Sunday, February 26

Lake Week At The Lakehouse // Episode 2









1. Sunset // 2. Warbler on an overcast morning // 3. Confident little mockingbird confusing me with his ever-changing chirps // 4. An Anhinga drying off in the sun // 5. Recruited a bird watching helper // 6. Morning light // 7. Yellow-throated warbler hiding in the leaves saying, "chin up, buttercup!" // 8. Keep your face always toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you
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Monday, February 20

MAKE // Decadent Chia Pudding, Three Ways


Since I'm going Paleo again I was looking for some treats I could have on hand and I stumbled upon Chia Pudding and I was intrigued. I'll be honest, I've been skeptical of chia seed puddings. Honestly, they seemed a little weird to me. And how yummy could they be, right? Well, I picked up a big bag of chia seeds at the store on sale and decided that now was as good a time as ever to figure it out for myself! It took me a few tries to get my ratios right and then another try to two to find a recipe I like that was still "clean" but I think I've got three options for you that you are going to lose your mind over! I have been making and eating these every day and the cool thing is that chia seeds are actually incredible for you so this is totally a guilt-free dessert!

First though let me tell you a little bit about Chia. Chia seeds are actually a member of the mint family and they were a staple in the diets of the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations! The word "chia" even translates to "strength" in ancient Mayan. Chia seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, they can be digested whole, they help you feel fuller longer, and they can even help regulate blood sugar and help you stay hydrated!  When they get wet, they form a gel which is why they can make such awesome "pudding"!
The hardest part about chia pudding (which is being overdramatic because there's honestly nothing difficult about making chia pudding, haha!) is getting your ratio right! Well, lucky you, becauase I did the hard work for you and discovered that the magic chia pudding ratio is 1 cup of liquid to 3 tablespoons of chia seeds! Armed with this knowledge you are now basically limitless! There are a million options for you! But if that overwhelms you, and you like to be told exactly what to do, here's my favorite three pudding recipes for your sweet tooth! All inspired by some of my favorite goodies...

I know right? And the crazy thing? This really tastes like brownie batter! I like to mix up my liquid in the blender first to combine all the flavors in a perfectly mixed way before adding my seeds so toss all the ingredients except seeds into the blender first then pour it into our jar, then add your seeds. Easy peasy! We're also gonna whip this one up at the end to make it more like mousse than pudding, just trust me, you'll love it! I like to use mason jars to store my pudding till it sets but you can use anything that seals well.

BROWNIE BATTER CHIA MOUSSE:
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 heaping tsp pure cocoa powder
1 tbs vegan chocolate shakeology
1 tbs almond butter
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
3 tbs chia seeds

Put everything except the chia seeds in your blender and blend till combined.
Pour into empty mason jar
Add chia seeds
(extra option: add some diced up dairy-free dark chocolate)Shake, shake, shake and put in the fridge
Shake the jar again 10 minutes later
Shake it again a half hour later
And in a few hours your pudding should look pudding-y and the seeds should be all plumped up
To make this less like pudding and more like mousse toss it back in the blender or use an immersion blender to whip it up! Enjoy cold!


Luckily maple syrup is paleo, so we get to keep that! And I don't know about you but I LOVE the flavor of maple and cinnamon and creamy vanilla all mixed together. Reminds me of pancakes and french toast! Don't skip the sea salt in this one! You want that tiny bit of bite to really make this flavor pop!

FRENCH TOAST CHIA PUDDING:
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tbs pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
3 tbs chia seeds

Put everything except the chia seeds in your blender and blend till combined.
Pour into empty mason jar
Add chia seeds
(extra option: drizzle a bit more maple syrup in, shhhh, I won't tell!)Shake, shake, shake and put in the fridge
Shake the jar again 10 minutes later
Shake it again a half hour later
And in a few hours your chia pudding will be ready to enjoy! You can also make this the night before and let it set overnight! Easy peasy!


I saved my favorite for last. I know, I know, most of you are like "Becka how is brownie batter NOT your favorite?!" But honestly, I'm all about creamy caramel. And this was the first chia pudding recipe that I loved and it's my standard go to when I want something sweet. It's so yummy. And while the caramel extract and diced up chocolate is not exactly paleo, it's worth the indulgence if you're on the fence. What can I say, I like to live dangerously. ;)

CREAMY CARAMEL CHIA PUDDING:
1 cup vanilla almond milk + full fat coconut milk
1 tbs pure honey
a few drops caramel extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tbs diced up dairy free dark chocolate chips
3 tbs chia seeds

Fill your cup measure almost to the top with vanilla almond milk
Then open a jar of coconut milk and finish filling the cup.
Put everything except the chia seeds in your blender and blend till combined.
Pour into empty mason jar
Add chia seeds
(extra option: drizzle a bit of goats milk caramel on top, totally not paleo, totally still worth it)
Shake, shake, shake and put in the fridge
Shake the jar again 10 minutes later
Shake it again a half hour later
And in a few hours your chia pudding will be ready to enjoy! You can also make this the night before and let it set overnight! Easy peasy!

Let me know how you like it when you try it! And head to my Facebook page to share your favorite variations too!



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Sunday, February 19

Last Week At The Lakehouse

prenumbral lunar eclipse
florida red bellied woodpecker home
florida female cardinal
florida male cardinal
florida red winged blackbird
florida blue gray gnatcatcher
florida osprey bird of prey

1. Prenumbral lunar eclipse // 2. Found the woodpecker's hideout // 3. Lady Cardinal out of the bushes for a rare trip to the tree // 4. Mr. Cardinal standing guard nearby // 5. Red Wing Blackbird singing me songs // 6. First signs of spring // 7. Fluffy little Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher sitting still for a rare second. These tiny guys are quick like hummingbirds (and only slightly larger) and so hard to get a photo of! // 8. The osprey are beautiful hunters. Yellow eyes gleaming and all focus as they dive feet first into the water to snag a fish. She knew I was next to her but didn't break eye contact with the water for a second. Teaching me lessons I didn't know I needed. 



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Thursday, February 9

How To Charge Your Crystals (and Yourself) in the Full Snow Moon!

crystal energy full moon

Happy Snow Moon friends! Time to break out your crystals! I really believe that there are no coincidences. So when I asked what people might want me to write about as I get my blog back up and running, it made me chuckle to hear that ya'll wanted me to talk about crystals more! And what day does this happen to fall on? The full moon. PERFECT TIMING UNIVERSE, THANKS!

Okay so tonight is the Snow Moon. It's called that because February is supposed to be our snowiest month. I'm in Florida and it was like 85 degrees today but whatever, let's just roll with it. Not only is tonight a full moon but there's also a lunar eclipse AND a comet doing a fly by. So... if you've been wanting to dip your toes into using the moon energy in your life, tonight is a great night to start!

full moon

First though, since this is the first time I've talked about this stuff here, let's all get on the same page. Why the full moon? Well we all know that the moon pulls on us here on Earth, and each phase has it's own special vibes....

New Moon/Dark Moon: A new cycle. A time to go within. An energy of new possibilities. Time to set your intentions for what you want to bring into your life.
Waxing Moon: New growth, continued action, results will come about
Full Moon: High tide of power, amplifying and creative. It is a time to release that which no longer serves you, what you no longer need in your life or an aspect of yourself that you have outgrown.
Waning Moon: Withdrawing, a sucking and pulling impact

So as you can see, full moon's are the pinnacle of energy. Which is why people like to use them to "charge" their crystals. Or even just to reset your mindset. You don't even need crystals to capitalize on tonight's moon. It's a great time to do a simple sage ritual if you'd like. To clear out the stale energy (and thoughts) that no longer serve you. You could also write down your limiting beliefs on a piece of paper and burn them in the moonlight releasing that which no longer serves you. Maybe try just standing outside in the moonlight and soaking it in, just see how it feels. You might feel the urge to dance, spin, or laugh. Just roll with it. You're learning how to connect with your own power and intuition. It's a cool thing! Full moon energy is powerful and intense. Now is when you release those things that hold you back and take action, especially when it comes to those intentions you might have set during the New Moon. Here's a little mantra you can try: "I release that which no longer serves me and move courageously into



Okay, back to crystals. So if you want to use crystals in your life you need to charge and cleanse them periodically because crystals absorb energy, just like you do. Your crystals will absorb the energy of their immediate environment, and if they are frequently handled or used for your meditating practice, they will need to be cleansed of that energy too. Rinsing your crystals, saging your crystals, or placing your crystals on or in the earth will help cleanse your crystals. But the energy of the full moon is a deeper, stronger cleanse and charge!

Wanna give it a try? Here's some simple steps:

1. Rinse your crystals. Light rain or a natural water source works great. Or just rinse them in your own sink. Then lay them out, preferably on a natural surface. (A wood board would work great!) This is to connect them to earth, it's grounding, just like how amazing you feel with your bare feet in the sand at the beach!

2. Get your crystals into the moonlight. If you can’t get your crystals outdoors, on a windowsill will also work. You want to make sure the moon’s light will actually hit the crystals. The energy of the moon will still come through the clouds so even if it's overcast or rainy you can still make it work.

3. Go get them in the early morning and bring them back inside. You can leave them out in the morning light because sunlight will charge them too but not too long because it can be too harsh for some stones just like it can be too harsh for some people. (Especially if you are in Florida like me!)

4.  Charge your crystals with your intentions and gratitude. You can do this by just cultivating a sense of gratitude as you carry them inside or you can go a step farther and visualize a bright light surrounding them and set an intention for moving forward. Grab one and hold it in your hand, close your eyes and feel the energy!

Have fun! xo, B
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