Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What I Ate Wednesday (A Day of Vegan Eats)

I'm not a fan of fad diets at all. I believe in a healthy, whole foods diet and moderate exercise for more sustainable wellness. Recently, though, I picked this book off my shelf (I have a lot of books that I haven't read): The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss. It's by Kathy Freston, author of Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World and Quantum Wellness: A Practical Guide to Health and Happiness.

I decided to browse through The Lean and I am actually finding it really inspiring. The book calls upon you to make one change each day (maintaining the previous days' changes too) for 30 days. It's a plant-based routine that asks you to cut out dairy, meat and eggs. Seeing as I'm already vegan I was able to easily skip past a lot of the suggestions. The remaining changes are really not a "diet" per se. It's more a sustainable way of eating healthy that so far has me starting the day with a high-fibre breakfast (like the breakfast quinoa, above, made from a recipe in the back of The Lean), eating at least one apple each day, having a handful of nuts for a morning snack, adding two tablespoons of ground flax to my food and drinking lots of water.

Basically it's about getting plenty of fibre and crowding the less healthy choices out with better choices. I'll tell you more about it as I go on, or you can also follow along in my Instagram stories. In case you're wondering, the reason I'm doing it is to tackle my "muffin top," which I earned from having my second child over 13 years ago. But I want to be clear that this is my choice and if you are content with your muffin top, more power to you!

Friday, June 22, 2018

How To Get A Photo Printed On Canvas (With A Giveaway)

Although I'm a big fan of white and light grey paint on walls, I feel it's important to add colour, texture and personality through accessories. I particularly like to liven up our home decor with artwork. My husband and I used to collect all kinds of unique art pieces when we were younger. Since we've had kids, though, we tend to look for art that is more personal and also less expensive (because who has the disposable income anymore?).

Our latest piece of artwork came to us courtesy of the folks at CanvasChamp. It's an image that's special to me because it's from one of my favourite places. I took this photograph on a secluded private beach down the road from the farmhouse my dad grew up in. It's in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Some of you may know that my kids are teenagers now, so obviously this photo was taken a while back. That's parent life, right? We don't get photos printed as fast as we would like. But it's super easy to get your favourite family photos printed on canvas, turning them into personalized artwork for your home. Here's how it's done:

Monday, June 18, 2018

Vegan Burgers and Burritos (Book Review & Ultimate "Meatball" Burger Recipe)

Even for vegans and vegetarians, burgers are a staple of summer. While I admit we often throw pre-packaged veggie burgers on the barbecue, if you have a bit of extra time and energy, making a fresh burger from whole foods is ideal. My family also loves a good burrito. Burritos are versatile and offer up the possibility of tailoring the stuffings to the likes and dislikes of different family members, including picky kids.

When I saw the gorgeous cover of Vegan Burgers and Burritos: Easy and Delicious Whole Food Recipes for the Everyday Cook, I was hooked. A luscious, well-topped burger, crispy fries and a burrito oozing with black beans, tomatoes and rice. Looks like the perfect cookbook for summer!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Making Father's Day Cards With Cricut

I posted these cards for Mother's Day, so you know I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to post about the Father's Day cards I made this year with my Cricut Explore Air™. I made three cards once again - one for my dad, one for my father-in-law and one for my husband. I tried to find appropriate cards for each one of them using the card designs that are ready to go in Cricut Design Space.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What I Ate Wednesday (A Day of Vegan Eats)

Can you believe that we're almost mid-way through June? "I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June," wrote L.M. Montgomery. And, for many years, this great Canadian author lived not too far from where I'm sitting, so I feel I know exactly what she's talking about. June has so many gifts - blossoms, sunshine, strawberries - and it's our duty to enjoy them while they last.

I try my best to enjoy berries as often as possible while they are in season. For the day of vegan eats I'm sharing today, I started the day with a smoothie of frozen banana, peach slices, pineapple, strawberries, orange juice and soy milk. I didn't add any "superfoods" such as chia seeds because I find they can be tricky on my digestion.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Patriotic Canada Day Ribbon Flag & Canada Day Creations From Canadian Bloggers


Canada Day is coming up on July 1st. The day marks the anniversary of the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, which united three separate colonies into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. But I think what people mainly celebrate on July 1st is the fact that it's warm outside (hot even) and we finally get to enjoy our lakes, beaches, parks and swimming pools. And maybe a cold beverage or two. 

Canadians don't tend to display the national flag on our porches as often as our American neighbours, but our red and white flag does make a strong appearance on Canada Day. The inspiration for my patriotic Canada Day ribbon flag was in fact a DIY American ribbon flag I saw on Pinterest. I googled "patriotic Canada ribbon flag" and came up with nothing but a bunch of plastic flags for sale, no DIYs. So I thought I would create a DIY ribbon flag tailored to the celebration of our beautiful country for Canada Day. Anytime we're celebrating a special event, it's nice to get together with friends. Today is no different. I have six Canadian blogging friends joining me to share their creative ideas for Canada Day food and decor. See them via the links at the end of this post.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Don't Sweat It! Fixes For 4 Summer Hair Woes

Sun, sand and surf - summer is synonymous with outdoor fun. But summer fun also means perspiration, chlorine and harsh UV rays, and it isn’t always kind to your hair. Don’t sweat it! Colour specialist Sterling Williams, an artistic educator for Matrix Canada, offers up these fixes for four common summer hair woes.

1. Damaged, Dry Hair

Time spent in the blazing sun can lead to dry, brittle hair, split ends and frizziness. To minimize damage, allow your hair to air-dry rather than using hair dryers and other hot styling tools. “Embrace your natural texture,” Williams advises. The less-is-more approach applies to washing hair too. “I don’t feel like anybody needs to wash their hair every day,” she says. “It’s not necessary and it’s not good for your hair.” Wash your hair two to three times per week. Apply a leave-in conditioner or primer to towel-dried hair. “Look for a product that adds both moisture and UV protection,” Williams says. Use a hydrating hair treatment once a week to replenish lost moisture. Use silk scrunchies and a silk pillowcase to reduce friction and minimize breakage of hair strands.

Hair Helper: Maurizio’s Hydrating Hair Mask helps restore moisture and shine to damaged hair.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What I Ate Wednesday (A Day of Vegan Eats)

I'm not one of those people who buys 10 pounds of bananas and four watermelons each week (and good for you if you are). But I do like the occasional plate of fruit in the morning. It makes for the perfect light meal when you're not quite hungry yet. And nothing says summer like crisp, fresh, juicy watermelon wedges! I had this little fruit plate, above, after cutting up watermelon for the kids to take to school this morning.

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