We did a bit of spring cleaning around here. By spring cleaning I mean that I was running out of drawer space and empty hangers, so decided we needed to do some purging. Andy was skeptical at first so I made it easy. I pulled out the clothing in his closet that in the last 3 years I’ve NEVER seen him wear and he got to take a vote. If it was yes to keeping it, I made him try it on. Which is what I have to do. It’s a harsh reality. What I’ve learned is that 10 times out of 10 I don’t ever fit back into it. I tell myself I’ve just gained more muscle, I’m getting stronger people, not gaining weight over the years.

Anyway, we did some much needed closet cleaning and instead of just making a quick pit stop at the local thrift store, I looked into a nearby donation center.

Frontline Mission

I also went through our cupboards and filled a few grocery bags for a food donation as well. That giant box of Maple Sugar oatmeal has been staring me down for quite some time, it might as well go to use rather than just taking up space. Make room for that delicious sugary Peaches & Cream kind.

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(don’t worry, this wasn’t the whole selection)

It’s easy to take meals and clothing for granted. We sometimes get caught up that we need to have that new cute summer dress, even though there are 6 similar ones hanging in the closet. I am the queen of not eating leftovers and they inevitably just grow into a creature and have to be thrown away. I really admire the people who can live completely simple. Happiness with just necessities. I won’t lie. I love shoes, and $5 iced coffees. I have a major weakness for bargains because, of course, I have a real need for that ink and stamp kit. It’s only $7.99!

Frontline Mission helps with all needs. Hot meals are available three days a week. They have a food pantry that distributes groceries every Friday morning. They also have a great program called Frontline Closet that has donated clothing for men, woman and children available, along with small household items.

So perhaps the next time you do some cleaning for yourself, you can look for a local donation center and give back to those that need a little help right now. As their website states, hunger doesn’t take a holiday.

Black Bean Brownies and Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ready for some recipes that sound weird?!

I love new recipes and usually test out new desserts as often as I can. I’m definitely not above a cake recipe that asks for 3 cups of butter or a batch of cookies that has 14 different kinds of candy in them. But the ones that call for vegetables seem to always entice me. If you haven’t tried Red Velvet Cupcakes made with beets you are missing out. These are two of the recipes that are tried and true. I’ve made these brownies for several parties and they get gobbled up fast.

Black Bean Brownies adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups rinsed black beans (15 oz can)

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 cup oats

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil (coconut oil tastes much better in my opinion)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2-2/3 cup chocolate chips- your choice of dark, milk, semisweet

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This is the easy part. Take all your ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and throw them in the blender. I melt my coconut oil a bit before hand so it all blends much easier.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sorry, should have told you that sooner.

Pour batter into greased 8×8 pan, I prefer to line my pan with tin foil, makes for easier removal and clean up. On top of your batter, sprinkle your chocolate and slightly push in.


Bake for 15-18 minutes. A toothpick wont come out clean because these are a fudgier brownie, but they will be somewhat firm to the touch.


While these are cooling, lets prepare the cookies.

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cup rinsed chickpeas (15 oz can)

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup coconut

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

dash of sea salt

1 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 cup chocolate chips

First off, shell your chickpeas. It isn’t a requirement but just like when you make hummus, shelled beans make the texture so much better. It’s somewhat time consuming but well worth it.


Just like with the brownies, blend all your ingredients except the chocolate chips. I scooped mine into a bowl to mix in the chocolate and for easier handling.


Your oven should still be set at 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray. Slightly wet your hands since the dough will be really sticky. Form into balls and flatten into a traditional cookie shape. These won’t rise so whatever shape you form them into, they will stay.


Bake for 15 minutes or slightly less if your oven runs hot like mine. Let cool along side your brownies.

Both recipes are refined sugar free, and gluten free, so they accommodate all sorts of people with food allergies or restrictions. And are super tasty at that!


Now to see if they make it long enough to share.


I have nine weeks left. Nine, people! The countdown has begun. Well, it’s been going on for a while but I’m on the last stretch. In the last several weeks we’ve been doing the finishing touches on getting the babe’s room ready for him.

We live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch style home. We decided that when baby number two came into the picture, whether it was a boy or girl, Hayden would share her room. We have the spare bedroom set up for guests and it also serves as my craft space. My sewing and art projects can be started and left unfinished, and I can simply close the door and little hands stay off of them. It might be a bit selfish, but I’m not ready to give that up. And also, I don’t want have to pick up a household and two children’s demolished bedrooms, one will suffice. My husband has a lot more siblings than I do so he grew up where most of them all shared a bedroom at some point with a sibling or three. I read many articles regarding opposite sex siblings sharing a room. I feel like the pros far outweigh the cons, in fact most of the articles only had a few cons, and they didn’t arise until the children were older.

 Sharing a room will help Hayden bond with her brother and hopefully help her transition out of that “only child” phase, we have to really work with her on sharing lately. That being said, we needed to make some changes to her room currently. Andy added some shelves in the closet and I found a small two drawer dresser that fit perfectly in there for all the little man’s clothes. We painted Hayden’s room last summer and went with a grey blue color so it made redecorating the room a whole lot easier.  I started with the curtains. Originally the room had dark purple curtains and I sewed a pair of curtains out of a white cotton fabric with light blue polka dots. Works for a boy or a girl, or both in this case.


I was very fortunate that with Hayden I was given most of my baby furniture. Crib, changing table, dressers..

We pulled out the crib from storage and decided to give it a fresh coat of paint to spruce it up. White seemed like a good choice.


Turns out that crib sheets are easy to make. When you follow directions. My first run at it was disastrous. I loaded up on fabric and elastic to make baby boy a collection of his own.


Fat quarters pieced together make adorable and easy peasy receiving blankets.


Hayden has her fair share of princess garb but when I redecorated her room, I didn’t want it super girly. I found some really great prints to help add a boyish tone but keep it, key word here, neutral.


That animal shadow box was made by my favorite lady and I just love it! The other prints are inexpensive downloads from Etsy. Just purchase, download and print, all from the comfort of my couch.


A shop called UrbanWalls had this fantastic alphabet print along with decals we are going to use on the wall behind the crib.


There is a shop on Instagram called Yarn_Bombed_Antlers. If you haven’t seen it, check them out, this lady is so stellar! Andy is an outdoorsy man, and has a collection of antlers. I did my own version of yarn bombing a pair of antlers from Andy’s childhood. A good mixture of both of our tastes.


For Hayden’s second birthday, Andy made her a toy chest. I swapped out pink blankets and pillows for grey, which I think is a perfect shade to create a, here we go again, neutral space.


Throw in some mini Dr. Seuss books, automobiles and dinosaurs and your set.


I’m sure we’ll soon acquire a collection of army men, Spiderman action heroes and Legos, but for now we have a good start of toys for the little man to crawl and chew on.


I’ll be honest. Decorating for a girl is a lot easier. I procrastinated for a bit with this project because I wasn’t quite sure how to get into “boy” mode. It turned out to be really fun though. I don’t get to wander into the boy section very often so it’s been an exciting transition.

Moving onto diaper bags. I have amazing friends and family who buy me the best bags in the world.


My fashionably fabulous friend Jennifer bought me the Kate Spade bag, which is a perfect blend of diaper bag, weekender bag, and snazzy oversize purse. I love that it’s easy to wipe down, god knows babies manage to get their fluids EVERYWHERE. And once it serves it’s purpose as a diaper bag, it still can be a staple with your wardrobe. Now, onto the Kelly Moore bag. It’s so GORGEOUS, I can’t even stand it. This bag is the A Beautiful Mess edition. I tried so desperately to win one on Instagram since Elsie and Emma of AMB blog are amazing. That obviously didn’t pan out but to my surprise, my ever so thoughtful SIL’s got it for me. *singing praises right now* Just look at the inside of this beauty. inside

What I love about both of them is these handy little diaper pads. Inevitably your baby needs their diaper changed in the worst places.


I’m ever so slowly starting to get packed for the party. Newborn diapers and clothes have got to be the cutest things ever. They are just so precious and TINY! Especially incredibly small and adorable moccasins.


We’ve got a handle on the décor now if I can only figure out how to better manage this killer heartburn…


Where does the time go? Seriously. It’s been weeks since I’ve posted, yet most days I take pictures or start a post in my head, but it never makes it to the page. The past few weeks have been packed to the max. Yard work and house projects. Andy’s parents moved here from the lower 48 and that has been time consuming for everyone to say the least. Andy’s brother was our house guest for the past week also. There are babies to prepare for, and more family due to arrive in a couple weeks. In the middle of all that, a celebration was in order. A year ago, life looked a little something like this…

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This last one is one of my favorites and blondie in the front is probably going to yell at me, but it’s to much fun to pass up. These ladies are simply put, the best ever.


The last year has been a whirlwind. A whirlwind I’ll always cherish though. Andy and I didn’t get the opportunity to go on a honeymoon so in the past few months we’ve been trying to plan for a special trip on our first anniversary. Plans A, B, and C all fell through. And plan D of at least getting away for a night didn’t even get called into play until hours before we were due to leave. We just decided to wing it. I planned the night before for Hayden to have a sleepover with her cousins and got up Sunday morning with Andy and we booked a hotel and made dinner reservations in Anchorage. We’d figure out the rest as we went. The weather didn’t look like it was really going to be in our favor so we figured we would at the very least enjoy some alone time to reminisce about the past year.

Someone was looking out for us though.

The hotel we booked has an unsolved glitch with their website that it allows you to book a room that is not available. Fantastic. So when we arrived to check in, our reservation was non existent. The hotel we attempted to stay at happens to be owned by one of Anchorage’s finest hotels, The Captain Cook. It’s beautiful and fancy, and really expensive. For our inconvenience, they set us up with a gorgeous ocean facing room at a rate $150 cheaper than what they normally charge. Score! We settled in, and soaked in the view.


The forecasted rain held off for us and we enjoyed sunny skies and ice cream for a stroll through downtown. We hit up a new spot for dinner. An Asian fusion restaurant, Ginger.


Andy tried out a new brew and I kicked back with a few virgin mojitos. Our lettuce wrap appetizer was AMAZING.


Andy ordered a king salmon fillet over coconut jasmine rice, with blood orange coleslaw and a fancy sauce that I can’t even remember how it’s pronounced. I went for the seared sea scallops over a 3 cheese pasta with truffle oil. We literally sat in silence for a good 10 minutes inhaling our food, it was that delicious.

main course

We polished our plates clean, thankful we actually had a few blocks worth of walking to do in order to get back to our hotel. We needed the exercise in order to breathe. On our trek back we encountered Betty and Bill the horse, offering carriage rides through the city. Yes please!

horse ride

Annoyingly all the other pictures I took of our horse drawn adventure didn’t save. Oh bother.

After our city stroll, we headed back to the hotel. On our way, we stopped and bought a bottle of wine to save for next years anniversary. We each wrote a note to each other saying what we hoped the next years worth of marriage would bring for us. The wine and notes got wrapped up and hopefully I can remember for next year, and we can start a new tradition.

Our evening was quiet and romantic and absolutely perfect.



We woke up to another day that had sunshine when forecasted to rain. We took advantage of our open schedule, grabbed some breakfast and coffees to go and walked down the next block to the bike rental trailer.

We picked out a blue beauty of a cruiser and set off for the coastal trail. The best part of a tandem bike is that this 7 month prego got to hang out on the back and do a whole lot of nothing but laugh and smile.




I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for our first anniversary celebration. If this is a glimpse into what all the years to come look like, I will truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Happy Anniversary to the wonderful man of my dreams.

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