Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Gifts for Her (With A Handbag Giveaway)

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Are you one of those people who thinks Valentine's Day is just a devious corporate conspiracy to get us to spend more money? Do you eschew gifts in favour of a back rub or a special dinner at home? Maybe you ignore Valentine's Day completely? Well then I have just one piece of advice for you - you better make sure your partner is on the same page. I love a coupon for a "free hug" as much as the next gal, but I'm also expecting a gift. It doesn't have to be expensive - I'm good with vegan chocolate and a soy candle. Oh, and a handbag. You can never have too many of those.

In that spirit I want to show you the latest two handbags in my collection. Not only do they make a great Galentine's or Valentine's gift for a friend, family member or partner, but they are seriously great little treats to give yourself. And it doesn't have to be Valentine's Day for that.

Friday, February 5, 2016

How To Sew A Simple Paper Hearts Garland for Valentine's Day

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How to Sew A Simple Paper Hearts Garland for Valentine's Day - quick and easy project - requires minimal #sewing skills #crafts #diy #crafting #ValentinesDay

This cheery Valentine's Day paper hearts garland could not be easier to make. Even if you don't sew. Because I really don't. I can thread the machine and sew a line but I'm not skilled enough to make clothing or anything like that. Fortunately, all you have to do for this pretty string of hearts is sew a relatively straight line. And once you make one, you'll want to make a hundred more! Trust me, it's addictive.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Coconut Chia Tropical Smoothie Bowl (#OnMyPath Giveaway)

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Coconut Chia Tropical Smoothie Bowl - a simple, healthy recipe using vegan yogurt, fruit & delicious toppings like coconut chia granola #vegan #recipe #smoothiebowl #breakfast #snack

You've heard it before - diets don't work, but if you stick with a healthy routine that allows for healthy meals and snacks with a few indulgences, you're golden. That's why I love this sort of recipe. This Coconut Chia Tropical Smoothie Bowl is healthy, yes, but it's also delicious. It's the kind of breakfast or snack that you can really get behind. And you can vary the toppings depending on your mood.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Alice in Wonderland at the Shaw Festival (Ticket Giveaway)

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Image courtesy of the Shaw Festival.

As I mentioned in this post, one of my goals this new year is to expose myself and my family to more of the arts, in particular galleries, museums and theatrical performances. We do some of these activities each season, but not as much as we would like. It's sometimes difficult to fit in excursions once work, household tasks and the kids' scheduled activities are out of the way.

But it's important that we make the effort. When time and funds are short, schools typically reduce the time that kids spend involved in the arts. They focus on training the left brain (with math, science, etc.) and leave the right brain to fend for itself. That's where parents come in. With kids focused so much on electronics nowadays, I think it's even more important that we hand them art materials, craft kits and paper, encouraging them to give their creativity free reign. And part of unearthing your own creativity is witnessing the creativity of others - paintings and sculptures in a gallery, musical performances and theatrical productions. Oh, and ballet. I really want to see the ballet soon!

Asian Cat Tea Cups & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #69

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When I go to the thrift store nowadays, I look for items that really speak to me - that invite an instant happy response. So how could I resist these sweet little Asian tea cups?  Just one look at these darling white reclining kitty cats and their little pink ears and you can't help but smile.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Peachy Dessert Parfait (vegan, healthy, gluten-free option)

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This dessert parfait features a base of cultured coconut (aka coconut yogurt) mixed with semi-sweet chocolate chips and a bit of maple syrup for sweetness. Layering this yogurt mixture with naturally sweet and healthy California cling peaches and crunchy granola makes for a satisfying taste sensation that will have you forgetting about rich, fatty desserts. #vegan #glutenfree #healthy

Perhaps you can start the new year off with a total commitment to eating healthy foods like salads, fruits, vegetables and legumes, without any chocolaty desserts or sweet candies. But I'll bet that come February most of us are about ready for a change of pace. That's where balance comes into the equation.

I have been doing well this January, focusing on smoothies, smoothie bowls like my Peach Pie Smoothie Bowl, juices and salads. But I have a long history of devotion to dessert and I know that denying myself any sweets won't work indefinitely. So recently I created this healthy dessert parfait to satisfy my cravings in a healthy way - a way that doesn't encourage overindulging.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

An Amazing Teen & How You Can Help Hungry Kids #Toonies4Tummies

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Barely a day goes by without an argument (or two) about food in this house. We argue about how many cookies the little gal can have when she gets home from school. She complains about how much fruit is in her lunch instead of "good" snacks like brownies and tiny banana cakes. My 13-year-old son complains about each night's "healthy" dinner and my latest "organic" snack purchase.

As much of a pain as this is, you know what's great about it? We argue about food because we have plenty of it. We get to make choices about what we eat each and every day. It breaks my heart to think about children (or anybody really) going hungry. When my son wakes up late for school and declines food before heading out to the bus, I can't stand the thought of him attempting to listen and learn without food in his belly. Then I imagine kids who go without breakfast every day. Kids who don't have access to healthy meals and snacks, for whatever the reason. Kids who feel the rumble of hunger deep down in their bellies and find it difficult to concentrate on anything else.