Happy Easter!!

I would have to say that we are having a nice, relaxing Easter weekend.  The weather was great Friday and Saturday which meant the girls played outside all day and Brian and I worked together in the yard.  Today, Easter Sunday,  has been a rainy,  inside  kind of day.  Though I guess Easter  really isn’t  the same without our extended family…growing up in a Catholic household meant going to mass frequently over the Easter weekend and sharing many meals with family.  I miss that indeed.  High price to pay for living away from family, across the country at that.

Even though Brian and I are raising the kids in a  quasi-Christian/Buddhist fashion, I still like to have some Easter traditions for the kids to enjoy. I started the morning off right by baking some really delicious vegan donuts with maple icing…I won’t write the recipe out here but I found it on a blog called Vegan Yum Yum…the blog’s owner, Lauren Ulm, has written a lovely looking cookbook so I”m sure I’ll be referring to her blog again!  For the egg replacer, I used chia (1 teaspoon chia to 3 tablespoons water) ~ I am loving this substitute because everything comes out so moist and light!!

The kids begged me to do an Easter egg hunt which we did in the backyard…luckily before the rain started!!  This is something I have no recollection of doing as a child.  And then ofcourse we dyed our Easter eggs. I am a bit disappointed with this operation as my intention was to dye the eggs naturally with beet juice and blueberries and while out looking for tumeric for a yellow effect…I found the tye die PAAS egg decorating kit.  The girls were all over it and really it seemed easier for me!! 

Well that’s about it for now.  I’m hoping to pack the family in the car and go to the beach to collect some larger beach rocks for my garden…an inexpensive and beautiful natural border!!  Happy Easter!!


April is Cancer Awareness Month…

April is Cancer Awareness Month…and I cannot believe how quickly April has flown by.  So I wanted to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to the BC Cancer Agency for the excellent and efficient service they have provided for my husband over the last almost 2 years.  I don’t think one can over express their gratitude but maybe I do??  I also wanted to acknowledge  that we as Canadians are very fortunate for our universal health care because god only knows how much treatment would have cost in the states (actually around 8o thousand).  So thank you thank you.

My thoughts are also with those individuals who are currently dealing with cancer.  It seems like  these days more people are faced with this interesting and life altering challenge than ever before.  I send my positive energies to you all!

Enjoy the beauty and simple pleasures that life has to offer!

Sweet Ginger Quinoa…

This has to be one of the yummiest recipes that I’ve made in a really long time…and it tastes even better the next day…all the flavours seem to blend well so it makes for great take-to-work left overs!!  I recently came across Charmaine Broughton-Dunn’s “Recipes of the Month” section of The Running Room Magazine (which is a free Canadian publication)…and then I found Charmaine’s “MarathonMom.ca” page on facebook which I thoroughly enjoy……what an inspiring woman indeed!!  Charmaine’s recipe goes as follow (and what I love about this recipe is how adaptable it is…both in terms of portion size and type of protein added):

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely diced onion
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp (15 mL) EACH finely grated lime zest and minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cracked fresh pepper
  • 1 lb /500 g large shrimp, deveined and tail left intact (about 30 shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fish stock or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh dill

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Cook onion, stirring for 2 to 4 minutes until lightly brown.  Add ginger, lime zest, garlic and pepper.  Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring until ginger and garlic are fragrant.  Add shrimp, stock, lime juice and honey.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once (scraping any bits from bottom of pan), until shrimp are pink and cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Toss prepared quinoa with shimp mixture, dill and peppers.  Make 4 sersvings.

**how I’ve adapted Charmaine’s recipe due to household food allergies:  well first of all I double the amount of quinoa so there’s guarenteed leftovers!!  I substitute the shrimp with about 2/3 cups of cubed firm tofu and I use vegetable stock instead of fish stock…and unfortunately yesterday I couldn’t find fresh dill!!

Nutritional information provided  by Amy Snider, PHEC

  • Per serving:
  • calories 188
  • fat 5 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrates 23 g
  • fibre 2 g
  • sodium 122 mg



“Be humble for you are made of earth.  Be nobble for you are made of stars.”  ~ Serbian Proverb

The Lone Runner…

Yep that’s me.  I found myself out today for a run in the afternoon as it was my day off.  It was very windy outside and for me that’s been excuse enough not to run lately.  So I continued on only to find myself gravitating to my favourite place to run in my neighbourhood….a beautiful wooded green space protected by the NALT…I’ll refer to it as LV.   At least in the park I would be sheltered from the wind…that’s what I was thinking.  This park is definitely one of the more elusive parks in town…sometimes you can go in and not see a soul. 

 Today I counted….7 men, 1 woman, 2 babies carried on  2 of the aforementioned men and 6 dogs (offleash ofcourse).  One man had a long walking stick.  Yes I will admit my senses definitely heighten when I’m in park and I make these sorts of observations…I didn’t see any of these people until I was ready to leave park.  So this happens to me every time I go in…I feel confident and brave initially but by the time I am really in the heart of the forest surrounded by the beautiful trees and ferns and moss…I hit the panic button…I start to wonder if that male cougar (Linley is know for him)  is watching me from  the thick of the forest…or will the man I encounter on the trail be friendly?  As crazy as it sounds, this is the fear I typically have when I am alone in this  isolated albeit beautiful  area. 

 So why do I do this to myself?  Why do I put myself in this situation??  Well I guess why wouldn’t I…I love to be in the woods and run on the hilly trails…should I live in fear this way??  It’s up for debate.  Until then I will think of better ways to protect myself…someone suggested I get dog spray and carry it in my hand…that sounds like a good idea.  We shall see…maybe the next time I go for a run in the woods I’ll have found myself the perfect running partner …

Spring Is Slowly Springing…

We have had some unprecedented weather both here on Vancouver Island and basically across the country…what’s happened to spring this year??  Mother Nature seems a bit confused.   Having said that, I spent a good part of the afternoon in the backyard cleaning up the garden and cutting out the blackberry canes.  Nasty things.  The sky was all beautiful and blue but there was still a good chill in the wind.  I’m still really excited for spring though…I love the sounds of the birds in the yard and the sights of bees in the spring flowers.  And I am very excited for some plans I have for the garden.  I have a new book that has been a great source of inpiration for me…I picked up a copy of  “Your Farm In the City” by Lisa Taylor, while I was in Seattle.  She is a local author there and part of a great group called Seattle Tilth.  Anyway Brian and I have a plan for something that the girls are really going to love…stay tuned!!


magnolia blossoms

I felt so sorry for the blossoms on our magnolia tree the other morning…I went out for a run at 6:30am and there was frost on the roofs and ground and the poor blossoms were frozen like little ice cubes….they seems ok now and will hopefully open up in the next few days.               

the girls enjoying their time in the fresh air and sun



Spring Break 2011…

This spring break brought us 2 whole weeks off!! It was lovely I must admit that for sure. During our second week off, Lynda, John and Benno from Ontario visited us for a week. We had a great time with hiking local trails and enjoying the scenery VI has to offer. Although I would have to say the highlight of the trip for me was visiting Seattle for a few days. I truly believe a change of scenery is good for the soul. Now to try and upload some photos…

the girls and the Space Needle

Low and behold…I have figured out the problem…the part I love most about visiting Seattle is going to Pike Place Market…I wish we had more time to explore there…but it was nice to spend a bit of time there regardless…

Pike Place Market


the cooper pig

We also walked along First Avenue to Pioneer Square and we were so excited about the Underground Tour that we decided to take it!!  It was very cool indeed…downtown Seattle was originally built at tide level and the town experienced flooding everytime the tide was high!!  Then a huge fire burned most of the buildings down and the town was rebuilt an entire storey higher…we saw the old town way underground (obviously) and it was a very interesting tour!!                                  

glass blocks from the sidewalk up above current street level

The kids were also very excited to see the mummies and shrunken heads at Ye Ol’ Curiosity Shop at the Pier…Brian and I had visited this store many years ago and we had seen the mummies on television.   Definitely worth checking out if you’re into that kind of stuff.  And last but not least, I loved the Trader Joe’s stores that we walked to and I mean we saw parts of Seattle I’ve never seen before due to our quest to find these locations.  I love the Lavender Soap and I cannot wait to get more supplies when we visit Trader Joe’s in Pittsburg PA this summer!!!

Auntie Lynda and the girls really did go up the Space Needle!!

Back After An Entire Year!!!

Wow…I cannot believe an entire year has gone by since I last blogged…I cannot recall why I really stopped in the first place. I think I was having difficulty uploading photos so I basically gave up. And things were pretty crappy around here a year ago. But now I feel refreshed…I feel like my old self again. So I begin my blogging journey again and look forward to sharing with friends and family. Namaste…