Hi Bloggie Friends!  How are you doing today?  I’m doing great because I just came from a blogger meetup with Maureen of MommyRD.  We actually met at the same coffee place that Madeline and I meet at for our coffee dates.

Outdoor Coffee Shot Seating
Road with crosswalk and trees
Hand holding coffee

But the difference was that Maureen came with baby Ava.

Woman holding baby drinking bottle

Skylar thought it was pretty cool that there was a “baby” thereAs if she’s “so old” now, considering we just had Skylar’s 3rd Birthday Party last week and all.

 
Woman and child wearing birthday hats
Young girl smiling wearing birthday hat and white beaded necklace

Here’s Skylar noshing on her snacks and hamming it up.  With Fashionista Barbie nearby.

Young girl sitting at table eating snacks and smiling
Young girl at coffee shop at table pointing with snacks in front of her

And here we all are

Two woman and young girl embracing and smiling

It was lovely meeting Maureen and Ava and we can’t wait to get together again, soon!

Two woman, baby and young girl posing for picture

So moving along… 
Do you have Valentine’s Day Plans?  Sadly, there will be nothing too exotic or special going on around here.  The days of Tiffany’s Blue Boxes and dozens of roses are behind us.  Getting excited over cheap organic produce and trying to save money by shopping at TJ’s while hoping Skylar gets the hang of this potty-learning thing fairly soon because diapers are expensive is kinda more our speed these days.   Oh not to mention, Scott’s traveling later in the week so that alone  absolves him from having to plan anything special means that plans won’t get made.  Oh well.  And I honestly don’t care.  The lack of any nice plans makes my Valentine’s Day Desserts seem extra special when stacked up against, well, nothin’ else goin’. 

Before I get to that, just wanted to thank everyone who chimed in with the comments on the Vegan Fudge & Food Rules post Your thoughts about Michael Pollan, and Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.. were most appreciated and as I said, it’s all about being conscious, mindful, letting go of this desire to be “perfect” with every single food choice we make.  Because as I said in that post, the beauty of food and our food choices is that in 3 hours, you can eat again and choose more wisely next time.   Keep it easy, relaxed, and mellow is what I try to do!  


But let’s talk about Valentine’s Day Desserts!

Easy, Fast, Valentine’s Day Dessert Number 1
My Vegan Fudge

Overhead of Vegan Fudge sliced in pan
Ahhh, good stuff!
Piece of sliced Vegan Fudge with sprinkles
Close up of Vegan Fudge

It’s rich, decadent, fudgy, wonderful.  Good vegan stuff.  And it’s soy/nut/gluten free which is a bonus in my book.

Slice of Vegan Fudge with sprinkles
 Vegan FudgeChocolate Sprinkles Optional, of course.  Deb, Allie, Susan I wonder if you total hotties fabulous ladies will use sprinkles or not?  That was a dumb question, wasn’t it.
Overhead of sprinkle topped Vegan Fudge

This fudge is really simple, and it really takes about 10 minutes and you’re done.  And this is my Dessert Suggestion #1 for your Valentine’s Day Sweetheart.  You’re thinking, but I don’t have a Sweetheart.  Yes, you do: Yourself!  Make it for yourself!!!

Easy, Fast, Valentine’s Day Dessert Number 2
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
Enter my 2 Pints for $3.99 recent find

Container of strawberries

I have no idea why restaurants try to charge like $5 bucks per chocolate-dipped berry when they are so easy to make at home.

snack bites

 Maybe size does matter (TWSS); the bigger ones bring in more money.

Close up of strawberries in container
 

You can either keep the berries whole or slice them.  I employ the greater surface area, i.e. more cut sides, equals more chocolate per bite.  See geometry was not lost on me if I can put things into relevant chocolate terms.  And drizzling is nice, too, if you don’t want to dip, just drizz.

Sliced strawberriesClose up of sliced strawberries

Ingredients:

2 pints strawberries, washed and dried
1 bag Chocolate Chips or 10 Baker’s Chocolate Squares
Optional: 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil
and p.s. I have a Coconut Oil Give Away going on too!


Directions:

1) Line a cookie sheet or tray with parchment paper and set aside.
2) Melt chocolate in microwave (
Put 3/4 of bag of Chocolate Chips or and coconut oil if you’re using it, in a microwaveable container. Heat for 30 seconds, stir. Repeat. Heat until most of the chocolate is melted. Add remaining chocolate and stir until smooth.) or melt over stovetop in a double boiler.
The Melted Chocolate

Vegan Chocolate in bowl with spoon

Tip: Make Your Own Raw Chocolate!!!! 
Averie’s Quick Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipe
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder 
2 Tbsp Agave  
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil 
Dash of Vanilla Extract
Stir.   
Voila. Raw Chocolate. So easy!

Tip: Or, Make your own Vegan White Chocolate Like I Told You About Here

Vegan White Chocolate in bowl with spoon
 Strawberries and White Chocolate = Awesome, Too!

3) Dip strawberries into melted chocolate.  Let excess drip back into the container. Note: If chocolate is too thick, just heat a little more. If chocolate is too thin, let it cool to the desired consistency.

Strawberries in container


4) Put on the prepared tray.  Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.

snack bites

Easy, Fast, Valentine’s Day Dessert Number 3…
Peanut Butter Cup & Dark Chocolate Carmel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oh Wait, You’ll Have to Stay Tuned for Tomorrow’s Post- Part 2 for this Recipe!

After I left My Blogger Meetup with Maureen, Skylar and I went to pick up the Coffee Mug we Painted for her 3rd Birthday.

Young girl painting pottery mug

It was such a fun day!

Girl smiling while painting mug

This was the Before

Semi painted mug

 

Finished mug saying Skylar's 3rd Bday

 

Overhead  of mug showing all the colors

And this is the Finished Mug After Firing.

Finished mug after firing
Side of finished mug with multiple colors

It’s one of those memories I will cherish as a mother.  Who cares if the mug turned out cute or not.  The memory of spending the day with my lil pumpkin on her 3rd Birthday, messy purple paint and all, is what I will always remember.

Inside of painted mugFinished painted mug on countertop

For Dinner yesterday I made a Cesar-Inspired Salad.  Mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, fresh & sun-dried tomatoes.

Cesar-Inspired Salad

And dressed it with my homemade Creamy Tahini Raw Vegan Dressing

Cesar Inspired Salad with Creamy Tahini Raw Vegan Dressing

Maureen is a fan of this one!  And I know that tahini and hummus and nooch variations have been all the rage lately.  I’ve been enjoying my tahini-inspired dressing for awhile, too!  Feel free to add hummus or nooch til your hearts content because nooch just makes everything better, doesn’t it!

Dessert was Vegan Fudge.

Vegan Fudge in pan with sprinkles

Love It

Slice of Vegan Fudge with sprinkles

Yoga Today is One Legged-Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Woman doing Eka Pada Rajakapotasana yoga pose

This Yoga Picture was taken in Aruba over the Holidays towards the end of a nice, warm, early morning, solo yoga session, with the sunlight streaming in.  Warmth, light, love, all coming in.  So nice!

Hard to believe that just 6 Weeks Ago I was Here in Aruba.

Beach in Aruba with boats in water
I’d be lying if I said an afternoon on the beach wouldn’t totally rock right about now!  I’ll just have to live vicariously through the Pea Family Trip that’s coming up.
Beach in Aruba with boats and people in water

For Newer Readers who Missed My Trip, Enjoy Pictures Here or Here or HereAnd for Older Readers who just want to torture yourself with gorgeous beach scenes, have at it!  haha!  It was an awesome trip and I am sooooo grateful to have spent the holidays with my family there.  

Tip of the Day:  My Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Give Away!!!!!

If you’re not entered, what the heck are you waiting for?!  The Winner Will be Chosen on Friday (the 12th) just in time for Valentine’s Day!   

Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Who needs Roses, Just Give me My Coconut Oil!  Enter Here Now!

Questions:
What’s your Take on Valentine’s Day and Gifts?  If you’re in a relationship, do you give your significant other gifts, on Valentine’s Day and on other holidays? 
I got married fairly young, so I’ve been married 9 years, together nearly 11 years.  When we were first together, we did gifts on any, and all, holidays.  Hmmm, Groundhog Day just passed, is that a gift-giving holiday or not…kidding!  But back in the day, we never missed a holiday with the gifts, flowers, dinners out, blingy kind of presents, the whole bit.  Fast forward a decade, a child, largely living on one income because let’s face it yoga teacher’s aren’t getting rich these days, and we don’t do gifts anymore.  You can read all about that here I mean, I’d never turn a gift down, I’m not a Saint!  But as a general rule, we’d rather just save our money and put it towards a big trip at the end of the year, and real life stuff that just comes up takes financial priority over gifts…like new windshields and dental work and health insurance premiums.  Do You Give Gifts on Valentine’s Day?

Are you doing anything for Valentine’s Day?  If so, what?!!!  Let’s face it ladies, we’d be lyin’ if we said we weren’t hoping for a Blue Box, a Dozen Roses, and a really nice Dinner Out.  Ok, I’ll speak for myself, but as I already mentioned, nothing special planned.

Are you buying anything for your significant other or do you exchange cute little Valentine’s Day things with your friends?  What are you getting them?

Do you think that the best gifts are homemade?
I like giving homemade goodies and treats because I think it shows that you cared enough to do something that took some time and effort, like cooking, or painted pottery kind of gifts.  So in many ways, you really can’t go wrong with homemade.  What do you think of homemade gifts?

Stay Tuned For Part 2 of the Fast & Easy Valentine’s Day Desserts…

 

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