Wednesday 27 February 2013

Quilting for my Cuties

My little men both have a special quilt that I've made them. I took up sewing again while pregnant with Eli, so Eli's quilt was completed first [and done in a gender neutral theme since we didn't find out what we were having when pregnant with our little man] and then Darius' soon after when he asked,"where's my quilt Mama?" Not surprisingly, Darius' quilt came together REALLY quickly as I was needing to quell some major  mommy guilt. Now, baby girl is growing bigger every day, and her quilt is well under way! In fact, I made three quilt tops because I simply could not make a decision as to which pattern I wanted to use. True story. It's taken a few months [literally] but I now have three quilt tops, one of which is going to be baby girl's quilt, one is going to be turned into her car seat cover, and the third will most likely be a quilt sooner than later...just not right now ;) Are you curious? Here's some peeks at whats going on around the sewing machine these days!

A sweet pink chevron quilt for a rosy cheeked baby girl!

The quilt top turned car seat cover [or germ guard as one tutorial called it ha!] in all it's little girl glory! Completely with blush pink satin ribbon ties securing it to the car seat handle, this car seat cover will come in handy I'm sure!

Monday 25 February 2013


I recently saw this video posted on a blog I LOVE [if you haven't seen A BLOG ABOUT LOVE yet, check it out!] and had to watch it after Mara's endorsement. Needless to say, I couldn't just watch this and not share ;) Start your day off right with a sparkle in your eyes and a smile on your lips - being loved and loving others really is what life is all about!

Friday 22 February 2013

Yoga and Chocolate

This morning has been extremely restorative after a night spent carting my sweetie pie back to his bed. Eli is at the "I don't want to miss a thing" stage, and so sleeping through the night is just not an option in his mind. And so this morning I embarked on a feel good routine that has done wonders for my mood, energy, and body! First, the boys and I made raw chocolates. Yes RAW. When my mom moved recently I became the owner of all the necessary ingredients to make my own chocolates from the raw ingredients. And so, we searched out a recipe and got to it! The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and allows for personalisation of flavors.

Raw Chocolate

  • 1 cup Cacao butter
  • 1.5 cups Cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup Sweetener (agave, honey, stevia) [I used pure maple syrup]
  • 2 pinches of Sea Salt
  • Optional add-ins: Maca, cinnamon, chia seeds, cashews, nuts, essential oils
  • Boil a pot of water
  • Chop up cacao butter and add to a glass dish, then set on top of pot of water.
  • Stir until the cacao butter completely melts, then pour into bowl.
  • Add cacao powder in and stir until all the powder is dissolved.
  • Add sweetener, sea salt, and optional ingredients in and stir (you can do this before the powder if you like as well).
  • Taste the chocolate and make adjustments if needed.
  • Pour into molds (or use a squeeze container, but move fast before it hardens)
  • Freeze for 30 minutes then enjoy.
I added toasted shredded coconut, toasted slivered almonds, cinnamon pieces, and pure vanilla extract. The chocolate is dark and rich, and the additions just give it that little bit of something something. And the best part? A little bit of this sweet treat cures a huge chocolate craving.

After creating, enjoying, and cleaning up my chocolate mess, the boys and I made a birthday surprise for my nephew, then headed upstairs to enjoy Batman [the boys] and prenatal yoga [me]. The yoga routine that I did today was wonderful and exactly what my tight shoulders and sore knee* needed. Find the wonderful routine here:

This is a 30 minute routine that will leave you feeling taller, stronger, and more relaxed. Such a beautiful thing!

So go on, enjoy some chocolate, do yoga, and open yourself up to all the wonderful intentions you have set for today. 

*Yes, my right knee is still sore from my fall down the stairs in mid December. I have still been lifting weights,  and walking regularly  and doing my best to stretch and rest my knee as well. Hopefully it will be 100% sooner than later :)

Friday 15 February 2013


Sometimes patience is a rare and value resource around our house. If sleep was stolen right out from under me [hello seven wake ups last night from one little boy! Not cool, not cool...] I tend to have less patience than those days where I wake up on my own to the sun shining, birds singing, and my Hottie Husband is home for the day to play! Seeing as the second happens far less than the first, having a plan in place seems to help my patience extend it's life at least through lunch time and my children to stay content. I hadn't realized how genius it was to have a plan until I saw a pin on pinterest and thought to myself, "now isn't that bright to make your patience plan into a visual you can post to help remind yourself when patience is wearing low and tempers are flaring hot?!?" So, to help all you other Mama's out, cause we all have days where we're feeling short on sweetness, here's a genius plan to keep you going long past bedtime!

It's simple, it's repetitive, it's pure GENIUS! Give it a shot and feel calm descend on your home.

Thursday 14 February 2013

From the Heart

Each Valentines Day I do my best to bring a heart healthy meal to the table to celebrate this day of love with my little family. Last year it was this soup, and this year it is fish tacos! Here's the recipe if you're interested in joining in on the healthy fats fun ;)

Easy Fish “Tacos”

care of Coach Rita Catolina, originally found here

• Cod Fish Fillet (Wild) or other white fish source
• Julienned carrots, beets or other crunchy veggie
• 2-3 large Red Onions
• ½ avocado, lime, cilantro, cracked pepper, sea salt
• Butter lettuce or Romaine lettuce sections
• No salt chili seasoning for fish

Bake fish in 400 degree oven with seasoning until done (approx. 12 minutes depending on thickness). I threw it under the broiler for 5 minutes for crunchy top. Cut the onion into 1.5 inch rounds and place flat on baking sheet. Braise in oven for approx. 25 min, turning half way through to caramelize and crunch them up slightly. Mash a ripe avocado with the juice of a lemon, salt, pepper and cilantro. Place julienne veggies, “guacamole”, onions and extra cilantro in bowls for assembly. Section the lettuce leaves with your hands to create a flat “bed.” Flake the fish with your fork and place in a serving dish. Use tablespoon portions of each ingredient to fill lettuce “taco” and dollop the guacamole on top. Fold up and eat with your hands! Ole! Que Aprovechen! Bon Appetito!

And for dessert? You can't go wrong with dark chocolate dipped strawberries and sugar cookies [the sugar cookies were made with coconut sugar and vegan butter, so they're basically healthy...right...] My little men and I are excited for Daddy, aka Hottie Husband, to get home from work so we can smoother him with love, supper, and chocolate - just what hes hoping for I'm sure haha.

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday 8 February 2013

Pizza Pizza!

My little family LOVES pizza, smack your lips as Mama pulls the pizza out of the oven, in a clap your hands between bites, and through up a fist pump when another slice slides onto your plate. It's a pretty gratifying meal to serve the kiddos as there aren't many that solicit plate licking happiness but it's also one of those meals that can easily become greasy, heavy, and extremely unhealthy. Enter the homemade pizza: 

*insert angels singing here*

My Handsome Husband has been making his own pizza since long before he swept me off my feet, and by association I am privy to his recipe and pizza making magic ways. And because you stumbled upon my blog, you are now privy to this all together awesome info. You're welcome ;)

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

2 cups warm water [not too hot or it kills the yeast]
1 tbsp active yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp canola oil
4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Mix all the above ingredients together in a mixer, and start your timer at 7 minutes once a ball of dough is formed. Let the dough hooks on your mixer work that dough for the next seven minutes to activate the yeast and work the gluten. This is what helps your dough to rise and to hold together. Have a bowl set aside waiting for the dough, and spray the bowl with non stick cooking spray. 
Once the dough is done being worked, pull it out, roll it into a ball, and place in the prepared bowl. Cover the dough with a towel, and set aside until it has doubled in size [this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half depending on how warm your home is.]
While your dough is rising, prepare your toppings! Be creative; roasted vegetables [a serious hit in our house! Especially with me haha!] a variety of meats, fresh cut vegetables, various cheeses, pizza sauce - the skies the limits! Here's a list, in order of how it was laid on that perfect crust, of what we had on our pizza last night:

tomato sauce
Italian seasoning [sprinkled on the sauce]
roasted vegetables: zucchini
red pepper
yellow pepper
sweet potato
butternut squash
red onion
crumbled goat cheese

Once your pizza is constructed, pop it into a preheated 450* oven for 10-15 minutes. Check pizza for done-ness on the edge and middle, and when its perfect to you, take it out and let it sit for a minute before serving to your wee ones or they might just burn their sweet tongues in all the excitement! 

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Long Nights Lazy Days

The last few nights have been littered with wake up calls. Eli coughing until he cries; Darius doing the silent run down the hall and launching himself into my bed; pleas for water. It seems that both boys are pulling out all the stops to prepare for me the broken sleep that comes with a newborn babe; and my body is responding accordingly with very little energy ;) In response to fewer hours spent sleeping at night, today has been declared a 'rest and recover' day. We're laying low, playing blocks, and aiming for full health and energy come morning. Enjoy your day - I know we're enjoying ours.

And I'll be back soon!

Friday 1 February 2013

Triple Chocolate Quinoa Muffins

Anytime there is loads of chocolate in a recipe I am generally going to be happy with it. Frankly, I was raised by a mother who taught me the basics of baking as 1) always use the finest quality chocolate you can afford; and 2) when in doubt, add more chocolate. So, you see this recipe, with it's legitimate claim to 'triple chocolate' has secured itself in my "I'll bake you till my Hottie husband begs me to stop" repertoire. These are rich, decadent, velvety, and perfect - oh, and high in protein and gluten and dairy free. Yeah, I've got your attention now don't I haha. I have high hopes of spoiling my sweetie pies, big and small, with these delightful chocolaty goodies on Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd share the recipe in time for you to do the same. Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Quinoa Muffins
an original recipe created by me!

1 3/4 c. cooked quinoa, packed
3 eggs
3/4 c. unsweetened pure cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c. plain coconut yogurt [made from coconut milk, not simply dairy yogurt that has been flavored with coconut]
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp cinnamon 
1/4 c water [optional, I just found everything blended a bit better with it]
1 c palm sugar
1/2 c chopped dark chocolate, finest quality you can afford

Preheat oven to 350*. Prepare muffin tins with either liners or non stick spray. I prefer liners to spray on this one. Add all the wet ingredients and quinoa to a blender and combine until smooth. Pour out into a bowl and mix the remaining ingredients, aside from the chopped chocolate, and mix with a whisk or fork until all clumps are gone and batter is of an even consistency. Mix in half the chocolate, and pour into prepared muffin tins.
Place muffins in oven for 10 minutes. At 10 minute mark, divide the remaining chocolate between the muffins, sprinkling generously on top of each muffin. Place the muffins back in the oven, and bake for approximately 8 more minutes. Toothpick will come out dirty still, but should not be wet.  Let muffins cool completely on wire rack before removing from muffin tins. 

Yield: approximately 2 dozen