This year marks a year of transformation and re-birth for a house that has served as a home for many years in my family. I have been fortunate enough to be able to call this home mine now for nearly the past decade. Over the years the house has seen much change to the people who have enjoyed time within it's walls but very little change to the house itself.
I am not a natural cold weather lover. So much in fact that my body works really hard at reminding me of that everyday during the winter months. My hands are really good at this. During the first hint of winter, the skin on my hands begin to crack and bleed. My Dad's hand do the same thing and for years I used to tell him he needed to moisturize. In my early 20's, the same thing began to happen to me and I learned first hand (pun alert) that it didn't matter how many times you moisturize.
I would have to also suggest breaking up the hand mask as one application would leave you with a lot of the product wasted. I could see after a couple of application for me, I could easily get three uses out of one product.
Here are a few of my thoughts about the product. After reading some of the reviews, I likely had a different view of it going in. A lot of negative reviews came about due to the wax not melting in the hot water. I didn't think that it would however I could see why most thought this.
One of the numerous things that running has taught me is that when your body says rest, you listen. Well, you don't have to listen but if you choose not to, you will pay a greater price down the not to far distant road.
This week, temperatures plummeted in my little area of the world which forced much of my time indoors. All but two of my six runs had to take place on the "dreadmill" (treadmill) which I had planned on based on the forecast which of course this time was bang on. Running inside on a treadmill for me is akin to medieval torture but that is a story for another time in another blog.
The one thing about leeks is that they are amazing little creations for holding dirt which really isn't that surprising given that this is where they are from. So, for me, the best way to tackle this is the trim the upper green until it is tender, trim off the root then run your knife down the middle of the leek. From there separate all the layers and place them in the sink to rinse each layer off.
I am not a kitchen gadget person at all. I find they had clutter and really are not that convenient but one tool I am glad was added to my kitchen are sheers. They make short work of many jobs including cutting leeks!! The soup is blended so as long as the pieces are fairly uniform,you are good to go. Since leeks are actually onions, I am not a fan of spending much time chomping them up and sheers are designed for this job. #tears
Once the leeks are been prepped, they go into the pot where the butter has melted over a medium heat. While the butter is melting, I chop up the potatoes. After ten minutes or so I had the potatoes, broth and spices (including a pinch of salt). It is simmered for around 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes are tender, I blend with an immersion blender. If you prefer a more rustic texture, you can mash the potatoes or remove half of the soup and blend only half of the soup. I like to top with pan fried prosciutto and then add dollops of bomb sauce. You can use whichever hot sauce is your favourite or none at all, really it is up to you. Freshly ground pepper and parsley can also be added.
On a cold, windy, winter night there is nothing better then pulling out a new or favourite cook book and creating something cozy, yummy and new. I love to cook and find it so relaxing. Something about music on, beverage in hand and creativity flowing that really just appeals to me.
Earlier this week, I did just that as lunch needed to be made and of course this was the perfect excuse. I pulled out my new cookbook by Jamie Oliver - Everyday Super Food - and opened it up to a recipe I had my eye on. It was a butternut squash soup with hot chilies.
I love Jamie's cooking style and his belief around food. Everything in moderation but above all else, eat good, clean food. Not sticking to one fad, diet, meal plan, or specificity but make better choices all the time. Pick fresh over processed and live.
This is also my first hard cover cookbook in a while and I can say I honestly have missed picking up a book. It is so easy to just "google it" but something about picking up a cookbook, thumbing through the pages with a cup of your favourite beverage and thinking about what you might make. Your more connected to the words and images in my humble opinion.
The recipe itself is very tasty and I like the consistency of the butternut squash. This recipe does have some heat to it but could easily be modified to accommodate a more sensitive palate. Let's just say, I couldn't wait for lunch!
I love walking into someone's home and being welcomed by a pleasant scent. Since the time the time that I have had my own space, I have used many different products to achieve this (candles, room fresheners, carpet scents etc). But with that came that "chemically" scent or finding out that many of the products that I liked weren't all that good for you to be exposed to for long periods of time.
I want to firstly welcome you to a place where I can ramble. I place to share thoughts, ask questions and be very much raw. Running has shown me that in my best moments I am most raw. Running was something that I believed I had shut the door on years ago. Walking away from dreams, hopes and the scariest of all, possibilities. Possibilities of what could have been, what might have happened, about what happens when you really lay it out, exposing all you are.
I have come full circle this year in that I have now run intensely for a full year entering the same races and being able to now have goals to move forward with and hopefully achieve in the upcoming months.
It is true that running is a more then just one event but rather a journey and hopefully in time, a lifestyle. It has also been an interesting journey that I have a chosen 5 km as my ultimate race distance. In my area, they are very few 5km events, let alone races. That challenge has made me look to the internet to make connections with other 5km distance runners and trying to encourage other people in my own area to take up the sport. Also, I have started to contemplate traveling to races to be able to put my own fitness level against other people and be lost in numbers.
I have chosen to share with you some images of the Frost Bite 7km run. This year, my good friend and I decided to run with each other as she will soon be leaving for much warmer temperatures. We both had an idea of how we wanted to run the race and although both of us had moments of "I am done", we both managed to PB (personal best) our times from the previous year.
Making connections with people is one of the many fringe benefits of running. You get a chance to spend time (a lot of it) either by yourself or with others, you choose. Typically, the people that are bundled up for a 45 minute run in minus twenty temperatures are very like minded and so friendships tend to be easily formed and last.
Those of you who know me know that although I am a lover of language, for me to actually finish a book is ... well... an accomplishment. I do read, actually a fair amount however books have never really been my thing. I have tried to carry around a book and honestly I have always wished I could be more intrigued and enveloped by books but, sadly this have never been the case.
For me, books draw the same appeal as movies. I don't want to commit time to a movie if it isn't going to be good...yes, I realize the holes in this logic. To remedy this, I have been trying to read more books and watch more movies. Movies have been an easy fix as I really only need to commit an evening but books, oh books, take commitment.
The book that jumped into with both feet was called The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This was a recommendation given to me and I am pleased to say was a perfect read to get into after not having finished a book for a few years. It was a light yet captivating read about a rigid main character trying to find love in a world that isn't so rigid. He is challenged by the world around him and needs to decide wether he will continue to live his life as he chooses or decides to be open to new experiences, changes and maybe letting people in.
I found myself identifying myself with a few of the characters in the story, especially the main character. I feel that we have all been that rigid, narrow focused person at one moment or another and this read was a great opportunity to reflect on those moments and remember that being open to others and life is really where some of the most rewarding times and people come into your life.
I finished this book just prior to 2016 and felt this was very fitting. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts and any other books I might enjoy.