“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Berlin: This past week was tough. Berlin got hit with back to back viruses the day we got back from vacation. After spending the entire week in bed, we are back to normalcy and she is enjoying our new bathroom at last.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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Weekend Cleanse

I generally do a couple intense cleanses each year; one in the summer and one in the new year. They are usually month long cleanses that are meant to reboot my eating habits and get me on a healthy track again. For the most part I maintain a healthy diet, but at times I allow eating meals out to get out of control or I binge a bit too often on my favorite junk food; chips and salsa.

With the start of the new year this year, I thankfully haven’t feel too far off track from my healthy habits, and have only felt the need for a light cleanse to detox my body. I feel, even if one maintains a healthy lifestyle, its still important to do a cleanse every so often to flush the body of toxins created by food and environmental dangers.  A cleanse is not only a great way to flush toxins and boost liver’s effectiveness, but its a great way to refresh yourself and build a path for a healthier lifestyle.

The actual cleanse I created is only two days long, and since its a short cleanse I suggest focusing on yourself for the entire weekend. Doing yoga or stretching to get your body moving and stimulating digestion, enjoying a sauna, and getting lots of rest. This is not a time for intense exercise, its a time to restore the body. I also suggest drinking a glass of warm water with squeezed lemon in it every morning and dry brushing your body to stimulate the lymphatic system and help remove toxins.

There are only two recipes involved with this cleanse, the first being a smoothie that you can enjoy throughout the day; breakfast, snacks and dinner. The second is a soup that can be eaten for lunch and dinner, or as you like. They are both simple to make and can be made in large batches so you only have to prep your food once each day.


Winter Green Detox Smoothie
1 apple
1 pear
Handful of frozen cranberries
1 knob of ginger
1/2 cup of kale
1/2 cup of spinach or collard greens
1/2 cup of cabbage
Handful of parsley
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Approx 1 cup of filtered water

Place all ingredients in a Vitamix (or high powered blender) and mix on high until smooth. Add more water as necessary.

This recipe is from my all time favorite cleanse, created by Ali and Tom of Whole Life Nutrition. This is my go to smoothie whenever I feel under the weather, need a pick me up, or when I’m embarking on their amazing Elimination Diet.

Again, if you would like to double or triple the recipe, you can store in the fridge and enjoy throughout the day. However I always feel its best to make a new batch each time and enjoy immediately.


Green Detox Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 knob of ginger
2 cups of chopped broccoli
2 cups of spinach
1 chopped turnip
Handful of parsley
Approx 2 cups of water
Dash of Turmeric
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot, add garlic, onion and ginger and cook for approx 5 minutes. Add turmeric, salt and pepper, then all other ingredients. Add water to cover vegetables and bring to a high simmer. Lower heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Place in Vitamix and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary and add more seasonings to taste.

Soup can be made in large batches and stored in the fridge for 2 days, can be enjoyed hot or cold.


Remember to only use organic ingredients for both recipes, you don’t want to be ingesting pesticides while your cleansing your body. Once the cleanse is complete do not return to eating processed foods, sugar, alcohol or drinking coffee (if you can abstain) for at least a month-or longer if you can do so. The whole idea is to detox the body and get your liver in tip top shape. So throughout the month, be kind to your liver and enjoy foods that enable it to perform at a high function. These foods include:

Brussel Sprouts
Flax & Hemp Seeds
Green Tea


These foods will not only help detox your liver, but will have you feeling energetic and and healthy. As an added bonus, these super foods boost your immune system as well, so they are great for fighting off the common winter flu and cold that usually occur this time of year.

Hope you all find the time to rejuvenate yourselves and make healthy foods and exercise a part of your year. Cheers to a new year!

If you would like a more in-depth cleanse, I posted one last year here and here.

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Maui Waui








Every year we discuss getting away and enjoying our Christmas on a tropical beach rather than spend our time in airports going from one family to another, and this year we finally did it. Well sort of anyway, at least we got away for New Years and a week after.

After much deliberating over a location, we finally landed ourselves on Maui, Hawaii. We went back and forth over traveling to a more exotic location, such as Belize, but eventually landed on Hawaii due to its safety and connivence of accommodating a toddler. While it was not as exotic as we hoped, it turned out to be a perfect mid-winter vacation, and Berlin was in absolute heaven.

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays as well!

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I totally let this project fall by the wayside at the end of 2014, I was so incredibly close, but didn’t finish those last couple of weeks. If you weren’t able to tell (which was impossible not to) I left the blog in complete silence at the end of the year. Life was crazy; we were remodeling our bathroom, had visitor after visitor staying with us, and we welcomed the newest member of the family into our little world, baby Joleen, two days prior to Christmas.

With all that was going on, I had to let something go, and family took precedence over the blog. However its a new year, and an opportunity for a fresh start (for myself and the blog). While I’m already off to a late start on my portrait of the week series, I vow to catch up and make an honest effort to complete the year. Last year many weeks went by when I was hesitant to post an image, I was being too hard on myself and my photography. But I’ve learned that its not the perfect image that matters in the end, but the memory captured at the moment. At the end of the year, I’m just thankful to have a log of these memories, whether they be perfect shots or not. So all images might not be pure perfection, but they will be special moments to be held onto forever.


“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Berlin: She was living it up in Maui these past couple of weeks, never enough sun, beach and sand for this gal.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: This is my reality with Berlin. She truly never sits still; jumping, running and dancing every moment of the day. So this is how the majority of my images turn out, so I’m rolling with it.

On a side note, I’m a week behind posting her weekly portraits. Sadly, last week was the first time I’ve ever missed a post. But life has gotten the better of me and things are quite hectic right now. We just came off of non-stop guests staying in our home and yesterday we began a full gut on our master bath. Yes, right before the holidays, I’m crazy, I know.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Can’t resist getting as dirty as humanely possible. Not soon after this image was taken, mud was down her shirt, in her hair, and in her mouth (of course).

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: She’s been enjoying every minute of our extended Indian Summer; running around in the park, getting muddy on the beach and learning to play tennis. If only it would last forever…

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

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