Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday, a week of vegan meals

In last week's What I Ate Wednesday post, there was soup and curried chickpeas as well as a barbecue meal and some asparagus/potato salad - the week's menu reflecting our changeable temperatures. As of this week, we are solidly into the warm weather (I hope!) so our menu has begun to change. Until that air conditioner goes on, I'll be saying "It's too hot to cook today!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade (Juice Recipe)

When the thermometer is on the rise, it's nice to kick back with a fresh, homemade juice. Juicing can help you increase your consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. Plus, the water content can work to prevent dehydration. If you have kids, you might possibly get more veggies into them too. In our family, my son will happily try any juice, even if it contains celery or cucumber. My daughter can only be tempted with fruit. But carrot juice is sweet, has a lovely orange colour and is easy to hide among the fruit juice!

Monday, May 26, 2014

In this moment

Every day look at a beautiful picture, read a beautiful poem, listen to some beautiful music, and if possible, say some reasonable thing. -Goethe

In this moment, I'm thinking of these plans for enjoying a perfectly beautiful spring (summer-like) day:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Somaluxe Facial Care (Review)

I tried out two products from Lady Soma's Somaluxe line recently. These products are 100% vegan friendly and contain active plant ingredients, essential oils and certified organic ingredients. Somaluxe products never contain nasty parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, chemical sunscreen, fragrances or synthetic dyes. And the products and their ingredients are not tested on animals. They are targeted to work for all skin types and allergy tested. Lady Soma says they are safe for pregnant and nursing mothers too. Safe for humans and kind to our animal friends - those are my favourite kind of products. But do they work?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Now that it's finally warm...sort of...some of the time, I'm thinking about salads and barbecue veggies and fruity desserts and all those warm weather yummies. When you are making the most of spring and summer, a sandwich becomes an acceptable dinnertime meal, right?

That's what we did on Sunday after spending more than five hours shopping with the kids. We had planned to have a barbecue, but we got home late and exhausted, so we cooked up Gardein vegan chick'n nuggets and sauteed veggies to make sandwiches with. You can also see a bit of my drink - rum mixed with Blue Sky natural cola. Summer weather seems to call for a nice beverage too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The (Long) Weekend

With the Victoria Day holiday yesterday, our weekend was increased to a lovely total of three days. I'm not gonna lie - a lot of that time I spent doing laundry and attempting to get the kids to clean their rooms. It takes me longer to persuade/threaten/beg them to clean up than it does for them to actually do the tidying. We need to work on that for sure.

But we also fit in a few nice activities to take advantage of the spring weather. On Saturday we decided to brave the drive-in movie theatre, even though the temperature was expected to be about 4°C in the evening.

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's dress weather (with an eShakti giveaway - CLOSED)

I have had this eShakti dress for several months now. I was just waitin' on a place to wear it! A place free from snow preferably. Now that I'm out of hibernation, the opportunity to wear this lovely dress presented itself this past weekend when we went to visit my husband's cousin and her family.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Weekend

Now that the warm weather is here, we are making every effort to get out and enjoy the weekends. In addition to visiting the lovely Cheltenham Badlands on Saturday, we also visited with friends/relatives at their beautiful country home. Each time we go there, I long for a house in the country.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

On the last What I Ate Wednesday, I forgot to share a picture of the vegan tofu lasagna I made using a recipe from Chloe's Kitchen. Since I complained about the lengthy lasagna-making process on Instagram, I thought I'd share some photos this week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Cheltenham Badlands

We visited my husband's cousin and her family on Saturday. They took us to the nearby Cheltenham Badlands, a small example of badlands formation in Caledon, Ontario. For those of you who don't know what badlands are (I confess I didn't) here it is straight from Wikipedia:

Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water. They are characterized by steep slopes, minimal vegetation, lack of a substantial regolith and high drainage density. Okay, whatever, they're just pretty cool.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ready for the sun (with accessories from Wantable)

I took Jolene for a walk this morning and it is the most glorious day. It's a shame the kids are in school because, after the winter we had, we should all be out enjoying a perfect day like this one.

I have been slow to pull out my warm weather clothing, because the winter was so long I feared it would never end. But my summer accessories are at the ready thanks to my Wantable subscription.

My April box featured items to help me with my spring/summer styling. I particularly love the light and breezy Arianna scarf. It's a lightweight infinity style in a beautiful pistachio green floral lace. Of course, you can't face the sun without shades. The bigger the better as far as I'm concerned. These Amira sunglasses are oversized with geometric metallic accents. Wantable suggests pairing them with boho beach waves and hoop earrings. I love my Addie necklace too - it's a distressed silver toned pendant with small turquoise stones and dangly bits. The Hillary earrings, featuring faceted onyx black studs set in a silver tone base, are great everyday earrings for somebody who often wears black (like me).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Maple Syrup Ginger Breakfast Cake

On Friday, my son was home with a sore throat (or so he said) and I decided that we should have cake for breakfast! Because that's what you do when it's Friday and somebody claims to be sick, right? This little vegan Maple Syrup Ginger Breakfast Cake can be whipped together quickly, so you too can enjoy cake for breakfast any old day of the week!

I added ground flaxseed, because it was breakfast time and flax makes anything healthy - yes? Plus, I threw in ginger paste for a little bit of virus-killing action (in case there was some truth to his sore throat tale). I absolutely hate mincing or shredding fresh ginger. It never seems to work! So I buy those little tubes of paste. They are easy to use and they have always worked well for me in any past recipe. Shortcuts, my friends, always find the shortcuts.

Friday, May 9, 2014

This Mother's Day

This Mother's Day, there will be breakfast in bed (I'm thinking blueberry pancakes - hint, hint), hot tea, lovely handmade gifts from my little beauties and, of course, books and magazines to browse. My fave thing to do on Mother's Day is to snuggle up in bed with a giant stack of reading material, like I did last Mother's Day. Nothing too heavy or deep - just stuff that's enjoyable to read and absorb.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Seeking good hair days (with the Beauty Supply Outlet)

Although I'm looking forward to the warm weather of late spring and summer, with heat comes humidity. And, if you have naturally curly hair like mine, along with humidity comes frizz. Lots and lots of frizz. I have only uncovered one way of dealing with said frizz and that is straightening my hair. But that solution doesn't work so well if I'm planning to hit the pool or the beach.

With these problems in mind, I dropped by the Beauty Supply Outlet recently to seek some professional styling aids and advice. I fear my dollar store hair brushes just aren't effective enough to get the job done.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

As I said in last week's What I Ate Wednesday post, I am trying to be on my best eating behaviour lately. I want to eliminate any painful IBS symptoms. While I am avoiding refined sugar as much as possible, I am certainly not cutting out maple syrup. For some reason I just can't get enough pancakes this week!

My son stayed home from school last Friday because he was developing a cough. So I whipped up some vegan blueberry pancakes from Chloe's Kitchen for the two of us. The ingredients are so simple and yet the recipe produces surprisingly delicious pancakes.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thrifty Finds

Despite visiting a couple of thrift stores and an antique market in the last week or so, I haven't purchased any thrifty finds lately. I'm trying to be super picky about what I add to the chaos of this home. It is spring and all that. I should be purging rather than buying. Or purging and THEN buying!

I did add to my Pyrex collection though, via a gift from my mother. That brings my Pyrex pieces up to three. Ha. There's nobody like a mom. I told my mom that Pyrex has become hard to get, so she stopped by the thrift store in her town to check for it. This Homestead pattern covered casserole had a sticker on it that appeared to say $8. Mom wasn't about to pay that. But it was half price day. And, it turns out the sticker was meant to say $3, so she got this dish, complete with lid, for $1.50. Nice work Mom! Now here's a little peek at the stuff I didn't buy these last couple of weeks.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Insta-Friday in real life

I have to admit that Fridays don't mean as much to me anymore, now that I work from home. I still love Fridays, but I don't dread Sunday evenings and Mondays as much! I do look forward to the increased freedom of Saturdays and Sundays though - I try to put my work aside (for the most part) and spend time with the family (and, of course, doing laundry while electricity costs are lower). 

Here's a little look back at our week through Instagram pics. This post goes out to those among you for whom Friday is still a gift from the heavens. May the weekend bring you much-deserved joy!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Protecting Precious Memories with Picture Keeper (giveaway - CLOSED)

My love affair with photography began when I was a teen. I took a photography course with two of my high school friends and my mom was kind enough to buy me a beautiful Pentax K1000 camera. I loved that camera. I carried it for many, many years, resisting digital photography for as long as I could. But you can't argue with the convenience of digital, especially when you take pictures daily for your blog.

The downside of digital is that many of us (me included!) never actually get the photos printed. That being the case, we had better make sure we have them safely backed up so they aren't lost because of a computer virus or technical malfunction. I received a handy tool recently to help in that regard - Picture Keeper is a quick, easy way to back up your photos, thereby protecting precious family memories.