Wednesday, 30 May 2012

the art of busy

When did life get so busy? It's crazy. I feel like I am constantly on the move. Getting things done and yet, at the end of the day, I still feel like there are a million things I have yet to accomplish. Why is that? Have our lives really gotten busier? Or are we trying to do to much?

I know that I will always struggle to find balance. First and foremost, I am a stay at home mom. So my days are spent running around with the girls. Going to parks, appointments, play dates, dance class, gymnastics. Not to mention the household duties that need to get done. Then, when time allows, I work on my business. Which unfortunately doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. But of course, as my girls grow older - {Ryan will be 4 in a week and a half and will be off to J.K in September!!} - I will have more time, to put more time and energy into my business. And, inevitably, find something else to keep me occupied. Fulfilled. Busy!

Now, I don't have a problem with being busy. It runs in the family!  My parents are the busiest people I know.  But what I have realized, as I get older, I am harder on myself if I take a break. Have too much down time. I feel guilty. I think this runs in my family too. It all comes back to balance. How to balance the pushes and pulls of life along with the much needed down time. Because, more often than not, down time fuels our creativity. Making relaxation extremely important.

I love being on the move. Thinking ahead. Getting outside. Going places. Learning new things. I don't think I am running from anything but hopefully towards something. Something that makes me a better person. Something that challenges me. Something that makes me excited to get up and get started! Maybe that is why I like to be busy. My mind is constantly on the go, now I just need to find a way to catch up to it! 

What about you? Are you too busy? Trying to do too much? Is this something that you are used to and have accepted as being a part of your life? What do you do to relax? De-stress? Refuel?

Friday, 25 May 2012

things my kids have taught me

There is no doubt about it, being a parent is a tough job! My girls challenge me in ways I never would have imagined.  I am learning from them everyday and hopefully I am doing my part and they are learning from me too. Here are some lessons I have learned. Some were easy, some were hard, and some have contributed to my ever growing love of wine. As you may know already, my girls are only 4 and 2 so, I expect there will be thousands more lessons to be learned in the years to come! (I may have moved on to scotch by then.)

1) There is nothing better than getting a heartfelt hug from your child - especially the ones that come out of the blue.

2) Never assume that they have eaten the food that you have given them. I have found on numerous occasions {hours, days, weeks or months later} fruit, granola bars, crackers and raisins -  half eaten, squished behind cushions, under books and in shoes!!

3) My patience can be easily tested.

4) Yelling at the top of their lungs in a crowed supermarket will usually result in them getting a treat to quiet them down.

5) That I am smart, strong, beautiful and brave.

6) The more I say NO the more they continue to do whatever destructive, mess making thing they were doing.

7) They can outlast me any day in the dinner wars.

9) Singing out loud and dancing is a great form of exercise. I may look like a fool to any onlookers, but my girls think I'm freakin' awesome!

10) Don't fight over what they wear. Let them choose and wear whatever they want (within reason).  It saves a lot of time and tears in the end {yours and theirs}.

11) It's important to take time for myself. I am a better person, mom and wife for it.

12) I will always feel guilty for taking time for myself.

13) Screaming at my girls never works. I know this, but I will still continue to do it.

14) There is no such thing as a quick getaway! It usually takes at least 30 minutes to get everyone out the door.

15) Being called Mom is a really huge and amazing responsibility.

16) To always try new things.

17) Be the best role model that I can be.

18) Getting kicked in the face in the middle of the night is not a fun way to be woken up.

19) Hearing your child breathing deeply in their sleep is such an incredible sound.

20) That I can change a diaper in the middle of the night without turning on the light.

21) Night terrors are a lot harder for the parent then they are for the child.

22) That time really moves at an incredibly fast pace. Treasure every moment - the good and the not so good.

23) Sand can find it's way in to every single nook and cranny in the matter of seconds!

24) Kids are super creative and innovative. Ketchup, mustard, hummus, yogurt and apple sauce are all perfect for finger painting. Doors, floors and walls are all great canvases.

25) Hearing your child laugh is the most amazing sound.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Butterfly Wreath

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Butterflies. Beautiful. Delicate. Colourful.  It's no surprise that my girls have taken an interest in them. Just like a page from a fairytale, our backyard has been transformed into an enchanted garden, beautifully adorned with dozens of butterflies. We would watch in amazement, as the Red Admiral butterflies would dance in the sky. Occasionally taking a short break, resting on the side of our fence, to take in the warmth of the sun.  According to recent news, there has been an explosion in the butterfly population due to the warm winter we experienced.  So to welcome our new friends, we decided to make a butterfly wreath. 

I purchased the wreath at Michael's. Wrapped it with ribbon, then glued on the butterflies. Super simple!

 The girls each painted an old picture frame.

The final product.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Beach Day - Hooray!

We did it again. We went on another family adventure. To spend some quality beach time together.  On our way to Sandbanks, we sang some of our favourite silly songs and told some Pig Ig and Pig Zig stories (made up by yours truly). When we arrived, we basically had the whole beach to ourselves. It was perfect.


Since my husband worked Mother's day weekend. Our trip to Picton was part of my Mother's day prezzie. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate then with the three most important people who have all played a major role in making me a Mom.

Custard Lemon Tartlets

I made these little lovelies for a simple and sweet Mother's Day dessert. All you need is pre-made mini tart shells, some custard or pudding and top it off with some lemon spread. Delicious!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Crochet Obsession

My latest obsession. Crochet. I will be more than happy to wear crochet all summer long. Who wouldn't? Think about it? The semi-sheer fabric offers a glimpse of skin while keeping you covered up. And who doesn't love items of clothing that have built in vents to keep you cool?

Here are some crochet inspirations.

victoria's secret

forever 21



Friday, 11 May 2012

Coconut Flour Pancakes

If you are looking for a healthy twist on the traditional pancake for your Mother's day brunch, I suggest you give these a try.

I found the recipe here, and I was inspired by a friend and fellow blogger over at Say Yippie from her recipe for Pumpkin Spice Loaf.

I had made the pumpkin loaf a few weeks back and LOVED it, and now I am hooked on coconut flour. Since I had all the ingredients on hand, I set out to make some nutritious pancakes. My fingers were crossed that a) they would turn out and b) my girls would eat them. Success!

 Ingredients you need: 
3 eggs
3 tbsp of melted butter or coconut oil
3 tbsp of coconut milk, whole milk or soy milk
1 1/2 tsp of raw honey or maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp Coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Whisk together eggs, melted coconut oil, milk, syrup, and sea salt.
2. Continuing to whisk, add the baking powder and coconut flour until thoroughly mixed.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter (or coconut oil) in a skillet on a medium heat.
4. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet.

I made them pretty small since they are quite dense. Plus they were perfectly kid-sized!

 They were a hit!

Wishing all the incredible, hard working Moms out there a very happy Mother's Day!

For my Mom, who is a die hard the owl and the peacock reader: Thank you for always being there for me. For guiding me. For supporting me. For lifting me up when I am down. For being a wonderful mother and an incredible grandmother. I am proud of you and all that you have accomplished! xo

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Fish Tacos

For some people, fish tacos are delicious. For others, it's absolutely disgusting!  When I first heard of fish tacos I was quite frankly scared. I didn't know what to expect.  First of all, I am not the biggest fan of seafood. I'll eat it, but I don't love it.  And secondly, fish in a taco? Seriously?! But when I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised.

So, with the weather warming up [very slowly] I thought that I would bring this light dinner back to the table. But this time, it's with a twist. I came upon this recipe from  How could I say no. Not only is it a fish taco recipe, it's a beer battered fish taco recipe! YUM! Who's with me??


1 pound firm white fish fillet (I used fresh cod), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
vegetable oil for frying
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Mexican beer
juice of half a lime
1tbsp Tex Mex seasoning

Fresh corn or flour tortillas, warmed
1 medium lime, cut into wedges
Matchstick carrots
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Chopped green onion

1. Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2-inches in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat oil to 360° F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, Tex Mex seasoning, lime juice and beer. Coat fish in batter.

3. Cook fish in batches about 4 minutes, or until done. Drain on paper towels.

4. Place 2 to 3 pieces of fish on each tortilla. Squeeze lime wedges over fish; top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with Baja sauce and serve.

pan fried
beer battered goodness


1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Tex Mex seasoning
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients - stir and chill.
the fixings

Sorry. There is no picture of the finished product. It looked and smelled so yummy that it didn't even have a chance to be photographed. Go on and and give it a try. You won't be disappointed.  

Monday, 7 May 2012

homemade Thai food

As I mentioned in an earlier post [here] I have been doing an exchange with my friend and neighbour, Wendy.  My styling expertise for her cooking prowess.  It has been such a fun experience for the both of us. Learning from one another. Laughing. Sharing. And ultimately becoming closer friends.  Wendy has made incredible changes in her wardrobe - a very quick study indeed - (more about that in a later post) and I get to learn how to make delicious food that I would normally be more than happy to pay someone else make!

On our latest cooking adventure, we decided to tackle Thai cuisine. A red curry and a yellow curry.  They were surprisingly easy to make. Once you have created the paste, all that's left to do is add whatever ingredients you want to complete your meal.  We chose chicken and tofu for the red curry, and simply used a variety of vegetables for the yellow curry.

Thai Yellow Curry Paste
1/2 - 1 stock lemongrass
1-2 chillies
1/3cup onion
1 thumb ginger
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp shrimp paste 
{NOTE: we used soy sauce instead of fish sauce and shrimp paste}
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/3 tsp pepper
1tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
1/4 to 1/3 can of coconut milk

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Depending on your desired consistency, you may want to add water or stock to your pot when cooking.

* add 1 cup of stock plus the rest of the coconut milk when ready to cook

Thai Yellow Curry with mixed vegetables

Thai Red Curry with chicken and tofu

Thai Red Curry Paste
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 small onion
thumb of ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp shrimp paste
{NOTE: we used soy sauce instead of fish sauce and shrimp paste}
1 tbsp paprika
 1tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1-2 chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 can coconut milk

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Depending on your desired consistency, you may want to add water or stock to your pot when cooking.

First break: watch the hail storm

Second break: Taste our creations - YUM!!

Salad Rolls
The salad rolls, once you've julienned all your ingredients, are ridiculously easy to make! I can see myself making these for lunch, a fresh and light appetizer or for an on the go snack.

We chose cucumber, green beans, red and yellow pepper, carrots, tofu, mango, green onions, and the most important ingredient, mint.

My Share!!

I will definitely be adding this to my ever growing list of homemade specialities. But don't get me wrong, I will still be happy to order in!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Life's precious moments

Discovering new things together. Helping them learn. Showing them the beauty of nature. 
Watching them spread their wings.

Here's to life's most precious moments!