Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bloglovin


Just in case you were interested in following along whenever I randomly decide to post a blog click the link above! :)

xo
tash

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Here we go!

Alright, here we go, the start of my 3 week adventure starts now!  

I'm currently waiting at the gate to take off for Nashville, I get to hang out and explore the city for 2 days before I hunker down at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel for the weekend to represent Random Acts at the Supernatural convention.  Monday I have an awesome volunteer event planned where we get to work with Mother to Mother, a Nashville nonprofit that I have totally fallen in love with.  Then I head back to Toronto and work Tuesday-Friday.  Friday night I hop on a bus and arrive in NYC Saturday morning to work on AMOK with Justin Guarini’s amazing team, and a few of my co-workers.  It’s going to be a full day of kindness activities and then Sara and I get to take in Zach Levi’s new show, She Loves Me.  Sunday morning I hop back on a bus and back to Toronto to work Monday - Wednesday.  Then Thursday I get on another plane this time to Las Vegas to attend another Supernatural convention until Sunday night when I finally fly home.  

It’s an absolutely crazy feat, but I could not be more excited.  Not only do I get to visit 2 cities that I have never been to, but I also get a chance to meet a friend I have known for almost 2 years but never met, and I get to see friends who I have only met briefly at VanCon last year!  

How did this become my life?  I’ve always really loved to travel, but I have never considered myself a get setter by any means.  But now it really feels like this is my life.  I’m totally comfortable about travelling, airports don’t freak me out any more, I don’t get anxious that everything is going to turn out exactly right.  

I think this is mainly due to the 2015 intentions that I set for myself.  My main goal was to say yes to more opportunities.  This subsequently led to bigger things that I had always wanted for myself but were never really a part of my character.  I found myself more relaxed in new situations.  I found myself seeking out new people to talk to.  And most importantly, I found myself “going with the flow” way more than was my norm.  These changes in my self didn’t only apply to travel.  I’ve found that I am a much more flexible person in my daily life.  It’s most obvious when people point out that I react differently to situations than they would expect me to.  It was then that I realized that I managed to make a lasting change in my life.  

You don’t have to be the person that you are today for the rest of your life.  If you don’t feel completely comfortable or satisfied in the version of yourself that you put out to the world, you can make a change.  The thing that you have to remind yourself of is that you cannot change the fiber of who you are over night.  This was a change that I made on a tiny level every single day for over a year.  I’m not saying that it’s totally engrained in me just yet, but if I continue to make small decisions in my day to day life I will hopefully someday stop thinking about it, and find that I am the best version of myself.  For myself.  

Sunday, 4 January 2015

101 in 1001

This list is inspired the always amazing Mackenzie Horan. Her blog, shop and instagram are constant inspirations in my life. Check out her list here.

The whole idea here is to set a number of goals to accomplish in 1001 days, which is just under 3 years if you were curious. Essentially it is somewhere between a to-do list and a bucket list. Check out my 101 items below.


begin: Sunday 4 January 2015
end: Sunday 1 October 2017

1. Come up with 101 items
2. Put $20 into savings for every item completed
3. Find the perfect Little Black Dress
4. Send Rob Benedict a letter April 2015
5. Get personal 'business' cards
6. Go rock climbing
7. See a movie at TIFF
8. Skate 10 times in 1 winter
9. Go back to school and graduate
10. Learn to tie a bow tie
11. Donate to a Kickstarter campaign Jason Manns
12. Throw a themed party
13. Make a scrapbook
14. Take a sailing lesson
15. Journal every day for 30 days
16, Go "raw" for 7 days
17. Read my bible every day for 6 months
18. Attend a fashion show
19. Take a ballet class
20. Go snow-shoeing
21. Play a game of golf
22. Save 15% of my income for 6 months
23. Host Christmas Dinner
24. Take an all-inclusive vacation
25. Throw a surprise party
26. Gather friends/family contact info into an address book
27. Get a camera
28. Buy fresh flowers weekly for a month
29. Wash my face every night for 30 days
30. Drink only water for 30 days
31. Read five personal development books
32. Complete/Try 5 Pinterest DIY projects
33. Become a Portuguese citizen
34. Pay at least 50% of my OSAP off
35. Be an extra in a TV Show or Movie
36. Make a souffle
37. Crochet a blanket
38. Pay it forward
39. Mail birthday card to at least 5 members of my GISHWHES team
40. Send flowers to someone out of the blue
41. Make fresh croissants
42. Go meatless for 30 days
43. Complete a Love God Greatly Bible Study
44. Meet a GISHER in person Ellie, TorCon 2014
45. Take Mum & Pai to Medieval Times/Casa Loma
46. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
47. Visit Zia Josie in Sicily
48. Join a book club
49. Go to a wine tasting Niagara Wine Tour June, 2015 & FWP at university Club oct, 2015
50. Take my friends to high tea
51. Go on a hike June 2015 with Hannah and April at Petroglyphs Park
52. Do not drink alcohol for 30 days
53. Host a games night
54. Own 10 board games/card games (1/10 - Cards Against Humanity)
55. Watch the sun rise at the lake
56. Do a Polar Bear Plunge
57. Attend a tennis match
58. Go to a drive in movie
59. Watch 5 plays/musicals
60. Take a staycation
61. Try 20 new restaurants
62. Make someone I love breakfast in bed
63. Read 30 minutes a night for 30 nights
64. Unplug completely for 24 hours
65. Spending freeze for 30 days
66. No take out/fast food for 30 days
67. Take guitar lessons/learn 1 song on guitar Mountain Thyme, Wagon Wheel
68. Sweat every day for 30 days
69. Take 10 spin classes
70. Learn Portuguese
71. Go to a comedy show
72. Learn ASL/Have an ASL conversation
73. Have $2000 in RRSP's
74. Spend 2 weeks in London (UK)
75. Donate 25 handmade items Headbands to Covenant House
76. Visit a new city San Diego, July 2015
77. Send custom Christmas cards
78. Learn to make Macaroons
79. See 10 "classic" films
80. Go skydiving
81. Learn to make a sock monkey hat
82. Buy a designer dress
83. Send 50 hand-written notes
84. Have $2500 in my saving account
85. Take Pai on a trip
86. Take Mum on a trip TorCon 2015
87. Read 5 classics
88. See a National Football League game live
89. Run a 5k
90. Read 3 Jane Austin books
91. Ski or Snowboard
92. Go away for NYE
93. Get a second tattoo Reunion, May 2015
94. Host a brunch
95. Go winter camping
96, Have a late night picnic
97. See a ballet
98. Leave a 100% tip on a bill over $50
99. Have a spa day
100. Do yoga daily for 1 month
101. Visit Portugal with my sister

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The mighty Quinoa

I love Quinoa. 
No joke, some days I have had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
Not only is Quinoa one of the mightiest of the "Superfoods", it is also delicious and versatile. 

Today I wanted to share with you my method for cooking Quinoa. I have tried many different ways over the years and have found that this one truly comes out the best. 

Happy Cooking :) 

1 cup Quinoa 
1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil 
1-2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 Bay leaf
2 cups water 

Firstly, you MUST rinse your Quinoa. Use a fine mesh strainer and run it under water while rubbing the quinoa between your hands for about 2 minutes. This will drastically change the flavour of your cooked quinoa. 

Next, in a pot at least 4 cups large, heat your garlic and bay leaf in the oil just until it becomes aromatic. Add the quinoa to your pot and allow it to toast for about 2 minutes, you want your quinoa to dry out a little bit. Now add your water and allow it all to come to a boil. 

Once it is boiling put a lid on your pot and reduce the temperature to low, set your timer to 15 minutes. When your timer goes off, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit for another 5 minutes, covered. Then remove the lid and fluff your perfectly cooked quinoa with a fork. 

The great thing about Quinoa is that once it is cooled you can refrigerate and use it up for 4-5 days. Not only does it re-heat really well but you can also use it cold in salads. 

I've got a tonne of Quinoa recipes up in this brain of mine and I am looking forward to sharing them with you! 

What is your favorite way to use Quinoa? 


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Easy Peasy Bacon & Olive Penne

My Dad is a great cook. Really great. 

Most of my visits to my parents house tend to revolve around food and wine. The last two days have  been no different. 

Friday night we had pepper steak with asparagus. Last night we had rack of lamb and duck breast with vegetables. Both really incredible meals. So for lunch today I thought I would try my hand at one of my dad's recipes. 

I present to you Bacon & Olive Penne 

(Sorry for the not great picture, 
decided at the last minute I wanted to share this recipe)

You will need (for 4 servings, this translates really easy to larger or smaller servings)

3.5 cups of tomato sauce 
4 cups cooked pasta (al dente)
1/4 cup seasoned black olives, chopped 
7 slices cooked bacon
A few tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pan, begin to heat tomato sauce over medium heat. Stir in olives and pasta, reduce heat to low, simmer about 5 minutes. Using a pair of scissors, cut bacon into the pan. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve and enjoy! 

You may notice that there is no salt or pepper in this recipe. The bacon and olives both have plenty of salt and the olives also tend to have some chilli pepper or other spices on them. 

I really really love how easily this recipe comes together, at my parents house all of these ingredients are readily available so it never takes more than 15 minutes to prepare. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Changes

For the past couple of weeks I have been debating what to do with this blog. Since I am no longer at X it seemed like it was a good idea to shut it down since that was the whole inspiration behind starting a blog.
Then I realized, I have been up to some pretty cool things lately that may be fun to share. Today alone I made a Carrot Cake, a batch of Chocolate Truffles, 100 Pizzele Cookies and about 50 Perogies! So maybe I can turn this more into a lifestyle type of blog. We'll see.
I guess what I am trying to say is that X Marks the Spot is here to stay! No, I am not going to change the name because X still means a lot to me. Hopefully you'll stick with me through the growing pains which I am sure are bound to happen.

Smiles,

Natasha

Monday, 12 November 2012