Hello, friends! It’s hard to believe that yet another month of 2016 has flown by so fast! We enjoyed a very spring-like February, went on some hikes, did some rockhounding and I celebrated my 37th birthday. This was such a fun month for new products, books and of course delicious new recipes! So let’s dive in!
If you were to ask Willow about her February Favorites, it would consist of her Frozen princess dress (which is currently covered in holes due to wearing it ALL THE TIME), her light up shoes and the Taylor Swift CD my Mom gave her for Valentine’s Day…if you ride in the car with us, you will undoubtedly hear Shake it Off on repeat. I know the words by heart. Here is cover of Shake it Off featuring Willow’s favorite ukulele player. I’ve lost track at how many times she’s made me watch this…
Her version of Riptide is another Willow favorite.
PRODUCTS I FELL IN LOVE WITH:
GODDESS PROVISIONS >> SELF-CARE BOX >> I learned about Goddess Provisions through one of my best friends (Jen @luminousspirit) and when I found out that there was a monthly box perfectly suited for what I loved (crystals, aromatherapy, apothecary, beauty, tea and all things spiritual) I absolutely had to give it a try! While I’m not financially ready to commit to a monthly subscription, I did order a one time box that was offered in the month of January. A $64 value, but the boxes are only $35…then I had a coupon code for a few dollars off. They offer four types of boxes: Self-Care, Energize Your Senses, Sacral Chakra, and Third Eye Chakra. My Self-Care Box contained:
- Concrete Minerals Lip Tint (Karma)
- The Goddess Line Roller Ball Fragrance (Pavarti)
- BEING Bath Salts (Float)
- Yes CaCao Meditation Chocolate Bar (Gaba Baba)
- Tangerine Quartz
I absolutely LOVED this box! The lip tint was so perfect for me – I’ve been on the hunt for a new lip tint and the shade is exactly what I was looking for. Smells amazing and super moisturizing. The roller ball fragrance is REALLY strong and while it smells really nice, I can’t wear it all the time (and when I do, it’s a super tiny dab) since I’m sensitive to overpowering scents. If you like a strong vanilla-amber scent, this is perfect for you. The bath salts though…heavenly! I cried when the last bite of the chocolate bar was gone. SO. GOOD. I loved that it was raw, organic, no refined sugar (used coconut sugar) and contained lots of beneficial ingredients – I could see myself ordering more of these chocolate bars! I didn’t have a tangerine quartz in my collection yet, so this was perfect! Definitely check Goddess Provisions out and their IG page is beautiful – they feature some lovely, magical accounts and they radiate nothing but good energy!
FROODLES FRUIT STRIPS >> We’re always browsing to see what new items have become available at Natural Grocers and Whole Foods. Earlier in the month, we spotted Froodles! They’re like fruit leathers, but in strips…kinda like fruit noodles…hence the name Froodles! We got them on sale from Natural Grocers throughout the month of February. I love that there’s no added sugar, artificial flavors or preservatives – just fruit! We only saw the 1 oz pouches (perfect for an on-the-go snack), but I noticed online that they offer a 3 oz pouch as well. I originally bought these for Willow, but when I stole a bite, I fell in love! Chewy, sweet and zero guilt. I have a feeling these will come in handy over the summer during hiking trips and camping adventures.
JEWELRY!!!! I WAS GIFTED SOME PRETTY FANTASTIC ITEMS FOR MY BIRTHDAY FROM TWO OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SHOPS!!!!
I love these two shops for several reasons and gravitate towards both when it comes time to find a gift for someone’s birthday or Christmas. The makers behind each shop are incredibly genuine, kind, supportive and their work stands out among the other shops out there. You can definitely feel the love put into each piece as they’re passionate about what they do!
SUN METAL JEWELRY >> A beautiful nature-y pendant and earrings to match! I absolutely LOVE Diana & Ted’s shop and these two items are a wonderful addition to my Sun Metal collection! I love the copper and silver mix AND that little leaf is so perfect!
COMPASSIONATE PAWS JEWELRY >> I had been wanting a necklace from Jen’s shop and was SO excited to receive this gorgeous, wire-wrapped Amethyst necklace. A sweet friend also gifted me the beautiful bracelet (the heart charm is perfect) – I’m in LOVE!! So grateful for the amazing friends in my life.
LIVING LIBATIONS >> For the last few years, I have wanted to try some of Nadine’s magical creations…OK, all of them…and was so excited to get an email from The Raw Food World that there were some Living Libations products ‘At-Cost’ in February! You better believe I immediately jumped on that site and scrolled through what was available. A lot of the oral care products were part of the special and oh, my! The prices were significantly cheaper! Then I used the coupon code ‘rawfood7’ for an additional discount…AND I had a $10 store credit, so score! Here’s what we ordered:
- Happy Gum Drops
- Wild Child Happy Gum Drops :: The milder version of the adult Happy Gum Drops. I’m still working on getting Willow used to this because she’s always used a fruity type of toothpaste.
- Yogi Tooth Serum
- Happy Gums Clay Toothpaste
- Tooth Truth Powder Polish
Just after one day I noticed a difference! Josh and I both LOVE everything! I’ve used several other clay toothpastes and this one is hands down the best I’ve ever tried! It has a very creamy, smooth texture – not gritty and doesn’t have a strong clay taste. Leaves your mouth feeling incredibly clean…especially when you’ve also massaged your gums with the Happy Gum Drops! The Yogi Tooth Serum is a cinnamon lover’s dream!!! From what I’ve read, if you’re a tea and/or coffee drinker or green smoothie lover, the Tooth Truth Powder Polish is for you! I’ve been bouncing between brushing my teeth with that and the clay toothpaste and seriously love both. When I do use the Tooth Truth Powder, I also add a drop of the Yogi Tooth Serum to my brush.
Oh! And everything smells absolutely amazing!!
Click HERE to see the 8 Steps to Successful Self-Dentistry – this is what Josh and I have been following since receiving these products…and I’m not kidding when I say that after each time I’ve followed those steps, it feels like I just had a trip to the dentist. The links to the products above will take you to the Living Libations site for full descriptions and details. Please note that the Yogi Tooth Serum and Happy Gum Drops are similar, so it’s not necessary to have both. We were just anxious to try as many Living Libations products as possible and took advantage of the sale! I HIGHLY recommend checking out the site as there are way more products beyond just oral care.
RECIPES WE TRIED AND LOVED:
CROWD PLEASING TEX MEX CASSEROLE >> THE OH SHE GLOWS COOKBOOK >> My dear friend, Julie, had raved about this recipe and it’s one we had marked to try so I immediately added it to the following week’s menu. WHOA! Why we waited so long to try it is beyond me! SO simple to make and one of the most flavorful dishes we’ve made – the leftovers tasted even better the next day. Willow wouldn’t touch it, but when we deconstructed it (separated each ingredient) she enjoyed some with some tortilla chips.
RAW HEMP CHOCOLATES >> UNCONVENTIONAL BAKER >> We had a girls only Valentine’s Day this year since Josh had to work late and my Dad was out of town – so Willow and I spent it with my Mom, Oma, and Aunt Diane. I chose to make these to share with everyone and doubled the recipe because I knew they were going to be amazing…oh, man. I am SO glad that I did! Sadly, my candy making skills need a lot of work, which is why I didn’t share a photo on Instagram…they were all sorts of sizes, messy (I’m pretty sure Willow could have done a better job) – next time I’ll be sure to freeze/chill the tray first to avoid the melty chocolate mess! But they were INSANELY good. So good that I almost didn’t bring them to share – terrible, huh? They’re rich, decadent, dreamy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Everyone LOVED them! I’ll definitely be making these again!
CREAMY CURRY DRESSING >> THE FIT FORK FEED >> Holy drinkable deliciousness!! I’ve been following Lindsay over @thefitforkfeed for a few months now and I’m constantly drooling over her creations – her IG page and blog are both beautiful. As soon as I saw her post a photo of this dressing, I knew I absolutely needed to try it because (1) I LOVE curry and (2) the vibrant yellow sunshine-like color was jaw dropping. Verdict…easily one of my new favorite dressings and I want to put it on everything and pretty much did! I made a couple of minor adjustments and cut the oil in half (replaced with extra water) and used maple syrup instead of honey.
BUTTERFINGER ENERGY BITES >> THE FIT FORK FEED >> These took a few minutes to whip up and they’re absolutely INCREDIBLE! Only five ingredients, but a powerhouse of a list…including dried mulberries…our favorite! These are so perfect for Willow since they’re high in protein and contain healthy fats. She had fun helping me make these and quickly devoured one after they set in the freezer for a bit. I love how much they remind me of an actual Butterfinger bar – for lack of a better word, they really are buttery, melt in your mouth and have little pops of crispiness, thanks to those magical mulberries. Definitely give these a try!!!
EASY VEGAN MEXICAN CHEESE SAUCE >> THE VEGAN 8 >> I’m honestly shocked that it took me this long to make this amazing cheese sauce! It’s so hard when the list of recipes to make grows longer by the day and you just want to try them all! Well, we finally got around to making this and used it on top of potato nachos…insanely good. I’ve actually got a Mexican cheese sauce coming to the blog soon, but Brandi’s is easier and super quick to whip up. I kept it on the mild side for Willow’s sake and she really enjoyed it, too! Josh and I added extra salsa to ours to give it more of a kick, but it wasn’t really necessary. This is one of those sauces where the possibilities are endless – roasted veggies, baked potatoes, pasta, rice bowls and SO much more.
HECK YEAH, BANANA PANCAKES >> YUM UNIVERSE COOKBOOK >> I really can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE this cookbook. For me, it’s tied with The Oh She Glows Cookbook because EVERY single recipe we’ve tried has been fantastic. This has been one of our go-to pancake recipes for a while now, but I make one adjustment – I replace the chickpea flour with King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose flour. I found that the chickpea flour was too overpowering for our liking and the gf flour mellowed it out. They turn out perfect every time!
BASIL & PEPPER PINE NUT CRISPS >> YUM UNIVERSE COOKBOOK >> Well, we found out Willow isn’t a fan of pine nuts, but Josh and I devoured these! I had every intention of pairing these with soup, but we couldn’t stop eating them. If you try these, definitely be sure to press them into a really thin layer to bake evenly and crisp up – I had to bake mine way longer than suggested because I made them too thick. I love how cheesy and buttery these were!
LEMON BLUEBERRY WAFFLES >> MINIMALIST BAKER >> We finally got a waffle maker last month and LOVE it! I immediately Googled “vegan gluten free waffles” and the top three were Minimalist Baker recipes…another favorite of ours since each recipe is a huge hit with the whole family. I made Willow the Oatmeal Waffles one morning (subbed melted coconut oil instead of vegan butter) and she loved them! Since I’m still easing back into oats, I took a couple of bites and saved the rest for her. A couple of weeks later, we made these Lemon Blueberry Waffles and I thought they were the best! I used chocolate chips in Willow’s batch since she’s not a fan of blueberries present in food – she loves them on their own and blended in a smoothie, just not in pancakes or muffins. Anyways, I thought the lemony flavor was so perfect and they crisp up beautifully!
BOOKS I’M ENJOYING:
February was a big month for reading…I decided to give myself a break from the things I felt “needed” to be done and took more time for ME! That also meant taking a break from Instagram for several days and unplugging. Willow would fall asleep at night and I would curl up with a book and Willow in my arms – pretty much perfect. I fell into a bit of a creative slump and really needed to recharge, refocus and get inspired. I used most of my birthday money to order some books that have been on my to-read list and they were just what I needed!
I finished The Moonlit Garden (on Kindle) and REALLY enjoyed it! I almost gave up on it shortly after my last monthly favorites post, as I felt that it was moving too slow, but it turned out to be a beautiful story. I also finished Meet your Soul. Here are some others that I’ve read, working on or referred back to in February:
JUST ASK THE UNIVERSE: A NO-NONSENSE GUIDE TO MANIFESTING YOUR DREAMS by MICHAEL SAMUELS >> If you have Amazon Prime (and a Kindle) you can borrow this book for free! Which is exactly what I did. I also finished it in a day…quick read, but incredibly inspiring! A great little book on the Law of Attraction – how positive thoughts attract positive things to happen – focusing your energy on gratitude and really envisioning yourself accomplishing tasks, goals, dreams and wants. The author helps you to create an “I Want” list – which was really strange for me to write out at first, but then I couldn’t stop! I had pages filled with things I wanted for myself and others – when I put the pen down, I felt excited and incredibly positive. He also has you write out a list of things you’ve already accomplished or gained which opened my eyes to just how blessed I am. I really loved his writing style as it was obviously upbeat, but had a touch of humor to it unlike the most of the spiritual books I’ve read. Definitely add this to your list!
HOW TO BE A WILDFLOWER by KATIE DAISY >> I actually pre-ordered this book for my friend Jen’s birthday and almost ordered myself one…well, my parents ended up giving me a copy for my birthday! Little side note – Katie Daisy was raised in a small town in Illinois and currently resides here in Bend, OR – she is insanely talented and I absolutely adore everything she does. Her artwork is so inspiring, I literally want everything from her Etsy shop. But moving on to this book! Gorgeous!!! As I turned through each page, everything around me suddenly disappeared and I was completely drawn into a world filled with magic + beauty. Since I’m such a big quote person, this book is perfect for me as it contains so many of my favorites. This book is a constant reminder about just how amazing nature is and the importance of connecting yourself with the Earth.
GHOST GIFTS by LAURA SPINELLA >> I chose this for my February Kindle First book (free) and it ended up being one that I just couldn’t put down! I hesitated to pick this one because it was under the “romantic suspense” genre and I honestly don’t read romance books, but the description reeled me in. It’s about a woman who (from a very young age) communicates with the deceased and while working for the local paper, she gets assigned to a story which reveals her secret ability. I genuinely enjoyed this book as it moved at a great pace, the characters (for the most part) were well developed and the romance factor was minimal – so it ended up being a great mystery book!
WRECKAGE by EMILY BLEEKER >> Yet another Kindle First book that I downloaded last year and forgot about! I plowed through this one in a few nights and it was a fun, quick read. It’s a mystery-romance (I swear I didn’t expect the romance part!) about two survivors of a plane crash who come home after two years on a deserted island. The book goes between two timelines where we’re with them on the island and being interviewed in present day.
THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS by DEEPAK CHOPRA >> Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this book now. You will read it in one sitting, but it’s one that you will absolutely hold dear to your heart, and one that you’ll most likely refer back to…I’ve already read it twice. Such a practical set of “laws” that will open your eyes to just how powerful energy is – where you choose to focus your attention – to be more aware.
“With the knowledge and practice of the seven spiritual laws, we align with nature’s intelligence, and our dreams and desires are easily fulfilled. When we understand these laws, and apply them in our lives, anything we want can be created.”
THE UNTETHERED SOUL: THE JOURNEY BEYOND YOURSELF by MICHAEL SINGER >> This book has been on my list for quite some time, so I was very quick to add it to my Amazon shopping cart after my birthday. I’m not done with it yet, but I’ve had several moments where I found myself saying, “YES!” out loud. Very eye opening and has, so far, helped me to better understand some of my inner battles.
I’ve been referring back to You Can Heal Your Life & A Return to Love quite a bit even though I finished them a while back and I used my birthday money to purchase: Radical Self Love, Light is the New Black and The Surrender Experiment, so look for reviews for those in the next month or two!
What are you reading?! Please share any of your recent finds, favorites, or highlights of February – I’d love to hear, so leave a comment below.
Thanks for stopping by!
Love & Light
Oh Mandy, you are so sweet, thank you so much for mentioning my cheese, I’m so happy it was a hit with everybody! I have to make mine a little on the mild side for Olivia too and then I add extra in for Jay and I, haha! I make a batch every single week now, totally obsessed.
I love reading your favorites posts, I am going to try that tooth stuff. My last experience with clay toothpaste was horrific. My teeth didn’t feel any cleaner and it was gloppy and disgusting. I don’t know if I could ever get past traditional toothpaste, lol! I do use a vegan one thought by Natures Gate which I really like. I’m always up for trying new products though. I absolutely love those top pics you took, they are just beautiful as always and Willow looks so happy!
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You are SO welcome!!!! It’s such a great recipe, as always! In February, we also made your PB cookies, low-fat pancakes, and a couple others…we love the repeat value of your recipes!
Awww! Thank you so much! These are my favorite posts to write up – they’re fun and looking at my stats, they’re the most viewed, so that makes me happy.
Oh, yuck!! Yeah, it’s hit or miss with most clay toothpastes – I was using Earthpaste for years, but after learning about bentonite clay, I just worry about using it every day, you know? Living Libations is seriously amazing. Definitely the best clay toothpaste I’ve ever used. I’m going to try their shampoo and conditioner next.
Thank you for the kind words, means a lot!! xoxo ❤
FROODLES!!! I love that word and it sounds totally up my alley too! And of course I listened to ukulele Shake it Off While reading so it was a mutli-sensory favorites post experience 😀 I still like Willow’s singing better though, that one video from Instagram a while back was the cutest thing ever. I absolutely love the amethyst necklace, my sister has a similar one since that is her birth stone. Gorgeous! And I’m very intrigued by the tooth products too, like Brandi I’ve had some bad experiences with natural tooth care so I’ve switched back to Toms to be safe. But I will check it out. So many yummy recipes this month, I’m dreaming of hemp chocolates all over again now and yours look amazing i don’t know what you are talking about. Butterfingers bites, lemon blueberry waffles, oatmeal waffles, banana pancakes, my list just got even longer of things I gotta try especially in the breakfast department!! And good for you for making time to get through so many books this month. I can’t even remember the last time i actually read a for fun novel was. I do love amazon prime though for getting books ASAP, and especially when you can find a good one in the free section, makes me so happy! I just got your package today too, and OMG that body butter smells like lemon cream pie! Wow, I’m in love with this flavor ❤ Thank you and thank you for your sweet note! Okay I've rambled enough, lots of love xoxo 🙂
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Natalie! Not even kidding, when I saw the Froodles, I thought of you! In fact, I almost sent a couple packs with your order, but then I thought maybe that would be weird…if you can’t find them near you, tell me and I’ll for sure send some your way! I’m glad you enjoyed the multi-sensory post this month. Haha!! Crazy song is always in my head, thanks to Willow. The best is I caught her singing it the other night to our cats, I’m trying to get it on video because it’s the cutest thing ever!
Yeah, I’ve had some bad luck with natural toothpaste, too. We were making our own for a couple of years, but I fell away from it. The Living Libations tooth care line is my favorite – I wish it wasn’t so expensive, luckily I managed to get it all on sale.
You’re sweet! I was so embarrassed by the outcome of those hemp chocolates…I managed to find a few that looked decent enough to take a photo. Seriously, you should have seen our kitchen – I’m talking melted chocolate everywhere! I have no idea what happened! hahaha!!! Breakfast has become my favorite meal so we’ve been on the hunt for ways to change up our morning routine…the waffles are amazing! Especially the lemon blueberry ones!
I think we all need a little time to just unplug and recharge. I actually had a college professor that encouraged us to take mental health days and I’ve held that idea in my mind ever since. Whether it’s reading books or curling up to watch an episode or two of a show, it’s nice to let everything else wait for a bit, you know? Books are my favorite though, and before Willow was born, I was reading 2-3 books a week, so it was nice to catch up on books that have been on my list!
Yay!!! I am so happy to hear that you like the body butter!!!! Thank YOU for the support, my friend. You’re the best! ❤ xoxoxo
Mandy, I can’t tell you how surprised I am any time I come to read and come across one of my recipes you’ve tried in the process 🙂 I LOVE these and I think they turned out beautiful. I don’t know why you’d ever think they’re not share-worthy — totally serious! And chocolates are HARD to do gracefully, I know that much from experience. Freezing the tray definitely helps 😉
I spotted Louisa Hay’s book in your stack — that’s what I’m currently reading. I also recommended it to Natalie about a week ago just as something I was trying and I know she’s reading it too. It’s an interesting one. I have mixed feelings about it — can’t say I agree with many things, but some interesting gems in there nonetheless. I’m currently also reading Eat to Live (by Joel Fuhrman) and am finding the information in there quite interesting for perspective. I suspect you’ve probably read it already… I’m late on that bandwagon.
I always enjoy reading your reviews so much by the way. Sometimes when I’m shopping I think of you as a result. Funny how you can feel connected to people like that — the world begins to feel bigger & smaller all at once, if that makes sense 🙂 ❤
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Your recipes are wonderful, Audrey! And you make everything look so pretty and perfect, I felt that these just didn’t come close! Haha!! But they tasted amazing, so that’s all that mattered! I’m definitely doing the freezer trick next time! 🙂
I loved that Louise Hay book, and like you, I may not have agreed with everything, but it sure did make me think and take a second look at patterns in my life and how I think. Surprisingly enough, I have not read that Fuhrman book (I’ve read Disease Proof your Child)! It’s been on my list though! So I’m even later on that bandwagon 😉
Awwww! Thank you so much, my friend! I’ve actually missed you a lot lately, but know that life gets busy and you’ve got a lot on your plate! I completely agree – the world is a big place, but the connections make it feel so much smaller and comforting. Hugs to you! xo ❤
I absolutely LOVE reading your reviews, partyl because thwy are so informative and partly because they usually hit right on with my own intentions & interests in life. The recipes—always yum! I too love Compassionate Paws jewelry (if I am going to buy and wear jewelry at all), hers are rewarding in multiple ways. And the books…I must remember to sign up with GoodReads and connect with you. On your list I have read Chopra’s “Seven Spiritual Laws…,” “The Untethered Soul” at least three times (so resonates with personal demons), and Marianne Williamson “A Return to Love” although it’s been years and I should probably re-read it. If I already love 3/9 of your suggested readings, It may be in my best interest to check out some of the others on your list 😉 I’m working on carving out some more consitent “me time” for things like that. Thanks for all the recommendations, tasty & otherwise! Happy March! XX
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Awwww! Yay!! This makes me so happy to read! We really do have a lot in common and our interests are very similar. I’m excited that you’re on Goodreads now!! It’s such a great way to keep track of books and get recommendations…and giveaways are held quite a bit, too. I can’t believe how many of the same books you’ve read – The Untethered Soul started off a bit slow for me, but now it’s really hitting home…in fact, it moved me to tears in a few areas. A Return to Love is so beautiful and is one that I will forever refer back to. I’m glad to hear that you’re working towards more “me time” – I have found my mental health and well-being improve when I take the time. When Willow falls asleep, I stay up for a few hours and either read or journal…it’s so therapeutic. Thank YOU for taking the time to read this post and leave a comment. Happy March to YOU!!! LOTS OF LOVE! ❤
This is just a test post because the previous comment did not appear…luckily I’ve developed the habit of copying before posting so if this works I’ll just repost….;)
Thanks for the inspiration. A little more time for mental health and well-being is a must… Plus, specifically on your list I am excited about reading “How to Become a Wilflower” and for trying those Butterfinger Bites! And so me time MUST ensue in the near future ☺️ Oh, and the natural toothpaste, naturally. I may need to invest some time to research their products as well. Anyway, until next time…see you on GoodReads!
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You will LOVE those Butterfinger Bites! And that book, of course. It’s seriously so magical and inspiring – it’s one I will look through forever. I’m so excited that you’re on Goodreads!!!! xoxoxo
you know how much i LOVE these posts…those froodles look great! Definitely looking for them next time I’m at whole foods! I even have a few of those recipes you mentioned on my list =) Thanks Mandy!
Those Froodles are wonderful!! I carry a couple packs in my purse at all times and they’ve come in handy! February was definitely a good month for new recipes to try – can’t wait to see which ones you make! Thank YOU! ❤