|Exploring can be so much fun!|
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Do you have a library card?
I love mine. We have moved a few times over the last several years and one of the first things I do, once we’re settled, is get a card for the nearest library. I find it so exciting to wander through the shelves of books of topics that I wouldn't have on my own bookshelves at home. And then when I'm at home I can wander through their site and find even more books in the library system that may be at another branch, but that I can still have access to. Sometimes it just feels too good to be true!
The library opens up countless other worlds of possibilities. Without having to pay thousands of dollars on novels or movie rentals or how-to books you can borrow anything. If there is a new craft, cookbook or home improvement idea you want to try but a little hesitant, you can try it with no risk with a book from the library first.
If a friend has recommended a book but you’re not sure it’s your taste you don’t have to go out and buy it the generous library will loan it to you. And if you find out you don’t like it you can just give it back. No questions asked.
I recently checked out this book by Danny Seo, UpCycling, Create Things With The Stuff You Already Have. It was really good and had some wonderful ideas in it but I’m glad I didn’t buy it. His ideas are very creative but most of them don’t really fit with my family’s lifestyle and the book, if purchased, would just sit on the shelf and gather dust. Instead, I was able to take it back to the library and feel good about having seen it and learning some creative upcycling (some of which I may share another time).
I love taking the kids there too. They get excited to see familiar books their friends are reading that we don’t have. And the library offers some really fun events for them.
The library has hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. And if you’re lucky to have a library that sells their books you can find some serendipitous deals there too.
I love books and we have lots of them on lots of bookshelves in our home. But if we didn’t have the library our house would be overrun and we’d be very, very poor. The library is a wonderful way to still keep that manageable and help the environment.
So if you don’t have a library card...what are you waiting for??? Go get one! Today! You won’t regret it.
Friday, January 25, 2013
It’s Foodie Friday!!
I don’t know about you but it’s been really cold here in Ontario. We’ve been lucky and haven’t had the same cold temperatures as other parts of Ontario and Canada but it’s still been very cold. The kind of weather that makes you not want to leave your cozy little home...or warm bed for that matter.
And since we’ve been experiencing these arctic temperatures it only makes sense that we crave comfort food. The food that warms us up inside and makes us feel so cozy and happy to be in our warm burrows surrounded with our family.
So, I decided for the next few weeks I would share some of my favourite comfort food recipes with you. The weather is supposed to change drastically again next week, to almost spring like temperatures, but we’ll ignore that, remember it is still winter and enjoy eating these hardy, delicious meals that remind us of when we were kids.
This week I thought I’d start with a fun one. It’s called….
OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
That’s right, OVEN Fried Chicken. It’s a healthier take on the traditional fried chicken but it still tastes just as good and has the same crunchy coating like regular fried chicken.
Again, I apologize for not having a bunch of pictures. I am still trying to remind myself to take pictures of the entire process. Hopefully, I’ll get better at that but in the meantime you can enjoy the final outcome and grab a napkin to wipe up the drool that I know is forming at the edge of your mouth.
Here we go, easy and oh so tasty
Oven Fried Chicken (serves 2)
⅓ cup Fine dry bread crumbs
2 TbspGrated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Paprika
¼ tsp Seasoned salt
4-6 Chicken parts (skin removed) about 1¼ lbs
Combine first 5 ingredients in plastic bag. Mix well.
Add 2 pieces of chicken at a time. Shake to coat. Arrange in a single layer on broiler pan or greased foil-lined pan.
Bake 350F oven for about 1 hour until tender.
This can easily be multiplied to serve more than 2 people.
To make it even healthier I sometimes add a little wheat germ with the bread crumbs. Gives a great crunch and no one is the wiser.
This time I served the chicken with some steamed veggies (broccoli, asparagus and carrots) and a baked potato that had fun and yummy toppings waiting at the table so everyone could enjoy it the way they like. It was the perfect comfort food meal to fill our bellies.
Check back next Friday to read about another favourite for a cold winter day.
Do you have a favourite comfort food? I'd love to hear what it is in the comments!
Do you have a favourite comfort food? I'd love to hear what it is in the comments!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
That weekend went by waaaaay too fast! But here we are again starting a whole new week. I wonder what it has in store for us.
Here to start us off, for my PB+J Monday this week, I want to share this video.
This is the link here:
I do most of the grocery shopping for our family and when I'm at the grocery store I do my best to read the signs and choose food that is from Ontario or Canada. It's not always easy. For example, our local grocery store sells small portions of carrots from the USA and only large bags of carrots from Canada. I will usually buy the larger bag but it would be nice to have the option.
I grew up in a farming community and the main industry around us was potatoes. It drives me crazy to go into the grocery store and not see bags of potatoes with CANADA written on them. And apples too! We have an abundance of apple orchards around us and yet we import our apples from USA and as far away as New Zealand. I just makes me shake my head. I think most consumers don't look at where their food is coming from and if they do I don't think they realize the impact buying imported food has on all of us and the impact it will have on our kids down the road.
I'd love to hear your views about the video and eating locally or maybe even from as close as your backyard.
Have a great Monday everyone!
Friday, January 18, 2013
Well, today is supposed to be a Foodie Friday. But lately I haven't been creating anything share worthy in the kitchen so there's sadly nothing to post at the moment.
I did, however, just purchase this tasty looking recipe today and plan to try it out very soon. Doesn't it look yummy? I will share the results with you next week if all goes well.
Anyway, instead of sharing culinary adventures I thought I'd share some of the custom work I did before the holidays. I couldn't show it to you when I created them, as they were gifts, but since they should all have been received and opened by now I think it's safe to share away.
|I have another one of these for my shop but I NEED to take better pictures of it first.|
|This was for a little girl whose mother love penguins and father is a HUGE Glasgow Celtic fan. It was a very fun frame to make!|
|This was for a little girl who was moving to a new home and a new room.|
|This box was given to a gentleman, from his wife, who was just finishing up his studies with the church.|
|This was also part of the churchman's gift. And it was my first attempt at using a scroll saw to cut a shape with the wood.|
|And a set of bookmarks to go with the box and pendant.|
|A lazy susan for an Italian Mother-in-law.|
|Another fun project. A flowery pencil box.|
|The other two sides.|
|I sold several of these to one customer.|
|This set of four coasters have a wonderful rich stain on them.|
|This wasn't a custom order. It was a prize from one of the trade shows I did before Christmas.|
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Monday, January 14, 2013
I play soccer. At least that's what I like to tell myself. I think at one time I was probably a pretty good player. But now I play to get out of the house. It's a break from the kids and the everyday household chores.
We play soccer indoors in the winter here in Ontario and the facility is pretty good. It used to be a hockey rink but they modified it to house a full turf soccer field that can convert to 4 smaller indoor fields.
So what does this have to do with PB+J Monday?
Well, last night I had to use the bathroom before hitting the pitch and I was happily amazed by what I saw. A Dual Flush toilet!
Yes, I've seen dual flush toilets before but never in a public environment. I was so happy that I happened to have my iPhone with me so I could share it with you!
|Unfortunately I didn't see the sign until after I had pushed the handle but I know for next time.|
I love it when you find little green differences in unexpected places! Have you been surprised by a green change somewhere? I'd love to hear about it!
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
There's a BIG BIG BIG SALE
coming to Facebook on January 10th.
Lots of shops are participating and my shop is offering its biggest sale yet:
January 10th to January 12th
you will receive 20% off any item in my shop
(excluding clearance items) with coupon code:
Take a look at the participating shops and what they are offering here on Facebook and remember to invite your friends!
You just can't keep something like this to yourself!!
Monday, January 7, 2013
So this isn't exactly earth and green related but I found it interesting and everything is connected.I received this as an email awhile ago (IT WAS NOT WRITTEN BY ME) and it was a little dated when I received it, but the main idea stills comes across loud and clear. Something to think about....
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.
A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no one on the earth walked on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our governments are spending it.
While this thought is still fresh in our brain ... let's take a look at
New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.
Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild
New Orleans... Interesting number ... what does it mean?
A Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of
New Orleans(every man, woman, and child) you each get $516,528.
B Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in
New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or... if you are a family of four..your family gets $2,066,012.
Imagine, now $700 billion bailing out banks in the
US. That's enough to fund complete medical care for every man, woman and child currently alive in the USfor 11 years!!
50 billion to bail out the auto industry???
Washington, D.C.& Ottawa
< HELLO!!! >
Are all your calculators broken??
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax ,
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Property y Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal
Service Fee Tax upon Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY??? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago .. and our nations were the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt ... We had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell “politicians”? And I still have to press '1' for English. I hope this goes around the
US& CANADAat least 1 billion times What the hell happened???
Friday, January 4, 2013
Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a wonderful New Years celebration with lots of great company and great food!
The last couple of years my husband has been working so the kids and I have travelled to my parents' house to celebrate there. This year we mixed it up a bit. My husband still had to work (that's one of the perks of being a police officer) but instead of us going to my parents' house I asked them the come here.
I had heard about the Toronto Zoo having a celebration and thought it might be fun to check it out. It was put on for kids so the entertainment included a magician, fun music and an appearance by Po from Kung fu Panda. We got to see lots of animals up close and a few of the highlights included seeing a year old polar bear cub, having reindeer walk past us and hearing the arctic wolves howl. The howling was pretty amazing!
Since the festivities were mainly for kids the countdown ended at 8pm. That gave us plenty of time to travel home safely, get the kids to bed and watch the parties taking place in other parts of the Country on TV. The last couple of years we haven't managed to stay up past 11pm but this year we went to bed at close to 1am!
So, I was very glad that I had thought to have a special breakfast prepared for us for the following morning. I found this recipe at Kraft Canada and thought I'd give it a try. I like to try new things and this one sounded right up our alley.
Most of the work was done New Year's Eve and then all I had to do was pop it in the oven in the morning, cut up some strawberries, serve with real Canadian maple syrup and we were ready to have a breakfast feast! It went over very well with the adults but the boys didn't seem to like the taste of it very much. I think it was the cream cheese filling.
Leaving B and K out of it I will definitely be making this again, and maybe even sooner than next New Years Day. I might add a little cinnamon to the cream cheese and try cutting off the crust but otherwise I wouldn't change anything else.
|Picture from Kraft Canada|
Overnight Stuffed French Toast
1 tub (250 g) Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese Spread
3 Tbsp. sugar
8 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup blueberries
MIX cream cheese spread and sugar until well blended; spread onto bread. Place 4 bread slices, cream cheese-sides up, in 8-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with remaining bread slices, cream cheese-sides down.
WHISK eggs and milk until well blended; pour over bread. Refrigerate overnight.
HEAT oven to 350ºF. Bake, uncovered, 30 to 35 min. or until centre is set and top is lightly browned. Serve topped with fruit and maple syrup.
It really is that easy!
It claims to feed 8 people and that is accurate if everyone has half a portion accompanied with berries and syrup. We were comfortably full afterwards.
I recommend letting the cream cheese soften first before trying to blend with the sugar (and cinnamon if you add it). I also recommend serving with the fresh berries and maple syrup. It was a very tasty combination!
I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the french toast I made! I'm still not used to taking pictures of every food item I make or eat. It doesn't come naturally and by the time I thought about it we'd eaten it all up! When I make it again I will try to remember to take a picture.