Tuesday, March 03, 2015

artwork by dallas clayton.

I discovered Dallas Clayton's artwork last week and guys, it just speaks to me! (Is that cheesy to say? Oh well, don't care. Hear my barbaric yawp, world!)

Here are some of my favourites: 

dallas clayton

dallas clayton

dallas clayton

dallas clayton

dallas clayton

dallas clayton

dallas clayton

Take a look at his website and let me know what your favourites are!

(Artwork and images by Dallas Clayton)

Monday, March 02, 2015

our favourite slow cooker recipes.

I bought a slow cooker the first year I lived in China and used it... once. 

Then Tony and I moved in together late summer 2013 and we started eating at home more often. Partly in an effort to be healthier, partly to save money, and partly because he discovered he likes to cook and even better, he's good at it.

I am not. 

But I can take some meat out to thaw, chop some vegetables, and throw it all in a pot. (Honestly, he usually does the chopping, too, but I mix the sauces!)

Now, once or twice a week on our lunch break, we make something in the slow cooker to be ready by the time we come home again that night. 

We've become more adventurous with the recipes we'll try, but we have a few that we make over and over. I've had some requests to share them, so here's a roundup of our favourites.

our favourite slow cooker recipes / sunshineandwhimsy.net

It's safe to say that this recipe is our most favourite and the one we make most often. Summer recommends cooking it in the oven for better flavour, but suggests the slow cooker if you're short on time, so that's the only way we've ever made it. (We only have a toaster oven... and have never used it.) We always have enough for two meals for both of us.

What we do differently: 3 chicken breasts. Whole yellow onion. A few frozen strawberries (or fresh if they're in season.) (We've even made it with blueberries before!)

Can you tell we're a fan of Summer's recipes? Tony was unsure at first, but now he loves chili. This recipe is super easy. After work, I'll walk to a nearby bakery to get a fresh baguette to go with it... perfection. And there's always lots of leftovers. 

This one sounds weird, but it's delicious, I promise! We serve it with rice and always have enough for two meals for both of us.

What we do differently: 3 chicken breasts.

The first time we made this, I cried. It's so good. 

What we do differently: We half the recipe because our slow cooker is small. We still have leftovers, though! Regular carrots cut small. (And the last time we made it, we used water instead of beef broth; still delicious!)

Comforting and perfect for winter! I find it filling on its own, but Tony likes to have bread to go with it (and really, who doesn't like a good baguette?). 

What we do differently: We half it, maybe even reduce it more than that, because of the size of our slow cooker. Again, we still have leftovers! Ground beef instead of chicken. Regular potatoes instead of red.

P.S. You can find more slow cooker recipes on my Pinterest board!

P.P.S. Please, share your favourite slow cooker recipes with me! (Also, do you call it a slow cooker or crock pot? Is there any difference?)

(Image, without text, by Summer Harms)

Friday, February 27, 2015

bookmarked.

Here's what I bookmarked this week:




// These rules for blogging are fantastic. I struggle with numbers 1 & 3. 

// "Have more fun with your blog" is something I can get behind.

// I'll admit, I didn't fully understand everything in this article, but it was fascinating: What ISIS Really Wants

// Elise nailed it with her birthday essay!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

happy birthday, Tony Bologna!


There's no one else I'd rather drink cheap beer with!

And just because I love this photo...



(Top photo from our trip to Cambodia; bottom photo by Kandise Brown)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

highlights from datong.

highlights from datong

Remember last year when I told you we were taking a 3AM train to Datong for the Tomb Sweeping Festival weekend? Well, I'm finally going to share some highlights! 

highlights from datong

We arrived in the morning, so we spent that first day just wandering around the city, with our friend Nemanja as our guide.

highlights from datong

The air and skies were beautiful the whole time! Something to be grateful for, especially in China.

highlights from datong

highlights from datong


There were lots of statues, some scarier than others. 

highlights from datong

highlights from datong

The detail everywhere was breathtaking!


After climbing a couple sets of steep stairs, I opted to go back down and enjoy the sun while everyone else went to the very top. (Heights are not my friend.)

highlights from datong

highlights from datong

highlights from datong

highlights from datong

Again, all the details! Wow!

highlights from datong

Another scary statue. But the detail!

highlights from datong - Nine Dragon Wall

Contrary to what this photo would have you believe, we were less than impressed by the Nine-Dragon Wall.

highlights from datong - Nine Dragon Wall

Not the first time people have asked to have their photo taken with us.

highlights from datong

highlights from datong

I also skipped climbing this wall, and ended up missing a nice view and a dragon made of plates. But I made friends with some little kids using my limited Chinese!

highlights from datong

I admired his work...

highlights from datong

...and he gave me a chance.

highlights from datong - street food

Street food! (Pro tip: You should always try street food. Really, most of it is delicious!)

highlights from datong - street food

highlights from datong - street food

highlights from datong - street food

See? Delicious! (We went back for more later.)

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

The morning of the second day, we went to the Hanging Monastery. As you can see, it was only a little crowded ;) (Nemanja's aunt snuck to the front of the line to get our tickets.)

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

Spoiler alert: Despite my fear of heights, I went through the whole thing. And I cried. But people were pushing! And the sides only went up to maybe mid-thigh. It was scary!

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

Yah... this is on (in?) the monastery and it's really high and really crowded. This was probably the last time I smiled until I was back on the ground. 

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

highlights from datong - Hanging Monastery

Only a little high...

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

In the afternoon, we went to the Yungang Grottoes.

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

The details here were incredible, too!

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

highlights from datong - Yungang Grottoes

The statues were huge!

highlights from datong

Candy art! (Dude's got skills.)

We left around 9 or 10PM the night of the second day.

Overall, the trip was a success! And writing this post makes me want to take more weekend trips to other parts of China. Two places I really want to go: Xian and Harbin.

P.S. Highlights from Shanghai.
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