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Kindle Fire Cozy Free Crochet Pattern

May 14, 2014 // 0 Comments

  Hey y’all, I was working on a sweater crochet project last week and I must admit it is not going so good.  The sweater I did is too big for me.  So while I was pondering whether I should frog it or keep it too big I decided to attempt a smaller project. I designed my first pattern, yay!  Well, it’s not so much a “pattern” as it is two different stitches combined in multicolor to create something nice. While working on said sweater, I fell in love all over again with the Half-double crochet stitch.  There really is something soothing about that stitch.  It works up fast and is a no brainer (great for when you’re also watching Game of Thrones and need to concentrate on the numerous characters, ha!). To create this Kindle Fire Sleeve, I used some leftover yarn I already had from a previous project for my son.  You can add this pattern to your Ravelry queue here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kindle-fire-cozy   Materials: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn, 4 colors or any sport weight yarn. Size D (3.25″) hook Scizzors Yarn needle to weave ends   Gauge: 20 stitches & 15 rows = 4″ X 4″ Adjust hook if necessary to obtain gauge     The pattern is worked in one long rectangle assembled together prior to working upper border. Chain 30 Row 1: Hdc into 3rd chain from the […]

The best cinnamon-raisin homemade bread

May 13, 2014 // 0 Comments

Hey y’all, it’s tasty Tuesday again! Here’s another bread recipe I tried last time I baked bread. I decided on a whiff to make my own cinnamon-raisin sweet bread and improvised the ingredients…     To my upmost surprise, it came out amazingly great!  It tastes just like a great bakery bought cinnamon-raisin bread!  The flavour brought back memories of Sunday breakfasts I had when I was a child.  My mother used to buy two of these cinnamon-raisin bread, the ones wrapped in red plastic.  I could eat 4 or 5 of these toast as they were soooo good!        

Organic: A quest for better eating habits. Or is it?

May 8, 2014 // 0 Comments

      This morning I stumbled on a great opinion article in the New York Times about something I talked about in an earlier post.  In 7 reasons why I eat organic, I shortly explain why I am not completely against GMOs, but why I oppose GMOs being unregulated and mislabeled in food.  This opiniated article written by Mark Bittman explains more in depth what I really think about GMOs, organics and the use of pesticides in our food chain. Here’s an excerpt:  “What about labeling? I’m in favor of transparency — I want to know what’s in my food — and labeling G.M.O.’s may well be the thin end of the wedge. But that G.M.O.’s are in the forefront of the battle for transparency is perhaps unfortunate, since they play on irrational fears and are far less worrisome than the intensive and virtually unregulated use of antibiotics and agricultural chemicals.” (Source here) The reality of our food chain is not black and white, and I think people battling food issues, whether it be “organic” or “GMOs” are never 100% right.  What I actually believe in is a healthier diet, free of pesticides and antibiotics, that is locally sourced.  Do I actually do what I preach 100% of the time?  I wish I did, but I still eat bananas and mangos way too often.  I am lucky enough that I […]

How I cured my lower back pain

May 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

  I am a runner.   I’ve been running for more than 10 years. Even went through training and running a whole marathon. Nowadays I still enjoy running although I can’t run as far as I’d like since my son can’t handle being strapped in the stroller for more than 40 minutes. I still run a few times a week.  But it wasn’t always that way. 4 years ago I got injured.  Plantar fasciitis.  I was running, hiking, climbing too much.  I got prescribed fancy schmancy orthotics.  Cost: 400$.  6 months later, after a great day relaxing at a spa with my sister, I can’t get up from the restaurant’s chair.  My back is fused.  It no longer wants to move in any direction. What is going on? To this day, I still don’t know how it happened or why.  But let me tell you what happened next and how I finally found a cure for my lower back pain. I spent the next 2 years looking for a reason, an explantation as to why this was happening to me.  I stopped doing all the activities I liked.  I saw all kinds of therapists, from shrinks to massages therapists to physical therapists. I consulted with the best doctors from Stanford and got steroids shots in my lower back.  All to no avail. After 2 years of pain where I couldn’t run a mile or even […]

Student’s Banana Bread

May 6, 2014 // 0 Comments

It’s Tasty Tuesday! Here is my favourite banana bread recipe.  I prefer to use chopped almonds and add a whole lot of chocolate chips, and this makes for a delicious snack!

10 free crochet patterns to try

April 28, 2014 // 0 Comments

I’ve been browsing Pinterest this morning and while sipping my hot coffee I found a lot of great crochet patterns I would like to try. So here are today’s top 10 free crochet patterns to try this week! They are all FREE.  Just looking at these my fingers are itching to get going.  If only I could find a way to crochet while drinking coffee!   Nautical hobo bag: http://www.joann.com/nautical-hobo-bag/0953863P37.html This bag pattern from Joann is nice and would be a great accessories when attending my sailing lessons!   This is a cute basket pattern that’s also free. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spikes-yarn-basket This girl does have some great patterns you might want to browse through her website. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/free-smoothfoxs-diagonal-box-stitch-square-6×6 Here’s a great stitch pattern that would be great for afghans or dishcloths…  I can’t wait to try it!     Great dishcloth pattern: http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/free-crochet-patterns/crochet-linen-stitch-dishcloth/ This combination of sc, ch is so easy yet soothing while making a sturdy fabric. I’d try it for dishcloths, or even a cute lovie, just like Dedri made.    Felix the frog pattern: http://lilleliis.com/free-patterns/felix-the-frog-free-pattern/  A friend of mine loves frogs.  This would be a great gift for her!   This one has no pictures, but it sure looks great! I love crocheted cats, and having one with long limbs reminds me or a toy I had as a kid. I can’t wait to try it! http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~mite/diagram/crochetedCat.html   Sailor elephant pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sailor-elephant This cute elephant pattern is […]

How to grow and care for sage

April 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

 Last month I bought some organic kitchen herbs seedlings, including sage, at my regular home improving store. Days later I planted the seedling in my garden, along with Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano. It seemed to thrive for a few weeks, but lately, it kind of lost its pop. Desperate to find a cure before I kill the plant, I once again turned to the Internet for some answers.   Sage is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used in medicinal remedies for centuries to treat many illnesses.   It appears sage is full of antioxidants and also antibacterial (probably one of the reasons it is used in sausages). Sage needs full sun It is very drought tolerant and doesn’t need much water. It is best to water infrequently. It is most often killed by too much watering (my mistake) than by pests and insects. Sage does better in soil that is not too fertile. Most varieties grow up to 1-2 foot tall X 3 foot wide.  Leaves are considered at their best when picked right before or after a bloom.  Pruning after flowering will help the plant stay healthy. Replace plants every 4-5 years to ensure the upmost quality. Sage leaves are good for poultry and pork seasoning.   Here are a few recipes using sage:   Sage recipes: 12 ways to use an abundant crop of sage  Steamed vegetables […]

6 tips on how to grow leeks from seeds

April 24, 2014 // 0 Comments

  A few months ago, I started growing green onions from kitchen scrap. It was so successful that I decided to explore the world of leeks. I also replanted a leek from a kitchen scrap, but at about 5$ a piece I decided to plant leeks from seeds.  It turns out my seeded leeks aren’t doing so great, so once again I turned to the Internet for some insights on how to grow leeks. Here’s what I found out: Leeks do better in the cold, but can grow in about any climate. They prefer sunny spots and need fertile soil along with plenty of water to thrive. (I should fertilize more…) Seedlings must be “hardened off” before being planted outdoors (here’s my misstep). Leeks can be planted 6-inch apart and can be used to fill-in empty spots in the garden. They should be grown in trenches and filled with soil as they grow – called “blanching the stem” (or simply filled with soil, creating mounts around them for the lazy gardener). Harvest as soon as they’re ready to ensure great taste.   Ressources: http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Leeks http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=3325 http://www.hortmag.com/weekly-tips/propagation/growingleeksfromseed http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growingleeks1.shtml http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-leeks-zw0z13112zsto.aspx#axzz2zLpu5l4u  

How to make your own cereals

April 22, 2014 // 0 Comments

My son recently started eating finger foods exclusively.  We’re done with the purees, Yay! Ever since I’ve been looking for a cheerios-like cereal, something that is great for tiny little fingers and nutritious without the added high-fructose corn syrup and chemicals.  Even though General Mills said they stopped using GMO’s in their famous cereals, I still don’t trust the brand.  And while there are now a few alternatives in organic cereals, I found out most of these brands are sub-brands of the giant General Mills. I personally distrust any company who opposed Prop 37 and General Mills was on the top 15 funders (along with Monsanto, Kelloggs and Coca-Cola) with a meager 1,135,300$. What have you got to hide, Mr. General Mills? Because I really really REALLY don’t want to encourage them I’ve decided to make my own cereals. The first thing I did was Google “how to make your own cereals”, because really, who knows what goes into this breakfast staple?  I finally found a few recipes that were helpful. Here they are: This is where I got my inspiration for the recipe. I decided to add applesauce and got that idea from here. This link seems great but the intense labor made me squirt. Since there wasn’t one perfect recipe you will find my own recipe below. It turns out it doesn’t taste like Cheerios at all!  They taste more like a crispy muffin top, which I am […]

It all started at the library

April 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lately I’ve been wondering why I am so afraid to take the plunge into a different life (here and here). I think it all started at the library. When I was a kid, my mother used to bring my 2 older sisters and I to the city’s library on a regular basis. There, we would check-out books and games.  I loved going to the library and I always brought home more books than I could read. One time, I must have been 5 or 6, my sisters and I were in there, checking out books. Roaming around, I decide to step over to a new section.  Suddenly, my sister K tells me that I can’t go over to that section (for kids 8 and up) because I am too young and I have to stay in the baby section. The 8+ section is forbidden to me. Now I know it was just some childish ranting, and I’m sure my sister didn’t mean to hurt me, but what she told me really got ingrained in my brain.  You’d think I would have rebelled against her, but I’ve always been shy.  My sister K, 2 years my elder, was also my “favorite sister”.  We were best friends, we were ALWAYS together. We even made plans to break down the wall separating our 2 bedrooms so we could share one big room (which, for obvious reasons, never happened). She was my idol, […]

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