What is it to be ‘good’? Does it matter why people practice kindness? My grandmother told me to be kind for religious reasons. Some people may want to make up for a misspent past, while others just want others to be happier and make the world a better place than it was yesterday.
Halloween is such a fun time of year, and I love it because it’s just so creative. From picking out the perfect costumes for your kids, hosting parties with fun spooky treats with friends and family and making crafts that celebrate the season while having fun making things with your hands. We don’t get a lot of trick or treaters where we are, but we do get some and it’s always fun to pick out treats to hand out and to see all the creative, adorable and spooky costumes on the kids that come to our door. And then there’s decorating the pumpkin. Decorating pumpkins is so much fun (and so is roasting and eating the seeds, yum!) – but some people feel really stuck about how to decorate them.
This spinach salad was a party favourite growing up. We always dried the spinach in a pillowcase after washing it for big parties. As a little girl I got to do the shaking. Now, I’m more of a salad spinner person, but this brings back some fun memories that make me smile when I’m getting a big salad ready for a party.
We all have our parenting strengths, and families often go through challenges that test us. There are the small but normal developmental hurdles like the first time your child sees what will happen when they hit mommy in the face or try and cut off their own hair. There are the slightly cringe-worthy times they fall off a swing or fail a test in school. But then there are those heart-lurching, life-shifting moments when a threshold is crossed, and everyone involved has to adjust.
One of the most glorious childhood memories has to be sitting in front of the oven, watching cookies bake. And who can forget that smell? It smells like love. The warm, gooey taste that follows is decadent. I love breaking out my trusty stand mixer and making batches of cookies with my sweet boys. Working the dough to form the cookies is such a fun sensory experience; letting them feel the squishy sensations between their fingers is so fun. It’s like play dough with culinary potential. Who says you can’t play with your food? As long as it’s not at the table, it’s fine with me. This one is Hudson’s favourite.
This recipe for hot sauce is my husband Derek’s favourite. There are so many ways to add spice to life – travel, new experiences, theatre, music and art – why not start in the kitchen? Adding a little spice to life is always fun, and so is making delicious condiments yourself. Hot sauces have become quite popular, with a wide variety of options available on the market including curated subscription boxes. I love making things home made wherever possible, and this recipe makes that possible.
Today Ford was home sick from school so we took some time to bake a family favourite recipe that I so love on our Facebook live segment. We usually have Facebook lives on Mondays and Thursdays at noon Pacific time and baking and cooking is something I really enjoy doing live on Facebook. Normally when I’m making this particular dish, I double the batch so I have more to eat and some to freeze so that I can enjoy it later. It’s such a time saver!
When we think about nourishment, most people know how to balance a good meal and many can also afford a few spinach leaves here and there. BUT… there are millions of people all over the world who can’t. Pacific Foods has always been one of the most socially-conscious companies in Canada. Their employees volunteer hundreds of hours, they have a zero-waste target that has almost been reached, and the company has always followed sustainable practices to ensure kinder treatment of people, animals, and the planet. They also just treated the public and a local charity to a fun and nutritious pop-up. The Pacific Tasting Kitchen was a public “soup-kitchen” in Yaletown, where for every sample of mouth-watering soup given out, another sample was donated to The Dugout, a local soup kitchen in the YVR Downtown Eastside. The charity provides a free soup breakfast every morning to 200+ people in the neighborhood. I feel so very lucky.
Screen time is a big debate, particularly when you have middle schoolers. Some people think kids are on their phones too much, some people aren’t too worried. In our world, screens are a necessity, a connector and also learning tools – parents just may want to ensure that their kids are using them in a balanced way. Whatever comfort level parents have, the common thread is wanting to be able to make the best choices that reflect their values. That’s why I love Apple’s Screen Time function. Apple doesn’t tell you how to parent – they just give you the tools and data to be able to make the decisions that are right for your family.
As we sailed away from the skittles-coloured Lunenburg buildings I started humming Stan Rogers tunes. Sailing on the ship that graces our Canadian dime is a treat I hadn’t experienced since I was 8. My boys, avid sailors themselves, had never had the pleasure. On our most recent trip to Nova Scotia, they got to explore the Bluenose II.