Rib Pain & Mindfulness

Today was a rib pain day. They happen. I’ve asked my current doctor about them, I’ve had X-rays done, I’ve talked to numerous medical professionals. Nobody knows. It could be a pulled muscle. It could be bruising. Regardless. It’s been years, so I’ve learned to manage. 

Unluckily, it arrived during a family grocery shop, as loading up the cart. As soon as I was able, I got horizontal and began a guided meditation. I applied Peppermint Halo to my temples. I took a few deep inhales of Yoga Mist. I applied Stress Release underneath my ears, and the little hollow of my throat. I applied Pain Release to the sharp pains in my bottom left ribs. 

Then I laid down. And hit Play.  

Then I settled in for some #CatCuddleTherapy


Hope your weekend is off to a great start. I’m ready to go join the gang in the mischief. There was a fort in play last I heard! 😘

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Hypothetical (Mental) Health Day

Let’s say you need a mental health day. Let’s say. You need some ideas for ways to soothe your worried mind and heart. Here’s some ideas that I like to incorporate into my mental health days:

Enough rest. If I’m short on sleep, it messes me right up. I try to take a 90 minute nap 😴 at some point in my day. I don’t beat myself up if I sleep for longer than that, and I don’t force it. If I need the sleep, I know my body will take that opportunity to rest. 

Meditation. I’m not great at clearing my mind. But guided meditations are a huge help! My favourite channel is The Honest Guys. Something like this gets my mind slowed down and calm. 

Interact with a pet. We have 3 kitties in our house, so I didn’t have to go far to get a purr and leg rub. My Audrey is the best kitty to cuddle, and I love sending her flying down the hallway playing Mouse. (The dollar store mice, tossed up and down the hallway. Flying out from around corners is her favourite.)

Speak up. If you can, voice your need for this mental health day. Tell your partner, tell your friend, tell your mom or dad. Give yourself permission to take this day, and be honest with yourself and the people who want to support you. If you can’t voice it, that’s ok. Give yourself loving support and bring your mental health the same importance as your physical health. 

Apple of my eye. I find joy in flowers. Fake, real, in flower crown formation… blooms in my life are a little lighthouse in the sea. I feel happier just looking at them. So whatever space I was in today, I made sure my favourite (fake) daisies were in sight. I’m lucky enough to have a fresh bouquet around the house too, so I kept that on my horizon also. 

Yoga. I try to move. If you’re like me, and sometimes experience depression and anxiety like … the way I describe it is a “post-flu” feeling… shaky, tired, weak, heavy, unenthusiastic. Yoga gets my muscles warm, reminds me that I am strong, and kickstarts my body to need food and water. 

– Eat something you like. I find that I sometimes just want to cocoon myself into a blanket and sleep the day away. I try to make sure that even if most of my day is in that cocoon… I’m still taking time to hydrate (Emergen-C has been my day starter drink for a while now. Hello vitamins and electrolytes!) and eat something with protein. 

 Connect with your people. The desire to withdraw varies with me. There are two adorable kids on my life, and it was sweet relief to bundle up and head out to the park with them. Anxiety is less likely to take over when you’re trying to keep up with Grounders!

Pamper yourself. It’s a bit of a thing, that I take baths when I’m sad. Apparently the warmth of a tub can actually boost your mood. (See the infographic below for more cool tips!) I also like picking out a face mask and revelling in the smoothness of my face afterwards. 

– Deliberate distractions. Pick out a documentary you’ve been wanting to watch. Sit down with a book. Or find an Audible to play while you putter about. Keeping your mind focused on something deliberate, will prevent you from filling empty space with your own mental chatter. 

Journal. Make a few notes. Or doodle. Or write a letter to yourself. Your emotions and concerns are valid and sometimes writing them out can help you re-focus and clarify your distress. 

Breathing exercises. I learned that I don’t breathe properly when I’m anxious. This isn’t abnormal, and focusing on your breathing can calm down the Fight or Flight that your body (accidentally) kicked into high gear. 

Self love. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. Be aware of the way you are judging yourself. Take a moment to love yourself, the way your eyes look today or the strength of your body as you did yoga, or the simple fact that you are here. You are worthy. You are important. It’s hard sometimes, but shifting the way I think about myself has helped me immensely. 

Well my friends, I could go on and on. But I’m going to go and connect with my person now. He’s an incredible partner and already came looking for me as I typed this. Have a lovely evening, and I wish you all the very best in health! Physical and mental and emotional. ❤

Some extra info from Happily!

 

The Good Stuff

My goodness, we have a lot to catch up on! A nourish bowl recipe, a vegan and gluten free mac and cheese recipe, a chocolate coconut whip cream recipe, AND a spring wreath that I loved making. Are you ready? Good. Me too. 

My nails are drying and I’ve got a glass of rosé. The man of my dreams just finished play wrestling with his adorable three year old. Then they’re off to pick up that cuties’ cute sister from her THIRD birthday party of the weekend. (Miss Popular indeed)


I’ve been experimenting with nourish bowls these days. Having IBS has made me re-assess healthy eating. Now I’m looking for ways to get a variety of vegetables and starches in me. Cooked carrots, sweet potato, beets, sauerkraut, and my go to peanut sauce recipe are all my staple items. Plus a carb. God, I love carbs. 

Please find your way to that delicious nourish bowl recipe by clicking: here.


Alright. Now I’m a newbie so don’t be too hard on a girl. That recipe may seem a bit labour intensive. If you’re looking for a simpler way. Check out Yummy Mummy Kitchen’s Sheet Pan Buddha Bowl Recipe! It looks so good, and I can’t wait to try it. 

Next on the docket: this drool worthy vegan mac and cheese recipe. 


Want to make it too? I followed the recipe from These Things I Love. It turned out beautifully, and I had the leftovers with tuna mixed in the next day. (I’m a bit of a tuna freak, so like. Back off.)

This weekend, D wanted to make a point of spending individual time with each of his children. He inspires me, that man does. His plan gave me the opportunity to spend time with them individually as well! The youngest and I made a gluten free dairy free cupcake mix together. I just picked it up from Walmart. The real icing on the cake? My killer Chocolate Coconut Icing. Hello, dairy free deliciousness! 

Click the cupcake to be linked to the recipe!


Lastly? We can’t wait for spring. I’m talkin’ bike rides, spring rain, cute bird houses, planting flowers, airing out the house, and spring cleaning. So I pulled a little spring wreath together, to really get the point across that “We’re ready!”  (Or, as Spongebob might say: “I’m ready!!! ImreadyImreadyImready!”)


Okay. Have we fit everything in? Yes I do think so. My wine glass is empty, so that’s a sure indicator. I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipe share, and that you’ve had a moment to soak in some of that strengthening sunshine. 

As much as I aim to focus on enjoying the present moment, I’m really looking forward to spring. I keep splashing florals all about:

My current iPhone background, courtesy of Pinterest. Are you following me on there yet?? 💁🏻

To get my body in that lighter spring mood, especially with that time change messing around with us… I’ve been making a real point of sticking to my yoga routine. I shared a video of a little snippet of my routine on my Instagram account. I was so pleased with the comments and support I received back. Yoga has been a serious point of joy in my life for about three years now. ​

Thank you for making it to the end of a mighty long post. Cheers; enjoy your weekend!

Chocolate Coconut Icing


– Refrigerate a can of coconut milk. Full coconut milk. Look for a can that lists coconut milk as the first ingredient, not water or “coconut flavouring”.  Scoop out the top, hardened, creamy layer of coconut milk into a small bowl. 

– add a tablespoon of cocoa powder

– add theee tablespoons of icing sugar 

Using a hand mixer, whip the ingredients together. Once it’s a beautiful, whipped texture… they’re ready to smooth onto some cupcakes! 

Nourish Bowl – Dairy/Gluten Free!

Ingredients: 

– 2 handfuls frozen corn

– 2 handfuls snap peas

– 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

– 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

– Handful of spinach per bowl

– 1/3 cup pickled beets 

– Tablespoon of sauerkraut

– rice OR My House Families’ Amazing Basmati Rice*🍚

– Handful of hemp hearts per bowl 

– The Basic Peanut Sauce (recipe below)

– Tablespoon of organic re-fried beans

Procedures to get your bowl on:

– Get your rice cooking. One cup of rice to two cups of water. (or that kick ass Amazing Basmati rice at the *🍚 footnote)

– Boil your carrots and sweet potatoes.  

– Cook your corn

– Steam your snap peas

– Start the base of your bowl with the spinach, add your beans, pickled beets and sauerkraut. Add the cooked carrots, sweet potatoes and corn and steamed peas. 

– Go on, add that scoop (or two) of rice. You know you want to. 

– Top off with The Basic Peanut Sauce: a tablespoon of peanut butter, a tablespoon of gluten free soy sauce. A tablespoon of maple syrup and about a quarter cup of almond coconut milk. If you’re feelin’ it: a generous squeeze of siracha. Mix that up and drizzle away. 

That ish is delish. Go ahead. Customize. Mix and match. Add that craving. Top it with chicken. Top it with cheese. Nourish bowls are a delicious experimentation of tastes. 

*🍚 My House Families’ Amazing Basmati Rice:

My best friend’s family let me move in with them the year that I graduated, and the rice that they made… Mm!

Her Mum would heat up a smidgen of olive oil, add the basmati when it was at that sizzling point of hot… and then throw a smattering of turmeric, cardamom and sometimes cinnamon in there. I add medium curry powder for extra flavour when I’m making  bowls!

Tuesdays Are My Least Favourite 

Hi. Welcome back. How are you? 

I want to talk about how some days are just harder than others. I think I’ll start by explaining how hard of a day the six year old in my life had last week. 

She had a rough day at school. Girls can be so sweet and so terribly mean. That particular Thursday, one of the girls “used mind control to lead [her] friends away.” So she was left with no one to play with for that recess, and they carried that game over to the next recess. 

After school at her grandparents, she was frustrated by her younger brother, who leans more toward physical exclamations than verbal discussions. Her patience was tested, and her spirit was bruised. This all came to a head when her dad walked in during an argument with her brother, and they both got reprimanded. She stewed a little through out the evening. And finally that night, as we settled onto her bed for reading before bed, she said she wanted to tell me about her day. 

And oh my friends, can you not recall that hot anger? The repeated efforts and rebalancing of emotions. The difficulty of articulating and pinpointing what it was that had your cheeks so heated and your eyes stinging. 

Children’s lives. D and I said, smiling at each other this evening. So full of paradoxes! D said. And I nodded.

But our adult lives aren’t much freeer from such paradoxes. I too, am reaching those frayed ends of patience, with my health these days. This whole idea of having a balanced physical and emotional and mental well being? Only achieved via some paradox of health code. A code I can’t get figured out right now. Sometimes I make peace, and accept that I cannot fight the current that is IBS. Sometimes, the handicap that it places on my life, has me irate and the impatient perfectionist in me rears her head. 

It’s a delicate balance. I want to accept what I can not change. And change what I can. 

Oh. And why do I hate Tuesdays so much? Tuesdays have no Motivation Monday vibes, they aren’t a celebratory half way mark, they aren’t the day before TGIF, they aren’t a Friday. And Tuesdays are definitely. Not weekends. That leaves them with nothing to offer the week, and I think they should just count as nap days. Argue me in the comments. I’m in the mood 😏 Just kidding. 

Here’s to not fighting the ocean. Cheers. ✌️

Mani Monday – Mental Health Monday

Good evening friends! I have something a little different for today’s Monday post: beginning to talk about mental health. 


Here’s the mani! Cute right?! And my sweets craving was satisfied with these Larabar Bites. 😍 So simple. See the hearts tutorial on my last post!

My mental health, is a tumultuous little environment. I was given the diagnosis of PTSD after meeting my psychiatrist over two years ago. I was suffering from panic attacks, anxiety ridden days, and depression. I couldn’t make it through a work day, without excusing myself to cry in the bathroom. I felt as though I had lost all control of my emotions, and I was scared, and I was exhausted. 

Turn to two years later. I am happy frequently. I understand my anxiety and depression better. I am treating the two, and focusing on getting my diet and physical health balanced out. The more I read and research, the more I see the connection between mental and physical health. 


And on particularly hard days? I focus on the most important three! 🤗

More mani and mental health Mondays to come! Stay tuned! 💕

Saturday Snippet

Indulgent Weekend Smoothie:

1/2 cup full coconut milk

2 tbsp organic nut butter

2 tbsp hemp hearts 

2 tbsp maca powder

1 tbsp flax seeds

1 tbsp matcha powder

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp organic cinnamon honey

1 ripe banana 

1 cup mixed frozen berries

1 cup almond coconut milk
Add ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Serves 2 adults and 2 kiddos. Enjoy! ❤

I had a lovely Saturday. Smoothie to kick it off, outside time as the weather warmed up out here, and a hot cocoa (recipe on my instagram) that melted my heart and an evening of sheer relaxation. (Hence the late #Saturdaysnippet)

Anyways, here’s my favourite Valentines 🙈😊, and I hope you have had an incredible weekend. 

Morning Moments 

“How are you?” I asked, sorting leftovers into Tupperware this morning. 

“Very good!” He said. 

“How’s your heart?” I asked. 
He paused, “Full!” He responded. 
It’s incredible to me, the love that I’ve found in my life. 

I keep uncovering little gems of joy, and these sweet, precious moments remind me to slow down. To enjoy these moments. And to savour them like a perfectly brewed coffee! 

Mani-Monday!

My bestie J and I were daydreaming about manicures the other day. She mentioned a heart on her ring finger … or maybe some crescent moons… and she traced a half circle coming out from her cuticle.

So full credit rights for this idea definitely go to her!

Now without further adieu:

Ladies and gentleman. That heart manicure you were day dreaming about? Completely attainable.

The Beauty Department gave me the knowledge for this adorable, simple little manicure.

My colours of choice this week?

Revlon: Romantique and a Gold glitter

(Big ugly flower in the background is optional.)

So as The Beaty Department so beautifully puts it (see the post here) … the goal of a heart with nail polish? Is to make two circles just touching one another, and then pull that polish down a little into a point.

Ring from Sutton Smithworks. Click on the image to check out their Etsy shop.

I got fancy with it and added crescent moons with the gold. Can you blame a girl? That sparkle though. 😍

Mug front Anthropologie.

Mm! Now the only problem? Finding a cuter manicure for next week! Have a lovely Monday folks. 💅🏼