Getting Crafty

I love doing crafts. I am usually the one making homemade cards for my friends on their birthday, and I have burned myself on a hot glue gun more times than I care to admit.

I was inspired to combine a couple of my favourite things: wine and crafts!

I started to save corks, and asked my family and friends to do the same. I love the thought of all the conversations had over a certain bottle of wine, and I have the cork to represent that.

My bedroom at the cabin needed a little sprucing up. I called my hipster/artist friend Kristina and told her I need an old door. She knew of a store downtown and she helped me pick one out.

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I took it home, smashed out the glass, and sanded it down.

Next, I repainted the door and added a thin wooden back.

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Now for the fun part: placing the corks.

Sometimes this was a huge pain in the butt. I was almost finished a section and the last cork wouldn’t fit. I had to cut a few corks in the end, but it turned out pretty well.

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I glued down each cork with a hot glue gun, and then sprayed it with a clear gloss to keep the corks in place.

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It turned out to be very heavy, so I got my dad to secure my new headboard to the wall for me.

I think it turned out great! Once in a while I have to glue in a cork or two, but it’s totally worth it.

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P.S. I had a great wine this weekend at Maque, along with some fantastic food. If you are looking for a new restaurant to try, I had a wonderful experience 🙂

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Cooking with Red

I’m cooking again.

The plan was to make a red wine sauce for mussels, but we had a miscommunication about which one of us was supposed to pick up the mussels, so we improvised! We still made the red wine sauce — but one again we are cooking pasta sauce.

No complaints here.

Step one, light a candle and pour your wine.

DSC_0447Some for me, some for you

Chop up whatever vegetables you enjoy in your sauce. We used onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Toss them in the pan with a little oil and sauté for a minute or so. Add some tomato sauce, the wine, and whichever spice you enjoy. We used oregano,  Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

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Boil your pasta. We used gluten-free spirals and you couldn’t even tell the difference.

We also roasted and fried some brussel sprouts. They were a hit.

DSC_0449We had a lot going on here.

We cut off the steams and sliced the sprouts in half. Next we roasted them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, giving them a good shake every 8ish minutes. When they were just about done we dumped them in a pan with some peanut butter, balsamic glaze, and bacon bits. It’s was quite the eclectic mix, but a delightful flavour explosion.

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The sauce would have been unreal on mussels, but we enjoyed the pasta immensely. Plus  we put cheese on it, so that’s a win.

DSC_0452I would have tried to take a better photo, but the food was ready so what do you expect?

I encourage all of you to try cooking with wine. If it doesn’t turn out then you still have the wine and you can just order a pizza.

Bon appetit!

Booze Blues

Recently I have been thinking a lot about mental health.

I have been lucky enough to not have to struggle with any major mental health issues in my family, but I have seen first hand how difficult these issues can be. Everyone gets depressed once in a while, right?

When life gets stressful, it’s common to reward a job well done, or take a night off and have a few beverages. These “reward” nights come at a cost.

You wake up the next day with a headache, stomach ache, unmotivated and depressed. After panicking to locate your phone and your wallet, you wrap yourself in a burrito blanket and you think about how everything in your life sucks. You stuff your face with junk food, and then feel bad about that later. If you don’t get a hold of yourself, this could become a very self-destructive cycle.

Drinking causes your feel-good chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) to go into overdrive. The part of your brain that deals with inhibition starts to depress. This is why alcohol is called a depressant. Your heavy baggage falls away and you feel fantastic. When you drink you begin to feel that joyous buzz. The next morning the levels of those chemicals drop and leave you feeling blue. Those who are prone to depression and anxiety are more likely to be problem drinkers, according to Drinkaware.co.uk.

Another thing to watch out for is memory loss. Not only blacking out one night and trying to figure out where you are in the morning, but reoccurring heavy booze sessions will likely damage your brain and have long-term effects. (Psychology Today)

You can fight the booze blues. The easiest way is to talk to a friend. The best way is to exercise. Call up your gal pal and ask to go for a walk. Don’t mask your feelings with more booze.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I don’t have the time to tie one on every second night like I did when I was a young buck. I have learned how to drink responsibly with age — most of the time — and I have a general rule to never drink when I am upset. I have also invested in a lot of amazing books that stress the importance of taking care of yourself. Recently I finished Rising Strong by Brené Brown. Admittedly, it is a little embarrassing to look at books in the self-help section of Chapters. The battle with my ego is real. I am now learning to view that as the most wonderful section. What could be better than working to improve yourself and be a strong and supportive person for you, and those around you?

“First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be. We should watch our own gossiping and anger. We should model the kindness we want to see.”

~ Brené Brown

If you have concerns about addiction with someone you care about, here is a link to the Adult Addiction Services in Manitoba: http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyliving/addictions/adult.html