I want you to know...

Jun 13, 2016

I want you to know, you are already so beautiful just the way you are. What I mean by this is that within that breathtaking beauty, you are most definitely bruised, hurt, sad, angry, sometimes mean to yourself and unkind to others. You've been through so much, my dear, and you have so much still to go through, but that doesn't make you any less beautiful. It makes you strong. Your experiences are not regrets. They are your roads, where you learn and grow, merging into your own unique journey. We don't know why these are our paths but they are. Just remember, no matter what you've been through or what you will go through, you already are a light that shines whenever you step into a room. You are doing effing amazing.

Take a breath and take flight

Jun 9, 2016

I've wrote about this in the past and I continue to write about it because it is a topic that is so important to my heart.

When women can support other women, that's when we will start to see change happen in our society. If we struggle with being each other's cheerleaders, how do we expect to rise tall and break through the walls and rules and glass ceilings?

Last night Hillary Clinton was officially declared the first female major-party presidential nominee. She's not a perfect candidate - there is no such thing. But her win stands for something that women have been working for years to achieve. Women are strong and powerful and smart and beautiful and so capable.

My mom instilled this in me from a very young age - this crazy idea that I could do anything I wanted. I didn't have to follow the norm. Of course, it's taken me years of ups and downs, bumps and bruises, smooth roads and bumpy paths, to come to the realization that I can, that the things I was teased about are actually my superpowers! It's not easy to be the odd duck, the shy one, the insecure one who has no fucking idea where she's going, but she knows for sure where she doesn't want to go. I'm still learning what's possible. But thanks to my mom and my own life lessons, I'm learning and it's so exciting.

Dear women, of all ages, the number of years that you've been alive does not matter. What matters is that you live your life how you want to, in a way the lifts you up with the opportunities that you have. There's no right or wrong way. Take responsibility for your life. Make your choices, whatever they look like, and then fly. And when you fall down, or when things don't match your expectations, take a breath and take flight again, over and over.

And most importantly, lean on the women in your life when you need to, pull those ladies along when you can, so you can both fly. And learn to love and encourage each other right where you are because we are so much more powerful when we walk and work together!

Coconut curry noodle soup

Mar 10, 2016

I'm obsessed with and craving noodle bowls lately! I picked out three recipes this week and the two I've made so far have been delightful. Like, mouth-watering, go back for thirds, think about them all day delightful.

This coconut curry noodle bowl takes no time at all and it was spicy enough to make my eyes water, which I love! If you don't desire that kind of intensity, leave out the red chills and maybe add a little more stock and coconut milk to tame things down. Also, I didn't have fish sauce on hand so I used a combination of Bragg's soy sauce and white miso which contributed to the lovely salty taste, but the fish sauce would've given it that extra layer of flavour.

Coconut curry noodle soup

2 T coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
1 T fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
3 T Thai red curry paste
4 - 8 oz. tofu sliced into cubes (organic, non-GMO)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 T fish sauce (I didn't have any so I used 1 T soy sauce & 1 T white miso)
2/3 cup coconut milk
6 - 8 oz. dried vermicelli noodles
1 lime, juiced
Garnish: green onions, red chills, cilantro

In a large pot add oil, garlic, ginger, and Thai red curry paste and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and sizzling.

Add the tofu and cook until coated with sauce and heated through, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, water, fish sauce (or in my case soy sauce and miso), and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning according to your taste: more salt, more liquid, etc. Once you are satisfied, take the pot off the heat.

I added the dried noodles to the pot and let them soften. They will be ready in 3 to 5 minutes. Stir everything around and scoop into bowls, add a squeeze of lime and your desired garnishes.

(You can also put the dried noodles in bowls and pour soup over top and let the noodles soften for 3 to 5 minutes this way.)


(Original non-vegetarian recipe found here)

What if?

Mar 8, 2016

Dear women,

What if....?

What if, instead of tearing each other down, instead of making another wrong so we can be right, instead of comparing ourselves to each other, instead of trying to outdo each other, instead of making another woman feel shitty just to feel better, what if, instead of all of this, we did something different?

What if we put our hand around another woman's waist and said, "It's going to be okay." What if we respected each other even when we don't agree with each other? What if we celebrated each other's unique beauty and strengths? What if we remembered there is enough success to go around? What if we reached out to each other when we are feeling sad, angry, alone, not enough, tired, unsure, etc.? What if we let each other know we are here for each other?

We are all in this together. You don't have to be wrong for me to be right. It's wild and fantastic that we are all so different, from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, with all kinds of perspectives, ideas, contributions, and teachings. We have the option to learn and grow from each other. Let's do that, instead.

You are enough. You are stronger than you think you are. You are not alone.

What if....?

(photo credit: Studio D)

Agua de jamaica

Feb 29, 2016

I love aguas frescas from Mexico so much. I was reminded how much when I recently went back to Puerto Vallarta (after a long stretch away), a very special city, in a country that is close to my heart.

I felt like I was back home as I strolled by vendors selling aguas on the malecon (boardwalk) on a Sunday night to local families and couples, dressed up and holding hands. When faced with the large containers of horchata, tamarindo, jamaica, etc. I can never decide which one I want. They are all so thirst-quenching and packed with flavour, and some are said to have many health benefits.

The one I always seem to settle on in the heat is agua de jamaica, a deep gemstone of a colour, made with flores de jamaica, or hibiscus flowers. I brought a few bags of the dried flowers back with me so I could sip this anytime I wanted. And with every sip, I'm taken back to this little city by the sea.

Agua de jamaica

12 cups water
1/2 - 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 1/2 cups dried hibiscus flowers (flores de jamaica)
3/4 cup good quality honey
3/4 coconut palm sugar (or sweeten to taste)
1 large lime

Combine water and ginger in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and add flowers, honey, and sugar. Stir until sweeteners are dissolved. Steep for 15 minutes, more or less.

Strain through a fine strainer into a bowl or large glass measuring cup (64 oz). Stir in lime juice and let it all cool. Keep in the fridge until ready to drink. Delicious over ice (and delicious warm).

I wonder what jamaica margaritas would taste like?

(original recipe here)


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