Archive of ‘My Life’ category

All about sprouts

| Cooking, My Life

Healthy and nutritious sprouts

Healthy and nutritious sprouts

For the past couple of years I’ve been trying to make healthier food choices for myself and my family. I’ve learned a lot over that time and continue to pick up little tidbits here and there.  Years ago I dated a guy who was a vegetarian and he loved sprouts. Since he always had them around the house I used to make myself cucumber, cream cheese and sprout sandwiches – oh so yummy.   I had forgotten all about those sandwiches until recently when I saw sprouting seeds for sale in the garden centre.  I bought a few packages of seeds and almost bought a sprouting tray but at the last moment decided against the sprouter which was about $25.  When I got home I jumped on to my computer and looked up how to grow sprouts.  It turned out they were really easy to start and although the sprouting trays are nice they really aren’t necessary.

Health Benefits of sprouts:

  • Rich in essential nutrients including vitamin A, C, B1, B6 and K; Iron, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, and Calcium
  • Excellent source of enzymes
  • Contain up to 35% protein
  • Very easy to digest
  • Great for weight loss, high in fiber and low in calories

How to grow your own sprouts:

Growing sprouts in a jar

Growing sprouts in a jar

All you need is a glass jar (mason jars are great for this), cheese cloth or nylon sock (I had some new ones that I’d never worn), seeds and water.  Pour your seeds in the jar and stick your nylon sock on the top of the jar, add water, swirl around and then drain out. Do this a few times just to get rid of any dust or debris. Fill the jar with water so that it’s covering the seeds and then leave it somewhere bright but not in direct sunlight.  The following day rinse the seeds again and fill again with water.  Do this everyday (usually about 3-4 days) until you see little tails coming from the seeds.  At this point, drain as much water from the jar as possible and then just leave it.  In a couple more days your sprouts will be ready to eat and enjoy!

Cucumber, cream cheese and sprout sandwich - yum!

Cucumber, cream cheese and sprout sandwich – yum!

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Ring in Spring with Garlic

| My Life, Outdoors

Garlic in March

Garlic in March

I love this time of year. So much hope and anticipation for the fun times yet to come with the warm weather soon approaching. In Victoria we’re blessed to have mild winters which for me never gets tiring.  Growing up in Ontario with 6-7 months of cold and snow has instilled in me a general hatred towards cold weather; one that I still feel after living here in the promised land for the past 15 years.

One thing I learned to love living in Ontario was the wonderful gardens you could grow there. My mother’s garden was huge, probably about half an acre.  Oh how I used to love watching her garden go from a pile of dirt to a medley of incredible fruit and veggies in a matter of months.

Now that I finally have a “deer free” area, I have my own very tiny chunk of land to grow a garden.  Even though it’s small, it has a southern exposure with a beautiful rock wall as a wind guard and protector. We just moved to this house about a year ago so last year was my first attempt at a real garden – overall, it was generally successful but I hope to have better results this year.

So, what’s with the garlic? We’ll it’s the first beautiful green thing to shoot through the soil this winter/spring.  It just looks so lush it’s hard to believe it’s still March. And well, I have an embarrassing thing to admit; last year I planted my first garlic bunch in June… turns out it won’t grow if you plant it then. I was asking my very knowledgeable friend and co-worker something about Garlic early last summer and she said “you didn’t plant garlic this summer did you” and I looked her square in the eye and said “no, of course not”. Yes, even though I’m a complete amateur, I was too embarrassed to admit the truth to her.  So later this past fall, that same friend gave me some of her beautiful garlic bulbs and I planted the cloves. Now, that I have these gorgeous plants coming up in my garden I feel triumphant. I can’t wait to pick them now; I’m already planning all my recipes out for the summer harvest.

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Pillow Mattress – My first big sewing project

| Crafts & DIY, For the Home, My Life

Cozy flannel pillow bed

Cozy flannel pillow bed

About a year ago or so I created a bucket list of things I’d like to try my hand at.  Nothing crazy or wild, just things I’d like to attempt to learn.  I’d actually forgotten about the list until I had some computer problems and saw it in my files when my computer was upgraded.  I was amazed that when I looked at the list now, I actually had checked off quite a few things in a year including knitting, crocheting and playing tennis.  One thing that was still on the list was sewing.

For Christmas this year I was generously gifted the money to buy a sewing machine which I ordered on boxing day and it came a week later.  When it arrived I took it out of the box and put it in the corner of my office where it sat until just a couple of weeks ago.  I have to be honest – sewing scared me half to death – I know, are you serious!  I’m not really sure why I was so intimidated but I was.  So one day after a serious spring cleaning in my office I noticed that poor, sad little machine in the corner and decided to dust it off and see if I could get it working.

My first attempt at sewing was a heat/rice bag for my daughter; guess what – it turned out pretty well and wasn’t that scary after all. Then I made two more, which were each quite an improvement on my daughter’s heat bag. Once I started feeling a little more confident I did some hemming and made a skirt and matching head band for Noelle.

So here’s a really cool project I made yesterday – a pillow bed (or mattress, whichever you prefer).  I took Noelle to the store and she got to chose her own fabric.  We picked flannel material so that the bed would be extra cozy.  Noelle helped with everything including the washing, measuring, cutting, pinning and testing of course.  I didn’t use a pattern but followed the instructions from this great posting: http://mplainsmall.hubpages.com/hub/Pillow-Pallets

Overall, I’m thrilled with the results and the only thing I have left to do (which wasn’t in the instructions but I think would like nicer) is to add Velcro to each pillow opening just to tidy it up.  I had a little extra material left over so I concluded the project by making a little stuffed owl toy that was cute but ended up taking longer to make then that pillow bed did – oh well, you live you learn!

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Well hello Zentangle…

| Design & Technology, For the Home, My Life

NoelleDesignZentangle… what the heck is that? Ya, I didn’t have a clue either until I discovered it on Pinterest.  After doing a bit of research, I realized that I’ve been “zentangl-ing” all my life.  Basically they’re just fancy doodles.  Check out my pinterest board to see all the amazing Zentangles I’ve pinned.

Here’s a better definition from the Zentangle.com website: Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.

So, in light of my discovery I decided to create my first ever intent fully designed Zentangle.  What do you think?

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