Motherhood is rewarding, enlightening, fulfilling, and just overall incredible however it can also be lonely, isolating, challenging, frustrating and overwhelming. I entered motherhood with my husband by my side but without a strong group of mothers around me. I was the first of my close friends to get married and have children and while becoming a mother was incredible and I was thrilled those lonely, isolating, overwhelming feelings easily took over.
For me moving to Portland was such a shift and really helped to change my perspective in life and motherhood. I was forced to seek out opportunities to meet new people and when you have a 6 month old that means moms groups. I met other women just like me, new to motherhood and just trying to make our way through. I became more confident as a mother and as person and began to seek out more opportunities to meet people and that’s when I found Portland Bloggers and met some amazing creatives many of whom are women and many who are also navigating motherhood while following their passions. —
As I enter motherhood for the third time I am feeling anxious as we add another little human to our family but I am also comforted knowing that I have an amazing community here in Portland. I was reminded just how supported and lucky I am this past May when my girlfriends through an incredible succulent themed baby shower for me. It was more than I could have ever expected and it left me feeling so full of love, life and light. This baby will be entering the world filled with so much love and I feel that this time around (the last time around) I will also be entering motherhood with the love and support that I desired all those years ago.
Months ago I was watching an Instagram story that featured Virtuous Pie in Vancouver BC. I was seriously salivating over all the pizzas that were featured and then at the end the person made mention that they would be opening a location in Portland OR. Well months went by and I just completely forgot all about it until we happened upon the Portland location when we tried The Baker’s Mark a sandwich shop just next door at SE Division and 12th. Since that day I have been anxiously waiting for Virtuous Pie PDX to open and that day has finally come! This week they had a soft opening and tomorrow June 10th they will have their grand opening starting at 8am with coffee and pastries from Shoofly Bakery.
Tonight we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stop by and try out a few pizzas and ice creams. I should note that everything is 100% plant-based.The 100% plant-based pizzas combine unique flavor pairings using three-day dough and house-made nut cheeses, including cashew mozzarella, almond ricotta, and non-GMO tofu feta. The full menu can be found here. If you are gluten-free you’ll be in heaven because most of their pies can be made gluten free and they even have gluten-free waffle cones for their ice cream.
We struggled to narrow down which pizzas to order for our first visit but initially settled on the Meatball & Chevre and the Stranger Wings. To go with the pizza Neil chose one of the local beer offerings and while I wish I could have joined him I decided to start with water. Now I maybe a total geek but I was so excited to see that they had both still and sparkling water for you to serve yourself.
We chose a table outside and within a matter of 6-8 minutes our pizzas were ready and after getting my Instagram shots we dived in and those pizzas were gone in about the same amount of time it took us to wait for them. At first bite we were a bit underwhelmed with the Stranger Wings but the second slice completely changed both our minds and we were sold. It had a bit of spice (although could maybe have used a touch more for my personal taste) and the blue cheese sauce was seriously amazing. If you are from Maritime Canada I would closely relate the blue cheese sauce here to donair sauce. Neil couldn’t get over how close he thought it tasted and we are considering buying up a few sides to have with homemade vegan garlic fingers (again a Maritime thing).
Our second pizza was the Meatball & Chevre that came out with a vegan parm that not only looked like freshly grated parm but SMELLED like parm as well. This pizza was packed with so much flavor and we instantly fell in love. The meatballs were so flavourful and lemon herb chevre was like nothing I’ve ever had. Seriously amazing.
MEATBALL + CHEVRE | San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Baerlic Brewing Chorizo Meatballs, Creamed Spinach, Lemon Herb Chevre, Basil, Fresh Parm.
Once we finished these two pizzas we opted to go for a third for one out of pure curiosity and also because neither of us had really eaten much all day. We narrowed it down to three options and ultimately went with the Kim-Jack a Korean inspired pizza. I have to say this wasn’t the one I would have chosen just based on the description alone because while I love Korean flavors I’m not big into jackfruit but it was suggested so I agreed. The pizza came out and it was love at first bite. The jackfruit on this pizza was incredible and combined with the cashew mozza it was even more incredible and ended up being both Neil and my favorite of the three pizzas.
We ate most of the Kim-Jack before deciding to pack up the remainder to go and switching gears to something a bit sweeter. Since we really wanted to full experience we decided to go with an ice cream flight. I left the flavor choices up to Neil and he chose the Double Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Coffee & Donuts and Lavender & Meyer Lemon. All of these ice creams had really great flavor and out of the three my favorite was the Lavender & Meyer Lemon. Next time I’d love to try the Turmeric & Black Pepper and the Marionberry Cheesecake.
The Verdict? If you live in Portland (or Vancouver BC) you need to drop everything and head to Virtuous Pie. One of the best food experiences I have had in awhile and I already have plans go back tomorrow morning for a mug of Heart Coffee and Shoofly Pastries and again next week for a mamas night out so I can try another pizza and more ice cream (assuming this baby doesn’t come first).
Have you tried Virtuous Pie? Which is your favorite pie and/or ice cream?
I don’t know how it happened so fast but this last pregnancy is coming to it’s end and I am feeling the push to get things ready for this little ones arrival. My pregnancy with Edith had me preparing months in advance and anxiously waiting her arrival. The weeks ticked by so slowly and by the end we had our short list of names picked, the nursery furnished and decorated, and a stocked fridge and pantry ready for her to arrive at any moment.
With Alder we were way more relaxed but again prepared with the things we needed for his arrival Earth side and meals were prepared in the fridge and we had a line up of a few friends who offered to bring by meals.
This time around however we have two very lengthy lists of baby names, our small home never seems to stay clean and “ready” for the baby (because we all know the baby cares), and overall I just feel a bit anxious (and of course excited) about this babes arrival.
To help ease the anxiety I have created a list of things still to do to prepare for this babes arrival.
Stock My Pantry
Fill with nutritious snacks and easy to make meal ideas for postpartum and for my husband and littles.
Make a batch of granola.
Organize teas and infusions from The First 40 Days into jars (also buy jars and ingredients for infusions).
Prepare labor aid beverages.
Have easy snacks and meals prepared for birth (we are doing a home birth so food that is easy for my littles, husband and midwives to each).
Fill My Freezer
Batch cook broths, soups and hearty stews. <– this one I can almost check off! Today I made immune boosting broth, a kabocha red lentil soup and a batch of quinoa and green lentils that I will cook up with some broth to make a porridge.
Put together some healthy freezer meals for the family like these dairy free stuffed shells that have become a postpartum freezer essential over the years.
Put together easy lunch and dinner meal ideas for my husband
Get this baby to flip —> chiro, acupuncture, spinning babies (taking suggestions)
Create My Nest (aka get our room ready for baby)
Ask Yourself: What do we need for the space(s) in our home to be comfortable?
At 8 months pregnant snacking is an essential to my everyday life. Things are getting really crowded which means those big meals I once preferred have turned into small meals with snacks in between. I always have to have a snack on hand because if I don’t this mama gets hangry real fast and you don’t want to be caught in cross hairs (just ask my husband). So what snacks have been keeping me happy and satisfied right now? Keep reading to find out.
Simple Mills Crackers. I am telling you friends that these crackers are addictive. I have been ordering them off Thrive Market* for months now and my family and I go through them as soon as they show up at my door. Luckily I just found the mega boxes of them at our local Costco so instead we can go through one club sized box in a day instead of one of those tiny regular size boxes. Kombucha. My first pregnancy I was far too worrisome to indulge in kombucha but this third time around it’s a staple. It satisfies my desire for a special effervescent drink and it also helps keep my digestion in check. Don’t worry I rarely drink an entire bottle because I have two small children who are addicted to kombucha and like to “help me” drink it whenever I open a bottle.
Chocolate. When I speak of chocolate though it’s not just any chocolate it has to be Hu or eatingEvolved. These chocolates are both paleo and vegan and don’t contain all those extras that you just don’t need. I purchase both on Thrive Market because it’s the best deal that I have found and while the Hu can be a little pricey anyone who has had it will tell you it’s worth it.
Goodbites Date Cookies. No surprise here another Thrive Market find and no I’m not sponsored by them I bought my own membership and I shop via their site regularly because I find that it has the best prices and it’s delivered straight to my door. Anyways back to the cookies. These little date cookies are another household favorite and the best part these little treats are raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Based on all of those details they really shouldn’t taste as good as they do but they are delicious.
Better Beans (on toast). If you were to ask me what my one pregnancy craving is this time around it is beans on toast. Specifically Better Beans and even more specifically the Skillet Refried Red Beans. I had a very similar craving when I was pregnant with Edith however it was beans on brown rice tortillas with Vegenaise. I don’t know what it is but I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and have been known to).
What are your favorite snacks right now? Are you a sweet snacker or a savory? In general will gravitated towards savory foods but I do love a piece or five of some really delicious dark chocolate.
*This post is NOT sponsored however it does contain affiliate links where (*) are indicated.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and so I’ve been thinking about what I would want my hubby and kids to make me for breakfast. Since Neil is the pancake maker of the house (I burn them every time) my first thought was pancakes but really I don’t care that much for pancakes. So my next thought crepes. We never make crepes at home and rarely eat them out so they would be a fun treat. Bonus they are super easy to make so Neil could easily have the kids help him put it together!
These crepes are easy to make however they do take a little bit of time to sit and chill. That being said they are best for brunch unless eating breakfast 2+ hours after you wake up is your normal. For us breakfast is pretty much as soon as we roll out of bed so these are a perfect second breakfast or brunch.
Step 1. Mix up the batter.
Step 2. Make lemon-strawberry sauce.
Step 3. Make Maple Vanilla Cream.
Step 4. Wait and wait until your crepe batter is ready.
Step 5. Cook up your crepes and then promptly devour.
Place all of the CREPE ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
While the crepe batter is chilling make the LEMON-STRAWBERRY SAUCE. Toss the sliced strawberries with the coconut sugar, lemon juice and zest; mix to combine. Cover and chill.
For the MAPLE CREAM - place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together, cover and chill.
2 Hours Later....Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Grease the pan with coconut oil or vegan margarine and then pour in 3-4 tablespoons of the batter swirling to create a thin layer. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden. Once cooked top with berries and cream. Enjoy!
I have not tested this recipe with gluten free flour but I would imagine it could work - if you do let me know if the comments below.
You can use whatever plant-based milk that you prefer however I find that this cashew milk has such a great flavor that really adds to the flavor of the crepe.
I used the KitchenIQ V-etched Better Zester!, GreenWhisk & Spatula (2 in 1), Prep & Measure Tool (3 in 1) and Edge Grip Quick Prep Knife Sharpener & Paring Knife Combo to help create this recipe.
Thank you to KitchenIQ and So Delicious for partnering with me on this recipe.
The internet is buzzing about Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel spice mix and for good reason it is delicious. It’s perfect sprinkled over hummus, on top of avocado toast and my current favorite my Cheezy Everything But The Bagel Biscuits (with all the fixings).
I have made these twice in the past week and then we ran out of flour so that put my biscuit making to a halt which is probably not a bad thing because my family and I could easily eat an entire batch in a day.
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/4cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
5 tablespoons cold Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance
Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel
Preheat oven to 425F
Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set asid.
In the base of a food processor fitted with the s-blade combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse 3-4 times to combine.
Slice the cold Earth Balance and add to the bowl of the food processor and pulse 7-9 times just to combine.
Add the vegan cheddar shreds to the bowl of the food processor and return the top.
Add the agave to the almond milk mixture.
With the food processor on low slowly stream the almond milk mixture through the feed tube and process until a dough forms.
Flour a large service and turn the dough out on to the board. Very lightly knead the dough to form a ball.
Roll out the dough until 1" thick and then using a biscuit cutter or a glass cut out biscuits. Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the biscuits with melted Earth Balance and then generously sprinkle with Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel mix.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm and lightly browned.
Transfer biscuits to a wire rack and allow to cool.
Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days - although I highly doubt they will last that long.
So your biscuits have cooled enough to eat who will you enjoy them? I like to load mine up with beans, greens, and avocado but they are great as is or with vegan cream cheese or topped with a vegan breakfast sausage. Really the possibilities are endless.
This weekend none of us are sick, we have a date night planned and I’m heading to my first yoga class in over a year. Despite the rain I think that this is going to be a pretty wonderful weekend. I thought I’d share a few things I came across this week. Enjoy!
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