Tuesday 22 October 2013


When thinking in terms of gratitude, the term,"my cup over floweth" often comes to mind. But right now, my plate 'over floweth.' I am currently being pulled in many different directions, between my kiddos [especially with Audrey teething and Eli's freshly broken leg] my calling, house work and projects, and simply taking care of myself, I am feeling a little over whelmed. So, somethings gotta give. And right now, that 'something' is this little blog. I love writing, in fact it's a creative outlet I crave quite often, but I have so little time to sit these days, and when I find a moment to sit I find that my eyes automatically close - cause, well, I'm tired ha! So, for now I'm stepping back from recipe creating, motherhood musing, workout inspirations, and all the rest. I hope to be back sooner than later - but only time will tell :)

Sunday 13 October 2013

Thanksgiving [gluten free edition]

Thanksgiving weekend has rolled around once again here in Canada. I am so very grateful for the reminder that holidays, and this one in particular, are to pause and give thanks for all the many blessings in our lives. I am especially grateful for the family I was born into, the family my husband and I have created with one another, and the friends that are family in every sense of the word. I am grateful for health, strength, and a roof over my head that protects my sweet children and I - and my husband whom works tirelessly to keep us safe and sound in this home. I live a very blessed life. 

The past two years I enjoyed Thanksgiving on a vegan diet, and it was delicious in every way. This year, as I am still nursing [meat and I became friends again while I was pregnant, and I have continued to eat it to help with my fluctuating milk supply] I made the full on meal, along with wonderful contributions from my step Mom. Turkey, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, green salad, cranberry chutney, and stuffing and buns for those eating wheat. But seeing as my Step Mom and I are both gluten free, all desserts were made to accommodate this preference. I posted an instagram photo of the dessert spread and immediately received requests for recipes, so here is what I served up this thanksgiving for dessert!

Perfect Pumpkin Pie [recipe here]

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie [crust recipe here, and filling was improvised with pudding mix, coconut yogurt, and shredded coconut]

Nutella Fudge with Pistachios [recipe found here]

and Chocolate dipped Madeleine's [recipe here with the only tweaks being replacing the sugar and flour with coconut sugar and gluten free flour mix]

EVERYTHING was a hit, and the pies were served with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Have fun whipping these up, devouring them with loved ones, and creating lasting memories. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Numbers Game

When I was a pre-teen I went on a road trip with my cousins and aunt. We drove down to Montana, shopped, stayed in a hotel, and ate out. To my pre-teen self this was bliss! Who are we kidding, that is still bliss...other than eating out every meal. During the trip we made a few stops into Payless Shoes. At this point, Payless wasn't in Canada yet, and was a supreme deal. SO, I shopped to my hearts content getting some shoes for the upcoming school year. Clogs were all the rage, so I acquired a couple pairs of clogs, and some heels to accentuate the fact that I was already towering above not only all the other girls, but every single boy (except one, so naturally I had a crush on him.) Life was good. Until I got home...
Wanting to show off my spoils to my siblings and parents, I promptly paraded around the living room in my new shoes once we arrived home. To my absolute horror, I discovered I had bout TWO PAIRS of the exact.same.clogs. Oh My. My face turned red as my older and younger sister both laughed, grinding my nose in my humiliating oversight. (In my defense, the clogs were bought on separate trips to Payless.) The worst part though was that the sizes of the two pairs were different - one pair being a 9, and the other 11. Yep, 11. I was firmly entrenched in my obsession of being tall and growing up (remember how I also bought heels?) and sometime between my first trip to Payless and the second, I decided to upgrade myself to a larger shoe sizes to allow for all my planned growth. It made sense in my 11 year old brain.
There I was, red in the face, two pairs of brown fake leather clogs, and both pairs sporting wildly different shoe sizes. AND I was out $20 on that pair of size 9's I was never going to wear! My best friends Mom swooped in and bought my size 9's (she wore a size 7 I later found out, but was there for my fashion show and took pity on me) and I clod-hopped around middle school for a full year in over sized clogs before realizing the blisters on my size 9 feet were not worth it. 
Fast forward to when I was sixteen. Playing volleyball day in and day out, practically living in spandex shorts, I insisting on wearing Small sized t-shirts. I definitely would have rocked a Medium with more style and flair (and less mid-driff exposure on my 5'10" frame) but insisted on the Small because only fat people wore Medium. Yep, that's what I thought. I was literally obsessed with being as thin as possible, while playing competitive sports year round, and yet couldn't see the strong athlete in front of me. My day was made, or fell apart, based on two things: How my size Small shirt was fitting that day (clinging?bunching?stomach showing?) and whether I was able to pinch anything on my hip. Anything to pinch was reason enough, in my mind, to stay home. I was a mess - and it all came down to numbers.
Jump on over to being pregnant with Darius. Darius was my first pregnancy that stuck around long enough to let me meet my little one (and I'm one lucky Mama to have Darius with me five years later!) Through my pregnancy I revised how I was eating, exercising, and thinking about my body. My body was capable of so much more than I had previously given it credit for! And then labor opened my eyes even more! If you want to learn how strong you really are, and truly gain great strength from within you, go for a natural, drug free labor. Wow - I mean honestly. After delivering Darius without any pain med, seeing my body not only grow a human being, but deliver a human being (mind blowing!) I gained respect for my body and started treating it even better, and researching ways in which to improve my health. The scale continued to drop, lower and lower and lower after having Darius, but for the first time in my life I wasn't focused on the scale or what I was wearing. I was focused on nourishing my body so it would have what it needed to nourish Darius's. 
With each subsequent pregnancy my knowledge has grown, as I continue to research on an almost daily basis. Approaching my body from a health and wellness point of view, I now use the numbers on the scale as a gauge. I know that if the scale jumps suddenly that something is out of balance, and simply readjust my diet until I find the culprit (recently being wheat) and restore balance. 
The numbers on the scale, stitched into your pants, or embossed in your shoes do not matter. What matters is finding balance, peace and harmony in your body. Loving your body for what it can do, for it's raw power, and for the possibilities it opens up for you is far more important than the size of your shirt (although, for the record, I have embraced Medium, and it feels MUCH more comfortable than Small ever did. And it's long enough!) Embrace the opportunities that are your's for the taking!

And while you're at it, do some good for those whom aren't able to harness the power within themselves due to physical and mental disabilities; help find a cure for Rett Syndrome. To sign up for an awesome 5km run/walk/whatever you want to do to cover the distance, race CLICK HERE. But hurry! Registration closes October 3rd, 2013.

Saturday 28 September 2013


My teenage years were rough. Not in a rebellious, picked on, or poverty stricken way, but in a hormonal roller coaster sort of way. Which doesn't sound so bad after the other scenarios, but trust me, it was bad. I didn't think I had any control over what the day would be like, giving up my power of choice without being aware or conscience of the decision. Slowly over time, I gained a moment of clarity - probably in a counseling session, but I don't remember the location, just the feeling - that I am in complete control of my day no matter what is going on around me or inside me. It was like a giant light bulb suddenly flooding my whole being with light; an ah ha! moment so huge that it felt like my entire being was energized and redirected. Well, quite frankly it was. From that day forward I chose to look for and focus on the good, to smile and warm my face with the sun, and to use my journal as a sounding board and a place to record all that I'm grateful for - big and small. At first, I struggled to find just five things I was grateful for. As I continued to flex my 'gratitude muscles' finding and focusing on the good and grateful moments in each day became second nature. I was doing what felt right, and following my decision to be happy everyday, which made being grateful second nature.

As it turns out, by following what felt right I may have stumbled upon a great truth ahead of  science. This video displays in a brilliantly simple way the power of gratitude. Watch. Learn. And spread the love.

Thursday 26 September 2013

No Poo

I'm sure you've heard the term "No Poo" by now, and aren't thinking this is a post about constipation. BUT for those that need a bit of an explanation, "No Poo" refers to a hair care method that shuns modern shampoo and condition for ingredients you'll find in your kitchen. After doing some research on the apple cider vinegar and baking soda method, I found that while some swear by these two ingredients, most people were ending up with dry and brittle hair. SO, while I really want to avoid chemicals in my hair, dry and brittle hair just didn't sound worth the swap. Then I found information about using raw honey for hair care! Honey is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, completely natural and right up my alley! I gave this method a go and wanted to give my feedback to all of you.

The method: Mix 1tbsp honey with 3tbsp warm water [add essential oils if you wish] and massage into the scalp. Don't worry about washing the hair strands, just the scalp. After the honey has been distributed evenly and really worked into the hair, wash out with plenty of warm water.

What I found: The first few days of switching to honey were great! My hair was soft, I was able to style it easily, and it held it's shape without product. But then, as expected, my hairs natural oils began to take over. An adjustment period is expected with any new hair care regimen, but when the 'adjustment' means getting used to increasingly greasy locks, I was not willing to go any further. My soft hair turned into slightly sticky hair, and while it still held a style it was due to a build up of oils. All my reading says that three weeks is a good amount of time to give this method the time it needs to work its magic on your hair...but this magic turned out to be more of an illusion in my case. Seriously. Right after washing my hair, it would be a greasy, sticky mess...not the sexy Mama look I'd like to rock when i find a moment to shower hah!

In a nutshell, after three weeks of trial I recommend you save yourself the weeks of tortuously greasy locks, and find a natural shampoo that you love and can stand behind. For me, live clean* is a brand I can stand behind, and is natural enough that I use it on my kiddos as well. It is definitely one of my favorite things!

*this is not a paid or sponsored post, simply my own findings and opinions

Monday 23 September 2013

Rancho Vignola

A quick FYI for those who would like to try something truly delicious! There is a company called rancho vignola here in Canada (based out of British Columbia) that sources out the freshest nuts, seeds, and dries fruits from the current seasons crops. They then make their delicious finds available to consumers at wholesale costs, which is beautiful music to my ears! Last year was my first time ordering from them, and the whole experience was wonderful - my favorite part being eating said deliciousness. My boys had never enjoyed raisins until trying Rancho's organic Thompson raisins. I purchased a 5lbs bag last year, thinking it would last a year since I would be the only one eating them. The bag lasted a month. The raisins were THAT good. So if you're looking for dried fruit, nuts, and seeds that are so fresh and delicious that you'll be looking forward to the next years crop to try out even more goodness, check out rancho vignola. But hurry, orders need to be in by September 27th*.

*order minimum is $500 so gather up your friends and put an order together! 

Wednesday 18 September 2013


Back in mid August my sweet little boys planned a pink princess party for my 29th birthday. I knew they were planning something based on all the questions Darius was asking me ["Mom, do you like Star Wars or Princesses?"] but it was still a wonderful surprise! I was sent upstairs when my Handsome Husband arrived home from work, and was told to wait until I was called down. When I was finally invited to join in the fun, I found a table decorated with pink table cloth, plates, napkins, and cups, a crown, and princess party blowers. AND a princess castle pinata sitting on the counter waiting to be smashed after dinner. I felt special, loved, and spoiled by my lovelies. It's always a wonderful surprise to have so much thought and planning put into a celebration! 

Darius and Eli made me special birthday flowers

Not only did my boys shower me with all things pink, but they also gave me an iPad as a gift. Now, I'm not knocking iPad's, or my men's choice in gifts, but an iPad is wasted on me. I have a laptop, I have an iPhone, and an iPad just feels like the grey area between the two. So, after giving it a shot for a week [honestly it took me a few days to muster the courage to share my true feeling about the gift. The three of them were so excited to give the iPad to me, that telling them I wasn't digging it was a daunting task.] I decided to return it for something I would truly love and use. Any guesses what that would be?

A pair of bright yellow Merrel barefoot runners to round out my sneaker collection :) Some of you may think my swap out, a pair of shoes instead of an iPad, is crazy BUT these shoes get way more wear, and I LOVE the colour so much I wear them just for fun too! Who doesn't need a pair of yellow runners, or my "happy shoes" as I call them? 
When my knees are healed up I will put these new kicks through the ringer and give a review of them, but for now, I am completely in love with my happy shoes, and the wonderful men in my life that gave them to me. 

If you have a new pair of shoes that you're looking to break in with a race, check out this 5km run, and worthy cause, happening where you are!