My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Art in Unexpected Places

When I was in Toronto for World Pride, my friend Julie and I walked by Hermes.

IMG_0333They had a very interesting window display.

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I know the images are a bit hard to see but I sort of like the way these photos turned out, with my ghostly figure imposed over top. I also like the convention-bending and whimsical juxtaposition of the mundane and the fantastical. I enjoy finding creativity in unexpected places and I wanted to share my latest find with you.

 

Rumaki Recipe

So for Sun’s Out, Guns Out I made my friend Julie’s amazing rumaki recipe. The serving disk was empty in about three minutes so I think they were a success. Traditional rumaki is made with chicken livers but this healthier version is made with chicken breast instead.

Here's the recipe Julie sent me.

Here’s the recipe Julie sent me.

 

Here are my finished rumaki.

Here are my finished rumaki.

Yum, yum, yum!

Yum, yum, yum!

 

Hiatus

Hey folks, I’m taking a one week break from the blog for my vacation. Everyone needs a break now and again. Not to worry, I will still be tweeting so follow me @JenMcAwesome. See you all in a week!

Art Assignment 11: Under the Influence

This assignment took me back to high school. I attended an arts intensive high school and many of our assignments were to present something in the style of another author. I have created works echoing Degas, Monet, Dali, Lorne Harris, and Chagall, just to name a few. I suppose that’s why I felt a pull to do something different here. I wanted to capture the style of some not-so-famous art.

The first time I ever heard of people going to school for art was when I was in the third or fourth grade, and I came across this ad in my Archie comics:

Drawing contest

Does anyone else remember these contests? You could draw any of the characters on the poster and win scholarships or cash prizes by mail. Now the Art Instruction Schools is a real place and it is still operating. I took a little tour of their current website but I didn’t see any sign of these contests. I never entered this contest as a kid so I thought I’d take a crack at it now. I put the iconic Tippy, Tiny and Pirate on some iPhone cases to update it a bit. I just have a feeling that is where these characters are mostly likely to end up in 2014. What do you think? Should I mail it to Minneapolis? I won’t be holding my breath for the $995.00 scholarship, I think. :)

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PMS Buster

The next person who tells me that I should fight my PMS cravings with a sweet potato or a salmon salad is getting a slap. Seriously, I don’t want any of that good-for-you nonsense. I want chocolate and my uterus is ready to destroy you to get it. In fact, during the throes of PMS, my body is not interesting in eating by design. It howls for salt, sugar and fat. There are countless suggestions of what to eat instead of a deep-fried Mars Bar rolled in potato chips, but I’m going to share with you the only one that really works for me.

Ladies, this one is for you, (although gentlemen, if you have a friend of the female variety, you may want to read on and have these little beauties ready when the time strikes!)

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites:

1 banana

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or broken up dark chocolate)

1 tsp. butter

This plus a little butter is all you need.

This plus a little butter is all you need.

Peel and chop your banana and freeze in a Tupperware container. I line mine with wax paper so the banana doesn't stick.

Peel and chop your banana and freeze in a Tupperware container. I line mine with wax paper so the banana doesn’t stick.

After the banana is frozen, melt your chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Dip the frozen banana slices into the chocolate and return to the container to refreeze.

After the banana is frozen, melt your chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Dip the frozen banana slices into the chocolate and return to the container to refreeze.

Enjoy! These treats are also great for anyone trying to eat by design. They taste like banana chocolate ice cream!

Enjoy! These treats are also great for anyone trying to eat by design. They taste like banana chocolate ice cream!

 

 

 

 

 

Migraines

I have mentioned in one or two blogs that I suffer from migraines. I just wanted to clarify what that means. To learn about the different types of headaches and migraines, visit The Headache Network of Canada. I am not a doctor, so if you think you are suffering from headaches or migraines, please see your doctor right away.

It is difficult for someone who has never had a migraine to understand what happens to my mind and body during a migraine. I have used this description before:

Think about the worst flu you’ve ever had combined with the worst hangover you’ve ever had. That’s pretty close to it.

My mom does an even better job of explaining the pain:

Take your head and put it in a vice and tighten it as much as you can. Now, for the next four to five hours, hit yourself in the head as hard as you can with a hammer, over and over in the same spot. While doing this, have someone flash lights in your eyes. Don’t eat, drink or sleep the whole time and every time you try to move, pound your had faster with the hammer.

That description makes me a bit queasy because it is so accurate. So next time someone tells you they have a migraine, be kind to them. They are experiencing a lot more than just head pain.

Sun’s Out, Guns Out!

I recent attended Sun’s Out, Guns Out and it was amazing! It combined two of my favourite things: CrossFit and yummy treats!

First we got everyone signed in and dressed in their team colours.

First we got everyone signed in and dressed in their team colours.

Here are my amazing orange teammates getting warmed up.

Here are my amazing orange teammates getting warmed up.

With these types of CrossFit community events, I’m always so happy to see how many families come out.

There were snuggles.

There were snuggles.

There were cool shades.

There were cool shades.

The kids played on the equipment.

The kids played on the equipment.

There was time for them to take a break.

There was time for them to take a break.

Everyone got ready for the fun.

Everyone got ready for the fun.

The kids also had special activities outside just for them.

The kids also had special activities outside just for them.

Then we got o the workout.

Dr. Joel introduced the events.

Dr. Joel introduced the events.

Burpees.

Burpees.

Rowing.

Rowing.

Wall balls.

Wall balls.

Chin ups.

Chin ups.

Push ups.

Push ups.

The workout was followed by a Lil’ Mudder (not photographer because I was sweating too much. Then came my favourite part…

Lunch!

Lunch!

I ate really well!

I ate really well!

The whole event was a huge success. Everyone had so much fun. Make sure you come out to our next community event for more fun!

 

 

Have you tried Wodify?

I have been using the Wodify on my iPhone to book my West London CrossFit classes and I am really enjoying it. It’s simple to use and I especially like the function where I can keep track of my progress online instead of on paper. I made a quick video about using Wodify here if you want  quick preview.

It is available free for both Apple and Android devices. If you haven’t checked it out yet, give it a try. It’s nice to be able to book wellness classes and appointments on the go and with ease.

Here is the board at the gym where you can sign in and record your progress during your classes.

Here is the board at the gym where you can sign in and record your progress during your classes.

 

Here is my progress at my last class!

Here is my progress at my last class!

 

 

Fan Girl Power!

Dear John Green,

Thanks for turning me into a hopeless fangirl with your latest novel The Fault in Our Stars. I admired its brutal honesty and deadpan humour. I loved that you see teenagers the way I do; not as monsters or miniature adults, but as people with their own identities and rich inner lives. So to highlight my fangirl-ness, I made some art:

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I also have my signed copy of the novel and I recently saw the film. There is plenty of gushing already online about the film so I’ll keep this to a minimum. I make a practice of reading the novel before I see the movie; I generally like the novel better. I like the novel and film version of The Fault in Our Stars equally. That is a rarity. Keep up the good work, Mr. Green. I need more novels for my students and I to read!

Sincerely,

Jen

Kitty’s Mommy Alarm

Pets can tell when you’re under stress. Don’t believe me? Take my big tabby Tracker. Whenever I feel sad or sick, he always comes to find me for a snuggle. We say he has a Mommy Alarm and whenever I need him it goes off and he springs into super-cute cuddle mode.

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Here he is interrupting my morning yoga session for a hug.

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And here he is guarding me while I was sick in bed one day. If you have a furry buddy in your home give them a big snuggle for me today. They are worth it.

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