Jan 31, 2013

On Being a Mom

I was having a conversation with Prince Charming about a person we have met a few times on the bus.  She seemed to be the kind of mother who needed accolades for what she does.  She seemed to need more than she was getting, or to be getting more recognition than she was getting.  On top of that, she seemed to be the kind of mom who finds no great joy in motherhood in general, like it is a job that she does, but that she didn't like it very much.  Now this is no judgement on her, I am not in her shoes, I have no idea what is actually in her head and I have no doubt that she loves her children with all her heart.

However, it did make me think of my own thoughts on motherhood, my place in the world and what I really want out of life.  The truth is, I am happy with my place in the world.  I mean, I would like it to be a different geographical location and I would love to have more money, but if I had all the money in the world and a magic fairy who could grant me a wish, I wouldn't wish to do a different job, I would simply wish to do this one better.  I LOVE being a mom.  Even in my most sleep-deprived, exhausted moments, I wouldn't change that part of my life.  I don't want or need to go out and find fulfillment somewhere else.  I don't need accolades and big parades of appreciation.  The occasional pat on the back from Prince Charming, the feeling of little arms around my neck, and the sounds of  "I love you mummy!", "Yum, this is good, I LOVE noonles!" and little giggles are really all the appreciation I need.

Years ago, I wanted to go back to school.  I graduated from college, but I wanted to go back and take something else.  But now, I find other ways to stretch my mental faculties.  I enjoy other things that aren't about being a mom.  But my greatest joys, my greatest fulfillments, my best days, are all about my kids, being the best mom and wife I can be.

Jan 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Little Prince and Princess Belle

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This is Little Prince.  He is so sweet, too tired to lift his head, seconds from falling asleep, but not too tired to give mommy a smile.

Jan 29, 2013

Tackle it Tuesday

(click the pic above to get to other Tackles for this week)

I haven't done a Tackle in years.  So today I decided to tackle the drawer that holds stuff like peelers, can openers, baby bottle tops, and measuring cups.

Here is the before:

And here is the after, it still isn't what I would like, but it is more organized and scrubbed clean.

Easy Raw Vegan Meals

Salads with
-lettuce cut up really small (strips)
-tomatoes cut up really small with a serrated knife.
-cukes cut up really small
flavor all with salt and pepper and cumin

-frozen strawberries let out to unfreeze
-seeded black raisins (flavorful)
-a few dates
-a pear or apple
pulse in the food processor until chunky pudding texture. YUMMY!

Breakfast cereal
-two apples
-one carrot
-a few dates
put cinnamon or vanilla if you like and pulse in food processor. You can put almond or banana milk on if you like. I like it this way. You can also make it thick and then roll into balls and roll into coconut.

Jan 28, 2013

Photo Contest!

I entered a photo contest! I really want to win this one! the prize would be great for homeschooling! Would you mind "liking" this pic for me?? The theme was flames and shadows.

Click Here of the pic below and click "like"!

HOLY Panic Batman!

When I tried to get into my blogger account a short while ago and it was disabled!!!!!!  And my blog was down!!!!  I panicked!  I have been blogging here for over 8 years.  Through three childbirths, too many moves to mention and so many ups and downs.  I can't lose all that stuff!!  I managed to get it back, but wow was that an event I don't want to repeat! 

A Good Day

We had a good day yesterday for Princess Belle's birthday.  She was thrilled with every bit of it and her excitement made any stress I felt well worth it.  It was such a fabulous and exciting day that she wore herself out and she was asleep by 6:30!!

Since she turned 11 and that was the age Harry Potter was at the beginning of the books, the whole thing we did at home was Harry Potter themed.  She got a Harry Potter outfit and the whole set of Harry Potter books, and my friend made her a cake that was addressed to her, in the cupboard under the stairs!

We took her and three friends out to a girls day out movie.  She was uber-excited, can you tell??

My Little Harry Potter (or maybe that should be Hermoine since she is a girl?)
 Excited at the theatre!

Hugging Daddy when she found out that she got a computer for herself (I wanted her to have one to learn to type on and some other things for homeschool and we got a good deal on a used one)

Opening a present under her Flying Snitch balloon

Jan 27, 2013

Raw Zucchini and Tomato Lasagna

Raw Zucchini and Tomato Lasagna
Serves 2

1 zucchini
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
Raw almond cheese (see recipe below)
freshly-ground pepper

Chop ends off of zucchini and cut zucchini in half.  Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice zucchini into thin slices.  Lay two slices side-by-side and then top with fillings, layering between more zucchini slices. Garnish with pepper and serve.

Raw Almond "Cheese"
1/3 cup raw almonds
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 - 3 tablespoons water, or more as needed
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

Soak almonds in water for at least 1 hour, then drain. Add almonds to a food processor with salt, nutritional yeast, and 1 tablespoon of water to start.  Scrape down the sides of the processor and add more water as necessary until it reaches a consistency similar to ricotta.  Add the chives at the last second and pulse until incorporated.

Happy Birthday to Princess Belle

It is hard to believe that ELEVEN years ago, Princess Belle came into this world and changed me forever.  Turning me into a whole new person, a MOM and all that means.  She is such a funny, unique, amazing girl and I am proud of the person she is. 

From this . . .

To this . . .

In the blink of an eye or eleven short years!



    4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
    1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/4 cup local, raw honey
    1 tsp vanilla
    Dried fruit (whatever you prefer)

1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Warm the oil, honey and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat.

TIP: Measure out the oil first, then the honey (the oil will coat the measuring cup and the honey will slip right out).

3. Pour the oil/honey mixture over the rolled oat mixture. Mix well and spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes at 300 degrees. Stir every 10 minutes.

4. Allow to cool. Mix in dried fruit if you desire. Eat and enjoy!

Easy Raw cabbage burritos

Large piece of red cabbage - lay it down and top it with Avocado, fresh garlic and any type of tomato and wrap it up!

or you could try it this way:

  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • kernels from one ear raw corn
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 6-8 large lettuce leaves
In a medium sized bowl, mash the avocado.
Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of this mixture onto lettuce leaves and wrap. Enjoy!

Jan 26, 2013

Raw Vegan Cheese Spread!!!

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Let‘s get started.
  • Soak your cashews for 1-2 hours. You can even skip this step if you are in a hurry. 
  • Rinse cashews well. Place all ingredients in the blender until ultra creamy.

Saturday Photohunt: Knitted and Special Architecture or building

The themes this week are Knitted and An Architecture or building you like or which is special.  These are tough themes. 

For Knitted, I came up with Little Prince in bed with a knitted blanket.

And for an architecture or building you like or which is special, I thought of the buildings on the waterfront.  They are just so special and unique.

On another note, Prince Charming and I managed to have a night out last night.  For Christmas we were given some gift cards for a local restaurant and vouchers to the movies.  So we had a night out basically for free.  It was speical to get some time to spend with him alone.  It nice to reconnect for a few hours.

Jan 25, 2013

This Moment: Sisters Watching the Snow Fall

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Raw Vegan Cheese

Here is something I was totally excited to find!  A recipe for RAW VEGAN CHEESE!!!

Raw Vegan Cheese
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts
Some water
1/2 lime juiced (optional)
a dash of pink himalayan salt


1. Place the macadamia nuts in the blender.
2. Pour enough water to cover them, but not too much.
3. Get the blender working on high speed for 30 seconds. That’s the moment it will start warming up and we don’t want that. Stop for a while and hit the high speed for another 30 seconds…
4. When the nuts are all blended and puffy add the lime juice and the salt and mix again (with a spatula, not the blender).
5. Take a colander, place doubled mesh bag in it and pour in the cheesy cream.
6. Fold the bag covering all the mixture and add something heavy on top, like a plate, big cup or a small pot.
7. Take the setting into a warm location and leave it there for 24 hours. It will be best if you add more weight on it at some point, to drain all the water out of the cheese.

24 hours later your cheese will be ready. Remove it from the mesh bag into a plate and keep in the fridge. If you want to eat it as a creme cheese – then eat it. But if you want it to look like real cheese, leave it in the fridge for at least another 24 hours. The longer it stays in the fridge the harder it becomes.

Garnish with herbs & nutritional yeast. Serve with crackers, veggies and red wine.

Time for preparation: 48 hours and 10 minutes. Serves 1-10.

Jan 24, 2013

Raw Vegan Marinated mushrooms

button cremini (whole or halved if large)
dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper
onion sliced into half rings
lots of garlic sliced thinly
finely chopped parsley

mix all together, cover and marinate over night

Getting Started Early (Christmas in January? Really?)

I got started on my mission to create enough decorations to have only hand-made decorations on the tree next year.  Here is the first one I did.  I thought some pom-poms would be cute hanging from the tree instead of the shiny ball ones I usually put up.  I think they are turning out kind of cute! 

On a side-note, Princess Belle was excited to see them and loved it when told her my plans.  I even told her I would make her and the other kids some to play with as well as some bean bags to play with!

Raw Brownies

1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw dates, pitted
1/4 cup raw cacao powder

In your food processor, grind walnuts to a fine powder.  Add the cacao powder, and pulse to combine.  Next you're going to add the dates (make sure they're pitted!) and process until a sticky crumb like consistency is reached.  Press this mixture into the bottom of a pan, and place in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat.  Cut into six even squares, and serve.  You're done! Easy as that.

Nutritional Information (per one brownie)
Calories: 261
Calories from fat: 132.2
Total fat: 14.69g
Saturated fat: 4.05g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 6.8mg
Total carbohydrates: 30.12g
Dietary fiber: 6.38g
Sugars: 17.33g
Protein: 5.7g

Jan 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Peek-a-boo

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Weekly Weigh-in

I am down 1.2 lbs this week!  That means I am at a new low!  Woohoo! I am thrilled.  I am back from my New Years Depression fall off the wagon and I am back on track. 

Coconut Vanilla Crunch Granola

This sounds amazingly crunchy and sweet. I can't wait to try some version of this!

2 cups soaked almonds
3 cups sprouted buckwheat
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
3/4 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
3 Tablespoons vanilla water or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Spread on teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 135F for 1 hour.
3. Lower the temperature to 115 and continue to dehydrate for 15-20 hours, or until dry.

Jan 22, 2013

Cheap and Easy Cookies (non-vegan)

Cheap and Easy Cookies

This is easy, quick, cheap and it makes 7 or 8 dozen cookies, which keep well. The dough and cooked cookies keep well in the freezer. I use butter and wholemeal flour, but white flour and margarine can be substituted.

makes 7-8 dozen, cook 10 min at 180C

500 grams butter (approx 1.1 lb)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar
5 cups wholemeal self raising flour (or 5 cups plain flour and 5 tsp baking powder)
toppings like choc chips, smarties, jam, cinnamon and sugar

cream butter and sugar, add condensed milk. stir in flour. roll into balls and flatten. top with choc chips etc, or thumbprint and add jam for jam drops.

bake at 180C for approx 10 min until golden brown. cool on racks

Fun way to start the day

I tried making Pikelets (which is apparently an Australian Recipe) this morning for breakfast.  I warmed up some jam to serve over them.  I didn't have any, but the they were a HUGE hit with the kids!  They had their first serving gone and were all working on their second serving in 8 MINUTES!!!   I had to rescue some for Prince Charming to have when he got up.  I LOVE that they liked it.

Last night for supper for the family, I made a stew using some of the broth I made, some cubed leftover turkey I had frozen at Christmas, some leftover rice, and some Asian style frozen veggies, I got in my Santa's Choice Christmas Hamper.  It was a big hit, cost me next to nothing and I have some leftovers tonight I am going to serve with some freshly made biscuits.

It makes me feel good to have so much good food that I have prepared with love.

On a sidenote, I am daily checking the mail for our curriculum to arrive.  I can't wait.  We keep having snow and apparently, where I live the postal motto, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." doesn't really apply. Because if it snows, the mail doesn't get delivered.  I know because he parks his mail truck across from my house on the days he delivers to our street and it is mysteriously missing on not as nice days and I get a sudden surge of mail on the next nice day!  Yesterday was the first nice day for a while and I was delivered about 12 envelopes of coupons!

I was out running errands yesterday.  It was nice to get out and get some things done.  It did remind me of shopping with Notsosnowwhite and I had this sudden strong feeling of missing her so much.  Missing shopping with her, of sharing stuff with her. 

Broccoli Soup

  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli (try to get stalks with as much floret head as possible. Less stem is better!)
  • 2 c. low sodium organic vegetable broth (Pacific brand is gluten, dairy free, and vegan)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. organic lite coconut milk
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4" chunk fresh ginger root
  • 7 cloves fresh garlic
  • 5 t. nutritional yeast
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • turmeric
  • freshly ground cumin
  • rosemary, to taste
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/2 fresh lime, peeled
Chop a few of the florets off of broccoli to use at the end for garnish and texture.

Fill your blender with the vegetable broth, coconut milk, water, garlic cloves, olive oil and seasonings. Put the garlic and pepper on the bottom of the blender and then pour over the liquids and add the seasonings. Add all the broccoli with the exception of the reserved garnish florets.

Cover the blender and starting at low. After a moment, you can turn it all the way up to HIGH and blend for 6-8 minutes. If your blender is not powerful enough to heat the soup without itself overheating, puree the broccoli and soup ingredients in your blender and then you can eat at room temperature or warm the soup on low over the stovetop or in your microwave.

Spoon in the nutritional yeast and then pour into serving bowl and drop in your reserved florets.

Jan 21, 2013


I found this recipe over at my new favorite blog these days, Down to Earth!  They sound yummy and easy!  Given that my family is omnivore, they would love these.  I can't wait to make this yummy treat for them for breakfast.

(update:  I made them this morning for breakfast and they were a HUGE hit!)


  • 1 cup SR flour or plain four with 1 teaspoon baking powder added
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ - 1 cup  milk
  • 1 egg
  • 20 grams butter, melted
These will be cooked on the stove top in a frying pan.
  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt together into a bowl.
  2. Mix the milk, egg and melted butter together, then add to dry ingredients, whisking until smooth.
  3. Heat a non-stick frypan over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. 
  4. Drop level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook for half a minute or until bubbles appear on the surface.
  5. Turn over and cook the other side for one minute or until golden.
Serve warm with butter, or cold with jam and cream. You can add grated apple and cinnamon to the batter to make a delicious variation.
You can keep the batter in the fridge till the next day if you only want to make half a batch each day.

Pumpkin Soup

2 onions, chopped
1 tbsp. olive or other vegetable oil
flesh of 1 pumpkin
3-4 cups milk substitute of choice
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Saute the onion in the oil until soft. Add the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes. Add the soya milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the pumpkin is soft. Place soup in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Oh they look so good!

I finally got the calendars I made!  I LOVE how they look.  I would love to do this every  year.  It would be like having a yearbook with monthly pics of my kids every year.  I am thinking I could get a headstart for next year by preparing layout a month until the end of the year, then all I would have to do is send away for it and have one for next time. 

I do know  a couple of things I will do differently next time, but overall, I am so glad I did this!

Raw Flaxseed Oatmeal!

3 tbsp flaxseed meal
water, soy, rice or almond milk
1 banana
2 tbsp chopped raw pecans
maple syrup

Prepare the flaxseed meal the night before. In two separate bowls divide the flaxseed meal – 1 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal in each. Cover with water or soy milk or whatever you’ve chosen to use. Give it a little stir and set in fridge overnight.

In a blender empty contents of soaked flaxseed meal. You might need to give it a little stir beforehand and it’ll probably have a sticky consistency. Put half the banana into the blender along with a small amount (tsp) of maple syrup – it really depends how sweet you want it but the flaxseed meal and banana are pretty sweet anyway. Blend until completely smooth. If it is very thick you can add a small amount of water/soy milk but be careful, a little goes a long way and you don’t want this runny.

Repeat the process with the other half of the ingredients. You could do it in one batch obviously but I find it easier doing it this way. Chop a handful of raw pecans and divide between the bowls. I’ve discovered true raw foodists don’t use any concentrated sweeteners but hey, I am new at this, and I like it a little sweet.

Jan 20, 2013

Yummy Granola

Granola (with tweaks)

2 apples, any variety
1 generous cup of soaked dates
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp orange zest (to taste)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked a couple of hours
2 cups buckwheat, rinsed well & soaked a few hours
2 cups almonds, soaked
3 cups pecans, soaked
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries - I omit
1 cup raisins
1 cup golden flax seeds, ground or whole (use whole golden)
*3 cups thick rolled oats (You  use about 2 cups whole oats that I soak for 3-4 days in the fridge to soften. Then I dehydrate to keep them on hand for this recipe. I use 3 cups of the soaked & dehydrated oats. If you're soaking them just for this recipe, soak 2 cups whole oats and mix them in.

In a food processor, place one apple, the soaked dates along with about 1/4 cup of the soak water, maple syrup, orange juice, zest, cinnamon, salt & walnuts....grind until completely smooth. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining apple, chopped. Then place the almonds & pecans into the food processor, Coarsely chop nuts in a few quick pulses. Add them to the bowl along with the apple mixture, add all other ingredients.....combine well.

Spread the granola on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 6 - 8 hours. Peel off the Teflex sheeting and continue to dehydrate until the granola is crunchy. Break into pieces and once completely cooled, store in airtight containers. This granola will last for many weeks.

Little Victories

The day before yesterday I had some errands to run.  I wasn't looking forward to it because the building is at the top of a hill and I remember too well how hard that hill has been for me to climb.  I have vivid memories of being short of breath, of finding excuses to stop for a break half-way up the hill.  So with great trepidation, I started walking up the hill and lo and behold!  I didn't get out of breath.  It felt like nothing at all!  I got to the top and got in to drop the stuff off and I didn't find it hard at all.

On the way home, I had to take the bus that stopped at the other end of our street.  Again, we live on a hill so I was dreading trudging up the hill and arriving home breathless with sore legs from the hill and again I was surprised by how easy it was.  It drove home how losing almost 50 lbs has improved my life!

Quick avocado mash

It is easier than guacamole (not that guacamole is that difficult) and it literally takes minutes to prepare and clean up after. A quick snack before work - Avocado mash = 1 ripe avocado, 1 tsp lemon juice, sprinkle of salt and pepper. Done!

Good with carrot sticks, lettuce wraps with julienned veggies, raw crackers or any other veggies.

Simple Snack of Apples with Snow

Apples with Snow

2-3 sweet apples (golden, red delicious, etc.)
3-5 bananas
shredded coconut (our variation on this recipe-just sprinkle on top)

Peel and chop or slice apples. Mix in bowl. Then, on a plate, mash the bananas with a fork. Add this on top of the apples. If desired, sprinkle with some cinnamon.

I like to add a few dried cranberries to this as well!  I love the tart with the sweet.  

Jan 19, 2013

Saturday Photohunt: Haven and Yellow

The themes this week are Haven and Yellow.  This one took a little thought.  The more I thought about, the more I knew my family is my haven.  When I am down, they make me happy.  They are quick with hugs and kisses and they are my port in a storm and my sanctuary.  My favorite thing is to make yummy treats and to watch them enjoy.  So here are two of my girls in yellow enjoying mommy's yummy baking. And my boy cuddling with his daddy (his cuffs are yellow).  My adorable boy with his yellow elephant, and my oldest girl making a snack and being her loveable, goofy self. 

Vegan Banana Cream Pie Recipe


2 bananas (1 of which will be thinly sliced)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw sugar


To start we are going to thoroughly mix one banana with an electric mixer. Start on low to prevent disaster, then whip on high.

Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, and raw sugar to the bowl and continue to whip. This can be done in a food processor or blender.

Next slice the second banana and layer it in a ramekin.

Jan 18, 2013

Spicy Broccoli No Stir Fry

1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup raw cashews, chopped
2–3 large celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms of your choice, sliced
1 tbs teriyaki sauce (or make your own with Liquid Aminos/Nama Shoyu and a bit of sugar)
2 tsp chili sauce
4 tsp grated ginger or 2 tsp ginger powder

Start by cutting up the broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces and place into a medium-sized bowl.
Add the celery, mushrooms, and cashews into the bowl. Add spices and sauces.
Mix together, until all veggies and nuts are covered.

This Moment: Mornings

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Simple Kale Salad


1bunch Kale chopped
1 ear corn
1cup tomatoes
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Sea salt

Put all into bowl and squish with your hands to wilt Kale and cream avocado.

Jan 17, 2013

Personal Raw Challenge

One thing I have learned from this 1 week raw challenge is that I definitely want to include more raw foods in my diet.  I could never give up cooked forever, but I do know that my stomach is so much better with that amount of fibre I have been eating and the increased nutrition in the foods I have been eating.  So while I do see cooked vegetarian foods in future, I do see a LOT more raw foods in my diet too. 

Vegan Yumminess in a cup~

The sweetener and nuts aren't necessary, just give it a richer flavor. You can just eave them out, unless you need something a little extra sweet.

frozen bananas
carrot greens
chopped fresh ginger
dash cinnamon
water as needed

small handful spinach
sweetener (dates, stevia, etc.)
small handful of nuts of choice

Toss everything in a blender, along with enough water for your desired constancy and to ease blending. Blend until smooth, but don't worry about itty-bitty green carrot top pieces.

Yummy Simple Salsa

2 med tomatoes
2-3 carrots
1 stick celery
1 sm pepper (not hot)
a little lemon juice or lime juice

Simply chop and mix this all together!  This is good in a wrap of some kind, or just on its own!
You could just put it in a food processor.