It’s winter, which means I’m always freezing AF once it drops below 60. It’s been in the 30s here at night, so I’m being a baby, and have a legit reason to be cold. Anyway, you didn’t come here for a weather report, you came here for these healthy delish donuts, so here we go…

I was hungry and having insomnia so got out of bed with the intention of making pancakes. As I started grabbing ingredients, as soon as I got out the oats, I knew I wanted to bake instead. I was grabbing my muffin pan when I saw my donut mold (collecting dust and feeling unloved), so I grabbed that instead and started randomly mixing ingredients; unsweetened, shredded coconut + allergy-free chocolate chips + gluten free almond flour and ding ding — the healthy Almond Joy donut was born.

materials needed:

  • silicone donut baking mold
  • spray avocado + coconut oil
  • edged baking pan

ingredients:

  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (optional: lightly toast)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (or sunflower butter if nut-free).
  • 1 cup almond flour (use GF flour if nut-free)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (Bob’s RedMill 1:1 baking is my fav)
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 scoops Vital Proteins beef gelatin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup allergy-free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 375 F
  2. in a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients
  3. add all wet ingredients
  4. using a mixer or spoon, mix until ingredients are in a batter-like consistency
  5. spray donut pan with oil (I use the Chosen Foods avocado + coconut oil brand)
  6. spoon mixer into donut pan
  7. when all batter is evenly distributed, gently use a spoon to press batter down into mold
  8. bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. check at 15 minutes to make sure they still need more time.
  9. let cool and while they’re cooling, move on to streusel topping (below)
  10. once donuts are cool, add raw, unsweetened almond butter on top of donuts then once streusel is cooked, add streusel on top of it, push down.
  11. optional: melt dairy free chocolate chips and drizzle on top, or sprinkle dairy free chocolate chips and more toasted coconut flakes on top (or all of the above, which is pictured).
  12. best enjoyed fresh, so enjoy!
  13. store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

cinnamon streusel topping:

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon Bobs Redmill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar, or mix of both
  • 1/4 cup pecans, walnuts, or almonds (or a mix), smashed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

directions: 

  1. preheat oven to 300 F
  2. add all dry ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix
  3. add coconut/avocado oil and mix until evenly coated
  4. spray edged baking sheet with coconut + avocado blend (I use Chosen Foods)
  5. bake at 300 F for 6 minutes, then remove pan to stir and cook for another 5 minutes, making sure coconut is not burning
  6. bake until your house smells yummy and coconut does not burn (I did a total of 12 minutes, stirring granola every 4 minutes).
  7. remove and let cool
  8. add almond butter to donuts then add streusel on top of it, push down.
  9. optional: melt dairy free chocolate chips and drizzle on top, or add DF chocolate chips and more toasted coconut flakes (or all of the above, which is pictured).

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When it come to potatoes, I actually kind of despise them? If it weren’t for the cardiologist telling me I need to eat them to boost my potassium, and my rheumatologist telling me to eat them as a carb since I have to cut grains and gluten, I’d probably be like a nun and sex…could live without them 🙅🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

But since I’m not a nun and not eating bread (and SICK OF ROASTED CUBES), I played in the kitchen today. So, here’s my newest recipe, perfect in time for the holidays…

Dairy-free, gluten-free and AIP-friendly, vegan, and vegetarian optional mashed purple sweet potatoes —

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 XL purple sweet potatoes OR regular purple potatoes if not AIP (organic if you can find them)
  • 2 teaspoons organic onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 6 tablespoons organic olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3/4 – 1 1/4 cup organic bone broth OR vegetable stock if vegan/vegetarian
  • Sprig of rosemary, with herbs picked off
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon organic ground ginger
  • Pinch of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder or less – or chopped garlic **leave out if following AIP
  • Bag of organic rainbow baby carrots or bundle of organic rainbow carrots

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Peel and wash purple sweet potatoes
  3. Cube into small 1/2-1″ cubes
  4. Peel, wash, and chop rainbow carrots
  5. Lightly oil large baking trays (make sure they have sides so grease doesn’t drip into oven)
  6. In a large bowl, add cubed potatoes, carrots, olive oil, salt, and spices. Mix until evenly coated. Add more spices or olive oil if desired
  7. Add cubes onto trays, so they all lay flat and not on top of each other
  8. Put trays in oven and cook at 450 for 15 minutes. Toss sweet potatoes and bake for another 15. When cooked fully, remove from oven. ** Turn heat down if 450 is too hot and they start to burn
  9. Remove from oven and let cool
  10. Once veggies are cooled, add them to a Vitamix
  11. Add broth and blend on high until smooth and creamy
  12. Remove from Vitamix immediately.
  13. Add more salt and herbs/spices to taste.
  14. Serve immediately as a side or incorporate into another recipe / meal prep
  15. Enjoy!

I really find so much joy in seeing you make my recipes. Please share with me if you do by tagging me on Instagram, @saltysweetseasons and using the hashtag #saltysweetseasons. From my kitchen to yours, I’m so grateful for you!

Oh hello, there! It’s been a minute.

I’ve been struggling with my Endometriosis and autoimmune, so I am now following the AIP diet per the recommendation of my docs to try and reduce inflammation in my body. I have been struggling to prep enough and eat totally fresh, but thanks to the help and encouragement of my friend doing keto, we brainstormed some recipe ideas and I turned them into new staple meals.

Like this AIP Bone Broth and Grass-Fed Meatball Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • @bonafideprovisions chicken bone broth
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chives
  • Mini meatballs (just pure ground organic grass fed beef, salt, pepper, garlic salt)
  • Steamed sliced carrots
  • Steamed celery
  • Steamed sweet potato
  • Avocado to top (optional — leave out if following low-histamine)
  • Top with sage, parsley, cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Steam all veggies
  2. Once steamed, add them to big pot to sauté for about 5 minutes
  3. Add bone broth to veggies and let boil
  4. Cook meatballs until well-done
  5. Add chives
  6. Once meatballs are well done, add them and let simmer for 20 minutes
  7. Add more salt to taste
  8. Optional – top with avocado, parsley, sage, and cilantro (or add herbs while simmering)
  9. Serve and enjoy!

When it comes to tacos, I’m kind of obsessed that there are literally 2648497 different ways to make them. And the good news is, here is another combo to add to your list (AND it works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner).

First, let’s start with the roasted sweet potato recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • 1/8 teaspoon organic curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Everything seasoning
  • 4 fresh leaves of basil, chopped
  • Chopped parsley to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly (*except fresh herbs)
  2. Lightly line an edged baking tray and add seasoned potatoes, evenly layered
  3. Bake for 20 minutes
  4. Remove from oven once cooked thoroughly and add basil + parsley
  5. Serve as a side or use in taco recipe below…

Roasted Curry Sweet Potato Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh spinach (sauté in olive oil, Trader Joe’s Everything Seasoning, and a couple shakes of ground turmeric)
  • 2 eggs, cooked over hard or scrambled
  • Organic cherry tomatoes, chopped and tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh chopped basil
  • Roasted curry sweet potatoes from recipe above
  • Siete tortillas
  • Optional: top with avocado and arugula or add in sautéed mushrooms and/or onions and garlic

Directions:

  1. After all ingredients are cooked and prepped, chop eggs. In one medium sized pan, add cooked spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped eggs, marinated tomatoes, and warm / mix together.
  2. Add pan mixture into warmed Siete tortillas and serve.
  3. Top with avocado and hot sauce of choice
  4. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try this recipe by tagging me on Insta @saltysweetseasons #saltysweetseasons xoxo

Happy first day of kinder, my how you’ve grown.

It feels like just yesterday, my belly was your home.

When you first started preschool, I couldn’t believe it was time,

Our new routine went from two half days to three, then, overnight, it climbed…

In a blink, it was time I went back to work from part-time to full…

Adventures with you the first 3 years sure filled my heart and my soul.

I knew you were scared when we toured your first school,

because you were my little hip-hugging koala (and oh boy, was I was trying to play it cool).

The entire first year you clung to my side morning at drop-off with a plea…

“Please don’t go, Mama. I love you…one more huggie?”

Leaving you each time, I’d feel my chest gasping for air.

I knew you would shine as soon as I left, but boy, real life felt so unfair.

How could someone besides me keep you safe and secure?

But we both spread our wings, and just like that, age 3-5 went by in a blur.

Preschool turned to T-K, and now T-K into kinder.

How on earth are you turning 5 and in grade school?! Father Time, I’d like to beg to differ…

This weekend it finally hit me, you’re a toddler no more.

My sweet baby boy, it’s time for you to truly soar.

May you always remember that kindness is key;

Respect, manners, please, and thank you are all free.

Listen to your teachers and keep old and new friends,

If someone is hurting, may you always have a hand or ear to lend.

Strong girls are the future, and so are kind little boys,

Remember to stay true to your values amongst all the noise.

Hold your head high whether you win or you lose,

In order to grow, sometimes your ego will have to bruise.

And remember what we always say? There’s more to life than winning.

Although, trust me, I know, it won’t feel like that in the beginning.

This morning, as I got you ready, I shut my eyes for a second.

I wanted to freeze time; weren’t you just born, I reckon?!

Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to see the man you become,

But sometimes it’s hard to let you fly since our party of two has always been a unit of one.

As I send you off to kindergarten, it’s a big day for me, as well.

Soon enough, your independence will grow, your strength will blossom, and AH! There’s that school bell…

You still timidly clung to my legs and gave me a big hug and a kiss.

Then a little boy from camp came up and said say hi, and off you both flew into big-kid abyss.

It’s so bittersweet watching you grow big and strong, inside and out.

But here’s to the days and years ahead where you keep teaching me what life is all about…

Love always wins, and so does honesty, chivalry, and hard work,

Through all my life memories and proud moments thus far, you’re truly the biggest perk.

I love you forever, my sweet little boy.

I hope you always fill others (and yourself) with things that bring you joy.

I’ll be right by your side to help pick you up if you stumble,

Here’s to you, here’s to kinder, and here’s to it always staying humble.

Being your mama is something I treasure,

and I hope you never stop saying, “I love you more, and I’ll love you forever.”

This year you will grow, and oh, so will I…

Now go spread your wings and fly so, so high.

I don’t know if you’re fancier than me and happen to be a crepe connoisseur, or if I’m the only one who has been living under an apparent rock not knowing crepes were so versatile and so easy (and really effing good, too). But, I’m guessing I’m not alone in this (because, hello, I blog about food and live for easy recipes, so can’t be the only one who’s been intimidated by homemade crepes?!). Plus, if you’ve come across this post, the little crepe babes I recently posted most likely brought you here to learn more…

First off – Did you know you can basically eat crepes for every meal? Seriously – breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, dessert; the possibilities are endless, honestly.

They can be zesty, spicy, savory, sweet, or a combo of the two. They can be made super traditionally, or made with a modern twist, combining unique flavors and toppings (basically like FroYo, yeah?). They’re basically a unicorn of all.food.groups.

Recently, some friends of my other half were telling me about these things called a dosa…ever heard of them? I said, “Sounds like an Indian crepe?” Where I was enlightened that they were, in fact, basically a crepe’s cousin, and are basically a savory and crispy pancake.

dosa

Since I’m a millennial, (and if you’re reading this, you most likely are too), here’s the super scientific definition of what a dosa is (because, ya know, Urban Dictionary is a legit siting source, right?)

“A very thin, crisp pancake made of finely ground lentils (fermented batter). Think crispy, lightweight, savory crepe; often served with chutney, spiced vegetables, and a type of tomato-and-tamarind-based soup. Dosas are vegetarian.”

In all honestly, they actually nailed it, so the above description is pretty accurate AF.

So what does a dosa have to do with crepes and my recipes? The magical appliance I used; aka, my new fav kitchen gadget. And if I wasn’t told about dosas and this dope little gem that makes them, this recipe would not exist. (Read on)… 

crepe1

To start, crepes and dosa are made up of totally different ingredients, they both originated from different parts of the world (“Dosa is a typical part of the Southern Indian diet and popular all over the Indian subcontinent; from Southern India, to be exact”, Wikipedia, 2018), and they both have different toppings and fillings. But at the end of the day, they’re similar in consistency and purpose; a wrap-like doughy “pancake;” however, dosa is typically thinner and crispier due to its ingredients.

That being said, since I’m a “mom/food blogger” (who has no “real” cultural or professional training in my cooking abilities besides my toddler telling me he hates or loves his food; I’m just a mom who enjoys cooking – but, mostly making my pictures look pretty), when I Googled how to make a traditional Dosa, I was super intimidated. LIKE, HI, EVERY RECIPE CALLED FOR A *12-HOUR PREP TIME*. Excuse me, say what? The only thing I spend 12 hours on is worrying about something (anxiety, amiright?!).

So, being the mama/busy human I am who’s also recouping from an injury and keeping things basic AF right now, I told myself, “I’m going to make this dosa super mom friendly, fast, and non-traditional, while still tasting bomb AF; oh, and pretty, obvi.”

So, I realized I made a crepe; well, 9 of them. And I wanted to make it as pretty as possible and convince everyone in my family (including my 4 year old and crepe haters around me, that I could make the best dang little gem of a wrap/pancake possible). It wasn’t a dosa, but you’ll see how and why those still matter to me. Keep reading…(I promise there’s more pretty pictures).

Based on the photo above, it’s safe to say I’ve entered into the crepe world (and am quite proud I didn’t F them up like I assumed I would). So if I can make a crepe, you can make a crepe. Pinky promise…

So what was my secret? How did I outgrow my high school cooking class failures? This this dosa maker, creatively called DosaMaker (smart SEO; I see you, branding team).

crepe1

My past of breaking crepes in a frying pan and having them crumble when I tried to flip them (kind of like my well known “trick” of magically turning omelets into scrambles) didn’t boost my confidence that I could pull off a crepe. But, I wrote a recipe up, and boom – I shocked myself when I nailed it.

My first trial recipe was a homemade zesty onion, garlic, and herb crepe that I stuffed with rotisserie chicken, avo, homegrown tomatoes, jasmine parsley rice, and TLC. (I’ll blog that recipe soon when I’m not busy shoving it in my mouth before taking pictures). I’m so thankful I had a sous chef, because my arms currently resemble a t-rex.

You know how they say you know someone’s a food blogger because their food is always cold when they finally eat it? That they do it all out of sacrifice for the ‘gram? It’s true, so when we want to enjoy a meal and not photograph it, woah; mind blowing, I know.

Anyway, back to the recipes I DID style and write down measurements for…

Meet my new babies!!

Tanner requested a s’mores crepe, and I’m so glad he did, because…. THIS –

I also made peaches-n-cream, banana pecan, lemon blueberry, and strawberries and cream with mint.

Each crepe had the same base, a chocolate low-sugar batter that’s gluten-free and dairy-free. Here’s the recipe for the crepe base:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (non-melted)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 3 eggs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all wet ingredients to a Vitamix or other high-speed blender and blend until combined thoroughly.
  2. Add dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Add to blender / wet ingredients
  4. Blend until batter is thin and lump free. Add more water if necessary or batter thickens too much.
  5. Put batter into a bowl and cover.
  6. Put batter into the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes (this is necessary for the crepe consistency).
  7. After 25 minutes, prep your DosaMaker.
  8. If desired, lightly coat DosaMaker with avocado oil. It’s non-stick, so you don’t have to.
  9. Add about 1/3 cup of batter onto DosaMaker and let cook for 1.5-2 minutes.
  10. Remove crepe, set aside, fill with desired fillings / add toppings, and serve!

 

Info on the fillings + what I used:

For the s’mores crepe, I used marshmallow fluff, dairy-free Enjoy Life chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, and marshmallows.

For the lemon blueberry crepe, I drizzled the crepe in fresh lemon juice, topped with lemon and orange zest + powdered sugar. (You could also glaze with icing made from powdered sugar, vanilla, and water).

For the banana pecan crepe, I topped with crushed pecans, almond butter mixed with cinnamon and vanilla extract, bananas, and topped with ground cinnamon.

For the peaches n creme crepe, I topped with fresh peaches, whipped yogurt, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

For the strawberries and creme crepe, I used organic strawberries and mint from our garden with dairy-free whipped cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

 

ps  This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. 

 

Find more of my fav recipes by searching “recipes” or “cooking” at shelleyhopper.com (like these Rocky Road baked donuts).

Let’s talk mom-shaming and all the totally effed up things we say to eachother, ourselves, or overhear…

• • •

Photo by Ashley Gardner Photography

• • •

Must be nice to be a stay-at-home-mom; try having a ‘real’ job

Oh, you work full time? When do you spend time with you kid(s)?


Having a c-section is a cop-out of going through ‘real’ labor and childbirth.

Having a home birth is irresponsible and putting you and your baby in danger.


Breastfeeding is the only way to bond with your baby and give them the true nutrients they need; formula is poisoning your baby.

Breastfeeding is gross and takes away bonding time for dad and other family members.


Co-sleeping causes SIDS, is creepy, and teaching your child to be needy and less independent.

Co-sleeping is convenient for night-time nursing, means comforting a toddler scared of monsters or a bad dream, or helping give a sense of security through change.


Feeding your baby solids at 6 months is ruining your breastfeeding bond.

Feeding your baby solids at 6 months starts introducing foods they need to new vitamins and minerals and reduces food allergies.


Vaccinating is the only way to keep your baby safe from dangerous viruses and diseases.

Vaccinating is poisoning your child(ren) and causing developmental disorders.


Divorce screws up your child(ren) from having a ‘normal’ life and a ‘real’ family.

Divorce gives your child(ren) the chance to see a healthy, happy relationship and definition of marriage and gives you the chance to be free.


Being a single mom means you’re trashy and it’s your fault you’re divorced.

Being a single mom makes you strong AF; no one has a right to judge or gossip about why your marriage ended. It’s not your fault.


Pushing your religion and politics on your child(ren) is teaching them values and morals.

Teaching your child(ren) to be open-minded and make their own informed decisions on religion and politics gives them the freedom of choice and teaches them the power of research.


Having an abortion makes you a horrible human being.

Having an abortion makes you an incredible, strong woman who made the tough choice to make the right decision for your life and your future.


Putting a child up for adoption is an irresponsible disgrace.

Putting a child up for adoption means you are amazing for wanting your child to have a better life than you could provide.


Not having a uterus makes you less of a woman.

Not having a uterus does not define your womanhood.


Deciding not to have children makes you selfish.

You have no idea why some people cannot have children, and it’s not your place to judge if it’s due to medical complications or personal choice.


Raising kind humans means raising sensitive push-overs.

Raising kind humans means raising compassionate, empathetic, well-rounded children.


Living with family means you’re too lazy or not strong enough to do it on your own.

Living with family means you’re showering your child(ren) with more love, and yourself with more support.


Not losing your baby-weight means you don’t care about your appearance.

Having ten pounds of postpartum ‘fluff’ means you’re LIVING and care more about life than an Instagram photo.


Having a messy house means you are messy, unorganized, and lacking cleanliness.

Having a messy house means you care about making memories and spending time playing and being creative with your kid(s).


Having kids with a partner and not a husband or a wife means you don’t value marriage.

Having child(ren) and a relationship with someone who is not legally your spouse does not make you less of a family or a human.


Playing on your phone in front of your child(ren) is irresponsible and you’re ignoring them.

It’s amazing we live in a world where we can engage with our children and have part-time jobs while staying at home with them thanks to technology.


Going on anti-depressants or benzos for PPD, PPA or other mental health issues makes you weak and means you didn’t try hard enough to fix your issues ‘naturally.’

Admitting something doesn’t feel right and you need help for a disorder makes you a strong, responsible mom who deserves to feel like the best version of herself again.


Seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist means you’re ‘crazy.’

Going to counseling or seeing someone who went to med school to know how meds affect the brain makes you brave, courageous, and shows you are powerful, strong, and seeking change and growth.


Raising little boys who don’t play sports means you’re raising ‘pu%^ies’.

Raising little boys to be musicians or dancers or singers means you’re supporting their dreams and their talents.


You should teach little girls to play with dolls, like the color pink, cook, and be nurturing; don’t let them be too opinionated.

You should teach little girls to have a voice, let them be tomboys if they want, and teach them they truly can be and do anything.


YOU SHOULD JUST MOM THE BEST YOU KNOW HOW AND LET YOUR KIDS BE KIDS – in whatever forms that means to YOU.

STOP THE #MOMSHAMING.

These are ALL things I’ve personally been told or overheard.

WE ARE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN TO RAISE BABIES THE BEST WE KNOW HOW AND IN THE WAY WE FEEL IS BEST FOR OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILY.

Society, please just let us be.

Please just let us mom.

Please stop judging us, all of us, and all the ways we’re just trying to parent the very best we can.

We’ve all read the article claiming millennials “can’t afford to buy homes because they’re too busy buying avocado toast.”

And as a millennial, I say, actually, we can’t buy homes because they’re expensive AF and we don’t get paid enough to keep up with the price of living in today’s society.

Anyway – this post is about TOAST. And how although rent/home prices may be total shit in California, we have freaking GOOD avocados, so, we capitalize on them. For every meal. Plus, they’re loaded in healthy fats and omega-3s, so unless you have an allergy, you know you love them (or should).

When I moved away from Encinitas, I missed my friends first and the food second. Seriously – one of the biggest cons listed on my pro and con moving list was THAT LEUCADIA AND ENCINITAS FOOD THO. I love it. It’s me in a menu. It’s my spirit animal in a town. But, ultimately, family and best friends > food, so I’ve been crafting up all the foods I miss most from local beachside coffee shops, like avocado toast.

With that, here’s a few of my personal toast recipes that are favs among my friends and fam –

Use bread, gluten-free bread, or sweet potato slices as the base.

For all avocado toasts listed, I use my universal avocado homemade herb spread; the recipe is

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1-2 teaspoon(s) Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning
  • Pinch of salt + black pepper
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Mix like guacamole and use as your avocado spread.

Blackberry Herb Goat Cheese Avocado Toast with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Avocado spread
  • Organic blackberries
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Herb and chive goat cheese (use cashew cheese or leave out if vegan or dairy-free)
  • Drizzle a thick balsamic vinegar on top

Cherry Tomato and Marinated Onion Avocado Hummus Toast

  • Organic cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced with seeds removed
  • Marinated onions (sharing my recipe here soon)
  • Avocado spread
  • Hummus of choice
  • Optional – add goat cheese or sheep’s milk feta cheese
  • Optional – top with freshly ground pepper or Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning and chives

Almond Butter Strawberry Banana Toast with Honey and Cinnamon

  • Almond butter or cashew butter (use sunflower butter if you need to avoid nuts due to allergy or preference)
  • Sliced banana
  • Sliced organic strawberries
  • Top with organic ground cinnamon and drizzle with local raw honey

Dear Single Mama,

I see you doing everything – literally everything – with all your heart and all your will…

Photo by Erica of EBC Photos

Nursing all night or warming up bottles. Doing each diaper change, outfit swap, kitchen cleaning, toilet scrubbing, meal prepping and cooking, lunch box packing, dog walking and pooper-scooping (little human(s) and fury friends)…

I see you doing every pre-school drop-off and pick-up, getting your little one to and from activities, play-dates, chaperoning field trips when you can or leading carpools to and from soccer/dance/football/karate/girl-scouts/boy-scouts. I see you helping with homework after a long day at work when you’re exhausted but still hands-on being your little one’s number one tutor and fan.

I see you having to call out sick from work one too many times to stay home with a sick baby or toddler because it’s just you at home. I see you trying to balance it all, and you are doing a freaking incredible, amazing job.

Because whether you’ve been a single mom from the start of your pregnancy, or you experienced the loss of your significant other, or went through a divorce and/or an intense custody battle, or got walked out on, left to fend for yourself and your cub, you are a mother. and a damn good one. 

I know some days are SO hard. So exhausting. Seem to never end or go by way too fast.

I know the loss of a spouse, physically or emotionally, is one of the hardest things to go through as a human, as a woman, and as a mother. But you are still here. Your kids are fed and kind and smart and talented. And so are you.

Whatever you’ve been through that got you on this road called “single parent” avenue, you are navigating it with such grace, courage, and strength.

So, single mama, please know you are so loved, cherished, and appreciated; whether it’s through the eyes of your best friends, your family, and/or your little one(s), they see you, too.

Everyone sees how hard you work to provide, to educate, to be there – ALL IN. Night after night and day after day. Even when you don’t see it in yourself; others most definitely do.

I know some days you will question your sanity, this life, and how you got here. But please know that even in your darkest hour, you are so bright and such an incredible human and mama.

Whether you’re in the midst of custody or into a new season of single mamahood healing after the loss of a partner and/or divorce, you will get through this. As the quote goes, “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships were built to do” by William Shedd, the same goes for your journey of motherhood and co-parenting and/or single parenting.

Adjust your sails, face the winds, and grab your compass and your heart. You will get through the stormy seas and feel sunshine again. You will learn that as each day passes, you are stronger than the day before. You will learn to let the wall you’ve built so strong and so tall down a little when needed. You will learn to love again, trust again, and truly believe that you are where you’re meant to be and that everything happens for a reason.

Don’t be afraid to be sad. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to get angry.

Learn to be vulnerable.

Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends and your family for support.

Learn to ask for help and trust that people want to actually be there for you.

Don’t be afraid to read 12387 articles on single parenthood so you can relate to someone.

Learn you are not alone.

Don’t be afraid to get into therapy and join a support group.

Learn to navigate and express your feelings; be open to freeing yourself from your past.

Don’t be afraid to try meditating, acupuncture, or breathing exercises for stress relief.

Learn that you need to take time for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to TREAT YOURSELF.

Learn to budget and save where you can; go see a financial advisor. But, also make time to invest in self-care; schedule a massage, mani/pedi, facial, go out just “because”, or attend your favorite concert if you can plan ahead.

Don’t be afraid to get back into the dating scene when it feels right; let your hair down and get dolled up, because, you deserve it.

Learn to let your guard down (when and if you’re ready).

But also, don’t be afraid to hide from the world if that’s what you need right now (big fan of Katy Perry “Grace of God” as an anthem to cry it out in a closet or blast in the car).

Learn that being a single mom isn’t easy, but you won’t feel so stuck forever.

Don’t be afraid to be the best mama you know how to be, simply by doing what feels right and when.

Learn to have faith in yourself and your situation.

Don’t dwell too much on your past, and stop focusing on your flaws or questioning how and why you got here…

Learn to let things go (in time) and trust that everything happens for a reason.

Remember a healthy happy woman is a healthy happy mama who can raise healthy happy babes.

I see you single mama, because I’m in your shoes.

I know how it feels to want to rip the eyeballs out of anyone who says “OMG it was so hard to be a ‘single/solo mom’ it when my husband was gone on a work trip!” (Because, how dare they even think that’s the same thing as being an actual single mama?!)

Being a single mom typically means not having a partner to come home and ask you about your day, tell you they’re proud of you, help you live off a two-income pay check, help you run errands or watch the baby/kids, cook a meal for you, or emotionally support you via texts and phone calls throughout the day or after a sleep regression.

I know how hard it is to go through the rollercoaster of change, grief, loss, anger, pain, feeling alone, facing heartbreak, stress, tears, anxiety, depression, trauma, the quest to seek “balance”, and all the sleepless nights tossing and turning causing over-exhaustion.

I know how it feels to ask WHY and HOW.

I know how some days life seem so unfair and painful and like everything was taken away from you in the blink of an eye (no matter how many warning signs there may have been leading up to divorce or separation). But I also know how beautiful it is to have a special one-on-one bond with your babe(s) and to let go, move on, and heal. Because YOU deserve it, first and foremost.

And I know there are bright days ahead where you look back on this chapter and say “I did it.” You’ll look back and see how many obstacles you faced, but you still kept going. You’ll look back and see all the sacrifices you made, but see how they paid off.

You’ll look back and say I AM STRONG. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM LOVED. and this was just a page out of my book that’s not done being written yet. 

xo, Shelley

PS – want more single mama support? You can find more stories of single mamahood here and in the following articles:

“10 Ways to Kill It As A Single Mom”

“What Single Moms Want to Tell Their Friends but Never Would” 

“Living the Simple Life: I Already Have My ‘Epic Adventure’ Right Here at Home” 

PPS – Happy National Single Parent’s Day (March 21st)

You see, the beauty about today’s girls is they can dream to become whoever and whatever they want to be.

They work hard, they laugh, they learn, they adapt and they evolve.

They embody a strength and fight within them that can move mountains and shape futures.

They become women who lead fiercely, have a voice, and honor and nourish their bodies and souls.

Your version of womanhood all started somewhere, as a little girl…

Who played Barbies and volleyball and with American Girl dolls – who played soccer and was in Girl Scouts, and went on adventures in the fields with lizards and frogs barefoot in the creek.

Who won spelling bees and science fairs and went to State in sports.

Who rode mountain bikes and played in the dirt and refused to wear anything but Sporty Spice ponytails.

Who chose to dress like a tomboy all of middle school because it was who you wanted to be.

Who got grounded for lying and had to take a quarter back to the Bird Store for stealing it out of a fountain.

It started by driving a 1990 Ford F-150 aka chastity belt 😹

It all started being raised with morals and values and being encouraged and told to stand up for yourself yet be kind, empathetic, and put yourself in other’s shoes.

It meant being nice to the kid who wore wolf shirts in high school and sitting next to him when everyone was picking on him (and him writing in your yearbook you were the only person nice to him throughout 4 YEARS).

It meant dating the football players or the band geek, because ya know, balance 🤷🏼‍♀️

It also meant being told to knock it off when you acted like a little snot and needed to be reminded of humility.

It started by being encouraged and told “I’m proud of you” – of your aspirations, your beliefs, and your accomplishments.

It all started as a girl, who was raised by people who let her be whatever being a “girl” meant to her.

Thank you, Mom and Dad (and my teachers) for letting me be all of those things.

And thank you for welcoming me home, at 30, when I needed to be reminded that the little girl I was raised to be is still inside me as a woman, and I need to continue to fight and have faith and grace.

To think it all started with a little #girlpower