Sunday, 24 August 2014

Runners Tell All: Favourite Person To Train With/Routine/Tips

It's time again for the monthly link up from Amanda at The Lady Okie and Becka at Sunshine to the Square Inch. This month the topic is Favourite Person To Train With / Routine / Tips.

I know I'm a little late with this but I wasn't sure I was going to link up. I actually injured myself at the start of the summer and took a lot longer to heal than expected. However, I've been feeling great lately so I decided this morning to get back at it. While I was out running my usual route I snapped a few pictures and decided to write about who I run with and when I run. As you'll see, it's very beautiful where I run. We live in a small city and our house is on the edge of it so I run away from houses as much as possible.

I usually see these horses on my run.

I'm a solo runner. While I started running for health reasons and because I liked the thought of it, it has become such an important part of my life. I'm a teacher at an alternative school and am one of those lucky people who loves their job! In case you're not familiar with the role of an alternate school, we're the school for the students in our division who are struggling or unable to be successful in a traditional school setting. As much as I love it, it can quite stressful. Anyway, once I got into the groove of running, it became my release. It's my time to reflect on the events of the day or week, and to work through my stresses and emotions. It's also when I come up with some of my best ideas for addressing issues and developing lesson plans.

There aren't many lakes around here but I often run beside this one.

As for when I run, if you read the last paragraph you can probably guess. My favourite time to go is after school. I'm a morning person but I like to go to school early and don't want to give up that time for running. Also, as I explained above, it allows me time to work through my day. I actually think running after school has helped me find balance because it allows me to work through my day so during the evening I can focus on other things. I remember one day in particular last year that was extremely challenging. I didn't leave school until much later than usual, picked up take-out on the way home, and told J to go ahead and eat his. I left my food in the microwave and went for a run. At the start of my run I was in a horrible mood but by the time I got home I was feeling more calm. It didn't magically fix the situation but it did allow me to work through it, which was exactly what I needed.

My route takes around these cows most days.

As for any tips, the only thing I struggle with when running after school is getting supper ready. I typically know what days I plan on running during a week and will plan meals for those days that can be prepared and then put in the oven and left for an hour. I'll prepare them when I get home and put them in the oven, then leave a note for J with the temperature and length of time. He turns the oven on and sets the timer and by the time I'm home supper is almost ready. I don't know about you but after a run, I'm hungry!

Earring Makeover: From One to Three

J and I spent 10 days at the beginning of the month visiting my family in Newfoundland. While we were there, my mom asked if I could fix some earrings for her. She has a beautiful pearl necklace that came with these matching earrings but felt that, all together, it looked too busy. When I saw the pieces together I totally understood what she meant.

After: three pairs that suit my mom

For these earrings I decided to make each pair slightly different and to reuse as much of the originals as possible. Please excuse the horrible photos but I worked on these during the evening so the light was awful.

Before: pretty but not something my mom would wear

For the first pair I cut each pearl off the chain and then added a new hook to the already-existing loop.

For the second pair I completely removed each pearl from the settings. I used a headpin to make a new loop and then added it to a new hook.

For the final pair I eliminated the middle. I cut the chain off each stem and off each pearl and then reattached the stem to the already-existing loop.

While I realize this is not a tutorial, I think it's important that we remind ourselves of the possibilities. I was able to take one pair of earrings that weren't being worn and make them into three pairs, all of which will get multiple wears. It's amazing what we can sometimes do with things we already have.

Shared at: A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Texas Caviar (aka Amazing Goodness in a Bowl)

Back in July I was visiting my super amazing friend and she kept raving about Texas Caviar. When she described it to me I thought it sounded disgusting but decided to give it a try.

She started with this recipe from, which she got from a coworker, and then modified it a bit. This recipe is quite flexible, depending on what you like and what you have on hand. It takes a lot of chopping but is totally worth it!

2 jalapeƱo peppers 
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red onion
2 cans black beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can chick peas
2 cans corn
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white sugar

Step 1:
Finely chop all peppers and red onion, and place in large bowl.

Step 2:
Rinse and drain beans and corn, and add them to large bowl.

Step 3:
Mix liquids, pour into the large bowl, and stir.

The longer you let this sit, the better it gets. With that said, we couldn't resist digging in right away with some tortilla chips. Trust me. It's that good.

Shared at: The Happy Scraps, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Echoes of Laughter, Diana Rambles, Natasha in Oz, Serenity You, Life on Lakeshore Drive, C.R.A.F.T., A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E

Monday, 18 August 2014

Removing Tree Sap From Mesh Sneakers and A Bear

J and I love to camp and hike and go on adventures. Recently we were hiking on a camping trip and J was wearing his very new sneakers. Unfortunately he got a big blob of tree sap right on the toe of one shoe. Now I'm not one of those people who think sneakers should be spotless but this blob looked really bad so we went to work trying to remove it.

after several unsuccessful cleaners

As a side note, this little guy tried to join our picnic while we were camping. We had finished our lunch and put the food back in the car. J was on the dock with Raven, who was drying off after a swim, and I was at the table with our drinks  picking our next hike from the guide book. J noticed Raven was staring at something, looked, and saw this black bear cub about 20 feet from us. He called out to me and we all backed away to the safety of our car. The bear went to the dock and then up to the picnic table where I'd been seated. In my hasty retreat I'd left our soft drinks on the table. The bear sniffed them, decided (s)he wasn't interested, and wandered back in the woods. We waited a while to see if the bear would come back and when there was no sign of it J, armed with bearspray, went and retrieved the rest of our belongings from the table.

Anyway, back to the tree sap sneaker. We tried several methods that were suggested online that used things we had at home: Goo Gone, dish soap, even Vim. None of these made much of a dent in the tree sap. 

the cleaner that actually worked

Finally we found the solution that really worked: alcohol. I used little alcohol swabs because that's what I had on hand (love these things!) and a toothbrush to work down in the mesh. Once the sap was gone I gave the sneakers a good scrubbing with some water and left them to dry. After they were dry we can still see the mark but it's quite faded and not noticeable unless you're looking for it.

after scrubbing with toothbrush and alcohol

The next day we went to Newfoundland and I forgot to take an after picture, so this after picture is actually two weeks later, after much more hiking and adventures. Oh well, you can still tell the spot is mostly gone.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Guest Bedroom: Paint

In my last post I showed you my trick for deciding on paint colours. Want to know which one I picked?

Behr's Wheadbread

I actually picked up the samples a few months ago and when I went to buy my paint was told that Behr had changed all their names. Fortunately the woman in the paint department was able to look it up for me.

While this colour will eventually go throughout the house I started with D's former bedroom, which is becoming a guest room. I learned from my stalled bedroom redo that I don't like colour on my walls, but prefer it in my fabrics and accessories, so that's the plan for this room.

I've already got the fabric to make my first quilt and supplies for a few other projects so I'm sure there'll be a lot more posts about this room. For now I'm happy just to walk by and see the pretty beige walls.

Shared at: Lines Across, My Pinterventures, Sugar Bee Crafts, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Home Coming, Tiny Sidekick, Fluster Buster

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Picking Paint Colours

It has taken me a while to find my decorating style but I'm getting there. One thing I've come to realize is that as much as I love colour in my house, I don't like it on my walls. I'm a beige girl. There's just something about it that speaks to me and makes me feel comfortable in my house. 

All that to say our house is getting painted. I will do some rooms myself (I quite enjoy painting) and we will hire someone to do the main parts because I'm not tackling a two-story wall with a vaulted ceiling. I'm crazy but not that crazy. 

Because this colour will be carried throughout our house I wanted to be sure I'd like it but didn't want to paint parts of the wall in every room. I saw this idea somewhere but, despite much searching, can't find the original post I saw. I commented on it so if it was your post please let me know.

I narrowed my choices down to five beiges and bought some samples. I then painted each colour on several sheets of white paper, labeled them, and let them dry. 

Once the papers were dry I hung them around the house in different locations. As you can see, the lighting totally changes depending on the room. Once they were up we were able to eliminate several right away and then I took a few weeks to narrow down the final three to one.

Want to know which one was the winner? You'll have to come back later and see. I've spent the day painting the guest room with the one we picked and I love it! I'll post about it soon.

Shared at: Ginger Snap Crafts, Sew Much Crafting, Someday Crafts, The Happy Housie, A Creative Princess, Lines Across, My Pinterventures, Sugar Bee Crafts, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Home Coming, Tiny Sidekick, Fluster Buster

Friday, 18 July 2014

Birds Nest Pendants

I know I've shown you my birds nest pendants before (here and here), along with a tutorial which was one of my first posts (here). Here are some more I recently made for a custom order for 8 pendants which left the colours and combinations up to me. 

These are definitely my best-selling item, both in my Etsy store but even more so through referrals from people who have their own. While I was in the mood, I made several extras that I'll eventually post in my shop.

Shared at: My Pinterventures, A Stroll Thru Life, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, Sew Much Crafting, The Happy Housie, A Creative Princess