Posted in Glorious Food, Recipes

Kale Pancetta Salad

kale-pancetta- salad

Prep Time: 30 min
Servings: 6

 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (1.5L) pre- chopped, pre- washed baby kale
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) raw, organic walnuts
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Pecorino cheese
  • 100 mg of pancetta, thinly sliced and torn into pieces
  • 1 tbsp (17ml) plum sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

 
1. Toss all and enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Cooking for One 1/12, Glorious Food, Recipes

Apple Celery Juice

Apple-celery-juice

I am not a big juicer. Growing up, my parents told me it’s better to eat fruits and vegetables in their natural state. I am used to have a bowl of cut- up guava or papaya in the fridge and I would just nibble one piece or two whenever I open the fridge to reach for something else.
When I first looked into juicing, I realized a lot of waste is created. Nonetheless, I still went and bought an Omega NC 800 (after much research) because there are certain vegetables that I absolutely hate to eat in its natural state- celery being one of them… It doesn’t matter if I eat it raw, stir fry, soup, etc etc, I just couldn’t stomach it… I like the smell of celery, but detested the amount of chewing involved and the stringy fibres. Juicing was one way for me to get the benefits of celery. I try to use the pulp in other recipes so that I am not really creating too much waste.
I also try not to buy pre- packaged juice. If it’s something I can make at home, I won’t buy it. This rule saves me quite a lot of money : P. One thing I do absolutely insist on though, is that when it comes to juicing, I always get organic. I can just mentally picturing any left- over pesticides dissolving into the juice as I feed them through the tube. Anyways, this is pretty simple stuff. I don’t even know if it’s worth me putting up the recipe but here it goes

 

Ingredients:

1 bunch of celery stalks, wash and scrub off the soil
1 apple (I’ve tried with granny smith and golden delicious, the golden delicious variety gives a sweeter taste), cut to size

Instruction:

I feed the celery stalks through first, mix a teaspoon of this into Chubby‘s water, then feed the apples through into the rest. Voila

 

Posted in Thoughts

You Are My Sunshine

I’ve seen the 2 of them together. Two heads of silver framing their line-ridden faces, always accompanying each other. She in a wheelchair and he in a walker, shuffling slowly through the hallway. I never ask their stories. Were they husband and wife before they came to this long term care facility? Were they newly- discovered companions in the sunset of their lives?

There is no couple’s suite in the facility. I wonder what the policy is if a couple request to be put together? Most of the residents require a team of dedicated caretakers to help them get up, get washed and get dressed. Sometimes I could see residents deteriorate week by week when we visit. They would be moved to an intensive care unit and sometimes their rooms become empty and new residents move in.

I knocked on the door and entered. She was on her single bed and he was sleeping in the corner sofa with his walker in front of him. The room was small and tidy. Doctor and I filled up the remaining space. She sat up and smiled, “Come in, come in!”

I positioned Doctor next to her bed as she stroked his fur. She waved at him, “Bob! Bob! Look who is here!”

He opened one eye, then slowly massaged the other eye open. Recognition kicked in and he grinned. I brought Doctor closer to him, sandwiched between the bed, the sofa and the walker. The dog stood still, letting him pat his head and her patting his back. He murmured, “You are so beautiful” to Doctor.

Suddenly the two of them broke into a song in unison:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are gray

You never know dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away

I watched them serenading my dog, their voices match each other in harmony. A song that invokes so many sweet memories and sorrow. I couldn’t help but get misted up. It was a very unexpected and beautiful gift.

 

 

Posted in Review

Shu Uemura Ultimate Natural Mascara- Review

After the disaster with Maybelline’s Great Lash, I thought it was time to do further research. I decided to try the Japanese brand Shu Uemura, as recommended by many Vloggers. I figured that an Asian cosmetic company would know the woes we face- short and straight lashes, smaller eyes where lashes constantly touches the lower lids and oilier skin (one of the pros for our delay of wrinkles lol), thus creating the smudge.

This mascara is so understated. It applies very light and the lashes remain soft and natural. It doesn’t really lengthen but it darkens enough to have a visual impact. The curls stays but not as dramatic as Maybelline’s Great Lash. Unfortunately, after 4 hours, I could start to see sign of smudging under one eye. It’s very subtle and I suppose for some people they can use it to play into that sexy smokey eye effect but that’s not for me. I really wish this would be the one but I returned it to Sephora 2 days later.

 

Posted in Review

Burt’s Bee Lipsticks- Review

As the weather warms up, I am feeling a bit bored with the nude. I feel like changing to something more vibrant. I always linger at the Burt’s Bee’s lip product display at Shopper’s Drug Mart and now I get to find out.

I love the packaging. It’s very cute with the little honey combs on the lid. There are many colours on offer and I chose #513 Doused Rose. Despite its use of natural fragrance oils, I find this lipstick smells like some sort of fruity bubble gum. Olfactory- wise, this is not my favourite.

Now on to the colour. The colour is pretty sheer and requires a few passes to get close to the colour in the tube. It is creamy and moisturizing and therefore does come off a bit after eating and drinking. Your lips do retain some colour. In fact, I think it looks more natural after some colour had come off. I don’t mind it not being long lasting as long as it doesn’t dry out my lips. I wore this lipstick alone without a lip balm base and my lips stayed very comfortable and moist.

burt's-bee-lipstick-doused-rose
Colour of lipstick after 3 swipes

While I like this lipstick in general, I cannot get past the smell. I will probably keep searching for another formula. So close!

Posted in Just for Fun

The Bromance of Chubby and Doctor

I adopted Chubby first. At 16 years old with established habits, he was a surprisingly easy cat to care for. He submitted to the twice daily insulin injections and skin pricks for blood glucose reading. I quickly found out that he was very trusting and would allow us to do almost anything to him, such as holding him up high and pretending to drop him. Daily, he lets me rub his belly. Not many cats will tolerate this type of indignity.

A post shared by We 3 Mammals (@we3mammals) on

2 months after he came home, we decided to add a dog to the family. Doctor is a very mellow dog. At the animal shelter, he walked up to us and immediately flopped down to show his belly. He uses this strategy whenever he does something wrong or to get out of training.

Since both pets are so mellow, we thought there would be no problem of them getting along. Chubby stayed in the vet clinic for a few days, navigating his way under a few dogs with no visible stress, before he came to me. He is the sort of cat who would rub his face on every visitor. Doctor loves attention and wants to be friends with everyone. We were practically envisioning this…

However, it was not meant to be. The first time they met, Doctor was so happy he ran towards Chubby with his big tail wagging at full power, only to be met by a hiss. If dogs and cats don’t speak the same language, do dogs know the meaning of a hiss? If he didn’t, he certainly knew the swipe of the paws across his face. Immediately he fell down to his belly and played dead as Chubby ran the other direction to his bed upstairs.

For the longest time, the cat stayed upstairs while the dog stayed downstairs. They were perfectly happy in their territories and both seemed to forget there was another non- human creature in the household.

Slowly, it emerges that my cat is a two- faced devil. He is perfectly nice to humans. He purrs readily and will answer anyone with a cute little meow. In the morning he waits for me to wake up and as soon as I look at him he starts to purr. However, when he is hungry, he will yowl for hours until he is fed. Once we hosted a friend’s cat and he stole food from the guest and ambushed the poor thing in the litter box, bullying the guest- cat to hide under the bed for days.

One day, Chubby must have been so hungry he came downstairs searching for food. He walked up to the dog’s bowl big enough for him to sleep in, and started munching on Doctor’s kibbles. In between bites, he would let out a hiss or two to make sure the dog knew his place. Doctor stood there, watching his food disappear into the cat’s mouth, when he could have easily flick the cat away with his little finger.

To retaliate, Doctor would wait till Chubby is sleeping and eat his cat food, though more often than not, the cat bowl is usually empty and he has to settle for rooting through the litter box. For the longest time I thought Chubby had become constipated again, until one day Doctor happily breathed into our faces.

From time to time, we let them sleep on the bed, but never at the same time. The bed is too high for the old cat. The dog can be easily deterred by a door. Then one day, with a lapse of judgement, Doctor jumped onto the bed only to find Chubby already there, occupying the precious real estate next to the human pillows. You could practically hear him say, “Uh-oh.” The cat looked at him with disdain but was too lazy to do anything about it. Chubby had, by this time, figured out the dog was putty in his presence. Doctor, however, decided that he wasn’t gonna back down and proceeded to make himself comfortable. He would not face the cat however, and would only sleep with his butt towards the cat.

Then one day, their butts touched…we suspect this was because Doctor’s thick fur prevented them from feeling each other…

Week by week, Doctor inches closer to the head of the bed. Sometimes he does this when the cat is sleeping. Sometimes he does it on our orders. “What are you going to do about it? The humans want me here.” He’d move closer, pretending that the cat was not staring at him with daggers in his eyes.

#bffshareeverything #doctorthedog #chubbychew #myfavouritethings #petofinstagram #catsanddogs #bigdog

A post shared by We 3 Mammals (@we3mammals) on

Until one day…

#bff #adorableanimals #squeeze #kuvasz #giantdog #giantwhitedog #justbecause

A post shared by We 3 Mammals (@we3mammals) on

The cat throws the occasional hiss. I imagine the movement from the 90lb dog is like earthquake to him. He does the occasional swipes but never fully make contact with the dog. Sometimes, to test their boundaries, we discretely placed their body part on top of the other, like so…

Funny that in 3 years it never occurred to us to give them treats as an encouragement. Then a friend suggested to give them treats in each other’s presence, and eventually we got to this…

A post shared by We 3 Mammals (@we3mammals) on

Theirs is a bromance (tolerance?) that slowly grow through repetition and probably united in mutual annoyance at their humans… And that is just fine by me lol…

Posted in Review

Pixi Natural Brow Duo- Review

I must say it was Pixi’s display in Shopper’s Drug Mart that caught my eyes. Its pale green packaging looked soothing and invoked a feel good sense that comes with many of the brands focusing on the market of natural or organic beauty products. While I do prefer to use products with readable ingredient lists, one can’t help but wonder if we are all just willing participants of the clever marketing?

Anyways, personal musing aside, this brow duo is okay enough to keep but I doubt I’d buy it again. Here are my thoughts:

I like its simplistic design with the pencil on one side and brow gel on the other. There is no strong fragrance which I always like. The transparent tube allows you to see the colour (more on that later) and you will be able to know when it’s running low. Honestly though, brow products don’t really get used up that fast… or is it just me? 🤔

So here is the close up of the pencil

pixi-natural-brow-duo

I was intrigued by the choice of this elongated triangular shape and I quickly found out that I do not like it. It was not easy to control how your strokes would turn out and it could easily made your brow look too thick. Not one for fine-tuning. I had to experiment holding the pencil in different positions and still needing Q- tips to clean up.

The colour goes on smoothly and blends naturally with my brow so it’s a shame about the design.

Now onto the brow gel

pixi-natural-eyebrow-duo

The brow gel is basically a mini- mascara for the eye brow. From the outside the colour of the gel appear to be the same as the pencil, but when you apply it it was actually almost transparent.

pixi-natural-eyebrow-duo
Colour of Pixi Brow Duo side by side

The problem is that the brow gel gave my brow an unrealistic, shiny plastick-y feel once it dried. While the brush did help to smooth out the hair and make the brow look neater, I felt that I could easily do without the gel.

So there you have it. I am keeping this for its pencil’s natural colour, but I am sure there will be other products which are easier to apply.

 

Posted in Review

Maybelline Great Lash (Waterproof)- Review

When it comes to mascara, I don’t ask it to have specific function like curling, lengthening or volumizing. I don’t care about any newly improved bristles. I don’t need any specific brand with mission statement to save the earth, use recycled package, or be chemical free.

My one and only criteria- Smudge free

I have long been puzzled by my ability to get racoon eyes despite using waterproof mascara. It doesn’t matter if I teared up or not. Most mascara cannot wait to leave my eyelashes and darken my lower lids.

It turns out the culprit is sebum (plus or minus any moisturizer or foundation I might have).

I’ve tried lash extension. While this eliminated the need to apply mascara, it was pretty expensive and I felt my eyelids had to work extra hard to stay open 😅. The lash glue did not play well with any oil- based skin product, which meant I couldn’t use some home-made essential oil products.

I’ve left my lashes alone for the past year or so. Last week I decided that enough is enough- I want to feel girly damn it! So I googled best smudge free mascara but alas, Google thinks smudge-free= waterproof and I was taken to a few pages on waterproof mascaras, some of which also swore that they were smudge proof. So I ventured out and bought Maybelline’s Great Lash Waterproof formula.

maybelline-new-york-great-lash-waterproof

The reviews I read lauded how this mascara had been around for a long time. Despite its cheap looking design, I figured that if it had longevity it must have been a good product to stick around amidst the newer, fancier sounding formulas.

I applied this mascara last night and was immediately impressed with how light the formula felt. It was also very build-able, making my lashes longer. I was further impressed that my lashes stayed curled after 10 minutes- Yes my lashes usually go straight after 10 minutes of eyelash curler and mascara application. I felt like a million bucks when I left for a party.

All fair tales do come to an end… when midnight struck and I saw myself in the mirror, my old nemeses had shown their ugly faces. I didn’t want to believe it but there they were, two unmistakable dark rings under my eyes. I wiped them off and headed back to the party. The lashes still stayed curled and long though.

It’s such a shame. I liked the way my lashes look with this. Back to the drawing board. I hope the drugstore will be able to give me a refund.

I still think this is a good mascara for people who don’t have oily skin around their eyes. For me, however, the search continues…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Thoughts

My Lucky Day

“Traveling by yourself?” The ground staff behind the counter of Air Canada asked. 
“Yes.”

Remember the good old days when they asked you if you’d prefer an aisle or window seat? When I was younger, I always wanted a window seat. Now I prefer aisle with little freedom of access.

Couple years ago, someone built a website called seatguru.com. I would reference this site while doing online check-in. It lists airlines and the craft models and have comments on the leg room and other potential problems. It is a good guide. Not always a hundred percent but when traveling long haul up to 20 hours, it was nice to have some choices.

When did the airlines catch on this lucrative opportunity to make extra money? Within the last 2 years, one could pay an additional 50 dollars to be able to select these “prefered seats”. You are still in the same cabin class, but it’s all “location location location”.You could still select the rest of the seats based on the map without extra charges. 

Then this year, Air Canada decided that if you want to choose the rest of the seats ahead of time, you can do that by paying them 16 dollars, otherwise you will just get a randomly assigned seat. Never mind that when you joined their reward program they asked you about your preferences. I wonder if the airline is working with real estate agents nowadays…

When I checked in for my flight last night, I struggled a little bit. I could see that I was sandwiched in a 3 seater and the flight seem to be fully booked. My only choices now were the $50 prefered seats. Do I want to change it? Would it be worth it? 

In the end, I decided against it, mainly because the flight is only 2.5 hour. It won’t be unbearable. Though I don’t know what I’d do if the flight was longer.

Back at the counter, the ground staff informed me that she changed my seat to an aisle since I was traveling solo. My guess was that some family wanted to sit together and there were still some wiggle room in the seating chart. I thanked her (and my lucky star). This trip appear to be off to a good start!

Posted in Just for Fun

Parking with Doctor- Willowdal Park

I have this unofficial goal in my head- I would like to take Doctor to visit a different park each time we go out and document it. Something to break out of the monotony of regular sidewalks.

In my head, this is something best done in summer time, when my fingers are not hiding inside the gloves so I can take pictures or videos of his beautiful self.

Through various twist and turn of fate, we had our first park visit at Willowdale Park recently. Granted, the winter was shaping up to be a warm one so when we made our doggie play date with the petite blond Labrador we had no idea it was gonna get so cold on that day.

The weather forecast said light snow and the 7°C warm spell we have had was plunging to below zero. Who am I to complain, living so far north of the equator with a polar bear?

I contemplated canceling, but it was to be their first date. I wanted Doctor to leave a good impression. Setting the alarm for 8am, I grudgingly got us ready and strapped him down with the harness and seat belt.

The streets were deserted on the Sunday morning. It was very easy to park across the street. No restriction  on weekends.

The park itself is small. It’s not a leash free park and there is no fence around the area. It’s a tiny piece of greenery with a gazebo and a frozen stream. Walking around the park, we noticed many mounds that were not picked up. This was an unfortunate finding.  They were a few humans around but they seemed to tolerate the canine presence.

Blondie brought another girlfriend, a younger, shorter, energetic brunette who circled all of us until the leashes were tangled. Seeing as there were not many ppl around, we decided to let the beasts loose for a little while.

Doctor, being the typical man (despite balls missing in action), went for the younger girl and leaving Blondie behind. The white and brown fur streaked across the park, soft grunt here and there, jumping over each other with joy. Luckily Blondie prefers the company of human. She looked at Doctor as if he was an unruly boy and turned to us, as if to say, “You try to set me up with him? I need a real man.”

Between chattering teeth, my human equivalent told me she was also contemplating on changing the plans. “Maybe we should have left the dogs at home and went for coffee ourselves.” I wholeheartedly agreed. Watching the dogs happily frolicking while we kept running in place to keep warm had reached its motherly limit. We called the 2 back and made plans to have a human- only activity next time. The doggies can come next time when the weather is warmer, but I am not sure we’d pick this park again.

Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts, Writing

A Year of Blogging # 1-Message in a Bottle

Jordan from Collective Voice (formally State of Liberation, I will put the link up as soon as I can… the site is being re- launched so be patient lol) was always coming up with prompt ideas for us writers. I’ve always intended to follow suit. I am a few weeks behind but it is still great exercise to get some ideas for blogging/writing. The first prompt of the year is

Prompt:

While at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it?

What would you want to put in the bottle and who do you want to read it?

In his post, Jordan wrote to his younger self. I sat here and thought who I’d write to. Do I have some words I need to tell someone? Message in a bottle is almost like a message to the universe. If I write it down, was I ready to send it out? There were a few relationships where I felt the stories could have been more complete if I had been able to find the words. However, if I opened that dialogue, the story would never end because they’d have to respond, and I don’t necessary want the stories to continue. So I think I’d just leave them as messy cliff- hangers. Not everything has to be tidy does it?

So who would I write to? Would I write to my younger self? It seems like a good idea, but somehow I felt that my younger self should figure things out on her own. She had to stumble to get to where I am. My younger self already existed, I had already seen her stories and she is already part of me. So I thought perhaps I’d write to the future me… Here it goes…

 

The Message

Hey. How are you? Have you achieved everything we’ve set out to do? I want to let you know that I am doing as much as I can to become you.

What are you like? Are you as wise as I’d want you to be? Have you continue to build our dreams? Does this blog still exist or are you still a big procrastinator?

The year is 2017. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world. On one hand we are seeing so many innovative ideas coming forth that’s supposed to make the human lives easier. There’s talk of building a solar city, the sharing and gig economy gives people more options for traveling and picking up extra cash. Driver-less cars promise to make us more productive. Or could it be another invention to chain us to our work like cellphones and emails do?

The pendulum is swinging wildly. On the other hand, there are people who are set on centralized power as more people demand basic choices of freedom. The internet has educated and misled the mass. Virtual reality seems to be inevitable.

I hope you keep on dancing, no matter how stiff our body become. Do we age well? Or has science invented something to freeze time? What about our SO? Did we pick a winner?

Are you still working at the same job? Or have we finally quit the rat race to travel the world? I would hope so but then it’d mean that the dog and cat are no longer in the picture. Please invent something to make them immortal too, because I cannot imagine life without those annoying furry beasts. Or perhaps quarantine law would have changed so much that it’d be very easy to travel oversea with the 90lb polar bear and 10 lb tiger-wanna-be.

Have you learn to forgive yourself for all your mistakes? Are you still grateful for everything you have? Do you miss me and my naivety? Are we stronger and kinder? Or has life made us cynical and lose our empathy?

And why do I feel like crying when I am writing this letter? Why do I get goosebumps as I am reaching across the time barrier to reach you? Is it because ultimately you are the only person who truly understands me, as we are one separated by time, never to meet, but only an echo to each other?

I am like the pesky little kid with 101 questions. Will you be able to answer all of them? Do I necessarily need to know all the answers? Are you going to just nod your head and act all sage and say, “In time, you will see…”?

Just at least tell me we’ve somehow managed to play an alien on Star Trek or X-Men.

 

Yours… from the past

 

Thoughts?

What would your message in a bottle say? If you own a blog, post your response and link me back. If not, feel free to share in the comments below, or you could email me to have it posted.

we3mammals@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in Review

Weleda Iris Hydrating Facial Lotion- Review

Continuing with my current love with Weleda, I bought their Iris Hydrating Facial Lotion (For Normal and Combination Skin) once I finished the Andalou Beta Hydroxy Recovery Cream.

This is the first time I’ve come across the use of Iris in skin care product so I am curious. Turns out that there are many subgenus of Iris and Weleda has chosen Iris Germanica Root Extract. According to Wikipedia, the roots extract are used as perfume and aromatherapy. It contains vitamin C and other organic acids that are being researched for their uses in skin infection and other irritation.

Other ingredients include jojoba oil and witch hazel, which is great as it act as an astringent and great for acne prone skin.

Like all of its lotion/cream based product, this came in a tube. It is lightly scented. weleda-iris-hydrating-facial-lotion

Impression: I’ve only used this for about 3 days and I am loving it. The lotion absorbs readily. My skin feels smooth, hydrated but never greasy, probably due to the witch hazel’s oil control property. It might not moisturizing enough for very dry skin but I feel that for my undecisive skin it’s pretty good. This is something I’d definitely come back to.