Awesome Easter eggs!

March 31, 2010

Once in a while, I find something on the blog sphere that I just have to share with you.

I came across these eggs and thought they look so cool, how could you not want to try to make these?


Picture borrowed from Char at Crap I've made

You can find the complete tutorial HERE on how to make them. And trust me, it's alot easier than it looks. (Though you probably can't do it with younger kids).

Just wait until you find out what she used to make the swirly pattern on them, you won't believe it! I know I never would have thought of using that on an egg, but the results sure are vibrant!

Finally! A post! And some gluten free beakfasts

March 30, 2010

I hope everyone had a good weekend?

I am aware this is Tuesday and not Monday, but I've just been pretty busy lately. And when I wasn't busy, I was not really in the mood for blogging. I just wanted to hangout with my kids, or sleep, lol.

Last week, had to be one of the busiest week I've had in a long while. I worked 4 mornings, Ashton had preschool 2 afternoons and I used that time to run errands with my daughter, we had two play dates during the week, I did my spring cleaning/organizing and hosted a Princess House party... Phew!

Lets just say I fell asleep on the couch Friday night (at 8pm!) and had no motivation for anything by Saturday! Sunday, we had a fun day with friends, had an Easter egg hunt for all the kids, a supper among friends and great conversations. It was so great! Now, my batteries feel all recharged from this insanely busy yet fun week and I am ready to blog again :) Thanks for being so patient with me!


Lately, I've been growing tired of eating the same old breakfast every day. One morning before work last week, I came up with this:
A banana, a handful of raw almonds and two cut up oranges. I know it looks very simple, but it was filling and delicious. I also happen to wake up extremely thirsty that morning and those oranges really hit the spot!
I also started experimenting with gluten free recipes and (pre-made) mixes last week. One recipe I made from scratch, is not worth talking about. But this Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free pancake mix was awesome!

Usually, I'd make pancakes with unbleached "white" flour, and my son could eat 2-3 pancakes in one sitting. Not this time! I followed the recipe on the back, except I subbed applesauce for the oil, used GF rice milk, and added some grated apples to the mix, to turn them into a GF version of my "famous" apple pancakes.

They were delicious, fluffy AND filling! My son could barely finish the one and only pancake on his plate. He even had to rest on the couch in the middle of breakfast and then came back to the table a few minutes later to finish it, LOL. I am very happy about this mix.
I've also tried Bob's Red Mill gluten free chocolate cake mix, and put them into muffin molds to have a bunch of cupcakes stashed into the freezer for when you get a craving for something baked and chocolaty. They were equally delicious and very moist. I'm very impressed so far, at the Bob's Red Mill gluten free mixes so far. I'm sure it's cheaper to do gluten free recipes from scratch, but I'm OK with taking the easy way out for now. Because the results have been quite tasty.

This morning's fruit plate for snack time: green grapes, strawberries and raw almonds. I have to make sure I'm boosting the kids immune with lots of healthy snacks because my daughter woke up with a slight fever and the sniffles this morning. And since they both just recently finished a round of antibiotics after a particularly harsh flu and ear infection, I will do what I have to, to make sure they don't get sick again so soon.
Also, I have been hiding some Echinacea in their juice today :)
Like I said, I'm not taking a chance!

What a busy week!

March 26, 2010

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a great week? Mine was insanely busy! Hence the lack of posts this week.
We are all exhausted right now because we've been waaaaay more busy than normal (though we had lots of fun play dates, we are still tired, none the less).
This is picture was taken last week, because I didn't even have time to take pictures of anything we did this week!
I'm going to end this post and wish you all a great weekend! Our weekend is going to be very quiet and uneventful, so I'm really looking forward to that after this week! Who knows, maybe we'll even be able to make, create or cook something interesting and be able to post about it for next week?!
Enjoy your weekend to the fullest and "see" you all Monday!

Little girl's party ideas

March 20, 2010

It just occured to me that today is March 20th.
March.
20th.

That means that in exactly one month, my baby girl is going to turn 3. OMG. Where has time gone?

Anyways, about a month ago (I know, I'm early right?), I started looking for ideas for my daughter's party. She didn't have a party with lots (or a few) of her friends last year, so this year, I want to redeem myself.

I thought I'd share with you some of the pictures I collected for inspiration... I was thinking of a theme along princess and/or tea party. And of course, alot of pink!










I appologize, I don't know where these pictures actually come from. I had found them while searching on google images a while back. If you see a picture that belongs to you, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will gladly add your name and/or a link with the picture.
Wouldn't this last one be a great party favor for her and her sweet little friends?
I'm actually having a little too much fun planning her party right now. I'll have to start visiting my local thrift store regularly until then in hopes of scoring a few items to use for the theme.
Little girls are so much fun!

Fantasyland Hotel theme room

Yes, that's what we were up to last weekend, but I just got around uploading the pics on my computer. I thought I'd share with you, because it was So. Much. Fun.

If your ever in the Edmonton (Ab) area, it's definitely worth trying once! It's not cheap, but it's fun... one of those things you want to do once kind of "treat".

We didn't get our first choice in theme room, as they were almost all booked for that weekend. Our top choice was the Igloo room. But the Western room did not disappoint.

First, when we got on our floor, this is what it looked like:

That's not the room we stayed in. But it's just to show you that all the doors were made to look like horse stalls. Pretty cool, eh?



The main bed, was this huge coach with a pretend driver in the front. You even have steps on each side of the bed to climb in. Oh might I add, that the bed itself was insanely comfortable... probably the most comfortable hotel mattress I've ever slept on. And the best hotel pillows my head ever layed on. I'm not kidding.

View of the end of our bed.

Oh, and we had a jacuzzi in our living room... glad we brought our bathing suits, because all four of us fit in it, no problem.


Needless to say, the kids had a blast!

Notice what it says at the top of the bunk beds?
County Jail

He's a good little actor, isn't he? LOL
I was sick with a sinus infection/head cold when we went, but it was so worth it! The fact that the hotel is attached to the West Edmonton Mall is pretty cool too. When the kids were asleep, my hubby and I each took turns to go shop in the mall. When it was my turn, I went to Jugo Juice (my new fave "fast food place") and enjoyed a Skinny Peach smoothie (my camera had died, so you'll have to use your imagination, or check out their site to see it ;), I got a few things for myself and then found myself wandering around a book store.
I'll show you what I bought at Chapters in another post, because it's worth a post all on it's own :)
So that's what we were up to last weekend.
Have a great Saturday!

A Big Squishy Hug!

March 19, 2010

Doesn't everybody love getting parcels in the mail? Imagine my kids excitement when we received a little surprise box in the mail this morning. They could barely contain themselves! I knew it was for them, but what was fun for me, was that the lovely box came all the way from the UK...


It was as exciting as Christmas to them this morning!

(pardon the jam stain on the kids table, LOL. They could not wait for me to clean it before opening the parcel :)
We received homemade play dough from Squishy. I had to write a post to thank L. aka Squishy mom for sending us this wonderful dough. You see, Squishy mom is one of those online friendship that happened because of blogging. I just love when those things happen! It makes our big, large and sometimes scary world seem much smaller and warmer. She just decided to send us this out of the goodness of her heart, but I HAD to tell you how wonderful her product is! Not because she asked me (because she didn't), but because it is simply AMAZING!
My son immediately decided that those squishy cookies (pictured above) were his, and he wasted no time opening the container and start playing with it.
My daughter on the other hand, was in awe at this "squishy" cupcake... and so was I!

I mean, how cute is that? Glitter and all.




They had so much fun with it, that it kept them busy until lunch was ready. I rarely get to make lunch without one or both kids coming in the kitchen to bug me, because it's never ready fast enough for them. But not this time! I could have not fed them, and they would not have noticed... OK, I'm exaggerating a bit, but you know what I mean.
The packaging is biodegradable, the presentation is smart, and the dough is eco-friendly.

And one thing you can't tell from the pictures.... it smells amazing!!! Like candy. I could not stop sniffing it! I didn't even want to wash my hands after putting it away, because I didn't want this super yummy smell to go away, lol. Yeah, it's that great!

Go check out her blog HERE, and/or her website HERE. I love how she presents her things... she's got more on her site, and you'll love it too, I'm sure!

Thanks Squishy mom! We love it!
This inspired me to spread the blogging love.... so I will put together a little something and have my first blog giveaway! More on that soon!
Have a squishy day!

Vegan Fudgey Brownies

March 16, 2010

Hello all,
Since I feel like I had been neglecting my poor blog in the past week (and you), and I still forgot to recharge my batteries for my camera (so I can't yet show you what we were up to this past weekend), I thought I'd share this yummy recipe I tried a couple weeks ago.

I found the recipe on the Vegetarian Times site, and I can say that so far, their recipes are all turning out awesome! It's my official "go to" for veg recipes now. I'm loving everything I whip up from them. You can find this original recipe HERE, but I made a few changes, so I'll post it the way I made it, since I like to bake sugar free and I don't digest regular oil very well. You see... I have no gull bladder. So if I eat baked goods that have oil in them, I get bad indigestion. Though I'm not sure why, it seems that if I replace oil with coconut oil in a recipe, I'm absolutely OK. Feel free to use whatever you prefer or have on hand.

And while were on the subject of baking, I thought I'd give you a little update on my celiac test... it was negative! Thank goodness! While I still have some kind of intolerance, I'm not sure to what exactly. I know I don't do well with oats, which sucks because it's my favourite kind of breakfast, next to green smoothies. But do I react to all gluten? Or just oats and wheat? Can I eat wheat once a week and feel ok, but not daily? Only time will tell.

For those of you who don't have those issues, go ahead and try this recipe... you won't be disappointed! It definitely lives up to it's name, because it is Oh! So! Fudgey!

Fudgey Brownies

  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1/2 cup plain rice milk
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with spray.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil in a double boiler over gentle heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in banana and honey. Combine rice milk, flaxseed meal and vanilla in a measuring cup, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Stir chocolate mixture with dry ingredients, until just combined, then spread in baking pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out dry from sides, but middle is still soft. Cool in pan, then cut in 16.

Sunshine Award!

March 15, 2010

Good morning all!
Sorry for the absence last week, I've just been very busy with, um, well... life I guess. Now my hubby's home and we've been up to some serious fun with the kids this past weekend, but since the batteries on my camera died and I can't upload the pics into my computer yet, you will have to wait a little to know what we were up to ;)
The reason for this post, is because the lovely Debbie from Maple Spice gave me the Sunshine Award last week! Thank you so much Debbie!

Rules:
Forward it on - nominate 12 bloggers
Put logo onto your sidebar or within a post
Link the nominees within your post
Let the nominees know you nominated them by commenting on their blog
Share the love and link the logo to the person from whom you received this award.

I'm going to be a bit of a copy cat, and like Debbie, I'm not going to give this award to the full 12 bloggers... First, because I'm just being lazy since it's alot of work to link up to all those blogs and leave comments (I have a sinus cold, I'm allowed to ;) and because there are a few that really stand out in the sunshine department for me lately. You know, those blogs you read that really make you happy or jittery inside. Those who truly inspire you and get you excited about life (or food, or both).

So here are my nominee's:

I am going to get some rest now and go kill this sinus cold and fever with some healthy food. I'll post some pics of our fun weekend when I'm a bit more energetic, but I'll leave you with a clue: it involved a theme room ;)

Have a great day and I'll be back soon!

Chocolaty goodness!

March 8, 2010

This weekend, I had time to go check out some posts from other blogs I like to read and found a recipe for coconut and raw cacao pudding from Kelly on The Spunky Coconut. I was so excited I had all the ingredients (except for the coconut sugar which I replaced with raw agave), that I made a batch that night and waited patiently until morning to see how it turned out...



It's chocolaty goodness it a bowl :) Though I had chia seeds on hand, this was my first time using it in something like this, and I can say, it won't be the last. This recipe is completely vegan, dairy free, gluten free (important for me, especially these days) and almost all raw. I'm going to experiment with chia seeds more and I'll let you know for sure if I come up with something delicious. In the meantime, you can check out this recipe HERE.

It's so healthy, you can even have it for breakfast! How can you not like that?!

Like my new look?

Of course I'm talking about my new layout!... well... sort of.

I've been looking for a long time to change the look of my blog, but could never quite find what I was looking for, since I didn't know what it was that I wanted. Until I stumbled upon this funky and pretty black and white template and I just knew it was going to work! I hope you like it as much as I do!

But I'm also referring to my new haircut. I got quite a bit of hair chopped off today. I was way overdue, it had been almost a year since my last haircut. I decided it was time to start taking care of me, and a new haircut for a new attitude was just what I needed!

This is what I looked like this morning:

Pretty curls, yes. Also, pretty boring, since all I could do with my hair for months now, was putting it all up in a ponytail.... boring! You can't tell in this picture, but my hair was actually a good 6 inches below my shoulders. The cut was just not nice enough to be able to let my hair down anymore. Ever.

So I went for my appointment, and when I came back, I intended to take pictures of my new haircut (which you can't see very well in these pictures). I was not going to post these pics of my haircut on this blog, but I was not planning on what happened during this little "photo shoot".

It was such a cute and candid moment, I just had to share with you :)

I hope you all like the new look of the blog!

More smoothies and fruits please!

March 4, 2010

This morning, the coolest thing happened, and I just had to share...

My little boy insisted on having his own green smoothie! Yesterday, he stole a few sips from mine, but this morning, that was not going to be enough. He wanted some in a glass of his own. And then, he came and drank some of mine, lol.

I am now going to make him some every morning, because that's what he requested. That makes for one happy Mama! His little sister still wont even try it, but maybe after a while of seeing the both of us drinking some, she'll want in too.

While my little guy was at preschool this afternoon, I made a quick trip to the store with my little girl for some produce. Though I did a huge grocery a week ago, bought lots of produce and non perishables, we seem to have gone though most of the produce already. That's good though. That means that even the kids are getting back on track like we were last summer.

This is what I came home with today:

Some organic greens, broccoli slaw, bananas, tomato, gluten-free vegan vinaigrette, a mango, asparagus, sweet potato, red and green grapes, lemons, young Thai coconut and blackberries.
When my little guy came home after school, I showed him all the produce I had got. I guess my enthusiasm for produce is catching on quick, because 2 weeks ago, his preferred snack was back to crackers or granola bars. But today, he had fruit for his afternoon snack. And not just one kind, but 3. Because that's what he wanted :)



How can you resist that cute face? You don't. You just give him what he wants, especially if what he wants is healthy food!

Health update...

March 2, 2010

Good morning all,

It just occured to me that I've talked about my kids being sick and having ear infections, but never updated you on it. Thanks to all those who left comments by the way. It's always nice to know that people care about you :)

My son's ear infection cleared up by the time my daughter got hers. He's feeling great and he's full of energy. My daughter, on the other hand, gave me quite a scare. Though I'm used to ear infections, since my son has a few every year, I've never seen one this bad. What scared me, was when her ears started leaking fluid. Both ears. I was lucky enough to already have a Dr.'s appointment at the same time this happened, but he couldn't tell if she blew her left eardrum, because there was too much puss in her ear for him to see. She could barely hear at all and she was in so much pain. There was a few sleepless nights for both of us, I can tell you that. And though I'm not a fan of "feeding" my kids all kinds of medications, I was not against the round of antibiotics and prescription ear drops my Dr put her on. There are certain things I'm not willing to mess with, and my kids hearing is one of them. Especially if the infection is that bad.

A couple days after the antibiotics, her hearing started getting better and now that it's been a week, it seems to have returned 100%. We do have to go back next week so he can check her ears again, just to make sure she does not have any damage to her eardrums, but I'm optimistic that she's OK now.

While I was in with our family Dr., I talked with him about me potentially having Celiac or being gluten intolerant. I've done my research online, I know what my symptoms are (and there are quite a few), I've gone 5 days gluten free to see what would happen (and it was an AMAZING revelation!)... I know I'm at least intolerant. I know that much. So he had no problem sending me for the blood test to find out if I have Celiac. I should get my results next week, but he advised me to stay off gluten, or at least wheat even if the test comes back negative, because of my little 5 day test results.

What were the results? Well, first of all, my eczema "calmed down". The redness and itchiness stopped for the first time in months. Also, my stomach settled. The bloating went away, I stopped going to the bathroom multiple times a day (if you know what I mean) and I just felt light. Lean, even. I had also dropped 3 pounds before the 5 days was over.

I knew I had to be eating gluten and wheat before my blood test though. It has to be present in your body if you want true results for the blood test. So for the past 3 weeks, I've been eating wheat again.... Yep! I'm at least intolerant. My digestive tract is not liking this one bit! So I will avoid wheat and/or gluten even if the test comes back negative.

I had also talked about being low in iron not too long ago. You can read about that HERE. Since then, I've been religiously drinking daily green smoothies. And on the occasional day that I'm not in the mood for one, I'll have a huge salad with lots of dark leafy greens. Sometimes, I'll even have both a green smoothie and large salad, just for good measure :) I also make sure I eat beans or lentils at least every couple days, since I'm not eating meat right now (except fish. I discovered my body digests fish perfectly well right now. Meat on the other hand... not so much. So I'm OK with having fish from time to time).

I can say that thanks to all that, my "brain fog" has now lifted. I can think more clearly. I can remember things much better. I'm more awake, and a lot less cranky. I even have some bounce in my step! It's amazing how different I feel right now, it's hard to put in words. All I have left to "fix" now, is my digestive issues. So going wheat and/or gluten free is the next step. But I believe that's going to be one heck of a process, as there is gluten and wheat in almost everything. In things I'm sure I don't even know about. It will be challenging, especially since I love baking and eating what I bake. I guess it's a good thing I love learning about nutrition.

So that's our (long) health update for now. I will let you know for sure what my test results are when I get them. But like I said, no matter what the result actually is, I'll have to make more changes. Good thing I'm open to change!

I hope you all have a great week! ~ I know I am, the sun is out and we've been having an early spring here. The sun makes us so HAPPY!
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