Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our Powder Room Makeover - The Before + Mood Board

Powder Room Makeover Mood Board - for a sophisticated small bathroom reno

There's a funny thing that happens when you make a significant change in your home - everything around that change looks like it could use a change too. At least that's what we have found since completing our dramatic foyer makeover this past month. We are honestly so happy with the results and pretty proud that we did the renovation work ourselves. 

We love our home and we're grateful that we have a comfortable house and plenty of nutritious food to eat. We could leave our house just the way it is and it would be absolutely fine. But my husband and I actually enjoyed the process of fixing up and decorating our foyer (although it wasn't easy by any means) and we plan to make being Mr. and Ms. Fix-It a bit of a hobby this year. And, as I mentioned in our foyer "before" post, our kids are now 12 and 14 and we think it's time for a more sophisticated decor. Still a comfy family space, but a little less "worn in" is what we're going for.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I Ate Wednesday

I'm long overdue for a What I Ate Wednesday post! I have eaten plenty of satisfying meals lately, but I haven't often been inclined to photograph them. Must be those January doldrums. Is anybody else feeling blah? I neglected to take Vitamin D throughout the winter and that's a mistake in a climate like this where sunshine is rare. (Read this primer on Vitamin D for more.) I have been trying to make up for it by taking Vitamin D regularly this week, as well as using my happy lamp for 10 to 20 minutes a day.

In any case, I thought I'd share a few of the meals that I have actually gotten my butt in gear to photograph recently. Starting with this breakfast of champions, above. Raisin scones. Sometimes when you don't feel much like eating first thing in the morning, you just have to treat yourself. You can find the recipe for these vegan Scottish Scones here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Roasted Roots & Pulses Bowl Recipe + Books For A New Year (With A Giveaway)

At the start of each new year, a lot of us think about making some small (or big?) changes in our lives, maybe starting up a new hobby or taking steps towards discovering our inner selves a little bit more. I believe that we keep finding out more about ourselves - our preferences, our passions and our paths in life - no matter how old we are. I also believe that books are a powerful tool to assist us in finding our passions. That's why I started off the new year by perusing some interesting titles from DK Books.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

40+ Vegan & Nut-Free School Lunch & Snack Ideas for Kids (& Big Kids Too!)

The worst part of sending kids back to school after vacation is packing daily school lunches again. Preparing lunches the night before seems like a wise plan, but by the time dinner is made, dishes are washed and kids are wrangled into the bath, who among us feels like packing up lunches? Once morning comes, packing lunches is a mad rush and sometimes nutrition falls by the wayside in favour of convenient, portable and packaged snacks.

During the last couple of days of Christmas vacation, my daughter talked some more about embracing a vegan lifestyle. She has been vegetarian her whole life, but struggles with giving up foods like pizza, conventional chocolate bars and macaroni and cheese. (Her brother and her dad eat cheese, while I do not.) I'm not one to push her into a fully vegan diet, but most of our meals and snacks are vegan anyway and she would prefer a completely animal-friendly diet. So we sat down to plan for vegan lunches and snacks. I thought what came out of our brainstorming might be helpful to some of you. Even if you have no plans to become vegan, these ideas will work for healthy, everyday meals and snacks on the run, for school or work.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Top Vegan Recipes of 2016

Top 10 Vegan Recipes of 2016 from Simple recipes that are relatively quick to prepare.

Happy New Year friends! I'm easing into 2017 slowly. The whole family is still at home this week and we have been hanging out in our pajamas, eating lots of yummy things, playing Yahtzee and charades and spinning vinyl records. We're not entirely lazy though - we have also been packing up Christmas stuff, donating old snowsuits and other excess stuff and planning a small renovation of our powder room. I'm grateful for all the social opportunities that the holidays brought to us, as well as the gifts I received, especially the diy fireplace mantel my husband made.

Seeing as it's Veganuary, when people experiment with becoming vegan (even if just for the month), I thought it would be a good time to look back at the vegan recipes that were most popular on the blog last year. Hopefully they will provide some inspiration for those of you who want to add more vegan recipes to your meal repertoires. It's my goal to make vegan cooking easy, relatively quick and accessible (ie. so that meat eaters enjoy it too). Here are the top 10 most popular vegan recipes on the blog in 2016, starting with number 10. (Take this order with a grain of salt because some posts included giveaways and that always boosts the numbers!)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Christmas (Slowly) & Our New DIY Fireplace Mantel

I know from the posts I've been enjoying on Instagram lately that many of us have trouble letting go of the holidays. I often keep my Christmas tree up until the kids return to school in January. This year that didn't happen, only because every single needle fell off the tree. The needles were randomly showering down like gentle rain drops falling for a few days before I finally admitted defeat and removed the decorations.

I think it's the spirit of Christmas that I want to hang onto. Even amidst the (many!) preparations leading up to Christmas, there's a kind of peacefulness that doesn't surround us at any other time of year, don't you think? My compromise on the decor this year goes like this - while the tree is gone, I will continue to enjoy twinkle lights on the staircase, the silver glitter tree in our newly renovated foyer and my brand new fireplace mantel, decked out for the holidays. At least for another week or so. (But string lights can stay up all winter, no?)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12 Months of DIY - A Year in Review & My Fave Project

12 months of easy and fun diy craft project ideas

This year I embarked on a #12monthsofdiy challenge with 11 other Canadian bloggers. The premise was this: each month we created our own diy projects around a given material. Unlike many of the other participants, prior to 2016 my diy experience was somewhat limited. This fact made the challenge a little bit intimidating and also a lot of fun.

I found some of the materials easier to work with, and knew pretty much right away what I wanted to create with them. Other craft materials had me scratching my head. Those were the really good ones, because they forced me to kick the old brain into action. It might seem like I'm exaggerating when I say that this experience was life-changing, but I really feel that it was. Not life-changing like getting married or having a baby, but life-changing as in pushing me in new directions and in search of more varied pursuits.

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