Thursday, May 31, 2012

Link It Up Thursday #22

The Wheel of Life continues with health as our theme for this week.  Monday was an interview with yogi, Claire Matthews.  Tuesday was filled with some health tips, and Wednesday was all about green smoothies.  Mmmmm.

Definitely makes me feel like partying.  But first, here is what caught my eye last week, and a reminder to please go to the person's site if you want to pin something.  Thank you muchly.

I love this clever flower display that Kimberly made.  The colours and the wonkiness make it so much fun.

Tiaras and Bowties

What a fabulous idea for a birthday gift, a personalized alphabet book complete with baby's photos.  I'm sure that Momo is going to love this book for years to come.

Peaches and Bees

I can't believe that this is made out of plarn (plastic yarn - I had to look it up, lol).  So adorable, inexpensive and durable.

Repeat Crafter Me

Melanie is so talented with her adorable clutches.  I love the little pleats, the super fun summer fabric and that flower.

Bear Rabbit Bear
How fabulous is the colour on this crocheted purse?  I love Hanni's addition of the beads on the handle.  Love this!


Nice work ladies.  Please grab a featured button for your awesome projects.  If you weren't featured here, pop on over to Kadie's blog, Seven Alive, and see if she featured you over there.

These Peas Taste Funny
This is a shared link party, so if you link it up here, it will show up on the fabulous Kadie's blog, Seven Alive.  We want to see everything you have to link up!  Old projects, new posts, giveaways, etsy shops, recipes, crocheting, any and everything. If you have more than one thing to link up, even better.

Here are our very simple rules. 
1.  Please keep it family-friendly. 
2.  Link back to our site or grab a button so others can share in the fun. 
3.  Following us would be nice (but don't feel you have to).
4.  Have fun, be inspired. 

 If you would like an e-mail reminder about the party, let us know in the comments (please include your e-mail address), and we will happily add you to the list.

These Peas Taste Funny

One last thing:  Last week, I went to several sites to leave comments but bumped into word verification.  If you want my comments, please turn it off so I can leave you the adoration you deserve.  Thanks so much!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wheel of Life - Green Smoothies

I've been trying to get more fruit into my diet, but I'm a bit of a picky fruit eater.  I like gorgeous, perfectly ripe, juicy, sweet fruit.  I do not like strawberries in January or peaches in December.  So, how to eat more fruit then?  In a smoothie!!  

I love smoothies.  Though I don't usually have any difficulty getting enough vegetables into my diet, I figure that adding herbs and greens can't hurt so I've started drinking green smoothies.  

Here is my most recent:




I also grated a little bit of fresh ginger and threw in a tablespoon of chia seeds and about 1/2 cup almond milk (you can find this with the soy and rice milks), and then whirled it up. 

If the fruit isn't sweet enough, I usually add some local honey.  I read once that local honey is supposed to gradually help you get over your allergies.  I don't know if it's true, but I'm willing to experiment with that kind of yumminess, lol.

Here is the nutritional information in my version:

255 calories
6.59g fat
44.45g carbs
5.6g protein
9.3g fibre

Obviously, you can change this up however you want to fit any sort of dietary goals that you have set for yourself.  If you are watching your carbs, maybe get rid of that banana.  Super low fat? Ditch the chia seeds.  

If I'm having this as a snack, I tend to go lighter on the fat and protein.  If this is intended to be a meal, however, I will definitely be throwing in those seeds and the banana, maybe even some yogurt.  :)

Are you a smoothie fan?  What's your favourite combo?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wheel of Life - Health Tips

I think we all know that health covers a wide range of topics.  I know that I do well with healthy eating and getting enough sleep, but I really need help getting moving (I can't even call it exercise) and not stressing about silly things.  I know that most women have a lot on their plate and taking care of themselves often is one of the first things to fall by the wayside.

We have to stop doing this.  Our health is truly of the utmost importance.  Some things are well-known and basic and we just have to make the time to do them, like an annual physical with pap test, monthly breast self-examinations, drinking lots of water, reducing high fat and junk food, getting out and moving every day, wearing sunscreen.

Most of the suggestions above are common knowledge, but what I wanted to share here was some health tips that you might not have thought about.

Love yourself, wherever you happen to be right now.  Be compassionate and loving and caring.  Love your body, your mind, your spirit.  You can want to change, that's okay, but until you get where you want to go, accept who you are and where you are in your journey.   I think this might be the most important health  tip there is.


Focus on health, not being skinny.  Most of us (especially if we're over 30 now) aren't going to be skinny again.  I'm sorry, but it's true.  That shouldn't be our goal anyway.  Our goal should be to develop a strong and healthy body.  Try focusing on all of those cool things your body can do for you, like pick up your child, bring in the groceries, walk the zoo for an entire day instead of how your 14-year-old neighbour is thinner than you.


Try chia seeds.  (Yes, the ch-ch-ch-chia ones).  They are high in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.  I add mine to banana bread, oatmeal, cereal, and smoothies, and I just buy them at the Bulk Barn.  Not so daring?  Opt for a small handful of walnuts - they have all of the same good nutrients.


Cut the negativity.  You are a beautiful person, so stop with the self-criticism.  Instead, work on self-affirmations.  Maybe when you're getting ready in the morning or in the car.  Here's one to get you started:  I am my own unique self- special, creative and wonderful.


Have sex.  Surprised you with that one, didn't I.  I know, it's so easy to be too tired or too busy or too gassy (hey, come on, it happens).  Whatever your reasons for not feeling up to having sex, here are a few reasons why you should do it anyway:  boosts immunity, relieves stress, burns calories, improves intimacy, and helps you sleep better.  Pretty awesome and much more fun than exercise.

Close the toilet seat before you flush.  Yes, that probably does mean cleaning the toilet lid more often, but better than toilet water on your toothbrush.  Right?  In a similar vein, consider getting a top or guard for your toothbrush.  I know a gal who came into the bathroom just in time to catch her cat licking her toothbrush.  Yikes.


Stand or sit up straight.  Poor posture can cause muscle strain, headaches, energy loss, and make you look fatter.  So sit or stand up tall, chin tucked in, shoulders back, pelvis slightly tilted.  You'll look and feel so much better.


Get up.  If you're stuck at a computer or desk all day, plan to get up and stretch once every hour.  Here and here are a couple of my favourite wrist stretches.  Eagle arms are perfect to stretch your upper back, relieving some of the tension from stooping over the computer.

Eagle Arms

What are some of your favourite health tips?  Do you feel strong at eating well? Or exercise? Stress relief?  I'd love it if you'd share.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wheel of Life - Health Interview

This week's Wheel of Life theme is health.  To get us started, I had a chat with an  awesome yogi and yoga teacher, Claire Matthews of Yoga Truly in Grimsby, Ontario.  I love her to pieces.  She does yoga in her home and I go most Wednesdays (well I had a little hiatus for a few weeks, but I'm right back at it).  

If you have been thinking about starting a yoga practise, in home or in studio, then you are going to love to hear what Claire has to say.  If you happen to be local, then you MUST drop in and enjoy Claire's intuitive teaching style.  Her schedule and address can be found on her website
So you started yoga in 2002 due to chronic neck pain from a motor vehicle accident, right? 

Yes, I hurt my neck in a car accident in 1996. After physiotherapy, I was told by my doctor that the pain would be chronic and that I would need to find to find a way to cope with it. I ignored the pain for a long time... just accepted it. But tried yoga in 2002 and after only a few classes, the pain was starting to go away. I was so intrigued as to how this was possible, and what yogi's knew about the way our bodies function, that I took my teacher training course...not with the intention to teach, just to learn in depth about yoga. 

And then when did you start teaching?  

2006 in Bobcaygeon (Kawartha Lakes) where we were living at the time. From there we moved to Grimsby and I began teaching at the Grimsby Beach Hall in 2009. After having Grace, I took some time off from teaching, but had some loyal clients who kept asking when I would return to teaching. Knowing I couldn't get away from home with an infant, I invited them to my house to practice yoga... and they came!

So for over a year, I moved the furniture from my living room, into my dining room twice a week and taught yoga there. Throughout the summer of 2011, made our basement more accessible as a studio and have been teaching there ever since. I can now open the classes to more clients.... and am happy not to have to move the furniture anymore. LOL
What are some of the health benefits that can be enjoyed from a regular yoga practise?  

Health benefits are endless. Increased strength & flexibility are the obvious ones, but it's important to note that yoga helps all the systems of our bodies work together. Awareness and control over our breathing, helps our muscles to feel safe and release, leading to that increased flexibility. Then our circulation improves, which is great for detoxing our system and warming it....allowing again for strength and flexibility. Yoga also has a huge impact on our endocrine system which governs our hormones. Through yoga, we are able to engage and challenge our bodies, but also calm our nervous system. 

The list of ailments yoga aids really is endless, but here are a few to list: anxiety & depression, high or low blood pressure, Respiratory ailments such as bronchitis or asthma. Yoga is excellent for digestive issues: constipation, indigestion, IBS. Also diabetes & weight loss. Any sort of muscle pain can be relieved by learning how to obtain each individual's optimal alignment and creating new patterns of movement.... neck, lower back, shoulders, hamstrings, arthritis, as well as acne, psoriasis and headaches. And on and on and on. Insomnia, menstrual discomfort, menopause, even infertility. 

Yep, yoga pretty much covers it all. It's amazing! But, the biggest benefit is that yoga will allow the body to cope with any ailments so that the mind can settle. When the body feels relieved and relaxed, it can turn inward and work towards the true goal.....clarity in the mind... enlightenment. 

Is there more to it than stretching?

Soooo much more than stretching. It's about creating freedom in your body. A quote I love about yoga suggests that the more space we create for ourselves in our body, the more room we have to live. 

How would you suggest a person who is entirely new to yoga get started?

Just get started. Honestly seek out the options for yoga that are available in their community. Then consider what it is they hope to achieve from a regular yoga practice (this often changes once they actually start) and make contact with the teachers that appeal to them. Many studios offer 'free first class' options so you can see if you connect with the teacher and style of yoga they offer. Taking the first step into a studio can be intimidating, but yoga is a very welcoming practice and it truly is accessible to everyone. 

What are some of your favourite poses for people who sit at a computer for a large part of the day?

I like to offer them standing postures that engage their core: warrior 1 & 2, as well as sun salutations to improve circulation and lengthen all their muscles. Hip & shoulder openers are also great, Triangle & Wide Leg forward folds to open up the hips that have been sitting all day and Eagle, Cow's Face Pose and Shoulder Sweeps to release tight shoulders from using the computer. 
Are there any other thoughts you would like to share with someone who is new to yoga? 

Ummmm, just try it. Keep and open mind and an open heart and try it. One thing to keep in mind though is that the key to really benefiting from your practice, whatever your intention consistency. 

"Yoga helps us to cure that which need not be endured, and endure that which can not be cured" B.K.S Iyengar


A great big thank-you to Claire for giving us deeper insight into the yogic practise.  If you want to connect with Claire, here is her info:

Yoga Truly web page

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Link It Up Thursday #21

Another busy week: Monday had a helpful interview with Sonja from Practical Stewardship about budgeting and getting out of debt; Tuesday and Wednesday were some money-saving tips dealing with food and cleaning; and throughout the week when I wasn't blogging, I was planting our veggie garden.  This is the biggest garden so far - can't wait to see everything grow.  Now, it's time to party.

But first, let's see what caught my eye last week.  Oh wait, a little reminder to please go to the person's blog if you want to pin to pinterest so they get their proper credit.  Okay, on with the show.

How sweet is Kim's little model, Emma, in this "Hairkerchief", complete with little birdie.

Little Rays of Sunshine

How lucky do you think Lyuba's mom felt when she saw this fabulous cake Lyuba made for her birthday?  I would have cried, then I would have eaten a lot of it.  :)

Will Cook for Smiles

Terri was flying to Disney last week and this is the great idea she prepared to pass the time on the plane.  Great tutorial.

A Creative Princess

Christine made the bows to add some spark to her plain black shoes.  Clever idea that you could use to change up your shoes in a hundred ways.

Projects Around the House
These cookies are a blast from the past for me.  My mom used to make a similar cookie for us and I love them to this day.  Check out Kaylee's recipe.

Couponing n Cooking

Nice work ladies.  Please grab a featured button for your awesome projects.  If you weren't featured here, pop on over to Kadie's blog, Seven Alive, and see if she featured you over there.

These Peas Taste Funny
This is a shared link party, so if you link it up here, it will show up on the fabulous Kadie's blog, Seven Alive.  We want to see everything you have to link up!  Old projects, new posts, giveaways, etsy shops, recipes, crocheting, any and everything. If you have more than one thing to link up, even better.

Here are our very simple rules. 
1.  Please keep it family-friendly. 
2.  Link back to our site or grab a button so others can share in the fun. 
3.  Following us would be nice (but don't feel you have to).
4.  Have fun, be inspired. 

 If you would like an e-mail reminder about the party, let us know in the comments (please include your e-mail address), and we will happily add you to the list.

These Peas Taste Funny

One last thing, I would like to beg you (please, please, please) to take the word verification off of your blog comments.  There were way too many this week and it wore me out so I'm afraid I'll only be commenting on blogs that don't have it this week (and I really, really, really want to comment on your awesome stuff).  Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Danny Boy

This is one of those posts that you don't really know if you're going to publish or not as you write it.  Normally, I don't blab a lot about home stuff, but I felt like it would be a mistake not to share.

Do you remember my beautiful tote model and photography guinea pig, Danny?

Well, Danny died yesterday.  And I'm a bit of a wreck about it, but I just couldn't imagine not acknowledging my boy and what a big part of my life he was and how much I'm going to miss him.

I'm going to put his picture up on my sidebar to keep me company for a little while where he can be young again and free from all of the nastiness of aging.  Thanks for understanding and letting me have this indulgence post to honour such a sweet soul.

Wheel of Life - Money Saving Cleaning Tips

Another big expense at our house used to be cleaning supplies.  They must all contain bits of gold when you consider the price of them.


Kadie from Seven Alive had a great money-saving tip. She suggested that you make your own cleaning and laundry products to save money.  I couldn't agree with Kadie more.  If this is new to you, here are a few recipes to get you started:

Fabric Refresher (aka Febreeze Knockoff)

I haven't tried the laundry soap yet and I know there are a bunch of good dishwasher soap recipes.  Has anyone tried those yet? I'd love to hear if a dishwasher soap recipe was successful.

I find that I can clean most of my house with white vinegar, baking soda, Dawn, and those magical micro-fibre cloths (not all at the same time).  In case you're new to homemade cleaners, this is a list of the cleaning combos that I use for different jobs around the house to give you an idea.  

sink drains - baking soda + vinegar, rinse
stainless steel sinks - baking soda 
counter tops - vinegar/water + micro-fibre cloth
stainless steel appliances - first vinegar/water, then baby oil, buff off
microwave - cup of vinegar, microwave 2 minutes, wipe down
ovens - orange enzyme cleaner + sometimes self-cleaner, yeah I'm a cheater :)

baseboards, toilet (incl. bowl), sink, floor - orange enzyme cleaner
chrome, mirrors, windows - vinegar/water
tub, shower, porcelain sinks - Dawn/vinegar

wood - furniture polish
glass, windows - vinegar/water + micro-fibre cloth
carpets and dog beds - Febreeze knockoff

Another big money-saver is to use rags instead of paper towels.  When shirts become stained or worn beyond saving, I turn them into rags.  The only thing I use paper towels for now is grease and, uh, presents from the pets.


Keeping your appliances clean can also save some money be ensuring they remain efficient.  For example, spills in the microwave absorb some of the micro waves and therefore cause cooking to take longer.  Dirty filters cause inefficiencies in dryer, air conditioner, and furnace performance, so keep those clean or changed.


What other frugal ideas do you have to keep cleaning costs down?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wheel of Life - Money Saving Eating Tips

In keeping with our theme of finances for this week, I thought we could talk a bit about different ways to save money on our expenses.  I think two of the easiest and most important areas for saving money are food-related which we will touch on today, and cleaning the house which we will talk about tomorrow. 

Eating seems to take up a huge amount of our budget, so I try to be as frugal about it as possible.  Some of these tips are things you might already be doing or just aren't for you. That's okay.  My hope is that there will be a nugget or two of wisdom here that will benefit you.

Probably the most important cost-saving tip related to food is you must cook.  Going out to dinner or bringing home take-out are always more expensive and often less healthy options.  So if you know how to cook, then do it.

If you don't know how to cook, you need to learn but it doesn't have to be difficult.  Maybe start with some crockpot meals where you throw everything in the pot and come back hours later to a completed meal.  Still less expensive, still healthier, and just one pot to clean.  :)
Plan your meals and then shop with a list.  I try not to buy anything on impulse (except for those insidious Easter Creme Eggs in the spring that creep into my shopping cart undetected and are most certainly laced with a narcotic of some sort). Plan what you're going to eat during the week, including lunches and snacks, and then buy only what you need for that.


Buy chicken with the bones still in there.  This will benefit you in two ways.  First, you pay less for the bone-in version and can easily (okay, with some practise) remove the bones, leaving you with a lovely boneless thigh or breast.  Second, you can make your own chicken stock from the leftover bones.  This is super easy to do in the crockpot and 5 Dollar Dinners has a great how-to for this, giving you a healthier and less expensive stock to use.

Thibeault's Table

Make your own dog food.  I'm not brave enough to try cat food yet (our cats are much fussier than our dogs) but the pressure cooker easily makes stew that costs less than commercial dog food and uses human-grade quality food.  If anyone is interested in an actual recipe, just let me know and I can forward that along.

Homemade Dog Food

Freeze that fruit that is about to become too ripe.  These are perfect for smoothies, compotes, breads (e.g. banana bread), and sauces.

Banana Smoothies

Use the right storage method to prevent premature food spoilage.  Celery and cheese stay fresh much longer when stored in tinfoil, for example.  Here is a link to other storage suggestions.  


Drink more water and less juice and pop.  This is great for your wallet and your health.


Consider growing your own herbs on your windowsill.  The last couple of times I was at the grocery store they had potted herbs for less money than a bunch of cut herbs.  I bought the potted version and just this weekend I transplanted them into the garden.


As you know, there are hundreds of ways to save money on your food.  These are only a few to get us started.  What is your favourite money-saving food tip?

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