Saturday, April 30, 2016

Teleflora Bouquets To Honor One Tough Mom This Mother's Day

A mother plays multiple roles in the family. My life as a mom means learning to handle all the different jobs in the household and being the best mom that I can to care for my family. Even though it gets tough, I'm always trying my best to do what's right for my kids.

I love my mom so much and she really inspires me. She's one tough mother and she also raised me to be tough. Before my mom retired, I remember how she worked hard and worked long hours to make our living and how she helped me through college financially. She supports me with the choices I make.

Mother's Day is just around the corner. I know my mom loves flowers. I also love receiving flowers. Thanks to Chelsea (PR rep from The Wonderful Company) and Teleflora for arranging the delivery of my choice on the Teleflora’s Love and Joy Bouquet from my local florist (Terra Flowers). The florist called me to confirm the delivery the day before. It was a bit delayed for the afternoon delivery date, but I called back that day and they were very helpful in checking for me. I received it in the evening instead. I love it and it looks just as pictured on the website.

These gorgeous Mother’s Day bouquets are professionally-arranged and hand-delivered by a local florist with love and care to capture the hearts and appreciation of every mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or friend.

As a special tribute to moms everywhere this Mother’s Day, Teleflora's “One Tough Mother” video ad celebrates the “tough, gritty, no pain-no-gain” job that moms take on every day. Its anthem, the famous words shared by the legendary coach “Vince” Lombardi and his “What It Takes To Be Number One” speech, honors its guiding principles about winning and success. The video ad features “real life” moms to maintain the authenticity of the campaign, which celebrates every “One Tough Mother” in your life…recognizing the strength, courage, perseverance, and infinite love that inspires us through her endless journey through motherhood. Motherhood isn’t always hearts and roses, but Mother’s Day can be with Teleflora.

All Mother’s Day bouquets below are already available on Teleflora.com for purchase:

Teleflora’s Love and Joy Bouquet (Available on Teleflora.com for $59.95)

The perfect gift to celebrate mom and tickle her pink! This elegant bouquet is brimming with springtime’s finest colors, featuring hot pink roses, miniature pink carnations, huckleberry, lavender stems and lavender chrysanthemums all nestled within a gorgeous blooming flower and hummingbird vase, the ultimate symbol to show mom your appreciation and love.


Teleflora’s Luxurious Lavender Bouquet (Available on Teleflora.com for $109.95)

“WOW” mom with this stunning gift that exudes classic elegance; and dazzles and delights with fresh blooms full of luscious dark pink roses and fragrant lilies within a glorious sculpted lavender glass vase.

Teleflora’s Garden Pitcher Bouquet (Available on Teleflora.com for $69.95)

Fill mom’s heart by honoring her timeless devotion with this charming 2-in-1 gift she will cherish. A luxurious mix of rich lavender roses and chrysanthemums, fragrant white lilies and eucalyptus is hand-delivered in a tall, rustic Provencal-style water pitcher (FDA-approved and food safe) that is perfect for mom’s springtime entertaining.

Teleflora’s Butterfly Sunrise Bouquet (Available on Teleflora.com for $49.95)

Playful and sweet just like mom, this brilliant bouquet of peach roses, yellow alstroemeria, and lavender chrysanthemums will make every mom’s heart flutter with happiness. This 2-in-1 gift also serves as a darling oversized keepsake mug (FDA-approved and food safe) adorned with dancing watercolor-hued butterflies for long-lasting enjoyment.

Teleflora’s Painted Blossoms Bouquet (Available on Teleflora.com for $39.95)

Surprise sisters, daughters, and new moms by showering her with a bright, joyful floral bouquet bursting with a lovely medley of orange roses, yellow alstroemeria, and brilliant pink carnations. Arrives professionally-arranged in this delicate pink ceramic cube vase with painted blossoms complement the fresh blooms of spring!

Disclosure: I received one of the bouquets of my choice at no charge in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. No other compensation was given.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Book Review: Beyond Therapy - Igniting Life Focus Community Movements


In "Beyond Therapy", Erving Polster examines the role of “life focus"in three of society’s most familiar activities: ordinary conversation, the arts, and religion. He shows the life focus movement to be an indivisible complement to just simply living. In proposing a paradigm shift from psychotherapy’s priority for changing people’s troubled lives into the complementary purpose of illuminating their lives, the author invites the participation of many people who do not seek remedial treatment for emotional or psychological problems.

Polster incorporates a broader scenario for enhancing attention through community groups, showing that the convergence of people’s minds on commonly important life themes creates enlightenment. This interlocked focus amplifies the ensuing conversational content and creates a meditation-like absorption. This kind of pointed focus, argues Polster, has the power to color the lives of the participants.

This work offers rationale and design for life focus community groups, and also creates a heightened identity for the life focus movement, providing other foundational ideas that help to unify diverse approaches. Mental health professionals will benefit from its wealth of specific exercises and instructions for program design. Polster provides leaders and group members with a well-rounded perspective on the basics of personal enlightenment and communal belonging.

MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed reading all details that Erving Polster had put into this book. It's a great guide to help us discover (or re-discover) ourselves to be more positive and making those positive changes. A life focus group is a great way to connect with each other, find inspiration about our life stories, and staying positive.


Erving Polster is the director of The Gestalt Training Center, San Diego, and the author of Gestalt Therapy Integrated, Every Person’s Life is Worth a Novel, and From the Radical Center: The Heart of Gestalt Therapy.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the mentioned book from the PR company/Publisher for my review in this post. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers.

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AromaSense Shower Head Giveaway

AromaSense Shower Head Giveaway

Welcome To The Mother's Day 
AromaSense Shower Head Giveaway!

Sponsored by: AromaSense

Escape into luxury with the first of its kind aroma scenting vitamin C shower head. Aroma Sense is an innovative product that emits Vitamin C and aromatherapy during your shower, promoting healthier skin and hair while generating anti-oxidants. Our premier technology is able to remove chlorine and other contaminants from tap water. Aroma Sense also optimizes water pressure 1.5 times more than a well branded shower head. The natural lemon oil inside the vitamin filter provides an aromatherapy effect which enhances relaxation and alleviates stress. Truly, this is what a luxurious shower should feel like.

Aroma Sense Vitamin C Shower Head (Wall Fix) - Model: AS OPUS
OPUS Aroma Sense AS-9000 Aromatherapy Vitamin C Handheld Shower Head
AromaSense Shower Head Giveaway AromaSense Shower Head Giveaway


ONE (1) lucky winner will receive their choice of AromaSense Shower Head (ARV $89.99)!
Check out the review.

Contest is open to US residents only, 18+ (ends May 23rd, 2016 at 11:59pm EST). All entries unless otherwise noted are optional.  Please enter the giveaway form below. The winner will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!
Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!  If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog. Bloggers in this giveaway were not compensated and are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. The sponsor listed above will be awarding the prize(s) to the winner(s). 

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Photos of the Day: Flowers

See more nature photos in my Facebook Gallery.

My Flickr Album
500px Gallery
My Facebook Page
National Geographic

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cake

This is a really healthy chocolate cake and it was fun to make. And not to forget to mention that's it's delicious! Check out the recipe below and if you decide to make it, let me know how it goes in the comments.


1-1/3 cups quinoa
2-2/3 cups water
2/3 cups milk
8 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
3 cups sugar
2 cups unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt


1) In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let quinoa cool. You may want to put into the fridge to quicken this process.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3) Line baking pan with parchment paper.

4) In a blender or food processor, combine milk, eggs and vanilla. Add 4 cups of cooked quinoa and butter. Process until smooth.

5) In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

6) Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

7) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack for about 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Optional: Serve with berry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Photo of the Day: Snail on a Twig

Found this snail on the way to school with the little one. See more nature photos in my Facebook Gallery.

My Flickr Album
500px Gallery
My Facebook Page
National Geographic

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10 New Summer Getaways to Europe from Exodus Travels

Featuring walks and wine tastings in Portugal's Douro Valley, cycling mysterious Translyvania, a Sicily food adventure, and more!

From the French Riviera’s turquoise coastline to hole-in-the-wall Italian cafes with the world’s best single shot, rural Portuguese vineyards and Swiss alpine villages, Europe earns the title for the ultimate summertime getaway. Exodus Travels has launched 61 new European small-group and self-guided adventures in 2016, each taking the trail less travelled and hosted by friendly local leaders who know their patch better than anyone else. 

With more than 42 years of experience designing and operating extraordinary adventures to 100 countries worldwide, Exodus rounds up its 10 best trips to Europe debuting this summer:
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1. Douro Valley: Walking & Wine

Discover ancient wine cellars and walk the quiet countryside of a country that once dominated the world’s trade routes. Beginning in Porto, Exodus’ new Portugal walking trip travels into the heart of the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where sweet-tasting port is produced, and then onwards to the Terras de Basto, home of vinho verde. This premium adventure features generous wine tastings, 4- and 5-star accommodations, and leisurely walks through ancient olive groves and down old stone paths to chapel shrines. Eight-day departures begin May 14, 2016. Rates from $2,095 CAD.
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2. Walks in the French Riviera

Exodus’ new walking adventure invites sun-seekers to explore the French Riviera’s exotic cliff-side villages and lush interior at their own pace. Exodus has handpicked the area’s best coastal and woodland trails that lead to medieval castles, impressive old towns and secluded Mediterranean beaches. Travellers can also visit star-studded Monaco, where mega-yachts sit perched along the coastline, before venturing into Menton and hiking towards the Italian border. Eight-day departures begin April 23, 2016. Rates from $1,675 CAD.
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3. Sicily Food Adventure

From the sweet taste of cannoli to the crunch of arancini, Sicily’s food is a world famous reflection of the island’s rich history and cultural heritage. This southern Italy journey follows the foodie trail where gastronomes get acquainted with Sicilian cuisine in Ballaro’s bustling street food market, make their own dishes alongside a local chef in Trapani, sip wine in Marsala and Etna, and relax in sun-kissed Baroque piazzas with a gelato in hand. Eight-day departures begin May 7, 2016. Rates from $2,095 CAD.
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4. Self-Guided Cycling in Slovenia

Set amongst extraordinary alpine surroundings, the romantic town of Bled and its iconic island make one of the most picture-perfect settings in Europe, if not the whole world. From here, cyclists will cover Slovenia’s best biking trails, like Vintgar Gorge, carved 150m deep into the mountains by the Radovna River, and Radovna Valley. For an easy, breezy ride, Exodus has arranged a car transfer to the top of the Pokljuka high plateau where riders charge downhill through alpine villages to Lake Bahinj and nearby waterfalls. Eight-day departures begin April 20, 2016. Rates from $1,535 CAD.
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5. Tuscany: Florence to Lucca Ride

Exodus’ new bike tour in Tuscany begins in the renaissance city of Florence and goes off the beaten track towards the mountainous terrain of the Garfgnana region and back through Luca’s rolling hills via the iconic Devil’s Bridge, an important pilgrimage road to Rome and a remarkable example of medieval engineering. Off the bike, adventurers can opt for a day of walking and sightseeing along the famous Cinque Terre coastline and indulge in delicious Tuscan dishes and local wine. Eight-day departures begin May 21, 2016. Rates from $1,785 CAD.
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6. Cycling in Portugal: Mountains to the Sea

The new route begins in the wild and rugged region of northern Portugal and heads downhill through small villages and extensive vineyards following the River Mingo towards the Atlantic Ocean. Along the ride, cyclists will make way for deer and wild horses, and take breaks to sip and savour organic vinho verde. The trips ends in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Porto, with time to taste world-famous port wine from ancient cellars. Eight-day departures begin April 24, 2016. Rates from $1,675 CAD.
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7. Self-guided trails of La Palma

La Palma, nicknamed La Isla Bonita (the pretty isle), is a volcanic island located in the western Canaries. During Exodus’ new self-guided walking trip, travellers will follow stunning coastal trails through citrus groves, avocado and mango orchards and small vineyards to whitewashed villages like San Andrés. Highlights include the ‘Barranco de Herradura,’ considered one of Spain’s best walking trails, and the ‘Ruta de Los Volcanes,’ a series of volcanoes in the south of the island. Eight-day departures begin April 21, 2016. Rates from $1,635 CAD.
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8. Croatia: Castles to Coast Walk

During Exodus’ exhilarating trip to Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, senses will awaken with blissful walks through orchards of apples, peaches, cherries and plums in the Kaldir Valley and along the Adriatic coast to remote coves and azure bays. For panoramic views as far as the Dolomites and Switzerland, hikers can summit Istra’s highest peak Mt. Vojak, before retiring to their 19th century villa in Opatija. Eight-day departures begin May 3, 2016. Rates from $2,135 CAD.
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9. Puglia: Discover the Heel of Italy

With a focus on art, architecture and local traditions and cuisine, this new trip to Italy’s southern heel is peppered with leisure walks that hug the coast, Baroque explorations and lazy beach days. Exploring the diversities of Puglia, travellers will stay in whitewashed ‘Trulli’ houses in Alberobello, sample organic produce at a traditional masseria (a typical Apulian converted farmhouse), and travel 60 metres deep into ancient cave systems in the Itria Valley. Eight-day departures begin May 1, 2016. Rates from $2,015 CAD.
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10. Cycling Romania

Few places can match the beauty and mystery of Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. Rich with Saxon history and a landscape dotted with castles, monasteries and wool mills, Exodus’ new bike tour begins in Bran with a visit to ‘Dracula’s Castle’ before heading to the foot of the highest mountain range in Romania. Road warriors cover 35-66 kilometres per day, cycling quiet country roads to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, old citadels and eclectic communist-era cities like Bucharest. Nine-day departures begin May 7, 2016. Rates from $1,745 CAD.

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Vancouver Event: Spot Prawn Gala Menu Revealed

Menu Revealed for Chefs' Table Society Spot Prawn Gala
Buy your tickets and get your bow-tie ready

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia celebrates 10 years of the Spot Prawn Festival with an inaugural Spot Prawn Gala at the Vancouver Club on May 13. The six-course gala will be prepared by six chefs from across Canada and paired with wines from Encore Vineyards in support of Ocean Wise. This black tie event will be one-of-a-kind and not to be missed, as Spot Prawn Festival founder chef Robert Clark, The Fish Counter, will be emceeing the event in a tuxedo with executive chef and program director at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Julian Bond. Anyone who knows these two chefs knows that an opportunity to catch them in black tie attire is rare indeed! In all seriousness, the opportunity to have enjoy a meal prepared by these chefs in the same evening is a delicacy not to be missed. Tickets for the Gala are available for $200 plus gst and service charge.

Menu for the Chefs' Table Society of BC Spot Prawn Gala

Hand passed Canapés
Presented by Chris Whittaker - Forage, Vancouver, BC

1st course
Presented by Sean Cousins - Vancouver Club, Vancouver, BC

"Liquid Gold" nero Spot Prawn Ravioli, Geoduck Consommé,
Barnacle "bacon", duck fat fried lovage

Wine Pairing: 2013 TIME Estate Winery Sundial

2nd course
Presented by Bill Jones - Deerholme Farm, Duncan, BC

Grand Fir poached Spot Prawns
with a miso, mushroom and seaweed rice pudding, stinging nettle aioli, gin cured coho roe

Wine Pairing: 2015 Evolve Cellars Pinot Gris

3rd course
Presented by Matthias Fong - River Café, Calgary AB

Rosemary Smoked Spot Prawns with Berkshire Lardo
Highwood Crossing Rye & Goat Ricotta Dumplings, Wild Rose Ale Vinegar Roasted Radish,
Spot Prawn Nectar & Ramp Emulsion, River Garden Chive Blossoms

Wine Pairing: 2014 TIME Estate Winery Meritage White

4th course
Presented by Anthony Walsh - Oliver Bonacini, Toronto ON

Salted Spot Prawns, Liquorice, Mustard, Nettle Fraiche and Nasty sauce

Wine Pairing: 2013 Evolve Cellars Gewurztraminer

5th course
Presented by Ned Bell - Four Seasons, Vancouver BC

Butter Poached Spot Prawns
Spring Pea Panna Cotta, Lemon Jam Vanilla & Black Pepper Vinaigrette & Brioche

Wine Pairing: 2013 TIME Estate Winery Chardonnay

6th course
Presented by Angus An - Maenam, Vancouver, BC

Tender Pork Belly in coconut water with Spot Prawn and Spot Prawn xo sauce

Wine Pairing: 2013 McWatters Collection Chardonnay

Palate Cleanser
Sorbet presented by Bella Gelateria

Presented by chef Christine Beard-Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver, BC

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