fresh strawberry spelt muffins

Fresh strawberry spelt muffin

I hope everyone had a great Canada Day! We struck close to home as we anticipated #2's arrival.

To celebrate and use up leftover fresh Ontario strawberries I made these delicious strawberry spelt muffins. They taste amazing right out of the oven.

I love strawberry season! They would taste even more amazing with a spoonful of homemade strawberry jam.

Give them a try!



Fresh Strawberry Spelt Muffins

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (just whiz up some oats in your coffee grinder)
  • A couple grinds of the salt mill
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk or non-dairy substitute like soy milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. In another bowl stir together milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in strawberries making sure not to overmix.
  5. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and spring to the touch.



open wide zippered pouch

IMG_3289 open wide zippered pouch

I'm baaack!

Life has been busy around here. I've been finishing up work, focusing on the fabric shop, doing lot's of blogging for Urban Moms and then of course the usual family stuff with L'il E and the Hubs. Now that I'm off work and on mat leave again (it feels like I was just on mat leave!) I'm hoping I'll have more time for y'all, at least until #2 arrives in just less than 5 weeks!

One thing I haven't been neglecting is sewing. I've got so many gorge fabrics just staring me in the face that I'm always looking for little projects to work on and test them out. Recently I made a few of these open wide zippered pouches using the tutorial on Anna's blog, Noodlehead. What I like the most about these pouches is they open up SO wide. No time wasted digging around looking for that tiny eye liner pencil. The medium one (photo above) measures in at 12" wide and 7" tall and it's perfect as a travel cosmetic bag because you can cram everything in there.

For the exterior I used Anna Maria Horner's Sundials in Amethyst and for the interior I used Designer Solids in Chartreuse. I also made a smaller size for my Mom using Anna Maria Horner's Mind's Eye in Jazz  for the exterior and Carly Griffith's Matryoshka Dots in Purple for the interior. All fabric is available in the shop!

Why not give this tutorial a try.

Happy sewing.

i'm three


On April 4th we turned 3!

I have been so crazy busy the last few months that I missed my blog-iversary completely! It feels like just yesterday that I posted about turning two.

This has been one of the most challenging, tiring, and transformative years of my life. It's been filled with a lot of self evaluation and self doubt, but on the flip side it's been my year of action. A year of making things happen and just going for it.

I struggled with my return to work, agonized over L'il E's first day of "school" (it's daycare, but we call it school) and had a third life crisis. I sold my wares at the Queen West Art Crawl, chopped off my long locks and reminisced about our pre-baby days. We celebrated L'il E's second birthday and announced the arrival of baby #2. The hubs and I faced our fears on the Edge Walk and I started blogging at UrbanMoms. BUT the one accomplishment I'm most proud of is the opening of my online fabric shop.

If nothing else it's been a weird year for me (what about you?), but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I could raise an alcoholic beverage to my fourth year, but until July 11 Perrier will have to do.

Thanks to all of you for continuing to read and I promise good things will continue to come.



May 09, 2013 — AlannaB
Tags: not sure

kiehl's ultra facial oil-free gel cream


As you know I'm a big fan of Kiehl's products and I was happy to hear that in honour of Earth Day (coming up on Monday April 22) they're doing something special. One hundred per cent of net proceeds of the Limited Edition Label Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream will be donated to Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization that improves the health of our Canadian cities.

This Oil-Free Gel Cream is great for sensitive skin. It's paraben-free, silicone-free, dye-free and fragrance-free. It helps rebalance skin's hydration levels and provides all-day no-shine moisture. If you've got sensitive skin you know that this time of year usually brings on a dry and flaky mess. I've been using this stuff for the past week coupled with my nightly application of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and my skin has never felt smoother (it's almost as smooth as L'il E's).

I say this is the perfect addition to your face care regime as we head into the hot and humid summer months. The gel cream is so smooth and light and it doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky like some of the other gel creams I've tried.

If you're not into earth day celebrations why not treat yourself to a nice little gift instead! It's $56 at your local Kiehl's store and again 100% of net proceeds will be donated to Evergreen. I think it's worth it.

Happy (almost) Earth Day.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are delicious and they're wheat free. They taste like oatmeal raisin cookies because I used an oatmeal raisin recipe (courtesy of FoodDoodles), but nixed the raisins (blech raisins!) and subbed with chocolate chips.

I feel like I should be baking lighter more spring-like treats, but I'm still in hibernation mode, so these suit me just fine.  Try them for yourself, they're sweet and not as crumbly as other wheat free cookies I've baked. In fact crumbling these up into a mug with almond milk is pretty deadly. My BFF (who I think is totally skeptical of my wheat free baking) told me they win cookie of the year, so they must be good.

[print_this]Spelt flour Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

You'll need:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1.5 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Then you:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Mix together oats, spelt flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, then set aside.
  • In a separate bowl beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, continue beating.
  • Mix dry ingredients with wet, mix well then add chocolate chips and combine.
  • Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool for a few minutes and enjoy! They won't last long!

This recipe makes about 3 dozen and they keep well in the freezer.[/print_this]

Happy baking!





the great camp adventure


I have always been a supporter of SickKids Foundation, partly because I do a lot of work with them through my work with DQ, but also because my nieces have received amazing care through a similar foundation in Alberta. So, when I was asked to write a sponsored post for their latest campaign of course I said YES, I'd love to!

On September 28 SickKids Foundation will host a new adventure walk for the whole family called The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure. It's a full day adventure designed to be fun for the little ones and the big kids at heart -  babies in strollers, grams and gramps and everyone in between will be able to participate and feel like a camp kid again.

So here's the deal. Rally your troops and register here (registration fee is $65 and non-refundable) or you can go the old fashioned route and call 416-4-KEEPS. The planned route will be full of fun adventures and if you're up for the challenge your team can walk as far as 20 km (but it's up to you how far you want to go). The littles (ages 3-17) are expected to raise a minimum of $150 and the adults (18+) are expected to raise a minimum or $500.

You can request more information here, keep up to date with the campaign on Facebook here, or follow them on Twitter @campforkeeps.

If you're looking for something fun to do with the fam and want to help raise money for The Hospital for Sick Children's most urgent needs this should be on your list.

Will I see you there?




green with envy fabric sale

Green with Envy

The fabric shop has been open for a week and it's St. Pat's Day on Saturday so I thought I would celebrate with a sale!

Enter Green with Envy as the discout code when you're checking out and you will receive 10% off your order between now and Saturday March 17th.

Tell your friends and happy shopping!


March 11, 2013 — AlannaB

fridays off fabric shop now open

Fridays Off Fabric Shop logo


I am so excited to finally tell you what I've been busy with for the last several months!

Today I'm launching my very own online fabric shop - aptly named fridays off! The idea came to me early in the new year and I immediately sprang into action meeting with fabric distributors and immersing myself into the world of 100% cotton fabrics.

My shop is being hosted over at, an amazing ecommerce platform and proudly Canadian (woot!).

I'm so stoked about this venture and I can hardly wait for it to take off. Some may think it's bad timing given the Hubs and I have another baby on the way, but I couldn't think of a better time to get this started.

I am so thankful to my pal Matt for creating my awesome logo and helping me doctor some photos. I also love my fabric "dealer" Erika she really helped me brainstorm some fantastic ideas and made me feel like I could do this, when I started to get cold feet.

With this venture kicking off within hours, sadly my domain will be moved to my shop so if you've got this in your readers or bookmarked or whatever please change it to I will continue to blog but the focus will likely change slightly.

I hope you stick with me as I forage down this entrepreneurial path. I'm going to need all the encouragement I can get. Also, if you're into fabric check my stuff out. There will be much more coming and I promis you will love it all. In addition to fabric I will be selling patterns and making up kits - bundling curated fabrics with specific sewing cards - for those that need that extra bit of inspiration.

Check back often and wish me luck!!




midnight recovery concentrate


My tired, winter stained skin is being put to the test over the next 10 days. Kiehl's Canada has hooked me up with with two bottles of their Midnight Recovery Concentrate and challenged me to change my skin.

I'm up for it!

The elixir is a water-free concentration of Squalane (a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids), night-blooming Evening Primrose and essential oils including Lavender (my favourite). It also contains Coriander and Rose Hip Seed Oils, which when combined, provides a complete blend of Omegas (Omega 3, 6 and 9). Omega 3 and 6 Essential Fatty Acids have a restructuring benefit which keeps the skin hydrated.

I didn't know this but your skin gets busy overnight and especially between midnight and 4:00 a.m. No wonder we look so deprived when we've been up all night! Kiehl's specifically formulated this product to boost the repair and regeneration of skin during this time period.

I would snap a close up o demonstrate the before, but I don't want to scare you, so you'll just have to take my word for it when 10 days are up. I'm pregnant so I have really great skin right now (IMHO). For whatever reason pregnancy agrees with my complexion - no oil, no blemishes, but could use more glow and probably some hydration.

If you want to give it a try go pick up a bottle at Kiehl's ($48.00).

Wish me luck!


valentine's day breakfast

photo (7)

Call me crazy, but I made a pancake breakfast for the Hubs, L'il E and I this morning (as if our mornings aren't rushed enough!). To get into the Valentine's Day spirit I made them heart-shaped to boot!

Since I've gone wheat free finding a pancake recipe worthy of butter and maple syrup has been difficult, but I finally found one a few months ago and it has become my go-to. They're light, fluffy, and taste like their wheat filled counterparts and they have yogurt so they must be healthy.

Feeling the love? Give them a try!


Spelt flour pancakes

You'll need:

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Then you:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl beat egg, then add yogurt, milk and canola oil and beat some more.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry mixture and mix well.
  4. Using a 1/4 cup pour batter onto a heated skillet and cook until golden.