Tips for The Realistic Cooker: Frozen Olive Oil

Olive oilDon’t Store Your Olive Oil Where It Can Freeze Into a Solid Mass

Now, you probably didn’t know this could be a problem, until it happens to you. I didn’t realize this was a thing. The conundrum was thrown at me when I opened my cabinet to find a frozen bottle of olive oil. Apparently the cabinet I keep my oil in is very cold because my olive oil was frozen solid. Faced with the problem of having a salad with just balsamic vinegar, I needed to act quickly.

How to Thaw Your Olive Oil

1. Boil Water

You might think this is the first logical solution, but who has time for that? Plus, it would create more dishes. You have a salad waiting and you’re starving! However, if you’re looking for a fancy solution, this is the one for you.

2. Body Heat

Why boil water when you have a natural source of heat at your fingertips. Take your bottle of frozen olive oil and hold it close like it’s your child, your frozen child who’s on the verge of hypothermia.

3. Warm Running Water

Still frozen, eh? Take that bottle and run it under some very hot water. That should release enough for you to enjoy your salad. Wala! A salad is born.

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My Personal Trainer is Trying to Kill Me (and Yours Should Too)

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Apparently it’s considered a win when you have trouble walking back to your car after a session with your personal trainer.

Personal trainers are clever. They push you to the point where you start wishing physical harm upon them. Yet, they’ve also rendered you immobile and unable to carry out any of your sinister plans.

Then you think to yourself, “Today’s rough, but tomorrow will be better.” Wrong. Apparently things will  get worse before they  get better. And you decided to wear heels to work. That was a mistake. Once you start getting that carefree feeling back in your legs, BAM! It’s leg day again… What’s the point of having nice legs if you can’t even use them? I’m currently working on a way to sit down without using my leg muscles. It’s not going well…

I Got a Personal Trainer (Cue Panic)

pain-gain-arnoldI decided to try this new thing where I start my Saturday off with the feeling of impending doom. No, I’m not running away from a murderer (although sometimes it feels like I am).

As I venture further down the road to better health and wellness, I decided it was time I sign up for a personal trainer. I was convinced (yes, by said personal trainer) that in order to improve my workout and step up my game, I needed to take drastic measures. Personal trainer it is.

Now, along with the physical journey, there’s also a mental component. I’ve discovered there are 10 stages to mentally coming to grips with the fact that I now have a personal trainer (and might die). Allow me to share this roller coaster of emotions.

The 10 Stages of Having a Personal Trainer

1. Regret

After you sign up for your first personal training session, you may second guess your decision. You may start thinking you made a huge mistake and you’ll start making excuses. For example, the expense is more than your budget can handle, your schedule is full enough as it is, etc.

2. Pride

Next comes pride. You may think to yourself, “I don’t need a personal trainer. I’m fine. There’s no need for anyone else to push me. I’ve been doing a basically fine job for years. Yes, I look the same, but still…”

3. Justification

With pride comes justification. I mean, the internet is basically like a personal trainer and it’s free. The people on the internet never tell me I’m doing anything wrong. I realize they can’t see what I’m doing (or if I’m even exercising at all). However, they’re very encouraging. We’ve never met, but I’m sure we’d be best friends.

4. Panic

Once you come to grips with the fact that you indeed have a personal trainer, the panic starts to set in. You realize that impending doom is approaching. There’s no escape. Crap.

5. Increased Heart Rate / Sweat (Not the Exercise Kind)

After you’ve moved past the panic and stress, you want to dive right in. You don’t have to sit around and stress about the what-ifs anymore. Let’s rip this bandaid off already!

6. Impatience

Why hasn’t my personal trainer gotten back to me with a scheduled session?! Doesn’t he realize I’m trying to fix myself?!

7. Relief

You make it through day one and totally nail it. You can totally handle this. Piece of cake!

8. Anxiety

Wait…that was just the assessment?! More anxiety…

9. Pain

Everything hurts. You’ll drop a pencil and take a significant amount of time contemplating whether bending over to pick it up is worth the inevitable pain which will ensue. I think my personal trainer is trying to kill me. This better be worth it. Can’t there be gain without the pain??

10. Acceptance

This is the stage where you fully come to terms with the fact that you’re one of those people who has a personal trainer. I mean, celebrities have them and you wouldn’t say that they’re not smart enough to work out by themselves. Now, I haven’t actually reached this stage myself, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get there…eventually.

What To Do With Your Day Off (When You Have No Money)

1004331.pngStaycations aren’t nearly as rejuvenating as far-away-cations. A change of scenery can do wonders. Throw in a beach and an endless supply of beverages in carved out pineapples, and I’m set! Now, how do you explore a change of scenery if your vacation time and budget leave much to be desired? Continue reading.

Pretend You Work Downtown

Got a couple days off and you’re not sure what to do with them? Head downtown. Now, this one really only works if you don’t already work downtown. Explore the joys of commuting into the exciting downtown financial district without worrying about being late for an important meeting. However, if you walk with purpose, those around you will think you’re heading to an important appointment. For those of you who already work downtown or don’t live near a booming metropolis, pick a nearby suburb (or the closest thing you have to a booming metropolis).

Where Do You Go?

Now, seeing as you don’t have an actual downtown job to head towards, where do you go? Find a trendy hipster coffee shop and plunk yourself down. Pull out your computer and pretend like you’re working on an up and coming screenplay or blog of some kind (Bonus points if you actually have a blog to work on). No one needs to know you’re actually catching up on your online shopping.

Take Yourself Out to Lunch

Find a trendy lunch spot (yes, trendy is key) and enjoy a meal for one. I understand that many are hesitant (including myself) to sit alone in a restaurant. However, the best time to try this is during lunch on a weekday, especially near office buildings. Lots of people grab quick sit down lunches by themselves. Still hesitant? Pull out that handy laptop and enjoy a (fake) working lunch. Books and news publications can also be utilized to create the illusion of a productive lunch (extra bonus points if you actually learn something from your Time Magazine).

How to Make the Winter Less Blue

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Well, we’re right in the think of winter and chalked full of grey days with little to no sunshine. How to you keep yourself from crawling into bed and waiting for spring? I’d say reading this blog is a pretty good start. Right, more steps.

Change of Scenery

I’m not talking about taking a trip (although, if you can, I highly recommend it). I’m simply referring to getting your butt off the couch and going somewhere. Anywhere. Sitting by yourself and wallowing in the dark gross day is not going to help you. Where do you go? I recommend going where other people are. However, if you’re not an extrovert like myself, this may not be very beneficial. Plunk yourself down at a coffee shop or a book store with a bunch of people (you don’t have to talk to).

Bring the People to You

I find one of the hardest things about the winter months, is forcing myself to go out into the cold world and do things. Well, have I got a solution for you. Don’t do it. Bring the event to you. Throw a dinner party or a movie night or whatever type of low-key, low maintenance event you prefer. I also suggest inviting people that can bring things and/or are frequently known to bring hostess gifts.

Plan Events to Attend

The easiest way to force yourself to socialize with the world is to put it in the calendar. If it’s booked (and you already paid for a ticket of some kind), you’re more likely to go. If you wait for the weekend to arrive before you start thinking of what to do, chances are, the planning will appear to difficult and you’ll settle for a sweat pants party for one.

Preparation is Key

Buy yourself a good winter coat. One that goes past your butt and will keep you warm even if you’re sitting in a cold place. I also like to keep a small blanket in my car to keep me warm until Ole Betsy warms up. I’ve also found that once I finally spring for a warm coat or a good pair of boots, it starts to get warmer and I have less need for them…

Freedom: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

vpi07wI recently ventured out on my own and am renting my very own grown-up apartment. With this venture into fierce independant living, I have discovered the meaning behind what the late George Michael so eloquently sang about, “freedom”.

Freedom is…

  1. Washing dishes by hand…a lot of dishes…because you thought it would be a good idea to wait until you ran out of mugs before doing the dishes. P.S. Dear Dishwasher, come back to me!
  2. Coming home and not discovering that someone surprise washed your dishes…because you live alone/are fiercely independant.
  3. Defending the fact that scrambled eggs and toast for dinner counts as cooking.
  4. Realizing that maybe you should learn how to cook something that’s not a form of eggs.
  5. Waking up to your car buried in snow… because you live in Canada and no longer have a garage.
  6. Having to wake up early so you have time to dig your car out of the winter tundra before work.
  7. Dropping a pen and realizing that no one’s cleaned back there…ever.
  8. Not being able to blame the hair in the shower on someone else.
  9. Endless loads of laundry.
  10. Being reminded that you started a load of laundry before you went to bed…because you were awoken by the crazy loud buzzer you can’t figure out how to disable.

Be Like Cory

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As the cycle of fashion dives deeper into the 90s, I thought I would make a suggestion. We should all dress more like Cory Matthews. Now, I’m not talking about present day “Girl Meets World” Cory Matthews. I’m talking about Boy Meets World, Season 1 Cory. As the seasons progress, his look loses its edge and gets too mainstream.

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Invest in statement pieces. Try a vest.

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Want to wear a t-shirt, but it’s not quite hot enough? No problem. Just layer it over your hoodie. Still too cold? Throw on a vest, preferably one with another hood so you can double that up.

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The more bright colours the better. Try a pop of yellow.

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