Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

So 2010 is winding down and 2011 is a few short hours from appearing. We had a great Christmas vacation on PEI. Despite doing not much at all, it was nice to be home, relax, and pig out!

I wish you all the very best in 2011 as who knows what it will bring!

Until next year, I leave you with a cute photo of my step-kitty Belle in her favourite spot from the month of December: lounging on the soft fabric of the tree skirt, under the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas baking

I love to bake. Especially at Christmas. These are some treat a few friends received today or will receive in the next day or two...

Mini carrot cakes with loads of cream cheese icing. I tasted the icing, it's good. I have 3 mini bundt cake pans. They are fantastic, as you can make 3 mini cakes with one recipe. So this is only 2 batches! (I forgot to take photos before I wrapped them up for delivery. Excuse the toothpicks and plastic wrap.)

Also made some yummy peanut butter balls. I can also attest to them turning out just fine...

And finally, I made 2 3 pumpkin rolls. I might have made one two of these just for us!

Hope those who receive enjoy! I enjoyed making them!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Organic groceries - Delivered!

For those of you in Ottawa, I found this little gem of a business quite a few months ago, but only started using it about 6-8 weeks ago. Ottawa Organics & Natural Food is a grocery delivery service that offers largely organic produce but they also carry organic dairy, baked good and some other grocery items.

I'm currently receiving the small fruit and vegetable box (a variety of fruits and vegetables), a dozen eggs, a litre of milk and a loaf of bread every two weeks. The quality is fantastic! They source local foods before importing and they let you know what is local (100 miles), regional (Ontario/Quebec outside the 100 miles), and imported from outside Ontario or Quebec (rest of Canada and other countries).

Receiving certain fruits and/or vegetables that you wouldn't normally buy on a regular basis has forced us to be creative with our meals, which has been great! A nice little touch is that they include a one-page newsletter-type flyer in each delivery. Included, among other things, are recipes for some of the produce included in the box. For example, last week we received a bag of Belgian endives. Instead of having to look up a recipe online or in my cookbooks, I looked no further than the flyer to find 3 different ways to prepare them.

The best thing is, I order from my computer and it's delivered to my door! Mind you, I still have to make trips to the grocery store for a few other items, but we really try and base our meals on what is included in the veggie box. The level of customer service has also been excellent. The owner, Matt, has also been very quick in responding to my requests.

We won't be receiving our box this week because we'll be away for the holidays and won't have a chance to eat all the goodies before they spoil, but I'll post a photo of our next box, which will arrive in the new year.

A great business success. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A pound (or two) at a time

This past summer I came to the conclusion that I was not being healthy in the way I eating and I was growing increasingly frustrated with my body. From the outside, it may not have looked too bad, but there were definite issues.

I'll talk a bit more about some easy things that made a big difference in my life in another post. But for today, I'll focus on this little trick. In the last two weeks I have lost 3.5 pounds, and the major thing controlling that weight loss is this silly little free app I have on my IPhone. It's called MyFitnessPal. I downloaded it quite a while ago but have been seriously using it in the last few weeks. It's awesome!

At it's simplest, it's a calorie counter. But at it's most complex it's a massive database of everything you could ever want to eat with nutritional value for everything. In any case, it has saved me from guessing how many calories might be in something, because you can enter recipes and it will calculate the calories per serving. I've even adjusted some recipes, played around with them to cut the calories big time without compromising the taste (super useful if you bake, like I do).

It's a simple tool. And I like it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Approaching 30

There are currently 25 days until I turn 30 and while turning 30 doesn't bother me at all, I feel like it's an important milestone worth acknowledging, if not celebrating.

So, to help me acknowledge this milestone, I've decided to set some goals for let's say the next year – and hopefully beyond!

First, for my health:
  • Floss everyday! Even though I know how important this is, I'm terrible at doing this regularly. I can manage a couple times a week, but this has to become a regular routine. I've never had any problems with my teeth before, not even a single cavity, but I may not be afforded this luxury forever.
  • Take my vitamins and supplements regularly. I've been taking a host of vitamins and supplements for years now. I used to joke that I took more pills than my grandmother. Well my hope is to stay on the vitamin variety and to keep off the prescription variety for a very long time. So I need to be more prescriptive (pardon the pun) about taking them daily, including weekends, which are currently my downfall.
  • Continue my gym regiment. I've been pretty good lately at this, so it needs to continue into the new year as well.
Next, for my brains:
  • I need to read more! Much more. Reading has never been part of my regular daily activity. In fact I can read the same book for 6 months because that's how infrequently I'll pick up a book. Mind you I get nauseous quite easily when I read on the bus or anything moving. I could consider that an excuse, but the point of this is not to point to excuses but to focus on the future. I currently have 4-5 books on my nightstand. Must get through them! Reading has been a big part of the bf's life, and his knowledge from simply what he has read (which is a lot) just astounds me! I know I'll never be able to read as much as he has, but I can definitely aim to read more.
Ok that's only 4 things. I think I can handle that.

I guess this blog is another outlet for this milestone. I find myself reading a lot of blogs and figured this is the time for me too. It feels right. I need this creative outlet. I hope you keep with me!

Here's to a healthy and smart start to my 30s!