Motion Mom

Healthy Living for Active Families

Let’s Swap “Losing Weight” with “Gaining Health”

I started this blog with every intention on helping people learn more about nutrition and exercise. I hoped that this would help people make healthier decisions in general in life. What I’m finding out is that many people aren’t trying to make healthy decisions, they’re just trying to lose weight and in the process they’re sacrificing not only physical health but their own mental health and definitely the mental health of those around them. Have you ever thought about the fact that the thoughts that come out of your mouth can affect the mental health and decisions of those around you?

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Napa Valley Quinoa Salad

I’m in love with this quinoa salad because it brings back so many amazing memories. Brandon and I went to the beautiful west coast on our honeymoon. We spent most of the time in San Francisco but we also made our way up to Sonoma and Napa Valley for a wine tour. It was beautiful, it really was. About halfway through we stopped at William Hill Winery and had lunch with the most breathtaking wine country view of rolling vines. The tour company we were using had set up a little lunch which featured an amazing quinoa salad just like this one. If we’re being honest, it was the first time I had ever even heard of quinoa and we were like, “what is this amazing stuff?” 

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Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels + Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. That being said, all of the opinions are my own true feelings and beliefs. I do not write about things that I don’t enjoy myself. I received a free Silpat for the purpose of reviewing it for my readers.

Happy early Mother’s Day to all my mommas out there in the world! I’ve got a surprise for you! Is the surprise these delicious homemade Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels? No, that’s just a bonus. 

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Blueberry Vanilla Graham Protein Smoothie

I’m so excited about this because it’s a healthier version of one of my guilty pleasures. Ben and Jerry’s makes a Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek Froyo that I’m obsessed with. It’s fruity, creamy with a bit of graham cracker for that added crunch. This protein smoothie is so delicious and crazy easy to make for the whole family in the morning. 

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Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching and if you eat Mexican as much as we do you will love these enchiladas as a plant based alternative to the traditional version!

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Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oats

I love overnight oats just as much as the next person (hence these) but sometimes I just want to wake up and eat a big ol’ warm bowl of hot oatmeal! These are dreamy and the best part is waking up to your house smelling like cinnamon apples.

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Everything You Need to Know about Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates get a bad rap in the world today, but how much of what you hear about carbs is actually true? Should you really avoid carbs if you are trying to lose weight? If not, how many carbs should you actually have?

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Whole Wheat Freezer Waffles

Charlie adores waffles. They are the first thing on her mind when she wakes up in the morning. For the longest time I was buying the Nutri-grain Whole Wheat Eggos for Charlie (who eats them right out of the freezer still frozen), but there are a few aspects of their recipe that I’d like to avoid. Making the waffles at home, I can avoid the preservatives, the excess sodium, the processed sugar and the palm oil (which is causing major environmental crises in our rain forests). Food integrity is very important to me, and it didn’t take me more than 30 minutes to make and freeze these waffles for the whole week. Worth it. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Protein

Protein…this mystical ingredient in your meals that builds your muscles and helps you lose weight…right?

Well, yes, but there’s a lot of misunderstandings about protein floating out there in the world wide web and beyond that I’d like to clear up. 

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Vegan Superfood Brownies

Pretty much every night after dinner I sit down to relax and immediately crave sweets, usually brownies and cookies. I don’t want to un-do my whole day, so I usually just sit there sadly, wishing I had delicious brownies with ice cream on top. I finally decided to do something about it!

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Stuffed Peppers Casserole

My mom used to make vegetarian stuffed peppers all the time. We didn’t eat a lot of meat growing up and you can always win me over (even as a kid) with rice and cheese! The only problems I have with stuffed peppers is that I would go in full force at the cheesy rice and end up with an empty pepper at the end that I didn’t want to eat. I love this stuffed pepper casserole because it evenly distributes the peppers throughout the cheesy rice stuffing so I actually end up eating and enjoying the peppers!

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Chia Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Do you remember chia pets? Those little animals that you spread seeds on and watered until they grew a green afro? Well, it turns out, that those little seeds are among some of the most nutritious foods on the planet! 

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16 Healthy Easter Recipes

If you’re hosting Easter this year for family and friends, you are probably racking your brain trying to figure out the menu. Fear not, I have rounded up some of the best of the internet to help you keep your Easter delightful, delicious and healthy. Starting off with one of my own! 

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes

It’s a beautiful morning because I’ve got a stack of the most delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes sitting on my table! 

If you are looking for a breakfast to power up your kids to have the best day at school this is it. If you are looking for an amazing treat post-workout that won’t ruin your goals this is it. And if you have anyone in your house with a wheat allergy, gluten-intolerance or Celiac Disease these pancakes are your dream come true! 

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Garlic Veggie Grilled Cheese

This garlic veggie grilled cheese is the perfect combination of traditional comfort food and veggies! I’d say it’s a grown up grilled cheese but the truth is, my 2 year old loves it too. 

Veggies, sharp cheddar cheese and garlic unite to make the most delicious grilled cheese I’ve ever had. It’s so simple and so worth it.

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Grilled Tuna Steak

The weather has been perfect around here lately, so I’ve stocked up on our favorite thing to grill (and it’s not hamburgers), it’s TUNA!

I didn’t eat a lot of seafood growing up and really didn’t think I liked it as a kid but the older I get and the healthier I eat the more I crave fish. A few years ago my family vacationed in Cape May, NJ and Brandon and I went out for a fancy dinner on our own at a nice seafood restaurant. It was that night that I had the most amazing thing I had ever tasted and it was a beautiful, perfectly cooked tuna steak. Ever since that night I have been hooked!  I don’t think I could ever replicate what the chef did that restaurant that night but this is pretty darn close.

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Blood Orange Salsa

It’s citrus season right now and I’m so excited about this new blood orange salsa! Fresh salsa just tastes better when the ingredients are in season and these juicy blood oranges are a delicious replacement for tomatoes.

You already know all about oranges for their immune boosting properties but blood oranges boost a few extra benefits that make them even better! They contain an antioxidant called Anthocyanin  which gives the orange it’s deep red, sometimes even purple color. Antioxidants have long been known to protect the body from cancers and heart disease, but Anthocyanin in particular has been shown to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and strengthen blood vessels! I love food that gives back!

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Cafe Mocha Overnight Oats

I’m an admitted Cafe Mocha addict. As a chocolate lover (and a mom), it just doesn’t get any better. Chocolate and coffee together in these overnight oats? Yes, please! So when deciding my newest recipe flavors I knew exactly where I wanted to go. What if I could have chocolate, coffee and breakfast all together in one mug and what if I could make that breakfast the night before and have it ready to go in the morning? It would save me a ton of time and maybe I would have time to brush my hair before taking my daughter to school!

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Setting Health Goals You Will Actually Stick To

It’s nearly March now and if you set a fitness or weight loss goal, chances are you already gave up. 1 in 3 people ditch their new years resolutions by the end of January and 73% of people who create resolutions give up on them before reaching their goal.  This probably isn’t news to you. Many of you have experienced this first hand. It’s the kind of thing that happens before you know it and can ruin your whole view of leading a healthy lifestyle. So I’m going to give you a step by step into how to set goals that you will actually stick to!

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Benefits of Meditation For Children

I’m sure you’ve heard lots of talk about the benefits of meditation for your health and happiness, but have you considered the benefit it might have on our children and youth?

Whether we choose to believe it or not children are under lots of stress. Whether it’s academic, social stress or stress stemming from the home, their worries may seem small and insignificant but they are large and important to them. As they grow, their stressors only grow and sometimes as parents we unknowingly project our stresses onto them. More than 1/3 of elementary aged kids are worried about money!

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Healthy Doughnuts!

I can’t look at these without literally drooling. As a general rule I’ve never really been a doughnut person, but I realized that’s because I had never had fresh, hot, chocolate frosted doughnuts. That is, until Duck Donuts opened up shop 5 minutes down the road from our house. Now I crave them on a regular basis (like several times a week).

To contain my urge to eat a dozen sugary doughnuts weekly I got a doughnut baking pan and set out to make a healthier version of my favorite doughnut.

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When is Organic Important? (And Your Grocery Store Cheat Sheet)

There’s this barrier that exists for many people when it comes to eating healthier. When the word “organic” comes out of my mouth I immediately see everything else I say go right in their ear and out the other. I’m pretty sure they just hear dollar signs and turn the part of their brain off that listens.

All kidding aside it can get expensive to eat organic and there are ways to do it that don’t break the bank. First and foremost, you need to know what it means and which foods it’s the most important for.

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Replace Your Sugar with Maple Syrup!

You may notice that in a lot of my recipes I will use maple syrup as the alternative to sugar for sweetness. This is not on accident. Maple syrup has a ton of health benefits that many people don’t realize exist. As a bonus it also tastes delicious and works really well in just about any type of recipe.

Maple Syrup

For years I’ve been trying to convince people of the potential harms of artificial sugars like sucralose (Splenda) and aspartame (Equal). I’d advise anyone against putting anything artificial in their body! Artificial sweeteners are tied to weight gain, short term memory loss, depression, anxiety and learning disabilities. And then along came stevia, a beautiful naturally sweet plant that is zero calories and perfectly safe, but stevia tends to have a different taste than sugar and it can be difficult to replace sugar with stevia because the level of sweetness per ounce is much higher in stevia than sugar. It generally takes a bit of experimenting.

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12 Healthy, Easy, Delicious Vegetable Sides

It’s been in the news a lot lately that a plant-based diet is the healthiest way to live. For many of us, the tricky part comes when we have to find easy ways to cook vegetables and have them taste good also! Vegetables can actually be much easier to cook than meat and can be equally as delicious. But let’s start slowly and incorporate them into our lives as vegetable sides.

Vegetable Sides

This is a great place to start, and before you know it, you may be eating one or several meatless meals a week and improving your health dramatically! I’ve rounded up 12 simple and delicious vegetable sides to shake up dinner-time and give you some inspiration!

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Vegan, Healthy Dark Chocolate Truffles

I LIVE for these Dark Chocolate Truffles. If you get the temperature of the chocolate coating just right you will get a perfectly hard shell on the outside and bursting soft chewy chocolate on the inside! The best part is that they are vegan and contain only a tablespoon of maple syrup per 35 truffles (depending on how big you make them). That makes it so much easier for me to share them with Charlie-pants (though I never actually want to).

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12 Healthy Superbowl Finger Food Ideas

If you’re still searching for ways to fill up your Superbowl party with lean proteins and veggies here’s another round-up for you featuring finger food! These grab and go recipes are sure to be a hit! Your friends and family may not even realize they are healthy!

finger food

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10 Healthy Dips

Dips are a classic game day staple. They are easy, delicious and great for feeding a munching crowd. I’ve pulled together 10 healthy dips that will help you stick to your new years resolutions at that Superbowl party. Whether you are trying to lose weight, eat more vegetables or just lead a healthier life try these out.

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Organizing Your Child’s Room the Montessori Way

montessori room

We’ve been in this house for almost a year and a half now and until just this weekend her toys were just lining the floor around her bed in no particular order. Really, it was a mess. I knew we had to do something about it and it has been on my mind since we moved in, but if you’ve ever bought a house you know there are a million projects and never enough time to do them all and you are virtually broke after taking on a mortgage also.

Meanwhile we’ve been looking for pre-schools for Charlie. After visiting the vast array of different types of pre-schools in the Richmond area we finally confirmed what we already thought. Montessori is the education that resonates with our parenting style the most. If you aren’t familiar with Montessori it is a teaching style developed by an Italian doctor named Maria Montessori. She studied children in the poor areas of Italy and developed a very specific set of tools and teaching principles designed to lead children to independence and responsibility in all areas of their life. It’s giving them freedom within limits. The idea is to teach children to do things for themselves and, ultimately isn’t that what we’re all going for?

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Cocoa Snow Slushie

Happy snow day east coast folks! We’re all looking at a long weekend of being stuck at the house with the kiddos so I know you all are looking for some fun activities to do! This drink is not only delicious but super fun and if you lose power you can still make this! You only need a few ingredients. Hopefully you already have them!


Oh and if you’re really looking for a break feel free to add some booze. Bailey’s, Brandy, Whiskey, Moonshine, Everclear (haha) whatever works!

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A Weekend Of Kids Yoga

Hi friends! It’s been a while but I’ve been working on some great stuff for you guys! I spent the past two days with a phenomenal group of women, all from different backgrounds, all pulled together for the sake of Yoga. In fact, we all found ourselves through different avenues drawn to become Certified Kids Yoga Teachers. I found out about Kidding Around Yoga through looking further into Yogaville, which is kind of like the Virginia Mecca for Yoga. I poked around on their website a bit thinking, this would be something amazing I could offer to the Richmond community and they had an online class I could take in my own time! When I found out there was going to be an in-person training only an hour from my house I took full advantage.


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Homemade Apple Cinnamon Granola Dust

Granola Dust! I originally got this idea from one of my favorite health food chefs, Jamie Oliver. I love his approach to cooking and, lets be honest, I’m no chef. I’ve made great gains in the past few years when it comes to cooking but I always need inspiration and guidance from amazing people like him who actually have culinary experience and expertise.

I love this idea because not only does grinding up the ingredients into a powder make it ever so much more versatile it also makes nuts much less scary for the mom of a toddler. I’m not typically that type of person who stresses about cutting everything up really tiny for Charlie. We did baby-led weaning and I have extensive training in choking situations, and CPR due to my many teenage years as a lifeguard. Thank goodness I do because just last weekend we had a situation with a corn dog where Charlie took a bite of my food and choked. We have a place near us that has amazing brunch corn dogs that are maple breakfast sausage with a pancake batter around them. Not the healthiest choice but definitely worth it. It was a terrifying situation because it was so much more than a gag. She legitimately choked, started changing color and appeared to be passing out. I jumped into action, flipped her over my knee and beat her on the back until the food was dislodged. Just thinking about it makes me cringe and want to hug her, truly awful. So to the point, you definitely don’t have to worry about any choking situations with this recipe. It’s a DUST!

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10 Healthy Slow Cooker Meals to Make for Your Family


What person who has children doesn’t love their slow cooker? Throw everything into the pot and let it cook all day/night long as it fills your house with delicious smelling spices and amazing aromas. I’ve rounded up 10 healthy recipes for you to try out at home for your family. So grab your ingredients throw them in your pot and let your slow cooker do the work!

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Sweet Potato Nachos

Good Morning and Happy Sunday! It’s Football Day in our household (mostly because Brandon gets really into Fantasy Football). Some days I get really into it and other days I fall asleep, but something I’m always interested in is game day SNACKS! Nutrient packed nachos are on the menu today! This incredibly delicious treat contains muscle building, and belly filling plant based protein, tons of antioxidants and vitamins.

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Kind Things to Do With Extra Halloween Candy


I don’t really let Charlie eat candy. We do sweets sometimes but I really try to bake healthy treats for her that she still enjoys. That being said, she’s a kid, and I don’t have a complete no sugar policy for her. Sometimes we go out for ice cream or she has a cupcake at a party or we share a dessert out. I just don’t want sugar to be a regular part of her diet and if it is possible for me to prevent a sugar addiction, I will. Refined sugar poses a myriad of harmful effects for children including but not limited to:

  • immune system suppression
  • behavior and learning problems
  • higher risk for obesity
  • higher risk for diabetes
  • higher risk for heart disease

We went trick or treating this year with my nieces and ended up with more Halloween candy than she will ever need. Charlie was Marilyn Monroe (haha). We had fun.

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Vegan Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

Happy Halloween-Eve Everyone!

On our recent trip to the mountains Brandon, Charlie and I stopped at this adorable little local lunch spot  Salt. This charming little spot serves local lunch/picnic style foods with local meats and veggies. We grabbed a few of their gourmet sandwiches and this Mediterranean Orzo Salad that Brandon liked so much I agreed to try to re-create it.


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Apple Waffle Sandwiches

I took the classic peanut butter on apples and amped it up a bit. Charlie is 2 so just handing her apples with nut butter means I will likely be cleaning nut butter off of everything. So I made them handheld! This is so simple. I just used the whole grain eggos and toasted 2 smothered each side with smooth almond butter and sliced a granny smith apple thin, placed it in between the 2 waffles and sliced into triangles so little nugget could pick them up easily. I ended up making one for myself they looked so delicious!

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Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts

Following this morning’s news that the WHO put out a report stating that processed meats like bacon and hotdogs are just as carcinogenic as cigarettes  you are probably thinking, well I’m doomed. We are fans of hotdogs and bacon in this house too (I mean, who isn’t). This report is definitely going to mean we are cutting down on processed meats and eating more plants in our diet, which is something we try to do regularly anyway. I suppose it’s just an extra push in the right direction.

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Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are a super easy, delicious breakfast that will get your kids through the morning and maybe even all the way to lunch with no hunger pangs. But did you know there is a strategy to cooking scrambled eggs? I didn’t either until I was reading the Wegman’s Menu Magazine and found this amazing technique! The best part is that it actually takes less time and dishes!

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Game Day Sweet Potato Skins

When football season and sweet potato season collide they make a beautiful baby called Sweet Potato Skins! I know this doesn’t look healthy but hear me out. When you swap your standard potatoes for Sweet Potatoes you gain a whole bucketload of health benefits like…Beta-Carotene! Sweet Potatoes are packed slam full with this amazing antioxidant. Beta-carotene turns into Vitamin A when processed in our body which plays a vital role in vision development and bone growth as well as protecting your body from infections.

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Homemade Applesauce with No Sugar!

After our family trip to the apple orchard we always end up with more apples than we know what to do with. One of the easiest, most delicious and versatile things to do is to make applesauce! Most recipes use sugar but you can make it easily without it and not even know the difference.

Apples are sweet to begin with! I just supplemented with a little bit of Stevia to add a touch more sweetness without changing the flavor. I also left the peels on the apples for added fiber and just blended the applesauce in the blender to finish and break up with peel.


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Autumn Kale, White Bean and Chorizo Soup

It’s almost soup season! We started a bit early this year but this one is a HUGE winner with the whole family. I adapted this recipe from another I found online while in search of some delicious recipes full of fall veggies. It’s easy, fast and oh so delicious. Oh, and it also only uses 1 pot!! Beans and chorizo provide belly filling, muscle repairing protein and vegetables like kale and carrots add a myriad of health benefits to the mix. I was able to use farm fresh carrots and kale from Amy’s Garden.

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5 Tips For Getting Your Children to Eat Healthy


Kids can be finicky eaters and sometimes it’s tricky to get them to eat the healthy foods that you want them to (because, you know, you love them and all).  I’m still searching for a good book to read on the subject of the psychology of picky eating but in the meantime I’m going to share with you my observations of ways to prevent and/or circumvent your child’s picky eating habits.

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Metabolism Boosters


Your metabolism is tricky. It tries to use the littlest amount of calories as possible. Your body wants to use it’s fuel efficiently, which is the opposite of what you want. You want your body to roll through its fuel supply and fat stores if you are trying to lose weight. There’s a few tricks to use to keep your metabolism running full speed.

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Everyday Baked Chicken

I call this Everyday Baked Chicken because we eat it almost every day. High heat for less time creates the most juicy delicious chicken that can be incorporated into just about any lunch or dinner recipe you can imagine. You could have it for dinner paired with a vegetable and with a yummy pesto sauce or cut it up and use it for chicken fajitas! If you have leftovers, (I always make extra to keep in the fridge) you can cut it up and put it on top of a salad or wrap it into a lunch wrap with hummus and veggies. There are literally endless possibilities.

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Losing Weight 101


This is something that constantly comes up in conversation. “I’m trying to lose weight but my numbers haven’t budged”. If you have weight to lose you are probably searching for information everywhere and realizing all of it contradicts itself. The food industry is doing everything they can to confuse you into buying their addictive, processed, chemical laden foods and think that you are making healthy choices. I want to break it down, make it easy so you can stop obsessing over your image and weight and start loving yourself through your food choices.

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Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles

It’s summer time which in our house means a surplus of beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables and trying to find inventive ways to keep cool. Homemade popsicles are an amazing way to cool down and get your dessert fix, all the while knowing (and controlling) each and every ingredient your family is eating. I ended up with a bajillion (that’s a real number right?) blueberries in my fridge this week so I broke out the popsicle mold and got to work.

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