30 Apr 2014

Wasting Away–the synopsis


Via Mazzini, Verona, Italy

Wasting Away: the synopsis

She has a plan to win back the popular guy in school, but how far is she willing to go?

For any girl living in the romantic city of Verona, Italy would be a dream but not for sixteen-year-old mixed race Susanna Danso. She hates her life in Verona because she can’t fit in. The bullies at her school call her “Mandolino” making her believe she has a big butt. Her model's agent aunt always criticizes her appearance. She learns to live with it but deep inside she hurts.

Things change when Brad Lawson, a popular hockey player in school pursues her. Susanna feels accepted. But Brad has a secret: about his real intent and the friends he mingles with. After he dumps her, she learns the truth. Susanna's world flips upside down, she questions her identity – always too dark or too light with a too-big butt.

With a broken heart, she convinces herself that winning back Brad is only key to her happiness. But he prefers girls that look like models. Susanna is determined to become skinny like a model. She starts to eat healthy, soon her healthy eating habit turns into an obsession to avoid food. While everyone around her notices her continuous weight loss Susanna doesn’t accept her image in the mirror. She’s never thin enough. Her desires to lose few more weight turns into an eating disorder.

After many denials, she accepts to be ill and needs help, but Susanna has to battle against the need to heal and the desire to have anorexia as an anchor in a world in which to be thin is a synonym of beauty. She begins a long journey through recovery towards self-acceptance.

Wasting Away is a story that will resonate with every teenager or woman who faces issues of first love, body image and self-acceptance.


Normally, I would put this introduction before the main post but I wanted you to just read it without any presumption.

After thinking and re-thinking and re-thinking… I’ve decided to just press the publish button for the synopsis of Wasting Away – the novel I’ve been talking about for some time – because it will never reach perfection and if I carrying on seeking that perfectionit I won’t move forward. I don’t know if this synopsis captures the essence of the story but I want to put it here on this little blog of mine because I believe my wonderful readers can help me with feedback and thus clear my thoughts.

Questions: So what do you think of the synopsis?/ Would you pick the book up if you read this blurb?


So with my heart in my stomach I press publish

29 Apr 2014

Rustic Kale/Spinach and Broccoli Quiche



2 cups all-purpose flour

125ml butter (lightly melted)

3 tablespoons of water


3 leaves of kale chopped or 1 cup spinach

1 cup broccoli

1 medium onion, sliced

1 tablespoon of oil (coconut, olive or canola oil)

5 large eggs

1 cup of milk

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)

quiche preparation

  1. In a large ceramic bowl use your hand to mix flour and butter until texture resembles bread crumbs. Add water mixing until dough forms (it should be firm)
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200 Celsius
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and rustically cut 11-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch tart ceramic dish or pan. Trim edges
  4. Fill shell with parchment paper or aluminium foil and fill with raw beans or baking weights. Bake until crust is dry and lightly golden, about 10-13minutes.
  5. In a steamer or saucepan steam kale and broccoli
  6. In a frying pan over medium heat add oil and sauté onion until soft
  7. In a bowl, combine milk and eggs. Add kale, broccoli, onion and salt. Pour mixture into baked tart shell and bake until filling set, about 40 minutes. Add cheese and let it melt. Serve warm.


NOTE: you can fill the shell with any other filling you like, because the shell is yummy with anything.

28 Apr 2014

Our Everyday Life: Yellow, Grey and White

yellow grey whiteEnjoying childhood in the backyard

The first two days of week 17 were painted in yellow.

The weather was bright and sunny, as if it was real spring. I know it’s spring in many places in the world but not in Saskatchewan, spring doesn’t come to us until May so when in April the weather shines on us, we rejoice.

Monday after a lazy morning, with AOI feeling cabin fever, we went for a walk and by the time we got back home our mood were on the high. After AOI’s nap we spent the afternoon in the garden.

Tuesday after breakfast we packed few things and went on a day trip to the lake. The water was frozen and not many people were in town but we enjoyed an afternoon at the indoor spring swimming pool.

Then Wednesday brought along wet, rainy and gloomy day.

rain rainRain, rain and rain again – at least is not snow

AOI had the blues, she was easily in tears. Baby TOI was smiley and the weather didn’t affect his mood. I went to the gym for a Group Blast workout class and my mind felt rejuvenated.

I came back to find AOI curled up on the sofa in her pj’s watching Umizoomi, baby TOI was fast asleep. Husband left for a meeting. I let AOI have a little of pajamas day until about midday and then dressed her for the rest of the day. She didn’t want to have anything to do with nap. When AMI returned he took AOI to food shopping while I took care of baby boy – we were hoping AOI  would have a her nap in the car but she didn’t, I will miss nap times so much if that would ever have to disappear.

Thursday I woke up on the wrong side, I had the blues. I could have beat up a beast if it came in my way. Friday morning I went to do spin and core, my mood was already better but the sky was still grey. Saturday I went to another aerobics class. The rest of the day was grey so we stayed indoors. Sunday I decided to stay home from church, mainly because the weather wasn’t inviting and I was tired and bored and the sky was white. In the afternoon I wanted us all go to the prairie to snap some pictures of horses under the rain, but hubby didn’t find it exciting so we went to the museum instead. After our visit we went for a drink something sweet in the cafe. I had cheesecake to treat myself.

AOI cabin fever

Well, the weather was on the grey side and sometimes we all wanted to hide under a coffee table like a toddler but I managed to capture most of the yellow side with my big Canon 6D…

cool TOILike a little boy with a big hat covering his brown eyes, not amused

daddy and AOI readingA toddler reading with her daddy, melts my heart – always makes me want to have a least one picture of me together with my late daddy

daddy and TOI cuddlesQuickly capturing a tender moment between a father and son

daddy and TOINaso a naso kiss

flyA toddler flying in the sunshine rays

walkingA toddler enjoying a free transportation

taking a break from the walkTaking a break after brief walk

dogOur little fan saw us, run to us and jumped up in excitement – never seen this dog before but she was so cute and friendly, I had to capture a picture of her. This is the kind of dog I wouldn’t mind owning.

lakeviewEnjoying a family day at Manitou Beach, April 2014


Hope you’re enjoying real spring where you live. Have a great week 18

26 Apr 2014


TOI week 17

AOI week 17

sibling love week 17

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014." (portraits captured with Canon 6D)

TOI: He has so much strength, this week he turned himself and he’s trying to lift his body from the ground. He can reach his toys

AOI: After a very shifty weather over the weekend, Monday was so lovely we went for a walk and she wanted to pick sticks.

AOI and TOI: She loves talking to her little brother. He loves to hear her voice and to make him smile she tickles his toes and says “this little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stay at home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the home.”


Linking with Jodi

Few from the other ladies that I enjoyed: I heart Fox’s sweet face and Lamb’s eyes stand out no matter the location by lamblovesfox / There is so much enchantment in this photo by lil muse lily/ so much joy and freedom in these pictures by ritaferroalvim

23 Apr 2014

The Roof Window

rainy day

People Help The People by Birdy on Grooveshark

Today was one of those days. Gloomy, rainy day. Still falling, the rain.

The rain always take me back to some part in Italy. Today it reminded me of the second flat my mother rented when I went to live with her again. The window in her room was a roof window. My favourite. Sometimes, when she was on her night shifts I would go and sleep in her room, under the light covers and bring as many blankets I could find and lie on the left side of the bed, looking up the sky. If it rained I would pretend running on deserted street under the needle drops yet protected and safe from the wetness.

Tonight, after the children went to bed, I finished to catch up some of my favourite TV shows and unsuccessfully tried to rewrite a page of my novel, I clicked one of the many songs on my iTunes playlist that my sister-in-law purchases and comes to my computer. The hashed voice from a different era of the singer filled my ears. Birdy sung People Help The People like the bird that’s her stage name.

I’ve never hear her before. That shows how far back I’m in the new music releases. As the rain clapped on the window, I lost myself in the music as I typed my thoughts without censor. I missed those seclusions. The get away from the world and sit in my mother’s room as the needles of the rain fell on the roof window while I let my romantic-nostalgic side of me prevail.

Question: What does the rain remind you of?


linking with Casey Leigh

22 Apr 2014

Q+A: Life Journey

This is the last post for the FAQ series

FAQOoooh, I want to play. Are you done having kids? You make the cutest kids and I am always curious how people decide when their family is complete. What are you planning for your 10th wedding anniversary next year? I am always curious if people celebrate big wedding milestones. How do you like Canada? Do you guys ever consider moving back to England? or Italy? When are you coming to visit your sis in MD – obviously that's more of a personal question :)

Oh what made you decide to come out of the dark? I must say I love seeing pics of your adorable family and I am glad that you share more, I am just curious what changed. by Pegster

Pegster you make me smile always. Thank you for your questions.

Are you done having kids?

When we first got married hubby and I agree that we will have two children because I wanted one child and he wanted three so the right compromise was having two kids. I love being a mother of two and though it’s hard to combine many things, when I look at my lovely children together my uterus craves for more children. But right now we’re more than happy with two kiddos. That said, I know that in this life mai dire mai {never say never}.

What are you planning for your 10th wedding anniversary next year (2015)?

God’s willing I would like us to renew our vows and take the children on a grand holiday in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Bali. I would love that but I wonder if financially would be feasible.

 How do you like Canada?

I love Canada so much it’s feels like home to me. I’ve settled in so well. I have my writer’s group, a friend with whom I’m thinking to start a project with. My mummy friend with whom I discuss all my paranoid motherhood worries and we click because she feels similar to me regarding many things on the journey as a mother.

However, the weather doesn’t make it the ideal place to live. It’s snowing in April and I know that in Europe real spring is shaking it blossom leafs off. My husband jokingly said that if it snows in June he’s taking his passport.

Do you guys ever consider moving back to England? or Italy?

Right now, I feel a little sad when I think about leaving what I have here in Canada to move to Britain {England} or Italy. I love these two countries so much and I miss our families but what I had there wasn’t nothing compared to the real life I’m living here.

The other day my husband asked me “What if you weren’t working in Britain, would you still like to live here?”

“I don’t think I like living here because I don’t work, it’s because there is more in my life here.” I answered. Living in Italy, then Britain was stressful. In Italy I always felt a little bit out of place. I loved living in solitude. In Britain I was on the go-go-go university, work and I had do be realistic about life so my writing was waiting on the bench. I believe if I lived in Italy or Britain the stress of everyday life would hit me more than living in Saskatchewan. Though the weather is not very nice seven months over twelve, I can’t see ourselves in Britain or Italy for a long while.

However, we want the best for our children so we might move back to Britain to be close to family. We must decide where we definitely want to settle by the time the children are school going age, by 2016. Also I like AOI’s little English accent and living in Britain will maintain that :).

When are you coming to visit your sis in MD?

I miss my sister and my little nephew so much but I can’t set a definite day when it comes to visiting her. I pray, cross my fingers and toes that God helps me find the way to come visit her this summer.

Oh what made you decide to come out of the dark?

I remember the very first post I wrote here. I was sitting in a room at my in-laws’ house after Christmas celebration, shy about sharing my thoughts but those thoughts were getting too much for me to keep them still in my diary. Starting the journey towards motherhood I felt I needed a platform on which I could get real answers to my many questions.

When I published that first post decided to keep my real name and full identity hidden. I didn't mind sharing pieces of my features but my name and full face were going to be top secret. I didn't want my family to know that I am the one behind the blog. I was so shy and being anonymous and writing under under MsBabyPlan was what I needed to come out from my shell. I never believed that people would take their time to read my random thoughts. Then I started to read other blogs about amazing people {including you} who are bold to share everything about themselves. Their names, their children’s name and according to me that helped them live life to its fullest. I was inspired by many of you and slowly I came out of my shell. 

Three years ago I wrote

I keep my identity ‘undercover’ because I know that there is a freedom in doing so. I can write anything I like and my family can feel protected. However, that freedom can be a backlash. From day one I was so thorough that I used pseudonym for my online accounts. But now I am getting attached to many of you, and sometimes I want to show you a smile on my face or share my real name with the world. My overly protective attitude seem to prevent that and I feel like I am pushing myself into a trap. But I know I can come out from there.

I didn't want my family to know that I am the one behind the blog, plus I didn't want them to think that I was indulging myself online. I guess I was affected by the comment “Blogging about your personal life is just indulgence.” For me, the word indulgence in that phrase had a negative connotation.

The idea to share my name and more of my life started about two years. This year I took the bold decision to go all the way, to reveal my real name. I’m so happy about the decision because it really shows how blogging is helping me become the bold person I want to be. I love my name so much and sharing it means a lot to me. I still don’t share my children and husband’s name people that decision is up to them {unless I’ve shared it without realising it}. Also the more freely I share the better I get at my craft. Both my husband and I can see how much my photography as improved since I started blogging. When I update our everyday life I can easy print those pictures into books for my children when they’re older and would like to know what we did in our everyday life, so instead of writing my journal offline, I write them online to inspire myself and hopefully inspire others to enjoy the little things that make us happy.

From the start I knew that blogging is NOT just indulgence but a tool to get things out of the shell. And I hope some people can understand that blogging can be therapeutic

It has been for me and along that journey I’m getting to know amazing people who I pray to meet one day. This is a such a lovely community to be part of. Thanks each one of you for making it special for me.

21 Apr 2014

Our Everyday Life: April Snow

april snowAOI enjoys the falling snow after a playdate

Week 16 spring teased as a little. It wasn’t going to stay for long, in fact won’t be here until May. Yet, as I write this my husband and the children are dozing meanwhile the birds are singing outside, in the April slight cold morning.

Can’t imagine that last Friday it was snowing like early winter. In Saskatchewan, from the very first year of our arrival {2011}, I never allow myself to hope for proper spring until May.

I didn't take daily notes of our life happenings, there was no need, I’ve decided to write whatever I remember as the days go by.

Monday we all went to the swimming pool as a family. It was TOI’s first swim, he looked adorable in the water with his surprised expression and sometimes shy smiles. Meanwhile AOI looked like a pro

swimming time

Tuesday we didn't go to French playgroup, instead I stayed home to organise few things. In the evening I had a friend over for dinner and we talked about organising an event dedicated to women. Wednesday I had a training session at the gym, I wasn’t very surprised to find out that I'm completely out of shape, I may look like I'm losing the baby belly but my stamina and is at its lowest. I’m thinking about hiring a trainer to take my endurance to a sufficient level.

Thursday we went to the local playgroup and I thought everything went fast because it wasn't even eleven thirty and people were getting ready to go home. Friday I went to the gym as soon as TOI fell asleep for his midmorning nap, I didn't work out very much. Saturday morning I went to a class called physique, it’s what I need if I’m not going to pay for a personal trainer. In the evening husband suggested we order a pizza and go sit by river for our dinner. So we did. Sunday we went to church, in the afternoon we spent the time enjoying family time and at one point I told AOI follow me outside to play in the drizzling rain and muddy puddles.

singing in the rain copySinging in the rain, once back home she ran to her daddy and exclaimed “We had such a lovely time in the rain.” All the excitement for just staying out in the yard for ten minutes, the beauty of unplugged childhood.

More stills from our week

livingroomEnjoying our newly re-arranged living room, there is more space in this layout daddy came up with. Kids can play freely and we can work with our laptops in our laps.

aoi and toiShe’s his hero

aoi and daddy spelling timeAOI is interested in spelling the letters in the words she sees so daddy is taking time to make a book with animal names for her. This particular morning, the first thing she asked her daddy was to do some spelling with her

aoi and daddyAOI wanted to be near by daddy most part of the week. Sitting and reading while he worked on his laptop

aoiPlaying with his face as he wrote on his laptop

beauty and chaosTOI sleeping beautifully among the chaos of the living room

morning rainFriday morning rain, a toddler watching the garbage truck doing its job in the distance

family life sceneThe dinning table, another well used place. A father and daughter checking their in house garden

mummy and childrenJust chilling with the kiddos

toddler feetDetails of a toddler’s feet as she learns to spell.


Hope your week was good and it has started well

20 Apr 2014


Happy Easter to everyone one.

AOI week 16-52

TOI week 16

sibling love week 16

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014." (portraits captured with Canon 6D)

AOI: With her favourite hairstyle, that expression on her face, one of the many that makes me laugh from the belly. Sitting in that tiny pram for Elefante, her baby best friend. She’s a born comedian.

TOI: chewing his fingers, his favourite sport

AOI and TOI: Last week, he was lying there chewing his fingers, big sister comes along takes his hand out of his mouth then says in the most adorable voice “Don’t eat your hand”. See her index scolding him, she’s such the big sister. He loves her so, I can tell.


Linking with Jodi

15 Apr 2014

Mr T.: 3 Months–a long update

little toi

Dear sweet little angel boy,

Three months ago today you graced us with your persona, presenting your tiny body which  sometimes we were so scared to break you. But your strength which many recognised strengthened our confidence as new parents of a second child.

Three months ago you latched for the very first time and the few drops of milk you took from me pacified my mind from the pain of my tender nipples. Nowadays you pull and latch onto these tough nipples.

At the time you didn’t smile, you didn’t show your personality but you observed these two strangers caring for you with naive smiles on their faces. I wondered what you were thinking. I counted each minute to see your smile, a sign that would tell me everything was alright.

Then two months ago you graced us with your beautiful heart melting smile. From that moment on I can perform like a clown to steal one smile, your sister and daddy do the same. I believe I can understand your coooees, heees, eeehs, uhhhhs . I answer you and you seem happy with my responses. Yesterday I told you to say something to daddy and you repeated something after I spoke. I then told you something else and you repeated, that went on for some short sentences. It was hilarious to witness. You’ve been definitely repeating my ‘hellos’ and ‘how are yous’ and 'ciaos' and 'I love yous'.

Mr T 56-70Mr T 77-91 days

Nowadays when you lie on your tummy you lifted yourself up with determination.

I've been leaving you alone with daddy for two hours or less to go to the gym. You normally sleep through those hours but other times you wake up. Like yesterday when I went to the AIPlayground meeting. Around 8 is your time to feed and get ready for bed. Every time I'm away from you I miss you so much, but daddy takes care you and your sister so well.

I haven't started bottle feeding you and if I work around your sleep time I might not need to do that because from next month I will start introducing few solid into your daily feeds.

I love photographing and while your granny was here she noticed that. I take photos of you and your sister on a daily basis but on Wednesdays I take your weekly photo updates. I see how much you're growing and I wish I could hold your tiny baby size a little longer – my little human doll. Even without hair, your alert bright eyes make you look wiser than 3 months.

week 9-10week 11-12

You're friendly with other people and smile at smiling faces. You would then turn to hide your smiling face in my arms – I guess you’re a little shy boy. We’ve been to so many places together. But then you also turn to me and lock eye contact with me.

You've been coming to my writer's group with me and you're angel, you sleep most of time. Last Tuesday we went to the library and daddy was carrying you around, you looked so sweet and little in his arms. Two weeks ago we went to get your vaccination done and on Monday you went to swimming pool for the first time. You enjoyed it because some smiled at some stages.

You know me so well. When I sing you look at me and stop crying. Also you like to hear your sister's voice and see her face. She's such a great sister to you, you kisses your cheeks, caress your head and rock you when you are upset. She also makes sure you're always covered and warm. These days you like to use your fingers to comfort yourself. That was a mark that you are developing eyes mouth coordination. However you still like mummy to comfort when you want to sleep, you cry when you notice we're doing other things than that doesn't involve holding you. I've started using the Ghanaian cloth to carry you around the house when I'm cooking or tidying up. You like the closeness so much you fall asleep often when you're there. You make crawling movements when I put you on the stomach. Today you tried to roll from your back to the stomach when you wanted latte but I had to get something quickly. You also attempt to lift yourself to sit, which baby does that at only three months. You love to watch the giraffe on your mobile.

You received your passport. We have officially become family of four with four [I have duo] citizenship.

toi passport

We’re waiting for the British passport and you and your sister will have a duo citizenship too. I remember when we went to take the passport pictures, it was so sweet to see you sitting on that high chair whilst daddy was holding you still. You were the most adorable baby. You didn’t cry. Instead you were staring at the camera with your model look. Lips little open and eyes wide open, to handsome boy! You have the most contagious smile, straight from the soul – everyone loves it.

Baby boy, I love your beautiful personality, your open smile and lovely deep brown eyes. Everyone sees how beautiful you are from inside out when they first meet you. You have a smile for everyone and I am glad you are such a jovial person. I hope you keep that sunshine about you. 

Though the precious delicate moments of our early days with you as a newborn are going away, we are more than delighted to have you, our joyous little boy gracing our waking days.

Mr T 3 months

You sure are our ray of light and we are happy at the sight of you, our most beloved son.

All of our LOVE,

Mummy, daddy and sister.

Q+A: On My Writing Journey

FAQHow is being a mom of two and an aspiring writer? by Mrs Pancakes


The guilt when I sit in front of my computer to write or when I leave the house to attend my writer’s group has doubled. I’m a bad mother each time I write when my children are sleeping or playing next to me. Writing and editing and motherhood seem not to mingle very well, but I think that other mothers do work and I’m not the only one to feel guilt to pursue my dreams so I push on. As mothers we always put our children first for this reason though this year I envisaged myself with my novel published I don’t mind if that doesn’t happen, because my priorities are my daughter and son need of me. That said I’m working hard and using all my power to get closer to that goal: being published.

Aside from your blog, what other writing endeavours are you currently working on? by Anonymous

Last year I completed my first young adult novel; since then I’ve been revising and revising and revising. It never seem to be ready but finally I feel like it’s at a good place and I want to share it with the world as soon as it’s possible. I’ve written a synopsis for it and after many re-write I will share it with you before the end of April.

Also, recently, a new novel has being playing on my mind and I’m working my way through it.

14 Apr 2014

Our Everyday Life: Spring In the Air

playgroundat the playground

Week 15 of 2014 made us feel lighter, spring was in the air and we did few things we haven’t done in ages. Like going to the playground after an afternoon in the library. Children giggled in their bright outfits and adult wore shorts and talked a little too loud while enjoying the sunshine. We spent more hours in our backyard and imagined our summer filled with more outdoor activities. We went to the swimming pool, I started hot yoga hoping to be fit by the summer.

Monday I woke up at 5:12am and little TOI was still sleeping, I went back to bed worried that he might cry any second. I fell asleep until 6:50am when I heard AOI calling my name. I told her to come into our room, after a cuddle I picked TOI up and fed him while AOI sat next to us and I read a book to her. That same day After breakfast we went to the swimming pool and while AOI swam, AMI worked in the waiting area and TOI slept in his car-seat.

Thursday after my husband heard on the news that there is a possible sighting of moose on the highway he decided we should make a trip to one of our main cities. Half way there he decided we should spend the night there. Also he decided to take a quick detour to one of his fieldwork stations and we got stuck in the mud on our way there.


Thank goodness we have two wonderful children whom cried the right amount and for the right purpose. For instance AOI cried a little because she wanted to go back home and TOI cried because he wanted to feed. We were also lucky because he managed to contact one of his students just in time because they were leaving to go home. Friday we went clothes shopping. For the first time AOI some items she would like to wear. I bought a new pair of jeans, a trousers and two tops. After that we went to the science museum, we had lunch there and then drove back home.

Saturday I went to my writer’s group with TOI. AMI stayed home with AOI and I came back to a new arranged living room. Sunday after church I went to the writer in residence’s house to rehearse the part of my novel I want to read to the public next month.

This week I concluded that sometimes it’s wonderful to step out from the everyday routine to enjoy life with all its adventures. Even if it’s just…

culture at the librarygoing to the library to capture the beauty of childhood culture…

at the libraryobserving your child in a place that you know she might spend days if she had the chance

father and soncapturing a baby safely curled on the most reassuring place he knows right now, the shoulder of a parent

enjoying the daystepping into the frame with all your imperfections

everyday lifesitting back and letting a child unplug her imagination

chilling outenjoying the vision of a child naturally performing a yoga pose

my childrensavouring the moment with your children and capturing it with self-timer

at the museumlooking at your child lost in a world of discovery

the hatbuying something like a floral hat on a whim because you think your child will like it just as much as you

sweet little toiposing for a minute to smile at the blessings when you look into your baby’s eyes.


linking with 10on10/ Stills: A Weekly Collection

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