Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

The last couple of weeks have been very busy and eating on the run isn't always the healthiest kind of eating. Add to that a few rum and cokes and my irritable bowel is...well, irritated. So I've been trying to eat well this week - less sugars, less breads and more veggies. My overall plan is to ensure that everything I eat has nutritional value.

Prior to our trip to Niagara Falls this weekend, though, there wasn't much food in the house. As I complained this past Friday on Instagram, I had some trouble putting together breakfast and lunch. Come Friday, there's often no fresh fruit in the house and very few groceries in general. But breakfast was pretty good anyway. I topped some Nature's Path instant flax oatmeal with ground flaxseed, pecans, dried cranberries and almond milk.

Monday, April 28, 2014

imm Living Giveaway (CLOSED)

If you, like me, are on a quest to find unique and stylish decor items for your home, look no further than Toronto's own imm Living. This design firm's incredible pieces marry form and function in a most appealing way. That's why I'm delighted to partner with imm Living on their Mother's Day Choo Choo Chooses campaign.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Insta-Friday in real life

This past week was a busy one, both in terms of work and our family's social schedule. While the housework was largely left undone, we sure did have a great time. Insta-Friday is all about sharing those special moments that we capture quickly using simple cell phone pics. This week I'm sneaking in a few photos from my Nikon too. I happen to have carried my camera around quite a bit.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Feel Something More - Why I Quit The Corporate World to Work From Home

I started Woman in Real Life close to three years ago, when I quit my full-time corporate communications job of over 14 years to work as a freelance writer from home. What makes a person give up a reliable, well-paying job with years of pension contributions under her belt?

You can be sure the decision wasn't easy. It came after weeks of worrying and fluctuating back and forth. But I truly believe that, as Oprah says, the universe sends you messages. And when you ignore those messages, they get louder. Maybe you don't get the raise you want, maybe your boss is constantly critical of the "mistakes" you make, but never notices the great work you do every day. Maybe your co-worker takes credit for your successful project.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday, Easter edition

I was off watching my son's school basketball tournament today, so I'm late with my What I Ate Wednesday post. Here's a quick look at some of the meals I enjoyed this week, starting with a tofu and veggie stir-fry on top of Chinese noodles.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Girls Helping Girls, With Sears & Plan Canada

I have talked before about how and why my family sponsors a little girl through Plan Canada. My two kids have learned a lot from sharing an ongoing pen pal relationship with Mouzou, who lives a very different lifestyle from theirs.

I chose to help a girl because I feel that girls have more challenges to overcome in developing countries. As a mother, I shudder to think of all the little girls who are orphaned, without protection and without access to proper education. While we all have our favourite charities to donate to on a regular basis, Sears Canada also offers a fun extra way of supporting girls in need throughout the world.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The China Study All-Star Collection (book review, recipe and giveaway - CLOSED)

Back in the fall, I posted about The China Study Cookbook, a collection of plant-based, whole foods recipes created by LeAnne Campbell, PhD, the daughter of T. Colin Campbell, co-author of The China Study.

Now, I am pleased to say, there is a follow-up cookbook with even more wonderful recipes. The China Study All-Star Collection is currently making its rounds on the "Spring Clean Your Diet" blog tour. The book once again comes from LeAnne Campbell, but this time she is joined by a cast of other vegan cookbook authors.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day With Some Inspirational Reads

April 22nd is Earth Day and I am looking forward to celebrating with my kiddos. We are going to explore the natural world around us with the help of a few enticing books from DK Canada. Right now, DK is offering a selection of inspiring titles in their Earthly Pleasures Boutique. Best of all, these books are 30% off! (I confess there are few things I like more than a discounted book.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Miso Glazed Tofu & Watercress Salad and a visit to McEwan

Now that spring is here (albeit some days in name only), it's time to think about making fresh, light veg-centric dishes. Like this Miso Glazed Tofu & Watercress Salad (which also happens to be a great addition to your Easter meal).

What I Ate Wednesday

We enjoyed one particularly lovely warm day this week and then it was back to snow (eek!) and cold on Tuesday. Needless to say, warming foods are still very much a part of the menu in this house. On Sunday afternoon, I was browsing through magazines when I spotted an easy, 30-minute Chickpea Tikka Masala recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine.

I decided to make it for lunch (above). It was so easy to make and quite tasty. I happened to have fresh cilantro in the fridge to pretty it up a bit. I can't wait for summer when we once again have a pot of herbs growing outside the back door!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TV That Caters to Kids (With a Kidoodle.TV giveaway - CLOSED)

I think most parents agree that we don't want our kids to watch a ton of TV, especially when they are toddlers and preschoolers. But when you are Mom, housekeeper and cook all wrapped up into one harried package, a few age-appropriate TV programs sure do come in handy.

My kids and I had the opportunity to try out Kidoodle.TV recently. It's an online, streaming video service for children ages 12 and under. From a parent's perspective, Kidoodle.TV has several key advantages over regular television programming. Number one is that all of the content is for kids. So there's no fear that your child is going to watch anything inappropriate.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vegan Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

Whether for Easter, a birthday party or just to brighten someone's day, a cupcake says it's time to celebrate. I decided to make these Vegan Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes for the kids (and, let's face it, me) this past weekend. After all, the weekend is something to celebrate, right?

I went with a chocolate cupcake base...because you really can't go wrong with chocolate. I threw in some peppermint flavour for a little twist. Of course, cupcakes must be topped with thick, creamy icing. I added a hint of peppermint flavour to the icing as well.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Insta-Friday in real life

It's been a while since my last Insta-Friday post. On that particular Friday (March 9th) I was still longing for spring. I'm happy to say that the sun is shining brightly today. While it's not super warm, I can now at the very least imagine a full life outside these walls.

We are starting to come alive after winter hibernation. We have been getting out and about on weekend travels in the City of Toronto and elsewhere. Starting with a much-needed visit to my friends Vili and Bruce at Philosophy Salon. Fresh highlights and a haircut have me ready to take on spring. I think a good pedicure is up next!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Today's edition of WIAW is all about what I ate on Tuesday. I have no additional food photos this week because we were travelling on the weekend for my son's basketball tournament in Niagara Falls.

There was some fast food involved in our travels (hello Harvey's veggie burgers!), as well as a stop at the grocery store for prepared salads, sushi and cut up cantaloupe. There may have been an evening of rum, cola and chips with the other basketball parents too. There has to be a bit of fun for us parents too, right?

Anyway, I started off my Tuesday by making pancakes from a mix. I topped them with Earth Balance margarine and maple syrup and served Yves veggie sausage and orange slices on the side.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blogger Style: Taby

I am excited to bring you another "Blogger Style" post. This time I'm sharing a look at the lovely home of Taby, the clever blogger behind The Closet Intellectual. Taby shares her home with husband Jeremy, their three children, three dogs and two cats.

The whole brood lives in a little 1971 house named Cecilia in the picturesque mountains of East Tennessee. "She had been a rental house for over 20 years and horribly, horribly abused when we bought her," says Taby. "We've been nursing her back to health over the past ten years."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mayim's Vegan Table (book review, recipe and giveaway - CLOSED)

As you may know, I'm a cookbook addict. (I think I've mentioned it one or two times!) It has been a very good time for me lately, with an abundance of vegan cookbooks coming out. It bodes well for a trend towards vegetarian eating too I think! The latest cookbook I have added to my collection is Mayim's Vegan Table by Emmy-nominated actress and trained neuroscientist Mayim Bialik.

An actor on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Bialik is also a busy vegan mom who shares every mom's challenge of getting her kids to eat nutritional meals. Mayim's Vegan Table has over 100 easy, plant-based recipes for breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners and desserts. Teaming up with pediatrician Jay Gordon, the book also debunks myths about raising a vegan family and provides nutrition information, must-haves for the pantry and strategies for planning meals.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

This What I Ate Wednesday, I'm starting with a look back to Sunday. The husband and I went to the One of a Kind Show and then out to dinner at Sadie's Diner. It's so nice to be out and about now that the weather is above zero and the snow is melted! (Well, it has melted downtown anyway! There is lots of snow left on suburban lawns!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thrifty Finds

I popped into the thrift store on my way to Costco yesterday, not expecting to find anything interesting. I hit the home section right away (as I always do). To my surprise and delight, I came away with a little stash of decorative items for my home for a grand total of $8.

I seem to be drawn to brown items - particularly pottery and wood. I guess I like the warm, cozy feel of them. But I like coloured decor items too. I guess I just like everything! And it shows in this house. I wish I was a dedicated collector of one type of thing like other people.

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