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The Perfect Banana-Free Acai Bowl &What To Put On Top


Acai bowls are just one of those things that come in and out of being cool, aren't they? At least it feels that way to me. No matter how cool or un-cool they may be though--- they're freaking delicious. My biggest issue I face with acai bowls is that they pretty much ALWAYS have bananas! Yuck. (Yes, I hate bananas for those of you who don't know. I wont even sit near someone eating one. Marlowe forcibly is literally sitting 8 feet away from me right now because she's eating one). Anyway...

My friend Kaylyn is an acai junky-- she's sort of a pro at making the most beautiful bowls of them!  And lucky me, she was more than happy to put together a banana-free one for us to scarf down. Really, you can add a banana to this-- and it would still be good (for those of you who enjoy bananas), or you can even sub out avocado for the banana (which is pretty much what I do for every single smoothie I make) or of course: you can follow the recipe as is---

Not sure what to put on top? We have you covered for that too. Really "anything" is the answer--- but you can check out a list of our favorites below :)

And you can see more of Kaylyn's beautiful creations on her instagram @simplykaylyn_ :)

within:
2 packets of frozen acai (found in most grocers, if not then try your local health food shop)
1/4 cup coconut water
a handful of spinach (about a 1/4 to a half cup tightly packed)

how to: 
-in high-speed blender, puree spinach and coconut water until spinach is completely mixed
-add frozen acai packets and gently pulse until all chucks are gone. Be careful not to over-pulse or puree too long because it will melt and be all soupy!
-add toppings!

on top:
anything! almost! toppings should be based on two things: what you like best and whats in season! we've added a bit of everything to ours--- because well, we like it that way! It's super colorful, healthy, and delicious!

chia seeds: we always have this on hand in the house-- for things like this and for chia bowls.
starfruit: let's be honest: mostly because it's pretty, but also because we're lucky enough to have a tree.
goji berries: they add a bit of chewy texture and are really good for you with protein, vitamin A &C.
blueberries: yum
hemp hearts: we don't really keep these in our house, but we do love them. this is a staple for Kaylyn :) they are filled with protein and omegas.
granola: always, for crunch.
kiwi: again: yum
pomegranate: the texture and touch of tangy juiciness is great!
we also added mango below the bowl for a treat-- because you guys know we're pretty much obsessed with all things mangoes :) see: how to cut a mango

So what would you put on top? Or better yet: would you want bananas? haha. Make this on a rainy day, close your eyes, and pretend you're eating this in south florida with us :) Happy healthy snacking/breakfasting!


recipe and styling: Kaylyn Durrance photos/editing and text: ohdeardrea

Relax, Take It Easy


You know, I wrote this post about learning how to sunday quite a few months ago--- I was really aiming to declutter my life from the *need to do this* feeling. I go in and out of feeling the need to slow down and feeling the need to push to take on everything. But this month, for whatever reason, I feel like I've finally be able to get a hold of myself and realize I don't have to say yes to everything. Okay, fine, I'm still mostly saying yes to almost everything, but not 100% like usual. The photos in todays post are actually from two weekends ago now--- the first weekend where we really just chilled out as a family. In one weeks' time, we've celebrated both my mother in law's and my step mothers birthday, we've had a countless number of people over, we threw a party, had a family date, and had a kid-free couple day and night date, we've deep cleaned (twice) and re-organized the house (spent a good 15 minutes deciding where a dog bed should go-- not kidding), and I've somehow still mostly been able to keep up with everything I typically need to. I'm not sure how it all seemed to magically come together this month, but it has--- and really, I'm sort of proud of myself for it. Even Alex turned to a friend of mine this week and said "she hasn't worked in two whole days, it's been amazing."

If this is any indication of how this year will be, well, I'm excited. I know there will be ups and downs during the year. And I know I will have moments of sheer panic, wondering how will I accomplish everything and more-- but right now is good. I feel like I took a chill pill, with little side effects--- other than an inbox that never stops. I hope you guys are enjoying the flow of this blog-- I am lately. Like anything else, good weeks and questionable weeks happen, but overall, a real vibe with a good mix of daily life, adventure, and always food and color. I might add a few extra posts throughout the week-- just because (but don't hold me to that) and I do want to bring up awareness on some more serious issues too--- hopefully thats okay :) I'm taking big plans and breaking them into little pieces to build a positive life and hopefully somehow accomplishing some real good-- and I'm doing it while somehow spending real, much needed time with all the people I love most.

stole this picture from claudia--- and gave her pizza to trade? :) 







a photo of myself by claudia that I somehow don't mind. 



I hope you're all having an amazing week. I can't wait to share with you guys so many posts! Like the sparkle party, duh ;)

ps. I'm currently sitting in my office that is a complete mess--- and still absolutely covered in glitter. I do have plans to get to it this week ;)
pps. I'm really happy that we have a home where so many people drop by (I'm more than happy to feed all of you, stop feeling bad about it-- you know who you are).

Refreshing The New Year, Refreshing Our Lives: A Follow Up &A Giveaway Winner!


Almost one month in this new year! Crazy crazy! I've made some goals and mentioned them on this thing-- and I've also made some goals offline--- hopeful goals, like maybe learning how to ride a bike or being strong (and not scared) enough to do a handstand--- but we'll see. But as you guys may remember from my refresh post with Plum Vida not too long ago, I really just want to make a small effort to get outside more! A few steps or activities, every single day.

As I mentioned last week (two weeks ago now?!) Plum Vida is trying to refresh the way we think about snacking--- especially on the go. I think a lot of us are already accustomed to seeing the toddler squishy packs in our food isles, but this is really the first time these healthy snack pouches have been geared towards adults. When we're super busy, I feel like we either grab for the junk or skip meals completely-- neither of which is beneficial to our gut and our lives. But now, with these snack options (And ones for Marlowe too) we've had even less excuses to 1. not get out of house for the whole day 2. grab for junk. Organic, healthy, easy, hooray!

So how did we do with getting outside everyday? Well, I'll be honest, I felt a bit more pressure to get outside than I probably would have just because I wrote about it here, haha! But honestly, that was probably a good thing! It can definitely be beneficial to put your goals out there and are forced to be held accountable.

I'll be completely honest here, I was sort of in a funk after our trip. I felt like I came home and was in an icky rut. But a few forced days of getting outside (and getting back on to the yoga train helped too, I'm sure) --- well, about half a week in, and I felt great again. Really. I mean, one day we only managed to get as far as the front porch, but hey, we were outside! Your life can really only be as good as you help make it-- taking care of your body and your mindset is everythingggggg. So we did good. I did good. Every single day, some days forced, some days not, we pushed ourselves to spend more time outside. Some days were harder (damn cold rain) and some days were easy (thank you florida sunshine!).


It maybe sounds silly, but this Plum Vida campaign helped reinforce the reality that sometimes you just gotta get up and do something, even if it doesn't come as second nature---like grabbing a healthy snack instead of a junky one for instance. Any step to make yourself and your life a little bit better. Any little step. Sometimes it's difficult to rework your own norm or mindset (trust me, I know very well), but it's worth the extra steps---in this case, even the literal physical steps ;)

So we did it. We're one month into the new year. I've kept up with yoga every other day. I'm eating pretty good (usually)--- I'm definitely snacking better--- no french fries at all*!! I'm actually sleeping better too. And I'm just putting an effort into everyday. It feels good.

So how have you guys done this new year? You guys left some awesome refresh ideas/comments. Seriously-- I stole some of the ideas for own goals :) SO! Are you getting by? Fighting it out? Thriving and climbing? Are you tackling your goals and refreshing your 2015? Or at least taking steps to try? Because that's key!

And the winner of the giveaway? Janelle @ Two Cups Of Happy! Email me to claim your (delicious) prize :) ohdeardrea@gmail.com

Thanks for playing along, guys! As always, thanks for supporting this blog and our sponsors :) You can visit Plum Vida for more information or purchase at Target :)


*between the draft right up and the post date-- I caved, I ate french fries too-- but that was paired with lunch--- doesn't count, right? :) 
*this post was sponsored by Plum Vida

Pictures Of Recently Enjoyed Things


this is what it looks like when I need to take photos of a recipe before we eat it.... haha. 

we've had too much fun making pot holders. remember these things?! I used to love these! 

I took pretty much an identical image forever ago, but I still love this. My friend Alana painted it :) 

pizza forever. 

and a juice cleanse too.... cause it's all about balance! ;) 

my office space cozy's up nice for guests! 

a hectic and adorable tea party. 

when Alex plops a cocktail on my desk at midnight... mmm. 

things on toast in the garden :) 

these ladies. 

family build your own toast morning dates. 

curled up.

love this nugget. 

and on that smiley note--- have a happy happy friday, friends! :) I'm having a second sparkle party tomorrow and cannot wait! Sparkles forever. Have an amazing and sparkly weekend ;) 

Easy Vegan Vegetable Dumplings // How To Fold Dumplings


We're summer and spring roll lovers in this house. I wasn't kidding when I said, we ate them about 4 times in a row a few weeks ago--- and the trend only continued. I think Alex finally got to the point where he was like "let's mix it up" and we made dumplings instead. These are super healthy, super delicious, and the perfect little treat, meal accompaniment, or if you're like us, you can just pop thirty in your mouth and call it a happy day.

So I'll tell you--- these are super easy and super delicious---like if you put 30 in front of me, I WILL eat them. Happily. But my favorite dumpling recipe? It's actually in the cookbook (soon soon, this year!). The ones in the book takes a bit more work, since you have to prep the filling a bit, but oh man, I promise they're worth it (Note: any recipe over 45 minutes is guaranteed to be Alex's-- haha).

But these? MUCH quicker, and stil SO GOOD. These are really easy, I promise! And if you can assembly line them with family, even easier. You can can get crazy and make the wonton wrappers--- but we're not judging you if you buy them--- we do it too ;) And once you get the fold and pinch rhyme down, boom, magic.

Vegan Vegetable Dumplings
makes 25-30 dumplings.

you'll need:
1 packages of mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 inches pice of ginger, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/3 bell pepper, diced
1/2 blick (pound tofu) small diced
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons cilantro
4 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp hoisin sauce
30 wonton wrappers*
cabbage leaves for steaming (optional)

how to:
-preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-combine mushrooms and onions on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and roast in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until browned. remove and allow to cool.
-combine all dry ingredients and add a pinch of salt.
-add sauces, and toss.
-add about a tablespoon scoop of mixture to each wonton wrapper. with you finger, wet outside edges with a bit of water and begin to pinch and fold edges completely closed (see image below!).
-if using a bamboo steamer**, line bottom with cabbage leaves to help dumplings from sticking.
-place dumplings inside and steam for approximately 6-8 minutes until wonton skins are soft.
-devour.

*check the ingredient list if you're vegan. Many (but not all) contain eggs.
**you can very easily find a cheap bamboo steamer at your local asian market. There are a few sizes and are great for steaming just about everything! No asian markets around you? They're pretty cheap online too. We have one exactly like THIS :)


1. water around edge.
2. pinch first edge
3. fold slightly
4. pinch.
5. repeat until finished.
6. check to make sure there are no openings. tada, dumpling! 

Not so scary, right? I think dumplings are one of those things can seem like a scary or difficult task, but they really can be easy! Especially with a no fuss filling! Pair this with you favorite dipping sauce, or simply dip in soy sauce or even a black vinegar. yum yum yum.

ps. yes these are incredibly healthy for you. Eat a ton, you can't and wont regret it :) You're welcome ;)


find more recipes: here