Classic Canadian comfort food

… and an outdoor twist

Foil-wrapped macaroni and cheese on an outdoor grill along with sausages

Canadians love Kraft Dinner. I’ve yet to meet a fellow Canadian who doesn’t have strong opinions about the best variety, a not-so-secret tweak (mine is less milk, more butter, and added broccoli), or a deep certainly that homemade mac and cheese (or at least Annie’s) is better.

But does macaroni and cheese belong at a barbeque?

Yup! And it’s a delicious meat-free alternative to the standard Swiss sausages—although as evidenced by the photo, there were plenty of sausages, too.

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How we knew

Almost exactly three years ago, a friend posted on social media about the trauma of saying goodbye to Roxy, his faithful companion of 12 years. He and his wife candidly outlined their struggles and Roxy’s, demonstrating their compassion and caring, and providing a window into the hardship of choosing to euthanise a beloved family member. 

I benefited so much from their insight; it made me want to share our experience with letting Sofie go. I’ve written another post about not being ready to let her go that deals with more of the emotional stuff; this one is all about the decision.

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We weren’t ready to let her go

Taking Sofie to the vet just over two weeks ago, we knew there was a possibility that we wouldn’t be bringing her home again. Intellectually we could tell that this world was becoming too much for her old bones, but our minds and our hearts weren’t syncing. 

Emotionally, we weren’t prepared to not have Sofie in our lives. We still aren’t.

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‘Flat’ is good… and restorative!

My yoga practice has been much flatter since having knee surgery in December. Reclined. Prone. Horizontal. Or maybe up a wall.

The swelling has yet to abate, making more active sessions out of reach. Down dog is a no-go. Butterfly makes me shudder in horror. Even my favourite yin-yoga-style practice with its many very-bent-knee poses (squats, sleeping swan, and happy baby, to name a few) is beyond my current capabilities. And child’s pose, well, that’s inconceivable.

But flatter hasn’t meant unfulfilling.

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An ode to rosacea

Note the red streak down my forehead and the bright flashes on my nose, cheeks, and chin in this un-filtered, un-colour-corrected photo taken mid-cardio

As long as I can remember, my skin has been prone to redness. Exercise turns my face into a blotchy tomato. Cold and wind burnish my skin to a ruddy shine. Even washing my face, no matter how gently, leaves it pink. And there’s a good reason I apply SPF 50 daily—UV rays and I are not friends!

I’ve dealt with acne and/or rosacea (dermatologists can’t agree which is the underlying issue) most of my adult life and have tried just about everything to fix it. Cutting out dairy. Limiting processed sugar. Applying expensive creams. Buying celeb-endorsed treatment systems (Proactiv was both ineffective and bleached my pillowcases). Using prescription ointments. Attempting hormonal intervention (so thankful to be off the pill!). Taking antibiotics… then different antibiotics… and even more kinds of antibiotics. And now retinoids, which at least deliver moderate improvement.

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I wish you ease

I’m about ten days out from knee surgery and healing is not proceeding as hoped. Just about everything is harder than it should be: walking, sleeping, straightening my leg, bending my leg, showering, getting dressed, respecting my limitations, simply feeling comfortable.

The night after surgery, I took myself through a yoga nidra practice. While lying in that hospital bed, the intention I am at ease came through strong and clear. That mantra has reverberated loudly over the last week and a half.

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A few of my favourite things

Laura wearing a rudolph and santa printed mask with a pink disco ball Christmas tree in the background

To hell with bright copper kettles and raindrops on roses, these are the things that are making my holidays a little brighter this year.

Number one has got to be my mum-made Christmas-themed face mask. Rudolph frolicking with Santa is the best way to share holiday cheer without spreading anything unwanted.

And number two is the plethora of sparkly decor like this beauty of a tree at The Circle made entirely of rose gold disco balls. Even our neighbourhood is a little extra bling-y this year.

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