Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Recap

Here’s the thing: my brain is fried. Baby E is teething, and yesterday at work was miserable. I tried really hard to come up with something good to post here today, but couldn’t. I was going to just take the day off from blogging, but when I was reading Brandy’s blog this morning, I came across her August Recap and knew that it was the perfect thing to post. I think it’s a fun way for me to pick out a few of my favorite blog posts from the month, so hopefully Brandy doesn’t mind that I’m borrowing her idea! If you click here, you can read her post as well.

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Weekend Recap: I talked about my sister finding her wedding dress. I’m still in shock that my little sister is getting married!

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Cake Batter Ice Cream: I’m pretty sure that this ice cream is what started me on my recent cake batter obsession. There’s a pint of this in my freezer right now.

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Peanut Butter Pie Trifle: My first ever trifle. Layers of peanut butter pie, chocolate ganache, and whipped cream, topped off with chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Amen.


Our New Toy: Stephen surprised me with a brand new Canon Rebel t3i. My boyfriend knows the way to my heart.

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Crayon Art: Stephen picked out this project, and it really grew on me. Pretty neat stuff, if you ask me.

So tell me, what’s your favorite post(s) from August? Feel free to link me to one of your favorites on your blog!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

TenOnTuesday#95 at Roots and Rings

1. What is your favorite brand of shoes?
The only brand loyalty I’ve developed when it comes to shoes is for non-athletic runners from Puma. I just like the way they fit me, and I like the style. Other than that, I just like a shoe that is cute and fits well!

2. How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes?
I don’t remember. I do remember being at a friends house though, and her uncle taught me. I still use his method.

3. How do you feel about freckles?
I don’t think a whole lot about them, but I suppose they’re ok. I think that if I had more of them, I’d develop a stronger opinion. I don’t hate them, though.

4. I can count to ten in ___ languages.
3 languages: English, French and Spanish.

5. What is your favorite store-bought ice cream flavor?
Ben & Jerry’s cheesecake brownie. Yum!

6. Were you in ballet or gymnastics as a little girl?
I wasn’t in either of them. In fact, I wasn’t in any sort of organized sport.

7. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?

8. What’s your bedtime?
During the week, Stephen and I get in bed around 9pm, and lights go out around 10pm. In between time is spent playing on our iPhones. On the weekend, whenever I feel like it.
Yes, Stephen and I both realize how lame we are, but since we both have to be up early in the morning, we know that going to bed earlier is better for us.

9. Do you have any jewelry that you wear every single day?
I don’t. I’m not very good at being a girl, haha!

10. Who is the bug killer in your household?
It depends on how big and ugly it is. If it’s just little, I’ll kill it; if it’s large and ugly, I yell for Stephen to come kill it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crayon Art

Occasionally, I’ll play around on my laptop while Stephen is watching TV. More often than not, I’ll find my way over to Pinterest, and Stephen will look through it with me during commercials. He saw this crayon art pinned from an Etsy shop and immediately declared that we needed to make it. I brushed it off, not thinking that he was serious.

He kept talking about it, so I finally gave in. Only problem was the fact that he wanted to make it to hang in our living room. Now, our living room isn’t fancy or anything like that, but I knew that it just wouldn’t match anything and would be out of place. This led to a week long debate before we got around to making this art. I seriously did not want it in the living room, but he was sold on it being a “statement piece”. I finally gave in to making it, hoping that he would realize that it wouldn’t look good in the living room.

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You’ll need to pick up some crayons and a canvas. We measured out our crayons against the canvas while at the store, taking into account that we wouldn’t want to use the ugly colors, such as brown and black. You should lay out all of our crayons beforehand, so that you know what order you’d like to place them on the canvas. You’ll then need use a hot glue gun to attach them to the canvas.

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We set the canvas up against the wall at an angle, and made sure to stick some paper underneath to catch the drips.August 28 019

We decided to use my embossing gun to melt the wax, as we figured it wouldn’t blow the wax around as much as a hair dryer would. I’m not entirely sure that’s the case, but I liked the fact that the hot air flow was directed out of a smaller opening. Stephen was in charge of melting the crayons, and he found that it worked best when he directed the hot air just below the Crayola sign. It was also best to work on just a few crayons at a time before moving down the line.

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Occasionally, Stephen would aim the embossing gun at the middle of the canvas in a downward position (not straight on, so it wouldn’t splatter) so that he could get some of the wax all the way to the bottom of the canvas.

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Once the wax was dry, we were ready to hang it up. After some more discussion, Stephen realized that this was much better suited to our office than it was the living room. Stephen decided to hang the canvas upside down for a different look, and I think it looks fantastic!

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Tips: Buy some extra crayons so that you can do a practice run. I’m so glad that we did because we learned quickly what to do and what not to do. Make sure to aim your heating tool at a downward angle at all times if you want to avoid splattering.

Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 52)

1. I’m up earlier than normal (5am!) today so that I can start work earlier than normal. I’m working with a different family than normal, so I’m going to be kept busy all day. I’m already exhausted thinking about it.

2. Baby E started cutting his first tooth this week. It may not be too exciting to you, but it was super exciting around his house. I love just how excited his parents were!

3. I found out this week that a friend from high school passed away, and I attended her funeral yesterday morning. It was so sudden, and she was entirely too young. Her funeral was a lovely celebration of her life though.

4. I ordered my textbooks the other day. School is creeping up on me faster than I care to admit.

5. There has been some serious discussions about Christmas, since we're hosting it this year. I cant believe that it's already 4 months away.

6. Mine and Stephen's child intervention checks came in the mail, which means we're finally approved to become a Big Brother and Big Sister. Our file gets to go in for the next matching session, so we'll be getting a little brother soon!

7. What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cookies and Cream Bars

I first saw these bars on Pinterest. I immediately pinned them, but never got around to making them. Since I pinned them, I’d seem them at least once every time I signed into Pinterest; they were just there, taunting me. There’s just one problem, Stephen’s not a big fan of Oreos, so I had to wait until I had other people to make them for.

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Last Friday, I hosted a girls night at my house. Right away, I knew that I would make these, since there would be enough people to eat them and not leave too many at home for me. They’re super easy to make; just like Rice Krispie treats, but with Oreos instead of Rice Krispies. I do have to admit that my Oreo to marshmallow ratio was a bit off, but that didn’t seem to bother people. I’ll just be sure to add more Oreos next time.

Cookies and Cream Bars
From Picky Palate

1 16 oz pkg Oreos
5 cups large marshmallows
4 tbsp butter

1. Using a food processor, ground up the Oreos. Butter and line a 8x8” pan with tin foil.
2.  In a large microwave safe bowl, melt together the butter and marshmallows in 30 second intervals, for about 2 minutes.
3. Immediately pour in the Oreo crumbs and mix together.
4. Transfer to the foil lined pan, smooth out and let sit until set. Cut into squares.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Project Weekend

This past weekend is what Stephen and I like to refer to as project weekend. We had a bunch of little around the house projects that have been adding up for quite some time, so once Stephen had a weekend off, we designated that as our project time.

A few of them were rather boring; cleaning out drains and putting up a new showerhead. We had a failed project: a chalkboard that we were going to put on the inside door of our pantry. We used some chalkboard paint on a non-stick surface and well, it didn’t stick, ha! We’ll just redo that project another weekend.

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Our most time consuming project of the weekend was the gallery wall. We had to spray paint every single frame, then hang it up. The frames still aren’t full, but here’s a sneak peek of it:

gallery wall

The most fun project of the weekend was the crayon art, picked out by Stephen. He saw it on Pinterest and has been obsessed with recreating it ever since. I’m thinking of writing up a post about the crayon art alone, would you be interested in learning how to make it, or do you think it’s been overdone by other blogs lately? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
We hung it up in our office, and Stephen chose to hang it upside down, which I think is pretty awesome.

crayon art

What are some projects that you’ve done lately?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

TenOnTuesday#94 at Roots and Rings

1. Do you listen to the radio in your car?  If so, what type of station do you like?
I don't have a car, so I'll just switch this to house. I do listen to the radio at home, and I prefer upbeat stations. When I'm getting ready in the morning, I actually like listening to more talking than music, but that's the only time I have that preference.

2. What is the best concert you have ever attended?
Matt Dusk. It was an intimate concert, he's funny and everyone got to meet him and get his autograph after the show.

3. What is the most embarrassing concert you have ever attended?
Simple Plan. My parents made me take my sisters back when I was in high school.

4. If you could have the singing voice of anyone in the world, who would it be?
There's so many talented people out there, but off the top of my head, I'd say Adele. I'd kill to be able to sing like her.

5. You’re auditioning for American Idol.  What song do you sing?
There is no possible way that I would ever in my life audition for American Idol. I can't even stress to you how strange that would be for me to do. However, if I did, I'd sing Time of My Life.

6. If your previous weekend had its own soundtrack, what would be a few of the songs?
It was a projects around the house weekend, which for some reason makes me feel like 80s music would suit that perfectly. Nothing in particular, just a bunch of the popular songs that everyone can sing along to.

7. Most annoying television show theme song ever:
I actually cannot think of one!

8. Are you and your significant other music-compatible?
Not really. He prefers rock, while I prefer more top 10/indie rock.

9. A song that brings me back to middle school:
Graduation by Vitamin C. It was our grade 9 grad song.

10. A song that brings me back to high school:
Disney music. I made a Disney CD in high school that got passed around between my friends and I a lot in math class. Good memories.

11. A guilty pleasure song (or three):
Anything by Britney Spears. I can't help but love her music.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day Off

I’ve got the day off from work, along with Stephen, so I’ve decided to  take a day off from blogging. This is our third (unplanned) day off in a row together, so I’m relishing in the fact that we’ve been sleeping in, eating big breakfasts and doing projects around the house. It’s nice because we don’t often get to do this together.

Hopefully you’ve had a good weekend! I’d love to hear about it.
I’ll be back tomorrow with Ten on Tuesday.
Happy Monday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 51)

1. This week has been a rather uneventful one in terms of work, which I suppose can be a good thing. The only really exciting thing is that Baby E is getting close to crawling. I can’t wait until he does!

2. My sister asked me  this week to help her out with her save the dates and wedding invitations. I’m so glad that she asked me because I love doing stuff like this. I’ve been focusing on save the dates this week and I have an entire folder of bookmarks that I can’t wait to show her. If  you have any tips for me, or even websites that I should check out, please share!

3. I talked last Friday about wanting to can spaghetti sauce. Well, we made the sauce, but the texture seems really off. We’re thinking it could be because we didn’t seed the tomatoes first. The pressure canner that we were given doesn’t even seem to work, so we’ve got all this spaghetti sauce that we may just have to toss. I hate doing that.

4. I’m hosting a girls night at my house tonight. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten together with a bunch of my girl friends at once, so I’m pretty excited. I’ve already had one cancellation, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’s the only one who cancels.

5. Stephen’s got the weekend off, so we’ll be spending the majority of our time doing little projects around the house. I’m really excited to start my gallery wall, which is a project that I’ve had in mind long before we even moved into this place.

6. We’ve also got a BBQ to attend on Saturday night. It’ll be so nice to go somewhere and stay as long as we like since Stephen doesn’t have to work the next morning.

7. We’ve been playing with the new camera this week. This is my favorite shot that I took of Stephen:

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I’m really itching to start taking pictures of my baked goods, so I’m really glad that I’ve got some baking to do today!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

Now that we have a larger freezer, I’ve been wanting to make some stuff to stash in there to use in time of need. I’ve been trying to think of some baked goods that would be good for freezing that we can pull out when I’m just not in the baking mood. I’ve already decided that I’ll need to dedicate an afternoon to making different types of cookie dough to freeze.

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I’ve been eyeing Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls for quite some time, but have really had no reason to make that many cinnamon rolls at once. Once we bought the new freezer, I knew that I found my opportunity.

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I spent an afternoon mixing up the dough and rolling out the cinnamon rolls. I then stuck them into disposable pans, labelled them and put them in the fridge unbaked. Now, I’ve got a little stash of goodies that I can pull out whenever I want. Last minute guests? I’ve got freshly baked cinnamon rolls for them. Need a gift at the last minute? I’ll whip up some frosting and wrap up a pan of unbaked cinnamon rolls. Long day at work, but still want some dessert? No problem, I’ve got that covered.

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My little sister recently moved out into her own house, and invited me over last minute to see it. I felt like this was a big occasion, since this was her first time moving away from home, but I had no time to get her a little gift. I quickly made her a card, pulled out some ribbon and voila: housewarming cinnamon rolls. Really, these things are so versatile, and they taste amazing. I’m not going to post the recipe here, because I’m no where near as awesome as Pioneer Woman. The recipe is linked below.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Jessi!

This past Sunday was my baby sister’s 20th birthday. I do realize it’s kind of odd calling Jessica my baby sister because people have, on occasion, mistaken her for the oldest sister. Anyway, Jessica requested that Stephen make her Hawaiian meatballs for her birthday dinner, so we had her and her roommates over on Saturday.

It was a low key evening; we played some cards, ate some good food and enjoyed birthday cake for dinner. It was also the perfect opportunity to play with my new camera. Here’s the birthday girl:

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She took a picture of Stephen and I:

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Jessica also requested an ice cream cake, so I made her one with cake batter ice cream.

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Last, but not least, my favorite picture of the night, only because of the face Jessica was making. I was showing her how the screen flips out and then turns around, making it easier for me to take self portraits, which is something I’m notoriously bad at. I forgot that I had changed the settings on the camera, so the flash went off and surprised us both.

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The great thing about my new camera is that Stephen is finally interested in taking pictures. Maybe now there’ll be more pictures of me on this blog!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

TenOnTuesday#93 at Roots and Rings

1. What do you do for a living?
I’m a nanny.

2. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Nearly everything! The biggest thing would have to be that I work with ridiculously cute kids. Seriously though, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love my job!

3. What’s your least favorite thing about your job?
The chores and the tantrums.

4. If you weren’t a ____________, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a nanny, I’d be a preschool teacher. I’ve discovered that 3-5 year olds are the perfect age group for me to work with.

5. What is something that you would love to get paid for that you think no one would ever pay you for?
Despite the fact that I have sold one cake, I don’t think that I could ever make enough money selling my baked goods. I would love to sell them on the side.

6. If you could have any job for exactly one day, what would it be?
I’d be a baker in a cute little pastry shop.

7. If you had to do manual labor, what would you do?
Maybe something in landscaping? Unless child care and baking counts as manual labor, because then I’d just stick to those.

8. What is something you were forced to learn in high school that was supposed to be super important, but you never actually use?
Math. A lot of it is useful, but some of the really hard stuff that came in the later years is now useless to me. I really despise math, by the way.

9. Who was your favorite boss? Why?
The Mom from my Tuesday/Thursday family. I love that she was good at communicating with me, she entrusted me with a lot of freedom and she’s really laid back. Makes my job a lot easier.

10. Where would you rather work: Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (The Office), Wernham Hogg Paper Company (The Office, UK), or Initech (Office Space)?
I’ve never seen any of these, so I couldn’t even pick one. I’d really rather not work in an office though. I’ve avoided it this long, so let’s hope I can avoid it forever!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our New Toy

Friday evening, Stephen and I were making a big batch of spaghetti sauce. Being the blogger that I am, I was taking pictures while Stephen was cooking. While attempting to take a picture of a giant bowl of tomatoes, I noticed a spot on the picture. I went to go clean the lens, only to discover that it was scratched. I have no idea how/when it got scratched, since the scratch only shows up on pictures in angles. I was pretty upset about this, but we continued making the spaghetti sauce.

Around supper time, Stephen announced he was going to Co-Op to buy some chips. He left, but seemed to be taking an awful long time. When he got home, he disappeared off into the basement, to go to the bathroom. When he came back upstairs, it was evident he never went to the bathroom; he handed me a camera. I was completely shocked, and kept asking him what this was. Turns out, he made a trip to Best Buy and bought me a Canon Rebel t3i.


It was completely unexpected, but Stephen really does have a tendency to pull of last minute surprises like that. I’ve been loving playing around with it, but I think Stephen’s enjoying it more. It went from being my camera, to our camera. Can’t say I blame him, it really is awesome. I’m pretty excited that I won’t be the only one around here taking pictures all the time!

How was your weekend?

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 50)

1. I’ve got today off, which lead me to think it was Saturday. That’s why this post is so late, I simply forgot to write it. I thought about just skipping today’s post, but I hate leaving my blog empty for a day. Guess I like the routine.

2. I’m in to my first full four day week with Baby E, which is quite the adjustment for me. I went for being a nanny of four kids (for 5 years) to being a nanny for just one baby (with some other kids/families in between). I have to admit that I do miss the chaos of multiple kids as I always had something to keep me going. Although, it is kind of nice having the break in the afternoon when Baby E is sleeping. He’s so ridiculously adorable that it makes it all worth it.

3. The good thing about working with Baby E is that I have a friend who lives within walking distance. Once a week, we meet up at the park for a play date. Baby E is still too young for the park, but he still gets to socialize and get out of the house. We both win in that situation.

4. Since there’s not much for Baby E and I to do out of the house just yet, we go on a lot of long walks together. I’ve been curious just how far we’ve been walking, so I downloaded an app called iMapMyWalk. It uses the GPS on your phone to track the route that you walked (how far and how long). I’ve only used it for one day (2 walks), but so far, it’s insanely accurate. Turns out that between our two walks yesterday, we walked nearly 4 km in about an hour.

5. On Wednesday night, I went on a coffee date with some old friends. One of them is a friend that has been living across Canada for the past few years but just moved back home. I was pretty excited to see her. Things certainly have changed, but it was good to hang out again. Hopefully there’ll be more coffee dates in the near future.

6. I’ve been thinking of trying out canning for some time now, but it took a good sale at Walmart yesterday to convince to do it. Tomatoes were 88 cents/pound, so Stephen met with me so that we could buy 20 pounds for spaghetti sauce. We also bought 10 pounds of peaches. When I tell people that I’m going to start canning, I feel like I’m 40 years old, not 25.

7. There was a thunderstorm last night while we were at Walmart, and it knocked the power out. The lights were only out for a few seconds, but I have to admit it was eerie. You don’t realize just how loud Walmart is until everything goes silent.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie Trifle

Up until last week, I don’t think that I’ve ever had a trifle. And if I have? It certainly wasn’t memorable. For Father’s Day, Stephen and I gifted my Dad a double date night: we’d cook him a fancy dinner and then take him to the movies. My Mom was included, of course. Stephen and I had known forever that I needed to try out a trifle, so we bought a trifle dish specifically for this meal. Father’s Day was in June…we just made him his fancy dinner last week. Life gets hectic and gets in the way!

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This is yet another Pinterest find for me. Everyone in my family loves the peanut butter and chocolate combo, so it was sure to be a hit. This recipe may actually be called Peanut Butter Pie Parfait, but since I served it in a trifle bowl, I’m calling it Peanut Butter Pie Trifle. The original recipe seems to be meant for serving in little individual sized serving cups, so I had to quadruple my recipe to fit in a trifle dish. This was so delicious, but amazingly sweet. I had to send over half of it home with my Dad! You’ll have to excuse the pictures. I didn’t think I was going to share this recipe because I couldn’t make the trifle look pretty, but it was too good not to share. I snapped some pictures at the table, just before serving it.

Peanut Butter Pie Trifle
Adapted from Inside BruCrew Life

Oreo Crust
Oreo cookies
Melted butter

I just guesstimated measurements for this. I used about two sleeves of Oreo cookies and pulsed them in the food processor. Then, I mixed in about 1/4 melted butter. Press into the bottom of the trifle dish.

Chocolate Ganache
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the whipping cream to a boil; remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted, then set aside to cool.

Peanut Butter Pie Filling
2 cups chunky peanut butter
14 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 containers cool whip, thawed

Cream the cream cheese and peanut butter. Beat in icing sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip.

Layer into the trifle dish. Here are my layers, starting from the bottom up:

Oreo crust
Peanut butter pie filling
Chocolate ganache
Chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut butter pie filling
Chocolate ganache
Garnished with cool whip and chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter cups

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Balcony Garden Update

A while back, I wrote about my little balcony garden. If you remember, Stephen and I had planted some hanging strawberries, a tomato plant and some herbs.

Let’s start off the update with my tomato plant. Stephen had surprised me with it one evening, and neither of us really knew much about it. After some Googling, I discovered that it wouldn’t grow the type of tomatoes we were both hoping for, but rather, some small Sungold tomatoes.

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That’s what my tomato plant looked like back in May. Just a modest little thing that grew in the corner of the balcony.

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This is what it looks like now; a beast that has literally taken over half of the balcony. I guess I could have been better about keeping it trimmed down, but I kind of like how wild it’s become.

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I love going out to water my plants and being able to pick one of these sweet tomatoes to eat straight from the vine!

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On to the herbs. We had some Oregano, Thyme, Dill and Basil growing. However, right of the bat, the basil died off and didn’t come back. All of the other herbs flourished however, and we’ve already harvested them once. This time, the dill and thyme have both started to flower. Not sure what to do about that now.

Now for the comeback story of the season: my hanging strawberry plant.

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That's what it looked like back in May, when we first bought it. It did well at first, and produced a handful of delicious strawberries. Then we went through an awful rain spell (I swear it must have rained for two weeks straight). I thought that the strawberry plant was getting enough water from the rain, as the tomatoes and herbs were. I didn't water the poor strawberries the entire time it rained, only to go out one day to find out that they got little to no rain. I was so mad at myself because my beautiful strawberry plant started to die, and everyone told me to give up on it. I didn't listen to them though. Instead, I lovingly watered it (frequently) and picked off all of the dead bits. All that love paid off because it just started growing back, and has even started flowering again!

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There's not much left, but I'm proud to admit that even since this picture was taken last week, it has grown some more! I even spotted a new strawberry growing. I was so worried that I had a black thumb, but it just turns out that I made a few rookie mistakes.

Did you grow anything this year?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

TenOnTuesday#92 at Roots and Rings

1. Mac or Windows? (Or Linux for you super geeks!)
Windows. I’ve been wanting a Mac, but it’s a bit out of my price range.

2. What drew you to that operating system?
When I bought my first ever laptop, I got Windows because it’s the only operating system that I had ever known. That, and it was within my price range.

3. Mice – Wireless or Wired? Mouse pad or none?
I use my laptop for 98% of my computer time, so I don’t use a mouse at all, just the touchpad. (Is that what it’s called?) When I’m using a desktop, I’m not too picky about the mouse, but Stephen uses a wireless mouse and keyboard which I quite like.

4. Other than the Internet – What do you use your computer most for?
Photos and music. School is starting up in September, so I’ll be using it for my online classes as well. Wait, that requires internet! So…photos and music.

5. What’s one computer-related thing you wish you were best at? (CSS, Photoshop, Excel, etc.)
Photoshop. I haven’t had the patience to sit down and teach myself the basics yet. Although, if I want a nicer camera, I really should start learning Photoshop.

6. Describe the first time you ever used a computer.
To be honest, I don’t remember the first time I ever used a computer. I’ll tell you about my earliest memory though. We were researching things online for a school project about animals. I was researching foxes. When I typed in fox to the search engine, some racy photos appeared. I was so embarrassed!

7. How often do you upgrade to a new operating system?
Um…never? If I get a new computer? I don’t know. I’m so horrible with a lot of computer related things that I rely on Stephen to help me out with that sort of stuff.

8. Are you a short-cutter (CTRL+C) or a right-clicker?
I’d say about half and half.

9. Is computer-use a constant thing in your life (such as using it both at work and home) or do you get a break (because you don’t use them at work)?
Well, since I started bringing my laptop to work, it’s a constant thing in my life. I don’t actually use a computer for my job though, I just use it during nap time.

10. Where do you think the world would be if personal computers did not exist?
Oh man, I can’t even imagine. The amount of creativity that I’ve been exposed to through computer use is the first thing that pops into mind. Without a personal computer, I feel like my creative endeavours would be a lot more limited, so I can only imagine how that would carry over to the rest of the world.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Recap

I feel like this past weekend was a rather big one for my family. It started off on Saturday afternoon. I met up with my middle sister (Tracy) and two of her friends, and we headed off wedding dress shopping.

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We only made it to two bridal shops that day, but it didn’t matter because she found her dress at the very first shop of the day! She had tried on a couple of dresses, but this one just seemed to come out of nowhere. The bridal consultant that was helping her picked it out, but none of us seemed to expect too much before she got it on. She surprised all of us with just how happy she was in it. Tracy’s not a crier, so it wasn’t like a scene out of Say Yes to the Dress. It fit her perfectly, and it’s all she could think about all day. My parents are heading back to put a deposit on it for her.

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This isn’t the dress (I can’t show that off yet!), but I just wanted to let you know that Tracy looked good in almost every dress she tried on. Lucky girl. This one was clearly not a winner, even though the bridal consultant (at a different store) tried so hard to make Tracy like it. It was an interesting experience, that’s for sure.

Yesterday was also a big day for my baby sister Jessica. She found a place and will be moving out of my parents’ house soon! She’ll be moving into a nice little 3 bedroom main floor duplex as soon as she packs all of her stuff up. Two of her friends have already started moving in. Here’s an interesting fact that my Mom brought up to me last night: While her and my Dad are sad that all of the kids will have moved out, this will be the first time that my Mom and Dad have ever lived alone! My Mom and Dad met when I was 3, so they never had the chance to live alone. They’ve spent the last twenty some odd years living with three girls, so they definitely deserve a break!

Anything exciting happen to you over the weekend?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blog Award

It’s been a while since I’ve been giving a blog award, so instead of 7 Quick Takes, I decided to post this. I was given the Butterfly Award from my awesome friend Brandy over at Brandy-Son Zen Master Flash. Have you ever been to her blog? If not, you should go check it out because she’s pretty much amazing. Seriously.

Butterfly award[3]

1. Link the person back who awarded you
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Answer the following questions below
4. Award this to 15 bloggers

Seven things about myself
Before I met Stephen, I couldn’t bake.
I love cheesecake and ice cream as much as I love cupcakes.
I get a caffeine headache if I don’t have my morning cup of coffee. (Can we say addict?)
My favorite mug is a Vancouver one from Starbucks.
I’m a sucker for ampersands.
I’m also a sucker for typography. (Yes, I classify ampersands and typography and two completely different subjects.)
I get really excited over the little things.

Name your favorite color-
Name your favorite song-
Fishing in the Dark by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Name your favorite dessert-
Cupcakes, cheesecake and ice cream.
What wizzes you off-
As in what makes me angry? People who don’t listen to me when I’m talking to them.
When you’re upset you-
Tend to get really quiet and bottle things up.
Your favorite pet-
We once owned a dog named Snowball that my Grandma rescued. He was the best pet ever.
Black or white-
Your biggest fear-
Being alone. Cliché, but it’s true.
best feature-
As in my best bodily feature? My smile.
Everyday attitude-
Try not to let the little things get you down.
What is perfection-
Morning cuddles.
Guilty pleasure-
Reality TV. All day every day.

So this is the part where I award this to 15 bloggers. I kinda sorta left this blog post to the last minute this morning, and I really need to get started on making a trifle so that Stephen and I can get out of the house to run errands. Check back later, because I will definitely fill this in!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cake Batter Ice Cream

Thanks to my little cake batter rice krispie treats adventure, I had leftover cake mix that was never going to be turned into a cake. I tucked it away into my baking cupboard, planning to use it some other future dessert. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been noticing cake batter flavored things everywhere lately. After mulling it over, I decided to make some cake batter ice cream.

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I’ve never had cake batter ice cream before. I’ve only just recently tried birthday cake ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery, but it was mixed together with so much other stuff that I couldn’t tell if it was similar to cake batter ice cream. Doesn’t matter either way. I wanted my family to come over for dinner last week, so I enticed them with the promise of fresh out of the oven bumble berry crunch and cake batter ice cream. I realize that those two things don’t really go together, but no one seemed to mind. Everyone polished off their desserts that night. When I served it, I left off the sprinkles. When I went to take pictures, I added the sprinkles. I think they’re a fun addition if you’re eating it as a stand alone dessert.

Cake Batter Ice Cream
From: The Sweets Life

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup yellow cake mix

1. Whisk together milk and sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, mix in the heavy cream and vanilla. Whisk in the cake mix, making sure to whisk until there are no lumps.
2. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and freezer according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Easy peasy. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Edmonton Kind of Weekend

I mentioned last week that I had spent the weekend in Edmonton. The plan was for me to join Stephen there (who had been there since Tuesday), so that I could be there for his Mom as well. Luckily, Stephen’s Mom was out of the hospital by the time I got there and was already doing great.

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On Friday afternoon, after our zoo adventure, Sharon came back to my house to pick me up so that we could make the three hour drive to Edmonton together. It was an interesting drive; Kolton was tired of being in the car, as was Sharon. We played a few silly car games to keep us entertained. At one point, we were both so into the alphabet game that when we both saw a Q word, we yelled it out at the same time and made Kolton cry. Oops!

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Saturday consisted of a trip to our favorite scrapbook store. Sharon and I always insist on stopping in whenever we’re in Edmonton. Stephen and I took Kolton and made a trip to the farmer’s market. Stephen’s Mom lives a block away from it! I’d be there every weekend if I lived in her apartment. We grabbed some delicious cupcakes and shared them with everyone back at the apartment. I had the coffee date cupcake, and I have to admit that it was just like drinking a cup of coffee. Delicious! We then made our way to Stephen’s grandma’s condo for a spaghetti dinner. Kolton enjoyed that thoroughly.

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Then came Sunday Funday. We were originally supposed to go home on Sunday, but when we found out that Stephen had Monday off from work, I called in and took Monday off as well. Stephen, Sharon and I took Kolton swimming. He was a bit scared at first, but totally warmed up to it and had a blast going down the baby slide! We rounded out the evening with dinner from Five Guys. So worth it.

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Most of the pictures taken that weekend were of Kolton, but what can I say…I don’t get to see him often! It was a perfect way to get in some family time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

TenOnTuesday#91 at Roots and Rings

1. Do you do laundry all at the same time or a load here and there?
When we lived in the condo, we would do all of our laundry at once and take up all four washing machines. Now that we have our own washer/dryer, I'll do a load of laundry here and there if needed. The weekend is when I work on washing everything else.

2. What kind of detergent do you use?
Purex. It's usually one of the cheapest brands where I shop.

3. Do you use fabric softener?
No. Stephen read that it makes towels less absorbent, so we phased it out. It's rather expensive anyway, and I don't even notice that it's gone.

4. Do you use dryer sheets?
Nope, we phased those out as well. We did switch to a Bounce dryer bar though.

5. Do you iron your own clothes or take them to a cleaner to get pressed?
I don't own a lot of clothes that need ironing, so if I have to, I do it myself.

6. Do you like heavy starch or light starch?
No starch.

7. Do you wash all your laundry at once or separate it?
I separate it.

8. How do you separate it? By people or by colors?
I separate it by colors. I don't mind doing Stephen's laundry, so I just throw it in with mine.

9. What clothes get hung up and what goes in drawers?
We don't have a lot of drawer space (we desperately need a new dresser), so only pajamas, underwear/socks and pants/shorts go in drawers. In fact, I put all of my socks/underwear in a bin in the closet.

10. Do you use plastic, wire, or wooden hangers? Do they all match?
Wooden hangers. My hangers all matched until I moved in with Stephen. I don't mind that they don't match, as long as we only have wooden ones.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weekend Recap

It was a long weekend here for me, but it was rather low key. Unlike what seemed like every other person I know, we stuck around Calgary for the weekend. Friday, I did a little bit of baking and had my family over for dinner. Saturday, I spent the day making Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls. I now have 7 pans of unbaked cinnamon rolls in my freezer, ready to be passed out or baked for unexpected guests. Saturday night, Stephen and I went to our friends’ house for dinner. We started off with homemade pizzas.


After that, we moved onto Al’s “special dessert”. Al is known for liking to throw random ingredients together that don’t particularly taste good, so we all expected an experiment that wouldn’t taste right. Imagine our surprise when he brought out this!


There’s some Jello, pudding, ice cream and a frozen strawberry on top. We were all surprised that it was delicious! Since we were expecting something strange and inedible, I was asked to bring dessert as well.


I brought along peanut butter fudge brownies. Everyone was polite and had a slice, although they were very small pieces! It was a very delcious dinner, and I went home absolutely stuffed! It was the perfect Saturday night with friends.

What did you get up to this weekend?

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