October 31, 2012

October Foodie Penpals

It's October 31st! Happy Halloween!
Time for my October Foodie Penpal reveal!

The Lean Green Bean

This month's Foodie Penpals was such an adventure! I was paired up with the magnificent Miss Chelsie from Balance Not Scale. You'll never believe our luck! After contacting me and discovering that we both live in Ottawa (literally about 10 minutes away from each other), Chelsie suggested that we meet up.

Flash forward two weeks, Chelsie and I met at a local cafĂ© where we sat and gossiped about other bloggers talked about school/work, food,/blogging, family/friends, books, and sports.

Plus, she presented me an extravagant surprise bag full of sweet goodness:

Inside my surprise bag I found:
Chelsie's Homemade Pumpkin Butter
Chelsie's Homemade Healthy Rice Pudding (dairy free, sugar-free, gluten free)
Chelsie's Humongous Homemade Salad
A Beautiful Wooden Salad Bowl
Chelsie's Homemade Salad Dressing 

Um, did you notice I mentioned that everything (but the salad bowl) was homemade??
Chelsie was so sweet and caring in the way that she went so far and beyond anything I ever expected from anyone in this program.  She took all my dietary needs/restrictions into full consideration (no dairy, no soy, no gluten, no peanuts, no sugars, no processed foods, no meat, no eggs, no corn) and she came up with something so fabulous - it's beyond words.
I have no doubt in my mind that Chelsie prepared everything with the most loving kindness and her purest intentions, and for that, I am forever grateful!

I loved everything in my surprise bag, though I must say admit that I absolutely fell head over heels in love with my salad and homemade salad dressing.

I sent a package to a sweet little baker named Joh from Toronto. Visit her blog at Sweet Spell Bakeshop to see her big reveal.
If you’re interested in participating in Foodie Penpals for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Open to residents of Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Remember, you must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!

October 28, 2012

Sunday Confessions #2

Happy Sunday!
I'm linking up with Alyx at Every Day is a New Adventure for Sunday Confessions.

Thanks for the super fun link-up, Alyx!
For today's edition of Sunday Confessions, I found a post on Jessie’s blog (Jessie Loves To Run) and thought it would be a great way to share some exciting, or perhaps mundane aspects of my life. To be honest, Jessie got the idea from Alex’s blog (The Run Within), who got the idea from another blogger named Tazmin. That’s getting confusing but I’m sure you get the idea. This post idea is definitely making the rounds.

So here goes…

Alphabet Survey

A is for Age: I like to say 29 (forever). Truth is I'm 33 years old young. I've named this year "My Jesus Year".

B is for Breakfast today:  Hazelnut Raisin manna bread topped with Almond Butter.

C is for Currently Craving: Nothing at this EXACT moment. Recent cravings include: Potatoes. Spaghetti Squash. Soup. Chips. Rice. Sushi. Americano's. Chocolate. Raspberry Linzer Squares. Nothing Pumpkin :P I am not easily led into temptations (except for chocolate).

D is for Dinner tonight: Unknown

E is for favorite type of Exercise: Yoga

F is for an irrational Fear: Fire

G is for Gross food: Nutella.  I've avoided it for years.

H is for Hometown: Williamstown, Ontario. Canada

I is for something Important: To be the greatest and highest version of my Self  that I can possibly be.

J is for current favorite Jam: I don't have a favorite "jam". Songs get stuck in my head sometimes like "It's Love" by Kina Grannis or "Brothers and Sisters" by Coldplay. I like raspberry jam.

K is for Kids: One incredibly sweet, intelligent, loving little boy.

L is for current Location: Ottawa, Ontario. Canada

M is for the most recent way you spent Money: Purchased one of the last two tickets to an upcoming yoga event with a live DJ.
N is for something you Need: There's nothing I necessarily "need", yet a nice new Winter Jacket, like the one in this picture    ----------------►
would be pretty sweet!

O is for Occupation: Mom. Teacher. Sister. Musician. Chef. Healer. Coach. Volunteer. Writer. Financial Planner. Interior Decorator. Artist. Photographer. Friend. Personal Shopper. Housekeeper. Counsellor.

P is for Pet Peeve[s]: Crumbs in my bed. Broken promises. Tangled wires. An almost empty toilet paper roll. Guys who don't put the toilet seat down or flush the toilet. The fire alarm in my building.

Q is for a Quote: I have so many favorites: “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love” - John Lennon

Check out my Pinterest Board for more Quotes.

R is for Random fact about you: I can play the violin, flute, and piano.

S is for favorite healthy Snack: Almond Butter on a Golden Delicious Apple or with a Banana.

T is for favorite Treat: Chocolate Covered Blueberry Bliss Balls are one of my favorite "treats".

U is for something that makes you Unique: My family. 1 older brother. 1 younger brother. 5 younger sisters. All Redheads :D Mom and Dad too ☼

V is for favorite Vegetable: I love ALL vegetables: Kale, Collard Greens, Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Sugar Snap Peas, Bok Choy.

W is for today’s Workout: Early morning hot yoga session. Perfect rainy day weather workout.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Dental x-rays. MRI on my knee. Bone-density tests.

Y is for Yesterday’s highlight: Re-arranging my home: bedrooms and living room.

Z is for your time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5hrs)

So there you have it!

I want to thank Jessie for inspiring me to write this post and Alyx for another Sunday Confessions link-up.

Choose any letter(s) and tell me your answer(s)!

I also encourage you to participate in the Alphabet Survey by blogging about your answers.
If you do decide to participate why not leave your link in the comments and I’ll pop over and check them out.

Oh and don’t forget to visit the bloggers mentioned above too.

October 26, 2012

Feel It Friday!

There is nothing more beautiful than a person whose heart has been torn apart, but still believes in the beauty of love.
I'm proud of my heart.

It's been played, stabbed, cheated, burned and broken,

but somehow it still works. 

Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow.

October 22, 2012

Marvelous in My Monday #7 (My 1st Award + A Smoothie Recipe)

When I started writing this little blog, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a Blog Award. I always thought a BLOG AWARD is when someone leaves me a sweet comment, likes my post or follows my blog.

Imagine my surprise and delight when this sweet little lady nominated me for the Super Sweet Award. Thank you, sweet Jessie, for your kind nomination for the Super Sweet Blogging Award and for always making me smile with your sweet, loving comments. I am truly honored and humbled.

I knew nothing about blog awards and I thought that because I was nominated I would have to compete with all the other nominees and that there would be one winner.
Fortunately, this community is much less complicated than that.

Rules for the Super Sweet Blogging Award:
  1. Give credit to the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate a Baker's Dozen (13) other blogs.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Answer the following 5 "Super Sweet" questions:
Cookies or Cake? C is for Cookie! That's good enough for me! 

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.

Did you know that vanilla comes from the stem of an orchid? Me either!

Try using WHOLE vanilla bean in a chocolate smoothie + ice = Total  Annihilation!

What is your Favorite Sweet Treat? "Taste Tester" kisses are the ultimate sweet treat!

Almond Butter with Maple Syrup is pretty sweet too though. A perfect muffin topper, apple or banana boat dipper, celery spread, or straight off a spoon or finger.

When do you Crave sweet things the most? Late at night. Mid-afternoon can be pretty bad too.

If you had a Sweet Nickname, what would it be? Sweet Maria (like a Sweet Marie chocolate bar, only a whole lot sweeter!)

A boy in highschool used to call me "Sweet Maria".  It used to annoy the heck out of me. When his hot guy friends started calling me "Sweet Maria" too, I eventully started to like my nickname. I never did like the boy though (in a "like" like sort of way). Sorry Sandi.

Nominations for this award:

The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman Min is a super sweet writer, wife, baker and photographer who is currently in school working on her Master's in Nutrition.

The Raw Serenity Australian wellness warrior and green smoothie addict Lisa shares fantastic plant-based vegan recipes and talks about her incredible wellness journey, which has led her to take control of her health and overall well-being.

Char Eats Greens Char is a passionate nutritionist, veggie lover, marathon runner, wife, soon-to-be momma, and fellow Canadian gal.

Miranda's Munchie's Miranda is another Canadian lady who blogs about her journey towards a healthy lifestyle and a positive mentality.

fridge scrapings Lou is a vegan mama who loves to cook healthy eats and tasty treats for the whole family.

Every Day is a New Adventure Alyx is a fun-loving food-lover, wife, daughter, sister, lover, friend, bookworm, for-fun photographer and pillow hog. Join her adventure and link-up to her weekly Sunday Confessions, a time for honesty and openness. Confess to anything and everything you choose.

Colour Me Happy Allie takes snapshots, tells stories, and makes life a little more inspirational.

Wayfaring Chocolate Hannah writes about chocolate, desserts, travel, and, most importantly. laughter.

The Bliss Project Manon is a teacher, runner, dancer, yogini, dessert-lover, and fellow participant in the Be The Change: 30 Day Yoga Challenge.

A Spoonful of Sunshine Theresa is a fun food and fitness lover who is very passionate about outdoor activities, food, and a healthy lifestyle.

susonia.com Susan, a Canadian mom, is on a quest to a healthy life filled with funky foods, fitness, fun and happiness

fitness, food and photography A full-time working mom who married her high school sweetheart. I love her food philosophy: "when you eat crap, you feel like crap".

In Her Chucks Heather is a wife, mommy, kitchen queen and music teacher who shares her joy of life through her posts.

I will leave a note with each of my nominees stating that if they don’t want their award to contact me. If I receive any declining bloggers, I will post another nominee(s).

Congratulations to all the winners!

And now...

A Marvelous Smoothie Recipe
*I realize I mis-spelled the word Blueberries in the photo and I didn't correct it!. Judge me if you want to but I'll still love you! <3


1 Banana, fresh or frozen (I prefer frozen)
2 (or more) cups frozen berries of choice
2 handfuls Baby Spinach
Handful of pumpkin & sunflower seeds
1 TBSP almond or cashew butter
1 TBSP chia seeds
1-2 TBSP hemp seeds
dash of vanilla
Fresh apple juice, enough to liquify*
*Instead of using apple juice, 
toss in a chopped apple and use water as your liquid

*Add-ins (depends on your preference):
1 TBSP Super Green Food Powder
1 TBSP flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil
1 TBSP maca powder
1/2 serving vanilla protein powder

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender
and whip into creamy perfection.

And that, my lovelies, is why I'm feeling Marvelous in My Monday!

Thank you miss Katie for hosting this Monday morning block party!
You truly help put a nice, shiny sparkle in my Monday!

October 17, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday #9

What starts with W? 
Wednesday starts with W.
What other words start with W?
Oh, who cares about the other things.
Let's just focus on What I Ate Wednesday.
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Thank you and hearts to the lovely miss Jenn for this warm-hearted idea..a way for us bloggers to connect and share what we ate.

Oh, what a wonderful world we live in!

Upon rising, I started my day with 32 ounces of fresh distilled water (not pictured). Distilled Water is boiled, and has been proven effective at removing harmful wastes and cleansing the system of any impurities. Source


After sending "The Taste Tester" off to school, I blended together some of my favorite whole foods to get instant nutrients into my body. I desperately need fresh fruits and dark leafy green vegetables everyday or my body will not function at 100%.

Today's Warrior Blend Smoothie [banana, spinach, berries, raw pumpkin an sunflower seeds, hemp seed oil, maca powder, super green food powder, fresh apple juice, almond butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, water]HARDCORE SUPERHERO FUEL! Lunch today was a big, bright, and beautiful Citrus Salad [arugula, oranges, grapefruit, mint leaves, onions, sesame seeds and slivered almonds] dressed up with an agave, lime, liquid aminos, sea salt, red pepper flakes dressing. Perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.


I was feeling a little sexy today and since Valentines Day is month's away, I decided to make some of these little libido-boosting SEXY BALLS. Topped each one with an extra almond. These babies are Uh-may-zzzzing!!


I can't eat wheat or gluten, and one thing I really miss is pasta. Zucchini pasta is the next-best-thing. HOLY COW! This stuff is fantastico! I peeled a few fresh zucchinis for the "noodles", then topped it off with a Blolgnese Hemp Parma Sauce made from tomatoes, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano, black olives, lemon, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne, and fresh basil. My mouth still waters when I think about this meal! SO YUMMY FOR MY TUMMY!


 The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

This is how it works: you send 3 bloggers one dozen homemade cookies. When you receive YOUR three different dozens of cookies from three other bloggers, you blog about it. It sounds like such a fun little event where you get to bake a batch of cookies, dress them up in festive tins, send them out, then you'll have your own fresh, homemade cookies waiting in your mailbox.

Want to join in?

Visit the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website to sign up. Read the rules and requirements carefully to make sure you are able to meet the deadlines and fulfill the requirements. There are no refunds if you drop out prior to the sign-up deadline or if you don’t meet all the requirements.

Registration deadline is Monday, November 5th.

October 15, 2012

Marvelous in My Monday #6

Happy Monday! Sweet and lovely miss Katie came up with this idea to make Monday’s more marvelous. Every Monday, bloggers share something marvelous and begin the week on a positive note.

Read more Marvelous in My Monday stories HERE
A Marvelous Recipe Share -- Little Miss Cornucopia's Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

These soft and chewy cookies with a light cinnamon flavor are super easy to make. They go great with a warm cup of tea on a cold, brisk day.

Use goji berries, dried cherries, or chocolate chips instead
1 1/2 cups cashews, ground
1/2 cup apples, peeled, cored, grated
1/3 cup agave
2 TBSP coconut flour
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raisins, chopped

Process all ingredients in a food processor. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.

To shape the cookies, roll dough between the palms of your hands into balls then flatten by pressing into a disc shape.

Place in dehydrator for 10 hours, turning midway through dehydrating.

I've never baked these in an oven but I suggest giving it a try if you'd like. Adjust temperature accordingly :]

Marvelous Truth

As the forest changes colors, leaves drop, temperatures decline and birds migrate overhead we are reminded that change is constant, constantly. Transitions in our personal lives can be challenging, as we often fear the unknown and become overwhelmed by choices.

Whether it is a change in career, health, home, family or relationships, change presents an opportunity to evaluate our life’s direction, engage in personal reflection and cultivate personal growth. 

Personally, the last 3 years have been filled with many different changes, challenges, and exciting new opportunities. Separating from my son's father; becoming involved with a married man (who failed to mention that he was married); working full-time for the first time in 5 years; moving from place to place; wiping out on my roller blades; wearing a knee-brace and crutches for 6 weeks; becoming addicted to pain medication; eating the worst foods imaginable; dealing with health issues; and falling into a deep, dark depressive state of mind. The emotions and hardships that I created for myself have sent me on a tremendous ride that at times seemed to last a lifetime.

My transitional process into the life that I am now living has taught me about my inner strengths, my weaknesses and the importance of self-care. The demands of today’s society can make life busy, stressful and overwhelming at times and we often forget to prioritize our personal health, needs and desires. Taking the time to develop a better sense of self reminds us how important we truly are and how we must nurture ourselves to reach our full potential. A healthy body, mind and soul makes us feel vibrant and vital. Taking care of ourselves even allows us the skills necessary to take better care of others.

For myself, finding the time daily to help my body unwind and trigger the relaxation response helps prevent chronic stress from negatively impacting my health now and in the future. Five to ten minutes per day may be all I need to re-energize and de-stress. Taking a power nap, meditating, having a bath, getting a massage, giving myself a pedicure, taking a walk, journal writing, or even indulging.

Taking care of ourselves also helps transitions to flow more naturally. Fear, uncertainty, doubt and anxiety may be companions on the path to change but self-care and self-awareness help us avoid letting these negative emotions dictate our lives and motivate our decisions.

Embracing change and celebrating all of life’s transitions while allowing ourselves the time and space to reflect and reconnect provides an invaluable journey in self-growth.

It’s weird to be in the middle of a transition, even though I’ve been working toward it for years. It’s like a road vs the map, the body vs the intellect, the experience vs the theory. It’s like being on a roller coaster where the only way to have fun is to relinquish control. Not easy for someone who likes to take control..but being terrified all the time is worse.

I do everything I know to support the process: eat well, take supplements, cleanse my body through exercise, yoga and meditation, talk honestly to the people around me, receive bodywork, write, sleep enough, miss too many emails and learn to trust. Remember to stop and breathe into whatever is; even briefly. It makes a huge difference.

Where am I headed? I suspect I will finally be able to feel relaxed in myself, more real and able to relate without so much anxiety. I’ll simply be able to do what I’m doing with less strain, reach out to my son and to those I love with more love, enjoy healthy friendships and contribute my patch of peace to the species while being able to accept our collective pain as part of our process instead of wanting to fix the world so that I can feel safe. I suspect I won’t need and create so much drama in my life.

I take a deep breath. It’s enough for now.
Thank you for listening; you who read this have become part of my path...by witnessing my process you support it.

October 14, 2012

Sunday Confessions

Sunday Confessions is something that a girl named Alyx started on her blog, Every Day is a New Adventure.  Thanks so much for the link-up Alyx. I really hope my grammar passes the test :P

This has nothing to do with Usher
Now it's time for me to get a few things off my chest...

Confession #1: While my 7 year old {aka "The Taste Tester} was away this weekend, I basically did ab-so-freakin-lutely NOTHING! I didn't do any yoga, or to the gym. I didn't do any grocery shopping or go to the mall to "browse". Heck, I didn't even do the dishes! NOPE! Not this girl! Instead, I went to bed realllly late and slept in reallllllly late. I read blog after blog online, FINALLY watched The Hunger Games (and loooooved it), and vegged out with my feet up!

Now that's what I'm talking about!
Confession #2: My health has not been my best friend this year. For this reason, I follow a healthy eating plan that I like to call the "Hell No" eating plan.  I have to say hell no to dairy, soy, gluten, meat, peanuts, corn, and processed foods like oils, salt, sugars, and flours.

Yet, sometimes I have the worst cravings for Starbucks (Americano's, Caramel Frappuccino's, Caramel Apple Spice, Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuciono's), and feta cheese. WHAT?!
Confession #3: I am the eldest daughter in a family of 10. I have one older brother, one younger brother, and five younger sisters.

Sadly, I can't recall the last time we were altogether :( Yet, I have a strong feeling that we will be together again soon. This is what my heart is telling me and I'm a girl who likes to listen to her heart!

Confession #4: I love any movie that stars Woody Harrelson, Ryan Gosling, or Chris Hemsworth (ever since I saw him play Thor).

I've watched Crazy, Stupid, Love about 40 times. Have you seen this movie? I was literally swept off my feet when I watched Ryan Gosling's "big move" with the Dirty Dancing jump.  If you haven't seen this movie, GO! Watch it now!

I've loved Woody ever since Cheers...and I've never stopped loving him! It's not the sort-of-love-crush sort of love, just simply a love for him, as a person and as an actor. Everytime I see him in a new movie, I love him even more. Woody turned 51 this year! I don't like older men. In fact, older men kind of creep me out. Just saying.

Confession #5: When I hear a song that has my name in it (Maria), I immediately fall in love with it. Whether it's Maria by Blondie, Maria by Ricky Martin, My Maria by Brooks & Dunn, Maria by Justin Bieber, Maria Maria by Santana, or even Ave Maria by Franz Schubert, I love them all!

Those are my confessions. 
Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you have a fabulous week!
Tell me something that you'd like to confess.

October 13, 2012

ten things...

hello Friends! happy Saturday!

like most people, i like to spend time online: sometimes for crafts, sometimes for recipes, sometime for motivation, sometimes for a little inspiration.

here's my list of 10 things that i'm loving at the moment:

1. the best food bloggers
HuffPost's Top 10 Picks for October

from the sweet and savory, from-scratch, to vegan, these 10 food bloggers take the cake for the month of October. congratulations to all of the talented, intelligent, hardworking winners, and my warmest thanks to everyone who takes the time to visit these blogs.

2. 13 unique halloween treats

i love halloween. i love it when the magic of halloween finally hits the stores: the candy, the costumes, pumpkins, witches, and ghosts.  i was 17 when i decided it was time to stop trick-or-treating. i thought that meant the end of halloween for me, but i was wrong! this list has fantastic party ideas or for all the little trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood.

3. 11:11
Have You Been Seeing These Numbers?

if you’ve ever wondered about the significance of these number sequences, you’re not alone. number sequence interpretation is an easy way to receive messages from your angels. numerals are everywhere, from digital clocks to billboards to phone numbers to license plates. each number has a unique vibrational frequency relating directly to its meaning. 

4. MindBodyGreen

top yoga instructors to wellness gurus, there's something for every interest and ability level here.

"Our aim is to make wellness inclusive and fun through original articles, tips, news, and interviews. Through MindBodyGreen we hope to give you the tools to make your life better and healthier or inspire you to keep doing the awesome things that you are already doing." :)

i like this read about balance, love & acceptance.

5. homemade pumpkin butter & how to roast a pumpkin in 10 steps

i love everything pumpkin! i always wanted to try making homemade pumpkin butter using fresh pumpkin and with this recipe, i can finally do it! the smell in my house while it simmers will be just insanely good! it's also perfect for smoothies, breads, oats, as a dip, or straight from the spoon. YUM!
6. healthy homemade pumpkin spice latte

more pumpkin, please. this latte is a wonderful alternative to your average pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (which I've been craving ever since I tried one 4 years ago).  this one has actual pumpkin in it!
7. preventing food waste
plus 3 ways to Use Leftover Butternut Squash

Jo shares her tips for preventing food waste and saving money in your home, plus offers you 3 different ways to use Butternut Squash.  Butternut Squash Burrito? Ohmygoodness!

8. GMO's in candy
do you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? perhaps you prefer Sour Patch Kids? Food Babe created a chart to help navigate better candy choices without the added chemicals, preservatives, trans fats, artificial colors and GMOs. 

9. Adopt A School

putting new books in elementary schools across Canada all year round. the ultimate goal is to put books into the hands of children in disadvantaged communities across the country and build lifelong literacy skills. focus is on school-library underfunding and children’s literacy.

help build a future where children have the literacy skills they need. become part of the Adopt a School program, and support a school. *FOR TEACHERS: if you are a high-needs elementary school in Canada, apply for the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund.

10. healthtalks

An online wellness TV series featuring 4 amazing ladies – Jessica Ainscough (Writer, Hoistic Health Coach), Nat Kringoudis (Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor and Natural Fertility expert), Samantha Gowing (Organic Chef), and Melissa Ambrosini (Health Coach).

This is the first video of a 7 episode series. The next six videos will be posted every Tuesday morning starting October 16th.

Explore & Enjoy!
xo Maria

October 10, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday #8

Spooky Snacks & Healthy Halloween Treats

Sweet potatoes, butternut squash and pumpkins are turning up around every corner, so I've started to incorporate them more and more into my meals. Yummy!

I never liked pumpkin. I never even wanted to try it. My Mom would occasionally serve warm pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or Christmas...but I never ate it. Don't ask me why. I think it's because it just never looked very pretty.

Then one day something happened...and I finally decided to try me some pumpkin pie. I fell in love. I didn't love the actual pie itself (it was too mushy and still not very pretty) but the flavor was something new that my mouth had never experienced before.

This party would not be possible without the lovely miss Jenn, over at Peas and Crayons. Once again, thanks for being a perfect hostess, Jenn <3

Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls: dates, pecans, pumpkin seeds, coconut, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice. Rolled in coconut, dipped in chocolate. A little bit of pumpkin pie packed with antioxidants and protein.

Sweet Potato, Red Cabbage and Kelp Noodles with Miso: kelp noodles, red cabbage, sweet potato, sprouted beans, fresh cilantro Miso Dressing: brown miso, garlic, lemon, water, olive oil.

Cocoa Granola: buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds, raisins, goji berries, walnuts, cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, dates, cinnamon, lucuma powder, coconut, vanilla, cayenne pepper.

Kale and Avocado Salad with Cranberries: kale, avocado, red onion, tomato, lime juice, garlic, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sea salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper.

Pumpkin Seeds: a perfect snack

Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

Cooked, cooled pumpkin, or organic canned pumpkin has more flavor than raw pumpkin. If you prefer to use canned pumpkin, I suggest using plain canned pumpkin, not the kind that already has pumpkin pie spices in it.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Vegan)

1/2 cup organic pumpkin pie mix
1 cup unsweetened, almond milk (or make your own)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
2 frozen bananas

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Raw Vegan)

Soak 2 cups of pie pumpkin, cut in chunks, overnight in water with 1 TBSP of lemon juice to help reduce the starchiness.

1 cup raw pumpkin, cubed
1/4 cup unsweetened, almond milk (or make your own)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas, peeled
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 carrot juice
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick.

October 8, 2012

Marvelous in My Monday #5

Today is Thanksgiving Day! What a wonderful time to celebrate all the little, yet so important things in our lives.
Why Canada celebrates Thanksgiving ‘early’

Have you ever wondered why Canada’s Thanksgiving is celebrated before the American date?

Not many people (myself included) realize that Canadians actually began the tradition first! The Europeans had celebrated harvest in late October or early November for centuries. Then, when the English explorer Martin Frobisher arrived in Newfoundland in 1578, he wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World, so Thanksgiving began being celebrated on November 6th in Canada. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated more than 40 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

Canadians changed the date for Thanksgiving, after the World Wars, because Remembrance Day (November 11th) kept falling on the same weekend. October suited us better too, as harvest arrives earlier with us being situated further North! Source
In this season of giving, I want to take this moment to let you know how much I truly appreciate all of you: for all of your kind words, your continued love and support, and encouragement. I am forever thankful!
In this little life of mine, I Am forever Grateful For:

My Life. My Son. My Family. My Extended Family. Traditions. My Friends. My Readers. The Gift of Life. The Air I Breathe. The Best Food Ever. Sunshine. The Light. Color. Rainbows. Raindrops. The Moon and Stars. Gardens. Dreams. Being Unconditionally Loved. Being A Nice Person. Nice People. Accomplishing Goals. Being Able to Laugh. The Seasons. Rain. Books. Giving Gifts. Tears of Joy. Tears of Release. Campfires. The Dark. Opinions. The Ocean. Positivity. Rivers. Lakes. Water. Wildlife. Hiking Trails. Acceptance. Hope. Animals. Planting A Seed. Generosity. Passion. Helping Others. Green Smoothies. Green Juice. Photos. People. Birds. Yoga. Honesty. Organization. Good News. Mother Earth. The Environment. Memories. Mistakes. Libraries. The Hard Times. Excitement. Falling Snow. Fun. Music. Patience. Inspirational Quotes. Recycling. Love. Synchronicity. Flowers. Exercise. Sunrises and Sunsets. Holidays. Trust. Being Myself. Today. Choice. Today. Smiles. Sleep. Creativity. Peace. Forgiveness. Travel. Organic Farmers. Learning New Things. Listening. Intuition. Meditation. Awareness. Freedom. Me.

Celebrate and Live Life!

Celebrating the holidays with family is always such a special time for me.
Is it just me or does time always seem to move more quickly when you finally have the chance to spend time with the people you love?
Perhaps, it's just the Universe's way of saying "Spend More Time"...
...almost as if it's asking us "What Are You Waiting For?"
A Canadian Thanksgiving Menu

According to The Food Network Canada, a Canadian Thanksgiving Menu consists of Classic and contemporary recipes that add homemade flair to your harvest feast!

This year's Thanksgiving menu featured Maple Syrup Glazed Smoked Ham, Plump and Juicy Turkey, Smoky Chorizo Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Fresh Steamed Asparagus, Pumpkin Pie, and Layered Chocolate Mousse Cake.
Naturally, I contributed a few things to the mix:
Massaged Kale Salad with Carrots & Tahini Dream Dressing (recipe from Natasha Kyssa), Mint Chocolate Chip Macaroons (recipe adapted from purely twins Holiday Macaroons), Sweet Potato Casserole (recipe from In the Raw), and Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cheezecake (recipe from Sweetly Raw).

So there you are. A Canadian Family Thanksgiving. Hope that all of my fellow Canadians had a marvelous Thanksgiving filled with good food, family, friends, and love. And a very Happy Columbus Day to all my American friends as well!

And that, my lovelies, is why I'm feeling soooooooo marvelous today!
Thank you and a big squeeze to the lovely miss Katie for this marvelous idea. Always a marvelous way to start my Monday!! XO

What's in your favorite Family Thanksgiving meal?
What are some of the things in your life that you're grateful for?
Share what you're feeling marvelous about today :]