Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Last time, when our kittens annual check up time approached, we decided to try a holistic vet. As I've taken more holistic approach on my own health, why wouldn't I treat my little ones the same. We took them both there the same time in order to avoid an altercation which happens every time one of the cats leaves the house: our little girl Miina starts acting like she's never even seen Moses and she keeps hissing and growling at Moses. This usually goes on for about 10 days and it's stressful. She has the most chilling, loudest scream there is.  Waking up to that at night is the creepiest thing ever. We had hoped that if we take them both out of the house the same time she would not have a problem once we returned to home. Well, that wasn't the case...

Anyways, at the vet we had long discussion about what holistic veterinary is all about and his fundamentals and so on. He gave us few everyday tips to keep our babies healthy and living long, long time. He also mentioned the importance of diet as close to natural as possible and we bought some raw turkey intestines (mainly hearts) to feed for our cats. Raw food diet has NOT been popular in our household. Moses is the only brave one who at least tries it a little bit when served, but Miina stays far away. She is such a diva. We never gave them supermarket brands, but got the little bit better brands from local pet store, so they are not eating complete crap, but still nowhere near raw foods. Here's few other holistic health care tips for your pet care routine: 
Coat Care

Brush skin daily with a wire slicker brush - stimulates circulation and skin gland secretions; strengthens hair follicles; detoxifies body; keeps the coat clean.

Dental Care

Brush teeth and gums daily with CET Pet Toothpaste® - enzymes dissolve plaque, so tarter never forms. If there already is tarter, brush with Petzlife Oral Care Gel®. Both of our cats had tarter so we use this gel to brush their teeth every night.

"Thump the Thymus"

Tap the sternum over the thymus gland (between the front legs) every day 5-10 times once during the day to help stimulate the immune system.

Vaccinate Conservatively

Consider a single puppy/kitten shot at 14 - 16 weeks, then triennial vaccinal blood titers. Rabies vaccinations required by law at 12 - 26 weeks old. Booster in 1 year and then every 3 years, but consider vaccinal blood titers instead of boosters. At the time of any vaccination and 2 weeks later, give protective homeopathic remedies.

Minimize Stress

Provide exercise, love, and comfort. Use Lavender and/or Calming Essence® (Rescue Remedy) if necessary. These are all natural homeopathic drops that you add to your pet's drinking water. They add the sensation of calmness. We didn't buy them since our house is pretty quiet and we don't have little kids running around here (yet) that would stress our cats.

Did you know? A cat's tail held high means happiness.

Viime kerralla kun veimme kissamme vuosittaiseen terveystarkastukseen päätimme kokeilla holistista eläinlääkäriä. Juttelimme paljon holistisesta terveydenhoidosta ja saimme hyviä vinkkejä kotiin vietäväksi. Olemme kokeilleet raakaravintoa joka olisi kaiken a ja o, mutta huonolla menestyksellä, koska lapsemme ovat tottuneet jo roskaruokaan. Aina välillä yritän tarjota heille raakoja kalkkunan sisäelimiä ja Mooses sitä välillä vähän maisteleekin, mutta Miinaa ei saa lähellekään ruokakulhoa. Emme ole koskaan ostaneet "supermarkettikissanruokaa" vaan vähän parempia laatuja eläinkaupasta, mutta nekään eivät ole raakaruokaa lähelläkään. Alla muutamia holistisia vinkkejä lemmikkisi hyvinvointiin:

Turkki ja iho
Harjaa ihoa päivittäin - stimuloi verenkiertoa ja karvatupia, puhdistaa kehoa kuona-aineista ja pitää turkin puhtaana.

Harjaa hampaat ja ikenet päivittäin lemmikkieläinten hammastahnalla - entsyymit hajoittavat plakkia, joten sitä ei pääse muodostumaan. Jos hammaskiveä on jo ehtinyt muodostumaan, käytä siihen erityisesti tarkoitettua geeliä. Miinalla ja Mooseksella molemmilla oli paljon hammaskiveä joten harjaamme heidän hampaansa tällä erikoisgeelillä.

"Thump the Thymus" 
Taputa hellästi rintalastan päällä sijaitsevaa kateenkorvaa (etujalkojen väliin) joka päivä 5-10 kertaa, kerran päivässä. Tämä auttaa edistämään immuunijärjestelmän toimintaa.

Minimoi Stressi
Mahdollista lemmikillesi liikunta, rakkaus ja mukavuus. Käytä Laventeri ja/tai Rauhoittava Essence ® (Rescue Remedy),jos tarpeen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I might be leaving this neighborhood behind soon if everything goes well and I'll get a new job. It's been a fun place to work at and it has so many beautiful streets to photograph. There's not one day I've walked the streets and not taken at least one photo. So pretty everywhere!  Here's few shots I I found on my phone.
P.S. Check out my new project KiitosNamaste HERE if you already haven't!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


 I'm really focusing on spiritual growth this year. I've started the year off reading Gabrielle Bernstein's "May Cause Miracles" and getting my meditation going. It's been difficult to do it in the mornings since I'm not a morning person at all and sitting still in my bed in the morning makes me just want to fall asleep again. 

But as Gabby says, just keep doing it. At first it might feel like you're just sitting in silence and nothing is happening, but just by "showing up" and doing it, you're off to a great start and on your way. And start with just one minute and increase the time when you start feeling comfortable with it. I took these tips from the magnificent Kris Carr and modified them a little bit to fit me better. If these tips work for you, keep them going, one miraculous day at a time.
1. Meditate each morning.

Start your day with love. I force myself up slowly to sit in lotus position, still in bed. I close my eyes and start breathing deeply. Once it feels comfortable I'll start adding the word "let" in every inhale and "go" to every exhale (in my mind obviously, not saying it out loud). I'm letting go of all the useless fear, stress and other unnecessary things in my life and surrender to the guidance of the Universe. There's always time to do this. It only takes a minute, or five, you choose. No excuses. Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier!

2. Have a green smoothie, and sometimes, one cup of coffee.

Give your body a healthy burst of nutrients, alkalinity and antioxidants, then sip the joey, if needed. I've started drinking coffee (mocha) just some months ago and I got addicted to the feeling of happiness and productivity it gives me. I only need one little cup and that keeps me going for hours. Of course, it's kind of stupid to pick up a bad habit at this point of my life, but I feel like I need it when I'm at work that I'm not too fond of. It really does put me in a great mood.

3. I'm sweet enough without you, sugar.

I always had a huge sweet tooth. If you crave sugar, choose fruit as much as possible. I bought juicy navel oranges so whenever at home and cravings hit me, I slice up one orange and that satisfies me. On a special occasion I slice up an apple, fry it just for a little while in coconut oil so it doesn't get too soft, add some cinnamon and pour little bit of maple syrup on top. Yum!

4. Cut the cheese.

I've pretty much eliminated all animal products from my diet, but one remains; cheese. It's truly addictive and I get cravings for it. When you cut down on animal products, you can look forward to less mucus, better poops, glowing skin, less inflammation, less gas, and more freedom (aka less addiction to certain foods — ahem, cheese!). During digestion, casein breaks down into opiates known as casomorphins, giving you warm fuzzy feelings (there are high levels of casein present in cow’s milk for their nursing calves). Cheese has the highest levels of these casomorphins, making it the most difficult habit to break — it’s not in your head, you really are addicted to dairy! And if you’re concerned about calcium intake, have no fear. Dark leafy greens, beans, almonds and non-dairy fortified milks are fabulous sources.

5. Worship The Daily Ten.

Working out in ten-minute bursts can make a huge difference in your life. They energize the body and stimulate creativity. If you’re having a hard time jump starting a workout program, can you move your body for just ten minutes per day … consistently? Walk your dog around the block, dance, jump rope, do ten glorious sun salutations. Just do it.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, break the trance of negative self talk and the behavior that follows it.

Bear witness to the negative self talk. Notice the chaotic noise, the ever-changing stories. Now pause and remember that the voice in your noggin isn’t you. You are love, you are holy. Notice the voice but don’t adhere to it. Give it a shape and a nickname if you need to. Anything to show you how separate that voice is from you.
Breathe. Smile. Be the light. 

Monday, January 14, 2013


This cake came out so darn good! I love a good coffee cake and found this recipe by googling vegan spiced cake. It didn't need the frosting, but since I had cashews and dark chocolate I decided  to crown it with some more sweetness (recipe here).


4,5 dl flour
3 dl sugar
1,5 dl melted margarine (I replaced some of it with coconut oil)
1,5 tsp cardamon
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1,5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove
1,5 tsp ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 dl non-dairy yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt)

Set the oven to warm up to 175 C (350 Fahrenheit).

Grease and flour the cake tin.

Mix together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl mix together the melted margarine and yogurt.

Add the dry ingredients in the yoghurt-margarine blend and mix the dough evenly.

Pour into baking dish and bake in preheated oven around 50 min.

"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth? Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends." 
George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950 (Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1925)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Fun, cultural afternoon in the NYC Ballet with few lovely ladies.
"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance." 
- George Bernard Shaw

Monday, January 7, 2013


These creamy brussels sprouts are super delicious and highly addictive. If this recipe is not going to make you fall in love with brussels sprouts, I'm not sure what will...


Brussels sprouts

Olive oil (enough to lightly coat all of the sprouts)

Sea salt & pepper to taste

(crushed garlic)

Heat oven to 425F (225 Celsius). Wash and dry sprouts. Put them in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper. Put on baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 mins. Check them at 25 mins – make sure they don’t burn. Cut into one of the sprouts and see if the middle is creamy yet. You’ll know when they are perfect because the outside will be dark brown, but not charred, and the middle will be creamy.
Enjoy! Any other super simple veggie recipes out there?
"My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension. Flesh eating is unprovoked murder." 
Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, January 6, 2013


In the middle of the grayness of January, I'm longing for some colors of the fall.

Friday, January 4, 2013


The first night, when we finally arrived to Montreal, things didn't go exactly the way we had planned. Once we picked up the keys to our apartment and walked in, we noticed that it had not been cleaned. So we had to find a place to stay for the night. Remind you that this was at 11.30pm. We googled places in Old Montreal and found the most charming little mansion-like hotel just few blocks away from where we were and booked it. 
The hostelry Pierre du Calvet, built in 1725, is an ancestral family mansion. It is as well the oldest historical house open for public accommodations in Montreal. Located in this little street right next to a beautiful church it is also close to Rue Saint Paul where most restaurants and shops are. I read few reviews before I booked it and what sold me to it were the ghost stories. You know I love connecting with spirits. :)
Our room was on the second floor with a living area and quite modern bathroom. It had canopied mahogany bed, antique wooden floors and furnishings, exposed fieldstone and wood panel walls, fireplace and, just in case you get the feeling you’re lost in an 19th-century time warp, access to Wi-Fi and a flat-screen television. The hotel also had few communal living areas, such as the library, cool victorian greenhouse kind of lobby with a tiny bar and live, exotic birds(!). They also had a beautiful restaurant where you could enjoy breakfast and dinner.
And believe it or not, at around 7am in the morning, the ghost appeared. It was completely dark in our room and I felt someone grabbing my arm gently and just holding it. I felt the presence and started to panic, but was unable to move, scream or open my eyes, no matter how hard I tried. I'm not sure how much time passed, but eventually I was able to kick with my foot, open my eyes and get up and asked my husband to turn on the TV so that there would be some light in the room. I was pretty shaken up for a while after that, but forced myself back to sleep, because I truly needed some more sleep. Meditation actually helped a lot. My new favorite is the simplest one where you say "let" when you breathe in and "go" when you breathe out. Works every time when I get stressed, anxious or frustrated.

So that's that ghost story, from the books of many, and I truly recommend this hotel when visiting Montreal. It's like stepping back in time. I hear even Brad Pitt stayed here when he was shooting Benjamin Button. 
"True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen."
 Francois de La Rochefoucauld