Eat

In Blog on
February 15, 2018

What you don’t see

Smiling faces, beautiful places, happy couples, happy babies, besties hanging out, amazing looking food, and the list goes on and on. That is the majority of what we see of each other on social media. It makes sense. Why would you want to showcase anything but the happy and good stuff in your life for all to see. It isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t a bad thing at all until you start looking at everybody else’s pictures and thinking that there is nothing past the happy photographs.

We all have issues. Hey, there’s a song about that! Ok wow, back to what I was saying. Behind every Instagram account there is a real person. A real person who has incredible days, sucky days, mundane days, good news, bad news, you get it. So many people have started writing about this topic and thank goodness. It is so refreshing and helpful to see people being vulnerable and real in this day and age of social media. Thankfully more and more people are pouring out their heart and their stories and it benefits so many people to see more than just a happy photograph. You never know who you are helping or who can relate to you when you share your struggles. I am not saying everybody has to put out the worst of the worst for all to see but let’s be real with each other as much as possible.

What you don’t see in my feed are pictures relating to my constant reproductive health issues- for instance the 8×8 inch ovarian cyst that is currently very uncomfortably filling up my abdomen and being surgically removed next week. Or the time I bled for 6 months straight due to uterine polyps. You don’t hear about how tight our finances are while my husband is back in school working his butt off to get his PhD and I’m doing my best to work as much as possible while staying at home with our daughter. You don’t see me being impatient with my daughter or rolling my eyes at my husband when we aren’t agreeing on something. You don’t hear about how my daughter is often the grumpy/unfriendly baby when I take her to playdates (she’s starting to get better, hallelujah!) You don’t see pictures that depict my insecurities and occasional self-doubt. And that’s ok. You don’t have to know about all of that all the time. But what you do have to know is that we are all REAL people with REAL life struggles and issues. Don’t you dare look at somebody’s happy Instagram feed and assume their life is all unicorns and rainbows while you are struggling and things aren’t going as well as you’d like. We are all struggling in one way or another. I am certain there is someone on this earth dealing with the exact same difficult thing you are dealing with at the moment and how nice is it to know you are not alone.

I hope this is a small encouragement to A) not compare your life or your situation to other peoples (preaching to myself because this is hard) and B) when you are tempted to compare and be sad and sit in your own suffering- bring it to the Lord! He cares, oh he cares about you so much. He gave you a beautiful story no matter what chapter you are in. So yes, you see the happy Instagram feeds, you see the success, you see the smiles, but friend, don’t hold up your own life to that .That is a highlight reel of someone else’s life. You have your own highlight reel and the person who’s Instagram feed you are looking at, well, they have their own very real and difficult struggles. Your story is just as exciting especially when you understand it is being written by an all knowing, almighty God. He loves you. He cares about you. He is gracious enough to give us all “Instagram worthy” moments and he is gracious enough to let us struggle so that we can be reminded how much we need him and how fulfilling it is to experience his love and care in the hardest moments.

 

In Adoption, Blog, Foster care, Infertility, Mama, Mi Familia on
February 4, 2018

Adoptive/foster mama, you are not a second rate mom

I’ve heard you talk about it, I’ve felt it myself. The feeling like you or others consider you “less of a mom” because you did not birth your children. I’ve heard you share the hurt of no one offering a baby shower for you when you have announced you are adopting/fostering, or no one starting a meal train for you when you finally get to bring your baby home or after a caseworker drops off your child at a random hour of the night. I see you being left out of the pregnant belly pictures all of your friends take together. The people who consider hand me downs a better option for your foster or adopted child instead of a nice new outfit like your friend who is about to give birth might receive for her child. It’s so frustrating. It hurts. Why can’t you be celebrated in the same way your pregnant friends are being celebrated if in fact you too are just as much of a mom as they are?

Well mama, you are not second rate. Some people might say things that make you feel as such and you might even tell yourself at times you aren’t as much of a mom because you didn’t give birth to your child  or because you didn’t get to nurse your child or maybe you missed months or even years of your child’s life. But guess what- you are just as much of a mom as anyone.

Adoptive mama, you fought hard to bring your child home. You might not have conceived your child, spent 9 or so months growing them, and birthed them but you spent months and possibly years preparing for your child. You prayed about it countless hours, you had difficult conversations with your spouse and family members. You sat through hours and hours and hours of classes. You went through piles of paperwork. You sat through meeting after meeting exposing every tiny and embarrassing part of your life and finances so that someone could judge if you were “good” enough to foster or adopt a child. You prayed fervently for the health and safety of your child and how they would come to you when you didn’t even have the slightest idea of who they were or where they were coming from. Everything about you worked so hard to become a mom and it was all a choice. You didn’t have to do it. But you chose this path and you did it because you are an amazing mom. You are a first rate mom.

Last May was my very first mother’s day. I was 6 or so months into this “momming” gig and I was so excited and grateful to finally get to be recognized as a mom on mother’s day. Six months I had spent keeping my tiny human alive. Feeding her, bathing her, changing her diaper, taking care of blowouts, taking 8,000 photos of her, scheduling dr. appointments, scheduling caseworker visits, cleaning my house from top to bottom for every one of those caseworker visits, buying clothes, going to play dates, YOU GET IT I “mommed” like every other mom out there. Well friends, can I tell you on my very first mother’s day I had someone ask me “so are you celebrating mother’s day today or no…since you aren’t technically a mom?” Wow. Major punch to the gut. For those reading this who aren’t adoptive/foster parents if anything, please take away from this post- don’t do that. Don’t you dare question how much of a mom someone is because their story looks different from yours or what you would expect.

Adoptive mama, you are an amazing mom. God chose such a beautiful path to motherhood for you. It was a hard path to motherhood but you deserve to be celebrated. You are doing the same job as every other mom on the planet. I hope you never doubt how much of a mom you are.

 

In Blog, Dairy Free, Dinner, Food, Recipes on
January 31, 2018

Taco Tuesday Sweet Potatoes

When I started writing this post it was Tuesday, hence the Taco Tuesday frame of mind! But it is now Wednesday. Don’t judge. In my opinion we should treat every day like its taco Tuesday though! That is the old San Antonio(n) coming out of me. In San Antonio, TX tacos are the norm. All day. Everyday. Well we don’t live in San Antonio anymore but tacos or taco inspired things are always still a good choice in my book.

As many of y’all know I ventured out on a 3 month journey of no dairy, no sugar, and no bread/wheat based pastas, etc. So taco Tuesday had to look a little different for us this month! And no, we don’t really eat tacos every Tuesday. It’s a fun idea though. This recipe incorporates a sweet potato as your “tortilla” and you stuff it TO THE BRIM with allllll the taco goodness. We are talking flavorful ground taco meat, onion, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and even black beans if you would like. It is a hearty and filling meal. To keep it whole 30 compliant say no to the black beans. To keep it vegan say no to the meat (duh) and simmer/season your black beans as if it was the ground beef. Here we go! 

 


Ingredients:

2-3 large sweet potatoes

1 lb ground beef

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

2 cloves of garlic minced

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp onion powder

¼  tsp chili powder

Small red onion

Tomato

Avocado

Cilantro

1 can black beans- optional

1 lime-optional

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 425º. On a baking sheet, prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and then wrap in foil.

2.       Bake until tender, test by poking with a fork, 40-45 minutes.

3.       While your sweet potatoes are cooking brown the ground beef and add in tomato sauce and all of the seasonings. Stir it well and allow it to simmer for at least 10 minutes to absorb all of the flavors.

4.       Chop up your onion, tomato, avocado, and cilantro.

5.       Once your potatoes are done let them cool for a few minutes, then split the tops open with a knife.

6.       Add in a hearty scoop of taco meat and top with all desired toppings. If you would like, add on black beans for extra flavor and protein and lastly squeeze a little lime juice over the top for an extra flair.

7.       Dig in! You won’t even miss the cheese, I promise!

In Food, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian on
January 21, 2018

Thai Peanut Kale Wraps

Heyo! It’s been a good bit since I have posted a recipe. I have been doing this “clean eating plan” that I put together from the beginning of the year and plan to do it all the way through March so I haven’t been able to be as creative because I am sticking to my meal plan 100%. Anyway, as y’all can probably guess, I love cooking and coming up with recipes to share, so I’ve missed it! I have every intention to get back to more recipe posting in coming months.

Anyway— today I have one to share with you, whoop whoop whoop! I am OBSESSED with anything Thai peanut flavored. To those who haven’t taken their taste buds in that direction, you might think adding peanut butter to things like noodles or kale or well anything except for bread or a banana is insane. Well you are right, except that it is insane-ly good! One day I thought up this recipe for these Thai Peanut Kale Wraps and I have eaten them a handful of times and they are tasty, healthy, crunchy, filling, and colorful. It is easy to just prep all the stuff and then pull it out and make them for lunch throughout the week. Best of all this tasty recipe is packed with so many veggies and they are coated with that delicious Thai peanut flavor! 


Ingredients:

Chopped kale

Red bell pepper

Carrots

Avocado

Cilantro

Cooked quinoa

Tortillas

For the sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy works best)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/4-1/3 cup water (add in gradually and taste to see how much you want )

Instructions:

1)      Cook your quinoa according to the package

2)      Make your sauce by combining all of the ingredients together in a magic bullet, blender, or by hand.

3)      Put chopped kale in a bowl (don’t use the hard parts of the stem) and pour the peanut sauce over the top. You judge how much you want on their but I like a lot of sauce… Most important part: MASSAGE your kale with the sauce on it for 1 minute. This helps the kale to be more enjoyable to eat.

4)      Next chop your veggies into thin strips or however you like to eat them.

5)      Add everything to a tortilla, quinoa, kale with sauce, bell pepper, carrot, avocado, and cilantro, roll up, and enjoy!

 

In Blog on
January 11, 2018

Boy meets girl or in our case Chief meets Maiden

I was in a fluffy, purple princess dress in the middle of a short, poky, bushy tree (thank you Texas hill country) being guarded by a small clan of ten year old boys. Normal, right? I see a group of tween boys running up to save me from the evil capturers guarding me and they are getting tagged out left and right; my fate was up in the air. Would I be a maiden trapped in this poky bush tree forever?! But  then I see a handsome chief running towards me avoiding those scary ten year old boys dodging left and right, weaving in and out and next thing I know he has my hand in his and we are running together to safety. Yes, this is all true. I still have a small scar from the barbed wire fence he helped me climb over. We ran hand in hand to safety, complete strangers. Funny enough, once we got to the safety road we had to walk down it together to get to where everyone else was and someone thought it would be funny to sing the wedding hymnal song and everyone else joined in (how crazy and fortuitous is this btw). Uhm.. awkward, I’m with this good looking guy holding his hand and I don’t even know his name and people are singing the wedding song..? I broke the awkwardness by saying to him “well this is awkward.” How clever of me. We shared names and high fived because most people aren’t able to win in this game.

This is the big purple dress and about 30 minutes before this whole story began.

You might be wondering what in the HECK were you doing…?! Well friends, let me mention that we were at a summer camp. I have my doubts that many people meet the love of their life amongst 100 yelling and sweaty kids but let me tell you, that’s the scenario in which I met my husband. The game was “rescue the maiden” which is basically capture the flag but with real life people (girls or guys in ridiculous costume dresses).

Let’s rewind a little bit. This was the summer of 2011. I had just finished my freshman year of college at Texas State University and what’s a better college job than to work at a summer camp? I’ll also mention, this was my beloved childhood camp that I went to every summer growing up. Camp Peniel in Marble Falls, TX. Shout out to all my CP folks reading this! I was so pumped to spend the summer counseling, being a light, learning more about myself, and playing outside like a bafoon all day everyday with my campers and fellow counselors but little did I know I would meet the love of my life.

He played it real cool, he laid low, I had no idea he had been eyeing me throughout the summer. You see, he came one week as a volunteer, I remember seeing him and thinking “who’s that handsome fella?” But I didn’t think much further into it because I found out he was 6 years older than me and he just seemed SO much more mature than me at the time (I was only 18.)

Anyway, that handsome fella, Mr. Steven Stelly, just so happened to be the “chief” who rescued me, the maiden, that fateful summer day. To be honest, nothing happened at all after that. We talked here and there, joked a little with each other, I crushed on him a little but like I mentioned earlier, I thought he was WAY too good for me. The summer went on, he kept sticking around camp even though he was only supposed to volunteer for a week.

The last day of camp came and it is always a dreaded day because you have to say goodbye to the people who have basically become your family over the span of two months. I hate goodbyes and I am totally fine dodging them to avoid the awkward “see you later” even though you know you won’t really “see” some people later. I didn’t see Steven that morning before I drove off and to be honest I probably didn’t look for him because as mentioned earlier, not a fan of goodbyes.

That night, I made it home to my parent’s house. I’m unpacking and processing through the whirlwind of an amazing summer when I get a call from an unknown number. I answered it and it was Steven… what the what?? Just calling to offer me an encouraging word. No big deal, seriously? That began the start of texting a lot over the next few weeks. He asked if I wanted to hang out once school started up again (he lived 45 mins away from where I went to school) and of course I said yes. Well this little hang out, I thought it was gonna be super casual, it started sounding more and more like a date. I’ll leave you here- this “hang out” turned into him asking if he could pick me up at 4:45 in the morning to go to a secret location. I was so giddy and excited so I said yes to this crazy request. He picked me up at 4:45am and we drove an hour somewhere in the dark and arrived to a park, still dark, and hiked up a one mile trail, still dark, to an observation deck that overlooked all of San Antonio. He brought us breakfast, we sat down and he told me he planned this so we could watch the sunrise together. Well folks, we laughed and shared stories and really the rest is history!  I love our story, I’m so thankful chief Stelly “rescued” me in the woods that fateful day. God writes pretty sweet stories, eh?

Our first picture taken together. I have no idea what prompted the sunglasses…?

This is the day we got engaged, but I put this here because this is also the observation deck where we had our first date. For those who want a visual.

*Fun fact, a year and a half later we got engaged at the park where our first date was and then way later got to celebrate Evy’s adoption there! It’s a pretty special place to us.

**another fun fact, Steven was only supposed to help out at camp for a week that summer but he tells me time and time again that he kept sticking around because he saw something in me and didn’t want to leave. OMG. Swoon.

 

 

In Adoption, Foster care, Mama, Mi Familia on
January 4, 2018

To my daughter’s birth mom

You don’t know anything about me, not even my name. But I know a lot about you.

We are the same age but oh were we dealt different hands.

It’s easy for me to be angry at you.

It is easy for me to point a finger at you and say that you harmed your babies and put them in danger.

But if I sit and think about it, it is also easy for me to lower my finger and want to hug you because the world was not kind to you.

I know I don’t know everything about you but I do know you have had a hard life.

My heart hurts for you because you are doing the only thing you know how to when it comes to coping.

I wish I could tell you that your daughter is safe, that she is healthy, thriving, and incredibly opinionated even only at 15 months old, that she loves being outside, eating , hugging her stuffed animals, seeing dogs and kitty cats, and dancing to music.

There are many times I think about reaching out to you anonymously but I just don’t know if that is a good idea or not.

I want you to know that I think of you often.

I want you to know that when Evy asks about you one day, she will know as much as she wants to and as much as is age appropriate.

I printed off a picture I found of you. It is tucked away and if Evy ever asks for it, I will give it to her.

You are not a secret.

As hard as all of this is, the fact that you got pregnant, endangered your child, and had her taken away, I am grateful. It seems twisted and unfair but the fact that despite every negative choice you made, you chose to bring a beautiful life into this world. That life is my daughter. She is going to make a difference in this world in the best way possible.

I’m sure it might anger you that your greatest heartbreak is my greatest joy.

I care about you. I want you to start making better decisions. I pray for you often. In a weird way I feel close to you.

As a foster and adoptive mom I am not in the business of taking away someone’s precious treasure. After much prayer I signed up to be a safe place, a parent to a child in need. Your child was in need, you were in need, you and I both know you were not in a place to take care of your child. So there I was. Not because I am any better than you. Life is hard and doesn’t always make sense.

You are capable of finding healing. You are worthy of love from your Creator, from your family, from those around you.

It starts with surrendering your hurts, apologizing to those you have hurt because you were hurt first, and with accepting love from others. Much easier said, than done but you can do it. I bet you are stronger than you think.

Your daughter is safe. She is healthy. She is happy.

I pray these things for you as well.

In Food, Healthier sweets, Recipes, Vegetarian on
December 18, 2017

Oatmeal Banana Bread Cookies

There are two types of people in this world: those who always have super ripe bananas in the freezer and those who do not. Which one are you? I am definitely a bananas in the freezer kind of gal. This is a great trait if you are one who likes to make banana bread. Well, I’ve discovered something I like even more than banana bread..drumroll please… BANANA BREAD COOKIES! Y’all, it’s the same delicious comforting taste of banana bread but like a quarter of the time in the oven, no slicing and dicing and fighting over who got the bigger piece out of the pan because it is banana bread in individual cookie forms.

While I would definitely not call this health food, I would say this is slightly healthier than your average cookie/average banana bread because it is made with coconut sugar instead of refined cane sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index and gives you nutrients found in coconut palm which is why some people might consider this a slightly better option than your average cane sugar.

Let’s get to the more fun stuff though- these Oatmeal Banana Bread Cookies are fluffy yet moist, satisfying for a sweet tooth, a fun twist on regular ole banana bread, uses up the bananas you have laying around, and would be great at any holiday cookie swap.

I hope y’all enjoy and OMG one week until Christmas day!


Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 18 cookies


Ingredients

·         3 ripe bananas (could be yellow with brown spots or super brown and in your freezer for months)

·         1 cup coconut sugar

·         1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

·         2 eggs

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         2 cups all-purpose flour

·         1 cup old fashioned oats

·         1 tsp cinnamon

·         1 tsp baking soda

·         ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

1.       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.       Beat together the butter and sugar for 30 seconds, then add in eggs, vanilla and bananas.

3.       One cup at a time, mix in the flour and oats, then cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, until just combined. Don’t overmix or they will not be as fluffy as you’d like. 

4.       Drop a spoonful onto your lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Don’t expect dough balls, batter will be wet and will just plop down on your sheet.

5.       Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn a light golden brown.

6.       Cool on a cookie rack for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

 

In Infertility, Mama on
December 11, 2017

Never an Afterthought

When I was a kid I always wanted to be a mom and once I got married I had this naive thought that I would get to have my big close knit family the way I had always pictured it. As a kid, not only did I dream of being a mama through having biological kids but I also dreamed of adopting. You see, I thought we would first get pregnant and have a kid or two and then we would start adopting/fostering. Literally as a 10 year old child I wanted this; I even did my 5th grade project on adoption. I remember checking out multiple books and autobiographies from the library on adoption and being so intrigued that I would stay up reading with a flashlight under my covers for hours beyond my bedtime. Adoption was never an afterthought; it was never a plan B whenever we weren’t getting pregnant. I wanted to be a mom through pregnancy just as bad as I wanted to be a mom through adoption. It is really cool how unique and diverse we all are, what we want, what we hope for, what we desire, and I truly believe my heart was always woven in a way to be passionate about loving children that I did not birth.

Even though adoption was just as big of a desire as pregnancy for us, we still had to grieve the hard and unexpected situation of infertility and infertility is HARD let me tell you. That will be another post for another time. In the deepest, darkest throws of infertility I cried out to the Lord one night “if you aren’t going to let me have biological children, you are going to have to take that desire away.” It wasn’t an immediate change of heart but over months of praying this I can tell you he completely changed my heart. We began the foster licensing process and through these months of anticipating a child through this way, the Lord took away my desire for pregnancy. How could it be? Even to this day I am still dumbfounded that thinking about my infertility is not that hard for me anymore. I had always longed for pregnancy, I begged the Lord over and over and over and over. I had some of my hardest moments crying out for healing for my messed up body and fulfillment of my biggest dream, becoming a mom. I noticed as we were wrapping up the licensing process and especially in those first days of having Evy placed with us that I was 100% fulfilled with being a mama in this way. Over time I noticed even more so that I was rarely thinking about pregnancy and even better I was starting to have little to no sorrow whenever I would consider the likelihood that our family would be built through foster care and adoption alone. That reality even became exciting to me.

Y’all, can I just tell you that the Lord is faithful? In my loudest cries to him he heard me and he knew his plan was better. He knew he would mold me and change my heart in a way I couldn’t have expected. The suffering I experienced waiting to become a mom was absolutely worth every single second because it meant I would become mama to my sweet Evy girl. It is so freeing to entrust your life to a God that knows better even when you are pleading and tugging in the other direction. I think many people unfortunately feel quite the opposite, that it is constricting to be a Christian, that it is stuffy and just a book of rules to follow. But there is freedom in Christ. Freedom to throw your hands in the air and just say “Lord, I don’t get you, but I do trust that your plan is better and that I can become closer to you through this and I can become a better and stronger person because of it.” Every now and then I’ll have a little moment of sadness over my infertility. I absolutely believe that it is normal and good to grieve through hard things, but we have to accept them and make the best of them. My infertility has made me a better version of myself. It has opened up so many doors, allowed me to meet so many people and bond with them in an intimate way that I couldn’t have in any other circumstance. It allowed me to become a mama in the exact way God intended for me.

It is totally not impossible for me to become pregnant one day- that would be super cool and miraculous, but I can tell you this- my heart is so full right now. Can I encourage you to bring your hard things to God? He listens, he answers, whenever we seek him and ask for things that align with him, he gives them to us. He gave me the gift of motherhood through foster care and adoption. It was never a plan B for us, never an afterthought, it just happened a little (or a lot) differently than expected, but our story is playing out exactly as it should for our little family.

Today I was at the grocery store and a woman about my mom’s age came up to me. I had noticed she had been eyeing me and my daughter for a few seconds but I figured she thought Evy was just cute. Anyway, she said “can I ask you a fun question?” I thought in my head…fun question..? But out loud said “sure, of course.” The woman asked “is your daughter adopted?” I told her yes and she shared “How wonderful, I have 5 children of my own, all adopted and it has been the biggest blessing of my life.” We talked there in the freezer section for 5 or so more minutes. It was so sweet and encouraging to hear this woman’s story about her thriving family, all adults now, all adopted, but all very much her and her husband’s children. It gave me hope that maybe I’ll be sharing my story one day talking about my big family, all of my children, born from my heart and the desire that God gave us to foster and adopt. I can’t wait to meet all of my children as they come to our family over the years. They are already in my heart. They are so wanted, never an afterthought.

 

Photographs by First Delight Photography. 

In Blog on
December 7, 2017

Pressed pesto, Hummus, and roasted vegetable wraps

It is a COLD COLD COLD day in Texas and I am LOVING it! Sorry for the caps and enthusiasm but this just doesn’t happen here too often, people. Y’all might have noticed a pattern with my food- I know, I know, we eat a lot of hummusy and roasted vegetable(y) foods here but hey, there is nothing wrong with that! I promise I will be more diverse over time with what recipes I post. BUT today I will post a true to me kind of recipe that I love.

This is yet another go to or us. When I am meal planning and I don’t literally want to use a single brain cell, I put this down for a couple of dinners. It is easy, healthy, versatile, colorful, warm, and even the meat eaters i’ve made this for love it too. There is no deprivation here, it is a filling meal between the thick and hearty hummus and all nutrient dense roasted veggies. If you really need to get this ish done and on the plate in no time just buy some good pre-made hummus and pesto.

 

I realize the that this is not the most aesthetically pleasing picture..lol


Time: 30 mins or less

Serves: This recipe is pretty easy to judge how much to get to serve your crew but let me know if you have any questions J

Ingredients:

·         Tortillas ( I prefer Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas)

·         Hummus

·         Pesto

·         Red bell pepper

·         Yellow squash

·         Zucchini

·         Red onion

·         Cherry tomatoes

·         Olive oil

·         Salt

·         Pepper

·         Goat cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper

2.       Chop all of your veggies, add them to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, toss on salt and pepper and stir

3.       Place chopped veggies in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet and put into the oven for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

4.       While your veggies are roasting make your hummus and pesto OR pull out your pre-made hummus and pesto.

5.       Once veggies are roasted and out of the oven it is time to assemble the wraps!

6.       Take a tortilla and spread on some hummus in a line liberally, next spread a line of pesto. Add on a good amount of roasted veggies and if you would like, top with your goat cheese or feta. Cannot even tell you how good this is with goat cheese…And the cheese helps bind these together while they are being pressed.

7.       Heat up your panini press or a pan on the stove top and add your carefully wrapped bundle of goodness to it, hold everything together with a spatula before you close the panini press or put onto the stove top with the opening side down. The goal here is to just combine all the lovely flavors together for 2-3 minutes.

8.       Take it off of the panini press or stove, let it cool for 5-10 minutes, then shove it in your face!

In DIY, Mama, Mi Familia on
December 5, 2017

Evy’s First Birthday

I’ve been waiting to do this post until after the adoption was final so that I could show our sweet girl’s face. So here it is! Evy’s first birthday party! It was such a lovely day. This is the kind of day I dreamed about for so long- planning my baby’s first birthday party. When you go through infertility you wonder if you will ever get the chance to put all of your dreams and cute little ideas for milestones together one day or if it will only be something you have to file away in your head as something you won’t ever get to do. God’s goodness to us in giving us our daughter still blows me away daily. What did I do to deserve this gift? Well, I didn’t do anything, it is all God’s grace in my life that I would get to be this girl’s mama.

If you know me at all, you know that I love flowers and nothing too over the top so I wanted that to come through in how I planned Evy’s party. My absolute favorite was making her flower crown. She looked like such a little angel.

We had cheese and crackers, mini spinach and veggie quiches, bruschetta, rice crispy treats, and of course, cake.

My mom and I made the big cake for everyone- it was a spice cake with cinnamon buttercream frosting and I made Evy’s smash cake. In an effort to keep her away from refined sugar as much as possible I made a cake that was sweetened with apple sauce and banana. For her frosting I made whipped coconut milk.

I think we can all agree that the best part of a one year old’s birthday party is watching them tear into the cake and oh did she do just that! This girl loved the cake and as you can see she just ended up picking up the whole thing and going to town.

I made these little rice crispy treats with This cookie cutter from Amazon and coated the bottoms with soft pink dyed white chocolate.

I had so much fun planning this sweet day and I know our girl felt loved! Thank you to everyone who came and made Evy feel special. It’s fun (and sassy) to be one!