Yummy, easy-to-make snack

These yummy chews are so easy to make and are only 100 calories each! I bought most of the ingredients at Trader Joe's. The only thing they did not have was organic brown rice syrup, but your location may have it.

I got the recipe from Julie, owner of the Bryn Athyn Workout Studio. She hosted a Food Rules Challenge class at the Studio, and gave us lots of good-for-you recipes. She also has a blog called Work It!, where she writes about healthy eating and fitness. Check it out!


 5 Minute, 5 Ingredient, No-Bake Almond Butter Chews

• 1/4 cup chunky all natural almond butter (or any nut butter)
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup rice crisp cereal
• 3 tbsp organic brown rice syrup (honey may work)
• 1 tbsp cocoa nibs (or chopped real dark chocolate 70% or more)

1. Line plate with parchment paper (I used wax paper).
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla.
3. Microwave on high 35-45 seconds.
4. Stir well and immediately add in rice cereal and cocoa nibs.
5. Stir well until mixed.
6. Wet hands and shape into golf balls (I made them rectangles instead).
7. Store in freezer for five minutes to set.

Makes about 7-8 chews.

These were a big hit with Malayna and her friend today! They each ate one and were begging for more. Enjoy!


Inspiration in nature

It's such a cliche: I'm inspired by nature. But cliche or not, it's true. I can go outside and take a walk, or visit a garden center or arboretum, and I come home with visions of new designs dancing in my head.

Yesterday Malayna and I visited The Morris Arboretum with friends. We used to do this kind of thing often, but since she's in school all day it's really hard to plan fun day trips. I've only ever been there with Malayna, and I realized yesterday that I really need to have a day there alone. There is so much to see and not enough time to see it if you're with an energy-filled seven-year-old.

I took these photos in the fern house:

Look at those patterns! I could have spent hours in there. Ferns, moss and water everywhere - it was beautiful. I especially love the middle fern's colors.

This view makes the graphic designer in me happy with those super-straight vertical lines of trees.

I can't resist words on things. This was written on an adirondack chair.

Oh my. And this! These sticks were part of a giant bird's nest that you could sit in. Thousands of sticks must have been used. I wanted to pull up a chair and draw these.

Here's a far-away view of the bird house:

It was the perfect way to spend a sunny day off from school.



I am so happy that spring is finally here. I don't always realize how depressing it is to be inside all winter with little sunshine until spring comes and the weather warms up. You would think that since I was born in February I'd like the winter. Not so. It's my least favorite season. Spring and summer are my favorites - being outside, digging in the dirt, taking long walks, seeing plants come to life… Winter is so blah and gray. No color outside - no bright blue sky against green, green grass. No little buds on trees, no smell of the earth warming up. Ah, spring!

I've been walking Lola every day that I can. We go to a local park with lots of hills that sits beside a farm. I try and get in three miles each time we go. We move quickly, but not fast enough for Lola. She would run the entire time if I gave her the chance. These walks are great for both of us - it gets Lola's energy out (mostly - this pup is like the Energizer Bunny), provides exercise for me and, best of all, I get to be outside and enjoy the unfurling of spring.

I also take lots of pictures while we're out walking. I recently bought an iPhone and I LOVE it! I have a few favorite apps - Run Keeper, My Fitness Pal, Instagram, Square, Facebook, Text Free. I love that I can change the way a photo looks with Instagram. Instant gratification. What are your favorites?


Remember to check the right sidebar for my upcoming shows. Also, check out my fan page on Facebook. I post on there a lot more than I do on here these days!