Tony got me a wonderful ice cream maker for my birthday last December and I finally put it to good use with this absolutely amazing vegan wild blueberry lavender coconut ice cream.

The first time I ever had lavender ice cream was at Jeni’s here in Chicago. It was a marvelous wildberry lavender flavor that was bright purple, sweet, floral and uber creamy. Probably one of my favorite ice creams that I’ve ever had. During the summertime, fruity ice creams are where it’s at.

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Hi Spring. So nice of you to finally arrive and warm my bones.

When you’re from the Midwest, you know that there’s a huge discrepancy from when the calendar says it’s officially spring to when it actually gets warm out. Some years it just goes from Winter to Summer in the span of a week.

This Spring has been kind though, it’s been warm and beautiful here in Chicago for a few weeks now. In fact, I just started running outside again and have already made it up to 5 miles. Another plus is that I beat my average pace from Fall, which is AWESOME. Unfortunately, ever since I had to quit yoga because of my neck and back issues, I find my hip flexors and butt to be extremely tight after running. I do roll both out, but clearly need to find other stretches to help me. Suggestions welcome and appreciated!

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Recently I started developing a morning routine and have been loving it. Obviously it involves these greek yogurt waffles…

Here’s how it goes: Wake up at 5:30. Hit the snooze button for 5 minutes so I can cuddle with Tony. Feed Milly. Brush my teeth. Get dressed. Grab a cup of coffee to go. Kiss Tony on the cheek and walk out the door so I can just make it for my 6am workout class. I enjoy getting my workouts done in the morning because not only does it give me TONS of energy, but then I can focus on work the rest of the day.

Since I ususally don’t eat pre-morning workout, my stomach is rumbling once I return home. During my shower, it’s not uncommon for me to debate my breakfast options for a good 10 minutes. Do I want avocado toast with ALL the toppings?! What about pancakes? Maybe a green smoothie with peanut butter? Perfectly fried eggs? Crispy, fresh waffles? UGH. So hungry I can’t think.

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I’ve been wanting to make beet burgers ever since my Mom introduced me to them a few years back. Whole Foods used to make this fantastic version full of crunchy walnuts, beets and so much flavor; often times we’d scarf them down after our workouts.

Sadly, I can’t seem to find the same tasty beet burgers at any Chicago area Whole Foods.

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My mom filled my Easter basket to the brim with treats until I was in high school. Suddenly when I was 16, she decided that I no longer qualified to receive Easter goodies from this so called bunny. At first I thought she was kidding! This was a tradition, wasn’t it?

I suppose I figured that for the rest of my life, Mom would be there to drop off an Easter basket filled with my favorite jelly beans and chocolate eggs that no one ever eats (unless they’re Reese’s eggs of course).

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My first memories of waffles are the ones from the local breakfast spot on Sundays after church. They were gigantic, crispy on the outside and topped with real whipped cream. A true breakfast indulgence that’s especially wonderful when you’re a kid.

Now that I’m older, my eating habits have changed somewhat. I mostly seek recipes that that fill me up with fiber, protein and healthy fats. Typically I go for a hearty breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, a banana and any kind of nut butter I can find in my cupboard. However, there are days when I get cravings for a waffle the size of my face and just have to give in.

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It’s the last few weeks of Summer (don’t get angry), and that means you may still have some zucchini laying around to use.

I love baking and cooking with zucchini because of its incredible nutrition and moisture. It’s a straight up wizard veggie.

I cannot tell you how much zucchini I went through this year, however I think it’s evidenced by my overuse of it in recipes. Before we move onto apple and pumpkin season, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite healthy zucchini recipes from around the internet. There’s a combination of both sweet and savory so I know you’ll find something to enjoy…

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If I ever move anywhere else in the United States, it would be to California. Lately I’ve been thinking about the days when I used to live in Hermosa Beach. The weather was indescribably beautiful. The neon pink and orange sunsets were astounding. The wines were bold and native. The hiking trails were gruesome (in a good way).

Every year these memories come up as we approach cooler temperatures. I can already feel it happening and I’m just not ready yet. How about you?

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This Summer has been remarkable.

To tell you the truth, I thought I’d have more down time to relax but then I realize that life is short and all I want to do is see the world like any twenty-something. I spent a lot of time traveling without any regrets. The discovery of new places always excites me and I couldn’t feel any more blessed to celebrate the end of Summer with a happy heart.

In other exciting end of Summer news, Tony should be getting home from baseball next week, so we’ll be spending time together eating everything that Chicago has to offer. Date nights (and BDUBS) here we come!

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