I know everyone focuses on pumpkins this time of year, but apples are definitely where it’s at. Apple cider, apple muffins, apple pie. They can be sweet, yet oh so savory! Bonus, your kids will love the whimsy of this dish.

Now I’m not a big pork fan. Out of all the meats it’s honestly the thing I love the least, but I have been making a lot of effort to branch out, expand my taste buds and try new things. After all, I can’t be telling my child to not be a picky eater while I’m sitting over here being, well, a picky eater.

As everyone knows apples go great with pork, and so I decided to combine something I love with something I don’t to see if I could make it into something tolerable. Well, let me tell you, this dish ended up ACTUALLY being so tasty, that I’ve already adapted it.

I hope you enjoy my recipe for apple pie dinner.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes


1 pound Lean ground pork

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion (chopped)

3 cloves ground garlic

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

Pepper to taste

2 apples (I’ve used gala and pink lady in the past)

1 pie crust

Optional- 1/4 cup goat cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large sauce pan over medium heat begin cooking pork, oil, onion and garlic. Use this time to wash and cube one of the apples. Half way through cooking, add apple cider vinegar, apple sauce and cubed apples. Reduce heat and cover pan until completely cooked.

While you’re waiting, thinly slice the second apple.

Pie assembly: empty contents of the pan into the pie shell. For a more savory dish, spread a layer of goat cheese in pie crust prior to adding filling. Cover in apple slices.


Cook in oven for 18 minutes or until pie shell is completely cooked.

Serve with salad, rice or other preferred side.


If you’re looking for a lighter option, try stuffing apples instead of a pie shell. Cook similar to stuffed peppers. My hubby and I are having a debate on which way is best, let me know what you think!



Dear Imperfect Stranger,

I’m going to ask a favor. It’s pretty big, and might seem damn near impossible, but I believe in you. Would you mind kindly shutting the hell up?

The fact that my child is not a big talker should really be no concern to you, so repeatedly telling me that she NEEDS to talk and that I SHOULD be making her talk is extremely aggravating. I know I’ve asked you in passing to butt out of my child’s speech, but apparently I was being too subtle.

Silly me.

If you do your own due diligence and look at the charts, you will see the incredible range there is for children  to hit milestones. There are of course indicators of possible delays or issues, but who are you to diagnose my child in the five seconds you’ve spent with them?

As always, it comes back to trust. Trust that I am on top of my child’s development and that I am not hiding under the covers wishing. Trust that I am aware of the fact that my child is not very vocal, and that perhaps I have already looked into it, and am taking the appropriate actions. Trust in my ability to parent before bringing in the cavalry, and lynching me for a snapshot.

Sanctimommies and know it alls are too dominant in our society today. Mothers should not feel the need to explain themselves or their parenting to an absolutely Imperfect Stranger because trust me, as easily as you are able to nit pick a snapshot of my day is as easily as I could nit pick yours.

With a sincere desire to see the good in all, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your “advice” is coming from a place of concern, a place of encouragement, and not a place of high horsery; however, this is the only tip your delivery will be receiving today. Quit being a Buttinski, focus a little more on your own little darling who, as luck would have it, is currently over in the corner pushing another child out of the way of the play kitchen, and leave the doctoring to my child’s actual doctor.

Am I so excited to hear the absolutely crazy shit that will come out of my child’s mouth? YES! Is speech encouraged through activities, reading time and learning? Every damn day. Is my child more of an observer and a listener than a talker? Yup. Has all this been discussed with her doctor and are we currently awaiting an appointment with a speech therapist for due diligence? Hell yes because despite what you are implying with your critique, I am, in fact, not an ostrich with my head in the sand.

Imperfect Stranger, I do have hope that you and I can one day come to a mutual respect, but in the mean time it would be a big help if you could just mind your own business, or take a cue from my little listener and just be quiet.

Hush little baby…




Okay, so I know I’m a mom. After all, I WAS there when the ten pound medieval flail exited my body, but every now and again I am hit with the realization of “Holy crap, I’m actually a mom, and THIS is actually mom life!”

As amazing as it is to be a mother, it involves doing things you never hoped, never dreamed, never conceived you’d be having to do. Motherhood illusions and naive expectations are constantly being shattered by the realities of what really goes into being a mom.

For instance…

Last night, out of nowhere during our nightly snuggles, my lovable little bug managed to projectile more vomit than Sheila on the Santa Clarita Diet–for real, sour milk everywhere! As disgusting as it was, that was not the thing on my mind. The thing on my mind was my poor, confused child.

Without hesitation, everyone around sprung into action. We tag teamed stripping down our exorcist, cleaning up the couch, and destenchifying the air. In a matter of minutes, the laundry was in and all signs of undigested dinner had been erased.

Growing up I have a vivid memory of my mom. I was five years old and had just come home from a surgery. Before being discharged and despite being nauseous from the anesthetic, the nurses gave me a delicious purple Popsicle which of course I devoured.

Well cut to being at home sitting in a rocking chair and the nausea overcame me. I turned to the side and began throwing up. Why has this memory stuck with me all these years? Well because it contains my mom swooping in and cupping my purple puke in her hands–SO GROSS!

That memory has vividly stuck with me, and growing up I could never understand how she could do that because I never understood being a mom.

Now I can.

In the span of two hours I had been thrown up on three times, my husband drenched once, and I had climbed into a lukewarm bath to both clean and cradle my sickened daughter.

After finally getting her to bed, I woke up to the horror of a broken diaper…I will let you fill in that blank.

Do I now understand how my mom could ever catch my vomit in her hands? Yup. Despite the bowls that we had strategically placed, did I at one point have to use myself as a human shield last night? Yuck and yes. Did I give my poo covered child a much needed hug this morning because she was feeling so awful about the mess? You bet I did, because mom life is not all sunshine and rainbows my friends. Mom life is about being there for your child no matter what…it also involves dealing with far more crap than ever thought possible.

Despite the wardrobe change and a shower do I still feel as though there are lingering bodily fluids on me? Yes, but I couldn’t care less because if being a waste disposal system is what my daughter needed from me, that’s the kind of mom she got. I might cringe thinking about it, but that sure as hell doesn’t stop me from doing it.

Now, I’m not saying we need to make this a habit or anything, but holy moly, I’m a mommy, and being a mom means that sometimes (let’s face it most of the time) you need to set aside your ego, suppress your own nausea and be the calm in the storm.

…and take advantage of those naps to rubba dub scrub away the absolute ick of your day!



The other day I was talking with my BFF, and as is the norm now, our discussion turned to “For real, WHAT happened to our bodies?” We were reminiscing about the good old days prebody apocalypse and laughing about the realities of what I affectionately refer to as Deflategate.

Now Tibby is far more of a fit mom than my 30 minute workout DVDs allow me to be, but hearing her say “it’s just not the same” definitely makes me feel a little less alone on this island (aka social media) in a sea of mommy illusions.

News flash: Growing a human inside of you will alter you. It’s inevitable. Even those fit moms you see under headlines of “no excuses” will have some part of them forever lost to the miracle of child birth. Tibby being involved with bikini competitions and what not will tell you the same (phewf). Smoke and mirrors are not just for magic shows my friends, so just relax and stop allowing yourself to feel the pressure of illusions.

The thing we probably laugh the most about are our boobs. When we were young and naive with the perkiness of fresh curves it was hard to understand why anyone would ever get a boob job. I mean who needs a triple G anyways? That to me just seemed like way too much maintenance and I felt like they would always just be getting in the way. Well cut to losing those postpartimplants you got before your little leech drained you dry, and laying on your back flat chested with your boobs in your armpits,  and it’s safe to say your perspective will change.

For the record I’m all about loving the skin you’re in. I’m a big advocate in the flawsome mindset. That being said, I can now completely understand the appeal of a little lift. While I personally might not feel the need to look like a Barbie when I leave my doctor’s office, who am I to judge the people that do? Recently, I was able to get veneers on two of my teeth. I remember talking to my mom as young as eleven about my teeth and how much I hated them. I can lose weight, I can grow my hair out, I can do this, or that to alter my appearance if that’s what I feel like, but no matter what, I couldn’t change my teeth, so I can understand and appreciate the fact that some people may feel like seeking help.

Honestly, I cannot tell you how many laughs Tibby and I have had over our boobs. The fact that I can fit an entire fist in my once overflowing cup is astounding to me. You know those weight loss pictures you see of people standing in their starting point jeans? Yea, it’s like that except WAY less empowering when it’s a shrunken cup. The fact that I wake up in the morning not knowing if I should be looking for a bra or a belt is laughable, but one of the many joys that, once again, people choose to omit from their motherhood narratives.

Do I love my new boobs? Not as much as I liked them before. Will I be rushing to get a boob job tomorrow? Nope. Am I siphoning money away now just in case I change my mind later? I was a Girl Scout after all and as the motto goes it’s important to always be prepared.

The moral of the story is to not judge what you don’t understand. Young and naive Andrea didn’t understand the need or desire for perky boobs because I was a freaking teenager and had them. Now that I’m a little older, I get it. No judgement. No thinking anyone needs to alter their body with smoke and mirrors, but an understanding that if that’s what’s going to make someone happy then who am I to be a judge or juror. Having my teeth done was amazing. It’s a perceived flaw that I no longer see when I look in the mirror or at photos. It made me happy, and yea it increased my confidence. It was an area of insecurity that is no longer an issue and I could not be happier with the decision. That being said, it was not an overnight decision, and remember, like the Tweety Bird you got on your ass in high school, it’s a decision that is easily reversed.

Motherhood can leave you with what feels like a stranger in the mirror. It’s important to find a way to love what you have, laugh at what you had, and do what works for you. So fair well tatas of old, and hello flap jacks! I guess my boobs were just an easy price to pay for the best treasure in the world.


I am a BIG fan of maximizing our living area and finding the most function in a tiniest spaces.

I’ve shared with you my toddler art station already:

Toddler Art Station

Now I am sharing with you my Learning Station! I call it a Learning Station because you can never be too old OR too young to learn. I’m in absolute love with this desk area because it is so versatile. I can use it for so many things from blogging to crafting, and it is a place where I can lead educational activities for my kiddo too!

I had been searching long and hard for just the right desk for the area. As we are limited on space, I decided the best place (the only place) for a desk was the hallway. As a result, I needed to find a narrow one.

I found a lot of great desks online, but as luck would have it, this gem appeared on a mom group bidding site I belong to, and I snatched it right up. Steal of a deal! It was a dark brown when I bought it, but I repainted it to white because for my personal aesthetic I feel better when things are light and bright.

Next came the task of making it as functional as possible. My goal was to create a suitable space for a not only a blogger and DIYer, but a creative and busy two year old as well. I started with a basket. It is a perfect home to all those miscellaneous items that end up at your desk. Things that are needed, just not at all times: paper clips, highlighters, post it notes, etc. It also doubles as a platform for my computer which, in the long run, will save my neck and posture. To finish it off, I added some flowers to bring a little life to it, but also to hide the chaos within!


My pen/book planter is actually a decorative shelf turned upside down. It neatly keeps things away from my work space, and I love that, just like the basket, it can be easily moved to create a larger surface.


Borrowing from my art station hack, I covered the top with a layer of white erase adhesive paper. I cannot encourage this enough for a desk! It is not only perfect for  notes and to do lists, but it is a great place for hang man and tic tac toe.


On the wall I have both a white erase weekly and monthly calendar. It is great to organize your thoughts, and every successful person I have talked to has said how important it is to write down your goals–or promises as my mentor would say–to stay focused and on track. Deadlines and planning easily accessible to better manage your time. I have also attached a little inspiration, and have the means to display either photos or my daughter’s artwork.

To fill the space beside my desk, I found this awesome organizer. I love it because each drawer clips closed which eliminates the loss of what’s inside. I call this my daughter’s “busy tower” because each drawer houses an educational activity I know she will love.


At the end of the day, you’re going to increase productivity the better you feel. It’s important to find the right desk for your needs. Things need to be accessible, but the clutter needs to be managed. Limit the distractions. Make it comfortable. Find ways to showcase accomplishments because you should be taking pride in your work. Be creative, think outside the box, and design a space that’s right for you.

Hopefully you found some tips and tricks to increase productivity and truly enable that love of learning!

If you’ve loved my look, but don’t have time to drive around hunting for those “just right” items, I highly recommend Wayfair. Similar items to all that I have shown you, shipped straight to your door!



Summer isn’t officially over until September 22nd, but already the outside world is filled with pumpkin spiced everything to which I say RELAX! You might be ready to let go of summer, but I am holding on to every last minute of it.

Our last summer Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, but this dreary Sunday is the perfect occasion to reminisce a thank-you to the long, sunny days of June, July, and August.

This summer has been nothing short of amazing. WAY better than last year which was full of struggle, unknowns, and the selling and moving of our first home while also navigating life with a walking one year old.

So before I give in to the pumpkin spiced life (because let’s face it, I do love it as much as the next person), I am reflecting on all the wonderful adventures of a summer well lived!

Classic Childhood

We spent a lot of time outside this year. We lathered on the lotion, wore our hats, and sandal tanned our feet. Side walk chalk, backyard pools and sprinklers, sandcastles, and indulging in a first very own ice cream cone are all ways we created some truly classic childhood memories. It is easy to get carried away and think that every activity and memory needs to be above and beyond, over the top, epic, but it doesn’t. The best memories are the simple ones. The ones where everyone is engaged, happy and present. The excitement of screaming GO before dumping over the sand, the pride in learning to ride a tricycle, the chuckles at the first sight of ice cream, and fumbly hops of hopscotch are all moments that will be cherished.


Lake Life

Is there anything better than spending a day at the lake? This year we were able to spend some time with extended family at beautiful Whatcom Lake. Morning walks, jumping off docks, relaxing on floaties, paddle boarding and kayaking, and seeing what we could catch in our nets were all ways to make the day a great one.


Bon Voyage

In July, we were happy to be able to visit extended family and friends back in Edmonton. Although the plane ride brought a few tears (toddler and momma), it was definitely worth the stress. It is not easy moving away from a life and home you built from scratch, and it is also not easy to go back, but it’s a good reminder of strength. A few highlights of this trip: The local zoo, returning to our hood to splash and play in the spray park, and attending the wedding of two good friends.


Beach Days

Picnics are such a great way to fill a summer’s day, and with the sand and sea so close, it was only logical that that is where we would set up shop. My kid absolutely loves to dance with the water, the undertow and the waves–I swear one of these days Moana will no longer rule my life! We love to watch the boats speed by, and the tug boats dance. It’s calm, it’s actually peaceful, and most of all, it’s a great way to spend the morning!


Summer Haze

An unfortunate part of summer are the wild fires that rage through forests and towns. It is heartbreaking to think about the loss of habitat. Although the fires were not a direct threat to us, the smoke made its way to remind us to be grateful. The silver lining of the poor air quality was getting creative, and making our inside days as exciting as our outside ones.


Special Trips

One thing that we absolutely loved was spending the day at Cultus Lake Water Park. I was a little unsure at first as it’s a long drive, a bit pricey and it was a real risk if G would like it or not, but the risk was more than worth the reward! My cautious daredevil loved zipping down the slides, splashing in the spray, and having fun in the sun. Bonus that she had a great nap ALL the way home!


Our summer would not be complete without a visit to the Fair at the PNE. This year, G was able to enjoy more of what the fair had to offer. The rides were fun, the Superdogs were classic, but the best was definitely the discovery farm! She loved harvesting, milking the cow and sorting out her treasures. The bunnies were a big hit as well!


While there are many more memories to share, there are still a few more days of summer to be enjoyed. Even with the rain rolling in, we are going to zip up our rain gear, strap on our rain boots, head out and dance in the rain as we gear up to welcome autumn with open arms.

Goodbye summer, thanks for the memories!


So the other day I was talking with my husband and he brought up a conversation he had had with a colleague. This friend’s wife is nearing the end of her pregnancy, and as many of us can relate, her emotions are becoming a little more…hmm how to put it nicely? Let’s just say challenging to navigate.

Now this is something I understand far too well. I was less of a delight during the course of my pregnancy than my regular flawsome self. I will admit my eccentric behavior actually won me a lovely dinner and piece of jewelry from a radio contest as I may or may not have ruined Valentine’s Day thanks to some less enjoyable hormones. I was moody, irrational and honestly 50 Shades of CRAY!

But men, just because we can reflect and recognize that our behavior is absolutely ridiculous at times does not mean you get to call us anything less than a freaking Goddess! We will also accept being called amazing, incredible, Wonder Woman, or any other positive synonym you can think of, but DO NOT call a pregnant person (or any woman for that matter) crazy.

We’re not, and if we are acting irrational, maybe you should reflect on the why and stop pissing us off! Seriously, when your very pregnant wife is dealing with pregnancy insomnia and needs you to send her another life on Candy Crush because her finger is too swollen to swap the right tiles which cause her to lose the level, just do it. Don’t hold that life hostage and tell her to “get some sleep”. For real, that two hour cry fest is on you, and is not a battle scar you get to brag about.

Men, you honestly have no idea what women go through to give YOU the most precious gift on the planet. We are literally growing a human being. We are giving this baby so much love, energy and brainpower. We are altering our body and mind, and just because the baby isn’t outside of our wombs waking us up with their cries does not mean that we are getting a good night’s rest.

So sorry (not sorry) if we snap here or there, but we have a little more on our minds than curbing the hormonal monster. Yes it’s not pleasant, but in a lot of ways  neither is being pregnant so you can just deal with it.

Furthermore, do you think we don’t feel bad for the freak out or frustration? Trust me we do, so you pointing it out or mocking us after the fact isn’t helpful. It actually hurts. A lot of women can even recognize they are being irrational WHILE they are being irrational, but the tornado is too strong and we continue to spin and spin and spin. It’s just another perk that we have to deal with during pregnancy, so how about a little understanding, support, and a freaking foot rub.

We are not anecdotes for around the water cooler.

Stop making fun of us for something that is out of our control, and stop wearing the fact that you “survived your wife’s pregnancy” like a badge of honor. You know the only person who earns that badge? The woman who was ACTUALLY pregnant.

So to quote Maui (because I’m the mother of a toddler and Moana has literally taken over my life) “I believe what you were trying to say is thank-you”.


You’re Welcome.


Now that September is here, the fall routine is keeping our days well filled. The busier life gets, the less easy it is to maintain a healthy diet that fits with your budget and lifestyle which is why we are a big fan of meal and snack prep in this household.

As a bonus, getting my daughter involved in what she cooks usually makes her more inclined to eat it. Taking her to the grocery store and allowing her to push her cart around, pick things off the shelf, and help in the decision making is a great way to create a positive relationship with food.

Muffins are a big hit. We can make them big or small. They’re an easily accessible snack or breakfast that is always devoured by my kiddo.

When I think of September, I am not one of those Pumpkin Spicers. I think Apples. So, here are some tasty muffins for you to bake and enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes approximately 12 Muffins


1 1/2 cups oats (I chose Quaker Quick rolled oats)

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup applesauce (I used SunRype unsweetened)

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp vanilla

1 egg

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup dried cranberries


2 tbsp chilled butter

1 SunRype Fruit and Chia energy bar

2 tbsp brown sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients minus the dried fruit. Whisk ingredients to mix well.


Next add all wet ingredients. If you’re cooking with kids, I tend to leave the egg until the very end because my daughter loves to sample the batter.

Fold in the fruit and set aside.

For the crumble, begin by chopping up the energy bar. Next add brown sugar to the bowl. Crumble the butter, and massage into the mix.

Spoon batter into muffin tins. You can either use paper liners or simply grease the pan. Distribute the crumble evenly over muffins.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!


Dear Imperfect Stranger,

Contrary to your preconceived notions, you don’t know me, so please stop crowding my space with your ignorance.

For some reason, everyone feels the need to create their own narrative about mothers. From eating habits, to clothing choices and everything in between, mother’s are questioned day in and day out. We’re shamed for this, that and EVERYTHING, and some Sanctimommies even feel the need to trash you online…I mean really though, how dare you decide to let your child play with an empty Tim Horton’s cup to keep them calm so that you can actually finish your grocery shopping and have food for the week. Seriously, are you trying to raise a diabetic serial killer? Shame, shame.

While I know any sane person would know that the previous statement is seriously ridiculous, that is actually the crap that parents deal with on a regular basis. Ludicrous statements that somehow manage to second guess choices and fill an amazing mother’s head with doubt.

It’s exhausting, and at a time when moms are the most overextended–the most vulnerable–it’s just mean to offer anything other than support.

One of my least favourite narratives has to be about women who have their child in daycare versus women who stay at home. Instead of accepting, or better yet embracing a mom who is making the best choice for THEIR family, people choose fallacies.

It’s a double edged sword. Women with careers that take them outside of the house are too often met with criticism about being selfish or having other people raise their child. Whereas women who are home with their children all day are often met with judgment over work ethic and ambition (or lack there of). For the record, none of those statements are accurate or valid, and both bring a hell of a lot of guilt with them.

It is SO difficult to be a parent. Not only are we in open water, we’re unable to sink, but have yet to learn to swim. It’s tough and every single one of us is doing the best we can, and despite what you clearly seem to think, you actually have no idea to parent anyone else’s child.

Think back to your childhood, dear Stranger, and reflect a little bit about your own story. Were you in daycare so your parent’s could make ends meat? Were you in daycare because your parents wanted you to have the socialization? Did your mom stay home with you because it was more affordable than having you in daycare? What real impact has being a daycare child or one with a stay at home mom had on your adult life?

Put down the pitch forks, get your head out of your ass and just accept that ALL parents make the best decision they can at the time for their child.

Stop with the obnoxious falsehoods. Stop with the judgement, and STOP putting words in our mouths.



I’m not going to give you the illusion that my house is photoshoot ready 100% of the time. Like I’ve said before my house is lived in, and I’ve put to bed the notion that an immaculate house is what it takes to be considered a great mom. Having said that, I’ve talked before about my anxiety, and I will admit that I notice a difference between a tidy house and a messy one.

So how did I find my balance? I recognized that I didn’t have to erase our days to keep my anxiety at bay, but when it comes time to tidying up, I need to know that everything has a place. I need to know that I won’t be shoving things here and there to give the illusion of tidy. So, I have been working to find organizational fixes to my every day problems.

Today’s focus is on the beloved yet dreaded toddler art station. Walking past it was my Hunger Games. For real, I don’t know how such a tiny space can spark THAT much anxiety, but it did. From the endless paper, to the assortment of writing objects (some with lids, some without), and all the random Dollar Store crap that has accumulated over time. A tiny catastrophe located between my kitchen and my living room.


I racked my brain and Pinterest for ways to cope, but nothing seemed to fit my kiddo’s needs. Then one day, I found myself in the As Is section of IKEA (I say as if I’m not there ALL the time) where I found this cute little kids table with baskets hanging from its top, and I immediately knew how I could make it work.

I did a simple IKEA hack on this bad boy to create the exact function and look I had envisioned.

First thing’s first, I replaced the too bright orange baskets that came with it for more neutral white ones. Next, I sanded, stained and waxed the wood to get the darker finish that was more in line with the design of the space.

The baskets would be great to house the paint, stickers, and other non daily art supplies, but what I really needed was a fix for the waste of paper. We have colouring books and drawing pads, but those still didn’t provide the clean look I had hoped for. My daughter loves to draw, and nurturing that love is a priority. In the end, I was able to cover the table in a white board film I purchased from Staples. Perfect fix! Now she is able to draw to her hearts content using the markers we have set out nicely in a Dollar Store container without the mess of papers, or the guilt of waste. We also put some small note pads in there as she likes to “take notes” of her day and “write down” observations on our nature walks–for real she’s too funny!

It’s a simple fix, but honestly I find those to be the best kinds. I don’t need something complex, I just need something that is going to work. My daughter is absolutely in love with this little hack which, at the end of the day, is the biggest mom win of all!