3 months

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This ham is three months old today.
He smiles and talks. Only when he talks he breaths in really hard, so it’s like everything he says is reeeeally dramatic. It’s adorable.
He loves to snuggle and lay on your chest, and is rather entertained by his sister. Bath time and baby massages are among some his favorites.

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He’s got tummy time down pretty good and even gets a roll over in there every once in a while.

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I won’t be clich√© and say that time flies and tell people to enjoy it because they grow up so fast.
What I’ve learned with baby number two is that as parents we in a sense start to wish time away. It seems like it goes by so quickly because we are always in anticipation of the next milestone. Those first smiles. The long awaited giggle. When the crawl turns into first steps.
Then soon your planning first birthdays and it becomes one blur of moments.
Hayden and I moved to Alaska on her 3 months mark, to the day. And now we’re preparing for her to go preschool this fall. A preschooler you guys!!

Truth be told, time hasn’t flown by. To get to where we are now has been quite a journey. One with stressful days and hard nights. Moments that have tested our every bit of patience and strength as parents. I look back though and those 3 1/2 years have been jam packed with beautiful memories. Our first house.

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Hayden learning to walk and talk and blooming into a little lady with such a huge personality.

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Our wedding day. So many holidays and special occasions. Tackling potty training and learning the alphabet song.
So my advise to new parents would instead be to ensure your time is meaningful. Let time be good to you. Even the moments that are hard. The countless sleepless nights. The puke covered shirts and massive amount of sheets and blankets you have to wash because they pee everywhere. When they are screaming and nothing seems to work. And all those moments that make you feel as if you have failed. They will pass. The good days will far outweigh the bad and soon enough they will be older and just a little wiser, and you’ll miss those days when they were so tiny and sweet. Like this guy.

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chocolate quinoa cake

I did a previous post making two desserts that featured legumes. Is that right? Black beans and chickpeas are legumes, I think. Anyway, they are among a few healthy recipes that I’ve tested and loved. Now I have one more to add to the mix. Chocolate Quinoa Cake. In place of flour you use cooked quinoa. Lucky for me, I had an overload of it since I accidentally¬†doubled a recipe and had an overflow of the little grains around.

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It looks like rice krispie treats but it’s really not. I wish. Hey, I wonder if you could make them with quinoa? Probably not. Moving on.

ingrediants

Most everything needed for this cake I had on hand, with the exception of coconut milk, which I needed for the frosting. The most delicious frosting.

In a blender or food processor, you’re going to combine eggs, almond milk, and vanilla. Add in your cooked quinoa, melted coconut oil, and butter and blend until you get a smooth batter. Relatively smooth, it won’t resemble a box cake batter.

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Sift together your dry ingredients in a bowl. Cocoa, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add your blended ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour into your greased cake pans and put in your preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Now onto the amazing frosting. I would use this frosting for most anything else as well, and it can have so many variations. It takes just a little planning ahead, but having only two ingredients makes it so simple.

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You’ll need to stick a can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before, allowing the solid coconut to form at the top. You’ll open and scoop out this part into a bowl of chocolate chips. (No need to toss the rest, just stick in the fridge and use for other recipes)

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You’ll melt and stir, slowly. I did really small increments in the microwave but you could use a double boiler method if you prefer. Once melted and combined, allow to cool briefly then stick in the fridge for several hours to thicken back up. You’ll then remove and beat with a mixer until it reaches the consistency you like. Do your best to not eat most of it out of the bowl. Save some for the cake.

Once your cakes have cooled, remove from the pans and allow to rest and cool a bit longer. I used parchment paper which made handling so much easier since this cake is more fragile than a standard flour cake.

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From here on out you can probably figure out the rest. Make sure your layers are cool and it’s best to whip your frosting right before frosting your cake because once this frosting sits it starts to harden up again.

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final

I love this cake so much. It has all the elements of a delicious chocolate cake while making you feel a little bit better about yourself since it’s not loaded with all the “bad stuff.” I use quotes because I’m a big fan of the bad stuff so I don’t really think it’s bad. Those of you that are gluten free, this guy is right up your alley.

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This cake will fool the strictlers, wow your guests when you tell them what’s in it, and just might make the nay sayers change their mind about that silly little grain that most people can’t pronounce. KEEN-WAH. You’re welcome.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

4 whole eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup evaporated cane juice sugar (or whatever sugar you prefer)

1 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk- for frosting

10 oz bag chocolate chips- for frosting

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arctic life: november

Last year Thanksgiving was a whole lot of turkey and a whole lot of sledding. While we could easily be looking at the same scenario for this year, this week’s almost 50 degree weather is a pleasant surprise. Instead of being rushed into winter it actually still seems like fall around here.

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Lakes and creeks are mostly frozen over but the greenery around still hangs on for a last stretch before snowfall.

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While most of my plants are past their prime, a few stragglers soak up what sunshine they can before the days start getting short.

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Flower beds that were once full of blooms are now just hidden with a blanket of leaves. I tell myself I’m “winterizing” them but really I’m just lazy and will just clean them out this spring.

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In a matter of a few short weeks, summer turns to fall and soon snow is laying at your doorstep. With the orange and red scenery still hanging on and the golden morning sun filling up my front porch, it seems the autumn season is here to stay for a just a little while longer.

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