Banana Bread Muffin Tops - Vegan and Gluten Free

So, I've been eating a plant-based whole food diet for just over a month.  I promised to share recipes of some of the new things I've tried.  Along with plant-based eating, I've been limiting the oils as well and have cut out white sugar.  This also means cutting out a good majority of baked goods, which has worked out fine, but sometimes you just need a sweet little snack.

These are simple and delicious!

And a great way to use up ripe bananas.

I've made quite a few recipes from Oh She Glows which is where this winner comes from.
Click here to find the recipe.

Oh, and a side note on the cutting out of white sugar.  My teeth have been sensitive for about 20 years and they are now not sensitive to hot/cold and sweet.  

Weekend {the chicks are here!!}

the chicks are here!!

The chicks are here!!  Seventeen little fuzzballs are hanging out under the heat lamp, eating and drinking all day long.  Ten are staying with us as the newest egg layers and seven are being raised for our beloved pet sitter.  Ours were purchased in an attempt to keep eggs plentiful.  There are a few Ameraucana's, Welsummers, Plymouth Barred Rocks and Wyandotte's.  Blue, green, chocolate brown and brown eggs will be here soon as these girls should be laying by fall, just when the others take a break to molt.  It works out perfectly.

April is here and so is the sun!!  After a couple strong snowstorms the last couple of weeks, it was a welcomed break.  The garden is well rested and ready for a spring clean-up.  Oliver visits it a couple

Happy Snow Day!

18 inches and counting.....we should get 4-6 more inches overnight.

How about you?  Are you enjoying sunshine or white loveliness?

My New Lifestyle - Whole Foods, Plant-Based Eating

So, my lifestyle took another turn since I posted about our next food challenge.  I was sick for about 2 months last fall/winter with a sinus infection that just wouldn't go away.  At the start of that, I went to the doctor for antibiotics and found that my blood pressure was up higher than it had ever been.  I've always had "normal" numbers so I was shocked to hear this.  I was sick with another sinus infection yet again about a month ago.  I went to the doctor again at the onset of this round and my blood pressure was up even a bit more from the previous time.  When my doctor used the word "medication" for me to consider, I was done.  I knew my lifestyle would change immediately.


I know I've haven't posted regularly in a bit but I'm back.  I've been severely sick twice, traveled for work a lot, traveled for my own business a little, and shoveled a lot of snow.  That about sums up the last month or two.  Joking of course.....

Here's what we've been up to around here.

Snow Day + Chit Chat

It snowed today.  All day.  We ended up with about 6 inches which isn't bad at all considering it went throughout a majority of the day.  It is absolutely beautiful!  The Coop Girls, as you can imagine, are less than impressed.  Actually, they're just downright angry.  If you don't have chickens you are likely wondering how one knows if a chicken is angry.  Well, they have a distinctive chatter and hum that is full of sarcasm mixed with absolute disgust.   It was heard all day today.


It's hard to believe that January is almost over.  Spring is truly just around the corner.  On days like today it can be hard to remember that, however.  We awoke to a few inches of sleet.  While better than freezing rain, because at least you can get some traction to walk and drive in it, it's still a bit miserable.  Tonight we are expected to get some snow.  That's not quite as miserable.  Unless you're a chicken.  Or a dog who hates to get his feet wet {Emerson}.  In those cases, it's the worst kind of misery.  :)

Weather drama aside, the Coop Girls are doing very well.  They are laying consistently and generally in good spirits.  Of course that will all change this spring when new girls are introduced.  But we won't get them all excited about that yet.

The weekend was actually not bad.  Saturday's weather was beautiful!  We didn't get a whole lot accomplished, however, the slow pace of the day was a nice change.  Sunday we had the market.  Well, J handled the market while I cleaned the house.  The benefits of a few slower weeks is that we can split and get more things done.

This year has begun with absolute chaos.  I know every year starts off with a bang, of sorts, but this

The BEST Whole Slow-Cooker Chicken

Not the best photo in the world because, unfortunately, chicken cooked in the slow-cooker doesn't have much color, but this chicken is AMAZING!  Fall-off-the-bone tender it makes a perfect dinner or cook it up for use in lunches and dinners all week (chicken enchiladas, chicken quesadillas, chicken soup, chicken casserole, etc....).

Why I'm Changing From A Goal of A $60.00 A Week Grocery Budget To A Goal Of Eating Locally

I don't see myself as frugal, although I would like to be and strive to be, in many aspects of my life.  One of those areas is groceries.

I previously shared with you that years ago, when I discovered the concept of meal planning, I also discovered it was a great way to help reduce grocery cost. 

And it is!

Then, we went to a one-income household and I decided to challenge myself in reducing our food costs to $60.00 a week (dividing the annual cost by 52 weeks so that $60.00 is the average) as a means of ensuring financial success.

And now I've set a new goal.