Inspire by Mary Chernoff

“By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others” – Satsuiki Shibuya

An old friend once told me that she started her day by giving thanks for different things each day. I loved this idea and have been doing the same for years. On many days, I am thankful for my amazing friendships. These great friends inspire or encourage me in many different ways; but when it comes to creativity, it’s my dear friend, Mary Chernoff, who stands out far above the crowd! Her creative spirit and love for the arts is unmatched.

On top of being a successful interior designer, gifted artist, and creator of the popular blog – The Art Part of My Heart, Mary recently published her first book – Inspire. I had the honour of working on this book and was hired as the primary photographer over the past 3-4 years.  It now gives me great joy to see this finished work in select stores and in the homes of so many people.  I’m grateful for this incredible experience of working on Mary’s inspiring book!

Inspire, a book from The Art Part of My Heart

Inspire is a book about how to live an artful life! It is rich with content on inspiring authentic ways to tap into your creative side and connect with the beauty of your daily surroundings. Mary’s book offers something for everyone – design tips, soulful stories, yummy recipes, kid-friendly crafts, stunning images and insightful input on gifting, cooking, gardening, entertaining, styling, and much more.

By doing and sharing what she loves, Mary – like the quote above – is encouraging others to find their creative selves. I’m very proud of her accomplishment and am thrilled to see hundreds of my photographs come to life in her beautiful book, which I hope you’ll consider purchasing for your own creative enjoyment and journey. Be prepared to be inspired!

“True to its title, Inspire shares simple and heartfelt ways to incorporate art and creativity into your daily life. Mary shows us how to be open to the possibilities, to live authentically, and to open your heart and imagination to the joys of living a creative life.”
– Debra Norton, Interior and Craft Stylist,
Toronto Star “Lifestyles” Contributor

“Inspire is a true love story – an expression of Mary’s passions. The book is delightful, and it’s packed with truly inspiring ideas.”
– John Bishop, Restauranteur, Author

To discover more about the book, to look inside or to order – go to The Art Part of My Heart. Below are some examples of the photographs that I captured for Inspire.

Right or Left

Kake2Kale Logo

New Direction, New Adventure

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” – George Bernard Shaw

When life gives you a fork in the road, do you go right of left? Neither way is wrong, because a crossroad is a wonderful invitation for a new direction, new adventure.

When I started Kake2Kale in 2014, I was on a self-created sabbatical from my professional work.  I wanted time to explore more creative opportunities and this food blog was part of a journey that had no destination.

Kake2Kale began as a project shared with my sister-in-law, centered on our common interest around healthy eating and nutrition-rich food; hence, the blog’s initial focus on adventures with superfoods and their recipes.  She was Kake and I was Kale.  The first year of the blog was a good learning experience and it only increased my appetite for food blogging and photography. It turned out that Kake2Kale played a key role in my transition to other food blogging and food photography opportunities – one part passion project and one part new profession.  After a while, Kake and Kale got too busy with other things, followed different paths, and the blog took an extended vacation.

Fast forward to this moment, two years later, it’s time for the blog to finally turn a creative corner.  In this case, right or left means refreshing or closing this blog. I’m excited to tell you that I am breathing new life into Kake2Kale. The destination is still unknown; however, what I’ve found to be true is that wonderful things happen when you chase your passion.

I continue to find great creative joy as a foodie, photographer, traveller and blogger! So, it’s only natural that Kake2Kale is an extension of what I love to do most – discovering and sharing amazing food and travel experiences through beautiful photography and inspiring blog posts.

To kick off Kake2Kale’s new direction and new adventure, it gives me great pleasure to finally introduce the blog’s new logo.  It’s the delightful creation of my talented friend and designer extraordinaire – Morgan Hueston. I hope you’ll agree that it captures the spirit of a renewed Kake2Kale, and I welcome you to join me on my culinary adventures and travels.

Chew Your Smoothie

Drink your food and chew your drink. What does this mean? An important part of digestion happens in your mouth where initial enzymes are released to break down carbohydrates. So, it is vitally important that with each bite and sip, we take time to chew and savour what is in our mouth before swallowing. If you are a devotee of this practice, then ideally, you should be chewing each bite 40 times. That bite of food becomes liquid at the end. You may think you don’t have time (well, who does?), but this is really the proper way to make your food count. On most occasions, I’m the last to finish my plate when dining out with friends. In this age of fast food and dining, I’m considered a super slow eater but I don’t mind as quality takes time!

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie by Continue reading

Sweet on Hummus

How many different ways are there to make hummus?  Apparently lots, as my friend Donna and I discovered on a trip to the Middle East a few years ago.  Our trip lasted 12 days and took us from Jordan through to Egypt. We had hummus every day.  It was served in both fancy and fast food restaurants and we loved every single variation of it.

Hummus with dates from Kake2Kale Continue reading

Me So Happy Beef Roll

How do you get your ‘happy’ on?  For me it is quite simple, sharing a meal with my family.  My Dad was born in Shanghai so Northern Chinese food is what our family gravitates towards, much to the chagrin of my husband and my sister-in-law (not Kale) who are not used to the carb heavy foods that are characteristic of that part of China.  The first time my husband joined us for Shanghai food, he joked that it would take him a week to digest all the noodles and breads that made up most of the meal.

What can I say, I love carbs, and so do my family.  One of the dishes that we always order, and is snapped up as soon as it arrives at the table, is the beef roll.  Even my husband and sister-in-law love it too, which says a lot about how good it is!  It is a fairly basic dish, but it is the flatbread that makes it great and holds it together, literally.

Miso Beef Sandwich Kake2Kale 1

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Merci, Beaucoup!

About 11 years ago a book came out that got everybody talking – “French Women Don’t Get Fat”.  The author, Mireille Guiliano, was on every talk show evangelizing the virtues of eating the French way.  It is a conundrum as France flows with Camembert, croissants, rich sauces, and steak frites.  I just have to add that it is NOT fair that French women get to eat great food, stay slim and are some of the most stylish ladies in the world.  The book became a # 1 New York Times best seller, and in a nutshell it shares the secret of French women – that is, they don’t eat more than three bites of anything and they savour each of those bites.Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe visit - Kake2Kale Continue reading

Iced Teas to Please!

I have many guilty pleasures, but none more so than sitting on the deck with Kale, whiling away the time with a stack of magazines soaking up the warmth of the sun on our faces.  Since we live in Raincouver, sunshine is always welcome, as is a delicious iced tea to wet our whistles and to stay hydrated.  In fact I decided to make two different teas with you today: Pineapple Mojito Iced Iea and Hibiscus Ginger Iced Tea.

Ice Tea by

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The Art of Superfoods

One of my favourite contemporary artist is Gathie Falk, her art pieces always make me happy.  I particularly like a painting she did of apples on a canvas, the apples are on a black background and they look like they’re suspended in outer space.  The apples are sliced and whole.  This painting allows me see this banal fruit with new eyes, as does many works of art that feature food!

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From the Culinary Trail: On Tofino Time

Summer in British Columbia is a wondrous time. “Let’s do a staycation and rediscover our favourite spots”, I said to my spouse, after reconsidering several overseas destinations. Unanimously, we settled on Tofino to kick off our summer of local travel.

The lure of Tofino is centered on the Pacific Rim National Park and its spectacularly long, untamed beaches with wild surf. But, we did not go there. Others are drawn to Clayoquot Sound and the Tofino Inlet for whale watching, canoeing and kayaking excursions. But, we did not do these. Nor did we hike in the rainforest, go bear viewing or take surf lessons. “What are you planning to do on your stay”, says a perky young girl at the reception desk when we checked in at our lodge. I tell her that we had no big check list but want to enjoy the slow pace, serene views and local food with a few beach strolls thrown in. She laughs, “That’s the secret to Tofino, I think.”

On Tofino Time

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For the Love of Tennis!

My teen idol wore shorts and a headband. No, it was not Richard Simmons but a blond Swedish god. A tennis god, Bjorn Borg. Everything about him appealed to my shy, self-conscious teenage self; his lean physique, his flowing blond locks, those piercing blue eyes, his deadly two-handed backhand and his graceful moves on the court. Because of him I took up tennis and found I was pretty good at it, not like soccer (I hate running, especially into people) or volleyball (not good for pianists as I once sprained a finger when the ball hit my hand at a bad angle and I couldn’t play piano for two weeks).

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins by

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