Monday, 30 December 2013

Homemade Granola

- one and a half cups (or so) of oats
- some fair trade dark chocolate
- handful of organic raw almonds, smushed and smashed a bit in a blender
- small handful of organic raw walnuts also crushed a bit in the blender
- some flax seeds
- small handful of organic dried sour cherries
- a tablespoon of melted coconut oil
- a tablespoon (or more) of REAL maple syrup 
Adjust measurements as you need to. Maybe you like a lot of oats, maybe you don't! You get to choose, because you're making it!

What to do:
- preheat oven to 325 degrees F
- mix it all in a bowl
- spread it out on a baking sheet
- I smushed mine down so that it would make large chunks
- bake for around 20min but watch it so that it doesn't burn!
- take it out of the oven and let it cool on the tray if you want big chunks. If you don't want chunks, stir it a bit while cooking and when you take it out of the oven. 
- try not to eat it all at once!
- or, put it in a jar and make a label. Add some fabric and a ribbon to give it as a gift!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rainbow Hearts Stamp Cards DIY

Hello blog friends! I've been saving these photos for after Christmas, since they were a gift and I didn't want to spoil any surprises! This was a very easy DIY craft. I found a nice old cork that was smooth and undamaged on the ends. I drew a heard on one end, and then using an exacto knife, cut around the design. You know. Just like when you used to make potato stamps as a kid. I didn't do any complicated designs, as my knife was really dull, and I didn't have much time. 
I used acrylic paint. If I had a stamp pad, I would have tried that out too. I experimented with a few ways to get the paint on the stamp so that it would have the best transfer to the paper. I settled with painting directly on to the stamp. I liked the way it turned out! I only made four cards like this, but I think when I get home from the holidays, I may make more. It was fun!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cake, Warm Clothes, and Bike Rides

Doesn't that look so yummy? Well, it was! And it's "healthy". (Healthy compared to usual cake). Now, it looks good in this photo, but I made the cake for an event and after transportation, it did not look so good. Oh well! I got the recipe from Fab Lunch, a Toronto youtuber! Her channel is still pretty small, so go over there and show her some love! I just love chocolate and strawberries... yum!

I took a practice selfie! I was so excited to be wearing such warm and cozy fall clothing. The sweater I'm wearing, the leggings, and the sweater dress have been in storage all summer, so resurrecting them made them seem like new! And exciting! I also LOVE wearing scarves. This scarf pictured is from a box of wonderful things I inherited from my late Grandma DeMarco. 
Sometimes when one is clothed in wonderful things, one must take a self-portrait on one's iPhone.

Biking! For the first time in ages, I went for a bike ride just for fun. Now, I cycle ALL THE TIME. If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you will probably know this. (Or if you know me in real life). I bike-commute everywhere in Toronto. I don't have a car, and I kind of... dislike... the TTC (*cough cough HATE!**). Last Saturday morning, I wanted to get out of the house and get moving but also save money, so I decided to ride along the waterfront trail. It was fun! It was kind of cold out, and it was raining. But I did it anyhow! I was so proud of myself for doing such a thing.

I took this photo while cycling. It definitely felt dangerous, and even looking at this photo at all the potholes, what was I thinking?? It was so awesome being outside on this trail and seeing all the other people out and about. I felt like we were all on a team, trekking through the cold and the rain to get in some exercise!
It's so easy to forget that Toronto is on a gigantic lake. Seriously! To go for a bike ride and stare at the water was awesome. Growing up on a lake, the sound of the water and waves and boats makes me feel so at peace. It's nice to be reminded that I can find that peace here in Toronto, where I must admit, can be hard to find.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Dress Inspiration

Hello! Remember my fall-clothing challenge? Well, I still have not bought a single thing! I know, it's crazy. It has been easier than I thought. I have been avoiding stores, mostly! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sew or alter as much as I would have liked. Now that the weather is getting worse, I may have more indoor time to spare! 
Anyhow, I was wandering around Kensington/China town a couple of weekends ago with some friends, and we came across these dresses!

I immediately decided to photograph them, in the hopes of replicating the pattern on my own. It looks pretty simple, and is very similar to a dress I already own from

(I have it in purple)

I hope that I can get to this dressmaking soon, and share the results with you!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Things I like/What I've been up to

Matcha Green Tea

Yummy fresh veggies

Blue Paints

Blue crocheting

Crocheting a hat? (It was going to be a yoga mat bag, but I decided to stop and keep it as a hat)

Pulling a muscle, and needing crutches for the weekend. And snacks:)

October's motivation calendar!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

How to make the best sandwich

I have a problem. Whenever I make myself a sandwich or a wrap, I will also over-stuff it SO much, that I have more of a messy salad type thing on my plate with bread floating around in there somewhere.

I realize my problem: the surface area of my bread is not large enough! I always buy fresh loaves of bread from either a bakery or the bakery section of my grocery store. Nothing compares to fresh bread. I used to buy the super healthy "20 grains!" bread from Country Harvest or whatever it's called, but that does not compare to a fresh loaf of "many grains" bread. (When shopping for whole wheat breads, do you ever get overwhelmed by the different kinds? 7-grain, 12-grain, ancient grains, flax, whole wheat, etc? I sure do.) 
Anyhow, the bread slice itself isn't very big, so I have to stack my yummy fillings upwards. 

Here is what I put on this super delicious killer sandwich:

-Hummus (homemade!)
-1/4 avocado, sliced, but sometimes I mush it into the hummus. Yum!
-1/4 roma tomato, sliced
-1 inch or cucumber, sliced into six slices
-1 chicken leg, pulled off the bone with my fingers!

How to make:
-toast the bread
-put the stuff on. It's like setting up a game of jenga!
-eat it somehow!

After I finished this sandwich (which had many casualties; my plate had at least two slices of tomatoes, bits of chicken, and a few cucumbers feeling left out! So I ate them, obviously!)
I had a cup of matcha green tea and two squares of Lindt caramel and sea salt dark chocolate. YUM!

I love lunch!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Cute Pencil/Makeup/Anything Bags!

Hello friends! I've been feeling pretty crafty lately, and then I watched this DIY tutorial by Anneorshine and decided to do things a little bit differently. I was going to make up my own "tutorial" blog post, hence the measurements in the photo below, but then that was too much work for this simple blogger! I'll still talk about what I did though! Oh and check out my etsy shop where I will be selling things!

Two squares, cut 'em out.

Sew the 10" sides together, right sides together

Look at that seam all ironed open!

It sure looks nice on the outside!

Iron the other raw edges of the 10" side 1/2" in. Pin the zipper facedown on that.
 While you're procrastinating sewing the other side of the zipper, cut out a small rectangle of fabric. I think this was 2.5" by 6"
 Fold in half length-wise, and then sew the raw edge.
 If you're like me and have a handy-dandy diaper safety pin, use that to flip it inside-out!
 And then fold it in half width-wise and press. It's a tab now!
 Ok. Do the other side of the zipper now. I don't have a zipper foot on my crumby sewing machine, so this sucked. But it still worked OK. I just maybe swore a lot.
 This is what it looks like right-side-out! If you look at the seam to the right (bottom of the zipper), I did sew the fabric pieces together there. My zipper wasn't long enough to reach the ends, so I had to sew it up.
 Now the fun pleat part! Fold in the long edges. I think in origami this fold is called "inside reverse fold"
 Here are both sides folded inwards. Oh look! Let's put that tab somewhere. I'm sneaking it underneath the top of the zipper (where I didn't finish the seam) so it will appear on the outside of the bag.
 See how I've folded out the zipper so you can see? See?
 And then I pinned the zipper edges back over top the tab.
 This is how it looks now! But the tab needs to be secured higher up to meet the top of the zipper (because my zipper was too small)
 See those yucky zipper ends? I'm going to tack the tab up on top of them.
 My hand is showing you where I will sew next.
 Of course, I used black thread on black fabric, so you can't see the tack stitch. Just know that the tack stitch is keeping the tab pointing up.
Now it's done!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Motivation Check-list Calendar

I've been experimenting with different ways of organizing my time.  I tend to have large chunks of time to myself during the day. You might think "awesome! You could watch so much TV!". No, I can't. I'm mostly self-employed, and my free time must be used wisely, and mostly for professional and personal development. I have made calendars in the past that include hourly "do this do that" in and around the things I do during the day that are actually scheduled, like teaching and rehearsals. That never really worked out for me. I think I've figured out why. If I scheduled in "practice" from 9-11am every day, but say one day I felt off in the morning and didn't practice. The likelihood of me making up that practice time at another time is not very high, since I've probably scheduled the rest of my day with other stuff. Also, if I stop following my strict schedule in the morning, why should I care if I'm off track for the rest of the day?

With the checklist style of this calendar, I can do these things in whatever order I please. This suits me! It's better than having no calendar, because it makes me accountable and gives me a visible reason to accomplish things. Even if I miss something one day, I can easily see when I did it last, and when I should do it again. 

I will try this out for the month and see if it really does work for me! I was inspired to make this after seeing tons of fitness bloggers make calendars like this for their members. (toneitup, blogilates, tarastiles). I decided to make a Katherine calendar!

I hope you like it, and I hope it inspires some motivation to you too!