Wednesday 31 August 2011

Rainy Day

After two full days of rain, when we woke up this morning and saw the rain drops falling, yet again, my sweet little Darius was more than a little despondent. Seeing his little shoulders fall as he looked out the window, I knew I had my work cut out for me today. Time to put on my entertainer hat!

We had a camp out [in a REAL tent!] fought super villains, made cookies [just wait until I show you these babies! I'll post about them later as they deserve their very own post] and had a delicious warm breakfast for supper [yep, I'm that cool ha!]

My little Captain America. Today I was Thor...there is no picture evidence

Darius seriously passed out leaning on the counter while baking cookies! I never knew baking was so exhausting ha!

And now for the delicious breakfast we had for supper. It will warm you up, and bring some good old fashioned comfort on a cold day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Katie's German Pancakes

6 eggs
1 cup soy milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
5 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 450F. While your oven warms, and your house is finally warm in these pre-furnace months, place the coconut oil in your pan (I used a 9x13) and set it aside.
Place the remaining ingredients in a blender, and mix that goodness up!
When the oven is preheated, place the pan in the oven for three minutes to melt the coconut oil.
Remove the pan, with melted coconut oil from the oven, pour in the pancake mixture, and return to the oven. Set your timer for 17 minutes, and wait patiently!
When the pancake is baked, remove from the oven and let stand for a couple of minutes before serving. Score the bake (as pictured above) and serve with berries, nut butters, or honey.

What breakfast do you love to have for dinner? Or do you stick to tradition and only eat breakfast in the a.m.?

Monday 29 August 2011

Work it OUT!

Following a night of interrupted sleep, my nerves were feeling a little frazzled this morning. So, as I sat down to eat breakfast with my little man, I jotted down my "to do" list, and topping the list was a bold

So, that's just what I did! If you're feeling a little rough around the edges, a good sweat session will help restore your focus, and might even put a little pep in your step - so you might as well give it a go!

The Workout Breakdown

Jillian Michael's Amazing Arms workout (as seen in the July/August 2011 Fitness Magazine)
10 reps, 2 sets of the following:
                -  One-Legged Curl 10lbs dumbbells
                - Hip Heist
                - Staggered Push-Up
                - Frog Hop
                - Forearm Press

Followed by 10 reps, 2 sets of:

From a standing position, hinge at the hip while keeping legs strong and straight. Reach for your foot while lifting the kettlebell up with the other hand (pictured above)
                - kettlebell windmills 16.5lbs kettlebell
                - kettlebell swings 35lbs kettlebell

And finished up with:
                - Self - Slim and Sleek Fast Work out DVD (using 5lbs dumbbells)

Total time was approximately 50 minutes. I now feel human again, and am back to being the happy-energetic Mama I want to be; definitely time well spent!

Have you had a great workout today? Do you have any favorite workout DVDs for when your motivation is lagging? And, do you write a plethora of to do lists? I think I'm addicted to them!

Friday 26 August 2011

Perfect Health [quick fix!]

What if I told you that I have a magic solution to all your health woes? That it is as simple as popping a pill? That it DOES NOT cost you your savings? And you are not required to sign up with some Ponzi Scheme to reap the benefits? Well, in a nut shell, I do. Curious? Read on!

While on my recent family vacation, we stopped in Utah to visit some wonderful friends. These friends have three girls, we have two boys, and our husbands are closer than most brothers. Estelle and I did not know one another quite as well before our vacation, and I can honestly say we bonded over many things over the few days we spent together. We have very similar views on health, nutrition, and what keeps a family ticking - and all this bonding led to the discussion of a book and its valuable information.

"The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell is incredible in its depth and breadth. It covers nutrition as a whole citing over a hundred studies. Conclusions are not simply given, but studies are explained, broken down into what they mean, and how the study findings affect you and me. In a nutshell, Campbell clearly shows that nutrition is the number one factor in health. Whether this statement is surprising to you or not, you should read this book.

Since listening to "The China Study" audio book I have been enjoying a plant based nutrition plan.[I shy away from the word diet, as it's true meaning has been stripped from it, and replaced by a nasty sense of deprivation - so I enjoy a nutrition plan instead.] I eat no meat [land or sea] or dairy, and eat a lot of vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, nuts, beans, grains, and occasionally eggs. I have more energy, feel lighter on my feet, and have been met with little to no resistance from sweet Darius...and some from my amazingly supportive husband, but only when it comes to whats on his plate, not mine.

By simply switching to a plant based nutrition plan, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, MS [the list goes on] can be halted, if not reversed. Add in moderate exercise [meaning thirty minutes, most days] and you have the recipe - ahem, quick fix - for Perfect Health. This is the message of Dr.Campbell's book in a nutshell, but please, please, please, read his book and get the facts for yourself. You'll thank me later.

This is not a paid review of "The China Study" but rather my opinions and views on a very well written scientific paper.

Saturday 20 August 2011

Sitting Pretty

Darius and Elias proved to be amazing travellers - over quite a long distance too!  Here's a little montage of my main man in action....or rather, strapped into a five point harness and not able to move much at all ha!

If you're wanting your own fabulous neck pillow for your next road trip see this post for the deets! Happy travels!

Friday 19 August 2011


Today I have been marveling over my sweet little mans ability to pop TWO teeth through at once, without so much as telling me he's uncomfortable. Seriously, what baby does that? And then I hop on my computer, one click led to another, and I read about baby Ruby Jane*.

It breaks my heart when families are having to say good bye to a baby or parents* long before either are ready for it. What a miracle life is, and a joyous blessing each moment we get to spend with our loved ones is. I am grateful for my sweet little boys, and my macho man of a husband who wraps me up in his arms and calms all my worries. Life is too short to be wrapped up in the negative, whether they are negative thoughts swirling around your mind, or you're surroundings leave much to be desired. Find the beauty in life - look for it, IT IS THERE.

*both of these families have foundations established, and I thought I would leave the links for them here:

What are you doing TODAY to show gratitude for the life you have been given?

Wednesday 17 August 2011


"Good job Mom!"

Darius is known to say this to me when he is REALLY pleased with my performance. On Friday of last week, this is just what I heard as the cake was ceremoniously placed in front of the two of us. Call me a sucker, but this phrase has my number, and I at times do things that I know will prompt it. And so it was on Friday, when this sweet little boy of mine looked up at me with big brown eyes and queried,"is it my birthday too???"

"Sure it is sweetie pie!"

"Wow! Thanks Mom!"

And so the birthday cake he requested I make became his birthday cake too, and it was delicious! Darius is a lover of all things sweet, especially in the ice cream category. So, when asked what kind of cake I should make for the occasion, he replied simply,"ice cream cake." Ice cream cake is a cinch to construct, but when trying to make it without dairy or sugar, it presents a wee bit of a challenge. With a bit of creativity, and A LOT of banana, we made a cake that everyone enjoyed, and made Darius' 'birthday' special.

Whose praise do you love receiving? Are you willing to go the extra mile for that someone specials big smile?

Sunday 14 August 2011

Naturally Perfect

When it comes to colds, my sweet little Darius turns to the dramatics. Middle of the night coughing fits are aggravated by sucking back boogers so hard he's going to self inflict a nose bleed over the top sniffing, and I'll often be told,"I don't feel really good," when I ask how he's doing.  Now, I'm no doctor, but I AM a Mom who likes to sleep through the night. So, after the past couple of nights of interrupted sleep (and not by the six month old, but by my sweet little three year old) I turned on my thinking cap, and out popped some remedies I could feel good about.

Honey on a cracker, served up at bed time is a natural cough suppressant. Honey is a natural antibacterial agent, and while it soothes a scratchy throat, it also helps fight the infection. Please make sure you are not serving this to a child under twelve months of age though, as there is a perceived risk of botulism in infants.  Feel free to brush your big boys teeth afterwards, but don't let him swallow much in the way of liquids, which may simply wash away the protective coating.

Here's a little bit more about honey: "Honey is also being used as a wound dressing in Australia because of its antimicrobial properties, sometimes working better than topical antibiotics against difficult to treat bacteria."

Second, I have a serious beef with humidifiers (hello bacteria breeding machine spewing particles of mold into the air!) but when a little man is congested, and the air is so dry all you hear is hacking and coughing coming from the room next door. So, what I do is boil some water on the stove, place in a bowl, and set it on a high-ish surface in my main mans room. Problem solved! [Just don't do this step until your boy has gone to sleep so the water is not slashed and sloshed onto the carpet. Oh, and also don't put the water too close to your sleeping angel as accidents can happen...just be careful and use common sense is all I'm saying.]

Lastly, and this one is a no brainer, but still counts - keep your kiddo hydrated. When a throat is already irritated, there's nothing like dehydration to kick that coughing fit into over-drive!

What are your favorite natural remedies?

Thursday 11 August 2011

Vacation Fare

When you think of "vacation" or "road trip" food, what comes to mind? Greasy, heavy, too rich foods are typical (hello Munchin' Mix, Cheetos, and nightly desserts!) but this was not so on our adventure. We packed a cooler of snacks for the road, including baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cherries, Cookie dough bites, Cliff bars, and Fruit Source bars. Then, our week in San Diego was made all the more enjoyable with fabulous home cooked food (and some meals provided by Trader Joe's.) If you're looking for some dinner hour inspiration, here's a look at some of the meals we enjoyed during the week:

Sunday: Mexican Inspired Salad, and Chocolate Mousse
Monday:Cornbread Quiche
Tuesday: All Bean Chili for lunch, then Pizza, watermelon, and a Green Salad for supper
Wednesday: Chinese Food
Thursday: Chocolate French Toast (breakfast), and Felafel's for Supper
Friday: Lasagna, a fabulous rice salad (will share with you soon) and the most AMAZING garlic toast ever even though it was rather crisp from too much time under the broiler ha!

I hope these ideas help you out this week. Seriously, I would recreate any and all of these meals, oh and I'd also recreate tonight's delicious salad even with my liberal alterations to the linked recipe.

What do you like to eat on vacation? Do you prefer to cook while away from home? Or do you long for a break from the kitchen?

Monday 8 August 2011

Six States

On our little road trip we have travelled through a total of six states [Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California.] While we were only in Arizona for about a half hour, by general consensus, my sweet hubby and I decided to count it. And so, in honor of those six states, here are the top six things I love about the United States of America:

6. Cheap[er] Gas - back home, we're paying $1.149/Liter, and just up the corner the gas is $3.84/gallon [1 gallon = 3.79 liters, so really back home we're paying $4.355/gallon]
5.Sandy beaches to run along
4.Farmer's Market's abound! - Darius walked around 'sampling' the produce and letting me know what I should buy. Thankfully the vendors found him charming - the fact that I bought from everyone he sampled probably helped!
3. Trader Joe's! - Seriously, I love Trader Joe's, and would be happy as a clam if one opened up by my new house!!!!
2. Sunny Skies
1. Crashing Waves

Vacation, I love you. Let's do this again soon.

What are your favorite things about vacation? Do you have a spot you return to year after year, or is each trip getting you a fresh stamp in you passport?

Friday 5 August 2011

Core Stability

When it comes to running, many people assume that it is all legs. While it's true that your legs are bearing the majority of the load, they are not doing all the work. Have you ever tried to run while keeping your arms stock still? Seriously, it's challenging, and that's because your arms propel you forward, set your cadence, and help keep you loose while maintaining your rhythm. Another 'hidden' helper on your runs are your core stabilizing muscles [abs] and if your core is strong you can run further, harder, longer, and over unstable grounds. My little brother Dallin competed on the a university cross country team last year, making it all the way to Nationals, and was gracious enough to share his teams abs routine with me. This routine is a SERIOUS workout for your core, and should be enjoyed with a days rest in between sessions. Give it a go - this routine will not disappoint!

Killer Abs Routine

1 minute Alternating Toe Touch [lay on your back, kept limbs straight while raising left leg and right arm. Touch leg foot with right hand, then lower to ground. Repeat with opposite leg and arm. Keep all movements controlled.]

1 minute Crunches

1 minute Leg Lifts [lay on back, place hands under bum, and keeping legs straight (and glued together) raise them into the air until they are at 90* angle to hips. In a controlled pace, lower legs to floor, then raise them back to 90* without resting feet on floor.]

1 minute Bicycle Crunches

1 minute V-Sit [ lay on floor, with arms above head, resting on floor, and legs straight and locked together. In one fluid movement, raise arms up, while crunching to a siting position, lifting legs off of floor. Every ten minutes, lower to starting position, rest for two seconds, then raise back up.]
1 minute Side Plank [lay on floor, resting on your right side. Place your right hand under your right shoulder. Keeping body in a straight line, push up, holding yourself up with your right hand, and the side of your right foot. Hold this position for one minute, then lower to starting position, roll onto your left side, and repeat.]

1 minute Plank [lay on the floor on your stomach, with your hands directly under your shoulders, and toes tucked under. Keeping your body in a straight line, push up with your arms, and hold yourself in a straight line from head to toe.]

1 minute Reverse Plank [same as above, however, starting position is on your back.]

1 minute Combo [ lay on the floor on your back, pull up into a V-Sit, crunching at the top, and lay back down. Without resting, pull up into another V-Sit, and do a Bicycle Crunch on both the left and right side, then lay back down. Repeat for one full minute.]

If you're not shaking after this workout you're a whole lot stronger than me! probably needing to tweak your form, so pay close attention to contracting your abs, holding each move for the full minute, and getting stronger!

Tuesday 2 August 2011


One of my favorite things about vacations is the time we spend together as a family. Darius and Eli turn out to be amazing traveling companions (they were laughing when we pulled into the hotel the first night....after eleven hours on the road) and my awesome hubby and I are enjoying the break from our routine.

While on the road I've been running, crunching my abs through a killer routine (yes, I will share it) and taking lots of photos for friends and family alike. I love the opportunity to catch a special moment or two, so it's been great to be asked to do so. Because I know my sister in laws are anxious to see their family photos, I'll post a little teaser - and because Cosette is such a sweetie pie, I'll throw in some for you too Estelle. Enjoy!