Stationary Drifting

Pony Up

Lack of posting lately as I am busy applying to every job I come across. Not to mention trying to fit in my thesis and sleep between that. In the meantime watch this video. I don’t know why but I really really love it. I doubt Ginuwine ever imagined his song being danced to like this! Also Thom Yorke is from Radiohead in case you didn’t know (I didn’t know, never being much of a radiohead fan).

Happy Wednesday everyone. We’re expecting snow here at the end of the week (again) but for now it still feels like spring and that makes me happy.


{wishlist} April

April Wishlist

///  1. Plie Date shoes by Modcloth /// 2. Porcelain Bangle by The Awesome Project /// 3. Ginger Spicy Dress by Modcloth /// 4. Coral Czech Glass Beads via fivesisters /// 5. Dotted Chambray Boyshirt by Madewell // 6. Vintage Avacado Green Desk Lamp via charliesnet ///

My wishlist for April is light and airy because that’s what I’m craving more than anything these days. The sun is coming out more and the snow is melting in Montreal (though not in my hometowns!). Its almost warm enough to lose SOME layers and maybe consider something other than boots on my feet. Tights can be lighter weight than wool. Shirts can almost be worn without layers under and over. I can feel spring coming in full force and I can’t wait! April has me craving light dresses and chambray, bigger jewelry that doesn’t have to be worn over many sweaters, like bracelets! Delicate crafts, especially more semi-permanent bracelets to add to my collection (hence the beads), and this cute chambray shirt to replace my favourite but ill fitting denim shirt as the best layer around. The lamp is because it still gets dark in the early evenings and it would be nice to be able to see at my desk while I burn the evening to late night oil working on this thesis of mine before it gets too nice out to want to work.

April showers over snow any day. Bring on spring!

 

 


Best Of: March

best of March

last of winter

march doggies

flowers & cards

/// quality time in Jarry Park && sun for longer && the last of winter /// Mars and Josie being adorable /// dog parking at Marche Jean Talon /// Consulting the cards /// Spring flowers to brighten grey days ///

I can’t believe its the end of March already! I feel like I just wrote the Best of Feb and Best of Blogs: Feb posts. If this blog is any indication of what my life is like, I pretty much DID just write those posts….March flew by and I have been fighting to keep on track with my life schedule. I didn’t blog as much as I would have liked to unfortunately. It slipped away in a flurry of sewing, applying for jobs, marking, and writing. And a little friend and couple time mixed in.

Here are some highlights:

Life:

march bowling

/// me lovin my new talent. Is it possible to be a bowling alley shark? /// Mars celebrating yet another spare, he is also better at bowling than pool ///

I think the thing I was the most excited about this month (besides sewing) was the oncoming spring. Winter is not my favourite. At all. I get really depressed with all the grey and I hate trying to get around in the snow. Montreal is a walking/biking city, the transit is decent but ALL of these modes of transport are a pain in the winter. Walking is hard, biking is impossible (for me, some people I know still do it), and transit is packed, hot and often late. Because of all of this I stay home a lot, taking my vitamin D pills and trying to remember times when I could go outside without 18 layers. Spring was in the air early this year, and although we got one last snow storm this month it has been warmer, sunnier and the snow is mostly gone. Which pleases me to no end. Also daylight savings means its lighter in the hours I’m awake, which does wonders for my mood. Saskatchewan has it right with the no daylight savings, its the worst.

2 of my favourite friends have birthdays in March. My platonic wife Corrie lives in Winnipeg so I didn’t get to celebrate her like I want to but my longest friend Felicia moved back to Montreal and we went bowling like a bunch of REALLY COOL 30 year olds. I turned out to be a lot better at bowling than pool and got TONS of strikes! It was a black light, jams from 1999 kind of night and we all danced and sang and cheered on each other for hours. I loved it. More bowling on the menu from now on.

Speaking of birthdays, we had a very belated birthday party for Mars on Corrie’s birthday. Since we were out west for his birthday and he didn’t get to celebrate with friends I wanted to make sure that he was celebrated properly in Montreal. An awesome group of people showed up to our favourite Salvadorian restaurant to eat a ridiculous amount of pupusas, then came back to our place for cake (a flourless chili chocolate cake I should post about), tequila sunrises and late night confessions of childhood crushes (mine was Leonardo Dicaprio). It was really lovely and I think my guy had a nice, if very bemused time. The flowers above are the leftovers from the bouquet I got him in celebration. The next day we went and saw a play about Mahalia Jackson. Which felt fancy and was a nice night out for the two of us.

I went to a few great shows this month, including a jam packed with talent show headlined by Invincible (Detroit) and hometown hero Akua. I got to meet a bunch of really talented people and sway to really great music (including my all time favourite MC who jumped on stage for a track <3).

Other than that it was all job applications, academic articles, marking and sick days on the couch. A classic March.

Crafts:

Sewing away to my heart’s content, which I’m planning a whole separate post for. So far I’ve made 3 dresses and 2 skirts. They turned out really well and I wear them all the time! I love planning up new things and trying to figure out how to make them. I’m still pretty impatient when I sew. I want to wear them immediately! I have to learn how to enjoy the process more, and also iron… I’m pretty proud of myself for not using patterns and still having pretty awesome results. I could use access to a serger though, jersey is kind of hard to sew with a regular machine.

Books:

Still reading White Teeth. BUT I’m almost done!

Recipes:

march food

/// my winning ribs before they were cooked, no after picture. I was too ready to eat a million ribs by the time they were done and forgot to take a photo /// one of my favourite, filling soup recipes from 101 cookbooks. Its especially good when sick like I was a few times this month ///

Mid month a group of friends and us had a rib off, where we all submitted a rack of ribs, ate our faces off and voted. I WON!! It was my first time ever making ribs and I won! I’m pretty damn chuffed with myself for it because I had some stiff competition. Also, I’m not usually the come-in-first type so it did wonders for my ego. Everyone’s were really really good though and the real winner was my stomach! We’ve been organizing chosen-family get togethers pretty often these days and its awesome. I love having amazing people to laugh with and talk about real shit with. Makes life so much sweeter.

And because I’m a firm believer is sharing recipes I’m going to post my Keetha’s 2 Die 4 Dry Rubbed Ribs this week!

In the meantime check out 101 cookbooks for the above soup’s recipe, Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. 101 cookbooks is one of the best cooking sites I know. I have one of Heidi’s books [super natural every day] and its great but you don’t need to buy a book (though I recommend it!) to access her recipes. The 101 cookbooks site is incredible, searchable, and super varied. Her food is healthy, simple, seasonal,and delicious. I really like this soup because its so hearty with the lentil and rice, it has greens and is flavoured with tumeric, cumin and mustard seeds. Add a the suggested spinach, and some yogurt or peppers goat cheese and its basically the best ever.  I ate it for 2 whole days when I was sick this month and it made me feel so much better. I actually made it again yesterday and I’m still loving it.

Music:

I’m still obsessed with songza and have been exploring all sorts of genres. My current favs (besides 90ies), are latin lady MCs, reggae, and bluegrass.

Sidenote:

I’m still trying to figure out good ways to post pictures. Sorry if things are weird. I’m struggling with sizing…

March in a nutshell. I can’t believe its over. April is going to have to be a bang up month so that I can catch up!


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Best Of: February

best of_feb collage
For such a short month February sure seemed long. I always feel this way about February though, when I’m dying from the cold and grey. February is the month that I most want to hibernate. Its too far past the holidays to still have that excitement in my system and too far from spring to feel like winter might possibly end. I still had an interesting month regardless of that. Mars and I took a short trip to Ottawa, I started swimming a few times a week to beat the trap of living and working in the same place and the inertia that came with that. I started thinking about what it means to be truly happy in what I do (no answers to that yet though, I image it will take more than a month), Mars and I had a really cute, at home, homemade Valentine’s day. It snowed A LOT. I baked a fair bit. February in a nutshell.

Here are some highlights:

Life:

pool triptech

Mars and I drove up to Ottawa for the weekend. He took me on a date to a pool hall and we both discovered we are far FAR worse at pool than either of us imagined (and I had no illusions of being a pool shark). It was super funny and I think we scandalized the other patrons by laughing so much…and kissing.

I’ve been working on creating a schedule for myself so that I am in a routine. Working from home is a trap of constantly flexible time and its easy to sleep in really late, get groceries at 9pm, clean the house at 3pm on a wednesday, etc. I’m trying to create a work/life/play schedule that is regular and consistent. I hear that that’s good for me or whatever. Part of this is getting exercise so I started taking myself off to the pool 3 times a week to swim 45mins of laps. Its a nice quiet time where I can kind of zone my brain out and remind my body that as much as I’d like to be hibernating, I’m not that kind of creature. Mars and I have been huge homebodies this month, partly because we’re broke and partly because its winter. We’re both working away on projects, watching a fair bit of netflix and having couch dates. Sometimes its nice to not go out for a while.

Crafts:

With the exception of massive amount of sewing I started on the night of the last day of Feb (and am therefore counting as a March activity). The only thing I think I made this month was the crochet heart mobile for Mars’ Valentine’s day present. Which I mostly made in January anyway. It was a variation of this pattern but I’m not much for following patterns (with the exception of lace, I don’t toy with those patterns!) so I can’t exactly say out to make it. Basically I made a bunch of hearts of different sizes, then made a crocheted top part (based kind of on this collar pattern). I attached the hearts to the top and to each other with crochet chains. That’s it! It took a while to make, partly because I was hiding it from Mars but it was nice to do in front of tv shows at night (I’m not super good at just sitting and watching tv without doing anything else).

Sorry for the fuzzy phone photo, its all I have.

Photo 2013-03-03 2 19 18 PM

Books:

I’m still reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith on my kobo. I’m going to have to pick up the pace a little if I want to reach my reading goal for the year. I’m enjoying the book but I have been busy with other things (and reading things on the internet). I mostly only read when I’m on the metro.

Photography:

I’ve recently become a huge fan of astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield who is currently in space and is taking absolutely incredible photos of the earth. He posts several a day to his facebook page and I check them every day. They are humbling and beautiful. A daily reminder that the world is a really special place.

Here’s an example from yesterday of the southernmost tip of Canada (click the photo to be taken to the source):

Recipes:

(photo belongs to smitten kitchen. Click to be taken to the site/recipe)

I love soup in the fall/winter and this carrot soup with lemon tahini and crisped chickpeas from smitten kitchen is my new absolute favourite. The lemon tahini is what really makes it. The light lemon flavour and the creaminess of the tahini in the soup is amazing. I had some difficulty with the chickpeas because they kept popping like pop corn in my oven and I was afraid of causing a fire so they didn’t get as crispy as I would have liked them. But still a nice texture. I made it with this flat bread (also from smitten kitchen) instead of pita because its fast and a staple in our house. We eat it a couple of times a week usually.

Music:

I was introduced to songza this past month and have been obsessed with it ever since. Its a curated site of SO many playlists. Basically when I log in it asks me what kind of mood I’m in then suggests playlists that work for that mood. I’ve been discovering lots of new (to me) music in between listening to hours and hours of 90ies jams. I’ve been on songza about a week and have a whole bunch of playlists saved. I think songza is my favourite new music this past month but here are some individual artists that got me toe tapping.

Nerina Pallot

Haim

So long February. Looking forward to March, I can feel the spring in the air….


Small Things Project: Day 43 to 49

[warning: this post is a little disjointed because it happens over a 5 month span. There are no pictures and frankly I’m just posting it so I can start anew]

Day 43: (april 8)

Today I’m happy for my easter gift to myself, fancy new nail polish in spring colours, and M’s gift of lunch. And Sil’s gift of a few hours doing laundry by myself in her quiet apartment with her lovely and loving cat.

I’m happy that I came home to a tidied up apartment and dinner on the stove. My fiance is so great.

I’m happy for the grey, spring Sunday light that made everything feel in slow motion. I love slow motion sundays.

I’m happy that I got to sleep in, and that I took the weekend off from the gym but that I’m excited to get back to it tomorrow. Operation get healthy is still in effect. I was too hungover yesterday from Friday night to start my cleanse but I’m getting to it tomorrow. And I’m excited for that too.

Day 44: (april 9)

Today I’m happy that M & I got our health nut lifestyle on and went to the gym for a spinning class. I’m happy that we are really on the same page about this. We even worked out for another 45mins after spinning for an hour. The best part was when I was slowing down in class and sweating my life away and M looked over at me and told me that I could do it. Having a gym buddy is really great.

I’m happy that we got a bunch of good foods at the market and now, as I drink my cleanse tea (which is so far going great), M is preparing us a really good smelling lunch. I’m telling ya, spring is the time for resolutions. M is even quitting smoking!

Today I’m also very excited about my writing more for my brother’s magazine. Check out my Field of View post or the website to see more.

Day 45: (may 10)

Phew, a whole month went by, I don’t know what happened…But I’m back at it! So today I’m happy for not beating myself up about small things and for not giving up. I’m happy for allowing myself to enjoy my routines in their own time and to allow myself to prioritize as needed.

I’m still glowing from my long walk with Josie yesterday and for knocking a bunch of chores off my list of things to do. Today I’m happy for my coffee, the fact that I’m still working towards feeling healthier, and a full day of work ahead of me. I’m also really really grateful for all the great friends and family who have offered so many ways of helping with this wedding planning. I’m so lucky to have these amazing people in my life.

Day 45: (may 15)

Today I’m happy for all the love and support we enjoyed at last night’s fundraiser. I’m grateful to Mars for cooking up a storm and for everyone that came and ate soul food, enjoyed the beautiful evening with us and donated towards our marriage.

I’m happy for the quiet train ride to snooze and reflect. I’m excited to be in the states again an am looking forward to eating a cheesesteak!

I’m looking forward to being done traveling for the day and for getting shit done tomorrow.

Day 46: (aug 9)

Today I am happy to get back to my blog. Too long, WAY too long since my last post.

As much as I was annoyed have having to stay home and wait for the Internet guy today (it’s been out for 2days) I was happy to spend some time in the kitchen. It’s been such a hot summer and I’ve been so distracted that I haven’t really cooked in ages. I made bread (from this recipe), banana bread (from here), an extremely spicy fried rice and some extremely spicy spiced tea. M said I was a spicy lady today, which was probably my inadvertent desire to burn the exhaustion out of me (I suspect it’s due to germs). On a side note: I experienced my first chili on skin burn today and yow did it hurt. After trying a few Internet suggestions I finally succumbed to M’s suggestion and sat for almost an hour with my hand in a bowl of iced milk. It still stings under my thumb nail but its so much better than it was I’m not complaining. The burn set in just as the Internet guy arrived, I think he probably thought I was insane as I kept disappearing to the bathroom to wash my hands, and at one point cut a lime in half and took it to the bathroom (where I squeezed it on my hand).

I’m happy for the cooler day today. It’s been a really hot summer, consistently hovering at 30 so that only my heartiest plants (the chilies and the Mediterranean rosemary and lavender) are still doing okay. I’m sad for my lost strawberries just as they were strawb’ing. The cool-ish weather and rain today was most appreciated.

I’m happy that my grant proposal is written and ready to be sent, and that my summer internship is drawing to a close. I am once again redoubling my thesis efforts. I really want to be done before I’m 30 but would settle for before the end of 2012 if I must, either way that requires writing though so I’m going to be off to the library and other quiet places lots in the next weeks.

Day 47: (aug 10)

Today I am glad for rainy, cool, grey, quiet afternoons. I’m happy for some solid perspective in the form of a presentation by a fierce lady named Kim Pate about Prisoner Justice for women. I’m happy for a new blog to read (hey there the stork and the beanstalk, you’re very cute). I’m happy for some quiet dinner and reading and for the fact that M is throwing a really great party tonight for 2-qtpoc.

Day 48: (aug 11)

Today I’m happy for a successful and SO full Transformative Justice workshop. Everyone was so inspiring and awesome. We worked through some really heavy things and although we didn’t come to any definitive conclusions I certainly came away with a sense of community interest and support.

I’m happy for tea with a sweet friend post workshop where we talked about life stuff. I feel like I should have taken a different path and become a counselor….

I’m happy for a job interview at an interesting organization. I’ve been to SO many job interviews in the past while that I don’t have my hopes up but I was happy to have gotten a call back, I wasn’t expecting one.

I’m thankful for a quiet night at home. This week has been epic. To say the least.

Day 49: (aug 13)

Today I’m happy for it being the last day of work so I can focus on writing for the rest of the month.

I’m happy that my best buddy is home and available for hang outs again. It’s been a minute too long that he was away.

Mostly I’m proud of myself for mcguyvering the bathtub with a ton of baking soda, vinegar and a plunger and finally getting it to drain properly. It look me a while and spot a small amount of frustration but I didn’t break and go get drano, which makes me super happy! No harsh chemicals for me or M!!


fine weather

I’ve been sick. Not serious sick. Just flu-ish. Like do the dishes and then take a break on the couch because I’m out of energy sick. I don’t really know what’s been keeping me busy otherwise. I feel like I’ve been busy but I can’t actually remember what I’ve been doing. I have a sneaking suspicion that its been a lot of being out late with Marseau, which accounts for the sleep-ins and (probably) the sickness.

I think I’m coming out the other side of it though. Other than constantly having to blow my nose I’m feeling good and energetic again. I even went to the gym yesterday! I’ve been blowing through to do’s on the wedding list, applied to like 7 jobs yesterday, did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, de-junked the office, even started prepping the balcony for planting! God I love spring/summer/fall. I can’t wait to have a bunch of plants doing their thing outside. I made spring official and took the duvet off the bed today too, in my getting rid of the sheets that I spent laying about in while sick cleaning. And with all that I’m back on the blog! So here is a post, and some pictures of the truly wonderful walk I took with Silvie’s dog Josie down the alleys of the neighbourhood today. I think it was by far the best part of my day. Josie is so great, I can let her off leash in the alleys and we can just stroll, she never goes too far and always waits up.

beautiful alley walk

walking buddy

so glad my sense of smell is coming back


Bad Blogger

I don’t actually know what happened…I suddenly became terrible at blogging. Maybe I got more interested in Pinterest…I know that I’ve been spending less time in front of the computer, my days have been spent a little more running around. I also started a major addiction to Bones, I’ve been spending all my spare time watching that. I quit my cleanse, Marseau made a big soul food dinner about a week into it and I couldn’t say no, them I was totally off it and couldn’t convince myself to get back on. I feel guilty about that, and since I’ve been tracking it here I guess I was avoiding it. Jared got a job and the two of us kinda stopped taking pictures. I haven’t been very into writing down ‘small things’ they were feeling kinda repetitive. I lost energy, filled my time up with other things and haven’t written here in too long.

new month new start amiright? May will be back to the gym, back to the blog, back to the books, back to philly? Not necessarily in that order. Wedding planning is in hyper gear so I’ll probably be writing about that. Amongst other things. PULLING THE THREADS BACK TOGETHER PEOPLE.


spring cleanse

(warning: I am not a herbalist or a medical professional of any kind. I’m sharing my cleanse plan because I want to write about it, not because I know that it will be healthy for everyone. Please don’t take this as advice and if you plan on doing this or something like this make sure its okay for you.)

teas

Today is the day that I start my first ever cleanse!! Holy crap this is going to be hard. 2 weeks of a restricted diet, drinking tons of tea and being strong willed. NO CHOCOLATE! I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to drink coffee, I’m not allowed to have cow milk in it though. Deeeeeeep sigh.

I’m kind of constructing my own plan, not without advice though. I went to the see the herbalists at the health food place in the market (Alfalfa) and got a couple of teas, the Flor Essense herbal tea blend, dandelion root and ‘aubier de tilleul’ which translates to limewood (and might be the same as linden? unsure). Anyway, the herbalist recommended this in combination with eating lots of green veggies, avoiding processed foods, sugars, dairy and heavy meats (like red meat) for 2-3 weeks. Both of them said that they are doing this exact thing right now and also eating only green veggies for a week. Apparently spring is a really good time to do this kind of cleanse. I don’t know why exactly but it makes sense anyway.

I’ve also been doing some research online and am planning on having a restricted diet for the next 2 weeks. I’m not going to cut out a large amount of food, just particular types (dairy, wheat flour, junk food and sugars – but not fruits) for a while to give my body a little boost. I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately, and might be getting a cold from my crappy sleep pattern these days so I’m hoping this helps. This on top of my new workout schedule and quitting smoking, I have high hopes to be feeling good this spring.

Maybe I’ll blog about it in particular to see how it goes over time and share what’s going on. I’ve been planning this all week but didn’t start because I wanted to make sure my body wasn’t too stressed by my new workout lifestyle and lack of nicotine first, and I had to finish that pan of brownies I made for Corrie Sunday night! Can’t waste baked goods!

SO here is a bit of an outline of my plan.

– Herbal Teas (2-3 times daily)

Flor-Essence is taken in warm water 30mins before meals for 2-3 weeks

I’ve been doing a bunch of reading about this stuff before I start taking it, to make sure its safe and will do what they say it will do and also because I’m a herb nerd and like to know these things. Here’s what I know about it so far. Its a blend of a bunch of herbs that have an immuno-boosting & detoxifying effect. A lot of websites like it for a lot of reasons, including some traditional medicine ones because it is looking like it might be useful in fighting some forms of cancer, or at least treating it. Here is the information I got from a website called National Nutrition:

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) contains inulin, flavonoids (including quercetin), lignans, tannins, volatile oils, vitamins and minerals. A strong antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating, and can reduce cell mutations while cleansing and strengthening. Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral; increases lymph drainage. This burdock root is North American and certified organic.

Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is an astringent, diuretic and laxative; it also oxygenates tissues and provides immune system support. All aerial parts are used as they contain several effective antioxidants including flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Sheep sorrel is a bile stimulant with phytoestrogenic and anti-inflammatory qualities. North American-grown and certified organic.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is noted for soothing inflammatory irritation, especially of the digestive tract, due to its mucilage content. Alkalizes by balancing pH in the GI tract; also absorbs toxins from the bowel and reduces bowel transit time. Contains high concentrations of antioxidants including beta-sitosterol, beta-carotene and proanthocyanidins. Certified organic when available.

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a heavy metal detoxifier, a rich source of chlorophyll for blood cleansing, and increases the flow of bile for improved digestion. Excellent protection against xenoestrogens and many hormone-related diseases, it contains indoles (also present in cruciferous vegetables), which deactivate excess estrogen and eliminate it from the body.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is an antioxidant and blood purifier, and facilitates elimination of toxins through the skin, kidneys and colon. Shown to combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections, it has been used for lung, liver and digestive ailments. This legume contains isoflavones that help balance hormones and protect against xenoestrogens. The leaf and blossom are harvested from certified organic plants grown in North America.

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) contains a bitter-tasting compound called ‘cnicin’, which increases the flow of gastric juices, thereby relieving indigestion and headaches associated with liver congestion. Blessed thistle is an anti-inflammatory and contains lignans that have proven antimicrobial activity. The flower top is harvested from plants grown in North America. Certified organic.

Kelp (Laminaria digitata) contains alginates, which soothe and cleanse the intestines, and help to neutralize heavy metals and radiation (including electromagnetic fields from TV’s, computers etc.) in the body. Kelp stimulates the immune system and supplies minerals including iodine for healthy thyroid function and metabolism, and to help control pre-cancerous breast lumps. Harvested near Iceland and certified organic.

Turkish Rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum) helps to safely normalize bowel movements, cleanse the liver and detoxify the colon. A safe and effective laxative, Turkish rhubarb also exhibits anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and antiviral activity. Increases the flow of saliva and gastric juices for improved digestion. Certified organic when available.

kidney, liver, digestion, blood, thyroid, metabolism, colon, intestines, skin, lung, bowel, lymph nodes, immune system, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.

I can use all these things.

Dandelion root, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled in water for 5-10 mins, strained. 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre dandelion root is rich in vitamins A, B, C & D, minerals like iron, potassium and zinc, is good for the liver, kidney, swelling, skin, heartburn, stomach upset, high blood pressure and digestion. Its a diuretic.

From the above website:

Traditionally, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Linden/sapwood of lime tree, 1/2 – 2 teaspoons, boiled and strained, 2-3 times per day for 2-3 weeks.

This one was a little harder to look up because I only had the french name for it. It translates to sapwood of lime tree, which some places say is another name for linden (sapwood not flowers). From what I can figure out this is good for calming anxiety, promoting relaxation and calmness, sleep aid, liver, gallbladder, soothing an upset stomach, fighting infection, promotes blood flow, and boosting immune system.  (from WebMD & Livestrong Foundation)

I was told the I could take the dandelion root and linden together or separately but in total I should have having some combination of those teas 3 times per day. Not 2-3 times each.

– Food Plan

The herbalist told me to avoid processed foods, dairy, heavy meats, sugar and fat; and eat a lot of green veggies. Which all make sense to me. I’ve been reading up about other cleanses online though, particularly the wild rose cleanse which I’ve heard good things about and I’m going to add this.

Avoid:

  • processed foods
  • wheat flour (gluten)
  • dairy (except butter – I don’t know why butter is okay but I’ll take it)
  • tropical fruits (apparently they have a lot of allergens that the body can react to in the absence of all these other things)
  • alcohol
  • sugar

Eat:

  • lots of green veggies
  • soups and broths
  • beans, nuts and grains
  • almonds, fruit, millet, buckwheat, and brown rice
  • neutral foods like most veggies

So here it goes! Crossing my fingers that I won’t have too many side effects and am able to keep it up. If anyone has cleanse strategies they would like to share I’d love to hear them. Including how to motivate yourself to stay at it, what you ate or didn’t eat, recipes, how to deal with side effects. I’m curious to be testing this out and how my body will react!


52 Themes: Macro

Week 3: Macro

So its not exactly the 3rd week by the gregorian calendar but it is the 3rd week of this project. Both Jared and I got a bit distracted by other things going on in our lives. Apparently he had been writing his first feature length film! I, less excitingly, have been working on my thesis. We’ve been emailing each other back and forth a couple of times a week, apologizing for not having kept up our end of the bargain and promising to finish soon. Finally, here are my photos from the newest theme, I imagine Jared’s will also be up soon.

This week was Jared’s choice: Macro. Neither of us have macro lenses, and so we were relying on the digital macro functions on our cameras. They aren’t as good as macro done with a real lens but they do pretty good for what they are. I, personally, love taking macro photos. I love the close up view of the photo’s subject and what that reveals. I like the different perspective on every day things and how something as simple as snow melting on a jacket can turn into a really interesting picture. Macro can show what something is really made of, and it can also render something totally unrecognizable. It forces me to get up close and personal with the thing I’m photographing. I was really excited about the theme this week.

I played around a bit with a close focus on a mundane object so that I could blur out the background. I really like that effect and how it changes the way I look at the bigger picture, like how the packing tape on the pole illuminates the sky and the apartment building behind,  how the paper crane makes me want to look at my kitchen, and the close up of the flower buds makes me see all the other buds coming to life. I also did some traditional macro by getting up close to something and trying to capture its details, I started with some flowers growing along the edge of a building (a sign of spring!) but got really excited about getting up close to a discarded apple core and trying to capture the dirt and wrinkles. I think my favourite from this theme was the reflection of me taking the picture of the bolt covers in the closest cover while the rows of the other covers go up in the background. I really like the perspective that happens in that photo.

Anyway, here is my submission for the 3rd week of 52 Themes. I’m still not feeling like I’m really stretching my photography skill and maybe for the next one I will go out on a photographic adventure to capture what I want from this. In the meantime I just like the fact that I’m carrying my camera with me everywhere and how it forces me to look at my everyday surroundings differently.


Knitting: Lace Shawl

Lace attempt #2!

I used the Haruni Shawl Pattern off Ravelry. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine wool in an off white colour (as you can see below), which I think is a fingering weight. I’m bad and wool weights…

close of the final shawl

The first was for Corrie, a much belated birthday present this fall, I really loved knitting her’s so I decided to give it another go and make one from my mom for xmas. That didn’t really work out because my brother went and got married by surprise. I didn’t have the time to knit it that I was planning over the holidays. So I gave my mom the wool and pattern in a box and promised to knit it for her this winter. Which is what I did. It was ready to send to her for her birthday. Two birds, one stone.

I loved knitting it, it was so complicated and therefore kept my interest. Occasionally I was annoyed that I had to pay such close attention to the pattern and couldn’t just relax into the rhythm of knitting. As it got bigger though and I got used to the pattern that part got easier. As far as I’m aware I only made one mistake (mistakes are super visible in lace I learned), it wasn’t that bad and is hard to find in the pattern anyway (thankfully). I would say this pattern is easy as long as you have experience knitting and know how to knit stitches together, etc. I’m really happy with it, I was almost sad to send it away!

knitting away at it one night

It knit up surprisingly fast for such small needles and wool. I didn’t work at it constantly but I would say it was done in under a month. I highly suggest using a row counter, I would have been totally lost if I hadn’t.

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

 

 

shawl leaf pattern pre blocking

It was pretty small before I blocked it. I would have been worried if I hadn’t tried this before. Luckily the beauty of lace is that it is supposed to be stretched way out so its possible to see the gaps and therefore look more like lace.

pre blocked whole shawl

Generally I block on my couch. The back is big enough to stretch a shawl out on, its made of a nylon material so it doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture, and my house is small so I’m using a relatively small amount of space. I also haven’t knitted enough lace in my life to justify investing in fancier blocking equipment. I just wet down the wool, squeeze (not wring) it out, and stretch it along the back of the couch using regular knitting pins to hold it. It can be time consuming because I have to put a lot of pins in to hold it but I just put on a podcast and go to work. I like walking by it as it dries and admiring the pattern.

I generally block on my couch. Apologies for the fuzzy photo, its dark in my living room

The shawl blocked out pretty big. It goes from my shoulders to almost my butt at the bottom point. I think it will be perfect for my mom for spring to wear with her spring/summer dresses. It gets cool in Calgary at night, even in the summer, so its always nice to have something to wrap around you.

the shawl from my shoulders to butt. I think it looks awesome with my leather jacket by the way. Also why does the bottom of my hair and neck look so weird in this picture?