Drawing Day

Drawing Day

 Today, May 16th is Drawing Day. Drawing is way to express yourself through creativity. 

5 Ways Express Yourself Through Art

Unleashing your artistic side can open the mind to new and compelling ideas and engender discovery of passions and intellect. Thus, finding ways to be more creative, through art and science, will enrich the soul and provide inspiration for future ventures.

Explore new designs, principles, and cultures can manifest an appreciation for life and its beauty and innovation. Living life to its fullest is a common goal, and it can be possible if you let your guard down and be open to new adventures and growth. Sometimes people get locked into certain personas and thoughts, where the monotony of an average workweek hinders spontaneity, novelty, and the imagination. By shaking things up in creative and artistic ways, it paves the way for enlightenment and personal development.


While high school teachers might have scolded you for doodling in class, science advocates a wandering hand, as doodling boosts creativity and productivity. Take time in the day to doodle between work tasks or when on a phone call. Such artistic skill can inspire new thoughts, leading to greater success at work. You can also purchase a Drag Queen Coloring Book as coloring is both soothing and stimulating, and it has been shown to enhance mental health and reduce stress.

Visit A Museum Or Gallery

Instead of taking a standard lunch break at a nearby coffee shop or scarfing down your meal at your desk, go to a museum or art gallery and browse a few exhibits, surrounding yourself with art, science, and innovation. If your office is too far away, plan to stop into a gallery after work or head to the museum on a weekend. Aim for consistency, as honoring an appreciation for art on a regular basis will keep your mind stimulated.

Take Photos

Snapping a few photos on your phone or camera will allow you to capture life’s finest moments and display them in an artful and creative manner. Once you’ve taken the photos, go through a few filters and settings on your phone to add more personality and warmth. You can also develop the pictures to create a photo album or scrapbook, as a fun, artistic project to balance out more tedious, work tasks.

Take An Art Class

Whether you want to learn the practice through an art program or simply take a class with a friend for a fun, Friday night activity, signing up for an art class can activate the mind and act as an outlet for stress release and self-expression. There are plenty of creative and artistic classes to choose from, such as, painting, pottery, sculpture, and poetry. Even less obvious options, such as a cooking class, can spark new culinary adventures and hone your craft.

Get In Touch With Your Inner Child

There’s an innocence and buoyancy to childhood, and as we age, that lighthearted nature seems to fade, due to stress and life obligations that come with adulthood. Being playful can engage the mind and body in stimulating, inspirational, ways to drive personal growth and create a balanced life. Plan a laser tag or bowling event with friends, or head to a nearby karaoke bar and belt out a few tunes. You can also go to a local comedy or improvisation show to boost spontaneity and cultivate curiosity for new activities that urge you to step outside your comfort zone.

Taking the time to release inhibitions and enjoy experimentation can foster the creative spirit and take the mind and body to new and exciting heights. By opening yourself up to different avenues and experiences, you’ll make room for greater balance and fulfillment in your personal and work ventures.


All you need is a drawing tools and paper to get going. Here are some suggestions from Danna Bananas.

Bavarian Gnome Crayons

Get your colourful gnome on with these crayons that are shaped like mythological creatures. Did you know gnomes bring good luck?




You can build just about anything with Lego bricks, but can random objects turn into Legos? Stack-A-Doodle Stackable Lego Block Crayons are an example of how the world’s best toy can also have an alter ego...colouring.

Doodle Case for iPad Mini

Create Your Own iPad Mini Case over and over again. Doodle something...then wash it and start all over again.

Sketch & Sniff Scented Pencils

Remember smelly markers? Well, these are smelly pencils.



Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is June 19th! 

Is your dad your hero? Is he the coolest man you know? Well, now you can show him how great he is with these superhero-inspired gift ideas.

Super Dad Heat Reveal Mug

Every dad needs a mug to remind them they are yes indeed super. When you add a hot beverage to this mug, Super Dad is revealed. Super Dad Heat Reveal Mug is not only one of a kind but a cool gift as well for Father's Day and every day.

Superman Pint Glass

Any super beer loving dad needs a pint glass with the Superman logo. It is comes with a cape so they can fly away and get another one. This funny gift idea would make your beer loving dad super satisfied.


Man With A Pan Oven Mitt

To all the Ladies in da HOUZ...Y'all know,
behind every fabulous woman there's a Man with a Pan who will feed all you so watch out as he means business. If your dad enjoys flambé-ing things, you'll love the style. This is a super funny oven mitt to make humour out of Father's Day and everyday!  

Man With A Pan Oven Mitt



If you have ever wanted to know how to plant and grow lettuce, there are many tips available to help you get started. Lettuce is a cool weather plant that grows best in spring and fall. Fresh, home grown lettuce is easy to grow and provides more nutrition and flavor than store bought, making it a wonderful addition to your garden.

growing lettuce in a garden


Growing lettuce is easy. However, there are always a few factors to consider before planting. With some preparation and planning, you can grow lettuce for most of the gardening season.


Lettuce is a cool weather crop and grows best in both spring and fall. In the spring, lettuce seeds can be planted as soon as the soil becomes workable, the seedlings are even able to handle a frost or two.

If you are planning to plant for fall, start planting in late summer, usually around the end of August. Sow seeds in a partially shaded area to protect the seedlings from heat.

This vegetable loves moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Adding compost before planting seeds, and heavily tilling, can provide the best environment for lettuce. Lettuce enjoys soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.


Seeds can be sown directly into the soil, or can be started indoors. Because lettuce grows quickly, I usually sow directly into the soil. If you are growing your lettuce indoors, start 4 weeks before transplanting.

Be sure to plant seeds 1/4 inch deep. Lettuce seeds are small so planting too many is common. You may need to thin them out as they begin to grow. Once seedlings have at least 4 leaves, it's safe to thin out your lettuce.

Germination takes anywhere from 2-10 days if soil is warm (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit). However, if soil is cold, it may take close to two weeks.

The best location for lettuce is a partially shaded location that has afternoon shade. This vegetable wilts with too much sun and will have a hard time thriving if it's too hot.

loose leaf lettuce growing in a garden


During the spring, lettuce requires frequent watering, and usually does best when watered in the morning. You will know when your lettuce needs water as the leaves will begin to wilt. Do not allow the soil to get too dry in between watering. However, too much water will cause root rot.

During the later summer and into fall, lettuce will need some coddling while it's still hot outside. A mostly shaded location and frequent watering will help ensure it makes it into the colder part of the fall. Misting the plant when it's in the shade can also help it remain cool.

Lettuce can benefit from composted soil. Although this is best to be added before planting. Be sure that you keep the area free of weeds as lettuce has a hard time competing against them.


When planting plants next to lettuce, think of similar soil requirements and temperature needs. Cool weather plants that are shade tolerant do well growing with lettuce.

Some companion plants for lettuce include: peas, other leafy greens (spinach, arugula, etc.), carrots, beets, parsnips, onions, radishes, cucumbers and asparagus.

The best companions for lettuce are those that help your lettuce stay healthy. Chives, garlic and marigolds are your best options for lettuce because they keep aphids and other pests away. 


There are many plants that can be grown with lettuce, however, some do not do well planted with this leafy green. Anything from the Brassica family should be planted in another area. This includes: cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. 

These plants have a particular root secretion that permeates the soil, hindering growth of lettuce, and preventing the germination of lettuce seeds.

loose leaf lettuce growing in a container


Harvesting lettuce should be done first thing in the morning, before the heat of the sun causes the leafs to wilt. Once harvested, rinse with cold water. Lettuce can be stored in the refrigerator in a ziploc bag, to ensure freshness. Most harvested lettuce can last for about 10 days.

Lettuce heads should be harvesting when the lettuce first reaches maturity and the head of the lettuce is firm. This will ensure that your lettuce has the best flavor. Waiting too long can result in bitter and woody flavors in the lettuce.

If you are growing loose leaf lettuce, harvesting can be continuous throughout the season. Simply remove the outer leaves and allow additional inner leaves to grow. This is a great option for small families, as lettuce can be harvested on an "as needed" basis.


Lettuce is prone to a few pests. These include: aphids, earwigs and cutworms. Planting near beneficial plants (as mentioned above) can cut down on this. Also, making sure that plants aren't too crowded can also help keep pests at bay.

Disease can wreak havoc on lettuce as well. Be on the lookout for white mold. White mold can infect many plants in your garden. Be sure to destroy and plants or leaves immediately if you find it. White mold can be in the soil, or it can be caused by soil that is too moist and overcrowding.


Lettuce is a great option for beginner gardeners as it's easy to plant, grow, harvest and can be grown with almost any other vegetable. Plant your seeds every two weeks in the spring to have continual lettuce harvests throughout the season.


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Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

"Cinco de Mayo, as celebrated in the United States, shares some similarities to St. Patrick’s Day: a mainstream marketing fiasco that’s evolved out of an authentic celebration of cultural heritage. The typical Cinco de Mayo is a day of eating tacos and drinking margaritas. But, just like you won’t find corned beef and green beer in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, you won’t find ground beef tacos, nachos and frozen margaritas in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo.

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day; it celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, which came after Mexico’s independence from Spain, the Mexican-American War and the Mexican Civil War. In our neighbor to the south, the holiday is mainly celebrated in the region of Puebla, and mostly in the state’s capital city of the same name.

But what America’s Cinco de Mayo misses is the traditional food of Mexico, named to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, a recognition given to only one other cuisine (French). And, nachos with refried beans, cheese wiz and jalapenos is nowhere on the list or in the country. Taco Bell has even tried opening up in Mexico but each time has failed, simply because no one will eat there.

What makes traditional Mexican fare worthy of such a distinction? You won’t find cumin soaked ground beef hard shell tacos topped with iceberg and cheddar. But, you will find lamb barbacoa that has been smoked underground in banana leaves or carnitas topped with queso fresco, pickled onions and homemade salsa verde wrapped in a warm homemade corn tortilla that has been ever so lightly heated on a comal. And Puebla, just so happens to be considered by many, including Rick Bayless and Mark Bittman, as the gastronomic capital of Mexico.

Puebla is not only known for its food, but also for its quaint colorful streets. (Photo courtesy of Flickr user RussBowling).

Before Spanish explorers and immigrants swarmed Mexico, Puebla was already a culinary capital. The sacred town of Cholula known for its great pre-Colombian pyramid was also home to pre-Columbian street food. In this ancient city, vendors would set up outside the pyramid to feed those who came to worship.

After arriving in Puebla, the Spanish settled close to Cholula and created what is known today as the city of Puebla. Religion was a major aspect of Spanish conquest and convents and monasteries were set up across the city. Spanish nuns invented many of Puebla and Mexico’s most cherished dishes in these convents by integrating old world traditions with new world ingredients.

With that history in mind, here are three famous dishes from Puebla to try this Cinco de Mayo.

Mole Poblano is the iconic dish of Puebla. (Photo courtesy of Chantal Martineau).

1) Mole Poblano

Mole Poblano may be the most consumed dish in Puebla for Cinco de Mayo. But, what is mole (accent on the second syllable, as in guacamole)? There are two origin stories to the word mole. The first is that mole is the Spanish translation of the Aztec or Nahuatl word for sauce, mulli. The second is that mole comes from the Spanish word moler, which means to grind. Whichever story you want to believe, mole is a sauce made from ground up ingredients and comes in all colors and consistencies, but the thick dark mole poblano has made its mark on the international gastronomic world.

Legend has it that mole poblano was first created in the kitchen of the Santa Rosa convent in Puebla by Sor Andrea de la Asunción in the late seventeenth century. According to The Theology of Food: Eating and the Eucharist, Sor Andrea de la Asunción is said to have prepared it for don Tomás Antonio de la Cerda y Aragón, the new viceroy of Spain. This dish is the ultimate combination of old and new world ingredients and cooking practices. This sauce can be somewhat daunting by the long laundry list of ingredients that requires various preparations. But, after one taste of this mole, all the roasting and toasting will be worth it.

Chalupas Poblanas are an infamous street food in Puebla. But, they are so popular that you will find them served at the top restaurants. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Smith Hurd / All About Puebla).

2) Chalupas

Chalupas, an iconic Poblano street food, have a resemblance to tostadas and are the perfect antojito for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. To put it simply, chalupas are fried thick tortillas topped with salsa, shredded meat, chopped onion and sometimes queso fresco.

There are two versions to the history of chalupas. The first is that it gets its name from baskets. According to All About Puebla,

Chalupas date back to Colonial times, when Spanish settlers spent a good part of their days washing clothes by the Almoloya (San Francisco) River. It’s said that the women carried everything to the river in big baskets made of wood called chalupas, after which they’d rush home and quickly fry up corn tortillas in lard, top them with salsa, shredded beef or pork, and chopped onion – and call it dinner.

The second is that they are named after the Aztec boats (chalupas) used in the ancient city of Tenochtitlan.

Recommended Recipes:
Chalupas Poblanas, Saveur Magazine
Chalupas Poblanas, Mexconnect


Chiles en Nogada is one of the most celebrated dishes in Puebla. (Photo courtesy of Lesley Téllez / The Mija Chronicles).

3) Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en nogada is an iconic dish of Mexico. It is said to have been invented in the convent of Santa Monica for Agustin de Iturbide‘s visit to Puebla in 1821. Agustín de Iturbide was Mexico’s first emperor after Mexico won independence from Spain. He was served chiles en nogada in Puebla while traveling back to Mexico City from Veracruz after signing the Treaty of Cordoba, which gave Mexico its independence.

The dish signifies Mexico’s independence and is made up of the colors of the Mexican flag; red, white and green. The flavors are just as colorful as the ingredients. The sweet, savory, picadillo stuffed poblano pepper dipped in egg batter, fried, and topped with a rich walnut sauce, pomegranate seeds and parsley is something you will not regret. Though it is more traditionally made for Mexico’s Independence Day, it is one of Puebla’s most cherished dishes.

via smithsonianmag


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