June 2018 Favorites

Happy July, my friends! Can you believe it?? I hope you’re enjoying your summer so far! June was a fun-filled month with a road trip to Yellowstone, watching our garden grow, and just lots of time outside. More exciting news…Willow lost her first tooth the night before we left for our trip and then lost the one next to it while in Wyoming!! Not only is the big gap super cute, but listening to her talk (especially her “S’s”) is adorable!

We tried a lot of new things, so this favorites post is quite lengthy! Grab a snack or a drink and let’s dive in!

First, some of our favorite photos from the trip! I wish I could include a video I took of some bison crossing in front of our car!

Bear…moose…and bison!

And if you read my previous post (Monday Musings) you read about our garden updates…here are a couple more pics! Willow loves helping with harvesting the lettuce and eating it with some hummus!

Mammoth Russian sunflowers getting taller!!


Mint Masala Chai >> Blue Lotus Chai

I found this at Natural Grocers on clearance and it has become an addiction!! Never would I have thought to combine chai + peppermint, but it 100% works. This little bag looks like a single serving, but there’s a little bamboo scoop inside to create 17 cups! I’m loving that little scoop…I’m a sucker for anything miniature! I’ve made my servings with either homemade almond milk or coconut milk – both are equally creamy and delicious!

Grain Free Paleo Puffs >> Lesser Evil

For our road trip, we decided to splurge and buy a couple of things we normally wouldn’t and I hate to say it, but I’m hooked on these. My poor Mom bought a bag for herself and Willow hijacked it! They’re like the cheesy puffs I grew up with, but way less junkier! The addictive factor is HIGH…between the flavor and texture, they’re really good. We found this at Whole Foods.

Ginger Teriyaki Coconut Jerky >> Cocoburg >>I have been on the hunt for this brand for a long time!!! And we finally found it while in Jackson Hole, WY! More specifically at Jackson Whole Grocers. Definitely on the pricier side, but SO good. Jam packed with flavor, chewy, but not tough, and a great subtle sweetness.

Cinnamon Twist Activated Superfood Popcorn >> Living Intentions >>Even though I am unable to eat this, I had to share here that Josh and Willow loved it!! Josh said it’s like Cinnamon Toast Crunch in popcorn form…yeah, I’d say that sounds pretty good! We found this at Jackson Whole Grocers.

Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate Chips (55% cacao) semi-sweet >> Another Jackson Whole Grocers find and they are wonderful! Fair-trade, vegan, soy-free!

GT’S COCOYO living coconut yogurt (vanilla) >>We initially found this at Jackson Whole Grocers (Wyoming), but then found it at Natural Grocers here in Bend when we returned from our trip! Not going to lie. It wasn’t love at first bite…but then it grew on me and I came to love it. It really is a cross between kombucha + yogurt. Tangier than any other yogurt I’ve ever had and it’s effervescent…so be careful when opening the jar – I recommend doing so over the kitchen sink! I love to eat this yogurt topped with paleo granola and fresh berries. This is a pricier yogurt option, but the ingredient list is short and recognizable AND it’s packaged in a glass jar. Certainly won’t be a weekly purchase, but a nice treat! Natural Grocers sells this for $3.59/jar

Blueberry Lotus 78% raw dark chocolate >> Chocolita >>I have walked by this chocolate bar (and the other flavor options) for several months at Natural Grocers, but we finally decided to try it this last trip. It’s a small bar – only four squares – so it’s easy to inhale…which is why I haven’t purchased it before! Ha! But I happily shared it with Josh and we both agreed that it was easily the smoothest chocolate we’ve ever had. The subtleness of the blueberry and perfect sweetness level makes me want to go back and try all of the other flavors!

Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Vegan Butter >>I’ve passed by this butter for a long time because it always had soy lecithin in it, but now it has sunflower lecithin! We’ve been making our own butter for a few months, but this is going to become my convenient backup. I love the ingredient list, the flavor, and texture…holy creamy! We picked this up at Trader Joe’s.

Miyoko’s Vegan Cream Cheese >>Another Trader Joe’s find! While Josh enjoyed it on sandwiches, I tried it on Simple Mills Crackers with fresh tomatoes and loved it! It’s tastes so much like real cream cheese! Great smoky flavor without anything artificial (and zero gums). There’s even seaweed in this specific tub, which brings an eerie seafood-like flavor…don’t worry! It’s mild and the smokiness definitely takes the spotlight.

Vegan Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cups >> The Vegan 8 >>Remember orange creamsicles as a kid??? I do! And I LOVED them!! So when I saw that Brandi created orange creamsicle ice cream cups, I had to make them! Verdict??? Amazing! Perfectly creamy, full of orange flavor, and absolutely refreshing on a hot summer day! These were so easy to make, but the hard part was stopping myself from drinking the mixture out of the blender!! Well, waiting was also really hard! But worth it!

No Bake Chocolate Cream Pie >> Feasting on Fruit >>EPIC. Chocolate UPON chocolate…upon chocolate. I could leave it at that, but a post without rambles, just wouldn’t be a post here. I made this for Father’s Day because my Dad is a chocoholic…my whole family is actually. Growing up, my mom used to have to hide the chocolate chips 😂 So I knew that this would be the perfect thing to bring to a house full of chocolate lovers. I made a couple of minor adjustments: I used mostly hazelnuts in the crust because I didn’t have enough almonds on hand. Then we used Theo’s 85% baking chocolate bars instead of unsweetened chocolate because that’s all we could find last minute. Results??? HEAVEN!!!!! This dessert is NOT for the faint of heart. If you love rich, chocolate-y treats, this is for you! Every single one of us devoured our slice and I know I at least licked my plate clean. I’m pretty sure 100% certain that this will be made for another family gathering. Such a great balance of creamy, salty, sweet, and the chocolate is over the top delicious. I was blown away by the texture of the filling because no coconut, no avocados, no bananas…milk + dates + chocolate. Seriously, make this!

The Best Vegan Potato Salad >> Cadry’s Kitchen >> You guys know my qualms with recipe titles using “the best.” More often than not I’m left feeling like, “I’ve had better” or “meh, it’s not bad.” But since I’m familiar with Cadry and her creations, I felt pretty confident this would be delicious. Every year, for Josh’s birthday, he requests potato salad. Mayo is a must (takes you back to childhood comfort food) and in Cadry’s blog post she even mentions that mayo is a must. This was fabulous!!! I made some minor adjustments to this recipe as well (working with what we had) and used gold potatoes instead of russets and used red onion. I think the most exciting thing was Willow trying a bite! In all of our years making potato salad, she always declines trying some. She helped me make this and couldn’t stop stealing bites of the dressing! I swear, the addition of chopped dill pickles and dill pickle juice takes potato salad to a whole new level of awesomeness! Horrible, last minute pic below, but who cares…it was amazing! We’re going to make this again for our 4th of July gathering.

P.S. – Cadry, if you’re reading this, I’ve tried leaving comments on your last several posts, but they don’t seem to be going through! XO

Homemade Vegan Chocolate Milk >> The Vegan 8 >>We make homemade chocolate milk on a fairly regular basis so when I saw Brandi’s recipe for her version, I knew we had to try it because pretty much any of her creations takes what you think is good to a level of fantastic. She’s basically a magician in the kitchen! I knew I’d love this before even taking a sip because double chocolate! Cacao powder + chocolate chips. Need I say more?? Then she uses coconut milk in addition to another plant milk (we used homemade almond milk) which gives you an ultra creamy treat. After Willow’s first sip she said, “you HAVE to keep making this!!” Yep, it’s that good! Insanely rich…but in my household there’s no such thing as too rich 😉 Willow suggested next time topping it with whipped cream. Can you tell she loves sweet stuff? This milk is super decadent, creamy, thick, and oh so chocolate-y!! It made the perfect dessert after a long day! Definitely give this recipe a try!

B O O K S:

It was a bad book month for me! Lots of not-so-great reads, so I only have a couple to share!

Looking Glass (The Naturalist #2) by Andrew Mayne

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

We also REALLY enjoyed listening to the first two Harry Potter audiobooks while on our road trip! I’ve read all of the books and have seen the movies multiple times, but listening to someone reading them with such animation is truly amazing!


As always, I want to hear from YOU!! Let me know in a comment below if you’ve tried any delicious new recipes or products. Or maybe you’ve read a share worthy book! Any binge worthy shows?? I’m currently working my way through the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (my guilty pleasure…I seriously love that show).

If I don’t manage to get a recipe up before then, I’ll say it now…hope you have a wonderful July 4th!

Thanks for stopping by!


3 thoughts

  1. Not sure if my comment went through the other day, so posting it again!
    Omg I swear you should be a professional photographer Mandy, I know I keep saying that I love your pics, but you truly are so talented at capturing the most amazing photos, at the right angles and everything! I am in awe of all of your landscape photos, they are SO BEAUTIFUL and the overhead shot of Willow clipping the greens is just too perfect! That is the best! Holy moly, I’m so flattered you loved the chocolate milk and Orange Creamsicles so much, thank you so much my friend for your sweet words! You are the best. I’m in love with that pic of Willow drinking that chocolate milk, sooo cute!!
    That chocolate pie of Natalie’s looks insane! I mean, you can never go wrong with triple the chocolate, hahah, I would have licked my plate clean too, LOL!
    And Cadry’s potato salad, omg, I love, love potato salad. My mom used to make that all the time growing up and also used pickles and it was one of my favorite foods, but of course was full of dairy, will have to try Cadry’s!
    And all of your finds, I swear you are like a magic person with all the amazing food finds you discover, I’m always left hungry after reading your posts, hahaha! I totally want those cheesy puff things, dang those look delicious and so crunchy. Thanks as always for sharing these posts, they are such a joy to read!
    Love you!


    1. Oh, my goodness! You are way too kind! ☺️ Photography is on my short list of things I need to work on, so I appreciate the compliment! ❤️ I find I can flub my way through landscape/nature shots…it’s food photography that’s my downfall! I was so amazed with the beauty of Yellowstone – the photos I managed to capture just couldn’t compare with seeing it in real life. Can you believe we grew lettuce?!?! I actually kept something alive 🤣🤣🤣 I think it’s cute to watch Willow harvest it – she’s so proud!
      We seriously LOVED that chocolate milk!!!! It’s such a delicious treat!! You’re definitely my go-to for sweet treats ❤️😘😘 I know it’s not oil-free, but I think you’d really enjoy Cadry’s potato salad! I love that your mom used to make a potato salad with pickles…I’m kinda hooked on that addition!

      Hehe!!! I seek out all the new products whenever we go shopping 🤣 June was a good month! Thank you so much for always taking the time to read these posts and leave such lovely comments! It means a lot ❤️❤️ Love you, my dear!


  2. I read this post way back when you wrote it, but I thought, “I want to comment when I have time to write something really thoughtful.” Cut to me getting back to this over a month later!! Anyway, don’t take my silence as an indication of how happy I was when I saw that you made and loved my potato salad. I’m so glad it was a hit, and that Willow tried a bite too.

    I’m disappointed that my commenting box hasn’t been working for you. A couple of other people have mentioned it, but I’ve updated plug-ins and it’s seemed to go back to normal for them. Any luck for you? If not, could you tell me what browser you’re using? Or have you tried clearing your cache? I’ll see if I can recreate it, so that I can fix the issue.


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