Category Archives: Simple Living

A day in the kitchen

Lately, my favorites days consist of Lucy and I spending long, lazy afternoons in the kitchen baking, cooking, and exploring. She likes to pull all the bottles and spice bags out of the pantry (and even test her strength by lugging the big bag of potatoes out and around) while I make some of our favorite recipes.

Today was inspired by our trip to Lester’s yesterday (after a beautiful, crisp morning in Bowering Park). In addition to our regular veggie haul we picked up a large bag of turnip greens and a gallon of cranberries. Knowing we wouldn’t get through these goodies during the week I set out to freeze them in single portions to use throughout the months ahead.

Turnip greens became a favorite of mine while pregnant; they are an excellent, natural source of folate. When Lucy went to sleep for her midday nap I cleaned, blanched, and dried most of the giant bag keeping some fresh to eat this week. Then when little L woke up and came downstairs to join me, we cleaned the cranberries and she helped me pour them into 1 cup bags (for muffins or other goodies) and 4 cup bags (for cranberry sauce). While we were sorting I had a pot of sauce simmering on the stove. I used this recipe since I wanted to avoid conventional sugar. I didn’t have any organic oranges and didn’t want to use the peel of a conventional one, so I squeezed the juice from one clementine into the mix. When I took this off the stove Lucy eagerly tested it out. Then she asked for more….and more! By the time she got through round three she had bright red cranberry juice everywhere! Arms, legs, face, clothes and even on the soles of her feet (yes, she stomped in the bowl). It was fun 🙂 I plan to serve this tomorrow night with one of our favorite casseroles (it’s a bit of a treat rather than a weekly thing): Broccoli, Chicken & Quinoa casseroles. It’s a recipe from the book Quinoa 365 which has a lot of great ideas for this favorite grain!

Next came the cranberry muffins. I’ve been using this recipe from Simple Bites a lot lately (I love this blog for the great recipes and also the tips for cooking whole foods for families more easily. I’m planning to work through some of her ideas in the coming months as I find myself with more and more time for these relaxing afternoons). I used fresh cranberries and chocolate chips for my add ins and they turned out delicious, as usual. Lucy and I relaxed on the couch with a cup of tea for me (water for her), a plate of muffins, and her favorite books before heading out into traffic to pick up Sean.

This is the first of many posts about food! I love to cook and bake (and eat) and am a bit obsessed with whole foods and their impact on health. Recently I’ve been wistfully telling Sean that I’d like to become a chef. He laughs a little and asks if I’ve learned anything at all about turning the things you love in life into your job 😉 But that topic deserves a whole post to itself! More to come… for now, happy eating!

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Moving on

It’s with a mixture of sadness and contentment that Bobby Bessey and I announce today the closure of Shakti Yoga Studio.

For four years we have been working together every day to run our beautiful space. We’ve worked long days, evenings, weekends. We’ve spent more time together than with our own husbands (and have had a good few laughs about this!). We’ve been proud of our dream being realized and so, so proud of the beautiful community that has grown from such simple beginnings. When we opened our doors for the very first time we had no idea if anybody would come. Now we can look around us and see familiar faces; people who were there on that first weekend and have kept coming back. Plus many more who have joined us along the way. We have an amazing staff of teachers, many of them graduates from our own Yoga Teacher Training program and a wonderful Studio Manager who was one of our first students. We are proud of this community and we feel blessed to have shared space with each and every person who has walked through our studio doors these last four years.

While our community has grown and become more and more rich our personal lives have also been transforming. In the beginning Bobby and I thrived on the busyness of entrepreneurial life. We loved the process of creating, building, exploring. We learned A LOT (and have continued to learn every day). We poured our hearts and souls into the studio.

Four years later we find ourselves wondering when it will get easier. The equation of energy in and remuneration out is still very out of balance. Running a business takes a whole lot of time and energy. And right now, we’re tired. For me personally, the last 18 months have been a whirlwind while I’ve struggled to find the right balance between the demands of my business and the new love of my life, my sweet daughter Lucy. This struggle for work/life balance is not new, I know! But what I’ve realized is that I will never, ever have another opportunity to raise my child. She’s growing every day! Running a business on the other hand, I can do anytime. And maybe I will again someday. But for now, I’ll be home with Lucy and enjoying every minute. I hope you’ll stay in touch with me here on my blog, in my yoga classes (to be announced soon) or by email, phone or in person. I’d love to continue the community that has grown up around Shakti in this new phase of my life. Thank you for reading.~ Namaste