Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cozy Cowl

Ages ago, and I do mean ages ago, I started to knit this simple cowl. I think I was bored with it so I set it aside.

Well, last night I picked it up again and finished it. I'm pretty sure I was inspired by the freekin' freezing weather we've had for the last few days.

I followed Lera's wonderful advice and cast it off using the method described in this Youtube video.

Here's my first attempt to photograph it (it made me giggle):

And here it is (after taking about 20 photos in the mirror):

Please excuse the crazy-lady hair and the fact I have on no make-up.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend sew-a-thon

I'm fortunate enough to live extremely close to The Book Depot's retail store . I went there last week
to shop for a little inspiration and came home with some super-great finds.

I've flipped through Sewing in No time which left me feeling especially inspired!

So much so, that I dusted off my sewing machine and had myself a little sewing marathon this weekend!

I felt very close to my mom when I was sewing. Truth be told, I felt very much like my mom when I was sewing. She loved to sew and was extremely good at it. I've yet to go through her sewing supplies and pick out what I want to keep. Mostly because I couldn't face it. But now I'm very excited to get to my sister's house and sort through her supplies and fabric.

The sewing I did this weekend will ultimately be Christmas gifts. I think I'm safe to post here what I was working on, perhaps I'll take some photos later this week.

It felt SO good to sew again!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It's NOT a stripper pole!

On the weekend I put up a Christmas tree. This is the first tree that Joe and I have ever had together. When we moved in together, 8 years ago, we had 3 cats and 2 dogs. It was not a Christmas-tree-friendly house. Now we're down to one dog and I decided to put up a tree.

So, of course, I was all proud of the tree and when our friend stopped by I dragged her into the house to oogle it. She burst into laughter and said it looked like a stripper pole. She has no taste.

I used the fabric garland I made a couple of years ago. I like it. It's all shabby-chic-ish to me.

My dog was not the least bit interested in the fact I was taking photos.

In other news. I broke my blog the other night. It's been soooo long since I've touched it that I completely forgot how to change the banner. Then Blogger sucked me in to "upgrading my template". Huh??? So things look a little different around here. That's likely not a bad thing. Now I just have to figure this out.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Dipping my toe in the water

I'm still here.

Let's just say, I'll be very very happy to see the end of 2010.

A year ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. My world was shattered. My mother is the greatest person I ever knew. Very very funny. Such a strong woman. She was my hero.

She fought the fight until August 9th, 2010. The saddest day of my life.

When my mother got sick any sparks of creativity I had were extinguished.

I packed up my sewing machine and supplies (not an easy task!) and turned my sewing room into a reading room.

Last week I felt like knitting, so I pulled out a pair of socks I've been knitting for quite a while now. They are not done yet, but I can't tell you how good it feels to just sit and knit.

Then, I decided that I miss my sewing machine. So I dragged that out and although I don't have a place for it anymore, I intend to make room for it in my "reading" room.

I miss blogging. Blogging was such a big part of my life for so very long. I would post something and within hours my mother would call with her comments. We'd laugh, she'd e-mail links to my entries to her friends so she could brag about what I'm doing. *sigh* I miss that.

So, I'm dipping my toe in the water.

I'm not sure what the future holds. All I know is that I want to knit. I want to sew. I want to make soap. I want to make note cards. I want to blog. I want to read blogs. I haven't wanted to do any of these things in a VERY long time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sony ebook store stinks!

On Friday, February 5th I purchased a copy of "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan from the Sony ebook store.

I immediately started to read it and immediately noticed TYPOS! Dis tracting typoslike these.

I jumped online to the Sony online chat and even though I clearly stated my problem at the very beginning of the chat, one hour in the support person tells me that they aren't able to help me, that I have to phone Sony!

One hour in!

So I called the Sony Book Store help line and explained the problem withthe typ os again. I was told that the issue would be fixed in a couple of days and that I'll get an e-mail notification when the corrections have been made.

On that same day I sent a carefully worded e-mail to Sony ( explaining my disappointment with a) their online chat customer service and b) the quality of the ebook I purchased.

No response.

So on Monday I re-sent the e-mail.

No response.

I called the Sony reader store again and was told it could be WEEKS before the typos arecorrected. What??? I want to read the book NOW and it's not readable!

On Monday I was given a credit for my purchase (why didn't they do that on Friday???).

But I was still annoyed that a) the book still had typos and I can't read it and b) that I didn't get a response to my e-mail.

So....on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday AND Monday AND Tuesday following the dreaded e-book purchase I RE-SENT the same e-mail to Sony.

Guess what??? NO REPLY!

So I e-mailed Penguin (the publisher). First the Canadian office. NO REPLY and then the American office. At least the American Penguin people are nice enough to send me a computer generated "thanks for you e-mail, but we are flooded with e-mails and may not reply to you" e-mail.

So, two weeks later the Sony store is still selling the same version of the book, full oftypos and I still haven't had a reply to my e-mail.

So what am I going to do??? Boycott Sony of course.

I've discovered Kobo Books which is affiliated with Chapters Canada. They sell ebooks. They appear to have a fairly good selection and the books are CHEAPER than the Sony Reader Store! Food Rules is $9.9o at the Sony store and only $5.69 at Kobo!

So take that Sony! I'm divorcing you!

Now, having said that....I do love my Sony Reader. I mean LOVE it. I'm only divorcing the Sony Store, not my Sony Reader.

Since I'm a high school librarian I've shared this story with other staff who own Readers and when we have our regional library meeting we usually end up discussing different reading devices. I can't wait to share my story!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Amazing Grass IS Amazing!

I was fortunate enough to have some free samples of Amazing Grass sent to me to review and I can't begin to tell you how excited about this product I am!

From their website:

Amazing Grass Organic Wheat Grass is one of nature’s most powerful sources of green leafy vegetable nutrition. Just one scoop in your favorite beverage helps you achieve your recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of vegetables.

  • Increases and sustains energy naturally
  • Detoxifies and cleanses your body
  • High alkalinity helps balance your body’s pH level
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Insoluble fiber gently cleanses your digestive tract and promotes regularity
  • Complete food with enzymes and all essential amino acids
  • Natural source of antioxidants to help repair damaged cells
  • Excellent source of beta carotene, folic acid and vitamin C
  • Whole leaf powder- not from juice!
  • Dehydrated below 107 and nitrogen packed to preserve the raw food properties
  • 10x the chlorophyll of tray grown wheatgrass juice
  • Field grown outdoors through a cold winter
  • Tested free of mold
  • Gluten free and Vegan
  • Certified Organic
Since being diagnosed with Candida last July, I've been really working hard at changing my diet, cutting out the processed foods and slowly incorporating healthy fruits, veggies and grains. The process has been very slow for me. I've got breakfast perfected. I'm doing pretty good with my lunches and dinners, the time that absolutely kills me is the 3 hours between getting home from work and eating dinner.

Amazing Grass caught my attention after reading about it on several health blogs. I imagined making myself a healthy smoothie when I got home from work to tide me over until dinner time.

Upon recieving the samples, I could hardly wait to make my first smoothie. I used the Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood and made a smoothie with some almond milk and frozen banana.

OMG! It was incredibly delicious as well as perhaps being one of the healthiest drinks I've ever had!!!

Next on my list to try was the berry flavour drink powder. I prepared it the same way, in my Magic Bullet with half a frozen banana and some almond milk.

Again, it tasted better than I expected it to. It looked gross, but it tasted like a fruity, creamy milkshake.

The chocolate energy bar was by far my favourite of the bars. It was dense and filling (in a good way) and look at that chocolately coating!! Mmmmmm.

My experience has been with the powders and the bars that they are a completely satisfying snack. I was actually surprised at that. I can come home from work, whip up a smoothie and stay completely satisfied until dinnertime. That's EXACTLY what I was looking for. Not to mention the fact that I feel great when I drink it and I actually crave it after work.

I've already purchased my first full-size container of the chocolate powder and I know that Amazing Grass is going to become a permanent part of my diet.

You can order directly from the Amazing Grass website. They do ship to Canada and thanks to Teri Jo from the company who has provided the coupon code "healthy123" to save 15% off your order.

Again, I can't stress enough how yummy AND healthy Amazing Grass is!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Farmer's Market

I was up at the crack of dawn today, very excited, and headed over to our local Farmer's Market.

I honestly wasn't even sure if it was open yet. I arrived at 6:30 and according to the website it was open at 6:00 (it was open).

I was so impressed. I talked to so many people. The apple man was my favourite, he gave me a few different apples to sample on top of the ones I purchased.

My total haul included cauliflower, broccoli, lemons, organic spinach and brussel sprouts, apples and some salami for Joe.

I am going to shop at the market every Saturday morning. I can't wait until the summer when fruits and veggies are actually in season!!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Food Inc.

I just finished watching the feature film documentary, Food Inc.

Watch it. That's all I can say.

I'm going to the local farmer's market on Saturday morning and I will be on every Saturday from now on.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

needles, hummus and apps

You know you're a blogger when you hand your camera to your acupuncturist and ask them to snap some photos so that you can blog about it.

Yup. I did that. And my acupuncturist loved it!! And yes those are needles sticking out of my head.

I had to make an emergency appointment today due to my recent "slight" *ahem* setback of my anti-candida diet.

And here's a photo I snapped while she was putting needles in my feet. *Lera, note the hand knit sock on my left foot!!!*

I love going to Lovely Lily (I added the "lovely" part to her name). She's hosting a workshop tomorrow night on nutrition and healing and I'm so excited to attend.

One of the things I've been munching on like crazy is hummus. Not the good homemade kind, but store-bought hummus. One of the main ingredients is canola oil which is a big no-no for me. I love hummus. So I came home and made a batch of candida friendly hummus. I basically used this recipe, but I've made it so frequently that I kind of just wing it.

I really really think the key to yummy homemade hummus is to cook your own chick peas. Don't use canned. I cook a whole package of chick peas at a time and freeze them in packages. Each package makes a batch of hummus. Easy peasy to thaw the peas and make hummus.

And lastly, Joe bought a new iPod touch recently and he's been playing with apps and music and movies. This prompted me to dust mine off and do a little shopping in the app store. I found an app this morning called Whole Foods Market Recipes. I haven't played with it much, but it looks great!

Do you have any iPod app suggestions??? I get overwhelmed when I'm browsing the iTunes store!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Evil peanuts and wonderful shoes!

My anti-candida diet is quite strict. Peanuts are a big no-no for me right now. It's been months and months since a peanut has passed these lips. Last week I braved a peanut Larabar.

It was delicious, but as I was eating it I wasn't quite feeling "right". The following days I began to feel a bit itchy and my skin isn't quite feeling normal. Uh-oh. I placed and emergency call today to my naturopath and I'm going to see her tomorrow. This is a big eye-opener to me. Even though I am 6 months into my ACD, I still have a long way to go and I can't be cheating. I can't. Lesson learned. (I hope).

On a much more fun note, I bought myself a new pair of shoes on the weekend. A pair of Clark's "unstructured" shoes.

They are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I'm a Clark's girl from now on!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Listen to your mother!

So. Joe and I were going out for dinner with friends tonight and I got the following e-mail before I left from my mother:

When you go out for dinner tonight, wear your new silver earrings, they look so nice with your new hair cut.

Since I ALWAYS listen to my mother, here's the proof that I wore them!

If only I had a newspaper to prove that the photo was taken tonight. It was Mom!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quite likely, the best weekend I've ever had!

Wow. Now that was a FUN weekend!

We had an opportunity to spend the weekend in Niagara Falls at the Fallsview Hilton with a bunch of family and family friends.

The weekend started on Friday afternoon for my mother who was surpised by her two friends when a limo came to pick them up to take them to the casino!

Here's a photo of Nicola, my mom and Carol in front of the limo.

The view from our rooms was amazing.

This photo cracks me up. My mother looking longingly at the casino across the street.

We ate (way too much!), laughed and had a super time.

Thanks mom for the best weekend EVER!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love blogging

I've been thinking about my blog, my blog friends and blogging for months. I've been procrastinating posting because honestly, I've felt like I need to blog about something spectacular for my first post "back".

Today a light bulb went off. I do not need to come back with a super-post. The super-post may never happen.

So here's what I bought today. A new stainless steel water bottle. I drink a ton of water and I hate that I'm responsible for so many empty plastic water bottles. In an effort to reduce my carbon footprint, I'm going to start using reusable water bottles. A small step, but an important one as far as I'm concerned.

It's pretty and it was cheap. Especially since I used a gift card that I got for Christmas to buy it.

And here's my lunch today.

I can't even believe how absolutely delicious it was!!! I cooked up a big tray of roasted veggies the other night (brussel sprouts, red pepper, onion, broccoli and cauliflower). I topped it with a bit of leftover salmon and some leftover hummus (which appears a bit oily now that I look at it in the photo) but it was good!!

That was much easier than I thought it was. My Mother will also be very happy to see a new post! (She stopped nagging me months ago about updating my blog.)