Tag Archives: challenge

Shopping in my Closet

I’m the first to admit that I know very little about fashion and style. So when Emily over at Scribbles From Emily began her “Fashion 101″ series, I jumped at the opportunity to play along with the weekly challenges and hopefully learn a thing or two.

Last week I got to figure out what “style personality” I am (apparently I’m a “Classic-Natural”) and then make a polyvore collage of our personalities. I used to think that people who made fifty billion polyvore collages were crazy, but now I understand how completely addicting it can be. I had fun trying to find clothing that emulates what I actually wear. (That’s even my purse! Except mine is grey.)

This week’s homework is to shop in your own closet. So basically, you try to make new outfits out of existing clothes in a short amount of time, take photos, choose your favourite and accessorize it. I usually end up wearing the same outfits over and over, so I knew it was going to be a bit challenging for me to try new and different pairings.

Through this exercise, I realized that I am a fairly conservative dresser – not much crazy stuff over here. I also discovered that many of my clothes no longer fit as I’ve lost weight – I know I shouldn’t complain about that – so that added an extra degree of difficulty in creating outfits. I also didn’t make any casual outfits as I’ve pretty much worn almost every combination of t-shirt/sweater/jeans or yoga pants I own. Besides, it was fun to try to be creative with the part of my wardrobe I haven’t worn in a while given I’m not working an office job.

Here are the twenty outfits I managed to put together in my 30 minutes. Note to self that taking photos on my red duvet cover was probably not the best idea. Oh well!

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I decided to try (try being the operative term ;) ) to accessorize the light teal patterned skirt with teal sweater. I couldn’t decide whether I liked it better with collared shirt or t-shirt – what do you think? I added a necklace and earrings and chosen to wear my beige kitten heels. (I’m not a huge accessories person – can you tell?)


It may not be immediately noticeable, but I did pin back the sweater to make it appear more flattering for the photos. Obviously, I can’t do this in real life without it being rather weird, so do any of you have any ideas how I could wear this sweater so it isn’t super baggy?

So, are you a style maven and have no difficulty creating cute and stylish outfits or are you like me and don’t really have a clue?

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Fall Inspired Cupcakes

Rhiannon at Pink Sugar Desserts has been having a Chic Cupcake Challenge with the theme of “Fall or Autumn.” I wasn’t sure that I would be able to participate as school has been really busy, but I skipped out on studying (whoops!) and made cupcakes. I’m sure my design group will enjoy eating them tomorrow during our meeting.

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I didn’t want to make anything with pumpkin in it – I’ll have more chances to do that later on in the month. To be a bit different, I wanted to try to make a cupcake with yam in it – sounds weird, but they’re oddly delicious.

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Maple Yam Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

1 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. each potato and tapioca starch
1 tsp. xathan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2. tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 c. margarine, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
3 eggs
1 c. mashed yam
1/2 c. milk

  1. Chop yam into small pieces and boil for 20 minutes or until soft.
  2. Drain all water from yam and mash with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 400F and line a 12-muffin tin with paper cups.
  4. Sift flours, baking powder, xathan gum, salt and spices. Whisk together.
  5. Beat margarine, brown sugar and maple syrup together.
  6. Beat in eggs, yam and milk. (Note: Do NOT add one cup of milk without thinking like I did – it was an interesting experiment to drain some of the liquid off that should be avoided.)
  7. Stir in flour until just mixed and spoon into muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Place on rack to cool.

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Maple Cream Cheese Icing

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. margarine, softened
1+ tsp. maple syrup
Icing sugar

  1. Beat together cream cheese and margarine.
  2. Beat in maple syrup and 1 c. of icing sugar at a time until the desired consistency is reached. (I used just over 3 cups.)
  3. Spoon icing into pastry bag with 1M or desired tip.
  4. Ice cupcakes.
  5. Add fondant leaves if desired.

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I really haven’t baked much in the last little while and it was fun to get back into it despite the few hiccoughs I had – it happens to the worst of us.

What is your favourite fall themed baked goods?

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Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free July: Camping Food

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This month’s theme for Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free is “Make me a happy camper” hosted by Shirley at Gluten Free Easily.

What makes me a happy camper? The first thing I thought of was bannock*, so I tried to make it and it was a fail. Second thing I thought of were salad. I love salads – what is nicer on a ridiculously hot day like we’ve been having recently? I like them so much that I made not one, but two salads.

Carrot Salad

This is a classic that my family would eat frequently as I was growing up. There’s no strict rule for how much of each ingredient you use so my amounts can be changed.

3-4 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 apple, diced
Bunch of grapes, halved
Handful of raisins and/or currants
Handful of nuts (almonds/walnuts/pecans) chopped or broken into piece
Light Mayonnaise

  1. Prepare ingredients as directed and put into a large bowl.
  2. Spoon in some mayonnaise until salad is coated to desirable level.
  3. Eat right away or serve chilled.

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Vegetable Lover’s Pasta Salad

I was looking around for a good pasta salad recipe and I didn’t find any I liked as they all had token vegetables. So, I made my own salad with a sufficient amount of veggies – it’s not a salad without vegetables! (Unless of course, it’s fruit.)

3/4 package of brown rice noodle shells
1 cucumber, diced
4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 jar of canned artichokes, drained
2-3 pieces of celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Block of feta cheese, cut into small(ish) pieces

Scant 1/2 c. olive oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used garlic powder as we ran out of garlic)
lots of parsley
salt, pepper, other spices to taste

  1. Cook noodles until very Al Dente. Drain and rinse with lots of cold water.
  2. Prepare vegetables and cheese as directed and put into a large bowl. Add noodles.
  3. In a glass measuring cup, prepare the dressing and stir together with a spoon.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and toss until coated.
  5. Put salad in fridge until ready to use.

Note: I took and extra GF Freybe sausage we had cooked, sliced it and ate it with this salad for lunch today. Very tasty!

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Anyone else made any good salad lately?

*If you really want to see the bannock and have the recipe I can – just ask!

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Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free: Manly Meal

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Carol from Simply Gluten Free invited me to partake in a challenge called “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free!” that happens every month. June’s challenge is to make some “Manly” Food.

Bean’s Bison Burgers with Garlic Basil Buns

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Garlic Basil Buns

Adapted from “The Everyday Gourmet” by Willie Fitzpatrick and recommended by my mum’s shinny friends.

1/2 c. each millet, white sorghum and rice flours
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda
1/4 c. fresh chopped basil
1/2 c. cold margarine or butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 eggs
1 c.  milk
1 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Heat Oven to 325F.
  2. Line with paper or liberally grease and flour 6 jumbo muffin tins.
  3. Measure milk and add lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and basil.
  5. Grate margarine into flour mixture and mix.
  6. Combine garlic, eggs and milk and add to flour mixture.
  7. Mix well. Dough should be quite sticky.
  8. Spoon into muffin tins and cook approx. 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  9. Turn out onto cooling rack and let cool.

Bison Burgers

1 lb. lean ground bison (or beef)
2 onions slices finely diced
1 egg
salt
parsley
Cheese Slices

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form into four patties.
  3. Cook on BBQ.
  4. Once burgers are almost done, place cheese slices on patties to melt.

The Fixin’s

4 – 6 strips of bacon
Mushrooms, sliced
Tomato Slices
Pickles
Lettuce/Spinach
Whatever else you feel like

  1. Cook bacon and mushrooms in separate pans until desired doneness.

Once everything is cooked, slice buns in half, make your burger and enjoy!

Here’s my burger:

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Mr. Bean’s Burger:

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May Food and Lifestyle Challenges – Cake fit for my Mom!

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Hey, wait – I thought these are supposed to be separate challenges. Well, this time I put them together – because I’m a rebel like that.

So what did I do? I made a cake based on my mum’s favourite recipe that she’s been unable to make since moving to Calgary* and becoming gluten free, made it allergen free and surprised her (and the rest of my family) with it. Yes, it means that it is gluten, dairy, soy and egg free! Needless to say, it didn’t last very long.

Gluten, Dairy, Soy and Egg Free Happy Day Cake

1 c. almond flour
1/2 c. each rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 c. oil (I used canola – less strong tasting oil is better)
1 c. potato milk (put 4 tbsp aside for egg replacer)
1 tbsp. egg replacer mixed with 4 tbsp of the potato milk
1/2 tbsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 9″ round pans with parchment paper.
  2. Sift flours, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix in oil and milk – beat for two minutes.
  4. Add “eggs” and vanilla and beat.
  5. Pour batter into pans and bake for approximately 20 minutes.

The texture was surprisingly fluffy and moist – even better was how no one had to worry about having a negative allergic reaction to it!

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If you’re interested in the original recipe, just let me know and I will post it.

What recipe of your mum’s have you made recently?

*Calgary is really dry and at a high elevation, especially compared to the West Coast, where my mum grew up.

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