One too many stitches…

Life is full of disappointments. Hard things happen, it’s just how it goes. However, if this is what you focus your whole worldview around, you will miss the thousands of other blessings and things that in fact are going well.

I know for myself that I can fall into this very easily because I’m not naturally an optimist and I would say I like to stick to the facts. For example, if enough crappy situations occur, then its second nature for me to come to the conclusion that my life sucks and complain, “Why do these things always happen to me?!!”

If you look at life negatively, like Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh,” you will become a negative person consumed by all that’s grey, even when it’s sunny out. This, like I said I am guilty of and it’s something that has come to my attention more and more over the last few days.

As I was working on finishing the baby blanket I had started when my son was first born and only now got back to, I came across some challenges. I had done row after row perfectly for some time and then when it came to doing the last six rows that were the more complicated part of the pattern, I kept getting it wrong. 

I’d have to pull everything out and start again and this happened a couple times before I realized the problem… I had one too many stitches. I was supposed to have 97 and I had had 98. With the dilemma finally figured out and a few groans of frustration to boot, I was able to finish the project. The pattern still got a bit mixed up though and wasn’t the way I wanted it. I was fed up by all my mistakes and felt like it was all a waste of time. 

Then I got the thought, “Amber, you’re not a robot or a machine so mistakes are to be expected and it’s okay. Don’t let a few mistakes ruin the whole experience.” As weird as this might be to some, I felt Jesus was speaking to me through that thought and that he was reminding me of what was most important. 

It wasn’t about being perfect but trying and failing and succeeding and learning from the process. It was all about growing in patience and humility and learning how to receive grace from Him, others, and myself. Man, I have a long way to go but that’s okay… or at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself. ;P

I hope you enjoyed this post and can find peace in the crazy chaos and disappointments of life. Your only “doomed” for negativity if that’s all you focus on.  That doesn’t mean your problems aren’t important or worth validating, but the question is, what do you allow to role your life? Is it going to be what you go through or is it going to be your faith in Jesus an fighting will to be better regardless?

Xoxo, Amber!!

P.S Now I can say I LOVE this blanket! Its so Boho and pretty, so we better end up having a girl this time otherwise it’s just going to end up a lap blanket for me or I might try to sell it, if there’s any takers?!! Lem’me know. 😉

Guacamole ;P

Homemade Guacamole

Recipe included 🙂

This is another party and half time favourite at my house and I can honestly say, I can’t imagine a world without this perfect guacamole recipe. It’s flexible, if you happen to be missing something and also very easy to jazz up to bring as an appetizer to a party.

Ideally, You would want to chop up finely some fresh cilantro, add a squeeze of lime juice, and a good heavy hand at the black pepper grounder, but I didn’t have ANY of these things today (yes, not even the pepper) and it still turned out amazing. Today, I had to completely skip the cilantro and the freshly cracked black pepper and the lime and just stick to lemon juice and some garlic salt. The main difference is the lemon gives it a much lighter flavour where the cilantro and pepper is just a bit more bold and punchy.

I like to keep this recipe a bit loose because, everyone’s tastes and preferences are a bit different. I also would like to note that you’d want to know that you’d finish whatever you make the day of because it only will last at most 2 days in the fridge. However, if you end up falling in love with it as much as I can say my husband and I and the friends of ours who have tasted it, I promise you there wont be any leftovers.

Homemade Guacamole

2 ripe avocados

1 Roma tomato

1/3 small yellow onion (red is also great)

½ the juice of a lemon (or 1 lime)

Garlic salt to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tbs. finely chopped cilantro

Directions:

Take a knife to an avocado down the middle till you’ve cut it in half and remove the pits. Take a spoon and scoop out the fruit from the skin of the Avocados and put it into a small to medium sized bowl. With a potato masher, mash up the avocado but make sure to leave some chunks. This gives the guacamole an overall better texture. 

Dice up the Tomato and the 1/3 of an onion into small pieces and add it to the bowl. Add the lemon or lime juice, and season to your taste. Mix all together and enjoy! Feel free to leave some Cilantro to the side to use as a garnish.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and share it with your friends and family. If you do remake this, please share it on social media and tag me on IG @buhler.amber and #thekaleko.

Also, Let me know if you would like a post on how to know when an Avocado is ripe and which ones to avoid at the store! ;P

Xoxo, Amber!!

Popcorn.

Coconut Oil Popcorn.

Hey all. Have you ever needed to bring a snack to a party and you wanted to make sure it would be safe for your friends with allergies yet you weren’t sure what to bring? Or maybe you knew some of the basics like fruit, veggies and corn tortilla chips with salsa, but you just had to make something?? Sound familiar, anyone?

Let me give you an easy go-to for those times that you really want to make something with out spending too much time or money… drumroll please… popcorn!

In my experience, I’ve only known one person to dislike popcorn (my husband) so this is for sure going to be a crowd pleaser. In fact, it was just this week that I was with some friends in the evening and there were tons of baked goods and cheesy snacks, but there was nothing I could eat. The host was really apologetic and had her mind set that I had to have something too, which I really appreciated.

We settled on making popcorn for me and then sadly she was all out of it. 15 minutes later one of the other ladies returned with a bag of dry popcorn and we were off and running. Something I’ve realized again in the last little bit is how important it is to have community with others. Winters in Manitoba can be such a drag and add to the list of excuses of why we want to stay inside, but then (I can say for myself) if we don’t connect with others we slowly begin to die inside.

We begin to get indrawn and lonely and can start to believe everyone else is just too busy and we shouldn’t bother trying. The truth is that some people will be busy but that doesn’t mean everyone one is or that trying to connect isn’t important. I know that for myself when friends have tried to reach out to me it has meant the world to me, regardless if it always worked out or not.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this easy “recipe” and that you try it next time you need to bring an allergy friendly snack somewhere; just make sure you clarify what allergies/intolerances your working with.

Coconut Oil Popcorn

¼ cup dry popcorn kernels

1 tbs. coconut oil

Pink Himalayan salt to taste

Directions: Put kernels into popcorn maker and make sure it’s turned on; have a bowl ready to catch the popcorn. Melt coconut oil in the microwave and once all the kernels have popped, turn off the machine and pour oil over the freshly popped corn.  Salt to taste and toss it till it’s all evenly coated. Eat and enjoy!

Knitting.

“… you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”

Last night, I was home with my husband. Our son was asleep in bed and with time change “falling back,” even though it was only 8pm, it felt like 10. I was Tired and a bit drained from a long weekend and felt like I had nothing to do. I wasn’t feeling super creative or motivated and yet, I didn’t want to spend another night on Netflix or scrolling on my phone. 

It was just one of those slow, lazy winter nights that required a wintery activity, that wasn’t involving anything outdoors. What did I decide was the best task for such an indrawn night? That’s right… I started to knit.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with knitting. It has been something all of the women in my family have done to one degree or another and so, even as a young child, I felt compelled to join, but I struggled to sit still and do something so slow and mundane for too long. As I’ve gotten older different things have pulled me to it but the same reasons have kept me from continuing it.

I would get so restless and bored and even anxious while doing it, that sometimes it felt like a punishment. Other times it felt like a time to connect with God in prayer, as I quietly pulled and twisted yarn through needles. 

I started making a blanket for my son when he was first born, thinking that it would be a great thing to pass the time, but that very quickly came to an end because he was a very busy and colicky baby. This is the piece that I found myself back to last night and God spoke to me these verses, “

Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

13 “For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.”

As I sat there knitting I started to think about the new baby growing inside me; how every detail of how it is formed is so intentional and how every stitch I create consecutively makes a pattern that turns into a row, which eventually makes a finished project. I am not a professional when it comes to knitting so it’s very easy to mess up a complicated design, but Gods is. He is the Master of every piece he creates and all of them are amazing works of art. He doesn’t make mistakes – all his works are wonderful and perfect.

This brought my heart to a place of joy and quiet meditation and I started thanking him for my unborn babe and all his plans for him or her. It reminded me that, sometimes certain activities are better suited for certain seasons  (ie. Beach days are for summer not winter) and that right now it’s knittinghelps me rest and be at peace. 

So, I hope you can find some sort of way to rest and disconnect and recharge and that you can find Jesus in the middle of it!

Xoxo, Amber!

It’s hibernating season y’all!!

Mini Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – Vegan, Gluten-free

So it seems to me that I’m hibernating.. or at least that’s what I like to call it. Ive been so incredibly tired with growing a baby that I feel like I’ve done little else. Yes, I still clean and do some cooking, etc. but life’s been pretty ordinary; nothing crazy to report. Hence, this has been why I’ve been posting less the last while. I don’t always feel like I have anything to say and I also have just been too tired… it’s just the truth.

Today, I made though these absolutely delicious mini double chocolate zucchini muffins. They were simple and quick, that is until I realized I didn’t have any cooking spray or mini muffin liners. When that detour was taken care of they turned out to be the best muffins I’ve ever made that were vegan and gluten-free.

One note on the recipe, so I didn’t have any applesauce in the house so, I did some looking around to figure out what the best substitute for it would be. Now applesauce in vegan cooking is used as an egg replacement and also to keep bake goods moist and soft. Bananas or any other fruit purée could work but, I know from experiences that bananas have a very distinct flavour in baking and this just wasn’t what I was going for. 

Instead, I wanted to use chia seeds but I needed to know how much seeds equalled the same amount of applesauce. This just ended up being a quick Google search and bingo, it all came together! If you have any questions about this feel free to leave a comment or DM me. In the mean time, I will add the link to the chart I used for vegan egg substitutes, in case you want to do some further looking.

I also found a recipe for blueberry zucchini muffins that I also am hoping to try soon and will keep you posted for when I do! 🙂  

That’s all for tonight! I hope you have a marvellous weekend and happy November! I’m looking forward to playing Christmas music and putting up the tree. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep my cat and son off of it though ;P

Xoxo, Amber!

Muffin Recipe: https://www.mydarlingvegan.com/chocolate-zucchini-muffins/

Egg Substitute chart: http://www.connoisseurusveg.com/2015/03/vegan-baking-egg-substitutes-guide-cheat-sheet.html

I can drink coffee again.

May your coffee be strong and your Mondays short.

Good Evening all welcome to Wednesday night! You’ve made it through half of the week so you should probably stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Isn’t that how some weeks are? We feel like we’re barely going to make it and yet somehow we do? That’s been my last two and a half weeks for sure and somehow the last 2 and a bit days has been different.

For me it felt like the clouds were lifted and I could actually breathe again. I felt suffocated and lost at the way side and then the fog lifted and I could think and see clearly again. Oh how wonderful it is to feel like yourself and be able to enjoy what you love! My pregnancy hormones through me like I was dirty laundry and through much prayer and struggle, it seems to have eased a bit.

Like the title also says, I can drink coffee again. It was the same in my last pregnancy but I became strongly averted to coffee. It’s dreadful but such a relief when it passes or eases up.

yummm ;p

Yesterday, my mom came over and brought some homemade Butternut Squash soup and I had just happened to buy this week an artisan loaf of gluten-free bread. Over the last while, my mom has noticed an increase discomfort when she eats gluten so, this lunch ended up suiting both of us tremendously well. The recipe she used originally wouldn’t suit a vegan, plant-based diet so she made some substitutions. I’ll post her recipe down below!

For example, where it says butter, just replace that with a vegan butter or olive oil (or a flavourless oil.) When it says milk, replace that with your favourite non-dairy milk. So on and so forth! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or DM me!

Recipe:

From the “Magnolia Table” cookbook!!

For the bread, I actually found this loaf at Sobeys and the brand is “Promise.” This bread however, isn’t vegan because it contains eggs so that would be a problem for some. Eggs baked in don’t always affect me but, I still limit it as much as possible. If you know of a vegan AND gluten-free artisan bread that I can buy in Canada, please let me know! In the mean time, here’s a recipe that looks just as good that I do want to try I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Recipe: http://feedmephoebe.com/quick-and-easy-gluten-free-bread-recipes-for-every-day-of-the-week/?m

I also used this bread to make tomato and avocado toast and it was quite filling! Two pieces made a hardy breakfast for me!! I hope you all have a great evening and know I love hearing from all of ya’ll and your support means so much to me! If you haven’t yet, let me know you like this sort of content by either choosing to like and/or leave a comment or start following me! This is how I know when it reaches you and it helps me out so much!

Xoxo, Amber!!

Thou the seasons change…

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 11 (NIV)

This is something I’ve talked a lot about lately but, when season’s change, we need to allow ourselves and those around us more grace. Now the reason I’m talking about this again is because I need to get it through my thick skull. My pregnancy has taken its tool on me, but I need to remember this is just for a little while and the hope of a baby at the end is so worth it.

Tonight we made ourselves some good ol’ Taco Salad; so safe and delicious and this is one of the first meals I’ve made for myself that has sat really well. The nice thing is there’s nothing fancy about it and it can work for meat eaters and non alike. Most of you have probably had this at least a half a dozen times, but for those who haven’t, this is what we typically put in ours: Freshly chopped Romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, bell peppers, avocados and your favourite tortilla chips. My husband likes ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning and I do black beans. Then we top it with ranch (I use a vegan version) and homemade salsa. It ends up looking something like this! ;p

We have also been making some homemade vegetable broth because we had filled our freezer with lots of veggie scraps and it was time to get them out! We were starting to run out of room for other things so we hunkered down and got it done. My hubby’s also actually baking as we speak because he’s the real baker in the family. He’s made homemade croissants and tons of cheesecakes in the past but right now he’s just making some cupcakes for a co-workers birthday and his own enjoyment.

Now, back to the verses, I know what’s it feels like to get stuck and overwhelmed and wonder if the whole world is against you. No matter how hard it is and how dark it seems, even if all hope feels lost, there’s still hope at the foot of the cross and this season will end. When in doubt though, it’s good to have people in your life that you can talk to when things turn into a white-out, that have even gone further in the journey and came lead the way with their own light and experience.

I also like to think of these people as anchors or guides, these should be however, mature and healthy relationships. For me, it’s people like my husband and my mom, a mentor and a few close friends and on occasion it could even include seeing a professional. For example, my shoulders and my neck have been super tight, so I saw my massage therapist and this helped to reduce my stress. 

I know that a response to this could be though, “I don’t want to open up to someone and get hurt.” That’s why, in my opinion, you start with someone you already trust and if you need to, whether it’s for you own self-preservation or theirs, you start slow. Building relationships take time and that’s okay. Maybe you just don’t know who you should talk to, well, then I’d say pray and ask Jesus and if you want you can also DM me and I can do my best to direct you as well.

As always, have a good night and happy eats ;P!!!

Xoxo, Amber!!