Ran out of salad dressing and found a great one to make with 3 1/2 ingredients

I made spaghetti and have Cesar dressing, but I don’t like cesear and my favorite Newmans Lemon Garlic is alll gone:(  So, I need to make something fast. Naturally I went to Google and found a Classic Vinaigrette. I don’t like a lot of ingredients, but i like flavor and this one has the ingredients I really like.  I would like to have it for at least 6 servings and this one I don’t think will last, so, here’s what I changed:

  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar,
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (too much Dijon can take over the taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Start with the red wine, then the dijon, and add the salt and pepper if you want, and then poor the oil in while whisking it to make sure it blends. Or you can do like me, poor it all into one container and shake it. Voila salad dressing el Tina style!

To find the original and more salad dressings, click on the Food Network link here. If you have other easy dressings, pleeeeeease share them. While I love surfing the net, I much prefer getting them from my wonderful friends.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Swapping your winter tires to summer – Make sure to look in the bag!

Today is Saturday, April 8th and it’s a beautiful day, so Ma Man was going to swap the winter tires to the summer ones, when he pulled the tires out of the bag, he noticed that they looked the same as the winter ones. He wasn’t sure they were the right ones and asked me to come and see them, when I saw them I said “those are not my tires”.  He said to go check the receipts for when we bought the car as it had a photo on it. Well, I argued with him and said they didn’t give us a photo, but what he was referring to was the image from the Kijii ad.  I went upstairs and located my car file, which is another important lesson…have a file folder for each item that might need fixing i.e. car, mattress, furniture, taxes😊 so you know where it is if you need in the future.

I found the receipts and it had a picture of my beautiful rims that were originally on my car. My Man suggested I bring the tire they gave us and go to Canadian Tire and ask the Manager to see if they are in the back. So, I went..on a Saturday and…no manager. They asked I call him on Monday to discuss.

Continue Reading

What exercise program will work for me? UPDATE

As part of my new years resolution, I have decided to go back to working out, which is what I like. I like to lift weights. I am not a big fan of fitness classes because  I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but I am now starting to do hot yoga and OMG, it’s frigging hot:) So for January , I tried an exercise program that I put together and, well, it didn’t work.  For many reasons, mostly because I didn’t commit to it. consistently. I also didn’t do more than 1 set of 12, which is what I was testing to see if there would be a difference. So, this month for February, I am going to try using a stability ball exercise program. I am going to do 3 days a week no matter what. If that means I go later or a different day and it messes with my routine, too bad. I have to do it, or rather I want to do. I found a program with actual images from Runpretty.com. So, for the next 28 days because February is shorter, I will do this circuit program and track my results on my workout log and will report the results on Feb 28.

Continue Reading

Adults only hotel Riu Republica..was it worth the price?

My man and I went on our annual vacation down south. This year we tried an adults only hotel. It’s called the Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I was told it just opened in June. It was a lot of fun because I didn’t have to cook or clean, but rather just enjoy our time together which we did. Here’s a summary of our week’s adventure.

Was there enough activities?

Yes. The entertainers had games for everyone, BUT…they were too long to wait to play them. They would try to get 10 to 20+ people to sign up. So, you would get one turn and then wait another 10 minutes to play. My man and I did win at darts. He came 1st and I came 2nd. However, this is normal in most resorts. So, if anyone from resorts are reading this, can you please do a max of 10 people. While we want to play, we also want to enjoy the sun.

There was a fun game called Slip and slide that the tourists decided to do. They used one of the tables in the pool, added TONS of water to it and encouraged everyone to get on. Well, most of us did and it was a blast. I did hear though of someone tearing out their belly button ring because there was groves in the table:(

2 days during the week they had a foam party.  The pic above is from the event.  They played great dance, rock, and some country music. So, that was great.

What was the room like?

One word…HUGE!!! We had a king size bed…OMG, I loved having my own side of the bed. I would have to roll over 3 times just to get close to him. So, you can imagine how amazing my sleep was.lol

There was plenty of water bottles, alcohol, beers in the fridge, towels and pillows.

However, constant humming outside. We were facing east, which was what we wanted because we wanted sun in the morning. However, we couldn’t sit out there because the noise actually hurt our ears.

What was the weather like?

That’s the interesting part. It rained every morning and at least 2 times during the week, but these were HEAVY rain. I took a video to show you, but it’s on my other camera. So, it will have to wait sorry.

What about the food and drinks?

OK, so here’s where I’m a bit disappointed. There was 1 buffet, a snack place, and 3 restaurants we could eat at. The buffet had good food and quite a variety, but the restaurants all had buffet too and not open every day. Only the steak house had sit down menu that you chose from. Everywhere else was buffet. I really wanted a sit down dinner and something different. After all, that’s what it said was provided in the description.

The drinks were good. We had beer most of the time, and mimosa in the morning. One of the bar guys Leornardo made wonderful dry vodka martini’s with LOTS of olives for us. One girl at the pool gave me a shot with coffee cream and chocolate sauce…OMG, that was tasty. We tried the Mamajuana. YACK!!! That stuff will grow hair on your chest, even if you’re a woman!

What about the beach?

Ah yes the beach. The beach was soft and easy to walk on. With the crazy weather i.e. wind and rain it was hard, but we walked 40 minutes each way. We saw the Hard Rock hotel that we walked in to see. It’s HUGE. Not a place for him and I. We like smaller and more outside. This hotel felt like it was a shopping mall. It’s good for some people, but not for us.

So, would you go back?

We payed over $3600 for the 2 of us. It was fun, we met some very nice people, and there were no kids. So, would we go there again? No! The prices doesn’t make up the difference for things that are important to me like restaurants, quiet time while sitting on the balcony. Last year we stayed at the Grand Palladium Punta Cana and it was 2 times the size and cost us $2400. Oh and there was no one selling local artifacts which we liked to see during the week.

Continue Reading

Discover my life purpose – Day 2 – right idea, wrong tool

OK, it’s not day 2, because I haven’t written daily about this, but it’s Day 2 with regards to my project of finding what I’m meant to do with my career and I think I have figured it out.

I have been working on a book about my life and my experiences because that’s what I thought I was meant to do i.e. to write a book about my life story and speak about it at events. The book was going to be used as a giveaway at speaking events.

While I was trying to write the book, I was trying to write it the way that the experts were telling me, but I just couldn’t get it. I was struggling with it and procrastinating. My book idea just didn’t fit the way they suggested to write it. I wanted to write my stories in more of a theme of sections like career, relationship, family, money, etc. I had all the stories, I just couldn’t figure out how to put it in the format that they suggested. One suggested put it in a “how to”, but would have to rewrite the stories to fit the “how to” model. Another suggested doing research and having other information from others in my book, but that too felt wrong for what I was trying to do.

So, when it came time to start putting the book together, the experts said to start with the table of contents, but I had all my stories written out already. How was I going to work backwards? The book had to be built around a theme of solving a problem, but I had so many problems of my own that I just wanted to share them with others in the hopes they would laugh, cry or maybe use what they learned to improve their lives. Well, when I did come up with a theme, I would ask a few friends what they thought and before they could tell me, I rewrote another table of content, so i started working on those story idea, but then another theme came to mind and I started on that one, but I wasn’t able to come up with new stories for any of the table of contents because, for me, they felt forced. I wasn’t enjoying the process of writing anymore. I was blocked. I was talking with a friend and she helped me to see that maybe it’s not a book I’m meant to write, but rather a blog about all my experiences, and maybe later, a book might come of it, but for now just to write and enjoy it. She was right. I loved just writing about the experience and not about putting it into book format to meet someone else’s needs. I needed to do this for me first, and that’s when it finally clicked. When I got in my car after leaving work, I cried because it felt like I finally new what I was meant to do. No more struggling to figure it out.

So what am I meant to be doing?

I’m meant to share things with people from my life experiences, but what tool should I be using, that’s what I’ve been struggling with. Well, I think I got it! I’m a BLOGGER. I even love the sound of the title. I’m meant to write, but not in a book. I’m going to write my stories in my blog. This feels right and…I have fun doing it.

So, what will I write about?  

OMG, where do I start. I love to write about my cooking adventures thanks to Pinterest, dates I go on with my man and friends, careers I’ve tried or rather jobs I’ve tried and quit, businesses I’ve had and closed or failed at, deals I find and what I really thought of the deal, and the scary stuff about my past and what I did to overcome them, and so much more.  I am going to share real life experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly., relationships I gave up on, friends that come and go, family or lack there of, and my health which includes all the above, but also my mind and body, which I have abused a wee bit. Hey, I never said I was perfect. I’m a work in progress.

So, what’s my blog? My name is Tina Lalonde. I’m the owner of the blog La Femme Ottawa where I write I open up honestly about what I’ve learned about myself and life experiences. This is going to be real and raw. I’m scared to write about personal stuff, but I also know that this feels right. If it can help someone else from making the same mistakes, then it’ll be worth it. If you’re going to read it and comment, all I ask is that you be gentle with your comments. This is not a place for people who are not willing to put themselves out there. If you have good suggestions, I will gladly listen, but if you’re only trying to bring me down, I have one word for you..DELETE!

Thank you and please share with those you think will enjoy reading it.

Continue Reading

Date night – Magic Show..so much fun

OMG, my man and I went on a date last night with 2 other fun friends Patty B and Jamie to see an adult version of a magic show. This was item #4 Go to a Magic Show on my bucket list. michael-magician

It was AWESOME, or rather he Michael Bourada from Turning Tricks Comedy Magic Show was. I was in awe and kept saying to my man “no way Bebe, did you see that?” Thank god my man is patient because I kept doing that throughout the show.lol

The guy entertained and got almost every area of the room involved in the show. I even got to take part and that was awesome.

If you still want to get a good deal, go to this Groupon link to get it. It’s $15 a person. SUPER cheap and so worth it.

Continue Reading

Do you want a make over? I know I do

Do you have any plans on Saturday, October 1st?

Do you have little me time to pamper yourself?

Or, maybe you have an event to go to and need a little help.

Well, I just got informed by my new friend Teri McCoy from  Digital Oyster that there is something wonderful going on.  Pamper Me is doing an event for Cancer. The event is called Pamper me for Breast Cancer. I don’t want to spoil it, so click on the link above to see what treats you will get that day:)

pamperme

Go out and pamper yourself and…why not support a great cause at the same time.

Have a fabulous time.

Tina

 

Continue Reading

Date night #5 – Screaming my head off and not for the reason you may think

On my bucket list post of 101 things I wanted to do before I died, I wrote that I wanted to have 52 dates with my Man and that I had over 80 date ideas so far. I haven’t tried them all. Right now, I’m just compiling them. The goal is to get 365 dates and try them, but…they don’t have to be all in one year. As long as we are doing something other than watching tv or s…x, yes I want to do those things, but I want to be sure we connect and learn more about each other, than

I decided to start my date project idea and writing about it with number 5 because I know I wrote a few already, but can’t remember which ones and I was writing them on my other website tinalalonde.ca, which I am no longer updating. I am focusing all my fun on La Femme Ottawa because it’s where my heart is. I love talking about things that make me happy like fun things to do, running a part-time business and…saving money any which way I can. I will find the previous ones and post them here, but in the meantime, date #5 is..going on rides and going to watch or rather take part in a hypnotist show at the Ottawa Ex, or at least that’s what it used to be called. It’s now called Ottawa Capital Fair.

Continue Reading

My $100 pho soup

I bet you’re thinking I’m crazy. Well, I thought so too when I got the bill, but it’s not the bill you think.
I was having a rough day last week and was exhausted. So when I feel like crap, I like to eat pho soup because it makes me feel good. So, I drove 2o minutes to go and eat at my favorite place, only to see there is a sign saying they are CLOSED for a WEEK!!! I eat pho once a week, so this made me sad, but…I needed pho soup.  So I went to try a different restaurant just up the street. It was a nice ambiance. Much more modern than my old favorite places, but…the service is slowwww. Picture this, I am the only person in the restaurant. I assume she’s going to check on me to see if I’m ready to order. Nope. She’s on her cell phone. I had to pop my head out and put the menu at the end of the table so that she could see me move.
When I got my meal it was really good, a bit saltier than I like, but I would definitely go back.  When I was taking out my wallet, a sign caught my attention. I could hardly read that it said cash only. That might explain why not a lot of people at 6:00pm…dinner time. Thank god I had money, but they also had a debit machine. However, if you know of those machines, they charge $2.00 or MORE to take out money, plus your bank charges you $2.00. I have been trying to take out at least $20 a week to be sure I have cash on me. Thank god I had cash that day.
no stopping
OK, so you’re probably wondering where the $100 comes from, well, it’s from a parking ticket!!! I parked in front of the restaurant where there was a supposedly no stopping sign. If you look at the street sign I highlighted in yellow, you will see 3 signs. WTF would they put 3 signs. Why couldn’t they just put a post NO PARKING HERE! I was exhausted that day so I read the first one of meter parking and the last one that showed an arrow to not park behind where I parked. Well, that’s what happens you’re tired. You don’t read things right.
 
If  I was the owner or the person that worked there (hint hint), I would maybe suggested to the patrons if they are parked there to move so they don’t get a $100 ticket! Even though the food was good, I won’t likely go back because I am going to be reminded of the ticket…Nah, I’ll still go, but I will mention it to the owner about the parking and to ask the patrons about where they parked. After all, you don’t want to have angry clients, even if you didn’t do it.
 
I know it’s my fault and I am taking responsibility to pay it, but I don’t have to be happy with it. I think it’s a ridiculous price to not park there.
 
What was the lesson that day? Focus, pay attention to things around you and to stop worrying about money because money will keep disappearing. Oh that is so true. I got another bill the next day for something else. To see what happened, read my article “My car needs a B-1….Bingo!”
 

 

Continue Reading

I’m overwhelmed with everything I have to do

pexels-photoCan you relate to how I’m feeling?  I’m trying to grow my business, but I’m working full-time and then when I do have some free time, I’m told I need to write an article or a blog and post it on my website and tell EVERYONE I know, then go out and network with people but what happens if you don’t these types of events i.e. dancing or just talking to strangers, and when I do meet people I have to try and get them to become clients. Don’t forget when you get home, make dinner, clean the house, take care of the dog, the kids and the man! Arrrg:( I feel exhausted just thinking about this. What happens for me when I feel like this I get paralyzed and don’t want to do anything. Do you get that way too?  Well don’t worry, I have found a solution and I’m going to share it with you.

Step 1 – chunk it down.

I met with my Coach Christine and I gave her a list of things we need to do to grow my business and she said “it’s A LOT!” I knew that to mean, she won’t do all of it.lol So, I asked her to give me some suggestions to how I can make it more manageable and she broke the tasks into manageable chunks. So, instead of having a list of 42 things to do, I now have 5 things to do to grow my business. For example:

  1. The Plan
    • Write a 1 page business plan (goals) to identify why you want to run your own business. what does it look like (vision board) and how will you keep with your goals on those tough days (affirmations), etc.
  2. Action Steps to get growing
    • create 5 pages for my new website, find fun images to add to it, brainstorm ideas of things I can write about, etc.
  3. Spread the word
    • create an elevator pitch to use when meeting new people (networking and having fun)
  4. Check in
    • schedule each of these tasks, but also check after each month what happened i.e. did i get more prospects, what event had more of my ideal clients or people who could refer them to me, check my 1 page business plan to see if i’m on target and if not what do I need to do to get back there i.e. remember why I’m running a business (vision board).

 

Home…not so sweet home

Here’s my suggestions to help with the house chores and finding ways to reduce time and money.

Cleaning

  • let your partner and kids know that you’re feeling overwhelmed and ask if they could help with the chores. I’m amazed when I ask nicely how he does things for me, even at times without asking.
  • or do what I do and call a cleaning to come and clean at least once a month. I am SUPER happy when she does and….my man gets more loving wife because of it.

Meal preppingfood-salad-restaurant-person

  • this could be fun, but also time consuming. I look on Pinterest to find 7 day meal plans, then I prep at least 3 breakfasts & lunches and snacks and dinner we do each night because we like to eat  fresh, actually he likes it more fresh than me, but he does the BBQ, so I don’t say anything:)

For me, chunking things down and asking for help has been a huge relief because I can now feel more relaxed and  I have to remind myself that I don’t have to do it all, and it doesn’t have to get done right now.

Let me know what happens, and if you have other ideas please share. The more ideas we have, the more we can help each other eliminate or reduce the overwhelm.

Tina

Continue Reading