Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Decorating for Christmas

Christmas has always been filled with a lot of traditions in my family. Things you don't notice when you're a kid, but that I've really come to appreciate them now that I'm moved out. We do things like a gift exchange between all of the siblings, have an advent wreath that we light at supper, and we always put up the Christmas Tree as a family. 

Putting up the Christmas Tree is always a lot of fun because we usually listen to Christmas Carols, or watch Christmas movies and eat some snacks. It's just a really relaxing time to hang out and not worry about anything else that's going on in our day to day lives.

I decided that for my tree I would kind of go with a blue and silver theme for the plain "Jingle Ball" decorations, and mostly just scattered the more sentimental ornaments around the tree. I'm looking forward to collecting a lot more original and special ornaments over the years.

Merry Christmas Everyone! And Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is happy and warm and with their families.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Low Fat Tuna Sandwich

Hey Guys! So with the weather getting colder I've been really tempted to eat of ton of carbs, and I somehow always seem to be super hungry. In an attempt to not eat rice, and toast all-the-time I figured I'd try to find something that was filling and still pretty good for you at the same time.

 I decided on a tuna sandwich! I used to love tuna sandwiches as a kid, but I haven't had one in forever! I wanted to try making it lower in fat, while still tasting good, so instead of using the usual white bread and mayonnaise I used:

1 Can of Flaked Light Tuna
1 Tbs of Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp of Black Pepper
1/8 Tsp of Dill
A couple Tomato Slices
1 Slice of Whole Wheat Bread

I lightly toasted the slice of Whole Wheat Bread and mixed together the Lemon Juice, Black Pepper and Dill. I then spread about a third of the tuna onto the bread and put the tomato slices on top. To warm everything up I put it in the oven under the broiler for about a minute.

It tasted so good, and totally handled my craving for carbs. I think I'm going to have a lot of hot sandwiches this winter.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Red Christmas Nails

Hey Guys! So I know that it's a little early to be thinking of pulling out the Christmas Nails, Carols, Fuzzy Socks etc, but I figured that every year I wait until a couple weeks before Christmas and I always feel like I missed it. This year I decided to start pulling out some of my Christmas stuff slowly just so I can really enjoy it. 

Anyway, This is a really really simple nail design that can be done in red and white if you want it to look a little Christmas-y (or Green and Gold would work too), but it would also look good with any two colors that go well together for just a normal nail design. Also, if you don't have dotting tools you could use just about anything like, a tooth pick, bobby pin, knitting needle, anything like that

So Basically I just painted my nails two coats of a sparkly red nail polish and, with a white nail polish, used a bigger and smaller dotting tool to make different sized dots randomly all over each nail. After the nails had quite a long time to set (so as not to smudge the dots) I used a top coat.

This design was so easy to do and really did not take that long. I hope you give it a try!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Day 31: 31 Days Finale!

Happy Halloween!! Today I've sort of looked back to all of my other 31 days posts and I'm really happy with the way things went. I feel like I actually have learned to live more by doing less. I now am more likely to set reasonable goals for myself, and have started to work on things one project at a time until-it-is-done which has really helped me to be more productive.

"Productive" is also a word I have been using a lot less. I no longer feel the need to be "productive". I just get done what I set out to do, and if I spend the rest of the night watching a movie, or knitting then awesome!

Today was a pretty relaxing day for me. I just got up and got my cleaning done and spent the rest of the day getting ready for trick-or-treators and then my husband, sisters, and I sat around, ate candy and watched halloween movies. It was a really good, not-at-all-productive sort of night.

Have a Happy Halloween Everyone!
Thanks for Reading.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Day 30: Winding Down

Hey Guys! So this is something I've really been trying to do for a really long time. There is really nothing that improves my quality of life so much as a good nights sleep. There is really no amount of coffee or cold showers that can make me feel alert and awake if I have had just a really bad sleep the night before.

I've heard in quite a few different places that one way to get a better sleep is to sort of 'wind down' before bed. This just means, like, turning off unnecessary lights, turning off the computer, and phone, and just relaxing for a while before you go to sleep. A normal night for me is where I literally close my computer and jump into bed, and when I close my eyes I can still vividly see whatever it was that I was just working on.

Tonight I decided to actually try this "winding down" business. I'm turning off my computer and phone well before I plan to go to bed, and I'm just going to look through these knitting (well knitting and crochet) books while I drink some tea. Here's hoping I'll actually get to sleep right through the night!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Day 29: Try Try Again

Hey Guys! So today I tried something new, and it seemed like a really simple project, but was still something I'd never done before. Basically, I was trying to make a frame for a cork board I bought. (Hopefully I'll get to show you the finished product in a few days, if everything goes well!!) I bought a really basic looking not-that-cute cork board to go up in my office and I was going to frame it with, basically a base board that I picked up at a hardware store, to give it a little more personality and make it look a little bit nicer.

I figured this would be crazy easy. My husband has a saw that cuts on an angle, so I got him to cut the pieces, and then all I had to do was glue them together, and then glue them onto the board! Easy peasy. =)

A LOT OF THE TIME I look up how to do a project and because I fully understand all of the steps and the basic concepts, I figure it's gonna work out like a dream the first time around. This ACTUALLY does not make any sense. If you have never done something before? It's not going to be a familiar action for you, and it will not likely work out like clock work. That being said, if you can get past that, and work through it, you might actually end up with a workable finished product!!

When I was trying to put the pieces together, and they weren't fitting or staying the way I wanted I got super fed up, and said it "wasn't worth it to fight with a $5 piece of base board anyway." Which is really just silly! Yeah, I didn't pay much for the project, but that was kind of the point! I wanted a nice looking cork board without PAYING for a nice looking cork board.

Anyway, we stuck with it (thanks honey!!) and now the pieces are drying in the basement, and (hopefully) tomorrow I'll have a frame that I can paint and turn into a really nice cork board. Much nicer than a pile of supplies sitting in the garbage can outside. I'm hoping I actually do learn from this, and give myself a bit of a break while I try to learn to be a bit more handy. Who knows! Maybe one day I'll actually be doing cool things like re-finishing furniture.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Day 28: Hot Cocoa

Hey Guys! Today was an especially brisk day for this fall, so I decided to indulge in a simple pleasure. Hot Cocoa! Originally I was going to make some Hot Chocolate mix that I bought from a coffee shop a few weeks ago, but I've been kind of avoiding making it. Eventually I realized that it was because I knew it was so bad for you! The calories alone pretty frightening at 160 calories per cup! So I decided to try something new and just make Hot Cocoa myself. I've never made hot cocoa before, but I've been really interested in learning how to use simple ingredient to make the foods I like, as opposed to buying frozen and pre packaged foods. Making the cocoa was amazingly easy! I actually just followed the instructions on the back of the container: 1 tbs of Cocoa and 2 tbs of sugar per cup of hot milk.

It turned out to be super delicious! I think next time I may actually use only 1 tablespoon of sugar per cup as it was really really sweet. I was really pleasantly surprised with how well this turned out, and considering I only used cocoa, sugar, and skim milk, I'm thinking it can't have been that bad for me either! I think this will be a regular treat for me in the coming winter.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Day 27: Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

 Hey Guys! So I decided after carving my pumpkin to try my hand at roasting pumpkin seeds!! Every year I carve a pumpkin and I always just throw away the seeds, figuring that I couldn't make them taste the same as when you buy them from the store.

Not true! I followed this recipe I got from simplyrecipes.com and it worked out really well. Basically the recipe just instructs you to boil the seeds for about 10 minutes, and then bake them with a little olive oil for about 10 minutes.

I ended up having to cook them in two batches and I added a little worcestershire sauce to the first batch (the farther bowl) to spice it up a bit, which someone suggested in the comments on the recipe. I didn't find that it made a huge difference in taste, so I did the second batch without.

I'm really happy with how these worked out, and it was basically a free snack because I would have bought the pumpkin either way!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Day 26: Pumpkin Carving!

Hey Guys! So I decided today to carve a Pumpkin! Carving Pumpkins is a really fun thing to do around Halloween, and it makes for a really quick and inexpensive decoration. I picked up this pumpkin at a local market. It was really awesome because there was a lot to choose from, so I got this perfectly round pumpkin! 

I bought a pumpkin carving kit that came with a book of templates. I don't really have a ton of skill in this department, so I played it safe and picked out the easiest looking one.

I think it turned out really well! It was actually kind of fun and sort of relaxing to get to just sit down and work on something so quick and instantly gratifying. I'm really excited to see how it looks on Halloween!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Day 25: Halloween Decorations!

Hey Guys! Halloween is less than a week away, so I decided to get into the spirit by putting up some cute decorations! I just love these pumpkin lights. They're so cute and I feel like they instantly decorate the front of your house!

I think decorating your house for holidays is a lot of fun, and can be really inexpensive! Most of these decorations were $1!  I'll probably end up running back to the dollar store to grab some decorations for the yard, so we can decorate inside too! I really feel like if you get into holidays and have fun with it, it can make you appreciate the space you're in a lot more, and just makes every day a little more special.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Day 24: Hello Kitty Glasses!

I've decided lately to try to sort of get out of my comfort zone when it comes to fashion, and sort of life in general. All my life I have sort of played-it-safe and always had a very safe jeans-and-t-shirt wardrobe. But I got bored of it! I think sometimes it's important to just go for it if you like something. These glasses are sort of the start of that for me. I already kind of tried to change it up a bit. A few months ago I went blonde which was a HUGE deal for me, and then about a month ago I bought pink and purple clip in hair extensions. I figured those were pretty safe seeing as you could just take them out.

I think for sure the most outlandish thing I've ever bought with the intent to wear are these Hello Kitty Glasses which I got from this ebay site.

I have been considering these for a massively long time because I was positive that they would look god-aweful on me, and I would never wear them, and even be embarrassed that I bought them!

I finally realized that at a little over $5 for the set of three, it wasn't exactly an investment, and they made me happy! Even if I never ever wore them, I decided it was worth it to give them a go. I really like them! I'm actually pretty disappointed that you can't put lenses in them, because I think I would actually wear the black ones as my regular glasses... and maybe eventually convert the other ones as well!

I'm happy I decided to step out-of-the-box with this one. I've been having a lot of fun even just wearing them constantly around the house.

Which ones are your favourite?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Day 23: Use Your Supplies

Back on Day 17 when I was sorting through and sort of taking stock of all of my knitting supplies I realized that it was almost absurd to have so much yarn. My Husband actually saw me stacking up all the now-neatly-rolled bundles and laughed "you'll never need to buy yarn again!". Problem is, I'm CONSTANTLY tempted to buy more yarn when I'm at the store. So, in order to keep off the Hoarding  show, I decided I wasn't going to buy any more yarn until I used up some of that stash!

I have been looking at knitting a cowl, or infinity scarf, for a really long time. I love how they look and figured they would be pretty wearable. I'm the kind of person who is constantly cold, so it would be nice to have a kind of scarf that I could not only wear under my jacket, but also around the house.

When I was sorting my yarn I noticed that I loved the way that these olive toned green and oatmeal colours go together. I was instantly inspired! I grabbed a pair of circular needles and set to work.

For this project I used:

Around 5mm or 6mm Circular Needles (The Packaging is gone, and it doesn't say anywhere on the needles the exact size, sorry!)

I cast on 135 stitches with the main colour
(you could make it wider by casting on more, or more narrow by casting on less, but for the textured pattern I recommend using an odd number of stitches)

I  used a (British) Moss stitch pattern, or Seed Stitch which just means that you Knit 1 Purl 1 all the way around.
        - Because you used an odd number of stitches you do not need to change anything when you start a new row, you just keep going around with your Knit 1 and Purl 1. The design is created because all of your knits are on top of purls and vice versa.

The way I did my rows was 10 rows of the main colour and 5 of the contrast colour alternating, with a total of 55 rows all together.

I'm really happy with the way the cowl turned out! and I'm also really excited to be knitting again. I already have two more cowl ideas I want to try. It's just really fun, relaxing, and rewarding! As these can be knit up in just a few days even if you don't have a ton of time to commit to them.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Day 22: No Such Thing as Wasted Time

Today I decided to do something I don't usually let myself do. I went out, purchased a Magazine, sat down, and read it.

This is almost silly, it's such a small thing, but it goes against most of the limitations I put on myself! Wasting money (a magazine isn't super useful) and wasting time (reading a magazine is also not super useful). Wasting time and money is pretty huge in my books, but lately I have been challenging the definition of a "waste". I never really gave it much thought before, my current definition of a waste is anything that is not ultimately productive in some way; Window shopping, Going out for Coffee, Reading Magazines. Basically things that are just for fun.

Anyway, my Husband finally pointed out to me (as I was clearly not going to get this on my own) that sometimes having fun IS productive! And that if you take a break from work to have fun, you're bound to get more work done later when you pick it up again.

So I read a magazine today, and I really liked it. I think I may even subscribe.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Day 21: Don't Watch the Clock!

Where I work I generally work evenings, and have gotten very used to my routine of getting up, having breakfast, getting some cleaning done, having a bit of time to work on whatever project I'm currently working on, and then go off to work. I have everything pretty well timed out so that I can get a good amount done and be productive before I work.

Days like today are a little bit different. My shift got switched around so that I'm actually working the night shift, which starts when I would normally be getting off work. This is fine, accept that it throws off my routine. Whenever this happens it can kind of ruin my day because, even though I have pretty well all day to myself, I'm basically waiting all day until I have to work!

I wanted today to be different. It's really stressful to just sit all day thinking "I have to work in X number of hours" so I didn't! I refused to think about how long it was until I had to go to work, and all day I was a lot less stressed for it. And I actually got a lot done!'

I guess this is kind of a quick post, but I thought it was really interesting how such a small change could really improve my day.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Day 20: Office Inspiration

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

I've been thinking lately about how I have an office and I never use it! My computer is always in the living room, and I never seem to get any work done in my office. I would love to have a really organized and functional work space to use, and I really can't figure out what's missing.

I decided that looking at some really amazing looking offices would give me some ideas, and it sure did! I am so excited to get a really nice comfy chair, fill the spare with lots of color, and I really want to switch out my corner computer desk for a more simple table-like desk to make the work space less cluttered.

I also really want to make a real home for my sewing machine, because I'm not always inspired to sew when I have to dig out my sewing machine first.

I found these amazing plans to make a sewing table that folds down into a little island work space for a craft room/ office. This would be a total game changer because trying to sew on a corner desk is not a good time.

It looks so amazing! And with the table set up there would be a ton of room to sew.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Day 19: Plastic Photography

Hey Guys! So something I've been really wanting to get into for a while now is plastic or toy camera photography. I hadn't even heard about it until a friend of mine got a Diana Mini camera, and I just loved it! I love the 'dreamy' look of the photos they take, and I think that the cameras themselves are so cute and fun to use!

The thing that really sold me on this particular design was the back. I have used digital cameras for a very long time, so I'm pretty used to immediately looking at the back of the camera after I have taken a photo. This design says "Just Surprise Me" on the back, almost as a cute reminder that you won't get to see the photo until you develop it.

So why choose to talk about this now while I'm doing my 31 Days of Living Life to the fullest? Well, I was just thinking the other day about how long I've been interested in plastic cameras.

I heard about them and considered getting one for a good year before I finally ponied up the $35 bucks, and then spent another $5 or $10 (can't remember) on a back of 2 rolls of "Holga Film" also from Roxy.

Once I got the film I spent weeks taking pictures only when something memorable or really fun was happening as to not waste the film, and then spent another couple months trying to decided whether to send then film in somewhere good, or just take it to Walmart.

Eventually tried Walmart. No go, as this "Holga" film was from Europe, so I had to send it away.

A Month later they told me the film had not loaded into the camera properly and there was nothing on the film.

A little anti climactic? Yeah, for me too. Mostly because I had been waiting for SO LONG to get those pictures! When I started thinking about how long everything took, I realized that I was needlessly prolonging the process with this little camera simply because I believed that it should take a long time. But it really didn't have to! At this point I had really only spent $40 - $45. Not in any way a serious investment!

Realizing that I have been spreading everything out to make this whole "Plastic Camera Experience" Take as long as possible, I went right to Walmart, bought a pack of 3 Rolls of Kodak film, and went to town. I took pictures of everything. Most of the roll was spent on me and my family hanging out and baking cookies at my Mom's house.

As soon as the roll was used up I dropped it off back at Walmart, and picked it up when it was ready.

Unfortunately a lot of the pictures didn't make it. I should have realized that the 400 iso film wouldn't do so well in the house, but I'll just have to get some "Inside Film" later on. The point was that I finally had pictures!

Out of what I did get out of the roll these are my favourites.

It's really exciting to finally have pictures from this camera, and I am still a little frustrated at myself for making everything take so long! I am happy however, that I'll be taking a lot more pictures with this little camera from now on.