Aaron's Birthday, Adventures in Snow Shoeing + Recipes of the Day!

Christmas, Aaron’s birthday, and Valentine’s day are all about a month apart from each other! So I’ve had all year and then suddenly bam, bam, bam, I’ve got to come up with three awesome gift ideas, fast! 

This gift giving pressure has never been from Aaron though; I chalk it up to my mom’s huge displays of affection over birthdays and my dad’s lavish gift giving practices which have set the bar really high.

In my mind: He’s got to love it. It’s got to be the perfect thing ever. It’s got to be in my price range but off the charts in sentimental value. Too too mushy, but not too practical.

The one thing Aaron told me he wanted this year was "experiences". Which sounds totally great, he doesn’t want things, just experiences. And in my effort towards minimalism I’m all for that. 

Except now I was applying my same gift buying logic to an experience. He’s got to love it. It’s got to be the perfect thing ever. It’s got to be in my price range but still the best thing he’s ever done in his life. However suddenly all my ideas were like a million dollars and totally not possible. 

To make a long month of gift planning shorter for your sake, I realized an experience doesn’t have to be big and flashy and expensive to make the perfect gift.

For Christmas, I planned a date night when we were back home (grandparents for babysitters, what up!). We went to the VIP cinemas (first time ever!) to see Star Wars in 3D and ate at our favourite vegan burger place (yes, Aaron chose a vegan place!)

For his birthday (which I’m sharing our photo & food adventures with you today) we went out for toast & coffee at our favourite local cafe, snow shoeing (he’s never been!), and recreated one of our favourite restaurant meals for dinner! I also bought him this book for us to read together.

Started off with a beautiful snowy morning walk to the coffee shop

Started off with a beautiful snowy morning walk to the coffee shop

Picked up this avocado toast and fruit bowl and brought it home to enjoy

Picked up this avocado toast and fruit bowl and brought it home to enjoy

Drove to the park for snow shoeing (our awesome friends let us use their snow shoes and told us the best spot to go!)

Drove to the park for snow shoeing (our awesome friends let us use their snow shoes and told us the best spot to go!)

Beautiful frozen streams and snowy trees

Beautiful frozen streams and snowy trees

Oh Winter, you sure are cold but you also make for gorgeous scenery. 

Oh Winter, you sure are cold but you also make for gorgeous scenery. 

Testing out my snow shoes...

Testing out my snow shoes...

Enjoying homemade Cliff bars!

Enjoying homemade Cliff bars!

Cliff bars up close and yummy!

Cliff bars up close and yummy!

Homemade “Cliff” Bars

 

rolled oats

peanut butter

brown rice syrup or maple syrup

chia seeds 

coconut flakes

 

Mash what you have in your pantries and then put them in the freezer!

Owen sneaking into the baking drawer, ready to help with the 7 minute frosting and chocolate cake.

Owen sneaking into the baking drawer, ready to help with the 7 minute frosting and chocolate cake.

Mango avocado chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries!

Mango avocado chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries!

Mango Avocado Sandwiches + Sweet Potato Fries

 

fresh bread

veganaise

garlic 

dill

rosemary

sea salt

avocao

lemon juice

 mango

organic chicken

cilantro

olive or coconut oil

chilli powder

cayenne pepper

arrowroot powder

 

Assemble together:

freshly made bread from Premiere Moisson (baked in the over for a few minutes), topped with Vegan Mayo (Veganaise, garlic, dill, rosemary, sea salt), Avocado spread (avocado, sea salt, lemon juice), slices of mango, grilled chicken, cilantro.

Diced sweet potatoes covered in coconut or olive oil with rosemary, chili powder, sea salt, pinch of cayenne pepper, and arrowroot powder massaged in (for crispyness) baked at 400F for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

 

Some of these things, like snow shoeing, didn’t even cost us anything but it was the thoughtfully planned experience that really made the day!

I hope some of these have inspired your own gift giving adventures!

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