Sunday, 27 April 2014

Bead Soup - My First Time

Last year was the first time I'd ever heard of bead soup. Nat from North Shore Days (one of my favourite blogs!) shared the beautiful jewelry she'd made and it caught my attention so this year when the time to sign up came around, I quickly jumped on board. 



Here's the scoop. The bead soup I've signed up for is hosted by Lori at Pretty Things and I think she's pretty amazing for doing this! Once signed up, Lori gives each of us a partner. We send our partner a selection of beads including a focal and clasp, and they do the same. We then work with the beads we were given (plus others we add if we want) to create a new piece or pieces. 


quartz, aventurine, and fluorite beads, and the clasp

I'm paired with Elaine from Too Aquarius who actually makes her own clay polymer beads. I was so excited to open my package and see all the goodies inside!


handmade carved polymer clay beads




I'm amazed by the handmade carved beads she sent. They're incredibly detailed and each one is so unique. Also, I've never worked with clay beads before so it was a fun challenge to go outside my comfort zone.


charms

In case you're curious, the picture below shows the beads I sent to Elaine. I can't wait to see what she creates with them.



I've already made a few pieces and I'm planning on making a few more before the reveal. Don't forget to stop back on Saturday. I'm excited to show you what I've created!

Shared at: A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tiny Sidekick, Belle of the Kitchen, Fluster Buster, Sew Much Crafting, Ginger Snap Crafts, Natasha in Oz, Serenity You, Life on Lakeshore Drive

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Easy Organization Binder Clips

I was working through my spring cleaning checklist and was annoyed by the small pile of paperwork that had collected by my computer. The 30 seconds that it took to sort the paper annoyed me, as that time could have been spent doing better things like surfing Pinterest, so I decided to make some organization binder clips.   



To start I got my supplies:
binder clips
washi tape
label maker
utility knife
cutting board (I used an old magazine with a picture of cake on the cover. Yum.)



First place tape over top of binder clip and use utility knife to trim edges.




Next print labels, trim to size, and place over the washi tape.




This project was so easy I almost feel bad calling it a project. Now my paperwork is sorted and looks all organized sitting beside my computer. I think I'm going to make some for school too.



Serenity you

Shared at: A Conquered Mess, Diana Rambles, Serenity You, Natasha in Oz, Life on Lakeshore Drive, C.R.A.F.T., A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tiny Sidekick, Belle of the Kitchen, Fluster Buster, Sew Much Crafting, Ginger Snap Crafts, Glitter, Glue, and Paint, 4 You With Love, A Creative Princess

Monday, 21 April 2014

Runners Tell All: Bad Race or Training Experience and Lesson Learned

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 A Bad Race or Training Experience and the Lesson I Learned.


This post is a hard one for me to write. Reflecting on my experience I can't really think of a race or run that stands out as exceptionally bad at the time. Instead, it's more that reflecting on a run has made me realize how bad things were…

Allow me to explain.

J and I before the run.

Several years ago J and I were participating in a local walk/run that we do every year. A couple days before the run my ankle started swelling up. It was annoying and uncomfortable but I did my best to ignore it. I walked a slow, painful 5k, came home, and immediately went back to my normal life.

I look back at that run and wonder what I was thinking. How did I let myself get to that point? I was unhealthy. I was unhappy. I was completely in denial. The sad thing is, it took things getting worse before I decided that I needed to make some changes.

My swollen ankle and dirty socks after the walk.
It may not look bad in the picture but I could only fit into sneakers and flip flops.

Since then a lot has happened. I'm eating better. I'm losing weight (the healthy way). I'm running and doing other exercise. I'm looking after myself emotionally and mentally. All things taken together, I'm learning to take care of myself and live a healthy lifestyle. I feel great now and that to me makes the bad experience totally worth it.

In case you're wondering (because I would be), my ankle is permanently slightly swollen, and it does get larger every now and then when I'm not careful. I know why and unfortunately it's just something I have to live with. As annoying as it can be at times, it's strong and sturdy and carries me well so I've learned to embrace it. I call it my perma-cankle.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Oh hello there. Remember me? I know, it has been quite a while. Honestly I’ve been completely worn out for the last little while and haven’t had it in me to create, let alone blog. I also haven’t had it in me to do any extra cleaning in my house which means it is a disaster and which brings me to my project – my spring cleaning checklist.


 Every spring I like to clean my entire house from top to bottom. Please keep in mind that I don’t have kids in my house who need my time and attention so I can allow myself to be a little (or a lot) neurotic about cleaning. I have the next week off for Easter break so, after spending the last couple days relaxing with J and the dog, my plan is to complete all my cleaning so I can enjoy a clean house and the harmony that comes with it.





Because I like to cross things off and feel a sense of accomplishment I’ve created detailed room by room lists that I can use throughout my process. I made them in Microsoft Word and, while they’re nothing fancy, I think they’ll help me feel a sense of accomplishment. 

    
And just in case you're not looking forward to spring cleaning…

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Chicken and Rice Soup (Gluten and Dairy-Free)

One thing I have struggled with since going gluten-free and dairy-free is school lunches. I don’t always have leftovers and, other than one specific type of vegetarian burrito, I can’t find microwave meals that don’t make me sick. To solve this problem I’ve decided to make a batch of soup once or twice a month and freeze it into individual portions.


To start I made this delicious chicken and rice soup, which is a variation of this recipe for chicken soup with rice from KokoCooks.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 celery ribs, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 rotisserie chicken (minus wings and drumsticks), chopped
4 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper


Instructions:

Step 0: Make chicken stock. I call this step 0 because it’s not something I would normally do. Unfortunately grocery store chicken stock all has gluten and the only place in town that sells gluten free bullion cubes was closed when I went to get my ingredients.

While making my chicken stock, I also cooked my rice.


Step 1: In a large pot, head olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook until softened.


Step 2: Add chicken stock to vegetables and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.


Step 3: Add chopped chicken and rice, and simmer for an additional ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


After eating a bowl while it was still hot from the stove, I still had nine meals to freeze. I’ve eaten several of them for lunches and the soup is just a good reheated as when it was fresh.