Gluten Free Shortbread – AKA Melt in your Mouth Heaven

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies - Yum! Looking for the regular “wheat” version of these cookies?  You can find them and MANY more in our Baking Life Healthy: The Secret Recipes Behind the Business e-cookbook, HERE!

If Christmas were to be defined by a flavour, for me it would be simple – (frozen) Shortbread Cookies and Ginger Snaps.   They are home, they are yummy and they are everything I love & loved about Christmas.

My Mom baked a lot when I was little and I clearly remember hours spent helping her in the kitchen. We’d bake gingerbread men, make chocolates for gifts, lick beaters (ya we did!) and decorate shortbread cookies before popping them in the oven.   I also remember sneaking back into the freezer long after the dishes had been cleared, liberating a few frozen cookies for a little snack…I mean, somebody had to make sure they were safe, right?!

Looking back I’m not sure how many of those hours were actual help, but they were without a doubt the makings of great memories.

I learned a lot those Christmases, gaining valuable skills in the kitchen, discovering Moms don’t have to see what you’re doing to know you did it (she always knew I’d had those extra cookies, though she rarely called me on it) and leaning into the comfort of family traditions & recipes.Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies 2

I’ve carried many of those traditions on with our girls, selfishly creating a new batch of memories for me and hopefully giving them a start on some special ones of their own.  

This year, we’re still going to make those memories but they’re going to take a new shape.  I’ve been spending hours in my kitchen, taking our family Christmas favourites and making them gluten free.

Thankfully, this recipe is one that co-operated first time out of the gate and is (according to my family) equally as yummy as the traditional “wheat shortbread**”.  It’s the same melt in your mouth Christmas favourite that I grew up, only now it’s also a gluten free, Celiac safe treat for EVERYONE in our family!

I hope you enjoy it and keep watching the blog (or sign up to our email list so you’ll NEVER miss the BIG stuff!)  I’m going to be sharing a series of gluten free Christmas baking over the next few weeks and there might even be some extra Freebies in it for you too!

Here’s to the start of the holiday season and Christmas baking….and eating!

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
These melt in your mouth gluten free delights are the perfect addition to your Christmas baking line up!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1/2 Cup of Cornstarch
  2. 1/2 Cup of Icing (confectioners) Sugar
  3. 1 Cup of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (we LOVE Namaste's All Purpose Flour)
  4. 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum (if your blend contains it like mine does omit this ingredient)
  5. 3/4 Cup of COLD butter cut into small cubes
  1. Gluten Free Sprinkles
  2. Mini Hershey's Kisses (in Canada they are gluten free, make sure to read all your packages if gluten is a concern!)
  3. Chopped Nuts
  4. Icing Sugar for dusting
  5. Colored Decorative Sugars
  1. Note: This recipe doubles very well. I also use a stand mixer for this recipe but feel free to do it by hand if you prefer.
  2. 1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  3. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer sift together the corn starch, icing sugar & flour.
  4. 3. Cut the butter into very small cubes & add to the dry ingredients
  5. 4. Using your paddle attachment & either your bowl guard or a clean, dry tea towel turn the mixer on low speed
  6. 5. Once the mixture resembles coarse sand, turn up the speed to medium & allow the mixer to work until the dough forms a ball & the sides of the bowl are clean.
  7. 6. Roll out dough approx. 1/2" thick between two pieces of wax paper, chill for 15 minutes and cut out desired shapes, re-roll dough and continue. Alternatively you can roll pieces of dough into balls and press them down slightly with a fork. Add toppings
  8. 7. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet & bake 12-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges I have found times dramatically vary based on the oven
  9. 8. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
  1. These cookies last on the counter for approx. 1 week before starting to dry out. They also freeze really well just make sure whatever way you decide to store them that the container is airtight!
Our Family Stone
**We don’t call food with gluten in it “normal” or “regular” food because that makes Audrey’s gluten free food sound like it’s something strange.  ALL of the food I bake is “normal” (except for that one time I mixed up my baking soda and my salt ratios, that was NOT normal!) some of it has gluten/wheat in it and some of it is gluten free.**


It takes a Village…MY Village

Mom's Night Out 1


“It takes a village to raise a child”

As a young mother, I remember hearing that old proverb and thinking, “maybe it used to take a village but not now.  I have everything I need at my fingertips, doctors on speed dial, parenting advice on Facebook (ha!) and answers to all our potty training dilemma’s on Google.  What do I need a village for?”

In general I’m content to be on my own, I crave the silence of solitude and when given a choice I will avoid/bail on any & all large group activities.  In reality if I HAVE to attend something that has 5+ new people I have to battle the urge to flee.  Corey has, on more than one occasion had to hold my hand and gently tug me into a room reminding me that he’s “right there” and it will be OK.

Now if you know me this may have just completely blown your mind.  I mean this from the girl who can talk the ears off an elephant but it’s true.  You see, that girl only comes out when she feels safe, and even at that my time with groups of people is limited.  My tank will run dry and I need my space to once again “refresh”. 

Pair that with my incredible need to be self sufficient and you can see why I felt I really didn’t need a village.  Women can be mean, mommies can be scary (do not, I repeat DO NOT poke the Mama Bear.  Especially THIS Mama Bear) and I was far too independent to need anyone else’s help in raising my children.

Or so I thought.

Mom's South Hills Birthday locket

I’m not really sure when it happened or how but by the end of Bethany’s Kindergarten year I had met a group of beautiful women who very quickly have become some of my dearest friends. I spent years petrified of what life would be like surrounded by a group of women (high school “girl groups” left me with a tainted and unrealistic view of female friendship), and what I’ve discovered is the incredible love & power we, together bring to life. 

 Over the past 4 years as the bonds between us grew, so did those of our children, in fact I think it was their friendships that put us together in the first place.  They are this unique blend of little people who fit so well together.  They just simply work, floating and rearranging themselves in clusters of fun (and sometimes mischief) these kids are truly incredible.

This past year as we have faced so many changes in life, work, and health challenges I’ve never been more thankful for the village of women I’ve been given.  Not only for me, but for my children as well.

When Audrey ended up in hospital a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t make it to the school to get Bethany I knew I had back up.  Though my heart ached to be with my other little girl, I was confident she’d be taken care of and loved until Corey could get home to get her.  A few quick texts and that’s exactly what happened.  Not only was she picked up from school but she had “the BEST DAY EVER” hanging out with a few of her friends and I was given the gift of leaning into my friends.

As the weekend pushed on I was overwhelmed and blessed by text messages of thoughts, offers of help and encouragement.  I knew these women were wonderful before but in the midst of another bout of uncertainty their love really drove home my blessings in each of them, at time to point of tears.

Asking for help isn’t something I do very well.  In reality for me, asking for anything makes me feel physically ill.  I want to do it on my own, I feel as though I’m SUPPOSED to do it on my own and when I can’t I’m left feeling weak.  I selfishly would rather be the one doing the helping rather than the one asking for it.

Over the years these ladies have taught me so much, about life, about friendship and about learning to let others help you back.  They’ve shown me that friendship, the real kind of friendship is a balance of give and take.

Mom's Night Out 2

To my beautiful, amazing, incredible friends (who are NOT at all part of a Mommy Mafia….just to be clear)(inside outside joke)(but we AREN’T)

I love you.  I am better for knowing you, for the lessons you taught, the vulnerability you’ve shared and for the family we’ve created.  Your children are amazing little people whom I love as deeply as I love my own girls.  Our special little group was created for each other, designed & built to grow together on this crazy life road.  When I look at them I’m filled with hope, for who they are and who they’re going to become.

Thank you for the laughter, the friendship, and for holding me up in the moments I didn’t think I could stay standing.  Thank you for joining me on my journey through life & letting me walk with you on yours.  

You are incredible women and I’m so thankful that you are each the blessing branches on my tree of life.


Don’t be afraid of building your village dear readers, they are God’s daily reminder of His love & faithfulness in the people who join you as you travel through life. 

The Quietest Loud Voice


I like words.  I’m a talker, a hand talker (DUCK!).  Writing makes me happy and I read as much, as often as I can because information is AMAZING!  And often times, as my friends can attest to, my text messages require a coffee and a 5 minute interlude to complete.  With the exception of talking on the phone, which makes my ear sweaty and my shoulder hurt – I love any chance I can get to make myself heard.

God has given me a strong opinion, a lot of words (believe it or not there are even MORE inside my head that I don’t let out) and good lungs to facilitate the long windedness.

I used to be embarrassed by the fact that I talk so much.  I used to get made fun of, teased, scolded and feel the sting of comments like “she has verbal diarrhea”.  I used to think that there was something wrong with me and it made me so self conscious.    

Then I had a little girl who has the same gift and I had to start digging deep into what to do to survive it (did you know that it’s possible to feel like your ears might actually bleed from listening to so much talking?!). During that search I learned something…God made us this like this for a reason.  He has a plan for our voices, we just have to learn how to use them in the right way.

For me I’ve learned there are times I have to pull back on my words.  Times I have to delete entire paragraphs in a blog for fear of cresting 2000 words.  Times I have to apologize to my friends because I’ve cut them off (again) during an intense conversation.  Even times when my emotions run high, my brain is running fast and silence is the best I can do.  

Then there are times when I have to stand up and use that voice.  I’ve been given this voice to advocate for my children’s health, to facilitate their education and to build them up with my words.  I have the ability to be a “truth-teller” with people I love when everyone else is afraid to say what’s hard (if the pants look bad, I’m gonna tell ya the pants look bad.  Then we’re gonna find ones that look smokin’!) and do my best to lace that ability with a silver thread of tact & compassion.  And I have the ability to use my voice to affect change in my life and the lives around me.

Today, I used my voice in a powerful way.  It was the quietest my voice has ever been and yet it will join with others to be expressed loudly, across this country.

This morning after kissing Bethany goodbye at school, I walked into the gym and did something I’ve never done before (because I was afraid)(which was silly because it was SO easy) I voted in our federal election.

A lot of sacrifices happened & people died to give you a voice.Show your gratitude and

It took less than 5 minutes.  In fact it was 3 minutes from the moment I walked through the gym doors to the moment I walked out.  It took 3 minutes to do something that thousands of Canadians won’t do today, many of them for the same reasons I didn’t.  

If that’s you I want to beg you, to push you, to SHOUT AS LOUDLY as the internet will allow GO VOTE!  (Check out this link to show you the differences in the parties)

Thousands of men and women fought, suffered, sacrificed and died to give us the freedom to vote.  If you celebrate & remember them on Remembrance Day, then you need to take today, place your vote and silently say Thank You for all they’ve done.

Friends, we live in Canada.  One of the greatest countries in the world.  In comparison to the rest of the world we have good health care, clean water, safe streets & the freedom to be who we are.  We’ll never be completely satisfied with everything that’s human nature but we can be pretty darned thankful for most of it.  

So, grab your voter card (or a few pieces of ID) and go vote.  Now is your chance, to say thank you, to use your voice and to affect a change.  

Every. Single. Vote. Counts.  That means YOU too!

*Those two people at the top of this post, (my grandparents) made great sacrifices so WE could use our voices today!  Please honor that by doing it!*

Finding Grace in Small Things: The Thanksgiving Edition

I can’t let Thanksgiving weekend go by without stopping to take the time to find God’s beautiful Graces in our lives.  This year in particular, after a week and half of exhausting illness, I am completely overwhelmed by the grace we were extended even in the grossest of hours…

5. Kids who were SO brave, when they were SO sick:


(Bonus: Her snaggle tooth came out too!)

Like I said the other day, this stomach flu was horrible.  It hit our kids (and eventually hit both Corey and I) so hard, they threw up more violently than I’ve ever seen them do before and they were so unbelievably brave.  They didn’t whine or complain, they apologized for “being a pain” (which they weren’t and made me almost cry…) and they were so sweet while feeling so bad.

Then when I was sick they were so quiet, so helpful and completely compassionate.  God’s given us good kids, really, really good kids!

4. A Mom who STILL steps in to take care of her family:

Grammy's Girls 2013

(An old photo but let’s be honest, nobody was taking family puke photos this week)

She doesn’t have to.  I’m a grown woman with children of her own, my Mom by all rights could just write us off.  She could tell us she loves us and send us on our way to figure things out but she doesn’t.  Instead, when this stomach flu hit she stepped up to help.  From driving kids to school, to delivering Perrier water & orange juice at 7pm to help soothe my tummy, she was there to help us through it all.

Over the past 8 years I’ve lamented many times how blessed we are to live close to my parents and we are but this last week I realized something else.  It’s not living close to them that is our blessing – it’s who they are that is our blessing.  God has given us, given me a continual piece of his grace in the heart, hands and hugs of my Mom.

3. Cross Country races:


Bethany ran in her first cross country race just over a week ago (pre-puking).  The day was beautiful, she was confident and I was overwhelmingly proud. As I watched my girl cross the finish line I was actually blown away to find my eyes filling with tears.

The look of accomplishment on her face, the joy in seeing her not only complete the race but give it her all hit my heart deep.  I never would have had the confidence nor the willingness to do anything like that as a kid.  Now, as a health & fitness enthusiast my heart exploded in pleasure seeing my girl excel at something physical!

2. A local butcher who carries organic Chicken:


I realize to most people this probably seems silly but to me it’s completely serious.  Over the last few years my corn allergy has escalated to the point where consuming beef & chicken that have eaten corn, cause me a great deal of pain.

The Town Butcher, is a local meat shop here that carries meat from local farmers.  They have grass fed beef that doesn’t eat corn & organic chicken, that again wasn’t fed corn.  Being able to make not only my own homemade stock, but homemade chicken soup that I could eat too is a huge blessing.  Nutritious, delicious and safe – a huge and incredible slice of grace.

1. Reading & Growing:


Last night, as the rain and wind pounded our house, Corey, Bethany and I sat in our living room listening to a story.  Audrey has progressed far enough in her reading abilities that she can now read us a story!  Bethany sat next to her on the couch and gently coached her the the “tough” words and I again felt my heart swell with pride.  They are such great kids, and despite the way they fight, these moments let us see that they really do love each other.

Grace in Small Things is a social network created by Schmutzie to wage a war against imbitterment!  Check out my first post here.

Please pass the disinfectant

Sick Bethy

Fact: Schools are buildings filled with young, impressionable minds, great ideas and the most DISGUSTING GERMS EVER.

I don’t know if it’s because they lick each other when we’re not looking (I wish this were a joke…) or if it’s because covering your mouth & using a tissue (not your sleeve) is so 1999 or if it’s because the building is old and its heating vents double as bacteria guns but it’s something.  And whatever that something is, it needs to change/disappear/die so these kids can be healthy & these mamas can get sleep!

Our girls have been back in school just over a month and they have been hit with the worst flu I have ever seen.  It started with Audrey, who’s stomach and lower body were covered in itchy spots (not chicken pox) that turned into blisters that look like they may scar (though she didn’t scratch).  Then a day later at 5:30am I woke up to the poor little bug puking.

She threw up so much and so hard that she blew a blood vessel in her eye and smashed her little face off the toilet.  She spent 4 days so sick battling the tummy bug while her body worked hard to suppress an underlying fever.  

Monday she finally seemed somewhat on the mend and despite the fact that the fatigue is still pretty intense (and not helping with some of the other issues we’re working through) I thought maybe this family was winning.

Then midnight came and I woke up to Bethany – puking.  She proceeded to lose the contents of her stomach every 15 – 20 minutes for the next 8 hours.  The process has slowed down some now but she is still so sick.  My heart breaks for her, how rotten she feels and because she’s being so sweetly brave.

Sick sucks.  Whether your kid has the stomach flu, a cold or a broken bone – an unwell child hurts my heart deeply.  

It also leaves me terrified the germs are going to spread and I have been Lysol wiping any and every surface I possible can.  I’ve washed my hands until they’ve cracked and bled and at times I’ve seriously considered even Lysoling the children….except I don’t.

I know it’s not just us, kids are dropping like flies at the school right now, courtesy of this bug & a wicked cold going around.  I know it’s just the nature of school, but I don’t have to like it.

In fact, I hate it!  I feed our family healthy, clean (often) organic foods.  We exercise together and apart.  We have good bedtimes & keep our home clean.  There are vitamins and probiotics, all the “right” things, we even had homemade chicken soup where even the broth was homemade and STILL we get sick.  

Really, what it boils down to is life.  You can do your best, with your diet, with your lifestyle, with your habits and while it all helps, there is no sure guarantee for good health, happiness or parenting.  We have only one choice – do our best, be as diligent as we can and then roll with the punches (and the pukies).

That or maybe we could just start Lysoling all our children in the morning…

What is YOUR best remedy for a tummy bug?  How do you help your kiddos feel better?

It’s HERE!

It’s here, it’s finally here!  After months of work and a few delays “Baking Life Healthy: The Secret Recipes Behind the Business” e-cookbook is finally here!  

When I first shared with you that I was going to write an e-cookbook I was excited.  I had big dreams and big plans.  It was already almost complete when I wrote that post and I sincerely thought that I’d have it ready to go within a few weeks. 

Baking Life Healthy e-cookbook!

Then I got scared.  The great “what ifs” took over and pretty soon I was paralyzed with fear, unable to click “PUBLISH”.  

What if nobody buys it?  What if everyone things I’m lame.?  What if they don’t like my recipes? What if my friends laugh at me?  What if my family is embarrassed by me? What if it completely tanks and confirms what I fear, that deep down I am a failure?

The story of how I got from there to here is long and one for another day, but what I will say is that in the middle of a load of laundry & a great podcast (I ♥ personal development) I  realized that everything I fear exists only in my head.  By NOT putting myself out there I had decided to accept failure before success ever had the chance to exist.

So here we are, I’ve published it and it is officially for sale!

I’m nervous.  And excited.  And really, really nervous but it’s done, and I’m glad.

Truthfully,  I hope you want to buy it.  I hope that you share it with your friends and I hope that they take these recipes and run with them.  I hope my Instagram feed is filled with YOUR versions of what started in my kitchen.  Secretly, or maybe not so much any more I hope it’s a success.

The reality behind those desires and the success of this e-cookbook remain to been seen but I can go to bed tonight happy.  I took the leap, I clicked “PUBLISH” and I faced the “What ifs” head on.  

Today, I no longer chose to accept failure, today I made the decision to give success a chance.

Thank you ALL so much for your support, your encouragement and your friendship.  You are loved, you are cherish and you are valued!

Now…to buy the book click the picture above, or the button below.  If you’re as excited as I am, please share this post on your social media and invite your friends to get a copy too!  Snap photos of your creations and please use the hashtag #OFSBakes so I can see all your yummy treats!

Let’s Get Baking!

Thank you again and HAPPY BAKING!

The Happy Sad


School has been back in session for a week and we are beginning to settle into our new/old routine.  They’re in Grade 1 and Grade 3, and I’m still kind of confused as to how we got here so fast!

I’ve also realized that I’ve learned a few things about life, and the “Back to School Season” over the past 4 years…

1. Last minute Back to School shopping is crazier than Walmart on Christmas Eve.  Those parents are hard-core!  For reals!  They’re like beat you with a binder, ram you with a shopping cart crazy.  Their children can be seen trying to hid in a stack of backpacks while their throwing it down over the last glue stick and whine over prices. It’s good times my friends, good times.

Take my advice shop way in advance, when the sales are hot and the shelves are well stocked.  This will give you time to find everything on your school supply list and will save you a trip to the ER.


2. Children’s behaviour leading up to “back to school” gets emotional.  Ok, it gets even MORE emotional than normal.  The combination of being completely sick of each other, mixed with the anxiety/apprehension about a new teacher & a new class makes for some seriously moody children.  

I’m learning (and often failing) not to take those moods too seriously.  I’m also learning it’s not appropriate to giggle when they swing from laughing to crying, to raging to laughing and finishing with a sobbing fit all in the span of a TV commercial break.  It doesn’t help…trust me.

3. Labeling school supplies is fun, tedious but fun.  Also, it’s a Mama’s job, DON’T LET THE KIDS HELP THEY’LL MESS IT UP! (Aaaand you’ll end up with a wicked cramp in your writing hand if you don’t order/print some labels.  Which I did, and it helped)

Ya, I’m a geek.  I can’t help it I was born that way.  Pretty labels, tidily printed names, new pencils and crayons all lined up ready to go make me happy.  It took 2 hours but I was happy to go through it all.  Each time my girls pick up a pencil or open their binder they’ll see their name, in my printing and hopefully they’ll know it was put there with love.

4. This season leaves me feeling “The Happy Sad”.

As our girls head back to school my emotions go a little crazy too.  It’s like having your period and watching a Friends, and then there’s a sad commercial and you just can’t cope! (PIVOT!)(If you didn’t get the reference we can’t be friends, don’t read this)(or go HERE, then we can be friends again).  

Our kids are ready for a change of pace, they’re sick of me and at times (like when they’re fighting over a stuffie like sumo wrestlers over a hoagie) I’m kinda sick of them.  They need other kids, adults & activities to fill their days and so do I.  The time apart gives us all something new to talk about at dinner & knowing it’s coming leaves me happy.

On the other hand, I love these little creatures.  They’re over all really great kids, kind compassionate and smart little girls who fill my bucket on SO many levels.  The time is zipping by fast & I do my best to cherish most our days together.  Seeing them go off to school, knowing how fast it flies by leaves me sad.  

In the midst of all those feels I try my best to give my girls a gift my Mom gave to me.

Never once did my Mom make me feel unwanted.   Instead I felt loved, important (punished, indignant and like a slave at times…because I had to unload the dishwasher – the injustice!) and valued because of the words she chose to say, and the things she chose not to.

She never told us she was happy we were gone, or that she couldn’t wait for us to go back to school, and I try to do the same. 

Instead I tell them I’m excited for their new year, that I know they’re going to love their teacher/class & I can’t wait to hear about each day but I will miss them.  And when they go back I sincerely do.

Of all the lessons I’ve learned over the past 4 years, the one that stands out the most is that time with our kids is precious.  When we look back on the days, months, years that have pasts the hard times will easily be eclipsed by the good memories and time is moving at warp speed.  

Angel Kisses

Back to school always leaves me feeling the “Happy Sad” but each night as I watch my girls sleep, that too slips away.  Instead I’m left feeling incredibly, overwhelmingly blessed by the little girls I get to call mine.

5 Times Buzzfeed Made Me Snort!

The Original

If you’re following us on Facebook then you’ll probably already know I’ve been spending some time on Buzzfeed.  (And if you’re NOT following us on Facebook, why not?  We have good chats, share silly stuff & love getting to connect with you!)  

It actually takes very little time at all to find things that are entertaining over there I’m learning.  Oh there’s a lot of “articles” (if you can call mindless fodder an article) that are lame, gross or should really come with parental warnings but amidst all that are some real gems.  

There are articles (the real kind) that are thought provoking, others that are really informative & ones that make you flat out LAUGH OUT LOUD (not to be confused with the overused LOL, this is real life dudes.  Real, snort while you read, laugh till you pee funny).

Since it’s Friday and laughter is one of those things you simply can’t have too much of I thought I’d share my most recent “snort worthy” finds.  

Be warned some of these may be completely unfunny to you.  In fact, if sarcasm isn’t your thing, this may not appeal to you at all.  I however, LOVE me some sarcasm.  (The kind that is funny, not the kind that belittles people – that’s just not cool)

Life's too short...

So, here it is.  Check ’em out, laugh and have a great weekend!

Also – I’d love to hear which one YOU liked.  Do you agree with me?  Are these funny or do you think I’m chillin’ all alone out there in left field?  When was the last time YOU had a seriously awesome laugh, in the out loud fashion?

29 Dad’s Who Have Reached Peak Dad

   The dad from #17 is my BFF.  That is exactly how I feel about winter, and this summer – the really cold and the really hot make me angry.  They could both die & leave Fall & Spring to fill in the gaps, they could handle it!

   #28 needs to move to our neighbourhood.  We could all use that kind of free entertainment.

Hey Guys, Here’s a Canadian Reminder Not to Complain About the Heat

    And THIS is why Winter needs to die.  I have never seen #15 but sadly it seems the rest of the world has.  Way to help us look cool Canadian Government!

23 Products For Anyone Who’s Feeling Stressed Out

    I need #8 for our girls, it needs to attach to their faces and come with a lock that only I have the key for.  #11 would make Corey so happy and #19 is probably his deepest secret.

   Zen gardens DO help you de-stress and anyone who tells me that #6 didn’t make them simultaneously think “What the…?”, “Gross” & “HA!” is lying.

21 of the Most Hilariously Honest “No Name” Products

    While I love the honesty of these products, maybe they should spend just a little bit of money on their marketing/packaging departments.  “Nippy Cheese?”

26 Pictured Guaranteed To Make You Laugh Every Time

   Yes.  Yes they will.

Happy Friday Friends!


“The Talk” across the Years

Mountain Lake 1

I had the rare opportunity the other day to have the house to myself for a few hours.  Corey & the girls were out, I’d finished running in 82 different directions and decided to push aside the massive guilt cloud and sat down to watch a little TV.

(Side: Am I the only one who has a few hours to herself and ends up filling it with groceries, house work & errands? Please tell me I’m not.  I just always feel like I should be doing things that are responsible and I shouldn’t be doing things that are fun.)

Anyways, I was watching a very grown up show (OK, let’s be honest….I watched 90210 because I’m cool like that.) (Also because HELLO 90’s I MISSED YOU!) with the intention of letting my over working brain unwind. 

However, not long into things the topic of sex came up.

If you grew up in the 90210 era you know that sex was basically the center of any & all story lines.  Each episode seemed to revolve around someone “doing it”, someone else not “doing it”, if they weren’t “doing it” they were talking about it, or the rest of the world was dreaming about which one they’d choose if THEY could, ya know… “do it”.  (Oh, yes you did, you know you did, we ALL did!)

As I giggled my way through the innocence of the episode a different reality hit me.  No longer am I seeing these characters through they eyes of a teenager, I’m seeing them through the eyes of a mother.

And I had a heart attack. 

We haven’t even had the full “sex” talk with our girls yet and all of a sudden I was picturing my future.  The talks we are going to have when they are little, the way those talks are going to evolve as they get older and the role those conversations will play in the choices they make.

I know the message I want to send them about sex, about God’s plan for it in their lives (believe it or not, I believe He intends for it to be an excellently, awesome part of their lives.  When they are married.), about choosing to wait until they are married and all of the things in between.

I also know the part of those conversations where I have to be real, to be raw and explain that I am not necessarily speaking from a place of example but rather experience and sometimes even a place of regret. 

Despite being raised in a Christian home, with supportive parents, and good strong morals, I didn’t always make the right choices (um, hello sin nature).  As a young girl I swore I’d wait until marriage, I wore a purity ring and I was sincerely convinced I would wait but I didn’t.  Temptation and circumstance bested me and I made choices, more than once to give that part of my body, of my heart to someone who didn’t end up my husband.

I knew the consequences those choices could have in the moment, on me but I had no idea how they would affect my future, as a wife, as a mother.

As the scenes from the show passed by so did my life choices.  I really began thinking about how the things I have done, the things that happened in my past will shape my girls’ future.  Will they hear those stories and make wiser choices?  Will they want to emulate them, ignore them or hide their heads under their pillows?  While there is no doubt in my mind that I will be truthful, I do wonder if I’ll have the courage to allow that truth to also come with the emotions that those memories hold.

Our future as parents is filled with unknowns.  If having newborns teaches us nothing else it’s that all that we think we know is a fallacy and our best laid plans are actually recipes for disaster.

So, I won’t play the “what if game” because it won’t do me any good.  Worrying about it now won’t change anything but I will think about it and pray for all that is to come. I will pray that the words that I say, the conversations we will have will prepare them, protect them and empower them to do what they believe is right. 

How do YOU feel about your children, you past and the conversations you’ll have about their futures?

*Please know that if you disagree with our opinion of what God’s plan is for marriage & sex that is OK, no judgement here.  We respect everyone’s right to an opinion and I’m certainly not going to force mine on you.  However, this is my space, and just like I try to live my life authentically I promise to do the same here, which means sharing who I am & what I believe.*

Victory – Ah

Victoria Family - Serious

A few weeks ago we took our first family trip since Audrey’s diagnosis back in February.  The idea of travelling has felt incredibly overwhelming for me and to be honest, fear had up until that point overtaken any desire I’d had to go away.  

The idea of trying to safely feed her and make a trip enjoyable felt near impossible.  I’ve finally come to the place where I feel like our home, though a dual kitchen (gluten AND gluten free products served here) is a safe place for our girl.  I prepare the food, I clean/scrub the kitchen, I’m constantly hunting crumbs & reading labels.  I know how to avoid cross contamination and ultimately, here…

I’m in control.

Victoria Family - Silly

The trouble with life is that we’re never really truly in control.  God is.  Just ask the weatherman, every time he thinks he has it “all figured out” God’s like BOOM you said sunshine?  Here’s rain!  Control is a figment of our imagination and truthfully, the thing that holds us back the most.  

At least, the pursuit of that control is what holds me back.

Victoria Weight in Gold

So, I decided to let go (a little) of it and plan a family trip.  I spent hours and hours and hours researching cities to travel to.  Predominantly Corey & I wanted to either go “home” to Kelowna or back to “our city”, Victoria.  They are the two places in this beautiful province that our little family love the most.

It turned out that of the two not only was Victoria the city with accommodations still available (I could find NOTHING in Kelowna) but it’s rated as one of the safest cities in BC for a Celiac to travel to – score!

Victoria - Hats BethVictoria - Hats Audrey









After contacting many hotels, I got in contact with the staff at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe hotel.  The resident reservations specialist Kyra that helped us out was phenomenal!  Not only did she help us book a room, but she sent us information about where would be safe to eat with Audrey, including maps.  She had the hotel restaurant manager contact us with all the required information about the gluten free menu and she even stayed late one day to talk with me on the phone, answering all my questions.  

I spent the days coming up to our trip planning, list writing, cooking and preparing.  I knew what meals we were going to eat out, and had spoken with the head chef or restaurant managers of each of those locations.  I’d also packed enough food to prepare many of our meals in our hotel room (something I always have to do for) confident that we could make this work.

And we did!

Victoria - Delta Cookies

We arrived at our hotel to find out the Kyra had not only taken care of our needs pre-trip but she’d gone way above and beyond, heading over to Origin bakery, a very popular gluten free bakery in Victoria to purchase Gluten Free (Corn Free) cookies for our girls to find on their arrival, and left them with a beautiful hand written note.  The look on BOTH girls faces was enough to give this mama tears. (ps. this isn’t a sponsored post, I just want to share the good things we experienced!) 

Victoria Sisters 1

We shopped, we played at a really awesome park Corey remembered, they swam, I hit the hotel gym(!), we got caught in a thunderstorm & INTENSE downpour, we visited the museum and we laughed.  We ate pizza in bed and took silly pictures, because that’s what we do.

Victoria - New York Fries

More than anything we enjoyed being a family, and life felt normal.  

The four of us needed that trip, we needed to just be able to be a family and to spend time doing the fun things, forgetting about everything else.

Life is moving by at lightning speed, our girls are growing up too fast & while I can’t stop those things from happening, I am making sure to enjoy each one of these moments as they happen.