Monday, August 31, 2015

Food Adventures

Today begins the third week of the 30 day vegetarian challenge. Things are going better then I could
have imagined. In past years I wasn't prepared and missed meat the whole time. This time has been different; I've had almost no cravings for meat. The few moments have all been related to smell and passed quickly.

The other thing that's been fun has been trying new foods and recipes. A friend has been staying with me the past few weeks, tonight is her last night. She's been a willing guinea pig. The first thing we tried was almond milk. It was better then I expected and went well with my second experiment.
 
 
I've never enjoyed hot oatmeal. But on my neighbours recommendations I decided to try Qa'i. It is apparently a "superfood" with chia seeds, buckwheat, hemp, and quinoa. I wasn't expecting to like it. Maybe I've matured, it is the first oatmeal I've ever enjoyed. I liked it best with a banana, strawberries, and a splash of almond milk.
 


The next experiments were my favourites. The first I didn't get a picture, it was homemade veggie burgers with sweet potatoes fries. The burger was great with leftovers that reheat well. This will now be a regular on my menu plans. The second meal will also be a favourite even after this challenge ends. It was a stuffed tomato with two sides, the first dill carrots and snow peas and the second garlic green beans with red peppers. It was yummy and one of the better meals I've cooked. For me the best part was that all the vegetables came from local farms.

One of the local find was this purple pepper. PURPLE PEPPERS! Who knew? I didn't mind them and didn't find the taste much different from a regular bell pepper. Roommate agreed but another friend joined us for the meal and said she would never buy them.
 


The last of the new foods we tried was veggie dogs. I had been wanting a hot dog since walking the boardwalk are few Saturdays ago. My vegan and vegetarian friends all warned me that any vegetarian substitutes on the market weren't that great. They are right. The texture is decent but the taste isn't great. I fried the veggie dogs in butter and that was the best part. The side is parsnip fritters. I've discovered I like parsnips.
  
More new food experiences next week. I was going to include book club  review on the first chapter of What to Eat? But decided it would be better as a separate post, so stay tuned for that.

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #21

List
Time: 5-10 min

Take five to ten minutes and list everything you would like to do next summer.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #20

Five Things
Time: 10 min

Spend ten minutes writing a short story that include these five things:
  • A broken sandal
  • Painting
  • Cookies
  • Book
  • Frisbee
Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #19

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Time: 10 min

Use the picture below to inspire your warm-up writing. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write. Tell the story of what is happening in the image. Or use it to inspire a new story. For an added challenge try and write it as a short story in 1000 words.

Thank you to Aurora-Lee for permission to use her photo


Trafalgar Pigeons

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

35 Update

It has been four months since my birthday and two months since I made this year's bucket-list public. It seemed like a perfect time review how things are going.

Completed challenges are written in purple.

The 35:

1) Choose a "My One Word"
I am still working through the process of choosing a word.

2) Read the whole Bible
Bit by bit :).

3) Paint the canvas
It's still blank.

4) Go on a spiritual retreat
I attended Mark East.

5) Fill a journal

6) Take a course

7) Write more

8) Read more

9) Dance more

10) Draw (almost) weekly

11) Be thankful

12) Make 500 cards

13) Do something I've been putting off

14) Experience Summer
I've gone on a road trip, rode a paddle boat, on to hikes, visit a few rock beaches, swam in a lake, gone camping, roasted marshmallows, tried kayaking, andwalked on the boardwalk while watching buskers. It's been a good summer. Things I would still like to do is canoe, visit a beach, swim in the ocean, and even sleep under the stars.

15) Learn to cook five dishes
I've been enjoying cooking this month. I tried poaching an egg today; the roommate agreed it was a success.

16) Cosplay with my sister (at Hal-Con)
The tickets are bought, the room booked, and costumes are being created. I am so excited.

17) Know 1000 Spanish words
The Duolingo vocabulary has a different number then the Babble. It is sad because it is less 201 words.

18) Finish four children stories 

19) Send a completed work to an agent or publisher

20) Go to the symphony
The tickets have arrived for the symphony! The show isn't till November.

21) Send mail

22) Swim in the ocean

23) Visit a provincial or national park

24) Find My Style

25) Be healthy

26) Be a vegetarian for 30 days
I'm on day 16.

27) Host a party

28) Let someone know how much they mean to me

29) Keep a plant alive
Hank is still alive! I harvested all the tomatoes and it has new flowering shoots.


30) Try something new
I tried kayaking

31) Vlog

32) Surprise someone in a way they will appreciate

33) Have an adventure with my family
I hope this one happens next month when I go home to visit the family.

34) Celebrate someone's birthday by celebrating others
Operation Cupcake 

35) Take a risk

So that's where the list stands. Five of 35 challenges completed and 8 months to go.

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #18

Let's Talk
Time: 10 min

Spend ten minutes writing a conversation between two strangers waiting. They can be waiting in a line, waiting for a plane, or waiting for anything you can imagine.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #17

Describe It
Time: 10 min

Spend ten minutes describing your main characters favourite summer activity.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #16

What If
Time: 5-10 min

Today's "What If" scenario is a meeting. It can be any type of meeting, you choose. Set a time for five to ten minutes and write as many "what ifs."

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Friday, August 21, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #15

Once Upon A Time
Time: 10 min

Today's prompt is using cards from Once Upon A Time, a storytelling game, to write a short fairy-tale. I will give you seven  cards to use. The first five are "once upon a time" cards and must be included as you weave your tale. The last two are "happily ever after" cards that will be the last line of you story; choose the one that works the best. Spend at least ten minutes working on your fairy-tale.

Once Upon A Time:
  • Child
  • Tree
  • Fighting
  • Foolish
  • In the sky
Happily Ever After
  • Beaten the oil creature was driven out f the kingdom.
  • And as long as she lived it could never be removed.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #14

Unexpected List
Time: 5 min

Normally today's prompt would have been posted hours ago and would have been a picture related prompt. Unexpectedly, the water heater had to be replace and my whole day turned -mostly for the better.

That is tonight's exercise inspiration, everyday set backs  that could be used to shake things up for your characters. Set a timer for five minutes and write any everyday twist, set back, frustration or life detour you can think up.

And thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Delay

Sorry to any writers looking for today's prompt. It will be up before 4pm today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Simple Woman Daybook 166

FOR TODAY: August 19, 2015
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... the haze after a massive rainstorm; the sky is an odd yellow. It really is strange in person the picture isn't doing it justice.




I am thinking... food cultures; the question this week is "what is the best apple?" I plan to share my findings next week.

I am thankful... Nicole.

I am wearing... shorts and a t-shirt.

I am creating... a mini 4th Doctor Who scarf to be a garland on my Christmas tree and hopefully used by a friend at Hal-Con.
I am reading... How One Teen Innovator Is Changing The World, The Next Door Saviour, Guide to being Awesome, and the Bible.

I am learning... new recipes. I am most excited to try veggie burgers tomorrow.

I am watching... first season of Arrow

I want to cosplay (someday) as.... Suki from Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Cosplay update.... Hal-Con is 71 days away. I am going with my sister and a friend. We have costume plans for each of the days. Right now I am research mode; looking into the best way to create each and ordering all the wigs and any special ears.  

I am geeking out... there are these cute Doctor Who keychain bobbles.

I am playing... a lot of Elfenland.
One of my favorite things... homemade ice tea.

In my kitchen... there has been so much joy and excitement in my kitchen this week. I'm on day 10 of the vegetarian challenge. I've been trying and will be trying many new foods and recipes. This morning was scrambled eggs with spinach and Swiss cheese. I tried my hand at an iced green tea. I also tried an Aloe Vera juice, almond milk, and looking forward to trying veggie dogs Saturday.

  


A few plans for the rest of the week:... wrapping up a week of VBS, more blogging, and hopefully visits with friends maybe even games.
A few pictures to share... over the past few days I've had a few really fun outings.

Saw Theodore the Tugboat while walking the boardwalk.

Made a few friends while shopping with a friend.

Heard big band music at the Moonlight Paradise Concert.

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #13

What Happened Next
Time: 10 min

While visiting his grandparents a young boy meets a ghost pirate that has tells him about treasure buried on the property. No one believes him. Spend ten minutes writing what happens next.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #12

Sentence Starters
Time: 10 min

I am trying something new with the Sentence Starters exercise. I'm at the library and grabbed a book off a near by shelf. It was The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It is one of my favourite Montgomery books; the cover doesn't do it justice.

I am randomly choosing two sentences. Spend ten minutes creating a new paragraph/story that starts with...

"'I'm going to be honest with myself anyhow,' she thought savagely."

OR

"By eleven o'clock she had changed her mind."

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Monday, August 17, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #11

Welcome to the third week of the August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge. Come back every day this month for more writing exercises and prompts.

Lists
Time: 5 min

Spend five minutes listing adventures you would like to have in your life. If you get stuck include risks, experiences, or feats that you enjoy reading about or would be fun for one of your characters.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The 30 Day Vegetarian

The first week of my vegetarian challenge has been a success! No meat has been consumed by me in the past seven days. The goal is to be a vegetarian for 30 days as part of 35 before 35*. It is also an early birthday present for my vegan friend Jessica. Happy eight months early Birthday!

The week has gone smoothly. I've done this challenge in previous years. This time I haven't been dreaming of meat or longing for bacon(yet?). And I haven't been counting down till I can eat steak again. I think that is growth. Yesterday was the hardest. I was walking past stand after stand of temptation on a boardwalk. The glossy ads were enticing but it was the smell of barbequed hamburgers and hot dogs that nearly did me in. Does anyone have a good veggie-dog recommendation?

A special thanks goes to my friends Nicole and Frank. They had me over for supper the first night and helped launch my week with a wonderful vegetarian pasta dish. I think my success has been largely because of there support that first day.

The experience has got me thinking about food. Not cravings thoughts, but what we eat and why we eat it. I find food culture and our relationship to food fascinating. Today I watched three food related documentaries on Netflix Bite Size, Vegucated, and Hungry for Change. The first followed four obese children. It was heartbreaking with glimmers of hope. I felt pretty down after watching it. The second was about three New Yorkers who tried to be vegan for six weeks. I liked it the most. The last was groups of experts talking about negative effects of dieting and food consumption in North America in general. It was the most inspiring. They had me convinced I need to buy a juicer.... so I am glad all the stores are closes as I write this because a juicer is quite the impulse buy.

I'm also planning to reread Michael Pollan's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. Today's rule "Eat Food." As well I'll be reading What to Eat? by Hattie Ellis, it has been sitting on my TBR pile for far too long and fit my current thinking. Each chapter is about a different food related question from "does any diet work?" to "should I eat like a caveman?" I hope it is an enjoyable read and at the very least informative. So far I like the opening, "Food has become very complicated. It use to be stuff on our plates." The first question is "What is a Good Apple?" I already know the answer to this one, whatever apple Mr. Michael (an apple farmer) tells me. I wonder if he and the book will agree. I'll let you know my findings next Sunday.


 *30 Day Vegetarian Rules: Any time I can choose a vegetarian option I must. That means cooking at home, meals out, or snacks at a party will all be vegetarian. The one exception is if I've been invited over to someone's house I will eat what is served even if it is meat. If it is a meal with a vegetarian option or a potluck I will take the vegetarian option.



Friday, August 14, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #10

Happy Friday, I hope you have enjoyed the second week of writing prompts. There will be another prompt on Monday at 6am. Till then enjoy the weekend or use Saturday and Sunday to catch up on days you've missed.

For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Five Things
Time: 10 min

Spend ten minutes that include these five things:


  • Rug
  • Potted Plant
  • Bird
  • Oven Mitts
  • Heirloom amulet

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #9

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Time: 10 min

Use the picture below to inspire your warm-up writing. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write. Tell the story of what is happening in the image. Or use it to inspire a new story. For an added challenge try and write it as a short story in 1000 words.

Thank you to Aurora-Lee for permission to use her photo.


Lake Wakatipu at Night
Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #8

Let's Talk
Time: 10 min

I was having a whimsical day, dreaming what it would be like if pets could talk. It is the base for today's prompt. Spend ten minutes writing a conversation between a person and an animal. The conversation could be in a world where animals actually talk or one sided with the human interpreting the animals reactions.

about food/feeding time

OR

trying to convince the animal to do something, like coming inside.

I hope you enjoyed today's exercise! If you did please share it with other writers and consider signing-up for the August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #7

Describe It
Time: 10 min

Take 10 minutes to describe a library including the library staff. It could be an elementary library, a community library, a library in a corporate office, or another interpretation of "library".

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Monday, August 10, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #6


Welcome to the second week of the August prompts.

What If...
Time: 5 min

What if is an exercise to help you brainstorm possible plot, conflict or twists. Today's situation moving. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write as many what if statements as possible.

Each "what if" can be stand alone idea or you can link each "what if" sentence to the previous statement. Here's a few examples:

What if your main character is evicted?
What if he doesn't want to move?
What if she doesn't have any help?

What if...

If you've enjoyed today's inspiration consider signing up for the August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge and share the prompts with anyone you think would be interested.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #5

Happy day-after-Friday-make-up prompt.

I don't know what it is about the Once Upon a Time prompts that causes me to forget that they are drafts on scheduled posts. But it has happened again, I am sorry for those whose writing routines might have been effected. But this is better late then never. So without greater delay...yesterday's prompt today:

Once Upon A Time
Time: 10 to 20 min

Today's prompt is using cards from Once Upon A Time, a storytelling game, to write a short fairy-tale. I will give you seven  cards to use. The first five are "once upon a time" cards and must be included as you weave your tale. The last two are "happily ever after" cards that will be the last line of you story; choose the one that works the best. Spend at least ten minutes working on your fairy-tale.

Once Upon A Time:
  • Old man
  • This Can Fly
  • A Chase
  • Blind
  • Cave
Happily Ever After
  • The king fulfilled his side of the bargain and everyone was happy.
  • And they sit to this very day.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. If you enjoyed it please consider sharing it with other writers. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #4

25 Words
Time: 10 min

Use the picture below to inspire your warm-up writing. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Use the picture below to inspire the first sentence or two of a story. Try to limit yourself to 25 words or less.

Thank you to Aurora-Lee for permission to use her photo.


Puppy Trail Blazing
 
Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

August Daily Writing Warm-Up #3

What Happened Next
Time: 10 min

You are startled wake in the middle of the night. You rush to turn on the lamp on the stand. You discover a brownie (or fantasy creature of your choice elf, fairy, dragon, etch.) sitting on your dresser. He looks at you and says, "we need to talk."

Spend ten minutes writing what happens next.

Thank you for checking out the daily writing prompt. For more information about the challenge or to sign-up visit the introduction post August Daily Writing Warm-Up Challenge.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The Simple Woman Daybook 165

FOR TODAY: August 4, 2015
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... a bird singing

I am thinking... about motivation and Christian tradition. Those are separate thoughts.

I am thankful... lakes.

I am wearing... my pjs (I slept in).

I am creating... a story 


I am reading... He Still Moves Stones, Stardust, Kid President's Guide to being Awesome, the fifth book in the Cedar River Daydreams.

I am learning... Spanish.

I am watching... Lie to Me

I want to cosplay (someday) as.... Batgirl (yellow and purple costume).

I am geeking out... on Doctor Who, I picked up the fan magazine last week.

I played... Escape, Betrayal on the House on Haunted Hill, and Castles of Burgundy this weekend while camping. It was so much fun. It took me awhile to get into Betrayal because I was the villain but victory made it sweet. Mwhahahahahaha. And I had my best game of Castles of Burgundy (I am the black marker in the picture).

One of my favorite things... RV camping.
In my food world....I am changing "my kitchen" to be more about things I am trying because my best food adventures seem to be happening with other people. Two weekends ago was the farmers markets big taste test contest. I had a delicious lobster hodgepodge
Then a group from Best Word (my writing group) went on an epic hike. We found wild raspberries.
 

I tried something new thing weekend, my vegetarian friend made it, it had lentil and other yummy things and I have no memory of the name and didn't think to take a picture.


A few plans for the rest of the week:... there are still movie reviews to write, I am seeing one of my best friends tonight, volunteering, and preparing crafts for another VBS.
A few pictures to share... from the hike: