Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thank You, Dr. Colin Campbell For Opening My Eyes!

Hello Everyone,

Hope you have enjoyed your summer. Despite the weather, this summer has been a summer full of memorable moments with family and friends, a summer full of collages made by my son Joseph capturing each special moment, and a summer of enlightenment, of me having a "lightbulb" moment that will affect me from this moment on...

Thank you, Dr. Colin Campbell for opening my eyes! Thank you once again to my husband for introducing me to such a remarkable man! I want you to know right now that I am not a medical professional, nor am I someone like, "Denise Minger", I'm a private school teacher who has always taught her students to be  "the best possible person they can be!" I've taught them many important life skills, one being, making them aware of the importance of proper nutrition!

I first learned about Dr. Campbell while watching the documentary, "Forks over Knives." At first I was close minded like most people are, but as I watched other interviews from Dr. Campbell, and other doctors such as Dr. Furhman, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn, and many others, it became clear to me and made sense what all these doctors were saying, "That animal products cause diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and autoimmune diseases!"

Did I jump in right away? Hell no! I'm Italian! I like homemade sausage, meatballs, cured meats....

I fought my husband every step of the way, telling him I'm not a restaurant! I'm not going to make different meals for our family...

But then something happened...

My husband starting losing weight and I wasn't! That made me mad! So I thought I will try this whole food plant-based diet and see...

Guess what? I started to lose weight and effortlessly! I was still eating meat and dairy products but in smaller portions until 3 days ago when I decided to try it cold my parents' home up North!

My dad's garden!
Judging from this garden, do you think I would have any trouble finding anything plant-based here? No GMO food in this garden! My challenge was not outside but family! Remember...I'm Italian! I've been told at the dinner table that if I talk anymore about the benefits of eating whole and plant-based foods and why animal products are bad for us, I will be force fed chicken!

Not kidding! They have realized now that I am serious about this lifestyle change!

Listen, who am I to tell you what to do? I'm not a doctor, but these guys are! Dr. Colin Campbell has dedicated over 40 years researching how food affects the human body!

Don't take my word for it! Go on the internet, search the above-named doctors, and watch the movie!

What do you have to lose? Except the excess weight you've been trying to lose for a long time and failed!

What do you have to gain? Optimal health, improve your quality of life, live disease free and maybe out live most of your friends and family...

I plan to...

And so should you!

I plan to spread the word and educate those who will listen, beginning with my family! My kids already eat a variety of plant-based foods. I've given them the facts to decide for themselves one day!

In the meantime, I will do what I love most...cook! I decide what goes in their mouth for now...
Gluten free veggie lasagna. Kids loved it!
Brown rice, chick pea, and cabbage pilaf!

Stuffed zucchini from my dad's garden, no meat!

Choose a fork over a knife and feel better!

God Bless,

Sandra Perri

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

I'll Love You Forever!

Hello, everyone
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my babies you'll be." (Robert Munsch)
Don't you love this book? 13 years ago today, my life changed forever, for the better! Two angels were sent to me from above! Happy 13th birthday, Michael & Joseph! Where has the time gone? It feels like only yesterday when we were celebrating your 1st birthday!
The boys at 1 yrs. old

You are teenagers now! You are on your way to adulthood and it's my job to prepare you for this journey!
Here is my advice:
1. Remember to always strive to be the best possible person you can be even when others don't think you can!
2. Live life to the fullest everyday as if it were your last!
3. Don't sweat the small stuff!
4. Remove things and people who bring the worst out in you and make your life toxic!
5. Surround yourself with things that bring out the best in you!
6. Remember, Family is everything!
7. Be passionate in all you do!
and finally...
Live every moment, Laugh every day, and Love beyond words!

Today, you were surrounded by family and friends, and thanks to Skype, we were able to all sing Happy Birthday to you, even while on vacation! The pizza was burnt (not my best, but good) Right, Joseph? Your birthday cake was perfect, until the top layer slid off the plate...Never make a three-layer cake with whipping cream as the filling in a hot climate!

Make a wish
Checkerboard cake! Not bad, for my first attempt!
Special family moments!

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always (well, most of the time), as long as I'm living my babies you'll be...

I love you no matter what...

Never forget that!

Love you, 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Anyone Can Bake!

Hello everyone,

Summer vacation is here! I have 8 weeks of focusing on my new found passion...BAKING! Yes, it's true...anyone can bake! I've been asked by many people to teach them how to bake. My response, "Can you read? Then you can bake." It's that simple. Until recently...

Recently, my husband has opened my eyes to food. He has me on this plant-based diet which requires me to eliminate all animal products! He is convinced this will help me with all my recent medical issues. I'm on board, the only problem is that I'm finding it difficult to bake with all these restrictions! Check out the documentary: website: (youtube 8 minute video) and decide for yourself!

I've been on vacation for 3 days and I've done nothing but bake, bake, bake...for the kids, of course...
Did I mention that I love to bake? Especially for others. This is my special way of showing the ones I hold so close and dear to me just how much they mean to me.

Cranberry Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
Anyone can bake, I mean it! You need the bare essentials: a stand mixer (my best Mother's Day gift), measuring cups and spoons, preferably stainless steel (another gift from my family), and patience!

Strawberry Banana Muffins
Patience looking for the best recipes, and boy there are plenty! The trick is to search for recipes from bloggers who are very detailed. Many of them display step by step pics of recipes that make baking very easy! The other trick I learned to to scroll down to the comments and see what people are saying about the recipe. I've learned many good baking techniques this way!

Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies

Other than that, you need one last ingredient...PASSION! Baking should never feel like housework...

It's an art form, a reflection and an extension of oneself, a way to express one's creative side...

What's stopping you, then?

Roll up your sleeves, dust off your mixer and get baking!

Bon Appetit!


Monday, 16 June 2014

Happy Birthday, Lil' Man!

Hello everyone!

Eleven years ago today, the sun shone brighter than usual, the birds sang more beautifully than any other day, because a sweet angel was born! His name is Edmundo Eugenio and today is his birthday! This post is dedicated to you, lil' man!
Edmundo at 18 months old!

Edmundo is a miniature version of his great-grandfather! He has the wisdom of a man who has lived more than 80 years, just in a boy's body. He is often called an "old soul" by his mom and I. Sometimes, he teaches us life lessons!
Me & my Lil' Man!

Happy 11th Birthday Edmundo!

All the family singing Happy Birthday after Italy wins!

Zebra Cake, Edmundo style!

Edmundo, I just want you to know how proud I am of you. You are one of the sweetest, kind-hearted, respectful, courageous, and loving kids I know! I am privileged to call you my nephew! You are the mediator when Joseph and Michael don't get along and you seem to always find a way to resolves their issues. You are patient and caring towards your little brother, even when he drives you crazy! You are helpful and take the initiative when you see your mom is stressed!

Never change! Even when others change, even when others disappoint you, never let life's hardships take away your innocence, your passion, and your love of life.

You are destined for greatness! Follow your dreams and aim for the stars...

The sky's the limit...You only need to believe in yourself!

Love you,

Zizi Sandra

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Happy Birthday Lil' Sis!

Hello Everyone,

This post is dedicated to my little sister! She is a loving, dedicated, selfless sister, mother, daughter, and nurse, who has over the years proven what many believed was impossible...not for her! If someone said, "You can never do that", her response would be, "Just watch me!" and she always proved them wrong!

I wish I had her strength and courage!
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Lemon Depression Cake

Me and my lil' sis' on my wedding day!

Happy Birthday Cathy! 
The best way I can show you that I love you other than telling you and being there for you in good times and bad is...BAKE FOR YOU!

Baking is my way to create something for the ones I love and boy, I must love you soooo much since your first cake was a disaster! Did I give up? Of course not! Us Perri sisters persevere, no matter what the odds are!

I want to thank Pinterest again for posting a recipe that is eggless, nut-free and now gluten-free (

My nephew is allergic to eggs and nuts and my other little sister is allergic to gluten! I was determined to bake a cake that satisfied all their restrictions, but it was not meant to be...

My first attempt at an eggless, nut and gluten-free carrot cake looked and tasted like rubber! My kids thought it tasted good, but found it hard to cut the cake, so I suggested they tear it apart!

As you tasted your birthday cake today, I saw the smile on your face. It was priceless and locked in my memory forever!

Lil' sis, I just want you to know how much you are loved by your family and friends! You were surrounded by many of those people today and received many messages from many more who were too far to celebrate with you, but were there in spirit!

If Nanna and Paparanni were here today, they would be smiling from ear to ear, proud to have raised you from childbirth and proud to say that you are their granddaughter! They helped to shape you into the woman you are today! A woman with strong family values, a woman who despite the many downs in her life, always manages to "see the cup as half full!"

You are the wind beneath my wings when times are tough and I want to give up, you are my hope and faith when I lose it, you are...

My hero, my lil' sis for life!

Love you, Cati!

We are blessed,


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Live Everyday Like it's Your Last!

Hello everyone,

The last few months have been bitter cold and even though Spring is finally here, I am still not able to fight any illness around me! Yes, I practise regular hand washing, but to no avail! Hopefully, the sunnier and warmer weather will combat these lurking germs and I can get  back to writing this blog on a weekly basis!
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Life brings ups and downs, cherished moments with the ones you hold closest to your heart, heartache and disappointment with the ones you hold closet to your heart...

Live life to the fullest! How many times have you heard this expression? Live everyday like it's your last! How many of us do this daily? I know I don't.

We only start living once we've been through a life altering untimely death of a loved one, a health scare, or like in my case,when the child becomes the adult and teaches the mom a life lesson!

He sent me this while I was writing this post and I was left speechless...

Confirmation once again that all the preaching and teaching I've been doing is paying off and that I'm not the horrible parent I thought I was.

I think I will start living everyday like it's my last because one day it will be and I won't even know it!

I tell my kids to never go to bed upset with someone because you don't want those words to be the last ones you say to someone you love or care about!

Let go of the toxic people in your life and hold on to the people who bring out the best in you...

Keep calm and everything will be fine...

Words to live by everyday...

Especially during your darkest moments...

Eventually things work out for the best!

God Bless and Happy Easter

Sunday, 2 March 2014

When a Door is Closed, a Window is Opened!

Hello everyone!

So sad the Olympics are done! It's amazing how a world can stop whatever they are doing and share a dream through an athlete's eyes. These athletes deserve to be at the Olympics because they have dedicated their lives to strive for excellence, to be the best in the world! I am so proud of all these athletes for giving their all, for inspiring our children to be future Olympians! Thank you!

Ever wonder why things happen in life? Why people suddenly come into our lives and unexpectedly leave without any warning? We don't realize until later that there was some lesson to be learned, and sometimes the lesson is hard to swallow!

I believe that even when a door is closed in our lives or a chapter has come to an end, there is a plan for us, a path we are meant to follow: our destiny!

When things seem unclear in our lives, when we can't understand why things are happening, this is the time to stop and listen, to pay attention to the signs that are trying to point us towards our path. Sometimes of course, we ignore these signs, and resist our destiny. This is when a series of events happen in our lives and keep happening until we are back on the path we are all meant to follow!

I feel that I am on the trail which will eventually bring me on my path. I am learning new lessons along the way, discovering a side of me that I never realized existed, and becoming the "best possible person I can be", even though I thought I was already that person...

The path ahead awaits...

Trust in God, trust in yourself...

You will know when you get there!

God Bless,


Monday, 17 February 2014

Mom Sets the Tone!

Happy Family Day! (for us in Canada),

I hope everyone had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the people who mean so much to us: our family!

"Mom sets the tone", is a post I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago when I was sick in bed, yet again! (

A woman was talking to her sister who lives 3,000 miles away and venting her frustration about her family and how they were driving her crazy! This line left me pondering about how my mood affects everyone around me...She quietly said, I know how hard it is, but you have to remember that a mom sets the tone for her household.  The mood of your family will ultimately reflect your own.  If you are crabby, they will be too.

How true is this! I didn't believe this until one day when I was having one of those bad days when everything and everyone around me made me mad. My husband gently grabbed my shoulders and told me, "When you are in a crabby mood, the rest of us feel it and it brings the whole household down." It was a "light bulb" moment for me and I realized at that moment that my husband was right! 

It's me that sets the tone in my house! It's you that sets the tone in your house! Moms make the world go round, don't they? We are nurturers, that make everything better! We kiss those "booboos" all better and know exactly what to say and what not to say in any situation! We will do whatever we need to do to protect our family! Our maternal instinct is ready 24-7!

Ha, you know that's right!But, we have our other side. The side that sends everyone in our home running, taking shelter! The side that brings out those 'demons" we try so hard to keep hidden away deep within! Why does this happen? Because, we believe we are supernatural beings that can be the loving mother, devoted wife, the one that everyone counts on! We are very good at multi tasking and for awhile we are able to juggle a multitude of things and it feels great when we feel in control of our life...

Until we've overextended ourselves, once again, and begin spiraling downward until we crash and burn, bringing with us, everyone we hold closest to our heart: our family!

Breathe, take a break from the situation, and don't make it worse! Realize you are angry right now, but this will pass, as it always does, and understand that you are human! Play a game, clean something when your blood is boiling, or do what I do and "bake yourself happy."

Whatever it is you do to bring you back to that wonderful place in your mind, the place that humbles you and makes you realize that life is too short to spend it miserably...Get there as soon as you can, and try to stay in that wonderful place, as often as you can!

Set the tone in your home to be one of peace, tranquility, stability, and above all...Love!

Happy Family Day!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

To Spank or Not to Spank, That Is the Question!

Hello, Everyone!

I've written my post for the over 30 weeks, until last week when I couldn't get out of bed. This flu season is really knocking me down! It's been three weeks now that I've gone from a viral to bacterial infection. I hope the antibiotics I'm on right now do the job!

Being sick gave me a chance to catch up on all my favorite cooking shows, as well as, some trashy reality shows. I was reading my daily Facebook page when I came across something that caught my eye! I started scrolling down to read comments from people and couldn't believe what I was reading! This was my comment," 
I  cannot believe all the nonsense I've read about spanking! First of all, spanking your kid in the butt should only be happening around their terrible 2 and 3's. If you've done your job properly as a parent, then there is no need to spank them after that! We need to teach our children about respecting adults! This is what's missing in our world! As a n educator, I find it difficult to teach children who have never been disciplined, who've never had anyone talk to them in a firm voice! OMG! What is wrong with parents these days! DO your job and teach your children values and respect so that one day they can be normal adults! PLEASE!

I think what the problem here is that many parents feel that raising their voice to their child when necessary will scar them for life! We have too much new information out there about disciplining children. Don't get me wrong, some advice is good, but most of it is utter nonsense! Children need to learn to respect others and to treat others the same way they want to be treated. They need to be held accountable for their actions and that there will be a consequence for their actions. We all know empty threats don't work and that the punishment needs to fit the crime. If you're going to give your child a consequence for their actions, then you need to follow through with the punishment, otherwise they will never respect you as a person. Remember, you are the parent, they are the child! This doesn't mean that you cannot have a relationship with your child. Find common interests and use this quality time to strengthen your relationship with your children.

To spank or not to spank, this is the question! One comment I read made me laugh so hard, I fell off the couch. This person said, "We start out spanking our child on the butt, then they grow up thinking  a spank on the butt is not enough, so they hit their child on the hand, and before you know it we are physically abusing our children! How extreme was this person! I believe most parents know the difference between a gentle spank to startle their child's bottom, from a "whopper" that would send their child flying across the room! I remember the only time I ever hit my children in the face. They were having their bath (2 years old) and I was extremely tired from work. I asked them to stop screaming and of course they ignored me! I slapped them both in the mouth at the same time and they started crying. Seconds later, I started crying with them, and they immediately stopped and looked at me with a puzzled look. They said, "Mommy, why are you crying?" I guess I didn't hurt them that much...It hurt me more! We are all human and have our share of bad days. As long as we recognize that "spanking" should only be used when children are very young and only on their bottom!

Let's stop blowing everything out of proportion and over analyzing everything! Think back when you were young...did your parents give you a spank here and there? Are you traumatized or did you learn to respect your parents and all adults? Exactly!

Why have we changed the old ways? I think our grandparents and their parents before them knew a thing or two about raising children...they had on average 7+ children...

Let's look in the past more and learn to use this knowledge to raise our children just like our parents raised us.

We didn't turn out that bad, did we?

Let them go through their terrible 2's, unpredictable teens, unexpected "light bulb" moments that will confirm what you already know...

You are a good parent!

In the meantime, laugh with your children, hug each other every chance you get, never go to bed mad and without saying, "I love you."

In a blink of an eye, they will no longer be children but adults, ready to make a difference in the world...

Have you done your job as a parent and given them the necessary tools for adulthood?

Only time can tell...

God Bless,


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Put the Golf Balls First In the Jar!

Hello Everyone,

Sorry about the late post, under the weather, yet again! It's been a shaky start to the new year, but I'm sure things are headed in the right direction.

I read an interesting story that was shared on my Facebook page which inspired this week's post. Here is the link

Remember the golf balls because when all the sand and pebbles are gone, all you are left with are the golf balls!

Make a promise to yourself for this year and from now on that no matter how stressed your life gets with the small stuff, that you don't forget what's important in your life, your family, your friends, and your health!

Laugh every day many times have we done this and how many times have we promised ourselves that we will remember who and what matters most and brush aside the trivial things in life? I know I have, many times, and something always happens at the right time in our lives to take stock of what really matters! Like a sudden death in the family, an unexpected illness or expected broken marriage!

When these things occur without our control, we stop and reflect...

Forget the stress of your job, leave it at work and deal with it tomorrow! No job is worth it!

Spend time with your children, laugh with them daily and always remind them how much they mean to you. Never go to bed upset with anyone who matters. You never know what tomorrow brings!

Bake cookies for your grandmother, your uncle, and spend some time listening to stories of the "good old days." I never get tired of those stories, but lately I haven't made time for the ones who mean the most to me! Call them on the phone and tell them you are thinking about them and miss them dearly!

Put the golf balls first and let the sand and pebbles wash away with the tide...

A true measure of happiness and self-worth is what we are all looking for...

Guess what? It's right in front of you...

Love passionately, laugh daily, live life to the fullest, and most of all...

Eat, drink, and be merry with those who you hold closest to your heart!

God Bless,


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Che Sarà, Sarà, Whatever Will Be, Will Be!

Happy 2014 Everyone!

It's a new year, a new beginning, to make a fresh start, to do better than 2013! It's been a rocky 2013 for me, many twists and turns, good times and bad, unexpected but welcoming moments!

Che sarà, sarà, whatever will be, will be! Words to live by for all of us! What's the point of stressing over things in life that we have no control over? But we do, don't we? It's human nature for us to assume the worst when bad things happen in our lives. We become negative, we take things out on the ones we love the most, but this is our way of processing what's going on. Once we get our frustrations out and vent for hours and hours to the ones who are always there for us, no matter what, the real work begins...
Whatever will be will be #ming
Learning to deal with unexpected news in our lives is hard to do. Just take a deep breath and keep telling yourself, "I am too blessed to be stressed and things will work out even in the darkest moments."

Make 2014 your year! Your year of being the best possible person you can be! Try not to sweat the small stuff, the stuff we cannot control, and soon enough, those unexpected events won't knock you down as hard anymore! And let's not forget about the support we get from family and friends when bad things occur. Don't they just drop everything for you and are by your side til' the end?

Count your blessings, let us be thankful, love and laugh every chance you get!

This is your life, this is your time to make a difference, to put a smile on a stranger's face, to perform random acts of kindness, to keep family traditions...

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Happy New Year!

Make it count,