It’s another (cupcake) Sunday..

It’s another Sunday, and let me tell you; it’s a good one.
Not only is today going to be beautiful (a high of 9 degrees, yay!) but it is also my oldest sons 9th birthday party; to which 9 children will be attending. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Last night we made really simple cupcakes for his party using this recipe. It took all of five minutes to throw together. Then I tossed on some chocolate icing and let my son decorate them for his friends.

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It’s been a weekend full of cupcakes, honestly. My four year old son was having cupcake day in his classroom so I had written it on the calendar, and when the older two went to school that day they were expecting cupcakes too. So when their Grandma picked them up they shared their disappointment as they realized only their little brother got cupcakes that day. Being the freaking cool Grandma that she is, my Mom decided she would do cupcake day with them on Friday after school while I was at work.

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So on top of some really great cupcakes this weekend, we’re taking a layered chip dip to the party and some veggie dogs. The chip dip was a can of Amy’s refried beans, a layer of salsa, tofutti sour cream, and daiya cheese shreds. It’s so easy and so fantastic. I was even able to make an extra dish of it with the left over ingredients for work tomorrow!

We’re off to party!

My Three Top YOUTUBERS!

Just a quick post today about my three favorite youtubers. With so many people turning to youtube for information or income, to share their knowledge, and just for fun, it can be overwhelming to sort through which ones are right for you. Many times I have subscribed to people and after a few weeks realize that their content just isn’t for me.

Here’s my top three youtubers and why I love them.

1. Brittany Taylor.
I can not tell you how much I love her channel. She is so inspiring in that she is not afraid to chase after her dreams and lives life simply by following a minimalist lifestyle. Truly beautiful inside and out, Brittany Taylor will take you through her journey of a life fully lived. Her channel covers travel, minimalism, and life improvement including a raw vegan diet. She inspires me to be the best version of myself.

2. FruitAndFamily Natalie.
This channel speaks directly to my life! Natalie is from my corner of the world, has three children and a husband and is living her own vegan path. Follow her journey while she inspires her own family to eat healthier, talks about pregnancy and weight loss, and is always very positive in her message. I love this channel because it is a no judgement zone, understanding that often vegans can be harsh in their passion to change the world and that can easily backfire. A wonderful Mom and person, FruitAndFamily Natalie is a great channel for women, Mom’s, and anyone curious about the vegan lifestyle.

3. Bite Size Vegan.
Super cute, with a fun personality and no BS attitude, Bite Size Vegan will tell you what is up in the world of veganism. With motivating interviews and a great sense of humor there is something here for everyone. Even kids! The new series of kids videos are to the point, interesting, but not graphic or disturbing. After all, the goal isn’t to scare the poor children and cause permanent psychological damage! So weather you’re young, old, or somewhere in between I’m sure you can find inspiration and useful information from Bite Size Vegan. An entertaining vegan encyclopedia in video form for extra convenience.

*Note* These are just my top three vegan channels; there are a lot of wonderful youtube channels out there about several topics! It’s up to you to explore them and find what fits you best.

Vegan Kids Lunches – 1

What do vegan kids eat for lunch?

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Tomorrow my kids will be taking left over vegan pizza (I love pizza night, lunches made easy!) and a bowl of strawberries and grapes. The bars are a blueberry fig bar and MADEGOOD chocolate chip granola bar. I love these because they have vegetables such as beats and carrots in them too, and my kids don’t seem to know the difference.

I try to pack foods that are similar to those that their friends eat because at the tender ages of six and eight, they have already complained about their lunch looking different than every one else. I’ve even noticed some resentment from my oldest, and so it’s about compromise and understanding that each child has their own life path no matter what we want for them. I keep it vegan, but sometimes my son will eat all of his lunch as fast as he can so that he can pick something from the bin at school, usually a non-vegan, dairy item like cheese strings. So as a parent, I can only do my best!

Every Wednesday at school kids can get pizza orders, so we have pizza night on Tuesday and always make a bit extra for Wednesday lunch. Vegan doesn’t have to be difficult or different. 🙂

Clearing Out the Toys

As I go about my journey to live a more minimalist lifestyle, I realize that it is going to have to be a slow one.

For fear of sending my children into shock, I will be purging in slow motion, going through one drawer at a time, or one shelf, and so on.

But despite this, I did an experiment. One day while my children were at school, I went through their rooms and gathered up all of their toys (before Christmas). I put it all into large bins and stashed them in the basement. At the time, this was for the purpose of clearing space for the upcoming holiday gifts.

I decided from there that those toys would stay in the basement, to be sorted through a few months later when the kids hopefully had a new perspective. Only when the holiday came, they got flooded with new things. Within a week, the house was a disaster. Broken toys, clothes all over their floors, half of what they got was lost under their beds and nothing had a place.

Tired of looking at the mess, I did it again. I went through and removed every single toy from their rooms into bins. All they were interested in was the Xbox anyway! I left them with their massive bin of Lego, and their favourite stuffy to sleep with.

And they loved it! Their rooms stayed clean, they were doing more creative activities, their attitudes improved and I was a happier Mom for not stressing out about the clutter and the “why won’t they play with all these toys?!” despair.

Over the next few weeks, they would ask about one toy or another. When they did, I gladly brought that toy back for them. If they miss it, then it must be something that they care about. Then I got sorting. Most of the toys in the bins were things that they hadn’t played with in months. What no longer held meaning, I donated or sold.

Now that they are used to having a clean room, and very little stuff, they see the value in minimalism. They will each receive one drawer for toys in their rooms, and what remains of the toys in the bins will be sorted accordingly. If it doesn’t fit, it must go. There have been fewer fights over whose toy belongs to whom, and who left what mess.

Try it! Don’t be afraid to take all of your kid’s toys away. They’ll be okay and even happier in the long run. Kids don’t need toys to be happy! They need experiences, love, and imagination. Let’s stop robbing them of their childhood with cheap plastic.