Mar 18, 2014

Fridge Island

I always brace myself here for water in the Spring.  Especially after last year's tragic flood in Southern Alberta. 

June 2013 - Calgary Source: Beacon News
Despite being in a semi-arid desert, the spring melt is a nerve-wracking time for home owners here. This past winter was brutal, not unlike everywhere else in Canada and the US. Weeks of -30 temperatures and piles of snow that haven't yet melted from October.  And did I mention that I have an aversion to cold weather? Think it's my Italian blood… 

So quelle surprise when we noticed our four-year old marmoleum peeling up in the kitchen a couple of days ago.  And even more of a surprise when it started spewing out white coloured glue. The kitchen is on a raised main storey so outside water was impossible.  The culprit?  A slow leak in the water line for the ice cube maker.  That I've always poo poo'ed because I'm a water snob. It's been slow leaking now for about 6 months.  And in that time, the slow leak has worked its way under the marmoleum and spread clear across the kitchen. Rad. 

Jason had to rush home from work, ambulance-style to pull up the flooring, whilst four little beans were running around and my nanny hovering over him telling her about how she needs a new garage door. Needless to say he's quietly drinking in a corner right now. 
Salvageable? Waaah!

Fridge Island. See that phone? I accidentally pocketed leaving work today. Dork. 

No clue yet if the floor is salvageable.  Hopefully.  Until then, we'll have to live with fridge island and no floor.  Maybe I'll join Jason in the corner. 


Feb 23, 2014

Room Reveal Preview

A sneak peak at the design of an upcoming room reveal! 

Stay tuned!

Metal enamel plate from Louche Milieu

Feb 18, 2014

The Distracted Chef - Chocolate Fudge

Welcome to the first instalment of what I hope will be regular posts of my adventures with gluten-dairy-sugar free cooking.  I'm a decent cook, but rarely consistent.  And many of my recipes fail.  Miserably. But the ones that do work out, are worthy of posting here.  

I've been reticent to post recipes as I'm not terribly skilled at food photography (there's always some random dirty cooking implement in the picture) and I have no idea how to post printable recipes.  So you're just going to have to deal with the graphic presentation of an 8 year old until someone feels sorry for me and tells me about some great app that does it all for you (wink wink). 

Last year when I became severely allergic almost all foods, we had to make a drastic shift in the way we ate (note 'we' - poor family).   We now eat about an 80% whole food diet, save for the occasional McDonalds fries ( I KNOW - they're the worst! - but they're so yummy). I make homemade peanut butter, hummus, granola, almond milk and am experimenting with crackers (code for not one successful recipe). Our groceries consist now of mostly organic fruits and veggies, gluten-free flours, strangely concocted sugar substitutes (lacuna, yacon syrup), unpasteurized local honey, fermented things, locally sourced grass fed meat and eggs and whoa, hey, no money left in our bank. ha ha. 

I also take courses whenever I can. I had the opportunity of attending a GF-DF-SF chocolate course last week (yum!). The 2 hour session was lead by talented local chef and holistic nutritionist, Amber Romaniuk, who recently published a cook book called Amber Approved.  Besides the recipes being gluten, dairy, and sugar free, all the ingredients are available locally in various natural food stores in Calgary (Community Natural Foods, Market 17, The Light Cellar and Blush Lane). I've made a few recipes so far and even my youngest approves (she loathes anything healthy - oh the irony - I will expand in this in a future post - she kills me).

Today's post is on the Chocolate Fudge that Amber made in the course.  Apparently it only takes her about 10 minutes to prepare and cook the fudge.  It took me an hour.  And I stained one of my favourite shirts, burned my tongue, and got a piece of coconut stuck in my eye.  

Chocolate Fudge - from Amber Approved


1 cup coconut butter (I made my own - 3 cups of organic unsweetened shredded coconut - in the Vitamix for about one minute until it turns shiny and liquid - WARNING - don't look inside the Vitamix to see if it is blending properly) 
1 cup coconut oil (Costco has the cheapest organic coconut oil in the city) 
4 tbsp raw cacao powder (high in magnesium, increases brain power, libido, and increases alkalinity in body - Light Cellar has a good selection)
1/3 cup of raw organic unpasteurized honey (antibacterial properties - I prefer honeys from the Peace River area in northern Alberta)
1 tbsp organic vanilla extract (Superstore has an inexpensive brand - Simply Organic)
2 tbsp lacuma powder (sugar substitute - caramelly - good for fudges and ice creams)
1 tbsp Maca (sugar substitute - good for levelling out progesterone and supporting adrenals) 

Add ins
Chopped Hazelnuts 
Cayenne - for my spicy readers
Dried Fruit 
shredded coconut

1. Line a 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper (do this before you start cooking - not during) 
2. Add coconut oil and butter to a medium size pan on medium to low heat until melted 
3. Add honey, vanilla, maca, lacuna powder, and cacao powder and whisk until smooth
4. Once mixed in, do not leave mixture on stove while you line baking dish then get distracted by incoming FaceTime call. Otherwise the mixture will burn and you will need to start again.  If so, repeat steps 1-3.
5. Pour over parchment paper in baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours 
6. Pull off parchment paper and cut into desired serving sizes

Makes about 12-16 medium pieces of fudge. 

Making coconut butter

There were a number of varieties of cacao to choose from at the Light Cellar.  I chose this one because it was cheap.  

Always good to keep in stock in case the neighbour needs to borrow some. ha ha. 

Lacuma Matata.  Couldn't resist. 

Total blogger recipe fail.  Digging in before I take the requisite 'after' shot. I think the girls got into it in the freezer before it was done too. Apologies to the food stylists out there. 



Feb 12, 2014

Reason # 2062 Not to Paint Your Wood Paneling




Jan 3, 2014

How to Become an Urban Hippie (in 20 easy steps)

Amidst all of the heartache and turmoil in my 2013 (it really was the worst - hence only 6 POSTS last year), I managed to shift my life in a new direction. My lone new year's resolution last year, perhaps out of desperation or boredom, was to become a hippie. Over the course of the year, sometimes consciously, other times intuitively, I started to change my life.  A few days ago, we were having dinner with some friends and one of them was laughing about how I managed to replace my serious coffee addiction with peppermint essential oil. And he commented how I really have turned into a hippie and asked if I had dreamcatchers in my house (as a joke).  I have 4 of them.  How does one not have a dreamcatcher in their house with kids?  They capture bad dreams! I guess I achieved hippiedom. If you too would like to become an urban hippie, here is a comprehensive list of how to reach your dream... 

1. Start with a couple of dreamcatchers. Preferably big ones.    

2. Replace all of your glassware with mason jars.  Don't actually use them for canning.  Instead store things like nuts and goji berries in the fridge (non-hippies store these in their pantries). Replace all your water bottles with mason jars and put green coloured drinks in them when you go to yoga class.  

3. Join a yoga studio.  (I like this one: Yoga Santosha) Make sure you buy a crystal bead bracelet before you go. Hang out in the lobby with the other yogis when you're not practicing, sipping on your green smoothie.  This is your new soul family. 

Lobby of Yoga Santosha
4. Take all of your money, and give it to alternative health practitioners.  There's lots of them out there, so you will need lots of money. Revel in the extra whack of Christmas cards received from your rad alternative health team. 

My team: 
Naturopath: Integra Naturopathics (Dr. Arnel is highly recommended) 
Craniosacral Therapist: Ann-Marie Church (she's amazing, and the only one doing myofascial release as well) 
Acupunturist: Dr. Cam Forester at Prema Sai (also wonderful) 
Life Coach: Dr. Chelsea at Center for Healthy Living (truly gifted)
Osteopath: Dr. Kathy Teal at Integra Naturopathics (gentle and thorough) 

5. Buy anything that these alternative practitioners recommend.  And keep using it even if it isn't working at all. Start all of your sentences with "Well my [acupuncturist/naturopath/craniosacral therapist/intuitive therapist/life coach] said..." 

6. Take the rest of your money and shop at local organic markets (because we don't have Whole Foods here yet - ahem).  Be sure to buy everything local, even if it means eating root vegetables and pork for 8 months. My favourites are: 

Market 17
Blush Lane
Community Natural Foods
Kingsland Farmer's Market has a good selection of organic meat and fish
Light Cellar 

7. If you are a gardener, switch to biodynamic gardening.  So you can start growing vegetables/flowers with with cycles of the moon!  You can buy a calendar here: Stella Natura. Be sure to bless your seeds  and walk over your garden beds in bare feet before planting. (I had an amazing garden last year, btw)  Classes for biodynamic gardening are available here: Alexandra's Butterfly Garden.  Alexandra is really gifted and has this incredible straw bale house that she teaches out of that her husband built west of Calgary. She also has a sweat lodge on her property.  I need to be her best student. 

8. Consider a backyard chicken coop and a beehive until your husband reminds you that you live in the inner city.

9.  Cut out wheat, sugar, coffee, alcohol, and lactose permanently to achieve anti-inflammatory and pH neutral status.  Say you are happier and healthier without it.  Eat kale chips and drink bone broths. Make your own peanut butter and hummus in your new $700 Vitamix. Reluctantly buy Gwenyth Paltrow's cookbook, It's all Good. Ponder why you are never invited over to friends' houses for dinner anymore.

10. Go to crystal stores a lot.  Bring your kids.  Staff LOVE kids at crystal stores.  Especially when you buy 3 times as many crystals for all the ones they break. Buy crystals that speak to you or are pretty and match your decor.  Carry small crystals in your purse or in your bra. My favourite: Earth Gems on 17th Ave

11. Create a space for meditation and reflection. Have your partner make you a daybed made from old crates and fill the space with crystals, candles and Buddha.  Then don't ever use the room.  

12. Spend lots of money on 21-day free online meditations.  Especially anything by Deva and Mitten.  Partly because of their names.  Great spots for meditation classes: Canadian Meditation Institute and 7th Chakra on 17th Ave

13. Sage your house regularly to rid the environment of negative energies.  Buy an abalone shell and a eagle feather to store the sage for some mysterious reason. It's all about the props, baby!  Buy sage and props here: Nurture Health and Wellness 

14. Buy a dehydrator.  Did you know that dehydrated apples last for 20-25 years?  Prepare for apocalypse. Dehydrators available here

15. Source ridiculous food that isn't sold in Canada.  Like Great Lakes Gelatin. So you can make these.

Source: Meatified (I wonder if the blogger meant that one at the bottom to look like it was murdered?)
Aren't they cute?  And they heal your gut lining! 

16. Who needs western medicine? All things can be cured with apple cider vinegar, honey, and flower tinctures!  My favourite vibrational medicine is here: Senses of the Soul (and local!)

17. Buy 15-20 different natural deodorants as you transition away from nasty aluminum-based regular deodorant. This one rocks (At least no one has told me otherwise).  And it's Calgary-made!  

18. Read as many alternative health books as possible. If someone recommends it, it must be good. Add it to the pile. Ditto for websites, Facebook pages, or classes. 

19. Become a Young Living rep: Young Living Canada 
Wear/diffuse essential oils at all time. Ignore all 'scent free zone' signs. They don't apply to natural oils!  
And add holiday to the lavender fields in Mona, Utah to your bucket list.

Young Living Lavender Farm, Mona Utah
20. Blame all of your mood swings on solar flares and the transition into the Age of Aquarius. For fascinating energy reports see: Senses of the Soul Blog

Good luck!


Nov 30, 2013


Time for our annual Christmas tree hunt in Kananaskis Country. Permits are $10 - trees are free.  Bears not included.

Wish me luck!


New Glammy Blog

Ta da!  I am so happy with the new look!  Kendra from Key Lime Digital Designs based in Hawaii, did the re-design.  And I am so pleased that I should just go down and thank her in person.  How about next week, Kendra? (It's supposed to be -27 with windchill here)  

Hope you like it too… And looking forward to a fresh new start in 2014. 


Oct 29, 2013

Furniture Love

Our first place that we owned was a cute townhouse in Cloverdale, BC.  The price was right but the 1.5 commute to work each day was torture.  I was pregnant with our first and nesting badly so as part of the move we bought all new furniture.  We still have most of that furniture - almost 10 years later.  So when a friend came over a few months ago and the couch collapsed when he sat down, we both agreed it was time to start looking. (the couch has since been glued/screwed back together)

I looooooove furniture.  I could buy a new classic mid century chair over designer shoes, trips, bathroom renos (ha ha - poor pink bathroom).

This light looks good on you, Womb Chair

Get that model off there -I can't see the couch

So I was pretty excited to find BoConcept - which has locations around the world.  They were established in 1952 in Denmark and have been designing some pretty awesome iconic pieces since then. They also provide design services - I worked with a designer there recently to help with my living room.  Wood panelling is HARD to work with. I will share the results of this makeover in a later post.

Anyways -we went for a looksee yesterday and I fell in love....

It's the Carlton Sofa designed by Anders Nørgaard and it's brand new this season.  It has a 1970s vibe to it - one of my favourite eras of furniture.  Loungey, gushy cushions and long enough so Jason could lay out on it (which incidentally is why the other couch broke - wasn't long enough for him and he continuously pushed against the arms).

And look at this chair?  It just screams "I belong with you!" 

Hamilton Chair

I clearly need a second job...