All the Stuff I’ve Thrown into my Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti is my go-to meal. I open the cupboards and literally unload every unused vegetable – with generally great results. I thought I might share some of the strange things that I’ve thrown into a pot of spaghetti sauce.
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Every sauce starts the same – ground meat (beef, pork, or turkey), diced tomatoes (canned or fresh), chopped onion, and lots of spices. Then things get a little creative.

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Tonight: tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, frozen spinach, and left-over frozen veggies

 

In the past I’ve tried:

  • Frozen vegetables – literally any kind – spaghetti ones are the best, but tonight I used the remains of a package of beans/carrotts/broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • peppers
  • chopped cabbage
  • spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • beans – I’ve tried black beans and chick peas
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • corn
  • beet greens
  • hot peppers

Don’t ask how I left hot peppers to last – considering these are my favourite addition to the sauce!  Most spaghetti dishes will require a tall glass of milk to balance out my over-spicing, but I can’t help myself.

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What is your favourite spaghetti addition?

The Time Maddie Rode in the Car

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So a couple months ago we were driving home from a trip to New Brunswick. For some reason we felt it was a brilliant idea to bring the cats along with us, knowing that they are two of the worst travelers. Ever.

After Maddie’s carrier was cleaned up from her usual ‘accident’, we decided to see what she would do if she were allowed to sit in my lap. As it turns out, she loved it and rode most of the way across the confederation bridge perched on my lap. But her angry ears made me uncomfortable… so she was caged back up for good measure.

The verdict: don’t try this in your car.

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I Think I Enjoy Hibernation

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This Rescue Bot is feeling the winter blues… Ugh.

 

 

Winter.

It’s dark and dreary – particularly in Prince Edward Island.

It’s easy for me to hide out in my home throughout the winter months – I can enjoy movies, music, books, and computer games.  But when I hear about my BFF’s crazy adventures in Toronto or a music event that I totally missed out on… well I start to feel something like the FOMO phenomenon.

You know – the Fear Of Missing Out? Although that doesn’t really fit here… but I do feel bad when I miss things because I’m too  darn lazy to get out of my cozy hibernation niche.

I think most people experience this, particularly in the frozen months when it’s just too hard to go outside. Seriously – getting myself dressed for the cold has become an ordeal. Where are my good mittens?! Why are my boots so hard to put on?! WHY IS IT SO COLD OUT?! But there are really a lot of great things out there that I should take advantage of.

Like concerts. Fantastic meals. Random festivals. Skating. Skiing. The list goes on and on. I should do these things. But… I like video games. And writing.

Ugh. I don’t have a fear of missing out. I have a comfortable home and a lazy lifestyle. Can’t wait for spring to get back in my garden. But if you need me these days, I’m probably enjoying the quiet life on my couch. Mmmmm.

 

On two months of continuous blogging

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Blogging since January 1st. And with very infrequent defacing of this hilarious cat calendar!

Tomorrow I’ll hit a milestone – two continuous months of nonstop blogging! I overcame the two week hurdle and kept blogging on and on – and I’m pretty darn proud of my effort.

Making a habit of blogging has not been easy. Since the beginning of January I’ve worked hard, and yet the future will hold even more distractions as the weather warms for off-island travel and I get back into my writing courses. But making it through these two months has given me a good baseline for achieving my writing goals.

Here are a few of my take-aways:

1. Make a schedule and try to stick to it. Don’t let yourself procrastinate unless you want your entire day to be about that tiny thing that you put off writing.

2. Giving yourself a break can be good, but preparing posts in advance can be draining. Schedule times to produce extras and stick to deadlines (if you ever hope to publish).

3. Edit photos in groups. This will save you frustration if you’re not a huge fan of editing, and will provide you with topics to build upon.

My take-aways revolve around the same theme – just keep writing. Force yourself to do it. Produce something. Edit. Move forward. If blogging didn’t have such steep deadlines, I would add “edit again”  – the first time for content and the second time for flow. Or something like that.

Blogging had helped me to practice writing. It’s taught me to move past my fear of sounding ridiculous and to be more productive. 

Seed Germination – It’s Beginning to Look Like Spring!

Starting off this year's garden. #hotpeppers

A photo posted by Laura Feeney (@ellefeeney) on

Hi folks –

I’m just getting my supplies together to start germinating some seeds for this year’s garden. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty!

To germinate my pepper seeds, I use the “wet paper towel” technique. It’s pretty simple: wet a paper towel, lay your seeds out, layer a paper towel on top, and place in a sealed container. This provides your seeds with a humid environment, allowing them to take off in a fraction of the time that they would take in soil.

Check out the video below for more information.

I know it seems a bit early to be starting our seedlings, but pepper plants take a long time to get going, especially in a low-light environment. Since our apartment windows don’t receive a tremendous amount of sunlight, we’ve learned to start early and start weaning the plants off on our deck as soon as warm weather hits. We give them an extra 2-4 weeks of indoor growth and it seems to work out just fine.

For more information on indoor seeding, check out the Farmer’s Almanac. The almanac recommends 8-10 weeks of indoor growth for pepper seeds, which would put our planting in May – if only!

Happy Gardening!

What You Searched to Get Here

st andrews by the sea lighthouse, new brunswick

My BFF published a post about the search terms that users used to get to her blog, which got me thinking –

How are you all getting here?!

Unfortunately, to find this information you have to access the “old” WordPress stats page – but thankfully the info is still available. Please enjoy the following results.

Top 5 most popular search terms:

  1. skills for working with children
  2. skills needed to work with children
  3. skills working with children
  4. skills to have when working with children
  5. crochet dinosaur

lol – I am far from an expert on child relations! But thank goodness for those of you who want to create crochet dinosaurs!

Top 5 most unusual search terms:

  1. olympic flag (x5) – I write about flags?
  2. fredericton new brunswick churches (x2) – ok…?
  3. nursing skills working with children (x2) – I am not a nurse!
  4. what special skills have you gained working with artistic kids (x2) – wow, that’s specific…
  5. turning 26 (x 83) – good to know that you’re all thinking about it.

Top 5 most entertaining search terms:

  1. pretty wreck this journal 
  2. traditions in the east coast
  3. johnville new brunswick
  4. when asked to send resume in an email what do you say
  5. sea caves

Honestly – I am so flattered to see all of the things that my blog is viewed for. I can’t wait to see how my views change in the next year or two! Thanks to all my random searchers – I really hope that my old posts can be of help to those looking for career advice!

Freshly Planted Succulent Dish

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Garden shopping has started – which is unbelievable when you see several feet of snow piled as far as the eye can see. We picked up some new potting soil and jiffy pots… and finally picked up some succulents to fill the empty flower-pot on my desk.

Yes, I had an empty pot of dirt on my desk – that’s perfectly normal.

We decided to create our own succulent arrangement – which will likely last about a month before it starts to grow wild and unruly. I’m just glad to see some greenery!

I also had a little extra succulent, which I left in its original pot. As luck would have it, the post fit perfectly inside a slightly chipped tea-cup that I’ve held on to. I think it will make a cheerful cubicle plant. I also can’t wait to see the contrast between succulents that have access to natural sunlight versus my desk light. My inner biologist can barely be contained.

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We’ll start our garden seeds this weekend. More on that soon!