Tag Archives: diy

The first scarf I knitted 

I read on Reddit that a good beginner site was Row House and for me it was perfect. 

I chose my first project ever, following a simple pattern. I chose to do the stockinette stitch scarf. 

I chose a cheap acrylic yarn because I was still learning. As I work through this scarf, which took a couple weeks, I learned a little about wools and yarns from a friend of mine who is an experienced knitter. 

Then I did my own research but this exercise for me wasn’t about the quality of the piece. It was purely a learning experience. An opportunity for growth. 


I used what I learned to make this cute little scarf. It has a border.


I made a few mistakes along the way. And I learned a lot during this project. I learned how to correct my mistakes.

And the scarf kept getting longer and longer. The yard is the type that changes from color to color so it became interesting to knit. I was looking forward to seeing what the next color would be and what the finished product would look like. It kept me going.


The yarn was called Bernat pop! In color Ebony and Ivory.


And so after a couple of weeks I completed my very first project. A scarf! I think a scarf is a perfect project for a beginner. Because it helps you to learn the stitches over and over again. And it seals in that knowledge!


xxSerena

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8 DIY face masks that will do wonders for your skin

I love a good face mask, especially done at home.
Facials over makeup for me, any day of the week! But even when I’m wearing makeup, a good base of healthy skin makes everything work smoother, more beautiful, more vibrant.

Here are a few homemade do-it-yourself face masks. Try the one that calms what ails you!


  
  
  

Would you ever try these at home? Have you ever tried a recipe like this?

xxSerena

Post workout egg skillet with potatoes, tomatoes and corn

Eat the rainbow is a good nutritious idea, and that means a wide variety of vegetables.

So for a weekend heavy with workout and activities I needed some serious substinance. And I wanted to end the week off without any meat. So eggs it was.

I started with a small chopped onion and fresh diced potatoes. I like to cook this for at least 10 minutes because I want the potatoes and onions to brown and cook.

 

Pan fry onions and potatoes in olive oil. Photography by Serena Alibhai

Then add one chopped portobello mushroom.

Add one chopped portobello mushroom to your onions and potato mixture.
Cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market
Cherry tomatoes corn potatoes and onion

Then we add the corn and cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes were very sweet. I got them from the farmers market, they were delicious.

I then beat three eggs in a separate bowl. I seasoned the eggs with the sodium free garlic herb seasoning.

Then pour the eggs over your vegetables, cover and lower heat. Let the eggs cook for 5 to 10 minutes with the heat off or on low.

Egg vegetable scramble

Excellent post workout meal.

Would you make something like this? Why or why not?

Have a great week!

xxSerena

Healthy lentil soup recipe 

It’s healthy, high in protein, low in fat, vegetarian and delicious. The lentils are meaty and substantial enough, filled with healthy fiber and vitamins, to fill you up. I add layers of flavors to create this wonderful warm healthy soup. Perfect for winter, especially if one of your goals is to slim down.

Ingredients:

2 cups green lentils, split blend
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
3 small carrots, diced
1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin/cardamom powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
6 cups filtered water

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onions, carrots, cumin/cardamom and curry powder. Heat until onions become translucent, about 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in washed lentils. Add tomatoes, water and remaining spices.
  3. Simmer for half an hour on low heat, covered. Lastly, stir in apple cider vinegar, let rest for 10 minutes off of heat, covered, and serve.

 

Washing green lentils. Photography by Serena Alibhai

 

Carrots, onion and canned tomatoes.

 

Cook to combine flavors. Photography by Serena Alibhai

 

Homemade lentil soup. Photography by Serena Alibhai

 

You can even put an egg on it if you want.

 

What’s your favourite healthy homemade soup?

xxSerena

Get more magnesium from the food you eat

Magnesium can help beat depression, reduce body fat and increase energy amoung so many other things!


Here is another list of vegetarian sources of magnesium:


What are your favorite ways to increase magnesium in your diet?

xxSerena

Eggplant baked pizza stacks with tomato, greens and goat cheese

There was no doubt the eggplant from the farmers market was beautiful.

Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

I have cooked eggplant like this before, when I lived in another country. In Tanzania there was a large Greek population and the ladies taught me how to make a great authentic moussaka.

This time, however, I wanted to use less oil, since my diet goals for this week are to keep my food as “clean” as possible.

You see, on the weekend, I tested my body fat percentage in and wasn’t happy with the number.

Now this information is, by no means, important. But for me, it kind of shocked me. But that’s another blog for another day.

These pizzas were so delicious, purely vegetarian and easy to make.

Ingredients:

One large eggplant, cut into crosswise 1-inch disks
One handful spinach & arugula, chopped
Fresh salsa
Goat cheese
Dry Italian seasoning
Olive oil for brushing (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line baking tray with foil and preheat oven to 400°C
  2. Lightly brush eggplant disks with olive oil, sprinkle with dry Italian seasoning
  3. Top each disc with teaspoon of fresh salsa
  4. Top with chopped spinach and arugula
  5. Top with goat cheese crumbles
  6. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Turn heat off, let rest in oven for five more minutes
  7. Enjoy
Eggplant disks, season with dry Italian herb seasoning. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

From personal experience I know that eggplant is high in water content and absorbs all of oil so I chose not to brush my eggplant discs with olive oil. The little pizzas might be easier to remove after they are cooked if you use olive oil?
Next, top with fresh diced tomatoes or a fresh salsa, like I used. Then you will top with finely chopped spinach and arugula. If you want to add fresh oregano or basil, you can do that here.

Season, add fresh salsa. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Sprinkle chopped arugula and spinach onto your little pizzas. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Photography and food stying by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace 

I chose to use goats cheese next. Mozzarella would go great here as well.

Goat cheese crumble on top. Photography & food styling by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

After baking these had an amazing flavor. The texture was soft and delectable. I was surprised at how well these turned out. It’s definitely something I would pull out for a dinner party because they are so easy to make, healthy and taste so delicious.

Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace 

Thank you to all my blogger friends for suggestions last week on what I should do with my eggplant! You guys were so helpful. I took all of your suggestions and I created something new and delicious!

xxSerena

Vitamin B: the types, foods and benefits?

I only remember being in Africa, a friend of mine getting Malaria, and his mum coming home from the pharmacy giving him a box of vials.

He immediately opened the bag, open the box, cracked open a vile and took the black liquid in like a shot of Tequila.

It was liquid B vitamin complex.

It wasn’t meant to cure his malaria, drugs would do that no problem, but it was meant to help his immunity.


The vitamin B complex my friend took was also meant to help him with fatigue, help him sleep and prevent headache.

What foods have vitamin B complex? I can never get it straight. Here is a handy chart:


Do you take vitamin B complex as a vitamin supplement or as food?

xxSerena

Easy rice noodle spinach soup: make your own Vietnamese pho at home 

Having rice noodles ready in your fridge is a great lunch for a lazy Sunday. You will also need some broth.
Also you will need one handful of fresh spinach.


The rest is just assembly. Begin by boiling your broth. Once it has reached boiling, add your noodles and a handful of fresh spinach.

 

photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

 

photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

 

Make your own Pho at home. photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

Cook for two minutes. Then transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

 

photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

 

photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

It’s fun to eat this with chopsticks and a big soup spoon.

 

Quick easy Vietnamese pho at home. photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

 

xxSerena

How exactly is your body a reflection of what is going on inside?

Do you want to know what’s going on inside of you in five seconds flat?
Sometimes examining what’s happening on the outside of your body give you clues to what nutrient deficiencies might be occurring on the inside.

  
Do you find this is true for you?

xxSerena 

Why you should be eating yogurt regularly

I like Greek no fat yogurt, but I’m not choosy about the fat content as much as I am about the flavour.

And my flavor has always been plain. I don’t know what it is but that cold sour taste of yogurt has always been a treat for me.

Cold, thick, plain Greek yogurt is one of my favorite things to eat. And I feel blessed I don’t have any dietary constraints when it comes to yogurt. I am not lactose intolerant, my stomach can handle yogurt perfectly fine. In fact I feel it does my body really good!

I like my yogurt plain but I have no problem stopping it with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, granola or any other delicious fruit.

What are your feelings on yogurt? Do you eat it? How do you eat it?

xxSerena