May 2018 Favorites

Hello, friends!!! Happy JUNE! As always, last month flew by way too fast…but it was a great month. I won’t bore you with too many rambles, but I will say that the highlight of May (and the year so far) was getting to finally meet one of my favorite friends in real life!!!!! I met Julie through Instagram four years ago and we became fast friends. Our almost daily chats via text and videos were great, but to sit down face to face and really talk was priceless. It was like catching up with an old friend…like I’ve known her for all my life. Whether laughing or crying, chowing on vegan food or walking around, we had a really amazing time together and I am SO grateful to have this beautiful human in my life! I can’t put into words how incredible it is/was to feel completely understood and accepted without having to explain anything. Huge thank you to her husband, Jay, for sending her out here to stay with us!

Another May highlight…getting closer to our yard makeover AND starting a small garden! Willow was super excited to plant seeds this year and I am determined to become a person with a green thumb! The only thing I’ve managed to keep alive these last few years is lavender, so I’m trying to stay positive 😉 Together Willow and I planted (started from seed):

  • Mammoth Russian Sunflowers
  • Dwarf Sunflowers
  • Lettuce
  • Chives
  • Holy Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Zinnias
  • Helichrysum
  • Foxglove

And then we have tomato and strawberry plants!

I’ll try to post some updates. Growing season here in the high desert is super tricky and short, so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

OK, shall we dive in??


Chocolate Chip Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes >> Feasting on Fruit

Pancakes are made regularly in our house…at least once a week and I’m always looking for new recipes to change up our routine! These were delicious!!! They are similar to my buckwheat pancake recipe here on the blog, but I needed to try them! One bowl, fluffy perfection, AND chocolate chips…you can’t go wrong! I highly recommend! Sadly, I don’t have a photo to accompany this mini review because they got devoured as soon as they hit the cooling rack!

Roasted Salsa Ranchera Cream >> The Vegan 8

If you love spicy things, you will LOVE this!!! The flavor is intense and addictive…and you’ll want to put it on everything! We used jalapeños because that’s what we had on hand at the time, but I plan to make it again, as written very soon. Below is a quick photo I snapped of a super comforting bowl of mashed potatoes with this amazing salsa ranchera cream on top! Josh tried it with noodles and gave it a huge thumbs up.

May 2018 Favorites

Grain-Free Chocolate Coconut Cookies >> The Vegan 8

It’s been a while since I’ve made a cookie recipe from Brandi…mostly because I struggle with making treats that I can’t eat 😉 so you can probably imagine how fast I jumped on this recipe! She warns you not to try the dough because you won’t be able to stop eating it….please listen to that warning. Willow and I made the mistake of stealing a bite and ended up eating more than I’d like to admit. But baked…these cookies are amazing!!! Rich, fudgy, and SO wonderfully chocolate-y! These were a hit with all of my family.

May 2018 Favorites

Easy Creamy Lentil Tomato Soup >> The Vegan 8

Did you hear that Brandi’s cookbook is available for preorder?????!!! If you preorder, you get an eBook with five new recipes (can’t find them anywhere else) and this is where I got the recipe for this comforting, hearty soup! Really quick though…this little eBook has a photo to accompany each recipe – I LOVE photos! OK, but back to this soup. Since lentils are my friend, I jumped on this recipe immediately! It really is simple to make (almost ridiculously easy) and full of intense flavor. Very reminiscent of chili – which is something I have missed these last couple of years!

May 2018 Favorites

HYDRATE >> LAIRD Superfood

I had been eyeing up this product for a while now, but just recently found a small packet to try out before buying a larger bag…which I ended up buying a bigger bag not long after. This specific single packet gets mixed with 16oz of water….I had to fight Willow for it! Super refreshing, subtly sweet without any added sweetener, and local to us!! {{Out of Sisters, OR.}} It’s just pure freeze dried coconut water + Aquamin (which is a sea algae). With the hotter months upon us, and more time outdoors, this will be perfect when you want something other than just water. It will also be great to pack along for our upcoming road trip and camping/hiking adventures! We’ve seen this in Natural Grocers and Market of Choice (8oz bag for just under $12)…next time I want to give the turmeric hydrate a try!

May 2018 Favorites

Jalapeño Lime Almond Dip >> Trader Joe’s

Have you seen this in your local Trader Joe’s??? If so, try it!! Just the right amount of spice with a thick, creamy texture. I enjoyed it with carrot sticks and cassava chips! But I could see adding it to a salad or in a wrap as well.

May 2018 Favorites

Cybele’s Green Lentil Kale Broccoli & Spinach Rotini >>

Willow has declared that this is her favorite pasta ever and I need to keep buying it! We stumbled upon this while browsing around at Market of Choice…I had heard great things about this brand, but haven’t found it anywhere local to us until now. They offer a few different flavors (using lentils with various veggies, such as butternut squash, cauliflower, parsnips, beets, peppers) and I look forward to trying them all!

I feel like a Favorites post wouldn’t be complete without kombucha! Euphoria was a new to me flavor and I really enjoyed it! The cayenne brings a good bit of heat, but there’s some sweetness in this bottle to balance it out. The GT’S summer edition is just dangerously sweet and delicious!


I read quite a few books last month (I believe 12), but these are the ones worth recommending!

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

May 2018 Favorites

Girl, wash your face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah


Please share any new finds, favorite books, binge-worthy shows, delicious recipes, or just let me know how you’re doing! I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

12 thoughts

  1. Hi!! Remember when I said I wasn’t I big cryer? Well I started welling up when I read about our visit! What have you done to me?? Ha! Right?! 😂😂. Can’t believe you live across the land—so grateful for you my lovely friend!

    We actually have the summer addition kombucha —was so good! I just got chickpea pasta for the first time —Banza and we really liked our first use 👍. I also found a chickpea “breadcrumb” recently at the store —haven’t tried yet, but I’ll let you know if it’s tasty.


    1. Hahaha!! Right?? 😂😂😂 I laugh every time I say that now…or at least when I catch myself saying it! I got teary eyed typing it up! We wish we could live closer to you and your sweet family! Just so grateful you got a chance to visit and stay in our crazy house. I swear Rockford went through Julie withdrawal…Willow too 😂

      Oh! I’ll have to look for that pasta brand for Willow! And please do keep me posted on those breadcrumbs! I told Josh about that and his eyes got really huge 😂 we’re so used to omitting when a recipe calls for breadcrumbs so it would be awesome to find a good substitute!!

      Love you, friend!!! Hope you have a fabulous weekend ❤️❤️❤️❤️


  2. I always look so forward to your awesome Favorites posts! That picture of you and Julie is fabulous! So happy you finally got to meet in person. Speaking of fabulous, look at Willow! She looks so grown up! Crossing my fingers for your green thumbs this year. We live in hot Florida where I can’t keep anything alive ever, well maybe a cactus but that’s it. I always bookmark the recipes you recommend and hopefully will get to make them all. Love you friend!


    1. Hello!!! I hope you’re having an awesome time traveling and getting up to lots of adventures! We need to catch up soon, OK? ❤️❤️ Meeting Julie was so amazing – she’s such a genuine human and exactly like I thought she would be from our communications! You would adore her!

      Willow really has grown up…in every sense…it feels like we have a teenager on our hands these days!! 😂😂

      Thank you for always reading and supporting – even when you’re super busy! I appreciate it ❤️

      Mini update: we now have a bunch of sprouts!!! Our sunflowers, zinnias, cilantro, and lettuce are popping up! Woohoo! Here’s hoping we keep everything alive 🤞🏼😂

      Love you!!!


  3. Oh wow, I’m so happy you two got to finally meet! Two wonderful ladies right there. I love that picture of y’all! Such wonderful news and the start of a beautiful friendship! And omg, so funny you shared this today with making my recipes because I finally made your Chai Pancakes this morning!! Haha! I will send you a pic to your email! They were absolutely AMAZING and I swear on my life I don’t say that lightly, especially with pancakes. I have NEVER liked a vegan pancake recipe that I’ve tried online with the exception of my own pancake recipes…until NOW. You blew me away girl. I’m so glad I finally got around to making them. I have a dessert recipe that I’m working on using buckwheat flour so I’m so grateful to now have another recipe using buckwheat. I loved your chai spice mix too, so darn delicious. I have my own blend too but I loved yours equally so now I have 2 great options. I will copy paste this review on the pancakes as well.

    Thank you SO very much for making my recipes and giving me a shoutout about my book, you are such a sweet friend and I can’t thank you enough! I’m so glad you loved all 3 of those recipes. I’m addicted to that lentil soup…it’s SO fast and easy to make yet tastes like it’s been cooking all day so your description of it reminding you of chili is brilliant!

    Thanks my friend! xoxo


    1. You can ask Josh, I did a happy dance and cried a few happy tears when I read this comment and the feedback you left!!! Aaaahhh! You’re the BEST!! And like I said, that’s a HUGE compliment coming from you, so thank you SO MUCH!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Your description of the lentil soup is spot on!! The flavor is so bold – it really does taste like it’s been cooking all day!! It is definitely one of my favorite soups!! I seriously can’t wait for your cookbook…I already know it will be one of my most prized/cherished cookbooks! ❤️ I need to try your chai mix!!! Adding it to my list of things to do/make this weekend!

      Thank you so so much for the kind words and support. Love you, sweet friend!!! xoxoxo


  4. Oh and a big yes to that jalapeno lime dip, OMG, that sounds divine! I’m so picking that up. I absolutely love your favorites post and all the finds you share so please don’t ever stop!


    1. No joke, I thought about YOU when I first tried it!!! You would love that dip! And thank you ❤️❤️❤️ that means a lot!


  5. Sounds like a wonderful month! I’ve planted loads of flowers and will get our raised beds done this weekend. Gardening is so fun! It’s already getting super hot here, so we’ve had some lazy days. We’re watching the new season of Supernatural and just finished Lost in Space. I’m currently reading Girl, wash your face! Lots of lemon bars and raspberries tarts being made here. I’m so glad you met your friend in real life, I pray one day we can do the same!!! ❤️


    1. Hi, Carrie!!!! I want to see pics of your garden!!! I hope to have raised beds next year…figured container gardening would be best for us beginners 😂 if I’m successful this summer, I’ll expand next year! We’ve had some warm days, but this week we also had some very chilly nights (34°) So it’s definitely been a learning experience for gardening.

      I can’t believe Supernatural is still around!?? Josh and I watched the first few seasons…not sure why we stopped! Lost in Space is on my list!! I can’t believe you’re reading that book!! Yay! It’s so good!! You’ll have to let me know what you think about it ❤️ I’m so grateful for being able to borrow eBooks through our library – sometimes the wait is long, but definitely saves you money! Mmmm! Lemon bars and raspberry tarts!! I wish we were neighbors! Thank you, mama!! It was so nice to finally meet Julie in real life…I really hope you and I get the same chance!! ❤️❤️ xo


  6. I am SO happy you had a good time with Julie!! I hate the internet for a lot of reasons, but the immediate comfort of meeting online friends in person is one of the most amazing things about it I think. And just connecting with people you so instantly click with that you may have never met otherwise. She came at a wonderful time too, I bet it was beautiful😊 And I cannot wait to see the garden progress over the next few months. Honestly you and the lavender have already beat my record…I think I need to switch to succulents😂 Yippeeee I am so so happy you guys liked the pancakes! The pancakes that you inspired so it’s like you crediting me crediting you…or something confusing like that lol. And I have to try Brandi’s cookies, but I haven’t decided if I want to heed the batter warning or just go into the endeavor not planning on actually baking any of them🤔 So this lentil pasta works okay for you then? I would love to find some that isn’t rice based that works for me and all those greens mixed in sounds awesome. I’ll look for it and maybe bravely give legumes a go! Girl Wash Your Face sounds wonderful and always a much needed dose of badass self confidence–I currently have 2 audible credits waiting to be used and I much prefer listening to non-fiction books, so that may have to happen very soon😊 Happy summer my dear❤️ xoxo


    1. Natalieeeeee!!!!! I feel so bad for this extremely delayed reply! I’m sorry, friend! ❤️❤️❤️ Right?!?! Connecting with some amazing people makes the internet/social media not all bad!
      Haha!! I’m really surprised at how well we’re doing with our first attempt at a garden!! I’m hoping to share an update before we leave for Yellowstone…it’s looking like I might actually have a mini green thumb 😂 I’m a chronic over waterer or under waterer so this has been quite the learning experience!
      We’ve been using your pancake recipe in the rotation! We love it!! Please forgive me for falling so behind on reading your posts!! I have them all saved in my email in hopes of catching up this weekend! Hahahaha!!! That cookie batter is dangerous so I would go into it with the thinking you might not get baked cookies out of it 😂😂
      Yes!!! Lentil pasta is my go-to!! I usually buy Trader Joe’s red lentil noodles, but we’ve had some bad/irregularly batches lately so we switched to a couple of other brands. There’s a brand out there that makes a red lentil and quinoa pasta and it’s really good!! I hope you and legumes can be friends 🤞🏼🤞🏼
      I think you’d really love Girl Wash Your Face!! Keep me posted on any books you read and like!! Thanks for the comment, sweet friend!! I hope you’re doing well!! ❤️❤️❤️ xoxo


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