Thursday, February 20, 2020

It's Hoodie-Hoo Day

Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day

When : Always on February 20

On this winter day, people go out at noon, wave their hands over their heads and chant "Hoodie-Hoo".

It is a day to chase away winter blahs, and bring in spring. After all, everyone in the northern hemisphere is sick and tired of winter at this point and a little crazy being cooped up inside all winter and not seeing the sun.

Get out there, hoodie-hoo, and take a photo to share.

Did you know? Hoodie Hoo Day is a copyrighted holiday. It was created and is provided, courtesy of the great folks at

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Broccoli Soup

Quantity : 5 servings
Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 30 min
330 calories/serving

2 potatoes, chopped into 3 cm pieces 400 g
3 1/2 cups broccoli, cut into florets 420 g
1 1/2 carrots, chopped into 3 cm pieces 150 g
1 zucchini, chopped into 3 cm pieces 130 g
1 1/2 stalk celery, chopped into 3 cm pieces 110 g
1 1/2 onions, chopped into 3 cm pieces 300 g
5 cups chicken broth, low-sodium 1.25 L
5 tsp butter, unsalted 24 g
5 tsp olive oil 25 mL
5 slices bread, whole wheat, for the croutons 180 g
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, for the croutons 38 mL
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]

Before you start

A blender or food processor will be very useful to purée the soup.


Prepare the vegetables. Peel the potatoes. Coarsely chop all the vegetables except the broccoli into uniform 3 cm pieces. Cut the broccoli into florets.
Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add all the vegetables except the broccoli and cook over medium heat for about 10 min with occasional stirring. Add the warm broth and cook an additional 8 min, uncovered.
Meanwhile, prepare the croutons.
Add the broccoli stalks, which take longer to cook, then add the florets 2 min later. Cook, uncovered, 10 min maximum until the potatoes are cooked and fork-tender. Don't overcook the broccoli, so that the soup will maintain a nice green colour.
Purée in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Portion out into bowls, add the croutons and serve.


The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer.

2020 Craft Room Organization Challenge ~ #8 Paper Cosmetics

How does it feel to know we are nearly done?  Your crafting space should be looking a lot better by now.  I bet you aren't opening 15 different containers while trying to find one item.

Challenge #8


It is time to organize our "paper cosmetics": paints, inks, embossing powders, mists, and other products that add a little something special to our pages.  If you do mixed media art I bet your stock of paper cosmetics is pretty substantial.  Let's get started . . .

SORT: first go through each of these items and make sure your colours haven't expired.  Are ink pads still juicy?  Are lids still intact? Do paints still mix together when shaken? Are your chalks still intact enough to use?  Sort all of your paper cosmetics into TOSS, KEEP, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Throw out the toss items.  Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them immediately in your garage sale box.  Arrange for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into categories that make sense to you.

CONTAINERIZE: Inks last longest when stored horizontally, upside down (that's why Stampin' Up ink pads flip that way!) on a shelf, in a drawer, or maybe a cassette tape holder?  Paints could be stacked on a narrow shelf, on a tiered rack, in spice racks, etc.  Embossing powders, chalks and other cosmetics could be stored in well-labeled drawers.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your paper cosmetics away where they belong.

Please share your progress on our Facebook group

Journal Prompt 19 Feb 2020 ~ Parrot

Today's Writing Prompt: Parrot

If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say?

Image result for talking parrot

"Relax, I'll do the dishes."

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Journal Prompt 18 Feb 2020 ~ Dessert

Today's Writing Prompt: Dessert

What's your favorite dessert?

Image result for cheesecake

I have two favourite desserts -- ice cream and cheesecake -- just about any flavour you can think of.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Book Review: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

Image result for nothing to envy

Wow.  Nothing to Envy:  Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick is a very shocking and interesting book.  Demick is a journalist who has covered North and South Korea for the LA Times since 2001.  She tells the story of several different families trying to survive in a devastated North Korea.  She uses excellent sources for her information to make the book dramatic, factual and realistic.  Demick creates an amazing connection between the reader and the people she is writing about. 

"In NOTHING TO ENVY, Demick follows the lives of six people: a couple of teenaged lovers courting in secret, an idealistic woman doctor, a homeless boy, a model factory worker who loves Kim Il Sung more than her own family and her rebellious daughter.
"Demick spent six years painstakingly reconstructing life in a city off-limits to outsiders through interviews with defectors, smuggled photographs and videos. The book spans the chaotic years that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, the devastating effects of a famine that killed an estimated twenty percent of the population, and an increase in illegal defections.
"While many books focus on the North Korean nuclear threat, NOTHING TO ENVY is one of the few that dwells on what everyday life is like for ordinary citizens. With remarkable detail, Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime in the world today. She gives a portrait as vivid as walking oneself through the darkened streets of North Korea."

"Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
"Taking us into a landscape most of us have never before seen, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, in which radio and television dials are welded to the one government station, and where displays of affection are punished; a police state where informants are rewarded and where an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life.
"Demick takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors. Through meticulous and sensitive reporting, we see her six subjects—average North Korean citizens—fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we experience the moments when they realize that their government has betrayed them.
"Nothing to Envy is a groundbreaking addition to the literature of totalitarianism and an eye-opening look at a closed world that is of increasing global importance."

Journal Prompt 17 Feb 2020 ~ Visit

Today's Writing Prompt: Visit

If you could visit anyone on the planet right now, who would you go see?

Why do I have to pick only one???  I would rather plan a big party and invite everyone I know . . .