Sunday, 31 July 2011

Custom Wall Stickers For Sale

Well, I've decided to start selling some of my homemade crafts. First up is custom wall stickers. I have special adhesive vinyl that I can cut with my cricut. I can cut any letter in a few different fonts, and a few shapes as well from 1" to 5 1/2" tall. The colours I have available right now are black, chocolate brown, and pink. I may be able to get other colours on request. The stickers come off the wall without leaving a mark, and can be reapplied (although I do not recommend reusing them). The prices will vary based on what you want, but most should be around $20. Shipping/delivery are extra. Here are a few that I've made already.  E-mail me for more details or to place your order!

This one I made with chocolate brown vinyl, 5.5" letters, and Simply Sweet Font.

This one was done in chocolate brown, 2.5" letters in Calligraphy font and cost $18.50 ("best" done in 3").
This one was done in 2" letters ("fearless" in 3") on black in Gratitude font and cost $26.50.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

How to Host an Amazing Luau!

My boyfriend and I hosted a Luau last weekend, and it was a bunch of fun! I thought I'd share some neat party ideas if anyone else wants to host one!


Most of the decorations that we had were from Dollarama, one or two things from a party store. We got tiki torches ($2 each), candle holders ($2 each), citronella candles, paper lanterns, and a few other things. It looked great when the sun started going down, but the bugs were bad so we didn't get to enjoy it for too long. I just used bright colours for all the plates, etc. I also got some coconuts and pineapples that doubled as extra food. Make sure you have leis to give to your guests as they arrive too!

I made this sign using my cricut, and it was super easy! I just cut out the tags and letters using the George and Basic Shapes cartridge, and strung it together using some hemp. The wind blew it around a bit, but we added a bit of tape and it looked great! You could easily do this craft to suit any occasion as well!


Having a roasted pig would have been awesome, but we simply did not have the budget for it. We decided to do sliders (mini hamburgers), summery salads, and make-your-own skewer bar. The skewers were a big hit because everybody could put the foods that they liked on the skewers, and it saved us some work putting them together. Aside from the typical vegetables, we had pineapple, mango, and shrimp.


For drinks we made sure we had lots of water and pop. I bought some margarita mix from Walmart that was super easy. You just mix it with water (and tequila if you really want to) in the morning and stick it in a giant ziploc bag in the freezer and it freezes into a slush by the evening. I also had an ice shaver that I got from Home Sense for $15. It worked better if you froze the ice in the discs that it came with, but you can use ice cubes as well. I bought some slushie mix and pina colada syrup so we had sno cones and mocktails.


I spent more time working on the other parts of the Luau than the activities, but here are some fun ideas that we tried. A spontaneous game of ring toss ensued trying to get our ring-shaped frisbee to land on a tiki torch. We also played coconut bowling with waterbottles, but one of the coconuts split open. We also played human ring toss with a hula hoop, which was really fun. We found a giant bamboo stick at Dollarama for $2 (not sure what the actual purpose of it is) but it worked perfect for our limbo game! Make sure you have some good limbo music for this part! A couple other games you could try are hula hooping contest, any sort of water game, and another game where you have two people with a coconut or beach ball and you start with it on the ground, and without using your hands you have to get it up between your faces.

I hope you all enjoy, we sure did!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I've been meaning to make stuffed peppers for a long time, and I finally did! I had a bunch of peppers left over from our Luau because I forgot them at home and my mom had to bring me some new ones. I made it using Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Jordan's sister made a salad out of it last month and I liked it! It's an ancient grain, and a super healthy! I had to search the aisles of Sobeys, but I found it near the oatmeal after asking someone. It was a little pricey ($8.99 for the bag), but I only used about 1/4 of the bag for this recipe.
To cook it, you put it in a pot with vegetable broth and boil it until it's all absorbed. You fry up some vegetables (I did carrots, red onions, peppers, and I threw in some canned tomatoes too) and when the quinoa is cooked you stick it in the frying pan for a few minutes. The recipe I found online said to put the halved peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes so that way you don't have to bake it for so long.

You fill the peppers with the mixture and bake for about 20-25 minutes. I put some goat cheese on top, because goat cheese just tastes so yummy! I cooked up some chicken breasts and asparagus to go with it. This recipe wasn't too hard, but it took a while because there were so many steps. It sure tasted good, and looked impressive!

 Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

-1 14.5 oz can (430mL) vegetable broth
-1/4 cup water
-1 bay leaf
-1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
-6 medium sweet peppers
-4 medium carrots, finely chopped
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-1 sweet pepper, finely chopped
-1/2 can diced tomatoes
-1 tbsp canola oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 package goat cheese

In a small saucepan, bring the broth, water and bay leaf to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard bay leaf.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and discard seeds. In a large kettle, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water; invert onto paper towels.

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the carrots, onions, and peppers in oil until tender. Add the quinoa, tomatoes, and seasonings; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through. Spoon into pepper halves. Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until peppers are tender. Top with goat cheese. Enjoy! Yield: 6 servings.

Monday, 18 July 2011

When Life Gives You Strawberries.....

.... make cheesecake and jam! 

Last week I ended up with too many cherries and strawberries for my family to eat, so here's what I ended up with! Check out the recipes page if you want to try it yourself!

#1) Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

 I also had some cream cheese given to me, so I decided to bake a strawberry swirl cheesecake. And yes, I was baking in my gym clothes. I used a recipe from and was pleased! This was my first baked cheesecake that I made, and I think it turned out quite well!
I blended the strawberries in my magic bullet and then had to cook them over the burner to make the strawberry part. The strawberry part would make a great sauce for ice cream sundaes too! To make the swirls you pour half the cheesecake mixture in, then plop half the strawberry mixture in by spoonfuls, then plop the rest of the cheesecake mixture and strawberry mixture by spoonfuls and then you swirl it with a knife.
It turned out a little softer than I was expecting, so I think I should have left it in the oven for a bit longer, so it tasted more like a no-bake cheesecake. It was still delicious!!


Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

-1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
-1 /4 cup sugar 
-1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 
-2 ½ cups strawberries 
-1 tbsp cornstarch 
-3 cups (3x8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened 
-1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
-1 /4 cup lemon juice 
-3 eggs 
-1 tablespoon water

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well. Add eggs, beat on low just until combined.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan. Thin chilled strawberry sauce with water if desired; serve with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.

 #2) Strawberry Jam

I still had a ton of strawberries left so I decided to try making strawberry jam, all by myself! The cooked kind took more strawberries, so I made that one. I crushed the strawberries with a potato masher, and it worked quite well. This is how much sugar went into it (7 cups)!

 Everything was going well, cheesecake was almost done in the oven, jam was starting to boil, but I used a medium sized pot instead of a large one... bad choice. It boiled over and made a huge sticky mess all over the stove! Luckily Maddie was there to help me contain the mess (and take a picture of course). I salvaged most of it, but lost a some. Lesson learned.

After cleaning up, it made 3 big jars of jam. I tried a bit and it was delicious! Very sweet though!

Strawberry Jam

-4 1/2 cups crushed strawberries
-1 box Certo Pectin Crystals
-7 cups granulated sugar

Makes 8 cups

Wash, hull (remove stems), and crush strawberries. In a large saucepan, stir together strawberries, and Certo. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the sugar. Return to a hard boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir and skim for 5 minutes to prevent floating fruit. Pour into warm, sterilized jars to 1/4 inch from rim. Cover with lids and screw rings on tightly.

To sterilize jars: place the glass jars in the oven at 225C for 10 minutes, and keep them warm until filling time. Place the lids in boiled water until ready to use.

#3) Baby Cherry Pies

 I used my Grandma Williams' pastry recipe that she taught me how to make last Thanksgiving. I was inspired by a recipe that I found here by Anna Olson. I didn't actually use the recipe though because I had sweet cherries instead of tart cherries. I used a recipe that called for sweet cherries that had a bit less sugar in it.

 I  put them in tins meant for meat pies since they didn't have smaller ones at No Frills, but I think they look so cute! My family doesn't really like cherry pie that much, but it was pretty good! If you like cherries, you would have loved this pie!

Baby Cherry Pies

-1 batch pastry

-4 cups pitted sweet cherries
-4 tbsp corn starch
-2/3 cups sugar
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1/4 tsp almond extract

Prepare pastry. Wash and pit the cherries and stir together with all the ingredients. Roll out the pastry and put it into small tins. Add the pie filling and place more pastry on top. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, and wash with an egg if desired. Bake at 425C for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 for approximately 35 minutes until the crust is slightly browned.

Friday, 15 July 2011


Hello everybody
I've decided to start blogging to share some of my adventures as a young woman who aspires to learn all of the great life skills that women should have, and an outlet to showcase my creativity. I haven't done this before so it should be a learn-as-you-go sort of thing. Leave your comments, I'd love to read them!
All the best!