#JJcooks | Sweet Potato Gnocchi And Rapini In A Browned Garlic And Sage Butter Sauce With Reggiano Parmigiano

This Crazy Thing Called Life Sweet Potato Gnocchi

You know when you fall into a rut in the kitchen, and you end up making the same things over and over again and then you wonder why you’re so bored with cooking and constantly wanting to eat out? Well – that was happening for me, so I decided to make a change.

I’ve been collecting cook books for years, and rarely ever opening them. I finally said enough was enough and started planning ahead. Every Sunday, I scour the books and good old interwebs and come up with a few recipes I want to cook for Mike and I for the week. Then I out together my shopping list and hit the grocery store. Grocery shopping by myself is one of my new favourite things to do! I take my time in the aisles, without having Mike nagging me to hurry up because he’s bored. LOL

Anyways, I’m going to start sharing some of the recipes I come up with because almost always, I make some changes to what I read in the books on the web, and tweak it to make it my own. I recently did this with a sweet potato gnocchi recipe and holy smokes – it’s a new fave in our house!

I could go one and on about how magical sweet potatoes are or how I have a sweet memory from my childhood regarding gnocchi…but, let’s face it – I hate going to a website for a recipe and I have to scroll through 18 paragraphs of mumble-jumble content before I can finally get to what I was there for in the first place!

Just tell me the ingredients and what to do and be done with it! Am I right?!

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Part Two | My 30 Day Stay In A Psychiatric Ward

This Crazy Thing Called Life Psychiatric Ward Stay

…I am no mental health expert, but what I can do is share my experiences with all of you in hopes to help those battling mental illness feel even just a little less alone.

I will never forget the day of my suicide attempt. It was cold, like really cold, and it was snowing. A lot. I was (obviously) not in the right state of mind, and I lashed out at those I loved the most. I was in so much pain, and I didn’t know how to process that pain. So I lashed out. I may not remember exactly what I said, but I remember storming out of my mother’s house, screaming that she’ll never see me again and that would be that. Then I jumped into my car and left. It was really early in the morning, and the roads were empty thanks to that fact, and the snow. It was really coming down. I went and parked in a parking lot. I was so angry and hurt. My mind was racing and I couldn’t get it to slow down no matter what I did. I cried and I cried until finally the tears stopped, and it was almost like I stopped feeling anything at all. It was in that exact moment that I made the decision to take my life. I calmly started my car, made the turn out of the parking lot and sped my car up…my eyes never leaving the pole directly in front of me. I didn’t blink until my head smacked off of the steering wheel from the impact of my car hitting the pole. Next thing I remember is the firemen pulling me out of the car. I don’t even remember the ambulance ride, but I remember thinking to myself,

“…you couldn’t even do THAT right.”

I felt defeated.

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Part One | How Did I Get Here

This Crazy Thing Called Life Mental Health Suicide Attempt

I lay there; alone on the stretcher in the hallway of the ER.

No recollection of how I got there.

My body aches, my head is pounding.

How did I get here?

The fluorescent lights above beaming directly in my eyes.

I can move my neck – I look to the left, to the right.

I see no one that I recognize.

I’m alone besides the doctors and nurses rushing past – the hustle and bustle that is the ER.

I hear a familiar voice, and look up to see a worried face.

They come rushing to my side.

As if I have no control over myself, my body, or my emotions – the tears begin to fall, on both of our faces.

Sitting by my side cradling my tiny hand in theirs, they wipe the tears from my cheek.

Staring at me, they just kept asking me, “Why?”

Over, and over, and over.

It was more like they were pleading with me to open up, to finally open up – than it was they questioning me.

Finally I looked, and said, “I just don’t want to live anymore.”

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Why Wasn’t Financial Savviness Taught In School??

This Crazy Thing Called Life Financial Savviness

“Money is just a tool. Money itself isn’t the problem – it’s how we use it that is the problem.”

When Jay Papernick recently dropped that knowledge at Dave Lackie’s #BeautyFinance event I literally had to put my glass of wine down (shocking, I know) and soak it in.

Growing up with a single parent, money was always a touchy subject in our household. My mother is amazing. She provided as best she could for my sister and I, on her own – but we struggled. As a brat, I mean kid – I never understood it. I didn’t understand why all of my friends were rocking the latest ADIDAS kicks and wicked windbreakers, and my “kicks” (if you could call them that) came from BiWay.

Side note: Did you know that BiWay is coming back to Toronto? Not gonna lie…I’m actually kind of excited!

Anyways, I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand just how expensive this crazy thing called life can be, especially raising two little ones all on your own. Now that I’m old(er), and I’d like to believe somewhat wiser, I GET IT. I don’t even have kids yet, but – goodness gracious, I GET IT.

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Keep Talking – Don’t Let The Conversation End Here

This Crazy Thing Called Life Keep Talking Mental Health

It’s #BellLetsTalk Day, but I really believe the conversation surrounding mental health is one that should never stop. We need to continuously talk about it so that those suffering feel less alone. We need to keep the conversation going so that the stigma can be removed – and hopefully then, everyone suffering will finally be able to get the help they so desperately need.

I’m going to share some things I have learned over the years when it comes to mental health.

Whether you yourself are battling mental illness, or you know someone who is – these tips will help.

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