Triple Berry Soymilk Smoothie with Truvia

Disclosure: My 3 Little Kittens did receive product for this post. All opinions are honest & that of My 3 Little Kittens.

I recently started counting calories. For me, this has always been the most effective way for me to focus on healthy choices and not overdoing it in regards to portions. I wish I had started doing this at the first of the year, but I just wasn’t to the point of accepting that I needed to make a change. It really took me stepping onto my scale to actually see how out of control I had gotten in regards to stress eating.

Thankfully, I have options such as Truvia, which allows me to cut down on my sugar intake without sacrificing the taste! Plus, it is naturally sourced and calorie-free! I personally love that it comes in jar form and packets, because I am a tea drinker and a baker. I am able to just grab a couple packets and sweeten my tea instantly without the hassle. Also, it is great to use the jar for recipes, since I can just measure the amount I need. One recipe that is absolutely fabulous is their Triple Berry Soymilk Smoothie. It is perfect for breakfast or a midday snack. The addition of soymilk and fruit also make it a very healthy choice!TruviaYou Will Need:

  • 2 cups (500 mL) low-fat vanilla soymilk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) blackberries
  • 1 cup (250 mL) strawberries
  • 1 cup (250 mL) blueberries
  • 1⁄8 tsp (.625 mL) cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) + 1 tsp (5 mL) Truvía® sweetener spoonable* or 8 packets Truvía® sweetener 

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

For a variation, use frozen fruit or add 1 cup of ice for a frosty frozen version of this smoothie.

Truvia Choices

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Cats on Instagram

I absolutely love Instagram. The ability to share our lives in photos is such a fabulous concept to me. I usually find myself on Instagram late at night when my son wakes up to feed. I scroll through looking at what everyone has been up to throughout the day and often check the popular page to see what is new and exciting. It should come as no shock, but a good majority of the accounts I follow on Instagram are that of cats. After all, who doesn’t love to see adorable fur babies?Cats on Instagram

Cats on Instagram

I can’t mention Cats on Instagram without mentioning my own. All my cats are featured on My 3 Little Kittens. I even have 3 orange tabby kittens that I love to catch in the act of being adorable. My kitty gentleman, Jasper, is pictured above and he loves to pose for the camera!

StacieTwo of my absolutely favourite cats to watch are Princess and Misty, who are sister cats featured on Simply Stacie! They enjoy relaxing in the sun and posing for the camera flawlessly.

heymayHeyMay features several adorable cats living family life with a toddler. How can you not find that adorable?

kitcatmomKitCatMom features two sweet cats and one dog. If you love cat selfies, this is one to definitely check out!

roswellI have a special place in my heart for orange tabbies and Roswell the Cat is definitely one of the cutest!

hellooskarHello Oskar takes daily walks on a leash. He gets to see the beautiful world and brings you along for the journey! Oh, and he loves to wear a bowtie!

ohjellycatOh Jelly Cat is not even one year old, but already has a fabulous following. 

orangeheromamaGeorgie Cat is the ever-adorable, very frisky boy kitty of my very wonderful friend, Christy. When he isn’t being sweet and catching a quick cat nap, he loves to steal yarn!

hamiltonHamilton the Hipster Cat has a super adorable kitty moustache! I think that speaks for itself.

Make sure to check out Simply Stacie’s post on Popular Cats Online for more fabulous felines to follow!

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Living With Grief

With life, comes death. It is inevitable and no matter what, it will touch us all throughout our lifetime.

For my father, it came in the form of lung cancer. He was diagnosed in the summer of 2008. I can still remember walking into his hospital room that day and being told the news. It came as a shock to me. I can only imagine now what it must have felt like for him. He wanted to grow old. He had places to go and grandchildren to see. He wasn’t even retired. Being 53 wasn’t supposed to include cancer.

Living With Grief

To a certain extent, he was in denial. After all, how could you work hard your whole life only to find yourself unable to really enjoy it in the end? He was proud and stubborn, which made dealing with his illness difficult. I internalized it and no amount of preparing myself for his death was realistic. I knew the odds; the statistics.

His battle with cancer ended January 1o, 2009. I wasn’t even there with him when he died; only my mother was. He was supposed to come home from the hospital that day. He was doing better. I guess death didn’t get that memo. I woke up to my mother calling. I was groggy and picking up the phone was mostly done by instinct. What I remember the most is the pause. She paused before she began and I could hear the tears in her voice. I stayed calm. I had to. I knew she was hurting so badly and the only thing I could do for her at that moment was be strong. However, the moment I put down the phone, I lost it. I remember screaming and throwing myself to the floor. When I go back to that moment in my memory, it is painful just to watch. I could never have imagined what if felt like for a piece of my heart to break, but I did that day.

The journey of my grief is still alive 5 years later. Grief holds your heart for a lifetime. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad. He never got to meet my daughter or my youngest son. No holiday could even begin to be the same without him. Some days, even the memories aren’t good enough. My heart aches for him. I find myself revisiting memories to come to a different conclusion; a different ending. However, the past is gone.

While grief may always remain, I find comfort in knowing that I love him. No amount of distance could ever change that. The pain over his loss has reminded me how much he truly meant to me. It also is a daily reminder not to take anyone for granted. I have complete faith we will meet again one day, but until then my love for him will never die..

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Create a Child-Friendly Tea Party

Tea Party

I absolutely love tea.  Having said that, I take every opportunity I can to visit tea shops.  The majority of the shops offer afternoon tea or high tea and I have to say that sitting down for a “tea party” really is my idea of a perfect time.  So when it came time to decide on my Daughter’s first birthday theme several years ago, I instantly chose to have a tea party theme.  Since I love to bake, the decision was easy.  However, I realize that for some the idea of actually creating a child-friendly tea party can be overwhelming.  So I am sharing some of my best tips and suggestions for creating a memorable child’s tea party for either a special occasion or just because.

Table decor matters
Since the party will be catering to the appeal of children, you don’t have to go overboard.  You can pick up an inexpensive tablecloth or better yet, pick up a disposable one.  Since my Daughter loved Disney’s Princesses, I purchased a disposable one and it was perfect.  You can also use something you already own that has a pretty print on it, such as a flat sheet that you can fit over the table.  Wrapping paper is also another suggestion since you can basically wrap the tabletop with it.  I put a decorative bowl on the table and placed pink marshmallows in it since the party was pink.  I also purchased pink flowers to set up in a vase in the center.  Simply be creative and you can usually come up with tons of ideas with existing items you already have laying around your house or garden.

Keep the tablewear appropriate
Since children will be handling the plates and cups, you don’t want to use anything fragile or breakable.  You can purchase a plastic tea cup set at almost any retailer, which also doubles as a gift.  Another inexpensive option is to use white paper cups and plates.  Set out colored markers and/or stickers before the party begins to allow each child to decorate their own “tea cup.”

Beverage Options
Since it is a tea party, the expectation is to serve tea.  However, children and hot tea do not go well together.  If you want to serve a child-friendly tea, then you would want to go with bubble gum tea and put it on ice.  I chose pink lemonade at my Daughter’s party because I find it more child appropriate.  Any yummy beverage with some color to it will work.

Finger Sandwiches
Finger sandwiches are one of the best highlights of a tea party and children love these.  You can make your child’s favorite sandwich and simply cut it up into little squares or triangles.  A regular sandwich will cut up into 4 finger sandwiches, so you can add variety.  Egg salad, tuna, turkey, peanut butter & jelly and cucumber are a few suggestions.  You can present the sandwiches on a dessert tier or laid out nicely on a plate for each child to choose their own.

Dainties and Scones
Scones and dainties are tea party staples.  Luckily, scones can be made in so many varieties and are quick to make.  Making a basic scone and swirling in food coloring or fruit pieces is a child favorite as well.  For dainties, I made varies types of cookies in petite sizes.  Dulce De Leche, Spritz and Cinnamon Sugar were just some of the types I made and they were all a big hit.  If you are not the type to bake, you can easily pick up some cookies at your local grocery or bakery that will work just fine.

Cupcakes are a Must
If celebrating a birthday, cake is a must.  Since using a tea party concept calls for items you can pick up with your hands, I recommend cupcakes.  They set up very nicely on a dessert tier or plate and can be customized to fit the theme.  I made regular-size cupcakes, but you can also create mini cupcakes depending on your preference.  Either way, cake in any form will be appreciated.

Now the most important step above all else is to enjoy the party.  Don’t worry if it is not perfect or something gets spilled.  A child remembers how memorable something was, not how many types of cookies they got to eat.  Sit, relax and enjoy the party ♥

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One of My Favourite Poems – The Moment

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For as long as I can remember, I have loved poetry. For me, it has always been a way to express myself. Through the years, my poems have always mimicked my mood, my stress, my happiness and my life lessons. Since having children, I rarely find myself writing anymore, but it happens.

In my early 20s, I wrote a poem that still remains one of my very favourite. I wrote The Moment during a very hopeful time in my life and still find a bit of whimsy within the words.

My Poem – The Moment

We are all searching for a moment…
A moment where we are loved and kept…
A moment where not even the clocks can bind us…
Where not even time can capture us…
A moment where we can live unconditionally….
Unconditionally in love…
In a lasting state of bliss…
A bliss that is pure and without judgement…
Without fear of rejection and without fear of loss…
But in that moment there is always a ending…
And in that ending…how beautiful the story..
Because the story of the love was worth that moment..
That moment that we all searched for…
A lifetime was found in a moment..
A moment that just happened to last a lifetime
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