Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Writing for YQG Rocks!





I am really excited to be writing for this awesome local publication!


YQGrocks is a Windsor-Essex music, entertainment, fashion, food and lifestyle website.


Check out my review of "Won't You Be My Neighbor."




#FiveOneNine #inthe519 #YQG

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary!


Dear William,

I had been waiting so long to find Somebody and when we met, you made me believe that anything was possible. I opened up my heart and you found a comfy place to nuzzle inside.  To this day, never has a false promise come across your lips. You are more magical to me every day.

Happy 10 year Anniversary, I love you so much!


Music credit: Somebody (Dominatrix Long Kernfusion Remix) - Depeche Mode


Monday, July 16, 2018

How To Keep A Magician Fed For Days

Although magicians don’t always share secrets with their audience, I’m going to let you in on a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that you’ll want to tell everyone about!

We lead busy lives and if you’re a professional magician, the last thing you want is to fumble while dazzling your audience with a card trick or feeling fuzzy-minded performing a spectacular illusion. It takes passion for the craft, skill and countless hours of practice to perfect the art of magic.  Trust me, I know, as I have been with my magical man for almost a decade now.

Creating balanced meals that will fuel your body is important and so this is the version I do. It’s healthy, fairly simple to make and lasts for several days in the fridge. Of course,  you can tweak it to meet your culinary tastes and dietary requirements.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled or unpeeled (whatever you like) and then quartered with a knife. 
  • 2 cups (or more!) of assorted vegetables—I use a standard frozen vegetable mix often, as it’s more cost effective. You can use fresh veggies, but you will need to saute those separately in another pan.
  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef, pork, turkey, veal, or chicken. Whatever is on sale, that’s the meat of choice for this dish. *Vegetarians/Vegans – you can of course use veggie/vegan meat replacement and just follow the instructions as you normally would to cook it.
  • Seasonings of choice. Ex. oregano, basil, garlic, curry, turmeric, chives, parsley, sage, etc...

WHAT TO DO:

1 Boil the potatoes: Place washed, peeled (or unpeeled, if you like the skin on) and quartered potatoes in a large pot and cover with enough water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender (about 20 minutes). Use a timer.

2.  In a frying pan, add your meat of choice and cook it up (you don’t want to see ANY pink my non-veggie friends!) Make sure to add whatever sauce and seasonings you want.

3. Revisit your mash potatoes. Use a fork to pierce for tenderness. You want them nice and soft so they will be easy to mash. When the potatoes are done cooking, remove them from the pot, drain the water, and place them into a bowl. Add butter or margarine, any seasonings of choice, and then mash away with a fork or potato masher until they are the consistency you want.  Set aside.

4. Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Wait for that oven beeeeeeeeep!

5.  Get out a large baking casserole dish (approx 8 x13), and pour the meat mixture on the bottom. Add a heaping amount of frozen veggies or your mixture of sauteed vegetables. Then spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top.  *Feel free to grate your favourite cheese or cheese alternative, if you’re looking for a richer cheesy potato flavour once it finishes cooking.

6. Bake in the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes. I like to set my oven to broil for the last few minutes to get the potatoes a little extra brown.

7. Take out the dish WITH oven mitts and let cool down for a couple minutes. Cut into pieces and serve!


Straight out of the oven!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pitch Perfect: Make The Media Want You Review

Front cover: A short read (66 pages) so that is something to keep in mind.

Every industry has their own lingo and whether you're a multi-million dollar corporation, a small-business owner, or somewhere in between, it's important to know what you want to say and learn how to say it well.  There are so many methods of madness out there, as I like to call it.  Some ways work and others fail miserably. It can be an exhausting process and let's face it, constant rejection can be quite bruising on the ego.

If you are seeking advice from the movers and the shakers in the media biz that have been there, done that, and truly want to set you up for success, then you'll want to get to know Lisa Brandt, author of Make The Media Want You.

This guide cuts out a lot of the bs and tells you what works and what doesn't in various categories, from approaching charities to getting that nail-biting on-air interview. You'll get plenty of real world examples too and don't doubt for a second how important first impressions can be whether by e-mail, phone, or in-person.  "If I have to do a forensic audit of a document to figure out its meaning, I will simply move on." - Lisa Brandt.

With her free-thinker writing style, you're getting a mixture of professional advice and simply common sense. Lisa gives you swift reminders of the do's and dont's of how to make your "pitch" a memorable one.  

Back cover: Make The Media Want You by Lisa Brandt


Visit her website at: The Voice of Lisa Brandt
Pre-order Lisa's book on Kindle or Paperback here: Amazon.ca OR Amazon.com 

Disclaimer: I was sent this guide, compliments of Lisa Brandt, in exchange for an honest review!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Quench Your Thirst: Flow Alkaline Spring Water Review

I was able to purchase Flow's Cucumber & Mint Flow Alkaline Spring Water, thanks to being part of Social Nature. #gotitfree #trynatural

Below you'll find my honest review!


2 - 500 ml tetra pak cartons of Flow Water

I really like the tetra pak cartons, as they are easily recyclable. The twist off plant-based cap was easy to open, unlike some other water product caps that can be rather difficult. It also was a good size that fit well into my purse and in the cup holder of the car for travelling.

The water had a very heavy cucumber taste, however I couldn't taste one drop of the mint flavouring. This was a bit of a disappointment as it clearly mentions the mint flavour!

I like that there was no added sugar or any type of sweeteners. However, reading further, the "alkaline" spring water claim felt like a trendy marketing label to justify a higher price point, as there is no evidence of real health benefits from drinking alkaline water.

Overall, it was a refreshing drink, especially now that summer is in full-swing and any form of hydration is essential. I did like the cucumber taste, or rather "essence" as they called it,  but wish it could have been toned down because I couldn't drink something that tasted so cucumber-y  on a regular basis, especially if there was no mint flavour combined with it.

Some of the other Flow flavour combinations look intriguing, so it may be worth scoping out another flavour to try, especially the watermelon + lime.

Flow Water (this particular flavour - Cucumber + Mint) gets 2/4 Muse's

Have you tried any of the Flow water products? If so, drop me a line and tell me what flavour you tried out and would you buy it again!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

NO Whey! Review on Powerbar Plant-Protein Bars


Just a few things to mention before I start into the review.

Fat often gets a bad wrap, but we need certain types in our diet. Usually it’s the trans fats and saturated fats that many tend to stay away.  Then there are the “healthy” fats, like avocados, which can be an acquired taste and taste great whether tossing a few slices on bread, in a salad, or blending up to make guacamole for dipping veggies and another snacks.  Careful though, if you have a sensitive digestive system, eating too many per day will give you uncomfortable bloating.

Next up, protein. Most of us probably think we are getting plenty, but chances are, we are not getting enough. One main source is meat. For ethical or even health reasons, as well as the higher costs of purchasing good quality meats, this is not a top choice for many people.  Another big source is beans. You know the tune, “Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot.”  Pinto, kidney, chickpea, lima, etc... These are all excellent sources of protein, but not everyone can tolerate huge amounts in their diet.

Next we have our friend, fiber, which includes: soluble and insoluble. You can read about the differences with the links I provided.  Fiber is your digestive system’s best friend! You can get it in meats, grains, fruits, various vegetables and other sources of proteins, like nuts and seeds (especially flaxseed).

Then we have sugar, which I think we could all use less of overall. If you look at a lot of different protein bars, you’ll see they do contain a lot of good ingredients, but it is surprising to know how much sugar some of them have.

On with the review! Xy Stuff sent out 3 flavours of Powerbar Plant Protein bars to try out, in return for honest feedback! Thank you so much guys. :)

I know how much Bill loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, so I was quite excited to have him give his thoughts on that one.

The generous amount sent! #gotitfree

These bars have the following labels, if you care about them:

-No artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners 
-Non-GMO Project Verified
-Gluten-free
-No soy ingredients (they use rice and pea protein) 


I dig my cute planner and often I am snacking at my desk doing work. :) 

*Just so I don’t repeat myself – all had good amounts of protein and fiber, just wish less than 10 grams of sugar per bar!

  • Almond, sea salt and dark chocolate - It had a good chewy texture and no aftertaste. A perfect on the go snack that will keep you filled. I really like the sea salt and chocolate taste.
  • Dark chocolate peanut butter  -  There was no aftertaste, but even with the tempting combo of chocolate and peanut butter, it still tasted quite bland. I would have enjoyed a more chocolate and/or peanut butter flavour.  With the high amount of sugar, you’d think it would be sweeter. Bill was very underwhelmed by it.
  • Cashew, salted caramel and dark chocolate -  the holy grail of deliciousness! They sure got this flavour spot on with the salted caramel. It has a nice chewy texture, no aftertaste and satisfied any desire for anything sugary the rest of the day.

Overall, these protein bars have some merit. They definitely keep you full and have a good amount of nutrition.  The price is comparable with many other brands. On their site it is approximately $30US for 15 bars. You can find them cheaper on other online shopping sites. The big deal breaker is the amount of sugar at 10 grams per bar.

The biggest test for me was having to wait at the specialist for over 3 hrs. Side note, I had a good appointment and will blog about that later. I made sure that I had a cashew/salted caramel and dark chocolate bar with me and I only started to get a bit of an appetite after I left. So it definitely curbs those afternoon hunger pains – but in no way would replace a meal, at least in my opinion.


PowerBar Plant-Protein Bars gets 3/4 Muse's.

What kind of protein/nutritional bars do you grab? Leave me your comments below or feel free to email me!  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Garden 2018

Note: Rocks look darker in the first pic because I took the photos at different times!
Still though, you get the idea. ;)
Well here we are into June! Sorry I haven't blogged very much. I have a lot going on and every time I sit down to write, I just draw a blank of where to start.  I have topics I want to write about and give my readers some updates, but i'm not quite in that mode. I think we've all been there, so I appreciate the patience and understanding.

On another note, here is the start of our little front garden. Flowers don't last, the squirrels and other creatures seem to bite off the bulbs right away and so it's a futile effort. So we're sticking with the garden o'rocks and just added some greenery. This flower/plant in the middle (transported from the large planter) is going to get taller than the mirror. lol Still nothing has bloomed though from it, so i'm not sure if anything will.

We put in some new decorative fencing as well, since the other ones pretty much were falling apart and Bill thought the mirror would add something unique, which I was uncertain about, but it looks great, so I shall never doubt him again. Hehehe...

Also added our "Serendipity" slate in the center that I made years ago. I love the sound of the word and on a spiritual plane, the meaning of it has really guided my life. It's an important piece in my puzzle. I think I want to change the sign to create something prettier, but for now, it works.

Our garden, including the little shrubbies with coloured glasses (Bill is in the blue and of course, I am in the purple!) seem to be getting a lot of positive comments from neighbours and other people passing by. You always know which place is ours!

Got any gardening tips that will make our spot pop? Leave comments below or you can always e-mail me!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Celebrations in Colour

Mother's Day is coming up and my Dad's birthday is literally the next day, so I thought I would surprise them both with these intricate art designs that I have spent a lot of time and effort colouring.

Thank you to Bill for making the sheets fit properly in the frames!

*Update: They loved them!


Monday, April 23, 2018

Crazy Beautiful Life

Hearing this song and lyrics could not have come at a more pivotal time.

I am really shocked that this particular track doesn't have more views because it is achingly beautiful on so many levels.

🎶Whatever you got, whatever you give, you make it a beautiful life to live.🎶
Thomas Hien & Scott Chesak - Crazy Beautiful Life
from "Why Him?" soundtrack.