Author: restoringtheday

Last minute gift ideas for the vegan (or anyone!) in your life

Last minute gift ideas for the vegan (or anyone!) in your life

Okay, so yes these gift ideas are great for anyone vegan, vegetarian, plant-based… but they’re great for anyone wellness-minded on your list. This list could have been hundreds of items long, you guys! But this will at least get you started!   Vegan Tees (or […]

What I wish I’d known my first year being plant-based

What I wish I’d known my first year being plant-based

I’d make the choice to be plant-based again in a single heartbeat. I’ve loved how it’s elevated my spirits, heightened my awareness, and helped my body feel cleansed. I also love how it’s taught me and my family ways to live a more ethical compassionate […]

Three of our Favorite Homemade Play Dough Recipes

Three of our Favorite Homemade Play Dough Recipes

My kids are so excited its the holidays! The tree is up, and aside from the last couple warm days we’ve had, it’s been all cold and no snow, and we caught a couple of those nasty colds going around. Consequently, I’ve been scrounging for ideas for keeping the kids sane at home!!

I FINALLY got to the store to get all the ingredients needed to make homemade play dough. I couldn’t find cream of tartar anywhere, you guys – finally found every single one of the ingredients needed for this recipe at our friendly neighborhood Aldi! But I did finally get there to make the last recipe, we tried a couple other recipes that we ended up liking quite a bit too!

Try em out, see which ones you like and which you may already have the ingredients for on hand!


2-Ingredient, Super Fun and Easy! (but messy) version

This recipe is great for a quick morning activity. This dough won’t last forever. Well, you can re-moisten it with another drop of conditioner but I typically don’t.

My kids LOVE this version, because I let them mix all the ingredients together themselves, and they love watching the dough take form. It usually is good for at least an hour or two of fun! We also like that you can create varying consistencies with this recipe based on your ingredients ratio before you settle on your favorite.

But follow the recipe the first time for best results, of course!


Air-Dry Clay Version

Make Your Own Air-Dry Clay

Kids will love this easy-to-make air-dry clay! Make magnets, jewelry, and more. ✨

Posted by Nifty on Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Best-Ever Play Dough Version (long lasting)


I grew up with this play dough recipe, I remember helping my mom make it – those are some great memories!

So when I made this one for my kids, we put our little “wellness flair on it”, and made it with soothing colors and drops of lavender essential oil for a calming rest-time activity.

So far, it’s been hours of fun for our family, and I hope it can be hours of fun for yours as well during some of these cold winter days!

I love that playdough recipes like this are totally plant-based, of course, and perfect for little creative minds and busy hands.

After following the directions for the playdough recipe above,  if you want to add an essential oil, I just added 4-6 drops of lavender oil to the ball of dough and continued to knead it in. Worked great! Let me know how you like it!

No-Bake Monster Energy Bars

No-Bake Monster Energy Bars

These no-bake monster energy bars are gluten-free, oil-free, and totally vegan. They have been a great breakfast on-the-go and as a pre-bedtime snack time! I’ve made a few different versions of this bar before now… and I finally feel good about sharing it with the […]

October Favorites: Cruelty-Free Products for Personal Care

October Favorites: Cruelty-Free Products for Personal Care

These cruelty-free (and completely vegan) items have made the honorable mention list this month, hands down! A few of these are part of my daily routine on a regular basis (not just in October.) and a couple of these items are brand new favorites worth […]

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins – I wasn’t so sure about this combination, but then I decided to just go for it, and the result is DELICIOUS.

A perfect recipe for fall, I’d say! I know it’s a cliche, but I really have been putting pumpkin in everything. For this recipe, I was literally lying in bed the night before thinking about breakfast in the morning (typical) and it occurred to me… what if I replace the bananas in my baked oatmeal recipe with PUMPKIN!!?? Totally brilliant, I thought. I struggled with second thoughts about mixing the pumpkin and the peanut butter… until I tasted the end result.

Good things come to those who just GO FOR IT.

P.S. YES, I am in a recipe-creating mood this week. Can you tell? 🙂


The first time I made this recipe I made it in a 9×9 pan, and it came out in delicious slices like this. Best thing about this recipe is that it’s oil free, easily vegan, and super creamy – I don’t know, it’s just so super creamy and smooth and perfectly dense when you bite into it. That’s the best way I can describe it.

This recipe is made flour-free with quick oats! I almost never have any flour in the house! Last time I had flour in the house was to make some homemade play dough!

When I bake, it’s usually a breakfast option such as muffins, so oats are the perfect item I always keep on hand. Oats are also a bit higher in minerals such as selenium, and we really enjoy them and seem to digest them well in our household.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! Perfect one-bowl recipe to make with your kiddos!


Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup pumpkin puree

the vegan equivalent to four eggs (use a vegan egg replacer, or use this formula, which is my favorite:

  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed) (or you can use ground chia seeds as well)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp water

1/2 cup cream peanut butter, any kind (organic if you can!)

3 cups quick oats

2 tsp baking powder

dash of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 Tbs organic, dry sweetener (such as organic brown sugar, coconut sugar, or raw turbinado)

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used a vanilla variety, so it had a touch of sweetness)

3/4 cup chocolate chips (non-dairy, for vegan)

Preheat oven to 375°F, and if using a muffin tin, line tin with paper liners (I use reusable silicone liners), and if using a 9×9 pan, lightly oil it using a vegan butter or coconut oil. You don’t have to do this, but it does help!

Add together the pumpkin, peanut butter, and vegan eggs and beat together with a fork or whisk (I don’t have a fancy mixer, but I suppose you could use one, just be gentle with the batter, not to over-mix).

When well combined, add the rest of the ingredients.

And when thoroughly combined, evenly distribute to the muffin tins, or spread in the prepared pan.

Muffins will bake at 375 for about 22-25 minutes, and the 9X9 should take about 40-45 minutes at the same temperature.

If you want to see more of the recipe kick I’ve been on this week, check out my previous post for an Immune Boosting Turmeric Ginger Latte! Hint hint: the latte pairs nicely with these peanut butter pumpkin muffins!

Leave a comment to let me know if you make this recipe, and how it turns out!

Immune Boosting Turmeric Ginger Latte (Oil-Free)

Immune Boosting Turmeric Ginger Latte (Oil-Free)

Turmeric and Ginger come together to make this delicious variety of “Golden Milk” latte that helps boost your immune system and kick the detoxification process into high gear! We’ve been under the weather this week as we experienced an ABRUPT change in season and temperature […]

My September Vegan Grocery Store Favorites

My September Vegan Grocery Store Favorites

Okay, time to spout out my favorite vegan grocery store favorites from this month. We are totally loving and welcoming in these three products into our home right now, within our plant-based vegan lifestyle. Our new favorite non-dairy milk, my old faithful green juice you’ll […]

A Week’s Simple Vegan Meal Plan for Families with Kids

A Week’s Simple Vegan Meal Plan for Families with Kids

Looking for some ideas? Here’s a sample of a simple weekly vegan meal plan we just used for our family of four (two adults, a four-year-old and almost-two year old). We have been very busy, as have most people! So when that happens, we grab a few more convenience items off the shelves. You’ll notice that in the plan below! However, this meal plan still remains pretty clean, and provides all the necessary nutrients my family needs to stay healthy, happy, and active!

When I have extra busy weeks, I get lazier with cutting and chopping vegetables, so we drink a lot of fresh, cold-pressed juices, especially green ones! And we may even stop by the local juicery if we have the budget for it. On busy weeks, I’ll try to have a green juice most days if not every single day. I feel my BEST when I do this.

Seeing a meal plan from someone else always helps remind me of great ideas and keeps me inspired for the week! Hope this does the same for you!

This meal plan incorporates mostly super fast, easy recipes and throw together items! There are one or two recipes in this meal plan that may require about an hour of prep. But that’s it – the rest of them should be VERY easy for any busy vegan, plant-based family to fix up and enjoy! If you’re looking for some more inspiration, check out an older post with some additional ideas on how I sometimes break down a meal plan by the day.

And don’t forget to stay hydrated during the day by drinking plenty of water between meals. 🙂 Thought I should through that in there since I don’t mention water in the meal plan. But do it- drink enough water. 😉



  • Breakfast: Hot Steel Cut Oatmeal bowls with walnuts, hemp seeds, and fresh peaches, organic raw brown sugar
  • Lunch: veggie burgers on sprouted buns, snap peas, organic tortilla chips and salsa
  • Dinner: Acai Protein bowls topped with organic peanut butter and Meusli granola. DELISH.
  • Snack: Air-popped popcorn and Kite Hill almond milk yogurts and cold-pressed green juice


  • Meusli granola with Good Karma Flax Milk and Fresh Papaya (the kids may prefer to eat a bowl of So Delicious Coconut Vanilla yogurt and some veganic cereal with their papaya, instead of the Meusli. I’m totally okay with this.
  • Lentil Pasta Mac N Cheese from Modern Table (20 Grams of protein per serving!) and steamed broccoli- I make my own using the lentil noodles, a cup of So Delicous coconut-based cheese, two tablespoons of Tahini, and a Tablespoon of vegan butter or other healthier oil such as coconut or avocado.
  • Dinner: Sandwiches. My sandwich – lettuce, avocado, fresh tomato, sprouts and hemp seeds on sprouted bread! YUM! The kids – a treat of peanut butter and strawberry sandwiches with snap peas.
  • Snack: A total treat – tried vegan maple bacon jerky for the first time!


  • Breakfast: Green Juice and Banana Protein Monster Smoothies (frozen bananas, protein powder *for kids, not so much* and fresh green spinach! Blend up with a non-dairy milk or water!
  • Lunch: flatbread pizzas with sprouted flatbread from (this brand), a blend of fresh or roasted veggies (we will sometimes use a blend of roasted veggies, made ahead of time, sweet potatoes, zucchini, onion, even carrots) and top with a sprinkle of vegan cheese.
  • Dinner: Lentil “meat” loaf. This recipe [HERE] is my favorite (!!), and although at first, I thought it looked intimidating because the ingredients list was so long, it doesn’t actually take that long and it’s soooo savory delicious, it’s all worth it. I plan this for a night I have a little more time to cook.  I’ll make this with roasted potatoes or homemade potato “fries” and a light side salad or steamed/roasted vegetables.
  • Snack: Kombucha and a vegan cracker brand of choice with hummus or guacamole.


  • Breakfast: Fresh papaya and avocado toast (or nut butter toast if the kids are on avocado strike)
  • Lunch: organic grapes and Protein Smoothies
  • Dinner: Cauliflower Crust Pizzas (from Trader Joe’s!) with fresh tomatoes and a sprinkle of So Delicious shredded cheese with fresh spinach and any other vegetable you want on there! Sprinkle pizza seasoning and a Tablespoon or two of hemp seeds over the top for added flavor and protein. (the hemp seed flavor is actually quite amazing!)
  • Snack: Squeezie applesauces!


  • Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bake from Fit Foodie Finds, my fellow Minnesotan. This recipe is Bonkerzz!!! We love it. It’s satisfyingly sweet and the kids loooove this day of the week when I make this. It also makes the house smell amazing in the morning. I do need to get up and make this about an hour before we plan to eat, because it does take baking time, but it’s delicously worth it. I also OFTEN make this the night before, and in the morning we heat it up. Oh yeah! And I easily replace the eggs with chia eggs. (1 Tbs ground chia soaked for 5 minutes in 1/4 cup water = one vegan “egg”).
  • Lunch: Big Romaine Salad with raw veggies, fresh grape tomatoes, and my Zesty Lime Cashew Dressing! Kids may not be salad lovers, so I make a dipping tray for them with hummus, guac, and load it up with sprouted bread, raw sliced veggies, and fruits, and let them spread and dip for a fun (and deliciously nutritious) activity!
  • Dinner: Leftovers!! Thursday is a great day for us to clean up our favorites from the past few days. Typically this is a platter of fruit that needs to be eaten like -TODAY, a hummus platter, rice and beans, and any other leftover meal options from the days before. We keep leftover night fun and simple.


  • Breakfast: Wild Berry Smoothies – protein powder, frozen berries, frozen bananas, flax milk for extra omegas and delicious vanilla flavor! (a typical plant-based protein powder may have 20 grams of protein in it. Kids may not need this much protein, so be very mindful of that when preparing a protein smoothie. I usually add half a scoop to the blender of a formula like Vega Organic Protein and Greens, and they split the pitcher, so they may get a quarter of a scoop. Check with your vegan-friendly doctor for your child’s daily protein needs. And I eat a full scoop or more, depending upon my goals.)
  • Lunch: Rainy day black bean tortilla soup. Every week, if there’s a rainy day, needs a warming soup recipe! Here’s one of our favorites! Yep, I make this one ahead of time sometimes too. But if not, I always have something I’m working on while I watch and listen to it simmer!
  • Dinner: Salsa skillet. This is delicious, you guys, and takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Not joking. Brown Rice, your bean of choice, corn, fresh kale, a cup of organic salsa, and some salt and pepper. Serve it up hot, I usually cook this skillet up in some water and a bit of avocado oil in my cast iron pan. It’s delightful, and it’s hot in minutes. Add the kale in ONLY for the last few minutes so you don’t cook all the nutrients out of it, but it still gets soft and blends in with the rest of the mix. I’ll often chop up an extra tomato in here as well, if I have an extra one that needs to be eaten up, and I usually do! Scoop your bites up with organic tortilla chips if you like!
  • Snack: Rice Cakes with bananas and cinnamon


  • Breakfast: Hot Steel Cut Oatmeal with chia seeds, peanut butter, and a drizzle of organic maple syrup
  • Lunch: Bean Mash Sandwiches served up with cherry tomatoes, carrots, snap peas, and sliced raw peppers (this is my kid’s absolute favorite raw veggie lineup!) The Bean mash can be made with any bean – black and pinto are my favorites
  • Dinner: Chick Pea “meat” balls made with a can of chickpeas… Oh! and I found these awesome “chickpea breadcrumbs” in place of a typical “panko crumb” type thing and used those. I like this recipe! 
  • Snack: Sip on kombucha or green juice during the day, sliced apples with coconut yogurt/peanut butter fruit dip. (mix a cup of vanilla So Delicious coconut yogurt with two tablespoons of organic creamy peanut butter – mix or whip until smooth) Best fruit dip ever!!!

Get some ideas? Great!! Let me know in the comments below what YOUR go-to vegan meals are for your family!

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Why I starting taking my own photos for my blog with my iPhone (and why I shy away from stock photos)

Why I starting taking my own photos for my blog with my iPhone (and why I shy away from stock photos)

Over the past couple months, my Instagram and Pinterest have grown by over 300%! My numbers are still small compared to some, but hey, I’m not comparing, because I’m headed in the direction I want to go! And that spells s.u.c.c.e.s.s. to me!! I attribute […]