Monday Product Review!

Bent Outta Shape!  by Lala Soap Company

So I though we could review a few products for you guys.

We are always on the hunt for some new and natural products and when we find some, it is always nice to share with our readers!

The Lala Soap Company is a local (Southern Ontario) company that makes, not only beautiful soaps that are all natural and never tested on animals, but make an awesome product called Bent Outta Shape roll on oil.

I was turned onto this while teaching Yoga one day at Bend Yoga Studios in Dundas, where they carry a number of other products along with this one.  I have a some swelling occasionally with my right knee and usually go the ice, rest, compression route for treating it.  I saw the Bent Outta Shape roll on oil and smelled the tester and it was delicious!  I gave it a try before my class.

The mix of essential oils like Arnica, St. John’s Work, peppermint, rosemary and camphor are combined to not only smell amazing but by the time my class ended, my swelling was gone.  No joke.

The Lala Soap Company has many more products that I know I am going to be trying out. In fact, next week I will review the Flower Power Soap that I picked up this week.

It is always great to support a company that works to make all natural products that work so well.  They do have online purchasing available too if you’re not so local!

So stay tuned for next week and I’ll let you know what I think of the Flower Power Soap…I have a feeling I’m going to love it. 🙂



Instagram Recap!


Spending some time purusing Instagram this week and thought we would share some of our fave accounts with you guys!


 Going from Top going Left to Right ~

  1. The Burnt Tongue – Local soup restaurant here in Hamilton.  Not only do they make an amazing variety of soups that cater to vegan and gluten free people as well as for the omnivorous, they have killer french fries.
  2. Henry Brown’s Small Batch Ice Cream  – Local small batch ice cream shop that resides in the Hamilton Market.  Delicious ice cream with some vegan options too!
  3. The Hamilton Farmers Market – Running since 1837, the Hamilton Farmers’ Market will give you just about anything.  Locally sourced, straight from the farm produce and made baked goods, cheeses and meats.
  4. Donut Monster –  Almost no explanation necessary.  Local Donuts available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at a number of different locations throughout Hamilton.  Vegan options available every week.  Best part of the week 😉
  5. Royal Botanical Gardens – The RBG is a 2700 acres botanical garden and nature sanctuary located in Hamilton/Burlington.  Beautiful trails and gardens to explore.
  6. PieBird Farm Sanctuary – A warm and wonderful spot in Nippissing, Ontario.  Enjoy the Bed and Breakfast or cottage rental while exploring this vegan animal sanctuary.  Yan and Sherry are the most amazing hosts.
  7. Green Bar Hamilton – The pic is of their vegan version of the Starbucks Unicorn Frap!  Best smoothies in town and the food is fantastic too!  We go probably once a week for lunch or dinner 🙂 DEEEELISH!
  8. Esther The Wonder Pig – Is there any explanation necessary for this diva?  Esther and her Dads live on an animal sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario where they house many other rescues.  We have volunteered a few times on the farm and are planning another ‘farm day’ for June!
  9. Merrys_end_of_Life – This instagram is a celebration of life with pictures taken and curated by Merry, who is dealing with the challenging disease of COPD.  Merry is a local legend and her photos and positivity inspires us to live life to the fullest and enjoy the flowers along the way.

We hope you enjoy the little gallery of Instagram accounts we have put together for you!

Check some out and give some a follow if you like what they have to offer!  AND while you’re at it, click on Crave__Life and give us a follow too!




Mango Summer Smoothie Bowl

I couldn’t help but re-blog this one. I’ve had mango on my mind lately and just look at this smoothie bowl ❤ beautiful.

If you get a chance, check out this blog Stunning photos and lovely recipes.

T h e C o o k b o o k L i f e

It’s officially summer – Mangoes are in season! Treat yourself to this cold and creamy smoothie bowl perfect for a hot summer’s day. A naturally sweetened tropical blend of mangoes and coconut to kick start your mornings, a hint of fresh mint and that splash of coconut water to keep you well hydrated. Top it up with a bunch of fresh fruit and granola and you’ve got yourself a quick and healthy breakfast in no time.

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You Tube Thursday!

So…we recently upgraded this blog to be able post VIDEO!!!  

So excited.  There have been so many videos we have wanted to share but up until now all we could do is share a  link.


I wanted our friend (ok, she’s my uber talented neice) Kalie at The Hungry Elephant

to be the first video we share for what I hope will be a weekly feature…..

You Tube Thursday….dah…dah…dah…!!!

This recipe from The Hungry Elephant is sweet treat but a healthy snack all at the same time!  One of my all time faves…baked apples.

Check it out..and check out The Hungry Elephant...


Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew – from Oh She Glows Cookbook

Get ready for Soup Month! Today is the last day of January so I thought I’d share one of the best soup recipes we’ve had on our blog. From Oh She Glows, check out this reblog of African Peanut Stew 🙂


During my first year at university I worked in the food services dept as a liaison between students and staff relaying complaints to the food managers to improve the quality of choices offered. On a tour of the kitchen I noticed a new dish they were trying called African Peanut Soup. Growing up I adored my peanut butter and jam sandwiches on my Mother’s homemade bread. I was initially put off by the idea of tomatoes and spicy chilis mixed in with my beloved peanut butter. Boy, was I mistaken! The soup was more of a thick, creamy broth with just enough spice to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. I was a fan from the first taste. Let us take a glimpse at a bit of history on how this soup came to be associated with West Africa.

In Africa peanuts are called ‘groundnuts’; a legume from an annual…

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Chocolate Candy Cane Donuts – Vegan (and GF too)

Another re-blog BUT more donuts…Chocolate Candy Cane..yeh…you’re welcome. Promise a new blog post tomorrow…You guys all know how it is right now!


Oh…the weather out is frightful but the chocolate donuts are so delightful!

Getting into the Christmas season with some Vegan chocolate donuts sprinkled with crushed candy cane.  I made a gluten free batch as well that worked beautifully with this recipe.  They are moist and chocolatey with the hint of mint from the candy cane.  Way too good!


3/4 cup all purpose flour ***for gluten free I used 3/4 cup of brown rice flour and 1 teaspoon of xantham gum.

1/3 cup granulated organic sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoon of chocolate almond milk

3 tablespoons of melted Earth Balance vegan butter

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease the donut pan with spray oil or vegan butter.
  2. Mix all of the dry…

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Gingerbread Donuts

Reblogging this because they are DONUTS and they are GINGERBREAD!!!
Seriously amazing donuts and so easy to make gf too.


Wow, what a beautiful Sunday it is here today!  Hope the sun is shining where ever you are right now.  With the temperatures so mild and the sun shining, it is hard to believe we are getting into the Christmas season.  After Hallowe’en this time of year seems to attack us for all angles.  First the stores, then commercials on radio and television, flyers you get in the mail, and the food of the season is definitely at the forefront.

One of my favourite flavours of the season is gingerbread.  I love the molasses and ginger and cloves combination that triggers the feeling of Christmas.  Whether it is in a cookie, or cake or a muffin, gingerbread is such a comforting flavour.  So why not combine gingerbread to the ultimate in comfort food treats; the donut?  Yes, I said it…Gingerbread Donuts!   Made vegan and with a gluten free alternative…

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Two Cool Blogs!

Time to share!  

We like to share lots of stuff with you guys.  Recipes. Fitness. Movies. Music. AND  other blogs that we come across that are pretty darn amazing!

Today we bring to you a couple that have caught our eye.

One is a pretty new one and would really appreciate it if you wandered over to take a look.  We know what it is like to start the blogging process and it is always exciting to see the number of readers get bigger!

Take a look at Ladybird Consulting.  Tania’s blog is all about her beautiful gardens and she brings you some amazing ideas for your own backyards.  Tania and her Golden Doodle, Zowie take you into her home and yard to see the incredible decoratoring ideas she has come up with.  Ladybird has just started out in this world of blogging and would love for you to check out her garden ideas and read along as she shares her love of the outdoors, decorating and recipes.

back-urn chair-close

The Hungry Elephant!

Looking for a great food blog?  There are a lot out there but The Hungry Elephant has quickly become one of the best out there.  Not only is there the blog, there are Youtube videos so you can watch step by step the amazing recipes come to life.  Follow the blog and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  The recipes here range from easy nibbles, delicious desserts and awesome main courses.  Check out The Hungry Elephant!

coconut-onion-rings img_2041-1

We really hope you take a look at these two incredible bloggers and share them with your friends!


Happy reading!



Shop ‘Til You Drop.

Re-blogging this as a reminder that no deal is worth the craziness of Black Friday. The retailers want you to think you need this stuff or that you friends and family need stuff. They need you. They need your time and attention. Go out and enjoy eachothers company instead. Make memories. Happy Weekend Everyone.

Subatomic Tourism

009 Succumbing to shopping fatigue, finally.

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Secret Path-A Must Watch

Val and I at Crave Life, like to highlight stuff that will enhance your lives.  Maybe a recipe, some fitness ideas, music, restaurants, movies, bands, and other things that we hope you will enjoy and spread to others as well.

Being Canadians, we feel that we wanted to share something that has been in the media lately.  Poet and musician, Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip, has collaborated on a new project surrounding the life of Chanie Wenjack.  Chanie was a 12 year old boy, whose life was cut short as he attempted to walk the 400 kilometres back to his home after leaving a residential school in Kenora, Ontario.  Residential schools were set up in Canada in the 1880’s and were operational all the way up to 1996.  Chanie’s story takes place in 1966.  Chanie’s story is but one of many tragedies that took place regarding the residential schools.  Bringing this often buried subject to the forefront of the media, we are forced as a nation to look at ourselves in a different light.  The Canada we all thought we were has some ugly history that needs to be exposed, not just for the sake of shaming those who were involved, but to allow Canadians now to make things right.

Gord Downie, had heard of Chanie’s story and wanted to learn more about him and his family.  Gord sought out his sister, Pearl to find out more.  After writing 10 poems about the life and tragic death of Chanie Wenjack, Gord put poems to music.  Joining forces with esteemed graphic novelist, Jeff Lemire, and a story was born and Chanie’s story was expressed as a graphic novel, along side the poems.  The music was recorded and the graphic novel was then animated into a short film.

The Secret Path, the title of Gord’s album and graphic novel by Jeff Lemire, premiered as a short film October 23.  The album and graphic novel are available for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Foundation for the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation.  This fund’s proceeds aim to be used to bring much needed cross cultural education and healing.

If you are interested in viewing the short film or ordering the album and graphic novel, please click on The Secret Path.  Donations can also be made at this website.

Accidental Reading

It happens once in a while when you are looking for something particular online and you come across a website that sucks you in and holds you there, reading, clicking, scrolling and in this case signing up to follow this incredible blog.  Design the Life You Want To Live is a blog by a super talented woman named Lynne Knowlton.

My husband, Tom and I have our anniversary coming up at the end of November.  We like to get away for a night but in November, in Ontario, the weather can be very unpredictable.  We usually opt for a night in Toronto, maybe taking in a show, concert or just wondering around.  I was Googling things to do at the end of November looking for something different.  I came across a post link that said they offered Airstream rentals.  How cool would that be?  We have always talked about doing a trip in a camper, more likely a VW Bus but the Airstreams are really coming back and people are resurrecting them.  Lynne and her family bought an Airstream and completely restored it.  In fact, I dare say it is done wayyyyyy better than it once was.  The trailer, and I use that term loosely as it often conjures up an image of a Winnebago with tires on the roof, is parked on a piece of their land where they also have a …. treehouse!  Yes, you can rent out a treehouse too!

To get more info, click on word Airstream.


Look at the inside…seriously gorgeous.  This is total Glamping.

Did I mention there is a cabin and a treehouse for rent on this beautiful property?  Lynne and her family have done them up and they are worthy of HGTV quality.  Seriously amazing.

Now, the rentals are done for this year, but I will be looking into this for a summertime adventure for sure.  This blog doesn’t just end here.  You can literally spend hours on this blog.

Lynne is a designer and shares with her readers, not only her stunning design ideas in her home, cabin and Airstream, but the blog is filled with so much more.  She highlights Do-It-Yourself projects, Travel highlights (my fave post is Travel Tips that won’t make you want to punch people), Recipes, for not only food but cleaning products too, and a section on Life & Advice, which takes in just about any topic.  Lynne writes with a wit and sharp sense of humour that makes you want to get to know her more.  She is candid and honest in her style of writing that I don’t think is a style at all.  It is just her.

For all you other bloggers out there, Lynne also has a great section on Blogging.  You may want to take her advice on this, her numbers don’t lie.  I’m excited at 250 followers…yeh..well she gets that on a daily basis so I will be reading this section a few times.

As you read through her blog, you will find some personal stuff too.  The most moving posts have to do with her husband, Mike.  They are in the midst of a really tough time and Mike is going through some torturous cancer treatments.  Some people may wonder why she would chose to divulge such personal information and share it with the same honesty she shares do-it-yourself tips.  My take is that the need to be honest and up front with her readers is unavoidable; and that means sharing everything.  Not everything about life, her life in particular, is perfect despite thinking it may be if you just judged by the look of her blog.  By sharing the heartache of the awfulness of cancer with her readers, she is connecting with them on the most basic of levels, human survival.  I can’t imagine how hard these posts are to write for her.

As you read through her blog, check out Lynne’s About page.  She is unpredictably candid here as well, not pretending to be something she isn’t.

I had to share this blog with you as there is really so much to go through and if you just want to look at the pictures, believe me, you can lose a lot of time doing that too.  Design the Life You Want to Live is definitely a blog to aspire to achieve and admire.

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Soup season! I had to reblog this one from Nourished Peach. This blog is chock full of some really awesome recipes and this is definitely one I will try out. Simple and delicious. Eating well doesn’t have to be time consuming…that is a myth. Enjoy!



Heres the deal, you guys. I’m going to be frank with you. I am getting lazy. Like LAAAAZZZZYYYY. Yes, you can still count on me to get a decent dinner on the table most nights…but man, I’ll find a shortcut. Now don’t get me wrong..I love a good Sunday spent in the kitchen…but these weeknights are all about saving time.

I feel like life has progressively taken me to this place of minimal effort. And yes, the weather these days must have something to do with it, too. But it used to be, you know, pre-kids, I was putting hours into dinner. Hours. Meticulously dicing, pureeing, grinding, whatever it took to make the food absolutely delicious. Then one kid…two kids..came along and it has gradually shifted from hours of effort to literally strategizing how I can get this meal on the table as quickly as possible. What shortcuts can I…

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Apple Cinnamon Donuts…and they are Vegan

How about a Re Blog? Well I know it seems kind of lazy, and yes, that is how I am feeling lately but hey, these are donuts! Apples are in season and the crop is stellar! So why not make some apple cinnamon donuts. If that doesn’t scream Fall then I don’t know what does…Pumpkin Spice? I say Apple Cinnamon wins that round!


Val and I had a good laugh when we took a look at the blog over the last week or so and noticed that there seemed to be a lot of orange dishes on our table lately.  It is the season of pumpkin and with the colder weather, we both were in the moods for curried dishes.  Luckily, pumpkin isn’t the only thing in season right now.  We have a luck of having so many apple farms around our area that you can’t help to use them in baking during the Fall.

Apples and cinnamon go together almost as well as peanut butter and jam.  So on this cold Sunday morning, an apple cinnamon donut would go great with a cup of coffee.  The recipe is vegan and can be made gluten free as well.  They are baked in a donut pan, which you can find quite easily.



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Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Quick Pico de Gallo + Mexican Crema

I love a good vegetarian taco! And this one looks amazing. Going to try this out for sure!

check out this reblog from Nourished Peach.


SONY DSCYes. Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Quick Pico de Gallo + Mexican Crema. Yes. All of the yeses in the world. Yes to infinity.

This meal is bomb. Cheap. Simple. Easy. So many things. I’m so in love.

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Refreshing Mint Chia Lemonade

Hot enough for you?! Sorry…couldn’t resist! We are having a tropical heat wave here! Only we aren’t in the tropics.

I’m going on record here and not complaining about it as I know in probably 2-3 short months we will be back to chilly mornings with cold feet and hands for the next 6 months. The heat does give us a challenge though…to stay hydrated. Last summer we posted one of my favourite recipes we have, and that is for the chia lemonade.

Not only refreshing and thirst quenching, but loaded with so many other good things for your active bodies!

Check out our recipe for Chia Lemonade 🙂


It is finally summer in Ontario, although the last week or two Mother Nature has been a little confused.  It looks like we are coming up on a good stretch of weather over the next few days so I know that we will be heading outside for some much needed activity.

I know I am not the only one who thinks this but, drinking water can get boring.  Sure, we try to jazz it up with a lemon or lime wedge but if you’re active, the need to rehydrate is crucial and after a while, your water bottle starts to look and taste a little drab.  To turn to sugary post work out drinks is not optimal either as the added sugar will only leave you needing more water.

Now, I love lemonade and I mean the full on sugar filled lemony goodness that we grew up with, but I…

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