Category Archives: What I Learned This Month

Dominion from Sea to Sea

“88FE8717-1591-4D70-BF6B-63E8326A7D79”You know, I always wondered why the “Great White North” was known as Dominion of Canada. One Dominion – Celebrating Canada, Prepared for a Purpose by Bob Beasley & Paul Richardson answers that and so much more. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love this beautiful, oversized coffee table book filled with captivating information, and stunning photography. If you’re into biographies, you’ve come to the right place. If you call Canada home or someone you care about lives there, this book makes a perfect gift that opens into a priceless guide to get to know and appreciate the stories that shaped this nation. It’s a panoramic snapshot that captures past accomplishments, transposes them onto today’s reality framed in future dreams to carry on the vision and legacy that built this nation.

One Dominion is a quick read mosaicked in photos layered rich in content and fascinating facts. I found it especially cool to connect the stories and people behind familiar and famous institutions, such as McMaster University, University of Ottawa, SickKids Hospital, Hotel Dieu, Toronto Humane Society, Children’s Aid Society.  Was also sweet to discover the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill has Scripture written all over it; that politics and faith can mix and accomplish plenty.

Each page traces the narrative of Canada along its faith-based roots. But you don’t have to be a Christian to stand in awe of the magnitude of contributions made by people inspired by the Living Word of God. The intriguing account is well-written and based on true historical details filling us in on how Canada evolved. Yes, the naming of ‘Dominion of Canada’ is anchored in the bible verse “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth – Psalm 72:8 KJV” and the book highlights the mandate to give God dominion over “our home and native land” and to the ends of the earth. That calling includes embracing everyone –  people of every nation, tongue, creed, ethnic background. Whether you are here by birth, immigration, studies or work.  Or even just visiting for a while.

Now, I know how Canada got to be named, the stories and lives that got us to this place, and I’m pumped to continue the legacy of our forefathers whose faith and goodness built the nation, who brought us health care, education, social justice, fair and safe working conditions, rights and freedoms.

One Dominion is an exciting journey through Canada’s past reflected in today’s blessings and tomorrow’s  promise. Making its timely debut in the year Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, this book illustrates much to rejoice over and look forward to. From sea to sea.  And unto the ends of the earth. Cheers Canada! Kudos to One Dominion  Celebrating Canada -Prepared for a Purpose by Bob Beasley & Paul Richardson!


Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Graf Martin Communications for the complimentary copy of One Dominion in exchange for this unbiased review.


Things I Learned in October

What I learned in October

October was a great month to celebrate beauty and decor. Both from nature and people. Little did I know when I set out to capture the combination of God’s artistry and human hands in my neighbour’s adorable and creative fall decor I would find out, when you take pictures on a sunny, humid day, a rainbow appears.

From my home inspirationista The Nester, Myquillyn Smith I picked up the secret to a charming grocery store centrepiece.  Gorgeous, inexpensive arrangements like this one.The Nester Pumpkin Floral Centrepiece

She also taught me simple ways to make something fabulous and FUNky from a sofa you hate….or one that’s old and shabby, tattered and torn. Check out this under 5-minute how to syle a sofa video and see what I mean. Be prepared to be amazed and delighted!

New delicious foods I discoverd:

Hot Chili Pepper Taralli - Terre di Puglia

Hot Red Pepper Taralli made in Italy by Terre di Puglia.

Crunchy, savoury, bite-sized snack with a bit of a kick. Just enough to zap your taste buds without having to run to a fire hydrant.

Caramel Nut Delight - Fall in Love Coffee from Paramount Coffee

If you could fall in love with coffee, Paramount Coffee’s seasonal Fall in Love Caramel Nut Delight  would definitely qualify! Sweet, smooth caramel accented with a touch of almond..Mmmmmmmmm. Mmmmmm. A new favourite!

31 Days of Seeking Him - Kristin Smith - Riches of His Love blog

The most precious thing I learned was how much I would appreciate and benefit from seeking God together with my beautiful, open-hearted friend Kristin Smith. Each day in Octobder we hung out together at Riches of His Love where she shared #31DaysofSeekingHim. Thank you so much Kristin!

6 Things I learned in November

What I learned in November

November came with lots of wind gusts, splatterings of rain, and even a measure of sunshine. Each day brought something to be grateful for and things to learn along the way. Things I never knew existed. Things that brought me fun and joy.

1. It all began at the top of the month when  Oh Nuts Sweet and Crunchy Blog taught me how to make the chocolate pine cones for this gorgeous, decadent chocolate cake.

Oh! Nuts chocolate pine cone cake

2. Picked up 7 ways to trick myself into cleaning the house  thanks to The Nester, Myqillyn Smith.

sugru kit3.  Myquillyn also introduced to Sugru the playdough-like glue  that cures into a strong but flexible waterproof rubber that bonds to just about anything. It comes in a variety of colours and is ideal for fixing things, making them work better, and all sorts of fun, crafty creations.

4.  Discovered these adorable Balocco Faccine  (little faces in Italian) cookies.  A crispy, chocolate-hazenut, not too sweet smiley-faced treat. Balocco Faccine Cookies

5. New Music that grabbed my hEARt with every beat:

6. One of my favouite places to shop is Winners. Because you never know what treasure you’ll find… always at a great price! That’s where I spied this beautiful Christmas Homes china pattern by Royal Stafford.

Royal Stafford Christmas Home Dinner Plate

The moment my eye caught this dinnerware I felt a warm, coziness envelop me – an air of coming home to a welcoming, inviting place. And I fell in love on the spot.

What got me even more than the charming beauty was the candlelight beaming from the window. A signal reflecting the Light of the World who came down that first Christmas and still makes His home in our hearts. A beacon calling us to shine His light and love as we open our hearts and homes to others.  At Christmas. And every day of the year.

Want to see more things we learned in November?  Check out this Chatting at the Sky link-up  hosted by the lovely Emily P. Freeman.

6 Things I learned in September

Hurray! I made it three months in a row, sharing what I learned this month with you. This is so fun and keeps me on my toes, looking up and out for new things to discover and experience.

Here are some of the things that have made me smile…and maybe a little smarter. 🙂

What I learned in September

  1. You can find beauty in unexpected places. Like flowers bursting from a pole. Surrounded by wire. On a major street. In the big city.
  2. Music albums I’m excited to tell you about
  3. Sunlight is a good disinfectant. No wonder my mom loves to dry clothes outside so much!
  4. All ready to greet the arrival of fall, my hair colour for September is a violet-based red combination.  A beautiful, rich, shiny shade that brightens me up and puts a healthy glow-smile on my face. The down side is red hair dye fades quickly and has a tendency to go brassy. But I’m still smiling because I learned intermittently washing with conditioner instead of shampoo will not only preserve the colour but keep hair luxuriously soft and moisture-infused.
  5. New foods I tried & love
  6. Two new quick and easy oven recipes to warm up to as the days ahead begin to chill down
    • The lovely lady ahead of me at the grocery check-out taught me plantains turn into dessert simply by baking them for 40-45 minutes.
    • While visiting a friend she showed me how to make a mouth-watering fish entree by tossing scallops and shrimp doused with lemon, white wine and oil olive with some parsley and dash of seasoning, in the oven. In about an hour, it’s ready to serve…and enjoy!

Yes, sharing what we learn is so much fun and enlightening. Celebrating what we learned in September with this link-up hosted by Emily P. Freeman.

8 Things I Learned in August

What I Learned in August 2015

When you start looking for it, there is so much life has to teach us. Simple things. Big things. Fun things. Things we learn from each other. That doubles the joy of what we learn. So you can imagine how happy I am to connect you with Emily P. Freeman‘s monthly “what we learned this month” link-up and invite you to join in. Contribute with your post or hop on board in the comments.

Here’s what I learned in August to get things rolling:

  1. Signature+ app is a quick, easy way to add text to photos
  2. Designed my first album cover using Canva. Had such fun making it for my “rock star” guitar-playing friend…and he liked it!
  3. Listening to music for an hour every day can reduce chronic pain by up to 21% and depression by up to 25%
  4. Music I discovered and love:
  5. Picked up some wonderful simple summer party decor ideas from The Nesting Place author Myquillyn Smith
  6. Grooved pavement helps fresh asphalt adhere to it
  7. It takes 28 days for concrete to cure
  8. Found it helpful to start a draft for “what I learned this month.” That way there’s a space ready to drop “scribbles” of what I’m learning as I go along.

What I Learned in July

It Happens Once in a Blue Moon 2015 Graphic

Blue Moon in Toronto July 2015

Hey, guess what? I discovered during a heat wave green cooking bananas will ripen nicely into a natural sweetness in just a few days.

And you know what else? I go bananas for learning and trying new things so am delighted to share the bunch of things that branched out, ripe for the picking, in the month of July.

1.  Apple Music is my new best friend. How can I refuse to hang out with that app-ortunity when it keeps showering me with gifts of nostalgic oldies and introducing me to musical treasures I’ve never knew existed. Like pop-rock band Sidewalk Prophets. Such enormous talent wrapped in faith-full inspiration!

2. If you put batteries in the freezer they last longer.

3. Blue moon isn’t blue. It’s when you have two full moons in the same month.

4. Pre-ordered Simply Tuesday and got a lovely surprise. A sample is now available on iBooks. We can start reading it right away before it releases on August 18.  Ahhhh, life is good!

Also signed up for the video series anticipating the book launch where author Emily P. Freeman taught me that holding an empty vessel like a bowl or cup when we pray opens us up to hear and receive from God.

5. Foods I tried for the first time and liked:

  1. Coconut water – it really is refreshing and hydrating,
  2. Jalapeno Pringles
  3. Tim Hortons Cafe Mocha
  4. Oranges from South Africa

Got another treat for you. Not in July, but a few months ago, I found out Emily P. Freeman hosts a link-up to what we’ve learned each month. I have enjoyed them immensely and am a bit smarter for it too. Such a wealth of information from some truly amazing people. Click here to get a sweet taste of what I mean.