Carrot Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting and Walnuts

I've got some exciting news. I've taken on a big garden project this spring. I am going to convert our pitiful backyard, into a giant edible garden. Speaking out loud about it, here on the blog, I am hoping this will make me a little more accountable and on schedule, and actually fall through with my plan. I have no idea what I am doing and no idea what I am talking about, but I guess that's the fun of it all.

On Valentines weekend Brent and I went to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  Initially, I had planned to attend the event to get some ideas and hopefully scout out a landscape designer. But then I slowly realized that we were attending a large conference center with neatly lined booths trying to sell various gardening related tools, DIY green houses, and backyard fire pits, and the chances of finding someone to redesign our backyard was slim. There were some pretty grand flower displays set up by a few landscapers from the area, but they were grand and magnificent and likely built for royalty, and not in my price range. While there, I was also interested in seeing a few speakers they had lined up. One talk in particular really resonated with me - Mow No More: Beautiful No-Mow Yards by Evelyn Hadden. She talked about the idea of transforming a traditional backyard, one with a neat square of grass, into an oasis of plants and trees. It all made so much sense to me. If you would like some information on the pro's and how-to's, I highly recommend getting a copy of her book.

Heart Shaped Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

This month I have teamed up with the folks over at DOLE to bring you a heart healthy, heart-inspired recipe for American Heart Health month. It also just so happens to be Valentines Day this weekend, so if you're looking to make something healthy, delicious, and sweet (and in the shape of a heart!), this recipe is for you.

February is such an easy month to get off track, forget about all of those health related New Year's resolutions that we made only a month ago. The winter doldrums are in full effect, winter seems like it's been here forever, and spring seems like it's nowhere in sight. All we want to do when we get home from work is put on our favorite pair of pj's and plop in front of the couch with our favorite snacks, amiright? I find that I have to dig deep for will power this month. I have to make a concerted effort to get some sort of exercise daily, to eat healthy most of the time, and to resist the urge to purchase post-Valentines Day reduced price chocolate. And by the end of the month I usually feel pretty good. March seems closer to spring than ever. The temperature has warmed enough to make outdoor activities enjoyable. We see a shift from winter produce to spring produce, and I not gonna lie, I am getting pretty excited for fresh local asparagus, greens, onions, and radishes.

A Simple Olive Oil and Parsley Pasta

I'm pretty sure the last time we chatted, I had lost my passport, then later found my passport, and am still trying to make it up to Brent for being the one to find it in the printer after a 5 hour scavenger hunt. Despite the whole passport drama, our trip to Big White was a success (except for when I left the interior car light on for 7 days, killing the battery, and then Brent locking the keys in the car). The weather was warm, the people were friendly, and the hill wasn't too busy. The conditions weren't the best that I have ever seen, but the sunny skies and the company made up for it. We rented a condo with a hot tub and an amazing view. We took my niece and nephew tubing, skiing, and snowmobiling and they thought it was the most amazing thing ever. So amazing that they wanted to do it all day and every day. Our trip coincided with Australia Day, which is a BIG deal at Big White considering 90% of the employees are Australian. For three days straight there was a lot of drinking and screaming and hoopla in the village. A large proportion of the skiers were wearing bathing suit attire, which just seems like a really bad idea. Considering my travel companions liked to rise at 6am and go to bed at 8pm, I didn't really get to experience any of the festivities, but to be honest, I didn't really mind. There is nothing cuter than seeing a tiny adorable faces in the morning, and I am sure that a night of drinking would've just ruined that.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I'm going to keep things pretty short this week, because I am with my family at a chalet at Big White, and in the eyes of my niece and nephew, I am taking away valuable chase-me, come-find me, and I'll drop all of the crayons on the floor and you pick them up time.

Last Friday night I had everything packed for the trip, a batch of gooey chocolate rolls for snacking, the house all clean and organized, and then I went to get my passport from the passport spot (in a folder, in a box, in the closet). I found Brent's passport, my passports from 2014, 2009, 2004, and 1999 (I keep for nostalgic reasons), but couldn't find my current passport. I tore the house apart. I called Brent at work and he rushed home where he found me on the floor in a puddle of my own tears, worried that I had ruined the trip. And then he reminded me that there was no way that I could be denied entry back into Canada because I am Canadian. Of course. I was then able to focus on the task at hand which was find that dang passport. We searched in every nook and cranny. I called the Toronto airport, I called the Seattle airport, customs, the cab company from when I last remember having it. Nowhere, no one, my passport gone forever. And then, 5 hours later, I hear Brent call out from the other room, with his new found power, the fact that he found my passport, in the scanner.

Crispy BBQ Tempeh Caesar Salad Wraps

We made some serious progress around our house this past weekend, which makes me feels like things are finally coming together. Closet shelves have been on our list of things to do since we moved in, but kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list every time, because lets be real, making closet shelves is just plain boring. Our house came equipped with these wire shelves, hanging half way out of the wall due to improper installation. In the spare room the linens (towels, sheets, blanket's) have been piled on the floor since last April, which has caused me a great deal of emotional pain. This weekend, we finally bit the bullet and built some top notch particle board shelves and a clothes hanger. Things are no longer on the floor. Ody will need to find somewhere else to sleep, and I can now see that I might need to invest in some grown-up towels, ones that don't have pictures of Mickey Mouse on the front.