About Me

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About me

I am a work-at-home mom to my daughter and two sons, and wife to Tobin who is my amazing and supportive husband.  We live in the suburbs in Calgary, Canada, but my dream is to one day move out to a tiny little place in the country…that’s where my heart really is.

And in my spare time (ha!) I am also the editor, director, creator, chief, main cook and home decorator here at ‘A Pretty Life’!  Back in October 2011, I created this site as a way to share my love of a simple home life through uncomplicated home tips and fresh & easy recipes.  Since that time it has grown into something I am quite proud of and am so happy to be able to share with you. And it is my hope that by spending some time with me you are inspired to add some simplicity and deliciousness into your home and life!


Home Life Made Simple

That’s my motto. I hope you have a chance to browse around and find some inspiration!

If you are interested in working with me, you can find out more about that here, or request a copy of my media kit by sending me an email at:


Don’t forget to follow along on my blog adventures!



  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    Hi Jo! Just sitting here at work thumbing through chatelaine on my break and I saw your pretty picture!
    Miss you dear friend!?

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    you have a post for wheat berry cereal. i loved it as a kid but don’t know what to buy. i remember the cereal my mom made looking just like your post. can you tell me where to buy it & what brand, type wheat berry you use;, i.e. arrowhead mills (brand my mom used to buy), hard red winter wheat, soft white wheat, cracked wheat, hard red spring wheat….etc.? i looked on arrowhead mills website but didn’t see it offered for sale there & lots of other AM products offered under the store finder but nothing for the wheat berries. there seem to be many different types & i’m unsure which to buy. there is not a whole foods near me which seems to be the only bulk store listed. my mom used to put the wheat berries in a thermos & simply pour boiling water over them & let them set overnight. she never cooked hers & simply heated the cereal the next morning for breakfast. i loved it.

    • Reply
      July 15, 2016 at 9:21 PM

      Hi Wilma! Apologies for the late response to your comment…I didn’t see it until now! For my wheatberry cereal I usually buy the wheat at Bulk Barn and it’s the winter wheat variety. I love it so much too! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Hi Jo Anna… According me you always give amazing recipes, its not only for canadian user, but there are many people in the world need know your site. Thank you

    • Reply
      November 22, 2017 at 5:39 PM

      I’m really happy you enjoy my site! I have many visitors from around the world, and it makes me feel very lucky! 🙂

  • Reply
    Paula Bildson
    January 21, 2018 at 2:21 PM

    Hello Jo-Anna, I’m making your cabbage roll soup for dinner tonight. The house smells amazing and I’m sure the soup will be delicious. I think the consomme will give it a richness that I have not seen in many other recipes. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Paula (former Calgarian who moved back to Muskoka ON to be closer to family – I miss the mountains and the Chinooks 🙂

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      January 22, 2018 at 10:18 AM

      Hi Paula! I hope you enjoy this soup…it’s such a favourite of mine! And how nice to see a Calgarian (former one, but still Calgarian!)!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Hello from Bismarck, ND, USA!

    What kind of dog do you have? We have an Airedale Terrier and looking for a friend.

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      January 27, 2018 at 5:25 PM

      Hi Emily! Ours is a Labradoodle…she’s the best family dog. Great with kids, doesn’t shed…we just love her!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    Hi from Salt Lake City, Ut. USA! Thanks for the chicken enchilada casserole recipe- going to make it tonight! I just found your blog and love your pics and philosophy. I wish we had whatever a “Chapters” store is after seeing your pillows! I’ll be keeping an eye out for your basement photos. Great job!!

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      February 8, 2018 at 1:50 PM

      Hi Amy! Thank you so much for your kind comment! I’m so happy you found my blog too! xo

  • Reply
    Mrs. Kyle Cannon
    July 23, 2018 at 5:14 AM


    From Connecticut and want to make your spaghetti sauce. In the direction for the contents i’m unsure of how much tomato paste, sauce & diced tomato to purchase (can size and amount).


    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      July 24, 2018 at 2:29 PM

      Hi Mrs. Cannon!

      Here are the amounts:
      1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce (plain (no spices))
      1 -“ 19 oz can diced tomatoes (plain (no spices))
      1 -€“ 5.5 oz can tomato paste

      Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Sherry Smith
    November 20, 2018 at 7:16 PM

    Hello, I am reading your recipe for peanut butter cheesecake and I am very excited to give it a whirl! I have a question, though. Do you remove the cream filling from the Oreo cookies?

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      November 20, 2018 at 10:52 PM

      Hi Sherry! No, I leave the cream filling in the Oreos. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2019 at 10:58 PM

    Hi Jo-anna, from another Calgarian foodie living in the ‘burbs. We’re about as far south as you can get and not be in De Winton. Lol!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2019 at 8:01 PM

    I saw your recipe for homemade blueberry jam. I want to make enough for 20 people or so for baby shower gifts. How can I double this recipe? Can I make a week before and leave at room temperature? Any hints would be very helpful as I have never done anything like this before.
    thank you

  • Reply
    March 2, 2019 at 5:11 AM

    Hi Jo Anna,
    May I know on your recipe eggless waffles, i understand you did link to the place’s where you have bought the waffle maker, but it’s quite different shape and mould compare with your pictures shown. I really hope that I can get exactly the same size, shape and look as your pictures(it’s really nice and beautiful). Do you mind to share with me please? Thanks.

  • Reply
    Yvonne Williams
    March 6, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Hello Jo-anna,
    I can across your site while researching recipes for candy cane spread. What a beautiful website you have. I love the countryside also, I live in a suburb of Toronto.
    I was wondering how did you get started with your site and what were the challenges you faced.
    I am a knitter and crocheter and have been thinking of creating a website for awhile.
    Would you mind sharing how you started and any tips on getting a new site going ?
    Thank you,

  • Reply
    September 19, 2021 at 4:18 PM

    Just found your blog and its just beautiful! I’ll be visiting often. Nice to find a blog right here in Canada. I live on the East coast.

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