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Archive for April 2015

What to do for the May 2-4 week-end?! - Top 10 Attractions

Monday, 27 April 2015

Wondering and planning what to do for the Victoria Day long week-end?  Here are some ideas for you from Busy Mama on where to go and how to keep your kids busy!

#1 - Check out the Zoo

#2 - Visit the African Lion Safari

#3 - Why not go to the beautiful and mesmerizing Ripley's Aquarium?

Check out these discount tickets!

#4 - Visit these 5 fun Petting Zoos and Farms

#9 - Nutella Sweets at Tim Hortons - Enjoy a not so healthy breakfast or snack with the kids:)!

and last, but not least....

I'll definitely be trying many of these with my little monsters during the Victoria Day long week-end!

Enjoy your time to the fullest with your kids and cherish every precious moment!

Disclaimer: This post was written by Stella V. All opinions are my own.

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The Secret Power of Yoga

Monday, 20 April 2015

my favourite pose: the dancer's pose
I've been a dancer all my life. I've mainly taken ballet (including point), then got into Latin dance (salsa, merengue, etc.), and then flamenco - a beautiful and challenging dance with so many different rhythms, variations, and those accessories - the fan, the shawl, the dresses, the shoes, the castanets, and so much more! 
Now that I have three kids, I have no time to dance and ballet is way too hard on my feet. So sad to say it out loud, but I'm officially old when it comes to the challenging and most beautiful world of dance. Ballet has always been my 'moment', my 'go to place' to forget about everything (in a good way) and focus on one thing only: DANCE! If you're a woman and you're constantly thinking about a million things at a time while creating many more million to-do lists, there comes a time when you need to take a break - I'm sure you know exactly what I mean;).
I haven't been to a dance class since I had kids. But...  A while ago, a friend of mine suggested I try a yoga class with her for fun; it was a Moksha yoga class. I really enjoyed it and attended several more after that, but still stuck mainly to dance classes. However, today when my time and (muscle) flexibility are so limited, I find that yoga is the closest thing to dance I can find. It is not perfect (for me, and nothing will ever compare to dance), I must admit, but you do get to get away from 'home' and focus on yourself and your body, and make yourself a better person for your family which is crucial. This is my two cents on why you should do yoga in a nutshell - to get a piece of mind and a more fit, toned, flexible body.

Interesting facts based on research...
There are over 19 million prescriptions for opioid painkiller in Canada, making Canadians one of highest users of prescriptions opioids in the world. The first treatment options that most doctors choose in North America is pain medications. We all know that these drugs help alleviate pain, but they also come with tons of negative side effects, including liver damage, kidney disease and digestive problems being the top ones. From personal experience, I can tell you that if I get a bad headache, I pop a double advil without hesitation, otherwise I won't get through the evening taking care of three little monsters. Did you know that "prescription painkillers are also very addictive and the most abused category of drugs; opioid-related overdose deaths now outnumber overdose deaths from all illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, combined"? Isn't that crazy?!
Most importantly, painkillers mask the real issue behind the pain, often resulting in additional injuries and without addressing the underlying problems.
It has been proven that yoga offers an array of natural ways for dealing with pain. It is great for bringing balance back into the body (injuries and pain often occur because of imbalances in your body). If learned, practiced and applied correctly, yoga postures help your body return to balance where they belong, while improving flexibility, strength and endurance at the same time.

5 reasons to do yoga if you're a mommy...

Click here to read this wonderful article about why should do yoga.

My best friend asked me the other day: "What is yoga?"  "What does it do for you and your body?" Personally, it gives me a peace of mind for an hour or more. It's good for my body, I can feel it - it's a great workout focusing on balancing your body and mind at the same time, muscle toning and flexibility, and endurance.

And for those of you who are more visual, like me, check out the videos below to understand what yoga can do for you!

Stay tuned for my next post where I will interview a great Yoga Instructor at a top yoga studio on the secret powers of yoga!

Disclaimer: This post was written by Stella V.

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Delicious Sweets for Passover

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

It is somewhat of a challenge to bake delicious desserts for Passover, as the use of yeast and flour is not allowed. But the following recipes will leave you hungry for more, and they are so easy to make, even with your kids!!!

Apple-licious Kugel

"This apple kugel is delicious, crispy, moist and sweet. Bake it in the oven and serve a nice warm treat!"

  • 4 apples
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup crushed almonds, divided
You will need a 9 inch round or square pan to bake this kugel.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel and core apples. Slice apples and place in covered bowl so apples don't turn brown.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, potato starch and vanilla sugar.
  4. Grease a 9 inch pan. Cover bottom of pan with 1/2 cup crushed almonds. Place half the apples on top of the nuts layer. Pour half the batter over the apples. Layer remining apples on top of the batter. Cover apples with rest of batter. Top with 1/2 cup crushed almonds.
  5. Bake for one hour or until golden brown.

Crunchy Yummy Cookies

"Chocolate chips and nuts, a winning combination. You won't be able to eat enough of this incredible creation!"

  • 1 (6 oz.) package ground almonds
  • 1 (6 oz.) package ground walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 1 (10 oz.) package chocolate chips - I personally prefer these cookies without the chocolate chips.
You will need a cookie sheet for this recipe. You'll get approximately 4 dozens of cookies.

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until a soft dough is formed. Gradually add in chocolate chips and mix well.
  2. Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight.
  3. Remove dough from the fridge.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Roll dough into 1 inch round balls and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. I like to use parchment paper instead of greasing the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet so cookies won't crack.

Hazelnut Sponge Cake

This is a great cake recipe that does not contain any flour. The accompanying fruit coulis is good after a meat meal, and the vanilla sauce containing milk is suitable after a vegetarian or a fish main course. I usually top this cake with the fruit coulis and don't bother with the vanilla sauce.

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 oz. fine-ground matzo meal
  • vegetable oil for greasing
You will require a 10 inch cake tin to bake this cake.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is pale, thick and mousse-like. Add the juice and grated rind of the lemon.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Add a quarter of the whisked whites to the yolk mixture and then fold in the hazelnuts, the matzo meal and the remaining whites. Take care not to deflate the mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 10 inch cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. The center should be dry when tested with a toothpick.
  6. Then the cake is cool, take it out of the tin and store, covered until ready for use. Serve it in wedges with vanilla sauce or fruit coulis.
Fruit Coulis 

  • 1 cup blackberries or strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • Put the berries in a pan wiht the sugar and water. Cook over low heat just until the berries collapse.
  • Strain the fruit and juice through a nylon sieve into a jug.

Vanilla Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (or 2 small eggs)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Mix the potato flour, sugar and egg yolks to a paste. Add the cold milk.
  • In a pan over low heat bring the mixture slowly to the boil, stirring. It will thicken afte rabout 5 minutes. Take it off the heat, strain and cook. Serve with Hazelnut Sponge Cake.

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Disclaimer: This post was written by Stella V.
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