Happy Holidays 2009 ""reduce renew reuse recycle""

Very best wishes for the holiday season and a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year.

One small holiday recycling tip--something I've been doing for years now........
Save the christmas cards you receive, come wrapping time next year......use the illustration side of the card as a gift tag.


roast those pumpkin seeds when carving the pumpkin

hi I'm posting this recipe again, just in time for Hallowe'en........
when carving the pumpkin this year-don't forget to save the seeds to roast and eat as a delicious and nutritious snack. Pumpkin seeds = good source of zinc and magnesium which is beneficial to the skin and bones.To roast:Place the seeds into large bowl, toss with olive oil, and sea or kosher salt. Spread the seeds onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place into preheated 400 degree oven. Roast until golden brown * at this high temperature about 5-8 minutes, keep your eye on them. (turn the seeds half way through roasting)


fast and deelicious pizza

Yummmm I used to make this pizza often when the kids were small, loading it up with all kinds of veg
I made it just the other night simply with a ton of sauteed red peppers and purple onion

-1 'Manoucher' round Focaccia
-your favourite tomato sauce ( i like to keep on hand Pusateri's sauce semplice or Ronzoni's tomato basil)
-1 large red pepper, organic
-1 large purple or white onion, organic
-shredded mozzerella cheese, organic

Preheat oven to 375 or 400, depending on the 'hotness' of your oven (you want the oven fairly hot, it will bake for a very short time)
Slice the red pepper and onion, then saute quickly over high heat with a bit of olive oil
Remove from heat
Spread a somewhat generous amount of tomato sauce on the focaccia
Spread the mozzerella over the tomato sauce
Then finally spread the sauteed peppers and onion

Place the pizza on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
Place in the oven until the pizza starts to bubble and you can smell it cooking
***About 7 to 8 minutes, not long at all
Remove from oven, let sit for 1/2 minute
Finish the pizza off with a seasoning of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
don't forget the glass of red wine


a quick 'how to' perform Lunges with weights


"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris 1834-1896

I love that William Morris quote, I try to live by it. It has helped me to free our house of clutter and keep only the things we love and are truly useful.
Recently, urbanmaven was hired to help prioritze and declutter family possessions. Things that are left behind when loved ones pass. It can be an overwhelming task, but when one is ready to let go of the clutter, having someone there to give support and perspective to reveal and keep the most cherished possessions; is invaluable.

We worked all day, and really got the ball rolling.

I wanted to include her website address for anyone seeking doggie daycare, overnight or just for the day. She is an animal lover and all dogs are welcomed into her home as though they are her own. She is located in Markham. Her website address is: http://www.shangri-paw.ca/


ode to Bonnie

It was one year ago today that we let our Bonnie girl go
Our memorial to Bonnie, the sweetest dog (written Aug 27, 2008)

Our Bonnie
gave us 15 years of her sweetness
She ran like the wind
She was gentle in spirit and soul
She loved other dogs and would be the first from the pack to greet the new arrival. She was so pretty, so dainty, just like a doe in the forest. She was SMART. She loved her brother Micky, may they be together now. She loved her cookies. She loved salmon. She accepted Dewey the CAT into the household no questions asked. She loved us so much. And let it be known that Sam and Isobel helped to take the VERY best care of her from puppyhood to her very last day. Never did Bonnie miss a walk, come rain or shine Sammy and Iso were there for her no matter what.

There were many things Bonnie didn't like:

The proverbial postman
Riding in the car
Going to the vet
Having her nails trimmed

Some things Bonnie did well:

Love us
Run like the wind
Catch a ball

Bonnie lived proudly, majestically, gently. I love her and will miss her greatly. We love you Bonnie, Bon Bon, TaLouLou, LoulaMay, Girl xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Gabrielle, Peter, Sam and Iso


where i will be 2010

I've always wanted to see Venice........

Next spring my daughter graduates with an Honours BA from Queen's, she's planning a trip to Europe with a couple of girl friends to celebrate.

She invited me to meet her somewhere for a week..........

we're meeting in Venice.


where does our food come from??

For the past many, many years I've shopped for our meat organically; for the sake of our health, the environment and maybe most importantly in my mind-- for the sake of the animals!
I'm not convinced we need meat in our diet to be 'healthy'/ to be balanced protein-wise.
We (kids, Peter and I) saw Food Inc
GO SEE IT then tell everyone you know to see it
It's a real eye opener
I want to do something more than just not buying commercial, highly processed meat. I wish everyone of us would view this movie.

Help the animals, save the planet, preserve your health


plant based household cleaners

We (at my house ) love these 2 cleaning products, choose either the trendsetter ECOVER www.ecover.com/ca/en or Mrs. Meyer's http://www.mrsmeyers.com/

Both are plant based and CRUELTY FREE

Save the animals, save the environment

Be a caretaker


Here is a very worthwhile cause; proceeds go to The Princess Margaret Hospital in support the advancement of cancer research.
With gardening season in full swing you may be dividing your overgrown perennials.........
If so, drop these divisions off to 240 Wychwood Ave for the PERENNIAL PLANT SWAP AND SALE, and SILENT AUCTION
SALE: MAY 31 9AM rain or shine
drop plants off Thursday Friday May 28 & 29, after 7pm
or Saturday all day
***don't forget to label plants for name; sun or shade
For further info check their website http://www.divideconquer.ca/

Hope to see you there!



Thank you, thank you, thank you urbanmaven and your wonderful organizational talents that helped make our move across country to Vancouver Island as seamless as possible. I cannot recommend your relocation services enough. From the inital selection of movers, dealing with insurance, the careful overview of the packing of our treasured pieces you made a potentially fraught move into an easy transition. And as we sat in our then empty condominium, you surprised us with a bottle of my favourite Okanagan red (how did you know?). You sent us off in style and worry free to start our new life in B.C.
You're not just a maven, you're a marvel.
Caroline & David Dvorchik


Diamonds - catch the final episode Sunday April 12 on cbc 9pm

Diamonds examines the devastating consequences of corrupt trading, regardless of the context. The story could equally be set in the oil, electronics or clothing industry with a similar theme. In the mini-series, a chain of intimate stories depict the larger picture. It is the childlike perspective of young soldiers abandoned to the world, the America-centric perspective of a Republican Senator learning about herself in the context of her government’s foreign policy, and a Shakespearean take on the father-son relationship in a family whose wealth is built on diamonds. It’s also about an affair between a white South African and a Black model who becomes ensnared in the family drama and the political implications of her actions. Lastly, it’s the ambiguous perspective of a young female geologist in Canada, who battles to reconcile her passion to find diamonds with the moral significance of her obsession. Each character, in their own way, becomes obsessed.
James Bawden (former television reviewer for The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star) says of the series on his blog:
"Diamonds is worth your time. The narrative (David Vainola wrote it) effortlessly skips back and forth from Washington to London to South Africa and the piece is chock full of violent, disturbing incidents. But it's not just about diamond mining --it's about greed, the corruption of petty dictatorships, the ruthlessness of the diamond cartel. There are some romancing scenes but they are interspersed with chilling reminders of the cheapness of human lives when millions of dollars are at stake."




with her 'acute eye' had the opportunity
to help hang this show for artist Chris Johnson
such a pleasure
Take a stroll down the ever-bustling Spadina Ave to Adelaide St, hang a right and just steps in from Spadina arrive at Launch Projects Gallery

You've not seen work like this, so refreshing, so talented


Earth Hour Saturday March 28

I will be participating in this important iniatiative on Saturday night
check it out



earth's energy and a good night's rest - update

well since moving my bed to a north/south longitude.........the room feels more restful.......i walk into the room and 'feel' relaxed ahhh........
but the true test was the quality of sleep
i hope I'm not counting my chickens but this is the second night of less tossing and turning, AND
uninterrupted sleep......oh sweet sleep
there really is something to this I think
if you have the capability in your bedroom to move your bed to sit on this north/south longitude........I seriously recommend it.


Earth's Energy and sleeping

I moved my bed today....
it is now situated in line with the Earth's Energy
meaning- my bed now sits on a north/south longitude line --instead of the old east/west latitude
According to Feng Shui experts this alignment (in line with the earth's energy meridians) will provide not only a more restful sleep, but in turn health and wellness.
will keep you informed........


Eating Organically and Locally

I'm a big advocate of eating organically and locally.

By doing so, you support not only local farmers :), the canadian economy:), the environment:), but your own health:) :)

Pesticide spraying of foods prohibit the plants from making the valuable phytochemicals we need to fight off disease.

DonValley Brickworks Farmers' Market, Friends of Riverdale Farm Farmers' Market, Dufferin Grove Farmers' Market
my fav


urbanmaven 'circa 2003'

'harvest the power of phyto foods'

I want to share this book/cookbook on whole foods or plant foods

so rich in phytochemicals--chemical compounds found in foods that help to fight off auto-immune diseases like: cancer, diabetes, osteo-arthritis.

A friend gave it to me last year

EVERY recipe I have tried has been not only EASY-minimal prep, but DELICIOUS (big exclamation mark)

Check it out! Protect your health.

The Enlightened Eater's Whole Foods Guide

by Rosie Schwartz


Onion Relish

1 white (organic) onion, quartered and very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sea salt
Juice of 1/2 organic lemon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp organic cilantro, chopped

-Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

*this is a great condiment to just about anything
** onions are a great source of vitamin C, and chock full of heart-healthy flaviniods


great studio

There is a gorgeous yoga studio in Toronto, one of the nicest, most zen studios where I practice alot.
The Roots Yoga Studio on Yonge St, in between Summerhill and Rosedale subway stations.
Go to
I hope there is a class time that fits into your schedule.