Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Best Ever Vegan Cupcakes

I have started to experiment with dairy-free cooking because A has had some major stomach issues when she eats dairy. She has been feeling sad that everyone eats junk food and they can go about their day feeling fine while she almost instantly gets a stomach ache. She's tried using the Lactaid pills but she really hated having to take them every time she wanted to eat something with dairy.

I started searching on Pinterest for dairy-free recipes to make for A. I found an excellent oatmeal chocolate chip recipe (I'll post about that soon!) and I found this recipe. The recipe is from babble.

I followed the recipe exactly. We used plain, unsweetened almond milk for the non-dairy milk and I used Canola oil, because that was all I had on hand. For the frosting I used Smart Balance butter, again because that was what I had. The frosting was a tad oily but I think it has to do with the butter, it is an oil-based dairy-free butter. We were able to make 24 mini cupcakes with the recipe. The batter was very thin so we were worried it wouldn't rise but they turned out great!

The perfect bite-sized cupcake
We devoured the cupcakes in a matter of hours. All of the girls loved them and no one missed the dairy. This will be our new go-to recipe for cupcakes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Wandering Heart

I still miss the open road.

We stopped traveling almost two years ago but I often feel the urge to pack up and leave. My husband doesn't feel the same. He feels happy staying right here. But I want to go EVERYWHERE. There are so many places to see and explore. I feel like I'm meant to see it all. I want my kids to see it all. I know homeschooling was torture and traveling was more expensive than we thought, but I still love it and miss it.

We are still trying to sell our travel trailer. When we sell it I will cry. Every time I open the door to the RV I am flooded with the good memories we made in that tiny 200 square foot space. I think about how much fun the girls had learning about Gulf Coast animals and their habitats. I remember how much fun we had exploring Williams, Arizona and how I thought we could totally live there. It was so beautiful. I remember how much I loved Austin, minus the intense humidity. I think about how much fun the girls had riding bikes, swimming in pools and oceans, climbing rocks and learning about each place we visited.

I want to cuddle up with the girls while we hear the rain pound down on our roof. I want to open all the windows and smell the hot, salty air. I want to watch my kids explore forests, mountains, deserts, and oceans.

I would leave tomorrow if we could. But we can't. So, I will find peace in routine and stability and long, hot showers! I need to tame my wandering heart.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hello Again!

It's been so long since I've posted anything! I have just been so busy with life that I haven't been able to find the time to blog. Hopefully I can come up with some sort of routine and get back into the swing of things.

My parents closed escrow on their dream house earlier this month. It's in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, which is exactly what they wanted. They bought a cute little house on six acres with a creek. The girls are in love with the creek. We spent Easter with my parents and the girls were splashing around almost the whole time we were there.

My brother and his girlfriend moved to Tennessee. It wasn't their original plan but they're here now and that makes me happy! My brother is so amazing, it only took him about five minutes to find a new chef job. I'm very proud of him.

Rob's dad passed away. Rob has two dads, his biological father and his step-dad, the dad that passed away was his step-dad but Rob has never ever considered his step-dad as anything other than DAD. It was really hard on the whole family. We drive to Arizona to be with my mother-in-law and to attend the memorial. Rob's mom is now all alone in Arizona. She's decided to move out here! She visited last week and we spent most of the time trying to find her the perfect house. It was harder than I expected. We found two great houses but they rented before we could even get an application in. I'm going to keep looking for her while she gets everything taken care of back in Arizona.

My plan to get everyone I like to move to Tennessee is slowly taking shape!! Mwah ha ha ha ha!!

Here are some pictures of Nashville for your viewing pleasure

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Plaid Turkey
Thanksgiving is only a few hours away. I am very excited to be eating dinner with my parents this year. We didn't get to spend the holidays with them last year so I am definitely thankful that we're all in the same state now. I do wish Rob's family was closer so we could see them too.

We plan to stuff ourselves silly with yummy turkey. We will eat all of the traditional Thanksgiving goodness. I think I'm most looking forward to green bean casserole. I know it sounds weird but it really is my favorite. Everyone but me will eat pumpkin pie, I hate pie so I won't be eating it. Rob will put Cool Whip on his pie and my dad will use Ready Whip. Neither one of them can stand the other type of whipped cream. It's kind of funny. Since I hate pie I've decided to move our Christmas tradition of fudge to Thanksgiving. I've already made my grandma's "world famous" fudge.

Last year was probably the best Thanksgiving ever because we had such an amazing time camping outside of Nashville. I loved it so much, I wish we were doing that again this year. Maybe we will eventually start a family tradition of camping during the holiday. It would be much easier this time around since we could prep and cook all our food ahead of time and just re-heat everything in the RV. It was difficult cooking a turkey in a tiny RV oven!! If it weren't for that Thanksgiving we would have never decided to call Tennessee home.

So, this year I am thankful for our home, the good food we're going to eat and having my parents here. I'm thankful for my crazy kids that make me want to pull my hair out sometimes. I'm thankful for my husband that puts up with my crazy, indecisiveness. I'm thankful that we're all healthy. I'm thankful for everything! I am often homesick but I do love it here and I am thankful that it has all worked out for the best for us!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh, deer!

In my 31 years of living in California I can count the times I've seen deer in the wild on one hand. Three, that's how many deer I've seen in my home state.

I have seen many deer since leaving the state and traveling around the country. While driving in Oregon, one early morning we saw a family of deer nibbling on leaves. We saw deer in Wyoming and South Dakota everywhere we went. The only state on our trip I remember not seeing deer is Louisiana. We've seen more deer in the last year than I could ever count.

We've also seen more dead deer than I can count. I remember exactly when and where we were when we all saw our first dead deer. We were camping in Tennessee for Thanksgiving 2012. We woke up to take the dogs out for a walk when we noticed a deer on the back of a truck parked at a camping spot a few spaces down from us. Obviously, the person had just returned to the campsite from hunting. It was interesting and sad to see. The girls didn't really know what to think of it. On a drive from Tennessee to Alabama we saw numerous deer dead on the side of the freeway. I've seen two dead deer near our house. One was headless, the other was being eaten by turkey vultures. And recently, while splashing the monster truck around in the mud we stumbled upon what we can only assume was a deer ribcage. Most of the dead deer didn't really bother me. Maybe it's because I didn't have to watch them die. Maybe it's because I notice the dead animal and quickly look away.

That all changed on Friday. I was traumatized by what I witnessed while leaving our house!

We were heading to the Post Office and Rob spotted a deer across the street, behind a bush. The deer looked frightened. We were watching it, wishing it to hop back into the woods and get away from the road. The deer took a few steps into the street then he quickly jumped back on the sidewalk. The look in his eyes showed how confused and terrified he was. I thought he'd go back into the trees but he didn't. Right as two cars were driving by he jumped back into the street. This time he was hit by a car, a cop car. The car only hit the deer's back end, the deer hobbled to the side of the road and for a brief second we thought the deer was going to just "shake it off" and be okay. He wasn't and it was terrible to watch! The deer collapsed in the grass next to the sidewalk and started to die, at least that's what I assume was happening. I had to look away many times because it made me want to cry. The deer's back leg flopped around a few times before he stopped moving. We finally pulled out of the driveway and went to the post office. There was nothing we could do and the cop was handling the situation so we had to finish our errands.

I was thankful that C couldn't figure out what was happening in the backseat. I was also so glad the girls' bus hadn't just dropped them off, it would have been so awful for a bus full of kids to witness that. It was an hour before the bus would drop the kids off.

When we came back home we noticed the deer was gone, the cop car was parked at the nearby veterinary clinic. While I know the deer probably died, I'd like to think the Veterinarian fixed up that deer and released him back into the wild.

chevron deer

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Fall

My Wordless Wednesdays are never wordless. Oh well. I took this picture a few days ago we drove through a local state park. I would like to build a house right in the middle of this road!!!

fall colors

Fall in Tennessee is GORGEOUS!


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