What are you Thankful for?


It is easy to look for the things we don’t have. That white Coach satchel that screams “buy me” whenever you walk across their store; that lucrative government job at City of Vancouver with pension, health benefits and 2 months of vacation or that limited edition green leather couch for your plain living room. The list goes on.

"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks."  -William Shakespeare

“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”
-William Shakespeare

We want to have answers. We want to feel accomplished. We want to have more.

While we  have unfulfilled desires, unexpected problems,unfinished business and seemingly unanswered prayers…

The questions we need to ask ourselves are…

1. Have I taken the time to be “thankful”?

2. Have I really looked into what I “already” have?

3. Have I ever been content?

Perhaps we have been taking for granted the things that have always been there. The bright early morning sunshine; the clean fresh water we drink; the bus driver who arrives at your stop on time; the newly washed clothes ready to be worn and that warm oatmeal you had for breakfast.

It’s about a paradigm shift.

From being so negative and always lacking… to that of living in a perpetual state of grace.

It is not easy. But it is also not impossible.

And so…the next time you have that tendency to be in a grumpy, whiny and  complaining mode,

think of all the things you are thankful for.

It works every single time (=

 

 

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Secrets of Pickling


Last Wednesday, June 19, 2013, due to the fact that I was able to cook Siomai (at around 1 am in the morning for my husband’s lunch) for tomorrow, worked 6.5 hours for a side-line and then headed to Edmonds Community School by bus (for the first time) to volunteer for another Burnaby Food First hands-on workshop (Thank you dear path-finder ^^,) I felt very, very productive. IMG_9815
From 6-8pm, we joined the savvy Andrea Potter- a Red Seal chef and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist-and learned how to make pickled foods using fermentation.
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I thought it was great!
We talked about how fermentation (more commonly known as “pickling”) traces its roots way way back in time!
From the Korean “Kimchi” to the Japanese miso soup, Greek yogurts and classic Hamburger pickles, it sure has a special place in our palates.
It is also good to know that the “probiotics” in these pickled foods not only are good for your digestive system but they also fight off germs and viruses.
After our mini lecture, we then proceeded to our ‘hands-on session’.

Yup yup yup! We had take home samples!
Thank you for the fresh local kohlrabi, carrots and radishes Urban Digs Farm!
In about 2 weeks or so…
we will see how these “pickled” veggies turn out (=

Thank you Biggest Little Garden in Town!


The Gardening Saga continues (=

After our first attempt to plant, God has blessed us with ALL the necessary equipment we need to start our patio paradise FOR FREE!

The purpose of Fraserside’s Biggest Little Garden in Town (BLGT) project is to increase food production in urban settings. The BLGT is a container garden project which teaches and encourages individuals and the community in general, to utilize small areas to grow vegetables.

Thank you Biggest Little Garden and thank you Wilf and Vicky for going being patient with my husband’s constant e-mail request to be a BLGT member and for going great lengths to deliver this awesome Starter kit from New West all the way to our home here in Burnaby (=

BLGT Starter Kit (includes watering jug, trowel, cultivator and a selection of assorted vegetable seeds  that grow well in containers)

BLGT Starter Kit (includes watering jug, trowel, cultivator and a selection of assorted vegetable seeds that grow well in containers)

What a wonderful sight to behold! This Little Garden Guide is a 60-page booklet that provides tips and tricks on how to plant, care for, harvest and prepare vegetables grown in containers)

What a wonderful sight to behold! This Little Garden Guide is a 60-page booklet that provides tips and tricks on how to plant, care for, harvest and prepare vegetables grown in containers)

2 bags of organic potting soil

 

BLGT Apartment Garden (includes 3 cedar boxes, base, lattice)

BLGT Apartment Garden (includes 3 cedar boxes, base, lattice)

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Can you believe that these are just the left-over roots that we chop off green onions???

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BIG THANKS to these wonderful people!

Diary of a Newbie Patio Gardener


Joseph and I have zero experience in gardening.
(Well, I guess Joseph has about 2% edge-due to his plant-watering skills way back when) but in my case, okay…let me explain…The thing is…I’ve always had an aversion to frogs. The mere thought of them jumping out from a hole whenever I start digging the soil makes me cringe!

First Basil

First Basil

Mr. Alex Mc Naughton patiently answering questions of newbie gardeners

Mr. Alex Mc Naughton patiently answering questions of newbie gardeners

The husband looks really accomplished (=

The husband looks really accomplished planting that zucchini (=

The good thing is… I haven’t seen one here in North America and I doubt if I will ever find one here in our patio! (=

Before

Before

After

After

Burnaby Food First sponsored a workshop called Apartment Gardening for Beginners. Plant genius Mr. Alexander McNaughton treats his plants like a “person” with human feelings. (e.g.If you water them regularly, they will be happy; Be careful with the roots because they will get hurt and not make more babies) Who knew that you can go down to your local grocery store for free milk crates and coffee sacks and grow food in small spaces using these containers?! Not me!

But yeah…it did. (=

There is nothing more rewarding that seeing your very first plants grow…

First Harvest! (Snap Peas)

First Harvest! (Snap Peas)

and using them in your recipe at home (=

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Homemade Pesto Pizza with patio-grown snap pea leaves

Thank you Mr. Alex Mc Naughton for your passion for plants and of course, thank you Burnaby Food First for another successful Workshop!

Pay it Forward (Project Number 2)


This is my attempt to complete the project I endeavoured to pursue at the beginning of this year. (I know. It is moving sloooowly, but you know…at least it is moving. hehe)

The first one I made was for her older sister.

Pocahontas-look alike Necklace

Pocahontas-look alike Necklace

The Facebook post goes like this: “The first five people to comment on this status (and by extension, send their home address in my Message inbox ^^,) will receive a small surprise from me in the next year (a gift card, piece of art, something homemade, delicious treats, etc.) whatever I think would suit you! There won’t be a warning and it will happen without notice and whenever the mood strikes me. The catch? Those five people must make the same offer in their Facebook status. Keep paying it forward and spread the cheer. Oh, and “likes” don’t count–you must comment!”

I hope you like this!

I hope my Pay-it- Forward receiver likes this!

So, 2 down…
3 more to go.
This is for you Sarah (=

Over Dry Land Thru the Sea


Hi Osep and Gold!

To commemorate this epic event, I have prepared a “Night to be Much Observed Activity” for you. Add your answers on the comment box okie?!

After you have correctly ordered the pictures, you need to answer the questions I e-mailed you regarding those specific events.

Enjoy the game! (=

Love,

Ate Mags

D.I.Y Whimsical Wedding Headpieces


Ten months ago, I married the most wonderful man I could ever have! And while I have to agree that wedding prep is super exciting and is so much fun, I must also admit that it takes a bit of time, has a lot of work involved and can be hefty on your wallet.

And so, I made a decision to make most of our wedding stuff handmade.

It wasn’t the easiest route, but all the details, the personalized ambiance and the emotional connection that you and your guests will feel before, during and years after the wedding ceremony is over; that is priceless!

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My model-material bridesmaid in her Element.

As a countdown to May 4th,2013 I am going to devote this blogpost to share our small, simple Seaside themed-Wedding.

My hope is to inspire all women and all bride-to-bes when their special day comes as well as to convince everyone that it is possible to maximize your small budget and not compromise the quality of your wedding day. (=

Okay, let’s get started. One of the favorite wedding projects I have done is our headpieces.

This is not as hard as you might think. The trick is to have a solid vision of what you want, how you want it to look and where to get your materials.

Materials:

Grapevine wreath (available at craft stores like Michael’s)

a variety of seashells

Mini plastic pearl beads/ garland

teal ribbons

tulle flowers

hot glue gun

glue sticks

raffia

Directions:

1.Measure the head circumference of your bridesmaids, flower girls by putting the grapevine 2 or 3x around their heads.

2. Sketch a picture of how you want all your shells/ ribbons/ starfishes to be laid out. In here, the secret is to be creative. You want your pieces to look just right. Not lopsided or over the top. Balance is key.556105_3350770921260_1101257503_n

3. Using the hot glue, secure all your pieces together, holding it firmly after about 30 seconds.

4. Glue one end of the pearl garland at the front right. Coil twice and secure with a dab of glue gun.

5. Repeat Step 4 twice until you have a cascading pearl garland on both sides and at the back of the grapevine wreath.

6. Try it with your girls and adjust the wreath if necessary.

7. Store in such a way that it won’t get squished. In my case, I placed it in a ginormous green cookie jar. (=

They look like sea nymphs!

They look like sea nymphs!

Side view of the cascading pearls at the back.

Side view of the cascading pearls at the back.

Lovely Megan

Lovely Megan

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Aren’t they lovely?! (=