Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goals for 2014

I do not call these new years resolutions, because that terms just seems jinxed.  These are goals for myself that I hope to accomplish this year.  Last year GMF and I said no fast food burger joints in 2013 and I only cheated once on halloween (I was dressed up like the Hamburglar, I needed to eat a McDonald's burger).

This year I am challenging myself with a couple more goals and I'm hoping that by documenting them on the internet for all to see it will give me more motivation to succeed.  Most of these goals are to work towards a healthier lifestyle.  When I'm home in the summer I do really well because I have my garden but I need to focus on the rest of the year.

First taking an idea from Modern Family:  Jay set a goal of using his elliptical machine for a distance that equated to reaching the Canada boarder by the next Christmas. I am setting a goal of biking a distance which is equivalent to going around lake ontario from my house and back.  This is a distance of 1128 km.  I wish to reach this goal by the end of 2014.  Biking to work is 4.5 km's so if I do this more often this should be an accomplishable goal.  

Second is limiting my pop intake to 2 a month.  I have always drank way too much pop and in the past I have tried giving it up during the week with some success.  I'm hoping this will lead to healthier beverage choices (drink more water!).

Third: bring more lunches to work.  I am often sneaking out to Tim Hortons and grabbing a bagel for lunch or something.  I need to be more organized with my meal planning so that I always have something that I can bring for lunches. 

Fourth: set a realistic cleaning schedule and stick with it.  I have never been able to keep a clean room let alone a clean house.  In 2014 I would love to improve on this.  I think the key here is to be realistic, I'm not going to become Ms. Holly Homemaker just stop being Ms. Molly Messmaker.

Fifth: stay in touch more with family and friends.  You see I hate talking on the phone (I actually get kinda anxious about it - don't ask why I have no idea, it just feels so awkward). I need to make a better effort to Skype with my parents, brothers, nieces and nephews.  The kids grow up so fast, and I don't get to see them in person as much as I would like.  I will Skype with both my brothers and their family at least once a month and my parents once a week.  And call my grandmother at least once a month.

So those are my goals for 2014.  What are your goals? Let me know in the comments or post a link to your New Years post.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Christmas Presents

This year I wanted to share some homemade gifts with people for christmas.  I think homemade gifts are so much more personal.  I also love edible gifts, because lets face it most of us have enough things and many gifts sit in a closet somewhere never to be worn or used.  

The idea came from the plethora of hot peppers I grew this year.  I planted so many hot peppers knowing I wanted to make hot sauce, but I didn't realize just how much hot sauce I'd be able to make with that many peppers.  After making the first batch and seeing how far a handful of peppers went I knew I would have more than I could ever need.  So I decided that I would give nice hot sauce bottles away for presents.  This hot sauce is a sweet habenero hot sauce.  It's not too spicy so its great for coating chicken strips or wings in (yum!).  I also dried many of the cayenne peppers and made my own chill powder and crushed chili flakes.  The crushed chili flakes are in the jar near my finger in the picture (doh!) inside the jar is also a tiny ziplock with the chili powder.  I have been using the chili powder like crazy, adding extra heat to almost everything I make; pasta, chili, chicken, soup, etc.

GMF and I also started brewing our own beer in 2013 so we wanted to share this others.  In the gift package was one of each of our batches - A cream ale (our first beer, and my go to), a raspberry wheat, a apricot wheat, and an extra special bitter (ESB).  I created labels for the beers with just my printer and some avery labels (won't hold up to a cooler full of ice, but does the trick in a pinch).  I also covered the 6 pack box in decoupaged craft paper and a printed label.  I've named our brewery compass Brewing company for now but we are still looking for a permanent name.  What do you think of compass Brewing co?  

Did you give away any homemade gifts this season?  I'd love to hear about them, tell me about them in the comments or write a link to your blog.

I hope everyone is having a great holiday with their family and friends.