Month: November 2017

Paint Night with Mom

What a night, I wasn’t planning on going at all. I have just finished my 5th Night and I was so busy, that I didn’t even think I’d have time for sleep. So the last thing on my mind was to go to Paint Night. I had to get supplies for my Live Cooking Video, then I was meeting a new client for my Business @ 2, so I slept for maybe 1&1/2 hours.  Woke up in a huge fog, do you ever have those kinds of days? Well, when I got home from my meeting I had to get ready for my video and then I had a dear friend show up for a chat. Talk about a chaotic day.  All I wanted to do was go back to bed. But my husband really wanted me to do this paint night mainly because of what we would be painting.

One of the things I have been able to treasure in my lifetime, and while I was out here in Saskatchewan was the TRUE Northern Lights. The first time I saw them I was out for my morning run with Sadie and it was a time when it was still pitch black out at 5 am. I was running and looked up like I always do and when I saw the colours dancing with the stars I cried. It was the most breathtaking, and overwhelming experience I have ever been able to encounter. My most treasured time, my favourite time of being alone ( me time) with my Sadie enjoying my most favourite exercise( well I don’t even call it exercise) but Running.  My husband knows how much it had impacted me, so when I saw this Paint night and it was the Northern Lights, he knew I had to do it. I had so many excuses not to go, but I knew that I would regret it if it didn’t.  I told mom we were going, I even bribed her with fish and chips hoping that would help. She was resistant and gave me some more excuses. Then I told her about the lighting of the trees, and Santa. That peeked her interest and sure enough, we were off.  I told her she didn’t have to paint but just watch me and if it’s something she thought she’d like she can do it with me next time.

I was totally surprised, I couldn’t believe that she wanted to paint. So they set her up and away she went. She loved it, the artist that was teaching the class was amazing, she has a grandmother with Dementia and the way she helped mom and encouraged her made the experience all the more memorable. Mom asked her if there was a class next week, and she said oh no probably not until January, well she wasn’t happy, she wanted to go again next week lol. So that shows you how much fun she had.  I’m pretty sure I won’t have trouble with her going next time!  What a fabulous night and what a great memory I have with Mom, it was actually my very first time painting, and of course, I didn’t see how well I did, just what I didn’t like lol. We can be our own worst critics, can’t we?


Spiralized Winter Veggie Grautin

One of the plus’s to Winter is getting to eat wholesome comfort foods like this one. Doesn’t it just look as scrumptious as it tastes?! Well it’s the perfect Side dish to any meal like Turkey etc. As well as being healthy too!! Enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think?!


  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 medium (7 ounce) sweet potato, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 pound carrots, 1.5″ in diameter, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 ½ pounds whole butternut squash, peeled and spiralized
  • 2 medium (7 ounces total) parsnips, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 teaspoon all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour for GF)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 ounces grated Gruyere cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9” x 13” casserole dish with olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, carrots, squash and parsnips.
  3. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, oregano, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Toss well to coat.
  4. Transfer to prepared dish and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender, tossing halfway through.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
  6. Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Add butter and let it melt, add the shallots and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the flour over the shallots to make a roux, whisking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk and stir with a wooden spoon until the roux is incorporated into the milk.
  8. Cook over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, stirring, until the sauce thickens.
  9. Add fresh thyme, parmesan and half of the grated Gruyere cheese into the white sauce and stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the sauce.
  10. Pour over the veggies and top with the remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes.  Top with remaining parsley and serve.


Yield: 8 servings, Serving Size: 1/2 cup

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Smart Points: 4
  • Points +: 4
  • Calories: 176
  • Total Fat: 6.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 13mg
  • Sodium: 277mg
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Protein: 6g


Christmas In Ontario

Normally when we fly home for vacation ( hubby and I) we stay at my daughter’s or my sister in laws. While we’re there, but this time it’s Mom and I fly home for Christmas. This is the first Christmas that Mom is actually well enough and believes it or not doesn’t remember the last two Christmases that past because she was so sick. So in her eye’s she has not been witout my Dad at Christmas in over 30 years.

So we decided that no matter what with her health being really good, that Mom & I would fly home. My husband is staying back at our place just because we don’t want to leave the dogs outside for a week in the winter. The weather has been very unpredictable. I chatted with my daughter about my sleeping arrangements and with my other daughter living there and the pets she’s working through Christmas with her working it would make more sense for me to stay with Mom & Dad.

Well, one night when I was tucking her in bed, and making sure she had everything she asked if I was going to be staying at my Sister in Laws house for a few nights while we were in Ontario? I said well, I wasn’t really planning on it. ” Why do you ask?” Then she said: ” Well I think it would be a really good idea!” So I asked her why she wanted to me to stay with my Sister in Laws? BIG MISTAKE. You know those questions you ask and then as soon as you ask if you wished you didn’t lol. Well, that was the question, Mom said that she and Dad needed some alone time! They needed their privacy, I would be in the way. My first response was “TMI ” TMI” Mom, but what was said, was said. lol

So apparently I’m looking for a place to stay for a few nights. So my parents can have their privacy etc. Who would have thought at their age, it was something they still wanted. I guess it’s a blessing and a really nice thought knowing they still love each other that way still.

In a way, I felt like I should ask if I should knock first before I go in the apartment. lol.  I just hope it’s going to be a better trip then the August trip. And that my dad is more responsive to my mom. But time will tell. All I know is I keep thinking of these old jackrabbits getting it on lol.

Mash Potato

I’m not sure how your Mom used to make family suppers, but one thing was for sure it didn’t matter what kind of supper it was unless Spaghetti, did we always have potatoes with our meal. Mashed, boiled, scalloped, roasted. Almost like Lord of the Rings when Sam yells at Smeegle about “P O T A T O E S!!”  But we never went shy of them.  That’s for sure. Plus my mom only ever used a paring knife, we had about a dozen of them. She was always buying them because she never wanted to go to the drawer and not find one.

As the years have gone past she was always complaining about having to peel potatoes, I would tell her you don’t always have to have potatoes you know you could do rice? Well, that didn’t go over well. Mom hasn’t peeled potatoes in a very long time. For one she couldn’t stand at the counter long enough without her back hurting and then with all the surgeries with her shunt.

Well Sunday Afternoon, I got up from my sleep around 3:30 which I was shocked.  Drinking my Tea Mom had told me that Terry had put a roast in the slow cooker and that if I could get her a few potatoes she would peel them. I thought she was kidding but she wasn’t. I wasn’t sure what she would be able to do, so I grabbed two potatoes and a “paring” knife and a pot. There she sat in her chair watching a movie with Rober Redford peeling potatoes and then put them in the pot!  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or just give her a big hug! She did it and was telling me stories of when I was a baby and it was so wonderful. I will forever cherish this day, “The Day of the Mash Potato”  I wanted so bad to take a picture or a video of her cutting the potato small enough for the pot. But I knew she’d be mad ( she was in her Nightie lol) plus I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.

My Addiction!


If you know me very well and my love for Shakeology, you also know that my love for Peanut Butter is almost just as equal!!!!  But, with addictions sometimes they can be a bad thing for watching what your eating right? Well, I found this amazing substitute, and what all you can you do with this amazing food???

But first of all, what IS PB2??

  • powdered peanut butter, made by squeezing natural oils out of the peanut and then dehydrating what is left
  • contains 85% less fat than regular peanut butter
One serving of peanut butter: 190 calories, 16 g of fat, 7 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 3 g fibre, 0 mg sodium
Although regular peanut butter is high in fat and calories, it is also high in protein, Vitamin E, iron and other nutrients…meaning this is not an empty calorie food.
In my opinion, peanut butter should not be avoided because it does provide many health benefits.
But if you are like me and have a real peanut butter addiction and need to cut back, this is a great way to get the taste without the calories!
One serving of PB2: 45 calories, 1.5 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 2 g fibre, 94 mg sodium
While it is a great alternative, DO NOT EAT PB2 BY ITSELF.  It is in powder form and is meant to be mixed with other foods.
Here is what I do with PB2:
1. Swap it for jelly, butter, or regular peanut butter on toast, English muffins, etc.
2. Mix 3 tablespoons of PB2 with plain Greek yoghurt.  Us for dipping apples, celery, bananas, etc.


3. Add 2 tablespoons to your smoothie.  I use it daily in my morning shake with my Chocolate Shakeology.  I also add a little sea salt, so it tasted like a salted Reese’s Cup!!!!
4. Make PB2 and banana “frozen yoghurt”.  Mash 2-3 small bananas in a ziplock bag and toss ’em in the freeze.  When your froyo craving hits, throw the frozen banana mash into the blender or food processor, add 2-3 tablespoons of PB2 and blend!  Wah-lah!
5. Add it to your overnight oats or morning bowl of oatmeal.
6. And last but certainly not least, is my favourite – Energy Balls!!!
1 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons PB2
Mix together and roll into balls!! Divine!
So, there is a little about my love for PB2 and what you can do with it!  I hope this helps.


Christmas Baking

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle

I don’t remember my Mom being much of a Christmas baker, I think mostly because she was working so hard. Being a single mom and not much money. So when I had my daughters I wanted to make sure they had a tradition that I hope they will carry on the tradition.  My youngest would love to get her hands on it.  I would pull out the cookbooks and away we go!  They were cherished times, I miss that. But your kids grow up and move out and well it probably didn’t help that Hubby and I moved out to Saskatchewan either lol. But sometimes you have to do what’s right for you. It was a super tough decision and it was one I needed to do. But now it’s times like these I miss my girls even more. So that’s what made me realize I have so many friends new and old, so why not share some good Christmas baking with you guys!!

But I didn’t want to do the usual rice Krispie squares, or that oh heavenly shortbread, that melts in your mouth. I thought to myself and I’ve been chatting with some friends that Not everyone can eat those kinds of treats.  It seems to be more and more these days.   That’s why I’m changing it up a bit and doing a Healthy version.  Which is a sure challenge! But you don’t have to sacrifice having a few treats like everyone else and enjoy the memories with your kids or family.  This is one recipe I will be making. My mouth was watering as I looked at it. I’m sure it’s going to be a winner!!  Join me if you ‘d like to share some Christmas traditions, recipes and lots more.

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