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.

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Inspiration Wellness

REINVENT YOURSELF PART 1

Creating Your Own Destiny

I have always believed that if you WANT things to happen you have to MAKE them happen. Success doesn’t just FALL in your lap.  Taking a risk, summoning courage and being persistent are all necessary ingredients to provide opportunity.    The problem is, sometimes life’s unforeseen circumstances put up seemingly insurmountable obstacles that can discourage even the most positive and pro-active people.

newsroom, nbc news london, newsdesk job, reinvent yourself, reinventing yourself

NBC NEWS London Bureau where I launched my career in TV as Newsdesk Editor (a million years ago)

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

Early days on a “Midday” shoot on Baffin Island, Nunavut

I could never have worked in the TV business without the drive to ‘make things happen’.  But, in the last few years, the digital revolution has changed everything for me, for many of my friends, colleagues and pretty well anyone working in media.  So, after spending my whole life building a television career, was ‘starting over’ at this stage going to be my worst nightmare or the best thing that ever happened to me? Yikes, this felt like a mid-life crisis on steroids! What was a baby boomer like me to do next?  Continue Reading

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes

GORDON RAMSAY ROASTED CHICKEN STUFFED WITH CHORIZO

roast chicken, stuffing, chorizo, cannellini beans. Thanksgiving, Christmas

IN HONOR OF AMERICAN THANKSGIVING…

 

I’m making a bird.  But, instead of turkey, I’m cooking up a Gordon Ramsay Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Chorizo dish.  Mmmm, it’s a bit smokey,  spicy and so succulent! Did you also happen to notice that I spelled ‘honor’ the American way?  Seems fitting just this one time, right?  OK, I digress.  Back to the recipe…  Here’s what it looks like before and after roasting (below).  Looks good… right?roast chicken, stuffing, chorizo, cannellini beans. Thanksgiving, Christmas

 

gordon ramsay, roasted chicken, stuffing Continue Reading

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes

YUMMY HOMEMADE GRANOLA

homemade granola, cereal, granola

I’M NOT A GRANOLA TYPE HIPPIE

I’m not a tree hugger sporting Birkenstocks and protesting on weekends. (Although some of my best friends are!)  I AM a foodie and a huge fan of eating delicious, healthy, whole foods. So on the weekend, you will find me in the kitchen (Walnut Kitchen to be specific) making among other things, this amazing homemade granola recipeContinue Reading

Food Video

RED LENTIL SOUP VIDEO DEMO

IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST BITE…

 

I love eating out, especially when it’s a home cooked meal made by friends who are into food as much as me.  So, it’s a treat to get an invitation to Shelley Adler and Paul Cohen’s house.  Shelley is a wizard in the kitchen and has a knack for finding really interesting recipes like this red lentil soup.  The combination of cumin, cilantro and a final squeeze of lemon are mouth-watering!soup pot, red lentil soup, easy soup, vegan soup

 

Red lentils are legumes that don’t need presoaking.  Why? They are hulled and split.  Because they have no skin, they are easier to digest with the added bonus of cooking up fast! I personally prefer them over green and brown lentils.   BONUS:  Lentils are also a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and B vitamins. 

 

This soup is one of my all-time favourites because it isn’t just delicious, it’s also very nourishing.  Below is the recipe AND the video so you can see that it’s SUPER easy too.  ENJOY! 

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Inspiration

LIFE LESSONS: A MOTHER’S GUIDE TO SURVIVAL & JOY

ellen schwartz author, mother

“WE ONLY HAVE CONTROL OF ONE THING – OUR ATTITUDE- HOW WE THINK AND HOW WE BEHAVE”

 

“…I had a choice: To accept the life sentence and give up on my dreams or to open up to the possibility of letting new dreams unfold.”

 

book about life lessons, overcoming adversityWise words spoken by Ellen Schwartz who has just written a beautiful book called   ‘Without One Word Spoken; 18 Life Lessons from Jacob’.  Jacob is her beautiful first born son who has a rare, fatal, neurodegenerative illness that attacks the central nervous system.  It’s called Canavan disease, a disease for which there is no known treatment or cure.   Fighting to live and smile each day as he does is a challenge and that is why Jacob is a hero to everyone including myself.

 

ellen and jacob schwartz on the boatLiving with someone who has a life threatening disease is beyond difficult.  It can sometimes feel impossible.  But in many ways, it is also a gift.  It challenges your perspective on life, pushing you to think and act beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary.  And that’s what this book will do in your times of need.  The life lessons in ‘Without One Word Spoken’ are based on the ripple effects of an extremely precious life – a life that could have been tragic and yet has somehow managed to fill so many lives with hope, joy and merit.  These lessons are the result of the choices we make and the mindfulness of our thoughts and actions as we live each day.”

 

Ellen is my inspiration.  In the process of caring for Jacob who is now miraculously 19 years old, and their two other kids Bevy and Ben, Ellen and her amazing husband Jeff Schwartz have managed to give so much to others on SO many levels.  It literally boggles my mind.  Continue Reading

Food

TOP 3 HALLOWEEN COCKTAILS!

Halloween is around the corner!

Time to dress up and serve these ghoulish spirits…

jim beam devils cut

Halloween Cocktails Countdown….

Dancing with the Devil Cocktail – if you are a fan of Bourbon, this cocktail will be a real treat for you. Made with Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut, this spicy + sweet drink has a bold deep colour and finishes off with notes of wood and vanilla .  (Photo credit: Wendy Kam Marcy)

halloween pumpkin martini
Pumpkin Martini– There are 2 times of year I like to eat Pumpkin –  in a pie at Thanksgiving and in a martini at Halloween.  Sounds scary?   Since Halloween is all about candy, the combo of pure pumpkin puree, vodka and maple syrup makes this drink a sweet treat that fits the night.  (Photo credit: Joseph De Leo)  Continue Reading

Inspiration

ADVERSITY & SILVER LININGS

silver lining clouds

When life throws curve balls…

How do you overcome? 

At one time or another, we all experience setbacks, disappointments, even devastations and trauma.  When life takes those unexpected turns, you can recoil and crumble, OR you can look at them as sacred moments for inner exploration. Times of crisis offer fertile ground for anyone to explore and express themselves differently.  It’s an opportunity to change your life, to be more authentic to who you want to be.

Stories of people overcoming adversity FASCINATES and FUELS me!  I’m interested in exploring that and shining the light on those everyday heroes who make the world a better place – people who have mastered life’s most difficult challenges.   So, I’m adding a new strand on my blog called “Silver Linings”.  Basically it’s about turning what initially seems ‘bad’ into ‘good’.  I want to share inspiring stories of strength, fight and what the human spirit is capable of in the face of adversity. 

without-one-word-spoken-book coverI’m kicking off this new strand with news about an amazing book written by my friend Ellen Schwartz called “Without One Word Spoken”.   It’s coming out at the end of October so I will be writing to tell you more about that very soon. 

In the meantime, if you are going through a rough patch, I leave you with words that I find profound and comforting from 2 very wise and very different men. 

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