The Best DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

The Best DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Lately, I’ve been super-picky about the household products we use in our family. Not only what you eat but what you put on your skin can have huge effects on your health for good or bad. What gets me is that there are so many toxins out there in everyday products that are not regulated and most people don’t even realize it. So today, we are going to put together the absolute best DIY essential oil travel roller.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

When you go on vacation with the kids, what are some of the basics? There’s the inevitable fall and scrape a knee, so you’ll need disinfectant and bandages. What else? If you’re on a lake or beach vacation you will probably need sunburn spray/cream to calm it when dad refuses to put on sunscreen or you miss a spot. In addition, you’ll need bug spray and bug bite relief. Do you know what I also love? A sleep aid to calm me (and the kids!) down after a big day and sleeping in a new place.

Also, if you’re camping, road tripping, or traveling by air long distances don’t you always carry a hand sanitizer and/or wipes to get rid of all those germs? What’s in antibacterial wipes, anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked! “Fragrance” (possible carcinogen, possible allergic reactions), methylparaben, propylparaben (both hormone or endocrine disruptors), phenoxyethanol (The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens), and so many more!

I want to know what’s in my EVERYDAY use products and know they’re good for me and my family, don’t you? Wouldn’t you love to be able to make your own using essential oils and natural ingredients?

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Essential oils experts panel: questions and answers

Lately, I’ve spent a ton of time researching the best natural remedies, but sometimes I do get frustrated when I’m looking up herbs and essential oil information. Have you noticed all the conflicting viewpoints on-line? I suppose that’s true with many subjects!

DIY Essential Oil travel roller recipe

Have you ever read that a certain essential oil is okay for internal use, only to turn around and read another article that says that same essential oil is “for external use only!”? Or what about which oils are okay during pregnancy or for babies? Also, it often comes up, which brands you can use and trust? It can all be really confusing and either make you want to pull out your hair or become your own expert! What if you could watch a panel of actual aromatherapy experts tackle all of these tough questions and more?

Maybe they won’t even agree on every single thing, but at least you’ll find out why they disagree, so you can make an educated choice for yourself. I know once I have the facts I’m FULL of opinions. 😉

If you’ve followed this blog long, you’ll know I work with Ultimate Bundles from time to time. Why? Because they put together VALUABLE, worthwhile information I love and use. When it’s something I love I like to share it with you too!

So now, Ultimate Bundles put together a panel of experienced, well-educated and (most importantly) certified experts to answer essential oil questions in an eye-opening 90-minute interview.

Want to watch it for free?

You can register here and get immediate access to the panel recording.

It’s so important to be able to sort through all the information and advice floating around, so you can make the best, most educated decisions for your health and your family’s.

This panel is available to watch for free until midnight on May 29th. Don’t miss it! Click here to get access.

Have you tried eating low carb?

I love this cauliflower mac and cheese bake!

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake, square piece

Best DIY essential oil travel roller bottle

Back to the indispensable travel roller! This super simple recipe is one I use and keep on me constantly, especially when traveling. My 5-year-old son has his own he puts on his scratches and boo-boos. In addition, it’s super calming so it helps him go to sleep at night without the toxic “fragrance” in so many kids’ calming night lotions.

The DIY essential oil travel roller contains only three ingredients, well I guess four if you count the 10 ml roller bottle. Lavender, tea tree oil, and fractionated coconut oil (or olive oil works too).

Lavender

DIY essential oil travel roller, lavender

First of all, let me say lavender is one of my favorite scents in the world! It has so many properties it’s really one of the most versatile essential oils and therefore so very useful for travel when you’re trying to save space. Lavender can relieve nervous tension (calms), it’s a pain reliever, skin disinfectant, it enhances blood circulation, and can aid in respiratory problems.

Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil

DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Melaleuca is also known as tea tree oil and is truly another essential oil cure-all. It has so many helpful uses, you pair it with lavender and you can’t lose. Melaleuca is an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant, and a sudorific substance.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is often used as a carrier, or to dilute essential oils. Don’t be fooled! It also has its own amazing qualities that make it a great choice for a roller. It can withstand light and high heat without going rancid. Also, it’s not greasy and lighter than regular coconut oil and has more of a cleansing effect on the skin. This is a fabulous base for skin care products and as a way to use your essential oils.

As I said, the recipe itself is super simple.

To make the DIY essential oil travel roller, take one 10 ml glass bottle with a roller topper and lid. Once it’s cleaned and sterilized put in 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of melaleuca. Fill the bottle to the top with the fractionated coconut oil. Push the roller ball into place and screw on the lid. Shake it a bit, and it’s ready to conquer scrapes, bug bites, boo-boos, rashes, stress, insomnia, and more!

It’s also one of those things I can pull out to take action on a “boo-boo” of one of the kids, and just seeing it makes them calm down and feel better. Try it out for yourself when you travel with the family or just keep one in your purse at all times. I even rub it on my wrists sort of like a relaxing perfume. It has so many uses!

What products do you like to make yourself?

So yes, I admit it. Lately, you can find me nerding out drying out my Mother’s Day rose petals for a bath salts recipe, making my own hand sanitizer, and trying out different essential oils in my lip balm recipe. It’s so time for back to basics, and I’m excited to learn more and more because hey, it keeps my babies safer. Free from daily toxins rubbed into their skin and educated to make their own choices in the future.

DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Multi-purpose essential oil rub. Good for scrapes, bites, stress, you name it! Save room while you travel!

Servings: 12 people
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 10 ml roller ball bottle
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops melaleuca oil (tea tree)
  • 2 teaspoons fractionated coconut oil or olive oil, fill bottle
Instructions
  1. To make the DIY essential oil travel roller, take one 10 ml glass bottle with a roller topper and lid. Once it’s cleaned and sterilized put in 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of melaleuca. Fill the bottle to the top with the fractionated coconut oil. Push the roller ball into place and screw on the lid. Shake it a bit, and it’s ready to conquer scrapes, bug bites, boo-boos, rashes, stress, insomnia, and more!

Best DIY essential oil travel roller recipe

Epic Colorado Family Vacations

Epic Colorado Family Vacations

What’s your family tourist destination this summer? Can I suggest several Colorado family vacations? I’m a little biased, but I really think Colorado is the perfect state for family vacations. If you’re a nature person or not, kids THRIVE when they’re outside and near a stream or in the mountains. Whether it’s hiking, fishing, kayaking, riding whitewater rapids, camping, or reading a book by the mountain lake, it’s an ideal spot for kids’ activities and empowerment.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Colorado family vacations pin

This summer we’re all about exploring and appreciating our own backyard. By that, I mean a good time to appreciate all the awesome travel destinations nearby our home in northern Colorado! We’ll be heading to Grand Lake for a few days, be doing some camping in various locations, getting the kids out to summer camp with their peers, and doing day trips to Denver. Of course, we have some more travel lined up, but that’s another post. We can’t wait!

Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to start my list of EPIC Colorado family vacations close to home. My own hometown, in fact, Greeley, Colorado. If you haven’t, dive into my blog post linked below, and if you have, still read all about it. With an insider’s perspective, you’re sure to find something new and fun to explore!

Simply EPIC Colorado Family Vacations

Things to do in Greeley, Colorado

Recently, I was given the opportunity to collaborate with a fellow blogger and guest post on her website A Book Lover’s Adventures. Do you know what I was asked to do? Write a blog post for tourists from an insider’s view of my own hometown. How many of you think about your hometown as a travel destination? To be honest, I certainly hadn’t much. I LOVE my hometown and am proud of it, but it’s always been Denver or the nearby Rocky Mountains that seem to be the more natural tourist draw. If you have the chance to come through I know you’ll love it too.

Click over to A Book Lover’s Adventures to read all about awesome things to do in Greeley, Colorado.

Centennial Village, Greeley, Colorado

Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado

Have you been to Breckenridge, Colorado? When you hear the name, what do you think? If you think skiing you’re right on. However, did you know Breckenridge is one of those amazing mountain towns with a TON of stuff to do for families in any season? I have to say I think summer’s my favorite season in Breckenridge. The old town’s fabulous, and did you know they hold an excellent summer music festival? Are you at all into concerts every night with beautiful mountain scenery? It’s the place for you!

We were there most recently in spring at the end of the ski season with a good dose of spring snow. To learn more things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids, see the blog post here.

Breckenridge snowboards with slope in background

Things to do in Grand Lake, Colorado

Grand Lake, Colorado. Sigh. This is one of my favorite places on earth, and I’ve been nearly every summer since I was about six years old! There are many places I might tire of going that often, but not Grand Lake. For us as a family, it’s the perfect place to relax, be in nature, and enjoy the small mountain town and its residents. Kids can build castles on the beach, swim, fish, make s’mores, play on the playground, hike, marvel at the moose walking by the cabin, and just be a kid in the Rocky Mountains. As a mom, this is an incredibly relaxing trip because the kids are so easily occupied, and I can enjoy my morning coffee staring out over the lake with Mount Baldy (Mount Craig) looking down!

Learn more and read the blog post here!

Colorado family vacations, Grand Lake, Old Baldy

Things to do in Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park, Colorado is another amazing Colorado destination for families. I have SO many memories from my own childhood and now with my own kids in this popular town. If you want to shop, play miniature golf, head out to the local YMCA, and so much more all in a spectacular Rocky Mountain paradise, you need to head here.

We LOVE to get out and hike so click here to see the Best Estes Park hikes for kids.

Half the fun of travel is eating, right? Click here to learn more about Estes Park restaurants with character.

View of Estes Park, Colorado

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park in winter

If you love Estes Park, no doubt the family with also fall in love with Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll find wildlife such as elk, coyotes, or bighorn sheep in any season, and it’s a great place to camp in one of the park campgrounds. We love it any time of year but especially in winter when the crowds are down slightly and you have time to explore.

Read all about what there is to do with kids in Rocky Mountain National Park in winter here.

Rocky Mountain National Park in winter elk

 

Planning a trip to New Mexico?

Check out the family-friendly, beautiful Ruidoso, New Mexico!

Ski Apache view, Ruidoso, New Mexico

Things to do in Denver, Colorado

If you fly into Colorado or most of the time even drive, you’ll probably head through our beautiful capital, Denver, Colorado. Denver has SO many amazing things to do with kids like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Children’s Museum, the Botanic Gardens, the Butterfly Pavilion, and more! We make day trips fairly often as a family and are so lucky to be nearby to take advantage of all the interactive educational opportunities for kids. Denver is always a great base for a Colorado vacation or a vacation itself.

Things to do in Denver, Aquarium entrance

If you’re heading to Denver check out my articles on:

The PERFECT Denver Zoo trip and

The AMAZING Denver Downtown Aquarium

Visit Santa’s Workshop

Is Christmas the favorite holiday at your house? Well, you will want to make the day trip from Colorado Springs to North Pole, Colorado. Santa’s Workshop is a theme park set in the mountains where it’s always Christmastime and full of fun! Don’t expect a modern day Disney World or Six Flags, this is a place built in the 60’s, and it truly feels like a nostalgic step back in time. Be a kid again. There are SO many rides for the young and old; it’s a great day out.

Click here to see more and get my tips for visiting Santa’s Workshop

Santa's Workshop Colorado elves

Family camping tips and free printable packing checklist

Near all of these scenic family travel destinations, there are opportunities for camping. If you have an RV or love tent camping, you’ll find the perfect spot. So pull out those sleeping bags and hiking gear and let’s get ready for summer!

Check out my family camping tips and free printable packing checklist here!

Campsite sunrise view, feature

Are you convinced? Go Colorado family vacations

I hope you plan several perfect Colorado family vacations or camping trips! The sun will lift your mood, the mountains will call, the trees will rustle, and if you’re like me, you’ll be in your happy place. I think it’s so important to teach kids to appreciate nature and take care of it for the future. Also, they will see the joys of an active outdoor lifestyle and have the chance to embrace it for themselves.

Now, I have to admit I haven’t covered nearly enough of the state and need to remedy that. Where else are your favorite Colorado family travel destinations?

Tell me in the comments, where shall we adventure next?

Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Bake

Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Bake

More creamy, cheesy goodness! Cauliflower mac and cheese. Be still my heart! This dish is so amazing and kid-friendly they won’t even miss the carbs!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Lately, I’ve been working extra hard to try to make kid-friendly recipes to make my kids LOVE eating real food and low carb. I originally started the keto diet because of the success I heard from friends about it and how it tamed their sugar addictions and made them feel so much better in general. I’m started, and I can’t see ever going back to the way I ate before. We all want to do what’s best for our kids and give them every opportunity. With food, that means I also have to make it taste REALLY good. ERGO, my low carb cauliflower mac and cheese bake.

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake, vertical piece

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Mac and cheese tradition

When I was growing up, one of my absolute favorite dinners was my grandmother’s mac and cheese recipe. In the first place, this recipe was actually a bake served like a casserole in squares, and so a bit different than the traditional homemade mac and cheese. Indeed, it was a fabulous blend of macaroni and cheesy goodness I thought I could eat every meal of the day. Of course, I probably thought that because my mother only allowed it on rare and special occasions! It was one of my most requested recipes at EVERY holiday. What you can’t have you always want more of, am I right?

Unfortunately, traditional macaroni and cheese, that uber kid-friendly food, is not even close to low carb. What could I do about that? First off, I immediately thought about subbing cauliflower in for the pasta, but some work had to be done to find the other correct balance of ingredients. To tell the truth, I’ve tried MANY versions of this, and I’m extremely pleased with the result of this low carb cauliflower mac and cheese bake.

Need more low carb recipes?

Creamy, hot, spicy, cheesy green chili chicken yum! Try out this awesome low carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder recipe!

Green chili chicken chowder for two

How to make cauliflower mac and cheese

When it comes to getting dinner on the table, I’m all about simple and easy. I’ve tried many recipes using cauliflower to replace high carb breads and pastas with different degrees of success with varying amounts of effort put forth. Therefore, when it came to this amazing version of cauliflower mac and cheese bake, I wanted to make it as easy and straightforward as possible.

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake, vertical overhead with stripes

Prep the cauliflower

Start by buying 2 bags of frozen cauliflower at 12 ounces each. Dump them out into a microwave bowl and defrost for several minutes, usually 4-5 depending on your microwave. Yes, you can use fresh cauliflower if you wish, but you’ll have to chop and steam it, and I tend to be a bit lazy on a weeknight! Actually, the frozen works just as well as the fresh so the choice is up to you.When they’re thawed out, chop them roughly. It may depend on your kids and their preferences how finely you chop them. Personally, I like to have a little bit bigger pieces for some different texture in the bake.

Next, place the cauliflower pieces in a tea towel. Some people think this is the incredibly difficult part, but it’s a necessary step and really not that hard. Roll the cauliflower up in the tea towel. Then take both ends and twist so the excess liquid drains out of the cauliflower. Keep twisting until very little liquid will come out, unroll the towel, and place the de-liquified cauliflower in a bowl. Set that aside for the moment.

How to make the cheese filling

In a large bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese, two eggs, finely chopped garlic, and combine it together with a hand mixer.

Tip: How to quickly warm eggs to room temperature

Four eggs in water next to a bowl of lemons

If you’re like me and forget to plan ahead and set out everything early to get to room temperature, I have the perfect tip for you! Get out a bowl or other container big enough to hold the number of eggs you need and fill it with warm water. Personally, I like to use a glass measuring cup for this job. Next, place the cold eggs in the warm water and leave them there ten minutes or so while you complete other tasks. Then when you need some room temperature eggs you can pull them out from the warm water, and you’ll be all set.

Back to the cheese filling

Now, add one-fourth of a cup of unsweetened almond milk and mix that in well. Next, add half a teaspoon salt and half a teaspoon of pepper (more or less per your taste!). Now we’re getting to my favorite part! I LOVE cheddar cheese, but you could also make this using any number of other cheeses to make it a bit more elegant. Personally though, I think this is just about perfect. Go ahead and mix in one of the two cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp) and the cauliflower. Hopefully, you removed most of the extra liquid out of the cauliflower because it’s not nearly as good if you have pools of cauliflower liquid pooling down in your pan.

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake, bite close-up

Then, if you haven’t already, grease an eight-inch by eight-inch glass baking dish with coconut oil or olive oil, whatever you have on hand. Next, take your mixture and spread it out in the baking dish evenly using a spatula. Voila! Pretty simple, right? Now all you have left to do is sprinkle the last cup of shredded cheddar cheese on the top.

Tip: Kids enjoy sprinkling the cheese all around so let them participate if they want. Did you know if a child actively participates in making a food they’re more likely to try it?

Main or side dish?

Now, pop it into the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about thirty minutes, or until the edges start to brown. I like to let it cool at least 10-15 minutes so when it’s cut, the square keeps its shape a bit more. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli or a salad for a full meal or use it as a side dish with any number of grilled meats. For a bit more cheesy goodness, sprinkle on a bit more cheddar cheese before it’s served. I can tell you it’s also very popular side dish in the line-up at family holiday events!

Cauliflower mac & cheese bake

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake printable recipe:

Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Bake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

The ultimate low carb mac and cheese bake. Cheesy, gooey, good!

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Ketogenic, Low Carb
Servings: 6
Calories: 352 kcal
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 24 oz cauliflower frozen
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Grease an 8" by 8" glass baking dish with coconut or olive oil.

  2. Thaw the cauliflower and roughly chop.

  3. Place the chopped cauliflower in a tea towel. Roll it up in the tea towel and twist to remove all excess liquid. Set aside.

  4. In a medium-sized bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese, two eggs, and chopped garlic. Blend together using a hand mixer.

  5. Once combined add in the 1/4 cup of almond milk and mix it in also.

  6. Add the salt and pepper (more or less per your preference).

  7. Mix in 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.

  8. Dump the mixture in the baking dish and spread it out evenly.

  9. Top with the remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

  11. Optional: Serve with extra shredded cheese on the top of each serving.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts:

 
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 352
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29 g 44 %
Saturated Fat 17 g 85 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 154 mg 51 %
Sodium 664 mg 28 %
Potassium 222 mg 6 %
Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5 %
Sugars 3 g  
Protein 16 g 33 %
Vitamin A 19 %
Vitamin C 39 %
Calcium 37 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
 

 

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake pin

Things To Do In Breckenridge, Colorado With Kids

Things To Do In Breckenridge, Colorado With Kids

Are you planning a mountain vacation? Do you need things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids? There’s always skiing, but what else is there to do in winter or even summer? We’ve got you covered! Recently we had the opportunity to visit Breckenridge for a long weekend and had a blast with the kids.

This page contains affiliate links.

This past weekend we got a deal on a hotel and decided it would be a fun weekend to explore Breckenridge but not make it a ski weekend. We wanted to relax, hang out as a family, and have fun! There are not a lot of places in the world with a better view than Breckenridge so my arm doesn’t need a lot of twisting to head on up there.

As a kid, I remember heading up to Breckenridge usually in the summer. My favorite thing to do was to ride the alpine slide, or sleds on rails, down the ski slopes. Most of the ski areas around have one as a part of their summer activities to draw in tourists.

Another thing I’ve always loved about the town is that there’s ALWAYS some festival or event going on. The Breckenridge Music Festival is fabulous if you are at all interested in orchestral music. One year, I think I was a freshman in high school, I attended a weeklong music camp and focused on flute and piano all day. Every evening of the camp we attended the nightly music festival performance, and I was in heaven.

Things to do in Breckenridge, CO with kids

8 things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids

This last time we were in Breckenridge, it was the end of the ski season. Still a good snow, but at the very end before it starts to turn to mud. Since we weren’t determined to ski the whole time we were able to find quite a few great activities to do as a family. If you head up I hope you try some of these things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado too!

1. Breckenridge Gondola

First of all, the Gondola. The Gondola is a great thing to do with kids once or more a day because hey, it’s FREE!! During the ski season, it runs from 9 am to 6 pm seven days a week. You can ride from the base parking all the way up with stops at Shock Hill, Peak 7, and Peak 8. It’s great even if you’re not skiing to go up to the top to eat, explore and see the views, check out the new hotels, or to take it up to go snowshoeing.

Eight people can fit in the enclosed gondola cars, and I found everyone in our cars always eager to encourage each other and share their experience so far in town. A lot of the people we ran into were escaping offices in Denver for the weekend and just could not quit smiling they were so happy to be up in the mountains. The Breckenridge Gondola is one of many awesome things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids.

Breckenridge gondola winter view

2. High Line Railroad Park and Playground

189 Boreas Pass Road, Breckenridge

Do you have a Thomas the Tank Engine obsessed child in your household? While my son is not quite so into it as he once was, this High Line Railroad Park was a HUGE hit. On display, just outside in the park, you’ll find Engine No. 9, one of the few remaining narrow gauge engines that once braved the precarious mountain passes. Think Skarloey and Peter Sam. As a bonus, it’s even fitted with a huge snowplow just like Thomas is always grumbling about. If that means nothing to you just move on, but it’s a fun tie-in for young kids! 😉

Breckenridge narrow gauge steam engine

You’ll also find a caboose and various other cars and memorabilia around. It’s so much fun to see the engine detail up close and to try to figure out how it all works. We actually easily explored the area with snow on the ground, and it was a much-needed play time for my kids. The playground next to the trains was a lot of fun, a good way to get in some more exercise and laughter.

3. Stephen C. West Ice Arena

If your kids want to try out some ice skating, head over to the Steven C. West Ice Arena. It’s right next to the High Line Railroad Park and has a ton of fun options for everyone. They’re open seven days a week, but I would call (970-547-9974) or check the website beforehand to verify the daily schedule. However, there are choice activities for the entire family. Join the free skate indoors or outdoors. Maybe you’re into figure skating or want to try your hand at curling! They have something for you!

Ice arena & railroad park, Breckenridge

Love Colorado mountain towns?

Read all about the perfect family-friendly mountain getaway in Grand Lake, Colorado!

Grand Lake, Colorado best of 2017

4. Carter Park Sled Hill

300 S. High Street, Breckenridge

Are you still looking for things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids? I hope so because this is a good one! We got an insider tip from a woman working at our hotel about this great sledding hill just over at Carter Park. We brought a sled with us, but the hotel also had stacks of them you could borrow while you were there.

Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado sledding

Many locals use this hill for a fun afternoon of sledding. However, on the day we went out there, the sledding hill had only two other families out there with us. I was shocked because it was one of the busiest, craziest days of the ski season, and the ski slopes were more than a little packed.

Plan to get your exercise because yes, you have to walk back up the hill. It didn’t seem to bother the kids too much, and in fact, they wanted to stay on there into the evening! Unfortunately, my husband wore out pulling the child up the hill in one of the sleds, but while they did that I got to admire the magnificent view. This is a place to see. Have fun!

5. Ready Paint Fire

Okay, switching gears here. Do you like to paint? Make pottery? Fire things in kilns? Well then! Take a rest from all the outdoor activities and check out Ready Paint Fire. Have you always wanted to make a mosaic or fuse glass together as abstract art?

This place is awesome! Truly, it’s a place to be enjoyed by the entire family ages 3-80. Plan to spend a couple of hours and make a piece of art and share fun and laughter with the family. It’s a very different activity and one the kids can really get into.

Tip: Check the local guidebooks found at most hotels for coupons because there is a studio fee along with different costs depending on what you want to do!

Breckenridge Rail Road Park view

6. Breckenridge Recreation Center

If the kids get sick of the hotel pool or yours doesn’t have one, you need to visit the Breckenridge Recreation Center. After all the fun in the snow switch to warm and water! What kid (or dad) doesn’t like an excellent water slide? It’s obviously perfect in summer too.

If swimming’s not your thing, they also have an indoor rock-climbing wall, gymnasium, racquetball court, indoor track, and aerobic/dance studios. I even heard mention of fencing classes. Check out their website for complete information here. Tempting!

7. Hiking, snowshoeing, and bike trails

Breckenridge is well-known for being great for bike-riding. There are paved trails through town and well-maintained trails all around the area. My family loves to snowshoe, and so in winter, many of the bike trails double as awesome snowshoe hikes. It depends on the age of your kids, but even a short walk or hike can be memorable for them up in the beauty of the mountains. My son tends to remember it for making him TIRED, but you know, it’s good for them! Am I right?!

Breckenridge bicycle path with snow

Just next to the gondola you’ll find one of the paved bike trails, and you can easily get a map of those online, from a local store, or your hotel. For some snowshoe trail options, click here. I remember when I was younger and came up with a good friend of mine, we brought our bikes. Her dad loaded all the bikes and drove us to the top of one of the slopes, and we got to ride our bikes downhill all the way back to town. I thought it was such a good idea, thus avoiding the difficult uphill climb!

8. Dog Sledding or Snowmobiling

When you were young did you read Jack London and imagine you were going to be in that great sled dog race the Iditarod? Scott O’Dell, Jack London, and several other authors I read gave great accounts of the preparation and entire Iditarod experience, and at about age 10 I was determined to participate.


While unfortunately, that dream didn’t come true, did you know there are places where you can at least go dog sledding? Oh, yes, my friend. You too can mush the dogs and pose for an action photo of you seriously fighting the cold and bonding with your trusted sled dogs.

At Good Times Adventures you can take the whole family dog sledding or snowmobiling. This is one of my favorite things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado. For more information see here!

BONUS!

2 Below Zero

I know I said 8, but here’s another possible awesome thing to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids! If you head on over to 2 Below Zero you will have an amazing sleigh ride or chuckwagon ride (depends on the season) with a chuckwagon dinner, musical and/or comedy entertainment and fun! The winter sleigh ride is about 2 hours and 15 minutes or so and includes a sleigh ride, dinner, and musical entertainment. My family LOVES these kinds of places, and it’s so awesome to make an event out of your location, its cultural history, and FOOD! 

Breckenridge sunny day, snowy mountain

What other things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado will you try out?

I absolutely LOVE being in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Moreover, the more you get kids out in nature the better I tend to think. Teach them an appreciation of nature, a love of exercise and the outdoors, and they have an outlet for life. So many problems can be solved with a good hike and time to think.

Where are your favorite family vacation destinations to get the family outside and moving?

Low Carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder

Low Carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder

Creamy, hot, spicy, cheesy green chili chicken yum! This low carb green chile chicken chowder is to die for (well, maybe not quite, but close)!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Do you love green chilis as much as I do? This recipe for low carb green chili chicken chowder holds a piece of my childhood and is an awesome comfort food. It’s perfect for fall, but then there’s also that random rain/snow blustery spring day that soaks you to the to the bone and has you calling for the ultimate green chili warm goodness.

Because I grew up in Colorado, I associate fall with pumpkins, apples, spices, corn, and roasting green chilis. In autumn you won’t often find a pumpkin farm or stand that doesn’t also have a chili roaster nearby. Therefore, everyone is always trying to outdo one another with the BEST green chili, pork green chili, green chili salsa, green chili chicken soup, etc. At Thanksgiving in Colorado, you will find in many families it’s not the turkey that’s the most talked about offering, but the green chili! Is Uncle Fred coming this year? He’d better be because he’s in charge of the green chili!

Green chili chicken chowder vertical with avocado

Of course, as one of my favorite comfort foods, I’ve created an ooey, gooey, cheesy green chili chicken chowder. This is a fabulous one pot meal, sure to please even the pickiest of families. The only thing you’ll be arguing about is how hot to make it. I personally opt for a good medium, middle of the road because I like some heat, but not too much!

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Green chili chicken chowder for two

How to cook a chicken breast

First of all, you’re going to need to gather your ingredients. What do you find? You’re going to need one pound of cooked, diced chicken. Actually, you can get your chicken several ways. Do you have chicken leftovers? Awesome, chop that stuff up and you’re good to go. Maybe you decided to avoid the whole raw chicken and cooking it at all. In that case, perhaps you went out and bought a rotisserie chicken. That’s a super-easy way to get some great chicken for your chowder.

But let’s just say you happen to have on hand one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, organic and free-range if possible! How do you cook a chicken breast? It’s really not all that difficult, and it’s a skill everyone should learn.

To begin, get out a baking sheet, and coat the cooking area with olive oil. Take the chicken breasts out of the package and set them on top of the oil. Season each one liberally with salt and pepper on all sides, then drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top and rub it in. Then place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the pan and immediately cover the chicken breasts with aluminum foil to keep in the heat and juices. Let it rest for at least ten minutes before chopping it up for your green chili chicken chowder. Yum.

Green chili chicken chowder closeup

 

Have you thought about what tools you need in a keto kitchen?

Must-have keto gadgets feature

How to make a low carb green chili chicken chowder

Once you have all your ingredients assembled, including the cooked, cubed chicken, place the Dutch oven or soup pot on a medium-high heat. Put two tablespoons of butter in the pot to melt, then add the chopped onion. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the onion with the butter and cook for 4-5 minutes until it’s soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute more.

Next, pour in 32 ounces of a good quality organic chicken bone broth such as Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth. Once the broth is heated through but not yet boiling, cut in 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese. Whisk the mixture until the cream cheese is incorporated, and there are no more lumps. After that, put in the chopped green chilis, the salsa verde (green salsa), and stir to combine.

TIP: When buying a pre-made salsa verde be sure to purchase one without sugar.

Then, after the mixture is warmed through and simmering, measure and add in the two cups of Monterrey jack cheese. Whisk the cheese in also so it melts and combines with the other ingredients. All you have left is to add in the chicken and let the green chili chicken chowder simmer for a few minutes (at least 10). Serve in soup bowls and garnish with more shredded Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese, lime with a squirt of lime juice, sliced avocado, and/or chopped fresh cilantro.

Spoon of green chili chicken chowder

Invite some friends over and enjoy!

Invite some friends over or get the whole family to the table! This hearty low carb green chili chicken chowder makes a fabulous meal for the entire family with a definite kick to it. The only thing you may argue about is how spicy to make it. I like it to be a good medium, but my kids like it mild, and the husband likes as much heat as you can get in there.

If you want to accommodate everyone, make a very mild chowder and offer spicy toppings like finely chopped jalapenos, spicy salsa, or even a pepper jack cheese. I personally like a bit of lime juice and chopped cilantro on top with the cheese, and you can also add some sliced avocado. Try this one out, and let me know how it goes with your family or friends! It’s actually super-easy to throw together and a good, filling meal. It’s one of my favorites, and you’ll love it too! Try it today, and your taste buds will thank you!

green chili chicken chowder pin1

Low Carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder Printable Recipe:

Green Chili Chicken Chowder
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Creamy, hot, spicy, cheesy chicken chili yum!

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Ketogenic, Low Carb
Servings: 8
Calories: 390 kcal
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 32 oz chicken bone broth
  • 1 lb chicken cooked and cubed
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 16 oz salsa verde (green salsa)
  • 10 oz chili peppers roasted and chopped (or from a can in a hurry)
  • 2 cups Monterrey jack cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Place the two tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot on the stove over a medium-high heat to melt.

  2. Cook the chopped onion in the butter for about 4-5 minutes or until softened.

  3. Add the garlic and continue to stir over heat for a minute more.

  4. Pour in the chicken bone broth and heat until nearly boiling but not quite.

  5. Cut in the cream cheese and whisk until smooth.

  6. Add the jar of salsa verde and the chopped green chilis.

  7. Whisk in the 2 cups of Monterrey jack cheese. Continue to whisk over the heat until no lumps remain.

  8. Add in the cubed chicken and let simmer for 10 minutes.

  9. Serve in bowls topped with shredded cheese. (Monterrey jack, cheddar, or both!)

  10. Optional toppings: avocado, lime juice, freshly chopped cilantro.

Keto Coconut Lime Dessert Mousse

Keto Coconut Lime Dessert Mousse

Creamy with a punch of lime! Can you believe this fabulous coconut lime dessert mousse is keto? Sugar-free, low carb, and gluten-free, you can even make it vegan if you wish by subbing a vegan gelatin like agar powder!

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Lately, I’ve been in a citrusy spring sort of mood. We’ve had fabulous 70s and sunshiny weather so the kitchen’s been full of lemons, limes, and all citrus scents! These always have the desired effect of getting me in the mood for spring and summer weather. Citrus not only wakes you up but is generally cheerful and refreshing.

Did you know lime in particular also has cleansing benefits great for purifying? So that means it can purify your skin, the air, get creative! Moreover, in my book, it also means it’s a great choice for a dessert! A coconut lime dessert? Yes, please!

Coconut lime dessert mousse side view with lime slices

Low carb coconut lime dessert mousse

To be honest with you, I came up with this dessert more as a snack for myself. I’d envisioned it for the warm mid-afternoon time when you need a little treat to hold you happy until dinner. I discovered that others in my family quickly snap them up as well (as long as I don’t tell my son they’re sugar-free!). So I thought about it, and in a pretty dish, I decided they’d make a very nice dinner or late lunch dessert. Do you know what? I was right!!

In a hurry?

Need the recipe now? You can scroll through my fabulous tips and stories to reach the printable recipe card at the bottom! Or PIN it for later here!!

Coconut lime dessert mousse close-up overhead

We use quite a bit of gelatin collagen protein around here for summer desserts. It’s a good option when you want to get away from ice cream or something frozen. Be choosy about your gelatin to get the most health benefits! Do some exploring, but try to use a grass-fed gelatin similar to this one: Great Lakes Gelatin, Certified Paleo Friendly, Beef Gelatin Collagen Protein. Collagen is amazingly good for you and helps out with skin and hair health. It can reduce joint pains and other inflammation, heal the inside walls of your gut, and so much more! Hey! That covers a ton of my extended family’s health issues so I know I need to take huge advantage of this beneficial ingredient. There are a lot of ways to eat it I’m just now starting to explore.

Note: If you eat vegan, you can make the recipe substituting a vegan gelatin. I would suggest agar powder, although I haven’t tried it that way. Let me know how it comes out if you do!

How to make a keto coconut lime dessert mousse

First

To make your coconut lime dessert, first, you’ll want to gather all your ingredients and kitchen supplies. The recipe makes six servings so get out six ramekins or other pretty individual dessert dishes. Here’s another hint! If you’re not serving them for after dinner and they’re just for snacks, I’ve been known to put them in glass containers with snap-on lids for easy storage in the refrigerator! Then they wait for me to grab them for a quick mid-afternoon snack. I love it!

Coconut lime dessert mousse vertical overhead

Second

Once you have all the ingredients out, take out a saucepan and a medium-sized bowl. Usually, the full-fat coconut milk comes in a 13-14 ounce can, and you will use the entire thing. Also, it will separate in the can so pour about a fourth of a cup of the liquid portion in the bowl with a tablespoon of gelatin. You may have to use a spoon to dig through the solidified coconut milk to get to the liquid, but don’t worry! It’s there!

Next

Mix together the gelatin and 1/4 cup coconut milk in the bowl for the gelatin to soften then turn your attention to the saucepan. In it, pour one cup of unsweetened almond milk and the rest of the can of full-fat coconut milk. Heat this mixture on a medium-high heat until the solid portion has melted and the milks mix together to nearly boiling, but not quite.

Then

After that, take the saucepan off the heat and add the teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the gelatin and whisk it together. Continue to whisk and add in the sweetener (I use Swerve confectioners but use the sweetener of your choice). Now you’re going to add your lime flavoring. I personally like to use 4-5 drops of lime essential oil, but I know many people do not keep those on hand! It’s just so easy, and I admit it’s great if you’re trying to get your coconut lime dessert in the fridge in a hurry.

However, if you’re going to use a fresh lime, zest and juice it. Then, add both the zest and juice to your milk mixture. Now, right here I think, milk? Lime?! Together? That will curdle! But don’t worry, you’re using coconut and almond milk in your coconut lime dessert so it’s not going to be a problem.

How to get mousse bubbles

You can tell already this is not your normal coconut lime dessert mousse recipe. So how do you get those delightful little pockets of air in your mousse? Well, in this case, there’s this magically wonderful appliance called a blender. I’ve talked about how much I love my high powered blender in other blog posts so I won’t proliferate on the subject today. Only this – I LOVE my Vitamix and use it practically every day! If you don’t have a high powered blender you can use a regular one, but you may have to blend it a little longer to get those awesome bubbles!

Coconut lime dessert mousse with tea towel

Blend the mousse on high speed for a good 40 seconds or until you can see bubbles forming and everything is well mixed. This will also break up any lumps of sweetener or larger pieces of zest that may otherwise be tempted to sink to the bottom. If it’s not well combined and quickly put in the refrigerator, it can separate.

Once it’s had a good blending, pour six equal portions into your serving dishes. Chill it in the refrigerator for at LEAST two hours to set. Before serving, sprinkle a good teaspoon of unsweetened shredded coconut on top along with more zest and a half a slice of lime for decoration. I like it just like that, but you could also whip up 1/2 a cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of sweetener for topping if you wish.

Want more keto recipes?

Try this amazing low carb skillet breakfast hash!

Low carb skillet breakfast hash

Benefits of dessert

What are your favorite summer desserts? I love to get ideas and play with them to make them keto. This is selfishly for myself, but also for others eating a ketogenic diet to enjoy! In addition, the bonus with using a sweetener like Swerve or monk fruit is you still get to enjoy those desserts while staying sugar-free! Pretty desserts have great benefits in improving my mood and making my stomach happy.

So imagine yourself now, sitting outside in a beach lounge chair. You have a fabulous floppy sun hat, the sea or a lake in the distance, and a good book, like my current read, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. You’re calm and happy and friends are coming over for dinner. You’re not worried! You have the meat and grill ready, the table’s set, and the rest is in the fridge ready to go, including your beautiful coconut lime dessert mousse!

Now, if you please, list your favorite desserts in the comments you’d like to see with a new keto makeover!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical practitioner. Please consult your own physician for any medical advice. I share only what has worked for me and the recipes I love!

Coconut lime dessert mousse

Keto Coconut Lime Dessert Mousse
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

A creamy low carb coconut lime dessert or snack with a refreshing punch of lime.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 131 kcal
Author: Lauren
Ingredients
  • 1 can canned coconut milk (full-fat) 13-14 oz.
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin grass-fed
  • 1/2 cup sweetener confectioner's style (Swerve or monk fruit)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice (or use 4-5 drops of lime essential oil)
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut unsweetened
Instructions
  1. Prepare 6 ramekins or dessert dishes.
  2. Add about a fourth of a cup of the liquid portion of the coconut milk in a bowl with a tablespoon of gelatin.
  3. Mix it together for the gelatin to soften.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the rest of the coconut milk and 1 cup almond milk on a medium high heat until nearly boiling. The solidified coconut milk will melt down and mix with the almond milk.
  5. Take it off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  6. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the gelatin.
  7. Whisk together the gelatin and milk.
  8. Then whisk in the 1/2 cup of sweetener.
  9. Mix in the lime essential oil or zest and juice.
  10. Pour the mixture in a high power blender and blend on high for 40-50 seconds.
  11. Divide the mixture evenly between the 6 dessert dishes.
  12. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  13. Just before serving, sprinkle about a teaspoon of unsweetened shredded coconut on each as well as a bit of extra lime zest for color (optional).
Recipe Notes

Fat and calories per My Fitness Pal.

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