Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween.


Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Recipe // Spaghetti & Meatballs.



Ingredients 

Meatballs:
1 pound ground sirloin
1/4 cup minced fresh onion
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Sauce: 
1 (796 ml) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 minced fresh onion
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 can tomato paste

5 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Saute 1/2 minced fresh onion and 2 cloves of garlic, diced.

2. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes and 1 can of tomato paste to onions and garlic.

3. Let sauce simmer on medium to low heat.

4. Combine the first 6 ingredients and 2 tablespoons of pasta sauce in a medium bowl.

5. Shape the meat mixture into 25 (1-inch) meatballs.

6. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the meatballs, and cook approx 6 - 10 minutes, browning on all sides.

6. Add cooked meatballs to simmering pasta sauce.

7. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until the meatballs are done, stirring occasionally.

8. Serve the meatballs over spaghetti, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Spaghetti and meatballs is probably one of our most favorite meals. I originally found this recipe from myrecipes.com, but have altered it a little bit. I find that starting the sauce first and allowing it to simmer for longer, it tastes a lot better. I also like to add a splash or two of red wine, and a few pinches of Italian seasoning to the sauce mixture. Yum! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fear of Failure.


I have made it no secret that one of my biggest fears is failure. 

This particular TED talk grabbed my attention because it talked about pushing your own boundaries and losing the fear of failure. I really enjoyed listening to what Regina Dugan had to say because I found her passion to be almost infectious -- it made me really think about my fears, question why I have them, and think about what I could do overcome them. 

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

I would ...

>> Put myself out there and either search for a better job, or start my own business. I like the idea of working at home, I have always questioned my abilities. I hate being underemployed, but always fear that I my skills, knowledge and abilities aren't good enough and I will be fired. 

>> Get over my fear of driving. I have had my license for 10 years, I am a good driver, but I hate driving to places I am not familiar with. I get frustrated, then panic and hate the feeling of being lost and not knowing where to go. As a result, I know I miss out on a lot of things by not just jumping in the car and driving wherever.

Today.

Today, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon, and went for a walk around the neighborhood. I should have taken my DSLR with me, but was quite happy with the photos I took on my iPhone 5. 




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Earthquake.

"Oct. 27 8:04 p.m. PDT UPDATE. A M 7.7 earthquake has occurred in the Haida Gwaii Region. A tsunami warning has been issued from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Alaska - for more information check with local emergency management officials."


I hate earthquakes. Thankfully, I have only experienced two during my 28 years living in Vancouver, BC. The most recent one was just over a year ago - thankfully I didn't feel it, and the first earthquake I ever experienced was when I was in grade 8.

Tonight's earthquake we did not feel, but it still very close to home. Its a reminder, to me at least, that we are long over due for "the BIG ONE." When Japan had their large earthquake, a lot of other ones were triggered. I hope that is not the case with this large 7.7 magnitude earthquake because I really do not want to feel this apartment swaying back and forth, or worse.

Have you ever experienced an earthquake? 

What I'm Listening To.


The bittersweet between my teeth 
Trying to find the in-betweens 
Fall back in love eventually 
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Letters.


Dear puppy dog, Even though you are 5 years old, you are still and will always be my puppy dog. I wish you were a little smaller so that I could sneak you into the apartment to visit. I somehow think you wouldn't enjoy the elevator though, or the 21 flights of stairs. I do miss seeing your smiling face every day. I promise I will come home more often to visit! I ruff ru! Dear boyfriend, I love you! I swear I had nothing to do with that ring ad showing up on your favorite website. But since you mentioned it, its convenient timing with my birthday and Christmas right around the corner. Dear teeth, Why are you sensitive all of a sudden? Perhaps its the cooler weather and the nerve in my face acting up. It better be. I really don't want to visit the dentist office any time soon. Dear health, While I appreciate the fact that I haven't been sick with the flu this year, I really do not like how you continue to throw all these curve balls my way. Out of the blue I start feeling this lump in my throat and surprise, its my thyroid. I'm not impressed. And the tiredness. I really don't enjoying being tired all the time. I feel like an old lady. Dear blog friends, I have been a really bad blogger lately. My to-read list continues to grow and grow, and I have been horrible at leaving comments on all your blogs. Once I can get a few health issues under control,  I promise I will be more active! Dear weather, Rain, rain, go away! 

Photobucket

Things I Fancy.







Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Seasonal Fonts - Autumn & Halloween.

I love fonts, especially free fonts. This afternoon, I was searching the internet for some seasonal fonts and not only found a few new websites, I also found some great new fonts. What's your favorite website to get free fonts?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10 Health Benefits of Ginger.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how Ginger is a great natural cold remedy as it helps to support the immune system. Over at the FitLifeTV website, Drew Canole put together this great inforaphic on the health benefits of ginger. 

What do you think of ginger? 

Source: fitlife.tv via Chelsea on Pinterest

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Recipe // Hamburger Soup.


Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion chopped fine
1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
3 cans beef consomme soup, undiluted
4 carrots, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup pearl barley
parsley, salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1. Brown meat and drain off fat. Add onion and sauté about 3 minutes.

2. Combine all ingredients in large 5 quart pot or crockpot and simmer for a minimum 2 hours. If you are using a crock pot you can cook it all day.


Earlier this week we decided to make a slow cooker dinner. D found this tasty recipe online, so we decided to make it. Yum, yum, yum -- so delicious! The only thing I would change is maybe a little bit more liquid because once refrigerated, its more like stew than soup. I also added in a little bit of red wine. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

200 Followers...!

This afternoon, I reached GFC 200 followers!!! I wanted to thank all of my lovely readers for helping me accomplish this, I truly appreciate it.

I also wanted to give a special shout-out to my 200th follower...


Kerri from Love Always. If you aren't already following her blog, please head on over and say hello! Happy Wednesday everyone, hope everyone is having a great week!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today.

Today was the first full day that I had my iPhone 5; as you can see from the photos below, I took a photo every chance I had. Its a good thing I got the 32gb model!!







Monday, October 15, 2012

I Got It...!


I finally picked up my iPhone 5 today. I love it, absolutely love it. Well worth the money spent on it! 

My only beef with it is the stupid screen protector that I purchased. 

I bought this Invisible Shield from Zagg - it sucks. I followed the instructions and I could not get it on properly, no matter what I did, it didn't seem to fit around the home button or the top little holes. I kept trying to put it on, putting more liquid on it, but then had to dab the plastic protector with the black cloth which was provided (there was too much liquid and I didn't like the idea of putting that on the screen) -- HUGE mistake. Now, I finally got it on but its really dirty still. I tried washing it in soapy water, but haven't had much luck. 

Has anybody has any issues with these screen protectors? Any advice? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Love Cookies.


Like most people, I love cookies.

And I'm not afraid to admit that I have a huge weakness for them. Last week, I purchased two boxes of these chocolate chip mint girl guide cookies - they are my favorite. My plan was to put both boxes in the freezer and slowly eat them. They only come out once a year and I wanted to enjoy them for as long as I could...

Well, that plan lasted all of two, maybe three days.

For me, these cookies are like the Lays chip commercial slogan "betcha can't eat just one."  They are quite small, so its really simple to eat almost all of them in one sitting. On the bright side, they are now all gone and aren't sitting in the freezer tempting me every time I walk past the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Perfect Roast Chicken.


Ingredients

3 1/2 lb (1.75 kg) whole chicken
1 large lemon
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, at room temperature

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). 

2. Remove neck and giblets from body cavity of chicken. Set aside and use for gravy if you wish. Place rack in shallow-sided roasting pan. Lightly spray with oil and set both aside. 

3. Cut lemon into 4 wedges. Coarsely chop garlic. Sprinkle garlic and salt over the inside of cavity. Stuff with lemon wedges. 

4. Place chicken breast-side up on rack in roasting pan. Rub butter over skin. Sprinkle all over with salt. If you want chicken to hold it's shape, tie legs together. But when testing, we got a more evenly cooked bird with crispier leg skin when we didn't do this. Tuck wings underneath bird. 

5. Roast, uncovered, in centre of preheated oven, basting once or twice with pan juices, until an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 170F (77C) and leg moves easily and its juices run clear, about 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours 

5. Remove cooked chicken to a cutting board. Loosely cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes before carving.

Instead of cooking a turkey for thanksgiving, we decided to attempt to cook a whole chicken. Prior to this past weekend, I have never cooked a whole chicken before. I found this amazing recipe from Chatelaine and it was amazing. However, we didn't follow the recipe exactly. We added a little bit of spice to the outside of the bird -- garlic powder, onion salt, etc. Combined with the lemon taste, the taste was incredible. Yum, yum yum! 

I meant to take a photo of the final product, but was too eager and drove in before realizing I forgot to take a photo. Once I get my iPhone I promise I will take more photos of everything!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Decorate Your Mugs.





While I love this idea, it's easy and inexpensive, I am somewhat skeptical of the permanent marker actually staying on the mug. Before you get started, here are a few tips that you should keep in mind:

1. Wash the surface of the mugs before designing your masterpiece. 

2. If you plan to use permanent markers, don't forget that they are are not recommended for use on surfaces that come in contact with food. I would suggest only using them on the outside of the mug. As well, permanent markers have a high chance of washing off the mugs when put through the dishwasher.

3. If you are worried about your design washing away, and if you don't mind spending a few extra pennies on markers, I have read that pebeo porcelain markers are the way to go. Just like permanent markers, these markers are not recommended for use on surfaces that come in contact with food.

4. Follow instructions on the pen's packaging. Porcelain markers, for example, need 24 hours to dry before you bake them in the oven. Most sites I have read recommend that you bake your mugs in the oven for 30 minutes at 350F to set the ink. Don't forget to allow the mugs to cool completely before using or washing. 

3. To preserve your design, try washing them by hand rather than in the dishwasher. 

I have yet to try this popular DIY, but really want to give it a go as I think they would make for some great Christmas presents. Have you tried this DIY? Any other tips that you would suggest?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday's Letters.


Dear weather, Please don't change for the rest of the month. I am loving all this sunshine and beautiful sunsets. Dear cell phone company, While I appreciate the $50 credit because my reserved device (iPhone 5) didn't ship within 14 days, I would really like my iPhone now. Dear health, Why can't I just stay healthy? This pattern is getting old. I am too young to be dealing with everything you are throwing my way!! Dear Christmas holiday plans, Please, please, please work out. I would really like to go away to some place tropical for 2 weeks. 

Natural Cold Remedy.


It's that time of year, and I am pretty sure I have been hit with whatever bug is going around. Although I don't feel sick, I am feeling very congested in my throat/chest. Its quite annoying when trying to sleep at night. 

As soon as I felt it coming on, I went and bought some ginger root so that I could make some Honey Ginger Tea. Honey has been known to sooth sore throats while ginger is anti-viral and helps to support the immune system.

The recipe that I follow is quite simple:

1. Small pieces of ginger, about half the amount showed in the above photo.

2. Water, bring to a boil.

3. Pour maybe 1/4 cup of boiling water into your mug with the ginger and let it steep for approximately 2 minutes.

4. Pour in remaining water.

5. Add honey to taste.

I'm not a huge fan of the taste of ginger, so I have a tough time drinking more than one cup per day. But I have been told by my homeopath that the more I can drink, the better. Since I have started drinking this honey ginger tea for the past few nights, I have found my congestion to be more bearable. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oh, Pumpkin.


Went into the grocery store last night to buy a few things and found this cute little pumpkin. It was only $1.29, so I couldn't resist. I know its too early to start buying pumpkins, hopefully he will last until the 31st.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon.


I am always looking for new tips/advise to live a healthier lifestyle. I have my fair share of health issues and if I know its important to start taking better care of myself.

My boyfriends mom recently introduced me to MindBodyGreen.com -- I don't know how I haven't heard of this website before because its absolutely amazing. There are so many great articles to read. 

I always have enjoyed drinking lemon water, but never gave too much thought about drinking warm water and lemon. I recently stumbled upon the following article: Why You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon. As the article suggests, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this..... start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon

Warm water and fresh lemon juice -- it sounds too simple and the health benefits are too good to ignore. 
  1. Boosts you're immune system.
  2. Balances pH.
  3. Helps with weight loss.
  4. Aids digestion.
  5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic. 
  6. Clears skin.
  7. Hydrates the lymph system. 
To read more about the health benefits, head over to the full article here.  

Do you have any daily healthy rituals? I recently found out that I have this nodule (??) on my thyroid, so this past week or so, I haven't been feeling very energetic. I'm now determined to find some natural remedies to help me feel less tired, etc. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Motivation.

Hello October.

September has come and gone, I can't believe it is October 1st today.

It's sad to see the warm weather disappear. But, I hate to admit it, I have missed wearing my UGGs and a few of my warm winter sweaters.


I also love the fact that I can bring my slow cooker out again. Beef stew, goulash, chicken stew, yum yum yum! I have found some really great new slow cooker recipes, which I promise to share soon.