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Year: 2011

We Built a BigSteelBox House



I have been hearing about this project for months! So when Troy came home from work today announcing he had finally posted photos on his blog, I couldn’t help but share this with you.

Creativity and thinking outside traditional concepts-That’s what I love so much about this project.

You may want to consider this before you buy your next house?

 Head to the BigSteelBox Blog for the full set of photos.


Energy for your day


There is nothing that brings me more joy in the world then seeing the excitement McCarthy gets every day from discovering new things . Along with the joy this brings, this little man also keeps his mom on her toes! He is all boy…which means there is no point in buying toys because the cords from the tv, the light sockets and my iphone is so much more interesting then any stupid toy. At 9months McCarthy is trying to walk..So I run all day. This past month, I found that my energy levels where just dropping due to the constant movement of my day and lack of proper fuel for these high endurance workouts (I know there are some moms and dads relating here). So whether your workout is from your kid or your day is filled with high endurance training in the gym. This energy bar is going to help you make it through the day with a clear head and energy to spare.




Homemade Vegan Energy Bar Recipe

The “dry” Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup oats
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
3/4 cup raisins (I used golden)
1 cup shredded coconut (I could only find sweetened)
1/3 cup unsalted almonds, chopped
1/3 cup unsalted cashews, chopped
1 cinnamon stick, ground (or 2 tsp ground, but I totally recommend the taste of freshly ground!)

The “wet” ingredients:
2 tbs flax seed
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups cooked Great Northern Beans (or 1 15 oz can)
15 dates, seeds removed and chopped (about 1 cup or 1/2 a lb)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs honey
1 tbs canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce (I made mine on the stove by cooking two peeled and diced apples for about 30 minutes with 1/4 cup of water, 2 tbs pomegranate molasses, and 1 tbs maple syrup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If starting with dry beans, soak a half pound over night, then simmer for about one hour or until soft.  If starting with canned, rinse well to remove saltiness.  Chop the beans roughly either by hand or in a food processor.  They don’t need to be processed into a puree, just tiny pieces.

Grind the flax seed and mix it with the water, set aside to thicken.

Combine the dry ingredients together first and mix well.  Add the wet ingredients and mix until uniformly incorporated.  Press into a greased 9×13 pan or casserole dish.  Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.  (Mine were finished at about 23 minutes).  Cool completely, then cut into 24 bars.   I cut a line down the middle of the pan lengthwise then 12 cuts across.  Leave unwrapped for harder bars; put in airtight container for softer bars.  Toast cut bars in the toaster oven for a crispy outside.  If keeping longer than one week, wrap and freeze.

Nutrition facts for whole pan / one bar

calories from fat: 919 / 38.3
calories: 3779.3 / 157
fat: 105 / 4.4
sat fat: 30 / 1.25
protein: 109.2 / 4.6
sodium: 1584.3 / 66
total carbs: 713 / 29.7
sugar: 333 / 13.9
fiber: 178.2 / 7.4

“The minute you’re complacent in business, it’s all over


Arlene Dickinson

While chatting with my mother in-law yesterday, we got on the subject of inspiring people and how we just love a woman that leads with a gentleness and a dynamic energy that demands respect without ever having to open her mouth. She had recently read this article on Arlene Dickinson and was eager to share the wisdom of this inspiring woman. I took so much from this article I couldn’t help but share this with you as well. I’m heading to Chapters tonight to pick up her new book Persuasion: A new approach to changing minds. I’ll make sure to post my review!

Pre and Post workout options!


Some of the most important food eaten in our day is before and after a workout.

Our bodies need fuel for usable energy, as well as recovery focused food for beneficial rebuilding. Without these key ingredients, we’re missing the mark by a long shot. If your not going to eat properly for your workouts be prepared for loss of energy, poor performance and lack of focus.

So let’s get started and plan out your pre-workout snack. First focus on simple carbohydrates that include a small portion of protein, about an hour before you hit the gym. Due to the drop in blood sugar that happens from exercising, your pre-workout food needs to provide an insulin rise that will prevent your body from using muscle for energy. You never want to use muscle for energy, we use fat for energy.

Here are some great post workout snack examples:

  • 0% Plain greek yogurt topped with fresh peach and strawberries slices
  • Ezekial Bread Tortilla spread with almond butter and banana slices. Honey on top if you’re feeling lucky.
  • Hummus and three rice cakes

Now let’s discuss post-workout snacks. When woman hear the word protein, a lot of times we think (Bulk) which is basically impossible without the assistants of supplements based on the testosterone levels that we where created with. By adding lean proteins to your diet you increase your metabolism through lean muscle and feed your hungry post workout muscle tissue.

If you worked out, you used muscles.  When picking a recovery snack you want to think about quick digesting proteins and simple sugars.  My favorite post workout recovery snack is a VI-SHAPE PROTEIN SHAKE Mixed with bananas and almond milk. This protein not only taste like your eating a cake it also is a quick absorbing protein (which means quicker recovery) add the bananas and you have your shot of sugar to get the blood stream back on track. 

Here are some great post workout snack examples:

Post-Workout Chocolate Pudding


4 Tbsp. chia seeds 

1 scoop Visalus protien powder

1 cup coconut yogurt (or other nondairy yogurt)

4 Tbsp. flaxseed meal

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

12 0z. water

1 packet Stevia (optional)

6 raspberries

1. In a medium bowl, combine chia seeds and water. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring frequently until it reaches a gelatin texture.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients, except raspberries.

3. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with berries!

What are your favorite Pre and Post workout treats> Share!!

Zesty Turkey Burger






Tuesday is always such a crazy busy day for me and I always find myself trying to throw dinner together last minute.  So lately my philosophy is ( 5 ingredient or less) got to keep it simple and quick . I love these Turkey Burgers, so simple and so delicious!


Zesty Turkey Burger-

1 pound ground turkey

2 tbsp dijon mustard

1 egg


Mix together till meat is coated in egg and mustard. Form into 4oz patties, grill for 10 minutes or till meat is fully cooked.


Yam Fries to go with-

Cut yam into 1 inch slices, lay on baking sheet, brush lightly with coconut oil sprinkle with sea salt, paprika and Enjoy! Really great snack for the little ones as well.


A personal touch

 Walls are up!


Dining room lighting

Vintage wine casing for the kitchen

Sun room bird cage from Olive and Elle

Dining room accent wall from Athropologie


Over these past couple weeks the house has really started to come together! I’m so excited to be in our own space and to put my own little touches on things. I’ve really enjoyed building because it has given me time to shop around for amazing deals and really find some amazing thrift itmes. Next weekend the three of us are heading down to the coast to find some final pieces before the big move in! EEEKKK SO EXCITED! Here are a few items I have picked up over the past couple months. I can’t wait to see it all pulled together.

Hope for the Holiday



Hey Everyone,
On December -3-2011 with the help of lululemon athletica, I’m hosting our first Hope for the Holidays charity run and I want to officially invite you to join me in bringing lots of joy to Kelowna this holiday season. On the day of the race you have the option of either bringing a minimum donation of $20. or a non-perishable food item for the Kelowna food bank. All money donated will be going to our local organization (Houses of Mercy) which helps families in need celebrate Christmas.

Where to train:?
Every saturday morning @7am we will be meeting at lululemon downtown and training for both the 10k and Half marathon. We have a great group of coached who are supporting the runners with nutrition advice, running tips and training advice. 

Do I have to be a runner already?
No!!! If you have never run before or you are a devoted runner this is the clinic for you! We have coaches for all levels.

Is this a timed event?
Maybe you want to breeze through this run or take a nice saturday run…It’s your option! We just want you to show up,have a great time and enjoy raising money for this amazing cause!

Come out and Enjoy this Saturday!
If you have any questions please feel free to post them on the facebook event wall! The event name is (Hope for the Holiday).






Lessons learned with broccoli soup




Today I decided to take on the task of making my first pot of Clean Eating broccoli soup. I combined ideas from  Weight Watchers, Skinnyt Taste and my own version of broccoli soup. Needless to say my excitement quickly desolved as I gave life to this watery,tasteless soup that did nothing but feed my families eagerness to hit up Wendy’s! I was not giving up though….I wanted good soup and I was getting it! So I made some alternations and I can honestly tell you it turned out to be a success! 

My learnings with this soup-

1-When your making a healthier soup option,cook it in a slow cooker to allow the soup to thicken more and really pull from the flavours you add.

2-Add hot sauce! It gives it a little zesty zing

3-Quinoa is a great protein option and it helps thicken your soup

Do you have any helpful soup tips? I always love to learn something new…..


Broccoli Soup:

1 small onion , chopped

4 cups of broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

2 cloves of garlic

2 Tbsp of hot sauce

4cups no salt chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups almond milk or non-fat evaporated milk

2 cups cooked quinoa

1-1/2 cups low fat cheddar

salt and pepper to taste


Chop onions and broccoli up into small pieces

Place all ingredients on slow cooker on high for 2 hours

Once broccoli is soft place florets in your magic bullet with a small amount of your soup broth and blend. Add cheese for your final touch! Enjoy~~*

Family Photo Day


What I Wore

                            Thrifted Blouse-Frock,Jeans-Zara,Boots-Kenneth Cole,50’s vintage pearl bracelet-Frock


What McCarthy Wore-

Skinny Jeans-H&M (Gifted from Auntie Steph),Button Up-H&M,Cardigan-JoeFresh,Socks-H&M,Loafers-JoeFresh,Hat-JoeFresh

What Troy Wore-

Hat-Zara,Button Up-Zara,Jeans-Joe,Loafers-Steve Madden


Time goes so quickly……

I love these photos and they melt my heart every time I look at them! Thank you to Clayton Arnall for spending a freezing  Saturday afternoon with us and capturing such great memories.