Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

If you're in the mood to bake something this weekend, might I suggest these Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins by Lindsay at The Toasted Pine Nut.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins | My Darling Days

I have been making them every week for the last 3 weeks because they are bomb.com.

Lindsay's recipe calls for natural peanut butter -- I use this kind because the ingredients are literally just peanuts & salt (no sugar) and it tastes great.  Her recipe also calls for agave nectar, but I use local honey instead.  I also add in a splash of vanilla to the batter.  Other than that, I follow her receipe to a T,  and I love love love it.

Also, I've talked about these muffin cups before, but I'm sharing them again because you need them in your life.


Ellis loves these muffins too... and I don't even feel bad if he eats them for breakfast because there is no added sugar and hello, zucchini.  But you cannot even taste the zucchini, I promise!

Also, we are not gluten free or dairy free, but if you are -- then these would be perfect for you!

Happy baking, and happy weekend friends!

Ellis: Three Years Old!

Ellis - Three Years Old | My Darling Days


Gosh, I want to remember so much about this age.  

The way he scrunches his nose when he smiles.  The way he plays with his ears when he's tired or nervous or just "being".  The way he says, "Mommy's baby, Daddy's big boy, and Auntie's buddy!"  The way his bum looks in his footie pajamas that are just a smidgen too small.  The way he "spits" when we brush his teeth.  They way he gives everyone the peace sign at church.  How he always wants me to kiss an ouchie, the sound of his laugh during a good tickle sesh, & the smell of his hair after a bath.  The way he calls me "Momma Kate".

Ahhhh.  Ellis James.  You.are.my.love!

So, three year old Ellis....

Loves: 
 - to play barn, and he especially loves bulls & blue tractors
 - watching Lion Guard & Paw Patrol
 - singing Old MacDonald, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, & Down By the Bay 

He:
- can say the alphabet and pick out a dozen or so letters on paper
- counts to twenty+ (only missing number 15) and can count to ten in Spanish
- knows the days of the week & months of the year
- knows *most* of the planets in our solar system
- has 20 teeth
- weighs 29 lbs. & is 3 feet tall
- wears mostly 2T clothing & a size 7 shoe

Ellis has been potty trained since August 2019, so at age 2 & 1/2, and honestly, it went SO MUCH BETTER than I ever imagined it would.  Finally, he cut us some slack in the parenting department. :)

He was officially diagnosed with asthma in May 2019 after a HORRIFIC winter of respiratory illness after respiratory illness.  He now takes Budesonide (an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid) 2 times a day through the nebulizer (we call them his "breathers") and he also takes Montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonists, which in layman's terms means: it's a drug that helps block things that cause asthma attacks.

In addition to his respiratory issues all last winter, his body also decided to spike frequent, unexplained high (we're taking 105 degree) fevers, roughly every 2-3 weeks.   So between respiratory issues and fevers, the winter of 2019 was the worst time of my life because the worry and anxiety of caring for a sick toddler month after month, was almost enough to eat me alive, and I'm still dealing with the PTSD of it all.  Here's hoping we're on to better times...

Favorite Food: Chicken & rice. Chili. Hamburgers. Hot dogs. Ice cream. And fruit snacks.  Ellis is an OK eater.  Some days he eats like a horse -- totally unprompted, and other days we have to spoon feed him.  Sometimes he's still at the supper table an hour after Zac & I have finished eating.  He also loveeeesss to drink... milk and water, that is :)    

My favorite thing to do with him is read.  We usually read books for a least an hour straight on my week days off.  We sit on the chair in his room that I nursed him on as a baby, and he keeps bringing me book after book after book, and I love it -- even if I am sooo sick of reading the same books over and over.  He's got them all memorized, so I wouldn't dare skip a page!

He starting to play really well independently, and I love to secretly watch him from afar.  The little games he makes up and verbal conversations he has with himself just make me smitten.  I love watching how his brain works.  He's gonna be smart like his daddy I think!

He continues to be such a good helper around the house.  Whenever Zac is doing a house project, he's right there in his back pocket helping, he often vacuums with his toy vacuum when I vacuum, & he enjoys getting the garbages for us on Tuesday nights because he knows Wednesday is garbage pick up day.  He also loves to help me put groceries away.

I feel like he's pretty easy to reason with, and speaks well for his age... but the way he says "napkin" and "vacuum" is HILARIOUS.  Though he knows they are two different words, he says them the same way,  and it comes out as "gag-kin".  He also says "kaycare", instead of "daycare", and all words that start with "L", come out as a "W" sound instead.... "love" = "wuv", "look = "wook", etc.  It drives Zac nuts, but I secretly hopes he always says "I wuv you mom"... because it means he's still my wittle baby! <3

Unfortunately, Ellis still isn't going to win any "Best Sleeper" awards.  You know, I thought by age 3 that we'd be getting a full night's sleep again, but HA! How wrong I was. We transitioned his crib into a toddler bed shortly after he was potty trained -- not because he was climbing out or asking for it, but because we wanted to make sure if he needed to go potty in the night, that he was able to get up by himself & go.  Haha, yeah right.  He just gets up and yells, "I gotta pee!!!!" Bam, the whole house is up.  Then he wants to be tucked in again. Then he hears a noise.  Then he needs a drink.  Then he needs a tissue.  Yady yada... you know tactic.

Despite his poor sleeping habits, we are so so blessed to have Ellis in our lives, and he truly brings us so much joy (but there are frustrating days, too... if I'm being honest).   I don't know how many times Zac and I glance at each other with that look like, "did you just see/hear that?"  or  "can you even believe he's ours?!" ... and then we both grin from ear to ear.  He is so LOVED, and I will never get enough of kissing his delicious cheeks.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Pup!


Ellis - Three Years Old | My Darling Days

You can find his last Birthday update, here: Two Years Old

A winter hike in the woods.

You know those rare, perfect winter days... the ones where there is freshly fallen snow, virtually no wind, and the temp is hanging out in the mid-thirties?

They don't happen often, so when they do, you MUST take advantage & get outside!

So get outside we did... to our favorite place -- the woods.

Winter Woods Walk | My Darling Days

Winter Woods Walk | My Darling Days

This smile didn't leave Ellis's face the entire time.  This kid loves to be outside.

Winter Woods Walk | My Darling Days

Winter Woods Walk | My Darling Days

Winter Woods Walk | My Darling Days


And the best surprise... there was hot cocoa waiting for him in the truck when we finished our hike... 

Winter Woods Walk | My Darling Days

And that right there ^ is PURE JOY.


I think winter wood walks will forever be my favorite.


See my last winter woods walk post by clicking here... our family looks a bit different now!

What's for Supper | Menu Planning #10


Pic via Dishing Delish
This was a new to us recipe, and one that will go in the rotation!  It was super flavorful & couldn't be any easier.  I served it with rice & broccoli and all the leftovers were eaten, so you know it was a good one!



Pic via Taste of Home
There are about 100 different varieties of taco casserole out there, all probably equally good.  This particular one is a pasta dish that tastes like a taco = sign.me.up!  A family favorite that freezes well, too!



Pic via All Things Delicious
This is a crockpot receipe, so it's great for week nights.  Set it and forget it.  Come home, and dinner is done.  Those are my favorite!

Favorite Recent Amazon Finds

I always enjoy seeing what others are snatching up on Amazon, so I thought I'd start sharing my favorite finds every now & then!

Amazon can be a wonderful place, but also a rabbit hole of JUNK.  Please know I would never recommend crap -- only tried & true items that I actually use, and think you would too.




Hands down, the best leggings that I've ever owned.  They fit true to size, don't fall down, and suck you in.






These were recommended by Kalyn from Boxwood and Spruce and they are worth every single penny!  The muffin/cupcake literally slides right out.  You don't even need to spray them.  I am never using paper/foil liners ever again.  These would also make good snack containers or dividers in lunch boxes, too!


Cute. Dainty. I never take them out & don't even know they're in.  I've had them in for six months & they haven't tarnished or bothered my ears at all.




Good-bye parchment paper -- these mats are legit! Nothing sticks to them.  I bake cookies on them.  I make garlic bread on them.  I do everything with them and they've held up great.  The only down fall, is that you have to hand wash them -- but that's a small price to pay considering all the money we've saved on parchment paper.



 
Ok,  do you see a trend here? Silicone, silicone, silicone. haha  Truth is, I've really made a conscious effort this past year to reduce waste in our house, and these items are used weekly if not daily!

I drink more water if I put a straw in my cup, so I was burning through plastic straws like mad.  I decided I could do better, and found these.  They are reusable AND dishwasher safe, and in my opinion, they are better than stainless steel because sometimes I feel like I can taste metal.  I'm sure it's just me, but I prefer these over metal straws.


Tell me what you're loving on Amazon these days!


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