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Sunday, 29 November 2015

My review on an Ebook - Free Yourself From The Diet Language

Ayelet Kalter, a former dietician, asks the questions many may not ask in Free Yourself From the Diet Language.

Is obesity a disease, and weight loss is the solution?

That is the common belief. Yet, studies have since refuted this assumption, and from her experience she has learned that it is far from reality, but even so, this is still the given opinion among the masses.

The pursuit of thinness, the diet that accompanies it, and the failure therein has created a
language (for lack of a better term). A language of eating - the Diet Language

She brings us back to Mindful Eating.  Same and normal eating vs crash diets, and the diverse eating habits of people in general.

She takes us on her journey from being part of the diet institution business to helping people eat for their bodies.

c/o www.weddingbee.com

At the beginning of the book, I don't necessarily agree with her opinions - as I like to be fit and strong.  I like to be able to put a tent trailer up a 20 degree angled driveway without too much hassle - because I workout and feel good.

I had 6 weeks where I could not workout, and the lethargy and weakness that ensued from my lack of exercise is taking quite a bit to recover from - because I wasn't utilizing my cells to the best of their ability.

I work out and try to eat well enough so I *have* energy and feel alive.  I love having goals and taking strides in my fitness journey - I don't feel I should be shamed for having a fit lifestyle (a word the author doesn't like using).  The positives of eating well and strengthening my body FAR outweigh the negatives of being inactive and eating crap.

I eat a burger from Five Guys - I pay for it for the next day or so. I feel it in my body when I eat fries from a fast food place and immediately want to nap. Yes, I partake in these unhealthy food options, and know the ramifications of how my body will react afterwards, and know the rewarding feelings I have after I have happy endorphins from working out or having a huge arse salad I cannot finish because I've filled it with healthy bits from the fridge.

My body isn't perfect, but it's healthy and getting stronger in many ways.



She does indicate that every person has a set point which is their destined weight, and that genetics is a huge component in the tendency for obesity - and dieting in itself intensifies this tendency.

She states that 95% of people who go on a diet fail and regain the weight (if not more) within 5 years.

I am wondering what kinds of diets these are though.  If someone is eating 3000 calories a day and it's abruptly reduced to 1500 calories a day under strict supervision, then they are left on their own after a period of time (after not learning how to eat healthy meals, make healthier choices, and still not deny themselves everything - like the occasional wing night or poutine), I can totally see that happening. I feel if diets weren't called diets but changing how we eat, it would prove to be a lot more successful.

One person I was talking to recently said they've lost so much weight, but are taking so many supplements and eating so little that they can't exercise or it would be counter productive.  They are terrified of how they will react when they reintroduce Carbohydrates to their diet and that they will just gain all the weight back.  She looks awesome and is so excited about her weight loss, but it hasn't really taught her how to eat for sustainability.  Has her "nutritionist" set her up for failure?



In this book, We learn about how many live life yearning for what will be, not living in the now - this is part of the problem.  And it's a powerful statement not only for weight issues, but for life in general.  If we always live in the past or future, what is happening to our present?

I do find the first portion of this book, however, quite sad and very statistical, making me feel defensive about what I want to achieve in my fitness and health.

She does, however, goes on to describe how weight is neither a measure of health, nor a measure of success or failure...and happiness has no weight.  This in itself makes this book not just about weight, but about changing our way of thinking, about being happy, and thinking positively.

We learn about Mindful thinking - not just thinking emotionally, but using all of our senses to be fully present in the here and now.  This practice allows us to learn acceptance, being in the now, observing self, and the ability to let go.

There are several exercises in the book in order to practice mindful thinking (meditation), which she encourages us to do 15 minutes a day.

With respect to eating, we are introduced to Mindful Eating - focusing on the taste, texture, and source of the food served.  Enjoying food instead of just eating to eat whether or not we are hungry.

c/o eatwellanna.com


Overall, it is not a light-hearted how-to book, but a philosophical view on society, behaviour, and bringing more mindfulness into our lives.  If you are ready to take the steps to live in the now, not in the "what ifs," I'd recommend this book for you.  It's available in paperback or Amazon download!

***I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Jazz Age Jeopardy - My Murder Mystery Birthday Party!


Proof that Facebook advertising does work.

It was about a month before my birthday, and Husband asked what I wanted to do with my friends.  We've played pool, bowled, pubs, bars, nicer dinners, etc.

I saw an ad for Murder Mystery Dinners - and checked out the cost of going to a local venue - with the cost of diner, show, and drinks, it would cost each person WAY more than I would expect them to shell out.

So I posted an event to determine how many people would be interested in attending a murder mystery, and started researching DIY murder mysteries.

The free ones looked meh and had a lot of gaps into what I was supposed to do and how the party was supposed to run.

I found one that a woman would write in extra parts for a Doctor Who Mystery party, but the quote was a bit out of my comfort level.  And as much as *I* love Doctor Who, not all our friends know what the show is about, and it would be difficult for them to act out their parts. (this would STILL be SO cool).

I hummed and hawed between two better sites, and the pricing was sort of comparable, but Playing With Murder won out as not only did I find a discount code, but it included the number of players I had (19) with no upgrade cost.

I am SO happy I chose Playing With Murder - Jazz Age Jeopardy, as the 120 pages of paperwork involved with instructions, scavenger hunt clues, certificates, and character development was well laid out, and I was able to set the scene.



I think with DIY Murder Mysteries, you get out of it what you put into it.  Pinterest was awesome assistance with ideas for setting the stage, and I did a pretty kick arse decorating job.  I love creating, had most of the materials to create decorations, and it really did set the mood for the night.

Flapped Sequined Headbands I made
I made a Check In sign for the club, and you can see the handmade bottle labels behind me
If I hadn't had decorations and no one had dressed up as their characters, it would of been sub par and awkward.

I set up two photobooths - one upstairs, where guests who entered the Club had their picture taken with an intake sign;  the other was in the front entrance area.  I set up hand-made props, hats, and other accessories from our Halloween boxes. I found a frame for free, so people could "frame" themselves in the photos - as this looks really cool on Pinterest.  it works well in real life too :) 



Husband was doubtful that anyone would use it, but our guests did - they had a lot of fun with it and used the props, giggled, and asked people to take their pictures.  As usual, he said he doesn't know why he ever doubted my craziness and ideas.

Check In - I made everyone hold this when they put their coats away - as proof they were suspects!
Husband and me - we got goofy




The upper level was the Poker room where there had been some bloody mess from the past along with weaponry. 



Bullet holes were throughout this level and the remainder of the house - it was a Prohibition Age mobster-ridden Jazz Club in the 1920's afterall!


Pictures from the 1920's were also throughout the house - the basement level having old movie pictures - and was also the scene of the murder.


When Gared found out he was being murdered, he was SO stoked!  I loved his reaction :)  I think he was laying on the ground about 10 minutes before I got everyone together for Act II though.  Poor guy!



The main level was the main part of the club, with pom-pom banners creating a buzz and where the food and drinks were being served.




At first it was a bit awkward, as two guests arrived before 6pm, and the rest not until 6:10 and thereafter.  I was a bit nervous that people would bail out.

BUT, I created hype on the Facebook Page by posting the work being done to create the club, 1920's words, and talking about the food.  People put a LOT of effort into their costumes.  Every Single Person was dressed to the 9's and got into character. 

This made this party a great success!

I had no idea what my name was, but we found out that my name was "Narrator" - and I spoke like the main character on Schitz's Creek. And was told to use my indoor voice a few times - ha ha! 

A few people were confused about some of the clues (but 19 people = lots of talking + missing clues), but half guessed the right killer.

I think I chose the right parts for the right guests - it was pretty bang on! 

Friends having fun!


I would do a Murder Mystery every year if I could - but we want it to stay nice and fresh, so probably every 3-4 years unless there is demand for a higher frequency.

I should be a party planner - that would be SO much fun, as I'm SO into these kinds of things!

Pinterest and its ability to allow me to find & organize my thoughts and ideas is a fabulous tool in my life.  Unless I get lost in the Vortex.  Then that's just hours of my life gone away into outer Pinterest Space.  I really DO utilize the ideas I find on it though, so there is reasoning to my insanity.

Maybe we'll do Pirates next. I'd love to talk like a Pirate all night long!  Or in outer Space....or Zombies. SO many ideas!

If you're at all creative and have fun friends, I highly encourage you to check out the murder mysteries on Playing With Murder.  It's so simple, and worth the cost and effort put into creating an awesome party!



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

S-NAC - The Anti-Hangover Pill - Will it work for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms?


-         So, I've been a Guinea Pig for MANY different remedies and medicines over the last decade - moreso over the last 3 years.


picture c/o facts.randomhistory.com


Pine Tree oil extract? Four different Pro Biotics? Non-FDA-Approved Remedies? Chemically Prescribed pills from mainstream Doctors? Acupuncture?

Yes to all of the above.

My saving grace for finding exhaustion and immune system relief has been best received via capsules. They don't taste, and go down quickly.

Liquids are generally gross, followed up with a shot of Baileys to get rid of the foul tastes. Powders are a hit and miss for taste - my favourite is the Pro Biotic that tastes like Cotton Candy (HMF Superpowder). The worst was the Pine Tree extract. Even double bagging it left our cupboard stinking for a few months after I threw the rest out.

My Naturopathic Doctor (ND) knows my body will reject vitamins and remedies within 4-6 months, so I'm never on the same treatment plan. I usually finish off one remedy before taking the next step.

Compared to 2 (3?) years ago, I am SO much healthier and awake - a productive member of society. But I also work through debilitating exhaustion and listless sleeps on a regular basis. I no longer nap weekdays at lunch. And I'm working on not napping on weekends so I can get a full night sleep. My Sleepbot has only shown one night in the last 30 to which I was still and quiet all night long. God, I felt great the next morning. I even remembered things!

I started chatting with Eddy from Vitalitus with respect to the S-NAC pills. He's even been kind enough to give my readers a discount code for the remainder of 2015!!  See the bottom of my post for the details! 

Why?

Here's what it does:

- Decreases Inhibitions. Boost your intelligence

- Be fun, not sloppy

- Not a BS Multivitamin (I love his verbiage!)

- Take 2-4 Capsules prior to drinking (20 capsules per bottle)

- Made in USA & FDA Registered

Well...I'm sloppy even when I'm not drinking - I have a lot of brain fog, troubles remembering steps to basic life skills (at times), words, what I'm doing. Not the normal forgetful, but scary forgetful that I'm terrified some days I'm getting Alzheimers. If my brain is like this now, how about 10, 20, or 30 years from now?


I used to be really smart. And now I remember sh*t.

Glasses + Grad Hat = SMART

What IS S-NAC?

"Vitalitus® S-NAC® is a nootropic antioxidant formulation that can help improve focus and memory while decreasing the detrimental effects of alcohol. S-NAC® gives your body the raw materials it needs to naturally produce glutathione, an important liver enzyme. At the same time, S-NAC® increases glutamatergic neurotransmission, countering alcohol's effects on the glutamate system and consequent memory and concentration impairment. Unlike DHM, however, S-NAC® does not impede alcohol's effects on GABA. This results in the normal decrease in inhibition and feelings of relaxation that come along with imbibing, just none of the sloppiness. "


Eddy  was awesome enough to send me a small supply of S-NAC to see how it affects my day-time alertness.

And if it makes me smarter, I'll be a genius again!

The capsules are a bright Pylon Orange, and seem thicker than other capsules. But they go down quite well with a cup of water or milk.

There is no aftertaste, and they do not smell.

Day One I took a pill at 6am and again at 12pm - I didn't nap, and survived the day until 9pm when I zonked out.

I had a bad sleep (again) and woke up multiple times at night.

Day Two I followed Day One's protocol, and had the same results.

BUT I didn't get dozy during the day OR feel the need for a nap.

I felt alert and highly motivated and excited about my daily tasks. I am assuming this is the effect of the pills and not a placebo effect.


Day Three (one pill at 6am) started with rush hour traffic, two accidents to drive through, and one major lane on the highway suddenly closed. A crappy drive normally causes me to almost fall asleep multiple times on my way to my destination and drink 3 coffees with no effect or alertness for the remainder of the day.


I ended up having one coffee, and drinking water the rest of the day. My mind felt slower - not in a bad way, but a more focused way (if that makes sense). Normally my mind jets from thought to thought and I find over time, I have troubles focusing on one thing at a time.

I did, however, have to have two migraine pills at about 9am - I am unsure if this is just due to traffic, or having one S-NAC pill - time will tell with this symptom.

By after-lunch time, I'm starting to feel a bit of my after-lunch slump. This happens every day.  I'm not as exhausted as normal, but not sure if that's due to the S-NAC or having a chicken breast for lunch.  My doctor keeps hounding me to eat more protein at lunchtime to prevent the Slump from happening (this is where I spend 2 hours after lunch just wanting to hide under my desk and nap, or where I nap at home on the weekend).
Meme c/o happyholistichealth.wordpress.com


Day Four, I will bring a container of pills with me to take one at 11, so I can see if it works at totally deterring the Slump.  This would make the S-NAC effects similar to the last prescription pill I took back in the day (about 9 or 10 years ago until it became ineffective after 6 months and the doctors failed to change my prescription).

This day also holds yet another night where I wake up mid night (3:30am) - but this time don't get back to sleep. At all.  My head racing and my White Noise App just isn't helping me "turn off" my mind.  

So, I take a pill at 6am, and another after lunch.  I survive on two coffees, my eyes don't hurt from fatigue, and I don't feel the need for a lunch time nap, as I normally do when I wake up WAY too early.  I'm not perfectly alert, but much moreso than I usually am when this happens.  


And I'm able to drive home AND work out - which first thing in the morning when I actually got out of bed to go to work, I did not anticipate doing, as I felt I probably would be too wiped by the day to exert more energy once I got home.


Lately when I have these disturbingly early wake-up hours, I have Husband drive to work and from work (usually I'm the driver, as I drop him off at work, and we don't understand why people would change driving seats and not just do a kiss and drop - it's all about efficiency!).

This didn't happen after two S-NACs.

It's nice to actually have real bursts of energy like a Mario Brothers Power Up.  I'm not feeling quite as lethargic as I normally do, despite my current awful sleeping patterns.

meme c/o awesomegeekstuff.com




My first test with S-NAC and alcohol consumption was my Birthday Party - I didn't drink in excess, but was hosting a murder mystery, thus did not have a lot of time to eat.  So not really eating + drinking over a 5 hour period can add up.

I woke up with no headache, and actually energy to go to my Yoga class in the morning - SWEET!

I wasn't the fastest in my class and a bit tired, but not to the same extent as I normally would be after some drinking and staying up late the previous night. 

Overall, S-NAC really does help give me that extra boost.  Is it perfect, no.  Does it help me concentrate better, yes. Does it reduce my daytime fatigue, yes.  Does it help me feel better the day after having a few pints, oh yes!

I'll definitely be keeping S-NAC in my vitamin/nutrient cabinet for future prevention of post fun-night craft beer tastings and those days that I had an extra awful sleep and need to refocus my brain.

Stock up on S-NAC for the Holiday and Christmas Party Season so you are able to fully function during and after the festive fun - you won't regret it!

Eddy from Vitalitus has been gracious enough to provide you (my readers) with a discount code for S-NAC:  use the code ZOMBILND for a 50% discount.


This will work on both Amazon and Vitalitus.com. the code will stay active from today at 12:00 pm Pacific time through 12/31/15 11:59 pm.


***I received this product at a discounted rate or free promotional offer, in exchange for my honest unbiased review. All opinions are my own***










Saturday, 21 November 2015

My First Contest - Alterre Shoes Holiday Launch Giveaway!







Welcome to my First Giveaway Launch Hosting Event!

How exciting is a giveaway just in time for the holidays?!?!

Alterre is an innovative line of modular shoes for the modern woman.

With their patent pending technology, you can transform your shoes with over 65 combinations.

Change your look day to night or pack light for that next vacation.

These shoes are as versatile as you are.

With Alterre it's a breeze!

http://www.alterreny.com

How exactly do they work?



If you ever had trouble just packing one shoe or finding a comfortable go-to for all your outfits, this giveaway is for you.

One lucky girl will get her pair before Christmas (or be gifted it by her loving beau or beauty)!

What you can win:

Black Heel starter kit (VALUE $180) -
- Includes: a pair of black suede mules, mist grey Jackies, and evening sky Marilyns with a handy travel bag for the look




What else is great about Alterre?
  • All of their shoes are designed in our New York Studio and made according to fair labor laws in Brazil.
  • They donate 5% of the proceeds to the women's abuse shelter Restore NYC, so you get to do good while you look good.

How do you Enter this Fabulous contest? 
  • Sign up on the widget at the top of this post
  • Follow Alterre on Instagram
  • Tweet About this giveaway! 

It’s THAT simple!  Make sure you complete all *3* steps in order to quality!

Cheers to future contests and giveaways!


***Powered by BrandBacker


Portable Heater Review - Nikko Heater Canada


Our Bird Room is chilly in the winter – I'm not quite sure why, but we always have a heater on at night during the winter.

Meme c/o www.memegen.com


Safety is obviously of importance, as our parrots are precious family members!
We normally get the inexpensive regular electric floor models that MAY last one to two seasons at the most due to them getting clogged up with feathers and fluff, being a pain to clean out, and the moving parts.

I received the Nikko Ceramic Heater from Amazon and was happy with its sleek design, and stoked that there is an easily removable (and cleanable) filter at the back!  This feature is great for us, as I will be able to clean it regularly, creating better airflow throughout the heater, and it will allow for a longer lifespan! 



It is so quiet, my husband didn't even know it was on in our bedroom (to test it outside of our parrots’ airspace), just that the room was MUCH warmer than it had been an hour earlier.  This was on the lowest heat setting! 

I set the heater up overnight in the bird room the last few nights, and it has been fabulous.  Low sound, the floor in front of the heater no longer gets hot (as compared with our electric cheapo heater), and the heat is more evenly distributed more efficiently.

This should definitely help with our heating bills in the upcoming winter – which can get as cold as -40 degrees Celsius!

Things I like:
  • It is very portable
  • It has a shut off if it tips over (we have two rambunctious dogs),
  • Quiet
  • Evenly disbursed heat
  • Easily Cleanable filter in the back
  • Multiple settings
  • UL Certified in Canada and the USA (very important feature – I work in the insurance industry and it has made me quite paranoid!)
  • Efficient

Things I dislike
  • Nothing so far – its features alone exceeds those of the heaters we have had in the past

meme c/o vaping360.com


The technical aspects of the Nikko Ceramic Heater:
  • UL Certified in Canada & the USA
  • 1500W
  • 3 X Heat Setting : Low, Med, High / 1X Fan Speed / Power Protection Light / Automatic Thermostat
  • Overheat Thermal Protection
  • Plus the variables I mentioned above
    If you have a cold room or need to take the chill out of the air efficiently, I’d highly recommend purchasing this space heater!  It's currently on sale at a steal for $34.95 - you won't find something at this pricepoint and quality elsewhere! 
    ***I received this product at a discounted rate or free promotional offer, in exchange for my honest unbiased review. All opinions are my own***

Friday, 20 November 2015

Face Cream Review - NaturalScience Anti-Aging Cream with Matrixyl

What girl doesn't love face creams?

Without them, my face feels dry, and to be honest, I'm not getting any younger, so would like to still be carded at the LCBO and Beer Store while I still have a fighting chance!





What makes this Anti-Aging Moisturizing Skin Cream different?


- It makes your skin "act younger" and can be used as a day or night cream. I'm using it as a day cream, as I have some nice night creams that I like to use already.

- The Matrixyl 3000 ingredients have a proven record of increasing collagen production for smoother & firmer skin.
- This cream is for all skin types

- It is cost effective and convenient - a little bit goes a long way



My Initial Reactions:

The container is a pump bottle - sweet!  And one pump was enough to cover my face - therefore should suffice for others too.

A lot of the ingredients I was unsure of - but it has Peppermint and Green Tea Oil - two stimulating ingredients!

The cream has a nice peppermint smell to it - so if that's not your thing, this product probably isn't for you.

Memo c/o imoviequotes.com


The cream goes on smoothly, and day one tingled quite a bit for a minute or so.  Activation from the Peppermint (I'm assuming). 

Once the lotion has dried, my skin feels SO soft - I'm assuming this is how soft a baby's behind is. 

I'm not touching a baby to find this out.



Within an hour of my initial application, the redness (that was on my face before using the lotion) disappeared from my make-up free weekend face.

By Day Two, The tingling only lasted a few seconds - I think my skin is used to it now!

I can apply makeup within 5 minutes of applying the lotion to my face - just enough time to get dressed and my hair done after my shower - time is of the essence for me!

By the end of the week, I'm noticing that my normal morning redness is less noticeable and more even than it was previously.  My skin continues to feel soft and just really quite nice to touch! 

At no point has my skin felt clamy, dry, too moist, or tight - this is tough to find with a lot of moisturizers out there. 

The fine lines around my eyes are disappearing as well - I feel using NaturalScience Anti-Aging Cream in conjunction with Even Glo Vitamin C Serum beforehand has truly made a fabulous effect on my face. 

Maybe that's why I got carded a few nights ago at the LCBO??  SWEET! The lady looked shocked when she saw my date of birth, and I gushed many thank yous to her.


By the end of my first week using NaturalScience Anti-Aging Cream with Matrixyl, Here's my overall analysis:

- I'm satisfied
- My normal morning redness is a lot less noticable and even with my skin tone
- My face feels super soft
- I got carded at the liquor store at 36 years old without any makeup on (so I look at least 25 years old or younger)


***I received this product at a discounted rate or free promotional offer, in exchange for my honest unbiased review. All opinions are my own***

Friday, 13 November 2015

The Artsy Side of Crystal

Better late than never - and a little bit refocus not just on awesome products I have been given the opportunity to review, but focus on life in general.



Anyone who really knows me knows that I'm creative.



If people don't know me, they're amazed by my awesome creations.

I may be Clark Kent by day...but my true passion is being artsy!



Here's my whirlwind of September/October creations.



The Stairwell Family Tree

We painted most of the house at the beginning of September.



After painting, Husband requested a tree in the stairwell.  So I painted  a tree covering 3 walls. Then the birds. Later on, the pups.


There are also 2 leaves on the tree, as I couldn't decide if I wanted leaves on it or not - they in turn represent Husband and myself.

This was all Freehand.


The dogs...I couldn't finish these until I knew Fynn would be ok
The dogs, The Tree, The Parrots
Merlin & Rosco - Rosco even has fangs
Stryder doing his dance
Calvin & Hobbes zipping down the stairs (covering up where Fynn broke the wall 3 times)

Halloween

I won the Costume contest FINALLY at work.  I've been the Tardis, a Zombie Pirate, Parrot, and this year - Dragon!  Shazam!


My boss is also awesomesauce and let me decorate the workplace like a crime scene.  It was a lot of fun, and made me thankful Pinterest wasn't around when we got married.  


We forced all team members to wear silly hats and take Prison pictures to post on our wall.  Everyone got a laugh out of it, and people really came out of their shells :)

Handprints and writing were mainly myself and my boss - we're a bit crazy. Weapons and Evidence Tags were hand crafted by moi.

I'm in the Pen!

Merlin and me - our annual Halloween Selfie. Awesome 5 minute mesh makeup for dragon scale effect!
YES! I finally had a reason to make the Dexter Cupcakes!  Handmade Sugar Glass and all :)
My co-worker was Spaghetti and Meatballs - I was heating her up. Such a fun day!

I also created Christmas gifts for family - we're having it a month early with my family as my parents leave for Amurica on December 1st this year.  So weird.  


What's next on the creative list?  


Crystal's Epic Murder Mystery Party at the Cat's Meow Jazz Club - Prohibition Age debauchery will ensue!

Photobooth with props there will be!



Sunday, 8 November 2015

Chickadvisors MasterCheeseClass - I Heart Cheese

So I know cheese isn't very good for my daily fat content.  I try not to splurge often.

I, however, was one of the 100 or so lucky ladies to be chosen to be part of Chickadvisor's Master Cheese Class held today in Toronto - I didn't even have to leave my living room/kitchen in Ottawa for it, thanks to the power of You Tube.

I received a snazzy apron, ingredient list, and recipe cards earlier last week, so I could keep organized and clean throughout the afternoon



My goods!

Sporting my newest apron (last one I got 20 years ago from Dairy Queen as Cake Decorator)

In a whirlwind afternoon, I am in a cheese coma!

Some of us were fortunate enough to spend the afternoon (either in class, or like me, via You Tube) with Christine Cushing, chef & cookbook author.

Frankly. I love cheese.  I've cut it out of most of my diet, but decided to give ChickAdvisor's awesome opportunity a go!

I cooked from home in a whirlwind, and whipped up 3 totally new recipes to add to my culinary skills - Fondant, Souffle, and Gnudi.

First time whipping eggs.  That sounds bad.

Soufflé ready for the oven!

Soufflé before it fell (which Christine says is normal - even hers fell afterwards)
The Souffle was created with mainly Canadian Aged Cheddar - I purchased St. Albert, as it was the best price, and locally sourced.  Eggs, flour, fresh herbs, and a few other ingredients one should already have in their house, and voila.

This was the first time I'd ever whipped egg whites, so I wasn't really sure what to expect...until it happened, and the egg while started to resemble whipped cream.  I poured it into the cheese mixture, and baked it for about 25 minutes.  I think it could of stayed in another few minutes, but it still tasted delightful.

I cooked along with Christine as best as I could (I didn't have my ingredients pre-prepared).  Successfully, as everything tasted fabulous!

I did half size recipes, as there are only two of us in the house - I was able to freeze most of the Gnudi for a later date - I inhaled four of them, as Husband fell asleep during this part of the class.

Mixing up the Gnudi

Still don't know what Gnudi is other than Good!

The Ricotta Gnudi is a type of dumpling - and with the fresh herbs, tasted fabulous and was SOOOOO filling. I'd make these again - and will, considering I put 8 of the freshly rolled Gnudi into the freezer already.  The parsley sauce took about 5 minutes to make - and again so simple to create.

Even Merlin, our African Grey, joined in the fun!

Merlin can cook too!


I'd love a different kind of cooking class via ChickAdvisor - I learnt a lot of new cooking skills, and Christine had a lot of useful tips.

The Fondant was the simplest, and I could literally make this in less than 10 minutes if I wanted to, and serve with fresh veggies and breads - I used a melba-type toast bread that we already had, and it was a hit.  Husband and I finished it in less than 5 minutes.  Gideon, the dog, took his broccoli piece, licked off the cheese and left the broccoli - what a goof!

You can follow Christine on Twitter & Instagram @ccfearless 

For now, I'm going to roll away and finish that glass of wine I poured...because wine was necessary in the Fondant recipe ;) That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!

I think I did this right...

Fondant - SO simple and scrumptious!