WIAW: Light Lunch Menu

Whenever we host a gathering I am usually assigned to food preparation since I am easily distracted when I try to dust, vacuum or tidy. I think it’s a win-win situation since my Emma and my Mom are great cleaners and my Dad and I enjoy cooking. Our family members compliment each other well. IMG_6267

On Saturday, my Mom’s Sister and her Husband came to our house for a visit. We had every intent on going swimming in our backyard but the weather fell through and rained away our plans. My brother-in-law Aaron had even brought this fun pool toy for me to try out. Who needs to swim lengths when this thing pulls you through the water?! IMG_6286

Regardless, it was nice to see my Aunt and Uncle and I know they liked meeting Lottie for the first time. She was the center of attention… next to the food that is. I’m only kidding but we did offer them lunch and afternoon tea since it is a long commute from their house to ours. We figured lighter foods were in need because the heat was very much still present despite the rain. Here’s the menu we came up with.

IMG_6255To Drink: Lime infused Water, Lemonade with Blueberries and Lemon Slices

IMG_6258Starter: Chilled Cucumber Soup

IMG_6257 IMG_6252 IMG_6250 IMG_6271Main: Couscous Salad (Sliced Onions and Red Pepper, Plain Yogurt, Toasted Almonds (Optional), Cumin, Cooked Couscous), Tomato Salad (Fresh and Dried Basil, Tomato, Bocconcini Cheese, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegraitte), Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Vegetable Platter, Sandwich Quarters (Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Turkey and Spinach, Egg Salad, Roast Beef and Romaine)

Our lunch left us fairly satisfied but we still managed to make room for some homemade chocolate chip cookies and chai tea. We even enjoyed fresh butter tarts courtesy of our guests. Thank you again! Dessert isn’t complete without fresh fruit so we served fruit salad that we ate using some super cute skewers Emma had pre-made using washi tape. My Mom also decorated our house using hydrangeas from our gardens. These flowers never cease to amaze me as they change from blue to pink depending on the acidity of our garden’s soil!IMG_6276 IMG_6279IMG_6234 IMG_6235

We concluded the afternoon with some cold meats, shrimp, cheese and crackers and then parted our ways. It was nice to catch up as we don’t see those relatives often enough plus it gives me a great reason to wear a fancier dress (not that I need an excuse). My Aunt even brought over some letters she had saved that my Mom had written her. Some were from when my Mom was in High School and others were from just after Caitlin was born. My Mom’s writing hasn’t changed a bit – Is that not the perfect Kindergarten teacher printing?IMG_6965 IMG_3031photo-115 photo-118

Well that’s what we ate last Saturday. Thanks again Jenn for hosting this WIAW link-up!  What do you enjoy serving for lunch gatherings during the summer? Has this heat left you snacking on cold salads and sandwiches rather than grilled paninis and hot soups?  I know Jenn posted a great Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata recipe earlier this week which would serve well at a brunch. ♥ Molly

“In family relationships love is spelled T-I-M-E.”- Dieter F. Uchtdorf 


DIY: Room Decor

A few weeks ago, an old teacher of mine, who I now consider to be more of a friend, asked for my input as she re-did her two year olds’ (P) room. I feel like I’ve watched P grow up since I photographed her at 6 months, her parent’s fifth year wedding anniversary, her second Christmas and made her second birthday party cake and cupcakes.IMG_7622 IMG_2418 IMG_3431 IMG_3920 IMG_3900

Even though I don’t consider myself professional by any means, my mom did raise me into a creative being and the projects that we decided on were definitely up my alley. I love sewing, knitting, scrapbooking and photography which probably explains why people think of me as a “crafty” individual. So after a few weeks of procrastination (In all fairness I was really busy) I finally set to work yesterday afternoon. It’s amazing what you can do with old bumper pads. P is transitioning into a “big girl” bed but the fabric was too cute to leave behind with her crib. We still aren’t sure what we will do with the quilt (Any suggestions?) since it’s barely been used (FYI quilts are way too hot for babies) but here are two simple and inexpensive DIY projects I came up with for salvaging the bumper pads.IMG_6149

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Embroidery Hoop Art (No-Sew!)

You will need embroidery hoops, fabric to cover, fabric glue, fabric scissors and a nail or ribbon for hanging. 

  1. Purchase embroidery hoops from your local craft store. Odd numbers look best and you want to ensure that you have enough to make a statement on the wall. I chose to use ones 8-inch, 9-inch and 10-inch in diameter.
  2. Iron your fabric. Center the design on top of your embroidery hoop being aware of the location of the screw (It’s best to keep it at the top for hanging purposes). Tighten the screw. Make sure there are no excess bumps and that the fabric lies flat.IMG_6310
  3. Trim away access fabric about ½ inch around the hoop. Once again, pull the fabric tight. Using Fabric glue, glue down the edges to the back inside of the hoop. Let dry!IMG_6311 IMG_6313 IMG_6314
  4. There is a small space between the loop and screw that fits a nail perfectly and makes for easing hanging. Otherwise, feel free to use that hole to attach a bow or ribbon for alternate hanging. You are finished! Admire!IMG_6330

Fabric Bunting

You will need front and back fabric (the amount depends on how big you want your garland, the back fabric is only facing to make it studier it will not be seen), matching bias tape and sewing thread, sewing pins, sewing machine, fabric scissors, rotary cuter and board, cardboard for pattern making, iron, scissors, writing utensil and a ruler.

  1. Using a ruler, draw two triangle templates on your cardboard. One triangle should be slightly bigger than the other (1 cm around). Cut out. I used a triangle that had a base of 10 and 12 cm. IMG_6318
  2. Using your rotary cutter and your LARGER triangle template cut out 11 (or desired amount) triangles from your good fabric.  I used a zig zag finish. If using multiple designs, make sure you have pre-planned how many triangles of each fabric you want for your pattern. Note: If you do not have a rotary cutter feel free to trace the triangles directly onto the wrong side of the fabric (with a washable fabric pen) and cut out using fabric scissors.IMG_6319
  3. Using your rotary cutter and your SMALLER triangle template, cut out 11 (or equal amount as front fabric) triangles from your back fabric. I used a straight finish.IMG_6321
  4. Fold your bias tape in half widthwise, and iron flat to form a crease down the middle. At the same time, press all of the triangles to get rid of wrinkles.
  5. Pin together triangles (one front fabric and one back fabric) aligning the upper edges together (the edge opposite of the point). If using different good fabrics, create a pattern with your triangles.IMG_6323
  6. Unfold your bias tape inserting the triangles between the layers. Be sure to start 3 inches into the end of your bias tape, and make sure you leave 3 inches on the other end so that you can create a loop for hanging. I overlapped my triangles but feel free to leave an equal distance between each instead. Use a pin to keep each triangle in place. If you run out of bias tape, simply overlap the next length of tape over the end of the first and pin down.IMG_6325
  7. Sew as close to the open edge of the bias tape as you can, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and the end. Use the 3 inches you left on both ends to create loops. Tack in place by sewing across.IMG_6337 IMG_6345
  8. Trim threads, re-iron and hang. Enjoy.IMG_6346

The bed skirt, which is in matching fabric, has already been turned into a valence. These embroidery hoops and the banner will definitely help make the room look cohesive in conjunction to the valence, pale green walls, pink furniture and some black and white photograph. Perfect for Princess P. Can’t wait to see the finished room. Thanks again Emma for all of your help in perfecting the bunting pattern and helping me recreate the one you made for my room! ♥ Molly

“Never underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine”

“It’s all fun and games until the bobbin runs out.”

MIMM #4: Positive Reminders

I think it is important for you all to know that I am still working on my recovery from mental illnesses. I am by no means 100% recovered from disordered thinking around food, weight and happiness. These days, my mood is much more stable and I am pretty happy-go-lucky however I do still have episodes of negative self talk that bring me down. “Bubbly, Personable, Happy, Smiley, High-Spirited, Fun” are all terms used to describe me but they also go against my diagnosis of being chronically “sad”. How? The reality is you can be depressed and cheerful at the same time.

I don’t say this to earn sympathy but rather to avoid comparisons. Too often bloggers glaze over their lives only highlighting the “happy” moments. I post pictures of my room when it is tidy and avoid photographing it’s areas of clutter. I only post recipes that I have perfected but that doesn’t mean they started out as 100% fail-proof. I appear as though I never get in fights with friends or family but in truth, I am a human as well and I don’t have flawless relationships. Some bloggers are inclined to showcasing the fun activities they do, without letting on that they have moments of “doing nothing” as well. I don’t think I’d earn many followers if all I ever did was complain since nobody wants to be left feeling emotionally drained after reading a post. I think it’s strong that some bloggers are able to admit to the hard times they are facing and shed light on issues so many of us battle on an everyday basis. CaitPlusAte and ItzLinz are two of my favourite blogs for this reason since they address sensitive subjects while remaining positive and inspirational.

So while I might appear to have my life in order, rest assured it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, I live a happy life and most of my smiles are genuine, but that’s because I have plans in place to lift my spirits when moments of sadness arise. Marvelous is having continuous support and unconditional love whether I feel I deserve it or not. My friends and family continue to remind me that they have my back. In times of sadness I have a little bucket of marvelous “reminders” as to what is marvelous about life and what others find marvelous about me.

IMG_6295 Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 2.54.58 PMPositive Affirmation Books: No matter how old you are, I truly believe you need to own at least one picture book. These three books, “Heart Thoughts”, “In the Garden of Thoughts” and “Every Thing Is Going To Be OK”,  contain inspirational thoughts that are not only uplifting but empowering. Accompanied by whimsical illustrations or photographs, these books always leave me feeling happier and more optimistic.  “If you stumbled today, remember where and how it felt. Tomorrow, take a different path. Life flourishes from its pain and the lessons we gain.” – Dodinsky

IMG_6305Blessed Bracelet: The idea is to wear this bracelet until it fades in colour and eventually falls off. These bracelets have been carried through India and blessed with love on the banks of River Ganges. I was given two from my Life Coach as a reminder not to worry about the past or future but to live blessed in the moment. The colour red symbolizes protection, healing, commitment and spirituality. The first one stayed on my wrist for over four months and I have yet to tie the second one onto my wrist. “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” – C.S. Lewis

IMG_6113 IMG_6302“Why We Love You” Letters: For my twentieth birthday, two of my best friends, Elyse and Caitlin, compiled a box filled with 20 letters from my closest friends and family members for me to read next year when I am away at University. Since I couldn’t wait until I felt sad, I read them all in one night, but I will definitely continue to re-read them in moments when I need to be cheered up. It was neat to see which memories were most prominent in the minds of others. My dad wrote a poem recalling when I ran around an MBA court with the “Raptors Flag”. The comments were so flattering and made me feel very important and special.  Some were stories from when I was a baby, others were work-related,  some were just funny things I’ve said (and wish others had forgotten by now) and of course some offered advice for my future. One of my favourites came from my niece Lottie as she signed it only with ooo’s (not xo’s) since she still hasn’t learned to kiss yet! What a cutie! Elyse and Caitlin also included some inspirational quotes and fun photographs they pulled from my instagram and pinterest accounts. “I remember your drive, passion, determination, and insane energy from your grade 7 year like it was yesterday. I remember your landfill, your lock bridge, your uber-organized binders and your straight A’s. I always loved how you presented yourself with such poise, but were so darn adorable in your little cardigans.” – Tammy

photo-89Willow Tree Angels: Angels are said to represent protection, inner peace, virtue and love. Today I have three and each one offers me comfort when I am searching for answers. I purchased myself the Angel of Freedom, was given the Angel of Happiness from my grade 12 English teacher on the day I graduated, and the Angel of Friendship actually belongs to my mom but I keep it in my room.
“Angels have no philosophy but love.” – Terri Guillemets

IMG_5982Pandora Bracelet: Last year for my birthday, Elyse and Caitlin gave me my Pandora bracelet along with the “Inner Strength”, “Journey” and “Angel of Hope” charms. They both have the “Journey” charm as well to symbolize that they will always fight alongside of me. While we were away in France, my family gave me the “Eiffel Tower” charm. They also gave me the “Camera” charm since I love photography. This year Joyce gave me the “Faith” charm. Each charm is so special since I didn’t purchase them myself and instead they were given to me as a reminder of friendship or love. While wearing the bracelet I am constantly thinking of those who believe in my potential. “Friends give us the courage to lift the blinds on our hearts to open up and show what we generally keep hidden from the rest of world.” – Ritu Ghatourey

IMG_6292Oracle Cards: These decks help me to manifest my thoughts and put words to my feelings. They seem to relate to whatever emotion I am experiencing, happy or sad, confused or awakened, and offer vague advice open for personal interpretation. “Today I will tell myself that who I am is okay, and that what I am doing is good enough. Of course I make mistakes and get offtrack sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not as good as everyone else. No one is perfect and that’s just fine.” – Melody Beattie

MiMM1Happiness is a journey not a destination, similar to the path towards recovery. You don’t get to a state of utter confusion and chaos overnight, so you can’t expect to be healed in a second. Even in my worst days, there is something marvelous to be celebrated. Thank you Katie, for yet another wonderful link-up that reminded me to take time to reflect on marvelous memories.  ♥ Molly

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

It’s Okay to Rest

We all deserve to be in a state of bliss, inner peace and contentment. No one should live in a continuous cycle of anxiety. Stress is a demon that sits on your back and only makes you worry.

This week has been a great reminder that it is okay to slow down, as there are a lot of benefits in being still.  There are so many little things that I take for granted because I am not engaged in the movements of every day living. Brushing my teeth, talking to my family, sleeping in new bed sheets and even eating a home cooked meal are activities I subconsciously rush through. What’s not to enjoy about driving through three green lights in a row, finding an unexpected fifty dollar bill in your wallet or even finishing off the last slice of cake that you assumed would be gone by now? I am often searching for the next best thing so I don’t stay present long enough to appreciate scenerios for all that they are worth. Your entire life is simply composed of “right nows”. The best is not in front of you or behind you, it’s within you always in each moment.

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It has taken me a while to learn the joy of relaxing. I used to get bored if I wasn’t baking, cooking, cleaning or out with friends. Although I still enjoy busyness, I have learned that finding a state of “calm” can be just as fulfilling. I don’t disagree that multi-tasking is important, but I also know that I must be able to set things aside and focus on my own thoughts once and a while. The past few days I’ve turned down offers to go out for lunch or coffee that I’m sure I would have enjoyed, but I spent time finding inner happiness just being with myself.

I achieve a balance through meditation, yoga, journaling, reading and even napping. It’s hard not to feel lazy when I take a day off from the gym, but it’s important for me to trust my body and give it what it needs. If it’s craving sleep, then I’m fine pressing snooze a few extra times. I don’t need a lot of me time in my day, just a half an hour in the bath or twenty minutes of peace and quiet before I fall asleep. Alone time no longer makes me feel lonely, it is simply viewed as time alone.IMG_0134 IMG_6822

So if you find yourself stressed or sad, try to think of all of the little things in your life that you’ve achieved. A simple high five, a letter to a friend, washing the dishes or even making your bed are all accomplishments that you probably disregard. As long as you breathe, eat, sleep and protect your body each day, you are being productive with your time! I challenge you to devote some time to yourself, especially since we are going into the weekend. Whether you choose to use this time to have a shower, get a manicure, write in your journal or even call a friend is up to you; but please, take 60 minutes out of your week, ten minutes each day, for YOU time. ♥ Molly

“To be still means to empty yourself from the incessant flow of thoughts and create a state of consciousness that is open and receptive.” –  John Daido LoriIMG_8504 IMG_1108

Zucchini Spice Loaf

Many summers back we hired a landscaping company to design our front gardens and cover our porch with flagstone. It was a family based business, and we really got to know the workers, as they were all extremely outgoing. My mom always provides construction workers with coffee, Gatorade, granola bars and muffins and this situation was no different. The father, an older fellow, was so appreciative of the beverages and food that he brought us a ginormous zucchini from his garden along with other home grown vegetables. I was able to make three loaves of bread just from that one zucchini. To this day, no zucchini has compared in taste or size. They always say small to medium sized zucchinis are the most firm and flavourful, so his went against all norms!

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To be honest our gardens look completely different now , as my parents both have quite the green thumbs, but my zucchini recipe has stayed the same. Despite wanting to add in hints of orange or chocolate as complimenting ingredients to the spices, I never want to tamper with the recipe since it is extremely moist and flavourful. I don’t make it that often, but when I do, no crumb goes uneaten. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. Have you ever tried chocolate zucchini loaf? What about orange spice? Do you prefer zucchini or banana loaf? ♥ Molly

Fun Fact About Zucchini: The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69.5 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs grown by Bernard Lavery of Plymouth Devon, UK.IMG_6121 IMG_6141IMG_6137

Zucchini Spice Loaf

Makes One 8×4 Loaf, 8-10 thick slicesIMG_6140

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled, zucchini
  1. Preheat over to 350°F and line a 8×4 pan with parchment paper (or grease).
  2. Sift  flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a small bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together brown sugar and oil until creamed. Beat in vanilla, milk, applesauce and egg. Reduce speed to low and add in sifted dry ingredients beating until smooth. Stir in zucchini just until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. The exterior of the loaf should turn golden brown. If the top is getting very dark, cover with tinfoil for protection and continue baking.
  5. Let cool, remove bread from pan, and serve with a side of fruit, alongside tea or with a coconut oil or butter as a spread.

WIAW: The W’s of my Week

I’ve always wanted to participate in “What I ate Wednesday” (WIAW) and what better way to summarize my week of eating out (birthday celebrations) than through Jenn’s great link-up. I really enjoy reading WIAW posts because they teach me about great restaurants, new recipes and favourite products of fellow bloggers. I love that Jenn reinforces how WIAW posts aren’t meant to be judged or compared to. Everyone is different in their eating habits, patterns, likes and dislikes and these posts should never leave someone feeling guilty about what they ate or better yet, didn’t eat. Sure my last week of meals might not have been extremely balanced or nutritious, but they were delicious none the less. The reality is our bodies can compensate to handle a temporary change in our diet and I am learning that it’s okay to skip salads and overdo dessert from time to time.WIAWbutton

I figured I’d add to the “W’s” in WIAW through “Who (The People), What (The Food), Where (The Restaurant), When (Last week) and Why (We all need to eat)”.

The Restaurant: Fresh, Toronto

The Food: The Holiday Wrap which was a whole wheat tortilla filled with avocado, marinated tofu cubes, garlic mayo, grated carrot, jicama, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, red onion & alfalfa sprouts. It came with a side of marinate kale slaw and we ordered sweet potato fries to share. It was extremely filling and I only managed to eat half since I was saving room for dessert.


The People: I enjoyed Megan’s company while dining at Fresh. We were staying at her apartment in Toronto since she is a student at UofT which is right down the street from from Fresh, a restaurant we’ve both been dying to try. We followed our meal off with frozen yogurt from Menchies (I got blueberry cheesecake, lemon cake and birthday cake) and later snacked on some fruit and candy while watching Glee.


The Restaurant: Pumpernickels, Toronto

The Food: There were so many delicious sandwich and wrap combinations to choose from, but I ended up ordering a medium salad instead. They let me choose as many different blends as I wanted so I ended topping a bed of romaine with lentil salad, chickpea salad, black bean corn salad and pickled beets.

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The Company: In March I met Alex at “Unleash the Noise” which was the first ever youth-led Mental Health summit. The experience was life changing and left me with everlasting friendships. Alex goes to school in Kingston so I haven’t been able to see her since, but she was employed for the summer with the same project. I stopped in to say hello and Alex and I used this opportunity to catch up over lunch.26

The Restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory, Buffalo, New York

The Food: I started my meal off with a coffee as I hadn’t consumed any caffeine yet that day. Our waiter also brought us some freshly baked pumpernickel bread that really hit the spot. I ordered Ahi Tartare, which was avocado layered raw tuna and ginger, seasoned with soy-ginger sesame sauce. It came with pita crisps for dipping. I also shared the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake with my mom. Emma got the Margherita Fresh Baked Flatbreads, my Mom got the Shrimp Summer Rolls and my Dad got the Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos. My mom and I shared the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake where as Emma and my dad went for a chocolate based variation.

blogpost 3The Company: My family and I traveled to Walden Galleria for some shopping, the day of my birthday. We usually just grab a quick bite to eat so that we can maximize our shopping time, but the Cheesecake Factory didn’t look busy so we chose to have a sit down meal instead. I went in without the intention of having cheesecake but after seeing the pastry case I decided on having a light lunch to save room for dessert.

969774_315887578547027_175737680_nThe Restaurant: The Keg, Oakville

The Food: I hadn’t been to the Keg in ages so I let my friends choose our appetizers since they are more familiar with the menu. We ended up getting Lobster Gratiné which was oven-baked lobster with garlic, herbs and melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, Sante Fe Chicken Dip which was a mixture of smoked chicken, cheeses, chilies, black beans and bell peppers and served with tortilla crisps and Calamari that was lightly fried, with red peppers, jalapenos. I really enjoyed my Bellini as it masked the taste of alcohol and our waitress surprised me with free dessert! She knew about my allergies and brought me Crème brûlée.

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The Company: Caitlin and Elyse, two friends from elementary school, treated me to dinner at the Keg. Despite us being separated in High School and University, we’ve managed to stay extremely close. We opted for appetizers to share rather than one big meal, which allowed us to try more menu items. The food was great but their company was what made the experience so enjoyable. A girl’s night was exactly what I needed.Oh no

So while this isn’t a typical WIAW recap, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the highlight meals and snacks thaT I munched on this past week. What do you prefer, cooking for yourself or dining out? Do you enjoy chain restaurants or local cafes? What was your favourite meal from this past week? ♥ Molly

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas

It’s a Boy!

Usually I am the last to find out about celebrity gossip! I was three days late in finding out Kim Kardashian had her baby and to this day I still get confused as to what direction the baby girl was named after (No offence)! I began and ended reading tabloid magazines in grade 7 and while I try to use Twitter and Facebook, I am not very good at keeping up with the most current news.

Of course a Royal Baby is a bit different! Our community library began celebrating the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge long before she was said to be due. I thought it was cute that they created a contest for kids to vote whether they thought it would be a girl or boy. They asked the children to write down the name he or she thought the royal baby would be given. “Princess Jasmine” “Cinderella” and “Princess Aurora” were definitely the most common if the child thought the baby was going to be a girl. The library also filled a table with newspaper articles about Kate and William, baby name books and books about Canadian history since Canada is part of the British Commonwealth.

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Canada had pre-planned to celebrate the birth of the baby by illuminating landmarks in the colour of the baby’s gender. The Peace Tower up on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Toronto’s CN Tower and the Niagara Falls were all lit blue last night. Before hand, a hospital in Oshawa Ontario even proposed that Kate should have her baby there, since she would have more privacy because everyone expected her to give birth in London, England. That would have been cool as Oshawa is only an hour away from where I live!

I think it’s pretty neat that my sister Caitlin and her husband Aaron got married the same year as Kate and William but it’s even more of a coincidence that my niece Lottie, their baby, was born exactly 5 months before the royal baby boy was delivered. Caitlin announced that Lottie doesn’t mind dating a boy a bit younger. I think I could get used to being a distant member of a royal family. She is already loving fancy dresses and I love tea parties!

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So while there won’t be a Queen to inherit the crown quite yet , I think everyone was equally pleased when Kate Middleton delivered her healthy baby boy at 4:24p.m. Monday July 22nd. While we know his weight, 8lbs 6oz, we have yet to find out his name. What do you think it will be? Prince Charming? Congratulations again to the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William on one of their best moments in life. I have tremendous faith that they will make excellent parents and may this little parcel of joy bring with him prosperity, happiness and bliss. ♥ Molly

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

MIMM #3: Birthday Celebrations

First off, I just wanted to thank everyone who wished me a happy 20th birthday on Thursday. It was so kind of people to take the time to acknowledge my special day, and none of those comments went unappreciated. My birthday was definitely marvelous!

To say this past week was “busy” would be an understatement. From shopping in Toronto to driving lessons in Oakville, appointments to eating almost every meal out, each minute has been spent on the go. I’ve been waking up earlier and going to bed later than normal, and many nights haven’t been slept in my own familiar bed. While it’s been fun and the constant shuffling is a distraction from my anxieties, I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone a majority of the time. Thankfully supportive people surrounded me so most of my worries and challenges went unnoticed. While I enjoyed eating out, I do miss saving money by cooking for myself. Shopping was fun and I found so many purchases that I wanted to buy, but again trying on clothing and spending money on myself isn’t one of my strong suits. One regret I didn’t have, was watching “High School Musical” and “Glee” during my Toronto sleepover with Megan. I might be twenty but the dancing and singing performed by Vanessa and Zac were just as enjoyable as when I was 13! Megan and I share similar personality traits, and we can be pretty boring when it comes to boys and bars. We both find cheesy lyrics and chemistry class a bit too fun but we are also able to laugh at our quirks. It’s marvelous.

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Since my birthday falls in the middle of July, which is prime vacation time, many of my birthdays have been spent in travel. Honestly, I’d have it no other way. It’s marvelous to celebrate abroad! When I was little, the added attention of “Birthdays” didn’t seem to phase me. I loved hosting a party, eating cake, and appreciated the gifts. Over the years, I’ve begun to feel undeserving of my celebration and the extra acknowledgements, so on my actual birthday it’s easier to be doing a family activity than something centered around me.

Sometimes we are at cottages, last year we were in France and this year we decided to venture into Buffalo for some shopping. For all of you who live in the States, I envy your assortment of Goldfish Crackers and Chobani! You also have some pretty cool coupon clippings! When we got home around 8:00p.m. I decided to open up my presents. I noticed there was a very appropriate theme going on which all had to do with baking and ice cream. If you read yesterday’s post you know that I’ve never enjoyed ice cream more than I have this summer. My sister Caitlin, her husband Aaron and her daughter Lottie all gave me an ice cream maker with some cute ice cream cups. They match my residence room perfectly. They also included a marvelous ice cream cone card. Emma is very crafty and as one of my gifts, made a “neapolitan” ice cream cone using a base she purchased from Anthropologie and pom poms she made out of wool. She wrapped hers using ice cream cone stickers. My brother is an avid Poker player so he made me “Win” my present. We played a round of simplified poker in which I dominated and won a generous monetary gift. Amongst many clothes and other things, my parents gave me money towards my trip to Myrtle Beach, Lululemon and Ivivva, an individual cupcake platter that has a glass bell and this really neat “memory” stamp.

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Of course, my friends don’t let me escape all of the attention. Joyce showered me with gifts, Megan took me out for Frozen Yogurt and I went for appetizers and drinks with Caitlin and Elyse. My friends are marvelous to say the least. Caitlin and Elyse made me a “Because I love you…” memory box. I’m definitely going to be talking more about how much I appreciate inspirational and sentimental gifts later this week. This present hit the spot and left me in tears of joy all night. I am so blessed to have such incredible friends and family. I really couldn’t be more fortunate!

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The last marvelous thing I want to mention about the week was receiving marvelous birthday “perks”. Does anyone else enjoy signing up for birthday “perks”? I was able to receive a free lipgloss and mascara from Sephora and I have yet to redeem my coupons for a free ice cream at Marble Slab, a free starbucks beverage or food item, a free meal at Milestones and a free yoga class (plus I can bring a friend) at both Kula and The Clarity Centre… and those are just the perks that interested me most!


So there is a very brief (well actually pretty long) summary of my week, although I am sure more will come out through WIAW. After all, I have to share some of the neat eats and treats that I enjoyed.  Don’t forget to check out the other MIMM posts linked up at Healthy Diva Eats. Katie celebrated her husband Mike’s birthday this past weekend. Happy Birthday Mike! Thanks again Katie for hosting MIMM, it’s such a great way to reflect on the marvelous life that I live, and to look forward on the great things that are planned in my upcoming week. What do you like to do on your birthday? Are you a fan of the added attention? What was marvelous about last week and what marvelous events are to come? ♥ Molly

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou (… And I will never forget how happy and special everyone has made me feel throughout my birthday week. I am so grateful.)

Happy National Ice Cream Day!


Happy National Ice Cream Day! You didn’t think I would forget did you? On Thursday I listed 20 fun facts about myself, and let you know that onions are my favourite food. What I failed to mention was that Ice Cream is making its way up the totem pole.You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream… and that’s kind of the same thing. The pictures in today’s post are just some of the cones I consumed this July… I have a slight addiction but it’s calcium right?

In 1984, President Ronal Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” (Source)

photo-98Ice cream used to be something I feared and ate only on special occasions. Well that thought went out the window because it is now something I consume on an almost daily basis. I’d like to blame the heat for this recent addiction, but I have a feeling come December, it’ll remain a staple in my diet. There’s no telling when I’ll become sick of it!

photo-101The combinations of flavours are endless, not to mention mix-ins, sauces and toppings. I consider frozen yogurt to be a form of ice cream, so my favourite flavours are cappuccino, tart, mango and lime. When I am having real ice cream, I typically have soft-serve so a “twist” of chocolate and vanilla is my go-to. In terms of “harder” ice cream flavours, I enjoy cookie dough or mint chocolate. When I was little I chose ice cream based on the “colour” so I often left with bubble gum, cotton candy or rainbow sorbet since they were all pink! Of course back then I wasn’t allergic to nuts so I could also have peanut butter chocolate. Yum!photo-100

My usual mix ins are fresh fruit and I prefer strawberry slices or mango chunks. I really like lychee popping balls as well. They are these little balls that have a soft outer shell and upon applying pressure with your tongue, they squirt out flavourful juice into your mouth. On occasion I add in sprinkles,  cookie dough or strawberry sauce.photo-102

I had hoped to create an ice cream recipe to share on the blog but I haven’t yet perfected one. This being said I’ve been pinning recipes on Pinterest all week long, so I’ll leave you with some that caught my eye. Of course,  you can always try my  Banana Soft Serve as well!

Want to know some more facts about ice cream’s history and it is made? Be sure to check out this website! ♥ Molly

“Ice-cream is exquisite – what a pity it isn’t illegal.” – Voltaire

“Life is like ice cream, enjoy it before it melts.” 

No-Bake Energy Bites

Yesterday I posted about the benefits of coconut oil and I taught you how to crack open a coconut. It wouldn’t be fair of me to leave you hanging with a fresh coconut and no recipe now would it?


Of course I realize that nobody wants to be adding to the heat by turning on his or her oven, so I created a simple no-bake recipe. I call them energy bites. Not only do they include the benefits of coconut mentioned in yesterday’s post, but also they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber since they contain flaxseed. These bites are quick to whip up and even faster to eat! From start to finish this recipe took me under an hour to make, photograph, taste (by which I mean devour), clean up! I’ve even included a “cookie dough” switch up, but feel free to add mix-ins of your liking such as chia seeds, raisins or dried cherries. They make for a great snack on the go so why not bring them along with you while grocery shopping, hiking, camping or relaxing in the sun because you never know when you might need some extra fuel.

Hope you are having a lovely Saturday! ♥ Molly

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” – Anthony Robbins

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No-Bake Energy Bites

Makes 12 small balls, 6 OriginalIMG_6081


  • 1 cup whole dates, pitted
  • 2 cups fresh coconut, shredded (Alternatively, 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (Alternatively, ¼ cup wheat germ)
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. water

“Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” Mix ins, For ½ base recipe or 6 bites:IMG_6076

  • 1 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp. oatmeal, large flakes
  1. Toast the coconut in a skillet on high heat for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the whole dates into smaller pieces.
  3. Add in toasted coconut flakes, flaxseed, vanilla and water and blend until combined, approximately 2 minutes. If the mixture is not moist enough to stick together, blend in an additional ½ tbsp. of water.
  4. If using, add in mix-ins and re-pulse. (Note: My mix-in measurements are for 1/2 the base recipe. At this point, I took half the mixture out to form original bites.)
  5. Form balls using a heaping tbsp. of mixture. Roll until smooth and let chill for 5 minutes in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!IMG_6080