Monthly Archives

December 2016

Inspiration Wellness

REINVENT YOURSELF PART 5

“EVERY FAILURE OR EVERY ATTEMPT AT ANYTHING IS A STEP CLOSER TO YOUR TRUE ESSENCE” -Artist, Julie Piatt

filming videos, reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Shooting videos for my YouTube channel- ‘Michelles Walnut Kitchen’

I come from decades of working in a visual medium. So, while I enjoy blogging and how it has helped me become fluent digitally, I don’t just want to write, I want to SHOW and tell.  I think that’s part of my ‘ESSENCE’.  Another BIG part of my true essence is that I’ve always loved WATCHING people cook.  So, why not add a video component to my blog to make the recipes I share come to life?  Plus, today the reality is that people are WATCHING more than they are READING. (If you are still reading this, THANK YOU).   Continue Reading

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes

PERFECT POTATO LATKES

If EVER there was a time to make potato latkes…

THIS is the year to go to the effort.  WHY?  Because the first night of Hanukkah AND Christmas Eve fall on the SAME night which hasn’t happened in almost 40 years!  AND, potato latkes don’t JUST make a decadent side dish, they are PERFECT as the base of a showstopping hors d’oeuvre that I can’t wait to share! potato latkes, side dish, hors doeuvres, potato, latke, smoked salmon

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. Besides lighting candles for 8 nights, it’s traditional to eat food that has been cooked in oil.  Some people eat donuts, and others, like me, go for a more savoury indulgence like potato latkes!  Whether you’re an ‘MOT’ (member of the tribe) or not, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t LOVE these babies.  They are typically eaten with apple sauce.  But I just like them with a sprinkling of salt. Continue Reading

Inspiration Wellness

REINVENT YOURSELF PART 4

 

Shake It Up & Try New Things

Definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  Einstein was right.  A year ago, when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my career, I decided to stop the insanity in my life.   If I was going to move forward and reinvent myself, I had to say goodbye to my old ways and shake EVERYTHING up, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis,change everything, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Move your Body, Feed Your Soul & PLAY

 

I decided to try something I had physically never attempted before.  I set a goal to run a half marathon and joined a running group (read more on the merits of that here).  I signed up for mindfulness workshops and started meditating regularly (see my post “Meditating on a Smartphone”).   For kicks, I started playing Mah Jongg.  I rekindled an old interest in knitting and ignited a new one in blogging.  I discovered that trying new things is the oxygen that makes me feel ALIVE and excited about the next chapter.    Continue Reading

Inspiration Wellness

REINVENT YOURSELF PART 3

WHAT DO I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP?

Is Oprah right?…Do we all have a Calling?

Oprah ended her daily show by saying, “Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t necessarily figured out what my calling is and I STILL sometimes ask myself, “what do I want to be when I grow up”.  I don’t think it all boils down to ONE thing or ONE calling. My ‘reinvention’ feels complicated and is DEFINITELY a work in progress.reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Hit the Re-Set Button

What I do believe is that we should all be TRYING to figure it out even when the bumps along the road aren’t so big, because we’re always GROWING and CHANGING along with our circumstances. 

YouTuber and vlogger Casey Neistat  hit the nail on the head when he said, “In life you should only be doing one of two things; the first is figuring out what it is you love, what your passion is and two, is realizing it.  And the truth is – very very few people ever do the first thing.  Cuz figuring it out is actually much harder than actually doing it.”  If you follow Neistat’s advice, we should all be checking in with ourselves every so often – hitting the re-set button.  It’s important to ask ourselves if we are happy and love what we are doing so we are being true to ourselves.  Continue Reading

Design Video

FRONT DOOR WINTER PLANTERS

Outdoor winter planters, front entry pots, winter front entry pots

GET READY FOR WINTER…AND I’M NOT TALKING COATS, HATS & MITTS

Outdoor winter planters, front entry pots, winter front entry potsAppreciating the beauty of this season is easy after a fresh snowfall.   But, on those ugly, freezing, slushy grey days, I need a dose of PRETTY!   So, part of MY preparedness plan for the drudgery of these cold months is to indulge in beautiful winter planters.  Don’t laugh!  It’s a splurge that makes me happy and warms my heart.  When I see 2 pretty winter containers flanking each side of my front door, it’s the best welcome home hug I can think of.

Outdoor winter planters, front entry pots, winter front entry pots

Winter planters are THE best welcome home hug PARTLY because the window right beside them is where my dog Woody is always perched!

There are tons of beautiful, affordable pre-made winter pots out there.  But, I’m a sucker for those extravagant planters in the fancy neighbourhoods done by high-end florists. Unfortunately, they are WAY out of my league in terms of the price tag.  So, my compromise is to make them myself!  I love channeling Martha Stewart! It’s great to be outdoors, nice to be creative and it is satisfying to know you saved money by making it yourself.  The end result isn’t always perfect, but perfection is overrated.  Continue Reading

Inspiration Wellness

REINVENT YOURSELF PART 2

“DON’T TRY TO STEER THE RIVER” – Deepak Chopra

reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career

Paddling on Rock Lake, Algonquin Park on my yearly girls canoe trip

Steer the river.  That’s what I used to do…and admittedly, still try to do…but I’m working really hard on doing that a little less. I’m loosening my grip on the paddle to carve my route. Now, I’m trying to surrender myself to where the river takes me.  

To mark one year of blogging, I’m doing a series called “Reinvent Yourself” every Monday for the next several weeks  (check out part 1 here).  I’m sharing some thoughts and insights from people who have motivated ME this past year, along with a handful of my own lessons learned from my adventure so far …like this one:reinventing yourself, reinvent yourself, new beginning, fresh start, mid life crisis, second career, finding your destiny, follow your dreams, changing career Continue Reading

Food Video

ELLEN SCHWARTZ’S SWEET CHALLAH

Sweet challah, egg bread, challah, homemade challah

WARNING!

ONCE YOU START MAKING THIS CHALLAH,

YOU WON’T WANT STORE BOUGHT

 

Sweet challah, egg bread, challah, homemade challahIf you grow up in a traditional Jewish home, Friday night dinners are a special time for family and friends to connect and literally ‘break bread’ together.  The bread I’m talking about is challah (egg bread).

According to Ellen Schwartz, “It’s a nice opportunity once a week to do things differently and start off your meal with something sweet.”  I couldn’t agree more!   Until now, I would NEVER have contemplated making it.  Mind you, I’ve NEVER made bread before.  Too intimidating! 

 

Sweet challah, egg bread, challah, homemade challah Exciting News!

Now YOU AND I are going to learn how to make it together from one of the most experienced challah makers I know! A few weeks ago, I kicked off a new theme called “Silver Linings”  where I shine the light on inspiring people and then… we cook together.  (I can’t help myself, it always boils down to food)   Bestselling author, Ellen Schwartz was my first feature.  You can read about her and her AMAZING new book “Without One Word Spoken” here.

Continue Reading