Can you keep your herbs fresh?

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How to keep herbs fresh

I would like a way to keep my herbs fresh for longer than two days.  Is it possible?  So far I haven’t had much success.  Do you know of a way to keep your parsley fresh? 

I recently read that if you rinse your herbs, snip off the ends, and then place them in a container of water on your counter they will last longer.  I took some parsley, basil, and mint from my fridge crisper and I tried it.  So, my herbs had already been in the fridge for a day.  The basil was already showing some tiredness.  I still wanted to see if it made any difference in how long they lasted.

How to keep herbs fresh

I kept the herbs on the counter for two days.  The second day they were starting to look more limp and yellow.  I even changed the water in the container to help with freshness :)

How to keep herbs fresh

Some time ago I read another solution to keeping herbs fresh longer and that was to put them in a container of water into the fridge with a plastic bag loosely over them.  I tried it.  This didn’t work either and most of the time it was a spilling hazard as I have precious little space in the fridge most of the time. 

How to keep herbs fresh

Day three and they were done!

How to keep herbs fresh

I go to the farmers market and I can’t help myself.  I buy herbs and before I can use them all up there are in a wilted, slushy mess in the crisper of my fridge.  Keith can’t stand finding the bags of mush (I don’t blame him), but, I’m trying really hard to only buy what I need, and use up the oldest first.   But, I just can’t stand the thought of not having some fresh Italian parsley when I really need it :)

So, really do you have a great way of keeping your herbs fresh?  I need help and I’m fed up!

Oh I forgot!  I even bought some Tupperware containers once that were supposed to help with this situation.  They must be packed away somewhere because they didn’t work that great.  I should dig those out and give them another try… they weren’t cheap. 

Talk to you soon,


MY Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY Project

I have found the perfect paint!  Chalk Paint!  At least it’s the perfect paint for me!  What is chalk paint you ask?  Well let me tell you!  There is no prepping required, you don’t have to be oh- so-precise, you can dribble a little bit, no special equipment is required, and the results are great!  I think I’m using too many exclamation marks here, but, this paint excites me so much I don’t care :) 

I finished painting my first piece of furniture recently and it only took me pretty well one day.  It was an old hand-me-down table that had been passed around from friend to family member and so on.  Somehow I had ended up with it, so, I thought I could re-purpose it for my “Scandinavian” room (that’s what I’m calling my spare bedroom, because it’s going to be light and airy like Scandinavia).

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

The finished table looks great.  I tried to use some of the distressing techniques that are described in the pamphlet that I received with the paint.  I didn’t know if it was the look I was going for or not, but, the final product turned out really well for my first time.  I bought the paint from as store called The Passionate Home.  The paint I bought was the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I know there are copy cat brands out there now, and, also instructions for making your own chalk paint, but, I wasn’t into that at all.  It’s all I could do to paint my own furniture, never mind actually making my own paint too!  That would have been too much!  So, the store that I bought the paint from has classes on painting with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I think many of the stores that sell this type of paint provide the same service. 

I absolutely hate painting at the best of times.  I  run out of patience for it very fast and then I make mistakes which slow down my progress and the vicious cycle of tiredness and sloppiness starts.   Do you know what I mean???  This stuff was extremely easy to paint with and the wax that I applied afterwards was also a breeze. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

Because this was such a breeze… I have so many other projects that I want to get to this fall.  I have to admit this paint is on the pricey side, so, when you add up the cost of the paint, and the wax I was spending over ninety dollars.  But, and here’s the big but… I hardly made a dent in the paint can, so, all I need to do is decide what else I want to paint in this colour and it will be well worth the cost of the paint!

There are a lot of different colours to choose from, so, I’m definitely going to buy more paint.  Also, they have a darker wax too.  I may get a darker wax to use over this same paint to give a different look to another piece of furniture. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

There are also many different ways to distress your project.  You can also paint it and not distress at all.  I saw many examples when I stopped in at The Passionate Home to buy my paint. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

I had no problems painting this table.  I was only impatient when I had to wait for the coats of paint and wax to dry before I could go on to the next step.  I couldn’t wait to see the finished result.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIYAnnie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

This was my attempt at distressing.  I didn’t go too overboard with it and I think it looks pretty.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

I’m happy with the results.  This is my spare room that I’m in the process of fixing up.  I can’t wait to paint the bed frame next.  I still need to add some picture or art to the walls and I may be getting my son to take some pictures with his fancy camera, then, getting the picture added to a canvas by this company I found online called

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY

I can’t wait to get to my next project… yeah right… I’m not a DIY kinda girl, but, because it was this easy I’m all in. 

Have you used chalk paint?  What’s your favourite DIY project?

Talk to you soon,


Lunch at a winery and then it’s back to the grind

I had a great time this weekend with a friend to mourn celebrate the end of summer with a relaxing lunch at a winery.  

I worked a night shift Friday night and came home Saturday morning and had a few hours sleep.  Woke up slurped down my coffee, showered, and got ready fast.  My friend picked me up and we drove about forty-five minutes to the Chaberton Estate Winery for lunch.  We wanted to go to the bistro at the winery for a long time together.  So, this was it!  A perfect ending to a beautiful summer in BC.

On our way there I get a text from Keith asking if I could bring him back some take out.  Huh!?  The reason he’s asking me this is that he leaves for work at three in the afternoon for his evening shift and there are no groceries in the house!  It’s hard to get shopping done when you work twelve-hour shifts!  He didn’t have time this week either to shop, so, the cupboards are pretty bare.  Plus the poor guy eats, and, he eats quite a bit.  Silly, hungry man, I guess he forgot at some point that it was my friend and I going out for lunch.  He knows we talk for hours at the best of times.  Needless to say he didn’t get any takeout :(

Lunch at a winery - Chaberton Estate Winer

I’ve been to Chaberton years ago for a tour of the winery and some wine tasting.  I’ve also had their wine at some local restaurants such as  Billy Minor Alehouse & Cafe.  This was going to be good!  Me with hardly any sleep and the two of us sipping wine on a beautiful, sunny afternoon :)

Lunch at a winery - Menu at Chaberton Baccus Bistro

We spent some time deciding on what we’d have to eat.  My friend has been to the Bacchus Bistro at the winery a few times, so, she had some recommendations. 

Lunch at a winery - Onion and Oka Quiche

I ordered the Onion and Oka Quiche… it was soooo delicious!  Yum!

Lunch at a winery - Waiter pouring water

My friend had the Spinach Salad and added prawns.  We had lots of water, PLUS some Valley Pink.  Listen to this description…

Off dry, this Rose offers aromas of ripe raspberries and hints of nectarine and strawberries with cream.

Doesn’t that sound good on a hot, sunny day.  Usually I love drier wine.  I especially love dry, red wine, but, I  enjoy lighter wines during sunny days. 

Lunch at a winery - friends

I think we spent close to three hours at the bistro.  What can I  say… we talk a lot :)

Lunch at a winery - Latte

After lunch we ordered lattes and we shared a dessert!

Lunch at a winery - Lemon Tart

This lemon tart was perfect… not too sweet and not too tart. 

Lunch at a winery - View from Chaberton patio

This is the beautiful view of the vineyard.  We’ve been so lucky to have this extended summer.  Both of us kept saying we just want to be on a perfect vacation… if only, sigh.

So, this was my last hurrah for the summer.  Now I want to get back to exercise and more vegan eating.  When I’m out I tend to have more dairy and eggs then when I’m eating at home.  I do indulge when I’m out, because, even though I truly believe a vegan diet is the healthier option I still crave some of these things.  At home the meals I make are dairy and egg-free.  For instance the dinner I made on Sunday was my Finnish meatballs with gravy, smashed garlicky potatoes and green beans.  My potatoes used to be loaded with delicious butter, and creamy milk, and the gravy used to be made with cream.  That’s no longer the case.  The whole meal was dairy-free, but, so tasty and super comforting.  You can check out why I want to eat a vegan diet on my about page.

Lunch at a winery - Sweetpea our rescue Pitbull

Today I’m doing the Grouse Grind again with my sister.  We had scheduled this months ago.  She’s busy with work and her new married life and my work schedule keeps me busy, so, we planned these dates way ahead of time and I’m glad we did.  I have to admit my exercise has suffered and has been lacking for weeks.  So our hike up the Grind today is going to be the start of my fall workout routine.  It’s going to get me going, because, the summer has been all about relaxing, indulging, and having fun.  Sweetpea and I discussed this and she agrees I need to start with a clean slate this week. 

Do you feel sad that summer is over?  Have you been dedicated throughout the summer with your workout routine and if you have been, how do you do it?

Talk you soon,


I love to clean my house!

It’s September!  The weather is slightly cooler, the days are getting shorter, and the sun doesn’t rise as early!  I feel like cleaning and organizing and getting rid of stuff clutter. 

It must be because it’s a new season and it’s time to clean up all the summer sand, and grass bits, that I’m finding all over my house.  I prefer fall cleaning to spring cleaning… I’m not sure why.  Maybe because I’m a little  lot sad that summer is over and this is my way of getting into the spirit of fall, not sure.  Once the cleaning mood strikes I’ve got to go with it, because it doesn’t strike often!  If I phone my sister and I catch her in one of her cleaning sprees, or she catches me in one of mine, we laugh because we know we don’t want to dampen the urge or distract each other from the momentum.  One of my favourite things to do is clean with essential oils.  You can find my recipe for my favourite cleaning solution here to clean my house with.

I love to clean my house

Years ago I found this website I loved so much!  It’s called Flylady.  I was feeling overwhelmed with housework, work, and young kids.  This site was fairly new then, because I’m talking ten years ago, but, I loved it.  They have such a systematic way of keeping your home organized and clean with great ideas for getting motivated and staying on top of the whole “mess”. 

Your home did not get dirty in one day, and it will not get clean in a day, either. You have been living in clutter and CHAOS for many years; you are not going to get your home clean in a day. I do not want you to crash and burn. This is why I teach you to take BabySteps. If you try to do this all at once, you are going to be mad at me, because this will be like every other “get-organized” method you have tried. I want you to take your time. As you establish one habit, you will very easily be able to add another one to your routines. – FlyLady

I highly recommend this site to give you ideas or even to follow their home cleaning plan.  They talk about doing a little bit every day, so, you never have this overwhelming clean up to deal with.  Plus they break down the home into zones, so, you only concentrate on one area at a time, so, eventually your home is sparkling clean from top to bottom!

I have to confess I generally hate housework and I wish it would just get done.  I go a bit crazy trying to understand why my kids (who are adults really) can’t clean up after themselves in the kitchen sometimes.  But, I digress… I don’t want to rant about what I don’t like to do.  I need to repeat my mantra… I love to clean my house, and again. 

I’ve considered hiring a service to clean my home for me, but, I’m very anal about how it’s done, plus we have crazy shift work happening in the house, and the other consideration is we have  a wild Pitbull rescue dog that kind of gets in the way.  I really need motivation in this!! 

I don’t have the luxury of designating certain days to housework because of my twelve-hour shifts, but, I can certainly designate day one of my days off to involve certain aspects of the “to do list”.  I’m thinking of reviewing the Flylady plan and incorporating the ideas into my cleaning, because as much as I hate housework, I love a clean house tonnes!  I feel so much more relaxed when my house is clean and free of clutter and I also feel like I can truly think clearer when everything is in its right place :)

Do you have any helpful tips for getting the housework done?  Do you have any great website or app recommendations to make cleaning more palatable??

Talk to you soon,







My favourite things August edition

Today I’ve rounded up some things I’ve really been enjoying in August that I’d like to share with you.  Some of these I’ve found on-line while I browse around the internet and some of these are tips from family and friends. 

My favourite things August edition

My favourite things

  1. Green tea, lime slices, ice cubes, and filtered water.  Let the tea bag infuse in the water as you drink and refill with water as needed leaving the tea bag in.  It makes drinking water throughout the day more palatable if you’re not super thirsty and I find it really refreshing.  Check out my post with pictures here.  This idea is from my coworkers who are drinking water like this throughout the shift at work, but, most of them are using lemon slices.  I prefer the lime. 
  2. Watching Tati on YouTube. She does excellent makeup reviews.  I love hearing about other people’s experiences with products.  It’s so helpful when I’m on the hunt for something and I’m undecided as to which brand to buy.   




  3. Watching Melissa on YouTube.  She’s a beautiful southern lady with great style.  She’s how shall I say this… more my age and not one of the super young ones that YouTube is flooded with.  She talks about skin care, makeup, clothes, hair, and all kinds of other things.  I don’t know, but, I just find her nice to listen to.  




  4. I’ve learned a great way to put mascara on so it actually builds volume and length without clumping. Some of the information I learned from GossMakeupArtist on YouTube and other tips on mascara application I read about or found on other YouTube channels.  This is how I’ve been doing it lately and it’s made a huge difference in how it all turns out: first make sure the mascara brush isn’t over-loaded with mascara and if it is either wipe some back onto the edge of the mascara tube, or wipe the wand off on a tissue.  Apply one coat of mascara to top eyelashes after you have curled them.  Now wait at least ten seconds for this coat to start drying, after the ten seconds or so apply another coat of mascara to the to the top lashes.  Keep going like this until you have the desired affect.  Allowing the mascara to dry slightly prevents globs of mascara from forming and it allows each lash to really build volume and length.  As the Goss Makeup Artist says in his video he can apply up to fifteen coats if needed and it looks good.  Why was I only applying two or three coats max??  Once your top coat is done and dry apply mascara to your bottom lashes using the same technique.  Giving the top coat a chance to dry ensures the lashes don’t smudge on your top lid while you’re applying the mascara to the bottom lashes.  This little trick has made a world of difference for me.  I never even used to bother with the bottom lashes, but, now I love applying mascara and it actually looks good!Favourite things - mascara 101
  5. Cutting the end off a tube of product.  This way you get every last bit out and not throw away good stuff!  Duh!  I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this before.  I would always squeeze the heck out of a tube to get what I thought was every last bit, but, now that I cut the end off and can actually get in there I realize I’ve been throwing out a lot!  I have a tube of foundation that I couldn’t squeeze anything more out of weeks ago, but, since I cut the tube in half I have been able to still use it.  There was way more in the sides of the tube that I definitely would have wasted!  Not any more!  I keep the cut open tubes in a ziplock bag until finished up.My favourite things
  6. Carry dental picks to make sure no food is stuck between my teeth and cause an embarrassing moment.  This product was recommended to me by my sister Liisa.  She’s always passing me one after we have dinner out somewhere :)My favourite things - dental floss sticks
  7. Cashew cheese!  I never knew it was so good!  Now I’m on the search for recipes.  I had my first taste of it this past weekend in a nice restaurant in Naramata.  My friend and I ordered a vegan appy tray and wow was it good!
  8. Almond milk whisked to a foam and poured over coffee.  Reminds me of a latte and is so delicious.  My sister Mary came over for coffee after we went on a short hike and she’s the one who suggested I try this.   I never knew it was so easy and tasted so good.  The recipe and directions coming soon!My favourite things - almond milk latte

So, that kind of covers it for now.  I hope you are enjoying a great long weekend and let’s hope September is going to be a great month!

By the way the burn on my hand has finally healed enough that I was able to go to work last week.  It took seven days for me to be able to use my right hand without the risk of opening up the wound again.  That one was a doozy!!

I’ll talk to you soon,



Container gardening in the suburbs

I love having my own garden to grow vegetables and herbs.  I love having my own blueberry bushes and apple trees to pick from when the fruit ripens.  I love the look of the plants as they grow and I anticipate the fruit they will bear when I see the little blossoms.  But, sadly I’m not really a gardener at heart. 

I’ve lived in this house for ten years now and I’ve been container gardening for most of those years.  I don’t have the luxury of a raised bed like I had in my old house, because, when we moved into this house the garden was already landscaped and established.  My back yard isn’t flat, but, tiered and is basically built on mountains of hard rock, which we’ve learned over the years is almost impossible to dig!  Hence container gardening!  I’ve grown various vegetables with limited success in huge barrels and I’ve grown a variety of herbs in planters every year. 

I don’t know if this year I just didn’t prep the soil properly in my pots, or I was away on my road trips too often and my plants weren’t watered properly, but, my yield has sucked big time!!

Container gardening - tomato on the vine

My one lonely almost ripe tomato waiting to be picked.

Container gardening - green tomato on vine

The other tomato waiting to ripen!

Container gardening - tomato planters

These are my tomato plants in the barrels.  I planted a Roma plant, two cherry tomato plants, and another one (I can’t remember the type).  There are still lots of yellow blossoms, but, the two tomatoes above is what I have so far.  Is there still hope?  I even sprinkled some Epsom salt around the plants, like I did in my old house, and I had tonnes of tomatoes.  The tomatoes love the magnesium in the salt.  I built my own bamboo cages with twine to hold up the fruit laden branches, and some chipmunk or maybe Sweetpea, has destroyed most of those. 

Blueberry plants

We have about five blueberry bushes and we did pick blueberries throughout the season, but, two of the plants produced zilch! 

Apple tree

Our one apple tree though, is looking good.  Last year I baked a pie or two from the apples from our tree and again this year it’s the shining star in our garden.

Kale plants

I have this spot at the back of my yard which was covered in strawberry plants that never yielded any many strawberries.  Either the slugs would get to the fruit or the deer would mow down the plants.  Since the forest behind our house has been torn down and construction is going on constantly right now, the deer aren’t an issue.  I pulled out the strawberry plants  and I thought I’d try some kale instead.  Now, I have to admit, I didn’t do anything to prep the soil and I planted tiny plants instead of seeds.  But, they really haven’t grown much either.  I did seed the rest of that strip of dirt with lettuce seeds and some other seeds and nothing has grown!  I remember watching an episode of Jamie Oliver’s show, Jamie at Home, where he shows his garden, and how he just flicks seeds around some gravely area, then months later he has all this beautiful lettuce of all types growing all lush and green in this seemingly unusable space… well it didn’t happen like that for me!  This episode that you can see on YouTube, Jamie at Home, shows his tomato plants.

Container gardening - mint plant

I have a few pots on my front patio for my herbs.  I usually grow parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and a few others.  I’ve tried basil over and over again with no luck.  The saddest thing about this is my mint!  Who can’t grow mint?  I was warned not to grow it in a garden because it will take over, but, to plant it in pots.  Well my mint is spindly and terrible.  Absolutely no chance for a mojito from this! 

Container gardening - thyme plant

My thyme.  Need I say more?

I’m not giving up.  In my old house, I used to have a beautiful, raised bed that Keith had built, and even me, with my lack of green thumb, I was able to grow a bounty of vegetables.  So, I’m overhauling the whole works for next year.  I’m cleaning up my pots and probably getting rid of some all together, because, the water drained out of them onto my patio leaving terrible brown stains that I now have to scrub away.  I’ll make sure I get a good soil and organic compost mix, and I’ll sow my seeds early in the season to allow for ripening, and maybe even a second planting.  The biggest thing I need to do is make sure the plants are watered properly when I’m away! 

I really want to grow what I can in my own suburban garden.  I recently mentioned that I know way too many people who are being diagnosed with cancer in their early to mid fifties.  These people who I know are fairly fit and live generally very healthy lives.  Also, working in emergency I have seen an increase in the amount of newly diagnosed cancers we are seeing in people who are my age.  My colleagues have noticed this too.  So scary!  I believe we are just carrying too high of a toxic burden and our bodies are just not able to cope. 

There is so much research now about the link between your diet and various forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, and other illness that it really pays to keep a close tab on what ingredients you put in your body.  We are already inundated with all kinds of  toxic ingredients we inhale on a daily basis or that we absorb through our skin.  If I can control any of it… I’ll definitely try to the best of my ability.

As you may know if you’ve read any of my previous posts, I’m trying to live a healthy life to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease as it runs in my family.  This is just a little step, but, I plan to grow what I can in my own yard.  It’s a small piece of the puzzle, but, every little bit counts. 

Do you do anything to minimize your toxic burden?  Aslo, any suggestions for websites or books on gardening are welcome by the way :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Talk to you soon,