// strategy for creatives who mean business

Whole Wheat Pancake Parfait

One of my favourite shows (that I can only watch now and then before the urge to go to a greasy spoon overpowers me!) is Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. I recently caught an episode with a delicious and decadent pancake parfait, and part way through watching it I couldn’t help myself from trying to make a slightly healthier version of it for myself. When I realized I had all the ingredients I needed to make this I literally ran to the kitchen, scattering my tiny dogs as I went and sending them into a fit of loud, chirpy barking that I usually only hear when they spot a murderous toddler or mailman in the neighbourhood. Watching food TV around me when I’m hungry is a dangerous game, friends.

If you have a favourite pancake recipe, then you can sub it in but I’ve included one that’s vegan & oil free because it’s such a relatively low fat base for the toppings. Also because the recipe just makes gorgeous, fluffy pancakes! I love that this is a simple recipe combined with a sense of playfulness in how you put it together, that makes it an over the top treat that’s also fun to build. This is perfect for a Sunday brunch, and made with whole ingredients that you won’t regret later in the day.

That being said, I dare you to make a reasonable sized pancake ;)

Veg Idea: Shake & Bake Tofu

As a vegetarian, it’s easy to get suckered into eating carbs. When I crave savoury food, images of pizza or macaroni and cheese usually flash in front of my eyes before I black out and come to in the parking lot of a Little Caesars. Because I’m incredibly poised & have excellent self control.

To avoid these kind of impulses I’ve been trying to add more healthy, savoury food into my meals and I’m surprised at the big impact that it’s having in stopping me from craving the foods that are usually hardest for me to avoid. One of the things I’ve been enjoying in sandwiches is something I’ve made since I was a teenager- shake and bake tofu.

Black Bean Brownies

When I first heard about black bean brownies I thought that maybe the gluten free people had gone too far. While I understand the reasons it works, a brownie that swaps flour for beans sounded like it would end in tears. However, I’m happy to say that these are delicious, moist, rich and chocolatey brownies that are downright dangerous. Dangerous to the point that they prompted these tweets:

Fair warning: after making this I recommend you immediately take them into work or offer them to a crowd of friends as a means of self defence. Another thing to note is that they’re really fun to make, because all you need is a blender & a brownie pan!

Make Your Own Fabric Nail Wraps

Today I’m excited to have a creative & cute guest post from my friend Heather who blogs at Just Love.ly Things. She’s sharing a tutorial on giving yourself a manicure that features your favourite fabric, or even a wide patterned washi tape. I’ll let Heather show you how…

If most of you are Pinterest addicts like me then you know how many dreamy inspirational photos float around that place.  I’m a big nail polish junkie so when I started seeing dreamy nail art pics pop up here and there I needed to figure out a way to make it happen on my own little fingers.  With a complete obsession to all things DIY and a over-usage love for Mod Podge I knew I could make this happen.  I originally shared the tutorial via cell phone photos, as it was unplanned, on my blog here.  But to do this project justice I made a nicer version to share with you.

Tangy Southwestern Quinoa Salad

I’m a recent convert to quinoa, and now that it’s available in bulk at my favourite grocery store I’m beyond hooked. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination and have only prepared it a few ways so far, but I had so much success with this recipe that I needed to share it.

I made this last time Jesse was traveling for work, in preparation for juggling my design clients & being single puppy mama which may not sound like that much, but it usually keeps me on my toes from dusk till dawn. When my husband’s away the only thing that keeps me from eating pizza every night is having healthy, seriously yummy food around that’s either already prepared or easy to get finished.

Rainbow French Tipped Manicure

I’ve been really wanting to give myself rainbow nails lately, but I wasn’t in the mood for something full on neon and crazy. On account of me having a lot of that going on with my neon red hair & tattoos. I thought the perfect solution would be a hint of rainbow by giving a french manicure a little more personality.

This uses an easy method that anyone can make look beautiful, it requires no freehand painting and gives a cute, colorful look that’s not too crazy to wear to work. It can be a tiny reminder of your creative heart whenever you type ;)

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

When I was growing up, one of my favourite treats was going to our favourite bakery and getting chocolate zucchini cake. As a teeny little vegetarian I was blown away- it was basically chocolate bread, but healthy! (Vegetables in baking = at least a little healthy, right?). I was reminded of them last week and couldn’t get it out of my head- I needed them again, and I hadn’t baked in months.

That sounds like a mission to me :)

They were so tasty (and topped with melty chocolate chips!!) that they were clearly too dangerous to keep in the house- they went straight into the studio for sharing. Thank goodness for friends!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Adapted from FoodNetwork (very true to their recipe)

Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Shake

I recently discovered a ridiculously tasty treat that’s not half bad for you. It’s a vegan peanut butter shake that you can make with all natural, organic ingredients. I learned about the idea from a girl at my local health food store, and couldn’t wait to try it as soon as I got home. Lately I’ve been being careful about what I eat, but adding organic dark chocolate into my week has been a treat that I’m letting myself indulge in. It’s completely delicious & definitely worth a try.

This recipe uses organic cacao, which isn’t cocoa and you’ll have to venture into a health food store to buy, but it’s worth it! It looks like cocoa (see below) but it’s a raw superfood that is great for you. I learned a lot about the difference in this post from My New Roots and it’s really interesting, especially if you’re curious about nutrition or have only heard about cacao from Portlandia. (In joke: cacao to cacao!! Gosh that skit creeped me out lol)


  • Non-Dairy Milk (I use Silk Almond Milk)
  • An organic banana
  • Two tablespoons of organic peanut butter
  • A teaspoon of organic cacao
  • A blender

Moleskine Notebook Transformation – A No Binding Required Weekly Planner Tutorial

I love getting organized and when it comes to planners, day timers, agendas… whatever you call them, I’m a sucker for a great system that will keep me motivated through the week.   Inventing my own system is the most fun for me, and while I’ve posted a DIY planner tutorial that I used to make my 2011 planner, the problem with making a planner for yourself that will last you a year is that you have to bind it yourself, and make it durable enough to last a long time. That’s a big stumbling block for many people, so when I made my 2012 planner I wanted to come up with an approach that more of you could try for yourselves :)

This tutorial will show you how to take a Moleskine Notebook and turn it into a weekly & monthly view planner that you can start at any time of the year, and need almost no supplies to make! This DIY Moleskine planner is completely customizable and uses every last page of the notebook, but each week is infinitely flexible so you can naturally change how you use it over time, and let your planner evolve as your year unfolds.


  • A Classic Extra Large Moleskine Notebook (I used the squared, soft cover version)
  • A Pen
  • A Ruler
  • Optional: determination & a distraction, tracing the template takes a while!

What’s Inside

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