Glow from the Inside Out: Vegan Lifestyle Skincare, Skin Renewal Products, and Cosmetics

I’ve had a lot of emails and requests to share information about (1) my beauty/skin care tips, and (2) my exercise routine. So, I’m going off the recipe path a little to share 2 posts with you, one about skin care and cosmetics (today!), and another about my exercise routine.

I’ll preface my post with saying that I am not an expert on vegan beauty products. I know there are a lot of incredible choices out there. Some more expensive than others, some available in stores, others online, some are small independent local retailers. While I enjoy trying new skin care and cosmetics, I’ve never been one to be in the know¬†about all the best and exciting products, or to have a great stash of goodies. I know what I like, and know what mostly looks good on me and works for me, so I stick with it. Because many of YOU know a great deal, and certainly have different skin tones, skin types, climates, etc… please share YOUR products and beauty tips in the comments. I know I can learn from you too, and it will give many more options for all my readers.

The first and most important factor for healthy, radiant, youthful skin, begins with…

Whole-Foods PLANT DIET!

I’m a believer that the BEST thing you can do for your skin starts with your fork. Or smoothie cup. Our skin is a reflection of the foods we feed it. Nourish our bodies with fresh vegetables, greens, fresh fruits, nuts, avocados, seeds, whole-grains, legumes and it shows in our skin. Processed foods and animal products don’t deliver anything living or rejuvenating to our skin. Eat as close to nature, consuming a high whole-foods diet (80%+). Get those GREENS in your diet! If you have a hard time eating them in salads or sautes, make GREEN SMOOTHIES (I will gargle my green smoothie if you don’t love them)! ūüėČ Fresh juices like carrot, celery, and cucumber will also beautify your skin. These foods will deliver hydration and skin-nourishing and rejuvenating fats, vitamins, and minerals. This image from Raw For Beauty gives a quick snapshot of some of the top anti-aging foods. Notice they are all whole plant foods? I’ve seen avocados, greens, and blueberries on so many similar infographics. Sounds like the makings of a delicious salad. Or smoothie!

top anti-aging foods

Fresh vegetables and fruits are particularly important, as they are hydrating for our skin, and full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Try to incorporate many alkaline foods into your diet as well (good for overall health, not just skin health).

alkaline foods chart

Buying creams with antioxidants is no comparison to actually consuming them daily. Our skin glows from the inside out. Eat the rainbow, daily if you can. Beautiful skin begins at the farmers’ market! I wish I knew this in my teens and 20s, but at least I caught up quickly in my 30s.


We all know that drinking a lot of water is good for the skin. Here’s the problem with that message, however. The distinction isn’t made between water and naturally hydrating foods. What is the point of drinking 8 glasses of water a day if one is consuming scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, a turkey/cheese sandwich for lunch, and steak for dinner? Even if you squeeze in side salad and a piece of fruit, most of that day’s food is dead and not water-rich. Fruits and vegetables are water-rich, even avocados and bananas, which have no juice are high in water content. So, by all means, yes, drink water. (And, please, stop drinking diet sodas.) But, you will notice that when you increase your consumption of natural, water-rich plant foods, your body becomes hydrated from those foods (as well as receiving vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc) and you do not need to drink as much water.

Exercise and Sleep

Don’t you find your skin looks more radiant after working out? Not just the immediate “after-glow”, exercise brings better blood circulation to the skin, and also elevates our mood, improves immunity, and helps with sleep. Sleep is so important to our overall health, everything goes into repair mode while we rest – including the our skin. Interestingly, the quality of our sleep improves when we eat a clean, whole foods diet, and also exercise. As we feel more rested and restored, we are energized to keep exercise in our lives and plan for healthier eating every day. The cycle continues. Great for our bodies, mind, soul – and yes, skin – in the long run.

DIY Skin Care

I do purchase skin care products, but there are also a couple of DIY or home fixes that I use regularly. I only have a couple in my arsenal, so would love to hear any great DIY solutions that you have for skin care, hair care, anti-aging, and also make-up!

Avocado¬†Eat it. And wear it! At least once a week I use ripe avocado for a face mask. It cleans and also soothes and moisturizes my skin. The process couldn’t be simpler: Slice a small piece of ripe avocado (no need to use a half, or even a quarter, a sliver will do):


Mush it up with your fingers. Yes mush. You could always mash with a fork in a small bowl. But why?.. When you can mush!


Smear it on your face. No need to mix with anything, just smoosh over your face. Very technical terms here today. Leave on your face for about 5 minutes until it starts to dry, then rinse off. I usually hop in the shower, easier to wash it off that way. Above, the avocado I used was very ripe, so smoothed on easily. If your avoc is ripe but still a little firm, the mush may have some clumpy bits. All good Рstill works!


Did I just post a pic of me with green mash all over my face? *Gulp* Gosh, the things I do in the name of blogging! Before any emails come in about how I have dark circles or wrinkles, remember I am almost 43. No makeup here. No tucks or injections. Just taking a selfie sporting green mush.

Apple Cider Vinegar:¬†Apple cider vinegar has some magical health and beauty properties.¬†Recently I learned that lightly applying apple cider vinegar (mixed with a little fresh lemon juice) to your skin helps diminish age spots. Have any of you tried this or had success with it? I don’t have too many age spots on my face yet, but am making note of this technique. What I do use ACV for right now? My hair!


Give your hair a rinse with ACV every couple of weeks. It will make your fair feel softer, smoother, and look a little shinier! I often forget to use it regularly, but if my hair feels like it has a little build-up or looking dull – I pull out the ACV. I usually put the vinegar straight in a spice jar and take it to the shower with me. But, you can use an old shampoo bottle, fill with vinegar straight, or with a mix of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water. Work it through your hair either before or after a shampoo (or, in place of a shampoo, some folks do that). Rinse it well, and you’re set! Eden Foods even has a post on using their ACV for a hair rinse. Cool, right?

A Natural Oil To Moisturize

My skin is naturally drier than other types. I’ve talked before in posts about Ayurveda, and my body is very much a Vata constitution. So, it’s not that my skin is flaky or itchy in its dryness. It’s just that it’s not naturally oily. Hubby, on the other hand, has a strong Kapha constitution. His skin is much more thick and oily in its nature. He never needs a moisturizer on his face. Without some sort of moisturizing oil or cream, my face feels a little tight and ‘exposed’, like quite raw to the elements. I often find face cream and products designed for anti-aging (discussion coming up), simply aren’t moisturizing enough for me. So, I use a natural oil to combine with my daily face cream. I have rotated through a few, and here are some of my favorites:

Weleda: I’m not sure if all of Weleda‘s products are vegan, but I do know they are against animal testing, and that this Sea Buckthorn Oil is definitely vegan. It is pricey to buy a full bottle, but a little goes a long way (and that amazon link offers a much better price than I have bought in stores). I add just a couple of drops with my Arbonne moisturizer or serum, and it feels like my face just got a massage!

Weleda Oil

Andalou: I rotate between this product and the Weleda, as a soothing oil to mix with my moisturizer. Again, just a drop or two is enough, and this product has a lovely aroma from natural essential oils. Again, I just spotted this produce for a better price on Amazon. (I’ve got to start shopping for more there!) Andalou has a whole product line, and I haven’t tried many other items – have you?

Andalou omega glow oil

Another I’ve used and loved in the past is the Golden Olive Serum from TVAL skincare. TVAL is a company that originated in Newfoundland, and has grown considerably in recent years. Not all of their products are vegan, but this serum sure is. Interestingly, it contains sea buckthorn oil!



A couple of years ago I started using ARBONNE¬†products. Before that I was bouncing between different lines of moisturizers and skin serums and renewal products. (They are usually called anti-aging. Think that should change. I’m not against aging, just want to look and feel my best while on the jouney!) I’m 42, and as I approached my 40s, I noticed definite changes to my skin, starting at around 35. (I also noticed definite changes to my skin after every baby. But that’s another story, for another post!) Into my 40s, I noticed my skin lost elasticity and I had many more pronounced lines and wrinkles. Part of aging? Yes. Completely reversible? No. But, can we improve some of the subtler effects of aging? I think so. When I used some of the Arbonne products, I felt my skin tone improved some. No, my deep wrinkles didn’t disappear (I’m not that foolish to think that’s possible either). But, I noticed the clarity of my skin improved some, as well as some of the finer lines. I don’t use all of the RE9 (or anti-again) line. I don’t feel I need them all, so I pick and choose the products I love. Also, I really love some of their make-up items.

All their products are made without animal products, without animal testing, and without harsh and toxic chemicals¬†– that’s definitely something to love!¬†They are expensive, yes. But, the ingredients are high quality, and they are comparable to higher-end cosmetics and skin care lines in department stores. They aren’t sold in department stores, however. I signed up as a consultant so I could buy my favorite products at a decent discount. You can do the same if you are interested. I don’t actively pursue the business side. I am passionate about my work, and immersed in several projects. Still, if you also like the look of some of the products I highlight here, feel free to get in touch with me.¬†I can either help you purchase them from me or another consultant, or you can sign up as I did. There are many Arbonne products I haven’t tried yet. So, if YOU have tried some and have favorites, please share – I’d love to learn from you too! Here are my current FAVES:

RE9 Extra Moisturizing Day Cream with SPF 20 This is the one I use daily with my Sea Buckthorn Oil, in the morning after a shower. It has a nice texture and no sickly perfumed smell.

RE9moisturizer RE9 Advanced Renewal Serum. This product is meant to be used twice a day, under moisturizer. In the evening, I use it alone with my Sea Buckthorn Oil. This feels “active” on my skin. I think this is probably Arbonne’s most deeply effective skin renewal/restorative product. I like it!


Sheer Finish Tinted Moisturizer. All through my 20s and 30s, I never wore foundation. Never really liked the feel of it of it on my skin, and I felt it didn’t make my skin look better. Enter my 40s, and I noticed my complexion changed – more uneven with some discoloration. I felt it now needed some help! But, I didn’t want the cake-y look or feel of foundation – or the strong fragrance that usually comes with foundations. A friend encouraged me to try a tinted moisturizer. I tried this one from Arbonne and I LOVE it. I mean LOVE. It might be my favorite product that I use. It goes on lightly and smoothly, and feels moist on my skin, not thick or pasty. It evens out my complexion and when I wear it I feel that I look a few years younger! As with the other Arbonne products, it doesn’t have any strong fragrance.

Arbonne Tinted Moisturizer

Lip Polish. I’ve always loved my lippy! As you get older, it’s harder to find shades that compliment your skin, wear well, and have a good texture. Last year I asked for vegan lippy recommendations on facebook, and a friend said “try the Arbonne lip gloss“! Hilarious! I’d already been using the skin care for a year, but wasn’t confident to order and try the lip gloss. I ordered two and fell in love with their Posh color. (Plant-Powered Posh?) ūüėČ This was a pricier lippy than I’d been used to buying, but with the discount it was reasonable. Also, I was surprised at how long it lasted. I think because it’s a lighter, gentler color, it has a little better lasting power. This is by far the best lippy I’ve used in years. I panic when I can’t find it in my purse. Kidding. Not.



I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but I never sleep with any make-up on my face. Never. For years I used soap to wash off make-up. In my late 20s, I found it far too drying and started using cleansers. I have found that cleansers are either creamy or foamy. If you have oily skin, you probably like the foamy cleansers. I only like creamy cleansers, and I find they remove any make-up very well. I don’t use Arbonne’s cleanser because it is slightly foamy. It works well, but again, for my skin I need something a little creamier. There are a couple I’ve tried and loved, so again, I rotate between:

Sukin: I’ve tried a couple of their products and like them. They do have two different cleansers, so be sure you spot the correct one because their labelling is not distinct. The cream cleanser is the one I love. Also, they offer that cleanser in a bottle with either a flip cap or a pump (I pick the pump, easier to use).

Sukin Cleanser

Earth Science: Their A-D-E cleanser is also very luxuriously creamy. This is a pretty reasonably priced cleanser for its size. Not all of Earth Science’s products are vegan, but they details their exceptions here.

A-D-E Cleanser

Other Cosmetics
I don’t wear a lot of make-up like eyeshadows and eyeliners. I don’t really know how to apply them in ways that are flattering (or hip)! But, I do love some color on my face, with an overall light blusher, and then a little brighter pink blush. Here’s the bummer. For years I’ve been using two products from TVAL: Pink Snowflakes and My Ducky. They have been my favorite, go-to blushers for years. Mad love. I always assumed they were vegan! In writing this post, I realized they aren’t. Sad day. :( I’m not perfect, but make changes when I can. So, I will look to find a similar product that I love… but need your help! What face powders/blushers would you recommend that have similar colors? Anything from Arbonne? Is there another line you’d recommend?¬†The pink snowflakes is actually a little more pink than it looks in the link, and the Ducky blush actually a little more muted. Anyhow, lend some vegan help here my friends, I need a new blusher! *sniff*

I do also use mascara, a little on my top lashes opens my eyes. (I can manage to apply that – eyeshadow, another story!) Arbonne has very nice mascara, but it’s a little pricey. Mind you, seems most of the vegan mascara options are a little more expensive. Here is a link with a quick overview of other¬†vegan mascara. Do you use any of these brands? Have any favorites?¬†

Finally, last summer I got my first full pedicure! Never before had I painted my toes. For real. I’d had a couple of pedicures, but would simply get the no-polish option. I figured it would wear/chip easy, and I don’t have time/patience for the polishing maintenance. I never paint my nails for that reason, they’re far too busy in the kitchen! My girlfriend said “what? no! It lasts for weeks on your toes“! She was right. After my first pedi, I was kind of hooked. I don’t maintain them through the winter, but in the summer, I quite enjoy my colorful toenails. There are quite a few options for vegan nail polishes, and¬†Gena Hamshaw¬†recently wrote an¬†excellent, comprehensive post on vegan polishes. (Thanks Gena!)

Before our trip to Newfoundland, I took the older girls to get a polish with me. When we returned home, our 4 year old wanted hers done as well. Rainbow toes…


Now, I hope to hear from YOU! Have you tried any of these DIY techniques, or maybe have your own to share? Have you tried any of the products I’ve mentioned? Or, do you have others you love and want to share? Have you tried other products in the ARBONNE line that you love? Tell me about them! And, help me find me a new blusher! :)

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: Whole-Grain Vegan Breads To Love!

The past few weeks on my facebook page¬†I’ve been posting some of the lunches I pack for the girls at school. After posting a sandwich that I made for hubby, I was asked:

Did you make the bread?” “Any suggestions for good vegan commercially made bread besides Ezekiel?”

A1: No. (breathe a sigh of relief, this is not a bread-making post)

A2: Why, yes I do! I never make bread.

With the recipe development I do and having three young girls, I’d have to do so in my sleep. So thank the vegan heavens that there are good people out there making good vegan breads! I’m going to share some of the brands I buy regularly and love. These are primarily sandwich breads, but I do mention a couple of options for baguettes and artisan breads before finishing. As I’m not sure of availability in particular areas, try asking your whole foods and grocery stores if they can bring in a brand or two. Sometimes they aren’t aware of the demand, and will try carrying a new line.

Note about reading labels: If you are looking for complete, 100% whole-grain bread, look for that on the label. “Multi-grain” is not the same as “whole-grain”. Multigrain sounds as if it has whole-grain products, but really just means that it can have variety (or ‘multi’) of different grains, and those can be refined. “Organic wheat flour” is also not whole-grain, it’s simply organic. Read the ingredients. Most multigrain breads have “wheat flour” or “enriched flour”, neither of which is whole-grain. Look for “whole-wheat” or “whole spelt” or 100% whole-grain on the labels and in the ingredients. All of the sandwich breads I am listing here are whole-grain, some are also organic, and one special variety is veganic! silverhillsbread 1.¬†Silver Hills. This is one of the first whole-grain vegan breads that we discovered. It uses sprouted grains, which make the grains/bread more digestible and nutritious. You can choose from a variety of loaves and bagels, and it looks like they’ve just released hot dog buns and hamburger rolls! I especially like the widepan loaves for sandwiches. They do have a couple of gluten-free loaves, though I wasn’t as impressed with these, but that’s probably because their regular line is so very good. We have been using Silver Hills breads for years. They are a little pricier than standard bread loaves – but you can sometimes find deals at large chains like Costco or smaller stores (we have a corner store that sells it cheaper than our province-wide health food store)!


2. One Degree Veganic Bread. A recent (and exciting!) find.¬†Our girls especially love this bread because it’s “squishier”. You know how kids simply love squishy, soft bread? Well, while Silver Hills is tender, it has a lot of texture and isn’t always ‘soft’. This One Degree Veganic Bread is very soft and the slices are also usually generous.¬†One Degree is also made from sprouted and organic grains, like Silver Hills. This bread has been slightly more expensive in our health food store than the Silver Hills. When they do have specials, I stock up and freeze quite a few. How I love that this bread announces it’s vegan certification on the label! Not only are the ingredients vegan, but they work with veganic farmers that utilize¬†plant-based fertilizers.¬†Thank you. In short, this is my new favorite vegan bread for our family.


3.¬†Trader Joe’s Sprouted Whole-Wheat Bread. This is widely available for most of you in the US as it is a Trader Joe’s product. Its texture is more similar to the Veganic bread, a little softer and ‘squishier’. It is sprouted but not organic. It has a sweetness from the dates and raisins, and our girls really like this bread too. Those are the vegan sandwich breads we use. I don’t buy Ezekiel breads for sandwiches because I find it too nubbly and rough for the girls. Plus, the slices are quite thin and small. We do like it for pairing with casseroles, soups, and pastas – yet I typically opt for some local whole-grain artisan breads for dinner meals, such as these: cocolithicbread One that I especially love is a local company called Just Pies¬†that specializes in gluten-free breads. I tell you their gluten-free breads are THE BEST, especially their “Cocolithic” coconut breads. Those are so tender and feel ‘glutinous’ it is hard to believe they are gluten-free. They are also made without yeast and oil. Apparently a magician makes them. There is no website that I can find for the company. They are local to BC, and I buy them at Antony & Sons. peacebombbaguette Another plant-powered baguette that we enjoy at dinner is the Peace Bomb from Dave’s Killer Bread. All of Dave’s breads are vegan and organic, and most are whole-grain (check the FAQs). The girls really love this one, it has a slightly sweetness. As parents, it’s great seeing them eat all those seeds around the baguette without any fuss. Kids can be particular about seeds and it’s easier to rely on nuts and nut butters for it. Next, If you don’t care to make cinnamon rolls like some people (might or might not include me), then try the Sin-Dawg baguette.¬†Wow, delicious! I’ve bought it a couple of times for a morning treat for the girls. It’s so cinnamon-y sweet, no icing needed! Instead, I slather some almond butter on the cinnamon-enriched-slices after toasting. Quite irresistible! Dave’s also has sliced sandwich breads, including a spelt variety. So, that’s another option to consider for sliced lunch breads if this killer line is in your store. Are there any vegan breads that you love and would like to add for readers? Please tell us your favorites.

Plant-Powered Food Spotlight: Goji Berries!

A few years ago, goji berries were pretty ‘fringe’. ¬†Now, we are seeing them in recipes and food products, as they truly are a very nutrient-dense “super food”!

How are they so special? ¬†To start, gogi berries are very high in antioxidants.¬† Antioxidants are measured by a scale called the¬†ORACtest.¬†¬†The¬†ORAC value for¬†gogi berries is usually over 20,000¬†(depending on variety) ‚Äď compared to 2,400 for blueberries (which are well known for¬†their high antioxidant level)!

Next, these little berries are protein-rich.¬† They offer 18 amino acids, including the 8 essential amino acids that make up a complete protein.¬† Yup, folks, gojis will ‚Äėpump you up‚Äô!

Goji berries are also quite rich in Vitamin A (which, among other things,¬†is¬†good for fighting viral infections).¬†¬† In fact, just 1 ounce of these berries (that‚Äôs about 2 1/2 ‚Äď 3 tbsp)¬†will give you 140% of the RDA for Vitamin A!

And, if that wasn’t enough to convince you of goji’s star power, they are also a better source of vitamin C than oranges, and deliver trace minerals including iron and zinc.

These berries resemble raisins in size, but with a flattened shape and dusty pink-red color.¬† Their texture is chewy and slightly soft (though some brands may be softer and fresher than others).¬†¬†Goji berries¬†may be somewhat of an acquired taste for some ‚Äď they were for me.¬† They aren‚Äôt as sweet¬†as other dried fruit like raisins,¬†or other dried berries like blueberries.¬† At first, I was underwhelmed with their flavor, and wasn‚Äôt sure if I would use them much. ¬†I still don’t always eat them straight up, but do enjoy working them into snacks and recipes. ¬†Here are some ideas¬†to include goji berries in your daily diet, starting with…

Strawberry Goji Smoothie Photo credit:

  • blend into smoothies, especially delicious in my Strawberry Goji Smoothie¬†(get recipe)!
  • add to cold and hot cereals
  • mix into non-dairy yogurt
  • sprinkle¬†in green salads (in place of dried cranberries)
  • add to homemade jams and also chutneys
  • use in place of raisins and dried cranberries in sweet recipes like muffins, scones, quick breads, granola bars, and cookies and in savory dishes like pilafs, and rice, grain, and bean salads¬†(try substituting just partially at first). Also try my Strawberry-Goji Muffins recipe in LTEV!
  • add to your favorite trail mix (or buy trail mixes including goji berries)
  • use in your granola recipe in place of raisins or other dried fruit (add right at end of baking, else they will burn).
  • Try this Cocoa-Goji Granola recipe, also from¬†Let Them Eat Vegan:

Cocoa Goji Granola (photo credit:

Do you like goji berries?  How do you eat/prepare them?

Bunk Beds, Blueberry Muffins, and One Cat Sitting Pretty

Occasionally I write non-food posts. ¬†Yet, somehow food is often still connected. ¬†I guess that’s true of anything in life. ¬†Food IS connected to just about everything we do. ¬†Like bunk beds. ¬†You might think food has little to do with them. ¬†Ahhh, but I have a story.

See, we moved house back in December. ¬†Just a few weeks before Christmas, with three kids. ¬†Yes, we like to live on the edge! ¬†Anyhow, we had been wanting to move for a few years. ¬†We were on a busy street and our kids could not go outside to play – in fact I wouldn’t even let them out in the front yard on their own. ¬†Of course, our girls initially did not want to move. ¬†Our two older girls share a room, and have been talking about bunk beds for years. ¬†We agreed that if we found ¬†a new home, we would get them bunk beds.

We moved, rang in the new year, and it was time to deliver the beds!  I grew up with bunk beds as a child.  We had six girls and only two bedrooms (and ONE full bathroom Рcan you imagine?)!  My father was handy, and he built bunk beds right into our walls.  They were the coolest!  And they were unbelievably sturdy!  My dad built custom features into the beds, including drawers and a pull-out book shelf.  Since he passed away when I was 11, I have very fond memories of those bunk beds, and still have one piece of woodwork that he had attached to the beds.

So, when I was looking for bunk beds for the girls, I wanted something just as sturdy, and hopefully almost as special. ¬†Something that would give me a sense of security, and them years of childhood memories. ¬†But I wasn’t finding it in our stores in the Vancouver area. ¬†Everything was cookie-cutter, lower quality, and nothing looked rugged and durable.

So, I did what comes naturally… I googled. ¬†And found THIS image:

Belair Twin over Double Bunk Bed

YEAH! ¬†Exactly what I was looking for! ¬†This bunk bed from Belair Kids Furniture¬†had everything I was looking for: ¬†Sturdy with stairs instead of a ladder, fresh design, and a double-bed bottom bunk (for future friend sleepovers). ¬†I made some calls. ¬†It wasn’t easy, because Belair currently only has retailers in Ontario and Quebec. ¬†I spoke with several representatives and received excellent customer service. ¬†We ordered the bed, and it was on its way.

When it arrived, we were instructed by Belair to have “a couple of strong people help move the pieces”. ¬†They weren’t joking. ¬†This bed is heavy-duty. ¬†I think a few pro-wrestlers could throw down on this thing! ¬†Here are some “in production” pics:

Deciding where to place the stair-end…

Once we reached this stage, we called it a night. ¬†Or a few nights, because our schedule did not permit more bunk bed assembly until the next weekend. ¬†So, the girls slept at the base of the bed with their mattresses side-by-side. ¬†They had fun! ¬†It was like “camping out” for them. ¬†I told them that was as close as mom would get to camping. ūüėČ

As we were moving around the staircase, miss Sarabi got comfortable…

Sittin’ pretty…

ooooh, there’s a drawer here!…

Ever notice that when you are in the midst of some involved sorting/moving/organizing/assembling/packing… the cat is THERE! ¬†Just to remind you of how gloriously relaxed life is in their feline world. ¬†Purring, all the while looking at you and probably thinking… “Silly human beings, I’m just going to sit back and watch. ¬†Right in the middle of the action. Don’t mind me while I nap.”

I did mention food! ¬†This is where it comes in. ¬†Remember I said we needed some help moving those pieces? ¬†Well, hubby’s friend and hockey coaching cohort jumped at the chance to help. ¬†Truly, he did. ¬†He seemed to enjoy the process! ¬†Bizarre! ¬†Still, I couldn’t help but wanted to thank him for taking a couple of hours out of his Saturday afternoon to move and assemble bunk beds. ¬†I thank with baking. ¬†So, I sent him home with a batch of these from Let Them Eat Vegan

BF Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are made with oat and spelt flour, no white flours, and just a small amount of unrefined sugar. ¬†They have a hint of lemon that shines with the natural blueberry flavor. ¬†(And I know at least one reader baking these over and over – Donna, I’m talking to you!) :) What’s “BF” you ask?… See here.

AND, I sent him home with a batch of these babies as well, also from Let Them Eat Vegan

Award Winning Frosted B-raw-nies (click image to recipe link)

Once the beds were fully assembled, it was on to bedding. ¬†I wasn’t sure what to get, as two older daughters are quite different. ¬†Our eldest is not into ‘girly things, whereas our middle girl embraces most of it! ¬†The sheets were easy. ¬†They both loved this ladybug print, and the sheet sets were not at all expensive (found them at HomeSense, which isn’t always economical, but these sheets were very reasonable).


As you can see, “Fluffy” approved of the sheets.

As did “Rescue”…

Since it’s warming up here, I opted for light quilts instead of heavy duvets. ¬†I wasn’t set on necessarily matching the twin and double beds, but to somehow coordinate the two. ¬†First, I picked out a few solid colors and primary color themes. ¬†But, my eldest surprised me when she chose this set (again from HomeSense):

I guess there is some ‘girly’ in her after all! Both girls loved these sheets and had a good time coordinating a couple of simple pillows.

And of course, the pups were content once again when the beds were neatly made…

That pillow in front was lovingly crafted by Nanny last year. ¬†One pillow for each girl with their initial in the centre.¬†‚̧

On the left side of beds, behind the staircase, is a little cubby of storage. ¬†We set up a few pillows and stuffies for the girls to have a “quiet” area. ¬†(As IF, that was some wishful thinking on mommy’s part!)

Wait, who is that hiding out?…

SO hard to be the littlest sister!  Please let me be part of the bunk bed fun!

We’ve been using the bunk beds now for over a month. ¬†We love them. ¬†They are sturdy and fun, and the girls think their bedroom is a “fort”! ¬†We’ve joked that if we moved, the bunk beds might be staying with the house! ¬†Or, we recruit a few more hands and I make a LOT of muffins and brownies.

Do you have a special childhood memory like a bunk bed?  Or do your children now have bunk beds that they love?

*I have not been paid to write this feature of the Belair bed.  We bought the bed, and because I love the design and was impressed with the level of service that we received from Belair, I decided to share a review.  Hopefully other retailers (including those in Western Canada) will start to carry Belair products.