Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Making Bread Dough in a Bread Maker

I love making bread, but my time is pretty limited. I pulled out my bread maker, and started playing around with bread recipes. I was never happy with the bread that came out of my bread maker. It was too dense, and I didn't like the shape. I started making the dough in my bread maker, and baking it in the oven and it was so much better!

I start off with proofing my yeast.

I add:

1 1/4 cup of warm water
2 1/4 tsp of bread machine yeast
3 tbsp of sugar
(wait 10 minutes)

After 10 minutes, It'll look foamy

At this point, I add:

3 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of shortening

I put the machine of dough, and let it cycle. In the end it rises, and looks like this:

I take it out, knead it down and flour it. When there is no more stickiness, I shape them into two balls,  put them in a greased pan and cover. Let it rise for 30 mins or until it doubles in size.

Baked at 350 degrees for 30 mins. 

All in all, it sounds time consuming, but I really don't mind doing it. The bread tastes so good, and the machine does most of the work.

Once it's out of the oven, I put it on a rack to cool and lightly butter the crust.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What I'm Reading, What I Recently Read

My Thoughts:

I started Reading Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman, and I'm so far I'm really enjoying it. I haven't been reading as much as usual and I have been pretty laid back about my reading. I have read Wildflower Hill and really liked, so I wanted to try this one. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like the two story lines/time frames but it doesn't seem to be a problem. I'm entertained by both main characters.


From the author of Wildflower Hill, this breathtaking novel travels more than a century between two love stories set in the Australian seaside town of Lighthouse Bay.

In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne, who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. This gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family. But whom can she trust in Lighthouse Bay?

Fast-forward to 2011: after losing her lover, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay, hoping to gain some perspective and grieve her recent loss. Libby also attempts to reconcile with her sister, Juliet, to whom she hasn’t spoken in twenty years. Libby did something so unforgivable, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again.

In these two adventurous love stories, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future. The answers they seek lie in Lighthouse Bay.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 
While I was on vacation, I picked up Vampire Academy. It was on my ereader for years, I decided to try it. It was a good read, but it didn't hold my attention as much as I wanted it to. I do think it's a good start to the series, and I'm hoping to like the second book even more. I thought the background information, and the character building was interesting. Richelle Mead was really good at building the world, but I felt like there wasn't alot of action. I'm sure it's because it's the first book in the series, and there's a lot of world building happening. I haven't read any Vampire or YA books in awhile, and I would like to try an "adult" vampire series. If you have any recommendations, let me know. 



Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Morphe 350 Purchasing in Canada through Orabel

I've been wanting to try Morphe (Morphe Brushes) products for a long time but the shipping costs, duties and exchange rate really discouraged me. I thought I wouldn't end up getting this palette, because the cost couldn't be justified. I could buy a higher end palette instead. I found Orabel.ca on Instagram and realized it was a Canadian retailer that sold Morphe. I was so happy when I saw the 35o, and the shipping rate was only 5.99$. Yes, I paid more for the palette but it came out cheaper in the end.

I was really happy with the palette, it's not amazing quality but I will get alot of use out of it. The shimmer shades are great! I really wanted to play around with warmer colors, and this palette really worked out well for me. I will definitely buy from Orabel again. I received a 10% off when I subscribed to their newsletter. Shipping literally took less than 24 hours, because we're in the same city. I think I will buy the new Frost palette next.

Isn't this palette beautiful?? I find the quality very comparable to Makeup Revolution which is a favorite brand of mine.

If you would like to see more makeup hauls, I do have an instagram with just my makeup pictures.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Giving up the pacifier (Toddler Edition)

I struggled with deciding on when to have Caleb stop using his pacifier. He's two and a half and doesn't sleep through the night. I didn't really have any intention of taking them away, until we went to the dentist and he told us they had to go. Caleb was starting to have an open bite. I did not know where to go from there. The dentist told us to ask the pharmacist for something that would make his pacifiers taste bad. I thought about it, and decided I would try it. My pharmacist recommended putting a tiny, TINY amount of Nail Biting Formula. She said as long as he was over 30 months, we could use this.

So, we put it on his pacifier, tasted it ourselves, and realized how disgusting it was. We put an even smaller amount on next time. I also washed it, to make it not taste SO bad. We told Caleb his "Licky" turned bad because they were too old. He tried a few of them and spit them out. The first week was hard. I supplied a "bad" pacifier to daycare and we would give it to him, if he asked. The first 4 nights were the hardest, Caleb would wake up every hour asking for his pacifier. The 5th night, he was waking up every 20 mins, and I absolutely caved and gave him a "good" one. We all needed a night of sleep, we were exhausted. I felt like such a failure and definitely thought we would have to start over the next night. Surprisingly, he was fine and went to bed without it. The next couple days were much easier, and if I asked him if he wanted one, he would just say "No, they're yucky." Each day got better and better, and now he doesn't really ask for them. Every once in awhile he'll ask in the middle of the night, but I tell him they taste bad, and he doesn't ask again. 

I really think if we took them away completely, and just said "no, you can't have it." We wouldn't have been successful. I think we would have just given them back to him. This way, we weren't saying "No," we were letting him have them but he didn't want to put them in his mouth. Some nights he would just hold on to them. The first week was the hardest, and the night I caved... I felt so horrible but it turned out alright. It didn't set us back, and we were able to move forward. I really think he was over tired, and he needed that one decent night of sleep. I do recommend using the Nail Biting formula, check with your pharmacist before using it yourself. Now...we need to work on potty training, because Caleb isn't that interested. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Recipe: Easy Homemade Granola

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.

I use:

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

Product Review: Salton Pressure Cooker 5-1 Multicooker Pot

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.

Salton Website


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 Wrap Up

Hi Everyone,

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.