Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Grapefruit, Carrot, Ginger Juice Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free)

There's a lot of buzz around the holidays already - people are talking about shopping for gifts, making goodies and putting up the Christmas tree. It's exciting, for sure. But the holiday season also comes with a lot of stress. It's a bit of a whirlwind. There are so many tasks to manage and maybe you're preparing your home for company or worrying about spending time with people who stress you out. Cold and flu season is also ahead and all the time spent indoors in close proximity to other people increases the possibility of viruses spreading.

All of this sounds dismal, and I don't mean to take the fun out of the holidays. I just want to be conscious that we need to balance the excitement of the holiday season with the need to stay healthy during late fall and winter. Now is a great time to reduce stress as much as possible and provide appropriate care for yourself and your body. One easy way to do this is to drink lots of fluids, like water and herbal tea. Add good sources of fibre to your diet and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Which brings me (finally) to this tasty and healthful juice/smoothie combo.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Quick Banana Cake With Caramel Drizzle (vegan)

The first thing to know about this Quick Banana Cake With Caramel Drizzle is that it smells sooo good when it's baking. The combo of banana and cinnamon makes for such a lovely, fragrant scent emanating from the oven. It's the perfect antidote for a dreary winter day. It's also packed with nutritious, natural ingredients while still tasting as sweet and decadent as cake should. As with all of my recipes, this banana cake is vegan, meaning no eggs or dairy needed.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Quick Holiday Decor Updates With Cricut & A Cricut Maker Giveaway

Yes, it's true. There are 47 days until Christmas! Seems like plenty of time to be sure. But one area I like to get a head start on is crafting. If you have any DIY holiday projects in mind, it can't hurt to get going now. Especially if you're thinking about making an Advent calendar. (You can see my rustic Advent calendar in this post.) I made a couple of quick holiday decor projects this week using my Cricut Explore Air™. There are plenty of ready-to-make projects in Cricut Design Space™. You don't even have to think up your own DIY - just get ahold of the supplies in the project description and get to cutting!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Double Chocolate Banana Bread (vegan)

This delicious vegan Double Chocolate Banana Bread is simple to make and would make a lovely addition to Thanksgiving or Christmas Day brunch. #vegan #bananabread #baking #holiday #Christmas #chocolate

Despite having lived in Canada my whole life, I'm always surprised (or maybe disappointed is a better word) when the temperature drops near and below zero. I'm not a fan of the cold all. Things that get me through winter - roaring fires in the fireplace, cuddly dogs, endless cups of tea and looking forward to Christmas. And baked goods. Plenty of vegan baked goods. Like this Double Chocolate Banana Bread.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How To Get A Good Night's Sleep

Parents of babies and toddlers know all about sleep deprivation and its negative consequences - reduced mental clarity, lower productivity and sheer exhaustion. But there are many other reasons people can experience difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night. Stress, anxiety, a too-active brain and the hormonal and physical changes that come as we age are just a few of them.

Sleep is so important to restoring our minds and bodies. Without proper sleep, we feel grumpy, sore and forgetful. I often go to sleep with achy legs and wake up after eight hours feeling restored. Lack of sleep is thought to contribute to more serious issues too - the sleep-deprived are more prone to obesity, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and high blood pressure.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Our Fall Camping Weekend (With A Free Printable Cabin Camping Checklist)

Are you a fan of fall camping? I have always been attracted to the idea of camping when the air is crisp and the leaves have turned to red and gold, but we've never really done it. Fall is often busy with back-to-school, homework and the start-up of kids' sports and dance activities. But this fall the weather was so amazing and I felt like we best take advantage of it.

So when Kampgrounds of America (KOA) invited my family to camp at the Toronto West KOA in October, we were all for it. We went on the Thanksgiving weekend because Toronto West KOA is not far from where I grew up in Hamilton and was the perfect place to stop for a couple of nights before heading to my in-laws' house for dinner on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Carrot Coconut Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

When my son was a little guy, he loved carrot soup. Those were the days - when I could easily get his toddler self to scarf down bean stews, lentil soups and all kinds of nutrient-dense, mama-made entrees. He's 15 now and he has long been exposed to the wonders (salt, fat, sugar) of takeout food. Still, I do what I can to make sure he eats healthy at home, so I thought I'd try putting carrot soup in rotation again. Worst comes to worst, I love fresh, homemade vegan carrot soup myself.

When I last made this Carrot Coconut Soup, my son may have turned his nose up at it. In fact, he may have made himself a "hashbrown" sandwich, made up of fried hashbrown patties tucked inside a tortilla wrap with a sauce of mayonnaise mixed with sriracha. Sigh. But even if he eats a small bowl of this carrot soup alongside his other meal selections, he'll get a good serving of vegetables.

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