Tie Front Button Down + High Waisted Flares + Clogs ( + Cherry Blossoms!)

 Truth be told…I kinda forgot we took these!

I had all these ideas for taking pics amongst all the BEAUTIFUL cherry blossoms all around Seattle, but alas…time or lack thereof….

Finally, I decided to stop a along this street a few blocks away on my way to go pick Maya up from school.

It actually got really sunny later, but it was still overcast and chilly earlier as it seems to be lately.  SO, it’s all about layering!
I’m all about tying tops with high waisted jeans vs tucking in.  Who wants the added bulk??

NOT ME!
On the way home, we just stopped back off at the same place.
Dying over Maya’s little shirt dress!!  Scored it off eBay from one of my fav sellers in a lot of 4-5 pieces.  She only took pictures of everything folded, so I thought it was a denim shirt.  SO excited when I pulled it out!  Basically it ended up being $3 or $4!!
I wanted to try and get some pics like we did a two years ago.  Not sure I’ll be able to pick her up next year…

On me…

Sweater- 360 Cashmere (eBay)
Jeans- MIH “Caron” in Redo (eBay, sold out similar here)
On Maya…
Leggings- Crewcuts (thrifted, but similar here)
Boots- Dr. Martens “Delaney”  (thrifted)
Keeping it Real…
The first shot when the shutter goes off is often me adjusting things haha.  And clearly my RBF…
haha.
She kept pinching my cheeks!
And… Not wanting me to kiss her.  HA!  That’s not happening!
I do believe the days for piggy back rides are limited.  She keeps flinging herself back and with
how much she weighs that just isn’t good!!
My face though ha!
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Dresses + Hunter Rain boots on the beach!

A few weeks ago, Maya and I went to play on the beach and took some pictures. In my mind, I had ONE shot I wanted to take. Anything past that would be great.  We ended up playing for TWO HOURS, and I kept taking shots here and there, which means…a LOT of pictures!
😂
The main catalyst was @TheMomEditdoing a brand new #TMEStyleChallenge You KNOW I LOVE THOSE! 🤗

This was a WHILE ago, and…I didn’t post them here in real time-aka NO TIME!

But…For week 1 “Show us your best rainy day outfit” . DONE AND DONE!
✔️✔️
I’ve been sporadic in my blog posts lately… I kept looking for a reason to come back. A reason to post. The main reason I started this blog was to document US playing. As Maya’s gotten older, that’s gotten harder. She has LOTS of other extracurricular activities that I am involved in, and those have taken a precedence.
❤️
BUT…when we do outings just with us? Admittedly, I have to talk her into them at first, but once we are out…2 hours flies by and we are both laughing and having fun! I’m left totally happy and filled to the brim with joy-both creatively (to be honest) and with the fact that I just spent two hours playing with HER. NOT with her other friends on a park play date, not at a sporting event, not sitting on her bed reading (which I DO LOVE!). ❤️
But…OUTSIDE, PLAYING, LAUGHING…THAT makes us both happy! ❤️❤️❤️
I think we’ve both missed it.
🥰
I have no idea how often this will happen. It used to be almost every day, but…I will cherish every time it does happen and post the shit out of it! haha

SO…here’s a really long blog post!
🤣 Of course this stuffy is in most of our shots, and you know what?  Don’t care!

You know I love a good shoe shot!

But LOVE these even more!!
CRAB!

My attempt at an “artistic shot” 😂
So, I had this idea in my head for a shot, but…it ended up being harder than I thought to capture haha.
Here’s me attempting to show Maya what I wanted her to do…
In the end…here’s a composite shot of three different shots.  The best part about this, was the fact that Maya totally got into it.  She even told me exactly where she wanted everything to be in this final edited shot 🙂 .
Loooooove all these next ones!!!!
Me telling her to NOT get any closer.  Of course she wanted to go pet it!

On me…

Dress- Free People (thrifted, similar here)
Belt-  (thrifted, similar here)
Boots- Hunter “Graphite Gloss”  (thrifted for $40!)
On Maya…
Jacket- BLBY ? (thrifted, but similar here and…clearly a knock of of HERE!)
Dress- Lili Gaufrette (thrifted, but current styles here)
Leggings- Naartjie (thrifted)
Keeping it Real…
Ha!  Falling and of course water soaked after being there maybe 10 minutes… 🙂
Love HER!!!  She’s so goofy and funny, and I love it!
Nope….not QUITE what I was envisioning haha.
Nailed it!! ha 🙂
I promise she wasn’t hurt!!!
Pretty much what half of them ended up looking like 😉
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Mother’s Day 2019

“A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”

– Princess Diana

Well said… and I’ll also add…love and laughter. The two components that make it all worthwhile.

SO glad I have both with my mom and Maya! And even more thankful that Maya has it with my mom too!

It’s a tradition.

The thing my mom and I both want for Mother’s Day?

Pictures!

We used to try and go to a “location” but found that going across the street after dinner for a few minutes made everyone more happy 😂

I think I can safely say for both my mom and myself that we will treasure these forever! ❤️

LOOOOVE  this next one!! LOVE this one too!!!
Truth be told.  The Huz and I were trying to get a picture of just us.  Of course, the quickest way to get Maya into a picture is to NOT want her in one.  
Of course she hopped in and made it the most perfect picture!!
My mom got of few of just me.  This dress is SO comfy!!

On me…

Dress- Gypsy (eBay, similar here)
Belt- Vintage
Sandals- Birkenstock “Gizeh” (thrifted, like new for $25!!)
 
 
On Maya…
 
Dress- Fleurisse “Samantha” (eBay for$3.50-retail $245!!!)
Sandals- Stuart Weitzman Kids “Camia Ava” (thrifted, similar here)
 
 
Keeping it Real…
 
I swear every time we take family pictures my mom and I think…”Well, hopefully we got ONE!!” haha.  And then every time we get SO MANY!!  But it’s not always smooth sailing and happy laughter and smiles… 😉 .   
 

We were taking pictures right in front of my neighbors house, and of course they came outside…haha.  Don’t mind us.  Fortunately, they are used to it by now!Hope everyone had an amazing Mother’s Day!!
 

No Bake Carrot Sunbutter Coconut Energy Balls | Gluten Free * Nut Free * Dairy Free

Maya’s school recently had a “Healthy Snack” contest.  Truth be told…there wasn’t a lot of advanced notice on the specifics, but thankfully I volunteered in the class the day before it was due!  And…let’s be honest.  I probably wouldn’t have DONE anything until the day before, so…perfect timing!! haha.

The rules were that it had to be 5 ingredients or less.  Couldn’t use an oven or a microwave.  Needed to include ingredients, steps, AND…a picture!

Of COURSE we had to enter!! 😉

If I’m honest…I went through our archives to see if I could just reuse something haha-CHEATER!

BUT…nothing we had done so far fit all those, so…we (ok, I) winged it and made something up!

Maya suggested a smoothie, but…duh.  Who doesn’t think of that?!

Next was a banana concoction, but we were out of bananas, and on short notice…NO, not going to the store!

We have CARROTS!  And dates!  And…little energy balls are all over the place, so…yup.  We made our own version.  Could have been better, but honestly, I keep going back to all the things I would have added and think that maybe, simple is better?

In any case…we both loved them!  I asked her teacher if we could bring them in for the class, and she was excited!

I had to give Maya a pep talk about the fact that a lot of the kids might not like them, and to not get her feelings hurt.  Turns out, over half the kids loved them!  I even had 3 girls run up to me at drop off and ask if I could share the recipe with their moms so they could make them-MADE MY DAY!!!

Well….we found out that the recipe won!!!  For the entire school!  Fairly certain not a lot of people entered, but pretty cool regardless!

SO…go ahead and make these “Award Winning” energy balls!

HAHAHAHA. 

But seriously…do.  So easy and yummy!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Sun Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut (plus about another cup to roll the balls in)
  • 1/2 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour

I did make sure she scrubbed her hands vigorously before she helped.  That pen didn’t want to come off… 🙂
 I was so impressed.  She wrote out all the ingredients AND the instructions! ENJOY!

Lemon Bars with Lemon Curd Topping | Gluten Free + Dairy Free + Vegan

I’ve been dying to try a lemon bar recipe that Maya can have.  It’s pretty easy finding gluten free, but dairy and egg free are a little harder!

And then I found Minimalist Baker a few months ago on Instagram!

The minute I saw her Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars, I knew I wanted to try them!

I finally made the time yesterday for Easter, and they were so good!

I followed her recipe pretty much, with only a few exceptions, which I’ll note.

CRUST

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 pitted dates (original recipe called for 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, which I thought I had but didn’t.)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (melted) (originally recipe said 4-5, but I went with the lesser due to the dates)

FILLING

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the hardened portion at the top of full-fat coconut milk-I used the coconut cream from Trader Joe’s which is mostly cream)
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 heaping Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp organic powdered sugar (optional // for topping I didn’t use this)

Lemon Curd Topping

I had about 1/3 cup of coconut cream leftover in my can, so I decided to make a modified version of Minimalist Baker‘s Vegan Lemon Curd. The recipe called for a lot of the same ingredients I already had out, so it seemed like a no brainer.  AND…lemon curd on top of lemon bars?  YES, PLEASE!! .  Here’s how I modified to recipe, and the amount was perfect for a thin layer on top which I added right before serving.

  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let rest for 1 hour (uncovered). Then drain thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper (or tin foil).

  3. Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and dates to a high speed blender and mix on high until a fine meal is achieved.
  4. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add maple syrup and melted coconut oil, and add more oil if it’s too dry. Stir with a spoon to combine until a loose dough is formed.

    I accidentally did ALL this at the same time.  It didn’t blend as well, because the moisture made it clumpy… SO, if you see chunks of almonds in my crust that’s why!

  5. Transfer mixture to lined 8×8 pan and spread evenly.  I used my fingers to press the mixture down until it was evenly compacted.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then increase heat to 375 F and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  7. For the Filling… Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to a high speed blender with coconut cream, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, and maple syrup. Mix on high until very creamy and smooth.
  8. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
  9. Pour filling over the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Tap on counter to remove any air bubbles.
  10. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until the edges look very slightly dry and the center appears “jiggly” but not liquidy.
  11. Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely (uncovered) – at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  12. For the Lemon Curd…Place coconut cream and lemon zest in a small saucepan and whisk to combine.
  13. Add lemon juice and arrowroot starch to a small mixing bowl and whisk to thoroughly dissolve. Then add to coconut cream mixture and stir.
  14. Lastly, add maple syrup and whisk again until well combined.

  15. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a low bubble – not boil – whisking often. Once it starts bubbling and getting thick, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until a visible ribbon forms when spooning a bit of the curd across the top. It should be thick and kind of jiggly in texture. During this process switch to a rubber spatula for stirring to ensure the curd isn’t sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan.
  16. Remove from heat and taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for acidity/brightness, or maple syrup for sweetness.
  17. Let rest for 15 minutes, then whisk once more and transfer to a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the curd – otherwise a film may form (I didn’t do that and it was fine!).
  18. Refrigerate for 5-6 hours, or overnight, or until completely chilled and set.  I only let mine sit for 4 hours, and it was still great on top of the bars.
  19. To serve, spread the lemon curd over the bars, slice and top with fresh berries (optional)
  20. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, up to 4 days, though best within the first 2 days.

ENJOY!!

I took this with my phone, as I didn’t have a lot of extra time to take pics while we were baking.  Super easy to let kids help you zest!  She also loved working our Vitamix!

Wearing a slip dress…in the snow!

 WHOOPS! 

I’ve taken a break from blogging, for a lot of reasons.  Maybe I’ll do a post about it at some point, BUT…I just realized that I should probably hit enter on this post, because…no more snow for a while-I HOPE!

And I LOVE these images, so…hitting publish now.

It was 5 of @TheMomEdit#TMEStyleChallenge “Wear A Dress Two Days in a Row….But Make it Look Completely Different”
💃
SO…truth be told, I didn’t wearing any dresses during Seattle’s Snowmageddon, but I was determined to finish out this challenge!!  So Maya and I played dress up this morning.

⛄️❄️⛄️

I may have had to bribe her to come outside haha…just keeping it real! But…her outfit??!!  Kinda liking it more than mine! I’ve been meaning to style a slip dress from day to night, so this was the perfect opportunity!

Stay tuned to see the day look. Went back to my college 90’s days with the tight white tee under the slip dress! Obviously with a chunky knit over it!

On me…

Leather Jacket- Remake Remodel (eBay for $16!! similar here and cute faux option here)
Dress- Cynthia Vincent (old, similar here)
Boots- Frye “Fiona 3 strap” (old, similar here)
 
 
On Maya…
 
Jacket- Marks and Spencer (thrifted, but similar here)
Dress- Crew & Lu Top- (thrifted, but similar here)
Leggings- Zulily (Pretty sure they are 2T haha.  I just keep putting her in them!)
Boots- Naturino (thrifted)
 
 
Keeping it Real…
A true keeping it real would be the fact that Maya didn’t want to hold my hand going down our stairs and she slipped and fell… A sign that we shouldn’t have been out taking pictures or….a sign that she should have listened to me. 
 
Both…
She quickly recovers and finishes strong though!  I however, step outside of the frame…
Ha!
 
(all pictures taken with a shutter release and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Chicken Meatballs + Veggies (easy one pan meal!) Gluten free + Paleo + Whole30 + Costco Hack

Sooooo…. What do all kids like?  Never mind, what does everyone like?

MEATBALLS!

I frequently use meatballs to hide a ton of veggies in a meal, when I don’t really want to make a seperate salad.

We were down the teenage boy for this meal, so I went with a one pot meal with no extra carbs.Ingredients

  • 2 packages of Coleman Organic Chicken and Basil Meatballs
  • 1 White Onion
  • Olive Oil (or oil of choice) I just drizzle, but maybe 2 Tablespoons.
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I cheat and use this)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic (I use this, but woah…go to the store! It’s a fraction of the cost)
  • 8 Organic Bella Mushrooms
  • 3 organic Rainbow Carrots (regular are just as good-not as pretty though ;))
  • 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
  • 4-5 handfuls of Power Green Mix which is spinach, baby chard, and kale)

Directions

  • Use a pretty large non stick pan, and add in the garlic, ginger, and oil of choise
  • Dice up the onion and add it in.
  • While the onion is sauteing dice up your other veggies.  I honestly just use whatever I have on hand.  I’ve subbed in various sweet peppers or even broccoli.  Add whatever you have in.
  • Once they are almost al dente add in your meatballs.  I like to get them cooking with the veggies to impart their flavor a little bit.
  • Once everything is almost ready, add in the hand fulls of greens.  It doesn’t have to be mixed.  Just spinach would be good!  If it’s all kale, I would add it in sooner due to the toughness of kale.
  • Top it all off with a jar of your fav spaghetti sauce and your good!
  • Frequently I’ll add in these gluten free noodles (can be bought in smaller quantities at Thrive Market or in bulk at Costco.  We LOVE them not only for their flavor but QUICKNESS to cook!) . Or you could easily add zoodles to keep it dietary compliant!

None of this is sponsored.  We just live by the easy shopping of Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Thrive Market.  And are happy to share the easy cooking to be had from there!

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren