Sunday, June 21, 2009

More Rhubarb than you know what to do with?

Here is a recipe you will just love!!

Dad this goes out to you, I know you love Rhubarb!! Hopefully mom will make them for you on my behalf! Happy Father's Day!!! :)

Rhubarb Muffins


1/2 c. melted butter (or oil if you prefer)
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
5 c. Flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 c. thinly sliced rhubarb
Mix on low speed the butter, milk, vanilla and eggs. Add all remaining ingredients except rhubarb all at once, mixing on low speed. Fold in rhubarb. Fill muffin tins and sprinkle each top with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375F for 17-23 minutes.

So Simple and delicious! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Veggie Garden!

For a while now I have been craving growing some of my own food for mostly health and environmental reasons but the added bonus on the pocket book never hurts! :) Never having grown veggies other than tomatoes in pots I was a little hesitant but after reading this post at Little House in the Suburbs I was determined to start this year! So we monitored our backyard throughout one full day to see where the best spot would be. Our backyard is surrounded by huge beautiful trees that give a lot of privacy and also block out the sun for 3/4 of the day! Somewhat disappointed we went looking for another location...the front yard...again too shady...the south side of our house is very sunny and mostly driveway...BUT...
We found a little strip of grass that we transformed into our veggie garden!!! See it with the reflector? Our driveway is shared and wanted to be sure neither we or the neighbours would run into it. We used rocks that we collected from a local beach and reused wood that we had in our basement! So really the cost of this garden was just the soil, plants and weekend of fun building it! (also check out our second floor sanctuary, the petunias are visible from the street!)
We had to modify the layout as seen here but kept the veggies the same with the addition of lettuce! Since it is a lot larger we also added some other flowers.

So here is a list of what we planted:
Swiss chard
Cherry tomatoes
Red Peppers
Bush beans
Red and Green Lettuce

Here is a pepper plant and the swiss chard with the radishes poking up in between! The basil is just starting to come up and I saw 2 beans poking their heads out of the soil. I will keep you posted on the progress!

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A picture worth a thousands words.


Artist: Owen Freeman

Narrative: “This artwork is meant to convey not only the similarities between life about and below the ocean, but also to reflect the cyclical nature of water in a tangible visual way. By allowing ourselves to consider that the ocean floor is as important as the land we walk, the hope is that the notion of disconnectedness can dissolve and we can begin to think from within the ocean, rather than simply above it.”

The other winners of the ocean artwork contest open to students of all ages at aquariums across the U.S are found here:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Intertidal Ballad

I just wanted to share a song one of my students' wrote for the Intertidal Ecology and Diversity class I was teaching. He wrote the lyrics to a Tom Petty tune and here are the students singing the song after class one day. It is brilliant! The song is called Being the Tide.

Here they are signing it during an end of class party that I unfortunately could not attend! There is much more gusto in this version! :)

I will post the actual lyrics here tomorrow.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Routine

When I turned 30 last year, I made it my quest to be as Chem-free and local as possible. This means we (Diego has been fully supportive although skeptical at times) have been on a long journey to find the right deodorant, shampoo, soap, cleaning, skin care, food...and the list goes on. One of the hardest things that is still an ongoing battle is finding a skin care regime that works for me. Since eliminating the chemical-ly stuff my skin has reverted back to my 15 year old state and I have frequent break outs. Also, many of the natural creams out there are butters and are too heavy for my face and only enhance the 15 year old look (with wrinkles so it really is not and anti-aging tactic!) of my skin.
In comes the sugar scrub seen above. I happened across this page from Little House in the Suburbs and decided to give the naturally clear skin regime a try. It goes like this (taken from Ivory's site):

1. Use homemade basil sugar scrub in shower and leave on for a couple of minutes.

2. Rinse a bunch and then a little leftover shampoo bubbles or other dilute amount of soap over my face for the final rinse.

3. After shower, wet washcloth and sprinkle a few drops Tea Tree Oil on it.

4. Wipe over face.

5. Apply Tee Tree Oil directly to any trouble spots.

So upon discovering this I promptly made a batch of the sugar scrub. Instead of dried basil, I added rosemary and lavender and 2 drops of peppermint oil. Let me just say that I love the scrub! It leaves your skin feeling soft, smells wonderful and the peppermint is very energizing and invigorating in the morning!

After I apply the tea tree oil to my trouble spots, I follow up with a new not so heavy face cream that I discovered a few months ago. It is the youthful glow face cream from Avalon Herbals.

It is water based rather than oil based and is wonderful for the face and chest. They are a local company (for those of you in Nova Scotia) that sell in Pete's Frootique and every two weekends at the market. They are lovely people and grow a lot of their own ingredients. What more could you ask for!! Actually, definitely ask for the "Bliss" foot cream...IT IS AMAZING! It smells of rosemary and feels like heaven. I use it on my hands and they have dramatically improved in elasticity and no longer look dry...hang nails...gone!

As for the rest of my body, I am still in LOVE with Earth Elementals Soaps' Midsummer Night's Cream for my eczemic arms and Cocao Butter Mousse (you just want to eat it it smells so good!) as an aftershave delight. They too are local, grow many of their own ingredients and are just all around wonderful people. They also sell at Pete's and every weekend at the Market.

So I have been on the new facial routine for a week now. It usually takes a couple of weeks for your skin to get into a new skin care rhythm. So I will give it at least a month (likely 2) to see if the results are consistent. I will keep you posted.

Happy Sunday!