Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day 2014 Blogs

Today March 8 2014 Is International Women's Day



Last year I wrote a post about International Women's Day, but this year I decided to see what other bloggers have to say about the subject. I have set up a a blog link up with some great posts that have to do with the topic. If you have written a post that fits with the topic of International Women's Day be sure to link it up at the bottom of this post. I have also added some content that may strike a chord with you.





Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Facebook Turns 10 - What That Means To Me

Happy 10th Birthday Facebook


Last week TIME magazine launched a tool to let you know How Much Time You've Wasted On Facebook.  Although I have not analyzed the time I have spent on Facebook, I would never refer to it as wasted time.

Here's just a short list of things Facebook has done for me
  • Met tons of new people!
  • Launched MeFest
  • Turned my part-time job into a full-time position
  • Became even more involved in my community
  • Raised awareness for several events
  • Learned to adapt to an ever-changing platform
Really I could go on about all the wonderful things facebook has done, but that's just me. I asked on facebook about how what you LIKE most about facebook.  Staying connected to those far away and re-connecting with people was the stand out answer. 

To celebrate 10 years of Facebook, all the users received a highlight reel of their time on the social network as well as a message from Mark Zuckerburg and a short 10 Year Celebration video that you can see below.





Saturday, January 4, 2014

Are You Ready For An Emergency? How I Prepared For Another Winter Storm

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?


When it comes to losing power I am.  As many of you know I'm a worrier, and I've always had the supplies handy in the event of a power failure, but I learned over the Christmas season, it may not cut it.

Where I live if the power goes out it's only for a few hours (with the exception of the blackout of 2003), so I always knew I have enough to get me through a day or two.  I received quite a wake up call this year as many spent the Christmas holidays in the dark.  You can hear more about that on my Everik Battery Backup post.

Once again my area of Ontario is preparing for Old Man Winter to rear his ugly head.  Overnight we are supposed to get hit with another snowstorm, so today I did a few things to put together an emergency kit.

I went out bought new flashlights (including a headlamp that is supposed to work for 5 hours), lots of batteries, extra food a few things to make things a bit easier if the power went out (If the storm passes by I'll post what I'm putting away for my emergency kit in a separate post tomorrow).When I came home I saw that I received a lot of suggestions on my facebook feed.

Although I already have a lot of the items listed I really went through the Waterloo Region Emergency Management site that was suggested. If you follow this Personal Preparedness link and scroll down to Tips on Preparing a Family Emergency Survival Kit you can see a bunch of bullet points of what you need, scroll down a bit more and see a much more detailed list.

In addition Diane told me about some lights that you can purchase from the Red Cross. This year I plan on purchasing those along with that 2 of those 72 hour emergency kits. One for home and one for my vehicle.

There were a few extra things that I did to prepare.

1. Prepare A Source Of Heat

I have a fireplace insert, but I haven't had a fire yet this year and was worried about starting it up without it being properly prepared for long burning fires, so I went a bought the Chimney Sweep Log that's advertised.  I followed the directions on this youtube video and it burned for about 3 hours without any issues. I also bought a package of six long burning fireplace logs (each one is to last about 3 hours).  I have wood for the fireplace, but again I don't use my fireplace as a heat source, so I don't have a huge wood pile that's easy to get to (I'll fix that next thaw), so between the wood I do have close by and the fireplace logs I would be able to stay warm while I come up with a plan.

2. Prepare Your Wallet And Your Car

Back in 2003 during the blackout I had a full tank of gas and had just taken money out of the bank.  This proved to be helpful as we were able to drive to my parent's cottage, since it occurred in the middle of the summer. I figured we could cook food in the BBQ (or fire pit if it got to that) and if it was too warm we could hang out in the lake.  It was a wonderful surprise to find out that they had not lost power there so we stayed for a couple of days. Even though there was hydro in the area, many of the stores could only do cash transactions because their POS system home base was located in a place where the power was out.

If a storm was to hit and I found out it would be out for days, and I could drive to another area where there is power, that would be my plan. In addition to fuel, also make sure you have windshield washer fluid and lots of supplies in the car.  If you are not planning on leaving (you've heard the power will be out for hours, not days) below are some more things to do to prepare.

3. Prepare For Your Pets

Make sure you are stocked up with lots of pet food. Also fill lots of water pitchers and water jugs with water so you can ensure your pets have lots to drink.

4. Charge Your Devices

During last month's storm, I did not lose heat or hydro, but I did lose my internet, tv and land line.  I did not lose my data on my smartphone. I was still able to text and access the web in order to hear about updates from the news and weather stations and was able to share info with those who had lost power but still had internet access and keep them updated on their hydro situations.

5. Do Your Laundry And Find Your Luggage

If you had to leave at a moments notice would you have enough clean clothes ready to go? Do you how you would carry everything? Do you really want to go up in the attic or down in the crawlspace in the dark hunting for suitcases?

6. Take A Shower And Fill The Tub

Take a shower because you don't know when your next one will be during an emergency situation (see the no makeup/towel dried hair pic below).  In addition this will refill your hot water tank afterwards which I think (which means in my head and not a scientific fact) will help your pipes to keep from freezing up if they have been used recently. Next fill your tub with water.  You can use it to flush your toilet.  I was surprised to learn that many don't know that pouring a bucket of water into your toilet bowl will cause it to flush.

7. Cook A Big Meal

I've cooked a big roast with lots of potatoes, parsnips and carrots. If the power doesn't go out I have leftovers for work lunch and stews, stirfrys etc.

8. Set Up Your Supplies... Sort Of

I bought new flashlights and batteries, so I set them all up to make sure they are working.  Then I took out the batteries, as I don't want the lights to drain the batteries.  I do have the batteries near the lights that they are for.

9. Have A Land line Phone And Write Down The Phone Numbers Of Your Local Utility Providers

In the past when the hydro has gone out, all of my cordless phones stopped working too, but my kitchen wall phone (land line) has worked.  Because I keep emergency numbers close by I was able to call the local hydro company to let them know it has gone out.  I know a few times I was the first person to call in as they were not aware.  Back then I worked afternoons so I told them most of my neighbours were still at work and wouldn't know until they got home.

10. Be Happy That You Have Taken Precautions

I'm always thrilled when a big storm that was supposed to happen, passes by without any horrible consequences.  Remember all the items you have bought will keep! Better safe than sorry.

What Do You Do To Prepare?

Share your knowledge and we'll all benefit.  Leave a comment about what you do to prepare for an emergency. Perhaps you experienced the Ice Storm Power Failure first hand and can offer some insight and advice. I want to hear from you too!





Friday, January 3, 2014

How To Cook Golden Beets


 
When I visit the grocery store I always do my best to buy locally grown produce.  Being that I live in Ontario Canada, finding a vegetables from this area in December doesn't come easy.
I was very surprised on my last shopping trip to find Golden Beets that were grown in Ontario.

Cue the jingle....



So I decided to give them a whirl
As you can see the golden beets came with their own recipe (photo of the recipe close up is near the bottom of this post), but as always, I improvised.


The recipe called for 2lbs of Golden Beets and that was the size of bag that I bought.  It said for them to be washed and quartered.

My first question was should I peel them as well? The skin looked rough and not like something I wanted to eat, so I headed over to "Chef Google" to find out. According to Tiny Urban Kitchen yes I could peel the beets.

My next question was about quartering them, as you can see in the image below, some were the size of a baseball, where others were the size of a squash ball.  So instead of quartering them I decided to dice them into chuncks relatively the same size.



I chose to use the olive oil option that was on the recipie and instead of all the spices I tossed them with Himalayan Sea Salt.
That could have went a bit better, the grinder part of the salt container came off and well it became quite a mess. Thankfully the most of the salt spill was centralized in one corner of the pan so I was able to scoop out the majority of salt.

The next step said roast for 40 mins at 400 degrees.  I never know if that means I should cover it or not, but to me roasting is covered so I covered the pan in tin foil and popped it in the oven.

I already had some chicken thighs baking in apple cider vinegar in the oven so the timing should be about the same.  I also put some mini potatoes in my steamer to go along with it. I am sure I could have put the potatoes in with the beets, but I wanted to see how the beets turned out on their own.  Plus steamer mini potatoes don't need much fuss. No peeling, just a good scrub and they are good to go.








Saturday, December 28, 2013

Battery Backup - Lifesaver II Review

We'll start with the Disclaimer - Yes I did receive a complimentary Lifesaver II, but this just means I'm able to offer you a chance to win one too! Enter the contest at the end of this post!

I'm All Charged Up Over This Product

With ice storm 2013 still causing power outages around Ontario I thought this would be a great time to talk about an emergency battery backup.  Take a moment and watch the clip of @NeilHedley talking about the impact of the storm in his area and how the Lifesaver II was able to assist him during the ordeal on this CTV News Channel clip
Ever wish you could just get that extra little bit of power before your smartphone dies? Tired of looking for an outlet to charge your device? Well I put the Lifesaver II by Mio to the test thanks to the folks at Everik. See in the videos below how easy it is to have a backup battery on hand.



Part 2 doesn't have the hairstyle malfunction





















You can see by the images below that the red light indicates that the Lifesaver II is charging and when the red light no longer appears it means it is fully charged.

 

 

 

I've Got The Power

As you can see from the videos and pics above the Lifesaver II by Mio is very simple to use. My smartphone started working almost immediately. I was able to text Diane on my smartphone while the Lifesaver II was in the midst of charging my device! 



As mentioned in the video be sure to follow my twitter feed @Those2Girls where I will be tweeting out other reviews by some of Canada's top bloggers and just like I promised you can enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win a Lifesaver II by Mio

One of the bonus entries is about how your get POWERED UP! Leave your answer in the comments below the Rafflecopter widget (it may take a minute to load)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pin It Forward - Top Five Ways To Help Others On Pinterest

As Pinterest becomes more and more popular there are many ways to keep Pinterest a positive experience for everyone. The best way to be helpful is to PIN IT FORWARD

Top 5 Ways To Pin It Forward

  1. Create a board with helpful tips and tricks that you have learned to help other that are trying something new.
  2. Start a shared board with a friend to pin things that they are interested in. IE I do not crochet but my friend does and I see lots of cute crochet projects on pinterest. I pin them for her and she can easily access the board.
  3. Tag a friend in a pin that you think they will like. When you tag someone in the comment section they will receive a notification.
  4. Make a board for a cause you support. You will be adding awareness to the cause
  5. Take that extra second a LIKE the person's pin before you repin it. Obvisously it caught your fancy if it's worth a repin
For more information on Pinterest just type it in my search bar, you'll find all of my Pinterest related posts!





Sunday, December 15, 2013

Year In Review Time Of Year Again - How Social Sites Help You Reflect

2013 Online Wrap Up


This is the time of year when everyone starts posting their resolutions.
Although I usually come up with a few unique ones, I tend to look back at the year to see what stood out for me.

How Social Sites Help You Reflect

As a reader of mine, I am sure you are aware I post a lot on social media.  This comes in handy when it comes to a personal year in review.

Earlier this week Facebook complied some of my most interactive moments in MY FACEBOOK YEAR IN REVIEW


Another great way to see how your year was is to look back at your blog posts, pinterest pins and twitter hashtags that you use often.  They are a great indication of what you participated in over the last year.

Still looking for something to inspire your year in review?
YouTube posted their 2013 Rewind video as a reminder of what happened in terms of viral video over the past twelve months



And I expect that soon the 2013 Google Zeitgeist will be out with many moments from 2013 that made you both laugh and cry.

Updated Dec 17 2013 Google Zeitgeist is Live


How do you find ways to reflect on the past year? Did something stand out for you? Leave a comment below so we can both share in your memory!