Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crazy Ontario Weather

The weather has been nuts here lately. I remember back to my childhood when winter would come with snow and cold weather and then stay that way until March. None of this cold/warm freezing/melting sort of thing.

The middle of January was frigid, with temperatures dipping well into the "I'm so friggin' cold I want to cry" category. Then this past week we had random ups and downs. Monday we had risk of freezing rain and all these other warnings in effect. It wasn't as serious as the weatherman predicted but bad enough that buses were cancelled and people were careful driving. I figured I would snap some pictures before it all melted away.

My car got a little icey on the way home from work. Aren't the icicles kind of fun though?

This was our backyard on Monday...

...and then Wednesday came along.

Can we say what???

It rained all night Tuesday into Wednesday and got rid of all the snow. Our road was basically like a skating rink Wednesday morning and I had to drive the whole way out in first gear, trying not to slide into the ditch or swamp. But by the afternoon, all the ice was gone because we reached record high temperatures of 12.5 degrees C (54.5 F) yesterday! Wowee! It was like spring. But don't worry, we're back to winter weather today. It's now -2 C (28.4 F) and feels like -16 C (3.2 F) with the wind chill. I guess yesterday was just a fluke.

And on a completely random note, I wanted to share our recent excitement with our bird feeder. I received this bird feeder for Christmas from work. It's actually really pretty with nice patterns on the sides, sorry I don't have a better picture of it. We hung it up immediately after getting it but no birds came. Now, a month later, we have chickadees coming quite steadily. There are some other birds coming too but we haven't seen them long enough to decide what kind they are. Plus, we aren't all that knowledgeable when it comes to different bird species.

We had so much fun watching them on Saturday. They just kept coming back for more and more. They emptied the feeder by half in just one day. Greedy little birds they are.

In case you are wondering how Mia is doing with them, she loves them. She sits at the window and watches intently for a few minutes and then goes outside to chase them for a while.

We're really enjoying our newfound interest of birds.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

GF Pancakes with Maple Syrup

I have many childhood memories of helping my Dad make pancakes. It was our thing. I would pull up a kitchen chair, grab my mini flipper and make pancakes with my Daddy. We would pull out those two electric frying pans, position them side by side on a giant wooden cutting board over the kitchen sink and whip up my Dad's famous pancakes.

When I moved out, I carefully copied the recipe onto a recipe card of my own and was determined to keep up the tradition of making these awesome pancakes. And so I have. Although they don't taste quite as good as they did back then when I made them in the most awesome pancake team ever.

We never eat pancakes for breakfast. That's just not how it's done for some reason. Pancakes are a supper thing, served with yogurt, berries and maple syrup. Maybe we're weird but oh well, that's how we roll.

Now onto the reason for this post. Ever since I went gluten-free, we haven't had any pancakes. I just hadn't bothered to find a recipe for them that I could eat and I know they're not the healthiest supper option, so I just didn't make any. But over the past few weeks, I got a craving for some pancakes. Pancakes and maple syrup to be exact.

So after some searching online and through my GF recipe books, I decided to try this recipe for Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Pancakes from the blog Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef.

We doubled the recipe since it said it only made 8 pancakes but I don't know how big they make theirs. Both Dan and I had our fill of pancakes and there was enough leftover for another whole meal for us. So in the future, I might just make a single batch. I did freeze the remaining pancakes though which worked out great. It's nice and easy to just pull out some pancakes and throw them in the mircrowave.

My only complaint was that they were salty. I'm not sure if it's the recipe's fault or our fault or what but they were SALTY! Even after we loaded them up with blueberries and maple syrup you could still really taste it.

So I do plan on trying them again but putting less salt. Other than the salt issue, they were pretty good. Not as good as my Dad's of course but still good. And it hit the spot and satisfied the craving. Plus, it gave me an excuse to drench them in maple syrup. Delicious!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Books, Exercise and Snow

Today's post will be random. I'm in a random mood and my thoughts can't be channeled into one topic. Plus, I'm on my work computer and can't upload any pictures so you will have to wait until later in the week to read about my latest cooking adventures.

First of all, I am doing really well with my goal of reading 10 books in 2013. It's not even the end of January and I have already finished five, with another two started. Are you impressed or what? I'm still trying to find the remaining three books I wish to read but I've got some time. I'm pretty sure the two I'm reading right now will keep me occupied for the next little while.

For Christmas my mom gave me the book Middlemarch by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) and I started it last Friday. It's really thick with small writing and a whole different way of speaking. It was written in the mid 1800's so it's going to take some getting used to and won't be as easy to read as my last five books. But I'm determined to read it to completion, even if it takes me a while.

The second book I am reading is called Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss by Ann Douglas and John R. Sussman. A friend of mine who experienced a stillbirth last summer gave it to me to read. Here is the description that Amazon writes about it: "Trying Again lessens the uncertainties about pregnancy after miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss by providing the facts to help you determine if you and your partner are emotionally ready for another pregnancy. It also imparts essential advice about preparing and planning for another baby when you decide the time is right." I'm only in the first chapter so I'm not sure how I feel about it yet but I think it has the potential to be good.

Now since I promised to keep you all up to date on my exercise goals, here goes. I did my dance workout twice in that first week and was very proud of myself. I enjoyed myself and felt good after both sessions. And then the weekend came and with it a new week. I didn't work out once last week. I sat on the couch like a lazy lug. :::hangs head in shame:::

Now I can try to blame it on a bunch of different factors but really, they are all excuses. So I am confessing and moving in to a new week. The plan is to do the workout video tonight and then again on Wednesday night. I can do this! Hopefully I will have a good update for you  near the end of the week.

As for the snow in the title, we've got it! It was a beautiful softly falling romantic snow on my drive to work this morning and I soaked it all in. Gorgeous. Unfortunately that snow is supposed to turn to freezing rain and icey roads this afternoon. Welcome to the new normal for winters in Canada.

Friday, January 25, 2013

GF Chicken Pot Pie - New Recipe #2

Here is the second recipe I tried in order to reach my goal of trying 10 new recipes this year, as can be read in my 13 Goals for 2013 post.

The only problem with this one is that I found it on a blog, over a year ago now and I can't for the life of me remember what blog it was. Or who wrote it or anything about it. I just printed off the recipe and there's nothing on the sheet that can give me any hints. I feel really bad. But since the recipe was so good, I'm going to write it out here. Just remember, it's not mine.

Gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie

The Filling:
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into small pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 red potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 c. peas
1 1/2 c. fully cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
3-4 Tbsp. butter
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. thyme
3/4 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 c. GF flour 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. skim milk (I used almond milk)

The Crust:
2 c. GF flour
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 c. skim milk (or substitute)

Preheat oven to 375F. In a pan or Dutch oven on the stovetop, melt butter over medium heat, adding onions, carrots and potatoes. Coat veggies in melted butter and add thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Lower heat to med-low for a few minutes. While veggies are cooking, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour blend with 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk with fork, slowly adding 1 cup skim milk. Keep on low heat, stirring to avoid lumps.

Add chicken broth to veggie mixture, simmer on medium heat for 2 minutes, and stir in chicken and peas. Remove "white" mixture from heat and whisk into center of veggie mixture. It has the tendency to clump, so really work at the lumps with the fork until white mixture is blended with the veggies and chicken mixture. Return to low heat.

For crust, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisk with fork. Pour heaping spoonfuls of veggie/chicken mixture into large, deep casserole dish or smaller ramekins for individual portions. Leave at least 1.5 inches of space between top of mixture and top of baking vessel. Pour crust mixture over the top, spreading out enough to lightly cover. Leave space at edges for the pie to boil and breathe in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, serve hot.

 It was a time consuming recipe but I had help. Dan was there throughout the whole process, chopping, stirring, mixing and taking pictures.

Chicken frying
The veggies smelled so good while they cooked in the butter and spices.

Yummy veggies coated in butter
The topping was a little weird and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. It looked a bit like a parched desert when it was finished though.

Parched topping
But oh my goodness was this chicken pot pie good! It turned out amazing and I basically just wanted to eat it all right then and there. Luckily it made a lot, this dish as well as smaller one. So we had it that night for supper, I had it for lunch the next day and then we had it for supper again. I also froze a lunch sized serving that I could take in my lunch at a later point.

Delicious and healthy
It took a little while to make it but the end result was definitely worth it. I would highly recommend this recipe to others. And you could just use normal flour instead of GF flour if you want. It doesn't need to be a gluten-free recipe. I'm so glad I found a good recipe for chicken pot pie, as it's one of my favourite meals.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Today I received some exciting mail. I may have squealed a little bit before tearing into the envelope.

In case you can't read all that tiny writing, here is a close up.

That's right, I now officially have my Small Business Accounting Certificate. Go me! And want to know something cool? December 14th is our wedding anniversary and that's the day that I completed my certificate.

Because I'm proud of myself, here are my marks from the course:

  • Small Business Financial Management - 90%
  • Simply Accounting - 89%
  • Microsoft Excel - 91%
  • Introductory Accounting I - 97%
  • Introductory Accounting II - 95%
  • Payroll Administration - 86%
  • Intro to Financial Management Accounting - 80%
  • Taxation I - 76%
 It feels really good to be done and to have my certificate in my hands. I'm going to have to buy a frame for it and hang it proudly on my wall. Ah... this feels nice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Apology

I have no exciting post for you today. I'm going to stop telling you that I will do better next week because chances are I won't. It's January and it's cold and I have no motivation whatsoever to do any projects around the house. All I want to do each night is curl up on the couch beside the fire and watch TV. Sorry.

I'm still going to post regularly but I wanted to warn you that it will mostly be food related as that's all I have the energy for lately. The variety of the posts won't be quite as broad as the summertime was but I'm hoping that come spring and warmer weather I will be back to my old self. And if anything exciting happens around here, I will definitely post about it! But until then, bear with me.

I like to keep my readers happy but I have found myself stressing too much over what I will blog about and it's taking some of the fun out of blogging. I don't want to be worried each night about what I will write and rushing to take pictures of something jus so that I will have something to post about. I want my posts to be real, sincere and fun. Don't you?

And as a completely random side note, it is friggin' cold here in Ontario today. It is  -24 degrees Celsius, colder if you count the wind chill. And for all my American friends, that is -11.2 degress Fahrenheit. Can we say BRRR???

I love you all and I will do my best to continue to bring you somewhat fun posts. Please stick around, you guys rock and I love reading all your comments and hearing your feedback.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Budgeting and Cash for Groceries

It's that time of the year again. Time to pull out the old budget and feel like since it's a new year, we are guaranteed a fresh start. Which is in part true and I'm going to take that feeling and run with it. I will take any sort of motivation I can get when it comes to budgeting.

I was reading back over some of my other posts I have done on budgeting (all five of them) and it got me to thinking it was time I actually made some real budgeting goals and stuck to them. Not just for a week or two, I want to form habits and make this more of a lifestyle change.

The first step was to sit down with Dan and discuss our financial goals, both short and long term. We wanted to make sure we were both on the same page and were working towards the same goal. Once that was figured out, we then looked over our current budget to see where it needed to be tweaked. We discussed numbers, looked at past years to see if our current amounts were realistic and then made the necessary changes.

By the end of our "budget meeting" we had a goal in mind and had our February budget made up. And we're both feeling pretty good about it too. If all goes according to plan and we can stick to our budget, February will be the first month in 10 months that we will be putting money into savings again! I can't even begin to describe how good that will feel. This past year has been an adventure, one that I wouldn't trade for anything, and it has brought challenges with it. Dan starting his own business was a step of faith and so far everything has been going well. Yes money has been tight but we have never gone hungry. I'm hoping that now that we are a bit more used to our new financial situation, we will be able to budget better and stick to our goals.

Part of our plan of attack is to use cash more. Most specifically on groceries. Groceries is one area that I feel like we can have a bit of wiggle room if we work hard enough at it. Obviously we can't cut back too much on groceries or else we won't be eating but it's an area that if I work hard and plan for, we can save some cash. I like having control over some things and I consider this a challenge.

All this to say, stay tuned for some upcoming posts on our financial goals and how I'm doing with my cash only system for groceries. If you have any advice or input, I would love to hear it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lazy Cabbage Rolls - New Recipe #1

The further into this four month gluten-free trial I get, the more challenging I find it is to come up with a variety of tasty meals that I can eat. I have a few good basics down but I have been trying to branch out more and attempt new recipes. One of my 13 goals for 2013 was to try 10 new recipes and so thanks to Pinterest, I have been bookmarking recipes that look good and worth my time to make.

Over a month ago now I purchased a cabbage from our local farmer's market with the intention of making Lazy Cabbage Rolls. Each week I put it on our menu plan but each week it got pushed back to the next one. Last week I decided it was finally time to chop up that cabbage before it went bad and I had to throw it out.

Since the recipe called for a 16 ounce bag of coleslaw mix, I only chopped up half the cabbage. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the other half of it though, any suggestions are welcome.

I gathered most of the necessary ingredients, including two jars of homemade tomato sauce, so that they would all be handy when I had to add them to the pan. Although I do confess, one of the jars of sauce was actually from our batch of failed salsa. I am determined not to waste any of it so I have been trying to mix it into random recipes here and there. It has a very distinct flavour to it though so I may need to start diluting it a little more. It's just sweeter than normal sauce.

I fried up the ground beef with the onions and garlic and then added in the cabbage, rice, tomato sauces and spices.

Once it was all mixed together, it had to simmer for 20 minutes, or so the recipe said. By the time it was all said and done though, it was closer to 40. I'm not sure if it was because my sauces weren't liquidy enough or if the recipe was just wrong. Either way, I was getting impatient by the end.

I'm not going to post any finished pictures of the recipe because all the ones I took do not look appetizing. At all. I wasn't overly pleased with how it turned out, it just had an odd flavour to it. I do realize that it could be my fault for putting in my sweet burnt salsa though so I'm not going to completely write off the recipe. And to be fair, I enjoyed my leftovers the next day a lot more than that first meal.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review: The Negotiator

***I apologize for the lack of variety in my posts this week and for not getting any new projects up. My work computer has decided to not let me upload pictures to my blog so it has been hard trying to find time in the evenings to write my posts. I'm hoping that I will get used to this soon and be back to my regularly scheduled programming in no time.***

I'm totally on fire with my book goal this year and I'm almost done with my third book of the year. Pretty impressive don't you think? I mean, we are only on the 18th of the month and I'm almost done my third book! So I figured it was about time I did a small book review for you guys.

The Negotiator by Dee Henderson
"Dave Richman from Danger in the Shadows is back. He is about to meet Kate O’Malley and his life will never be the same. She’s a hostage negotiator. He protects people. He’s about to find out that falling in love with a hostage negotiator is one thing, but keeping her safe is another!" (That is the small summary found on Dee Henderson's website, just to give you a bit of background on the book.)

I really enjoyed this book and devoured it in a few days. I could have gone through it quicker but I still had to work, cook and spend time with Dan. The thing I love about this author and her books is that they cover a lot of things in them, from love stories, family dynamics, murder, suspense and God. This book grabbed my attention and kept me riveted as I learned more about Dave and Kate and got to see their love develop . But it also kept me on my toes as I tried to figure out the mystery behind it and who the guilty party was. The book starts out with just a normal day for Kate as she negotiates a hostage situation and then it escalates to a plane blowing up and someone wanting her dead. Under the stressful situation of trying to figure out who the murderer is, being in a safe house and ghosts from her past coming back to haunt her, a love story unfolds between her and Dave.

There were a few scenes that seemed slightly unrealistic and the conversations just seemed kind of awkward and "fake" but overall the writing is very good. She gets you into the storyline and you almost feel like you are there and a part of the characters' lives. Overall, I loved the the book and would definitely read it again or recommend it to others.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simple Pleasures - January

Here are the things that brought a smile to my face over the past week.

Wednesday: Frost on everything. The world sparkled.

Thursday: Sunlight spread out over the tops of the trees.

Friday: GF muffins made with love by my sister-in-law Trish.
Saturday: Little lucky piggy in my windowsill by the sink.

Sunday: My books that I'm working my way through.

Monday: The new silicone Dan put along the counter. He surprised me with it when I came home from work, it needed done badly.

Tuesday: Friends
That brings January's simple pleasures to a close. February should be a challenge with all the "blah" days that come with that month. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Liebster Award

Last week a friend of mine, Stasy at Dancing My Way Through Life, Loss and Books, nominated me for the Liebster Award. This is an award that goes to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 readers. She asked eleven questions that I need to answer and then nominate those I feel deserve the honor, asking them eleven questions in turn.

First off, thank you Stasy for the fabulous little blurb you said about me in your nominations. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Here is what she said: "Jenn0021 at The Canadian Housewife is another great example of showing that life goes on, even after two heartbreaking losses. The fact that she makes me feel like a bad housewife is really just the icing on the cake. I'm kidding...mostly. She is a truly amazing person, another one I met through my loss board and I can never thank her enough for the support she's given me over the last eleven months."  Isn't that sweet?

Now onto my eleven questions she asked me.

1) If you had to stay one age for the rest of your life, how old would you be and why?
This is a hard one. I guess I would have to say 20. We were in our first year of marriage, I was learning to be a good little wife, we hadn't had any losses yet, I had an optimistic outlook for our future, life was good.

2) Favorite color?
Right now I've got to say it's purple. I'm really loving all the different shades and options for purple and it makes me happy.

3) If you were a police officer for twenty-four hours, how would you use your authority?
Uhh... to give tickets to all the idiots on the road. So many times I have wished there was a cop around to pull someone over.

4) Do you make resolutions every year? Why/why not? If you do, what was your resolution this year?
I don't make resolutions, I make goals. I figure it's more attainable and more realistic that way. I actually had 13 goals this year and you can read about them here.

5) If you could have any talent in the world, what would it be?
A beautiful voice. I want to be able to sing well.

6) If a movie were made about your life, who would play you? Why?
I have no idea. Mostly because I don't actors well enough to choose someone. Sorry!

7) Favorite sport to watch? To participate in?
NONE! I hate sports and I'm super uncoordinated when it comes to playing them. I have watched one hockey game before though.

8) What part of pop culture do you wish would just disappear?
Another one that I have to admit I know nothing about pop culture. I swear I don't live in a hole.

9) What makes you laugh?
A lot of things really. But lately, it's Friends. We are working our way through all the seasons and that show just cracks me up. How did I go so long without ever watching it before?

10) What single piece of technology makes your life easier? More difficult?
Easier would be my netbook. I love that thing and how easy it is to lug around and sit on couches while surfing the web. More difficult? Dan's iPhone. He's always on that thing...

11) Why do you blog?
I started this blog shortly after my second loss. It was called Our Road to a Baby and I used it as my outlet to get out my feelings about our loss, my bitterness towards others, my thoughts, everything. I guess it could have been considered a diary. I wanted my close friends and family to have to chance to see what I was feeling and how I was holding up. I was also hoping to then transition it into a pregnancy blog. Well that didn't happen. So after a little over a year of writing depressing posts, a friend of mine suggested a facelift for my blog. I slowly transitioned into happier life posts and then changed the name of it to what it is now. Since November I have been trying to post more and have been loving it. This blog gives me motivation to get things done and enjoyment while doing things to blog about. This blog has helped me in so many ways, to get out of my funk, to enjoy each day I have and to live life to the fullest.

Now to nominate blogs that I think deserve the Liebster Award. There are only three because I couldn't nominate the same ones as Stasy did and because I don't follow enough blogs. Oops!

  • Casey at Waffling. I met Casey in the line for the Young House Love book signing. We started talking about home projects and our blogs and then we switched addresses. Ever since then, we have kept in touch via comments in our blogs. Her blog is awesome and tells all about her adventures of living in and decorating a teensy tiny condo.

  • Erin at Love Is Multiplied. She is my friend, my chat buddy and my blog consultant. We started talking on a regular basis over a year ago now and have kept in almost daily contact since. I cannot even begin to explain how much her friendship and support has meant to me. She is now pregnant with her rainbow baby and her blog is outlining the journey of this pregnancy.

  • Lainie at Love, Lainie. She has been a huge support and motivator to me over the past months. She has encouraged me in my quest for healthy eating and weight gain and she is always pushing me to do better. Not to mention, she also loves to knit. On her blog she keeps it real, talking about her latest knitting projects as well as her journey to have a baby.

So those are the tree blogs I have nominated and now for the eleven questions I'm asking them.
1) Where is the furthest you have traveled from home?
2) Do you have any siblings? If so, how many? Older or younger?
3) What do you do to pass the time? Hobbies? Volunteering?
4) What's your favourite season?
5) Were you named after anyone?
6) Favourite chocolate: dark, milk or white?
7) How old were you when you had your first kiss?
8) If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
9) Name a bad habit of yours.
10) Favourite actor?
11) Why do you blog?

So there you have it. A summary of me being nominated for the Liebster Award, my answers to the questions asked and my nominations for those who I think deserve it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eggs - An Update

I figured it had been a while since I gave you all an update on our chickens hens and eggs. If my Dad had been reading this blog he would be horrified at how many times I've talked about our chickens and how they lay eggs. Growing up on a small farm, I was constantly reminded about the fact that chickens were meat birds and hens laid eggs. So from here on out, I will do my best to refer to our fowl as "hens". Just a heads up.

We've fallen into a nice little routine when it comes to our little mini-farm we've got going on. Dan does most of the work such as buying feed and shavings (the one time I bought feed I got the wrong one, oops!), cleaning out the coop, watering and feeding them and collecting the eggs. I do pitch in though and help collect eggs and give them feed if I get home before him. But since he does do most of it, I wanted to give him the credit.

But this weekend, I did collect the eggs and feed our hens and I documented it on camera so that you could feel a part of it. And see what our daily routine is.

First, I collect the eggs. Ignore all the poop in the background of this picture, we need to clean out the coop.

Then I give them their feed. You can't actually see their feed or where it even goes because they are too busy being greedy little hens and crowding around their bowls. I guess they were hungry.

I stepped back and took another picture to give you a better idea of where the live during the winter months. They still have access to outside but on cold days, they spend most of their time in here.

Once I get the eggs, feed them and check their water supply, I'm done out here. I then move indoors with my cute little basket of eggs. Thank you Mom for giving me this egg collecting basket, it works perfectly.

We normally get between five and six eggs a day. We have six hens but some times one of them gets lazy. Oh well, five is still a decent number. Once inside, I go over the eggs to check if they need to be washed. If they are clean, they go directly into the carton but if they aren't, they get washed under hot water.

Once they are all clean and dry, they go into the egg carton.

And then into the fridge! Once a dozen is complete, we put the date on a piece of masking tape and put it on the end of the carton. That way we know how old each dozen is. We then sell them to friends. We are building up quite a clientele.

So that is how our hens and eggs are doing. We are hoping to expand our little farm come spring with some more hens and meat birds again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hummus - Homemade Edition

I don't remember exactly when it was that I started eating hummus. When I was younger I wouldn't touch the stuff. I mean come on, chickpeas? Gross. But in recent years I started picking up a small tub of it from the grocery store and eating it with cucumbers for a yummy snack at work. I did this for a while before someone suggested I make my own. I was scared to because I figured it would be time consuming and wouldn't turn out that tasty. So I procrastinated on trying it. Shocking right? I'm totally not a procrastinator. Kidding.

About a year ago, my sister Cora was down for a visit and I told her I wanted to try making hummus and asked if she would help me. She, of course, had already attempted homemade hummus and felt very confident moving forward and tweaking the recipe I had as she saw fit. Which was the perfect shove I needed to gain the confidence myself. That first batch was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it took me a little while to try it again, this time on my own. But I eventually did and you know what? It tasted good too!

A couple months ago I then discovered another fabulous tidbit of information about hummus. You can freeze it! This news was music to my ears because every time I made a homemade batch, I could never finish it all before it went bad. But if I could freeze it in perfect portions to last me a week with my veggies, I was totally going to give it a try! So I did, and it worked. Thank you Lee for making my life easier.

So after that long intro about my background with hummus, I will now move on to giving you my recipe and pictures to keep you reading.

2 cans chickpeas
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. olive oil

Blend chickpeas, garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice until desired consistency. Add more olive oil or salt until it looks and tastes like you want. 

Pretty easy right? Exactly. I actually halved this recipe this time since I only had one can of chickpeas on hand. But now that you know about the freezing trick, making a full recipe is really no big deal. A half recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of hummus.

Once all your ingredients are assembled, open the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water.

Mince your garlic.

 Then put all the ingredients into the food processor.

 Blend until desired consistency. I usually add more salt and olive oil until it looks and tastes how I want it to. I then of course have to test it out with actual veggies. Cucumbers are my favourite hummus veggie.

 Once it was exactly how I wanted it, I split it evenly between three 1 cup containers. I froze two and kept one in the fridge for my snacks this week.

Now doesn't that look easy? I think the hardest part is having t0 wash the food processor at the end. But even that takes no time at all. Now go try it yourself!

I realize that there are many different recipes and variations to making hummus and I would love to hear if you have a favourite. I'm always looking to shake things up and add more flavour to my recipes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Get a Move On It

***Sorry for my lack of exciting posts this week. I've just been off my game as far as blogging and haven't felt quite as motivated as usual. I'm hoping to be back at it next week with some renewed energy though so stay tuned for some new projects that are underway and some yummy recipes!***

Something I have never been good at doing is exercise. Any form of it really, whether it be sports, walking, running, aerobics, weights, etc. I guess I'm just lazy and unmotivated and since I've never had to exercise in order to lose weight, I haven't done much of it. Every once in a while I decide that I need to get moving though and I come up with some fabulous plan on how to do so. It usually lasts a day or two. Pathetic, I know. I just don't have good follow through with my plans of getting off the couch and moving more. I always have an excuse. During the winter it's too cold and during the summer it's too hot. That leaves spring and fall and yet I still don't do much in those months either. Bad me.

But I am determined that this will be the year I actually do something! I'm not going to make any huge goals such as exercising every day or running a 5K, since I know that is unrealistic for me. My goal this year is just to move more.

I'm toying with the idea of signing up for a Zumba class with a friend of mine but I haven't quite been able to justify spending $120 on that. I know that's a good price and my health is worth it but I'm cheap frugal. I just keep thinking why pay so much money for something that I could technically do in my own living room for free. Which leads me to my next idea. I have a Gold's Gym Dance Workout Wii game that I have yet to try. I've had it in the house for over a month now and have never attempted to do it. See, I told you I was lazy!

So here's the deal, I would like to be held accountable. I figured that if I did a post on what my health/exercise goals are, maybe I will be more motivated to actually accomplish them. So here is the plan.

I would like to try my at-home Wii dance workout a couple times this month before deciding if it's worth paying $120 to join a Zumba class.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post in February where I will hopefully tell you all how successful I was at completing this goal. If I fail, feel free to slap my wrists.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Surprise Package

Want to know what is one of the most exciting things to happen at the end of a crappy Wednesday afternoon? Getting a surprise package in the mail from one of your favourite people! I haven't been this excited over something in what feels like forever. It was especially good timing since I've just been in a funk this week. So I would like to just give a huge shout out to Tory and her husband for completely making my day and giving me such delight. You don't know how much I needed this today. Love you hon.

When I picked it up from the post office I had to resist the urge to just tear it apart right then and there. But I figured our super strict post office lady wouldn't appreciate that. So I calmly took it to my car and drove the 10 minutes home without breaking into it. Pretty impressive self control eh? Don't worry, as soon as I got home I had Dan helping me get into it. It was at this point where I thought I should probably document it all with pictures.

The card was so sweet and made my heart melt a little bit. Everything was all wrapped up in fun colourful paper with cute little post-it notes on them. So delightful.

The first package was for Mia and this is what it said.

She really really liked the present. Thank you Rosie, Guillie and Ozzy.

It's blurry but she was so cute licking the package

Patiently waiting for her two new tennis balls
She played with them intensely for 10 minutes or so and then we took them away for a bit so she couldn't completely destroy them in the first day.

The next package was for Dan. Her husband helped choose them.

 Yummy looking potato chips! I can't wait to help Dan get into them. :P

The last two packages were for me and they were absolutely perfect and brought a huge smile to my face.

Chai Spice Tea. I had a cup of it tonight.

My lucky little piggy
I love the friendships I have made online and the wonderful women I have met. I can't imagine where I would be now if it weren't for the support of some strong and amazing women. I feel blessed to have them in my life and today is proof of the bonds that you can build.