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:


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 .  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!

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.
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