Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Loti Wellness Box - March 2021

I received a Loti Wellness subscription box today ... the theme is Relax, Unwind.

ORDER 
Become a member and receive 5 to 8 quality wellness and lifestyle products to improve your overall well-being each month. Prepay for subscriptions and save. Retail value of $90+ in each box! 

GET LOTI 
Your box will be delivered right to your doorstep. Open your box to enjoy each themed box. Don't forget to share your unboxing! #liveloti 

DISCOVER SELF-CARE 
Self-care will not only help you to be more productive and to have better physical health, but also greater mental health.


Here's what I received ...

Mini Egg cookie mix, Jars by Jodi

One of the goodies in my Coconut Candle Company subscription box I received yesterday was a Mini Egg cookie mix by Jars by Jodi


I just made them and they are soooo good! I never bake cookies so it’s a nice treat to have fresh cookies. It’s the small jar and I ended up with 19 cookies (happily that’s how many Mini Eggs there were). 

I rolled the dough into balls as directed but didn’t know whether to flatten them or not ... so I did slightly. And I didn’t know whether to put the Mini Eggs on top while they were baking or after ... I put them on after, which worked out great!

Happy birthday, Gord!

Wishing my husband, Gord, a very happy birthday!

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Coconut Candle Company - March 2021

I had ordered a variety of samples from Coconut Candle Company last year ... they came in small tins and I used them in my tart warmers.  They smelled really good so I checked out their website and discovered they have a subscription box available.  I love subscription boxes and scented candles.  How could I resist?!

Our subscription box is the best way to experience our hand poured coconut wax candles. Each themed box has a surprise selection of unique candles that we've never released before. 

We have two different boxes available, the full size subscription box with over $100 worth of candles and the mini subscription box with over $60 worth of candles. The full size box also contains a gift from another local business. 

Shipping is included in the price of the boxes. 

Treat yourself or a loved one to an aromatic journey throughout the year!

I recently ordered the full size subscription box and my first box arrived today.  So exciting!


Here's what I received ... the products from the other business were a nice surprise and the candles smell sooooooo good!

West Coast Seeds - Wildflowers
Jars by Jodi - Mini Egg cookies

Chicken Schnitzel, Hello Fresh

Gord and I received a Hello Fresh box today with four meals for two.

I made one for supper this evening ... Chicken Schnitzel with Garlic Potatoes and Mustard Green Beans. 


The kit came with pretty well everything.


Ta-da!  I'm not a fan of green beans so only put half of them on for Gord.  Everything was tasty.  It was easy to make and I've put bread crumbs on our grocery list so we can make this again.  Rather than put the sauce (which was good) on the chicken, we put it on the side and dipped.

Happy birthday, Muffin!

Happy 4th birthday to our furry weirdo, Muffin!

Monday, 29 March 2021

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens ... black with neon pink and orange.  They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Nova Scotia's Community Haul ~ Easter 2021

I ordered a year's subscription to Nova Scotia's Community Haul subscription box last year and have been enjoying them.  

Weddings and school concerts, charity bake sales and chase-the-ace - our community halls are where Nova Scotians have come together for generations to celebrate and support one another. Since we’re together apart for the foreseeable future, we’ve transformed the community hall into a Community Haul. 

Community Haul, partnered with Symplicity Designs set out to create a safe and fun way to help the small business community through the next year. Our product forges connection, creates community, and offers you the opportunity to explore Nova Scotia - all from the safety of your home. 

We've launched a local subscription box to celebrate Nova Scotia business owners and help reboot the regional economy. By pledging your community support with a subscription, you can help keep the lights on for dozen of small businesses during these economically stressful times. What's more, every box sold will support the IWK Foundation to provide care for the women and children in the Maritimes.  

I'm originally from Nova Scotia and have been enjoying receiving stuff from "back home" and helping support their economy.

They put together an Easter box and I ordered one and it arrived today.


Here's what I received (definitely an Easter theme!) ...

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Book ~ "Is This Anything?" (2020) Jerry Seinfeld

From Goodreads ~ Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. “Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders,” Seinfeld writes. “So I have everything I thought was worth saving from forty-five years of hacking away at this for all I was worth.” 

For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In page after hilarious page, one brilliantly crafted observation after another, readers will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.

This is a collection of over 400 of Jerry Seinfeld's bits.  They are organized by decade starting with the 1970s right up to the 2010s.  

Some are quite short (a paragraph) and some are longer (a couple pages).  Some are funny ... some not so much.  Some I recognized from his bits from Seinfeld.  I found his earlier stuff more funny than the later stuff.  

It's not a book that I could read straight through ... I would pick it up and read it when I was looking for something to wind down with or I had a small amount of time to kill and didn't want to get into something else.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Book ~ "Win" (2021) Harlan Coben

From GoodreadsOver twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family's estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped but so did her captors - and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead - not only on Patricia's kidnapping, but also on another FBI cold case - with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III - or Win, as his few friends call him - doesn't know how his suitcase and his family's stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism - and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn't: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.

Win is a very rich man who is able to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants.  When a "hermit" is found dead in his penthouse apartment, Win wonders why the police contact him and take him to the man's apartment.  It soon becomes clear when Win sees a painting that had been stolen from his family more than twenty years ago along with a small suitcase that was given to him by an aunt.  

His uncle, Aldrich, had been murdered more than 20 years ago, a murder that had never been solved.  At that time, a couple paintings the family had lent to a university had been stolen ... and it's one of these paintings that was found in the hermit's apartment (the other painting is still missing).  The same night Aldrich was murdered, his teenage daughter, Patricia (Win's cousin), was kidnapped and told to pack a suitcase ... it's the same suitcase that was found in the hermit's apartment.  Patricia was held in the "Hut of Horrors" and tortured and raped for months and managed to escape.  She's moved on with her life by helping abused girls and women.

Win's friend, PT, who may or may not be still in the FBI, asks Win to find out what's going on since Win will be able to do things that the FBI and police aren't legally able to.  As Win digs, he discovers that the hermit may be part of the infamous Jane Street Six, a group that had been rebelling against the Vietnam  War to disastrous results and no one ever saw again.

There's a lot going on in this book and it's fairly convoluted ... but it all comes together and made sense in the end.  I found it a bit slow to get going but it picked up after a while.  It is written in first person perspective in Win's voice and at times he's speaking to us, the reader.  I know that Win is very rich and very arrogant but I found his demeanor and arrogance over the top, unlikable and annoying.  

There were many references to Win's good (and only?) friend, Myron Bolitar, though he never makes an appearance.  There is a series featuring Myron written by this author and apparently Win is one of the characters (I haven't read any).  I'm assuming this is the first spin-off of a new series featuring Win.  I found the constant references to Myron strange as it didn't seem to add anything to the story.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Coronation Park, Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, Toronto, ON

I went for a walk (about 10km) this afternoon and headed south to Coronation Park ... it was sunny and a warm. It's been a while since I've been there.


I kept going to Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail ... I love this park and trail!

The Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail is 7.5 acres of public green space on a spectacular part of Toronto’s waterfront. Previously a parking lot, it’s now full of life, ready to be enjoyed by morning joggers, picnic-goers, strolling families and everyone in between.

The 1.3 kilometre trail is named in honour of Bill Davis, who was the Premier when Ontario Place first opened in 1971. It’s surrounded by thousands of native trees, plants, flowers and beautiful sedimentary rocks and boulders. Inspired by the Ontario landscape itself, the park was designed in consultation with people from across Ontario, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. It’s a breathtaking tribute to our province and a gift to the people who love it.

  1. William G. Davis Trail 
  2. The Ravine with Moccasin Identifier 
  3. The Pavilion 
  4. Romantic Garden 
  5. Fire Pit 
  6. Bluff
  7. Summit

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Knitted heart-shaped dishcloth

I knitted a heart-shaped dishcloth tonight.


I used cotton yarn and 4.5mm needles.
  • Cast on 2 stitches
  • Rows 1 and 2: K1, Sl1
  • Row 3: KFB, KFB (4 sts)
  • Row 4: K3, Sl1
  • Row 5: K1, KFB, KFB, Sl1 (6 sts)
  • Row 6: K5, Sl1
  • Row 7: K1, KFB, K2, KFB, Sl1 (8 sts)
  • Row 8: K7, Sl1
  • Row 9: K1, KFB, K4, KFB, Sl1 (10 sts)
  • Row 10: K9, Sl1
  • Row 11: K1, KFB, K6, KFB, Sl1 (12 sts)
  • Row 12: K11, Sl1
  • Row 13: K1, KFB, K8, KFB, Sl1 (14 sts)
  • Row 14: K13, Sl1
  • Row 15: K1, KFB, K10, KFB, Sl1 (16 sts)
  • Row 16: K15, Sl1
  • Row 17: K1, KFB, K12, KFB, Sl1 (18 sts)
  • Row 18: K17, Sl1
  • Row 19: K1, KFB, K14, KFB, Sl1 (20 sts)
  • Row 20: K19, Sl1
  • Row 21: K1, KFB, K16, KFB, Sl1 (22 sts)
  • Row 22: K21, Sl1
  • Row 23: K1, KFB, K18, KFB, Sl1 (24 sts)
  • Row 24: K23, Sl1
  • Row 25: K1, KFB, K20, KFB, Sl1 (26 sts)
  • Row 26: K25, Sl1
  • Row 27: K1, KFB, K22, KFB, Sl1 (28 sts)
  • Row 28: K27, Sl1
  • Row 29: K1, KFB, K24 KFB, Sl1 (30 sts)
  • Row 30: K29, Sl1
  • Row 31: K1, KFB, K26, KFB, Sl1 (32 sts)
  • Row 32: K31, Sl1
  • Row 33: K1, KFB, K28, KFB, Sl1 (34 sts)
  • Row 34: K33, Sl1
  • Row 35: K1, KFB, K30, KFB, Sl1 (36 sts)
  • Row 36: K35, Sl1
  • Row 37: K1, KFB, K32, KFB, Sl1 (38 sts)
  • Row 38: K37, Sl1
  • Row 39: K1, KFB, K34, KFB, Sl1 (40 sts)
  • Row 40: K39, Sl1
  • Row 41: K1, KFB, K36, KFB, Sl1 (42 sts)
  • Row 42: K41, Sl1
  • Row 43: K1, KFB, K38, KFB, Sl1 (44 sts)
  • Rows 44 and 45: K43, Sl1
  • Row 46: K1, KFB, K40, KFB, Sl1 (46 sts)
  • Rows 47 and 50: K45, Sl1
  • Row 51: K1, KFB, K42, KFB, Sl1 (48 sts)
  • Row 52 and 57: K47, Sl1
  • Row 58: SSK, K43, K2tog, Sl1 (46 sts)
  • Row 59 and 62: K45, Sl1
  • Row 63: SSK, K41, K2tog, Sl1 (44 sts)
  • Row 64 and 65: K43, Sl1
  • Row 66: SSK, K39, K2tog, Sl1 (42 sts)
  • Row 67: K41, Sl1
  • Divide for top - you will work the first 21 sts and leave the last 21 sts to work later
  • Row 68: SSK, K16, K2tog, Sl1 (19 sts)
  • Row 69: SSK, K14, K2tog, Sl1 (17 sts)
  • Row 70: SSK, K12, K2tog, Sl1 (15 sts)
  • Row 71: SSK, K10, K2tog, Sl1 (13 sts)
  • Row 72: SSK, K8, K2tog, Sl1 (11 sts)
  • Row 73: SSK, K6, K2tog, Sl1 (9 sts)
  • Row 74: SSK, K4, K2tog, Sl1 (7 sts)
  • Bind off these sts.
  • Put sts from st holder on needle, reattach yarn at center of heart.
  • Rep Rows 68-74 with the other 21 stitches
  • Bind off these sts
  • Weave in ends

Book ~ "Homes: A Refugee Story" (2018) Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung

From Goodreads ~ In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life. They moved to Homs, in Syria - just before the Syrian civil war broke out.

Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtapositions of growing up in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy - soccer, cousins, video games, friends.

Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone - and found safety in Canada - with a passion for sharing his story and telling the world what is truly happening in Syria. As told to her by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, writer Winnie Yeung has crafted a heartbreaking, hopeful, and urgently necessary book that provides a window into understanding Syria.

In 2010, when Abu Bakr was ten years old, the al Rabeeah family (his parents and seven siblings) left their home in Iraq and moved to Homs, Syria, where his father opened a bakery, hoping for a safer life.  His father wanted to keep the family safe so started contacting the UN on a regular basis hoping to emigrate anywhere.  After a few years, their refugee applications were finally accepted and they left everything and everyone they knew and were moved to Edmonton, Alberta.

The family spoke no English and were all provided with English lessons.  Winnie Yeung was Abu Bakr's ESL teacher and one day she asked him what he wished for.  He said he wanted others to know his story ... and the product of that wish is this book.

I don't know a lot about politics so this book was an interesting eye-opener about what is happening on the other side of the world.  Though people are afraid, bombings and hearing guns going off were a fact of life there, they still carried on as "normal" as possible.

I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective in Abu Bakr's voice and it's amazing and scary what he (and his family) went through on a daily basis.  Because story starts when he is a child (he's in his teens now), it would be an appropriate book for a young teen and older to read.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Farmer John's Herbs - Maritime Chili Mix

In my March Nova Scotia's Community Haul subscription box last week, there was a package of Farmer John's Herbs - Maritime Chili Mix.

I don't eat a lot of chili (I'm not a bit fan of chili powder) but I thought I'd make Farmer John's chili for supper this evening.


Here's what I needed ... tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and lean ground beef (you can made it vegan if you want).


After browning the ground beef, it had to simmer for about a half hour.


To me, chili seems strange on its own so I made some basmati rice to go along with it.


It was delicious!  There was a bit of a bite but I couldn't taste any chili powder (yay!).  I'd like to make this again!  And there's leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Monday, 22 March 2021

Knitted kitty bookmark

I knitted a kitty bookmark tonight. I had found the pattern here but have adapted it to three needles (I found it too tight knitting on two needles).


I used 5mm double pointed needles and 4 ply yarn. 
  • Cast on 16 stitches over the three needles. 
  • Place a stitch marker before the first stitch and ninth stitch
  • R 1: Knit
  • R 2: *KFB, K6, KFB; repeat from * around (20 sts total)
  • R 3: Knit
  • R 4: *KFB, K8, KFB; repeat from * around (24 sts total)
  • R 5: Knit
  • R 6: *KFB, K10, KFB; repeat from * around (28 sts total)
  • R 7 – 8: Knit
  • R 9: *KFB, K12, KFB; repeat from * around (32 sts total)
  • R 10 – 15: Knit
  • R 16: *SSK, K12, K2tog; repeat from * around (28 sts total)
  • R 17 – 19: Knit
  • R 20: *SSK, K10, K2tog; repeat from * around (24 sts total)
  • R 21 – 22: Knit
  • R 23: *SSK, K8, K2tog; repeat from * around (20 sts total)
  • R 24 – 25: Knit
  • R 26: *SSK, K6, K2tog; repeat from * around (16 sts total)
  • R 27 – 28: Knit
  • R 29: *SSK, K4, K2tog; repeat from * around (12 sts total)
  • R 30 – 31: Knit
  • R 32: *KFB, K4, KFB; repeat from * around (16 sts total)
  • R 33: Knit
  • R 34: *KFB, K6, KFB; repeat from * around (20 sts total)
  • R 35: Knit
  • R 36: *KFB, K8, KFB; repeat from * around (24 sts total)
  • R 37: Knit
  • R 38 *KFB, K10, KFB; repeat from * around (28 sts total)
  • R 39 – 40: Knit
  • R 41: *SSK, K10, K2tog; repeat from * around (24 sts total)
  • R 42: Knit
  • R 43: *SSK, K8, K2tog; repeat from * around (20 sts total)
  • R 44: Knit
  • R 45: *SSK, K6, K2tog; repeat from * around (16 sts total)
  • R 46: *SSK, K4, K2tog; repeat from * around (12 sts total)
  • Using Kitchener stitch close the live stitches from both needles

Ears (make 2)
  • With the yarn and double pointed needles, pick up 6 sts (3 sts per needle) on the side of the cat’s head.
  • R 1: Knit (6 sts total).
  • R 2: *SSK, Knit 1; repeat from * around (4 sts total)
  • R 3: SSK around (2 sts total)
  • Cut the yarn, leaving long enough tail, and thread the end on a yarn needle. 
  • Pull the end through the remaining stitches on needles, gather up and close the hole, stitch to secure.

Tail
  • With the yarn and double pointed needles, cast on 3 sts.
  • Work in I-cord for about 4.5” (12 cm)
  • Cut the yarn, leaving long enough tail, and thread the end on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining stitches on needles, gather up and close the hole, stitch to secure. 
  • Sew the tail to the side of the cat’s bottom part. 
  • Sew together the cast on stitches.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens.  They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Downtown Winery, Toronto, ON

David Macedo opened Macedo Wine Grape Juice Ltd on Ossington Avenue, just north of Queen Street W, in 1985, selling grapes seasonally for wine-making and year-round for grape juice.  In 2019, the family renovated and opened Downtown Winery, offering international and domestic wine for purchase, wine tastings by appointments, wine by the glass with food pairings and event space rental opportunities.

Gord and I have stopped in to have a couple glasses of wine and buy wine to take home.  The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and we've had a good time there.  When Covid-19 hit, they continued to sell wine, accessories, etc. to take home.

Patios have been closed since November and today was the first day they would reopen.  After Gord and I had a sandwich from Flora's Deli, we stopped in and had a couple glasses of white wine on Downtown Winery's sidewalk "patio".


Thanks, Aimee!


There are lots of things inside you can buy!