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delish magazine



*Live like you mean it.

Grow 4 No.











) Editor’s Letter

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Dear Delish readers,

Oops, sorry! I think it’s only fair to share with you, straight off the top, the fact that this issue of Delish Magazine is a month late.


You didn’t know that, did you? We didn’t exactly attach a specific release date for the Spring issue that people had written into their calendars (and frankly, it does seem like the season is just starting… I mean, as I write this, it’s pouring outside), so the information is still super relevant, but we really wanted and intended to have this issue out last month. Sometimes I think it’s kind of remarkable that we get it out at all. You see, this isn’t exactly our day job, just yet. So what do we do all day long? Well, probably the same thing as you…. work. Take care of business (we are women, after all) — our households, our children, cooking and baking, cleaning and sewing, planting and pruning, entertaining and teaching, loving and learning. It’s fitting to be honest with you, in this, the Spring Grow-themed issue, about the struggles we have been experiencing as we work on Delish while the kids nap or while the entire household is snoring, late into the night. Because even as we figure out how to make this all work, a year after launching this delicious venture called Delish, we’ve got plans to grow. And we’re doing so because of your amazingly and overwhelmingly positive feedback. (So thank you for that.) You like what we’re doing, and you want more. Have you been by lately? We’re trying to get more regular blog posts up, with stories of projects we’re getting into (Make It Mondays), regular recipes, honest product reviews, and thoughts on all sorts of things. We’re going to make changes to the site to serve you better, in the coming months. We also have other plans for how to make the Delish experience a more regular one, and how to get our readers together in more of a Delish community, to share ideas, projects, recipes, and thoughts. And, we remain committed to sharing great information and interesting and entertaining stories, and to bringing you with us as we meet and spend time with the most intriguing, inspirational and talented people in the world. Delish has been from the beginning and will continue to be, a priority for us. There are so many more stories to tell you! This issue represents coming to one full year – four issues of Delish. We’re really just getting started, and we hope you’ll stick around (and tell a few friends), as we grow into our second year. Thank you for being a part of this. (And may I, on a personal note, extend my deepest gratitude to the writers, photographers and my dear dear partner-in-crime Cynthia, for believing in my dream, adopting it as your own and adding to it, and trying so hard to make this a success. I do believe it’s working.) Live like you mean it,


delish* magazine

*Live like you mean it.

Grow IN EVERY ISSUE 10 Delish Loves

Lovely things that make us squeal a little.

to Etsy 11 Heavens Haute Handmade.

of Mouse 12 Word What's on our current must-click lists. Little Birdy Told Us 13 A These are a few of our favorite(d) tweets. am Woman — Michelle Kaufmann 20 IWritten by: Tamara Komuniecki A true pioneer of the eco-prefab movement.

oh Man — Jeff Topham 24 Man Written by: Tamara Komuniecki Canadian filmmaker Jeff Topham returns the Liberia of his youth.

of the Cloth — Kate Spain 36 Woman Written by: Cheryl Arkison Inside stories of the men and women behind the fabrics, patterns and books that we love and use.

of Wisdom 87 Words Written by: Cynthia Merriman Sage advice on how to get through this crazy thing called life.

spring 2011




20 FEATURES Grandbaby on Board Written by: Carla Lucchetta A mother and daughter-in-law take a surprising and unusual route to grow and complete their family.


LIVE MAKE By-the-Book DIY Written by: Tamara Komuniecki Crack (a book) before crafting‌

DIY Project: Fabric Covered Photo Mats Written by: Lindsay Wilkes Pairing your favorite fabrics with your favorite photos.



GROW Seed Starting 101 Written by: Stevie Rose Start your own seeds this spring and revel in your gardening wizardry.

TASTE Feast your Eyes Written by: Alia Ledoux, Tamara Komuniecki and Cheryl Arkison Crack these books before you crack an egg, and great things will come out of your kitchen!


spring 2011






52 Riffin' in the Kitchen — Green Stalks of Goodness

Written by: Jenna Edmiston Plentiful this season and delicious too, even if it takes a while to convince the younger palate.

All of the Taste, None of the Gluten Written by: Josie Bradley Finding a way to retain my family’s Sunday breakfast tradition after a surprising diagnosis.

The Evolving Palate Written by: Jenna Edmiston Say goodbye to artificial foods and start loving real foods today.

SIP Unraveling the Complexities of Wine Written by: Alia Ledoux Solving the mystery behind that great bottle of wine.




24 READ Cat's Reading Corner Written by: Catherine Basso Book lovers, unite!

LOOK SHINE Unusual But Effective Written by: Tamara Komuniecki Beauty products that break the rules.



FEEL My Hollywood Juice Cleanse Written by: Gillian Young Sometimes, you have to do some spring cleaning on the inside.



GO JOURNEY Where in the World is Tessa? Written by: Tessa Mackay From South Africa to St. Petersburg… and beyond!

When the Journey Needs a Destination Written by: Lori O’Hara A working mom explores the gap between knowing she needs a break and making it a priority. Spoiler: there’s wine.


CARE NURTURE How Words Plant Seeds


Written by: Catherine Basso How does your garden grow?

Baba in Training


Written by: Cheryl Arkison There's mighty shoes (and a pantry, and a cellar, and stomachs) to fill. I'm working on it.

Found for the Family Written by: Tamara Komuniecki and Cynthia Merriman Good stuff for the biggest to the smallest (and even the furriest) in your household.


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BE BE DELISH! Delish DyVa / Ask the Instigator Written by: Dyana Valentine Professional instigator Dyana Valentine dishes out Delish advice.



delish* magazine

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CO-FOUNDER Tamara Komuniecki DESIGN DIRECTOR/CO-FOUNDER Cynthia Merriman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cheryl Arkison Catherine Basso Jenna Edmiston Alia Ledoux Tessa Mackay Gail Nowakowsky Stevie Rose Lindsay Wilkes

Kelsey Banfield Josie Bradley Tamara Komuniecki Carla Lucchetta Cynthia Merriman Lori O'Hara Dyana Valentine Gillian Young

ILLUSTRATION Cynthia Frenette WEB DESIGN Green Couch Designs


ADVERTISING 778.99MEDIA E-mail: Web site: Twitter: @DelishMag




A journalist since 1994, Tamara Komuniecki has taken on every kind of story imagineable. Her experiences as a broadcast and print/web journalist include attaching herself to Siberian Huskies while on cross-country skis, covering murders, wars, fires and floods, commandeering a jet, learning to surf, and writing about anti-cellulite running shoes. Media aside, she has also worked as a figure model, a clown at the zoo, a 911 operator, and a production assistant for U2. She considers herself a happy, if imperfect, homemaker and bakes, cooks and quilts with great passion. Her interests include design and architecture, sewing, and her family. Tamara’s personal motto is “Only boring people get bored”, and so she leads her three best guys (husband Konrad, son Finn, and pooch Duane) on all the adventures they can handle.



A lover of all things pretty, Cynthia Merriman is a graphic designer and owner of My Girl Friday Design Company. She has been designing for web and print projects for more than ten years, taking inspiration from the oodles of vintage and retro goodies she loves to surround herself with. When she can squeeze it in, she enjoys baking, reading the occasional novel or sewing an item for a loved one. Mum to three little ones and wife to a wonderful husband, she includes two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and a cat named Zero in the menagerie. She is currently shopping for ‘the’ perfect superpower that will help her combine the pleasures of motherhood and the pressures of owning a flourishing business. For now, however, all she can hope for is that the kids play nicely while Momma gets some work done.


JOSIE BRADLEY Josie Bradley lives in Monroe, WA with her husband and four children. They have a small farm where they strive to produce a good portion of their own food. Josie spends much of her spare time in the kitchen coming up with new gluten free recipes.

CARLA LUCCHETTA Carla Lucchetta is a feature writer, book critic, television producer/commentator and editor/collector of a forthcoming creative non-fiction anthology entitled Lonely Boy. Her blog and a listing of articles can be found at Her television essays can be seen at

LORI O'HARA Lori is a mom, writer, speech therapist and cat-wrangler on an unending quest for the perfect, calorie-free chocolate chip cookie. She helps parents learn the art of child language development at Your Child Talking and blogs workingmom domestic drama at In Pursuit of Martha Points. She tweets @marthapoints.


DELISH LOVES Lovely things that make us squeal a little





1. When an idea pops into my head, I have to get it down on a scrap of paper. It’s a messy part of my creative process, and a dangerous way for a writer to write — those little pieces of paper get accidentally thrown away or slip into a nook or cranny, only to be seen in some months. A small workbook from ecojot is just the thing to help me in my quest to be better organized. I found three for $10.99 at Whole Foods, but the ecojot site will have online shopping by early April. (There, you can also support ecojot’s GIVE program. With the sale of each 5x7", Jumbo journal and all eco sketchbooks, they will donate a school workbook or pencil to a child in need.)


2. Don’t let the cute “my Mom knitted this” look of the Twist Clean Dish Dumpling fool you — the sweet package packs a serious cleaning punch (that’s why they call it the Heavy Duty Agave Scrubber, after all). I’ve used just about all of the plant-based Twist cleaning products and love them. There’s something for just about any job in your home, and they’re all reusable so you can be as pleased about your clean dishes and counters as the fact that you’re not chucking a paper towel after just one use.





3. The Peugeot Fidji Salt and Pepper mills may be made by the venerable French car manufacturer, but they are much better described (for a North American audience, at least) as the Cadillac of all grinders: super strong, durable and stylish. In my younger days, I moonlighted at a kitchen supply store where I learned that grinders with metal channeling and grinding grooves are the key to a long life — and these prove that fact is true (I’ve had mine for over 10 years!). And hey — they’re made by a company that has been making pepper mills since 1842, are you going to doubt them?


w $94.95 from spring 2011

4. Bonne Maman (which means ‘grandmother’ in French) preserves are the créme de la créme of jams. Made with all-natural ingredients and zero preservatives, you won’t be able to stop at having it on just your morning toast. Waffles, crépes & pancakes — be prepared! It’s even delish on ice cream! Don’t fret when the jar is empty (there just has to be another in the pantry, right?) because the jar makes the perfect home to plant a seedling or hold some dear dandelions your little ones picked just for you.

w $4.69 from

HEAVENS TO ETSY Haute Handmade

BREAD AND BUTTONS You can buy mass produced hair accessories at any mall, but if you’re looking for something really unique for a special girl, you should check out breadandbuttons. Buttons on clips, ponytail holders, bobby pins and more feature the absolute cutest fabrics, and I’m trying to convince myself that I’ll still look like a grown up career woman with Little Red Riding Hood holding my bangs in place.





Proving new isn’t necessarily better, this shop features a revolving collection of vintage home decor and furniture, and new items like their own handmade cushions. Vintage glass domes, old crates, furniture and even an old microscope and science set are all waiting to find an appreciative audience and a new home. If you’re a fan of their wares, you’ll also like their blog at


WHITNEY SMITH I've yet to try throwing clay on a wheel (it's on my bucket list!) but when I do, I can only hope I might be able to make something even a tad like Whitney Smith's pieces — beautiful, refined and unique. With glazes that speak to my vintage soul, the pieces are begging to be out on display and used often.




Every gal deserves to have a piece of clothing or jewelry that earns her crazy compliments when worn. My Crazy Sparrow Nest necklace just so happens to be that item. MDsparks creates bobby pins, necklaces and earrings that are full of whimsy and charm, giving each and all of them a feel of both new and old.


WORD OF MOUSE What’s on our current must-click lists The Bottom of the Ironing Basket This total eye candy site presents a collection of some of the most exquisite images from across the web, pulled together by London-based Simone Antoniazzi, a woman who is more curator than blogger. It’s fashion and fabulousness, glamor and gloss. Simone takes the time to put together not just a pretty blog post, but a collection of items and pictures that complement each PICKS other well and provide inspiration in the form of all things beautiful.


Brooklyn Limestone So many sites, so little time — especially when it comes to shelter blogs. As we’re in the process of settling into our own fixer-upper, there’s got to be something pretty good on offer online to pull me away from my own home projects. On this site, there is — take January’s Junk Drawer Overhaul. Folks from all over the internet shared their organization projects complete with before and after photos. The tips and tricks kicked off a real spring cleaning craze around these parts, and I’m enjoying digging through their archives for more.

w Polyvore Have your pocketbooks ready as you step into the world of Polyvore, the online window shopping site that allows you to create your outfits from top to bottom — and be able to purchase them all with the click of a button. Not only for fashion, you can play around with home accessories and more. Be prepared to spend a lot of time playing dress-up! You can also get help with style questions, like the recently-asked “Black converse. How to wear them?” and watch the answers, complete with outfit suggestions, roll on in.



Print and Pattern Need a little pick-me-up? Poke around at Print & Pattern’s lovely blog to get recharged with buckets full of pretty textiles, cards, gift wrap, stationery, wallpaper, tableware, books, illustration, and anything worthy to P&P. Hailing from the UK, the site “…celebrates the world of surface pattern design.” There is indeed, so so so much to celebrate here. Be prepared to spend some serious time looking into past posts — like any treat, it’s impossible to stop at just one!


spring 2011


A LITTLE BIRDY TOLD US These are a few of our favorite(d) Tweets

@jakebrewer: Does anyone else write best after about two beers / glasses of wine? How do you create same effect in middle of the day?


@jakebrewer: Apparently many people have a solution to my mid-day dilemma: screw it and just drink the beer or wine (see also: take shots).

@shinangovani: PICKS People are the best decor – a truism shown by the do here for French inventor Jean-Marie Massaud aliens at Avenue, the shop. Colette-ish postures.

@ehiwv: yes, my son is named Crosby. no, he’s not named after Bing. no, my other kids are not named Stills and Nash. no, you’re not the 1st to ask.

@SusanW: Kids are having frozen waffles for dinner. Told them that if they make a mess in the kitchen, they are grounded. I’m not kidding.


@AnnaHolmes: Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my pinky toes and realize the have already landed.

@misszoot: Half my friends on FB say Christian Bale looks like Jesus, the other half: Charles Manson. I think I’m leaning towards Jesus myself.

@SusieSunshine: It’s hard to imagine, I know, but teenagers are waymore hilarious than toddlers, but so very very unbloggable so the world will never know.

Hey there! Find us on Twitter...






In the fall of 2009, Susan Lucas had a t-shirt monogrammed with the words “grandbaby on board” and an arrow pointing down to her tummy. She wore it under a hoodie to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner so she could unzip it at the exact right moment to reveal her pregnant belly to a stunned family at the dinner table. “At first they didn’t get it,” says 48-year-old Susan, “but then it slowly sunk in.” The big news uncovered that day was that as a result of IVF treatments, egg and sperm extraction, and Petri dish fertilization, Susan was incubating the baby of her step-daughter-in-law Gena and step-son Derek. That they’d all — including Susan’s husband (Derek’s father) Wayne — managed to keep it under wraps that long was pretty amazing since Susan was at least five months pregnant. The Lucas family’s story has as many twists and turns, high and lows as a roller coaster, so much so that neither Susan nor Gena can get the whole story out without pausing to accommodate tears, and then apologizing for the tears. The apologies aren’t necessary. This is certainly not your run of the mill baby story. It all began when exploratory surgery revealed that Gena would be unable to sustain a pregnancy. “I always said that if I happened to be single and 35 without a child, I’d go to the sperm bank. But it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be able to carry my own child,” she says.

At 36 and happily married, she was devastated by the news and immediately began researching surrogacy. Her investigations led her to two options: one unaffordable, and the other unthinkable, at least to family and friends. Commercial surrogacy, that is; paying someone to have your child is illegal in Canada. Still, surrogacy agencies that facilitate the process exist and are not without prohibitive fees. The first option Gena looked into asked between $80,000 and $100,000 in fees. The second plan would mean employing an Indian surrogate in Mumbai. “I panicked about how I could make extra money. And then, no one wanted me to go to India.” Finally, she decided to ask friends and family if they could help find someone willing to become her surrogate. There would still be costs involved, but far less debilitating. spring 2011


had offered when we were first looking, and I just couldn’t believe it. I called her right away,” says Gena.

That’s when her best friend Robyn stepped in. With a child who’d just turned one, Robyn agreed to begin hormone treatments to suppress her period and prepare her uterine lining, while Gena began hers to prepare for egg extraction; both under the watchful eye of Dr. Stephen Hudson, Director of the Victoria Fertility Clinic in Victoria, BC, Canada. After many anticipatory weeks they discovered the implantation had worked and the happy couple spread the delightful news. Sadly though, about one month into the pregnancy, Robyn miscarried. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Gena, prior to Robyn’s involvement, Wayne had mentioned to his son that Susan would be willing to give them the gift of surrogacy. “I suggested to my husband that maybe I should do it; I have the equipment, I’m not using it,” Sue says, laughing. “The more we talked about it the more he was on board with it, so he told Derek.” She assumed that Derek must have thought her too old, or maybe even thought that it was another one of her husband’s many practical jokes because he didn’t pass the offer on to Gena. Since Robyn came through for them, Sue wasn’t needed. “But then she miscarried and Gena was just so let down…” Sue struggles through tears to get these words out. Dr. Hudson reassured Gena and Derek that he knew what had gone wrong and thought another attempt could be successful. Gena wondered where the surrogate would come from and that’s when Derek told her about Susan’s willingness. “He told me that Sue


spring 2011

It had been 23 years since Susan Lucas’s last pregnancy with her third daughter Mara. She has two older children also; Danielle is 25 and Stephanie is 26. A woman in her late forties is not the likeliest candidate for surrogacy and yet she passed Dr. Hudson’s physical and psychological examinations with flying colors; and so began the second attempt at pregnancy. This time though, all parties stayed mum on the proceedings. The first time ‘round they’d broken the news to Derek’s son Oliver (from a previous relationship) and then had to give him the terrible news. This time they didn’t want to raise the ten-year-old’s expectations. There are some strict guidelines for surrogacy in Canada; a surrogate must not be paid directly or coerced into participating, though it is permitted for surrogates to be compensated for expenses during the pregnancy. Both couples had to be screened for psychological competency, they had to have a contract drawn up, Susan had to go through a complete physical, and Gena and Derek agreed to pay Susan’s drug costs, and any other expenses incurred as a result of a nine month pregnancy. Both women were put on hormone treatments to sync up their cycles. To facilitate egg production the first time around Gena took three shots a night, had a daily blood test and an ultrasound every other day. For round two she took five shots of hormones a day, with the same routine for blood work and ultrasounds. Gena admits the egg retrieval procedure is quite painful, both at the time and for several days after. Then there’s the waiting to find out how many eggs are viable and whether or not the embryos are big enough to implant. “This is the biggest emotional roller coaster you could ever go on,” she says. “I’ve always been horrified of needles. My husband had to give them to me and it was the biggest production.” Eventually she learned to self-administer. IVF is a huge investment in time and money that often leaves couples spent, physically, emotionally and financially. Since Gena could not imagine her life without a natural child she remained resolved to the task, ready

to face any difficulties and kept a vision of the outcome in plain view. “You do what you have to do,” she says. The two couples became quite a foursome and when it was time to implant the embryos they all arrived at Dr. Hudson’s office for the procedure, and again two weeks later for the blood test that revealed that Susan was pregnant; possibly with twins. Originally Gena didn’t like the idea of twins, a common result of IVF, but after Robyn’s miscarriage she simply hoped for any positive outcome. Now, warmed up to the idea of two babies, she told her parents about it, and began looking at double strollers. Susan, who works as a pediatric nurse at Victoria General Hospital, had to take some precautions to protect her health, so her supervisor and some co-workers knew about her condition. There was the H1N1 flu virus to worry about, and a child who came in with meningitis. When Sue began spotting after a hospital day-shift Gena and Susan visited Dr. Hudson who informed them that she had likely lost one of the babies, but the other was still thriving. “I was really nervous then and began calling her all the time to see if she was spotting.” Except for a few administrative glitches it was smooth sailing after that. “I had a good pregnancy,” says Susan. “And at 18 weeks we found out it was a girl!” The foursome revealed the pregnancy on Thanksgiving, a fitting day for the happy news, first to Derek’s mom and little Oliver, and then to the entire family over dinner, with absent members calling in over Skype. “It was pandemonium at our dinner table,” Susan recalls. Despite living about an hour apart — Gena lives in Victoria and Sue further north in Cowichan Bay — they attended every appointment together. In November, Gena’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, so the pregnancy and pending birth took on a bittersweet tinge. Susan wanted both Gena and her mother to feel as close to the baby as possible so bought some recordable Christmas ornaments, taped the baby’s heartbeat and gave them each one so they could listen to it every day.

You might think it would be difficult or inconvenient for a woman in mid-life to be pregnant after her own children are grown adults. Not for Susan. “My oldest daughter is severely handicapped,” she explains. “When she was born I was told she wouldn’t make it through the night but she was still hanging on a week later. I remember watching Oprah and she had on women who didn’t want kids, and others who wanted them but couldn’t have them. I thought the contrast to be so unfair. I knew Gena wanted a child so badly, and I wanted to help her.” Susan’s only real concern became the actual birth and the scheduled C-section. Nervous enough to want Wayne, her husband, in the room with her, she knew she’d be disappointing Gena, her mom and Derek, who would have to wait outside. To boot, 40-odd family members were filing in for the big event, and a local television channel was set to do a post-birth interview. Gena recalls, “A month and a half before Ava’s birth, my mom had been really sick. I became so preoccupied with her that I hadn’t done anything to get ready. I would sometimes go a week at a time and forget we were having a baby. I felt really removed from a lot of it.”

Ava Lucas was born on March 31, 2010, gifted to her parents by an empathetic and loving grandmother who felt it nothing short of an honor to be able to do so. “It was the best day of my life,” says Gena.

Susan has resumed her work and her life and is seemingly unchanged by the event, save for the presence of a granddaughter with whom she shares a precious and unforgettable bond.


spring 2011


Gena’s mom died two weeks after Ava came into the world. In the eleven months since she’s arrived, Derek and Gena have sold their business, purchased a house, gained full legal custody of Oliver — a struggle they’d been dealing with simultaneous to the surrogacy process — and Gena’s father has fallen ill with a stroke. As her year-long maternity leave comes to an end, she’s looking into getting another year off her job as a supervisor at a local grocery chain. It would be an understatement to say she deserves some time to watch and cherish her daughter’s growth, to mourn her mother, to look after her father, and to bask in the joy and comfort of family.






MICHELLE KAUFMANN does not embody the word “homemaker”, at least in the way of the traditional image that you might conjure up when thinking of the word — the type of woman who busies herself with canning, baking, sewing curtains and tablecloths, braiding a rag rug.

fab building, with her most well-known creations, the Glidehouse®, the Sunset® Breezehouse® and the mkLotus®. Think not trailer park but eco chic — the Michelle Kaufmann twist makes prefab sustainable, healthy, clean and green — very comfortable and completely covetable.

She is a homemaker, though; a thoroughly modern one. She loves to cook but is only able to do so about once a week, and while she knits, so far her projects are limited to, as she says, “eight-inch-wide scarves, of any length!”. But more than that, Michelle Kaufmann is a homemaker because she actually, literally, makes homes.

After doing her undergrad at Iowa State and graduate school at Princeton, her first job was working on museums with the legendary Frank Gehry. “It was, I think,” she says, “the best possible job I could have imagined for my first job, which for architects is pretty important – and maybe it’s the same in all fields — that first job really does lay the foundation for how you think about work.”

Michelle is an architect and a pioneer in her field — if you’ve got more than a passing interest in modern architecture, you will likely recognize her name, as she is known (to those in the know) as the woman who put the “fab” in prefab. Prefab, or prefabricated buildings, are manufactured off-site, trucked in and assembled on-site. Michelle played a very big role in the modern growth of pre-


spring 2011

The experience would prove to be career shaping for Michelle, showing her the power of how space can impact people. “I [was] seeing people go into some of his buildings and literally weep, being moved with the beauty of the spatial experience. That’s significant and rare – it felt so good to feel like yes, I’ve made the right choice, becoming an architect.” After getting married, Michelle and her husband started looking for a home of their own. They were disap-

pointed to find nothing on the market that they could afford, that suited their personal philosophy and value system when it came to the home they had envisioned for themselves. “It’s the opposite,” she expands. “It’s thoughtless, unhealthy, cookie cutter, has nothing to do with the climate, nothing to do with the environment. We couldn’t find anything that we liked that we could afford, and it was so painful.” After about six months of looking, the couple decided to just build something for themselves. Michelle’s design took into account as much of how the house would feel to live in as it would look, and the health of its inhabitants. Clean and healthy air inside the home (not a given, as people might think), was a must as Michelle is susceptible to migraine headaches, especially those induced from mold and mildew. Influenced by her work in museums, she wanted their home to have a lot of soft natural light, and also chose to adopt water conservation measures and use solar panels so the house would produce its own energy to save money.


“I thought that’s a good question, can we make this house in mass production?”, she says. “And that’s when I had that aha moment of alright, we can really work towards this mission of making thoughtful, sustainable design that’s more accessible, by looking at alternative ways that we build and alternative ways that we architects work. And I found this whole amazing world of off-site technology.” Michelle started her company, Michelle Kaufmann Designs (MKD), in northern California in 2004, and soon word reached those interested in all things new and exciting in architecture, leading to a collaboration with Sunset Magazine. They partnered and put together a full-size version house, the Glidehouse® (see photo below), for Sunset’s 2004 Celebration Weekend. She remembers those heady days clearly. “People came out of nowhere — it was crazy and exciting, and we then realized okay, this is an idea that’s resonating with people and we should do it again. So then we did it the next year, the Sunset® Breezehouse®. I designed it with two of the editors of Sunset, Dan Gregory and Peter Whiteley. It was super-fun and then it just took off after that."


These eco features were not the norm in homebuilding at the time, says Michelle. “We really weren’t thinking about it at the time as being green per se. All the things that we now associate with green building, we were just wanting from a sort of functional aspect.”

As she and her husband were building their home, friends and colleagues started to ask if it were possible to have something similar built for them as well, and an idea blossomed that would take Michelle’s architecture practice in a whole new and exciting direction.


People who are attracted to Michelle Kaufmann’s creations usually share her and the homes’ ideals: living lightly on the land, having as healthy an environment as possible, and not taking more (space or resources) than you need. She further shares her ideas and knowledge with those interested, in various ways. She speaks on prefab architecture and sustainable living, has written a book on the subject called Prefab Green, and has a YouTube channel with informative and imaginative Green-It-Yourself projects like an eco outdoor fire, hanging wall garden and sliding sun shades.


Sunset Celebration Weekend Sunset® Breezehouse™

More and more people were being exposed to Michelle’s work via public tours through actual fullsized homes, built on-site for exhibitions. A full-size replica of her own home was built in the National Building Museum and was up for a year, as part of an exhibit the museum had on green building. As the media started to share her story, new relationships were forged with suppliers, and orders came rolling in, MKD grew to a complement of two dozen people on staff… and then the bottom fell out. During the 2009 financial market crisis, potential clients were finding it increasingly difficult to get approval for financing, and factories that Michelle’s firm worked with were going bankrupt and shutting down, making it impossible to get components for the homes on order that were waiting to be assembled. In what was the most painful decision of her life, Michelle decided to close down Michelle Kaufmann Designs. “It was a surprise that my business had to close because we were actually very busy,” she says. “That happened within this period of two weeks where everything just imploded and we were forced to close, which was terrible. It was really so sad because we had such a great team and so many great people.”

An optimistic spirit and ability to learn lessons from the most difficult of experiences have seen Michelle through the hard times, and she continues on her mission to make good, sustainable design accessible to everybody. “I’m not going to stop until my grandmother in Iowa can afford and easily buy a green home,” she says. “That, for me, is my goal. That’s the kernel in the back of my head.” We invite you to get to know Michelle a little better through our enjoyable Q&A session.


Komoto Sunset® Breezehouse

NAME? Michelle Kaufmann, AIA LEED AP President, Michelle Kaufmann Studio OCCUPATION/VOCATION/DESIGNATION? Architect, designer, advocate. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START? Growing up in Iowa offered me an appreciation of the important balance between the landscape and how we



That is not the end of the story for Michelle and her amazing architecture; it’s actually just the beginning of the next part of her story. While her previous designs were sold to another company at the closing of MKD, her new practice, Michelle Kaufmann Studio, employs four people and will likely never get any bigger than that. Projects underway include a monastery in Big Sur, a home in the Bay Area, and even an incredible, first-of-itskind multi-family, sustainable dwelling built using modular construction, called Casa Chiara – housing for the Sisters of St. Francis in Denver.

inhabit it and use it. I have a great love of the farmlands with their big skies and beautiful barns. I guess I am an architectural romantic that way. This background, mixed with graduate school at Princeton and studying with architecture greats like Liz Diller and Michael Graves, and then working for Frank Gehry helped show me that there are non-traditional models for the practice and work that can be as innovative as the work itself. Both Graves and Gehry were some of the first world-known architects to get into mass produced products (for companies such as Target and Tiffanys). It got me interested in thinking about an entire building as product. WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY, KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW? I wish I had bought stock in Apple. A long time ago. WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT BEING AN ADULT? How much fun and play there is. WHAT IS THE MOST FUN YOU’VE EVER HAD? One of my favorite ways to spend my birthday is to have a day of riding roller coasters. It is thrilling, and the screaming seems therapeutic. I feel fortunate to appreciate the ups and downs of the roller coaster, as life seems a lot like this. While the ride in life can be scary and jolting at times, it makes for an exhilarating adventure. WHO OR WHAT HAS SHAPED YOUR CURRENT DECADE? The way we are shifting how we communicate through multimedia venues such as Twitter and Facebook are fundamentally changing how we think about our work and how we relate with our clients as well as our colleagues. It is all becoming much more about community and collaboration which is both fascinating and much needed. WHAT DOES SAFETY MEAN TO YOU? Support from as well as for my friends and family is what gives me my foundation and my shelter and helps me to do the work that I do. HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED? In my favorite fantasy I am remembered as someone who helped (in a small way) to make the world a more beautiful place. WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER GOT? “It is about the journey, not the destination.” While many times it is so easy to be goal-driven, I do find the greatest joy when I stop and appreciate the process. WHAT’S THE WORST MISTAKE YOU EVER MADE? Oh. Where do I start? I don’t even know how I would narrow it down to my top ten, let alone the worst. One mistake is being myopic while driven. Sometimes I get an idea and I run with it. Fast. So fast that I don’t pay enough attention to what is happening around me.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT MISTAKE? While I still run with an idea that I believe in, I am trying to do it with a better understanding of the view of the sidelines as well as the rear-view mirror. BIGGEST (NON-ROMANTIC) HEARTBREAK? Having to close my previous company. But like many heartbreaks, they truly can make us stronger and hopefully a little smarter. While I hope to not have a heartbreak like that again, at the same time, I am thankful to be in a position to love the work and clients so much that my heart is all in the work. Caring that much can certainly make us vulnerable, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE (LEAVING ASIDE WEDDINGS, BIRTHS, ETC.)? Some of my favorite days have been spent where we have done homes as exhibits (such as the Museum of Science and Industry and with Sunset magazine and with West Coast Green). Witnessing first-hand how sustainable design and living is resonating with so many people and feeling the tipping point is exhilarating. It makes it impossible to give up on the goal of making thoughtful, sustainable design accessible. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE YOU MET IN REAL LIFE AFTER GETTING TO KNOW THEM VIA SOCIAL MEDIA? You know, I have no idea. Somehow they become so quickly merged, that it is difficult to remember if the first introduction was in physical or virtual space.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE IN TODAY’S WORLD? Poverty + Climate change. The two are so inter-related. HOW MANY CAREERS HAVE YOU HAD? One very long one with many chapters and plot twists. WHAT OTHER CAREERS ARE WAITING FOR YOU? I have always wanted to have an art gallery and support emerging artists. Oh, and joining the circus has been a life-long dream as well. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CONCERT? Donny Osmond at the Iowa State Fair when I was seven years old. Cows made from butter, pig races and monster trucks – does it get any more exciting? WHAT DO YOU DO TODAY THAT YOU SWORE AS A KID YOU’D NEVER DO? You know that crazy lady in the car next to you who is singing loudly and dancing in the car while heading down the freeway? Well, turns out, that is me.

MORE of MICHELLE web: twitter: @mkaufmann




JEFF TOPHAM had the kind of childhood that people make films about. Well, actually, Jeff Topham had the kind of childhood that he makes films about… specifically, his first film, the soon-to-debut Liberia ’77. The incredible documentary, produced with and for British Columbia’s Knowledge Network chronicles the three years that Jeff, a Canadian, spent as a young boy in Liberia (along with his younger brother Andrew and their parents), what he and Andrew discovered when they returned to the country some 30 years later, and how it will impact them, their ties to the country, and their sense of responsibility in the years to come. Their father, John Topham, worked for Exchem, a Canadian company that manufactured explosives for the


spring 2011


John Topham at Exchem, 1977

mining industry. The boys moved frequently throughout their childhood whenever their father was posted to a new mining town, but the relocation to Liberia from Labrador, Canada – from minus 30 degree Celsius (-22 ºF) to plus 30 degree Celsius (86 ºF) temperatures – was by far the most life-changing. Their new back yard was a jungle; their family pet, a chimp named Evelyn. That adventure in his formative years (Jeff says, “It was ‘Where The Wild Things Are’” in the film), would help to shape his curious, creative and compassionate spirit. “Just having that experience of walking in different worlds allows you to be more accepting of different worlds, I think,” he says. “I just realize that the world is pretty much the same wherever you go, whatever color you are, whether you’re rich or poor. Everybody wants the same stuff.” Liberians don’t have much of that “stuff”, much of anything at all, when he and Andrew return to the country. They wanted to go back to see for themselves what


Topham house, 1977

had happened to the people and places of their childhood in the years since they had left. Only a few months after the family moved back to Canada, the president of the country and other government members were killed in a coup d’état and civil war erupted. The bloodshed would last for 20 years, and in a stark moment in the film, we read onscreen: “Between 1980 and 2003, over 250,000 people were killed and more than 1 million were displaced.” For those still alive after two decades of horror, everything was lost — loved ones, homes, possessions, even photographs. Photos represented wealth, health and special occasions with loved ones — everything the rebels wanted to quash. People were killed because of their pictures, and others soon learned to destroy them, or be destroyed. Identities and proof of people and of events, of better days and happier times, were wiped out, with all that remained but a memory. It is gut-wrenching to imagine. Jeff’s father was a photographer, bringing back to Canada a vast collection of images captured during their three-year stint in Liberia. Jeff and Andrew would go on to develop their own love of light and location, composition and characters learned from years of watching their dad hone his craft.


Exchem crew 1977 / Exchem reunion 2010

“We only lived in Liberia for three years, but I’ve looked at these images all my life,” Jeff says in the film’s voiceover. “It’s because of these images I’m a photographer now, my brother too.” One of the three gripping main story arcs of the film delves into what photographs and the loss of them mean to a person, to a family, to a community and to a country. After the film shoot wrapped and Jeff and Andrew returned home to Canada, they wondered what they could do to help the country that they had such fond memories of as children, that had changed so drastically in the intervening 30 years. While the film is garnering award nominations (Best POV Documentary and a special nomination for Jeff as Emerging Director at the prestigious Yorkton Film Festival) and is to premiere at the Houston World Film Festival on April 16 and air on the Knowledge Network, it is an unexpected offshoot from their journey that seems to be providing the deepest sense of satisfaction for the two brothers. Jeff and Andrew are reaching out across their own networks and around the world via the internet, to amass

a collection of photos of Liberia, in The Liberia Photo Repatriation Project. They are asking anyone who has images of pre-war Liberia to share them, and the two men will be returning to the country to present them to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the National Museum in Monrovia, later this year. For more information, visit NAME? Jeff Topham OCCUPATION/VOCATION/DESIGNATION? Writer, director, photographer, soldier of fortune. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START? My degree in English Lit got me a gig stringing tennis racquets in a Vancouver sport shop. We hired a girl whose dad was a documentary filmmaker. One day he came in and I sold him a volleyball. Somehow it turned into a job. WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY, KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW? Not much. I think most of the best parts of my life happened when I had no idea what I was doing. WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING ABOUT BEING AN ADULT? That in your head you still feel pretty much the same as you did at 18 — and that you’re still happiest doing the things you did at age eight. WHAT IS THE MOST FUN YOU’VE EVER HAD? A solid month of watching World Cup soccer at local bars in Accra, Ghana. WHO OR WHAT HAS SHAPED YOUR CURRENT DECADE? As I answer this, it’s only one month in! But I hope it will have been my return to Liberia and this film we’ve managed to make. Or my upcoming friendship with George Clooney.


Andrew and the locals


Topham house, 2010 / Jeff and Andrew and friends

WHAT DOES SAFETY MEAN TO YOU? It’s a combination of the strength of the cage between me and that Great White shark, and the strength of my trust in the guy baiting it with tuna heads. HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED? Friday night at the pub and someone says, “Hey, let’s call Topham.” WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER GOT? Except for maybe your mom, nobody else is thinking about you right now. WHAT’S THE WORST MISTAKE YOU EVER MADE? Accidentally taking the ‘slow’ truck to Timbuktu.

HOW MANY CAREERS HAVE YOU HAD? Fruit picker, construction worker, racket stringer, coffeemaker, writer, photographer, filmmaker. WHAT OTHER CAREERS ARE WAITING FOR YOU? I wouldn’t mind being a chef or a spy. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CONCERT? Summer of ’85. Mr. Mister at the Kelowna Arena. I wish I could say it was Van Halen, but there wasn’t a lot of choice back then. WHAT DO YOU DO TODAY THAT YOU SWORE AS A KID YOU’D NEVER DO? Sometimes I talk about the weather. I still don’t play cards.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT MISTAKE? Sometimes it’s not about the destination or the journey. BIGGEST (NON-ROMANTIC) HEARTBREAK? Overtime in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals. Bobby Nystrom scores on Pete Peeters as the NY Islanders beat my beloved Philadelphia Flyers to win the Cup. I was eight and my world collapsed around me.

MORE of JEFF web: twitter: @jjtopham

BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE (LEAVING ASIDE WEDDINGS, BIRTHS, ETC.)? When they said it wasn’t a heart attack, after all. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE YOU MET IN REAL LIFE AFTER GETTING TO KNOW THEM VIA SOCIAL MEDIA? Actually, quite a few. Facebook played a pretty important role in Liberia ’77. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE IN TODAY’S WORLD? Education.


Topham Brothers with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

DELISH We’re looking for a dynamic and experienced

ADVERTISING AND AFFILIATE MANAGER! If you’ve found this page then you likely already know what Delish is all about, and who is bringing it to you… but to remind you: Delish is a call to action for conscious living. We got tired of making do with magazines that catered to other women, with breathless headlines like, “How to Satisfy Him in Bed!” and “Drop the Weight With the Hottest Diet All the Celebs Are On!”. We are women of action who know how to make things and fix things and get things done… and if we don’t know how, we’ll find out. So, we decided to create a magazine that would appeal to us, showcasing traditional values in a modern mindset. Delish is written and designed by seasoned pros. We have credentials, bylines and war stories coming out the wazoo. Our resumes and portfolios of work can stand up to scrutiny and not blink. We have strong opinions and a strong desire to produce quality content. (We really, really love this stuff.)

Information is presented in interesting and relevant sections, and includes product and book reviews and recommendations, DIY projects, recipes, and profiles on interesting and well-known people. Atop the magazine’s masthead are an Editor-in-Chief with 17 years of experience as a broadcast and print journalist and editor, and a Design Director who has worked in design for 12 years. We are looking for someone who has experience, energy, ideas, and who can be enthusiastic about the Delish Magazine product.


Please read through the first four issues of Delish Magazine, inquire for more information if you need it, and apply with a resume and cover letter in a PDF (to tamara@delishmag. com) if you feel this is a position you could excel in.

*Live like you mean it.

dime-store delights 路 fanciful frills 路 whimsical notions

Be sure to come back to this page in every issue of Delish for the MOST delish books on craft, decor and more..




My to-do list seems to grow exponentially at this time of year, but whether it’s the warmer temperatures, later daylight or the promise of the growing season that is just starting now, these days I’m more energized to get through everything. I’m also inspired in the springtime to start new projects after an admittedly longer-than-I-planned hiatus, so the books in my list this issue definitely have some pages earmarked and are patiently waiting for their turn in the spotlight.



Art at the Speed of Life: Motivation and Inspiration For Making Mixed-Media Art Every Day Written by Pam Carriker/Interweave Books It’s the overstatement of the year to say we’re all pretty busy these days, and life for most of us can go from “pretty busy” to “hectic and crazy” with the addition of just one or two more tasks. When that happens, something else — an activity or a hobby — has usually got to go to make room. If you happen to be an artist, sadly, the thing that often falls off the to-do list first, is making art. Author Pam Carriker says daily living activities pull artists (and all of us, really) out of the “creative” mode and into “survival” mode. Paramount to making time for art is managing your space and supplies, and the writer offers advice on how to get organized and inspired. She and guest contributors share personal stories and unique projects to give participants the opportunity to try their hand at new techniques and tools, that will help get the creative juices flowing once again.

$22.95 at



spring 2011

web: twitter: @pamcarriker

Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers Written by Linda Permann/Potter Craft When a new tiny one comes into this world, it’s instinctual to want to wrap him or her — in your arms, in love, and in something warm and cozy. That’s why most baby items are soft and snuggly, and are even better when homemade. This is author/crochet queen Linda Permann’s second book (her first was Crochet Adorned: Reinvent Your Wardrobe With Crocheted Accents, Embellishments and Trims, $24.95 at, and it’s chock full of colorful, cuddly items like the sunshine baby blanket, a sweet owl pillow, almost-toocute-for-words leg warmers, an adorable sweater vest, and more. All projects have a wonderful modern twist, making the finished product thoroughly hip and promising that you’ll be the totally cool aunt/sister/grandma/gift giver at the next baby shower. $21.99 at

MORE FROM the AUTHOR web: twitter: @lindamade

The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make + Sew Written by Abigail Patner Glassenberg/Interweave Anything is cuter when you put a bird on it! If you’re at all drawn to these lovely little creatures then be prepared to watch your obsession grow when you get your hands on this new book. Bird by bird, your own aviary will grow, and all from leftover fabric scraps and other materials you’ve got just piling up in your sewing room. Looking at the finished product (like my favorite, the owl), you can see that there’s some serious time and effort required, but rest assured that the explanations are clear and augmented by helpful tips and extra information in the sidebars, and that the finished product is well worth it.


web: twitter: @abbyglassenberg

$24.95 at

$16.46 at

Tweet tweet! Enter to win a copy of The Artful Bird on Twitter. Send this message out to your followers for an entry: “Tweet tweet! I’m entering to win a copy of The Artful Bird! RT this msg and add @DelishMag and you can too!”. Winner announced April 30!

Guest Review


Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit: Using the Rub-off Technique to Re-create and Redesign Your Favorite Fashions Written by Steffani Lincecum/Watson Guptill

As a dressmaker/pattern drafter and a person who routinely adapts commercial patterns to suit my needs, it was refreshing and exciting to find a book that shares this useful information in an easy-to-understand format. I am a person who has a lot of experience in this area, but even so, I was able to find several useful hints. It is not only an interesting read for the person who likes to sew clothing, it is also full of very good information. The advanced and intermediate sewer will find ideas that she can put to use immediately, and the beginner sewer will be given something to aspire to. On the practical side you will find that the cost of this book will be repaid many times over if you put its contents to work. You will be equipped to adapt the patterns you already have and will be able to create many new styles. By using the rub-off technique you will be able to make patterns from garments you own and love. The basics of any good home-grown wardrobe are good fitting patterns. This book helps you get that and save money in the process by teaching you to repurpose the patterns and garments you have at hand. $24.99 at

$18.47 at

welcome to

Girls World!

MORE FROM the AUTHOR web: twitter: @stitch_coach

...pssssssst! Have you heard?


100% Handmade

Custom Bunting Banners Quilts, Decorations, Cases & Purses Saying YAY for Unique!

Don’t pay boutique prices— get creative and recycle!

It’s not about how much you spend, but what you can make from the things you find. And now, with FABRIC REMIX, Sandy Stone proves that decorating “scavenger style” is not only eco-friendly, but gorgeous. It has all her stitchery secrets for transforming unexpected materials—like canvas signage!—into one-of-a-kind accessories you’ll love to show off. 5-31-11

$19.95 ($23.95 CAN), in paper



THERE are so many gorgeous fabrics on the market today and incorporating




home decor is a great way to utilize these beautiful designs. But how and where to use them in your home become the questions. Cushions or drapes are obvious items, but I like to add pops of my favorite fabric in an unexpected place.

A fun project I’ve done throughout is to pair lovely fabric with beautiful pictures we have around our home. These DIY fabric covered photo mats are just perfect for putting amazing textiles on display every day, and grabbing guests’ attention anywhere you place them in your home.


spring 2011

SUPPLIES CHECK-LIST Photo mat (any size) Fabric Tape or glue Scissors Utility knife (optional)


Measure your photo mat.


Cut a fabric rectangle (or square) 1" larger than the measurements of your photo mat on each side. Place photo mat on top of fabric. Use weights to hold down photo mat. Cut center fabric out leaving a 1" border. You now have a 1" border on the outside and on the inside.


Cut slits with your utility knife in each of the inner corners on the diagonal.

Tape or glue fabric border to the back of the photo mat.


Place in frame and enjoy!

... For more great DIY projects, creative ideas and delicious recipes, visit Lindsay at The Cottage Home! THECOTTAGEHOME.BLOGSPOT.COM



kate spain - WOMAN OF THE CLOTH -


Kate Spain is a popular designer in the quilt world, but many fabric fans are often surprised to hear that she is also has paper products, dishware, and more. Coming from a graphic design background, Kate has made her way in the design world in some very creative directions. At one time she was even designing Hello Kitty products! Read more about that in this interview. Living in Connecticut with her husband and her glorious garden, Kate surrounds herself with color, vibrancy and life. There is no shortage of inspiration and work for this busy designer.

Q. YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A SURFACE DESIGNER, BUT IS THERE ONE MEDIUM THAT SPEAKS TO YOU MORE? FABRIC, PAPER OR CERAMICS? A. What a good question. It’s so hard to pick just one when each offers a totally different creative experience/challenge/process. I think each of these materials have inherent qualities that speak to me in equally appealing but very different ways. I love fabric because it has the potential to become so many other things and it takes on a whole creative life beyond me. For fabric and ceramics, there’s an aspect of beauty combined with functionality that I love too. And for paper there are so many forms and possibilities! For all, there is a certain degree of unpredictability about what a design will look like when it’s printed on say, fabric, as opposed to applied using glazes on ceramic pieces. I love that part. It’s always a surprise to me — something that I could never have anticipated or expected, but that I end up learning something from.

I just want to add that from a design perspective, the medium often dictates (but doesn’t limit) the direction I take at the onset of a project — am I designing within a circle for a plate? Or for fabric that will repeat? Or for a dishtowel that is folded when it’s hanging? In general, I work from a full repeat pattern and making adaptations for specific products, keeping the medium in mind. Q. WHAT IS ONE ESSENTIAL PART OF YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? A. Time. I think it’s the most essential part of my creative process, but often there’s not enough of it. The down side to making a living as a designer is that it’s also a business that requires lots of time and attention in ways that are anything but creative. Sometimes it’s hard to find a balance, so I try to be very disciplined about carving out my “creative time” so I can focus and explore and let the designs take shape without forcing them. Although I joke to some colleagues about the magical “F11” button on the computer keyboard — that you click once for an instant design!

ally drawn to so I started to make a color map to use as a guide for some preliminary sketches. What’s always interesting is that even though the colors might look great as a group, they might not interact well in a pattern. So during that initial stage, I find it’s really important not to get too attached to anything, but to let design decisions come about naturally through experimentation. However, with color, there is sometimes seasonality to it. So if I know that I’ll be setting out to design a spring fabric line, or holiday tableware, certainly those are occasions where color usually drives the concept. Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? A. I’m a cool color person and love so many shades of greens and blues… ultramarine might be my favorite. It’s a deep and vibrant blue with a slightly purple cast.

The other inseparable part of my creative process is drawing. I love all the possibilities of a blank piece of paper. I’ve been asked many times about how to learn to draw and I think it’s a little different for everyone, but you have to practice and make it a habit. I always feel a little clunky if I’ve gone a while without picking up a pencil. Part of it is learning how to deconstruct what you see into its basic elements of lines, shapes, light, and shadows. When you’re just beginning, you have to come to a piece of paper with a willingness to let go of expectations. Not every mark you make on a piece of paper is going to be the “right” mark or even in the “right” place! Letting go of what you think something should look like and not judging whether the end result is “good” or “bad” will certainly help motivate you to keep at it. Q. IS THERE A CERTAIN PERSON YOU KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU DESIGN? A. Not specifically, but it’s impossible not to think about the person who might bring my fabric, or plates, or photo albums, or whatever it is, into their lives. Ideally, I hope to extend and share a little of my own joy, curiosity, and wonder with that person and make a connection with them. It could be through color that might lift their spirits and make them feel happy, or through pattern that might have a certain vibrant, lively energy about it. Sometimes I step back and ask myself, “If I were walking through a store, would I want to buy this?” If the answer is “Not a chance!”, then I’ve got more work to do! Q. WHAT COMES FIRST? COLOR OR CONCEPT? A. Sometimes color influences concept, or vice versa. For example, when I designed my fabric line Fandango, I was looking at mosaics and tile work from Spain and Mexico so you could say “concept” came first. But there were also certain recurring colors that I was re-


spring 2011

Q. YOU ARE A GARDENER. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE FLOWER OR VEGETABLE? A. Yes, my husband and I both love to garden! When we bought our house, the only thing we could identify (other than weeds) in the back yard was horseradish! Not something we cook with too often. So we had lots of fun planning and planting everything that’s out there now. I love so many flowers — some for their fragrance like mock oranges, peonies, and lavender… some for their color like amsonia, black lace elder, and perennial flax, and some for the memories they evoke like the sweet autumn clematis that rambles over our garage

to order eight-foot fluorescent bulbs for the delivery elevator shaft. Not so bad ordering them, but walking across town to pick them up in the rain, not being able to fit them into a cab, unable to hold my umbrella and the bulbs at the same time, opting to get soaked rather than to risk breaking them, schlepping them back to the office and finally installing them without getting electrocuted was definitely a low point.

and reminds me of my great-grandmother’s house. I could go on and on! We also built some raised beds for growing vegetables, and I have to say, picking and eating the first ripe, juicy, sun-warmed tomato of the summer is among my favorite gardening rewards. Q. WHAT IS THE WORST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD? A. Oh, there have been many! I was a chambermaid in a hotel for a summer. Not too fun making beds and cleaning bathrooms! I’ve also waitressed, scooped ice cream, and was a temp. But I think the worst job I had was being a receptionist in NYC. I was bored out of my mind. The most creative thing I got to do was pick out the flowers for the waiting area, and order different coffee flavors for the break room. One time, I had

Q. QUILTING IS RELATIVELY NEW FOR YOU. DID YOU EVER IMAGINE YOU’D BE SO POPULAR IN A CRAFT? A. Oh I have so much to learn! I’m just so happy and grateful that people have responded so positively to what I do enough so that I’m able to wake up each day and get to do what I truly love. It humbles me deeply and so I work really hard to preserve this by always trying to be a little better at what I do to keep things fresh and fun. Honestly, I’m so preoccupied with daily projects, meeting deadlines or developing new designs that I hardly have time (or the care) to pay attention to popularity. Q. WHO WORKING IN TEXTILES/PAPER DESIGN DO YOU ADMIRE? A. Too many to name! I do love vintage Marimekko prints and am amazed at how contemporary they remain no matter what the decade. Their crisp, simple and timeless designs are always inspiring to me. I’m also a

big fan of John Robshaw’s work. His color palettes are natural and beautiful and he uses hand-carved woodblocks to create many of his prints. I love that there is irregularity and imperfection in the patterns and that the handmade quality of the prints is left intact. It’s refreshing and sophisticated at the same time. Q. WHAT IS THE ONE PLACE YOU STILL WANT TO SEE YOUR DESIGNS? A. Maybe bed linens and throw pillows. I guess that’s two things! I like the idea of bed linens because there are so many layers to mix prints, scale, and color. It would be a fun design challenge for sure and would likely open up some opportunities to explore new color ranges. Q. DO YOU EVER WORRY THAT THE CREATIVE WELL WILL DRY UP? A. Hmm, I’ve never even considered that! I guess it’s because every time I’m working on one project, I might hit on a certain shape, color combination or composition and think “Wow, that would make a great set of placemats, appetizer plates, note cards (you name it), if I just tweak the colors, rearrange the design elements, make this bigger and that smaller, take this out, move that there." So it’s a constant flow of exploration that continuously leads to the next thing. It probably comes from my innate need to keep my hands active. And I think that’s key. The more you do, the more you want to do. Q. WHAT’S NEXT, NOW THAT YOUR LATEST LINE, CENTRAL PARK IS LAUNCHED, PLUS NEW LINE OF DISHES? A. My next holiday fabric line for Moda, called Flurry, will be shipping in May. And I recently (like yesterday) completed my fall 2011 fabric line. On the heels of the Delilah and Triana plates at Crate and Barrel, I’ll have a few new products for the kitchen available at Crate in April. And a bunch of other things that are still on the drawing board. Never a dull moment!


spring 2011

Q. COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE: I JUST WISH PEOPLE WOULD… A. …practice random acts of kindness as often as possible. MORE of KATE web:

10 1 seed starting



bother starting watermelons in Northern Ontario. Many seed companies will also list a difficulty rating that will help to guide you.

Read the Packet

“I made this!”, I gloat while serving up a salad made entirely of food that I grew in my garden. Well, “gloat” is probably not the right word. I prance around like the fantastical wizard I am, cheering about my mad skills in making real food from tiny seeds. It took me months. I had some fatalities. But overall, it’s fairly simple to grow from seeds. And more importantly, it’s awesome.

Choose Your Seeds

Starting seeds early in the season is a great way to save money on annuals, which are flowers, herbs, and vegetables that will flower or fruit in the first year. More advanced propagatrixes could also start perennials from seed in many cases, but it is a more difficult and time consuming process as perennials may need many months, or years, to reach the size of a nursery plant.

Following the instructions on the seed packet will give you the best possible start unless the growing directions read like my radicchio, “sow seeds a few days after a moonless night”, which may as well be gibberish. The majority of seed instructions will list everything you need to start seeds, like when and where to sow, planting depth and spacing, special watering requirements and days to germination. Some will also list special information like germination temperatures, repeat sowing, transplanting, and thinning. Following the instructions gives you the best chance of success, so those map-hating-instruction-scoffing types out there best pack away your stubbornness for this project.


You can start seeds in just about anything you can find around the house that will create a mini-greenhouse, or you can buy all sorts of interesting setups to best suit your needs.

Seed companies in your area should sell the right seeds for your climate, but do make sure that you pick the right plants for your experience level. If you’re a seedling yourself when it comes to propagation, don’t

GREENHOUSE KITS Many different greenhouse kits are available now. Most will have a plastic tray with a clear plastic greenhouse dome. Some come with a soilless mixture for starting seeds like peat pellets that expand to a mini seed pot when soaked in water, others may have coconut fiber pots that you can be transplant right along with your seedling. Others may even have a heat mat that gently warms soil to improve germination.

The beauty of these kits is that you can start a large number of seeds individually in one tray (up to 72) and many are made for small spaces like windowsills. The drawback is that the seedlings will need to be replanted either in the garden or a larger pot in a few weeks. Leaving seedlings in small pots with no nutrition will cause unwanted stress to the plants.


Jiffy Self-Watering Greenhouse 70-Plant Starter Kit – $15.85 at


Jiffy Windowsill Greenhouse 24-Plant Starter Kit – $9.99 at SEED STARTING TRAYS Garden retailers will sell many different types of professional grade seed starting trays, domes, and inserts with features like root training, moisture control, automatic watering, and grow lighting. Certainly many of these features have value in starting the year’s plants off on the right foot and can be used over and over.

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS An inexpensive and creative way to start seeds is to use household items as seed containers. Lining a seed tray with pots made from toilet paper tubes, newspaper, or egg cartons will cost nothing. At times your family may think you’ve gone mad given how excited you will become when you get to take home the plastic cake dome from the party. But come on, that’ll make a really great greenhouse dome, right? Search for biodegradable paper products you can plant right in the ground or food safe plastic containers you can use as mini-greenhouses for your containers if you are on a budget.

w Rootrainers® – $17.50 at w Self-Watering Propagator Set $39.50 at 44

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w Potmaker – $15.50 at

Growing Medium

You can buy a pre-made seed starter soil or you can make your own with a mix of three parts peat, two parts compost, and ten percent perlite. This mixture is light

and holds moisture well, so it is wonderful for helping seeds germinate. All growing mediums will need some time to absorb water, so add moisture and let it soak in for an hour before planting. Be sure to use sterile mix if you are starting seeds indoors. Soil or compost from the garden will bring in all sorts of critters like soil gnats which will drive you freakin’ crazy as you run around your propagation trays like a mad person swatting and squashing an endless supply of teeny tiny flies.


Germination will be best in a moist environment for most seeds, so keeping the soil damp and a greenhouse dome on top will keep the right amount of humidity for optimal germination. Keep the soil from drying out by checking it daily. Water gently, from the bottom where possible, so as to not damage the seedlings about to emerge.

Dampening Off

Dampening off is a term for a fungal growth which looks like fuzzy hairs on the stem of the seedling. This fungal growth will kill the seedling so it’s bad, real bad. To prevent dampening off, occasionally spray with a bottle of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide and vent the greenhouse dome on a regular basis to regulate humidity.


Seeds won’t need light until they emerge from the surface of the soil, but then they will need strong sunlight for most of the day to prevent them from becoming leggy (overly tall and spindly = weak). You can supplement a lack of sunlight with fluorescent lighting, either buying a set of grow lights made for seed starting or by making your own with fluorescent shop lights.


Generally, the seed instructions will suggest you plant two to three seeds per pot and thin out all but the strongest. This seems to be the thing that some gardeners have the hardest time with. If three strong tomato seedlings have popped up in one tiny peat pot, then the gardener rushes off to get tweezers and separate out the three wee plants and re-pots them all. More inexperienced gardeners may damage each plant giving none a strong chance at survival, so it’s best that you grab a clean pair of scissors and snip all but the strongest seedling in each pot and be done with it.

Hardening Off

As the seedlings grow into plants and the date to plant outside is getting near, it’s time to start hardening them off, or toughening them for their natural environment. I like to start by opening a window a few hours a day so they get a breeze. Then start moving the trays outside,

out of direct sunlight, for a few hours. Start at one hour and gradually increase to a full day outside. By the time your plant date has arrived, you can safely transfer your tough little soldiers directly into the ground, with some delicious compost and a thorough watering, to brave the elements on their own. Seed starting is such an interesting and magical process, especially for children, so it’s the perfect activity to do as a family this coming spring. The months that you’ve spent germinating and raising seedlings will be a series of trial and error, so expect some loss. Not every seed will germinate, not every seedling will survive being transplanted, and not every kind of plant will do well in your garden. The gains will be clear when you have piles of leafy greens taking up every inch of your windowsills bursting to get outside. Starting the plants off yourself ensures you are in charge of the health of the plant and can control what goes into it. And the satisfaction you’ll feel from starting your own seeds is tremendous. If you do dig in this spring, I predict this summer your whole family will be running around like the fantastical wizards you are, cheering that you have made real food or beautiful flowers from tiny seeds. Good growing! TO READ MORE on GARDENING, VISIT ME AT: web: twitter: @garden_therapy


Feast your Eyes w WRITTEN BY ALIA LEDOUX, TAMARA KOMUNIECKI AND CHERYL ARKISON THE GOURMET PREGNANCY Written by: Leah Douglas/Wiley Review written by: Alia Ledoux

Pregnancy can be a time of pure joy and excitement one second and then confusion and guilt the next (and that doesn’t include the hormone-induced mood swings!). As I type this, I am 20 weeks along in my first pregnancy. The nausea and lethargy have been replaced with visits to maternity stores and doctor’s offices. One thing has not changed though, my conviction to do my best to be healthy for the growing baby inside of me.


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I was given a copy of The Gourmet Pregnancy by Leah Douglas during my first trimester. I can remember being so confused and frustrated about what to eat. For the first time in my life I was craving steak and lamb for breakfast followed by heaping bowls of pasta for lunch and dinner. I knew that eating this way could not be healthy for myself or my baby but I really did not know what I should and should not be eating and in what amounts. Obviously, eating fruits and vegetables were important but I couldn’t fathom a dish that would be appetizing… until I opened the book. The Gourmet Pregnancy was the answer to all of my nutritional questions. At the beginning of the book, there was a useful list of all the foods we mummies-tobe could eat, followed by those we should be avoiding. The section, “What are you craving?” was also very helpful. Here, all of the recipes were divided into categories based on the food cravings they satisfied. Not only did this make finding something healthy and satisfying to eat easy, it also helped me to feel better about craving such things at such hours. Under the Chocolate heading, I could quickly find a recipe for M&M Granola Bars or Rich Hazelnut Cocoa, or when I was in the need for my red meat fix, I delighted in recipes for Roasted Garlic, Sirloin Meatballs and Toasted Pita Skewers or Grilled New York Steak Striploin Salad. Other headings full of fantastic recipes to alleviate any cravings I had were found under “Ice or Slurpee”, “Salty Snacks”, “Sushi” and there was even a section of recipes dedicated to “Peanut Butter”. During my second trimester when my cravings seemed to subside, I used the traditional recipe index that had them neatly organized under Breakfast and Brunch, Snacks and Sidekicks, Appetizers, Lighter Fare, Entrees and Desserts with an added menu section for Special Occasions.



Written by: Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit/ Random House Canada Review written by: Tamara Komuniecki

As a lover of wine and cocktails, the cookbook also helped me celebrate the winter holidays with friends in style. Instead of sipping on water, I delighted in Lemon Drop Cosmopolitans and Ginger Beer No-jitos: all of the flavor with none of the booze. I had to laugh when my guests had a taste of my mocktails and started requesting glasses of their own. On a practical note, I found the recipes to be very straightforward and tasteful. The ingredients were listed clearly and the directions were easy to follow. Some of my cooking times varied but the descriptions helped me to know when they were at the correct phase. There were pictures throughout (a must for me as part of my selection process always involves seeing the final product) and there was a useful section with imperial/metric conversions. My favorite recipe which was a weekly hit at home was the Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Panini with Roasted Garlic Aioli. I had prepared roasted vegetables many times before but the addition of the balsamic vinegar was an interesting twist and when combined with the garlic aioli, simply delicious! For dessert, I could not get enough of the London Fog Cupcakes. Luckily I was not the only who adored them so they vanished before I could eat all 18! The Gourmet Pregnancy cookbook made preparing healthy and delicious meals a delight. It is definitely a staple in my kitchen for these nine months and I will continue to use it to nourish myself and my family far beyond my pregnancy. FOR MORE INFO:

Attention to nutrition shouldn’t stop once you’ve delivered your baby, particularly if you’re going to be nursing that new little one, but healthy eating is often the first thing to go during this busy time. The days, weeks and months after you’ve brought home your new little bundle of joy are potentially one of the most challenging periods in life — in many ways — and definitely when it comes to sticking to a good eating plan. The combination of being exhausted from the sleep deprivation brought on by nursing sessions and diaper changes in the wee hours, being absolutely ravenous from the caloric cost of breastfeeding, and being overly emotional from the wonder of it all (to say nothing of the hormones coursing through your post-natal body) can make it easy to just grab something that is quick but not necessarily good for you or baby. This fantastic book was written by a mother of two who consulted with breastfeeding and nutritional experts as well as other parents. Lots of us have been there – having the casseroles and muffins brought by well-wishers run out after the first week home from the hospital with your newborn, and starting to feel like there is no time left in the day (or night) to cook for ourselves. All you need is a little planning ahead of time, a helpful partner who can do the grocery shopping, and some

$19.45 at $19.76 at spring 2011


One part love letter to local food producers, chefs, activists, and artisans, one part fancy schmancy community cookbook, Edible is a great read and resource. Compiled by the founders of the Edible Communities Publications, Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, this book includes essays and recipes taken from the pages of the many Edible publications across North America.

new and tasty (and quick and easy) recipes to keep your body fueled for its essential milk-making task. Healthy Mum, Happy Baby delivers those and more (the more being one-handed snack ideas and great lists for stocking your house prebaby). The standout recipe for me is my current go-to… the White Chili on page 144. Give it a try! FOR MORE INFO:

$25 at $16.50 at

EDIBLE: A CELEBRATION OF LOCAL FOODS Written by: Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian/Wiley Review written by: Cheryl Arkison

Edible, the regional newsletters, were started 2002 by Ryder and Topalian. In short order the newsletters started popping up across the US and even into Canada. Each focuses on the local food heroes and opportunities in the region. The book, like the newsletter, has loads of profiles, essays, and recipes. The book reads like a ‘best of’ from the newsletters. The profiles and essays are divided into the associated regions for the publications. You don’t have to live in the region to appreciate the heart behind the people profiled. Even if you never cooked from the book, the read is engaging and inspiring. The recipes are inspiring too. Some are a bit typical, if not cliché, but others are inspiring and make you either wish you suddenly lived near the coast or had access to elk. No matter where you live, however, you can take the inspiration and make it your own with what you’ve got, in your season. FOR MORE INFO:

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Green Stalks �

LIVE: TASTE favorite spring vegetable is asparagus. (I think my mother will faint when she reads that sentence.) I didn’t always like asparagus; I used to regard it with such disdain that I would loudly complain to my parents whenever it appeared at our table. And the big problem, in my eyes, was that it appeared at every single meal all spring long. Breakfast, lunch, dinner — there it was, asparagus!

With so much of one vegetable on hand it made sense to incorporate it into everything we ate. It was, and still is, an incredibly versatile ingredient. In fact, the whole reason I came around to liking it was when she started baking it into my favorite quiche recipe. From there I agreed to taste it in risotto (delicious) and, finally, simply roasted with salt and pepper. Since then there has been no turning back!

My parents were locavores before it was a fad. Not on purpose really, it’s just that we lived in the country where there were no shiny supermarkets with polished produce sections. The farmers market was supplied with seasonal vegetables from local farms and you made do with what was there when it appeared. As you would expect, asparagus was one of those vegetables that was in abundance each spring so my mother would snap up several bundles at a time while the season lasted.

I owe a great debt to my parents and their persistence in serving us asparagus whether we liked it or not. These days I do the same for my family. My husband loves it but our daughter still needs some convincing. I am not too worried about that though, she’ll come around one of these springs. I just know it. MORE of KELSEY web: twitter: @TheNaptimeChef

Asparagus � Fried Egg & Parmesan

This recipe is a variation on the popular snack of a poached egg with asparagus. I like to eat it with a sliver of salty prosciutto on the side for an easy spring meal.

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed 4 eggs olive oil 1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook the asparagus until it is tender enough to be speared with a fork. Drain the water and place the asparagus in a bowl filled with ice and cold water to stop the cooking. Pat the asparagus dry and distribute it amongst four plates.

Asparagus Risotto

1 lb. fresh asparagus, blanched and cut into 2-inch pieces 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1 medium onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt freshly cracked pepper 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated 2. Fry the eggs in olive oil until they reach desired doneness, keeping the yolks somewhat runny. Then place them gently on top of the asparagus on each plate and sprinkle each egg with salt, pepper and Parmesan.

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 1/2 cup white wine 4 cups chicken stock 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a wide saucepan (I usually use my Dutch oven), heat the butter over medium heat until it is totally melted.

4. Simmer until the wine has completely evaporated. Then, add 1/2 c. of the chicken stock and stir until it is completely absorbed. Continue adding the chicken stock by 1/2 c. until it's absorbed. About 10 minutes.

2. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about four minutes.

5. Once all the chicken stock has been added, cook until the rice is tender to the bite, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the rice and stir until it is coated with the butter and well-mixed with the onion. Then, add the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up any browned bits.

6. Remove risotto from heat and add remaining Parmesan and butter. Stir until completely absorbed. 7. Finally, add the asparagus pieces, stirring into the risotto.


All of the Taste, None of the Gluten w WRITTEN BY JOSIE BRADLEY

Every family has its special traditions — for mine, the most important times are spent all together at the kitchen table. For as long as I can remember, Sunday morning pancake breakfast is a must-not-miss. In fact, if for some unforeseen reason we do miss it my children will request we have pancakes for dinner. In some way it pulls us together to face the week ahead while we all go in different directions. A few years ago I began to get sick. It was then that I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and told I was gluten intolerant. When I removed all gluten from my diet, I started to enjoy renewed health. When I was diagnosed, one of my first thoughts was, “No – not the loss of our pancakes!” I had worked for years perfecting our recipe. And so I headed off on a new challenge – to find a gluten-free pancake recipe. I wanted a pancake that tasted like one you would find in a diner, but all the recipes I tried from the internet or cookbooks just didn’t quite cut it. After a lot of trial and error, I have pretty much got it down now. I get my baking supplies from Bob’s Red mill and I use a big skillet to cook them on. Sometimes I make shapes for the children – faces with chocolate chip or blueberries. We top them with yogurt, fruit, maple syrup, peanut butter, and homemade preserves. On super special occasions we have strawberries and whipped cream.

The Bradley Clan Pancakes 2 cups white rice flour 1/2 cup potato starch 3/4 cup tapioca flour 1 tsp xanthum gum 2 tsp baking power 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt 3 cups milk 2 large eggs (separated) 4 tbsp agave nectar 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 cup melted butter In separate bowls, mix dry and wet ingredients together excluding egg whites. In another bowl or mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Mix wet and dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites. Cook on medium-high. Flip when bubbles form on the top. If you are adding blueberries, drop them on the top before flipping.


Whether you’re also gluten intolerant, or just looking for the health benefits of a gluten-free diet, this recipe is delicious, good for you and might just become your own favorite Sunday morning ritual, too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ About Celiac disease — from the Canadian Celiac Association ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.

Although statistics are not readily available, it is estimated that 1 in 133 persons in Canada are affected by celiac disease. A wide range of symptoms may be present. Symptoms may appear together or singularly in children or adults. In general, the symptoms of untreated celiac disease indicate the presence of malabsorption due to the damaged small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. In the case of wheat, gliadin has been isolated as the toxic fraction. It is the gluten in the flour that helps bread and other baked goods bind and prevents crumbling. This feature has made gluten widely used in the production of many processed and packaged foods. At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following the gluten-free diet.

ON MY COMPUTER SCREEN Wikipedia: gluten-free diet Canadian Celiac Association Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

ON MY BOOKSHELF Gluten-free Girl: How I Found The Food That Loves Me Back… and How You Can Too $10.17 on $20.45 on

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef $19.77 on $23.72 on

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods: Creating Old Favorites with the New Flours $11.89 on $16.83 on





are often amazed when my five year old daughter and I sit down at the sushi bar and she consumes just as many California rolls as I do. She loves the seaweed wrapper and all, when most kids can’t even stand the sight of the dark green sea plant. I tell people that she was not born loving sushi, she was trained to love sushi. Here are some tips and tricks I have honed over the years as I’ve worked on developing my tastes and my family’s.

EAT AND REPEAT It is absolutely true that you can train your tastebuds to love the foods you want them to. Not all the time, and not all foods, but it is possible in a lot of cases. The key to building a sophisticated palate — your own or your child’s — is repetition. The more you see a food on your plate the more likely you will be to try it and then come to think of it as commonplace. If you do try a new food and you or your child don’t like it, a different recipe or presentation might just be the trick. A few years ago, I read about how great spinach smoothies were for you. The thought absolutely repulsed me, but the more I made them and played around with the recipe, the more I enjoyed them. Even better — my daughter now loves them as well.


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I also used to hate sweet potatoes. Then I came to the realization that the only way I have ever had sweet potatoes is when they were covered in butter and brown sugar, and the turn-off was having such a sweet side dish with dinner. So, I roasted one with some extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkled salt and pepper on top. It was much better but still not something I loved. I really wanted to push on, knowing that they are much healthier than regular white potatoes. One day I was eating a baked sweet potato with some spices and butter, and I realized I was genuinely enjoying it. Now, I crave them on a daily basis and there is no forcing involved! But, if after several tries you or your child still do not like a particular food even if it’s good for you and you wish you could stomach it, it’s probably best to move on and try a new food. That’s actually not a bad thing, anyway, as having variety in our diet is crucial, for our health and for our future adventurous spirit — you don’t want your palate to get bored.

MODEL GOOD BEHAVIOR You can’t tell children that chicken nuggets are bad for them and then a few days later, down a 10-piece McNugget dinner. Take the parenting advice and turn it around, to let them catch you doing something good! If your children see you eating and enjoying a bowl of quinoa and veggies they will be more likely to follow your lead. If they see you snacking on an apple they will probably want to do the same.

If you have an aversion to all things healthy my best advice is, ‘Fake it ’til you make it’! Sometimes you have to pretend you love broccoli or kale, for your own good — and theirs.

PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD Having fun makes eating so much more exciting! Seek out farmers markets, local orchards and “U-Pick” farms. My daughter has been going to these since she was born, and now nothing excites her more than going to the farmers market on Saturday morning. Let them pick out something special to take home and have as part of their lunch or snack. If possible, grow some of your own fruits and veggies right in your backyard. The feeling of creating something you planted with just a small seed and water is priceless. Be sure to get your family involved — not just with grocery shopping but also with making meals. Have family dinner night a few times a week, and extend it beyond just eating together, to making sure the each member of the family gets in the kitchen and takes on at least one responsibility (that is age appropriate) to help create the dinner. Get creative when serving your family’s dinner. Play with your food by making fun faces or designs. Kids are more willing to eat something that looks fun than just a heap of steamed broccoli.

TROPICAL QUINOA MUFFINS 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked 2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 cup oil 1/2 cup apple sauce 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup craisins 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp coconut extract 1/2 cup chopped pineapple Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pan. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl combine sugar, oil, eggs and apple sauce. Stir in quinoa, craisins, extracts, and pineapple. Fold in flour mixture. Spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

You could try Zoo tableware ($3.99+) from Skip Hop.. .. a Flop Top utensil ($14.99) or a Food Face Ceramic Plate ($15.99) from Fred & Friends, to get the dinnertime giggles going. Training your palate can be fun and exciting, so spice things up! I encourage you to put a ‘new-to-you’ food in your grocery cart this week. Do some recipe research and see where this new food can take you. You might just find a new favorite! Here is a recipe I created to get my daughter and I to eat more quinoa. (You can read all about quinoa on page 58 of the Fall 2010 issue of Delish, and you can find quinoa at your local supermarket in the health food aisle or in the bulk food sections.) MORE of JENNA web:




The most intriguing thing to me about wine is how one bottle can vary so greatly from another, even though it can be made from the exact same grape varietal. It is this uniqueness and mystery that can differentiate an average table wine from a top growth Bordeaux. But what makes one bottle so complex and another so ordinary; aren’t they both made from fermented grape juice? The answer lies in the terroir‌ There is no English equivalent for the French term and concept of terroir. Meant to describe the total natural environment of any viticultural site, it encompasses the climate, sunlight, topography, geology and soil-water relations. Each plot of land that grows grapes has its own unique terroir, and it is these specific natural influences that give the wine a sense of place. Regardless of variations in harvesting and wine-making, these distinctive qualities create a certain taste and style of wine that are consistent from year to year. Even with similar harvesting practices, the final product cannot be replicated elsewhere. The subtle flavors and nuances that differ from one bottle of wine to the next are a direct result of the terroir it grew in. Terroir also determines what types of seeds can be planted, and where, because the ultimate ripening of


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the grapes and quality of wine depend on it. Early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay, require cooler climates or else they will appear heavy and lack freshness and aromatic expression. Chardonnay from Chablis in France or Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, are both examples of early ripening grapes that when grown in cooler climates are expressed perfectly. Producers in New World countries seem to be developing a better understanding of the importance of local climatic conditions with respect to the types of grapes they are planting. Growers are seeking out cooler regions, such as Carneros instead of Napa Valley in California, or high altitude vineyards in Argentina, New Zealand and Tasmania. Planting a seed and growing a vine does not simply result in good wine. There are many aspects that go into producing the final product. So, with all the steps involved, do organic methods produce better wines? There is currently no international agreement on what constitutes organic viticulture. Though many producers would like to make fully organic wine, it is simply not feasible. Certain regions like the South of France, Chile and California have advantages that can promote this production method, such as climates with very little humidity which can prevent mildew, rot and other ailments. In cooler regions, organic harvesting can cause

a loss of up to 30 per cent of the annual crop. Such is the unfortunate case in Germany. Full-blown organic growing methods forbid the use of any industrially synthesized compound and fertilizers must, therefore, be natural: compost and manure.

terroir and harvesting methods to the use of American versus French oak), it’s not hard to imagine that one day bottles will have their own DNA attached to a barcode to help us in our selection process!

Sustainability, or lutte raisonnée in French, seems to be the compromise. Integrated management of the use of chemicals is the goal. Many producers who are not organic or biodynamic aim to be sustainable. They will stop the use of herbicides and use other methods to control pests. However, this practice requires much more time and detailed studies of the vineyards. It is far more complicated than simply loading up your tractor with containers of chemical spray. However, more and more serious growers seem to be prepared to make the commitment.

MORE of ALIA web: twitter: @WineByAlia

The next question to ask is, with all the extra work, do organic methods produce better wines? One would imagine they should; yet the range of quality is in fact the same as is found in non-organic wines. Too many wines with organic accreditation are disappointing. As a result, an organic logo on a label is not in itself a guarantee of a good wine. With all the intricacies that make up a “simple” bottle of wine (from genetically modified seeds, grafted vines,

ALIA’S TOP THREE PICKS TO ENJOY THIS SPRING: 1. Sileni Cellar Collection 2008/09 WHITE WINE Whether you are a lover of Pinot Gris or not, you will be delighted with this wine. From Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand this juicy wine has aromas full of peach, tropical fruit, floral notes and mineral flavors and is characterized by a peachy pink color coming from skin contact during fermentation. Medium acidity and body pair perfectly with 12.5% alcohol to form a well-balanced wine. It has a wonderfully fresh, dry finish medium in length. Try serving it chilled with chicken, pasta or seafood at your next picnic. For $15.99 CAD, Sileni offers great value when compared to its famous brothers in Alsace and Northern Italy.

2. Clos de los Siete 2008 RED WINE This shining star in the sea of Argentinean wines is the brainchild of the famed French wine consultant, Michel Rolland. Along with other top Bordeaux winemakers, Rolland set up a vineyard in Mendoza Valley. The resulting wine is made up of Malbec blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. It is full bodied, rich and concentrated with dense black fruit flavors, notes of chocolate and sweet vanilla oak. I recommend decanting the bottle before drinking to soften the tannins. Try pairing it with roast beef, braised lamb, grilled steak or any meat dish at your next barbecue. For $22 CAD, it is worth every penny.

3. Chateau Dereszla 2003 DESSERT WINE I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy sipping on a glass of Hungary’s sweet wine Tokaji. Telltale flavors of orange marmalade, signaling the use of botrytised grapes, join notes of honey, vanilla and orange pekoe tea. At 10% alcohol, this full-bodied wine is 5 puttonyos, meaning it has 120g/l of residual sugar, the perfect accompaniment to any dessert or cheese plate. Available in the 1/2L for $45 CAD, it is a little taste of heaven in a bottle.





e've been slathering and dousing and primping with all manner of substances — organic and man-made — since earliest recorded history, in the name of beauty. Try to picture Cleopatra without her darkened eyes, Marie Antoinette without her rosy cheeks and hair powder, or the handful of other iconic women throughout history with their own signature style. These beautiful babes didn’t just pop down to the shops to pick up their accouterments, but worked with the ingredients they could get their hands on. Sometimes things worked out well, like setting a new standard of beauty and being known for it forevermore, and starting a craze that went on to be adopted by a mass of female fans and followers… and sometimes, they ended up with lead or mercury poisoning. Most beauty products that have been adopted for normal daily use were cutting edge or avant-garde when they were first introduced. Today, whether to feed the insatiable appetite of millions of women looking for solutions to combat wrinkles, blotches and flyaway hair, or to continue to keep sales brisk in a multi-billion dollar beauty industry, companies are still developing products that might seem odd at first. A bevvy of new beauty products on store shelves today are completely counter-intuitive — it seems like they just shouldn’t work, but they do — and well. Here are the best of the bunch.


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Black Beauty I’m quite pale, and blond. It was not without some trepidation that I smoothed the first bit of boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask across my cheek, but it quickly became fun to smear a cool, black-as-tar formulation across the rest of my face. Waiting the prescribed 15 minutes as it dried, I read up on the product. The mask includes some pretty hefty ingredients that promise great results, including Calcium Montmorillonite Clay from France, to absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins from skin, exfoliate dead skin cells and purify, nourish and restore skin. While putting the mask on was fun, I was a bit nervous about the removal part. I had read some chatter online about it not peeling off well — a few users had complained that they couldn’t get an outer edge to lift off their face to start the peeling process. Well, they must have been doing it wrong (perhaps it wasn’t dry yet, is all I can guess, or maybe their fingers were wet) because it couldn’t have been

easier to peel, starting from the outside edges. It was actually quite enjoyable and I was left with the entire mask peeled, on the bathroom counter. My skin underneath was noticeably softer and, yes, brightened. I am used to masks that go on wet and are ready to remove when they are so dry that they are practically crackling off the skin. I’ve never found the clean-up of this type very easy — there’s a whole lot of splashing about and rubbing with a wet cloth and I’m left with a dripping wet counter and a face red from scrubbing. Not a fan. The Luminizing Black Mask is fun to put on, easy to take off, and delivers what it promises. This is most definitely a keeper, and I actually have two tubes right now as boscia has a hard time keeping it in stock!

w $34 at Make sure to have a black face cloth handy to wash off any remaining little bits of mask (I get some at the hairline). I love the Black Makeup Washcloths from The Turkish Towel Company for removing makeup of any kind. $49 for 6 at

Good Vibrations I’m not one to quickly jump on beauty product bandwagons, and so I scoffed at the first mention of vibrating mascara when it came out some time ago. How ridiculous, I thought. Why would we want a mascara wand that shook, when we know that the first rule of successful eye makeup application is to have a steady hand? But when enough brands came out with their own version, I decided it was time to give one a try… and what do you know, I liked it. I think it’s so effective because (and these are completely my own words, not pulled from the box or applicator) it seems to me that the vibrating wand delivers micro pulses that ever so gently displace the lash to distribute the mascara just a little bit more fully than with a steady, still hand making one smooth swipe. Think of the zigzag motion some

women like to make with the wand when they are applying mascara — it’s that idea but the battery operated wand does it for you, and at a rate quicker than you can manage (7000 oscillations per minute, or about 116 per second). I tried Lancôme’s Ôscillation Powermascara, making my selection out of a range of vibrating mascaras on no real basis other than the impression I have that this is a solid brand. The mascara itself is superb, with great coverage and color, and a formulation that doesn’t smudge and is easily washed off. The vibration is simply a very slight, almost-tickle, and delivers the mascara fully and with great efficiency. This is a definite keeper in my makeup bag.

ww$34 at $22.95 at

There don’t seem to be very many products in this shaky (ha, get it?) segment of the market, but Lancôme has another offering in their Ôscillation Powerfoundation. A saleswoman at the beauty store said it works really well, and the vibration helps to deliver the product deeper than by hand, and buffs and polishes nicely.

ww$48from at $29.99 on

One Step? Correct! You’d think it wouldn’t make sense to apply a colored product, other than blush or bronzer, onto your washed and moisturized face. Certainly not a product with three colors — and how about those colors being green, lavender and peach? Stila’s one step correct, billed as a “skin tone correcting, brightening serum”, is just that — swirls of three separate strands of color suspended in a clear gel. Pump some out onto your finger and you might think, “I’m supposed to put this on my face now?”. That’s definitely what I thought, but as usual, in the name of getting to the bottom of the story, I did just that. Verdict? Love it! And, I’ve been using it every day since trying it for the first time.

My red patches and blotches are covered well by this light, sheer formulation, and my overall tone is brighter and ready for foundation or just powder. Each color has a specific purpose, like the green that neutralizes redness and conceals blemishes. Mix all three together and you get a serum works like a dream. Which makes sense, really, seeing as how the product was borne from an actual dream. Here’s the story of how it came to be, on I bought mine at Shoppers Drug Mart, and the saleswoman said this is their bestselling product — they move 25 of these a week. I think it’s just about the best primer that I’ve used to date, and I’ll definitely restock this when I have used it all up.

w $36 at

Quick Hits & Honorable Mentions Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil I know this seems weird — using an oil cleanser on an oily complexion? Like fighting fire with fire, it works. It glides across the face, is super easy to rinse off, and has left my skin better — no breakouts like I feared.

w $26 at Smashbox O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss Women’s intuition at its best, this lip gloss goes on clear and turns the most perfect shade of pink for your own skin tone.

w $22 at I am looking forward to also trying the O-Gloss Noir, that goes on black and turns into a berry shade.

w $22 at

Unusual & Total Crap I recently picked up a product that piqued my curiosity — a “Natural hair remover mitten” by Velvet Touch that “Gently Removes Hair, Instantly and Easily”. It looked interesting and was under $10, but when I got it home and opened the box, I was very surprised to remove what appeared to be a roll of fine pink sandpaper. The instructions said to rotate the mitten in a circular motion moving down the leg, but I couldn’t imagine how to do so without also taking off the top layer of skin. I decided to turn to my friend Google first, and found a few interesting beauty blog reviews. From These pads didn’t remove a single hair from either my legs nor arms. Left my skin with a burning sensation like really bad carpet burn. Plus my skin was left with this horrible pink/red tinge for a few hours. These went immediately into the trash! From It stung soooooo bad. It is still stinging, and this was about 20 minutes ago. I have little red bumps and total skin irritation. What was I thinking?? Did I not realize that RUBBING MY LEG WITH SANDPAPER would cause skin irritation and PAIN?! I feel like a total idiot. Plus now I’m scared to shave that leg, because I’m afraid that rubbing a blade against irritated red bumpy skin will hurt even worse. So now I have to wait. And from My sister called me today to let me know she is unable to hold her arms down at her sides. Why? Oh, I don’t know… uh, maybe because she tried to remove her underarm hair with sandpaper disguised as a beauty product. After sweating at the gym, her underarms are so irritated that it is now too painful for her to have her arms hang down at her sides like a normal human being. The package’s tag line is “No Mess No Chemicals” and from reading the reviews, I’ll add: no skin. This one is definitely not for me!


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save your skin





Spring is upon us, bringing with it new life everywhere we look. The selections I chose for this edition all involve amazing characters experiencing a range of different circumstances bringing them into their own extraordinary new lives.



The Birth House is Ami McKay’s debut novel and was a number one Canadian bestseller. Winning three CBA Libris Awards and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, this book has become a favorite in book clubs around the world. For me, The Birth House runs in the same circles as great female-based novels The Red Tent and The Secret Life of Bees.

Bay where we meet the heroin of the story, who is a young woman named Dora Rare. Dora is the first female in five generations of Rares and this fact has often made her the topic of gossip amongst some of the superstitious village folk — she is labeled as odd and different, and some even go so far as to call her a witch. These tales only intensify when the local midwife, Miss Babineau, takes Dora on as her apprentice.

McKay is a talented storyteller, whose writing can inspire notions of wanting to go back to a time when women depended only on their instincts, each other and Mother Earth to navigate through life. She is able to intertwine fictional characters into historical fact so smoothly that you might just walk away from this book ready to give up all your modern conveniences to be able to live an authentic life as her characters do.

Miss B. is an strong-spirited Acadian woman with a great gift for storytelling and knowing exactly what Mother Earth has to offer in way of healing remedies. With Dora at her side, Miss B. uses her home remedies to help the villagers around her with their aliments — infertility, difficult labors, breech births, and unwanted pregnancies — asking nothing in return.

This early 20th Century story is set in a small fishing town found off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, by the name of Scots Bay. It is in the hills of Scots

Tonight we strung apples to dry and made coltsfoot cough drops. Miss B. pulled what looked to be an old recipe book from the shelf and placed it on the table in front of me.


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“This here’s the Willow Book.” She closed her eyes and stroked its cracked leather cover. ”We put things here we don’t want to forget. The moon owns the Willow”. She untied the thick pieces of twine that was holding its loose, yellowed pages together, thumbing through until she found what she was looking for. “Thank you sweet Mary. Here it is: coltsfoot. Some likes to call it the son-before-the-father ‘cause it send up its flowers before the leaves. Just the thing for an angry throat. You write your name down in the corner of the page, Dora. So’s you remember to remember. PG. 37 But times are changing and the modern world comes to Scots Bay threatening Dora’s new way of life. This disruptive change comes in the form of a chauvinistic, brash medical doctor named Gilbert Thomas. Dr. Thomas opens a Maternity Home down the mountain in another village and comes to entice the women of Scots Bay with the promise of sterile and painless childbirths if they would see fit to give up other luxuries to pay for the fee of his service. He is successful in drawing some women to his facility; even to the point of having some of them question the midwives’ methods. These questions lead to gossip, accusations and

recriminations which are only intensified when a local woman dies after being treated by Dora. Dora has to dig deep within herself to find out who she really is and what truth she lives by. Then and only then is she be able to stand up to the determined Dr. Thomas. My house became the birth house. That’s what the women called it, knocking on the door, ripe with child, water breaking on the porch. First-time mothers full of questions, young girls in trouble, and seasoned women with a brood already at home. They all came to the house, wailing and kenning their babies into the world. I wiped the feverish necks with cool mist cloths, spooned porridge and hot tea into their tired bodies, talked them back from outside of themselves. PG. IX

$3.98 at $16.72 at





Author Uwen Akpan is a Nigerian Jesuit priest who was inspired to write, as he says, “by the humor and endurance of the poor”. Akpan’s book is a collection of five stories as seen through the eyes of the children who live out their lives on the war torn continent of Africa. At times painful to read, these stories have given a voice to the young who are often forgotten and overlooked. This book will shake you, enlighten you and break you. If you are a courageous reader, you will love what this book has to offer.

$8.14 at $17.81 at

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Published in 1899, The Awakening caused so much controversy that it ended Kate Chopin’s career. This book would go on to be a pioneer amongst books, dealing with women’s rights and the beginning of the feminist movement. The story involves a young mother and model wife from New Orleans, named Edna Pontellier. Edna longs to find her own identity and does this by stepping out of the norms of her day. Not only does she separate from her husband, she also takes on a young lover. Written as lovely as a smooth waltz this exceptional piece of literature has stood the test of time, even with such a rough beginning. If you are looking for a different kind of adventure, this book is for you.

$6.56 at $5.99 at



Gripping is a word I would use to describe this historical fiction novel. A New York Times bestseller, Sarah’s Key reveals some dark truths about what happened in France in July of 1942 during the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup. Sarah is a ten year old Jewish girl whose family is arrested and taken away to a prison camp, but not before she hides her younger brother in a secret cupboard, hoping to come back and free him. Sarah’s story is brought back to life in 2002 by an American journalist, Julia Jarmond, whose latest assignment is to do a story about the Vel’ d’Hiv. Julia’s investigation leads her to uncover some family secrets of her French in-laws that are directly connected to Sarah and her family. A riveting read, I did feel the end went a little flat, but the body of the book more than makes up for that. $6.43 at $19.10 at

I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you look for in a book, what draws you in, what keeps your attention. Until next time, take care of your soul and keep reading! Love and light, Cat



WHEN I heard about Total Cleanse, a three- or five-day juice cleanse

delivered to your door, it sounded too good to be true. It also sounded pretty Hollywood, and although I knew I wouldn’t look like Jennifer Aniston in three days it was worth a try. I signed up for the three-day cleanse, and a few days later, three coolers were dropped off at my apartment building’s concierge in the middle of the night. As someone who likes organization (total Type A), I was giddy to grab these in the morning and find each cooler packed with six pretty bottles numbered in the order I was to drink them each day. There were three green juices, two lemonades and one berry juice for each three days. The company states that ‘Even though your calories are somewhat restricted, there is enough calories in your juices to get you through the day.’ You are advised not to eat any solid foods, and to stick to water and herbal tea between meals, as the juice is supposed to give your digestive system a rest. This part scared me a little, because I really, really like eating. My days are organized around breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 1 I started on a Monday when I was off from work, where I was set to spend the day with my fiancé John. While this is the best way to spend a day, I knew it would make the challenge that much harder. After guzzling my first green drink, surprisingly fresh with just the right amount of sweetness (“It’s like drinking a beautiful garden”, were my exact words), we headed out for brunch. Since I wouldn’t be able to indulge in pancakes at the brunch spot around the corner, John decided to go for his favorite meal: a burger and fries. I drank my lemon and cayenne concoction in silence, my mouth watering at his juicy beef burger, ketchup dripping off of the


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sides. The funny thing is I’m not a burger girl at all, but in this moment of virtuous cleansing, and knowing no solid food would pass my lips for three days, all I wanted was a big bite of that meaty burger. The day continued on this note. We went to a great Mexican restaurant, where John ordered beer, and I drank herbal tea. I walked through a gorgeous gourmet food store and tried not to look the hummus sample in the eye. I wasn’t physically hungry at all, the juices were keeping me full and energized, but all I could think about was food. And chewing — how marvelous it would be to chew. We ended the night in a cozy pub, where I ordered another herbal tea, then declared it was time to go home for a hot bath where I could finish my juices in peace.

DAY 2 I had trouble falling asleep but when I woke up at 6 a.m. the next morning I was bursting with energy. I drank my first green juice with vigor, and was at work before all of my co-workers, cooler full of juices on hand. Other than the incredible-smelling toasted sandwich and some Hershey’s kisses piled right beside my desk, it was much easier doing my juice cleanse at work. In fact, it was very practical to be able to sip my juice while working and not having to worry about chewing. I was enjoying the juices more and more, especially the berry concoction made of strawberries, blueberries, apples, lemons and pineapple. After work I set out to meet John at a restaurant with some friends. I told him to bring my juices, and ventured out wearily,

not knowing how I would handle the restaurant or the social experience. When I arrived the guys were drinking pints of beer and our friend’s girlfriend was sipping a glass of Prosecco. John was digging into a basket of fresh bread and covering it with butter and my eyes cut through him. “Do you have my juice?” I asked. Normally I advise to avoid social engagements while detoxing or cleansing, but I was up to the challenge. I had to be if I was going to get through the pressure… not from the company I was keeping, but the staff at the restaurant. When our waiter passed to take our orders, I shook my head no, and he looked down at my juice with some serious stink eye.

DAY 3 Again, I had a little trouble falling asleep, but I woke up feeling amazing.

end of the night I finished my last two juices, and fell asleep in my newfound purity.

I went to work, drank my juice, and ended the day by doing an infrared sauna at a nearby health clinic. I figured if I was cleansing my body I might as well go all the way.

The owner of the company recommended I eat fruit, vegetables and nuts for three days following my cleanse, but after a few hours of tossing and turning, I woke up at midnight, and celebrated with a handful of almonds and a big chunk of 85% dark chocolate.

This was my best idea yet, and if I were ever to do the cleanse again, I would likely indulge in massages, saunas and relaxing nights in all the way through. At the

OVERVIEW After my cleanse I felt lighter, more energized, and inspired to continue a healthy lifestyle. Would I do it again? I’m not sure. I hated obsessing over food so much, but I loved the results. There are mixed thoughts on doing a juice cleanse. Holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy says that, “Fasting that long is not ideal because your liver does not perform as efficiently without protein. Protein is necessary for effective detoxification to occur. Further, your body goes into “starvation mode” when not enough calories are consumed.” While I felt great for the first few days after my cleanse, I actually found myself craving heartier foods, and eating more than usual a week later. I’m concerned that the restriction of food made me want it more than ever.

I would recommend that anyone about to embark on a cleanse seek advice from a doctor or nutritionist beforehand. Total Cleanse is offered throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver and Montreal. Fine out more on There are also other companies in Canada, the US and beyond, who specialize in helping you cleanse with fresh juices, delivered for your convenience. Google away! MORE of GILLIAN web: twitter: @gyoungwoman

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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS TESSA? W WRITTEN BY TESSA MACKAY NAME: Tessa Mackay AGE: 31 (good vintage) HOMETOWN: Cape Town, South Africa CURRENT LOCATION: toothbrush residing in St. Petersburg, Russia HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE, HOW LONG WILL YOU STAY, AND WHY ARE YOU THERE? We’ve been here for six months for a prefeasibility study (just in time for winter…) and here for another few weeks before the next adventure. WHAT DO YOUR DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES CONSIST OF? Currently, going to work, while making sure all layers are properly donned, making a point of heading out at lunch time to enjoy some light (at the winter solstice we had 5.5 hours of light…) and of course mastering the fine art of Ringlish (Russian-English) to make yourself understood. On weekends, depending on the weather, heading into the parks and palaces around St. Petersburg and enjoying the winter wonderland.


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Alternatively, finding interesting and unusual restaurants, pubs, and of course museums. They have museums for just about everything. And of course the Hermitage, which is worthy of a number of visits. WHAT HAS LIVING IN THIS NEW PLACE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT: A) THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE? The importance of adventuring around your hometown and knowing some random facts about your country. And yes, I’m white AND African, deal with it… Being in Russia has also piqued my curiosity again about cultures, different view points and the amazing variety of different traditions/superstitions in different countries. For example, traditionally the third toast in Russia in an evening is always to the ladies. B) THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAME FROM? There’s no place like home… There’s something about Africa that captures your heart, fills you with pride and draws you back. And it’s not just the sunshine, the warm people, the phenomenal scenery and the odd wild animal, there’s something more. More elusive… that you’ve got to keep exploring. C) YOURSELF? I’ve learnt more patience, when dressing to layer better and to relish in the small joys in life (like blue skies, a surprise smile and really bad mullets).

WHERE ARE YOU GOING NEXT? Off back to South Africa for a few months to rejuvenate, reconnect and laugh more, then onto Canada for a year or two to do some more environmental management projects, exploring and perhaps finding a hill or mountain or two to climb, snowboard down, or simply enjoy. WHAT ARE YOUR LARGER GOALS, PASSIONS AND PLANS — PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY? My larger goals, passions and plans (other than taking over the world, Pinkie) is to get deeper involved in the incredibly exciting field of Biomimicry. I’ve just been accepted to do an eight month Biomimicry Speciality programme in order to learn more, and figure out better how to apply it into my work, day and perhaps even transform my career. Why not!? Grow a little… Seed ideas…


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When the

Journey needs a


Time flies. Time is money. Time’s a-wastin’. Time becomes a commodity — something valuable, not to be squandered… precious. And so… something for others.

me, they are all important to me. Yet nothing on that list truly has my name on it. I get the satisfaction, yes. I get the appreciation, yes. I get the income and the benefits of a clean house where I know where to find a new light bulb.

When I look into my “time pocketbook” or check the balance in my “time account”, it seems like there’s always so little in there that it must be allocated judiciously. To my children, to my career, to my husband, to my home. Who gets my time first shifts fluidly — the day, the season, even the time of day can slip one need in front of another. I think my way down my list of responsibilities, tasks and to-dos, mentally checking off each one, wondering if I have given it the amount of time it needs even as I tick the box and move to the next item.

But often nothing on that never-ending, ever-lengthening list of things is for me. Nothing in that huge pile of responsibilities that I carry in my head every moment is to take care of or reward myself.

Every so often I scan the list in my mind and something whispers… where are you? I shush the little voice. I am in all of these, I answer. All of these things are part of

Until a friend said she missed me. Not, “I need your help,” or “I want your advice.” Just…“I miss you.”


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I had been ignoring myself. Not grotesquely so. Not negligently so. But in that way of deprioritizing where the absence of feeling unbalanced kept me from finding the necessary inspiration to move my own needs up the list.

There is a sweet ache that accompanies knowing you are missed. A tug in a place that reminds us that our simple existence is something important to someone.


Needing and wanting are all well and good, and we all desire on some level to be needed and wanted. But with needing and wanting come expectation. With missing there is only appreciation. It took such an expression for me to find the leverage I needed to hoist a priority of my own ahead of the rest.

have honed our abilities to coast on the residual memory of a free afternoon to such razor-fine precision that if challenged we would be woefully inaccurate in recalling when that last free afternoon actually occurred.

When my dear friend, Nichole, sent her missive I knew it was time. One of the most stellar winegrowing locales in the world sits squarely between the two of us. And what I wanted – needed – was an afternoon of talk, laughter, food and of world-class red.

If we cannot explicitly remember, then it has been too long. Those crevices inside us will become dusty and inhospitable to creativity, to joy. We now equate an absence of acute stress or anxiety with adequate rest and recreation. If we’re not ready to verbally assault our loved ones or secretly eat jumbo cheeseburgers in the parking lot on our lunch breaks then we assess our mental health as robust and doing just fine, thank you very much.

a glass or two Nichole and Lori

I no longer need a magazine, talk show or hair color commercial to remind me that time for myself is something I am entitled to. I’m aware that it is, in fact, essential to my overall well-being and ability to function at the level I expect of myself. But if left in responsibilityhomeostasis – that state where I am simply letting the things I need to take care of set the agenda and dictate my schedule – I will seldom put a self-reward into the mix. We insist that our friends, sisters, even our mothers, take the time they need to ensure that the places inside them are tended to. Yet in a time of knowing our worth and establishing our right to be self-oriented and strong, why do those activities that sustain our abilities to maintain our best potential hide behind the needs of others and the demands of our litany of responsibilities? It comes down to priorities. I believe that we know, but do not yet feel. So while slotting in an activity for rejuvenation may no longer feel selfish, it does not yet feel important. We

Last spring? Last year?

But it takes more than simple freedom from a state of constant stress to be creatures of celebration and imagination. We are more than our ability to handle a crisis – although we are often masters of it. The potential to do the things we dream of – what were they again? Writing? Learning to knit? Studying Portuguese? The potential to do those things lies in our quieter places where the hinges become rusted and uncooperative if ignored for too long. Thankfully, it only took an email for me to remember that. I live nestled between two valleys of vineyards. Miles upon miles of them. Endless rows of twisting, green plantings that turn amber and purple as the sun’s light angles deeply into autumn. Acres of estates built from limestone and timber, each more glorious than the last. People travel across the country – or from other countries – to spend time in the region I call home.

It starts with appreciating the drive. Over a small mountain, through alternating clusters of redwood and oak. Past the massive properties with horses, and the smallish, run-down cottages. Then slowly downwards, winding into the billion-dollar valley.

Over grilled salmon and a burger topped with Brie and smoky bacon, we are laughing. We are sighing in sympathy and quickly donning and doffing indignant pique over a frustration that the other has suffered. The main courses cleared, the Brix dessert menu is laid before us. Mini ice-cream sandwiches? Why, thank you. Don’t mind if we do. We wander through the gardens for a few moments, their bounty tamped by the softer October sun and hints of fall.

The Napa Valley, 26 miles long and at its widest only five miles across, is home to nearly 400 wineries. It is the more sophisticated older sister to the Sonoma Valley. Where the Napa Valley is already attending black-tie charity dinners, the Sonoma Valley is still selecting her prom dress. They are both quality women, these valleys, but Napa has the maturity edge and the income to match. With more wineries than could be visited in a week, and more restaurants than any waistline could handle, Nichole and I selected just one of each.

We met at Brix for lunch. Brix Restaurant, Garden and Wineshop is located north of Napa on the Saint Helena Highway. Fronting a garden where the chefs grow much of their own produce and with the Mayacamas mountain range as a backdrop, patio dining at Brix belies the busy highway just outside the front door. A glass of wine and dish of tempura green beans later, the obligatory mom-questions (“What’s your husband doing with the kids today?” “What time do you need to get home?”) out of the way, the conversation starts flowing freely to dreams, aspirations, juicy gossip, longrange plans.

After our meal, we drive the short distance to Trefethen Winery. We are given the royal treatment once they’re reminded that Nichole once worked in their marketing department. We are moved directly into the tasting room and offered one of the reserves to sample. Holding a dusky Cab in an oversized glass, we step out to the back patio and I’m given privileged inside information about the Valley and the complex relationships the wineries have with one another. The names mean little to me, but the stories are no less entertaining. Winery owners and wealthy people are almost imaginary to me – I orbit such a different planet. I’m certain we’ve been enjoying the scenery, food and conversation no more than an hour or two, but my phone tells me it has been closer to four. I have no awareness of where the minutes might have run off to, it can’t possibly be that they slipped by me so quickly. With a few more quick stories to share, embraces and wishes for shorter distances, Nichole and I are each back in our cars and heading back to our husbands, our families. Our homes, our pets. And a list of to-dos and responsibilities that for a while will feel blessedly lighter.

Brix is located at 7377 St. Helena Highway in Napa, California. ph 707-944-2749 /

This was what I needed.


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Trefethen Winery is located at 1160 Oak Knoll Avenue in Napa, California. ph 866-895-7696 /



seeds W WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHERINE BASSO A word is like a seed. Are you aware of the power that your words hold? Did you know that with each word you say, you plant a seed? It makes me think of that popular quote from Uncle Ben in Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” How much do we, as word communicators, hold ourselves responsible for the words we say? Do we think enough about what will come out of the words that we speak? In other words; if we look at words as seeds, we need to be thinking about what will grow out of the word seeds we plant. We need to ask ourselves, are we growing flowers or thorns? There is an old proverb that says, “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” Have you ever experienced that — words that brought you back to life? Words that lifted you up out of despair? Words that warmed your cold heart? Words that bought light into a dark time? There is a name for this kind of word healing. It is called “speaking life over" or “into” someone. In other words, planting healthy seeds in someone else’s heart. When we choose to speak life, when we make the choice to speak positively to others or about others, even when they are not present, we are contributing to a healthier world, a healthier consciousness. Words hold power. Words are like seeds. What are you planting today? MORE of CAT web:

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n i a b a NG






At 35, my Baba was settling her family into a log farm house in the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan. She’d recently arrived, via a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, from Eastern Europe. She’d survived the war (WW2), tuberculosis, and single parenting on an ocean voyage to a country she’d barely heard of before. At 35, I’m living in a sketchy 50s-era house in the middle of Calgary. I recently quit my desk job, the one I wanted the whole time I was going through environmental management at grad school, to be home with my little girls and launch a new career. I grudgingly single parent when my husband leaves town for work.






ed, and well immersed in the culture and convenience of a life easily lived! xxxxxxxx

Baba as Yoda


My Baba was the epitome of a Ukrainian Baba. She got smaller and balder every time I saw her. Her head was always covered by a bright scarf — a babushka. To her, everyone was too skinny and she did her best to change that the second I walked in the door. Her normal state was one of worry — about her kids, the garden, the cats, her feet, whether she had enough embroidery floss.

Unlike her, I’ve had it pretty darn easy in life. There is no way I am like my Baba. My diminutive, stereotypical Baba. Hell no. I’m a modern woman, educat-


spring 2011

When she wasn’t tending her ridiculously enormous garden she sat at this metal stool in the corner of her kitchen, cooking something and talking to herself. She wasn’t a terribly social woman, but lit up when she got to feed people.

and when it was over their relatives strongly suggested to them that the Russians were worse than the Nazis in Poland and suggested they continue traveling West. After a stint in a Displaced Persons camp and a bout with tuberculosis, my Baba and Dido brought their family to Canada in 1947. Settling in Saskatchewan with government donated land, they made their new life in Canada. I’ve moved a few times. First, across the country to university. Then back again because I was in love. There was grad school and another return to my home town for love. Finally, my love and I moved to start our grown-up home. Always, I was surrounded by friends or family. And really, it was never that big of a deal. A hassle, more than anything. Being a first generation Canadian on my Dad’s side was, and is, always a tremendous source of pride for me. I’m not sure why, because it’s not like I did the work. I had the cushy suburban life, but the story meant I came from history. The tiny farmhouse that my father built with his father was overflowing with items she couldn’t throw out — the wooden spoons from Dixie Cups or the green papers from mandarin oranges, her own embroidery, a million houseplants and seedlings for the garden, as well tchotchkes gathered from infrequent trips to the old country. Lace curtains hung from the windows, softening the bright Saskatchewan light and hiding youngsters’ strawberry stealing escapades. The smell was a mix of old people and good food. Slightly nauseating when you first walked in, but you quickly got used to it once she started feeding you. By the time I’d reached 12 I towered over her. She had to reach all the way up to pet my cheeks and tell me, in Ukrainian, that I was so big. Her tiny stature and squeaky voice when she spoke in English reminded my husband of Yoda. With youth on my side I could take the walks she couldn’t, climb the ladders too difficult for her — but I could never keep up in the garden or fit my hands in a jar like her. Her size and experience would always have me beat. xxxxxx

Nothing Compares


My grandparents, Baba and Dido, were married later in life. From the sounds of it, my Dido was a ladies’ man and Baba wanted little to do with him. Maybe time, or the fear of being an old maid changed her, I don’t know. But in their late twenties, with the shadow of war clouding Poland, they got married. With the changing borders and circumstances of life with the Nazis in charge they ended up in Germany when they started their family. My father was born in a work camp. But they made it through the entire war

That history was lived in our relationships with family. Sharing stories and meals was our way of living a fam-

ily life. Not until I was an adult was I able to see the value of our visits to Saskatchewan. Our sporadic visits did more than break the monotony of life for Baba and Dido. Energy, even as frenetic and snotty as ours could be, was always welcome. As was the free labor and empty stomachs. xxxxxxxx

In the Garden


Baba and Dido’s tiny house was planted in the middle of their enormous garden, like the peak of an edible mountain. A raspberry patch the size of a normal city lot. Onions and garlic framing the gravel driveway. Heads of cabbage dotting the way down to the slough. It was enough to feed themselves about a dozen times over. Every day it wasn’t raining Baba hauled buckets of water from the slough at the front of the property. From these she doled out doses of water to every plant individually. Even when my Dad gave her a pump, at some point in the late 80s, she only used it to fill barrels instead of hauling buckets. She still tended the garden by hand. That garden was an extension of her. The summer before she was forced into a nursing home she was still growing broccoli and cabbage, freezing raspberries, and hand watering from small plastic tubs. Every fall we visited to help with harvest, our family having to take two vehicles so there was enough room to bring all the cabbage, potatoes, and onions home. My mom hated those trips because it meant she had to deal with it all when we got home. My Baba’s way of dealing with it was making sure the root cellar was dry and the rocks to hold the deep freeze closed were big enough! I can’t garden worth shit. Every year I try. Tomato plants, herbs, raspberry canes that grew, then died. One year we had a full-blown garden. My potatoes were good. The beans too. Not much else. While I still try every year, now I shop from the farmer’s market and our own CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Without trying though, I always have too much. There is always canning and freezing to be done. When our CSA farmer has leftovers or another week of nothing but Swiss Chard he knows he can count on me to take


spring 2011

it and use it. That genetic wiring to not let anything go to waste is strong in me. We grew up knowing where a heck of a lot of our food came from — Baba’s garden (and our small one too). While taking a four hour drive to get that food certainly doesn’t make it ultra local, it was still ours. Without even thinking about it I still shop as if I’ve driven to Saskatchewan. I eat by the seasons, I eat from the farms that surround my city, and I take pleasure in what is available now and what I can hold on to for later. I’m not coming to a local/seasonal eating focus late in the game, I’m living the modern version of my Baba’s influence. I may not be able to grow the food like Baba, but I know how to appreciate the effort. x

A Metal Stool in the Corner


For all her work in the garden, the kitchen was truly where Baba came to life. Gardening provided the raw materials for her stage show. In the kitchen Baba fed people… and Baba liked nothing more than to feed people. Did I mention that everyone was too skinny? For all our whining about our forced captivity in Saskatchewan, my brother, sister, and I knew that we’d eat well. We’d arrive past our bedtimes to a steaming pot of water, ready for fresh pyrohy. After that light snack she’d ply us with super sweet tea made better with her raspberry juice, served in mugs covered in smiley faces. There was a routine to her meals, you knew what day it was by what was on the table. Pyrohy on Friday. The crispiest pancakes on Saturday morning. Saturday lunch meant hamburgers, cornmeal crusted and fried. Saturday dinner was a feast with ham or a roast chicken, holubsti, and a pile of other food. Sunday, before leaving, we ate what was left after all those meals. Did I mention that everything was fried? We bought Baba a microwave once. The next time we came to visit we discovered that she thought it made a handy bread box. I could totally use a bread box. No one in my family has ever been able to repeat her pancakes, but I can do pyrohy pretty well. Of course,

my mom is to thank for that. I was still a surly youth when Baba would have been able to teach me. She tried, once, but I wasn’t nimble enough for her liking — making my pyrohy too big. While I don’t have her ability to make most of a meal sitting perched on a small metal stool, the kitchen is probably where I most closely resemble Baba. If you walk through the door of my house my first instinct is to feed you, but I am able to refrain from stroking your face. My menu choices will also be a lot more varied than Baba’s. That being said, no one complains when I make pyrohy. I don’t need rocks on my freezer and my husband wasn’t keen on digging a root cellar, but I have succumbed to my heritage in the canning and preserving department. Jams, jellies, juices, pickles, and fruit line my basement shelves. (They sit next to the sauces and salsas my parents make.) My freezer is full of bags of blanched veggies, taking up space next to the side of beef my family shares. So I don’t fry everything, and I have a knowledge of seasoning that extends beyond salt, pepper, and garlic, but the instinct to preserve and to feed is strong. Rather than fight it, I’m embracing it… and doing it with Baba’s apron around my waist.

made pillows, blouses, tea cozies, dresser toppers, tablecloths, artwork, and added her touch to nearly everything. Her work was precise, colorful, and delightful. Cross-stitch is not my art of choice — quilting is. While the houses of all I know are not filled with my quilts — yet — my own home is full. And there are more than a handful of my quilts living in homes around the world. Baba was still alive when I showed her my first quilts. She was polite and, I think, a little impressed that I was sewing. But she was more encouraged by the fact that I was still in school and would work in an office one day. To Baba, a life free of domestic labor was one of success. My guess is that she hoped I would put on my suit and keep the sewing for idle hands in the evening. How wrong she was. Now I create out of compulsion and am building a career on my creative pursuits. I quilt and write — teaching, designing, and sharing. To do so would have been impossible in Baba’s day; incomprehensible to her imagination. I’ve probably reverted from Baba’s definition of success. I work at my dining room table, not an office. Dressing up means putting on something that needs to be ironed, instead of jeans and a t-shirt. Being happy wasn’t in Baba’s definition of success because Baba always put her feelings behind her obligations. You did what you had to do and who cared if you were happy. I am happy with my new creative and domestic life. I feed my family, worrying when my little one loses weight and gets too skinny. I spend naptime and nighttime sewing and designing. My house is still pretty messy and any thoughts of gardening are buried under a foot of snow. Even with the modern conveniences of my suburban life, Baba’s influence is strong. It is still pushing it to say I live an updated version of her life, but there is no denying the similarities. If it wasn’t for her example I’m not sure I would find happiness in this life. That’s because I see the value in her hard life, in her sacrifices. I can appreciate, if not be awed, by her success. Yes, success. So I come from a grumpy family, who cares? They survived that torturous and tumultuous life, still managing to grow and create along the way. Thanks to her, I’ve got this life.


Needle Pulling Thread


Gardening and cross-stitch were the two seasons that Baba lived by. If she wasn’t involved in the planning, prepping, growing, and preserving of her garden she was sitting with a needle and a colorful pile of thread. Our home, her home, and the houses of nearly everyone she cared for were filled with her embroidery. She

For all my education, life in a corporate office, and modern ease, I am a Baba in training. But I promise I will never stroke your cheeks and tell you that you’re too skinny. MORE of CHERYL web: twitter: @cheryl_arkison

spring 2011




Found family FOR THE


It's an unfortunate fact, but all kids get colds -- and they get even more colds when an older sibling starts attending school. Tired of the snot and other horrible aspirators for my baby, I pulled up my big girl panties and purchased the hydraSense Nasal Aspirator. You really have to get your head around this contraption, but it’s a gentle, safe and hygienic way to relieve your child’s stuffy nose. Use the hydraSense® Easydose® nasal drops for even better results.


I’ve tried all sorts of products to heat, cool and soothe our family’s garden variety aches and pains — you name it, we’ve used it… and they all suck. Hot water bottles that reek of vinyl, microwaveable seed-filled pouches that leave a coating of dust behind, frozen brick-hard ice packs, bags of veggies that have to be labeled clearly lest they get eaten… I’m just wondering why I haven’t picked up a GalPal Retro Ice Bag yet. There’s a reason this design has remained unchanged for years — it works! And these have old school style to boot.

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spring 2011

LIKEY I popped a bottle of Shave Secret into my husband’s stocking this past Christmas, after having read a rave review about it on Hubby was skeptical at first, but now uses it every shave, and when he started to absolutely rave about it, I knew I should give it a try myself. Let’s just say I’m glad I bought the four pack! It’s a natural oil formulation that gives a close shave and leaves skin soft and softly scented.

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Betcha the handyman of the family thinks big jobs around the shop and house mean a good scrub-down with an industrial strength hand cleaner. Won’t he be surprised to find out he can get a super-effective clean from a product that’s better for the planet, and his own health! Ecover’s Heavy Duty Handcleaner includes interesting ingredients like coconut granules and wood powder, like a manly version of a really awesome exfoliant, for hands covered in paint, grease, and what-the-heck-is-that?!

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Necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case, sleep was the necessity and Susan Smith-Lauchlan was the mother! The invention? A lovable monster called Norbert, also known as the Nightmare Nibbler, that Susan developed along with a poem, to help her son Sam deal with the nightmares that had been plaguing him. Green Parents’ List approved, partial proceeds from the sale of each Nightmare Nibbler go to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), an organization that provides bedkits including a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net and more to children in need. Give the gift of sleep and you can all rest easier.

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With all scary (but true) information out there about chemicals leaching into plastic, it was a no-brainer switching my kids to stainless steel sippy cups. The Klean Kanteen Kid Kanteen is made from high quality, 18/8, food-grade stainless steel that’s totally free of BPA and other toxins. A reusable option that will not only grow with your child (you can simply change the top as they get older) but save the environment from having more plastic fill up landfills.

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spring 2011



Our furry friends can have as much trouble digesting certain foods as we, their human family members, do — sometimes more, I am reminded as our dog Duane lays at my feet gassing me out while I am writing this. He’ll eat pretty much whatever he’s given, and we have to deal with anything that didn’t agree with him sooner or later. It seems he might just be gluten intolerant because he’s loving the Good Buddy™ Wheat-Free Dog Jerky from Castor & Pollux Pet Works, and we’re loving the lack of nasty posttreat “treats” that he usually leaves us.

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Plastic is not so fantastic. It’s estimated that most plastic bags will require hundreds, if not thousands, of years to completely break down. This includes your average grocery bag that a lot of dog owners still use to pick up after pooch, and that they now have to pay for at a lot of stores. Meeting eco-certification standards, PoopBags Biodegradable bags dissolve within an astonishing 18 months. They’re extra long (big enough for a Great Dane’s pile!), naturally scented with lavender and cost just a few cents a scoop.

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Dear Dyva As a self-employed service provider (how gloriously vague is that? I could be a hooker! Who can say?), how can you gracefully sail through awkward growth spurts? I’ve reached a point where the number of people who’re interested in hiring me vastly outweighs the number of hours I’m willing to sit at a computer screen. I know my business needs to “grow” to meet swelling demands, but I’m not ready to become a boss, with minions and interns. And I’ve been told that cloning is painful and expensive. What’s a growing gal to do? Let me start with a from-the-rooftops WAHOOO!! Growing Gal! I’m proud of you and am so glad you are rocking worlds with so much aplomb that folks are lining up around the block. I sincerely trust you are taking time to celebrate your grandeur. Now, here are some with-love tips on how to scale with style.

I’m a professional instigator who is not afraid to ask (and answer) tough questions so you can move through your personal and professional life with aplomb. I prefer alleys to sidewalks. And, I have a sink full of dishes — would someone get on that, please?


spring 2011

KEEP IT FANCY This is the perfect time to up the ante. Double your rates, clarify your services. I wonder if part of your cloning conundrum stems from doing-it-all (for them). Are there elements of what you have been offering that can be eliminated entirely? Does it feel juicy to do some part of what you have been offering and ditch the rest? Just because you are good at something does not mean you have any business doing it. If the old outfit doesn’t fit the new, taller, in-demand you, ditch it and go for a sequined suit version of your biz. WORK SOBER I have had a few growth spurts. On more than one occasion, I overindulged in the rush of having people clamoring for my attention. It diluted my purpose and when I was all high on the swell, it meant I could only produce in a half-way manner. The quality of my work zigged and zagged; I missed the fine details. It was not attractive. Find a sensible, foxy version of moderation for yourself and get some accountability around it.

CLEAN HOUSE Look at your current roster of clients. Do they make your heart sing? Does their work inspire you? Do they share your values? Make a fearless inventory and cull the herd wherever there is a less-than response to any of the prompts. For real. Since you get to choose, and you do, design your client list like you would your ideal outfit, favorite room or your dream date. Stand Tall: As you go through this growth spurt, don’t get all hunched over and worried what they’ll think. You know who they are. Be loud, proud and set your boundaries clearly. Be kind and clear, at all times. Do.Not.Waffle. Grow with grace, girlie.

Dear Dyva I want to try new foods, partly for the benefit of my blog, and partly for the sake of growth our family, including my young son. I grew up in a household where Velveeta and frozen veggies were key elements of cooking. I want to expand my own culinary horizons and take the boy along for the ride. Ideas? GAh-ha! This is wonderful news. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing bad about breaking out of Velveeta and the frozen veggies of our childhood. I get the sense that you are already pushing your boundaries a bit, so I’m going to offer some intermediate-explorer advice: ASK A SUPERHERO Get creative with the kidlet at whatever level seems fun for him. Assuming he’s somewhat interested in food, ask him for ideas of foods he’d like to try. (I remember that before I went to school, I ate everything. The first week of first grade, I converted to ketchup and French fries. I don’t think my mother has recovered from the shock to this day.) Create age-appropriate stories

around the food, where it came from, who else in the world (or in a made-up world) is eating it for dinner tonight. Excite his sense of adventure by incorporating science, such as what happens to food once you eat it or what happens to the structure of food when it’s cooked. GO ROGUE Break any normal food habit and the food tastes different. Eat outside (okay, even if it’s winter — picnic in the car!). Eat dinner for breakfast. Listen to new music while eating. Create a new tradition of making lunch for school together. If you normally shop in a conventional grocery store, make a field trip per month to a new store. Try local farms, farmers’ markets, food co-ops or natural food stores. Ask the smaller market staff to talk to you about what’s in season or what a good alternative protein source might be. If you are feeling really adventurous, look up organic food clubs or delivery services that deliver in-season, mystery fruits, veggies and other deliciousness. I like Love Delivery, here in Los Angeles.


Dyana Valentine (AKA the Delish DyVa) is a professional instigator. She asks (and answers) the tough questions that help you move through your personal and professional life with aplomb. Find more instigational goodness at, and follow Dyana on Twitter (@DyanaValentine)!






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Delish Magazine — GROW Spring 2011  

Delish is all about traditional values in a modern mindset. We’re about the revival of the domestic arts, in the current context. Our mandat...

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