Tag Archives: Creative Corner

New BEE-ginnings

This past Spring I had the pleasure of witnessing, in action my daughter Emilee’s leap of faith into a new “out of the box” career in of all things BEEKEEPING. A far-cry from her post-secondary schooling in graphic design. Her new bee-ginning, like Emilee herself, happened in unique layers…… of research, coincidence, serendipity, a chance meeting and an interview that sealed the deal….her indomitable spirit and all those moments added up to her now working for the largest apiary in Niagara.

Beekeeping on such a large scale, is not easy to say the least, holding her own in a male dominated field, she comes home physically exhausted as beekeeping involves a lot of heavy lifting, sweaty as the suit covers you from head to toe, smelling of smoke which is used when opening up the hives, on rare occasions with a bee sting and …………. the happiest I have ever seen her!

As Spring brings graduations and the promise of new beginnings for graduates, let Emilee’s story demonstrate that your dream career and future take time to materialize, just be patient. Sometimes, it turns out that what you have gone to school for you don’t see yourself doing for the rest of your life, and that is okay. Emilee had to find the strength within herself to find her passion, redefine herself and have the confidence to pursue the career she wanted. She had to face set backs, and trust me there were a few, and continue to pursue her dream of working with bees and making an impact on the future of our environment.

My hope was to raise a socially conscience, independent young woman, and watching her through this process, I realized I had. A part of that for me was letting go, knowing she would be okay.
As a parent, it was sometimes difficult to watch her experience this process, and not try to make it “all right”. I was her sounding board, cheerleader and realized the best support I could give her through it all, was to let her figure it out on her own. She did.

Through her process, I have come to not only truly appreciate the Honeybee, but I am now a wealth of random facts about them. Honeybees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and unfortunately they are disappearing from hives due to colony collapse disorder, Which is why it is so important to build up the Honeybee population. My personal favourite: They do a little bee dance, which is their way of communicating to the other bees where the food source is – the dance is a map on how to get there!

This past spring I had the pleasure of witnessing an incredible leap of faith, and our bee population is better for it.

Creative Corner: Coffee Recipes

Ah, coffee. If you are like me then you are obsessed with coffee, and look forward to drinkin’ that delicious cup of joe every morning. In the summer, I am especially obsessed with iced coffees. Oh goodness, I could drink 10 of those a day (but they ARE loaded with sugar and cream, so best to keep it as a special treat!). My favourite is the iced coffee from McDonald’s (and hey — only a dollar for a medium! I love Dollar Days!).

You may be thinking, how creative can this blog post be if it’s just about coffee? Well, I found an article on Buzzfeed on 14 Refreshing Recipes Every Coffee Fanatic Needs to Try. And the recipes are delicious and coffee-licious and I am going to try some of these (specifically the coffee toffee) and have endless amounts of energy! You should too!

Drink on, coffee lovers!

Creative Corner: Hummus!

If you’re anything like me, you love hummus. You could eat hummus with EVERYTHING. I am just such a big fan because eating vegetables raw and on their own is the healthiest way to go.. but I hate it. I don’t mind eating vegetables with dip, but more often than not, I’ll be dunking my vegetables into dips that are jam packed with fat, preservatives, sugar, and sodium. Enter, HUMMUS – or better yet – homemade hummus to the rescue! Hummus is wonderful because it contains lots of fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

So, if you’re bored of the classic way to eat hummus, click here for an amazing list of different hummus recipes to try! It’s super easy: all you do is combine the list of ingredients (only 5!) and blend. Optional: you can make your hummus thinner by adding water to the mix (one tablespoon at a time until you’re happy with the consistency).

Creative Corner: Watermelon Shark

I was having trouble thinking of a Creative Corner for this beautiful Monday in July. I searched through DIY sites for a fun summer project, but nothing was catching my eye. Then I stumbled upon a  “make your own watermelon shark”. Yep, a watermelon carved into a shark. Well, I love watermelon and I’m pretty sure July is the month of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, so I thought, why not share this with you all?

It is summer after all and watermelon is a delicious and easy snack for everyone to enjoy! But maybe just cutting it up into triangular slices isn’t enough anymore. Why not get extra creative and carve your watermelon into a shark for your next family BBQ?

Check out this article for the step-by-step guide on how to make your own Watermelon Shark (http://makezine.com/2015/07/11/make-shark-fruit-bowl-watermelon/)!

PS: If you want an extra treat, run to Bulk Barn and get some little candy fish and throw them in there! Yum yum yum!

Creative Corner: Fresh Homemade Salsa

One of my best friends came up to visit me this weekend and we had everything planned out – dinner at Burrito Boyz when she got here, Beechwood Doughnuts for breakfast, lunch in the Falls the next day, and sushi for dinner that same night. It was then that we realized… that’s a lot of eating out, which generally means less consumption of healthier food and vegetables! Our solution? SALSA. It’s a great snack to have when everything else is closed at night and it’s guilt-free! So, as soon as she got here, we went to the grocery to pick up our ingredients: tomatoes, white onion, green bell pepper, and lime. I’m sad to say that I totally forgot about cilantro (but it still tasted amazing). We decided to whip up a batch of salsa to snack on before getting dinner. This is what we used:

  • 3 cups of tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 cup of onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Note: You can add more salt and/or pepper if you’d like!

We skipped jalapeno peppers because neither of us can handle spicy foods and as I mentioned before, we forgot to pick up cilantro!  All you have to do with your fresh, tasty ingredients is put them altogether and stir. We tried it right away, but decided that it needed to sit in the fridge for a bit. I figured it would help set in the flavours a little better, while my friend was a little worried that it would get really watery. We both were right – the flavours were bold and fresh, but it definitely got very watery. The plus side was that the liquid was jam packed with, yes, FLAVOURS. It was absolutely delicious.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and tomatoes are in season during the summer months! It’s a great way to enjoy and add a variety of vegetables into our diet.

One final note: if you have any leftovers, try putting your salsa (strained) into a frying pan with two or three beat eggs. It makes a delicious omelette!

salsa

Creative Corner – Giant Jenga

Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend! If you live in the Niagara Region you know that the weekend was full of rain, lightning, thunder, and grey skies! For me that meant doing some shopping, some cleaning, and binge watching Mad Men! But, I’m hoping Canada Day and next weekend will be hot and sunny because I want to play some outdoor games! Two summers ago I took it upon myself to make a backyard game for my friends and I. I decided I was going to make “LIFE SIZE JENGA”! Now, it’s not actually life size, just big. After some researching and an awkward trip to Home Depot, Giant Jenga was ready! My friends absolutely loved it and it we have some pretty hilarious memories of us playing it at the cottage!

Here is the tutorial of how to make Giant Jenga yourself:

http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2013/08/make-this-giant-jenga.html

I went to Home Depot and bought and cut the wood there. Unfortunately I didn’t do the math right and all my pieces were an inch too long! So my friend let me use her table saw and I cut an inch off every single piece (don’t make the same mistake as me, or just tell Home Depot what you’re planning on doing!). I didn’t bother sanding the sides but if you have kids this is an important step. Slivers aren’t fun!

Mine was bigger than this and stood about 5 feet tall from the ground (you can make it any size you want). The fun thing about this project is you can be creative with the blocks. In the tutorial, they pained their blocks different colours. I painted different rules and challenges on my blocks (example: do a cartwheel, only use your left hand, etc.) to make it really interesting. I guarantee your friends and family will love this game!

Have fun!

Creative Corner-Father’s Day DIY Ideas

OK, Father’s Day is this Sunday, and it’s time to stop procrastinating!  All ri
ght, I may be projecting, but I can’t be the only one out there who tends to leave gift ideas to the last minute. I found this great site via Pinterest (of course), which offers some great DIY ideas, and links to printables. For the traditionalists, there’s even one for a tie! Go forth and craft!

36th Avenue

Creative Corner – Monday, April 13th 2015

DIY Wall Art

art

Changing up the artwork on your walls is an easy way to update your home decor this Spring! Change the throw pillows on your couch too, and you’ve got an entirely new look. We know art can be expensive, that’s why we’re loving Buzzfeed’s 39 DIY wall art projects.

Which one is your favourite?

Creative Corner – Monday, April 6 2015

Creative Spring Cleaning

cleam

I know, I know cleaning? Creative? The two don’t necessarily go together. Unless you can think of ways to creatively hide all the salt and mud and dirt that has been tracked throughout the house all winter long. I’m not creative, especially when it comes to cleaning – so you can just hide it under the rugs like me!

But thankfully for today, this Blogger is. And she’s come up with some wonderful ways to clean your floors and keep your garbage from smelling…well, worse than it would without her tricks! Check out the full post, and find the 25+ Spring Cleaning Hacks here!

Creative Corner – Monday, March 16th 2015

Homemade Avocado and Honey Face Mask

Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of avocados. I love eating them with a touch of honey or making batches and batches of guacamole. But, my eyes are bigger thanavocado and honey my stomach when it comes to avocados. I will buy five or six at a time and when avocados ripen, they all tend to ripen at the same time! Putting them in the fridge will help extend their freshness, but only for a limited amount of time. Recently, I had two avocados left and both were very, very ripe. I ate one and could not stomach another one. Now, I know that avocados are jam packed with vitamins and good fat, so I figured that I could probably mash them up and make a face mask out of the last one I had!

So at this point, I figured that if I am going to put all this green stuff on my face, I might as well add more ingredients and get the full effect. After searching on Google for about five minutes, I found this wonderful recipe from Nutrition Stripped.

Here are the ingredients:oats

  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

I had everything in my house already, except for apple cider vinegar so I substituted that with some extra lemon juice. All you have to do is mash up the avocados and combine all of the ingredients together. Start with washing your face and then put the mask on. Make sure you are careful around your eyes as with any other face mask.

You can visit Nutrition Stripped for the explanation of benefits for each of the ingredients. I absolutely loved this mask – the scent of honey was quite prominent! I also found that the lemon juice was very refreshing, but you don’t want to add too much because lemon juice can dry out your skin.

My skin felt very soft after I washed off the mask. I also noticed that my skin looked very healthy and my complexion was better too. I finished off with putting on my favourite moisturizer (Vitamin E face cream from The Body Shop) and my face felt like it was glowing for the rest of the day!