Monday, 20 March 2017

March Food Goals: Gluten Free Recipes

One of my March goals was to try four new recipes.  I was diagnose with Celiac disease in January.  To say that I was SHOCKED would be the understatement of the 2017!  When my doctor, who knows me well, informed me of the diagnosis,  the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "you are shitting me!"  Honestly, I thought going in to be diagnosed with either colitis or crohn's, both run in my immediate family, and I never even considered Celiac disease.  That all being said, once the shock wore off  and I mourned the loss of my favorite childhood meals/deserts, I started to notice that most of my recipes just needed to be tweaked and adjusted slightly.  Since then my life has take a drastic turn for the better, no more daily stomach pain that would have me in bed for hours in the evening, leaving me near tears sometimes.  Over the past few months I  have been slowly began exploring and cooking with GF flour blends using blogs and company websites to guide me in my new cooking/baking adventure.  


#1 Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This recipe is simple and delicious.  It was the first desert I attempted to make and it was a huge success.  It's like having the best of both worlds, chocolate and pumpkin pie, in one cake with cool whip!  I used the Cloud 9 GF flour that I purchased from Costco at an amazing price.  I've made a few items with this flour, cookies and pancakes, and some of them are pretty good and others, crepes, were a huge flop.  I will admit it's not my favorite flour but for baking it seems to work mostly okay but you can taste the difference between it and regular flour. 




#2 Gluten Free Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Breakfast food is my favorite and probably the thing I've been most worried about substituting, next to giving up homemade deserts that I've grown up with.  That being said, it's no wonder that recipe
 #2 and #4 are breakfast food recipes.  I had made pancakes with Cloud 9 flour (above) but gave the Robin Hood GF flour a try and it was anonymously decided that these pancakes, with and without blueberries.  These come pretty close to the originally thing. 





#3 Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake ⭐⭐⭐1/2




I made this cake in celebration of International Women's Day on March 8th.  It was moist, chocolaty and the icing was delicious.  You definitely need to have a 3+ hour stretch, as you have to let the cakes cool for a good two hours before icing and stacking them.  I tried to ice and stack them too early and  the top layer of the cake slid off because the icing was melting between the two cakes.  In the end it all worked out but starting at 8:00 p.m. was not the best plan.  Overall it's a good cake but as with many of the GF items, it dries out much quicker than non-GF baking, so I suggest having a large crowd so that you can finish the cake off within a few days, max fridge life is probably 3-4 days.



 


#4 Gluten Free Chocolate Waffles  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



I started this post off with a favorite and we are ending it with a favorite!  These chocolate waffles deserve the five star rating! They are fluffy, tasty, chocolaty and just overall awesome. I didn't get a chance to freeze any because they were gone instantly.   The flour I used is GF Patisserie and it  was highly recommended to me by a friend.  It's pricey but it's the BEST one I've found thus far.  I do save it for special baking, such as these waffles or crepes.   I hope to try using the same recipe but subbing in the Robin Hood GF flour to see if it's just as good.   Everyone, GF or not, would love these chocolate waffles. 


Hope you've enjoyed some of these ideas here today.  If you have some good recipes to share please do!  Tonight is book club at my house and we are having the Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake.  



Thursday, 16 March 2017

Fashion Friday: Frayed skirt, Tassels and Cold Shoulders





This outfit is polar opposite of last weeks Fashion Friday post which was all about weekend, casual wear.  Though I love the casual looks for weekends, and sometimes at the office, I  felt not only comfortable in the this but super stylish and on point.  I love everything about this transitional winter-to-spring outfit, but especially this frayed skirt.  The skirt is a few years old but with frayed denim all the rage this spring, I was inspired to dig it out and give it some attention.  It paired up so well with my favorite cable knit sweater, also styled HERE, and these fantastic new chandler, tassel earrings I purchased recently from a friend.  I love the way they dangle from my ears and they make such a statement on their own that I didn't feel any need to add more glitz and glitter. 




Since it's still fairly cold here, I grabbed my trusted faux fur jacket and these adorable little gloves that I received as a gift from a student a couple of years ago.  Overall I felt like a million bucks in this outfit!






Shop This Post:

Rachelle Tassel Chandlers: Stella & Dot

Skirt (old):  Asymmetrical tweed skirt;  denim skirt

Cold Shoulder Cable Knight Sweater: Guess

Faux Fur Coat (similar): Chickwish

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Family: Celebrating My Baka's

I meant to have this post ready for March 8th, International Women's Day, but it didn't come together the way I envisioned it so I decided to postpone it for the moment.  Though I have many women to celebrate in my life, today I am choosing to highlight  two of my role models, my grandmas.  I feel immense gratitude to have these ladies in my life and to have my girls get to know them.  My girls are surrounded by family but to have two great-grandma's is a special gift.



March 9th, Celebrating International Women's Day


Both of my grandmas were both a big part of my childhood and I spent a great deal of time with each of them.  Baka Zlata lived just down the street from where I grew up and her house was always open to us.  We came and went as we pleased (or at least that's how I remember it).  She had a large yard that we utilized to play in and my grandma always had treats for us.  She  always wore this special necklace around her neck, that I would touch/play with and ask if I could have when she died.  The morning we fled our city, my grandma took that necklace off of her neck and put it around mine.  We were not sure if our paths would ever cross again.   She wanted me to have it as a memory and a keepsake and that flashback always bring tears to my eyes. Thankfully  my grandparents eventually also made it to Canada and we were blessed with more years to spend together. My grandma refused to take that necklace back and so I continue to wear it on a regular basis.  Years later when Anya was 4 or 5, she would  often touch the necklace  gently and ask me if she could have it when she grows up. 


My grandma was here to welcome each of my little girls when they were born.  She lives only a few blocks from our home and the girls love her dearly.  They love having an "old baka" who can still play with them.  Baka Zlata has  even babysat for us on occasion and I've had the privilege to learn some Bosnian dishes from her in recent years.   She bakes her special cakes for each of our birthdays and we all look forward to getting "our" own specialty cake each year.



Baka Zlata & Halie 2007



Baka Zlata & Anya 2009


Baka Zlata teaching me to make baklava


My dad, me, my mom & baka

 

Now,  baka Rada and I were pretty inseparable when I was little.  She lived in our city and I went everywhere with her.  My grandpa died when I was young, around the age of 2, and so I spent a great deal of time with her.  She was a school teacher and when I refused to go to daycare, my grandma would take me along to school with her.  I would sit alongside her students and get spoiled.  I am pretty sure this is where the initial seed was planted that I wanted to be a teacher.  I watched my grandma not only inspire children within the walls of the classroom but their families as they would stop by her home after school and for years to come.  My grandma was doing "family engagement" decades before I studied it and became passionate about it.


As mentioned I was never far behind her.  As a child, I followed her out to her country home, nothing fancy but so much open space.  I think that's where I developed my love for the outdoors and being in nature.  About five years ago, Logan and I decided to begin camping with the kids, I was  a little unsure, but found my love for this simple lifestyle resurfacing quickly.   I see myself instilling that love of a simple life, a slower pace,  the outdoors, and an appreciation for nature, in my own girls.

 

Recently my grandma, after 23 years apart, was finally able to come to Canada to join our family.  She now lives in the same building as my baka Zlata!  My girls have welcomed her into their lives with open hearts, open arms and so much love.  They communicate in various ways, gestures, basic English/Bosnian vocabulary, and of course help from us.



Baka Rada & Halie, Doboj, BiH, 2008


Me, Anya, Halie & Baka Rada, Doboj, BiH, 2010


Baka Rada and I


Christmas Eve 2016

 

My girls are so lucky to have these two incredible women as part of their lives.  They will leave a mark on them and they will shape who they become as adults.   I can't imagine better role models for them  my girls and a better way to teach them about cross-generational family connections. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Fashion Friday: Crop Top Comfort & My Spring Wish List


 

Last Saturday spring arrived in Saskatchewan for a very short time (for less then 24 hours) and I took full advantage of it.  I went to my running club, then quickly showered and got dressed, hit up Costco and the outdoors with the kiddos.  Even  though I love dressing up for work, most of the time at home this is the kind of outfit you would find me in,  jeans, casual t-shirt, hair up and little to no makeup, weekend.  This crop top is quickly becoming my favorite item  I see myself wearing it a great deal around the campfire this summer.  I recently purchased it from a local store called Hardpressed. Their line of clothing draws inspiration from where we live, the city of bridges is our slogan, and they hand print the designs in their studio which is visible to the costumer through a glass  wall.  They also carry other brands that are similar in quality and uniqueness to their own.  This top and the tanktop featured here are my first purchases from the shop and I am hooked.  The quality is astounding and the comfort of this crop top is unreal.  I wore it three days in a row!!!  (I know gross but I just couldn't get enough of the softness). 



 

Since Saturday, the weather has taken a drastic turn and we have had a massive dump of snow and are back to frigid temperatures.  Sadly I  had to go back to my winter wardrobe, winter boots, snowboarding mitts, toques and a warm parka when going outdoors for any length of time.  I can only dream of spring fashion so I created this little collage of my spring wish list items.  Have a great weekend ladies and thanks for stopping by.



Spring Wish List


Friday, 3 March 2017

Fashion Friday: Bomber Jacket

 

I am absolutely, positively, without a doubt, in love with my bomber jacket.  The crazy thing is that I've had it hanging in my closet since the beginning of January and I just wore it for the first time!  That's okay because this beauty is going to be with me all spring and summer long.  I am thinking of all the outfit possibilities: pencil skirt for the office, jeans and my lace cropped top, over my little white dress, with a little black dress, etc.  I am pumped!  As you can see from the pictures snow is still present around here, but the weather is warming up and we are getting so much daylight that it makes me giddy.  My goal for March is to bring out my spring bin of clothes and use them to transition from winter to spring without buying anything (we'll see if this actually happens). 

 

Just after I took these pictures I went to the salon and finally had my hair done.  I haven't colored it since September and it was sooooooooo dry.  I am now a redhead and loving it.  I decided to go with a  deep, rich, red even though spring it just around the corner.  I always go light but what the heck, I tried something new and I love it. 




 

 


 

 

Shop this post:

Guess Bomber Jacket (similar)

VeroModa Leather Leggings 

 

Happy weekend!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

10 Marvelous March Goals



I know that February is usually considered the most depressing month but for some reason March always kicks my butt, especially in the fitness/healthy eating department.  It seems like each year I fall apart in March, give up on making it through the winter.  I think it's because  in this part of the world winter is still often going strong and we usually end up with one more dump of snow and one last cold snap. I also think as a teacher March is a hard month.  Report cards, report cards, report cards.   This year the winter has  been relatively mild so I don't feel like it's dragged on and I don't' have report cards to write (though work is pretty crazy busy in March),but regardless I compiled a list of goals and things to focus on to make it through March and into spring. 

 

1.  Fitness:  Clock 80 km of running and take in one exersice class a week (spin, yoga, bootcamp).

2.  Get my hair done.  I cheated and just got my hair done this past weekend.  It wasn't exactly as I wanted it but it's way healthier than prior to going to the salon.

My very dry hair prior to my color/cut.
Pinterest Desired Look

3.  Get spring nails!  Usually I get a design on my nails but this color was so pretty that I felt that it didn't really need anything more. 


4.  Splurge on a new spring lipstick shade.  (well not really splurge, but trade in all my empties at the MAC counter and get a new shade for FREE!)


5.  Find one new gluten free reciepe to try out each week.


6.  Host a dinner party or a game night.


7.  Bring out my spring/summer clothing wardrobe out of storage and integrate into current my current winter wardrobe.


8.  Make time to read each day. I'd love to get through a book in less then three weeks.  I love reading but it seems like days just pass by way too quickly.


9.  Find a new hike to do with my husband. 


10.  Start a spring art/home project.  I am thinking cleaning up my shoe shelf, getting our 2016 family photo books done, or finally getting a photo wall up in our entry way.  Check out our spring wreath project from last year HERE. 


 

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are feeling down? 




Friday, 24 February 2017

Fashion Friday: 7 Outfits for Stay-at-Home Moms


I had this past week off from work.  I was extremely pumped to have the week off with the girls but it wasn't all I had hoped that it would be.  Regardless we made the most of it and we managed to do a lot of fun stuff such as babysiting our nephew, visiting with a few friends, going to wet pain pottery, zoo, etc.  Since I wasn't feeling 100% like myself, I was thrilled to have some time to lounge around in the mornings with the kids, sipping my coffee, reading my book while they watched TV.  We were mainly lazy in the mornings and then got dressed for the afternoons.  Since I don't get to wear super casual outfits often during the week, I took full advantage of it and created 7 casual outfits that any mom can wear with a minimal wardrobe.  Check them out! 















The last two outfits I am planning to wear over the weekend.  Hopefully the weather continues to stay relatively nice and our family gets outside for some Vitamin D.

If you are interested in more SAHM outfits, Allison from Get Your Pretty On is doing a wardrobe basic challenge for $29, click HERE.


Have a great weekend!