Hi

Wow it’s been a few months since I’ve posted on the blog. You know that’s just how it goes though, it’s not a job but a hobby so sometimes planning it out and being creative is just too much when you’re busy. It’s funny because I originally created the blog out of boredom when I first moved and had no job, school hadn’t started yet, knew not a single person and was going stir crazy. Now I’m really busy and it’s been a while since I’ve had time to make any updates (which is good!). 


Today I am reflecting and Missin the place I call home. Sometimes it’s hard to be torn between two places you have a home. Miss my 2 sisters, my mom and my dad, my family, every one of my lifelong friends, the ocean, and Rob who’s in camp for 20 days each month. On the other hand after over a year I’m actually starting to feel at home somewhere else. Had an amazing work experience this summer that has affirmed moving so far and makes it worth while to feel like you’ve accomplish something that just isn’t possible in a small place. Things are just taking off here and yet things are changing at home too! With a niece or a nephew arriving at the end of this year I know that will just be one more little love to miss but feeling confident in making these big city dreams come true. 💕✨🏙

Now I have a few days off during which I may or may not share some new recipes. Will definitely sleep in, probably paint, organize a ton of my sh*t, and get ready for school! I love going back to school and I have since kindergarten. A scary realization is that this won’t be happening next year. But I would like to think at this time next year I’ll be working and enjoying the new pace of life.  

Anyways thinking of all of you. Keep in touch. Xo

Advertisements

Kombucha

 

Okay so I went to a how to make kombucha class and it was really neat! I have been interested in a probiotic and had tried the store bought stuff but it gets really pricey at up to $5 a bottle. The class was $15 and you went home with a scoby. I learned that scoby means Symbiotic Collection of Bacteria and Yeast. They look horrifying and disgusting but I am very excited to see what it can do.

image

That is the one I took home. My new baby. It was quite hilarious how they were talking about it at the class, because much like cellular division this thing will get thicker until it actually divides into 2. And just like that it is “mother” and when the bottle gets too gassy you sometimes have to “burp” it which is just quickly letting the air out and then closing it again. You also have to feed it, by adding sugar to the brew. So basically it’s a small freaky being that I have to care for in order for it to care for me 🙂 haha…. ew weird.

Anyway how it works is you get a large glass gallon sized jar, I found one easily at Canadian Tire in the jar/canning section. The night before you start you fill it half way with boiling water to sanitize the jar and clean the water. Let it cool over night. The next day on the stove you make a very sweet strong tea mix by adding 4-8 teabags to hot water and 1 cup of sugar. You can simmer this for a while and then let it cool. Once it is cool add it to the now cold water that cooled over night. (of course remove the tea bags/strain loose leaf). The whole jar should be cool, and this is when you can add your scoby. It will die if you add it to hot water so be careful not too. You cover the opening of the jar with something like cheese cloth, cover the whole jar with a large kitchen cloth and let it do it’s thing. The first time may take a bit longer as the scoby is quite small. But otherwise it takes around 5-7 days in the summer and 6-10 in the winter, depending on where you live and the temperature of your house.

It’s neat because you can make any flavor your little heart desires really. You can use a black tea base and then after the 5-7 days remove the scoby (always leave it in some liquid) and divide the brew into smaller drinking jars, and you can add fruit to flavor, and ferment for a further 3 days before putting it into the fridge. You can also use different kinds of teas to flavor the base.

image

Here is my first gallon attempt. We will see what happens and I will update. I chose to use peach-ginger tea bags, and then after a week or so I am going to divvy it up and add chunks of real ginger and peaches to each glass. Double flavor? Excited to try.

Hippiness

For me, it also means happiness..haha so corny. I feel like when I do things my own way or alternatively it makes me happy and creates peace of mind. This week was a good one. I got out and took part in a few events that were pretty neat. First off on Tuesday I went to an essential oil workshop. I figured I might as well go if I already have the collection, it was a free class, and it was only 5 minutes from my house. Even though I’ve been here for a year now I still feel new sometimes and am mostly a home body. In the end I was glad I went because I learned some stuff and I also met a friend who I think I will be meeting up for a walk/tea/coffee with.

So the company that I get essential oils from advocates and even recommends taking the oils internally or ingesting them for example putting some in your water or under the tongue…but on the other hand I’ve been reading a lot about why that isn’t a good idea. As anything with health movements there are strong supporters for each side. I’m kind of stuck on that one as I have had it in my water before but never on a regular basis and I’m not so sure it is a good idea actually but don’t know how to know for sure. I mostly use my oils as you’ve seen in previous posts under the COSMETICS tab, for things like cleaners, hair products, scenting deodorant,  and I diffuse them a lot too, including lots of unlisted uses. But anyways I just want to hear from anyone if they have input on this subject. How do you feel about the recommendation to ingest essential oils, do you partake, why or why not? Thanks!!

SO anyways take some chances, go do something new even if it’s by yourself and take part in things that interest you 🙂

April

Wow hard to believe it’s already April am I right?!?

Last day of classes has already came and gone. I still have finals though, 5 in total. I have 3 this week – Wednesday is Real Estate, Thursday is accounting, and Friday is Civil Litigation…all my 3 core, difficult classes so that will be nice to get done. I am not worried though because I’ve been to all my classes and I’m doing just fine. The week after I have 2 more but they are my low key classes so not going to give that any thought until at least the weekend.

So yes, before today I hadn’t posted on the blog in over a month. Things were extremely busy in March with school. I had a bunch of drafts built up which I finally got around to writing today! yay. Recently I think 4 separate people have gifted me cookbooks. Some just said they saw it and thought of me or had it around and thought I would like it. That makes me happy. I’ve had my fair share of treats lately between Easter, my birthday, my sister’s visit…so it’s nice to feel excited about cooking again!

So something cool I’ve discovered recently is a podcast called Serial. It’s not about a serial killer but it is about a true crime story. This kid Adnan Syed gets convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, when he’s 17 years old. One of his family friends brings the case to the attention of a reporter in the area named Sarah who becomes fascinated about the case. She goes over every document and people of interest and is trying to figure out exactly what happened back in ’99. There is so little evidence other than one person’s hear say story and a few suspicious phone calls, but nothing you would consider BEYOND any doubt of murder. At the time of the podcast Adnan has been in jail for 15 years…FIFTEEN years. Imagine if he really didn’t do it and he’s spent almost half of his entire life in jail. Sad to think of the number of people wrongfully convicted. I have not decided what side I am on yet and the story isn’t quite over.

I myself have become somewhat fascinated by this story. I’m on the last episode and I don’t want it to end. They are about 40 min- 1 hour each. What I love about them is Sarah is so well spoken that she’s easy to follow and she explains things so well. It’s also really amazing because she fits in clips of the trial, interviews, phone calls and everything you would want or need to hear to form an opinion. It sounds creepy but it’s kind of great to just put it on and go for a nice hour long walk while I soak up all the details of the case. It’s literally like a spoken documentary. If anyone is interested I will put the link in this post. It is definitely something you must listen to in order starting with episode 1 – the alibi.

Obviously not everyone is interested in true crime for entertainment but I sure am. Guess that’s why I took criminology and legal diplomas. It does make me optimistic about loving my future career. Anyway if anyone does want to check it out I highly recommend it.

https://serialpodcast.org/season-one

 

 

Back at it👌

So as everyone knows the holidays are extremely busy and difficult to stay on track. Stay on track I did not….I decided not to in advance. As backwards as that sounds or as lazy of a solution as it is, it is what I chose. It’s nice to not worry about all the little choices (or big choices) and although a tiny part of me regrets just how casual I allowed myself to be there’s no going back. To be honest it sort of feels like I started my caring holiday in November. I definitely feel a slight loss of progress from that and my 18 day stay at home. Don’t get me wrong my family eats well and makes homemade food but it was the extras. I snacked a lot, ate a lot of cheese, and drank a lot of booze. SO now I’m back to caring, avoiding certain foods, and generally not drinking. This is about my first day back!

 

My fridge was bare when I came home so I grabbed some pho for dinner last night, and got eggs so that I could start today the way I wanted to! School starts back up tomorrow. Part of me is slightly dreading it and the other is excited because I want to be out of the house. I have 5 classes this semester one of which has a lab with a different teacher so I’m saying 6…which is a lot. I got organized for that by drawing up a little schedule, buying a couple new notebooks, and I walked to the school to sell an old text.

Then very importantly I made a meal plan, a grocery list, and went shopping!!  My groceries were so green today I was very pleased. Our butcher meat in the freezer is really low and I didn’t feel like driving to get more today so I opted for a week high in veg dinners.

I did some snack prep because I wanted to have something to bring with me during the week. Last semester I was home every day for lunch but this one is different so I’ll be at school during that time. We will see how that goes! Big dinners for 1 = leftovers for lunch.
  I just cleared out my nut supply with this batch and didn’t have to get anything for them. In food processor I used pecans, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, coconut, ground coffee, a bunch of dates, tbsp of soft coconut oil. Rolled em up and stuck em in the freezer for chewiness.

My dear friend Kim and her guy have been juicing daily and have inspired me to get back on that train. (They’ve also been reading the blog, thanks guys!) What a good train to get on. Kim and I first started juicing a couple years ago when we were roommates but we approached it with the mindset that you had to replace meals with juice, we have both learned a lot when it comes to making food and something we agree on is for us it feels much better to have a juice in addition to a meal or in between rather than instead of. It shouldn’t be torture!

So I made my first juice in a while today. Beet tops, kale, carrots, 1 orange + pulp, ginger.
 It turned out rather brown but that’s okay it was delicious. I really like ginger in mine.

Then for dinner I pulled 2 portions I had previously frozen of chicken stock and the I zoodled a zucchini. Super simple. The stock was frozen but I just warmed it up over the stove and it came back to life. Once it was hot I added the zoodles, you can add them to the warm stock just before serving and this prevents them from being over cooked and soggy.

I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine and back into the blog. It’s been so long since I posted anything substantial but that’s just how it goes. I didn’t make a New Years resolution because I don’t like making promises I can’t keep. Kidding, but in all seriousness I feel like I’ve already gotten closer to so many goals that if I just keep going the direction I’m headed that I will get there eventually. I want to make changes in my life regarding healthy eating and career etc because I want them and am ready to obtain them not because I feel obligated to.

Hope everyone had a good holiday and is feeling ready to get back at it 😉

Life

Sometimes I like to reflect on things like this. It is all very weird to think about how one small event can change your life. I relate to this on how Rob and I met, probably the shittiest job of either of our lives but it has lead to a feeling of completeness and so much happiness! Timing is so strange. Of course my blog is mainly about healthy foods that I have prepared but there is always so much more going on behind the scenes. With our weird schedule, and being a full time student, I often get behind on posts for weeks at a time. Not like it’s my job anyway ha, but here are some things we have gotten up to over the last month!
  We DO still get out and enjoy ourselves. We have said we are going to try a brand new restaurant every month but sometimes we can’t help but go back to the Keg…it’s definitely our favorite date spot.   We also DO still make choices that aren’t our ideal everyday choices but that’s ok. We made some delicious sangria with fruit and wine and lots of other alcohol lol. We don’t drink nearly as much as we used to but this was really really good. We used some of the homemade blackberry wine I have, tequila, vodka, triple sec, and gingerale, frozen berries, lemons and limes. Pop is a pretty rare thing for us but like I said we try not to dwell on less than perfect choices that we make once n a while.
 

We have also been exploring and getting out on the bikes. Not a lot but we try to go on an adventure at least once while Rob’s home. It’s SO much fun!! We have found a pretty nice area that we always go to for walks or bike rides. The fresh air is great but the best part is just finding some form of exercise we can enjoy doing together that doesn’t suck.   Rob is ALSO an amazing cook! Which is soooo great because he steps up all the time and makes food for me. These 2 dishes (above and below) are both examples of delicious healthy food he has had ready for me when I walk in the door from school. I am usually so hungry when I get home from school and I so appreciate this! Above he made salmon cakes over salad with fresh salsa and homemade garlic aioli…umm yum!! And below is taco salad also with fresh salsa. 
The majority of days I am in school which I am loving. I’ve been walking to and from everyday which takes me about 30 minutes each way. It’s getting colder in the mornings for sure but I’ve been catching some amazing sun rises that I look forward to. I’m not sure how it will be as it gets freezing out but I am going to find out soon!



I am also proud of us for being responsible and both getting everything done to finally and officially have our vehicles approved in Alberta. It is not easy or cheap but it was the right thing to do! I guess that’s all part of growing up, spending LOTS of money on responsibilities because consequences are real now ahha. Anyways it was something we’ve been working on for quite a while and is officially complete 🙂 Time to make a new goal.

First day!

Okay so today was my first day at the new University. It went pretty well! I walked to and from today because it was nice out and I don’t have very long until the weather says NOPE. It’s about 5 km round trip, so a nice walk. On my first day I only had 2 classes, both profs seem really nice. Tomorrow I have the other two, I’ve heard mixed reviews about one of the profs. Apparently over 500 people applied for the 40/50 spot program! 

back2school    <~ off I gooooo

My classes this semester are

  • Business Law
  • Legal Word Processing
  • Corporate Procedures
  • Legal Research

I will usually have 5 classes a semester but English (my 5th) was credited for a previous English course I’ve taken. I have at least one class 5 days a week mon-fri. The BL class is basically going to be a review from my previous law courses taken in the Criminology program. That is okay with me. We have such a variety of people in that class it’s crazy. Today we introduced ourselves and there were people from Egypt, China, Russia, Spain, India and different parts of Canada. Some are international students only here to study and some moved to Canada within the recent past.

My Word class (typing/legal documents) is surprisingly intense! We get 3 folders and 2 notes books given to us that are required every class as well as the text we have to get which weighs like 15 pounds and costs $180!!!!. That’s one of the worst things, the prices of textbooks. Usually I buy all my books used but this year is the first year they have switched to Word 2013, so the last year 2010 textbook is not accepted. Some say it’s not even necessary to buy it but the prof really stressed it’s importance. It’s really frustrating when they do that and you only open it once…Well hopefully some people will be looking to buy it next year….Apparently they keep teaching the older editions based on the businesses around Edmonton. Most law offices only recently switched to Word 2013 so that is why last year they were still using ’10.

Anyways I’m really looking forward to this new chapter. I have been feeling a little socially isolated lately with Rob in camp and not really having friends. I actually met a girl today who is in the same program as me, also recently moved to Edmonton, lives by herself, and knows no one! We were both very excited to be starting something. It’s also kind of shocking to me but this year will be my fourth year of post secondary…. wow. I took one year of general studies at UVIC, 2 years at NIC for the crim diploma, and now starting at GMAC! I for sure feel like this is my last 2 years for at least a long time, if not ever.

Other than it being a new school, this school year feels different for other reasons too! Rob and I have our own little place, living out of town and province from my family, and having a plan! I appreciate my parents and family for all the things I’ve depended on them for during the last few years. A home and food most importantly lol. It feels exciting to be out of the house, out of the province doing our own thing. Although Rob has lots experience of being on his own, it’s relatively new for me. As far as the plan, it’s always tentative but what I mean is that Legal Assistant is not only a program, it’s a job title! At the end of the Crim diploma I was like hmmm okay, I loved learning about that but there’s no way in hell I want to work in corrections, policing, or strictly research so the full degree wasn’t something I wanted to pursue, and I can’t “be a crim”. I didn’t know exactly what kind of job I could apply for, or start a career in, and I felt a little unsure of the next step. Once I figured that out and fast forward to now, it’s exciting to think that when I’m done I will be like I know what job I’m going to apply for!!!

It’s great because throughout the program we will be learning about each type of law and legal assistant duties. So when it’s all done, I will technically be qualified to work as a legal assistant in a variety of environments like

  • Real estate
  • Criminal law office
  • Civil law office
  • Court
  • Wills and Estates

Another thing I’m excited about in this program that was lacking in the crim is a 5 week practicum in the last semester. So you basically get to choose which area of law you liked best and influence where you’ll get practical experience. I’m keeping an open mind but as of right now I’m assuming I’ll choose the criminal law or court because I feel those will best pair with my existing creds.I’ve always loved school and it’s kind of what I’ve excelled at, more so than sports or other activities #nerd.

I’m definitely going to continue cooking and experimenting with foods and eating delicious things, and I will do my best to keep up on the blog! So even if you’re not feeling as excited or positive as I am about it I hope everyone who’s starting school, or starting something new has a great first day!

Meal Planning

I haven’t done much meal planning in the last few years. Aprx 3 years ago when Rob and I first lived in Edmonton, we had a deal where we would each choose 7 dinners from a cook book, make a list, shop, and cook for those 7 nights in a row. This worked well for us because it was organized and fair and always delicious. Our schedules are quite different now and that is impossible. I have mostly just “winged it” every night the last little while. Today I decided with school coming up and just generally needing to feel more organized, I can do the original plan just by myself :p

I got all the cookbooks I wanted to use out.

IMG_0278[1]

I also went into my freezer and took meat inventory. This way I can be sure to not leave anything for too long and choose recipes that go with them.

IMG_0279[1]

Quiteeeee a while ago I got this scheduler and never used it. Found it again and like that I can put the things I have on the list and fill in the days. Going through a few books I found 5 dinners I want to make this week, made a list, and hit the store.

IMG_0277[1]

Because I was shopping around the meat that I have, I only needed produce for my dinners. This list wasn’t so bad, sometimes they are out of control.

I got a few things outside of the recipes and as always got a few things that weren’t on the list at all…I ended up going to 2 stores because the tiny avocado oil at save on was $15 and I couldn’t do it. At planet organic the same one was $10 so I just got it aha. The ground cardamom was $10!!!!!!! and only came in one size…I guess these are things that you don’t have to buy often. I would say if you’re going to meal plan, it will be one pretty big shop a week. It can feel like you’re spending more because it’s all at once but if you divide the total by how many meals it’s not so scary. I spent close to $100 but I won’t need oil and frozen fruit, and things like that every shop, still / 5 is $20. Most dishes I make you can feed 2 from so I eat a lot of left over dinners for lunch and breaky, I love eating all foods at any time of the day! Dinner for breakfast, breakfast for dinner.

Keep in mind we buy our meat at a different store usually in bulk so I don’t factor that into the above^.

This weeks upcoming menu consists of:

  • coconut pineapple rice + roasted veggies (scrapped the chop)
  • skillet chicken thighs
  • carrot + cardamom soup
  • roasted portobello mushroom burgers
  • cavolini al forno ( I know that forno means oven in Italian, I am assuming cavolini means brussel sprout)

There’s no telling what order I’ll decide to eat these in….I will let you know if I find planning ahead helpful!! Also the apple chips were horrible ! Really.

On a side note, I am probably terrible to go shopping with. I hum and haw over the tiniest details and sometimes struggle to make quick decisions. I feel like taking some extra time is worth it for me at the store because it gives me the chance to read labels and make sure I get what I think I’m getting. For example, below is prosciutto from the same company one is “smoked” and the other is regular. You can see the one that is smoked has nitrates and sugar, and the non smoked ones has only salt and pepper added. In a rush it’s easy to grab either but if you slow down and read what you’re buying you might catch a few things.

I wonder why they have sodium nitrate listed 2 times one after the other. Do you think they can count it separately and manipulate the daily nutritional facts? It’s a bit disheartening that it’s such a puzzle to find out what’s really in food. Simple is better at times!

September

It’s one of my favorite months of the year, September always brings change. People get new schedules, start new activities, and the weather changes. I feel like the change from summer ~> fall is more abrupt than the change from spring ~> summer. I enjoy cooler temperatures. It has been notably colder yesterday and today than before, I know that this years winter is going to be a level up from my last years winter. I do really like fall for the colors and the clothing…scarfs and sweaters and boots are great, it’s not really a full season here though!

School starts in a few days and I’m definitely ready, I’ve had lots of time to settle in and now I’m antsy to get back into a timetable. I got a bus pass with my student card and I’m going bus to school, it’s very close so it’s a short ride. I took the route yesterday because I wanted to do it at least once before school. Since I live so close it doesn’t make sense to pay for really expensive parking and spend more time looking for a parking spot than driving. I can either take the bus from the intersection right near my house and get off a few blocks down the same road and take a different bus from there to the front doors of the school, or I can walk to the second intersection and only take one bus. I guess it just depends how cold it gets.

I had a second wave last night and went into full baking mode. I had ingredients and recipes. I have “befriended” an older lady who lives across the alley from me. She has a bunch of apple trees and every week her garbage bin is over flowing with bags and bags of apples. At first I thought they must be sour or terrible or something!! But I went and talked to her and they’re the best apples I’ve ever had. I asked her if I could pick some and she said come any time, don’t have to tell me when. So I picked a huge bowl of them and decided to add them into ~> THE BAR RECIPE <~

The method was the same, only things I changed was I swapped apples for chocolate, added shredded coconut on the top, and baked for 16 minutes instead of 19-20. They are definitely softer, and the apple is delicious. Oh I also got a new container of almond butter because I used mine up and it was a lot smoother so that seemed to help as well. I just had one right now (a day later) and dammit they are good!!

IMG_0216[1]

Softer and chewier than the first batch. I added the apple in raw and it cooked perfectly. It is slightly crumbly so I cut it into smaller squares. Now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of the apples maybe muffins? It would be smart of me to really pick lots and make tons of snacks and freeze them, we will see what actually happens… Oh and the sour cherries are in the oven RIGHT NOW dehydrating. They are set to be in there for 8 hours!!! I will update on that when they are done.