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.

Celebrating at Chau

Kale and I are celebrating the 6-month anniversary of our blog so we wanted to go to a restaurant that represented who we are.  Kale and I are Asian and consider ourselves to be modern and have good taste, so I thought Chau (in Vancouver) would be the perfect place to go to.  Having been there before, I knew Kale would like it.  I had just returned from sunny, though sub-zero, Ottawa and woke up to a gloomy dreary rain-whipped day in Vancouver, aiyah!  But the blue sky poked through the angry clouds on our way to Chau and we felt the heavens smiling down upon with us.

Kake2kale @ Chau 1

Chau is a hip and contemporary, vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant that serves fresh, flavourful and satisfying dishes.   Vegan and gluten free options are also available.  We started off with taro chips served with a fragrant tofu dip.  Then we had my favourite dish, the Golden Temple (top picture below).   It is a light turmeric curry broth with tofu, broccoli, yam, lotus root, taro, kale, and herbs. I enjoy it best with quinoa and a side of free range eggs.  We also ordered the Moonlit Midnight Swim (right-hand image, below superfoods list), which is a wild rice blend with tofu, kale, mushrooms, lotus root, a spiced peanut mushroom sauce, and topped with roasted peanuts and seeds.  These dishes are filled to the brim with superfoods – kale, yam, broccoli, herbs, egg, quinoa, and turmeric broth.

Kake2kale @ Chau 2

Here are some of the superfoods we had:

Kale:  Has over 45 different flavonoids which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as loads of calcium.
Quinoa:  Contains quercetin which is a natural anti-histamine (helps with allergies), and quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
Turmeric:  Anti-inflammatory and has anti-cancer properties.
Taro:  It has a low glycemic level, which means, it won’t spike your blood sugar, high in fiber, high in B vitamins and minerals.

Kake2kale @ Chau 3

We toasted our achievement with the Coconut Shake, a creamy coconutty, refreshing  counterpoint to the savoury food.  The meal felt like we’d been whisked away to a tropical island, which was perfect since yesterday I was in Ottawa with my face frozen numb.  Check out Chau at, particularly their menu.

Kake2kale @ Chau 4

As I reflect upon the last six months since starting our blog, my first thought is how my friendship with Kale is being enriched, it is going better than I could’ve expected.  We seem to have the perfect partnership.  First, while I enjoy writing, Kale prefers  taking photographs (I’ve tried, but I am definitely not talented with a camera).   Second, it’s fun to share my healthful, tasty recipes and use ingredients that are foreign in my kitchen.  Thirdly, I have a greater appreciation for photography and Kathy’s great “eye” for getting the right angle.  Lastly, I am intimidated by social media, but Kale embraces technology.  I look forward to another six months of more superfoods adventures!

Eat well!  Live great! {Kake}

By design, the past year was meant to be a time of change, transition and discovery.  I had no idea that I would be involved in a blog, let alone working on it with my sister-in-law; but our collaboration has turned out to be one of the best experiences of 2014!  I love that our skills and interests are complementary, allowing our creative process to flow naturally.   We are also having fun with it, together, and I couldn’t imagine a better partnership. And,  even though we’ve been friends since the age of eight, we’re still learning new things about each other.  I continue to be impressed with Kake’s nutritional knowledge, culinary and writing abilities.  Just as important, Kake2kale has allowed me to do what I love – photography, food and travel!

I believe we are staying true to our mantra – to share our adventures searching for tasty and healthy superfoods, through our recipes, travels, photography, and stories.  We’re excited about the months and years ahead for the blog, particularly with new ideas and more interviews with people making a difference in wellness and superfoods.  We thank you for enjoying and following Kake2kale!

Travel Far, Explore More! {Kale}