stirfry-3

Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 31st this year, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese zodiac. When our family lived in downtown Vancouver, we lived a few blocks away from Chinatown, and I love all the Chinese New Year festivities. The parades were my daughter’s favourite part while I loved the food!

There are many traditions and superstitions when it comes to what to eat on Chinese New Year – certain foods give good luck and others are supposed to give bad luck. Long noodles represent longevity, jiaozi dumplings bring prosperity, while white foods are thought to bring bad luck. View Post

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Read Part 1 & Part 2 Here!

As the construction on our dream home starts coming to a close, I’m getting more and more excited! I cannot wait to move in – building a house is a lengthy and stressful process. From the financial side to managing the workers and the supplies – it’s a huge headache.

Jay was our own Builder, he was in charge of the project from the very beginning – he designed it, he worked with the architect to create the plans, he hires all the trades, he orders the materials, he oversees every last bit of this project – I think when we’re done we’ll need a LONG vacation!

01I thought I was really excited when the roof was put on the house, however what really excited me was the STAIRS! When the stairs were put in, and we no longer had to access the upper floor from the outside – it really started to feel like a proper building!

02

Our son’s bedroom is to the left of the stairs, the Master is to the right.

03

Another view of the stairs, here you can see all the spray foam insulation used in the walls

I think I took about 100 photos of the stairs from all different angles. I was that excited about them! View Post

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Going ‘green’ is something that’s very important to me – as I get older I realise the footprint that we all leave on this earth, and I realise how important it is to make efforts, no matter how big or small, to protect the environment around us. (Read more about Getting Rid of Plastic Bags and How to Stop Using Paper Towels.)

Children are playing on green meadow

That is why I’m so excited to announce that the ModernFamilyExpo is launching February 23rd at the Pinnacle Hotel in North Vancouver! This is going to be a fun and amazing ‘green’ event for the whole family.

The ModernFamilyExpo is featuring experts & exhibitors that are all about Eco-Friendly Living, Food & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Pre- & Postnatal Support, and Active Living. Their goal is to help everyday families find ways to take just one step in the right direction in their daily lives.

Some of the fun that will be taking place at the ModernFamilyExpo:

  • Par-T-Perfect Kid Zone: bouncy castles, face painting, craft station – even a Whole Foods ‘Play With Your Food’ Table!
  • Over 65 Exhibitor Booths – with LOTS of food & drink sampling!
  • Active Living Zone: Prenatal Yoga Classes, Parenting & Health Workshops, Mom & Baby Boxing Class!
  • Family Lounge with change tables & comfortable breastfeeding area sponsored by UsedVancouver.com
  • …and much more!

The whole event is being run by Bullfrog power using 100% BC Wind Power, and there will also be a Bicycle Valet. View Post

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bananastreusel

I love anything with a streusel topping – coffee cake is typically the first thing I think of when I was something streusel-ly (is that a word? it should be!). The Banana Streusel muffins are delicious – one difference to this recipe is that you don’t mash the bananas – you slice the bananas!

When you bite into the muffins you get hit with this delicious cinnamon-sugar crunchy topping, a plump muffin and sweet slices of heaven. (Craving something chocolate? What about a spicy ginger molasses cookie?) View Post

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sick-day

 

Last Wednesday evening, my daughter came home from school with a bit of a cold. By nightfall she had a fever and spent all day Thursday cuddled up on the couch under a blanket.

Thursday night my 19-month old son started throwing up. At night. ALL night. He would cry in his crib as he felt it coming on, I’d rush in, pick him up, run to the bathroom to get him to throw up into the sink – while most of it landed on my shoulder, arm, hair or shirt.

Friday became the day when the ‘puke bucket’ became necessary, as my daughter was finding it hard to make it to the washroom on time.

Saturday was my birthday. The Big 3-0.

Kids were still sick, but thankfully I still had my health. Or so I thought. View Post

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body-weight-scale

During the Great Purge of 2013, I got rid of my scale.

We were moving out of one big rental property into a small tiny rental, awaiting the construction to be finished on our dream home. All the “stuff” that one acquires in life was therefore being put into a storage container – all of our furniture, our off-season clothing, toys, kitchen appliances, shoes, skis, bikes, and things were being carefully placed into storage.

It was worse than moving.

Not only was I packing things away that I was hoping I wouldn’t need for the next 6 months, but the knowledge that I would then have to move them INTO my home and unpack 6 months later – it gave me nightmares.

So instead of blindly packing everything away I purged. I sold. I donated.

Anything and everything that seemed useless or unnecessary. Clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, DVDs, Barbie dream houses – things kids hardly played with, books I never read – all the CLUTTER that one acquires was quickly sold thanks to Facebook Buy & Sell pages and Craigslist. Anything that wasn’t sold was quickly donated or recycled.

The scale was one of those items.

I am constantly reading that if you really want to lose weight then you should get rid of your scale! (examples: here, here, here, and here.) So I sold it for $10 and went along my merry way.

However!!!! View Post

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happynewyear

The clock strikes midnight on December 31st, 2013. Suddenly, as if our very own fairy godmother waved her wand, a sprinkling of confetti, a toast of champagne, and a kiss absolves us from the errors of our previous year and the slate is wiped clean. It’s as easy as that.

Our minds are reprogrammed and our resolutions are fiercely inbred – we can take on the world! All our troubles will be no more, we will eat clean, we will get active, we will write more, read more books, follow our plans and achieve our dreams – things that were deemed IMPOSSIBLE the day BEFORE – all these things are possible now, because the calendar insists it is the first day of the year.

A new beginning.

Don’t you feel renewed? Refreshed? Ready to take on dragons and creatures that live under our beds?

Hogwash?

Baloney?

I couldn’t agree more.

Call me cynical, call me sarcastic, call me old.

I hardy believe that with the changing of a calendar we are suddenly washed clean of all the things we didn’t accomplish the year before and that we’re ready to take on remarkable challenges.

The significance of a ‘new year’ has changed in my mind.  View Post

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