Friday, September 23, 2011

My Big Day Downtown, year 2

Warning, lots of pictures up ahead!
I finally found some time to do my Big Day Downtown! This year's task was to do something you've never done before, so armed with my $100 I decided to take a stroll along Barrington Street in Halifax and visit places I've not been to before.

My first stop was Attica and I am quite amazed that I have never crossed thier doorstep!

Attica is a very cool home furnishing store that was started 16 years ago by Susanne Saul and Chris Joyce. Their first location was on Gottingen Street. I loved the feel of this store.

Some of the light fixtures were stunning. Chris designs carpets and does custom furniture work too. I walked away with a really cool little case for credit cards and ID. Not exactly what you might expect I'd pick up here but they had a wee display near the cash full of interesting things.

I strolled further down the street and was pleased to see the construction work going on in some of the buildings. Barrington Street, once the busiest shopping street in the city is undergoing a rennaisance.

This is where I found myself next!

A new store. Oddjects. Chock-a-block with interesting things. They even have a few tables where you can sit outside and enjoy the air.

Lots of stuff to look at.

Art too. These prints are by a Quebec artist Michel Williate-Battet who now calls Cape Breton home.

Dustin made me an amazing coffee. A mocha something or other. They have a small bar where you can sit.

Did I mention how delicious that coffee was?? This is what he put in it!

I purchased some of these prickly cactus plate chargers. Sort of like round table mats. I loved them!
Oddjects has also started an online ordering service and they have just opened in a few other locations.

Love the dragonfly paperweights.

Out the door and onward ho!

Hilltribe was my last stop. Another place I cannot believe I have not been into before!! They have been in business for 17 years!

The clothing is designed by the owner Victoria Raine and made in Bali. I loved the exotic feel to the shop and of course the sculptures of hands and Buddhas.

I will be coming back to do some more shopping for clothing absolutely!

My purchase here was a gorgeous hand dyed silk scarf in shades of blue and green and aqua. Wish I had taken a picture the colours are beautiful!

And that my friends, concludes my fun adventure downtown. Many thanks to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday means market day

This is where I will be today. Well, not on this balcony, but this place...the Halifax Seaport Market. I usually pop out onto the balcony when I pick up my coffee in the morning. It starts the day off in a lovely way! Saturdays begin reeeaaallly early and are hectic and busy, so this little quiet spot is a great boon. You can see a container ship far off to the right. There is always some vessel coming or going. I live in a busy port town. Anyway, just wanted to say hi! It is cruise ship season and I have been there a lot. Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Savoury Oatmeal

This is a picture of my "savoury oats". I LOVE it. So healthy and filling. It is a yummy breakfast or snack or even a quick meal if you want. I didn't have any sundried tomatoes to put into this so it it does not look like what the recipe indicates. You can add what you want really.....I like mine quite dry but again you can add more liquid to make it slurpier.

I learned all about the benefits of oatmeal from Debbie over at Happy Healthy Long Life, she is one of my bloggy gurus. There is also a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal that includes raisins and pumpkin pie spices over there too.

Here is the recipe for savoury....

Savoury oatmeal ala "Healthy Librarian"

Makes 4 servings. Cooking Time: maybe 15 minutes


1 cup of steel cut oats

2 cups of water (you could substitute 1 or 2 cups of vegetable broth for the water)

1 cup of non-dairy milk. She used Eden-brand enriched soy milk ( I used almond)

2 TBS. nutritional yeast (this is what gives it the "cheezy taste") It's high in B vitamins--click here

2 dashes of turmeric (this gets it nice & yellow)

1 1/2 tsp. of Bone Suckin' Sauce Seasoning & Rub (This has brown sugar, chili pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, & bell pepper) Could sub any Cajun or Southwest Seasoning you like) *I used steak seasoning, it's all I had:)

a few grinds of fresh black pepper

a pinch or two of chipotle powder (optional) You can get it at the Bulk Barn

1 oz. of julienned sun-dried tomatoes (She uses the brand called California Sun-Dried because they're already julienned, they're nice & soft & need no soaking.)

About a handful (5) dried shiitake mushrooms, broken into pieces & rinsed. Use any dried mushrooms you like.

2 1/2 ounces of fresh baby spinach, rinsed per serving of oatmeal!! I make enough oatmeal for 4 servings & each serving will need to be topped with 2.5 ounces of spinach.

1. Mix the oats, water, milk (or veggie broth), seasonings, tomatoes, & mushrooms into a pot.

2. Heat to boiling. Watch carefully, and turn it down to a simmer once it starts to boil. Stir occasionally, and check back in about 10 minutes. You'll want the water absorbed, and the oats nice & creamy.

3. When the oats are done, microwave one serving of spinach briefly, until it's soft, but not mushy. Depending upon your microwave this could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

4. Top one serving of oatmeal with the softened spinach & mix. Enjoy!

5. Store the rest of the oatmeal (3 servings) in the fridge, and in the morning heat up 1 serving topped with the spinach in the microwave.

Check out this powerhouse of a breakfast! A double dose of nitric oxide boosting power from oats & spinach! Crazy how much nutrition is one breakfast bowl!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This and that

For years I used to sell on eBay and slowly stopped as I got involved at the market, with galleries and Etsy. It was a great boon to me when my daughter was growing up, enabling me to stay at home. The interaction with people from all over was fun. I'm thinking of maybe starting selling there again but am dismayed to see all the pages flooded with mass originals from China. I feel out of the loop. I wonder if any of you are still selling there and how goes it? What is your favourite place to buy or sell?

Today is one of those quiet busy days. I'm in between market days. Will be back tomorrow and maybe Thursday. Home with tons to do. I've got a list and am checking it off as I go. ( I love lists) No matter how I try, there is always a task that appears unexpectedly and eats up precious time!!! Today it was a splinter from yesterday. I had forgotten about it and then realized my finger was really hurting. It had become a bit infected. So off I go on a splinter tweezer hunt, magnifying glass, etc..... ouch. It is wrapped in a bandaid now so onward ho with the chores!

Also.....REALLY looking forward to the launch of HeartWeed in January. Part magazine, blog, online community, resource center for makers, it is going to be a place for inspiration and helping people make their creative dreams flourish! We like that!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Say hello to Florence:)

I'm doing a few of these fun paintings with fun painted frames. Can't remember the size right off. I think this is about 14 x 12? I'm selling them at the market for now.

I've been at the market a lot. Hence not so much posting on this wee blog. It is cruise ship season and busy. Tomorrow there will be three of them. Loads of people. Never know who will stop by. Lucky people this week, we've have had glorious weather! Perfect September days.

Today is day 11 of my new veggie eating plan. So far so good. I've lost some weight and am starting to feel different. As cliche as it sounds.... I feel "cleaner" so hard to put into words. It is a physical sensation of lightness and ease not related to any tiny weight loss but a deeper more internal feeling. Maybe psychological but it is interesting. I will keep trying as long as my willpower holds up and this works for me:)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eating My Way to Health

Inspired by my last post, here is a 4 minute clip really worth watching. CNN's Ali Vishi interviews Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, who spent a year researching the data for his latest documentary, The Last Heart Attack ( you can watch it here) (President Clinton is now a Vegan, he's interviewed in the doc)

You can also watch it on CNN Sept 3 at 8pm EST.

Can food cure heart disease?

Can you EAT your way to health?
( a 15 sec commercial comes first)

Click on the link to see the clip

I found this bit of info surprising.
CNN's Ali Velshi: OK, so the plant-based diet is good for your heart, but can you really get enough protein on this diet?
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The answer is yes! The protein argument is a fallacy.
It's simply not true that you can't get enough protein on a plant-based diet. If you do even a little research you find out that broccoli has more protein per gram than most meat. Spinach has the same amount. And of course there's tofu.
People who do this diet feel good & have a lot more energy.
I am going to try to follow this. I know I will fall off the wagon lots but will keep getting back on. Would love to see if I do feel better and have more energy. A lot of tri-athletes are starting to eat this way because their muscles recover faster. It is the cooking part that is daunting to me. I have to learn some new "go to" recipes. Will let you know how it goes.

Oh and remember the documentary I mentioned, Forks Over Knives? It is available through Netflix. Not sure if it is available here in Canada yet. Worth watching.

Here are some great blogs that have also inspired me to try to make some changes and try their recipes.
Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Happy Healthy Long Life

Healthy Girls Kitchen

Kirstens Kitchen

What A Healthy Family Eats

JL Goes Vegan

Here goes......