from scratch ideas in the Hunger Games


I just finished the Hunger Games book… I couldn’t put it down once I started (literally!!). I’ve always considered myself a slow reader, and it took me only 14hours to read (not too long really). I was in suspense the whole time, and completely immersed in the plot and characters. I thought Suzanne Collins did an excellent job of presenting just enough information to give you a good idea of what was going on in the plot, while letting your imagination fill in the other details. Continue reading


ginger garlic tea to help keep colds at bay

We’re now into March and while the cold and flu season should be almost over in Northern climates, it’s unfortunately not over just yet! I recently picked-up what seemed to be a really nasty cold for most people, but I think I’m managing to hold it at bay – it’s only mildly affecting me.

Usually I am the one who is the most down and out from a cold or flu, so why is this time different? Well, I immediately took lots of rest as soon as I felt it coming-on, but I also took vitamins, and made a LOT of this tea recipe I’m going to share with you. I made much more than I normally do, and I think it’s helping to fight this nasty cold!

Hopefully the name hasn’t thrown you off: ginger garlic tea. On it’s own the flavour might be too overwhelming, but I sweeten it with a big spoonful of honey, making it almost delightful!

  • In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of water until boiling
  • add 1/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger, and 1 tbsp (2 cloves) finely chopped garlic
  • boil gently for 30 seconds more and then remove from heat
  • At this point you have 3 options:
    • [option 1: let everything steep, covered for 1-2 minutes]
    • [option 2: add 2 pinches of loose green tea, or a bag of green tea, if you don’t need to sleep right away; let steep for 1-2 minutes]
    • [option 3: add a bag of echinacea tea for extra cold fighting ability; let steep for time recommended on bag]
  • strain through a fine mesh strainer (or cheese cloth) into a mug
  • add a heaping teaspoon or tablespoon (to your liking) of honey
  • add a squirt of lemon juice (also optional)
  • give a good stir
  • enjoy!

I find that the honey and lemon are really good to sooth a sore throat. Garlic and ginger have natural properties that help fight colds. Garlic is said to be anti-biotic and anti-viral. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, helps reduce fevers, and encourages sleep.

So, why pay for expensive “cold remedy” teas, when you can likely make one that’s more effective (fresh ingredients!) on your own for much less money. If you don’t have one of the ingredients above I encourage you to make the tea with what you do have. Even just drinking lots of hot water is really good for fighting a cold! I wish you good health for the end of this cold season…we’re almost there!

easy quilted cover; protection for a fantastic, old stereo cabinet

Falling in love… with a piece of furniture

When my Opa (grandpa) moved out of his house there was some furniture left behind. It was great timing for me since I was moving back into the area to start my Masters, and I was in need of couches, a coffee table, kitchen table, etc, for my new apartment. While in the house to take the couches I noticed the stereo cabinet… and fell in love. I’ve never fallen in love with a piece of furniture before. But this was just so retro, yet modern. A piece of fine craftsmanship from the early 1960’s. Handmade from solid, hardwood maple. I had seen it many times as a child, but never appreciated it like this.

I immediately began to think of how to re-purpose this wonderful piece. A side board or buffet? Storage for liquor and glasses? Perhaps just re-fitted with a new stereo system Continue reading

a drawer for spice

The first project I thought I’d share is a rather easy one – storing and organizing your spices. Ah spice! If variety is the spice of life, then what happens when you have a large variety of spice? Oh the possibilities of wonderful flavours and aromas!

I grew-up without being exposed to many spices. I imagine this is the case for many people, and I would say that’s unfortunate, except that I feel I have an enhanced appreciation for spice now – I don’t take it’s amazing abilities for granted. So, how can you get from there to here? Continue reading