Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dinos roar at the ROM...

I had so much fun doing this cute little book. My mom bought me the background paper (Abbey Road) and I purchased the dino book from a company out of Australia whose name escapes me right now. This book holds some of the pictures I took in the dinosaur hall at the Royal Ontario Museum. It's just too cute for words!




Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Alaska Book...

I've been doing some scrapbooking at night and finally finished my Alaska scrapbook! Although I didn't scrap the 1,879 pictures that I took, I still scrapped nearly 200. I have looked through it about 10 times already. I really love the layout of the book. Below is just a glimpse of one of the Deadliest Catch pages.

This is one of my most favorite things ever. Roxanne took screenshots from the Vancouver webcam as the ship pulled out of port. She put commentary to each of the pictures. I printed out each picture and put her commentary at the front. I cried like a baby when I put this page together because the pictures are absolutely priceless!!

I'm working on another fun project right now. I'll try to get it posted within a day or so.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sopa de Lima...

Delicious!
Fresh!
Healthy!
Easy!
Satisfying!
Aromatic!
Highly Recommend!

Just look at the fresh veggies. My changes to the recipe include not adding the avocado because I don't like avocado and I baked, rather than deep fried, the tortilla strips. I simply sliced them into strips, coated lightly with olive oil and salt and baked until crisp at 350 degrees. I will definitely make this again.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Revolution Participation...

For several months now I have been on my own personal crusade to stop eating processed food. Instead, I want to make my own from scratch and use fresh ingredients. Now don't get me wrong. I am not going to learn how to ferment my own soybeans to get soy sauce nor am I going to start raising chickens and cows! Instead, it's about adopting a simpler, healthier life. If weight loss occurs then great! But, it's not about that.

I am so excited that Jamie Oliver (one of my fav chefs) has a new show on ABC called "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Basically he goes into schools and reinvents the school menu to include fresh foods rather than reheated frozen processed foods. Trust me, if you watch episode 2 and how the chicken nuggets are made you will NEVER eat them again.

The other day I made my own pizza dough and baked my own pizza using fresh toppings. The dough was so easy and I love knowing every single ingredient that went into the pizza. There were no mystery ingredients like you find in the ingredients list on most pre-made pizza crusts.

Today I made (for the first time ever) one of my most favorite desserts from scratch...tapioca pudding! Seriously, who knew it was so easy and only took 5 ingredients. I'll never buy that pre-made stuff again. Here's what it looked like before I put it in the fridge. Don't you just love it in the margarita glasses?

Tonight I am making a mexican soup called Sopa de Lima (recipe here). It's all fresh and I am excited.

I have posted a button at the top of my blog asking you to sign the petition to bring healthier foods into our schools. I think our children's health is a worthy cause that I don't mind putting my name to. Or, you can click here. Please join me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Working at the ROM...

Working at the Royal Ontario Museum was wonderful! I still can't believe that I'm a scientist and actually get to to work in the back areas of the museums. Below is a picture of the outside of the museum. The original parts of the museum are the old stonework one would expect. Apparently the museum wanted to make some additions. The person who came up with this design was sitting across the street eating lunch when he had an ah-ha moment and penciled a sketch of the design you see below onto the back of a napkin. It looks really out of place to me but I like the older stonework look to a museum front.

Although it looks a little odd outside, inside it's a good space and provides ample room for my favorite dinosaurs, the sauropods. Sauropods are the big lumbering plant eaters. Think brontosaurus...

And who could leave a museum without taking a picture of the menacing T-Rex?? Here he is, in all his scary goodness...

It was a great visit and I was treated so wonderfully by the staff. I just can't thank them enough for all they did for me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Toronto!

Last week I went to Toronto to do some work at the Royal Ontario Museum. I will write more about that tomorrow and include some pictures from there. But first I wanted to share some of my pictures from Niagara Falls. Yep, I finally got to go and I was able to cross TWO things off my bucket list. The first thing....taking a ride in a helicopter!! The picture below is from the helicopter ride over the falls. I am totally hooked on helicopters now! This gives you such a different perspective on Niagara Falls. Isn't it gorgeous?? Oh, and that "cloud" isn't a cloud...it's the spray from the falls.

After we landed we got back on the tour bus and headed to the falls. I was able to grab a couple of college students to take my picture. They did a great job. This picture will go on my travel wall. Truly, I am excited!!

This is a picture I took near the edge of the falls. You are right next to it when you go. I figured they'd probably keep you back a bit but you can get very close. The power behind these falls is just amazing. And I have to say that anyone that decides they "might" be able to make it over these falls alive in a barrel needs to have their head checked!

More pictures from the museum tomorrow...I just really wanted to share these with you. Niagara Falls is amazing...truly!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What I did while the Olympics were on...

Five weeks ago I started a knitting class. I made a basic scarf and I learned how to knit on circular needles! I made this cap...it's purple and is so comfortable. I have definitely caught the knitting bug and am eager to start some new projects. But...one has to wait for payday to get some more yarn (because I like the expensive stuff).

So in the meantime I finished crocheting two of these washclothes. Every time I make these I think of Gramma Floyd. She was my ex-husband's grandmother and I think she was the only one in the family that ever really liked me. She passed away several years ago but there are times I know she's hanging around...especially when I'm making no-bake cookies. While she was alive I never had a batch of those darn things set up correctly. Since she has passed I've never had a batch fail. I often think she visits on the days I make them and passes on her expertise. I always openly say "Thank you, Gramma" when I'm making them because I know she can hear me.

I also picked up this old, old cross stitch again. I haven't touched it for 10+ years but it is on my bucket list to finish. It will be done before summer....trust me! The pattern has a Gramma's Fan quilt on it. That's my favorite quilt pattern.


I've also been working on a few of these...they are temari balls and I want to display them in my house in a large ginger jar type vessel.

And today, because I finished the presentation I was working on, I put together this roll for my knitting needles. I purchased the fabric over a year ago for an event I was going to but never used it. It worked out perfectly for this! The colors are so me. I found a pattern online. It took me about 4 hours to complete. It would have taken less time but my sewing machine kept messing up. At one point I yelled at it to remind it that it could be replaced! Anyway, you can find the directions here. Can I also say that for someone who doesn't know how to sew (except for the hem on a pair of pants) that I did a pretty darn good job of keeping things straight?


Doesn't it look cute all rolled up?? I really liked this project. It would make a cute present for someone who enjoys knitting or crocheting.

So that's been my past couple of weeks. Both my fingers and my mind have been busy, busy, busy.