Back to School

Back to school time is CRAY! As a toddler mama who works full time, my little guy goes to school pretty much year-round. But you can definitely sense the business all around town (and on the road and at school entrances) during those peak pick-up and drop-off hours. And that school hustle is REAL, isn’t it?!

Because of that, VitaCost has been a freaking LIFESAVER!!! Have you heard of them?! My friend Alisha just got me in the loop last month, and as a mom, I’m hooked 🙋🏼

VitaCost helped me get Tanny back to school with tons of organic, non-GMO, and Gluten-free snacks and foods at a completely affordable price. Here were some of our favs:

I can also snag all my go-to ingredients for my favorite breakfast meals, like these gluten free and dairy free confetti snickerdoodle pancakes: How do you get your littles ready for back to school??

Be sure to check out VitaCost here!This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own


Easy Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Pancakes

What’s a weekend without baking in our house?! These gluten free snickerdoodle pancakes are simple, minimal ingredients, and yummy (especially for being a healthier option to pancakes!)


  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free baking flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • Optional: top with yogurt, fruit, syrup, or sprinkles (because what isn’t better with sprinkles?!)


  1. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix
  2. Add wet ingredients and blend into batter
  3. Heat a medium-sized pan to medium
  4. Spray pan with coconut oil
  5. Spoon batter onto pan (I make three small “piles”)
  6. Flip after a few minutes, then continue flipping until lightly browned
  7. Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cashew Donut (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Vegan)

All my blog and Instagram followers know that my weekends with Tanner = donut making weekends. We love to pick flavors together and bake on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings. He’s my little sous chef, and when they’re done, we deliver them to our neighbors to share.

This morning, we went for chocolate protein, whipping up these triple cashew chocolate cake donuts. We hope you love them as much as we did! For being baked and not fried and gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, these gems are pretty delish.


Donut Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar or Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter 
  • 1/2 cup water (add more if your batter is too thick; should be soft but not too runny)
  • 4 tablespoons Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons ground flax and/or chia seeds
  • Optional: for sweeter donuts, add 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon water for thinner consistency


Donut Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or use toaster oven, and no preheating needed
  2. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix
  3. Add all wet ingredients into a bowl and mix
  4. Add all ingredients together and blend until batter-like consistency forms
  5. Spray donut pan with coconut or avocado oil
  6. Add batter to donut pan
  7. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until soft and moist, but cooked all the way through (toothpick should come out clean)
  8. Cool donuts for about 20-30 minutes, then top with whipped frosting
  9. Optional: add sprinkles
  10. ENJOY! and share with some gems you love



Shelley + Tanny


Confetti Vegan, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Donuts

It’s the weekend again, which means donut time at our house.

This week, I am super low on pantry goods and my fridge is less than stocked, so I’m actually shocked this turned out (and tasted good)! But they do, and they’re fun, so hope you enjoy!


  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon multi-colored sprinkles
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons softened coconut butter
  • 3 tablespoons orange or tangerine juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemonade or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 banana, mashed
  • Optional: powdered sugar for topping


  1. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl
  2. Add all wet ingredients and whisk into another bowl. Add banana.
  3. Add everything together and mix until batter-like consistency is formed
  4. Pour into donut mold
  5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins
  6. Let cool and enjoy
  7. Optional: top lightly with powered sugar

FLASH SALE: On a Product That May Reduce Pain, Inflammation, and Muscle Soreness

Well, it’s definitely no secret that my poor body has been through the ringer this past year. At age 17, I was first diagnosed with scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and 4 bulging + herniated discs, that got worse through the years due to a car accident and lifting heavy boxes (and Tanner). Then a divorce basically destroyed by body (and soul), and I was diagnosed with an autoimmune-type disease this year, Endometriosis. So, heating pads and ice packs are literally by PIC, right alongside Tanner, of course.

So when I came across these gems, I knew they were PERFECT to share with YOU! Because whether you suffer from chronic pain, or occasional aches and pains from fitness, sports, or just daily life, ditch the pills or popping Ibuprofen like candy. Spand-Ice introduces a safe alternative to opioids with a new product designed to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle soreness for your back.



The Revive Tank 

Wearable Ice + Heat Therapy for Back Pain Relief, Recovery, and Support. 

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– Dual therapy pockets target both low and mid back areas
– Long-lasting reusable packs provide cold or hot therapy (Up to 3 hours)
– Adjustable compression secures the therapeutic treatment in place for maximum coverage and comfort
– The unique design allows for fast and easy wear and removal – even if you’re injured
– Specially insulated fabrics protect your body from therapy temperature extremes


And guess what? Their flash sale is happening NOW here.

Even better? I have a discount code for you: REVIVE2017 

I was given a complimentary Spand-Ice, but all opinions are my own. Always consult a doctor before trying anything new. These thoughts are my own and not based on a doctor’s advice, scientific research, or evidential proof. 

A Birthday Letter to My 4-Year-Old

photo, Sarah Hopper

To my sweet (and at times, salty) 4-year-old bundle of joy (and energy!),

It’s your birthday and I literally cannot believe you are F O U R! When talking about babies, everyone always says “it seems like just yesterday you were born!” And it actually feels like a lifetime, to me. But, at the same time, you’ve grown up so fast, and the time has seemed to speed by. However, it is true when “they say” the years are short and the days are long.

I remember not so long ago, I was a stay-at-home mama with you. From the day you were born, I was tossed into mom life, having no clue what I was doing (literally, NONE.) I grew up with one younger sister, but all our extended family were hundreds and thousands of miles away, so babies and I weren’t exactly thick as thieves, and I only took child development classes in college to complete a “diverse” theme requirement (and heard that theme was the easiest, but, shhhh….PS, it was actually really hard.) Anyway, after you were born and we were released from the hospital and back home, I remember looking at your grandma have such grace as she carried you along, taking you outside to find serenity under the palm trees and listening to the waterfalls in our old house. I was amazed how much she could do with just two hands, and I looked up at her saying, “But seriously HOW DO YOU DO ALL OF THIS WITH ONE HAND?!” Because she could literally conquer the world with one hand while holding you in the other. She said, “oh, you’ll figure it out in no time.” And sure enough, when your dad started traveling for work leaving me as a solo mama, that one-handed-magic appeared.

I know these last couple years have seemed a bit chaotic for you. You went from one house to two; family-of-three vacations to three different sets of extended family trips, allllll over the country (and the world…what three year old gets to do that?!) But, miraculously, even through the back-and-forth, you always know where home is. And it completely melts my heart when you look at me and say “Home is wherever I am with you.” Remember a few weeks ago when you said you were scared to leave for a week? So I grabbed your sweet little hand (where baby squish has officially graduated and toddler fingers and palms have taken over) and we walked outside into the dark. We sat on the ground and I told you whenever you feel scared or miss me that all you have to do is look up at the sky; we look at the same sun, the same stars, the same moon, and I am ALWAYS with you, whenever you may go. You may not know it, but last week when you told me, “Mama, I’m always with you” and “Mama, we see the same sky,” I totally melted. You sure know the key to this mama’s heart; don’t ever forget our saying….that it’s more important to be kind than handsome. Remember that, always.

Speaking of kindness, I hope you never lose your endless energy, sense of wonder, curiosity, and sweet joy. When you were a baby, people would stop me everywhere we went to tell me you had such a sweet, special soul. I know every mom boasts about their children, but it’s no secret I think you’re an incredible tiny human. You are so brave. You can be so kind. Of course, you can also be Tanner tornado and a complete feisty rascal, but you are also so silly, creative, and loving.

I don’t really know where time has gone (oh, but at the same time, I do.) Thank you for encouraging me to be the best mom and person I know how to be (and become). You give me purpose, something to fight for, and something to live for greater than myself. Your needs trump mine, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your adventures are my adventures. Your wishes are what I work hard to give you.

I know it’s not easy when it’s just the two of us, and me going back to work full-time was a huge adjustment for both of us. Your ability to adapt to pre-school (and now pre-k; eek!) makes me admire your strength, ability to overcome challenges, and your ability to adapt to new environments. Gosh, I’m proud to be your mama.

Thank you for eating my healthy meals and foods, but always being so excited for our special dates and/or special treats. Thank you for sharing your sweet spirit with me. Thank you for saying please and thank you, and remembering your manners when you’re at other people’s homes. Thank you for being my little cub and best friend. Thank you for being YOU.

On this day, August 30th, 2017, I hope you know you are SO loved, admired, cherished, appreciated, and celebrated. Four years ago, I almost puked everywhere during my c-section, totally shocked this 7lb 13oz baby appeared out of my bump that was always charted “small” and “concerned for growth” (hello, long torso). I never thought I could be a “good” mom because I was never ready to be a mom. Times were tough and I was overcome by the fear of the unknown and anxiety of the future, but you’ve grounded me. You gave my once wanderlust wings a clipping that they needed and we’ve planted roots, together. I don’t need globetrotting “epic adventures,” because I’ve got my own greatest adventure right here – YOU.

Happy fourth birthday, my baby boy. Love you to the moon and the stars and a hundred times over. Love you sooooo much. Love you forever. You’re my best friend. I hope your day is more special than anything you’ve dreamed, and filled with infinite butterfly, Eskimo, and princess kisses.

Happy Birthday, Tanny!

Love, Mama 💗

Veggie Soup

Tonight has been breezy and crisp in Encinitas, and with an endo flare and upset tummy, the only thing I can stomach (literally) is soup. And there’s nothing worse than boring ol’ canned soups that all taste the same (except I def eat those, too, especially when I don’t have the energy after a long work day to make something from scratch, so I’m not judging those canned gems in any way).

Anyway, this soup is comforting, soothing, and perfect for fall. So weather (see what I did there; I know whether is grammatically correct) you’re in the mood for soup because of the changing seasons, or need something gentle on your belly, hopefully this does the trick.

Veggie Soup


  • 2 cartons organic, non-GMO veggie stock or chicken bone broth (if not vegan)
  • 1 small head of organic broccoli, cut small
  • 1 small head of organic cauliflower, cut small
  • 10 organic baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup crinkle-cut butternut squash
  • 4 organic large basil leaves, diced
  • 4 tablespoons organic cilantro, chopped small
  • 5 organic celery stalks, washed and chopped thin
  • 4 organic chives, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2-3 shakes of teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon worchister sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Steam all veggies until al dente
  2. In a large pot, add stock and warm
  3. Add all sauces, spices, and veggies to broth and bring to boil
  4. Reduce heat and let everything simmer together for 10-15 minutes
  5. When ready to serve, ladle into bowl and top with fresh basil
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Optional)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Vegan Optional)

Makes approximately 20 muffins


  • 2 cups gluten free baking flour (if you’re not gluten free, you can always use whole wheat flour in any of my recipes)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (if you’re allergic to coconut, you can use packed brown sugar)
  • 2/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional: leave out)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional: leave out)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or no sugar added orange juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cinnamon applesauce or plain applesauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coconut butter or dairy-free butter (or grass-fed ghee or butter if not dairy-free)
  • 2 eggs or egg alternative (flax egg, etc.)
  • Muffin pan + paper or foil muffin liners (optional)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Line muffin pan with muffin liners or spray muffin pan with an oil that can tolerate up to 400 degrees F (I prefer sprayable avocado oil by Chosen Foods)
  3. Add all dry ingredients to a medium-sized bowl and mix (excluding chocolate chips)
  4. Add wet ingredients to a separate medium-sized bowl and mix
  5. Add dry and wet ingredients together and mix well until batter forms
  6. Add chocolate chips and mix evenly
  7. Distribute batter evenly into muffin pan
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until batter is fully cooked in the middle / until a toothpick comes out clean. Baking times may vary based on ovens and altitude.
  9. When fully cooked, remove from oven and let cool for at least ten minutes. Serve warm or store in freezer if consuming after 3 days (fresh, moist ingredients like pumpkin and applesauce may cause molding to occur if left at room temp too long; if storing in freezer, let out to thaw or microwave when ready to eat/serve).
  10. Enjoy!

Healing Bone Broth Soup

When it comes to craving comfort, whether it’s due to a rainy day, a sickness, a stressful or nerve-racking time, etc…your belly needs something gentle yet full of vitamins, minerals, warmth, and love. And a whole lot of it. This veggie-packed bone broth soup will help heal the soul and the bod, whether it needs a little TLC or not.

Rainy Day (or Any Day)

Healing Bone Broth Soup


  • 2 cups sticky white rice, brown rice, or rice noodles (or gluten free noodles), cooked
  • 2 packages of organic chicken bone broth (if vegan or vegetarian, use veggie stock)
  • 1 large head of organic broccoli, washed and chopped
  • 1 large head of organic cauliflower, washed and chopped
  • 4 large organic carrots or 2 cups organic baby carrots, washed and chopped
  • 1 large organic zucchini
  • 1/2 small organic onion, chopped large, or 2 tablespoons dried + chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: 2-3 heads of organic + non-GMO corn, cooked and kernels removed from head of corn (or use frozen)
  • 6 tablespoons gluten free Tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small bundle organic parsley, chopped
  • 1 small bundle organic basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Optional: add cooked protein of choice (chicken, pork, beef, bacon, tofu, Tempe, etc.)
  • Optional: fried egg


  1. Steam carrots, broccoli, and corn until al dente
  2. In a large pot, bring bone broth to a slow simmer. Add Tamari if choosing to do so.
  3. If adding protein, add now
  4. Add herbs and seasonings to broth (leaving our basil and parsley)
  5. In a large pan, add all veggies + avocado oil + pinch of each seasonings you added to broth and sauté until slightly browned (but not over-cooked)
  6. When veggies are done, add to broth
  7. Add your starch of choice (rice or noodles)
  8. Simmer on low for a half hour
  9. Serve into bowls and top with fresh basil and parsley.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste
  11. If adding fried egg, top bowl with fried egg
  12. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea and eat up!

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, and Vegan (Optional) Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s no prettier place to make homemade chocolate chip cookies than in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That’s where we are for the next week; our happy place that we’ve been coming to the same time, same place, since I was a baby. We honor my grandpa who wanted to retire here, but unfortunately never was able to (PSA – don’t smoke cancer sticks). Thank you to my grandpa and my mom for instilling the love of the west coast and the Tetons within our hearts and our souls…

On vacay, I’m a firm believer in eating whatever you want, but with my back injury and my endometriosis, I really have to limit (like 99.9% of the time) dairy and gluten due to inflammation of my body, and the fact it just cannot handle it. Because of that, I have to cater to my sweet tooth (especially when everyone else is), so I find my go-to ingredients and whip up my favorite things, like chocolate chip cookies. But, these gems are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan optional (sub the egg).

Dairy-Free + Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best when served warm right out of the oven


  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free baking flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter or dairy-free butter, whipped
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute (flax egg or applesauce)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 cup organic applesauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons nut butter or pumpkin purée


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Add dry ingredients to large bowl and mix
  3. Whip coconut butter or dairy-free butter. Add egg or egg substitute.
  4. Add wet ingredients to “butter” mix and mix together. Add dry ingredients.
  5. Mix everything together until dough-like consistency forms
  6. Add chocolate chips and fold together
  7. Scoop 1 1/2″ balls on to non-stick cookie sheet
  8. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until soft yet cooked in the middle
  9. Serve while warm solo or with dairy-free ice cream