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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bad Karma, Out Takes and Rants

Enjoy my dance video out-take. A glimpse into the patience my darling daughters must have when helping Mom film ;)

Here is my rant:

I am experiencing a wee bit of bad karma this past week. I shall not fret about it as I know I must endure a little bit of bad karma in order to appreciate the good karma in my life. But to give you an idea, me, madame polite and composed (OK a wee bit flamboyant at times too) nearly got herself removed form the Super Store yesterday. I had had enough. I spend 2 thousand dollars a month, that is 24 thousand dollars a year in that store and I am treated poorly. I did not have a loonie, thus I could not get a cart. I needed a cart as to shop without one always puts my back out. I waited in line for 15 minutes to purchase a loonie. No, I could not--they told me to use the debit machine to get money and then they would make change for me. I waited in line at the debit machine--they were going to charge me 3 dollars extra to use the machine. Waited in line again. I said, "I am not paying three F-ing (I used the word F-ing as it is written, I did not swear) dollars just to use a cart to shop in this store! I am planning on spending over $100 in this store today. All I want is a cart."
 The service desk people freaked, "You're going to have to calm down maam, you're going to have to calm down. You can buy a bag and then get change."
"I don't want a bag," I said, holding up my eco-friendly shopping bags. "I just want a cart!"
They said they'd lend my a dollar... if I returned it afterward. That meant another trip to the parking lot and all the way back into the store to return the loonie.
"No," I said. "I don't want to borrow the loonie. I am in a hurry, "I just want to buy a loonie now, so I can find a cart now, so I can shop."
I asked to speak with the manager. He wanted to just give me a loonie. He was missing the point. I did not want charity. I just wanted a cart. I asked if I bought a case of oranges (oranges I was going to purchase anyway, that were in eye shot) would he give me enough change so I'd have a loonie? Yes, he would. So, as I stood in line yet again with the oranges, I debated if I should just leave and say F it.
 I stayed, got my loonie, got a cart, shopped, spent over $1oo dollars and then went home feeling like having a good cry. And then I decided, that was it. I am never shopping at Super Store ever again. If I am going to spend $24,000 dollars a year in a store, I want a friggin cart waiting for me each day. Grocery shoppers need to revolt. We need to boycott stores that charge for carts--boycott for one day. See how fast that little coin slot disappears.

And further more, this grey boring weather sucks too. Pip is home with a bad cough and me (her mom) is blah and wanting to sleep late and go to bed early.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Prairie Girls

Catherine, Me and Miranda roasting something over our open bonfire--Langham acreage, Saskatchewan circa late 1970s. I had so much fun hanging with my sisters and exploring the land.
Catherine and I-- Langham acreage, Saskatchewan circa late 1970s. Note my snazzy sandals--no matter what the occasion, or place, I always had to be stylishly dressed. Also I was always the kid who had to make a stupid face for the camera :P
I remember, Catherine and I would always play this really ridiculous game when ever we hung out around the bon fire. We'd say, "Let's play drunks." We'd stumble around slurring our words, acting so crazy.
I am editing my first Novel. The setting takes place on an acreage in Saskatchewan. When my family lived in Saskatoon my dad worked for the University commission. We lived in the city in a beautiful character home on a street that crept along the South Saskatchewan river bank. We owned (and would visit on weekends) two acreages on opposite sides of the South Saskatchewan River. My dad built a house on each acreage for our family.

My favorite acreage was the Langham acreage pictured above. It had good karma. We were so happy on that land. The other acreage was near the town of Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. It had bad karma. My novel takes place on this acreage (the bad karma one)--very near the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, relatively close to the North West Rebellion battles of one hundred years earlier than when my novel takes place. At one time, much later, my family was to return to Saskatchewan and live on this acreage full time for two-three years. That particularly dark time for my family is the setting for my first novel Queen of the Godforsaken.

Writing about the prairies brings back childhood memories. My family moved around Canada a lot. I always say my dad is a rolling stone (not the Rock Band). As a child, I lived in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. These pics are a small ode to my wonderful memories of the prairies. Memories filled with visions of galloping horses, hot prairie sun and endless blue sky; smells of wolf willow, wild sage and horse buns; sounds of evening crickets and morning meadow larks; tastes of wild strawberries, tart Saskatoon berries and my mom's famous pizza.
Thank-you Mom and Dad, my darling sisters and dear pets for those incredible memories.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dance Bitches

Pics are stills from my salsa fusion video.

Sorry if the title offends but I had my first taste of nasty dance competition yesterday. My audition at the gym went well--I requested to dance first, I did my dance--I was confident, and exuberant in my approach. Also, I looked pretty good in my flashy Zumba skirt ;)
I was kind and friendly to all of the participants. I am always like that--chatty and friendly when meeting new people. After 1 1/2 hour of hard core (at times gruelling) dancing and workouts--some of the tryouts were for combat aerobics etc.-- I was happy to be heading home. I chatted with one fellow competitor from Merritt. I complimented her and was very upbeat. And then the B leaned in and said these dreaded words: "I hope this doesn't offend you but..." and then she slagged me. Just like that. I had no idea how nasty other dancers could be. I am not like that. I try to always build good karma. So what I'm left with is that she is building herself some bad karma and I am not. I could slag her now and tell you she was stocky, not very attractive and not much of a dancer but I won't ;)

What a weekend thus far! Go, go go go... After I returned back to Kelowna (I picked myself up some brown rice, veg sushi to eat in the car and a diet Pepsi and drove home!) I was greeted at the door by my busy family all changing into their bathing suits. It was a pool party at the Grand Hotel. So I stripped off my dance get-up and but on my bikini. I was so pooped from the stress of the competition and from being up the night before with a sick Pip, that I headed for the outside hot tub and parked myself in it for the evening. After the swim we had a get together in my sis' hotel condo and then the adults headed out on the town in search for supper. Our restaurant of choice was full (they refuse to take reservations) so we ended up at Earls--my tacos were tasty :)

Btw, I discovered This is That on CBC radio on my drive to Vernon yesterday morn. It is so good, so funny. I fell for the story about a family adopting a wolf pup thinking it was a dog :P
 Listen to This is That on CBC radio One. For my non-Canadian readers, you can find archives of their shows on the net. Seriously funny stuff! They broadcast their episodes as though they are actual news stories.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bertram's Beach

Family photo taken last month at my favorite Okanagan beach: October 2011
Here we are again! Me, Peter, Mist, Pip and Tabs.

I started my Friday early. After lifting weights in my home gym, I went to the doctor as I had been feeling so tired all week--not my usual energy. Thought I might have a bladder infection (a nasty down side to being a female). Good news is that I am fine but there is a virus going around that leaves people tired. 
So, I got a little paper work done (attempted to get in touch with my supervisor yet again--no luck and I am freaking out about this!) and then drove to the University to meet Peter for lunch. 

Right after lunch I attended Exam Invigilation training. Then, I sped home, changed into my dance gear and picked up 2 little dancers (Tabs and niece Nem) and off to ZumbAtomics we went. I danced my best but was noticeably more pooped than usual. My trick to teaching a class when my energy level is low is to smile a lot. If I look like I am having a blast, my students won't notice I am super tired.

After class I drove home for a quick supper--a bean burrito--and got ready for the Zumba dance party. Picked up a friend and off we went to find the party....looking....looking... looking...where's the party? 
Stopped at Oranj dance studio to borrow their phone. They were closed but a woman who was finishing up work was kind enough to let me in. 
Discovered the party was the next night--Saturday not Friday! Trust me to get the day wrong! So, instead my friend and I cruised down town looking for action ;) There was a hockey game on so parking was impossible. We finally found a  spot and stopped for a drink at The Greenroom. We were dressed for the Zumba party but at least I hadn't donned all of the neon junk I had in my car (the party was supposed to be a glow party).

After a good chat with my friend, I arrived home and called my sister's hotel. Theresa and my nephew KW had arrived in town from the Kootneys while I was looking for the party! My other sis Miranda, and my oldest girls (Mist and Tabs) were all ready at the Grand Hotel partying with her.
 I drove down town again to the hotel. The hockey game had just ended so I was lucky to find parking about a block away. I had a short but good visit at the htoel with my sisters and nephew. Tabs and I arrived home close to midnight. Mist stayed the night to hang with one of her best buddies on earth (her cuz KW) at the hotel as Theresa is renting a luxurious condo with two bedrooms and a kitchen! 

Unfortunately, sleep was not the luxury I received once home. My darling Pippi was ill with a horrible cough and sore throat and was up three times in the night crying, coughing and asking for help because she felt she couldn't breath. I felt worried all night and found sleep difficult. In the night I began to think my life is too crazy--I need to be home more. It seems I am always racing out to dance. I think if I keep weekends free--I'll feel OK. This weekend is unusual with the audition.

This morning my baby Pippi is OK but the cold she has is not pretty.

And now, I must get ready for an audition I have an hour away, in the close Okanagan city of Vernon. I must leave by 11 am and won't be back until 4 pm at the earliest. Tonight is the real Zumba party date but now I cannot attend as I am going out for supper to a new restaurant with my sisters. My sisters are great women. They are really smart, interesting, adventurous, fun and cool--just like me ;)
I hope this perkiness lasts me all day because boy oh boy do I need it today!

Apparently the big ski hills (Big White and Silver Star) open this weekend. But I won't be there. I have a feeling it will be a year of a little skiing but not our year to go crazy and be at the hill each weekend. Next year will be our go crazy year. 

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Me (on back) riding our (Arabian/ Welsh) horse named Silver with my sister Theresa. We are posing in the huge pasture of our Langham acreage in Saskatchewan. It was beautiful land, many poplar and willow bluffs to explore. The soil under the grass was sand. We lived in the city (Saskatoon) during the week and spent weekends on our acreage--so many memories, so many adventures.

Silver was the most gentle, loving horse in the universe. When I rode her bare back I would lie back and rest my head on her bum. She was the best friend a girl could ever have. And if she was facing the camera you would see how beautiful she was. Her face was so pretty (the Arabian in her), with big, kind and beautiful brown eyes. I still remember how good she smelled and how soft her velvet nose was.

The above pic was taken when I was about nine years old at our Langham acreage in Saskatchewan. By that age, I was already quite a seasoned sleep walker.

I am lucky that none of my children have inherited my sleepwalking tendencies. They have occasionally called out in the night and have been up in the hall, unsure of why they were up, but no serious cases of night walking.

I was a sleep walker, a horrible sleeper walker as a child. One time ( I was about age 7), my mom heard the front door shut in the night. She got up to check and there I was in my nightgown, putting away my bike and coming inside. I'd gone for a middle-of-the-night bike ride around the neighborhood while still

Another time, around age nine, in the middle of the night,  I walked from the top 3 rd floor of our house to the basement and was sitting on the sofa watching a blank T.V. screen. My mom came down stairs and asked me what I was doing. I replied that I didn't know.

In the same house--a large old character house--my mom heard something on the stair case in the night. She found me sleep walking yet again, sitting on the bottom stair quite distressed. When she asked me what was wrong, I pointed in terror into the darkness and said, "that man, he's trying to hurt me!" She was totally terrified and turned around to search the darkness for what she feared was an intruder. She saw no one.
"Where? Where is the man?" she asked me.
I pointed into the dark and very insistently said,"Right there! That man is going to hurt me!" She was sure I was seeing a ghost that she couldn't see.

Though, the strangest thing happened to me when I was 18. I was living with 12 other teenagers in a huge old farm house near Lake Huron in Ontario (I was on a language exchange co-op program). I slept on a top bunk. In the morning I discovered myself sleeping on just my mattress. My pillow and all my blankets were tossed on the floor. But the odd thing was the head ache I had. I never get headaches (and no, for the record I had not had any alcohol or drugs). I  got out of bed and looked in the mirror and discovered, to my horror, a giant, blue, goose-egg sized bump on  my forehead. Obviously my head hit something very hard in the night. I had no memory of anything happening in the night. To this day I have no idea what happened to me that night.

Lately, I am up for a few hours in the night for no reason. Thus, I was reminded of these events from my childhood and thought it was time to write them down. And for all those parents of sleepwalkers out there, don't fret. Look at me, I was a sleepwalking princess and I turned out normal...sort of ;)

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Breakfast Fit For A Queen

 Breakfast by Mix

Cut up fruit of choice (I like a gala apple)
1/4 c walnut pieces
6 almonds
6 cashews
1 Tbsp crushed flax seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 c Greek yogurt (plain)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

I eat this every single day for breakfast. It is super filling and you feel great all morning. It is filled with fibre, omega 3, antioxidants, vitamins and protein. And an added bonus, it is delicious. I switch up the fruit--some days it's mango or strawberry or blueberry. 
* interesting note: the gala apple is a variety created in the Okanagan Valley (where I live).

I have had a few requests from readers to share my diet and exercise regime. I have a really high metabolism. I believe this is because of how I eat and how I work out. I have a few secrets to being super fit, lean and strong.

I lift weights 3 times a week, plus I do a killer abdominal work out 5 times a week. I also run for about 25 minutes one morning a week (up serious mountain hills). Though, the real killer is that I dance, serious hard core cardio, for an hour straight at least 5 days a week. This boosts my metabolism so high, I am never cold and I can get overheated easily in a hot room. If you don't like to dance I recommend spinning classes as an alternative for the hard cardio. But I believe dancing is the very best for mind, body and soul. Also, I believe in longevity. I'd never do extreme sports that wear out joints prematurely. I am opposed to the 'marathon running' trend. I advise that no one run for more than 3x a week max and for no more than 1/2 h at a stretch. I want to be able to dance and run at ninety so there is no way I'm grinding my joints to a pulp early. I do stretch out after dance. I feel I have no time for yoga, but ideally, I think a yoga class a week would be good for me--flexibility is so important!

As for how I eat, well, my breakfast is above. I don't eat wheat and avoid refined sugar. I use maple syrup for sweetener as it is high in antioxidants. I am almost never hungry for lunch so it is usually a small salad, a cheese stick and a fruit. If I'm hungry I snack on almonds and cashews or another cheese stick. I eat as much fruit and veggies as I want, any time of the day. As for supper, I eat vegetarian when I can or I'll have white chicken or turkey meat (I am allergic to fish). I eat brown rice, brown rice pasta or quinoa for grains. My suppers are full of veggies.  I eat with a conscious effort to never give my body simple carbs and thus my body never produces big insulin surges. I am never hungry and I am super lean with energy to burn. 

And the biggest secret is that I have XXdark chocolate for a treat mid morning. That means one square of 80-90% dark chocolate along with a tiny square of 99% chocolate. Basically it is like eating protein. Often I'll have 2 chocolate breaks a day.

I do have a little ice cream on occasion--I only eat the very best, real ice cream like Haagen Dazs. Also, I drink tea all day long: hot and cold; real tea, never herbal. I like black, green, oolong and white. I usually drink a blend I make myself (loose leaf) Japanese sencha mixed with organic black tea from India. And I do treat myself to a small glass of organic wine once to three times a week.

This is my basic way of eating but I'll have a couple slices of pizza some nights and other treats on occasion. My metabolism is very high so I burn what I eat.
*Once you are lean, with a high metabolism, you actually can eat very well because you will burn what you eat.

I guess there really isn't anything new about my secret for fitness, health and leanness. It involves serious workouts (I do these in the mornings) and healthy eating. But the secret is that it works and it is enjoyable. I deny myself nothing because I love dancing and I love good, healthy food.

I am over forty years old, have given birth to 3 children and I have had no cosmetic surgery. If I can be lean and fit, anyone can. My dear readers,  I hope you find one or two tips towards maintaining a super healthy and strong body :)

That's it for the body. Stay tuned on my prescription for a strong, balanced mind ;0

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This is what 15 looks like at our house: my darling daughter Mist. She truly is the most sophisticated 15 year old you'll ever meet. She is so much fun to hang out with :)
Her party had a Pokemon theme :)
Party girls!
The coffee-toffee icecream cake I invented, soooo good!
Happy things are falling into place for me. UBC is open to having me teach many more classes this winter and I have a dance audition to teach at a new gym. The audition is next weekend in Vernon. The gym is in Kelowna but we are auditioning in Vernon as they have a small version of the gym there. Might post the song I'm going to dance to. It is difficult to know which song to dance to, on one hand I want to wow them the most difficult moves. Yet on the other hand, I must show case my teaching so I don't want it to be too difficult for my students (we teach to our fellow auditioners). I also start exam invigilation training this Friday. I may end up having to turn down someone in the winter--too many dance classes to teach. Oh, and I am teaching dance all January for the school district (3 classes are hiring me so far)--very happy about this!

This Friday is going to be so busy. Training at UBC until 3:30--race to teach ZumbAtomics at 4:30 to 5:30 and them a Zumba party starts at 7. I love dancing so all the dancing is going to be the best!
I debated throwing a dinner party on the same day as my audition but have decided to do it next weekend instead.

Working on my novel. Publishing Queen of the Godforsaken is first on my list and then I'll follow it shortly with publishing my junior fiction novel Peter Not-Pizzaface and the Decrepit Caboose. I will be painting chapter illustrations for the junior fiction series. The series deals with nature extraordinaire so this is where my wildlife painting comes in :)

Finding time to meditate each evening again. It feels so good. I am in the process of changing all my past negative memories into positive ones. The human brain remembers negative experiences much better than positive ones (this works for survival--we don't repeat near deadly mistakes). But, in some ways it creates a flood gate of bad memories at times. The key, is to take one or two positive memories from every experience and focus on those--soon you remember the good stuff and no longer get overwhelmed with bad memories :) This is the Buddhist and neuro-science junkie side of me talking. Though, I do practice what I preach.

Portland is coming up! I am going to Oregon to train with the Gina Grant (more Zumba). Peter and I are staying at the Governor for 3 nights. Should be so amazing. My wonderful Mom is coming to help look after the girls. My sis (and hubby) is also leaving the country for a holiday so my mom will be busy with five young gals to manage! But my Mist is very mature and reliable and I know they'll be fine.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Have Dog. Will Toboggan.

Have Dog. Will Toboggan.

Snow has come early to the Okanagan Valley. We decided to make the most of it on Saturday morn. Fernando (our pug) had the time of his life, charging through the snow. In one of the pics, I am holding Fernando (he is captured in action) the pic is blurry but I included it because he looks like a demon-dog!

Birthday party at our house tonight, 8 little gals. I made an ice cream cake: coffee and toffee flavour. I worked all day cleaning and organizing the house. I hate to clean, but I like a clean and organized house so what's a girl to do? I've had housekeepers (but the truth is that it isn't the cleaning that is exhausting, it is the tidying). One must always tidy up for the cleaning crew so what is the point? I'd hire a housekeeper again if she (it's never been a he)  would do all of the tidying and organizing. The sweeping and mopping is the easy part in my opinion! Though, I do delegate as much as possible. Everyone has his/her jobs to do.

Anyway, I am an obsessive worker and thus I worked through lunch so by the time supper arrived and it was time to order the pizzas, I was starving! That's the way I am. If I'm immersed in a task--it is the only thing on my mind.

And of course, no party would be complete without the bleeping demon-dog whipping downstairs, inviting himself to the party and then peeing on the presents, a bag of skittles and a guest's coat.

Have Dog. Will Sell.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deep In The Woods

Deep in the woods
Her soul finds winter
Wings too heavy to fly 
Delight in awakening stillness
Frolic in the playground of the night 
Laughter muffled beneath 
 Bitter warmth and silenced secrets
Consciousness deeper than snow
Falling through a pleasant dream 
Onto her bed of diamond feathers
Text by Mix Hart
Photos by Mix Hart and Tabitha

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Mistaya!

My Beautiful baby girl turns fifteen years old today. I have included in this blog, a few photos from her first six months on earth as well as a photo of Mom at nine months pregnant. Also, the following poem I wrote for Mistaya when she was four months old.


My baby.
My girl.
Sweet pink cheeks, delicate mouth.
A clear shimmer glistening on your bottom lip.
Waiting to be kissed or to eat.

Gently holding your mother.
Filling your tummy with warm, sweet milk.
Love pouring.

You sing to me.
Listen to my rhymes.
Our hands clapping,
Echoing your song.
The warm, sweet milk.

Holding your plump yet delicate wrists,
your curled toes, chubby bottom.
Intense and bright indigo eyes smile at me,
recognition; your body, your love.

Together we are.
Together I am.
I will grow because of you and you will become a woman with me.

Mix Hart, March 23, 1997

9 months pregnant with Mist.
Mom and Mist, minutes after birth.
My happy girl.
Mistaya was born cool.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Merci Mes Chers Amis

I wanted to say thank-you and celebrate with all of my dear readers and friends. The Circle of Moms Mom Blogger Contest is officially over and we never have to vote again! YAY! Now that is worthy of a celebration.Thank-you for all your dedicated voting xoxo. I came in second--but officially nothing has been announced yet. So, have a piece of ice cream cake and join our little celebration!
*(pics were taken in August on my birthday--me and my darlings)

I am plum tuckered out from this past week. Racing around doing so many red tape type errands. I had to go to Tabs school yesterday as she and her classmates were getting vaccinated against three diseases that day and Tabs made me promise I would come as she is terrified of needles. I gave her my Buddha coin to hold and everything but still she was so anxious, she cried and fretted and I had to hold her down to get the job done.
Speaking of Tabs, I gotta go toast that kid a bagel.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Salsa Fusion with Alex Cuba ;)

This is my latest choreography . It is a salsa-fusion dance. I call it Salsa/Funk: Salsa with a couple of chili peppers. I love Alex Cuba's music and decided I needed to dance to one of his songs. He is an amazingly talented Latin-Canadian musician. The song is Que Pasa Lola. Hope you enjoy the dance. I'll teach it to my next adult Zumba class.

My Monday ZumbAtomics class went very well, I think. I had 20 kids--boys and girls ages 7-9. It is hard not to fall in love with all of my little darling dancers by the end of class. Kids are so very dear. I just love them. Tabs was an amazing dance assistant as usual. I love when she comes to class with me :)

Mist has done it! She said she'd read all 4 Twilight books in the series in one week and the kid has done it in three days. She wanted to read them all before she goes to the movie this Friday. She wants to go to the latest Twilight movie with her friends on her birthday. She says she finds the movies hilarious. But, let her be clear, this is NOT her birthday party. No, the movie is for fun but she wants another real party with more friends the next day--such is life spoiling one's (soon to be 15 year old) baby girl!

Pippi is, well...Pippi--adorable as usual. She handed me a poster this morning. She had drawn it up herself. It was decorated with designs and had these words written in bold across the top in Pippi's  handwriting:


Yes, Pippi is now a Chinese girl. She also sketched a picture of herself as she envisions the new Chinese Pippi--she has 3 pony tails in the picture.


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Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple and Cinnamon Spelt Muffins

Another muffin recipe I made up. I'm not very domestic. I hate cleaning and I don't like making meals. But I am creative so I enjoy making up new recipes and I am super health conscious so I like to make super healthy food.
I make muffins for my kids, hoping to stop prepackaged food consumption, especially during school lunches.
 I always sample one of my muffins and they are delicious!
Unfortunately, no matter what recipe I try, I hear these responses:
"I hate banana chocolate chip," "Where are the chocolate chips?" "I hate apples," "I hate oats," "I hate nuts," "I hate dried fruit!"
But every mother knows that one must tune out the little food critics or never cook again...

Apple Cinnamon Spelt Muffins
2 c grated apples
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp honey
1/3 c canola oil
1 c milk
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c light spelt flour
1 c whole grain spelt flour
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 c crushed flax seeds

Blend wet ingredients and fold in apples. Sift together dry ingredients and fold into wet. Stir until just mixed. Pour into greased muffin tin and bake at 400 o for 18 min. Once slightly cooled, dip each muffin top in melted butter and a cinnamon sugar combination. Enjoy!

***Only 4 more days to vote for me! This has been the longest internet voting contest ever. I think everyone will be relieved when they no longer have to hit VOTE! Thank-you kind friends for your diligence and support :)

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