Sweet Laurel’s Snickerdoodle Cookies

I have been making these cookies from Sweet Laurel on repeat. They are vegan and gluten free and absolutely delicious. Make sure to use precise measurements– just a tad too much oil will result in really flat, greasy cookies and just a little too much flour will make them dry. Although, they are still delicious! The best part is you can eat the batter by the spoonful.

Ingredients:
3 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Topping:
1/4 cup date sugar (I used coconut sugar)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack in the middle of the oven.
Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together all wet ingredients and stir into the dry ingredients. Place one inch balls of batter onto parchment lined baking sheets and lightly press down. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon combination. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.  

Enjoy!

Farro Salad & Vanilla Cake

I’ve had big, hearty salads on repeat over here. While we were waiting on our new baby, I kept stocking the fridge with them– farro, orzo, pasta, black bean and corn– the options are endless and they are so great to have on hand for lunch and dinner. This Mediterranean farro salad is one of my favorites.

The recipe is flexible, so add or remove whatever you wish! I boiled the farro per the directions on the package. While it was boiling, I chopped and tossed everything else into an extra large bowl: cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, green onion, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, arugula, and chickpeas. Drain and rinse the farro, then toss that in. I mixed everything up with lemon juice, olive oil and lots of salt and pepper.

One of my favorite (healthy-ish) summertime desserts is the vanilla cake from Sweet Laurel. I’ve made it for my son’s birthday two years in a row now and I think we will keep the tradition! It’s perfectly sweet and moist. **The only change I make is adding a dash of cinnamon to the cake batter, otherwise this is the recipe from Sweet Laurel:

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon**
seasonal berries

For the coconut whipped cream
1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like Let’s Do Organic brand)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Prepare your 8-inch pan by cutting a circular round of parchment paper to fit the base of your pan. Place the circular parchment round inside the cake pan, then grease the sides of the pan with melted coconut oil.
Place eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk until well incorporated. Add almond flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix until batter is formed, then pour into prepared pan.
Bake about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool, then flip cake out of pan onto a cake plate.

For the coconut whipped cream
Place can of coconut milk in refrigerator the night before you make your cake.
Before you plan to serve your cake, open the can of refrigerated coconut milk. The fat will have risen to the top of the can, with the liquid at the bottom; scoop out only the solids to your mixing bowl, then add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk together, then refrigerate whipped cream to keep it firm until you are ready to top your cake.
To frost your cake, place cooled cake on serving plate and top with prepared coconut whipped cream, followed by organic seasonal berries.

Newborn Necessities

We’re basking in newborn goodness over here with the addition of our new little one, Liv. The cuddles seem extra sweet the second time around, perhaps because most of those new mom worries don’t exist anymore. I’m really soaking up every second! I purchased and was gifted many great essentials for the first time around with Henry, so we have been able to reuse a quite a bit. I did purchase a few more things for Liv and have narrowed down what I really love and think are especially useful.

As with all baby things, this is all extremely personal! There are a million products out there and everyone has their own opinions on each one. You need to figure out what works for you and your baby! With that said, here are my favorites…

Loungers: Especially for a second child, I have found it really useful to have a place to set the baby down. Many will advise not to use for sleep, but when you need to set the baby down to make your coffee or tend to your toddler, it’s nice to have a cozy spot. Our favorite with Henry was the Boppy lounger and that has proven to be true for Liv as well. We also have the Dockatot which has been great, and I especially love having both now that we are in a bigger home. It’s great to keep one upstairs and one downstairs so that you don’t have to continually move them around. The Snuggle Me Organic is another popular one that is very similar to the Dockatot. Once out of the newborn phase, I really love the Babybjorn bouncer– it’s a perfect spot to set your little one while you get dinner cooked!

Carriers: Echoing what I said above, it’s really, really nice having both hands available! Also, I haven’t met a baby that doesn’t love a carrier- close to mom, warm and upright. I love this Babybjorn carrier the best as it’s extremely functional. I also love Solly wraps which come in fun patterns and are especially great for the newborn stage.

Car Seats: If you’re adding to your baby registry, I’d recommend putting both an infant and convertible car seat on there. The first 10-12 months fly by, and you’ll be purchasing a new car seat for your little one before you know it. The Nuna Pipa is our favorite infant car seat, and most of my mama friends would agree. We switched to the Nuna Rava around the 1-year mark and love it. We also have the Clek Foonf which I have only great things to say about, and especially love it now that H is facing forward.

Sleeping: If you’re searching for a bassinet and aren’t getting the Snoo, I love this one from Halo. (IMO, the Snoo is *not* necessary). One of my favorite cribs for your home nursery is the Webster Convertible Crib from S&L. For travel, the Babybjorn light travel crib has been incredible- it’s SO light and comfortable and is one of my all time favorite baby products! My favorite newborn onesies are Kissy Kissy and I have found these to be the easiest swaddles.

Other Favorites:
My favorite diapers are Pampers Pure and for wipes- Water Wipes are a must!
I love these for baby washcloths and these for burp cloths (you’ll want a TON of burp cloths to have around!)
Babo Botanicals makes my favorite baby products from shampoo to diaper creme.
We have and love the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair.
The Lovevery play gym is one of our favorite baby products!

Welcome, Little Liv

On Tuesday, July 14, 2020 we welcomed this sweet little lady into our family. We are all smitten!

Liv’s outfit: bow, socks, onesie (similar here), swaddle blanket (similar here and here)

The Absolute Best Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a family favorite over here and this recipe from Susan Branch is the ultimate. It’s incredibly moist and makes such a statement– I love to make it for my husband on his birthday. This time, I swapped the vegetable oil for coconut oil and it worked beautifully. Sharing the recipe below as well as the image from her book because it’s too cute not to! If you don’t have a food processor, now is the time to get one. It’s one of my favorite kitchen products, and a game changer for shredding all those carrots!

4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup shredded coconut
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. box powdered sugar
3 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil 3 8″ cake pans (these are my favorite). Set out butter and cream cheese to soften for the frosting. Put pineapple into a sieve to drain liquid. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add oil and mix well. Put in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into the oiled cake pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of cake. Cool and frost.

Frosting: mix butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Frost between layers and on top of the cake.

Fun finds for the Fourth

It’s almost July! July is one of my favorite months for many reasons, and it’s no surprise that the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays (hard to beat Christmas, but they do compete in my mind). I am a big fan of Americana design year round, but especially for the month of July. I found a few fun picks that are great for celebrating all summer long… hope you enjoy!

A perfect packable straw hat with options for ribbon (of course, I choose stripes)
Americana floral smocked one piece for your little girl. Pair with these patriotic boardies for your little guy!
Treat yourself to a really fun pair of earrings– darling with a simple white dress for summer.
I love these farmhouse striped napkins for summer entertaining.
Don’t forget the party garland!
My favorite teak slingback chair is super easy to move around the yard when you have guests and looks darling, too!
A classic RL flag sweater is a must have for baby, kids and mom!
A cozy linen throw to cuddle up with outside on cool summer nights.

Happy Summer!

Cozy Pajamas for Kiddos

What is better than a freshly bathed babe, ready for bed in cozy pajamas? I swear a cute, cozy pair makes a baby sleep better, and nothing is better than having your kiddos match! Henry is wearing Lila + Hayes in this photo– they sent us this super soft, lightweight pair that is perfect for summer. We love them! Lake Pajamas and Kissy Kissy are tried and true favorites for newborns and toddlers. Petite Plume makes elegant, timeless styles. And, we love j.crew for stripes and fun patterns! All of these brands are extremely soft and hold up very well to washes. You can shop some of my favorite picks below… bonne nuit! x

Summer Recipe Roundup

We have been grilling and eating outside every night for the past week– it officially feels like summer! For dinner last night, I roasted up a ton of vegetables and plated with burrata and a leftover spinach basil pesto I had in the fridge. It was delicious! I have a bunch of recipes saved for the next few months and thought I’d pen some of them here for you to enjoy as well. I’m also stocking up on melamine plates and other outdoor dining essentials– some fun ideas linked below for dining alfresco. Bon appetit!

Grilled corn and zucchini salad
Grilled watermelon and feta stacked salads
Charred peppers with lemon ricotta and cucumbers
Potato salad with mustard sauce
Grilled vegetables
Watermelon salad with cucumber and feta
Skirt steak with avocado and tomatoes
Summer stone fruit salad
Cucumber and peach salad with herbs
Spaghettini with roasted tomatoes
Loaded grilled steak salad
Southwest BBQ pork sliders
Blackened salmon burgers
Everything but the kitchen sink pasta salad
Blackberry peach crisp
Browned butter grilled peaches with ice cream
Strawberry yogurt popsicles
Strawberry thyme lillet spritzer
Cucumber mint gimlets
Grapefruit ginger bourbon sour
Kentucky lemonade

Cleaning a White Slipcovered Couch

I am all-in when it comes to a big, cozy white slipcovered couch. I love the non-tailored look as it feels more casual and inviting. You can also have a ton of fun with pillows (you can shop mine and other favorites here) and it washes so easily! Many people are hesitant to get a white couch with kids, but I actually think they can be easier to maintain since they handle washes so well. I wash mine about once a month, unless some dirty little hands get to it more often than that ; )

One thing to make sure of when buying yours is that the fabric you choose is actually washable! The couch we have now is from Pottery Barn– the PB comfort roll arm, box edge back cushion, down-blend fill, with denim warm white fabric. For us, it’s a great middle of the road couch. It certainly won’t last us forever, but I don’t think twice when kids are jumping, or even eating, on it. The other brand I love is Lee, which is higher end than PB and what we have in our living room.

My tips for washing:
• Spot treat stains. We have had berries and wine spilled on this couch and have been 100% removed! The key here is to wash immediately, which can be annoying but it makes a difference. If it’s in the middle of a party, waiting an hour or two will be fine! Remove ASAP and spot treat. I use a basic “clean” stain remover, nothing fancy.
• Always wash on cold. Most HE machines now do best with cold anyway, and I think the fabric stays nicer.
• Use distilled white vinegar! This is a secret weapon when it comes to laundry. It keeps whites white, darks dark, and colors brighter, plus it softens fabric and removes odors. I add laundry detergent as usual, and then about 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar into the fabric softener section (or add into your last rinse cycle).
• Dry as usual, but remove from the dryer when it’s still a little damp. I like to put the slipcovers back on at this time so they are less wrinkly and also fit on easily. I keep the cushions propped up to dry completely before tucking everything back in.

Hope this helps you enjoy your white couch!


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