Black Bean Soup

While my daughter was in preschool, we had a weekly trip to a local cafe every Wednesday for lunch.  We both always ordered the black bean soup and it was delicious.  It was so good that my daughter asked me to make it at home.  So, I researched many recipes and did some trial and error until I was able to make a batch that the whole family declared the winner.  It’s not like the one at the restaurant, but it’s pretty darn good and it’s oh so simple!

Ingredients:

1/2 medium onion
1 – 2 garlic cloves, smashed & chopped
3 cans (medium size) of black beans
1 cup of broth (I use low sodium chicken)
Cumin, chilli powder, salt, pepper

Directions:

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil – season with salt & pepper
Add cumin & chill powder (min 1 tsp – more depending on your taste)
Add 3 cans of black beans – including the liquid from the cans
Add 1 – 2 cups of broth (1 if you like it thicker, 2 for a bit thinner)
Bring to a boil
Simmer as long or as little as you like – min 15 mins.

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Use your immersion blender to blend the soup but leave small chunks of beans.

Taste and add more seasoning if needed.

When you are ready to serve, pour into bowls and add sour cream, cheese or my kids’ favourite, chopped hot chilli peppers on top.

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Also tastes good served with nachos or tortilla chips and an icy cold beer.

No matter what you are cooking, try and use the best ingredients you can.  When you use organic and fresh produce, meals usually taste better and are healthier for you.

With the push towards more vegetarian eating and Meatless Monday, give this soup a try with your family.  Let me know if you like it!

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5 Things You Need for Rainy Weather

 

When you live where it rains a bit a lot, you know what you need to make it through the day months of rain.

We have had a pretty amazing winter so far with not a lot of rain, but the weather changed back to “normal” this week, so I thought a refresher on what to wear when you live or visit a rainy city would be helpful.

My list, in no particular order:

#1 -Rain Boots – these are pretty much standard issue to the locals and new residents.  Hunters or rain booties – you can never have enough pairs.

 

#2 – Rain Jackets – The trench style makes sense as it keeps more of you dry.  Lululemon or North Face seem to be the most popular ones here in town.  I have linked similar jackets here and here.

 

 

#3 – Rain Hat – not mandatory, but it’s keeps your hair dry and it’s cute.

 

#4 – Umbrella – It may seem obvious, but many people forget their umbrella at home or don’t even own one!   Black seems to be pretty standard umbrella colour, but it blends in too much with the grey rainy days.  Go with a bright coloured brolly to cheer up your day and to be seen by cars when you’re out walking.

 

#5 – Patience 

It’s rain.  Liquid sunshine.  It will pass.  Eventually.  I’m sure our neighbours in California would love some consistent rain.  It’s not snow, although it would be nice to have a little of that once in a while.  Dress well and warmly and be like a kid and go jump in a puddle!

linking up with: More Pieces of MeSincerely Jenna MarieThe Pleated PoppyShopping My Closet

 

Of All Places!

So I’m wandering aimlessly through my local Marshalls…after having wandered aimlessly through my local Home Goods when I saw this

So funny to see a shirt representing my hometown hockey team in my current city that doesn’t even have an NHL team.

But not so funny that I had to have it.

linking up with: The Jenny Evolution

Fun Finds

While out shopping at Winners Homesense last week, I found some fun shoes, clothes and home items.

Take a look!

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These slip on rain booties were only $29.99 and perfect for our rainy weather.
If you are a size 9 and like leopard print, these Ugg boots would be perfect for you and only $69.99.
If you are a size 9 and like leopard print, these Ugg boots would be perfect for you and only $69.99.
I've seen these lined work boot everywhere these days. Only $69.99.
I’ve seen these lined work boot everywhere these days. Only $69.99.
Calling all Kate Spade fans, these flats were $99.99 and a perfect colour for Spring.
Calling all Kate Spade fans, these flats were $99.99 and a perfect colour for Spring.
Slip ons are my favourite and this metallic would go with anything.
Slip ons are my favourite and this metallic would go with anything.
This graphic hoodie would go with everything and it's grey!! Only $19.99.
This graphic hoodie would go with everything and it’s grey!! Only $19.99.
J Brand ankle or cropped skinny jeans. $79.99. Not a bad price at all.
J Brand ankle or cropped skinny jeans. $79.99. Not a bad price at all.
These towels scream beach and coastal to me and would look great in my bathroom. Too bad I didn't buy them.
These towels scream beach and coastal to me and would look great in my bathroom. Too bad I didn’t buy them.
Sarah Richardson's first book was on sale for $10. So, I bought it!
This is Sarah Richardson’s second book and it was on sale for $19.99.  I happened to also find her first book for only $9.99, so I bought it!
Fringe is on trend, so this key chain by Jonathan Adler would make a great little gift for someone.
Fringe is on trend, so this key chain would make a great little gift for someone.
Another Jonathan Adler accessory at the checkout - a new iPhone cover.
Another Jonathan Adler accessory at the checkout – a new iPhone cover.

 

I’m surprised I only came home with the book!  What would you have brought home with you?

linking up with: The Jenny Evolution

 

 

What Not To Wear

Remember the show?  Remember how the contestant (was that what she was called?) tried on all her clothes for  Stacy and Clinton to critique?

Well, we do a similar show, but it’s via text/email with my sister.

Here’s how we will play today.  I’ll show you a picture and you say yeah or nay, then I’ll tell you what my sister said.

First up:

 #1

big no!

 

#2

not bad, but not that good either!

 

#3

winner – it’s a keeper

 

#4

not bad – kept this one

 

So, I’m 50/50 on the keep go ratio.  That’s not bad, is it?

Did you guess the same?   Stayed tuned shortly for another round of What Not to Wear!

 

linking up with:  More Pieces of MeSincerely Jenna MarieReasons to DressPleated PoppyCurly Crafty MomShopping My ClosetHappiness at Mid-LifeJo-Lynne ShaneJaymie Ashcraft

Saturday Night Nails

I rarely never do my nails.  I’m a SAHM and with kids and a dog.  I like gardening and cleaning, so I rarely give my nails a second thought.  That’s not to say I don’t do pedicures – I LOVE pedis!!
But back to my nails…  I have nail envy when I see nails like this:

marsala-nail-polish
source

So, with the kids in bed and the hubby out, I thought I’d give myself a manicure.  These polishes are at least a year old.  At least.  Since then, I’ve heard about better products for the environment and me.

See this list?  I want to start using better for me polishes.
But, in the meantime I decided to use these old products to see if I liked the result.

Guess what?  I like it!  This grey (Essie Cocktail Bling) goes well with my sweater (thanks, sis).

What a surprise! 😉

What did you do on Saturday night?

New Year, New Clothes

The kids are back in school, I’ve semi-cleaned the house and needed groceries, so I headed to Superstore (Loblaws for those of you back East).  Problem is, that when you go to Superstore, you see Joe Fresh fashions right when you walk in the door.

Now, I don’t always buy from Joe Fresh, but I have been known to pick up the odd top, sweater, tank at a very good price point.  It isn’t always the best or will be a piece that you have for a long time, but Joe Fresh is usually  always on point for fashion trends and colours.

I have to admit I was surprised that the store was already full of fresh fashions for late Winter/early Spring.

Here’s a little peek at what I saw:

These shoes were under $20.  I tried them on.  They were not uncomfortable and would be a cute little flat to add a little camo to your day.

 

This top is part sweater, part sweatshirt.  I tried it on and it fit a little unconstructed which seems to be in style right now.  It was only $9.94 and in one of my fav colours…grey!

 

Ok, so if you don’t like grey, this red and black in the classic buffalo check would do nicely. I’m thinking it would be cute for the holiday season 2016.

 

 

Umm…these pants.  Part jogger, part sweatpants wanna be.  Either way, they were comfy and so well priced.  Picture them with a black of white top, a cute hoodie and fun runners (tennis shoes for you South of the border).

 

Bathings suits are here!!  Mix and match tops and bottoms while they still have your size.  All pieces around $20.

 

In case you don’t like the turquoise blue, there is navy and orange just around the corner.  Again, easy to wear and mix and match.

 

I saw orange and navy from the minute I hit this section.  Based on this, I’m guessing orange is a must have colour for Spring.

 

Softer shades of orange, floral and pink/peach all say Spring to me.

 

Before Winter is over, you might want to grab a pair of these Sorel look alike boots.  Reg $69 on sale for $59 and some styles were less.  I tried them on and they fit well!

 

Not a fashion item, but still a new item to me.  Natural soap made in Canada for only $1.25 per bar.  If you are trying to add more natural products to your daily regime, try this soap in one of the many flavours.

 

 

I am feeling a little more inspired with my wardrobe now and I’m looking forward to the sales and Spring fashions to come over the next month!

linking up with: Happiness at Mid-lifeJersey Girl Texas HeartThe Pleated PoppyJo-Lynne ShaneFashion Should Be FunJaymie Ashcraft