Dill Nut Cheese | Plant Based Raw

My Anniversary Month trip to Canada with my husband (of 19 years 💝) was a culinary experience to remember!

One of the highlights from our time in Vancouver BC was the discovery and visit to this plant based cafe in North Van. It was also our very first time boarding the Sea Bus for a fun 20 minute ride over. We didn’t have to go far from the water, which was great since we were on foot. The ‘port’, or so it seemed to be one to me, had a buzzing with activity boardwalk and mall, jam packed with a wide variety of shops, cafes, including a Kombucha growler refilling hang out and a farmers market stand. The Plaza outside had great views over the water looking back out at Downtown Vancouver. 

I got goosebumps as soon as we walked through the doors of Cafe by Tao. I was jumping out of my skin with excitement and sheer bliss looking at the products on the shelves and in the cooler, already dreaming of how much I could carry away with me.

Not to mention reading the menu…Ahhhhhh.

If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask Kerwin. He was right there watching me and laughing.
Who knew 2 years ago that I’d be so excited over (non pasta, non pastry, non potato chips, non cheesecake) food?! I certainly didn’t.

Here’s a video flashback to afterwards, as we were leaving.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmRN-4LOWnk[/embedyt]

Now that the stage is set…the reason for ‘this’ blog LOL is to share a raw food win – I made the ‘to die for’ Dill Nut Cheese for the first time today and am in heaven!

It tastes almost exactly as I remember it!

I spread it, nice and thick, on the matching ‘to die for’ raw onion bread I had a freshly made batch of. Pictured ⬇️. Needing a tasty topping for the bread is what actually triggered me to finally pull up this recipe and give it a go.

It’s food like this that makes me laugh when I tell people I eat raw and they say “oh. Don’t you get tired of eating salads?” Nope. lol. 

Part of this life journey I’m on is about celebrating the joys, wins, and delicious food, so instead of simply sharing a picture on Facebook, I am choosing to savor this moment with an intentional post.

For this Dill Cheese recipe and more check out Cafe by Tao!

I promise I’ll share more about our day and incredible eating experience at Cafe by Tao in another post. 😊

Nothing Like Tea & Pastries

On a cold night in Vegas...

It’s fun to be able to say that. I almost thought the Winter season was over but the snow, winds and below freezing temps (just barely mind you 😉) have done their sneaky thing, as is often the case in February.

Out comes the tea and ‘pastries’, or in my world, these yummy snacks that are better known as Joie Bites. This creamy, sweet, richness that, until yesterday I’d forgotten how to make, is the perfect compliment to my Cinnamon Roobois Chai tea from David’s Tea. 

I’m not a big fan of chotzky souvenirs when traveling, instead I like to get things that we’ll use. This lovely tea cup with lid and loose tea brewing insert (I’m sure it has a more proper name than that lol) is the perfect memory of cozy mornings in our condo sipping tea as we journaled. 

I don’t need a mug that says YVR to help me remember our #CanadaTrip holiday. ☺️

It makes me happy to think back on our trip. It’s the reason we do what we do – to travel, explore and create amazing memories together! Having items out and visible to serve as these reminders is a wonderful thing – it keeps me focused and on track building my side gig.

Mel Robbins calls these visible reminders Positive Triggers in her Mindset Reset program. Check it out here! It’s available on demand replay and is incredibly beneficial. Best thing I did to kick off 2019 was signing up for her free program!

Or….it might actually be tied for top spot with my decision to start my 160 day eating Raw & Living foods challenge. Today is Day 51! And OMG, I had to get a calculator out to add up the days, it’s already flying by. 🤩

Signing off now so I can go feed the babies 🐶🐶🐶🐶! Till next blog…

For fun tips and healthy recipes you can follow me and my friends here: Joy, Wellness and Women. Creating a Vibrant Life You Love!


Holey Jeans

What's up with Holey Jeans?

I guess some people, maybe most LOL, call them ripped jeans but I've always considered them holey. Growing up I loved to get a new pair of fresh, bright jeans WITHOUT holes. I'm still not onboard with this trend that apparently has now become mainstream. I wear them begrudgingly and it drives me crazy that they put the holes around the knees, like does no one ever kneel down and make the hole BIGGER?! Sheesh.

On to the topic at hand! 😜

I’m home and wearing Holey Jeans!

Not a fan of jeans with holes 🕳 (haha, love this emoji that popped up) but it’s rather difficult to find a pair without holes nowadays. What’s your take on holes, are you for or against them? 

That being said, I’m celebrating that I work for myself, have no dress code and it’s warm enough back here at home to be able to wear holey jeans! 🥳😃

I just returned from a FANTASTIC Canadian 🇨🇦 holiday with my honey, in this our anniversary month, but my legs FROZE in jeans, even my only long length pair without holes. 

Side note….I think I will start calling him “my husband” when referring to him in public. He’s always been “my honey” to me but I believe #marriedliferocks so I’m going to make sure everyone knows he’s my partner, best friend, other half and HUSBAND of 19 years! 💍

We braved crazy temps, saw incredible views, ate TONS of yummy food and I came home weighing 1/2 lb lighter .😎

•More blogs and pics to come!

Time to start planning our next trip! Where shall we go….? 😉🌍🗺 What favorite location or trip have YOU taken? Please share and give me some ideas! 

Looking for a way to work from home, travel and have more time for what matters most? 

These 45 seconds below sum up what has given me the freedom and health to live the life I do. If you’d like to know more, comment below or private message me, I’m happy to share! 

8 Top Tips for Personal Development

Ahhh…..early mornings spent in my cozy chair snuggled under my blanket in front of the fireplace (loving the cooler weather) reading a “good book” is one of the highlights of my day!

My ‘book’ of choice now is actually a magazine yes, I know, but I love Live Happy! What a way to start your day on a positive note with great stories and tips! *And the digital edition available on the iPad is so FUN! 😀

Growing up I used to love reading fiction but now my joie is found in self-help books. The Law of Attraction says that you attract more of what you ARE. When you become a little better in some way than you were the day prior, your life and your circumstances will improve; things get easier as you get better. Who doesn’t want that, right?

“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” Jim Rohn

So how do you become better? Personal Development! By simply following a course of continual growth and striving to reach your full potential.

Here are 8 of the most helpful suggestions I’ve found for improving one’s self.

    1. Start Now 
      There is no such thing as the perfect time. Do something about your personal development plan today. Growth doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to start now. You can build on what you do today, tomorrow. Don’t become a pro at procrastination! 😉
    2. Read, Read, Read
      Make it your personal goal to read at least a book per month, or 10 pages of a good book a day. Learn from the successful people who have gone before you. Choose a trait you would like to improve on over the next 90 days and get books, lectures, attend a seminar…etc all around that topic.
    3. Me Time
      Take time every day to do something for yourself, even if it’s just 10 minutes of guilt free quiet time drinking a cup of coffee, or tea, as is now my drink of choice. Reward yourself in little ways for the progress you’re making.
    4. Journaling
      Keep a daily journal, recording your thoughts, ideas, feelings, and GRATITUDE’S. Time for Reflection is key as John C Maxwell writes in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Personal Growth:

      “Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.”

    5. Be Accountable
      As hard as it is to accept, you are 100% responsible for what you are today and where you are today. No one else is to blame. Your choices and actions have gotten you to where you are today. By accepting personal responsibility you free yourself from the victim mentality and can begin to change things in your life for the better. If you want to become someone (or be somewhere) different than you are today, make personal growth your #1 priority. YOU are in the driver’s seat for YOUR future.
    6. Feed Your Mind
      Choose carefully what and WHO you allow IN. By filling your mind with positive ideas, thoughts, and people who support and inspire you, you will be happier and have no room left for the negative.
    7. Visualize
      Put up pictures of your dreams and goals where you will see them frequently. Create Vision Boards. Allow yourself to dream big WITHOUT LIMITS! Spend time every day visualizing your dreams being realized, in full color with all the sights, sounds, smells and emotions.

           “You never get what you want, you always get what you picture.”
                                                                                             ~Bo Short

             8. Never Give Up
                Life works in cycles and moves to a rhythm. You will have days when the funk hits you. When you                  hit a slow point or things don’t seem to be moving, don’t give up. Be kind to yourself and Keep Going.

And most of all, remember that there is no end to your personal development journey. So have FUN and enjoy the ride!

My own journey really began just a few years ago when I left Corporate America and partnered with Neora, a company that has a heart and is committed to Making People Better. You can see the Neora Philosophy here:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR6qGEn7nWE[/embedyt]

One of my favorite quotes:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost)

If you enjoyed this list, please comment below and let me know your thoughts on following these personal development tips! 😀

Do you have Joy, Lightness and Ease?

This is a great question to ask ourselves as we move forward this week! 

I don’t believe in the “life is hard” almost default belief many people have, although… I do tease my dogs about how hard their life is and how tough it is for them to try so hard to get along. 😝 Lol.

I believe it’s about choices and our own mindset and us CREATING the life we want to live.

I’m definitely going to be asking myself this question, especially the Ease part. I’ve been focused on Joy and Lightness but I can see that Ease is an important element for what I’m doing to not be a burden and completely burn me out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what “time is covering up the present moment” means to you. I’m still pondering on it….

Joie’s of a #WorkFromHomeDogMom – Ep1: Lunch

Unexpectedly is one of the best ways for JOIE to show up in your life. Yet, how do you control “unexpected” joy?

Great question. The simple answer is – you make space for it.

You choose to allow it in. Yup, it really IS a choice.

Queue the backstory…..

I’ve been married for 18 years now and even just a couple years ago had you asked me to envision my life today, I would be nowhere close. How do you imagine what you’ve never known? Watching other people who have gone before you can help but so many of the changes have been in my head, unseen. I’ve chosen a path of self care, learning and growth. I’ve explored new ideas, opened up to the “wooo wooo”, questioned the system and whoever ‘they’ are. I mean for real, who has ever met Them? Yet, we live our lives by the facts They tell us. Yes, there are loads of people who are much smarter than me and have incredible amounts of knowledge and still I will say that nobody has my best interests at heart more than me.

It’s okay to ask questions, it’s okay to learn from them, it’s okay to say no, that doesn’t work for me and it’s definitely okay to try something new you’ve learned and see what happens.

How does that definition of Wisdom go? Something like this:

Knowledge is only potential power; it must be experienced and lived to really become part of you.

This #workfromhomedogmom blog series will be about me intentionally sharing my joie as this path I am on is making space for more of it to show up in my life. It can show up in yours too! I hope that my stories will inspire you to take a look around in your life and see simple ways that you too can make space for unexpected joie.

*Are you ready for it?!

Here’s today’s story….

My honey (and yes that’s how his contact name is in my phone too 😊😃) texted me and said he would be working late, picked up 6.5 hours of overtime for our family, the babies 🐶 🐶🐶🐶 and me. I was sad it would be more hours without him, happy it was overtime as OMG, how can you not love being paid 50% more for doing the same job? It would also give me more focused time to work on logging my business receipts so I can get the taxes in on time. Fingers crossed for another huge refund! My heart was also filled with love that he would do this for us. I asked him to let me know if he needed more food and I’d take a break and bring him dinner. He said yes. I put a reminder in my phone and continued about my day.

When the alarm jingled I got to work. I got him another helping of the huge salad I’d made that morning for our lunches. I picked romaine leaves from my garden and made lettuce wraps with the leftover walnut paté. For desert I pulled out 2 frozen chocolate banana bites and some chopped frozen mango, that I have to keep hidden from him. 😜  Plus an extra banana, 1 EHT pill and 1 Youth Factor packet to keep his energy up and brain working so he stayed safe at work AND the drive home. I put it all in a simple cloth bag I love as it has good memories and was a gift from a friend.

I drove to the airport, all the while filled with so much Joie! I could’ve said nothing and let him go up to buy some food in the airport terminal. I could’ve grumbled about the 75 minutes the drive would take round trip. I could’ve grabbed a salad and the coat he asked for and left it at that.

Instead I made space for Joie to show up.

The unexpected surprise of it showing up was simply the best feeling!

I loved spending the time intentionally putting a meal together for him with love. I love how easy it is now to eat Raw, healthy food. I loved my drive there thinking about how cool it was going to be for my honey in front of the other guys; he has a wife who makes him dinner and hand delivers it to him. How lucky I am to be that wife! How many other wives are out at their own offices working, unable to leave their jobs? How many other wives simply don’t take the time to make the space?

It’s a choice. I choose joy!

I took the back way my honey tells me he takes to avoid the freeway traffic for the drive home. (Nope, I’m not telling so don’t even ask! lol) I only saw him for 30 seconds but it didn’t matter, I wanted the whole moment to freeze. I wanted time to stand still while I sat in that moment of joie. It felt like a real thing, this joie.

If not for being a #workfromhomedogmom this would not have been possible. I remember what my life was like back when I worked in the Corporate World. (feels like it should be capitalized, it’s such a massive entity!) Talk about feeling full of gratitude that I was able to do this simple thing.

Shortly after arriving home he texts me and says “thank you for all the food ❤️”. That just added on another layer to my feeling good. 😊 Trust me, I captured this moment in my head and marked it “do not delete”. Ever do that? I believe it really does work. Blogging about it here helps too.

When your moment arises and you have a choice to make – choose LOVE. You will never go wrong. It’s the simple little daily opportunities that sneak up on you, that allow joie in, unexpectedly and yet….you had planned for it all along. 😊🤓

The next time you experience a beautiful moment of unexpected joie I hope you’ll come back to this post and tell me about it. Put the “do not delete” seal on your memory by encapsulating it into words and sending it out into the ether of the world wide web.

Till next time…

Always Choose Joie!

Reflections on Health

2018 #day58 ~ as good a time as any to share my recent Reflections on my health journey.

Health isn’t promised to us so why do I take it for granted?

Why do I choose what brings Ill-health and disease?

Yes I “can” eat whatever I want. But why do I want to? It’s not like I can say I don’t know better.

Every day I wake up with choices to be made. Every day I move in the direction of greater health and wellness or I decline, no standing still.

Food is fuel and the type of fuel I put in the tank is up to me, no one else.

NOTHING tastes as great as health FEELS, this I have learned personally. It’s not a sacrifice to say no to sugar laden foods, it’s not even about being deprived. So what if you ARE deprived? Would you rather be sick ? ? ? and satisfied with eating all you crave or Healthy and deprived of sugar, dairy, toxins, chemicals?

Its not about the challenges experienced trying to eat out, it’s not about explaining to friends who don’t understand, its not about dealing with cravings, it’s not about having to wait 10 hours for flax crackers to be ready, it’s not about taking snacks with you everywhere you go, it’s not about going cross-eyed reading labels, it’s not about disliking to exercise….

The plain and simple truth is, its saying YES! to health, mental clarity, rejuvenating sleep, vitality, joy, laughter, being ALIVE, full of passion and living a vibrant life. If that matters enough to you, then you’ll do WHATEVER it takes, without question.

I am choosing to celebrate saying yes to my health, with every choice I make, with every bite of food I put in my mouth, with every way I move my body, with how I show myself love and grace. I will focus on what I’m doing right, not the challenges or difficulties; they are only there because I let them be, because I focus on them.