Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Do you feel it? The shifting of gears when something really big is coming your way? Man, I feel that way right now! I am surrounded by positive, successful people! I love to wake up in the morning, knowing that each day is full of possibilities, and the opportunity to create my dreams.

I just finished a business call with my team, and my favourite quote from tonight's motivation session is:

"ANYTHING is possible if your motivation is strong enough!"

This statement sums up how I feel. The world is my oyster - or barley pearl as some might say ha! - and I am achieving my goals, and dreams!

   The power of the mind is amazing! If you're in a downward spiral, look to someone or something that is going up, up, UP and decide that is the direction you are going from this moment on! Financial, health, whatever area in your life needs improvement, it is completely possible - all you have to do is decide to change, and do it!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Brotherly Love [sneak peek]

Our decorations are up, the stockings are hung [on the railing, but really, I'm having troubles with the idea of drilling hooks into the mantel], and the advent calendar is telling me we only have 29 days until Christmas! 29 days! Yikes I have a lot to do!!! This week, once the tree was up and decorated, Darius started asking for presents to put under the tree. Naturally, I had nothing ready for him ha! So, my little man got to work, figured out what he wanted to make for his brother, and is the first one to have a present ready to give. How sweet is that! Here is a little sneak peek of what Darius chose to make his his baby brother:

Darius chose the elephant design, the fabric, the color of the onesie - everything! Seeing my boys together makes the sleepless nights, vomit drenched dress shirts, and poo stained furniture all worth it!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Castile Heaven

A true multi purpose, full service product is hard to come by. Sometimes it will be fantastic at one thing, but really lack in all other 'suggested' uses. Well, I've found one that holds up across the board! Have you tried Dr.Bronner's Magic Soap?

photo courtesy of Dr.Bronner's Website

Dr.Bronner's Castile soap is touted as an 18 in 1 solution, and I'll admit, I don't know all 18 uses. But, what I do know is that it smells FABULOUS!!! I have the peppermint scent, however I've heard [and yet to see myself] that it comes in many scents, including lavender - I'd love to get my hands on a bottle of the lavender scent! Not only is this a fair trade product [for more about fair trade, look here] but it actually cleans every surface better than most cleaning products out there, while being gentle enough to be used as a body or laundry detergent! [I have an he machine, so I have not used this to wash laundry, but others have tried it and loved the results]

Here is a list of the suggested uses straight from Dr.Bronner's site:

"How should I use the liquid soap?

For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour several drops of soap full-strength onto hands-washcloth-loofah. Lather up, scrub down, rinse off, and tingle fresh and clean.

For other uses: Dilute from one part soap into 40 parts water for light cleaning, to cutting it in half or using it full strength for heavy-duty grease-cutting jobs.

For laundry: Use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup for one regular load; adjust as needed depending on the hardness of your water. Adding a dash of baking soda makes it even better.

My liquid soap turned cloudy. What happened, and what should I do to clear it up again?
Our liquid soaps are so concentrated that they are nearly solid. Thus, when the temperature drops to about 50° F, the fatty acids begin to solidify and cloud out. Just put the soap in a warm room, or warm water, and it will clear up at about 70° F. But clear or cloudy, the soap works just the same."

"What are the uses and dilutions for your soap?

Although the label claims eighteen uses, we do not have the space to write all these uses on the label and still accommodate for my grandfather’s philosophy, as well as the new labeling laws that are periodically implemented. In reality, there are far more than eighteen uses, as people constantly write in to tell us about yet another utility of the soap. We won’t detail them all, but below are some of the major uses and dilutions.

For everyday body-washing: Get wet and pour soap full-strength onto hands-washcloth-loofah. Lather up, scrub down, rinse off, and tingle fresh and clean.

For other uses, dilute from one part soap into 40 parts water for light cleaning, to cutting it in half or using it full strength for heavy-duty grease-cutting jobs.

For shampoo, people have been telling us for years that they like using our soaps to shampoo their hair. Now, paired with our new Citrus Conditioning Rinse and Organic Leave-In Conditioning Crème, it works better than ever. For details, click here.

For the laundry, use 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup for one regular load; adjust as needed depending on hardness of water. I've been told that adding a dash of baking soda makes it even better.
For pets, lather up well and apply to their body. Be careful to keep the soap and the lather away from their eyes. I find a mixture of peppermint and eucalyptus works best.

For tooth brushing, apply a drop or two of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (I prefer the peppermint) to a wet toothbrush. Brush as you normally would, rinsing accordingly. Be careful about using more than a couple drops of soap, as you might start foaming at the mouth (last time I checked "rabid chic" was not hip). Many people with sensitive or softer teeth like to use our soap as toothpaste because it lacks abrasives."

Get yourself a bottle [I got my 32oz bottle at Trader Joe's for $5.99 back in July, which is a smokin' deal considering on the Dr.Bronner's site the same bottle is $16.99] and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Big Dreams

When I was little,  nothing was out of reach. I knew I could do, and be, anything I set my mind to. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, many of us loose that sense of courage and self belief. We eventually are knocked down one too many times, and think,"wow, I don't think I can do this."
Recently I did a dream exercise that restored my childhood grandeur. As I worked through the steps, I felt the hope of possibility wash over me. Truly, there are no limits to what you can achieve - you only have to dream up the possibility, then make it a reality.
If you'd like to work through the steps I did, here they are! Enjoy - and remember DREAM BIG!

Take 5 to 10 minutes, and focus on this exercise. Do not stop writing for at least 5 minutes.
 Fast forward three years, and write down the details of your ideal life. How big would you dream if you knew you could not fail?   Where would you live?    How would you live?     How would you spend your time?    Who would you spend your time with?     Would you travel?      Where would you go?      What would your personal income be?      How much money would you have in your bank account?      What would you do for fun?       What charities or philanthropic causes would you support with your time, money, and resources?      Who would you help?       What would a typical day look and feel like?

Now that you know what you want - how are you going to achieve it? Make your action plan, and start today; there is no time like the present to start living.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mercedes Macarons

First, thank you to all who have expressed such heartfelt love, concern, and support for my family and I. We all truly appreciate all of you, and are gratful to have you in our lives. If you are wanting to know the funeral arrangements, please contact me at and I will be happy to share them with you.

As I was getting ready to write earlier this week, I caught a glimpse of a familiar face on my blogger dashboard. My curiousity peeked, I opened up the link for the House of Smiths and saw a beautiful sight - the smiling face of a great friend. Mercedes White [and her sister Rachel too!] and I spent many hours together in our premarried lives. We worked in the cosmetics industry together, often using one another as guinea pigs, and conincidently, my Amazing Husband and I officially became 'official' at the White house. Not that you needed the history, but its fun right? ha! Anyways, Mercedes is now living in Utah, and is the owner and creator of a successful specialty shop. What does she sell you ask? None other than French Macarons! These little delights took Mercedes a year to perfect [not an easy baking task to take on; infact, having perfected the art in only a year is impressive!] and are now for sale at markets around Utah, and this weekend at the Bijou Market in Provo, UT. Mercedes also has a website [it's here if you want to check it out!] where she sells her mixes [ hello Christmas presents!] and provides baking tips to all.  Mercedes also teaches classes, and if you're able to attend one do so!

If you were going to perfect the art of a specialty dish, what would it be? Would you focus on desserts or main dishes? I love the idea of perfecting French Macarons - so dainty, and beautiful to display!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Life and Death

Tuesday evening, I drove for forty minutes to get to my Grandparent's home in a small town. My boys were tucked safely into bed, a CD on nutrition and health played on the stereo, and my car was humming along. I was trying to distract myself from what I knew I would be doing when I arrived at my Grandparents. I'm not very good at saying goodbye.
I walked into a very peaceful moment. My mom and two of my cousins were at Grandpa's bedside, holding his hand and talking to him. With his right arm sore, the sweet spot to be was on his left, where you could gently hold his hand and not worry about waking him. Grandpa dozed in and out as we talked to him, as we tried to laugh more than cry. His breathing was laboured, but no cough came to clear the congestion away.
As the night closed in, I knew I needed to get home, but I didn't want to say goodbye. Goodbye is so hard to say, especially when you know in your heart it's the last goodbye you'll be privileged to say. Each of us were given time with Grandpa alone, and this is what I said:

"Grandpa, when I was eight years old, you gave me my first Book of Mormon. Inside the front cover you wrote," Dear Katie, We know the Lord will bless you in many ways for reading this book. As you read, study, ponder the words herein you'll come to know what we know, "That this is God's word to us." He will bless you in other ways too. You'll soon realize that your ability to read and understand will grow. All our love to a very special girl, Grandpa and Grandma James"

"Thank you for always telling me I'm special. Thank you for always loving me. Thank you for being my Grandpa. Thank you for making us a forever family, and for showing all of us the way to live. Thank you for giving us strength, and showing us what strength is. I love you Grandpa. I know - we all know - how hard you've fought, and it's okay to let go now. Until we meet again, know that I love you, just as I know that you love me."

I kissed my sweet Grandpa's cheeks, squeezed his hand lightly, and turned to go. As I hugged everyone that was lingering longer, I felt the heaviness of the moment on all that were present. Death is not an easy subject to digest, or a moment that can be bore alone. I'm grateful Grandma was not alone.

At 11am on Wednesday, November 16th, my gentle giant slipped peacefully away. Ronald Keith James was a husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, friend, teacher, and missionary. Thank you for blessing our lives with your love, and for teaching us humility by example. Thank you for being my Grandpa. I love you, and will miss you until we meet again.

my cousin Lindsay wrote about Grandpa on her blog. If you'd like to see more pictures, and hear more about this amazing Grandpa I've been blessed to have, you can check it out here.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Monday Monday

How was your weekend? There is just something magical about Monday's - a proverbial blank slate if you will. Sometimes a weekend is wonderful, productive, and full of happy family time. And sometimes...sometimes its not ha! Either way, I love Monday and the fresh perspective it brings. Here are my "SUPER-DUPER-BIG-IDEAS" for the week [thanks goes to Darius for a wonderful new household saying!]:

Go running 3x

do yoga 1x

play volleyball 1x

secure a full house for my Private Business Reception [if you want an invite, email me at!]

sew Christmas Eve Pajama Shorts

send in all warranty paperwork [yep, we've been living here a month and still haven't done this opps!]

go to choir and sing my heart out! Ha!

What are your great intentions for the week? My thought is, if I don't complete all of these its okay - it's striving to complete them all that will slowly tick them off my list!

*none of the photos are my own, but seriously doesn't that volleyball pic make you many to play??? If so, send me an email [] and I'll tell you when and where you can do so! And my family is that loving and cuddling for the most part but we've yet to get a pic of us in matching pajamas.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Handcrafted Christmas

I never stop thinking about Christmas. Never. I listen to Christmas music year round; I look forward to the time when every house is covered in lights; a tree glows in the window; and carolers sing on door steps and street corners. I love the thought of cuddling up with a cup of hot chocolate, a fire, and my Amazing Husband while the kids doze happily in their warm beds. You get the picture? This year it was decided that we would embark on a new tradition, one that takes thought, planning, and talent to pull off: Handcrafted Gifts for Everyone on Our List! For one another, our kids, our family and friends, a lot of time and preparation is going into what will be given as tokens of love, appreciation, and gratitude. I've been slowly getting items completed[since February], but have left the bulk of the work until now, and my list is long and daunting...but oddly exhilarating at the same time[we'll see if I still feel that way in a month...] You see, once you think of the PERFECT gift for someone, the anticipation of watching them open and enjoy it, is worth all the effort. Here are just a few of the projects on my list to make:

Aprons [his and hers]

Pajama Shorts

Crochet Headbands


If you're looking for ideas to incorporate this idea into your Christmas gifts, there are a plethora or tutorials online. Some of my favorite site for handcrafted goodness are:


Make It Love It

House of Smiths

Jones Design Company

Ana White

Check out the sources, get inspired, and don't forget to have fun! Darius was looking at ideas today trying to figure out what to make for his brother - it almost brought a tear to my eye!! I of course only gave a hint of what all will be completed in my craft space, but I look forward to sharing the completed projects soon!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Both Good

When given the choice between playing with Buzz Light year or Woody, Darius would say,"ahhh, they're both good, both good." No decision will really be made, and he'll happily take both toys and go play. But what if you're in a situation where you'd have the same sweet answer as Mr.Darius, but you truly have to decide? Well, that's the pickle I'm in.

             Do I train and compete in a Fitness Competition?

               Or train for and run another Marathon as planned?

Decisions, decisions. What decisions are you debating right now? When all the choices are great, how do you choose?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Joy in Giving

As I spoon fed Eli his Green Shake this morning, I watched a video that resonated with me on such a deep level that tears welled in my eyes.  At this time of year, when the weather turns colder and the need of those less fortunate becomes more apparent, this video is a good reminder. Please watch:

We are all human, we are all connected - we are all children trying to find our way. How can you lift the burden of those around you? India does not have a monoply on suffering - we can serve where ever we are.

Thanks Cheri for sharing this.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


When I was in grade seven, I was the 'new kid' in school, and looking for a way to make friends. Enter volleyball season. As soon as the posting for try outs went up, I ran home and told my Dad. It was literally music to his ears to hear one of his children wanted to follow in his footsteps ha! My Dad is was a serious athlete in his day, playing baseball, basketball, swimming, and even playing volleyball in university. While many of his children played basketball from a young age, I was the first to express interest in volleyball, and boy did I get attention for it ha! Everyday after school we were out in the Quonset volleying, setting, and running drills. By the end of my first season I was MVP, and I never looked back!
I played all through high school loving every minute of it, but haven't had the chance to play much since then.
With our new home has come a lot of new to us experiences, one of them being our church congregation. Our new church congregation is involved in a semi-annual volleyball tournament, and so this past week I had a practice, and a tournament that brought back such amazing memories. Not only is it great to switch up your exercise routine to avoid boredom, but to reawaken neglected muscle groups. I came home from both nights on a high, loving the bruises I knew would be surfacing by morning, and the soreness I knew would be minor muscle aches soon. I'm already dreaming of the next tournament, and a way to make volleyball a part of my regular life again.

Sand is one of the hardest surfaces to jump on, and yet look at this! Pure power, drive and determination at the 2004 Olympic Games!

What did you love when you were younger that you haven't enjoyed in a while? Is there a creative outlet that could bring you as much joy now as it did then? Sometimes you need to look back to find joy moving forward.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Positively Awesome

The parable of the seed rings true in so many facets of life. From thought springs intention, word, and action just as from a seed springs roots, shoots, and eventually a tree. I have been employing this principle in my life, but also in the way I parent my sweet little men. Last night, as my amazing husband walked in the door, he was greeted with calm, happy music, two boys in the midst of melt downs, and me smiling. Needless to say he was confused ha! But here is what I've found: if I join the boys in their brain busting screams, the level of stress in our home only rises[shocking I know]. However, if I stay calm, they eventually drop down to my level. To have a happy, even keeled home, it all starts with the Mama.
I have so many items on my daily 'to do' list, from cooking, cleaning, and laundry, to running, weight lifting, building my business, and blogging - and that's not even including my role as Mama to two sweet boys! As I write down everything I need to do that day, it can be overwhelming. The sort of overwhelming where you don't even want to start ticking things off ha! I've decided though that my list is now my challenge - Can I get it all done, while still putting my boys first? Now I burst out of the 'starting gate' [bed] with a smile on my face. The time in each day is numbered and limited, however what I choose to spend my time doing is up to me! Do I want to be accomplishing tasks, or do I want to end the day wondering what I spent my time doing? Life is what you make of it - and my life is positively awesome!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Do you remember my post about a quick health fix? If you don't you can read it here. Health and wellness are major areas of study for me - as well as millions around the world. I want to share with you a vitamin, mineral, antioxidant formula that I found with AMAZING health benefits. And these benefits are not just found in testimonials - they're found in the lab. With two double blind studies documenting the effectiveness of the Vemma formula, and clinical trials showing actual lab results [blood test results] where the bio markers IMPROVE ENORMOUSLY with the use of this formula, I couldn't turn away from it. Here's why:
 Over $40 Billion is spent every year in America on pain medications. Pain and inflammation are HUGE problems, and bring in big dollars for the pharmaceutical industry. What if I told you that mangosteen and minerals [the Vemma formula] are a powerful anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever [while being completely and totally NATURAL] that will reduce pain and inflammation in two weeks by a measurable amount.
  High cholesterol is an issue that is so prevalent across North America that even Cheerios boasts its cholesterol lowering benefits. What if I told you that Vemma lowers cholesterol by 30 -40 points on AVERAGE in that same 2 -3 weeks time frame. That is HUGE!
In a clinical trial preformed at the        by     Vemma increased immunity. The ramifications of increased immunity are countless - less sick days at school or work meaning more productivity and income; less missed training sessions on your way to your next event, whether that is a marathon, triathlon, fitness competition or other; decreased susceptibility to virus and bacterial infections that take over society [remember the avian flu? mad cow disease? hand and foot disease? The list could go on!]
Above I mentioned just a few of the positive health benefits, all of them stemming from a simple solution. If there are vitamin or mineral deficiency in your body, Vemma will correct them with its full spectrum of vitamins, and 65 minerals [all plant sourced,organic and bio-available]. If your body is riddled with free radicals [which, lets face it, even the healthiest diet and lifestyle does not combat all the free radicals we ingest from our environment and foods and create from our activities] the wide spectrum of antioxidants, including 43 xanthones [found in the mangosteen fruit] mop them up and flush them from your body. Xanthones are described as "free radical scavengers" by and have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-prolific properties [read: anti-cancer, as the spreading of cancer is called 'prolification'.]
Many different products have been brought to my attention by those consuming them, or contemplating doing so. I have looked at cleansing systems, weight loss systems, meal replacement systems, juices and pills. None had all I was looking for in a supplement. Then Vemma was brought to my attention by a Nutritionist, and after researching the product, I can honestly say this is something that anyone and everyone can benefit from.
IF you want to invest in your health, send me an email, or leave a comment, and lets chat! You will never regret prioritizing your health.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Whipped Coconut Cream

I had a request for the 'how to' on whipped coconut cream. This is seriously, the EASIEST little treat to whip up and serve on desserts, so I don't know why I didn't think of it myself! But alas, I found it when I was searching for an alternative topping to garnish my vegan pumpkin pie

Whipped Coconut Cream

premium, full fat canned coconut milk
optional: powdered sugar

place the can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Once it has chilled completely, open the can [DO NOT SHAKE IT, TURN IT, OR OTHERWISE JOSTLE THE CONTENTS BEFOREHAND] and scoop out the thick cream sitting ontop into a large bowl, or standmixer bowl.

Either whip with a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, until smooth and creamy, then enjoy! [optional:add icing sugar to thick the whipped cream even more, but I found it plenty rich and thick without added sugar]

What would you love to top with Coconut Cream? I enjoyed it thouroughly on my pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but I bet it would be equally good on cake, or as a dip for fruit.