Monday, March 27, 2017

How To Stay Calm & Cool In Stressful Everyday Situations



I originally wrote this article for York Life magazine. I am sharing it here because I know that we all experience stress in our busy lives and I hope these simple tips will help you to manage your stress levels in tense situations and be kind to your body.

Get Calm and Carry On


Sure you can find your inner zen at your weekly yoga class, but how do you stay calm and cool when dealing with an angry customer or when you’re running late — and stuck in traffic? Dr. Meghan MacKinnon, a naturopathic doctor in Aurora, shares her tips on getting to your happy place, wherever you are — no yoga mat required.

Friday, March 24, 2017

One Common Writing Mistake You're Probably Making Right Now


When I was in elementary school I loved grammar. Really. Loved it. Weird right? For a class assignment, I proudly wore a button that said, "How's Your Grammar?" In Grade 4, I enjoyed underlining nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs on the chalkboard. I was a shy kid - didn't like to talk in class - but I did love to read and write. I would still rather write than talk.

I went on to study English and then Journalism in university. For one class, all we did was write leads for fake news stories - over and over again. The professor would read aloud the ones he liked and brutally rip others apart. Mine fell into both categories. Either way, I loved that process too. I miss it actually, because, two decades on, I don't remember all the grammatical rules so much. Yes, I'm a writer and some rules I just know without being able to explain them, but there are a few I'm sure I've forgotten too.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Is The Absolute Best (A Home Tour)


I think most of us in the north are pretty much on the same page right now - ready for spring! Bring it. The temperature dipped below zero again yesterday, but I am confident that actual, lovely spring is just days away!

In the meantime, I have brought some light and flowery spring decor touches into my home. I'm sharing them today as part of a Canadian bloggers spring home tour with 20 other bloggers. Thank you to Shannon and Christina for hosting the tour, which goes on all week. Be sure to check out the other homes decked out for spring by following the links at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What is a Cricut machine? What can I do with it? Plus, pretty diy decals for spring!

Painted mason jar with pretty diy bunny decals cut with the Cricut - perfect for Easter or spring

Perhaps you've walked through your local craft superstore and stopped to wonder at a shiny new Cricut machine. "What is it? What can I do with it? And why do I feel like I need one in my life?" you ask yourself. I know because I used to do it and think it too! Since the fall, I've been one of the Cricut-initiated - I've been getting to know and love my own shiny new Cricut Explore Air™.

So I thought today I would give you a wee intro to the Cricut electronic cutting machine and cover some of the things you can make quite easily with it. (Hint: it does much more than scrapbooking!) First of all, do you know how to pronounce Cricut? I didn't. I was pronouncing it Cry-cut, when it's actually pronounced cricket, like the insect.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cinnamon Toast Sweet Loaf (Vegan)

Cinnamon Toast Sweet Loaf - a fluffy and delish vegan snack bread that pays tribute to both cinnamon toast and cinnamon rolls

When I was a kid, I enjoyed eating toast topped with margarine and a sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar mix. (Put cinnamon and sugar in a spice jar at a ratio of about 1 to 3.) Even today, if I'm feeling snacky in the evening and we don't have any treats in the house, I'll fall back on this quick and tasty sugary snack.

This Cinnamon Toast Sweet Loaf pays tribute to my good old reliable childhood snack. I adapted (veganized) this recipe from one in The MacDonald Mixing Bowl 500 Down-east Recipes, a cookbook created by a collective of women in Nova Scotia, complete with ads in the back for local spots like Truro Lanes, The Family Fun Centre.

Friday, March 10, 2017

True North Maple Cake with Buttercream Icing and Strawberry Filling (vegan)


Most of us Canadians walk a fine line when it comes to national pride - on the inside we are extremely proud of our country, but we don't like to appear boastful or make like we're better than others. Our pride is not often on display - there aren't many flags flying on porches - except on Canada Day, July 1st (and maybe when we're watching our hockey teams).

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada. Most of us know just how lucky we are to live here in Canada. We celebrate tolerance, diversity, education and respect. We promote peace. And we love our surroundings, from the rugged cliffs of Newfoundland to the Yukon's Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books To Keep You Busy Sewing On Spring Break


Ever since I saw Molly Ringwald's character, Andie, craft her own prom dress in the eighties film Pretty in Pink, I have imagined what it would be like to sew your own unique threads. Of course I only ever imagined - I didn't actually learn to sew clothing.

My daughter has expressed an interest in taking sewing courses. (She's almost as old as I was when I watched Pretty in Pink!) Maybe she can live out my dream by creating her own unique teen wardrobe? Either way, I thought it would be fun for us to explore some sewing books this Spring Break. Maybe we'll start off with something a little more simple, like a toque or a pillow cover.

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