My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Art Assignment 13: Sorted Books


How I spent my summer holidays,

Roughing it in the bush.

Rites of spring echo.

The almost moon surfacing,

The ocean at the end of the lane,

Forever peace.

Unnatural creatures running in the family.



Juice Cleanse – Post-Cleanse

My Top Tips for Juice Cleansing:

  1. Drink lots of water. This will help flush out toxins.
  2. Drink lots of herbal tea. It will calm your stomach and keep your mind off food.
  3. Keep your exercise light and relaxing on juice days. You will only be consuming about 1000 calories a day so you want to give your body a break.
  4. Go to bed early.
  5. Do something nice for yourself.
  6. Be very careful about the first things you eat in the post-cleanse. Your stomach will be tender as it returns to solid food. Stick to raw veggies before you try anything else.

My Pros:

  • I feel fantastic. I think that’s the main thing. After this cleanse I felt energized and healthy. Going to bed earlier also helped me reset my sleep pattern so I’m less tired during the day and sticking to a strict diet has put me back on the path to Eating by Design.
  • Another reason I did this cleanse was to get a handle on my sweet tooth. This process taught me which times a have my biggest sugar cravings. For me, I crave sugar Tuesday and Friday nights most of all. Fridays make sense; it’s the end of the week and I’m looking to have fun. Tuesday nights make less sense. It could be because Tuesday is cheap night at the movies, not that I go every week, but I go often and usually have a snack. Or it might be because I’ve made it through two days of work and tomorrow is hump day. Eating as a coping mechanism is something I try to avoid but not always successfully.
  • Finally, keep in mind that any cleanse will likely affect your weight. For example, I lost seven pounds. Now because the cleanse kept me to a strict low-calorie diet, as I return to my regular eating habits I’ll likely gain a bit of it back, but I am trimmer over all.

My Cons:

  • While most of the juices were yummy, one or two were not so appealing to me. The ones I liked least had a strong celery flavour. Just be aware that some of the juice flavours are more appealing than others.
  • The cost of the cleanse could be prohibitive for some. Delivery is optional so that saves $10. I think in this case I attribute the cost to the high quality of the juices. All the ingredients are fresh and organic and that kind of quality is costly.
  • Finally, I could see this type of cleanse being very difficult to do if I had children. After all, I was able to take a nap most days after school. I also don’t have to worry about feeding anyone else as Nick can pretty much take care of his own meals.

Overall, I’m glad I did this cleanse. I would certainly recommend the three-day cleanse. It might be a great way to kick off your next 30 Day Challenge!

Juice Cleanse


Cleanse Day 1

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, Turbo juice.

Snack: Root Cellar juice.

Lunch: Verde juice.

Snack: Envy juice.

Dinner: Red Monster juice.

Move by Design: I went to CrossFit before school and then did some yoga in the evening.

Think by Design: I took a nap after work and spent a quiet evening reading.

I felt pretty good all day and I wasn’t more hungry than usual. I thought I would have more specific food cravings but I actually just missed the habit of eating; I missed sitting down somewhere quiet with my meal and enjoying my food. It sounds weird, but I missed chewing.

Cleanse Day 2

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, Turbo juice.

Snack: Envy juice.

Lunch: Beta Blast juice.

Snack: Turbo juice.

Dinner: Green Glow juice.

Move by Design: I did yoga before and after school. I kept my exercise a bit lighter today because I was feeling so tired.

Think by Design: I took a nap after work and went to be early. I really was exhausted!

Today my body got rid of a lot of toxins. I would describe it as mild intestinal discomfort and leave it at that. Also, note to self: remember that beet juice turns your pee pink. I am not dying from a juice cleanse.

Cleanse Day 3

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, Hulk juice.

Snack: Envy juice.

Lunch: Red Monster juice.

Snack: Turbo juice.

Dinner: Spicy Lemon juice.

Move by Design: I did yoga before school and Pilates after.

Think by Design: I went to be early again, but this time mostly because I was looking forward to getting up the next day and eating solid food again!

Power by Design: I got a toxin cleanse massage after work and it set me up for a great night! I felt so calm and relaxed the rest of the evening.

OK, I made it! I felt much better and more energized today. In my next post I will give a breakdown of my results and a review of the Pulp and Press  juice cleanse.


Juice Cleanse – Pre-Cleanse

Since returning to work, my stress level has been up, I’ve gained a little extra weight and I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish overall. So I’ve decided to try my first ever juice cleanse. Pulp and Press offers a three-day cleanse for beginners so I signed up.

My first step is to do a three-day pre-cleanse. This is basically an opportunity to eat as cleanly as possible to make the actual cleanse easier on my body. I’m avoiding processed foods, dairy, eggs, animal fats, grains, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. I’m only drinking water and herbal tea as well. Let’s hope I make it through this week!

Pre-Cleanse Day 1

Breakfast: Hot water with lemon, spinach, celery and natural peanut butter.

Snack: Carrots.

Lunch: Lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, tuna, a clementine.

Snack: Unsalted sunflower seeds, watermelon, herbal tea.

Dinner: Tomato soup with coconut milk and curry, a small potato.

Move by Design: I spent some time on the elliptical and bike and then did some yoga in the evening.

Think by Design: I had some good cuddle time with Nick and a nap in the afternoon.

Pre-Cleanse Day 2

Breakfast: Banana, unsalted walnuts.

Snack: Snap peas, herbal tea.

Lunch: Lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, avocado, unsalted sunflower seeds.

Snack: An apple.

Dinner: Mexican bean soup, cucumbers, sweet potato.

Move by Design: I did some yoga in the morning and hit CrossFit after school.

Think by Design: I had a nice, hot bath and gave myself a home manicure.

Pre-Cleanse Day 2

Breakfast: Smoothie (almond milk, frozen strawberries and a banana).

Snack: Snap peas, carrots, herbal tea.

Lunch: Lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, avocado, unsalted sunflower seeds.

Snack: An apple.

Dinner: Mexican bean soup, sweet potato.

Move by Design: I went to CrossFit before school and played around on my yoga ball after dinner.

Think by Design: I had a nice, hot bath and spent some time with a good book.

Power by Design: I got checked just after school and then I picked up my juices.

So far, so good. I haven’t had a lot of cravings and I haven’t been overly hungry. Tomorrow my juice cleanse begins!

The Mystery Box

In the silent auction at the Good Health Walk, I bought the mystery box. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to know what was in it. I know a lot of other people were also curious so here are the contents of the mystery box:





So it’s Kinder Smile Box. It contained all sorts of crafts and games. This will be perfect for when my nieces and nephews come over. Score one for cool Auntie Jen!


Thank you!!!

This is my chance to say thank you to all of you. In September I reached 100 followers and 200 likes on WordPress! I appreciate all your support and I’m glad people are interested in my stories. Please keep reading, liking my posts and sharing my blog. Thank you all!


Art Assignment 12: Imprint

My kindergarten teacher’s name was Mrs. Ballentine, (she let us call her Mrs. Valentine; she was gentle with children). She taught us that if you cut an apple horizontally instead of vertically a star appeared inside. She would cut our apples and let us wish on the star inside. That was the inspiration for my series called Star Apples.

Star Apples 1

Star Apples 1

Star Apples 2

Star Apples 2

These pieces didn’t turn out at all the way I expected but I actually like that. Art shouldn’t be too planned out. In my first piece I love the rich colours and the thickness of the paint. For the second piece, I thinned my paints with water and got an amazing glazed effect that makes my apples look like alien planets. In both pieces, I love that the paint pulled the paper and gave it an interesting texture.

As a bonus, some of my scrap materials and leftovers actually looked pretty beautiful as well. I decided to photograph them and include them in the series. Enjoy! #theartassignment

Star Apples 3

Star Apples 3

Star Apples 3

Star Apples 4

Colour Run


My friends and I recently took part in the Colour Run. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, you run 5km and every kilometer volunteers throw coloured powder (cornstarch) on you so you are rainbow painted by the time you finish. This international event is for-profit but they also partner with local charities to raise money. In London they chose the Tara Boom Houston Foundation.

So first I got ready with my temporary tattoos and race gear.



Next I met up with my team the Colour Ninjas and we took some before photos.



Then we ran and got coloured during the run and afterwards at the main stage party.






We also spotted this drone checking out the event.


We posted some happy notes on the Post-It happy wall.



We also took some after pictures at the happy wall.



The we took some after shots to show off our colours and practice our ninja moves!






I highly recommend this run for all ages and abilities. You can run or walk as much as you want and the event is not timed. We saw everyone from kids and pregnant mommies, to grandmas and grandpas on our run. If you want to check it out for next time, here are my recommendations:

  1. At the end of the run, there are volunteers handing out water and Kind bars and there are snacks for sale, so don’t worry about packing that stuff.
  2. Wear sunglasses or goggles if you are worried about the colour powder getting in your eyes.
  3. Leave the phone and camera at home or if you need them with you, wrap them in Ziploc bags to protect them from the dust.
  4. Bring old towels and garbage bags to dust off the excess colour and protect your car seats on the way home.
  5. After the run wash yourself and your clothes in cool or cold water. The colour powder is cornstarch so it comes off most easily in cold water.

Maybe next year we could get a Life by Design group together? Let me know if you’re interested.

My New Toy

Now don’t be dirty-minded. I bought a massager for my sore muscles.


It was actually my registered massage therapist who suggested I get one. During my last massage, he mentioned that my calf muscles were much too tight. I told him I had been running more. I have been rolling out my legs and stretching before and after I run but my calves were more sore than usual. So, I picked up the Conair Massager at the Real Canadian Superstore.

The price was reasonable, ($45). It comes with three sets of massage heads so I can get the pressure I want and I can adjust the intensity of the percussion to a number of levels depending on the muscles I’m working. My only complaint, (and it is a small one,) is that it is a bit big and heavy. However, I think the size is due to the power of the motor so I’m willing to put up with it. Now if I have sore muscles, I can attack them with my new toy!

Second Annual Good Health Walk


Our second Good Health Walk was a success. This year we raised money for the Boys and Girls Club of London. Just like last year, I volunteered to man the registration table, I walked and I took lots of great photos. Please enjoy!


Dr. Justine was our master of ceremonies.




Silent Auction Action.

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We stretched and walked.

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We snacked.


We played.

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We enjoyed some music.

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And now what everyone loves best, kids and puppies!

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