Tea Time

In my entire 10 years of married life, I don’t think I ever hosted people for tea. Sure, we have had people over for dinner, and served tea with dessert, but not just only for tea.  So when hubby suggested we invite some friends over for tea, I was unsure of what to do.  What does afternoon tea with a family and kids look like? What do you serve? Does everything have to look pretty and matchy-matchy or can it be laid back and casual?  After doing some research (thanks Pinterest!), I decided to keep it casual and have snacks that both kids and adults could enjoy.


Tea time

Tea time snacks: corn chips, guacamole, cookies, fruit skewers, nuts and chicken sandwiches. {Don’t mind the sippy cups or my hubby’s legs :p}

The recipe that I’m going to share is for the sesame-crusted chicken salad sandwiches that I made. They were a hit and disappeared very quickly! The recipe came from Sarah Brown’s blog: The Food Life and I only made a few changes to it.

Sesame-Crusted Chicken Salad Sandwiches

2 whole chicken breasts, roasted and shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
2 tbsp, fresh chives, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
White bread, sliced and crusts removed
Butter, room temperature
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Shred cooked chicken breasts into very small pieces. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise and sesame oil. Add chicken and stir well until combined. Add chopped herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Remove crusts from bread (you can do this in stacks) and cut diagonally so you have bread triangles.  Spread a very thin layer of butter on the bread. Use a small spoon or cookie scoop to scoop out chicken mixture onto the bread. Using an off-set spatula, spread the chicken salad into a thin layer. Add another piece of bread on top.  Butter the long edge of your triangle sandwich and sprinkle sesame seeds onto it to cover the edge.  Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until about 30 minutes before serving. Remove the tray of sandwiches from the fridge and allow them to warm up to almost room temperature.



“Mommy, Somebody Needs You.”


Long, sleep-deprived nights. Days filled with crying, sticky fingers, a runny nose and lots of diapers. Is it worth it? Oh yeah.

Originally posted on :

Ever since we brought our new daughter home, her older brothers have been the first to tell me when she is crying, whimpering, or smelling a little suspicious.  “Somebody needs you,” they say.  I have no idea how this little saying started, but at first it sort of annoyed me.  I could be enjoying a quick shower… “Mommy, somebody needs you.  The baby is crying.”  Or, sitting down for a second, quite aware that the baby was beginning to stir from a nap…. “Mama, somebody needs you!”  Okay!  I get it already!  And not to mention that the newborn’s needs pale in comparison to the needs of 2 little boys.  Somebody always needs a snack, a band-aid, a different sock, ice cubes in their water, a NEW Paw Patrol, a stream of snot wiped, a hug, a story, a kiss.  Some days never seem to end, and the monotony of being “needed”…

View original 984 more words

Trying to Stay Healthy


The best way to beat a cold is to get ahead of it as fast as you can.  So when hubby came home last night feeling like something was stirring inside, we hit it with our cold and flu arsenal- doTERRA essential oils and raw Manuka honey. First, he had a glass of water followed by our Manuka and Oregano oil concoction (1 tbsp honey with one drop of Oregano oil).  Then, he had several OnGuard beadlets.  And just to be safe, I diffused OnGuard essential oil throughout the home.

This morning, I woke up feeling yucky, so I began my cold protocol: warm water with a drop of Lemon oil, OnGuard beadlets, an OnGuard throat drop, and finally, Oregano oil with Manuka honey.

These oils have been life savers for us.  If we can’t get in front of a bug, the oils help reduce cold symptoms, decrease the chances of the bug spreading to other members of the family and decrease the amount of down time we have when we’re sick.

To purchase oils, please click HERE.

To read more about the oils mentioned, click the links below:

doTERRA Oregano Oil

doTERRA Lemon Oil

doTERRA OnGuard Oil

Cha Cha Chia!

Chia seeds have been around for a very long time.  If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you’ll probably remember those cheezy Cha Cha Chia pet commercials where you smear the seeds on a plastic mold and your “pet” grows chia hair. Well, what was once used to grow “pet” hair is now becoming the new superfood on the market.  According to several sites, chia seeds: are gluten free, contain Omega 3s, contains all 8 amino acids, has 20% protein, helps combat diabetes, and contain 5 times more calcium than milk.

Last year, I started eating chia seeds on a regular basis. I would add one tablespoon of seeds to a glass of water or juice and let them soak and fluff up for 15 minutes.  The texture took some getting used to, but after a few glasses the gelatinous texture didn’t bother me.  Chia seeds don’t really have a distinct taste, so they’re great on top of cereal or oatmeal, mixed in yogurt or used in baking.

A week or so ago I came across a recipe for Chia Fresca on Oh She Glow’s blog.  Right away, I knew I would be saving the recipe for later because it was a flavoured version of my plain glass of chia seed and water. I made a few changes- I used doTERRA’s Lemon Esssential oil for flavour, raw Manuka Honey for some gentle sweetness and topped my glass off with some fresh cut strawberries.

Chia FrescaChia Fresca

2 cups water

1.5 tbsp chia seeds

1 drop of doTERRA lemon essential oil (wild orange would work as well)

1 tbsp raw Manuka Honey (Active 16+)

Cut fruit (optional)

Add chia and water into a glass and stir to combine. Let chia seeds sit for 15 minutes to plump up and become gelatinous. Stir occasionally to remove any clumps.  Add honey and essential oil and stir.  Top with fruit. Chill and serve.

Read more on the health benefits of chia seeds here and here.


How to reduce your formaldehyde exposure

I never really used to wash newly purchased clothes before wearing them, but that’s changed after reading this!

How to reduce your formaldehyde exposure

What’s colourless, preserves frogs, coats pillow cases and impregnates ‘no-iron’shirts?

Answer: formaldehyde.


Learn how to avoid it by watching me on The Dr. Oz show Thursday, January 9! I’m the guest expert. (For real. They flew me to New York to tape and eat half my weight in complimentary green room hummus.)

Formaldehyde is used in clothing, bedding and curtains because it

1. Prevents wrinkles
2. Prevents mildew during shipping
3. Increases colour fastness
4. Increases stain resistance

Why get your knickers in a knot?

1. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen says the International Agency for Research on Cancer (PDF); Canada has also declared it toxic and the U.S. doesn’t regulate its use in clothing
2. You won’t find it listed on the label
3. Even low-level exposure can cause headache, runny nose or contact dermatitis a.k.a. skin irritation a.k.a. rash

Formaldehyde is particularly troublesome for those with chemical sensitivities, which may explain why you’re still suffering from rashes or eczema even after switching to less-toxic laundry soap and ditching fragranced dryer sheets.

Reduce your formaldehyde exposure:

1. Wash all clothes and linens BEFORE wearing or using—gets rid of about 60 per cent of the stuff
2. Avoid products labelled “wrinkle-free”, “iron-free”, “permanent-press” or “stain-resistant”
3. Perform a “sniff test”—if it smells chemical-y, don’t buy it, or return it
4. Choose organic cottons

What household goods have you found to be the worst off-gassing offenders?

Speaking of knickers…comment on this blog to win formaldehyde-free underwear by Nicole Bridger! (Draw February 10.)

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

Juice Cleanse

For a while now, hubby and I have tossed around the idea of doing a cleanse.  We looked into The Master Cleanse, after hearing about a friend’s experience, but since it required serious commitment and a very strict diet, we thought we’d ease ourselves into the cleansing world with a 3-day juice cleanse from Pressed Juicery, a cold-pressed juicer in Los Angeles. We also decided not to do the cleanse at the same time in the event an adverse reaction occurred- if we were both down, who would take care of Amina?

We decided that I would do the cleanse first, so two weeks ago, I took the online quiz to determine which cleanse was best suited for my current lifestyle. It turned out to be cleanse 1.  I placed my order for the 3-day cleanse, plus the aloe vera water and chlorophyll water, and patiently waited for my order to arrive the following week. (Note: If you sign up for The Chalkboard Magazine on the Pressed Juicery website, you get 10% off your first juice order). In the mean time, I read up on the how to’s of cleansing Pressed Juicery had on their website. You can read all about it here.  I started my cleanse last Thursday and finished on Saturday night.

Pressed Juicery juices

Day 1:


Peppermint tea

The juices get shipped overnight, so Thursday morning, I had to wait until 10 am to get started. My stomach was growling, so I decided to have some peppermint tea and anapple to keep me going.

The juices were shipped with ice packs, so they were still cold when I received them. After loading my fridge up with my juices, I started off with bottle 1.  All of the juice bottles are labeled so it was pretty easy to tell in what order to drink the juices. By the time I was on #4, the sugar, salt and carb cravings started kicking in.  I had to force myself to drink the other 2 juices and finish my waters.  By 7pm, I was tired and wanted to crawl into bed, but Amina was still awake and wanted to play.  

Day 2:

The mood swings reared their ugly head. I was very cranky, impatient and frustrated all the time. Thankfully, hubby was home to help take care of Amina. I was able to rest and have some “Me” time.

Day 3:

The headache from Day 2 continued into Day 3 and the day after the cleanse finished.  To be honest, I really had to push myself to finish the cleanse and not cheat by eating something after I drank my last juice bottle.  Thankfully, the end was in sight, because I was really missed using my teeth to chew my food!

Some thoughts on the cleanse:

-It was harder than I thought.  You don’t realize how dependant your body is on sugar, salt, fat, and carbs until you remove them from your diet.

-At the end of each day, I felt “lighter.” There was no heaviness in the belly and even though I was tired and cranky, I felt refreshed- if that makes sense.

-Would I try it again? Yes, but not for a while.

-The post-cleanse introduction to food is helping me stay away from refined sugars and refined carbs.  I’ve been eating raw fruits and veggies and some protein (quinoa) and my body is liking this new way of eating.