Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Waistline Wednesday - Avoid this food

How does one keep their weight gain going to the waistline?  I am guessing it really doesn't matter where it goes, a weight gain is all the same anywhere in your body.  My neighbor's always ask me how come I am not over weight and I do so much baking and make amazing meals.  I give them the same response all the time - " I give them away".  Actually not all, as I love having snacks in the freezer available specifically on those days when my blood sugar goes very low and I need a sweet snack.  For sure, everyone already knows what foods to avoid if you are trying to lose weight.  So the following photos might be too tempting, I suggest you don't click the Page Down button and just STOP here.  Oh no, you clicked.

Carrot cake

Cinnamon roll

Leche Flan

Donuts from the Ratio Cafe - every Friday is donut day

Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (my cousin and I made)

Christmas donuts from Tim Horton's

Monday, January 28, 2019

Marketing Monday - A new sales rep

Whenever people see the stuff that I create with the sewing machine, they also say, you should sell in online, or get a table at the arts and craft show, etc.  What they don't understand is that I would have to make a lot of items in order to sell online or at the craft show.  Here's my excuse, I am retired and I don't like to start a sweat shop.  I also just make them as a hobby and whatever I make is more like my fun funds.  But lately I have been making a few items from someone ordering.  When I went to an Open House/Pop Shop, there were a couple of ladies who ordered something I didn't have, so I made them.  After my neighbor brought the items, someone else ordered a couple more.  Now my neighbor is my new sales representative.  She suggested that I make some type of sampler basket that she can take to work and at coffee break she will present them.  It was really nice of her so this week we will try it.  I will have to place a price tag on every item in the box.  Last time I was using stickers and I find them falling off or sticking to my pants, etc.  Then I can also have a price list of other things that I sell that she can take orders.  The best part is that she is doing it for free because we are good friends/neighbors.  Here are some of items she's going to try and sell.
Potato Bags

Sandwich Bags

Shopping bags

I should have taken a photo of the basket but I forgot.  So I am showing some of the items in the basket.  There are a couple of each of the items that I have made, like bandana bibs, binkie holders, fabric wallet, apron, pin cushion, pencil case and cell phone holder.  All of which I have featured on previous post.  Maybe next week I will post the result of the sale.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Smooth Saturday - Hot Beverages

Winter time is the best time to try some new hot beverages to keep your body warm.  Although I think using an electric blanket will definitely get you warm and toasty.  But sometimes after dinner you might want to just let your stomach settle and so you have a hot tea.  But have you ever tried hot tea with Sambuca?  It's very easy, you boil water, add your tea bag and add half a shot of Sambuca.  Just use regular tea, not herbal or flavored ones.  Another one that we love is the Spiced Apple Cider Drink which comes in a powder form.  The first one we tried at my friend's home and we found out they bought it at Costco, so we got a box.  Unfortunately the next time we went to buy it, it was not available.  Last but not least is the adult version of hot chocolate.  So far my favorite is the one with Peppermint Schnapps with mini marshmallows and whipped cream. Last month during our neighborhood caroling, one host offered a crock pot version and it was amazingly yummy. What is your favorite hot beverage during the winter months?  

Image result for tea with sambuca

Image result for spiced apple cider costco

Image result for peppermint schnapps hot chocolate

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Tension Thursday - What tension?

There are so much tension all over the world that is why sometimes you have to just turn off the TV and not watch anything.  But if you are travelling in the near future, you actually have to know what is happening, right?  Today's post was going to be about a different tension.  I decided to practice playing the guitar again and of course the tension had to be readjusted because it's still considered a very new set of strings.  Tuning constantly to get the right tension and hopefully soon, I don't have to keep doing it.  Another type of tension is the one I experience every time I am sewing.  I cannot believe that my machine just turned 9 years old.  It still runs really good but every now and again the tension gets out of whack.  The last time it was because of my bobbin that was scratch (made of plastic), for whatever reason it was not catching and therefore no bottom thread.  For those of you who are not into sewing, forget about those last few sentences.  During the Australian Tennis Open, there were so much tension when it comes to the players, the umpire, and sometimes between reporters and players.  I get a lot of tension when I am watching and I cannot stand the comments of some of the broadcasters, time to turn the TV off. Almost forgot the tension between families and friends.  Sometimes you have no control on this type of tension and all you can do is wait and hope it goes away.  For me the best way to relieve tension when I start feeling it, I get busy.  Yesterday I wrote a total of 6 letters, that's right good old snail mail.  By the end I felt so good about the whole process.  Today, I started sewing again and try making new items out of my scrap fabric in between loads of laundry.  The weekend is almost here and the month of January is almost over.  Does it mean we only have a month and half of winter?

I named this bear NANOOK.

My new scraps/thread catch all.

Finger pot holders (small and medium hand)

My new carry on luggage and the tag I made with my favorite fabric.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tournament Tuesday - Australian Open

It is truly amazing how much tennis one can watch, I guess if you are a true tennis fan, which I am.  So this is the last week of the AO tournament and unfortunately some of my favorites have been out a little too early for my liking.  There are still a few that I am cheering for but the one player I get very sad when he does not go forward is RF aka Roger Federer.  Sometimes I think some of the sports caster are jink to him when they do this forecast, statements, etc before his game.  I wish they just stick to what their job is and not be fortune tellers.  Truly, I don't want to get started on some of these sports commentator.  Some of them are so annoying as they always talk about when they were great, etc.  It's many moons ago, some of these new players weren't even born and they don't know about you.  Others are way too much on their playing favorites and usually they are cheering for the USA players.  I understand you want to cheer for your own, but don't make it too obvious even when the non USA player are doing very well and playing their best, they are still obviously cheering for their team.  Anyway, without complaining too much and sharing what my mind is thinking, I just want to share some of my favorite moments.
  • During a press conference after a game, Rafa noticed one of the reporters with his eyes close, possibly taking a nap.  You have got to see Rafa's expression.  I kept watching it over and over and each time I just kept laughing.  Then when the reporter finally woke up, Rafa said "I guess it's not an interesting day".
  • After an amazing match and Alexander Zverev was being asked regarding maybe switching to the sleeves shirt like RAFA, he says, "when Rafa wears it, it is intimidating" and "if I wear it, Rafa will be laughing", look at me, I have been given a nickname of "asparagus".
  • As for the most inspiring and emotional win was for TIAFOE.  He won his match against Dimitrov (my other favorite) on his 20th birthday.  So young and already so good.
  • On the women's side, I am very hopeful that OSAKA goes forward to the finals.  I really don't care who she plays against, I just want her to win.
  • Let us not forget one player who thinks she's very fashionable and wears something totally different, when in fact she looks like she is going to a wrestling match, or maybe it's a cut off onesie??
Image result for serena williams australian open outfit 2019

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Savory Sunday - Viva Mexicana

After a year and a half we finally found a Mexican Restaurant that we like.  Ever since we arrived in Vernon, we had been trying different restaurants to see if we can find one that is acceptable to us.  Coming from San Jose, CA we were a bit spoiled when it comes to authentic Mexican food.  We have one special restaurant that is truly our favorite.  Everywhere we go we would always compare it to Casa Teresa.  Now that we are not in that area we really miss it.  So now we found a place we can go every time we are craving for some Mexican food.  Introducing VIVA MEXICANA.  It is located along Hwy 97 in the Lake Country, BC.  The place is small and cozy and the service is amazing.  When we sat down, the man behind the counter came and sat down with us and took our order.  He introduced himself as Rabbit.  That's right, that is his name.  Anyway, after a few minutes our food arrived.  Of course I took a photo of our meal so I can share.  The first mouthful was so good.
I knew right away that I will be enjoying my dinner.  At first I thought 3 enchiladas would be too much, not this dish, I ate everything.  So if you are craving for some good Mexican food, stop by and see Rabbit.  Their menu is not very big but it has the go to dishes like tacos, enchiladas and burritos as well as nachos and quesadillas.  Almost forgot, their margaritas is great with the meal.  By the way, I just added a couple of snacks we had at the Bowling Alley
in Kelowna which was our lunch. 

Garlic Fries

Pork Cracklins aka Chicharones but with maple bacon flavor.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Fresh Friday - Reusable items

The snow came back this week and you know what that means, I am staying indoors.  It's not like we cannot go out, but for me, unless we really need to go, we usually wait until the roads are clear and when it is not snowing.  The good part of this is that I get to be very productive.  That's right, I am back creating new sewing projects.  As you saw on my last blog, I have added new items and yesterday I made a reusable/washable shopping bag.  I met this lady at the Open House last Friday and she requested a light weight shopping bag.  Of course I have to get the special fabric from the store in order to accommodate her request.  My only concern is that she might not even want it, but it's no big deal for me because I can always add it to my collection of items that someday I will sell at my own garage/craft sale.  I also made a prototype of a reusable sandwich bag.  My first one was made with all fabric and then I realize that I will need something that will protect the fabric from leakage or stain.  Now I will make another one and try to use the clear thin plastic for the inside of the bag.  This was also another order from another lady from that Open House.

Sandwich bag

Snack bag - this one is for my daughter for her to try.

More microwave potato/corn bag for inventory.

Light weight shopping bag 10" x 17"

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tidying Tuesday - Very productive

At the beginning of the year, I decided to do some tidying shortly after watching the video of
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.  But I did not really use any of her suggestion because my stuff were already organized and just need tidying up.  I started with the kitchen and then our bedroom, the storage room under the stairs and last area was my Sewing/Craft room.  In the kitchen, my pantry needed a bit more work and I ended up buying more baskets to hold some items.  While the storage room downstairs were mostly organized but since we inherited some more Christmas wrappers, bags and decorations, I had to tweak what Jeff had compiled.  When I got to my room, although there was not a lot to reorganize, I decided to get a couple of nice storage box for the sewing items that are complete and ready for sale.  The boxes were from London Drugs and they were very inexpensive.  It was the perfect box.
Under my cutting table I had a box of gift bags, empty boxes, new and used tissue papers.  
Of course, I had to organize it and now it is tidy.  No more items that won't be useful.  There are a few storage bins that needs tidying but I am putting it off until next week since I had to finish some sewing projects that were overdue.  

Fabric Coasters

Reversible Placemats

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Straightening Saturday - It's a new year

During the holidays my daughter suggested I watch this new episode on organizing.  The show was Tidying with Marie Kondo.  So I watched the one episode.  Then I realized it was something that will help people who does not know how to organize their home.  I am sure those of you who knows me and has been to our home, knows that I am Mrs. Organizer.  But I have to say that, although she has good ideas, I have my own way to fold, arrange and rearrange to make everything belong to its own place.  We have been in our home for over 1.5 years and I have re organized my pantry at least 4 times.  Last weekend I decided to more tidying up specifically the items that was given to me by our neighbor.  There were some Christmas decorations, wrappers, bags, etc.  I went through all the three bags in a couple of hours and kept only what is truly usable.  Then I straightened by sewing/craft room to have the items I need regularly be easily accessible.  There were also a box under my cutting table that needed some tidying up.  Once completed, I decided to do some sewing since I was getting excited about this new fabric I got last November.  Anyway, here's what I have accomplished when I get a little excited about a project.  I made a total of nine fabric pouch that can be used as a cosmetic case, pencil pouch, etc bag or whatever you need to get organized when you travel. 

Remote controls caddy for my neighbor.
The completed pouches ready for selling.

Getting fabrics ready for cutting for my pouch marathon.

Minions cosmetic bag set.
My new set for my new purse. The fabric was such a great deal - only 0.92 cents 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Terrible Tuesday - More stupidity

One of my followers sent me a photo of another stupidity regarding the mail system.  So this is a follow up from my post last week.  I thought I was finished with that topic but after my
friend from Ontario sent the photo below, I cannot help by share this because it is definitely related to the previous topic.  Now you have to really zoom in to see what the package says and then see how the package is placed inside the mail box.

I just remembered another story about those mail boxes that are now being used in newer areas where the Postal Carrier do not deliver to each individual homes.  We were so excited to bring our home made mail box that Jeff and I made a few years ago.  We placed it in front of our home and then found out that we actually have to go down the street to one of those community mail box to pick up our mail.  Almost forgot about the story.  Jeff was on his way home when he noticed that all the doors were open at one of the other mail boxes. At first he thought someone had broken in the mail boxes. He stopped and parked his car while another person arrived and was wondering what had happened.  The other person was just picking up his mail.  Jeff being a good Block Watch Member stayed there in the hopes that the Postal carrier would come back to close the doors.  He waited for a while and no sign of him.  Another person checking the mail told Jeff that he just saw the mail truck.  So the 2nd person went driving around to find the truck to tell him to come back.  While this is happening, Jeff is still there keeping an eye on all the mail as well as packages inside the boxes.  After a few minutes the postal carrier in the truck came back to lock up.  He apologized to Jeff but thanked him.  If Jeff had called it in to the police or post office, the postal worker could have lost his job or have been disciplined.  The end.  

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Stringing Sunday - My new guitar feels good

At first I was not really sure if I needed another guitar when I have a 12 strings guitar that Jeff gave me a few years ago.  The problem with 12 strings is that if you don't play it enough, your fingers get really raw and it is very painful.  So my solution was to get a 6 string guitar that I can practice more often and hopefully my fingers with get better with time.  Now this new 6 string that Jeff bought was very inexpensive.  It was a great deal except that it had steel strings which is similar to my 12 string guitar.  Then I started thinking, what if I change from steel to nylon strings.  My very first guitar had nylon strings but unfortunately when I got divorced, I decided it was to much to fight about, so I left it with my X.  I don't even  know if he still has it or maybe he has sold it. LOL.  Anyway, I ask Jeff if he can order some nylon strings on Amazon, and sure enough it arrived just before Christmas.  But during the holidays we were busy and did not have time to make the switch.  After New Year's I asked Jeff if he could try switching the strings.  Of course he had already checked online and watched some video on how to do it.  One evening, he just did it, tuned it and the next day I started practicing.  Boy, does it ever feel good.  I could actually play for about half an hour before my fingers start to feel it.  After a few days, I could go for about an hour.  It's really sad that a long time ago, I use to play more often, knew a lot of the old songs, etc. without depending on the music sheets.  Now with everything available on line, I could look up new songs and learn them.  By the way, the playing is just for me and once in a while I try to sing along with the music.  Just another hobby to do during the long and cold winter nights.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Failure Friday - Stupid or not paying attention

In our mail box today, we found an envelope addressed to someone who use to live in the home now own.  Before I start my ranting above how stupid are, let me state the fact that we have been at this address for exactly 18 months.  Prior to that the house has been empty for almost a year and the previous owner are still receiving mail all through out the 18 months.
What is even a bit annoying is that there are at least three other names that mails are addressed to ours.  First of all, are this people not letting their friends and relatives know that they have moved.  OK, I can understand if they were the previous owners but even that it's way over the amount of time to keep forwarding or writing return to sender.  Last Christmas we received a package for someone who hasn't been in our home for over a year.  This year, the same people sent a Christmas card to the same people.  But the real reason for this post is the mail we got today addressed to some family name.  Again this name has not lived in the house for over 3 years.  The envelope did not have a return address so I cannot even write "Return to Sender".  At the back of the envelope, it's written, "Please note our new address".  I looked at the envelope again and nowhere is the new address written.  So I decided to open it, because it might be inside the card. I know, I should have not opened it, but I thought well, if the new address is written inside, I could write it outside the envelope and return it to them.  But my hubby, says, if they are that stupid, we can't help them. If their friends/relatives do not want to update addresses, etc.  we are not Canada Post and technically we cannot do this anymore.  So I guess you know where that envelope landed.  From now on, if the mail does not have our names, there is now forwarding anymore.  There won't be any "Return to Sender", "Incorrect address", "MOVED over two years ago".  I asked Jeff if using stupid was a bit harsh, he said, some blogs have words you can't even say. LOL
Canada Post offers the following services:

Mail Forwarding for moves
Mail Forwarding for temporary relocation
Mail forwarding package

When you move, you can change your mailing address online and redirect your mail using the Mail Forwarding tool from Canada Post. The process is simple, and the fee is the same as you pay when you go to a postal outlet to fill in a form.Jan 31, 2018

Image result for canada post change of address

Image result for canada post change of address

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Toasting Tuesday - Happy New Year

How do you spend new year's eve when you get to our age?  You don't want to attend those big parties because you can't stay up late anymore.  The music are too loud and you can't last more than a couple of dances.  Since we have a pool table in our entertainment room also known as the House of Commons, we have invited a few of our neighbors and decided to have a pool tournament. We will be serving lots of appetizers and of course some treats.  Since most of them live in our area, they will just be walking to and from our home.  It is actually the safest way to celebrate new year's eve.  There might be a couple of people that is out of our neighborhood, but I know she plans to sleep over.  We weren't planning on doing anything and it just happened when people start asking what we are doing for NYE.  I am sure you are probably wondering what type of appetizers we will be having and of course
the sweet treats for later.  I will provide the list at the end of this paragraph.  But before I do that, I would like send all the best for 2019.  May you have a healthy, wealthy, and a happy new year.  It will be the year of the PIG and according to the Chinese astrology, According to Chinese astrology , 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest! 2019 is going to be full of joy, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life.
  • Mini quiches
  • Pigs in a blanket (fitting for ringing in the new year
  • Lasagna
  • Garlic bread
  • Cucumber with blackened shrimp
  • Salad
  • Dry Ribs
  • Asian noodles
  • Pecan tarts
  • Pineapple coconut bars
  • Baileys and coffee ice cream
  • Deep fried oreos with raspberries