Dec 31, 2010

{this moment: snoozing under the tree}

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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend (and Happy New Year)!

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Dec 30, 2010

The Myth About Living A Balanced Life

1 comment:
balance scale

I don't know who came up with it or where this originated from but I believe leading a "balanced life" is some unattainable piece of crap being fed to us by opportunists who are making a fortune off of our gullibility. Seminars, book sales, courses... as we buy into this myth we are depriving ourselves of living a real and honest life. 

There is no such thing as a balanced life. You can't have it all. Sorry if this disappoints you. I'm just being realistic. However, I think I can offer some insights, so that you don't feel overwhelmed by the "imbalances" in your life.

First of all, remember that you are human. You can't do it all. No one can do it all. Once you embrace this as a reality, rather than a shortcoming, your journey will become that much easier.

Secondly, it is important to recognize that certain aspects of your life can be calm at some moments and demanding in others. For example, how can we live a "balanced" life when an important project at work is due within a few days? We may have to give a little bit more for the time being, but eventually the project will be over and our life will "stabilize".

This happens repeatedly, whether it's work, school, a relationship, your health, or your children. At certain points in time, different aspects of your life are going to demand more attention. Understanding this as a reality can help alleviate some of the anxiety and/or guilt you may feel about the attention you are giving to these areas of your life.

Thirdly, be honest with yourself and others. When you share your "reality" with others, you may be pleasantly surprised by how many others face the same pressures and strains. Set the precedent. Be honest. Tell others how crappy you feel that you had to ask for an extension on a project because you didn't want to miss your son's hockey tournament. Being honest encourages others to do the same.

Fourthly, figure out what works for you. You may not be able to live a completely balanced life but you can figure out what your priorities are, what you are willing to sacrifice, and what will keep you content.

Almost a year and a half ago, I came to the realization that my career as a child care director was interfering greatly with my home life. I was physically, mentally and emotionally bringing my work home. I couldn't escape the demands of my job and as a result, valuable time with my daughter and husband was being sacrificed. I was not okay with this. So, I looked for a decent paying job as a child care worker. It was a huge financial sacrifice. Since I've made this change, we can't afford to be carefree with our money, we rarely go out for dinner, and we live by a strict budget. However, I was more willing to sacrifice money over time with my family. Some people may look at this and say, "See, you sought out balance in your life." However, this is not a good example of balance. If I could achieve balance, I would have been able to stay in my previous position and not have been forced to make such a financial sacrifice.

Lastly, don't compare yourself to others. Unless they are 100% honest, you have no idea what someone else's life is like. They may look like they have and are able to do it all... but you truly don't know what's going on. Avoid the comparison "game" and you'll be a lot happier.

What are your thoughts? Do you think leading a balanced life is attainable or not?

Photo credit
Photo by winnifredxoxo found in the Creative Commons on Flickr

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Dec 28, 2010

The Missing Ingredient


Last night, I looked through the fridge and cupboards for inspiration as to what to make for dinner. I decided to make Teriyaki salmon on a bed of rice with steamed vegetables on the side.

The salmon needed to be marinated for at least an hour before baking so I got to work immediately... and then IT happened. There was no brown sugar to be found. How could I make Teriyaki sauce without brown sugar? Of course, I did what any other desperate person, who does not want to leave the house, does... I searched the Internet for a brown sugar substitute.

What do you know? Within minutes I had my solution. I was so excited that I had to share it with you. Brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses mixed into it.

Brown Sugar Recipe
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp molasses

Add both ingredients to a bowl. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

How easy was that???!!! I was so impressed with the results I fed a teaspoon of the brown sugar to my husband. He couldn't believe I made it myself!!!

As soon as I finished my sauce I took the salmon out of the fridge. It was no good. Unfortunately, the Internet couldn't help me with a substitute for salmon fillets but at least I learned how to make brown sugar!!!

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Dec 27, 2010

Beat the Post-Christmas Blues

1 comment:

Christmas is over. There's sadness in you. Perhaps it's because the family has gone home and now the house feels so empty. Perhaps it's because of the forgotten Christmas tree in the corner of the room... the lights are no longer turned on and there's a void beneath the tree. Perhaps it's because the passing of the season is a sad reminder of the passage of time. Regardless of the reason, the days after Christmas can be emotionally overwhelming. Here are ten tips on how to beat the post-Christmas blues.

Take down the tree.
A festive season has just passed. Usually the Christmas tree is placed in the heart of the home... which can be a frequent and sad reminder that Christmas is over. Take down the tree, clean your house and revel in the joy of the extra space you've just created.

Take a break.
You've been busy with visits, activities and events. Take a relaxation day for yourself. Stay in your pajamas all day and relax! You can read one of your new books, watch some movies, take a hot bath and unwind. Enjoy the peace and quiet of your home.

Even children need a break after Christmas. Designate a day free of commitments and allow your children the time to explore their new toys.

Christmas is a time of giving. We become extra conscientious of the poor and/or needy. Don't stop now that Christmas is over! Commit to continued giving and good will. Perhaps you can adopt a Foster Child from another country? Or maybe you can donate some time to a local charity, homeless shelter or hospital. There will always be people in need... don't let the passing of Christmas cloud your awareness of this. Plus giving, whether it's time or money, makes you feel good!

Clean up.
You got all this stuff for Christmas and now you need to find a place for all of it. Take the opportunity to declutter and reorganize your belongings. Donate old clothes to a homeless shelter. Go through your child's toys. Is there anything they don't play with anymore? Start a box for items you wish to place in next year's garage sale. Place ads for "old" items online. Use this time to clean your cupboards and decide what you want to keep and what you want to discard. Also keep in mind that local charities accept donations of most household items... so not only are you decluttering but you're also doing something good for your community!

Plan a trip. 
Part of the joy of Christmas is all the planning, preparation and excitement leading up to it. Perhaps you can plan a family vacation to take place in a few months' time. Whether it's a trip to a nearby city or overseas, to have a vacation to look forward to can help you overcome some of the post-Christmas blues.

Reframe your thoughts.
Instead of dwelling on the fact that Christmas is over, reframe your thinking and look forward to all the things to come in the New Year!

Reflect on the season. 
Think of all the wonderful things you did this Christmas and write about it! Ever since I was pregnant with my little girl, I have written about our family Christmas every year. I assemble my writings and pictures in an album through Snapfish... but if you like to scrapbook, you can assemble the mementos that way as well. To read more about this, click HERE. Recalling fun holiday moments can help alleviate some of the sadness you may have about the holiday season being over.

Pay a bill.
Part of the post-holiday depression comes from the spending you may have done over the Christmas season. We all know we shouldn't spend money we don't have but still, holiday debt is a reality that many people face. Do you still have some money in your bank account? Pay a bill right now before you're tempted to spend the cash. Don't have any money in the bank account? Sell something and put at least 85% of the money towards a bill (i.e. You received a new camera for Christmas. Sell your old camera and put the money toward your holiday debt).

Plan a party.
Perhaps in a month's time you can get together with the friends you didn't have the time to visit with during the holiday season. You can plan a wine and cheese function, games night, or a dinner party. Getting together with friends outside of the holiday bustle can make the visit that much more enjoyable!

Start writing letters and thank you cards.
If you didn't write letters to include in your annual family Christmas card, perhaps now is a good time to do so. Write about what your family did during the Christmas season and any plans you may have for the New Year.

This is also a good time to write thank you cards to the people who may have given you and/or your children gifts. Giving (and receiving) mail after Christmas can be a very simple way to extend the joy of the holiday season.

Is there anything you do to beat the post-Christmas blues? If so, please share your thoughts and ideas for others to enjoy.
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Dec 24, 2010

{this moment: candy cane}

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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend (and a Merry Christmas)!

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Dec 23, 2010

The Proposal

Almost five years ago, my life changed forever.

On Christmas Eve in 2005, my husband proposed to me. It wasn't the usual proposal though. With Evan's permission, I thought I would honour the occasion by sharing the six page comic he wrote about the proposal. We handed out the comic at our wedding (with the wedding programme inside). Everyone loved it!


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4 

Page 5

So that is my memory of Christmas Eve... five years ago. A wonderful moment which forever changed the course of my life. The evening that I said yes to my best friend.

Merry Christmas!

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Dec 21, 2010


No comments:

My little girl LOVES guacamole. So we headed to the kitchen and whipped up our own batch. It was so delicious, I thought I would share the recipe with you!

The Ingredients
2 Haas avocados (peeled and seeded)
1/4 cup onion diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and diced)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cilantro
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
a dash of fresh ground pepper

The Process
Prepare your ingredients

In a medium mixing bowl, use a mix master to blend the avocado to a smooth texture.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Mix well.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Enjoy with your favourite tortilla chips!
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Dec 18, 2010

Five Beauty Products That Are Holiday Perfect!

1 comment:
With Christmas around the corner there are a few beauty products that are perfect for the holiday season. Sparkle and shimmer is what it's all about. Here are five of my favourite beauty products for the holidays.

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Shimmer Lotion
I love The Body Shop and I absolutely love the smell of this lotion. However, what makes it irresistible is the delicate glitter that is included in the lotion. A bit of shimmer without too much glam!

Fresh Twilight Freshface Glow
This primer is amazing! It can be worn alone or under makeup. It has a subtle shimmer to it and makes your skin look extra radiant! Application tip: I wear the primer over my daily SPF moisturizer. It works just as well and it helps keep my makeup in place all day long. This product is available at Sephora.

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Shimmer Dust
This shimmer dust is fabulous! I adore the feminine "perfume-like" bottle that's it's in. The gold powder is amazing and you can dust your face, hair, arms, shoulders, and legs! It's the perfect product to be paired with the amazing holiday dress you plan on wearing this season!!! This product is also available through Sephora.

Victoria's Secret Sparkling Lipstick
Sparkling Lipstick - Victoria's Secret 
Glitter on lips! What more can a girl ask for! What girl doesn't want a little bit of Victoria's Secret in their lives? I've looked for a lipstick that has a sparkle to it and this one certainly delivers. Application tip: Add a light layer of gloss for extra shine and shimmer.

Look Ma, New Hands!
So you look great but your hands are a dried-up mess. This hand cream by True Blue Spa is amazing. After just a few applications, your hands will be just like new! Now you're ready to tear through gifts, hold hands with the one you love and handle delicate fabrics. This product is available through Bath and Body Works.

Do you have any products that you would recommend for the holiday season? Feel free to share!

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Dec 17, 2010

{this moment: Mommy's boots}

1 comment:
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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Dec 15, 2010

Jennifer the Grouch

1 comment:
Maybe it was the foot of snow that had fallen overnight. Maybe it's that I'm tired and it's Wednesday and I just can't bear these last few work days before it's the weekend. Maybe it's that my dog woke me up on several occasions last night because he had an upset tummy and needed to get let out. I don't know what it was... but this morning when I woke up I was miserable!

I grouched and grumped because I just couldn't style my hair. I stubbed my toe (for the zillionth time) on the leg of the bed. I forgot to do the laundry so I was scraping the bottom of my drawers to put together an outfit. I ate oatmeal for breakfast and I forgot how oatmeal does not keep me full through the morning, so I was starving as it was time to leave for work. I had to trek out into the miserable, blowing, snow and then fight with the windshield wipers on my car because the stupid things were making my visibility even worse! The car ride was treacherous and I loathed every other driver on the road.

Miserable! Miserable! Miserable!

Then something happened. As I pulled into my parking spot I took a deep breath and thought for a moment....

It's just snow. I'm lucky I have a car and that I can listen to music and be warm in my commute. I'm healthy. I'm physically able to do so much. I have a beautiful family. I have a wonderful husband. I am fortunate to have a job that I love to go to. I'm fortunate that I have a job! I have clothes to keep me warm. I have a cozy home. I am pretty damn fortunate.

So it was at that moment I made the decision to smile and have a good day. And a good day it was.
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Dec 13, 2010

Personalized Room Decor

For the past couple of years I have been looking for a personalized name plaque for my daughter's bedroom. However, nothing quite fit with her room decor. I wanted something cute, original and big enough to fill a large empty wall in her bedroom. I decided that the only way I could get what I wanted was to make one of my own.

The inspiration came from the cutest set of flashcards that I bought at Anthropologie. The artist, Lisa DeJohn, has the sweetest illustrations. As soon as I saw these flashcards, I envisioned my daughter's name spelled out on the wall in her room.
The sweetest illustrations ever!
Here's what I did....

I chose the space.
This was pretty easy as there is one large empty wall in my daughter's room. We recently moved the furniture around, so the bookshelf and bed that used to be along this wall is no longer there.

A large, empty wall... waiting for beautification.

I mounted the flashcards on card stock.
On their own, the flashcards would get lost on the wall, so I mounted them on a dark brown card stock.

The brown card stock enhances the cards but also goes well with the green walls.
I hung the flash cards on the wall.
Overall, this personalization "feature" is very rustic in appearance. The illustrations and the colours give a very strong "country" appearance. I decided to go with the "country theme" and I strung a jute twine clothes line in my daughter's room. The letters were hung with old-fashioned, wooden clothespins.

I love the look of the jute twine and the cards!

Simple and original.
My daughter was so thrilled when she saw this! In fact she said, "Oh...... that's pretty fancy today Mommy!" I thought it was pretty fancy (in a simple way) too!

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Dec 12, 2010

My Thirty-Six List

Birthday Cake

Today's my birthday... and I'm thirty-six. Leading up to today I was thinking about what I should blog about. Thirty-six wishes for the coming year? Thirty-six things I would like to do this year? I debated. I procrastinated. Then it happened... my dear husband made a card for me which listed 36 Things About Jennifer. I thought I would share his insights with you (even though some are embarrassingly true). So sit back, relax and enjoy some odd tidbits about me.

36 Things About Jennifer
  1. She makes fancy Christmas cards! I used to cut and fold paper... now I just use photos and do them up on the computer.
  2. She's a good cook. I'm glad he thinks so!
  3. She's a cutie! It doesn't take much to be cute when you're 5'2" and your husband is almost 6' tall! 
  4. She has healthy teeth! True. I had my first (and only) cavity when I was thirty-two.
  5. She's a wonderful mom! I try my bestest but what mom really thinks she's a wonderful mom?
  6. She's really competitive. YES! I am insanely competitive. I don't like this characteristic but I can't help it.
  7. She excels at Legends of Zork! My husband got me hooked on it. Now it's a daily activity.
  8. She also excels at using Excel! Ha! Ha! Yes, if an Excel spreadsheet can be made, I will make it. I LOVE Excel!
  9. She can talk like Donald Duck! A little. I just have a few phrases I've mastered... that's all... really.
  10. She sews fun projects! I love to sew. I'm a fabric addict too - I have more fabric than completed projects.
  11. She's a popular blogger! Ummmm - I don't know about that.
  12. She's a keen student... Yup - I love to learn.
  13. And so she has a Bachelor's Degree in something! I had to laugh at this... he'll never remember that I have a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree.
  14. She can do yoga thingees real good! Okay... where does he get this from? He's never seen me in yoga class (when I'm wobbling in tree pose).
  15. She's really clean! I try to be.
  16. She's organized! This is because of the Excel spreadsheet thing.
  17. She has squeaky eyes! Creepy hey? I rub them, they squeak... it's disturbing.
  18. She takes a nice picture! Does he mean I take good pictures of others or does he mean I photograph well??? Never mind, I think he means I take good pictures of others. I rarely photograph well.
  19. She's a super wife! Awww. That's just because he's a super husband.
  20. She's a child care legend! Eighteen years in the same profession will do that for you.
  21. She likes to garden! I do... although after years of trying, this past year was my most successful.
  22. She loves French food! Of course I do... I'm French!
  23. She loves the mountains! Oh my goodness... I wish we had a second home in the mountains. I can't get enough of the Rockies!!!
  24. She is not legally considered a dwarf! I'm 5'2"!!! That's nowhere near dwarfism.
  25. She likes U2 and Sarah McLachlan! love U2 and Sarah McLachlan!
  26. She likes to wear jammies! The minute I get home I jump into my jammies.
  27. She knows how computers work! I'm a do-it-yourself kind of gal... if something's wrong with the computer I will tinker with it. My husband on the other hand, runs away and cowers in a corner.
  28. She's allergic to cats and won't tolerate lactose! Cats make me sooooo sick and milk upsets my tummy.
  29. She has been a featured painter! Once. When I was in highschool a painting I did of a purple iris was showcased in the public library. Then the same painting was displayed in my school's office.
  30. She likes wine and Lays potato chips (separately or together)! Yummmmmmm! Wine... potato chips... bliss!
  31. She sometimes falls down. I can be a little bit clumsy at times.
  32. She loves shows about feisty pioneer girls! Little House on the Prairie. Anne of Green Gables. Christy.
  33. She likes to go green! I'm all about greening up our home and our world!
  34. She likes to knit! Yeah but I'm terrible at it!
  35. It's her birthday Indeed it is!
  36. ... And we love her! Yay!
So there you have it... some things you didn't know about me.

A side-note, I wrote this posting while listening to a CD my hubby gave me for my birthday... Florence + the Machine (LUNGS). I love it and highly recommend it!

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Dec 11, 2010

Cooking With Children


I love to cook with my daughter. Some of my blog demonstrates my joy of cooking with her. She loves it and it's a real experience for her... not a chore or task but something meaningful. The more I cook with her, the more I realize how much she's learned from these experiences. She's learned new words, numbers, counting, colours, and even some science. As an early childhood educator, I can attest to the many and varied benefits of cooking with children. However, there is a big difference between cooking with one or two children as opposed to when I'm at work and I'm cooking with four or five.

I thought I would share some of my tips and experiences with those of you who wish to cook with your own children.

Be prepared. Select your recipe and make sure you have all the ingredients before you start cooking with your children. There's nothing worse than stopping the process because you don't have any baking soda!!! If you have young children, gather all the ingredients ahead of time. If you have older children, they might enjoy the "game" of finding the ingredients you say that they will need. It's also a good idea to gather your cleaning supplies ahead of time.

Talk (lots). This is a time to speak and role model those great words that your children may otherwise not be exposed to... wonderful words like whisk, knead, sieve, strain, simmer etc. Don't hold back! This is a wonderful opportunity to expand their vocabulary. 

Have good quality equipment that your children can use. Since I love colour... all of our baking equipment is colourful. We have coloured bowls, measuring spoons and mixing spoons. My daughter learned much of her colours through the process of baking (i.e. "Pour the flour into the purple bowl".) I am also okay with her using the equipment. It's not fun for a child if they can't touch or use anything.

Also, as well-meaning parents, we often fret about our children using knives. Under close supervision you can teach your child this important skill. An older preschooler has enough steadiness to be able to handle a knife. Show them how to position their hands and let them use a real knife. "Practicing" with a plastic knife or a paring knife could do more damage (as the weight of a plastic or paring knife is entirely different from a "real" cutting knife).

Involve them in "reading" the recipe. If they are very young, read the recipe to them and point to each line as you read it. Older children who know how to read can read the recipe out loud for all to hear. Some great cookbooks for children include:

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up

Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up

Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Cooks Ages 8 & Up

These cookbooks have great pictorial instructions which makes them fantastic cookbooks for preschoolers to use.

Expect a mess (and be okay with it). Baking with children is bound to be messy. As mentioned previously, part of being prepared is having your cleaning supplies handy (i.e. paper towels, wash cloths, a small broom and dust pan, mop). The experience should far outweigh the necessity for cleanliness... your children will love the experience as long as you don't fret over every bit of flour that gets on the kitchen floor.

Be a positive role model. Demonstrate good hygiene by washing your hands frequently (and encouraging them to do so). Don't sample the food while making it. Model safe cooking behaviours (i.e. cutting safely, pointing pot handles to the back of the stove, etc.)

Allow lots of time for the experience. Do not cook with children if you have an impending deadline. The process should be enjoyed, not rushed.

Ask lots of questions. Get them to critically think about the process. Ask questions that allow them to think about what is happening. (i.e. What does the flour look like? What does it smell like? What do you think will happen when we add the baking soda? How does the dough feel in your hands?)

Get them to do most of the work. Measuring, mixing, pouring... most of these things can be done by a child who's over two. Sometimes they may need some hand-over-hand guidance but the benefit of actually doing these things is so great!

Involve them in the process of cleaning up. Encourage them to load the dishwasher and put away the ingredients.

Celebrate with the eating of the food that has been made. Avoid recipes that don't allow for the food to be consumed within a reasonable time period. Children want the gratification of tasting their efforts. The less time they have to wait, the better!

Incorporate cooking into their play. Provide a bin of real-life cooking equipment for them to play with on a day-to-day basis. Bowls, pots and pans, spoons, measuring cups and cutting boards make for good play equipment. This allows your children to make sense of the process by reenacting it in their play.

I hope these tips and suggestions inspire you to venture into the kitchen with your children. It is such a valuable experience that everyone is sure to benefit from. Do you cook with your children? Any additional suggestions or ideas are welcome!
Bon App├ętit!!!
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Dec 10, 2010

{this moment: advent calendar treats}

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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Click Here To Read More

Dec 9, 2010

Yummy Hummus


Since our little girl has life-threatening allergies to dairy products, we're always searching for ways to add good fats as well as calcium into her diet. One of our household favourites is Hummus. Our daughter loves it and so do we. Our hummus recipe is one which came about by experimenting with a variety of recipes until we got the best flavour possible.

**Please note, we go heavy on the garlic, you could always cut back on it if you don't like so much of a garlic flavour.**

The Ingredients
1 large can of chickpeas
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
A dash of sea salt

The Process
Drain and rinse the chickpeas.

Place all ingredients into a blender.

Blend until smooth. Blending the hummus for over five minutes results in a "lighter" and "smoother" texture.

Chill for at least an hour. Serve with your favourite crackers, vegetable sticks or pita!!!

**For more great recipes like this one, make sure to check out:
The Deliberate Mom In The Kitchen.**

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Dec 7, 2010

Vegan Shortbread Cookies

No comments:
Well it didn't take much ingenuity to modify this recipe but here is our adventures with making Vegan Shortbread Cookies. The original recipe was from this website. The cookies ended up being quite good.

The Ingredients
1  cup vegan margarine, softened
3/4  cup powdered sugar
1  teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
Coloured sprinkles (optional)

The Process
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat margarine, powdered sugar and vanilla with spoon. Stir in flour. (If dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons margarine, softened.)

Roll dough 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into small shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1/2 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. (If the dough is too soft, try refrigerating it for half an hour).

If you are adding sprinkles, do so at this point in time. This was my daughter's favourite part of the process!!!

Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until set and bottoms are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Enjoy!!!

**For more great recipes like this one, make sure to check out:
The Deliberate Mom In The Kitchen.**

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Dec 5, 2010

Santa Won't Be Coming To Our House

Santa won't be stopping at our house, this year or ever. This is a topic very dear to my heart and I know it's a very sensitive issue but I had to share the perspective of a family who does not "do" the whole Santa Claus thing.

When my daughter was born in January of 2008, my husband and I had almost a year to discuss how we would handle Christmas with our little girl. Would Christmas be about the birth of Jesus? Would it be about Santa? Would it be about both? Would it be about giving and helping others? Would it be about family and traditions? Christmas can mean so much but what would it mean for our little family?

I have strong emotions when I think about my personal experience with "Santa Claus". I remember being completely devastated when I found out that Santa was really my parents. I also distinctly recall my anger with them... they always told me to be honest and tell the truth yet they "lied" to me for years about this mystical man that comes down the chimney delivering presents. I remember feeling so hurt and confused.

My husband and I decided we would not do the Santa thing with our little girl. It didn't matter in her first year or second year. She was too young to understand Christmas and what it meant for her and her family. This year she is almost three. This is the year that we feel she will really grasp the importance of this season and what it means to us as a family. We want our little girl to see the joy in Christmas. Helping and giving to others, as well as sharing special moments and traditions with the family. My husband and I have also shared with her that it is Jesus' birthday (she seems to think a birthday cake should be involved). Perhaps next year we will share with her the stories about St. Nicholas; a man who demonstrated charity and humility.

We have chosen to spend our time and energy on enjoying the holiday season with our little girl. We don't want to stress about getting our stories "right" or fret about how to keep her believing. We would rather focus on tobogganing, looking at Christmas lights, sipping hot cocoa on a cold winter night, attending concerts, giving to others, being kind and generous, visiting with family and loving one another.

However, it's not easy "avoiding" the Santa hype. Santa is everywhere and to go against the "norm" is challenging. We've also discovered that other parents get very sensitive around this issue... we've been questioned and told; "Why don't you let her believe? Don't you think she's missing out? It's not lying... it's helping her learn how to have faith". To us, having faith in something that we, as parents, clearly lie about, is not a good lesson about faith. Since it is such a sensitive topic I try to avoid these discussions, which is unfortunate because I think we each have a right to celebrate the holiday season the way we wish.

Last night my husband and I watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. At the end of the movie Clark Griswold shares his wisdom about Christmas... "See kids, it (Christmas) means something different to everybody. Now I know what it means to me". I have to emphasize, my family's approach to Christmas is our own choice and I think it's important for every family to have their own traditions and approaches to enjoying the holiday season. We're just different and that should be okay.

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Dec 3, 2010

{this moment: tubby tub}

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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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