7/31/14

THEY RAN THROUGH BLUEBERRY FIELDS

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They Ran Through Blueberry Fields

I caught a hint of laughter traveling over the numerous rows of blueberry bushes.
The endless lanes speckled with tiny blue dots and a subtle scent of sweetness that lingered in the still air. I could hear a faint rustle of leaves and whispered words that I could barely make out, but I knew they belonged to me. The children that is, not the words. The words could only belong to the small voices that whispered them. That delicate laugher that hid behind bushes and the secrets that seemed a mystery to anybody passing by.

When I glanced upwards I noticed they were gone. The soft voices, the rustling leaves and the children. They seemed to disappear into the blueness of the sky or the open green fields that blended into the horizon.

When I glanced I little closer, I saw them running. They ran through blueberry fields, the wind at their backs and the sunlight dancing through their hair.


7/30/14

A PICNIC BY THE LAKE

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It's official, July is almost over and August is right around the corner. I'm a bit in denial, but I'll try my best to pick up and keep this summer moving along. I have my checklist, and I have to admit, it's pretty long! But we are determined to get through each activity to officially complete our summer. We've conquered the ocean, the zoo, the blueberry patches and now we can check off the lake.

When I took the kids to the lake for a day I felt like I fell down a rabbit hole back to my childhood. This is where I grew up. This is where so many of my memories are buried. If you look hard enough you may even be able to see my parent's house on the other side of the lake. And my best friend? She lived a street over, a three-and-a-half minute bike ride to be exact. Two minutes if I cut through the woods and the neighbor's lawn.

I can remember friends picking me up on the dock, our backpacks filled with towels and treats, to head over to "the beach" for the day. I haven't been back to the beach in years. So many years that I forget what it looked like, I forgot the smell of the lake, the feel of the cold sand that was brought in each year and the tiny snack stand where I had my daily slushy.

I forgot that summer could feel so free when you are a child.

As adults, we know how summer feels. We know how those vacations and trips to the zoo can quickly turn into a stress filled event. We know that school lingers at the end of summer and it has taken on a whole new meaning as a parent. Going back to the lake for a day made me realize just how free summer can and should be. While we played in the sand and tossed the football around, Jon called us to see what we were doing for the day, and I simply told him,
"Enjoying summer."

*This post is in partnership with Penny Scallan Designs
This tote bag has become one of my favorite carry alls! It's an all purpose everyday tote bag that is absolutely perfect for an on-the-go family.With small pockets and zip compartments inside and out, and a large main compartment, there is room for anything in this bag! The best part? It's made from 100% cotton canvas with a water repellent coating and polyester lined. So easy to wipe down and keep clean.

You can see more of Penny Scallan Designs on Facebook and Twitter

7/28/14

29/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: Determined to pick the most blueberries. I love this boy's determination.
Joshua: Always up for an adventure. Always fearless.
Jessica: A flower girl for a day made her the happiest little lady around.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

7/24/14

PALEO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

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I like to think that food defines us. I like to think that our meals tell a story and reveal our characteristics and an insight into our personalities. Does the casual dinner party I have, with mix-matched plates and frayed linen napkins, say that we are easy going? Does the lobster clambake we host portray our passion for the seaside and the ocean waters? Or what about our holiday dinners that include large spreads of tapas, meats and fine wines? What is the meaning behind these dinners? Are we destined to gather around the table and share our stories with friends and families and our loved ones? Does the food we eat really impact these stories? Or does it simply mean we enjoy good food?

I like to think there is more depth. I like to think there is meaning behind the food we eat.

What about an ice cream sandwich? Is there depth and meaning there? Well, I’m not really sure, but I can tell you baking these with my children became a summer ritual. It became a story that I hope to share one day with them. And as we sat on the front porch, huddled together with melting ice cream dripping over our fingers, I felt the food defining and creating everlasting memories.

So yes, I suppose there is meaning and depth behind a simple ice cream sandwich.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches | Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Ingredients
For the cookies:
1.5 cups almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2 eggs
⅓ cup raw honey (or other sweetener)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (or other dark chocolate chips)

For the ice cream:
2 cans full fat coconut milk
¼ cup of honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Make ice cream:
1. Mix the coconut milk, honey, vanilla and a pinch of salt together.
2. Whisk well for three minutes.
3. Transfer to your ice cream machine and mix until it reaches a thick consistency.
4. Transfer to a container and keep in freezer until the cookies are baked and cooled.
*If you don't own an ice cream maker you can always buy vanilla ice cream

Make cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: eggs, honey, coconut oil and whisk.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix. Add the chocolate chips.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop tablespoon sizes of dough spaced 2 inches apart.
6. Bake cookies for 10-14 minutes. I always check at 10 minutes and then let them go another minute or two if they need.
7. Let cookies cool completely.
8. Take ice cream from freezer and add a scoop between two cookies. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and keep in freezer until ready to serve.
9. Enjoy!

7/22/14

SUMMER BECAME THEM. A POST WITH GYMBOREE

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They tossed their shoes aside and quickly forgot about them. They forgot about their television shows and video games, they forgot about their iPads and iPhones. They forgot about the endless days spent locked indoors.

When the heart of summer rises you toss your shoes aside and run into it with bare feet and open arms. I watched my children run down the path so fast I could hardly keep up, my own bare feet slapping loudly on the wooden walkway. Yet as we ran in the summer heat, I smiled and laughed out loud.

These are the moments that define us.
These are the moments that make our summers.

I want to remember our long beach walks and our sandy toes. I want to remember the sand castles, the messy popsicles, the broken sand dollars, the late night s'mores and the endless rounds of catching fireflies. I want to remember the look on my children's face as they caught the perfect wave, as they danced in the sprinkler and as they lit their sparkler. I want to remember the joy in my heart as I watched them play, as I watched them share a secret, share a book and share a moment.

These are the summer days.
These are the days I want to remember.
I want to remember when the summer became them.

*This post is in partnership with Gymboree
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