Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Hello!! Just wanted to take a quick moment to wish all you have a fantastic Christmas and Happy Holiday.

I thought what better way to share today with all of you then to share something from home. This is Sean Quigley, he is from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada! 16 years old and he did all the arrangements, played all the parts and recorded/edited the video with his sister. Beyond AMAZING


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

This has to have been the most fun I have had baking, receiving and eating cookies. Coming home to a parcel with yummy cookies has been the highlight of my week! I am still waiting on one more batch of cookies, but the ones I have received so far have been soooooooooooooooo good :) I received fantastic cookies from Lindsey at A Running Tale, in fact I had seen her gift these in our Favorite Christmas Things swap and wanted the recipe!! I also received some mouth drooling cookies from Dana at Hot Pink Apron.

Now onto my cookies. I wasn't going to make these, but then they are usually my most requested cookies of the year. I made some changes this year and I am unsure if I will keep them.

Gingersnap Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies

  • 2 cups flour (I usually use whole wheat, but for the swap I used white flour)
  • 1tbsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 3/4cup margarine(softened)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses

1. Preheat oven to 350c

2. Cream margarine + sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg + molasses.

3. Add dry ingredients. Mix well

4. Roll 1tbsp of batter into some granulated sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 8-10mins.

They smell just amazing!

 Now who did I send these to?

Elaina @ Flavour Food and Wine
Christina @ Oven Adventures
Shannon @ Red Deer Foodie

I hope everyone enjoyed their cookies! I really enjoyed making them :) And thank you to everyone who sent me some. SO amazing :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wedding - A Serbian Ceremony

Here is one of a few promised wedding posts. I will put them in categories of how the day went. As some of you know, I married and was baptized as a Serbian Orthodox.  My husbands family is from Serbia and I made the choice of having our wedding ceremony in Serbian tradition. Our ceremony mostly wasn't in English, minus the parts in which the Priest spoke to me and I needed to respond. It was quite traditional and also very different from some more common wedding ceremonies. I had to make a large program for my guests with information on all the parts, as it is quite different.

 My husband waiting for me.
My Dad and myself :)
The Candles
Symbolizing the perpetual light of Christ, and remind the couple that from now on they must shine in virtue and purity with good deeds.

The Rings
The rings are first blessed by the priest, who holds them in his right hand and makes the sign of the cross over the couple’s heads.  The rings are then placed on the 4th finger of the right hands of the couple. The rings are then exchanged between the couple three times.
The priest places our rings on our pinkie fingers, then we place them on each-others right hand ring finger. After the ceremony, we both put our wedding bands on our left finger. This was our choice. 

The Joining of the Right Hands
The right hand of the bride and groom are joined when the priest reads the prayer that beseeches God to "join these servants, unite them in one mind and one flesh." The hands are kept joined throughout the service to symbolize the "oneness" of the couple.

The Crowning
The crowns are said to represent the martyrdom, sacrifice and unwavering devotion. The priest takes the stefana and makes the Sign of The Cross three times over the couple. The crown is then kissed by the groom before it is placed, then the same with his bride. Then the crowns are exchanged between the heads of the couple three times.

The Cup
The couple will drink wine from a chalice to symbolize that they will be sharing the happiness and sorrows of life together. They do this three times.

I was soo nervous the red wine would land on my dress
The Walk
The priest will then lead the bride and groom three times around the alter on their first steps as a married couple.
The two people that are walking behind us our the Kume and Kuma. This means Godfather and Godmother. Just like when you are baptized and have godparents, the same happens for a wedding. Usually they are also our bestman and maid of honour, but neither of our closest friends are Orthodox, so we had to ask a family member and our Kume was my husbands Kume from when he was born.

The Blessing
The couple return to their places and the priest, blessing the groom, says, "Be thou magnified, O bridegroom, as Abraham, and blessed as Isaac, and increased as Jacob, walking in peace and working in righteousness the commandments of God." And blessing the bride he says, "And thou, O bride, be thou magnified as Sarah, and glad as Rebecca, and do thou increase like unto Rachael, rejoicing in thine own husband, fulfilling the conditions of the law; for so it is well pleasing unto God."

Tying the Knot
Before leading the couple on their first walk together as husband and wife, following in the footsteps of Christ, the priest ties the right hands of the couple together while praying for their marriage, the act signifying their    “Oneness” from now on.

It can be a lot for someone who isn't accustomed to this type of ceremony. But it was very very special. If you are interested in more things regarding this type of ceremony, you could find it here.

And something totally unrelated that makes me smile on a whole different level.

Question: Have you ever been to a Orthodox wedding before? What did you think about it? What is your favorite part of a wedding ceremony?

Monday, December 5, 2011

A gift + a party

This past Saturday was my work Christmas Party and it was a blast! It had all sorts of entertainment. We enjoyed ourselves very much. 

 The red dress!!

On Friday I got a notification that a parcel had arrived. As soon as I had a free moment I went to go pick it up! Look what it was!! My Favorite Christmas Things Swap from Amber!! I loved it! So much so that I was in the Salted Chocolate Caramels before my husband reminded me that I needed to take a photo....whoops

My gift had a 
1. Big Coffee cup
2. Gingerbread tea(my fav also)
3. Hot chocolate
4. Salted chocolate Caramels
5. Starbucks Giftcard! (and Amber I absolutely love eggnog latte) 

Thank you SO SO much Amber!!!!

This post is short,  my husband brought me home a Christmas Tree and I want to put it up! I have been baking all evening so I have yet had a chance to do so!!

Question: Have you started your Christmas Baking? If so what have you made? Do you ever panic that it wont turn out? I know I do alllll the time. And am worried about exactly that right now! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Cards + a Red Dress to Kill

This time of year is a busy season for me.  I just had my wedding and already I am arms deep designing again! It's great though :) I have been pushing out a lot of new designs and absolutely content with life. I mailed out my Favorite Christmas Things Swap last week and soo excited for Erin to get her gift!!! I love Christmas!!!

This week I will be mailing out my Christmas Cookie Swap. I am excited for them. I used a favorite classic cookie, I tried several other recipes for possible exchange. But I couldn't stop thinking about these! SO I went with my gut. I will post about these later!

I thought since I never show any of you my design work, that I would share a recent holiday card I did. This client has been with me for several years now. And they just added a new addition to their family. I always enjoy doing their photo cards! In fact they are the people who showed me my wedding photographer! I am ever so grateful for her! If you want to see some more of her photos check out Jennifer Lee Photography! You may even recognize a certain someone!

Now for these beauties honestly the most beautiful children

I did up three mock-ups. Two are the same, but with different colour variations. I like giving my clients alternatives to the normal Christmas colours. With this beautiful image, I didn't want to take away too much from it with graphics. It is just soooo beautiful!

They also gave me several other photos. I did up another card with all three images. 

The winner was the third!!! 

This Saturday is my works Christmas party and it's always a big formal event. Today I picked up the most amazing dress. Recently I died my hair from red to blonde. I thought with the wedding over it was time for a change. At first I wasn't sure what to think of it. In fact I spent a whole day staring at it. How ridiculous is that? My poor husband heard every 5 seconds "Are you sure it look's okay?" and now I LOVE IT!!. I usually am boring and always go with the safe bet and get a black cocktail dress for these events. But not this time! This time I got a BRIGHT red dress. And it look's fabulous!

Queue that awkward iphone changing room photo

Due to how busy I have been, I have been eating a lot and I mean a lot of chicken + veggies. I am hopping this routine will end once I get these last holiday cards completed. I also been sweating my butt off at the gym. Due to a pipe being broken I haven't gone this week yet. I am hoping it will be fixed soon. It may have been fixed today but I didn't have a chance to check!! 
*crosses her fingers it is open fully tomorrow* (Kim I bet you know?!?!?!)

And lastly! My new blog! It will be launched in the New Year! First week of January you will all be joining me over there! I got my wedding photo's in hand! I will be doing several posts with them over the next few days.  As awesome as it's been Running to the Aisle....I'm ready to be The Healthy Wife. I will be launching with a FANTASTIC giveaway(I know I keep holding this over your heads, but I promise it is great) and also several sweet recipes that I have squeezed in these past few weeks. I will also be launching a fully functional Empathy Designs website (my design biz). I have been designing some wonderful Wedding Invitions for 2012. So much happening!

Have a wonderful night!!

Question: Do you have a big work Christmas party? Do you get all done up? I find with it being usually the biggest event of my year(how sad is that?) that I always do! I know this year with the wedding I have had many reasons to get all purdy. But why stop now? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 never feel's like enough

Does anyone else have this problem? The feeling of constant exhausting, sleeping till the very last min + more? I like to believe this may be the weather change. In Winnipeg, we have the most drastic weather. Our summers we can experience +35c(not including humidity) and in the winters -35(not including windchill). I work 9-5 at my day job, and most mornings are cloudy grey sky's and most evenings when I leave work its already dark.

I eat clean
I workout
I take vitamins (B12, Iron, Omega-3, Calcium, Vitamin D3, Flintstones(Vitamin C)
I get 7 - 8 hours of sleep.
Eat a great breakfast (Never miss it)

So it must be the weather? Unless anyone else has any other suggestions for me.


I have a new recipe post x 2 coming up. I am trying to not put soo many new ones up on this site as it will soon be changing. I may export my old posts into my site...or I may not.

So many decisions!

I don't have any fun or lovely photos to post.. SO I will show you some Miss. Tia
She like's the heat of light bulbs. I am always scared she will burn herself

P.S I have seen all 1200+ of my wedding photos! Just waiting for the disc and I will share them with you! I love them. My photographer captured my day perfectly.

Question: What do you do when you have the winter blues? Do you take any supplements for them?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The crazyness has begun

Hey Everyone <---- I think I start all my posts this way, I must find more original greetings.

Life has been extremely busy, but in a fantastic way. I have been working diligently on the new blog. It looks supertastic. I can't wait for you all to see it. With the lovely launch only a couple weeks away, I have quite the lil giveaway to celebrate it :)

November makes me happy and think of Christmas, baking, food LOTS OF FOOD. And I just get this happy giddy feeling that something great is coming. But then I remember what also comes with November.

Yeah and that is nothing, it will only get worse and worse :(

This past week has been a lot of kale chips + gingerbread tea. YUMMY! Best designing snack food. I have been finishing up some Holiday Cards for clients + designing some new ones for my etsy store.

Last night was leg day at the gym. It was really great. intense, but legs always are..

Question: Do you like snow? What is your favorite part of the season change?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes + The Pink Power Ranger


Halloween is one of my favourite holidays. I love seeing all the kids dressed up and having so much fun. Brings back some awesome memories. Every Halloween my best friend and I throw a big bash! This year was no different. Amazing decorations, awesome food and great company. Can I say great night?
Oh yes I was a Pink Power Ranger!

Now the only draw back to this is.....I left my camera at my best friends house... yep you heard me. All my photos of the party are sitting in my camera case...IN HER LIVING ROOM.

So I don't have really any to share sadly.. not yet anyways.

But we can talk about this
Vegan cream cheese icing
On top of a vegan pumpkin cupcake
 With sugar candy pumpkins for more foodtasick amazingness 
Yes please!!

I got this recipe from The Family Kitchen! Everyone loved them, so much so I made another batch for my lucky coworkers...they enjoyed them too! The icing is by far the best vegan cream cheese icing I have made to date. And the cupcake had the perfect amount of moisture. Omg soo good. 

I hope to have my camera back soon to show you all my awesome decorations and the fantastic costumes at the party!!

Tonight I feel like I robbed Chapters Indigo Books. I was looking up to see how much they sold Plate to Pixel that has been WIDLY recommended by other foodie bloggers. And they had this crazy sale! List Price $35.99, Online Sale Price $23.75, Member Price $22.56 (I recently bought a book from the store and they gave me Plum Awards card for free, I registered it I get member prices). They had Free Shipping on orders over $25 so I thought I'll just pick up another book, So I bought Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots and it's list price $26.99 Online Sale Price $17.81 and Member Price $16.92. I then saw at check out a coupon code *BTW IF YOU EVER SEE THIS SEARCH THE WEBSITE ON GOOGLE AND PUT COUPON CODE BESIDE IT, I ALWAYS SAVE MORE* and entered in the $5 off code. Total order after GST $39.48

If you followed all that.....I totally robbed Indigo

After I checked out I noticed another online sale... And it is of one of my favourite vegan cookbooks. This may just have to be a blog giveaway soon! So subscribe/Follow me on Twitter/Join to keep updated with when!!!

Now off to play some Sims 3 Pets before bed....Yeah I am a nerd and I play with electronic dolls

Question: With Halloween being over are you getting ready for Christmas already? Any christmas baking planned? Or am I totally insane for thinking about this already?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crockpot Delish

Sorry I didn't post last night, I had some much needed relaxing to do. In the morning I prepped for a meal that was about to be one of my favorites. I got it from Skinny Taste it was the Taco Chili.
 I had mine over a 1/4 cup of quinioa and the husband had his on a bed of brown rice!
Yep! That was amazing, I will for sure have that again, actually we have TONS left so I will be having some for lunch. Smaller portion though.

For my workout last night, I didn't have much time(as I wanted to have a low key evening, but still wanted to get in a workout). I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred part 1 & 2. 
I have been meaning to try this DVD for some time. And it was great, I definitely got all sweaty & I am feeling the sore of well worked muscles.  I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get in a workout at home if they aren't able to make it to the gym. It wont replace the gym, but is a nice alternative if traveling or time restraint.

Question: What kind of workout DVD's have you tried? Did they work for you? I have always been a little skeptical of them as I have had a personal trainer & have felt the difference. Are they any you would recommend?

Monday, October 24, 2011

We may have lost, but it's not all bad

How was everyone's Monday? Mine was typical, dragged on forever and wasn't short enough. Tonight my husband & I went to The Jet's game tonight.....we lost 2-1..close game!!! But it was still fun.

I love this man!!!!

For dinner I just ate some left over tofu scramble from Mama Pea @ Peas and Thank You

When I got home from the game I put together the crockpot for the Taco Chili from Skinny Taste. I can't wait to try this tomorrow. Not much else to blog about today other then it being a silly Monday.

Question: What do you do to deal with Monday Blue's? Do you get them?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekends go by way too fast!

How was everyone's weekend? Was it busy? Was it relaxing? Mine was fantastic! Yesterday I attended the Winnipeg Green Lifestyle & Organic Living Show. It was great! I got some awesome swag and picked up some local organic honey, organic anti-viral echinacea *it's about to get cold here, and with the colder weather comes the horrible colds, this was such a great deal! Usually it is $14.99 + tax but they had a special for the show that made it $10 with tax GO ME :)*  & organic lactose free mozzarella cheese for the husbands pizza. 

I love getting honey in these little glass bear jars! So adorable :)

My friend came with me & gave me all his samples! Lucky Me :)

Last night I made up some homemade pizza's & some vegan layered taco dip from the Kind Diet Cookbook. We all enjoyed our "sports dinner" while we watched the Winnipeg Jet's take one home!! WHOOP!! Today was a very low key day, I cleaned, did up our meal plan for the week & now just about to read the book "The Help" and enjoy some tea & whole wheat toast with organic p&j!! I am the biggest p&j fan!!

Isn't my halloween cup just awesome! 

Hope everyone has a great day tomorrow! WHOOHOOO for Mondays :)

Question: What is everyone doing for Halloween? Do you dress up? Hand out candy? Any All Hallows'Eve rituals?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Roasted Garlic Chicken & Vegetables

Hey Everyone, sorry for no posts this past few days. I have been sick with the stomach flu. Today I did go into work and managed to eat breakfast and a decent lunch. Go me!!! Now to the good stuff!!! I love easy scrumptious meals. One's that make the whole house smell amazing and leave my mouth salivating for dinner! Well this is one of them. You probably have seen a million versions and this can be created into many more, but this is the most common in our house. And its a household favourite.

Roasted Garlic Chicken & Vegetables

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 Large Carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 Large Onion, cut into wedges
  • 1lb small yellow potatoes, cut into halves
  • 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 9 medium boneless chicken thighs *you can also use chicken thighs with bones, just make sure the skin is removed*
  • 2tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, cut into wedges
  • 1tbsp dried tarragon leaves
1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a roasting pan toss all vegetables with EVOO and half of all the spices. Cover and roast for 20 min.

2. Remove pan and add chicken. Add the rest of the spices and roast uncovered for 25min.

3. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and stir in. Roast another 25min longer or until vegetables are golden and juices are clear.  


I had mine with a glass of organic Cuma Cabernet Sauvignon wine. I'm a red wine gal, though I am sure a nice white wine would be more appropriate. 
Look how yummy and juicy it all is!!
I seriously want this right now....but I have a million things on my list to make right now, so this will just have to wait!

Tomorrow I will be attending the Winnipeg Green Lifestyle & Organic Living Show. I can't wait :) And tomorrow evening I will be having my brother and dad over for a "sports dinner". My brother is moving to Vancouver in one week. SO this is one of our goodbye of many :(

Night All :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday Night Football Comfort Food

Hey Everyone!! How was your weekend? Mine was great! We hung out with some friends, had dinner at my moms house and played some Monopoly....I won! Yesterday was really relaxing. My husband is a football fan, so our Sundays are spent watching all the games. I do manage to clean the house, go grocery shopping and do laundry however.  For the evening game, the husband wanted one of his favorite comfort foods. Ol'school Shepherds Pie. This recipe is adapted from my moms. I wanted to make a little more healthy version of hers. 

Sunday Night's Shepherd Pie

This recipe can be adjusted and made for vegan/vegetarians/meatatarians. My husband is lactose intolerant so I make it dairy free.

Yield: 6 servings(or 4 in my house)


  • 1lb extra lean ground beef, veggie ground or TVP
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed (I use yukon gold potatoes)
  • 1cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1tsp basil
  • 1/4 cup  cheddar cheese (I used daiya vegan cheese)
  • salt & pepper to taste.
  • a dash of paprika
1. Preheat oven to 400c.  Boil cubed potatoes till cooked, drain and mash. Put to the side

2. Fry up ground beef and drain. *A trick I learned from my mother in law is to rinse the ground beef off under water for a few moments to remove any grease or oil*  

3.Saute onions and garlic till clear, add tomato and spices. Add all other vegetables and cook for a few moments. Add ground beef and cook for 5-7 min longer till spices and veggies have mixed. At this time add more spices if needed.

4. Pour meat mixture into a large casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes, sprinkle cheese and garnish with paprika. Bake uncovered for 30-35min till cheese is melted and potatoes have a slight golden baked colour.


My husband loves bread, so I warmed up some french bread in the oven.
The guys loved it! And all our plates quickly looked like this

Tonight we are going to the Jets Game!! I hope they win!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


My husband and I had a lot of discussions on what we wanted to do after the wedding. A lot of our friends and family suggested we go somewhere, however we weren't totally sold, as we just had a long year of wedding planning and my husband being in school. We felt spending the cash to go on a trip may or may not be worth it. And if we did go somewhere we wanted it to be hot and thought it would be nice to have our friends join us.

With much talk, we ended up going to my husband's aunt and uncles cabin. This was the best idea. A week of just us, the beautiful weather (yeah end of September and we had +30c!!! How lucky did we get?) and this amazing cabin. It was perfect.

Sorry about some of the quality of photos, some were taking with the ol'iPhone :)
How could we not be in aw of this?
We spent 3 days in the sun all day with glasses of wine and beer and just did this!
And watched this happen each night feeling more blessed! 
Sun kissed!
Several AMAZING dinners, all that the husband made....this NEVER happens! 
Breakfast in bed! How spoiled am I?

Some cribbage while the sun sets. 

YAY We are Married!!!

Question: Did you go on a honeymoon when you got married? If so where? If not why?

P.S I just got a Pinterest account! Add me if you are also on it! I have just started, but can already see I will be addicted :) Thx Lindsay for sending the asap invite, my obsession has begun.

PP.SS Thursdays will be followup posts to my wedding. I am hoping to receive my photos soon, that way I can break up the posts and share them once a week.

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