Good Lord, what happened to my simple life?

I guess slotting myself back into the working world has that effect.

And I have to say, its been a refreshing experience. 

Change is good.

So, with a fresh spring in my step I have also embarked on a new adventure with an amazing photographer friend. Tammy’s work is invigorating and crisp and her vision is inspirational. 

Together, we are 100% natural light Photographers who aim to add a touch of Clarity by capturing your unique and beautiful moments in life into images that you will cherish for a lifetime.

We can often forget the first wiggly tooth moments or the shoes we wore for our best friends wedding. Its those memories that make the priceless images uniquely yours. 

And so, Clarity no more.

Instead, to quote Rafiki from The Lion King….”Look beyond what you see.”

Beyond Clarity Photography.

You will soon see our images on the walls of local stairways and in delicious eating establishments. So, stop by, take a look and grab a uniquely mouthwatering Chicken/Bacon/Guacamole Sandwich at Dish or my favourite Americano coffee at The Grind.
Spread the word. The future looks bright. Beyond Clarity bright :)


If only we could. Well, thank goodness for photos and blenders (and ‘soon to be purchased juicers’ ~ thanks Jen! ;)

Actually, Miss 4 and Miss 10 (you’re welcome Dr Seuss) now create the following two recipes without me.

Berry Bomb Blast:

  • Freshly washed wild blueberries
  • Organic plain yoghurt
  • A sprinkle or squirt of our daily favourites (see previous recipe)
  • Blend
  • Pour into popsicle moulds or individual glass cups
  • Freeze
  • Done. Really :)

So, a ‘berry’ simple, yet totally tangtastic dessert or popsicle treat loaded with antioxidants can do wonders for your taste buds. And your skin, teeth and bones will thank you for it too :)

Grape Gumballs:

  • Organic seedless grapes
  • freshly washed (of course)
  • gently pull out the little “branch tag” (quote Miss 10)
  • divide into mini bags or tiny tubs
  • freeze
  • grab and go!

So, next time you find yourself craving something sweet and lovely, grab a pre-packed pot of grape gumballs. You may be pleasantly surprised :)

For more information on Grape Nutrition, take a peek at this publication from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food & Rural Affairs:



Me. 34 years ago.

No, wait. This ones even cuter.

I started pouting early.

I grew up in the middle.

I’ve been called many things.


I have nothing to hide.

I am not afraid to love.

I not afraid to live 3,975 miles away from my family.


I now have my own.

I’m not afraid to be inspired.

I’m not afraid of strength.

I’m not afraid of exposure.

I’m proud to walk alongside his footsteps.


Because I believe in myself.

I’m more than proud to walk in my own.



We’ve all done it.

Stood in line.


Wept in our own Ground Zero.

And. Tasted our own sweat.


Shut up already.

And, yes I assume that…

You have legs.

Your eyes work.

And you probably made the choice to sweat.

Hate to say this, but. 

It’s not all about you.

When you feel like you can’t take it anymore, do you think of him?

When you wish you were someone else, do you think of him?

And when you act selfishly, are you glad he didn’t?

The world is getting smaller. Make room for others.

My disclaimer here is that I cannot take credit for the exquisite raw emotion caught in these photos. I share them because I believe a single picture has power to shift perspectives. RW


I’m going to be completely honest. 

I’ve been fighting with the ‘f’ word recently.


I’ve kind of misplaced my inner strength.

I did think about walking into Walmart in my one piece sock monkey pj’s, head down the chip aisle, open a bag of Pickle Doritoes and just plonk my butt down (in the cart) scoffing them down like a starved elephant. 

(i’m kidding by the way) but really where the heck did my mojo go?

By accident I clicked on the wrong folder on my desktop. There staring at me was a screen full of images.

My photographs.  

Smiling, I recalled events and emotional scenarios. 

And poof! My mojo :)

Picking up that Canon was one of the best things I did. And its only getting better.

I think we all need to acknowledge that we all have doubts and moments of weakness. We are the only ones who can grab hold of our own inner strength and love who we BE (and see) in the mirror.

And the Doritoes? I enjoyed making a batch of Paleo Coconut Cookies with my girls instead. We can’t all get stuck in that shopping cart traffic jam down that chip aisle now can we?

sometimes we just have to listen.
we may pout and think our way is the only way.
we may trip
and land face down
but its only when we get up and over ourselves
do we realize that we are each unique
and we are stronger than we think.

Quick quick! skim this blog and find the juicy bits!

truth is

no one really has the time to read blogs. 

or status updates.

unless its about how many friends we have and how popular we are on twitter.

the number of likes we have on our status may actually correlate to how up our own arse we are. 

sometimes the truth hurts. yet it takes a brave person to stand up and face the truth. And sometimes we just have to ask ourselves how truthful we are being with ourselves. And others. 

What if the Gym you frequent is actually being investigated for drugs and money laundering?

What if the Doctor you know and trust has been betraying patient confidentiality amongst friends who actually now know you were raped as a teenager?

What if one of your peers told others that you were ‘needy’ or that your illness is ‘all in your head’.

It hurts doesn’t it?

This is not personal.

At all.

If anything it may shine a little light on who we are. We are all human. We make mistakes and we often say things we really shouldn’t say.

Its what we do with our flaws that makes us the person we truly are.

I have flaws. Lots of them. However, I’ve learned a lot about myself just by facing my flaws. 

I am not just a Teacher. I teach. And I love to be taught.

I am not just another random photographer. I catch life moments on my Canon.

I am not just a writer. I dance with words and have a flair for expression.

I am not just a Mom. Or a Wife. Or just Rachel. I am a human who has been given an opportunity to face a disease and although I have been “off work” ~ I am almost ready to get back into the saddle and ride. 

I’ve also turned negatives into positives.

I’ve turned any neediness into needing to give back to our community. I’ve raised money instead of spending it. I’ve quietly helped abused kids instead of being one.

I’ve also discovered the best therapy.

Looking into the mirror and loving the uniqueness staring right back at me. 

Warts and all.

(Okay, I don’t really have any warts….but wouldn’t that be interesting gossip?! :)


if you think a clear day means no rain and blue skies then might i suggest you read to the very end of this blog?

we live in a ‘try it before we buy it’ world. 

however, that means we are less likely to trust and more likely to judge.


this is for the brave ones out there who are not afraid to buy before we try.

a clear day is a gift you can give yourself.

its an opportunity to step out of your shoes and bare your ‘soles’.

an opportunity to reach out and trust. 

a rare moment to create space and behold your uniqueness.

and ultimately a time to take a step forward. one toe at a time.

do you have the inner strength…..

…..to step outside your comfort zone….

…..and taste a little clarity?

be yourself. everyone else is taken.
okay so maybe you won’t have the physical opportunity to actually lift those weights that i caught Thorin lifting on camera. (well you would if you went to the gym:)
the lift you give your life will be limitless.


moving house is like getting a membership to

and in the kerfuffle

we lose things


and keys.

we find out a few things about ourselves

like our packing skills were crap.


One thing i did rediscover however,

during a getaway to our favourite beach with my mom

was her incredible zest 

for the important things for life, like always being able to



and always remember to be true to our dreams 


love and miss you mom!xo 


i didn’t vote for you but

truth is i can’t vote in canada yet.


i will remember you as the genuine ‘be’ man.

the man who stood up and declared yourself a human being

who professed to all canadians ~ I believe in you

and that to me is worth all the votes in the world.


My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton.

Jack Layton