Monday, February 29, 2016

DK Plant-Based Cookbook (Recipe & Giveaway) #VeganCookbookLove

Bánh Mì Portobello Burgers recipe from DK's Plant-Based Cookbook - whole foods, vegan and delicious sandwich with a tasty zing of flavors

It seems I just can't get enough vegan cookbooks. The two shelves dedicated to cookbooks in my kitchen are overflowing and I have another long shelf of cookbooks in my office. But there are just sooo many great vegan cookbooks coming out all the time. That's why I am once again spreading some #VeganCookbookLove today.

This week I am featuring DK's Plant-Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka. When I first saw the title in DK's Food & Drink Boutique, I kind of wondered (as I have in the past) what exactly "plant-based" means. Is it just a fancy (and possibly less scary) way of saying vegan? According to Wikipedia, "A plant-based diet is a diet of any animal (including humans) based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products."

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Raptors 905 Basketball (Ticket Giveaway)



I will spend a good portion of the spring and summer sitting in a folding camp chair watching soccer, at times freezing, at times boiling hot. In the meantime, we are all about basketball (and dance) in this house. My son has a tournament with four to five basketball games this very weekend.

Last weekend we brought the kids and a couple of their friends to a Raptors 905 basketball game. My husband and I thought it would be a great opportunity for our son to see how more seasoned basketball players operate. Raptors 905 is the NBA D-League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. The team plays out of Mississauga's Hershey Centre.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Daughter's Bedroom and A Re-Upholstered Antique Chair #12MonthsofDIY

Girls bedroom update with retro style pink desk and reupholstered antique chair

Last month, I embarked on a #12MonthsofDIY project with 11 other Canadian bloggers. Each month we all create projects using a given material. Last month was mason jars - my project was mason jar toy snow globes. This month our material is fabric - a selection that's open to so many fun possibilities! I decided it was a great opportunity to reupholster an antique chair that my sister gave us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Assorted Thrifted Plates & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #72


I managed to pop into the Salvation Army thrift store with my son after a school basketball tournament yesterday. I tempted him to come along by suggesting there might be basketball shoes - some barely worn LeBron's for under $10 perhaps? Well, he didn't find any LeBron shoes, but I had enough time while he was searching to browse the racks full of dishes. I didn't find many items that appealed, but I did pick up four more plates for my food photography collection (for 99 cents each).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

French Toast Muffins from 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes

Vegan French Toast Muffins - a warm, amazing, delicious treat - hello, it's a muffin AND it's French toast! It's French toast reinvented in muffin form! There are bread chunks on top of these here muffins. And maple syrup, cinnamon and sugar! I'll bet you're drooling right now just thinking about it.

There are days - cold, snowy, damp and miserable days - when only a muffin can make me feel better. Muffins are quick to make, potentially one of the healthiest of baked goods and let's not forget, warm and delicious. If you are in need of some comfort in the form of a handheld vegan baked good, you need look no further for inspiration than 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury.

While I most often go back to my favourite recipe for Never-Fail Vegan Banana Muffins (because it's familiar and convenient) I feel that I need to expand my muffin repertoire. This handy book is certainly helping me to do that. With 150 choices, you know you're getting an assortment of vegan muffin ideas that will suit your current mood and cravings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (Book Review)

Book Review - God Help the Child by Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison

God Help the Child is the first novel by Pulitzer Prize/Nobel Prize-winning American novelist Toni Morrison to be set in the current day. The story follows a young woman called Bride who has grown up with a mother ashamed of her child's blue-black skin. Now a successful adult who accentuates her stunning skin by dressing only in white, Bride is nevertheless still hurt by her childhood. She suffers the pain of having a mother who was unable to demonstrate love. Bride also experiences the repercussions of a terrible choice she made as a child desperate for positive attention.

Bride is at first sort of shallow, focused on her success in the cosmetics industry and intent on proving her own beauty. But the events of the novel will ultimately force her to look outside of herself. Along the way, we are introduced to Booker, the man Bride loves, himself suffering from a tragedy he experienced as a child. We get a small peek at Bride's mother, Sweetness. Booker's eccentric aunt Queen comes later. Although she hasn't been an effective caretaker to her own children, she and Booker have a kind of bond that makes her an appealing character in a story where there is little to recommend most people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pottery Cookie Jar & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #71


Yesterday was the Family Day holiday here in Ontario. The four of us were home - we played Apples To Apples with extended family, went to my son's soccer exhibition game, tidied up a bit, argued a bit - you know, family stuff. And I completely forgot to prepare my Vintage Bliss Tuesdays post for today. It's a case of better late than never, as I post this one hour into the afternoon while watching the snow fall outside (why now at this late stage in the winter?) and eating leftover minestrone soup for lunch.

Today I'm sharing a look at one of my most recently thrifted items - this large, lidded pottery jar with "Cookies" written on the front. I sort of chuckled to myself when I bought it, because it's not likely to get used for a very long time. If I were to put a pile of cookies in a jar labelled "cookies," how long could I expect the cookies to last? Not more than a day. As it is, I hide cookies and snacks in various cupboards around the house if I want them to last a couple of days. Last hiding space was in the drawer underneath the stove - 'til that got busted too. But don't worry, my friend the cookie jar, one day you will fulfill your purpose.

What makes you forget you have work to do?


Vintage Bliss Tuesdays - Join The Party!



Vintage Bliss Tuesdays at Woman in Real Life



Please grab the code for the Vintage Bliss button and encourage others to join our party! Or you can use a text link instead. Please follow Woman in Real Life on Bloglovin' to be reminded when it's party time. And invite your friends. The more the merrier. Cheers!



Friday, February 12, 2016

Coco Chocolate Berry Mug Cake (vegan)



If you haven't yet planned a decadent dessert to share with your loved one(s) this Valentine's Day, not to worry. This Coco Chocolate Berry Mug Cake can be whipped together in minutes! And you can make as many as you want. If you plan to curl up on the couch by yourself to watch Bridget Jones, make just one mug cake. In that case I recommend adding coconut whipped cream and chocolate drizzle on top too. Nobody's watching.

If you are celebrating Valentine's Day with a partner, line up two mugs and repeat the recipe in each. If you have kids, get them to make their own mug cakes. My kids love creating mug cakes - especially since they can be eating a rich, chocolate dessert in mere minutes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Thrifted Parfait Glasses for Food Photos & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #70


On my last trip to the thrift store, I spotted these four parfait glasses. I'm not sure how old they are or who made them, but I was excited at the prospect of new possibilities for food photos involving parfaits or ice cream. When I first set out to photograph the Coconut Yogurt, Berry and Hemp Heart Parfait for this post, I realized that my blue parfait glasses wouldn't be much help, seeing as you can't see the contents through the sides. I opted for a mason jar instead.

Monday, February 8, 2016

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


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


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)

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)

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


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.

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