Gluten Free Rice Krispy Squares

Simple and fun recipe for making some delicious kid friendly treats:

1. Melt two tablespoons vegan maragine on medium heat

2. Add one cup of marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.

3. Add one cup of Rice Krispies until you have desired consistency. My children like for there to be an even balance of marshmallows and cereal.

4. Set mixture into a tray, cool and cut into squares or other fun shapes with cookie cutters!

Kid Kraft Kitchen

The Kid Kraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen is one of the best play kitchen out there for many reason. This is an all-in-one versatile wooden kitchen for children.

The kitchen is equipped with a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, stove, washer/dryer, and several storage areas.

Some cute extras are curtains, a sink, pots, pan, utensils, pot holders, a cell phone, and chalk board.

To future employees…

Anyone planning on applying for ANY job this summer please read my post from an employer’s standpoint.
I posted an ad for one 30 hr position at one of our pharmacies and received over 30 applications in just 24 hours. As I was going through some of the applications I made a few key observations which I want to share.
As an employer to future employees, please follow proper email etiquette when responding. Any emails that are not addressed properly or have irregular fonts or are sloppy and careless are immediately discarded. If you do not have the proper qualifications your application is also discarded.
Time is money đź’° If it takes time for me to make sense of your application and what you are trying to convey – you are not going to make the cut and your application is on its way to the recycle ♻️ bin.
If you write “have an excellent work ethic” then I 110% expect for you to be punctual, respectful, meet project deadlines, adhere to the work place rules and regulations, and have a positive, friendly attitude.
Also, handling of money requires knowledge of math and knowing the difference between nickels, dimes, quarters and so on. So I expect you to know how to add and subtract quickly and correctly (a skills test may be given during the interview).
Do not write things that are not true. I make sure that all employees are placed on a probationary period, where if they do not perform as expected, their position will be terminated after the probationary period – this is to ensure we have the best fit for our company to serve our customers with the best possible care we can provide.
Also be aware there will be a criminal record check and other tests may be required (such as a math skills test, practical measuring of liquids, and reading values to correct precision) to ensure you are a fit for the position.

At the end of the day, be truthful, be forthcoming, and be yourself. The last thing I need is to find out you are phone shy/ customer shy and do not want to talk to anyone when clearly this position involves lots of interactions with people!

An interview is a two way street: you are seeing if you can fit with the company and the employer is trying to see if you are a good fit within the company. The end goal is  to have both parties want to work with each other for a win-win situation. By giving your employer specific examples you are able to paint a better more wholesome picture of who you are and what you are capable of.

Good luck with your job search and hopefully you will keep some of these things in mind!

Long awaited biopsy … and the tears

For the past ten months I have been living with uncertainty about the state of my body. This uncertainty (for those that just joined the discussion) has been due to the fact that I have been losing my voice for longer and longer periods of time, and I have a hard time gaining the weight that I lost after adapting to a more gluten free, dairy free diet due to a lifestyle change. 

After going to various doctors, specialists/ surgeons, and having multiple ultrasounds done to track the shape and size of these bumps and lumps found in my neck region I finally had a biopsy scheduled mid-August. A biopsy is a procedure guided with a 3D ultrasound (in my case) where a specialist takes a long needle and collects some cell samples. The cells are examined for irregularities and then determined cancerous or not.
So in May of this year I once again hit a low point as I lost my voice again (allergies?) and had an appointment with my vocal therapist. She investigated and took pictures of my cords and was alarmed they were inflamed. She actually did not want to offer any conclusions so directed me back to my specialist. Luckily, I already had an appointment booked with him the following week (and didn’t have to wait for months to see him). When I saw my specialist, he used a scope to peer inside my nose and throat and immediately put me on some nasal steroids. Meanwhile, he scheduled me for another ultrasound and put a rush on my biopsy procedure.

The fact that he rushed the biopsy had me worried and thinking a hundred things. So the day finally came when I got a call from the Jim Pattison Outpatient centre with my new appointment date, early June. I was nervous and scared, but relieved that finally I would have some conclusive results.

On the day of my biopsy, I went to work as normal and taught a class of chemistry. My mind however was in so many places. My appointment was scheduled during my “spare” blocks and then I had a meeting after school. I was thinking – would I have the energy to go back to work and explain to my students the bandage on my neck? 

My husband and my son were both with me on the day of my biopsy. As I changed into the blue gown and put my clothes in the complimentary plastic bag I teared up. Then I pulled myself together and sat in the private waiting area beside my son and husband. My son briefly noticed my change of clothes then moved on to something else that had caught his eye, a lady with a cast on her leg walking with crutches. While he was investigating I started to lose control, tears everywhere and was almost hyperventilating. I just could not keep it together. With my son facing the other direction, I tried hard to pull myself together and wipe away the tears, but he turned around and saw me. I managed to smile at him while madly brushing my tears and praying they would just evaporate (and leave the salt behind – no maybe not). But he was now leaning in to see the spectacle in front of him – his mom in tears?! “Supermom” … indestructible mom … fix everything up mom … in tears … wait … stop the universe … freeze time … mom in tears?! 

Then he started talking to me about random things and he eventually asked about my tears. I found myself explaining why people have tears and the scientific and nonscientifc reason behind tears. He seemed satisfied with my explanation and we hugged – me holding him extra tight just a little bit longer. 

Finally, I was called in and was prepped for my biopsy. I had the procedure thoroughly explained and signed on a couple dotted lines. At last the radiologist came and along with the nurses positioned me for the ultrasound. While he was conducting the ultrasound he made some small talk and eventually he told me to wipe the cold gel off my neck and sit up as he wanted to talk. I sat up and he said there was no reason for him to perform the biopsy and he never wanted to see me again… I was confused and starting to get dizzy … and he explained  as long as the lymph nodes in my throat area decrease in size after they swell (due to trauma, infection, allergies etc) that is completely normal. 

So I hopped off the examining table, gave the doctor and nurses huge hugs, changed out of my gown, and ran to my husband and son!! This time I had tears in my eyes as I scooped up my son … he saw them … and the huge smile on my face … and he knew what kind of tears they were!

Vocal Therapy #3

My third vocal therapy session revolved around maintaining my “forward focus” or whipped cream voice and knowing that I am in a good position rather than allowing my voice to fall back at my throat (bad practice).

The goal is to constantly keep your voice in a good place and there are some techniques my doctor shared with me to check in with my voice.

Exercise Set 1

Feel the “seasoning of sensation” behind your nose on “y” and long vowel sounds. For example say the following words:

  • Reunion
  • You
  • Yonder
  • Thieves
  • Wheel
  • Squeezed
  • Sink
  • Tea Leaves
  • (add other words used daily)

These words help to give you the reminder that you are in “forward focus.” Memorize some words and say them when you need to check-in with your voice.

Exercise Set 2

Say sentences with “y” and long vowel sounds to help reset your voice:

  1. Well yes, it’s really easy.
  2. What we really needed was some immediate and deep easy peacefulness.
  3. (add others)

Exercise Set 3

Straw exercises help to balance the air pressure in the vocal tract and allow the vocal folds to oscillate with less effort.

Using two (or one) cocktail straw carry out the following exercises:

  1. Increase and decrease pitch
  2. Revving
  3. Sing a Song: Allows for various ranges
  4. Pinch Nose: Make sure no air is flowing out of your nose

The large the diameter of the straw the easier it is to practice the vocal exercises. The smaller the diameter the bigger the benefit.

Cacay Oil Hype

Cacay Oil is it all hype or is there really something there?

There has been so much about Cacay Oil in articles that I decided to look into it further and check it out for myself.

Three Main Chemicals found in high concentrations in Cacay Oil:

  1. Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) reduces acne symptoms
  2. Retinol (vitamin A) reduces the wrinkles in the skin
  3. Tocopherol (vitamin E)  is an antioxidant.

These three chemicals all promote healthy, younger skin. When used regularly, the skin is left feeling softer, smoother, and feels younger.

It was noted, over a course of three weeks, the pores on the nose got smaller and the skin felt smoother and more nourished (all other variables kept as constant as possible!). This could just be in my head! I will look into finding some definitive research articles and share out.

In the meantime, for anyone interested in  the bottle of Cacay Oil I use you can purchase 30 mL of 100% pure Curelle Cacay Oil at Queensborough Community Pharmacy for $46.97. If you contact me, I will give you a unique customer code for a nice discount!