May 27 2014

Fragrant Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

This recipe has been approved by my 12 year old. He commented on the fragrance from the spices which is not something he would normally mention. His plate was empty. We ate it as a side dish but it can also be a meal.



By Jackie Tyler

Serves 4

Ready in about one hour if served warm or longer if you chill in fridge.



2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 onion diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

1/2 cup raisins

19 oz tin of Black beans which have been rinsed OR about 3 cups pre-cooked black beans (black eyed peas are a good substitute)

2 carrots grated

2 sticks of celery finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh coriander.



Heat the olive oil in a suitable sized saucepan with lid.

Stir in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft but not brown.

Stir in the cumin, coriander and cinnamon and cook gently for about 30 seconds.

Add the stock, quinoa and raisins. Stir well.

Bring to boil and then simmer with lid on for around 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.

Allow to cool for around 30 minutes, fluffing with a fork every 10 minutes or so.

Stir in the beans, carrot, celery and the coriander saving some coriander for for garnishing.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or chill in fridge and serve cold. Sprinkle remaining chopped coriander on top.

May 21 2014

Why Don’t I Just Shut Up?


Having a day where somebody has pissed you off?

Do you say something to them or not?

Did you inform them that your were upset by their comments or behaviour?

That is the quandary I often find myself in.
Why? Because 99% of the time, as soon as I speak my truth, bullying ensues. Granted the people around me are used to dealing with a person who was too scared to ever speak her truth.
But nowadays I really don’t like it when the person left feeling in the wrong is normally me. The person who feels they should not have spoken out , is me. But, if I don’t speak my truth, who then feels like a failure and week? Not them. Why am I not allowed to voice an opinion without being talked down to, not be able to get a word in edgewise, having to deal with somebody raising their voice very loudly at me and so on. What am I supposed to do? Damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Over the years this has been a tough thing for me to deal with.

I now ask myself the following:

  • Am I correct in feeling this way or did I just get out of the wrong side of bed this morning. If I got out the wrong side of bed, go and meditate.  If I am correct in feeling this way, go and meditate before responding.
  • Is this battle worth fighting? Either way, go and meditate.
  • Can I contact the person and be polite? Am I going to sound angry? First, go and meditate.
  • Am I willing to accept the bully tactics if they won’t enter into a grown up conversation? Perhaps the best thing to do would be to go and meditate.

In other words, why don’t I just shut up and meditate! <smile> It will then all become clear…………

May 16 2014

Dance in the Wind

Dance in the Wind
A poem by Jackie Tyler

You stand tall

yet your bows are bent and twisted,

gnarly and knotted,

they neither reach nor touch.

Please visit Elephant Journal to continue reading.



May 07 2014

I Look into my Garden – A Poem

I am not a poet. I am not a writer. I am a woman in her fifties who, by the grace of some higher power is learning, at long last, to live the life she was meant to live.
I Look to My Garden - A poem


I Look To My Garden by Jackie Tyler

The withered is emerging,
revealed from the snow
Its tomb for the winter,
lifeless and shriveled
A life already lived

To read the rest of the poem please go to Elephant Journal

Apr 18 2014

Never Too Late

Never Too Late

Where was I?

Who was I?

At 55, I was utterly lost. Believed I was a total failure. Everything I ever did went wrong, or so the little voice in my head kept saying. I struggled with relationships and when they fell apart, it was my fault so the little voice in my head kept saying. Anything that went wrong around me was all my fault. Despondent and utterly miserable and the only person to blame was also my fault—or so the little voice in my head kept telling me.

To read the rest of this article please visit


Sep 04 2013

Like our Facebook Page for Free Draw

Like us on Facebook


Like our Facebook page for a chance to WIN!

When we reach 1000 likes we will draw for either a crochet hook set, knitting needle set or a Knook set.

Tell your friends!

Jun 12 2013

12 Steps for Self Care

I am sure I am not the only one that needs to follow these steps.

Feb 18 2013

Canadian Disability Tax Credit for Kids with FASD or FAS

Do you have a child with FASD, ADHD, Autism?

Did you know you can qualify for the Disability Tax Credit in Canada?

Does it look too hard to apply? Don’t panic. I thought the same which is why I decided to post this information on my blog.

My son is 11 and has FASD and ADHD. I mentioned the tax credit forms to his pediatrician on our last visit. He went and printed them off and signed them right away.

What do you need?

Print off the T2201 Disability Tax Credit forms for your doctor to complete.

If the child has FASD or autism, make sure the doctor checks Yes to the questions on page 6 and notes that the restrictions were since birth. This will enable you to have your tax returns re-assessed. Ours were assesed back 10 years which I think is as far as Revenue Canada allows.

Some of the answers might be different depending on your child’s level of impairment but our pediatrician filled in page as follows:

Diagnosis: FASD

Effects of Impairment: Needs constant supervision, unable to be without supervision or will wander off, needs significant academic supports in school.

He then checked the box that the impairment would NOT improve and signed it.

That was all he did. I actually felt he hadn’t written enough and expected the forms to be returned and we would be denied.

It “may” have been due to the long letter I attached to form T2201 before I mailed it to Revenue Canada. On page 1 the form asks you (parent applying for the credit) to “give details of the support you provide to the person with the disability. I wrote “Please see attached sheet” and wrote a long letter. In this letter I outlined every single thing I do for my son that I would not be doing if he wasn’t FASD. This included constantly reminding him to get dressed in the morning, to brush his teeth, to eat his food, to get his coat on. It included being driven to and from school as he often stops en route and gets distracted. Having to buy clothes that don’t bother his skin as he has a sensory disorder. Paying for tuition in the summer. Spending hours helping with homework that other kids he age could probably do alone. I went into details about helping with homework such as my son not being able to get his ideas on paper fast enough…by the time he has one idea written, he has forgotten the next therefore I have to scribe for him. He gets stressed really easily and then gets upset and angry and has melt-downs – that was included.  I mentioned having to take him to Occupational Therapy appointments, Pediatric appointments, counselling etc. and that I spend more time in contact with his school due to his disability. He is easily led by his peers so I included that he needs supervision when playing with friends or they might lead him astray. I also included the meds that he was taking. Go into as much detail as you can. Think of everything and write it down. Attach the letter to your form.

Make sure you take a copy of the forms for your records.

Mail it off and fingers crossed, you will you are also approved. I really didn’t expect to be.

Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Nov 21 2012

Christmas Booties for baby

Santa Booties

Christmas Booties pattern

This is one of our most popular knitting patterns.  It sells year round as it looks great in any colour yarn. They are especially nice and cozy at this time of year.

The pattern will fit 0-3 month babies.

They make great gifts too.

This knitting pattern is available as an instant download.

Nov 03 2012

Favourite Free Snowflake Patterns to Crochet

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