Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peace One Day

I have been insanely busy and fairly stressed the last few days, with no thanks to whoever stole my bike. But I wanted to post something quickly that is also very interesting. I can't wait to fill you in on all of the great musicians I saw. But for now...
Here are 2 great Ted Talks video - and if you haven't heard of Ted Talks I really encourage you to explore other talks. they are inspirational and educational.
Thanks, Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home to Edmonton Folk Music Festival

I'm going home for a week and so I will be off for a bit enjoying Edmonton Folk Music Festival
So excited to be with family and see friends.

There is a great line-up including Noah and the Whale, Andrew Bird, K.T. Tunstall, Brandi Carlile, Lyle Lovett, K.D Lang, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. And so many more.

Here is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and their song Home.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Last Month of Summer

It's August! Already!
I have decided to make a few August goals/promises to myself.

I promise to eat more healthy (incl. my veggies). 
I would love your help with this please link up recipes you love

I vow to do 500 abs and 100 pushups every day
I did this last summer when I was working out with a trainer and it's time to get back to it.

Enjoy summer More. 
This means I have to take more advantage of my free time towards useful things.
Including Studying, because yes my summer school is still going. 

What are your goals with your last month of summer?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

feathers again!! extensions?

Wow what a wonderful weekend. A friend from Vancouver visited me and though we didn't end up at any caribana events, we did have 2 wonderful days of adventuring around the city; shopping on Queen St. and Kensington. Kensington is a great place to find feather earrings (something she wanted). and on that note:

I really like the idea of feather extensions, minus the small issue of washing your hair which isnt that big of a deal.
My friend got some feather hair extensions professionally put in for around 40$ and im not
sure where to buy all of these supplies so maybe the DIY version isnt the best idea but i still love it.
of course you can always do the far less permanent version, being feather earrings. But check out this blog I really like it!

Here is a link to a great Etsy Shop that has been selling feather extensions for years!
Flox Extensions

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fun Things to do all over Toronto!

even though I once lived in the Caribbean, this will be my first Caribana Festival. And Toronto has the biggest in the world! so it seems like a good place to start my experience. I will post pictures after the weekend is over and let you know all about the fun.
If you are looking for more info check out:
Caribana Toronto 2011

This site is so fantastic to find fashion districts. 
You are able to search by area or search for a certain store and get pictures and a whole review.
Like this with Lost and Found in Dundas West.

Or go watch a movie outdoors for free @ TO Summer Movies

And with only 1 month left you better get to it!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I used to be a picky eater growing up so I only first had this soup last year when I went to the cutest french cafe off campus in Vancouver. Me and my friend studied there all day drinking pots of tea and eating grilled cheese and butternut squash soup.
This just brings back all those wonderful memories (despite the studying aspect).

I followed this easy recipe.
See my previous post to learn how to cut up a butternut squash.
The only hard part was pureeing the Squash we didn't really work in the magic bullet (but this could have been my own mistakes). I ended up just mushing up the squash with a fork and I think that the soup is really great.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Couscous and Butternut Squash Salad - Healthy Eating

The hardest part of this recipe was cutting up the butternut squash.
I like butternut squash, and couscous, Suprise mom! (she thinks I hate everything), but i have never cooked with either so this is a bit of an adventure. 
I used this recipe for Couscous and Squash Salad.
It was light, filling and healthy.

I had to buy most of the ingredients but I think it was worth it and I will be sure to make this again.
I also forgot to buy the cilantro and fresh thyme (the greens really). tear. I think this would have added alot to the flavour/look of the meal... next time.

So first I got all the ingredients together including:
a butternut squash 
(gosh they are big and I'm planning on making soup with the rest)
(i didnt like it that much but perhaps I need the greens for help?, i have this left over too (any advice?))
cilantro (oops)
thyme (oops)
(I made regular but they say Isreali style, good my way too)
walnut oil 
(now that I have it i would love other recipes?)
(fresh or I just used juice)
Olive oil
optional walnuts would probably add a nice crunch but i was too cheap

Couscous is great and so much better for you than pasta and rice in many ways.
"It has a glycemic load per gram 25% below that of pasta. It has a superior vitamin profile to pasta, containing twice as much riboflavinniacinvitamin B6, and folate, and containing four times as much thiamine and pantothenic acidIn terms of protein, couscous has 3.6 g for every 100 calories, equivalent to pasta, and well above the 2.6 g for every 100 calories ofwhite rice. Furthermore, couscous contains a 1% fat-to-calorie ratio, compared to 3% for white rice, 5% for pasta, and 11.3% for rice pilaf."

Then I learnt How to cut a Butternut Squash. It takes a bit of muscle!

Then I just followed the recipe.
Though I did decide to follow the basic recipe on the couscous package (please ask if you would like it).

Raddichio... what do I do with the rest?

butternut squash and onion with oil and salt

Not Isreali Style but it was good

Yummy Yummy

There is only me to eat it so I am sure I will have a few meals out of this (perhaps cilantro will get added).  With the leftover Butternut Squash I made soup which I'll show tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Penny floors

It is so centsible! 

It has begun cropping up so I thought I would do a post highlighting this cool idea.
It even fits with my NY state of mind since a bunch of it seems to be inspired by The Standard Grill flooring done by NOTCOT.

With a little digging I found quite a few different examples. And I think I really like the look though I'm not sure I could commit to a big space even though it has such an impact. Some people just did their bathrooms or a table which is great!

These guys did a massive floor by hand!:
A table and a great how to!:

So a penny for your thoughts on this?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quote Cards

Wow, such a great response to my last post! I thank you soo so much!
This post may not be of the same caliber but it's still something important to me and something that I want to share with you.
P.S. Don't miss a chance to tell those that you love how you feel.

I left home for University and was able to make all my friends jealous by regularly receiving mail (thanks Mom and Oma!). I wanted to share some of the quotes on the cards that I have hanging on my wall.

Inspiration is my Key to Flow.

"Sometimes I dream as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast" - Alice in Wonderland

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yarn Eggs/Balls

Everyone else seems to call them Yarn Eggs but I guess the shape of my balloons was more round, cuss that is how they came out...

I hope you guys are somewhat excited about this all. I have worked really hard on getting this right and am finally happy with the product. Now I just have to figure out a safe way to move them in a month (oops) and perhaps maybe more colours after that? I have finished with 7 different sized balls (4 yarn, 3 hemp).

Okay so here it is, Step by Step how to guaranteed good results:

gather your materials:
scissors, paper mache (pot, flour, water, sugar), balloons, yarn/hemp (and my yarn was 100% acrylic so I guess that cotton nonsense was just that), newspaper (i used plastic bags but made more mess), some way to hang the drying balloons (ie. hanger)

this is the paper mache

Step 2:
Make the paper mache (warning: this recipe makes a lot).
I got this from the blog, carolyn's homework. She made a gorgeous Yarn Bowl which I tried to copy and if it weren't for her post I don't think I would have been successful in my craft adventure so please take a look at her post.

my version of the yarn bowl (i think my yarn is too thin)
the bowl is a little weak but turned out all right.
It is super quick and easy and all you need to do is,

Combine ½ cup flour and 2 cups cold water in a bowl.
Boil 2 cups of water in a sauce pan and add the flour and cold water mixture.
Bring to a boil again.
Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Let cool. The paste will thicken as it cools.
It ends of a little clumpy but that is okay.

Step 3: 
Blow Up a Balloon to your desired size.

Step 4:
I sadly couldn't take a picture of this step since my hands were covered in goop but I'll do my best to explain. And this is just how I found it easiset.
I found it easiest to throw a bunch of yarn (without cutting it) in the bowl of mache. Getting it all covered and then making loose loops hanging off one finger while using my other hand to run along the string and take off excess mache. then you would end up with a bunch of goopy yarn neat in a loop pile.
 (is this making sense?)
This allows you too just wrap it around the balloon 'sans hassle' until you get to dry yarn and then you start again. I also like this way because it saves you from having ends all over the place (ends are also way more likely to be falling off the balloon).

Step 5:
Once you have wrapped the yarn around your balloon to the desired look. stop. cut the yarn. put a bit of extra mache at the end to make sure it sticks (i tucked it in with another piece).  
Hang up your balloon (above some newspaper). I made a makshift thing with a hanger and lamp. then I attached the balloon to the hanger using saran wrap as string (i didnt have string and its sticky in a good way), you could also use a safety pin (just make sure you dont pop the balloon).
(this is the glue one but you get the idea)

Step 6:
let dry... it takes a while (at least a day)

Step 7:
Take your Balloon and poke your finger at it to pull the yarn away from the balloon all around.
This step was way easier with the mache than with the glue.

Step 8:
Cut into the top of your balloon and let the air out slowly.

Step 9:
Pull out the balloon and VOILA!
I plan on hanging mine from the ceiling but I think that will be waiting until I move.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

YARN EGGS - Intro and first attempts

I have dedicated myself to a craft over the last few days.. and its Yarn Eggs/Balls. first inspired by this picture:
I think that these are really gorgeous!!

I have researched them pretty well and hope that this post is able to combine all those tips into something that works. And after working so long I was talking to my mom and she told me about how she used to make these all the time in the '70s easy peasy... if only it was the same for me and i could make these gorgeous things a reality in my world...

Some say glue, some say paper mache, some say hemp, others say yarn (some of it needs to be cotton), some say glue, others glue with water... WHAT WORKS?!?

The tools
What I Used:
Scissors, plastic bags, saran wrap, yarn, hemp, white glue, 
Aileen's Clear Dry Tacky Glue, balloons and paper mache (flour, water, sugar)

My attempts:

1. glue (with some water) and hemp
- the water makes it too runny and the yarn/hemp ends up falling off of the balloon. when i got it to slightly stick and dry the end product was way to malleable


looks good no? 

turns out it was really squishy and wouldn't hold its shape

2. Aileen's tacky glue (clear dry) and acrylic yarn (couldn't find cotton)
-I found that this dried too soft so that the yarn ball could be squished really easily

recommended by one of the bloggers

again it slighty holds its shape but...

falls apart even worse... 

3. straight white glue and acrylic yarn ( and then I ran out of white glue)
-the shape is still fairly malleable and it takes alot of glue

this was the best so far and it even hangs but... its shape is slowly drooping more and more and overall it looks bad

4. paper mache (bowl and balloon)
-the bowl is a tidbit flimsy so I have yet to figure out what it can actually hold (scarves?) - it is made out of the yarn and that may have been what did it (maybe the yarn I'm using is too thin..? or it may be the acrylic thing)
and then we come to my happy moment when the hemp ball dried and was perfect.
- I will post the steps to this miraculous solution tomorrow in full detail

They make me really happy.

-I'm not sure but I don't think this is a craft for young children, I enjoyed doing it myself but parts were a bit tricky and finicky
-also not a craft for clean freaks, it gets messy but it is easy to clean up especially if you have newspaper underneath.

Here are links to many, many, many different attempts by other blogs: