Enter to Win This Beautiful Sweater Kit :-)



Rowan is giving away two of these sweater kits in the lovely teal blue shade that’s shown in photo.

Looks like an ideal beginner project too. :-)

Contest closes on October 8th, so enter soon! Open to US AND Canadian residents.

Easy to enter and to share this contest too (if you want to share!) ;-) at Google Plus etc…

Good Luck and Happy Knitting!

PS: I’m back to working on my Walk in the Park Cardie this weekend.

What are you making right now? 

Do You ♥ MRS. Dash BUT Want Organic?

mrs dash cropped

I have been using Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend for many years, including adding this blend to numerous recipes in my:

Groovy Green Kitchen cookbooks,

Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker (Volume 1) 


Simply, Super, Supper Soups (Volume 2) 

It is a versatile, basic seasoning blend that worked well in a number or recipes.

Unfortunately, it is NOT organic and for me, that was definitely a negative, when it came to using Mrs. Dash.

I have been looking for a GOOD alternative that was ORGANIC for a long time and recently I finally found it! :-)

Splendor Garden

is a herb and spice company based in Saskatchewan, Canada where I also grew up!

Stop by their site to check out all their certified organic herbs and spices and other fine culinary products. Also, where to buy in your area or online, see the store location and contact pages.  

I  just ♥ browsing their site!

So many culinary goodies to choose from and ones that I can REALLY feel good about using too. ;-)

And, as far as a perfect ORGANIC substitute for Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend, I like:

Garlic Herb Seasoning BagGarlic Herb Seasoning

 Splendor Garden Garlic Herb Seasoning SF (salt free)

It is VERY similar to Mrs. Dash in flavor, color and texture and best of all, all organic ingredients!

Can you tell I’m pumped about finding out about this company? ;-) I really am!

I’ve also tried and enjoyed their: Vegetable Seasoning, All Purpose Seasoning SF and Lemon Pepper Seasoning, so far.

Lemon Pepper BagLemon Pepper Seasoning

Loved them all too, especially the Lemon Pepper Seasoning.

It has a nice “zing” to it and adds a fresh, slightly citrus note to all kinds of savory recipes. 

I recently tried the Lemon Pepper Seasoning in my Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup recipe and it worked great!


This easy, oh-so-satisfying soup recipe is featured in the:

GGK II cover (front )

The Groovy Green Kitchen: Simply, Super, Supper Soups,

my new soup cookbook and also in this previous recipe post.

I added some to the soup when it was cooking and also a sprinkle over each serving to add color, just before serving.

Yummy, tummy-satisfying good! :-)

Happy (ORGANIC and HEALTHY) Cooking! 

Why I’m Back at Lumosity :-)

A few years ago, I posted this review about Lumosity, a popular brain-training site. 

After I posted that review at My Real Life Reviews, I continued with the program for just over a year.

I found it helpful and saw a definite improvement in my brain functioning overall.

But what I didn’t enjoy at that time was the same games showing up for my training sessions, again and again and again. I wrote to Lumosity customer service about this issue a couple of times and was assured by them that they were working on several new games and that they would be available to their members in the near future.

But that didn’t happen as quickly as I hoped and after a while, I got to a point that I was so bored by the repetition of these same games and gave up my membership.

But in the past few months, I had been thinking about giving Lumosity another try and I’m so glad that I did.

They have added a LOTS of new and fun games to their program and it is far from boring, doing workouts there again. Three training sessions a week is recommended for optimal results but you can workout every day if you like and play your fav games as much as you want too.

I’m addicted to: Trouble Brewing, right now and usually play that one every day and more than once too. ;-)

If you haven’t given Lumosity a try or are just curious to find out more, visit their site here. It is a very popular web-stop with millions of members around the world.

And if they continue to keep up with adding new games and programs as seems to be the case now, I plan to be a member for a long time to come. :-)

Check out the trial offers (I got 2 weeks free when I started), single and family membership rates and also retail promo discount codes online to get even a better price.

I paid less than $80 for me and Joe to use the program for a year (family rate plus a promo code I found online) and I consider that a bargain for what you get.

We all want to keep our brains sharp and working at full potential.

Lumosity is a great way to improve overall brain function and to see ongoing and significant results in this area.

Happy Brain Training! :-)  

Walk in the Park Cardie (Knitting) Conundrum :-(

Some of you may remember this cardie pattern that I blogged about several weeks ago:

Walk in the Park Cardi

I liked the pattern SO much and decided to make it in two different yarns.

The first cardie I started is in the yarn actually shown in this photo above, but in these colors:

Hawaiian Sky

Hawaiian Sky for the main color (actually a vivid teal blue, not dark as shown in this photo)

Bubble Gum

Bubble Gum pink for the contrast

I wanted it to be reminiscent of a sunset sky! ;-)

So far, I have knit both sleeves. But even that was not without its problems.

I contacted the customer service dept. at Yarnspirations when I noted that there were errors in the pattern. Even though I am definitely NOT an expert knitter, I could tell that there were errors as soon as I started knitting. VERY frustrating and a lot of wasted time for me. How I hate to “frog” (knit-speak for pull out) stitches, but that’s what I ended up having to do. :-(

After I got word back from Yarnspirations with the assurance that all errors for all sizes had been rectified, I went ahead and knit both sleeves. They worked out fine and the chart for the sleeves was fine too, for the Size M, which is the one I’m making.

Here’s where the conundrum comes in…

I am now working on the body of the sweater, which is knit in one long row across, on circular needles. A lot of stitches, over 200, but no side seams required, when it’s made this way.

I got the ribbing and the plain stockinette area at the bottom of the sweater knit without any problems.

But when I started on the chart, things started to go downhill from there. :-(

I got to Row 3 for Size M, and the pattern didn’t seem to line up as it should. The stitches don’t line up to form the same shape as the sleeve chart design (hopefully that makes sense!)

I contacted the company AGAIN and apparently they looked into it again and found no further errors. But given how many errors there were initially in this pattern, I’m not so sure. ;-)

Now, I don’t know what to do. as I said above, I’m NO expert when it comes to knitting. I can follow a pattern just fine but I expect that pattern to be correct and not one I have to figure out along the way, when errors come along. Aren’t these patterns made (IN ALL SIZES) before they are posted, on major sites like Yarnspirations?

Based on this and other experiences with other major pattern websites, that is sadly not always true.

If there are any knitters out there reading this who like a challenge and have a bit of time, I’d REALLY appreciate your opinion if this body pattern chart is actually correct in the Size M?

You can download the (updated/corrected??) pattern here.

I don’t want to start this pattern again without being sure that it is correct, this time. Frogging small stitches like this, on a circular needle and over 200 stitches is NOT MY IDEA OF FUN KNITTING!!!

I hope your own knitting and craft projects are proceeding faster and more smoothly than this one has been for me.

I still ♥ to knit but I could do without errors in patterns!!!

Happy Day and Knitting 


A Big THANK YOU in Advance to Any Knitters Who Have the Time/Inclination to Check Out this Chart and Give Their Opinion If/Of What’s Wrong.

You can leave a comment below or email me (see contact page).

How Do I ♥ Chocolate?

….let me count the ways! ;-)

I know there are people who don’t like chocolate but I’m NOT one of them.

I L-O-V-E all things chocolate!!!

How about you? Are you a chocoholic or can you give it a pass?

These days, if at all possible, it’s organic cocoa and chocolate, as my first choice.

You can read more about why choosing organic chocolate/cocoa is the best way to go here and here.


And here are some of my fav chocolate treats, with recipe/review links where applicable:

naked cake haiku

My Fav Zucchini Chocolate Cake aka “Naked” Cake

And a foodie haiku as a bonus!

Quick and Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

You can make these in no time at all and again, great with or without frosting! 

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Clusters

SUPER EASY to Make and Oh So Good!

Perfect for Valentine’s or any day of the year. ;-)

Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Bars

For instant chocolate gratification, just unwrap and savor!!!

What’s your fav chocolate treat?

Have a Great Day and Happy Baking (if you are) ;-)

Heart photo courtesy of Flickr

Do You Know the Dangers of Too Much Sitting?

This is REALLY worth reading.

Source: Do You Know the Dangers of Too Much Sitting?

I know that at times I sit too long, without a break. :-(

But after reading this post about why that can be so harmful health-wise and in so many ways, I’m going to make an effort to do better. :-)

Can you relate? Do you sit for long periods of time, without taking a stretch, walk break?



Have You Embraced Your “Silver Goddess”?

I’m thinking about embracing mine, right now. ;-)

I’ve been coloring my hair for a LONG time, and long before any gray or white hair showed up in the mix.

But in the past few months, I’ve been letting my natural color(S) grow out to see if I too want to join the ranks of millions of women around the world who are forgoing any kind of coloring (click link to read more on this topic) and letting their “silver goddess” shine through. :-)

So far (and no, I don’t have the nerve to post a photo, yet!!!) my hair looks like it’s streaked, not too bad. Some gray, some white and still a quite a bit of brown.

I paid plenty many years ago to have my hair streaked. :-( Maybe I can get it done now, free of charge! ;-)

And how great it would be to not to have to bother to color my hair at all!

I’ve been using Colora Henna Ash Brown (click to read my review) for the past few years with good results. But I’d be happy to forgo that messy job every 6 weeks, if I like the final grow-in color mix that I eventually end up with, now.

What are your thoughts on “going gray”?

Have you stopped coloring your hair?

Or have you never colored your hair?


Here’s a book that I found very interesting and enlightening on this topic. It’s also funny, personable and endearing:

Going Gray by Anne Kreamer

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, based on the wide variety of opinions and reviews at Amazon. But I’m glad that I did give it a try as I thoroughly enjoyed it, from beginning to end.

Author Anne Kreamer has provided readers with her personal journey and along with it, many surprising insights into the perils and pleasures of “going grey”.

No, it isn’t rocket science or global warming and yes, I agree, hair color and style should NOT be such a big deal. But let’s face it, in the real world, being a woman and over 50 in particular, it IS a big deal and a big part of how a person feels overall. And even more important, how they are perceived and often judged, by younger people in particular.

I was impressed by the research and attention to detail, that went into this book, especially the experiments with dating online and in real life that she tried, wow…that took some guts! The image consultants that she visited for advice, again interesting and enlightening reading.

I also enjoyed Kreamer’s engaging and personable style of writing. This is a very personal book. She shares her own fears, thoughts, expectations…with the reader, what her own journey to “going grey” meant for her and also for her family.

The only thing that would have made it even better would have been some photos from the dating sites (dark hair vs silver) and also some pics of attractive, grey haired women (famous or not) would have been inspiring too.

And IMO, the back cover photos should have been both posed exactly the same (face forward) for more impact. But yes, even as a profile shot, I thought Anne looked lovely and chic with her new silvery locks. :-)

If you’ve ever considered going grey (and I certainly AM) or are already embracing your “silver goddess” look, this is a book you won’t want to miss.

Sun-Parched and/or Dry Skin? Check Out My Newest Weleda Skincare Review :-)

Evening Primrose

As an avid product reviewer (and now a Top 1000 reviewer at Amazon.ca) I get to test out a lot of different types of products, including those for facial and body care.

Some have been excellent, :-) some just OK, ;-) and some, not so good, :-( IMO.

Well, when it comes to the excellent category, Weleda products have always been winners!

I’ve tried (and  have continued to use) many of their products over the years, so I was excited to find out about their new Evening Primrose collection recently. Again, this is another winner, big time! ;-)

Here are three of the products from this new collection that I particularly liked. And (especially) if you have dry, sun-parched, maturing skin...keep reading, you’ll be glad you did!

Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Body Oil

Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Body Oil

Usually, I am NOT a fan of any kind of body/after bath oil type product. Too messy, too greasy,don’t absorb …BUT, when it comes to Weleda Body Oils, that is not the case. I love their body oils, the Evening Primrose Oil in particular.

It has a light, delicate scent, it really moisturizes, a LITTLE goes a long way and best of all, it absorbs quickly and completely, making application a breeze.

I feel pampered and special when I use Weleda Evening Primrose Body Oil. ;-) And don’t we all need more pampering in our lives? 

Here is some additional information about this product from the Weleda website:

Weleda Evening Primrose Body Oil is an 87% organic body oil that supports skin’s moisture-retaining abilities. It soaks quickly and deeply into skin to revitalize its appearance and promote radiance with powerful natural ingredients.

Evening primrose seed oil combines with other natural plant oils, including olive, wheat germ oil, sea buckthorn and jojoba seed oil, to deliver essential fatty acids and omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 that help restore and moisturize skin. Its rich, velvety texture offers a nourishing treatment that leaves skin healthy, firm and renewed.

Applied immediately after a bath or shower while skin is still damp, this body oil will soak in quickly and leave behind a fresh, floral fragrance of evening primrose flowers.

Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Night Cream

Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Night Cream

I only started using night cream on a regular basis, in the past few years. When I was younger, my skin was very oily and with a tendency to breakout, so I never used any type of moisturizer in those days. But as I got older, I did feel the need for a bit of night-time moisturizing, especially during harsh Canadian winters. 

I’ve tried a lot of different night creams, oils, lotions from different product lines. Some were too heavy, others watery and basically useless. A lot had ingredients in them that I didn’t want to use either.

Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Night Cream has a “just right” consistency. It’s not too creamy/thick but definitely not watery either. ;-)

It has a light, very pleasant fragrance and best of all, it actually does something!! My facial skin looks visibly smoother and firmer the next morning, when I apply this product before going to sleep. I will definitely continue to use this product based on my results to date.

From the Weleda website:

A highly effective formula that utilizes Weleda’s holistic way of looking at plants and nature and 93-years’ of skincare knowledge to support the skin’s restorative process throughout the night.

This revitalizing cream contains vitamin E-rich wheat germ oil and inca nut oil to provide antioxidant protection against skin-damaging free radicals. Gotu-kola extract, known to increase collagen production, provides support to the skin’s structure and results in a firmer-looking appearance. Nourishing plant, nut and seed oils, supercharged with essential fatty and omega acids, help to restore skin’s moisture barrier overnight.

Awaken to deeply nourished, plumper-looking skin with improved tone and firmness. For best results, use with Age Revitalizing Day Cream and Age Revitalizing Eye & Lip Cream.

Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Body Lotion

Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Body Lotion

I use this lotion throughout the day, particularly on my hands and arms.

Again, it has a “just right” consistency, not too thick but not watery. Absorbs quickly and completely, leaving a lovely, fresh scent that not only smells nice but lifts my spirits a bit too, with each application!

I keep this one handy, right beside the soap dish, as a quick “pick me up” after washing my hands. ♥ it!!!

Some additional info. from the Weleda website:

Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Body Lotion is a luxurious moisturizer for dry, mature skin that provides intensive, long-lasting nourishment and hydration.

Skin-restoring organic evening primrose seed oil delivers essential fatty acids that help restore the skin’s protective barrier, while organic shea butter smoothes and replenishes, leaving skin soft and hydrated. Gotu-kola extract, known for its ability to promote collagen production, helps increase firmness, so skin appears more supple and youthful.

Rich and restorative, this natural body lotion leaves skin radiant and renewed, with a soft, floral scent inspired by blooming evening primrose flowers.


I also make an ongoing effort to use products of all types that come from companies that are truly “walking the talk” when it comes to environmental,social issues and overall integrity. Weleda certainly seems to be doing more than their share, in this regard.

You can read more about their mission statement and principles here. and here. I appreciate that as well and would much rather support companies that are making an effort to “do the right thing” than ones that aren’t. Again, a win-win for buying their products on a regular basis.

If you are in need of some new skin care products or just feel that your old stand-by choices are no longer making the grade, Weleda’s new Evening Primrose collection is one you’ll want to check out.

Available at fine retailers everywhere and also at many sites online, including at Weleda.com. Take a browse and check out all their superior and reasonably-priced products. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at Weleda, from babies to adults! :-)

Hope you find these reviews helpful and have a wonderful day! 

It’s Ninja Warrior Ched!!!! ;-)

Mr. Cheddar is getting into all kinds of new activities lately, including martial cat-arts!!! ;-)

Don’t ya just love those pants???

He also plays a “mean” shell game with 3 bottle lids and a kibble, but will share that one another day.

We both wish you a safe and happy long weekend! :-)

Love to Sing? It’s GOOD For You Too!! ;-)

I have always loved to sing! ;-)

Many years ago I sang on a semi-professional basis for quite some time.

I was also a finalist (twice) in one of Canada’s prestigious country music competitions at that time: THE BIG COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, in the late 80’s.

I “belted out” ;-) a respectable rendition of some of the musical hits of the time, including:

Desperado, Someday Soon, Stand By Your Man and Catch the Wind…

to name but a few.

What fun it was and what an unexpected pleasure to find that other people (including some who had been in the biz for a long time) thought I had a talent for singing too.

Years later, in 2000 I decided to get back into singing and took more voice lessons, in a more classical vein this time. What a joy it was to rediscover the freedom and pleasure of singing!

Of course I’ve always tried to remember to “lighten up the day” with a song, humming along to a CD, singing while driving etc. The times I really remember the true joy of singing are many and varied. One thing I did not know until recently were the many health benefits associated with singing.

This article is interesting, listing various health benefits directly related to singing. These include: improved memory, lung capacity, reduced stress and lower blood pressure to name but a few. There are many other lists/articles online, describing the numerous physical, emotional and mental health benefits of singing.

Whether you consider yourself a singer or not, it’s a great way to improve each day and your life. And it doesn’t have to cost a dime! Even if you start in the shower and go from there, you might surprise yourself and go on to share your singing voice with the world. You just never know! It’s all good. :-)

PS: A version of this post was previously shared at one of my now inactive blogs: Take A Happy Break. I thought my Veggie…readers might enjoy this info. too. ;-)


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