Monday, January 31, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Over Christmas, my Great Grandma gave us all some stuff that she would like us to keep. I received some beautiful jewelry and a serving platter that’s six generations old. My Mom and Dad received a whole bunch of family photo albums. Looking through one in particular was such a trip down memory lane for me, as most of them were pictures that I hadn’t seen from my early childhood. I begged my parents to bring it over to let me scan the pictures. I have plans to have a family photo wall in the house, and want to fill it up with sentimental photos. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite photos, and to let you guys get a glimpse of what I was like as a child.


The date on the back of this photo would make me four days old. I definitely would never have guessed that; I sure was a big baby!


I’m not sure how old I was in this photo, but I really love it. That’s my Mom naturally, and I can’t get over how young she looks! (My Mom was practically a baby herself when she had me.)


If I’m not mistaken, this is a first day of school outfit. My Mom loved doing my hair like this, and I have to admit that as I got older, I really didn’t like it.



My family was really big into Oktoberfest when I was young. I loved going every year, even though it meant waking up at the crack of dawn so that we could make to road trip from Brampton, Ontario, to Kitchener, Waterloo.



My parents got married when I was four years old. I remember feeling so pretty that day. I mean come on, how couldn’t I be pretty with all that lace? I even have faint memories of a white fur coat.


Look how cute my family was! My sisters were seriously the cutest little things ever. I’ve got such happy memories of my childhood, and I’m so glad that I get to relive snippets of it through old photos.

Have you looked at any photos from your childhood lately?

Friday, January 28, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 26)

1. The weather this week has been gorgeous! After the deep freeze just before this, I definitely say us Calgarians deserve the +10C we’ve been experiencing. Of course, as I write this, the weather is already turning again. So much for that Chinook.

2. Stephen and I had a date night on Tuesday, completely courtesy of Scene. Stephen has the Scotia Bank/Scene debit card, so he racked up enough points for two free movies and snacks, along with an extra free movie or two left over! We went and saw The Green Hornet. I went in with very low expectations, having only seen one preview, and I must say that I loved it. It was hilarious!

3. My Mom’s coming to spend the night tonight. Kind of random, but she’s giving my sister free reign of the house so that she can have a girls night.

4. I’ve got Kara’s Coca Cola Roast in my slow cooker right now. I’m so excited to be able to come home to a fully cooked meal tonight.

5. I scored a sweet deal off of Kijiji this week. I found an ad for a lady who lives around the corner from my work, who was selling scrapbook paper for twenty cents a sheet. I figured I would get some cheap paper, but I showed up to find so much more! Turns out she works at a scrapbook store and has an amazing stash of craft supplies. We started talking, and then she started throwing in a few things for free. I got 30+ pieces of paper (most of which is actually die cuts), 3 ink pads, two stamps (one of which is giant) and then some cardstock and envelopes for $15. There was a ton of stuff I didn’t even look through, so I may have to make a return trip after payday. She also told me that she teaches card making classes, and offered to teach one for me and some friends. Now I just need to round up some friends…

6. I was asked if I would mind planning and hosting a Valentine’s Day party for T (the 4 year old boy I nanny). I love doing this sort of stuff, so there’s no way I would pass that opportunity up! Any ideas for a party are welcome.

7. The plan for this weekend is to get all of the artwork up in our house. I refuse to leave the house until it’s done. Ask me on Monday whether or not that happened.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bobby Flay’s German Chocolate Cake

Over a year ago, Stephen watched an episode of Throwdown With Bobby Flay where Bobby Flay challenged a woman’s German Chocolate Cake. Spoiler Alert: Bobby Flay loses. That doesn’t stop Stephen from wanting this cake, and talking about it for a few months before his birthday last year. I had checked out the recipe, and because it looked like a lot of work, I told him it had to wait until his birthday. January finally rolled around, and I made it, and oh my God was it ever amazing! I’m not a big fan of coconut, so that’s saying something.

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This cake comes with a few disclaimers: it’s not for the faint of heart. If you decide to take on the task of baking this cake, not only will it be more expensive than a regular cake, but it will be time consuming. You have to stir the Cajeta filling on the stove for close to an hour. Trust me when I say that this cake is worth it. It won’t be a cake you’ll want to make often (we’ve dubbed it the once a year cake), but you’ll look forward to it. Oh, and it’s insanely rich. I have quite the sweet tooth, but even I only eat a little sliver at a time. Don’t let these disclaimers put you off the cake, try it for yourself and you’ll fall in love after just one bite!

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There’s five different types of dairy products in this cake. Ok, I realize that coconut milk isn’t a dairy product, but it said milk on the can, so I threw it in the shot anyway.

Bobby Flay’s German Chocolate Cake
From the Food Network

(Printable Recipe)

Chocolate Cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups muscavado light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

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1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line with parchment paper 2 nine inch cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and add in sugars, whisking until dissolved. Add coffee, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Fold the liquid mixture into the flour mixture.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out crumb free. Set cakes aside to cool.

Cajeta Filling:
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup goat’s milk
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp pure cane sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp cold butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tsp coconut rum (optional)
1 1/4 cups toasted chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut

January 25 006

1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk, coconut milk and goat’s milk to a simmer. Keep warm while you work on the next part.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar mixture becomes a deep amber brown.

January 25 019{Just about done!}

Very slowly whisk in the warm milk mixture. Add in vanilla seeds and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sauce is reduced by half and is the consistency of a caramel sauce. This will take about an hour.
3. Once reduced, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, salt and rum. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the and stir in pecans and coconut. Let the filling come to room temperature before frosting the cake.

8 oz heavy cream
8 oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp light corn syrup

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and corn syrup, stirring until smooth. Let the ganache sit at room temperature for ten minutes before pouring over the cake.

Coconut Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp coconut rum (I omitted this)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup lightly toasted sweetened coconut for garnish

1. In a stand mixer, combine heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form.

Assembling the cake:

Bobby Flay makes this a four layer cake by slicing each layer in half. To save my sanity, I made this a two layer cake. Top the bottom layer with half the Cajeta filling, then add the second layer on top. Drizzle with ganache. Once the ganache has set, top with remaining Cajeta filling. Serve each slice of cake with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, sprinkled with toasted coconut.

Jan 26 009

The cake had been 95% devoured before I could even get a chance to take a picture of it!

If you decide to attempt this cake, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On My Craft Space

Remember that time I promised to do a house tour two weeks in a row? Yeah, I know. I’m really good at making empty promises. I’m sorry. BUT! I’ve got some pictures of my craft space. After talking about it last Friday, a couple of readers asked for some pictures of it, so I figured, what the heck? Why not! Keep this in mind though; my area still isn’t decorated, so it’s going to look rather plain. The plan is to get up art and such around the house this weekend, so I’m hoping to liven up my space. Remember to click on pictures to make them bigger.

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This is our office. It’s the third bedroom, and we needed it to be a place to hold Stephen’s computer and my craft space that I insisted on having. We decided on matching desks so that we could have our own space and still spend time together if we want. I’ve even been bringing my laptop down here just to hang out with Stephen some more.

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This is our printer area beside Stephen’s desk. The containers are filled with miscellaneous stuff like my stationery collection and printer paper. That table you see folded up is what I used as a temporary craft desk. We’re keeping it for messier projects.

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Stephen’s desk. He recently got back into model building, so his desk is usually littered with paints and model parts.

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My desk. See that empty space in between the shelves (Where the lamp cord is)? The plan is to stick some sort of rod there to display/store ribbon. That makes me ridiculously happy.

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I’ve seen this storage solution employed by a couple of different people, and I have to admit that I seriously love it. So much so that I want to add more to it. It’s not completely filled yet.

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The shelves along the left side of my desk are rather boring right now. They’re just holding glue, tape and embossing powders and ink.

January 25 040

My scrapbook paper stash, scrapbook magazines/books and some more storage in the container up top.

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Storage for stamps (Sharon and I scored a great deal on Kijiji and I got a ton for cheap), stickers and miscellaneous ephemera.

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My keyboard tray is being used for more storage. I’m not 100% sold on this arrangement yet, but that could be just the types of containers I’m using.

January 25 044January 25 047

The cupcake-a-day calendar was an early birthday gift from Stephen’s Mom. The cupcake that’s topped with the I Love You heart was a gift from my Dad, and the other one was a gift from Andi (Fuegita Bonita). They both open up, and I’m storing cupcake stickers in them.

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The other half of the top of my desk. Those Planters peanut jars are more storage. They currently hold excess hot glue gun sticks and other random bits. Those labels are driving me nut, so I plan on taking them off when I have a few minutes. That little purple shot glass is another gift from Andi. The white vase is currently empty, since I don’t have a plan for it yet. The drawers on the end hold things like ribbon, glue sticks and scissors.

So there’s my craft space for you! It may not look like much, but it’s slowly coming together, and I seriously love it. I adore having a space of my own that I can do anything I please with.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Do you decorate for Valentine’s day?

No, but I've been seeing a ton of cute stuff around the blogosphere that makes me want to start.

2. Does your desktop have a picture or computer graphic? Is it organized?
Yes. It's currently a picture of the Eiffel Tower and says Paris, Je T'aime. It's fairly organized.

3. Do you use a paper planner, electric planner or no planner at all?
I vary between using a notebook and nothing at all. My notebooks is more or less a place to jot down notes, reminders and ideas.

4. Do you change purses or bags often or stick with a good thing?
I used to have two; one for work and one for going out. My work purse broke, so now I just use one for everything.

5. What’s your favorite YouTube Video?
This one is pretty cute.

6. Do you use Turbo Tax or a real person to pay your taxes?
Turbo Tax or some similar program.

7. How many states have you set foot (or tire) in? Which ones?
One; Georgia.

8. How many countries have you been in? Which ones?
2; US and Canada.

9. How many pillows are in your house? (Sleeping or decorative)
There's 4 on our bed that we sleep with. Grand total in the house is around 12, not including the ones we sleep with.

10. How cold is too cold for flip flops?
A soon as there's snow on the ground, people shouldn't be wearing them. I don't think I wear flip flops below about 10C, but that all depends on my mood and what time of year it is.




Saturday night, Stephen and I had a double date with our friends George and Al. A few weeks ago, George had told us about a Brazilian steak house that they had been to, and it immediately piqued Stephen’s interest. We decided then and there that we would go for Stephen’s birthday. The date crept closer and we decided to make it a joint birthday celebration since George and I have birthdays close to Stephen’s. (Stephen’s: January 8th, George’s: February 4th and mine is February 5th.)

George and I spent the week texting each other, with tips on how to get our money’s worth. Her advice? Eat brown rice and veggies leading up to that night, and wear your fat pants. My advice? Just stop eating all together about midweek. All kidding aside, I was getting really excited about this place. The thought of waiters bringing skewers of meat to my table sounded amazing.

We showed up for our reservation at Bolero, we were seated and given the instructions. We had a cue that we had to turn based on our mood; it was divided into three colors, red, yellow and green. Green means keep bringing meat, red means you’re taking a break and yellow means all finished. We were shown a buffet full of salads, veggies and stews. George and I grabbed a few veggies, but the boys were a lot more serious about the meat and went straight for the stews. We sat down, and almost immediately, we had a steady stream of waiters bringing around different meats for us to sample. They would slice of a little hunk off the skewer, and you would grab it. The veggies were pushed off to one side of our plates, and eventually, we just gave up on them altogether. There were 15 meats total, and we sampled every one of them. I think the favorite of the night was bacon wrapped chicken. I’m also a sucker for grilled pineapple! Our service was fantastic, and we were never without food or drinks.

After dinner, we headed back to our place for German chocolate cake. It was so delicious, yet I can’t believe we even had room to fit a piece in! Brazilian steakhouses may be my new favorite thing.

Have you ever been to a Brazilian steak house? What did you think?

Friday, January 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 25)

1. TGIF. I can’t even tell you how exhausted I am. I was told last week that I would have today off, but then was asked on Monday to actually work a longer shift. Not a big deal, since it will be just Baby C and I, so it’s actually a fairly easy day.

2. My Tuesday/Thursday boys were wild yesterday. I have no idea what got into them, but I’ve never been happier to leave for the weekend. The family is dog sitting for three weeks, so I’m incredibly happy to have a dog around to love on.

3. I met up with Tina for a friend date of Starbucks and cupcakes. There’s no better combination than that! We talked a lot about weddings, as we were both just invited to one each. We’re taking each other as dates to both of them, since we know both the brides from high school.

4. I’ve spent every night this week after supper in my craft space and Stephen’s been utilizing his half of the office as well. I can’t even tell you how much I love actually getting to see my boyfriend every day.

5. There’s 15 days until my birthday. YAY!

6. I mentioned this yesterday, but it’s worth mentioning again: I’m having my first birthday celebration tomorrow night. I’m combining with Stephen’s and George’s birthdays, and we’re going to a Brazilian steak house. Stephen and I have never been to one, so we’re insanely excited.

7. I don’t actually have a seventh item to talk about, so tell me, what are your plans for the weekend? I’m all ears!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Thursday is normally the day that I post a new recipe, but I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Other than the baked oatmeal and some banana muffins at work, I haven’t baked anything since before Christmas. I want to bake, but I’ve been directing all of my creative energy/free time toward crafting lately. I feel like my every day life has become mundane, as it often does in the winter time, which doesn’t leave me anything exciting to blog about. You really don’t want to read about how I’ve been to Michael’s and a scrapbook store three times in the last week. Or how I’ve been organizing my craft supplies. I always think of things that I want to accomplish on the weekends; how I’m going to be so productive that I’ll clean, craft, bake and take pictures off my house finally. Then those plans will get tossed out the window because I end up spending way more time shopping than I ever intended. I need to learn to balance my time more wisely. I struggle with it every day, and probably always will.

I will be baking this weekend though. In fact, I’ll be making what Stephen and I refer to as the “Epic Birthday Cake”. Stephen, George and I all have birthdays fairly close together, so we decided that we’ll go out to dinner this weekend to celebrate, then we’ll come home and eat this awesome cake. I won’t reveal too much about this cake as I will be blogging about it, but just know that I’ve vowed to only make it once a year because it’s labour intensive. I’ll be standing by the stove for nearly an hour stirring. It’s also insanely rich and sweet, so a person really doesn’t need it eat it more than once a year.

Now, before I lose your interest completely, I’ve been tagged for duck-duck-goose by Tara from the word for love is…
I’m supposed to list 15 things about myself and then tag 5 bloggers. Here goes:

1. I like to sing really loudly along with bad pop songs.
2. I’m a terrible singer.
3. I’m also a terrible dancer, but I love to dance anyway. (Just not in public.)
4. I love dancing while I’m baking.
5. I get frustrated much too easily.
6. I get bored way too quickly.
7. I love Sharpies.
8. I find a GIANT Sharpie in the work-shop behind the Vulcan Sister’s house, and I stole it. I’m sorry Tracy, but I just couldn’t help it.
9. I’ve been trying to convince Stephen to let me quit work to become a stay at home Mom. Minus the whole Mom part. (So really, I just want to stay home so I can craft and bake. No kids yet.)
10. I’m terrible with directions, so Google Maps is my best friend.
11. Potatoes have got to be my favorite food. So many yummy things to make with them!
12. Embossing is my new favorite thing.
13. I love cheesy reality TV.
14. Contrary to what people might think, I don’t like watching Nanny 911 or Super Nanny. Just because I’m a nanny doesn’t automatically mean I want to watch other nannies on TV.
15. I’m a good baker, but I’m lousy at decorating cakes. It makes me sad to admit that.

The 5 bloggers I’m tagging are:
Sharon from Kolton’s Mama
Mel from OMG Awesome
Brandy from Brandy-Son Zen Master Flash
Christine from Without Adornment
Lindsay Ann from Linnie Gets Laced

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter in Calgary

winter gear{via}

Last week was brutally cold. The kind of cold that chills you to the core and makes you swear that you’re leaving Calgary the first chance you get to head for the closest hot spot. With the wind chill, it was dipping down to below –30C. (That’s –22F for my American friends.) I tried so very hard to bite my tongue whenever someone south of the border complained that it dipped below 22F. That’s a warm winter day for me, but I digress.

I often get off the train well before my bus comes (on my way to work). To stay warm, I’ll sit in the train station and do things like catch up on Words With Friends, Twitter or just plain old people watch. The cold weather last week made for some good people watching, and led me to notice several things. First, let’s list what I’m like in the winter:

-I lost my toque, so I had to wear hoodies to keep my ears warm.
-I then finally found my toque, which makes me look ridiculous. I wear it anyway, because I need to stay warm.
-I wear many layers, which makes it difficult to move around once I put my winter coat on. It’s all about warmth, people.
-I always have a warm drink in hand.
-Sometimes, when it’s just cold enough, I throw on fleece pajama pants underneath my jeans because I still don’t own long johns.

While I sometimes sit there feeling a little bit ridiculous, I have to remind myself that at least I’m not the person who…:

…shuffles in my boots. (Pick up your feet people!)
….wears a donkey toque.
…wears a full on beaver on their head and has a fur coat to boot.
…has a mirror on their travel mug.
…wears pajama pants.
…doesn’t wear a coat. (When it’s –30, you shouldn’t worry about being cool.)
…wears shorts over tights. When it’s cold, please wear pants.
…has Elmo on her mitts.
…who can’t be bothered to either tuck both pant legs into their boots, or untuck both pant legs. Either/or, no both.
…who wears Uggs or some sort of knockoff with Ed Hardy designs printed all over.
…wears sparkly Uggs.
…wears heels in deep snow.

At least I can feel a little bit better about the fact that I look ridiculous in a toque.
What fashion mistakes do you see in the winter? Are you the one committing the fashion crime, and proud of it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


1. What’s your favorite color to paint your nails?
I rarely paint my fingernails because I find that I chip them much too easily, but I do paint my toenails quite often. That being said, I tend to favour reds and purples.

2. Do you like to sneeze?
No. Does anyone like to sneeze?

3. How often do you fill up your car with gas?
I don’t have a car.

4. Were you named after anyone?
My first name, no. My Grandpa picked it out though. As for my middle name, that was after my Godmother, who passed away shortly before I was born.

5. Have you made any good recipes lately?
We made cheeseburger pie for dinner last night. Yum!

6. What’s an easy money-saving tip that you use regularly?
Stephen and I always talk to each other about our purchases. Not the little everyday ones, but the bigger ones. I find that when I try to justify it to Stephen, I often talk myself out of it. (Not that I have to justify my purchases.)

7. Would you rather have a sore throat or an ear ache?
Umm…possibly a sore throat? I haven’t had many ear aches, so I at least know what I’m in for when I have a sore throat.

8. Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a few burn marks on my arms from grabbing stuff out of the oven.

9. What are you “known for” in your circle of friends/family?
My baking, naturally.

10. How do you like to eat your pancakes?
With syrup, and fruit if at all possible. Whipped cream is always a nice addition!

Monday, January 17, 2011

101 in 1001: Update

I had full intentions to do a house tour this weekend. I promised myself that I would stay in all weekend to avoid the bitter cold, but I ended being busy all day Saturday and Sunday. By the time my house was clean, it was too dark to do a tour. I’m off this Friday, so I’m going to do it this weekend. For sure.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a 101 in 1001 update. (See my list here.) I’ve just checked my completion date, and December 6 feels like it’s already creeping up quick. Let’s see what I’ve completed since the last check in:

#41. Buy a magazine subscription.
I just subscribed to a magazine this weekend actually…Martha Stewart. Don’t laugh! I’ve always liked the Martha Stewart magazine and always come away inspired after reading it, so I couldn’t resist.

#45. Make my own Christmas cards.
I just did that this past Christmas. Nothing fancy, but it got done. I have grand plans for next year’s though.

#64. Make Stephen breakfast in bed.
I made Stephen some waffles and brought them to him in bed. Doesn’t sound extravagant, but this boy doesn’t eat when he first wakes up, so I’m lucky that it happened at all.

#74. Go to The Clayground again.
The Clayground is a paint your own pottery studio. I went back again in November with Izel. I started on a Christmas plate, but haven’t gotten around to finishing it yet. I need to make a return trip soon!

#79. Throw Mom and Dad birthday parties.
I had planned a party for my Dad a while back, but only just threw a party for my Mom. We invited a bunch of people over and I baked her a yummy cake!

#100. Get a craft room/space of my own.
There’s an extra room in the house that we’ve turned into the office. We have matching corner desks in there, one for Stephen and one for me. Mine is devoted entirely to crafting. I can’t wait until it’s all done and organized so that I can show it off!

Do you have a 101 in 1001 list? Link me to it, I’d love to see it!

Friday, January 14, 2011




Last year, I exchanged some Valentine’s Day cards with a few other bloggers. It was a lot of fun receiving all of those pretty cards in the mail, and I even received an anti V-Day card. I realize it’s still a bit early, but I want to be on top of things, unlike how I was with my Christmas cards. I’ve got a new craft space to put to good use, so who wants to exchange Valentine’s Day cards? Either leave me a comment here or  send me an email.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I love hot breakfasts. Cereal is ok, but there’s nothing better than a plate of something hot to wake me up in the morning. That being said, I’m the kind of person that when I first wake up, I’m clumsy. I walk into things and spill stuff everywhere. The last thing I want to do is think about cooking for myself. More often than not, I go without breakfast. By the time I get to work, I’m usually hungry, and more awake, so I don’t mind cooking something. It’s been cold this week, so I figured it was the perfect time to try out a new recipe.
Jan 11 007

I had seen an article of BlogHer about some hot breakfast cereals, which then lead me to blog hopping. I stopped when I came to a post about baked peanut butter oatmeal, I was hooked. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s quick to throw together. I was reading through the comments and people were saying that you could mix it all together the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning. It’s also supposed to freeze well if you end up having leftovers. I found that the recipe could use some more peanut butter and brown sugar, so you’ll find my adjustments below. For the original recipe, click the link below the recipe title. Just so you know, this smells like you’re baking peanut butter cookies. The boy I nanny thought I was baking him cake for breakfast!

Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

(Printable Recipe)

3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, plus more for topping
1 cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter

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1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all ingredients and spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
3. Bake for 25 minutes.

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This tastes great with a little bit of milk poured over top!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Random Thoughts

When I couldn’t think of a coherent post that I wanted to write, I decided to borrow a page out of Kim’s book and do a Random Thoughts post. Head over to Perfectly Cursed Life to read some of hers. (Stick around too, she’s a great blog friend of mine.

heart coffee

  • I’ve got baked peanut butter oatmeal (recipe coming tomorrow) in the oven. This is the second day in a row I’m having it. I think baked oatmeal may be my new favorite breakfast.
  • Now that we’ve finally finished unpacking, I’m dying to hang up our pictures and artwork. I’ve already told Stephen that we’re tackling that project this weekend.
  • It’s been cold here lately. We bought a new duvet and flannel sheets, so it’s been extremely hard to get out of bed in the mornings. I dream about my bed all day long.
  • I also dream of staying home and crafting now that I have a designated space set up for it. This weekend, I’m going to spend a day organizing and crafting, for sure.
  • When I told Stephen last night that I didn’t have an idea for a blog post, he told me that I should write about his new hobby (he’s getting back into building model cars). When I laughed it off thinking he wasn’t serious, he asked why I couldn’t write about my boyfriend. Funny thing is, he doesn’t realize that I write about him all the time!
  • It’s probably time for a house tour. I think I might attempt one after we hang the pictures this weekend.
  • I finally got my reader down to zero last night. I spent so much time behind in reading blog posts in the past month.
  • I think I’m going to go through and unsubscribe from a bunch of blogs to keep things more manageable. It’ll mostly be food blogs and decorating related blogs, since I seem to have an overabundances of those.

Image via we heart it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday



1. Is there a band/artist that you HATE?
I can’t think of one in particular, but I really hate people who scream instead of sing. It makes my head hurt.

2. What do you do when you get a gift that you do not like? How do you react?
I try to be really gracious about it and thank the gift giver. If they’ve included a gift receipt, I don’t feel too bad about returning it. Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve ever been given a really bad gift.

3. How is your work office/cubicle decorated?
I don’t work in an office/cubicle. I work in people’s homes.

4. Do you use all of your vacation every year?
I take my vacations when my nanny families take theirs. One of my families is going to Mexico next month, so I’ll be getting 4 days off.

5. Did you have a real or fake Christmas tree?
Fake. Drove my Dad nuts that we didn’t have a real one, but it’s what worked best for us.

6. If you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be?
I’ve actually been craving spaghetti carbonara, which is what Stephen is making for dinner.

7. Do you bite your fingernails?
Yes. I try not to, but always end up doing it when I’m nervous.

8. How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
1-2. I have one at home, and then one at work normally. If I’m going out with friends, then I may have one more.

9. Do you have a nervous tick?
Sometimes I do.

10. How often do you vacuum?
Whenever the carpet looks dirty. I hate our vacuum, so I don’t vacuum as often as I should.

Monday, January 10, 2011

On A Birthday Weekend…

Saturday was Stephen’s birthday. To celebrate, his Mom travelled from Edmonton, bringing along with her Sharon and Kolton. Friday night was pretty low key, nothing too exciting happened. Saturday was a busy day though. I started off the morning by waking up early and hanging a few birthday banners around the house to surprise Stephen. I then made birthday waffles, which we topped with whipped cream, copious amounts of sprinkles and 19 candles. He laughed at it, but didn’t eat them. Can’t say I blame him, as they were cold by the time they got to him.

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After breakfast, we headed to Ikea. Stephen and I got lucky this Christmas and received several Ikea gift cards. We picked up a ton of essentials, including some storage options for my side of the office. Speaking of which, I finally have a desk to craft on, and I’ve been going on scrapbook supply shopping sprees lately. I can’t wait until I finally have some time to put it all to good use! Pictures will be coming soon.

That evening, we hosted a fondue party. We had three different types; an oil, cheese and chocolate fondue. It took several hours for everyone to work through it all, but everyone had fun. There were about ten of us crowding around our little 4 seater dining room table, all vying for the prime dipping spot. Stephen got a mini flying helicopter, so everyone took turns testing it out. Afterward, we played several rounds of The Game of Things. My family’s pretty rowdy when it comes to that game, and there’s always someone who ends up being the brunt of the jokes. Normally it’s me and my baking being made fun of, but this time, it was all about my nanny friend. She was a good sport about it all, and teased right along with everyone else.

January 9, 2011 015{I love this kid so much}

Yesterday was a lazy Sunday. It was pretty cold (around –28C with the wind chill at one point), so Sharon, the baby and I stayed in for most of the day. We did run out at one point to pick up some scrapbooking supplies that I found for a steal on Kijiji. Sharon and Loralie were supposed to head back to Edmonton this afternoon, but the driving conditions were too dangerous thanks to all of the snow the province has been getting hit with. They’re hoping for the roads to be safe to travel around noon today, so keep your fingers crossed for them to get home safely.

It’s been a good weekend overall, an I adore having family around! What did you get up to this weekend?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 24)

1. I can't believe how fast this week has gone by. It's probably because I've been so busy, but either way, I'm glad that it's Friday.

2. It has gotten progressively harder to get out of bed everyday this week. I really need to learn how to go to bed earlier.

3. Nearly every box is finally unpacked. It's such a big burden that's finally been lifted off my shoulders; I really hated having the spare room full of boxes. The only boxes left hold DVDs and books, and they're only staying in there because we need to buy new DVD storage and a new bookshelf.

4. I helped Stephen build 2 desks and a futon this week. I never realized just how exhausting it really is.

5. Tomorrow is Stephen's birthday. His Mom and Sharon are coming in tonight, and we'll be having a fondue party with my family tomorrow. Stephen decided that he wants all of the fondues: cheese, oil and chocolate. Guess that gets me out of dessert duty.

6. We'll be heading to Ikea during the afternoon tomorrow. I'm pretty excited because we got three Ikea gift cards, plus a visa gift card to spend. Our house desperately needs this trip.

7. My super sweet friend Andi sent me Christmas care package. It came the week we were in Edmonton, so I finally just got to pick it up on Tuesday. She filled it with all of my favorite things: Reese's peanut butter, a cupcake jar, bath products in pink frosting flavor, two necklaces that she made, a shot glass and tons of Orbit gum. I fell in love with Orbit gum thanks to my previous nanny family who would always bring it back from Montana. I can't find it here in Calgary yet, so I'm glad Andi stuck a bunch of that in that in there.

Post Christmas Holiday: Edmonton

On Boxing Day, we left Vulcan and headed back to Calgary. Stephen and I decided to take advantage of the fact that we’d have access to a truck, so we went and bought some furniture: two desks for the craft/computer room and a pantry for the kitchen. I wanted so very badly to get them all set up, but we needed to unpack, do laundry and repack because we were headed to Edmonton to visit Stephen’s family the next morning. Stephen’s brother’s girlfriend Sharon (what a mouthful!) surprised Stephen’s brother with plane tickets to Edmonton for Christmas, so we knew that we had to take advantage of the fact that the entire family would be close by. I’m so glad that we took the time off work for this!

Sharon has gotten into scrapbooking, so we knew that we wanted to make a visit to a scrapbooking store together. I was good (the first time around) and limited myself to some papers and stickers that were too cute too pass up. A lot of cooking/baking themed ones. We somehow managed the boys that we needed to visit the store again the next day, and I spent a little bit more money…nearly triple what I spent the first time around. In all fairness, this ended up being my Christmas gift and Stephen picked it all out. Boyfriend of the year award officially goes to him.

Obviously, we got to see our nephew Kolton lots. I love the way that Stephen interacts with Kolton, and it looks like Kolton is enamoured with his uncle. I may have asked Stephen once or twice if we could hurry up and have kids of our own sometime soon. Ha!
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Jan 3 261

The second night we were there, Stephen planned on cooking a large family dinner of butter chicken. My nanny friend and her husband happened to be in Edmonton at the same time as us, so we invited them. Sharon’s friend had just moved to Edmonton, and they hadn’t seen each other in 7 years, so naturally, she got an invite as well. I love giant dinners like that!

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The last night that we were in the city, after getting some family photos taken, Grandma babysat Kolton, and the “kids” went on a double date. We used up some Moxie’s gift cards we got as presents and then went to a late movie. The boys went to see Tron, while Sharon and I went to see Black Swan. While I don’t think Sharon enjoyed it much, I happened to love it! I had such a great time that night, which leads me to this question: When are you moving to Calgary guys?

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011


For the first time in several years, I worked right until the day before Christmas Eve. I’m used to getting the week before Christmas off, so I feel like I deserved my holidays even more this year. On Christmas Eve, we all loaded up the presents and made the hour and a half drive to Tracy’s place in Vulcan. It was her first time hosting Christmas, and her first time ever making a turkey dinner.

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At times, the house felt a little chaotic with 8 people sleeping there, up to 6 other people coming and going, three dogs and my two guinea pigs. (Side note: I need to find someone in Calgary who’d be willing to guinea pig sit when my family can’t.) I loved every minute of it.

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Our tradition is to wake up around 7am on Christmas morning, so of course we continued that. We debated waking up later, but you just can’t break tradition! There were so many presents under the tree that they flowed halfway across the width of the living room. Stephen and I got a lot of gift cards and things for the house, all of which we loved. Every little bit helps, and I cannot wait to put them all to good use. I even got a gift card for my favorite cupcake place. My sister’s boyfriend made sure to wrap it up nice and good in quite a few layers of packing tape. My Dad took a video of me unwrapping it'; he started halfway through and the video was still at least 7 minutes long. Ridiculous, I tell you.

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The weekend consisted of a lot of eating, playing some Xbox Kinect and just doing general family stuff. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Stephen and I have already made it clear that we’d like to host Christmas next year, and that will be even more of a gong show once we add Stephen’s family on top of mine.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ten 0n Tuesday



1. What type of home do you currently reside in? (house, apartment, etc.)
We live in a three bedroom townhouse.

2. If you could completely redecorate one room in your home, what room would you pick, why, and what would you do to it?
Since we’ve only been here a month, the entire house needs to be decorated. However, if you’re paying for it, I’d pick my bedroom. It always gets neglected. I want to buy a king sized bed, new end tables, dresser and artwork.

3. What is your favorite place to gain inspiration for your home decor style?
Blogs, and lots of them.
Young House Love, Brooklyn Limestone, 6th Street Design School, and Decor8 to name a few.

4. What is your favorite piece of decor in your home?
Probably the Kurt Halsey prints that Stephen surprised me with as a Christmas gift one year.

5. What do you want visitors to feel when they visit your home? Do you think your home gives off that feeling?
I want them to feel welcomed and at home. My house might not quite give off that feeling at the moment due to lack of artwork on the walls, but I always do my best to make my guests feel at home.

6. Describe your home in one word and explain why you chose that word.
A work in progress. I couldn’t think of how to phrase that into just one word, but it’s the most fitting at this point. January is going to be all about making this more of a home!

7. What are some predominant colors or patterns in your home?
Green and brown. The paint color (green) wasn’t our choice, but it actually works. Our couches and dining room table are all brown, and in the same room. Might not make much sense, but there will be pictures to come once we’re done decorating.

8. What is your favorite room in your home and why?
At the moment, it’s our living room. I love how cozy it is.

9. Do you take a hands-on or DIY approach to projects around your home or do you enlist or hire help?
I want to take more of a DIY approach in this house. Stephen and I work on projects together and build all of the furniture that we buy. If we had a garage that we could turn into a shop, Stephen would even build some furniture. One day, hopefully!

10. Where is your favorite place to shop for home furnishings?
My favorite place that I can afford is Ikea. I wish I could afford Pottery Barn though!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010: A Year In Review

I like to reflect upon my year by doing year in review posts on my blog every year, so hopefully you’re not sick of seeing these yet. My laptop is being difficult (aka not charging), so I’m on my old one. Thankfully I post pictures everywhere, otherwise this post would be pictureless!

-New Years Eve was spent in our brand new condo apartment with friends. Low key night, but so much fun.
-Andi and I started baking with each other via webcam.
-Stephen and I went ice skating at midnight.
January was a pretty quiet month around here.

-I turned 24.
-We got our first guinea pig, Piglet.
-Stephen and I threw a combined Mexican Fiesta birthday party. It had a taco bar and was wicked awesome.
-Stephen quit smoking. (I’m still so proud of him for doing that!)
-I willingly watched a hockey game (gold medal Olympic game), and liked it!
Mexican Fiesta

-We adopted our second guinea pig, Tigger.
-I started up my Baking With Angela feature, posting recipes every Thursday.
-Stephen and I celebrated two years of dating.
Piglet and Tigger

-Celebrated Easter with the family.
-I started getting to know my neighborhood better.
-Stephen and I took a break from Calgary and spent a couple of days in Edmonton with his Mom. It was my first time meeting her, as well as his aunt and grandparents.
-We also went with the family to visit my sister in Vulcan. We met her brand new puppies!
-Tracy moved into a new house, on a farm during the last weekend of the month, so we went back out to Vulcan to visit.
Stephen and Jaybolily

-It appears that I had finally settled into blogging five days a week.
-I picked up work on Fridays with a new nanny family, which I referred to as my Friday Family. They’re an Australian family with three kids.
-Stephen and I cut our cable to save money.
-We all went to the Body Worlds exhibit, which was a birthday gift for my Dad.
-I took my Friday Kids to the zoo and rediscovered my love for it.
-I attended the Lilac Festival, which took place right outside my apartment.

-I met my first ever blogger; Leah from Five Blondes.
-I took my Friday Boys on all sorts of outdoor adventures.
-I started tackling my summer list.
-I had friends over for a BBQ and to eat some pie.
-I finally got a new camera!

-I met my nanny friend, George, at the park.
-I took my Friday kids to the pet store down the street from my apartment to meet the pig that lives there; Alistair.
-Stephen and I attended the wedding of two of my high school friends.
-Took my Friday kids to the Stampede Parade.
-Went to the Stampede in the rain.
-My blog turned one.
-Stephen and I became an aunt and uncle. His brother’s girlfriend gave birth to a boy they name Kolton.
-I went back to Vulcan to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
-Stephen and I went on a picnic.



-I met my second blog friend: Kim from Blair’s Girls.
-My sweet little Tigger passed away.
-I went thrifting for the first time in years.
-Stephen’s brother, girlfriend and our nephew came to visit. They stayed in our teeny apartment for a week.
-I started job hunting.
-Celebrated my other sister’s birthday by having a giant family BBQ in the park.
-Ended my job with my nanny family. I had been with them for 5 years, so it was tough.

-Adopted our newest guinea pig, Oreo.
-I stopped working with my Friday Family.
-I found two new families to work with. One on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
-Within two weeks, I was let go from my MWF family. They couldn’t afford a nanny anymore.
-Found a new family the next day (!) and started with them.
-I reconnected with an old friend.
-Went to the bird sanctuary at the most beautiful time of the year.
-Did the Light The Night Walk with my family.

bird sanctuary

-We told the landlord that we wanted to move, and he started showing our apartment.
-Celebrated thanksgiving with my family.
-Started the Women of Wonder project.
-Took a ballet class.
-Got to spend some time hanging out in a bakery.
-Celebrated Halloween by having friends over.

-Found a new place to live and signed the lease.
-Spent the majority of the month packing.
-I volunteered.
-I held a bake sale.
-I bought an awesome new coffee maker.
-We bought some furniture for the new place.
-We moved out of the apartment.

-We moved into a three bedroom townhouse!
-We hosted a housewarming/birthday party.
-My sister in Vulcan got engaged!
-Spent Christmas in Vulcan.
-Spent the week after Christmas in Edmonton with Stephen’s family.
-Celebrated New Years Eve with my sister and her boyfriend at my place.

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