The Shuffle - Spring 2015


plug in those headphones and enjoy!

(for those without Spotify, you will have to download the app to play, 
but trust me, it's worth it.)

How to Take a Sauna like A Finn


images via here and here
recently my local gym renovated the old locker room sauna and as a proud Finn i couldn't be happier. growing up, my Finnish family taught me and my siblings at a very early age the true art of how to take a good sauna. nothing is better at the end of a long day, or good workout than a hot sauna. no matter your level of stress, or worries, after spending time sweating it out you will undoubtably feel VERY relaxed and refreshed. you will also sleep super well. Finland is the birth place of the dry sauna ritual and i strongly believe it's key towards good health and a long life. so for any takers here are a few key notes on how to sauna like a true Finn.

1. Finn's use the sauna almost daily, and heat wise, it should be anywhere between 80-90 degrees Celsius. if you haven't taken a sauna before, make sure your start with minimal time and work your way up gradually so you don't over do it or get light headed. also, start by sitting on the bottom bench and slowly over time work your way up to the top to enjoy that full heat.

2. create some hot steam by periodically throwing a small cup sized amount of water on those hot sauna rocks to create short blasts of heat. if you find it hard to breath in the hot air, a trick is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breath slowly.
image via here
3.  the hot, then the cold, then repeat method is the best ritual of the sauna by far. the trick here is to enjoy the heat for 8-10 mins allowing your body to sweat and detox. then quickly emerse yourself into cool water like a shower, lake or pool for a few seconds. this might sound unpleasant, but with your body warm from the sauna, the cool water actually feels refreshing and not as cold as you would think. then go back into the sauna and repeat another 3 or 4 times.

image via here
4. taking a sauna helps to promote good circulation in the body, but Finn's often take this to the next level by gathering up birch branches and making a "vihta". you dip it into water and gently brush or swat yourself with the bunch to relax your muscles, open the pores and increase circulation. 

5. finally complete your sauna ritual by following it up with a fresh shower to rinse, clean-up and close the pores.

sauna's are a ritual to be enjoyed by yourself, with friends or with family. if you have access to one i highly suggest you try practicing these techniques if you can to enhance your next sauna experience. i assure you, you won't be disappointed.

The Markham Fair


Hello Markham Fair! i haven't been to this particular local fair, or any fair for that matter, in years, so i made sure to enjoy a full day of animal meeting, fair food eating, live magic shows and concerts, games, rides, cooking lessons, craft shopping and fireworks watching. i love everything about going to the fair and I've decided it will now be a fall season ritual i make sure i practice every year. we happily all pigged out on Tom's donuts, lobster mac & cheese (from one of the best gourmet food trucks), and even a whole bbq turkey leg – because sometimes you just gotta, even if it looks totally barbaric. nothing beats the lights and kid like excitement you feel at a fair.
i even made a little video to share ...

itunes music  //  Circle - Fashion me a drum

just a few more pictures from our day at the fair.
Ain't he just beauttttiful.

nothing will beat fresh lemonade from a lemon shaped stand.
fall windy weather with sunshine and braids.

only the best  lobster mac & cheese for her, and bbq pulled pork for him!

i wasn't kidding about that caveman dinner time turkey leg. 

my favourite ride will always be the ferris wheel. 
you just can't beat the coloured lights and a good view.
the best ending to a perfect fall day.

A Scratch & Win Valentine


valentine's day is only a few days away, and if you are still looking for a unique and inexpensive gift for someone, how about this. today i am re-sharing a diy project that will teach you how to create customized scratch & win valentine cards for your sweetheart!

What you will need:
  • one piece of card stock
  • access to a colour printer
  • packing tape (or thick roll of clear tape)
  • scissors
  • metallic paint
  • dishwashing liquid
  • small paint brush 

first start out by designing your card template. next you need to add "Win A Date" or copy the of your choice, and "Scratch Me" in one or more areas. here is where you should have fun with your design, colours and wording choices to make it as unique and personal as you like. find a white clip art, or vector image of a heart (or go ahead and create your own), and place in your layout. add a small text box inside the heart where your secret message will appear. copy your entire design and paste it three times horizontally to create three side-by-side images on your page. next go back to your text boxes and type in each heart what your receiver will win.

sample secret winnings can include things like,
  • beer & board games night,
  • pho & a movie, or
  • a winter picnic.
once you are happy with your design, print it out.

now, take your packing tape and place one full strip horizontally across your design covering all three hearts. be sure to watch out for any wrinkles when laying down the strip. the packing tape now acts as a protective shield over your hidden message so they won't get damaged when painted over or when scratched. now cut away any excess tape that reaches past your page edges. next mix equal parts metallic paint (or the paint colour of your choice) to dishwashing liquid, and mix well. in thin layers, using a small paint brush, coat the area over each heart creating an outline and then filling it in. the thinner the layer the faster it will dry between coats helping to speed up this process. the object here is to layer enough coats until your message becomes hidden by opaque colour. once you are happy with your coating place your painted design in a cool dry place for a few hours (or even overnight). once it has fully dried, take your scissors and evenly slice your paper vertically into three equal strips, creating your three scratch and win cards! you can now place them in an envelope, or hand them directly to your valentine. 

I actually made these for my husband this year, so now i just have to keep him away from reading my blog until the weekend so I don't kill the surprise! I'm very much looking forward giving him these over a quiet romantic evening in front of the fireplace at home with our favourite wine and a fantastic chocolate fondue! :)

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