Monday, November 09, 2009

Red Lentil Soup

Since the end of July when I was first diagnosed with Candida I have tried sooo many new recipes. Some have been a success, others not-so-much.

I bought some red lentils several weeks ago after seeing several red lentil soup recipes online.

I dashed home from work and gathered the ingredients.

I friend the onions, garlic and cumin while the lentils cooked.

I cooked the soup for about half and hour.

And then ta-da. Homemade red lentil soup.

I didn't love it. It was okay I guess. Perhaps an acquired taste? I know I blew it with the cumin. I don't really like cumin and as I was adding it to the onions I knew I was making a mistake.

I can't find the link to the recipe I used. When I searched "red lentil soup" most of the recipes were very similar, so I don't think it really matters which one you follow. If you make it, I hope you have better luck than me!

I'd love to hear what your favourite soup recipe is! I really really need ideas.

Feelin' good!

Yesterday Joe and I did a photo shoot with some friends of ours who wanted photos to use as Christmas presents.

When we were done I had this incredible desire for Joe to take some photos of me for my blog. I have posted the odd photo here and there of myself in the past but I have NEVER felt comfortable about doing that.

Enough's enough. I'm on a new path and health and nutrition are a big big part of that. A wonderful side-effect of my new diet is weight loss. Not alot and not fast, but the extra weight is coming off as I start to nourish my body.

Now that I'm about to publish this post I'm still not entirely comfortable putting my chubbiness out there for all the world to see. Oh well, I think it's all part of my healing.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Yesterday I had a yummy salad for lunch. It was a base of spring mix greens, some leftover cooked salmon and some crunchy roasted chick peas. I topped it off with a bit of taziki. It was deeeeelish.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


OMG, I never ever ever expected to abandon my poor little blog for months!!!

Where I have I been? To sum it up in one word...healing.

Back in June I had what I thought was a severe allergic reaction to something. I broke out in strange hives that were very very itchy and I could not find any relief at all. After many many visits to my family doctor who didn't have a clue what it was and a couple of visits to the dermatologist who's solution to my issue was to take Reactine every morning for the rest of my life, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands.

The hives lasted for weeks. Almost a month in fact.

Out of sheer desperation, I opened the phone book one day and started calling homeopathic doctors in my area. I lucked out. The first place I called was able to fit me in in two days. I knew absolutely nothing about the doctor I was about to visit. I had no idea if she could help. All I knew was that it couldn't hurt. I didn't feel like I could be in any worse shape than I already was.

When I first met Lovely Lily (her name is Lily, I added the "Lovely" part) I was very scared. I had no idea what I was in for. On my first visit she asked me a zillion questions. She looked at my tongue, my eyes, my feet and I forget where else. She seemed to have a diagnosis very quickly. Systemic Candida. She did a bit of accupuncture and I left her office with a bag full of natural remedies. And a lot of questions.

I came home and spent hours and hours and hours researching Candida online. It made perfect sense to me. I knew that was my problem and now I had to fix it.

Candida is a yeast-like fungal organism found in small amounts in the normal human intestinal tract. Normally kept in check by the body's own helpful bacteria, C. albicans can increase in numbers when this balance is disturbed to cause candidiasis of the intestinal tract, or yeast infections of other parts of the body.

In my case I think the Candida was triggered by years and years of taking antibiotics combined with a poor diet.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I have learned in the past few months about Candida, diet and nutrition. Having said that, I still have so much to learn.

The anti-candida diet is essentially a sugar-free, yeast-free, caffeine-free, wheat-free, diary-free AND sugar-free diet. What's left your thinking??? Not a whole heck of a lot, so I thought at first. But as time goes on, I discover more and more things I can eat.

I have to say. Cutting out sugar was probably the very best thing I have ever done for myself from a health point of view. I find when I'm not eating sugar (in any shape or form), I'm simply not hungry.

I no longer drink coffee or diet coke. And honestly, it was not hard to give up. I was a die-hard coffee drinker. I set my machine to brew just before I woke up in the morning so that I could crawl out of bed and have a fresh cup of coffee.

Now in the mornings I have a green smoothie. Yup. A smoothie made with spinach!

That was yesterday's smoothie. It had spinach, frozen coconut milk ice cubes, frozen pineapple, stevia, coconut oil, a spoonful of coconut flour and almond milk. Uh, a far cry from coffee with hazelnut creamer I tell ya!

This morning I roasted some chick peas for munching on and for salads.

I adapted this recipe a little bit.

Anyways...I was inspired to blog today because I've fallen off the wagon a little bit. It took a couple of months to get the Candida under control. I still have a very long way to go until I'm "better". But I've been cheating lately and eating things I shouldn't be. I really need to get my head back into the space that it was in the summer and continue to beat the Candida monster.

I'm hoping that by using my blog and sharing my story I'll continue to be motivated to stick with it and get better.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ghost photos

Last night, Joe and I went out for dessert with our friends Bob and Mary. We filled our faces with cheesecake and coffee and then we headed to a local cemetery for a little photo shoot.

But look what we got! A bunch of creepy ghost photos!

Bob and Mary's ghost kissing...

Mary with a weird looking ghost behind her...

Joe appears to be kissing a ghost in this one...

Here's one of Mary standing beside a monument, look at those ghosts looking out from behind it!

And lastly, look at the strange apparition in this one...

How did we do it? Joe figured out how to take these photos using a long exposure and very small aperture on the camera. The trick is to use a small aperture and around a 10 second exposure. Once he hit the shutter release, he would count to 3 or 4 and then the ghost in the image would leave the frame, allowing for the background to be exposed in the shot.

For example, in the kissing photos, he would push the shutter release, count out loud to 4 and then the ghost would run out of the frame and the solid person would stay perfectly still for the rest of the shot.

Another trick is to do it either at dawn (ya right) or dusk when there's not too much natural light available. With the long exposure, it's very easy to over-expose the shot. It was almost dark when we took these photos.

There wasn't much post-processing involved. I think he just changed the images to black and white (or sepia in some cases) and cropped them.

You could certainly achieve the same effect in Photoshop, but it was much more fun (and easier) to do it with the camera.

I don't think you need a DSLR to do this. As long as you can adjust the length of the exposure and your aperture on a point and shoot, although it may take some fiddling, I'm sure you could do it.

What fun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I ♥ thrifting

The past few days have quite successful in the thrifting department. I've been to Value Village more than once and my neighbour and I went to some great garage sales on Saturday morning.

I don't have photos of everything yet, but here are some of my deals.

Some of my garage sale scores include an older kitchen timer (25 cents), some pillowcases (25 cents) and some great divided plates (part of a bundle of stuff that I got so maybe 25 cents for the lot).

Now, when Joe saw the plates he said "What on earth are THOSE for??", he's not as convinced that they are cool as I am.

I have great plans to paint my kitchen this summer. I want to paint the cupboards white and use red as an accent colour. The whole kitchen needs to be gutted and re-done but I've decided to play up the fact that it's a 50's or 60's kitchen until we can afford to re-do it. I thought these cannisters from Value Village were perfect ($1.99 for the set).

I got so me great books (for me and for school) at the sales too. Some brand new bubble bath, a jug and a bunch of stuff for my backyard which I'll photograph soon. I've spent less than $20.00 and I certainly had a trunk full of goodies!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Okay, so did I mention my knee is a mess? I think not. Here's the scoop. Three weeks ago I started walking every morning for about half an hour. I was doing 2.5 km a day. Not a speedy walker, but I wasn't doddling. Then, last Sunday I woke up with a VERY sore knee. It did not seem to be getting better and on Thursday (when I couldn't even walk anymore), Joe took me to the hospital for an x-ray.

Nothing appeared on the x-ray and the doctor said it was "muscular" (whatever that means). I'm taking ibuprofen and tylenol (together said the doctor) and it's not getting worse, but it doesn't really seem to be improving (much). The thing is, now it doesn't really seem to be my knee anymore that's making me limp. It feels like my calf muscle is VERY tight and sore.

This must get better soon.

Anyways, I sorted through yesterday's fabric jackpot and I've kept about half the fabric and have bagged the rest up for my Mother.

Then, this morning, I decided I HAD to make an apron and dug up my copy of Bend-the rules and away I went.

Now. Did I dig into my bag of fabric from yesterday? Nope. I headed straight to the bags that I'd set aside for my Mother and came up with this:

It's cute. I like it. I am going to use it. However, like everything else I sew for the first time, there are mistakes. I've never done gathers before and I sewed the waistband backwards and was too lazy to fix it. The waist isn't pretty, but I think the apron is.

Maybe I'll go dig through my Mother's bags (he he he) and see what other fabric I can turn into aprons.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Seventy dollars

Oh my. I just got back from a garage sale of sorts. I saw the ad for "quilting and yarn sale" online early this morning and new I had to go.

Seventy dollars later, this is what I got, and trust me, the crappy photos do not do the haul justice!

This is one of the bundles ($10.00 each, I might add!)

Fat quarters were $.25 each. Why didn't I buy them all?

I got NINE pillowforms, a bag of buttons and a stack of quilting magazines as well.

Good grief. Time to go sort.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Patchwork bag

On the heels of my patchwork pillow, I decided to make a patchwork bag based on this great tutorial.

I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but it's cute!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Believe it or not, I sewed!!!!

I KNOW it's been forever since I've done ANYTHING interesting (besides getting married). This morning Joe trotted off with his buddy to go geocaching and I hit my sewing room early.

I'm not even really sure what possessed me to make a pillow, but I did.

I love it!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm Married!

This post is for my Mother, Dianne, and my dear friend Lera who have both NAGGED ME TO DEATH TO UPDATE MY STALE BLOG.

Joe and I were married on March 16th at 5:00 pm at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.

We weren't alone. My Mother and two of her friends flew down for the big event, two of my Mom's friends who were vacationing in Arizona came (Hi Dianne!), Joe's sister, her friend AND my friend and her boyfriend came. Eleven of us all together.

Let me say this. We were ALL so impressed with the staff at the Chapel. They were professional and made us feel like we were the most important wedding they ever had. And Elvis??? Good grief!! He was absolutely INCREDIBLE! So incredible, that I think I was crushing on him.

We went to the Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam while we were there. We ate more food than I've ever eaten in my life and spent more than our fair share of money in the casinos. We are already planning a return trip.

I have done NOTHING on the crafty front. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. In fact, I'm still working on processing hundreds and hundreds of vacation and wedding photos. I am having so much fun with Photoshop.

MAYBE I'll have something crafty to show soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And we're off!

My poor sad and neglected blog. The last couple of months have been spent trying to get healthy and getting ready for our Vegas wedding.

We leave our house at 3:00am tomorrow for the airport.

When Joe and I decided to get married in Vegas, we totally expected it to be a private affair. That's not the case though. My Mother and her friends are coming, my girlfriend and her boyfriend AND Joe's sister and a friend are coming. There's 11 of us so far and I wouldn't be surprised if a few more surprise us at the chapel.

The only thing that I'm NOT looking forward to is boarding our dogs. We've never been away from them even for a night and it will break my heart tonight to leave them at the kennel. We have been assured that it's a wonderful place and there is a vet technician who works there full time so they will be very well cared for, but still, they are my babies!!!

I'm at work today. Joe's been off since last Thursday. I'm totally going to be watching the clock today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Thank you so much Bonnie for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! I'm extremely flattered. Extremely.

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers and link to them on your blog.
4. Then leave a message on their blog notifying them you have nominated them for this award.

Here's the part I HATE! Selecting ONLY seven bloggers for this award! Here goes nothing.

1. Lera is the number one blogger in my book!
2. Cici .
3. Mary .
4. Felicia has a beautiful blog and I love all her little creatures!
5. Lisa .
6. Katie.
7. Jen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My happy place

I haven't been blogging much lately because honestly, I've barely set foot in my sewing room. Over the holidays I was too sick to sew and it seems that lately there's always something else on the go that prevents me from sewing.

The past couple of weekends I've sent Joe out geocaching with friends and I've actually had a little time to sew and listen to some music (yes Lera, MUSIC! on my iPod!).

Today when I walked into the room I honestly felt a rush of happiness. I grabbed my camera and started snapping even though the light was terrible.

Here are a few of my buttons. Buttons make me happy. I have buttons in jars, buttons in little drawers. Buttons everywhere. Oh, how I love buttons.

My sewing machine. I love it. Joe bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago and I think it's honestly the best Christmas present I've ever had.

This is a little corner of my sewing table. It's covered in junk, but there's just enough space to cut out my beloved Simplicity 3835 pattern on it. That's all the room I need for now.

Here's my thread organizer. I need more thread. Really I do. I'm running low on basic colours and I think I need to get more soon.

And here's a crappy photo of my 4 (yes 4) most recent Simplicity 3835 tops. I've been sewing them to take with me to Vegas in March. I am also feeling good about using up my stash!

I cut out two more tops today but I've run out of steam. It's time to plunk myself in front of the computer/TV for the night and perhaps start a fire (in the fireplace). Joe will be home shortly and there's a roast in the oven. Today was a fun day!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here we go again

Of course I have it in my mind that I need a new wardrobe of Simplicity 3835's to take with me to Vegas in March. Honestly, I have no idea what the weather is even like in Vegas in March (Mary?).

Not only do I need new 3835's but I need button accessories to go with each of them.

Here is my first completed 3835 of 2009 along with my new pink button pendant and matching button bracelet.

There's more like this in the planning stages. Trust me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

dum dum da dum

Happy New Year! Boy have I neglected this poor old blog, but I've had good reason.

Does this help?

Joe and I are getting married in March. That's right. Joe and I are not yet married. We've lived together for years and already refer to each other as husband and wife, but we aren't married. Yet.

So, in March we're headed to Vegas to the Graceland Wedding Chapel to get married. It's all terribly exciting.

(That's a very close-up photo of my wedding dress.)