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Archive for the ‘Party Planning’ Category

 

 

Yesterday I decided to try a veggie burger. The weather was gorgeous and the BBQ was calling my name! I stopped off at the grocery store and picked up Yves (The Good) Veggie Burger. I wish I could tell you that I chose Yves because of extensive market research but the truth is, it had the most appealing package (hehe, That’s What She Said).

yves

Filled with naivety and hopeful enthusiasm, I gingerly unwrapped the package. My finger happened to graze the burger in the process and this is when I felt my first moment of alarm. It was mildly similar to slimy plastic. Like that wet silly putty you play with as a child. I paused momentarily to take a closer look at the “patty”. I poked then sniffed it but came to no real conclusion on how this might taste. I was, however, still optimistic. After all, they called themselves Yves (The Good) Veggie Burger. They wouldn’t say they were “THE GOOD” veggie burger without actually being a good burger… Would they?

 

It would seem that I had chosen to completely ignore everything I had ever learned about advertising. I.e.: It lies.

I opted on a pan over the BBQ since I had never cooked a veggie burger before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought the pan would be a safer choice, particularly since I was mildly concerned it really was plastic and I didn’t want it melting through my grill.

 

I gently placed the “burgers” on the pan and went to go watch a couple Buzzfeed videos. This was my first mistake. Mere minutes later I smelled it. Smoke began to fill my kitchen as I jumped up to find my “burgers” had already charred. I flipped the “patties” and realize they had the consistency of cardboard. 

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Mmmmmm Cardboard!

A couple minutes later I took the “burgers” off the pan and plated them with Quinoa, Hemp hearts, and some spinach.

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Doesn’t look bad does it. LIES!

 

I have a couple things to say about Yves (The Good) Veggie Burgers.

 

  1. These burgers have ZERO vegetables in them. An ingredient check will tell you that it is soy, wheat, corn starch, and some chemical sounding ingredients. If you have any kind of wheat or gluten intolerance, do not eat these veggie burgers. (They do have a gluten free burger but I can’t imagine it taste any less disgusting).
  2. They tasted like less than nothing. I can’t imagine there was ANY effort to season them. I’m not saying they should taste like beef. Obviously, if you’re getting a veggie burger you probably don’t like the taste of beef and that’s your call. I do believe they should taste like something! This was the blandest piece of garbage I have ever had and I’ve eaten sugar free chocolate! I am insulted on behalf of vegetarians everywhere and I’m not even a vegetarian. Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you don’t have taste buds.
  3. Don’t eat these.
  4. If you’re thinking about eating these read this article again. Take special note of the hope and optimism I held. Then notice as it is ripped away from me. Learn from me young ones, don’t do it.

 

Fear not readers, I have not lost hope! I have a dream. A dream that out there is a good, wheat free, veggie burger recipe! I will power on in my journey and I have no doubt one day in the future you will read a happier tale. A tale of a young’ish woman experimenting with plant based diets who has discovered a truly enjoyable veggie burger.

 

As always, thank you for reading beautiful people. Please feel free to comment and let me know if YOU have found any good veggie burgers that you would like me to try and review!

 

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Not that long ago I wrote about changing winds and grown up goals. I told you how I wanted to be a grown up, buy some grown up things, and feel like I’ve adulted. Well, I sit here today to tell you… I haven’t done any of that crap.

I still don’t have pictures up on my wall, a proper head board on my bed, and I have yet to hit up that shooting range. Frankly, the shooting range is more likely to happen than any of the other stuff.

This week did, however, mark a milestone in my life.

I’ve been working at the same company for a year and a half now. This in itself is an accomplishment as I can count the number of places I’ve stayed at for more than a year on one hand. It would take about three to four hands to count all the places that I’ve worked in total. You can see the contrast.
I may have mentioned in the past (cough cough) that I have a hard time making roots and settling in. I get the itch to jump ship pretty often, be it where I live, where I work, or my entire life. However, as you probably know, I’m working on it. I have an apartment that’s affordable and I’d like to stay forever. I have plans to travel and make big girl purchases (like towels and cars), which all require a certain amount of stability. Unless you’re from a hella rich family, which I am not(love you mom and dad!).

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So many things!

All of that being considered, I got what you could call a promotion. There was a position posted at my work and even though I didn’t really think I’d get it, (wasn’t even sure I wanted it), I applied for it. Three interviews, one annoying personality test, and a month of waiting later and I finally got to sign the contract for my new position which I am now convinced I want. Not only is this position a much better fit for my personality (more sales oriented), but it pays better too (I can already feel my fluffy new towels)! It’s also going to give me the corporate experience to move on and do better things. In fact I already have a year plan… I have a YEAR PLAN GUYS! Do you even know how epic that is? I mean in my last interview when they asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years I laughed and said the most I could hope for was to be alive and happy. Yes, they still gave me the job (self-five). This is a first for me.

I want towels THIS FLUFFY guys.... THIS FLUFFY!

I want towels THIS FLUFFY…. THIS FLUFFY!

You know what they don’t tell you about grown up life (outside of everything), is how much the little things cost. You want towels (I’m really excited guys, you have no idea), and I mean nice towels, not like those scratchy, horrible towels that feel like sandpaper against your bare tush. You know the nice, soft, fluffy towels that are akin to rolling around with a bunch of soft baby animals. That might be a strange comparison but work with me here, it’s been a long week. They don’t tell you how much maintenance on your car is going to be, how even the cheap grocery trips add up, or that the fun stuff, like drinking on a patio and travelling is hella expensive. I could teach a class on all the stuff they don’t tell you if the school board would like to take me up on that.
This one is a short one guys, I’m pretty beat and it’s been a long week. But I wanted to share my happy grown up news with you all. I did it. I stayed in one place. I’m making plans for the future. And as I sit here sipping my girl juice (otherwise known as wine… they also don’t tell you how many calories is in a glass of wine. Don’t ask. Trust me.), I may not have cooked a new meal each week or got those little pillows that decorate your bed (cute but useless), but I can’t say that I wouldn’t have this journey into adult land any other way.

Thanks for reading beautiful people 🙂

P.S.: Sorry about the weird spacing in this post. It’s not supposed to be one run on paragraph. I tried fixing it but WordPress won’t let me :/

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There are moments in everyone’s life where change happens. Nothing remains in stasis, the earth is constantly rotating and so are our circumstances. Whether we choose to recognize them or not our bodies tell us it’s the truth. Our skin cells are constantly regenerating, our bones get older and our minds never stop taking in information through our various senses.

I’ve personally found that there are times where I can feel change happening. I can smell it in the air like a spring breeze at the end of a long winter. I can feel my heartbeat rev a little higher and my skin prickle in anticipation. It’s the magic they talk about in novels and Disney movies and even though it may not come at the end of a duet or the beginning of a sword fight, it does still happen.

Four months ago I broke up with my boyfriend. I spent a month completely shut down, not feeling anything. Then I spent two months crying, feeling everything from elated happiness to a deep sense of depression.

Lately I’ve been feeling something else. I can smell the change in the air and hear the whispers telling me something more is out there… if I only reach out I’ll be able to grab onto it. I’ve never turned away from it before and I’m sure as hell not going to start today.

So I want to take you all on my journey, whatever it is and wherever it’s going. I can’t promise dragons and sword fights, knights in shining armor or dark ninjas. I can promise you honesty and maybe even a story. I hope you’ll join me.

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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

I’m not a political person but what Mr. Obama so simply stated is something I feel I’m really only truly beginning to understand now.

Customer service is in my blood. My dad was an entrepreneur and my mother practically thrives off of helping people in need. I get a lot of joy out of being there for my friends and my family. I love knowing that I’ve made someone happy or helped in some small way to accomplish a goal. It makes me feel wanted and even whole. It’s become so engraved that it’s part of how I view myself and how I value myself as a person, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a lover.

I would never take back any of the time I’ve spent helping others and building friendships that I hope will last forever. That being said, with thirty rushing towards me like a wave of the unknown, I’m realizing that I may have not spent enough time giving myself the customer service I deserve. I’ve never thought twice about helping to further someone’s else’s goals or happiness and it’s something I hope will never change. However I may have spent so much time helping others because I didn’t know how to help myself. I didn’t know just what would make me happy and instead of working on figuring that out I distracted myself with helping others be happy.

I’ve thrown myself into romantic relationships in much the same way. I’m always struck with an eerie sense of deja vue when I watch Richard Gere explain to Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride that her taste in eggs reflects how little she knows herself. Her favorite style of egg changes with l’homme du jour, she never takes time to figure out they way she wants them.

I know how I like my eggs, over easy, yoke intact (nom nom nom). But there are a lot of other things I’m not really sure of. And more things that I know about myself but have been willing to sacrifice because the one I loved wanted something else.

For instance, I know I don’t want children. I can’t tell you when the thought really solidified but I’ve been pretty convinced of it since I was about fifteen. Knowing that hasn’t stopped me from dating multiple guys who don’t just want children, but can’t see their lives without them. Instead of parting ways with these guys I’ve decided to try and picture my life with kids. Maybe I will want them one day, maybe I’ll change! Of course, the relationships have never worked out and I’m beginning to think a big part of it is because I don’t put the work into finding what I want, I accept what’s in front of me because it’s convenient.

 

I’m a fairly flexible person and I think part of it started when I was young. I’ve always been able to appreciate others interests, even if it wasn’t mine first. It’s how I bond with people. I get close to others by finding out what they like and learning about it, then showing an interest as well. I love to watch sports with other people who are passionate about sports but if I’m alone you’re more likely to find me reading a book than watching a game. When I was younger my oldest sister (who I idolized ) liked Star trek so I had to love star trek because she did. My brother-in-law liked wrestling so I took an interest in wrestling. My good friend liked to sing so I became her loyal back up singer. The list could go on and on.

This isn’t to say I haven’t gained so much by taking an interest in other people’s interest. I love sushi, I really enjoy both watching and playing football, I love to salsa and bachata and I love, not like, but love singing. All of these things I learned to enjoy through others and I’ll take it with me to my grave.

There’s nothing wrong with learning from other people but as I’m getting older and my friends are all getting married and starting new lives, I’m left to contemplate my own. I would love to travel, go to Scotland and Greece but I never have and I don’t have any active plans to do so. I would love to run a marathon but I haven’t started training. I have stories that are begging for completion but my novel remains unfinished and my characters unsatisfied. It seems like I can’t really find the motivation to do anything simply because I want to and that’s what concerns me. I’ve never done anything big based on my own motivation, I’ve ridden the waves of other’s motivation but never created my own tsunami of excitement. Heck, I only got a car because my boyfriend lived far away.

I don’t know how this happened. When I was in my teens I had endless amounts of inspiration and energy. I wanted to travel the world, I wanted to move out of Ontario the moment I had the means. I wanted to run as far and as fast as my short leg would  take me and not stop until I’d seen everything there was to see. I wanted to write worlds into existence and sing songs no one has ever heard before. And now I want to be the creator of my own story again, the writer of my own destiny.

I know that girl is in me somewhere. She’s taken a backseat and she’s dying to get at the front of the class again. My goal is to find her, give her wings, and set her free.

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Hi. My name is Sassie Annie Kay and I am a commitmentphobe.

Or a diet!

Now is your turn to say, “Hi Annie!”

I haven’t blogged in… Well, in a long time. As much as I would like to blame my best friend, Pertobello, who I consider to be my own personal cheerler, in reality I can only blame myself. I’m sorry I let my blog space down. This is mostly from wanting to make my next blog about the low GI diet which I was about to start. I wanted to write about it with enthusiasm, update you regularly on how it was helping/harming my diabetic self, and maybe share some useful knowledge with some of you who were thinking of doing it. I haven’t been able to do that because, well, I never started the diet. That turned out to be a problem for the blog writing.

Of course I could give you a list of excuses, such as: I half moved out of my parents and into my sisters, it’s been hell going back and forth. I’m looking for work and an apartment in an area which seems to have NO 2 bedroom apartments left. My sister started dating and suddenly I had no personal time to think and meditate. I got fish! I need to be responsible to them too!

However, none of those excuses would be valid. The truth is -like my life long struggle with committing to being diabetic- I didn’t want to commit to a low GI diet, even though it didn’t seem all that difficult. The book talks about life changing…. changes, for the better of course, but I still found that very, very scary.

Now I sit here, on my temporary fold out chair (my computer chair is still at the rent’s house) and a computer desk which is not the right height for… anything really (my desk is with the chair) and I can’t promise that I will be fully committed to the low GI diet right away. I refuse to lie to you, or to myself and say that I will never eat a white potato or yogunfruze EVER again, because that will simply be a lie. I really love those Strawberry Cheesecake (non-fat of course) frozen yogurts with extra graham cracker, even if my sugar levels do not. I can, however, commit to trying to commit to said low GI diet.

To get personal, the last couple months have been nothing but life changing.

What was supposed to be 6 months of “getting myself on my feet” turned into 3 years of living with my lovely parents, bless them. Turns out, I was just like everyone else. That was a hard realization to swallow. During these three years I spent time repairing myself mentally and spiritually. I was doing well and generally happy until suddenly my already shaky health plummeted to the depths of despair. As a fellow diabetic friend of mine said, it seemed like my body was constantly on the verge of dying. I found I had a hormonal disorder called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which if left untreated can cause some ovarian cancer. Then it was a four month trek of trying to find the right birth control to regulate my hormones. Anyone who’s ever been on the wrong birth control knows it literally drives you mentally insane. I’m of the opinion that women are nuts in the first place but you add the wrong dose of hormones on that and say hello a Stephen King Novel with a lot more crying.

In the middle of the crying and the weight fluctuations (I’m craving a carrot! Oh wait… maybe that was a carrot cake.) I got pneumonia. Then came my emergency surgery to take my appendix out. Turns out it was swollen to over twice its size and pretty pissed off. That turned into a week long stay at the hospital and a lot of time bent over a toilet. Hospital bathrooms are about as much fun as hospital food. After the I said goodbye to my appendix I got some other sort of horrible flu/cough thing that put me out for about month.

Needless to say I was feeling pretty numb by the end of it all. I was tired. Too tired to care about anything. Too tired to get out of bed half the time. Then it got worse. I couldn’t think, didn’t want to think. I didn’t care about anything, from my responsibilities to my family and my friends to needing to check my sugar. Everything just seemed to take too much out of me. I was irritable. I felt like I woke up in the wrong world, like I was stuck in some horrible tv show and nothing was worth it. After talking to my lovely Pertobello she suggested I might have depression. I did some research and all the lines matched it. A trip to the doctor later and I had a prescription for pills. It took another 4 months of ups and downs to find the right prescription but it was the best thing I’ve ever done with my life.

Somewhere between the surgery and the depression I think something in my brain snapped. I hatedMississaugaso much, not because of the people but because of the cookie cutter atmosphere. I hated living with my parents, as amazing as they are, they are still and will forever be my parents. I had been working part time and doing volunteer work and I realized I needed more structure in my life. I needed to feel alive again.

The task of moving all of my stuff, making a fresh start, taking the chance on a roommate all seemed too much to handle. I couldn’t stand living at home but I didn’t have the energy to change my situation. Miracle of miracle, my prayers were answered. My work told me they wanted me full time for the month of May which I immediately agreed to. My sister told me to come and live with her for the month since she lives inToronto, transit would be a lot cheaper from her house then using the Go train. It was supposed to be temporary. After all, how could I live with her, two cats, AND a bearded dragon in a one bedroom apartment, it seemed insane. But I packed up a suitcase full of clothes, threw some shoes in a bag and grabbed my pillow. My Mom dropped me off and I couldn’t take the grin off my face. I came into my sister’s apartment with an energy that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I dropped my bags, and gave her a giant hug. She looked at me and said, ‘You’re moving in aren’t you?’ I responded with, ‘Would that be okay with you?’ and suddenly I was a mother of three animals and a roommate.

Now that I’ve been here for a little over a month and all of my pills are working quite nicely (thank you doctor) I realize I’ve been looking at this low GI thing the wrong way all along! All I need to commit to is trying, and I can do that. If it doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t work but I think it will. And I hope anyone who reads this can learn something themselves, hopefully my adventures with nutrition and health will help someone else going through something similar. That is, of course, when I start writing about it! Don’t worry, it’ll be soon.

I would also love to hear from anyone else who is trying at living better. Give me a shout on twitter or right here in the comments area! We all need to stick together after all ;).

My new familia 😛

This is me and my Sissy! She’s the straight haired one ❤

Sharka, She’s a princess 🙂

This is Lucy-Bell. She thinks she can fly. So far she hasn’t killed herself and we’re all very happy about that.

This is Clark Kent, my Betta fish. Mom and I have been watching a LOT of Smallville lately and his colors inspired me 😛

This is Lex Luthor. He’s feisty like him too, such a cutie pie!

Simon. He’s a cuddler 🙂

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Bright lights, perfectly blended music with a beat that even the rhythimless can’t help taping their foot to, good food, and amazing conversation happening all around you. The perfect party.

Now here’s what you don’t see. The person whose been in the scene, planning invitations, seating charts, agonizing over fish or chicken, open bar or cash (the answer is always open, by the way), green or mint green (never mint green), white or egg white, live band or live DJ, and the ultimate question, why oh why did they ever think of doing this in the first place?

As I have recently gone through this myself I would like to help all of you future party planners with some advice of my own.  I will try to make this as painless as possible.

Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You are a party planning Guru. You can do this because you are amazing. It is all in you. Listen to a little Whitney Houston to pump up your confidence.

First Step

Take inventory. This is very important. You need to know how many people are coming to this event. The amount of people don’t necessarily change what has to be done to make your party perfect, so this article will apply to people planning a 6 person gathering to a 200 person affair.

Helpful Hints

–  Consider why or who you are throwing this party for.

–  Know your limitations. If you have two weeks don’t plan a party with over 20 people. It will be overwhelming if you have a life to live, a job to go to, a family/significant other/or even friends who may want your attention in the next couple of weeks.

Step Two

Chose a theme. Is this going to be a circus or a ball? Is it a masquerade or a cook out with a spit in the middle of the room? Again, choose a theme that makes you smile (but also take into consideration the person you are planning for, if it is not just for you).

Helpful Hints

–  I cannot emphasize enough that the theme should be something you, the party master, are excited about. If you’re not excited about it, it will turn out flat and no one else will be excited about it. No point in doing all this work if it’s just going to flop.

–  Make it reasonable. If you live in the middle of nowhere and have absolutely no Asian decor within a couple hours of your residence, don’t make it an Asian themed party. If you hate Jamaican food, do not make it a Jamaican themed party. Make it something that is not too difficult – and if you’re watching your budget, too expensive to work with.

Step Three

Budget, budget, budget. I am going to put extra emphasis on this one. There are some people out there who do not need to budget, who have an unlimited income with which to go crazy with. The majority of us, however, need to put a cap on our spending. It is all too easy to walk into stores and grab items that are unnecessary because they kinda, sorta work with your chosen theme and just look at how CUTE it is! Sure your theme is Hawaii Luau but furry penguins are universal and you’re positive you can find a way to fit it in! Let me help you: The furry penguins do NOT fit in to your theme and you do NOT need them.

Helpful Hints

–  Think about

  • How many people are planning to attend.
  • How long do you have to plan/save for this? A week or six months will make a big difference in your budget.
  • What are your biggest expenses going to be? A DJ, a band, a giant ice sculpture of Michael Angelo’s David? What can you not live without at this party and what will cost the most. This will help you later on to decide if the fuzzy penguins are worth it.

Step Four

Get the big stuff finished. Invitations, location, entertainment, food, drinks, and a general idea of the deco. Everything else will fall into place once you have your location, your guests invited, and your food and entertainment ordered and paid for.

Helpful Hints

–  Many people rate how successful a party is based on the food and the music. If you are going to have either, make sure you don’t pick the first cheap option you see. If you have a DJ who just plays country, sad 80s pop, or soca music there’s a good chance that unless your entire guest list consists of cowboys, they won’t be too happy. Consider making your own music list or putting in songs you know are big hits. Have an idea of the food you’d like, possibly based on your theme. Make sure you sample your caterer before putting a down payment on them.

–  Cheap invitations are not hard to come by in our online world. Vistaprint.ca has great options for invitations from postcards to more formal invitations. Make sure you don’t wait too long to send them out, most people like to have up to a month’s notice for a large, possibly formal event. If it is a more casual event, a week and a half to two weeks is acceptable. Longer than that and you run the risk of most people being booked up.

Step Five

Now that you have the big stuff finished, start purchasing your Decorations. This is where many go a little overboard. But not you, you are a master at work. You know better than to go out and buy every shiny, sparkly ornament and anything that lights up.

Lighting

– Most people want to create an ambiance for their gatherings. Being over the top extravagant isn’t necessary and usually ends up looking gaudy. Some well placed candles around the apartment or some cheap, clear Christmas tree lights intertwined with tool can make a beautiful glow to any room while remaining classy and rather inexpensive.

Centerpieces

–  If you have tables, centerpieces can be a beautiful touch for your perfect party.
Whether you want something eye catching and extravagant or something simple and fun, remember to keep your theme in mind and try not to go too crazy. Keep the colors within the theme and keep in mind centerpieces are meant to flatter the room, not to be the only thing people can look at.

Step Six

Get ‘er Done.  It’s time for all your sweat, blood, and tears to come together in a beautiful night of laughter and joy. Set up your decorations, get dressed up and get ready to party. Around this time it can also be good to do a quick review that everything is in order and anyone helping knows what their job is. Good job Party Guru! I knew you could do it!

Pictures From:

http://lifealongthecowpath.blogspot.com/2010/07/party-line.html

http://www.splittree.org/misc_pages/ovphotos.htm

http://blog.weddingpaperdivas.com/recessionista-bride-submerged-centerpieces/

http://www.colonyofgamers.com/cogforums/showthread.php?t=19605

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