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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

When I first started this little blog I wanted to share my favorite recipes with people. Along the way I started posting fewer recipes that I actually used, and tried to come up with unusual dishes, things that I would make once, post about, and never eat again. Eventually I came back around, sharing more of my favorites, and fewer of the one time use recipes. Part of it was because I was discovering so many new favorites, which is a necessity when branching out on a new diet. Sometimes I think I use my blog more than anyone else. It has become my own personal recipe file, and I know what to post about next when I go looking for a recipe on my blog and it's not there.

This cashew cream recipe isn't much of a recipe (cashews and water) but we use it a lot when in need of cream and almond milk isn't thick enough. We've had it with an extra bit of sweetener to go over fresh berries and summer fruit, mixed in soups or sauces, mixed with almond milk for a thicker cream over my morning muesli, granola or stewed oats, in my peanut butter banana shakes, to thicken hot chocolate, or as a cream substitute in ice creams and other desserts and frostings. Omit the sweetener and vanilla if you want to use it for more savory purposes like soup.

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I feel the same way each year around the same time. A slump begins in late January/early February and seeps into March, but halfway through the month I start to get more energy, I feel more inspired,  and I am more and more excited for warmer weather. In the past week I started to actually prepare things (using my hands and getting them dirty, yay!) for this year's garden. We prepped the garden beds (with a lot of help from my husband and toddler), we planted our little seedlings, and will plant flowers this weekend, a worthy activity for the first days of spring. This will mark my second year as a legit gardener (meaning growing things I actually eat) and though I still feel clueless, I can't wait. The past couple days have also included walks in the sun with sandals on and bare legs, drawing on the sidewalk with colored chalk, and the years first skinned knees and elbows.

I read in a book once about a girl who celebrated her birthday in March. She thought of it as the gateway to summer, when the sun becomes warmer on your skin and everyone is drawn outdoors. I feel the same way come March, I am already making summer plans. This year, it will be filled with tomatoes, huckleberries, strawberries, a couple watermelons, some of my favorite flowers that I pray will not die on me, and welcoming another little one into our family. I love summer babies. I can already imagine the sleepless nights that will be a little sweeter with a new life to hold and fragrance from the blooms under our window filling our room with every summer breeze. Assuming my brown thumb doesn't take over, I did make sure to purchase hardy plants this year.

What plans are you making? Spring is here!

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I am supportive of putting your money and time towards people and businesses you believe in, and veering away from those who don't uphold your standards. It is a big reason we love local food and choose it over big agriculture farm foods. I have even researched companies I buy stock from in the past to make sure I am investing in good companies.

For the record, I am pro-life, and before you ask what that has to do with cookies, let me explain. When I was craving girl scout cookies, a comment from a friend about the relationship between the Girl Scout Organization and Planned Parenthood caused me to research a little more about who supports this pro-abortion group (or as a commenter clarified, pro-choice) that seems to differ from my beliefs. I discovered that not only has the Girls Scout Organization supported Planned Parenthood, but so does my husband's employer, where he volunteers, my previous employer of about 6 years, our gas station, bank, even Whole Foods to name a few; all companies/organizations we support and love.

So it caused me to wonder, do you research what your purchases are indirectly supporting? Does my shopping at Whole Foods, or buying a few boxes of thin mints from some neighborhood girls make me a hypocrite? If there's a local food provider or artisan who is pro-abortion and atheist (I am also pro God), I would probably still buy food from them (so long as they aren't vehemently opposing my beliefs), but would rather support and encourage them in their efforts of creating and providing good real food. Building good relationships between people and communities seems more important to me than voicing my opinion about my standards in a confrontational way. There has to be a better way to share what you believe in. I also went as far as researching where the money for those little cookies go, and most (aside the money paid to the bakers themselves) of the profits are said to go back to the troops and area I am buying from, according to the girl scout website.

Though it doesn't necessarily justify my buying girl scout cookies if I want to "make a stand for what I believe", we will keep getting good gas for our cars, my husband will keep his job to support us, we will still volunteer and give to the organizations we love and believe in, and we will probably keep buying girls scout cookies every once in a while because we like them, despite their ties with a group that offers abortions. Even with the numerous recipes available to make tasty versions at home, like this one.

What do you think?

side note: In sharing this post I don't want to offend my friend, or anyone else not buying girl scout cookies/gas/health food/whatever it may be for similar reasons (there are endless things to boycott and protest). Truly, I was grateful for her brave comment and it caused me to make a more informed choice, which I hope to do more often than not.
I also don't want to offend anyone who supports Planned Parenthood, or any other group that supports and encourages abortion. I may not be completely supportive of abortion, but I am also not completely against it. People have a right to choose, a great benefit to life.

post update: Thank you to everyone who has commented! I am grateful for the conversation that is happening. I especially love the personal stories that are about you, real people, being directly affected in a positive way by a supposed "big bad business". 

I didn't really mean to come across like I was completely against PP, I have read wonderful things about the organization and keep learning more. Also, I am not entirely anti-choice, there are situations where I think abortion is necessary. And though I don't agree with abortion in general, I do believe in good health care for everyone.

Also, a friend and I were chatting about researching companies and whether not it is actually effective to boycott every group you have something against. It's not. If you really wanted to get down to it, you could protest anything and everything. For this reason, I stopped researching companies I invested in a number of years ago (something I could have mentioned). I just wasn't willing to put in the time, and who knows what information you receive is really viable? I would rather spend my energy elsewhere, emphasizing the good than pinpoint every company that had a little bad in it. I myself am not perfect.

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