Day 33

Blessing Day 33: Springtime lunch!
Blessing Day 33: Springtime lunch before a my BF’s bridal party meeting!

Friday joy was a delicious lunch…fresh, wholesome, and completely spring-y. I couldn’t help myself, even though spring and winter sometimes get their signals crossed this time of year.

spring_lunch

And how exciting to rush out the door to discuss wedding details for my best friend!! Diana and Anne from Anne of Green Gables talk about it with the same emotions we feel as we approach this “parting” – a little sad, a little bittersweet. Yet we also have excitement for the next step of the journey, as well as hope, trust, and confidence that it will be a beautiful road ahead of us despite the challenges.

“Everything is changing – or going to change,” said Diana sadly. I have a feeling that things will never be the same again, Anne.”

“We have come to parting of the ways, I suppose,” said Anne thoughtfully. “We had to come to it. Do you think, Diana, that being grown-up is really as nice as we used to imagine it would be when we were children?”

Yes, yes I do believe it will be.

Day 32

Blessing Day 32: Delicious ice cream with my soul seesta!
Blessing Day 32: Delicious ice cream with my soul seesta!

Sunshine + soul sisters + scrumptious ice cream = perfect afternoon

Our time together is so precious before my beautiful best friend is wed, so we’re taking full advantage of the little moments we can sneak in together! Her brilliant idea today…we indulged in our favourite local ice cream in two delicious flavours: Phil & Sebs coffee, AND Earl Grey. Right?!

I find this next fact rather funny…although the sun was out, we were still shivering a little bit with the wind… but us Canadian girls are hardy and we ate our ice cream with determination despite the chill. 😉 Still, a perfect afternoon as we celebrated the wonderful gift of time together!

The Lord knew just what I needed. Perhaps I needed the sunshine, the love of a friend, and melt-in-your mouth ice cream to remind me of how full of flavour life is! With the transitions that are inevitable and with the uncertainties before us, we can focus so much on our feelings of helplessness, sadness, or despair. Rather we need to open our eyes to the fullness we are called to live, and the hope we have in the Lord. I remembered this quote by François Garagnon that spoke wonderfully into what I have been feeling the past few days, and what I needed a reminder of:

“The mystery of life is in your eyes. You simply need to train them to look beyond appearances. And remember this well, that when the universe seems to darken before you, it is not because the doors are closing, but because your eyes are fleeing the light.”

Day 31

Blessing Day 30: Success in making a gluten-free, dairy-free cornbread
Blessing Day 31: Success in making a gluten-free, lactose-free cornbread

I’ve got to learn to take pictures step-by-step…here’s the finished product of gluten-free, lactose-free cornbread muffins! So you know, there are many a recipe that I’ve tried to modify since my handsome love had to go gluten-free and lactose-free. Not all have been successful, sadly. But today…yes! The elimination of gluten and lactose has not been an easy diet change for my fiancé, but it certainly invites us to be creative and in ways, much healthier!

So today’s experiment with these cornbread muffins was sweet sweet success. And a #smalljoy that I found in my day. It tastes delicious to both the gluten-free or gluten-loving person!

Cornbread muffins (gluten & lactose-free)

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup gluten-free flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

Sprinkle of salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 Tbsp honey

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

add-ins? Cheddar cheese gratings, green onions, etc.

 

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal and almond milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, and add the baking powder and salt. To the cornmeal/milk mixture, add the maple syrup, honey, eggs, and oil. Whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just completely mixed. Fold in the jalapenos and other optional ingredients.

Distribute the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool in the pan. enjoy!

Day 30

Blessing Day 30: A beautiful spring day
Blessing Day 30: A beautiful spring day

I know my entire Lent seems to be grateful for good weather (and I should learn to be grateful for the bad too) but don’t you agree that sunshine on the outside makes it so easy to have “sunshine on the inside” aka feel joyful? Winter cold and snow seem like a distant reality, and summer seems right around the corner!

Better weather, too, promotes healthy living since the outdoors are so much more accessible and affordable than the gym and workout classes. My parents have started to walk for at least 10 minutes after dinner to help prevent a spike in blood glucose levels after a meal.

We are blessed by the great weather, and the ability to be active outdoors! Take advantage in the ways you are capable of. That could be a walk around the block, a run, biking, hiking, a sports team, outdoor boot camps, or playing at the park with your kids… however you can, be active!

Day 29

Blessing Day 29: Sweet, thoughtful words
Blessing Day 29: Sweet, thoughtful words

I am blessed to have worked on campus in Ottawa, and blessed to know and become friends with the girls there! I received today a thank you letter from one of the girls, and it was filled with encouragement, gratitude and affirmations! If only we knew our words could bring such joy to another’s day. I was reminded today to use my words wisely, positively, and maybe courageously. Our words are powerful and could do so much good!

Celebration Sundays

I. love. Celebration. Sundays.

Today we veered from our normal routine of 10:30 AM Mass and lunch with my parents…today we woke up early in order to go to Mass and still make a brunch date at 10 AM! But that was a #smalljoy, despite the initial feeling when the alarm went off at 7 AM this morning. I got to start the day off bright and early, and have my handsome love by my side ALL day. Blessed.

Brunch with a good friend of my fiancé’s this morning was a treat! Those men rarely see each other, but when they do, it’s like nothing’s ever changed. And as they caught up, they cooked up a storm…with delicious gluten-free, “paleo pancakes” that were light and fluffy and delectable! Imagine this: pancakes made out of eggs and bananas. And THAT’S IT. I suspect you’ve all made pancakes at some point or other; the instructions are not at all detailed, but here’s the basic outline!

The easiest gluten-free pancakes ever (Makes 6 small pancakes)

2 eggs

2 bananas

A generous dash of cinnamon (I like a lot)

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Drop the batter onto an oiled pan over med-high heat. cook and flip like regular pancakes. Enjoy with fresh berries and maple syrup/whipped cream!

Day 28

Blessing Day 28: Living it up in Cowtown!
Blessing Day 28: Living it up in Cowtown!

A beautiful 14 degrees today…it’s about time, Spring! How fun to walk around today with blue skies and warm sunshine. People are just busting out into the walkable areas of the city! I see friends on patios drinking a beer or two, couples strolling hand-in-hand, and little sidewalk cafes crowded with people. I – LOVE – MY – CITY. I am blessed and grateful to have grown up in a city, where I was surrounded by family, dear friends, and fun things everywhere.