Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gifts for Kids: SWEETS KENDAMAS (giveaway)

Sweets Kendamas

Sweets Kendamas

As soon as I mentioned the possibility of doing a holiday gift guide again this year on the blog, my son began his campaign to have me include this very cool toy. To be honest I had no clue what a kendama was. If you are similarly clueless, here it is, straight from Wikipedia: The kendama is a traditional Japanese toy consisting of a ken (sword) and tama (ball) connected by a string. The ken has three cups and a spike which fits into the hole in the ball. Basic kendama tricks consist of catching the ball in the cups and on the spike, however a huge variety of kendama tricks can be performed by juggling the ball between the cups, balancing it in various positions on the ken, balancing the ken on the ball and juggling the kendama.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Outside my window it already looks like it's the middle of winter - snow on the ground and no evidence of sunshine. But I can't complain - I hear they're getting hammered with snow in Buffalo today. It's a bit early for hibernation still, but you'll find me staying inside whenever possible nevertheless. Staying inside and eating. But hopefully not excessively.

We have pasta at least once a week in our house. I think my husband had it almost every day growing up in an Italian family. I am good with having pasta regularly, especially if we alter the sauce a bit. One time we might add chickpeas, another time a handful of red lentils. This week I spotted Gardein vegan "meatballs" in the freezer section at the health food store. I'm a Gardein fan so I really wanted to give them a try. The Gardein meatballs are a bit larger in size than any vegan meatballs I've tried before. They are firm and dense and I enjoyed the texture. I spotted some fennel seeds in the mix. Because I chose to cook the meatballs in my sauce, the whole sauce was infused with the taste of the fennel and other spices from the meatballs. I'm not going to say it was my favourite flavour - I'd probably cook the vegan meatballs separately next time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Green Vases & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #10

This is an anniversary post of sorts. I mean, 10 Vintage Bliss Tuesdays already? I had to go back through them to see if I counted wrong. How quickly time seems to pass when you number your posts! Anyway, thanks for partying with me all these weeks. I love checking out the thrifty finds that people link up.

I visited the Goodwill with my husband on the weekend. It was a quick trip round the store about half an hour before closing. Of course I concentrated on the housewares, as I always do. Looking through clothes just seems too overwhelming to me. So much crap to look through to get to the good stuff! I bought pairs of items, all matched in colour. Today I'm sharing a look at the first pairing. One, this cute little green and brown pottery vase.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

GIFTS MADE EASY with Shoppers Drug Mart

I hope you enjoyed a fulfilling October, rich with pumpkin spice lattes, leafy fall walks in the woods and Halloween goodies. Now that this lovely month is behind us, it’s on to the festive holiday season. It’s definitely not too early to think about holiday gift giving. Get the jump on it now so you can enjoy more leisure time with friends and family come December.

This might just be a case of “do as I say, not as I do,” because I’m often dashing off to the store a couple of days before Christmas for those last few gifts on my list. Fortunately, we have a Shoppers Drug Mart just around the corner. It’s open late too, so it’s definitely a convenient place for me to shop, last minute or not.

Still, I’d like to think that one year I’ll get it together and have all my Christmas shopping finished early. Shoppers Drug Mart is once again here to help with its GIFTS MADE EASY in-store and through the online gift finder. Whether for family, friends, teachers, neighbours or school bus drivers, Shoppers Drug Mart has the perfect gift.

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! I'm off to see Ryan Adams tonight - first time I've seen him live - so I'm super excited. Love him. If you don't listen to his music yet, you need to buy this album. What are your fun plans for this week? November can be dull in terms of the weather, so we need to keep it exciting, right?

In terms of food, I'm not sure it has been the most exciting week around here. But I have been reading my old copy of Raising Vegetarian Children. Whether you are a vegetarian expecting mother or you have a teen that recently went vegetarian, this book is a great introduction to vegetarian nutrition for children. It has some yummy recipes that are meant to appeal to children too. You can buy it in Canada here or in the United States here. I used to read it all the time when my kids were smaller, but I sort of abandoned it for a bit. Now that my son (who is 12) is going through another picky eating stage, I thought I'd have another go at reading Raising Vegetarian Children. I want to make sure he gets the proper nutrition to sustain him as he plays soccer and basketball (and grows taller and taller!). By the way, I don't think this is an issue that's restricted to vegetarians. Some people seem to think your child is all good as long as he eats meat. Not so. Let's hear it for the veggies! The book has a couple of our favourite family recipes, like French Bread (tofu) Pizza. Anyhow, that picture above is of a bean stew with dumplings my husband made on the weekend. We were all fighting over the dumplings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Silver-Plated Cutlery & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #9

Vintage Silver-Plated Cutlery

It's Remembrance Day here in Canada, a day on which we pay tribute to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have died in the line of duty, and also to those who have served our country in the name of peace. I wrote a little bit about my own family's experience with war in this post.

Remembrance Day 2014 comes shortly after the recent tragedies that saw (my fellow Hamiltonian) Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent killed in their own country. We will remember them today along with all the others who have given their lives. Peace to you, my friends.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A New Addition to the Family & How You Can Dare2Give

As a Canadian, I'm fortunate to live in a safe and prosperous country. I believe that Canadians are known for their kindness and compassion too. Certainly most of us want to help others who are less fortunate. Whether we give our time, skills or cold hard cash, we can all help make Canada even better.

This is why I'm thrilled to be involved with a new campaign that sees Canadians daring their friends, families and co-workers to "give" in whatever small (or large!) way they can. Research shows that one of the primary reasons people decide to give is just because someone asked them to. That’s the simple concept behind Dare2Give, the latest in the My Giving Moment Campaign, inspired by the Governor General of Canada.