A Breath of Simplicity

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dirty dozen

Use the Dirty Dozen list to allocate your organic food budget

It would be nice if we could purchase only organic fruits and vegetables however, for most of us this simply isn't a viable option. The Environment Working Group (EWG) created the dirty dozen plus and the clean fifteen lists to help consumers minimize their exposure to pesticide residue. The lists make it easier to prioritize how to allocate your budget for organic produce. If you can't afford organic (or have limited access to it), the lists can be used to avoid fruits… READ MORE ➞

organic milk

Is organic milk worth the premium price tag?

Not all brands of milk are created equal. So how do you choose which brand to purchase? What exactly are you paying for when you purchase organic milk in Canada? Artificial growth hormones: The use of artificial growth hormones is not approved for sale in Canada or Europe. However, it is permitted in the USA. Antibiotics: In Canada, if a cow gets sick and needs antibiotics, the cow's milk supply is discarded for a mandatory period until her system is… READ MORE ➞

simple, natural foods

Real food for the whole family

These past few months I've been busy working on reducing my family's consumption of processed foods. For me, this translates into choosing foods that are primarily free of artificial flavourings, additives and preservatives.  One thing I've learned is that this is really hard to do. I've always known this, sort of... somewhere in the back of my mind, you know? But it wasn't until I started reading food labels (and researching what some of the ingredients actually represent) that I learned just how… READ MORE ➞

Millet Muffins

Applesauce, maple millet muffins

Muffins are a tricky business. Grocery store varieties and even healthy looking versions from the bakery are usually loaded with processed sugar. And it's difficult to find one that is made from whole grains. When I first started baking my own whole wheat muffins they were dense and dry. Barely edible past the first day. Then I discovered whole wheat pastry flour also known as soft wheat flour. I now bake almost exclusively with it. Whole wheat pastry flour allows… READ MORE ➞

number activities

Mirror math with glass gems and dry erase markers

I've been doing a lot of number counting with my four year old and when I saw the post about number bubbles on Mamma.Papa.Bubba I knew that these mirrors would be a hit at our house. I was right. I couldn't find mirror tiles at the dollar store (I checked several stores) and in the end I got mine from Ikea for $7.99. It was a four pack amounting to $2 a piece. Here's what you need for this activity: mirror tiles… READ MORE ➞

painted rocks

Alphabet (Painted) Rocks

These were inspired by a set of alphabet painted baltic sea pebbles I spotted on Etsy.  Last year. Safiya collected pebbles (that were flat and just the right size) last Summer and she's been waiting patiently ever since for us to get around to this project. I finally bought some acrylic paint and a can of glaze (plus a pack of pebbles from the dollar store so we'd have enough to go around)! While I was painting my ABC's, the… READ MORE ➞

picky eaters

A FUN, Interactive System to Transform Your Picky Eater

See that cute kid on the fridge magnet? That's my darling seven year old. Two years ago she ate a variety of foods that covered all the major food groups. She could have been a poster child for the food pyramid. Not so much anymore.   To rectify the situation, I was searching online for kid's nutrition activities (I was hoping to teach mine the importance of a varied diet) when I stumbled upon a nutrition chart that was used by a mum… READ MORE ➞

A Family Trip to Puerto Rico

For the past five years, our vacations have veered towards all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. The first time we travelled to an all-inclusive we had three kids and I was pregnant with my fourth. It was sheer bliss. The second time we chose this route, we had a six month infant in tow. The all-inclusive brand of vacation worked for us. Until it didn't. On our last vacation we spent ten days in a lovely resort in Punta Cana. Safiya… READ MORE ➞

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