peru dreaming

I recently got a new computer and imported all my photos from my iPhone. A large majority of them were from my amazing trip to Peru we took in April/May. I thought I would post some of my favourites today. I was able to experience one of the coolest trips anyone could take, one week on the Amazon River in a little cruise boat and then one week Cusco/Macchu Pichu.

Our boat was an old barge transformed into a 20 cabin river boat. No spa or pool here! This was the very rustic portion of our adventure.

We went pirahana fishing, yes that’s what I said. If you know me you know I don’t fish… ever. This was definitely the hands on portion of our trip. Here’s my awesome moms catching the “big ones”!!! I couldn’t have asked for better travel partners.

It truly was a trip of a lifetime, as the water was very high and we were able to travel within tributaries and canals not commonly accessiable at  this time of year.  Many families that live e in homes that are floating and awaiting for the water to go down, so they can rebuild their homes on land. Or some families have a had to move to higher ground. They will return to rebuild when water goes down.

This was a no frills lifestyle, while on the Amazon. I literally barely wore makeup! Shocking I know. Every day we jumped on our skiffs and destined off the mighty Amazon to discover wildlife, villages and beautiful sunsets.

After 1 week on the Amazon River, we flew to Cusco and from there made our way to Machu Picchu. We stopped for a picture opportunity just outside of Huayllabamba. It was spectacular view filled with vibrant sky and farm lands. Let’s not forget the donkeys!!!

As we toured one of the Inca villages, we came accross this lady and her son. She described her life in her village, with a song.

I love this picture because it’s right before we got onto to the train to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. I got to experience this wonderful adventure with an amazing group of people. Here’s my mom and dad!

Here it is. The most amazing place I have ever been.  The guide said get ready for it as we walked through the rock entrance and boom, it hits you! Picture truly cannot describe the way this place makes you feel. Totally awesome!

Well that’s just a few of my pictures from my great Peruvian adventure. I enjoyed looking through these pictures just as much as I love sharing them with you!

Xoxox.

amy

Well seasoned

Well planting season is upon us. Herb gardens are extremely popular on Pinterest. I have tried in the past for indoor herbs but haven’t had huge success. I found many examples I liked on Pinterest, but took my own approach. I loved the idea of herbs off the side of the deck.saw this
I used a 19 X 76 cm planting vessel that should fit 6 herb plants comfortably. I also used half a large bag of potting soil. If I were to guesstimate it was aprox. 1.5L of soil to fill my planter prior to adding the plants.


I got my plants from the Terwillegar Farmers Market today from a vendor, August Farms, based out of Devon. The gentleman there was incredibly helpful for an amateur gardener such as me.  He actually forgot cilantro, which would be my first pick. But he mentioned it’s a fast growing plant and overwhelms other herbs. Its best planted stby itself. Good advice!
I went with Italian parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage and summer savory. Savory? Summer Savory?!? What do I do with savory? I’ll let you know!!

I filled my planter 3/4 full and spaced out 6 plants on top to make sure they would all fit nicely without crowding each other. I gently placed each herb in their new designated spots and lightly covered with fresh soil to secure them.

I watered them gently and mounted on to my back porch. Voila! Fresh herbs for the season. I’m so happy with the results. Doesn’t it look great?

Who knew I would become such a gardener?

Til next time!

xo amy

banana split pops!

 Now with the beautiful weather among us, I started thinking of summer time treats. What better treat then a popsicle. I found a great set frozen treat molds at Crate & Barrel. I was searching recipes on Pinterest and decided to make my own. My husband Matt, loves nothing more than a Banana Split Blizzard, so I made them in Popsicle form!!!

Here’s the recipe:

½ pint of strawberries

2 large bananas

5 scoops of frozen yogurt

1 cup of almond milk

½ cup of Oreo crumbs

I blended the strawberries and a bit of water and put aside. I then blended the bananas, milk and  frozen yogurt. I added the strawberries and Oreos and gave it a quick pulse to mix thoroughly.

Pour into molds and freeze!!!

Two thumbs up from Matt!

xo.amy

arnie palmie

It’s been so beautiful outside and makes me think ice cold bevvies!!! One of our favorites is Arnold Palmers, named after the famous golfer.  It is blend of equal parts lemonade and iced tea. In the southern USA they call it sweet tea. Here is the simple recipe without alcohol in it. On Pinterest, I noticed that bourbon is often added to the recipe. Spiked or Tipsy Arnold Palmers.

Lemonade:

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (about 8 lemons)

  • 5 cups cold water

  • Take one cup of sugar and one cup of water and boil, stirring occasionally, cooking until sugar is dissolved to make simple syrup. Remove from heat.
    Pour lemon juice into a 2-quart or larger pitcher. Add cold water.

Iced Tea:

  • 5 tea bags (I used English Breakfast)
  • 5 cups of boiling water

 

Let steep for 4-6 minutes. Pull out tea bags and there we go!

 

Mix, chill and add some bourbon for you adventurous ones out there!

Enjoy!

xo amy

house numbers…

I have struggled with the idea with putting numbers on my house. Not knowing where to put them, what color etc…? The used envelope in our front window isn’t cutting it. I found a fantastic idea on Pinterest this winter. This is a great idea  instead of drilling holes on the side of my house with numbers found at local a hardware store.  I decide not to go with the chalkboard paint version like my picture. I bought a nice black big planter and painted the letter and numbers directly on it. I didn’t think chalkboard paint and chalkboard writing would work well with the rain. Here are some pictures:

I only had a little brush from a  paint set, but with enough water and Q tips I think it worked out well.

I definitely was smiling when I pulled out of my drive way this morning and saw my latest Pinterest project!

xo.

amy

all hail the queen

I love a good solid, all season friendly nail color. With neutrals being incredibly poplar for Spring 2012, I decided to pull out my Butter London’s  “All Hail the Queen”. I discovered this beauty within my first few weeks on Pinterest. II repinned and found it at a local store called Jilly’s a few days after. Butter London  is a brand I only recognized from the location at Seattle airport, pedi’s while you wait for a flight!!! Butter London is a brand I sold when I worked in cosmetics at Holt Renfrew. You should check out their website. It’s awesome!

They are a “3 Free Nail” company, which means no formaldehyde, no Tulane and no DBP.

As well as Vegan and Cruelty Free

Who doesn’t like a socially conscious product.

Really cool color & cool company. “All Hail the Queen” some days it feels like that’s me!

Xo. amy

quinoa goodness

I am a big fan of the super grain quinoa. I was introduced to it a few years ago in a salad at Planet Organic. There’s still lots of buzz about its versatility and benefits. I use it instead of rice with stir fries, in soups and usually in salads. Quinoa salad is so awesome to prepare ahead of time and have on hand.  Sometimes its even better when it sits a couple days. For example I made this recipe on Sunday and have had it for lunch since then. My basic recipe I used Quinoa, cranberries,  sliced almonds, salt & pepper, green onions and peppers. I was really ready for a change. I found this little gem of a recipe on Pinterest (of course) and have really enjoyed the version!

Here’s the jist of it!

I prepared 1 cup of uncooked quinoa the day before.

Chop! Chop! Chop!

Mix! Mix! Mix!

This is my lunch. I added a bit of avocado and pea shoots today!

If you have never made this, make IT!!!! It’s so easy and tasty. I have a few friends who are self proclaimed “dummy” in the kitchen. Anyone can make this. Its’ sooooo simple and delicious.

xo amy

hot chefs cool bEATS

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a fundraising function for the Canadian Culinary team to attend the 2012 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. The event was cleverly named hot chefs, cool bEATS. It was well organized from the beginning.

I attended the event with my hot date, Sherril who happens to me my mother-in-law.  She is a great partner to go anywhere with, as she is willing to go and try anything. We went in slightly blind, as this was the first year it was held and we were not sure we were walking into.  In a way it was a good thing, we had no set expectations.

The event was held in Hall D of the Shaw Conference Center. We walked in to a street festival. There were several food trucks and other restaurants serving some great street style food.  The scene was complete with mock graffiti artists, hip hop dancers and music. It was a lively & interesting set up! We tried all kinds of food and drinks, such as St. Germaine champagne cocktail, jerk chicken from the Drift Food Truck (picture below) and duck fat poutine. Oh yes, poutine just got fattier!

Now we’re enjoying some fantastic wine and watching some dancing and not sure what was happening from there. We saw through the crack of curtain a whole other area set up. At 8pm they opened the curtains and we walked through to a whole other culinary world. Picture below is a picture of an awesome art display with pots, pans and other utensils.

 

A french brasserie with mussels and fries, cheese and croque monsier! (Matt’s favorite)

Mini Granville Island seafood bar with fish and chips (pic below, it was a cod fish stick and potato foam) salmon tacos and escargots sliders and beer!

Sushi and saki bar!

Little India with butter chicken rolls and henna art.

To finish it off Duchess Bakery made amazing macarons (pictured below) and Transcend Coffee had espresso bar set up!

 

Oh, I just about forgot the spectacular Ice Bar! My Hypnotic Martini was sent flying through an ice sculpture into my mini martini glass! It was great!

We also got to watch an “Iron Chef” style competition between two members of the Canadian Culinary team. It was super entertaining! Iwish I could’ve been the judge.

Next we were sent through another area for a full sit down dessert.  It was set up really beautifully and vibrant, complete with chocolate centerpieces! We sat and enjoyed delicious pastries and desserts made by Team Canada Pastry Chef James Holehouse.

As I mentioned before, the whole event was a fundraiser for the Team Canada to attend the Culinary Olympics later this year. There was a silent auction and one item that intrigued us a lot! A pastry boot camp for 6! We bid and won!

Chef James came to talk to us about the boot camp and I had to ask about the centerpieces. He said for us to bring them home! Without hesitation we walked out of Shaw with full bellies and flower arrangements to satisfy any sweet tooth!

We will definitely be attending next year!

xo.

amy

 

p.s. happy birthday to my hot date SHER! love amy

 

hex nut bracelet

A while back, my pinning partner, Susie and I made some bad ass hex bracelets. I didn’t wear it that much when I first made it. It always takes me a while to get used to things on my wrists. I noticed tons of people re-pinning this one! I started wearing it and got a ton of compliments on it!

I also tried with flat and round beads I had at home and it was much lighter! Doesn’t quite lay the same though.

Here’s how we made them:

Mad braiding skills

Cotton String or twine. Without that wax stuff on it.

16-18 hex nuts or beads of your choice…I was able to get small hex nuts at Home Depot.

It took 2 sets of hands at one point but …but you should be able to do it alone.
After the third one, I got the hang of it.  I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I made friendship bracelets back in the day I used to use a safety pin tied to my pants.

Here’s some pics!

Hexed ones:

Beaded One:

Happy pinning!

xo.

amy

libre tea

I found this little gem on Pinterest a little while ago. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to talk about it, as it’s something I use it almost everyday. Libre Tea diffuser, which I pinned and saw a few days later at David’s Tea.  I most likely wouldn’t have noticed it if I didn’t see it on Pinterest just days before.

I love loose tea and usually 1 cup is not enough. This diffuser makes about 1.5 cups. I use it mostly at work as bringing my big Bodum was inconvenient to clean at the office. I find this one super easy to clean and does not hold on to any scents. Sometimes travel mugs get kind of yucky and stinky, this is not the case with this one.

I have 2 kinds of tea I drink alot at work, both from David’s Tea. The dark one on the left bottom corner is The Skinny. It’s an awesome Oolong digestive tea. The second is the green tea, on right, called Splash. This is an awesome lightly flavored green tea with sea lettuce!??! What the heck is that you ask? Sea lettuce is an edible algae and has a ton of health benefits. Who knew I’d drink algae and like it!

Well, I think  it’s tea time!

xo amy