Gluten free, vegan, paleo friendly, wild orange double chocolate muffins

These have to be the easiest, healthy, and among the most delicious dessert that I’ve come up with. You can throw everything in the blender, fold in the chocolate chips, and pour the batter directly into your muffin tin. In a half hour, you’ll have a muffin that tastes like a brownie, is rich, indulgent, and actually pretty good for you! There is no refined sugar, no dairy, and no gluten. 


  • 2 cups raw cashew nuts
  • 400ml coconut cream 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 drops dōTERRA Wild Orange oil
  • 1/4 cup of no sugar added chocolate chips (with more to sprinkle on top if you like)



  1. Preheat your over to 350°. Line your muffin tin with parchment paper muffin cups.
  2. Put all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) into your blender and blend until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared muffin tins and top with a couple chocolate chips and sprinkle with rock salt, if desired.
  4. Bake on the center rake of your oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Store your muffins in a sealed Tupperware on your kitchen counter for up to a week, but be warned, they won’t last that long. 😉

Healthy Quinoa and Almond Chocolate Banana Muffins

I did it! I found a recipe, inspired from Simply Quinoa, that when modified is refined sugar free, packed with protein, omega-3s, iron, and fibre.  I was able to whip these up while holding my baby in one arm. They are easy to make, and the best part is, my toddler loves them! ❤️

I had all the ingredients at home, because I’ve been experimenting lately with making recipes that are refined sugar free. The flours, powders, and seeds last a long time when stored correctly. I recommend purchasing the ingredients online, and at Costco. I’ll provide some links. Follow the directions on the package to store them for maximum nutritional benefit and freshness, and they will last forever 😉 As always, I would love to see pictures of your personal take on this, and to find out what you think.

Without further ado, I give you a recipe for Healthy, Gluten Free, Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. 😍


  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted quinoa flour
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or an oil of your choice)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the over the 350°F. Place parchment paper muffin cups into your muffin pan and set aside.

  2. Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Set the chocolate chips to the side.

  3. Add the wet ingredients into a second bowl and whisk to combine. 

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

  5. Transfer the batter into the prepared muffin tin and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips (if you like). 

  6. Bake on the centre rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  7. Cool the muffins in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

You can find a lot of the ingrediants online, at your local Whole Foods and at Costco. I’ll provide links below to help you out.

The Truth Behind, “Sleeping Like A Baby”

I became a parent 3 years ago, and realized very early on that there is no such thing as “sleeping like a baby”. My story might turn into a very long blog post, so I’ll break it up. First, I’ll share with you my research and the methods I learned how to teach a baby to sleep. I’ll share my various attempts and talk about what finally worked to get my son to sleep in his own bed for 11 hours straight. It was a long time coming and we tried everything! I’ll let you know how you might want to set up the bedroom and give you my recommendations for baby cameras, noise machines, black out blinds, essential oils, etc. to make the environment work.  

If you’re a new parent and struggling with sleepless nights, read these pages. You can send me a message or leave a comment if you have any questions, and I’ll get back to you. I’ve been there, and I can say with absolutely certainty that it gets better. Trust me, a full night’s sleep is in your future!

What the research and “Experts”  told me

I’m not a doctor or an occupational therapist, but I consulted both (and more) when my son was an infant.  

My son slept anywhere and everywhere the first month of his life, but as he aged, we became concerned because he would only sleep while in our arms. We (my husband and I) literally held him in the crook of our arm, or rested him on our chest, for the first year of his life. Imagine for a moment not sleeping more than a 3 hour stretch, and only while holding your child, for the first year of his life. We were desperate. I consulted my family doctor, his paediatrician, met with a lactation specialist, and the early years nurse. I attended a sleep seminar hosted by a reputable occupational therapist and others hosted by the public health nurses, I read countless books, and eventually paid for 3 separate sleep training plans from 3 different sleep “experts”. I also took advantage of a number of free phone call interviews with other certified sleep experts and compared all the advice. In the end, our own modified version of the Ferber method finally worked; and only when my son was ready.

Sleep consultant number one

We hired and later fired the first sleep consultant we met with. She gave us a plan to follow when our son was 5 months old which led to one of the worst nights of our lives. She advised us to settle our son into his crib after his bedtime routine had come to an end and stay close to comfort him on timed intervals until he fell asleep. We weren’t supposed to pick him up, and we were only supposed to check in quickly when the time was up to let him know that we were close. We could pat him on his bum repeatedly to calm him; my son loved to bounce, and we still own 3 exercise balls that we bought when he was young. We used to sit on one while holding him and bounce. The sleep consultant felt he would like to be patted on his bum as it would simulate the feeling of bouncing. We could stay in the room, she said, but we should try not to pick him up. We could comfort him by repeating our agreed phrase,

“it’s sleepy time, you can do this, it’s sleepy time, we love you”

and we could rest a hand on him or pat his bum or leg. She warned us that it might take a couple hours and said I could nurse him after two hours to reset him. Well … he cried for 7 hours straight!

He never fell asleep and neither did we. We tried again a second and third night, with similar results. The only difference is that we only committed to staying up until midnight and decided at that point to take everyone into our room so we could all get some sleep. My son never fell asleep on his own during these 3 days. Thankfully, he never held this experience against us. We took a break from sleep training at this point, agreeing that he just wasn’t ready. I was so broken from this experience that we brought our son back into our bed and my husband and I took turns holding him for a couple more months before giving it another go.  

Sleep consultant number two

A good friend gave me the book that comes along with a popular sleep program. I read the book, and later subscribed to the plan. After going through what we did with the first Sleep Consultant, I couldn’t follow the advice I was being given, nor could I be consistent.

My son was 8 months when we tried to sleep train him again. I refused to take away his soother (the guilt from our screaming sleepless nights was still fresh) and I gave us a time limit. If he wasn’t asleep by midnight, we would give up. I didn’t go into this with confidence and I’m not surprised that it didn’t work. 

We pulled the queen mattress from the spare bedroom into our son’s room and placed it on the floor. Instead of sitting on a chair to comfort him, as the plan recommended, we laid down on the mattress. As you can imagine, he was back in our arms before morning and we were all asleep on the mattress on the floor. 

We were supposed to take him to bed between 7 and 8. Go through our routine, which for us is a bath, PJs, story, a song, and to bed. At the time he was still nursing, so I was supposed to nurse after the bath and before the story to make sure we were putting him into his crib, sleepy, but awake. Then, we were supposed to pull up a chair and comfort him with our words to give him the space and time he needed to fall asleep by himself. We weren’t supposed to move the chair and leave the room until he fell asleep. If he woke up in the middle of the night, we were supposed to return to the chair and talk him through it again. We were allowed to pick him up if we felt that was best, and we could also leave the room if we needed to. The most important thing is that we were to be consistent, and we weren’t supposed to give up. I wasn’t ready, nor did I have the energy to make any significant change that night, and so we went on, sharing our bed for a little while longer.

Sleep consultant number three

Still with me?  Thank you! When my son was 12 months, he still wasn’t sleeping without our help. This is when I contacted The Baby Sleep Site and ordered a personalized plan for him. Our plan covered the bedtime routine;

“it’s important that you don’t over complicate the bedtime routine and that your baby is in his bed before 8PM”.

Next we had to tackle his sleep associations. Where to start? He had his soother, but he knew how to put it in his mouth by himself so we bought a lot of soothers and put them in every corner of the crib. The room was (and still is) very dark, this way he can feel around for a soother when he woke up throughout the night. He would always settle if we held him in a cradle position and bounced on the exercise ball. We were supposed to get rid of the exercise ball. I think we agreed not to bounce unless we had picked him up and were trying to reset him, after at least one hour in the crib. We had to make sure he was going into his crib sleepy, but awake. He was. We had the timing down pretty good.

I wrapped myself in his sleep suit and held his stuffed monkey for a couple evenings leading up to our training day to transfer my scent to his clothing and toy. We had a noise machine set up in his room, a humidifier, and a diffuser that was spreading the sent of lavender and chamomile to help him sleep. When it came to training day, we stayed in the room, repeated our phrases and left the room, standing outside the door only if it got too hard. We went to the side of the crib to check on him during timed intervals, at 5,8, and 10 minutes (for example). I can’t remember how long we tried this, or when we gave up for the night and returned to our family bed. I do remember sitting on the floor in my son’s room crouched with my knees to my chest and practicing deep breathing while I coached my son to sleep. Or tried to. I would tell him that,

“I’m breathing deeply to get sleepy”

and ask him to breathe with me. He didn’t at the time, but he does now. My husband spent quite a few nights asleep on the floor in my son’s room during this time. We brought up our therm-a-rest (a camping mattress) and stuffed it into our son’s closet along with a pillow and a blanket. As if we were admitting to ourselves that this wasn’t going to be easy. Needless to say, he still wasn’t ready to sleep the whole night in his crib. 

What finally worked

After reflecting on our experience, I can give credit to our journey (and all the advice provided to us up to this point), coming together with The Ferber Method, and ditching the crib. You see, our son never slept the entire night in his crib. We went shopping with him for his big bed, a twin, and bought a small wooden frame from Ikea that is close to the ground. We found a mattress that didn’t need a box spring and made sure our son could get in and out if it himself. He was 18 months old. We bought the inflatable bed rests from Shrunks. He could get into bed himself and couldn’t fall out accidentally. I also bought fun transportation themed microfiber sheets,  (the nicest sheets in our house). Finally, I made a sticker reward chart and we hung it in his room at his height. He got a sticker for getting into his pjs, taking his bath, and brushing his teeth. He would get another sticker after spending the entire night in his room.

When it came time to training day, we explained to our son that he was going to sleep in his bed all night. He was very verbal, very early, and we prepped him enough that he knew something was about to change. We went through the bedtime routine, sang our song, gave him his water (which has a leak proof lid), told him that we loved him and left the room. Then we held his door shut, and he got up and ran to the door, trying the handle (unsuccessfully) while screaming,

“Daddy, Mommy, help”!

Talk about heart breaking!! We opened the door after 2 minutes, hugged him, practiced our deep breathing, and walked him back into bed. We sang another song, and made sure he was calm. We told him that we loved him and repeated our goodnight phrase. Then we left again. This time we held the door shut for 5 minutes. He screamed for us the entire time. We went back into to room and repeated what we did previously. We left again once he was calm, and returned after 8 minutes of crying. Then 10 minutes, 12 minutes and 15 minutes. We were prepared to go another 15 minutes, as that was our maximum time, but he fell asleep!

Hallelujah, he fell asleep!!

In the middle of the night he woke and protested for 11 minutes, or rather, 2,5,8,10. Success! He was 18 months old and he slept in his own bed for the entire night. We did a similar pattern on the second evening, only we started by going into his room after 5 minutes of protesting. He lasted until the 12 minute check in on the second evening. On the third night, we came in after 8 minutes and he fell asleep following the 10 minute check in. By night 4, we weren’t holding the door shut, and he was staying in his bed. He still complained, but fell asleep quickly, and without a lot of fuss. Hooray!  

One piece of advice that I have for you is to sleep train your child before they can scream, “Mommy, help me”! 😫

We went through a bad sleep regression when our son was 2 years old, and a mini sleep regression right when his sister was born. We stuck to our plan, and eventually got back on course.

Today, he is 3 years old and a negotiating, stalling toddler. Even so, we start the bedtime routine with a bath, then we put on our pyjamas and we read three stories (we caved a little). Then it’s lights out, and we sing two songs, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Hush Little Baby”. We kiss him goodnight and we leave. His door stays open, he’s awake when we leave, and he eventually always falls asleep. 

His baby sister took one night to sleep train and cried for about 5 minutes at the age of 7 months. Every child is different. We still have good nights and bad ones, healthy days and sick ones, but through it all, we remain consistent.

If you have made it this far and you’re thinking about sleep training, I’ll include links to the books I read. I recommend Dr. Ferber’s book. I will also follow this blog post with a post all about how to set up the bedroom, which will include recommendations for noise machines, black out blinds, and essential oils to help set you up for success. 

Here’s to a restful full night of sleep. Sweet dreams everyone ❤️ . 

Below, I’ll provide links to some of the accessories that we bought to set up my son’s “big boy” bed.


Why Pay More For dōTERRA Oils?

The most important thing to me when choosing a product to give to my family, and my young children is the quality. Each dōTERRA oil is thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol.

For an oil to be CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade the oil must be: 

  • Pure with aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants
  • Free from fillers or artificial ingredients; no dilution of active qualities
  • Free of contaminants, pesticides, or chemical residues
  • Rigorously tested for standards of chemical composition
  • Cross tested using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography to ensure exact purity and composition potency
  • Sourced by a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers to ensure correct species, growth in ideal environments, and that raw plant materials were carefully harvested at the right time  

All you need to do is open a bottle of dōTERRA oil and compare that bottle to one found in a grocery store and you will immediately notice the difference. You will recognize the superior quality of the naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade dōTERRA essential oil.

 The Aromatic Plant Research Center was created to provide access to uncompromising research, analysis, and testing services for essential oil communities.
The Aromatic Plant Research Center was created to provide access to uncompromising research, analysis, and testing services for essential oil communities.

It is important to understand that essential oils are not regulated by law, and because of this you could be purchasing diluted products. You may also be supporting a company that doesn’t go to the same lengths as dōTERRA does to carefully distill the oils from plants that have been harvested at the perfect moment, by experienced growers. 

Through using a strategy called “Co-Impact Sourcing,” dōTERRA is working to improve lives and communities throughout the world. dōTERRA is invested in moving the science of essential oils forward. The shared goal of every dōTERRA Wellness Advocate is to better understand and educate others how the components in an essential oil interact, how essential oils interact with cells, how they affect people, and how they can improve our home and other environments. 

You can trust a dōTERRA oil.

Let’s talk about specifics now.

Take a dōTERRA 15ml bottle of lavender for example, one of my all time favourite oils.

The retail price is $35.67 CAD, the wholesale price is $26.75. There are approximately 250 drops in a 15ml bottle, which means dōTERRA lavender is $0.09 wholesale per drop. 9 cents!

I spray my bedsheets with lavender, rub it on my children as part of their “OWIE” blend, rub it on myself if I have a cut or a burn, etc. Wouldn’t you pay 9 cents for a good nights sleep?

I trust dōTERRA oils on my children, and I can rest easily at night  (ha, partly because the oils help them sleep) and more importantly, because my family is healthy. I’m sure you want nothing less for your loved ones other than to give them something to make them feel better, and that you are certain is safe.

It’s kinda funny when you think about it … 9 cents, Canadian. 😂   The real question shouldn’t be, why am I paying more? It should be, What am I paying for?  

Healthy Gluten Free, Vegan, Sugar Free, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We’ve made the effort to remove all refined sugar, and prepared snacks from our house. Here’s a recipe worth trying. I like to think of it as a healthy spin on chocolate chip cookies. Toddler Approved, and inspired from Paleo Sweets, by @thekelseyale


  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted or fractionated)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened baking chocolate (100% Cacao) cut into chunks.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the almond flour, arrowroot starch, and baking soda. Mix to combine.

  3. Combine vanilla paste, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a small bowl and mix.

  4. Add the liquid mixture to the almond flour mixture and stir well to combine.

  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

  6. Use a tablespoon to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leave 2 inches of space between each portion.

  7. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies start to turn brown. I left my cookies in for 15 minutes and they were on the crispy side, pull yours out sooner if you like them soft.

  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

I found most of the ingredients at my local supermarket, either The Great Canadian Superstore or Whole Foods. If you want to buy some of the ingredients online, I will recommend Amazon and I’ve provided a link right here.

Now sit back and enjoy your guilt free cookies. 👍