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Monday, December 12, 2011

Outdoors for 2012

From time to time, I do post interesting deals from deal sites to benefit my readers.  So if I recommend one it's a fairly good one.   If you are looking to get out there and get some fresh air in the New Year, all while getting in on a deal then be sure to stay tuned and see what I post!

Think about taking some kayaking lessons and sail down the river! Or maybe eat out at a great restaurant you wanted to try for sometime....... It's all available and you can get a very great value!

Here's a kayaking deal from SwarmJam.com in case you are interested Kayaking Deal


On another note I was thinking about blogging more than once a week, perhaps on Sunday and Monday.  We shall see and have a great week!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Smooth Sundays

Yes, I often talk about setting up your week for success. How about taking it easy?  That also gives us time to breathe and gain our energy.  If you have prepared through out your weekend to make Sunday your actual day-off, then that's great.

If you are like some who have left everything until Sunday to do like laundry, housecleaning, homework, or whatever it is you may have left too much to do.  In fact it might be altogether heard to complete before a busy work week. But there is still hope and perhaps you can put on some music and concentrate on your tasks.

I am usually still working on things on Sunday as well, and watch movies on Friday night or Dateline to get my murder mystery fix.  Sometimes I don't though so that I can accomplish all I need to do on Saturday.  If I get to bed at a decent enough time on Friday night, then I can get up early enough to do paperwork for my business or other things before Sunday.

That's not to say you cannot log in a show or go out in nature for awhile, or keep yourself motivated by watching some inspiring videos.  To keep me motivated, I actually recommend putting on some smooth jazz or your favorite easy listening music. A favorite of mine is "Rare Requests Smooth Jazz Volume 4" and it includes many famous smooth jazz musicians,and even some not so recognized artists. It could be snowing outside, or gloomy and I find this type of music transforms my mood.


It is nice to put yourself in a different space (even if it's all in your head) and get work done.  I also like to put on "relaxing music" videos from You Tube.  As long as you don't go over your bandwidth usage for the month with your internet provider it's nice to put on a video and listen or whistle while you work.  Make a green tea for mental clarity and improvement of the body, or blend a smoothie to give you added energy to feel balanced.

More great sites that have music are Jango.com or Pandora.com (if not outside of the US). I used to listen to Pandora until it was restricted and Jango is a personalized radio station (depending on what your preferences are) or you can also choose some that are already created and playing music.  It is nice to play something like radio anyways where you are not getting distracted with what is playing and just listen away. You can also still purchase radios and listen the old fashioned way on the air.  I have a shower radio I use to listen to my favorite stations. Also there are "Galaxy" radio stations on conventional cable packages.  So don't forget to take advantage of that if you are paying for a hefty cable bill.

That's just me though.  Some people like to put on their own playlists and listen in their ears with headphones on as well.  My friend likes heavy metal and gets her house cleaned that way.  Maybe you like to get to the library to get some things done. Whatever your style it is good to set yourself up for success all while being gentle on yourself and treating yourself to a nice space or headspace.

Don't forget to subscribe by e-mail over to the right!---- >>  Have a great week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's start

I am trying to always improve my writing on "I am just like Garfield on Mondays ")

I hope the information, comments and all things posted on this blog are clear, accurate, entertaining and interesting, but above all helpful.  I would love to hear feedback about past archived articles.  I would like to know is there anyone interested in hearing about having more energy in the day?  How about being energetic enough to achieve all your goals? How about tips to help you in all departments of work and family life?

You may want to take a look at swapping coffee out for a tastier and more refreshing drink that can actually help you achieve the spunk to do anything from your excercise routine to making your grueling work day a breeze!!   I was taking Crave drinks in the mid-afternoon but I cannot always get more packets sent to me, so I came up with an alternative.  I simply make ginger ice tea with some lemon and a form of  natural sweetener in it like honey or maple syrup.  I like the taste and it is refreshing instead of loading up on caffeine late in the day. I also recommend a Tumeric-Ginger version for the health benefits.  Try it in the link below!


Tumeric-Ginger Tea



I am about to finish off summer events early since it's now turning into fall.  It's a busy, time of year with the Farmer's Markets finishing up a lot of produce in the fall and fall craft fairs are also open.
I like to look around and get inspired for canning and also start with some Christmas preparations as well.

It's not unlike me to buy out all the squashes and gourds either.  I decorate my dining room table and kitchen counters with platters or bowls of them, and then when I feel a recipe coming on requiring some fresh fall harvest I simply use one up.  And I make sure to watch them and rotate any out if I think it should be used up soon.

A nice time to roast some squashes if time prevails is on the weekend.  You can then have side dishes of roasted or mashed squash during the week or enjoy right away.  Until next time I hope your week is smooth sailing! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog Summer Event July 25th~!

Hello!

I am officially over a bad summer cold and I am relieved it's over.  I passed the torch to to whom ever is now getting sick and will need to recoup' my boyfriend seems to be sneezing a lot.  To get rid of the cold I took extra vitamin C, drank lots of hot tea and lemon drinks with unpasteurized honey, and added extra lemon to everything, ate some garlic and stayed warm.  Guess what? I pulled through~!

It's always good to take care of ourselves.  So let's get started to our summer events, as I know you have been waiting all week.


D.I.Y. Beauty

This week is all about skin wounds and psoriasis!  I have some good information for sufferers, or those who have the occasional flare-ups of various skin ailments.  Let's start with a personal experience of mine.

Recently, I had to hit the deck on my balcony to avoid possible lightning that was streaking across the sky in my direction.  I not only felt my hair rise at the back of my neck, I also felt a strange electric feeling all around me in the air and it was a warning to me.   So needless to say, I flew down fast as I could when hitting the deck. You know those moments when you know you have to move insanely quickly- kind of a little bit like an action movie in your real life.  All while trying to capture the most perfect lightening strike picture on camera.

It really wasn't smart. I did end up with a wound from wiping out on the balcony carpet (luckily there is a 70's brown striped outdoor rug covering the entire concrete pad that is the balcony.  Otherwise I would have been biting concrete.  So it was really a bad rug burn style of wound with a bad gouge on the side of my hand. A total OUCH!

Here's what I did to help it heal up.  I cleaned it and it looked really bad as it healed, so I kept it clean and used polysporin to heal it and it worked.  Usually I might not use polysporin but I did try to prevent a huge scar, so I felt it needed it and after it started to look bad I put a small amount on.  It did heal it nicely compared to what I thought the end results would be, since it looked so nasty along the way.  I always use my organic grown Aloe Vera gel I froze in my deep freeze.  I harvested it from my dying Aloe plant because my cat dumped over the pot, then the plant's health turned for the worst afterwards.

Anyways, Shea Butter products and some other powerful healing lotions to help speed up the process.  One was actually from the Amber Romance Line from Victoria's Secret and despite a bit of a perfume smell it has, the Ultra-Softening ingredients in it like Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Shea and Olive oils helped a lot.  Buttery body butters or lotions do seem to moisturize, soothe, condition and protect the skin.  It is totally probably bad for the skin though all while smelling awesome!  I did love this smell so I used it up fairly fast.


Just below that wound there was a flare up of psoriasis that had started before I wounded myself.  I was finding it hard to penetrate the psoriasis patch with any type of lotion,and it was itching
and flaring.   I have not had psoriasis before so I did not buy psoriasis cream. I recently seen Kim Kardashian has psoriasis which she inherited genetically from her mother.  Kim did not have psoriasis before either, and it can appear in later years or get worse as you get older.

I resorted  back to more Shea Butter formulas and it took away the itch to this psoriasis patch as well as the rough scaly look to it.  I also have SPA Resources Hawaiian Ginger Line Body Butter and I use the lotion in the pump bottle too.  That one mentions no Shea Butter, but in the Body Butter it does contain Shea Butter, Aloe, Jojoba Oil, Horsetail Extract, Seaweed, White Tea Leaf & Grape seed.  I had to use this when I thought my patch problem was coming back. Out of those ingredients in the formulation it's not clear which one worked the most effectively.

It's also not good to scratch your psoriasis which only makes it worse.  If you see dry skin peeling and flaking or it's itchy don't do it.   I have been simply exfoliating gently on my patch with Eshe's Body Exfoliant in order to deflake the area.  It is a refined formulation meaning it has small scrubbers in it with Green Tea and Chamomile to soothe and bring soft skin to the surface.  It's also infused with
Vitamin C and Aloe Vera and is hypoallergenic and irritant free.  I recommend this scrub and it's hard to find out if they have a website but you can pick up Eshe products at Fabutan Tanning locations.  I would recommend making your own natural exfoliant in any case.

Here's a great link (it does load slow, at least on my computer) to all kinds of help with psoriasis,
and who knew Epsom salts baths are listed as a really big help and I do this quite often for sore muscles and in general a relaxing bath.  So be sure to check this out if you need some help with this condition:
Home Remedies for Psoriasis

It's best to find out why the psoriasis is happening if it doesn't run in your family.  It could be due to stress or an environmental factor, while it's not a curable condition but apparently it can be controlled to a degree.

Write down  or pay attention to what you are doing differently and or if there is are any aggravating chemicals or things around.   If you have sensitive skin it could be just that it's changing.  We can adapt by changing everything from laundry or hand soaps we are using to changing the type of fibres our clothes are made up of.  I also like to have baths and skip any perfume bubble baths, but instead add baking soda or epsom salts which soothes the skin.

100% cotton or breathable clothes are good and organic cotton products even better.  Perhaps, a soft organic hemp clothing line would work to help to keep from being itchy.  And finally, the psoriasis creams that you buy in the store are made from synthetic ingredients quite often and can actually aggravate some peoples skin.  Here's a D.I.Y. recipe to make your own NATURAL psoriasis cream, that I will also be making:
How to Make Homemade Psoriasis Cream

Hope this helps~!



Summer Recipe of the Week


I am making sure I am eating right and lots of good food with nutritious values to recoup from a summer's cold.  Vegetables come to mind and are always easy to eat in the summer with all the abundant and fresh product.  In fact, it's best to eat or drink as much as possible.

I recommend this delicious medley of summer grilled veggies!

Avocado & Corn Salad


Per Serving (1/8 of the Recipe): 180 calories, 3 grams protein,
9 grams of total fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams
of cholesterol, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams fibre, 5 grams
of sugars, 330 milligrams of sodium

Shopping List:

6 cobs of corn, husked
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) finely diced red onion
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 small red or green chili, finely diced (approx. 1 tablespoon/ 15 ml)
3 large avocados, medium diced
1/4 cup (60 ml) Salsa Verde
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh cilantro

Really Easy,  heat the barbecue to high.  Grill the corn until lightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Cool, then slice the kernels from the cob and into a bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve.

There are many variation to this recipe, and I actually make a version with more tomatoes and colorful peppers too, all chopped and tasty, so use your imagination but you will get better eating this
salad and it's great for your waistline!



Better Body Time


How do you excercise when you are sick? I cannot do it very well without energy and if you don't sweat out a cold a bit you won't find energy.  My secret is I dance, dance, dance. Put on a turtleneck and groove to your favorite beats.  The very fact you are moving even in small ways will get you sweating out all the toxins from being ill.

While you may have laughed this is literally what I did very carefully and slowly, if you are me.
Almost anyone can do this, of any fitness level.  You can start at the right level for your body type and sway or move your legs.

Even holding your arms up over your chest for over 5 minutes can be difficult, so don't do that if you are not up to it.  Try doing some dances where your arms must come up. And if you keep your figure tightened up as you move will also help to feel more of a work out.

I make sure I have a fan near by and water of course.  In case you are coughing from the cold and a bit out of air, use both.  I also recommend having a sweat towel perhaps something you will be using a lot, if you are going to sweat to the oldies.  Keep cool while you work out and NEVER over do it.

There are dance steps called Zumba shown on You Tube, you could implement these steps into your routine if you feel comfortable with them.    Here's a look at how easy it really is:




If the last one isn't for you, and it still looks a bit too physical them moving from side to side works too.  I suggest throwing some arm exercises in there and lift your knees up a bit here and there.  You can put on light ankle weights or hand weights such as the velcro ones that wrap around or fit like a glove.  Only do this if you have no previous injuries and always consult your doctor first.  Do this as long as you can. I do it for 15- 20 minutes and then do some cool down dancing.

Don't forget to stretch lightly at then end.  Alternatively, some beginner's yoga poses might also help.  You will feel like you at least did something...... just move a bit from the couch potato position.
Let me know if this helps anyone to feel better about themselves or give any added motivation!


Fresh Summer Drinks


Finally, the best part of this week's post.  A nice drink which may not be a part of getting better but it makes us feel better.  I feel like rum does the trick at times but this drink may taste more of summertime!

Cava Sangria

Shopping List:

1/2 ounce amaretto
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce apricot brandy or another fruit brandy
Cava (a sparkling wine made in Spain)
Fresh Fruit like apples or oranges

Combine amaretto, Cointreau, and brandy in a glass, then fill with Cava.  Add two or three slices of fresh fruit like oranges or apples.  Sip in summer!
-created by Azafran in NYC.




Bonus Topic: Garden Update


I have done a good job on keeping those little aphids at bay previously, but they are on a revenge mission now.  I finally had eradicated them with the insecticide treatment called Schultz Houseplant & Indoor Garden Insecticide  that is a ready-to-use solution derived from pyrethrin daisy and can be used up to one day before harvesting.

I know it's for the "indoor" garden, however, I am trying not to use this product at all if it's not necessary.  So, it's not like I haven't had this same aphid infestation or these aphids trying to take over all my houseplants and all the vegetable plants.  My question is why are they so bad the last little while?

Does anyone know fro this year, because I did not have this gardening problem last year or the year before? That I remember, and I had separate garden problems but not this one, such as some mold or fungus on my tomato plants.

I had tried organic gardening recommendations, but with little results and if I had let these bugs take over, I would have wasted my initial investment into the garden. You know things like seeds, pots, soils, plants, etc. etc.  These things all cost money and it can become a factor to your gardening hobby fund, if there are not any results yielded.  Then I have to buy my vegetables more than harvest my own.

Well, that's my rant and if anyone knows about these super breeds of aphids, I would love another organic tip on how to deal with them.  I will try to update you on this, perhaps in a couple years so I can write about more experiences along the way with gardening.


Bonus Topic: Book Review


I actually have been partially finishing my summer book reads, and ended up renewing all my books due to the lack of time to read them all.  The one I am really working on reading now is;
the 2nd Edition of Entrepreneur Magazine's Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, which describes AdWords and what they are, how to use them.  Bascially the cover says, "How to Access 100 Million People in 10 Minutes" by Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd.
 Does that seem like a long title?

Well, it's not a long book, but it does detail the AdWord world so it has been taking me a while to read it, in between other obligations of course.  I find myself halfway through with less than a week to return it. to the library.

So, I can review what I have read, and this book it really interesting to me for the tips and tricks to marketing in general that I learned.  The scheme of how to arrange your AdWords, advertisements and how to save money is really covered in this book.

This is key to saving yourself from common mistakes that even the largest companies accidentally make in this type of advertising.  It costs them a lot of money so saving myself from making these mistakes is my mission.

Really, this is the 2nd Edition so it is just more in depth than the first edition.  I recommend this book, to those who are looking to find out about AdWords or even if you think you are a pro at Adwords. If you want to learn how to drive traffic (people clicking on your ad and buying from your store or site) then this is definitely for you.

I have yet to use what I have read from theory to action, but the authors do recommend not wasting time as you read this book, to take the steps right away and see results in 24 hours.  Google sends $100 credits in the mail at different times in the year, and it can be used toward your own AdWord campaigns.  There are additional savings listed in the book, just for reading this book, so it pays to read it if you are already interested in this topic.

It's already Monday tomorrow and then the long weekend is coming up so I will be away camping. For the next blog post,  it may be delayed and all the summer events posts are just about finished.
There maybe an Internet connection where I am camping at which is Ol' McDonald's Campground, but I would rather just get into nature and take pictures and post for you later.  Have a good week!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blog Summer Event July 18th~!

I am feeling a bit lousy tonight but here are the last couple posts of "Summer Events" anyways. It is the last day of the 2011 Stampede, "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth"- actually I  don't have the pictures I needed that my friend had from Stampede to add anymore to my blog, so I guess I can post it when I get it.

D.I.Y. Beauty

Summer Detox

Since, I caught a cold, and I have been feeling pretty lazy and achy from it, I thought a summer do-it-yourself detox drink would be beneficial.  Detoxing our bodies helps to get rid of toxins and unwanted waste.  After this you may feel more healthy and it can help your skin not to look as dull.  Here it is:  Honey & Lemon Detox

I had actually done a green tea facial mask too, so it felt like a mini spa day of detox. It all helped me to feel better when sick.  Anyways, you can use a store bought green tea mask- but why- when there are a lot of "other" ingredients in those and when you probably have the ingredients on hand to make it yourself!

Michelle Phan  shows you how to make a refreshing green tea & avocado facial mask recipe!  Come back after :)




Summer Recipe of the Week 

Salad Season is packed with Protein and No Cholesterol!  I found it in Sobey's calendar cookbook:
Grilled Orange with Quinoa & Almond Salad

Grilled Oranges with Quinoa & Almond Salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes, Serves: 4 Per Serving (1/4 of the recipe): 180 calories,7 grams of protein, 4.5 grams total fat (0.4 gram saturated fat), 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fibre, 6 grams sugars, 170 milligram sodium

Shopping List:

1 cup(250 ml) quinoa
1 cup (250 ml) of water
1 cup (250 ml) of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 navel oranges, preferably organic
1 tbsp. (15 ml) chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cumin
1/4 cup (60 ml) sliced Natural Almonds, lightly toasted
and chopped
8 finely chopped Organic Mint Leaves

Heat Barbecue to high.  Rinse 1 cup (250 ml) quinoa and cook according to package directions using 1 cup (250 ml) water and chicken broth, preferably low sodium chicken broth.

Peel 1 navel orange, then slice it crosswise into 1/2 inch (1 cm.)  rounds.  Cut another unpeeled navel orange in half crosswise.  Grill all oranges just until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side.  In a large bowl, combine quinoa, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped red onion, 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cumin and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of sliced natural almonds, that you lightly toast and coarsely chop.

Squeeze juice from the orange halves over the salad and add 8 finely chopped fresh
organic mint leaves.   Mix well.  Place grilled orange rounds on top of salad.


Serve warm or at room temperature and Bon appetite!

Better Body Time

Walk Your Way There~!

A good thing to do to get better body results is go for walks.  I often start doing more of this in the spring and summer, and it helps me to maintain energy and feel better.  I can do more vigorous walks or jogs once I have went for a couple opening walks of the season.  The many benefits of walking are things like reducing cancers and all diseases.  Then the dramatic physical and health benefits in as little as 6 weeks is awesome too! Start walking boots. :)

The benefits of walking are discussed here on about.com and there is lots of information out there.  I really wanted to recommend this as part of your exercise routine, as it's enjoyable and fun too!Check it out:

Health Benefits of Walking



Fresh Summer Drinks

Neo Citron is making me feel better too but this drink might be refreshing right about now.  I hope this one hits the spot for me later this summer when I can enjoy it!

Cherry Punch

Shopping List:

1 ounce cherry vodka
1 ounce triple sec
Splash of Rose's
Grenadine
Splash of Cranberry Juice
Garnish; A fresh cherry

Shake together all the ingredients but cranberry juice with ice.  Pour into glass and top with cranberry
juice.  Garnish with cherry.
-Created by: Brooke Isaacson, Club ONE, Baltimore.




Bonus Topic: Pet Corner Talk




Does your pet have bad breath and find it's worse in the summer when it's hot.  Well here's a little summer refreshing product to help them with that!  Minty mouths for all our pets!

First, I make my cat organic pet toothpaste although it's hard to get him to like brushing teeth time.  I steep organic mint leaves with hot boiled water in a tea pot.  Then I did literally eyeball all of the amounts quite honestly, but it turns out after a couple tweaks to the mix.  Sometimes, it may be too minty but it's all natural and organic, and I feel the minty leaves can do no harm and if nothing else is providing the cat with nutrients and greens to eat.

After it's cooled down, I put the leaves and the green mint water juice in a airtight container and I put
this in the fridge to keep or even freeze in smaller individual portions.  Then you can thaw, as you require.   I use this to brush the front and back of Kiki's teeth with a sterile toothbrush, and it doesn't matter if he gets some greens in his mouth too.  I didn't ever add baking soda yet.  This might scare him with the taste but I am not sure.

Here's another version with baking soda:
Natural Homemade Cat Toothpaste

The product that helps out for my cat is the oral hygiene solution called "Slurp 'N' Fresh".  It came in a 250 ml ( 8 fl.ounce) plastic bottle at Wal-Mart for around $7 or $8 dollars, not over $10.  Anyways, it helps eliminate bad breath and reduces plaque and tartar build-up in a pets mouth.  I just follow the instructions of adding it to fresh water in my cat's bowl.  1 Capful to every 700 ml (24 fl. oz.) is recommended.  Kiki did have some bad teeth anyways due to he was old and I never let me brush his teeth well. If I did try to get in his mouth with the toothbrush he would either claw me or scramble to get away if he seen it, or his teeth bled a couple times just from starting to brush.  It had me worried and after he had a bout of diabetes which we sent into remission, he now has to eat wet food

"Slurp'N'Fresh" is formulated to also protect your pet's natural oral environment and is part of a regular oral care regime for your pets. It is prescribed by veterinarians.  Also, I use  pet teeth wipes on Kiki, which were at Wal-Mart.

Last are the "Dentabites" complete oral care treats that I feed  him.  These are made by Whiskas brand and they help remove plaque and tartar build up as well.  They also contain Chlorophyll.  He loves those but I cannot give him too many, and he always wants more of them.  A pack of the Tasty Chicken Flavour Dentabites for about $1.50 when they go on sale is a good price.

In combination, all these products improve Kiki's oral health and he always loved his catnip as well.
I suggest if you cannot manage to keep up on your cat's teeth brushing and his oral health is poor, then there are also supplements out there such as "Slurp'N'Fresh" or other supplements and gels you  can look up.  A lot can be purchased at your local pet supply stores.


Bonus Topic: Movie Review

I recently watched the movie "Unstoppable".  It starred Denzel Washington, Rosario Dawson and more great cast.  I thought it was suspenseful as Denzel and his partner have to try to stop a rogue train that got away.  It is carrying dangerous and hazardous chemical tankersIt had a lot of action and great character sketches.  I like it and thought it was very touching, I liked it a lot actually.  I give this movie a 8 or 9 out of 10! Great movie to watch on a long summer's night.

Well folks, I hate to say but there are no extra, extra bonus topics as I need some rest.  If anyone else is sick with a cold right now, get well soon! Have a great week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Calgary Stampede Friday Update~!

T.G.I.F.!!

I went to the Stampede for basically free yesterday and got to enjoy the Midway rides with an All-Day pass.  Exhibits down at the grounds were also good. I ate lunch for free too courtesy of  my friends and we actually went off the grounds and went to Wendy's to fill up.

Then I figured we could sample the Stampede treats as a snack later on.  We actually didn't get too
much just some candy in the evening and a couple other deep fried foods.  I was really feeling not well from the rides as we went on. Maybe it was the free ice cream I got someplace.

So, I must say though I don't love the rides anymore and seemed I am finding them too scary and they make me nauseated.  This year, I literally had anxiety and fear, perhaps partial whip lash from some of the rides.  I even almost got sick after riding the "The Skyscraper". 

I had the shakes from the "The Mega Drop" and I will never ever ride "The Fireball" again! I am just grateful when the rides are over but my friends persisted and wanted me to go with them on more and more rides, until I suggested we go on the scariest ride to get it out of the way.  I knew it would be coming, so down with the"Mega Drop". 10 seconds of me screaming.  It goes so fast but is the scariest that I ever have been on.  I still like the Ferris wheel which I suggested to go on.  It is more my style and is nice to take in the night's fireworks.  It was perfect timing! 

I will try to post a video sometime but that is the last time I take any rides with my friends at the Stampede.  So, I also got a chance to look at this years vendor and merchant booths at the Round-Up Centre.  There were many, many interesting booths and things to buy.  I didn't spend anything as I just didn't see anything that caught my eye.  Plus everything was twice as expensive than if in a regular store so I just peeped my eyes on ideas and neat innovations.

So, overall it was a nice day with perfect weather.  I didn't even use a lot of sunblock and took to the shade if I could to avoid full sunshine all day.  Here's a sneak peek of some pictures!

Have a nice week!





Monday, July 11, 2011

Blog Summer Event July 11th~!

How's your summer going so far?  I hope you are having some fun in the sun.
I can say it's been a slow start for fun for me this year.  School is out for the summer, but the rest of us have to work but when can I get some relaxation in while the good weather lasts?
Take some time out for yourself.

D.I.Y. Beauty

Today's D.I.Y. Beauty will be something you can make to treat those pesky mosquito bites during Stampede or camping!!  After all, camping beauty tips and tricks are good too!

It's important to learn how to treat a mosquito bite and then there are steps to reduce itching that is a lifesaver, so be sure to watch this tutorial:


Recipe:

Mix baking soda and vinegar to make a thick paste and then apply the paste to the bite.  The paste will neutralize the acid in the venom, and give you relief from itching!   When the paste dries out, it will make a barrier that protects the skin, over the sting, allowing the bite to heal more quickly.  Wrapping the area in gauze is recommended, because the paste is going to flake off as it dries, but if not at least it shouldn't be itching.  Perhaps, you could try making a paste of water instead of vinegar and baking soda together for paste for people with sensitive skin such as kids.  It might avoid a stinging feeling as well.

I could have really used this at our July 1st (Canada Day) BBQ, as I got bit a lot and it was out of this world as in the amount of mosquitoes was insane.  Well, hopefully there is not a next bite, but if there is you now know what to do all naturally!

Summer Recipe of the Week!: Grill It!

Grilled Scallops with Summer Compote
  
Preparation Time: 35 minutes and that includes
marinating time Total time: 40 minutes Serves: 8
Per Serving (1/8 of the recipe): 190 calories,
14 grams protein, 11 grams of total fat (1.5 gram
saturated fat), 20 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams
carbohydrates, 2 grams fibre, 3 grams sugars,  520 milligrams sodium

Shopping List:

2 packages of wild Atlantic or other scallops, (800 grams),
  thawed and patted dry
1/3 cup (75 ml) sun dried tomato pesto
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 cups (1litre) grape tomatoes, quartered
2 cups (500 ml) finely diced, peeled English cucumber
2 cups (500 ml) finely diced anise (fennel) bulb
1/3 cup (75 ml finely diced shallots
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh Organic Tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

In a bowl, combine the scallops, pesto and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Heat well-oiled barbecue to high.  In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Divide among 8 small plates.

Grill scallops for 2 minutes per side or until lightly charred. (For a wide-set grate, place scallops on top of aluminum foil to grill). Divide scallops among plates.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and serve.

That was easy huh? :) You can also make a nice side of  Garlic Bread if you still have time: a great one from Allrecipes.com .  Enjoy!


Better Body Time

Facial Workouts:  The Yoga Face

Ok, I know work has to be done everyday on our bodies, well, depending on how difficult it is to you it can be work.  I found out about exercising the face as well.  It's amazing that we can do this, and I think avoid all that crazy  plastic surgery stuff I would rather do this.  Here's a great video that I will be subscribing to on You Tube, and you can actually watch them all~!

It's the Howdini Guru:



Now that you have checked it out, there are also a neck and jaw toner video- amazing!  You will be looking more slim in the face in no time.



Good luck~!



Fresh Summer Drinks

Mango Lassi

Shopping List:

1 big scoop of ice
1 ounce of vanilla flavoured vodka
1 ounce amaretto
2 ounces of mango juice
Garnish: mango slice and maraschino cherry

Chill a stemmed glass.  Combine ice, vodka, amaretto, and mango juice in a mixing glass.  Shake and strain into the chilled glass.  Garnish.  Enjoy~!
-Created by Astral Plane in Philadelphia.


OR check out another non-alcoholic version if you like, from a fellow Blogger - LOOKS yummo!
jenessasdinners.blogspot.ca


Bonus Topic:  Mighty Herbs of the Garden

This week, I thought I would talk about strong or hearty growing herbs, bug resistant and disease resistant herbs that almost anyone should be able to grow.  I would like to try to stick to these types in my garden, as I have had my run-ins with growing herbs.  I tried to start an indoor garden and found that dill, oregano, basil and sage are all favorites of mine to grow.  Versatile and easy.  Of course also thyme, rosemary, sweet marjoram, tarragon, parsley, garlic chives, mint and lavender.

Here's a couple pointers if you want to get started on your own little herb garden.  Dill is super easy to grow, and just requires a little space and it can really spread in a garden so beware as it can "take over" and choke out other plantings.  It tastes great and also helps in the digestion of certain foods like cabbage, bread and other rooted veggies.  "I put that stuff on everything."  Truly, I do.

Oregano, is a variety of wild Majoram in the Mediterranean and of the mint family.  It likes it in the sun and the soil should be poor to average fertility, neutral and well drained soil types will allow it to flourish.  It should be the easiest to begin with starter plants or start indoors from seed.  These lovely herb plants are full of aroma and found in Italian cooking recipes.  It adds a lot of flavour to dishes.  They make a pretty border in vegetable or other gardens.


Basil is my personal favorite, as I add it fresh on top of pizza or chopped up into various recipes.  I like it in my salads as well.  It grows best in a warm, sheltered location in full sun.  I have success with green types of basil but my purple types of basil I have generally over watered. I grow basil in in pots on the balcony but it would be beautiful in a garden box or anywhere!

You can pick up books at your local library or research about the other herbs and get started with a couple for your everyday recipes you use in your kitchen.  For example my parsley has turned out splendid and plentiful, however, oregano and rosemary have not been winners for me.  So then I started off growing a couple of the herb plants I have had success with such as dill, parsley and mint.

I certainly plan to opt for clay pots instead of plastic ones. They is because clay is porous so the soil is easier to keep damp if required for the particular type of herb.  So for next time when I try some more gardening in pots I will be switching over.

 Put the pots near a window sill that gets about 4-6 hours of direct sunlight everyday.  Herbs don't require fertilizer and grow best in low or medium soil conditions. If you transplant small herb plants into a larger pot or area, be sure to check if you need any special instructions to do so.
So, I hope this helps to your success in cultivating an indoor or outdoor herb garden!
*Remember: types vary according to zone you live in.


Bonus Topic: Stampede 2011 Review

So far, I have watched the parade on television this year due to the mass number of crowds due to the Royal couple attending the Calgary Stampede.  Also not feeling well and it's usually fairly hot day downtown on the concrete sidewalks.  I decided to stay home and get a great view of the parade on tv.  I recommend this at times, if you have a little one at home then perhaps taking them to a severely hot place is sort of silly to me.   I would recommend staying in where it's cool to avoid heatstroke which is detrimental to babies.

We are a couple days into Stampede and the rodeos here, as it all kicked off July 8th and runs until the 17th.  If you don't know where to catch the highlights, then basically re-caps of the chuck wagons and rodeo's of the day are on channel 10 or on CBC.



There is a Calgary Stampede Guide that is mailed to occupants a week or so prior to the Stampede.
There is a lot to do at the Stampede grounds and if you can afford the admission and money for the expensive food.  You can get in and eat all kinds of greasy and delicious treats.

Some burgers and BBQ'd beef can be found at Bronco's Beef Barn or Bull's Eye Cook shack, I am sure both are delicious even though I try to eat less red meat.  There is much more too as there is new food every year.

Many free great concerts (included in park admission) happen on the  Coca-Cola Stage, notably I would like to go to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on July 16th.  Even Kevin Costner's band Kevin Costner & Modern West is playing on the Coca-Cola stage on July 14th.

I really suggest finding a Stampede guide for yourselves if you plan on going, as there are valuable savings and tips where to get free things.  There are simply too many events to list all here.
I saved money to go camping this year but you never know if I attend Stamped as well, so stay tuned!

Next year, is the 100th year of Stampede so it should be well celebrated. Yeehaw!


Super Bonus Garden Update!

This update is coming out in regards to one of my prize winning tomato plants had snapped in a windstorm.  I attempted to repair and heal the break in the plant, but unfortunately it didn't manage to grow back together and the branch fell off. 

Well, the tomato plant actually benefited from it, as the branch was not the main stem of the plant,
and it did take some weight off the plant.   So thanks to the wind for that.

Then I decided after tending and weeding my plants, to re-arrange the whole scheme, so here's the picture if you wanted to check it out~!  It looks better, it certainly makes more room on the altogether cramped balcony garden, and the plants have more light!


Next, I will be running outside tonight, if this thunder storm and rain keeps up.  I catch some rain in pails for these thirsty plants.  It saves on water consumption and the plants like it better, because it is softer water than tap water.

If you like to talk about gardening, leave me a note! :)  I'd love to hear from you.

So, that concludes Blog topics for July 11th~!  The summer is going by fast and have a great week.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Blog Summer Event July 4th~!!!

Happy 4th of July to my American Subscribers!  And here in Canada, we just celebrated our 144th Birthday last Friday, so Happy belated Canada Day!

After the celebration you might want to relax and there are many ways on how to do that.  Getting to it and on a roll here are this week's summer event topic:

D.I.Y Beauty segment:

For today, I am going to share a wonderful summer time face spray one can make.  I made it and it is wonderful for the skin and so refreshing.  I use it as a quick wake up skin routine.

I simply will wash my face in the morning if it is needed, using my favorite face cleanser and then after rinsing, I have been spritzing this formula on it.  Sometimes I only splash my face over and over with warm water to remove and oil buildup, usually on Saturday as I go to work cleaning and such and then shower a bit later.  So it seems unnecessary to wash my face with a cleanser just to do it again later on in the shower.  Otherwise, I will spritz on the Herb Toner Face Spray throughout the day on a clean face that is free of makeup.

Now,, let's discuss that I made this formula from herbs that I have grown, and for this organically is the only way to do it.  Then I saved them from the aphids that were attacking the herb plants.  I told you about in previous post topics, you can do that or you can purchase them at the organic produce section or store which can range in prices.  I had lemon thyme, sage, and rosemary and the combination is truly nice on the skin and is a light nice smell, when you make this spray. 

Recipe:

Herb Toner Face Spray

* 6-7 sprigs with leaves and stem of Lemon Thyme, chopped
* 7 leaves of Sage, chopped or pulsed
* 7-10 leaves of Rosemary, chopped or pulsed
* 2 Cups Purified boiled water
* A Clean Kettle or at least rinsed out
* A Large Heat proof bowl (stainless steel or tempered glass)
* A clean and sterilized plastic or glass bottle with sprayer such as one from a body spray (recycle them is the best and cheapest)

Tip:Choose one that is has a light mist sprayer on it.  Test it by filling it up with water and see if its to your liking.

Put the combination of chopped herbs into the large heat proof or heat resistant bowl, one that will not melt or break if you pour hot boiling water into it. Kids need to ask parents for permission and help.

Boil in the kettle, the 2 cups of purified water.  When the water comes to a boil, and the kettle is finished then turn it off.  Then slowly pour the scalding water over the herbs in the bowl, until you cannot fill any more and just leave a bit of room.

Let sit, for a while to cool off, and then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for another 2 hours or so.  Once the steeped herbs are cooled off, separate the herbs out of the bowl, by spooning or straining them off into another small clean bowl you may have on hand.  Then you can use the herb pulp for a quick facial mask on a cleansed face.  This could be done in the evening when you have time to apply and relax.

 Wash face and apply the herb pulp facial mask, let sit for 10 -15 minutes, then remove pulp and rinse your face.** It will clear up your skin and help it feel refreshed.  Then pour the liquid into the clean sprayer and seal.  Jar any remainders that will not fit into the spray bottle, and refrigerate those.  You can use this to refill the sprayer bottle when it is running low.

Now, mist your face with this herbal blend face spray, either after you have washed your face or when you want a nice cooling spray to cool down in the summer (without makeup on preferably).

To make it really cold and refreshing, well you guessed it,  refrigerate the spray bottle with the contents in it and remove it to use from the fridge when you want a quick spritz.  Otherwise this organic face spray will last at least up to a week but do not leave it in direct heat or it will speed up
the fermenting process. I used a smaller spray bottle too with a really perfect mist, so that it is more portable for on the go use this summer!



Summer Recipe of the Week

You might feel like the heat in the kitchen is winning, and you are all exhausted after cooking a meal especially after a hard day.  To help you beat that heat, here is a chillin' summer time recipe.  Even try it at your next summer luncheon!

Devilled Eggs with Chives

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
Serves:4 Per Serving (2 halves): 110 calories, 7 grams
protein, 8 grams total fat (2 grams of saturated fat),
225 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram
fibre, 0 grams sugars, 210 milligrams sodium

Shopping List:
* 4 Large Organic Eggs
* 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mayonnaise style dressing
* 3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
* 3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely chopped sliced green olives, organic preferably
* 3 tablespoons (45 ml( fresh, finely chopped organic chives for garnish
* 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) cayenne pepper

Place eggs in a large saucepan, add enough cold water to cover the eggs by an inch. Cover the pan and bring to a boil.  Remove pan from heat and let eggs stand, covered for 10 minutes.

Remove eggs to a bowl of cold water and let cool, about 15 minutes.
Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a bowl.  Set aside the whites.
Use a fork to mash the egg yolks with the remaining ingredients.  Put the yolk mixture back into the
groove of the cooked egg whites.  It will be about 1 tablespoon into each half-egg piece.  Sprinkle
with chives and serve! You also can chill these in the fridge on a nice lunch time platter and cover with plastic wrap while you prepare other appetizers for your luncheon




Better Body Time

Baby Got Belly?

No, seriously let's tackle this one, a little at a time and then have a better body this summer!
One of the best exercises to knock the belly off, is the exercise I featured in last week's blog, and that's the squat.
http://backandneck.about.com/od/deskexercises/ht/wallsquat.htm

You could track your waist size as you go along, which requires a measuring tape and recording your measurements of your sizes and could be done weekly or bi-weekly.

A cardio work-out will also help and if you jog for the time as recommended by your doctor and it will melt off, although some cardio work-outs can be distressing on your joints.  Chest Presses are recommended, and also jumping rope.

I recommend checking out the proper way to do a chest press first, or perhaps consult your local gym
instructor so he or she can show you the hang of it.  Check out this link as it shows a picture:
http://weighttraining.about.com/od/toptenexercises/ss/chest_press.htm

Good Luck!


Fresh Summer Drinks

Oh yeah, this is summer time to me: a nice cold one on the balcony, watching the sunset and relaxing.
Try this one at happy hour tomorrow or at your July 4th party!

Berry Mojito

Shopping List:
5 fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
4 lime edges, juiced
2 ounces of Bacardi Razz
1/4 ounce Chambord
1/4 ounce blue curacao
Splash of club soda
Garnish with mint and berries

Crush mint. Add sugar and lime juice; stir.  Add Bacardi, Chambord and blue curacao; mix this.  Top with club soda and garnish.  Enjoy!
-Created by Woo Lae Oak in Los Angeles




Bonus Topic: Aromatherapy

Roses

One of my favorite flowers and smells are roses. Of the genus Rosa, the Rose, contains the highest amount of vitamin C of any plant in the world ! That's why they make an excellent plant for DIY beauty recipes, aromatherapy, cooking and so much more!

Roses have a rich past in the culinary arts, crafting, medicine, perfumes, religion and in stories of folklore.  Roses petals are still to this day, what rosary beads are made of hence the similar name, very highly fragrant, and also have a nice flavour.  Perhaps, try using some washed rose petals in a fruity salad.  I will let you know if I try this.

Speaking of rose aroma, this is what we will focus on for a moment.  Dried rose petals and whole flowers can be dried and used in potpourri sachets and in fancy bowls you would display such a mix of flowers.  You can sprinkle rose petals in your bubble bath, put them into a herbal bath mix or use them in making a rose face toner.

It is quite the process to make rose essential oils as they have to be extracted from the plant and it is complicated, so I suggest purchasing it from your local health food store if you wish.  Then you can use rose oil in your baths, or sprinkled into any craft like a potpourri mix where ever you'd like to freshen up.

Use the petals in cooking by preserving in butter, syrup,and vinegar.  Preserve flowers like violets, borage flowers or roses in crystallized sugar, and make lovely cake decorations.

Run a nice warm bath, I like to run it hot, and let the roses soak a bit and then the water cool down
before I get in.  You can add your favorite bath epsom salts as well.  Sprinkle the petals in the water, inhale the scents, as you run the water and feel the water becoming softer as the properties of the roses disperse. 

Then when it's time to get in, and you have lit some candles preferably soy candles (so there is no chemicals burning in the air), then take the time to enjoy the nice aroma of the rose and relax in the tub.  I like to play some nice music in the background to enhance the experience such as perhaps sounds of jazz or classical music.



A wonderful rosewater face toner can be found on the following link;
http://www.allfreecrafts.com/giftinajar/rose-water-toner.shtml

When it comes to harvesting, petals, they can be picked throughout the blooming season of the plant, and you can either dry them or use them fresh.  Each species differs so experiment with what you like for flavor or smell of the plant.  If it is a wild plant it is not illegal to collect the petals, but you must NOT do so in a local park and you DO NOT uproot the plant what so ever.




You can make a merry-mix-up of rose petals blend if you so fancy.  The very darkest ones are the most flavorful and potent in fragrance.  I am partial to the wild rose variety from Alberta myself,  since they are a lovely pink and have a beautiful fragrance.  I am not sure about picking these from the city or on the roadside as there may be residue of pollutants,  The best time to pick flowers and petals is mid-morning after any dew has evaporated, but before the afternoon when the UV index is it's highest where the petals will wither and almost melt to nothing.

Choose flowers just as they open fully but before they are withered and faded.  The flowers can be cut at the stem, approximately 4 inches to 5 inches from the flower base, then cut away the leaves and greenery from the stem part.  Clean the petals from the flowers, removing any dirt or bugs.

Remove the inside or base often white or green from each petal.  The hips should be picked when they are full in colour, very ripe and largely plump but don't wait until they are overripe.  Just pick off the hips and not any stem of the plant, when harvesting these.

The hips can be used fresh or dried and should be prepared quickly after picking, simply slice and remove the blossom end, then cut in half and remove the seeds and fibrous material with a spoon.
Dry the hips in halves, spread them onto a screen in a shaded and airy room, or at least well ventilated.  Store in an airtight container once they have completely dried.  You can make rose hip teas, or other recipes.

Check out the benefits:
http://coffeetea.about.com/library/weekly/aa021003rosehips.htm


Now, you can smell the roses and know just what to do with them!

Bonus Topic:
Summer Camping Party Favor

I am going to be at Old MacDonald's Farm & Campground this upcoming August Long Weekend.
So, we are going to need a new set of camping cookware, perhaps a better cast iron pan is needed, as the one I bought last year makes all the food stick.  I have treated it but bacon cakes onto it and burns.  We are going to need another camping cooler, perhaps some better new gadgets, camping tablecloth, and it would be nice to find the wipe able ones that can be wiped and re-used.  This as well as cheap cutlery can be purchased at the local dollar store or Wal-mart.

I also like to buy the plastic and reusable plates for our day to day camping use.  I usually like to take large plastic bowls with lids and pre-make some potato or macaroni salads for the first night out camping.  I put the cooked potatoes in the container and then prepare it at the campsite.

I pack them into our cooler with ice along with the other perishable food, and keep it cool with lots of ice and in our case until we park and get the fridge in our motor home cool.  It runs off electricity rather than using all our propane, then I can save the propane for heat and the stove.

Then dinner is simple and with a buffet of salads.  Whatever is leftover and you don't eat can be put into the fridge for a snack later or breakfast or lunch the next day.  I suggest eating it all if you can, or making manageable amounts depending on the size of your family.

If you like steak, take some frozen and then keep them in the little freezer of your fridge.  Take them out to thaw after when you want to take them out and then grill and bon appetite!

Until next week,The Royals: William and Kate, will be in Calgary town and in the Stampede parade, so this will be a big highlight of the summer! Happy Long Weekend Camping Folks!  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kick-Off & Summer 2011 Events Calendar

Happy Monday!! Well, hopefully you are going to be happy when you are done reading this weekly post.
If you find my topics this summer at all helpful or interesting then I am glad to have shared!  Please subscribe if you find the time, so that you can receive the newest updates! You can have my weekly newsletter mailed right to you in your e-mail inbox!

Let's get right to it and kick off summer and my summertime events blog topics.  Be sure to look out for some bonus segments.  Who doesn't like bonus??
Don't forget to scroll down IF you want to skip through and check out Summer Events Schedule/ Calendar.
Have fun!

Do-It-Yourself Beauty: A summer exclusive that will feature natural, simple and easy do it yourself ways to make your own beauty solutions.

This week's tip:   Lip Exfoliation

Take some sugar and some lemon juice mix this in a small, clean non-porous container and then rub this on your lips.  It is a great way to exfoliate dry skin, as recommended on about.com
Follow-up with some Vitamin E (you can break open a Vitamin e capsule or use the Vitamin E skin oil) and honey and use this to condition your lips in between exfoliating.  Alternatively, you can mix sugar and honey together to achieve similar results or use your toothbrush regularly to brush your lips and scrub away dead skin before applying your favorite lip conditioner.
Enjoy smooth lips this summer!

Summer Recipe of the Week:
You will see a new summer inspired recipe each week, featuring something mouth watering great recipes.  I hope this will help you host all your summer time gatherings!
*Check out the health facts on the recipes I post.

This week:  Herb Rubbed Steak with Pepper & Arugula Relish

Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
Health facts to this recipe,
Per Serving (1/4 of the recipe):
250 calories, 25 grams protein, 13 grams total fat
(3 grams saturated fat), 55 milligrams cholesterol,
7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fibre, 4 grams sugars,
230 milligrams sodium
Shopping List:
1 lb (500 g) Top Sirloin Grilling Steak
1 tbsp. Italian Herb Seasonings; oregano, thyme,
basil, rosemary,  made into a paste
1 red pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. (15 ml) aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt and pepper, divided
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped arugula

Heat barbecue to medium high.  Rub the steaks with herb paste and set aside on a plate.  Set the red pepper, onion and garlic on a double layer of foil. 

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt  and pepper.  Seal foil tightly into a packet.  Set on the grill and cook with the lid closed for about 8-10 minutes.

Drizzle the steaks with the remaining olive oil.  Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side on medium (160*F/71*C reading on an instant thermometer).  Season steaks with remaining salt and pepper.
Let rest once finished cooking for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, mix the washed and chopped arugula into the red pepper and onion mixture to make a warm relish, seasoning to taste.  Thinly slice the steak and serve with the relish.

Hey, if you have no BBQ, use a roasting pan, and combine the red pepper, onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Set the pan in the top third of the oven and broil for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are caramelized, stirring occasionally.  On the stove top, sear oiled steaks in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, 1 minute per side.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes per side on medium (same reading as above on the instant-read thermometer).  Enjoy!


Better Body Time:
You can try a new exercise this summer to help you look better and gain more energy. This article will feature easy small exercises that you can fit into a hectic schedule.

This week: Bun Burning Wall Squat

This exercise is not necessarily easy, but the time goes by fast enough and anyone can allot 15 minutes from their day to do this quick routine You will need to be wearing unrestricted work-out clothes, use a dedicated wall to squat against and support your back and have no obstacles around, and have proper running shoes for support.

The technique is not hard but I would recommend you see the below link from about.com, I decided it's the best way to describe the exercise and the best to follow their guidelines.

Important
If you have any further questions or concerns before you start any exercises, and you should consult your doctor if you have knee problems, pain or other physical disadvantages.  Please do this first if you are concerned, as this may not be the exercise for you.

Here's the link that leads you directly to about.com where they discuss the proper technique to
a wall squat:
http://backandneck.about.com/od/deskexercises/ht/wallsquat.htm

Interesting there are many reasons as to why to do the squat exercise:
http://www.healthline.com/hlbook/strt-why-you-should-squat

Here's a link to the proper way you should look when doing this exercise; in case you need a visual.
http://www.healthline.com/hlbook?bookid=strt&imageid=Incledon Ch11_img_7c.jpg

Fresh Summer Drinks:
Whether it be a refreshing, cold, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, fruity, berry, tropical or delicious drink, this summer exclusive will feature a new summer time inspired drink weekly.

Get ready for your thirst to be quenched!

This week: Spicy Peach

2 thin slices of serrano
A few slices of lime
2 ounces of Stoli Peach Vodka
Splash of Rose's Lime
Splash of simple syrup
Stir or mix gently the chili slices and lime in a
shaker.  Add ice, vodka, Rose's, and the simple syrup.
Shake and strain into a stemmed glass.
Created by: Sam Fowler, Olive or Twist, Portland, Ore.
Now I am thinking this can also be done with Pear Vodka.
That would be a nice spin on this refreshing cool one.


Balcony Garden and UPDATE! Picture revealed today!
I thought I would load a picture to show you my small but flourishing balcony garden.  At least I am trying to grow some herbs and salad, as well as several tomato plants.

There was a bit of a set-back when it came to my small herb planter.  Aphids attacked and killed almost everything I was growing, and despite using recommended organic ways to kill these pests they took my plants down with them.

I finally purchased a spray product that can be used up to a day before harvesting, if need be.   It is made from a flower itself, so it is a plant product. I don't plan to have any more aphids or pests.  If you want to know the product that has worked so far, then please comment a question below, and I will answer.  I want to hear from other gardeners!

The bug killing product was purchased at Wal-mart for about $7.00  and it worked to kill off these aphids before they kill my basil plant.  Now, I will be purchasing some more herbs and will replant that section if I find the time. It had set me back about $17 dollars, between plants and remedy to solve the bug problem.
 
I do have strawberries growing in the hanging containers and we ate a few so far.  These are totally organic, and contain no pesticides as store bought strawberries do.  I did not have to use any bug killing agents or take any measures on these so far.    I still give the berries a wash and then pat them dry and cut them up over my favorite cereal.

My tomatoes are doing very well and I have some more started in my small greenhouse.If you see the plastic cover that is the little greenhouse (seen in photo).  I will have full and grown tomatoes from my mature plants in no time I hope. 

I also have sprouted squash, pickle cucumber plants, assorted pepper plants, lettuce, spinach, parsley
and more purple and green basil plants.  I will keep you posted this summer on the progress of this garden and hopefully you are gardening along with  me!!  Happy growing. :)


Jam Studio Review Bonus Segment:

I had been meaning to write this article for awhile, letting everyone who writes or creates music to know about Jam Studio.  I had stumbled upon it and was so happy last year.  I have had a subscription for about a year now and I am creating some great songs. 

There is also a forum on jam studio that allows artists to share and chat with each other.  I would recommend this part of the jam studio experience as well, as I had constructive and good feedback about a song I posted.  It was a song I created for a friend's son that does gymnastic routines.

At least currently you don't need a subscription to create music, but if you wish for the all access granted pass for the full benefits to jam studio then you do need a subscription.  The subscription, when I joined was $29.99 every six months. You do get a karaoke recorder and drum producer program with that subscription, so I think it's well worth it to have an at home recording studio.

Now, I would certainly still like a keyboard and guitar to accompany my songs so that will be down the road, perhaps this fall.


Double Bonus Segment:

This week:  Book Reading Update

I am working my way through reading 55 Surefire Internet Businesses, You Can Start for Under $5,000 by Entrepreneur Press & Melissa Campanelli.  It is quite interesting and I am learning a certain amount so far on ideas of businesses, to how to actually get started.

IThe key learning's are very interesting.  You can find out all about the books I have read on camping trips and my top book recommendations later if you like- just let me know in the comments and I will send you more information.
http://www.amazon.ca/Surefire-Internet-Businesses-Start-Under/dp/1599182610

Plus a peak interest of the week, also comes from about.com.  It's how to look 10 years younger, with make-up magic!  Well, proper make-up application can be magic.  Check it out! :)
http://video.about.com/beauty/How-to-Look-10-Years-Younger-With-Proper-Makeup.htm

Don't forget to browse the Upcoming Summer Events Schedule/Calendar -below, and I am hoping to stick to this schedule.

In any event I am camping on the Sunday prior to any Monday event posted, I will have to catch up during the week.  This is because sometimes we do not have a wi-fi signal at the camping sites and we basically end up using a laptop as a glorified television to watch movies when it's raining.  Of course, if we do I will keep up as scheduled!!Stay tuned.

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE CANADA DAY!

Blog Summer Events Schedule for July & August 2011 SUMMER!!

July 2011

 Monday July 4th- !! 

 Happy Independence Day (U.S.A.)
 Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Aromatherapy
 Summer Camping Party Favor

 Monday July 11th-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Mighty Herbs of the Garden
 Stampede 2011 Review

 Monday July 18th-

 D.I.Y. Beauty Feature
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Pet Corner Talk
 Movie Review

 Monday July 25th-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Garden Update
 Book Review

August 2011

 Monday August 1st-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Preparing for Garden Harvest
 Camping Update

 Monday August 8th-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Summer Craft Corner
 Art Update

 Monday August 15th-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Garden Harvest Recipes
 Coupon Review

 Monday August 22nd-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Photography Update
 Writing Online

 Monday August 29th-

 D.I.Y. Beauty
 Summer Recipe of the Week
 Better Body Time
 Fresh Summer Drinks
 Fall & Winter Decor Fashion from TrulyJulie on Etsy
 Back to School

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FREE Online TV Update!

Hellooooo there, just a quick update~ I have been tracking where to watch free TV shows online.
I have come across a few good streaming sites and some that work to watch channels from around the world.  I just may go and axe the cable bill now.


Here's the links people:

This site lists many channels from cartoons, many classic movie channels, sports and US channels like Fox News Talk Live Stream.  Apparently there is an adult channel +18 tab, so Mom's don't leave kids alone to browse ALL the channels but there is so many more quality shows to choose and much much more~!
http://www.myeasytv.com/

Here we have many western classic channels, cartoon, cooking and many classic shows.  You have to choose each channel open the player and see if it's what you want to watch, it's kind of a gamble depending on what you like...... good luck.
http://tubtub.com/

Now, some of you may have seen the cable provider's message about switching from analog to
digital, and it may cause some outages depending on the way you watch your t.v. shows.
You can watch almost all the CTV programs, that you watch on t.v. on the Internet and the latest
breaking news on Global.  There are soap operas, prime time evening shows like "The Deadliest Catch" and when you click to watch it you are taken to Discovery Channel (discoverychannel.ca) so don't forget about that.  There are many programs you can view on Discovery and History. "The Voice" also is available to watch on CTV and daytime talk such as "The View" and you can choose when you want to watch the shows you missed,.  So that is convenient and better than cable if you can choose when you watch it.
http://shows.ctv.ca/video.aspx



There is the Bravo site that you can choose to watch video on, and it is all about arts, entertainment, music and culture.  You can also read about top stories, view the online t.v. schedule and browse about arts, but there seem to be limited shows available on this site and the movies are played on television but it's worth being in the online t.v. options.
http://www.bravo.ca/

Have you heard of Blip TV?  Here's some of the best in original web series, I haven't really sat through and watched anything just yet but it does look a bit like amateur or freelance video's not necessarily real television, but hey I don't know that's my opinion, and you just may like it so, here's the link:
http://blip.tv/

Hockey lovers, you can watch live free, live and also archived hockey games, I admit you do have to
hunt for the game you want to watch, but if you are a fan you will do it, right?  I think it's basically
any games that were shown on CBC and the classic archived games from years past.  Pretty sweet.
http://www.hockeywebcasts.com/

Some people that are scouting out the best TV for you already, (that is available online) in Canada
is Scout TV!  There are links right to all the stations like CBC, CTV, Global and Discovery and you can watch almost everything you already are watching and maybe more! 
http://tvscout.ca/watch-tv-online-canada/

TV Shack used to a great site for shows and movies, but since it has changed for what ever reason, I don't believe is free anymore.  It is also now called TV Central.  Here's the site though, I just never bother to sign up and 'proceed to the next step', which is likely the credit card payment step or something.  You can see for your self though:
http://tvshack.org/


You can watch Global TV online!  Yes, Rookie Blue, Love Bites, classic, short webisodes like "Who's the Boss" and much more!
http://www.globaltv.com/


If you watch MTV on TV, for reality shows, music or entertainment news, you also can watch it all
online!  You do have to wait a day or two later for the shows that were on television, to be posted online, so some of your friends may see it first if they have it on TV.  They see it first and spoil it for you then unfriend them (just kidding)..... but hey you can save money.  Who is the smart one?
http://www.mtv.ca/

Finally, I found this quite interesting, that if you are in a certain area you may not be able to watch
a lot of content online. others are able to like in the US.  I found this out when I tried to watch Internet TV from Windows Media Center.  It offers all the channels from the US, movies, etc.  I mean
this would replace cable, so I got excited and checked out the channel line-up and clicked on what I wanted to watch.  I tried "The Talk" with Sarah Ferguson featuring on the episode, and it downloaded all the shows and then I clicked and it was loading....... so I thought I was in the money but then I read the message that said this is "not available in my area". Bummer and I tried this over and over for other shows and came to the same result.......
Well, there is an application called Anchor Free which is a hot spot shield.  It was the first I heard of this, and it is supposed to block you making you private, secure and anonymous online. 
Apparently, by doing this, if you are blocked the shows that you are not able to access may just be able to work for you, after all they won't know what "area" you are in.  I read this somewhere, so honestly I am NOT "recommending" (that's my disclaimer) this and you would have to look into this more before you take it from me,.  So, anyways, to find out more google it and here's the Anchor Free link:
http://anchorfree.com/

That's all I have found so far, and now you can actually use this blog page as an online channel guide~!  I will post more interesting and better sites if I find them..... perhaps you can let me know back here if you find any as well.  Similarly, if any of these links become outdated and do not work please let me know.  :)

Also, get ready for my 'Summer Events Posting' schedule which is coming up on Sunday, and will tell you a couple weeks ahead of time, when I will be posting recipes, certain topics of interest, easy summer and beach body exercises and much more!
Trying to get organized here people. See you later!










Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Time Countdown Favorites! HUGE LIST!!

Happy Father's Day Everyone!!

Summer time, summer time.  Officially, it's on Tuesday June 21st so it's now time to bring out the summer clothing, if not already, and also prepare to transition our favorite summer time products back into our beach bags, purses and beauty regime.

I personally never used to change my products for different seasons, but with that some of the winter lotions for my face are thicker and heavier and I break out using those same products in the summer type weather.  I feel that having the right products and smells to some of those products makes the summer more enjoyable.  It can even make it easier to get ready if everything is going together effortlessly.  I have some favorites to use, and I have some products I am interested in.  Let me discuss a couple that may help you out this summer.

The first product I would like to discuss, is the Vitamark Natique Skin Care System line.
I personally used this in the winter and it helped then too but it would also make a nice light summer time product to use as well. It is one that is versatile and I will be using this one both winter and summer because it does balance my skin.

There are a few steps to this line, but if done properly, amazing results!  Here they are:

Step #1 is the colloidal cleanser which is quite soothing and removes all initial impurities like makeup.  It's enriched with things like Aloe Vera, Sunflower Seed Oil, Jojoba, Green Tea extract and vitamin E.

Step #2 is the lathering cleanser which encourages exfoliation, tightening and firming.
It also is made from Aloe Vera, Panthenol, Green Tea and more to encourage the wonderful results to
happen.  For both of these cleansers, they only require very small amounts, to be used morning and evening for optimal results.

Step #3 is the enriched ultra conditioner which is the moisturizing step to this line.
This product contains Natural Oils, Vitamins and Green Tea to name a few, that really does balance the level of moisture in my face, and amazingly it is only a half a dime size amount that you have to use to do the whole face and neck, give or take the level or amount you need.

Step #4 is the protective lotion made to tone, firm and nourish one's skin.  It helps protect skin from bad environmental elements and also aids in exfoliation especially under the eyes.   It does work to improve the look and feel of skin.
It contains things like Aloe Vera, Vitamin C, Green Tea and other natural oils.  I feel this is the final and cooling step to the process, as this is a product that is like water, that you put a small dime size amount on and lightly pat the face with.  It feels great, completes the firming and refreshing part to the line, and actually keeps the oil away.
It is recommended, if you have oily skin to use step 4 before and after step 3.

This would be great to use if you get oily skin in the summer, as opposed to dry skin in the winter.
For the smell of this product, it does not seem to have any scent to it too much, so it is just a fresh
face it leaves you with. 

To follow-up there is a Night Cream made by Vitamark Natique that is a very nourishing
and does smell like Aloe Vera of which is does contain.  It does help fine lines and smoothing of
the skin.  This skin care does cost about $45 + shipping & handling.  It will last though and comes with a nice clear plastic carrying bag of it's own, a skin care guide with tips and tricks and you would be happy with many more of the Vitamark products.  I reuse the bags for organizing purposes, such as small hair ties and things I don't want lying around.


My next favorite summer product right now, and through out my 20's has been Oil of Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer for combination and oily skin with UV protection and SPF 15 lotion or the same for sensitive skin.  It works great for sun protection, for small amounts of exposure like on the weekday on the way to work, looks great under make-up and also really holds up all day indoors. Now my skin will likely change, but for now it's still working great.

It does have to be re-applied if you are in for prolonged sun exposure in the day, or use a higher SPF altogether if you are really planning to be in the sun all day.  If you are an outdoors person and always in the sun, perhaps you should probably choose something with more SPF protection in it.
This prevents your risk and chance to sun burn and dangerous exposure to the UV rays.

I do find that a make-up primer be used over top of this product just to set it best for your
foundation.  There is a light scent to this product, I find it to be fresh and clean smelling but for those who have sensitivities it definitely might sting a bit if you are in direct hot sun.

The next face lotion I love is No 7 Protect and Perfect Night Cream.  I love a lot of this company's products.  It is a bit thicker, but since it's a night cream it can be quite soothing on the skin while you sleep and recover from your day or the night before.  It has many ingredients, and I recycled the box that lists these, so I cannot recall exactly but it is not a "all natural" product by any means.  It smells great and is very moisturizing.  It is recommended to smooth this lotion on after No 7's Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum of which smooths lines and reveals a healthy glow to the skin.
The Eye Creams also work fairly well from No 7.  It is bit more pricey, if you are considering spending more than $10 on yourself and so I wait for sales and I can save myself $20.  If you are not concerned on the prices then I recommend it but I have also spent way more on under eye creams and way less.

My next favorite summer product is a refreshing body spray from Avon Naturals.  It is the pomegranate and mango spray, that is so light and fruity.  It is not as strong as some perfumes and
is a very summery smell and will be just the product you love in your beach bag.  I am not sure the current price on this product, as I got mine awhile ago.  I would guess $8.

I also love Cherry Blossom from Calgon, and actually may be my favorite of ALL TIME.
It can be anywhere from $5-8 or $1 if you head to the dollar store and they carry it.  Sometimes I got lucky.  I like to buy the small purse size bottles of these, so I can throw it in my bag of the day or take with me to the beach, or even keep at work in my desk drawer for a fast fresher-upper. It can  be nice if someone else doesn't smell particularly good and you need to spritz the air (of course when they are out of sight and spray range) so as to not insult your own smell senses any longer than necessary.

A new favorite perfume for the summer is, Mariah Carey's Luscious Pink.  It has a nice fruity note to
it and just screams summer.  I also like the cute bottle, but I do need to purchase this myself and stop getting free spritzes of it from the perfume counter. lol  I have not bought it yet.  It is $42.00 for a 1.1 fluid oz of this stuff and ranges higher prices in the bigger sizes.

A summer razor to try is the Schick Naturals Intuition razor. Let me say, it's a fast process with the conditioning Aloe Vera solid that it comes with.   It does work great and is fast with no shaving creams needed since the solid is the shaving cream built in.
Couponing will help you get this product for less.  If you get a coupon from a coupon site or elsewhere, then it will not cost a lot.  I had a coupon for $5 off, and it was originally $7, so it cost $2. That is not bad to try it out.  It has a thick and comfortable handle to hang onto, this is really good because I have not dropped it because of that.  It comes with a solid and razor refill after the first one is used up, and has suction cup holder unit to stick to the wall in your shower.  It also comes with a travel cap to cover the razor blade and solid when you have to pack it up.  All pretty good for $2. When it comes to buying the refills from the store, now that is a another story.  They can be quite pricey.

I will further discuss summer shaving products, foot scrubs,  what is going in my beach bag this summer and more on summer time products that are organic.  Check back in July~!

A great summer drink is Crave (Vitamark) and if you are interested in energy with out the caffeine crash, then this is for you!  It comes in convenient pouches that you can  slip into your summer bag.   It is a nice pick me up in the afternoon and it is cheaper per package than other energy drinks. I love the taste as it's original and something different than pop or juice.  It has become something I crave- no pun intended. Here's a link where you can get some:
http://123buycrave.com/

Well, that's all for this week and if you are having a hard week throw on some Bob Marley, pour yourself a Berry Mojito or a Malibu Coconutini and think summer time.
Have a great week!