Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I always order a small bowl of miso soup when I'm eating at a sushi or Japanese restaurant. It is extremely healthy, really yummy, and surprisingly easy to make! I'm sure that there are more complex ways of making miso soup, but here is my really easy recipe!
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of miso paste
- a couple of green onions, diced
- 1 tbsp Wakame (sea vegetable, available in the Japanese section of the grocery store)
You simply boil the water in a small pot on the stove, and once it comes to a boil, gently stir in the miso paste until it dissolves. Add the onions and wakame, let it simmer for a couple of minutes, and serve!
This is a great amount for one person - if you're making enough soup for 2 people, I suggest doubling the recipe.
I hope you enjoy a nice warm bowl of miso soup, just like I did for lunch today! Mmmm!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Oh, running. For the first...hmm, let's see, 27 years of my life, if I were asked about going for a jog or a run, my reply would be, "I hate running." I try to attend the gym on a daily basis (or at least three times a week if I'm really busy), and if I'm not at the gym, I'm going for a long walk outside.
At Year 28 of my life, something changed. I started to run.
I've never considered myself to be overweight by any means, but I definitely put on those extra pounds when I went to university and college. The "Freshman 15" that you always hear about just slowly crept up on me. Even though I've been attending a gym since the beginning of university, those years of just grabbing food on-the-go and making less than healthy choices when consuming way too many baked goods were catching up with me. One day after college had ended, I looked in the mirror and decided that I needed to make some changes, or else I could just keep gaining weight and put myself in an unhealthy position.
I have always embraced a fairly healthy lifestyle being raised as a vegetarian and I knew where my weaknesses were...sugary treats and chocolate! I cut back on those and started working out more regularly. But still....I did just about everything I could at the gym but run, because I had it stuck in my mind: "I hate running."
Within these past few years, after seeing some great results, I have continued my cardio activity, lifting weights to tone my muscles, and have been going to yoga classes...and in between all of the other exercises that I like to do...I gave running a chance. And...I actually don't mind it too much! Some days, I actually enjoy running! Who would have known? Not me!
A co-worker told me about the "Couch-to-5K Running Plan" that helps you basically get better at running. I could use all the help that I could get. It essentially helps you right from the beginnings as a non-runner to be able to eventually run a 5K. I totally recommend this plan if you're thinking of getting into running and you don't know where to start. I was pretty faithful to the program for the first few weeks but I'm a bit stuck at Week 3 of the plan...but that's okay. You're allowed to stay at certain weeks until you feel like you are ready to push yourself to move forward.
Has anyone else tried this plan for running before, and how are you finding it? The great thing about running is you need very little equipment (just a great pair of running shoes!) and you can run outdoors to explore new areas of town and enjoy the fresh air! I've been doing most of my running on treadmills as this summer was way too hot outside to run, but it will be nice to go for a run outdoors as the Fall weather approaches.
I no longer hate running; in fact, I am almost at the point where I can consider myself a runner. I haven't officially completed any 5K runs, but maybe that is a goal that I can set for myself in the future. Until then, I'm just enjoying the exercise and one less thing to be negative about!
Monday, September 13, 2010
On September 13, 1985, the original Super Mario Bros. game was released in Japan, making Mario 25 years old today. Happy Birthday, Mario! As a celebration of Mario's birthday, I'd like to share my own personal stories of playing Super Mario Bros back when I was a kid, and how I still love the games to this day.
I can remember the day when I first played Super Mario Bros. 1 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. We were on a family vacation in Florida when I was 6 years old, and while I loved playing computer games, pinball, arcade games, you name it...I had only learned of the now legendary NES from some friends at school a short while before. My parents decided that they would purchase a Nintendo for my sister and I on our trip to Florida because it was a bit less expensive to buy in the USA at the time.
Not only was this our very first longer (2-3 week) vacation from home filled with Disney World and Mickey Mouse, but it would be a memorable experience having our very own video game system to play right on our own TV. I can remember hooking the system up to the TV at the home that we rented in Florida (which happened to be at a retirement/golf community in Winterhaven, FL) and I remember playing as Mario for the very first time. We played Mario (and Duck Hunt) non-stop while we were there, of course, in between going to Disney and spending time out by the pool in the warm Florida sunshine. I can even remember being so into Nintendo at the time that our parents bought us Nintendo cereal, which you couldn't get in Canada!
I remember my Dad playing the game with us non-stop as well. One happy memory that I have with my Dad specifically from that vacation is waking up really early one morning in Florida to find him playing through World 5, which was way farther than I had played the day before. My Dad always loved to play Nintendo games with my sister and I while we were growing up, right from the early days of Super Mario 1 through playing endless games of Mario Kart on the SNES. My Dad passed away from cancer a little over 5 years ago now, and playing video games was just one of the many happy memories that we shared together.
Thinking back to those days, Mario has really evolved in terms of the graphics, his voice (It's a Meeee, Mario!), and the fact that he is now bouncing from planet to planet and not just leaping from platform to platform. What I truly love about the whole Mario franchise is that at its core, the new games are just as fun as those from back in the 1980s. I can still hook up my NES and play through Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, or 3 and have just as much fun as playing Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario World for the SNES, or any other of the numerous Mario games that are out there.
Just as gamers like myself have such mad nostalgia for those magical times playing as Mario for the first time, I hope that more innovative Mario games in the future will continue to captivate gamers everywhere. I also hope that future generations won't just look back at those original games for the NES as their parents' generation of archaic games, but will perhaps pick up a Nintendo controller and play the games as well (or at least download the games to their Wii).
So, Happy Birthday Mario, and here's to another 25 years of gaming fun!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
My sister now has a blog to match her shop! Chances are if you enjoy reading my blog, you'll enjoy reading hers as well. We share very similar interests in crafting, cooking vegetarian meals, video games, and lots more! She will be posting about various crafts that she has made for herself, as well as her Etsy Shop, Kittens' Mittens.
So, if you're looking for a great new blog to start reading, be sure to go over to the Kittens' Mittens Blog and "Follow" it, or add it to your blog list! If you're a fellow blogger, I'm sure she'd even love to trade links and find out about new blogs to read, as she is fairly new to blogging and everything.
Also, be sure to congratulate her on her first two Etsy sales, within days of opening her shop! Hooray! Pictured above are her adorable cat mittens...rather fitting for a shop called Kittens' Mittens (and a total steal for just $18!)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The picture above shows the adorable Snowman Mittens posted for sale in my sister's brand new Etsy Shop called Kittens' Mittens! Yep, my sister, Robyn has caught the Etsy bug and has been knitting up a storm in preparation for the grand opening of her first Etsy adventure! She is such a talented knitter and has been knitting for years so it is fantastic that she is putting her talents into her own online shop! Since I had an Etsy Shop for a good while there, I helped her set everything up this afternoon.
(Yes, that's me modeling this awesome beige cable knit purse, in my neon Mario t-shirt!) We ventured out to this forest near her house to take some pictures! There was a chance of rain today, but the weather stayed bright and sunny (or at least, overcast at times!) during our little photo shoot. Most of the pictures taken for the shop so far had me using the camera and Robyn modeling her own handmade wares.
While Kittens' Mittens does have mittens for sale, there will be a huge assortment of other knit wear, including fingerless gloves! You can keep your wrists and hands super warm as the Fall weather approaches with these gorgeous red-pink fingerless gloves. They're a steal at just $12.00 for the pair!
Or maybe purple is more your style? These wrist warmers are Vegan, 100% Cotton, and will keep your hands warm while allowing you to still type at your computer! Yay! :)
Robyn will be adding plenty more items to Kittens' Mittens over the next little while, so please feel free to stop by her Etsy Shop and give her some hearts, show her some love!
Monday, September 6, 2010
I made this kitchen mat to match the kitchen of our new house - it will work perfectly! The kitchen cupboards are a beautiful dark turquoise (painted wood) so I wanted to make a mat that would take those colors into consideration. I combined both cream and turquoise yarns since the pattern called for two strands to be worked together. The yarn is 100% cotton "Lily Sugar 'n Cream" and I found the pattern in the little booklet "Lily Sugar 'n Cream Kitchen Essentials". The pattern is simply called "Crochet Rug." I purchased the yarn at the Mary Maxim store in Paris, Ontario. I will miss going to this store when we move away - hopefully I can find some good yarn stores in Mississauga!
You can see in this close-up of the rug that there are little bobbles all over the rug! I love the texture, and it also ensures that you won't slip on it...which is great for me, because I'm pretty clumsy at times!
Since I had some yarn left over, I made some matching dish cloths! Yay! These were the first dish cloths that I've ever made, as I am a beginner at crocheting. The pattern was also used from the same book - "Dishcloth B".
I'm working on some mats for the bathrooms now...it is exciting to be able to create things for our very first home! The moving date is approaching very quickly - we get the keys in less than 2 weeks now! So exciting!
Friday, September 3, 2010
A few months back, I posted about the cutest new game for the Nintendo Wii that is coming out, Kirby's Epic Yarn. The game itself looks super fun with a heaping dose of sweetness! It combines an adorable pink puffball with an environment of yarn and textiles...what more could a crafty geeky girl want?!
Here is the newest trailer for the game so feel free to take a look....can't wait until the game actually comes out on October 17th, 2010 (it comes out in Japan first, on October 14th).
Thursday, September 2, 2010
(image from The Hamilton Eat Local Blog - hopefully you don't mind that I used it!)
I visited the Dundas Farmer's Market today in Dundas, Ontario today - I hadn't been since last year, and this year was just as good as the last! I picked up some interesting yellow zucchini and grapes from Plan B Organic Farms, some super fresh blackberries and strawberries from a fruit stand, and some of the fantastic vegan tamales from a Chilean food stand.
There are plenty of organic fruit and veggie vendors that sell foods straight from their farms, as well as stands with fresh baked goods and homemade jams. The market runs every Thursday from 3pm-7pm until October 28th, 2010. It is in a parking lot at the corner of Miller's Lane and Hatt Street. The fresh produce changes as the seasons change, so you may find new things there from week to week! I hope to go back next week to get some more fresh veg!
Hi all! I just wanted to thank everyone who visits and reads my blog because I just noticed that I have reached over 50,000 hits since I first started writing! Thank you so much! I apologize that I haven't been around much these days to write blogs - I just have a lot of other stuff on the go - planning to move into your own house is a lot of work! Hopefully I will be posting soon about some of the crafty things I have already made for the house, like some kitchen and bath mats! Anyway, hope everyone has a fantastic day and thanks for stopping by!