Red “Apple” Juice Recipe

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As I sit in Johannes’ room typing out this blog post and watching Johnannes playing with his trains set quietly I’m thinking a lot about his Periodic Fever diagnosis.  I was pretty devastated when I found out that what we thought was normal childhood colds, in fact weren’t.  And more than anything I was upset hearing that unfortunately no cure exists for this condition.  I moped around for several days, and then I did what most of us moms do.  I picked myself up, researched his condition and came up with a plan.

The plan is rather simple: strengthen Johannes’ immune system while also fueling his body with nutritious anti-inflammatory foods.  I cut down sugar drastically.  I squeeze in oatmeal, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds wherever I can. I started juicing every couple of days and giving Johannes, and ourselves fresh juice in the morning and the evening.  I also put Johannes on a daily mixture of vitamins and minerals:  vitamin C, D, zinc (not daily), Omega3 and Sain.  And finally I give Johannes probiotics every day as well.

I can’t really say for sure that my approach is helping at all, but I do know that instead of having an episode every other week, the last one came after three weeks.  Maybe its all a coincidence, but it doesn’t hurt to try and improve his immune system regardless.

His favorite juice is red “apple” juice.  I put it in quotation marks because the juice is actually made up of mainly veggies but I do add apples for sweetens.  A few of you asked for the recipe on Instagram so here goes:

(makes approximately 2-3L)

9 red apples

3 large beets

4 carrots

3 celery stalks

2lbs of spinach

1/4 lemon

1 pineapple (not necessary but if you want to make it sweeter)

2cm chunk of ginger

3 tsp turmeric (to add at the end)

I juice it all together, take out the excess pulp with a strainer (Johannes doesn’t like the “apple” bits), mix in the turmeric and refrigerate it.  I only make enough to last 48 hours max, then I make more.  Sometimes I leave out the beets and add Kale, then I call it GREEN “apple juice” from green apples of course.

That’s it.  Oh and I use a Hurom slow juicer.  Its more of a press.


Work In Progress

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my favorite photos of the week (all iPhone @bluebirdkisses)

I must confess, I haven’t picked up my camera in over a week and I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to again.  The weeks seem like they are just flying by and before I know it its Monday again.  Every Monday I promise myself that I will work really hard during the week and disconnect on the weekend.  I promise that I will take my laptop and cell phone and lock them in a closet for two days.  But then I never do.

The bigger truth is that my friend Nicole and I have been working on something big.  A project.  Secret project!  So as it would go with all secrets I can’t really tell you what it is.  Its killing me not to tell anyone.  I am probably the worst at keeping secrets. I ruin every surprise Michael ever plans for me.  I search and ask as many questions as it takes to figure it out.  And when I’m on the giving end of a surprise, I’m usually too excited to keep quiet so I spill the beans.

But not this time.  All I can tell you is that I’m excited, and exhausted because the only time Nicole and I get to work on our super secret project is at night once the kids are in bed.  So between that and blogging there’s not much time left for anything else, including early to bed.

So there you have it, a blog post about nothing other than my sheer excitement.

To Work Or Not To Work? The Mommy Dilemma.

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During the Christmas break as we were sitting down to dinner, Johannes began asking Michael about his day at work.  For a few months now Johannes likes to pretend that Montessori is actually his work…and me? well I’m his Go Train driver, subway driver or SkyTrain driver, depending on his mood.  So on this day the boys were chatting about their “work” day.  I interjected with a statement about groceries, or something of the sort, to which Johannes abruptly stated, “Mommy this is a conversation about work.  Daddy and I are talking about our work.  You didn’t go to work, you just stayed home all day.  So you are not allowed in this conversation.”

silence.  crickets actually.

Maybe its the fact that since finishing high school I never took more than one or two weeks off of anything until Magnus was born.  Or that I had been stressing out over the idea that in a few short weeks I would be heading back to work.  Whatever the underlying reasons may have been, he touched a nerve.  At three and a half years old he touched a nerve because with the flick of a switch I was transported 10, 12, 14 years into the future.  I then realized something fundamental.  It doesn’t matter what path I choose, to work, to stay home, to work from home.  It doesn’t matter.  The kids don’t get it and they likely won’t get it until they become parents of their own.

Its not just my dilemma, the working mom vs stay at home mom.  Its a battle most mom’s out there tackle at one point or another.  For some its a decisive lean in one direction or another.  For others its not a decision at all, but rather a necessity.  And yet for many women, mothers, wives, its not a clear answer.  We spend years in post secondary institutions, we cultivate ambitions and acquire dream jobs.  We dream of being career women, and mothers, and having it all.  The house, the family, the job.  That’s the dream isn’t it??  And yet when our children are born a switch turns for so many of us.  We feel this love we never felt before and we quickly realize how unforgiving the passing of time really is.  We start to miss our children before they even grow, and we begin to doubt our own ambitions.

Its a roller coaster of doubt and uncertainty, with a heavy dose of guilt mixed in.

Will our children grow up to appreciate the choices we make as moms, whether we stay home or go to work?  Maybe.  Will we as moms and career women have regrets about either choice or direction?  Probably.  Is there a perfect scenario?  I’m not really sure.

At the end of the day I believe its both a personal choice to work or stay home with the children, combined with the right circumstances, and as Anne-Marie Slaughter so beautifully wrote in the article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed.

Slaughter believes that we’ve been lied to as a generation. Lied to that we can in fact do it all. Be superhuman. Have both the perfect home life and the perfect career and that we should accept no less.

What do you think?

In My Other Life: Newborn Photos

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Do you ever play the “in another life” game?  You know, the one where you pretend that you were something or someone else in a past life?

I do.

In my other life I was a photographer.  Its my favourite hobby, besides this blog.  I love taking photos of kids and parents especially.  I take tons of my own children, but when the opportunity arises to shoot a friend its always a little bit exciting for me.

My good friend Nicole, and business partner…this will be revealed in due time, had a sweet little baby boy last week and I felt so honoured that she asked me to photograph him and their family.  He really is the sweetest little guy.  At only 3 days old he stole my heart.

There is nothing like those first days at home with your new baby.  Nothing at all. The exhaustion, the pain of recovery, the adjusted schedules…they all pale in comparison to the incredible excitement and love you have for this new tiny human.  I love that feeling.  Bathing in your little’s new smell, watching their eyes open and adjust to their surroundings.  Hearing the little gurgles and sighs.  Its magic.

Congratulations Joey, Nicole and Benjamin on the sweetest little addition.  Magnus and Johannes are super excited to add a new member to their crew.

Online iPhone + Photography Workshop


With so many requests to hold an intro to DSLR photography and iPhone-ography workshop once more, I decided to hold an online Making it Pretty Workshop on February 7th.

The iPhone and introduction to Photography workshop takes place in the BluebirdKisses forum, but it is accessible by password only. I will be posting that day’s material online in the mornings, let you read through it and at a designated time I will be online for one hour to answer questions. You also have the opportunity to meet other members on the forum, and networking is so important. By keeping the workshop in a forum format you all have a chance to get to know one another, and me, ask questions on your time. You are not obligated to participate at the designated time, the lessons and your access is left up for a month, so if you are away during the February 7, you can access the information at any time after and I will log in periodically to answer your questions.

**Please note space is limited and participants are registered on a first come first server basis**

Hope to see y’all there!