Sunday, July 7, 2013

Momma Made Beauty Stuffs

I LOVE essential oils. Like Love Love.

I use them for everything from colds to crack skin, to acne to and now toothpaste, bug spray and deodorant!

In my ongoing quest to live a healthy, natural lifestyle, I have been experimenting with various recipes for homemade beauty products using an array of essential oils. So far they have been met with great success. Below are the ones that I currently used and been very happy with. I am working on a few more to come!


  • 8 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Cornstarch
  • 30 drops of Frankincense oil*

  1. Combine baking soda and cornstarch
  2. Add EO to Coconut oil and mix well
  3. Slowly add oil mix to dry mix, working with a spoon until a pliable, spreadable texture is reached, something like thick buttercream icing.
  4. If you find it is too runny, add more cornstarch, if you find it is to firm, add more coconut oil
  5. Store your mixture in a glass jar with tight lid and apply with fingers for each use.
  6. Makes about 1 cup and should last about 3 months.

*Feel free to use any EO of your choice; Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon/Orange, are all good choices for fresh scent and antibacterial properties

Note: If the temperature where you are storing your jar reaches 24+degrees (Celsius) you may notice that the mix thins out. You can still apply it as it or pop it into the fridge to firm it up again prior to use.


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 6 tbsp cup Baking Soda
  • 10 drops of Peppermint oil*


  1. Add EO to Coconut oil and mix well
  2. Slowly add oil mix to baking soda, working with a spoon until a paste is formed
  3. If you find it is too runny, add more backing soda, if you find it is to firm, add more coconut oil
  4. Store your mixture in a glass jar with tight lid and scoop up small amounts for each use with toothbrush or spoon.

*Feel free to use any EO of your choice; Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Orange will all make nice tasting toothpastes

Note: Store mixture in small glass, opaque container as light will damage hydrogen peroxide)

Bug Repellant
I use both an oil based rub and a water based spray. The rub is great for when you have small sections of exposed skin to protect, whereas the spray is good for overall coverage.


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 20 drops YL Purification*


  1. Combine oils and mix well
  2. Store in a glass gar with tight fitting lid
  3. Apply to skin as needed, rubbing in well


  • 3.5 oz witch hazel
  • 3.5 oz distilled water
  • 20 drop Lavender*
  • 20 drops Citronella
  • 10 Lemongrass

  1. Combine witch hazel and essential oils in a 8 oz spray bottle, swirling to combine
  2. Add in water and again swirl to combine
  3. Spray all over skin and clothes as needed

* Feel free to also use any of the following Eos: Rosemary, Clove, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Mint, Basil and Thyme.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spartan Sprint 2013 Review

Yesterday I completed my first ever Spartan Sprint (3+ miles of obstacle racing).  I am so proud of this accomplishment and amazed at what my body and mind combined to do.

Over 5km, my teammates and I scrambled up and over walls ranging from 4-10 feet + 20 foot rope ladder up and over walls, carried sand bags, ammo boxes and water jugs up and down hills, hoisted a cement block off the ground using a pulley system, tossed a javelin, heaved ourselves up a wet wall and back down a rope, crawled through the dirt in tunnels and under camo nets, waded through mud while dodging barbed wire and leap over flames.

No big deal.


It was the hardest thing (outside of labour - lol) I have ever done. And it proved to me a few things:

1) My body is capable of things I never thought possible,
2) While I still have a lof of weight to shed, am far stronger than I realized,
3) I have to really work on my cardio/running endurance,
4) My mind/head is the only thing that can stop me from doing something
5) With amazing people at my side, I can take on any challenge

With such a eye opening event behind me, I am now even more committed to becoming fit and fab, not only for the outside, but for the inside as well.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Baby Eats: Coconut Oil Banana Almond Butter

I am starting to have to sneak stuff into the boy. He has gone from ridiculous fantastic eater, to classicly picky kid. We have alway done the "hide it" in pancakes and muffins routine, but I recently branched out and ventured into the world of spreads and dove into coconut oil.

While I use coconut oil on his face and butt regularly, he had yet to have any in his diet and since the little dude could stand to grow a bit more, I thought it may be a good addition to his healthy fat intake.

Anywhoo, since he is basically part monkey and can't even look at a banana without losing his mind, I opted to use his fave fruit as part of this experiment. I was not wrong in assuming that he would enjoy it. Kiddo almost screams when he sees the jar of this coming his way now.

SUCCESS! Now get growing baby boy!

Coconut Oil Banana Almond Butter

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium banana
  • 4 tbsp almond butter

  1. Blend everything together and enjoy! Will do best in an airtight container in the fridge to keep the oil firm

Garlicky Herbed Vegan Alfredo Sauce


Finally after ages of searching and many a kitchen disaster, I have managed to come up with a tasty and EASY vegan alfredo sauce. How do I know its tasty, well the hubby and kiddo both dive in when I make so that speaks volumes in my book.

I chose to use coconut milk for its thick, rich body and flavour, but I am sure that this would work just as well with any other milk alternative.

And to make it super yum, I like to add in a variety of garlic sauteed veggies to my pastas; this week it was asparagus, kale and grape tomatoes.

Garlicky Herbed Vegan Alfredo Sauce

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced 
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook garlic in oil until golden brown
  2. Add flour slowly, whisking to remove any lumps while combining oil, garlic and flour
  3. Cook over low heat for a few minutes, whisking continuously (do not burn!)
  4. Add in entire tin of coconut milk, rosemary, oregano and salt & pepper, whisking to combine
  5. Bring to a boil adding a tsp of water at a time (if needed) to reach desired consistency - sauce should be thick and cover noodles well.
  6. Keep warm over low heat (and keep whisking to ensure no lumps!) until pasta is ready or transfer into resealable container and keep in fridge for future use.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A year ago my life changed forever.

It has been the craziest year to-date and I wouldn't change a single thing

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

A year ago

I was a massively overdue preggo lady, desperate to meet her child.

I was eating my weight in pineapple, walking for hours, and doing a whole host of other things to try to get this baby out.

I was very fearful and upset of my pending induction, scheduled for 8am the next day.

Amazing to look back at it now.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Almost One?!

Nope, not possible.

I don't believe it.

Where did the last 360 odd days go?

My baby will be no more come next week.

I can't take it.


Baby Eats - Quinoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Pancakes

I love cooking, and now that I have a tiny gourmet on my hands I have even more reason to ensure we are always eating well.

Little E has been a champion eater since we started solids at the 6 month mark but I am always looking for ways to ensure that he is getting everything he needs. He is a vegan baby so I have to be aware that he is always getting enough protein, iron, calcium etc, from non-animal sources. For me this is easy, for him I sometimes find it challenging - not to get the food into him but to keep it interesting and not to offer the same meal every single day.

Pancakes are our go-to in the AM and today I tried to mix it up a bit. This has been my standard recipe for a while now ( and as you can see its super simple. I've done an apple cinnamon version, a pumpkin spice version and a pear version and those went over super well, so I decided to be a bit adventurous today.

Since we ventured into peanut butter yesterday I thought a Peanut Butter Banana version may work well. And for an added UMPH, I tossed in some quinoa. And I was not wrong. LOL - E gobbled up 4 full sized cakes, in addition to an entire banana and 1/2 a pear. This boy has an appetite!

Quinoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Pancakes

  • 1/4 cup toasted quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup water
  1. In blender (I use my Nutribullet) blend together quinoa, oats, flour and baking powder
  2. Place dry mix into large mixing bowl
  3. Again in blender, combine banana, peanut butter, milk and water
  4. Add wet mix to dry and stir until combined 
  5. If you find you mix is too thick add a tbsp of water until your desired consistency is reached
  6. Cook up and enjoy!
Makes about 22 full sized cakes - I use a ice cream scoop to portion out my batter

Each one of these bad boys packs in:
  • 70 calories
  • 3g protein
  • 10g carbs
  • 3g fat
  • 4g iron
  • 2g sugar

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Progress and Motivation

Eating well and exercising really works.

I never really doubted it, however it is still always amazing to me to see it actually work ... on my own self.

Weight and body image have been issues for me for decades  I have waged the battle of the bulge for as long as I can remember. My past major success have stemmed from lifestyle changes only, not dieting or sporadic exercise, nope, good old life changes are what works for this bod.

So here we go again. I slipped and slid right off the mark over the last 2 years, but I have reigned it in and taken control over the last month and the results have been fast and unexpected.

In less than 30 days I have shed a belt notch. That is huge. That is massive, that is the best motivation out there. Eff what the scales says, I am way more in love with what my pants say...

And they say keep at it lady, this is just the beginning.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pump it Up

I am sick of being fat, carrying around 20lbs of baby weight + another 20 that I added on before I got preggo the first time.

That being said, I keep having to be reminded that being pregnant x3 in one year can mess up ones hormones and emotions a bit and to be a tad lenient on myself - and to pat myself on the back for loosing 35lbs in 11 months and doing nothing to lose it other than BFing, so I guess there is something to be said for that too.

But whatever, I hate how I look, the size of my pants and all the bits that jiggle and bounce so I am back on the eating well and work out wagon hard and I am loving it.

Eating is back in check and I think it being so nice outside more often than not is making it easier to make healthy choices. Plus we signed up for weekly CSA boxes from Fresh City Farms so there is zero excuse to see anything other than local, organic deliciousness on our plates each day. And there is something about the sunshine makes me want to eat salad and veggies more than french fries and chips.

Also bit the bullet and joined the gym. Reality, I was and will never be able to workout at home. I don't have the motivation or the desire to sweat in my living room. I need other people around me to inspire me to work hard and get my sweat on. I need the gym - end of

So on that note I have been at the gym x5 a week for a few weeks now and its been fantastic. E and I get up, eat brekkie and walk over to the gym every morning. They have child care so E can hang out and play while Momma gets her groove on. He benefits from that experience as much as I do in getting a hr to myself each day. The routine is brilliant for him, as he is a massive creature of habit and each day he konks out for a nice long nap once we get home. Score - more Mommy and steaming hot shower time!

And never was I a class gal before, but I have started taking BodyPump x3 a week and can't believe how much am digging it. Its brilliant. HR gets revving and the muscles and calories are burning. Just typing this now I am feeling it in my upper back, arms and shoulders. The top half got a good workout today, the legs as well. I also invested in a heart rate monitor so I can actually see my efforts and that is also a huge motivator. Seeing how much I can burn off in a few hours makes me crave it each day. I am actually at the point now where I feel icky when I don't get out and work out. Funny how fast that can happen.

Hoping that if I can keep this up, I will be back in fighting shape sooner than later, but I am more amped to take note of how great in general it is making me feel to hit the gym each day, to see little E enjoying his time with new friends and to know that I am doing something really great for him and me; showing him that a healthy lifestyle is easy and fun.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gone too soon

Over the course of my pregnancy and now E's life, I have been actively participating in an online/FB based Mommy group. We all met on back when they had good forums and decided that when they were changing formats to continue the chatter over on FB.

Some people think its weird, that I spend so much time talking to loads of people that I have never laid eyes on, or that because so many moms are bitchy towards each other and forever in competition/judgement mode it can't be legit.

Well it is - and I will be the first to admit that never would I have expected it to become so very close and personal with these women. In BC I was lucky to have a few playdates with a group of  the Ladies when the kiddos were all but brand new. When we moved back to TO I was able to hook up with even more and now I honestly consider some of them good, real friends.

We talk about everything; from anything and everything baby related, to personal topics like sex, marriage, love, cooking, weight loss, jobs, money and every bodily function one can think of. We are an oddly open and very non judgemental group of very close strangers.

In each city where there is a group of May Mommas we have met up, we have become not just FB friends but sisters in arms, going through the daily challenges of making, having and now raising our beautiful May 2012 babies.

But sadness has become us recently. A sadness and loss that thought we knew was near, none of us were prepared for. This week we lost one of our beautiful babies. He was just shy of 11 months old. He had fought tooth and nail for his short life from the moment he came into the world, but he was no longer able to battle all that came his way. He was born with some very rare and unusual issues, that stemmed into other more serious complications along the way. He was such a sick little man, but such a strong, strong little soul. He gave it everything he had. And so did his young, new parents. They spend almost every day and night travelling to and from the hospital, sitting at his bedside, talking and reading to him, playing and just being in love with their son.  And in the short times he was able to join them at home they were there taking care of him with love, tenderness and sheet joy.

My heart is aching for them, it is heavy with a sadness that I never have known. My eyes are not able to stop welling up, tears spilling over. We all knew the end was on the horizon, we had been told it was close. I am sure most of us thought we would be coping much better than  we are. We are all mourning the loss of a baby that was one of ours, we have all lost a son this week.

I hope that Bas' parents can find their way through this time of grief and pain. This is a path non of us ever want to find ourselves on. I cannot begin to understand their feelings at this time.

It is unfair. It is heartbreaking. It is tragic.

But in all of that Sebastian will never be forgotten, he will always be loved, forever and always

Forever there will be a light in my heart for you Sebastian - 05/26/12 - 4/23/13

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Yumday!

Even though I am on mat leave and I don't go into an office Monday - Friday, I still love me the weekends. DH and I have come to an agreement on sleeping (He take a lie in on Saturday, I get Sunday), we get to hang out as a family of 3 in PJs as long as we want, we can take long walks and spend way too much time on the swings and best of all I get to cook big yumtastic brunches!

Today was my fave go to - Scrambled Tofu, but with a slight twist. Usually there is a mild salsa in my tofu for spice and flavour, but had none on hand today. So I winged it and man - what that a delish little adventure. And I felt a bit wacky after that so I turned them into wraps, but it is just a yum to  with a side of hash browns, yam fries or toast.

Breakfast Tofu Scramble Wraps
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 block drained firm tofu (not pressed)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • S&P to taste
  • 1/4 cup water (or vegetable stock and omit veg paste)
  • 1 tsp Better than Bullion Vegetable Paste
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • Greens (I had spinach and sunflower sprouts on hand)
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  1. Over medium heat, saute onions in oil for 2 min - add in tomatoes and cook until onions start to brown
  2. Crumble in tofu, using the natural liquid from it to deglaze the pan of all the delish stuck bits of onion & tomato. 
  3. Add in spices & water/stock and simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until liquid is gone
  4. You can add in water as needed to re-incorporate bits stuck to pan - a tbsp at a time
  5. Warm tortillas in oven or over flame, spreading avo over centre, layer greens and tofu, wrap and devour!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm Back?

Well I think I am. I hope I am.

Life is just really fast and full and exhausting now that my 10 month old monkey is standing up, is cruising all around, and generally getting into everything and anything he can. I love the bones of him, but shit, he's a handful. I feel like he may start to think his name is NO!

I can't seem to carve out the time to write, along with crocheting (my new small business aventure), keep the kid fed and clean, go to the gym (I am desperate to lose these lingering baby lbs ... well ok fine, just lbs, they were with me well before baby was), laundry, appointments, playdates ... etc. The basics.

I am busy. But hey, what Momma ain't?

But I am going to try to write more, if for no one else but for me. It's therapeutic.

Cheers to therapy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I resolve to ...

  1. Lose all the baby weight + 25lbs
  2. Go to bed no later than 10pm whenever I can
  3. Read more - lots more
  4. Get out of as much debt as possible
  5. Find a new job that I love (this one should be interesting)


I have not written anything in while as I have been uber, crazy stupid tired and busy being a Mom.

And I love it. I am SO in love with my boy, his smile, his talking, his bonkers somewhat bipolar behaviour. I love every second of him being in my life and cannot even begin to think of what it would be like with out him. He has changed me forever and I am so incredibly thankful for that.

So in reality, until something gives and I have more time I can assume that I will not be posting too much of anything.

2012 was full of changes
  • May = Arrival of the best thing I have ever done in my life - my amazing son *gush*
  • June = Hubby accepts work transfer with a 2 week moving period - AHHHHHHHH!
  • July = Cross country move into temp condo (ooooh so cozy)
  • August/September = Brutal house hunt in TO, multiple offers, multiple losses, FINALLY a home to call ours
  • October = Move into new house
  • December =  Christmas/Holiday madness

All I want for 2013 is health, happiness and simplicity. 2012 had enough action to last us a while :)