All posts by adrienneaudrey

My Favorite Yoga Pants

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Performance Leggings be LaPearlBlanche

Yoga Pant Round Up

Who doesn’t love a comfy pair of yoga pants?

In my opinion there is a special place in heaven for the person who invented yoga pants. I literally wear them everyday. I only have one or two pairs of jeans in my closet and they only get worn when I run out of my comfy pants.

Some of my favorite brands in the past have been Lululemon and TNA. I recently wore a hole through one of my pairs from Old Navy that I had for about three years. It’s finally time to go shopping for some new ones.

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Orange Printed Leggings by Second You Clothing

Last summer I took advantage of Sports Authority going out of business and bought lots of new workout and yoga gear when it was on clearance. Unfortunately most of the stuff I bought was a little on the small side and despite my best efforts to slim down, still don’t fit.

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Tapestry Rug Pants by I Heart Norwegian Wood

The fashion trend for pants these days seems to be a high waist style. I have to be honest, these are not my favorite. What happened to the time when all pants were hip huggers? Like all trends I’m sure high waist pants will go out of style again and I can have my beloved low waist jeans and leggings again.

Here is a round up of some of my favorite yoga pants and leggings I found on Etsy.

 

  1. Tie Dye Leggings by Cool Leggings Everyday
  2. Braided Leggings be Azahlhea
  3. Bleached Leggings by DerIllufuchs
  4. Lotus Leggings by AkuaCreative
  5. 5. Bamboo Yoga Pants by Cucur Clothing
  1. Leggings by Slit Weave
  2. Floral Leggings by Cool Leggings Everyday
  3. Swallows Leggings by Shovava
  4. Printed Leggings by Sunjunki
  5. Luna Leggings by Grizzy Love

Which ones do you like best? What is your favorite yoga pant/ legging brand? Let me know in the comments!

DIY Wedding Flowers: 4 Tips to Create the Best Floral Arrangement- Guest Post

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DIY Wedding Flowers: 4 Tips to Create the Best Floral Arrangement

 Guest Post from Joel

Excited to arrange some pretty flowers for a friend on her wedding? Not so fast.

Flowers come in different colors and styles. You may have difficulty in choosing one when doing a floral arrangement. Additionally, you will not only choose a selection of flowers but decide on what vase to use and what other extra pieces to incorporate to your floral arrangement. To get the best bang for your buck, DIY is the way to go as this could save your friend’s wedding budget.

So if you’re ready to get started with your first floral arrangement, take a cue from our list.

Practice makes perfect. Just because you have a bunch of flowers right in front of you doesn’t mean you can create the most fabulous floral arrangement the first time. Browse the net for some inspiration and save some photos. You may also want to find some tutorials to get you started with a pretty bouquet. Remember, it doesn’t have to look perfect but a little bit of practice would definitely amp up your skill.

Select the right vase. If your friend’s wedding has a particular concept, make sure you choose a vase that matches the theme. Additionally, be very wary of scale. A vase that looks huge for your table at home may look tiny when placed in the wedding reception. When looking for the best vase, go to craft stores, thrift stores, and flower markets. Do a bit of crafting to add instant sparkle to your vase.

Ask for help. Unless you’re creating a simple floral arrangement, you may want to ask help from a few friends. Bring a sample or two for others to copy. Remember to check everything and make sure the floral arrangement should look the way they’re supposed to.

Create a realistic schedule. Create a centerpiece two days before the big event. Let two people work for three to four hours for ten to fifteen centerpieces. As for bouquets, create it the day before the wedding. Make sure to keep the flowers fresh and clean.

Here’s hoping the tips will help you in creating your first DIY floral arrangement. Remember to have some fun and experiment with your creations.

At Ready Flowers, we got you covered with our wide selection of flowers. We provide a flower delivery in Perth and offer same or next day service of fresh flowers and other gift deliveries. Our company aims for a quick and efficient service at an affordable price. Drop us a line and we will help you select the best flowers for different occasions.

Fall Cleaning

ackitchen1Fall Cleaning is like Spring Cleaning except obviously in the fall. I have found it makes the most sense for me to try to do a deep house cleaning at the change of every season. Cleaning everything really thoroughly four times per year helps make everything easy to maintain and the more often you do a deep cleaning the easier and faster it gets each time.  After trying out lots of methods, reading different books and articles about organization I have come up with a plan that works quite well for me. I use a combination of the Marie Kondo method and Jan Dougherty method of cleaning. I reviewed both of their books earlier this year. You should definitely check them out if you have a chance.  Here is the rundown on how I do my big quarterly house cleaning. It takes me about a week working a couple of hours everyday. I hope to get it things to the point where I can get it all done in a weekend.

I start at the back of the house and work my way towards the front. I choose a different room to work on each day. Bathrooms, then bedrooms, then the hallway, laundry room, kitchen, dining room and living room and that will bring us to the front door!

I start each room by removing the curtains, blankets, pillows and anything that can be put in the washing machine. Those get washed first. I then go through all the cabinets, dressers, closets and cupboards and remove everything. I clean out the shelves and wipe down everything one by one as I put it back. Anything that doesn’t “spark joy” gets donated or tossed. Seasonal cleaning is a good way to go through all your clothes and get rid of  (or pack away) anything that you won’t be wearing the next season.

Once all the cabinets and closets are cleaned out I remove anything from the room that isn’t bolted down. Picture frames, lamps, tables etc. If it’s too heavy to move out then I at least try to pull it away from the wall.

After the room is mostly empty I vacuum and dust the area where the walls meet the ceiling. Major dust and cobwebs! Then I work clockwise and wipe down all the walls working one arms length at a time, top to bottom.  Then I wipe down all the big pieces of furniture and add back all the accessories and art that I want to keep, wiping each one down as I put them back. By then the curtains and pillows are cleaning and dried and I can put them back.

I finish off with vacuuming and mopping the floors and then I plug-in my oil diffuser with a little eucalyptus essential oil and add a fresh-cut flower or two from the garden.

One room a day and I am done in a week. Some rooms take longer than others. I can do both bathrooms in a couple of hours and the bedroom ended up taking two days. I save the kitchen for the weekend since it needs the most attention.

I take the trash out daily and put all the donation items in my car right away so that they are completely out of the house.

What projects are you working on around the house?

Lasagna Gardening

Have you ever heard of lasagna gardening? It has nothing to do with Italian food.  It’s a way to prep garden beds by layering organic matter, it’s also known as sheet composting.  The layers will “cook” and break down leaving you with rich garden soil. This method of gardening is easy. No digging, to tilling, no hard work at all really. Just gather your supplies and start layering.

I’m going to share my take on lasagna gardening. I wanted to create a small garden bed for growing herbs. I can’t be bothered to dig up grass and I don’t have a tiller break up the soil so lasagna gardening seems like the perfect solution.


Step One: Create a perimeter

I used rocks I had from around the yard. They were heavy. Ohhh my back hurt the next day! You could use rocks, bricks, a wood frame, old bottles- anything to make a border.


Step two: Layer newspaper on the grass and soak it with water

The newspaper will help to suffocate the grass and weeds and prevent them from growing up into the new soil you are going to put on top of it. You can also use cardboard but it will take longer to break down.


Step 3: Layer organic matter

Create layers with compost, old grass clippings, peat moss, leaves and well rotted manure. I mostly used grass clippings, compost and potting soil because that’s what I had on hand. Spray water on each of the layers so that everything is nice and moist.



Step 4: Cover with plastic

I used garbage bags to cover everything and weighed it down with rocks. The plastic will help trap heat and make all your layers break down faster.

Step 5: Wait it out

You are essentially letting all your lasagna  layers compost and break down into rich soil to plant your plants. It can take weeks or months for everything to break down depending on the size of your garden and what you used in your layers. Let your garden “cook” and check every once and a while to see how things are going. Once the soil is nice and composted you can get things growing!
This method seems like it would work best in the fall so your garden has all winter to break down. By spring your garden beds will be ready for planting.

I’ll update you in a few weeks to show my progress. Have you ever tried lasagna gardening? Share your tips in the comments.

Easy Homemade Pickles

I LOVE pickles. Especially the super salty garlic flavored dills. I can munch my way through a jar of dills in no time flat. I always wanted to try making my own pickles, it just seemed like such a complicated and messy process so I never got around to trying it. Then I  found this recipe from the Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking.  Check out the full post here
The long story short:

Ingredients

Cucumber or other veggies of your choice
1 cup filtered water
1 cup of any kind of vinegar
1 tbsp of non iodized salt
Herbs and spices of your choice (like dill or garlic)

Slice up your veggies and put them in a jar. Add your spices.

Mix the water, vinegar and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.  Pour the brine mixture into the jar, screw on the lid wipe down the glass.  Now let it sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks while it ferments.

Easy peasy!

I just made my first batch  with sliced cucumber and tucked it away in the back of the fridge.  I’ll let you know how they taste in a few weeks!

Accidental Tequila Sunrise

I meant to make a Shirley Temple. I accidentally made a Tequila Sunrise.  We had some grenadine in the cupboard that we got on sale a few weeks ago on clearance. I was thinking about what I could make with it. Then I remembered, Shirley Temples! I used to drink those every time my family went to Swiss  Chalet when I was a kid. I looked up the ingredients: ginger ale, orange juice, grenadine.  That didn’t seem like the Shirley Temple I remembered. I’m sure the drinks I was served at the Chalet by waitresses dressed in strange frilly Swiss maiden outfits were just 7up and grenadine garnished with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry skewered onto one of those little plastic swords.  However, I wanted to make it the “proper” way.  When I got home from the grocery store I realized I forgot the ginger ale. I did remember the OJ though. So I poured a little grenadine over the ice. It was a Sunday afternoon and it was nice and hot out I added a shot of tequila  for the heck of it. Then I topped it off with some OJ.  Funny thing was it actually looked really pretty! The orange and red were mixing together  resembling a  fiery, blazing- you guessed it- sunrise!  Then I looked at the side of grenadine label. It had directions for making a tequila sunrise using the exact ingredients I had just half hazardly put together. Weird huh?  Here is the official ingredients and measurements for making a Tequila sunrise:

3 parts Tequila
6 parts orange juice
1 part grenadine

Pour the tequila and orange juice into glass over ice. Add the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom. Do not stir. Garnish and serve.

And if what you really want to make is a Shirley Temple, this is how you make it:
2 parts ginger ale
1 part orange juice
Splash of grenadine

Or you can use lemon lime soda, with or without orange juice.  Add some booze and then you’ve got a “Dirty Shirley”

Cheers! Happy mixing!

Tomato Roses and Carrot Flowers

An easy way to take a basic dinner dish and make it fancy is to add some garnishes. It’s all about the presentation. I learned how to make vegetable flowers out of tomatoes and carrots in my Hospitality Foods class in grade 9.One of the few skills from high school I actually still use.
For the tomato roses:

Take a small to medium sized tomato and slice off the stem and any leaves

Flip the tomato over and start to slice the end off about 1/4 inch thick- but don’t cut all the way. Slide the knife around the outside of the tomato skinning it into one long piece.

As you can see in this photo to the left you will have a long slightly curled piece of  skin attached to the bottom slice of the tomato.

Take the free end and start to curl it and roll it back up to the base of your piece

Once it’s curled all the way prop the curled skin on the base.

Voila! Tomato Rose!

You will still have the rest of the tomato to chop up and use in whatever recipe you are making.
Next, the carrot flowers:

Peel one or two carrots. Using a sharp knife start to cut down into the carrot diagonally but do not slice down all the way. Rotate the carrot 3 or 4 times  and slice down into the side each time. By the time you get all the way around the carrot the tip of the carrot will be chopped off and transformed into a little flower.

 

Easy Homemade Hummus

Have you ever learned how to cook something new and wonder: A) Why it took you so long to learn how to make it?  and B) How you lived without it for so long?
Once I learned how to make hummus I definitely felt that way. I’ve always enjoyed heaping helpings of hummus at parties and social events but I thought it was too difficult to make myself. Boy was I wrong. It’s SO easy. In fact I think I like the hummus I make myself better that the stuff I used to buy at the store. Want to learn how to make hummus? Keep on reading, I’ve got the super simple instructions for you below.


Ingredients: 

1 can chickpeas aka garbanzo beans
1 small lemon
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of tahini
Herbs and other spices of you choice (optional)

Tahini is a paste made of roasted sesame seeds. It’s similar to peanut butter except it tastes quite different. Tahini is low in sodium and cholesterol and high in thiamin, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Tahini can be difficult to find at the grocery store. If you can’t find it where you normally shop try Whole Foods or other specialty grocery stores. Tahini is a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern dishes so you can probably  find it at a Middle Eastern or Indian grocery store. If you can’t find it you can omit it and just make the hummus with the other ingredients.

Instructions:

Drain your beans and blend in your food processor. Add the other ingredients one by one until they are all blended into a fluffy paste. It’s that simple!  Serve in a small bowl and drizzle some extra olive oil on top if you like. You can dip veggies and crackers in the hummus, eat it with pita bread, or my favorite, use it as a spread instead of mayo on a sandwich.
I like my hummus with a lot of garlic and lemon juice. The great thing about this recipe is you can add whatever you like to it. You could add beans, different spices, roasted peppers, anything that tickles your fancy!
Do you like to make your own hummus? Share your recipes in the comments!

Pinecone Bird Feeders

Here’s a quick and easy way to attract some birds to your garden this winter. An old classic that’s great to make with kids. If you have more time on hands and some random beef suet in the freezer you can make these . But if you don’t you can make these simple pine cone feeders with things you probably already have around the house:

When my husband makes bacon we save the grease in this gross container. It’s not good to pour it down the sink and if we tried to pour it in the garbage the dogs would go crazy trying to get into it.
You can easily use peanut butter instead of bacon grease. It would probably be less gross.
Step one. Tie string around the pine cones

Step 2: Smear the pine cones in bacon grease or peanut butter and roll them around in bowl of birdseed

Now you have a whole bunch of seed covered pinecones

Hang and enjoy. The birdies will be by shortly!

Suet Bird Feeders

Ok before we begin, full disclosure. I’m vegan but my husband is not. Rob loves his meat and I’m OK with that. Well I guess I have to be OK with that because there’s nothing I can do about it 🙂 Living with someone who eats animal products when you are trying really hard not to presents it’s own set of challenges but I’m trying to make the best of it.
For reasons I won’t go into here there was randomly a 1 pound packet of beef suet in the freezer. I decided that this would be a good opportunity to make some suet bird feeders for my feathered friends. Since the suet wasn’t going to be used for anything and thrown out if I didn’t use it I figured it would be OK and might as well put it to good use fattening up my feathered friends.
For this project you will need the following:

1 cup suet
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup birdseed
1/2 cup flour
string/ yarn/ rope
plastic cups, soap molds or muffin tins

Start by chopping up your suet into one inch or smaller chunks. Put them into a pot on the stove and set the temperature to medium. Let them melt. Open the windows and turn on the fan. It’s going to get stinky. Actually you may want to light some incense or a scented candle because it’s really stinky. You are melting cow fat.
Once the fat has melted add the peanut butter flour and the birdseed. Mix it up real good.
Pour the mixture into your molds. Soap molds work great for this. Candle molds would probably work well too. No molds? No problem. Get creative. You can use muffin tins, plastic ups, the bottom half of a pop bottle. Just make sure the mold is slightly flexible and you will be able to get the hardened mixture out. Let your molds cool overnight or in the fridge. They will get nice and hard.

Pop them out of the mold and tie some string around it

Then wrap the string around all crazy and secure the loose end.
Tie to a tree branch and enjoy!

For another variation you can have the string going right through the suet. I took a plastic cup and poked a hole in the bottom

Fill the cup with the mixture and let harden. You will want to tie the string to something so that it stays straight while it dries. Once hardened cut away the mold and hang.

Now sit back relax with some hot tea and wait for the birdies to fly on down.