Morning Mountain Meditations

The mountains appear before me as though battle weary soldiers walking out of the mist,
dawn paints her colours across the sky, blues making way to reds, oranges & golds,
as she chases away the black cloak of night.
Lines slowly become more distinct, the straight symmetry of man, the soft undulations of nature, a textured tapestry.
Moving lights become little toy cars, small things on a child’s play set.
With each passing moment the mountains change their hue, blushing like virgins at the day’s whispered advances.
Promises of glory, of fire, of gold…
Of admiration from the masses from below,
& above as helicopters beat their incantations on the brightening sky.

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Daddy Dearest…

I’m sitting here watching the Twilight wedding (the hubby is away so chick flicks are great background company) and am reminded of my own wedding as Bella turns to her dad & says “don’t let me fall” & he replies “never”. I remember that moment vividly, looking out on to waiting guests & hoping you don’t trip but knowing that you will be safe this last time gripping on his arm. 20140220-205544.jpg as you can see I’ve got a death grip on his arm… Probably thanks to these babies… 20140220-210010.jpg
Thank goodness I was holding so tight! The previous wedding had thrown rose petals (yes I said previous wedding, when you get married on a lucky day there is one every hour on the hour in every location in Vegas lol) and halfway down my heel connected with one. I think this pic is right after my dad’s arm saved me from a fall, and I exclaimed something under my breath, you can see the death grip has returned lol.

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It’s the last time you hold your dad’s arm in that same way, the vows about to be spoken make your husband your protector & your future…

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Valentine’s Day Dinner – #hubbyapproved

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I decided to give my husband the gift of my time & effort for this Valentine’s Day. Pulling out all the stops, & pans in this case, I made him a yummy steak dinner. First dish I prepared were cheesy roasted potatoes. I put olive oil, nutritional yeast, Parmesan cheese & a splash of vinegar into a ziplock bag. I then added the chopped potatoes to the bag & tossed them around. Potatoes then go into a glass roasting dish then off to the oven at 350 degrees. I love using the nutritional yeast to cut the amount of cheese used and for its own cheesy flavour.
I sautéed the mushrooms in mixture of coconut & sesame oil with garlic & spices. After the mushrooms were cooked I added red wine & put them in a pot to stay warm. I got the cast iron skillet & yet another frying pan hot with oil, butter & garlic. The grass fed steak went into the cast iron skillet. I’ve been frying red meat in my hand me down (aka the best kind of) skillet since my failed experiment with vegetarianism, but that is a post all on its own. There is something about the flavour of meat cooked in a well seasoned skillet that is not attainable in a Teflon frying pan.
The green beans, washed & dried, go into the hot frying pan with a spoonful of garlic added to the oil. I fried the beans until I got a bit of char on the outsides, and then I added a shiitake mushroom teriyaki sauce for a few minutes until steak was done.
And voila! A meal my hubby devoured! I even got a compliment on a vegetable dish (the green beans) which left me pleased I had put such effort into dinner. Even if I wasn’t looking forward to the clean up lol.

Cocktails… Stepping up my game!

No longer do I make college girl cocktails (“hard liquor, ice, & simply add soda” style) but have been inspired by cooking shows to take it to the next level. How about an Arugula Mojito (thank you Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin!) or Nutterfluffer (Alie & Georgia) for a yummy imagination starter?
I like to use in season fruit (aka on sale) in my cocktails because fruit can be quite expensive here.
Blackberries were on special so I made this…

20140215-155258.jpg muddled blackberries & mint, topped with Goslings Black Seal rum & ginger beer, decorated with a sprig of mint.
To mimic the end of the meal, the dessert…

20140215-155659.jpg rum cake with blackberry rum glaze & vanilla ice cream.
Then I found a spot to get cheap(ish) blood oranges. So…

20140215-160122.jpg blood orange, carrot & beet juice with homemade loquat vodka & Lorina blood orange soda, blood orange slice to decorate.
& then my favourite season… Strawberry season!! Where we have both local (super yummy!) & imported (aka cheaper than usual) strawberries.

20140215-160939.jpg fresh blood orange juice with pineapple, mango & strawberries with vodka & a splash of water. So yummy & refreshing!! I often add a bit of water to my cocktails. I find it helps them to quench your thirst. Especially when I’m using fresh juice as it doesn’t have water added like store bought juice so can be quite concentrated in flavour.
We even got fancy with the Christmas mimosas…

20140215-162043.jpg blood orange juice & rose champagne = yummy!!
I recommend checking out Cooking Channel’s “Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia” or Bobby Flay’s “Brunch with Bobby” for great cocktail inspirations. Or be brave & order something exotic off the drink menu next time you go out to a bar or restaurant, or better yet.. ask your bartender to surprise you (you can always specify what liquor you want in it). I got this delightful cucumber concoction last time I told a bartender to surprise me (I did tell him I wanted to be refreshed).

20140215-170037.jpg look at all that cucumber! I’m dreaming of a cucumber cocktail made with fresh cucumber mint juice, cucumber slices, vodka & a splash of club soda. Come on summer!!
What’s your favourite cocktail ingredient? Is it seasonal for you or can you drink it any time of year?

My “5” face

My “5” face is where I spend 5 minutes using 5 products to give my face a fresh look.

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This little routine makes all the difference to my day. I feel more alert & refreshed (a trick of the mind after a look in the mirror), plus I can have confidence in my appearance throughout the day’s interactions.
My must haves are my Beauty Blender egg – it helps blend my eye concealer & apply my foundation. I use a sephore eye concealer pen for the darkness of the inner eye area, with an under eye concealer for the rest (usually also sephora but I’ve run out so drugstore replacement it is). I use my Blender egg to blend the under eye makeup, taking some of it up on to upper lid (as I’ve gotten older I notice the skin on my kids changing, no longer uniform in tone). Love all the new skin match foundation choices at the drugstore. L’Oreal True Match Lumi is my newest purchase & I’m digging the light dewiness it gives my skin. Some Benefit “They’re Real” mascara & I’m good to go! Some days I may finish with a touch of Bare Minerals Warmth bronzer or set the foundation with a bit of MAC powder. On my way in to work I throw on a bit of shimmer gloss in a soft pink or peach & I feel ‘naturally’ beautiful. If I have a few more minutes to get ready I will do a quick smoky eye. Like…

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Makeup is one of my most important morning rituals, donning my armor for the day.