About Me

Stay in touch!  Have new posts of fresh & easy recipes and simple home decor tips & ideas delivered right to your inbox!  Click here to subscribe by e-mail.

Get in touch by e-mail at:


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 Sarah 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 wilma 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 Jo-Anna@APrettyLife 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 Francisca 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 Jo-Anna@APrettyLife 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 Courtney January 23, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Hi JoAnna!
    I attempted to bake the Cheddar, Zucchini & Chive Buttermilk quickbread … and failed miserably lol! I think I know what happened… I think the zucchini was too moist (and I may have used a little more than I was supposed to). I baked it for an hour and it baked on top and bottom beautifully- centre was still raw batter. I was wondering if you had any other tips or tricks for this recipe because it smelled SO good… I want to nail it! I will squeeze out moisture from zucchini- but I was wondering if lining my non-stick loaf pan with parchment was necessary? Could that affect anything?
    Also I wanted to mention that when I added my buttermilk/egg/melted butter mixture to my dry mixture it was very sticky. Is it supposed to be sticky?
    Any help or tips would be awesome! Thanks!!

  • Reply Emily 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 Amy 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!

    Leave a Reply