One of the simplest ways I stay healthy is my one and only snacking rule;
Replace all snacks with fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
That’s right, Chips, granola bars (even the “healthy” looking ones) and “snacky” like foods are treats, not snacks. These are a once a week food, not a one or twice a day food.
An easy way to stick to this rule is by prepping simple healthy snacks ahead of time. Which is essentially, pre washing your fruit, cutting your produce, and pre-making dips like hummus and guacamole. Then all you have to do is open the fridge and voila- there it is.
It’s also helpful with kids, because I have the same rule for my children. If they want a snack, they can have a fruit, a vegetable, or some nuts. I refuse to give them snacks all damn day too- why? Because then they actually eat their meals and not live off of crackers and granola bars.
They also ask for less snacks because I’m not always shoving them tasty bags of sugar and crunchies their way. They genuinely come to me when they’re hungry, and ask for nuts and dates, or some berries. Which is awesome. Because it also means they’re actually hungry at dinner. And when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to try new things, and everything tastes good. So hooray for less battles at the dinner table.
Some of my favourite preps are,
•Vegan yogurt topped with hemp hearts and berries
•Almonds, cashews, dates trail mix, with peanut butter topped rice cakes
•Hummus and veggies (like carrots, cucumber, celery and peppers)
I just made a delicious hummus recipe for today, sans tahini as I was out. I don’t like to buy hummus because of all the preservatives..and it’s honestly so easy to make, why wouldn’t you?
•1 can of chickpeas
•squeeze of fresh lemon juice
•2 garlic cloves
•dash of salt
•1tsp of cumin
•2 TBSP of water if needed
•Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
•top with smoked paprika
What are your favourite snacks to make and most of all EAT?
Nearly two months since I have written here in this space. Two months since I’ve written really anything at all. What happened? I’ll be honest as always, I’m really not sure.
As the shift from summer to fall began I felt myself…sinking. It was strange. I wasn’t depressed per say, but I didn’t feel myself. I felt entirely melancholy for a reasons I didn’t know. So I took it as a sign to spend a little more time inward and to myself.
Social media, my blog, visits and playgroups have been on the back burner the past few months. And with this hiatus has come another change for me. I always said I would have another shift as I near my 25th birthday, despite feeling like the last one never ended; and I can confirm that to be true.
In the past two months nothing has changed yet everything has. I see the world differently again. I eat differently, adopting my vegan diet again, banishing gluten and sugar without struggle, something I tried to do for over a year with near constant failure. Yet this time, it happened with ease. I’ve paired down my possessions (again) cultivating a more minimalist lifestyle. Instead, focusing on quality, and what I really need instead of just spending and consuming. I am also focusing on the environment more. Planting more trees. Choosing items with less packaging. Homemaking beauty supplies and remedies. Buying in bulk instead of purchasing bagged items. Recycling more plastic. Picking up more trash. Using less water. Turning off lights and unplugging televisions and other electronics. Spending more time walking instead of driving. I’m choosing healthier options when it comes to my home, my clothes, my dish ware, my food.
Social media means less to me. I feel like I see it for what it really is. Instead, while I am technically doing less, I am living more intentionally. Which is hard in a world where everything is going a mile a minute. It is hard being this way in this world too, I struggle to see where I fit in. Part of the reason I quit eating vegan was the flak I caught from everyone. I was tired of having to explain myself and deal with people berating me for trying to eat and be healthy and do something good for animals and the environment. The other part was, I was afraid it was contributing to my depression, which was entirely and utterly false. So adding gluten and sugar free to the mix, albeit mostly temporary (I plan to indulge in the future after my treatment protocol is finished, but otherwise stay gluten and sugar free) has certainly created riffs, people chuckling, and the throwing of the word “hipster” around. But I digress.
It has been a strange yet imperative time for me. I have continued to remind myself that it will pass eventually, that with all evolution typically comes discomfort. To embrace the seasons of letting go and change; because with every death comes the birth of something else and so often something far greater than we could ever imagine.
I grew up in a small town, tucked away in a valley in the foothills. The stores closed at six, there was a few restaurants, and only one grocery store. I spent my days playing in a field behind my house, until we moved and I had a forest instead to play in. I climbed 80 foot spruce trees, collected little treasures from the forest most of it in my hair, played in the creek, and always, always came home absolutely filthy. Once in awhile we trekked to the city, for dental appointments back to school clothes and to go to Wal Mart (it was a big deal back then.) Every time we went we begged to go the to the studio and see Rick.
The studio was formally called the Rock and Gem Studio, and while I forget the name of the street it was on, my feet can take me there even today. I knew we were headed there next just by the way the car swayed with turns. I’d name the stores as they passed by my window, anxiously waiting. I always thought magic was a bit made up…my mum did everything she could to keep it alive, to keep us believing in faeries and santa and whatnot; but this place really sealed it for me and had me believing magic was real. The air buzzed when you walked in, five steps down into a basement suite. The lights were low, floors wooden, gemstones everywhere, out in the open to touch and feel. The gentleman who ran it, Rick, was the epitome of magic.
Here we learned about all the treasures of the earth. He would tour us about his store, excitedly grabbing different clusters, “you HAVE to feel this one!” he would say and would wrap our fingers around it. We would leave, pockets brimming with Tiger’s Eye and Rose Quartz and Black Tourmaline. Our necks adorned with jewels, wrists jingling. It was here my brother created incredible jewelry, a wolf howling over a piece of Moonstone he carved and polished for hours. It was here I received my first Amethyst and Rosewood wand, delicately crafted, brimming with energy. We picked up books on Chakras, and read about meditation. My brother and I would sit cross-legged reading together, thumbing through rock books and dumping out our treasures to examine.
I also believe it was here, the seed was planted for all I was to become, to fulfill my true purpose someday.
I think we tend to underestimate the power that a single moment can have on our life. To some, it was just a little memory. But when I felt like I was losing it all, and I couldn’t for the life of me seem to find a direction, somewhere to plant my feet; I turned to my roots and tried undoing all that had been done since I first felt lost.
Like following a rope blindly through water to the shore, I traced my way back, through years of heartache and fear until I was looking at that fearless girl I once knew. Defiant scowl, blonde braid, dirty fingernails. The one who wasn’t afraid of anything. The one who was so sure of herself.
I decided then and there to just do the things that felt true to me. No matter how weird, or what someone might thing of me. I don’t care much for what people think of me, yet there are those select few, decided by some unknown criteria unbeknownst to me, who’s opinions seem to mean the most. I did it anyway.
The past is just memories, it holds no power and means nothing. I don’t live there, and I don’t try to recreate it. I’m thankful for those memories, and gratitude is all I have for the past. But I do believe these moments are tucked away in me, on a cellular level, and in moments of desperation, and in moments of deep integration, I can call upon these answers nested away in me. I have everything I need within me, all the answers, all the directions, and all the motivation.
Hoping and wishing for you, Dear Reader, to connect and find that Inner Child too.
Sunday. My favourite. Oh how I wait for you to come every week. To snuggle up within knits and socks and duvets. To drink cup after cup of tea. Taste freshly made muffins. Cocoon myself in blankets, quiet cartoons and the tap of the rain against the windows, lulling us adults off to sleep.
Sunday holds so much space for me. It is that constant companion awaiting me after a long week. This one, full of zinging saws, renovation materials, sawdust, sandwiches, Budweiser, sunburns, suntans, sunscreen, aloe, headaches, mistakes, halfassed suppers, falling into bed with exhaustion, beeping of coffee machines, early sunshine finding the breaks in the blinds, little cold feet pressed against your side, pillows over faces blocking out the sound, the light…just…five..more…minutes.
And now rain. Lots of it, streaking diagonally across the sky in a thick sheet. A reprieve from the heat, the wildfires, the irritability that seems to come with the relentless temperatures…There has been no cabin fever here. Just calm among the diffused lavender, makeshift sheet tents, paint projects, movies, chippies and veggie platters, indie music, pirouetting Faerie Girl, so much space made. Our hearts have grown, filling, expanding, taking in one another, getting to know one another once again.
This…This is why I love Sunday.
Today was always meant to be a park day. The sun is shining and the sky is mostly clear. It’s the perfect spring weather, winter in the shade and summer in the sun. The kids were happy to be free of winter beanies and coats and instead got to sport canvas slip ons and zip up sweaters. I scored this darling cashmere sweater on clearance from Joe Fresh after Christmas, and it was perfect for layering with a leather jacket. It has become a new favourite piece for me since it is so versatile. Mila originally wanted me to wear my favourite black pumps, and I almost agreed but I really wanted to take them for a little walk to the park after running errands and felt they weren’t the most “park appropriate.” Luckily she compromised with a pair of wedges.
We ate graham crackers in the sun, I sipped my London Fog and the geese flew overhead in little pairs. Asher tested out his newfound walking skills on uneven ground. Mila’s shinbones found a few extra playground war wounds today, and there were many kissed owies.
This is Momlife. Coffee and boo boos and snacks. There was something on my pants and diapers in my designer bag. I have a handful of lipsticks in my purse because I always forget to put it on at home anyway. Wet wipes and extra undies, because, toddlers. Kate Spade paired with Kate Spade paired with my current read, Eat, Pray, Love.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have kids. What would I be doing, who would be my friends, who would I be? My kids have changed me in ways I never thought parenting would. I feel like I’m a better person, more empathetic; but that I worry a lot more. I worry about the world, and about educations and schools and bullies. I worry about art and music and politics and healthcare and GMOs and chemicals in the air and in shampoos. I worry about what their lives will be like when they’re 18. How much will school be, and will it be any good? Will they know how to be happy, or meditate, or ask questions?
Momlife is a different life, but it’s a good life. I don’t remember what I used to do with my days before I had children. My days are slower now. We are park junkies, and outdoor explorers. I see the birds and I see the bugs and I smell the flowers because my children do. I notice the art and my attention is drawn to toast in the shape of Santa’s sleigh. Make up is half applied and coffee half drank because toy sharing needs to happen and “no Mila, you can’t eat chocolate for breakfast.”
Momlife is a good life. Momlife is just the life for me.
I hope the sun is shining wherever you are.
Late winter/early spring is my least favourite time of year. Its just a bit too messy, windy, snowy, brown and drab, but mostly completely unpredictable for me. One moment you feel elated that winter is gone, the sleep is over, and the next snowflakes begin to fall but not enough to cover the brown grass. The trees have yet to bud, and flowers have not yet made their appearance. Its a bit much for this impatient soul. I wish spring would just get on with it.
So to get through it all, I buy myself fresh cut flowers. I think its good for the soul to buy yourself flowers, or have fresh plants. Anything green really. Maybe its because it cleanses the air, that I feel I can breathe better with plants in the house. But I like to think its because they have this beautiful vibration, one that resonates with the wild in us, that is trying to remind us to be a little more free, walk barefoot, be mindful and stop and smell the flowers.
Heres to hoping this inspires you to love something green. I promise it will love you back.
Anytime I am in a state of gripping anxiety or grief I clean or bake. I happened to bake chocolate chip cookies last night so dust bunnies it is.
I’m not trying to be neurotic, but I would be lying if I said this past week wasn’t the week from hell. In fact, it finally topped the one I had back in high school where I had my wisdom teeth removed, suffered extreme pain from dry sockets, got H1N1, the boy I was in love with broke up with me, which certainly had something to do with me failing my logarithms test; my cat died, and a childhood friend also committed suicide.
This week, my kids were sick, the ‘big news’ we had is no longer big news anymore- the people interested in buying our rental buggered off on us, leaving us waiting for two weeks, then never returned our calls. We are short a mortgage payment now as we had no tenant. In fact we never would have needed a tenant because our previous tenant was only moving in anticipation of the sale of the house. Our dreams of being debt free gypsies is put on hold. I got locked out of my car, from my phone, kids, money, everything, in the city. I froze my ass off waiting for some ghetto locksmith. I sat through torture watching Mike the Knight live, and was later locked out of my rental property. Twice. Don’t worry I was beginning to see a theme.
I eventually just broke down on the phone to my mum because it was all just so much. Everyone was crying, and it just sucked.
And then the death of a friend. 31. All the details I don’t know, nor will I speculate, it doesn’t matter.
31 is too young to die. Period.
My husband is absolutely devastated. They grew up together, no more than just a few days would go by before they saw one another as kids. Their birthdays were 5 days apart, always over Thanksgiving. James was often the only one there since everyone was with their families. But James was family to Justin. Together, they watched James’ mom die. He was the only one who showed up when he heard Justin was admitted to the ICU for observation after a terrifying choking incident. He was at our wedding, his girlfriend catching my bouquet. James even asked Jus what to look for when buying engagement rings. They played hockey together just days ago, shootin’ the shit, drinking beers and eating wings. Just being guys.
But now he is gone, and the air is heavy with pain. We are left with memories and sadness and a reminder of our own mortality.
It makes me unbearably numb..but it also makes me want to live harder.
Live loud + live wild + live fearless + live free
Just fucking be free.
Free from all the incessant bullshit you’re plauged with day in and day out. I’m tired of caring what some people think of me. The ones I want to like me but that don’t even notice me. Why! Why do I even put ANY energy towards them?
I’m telling you I don’t know. But I do know I asked the Universe yesterday to help me get over this fear, this fear of being disliked or being seen as stupid and not good enough to those specific people. I asked for guidance in just PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE. In being FEARLESS in sharing my ideas and hopes and dreams. In just not needing permission to live my wild, messy, beautiful life.
So love me or hate me, I really hope at least the only thing you take from this is to live whatever life is calling you. Do what makes your heart beat fast and to listen to the voice in your head screaming TAKE THE LEAP. Cry and scream and laugh and love.
Love with all your energy, with all the intention you can muster.
Just love, okay?
Yesterday was Sunday, which is my favourite day of the week. It is my day to decompress, relax and mentally prepare for the week ahead. In fact, I call it Self-Love Sunday in my house, because I mindfully go about my day, just listening to my body and my soul and nourishing it with whatever it is asking for.
I start it with a lovely cup of coffee, or tea, or lemon water, whatever it is I need that day. Traditionally, the children and I have my homemade vegan pancakes, maple syrup and a side of fruit. We lounge in our pajamas for the morning; I don’t rush to curl my hair, to do make-up. The laundry gets washed, I tidy the kitchen, candles are burned, muffins are baked, we sit in the sun and later, nap in it.
Mila does a craft and I arrange fresh cut flowers, we watch a movie, we stretch out in mommy’s bed, we cuddle, we eat the muffins we baked. We do yoga, mila plays with my sea shells, and crystals and river stones. We drink tea and do puzzles while supper simmers.
We break bread together when Daddy gets home. Us adults sip wine, we chat about our day, and we eat frozen fruit for dessert. The kid and I have lavender infused baths with Epsom salt. We read books and she asks questions about the Universe and I sing lullabies. Asher nurses and I cuddle him close as he nuzzles his fleece blanket.
And then its over. This restorative, calming, nourishing day. But I feel refreshed and prepared for whatever is to come. I also get to process all that happened since my last day to refresh.
This past week was a big one for me. I finally finished my succulent propagation. They took off and now I have way too many succulents! I ran out of pots to plant them in in fact. It was almost too easy to do, but I plan to use them as little gifts for friends at Christmas this year.
I also happened to book with a psychic and got my reading last Monday. She is from Kelowna B.C and we did it over the phone. It took about an hour, and was very reasonably priced for how accurate she was and for the length. Her contact info is included at the end of this post.
I’ll start this off with- I LOVE going to psychics. We have one that comes to our town every few years with a travelling Carnival and she has been surprisingly accurate for me, and I have seen her on several occasions.
What I loved about my reading with Allyson was, while there were some things that were known to me (I’m not psychic but I have a deep intuition that I tap in to and just KNOW many things before they happen or as they are happening) but there was so much that took me by surprise.
My career and what I am going to do with my career has been very agonizing for me. I love massage therapy, but I want to do something more with it, and branch out. I have this strong compulsion to want to go back to school and just learn everything, but I’m unsure of where to start! I know I would love and be talented in the medical field, but I worry about maybe not loving it as much as I think I will. And eventually feel trapped because all I will have to sacrifice, and the family will sacrifice in order to obtain a bachelors degree. So, I keep going back in forth, and talking myself out of short programs by telling myself I’m more talented and should assert myself to the greater good, to go big or go home.
What stuck out in my mind most with Allyson is she mentioned that I have this desire to self sacrifice in a big way, I wanna save the village!; and it was because I have done it so many times in my past lives; I’ve been the doctor, I’ve been the nurse, I’ve ran the apothecary, and that is why I feel so much desire to do this again and to go back to school for something medical. But she also mentioned that this life isn’t for that. She sees me doing what I always said I wanted to do as a child- Be a Mom. Just be a mom, and enjoy the family life, take things slowly and really let the joys of life sink in.
And in that moment it all made so much sense. I already knew my logical mind was talking myself in to things and out of other things and clouding the answer inside of me, but I just didn’t know how to switch that off! Allyson’s message really helped me tune in and hear what it was that I really wanted.
She encouraged me to call upon Archangel Jophiel- the Angel of Beauty whenever I wanted to search for a career or course option. She spoke that my next career would be creating beauty and showing people the beauty in the world and not the pain.
And so I did. And would you believe it, if I said, one day later I found something that speaks to my soul?
I start November 15th.
Allyson’s webpage can be found at here.
Below is my recipe for Sunday Morning Vegan Pancakes. Feel free to substitute milks, oils or flours for gluten free versions (oat, buckwheat, and other blends have worked well for me.)
I typically double the recipe because they freeze well, you just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then toast for a few minutes and its like you made them fresh. Perfect for those busy mornings with hangry toddlers!
Sunday Morning Vegan Pancakes
Yields 12-15 pancakes
1 1/4th cup Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Cinnamon and a dash of Nutmeg
2tbsp Melted coconut oil and extra for the pan
1/3 Cup Warm water
1-1/4 cup Vanilla almond milk
Like many people I have a bit of an obsession for succulents. Mostly for plants. I just really like the way plants liven up a room and make me feel better. Like I can breathe easier. SoI like plants, but I really love succulents. It started back when I was a little girl. My mother had this incredible garden, seven raised flower beds, an L shaped bed running alone the house, and many flowering baskets. Each spring she would meticulously plan her flower garden, save the hundreds of dollars it cost to put them in, and then over the course of a week plant it all. We lived closet the mountains so even after the May Long Weekend, when the risk of frost decreased, she often would still cover her flowers with old sheets so the frost wouldn’t kill them. In one of her raised beds she had a group of Hen and Chick succulents. I loved this particular garden most, one because of the Hen and Chicks and two because she had those pebble covered cement planters in the shape of a hand basket. I always imagined a jolly giant coming along and picking it out from beneath the poplar and taking off with the scented pinks.
Fortunately that never happened. Anyway, here my love for succulents was born. I loved how exotic they looked compared to the rest of the flowers. I was amazed at how much they could spread, all the little babies they would make. No matter how much I touched their little rubbery leaves they never died.
So not long ago I decided to start filling the house with more plants and of course succulents were top on the list. Mostly because I figured I wouldn’t kill them. I didn’t. But a lot of leaves fell off in the process of getting used to their new home when they were replanted. They are in a lovely sunny window, not too much, not too little, and they get the most care because they are in the kitchen where I see them most.
Alas, their stems were getting long, their little heads would turn towards the sunny window so I rotated them often; but the stems were getting out of control and they were going to topple over if I ever wanted to move them, which I will have to when it gets cold out soon.
I did a little research on propagating succulents, but what inspired that was I had already did so accidentally. A leaf had fallen off behind the pot that I never saw and it sprouted little roots on its own. I was so amazed at this hair coming from the calloused end of the leaf that I gave it a drop of water and watched to see what would happen. A tiny little baby plant began to form at the base of the leaf. I was so excited that I had actually grown another succulent! Eventually it got to a respectable size so I covered the roots in dirt and let it take root in a new pot. The old leaf eventually rotted away and now I have a new little plant that has taken off!
This is whats left of my succulents, their leaves left to dry and callous in the sun. Hopefully they will sprout in a few weeks and I’ll have a house full of little baby plants!
love and light
So I have been exploring the idea of minimalism. Its something I unknowingly was getting in to years ago before I even knew it had a name. It originally started when I moved in with my boyfriend, my now husband. We were living in his house, a tiny 692 sq ft two bedroom home. Perfect for two people, although small, it was cozy. I learned, a tiny house, two newly dating people, and a whole lot of clutter was a breeding ground for fights; so I began to purge what I didn’t need, didn’t like, didn’t want, didn’t fit, you get the idea.
Fast forward a few years later, and we had a one year old with a lot of shit, plus our shit, plus two dogs, three cats, fish, hamsters, a fucken lizard, and a shed full of shit. It was outrageous.
We freaked out and thinking we needed more room we bought another house; the housing market was still in the toilet and unable to sell our little place we got a tenant. I filled the basement of our new home with our stuff from the shed and was slowly unpacking. That summer we had a massive garage sale. I’m talking we made over $1000 from selling our stuff. Ironically, we learned very little and only bought more stuff, a painting, some renovation materials, some books I don’t even remember.
And now, today, here I am still going through stuff but actually getting rid of it and not replacing it. In order to prevent myself from “replacing” it with something of either higher value, or something I think we “need” I have made a must list; a list of things I must do to make my life more fulfilling. It is in no particular order of importance, but simply things I feel I must do to lead a more meaningful existence. This must list is inspired by the “Minimalists” who over a 21 day period gave up their possessions to live a more free life, you can see their site and how they did it here.
What is your must list? Does your current life situation reflect this? No? Adjust accordingly.