A healthier version of Deep Dish Cookie Pie

Last week I decided to cut out sugar.  I knew it would only be temporary but I needed to rid myself of these sugar cravings.  Once you start eating sugar, you just want more.  It was hard the first three days.  By when the  weekend came,  I just wanted a little something and I knew it wouldn't take much to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I decided to get out the garbanzo beans in the cupboard and make a dessert.  If you are looking for healthier versions of dessert, check out Chocolate Covered Katie.  I've tried a few of her recipes and they are really good.  I wouldn't say they are healthy but a good alternative.  Who would have thought beans and chocolate were so yummy.
 I made her Deep Dish Cookie Pie.  I halved the recipe because I only had one can of beans and didn't need a big pan of dessert in my house.  I also tweaked the recipe abit.  I reduced the sugar and chocolate chips significantly (almost cut out more than half) and it was still very sweet.  Maybe the coconut oil helped.  Didn't miss the eggs, butter or flour.  It was very moist and so yummy right out of the oven.  This will be a repeat dessert.  I will admit I ate the whole things myself BUT throughout the weekend.  

Deep Dish Cookie Pie

  1. 2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (500g total, once drained)
  2. 1 cup quick oats (or certified-gf quick oats)
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  4. 3 tbsp oil (canola, veg, or coconut)
  5. 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar 
  10. 1 cup chocolate chips
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a good food processor (not a blender). Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan (I used a 10-inch springform pan, but you can use a smaller pan if you want a really deep-dish pie.) Cook at 350F for around 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. (Some commenter's have had success with a blender, but I did not. Try that at your own risk, and know the results will be better in a high-quality food processor such as a Cuisinart.)

Personal Note: I used my Ninja blender and it worked just fine.

Snow Play [x3]

I recently came across an Instagram feed that truly inspired me as a mom.  She is so creative and intentional about learning and play with her children.  Something I strive to do with my children.  But it takes time and effort.  My children don't always play well on there own or voluntarily choose to do free play by themselves so I feel I need to direct them somewhat.  Her Instagram name is katherinemaries and her website is www.katherinemaries.com.  I'm a detailed person so I love the details she puts into her activities.  I know I'll be doing more that a few of her ideas with my munchkins.  Follow her if you need inspiration!  

As I was scrolling through her amazing pictures, I came across some fun snow activities.  Perfect since we have a dump of snow right now.  Tons of snow actually.  I feel like it came out of nowhere.  Just when I was preparing for spring.  

I prepped two of the snow activities last night but the kids were so into it that I scrambled for a third and it turned out great.  Mainly because I had all the stuff I needed at home and it got the kids outside.

Activity #1: Snow People.  
This one I got from katherinemaries.  What a great idea to bring the snow inside.  I laid out all the materials on a the wood trays, brought in the snow and let them create.  I did have to help quite abit with this one.  Getting the snow on the tray and even getting the materials on the packed snow was a bit of a challenge.  But they loved the end product.

Activity #2: Dino + Minion Snow Dig. 
This is a modification of one of katherinemaries activities.  I wanted to include Isla in this so I made her the minion dig and Oliver the dino dig.  I found two scoops in the drawer, threw in the treasures to find along with the snow and let them hunt.  The kids loved it!  

Activity #3: Paint the Snow.
This activity was the one I threw together last minute with stuff I had at home.  I wanted to get the kids outside and do more of an art project.  After searching through the house, I found a ketchup and mustard bottle, filled them with water and food colouring.  Easiest activity ever.  Done a million times by moms everywhere.  

My goal is to do a well planned and intentional activity with my children every Monday morning.  It may involve prep the night before but I want to start out the week with fun and learning which can be done together.  

Find what inspires you and do.

The day ended with a neighbourhood snowball fight with kids against Trevor.  Oh the fun!

book club review #1: captivating

A friend of mine just recently decided to start a women's book club with a few friends.  It was put on her heart to open her home once a month for a group of women to come together to encourage, learn and grow in our relationship with Jesus.  I had mixed feelings at first, one this sounds great and two where am I going to find the time.  Going into the new year I told myself I wanted to read more.  So maybe this was opportunity to make it happen and have the accountability I needed.  I know it's a matter of prioritizing my time.   We came together and decided on five books for next few months till summer.  I think we have a good variety of books that will hopefully elicit good conversation and connection.  

Last night we meet to discuss our first book, Captivating: Unveiling the mystery of a Women's Soul.  I already had the book and started the book when we were first married but never finished.  The story of my life.  Sorry couldn't resist.  So I was excited to read through the whole thing.  However I found the book overall basic and not as profound as I remembered it.  Maybe it's because six year ago I was in a different place.  Or maybe because I already knew the premise of the book.  Either way I was really looking for some depth and reflection on my soul.  It did have a good reminders for sure ... as women we seek out beauty//we want adventure, romance and to play the princess//we have wounds from growing up that make us who we are today//our relationship with our fathers and mothers are crucial in how we see ourselves and other//God needs to be the one we are truly passionate about and seek after.

This is one of the passages that spoke to my heart ....
God wants to love this life together with you, to share in your days and decisions, your desires and disappointments. He wants intimacy with you in the midst of the madness and mundane, the meetings and memos, the laundry and lists, the carpools and conversations and projects and pain.  He wants to pour his love into your heart and he longs to have you pour yours into his.  He wants your deep heart, that center place within that is the truest you.  He is not interested in intimacy with the women you think you are suppose to be.  He wants intimacy with the real you.  
This was a good reminder and nudge for me to be in relationship with God in everything.  Not just the highs and lows but in the everyday.  And that is hard.  Among the potty training, runny noses and tantrums.  Finding joy in the everyday can be a struggle.  We long for adventure and excitement.  But instead of going to others or things, go to him first.  That is where the intimacy and joy and love will be the deepest.  He wants our time, our thoughts and our actions.  Why is it so hard to give them up?  Control really is something we make up + do to feel good temporarily but he is calling us to be our real selves = true intimacy that will heal and fill our hearts.  We are relational women so why not have the most fulfilling relationship with our Lord and Saviour who is longing for us to run to him.  To do life with him.  And by doing this, it takes the pressure off our husbands to meet our every need and the unrealistic expectations on our friends and family to be something they aren't meant to be.  Only Jesus, our Lord and Saviour will not disappoint us.  

no more late fees

Here is a little trick I use to organize library books and make sure they get returned on time. 
I found a little white box with a chalk label and as soon as we get home I put all our library books from our church and local library in the box.  It saves me from hunting them down every three weeks and the possibility of them getting lost.  Which is easy to do when you have tons of books all over your house.  The label is a good reminder for when they are due.  I found this one at Superstore but you could easily refinish an old magazine holder or container and add a chalk label.

Just one little thing to keep organized in the chaos of life with munchkins .....

big girl room: a little sparkle + a little shabby chic

We recently took Isla's crib down and put it in the garage.  This day signifies in so many ways that she is no longer a baby.  But a big girl ready for a big girl bed and big girl things.  I found her wood toddler bed on a buy & sell site.  It's small but perfect for right now.  It could use a coat of paint but I'm just saying that it's shabby chic for right now.  I've found a few things at thrift stores to add to her room.  I made the bunting above her bed yesterday.  Boy do I have a hard time in fabric stores.  I think I was in Fabricana for over an hour trying to decide on three little pieces of fabric.  The photo wall gallery has taken some time.  It's a variety of thrift store frames, pictures, prints I found on Etsy and a canvas with gold stickers I made.  It came together quite nicely.

My favorite features of her room ...
: the vintage wool blanket and pillow I found a Spruce Collective in Abbotsford.   
: glass cake dome with lid from Ikea I use for her hair accessories.
: the cloth magazine tote, teal candy dish and ceramic water pitcher from the thrift store.
: her white wood doll crib which was originally Auntie Lindsay's.

Isla was suppose to be having a nap but instead she decided to be my model while I photographed her room.  She loves being the centre of attention.  

Never loose your sparkle my darling. 

why we celebrate valentine's day

Valentine's Day seems to bring up mixed feelings for people.  Should it be a big deal or just another day?  I wouldn't say that it's a holiday like Christmas or Easter that is to be celebrated because of what it means for me as a Christian but why not make those you love feel special.  I understand the notion that you should love everyday and do nice things everyday but is that realistic?  Do we do that?  I think I try to be loving daily but doing special things for those you love requires us to be intentional.  And if we aren't intentional on holidays, are we ever going to be.  Why not take the opportunity to shower love when the day makes it so easy to do so.  I agree not getting wrapped up in the commercialism of it all is important.  Make a card. Make some goodies.  Do a craft.  Have a little get together. 

This year I specifically told Trevor not to buy flowers for me this year.  I like flowers but I didn't want him sending a fortune on overpriced flowers just because he felt he had to.  We don't really buy gifts for each other on Valentine's Day.  It's not really my love language.  I like kind gestures and spending time.  We spent the night before going out for a nice dinner at Cielo's in White Rock.  The fact that he called to make reservations and organized babysitting was what spoke to my heart.  The chocolate and new pink heart coffee cup was a nice bonus.  

I think it's good for our kids to see us celebrating love and marriage.  
I think it's good for them to see us celebrating friendship and giving.  
I think it's good for them to see us celebrating fun and kindness.  

Here is Oliver concentrating hard on writing his name on his Valentine cards for his preschool friends.

Set up Trevor's coffee and a muffin for him.

Out at Cielo's in White Rock celebrating just the two of us.

Here is how our love day was spent.  Started the day with a Valentine's playdate with friends.

Oliver's loot from preschool.  Wow.

Finished the evening with chocolate fondue.  My mom's special recipe.  The kids skipped the fruit and just ate the chocolate.  Probably explains why they both went to bed at 10pm.

I think it was a great day where we loved on others and were loved.  

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15:12 

family day long weekend: potato stamps, angry birds, hot dogs + sushi

This past weekend was Family Day long weekend for us BC residents.  Our weekend didn't include going away but we had some fun times with friends and enjoyed just being together.  It was perfect and what we needed.  It was nice to have Trevor home for an extra day.  A few of our highlights ...

sushi as a family for the first time.  Isla loves the miso soup and had three bowls of it.  Oliver loved the edamame.  We are rookie sushi eaters so we didn't get too crazy.  The kids are still warming up to california rolls.  

: wiener roast.  Went to our friends place in Fort Langley for a wiener roast and enjoyed the crisp, winter air.

: spa.  I had to opportunity to finally use a gift card I was given two and half years ago after Isla was born to Spa Utopia.  It was last minute but I was able to spend Sunday morning getting a facial.  It was nice just to be pampered and be sans kids for a few hours.  

: friends birthday party.  Oliver's buddy Jackson turned five so we went to My Gym for an Angry Bird birthday party.

We also were busy busy making fun treats and doing Valentine's activities.  The kids loved all the goodies we made for our friends and teachers.  

Activity 1// Potato Stamp Goodie Bags

Activity 2// Chocolate Pretzel Wands for the kids teachers

Activity 3//Rice Krispie Heart Pops + sparkle pencil treats for friends

Yesterday we had a little Valentine's party with a few friends.  We try to do this every year with the kids.  Such a great little tradition!  We had yummy snacks, made a craft and had a 'Frozen' dance party.  

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