of cacao powder. Bonus: if you use a frozen banana, this smoothie tastes like a chocolate peanut butter milkshake!

charlotte

I visited friends in Charlotte, NC in late March. The weather was beautiful, so we went for a morning hike around Lake Wylie in McDowell Nature Center and Preserve.

IMG_3064IMG_3065

In the afternoon, my friend gave me a brief walking tour of uptown Charlotte. We relaxed in a quiet literary-themed pocket park called The Green. I enjoyed the book sculptures and colorful mosaic stools.

Speaking of mosaics, the Firebird sculpture in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a sparkling mosaic wonder, reflecting bits and pieces of everything around it.

IMG_3077

broken crayon craft

The little one has broken a lot of crayons over the last couple of years, and I’ve been collecting the crayon fragments because I figured we could eventually do something cool with them. This melted crayon craft project was just our speed, and our funky multi-colored crayons made great gifts for the kiddo’s friends.

After peeling the paper off of the broken crayons, we put the crayon pieces in a mini muffin pan and baked them at 170°F until they were completely melted (24 minutes). Then we removed the muffin pan from the oven, and decided to quickly stir one of the new melty crayons (a mixture of purple, blue, and pink) to make a special new shade of purple. We left the other crayons alone for a marbled look. Then we put the muffin pan in the freezer for 20 minutes. Next I inverted the pan and the new crayons all came out easily.

Our special purple swirled crayon broke when it came out of the pan, so it’s possible that our stirring before freezing affected that crayon’s structural integrity, but it turned out really pretty. A few of the other crayons broke later on, but that’s not so bad because these crayons are actually easier to draw with when they are broken in half. Overall, this was a fun recycling project to do with a three-year-old!

bunny pancakes

Last year my sister gave me this idea for a cute Easter breakfast and I made it about as simple as possible. I think these bunny pancakes will be an Easter tradition for our family, since they are so easy to make.

img_0516

I made banana pancakes using the recipe from my Babycakes Covers the Classics cookbook, and added a little tail made of shredded coconut. Of course, these pancakes are best served with a side of chocolate bunny. Hoppy Easter!

purple cauliflower soup

It’s another purple cauliflower recipe, inspired by my desire to get my purple-loving three-year-old to eat lots of veggies! Good stuff!

denver zoo

We went to the Denver Zoo in early March, and were delighted to find out that an adorable two-day-old giraffe was making its zoo debut that day. We also enjoyed seeing several animals playing with the toys in their habitats, such as the elephant and hippopotamus below.

We watched some amazing big horn sheep and mountain goats climbing on Sheep Mountain, and Bear Mountain had two beautiful grizzly bears.

This is a great zoo with all kinds of animals, but the thing we were probably most surprised to see was a Lego lion sculpture, apparently by the same artist as the Lego sculptures we saw at the McKee Botanical Garden in Florida. These awesome Lego sculptures get around!

IMG_2930

mckee botanical garden

We visited the McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach in February. The first thing that we noticed and loved was the huge stick structures, which you can go inside.

img_2720

The gardens currently have a special exhibit, Nature Connects: Art With LEGO Bricks. These super cool Lego sculptures will be in the gardens through May 7, 2017.

Our favorite Lego sculptures are shown above. The smallest of these sculptures, the “Pileated Woodpecker,” is made of 4,424 pieces. The largest, the “Monarch Butterfly On Milkweed,” contains 60,549 pieces and has an eight-foot wingspan! These Lego sculptures were so impressive, and the beautiful gardens were the perfect setting for enjoying them.

manatee observation center

During our Florida mini-vacation we visited the Manatee Observation and Education Center in Fort Pierce. When we arrived, we appreciated the manatee artwork on a bench and on the walkway to the entrance.

Inside, there was an optional scavenger hunt for kids, to encourage them to observe the different types of fish inside the building. Our three-year-old loves this sort of challenge, and the possibility of earning a little prize. There were also a few fun crafty activities for kids, and a short movie about manatees and the observation center. The best part of visiting the observation center, of course, is the chance of seeing wild manatees in the creek behind the building. The observation center has beautiful views of the creek and Indian River Lagoon, and we were lucky enough to see three manatees relaxing in the creek!

img_2628

Admission to the manatee center was only one dollar per person (!), so I highly recommend visiting if you are in the Fort Pierce area.

vero beach

We went to Vero Beach, Florida in early February to visit my parents and enjoy some warm weather.

Besides the beautiful ocean, sandy beach, and warm pool we had access to, one of the highlights of Vero Beach for me was a little vegan snack shop called Planet Yum. We went there twice and enjoyed vegan soft serve ice cream and milkshakes (the chocolate chai milkshake topped with coconut cream was fantastic), gluten-free waffles, and handmade chocolatey popsicles. Can’t wait to go back!