Invigorating Promise of Crayons…and Ibuprofen


crayons and advilLong ago as a child, and then as the parent of young children, I distinctly remember the exhilaration of opening a brand new box of crayons. Each and every untouched, sharp-tipped implement was resplendent in colourful glory, and so very full of invigorating promise. There was no limit to what would become of the combination of colours and the ensuing marvels each would surely produce.

Now as middle-aged adult, I have been revisited by that familiar feeling of promise, even more revitalizing than that which came with the crayons. Now, each object of my affection is identical to the other, with no flare, fun or variety, but still, the certain precursor of great things to come. As a middle aged adult, when I open a bottle Advil, and the certain consequent alleviation of aches and pains, give promise of my day will unravel in soon improve.

Life sure does change!


Teenage Driver

outa gasAfter our son left for university last fall, my husband and I got re-used to having full access to both our vehicles, all the time…until our 17-year-old daughter got her licence a few months ago.  Now, we’re back to sharing.

Although we’re confident in and trust her skills on the road, we really have to deal with this nasty little habit of hers.


Summer Haircut – the More Endearing Dog

before and after

People can’t stop nuzzling my dog after her haircut!  I think it’s because fewer unknown nasties are hiding in her long coat, but my daughter is certain it’s the puppy-like physique the absence of hair shows off.  Either way, it’s amusing to watch and wonder about our the new-found fussing.

More about life with this crazy dog:

⇒Because we weren’t already busy enough…

⇒14 and Counting

⇒Putting the Brakes On

Easy Balsamic Dressing



This homemade dressing is such an awesome, easy, inexpensive alternative to store bought.  With only five ingredients that you likely have on hand, you’ll get great taste along with the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you’re feeding yourself and your family.




  • 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Choose a container that shuts tightly, since you’ll need to vigorously shake the dressing before each use.

Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and pinch of sugar to the bottom of the container.  Add the vinegar and mix.  Add the oil and mix well.  This dressing is best enjoyed the next day.

Store in the fridge

  • salad
  • grilled vegetable marinade
  • drizzled on salmon
  • sandwiches and wraps
Switch or Ditch
  • This dressing is just as good with red wine vinegar, instead of balsamic
  • Some people always use olive oil when a recipe calls for raw oil.  I do really like the dressing with olive oil, but it becomes difficult to use when refrigerated, so I am in the habit of using vegetable oil.



Grilled Vegetables


It doesn’t get any easier than this:  no recipe required!

Chop up whatever vegetables you like, mix with a dressing, or even just plain oil for the purists,  throw it all in a BBQ wok, and toss frequently.  There  are no rules (though I do recommend a bit of oil, that’s not even necessary!)

I use this basic balsamic dressing.


Here’s how it looks done!

fresh 2

A Smoothie…With More

smoothieI LOVE smoothies and have always relied on them to get fruit into my kids.  My daughter says she hates milk, but when in a smoothie, she will temporarily put aside her disdain, and fully enjoy the sweet, cool, creamy goodness.

I don’t use protein powder or almond or soy “milk” but I have recently started adding a handful of baby spinach leaves.  I was amazed to see that, once blended, there is absolutely no sign of the green leaves. So simple, and best of all, a very healthy boost of vitamins and nutrients.

This Basic Smoothie
  • Frozen blueberries, about 1 cup
  • 1 scoop of Greek yogurt
  • Milk, amount depends on how thick you like your smoothie
  • Handful of baby spinach leaves
Switch or Ditch

SO many options!

  • My daughter’s favourite smoothie is made with strawberries, bananas and mango.  I buy frozen mango and strawberries (when not in season) and freeze peeled banana in chunks so she can grab them from the freezer and pop them in)
  • regular or Greek yogurt…I prefer Greek because it’s creamier, and has more protein
  • sometimes I will add dried powder milk, when I have concerns that my daughter has not been drinking enough milk