Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


#82 at Roots and Rings

1. From your childhood, what do you miss most about summer vacation?
I miss the anticipation of it. The excitement over the prospect of long lazy days spent out in the sun.

2. Are you going anywhere on vacation this summer?
Nope. We were supposed to do a Vancouver/Victoria/Seattle trip, but that got cancelled when I got accepted into school.

3. What foods do you like to barbecue?
Everything. Steak, chicken, hamburgers, corn on the cob, veggies…. Everything tastes better barbecued.

4. How do you celebrate the fourth of July?
I don’t. I do however, celebrate Canada Day (July 1st). It’s usually just by watching the fireworks. The past few years, I’ve had to work the next day, so I haven’t had the chance to go out and do anything too fun. This year, Canada Day falls on a Friday, so I’ll definitely be planning something.

5. What’s your favorite beverage to drink in the summertime?
Iced coffee, lemonade, iced passion tea lemonade. Anything cold, really.

6. What movie are you looking forward to seeing this summer?
I actually have no idea what movies are coming out this summer. I don’t pay much attention to what’s coming out until it’s a few short weeks before the release date and ads are everywhere.

7. In the car: windows down or AC?
Depends. If we’re driving down the highway, then I prefer AC. If we’re just cruising along through residential streets, then I prefer the windows down. I don’t like when the wind is loud and whipping through the car.

8. Have you ever had a summer fling?
I haven’t.

9. Do you wear sunscreen?
I really try to remember to. I always slather it all over the kids I nanny, but by the time I’m finished with them, I barely have a moment to throw it on myself. Bad, I know.

10. Do you have any favorite summertime activities?
Picnics, BBQ’s, summer festivals. I just adore everything about summer really.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Craft Night

I love my friends dearly, but there are times that I wish they were more crafty. I’d love to invite them all over for a craft night; where we could talk, eat and craft the night away. Doesn’t that just sound lovely? I decided that despite the fact that they’re not all as craft oriented as I am, I’d attempt to organize a craft night anyway.

That turned out to be a fail. An hour or so before people were supposed to show up, everyone cancelled, except for my sister. I can always count on Jessica to hang out with me and have a good time! We started the evening off by making tissue paper pompoms, using this tutorial from Smile and Wave. I should have grabbed some pictures of Jessica’s pompoms, but forgot. She made black and yellow ones!

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I hung mine on my side of the office, above my craft desk. Yes, that gold tower you spy is the Burj Khalifa. My friend Hannah brought it over for me as a souvenir.

Next on the list was felt pinwheels. We made them using this tutorial from Mrs. Priss. I turned mine into three different things. First up, I stuck them in a wooden stick,and they’ll reside in my vase full of buttons.

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Next, I turned two of them into magnets. I just hot glued a magnet on the back, and then stuck one on my fridge and one of the magnetic bulletin board in the office.

Lastly, I glued some on to a piece of twine, and hung them up underneath my magnetic bulletin board!

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I realize everything is off centre, but I rarely notice it.

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My little craft space is feeling more and more homey every day!

Do you like making crafts? Would you ever go to a craft night with friends, even if you weren’t very craft oriented? Tell me about the last thing you crafted!

Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 40)

1. Despite the fact that I had Monday off, it’s been a long, busy week. I had such a hard time getting out of bed this morning, and I barely feel awake.

2. Tuesday night, Stephen and I had our interviews for Big Brothers Big Sisters. We were interviewed separately at first, then together. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and definitely a bit shorter than what I was told. We now have to wait about two months for our criminal record checks and our child intervention checks to go through.

3. I had a mandatory advising session to attend on Wednesday evening for school. I was stressing about it because I was worried about making it there on time after work, and I was worried about getting lost. That afternoon, the baby I look after spit up all over my jeans, and I didn’t have time to change first. Despite that, I made it to the session in the nick of time…only to find out that online students didn’t need to be there. The advisor said that I could sit through the session because I could learn some useful stuff, but I really didn’t learn much of anything. All that stress for nothing.

4. Last night, a lady from Mary Kay came over to pamper me and two friends. My sister had actually been offered the pampering session and invited me and a friend. It was nice, but it took entirely way too long. I stayed up later than normal, and I’m definitely paying for it now.

5. After work tonight, I’ll be heading right back to work. I agreed to babysit for another family. I’m sort of regretting it now, but I do have to keep in mind that less than two hours after I arrive, the kids will be in bed for the night. I’m worried that the parents will come home to find me passed out on their couch!

6. Yesterday, it rained all day, non stop. I know that Alberta can use the rain (especially after the Slave Lake fires), but a few breaks throughout the day would be nice. I got soaked a few times yesterday.

7. I don’t have too many plans for this weekend, which means that I’ll be able to sleep in! I’m trying to organize a craft night with the girls tomorrow night though, so hopefully that works out.
What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuxedo Cake

Stephen’s Mom came and stayed with us the past weekend. Conveniently, her stay happened to be really close to her birthday, so you know that we had to celebrate! Stephen cooked her a fancy dinner, and I baked her a fancy cake. She had some requests (white cake, chocolate icing and no fruit mixed in), but those went out the window when Stephen and I saw this cake. We did check with her to make sure it would be ok though!

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The cake was a big hit. Everyone was still full from dinner, but every plate was polished off. This has to be the moistest cake that I have ever tasted, and I’m going to go ahead and use this as my go to chocolate cake recipe from now on. I highly recommend that you make this cake, don’t even wait for a special occasion!

Tuxedo Cake
From Annie’s Eats


1 cup butter
2 cups water
1 cup canola oil
4 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
4 cups flour
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease two ten inch springform cake pans.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the butter, water and oil. Heat until butter is melted.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder and flour. Pour in the melted butter mixture and mix. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add in buttermilk, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cake layers cool completely before frosting.


4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups icing sugar

1. Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Whisk in icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Don’t over beat.
2. Ice the cake: Place one layer on a cake platter; spread a layer of frosting over top. Top with the second cake layer and ice the top and sides. Refrigerate for at least one hour, so that the icing stabilizes.


4oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla

1. Heat the cream over medium heat until simmering. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour the heavy cream over top. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth.
2. Mix in corn syrup and vanilla. Pour into a large measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Slowly pour the ganache over the top of the cake so that it covers the top and drips down the sides. Refrigerate cake until the ganache is set, about one hour. Garnish with chocolate dipped strawberries if desired.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Balcony Garden

I’ve wanted a garden for ages. I have dreams of having a decent sized garden filled with veggies. There’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own veggies and then eating them straight from the garden! In the last two apartments that I lived in, I didn’t get to have my garden; not even a balcony garden.

A few weeks ago, I was babysitting. Stephen called me up and told me he had a surprise for me. When I got home, there was a tomato plant waiting for me at the top of the stairs. That boy sure knows the way to my heart! I hope to make some salsa with our tomatoes at some point this summer. I finally convinced Stephen that we needed to add to our balcony garden, so that weekend,we headed to Canadian Tire. We picked up a few herbs, and a hanging strawberry basket. It may not seem like much, but I’m perfectly content with our little balcony garden.

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The tomato plant that started it all. It sits in the corner of our balcony. I added the marigolds afterward because I read that they help keep away bugs.

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The planter full of herbs. From R-L: Basil, Dill, Oregano and Thyme. I hope to get enough basil to make pesto!

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The hanging strawberry plant. I’m not sure if you can make it out, but we’ve got a few green strawberries! I can’t wait till their ripe!

After we had finished planting everything, I commented to Stephen how the balcony felt so much more cozy. I then started cooking dinner, when Stephen exclaimed that he had a surprise for me, and that he would be back in twenty minutes. He had run back to Canadian Tire to buy us two chairs for the balcony! Guess the garden really grew on him!

Do you have a garden? What are you growing?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


#81 at Roots and Rings

1. Have you ever used Craigslist?
Craigslist isn’t all that useful here in Calgary. I use Kijiji instead. I’ve bought a couple of things from there, and I’ve sold one or two things.

2. Can you sew?
No, but I want to learn. I want to learn enough so that I can teach myself how to make a quilt eventually.

3. Do you pour syrup on your pancakes or dip your pancakes in the syrup?
I pour syrup on my pancakes. I’ve never seen anyone dip pancakes into syrup, but I have seen people dip french toast sticks in syrup.

4. Rain storms: Love them or hate them?
If I have nowhere to be, then I absolutely love them. If I have to take transit, then I’m not so much of a fan anymore.

5. Do you like swimming?
Yes and no. I usually get itchy after showers and even sometimes after being in a pool, so if I’m not itchy, then I like swimming.

6. What kind of drink do you order at Sonic?
We don’t have Sonic here.

7. Are you funny?
I think I can be occasionally. Sometimes though, I feel like I have no sense of humor.

8. At what age will your kids get cell phones?
To be honest, I’ll base it on what the norm is when I have kids. I’ll also judge it according to how mature my children are.

9. What’s your favorite vegetable?
This is a tough one because I love so many different vegetables! Asparagus and bell peppers are top contenders though.

10. Were you a Girl Scout?

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Instagram Weekend

I took pictures with my actual camera this weekend, but I’ll probably save those for another post. Right now, we’ve got Stephen’s Mom visiting with us and we’ve got some downtime right now. Stephen’s playing Nintendo 64, and his Mom is sitting next to me, most likely playing Words With Friends (she’s now addicted). I figured I would use this time to get up some pictures up so my blog doesn’t sit empty tomorrow. (I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon.)

It’s been a busy weekend. Friday started off with Stephen and I hitting up Costco. It was our first time shopping there, and I was like a kid in a candy store. In every aisle, I found some sort of snack that I just had to buy. I couldn’t control myself! Clearly, there was no self restraint when it came to buying this Cookie Crisp. Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please!

Cookie Crisp

It ended up being a two cart grocery shopping trip. We needed to start our stockpile of food, so all of our trips to Costco won’t involve this much food. Yes, I do realize that I must be the only person who blogs about grocery shopping.

2 carts

Saturday involved a big fancy birthday dinner for Stephen’s Mom. His grandparents and aunt drove in from Edmonton to be here for the dinner. It’ll forever be known as the “reduction dinner”. Stephen made pork tenderloin with a peach pomegranate reduction, along with lemon and thyme mashed potatoes. Most of the family had never even heard of a reduction before, so they were super impressed. I baked a Tuxedo cake for dessert (along with homemade vanilla ice cream). Since I’m lousy at cake decorating, I let Stephen assemble it all for me.

tuxedo cake

cake massacre

The cake was amazingly moist. Expect a recipe on Thursday.
Stephen and I know how to treat our guests well, so if you ever find yourself staying with us, know that you’ll be well fed.

How was your long weekend? Eat any good food?

Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 39)

1. I feel like this has been a long week. I think it's because I've got such a busy/fun weekend ahead of me that I'm just anxious for it to get here.

2. Stephen and I planted a little balcony garden on Sunday. Expect a post next week.

3. Stephen went out last week and bought a freezer. We finally got it last night; and this sucker is huge! The only place we have room for it is in the kitchen, and I feel like it looks rather out of place. I really hope that it grows on me soon.

4. I went to an art show on Wednesday night. An old friend of mine's Mom just graduated from ACAD, so some friends and I went out to support her. It's been so long since I've seen the Johnson's! I may need to write a post on them.

5. It's a day off for me, yet I made plans to be up bright and early to go for breakfast at 7am with friends. Izel gets off work at 6:30am, and it'll be our last time to see Hannah before she leaves for New York. No rest for the weary! I'll sleep after the Rapture. (Because apparently that's happening this weekend. Right.)

6. Stephen's Mom is coming to stay with us this weekend. On Saturday, his grandparents will be coming over as well. Apparently, we'll be entertaining a full house on Saturday night as even more relatives will be showing up. I guess that means that I need to get baking!

7. Oh! Now that we have our giant freezer, we'll be buying a membership to Costco. I've never been before (that I can remember), so is it weird that I'm excited to go? (We're going tonight.)

What do you like to stock up on at Costco?
What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

M&M Kissed Pretzels and Rolo Turtle Pretzels

This may be two of the simplest recipes that I almost considered not posting them. After I realized that not everyone has heard of these, I knew I had to put them out there anyway. The M&M Kissed Pretzels are so addicting. I’ll make them for a party and then proceed to eat most of them when no one’s looking. The last time I made them was for Easter, and before I even put them out for everyone, I stuck some in the freezer for me to eat later. I can’t keep my hands off them.

The Rolo pretzel turtles are a newer recipe to me, and are equally as addicting. I also made these for Easter, but it was hard to judge which was the favorite. These guys seemed to go quick, but I think that may have been because there was less of them. I’ve seen recipes for both of these posted everywhere, so I don’t have any specific links to them. I’m not adding quantities to the ingredients list, just make as many as you’d like! I took these pictures with my iPhone, and I forgot to get a picture of the finished M&M kissed pretzels. Use your imagination for what they’d look like!

M&M kissed pretzels

M&M Kissed Pretzels

Mini pretzels
Hershey’s Kisses (any flavor will do)

1. Preheat oven to 200F.
2. Lay out mini pretzels on a baking sheet. Top each pretzel with a Hershey’s kiss. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until the chocolate begins to soften.
3. Once you take the baking sheet out of the oven, quickly push an M&M onto each kiss. Let cool.

rolo pretzel turtle

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

Mini pretzels
Rolo chocolates
Whole pecans

1. Preheat oven to 200F.
2. Lay out mini pretzels on a baking sheet. Top each pretzel with a Rolo chocolate. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until rolos begin to soften.
3. Once removed from the oven, press a whole pecan onto each rolo chocolate. Let cool.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekend Recap

We celebrated Mother’s Day a week late. It can be hard getting my whole family together (especially with a sister who lives an hour away from Calgary), but we finally managed to get most of us together. Sadly, Stephen was stuck working. I had heard good things about a brunch spot called Cora’s, so we figured we might as well try it out. We met up around 11am Saturday morning, and then proceeded to wait in line for half an hour. Totally worth it though.

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My sisters and I pitched in and bought my Mom an e-reader. She never asked for one, but totally wanted one. She was so happy with it!

Can we please talk for a minute about how amazing the food is? Because, seriously? So good! The plates come piled high with fruit.

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What you can’t see buried under everything is two slices of brioche french toast. Aw, yeah!

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This crepe was GIANT!

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This is so typical of me, eating my food with my iPhone in hand. I was tweeting a picture of my breakfast, natch.

Later that evening, the family set out to celebrate my sister’s boyfriend’s birthday. The plan was to head out to a casino for a few hours. This was kind of exciting for me because I had never been to one before! Stephen and I met up with Jessica and Daniel at the casino, and then got a phone call that the rest of our family was actually at the other casino down the street. So, not only did I go to my first ever casino, I made it to two casinos that night! Here’s what I discovered: I’m not a fan of gambling, at all. Stephen and I set a $20 limit for each of us; with plans to spend it mostly on the penny slot machines. I only ended up spending $10, because losing the money depressed me way too much. I did, however, win some money while I was playing a Sex and the City slot machine. I should have quit while I was ahead.

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What you can’t see is that my voucher says $23 (I had started off with $5!). I then proceeded to lose every last penny of that. Ugh. I’m so glad that this outing proved to me that I don’t like gambling, rather then letting me know that I could have been addicted to gambling. Could you imagine if that had been the outcome?
Do you like going to the casino? What’s the most you’ve ever lost? Won?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


#80 at Roots and Rings

1. Your favorite piece of furniture in your home.
I don’t really have a piece of furniture that I would call my favorite, but I’ll pick my couch for this answer. It may not be beautiful, but it is comfy!

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2. Your favorite thing on your wall.
I love the shape of this picture frame, and I love that it has old pictures of my family.
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3. Your bed as it looks right now.
Our bedroom has been neglected since we moved in. Our bedframe didn’t survive the move, and we still don’t have one. I rarely make my bed, so it’s always messy.
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4. Your pantry.
We don’t have a true pantry, so we’ve had to improvise. We bought this pantry at Walmart, and use it to store anything that doesn’t fit in our kitchen cupboards.
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5. Your favorite piece of jewelry.
This is a locket that belonged to my Mom when she was a kid. It has pictures of my great grandparents inside of it, and her initials are engraved on the back.
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6. Your favorite book.
The majority of my books are still in boxes, as I still need to buy a new bookshelf. Instead, you get a picture of the book that I’m currently reading. I bought it at a thrift store. (That’s my bookmark peeking out at the bottom.)
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7. Your most comfortable shirt.
I live in t-shirts. This one fits just right.
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8. Your messiest room.
My side of the office was a huge disaster when I took this picture on Sunday night. I cleaned it all up last night though!
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9. Your house shoes.
I don’t wear shoes in my house, so here’s a picture of my slippers instead. They were a gift, and I love them!
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10. Yourself.
This one may be cheating since I didn’t take this picture specifically for Ten on Tuesday, but I love this picture anyway. It was taken by one of the boys that I nanny when we went to the Calgary Tower.
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I adore picture versions of Ten on Tuesday, so this was a lot of fun!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back to School

After high school, due to circumstances beyond my control, I never furthered my education. I jumped right into being a nanny, as childcare was the only thing I had any interest in. It’s always bothered me that I haven’t taken any classes since high school, but it was just something beyond my control. (Sorry for being vague on that, it’s not something I’m completely willing to get into on my blog.)

Last month, this thing happened to work itself out. There was a lot of celebrating and questions of what I was going to do with my life now. I’ve always had plans for what to do, but to be honest, they scared me a little bit. At the end of last week…I applied for school. I feel like this is unplanned, and in a way, it is. I applied to take the Early Learning and Childcare course at Mount Royal University. I’ll be doing it online because I’m not ready to give up my full time job just yet.

The funny thing about this is the fact that I had just become completely ok with being a nanny until I had children of my own. I seriously love my job. I get to work with amazing kids, and I get to plan stuff to do that makes it feel like I’m not even working. My job can be challenging at times, but I’d take those challenges any day of the week. The truth is, I’m completely unqualified as a nanny. I can still do my job, and I’m still good at it, but it’s always bugged me that I have no education behind my job. With this course, it opens up new opportunities: early childhood educator, special needs caregiver (preschool, kindergarten programs, daycares etc..)

The course is a year long, and I’ll be starting in September. I’m nervous. I’m 25 years old, and I haven’t done any school work in 7 years. It’ll be a tough (and busy) year ahead of me, but I’m so thankful for this opportunity. I know that after all is said and done, I’ll be glad I did it. Once the course is over, I’m not sure where I’ll be. I don’t know if I’ll stay a nanny (and ask for my pay) or if I’ll take advantage of the new doors that are being opened for me. We’ll talk about that in a year, ok?

Where do you stand in the whole education world? Have you already finished post secondary schooling? Never went? Completing it now? Or are you a mature student, like me? I’d love to hear all about your experiences, and please, leave me some words of wisdom!

Friday, May 13, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 38)

1. It's only natural that I would have something to say about Blogger being down, right? Kind of frustrating, but I'm not sure if it's enough to make switch over to WordPress just yet. Let's not make this a regular thing Blogger, ok?

2. I've never been to a Walmart Supercentre until last week. There's one by work, and I have to admit that I love it. I needed to pick up some produce and it was so much cheaper than buying it at Co-op.

3. I went to Sobey's on Wednesday just to buy their reusable bags. Out of the ones we own from Safeway, Co-op, Walmart and Sobey's, Sobey's is my favorite; it's the perfect size. The cashier eyed me funny when she realized that I was only buying 5 reusable bags. In the words of Stephen: "I do what I want!"

4. We're celebrating Mother's Day tomorrow. Due to conflicting schedules, it was the only day that we could get most people together for bunch.

5. It was recently my sister's boyfriend's birthday, and I think he wants to go to the casino tomorrow night to celebrate. It'll be my first time at a casino.

6. I took one of the boys I nanny to a play date with my nanny friend yesterday. We spent the morning out in the backyard chatting, and when I got home, I realized that I got a sunburn! First sunburn of the season, just below my neck. My face got a nice tan though.

7. Stephen and I haven’t had one off together in a few weeks! We’ll both have Sunday off though. I even turned down a babysitting job late Sunday afternoon just so I can enjoy a full day with Stephen, even if all we’ll be doing is running errands.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chai Waffles

Sundays are meant for sleeping in, then making a big breakfast. Maybe even brunch because you slept later than intended. Sundays are meant to be lazy days. A day to unwind after a long week. That wasn’t the case for me this past Sunday. I have a couple of families that I babysit for on the weekend, and I made a commitment to one family to babysit while the Mom worked and Dad ran the Mother’s Day run and walk. This family lives downtown, which is a train ride and a bit of a walk for me. When I’m babysitting for these guys, I usually start at 6:30am, which means I’m up at 5am.

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This past Sunday was rainy; I stopped for coffee just before arriving at work. When I got there, I buzzed up. The Mom answered, all sleepy voiced. She had no idea why I was there. They told me to come up, and after I knocked on the door, my sneaking suspicion was confirmed. They forgot to tell me that they didn’t need me to babysit that day. Feeling bad for their mistake, the family still paid me for my time. I started off toward home, bitter about the fact that I had woken up early for nothing. Bitter about the fact that I was on my second cup of coffee, so I wouldn’t be sleeping when I got home. Bitter about the fact that it was raining. After I had some time to sort out my thoughts, I realized that this wasn’t an awful thing after all. I mean, I was paid for no work! I had a whole day ahead of me. After catching up on Twitter, I was feeling pretty hungry. A few of the girls I follow had tweeted about waffles and I knew I needed some right away. I decided that I wanted chai waffles, so I googled some. My search lead me to a blog I already follow; Ezra Pound Cake. Done deal.

These waffles are perfect for a rainy Sunday morning, especially when paired with a big cup of coffee (or chai tea). If you’re feeling indulgent, click over to Ezra Pound Cake for her whipped cream recipe.

Chai Waffles
From Ezra Pound Cake

1 3/4 cups milk
7 chai tea bags
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Let steep for about 5 minutes, while milk cools.

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, vanilla and the milk. Fold the wet ingredients gently into the dry ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

4. Cook your waffles in a waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Dust with icing sugar and top with whipped cream.


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Reality TV

I seem to be a bit of a reality TV junkie. I’ve filled my PVR up with all of these shows that I watch when I’m home alone. There’s no way in heck that Stephen would ever sit and watch these shows with me.

It seems that as the weather warms up, my attention span for TV shows dwindles. I need something lighter and easier to follow along, something mindless that I can just throw on after work as I unwind from the day. Here are the shows that I’m currently working my way through:


16 and Pregnant: I have no idea where the sudden obsession with this show came from, but I’ve watched it every night the past week and a bit. I didn’t see last season, so I have a lot to catch up on.


Sister Wives: I have Twitter to thank for this one. I didn’t have cable when it was first on, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I’m hooked.


The Real Housewives of OC: My original favorite of the RH group. I miss the original seasons, but I can’t help but watch this anyway.


Quints By Surprise: My newest addition. I’m drawn into families of multiples just because I’m so dang curious how they do it. Let’s hope they’re not the next Jon and Kate.

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Deadliest Catch: The biggest surprise of all. Stephen still can’t get over the fact that I actually like this show! This is another one that I have Twitter to thank for. I’ve always seen people tweeting about it, but never had any desire to check it out. While at work recently, I discovered that they had about 12 episodes recorded, so I decided to give it a try. I was hooked and making my through it when I discovered on Monday that they deleted the ones I was watching. I learned my lesson and I now have it set to record at home!

What are your TV watching habits? Are you a reality junkie like me, or am I crazy for watching so many silly shows?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I think it would have to be My Girl. It's been my favorite movie since it first came out, and I never seem to tire of it.

2. Let’s say someone wrote a screenplay about you; what actor/actress would you choose to play you and why?
This is a tough one because I don't feel like I look like any actresses. Someone once told me that I look like Rachel Dratch, but it was a mean spirited comment.
Who do you think should play me if someone wrote a screenplay about me?

3. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in theaters?
I'm sure there were movies before this, but the first one I can remember at the moment is My Girl.

4. Did you ever make out at the back of a movie theater in middle school/high school?
I never have.

5. Are you a Netflix-er, Blockbuster-er or a Redbox-er? (Or none of the above?)

None of the above. We used to be Zip.ca type people when we didn't have cable, but we cancelled it when we got cable.

6. Name one actor/actress who you would give anything to have a dinner date with.
Jake Gyllenhaal, hands down.

7. What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
I've seen several bad movies, but I can't pick any out that I would say is the worst. The worst movie I've seen recently though is How Do You Know?

8. Do you sneak snacks into the theater when you go?
A bit of both. I used to only sneak snacks in, but since I started dating Stephen, we almost always buy some popcorn.

9. Movie theater popcorn: love or hate it?
Love it.

10. What is the all-time best Disney movie in your opinion?
I've loved a lot of the recent Disney/Pixar movies: Wall-E, Up, Ratatouille, etc...
I'm not the kind of person who only has one favorite thing, so these sorts of questions are hard for me to answer. I have multiple favorites of everything!

Monday, May 9, 2011

101 in 1001: An Update

8 months. That’s all I have left to complete this (not so) little project. When I first started making this list, I felt like there was no way that this would ever come to an end, yet at the same time, I knew the end would come much too quickly. Does that even make sense? I’ve already been contemplating what I want to do when December 6 rolls around, but haven’t settled on an idea. I love having a list of goals to work towards, and I feel like a bucket list (while amazing) is just a bit too broad for me. I need something that is supposed to happen quicker. Do I start another 101 list when this one is done? Or should I start a 30 before 30 list? I’m thinking that the 30 before 30 list is a bit too soon; I have 5 years before I turn 30, so that may be just a bit too long for me. I’ll have enough time to complete another 101 in 1001 list and start a 30 before 30 list.

Wow, rereading that paragraph makes me realize just how much of a nerd I truly am. I seem to have a bit of an obsession with lists, no? I also make summer lists every year, so I’ll let you decide how to answer that question. Let’s get on to the update though, shall we?

Find the original 101 in 1001 list here.

7. Go to the ballet: Stephen surprised me with ballet tickets for our 3 year anniversary. You can read more about that here if you like.

18. Make a fancy birthday cake 4 times: I have no idea why I picked 4 as my magic number, but this has been done many times over. I bake a cake whenever anyone’s birthday comes up, and there’s even two specific ones that have turned into annual repeats. (Rum Carrot Cake for my Dad and Bobby Flay’s German Chocolate Cake for Stephen.)

41. Buy a magazine subscription: I subscribed to Martha Stewart because I’m cool like that.

42. Write down 100 things that make me happy: This has to be one of the easiest things on the list, yet I never took the time to actually do it until recently. While my boys at work were working on a craft project, I sat with them and wrote out my list. It came together rather quickly!

45. Make my own Christmas cards: Pretty self explanatory. They weren’t fancy this year thanks to the move, but I didn’t purchase a single greeting card. I have plans to do it again this Christmas.

79: Throw Mom and Dad birthday parties: With my Dad’s birthday being in April, his was easy to complete right away (dinner at Stephen’s restaurant). My Mom’s birthday is December 11, so it can sometimes get lost in all the hustle and bustle of Christmas. We always acknowledge it, but it’s usually just a simple family dinner. This past birthday, Stephen and I decided to throw her a combination birthday party/housewarming (for us) party. It was bigger than I had anticipated!

100. Get a craft room/space of my own: This was so important to me. I love creating, but didn’t get to do it often as I never had a space to devote to it. When we moved into the current space, we had an extra room that we filled with two desks and turned it into Stephen’s computer area and my craft area. I love it so much!

In progress:

10. Finish a scrapbook and keep it for myself: Every scrapbook I have ever made has been a gift for someone else, and I had been wanting one to keep all for myself. I’m currently working on one just for me!

101. Do the 365 photo challenge: 1 picture a day for 365 days. I wasn’t entirely sure if I could get one every day, but I’m trying. I’m not beating myself up if I miss a day though. What matters most (and why I even started the project) is that I pick up my camera and document memories.

Do you have any goals that you’re working towards?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 37)

1. I feel like I've overbooked myself this week. Not only have I worked 5 days with my regular families (when I've only been working 4 lately), but I babysat Wednesday night and I'm going to get up bright and early (5am) on Sunday to work. Saturday is my only free day, but I'm trying to see a friend during the day, and Stephen and I were invited for dinner at another friend's house Saturday evening. No rest for the weary.

2. The weather this week has been fantastic! All of this sunlight and warm weather is making it easier for me to get up and leave for work every day. Even the rainy day on Tuesday didn't sour my mood.

3. I came home from work yesterday and realized that my lawn is green. I can only take so much snow and brown grass in my life. Now I need to get started on a garden.

4. Yesterday, I took T (the 4 year old boy I nanny) on one of my favorite adventures. It's a path that leads to little waterfalls near the river. I was really excited for this walk; I made him wear his rain boots expecting him to want to play in the waterfalls, and I even packed snacks for us to enjoy. We got there, saw the waterfalls and river, then T turned to me and said "ok, time to go home!" We'd been there for 5 minutes. I made him sit on a rock near the river to eat some snacks with me. Kids these days just don't get it.

5. While I was babysitting on Wednesday, the oldest boy insisted on calling me by his nanny's name because we both have glasses and a ponytail. I can't argue with that logic. Those boys call me Miss Angela, which is a first for me and makes me melt a little every time they call for me. They're adorable!

6. Things in my household are being changed up a bit. Nothing is finalized yet, but it involves jobs and education. Hopefully all of it will be good news that I can blog about soon.

7. I was watching TV while writing this (I normally blog the night before) and realized that I was mindlessly watching Pawn Queens. How many pawn shop/auction reality shows are out there? There's only so much I can watch. Seriously.

Blueberry Muffins

I’m lousy when it comes to eating breakfast first thing in the morning. Well, that is, unless someone else is making it for me. The only thing on my mind when I first wake up is coffee, and that’s all I can be bothered to make. 9 times out of 10, by the time I leave for work, I’m getting pretty hungry, so I’ll toss a baggie of cereal in my purse to eat at work. I want to be better about eating breakfast at home though, so I’ve been contemplating baking some things on the weekend to help me out with that. When I found a recipe book called Morning Food at the library, I knew this was the perfect book to help me out with that.

May 1 001

These muffins are pretty dang good, and taste great with a cup of coffee. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like they could use a bit more sugar. If I wasn’t making these as a breakfast item, I’d go ahead and add in 1/2 cup white sugar. Either way, I’d sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a bit of sugar before they go in the oven. I read somewhere that the key to perfectly domed muffins is baking them at 400F no matter what the recipe calls for. The recipe already called for that, and I could see the beginnings of the perfect dome. I think if I had heaped the muffin tins a bit more full, they would have domed beautifully. Using fresh frozen blueberries will help prevent them from bleeding all over your batter when mixing them in.

Blueberry Muffins
From Morning Food by Margaret S. Fox

(Printable Recipe)

2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup fresh frozen blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, oil, heavy cream and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, salt and baking powder. Fold into the liquid mixture.
4. Fold in almonds and blueberries. Pour into greased muffin tins and sprinkle with addition sugar if desired.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden.

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