Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Confession

Last night, you would have found Stephen and I curled up on the couch watching Without a Paddle on the GameTV channel. This isn’t really the exciting part; it’s what occurred afterward. I’ve never watched the GameTV channel before, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that they started airing old game shows after the movie. Here’s my confession: I’m a sucker for cheesy old game shows!

I completely surprised Stephen with my excitement over these shows. First up was Cooking For Love, a show where three contestants have to cook a dish without a recipe for some person hiding behind a screen. The person hiding behind the screen talks to the cooks, and then makes his/her decision after sampling their food. The episode I watched was especially cheesy (I love late nineties fashion). The girls had to cook lemon rosemary steak with onion rings. One girl garnished her steak with marshmallows, and one girl garnished hers with sprinkles. Needless to say, the guy picked the third girl that made a perfect steak, and get this? She passed on the date. Sucker!


The second show I watched was Love Handles, a Canadian game show very similar to The Newlywed Game. While trying to find some info about the show, I discovered that it was produced from 1996-1998, but there’s no way that’s true. The clothes these people were wearing were straight from the eighties!

There was also some commercials for Supermarket Sweep. I remember watching that show when I was kid and wanting so bad to be on it! So there you have it, I’m a sucker for cheesy old game shows. If you could be on a game show (past or present), which one would you be on?

Friday, February 25, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 29)

1. It looks like I’ve found another family to work with. I’ll be starting on March 9th, and it will be with a teeny baby boy. I’ll just be easing into the job by only working one day a week for the first bit, but at least it’s work. I’m actually excited for this job because it’s relatively close to home, and the family just seems like they’ll be a good fit.

2. Until I start working the full three days a week with this family, I’ll only be working three days a week (with time included from my Tuesday/Thursday family). It’ll be hard adjusting to it, especially because we’ll have to be extra careful with our spending habits in the near future. Any ideas for cheap/free fun?

3. It’s been weird having so much time off this week, but it’s also been kind of nice having the extra time to do stuff around the house. I love having the extra time to do crafty things.

4. A friend of mine is having a wedding reception tomorrow. I’m excited to go and see a bunch of friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.

5. Did I mention that I hung out with one of my old nanny kids last Saturday? Her parents dropped her off, and we spent the day baking and making cards. It was so good seeing her again. When she was picked up, her little brother came along as well. I can’t get over how tall they’ve grown in the 6 months since I’ve seen them last!

6. My old MomBoss brought me flowers when she picked up her daughter. They’re gorgeous, and still going strong a week later.
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7. This week has been rather uneventful, so I’ll end off by asking you a question: What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strawberry Ice Cream

It’s no secret that I’ve been wanting the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for ages. I almost got it last summer, but that didn’t work out. I find myself periodically drawn towards Amazon to check the price of the attachment, and just two short weeks ago, the price was the lowest I had ever seen it: $80. It’s normally $130 (about the same price in stores here too), so when we saw it for that price, Stephen told me that I should take advantage and order it. You Americans are lucky in that it’s currently only $70. Too bad there isn’t free shipping to Canada!

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Since it’s arrived on my doorstep, we’ve had a constant supply of ice cream in our freezer. Unfortunately, strawberry is the only flavor that’s lasted long enough for me to remember to take a picture. This is some amazing stuff, and it comes together so quickly. I also ordered Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, and have only had one minor failure due to an error on my part. (Note to self: learn how to melt chocolate. Geez.)

Strawberry Ice Cream
Adapted from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

(Printable Recipe)

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar

1. Combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Prepare sweet cream base as follows:

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk

1. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in sugar until completely blended. Mix in milk and cream.
2. Puree the strawberries and mix into the sweet cream base.
3. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blogger Meet Up

A few weeks ago, one of my Twitter friends tweeted a link to a Calgary bloggers meet up. I was immediately interested, but much too chicken to go on my own, so I brushed it off. Not too long ago, my sister and her boyfriend started blogging, so I asked if they’d be interested in going with me. They were up for it!

It was held in a coffee shop last night. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but figured this would be good for us anyway. As more people started filing in and filling in name tags with their Twitter handles and blog names, I quickly realized that I didn’t know a single person. I had seen the RSVP list before I came, and was ok knowing that at least  two or three people that I followed on Twitter would be there. Turns out, not a single one of my Twitter friends showed up! I felt like a party crasher, but our hostess and some other bloggers made us feel welcome anyway.

The group was a good mixture of old and new bloggers, and I loved hearing everyone’s perspective on blogging. It’s not often I find someone that blogs. This appeared to be the first known blogger meet up in a while, so Merry (the hostess) is hoping to organize more of them in the future. Despite the fact that I can be totally awkward, I’m hoping to go to more of these so that I can make some new friends. We filled out little questionnaires to provide ideas for future meet ups, with one of the suggestions being a potluck. There were several food bloggers in a attendance, so I think it’s safe to say that this would be a great idea! You can count on me to bring some dessert.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to attempt to find everyone on Twitter. Have you ever been to a bloggers meet up? If you’re a Calgary blogger that didn’t attend last night, would you like me to inform you when there’s another meet up?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ten On Tuesday

1. What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day. Do you love it? Hate it?
I've always loved Valentine's Day.

2. What is your favorite romantic comedy?
I love You've Got Mail.

3. Meg Ryan & John Mellencamp: what’s your first reaction?

They're kind of an odd pairing. Am I missing something here? Are they together or something like that?

4. All time favorite poem or quote?
I can't think of one. I'm interested to see what other people put though!

5. What’s the longest amount of time you've gone without sleep? (like consecutive hours).
I think about 21 hours.

6. What color ink do you prefer to use?
My current favorite pen has pink ink. Other than that, it's a toss up between black and blue.

7. Share with us a blog that you recently found and fell in love with (and link us!)
This isn't a recent find, but one that I've been in love with for some time: Under The Sycamore.

8. If you could be on a reality TV show which one would you choose?
Does What Not To Wear count as a reality show? If so, then that's my choice. I love Stacey and Clinton.

9. Mountains or Beach?
A beach in the mountains.

10. With the Oscars around the corner, what’s your pick for best picture?
Of the movies nominated, I've only seen two (Black Swan and The Social Network), so I'm going with Black Swan.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Calgary Tower

My Tuesday/Thursday family are in Mexico right now, but I’m still looking after their cousin while they’re gone. Thursday was a day off from school, so I decided that E and I should have an extra special day together. I let him decide what we were going to do that day; it started off with him wanting to go to the Science Centre, but at the last minute, he decided he wanted to go to The Calgary Tower. It’s been ages since I’ve been to the latter, so I was game.

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We took the train downtown, which always seems to be an adventure for a six year old. Surprisingly, the Calgary Tower wasn’t busy at all when we got there. We were the only people waiting in line for the elevator. We especially liked keeping track of where in the tower the elevator was on this special little display. The green lights showed you where the elevator was.

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The first thing we did was head straight for the glass floor. I surprised myself by being a bit hesitant to step out onto it. I know how safe it is, but apparently the older I get, the more nervous I get? Strange, because I’ve been to the CN Tower in Toronto, and I’ve fearlessly walked all over the glass floor there. I got over my new found fear though and got some pictures. I was surprised to find that E was too scared to go on the floor as well. We spent a good majority of our time hanging out by the glass floor, with the hope that he would build up the courage to venture out onto it. He never made it fully on, but he did lay down halfway on, with his jacket underneath him. I’ve got photographic proof for his Mom!

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We finally made our way around the rest of the tower, and while the views were fantastic, as always, nothing held our attention quite the same as the glass floor area. We spent the majority of our time just sitting there, enjoying the peace of the city. E had brought along a marker and some post-its,so he drew pictures while I took pictures with my camera.

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It was a perfectly low-key, but still fun afternoon. We even ended the day off with a trip to McDonald’s, thanks to his Mom telling us we could eat out. I realized that it was the first time I had ever taken one of my nanny kids out for McDonald’s, so it was just as exciting for me as it was for E!

Friday, February 18, 2011

On Job Pains...

To make a long story short, and to save you from the inevitable whining/rambling that is about to happen in this post: I'm job hunting again.

On Monday, my MWF family (where I look after 13 month old Baby C) informed me that after today, I will no longer be needed. I was told that it's because Baby C is doing so well that there's just no need for me anymore. It's not because of something bad that I did, but instead, it seems to be because of everything I did right. I don't want to sound arrogant, but it comes across as I did my job so well that I rendered myself useless. You would think that should be a compliment to my nanny skills, but it's still tough.

In retrospect, I should have known that this job wouldn't last long, but that doesn't make it any easier on my heart. In this job, a person can really grow to love the children she looks after, and leaving them is never easy. I feel like I was making such good progress with Baby C, so to have that yanked away from me is hard. I know that in the end, this will be best for me, especially because (as any of you who have talked with me outside of this blog would know) there were many aspects about this particular job that were not right for me. I won't go into it here, but I just have to keep reminding myself that this will work out in the end.

Now begins the tedious task of job hunting. 90% of my computer time will now be spent searching job postings and replying to emails. I'll quickly grow to despise opening my laptop. The good news is that I have already had one job interview. I prefer not to talk too much about how the interviews go, so you probably won't hear much after this post, at least not until I find another job.

Some of you may be wondering how things are going with my Tuesday/Thursday family. Things are going really well with them, and in fact, they're one of my top two families that I've worked for. I'm treated well, I get along fabulously with the kids and we have fun. I really couldn't ask for a better family to work for. Once a nanny finds the right family, it really does feel like she has the best job in the world.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Last week, I planned and hosted a Valentine’s Day party for the 4 year old boy that I nanny. His Mom gave me full reign over the party, her only request was that we decorate cupcakes. Done deal! Since it was Valentine’s themed, I wanted something a little bit festive. I originally thought of red velvet cupcakes, but those are expected, you know?

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I consulted my favorite cupcake book (125 Best Cupcake Recipes) and came across the winner: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes. These were a great choice because not only are they festive with their pink color, but I found that the flavor was subtle enough to please a crowd of four year olds. As much fun as I would have had doing so, this was not a time to try out a crazy new recipe. These were extra special for T because he helped me bake them, and he adored being able to pour in actual pink lemonade concentrate. He was so pumped about that! I also whipped up a plain buttercream, and colored it some fun colors. The kids went to town smearing frosting all over their cupcakes and covering them in glitter. No pictures of the frosted cupcakes though; I took pictures of those with MomBoss’ camera, but forgot to do so with my own.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

(Printable Recipe)

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/3 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup buttermilk
2-3 drops red food coloring

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1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a small bow, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of the flour mixture and two of buttermilk. Add enough food coloring to turn the batter your desired shade of pink.
3. Scoop into cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 Things That I Like

I was tagged by Krista from Awake and Dreaming to write a post about five things that I like. I need a light post today to keep my mind off things (side note: Can’t I catch a break, Universe?), so I figured that this was the best thing to cheer me up today!

1. Chop Sushi.

I go through phases with which iPhone games I’m addicted to. Right now it’s Chop Sushi, before that it was Burn The Rope, Cut The Rope, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies. The only game I’m consistently playing is Words With Friends. (Have any apps you’d like to recommend to me?)

2. My Keurig. I think my favorite part is the fact that I now order my coffee online, because there’s more choices and it’s cheaper! I always spend way too long choosing which flavors I’d like to try out, and when it arrives, I feel like it’s my birthday! I’m expecting another shipment any day now actually.

3. How I Met Your Mother.

I was actually late to the game on this one, but I’ve caught up until halfway through the current season. Stephen was reluctant to watch this with me at first, but I finally made him watch a rerun with me one night, and now he’s hooked as well. We watch reruns together every night.

4. My craft room. I love having a space to do crafts!

5. English bulldogs.
big_900 English Bulldog Puppy For Sale01

I can’t help it, I think they’re adorable, and I want one so bad!

I’m now supposed to tag 5 people:

Sharon @Kolton’s Mama
Jessica @Playpen
Daniel @Too Much Thought For Facebook
Christine @Without Adornment
Hayley @Blue Eyed Blonde

(All images found via Google image search.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ten On Tuesday

1. Any vacations you are looking forward to this summer?
We've been talking about going to Vancouver and Victoria in the summer so that we could attend our nephew's first birthday.

2. What is your favorite article of summer clothing (shoes are included)?
Flip flops for sure.

3. What is your favorite summer drink (alcoholic or non)?
Homemade watermelon lemonade, and iced coffee.

4. Do you tan or burn?
I usually burn slightly, but then it turns into a nice tan.

5. Any goals you are working toward this summer?
I haven't set any yet. I normally make a summer list every year though.

6. What is your favorite summertime food?
Fresh fruits and BBQ.

7. What song most says “summer” to you?
The first two songs that popped into my head were California Gurls by Katy Perry and Summer Lovin' by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

8. Any home improvement goals planned for this summer?
None at the moment. That could change before the summer though.

9. What is one thing you hate to see at the beach?
Ill-fitting swimwear.

10. Did you ever go to a summer camp?
I did, and it was through my church. It was only about a week long though. I was even camp counsellor one year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Love For Valentine’s Day

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, and I think I have my parents to thank for that. Most of my Valentine’s Days were spent single, which would lead someone to assume that I would be bitter about the day. I’ve never felt that way because of the way I was raised. My parents raised my sisters and I to be very loving girls, and taught us that you don’t need a holiday to remind you to love, but that it’s fun to have a special day to demonstrate it anyway. While we were in school, we’d wake up in the morning to little gifts that were left for us on the kitchen counter; usually some chocolates and something small like socks covered in hearts, always accompanied by a love note from my Mom.


Now that I’m older and in a committed relationship, I still feel the same way. I show my love for Stephen every day, but it’s fun having a special day to do a little something extra. I’m not the kind of girl who expects him to go all out with chocolates, flowers and jewelry. Our first year together, he did go out and buy me my favorite chocolate and flowers, but that was it. Since then, we just cook a meal at home together. I’d much rather cook a meal together and stay in than battle a crowded restaurant. We did dinner and a movie last night, but that just worked out because we realized we had enough Scene points for two free movies.

I love doing special little things for my nanny kids as well. I’m a sucker for sparkly red and pink hearts, so I’m happy throwing glitter on a card and giving them some chocolate. I actually planned and threw a Valentine’s party for T at the request of his Mom, and had a blast! I gave the house a major heart attack; there were hearts taped up in every window! I baked pink lemonade cupcakes and let the kids frost them. Then we had a Hershey’s kisses scavenger hunt and finished off by eating heart shaped cookies. I couldn’t imagine a better workday.

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After all is said and done, I’m a simple girl when it comes to the holidays. How do you like celebrating Valentine’s Day? Do you like keeping it simple or going over the top? Are you anti-Valentine’s Day? How come?

Friday, February 11, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 28)

1. This week has kicked my butt. I’ve been sick, and work has been rough. Luckily, I have today off. I’m using my time wisely today, by doing things like sleeping in and crafting.

2. I hosted a Valentine’s Day party for a bunch of four year olds at work yesterday. It was crazy, but also a lot of fun. My favorite part had to be decorating the house, and the cupcake decorating at the end of the party.

3. Mid-week friend dates are amazing, and don’t happen often enough. George and I met up so she could give my birthday present and then we went out for tea and hot chocolate.

4. Monday, we got hit by a whole bunch of snow. Of course I decided then and there that Stephen and I needed to go grocery shopping at Superstore. Since we don’t have a car, that was a whole lot of fun. It took us an hour to get there by bus because of a car accident.

5. I always tell myself that I’m going to go to bed early so that I can actually take care of myself when I’m sick. So then, one has to wonder, how do I end up going to bed later than normal every day this week?

6. My Tuesday/Thursday family is leaving for Mexico this weekend. This means I only have to look after the cousin for about three hours in the afternoon on my regular days. So much extra time! What do I do with it?

7. I’m a sucker for cute things, like this collection of photobooth marriage proposals. Throw in a cupcake, and this would be how I’d like to be proposed to!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cupcake Fondue

While making my way through my usual round of blogs, I came across this post by Amanda from Bake It Pretty. It was love at first sight! I found it a few weeks before my birthday, and knew that I had to try it out on my family. If you’re absolutely clueless as to what cupcake fondue is, here’s the gist of it: you make a batch of frosting, dip your favorite mini cupcake in it, and then garnish with pretty sprinkles!

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I have to warn you, it looks rather childish, especially because there’s no need for a flame under your fondue pot. When I introduced the concept to my family, most of them gave me strange looks. Once they tried it out though? Everyone loved it! I didn’t double check to make sure I had enough icing sugar, so my frosting was a bit thinner than I would have liked. Didn’t stop anyone from liking it. The mini cupcakes I baked are just a plain white cupcake, but they were jazzed up a little bit by some almond extract. They taste great on their on as well, as my Mom and sister would attest. Enjoy!

White Cupcakes
From 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

(Printable Recipe)

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup room temperature butter
2 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup buttermilk

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1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Beat together sugar and butter. Add in egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each edition. Stir in almond extract.
4. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, making three additions of the flour mixture and two of buttermilk. Beat until smooth.
5. Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake for 10 minutes (for mini cupcakes) or 20-25 minutes (for regular cupcakes).

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{Make sure you use your super cute new cupcake tray!}

Fondue Recipe
From Bake It Pretty

3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp light corn syrup

Whisk together above ingredients. If too thick, add a drop of milk. If too thin, and a bit more icing sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

Stick your frosting in a fondue pot, lay out mini cupcakes and assorted sprinkles, and have fun dipping!

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{My sister has a great dipping technique!}

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I Should Be Doing

I’m finally catching the sickness that’s been going around my nanny families. It started around Saturday, and it’s been getting progressively worse. Yesterday, my temperature was hovering close to the fever range, but I’ve still been working through this. I always do this to myself. I’ve decided to play a little game of what I should be doing vs. what I’m actually doing.

What I should be doing: Finishing up my Valentine’s cards for my blog friends. (They’re going to be late, sorry.)
What I’m actually doing: Watching old episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

What I should be doing: Finishing up the decorations for T’s Valentine’s Day party on Thursday.
What I’m actually doing: Having tea with a friend.

What I should be doing: Replying to emails.
What I’m actually doing: Reading blogs.

What I should be doing: Going around to visit all of the new people who’ve stopped by my blog.
What I’m actually doing: Writing a blog post.

I’ve got this Friday off, so I’m hoping to make some serious progress on this list. All of you lovely people who’ve stopped by and left me your blog addresses, I’ve not forgotten about you. I’ll be around to visit soon.

Now it’s your turn. What should you be doing? What are you actually doing?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What’s your favorite kind of donut?
I've really only ever been exposed to donuts at Tim Horton's, but my favorite there is sour cream glazed. I've been wondering lately if Calgary has any good donut shops around here, other than the typical Timmy's. Donuts are also on my list of baking projects to tackle.

2. Do you use the snooze button
No. I prefer to just get out of bed.

3. Do you write in cursive, print, or a combination of the two?

A combination of the two. I feel like my cursive is messy, but I love making loops when I'm writing, so I still throw it in with my printing.

4. Tell us a joke.
I've put this one on Twitter and Facebook recently, but I think it deserves repeating because I'm cheesy like that. As told to me by the four year old boy that I nanny:
What do you call a camel with no humps?

My other favorite jokes:
What do you call cheese that's not yours?
NACHO cheese!

How do you make a tissue dance?
Put a little boogie in it!

Like I said, I'm a giant cheese ball.

5. How many languages do you speak?

I speak English, but took French from grade 4 through grade 11. I'm not fluent, but I get by ok.

6. Why did you start blogging?
The first time I ever heard about blogging was through a friend about 6 years ago. I've always loved writing, and the idea of an online diary of sorts was appealing. After growing tired of live journal, I took a break from blogging. I began to miss it though, so I made the switch to Blogger. I love being able to exercise my writing skills, and having the interaction with other bloggers is a big bonus. Besides, there are so many talented and creative bloggers out there that are so inspiring to me!

7. Do you use bar soap or liquid body wash?
Liquid body wash. We've got a full package of Dove bar soap sitting under our sink that hasn't been touched in over a year. I should probably donate it, since neither Stephen or I like bar soap.

8. Do you buy bottled water?
No. I find that it's too wasteful, especially if there is access to clean/safe drinking water right out of my tap. I'd rather carry a reusable water bottle.

9. What did you think of the Super Bowl Half Time Show?
It was lame. The only reason I know this is because I was at my parents' house during the game, and my Mom wanted to see the half time show. I normally could care less.

10. How do you feel about Steve Carell leaving The Office?
I've never seen The Office, so I'm indifferent.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Quarter Of A Century

If you’ve made your way over to my blog from SITS, then welcome! (To those of my friends that don’t know, I’m the featured blogger over on SITS today.) Please stick around, say hello and leave a link to your blog. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better and making some new friends!

Saturday was my birthday; I turned 25. My original plan was to lounge in bed for the morning. Stephen had made me coffee, fed the guinea pigs and brought me my laptop. I ended up not getting to stay put for very long, because he told me that I should go get a haircut, as part of my present from him. Wanting to get it done right away, I got up after my coffee and headed out. I was rather lucky to get taken in right when I arrived, and it’s so nice to have something done with my hair. I then spent most of the day cleaning and baking mini-cupcakes.

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My family showed up around 5:30pm, bringing with them some dinner. Izel had graciously decided that she would bake my cake for me, but I knew that I still had to do this cupcake fondue that I had read about. There’ll be a post up on Thursday with recipes, so please be patient! 

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The first half of the night was spent talking over plates of good food, until my sister that lives in Vulcan had to go home. After she left, the last half of the night was spent playing a very hard game of Cranium. I’m normally fairly good at this game, but apparently, I had forgotten to bring my A-Game! My other sister and her boyfriend took no pity on me and kicked my but!

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It was a rather low key night, but that’s just the way I like it. I had the best 25th birthday a girl could ask for!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 27)

1. To start off this post, I’m going to promote two really awesome bloggers.
There’s Kolton’s Mama, which is written by Stephen’s brother’s girlfriend; Sharon. Remember her? I’ve written about her before. She’s new to the blogging world and could use some loving. Besides, I know you’re just dying to see what my nephew is up to.
And then there’s Too Much Thought For Facebook, which is written by my sister’s boyfriend; Daniel. I don’t know about you, but my Google Reader is seriously lacking good male bloggers. I have maybe one or two, so I was really happy to see that Daniel took up blogging. He’s hilarious, and won’t disappoint.

Edit: Make that three bloggers, as my baby sister just started blogging (again)! Go check her out at Playpen. She's pretty awesome, and is a good read, especially if you like hearing about tattoos and piercings. That's not all she writes about though, so go see more for yourself!

2. I started the 365 photo challenge on the first. It was on my 101 in 1001 list, so I figured it’s better late than never. I don’t plan on posting the pictures here too often, but they may make an appearance every so often.

3. We’ve been nearly out of butter all week, and it’s been driving me nuts. I’ve been wanting to bake something, but the desire to go to the grocery store just isn’t there.

4. I took T to story time at the library yesterday. Turns out, my high school English teacher was there (Hi Ms. Nordean!) I didn’t recognize her at first, but I’m so glad that she came to say hi. T won’t be returning to the last three classes due to other commitments, so I’m pretty sad because she was one of my favorite teachers in high school.

5. T’s new favorite thing to say is booyah. It’s hilarious to hear him say that when we’re doing things like bake banana bread or when he’s just excited to get off the bus.

6. Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m going to be a quarter of a century old! Ridiculous. I’ll be having family over for dinner, and perhaps some cupcake fondue. (Post about that to come next week.)

7. As a birthday present (and since he has to work) I asked Stephen to feed the guinea pigs, make me some coffee and bring me my laptop in bed. Sounds like the perfect way to wake up!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Monster Cookies

I love these cookies because they’re fast and easy to whip up. They’re also great for using up little odds and ends in your baking stash. I bet everyone and their mother has a recipe for monster cookies, but I happen to really like this recipe. I believe it may be a Paula Deen recipe, but I copied it down off the internet onto a piece of paper ages ago, before this blog even existed, so I’m not too sure. I like making my monster cookies small, but they’d be fun if you shaped them bigger too. Just be sure to adjust the baking times accordingly.

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Monster Cookies

(Printable Recipe)

3 eggs
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 12oz jar smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup M&M’s
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick oats

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1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugars, and beat well. Mix in salt, vanilla, peanut butter and butter. Beat well.
3. Stir in M&M’s, chocolate chips, raisins, baking soda and quick oats.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto cookies sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Note: I typically use what I have on hand, which happened to be mini M&M’s, chocolate chips, raisins and peanuts. Set your timer for the first time (8 mins) and then check on the cookies, as I find that these can burn easily.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why I Love My Job

Some days, my job can be so difficult that I question why I ever wanted to work with kids. Some days it can be so bad that it makes me rethink having my own kids someday. Luckily, those days are far outnumbered by the good days. This list is here to remind me of the reasons that I love my job, and the two nanny families that I work for.

  • Baby C’s house has a lot of hardwood floors in it, which are perfect for sock sliding. Have a you ever played a game of chase (baby chases you) and you got to sock slide all over the upper floor? So much fun.
  • Baby C takes 2 hour naps in the afternoon. I’m free to do as I please, which includes napping in the rocking chair beside his crib.
  • Teaching Baby C sign language, and having him actually catch on and repeat it back to me. Best feeling ever.
  • My Starbucks/Petland/Chapter’s mornings with T. We start off at Petland to visit the animals, then we make our way over to Starbucks for coffee/juice and a donut, then it’s off to Chapter’s to play with the train table.
  • Taking T on a “date” to the mall. It was supposed to be a cookie date, then he wanted a Starbucks date, but in the end, his Mom slipped him some money for popcorn, so it ended up being a cheesy popcorn and kid’s play area kind of date.
  • I have a friend who’s a nanny and she looks after a boy who is T’s age. We get together often for play dates. Not only do the boys get along well, but I get to see my friend during work!
  • Good coffee at work. T’s family has a Nespresso, and it makes dang good coffee. YUM!
  • The freedom to run errands while at work. As long as I throw fun things in there for T as well, I can make short stops at the scrapbook store and Walmart, if needed!

This list can go on and on, but I just wanted you guys to see why I probably have the best job ever.
What do you like about your job?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday



1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Holidays. I loved the excitement of waking up on special days, then after all the gift opening was over with (Christmas, Easter and birthdays), we’d get dressed up and head over to my Grandma’s house. I loved those days!

2. What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My empathy.

3. What is your favorite thing that your child does?
I don’t have kids.

4. What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
Change into my jammies, watch a funny show and read some blogs.

5. What is your favorite restaurant? And what is your favorite thing on the menu?
Avenue Diner. My favorite thing is the stuffed french toast. You can’t go wrong with brie, bacon and apples shoved inside some french toast1

6. What is your favorite piece of jewelry (besides your wedding ring)?
I don’t have a wedding ring, and I rarely wear jewelry. However, my favorite piece is a silver heart shaped locket that belonged to my Mom when she was a kid. It has pictures of my great grandparents in it.

7. What is your favorite night of the week M-TH? And why?
Thursday night, because I know that Friday morning is my last day of work!

8. What is your favorite dessert?
I’m a sucker for cheesecake and ice cream. Any flavor will do.

9. What is your favorite item in your make-up bag?
Probably a little sample of some Marc Jacobs perfume.

10. What is your favorite smell?
Something baking related. Cookies, cake, muffins, all of them smell good to me!

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