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February 27, 2015

February Self Care Challenge Checkin #selfcare

Even though February is a short month, I do hope that you were able to work in a few minutes for self care, especially since it is the month so closely associated with romance and love.

How did you love yourself this month? Your challenge was to look in the mirror and for five minutes, appreciate every wrinkle, line, and flaw.

With every line, there is a story. I have a scar on my neck from a cyst that needed to be removed when I was in high school. I remember, fondly, that my Dad got a real kick out of moving the light for our doctor and paraded around all day saying he assisted with my surgery.

I have a scar over my eye from pulling on my dogs whiskers when I was three
I have stretch marks on my belly from carrying three precious babes
I have stretch marks on my hips and arms from weight loss
I have lines on my forehead from worry and stress

But they are all mine and they tell my story, and for that...I love them.

Do you love yours?

February 26, 2015

Luma Comfort HC12B Humidifier Review

When I first plugged in our Luma Comfort HC12B Humidifier, immediately I noticed the silence. I saw the stream of mist coming from the funnel...but what I heard was glorious.


Living in Canada, we are exposed to some of the driest and longest winters. This makes for chapped and itchy skin (which, if you've just had a baby and have postpartum itch, is magnified when the air in your home is super dry), and a breeding ground for germs that make their way home with your kiddo from school.

There are a few features about the Luma Comfort HC12B Humidifier that I really love. The sleek design that resembles a floor vase is at the top of my list. I love how it fits in with our home decor and you don't even notice an appliance when you walk by it. It's also very sturdy. My four year old when to wobble it over, and it stayed upright, giving me a few minutes to run to the rescue if needed.

I also loved that when I was setting it up (which is extremely easy), there were different height options for the funnel. I opted for the longer spout, but certainly you can shorten the neck and put the humidifier on a table top or shelf. I love the look of the oversized floor vase, and find that it fits really well with our home decor.

Then the sound, or lackthereof. Take a listen for yourself!

The steady stream of mist from the top funnel is fantastic. We have owned other humidifiers in the past and they've either been way too noisy, or the output of mist has left something to be desired. I contacted Luma Comfort to see if their unit is compatible with essential oils, and thankfully it is! With the guidance of Mireya from customer service, I learned that you can absolutely use essential oils in the water tank. If you use essential oils with yours (we are cleaning the air with tea tree oil and lemon oil), be sure to keep your eye on the cartridge to ensure it doesn't grow any clogged oils. If it does, be sure to soak it in a solution of vinegar and water for 15-20 minutes.

It comes with a remote control, and if you have little ones around this is a godsend. You can easily switch the mist stream to be stronger or lighter with the touch of a button, then store your remote out of sight so that the kids won't play with the unit or disrupt the mist. Genius! 

All in all, if you are considering getting a humidifier for your home, I highly recommend the Luma Comfort HC12B Humidifier. It is sleek and stylish, incredibly quiet, and has a run time of 45 hours. That is forty five hours of pure, clean air that you are pumping into your home, which can be made even healthier with the use of essential oils. With the 45 hour run time, it covers approximately 650 square feet. We chose to put our humidifier in a central location so as to maximize how much space it could cover and ensure that everyone in the family can benefit from the clean air.

It's time to breathe in the good again!

Disclaimer: I received the Luma Comfort HC12B Humidifier for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


February 24, 2015

Gratitude Mandala

While searching for the perfect graphic for this post, I stumbled across the idea of a gratitude mandala and thought that it would be the perfect idea for this months gratitude exercise.

Think of a recent experience or hardship. Often, it is these trying moments and times where trauma breaks through where we see our true strength and there are the most lessons to be learned. It is also in this space where we have the most to be thankful for.

What will your gratitude mandala look like?

For me, I am thankful for the experience of birth trauma. Yeah, I know...kind of sick, right? Well, for me, birth trauma brought me to where I am today. It showed me my true power and strength. It showed me resolve. It tested my limits and shook the very core of who I am.

But I will be forever grateful, because the outcome was Owen. I look at that little guy, who will be five in just a few months, and I am grateful that he is here. He is my anchor, and he holds me steady. He's a constant, and as much as he tests my patience, I know that it's only tested because he is so very much like his mom. My passion, my resolve, my core shines through in him and that is pretty amazing to witness.

What will your gratitude mandala look like?


February 19, 2015

Apple Cherry Cranberry Oatmeal Muffin #recipe

Need a wholesome after school snack, addition to your kiddos lunch, or just something yummy to have on hand? Whip up a batch of these Apple Cherry Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins!

I like to have a few different kids of peanut free muffins in the freezer so that our four year old, Owen, can choose his muffins the night before school when we are packing his lunch bag.

Preheat your oven to 400F

1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Once you have mixed all of those lovely ingredients together, add in...

1/2 an apple, finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried cherries

Mix well, then put in your prepared muffin tin using a cookie scoop or spoon.

Bake for 18 minutes, then allow to cool in the muffin tin.

If your child has an issue with textures, you could bake your apples first with a bit of water and the dried cranberries and cherries, then puree. If you add a puree, keep in mind that the batter will turn whatever color your puree is. When this happens, I usually tell my son that is is something cool. This is how we came up with Dinosaur Juice for any juice that is green, and Tiger Juice for orange ones. Since these ones would turn a pinky red color, we would probably call them something like MacQueen Muffins.

No matter what you call them, they are wholesome and delicious!


February 17, 2015

Homemade Oatmeal Baby Food #Recipe

If you have a spice or coffee grinder at home, making your own homemade oatmeal or rice baby food is super easy!

Simply add rice or oatmeal into your grinder, and pulverize until it is a powder. This takes about 10-20 seconds.

Once you've ground your oats into oat powder, you're ready to make baby oatmeal.

Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil, then add in 2tbsp of oat powder, and whisk continuously for 30 seconds. Turn the heat down to medium low, and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occaisionally.

To thin, use breastmilk or formula. For older babies, add fruit or vegetable puree, and experiment with spices such a ginger (great for digestion!), nutmeg and cinnamon!


The type of oats that you choose doesn't really matter. We had large flake oats in the house at the time, so that's what I used. For added nutrients, use steel cut! In a pinch? Minute oats are just fine!

The recipe above provides one serving of baby oatmeal. You can make a larger batch and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 72 hours.

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