Paleo Meyer Lemon Pudding #CoolerWithAlmondBreeze

Paleo Friendly Meyer Lemon Pudding Dessert

As one of our New Year’s resolutions, our household has been focused on healthy living since the beginning of the year (read more about our health journey here). I’ve lost quite a bit of weight on the HCG diet, my husband has lost weight along with me, and we’ve started changing our kids’ diets to be more focused on whole foods, getting rid of all the processed junk.

I’m very excited to share this recipe with you today – I discovered it through a friend on Facebook (isn’t that how we find anything nowadays?), and relished in the fact that it was Paleo-friendly, egg-free, dairy-free, and made of delicious Meyer lemons.

I’ve adapted the recipe from Healing Family Eats (which is a very lovely blog featuring autoimmune Paleo recipes), and I added Almond Breeze in the recipe. My daughter is allergic to the cow milk protein, and the rest of our family have slight lactose intolerances, that make eating heavy sauces and desserts no fun! (Think cheesecakes and alfredo sauces – those are a huge no go in our house!)

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Creating a Business while Raising a Family

How to Build a Business while Raising a Family

Right now, as you read this, I’m smack dab in the middle of building a business. It’s a surreal and exhilarating feeling, to put so much hard work into creating something from vision to reality. I’ve dedicated so much of my focus to this undertaking and it feels so good to be doing this, for myself and for my family.

There’s a constant outpouring of ideas coming out of my mind. I’m constantly thinking up new marketing programs and promotional ideas, dreaming up launch parties, discussing employee conduct and branding ideas – there’s so much to do! It can get exhausting sometimes, and there were some days that I felt a bit burnt out, but most nights I either lay awake with anticipation or dream about my ideal shop!

As you can imagine, this venture has taken up quite a bit of my time. And I thought I already had my hands full with work, blogging, husband, kids, and a house to manage! It’s been a bit of a juggling act, with some days being more successful than others, but we’ve developed a flow in our household that’s working for us, and I wanted to share some tips on how to create a business while raising a family.

How to Raise a Family & Build a Business

Be Tenacious

This is the time in  your life to be more determined than you’ve ever been before, and to work as hard as you possible can – at everything! You are going to have to work your butt off to get your business running, you’re going to have to work harder at family, at home, at health, at relationships – things will become more challenging. But curb the complaints – remember, YOU wanted this! Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed and down a bit, remember why you wanted to do this in the first place.

Always put your best face forward. Don’t only slap a smile on for a client, be your cheerful, happy self to your children, your family members, and your friends. Be an inspiring individual, remind yourself that you’re working towards a goal. Yes, it’s hard. But you’ve got this.

Be Efficient

Time is of the essence, especially in a full household. Depending on your daily schedules and routines, you will need to carve out essential and focused time for your business, without impeding on your family time, your home life, and your own personal time. This means focusing on tasks at hand, ignoring the call of social media and unnecessary Facebook updates, and using time management techniques or creative multi-tasking.

On a typical day I wake up just before 6 am and get my “necessary” tasks out of the way; think emails, to-do lists, organizing, and planning my day, week, and month. By 7 am the kids are up, and it’s morning routine time, then out the door by 8 am. I’m usually back home before 9 am, and my “work hours” are from 9 am to 4 pm. However!!! Some days are taken up by client meetings or doing business errands, or even personal appointments. I have to plan my time properly, and use the time I have efficiently to really get shit done.

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Healthy Family Expo 2015 + a Giveaway Valued at $2000

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Raising a healthy family and maintaining an eco-friendly life doesn’t have to be a daily struggle! The 2nd annual Healthy Family Expo is bigger and better this year and is coming to the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday March 29th, from 10am – 5pm. It’s a fun-filled day of learning, tasting, touching, and playing for Lower Mainland families !

  • 100+ Exhibitors, lots of shopping and food sampling, and hybrid vehicle test-driving
  • Biggest Active Kid Zone in the Lower Mainland, with climbing wall, bouncing, giant hamster ball track, Tumblebus, run bike area, baby crawl zone and family fitness
  • Bobs & LoLo concerts at 11 am and 2 pm
  • $10,000 Grand Prize Showcase, including a 1-year lease on a Toyota Prius c
  • First 200 attendees receive child day ticket to the Sea to Sky Gondola

Tickets to the Healthy Family Expo can be purchased $8 in advance, online or in store at Whole Foods Market and London Drugs, or $12 at the door, while entry for children under 12 is free! Advance tickets are entered to win a 2015/2016 family season’s pass to Cypress Mountain, and $1 from each ticket sale supports the Canucks Autism Network.

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I am super stoked for this years event! I love perusing the amazing Green Mama Market, full of eco-friendly and naturally-derived products for families. And while I learn all about how I can improve sustainability at home and in our everyday lives, the kids have so much fun playing on the climbing walls, getting their faces painted, and running around in a human hamster ball!

Stay connected online with the Healthy Family Expo – there are so many exciting events and chances to win prizes leading up to the event by:

To kick off pre-Expo celebrations, Healthy Family Expo partners & exhibitors have teamed up to give one lucky Lower Mainland winner a healthy family prize package valued at over $2000!

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Island Breeze Smoothie #CoolerWithAlmondBreeze

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I’ve been on a massive lifestyle change this year and so far the results have been incredible! I’m happier than I have been in a very long time, I’m healthier and losing weight (thanks to the amazing diet I’m on!), and I’m starting to add my kids to this health kick.

My kids are resistant to change. And to vegetables. I have a toddler with bizarre eating habits, and a tween who is reverting to boring, processed foods on a regular basis. The one meal they can both agree on is pasta, which I make with homemade sauces and pack full of veggies, and I am starting to use zucchini noodles to mix it up – but come on! How much pasta can two kids eat? (Answer: A LOT.)

So each day I’ve been trying to add something new and healthy into their daily eating habits, and I’m using Almond Breeze almond milk to help reach our health goals! Almond Breeze is a great substitute for milk, especially as my daughter has an allergy to cow’s milk. It has no saturated fats, no cholesterol, no gluten or lactose, and it’s a great source of calcium.

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Why You Need to go to a Conference This Year

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When you say the word “conference” out loud, it sounds like some boring workplace event – like when Ross had to go to a Palaeontology Conference in the one in Barbados on Friends. (Yes, the tv show. From a million years ago.) But do you want to know a little secret? A conference is just like a party with all of your closest friends that you’ve never even met yet.

Whether you’re a travel blogger, a creative entrepreneur, a creator of handmade goodies, a marketing whiz, or a graphic designer – going to a conference for your niche means hanging out with like-minded people. You meet aspirational folks, your mind sparks at all the ideas flying around, and you feel refreshed, happy, and more focused on your job, on your creativity, and in your life.

I’m super stoked for the upcoming Canadian Internet Marketing Conference in Squamish, BC – located right in my backyard! It’s happening March 28th & 29th, 2015 at Quest University and features amazing speakers like Rebecca Bollwitt from Miss 604, Shawn Johnston from Forge and Smith, and Kemp Edmonds from Hootsuite – just to name a few!

Conferences are also a great time to network and get your name out there. You know what? Scratch out “network” and sub in “make friends”, because that’s what you’ll be doing. You’ll be making connections, you’ll be meeting new clients, you’ll be meeting mentors, you’ll be making lifelong partners and friends. Seriously. 

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Heating Things Up on Valentine’s Day #forgetchocolate

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I don’t care if you’re a big fan of Valentine’s Day or not – my cynical side mocks the “gift card” holiday, while my girly side makes heart-shaped toast and eggs for breakfast. Either way, Valentine’s Day is a good reminder to show your loved one some extra care and pampering. Making time for your partner (and ultimately, yourself!) can become tricky when it’s all about work, gym, kids, groceries, bills, laundry, and cleaning toilets. (Ew.)

But making time for your relationship is so important! My man and I have been together for almost 12 years (I can’t even believe it.) and it can sometimes take a bit of work to regain that spark and be really, truly infatuated with your partner. This Valentine’s Day, let’s make it our mission to #forgetchocolate and really show your sweetheart just how smitten you are!

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$30 Starbucks Card Giveaway

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It seems we’ve completely skipped over winter, here on the west coast. There’s barely been a day that’s seen the temperature drop below zero, most days the temp hovers between 5 and 15 degrees celsius. But the rainy season is now upon us, the days of galoshes and hooded rain coats and muddy little footprints! Nothing perks me up more on a rain day than a nice hot cup of coffee in my favourite mug…

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Bouncing in Photos no. 02

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This weekend we hosted my daughter’s first sleepover ever! She was super stoked and the girls had a great time, even with a little toddler bugging them occasionally! We went out to Bounce in Whistler (ps. 9 other awesome things to do in Whistler) and I took a bunch of photos with my new camera. Here’s a few that didn’t come out super blurry or silly looking!

How to Multitask without Losing Your Mind

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If you looked at my very first resume, from the age of sixteen years old, I proudly listed multitasking underneath the heading, “Skills”. A few years later, it seemed to be a faux pas to even mention the word. Multitasking went from a strength to a major weakness overnight – it was reported to lower productivity, drop focus, and created outcomes that were seriously lacking.

multitasking (noun) 
the handling of more than one task at the same time by a single person

Becoming more focused on the task at hand became the thing, however as a mother, wife, and business owner, I find my time so limited that I am often forced to do more than one thing at once. I’ve quickly discovered tasks that can be easily done at once, and others that can’t.

For instance, I can’t talk on the phone and write articles. It just doesn’t work for me – I either focus on the conversation or ignore it completely. Same with photo editing – I stay focused on the one task for at least 25 minutes (and I use a timer!) before moving on to the next thing. But there are quite a few tasks that can easily be done together, which saves me time!

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Multitasking that Actually Works

Your body and mind are only capable of doing so many things at once. Your mind can accomplish one task, and your body can accomplish another. That’s easy, right? To multitask properly, put your mind AND your body to work, so they don’t conflict and can each focus on their own tasks. I can easily talk on the phone while cleaning, or eat my lunch while editing a blog post.

  • Do menial tasks while learning. Listen to a podcast, video, webinar, or a book on “tape” while tidying your desk, folding your laundry, sorting your files, and opening your mail.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix business with a bit of pleasure. Meet a client at a new cafe or restaurant, go for a hike while brainstorming a new project, and while doing things that need your focus, like editing or writing code, listen to the latest album from your fave band.
  • Think while you exercise. Get on the elliptical machine, a treadmill, or a stationary bike and create your to-do lists, respond to emails, and plan your day.

More Time Management Tips

True story: I thought I invented the Pomodoro Technique. Hilarious, right? I was having trouble finishing all my scattered tasks in a day, so I set up a timer on my phone for 25 minutes, determined to focus on that ONE task for that time (no email, no Facebook, no interruptions). Then I would give myself 5 minutes to use the washroom or hit up twitter, before going on to the next task. It boosted my productivity ten-fold! I thought I was brilliant for thinking of this amazing time management process! Then I discovered that it was called the Pomodoro Technique…

What are your favourite time management tips? Do you like multitasking?

Design Inspiration: Black & White Rooms for Kids

There’s something unique about a room that’s void of colour. Very rarely would a black and white room have much interest, unless offset by an accent colour or natural woods. Patterns, textures, geometric shapes, and graphics take over these rooms, adding punches of vibrancy and intrigue. What do you think of these lovely rooms?

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