My mom’s most favorite pearl…

My mom loved this little pearl of wisdom and I try to apply this every single day. Words cannot express how much I miss her now that she is gone. As strange as it sounds, one of the times that I find most difficult is when something really great happens. There was the time that my 6 year old first swam across the pool by himself. I was so proud and knew my mom (being the amazing swimmer and diver that she was) would be too. It was the first of many times I would reach for the phone, only to realize that she wouldn’t pick up if I dialed her number.

My initial reaction every time something wonderful happened was to feel empty and sad because my mom wouldn’t get to be a part of it. I wish I could say that I have stopped thinking like this for good but at least now when I feel this way, I repeat this pearl: take the best, leave the rest. I know my mom would not want me to walk through life with a forlorn spirit, I must carry on and see the joy in everything I possibly can.

Take the best, leave the rest

Take the best, leave the rest

This painting represents my mom, young and beautiful, in a field of wild flowers. the way I see it, you might not get to choose which variety of wild flowers grow in your field but you can decide which ones you want to pick.

Comment below and let me know how you take the best and leave the rest in your daily life and please check out my sweet sister tribute post here.

Sweet sibling tribute

It has been a while since I last wrote, my summer has been a whirlwind. I am heartbroken to say that 1 month ago, on July 2nd, my mother took her last breath here on earth. I am comforted by the fact that it was peaceful, she was surrounded by her family and she is not in pain anymore. As my trip to Colorado was coming to an end I was dreading coming back to Canada, knowing it would be incredibly difficult to try and step back into my normal routine. I had been staying at my sister’s house for 3 weeks and our bond had never been stronger.

We were drinking tea in her kitchen one night when she mentioned she wanted to get a tattoo to honor our mom. I have 1 tattoo that was done on my 18th birthday and I strategically placed it so no one would see it unless I wanted them to (nothing scandalous, just a teddy bear on my lower back). I had never really considered getting inked again but my sister planted the seed and the idea took root. We looked on Pinterest at tribute tattoos, there were many beautiful ones. Celtic knots, infinity symbols, quotes, birds, etc… But there was nothing that felt right.

The great tattoo search went on for a few days and all the while we were sifting through our mom’s belongings; looking through pictures, cards, yearbooks, letters, etc. I found an old grocery list in her jacket pocket and started to weep, not because she needed to buy coffee and tomatoes, in fact I don’t know why it hit me at that moment. I read through the list with tears streaming down my face, I always loved my mother’s delicate and precise handwriting. That was it!  I could get a tattoo of something in my mom’s handwriting. I mentioned to my sister that maybe we could get her signature or something, she didn’t say much about it. She went upstairs and found a Thanksgiving card from my mom, the signature line was so beautifully crafted. In my mom’s stunning handwriting, it simply read:

I love you!

Mom

Out of all the things I could have permanently etched into my skin, this was clearly the right choice. My sister got hers on her arm and I got mine on my foot and now we have another little sister thing that binds us together. Every time I look down at my mother’s handwriting on my body I am reminded of how much she loved me.

Matching sister tattoos in my mom's pretty handwriting

Matching sister tattoos in my mom’s pretty handwriting

What do you think,would you ever get a tribute tattoo? Please share and leave comments below.

To see my painted interpretation of one of my mom’s most favorite pearls, click here.

Go Fly a Kite

I remember my mom taking the family to fly kites on Easter. I don’t think we did it every year and yet it became a tradition for us, at least in my mind. I think the act of flying kites is amazing: you’re learning a new skill, it’s whimsical, you get to be outdoors, you don’t have to take it too seriously, and  it’s fun for kids and adults. I am working on making kite flying a yearly tradition in my little family. What are your family traditions? Please share in the comments below or share on our sharing page.

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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, my ultimate comfort food

I love comfort food, the actual food and more importantly- the concept of it. I love that everyone has their own different version for their own personal reasons. My comfort food is stuffed cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes. They are inexpensive, can feed a small army, freeze well and are gluten and dairy free. My mom’s cabbage rolls are simple, delicious and taste like home.



I usually put mine in the pot midday and let the simmer until dinner time. This recipe is perfect just the way it is for a crockpot (although I did mine on the stove), but if you didn’t have all day they would be cooked through in about and hour. Here are the ingredients: Cabbage-1 whole head Ground meat (Mom uses 3/4 beef, 1/4 pork. I used pork but Turkey would work great too) Garlic-minced Egg Rice Canned diced tomatoes Salt, pepper, oregano Step 1: Cut the bottom off of the cabbage and place Bottom side down in a pot with about an inch of boiling water. Put the lid on the pot to steam the cabbage. While the cabbage is steaming, place the meat in a big mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients with the exception of the canned tomatoes. (Note on the rice: if you are using instant you can put it straight out of the box, if you are using regular rice you want it to be cooked first) Mix all ingredients together, I use my hands to ensure a good mix but if that makes you squeamish you could use a big spoon. Once you are done mixing, the cabbage leaves should be soft enough to work with. Peal an entire leaf off and put a handful of the meat mixture into the leaf. Fold the bottom on top of the meat, fold the sides in and roll until it looks like a burrito. Set aisle.    Repeat until all the mixture is gone.  Put the rolls standing up on their sides in a big pot. My mom taught me that you need to have them in their tightly otherwise they will come undone. Pour the can of diced tomatoes in the pot and add water until the rolls are covered. Turn the heat on low and let simmer all afternoon for best flavour. As I had mentioned, you can cook them on medium for about and hour or so. Either way you have to watch out, the juice will boil over and make a mess. You will have to add a little more water throughout the process to make sure they don’t burn. If you are doing this in the crockpot you wouldn’t worry about any of that. Make a pot of mashed potatoes and serve hot! Tastes like home! I hope you give it a try. What’s your comfort food? Tell me about it in the comments below or head over to my sharing page to share your own! Thanks for reading!

How to: Keep your nails painted for an entire week

If I can do it, you can do it!

If I can do it, you can do it!

This sounds like it might not be an impressive feat but for some reason I have never been able to keep my nails painted for longer than a day. Am I the only girl on earth who has 40 bottles of nail polish and could easily count on one hand the number of days in a year when my nails are actually painted?

I recently decided that I should make a little change that might be a good mood booster. After finding multiple bottles of nail polish that I have purchased and never even opened, I decided to challenge myself to  keeping my nails painted during the week.

I have been doing this for a month now and I feel pretty good about it so I wanted to pass this on to all of the other naked-nailed ladies out there.

Here is what you are going to need:

*A nail file

*Nail polish (I started with a light color to minimize the appearance of chips, should they happen)

*Clear top coat

*Dish gloves (if you are lucky enough to be the family dishwasher)

*10-15 minutes every day where you won’t be required to touch anything

Step 1:

Shape your nails with the file and run the file across the flat surface of your nails to scratch you nails just a little (this gives the polish something to grab on to).

Scruff it up (just a little bit)

Scruff it up (just a little bit)

Step 2:

Paint your nails with 2 coats of nail polish, giving them a little time to dry in between coats.

Light colored polish is good to start

Light colored polish is good to start

Step 3:

Paint your nails with a clear top coat.

Clear top coat

Clear top coat

Step 4:

Let dry (I use this time to carefully check emails and do other computer related tasks).

Step 5:

Repeat every day with one coat of polish and topcoat each which will cover up any chips or imperfections.

Here they are on Friday, 5 days later. It is important to note that I didn’t take it incredibly easy on my nails but I did wear those sexy yellow rubber gloves when doing the dishes.

Here they are on Friday

Here they are on Friday

Well, what do you think? Are you able to keep your nails painted for longer than a day? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

Lipstick & Earrings

 

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Lipstick & Earrings

 

This is one of my favorite pearls from my mom which is why I wanted to share it first. 3 words: Lipstick and Earrings. They may or may not mean much to you other than just objects that you have seen or used, but to my mom it was her answer to many of life’s little troubles.

My mom has always been great at giving me advice and helping me navigate rocky shores and lipstick and earrings has been a consistent pearl of wisdom throughout my life. This is how to use this pearl:

A boy breaks up with you: put on some lipstick and earrings and get back out there and show him what he is missing.

You get a bad grade on a test: put on some lipstick and earrings and study harder for the next one.

Someone says something negative about you: put on some lipstick and earrings and prove them wrong.

I guess you could say this is my mom’s way of saying “stay calm and carry on no matter what”. Put your best foot forward and don’t let anything get you down. This is the kind of attitude my mom has and I am doing my best to implement this in my own life.

One of the ways I have been trying to put my best foot forward these days: keeping my nails painted during the week. Check out my “how to” here.

Leave a comment and tell me what you do to put your best foot forward!