Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Light the Night 2009

My roommate is awake early, playing computer games. He has thrown my entire morning routine of coffee drinking and blog reading completely out of whack and I may never recover. But let's be realistic here, this is a guy who works from 4pm-midnight (or later), so he often stays up rather late and then sleeps till about 3pm. So for me to see him awake at 8am, it threw me off track, ok?
And to top it all off, today's Ten on Tuesday is asking me to list my ten favorite athletes. I don't even think I could name ten athletes, let alone my ten favorite. Fabulous.

So instead, I'll recap the Light the Night Walk that happened this past Thursday, with a list of my ten favorite things that happened that night:

1. Free pizza and coffee. I ran out of time and skipped dinner, so showing up and finding out the pizza was free made the Night better. And who doesn't love a free caffeine fix? It was even good coffee, not cheap crap!

2. Storm Troopers showed up. I kid you not! A family dressed up in memory of their young son who passed away, so while I was tearing up during the realization of that, I was simultaneously in awe of them.

3. The balloons actually lit up this year! During the walk, everyone carries a balloon that's supposed to light up, last year there were problems with the lights and that didn't happen.

4. My team raised over $700! Everyone kept telling me they didn't raise a lot of money, so I wasn't even expecting us to break the $300 mark.

5. We got a free team banner. Last year, you had to raise a certain amount of money to get a team banner, and we had fallen just short of that amount. This year, the banners were free and we got to decorate one!

6. Free roses. White roses were handed out to people who were walking in memory of someone who passed on. My teammates and I all received one, but they left theirs at my apartment.

7. Meeting up with a random friend. Ok, so maybe she's not that random, but I wasn't expecting to see her at the walk.

8. Honks of appreciation. We walked along a path that was next to a busy road during part of the route, so we had plenty of people honking and shouting their appreciation!

9. Actually completing the walk. Just before the walk started, it got incredibly windy and cold. I was only wearing a sweater, so I was not prepared for this weather. Around the 3K turn off route, I seriously contemplated taking it and ending the walk early. Luckily my friends encouraged me to stick it out and we did the whole 5K.

10. Games night! After the walk, everyone came over to my apartment for a victory bbq and game party. I naked cupcakes and cookies, we bbq'd hot dogs, and we played a ridiculously loud game of Cranium.

It was a very successful walk this year, and I'm already looking forward to next years walk!

(So I wrote this post at around 9am and I'm just now posting it, around 10:30pm. I really need to enable mobile posting so that this doesn't keep happening.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Fill-In


1. One week ago I was also filling out this meme.

2. I used to play the most ridiculous games when I was young.

3. Mama told me that I better bake my father some brownies or else!

4. We're going to keep that just between you and me.

5. Take your time and read the directions carefully, or you could forget the eggs.

6. Friday will pass, and it will finally be Saturday!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sweet and sour chicken cooked by yours truly, tomorrow my plans include doing the Light the Night Walk, plus a game night and Sunday, I want to go to the movies!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Kindergarten Moms

I'm a nanny for 4 kids, but hopefully by now, you already knew that. The youngest, we'll call him Jay-Z (ha, actual play on his name!), is just about 5, and started Kindergarten this year. Between him and his older sister, C-bear, I've been doing school pickups for going on 4 years now. 2 years of preschool and 2 of kindergarten.

While waiting around for the kids to get out of class, I can't help but observe the dynamics of the group of moms waiting with me. I won't go into years past, but this year is one where I've noticed very early on the types of people waiting, and I've broken it down into groups for your amusement:

The syrupy sweet moms: They usually have just one small kid in tow, and when talking to the child, even when scolding, they crouch down and talk all cutesy to the kid. This syrupy sweet voice often carries over to adult conversation.

The hiking moms: They usually wear cargo pants that are too short, often wear a baseball cap of some ugly washed out color and look like they're about to pull out a bag of granola from their pocket.

The twenty-something moms: Always seem to be texting, and are actually wearing clothes that don't scream "I'm a mom with kids under 5!" Their kids are dressed as miniature versions of them.

The volunteer moms: Always trying to get you to volunteer at the school. They probably volunteer at 5 different organizations, saving puppies and sick children while we're sitting on the couch watching tv.

The foreign moms: barely speak english, so they just stand around smiling.

The obligatory dads: Often just one, rarely two or more. If he's dressed as if he's just come from the office, the moms seem to be drawn to him and all want a piece of him. If he's dressed like a stay at home dad, they could care less.

The caregivers: This needs to be broken down into subcategories…
The foreign live-in nanny: Most likely from the Philippines. Knows English quite well, and is always on her cell phone.
The young live-out nanny: (Me!) Has a social life after work, other moms live vicariously through her. Especially if the nanny is still dating.
The day home workers: Usually a younger one and a much older one towing 3+ kids.

The I'm nice to everyone moms: They usually come in twos, go around befriending all the others and then gossip about them all behind their backs, probably while drinking too much wine.

The whole social hiearchy is completely ridiculous and is a scene straight out of high school. We all stand in the same spots every day, talk to the same people, ignore the same people and judge the same people.
I believe this to be a pretty accurate description of the people I've encountered the past four years, and it has barely changed during that time.
I'm amazed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

7 on Wednesday (?)

I forgot to post this yesterday before work. I came home after a long day, fully intending on posting it, but then forgot as the boyfriend decided to take me on a date. Italian food and ice cream took precedence over my blog (sorry!). Then we came home....and Hell's Kitchen was on, for 2 WHOLE HOURS. I almost fell asleep near the end of the show, so it was straight to bed for me. And guess what? Instead of 10 on Tuesday, you now get 7 on Wednesday!! Aren't you lucky? I couldn't come up with ten. I'm sorry that I'm a fail whale today.

10 Things I need to plan for:

1. Coffee date on Thursday! Catching up with a friend that I haven't seen in several months.

2. Light the Night Walk on Saturday. This includes trying to get more donations and figuring out where to meet up with my team.

3. Game night. I'm thinking of having my team over after the walk for games and such.

4. Halloween decorations. I love Halloween and this is the first year that I have free reign of the entire apartment. Too bad decorations aren't actually in the budget.

5. Halloween costume. Izel and I want to do a couples costume. Last year we went as Sarah and Bristol Palin. We also need to find a party to attend with our awesome costumes.

6. Thanksgiving baking. Canadian thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I'll most likely be expected to bring the dessert. Pumpkin pie is my lover.

7. Moving and all that jazz. We're going to be moving st the beginning of December and so we first have to find a place and then pack and all that jazz. Fun times.

And that's it. That's all I have.
Sad day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche is absolutely amazing, trust me. It tastes like caramel, and is ridiculously easy to make. Forget going to the store and buying a jar of (probably) over priced dulce de leche, make your own at home. It tastes so good drizzled over ice cream, in yogurt, spread on toast, blended in a milkshake, baked in brownies...the possibilities are endless.

I had some baking to get done yesterday (two loaves of white bread and a peanut butter coffee cake), so I figured I might as well get around to making the dulce de leche. All you need is one ingredient, sweetened condensed milk. That's it, really! Throw it in a pot of water, making sure that the can is submerged, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for three hours. It's important to make sure that the can stays submerged at all times, or else the can could explode. Don't let that frighten you off though, it's so easy and worth it. Check out {Not Without Salt} if you want to see some pictures.

Once the dulce de leche was ready (and then cooled for a couple of hours), Stephen and I slathered it on our peanut butter coffee cake, and then we may or may not have used up the rest of the ice cream and some more dulce de leche to make milkshakes. I will neither confirm or deny that last bit.

I really like saying dulce de leche.
Say it with me..."Dulce de Leche..."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fill-In


1. My car is non-existent, I don't drive.

2.A trip to the library is coming up next.

3. Lately, things seem to be going quite well.

4. My bedroom is one of my favorite 'hiding' places.

5. What happened in my dreams this morning is absolutely ridiculous.

6. Getting what I want is not impossible!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a night in with Stephen, tomorrow my plans include shopping and Sunday, I want to bake some bread!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I'm Lusting After...

I stumbled across a new blog today (MadeByGirl), and I spent approximately an hour reading through entries. I'm in love with all of the photos that she posts there about decorating. I've got the decorating bug, and I've got it bad. I need to restrain myself though....we're moving in December and we need to save money for a damage deposit. Not spend it all on fantastic art. Ugh.I figured that since I can't buy all of the stuff I want right this very minute, I would share my
favorites with you. Aren't you lucky?
My number one favorite is from YeeHaw. How perfect is this? Hellooooo! I LOVE cupcakes! It would look so good in my (future) kitchen. I'd bake cupcakes all day long and mail them all to my blogging friends if I got this picture.

This one is also perfect for me. I read blogs every morning while drinking coffee, and I do really truly love you! (There's also one for tea drinkers.) There's a few other things in this shop that I love too....find it all here, in MadeByGirl's shop.

This one from dazeychic is fantastic. She has quite a few good ones, but this one is my number one.

This last one is actually a Christmas gift idea. My best friend Rebekka lives in New Brunswick, so we're often writing each other and sending post cards. I thought this pillow would be a super cute gift...now comes the task of figuring out what to write on it! There are a ton of other cute pillows in Olive's shop.

Now please excuse me while I go back to MadeByGirl and browse through the archives while dreaming about decorating the future new apartment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

On days that I work, I will more often than not lack the motivation to sit at the computer and come up with a blog post...I usually need a bit of a prompt to get me going. Which is where this comes in: Ten on Tuesday. (Found courtesy of this website: The Daily Meme.) I find this to be different from my Friday Fill-In because it actually gets me thinking and I write more, and it also give you guys a peek into my mind! So without further ado, my Ten on Tuesday.

10 Things I Think Are Cool:

1. Venus Fly Traps- Stephen and I bought one at the grocery store last night and it's the coolest thing ever. We named it Vivica.

2. Glee- I've only seen one episode, but that's all I needed to get me hooked.

3. The Pioneer Woman- I long for the day that I can cook like her, and I'm able to do giveaways on the same level as her. She gives away Kitchen Aid Mixers left right and center! I want to be able to give away Kitchenaids to all of my blogging friends so they can bake all day long too! (You hear that Kitchen Aid? I'm promoting your product. Now you should return the favor and sponsor a giveaway on my blog!)

4. Eiffel Tower shaped scissors- I have a slight obsession with all things french, so these scissors are like a dream come true to me.

5. My $10 Paris pj pants- Stephen and I were grocery shopping when we found them, and now I'm in love. And yes, you read that right, I bought them at the grocery store.

6. Slow Cookers. Not anything new, but I've started using one and I love it. I prep some food the night before, turn it on in the morning and when I come home, dinner is Ready! Genius! (Listen to me, I sound like I'm 40)

7. Twitter (as a news source)- I learned about Michael Jackson's, Farrah Fawcett's, and Patrick Swayze's deaths here first. I didn't watch the VMA's, but you better believe that I sure as heck learned about Kanye's crazy moment and was even provided with a link to the youtube video. I even read his apologies through links provided through Twitter.

8. Luster Dust- I've seriously lusted after this stuff for ages, and now I own some in three different colors. I'm dying to bake cupcakes and decorate them with this stuff.

9. Mat Kearney- I've known about him for ages, but lately I've discovered that he's the perfect guy to listen to during my commute home from work. Calms me down, and I no longer arrive home from work so high strung. David Usher has the same effect.

10. My cell phone- I totally typed out this entire entry on it. While listening to Mat Kearney and sitting next to a smelly guy. I also love having unlimited web browsing for when I'm dying of boredom.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Fill-In


1. That's a place I want to be.

2. Hey good looking; I'm over here!

3. The possibilities include: Staying in and editing photos, or making plans with friends.

4. Chicken Noodle Soup, with home made noodles is one of my favorite cool day recipes.

5. How will you know the answer, if you don't look for it?

6. A hot cup of tea, an interesting book and a stormy sky, are they keys to my heart.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Visiting my sister in Vulcan and dinner with friends, tomorrow my plans include Reorganizing my baking supplies and Sunday, I want to finally go grocery shopping!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some Odds and Ends

I'm still getting used to Blogger. After switching over from live journal, everything on Blogger is completely different. I still have my live journal by the way, I keep it to keep in contact with several friends that I made there. I've been messing around with customizing my blog, and I think I found a layout that I love! I'll definitely be sticking with this one, which I got from Shabby Blogs. There is a ton of cute stuff over there, so go check it out!

A while ago, I made a post about comments. I wasn't sure if people were getting my replies, and I've finally figured out why, thanks to a post that Ashley over at {Let Go Laughing} made a little while ago. I can respond to your comments from me email account, which would then send an email to you, ensuring that you actually get my responses. When I try to do this though, instead of getting your email address, I get noreply[at]blogger[dot]com. It takes just a few short minutes to fix, and then you'll be on your way to getting responses to the comments that you post! You can find instructions on how to fix the problem here, at Sweet Simplicity.

I'm in the process of trying to bake a loaf of white bread using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It's in the middle of rising right now, but so far I love the fact that I was able to cut out pretty much all of the kneading by hand. Kitchen Aid FTW! I'm also about to make my own gummy worms, once I stop procrastinating on the internet. I'll let you know how they turn out.

P.S. Apparently I really like to link.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Light the Night 2009

Back in 2006, one of my very best friends, Rondi, lost her battle with Leukemia. It seemed to come out of nowhere, I'm still broken hearted over the loss of such a great friend.
Unfortunately, I don't have any better pictures of Rondi on the computer that I am currently on, but this is still one of my favorites. It was taken at Grad, back in 2004. Rondi is the one on the right, in the black and white dress, and I am the one on the left in the blue dress. This was taken at the dance, which wasn't all that fun. I think this picture captures the essence of our friendship perfectly, we could make fun out of any situation that we were put in. Believe it or not, none of us are drunk in this picture!

The point of this post is to let you guys know that I am helping to raise money to fund the search for a cure for blood cancers. I am doing this, along with my family and a couple of friends, through the Light The Night Walk. We'll all get together on September 26, around dark, and we'll walk around a park in downtown Calgary. We all participated last year and had a blast!
We called ourselves The Bambinos (we all have my dad to thank for that name!) We even made our own wicked awesome posters to carry around. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of that.

Everyone carried around balloons, each with a specific color pertaining to why you are walk. Those carrying gold balloons we walking in memory of a loved one lost, those carrying red were currently battling a blood cancer, and those carrying white were there to show support. It was a pretty fantastic night, and I'm honored to be able to do it again this year.

Which brings me to the whole reason for this post. Raising the money. The following link will take you directly to my fundraising page, where you can make an online donation. (If you would like to make a donation in another way, please contact me to arrange an alternate form on payment.)

Even if I can't raise a single donation from this blog post, it still feels good getting this story out there and letting you all know that I am trying to do my (small) part in searching for a cure!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Fill-In


1. I feel exhausted. Overworking yourself is not always a good idea.

2. Using my Kitchen Aid is always fun!

3. Right now, I can hear these things: Traffic and the fan. (but I wish I was listening to some music)

4. Last night I was nearly having a meltdown and I'm glad that my ridiculously sweet and patient boyfriend was there to comfort me.

5. The last time I had a good sleep in was several weeks ago.

6. I'm going to relax and bake this Labor day weekend.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Izel's birthday party, tomorrow my plans include relaxing around the apartment and Sunday, I want to go to the Pride parade!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My New Baby

I'd like to introduce you to my new baby....
That's right, I got my very own Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer! I've been dying to own one for ages, and after about a month or so of promises from Stephen, we finally picked on up last night. She's so shiny and black and....beautiful!!! I seriously cannot stop staring at her. I'm in love. Yes, my Kitchen Aid is a 'she', in fact, her name is Lola. I name all of my electronics (or in this case, appliance). My ipod is Dexter and my cell phone is...oh crap. I forgot to name my cell phone. So I lied, I've only ever named my ipod, and now my Kitchen Aid. I haven't had a chance to plug her in and put her to use, I've just been too tired, and my kitchen is too messy. I fell asleep on the couch last night earlier than intended, and I haven't gotten around to cleaning the kitchen yet this evening.
You better believe that this weekend will be filled with lots of baking though! (FYI: My weekend starts tomorrow. I get a nice extra long weekend!)

Lola cost Stephen and I small fortune, and now we're on a strict budget for the next two weeks. I've only ever spent more money than this once in my life (not including living related expenses)...and it was on a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses. Which are now broken. I may or may not have cried over them.

When the roomie got home last night, before he was barely in the door, I was shouting for him to come look at Lola. He stood there admiring her, and just as he was about to reach out and touch her, I shouted even louder "Don't touch!" No one's allowed to use my baby but me.
Perhaps I'm a tad too posessive.
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