Taking The Summer Off


After a series of events I have decided that I will be taking the summer off from blogging - and from any type of "influence" I attempt over social media.  I will still post on Instagram but more casually than intentionally.

I have been doing some freelance work over the last few months and my editor I work with is going on maternity leave.  So I will be taking a break from that as well until she returns. 

Things just started lining up in a way that told me it was time to take a break.  I have taken breaks from blogging in the past - but mostly it was unintentionally (life just got busy) or I was in a place where too much time online was becoming unhealthy for me. 

Neither are the case this time.  I simply think it is time to take a break to give my time, mental space, and creative energy to something else.  I am not even sure what that is, outside of my family, but I believe allowing myself a break will give me the opportunity to search that out more.

For the first time in years I feel completely free from any responsibility I have online and I want to take advantage of this opportunity to know what it feels like to simply be.

I loved this quote from a book I am currently reading:

So often, we are weary and burdened not because of long hours or having too much to do, but because we are taking on things we were never meant to do, or in a way or during a time we were never meant to do them.

I doubt I will ever completely quit this space.  I love having a place to share.  But I wonder if my purpose in this season is supposed to be devoted somewhere else for a time.  Only time will tell. 

Thanks for being here and tagging along with me during this journey.  I look forward to finding out and sharing where this break over the summer will lead me.

xo
Ashley

DIY Photo Board And Simple Photo Display


I love having photos around the house.  They tell the story of our family, help us relive sweet memories, and make for inexpensive art around the house.


I also love using our Instax camera for sweet vintage style pictures to put up.  I often take it with us on vacation and have been trying to remember to use it to take a few photos of our kids as they grow up.

These simple little photos are some of my favorite to clothes pin up around the house on simple photo display frames that I have made.  And even if you don't have a polaroid camera, I love printing photos with a little white border that give it a more matted look.


I tuck them into baskets we have on the walls as well as on mirrors and framed photos.


I think they add a touch of whimsy and color wherever needed.  Plus they are easy to change out without the work of redoing a frame.


I recently put together another little photo display board that I will be putting in our daughter's room.  Here is the simple DIY project:


You will need an empty frame, twine, clothes pins, and a staple gun.  I had an old mirror that was in my donation pile until I realized I could take the mirror out and use the empty frame!  I love reusing things making this a zero cost project!


All you do is staple gun the twine to the back of your frame and then tie a little knot so the twine doesn't come loose.  I align the twine slightly higher up (instead of evenly) as the photos hang lower than the twine.


Such a simple project but very gratifying!  I don't do a lot of projects as much these days so making something felt so good!  The next time you are at the thrift store, pick up a few of these vintage style frames and spray paint it white to make this simple and sweet photo display project.

Our Favorite Paleo Friendly Dessert Recipes


We have recently switched to a more paleo friendly diet due to some health issues right around when I got pregnant with our daughter.  It was not ideal timing as I was spending my days throwing up and chasing a toddler.  Making such drastic changes to how we ate was overwhelming - especially when it came to finding dessert recipes.  I did not have the time or energy to test a bunch of recipes so I scoured the internet hard for recipes that promised to taste like full sugar gluten filled treats. 

For us we would rather eat delicious things or not eat it at all.  There are a lot of "healthy" dessert recipes out there that just aren't worth it.  So now that I have found a very promising collection of our favorite dessert recipes, I am happy to share these treasures with you today.


Paleo Chocolate Chucks - Bakerita

These super easy chocolate chunks are now what we use for anything that calls for chocolate chips.  The recipe is not difficult but I make it even easier by dumping all the ingredients in a bowl and microwaving it all at once.  I double the recipe and save the extra chocolate in the refrigerator.  The only thing I have found that they don't work for is dipping fruit.  It doesn't quite harden like I would want.  But otherwise this recipe has been great.


Maple Whipped Cream - Fool Proof Living

This recipe does call for heavy cream but it cuts out the refined sugar.  We make ours in our whipped cream dispenser.


Ultimate Gluten Free Fudge Brownies - Bakerita

We love making these for brownie sundaes.  I need to post our current ice cream recipe soon as well.  And I use the chocolate chunk recipe I shared above.


Healthy Dairy Free Hot Chocolate - Detoxinista
 
This was a well loved recipe all winter.  It is very good.  And we may add a smidge more sweetener than what it calls for.  Tis the season! ;)


Amazing Paleo Chocolate Cake - Downshiftology

This by far is the BEST recipe that I have found.  I made it for my husband's birthday and it is legit.  It does call for a few different flours which I was not super excited about.  But the work is so worth it for this amazingly decadent cake.  Definitely special occasion worthy.  It also uses the chocolate buttercream recipe below.

I did try making cupcakes with this recipe as well.  It was good but not as tasty as the layered cake.  I definitely recommend keeping it in cake form or layering the cupcakes.


Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - Downshiftology

Also amazing.  We aren't hardcore about things so I went ahead and used regular butter.  So good.


Paleo Cinnamon Rolls - Paleo Running Momma

I made these cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and they did not disappoint.  I did put them in a pan next to each other to try to appear like traditional cinnamon rolls.  They did not turn out quite as pretty.  So they may not be instagram worthy but they are definitely delicious.


Grain-Free Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones - Nom Nom Paleo

I have tried a few cookie recipes that call for almond flour and while they taste fine, they definitely have a crumbly almond taste that just aren't cookie enough for me.  But these scones on the other hand were made for almond flour.  They are really tasty.  I used the chocolate chunks recipe linked above and used dried cranberries that we had on hand instead of the cherries. 

// I am also finding that many of my baked good recipes work well with all purpose gluten free flour as a replacement.  I am also subbing coconut sugar for regular sugar in baked goods and they turn out pretty good. 

// Non baked goods, I am using maple syrup as a sweetener and things are coming out quite well.  I tried coconut sugar a few times and it was a major fail as the coconut flavor was too prominent.

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