Willow's Birth Story

Willow’s Birth Story

I was debating writing this post. I feel like it is a really personal thing to put out into the world, but it is also so beautiful that it could also be a missed opportunity to not share it. I’m going to try my best to keep it short and sweet, but I really do want to share because I have to say – I had the most peaceful labor and delivery… I still can’t really believe how smooth it went. I’m very lucky, because I know this is not the case for everyone. Since it is also fresh in my memory, I wanted to write this sooner rather than later.
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Willow Nina

Our sweet sunshine girl has catapulted herself into the world! I can’t even begin to describe what this last week has felt like. It is truly indescribable, as cliche as it sounds.

Willow Nina was born on September 14th at 10:01 PM, coming in at 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches. Dark hair, doe eyes, and the sweetest button nose, she’s the perfect blend of her mom and dad. We’re absolutely smitten and have never felt anything like this. Neither of us were ready for the surge of emotion and love in the moment you meet your baby.

As you can imagine, this week has been a whirlwind and extremely overwhelming (in a good way). So, a short and sweet post for now – birth story to come!

Thank you to all who have expressed their excitement and well wishes. The love and support means the world to us. Very excited to share more soon! xx Bianca, Joe, and Willow

My Third Trimester Recap

My Third Trimester

I can’t believe I am actually sitting here writing this… this pregnancy FLEW BY. I feel like a lot of women say that it dragged, but not for me. Maybe it’s because the summer always flies by usually? I’m definitely not complaining – because oh man, I cannot wait to meet this sweet girl.

So here we are – a third trimester recap!

Also before getting into the rest of this post, I want to say that this is going to be one of my last post for a bit. I am going to take the time to focus all my energy on my beautiful girl and the first few months of motherhood. There may be a post here and there (especially if I am feeling inspired – trust me!) but nothing consistent or forced. I plan on being back full-time in the New Year (or at least 2-3 posts per week). If anything, I may try to keep up with the “what I’ve been eating” posts during this time because they are easy enough and I enjoy compiling those. They seem to be popular, too! Plus breast-feeding will mean A LOT of food for mama.

Regardless, I will be actively posting on Instagram and keeping up over there! So please follow me there for food posts, baby updates, and more. Then come January 2018, I’ll have lots of posts with musings and new insight on plant-based/vegetarian parenting and life with a newborn. I’m already counting down the days until I’ll be back. I’m going to miss being on here regularly, but I do think this is for the best. I want to make the very most of the days to come! And I know that I will come back inspired as ever.

So again, please connect with me on Instagram. I’d love to have you there while I’m temporarily absent from here. I’m so grateful for all of you. Thank you for following my journey. xx
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Easy Apple Pie Recipe [Vegan + Gluten Free]

Good morning, friends!

With our autumn baby around the corner, I wanted to get in some fall things before we’re too tied up and tired to do much of anything (except soak up her presence!!) The weather has cooled down and the air has that smell and perfect crisp to it. I’ve been loooving it so much. First activity on the list: apple picking. I always joke that I must have been a gatherer or forager in my past life because I love it so much. Berries, peaches, apples… doesn’t matter. Give me a basket and a field of fruit and I’m content.

We visited Narrow Lane Orchard – if you are local, this is a must for yourself or family. They also have peach/nectarine picking in the summer and even blackberry picking. When we went, I was really excited to see that they had a few blackberry bushes around that weren’t picked over. Literal heaven on earth – they were so sweet and juicy. Nature’s gems.

But back to the apples – I grabbed quite a variety, including Honeycrisp, Macoun, Liberty, McIntosh, Courtland, and Gala. For 1/2 peck bag, it cost only $10.

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Benefits Warm Lemon + Ginger Water

Healthy Habit: Drinking Warm Lemon + Ginger Water

I’m always working on incorporating new healthy habits into my lifestyle. This is one that took me a while to stick with, but I am happy to say that I’ve definitely incorporated it much more lately (and hopefully will get better once the weather cools!) I’m up around 5:30/6 am, and the very first thing I do is either drink a large glass of water or make my mug of this and then spend the next hour or so blogging, catching up on other blogs, etc. It’s my favorite “me” time and sets the tone for my day. Soaking it up as much as I can now before my entire morning routine changes!

I am glad I’ve stuck with it because I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my skin (which may also be in conjunction with pregnancy). Nonetheless, it’s become a comforting part of my morning routine, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and the benefits I’ve found while browsing the internet. Both lemon and ginger boast a number of benefits – inside and out.
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Healthy Vegan Fudge Balls

Healthy Fudge Balls [Vegan]

Good morning, friends!

A really quick and easy recipe today as I start to wind down before taking time to myself before and after baby. More on that later when I have a bit more energy to write. I’ve been so drained lately (rightfully so) with a mix of anxiousness before our little one’s birthday.

To try and keep my energy up, I made a batch of these healthy fudge bites/balls whatever you want to call them. Dates for the energy, of course. Also dates in general because I heard it eases labor… so along with my caramel date smoothie, these guys have been my go-to.

Cashews for protein. Dates for energy (and ahem, labor). Cocoa powder for my sweet tooth. ;)
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Loaded Vegan Nachos Recipe

Loaded Vegan Nachos

Truth: Joe and I ate these nachos for dinner and don’t regret it one bit. Who says you can’t have nachos for dinner when the queso is super healthy and it’s loaded with protein? I mean… these are just as good – if not better – then nachos I would eat when I wasn’t vegan and they are way way way healthier. Okay yes, the chips are not great but if that is the worst of it… fine.

This recipe makes an entire sheet pan (which we devoured by ourselves in like 10 minutes) but would work awesome for a party, too. The more people enjoying these cruelty-free nachos, the better.

Just a note that this recipe features vegan queso that I’ve made in the past. Make sure you check out that recipe here before you begin to make sure you have those ingredients ready to go, too.
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Pregnant Vegan Meals - Third Trimester

What I’ve Been Eating Lately [Vegan Pregnancy – Third Trimester]

Home stretch over here! This may be my last vegan pregnancy food post for a bit, so there’s lots after the cut. I am hoping that once I find my groove when she gets here, I’ll start taking photos and posting my food while being a breastfeeding mama. Keep an eye out for that!

And as always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration.
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Healthy Cheesy Vegan Queso

Healthy + Cheesy Vegan Queso

Hiiii friends! I had a lot of questions about the homemade queso I posted on my IG not too long ago, so I wanted to share my recipe.

I know there are lots of vegan queso recipes out there, but this is my own spin on it. I feel like all recipes that I’ve looked at either have the boiled veggies with nutritional yeast or cashews and nutritional yeast. Well, I want really cheesy and the protein from the cashews doesn’t hurt either… so I combined. And the result was reeeeallly cheesy and delicious!

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Stocking Up Before Baby: The Essentials List

Stocking Up for Baby: Our Essentials

Happy Monday, friends! Wow, what a weekend. I thought I was nesting before… but it reached a whole new level during week 37. Joe and I both cleaned from top to bottom on Saturday (he even organized outdoor equipment and did yard work). I watched a ton of YouTube cleaning videos for inspiration and motivation – I find that it always helps (one of my favorites here). As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been dealing with some pregnancy insomnia and was up at 3AM on Sunday. I could not get back to sleep for the life of me, so I got up and reorganized the entire bathroom and all the closets in our house. I even ventured into the basement and put together a stockpile of things to get rid of to reduce clutter. I feel crazy, but it was so satisfying.

Aside from the crazy cleaning, we’ve also been stocking up slowly each week on pantry and household items to avoid running out of things anytime soon in the near future. I know I’ll want to be cozy at home with baby for a bit without having to run to the store. I mean sure, we may not get everything and will have to go out for a few things, but so much can be bought in bulk beforehand.

We have a ton of shelving space in our basement, which we designated to lots of extra canned good, paper goods, etc. I feel really good about it! Hey, anything that gives you extra peace of mind before such a huge life change, right?
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