Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas ~John Lennon

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas

And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over over

If you want it
War is over

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Year Almost Over And A New One Is Near ~Goodbye & Thank You 2010

Like in John Lennon's song Happy Christmas, another year is almost over and a new one is near. Reflecting back to where I was when 2010 first arrived, I see that all I had set out for myself was accomplished. We made those trips, we celebrated those milestones and grew up a little bit more together both as a family and as individuals.

Chris and I have always been very in sync. As in any relationship, there are sometimes bumps in the road but they result in proving the power of our love, patience and gratitude for each other. He gives me the world, my world that I thought out and created in my head as a kid, and has helped me work into to making it a reality. He has taught me dreams do come true. I let things get too hectic sometimes in 2010 and he called me out on a few occasions where we seemed distant. Amidst the chaos of our lives, we re-connect, ignite the flame and carry on. I love him more than ever.

Carter has gone and grown up on me this year. He knows things about iPods and music and life and the planet that I didn't teach him. He's absorbed and learned because he's found his own interests and sourced out the answers. He's developed his own opinions about things and I literally glow inside when I hear him speak of his findings.  

Callum still needs me for a lot of things that Carter does not however he has become more independent than ever before. He doesn't hold back when expressing his emotions and this is obvious from the stories he tells me about school friend relationships. He made my heart melt when he told me the lunch monitors laughed at him when he dropped his lunch bag on the floor and everything spilled out, but I was beaming with pride when he told me how he handled the situation. "I told them thats not very respectful and you should be helping me pick this up and if you were nice lunch monitors you'd do that and show respectfulness to me" Ahhhh.... thatta boy!!

Then there's me. I've most definitely grown as an individual this year. I've had more opportunities to engage in my passions of making the world a better place. The little bit that I contribute amongst my duties of being who I am to everyone else in my life, makes me feel whole. In reflecting all that I've experienced this year I've started creating my Twenty-Eleven New Years Resolutions List. Last year I had said I wanted to take Ballroom Dance Lessons.... CHECK! Did it and loved them. I also said I wanted to do more in the spirit of animal rights issues and share my knowledge in good and appropriate ways.... CHECK! Did that and will carry that over to my 2011 list as well. One resolution I didn't do well at keeping was that I planned to say "no" more often to people. I get asked a lot of favours and I have a natural tendency to just say yes then figure out how I'm gonna do it after I've opened my mouth. I can't say "yes" to everyone and feel good about it all the time because sometimes my commitments are intrusive to my family and cause upset amongst us. I need to concentrate more on who really needs me to do things for them in comparison to those who just want me to do things for them. For those who need me, need me because I make a difference in their lives and so I am swayed to do things for them out of love. If I'm not feelin' the love or the true need vibe, then I'll make my decisions accordingly. Once I really differentiate the two, I'll do better at yes and no's.  

So as 2010 was a year for growth & milestones in my family, I think 2011 will be a year for gratitude and enjoying the life we have. I plan to take life just a little bit slower this coming year and focus on the things that truly make my soul shine. Hopefully the reflection of that energy I create will bounce back to those I love so we can all live warm with gratitude for all that we have. As we approach the new year with a deep appreciation for the past one, I say Stay Grateful, Happy Holidays & Peace On Earth.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not always, but every once in awhile, I'm grateful to receive these types of emails because they actually make me think:                            

                            To realize
                            The value of a sister/brother
                            Ask someone
                            Who doesn't have one.

                            To realize
                            The value of ten years:
                            Ask a newly
                            Divorced couple.

                            To realize
                            The value of four years:
                            Ask a graduate.

                            To realize
                            The value of one year:
                            Ask a student who
                            Has failed a final exam.

                            To realize
                            The value of nine months:
                            Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

                            To realize
                            The value of one month:
                            Ask a mother
                            Who has given birth to
                            A premature baby.

                            To realize
                            The value of one week:
                            Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

                            To realize
                            The value of one minute:
                            Ask a person
                            Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

                            To realize
                            The value of one second:
                            Ask a person
                            Who has survived an accident.

                            Time waits for no one.

                            Treasure every moment you have.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We Were Throwing Red Paint From A Watermelon Float

It's a bit extreme because I'm a proud supporter of PETA and they're mocking what PETA does in this clip however I've met girls like this who want to be activists but just don't have the knowledge behind them to support their actions. If they have the drive and ambition to make a difference and spread the word about animal rights,  more seasoned activists should be willing to share with them with the information they need to do that in a good way. This clip does make me laugh though.... it's funny. And besides, what brand these days doesn't use sex to sell, really?

Closer To Fine ~Indigo Girls at Lilith Fair

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Both Sides Now ~Joni Mitchell

This might just be my most favourite Joni Mitchell song of all time.... it just might be, but there are so many to love!

River ~Sarah McLachlan covering Joni Mitchell

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on 

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'll Miss Your Smiling Voice

I've often joked about how you can set your watch by the morning routine of our court. The Catholic school bus comes a few minutes before ours and if you're out there just those few minutes early, you'll see little Melanie walking down her driveway and you'll hear Laurie, hidden by the trees on her front lawn yell out in a voice that is smiling "Bye Mel! I love you!!" Then as we make our way over to the bus stop, you'll see Larry and his dog Nugget come out of Rose's house with a cup of coffee in hand. He goes home and Rose, who is always dressed for success, backs out of the driveway, waving to us as she passes by. The boys who live next door to me head out right after her. Always. Dino drives past a few minutes later with his big work trailer attached to his truck and he and the young guy that works for him also throw a wave our way. Leila drives up around then and waits at the bus stop with us. Next Larry leaves in his truck, Maddie comes home from driving her kids to high school, the woman in the white crossover from the other court comes in to pick up the kids that go to the private school and thats usually about the time our bus comes, which is when you'll see Lauren racing to catch it. She almost misses it every day. Thats when you know it's 8:35am in the court.

Yesterday we lost one of neighbours. The court will never be quite the same. I sat up for hours last night with a bottle of wine in hand staring at her house across the street. She is probably the only one on this street that could pull off wearing a bikini while washing her car out front or manage to wear heels while walking the dog at the park. She's also so the only one who can evoke the feeling you get when you'd hear her say "Bye Mel! I love you!!" that voice that smiles.  It's a sad day here in the court.  There is unbalance. The routine has come to a halt. Vehicles that should have left for work, didn't. The blinds are drawn across the street and there is a definite emptiness about her house today..... and it's just not right.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's The Most Overwhelming Time Of The Year!

So I'm back from my annual Girls Shopping Weekend and have made a good dent in my list of who I need to buy for.... I should be be feeling ahead of the game at this point. Instead, the overwhelming, almost paralyzing feelings of Christmas preparation are hitting me. There are still cards to do & mail, gifts to wrap & some still to buy, a house to decorate inside & out with TWO trees to put up, meals to plan & dinners to host, events to be at etc etc etc. And this is all on top of what needs to be done on a regular basis around here like housework, errands, homework & kids activities. And when it's all over my family & kids will have more material things than they really need (but someone less fortunate might) and I'll have spent a small fortune that could have gone towards doing better in the world.  These are the motions I go through each and every year.

But I've made a decision. It's still early. It's December 1st and I have 24 more sleeps til Santa comes and that is my most favourite part. Although that might sound hypocritical to what I've just said about materialism, but it's not about what he brings. It's about believing in him and all the wonder that goes along with his story. It's the magical part of Christmas that only my kids can create for me and I'm unsure just how much longer I'll get to enjoy that. So, I've made the decision to do one thing at a time, delegate some of the wrapping to my husband and try to stay positive this season.  Afterall, it's supposed to be the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! (I can do this!! Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stolen Time

It doesn't happen very often, but everyone (except me, fingers crossed!) in my house is sick and has been for three days now.  It's times like these that I really get to see how unbelievably chaotic our lives are. Once an illness sets in, everything comes to a stand still and it becomes so very obvious that we run ourselves ragged day to day when we're feeling well. The kids have missed school and all their extra curricular activities, my husband and I have both called in sick to work and we had to cancel a dentist appointment and a family commitment for today. That time has been replaced with watching TV in PJ's, playing a few video games, lying on the couch, reading and talking. Yes, talking. I've spoken more to my kids these last few days than I have since they started back at school in September. It's actually pretty fabulous in a way, .... this slow down of events we're experiencing is giving me a chance to re-charge myself. Everything has come to a halt and we actually have time to be a family. (a gross, pukey, germ infested family but I'll take what I can get) Because they're sick, there aren't any expectations that I'm going to take them anywhere, buy them anything or do anything "fun". They're content with my homemade soup, Gravol and snuggles on the sofa. I'm loving that part. The laundry, the whining, the sounds of them all throwing up and the need to constantly disinfect I could do without, but otherwise I'm in a way sort of grateful for the time we've managed to steal away from the rest of the world these last few days. It's taken the chaos of catering to my sick family to appreciate the need to slow life down as we eventually slide back into reality.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thinking of Dealing with Rokbar? Beware.

The note below was posted by my cousin @mcunclebuck on Facebook and he has asked his friends & family to spread the word about his dealings with Rokbar to save anyone else from the aggravation he's been through with them, so.... here it is and it's worth the read!

I'm writing this note as a cautionary tale to those of you who are thinking about working for Rokbar in Hamilton's Hess Village. After two months of being owed a month's worth of pay for my old weekly slot, I feel the time has come to warn all of you of the types of things that have happened to me and my dealings with that club.

I was hired by Rehan Mirza (i.e 'Rayz' .. their resident Dj/Promtions guy) two summers ago to MC and promote special events. It was he that negotiated my wage, and it was him that I was to submit my weekly payment invoice to. You see, the accounting department (Headed by John Nedelko) had requested that instead of being paid at the end of the night, I submit invoices that would be due in thirty days. It should be noted that In the two years I had worked there I was rarely paid on time in accordance with the payment schedule I had worked out with both Rehan (the one who hired me and negotiated my rate) and John (the accountant who prepares the pay cheques)...but I did eventually end up with the money owed. I was told by John that the owner (Denis Vranich) was required to sign off on my cheques. John would inform him of the invoices that were due to be paid, and Denis would direct to him which invoices to pay.

That brings us to now. I am one in a long list of people owed money by this club. Luckily, I am not one of those owed thousands of dollars...but some are, which makes this even more troubling. I have tried countless times to collect what is owed to me. Rehan Mirza has told me countless times that I am 'Not to worry and I will be paid'...but when I questioned John (the accountant) about a previous bounced cheque issue, I was told that Rehan has no information or say on the accounting or payment dealings of the business. I find this very disturbing as Rehan is:

A) the one hiring people and negotiating their wage


B) Telling those owed that they are one of the top people on the list to be paid next..and other things of that nature.

I went to the offices of the bar and spoke to John and Joanne (another worker in the office) about my concerns and was told that my only recourse is to speak directly to Denis (the club's owner) about it. An idea that I would love to pursue, however not one person is willing to give me his contact information. When I told both of them that I had only met Denis once, moments before he was carried out of his club from intoxication. I was met with laughter, and again told they weren't able to help me. As the accountant (John) explained, he has informed Denis that this money is owed, but Denis will not give the authorization to prepare a cheque.

I have continued to try and contact John to inquire about a possible timeline for payment, but he now refuses to reply to my emails, and it looks as though I will have to take legal action.

So to those that are being contacted by Rehan to work for that nightclub, beware. There are a laundry list of broken promises and owed money, and the club's own accounting head has told me (and others) that Rehan has absolutely no say on who gets paid and when. That sole decision falls at the discretion of the club's owner, and he refuses to sign off on payment for myself and others owed significant money.

Will this same saga happen to you? It's possible that it wont..but I felt it in the best interest of others to warn you of what many are dealing with.

Thanks for Reading.

Edit: I want to make a point of saying that this is no way directed at any of the other staff at the club. A great group of people work in security and behind the bar there, so please do not take the actions of those named above as a reflection of the rest of the employees.

Sharing Our Knowledge~The Kid Friendly Way!

I received a really cool email last week and it had a link to a So Nice contest on $5000 Towards A Better Organic World so.... I entered! I actually had a really great entry ready to send when I was distracted by my kids and LOST it!! I quickly put together another one which doesn't nearly have as much passion about it as the original but thats all part of how the life of a mommy works! My idea relates to sharing our knowledge with the youth of today in hopes of creating a more organic world tomorrow. Even if I don't "win" this contest, it's something I just may look at implementing one day anyways.... Check out the contest on facebook and if you're not entering yourself, then vote for me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Reality Of Our Kids Food

My kids will tell you they love tofu or seitan. They will tell you they like healthy foods such as broccoli and beans. They only people I find who are surprised when they say things like this are adults. I've actually heard someone in my family say "Little boys aren't supposed to like salad!" Whaaaat?? Other kids are curious to know what some of that stuff is, whereas the parents can't believe I would actually feed my kids these things and tell them what they are. "Your kids know it's soy and they still eat it?" This makes no sense to me. Why do we hide from our children the reality of food? (And when I say "WE" I definately don't mean "ME") Why aren't we honest about what we're feeding them? Do they not have a right to know? As a society we flat out lie to these kids. We want them to be sheltered from the knowledge of the mechanics of our food before it hits the table, so we hide it from them. To talk about the torture the innocent animals endure before being brutally slaughtered is just "not right" according to most. Instead, we serve up that scallded alive, pumped full of steroids chicken in fun spaceship shapes and sell dead cow that lived all her days as a dairy slave until being murdered for hamburger meat, in boxes labeled "Happy Meal". How ironic. Parents I know will try to get veggies into their kids diets by hiding it in foods they do like (I'm totally guilty of having done this once or twice) however they neglect to put a small amount of that food on the side of the plate so it's visable and use it as a teachable moment. If we don't do this the kids will never be able to identify with these foods going forward into adulthood in a healthy and positive way. We as parents don't trust that we can tell the kids the vegetable they just ate is called SQUASH because maybe they've heard others accosiate with it in a bad way at some point, scaring them from giving it a chance. I know parents who say "Shhhh....Don't tell her there is spinach in it, ...she won't eat it!" Its absurd. I'm not claiming my kids like every healthy food out there (and I certainly don't like it all either) but my boys know the truth about the foods they are offered. They have a want to eat the things they know have vitamins in them, that will make them big and strong. I'm not afraid to tell my kids what something is or whats in it and they've learned to make good food choices at very young ages as a result.... There's no reason to hide it from them in my opinion and there are benefits to sharing this knowledge with them, ....just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nonsense Wakes Up The Brain Cells

"Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack." ~ Dr. Suess
As quoted in "Author Isn't Just a Cat in the Hat" by Miles Corwin in The Los Angeles Times (27 November 1983); also in Dr. Seuss: American Icon (2004) by Philip Nel, p. 38 Wikiquote

Saturday, October 9, 2010

All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance

The words to Give Peace A Chance are so simple and yet so very powerful. The ideas, initiatives and wisdom that came through John Lennon are gifts to anyone who can appreciate and understand him.  I'm confident the world would be a better place today if he was still around.... Imagine that.

His songs are timeless and his messages are a fuel that to this day, feeds my soul.  Happy, what would have been, 70th Birthday to him.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hannah's Hanse

My friend @kristengall posted this video of her daughter from a few years ago.... an little eco activist in the making! I am absolutely loving this. There are some grown ups that don't even get what Hannah obviously already understands at this young of an age. I'm impressed by this and am thankful there are other parents in this world who teach their children about the importance of helping our planet. Watch and enjoy. It's beautiful.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hearty Vegan Stew

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup parsnips, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
red potatoes, peeled and cut  (about 2 cups)
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup pearled barley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 cups vegetable beef flavoured stock (like McCormicks all vegetable bouillion cubes)
3 tbsp flour or corn starch (to keep it gluten-free) to thicken if necessary

1 pkg Gardein Beefless Tips prepared as directed on the package 
Salt &  fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat oil on medium-high heat in large pot; add onion, carrot, parsnips, celery, potatoes and garlic.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables brown, about 12 minutes.
Add barley and stir until shiny and coated. Add in thyme, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
Add vegetable broth and thicken if necessary
Bring to boil over medium-high heat; turn heat down so stew hardly bubbles. Cover and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in Gardein Beefless Tips during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Serve with vegan Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry if desired, or crusty bread.
Makes four servings or double the recipe and freeze the left overs for next week!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunshine, You're Beautiful.

Regardless of what is going on in my chaotic life, the sunshine can always balance me out. It can lighten my mood, make my day brighter and make me more appreciative of the simple things life has to offer. If I really take the time to enjoy it's warmth, I'll literally feel the energy being absorbed through me. It's powerful, it's natural and it's beautiful.... Peace, Love & Sunshine!

- Posted from Jennifer's iPhone

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vitamin B12

This article on vitamin B12 is too useful to not share. Most vegetarians/vegans use Nutritional Yeast as a supplement but it also comes in tablet form. Just be sure to read the label to be sure it's suitable for a vegetarian diet!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If It Were A Religous Stunt, People Would Be All Over Her, But It's Not.... She's Only Wearing Meat

Lady Gaga's appearance on Ellen wearing her raw meat dress can be compared to Sinead O'Connor's appearance on SNL when she ripped up the photo of the Pope but it's really not that big of a deal to the majority of people, considering the majority of people in this world are not vegetarian. Ellen is VEGAN and Lady Gaga wore her offensive meat dress on her show.... People were outraged and horrified when Sinead did what she did saying it was insulting, offensive and unmoral but no one really thinks too much about it when a star such as Lady Gaga stands on Ellen's stage wearing abused, tortured, slaughtered beings. Sinead's stunt got so much attention because it hit a nerve amongst religious groups across the world, but Lady Gaga gets away with being un-ethical because most people don't think there is anything wrong with eating (or wearing, obviously) animals. Shame on her.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Don't Give A Damn About My Bad Reputation

Although I'm not a strong leader, I'd like to think I've never been much of a follower. My girlfriends to this day expect me to make the plans and organize our events for our group. It's just always been that way. I am the decision maker for most things in my life. I'm a mom and a wife and I tend to play a leading role in the planning of our day to day lives. With so many decisions to have to make, I've learned to be quick about it and I've stopped over thinking a lot of things. Sometimes in retrospect I see that I could have made a better choice had I given it more thought but in that particular moment if I felt (and I base most of my decisions of emotion... I know this about myself) it was the right thing to do, then I'm ok with that and will stand behind why I did what I did. It's just the way it is. And people get pissed off with some of the things I say and do. They judge when I do things like take my children to animal rights demonstrations  or raise them differently than they are used to but as long as I can be honest with myself and feel good about what I say and do, then I don't give a damn about my bad reputation. ; )

Joan Jett for PETA

Order a FREE 'Vegetarian Starter Kit' at

Vegetarian Joan Jett and PETA

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pigs Are Intelligent Animals. Stop Slaughtering Them, Ribfest.

Every year, my hometown hosts an event called Ribfest and every year I say I'm going to get a group together to demonstrate on the animals behalf but.... the smell of their death and roasting flesh makes me physically ill. I wouldn't be able to stand being there! I hear there are over 150,000 people who attend and over 100,000 pigs are slaughtered for this annually. Pigs Are Intelligent Animals and it saddens me to know they have suffered for greedy human consumption.... Something has to be done... and sometimes just stating the obvious is enough to open some people's eyes and create the awareness surrounding animal cruelty....

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Tables Are Turning

It was only a few short years ago that I was a mom to two very young boys and caregiver to various other children, all of whom were like my own to me. Many of those days are still a blur. I'd answer the door before 6:30am and would often close the door behind the families at 6:30pm...sometimes later. As long and as exhausting both physically and mentally as those days were, I got up every morning looking forward to my job. There were many mornings where I would go out to get coffee before any of the kids arrived but by 9am I'd have given my right arm for another. Once in awhile, my mum would call and offer to drop one off to me. And once in awhile I'd ask her to stay with the kids once they were all napping so I could run out to the dentist or pick something up from the store. She would almost always agree and I was careful not to ask too often but I always felt like she had no idea how trapped I was sometimes, because of the kids routines and needs. She was a stay at home mom so you'd think she'd remember what it was like but that was a long long time ago. In my line of work there is no such thing as a lunch or coffee breaks so when opportunities for me to leave the kids for half an hour would arise, I was more appreciative than anyone will ever know.

Last week my Grandmother, who lives with my mother, had a stroke. My mum has been on duty catering to her every need since it happened. I see the exhaustion in my mum. I see her struggling to keep it all together for the sake and well being of my Gran. But I also see there is a want to be that person, similar to how I wanted to be that person to my kids and the kids I provide childcare to. Today, my mum asked me to pick up a few things at the store for her and when I asked if she wanted a coffee I could hear that same sound of desparation in her voice that I once had when she would offer to bring me one. When I arrived at her place, I asked if she needed to run out anywhere and told her I would "granny-sit", just as she had agreed to "baby-sit" for me when I needed it. I could tell by her reaction that she was thankful to be getting out of the house for awhile....a feeling I can relate to.

My kids are all school-aged now and I can run out or get coffee whenever I want. In fact, I've never been as free as I am these days. I'm seeing the tables turning now though. My mum has been free for many many many years now but is entering a new chapter of her life where she is once again depended on full time. My childcare job taught me a lot of things over the years and the sense of appreciation I developed will carry forward as I do coffee delivery and "granny-sit" more often from now on.

- Posted from Jennifer's iPhone
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future"-Paul Boese

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Definition Is This

Vegan: A person who does not eat or use animal products of any kind (including meat, dairy and leather items).
Vegetarian: A person who does not eat meat products.
Pescetarian: A person who eats no meat products with the exception of fish. A lot of people will use this as a bridge to convert to vegetarianism.
Tofu: A soft, high-protein food made from soybean milk.
Tempeh: A food that originated in Indonesia, made from cultured soybeans. Since it retains the whole soybean (unlike tofu), it is a source of higher protein, fiber and vitamins. It also has firmer texture and stronger flavor, and is a widely used meat substitute.
Seitan: A meat substitute made entirely of wheat gluten. It is an alternative to soybean-based substitutes like tofu, and has texture and consistency very similar to meat.

Read more:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Diamonds Are Not This Girls Best Friend

Just a few short months ago, my husband and I went out shopping for my new diamond ring. We're celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary this year and I suggested getting a new wedding set.... I felt as though I should get a newer, bigger diamond because I had somehow earned it and that it was owed to me. Chris had me try on rings that cost more than I would spend on a new car and as beautiful as they were to look at, they didn't feel right on me. There was something unknown that just didn't sit well. Our anniversary is fast approaching and so I have been learning as much as I can recently in order to make the best decision. I've spoken to many retailers and diamond specialists and have learned a lot about cuts, clarity, colour, weight etc.
Then.... through research online, I discovered articles on the unfair labour, bloodshed, brutality and the loss of precious life that comes as a result of people like myself who purchase these precious gems. I honestly had no idea. I know... I've lived a sheltered life but this is no excuse to not know about something this huge! I've been misinformed about these stones and feel ill reading about all that goes on in the diamond industry. Conflict diamonds, blood diamonds and child labour articles are swarming the internet, yet still we don't talk enough about them. It's so easy for people to turn a blind eye when their eyes are filled with the gleaming sparkle of carats I guess.
I've since taken a good look at the role I play in our marriage and have put much thought into what it is I thought a big shiny diamond ring would do for me. I've realized wearing it would represent many things to many people's eyes, but the feeling I'd have would not be a good representation of who I am or of the word "reward" at all. It would go against all that I stand for in terms of world peace first of all and second, the love I get from my family is the ultimate reward for being who and what I am to them. Thanks anyways, but no diamond needed here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry With Soy Chicken

2 tsp veg oil
1 small shallot or onion
4 cups of cut up Veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, celery, mushrooms... whatever works)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 vegetarian soy chicken-less breasts + 2 tsp veg oil
1 can of Coconut milk
2 tbsp Red Curry paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 chopped green chilies
Dash of salt
Chopped green onion to garnish
Rice noodles or brown rice

In a wok, stir fry the shallot/onion in 2tsp veg oil until transparent
Add in the mixed fresh veggies. Stir fry the veg but keep it crisp.

Fry the soy chicken-less breasts in 2 tsp veg oil until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side)

In a separate sauce pan, simmer 1 can of coconut milk with the red curry paste over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, frozen peas and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chopped green chillies, then pour the sauce into the wok of vegetables and mix in. Cube the soy chicken-less breasts and add in. Prepare the rice noodles or rice according to the package directions and serve with the curry! Garnish with green onion. It's THAT simple : )

Monday, August 2, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010


"There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for."-Gandhi
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."-Gandhi

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We Choose Compassion

Three Generations of Circus Boycotters
The Shrine Circus came to town and myself as well as 50+ other animal rights activists went to create some awareness around the abuse these circus animals endure on a daily basis. For the most part, we received positive feedback and one couple even turned around and went home, claiming the thought never even occurred to them. We were thanked and supported by many, others just pretended to not see the gruesome signage and of course, there were some people who had opposing opinions. One man made a remark in passing about me having my children there.... I really wish he had taken the time to stop and discuss it, because I love this topic. 
On a daily basis, parents all over the world expose their children to various religions. It is socially acceptable to take children to church, or temple etc etc and have those children absorb the parents beliefs from very young ages. The children are expected to learn, obey and live their lives according to those beliefs. It is up to each individual family to decided what values they want to instill in their kids, and determine which way they will execute that.... be it Sunday School, Christian School or however else they choose.
Our way of living does not have a Bible, we do not sing hymns or gather on a weekly basis. Instead, we've chosen to teach our children values such as compassion through concrete measures in our home and by including them in demonstrations that they feel good about participating in. By raising them vegetarian and educating them on how to live a compassionate lifestyle, I'm hoping that as our future generation they will be informed enough to make a positive difference in this world.  Am I ignorant to assume that is what we all want for our children? To turn out to be good people! Children are a reflection of us and so as good parents we do what we can to raise them right. And I think it's ok that we all do that in different ways.
Unfortunately Buddy from last night didn't hang around long enough to hear me out but maybe, just maybe he has taken a minute since then to think about his remark and ponder the thought that maybe, just maybe because of a compassionate up-bringing, my kids actually wanted to be there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When I Say I Love You...

"When I say, 'I love you,' it's not because I want you or because I can't
have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you
do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen
the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity
exactly what you are.” Spike to Buffy by Joss Whedon

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back Into My Groove

A few weeks ago I felt very off... off balance, out of sync, drained and just really not myself. The more I complained about being off, the more negative I became and I felt sick about it.  It seemed one bad karma kinda thing happened after another and at the time I felt completely overwhelmed. I try to live a positive life and I believe that whatever you put out into the Universe, will come back to you full circle. I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and so I can accept that once in awhile this sort of thing happens... but it just seemed like I got more than I could manage that week.
I'm usually pretty good about not getting too down when something negative comes my way so I did some thinking, organized some thoughts and did snap out of it. I shifted my focus to the people and things most important in my life. I planned some family activities with my husband and my kids, looked into some PETA events that I want to be a part of, got the tattoo I've been wanting to get, met up with a few friends for a few drinks, re-connected all round and got back into my groove. Now I feel great again. Now I feel like Me. The real Me.... And I'm likin' it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cheddar & Onion Muffins

My good old and dear friend Cheri served these at her place with dinner one night. Amazing.
1 cup(250ml)shredded old Cheddar Cheese 
3 cups (750ml) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp(25ml) granulated sugar
4 tsp(20ml) bakingpowder
1 tsp(10ml) pepper
2 tsp(10ml) salt
1cup(250ml) milk
112cup(125ml) vegetable oil
112cup(125ml) sliced green onions
112cup(125ml) sour cream 

ln a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper and salt. Stir in cheese.
Whisk together milk, oil, onions sour cream and eggs; pour over dry ingredients. Stir.
Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Add cheddar on top.

Bake in centre of 375'F(190'C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch and muffins are golden. (Make-ahead. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 day or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 weeks.) Add in pureed broccoli, cauliflower & carrots and send them in the kids lunches as Meal Muffins!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm posting this waaaaaay out of season, but The North Pole is cool link if you have kids or are looking for new recipes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Marilyn Monroe

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
- Marilyn Monroe

About Me

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Life-long Vegetarian and proud to be Canadian. Really, I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint (I do not feel ashamed) I'm your hell, I'm your dream (I'm nothing in between) You know, I wouldn't want it any other way..... (I'd like to think that song was written about me! lol)