Priceless Signs, Healthy Dinners, and some dissapointing news.

Next Saturday is the 3rd annual Priceless fundraiser.  It is an event to raise funds towards human trafficking.  I was asked to be a vendor, so once again I got busy and made some fun barnboard signs.  The great thing was, I had lots of help.  It's a good excuse to get together with some good friends, sip tea, and chat around the dinning room table, while we paint away.

So here is a little sneak peek at what we'll be bringing on Saturday:

I did some repeats from the last fundraiser, as well as some new designs.

All the supplies for the signs were bought with my tithing budget, so 100% of the proceeds can go towards Priceless.  We were only asked to give a portion towards the event, but as I'm painting them, all I can think is, "There are women who need these funds so much more than I"!

So far, we have 25 signs completed.  Mark came home with some more wood yesterday, so we may get to do a few more.

To find out more about the event, or if you are interested in attending, check out the facebook page at:  There is a dessert buffet, live music, and some guest speakers.  Great date night idea!


On another note, it was one of my New Year's resolutions to learn more about nutrition and healthy cooking.  I have some really fantastic friends who just happen to be dieticians, and they inspire me.  One is my neighbour, Jacquie.  She has a blog on healthy eating that you can view here:  A few of my other friends are on a weight-loss quest, so we share recipes often - ones we make up, and ones we find.

 At the beginning I floundered around a bit, going back and forth between tasteless healthy food, and rich yummy dishes.  Lately I've been finding some pretty great happy mediums.  I've totally changed the way I grocery shop - I experiment with different grains (basmati rice, quinoa, lentils, etc.), rather than the staples I was used to (pasta, potatoes).  I've had fun with colourful veggies (beets, squash, arugula, sprouts), rather than the boring predictables (peas, beans, corn).  And I've been finding fun ways to consume more raw veggies, with greek yogurt dips and vinaigrette salads - which are full of flavour and healthy oils, rather than fat-laden mayo-based dressings.

The great thing about this all, is if it really fails, I can just blend it up and give it to the girls.  They eat everything!

So let me share one of my recent favourites: Beet Salad.

Beet Quinoa Salad served on a bed of Arugula

(This image is totally stolen from google).

You can find the recipe here:

I served it with a piece of grilled chicken (to satisfy my carnivore husband), and he was quite full after dinner.  While eating, we looked up the nutrient values for beets.  Would you believe how packed full they are of vitamins and minerals?  Look!

Nutrition value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient value Percentage of RDA
Energy 45 cal 2%
Carbohydrates 9.56 g 7%
Protein 1.61 g 1%
Total Fat 0.17 g 0.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2.80 g 7%

Folates 109 µg 27%
Niacin 0.334 mg 2%
Pantothenic acid 0.155 mg 3%
Pyridoxine 0.067 mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 4%
Thiamin 0.031 mg 2.5%
Vitamin A 33 IU 1%
Vitamin C 4.9 mg 8%
Vitamin E 0.04 mg 0.5%
Vitamin K 0.2 µg 0%

Sodium 78 mg 5%
Potassium 325 mg 7%

Calcium 16 mg 1.5%
Copper 0.075 mg 8%
Iron 0.80 mg 10%
Magnesium 23 mg 6%
Manganese 0.329 mg 14%
Zinc 0.35 mg 3%

Carotene-ß 20 µg --
Betaine 128.7 mg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg --

They just EXUDE health.  I'm so pumped to continue to learn about all things health.  I was sick with the flu 4 times December - January, so I'm pretty motivated to pack my body full of good-for-you things.


 And lastly, the dissapointing news.  I was so excited to meet Miss Mustard Seed, that I started a blog series "12 Weeks until I meet Miss Mustard Seed".  Every week I did a new piece in one of her colours (as some of you have been following).  Sadly, she decided to postpone her trip to Toronto.  Hopefully I didn't freak her out.  Anyways, this is the latest (and will be the last) piece in her colour library: a hutch redone in "Typewriter".

Miss Mustard Seed "Typewriter"
This lovely piece is so fresh you can still see the oil on it.

Well, the hubs just came home.  I went on a lovely trip to Ikea today with my Mom and the girls.  She landed up taking them home with her (hence the ability for such a lengthy blog post).  Mark and I received a lovely gift in the mail yesterday - a restraunt gift card from Brian Kirk - a belated baby gift.  Nice!  So tonight we have a whole evening - free - to GO OUT!  It's been awhile, folks!

 Hannah was so enamored by the ceiling fans at Ikea.  I think Grandma was more enthralled with Hannah, though.  I love this photo - it's just so precious!

And lastly, I saw this lovely display there today.  My cousin just bought a house, and found an entire can of this colour at the Home Depot mis-tint section for $6.  I think she chickened out and decided not to paint her entire living room in the colour, but maybe she'll do an accent wall.  Her hardwood floors were just refinished in a neutral colour, and I think the combination is stunning.  Oh, I love decorating!  It's so fun!


  1. Hey Jen,

    I'm so excited that Shirley got you as a vendor for Priceless on March 2, I'm really looking forward to having you join us! Thanks for helping spread the word, and your gifts!

    Sorry to hear about the postponement of meeting Miss Mustard Seed, I could tell how excited you were. Hopefully it won't be delayed too long!

    1. Thanks Niki! I'm excited for the event - it should be a great evening. I love painting signs so much - I'm slightly addicted to it right now...