Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Friday, January 30, 2015

Easy & Fun Valentine's Day Painted Mugs

Some people pooh-pooh the commercial end of Valentine's Day, and I get that. I really do. I love to get a gift as much as the next girl, but the best gifts are true expressions of love. Not just the love between romantic partners, but the love between friends, neighbours, parents and children, extended family, found families - whomever you love really.

That's why I think it's nice to make a bit of a fuss about Valentine's Day. Even if you don't buy anything, you can certainly throw around a few extra compliments and firm hugs. Make somebody a hot cup of tea (chocolate chip scones would be even better!). It is in this spirit that I asked the family to paint some Valentine's Day-related dishes with me recently. The boy and the husband chose to do something else instead. Fair enough. The spirit of Valentine's Day doesn't seem to call for forcing people to do things. But my little girl and I had lots of fun with this simple Valentine's Day craft activity.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

Wednesday rolls around pretty quick, don't ya think? Time once again to share a look at food highlights from the week. This week I've been really craving fruit a lot. It goes along with my desire for all things spring (most of those things will clearly have to wait). Quite frequently I've been running fruit through my Yonanas machine to turn it into tasty "desserts." But I have also been making fruit salads and fruit platters for the whole family - like this after-school fruit plate, above.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Miso Soup Bowls & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #19

I bought these sweet little blue bowls last time I was at the thrift store. (If you remember last week, I was clearly in a blue mood.) We have plenty of larger bowls in the house, but when I saw these bowls, miso soup immediately popped into my head.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Easy Vegan Chickpea Patties

Weeknights are tough. You're tired from working or taking care of kids, or both. You want to serve your family a healthy meal, but you lack the time, the energy and maybe the motivation. That's where these little chickpea patties come in. If you have bread crumbs on hand (I keep some in the freezer), these tasty, nutritious chickpea burgers will take you just 5 or 10 minutes to whip together and about 15 minutes to cook.

While the patties are frying, you can toss together a green salad and boil some potatoes (to fork-mash with a little olive oil and salt) and you have an easy, tasty, healthy weeknight meal. You can simply dip the chickpea patties in ketchup (to please the kiddos) or serve them with this simple vegan gravy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vegan & Gluten-Free Granola Bars With Cacao Nibs

vegan gluten-free granola bars recipe

My All or Nothing Granola Bars are a favourite treat of three generations of happy snackers in my family - me, my mom and my daughter. They are so much healthier than store-bought granola bars (even those ones that are marketed as low-cal. Low-cal does not equal healthy). The great thing is, you can squeeze all sorts of healthy foods into a homemade granola bar and still make them yummy (with the help of nut butters, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and other tasty ingredients).

I decided to create a new variation of my favourite granola bars when I noted that we had several open packages of granola in the house. People in my family like to open cereal boxes, eat about two-thirds of the package and then move onto a new box. I used a packaged, organic fruit and nut granola to make these Vegan & Gluten-Free Granola Bars With Cacao Nibs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

The fam and I have enjoyed some nourishing and tasty meals this week. Nothing complicated - just good comfort food for dreary January. On Sunday, the husband's dinner-cooking day, he made burritos with refried beans, sautéed peppers and mushrooms, diced tomatoes and guacamole. He also made homemade French fries and this easy and satisfying Mexican rice recipe.

As you can see, I was so hungry I took a few bites of my burrito before I remembered to take a photo. It was pretty delicious.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Blues & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #18

I donated three big bags of clothing to the kids' school fundraiser last week. I suppose that's why I felt entitled to visit the thrift store one day even in the midst of January de-cluttering. I try to be picky about what I bring home, but I felt myself drawn to all sorts of blue plates that were clustered together on a shelf.

As I wrote in this September post about plates, I like to collect small, round plates for food photography. For my weekly What I Ate Wednesday posts I tend to go with a white plate or bowl, but for my recipe posts I like to shake things up a bit.