Tag Archives: try this at home

Trio of Videos

I couldn’t pick one (the proverbial ice cream shop dilemma), so all three made the cut. Have you wasted any time today? If not, it’s time to get on the bandwagon! If so, stay on there! You are doing a great job of lowering the bar of achievement!

Sylvia “Is-on-Her-Third-Coffee-with-Full-Intentions-of-Brewing-a-Fourth” Stout




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The Hole

Humans are habitual beings, it is a part of the condition we all live by. Often this means we repeat bad habits, or actions that do not serve us or our journeys well. The beautiful thing about self awareness and open mindedness is the ability it lends us to evolve and make changes, regardless of how insurmountable this challenge may seem. A friend of mine sent this my way recently, I do not know who the original author is… but I love it.

Sylvia “We-all-have-our-holes” Stout

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I feel lost…I feel helpless.
It isn’t my fault!!
I’m not responsible.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m back in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
I don’t feel responsible.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in……it’s a habit.
But my eyes are open, I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I am responsible.
I get out very quickly.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down a different street.

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Oil Pulling

A new work friend and I had a long conversation about alternative medicine the other day. He introduced me to a process known as oil pulling, and while I have yet to try this for myself, I am intrigued by the benefits.

According to the interweb, oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic medicinal practice, an alternative form of Hindu medicine predominately practiced in India. The oil puller will take a teaspoon of raw, unrefined oil (WF mentioned that sesame or sunflower are the best types), on an empty stomach, once or twice a day and swish it around for about 15-20 minutes. In this time, the oil will be pulled through the teeth and will mix completely with the user’s saliva, eventually transforming from its thick consistency actually turning quite viscous and white.

There are many proposed benefits of doing this, aside from the obvious which pertains to oral hygiene and cavity prevention. Supposedly it can also alleviate pesky ailments such as headaches, thrombosis, ulcers, bronchitis, and eczema, to name a few. The theory rests on this idea that toxins and chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream through the blood vessels in your mouth. The swishing of oil causes us to secrete saliva which is rich with water, electrolytes, digestive enzymes, and anti bacterial/fungal/viral agents, and this heterogeneous mixture actually helps to pull unwanted toxins out of the bloodstream, and therefore the body. You can read more about the practice here.

Voodoo? Witch-doctory? Perhaps… I know my father would think so! Mind you the man thinks a single Tylenol represents ‘Voodoo’ medicine, so I think I will give it a try and form my own opinion.

Stay Tuned.


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All that Glitters

Last night we hosted a small and somewhat impromptu gathering, at where we drank some wine, scarfed poutines, and unleashed our inner magpies; playing around with delicate clasps, rings, fasteners, beads, crystals, abalone shells, feathers, and essentially every other item known for its enticing jewel-beauty.

Sometimes I have these bursts of inspiration in the DIY arena of life, but often due to my shameful lack of patience, and utter inability to properly follow instructions, (my ‘recipes’ are barely edible, dream on Ikea nightstand), I abandon ship half way through most projects. Or I wind up making something completely useless and preposterous: Click here for an illustration. Interestingly, this is not the case when I use my imagination to create something, ONLY when I am following someone else’s design.

Last night’s creations, featured last in the line of photos below, are completely imperfect, but I kind of can’t wait to wear them for that very reason.

Mme. Stout.

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Red Wigglers

Sounds dirty… and it is! Dirt is dirty by it’s very nature after all.

The dirt (super-nutrient rich soil, really) in question, is that produced by my brand spankin’ new Dumptown Worm Condo. I purchased this inventive recycled ice cream container turned composter, at the Mutts & Co. travelling market this weekend past. Dumptown, an ongoing urban ‘garbage’ reclamation project started by Mel Sinclair and Warren Ounjian, proves that one person’s trash can most certainly be another person’s treasure. These two next level, enviro-entrpeneurs create new uses for old things. They turn pop bottles into mini mountable herb gardens, old windows into desks and picture frames, milk crates into hanging shelves, and dog hair sheddings into paintbrushes… Rubbish to rubies! Refreshing in a world that seemingly values ‘newness’ and needless wasting.

The Worm Condo is fabricated from three reused commercial sized ice cream containers, and fits comfortably under my kitchen sink. Due to it’s size, it can not feasibly act as a stand alone method for composting, and I will continue to make good use of my green bin in conjunction with my little red wigglers, but I love that this option is relatively odourless and produces the, “gold standard of natural fertilizers” for my new garden.

The worm condo houses a generous smattering of red wigglers, shredded news paper, and kitchen scraps. It employs the stacking system of two hole poked containers resting in a third solid container, as to make easy the process of separating  the wormies from their castings (poop!!!). Once separated, the worm castings can be mixed in with existing soils as a form of nutrient enrichment; you can even soak it in water to “make an energizing fertilizer tea that you pour over crops”.

Now for some Oligochaetology: Red wigglers (aka, panfish worms, trout worms, tiger worms, and red Californian earth worms) are commonly used for vermicomposting due to their adaptability to decaying organic material. These worms like to eat vegan scrappings, so no fats, diary, meat, or related table scraps, but feeding them a crushed egg shell (or a Tums) once a month will provide them with the calcium they need to procreate. They thrive in small spaces, in close proximity to other wigglers, and they prefer warmth and darkness. Sounds like my kind of worm!

I am both excited and intrigued to make use of my new worm condo. I will post pictures in a couple of months when I plant something with the first batch of castings. Stay tuned for any worm related mishaps (Gary is coming over this week), although I hope that doesn’t happen, because it would mean my precious new friends aren’t happy and thriving. In the meantime, check out Dumptown’s tumblr for some reclaimed rubbish eye-candy. Great stuff!

– Sylvia and her Wigglaz.

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Time for Tavel!

Tonight marks the first of our many many dinners on the deck … that we intend to have, in the future. Now that we live in the same building, Syl and I share ownership of a large, secret deck, and a barbeque. Granted, we didn’t get things going till after nine tonight, which meant that we ended up eating inside instead of out. But dinner was still delicious! We shared a bottle of Tavel, which is an appellation in southern France that produces rose exclusively. It was dry and refreshingly acidic, and it tasted like strawberries. I don’t know what we were thinking when we only got one bottle.

We grilled some chicken and slathered it in Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce. Have you ever tried this shit? It is absolutely outrageous. I got hooked on it while living in the States, and then to my chagrin, was unable to find it in stores back home. But they’ve started selling it here and it is unequivocally the breast, ever. Please eat some.

I created a new dish tonight. I like to call it Poor Man’s Burrata. I poured olive oil over cottage cheese, salt and peppered the bejesus out of it, and finished it off with halved heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh torn basil leaves. I can report that it did at least a half decent job of satisfying us, with our champagne taste and very very beer budgets.

Also on the table sits a beautiful bouquet of flowers that Syl brought me! Sigh … she’s so amazing.

Now we are laaaaaaid back, with full beers and full tummies, listening to early Bob Marley. Tomorrow night we’re going to check out Reggae Tuesday at the Orbit Room … anyone been?? We can’t wait.


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LSAT Logic Game… Just for some gigs!

Directions: Each group of questions in this section is based on a set of (bullshit) conditions. In answering some of the (bullshit) questions, it may be (most definitely will be) useful to draw a rough diagram. You have exactly 8 minutes and 45 seconds to complete (this bullshit). Welcome to the hell I lived in last year, and this game is one of the easier ones (that’s no bullshit). Have fun!

Questions 1–5

A company employee generates a series of five-digit product
codes in accordance with the following rules:
The codes use the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, and no others.
Each digit occurs exactly once in any code.
The second digit has a value exactly twice that of the
first digit.
The value of the third digit is less than the value of the
fifth digit.

1. If the last digit of an acceptable product code is 1, it
must be true that the
(A) first digit is 2
(B) second digit is 0
(C) third digit is 3
(D) fourth digit is 4
(E) fourth digit is 0

2. Which one of the following must be true about any
acceptable product code?
(A) The digit 1 appears in some position before the
digit 2.
(B) The digit 1 appears in some position before the
digit 3.
(C) The digit 2 appears in some position before the
digit 3.
(D) The digit 3 appears in some position before the
digit 0.
(E) The digit 4 appears in some position before the
digit 3.

3. If the third digit of an acceptable product code is not 0,
which one of the following must be true?
(A) The second digit of the product code is 2.
(B) The third digit of the product code is 3.
(C) The fourth digit of the product code is 0.
(D) The fifth digit of the product code is 3.
(E) The fifth digit of the product code is 1.

4. Any of the following pairs could be the third and
fourth digits, respectively, of an acceptable product
code, EXCEPT:
(A) 0, 1
(B) 0, 3
(C) 1, 0
(D) 3, 0
(E) 3, 4

5. Which one of the following must be true about any
acceptable product code?
(A) There is exactly one digit between the digit 0
and the digit 1.
(B) There is exactly one digit between the digit 1
and the digit 2.
(C) There are at most two digits between the digit 1
and the digit 3.
(D) There are at most two digits between the digit 2
and the digit 3.
(E) There are at most two digits between the digit 2
and the digit 4.

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Sunday Baking

Well hello! A jolly Sunday afternoon menh to you! Today I’d like to share my favourite new recipe. It’s for Crack Brownies, and it comes care of Jolie Kerr over at theawl.com Having baked these brownies myself I can confirm that they are indeed “like CRACK” …. and the batter’s pretty chronic, too. I picked up Maldon salt at the St. Lawrence Market; a lifetime-supply size box was five bucks. DO IT.

Here‘s la recette. Enjoy!

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Family Day

Well hello everyone! We’re spending our Family Day evening drinking cheap Chardonnay and doing weird crafts. It began as we crept around HonestlyWTF’s DIY section. We wanted to make these satsuma candles, but somehow things got out of hand and all we had were limes and then this happened:

























And then it made me think of this:

And this:

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The Zen of Drinking Alone

This is an interesting and thought provoking article from Modern Drunkard Magazine about the art of drinking alone. I was always taught that drinking by oneself is a dangerous habit to form, and then to follow a list of negative personal attributes and risks associated with such behaviours. However, I was also taught, more importantly, to form my own opinions and I have to agree that occasionally hitting the bottle solo, has for me at least, proven a valuable experience. The article is worth a read either way:

“What’d you get up to last night?”
“Got wicked drunk.”
“Yeah? Where’d you go?”
“I didn’t go anywhere. I drank at home.”
“You had a party and didn’t invite me? Who showed up?”
“No one. I got drunk by myself.”
“No shit? What’s wrong, man? You wanna talk about it?”

do wanna talk about it. Not about what my friend wrongly assumed was the dark motivation that would drive me to drink alone, but the very act of drinking alone.

Somewhere along the line people got the idea that solitary boozing is a sure sign that the drinker is about to slip over the edge into something dark and sinister, whether it be suicide, skid row or a staff position at a drinking magazine.

To Continue drinking reading click here.

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Honestly WTF

Sites like Honestly WTF stand as a perfect reminder of why WE LOVE THE INTERNET! Founded by two super chicks named Erica Chan Coffman and Lauren Kolodny,  I stumbled across this funky, multi-purpose gem just over a year ago, and now rarely a day goes by where I don’t check in. In particular it has become my go to for fun, inexpensive and beautifully inventive DIY ideas. Every new DIY post has me oozing with desire to… well… Do It Myself. Nothing says originality quite like a piece of personally hand crafted jewelry. The posts are simple yet instructional, easy to understand, and beautiful to look at. What I like best is that they provide the fundamental guidelines, but I can choose the materials, colours, and overall design I like best.

We are going to make some delicious DIY Gretchen Jones inspired Universe necklaces , pay hommage to this site we love and respect so much, and show that these fun DIY sessions can be good for the soul and the self esteem! Thanks http://www.honestlywtf.com, you have made the world a better place!

Stay tuned for the results.

Photograph courtesy of Honestly WTF

For the full tutorial go here.

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Today, we share a super rad, butterlicious, full tilt boogie recipe for banana bread:

Start by turning the oven to 350 degrees. Then, retrieve:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups bananas (about six), mashed*
4 eggs, beaten
2.5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg

* It’s best to use overripe bananas. I freeze them whenever they go past the point of smoothies/no return, and when I have six (or twelve, as today), I make the bread. For some reason, various roommates and boyfriends have, over the years, complained about my “banana hoarding.” Once they taste the finished product, though, they change their tune. Unless they’re vegan, in which case, I have nothing to offer. Anyways, remove the bananas from the freezer and leave them in a bowl to defrost for a few hours before you start baking. When the time comes, they’ll slide right out of their skins in a way that Timon and Pumbaa might deem “slimy yet satisfying.”

So. Grease a loaf pan (one large or two small), or a muffin tin, or some combination thereof.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Then, add the eggs to the bowl of mashed bananas, and beat them. The mixture will remain pretty chunky, and that’s okay.

Next, add the banana/egg bowl to the sugar/butter bowl.

Then, in a new, large bowl, combine your dry ingredients. At this point you can add something like nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips, if desired. I think about a half a cup is a good amount. This time, I chopped some almonds and threw them in. Please note: if you’re using chocolate, less is more!

Finally, add wet to dry and mix.

Then spoon the mixture into the pan(s), and bake for about 50 minutes. Forty-five to 55 for muffin tins, 50 to 60 for loaf pans. Stick a toothpick into the centre to check if they’re ready: just like Mama said, if it comes out clean, they’re done!

And then, enjoy! The bread is best enjoyed warm, perhaps with (more) butter. It freezes well.


Photo Cred: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/41849981@N06/4562399778/

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I hope that’s not a cobra in my drain pipe!

Every time I take a shower I find myself standing in at least a foot of water. This is because both my room mate and I have long-ass hair that I know is sitting in a slimy, scary clump inside my drain pipe. Instead of running to my landlord, whom actually without exaggeration stood gagging and swearing at my bathroom sink last time I called him in for repair, I am going to attempt to Do It Myself. (Something that all around I am trying to get better at). Stay Tuned.

In the meantime, this is the video that inspired me to try it:

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Take a break.

I think that everyday we should take at least two minutes to ourselves to think about nothing at all.


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