What’s Good This Week

My parents live in a beautiful house situated right on the ocean. We look out over the Salish Sea (formerly the Straight of Georgia) and enjoy spotting seals, otters, eagles, and sometimes orcas passing by. There are deer, who are frankly garden-trashing pests, and all manner of birds and that frequent the area.

Earlier this week I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to get some work done while Odin napped and Niko was out with his other grandparents. We’d had a strange dog wandering around the front yard earlier in the day, friendly enough and wearing a collar, it seemed to know where it was going.

As I was working I caught a glimpse of a large, dark dog sauntering down the path in front of our house, and I though, oh that’s weird, did somebody get a German Shepherd? And then I realized it wasn’t a German Shepherd, it was a fucking BEAR!

Photo taken from exactly where I was sitting when the bear went walking by…

A bear that was sauntering down our garden path, right in front of the sliding glass doors I was sitting behind, which were WIDE OPEN by the way. I jumped up and grabbed the doors to pull them shut, making direct eye contact with the beast before slamming them closed. It was startled by the sound and ran down the path and onto the point in front of my uncle’s house, where we watched it frolic and try to climb a tree.

I shouted THERE’S A BEAR!! To my mom who was upstairs at the time, and she came down and said, “Oh, was it the one with the mangy patch on the side or the smaller one with the funny ear?”

I DON’T KNOW!!! I sure didn’t get close enough to it to inspect its ears, but it was definitely the closest I’ve ever been to a bear and definitely too close for comfort.

Never get tired of waking up to this view

The bears around here are black bears, and are generally harmless unless you get in between a mamma bear and her cubs. But we see them more and more, and this one came surprisingly close to the house. I think if we’d been outside and making noise it would have likely steered clear, but it worries me that one of the kids might be running around the side of the house and come face to face with a bear.

We haven’t called the conservation officer yet as the bear would likely be euthanised, and so far it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I may end up slapping bear bells on all the kids just in case!

Tractor yogurt is the best yogurt

We’ve been having such a good time here so far. I asked Niko if he missed his dad (Paul will be joining us at the end of next week) and he said “Nope! Because Mormor is here and Grandpa T and Grampsy and Tessa and cousin Andrew and soon the London friends will be here…”

So suffice it to say he’s been well taken care of and is having lots of fun with his grandparents and cousins. Last year it took Niko nearly two weeks to warm up, but this year it was approximately one half of one minute and he was right in his element.

There have been tractor rides, snacks eaten in the back of the tractor, more tractor rides, boat rides, weenie roasts, marshmallows, and more. When I was a kid we’d spend all of July and August here each summer, so it’s really special to me to be able to provide even a little bit of that same experience for my own kids.

Odie and his cousin Jacob who were born on the same day

I want to give a heart-felt thank you so much to all of you who reached out about making donations to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Like I said last week, I committed to matching any donations received until the end of June, and I so appreciate all of those that have come in so far.

This is a cause that’s near and dear to my family, and I’ve seen first hand the amazing results that deep brain stimulation surgery can yield, especially in children with early onset dystonia. I’m so proud of all of the money my cousin raised for this cause for his 50th birthday, and am happy that I’ve managed to help even a little bit more with the help of my amazing readers. Thank you!

I got an Apple Watch! I’ve been coveting one for months now, and thanks to a generous benefactor (you know who you are) that dream finally became a reality. I was agonizing over whether to get the new one with cellular data, but in the end I got this one and bought it in Canada because it was waaaaaaay cheaper than buying it in Sweden.

My main interest in the watch is all the data tracking for movement and exercise. As a self-employed mother of two small kids I tend to put myself last and if I’m not with my kids I’m either working or sleeping. I am data-driven, though, and having a watch that will micromanage my activity level and remind me to get off my butt and move my body is super appealing to me.

I feel like I’m just scratching the surface with what this thing can do, so if any of you are Apple Watch users and have apps or functions you love, tell me about it!

I asked my mom to get Niko some socks… this is what she came back with

Tomorrow is Canada Day and I want to give a shout out to all of my fellow Canadians! This is my first Canada Day in Canada in 10 years, and the first one ever for Niko. We don’t have any big plans except for maybe shoving our faces with Nanaimo Bars and Poutine.

I really really wanted to do a vegetarian poutine recipe for you guys this year, but as I can’t find cheese curds in Sweden and my frozen stash (yes, I smuggle frozen cheese curds into Sweden) had run out, it just didn’t happen. Maybe next year!

But if you want to make your own vegetarian poutine recipe, I recommend you make a batch of these Crispy Potato Wedges, top them with cheese curds, and then smother it with this Amazing Vegan Gravy.

Happy Canada Day!!!


We kicked off this week with an updated recipe from the archives, one of my favourite recipes to make at this time of year… Italian Summer Pasta! This is such a great dish to make at this time of year as it can me made warm or cold, and enjoyed as a main dish or as a vegan pasta salad. So good!

A wooden bowl with pasta tossed with tomatoes and olives, with some fresh mozzarella on top

And since strawberry season is coming to a close it it ain’t over till it’s over, I rounded up 12 Healthy Strawberry Recipes you should make while they’re still here. There’s some good stuff in there, from smoothies to kombucha to roasted strawberries to strawberry muffins. Be sure to check it out!

photo collage of healthy strawberry recipes


You’ll always find the top 5 recipes (like Mung Bean Curry and Chia Fresca) over in the sidebar. Here’s a look at what else is trending this week, according to Google Analytics:

1. Indonesian Black Rice Pudding. Oooohhhhh snap! My Vegetarian Freezer Meals roundup has bumped the black rice pudding out of the featured bar, so it’s back here now!

2. Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie. Mmmhmm. Yet again.

3. Is Popcorn Healthy. Spoiler: it depends.

4. 20 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas. Perfect for summer road trips!

5. Carrot Apple Smoothie with Ginger. Sooooo refreshing!

What’s Good Around the Web

icon of globe with text "what's good around the web" 1. We’ll never achieve “true wellness” if we’re all too hungry to get the job done.

2. I preached body positivity – and sunk deeper into my eating disorder at the same time.

3. In the energy drink market, advertising and science collide.

4. Why diet culture is toxic – even for people who don’t diet.

5. Study links diet of ultra processed food to increased disease risk.


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