A Scratch & Win Valentine


valentine's day is only a few days away, and if you are still looking for a unique and inexpensive gift for someone, how about this. today i am re-sharing a diy project that will teach you how to create customized scratch & win valentine cards for your sweetheart!

What you will need:
  • one piece of card stock
  • access to a colour printer
  • packing tape (or thick roll of clear tape)
  • scissors
  • metallic paint
  • dishwashing liquid
  • small paint brush 

first start out by designing your card template. next you need to add "Win A Date" or copy the of your choice, and "Scratch Me" in one or more areas. here is where you should have fun with your design, colours and wording choices to make it as unique and personal as you like. find a white clip art, or vector image of a heart (or go ahead and create your own), and place in your layout. add a small text box inside the heart where your secret message will appear. copy your entire design and paste it three times horizontally to create three side-by-side images on your page. next go back to your text boxes and type in each heart what your receiver will win.

sample secret winnings can include things like,
  • beer & board games night,
  • pho & a movie, or
  • a winter picnic.
once you are happy with your design, print it out.

now, take your packing tape and place one full strip horizontally across your design covering all three hearts. be sure to watch out for any wrinkles when laying down the strip. the packing tape now acts as a protective shield over your hidden message so they won't get damaged when painted over or when scratched. now cut away any excess tape that reaches past your page edges. next mix equal parts metallic paint (or the paint colour of your choice) to dishwashing liquid, and mix well. in thin layers, using a small paint brush, coat the area over each heart creating an outline and then filling it in. the thinner the layer the faster it will dry between coats helping to speed up this process. the object here is to layer enough coats until your message becomes hidden by opaque colour. once you are happy with your coating place your painted design in a cool dry place for a few hours (or even overnight). once it has fully dried, take your scissors and evenly slice your paper vertically into three equal strips, creating your three scratch and win cards! you can now place them in an envelope, or hand them directly to your valentine. 

I actually made these for my husband this year, so now i just have to keep him away from reading my blog until the weekend so I don't kill the surprise! I'm very much looking forward giving him these over a quiet romantic evening in front of the fireplace at home with our favourite wine and a fantastic chocolate fondue! :)

Bean crazy about beans


image via

in the dead of winter there is nothing like a good hearty soup to warm the soul. soups are also great because you can make anything with literally almost nothing. right now one of my favourite recipes is a hearty bean soup made from my all time fav, the fava bean.  fava beans are an old school pea, that has a creamy texture and wonderful flavour. you can easily find these beans at your local grocery store in a can, or fresh in the pod, which means all you have to do is shell them.

aren't they the cutest?

image via

this week, give this hearty fava bean soup recipe a try and i'm sure you will be hooked.

adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • dashes of salt and pepper 
  • 2  cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups blanched, peeled fava beans 
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
place all the ingredients in a pot, bring a boil and simmer on low for 20 mins. once the beans and broccoli are soft use an emulsion blender to puree until smooth.

Juice It Up!


image via here

over the winter holidays, like many people, i allowed myself to indulge more than i typically might have. i love a good gingerbread cookie as much as the next girl, but i know my body should only have so many. now that it's january it's time to clean up my act, and refresh my minds and my body. looking back, i've had a few good gluttonous years of trying new things and drinking, but now it's hard time to take some ownership over my health and my health related goals.

over the break, i watched a couple food related documentaries on Netflix, something i love to do! here are a few that just might change your view of how you eat, Vegucated, Food Inc, More Than Honey and last but not least one of my favourites Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead – how can you not love Joe and his juicing. 

while i don't think living off juice only is the answer, i was amazed by the immediate health benefits he shared (under the supervision of a dr) and the difference in energy levels by all those that tried it. I think juicing is a great way to fuel you body with nutrients in a naturally beneficial form that is easy enough for anyone to do. so, it was off to the shop to pick up a juicer for me!

top reasons why juicing is awesome, now having tried it for a few weeks:
  • because you can use all your leftover lonely fruits and veggies,
  • because it's packed with macronutrients that help fuel your body in the best way possible,
  • because it's cost effective,
  • because it's quick and easy, and probably close to the fastest healthy meal you can make,
  • because you actually can't screw it up, and
  • because you will surprise yourself with just how much you love it.

image via My Wife Makes

i have fallen for juicing, and i mean hard. it's been a few weeks and i don't see myself getting sick of it anytime soon. now i should specify that outside of maybe a 2 or 3 day cleanse every few months, we personally don't eat juices as meal replacements for the entire day. instead we've often start our day with a freshly made green juice to help get us going, followed then by healthy well-balanced meals made from whole foods. now, if you are watching your protein intake in a day, you can add some protein powder to your juice. we've tried it using an all natural raw organic protein (unflavoured) and the combo is actually quiet nice! 

a few helpful hints when consuming:
  • drink your juice within 15-20 minutes of making it
  • don't forget to chew even though you are drinking, this helps activate your digestive enzymes 
  • watch your fruit intake per juice bearing in mind healthy fruit servings per meal
  • vary up your greens, too much of one thing isn't good for your body so mix it up!
this month give juicing a try! it's some of the most vibrate colours and tasty flavours your kitchen will ever see.

one of our fav combo's right now is (this makes enough for 2 people):
  • 2 celery stocks
  • 2 handfuls of raw spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp ginger

Setting 2015 Intentions!


image via pinterest

Happy 2015 Everyone!!!!!

it felt like the other day when i took a moment to catch my breath with where i see this blog going and all of a sudden over month had past! gal! sorry for all the radio silence everyone! but i'm back, baby i'm back, and looking forward to the year ahead. with a fresh new year comes some fresh new resolutions/intentions. as many of you know i'm a list maker. i function best with a list of tasks i can look at and cross off with a pen and paper, but this year i'm positing my list here, so here we go...

1. // set clear weekly intentions and write them down and post them up where you can see them. they might be fitness related, mind flexing related, family related, who knows, the point is make them, stick with them, learn from them. 

2. // stop apologizing all the time. it's truly like a bad habit and it's going to be an even harder one to personally break, but it has to be done. life is what it is, and sometimes i need to stick my ground and accept that i'm actually not sorry all the time. 

3. // be mindful more. my naturopath has helped me develop a good foundation for a mindful practice, and i would like to be better at making it a daily habit and appreciating its benefits.

4. // practice having a clearer voice. i've sometimes been called a follower (i know, i know), and not so much a leader and i think it's ok to be a leader. voicing when i don't agree with others when they ask, challenging the norms, and rounding out my own opinions without making myself feel bad for it.

5. // work on my food and my photography. two things i really cherish wish i could spend more time doing. so that just makes it's time to make that happen! watch out for better tumblr updates and more recipes coming at ya!

6. // become a yogi.

7. //focus on surrounding myself with positive, uplifting like-minded people and work at nourishing those cherished friendships.

8. // ... and finally, believe more in hope and miracles, and have the courage to go head forward down the flow of life no matter how scary it might seem.

The Crazy Craze That Is Kombucha


image via here and here

correctly pronounced KOM-BOO-CHA, this fizzy tea has been around for centuries, originating in Asia. widely know in ancient times for it's healing properties, it's an old remedy that is making it's way into modern living as the hot new craze with shops like Pekoe Kombucha Bar  or the Alchemy Pickle Company (who also sells some other amazing fermented goodies) popping up. kombucha can be found in many health food stores now (like Whole Foods) and in a variety of flavours! my favourite currently is from Alchemy Pickle Company called the Green Tea Grape! revered for the fermentation process which activates the healthy bacteria called "SCOBY", this tea packs one heck of a healthy probiotic punch that really does wonders for your body. because sometimes our lifestyle and food choices aren't perfect, many of us don't have enough healthy bacteria in our guts, so the addition of a probiotic through a yogurt or something like Kombucha, takes us one step closer to getting our bodies back on the healthy track. in saying this, i should mentioned that if you know you have a weakened immune system, are pregnant/breastfeeding, or have an illness, you should check with your doctor or naturopath before drinking any kombucha, to be safe.

there are a ton of reasons why kombucha is good for you, but here are a few highlights: 
  • the bacteria/probiotics help strengthen your immune system 
  • aids in healthy digestive function
  • loaded with good vitamins and enzymes
  • overall energy booster
  • helps to detox the body and
  • it also is suppose to help relive PMS (i can't wait to see if it does!).
so, when i do drink this and how much? for me, my morning routine consists of getting up, having a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice to help balance the Ph level in my body, followed by a 4 ounce glass of Kombucha before i hit the gym. this makes me feel like i've set-up my body for success for the entire day! 

Kale Pesto Margarita Pizza


both beautiful images via here

homemade pizza fridays have become somewhat of a tradition in my house. we look forward to it all week and often pair our tradition with a nice glass of vino! i personally really love pizza, and doing this has allowed us to play around with different combinations of seasonal toppings. here is one of our favourites that we can't get enough of right now. as you know, we participate in a CSA farm box, so once a week on Friday's we get tasty local produce delivered to our doorstep (nothing is better than groceries appearing for you!). This time of year we are seeing a lot of kale, so one of our favourite friday pizza's to make is our Kale Pesto Margarita!

The Dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (or 2 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 package of yeast 
combine your yeast and water in a small bowl and allow the yeast to activate and bubble for about 10 mins. while that is activating mix all your dry ingredients together in a big bowl. when the yeast is ready pour it into your dry mixture. now mix everything together with your hands and then roll it out onto a floured countertop. knead the dough until it comes out smooth and with a good elastic feel. when it's ready, place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel until it has doubled (about an hour). punch it down and let it rest for about 10 more minutes before it's ready to be rolled out and toppings applied. 

The Pesto Sauce Base:

  • 2 cups freshly washed and de-stemed kale
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 glugs of extra virgin olive oil

if you have a food chopper or food processor this is the perfect time to bust that out. pesto is really the easiest thing to make, just throw in all your ingredients and blend, baby, blend. if you feel it is a little too thick you can add a little extra olive oil. if you find you don't use all the pesto for the pizza, you can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks in an air tight container. 


  • sliced tomatoes
  • thinly sliced mozzarella
  • fresh basil

preheat your oven to 400 degrees. roll out your dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, or pizza stone (which i very highly recommend for a nice evenly cooked crust).  now cover your rolled out dough with a nice amount of pesto sauce base. next add your toppings, in this case tomato and mozzarella. Helpful Hint - I don't bake the basil on the pizza otherwise, i find it looses it's great fresh flavour and beautiful texture. bake your ready to go pizza for about 10-15 mins until the crust is nicely browned. take it out, drizzle with fresh olive oil – you can even add a little balsamic glaze – and top with some fresh basil leaves.

enjoy! xoxo.

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