Wednesday, May 11, 2016
I started making my own granola, and I was surprised by how easy it is. I looked at alot of recipes on Pinterest but came up with my own.
3 cups of Oats
1 Cup of Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Pecans
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
1/4 Cups of Walnut Pieces
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp of Vanilla
Stir it all together, and lay it out on a cookie sheet.
I bake it at 375 degrees on parchment paper for about 20 minutes. Stir it around the 10 minute mark. It's really filling in my yogurt and makes quite a bit. My jar is almost filled to the top when I pour it in.
Monday, May 9, 2016
I purchased a Salton Pressure Cooker and I've been using for about a week. Initially, I wanted an Instant Pot but it was a little more expensive and Salton offers a 5 year warranty. I also thought about the Pressure Cooker XL but a 60 warranty and mixed reviews made me take that one off the list. I'm a working mom with a toddler, I want healthy, fast meals. I thought an electric pressure cooker would be an asset to my kitchen. It would give me another option, because I slow cook alot.
The first time I used the Pressure cooker my chicken was still frozen and I tried a new seasoning. First, the seasoning wasn't tasty, and the frozen meat made too much liquid and I set the machine for too long. It turned out awful, and I was a little scared to use it again.
The second time I used it, I made pasta. I thought it's 6 mins, if it doesn't work out. I can have a backup plan and dinner won't be ruined. It turned out really great. The key is the proper amount of liquid and proper cook time. I'm a person who likes to add a few extra minutes to "make sure" my meat is cooked but I can't do this with the pressure cooker because it's so fast. I really need to get use to the machine and check the charts.
The third time I used it, I diced up my chicken and put it in a sauce. The chicken wasn't frozen and I cooked it for 11 minutes. It really should have been 10 because it was just starting to burn. The chicken was tender and really amazing. The sauced really went into the chicken and was tasty.
I think I'm going to love the pressure cooker, I just need to get use to it and stop thinking that I need the maximum amount of time. It takes a few minutes to come up to pressure, and then starts to count down. Releasing the pressure is not so scary, I throw a towel on top of the valve. This way it doesn't spray my cupboards. Once pressure has come down, the lid will unlock and you can open it. The buttons are really easy to understand and I can slow cook in this pot.
The pressure cooker that does it all! This functional pressure cooker can: warm, brown, steam, slow cook and pressure cook. With its 5 litre capacity, it will save you up to 70% cooking time on a wide variety of meals. Even tenderizes lean beef while preserving flavours and nutrients. The heavy gauge cooking pot distributes heat uniformly and has a non-stick coating for easy clean-ups. Also comes with a ‘Stir & Serve’ spatula and measuring cup. Spend less time in the kitchen and let the Multi-Pot work its magic.
Friday, April 29, 2016
April was a good reading month. Of the four books I read, Medicine Walk was by favorite. That's not a surprise because Richard Wagamese is on of my favorite authors. I still have some of his books to read, and I'll slowly get to them. Here's a breakdown of my reading:
Confess by Colleen Hoover 3/5
I thought this was a interesting book but a little too dramatic for me. Auburn's high school sweetheart Adam passed away and now years later she moves to Texas. We know Adam was in the hospital in Texas, and now for some reason Auburn has returned. She meets Owen at his art studio, and for the first time in a long time, she's wants to explore their relationship further. The first half of the book was mysterious and the characters were not really holding my attention. Half way through the book, I really started to enjoy it but towards the end I just wanted to finish. Overall, I gave it 3 stars. I would have like a clearer picture from the beginning and I think I would have enjoyed it more. It also felt too coincidental that the characters all had a past with each other. I felt like that took away from the story.
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian 3/5
I like this book, but it's not the type of book that I would normally pick up. A bachelor party turns into sex slaves killing their guards and trying to get away with it. The book was okay, but I had a hard time with it. The main character Richard, is struggling with legal issues and marital issues after this innocent bachelor party turns crazy. Everyone's life is turned upside down. The men seemed to really want pity and I couldn't. Even Richard, he wasn't that innocent. The ending wasn't very realistic to me. It was good, but I wouldn't want to read it again.
Bunheads by Sophie Flack 3/5
Bunheads has been on my reader for years, and I finally picked it up. I really enjoyed the ballerina world and Hannah trying to figure out if this career is really what she wants. I think all teenagers and young adults go through this stage. It's normal, it's realistic and she's sacrificed so much of herself. It's one of those books I liked but didn't love. I'm happy to finally have it checked off as read.
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese 5/5
When Franklin Star is asked to go see his biological father Eldon, he's does so out of duty. His father has been in and out of his life, alcohol has always been a problem for Eldon. Now he's on his last days, and wants to set out into the woods with Franklin. What happens is a father comes clean to his son, and it's brutal and amazing. Franklin deserved to know the truth and I was so happy that he got closure. Eldon started out as a despicable man, but throughout the book I saw how broken he really was. I loved this book!! Loved it.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
I received the FOREO ISSA Hybrid toothbrush for review, and didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. I’ve been these toothbrushes around at Sephora and was really curious about them. The FOREO ISSA Hybrid allows for vigorous brushing but it’s gentle on the gums. I’ve tried other battery operated toothbrushes and always found them too harsh on my gums. I would use them for a few weeks and put them to the side. The FOREO is perfect for my sensitive gums. The gentle silicon bristles cover the surface of my teeth and gums. When I put the toothbrush down, I’m so satisfied with the cleaning. The battery is also amazing!! I don’t have a power outlet in my bathroom, and the FOREOcharges in 1 hour, with no dock. It also lasts up to 365 users per full charge. My husband has a Philips Sonicare toothbrush and he has to charge it every few weeks and bring the dock when on vacation. The FOREO was a great surprise and I don’t think I’ll be going back to regular battery operated toothbrushes. The FOREO ISSA Hybrid was exactly what I was looking for.
Here are some of the things to know about the FOREO ISSA Hybrid:
- 100% Waterproof with a sealed charging port
- 8 power settings, and it will remember your preferences the next time you use it
- Integrated timer will pause every 30 secs to remind the user to move the device to other quadrant. (This is really helpful when you’re being lazy and want to brush as fast as possible. It reminds me to take my time.)
- The ISSA Hybrid will turn itself off after 3 mins to prevent overuse
- Locking/Unlocking: You may lock or unlock the controls
I’m really interested in the child version of this toothbrush. My 2 year old chews on toothbrushes and we’re constantly replacing them. The brush heads are ruined in a few weeks. I think the silicon bristles will really hold up to a child's chewing. Below is the ISSA Mini:
The only thing I would suggest is a better travel case. It came with a leather sleeve to travel with. I would prefer a hard case, but it will do.
If you're interested, I have a promo code for 15% off on the ISSA and ISSA Mini.
Valid until April 30th.
*I was provided the product in exchange for an honest review*
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter was an okay read. Henry's girlfriend Nora decides that she wants the relationship to end, and Henry doesn't know what to do. His friend suggests to get away and go work in Afghanistan. A tragic roadside patrol suddenly becomes fatal and Henry blames himself for his friend Tender's death. He returns home and starts to fix up the home Tender dreamed of living in.He starts to fall in love with Tender's girlfriend. The story started out strong but by the middle and end, I wasn't enjoying it as much. I loved the setting of Newfoundland. The style didn't really work for me, especially the dialogue parts. I didn't really see progress with the characters and that bothered me.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is the only financial book that really stuck with me. The ten baby steps, are now a goal for me. I'm an emotional spender. I'm working on changing my spending habits and looking at money and our financial goals. Dave Ramsey lays it out for people like me. I don't need to buy every single book, knowing I might not get to it for years. I don't have to have every single new ereader just because I want it. It actually sparked discussions about money between my husband and I. We haven't been really good with that. I'm the spender and Daniel is the planner and budgeter. I think we're finally on the same page and happily discussing it.
Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen has been on my ereader for years, literally. I finally decided to open it on my Kobo and I was sucked in right away. Julia and Michael were high school sweethearts and vowed to make it big. Julia always felt like money was important for security since her father was a compulsive gambler. Michael never had the mother or family life that he wanted. Together they had a sense of security. When Michael has a near death experience, he decides that his multi-million dollar company is no longer a priority and he decides to give it all away. Yes, GIVE it away. Julia struggles with knowing this will all be gone. Should she stay married to Michael? Is he really the man she married. Again, it was a favorite this month and I loved it.
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow. There was something missing from this book. I checked it out from my libary ebook catalogue and it was so short. I see on Goodreads it should be 96 pages and mine was much shorter. I'm not sure what happened with this one.
I also read Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, I finished it just as April started. I'm hoping to put up a full review since I LOVED it. Richard Wagamese is one of my favorite authors. I haven't read all of his books yet, but I'm working on it. I discovered his books last year.
Monday, April 4, 2016
A wickedly smart, funny and deeply felt debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their long depended-upon family inheritance
On a wintry afternoon in New York City, Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, who has just been released from rehab. Leo’s bad behavior before entering rehab, culminating in a car crash while under the influencea nineteen-year-old waitress beside himhas left the Plumbs’ joint trust fund“The Nest,” as they’ve taken to calling itendangered. All four siblings, at very different places in their lives, believe that this money will solve a host of self-inflicted problems and their consequences. And until Leo’s accident, they’d been mere months away from receiving it.
Can Leo get the Plumbs out of this mess, as he’s always been able to do for himself before? Or will the Plumb siblings have to do without the money and the future lives they’ve envisioned? As the siblings grapple with family tensions, old histories, and the significant emotional and financial cost of the accident, Sweeney introduces an unforgettable cast of supporting characters: Leo’s stalwart ex-girlfriend who now thinks that maybe, just maybe, he is capable of change; the waitress whose life was shattered in the accident; the Iraqi war veteran who falls in love with her; and a retired, grieving firefighter with a very big secret.
Tender, funny and deftly written, The Nest explores what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of our lives, and the fraught but unbreakable ties we have with our families.
Did you know that Chapter's had an online book club that discusses books on Twitter? I haven't participated before but I really want to try it this month. The Nest is on my tbr list, and I think it would be fun to join. It's on April 27th at 7 PM EST. It might be difficult because of Caleb's bedtime, but I'm going to try. This one seems like a great read. If you're interested Chapters is selling it for 40% off. Happy reading!
Friday, April 1, 2016
I started reading Bunheads and its been good so far. I needed something fun and easy to read so I picked this one up. I'm still reading Fates and Furies but I had to put it down for a bit. I wasn't in the mood for it. I'm hoping to get some reading done this weekend, but that doesn't always happen. I get alot of my reading done during my commute and work breaks/lunch hour.
This week was a good week, it went by fast. I had Monday off, and the rest of the week flew by. Caleb actually slept the night once this week, but last night he was up 3 times and awake before 5 am. He's two, and his sleeping is still so unpredictable. I can't figure him out. We still cosleep.
I'm having a problem with daycare drop offs. Caleb seems to not like the educator and cries every time it's her. She was off for a few weeks and he had a new teacher that he fell in love with. Now when he sees his regular breakfast club teacher, he cries. I try to ask him why he cries and let him know that Isabelle is nice to him. He says "No, I want Catherine." It's so hard because Isabelle will comment about how hard his mornings are, but it's only with her. If he has a different teacher, he doesn't cry. If he has Catherine, he gives me a kiss and runs into the room. I know Isabelle is good with him, he's had her since he was in the baby room. It's only a problem now. I'm hoping this will fix itself. Caleb is so headstrong about what he wants...
I really want to work on more book reviews. It's hard to push myself to get them written but I really want to get back into reviewing books. I finished Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese and it was so good! I think I'll review that one first.
Happy reading everyone!