Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Do you wear glasses, contacts, or are you one of those perfect eyed people?
I've been wearing glasses since the eighth grade. I've never worn contacts, nor do I really have any desire to. I think I'll just wear glasses my entire life.

2. What is the next item you are going to purchase?
I'm assuming this is referring to a bigger purchase, and not something that's not very exciting like food. If that's the case, it'll probably be Christmas gifts. Now that we're finally moving this weekend, I'll be able to start my Christmas shopping. Now, if this question is referring to something for myself, then it will most definitely be something for the house. I've had my eye on this large bookshelf for ages and I'm hoping to pick it up before Christmas.

3. Have you ever watched Judge Judy or any other real court show?
I did when I lived with my parents because they liked to watch those shows every so often. I'm really not a fan of them, so I haven't watched one since.

4. How do you feel about fake nails?
They're nice when they're a moderate length. I'm only assuming that though because I've never had fake nails. I imagine I'll be getting some for my sister's wedding in the summer because she just got certified to do nails.

5. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Hockey, but only in person. I can't stand watching sports on TV.

6. If you could create your own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, what would it be and what would it be named?
Here's the thing, Ben & Jerry have already created the perfect flavor: brownie cheesecake. Can't mess with perfection!

7. Do you have any scars?
Yes, several. None of them have cool stories though; I have several burn marks from baking (that counts, right?), and some on my foot from falling.

8. Does your pet’s name fit them? Is there a more appropriate name?
Piglet and Oreo suit my guinea pigs perfectly.

9. What is your favorite television show theme song?
Pretty much any theme song from the nineties! Shows nowadays just don't even come close. Stephen and I regularly bust out the Fresh Prince theme song. Actually, it's more like I start singing it and Stephen looks at me like I'm crazy. Good times!

10. What was your favorite activity on the playground?
Always the swings. Still is! I should know, I go to the park regularly. The joys of being a nanny!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

I’ve reached that time of year where I feel like I’ve piled my plate a little too full of things to do. Between the move, work, side babysitting jobs, volunteer commitments and normal Christmas time activities, I’m starting to feel the stress of it all. You’ll have to be patient with me in the next two weeks in terms of my blogging. If I miss a few days here in there, hopefully you’ll forgive me! My baking supplies have already been packed up for over a week, so there won’t be a new recipe post for a little while. Enough of that though, let’s move on to my packed weekend!

Friday night was low key, but ended up in an impromptu date night with Stephen. We’ve been avoiding grocery shopping as much as possible so that we don’t have heavy boxes of food to move, so that means we’ve really been lacking on snack foods in the house. Just before 10pm, we decided go grab some snacks from the store to make up for our rather small dinner. Stephen suggested last minute that we head to Boston Pizza for appetizers and dessert instead. It was nice taking that hour to ourselves and putting aside the stress of our lives for just a small window of time. It was very much needed.

Saturday started off bright and early because it was our first hangout with our Little Brother! (He’ll be referred to as LB from now on.) We decided to keep it rather simple to get LB to feel comfortable with us, so we started off with lunch at Dairy Queen. He’s such a polite kid that he didn’t even want us to spend our own money on him! We then headed back to our place to play some video games. We’re lucky that LB isn’t overly shy. He’s got a lot to say, but we can tell he gets nervous because a lot of his answers have been “I don’t know”. Hopefully he’ll begin to feel comfortable with us and open up more! Saturday night consisted of lots of packing.

Sunday morning started off even earlier because we had plans to head to a friend’s house. Some good friends of ours have recently adopted twins, so we finally got to have the chance to meet the kids and get to know them. We’ve been asked to be Auntie Angela and Uncle Stephen, so we were extra excited to meet the twins! We hit it off instantly with the kids; Stephen got plenty of cuddles from A, and I got plenty of cuddles from V. I cannot believe how much I’ve already fallen in love with these guys, and I can’t wait to spend more time with them.

When we got home on Sunday afternoon, we discovered some problems with our screen door. There were really strong winds in Calgary yesterday afternoon, which caught our screen door, opened it and started ripping it off the hinges. Thankfully, one of our neighbors noticed this and placed her planter in front of the door to prevent it from being completely destroyed. We do have a bent bar to deal with, so Stephen took the door completely off and hopes that he’ll be able to fix it so that we don’t have to spend over $300 to replace it completely. Apparently the winds were so bad yesterday that the downtown core was essentially shut down because of the windows being broken and flying debris! Amazing what Mother Nature can do.
Was your weekend as eventful as mine? Did you do anything fun? Please share, I want to live vicariously through you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday Comforts

This post is sponsored by Tempur-Pedic, the brand millions of owners trust to deliver their best night’s sleep every night. Enjoy our Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer now and give the gift of custom comfort to someone you love. 

Red Cup{via}
Nothing screams Holiday comfort more to me than the Starbucks red cup. I realize just how predictable this is, but there is a reason for that. I look forward to this time every year, when I can sip on a peppermint mocha while sitting in a cozy coffee shop. I do realize that I can get a peppermint mocha all year long, but I save it specifically for this time of year so that I have something comforting to look forward to!
My family is big on comfort foods. One of the favorites that springs to mind is my Great Grandma’s banana bread. Before I started baking, it was a highly coveted recipe, and we all hoped and prayed that she would bring a loaf around with her whenever she came to visit. What’s more comforting than sharing a slice of warm banana bread with your loved ones? Luckily for us, she brings several loaves to distribute at Christmastime. I just recently received her recipe for banana bread, so I had the honor of baking it for Christmas this past year.
This is my Uncle D’arcy, holding a loaf of my banana bread. The whole family gathered around, wanting to sample a slice, hoping that it would be close to my Great Grandma’s. The reason he’s showing off this loaf to the camera is that my loaf looked exactly like my G.G’s bread! It also tasted the same, so there were sighs of relief from the family. Now, whenever we’re craving a little bite of family comfort, we don’t have to travel to Vulcan to satisfy that craving…they just have to travel to my place!
Speaking of family, there’s absolutely nothing more comforting to me than having all of my family around me during the holidays. Christmas has to be one of my favorite holidays because I look forward to getting my crazy loud family together, all in one place! Stephen and I are hosting Christmas this year, and while people tell us that we’re crazy for wanting to host so many people, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What does holiday comfort mean to you?

Comfort is the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday gift list, so be sure to take advantage of Tempur-Pedic's Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We’re a Big Couple!

I’ve mentioned this in passing before, but I thought that I would go into a bit more detail now that things are official.
Around the beginning of this year, I proposed to Stephen the idea of volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary. When I was younger, a friend of mine had a Big Sister, and the positive influence she had over my friend left a lasting impression with me. I’ve thought about it over the years, but for some reason, never took the leap and signed myself up to become a Big Sister. Within the last year, I realized that you could sign up to become a Big Couple with your partner, so that’s when I proposed the idea to Stephen. I gave him some time to mull it over, and not too long after that, we started the application process.

I’m not going to lie, this application process is just that: a process. After a quick phone conversation, we were scheduled for an in-person interview. Since we had to have two people interview us (separately, then together), we ended up having to wait a month for our interview. At the interview, we had to fill out paperwork to get a background check and a child intervention check. We just happened to start the paperwork while the Canada Post strike was going on, so our child intervention check was delayed in getting back to us by at least a month. From the time we initially applied, to the time we were approved to start being matched, it took over 4 months. We weren’t matched until this month, so that added on another 3 months. I have to admit that I was starting to get a little discouraged, just because I didn’t realize that it could take so long to be matched. I follow BBBS on twitter, and they would tweet constantly just how many Little Brothers were waiting to be matched, so I couldn’t understand why it was taking us so long to be paired up with one.

We finally got a call this month that we were matched with a Little Brother, and we got to meet him last night. Because of confidentiality reasons, I can’t share anything about him here. I will mention that he’s 9 years old, which is at the older end of the age range that we wanted. The interviews went well last night, so Stephen and I both agreed to move forward with the match. Our Little Brother and his Mom agreed to move forward as well, so we’ll be hanging out together for the first time this weekend.

Life is kind of funny sometime, so naturally, we were matched in the midst of moving. Life is hectic for both Stephen and I, but we’ve agreed to make the effort to see our Little Brother regardless. He seems fairly outgoing, so that will make the getting to know each other phase a lot easier on all of us. We’re taking it slow this weekend; we’ll have him over for lunch, Mario Kart races and talking about future activities that we’d all like to do.

While I’ll be vague about our Little Brother’s details, I will most likely still be blogging about our outings. Those posts just won’t included pictures of him, but I think it’ll still be fun to look back on the memories some day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday
Even though Canadian Thanksgiving has already passed (it was last month), I’ll be a good sport and play along anyway.
1. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? This year, we had Thanksgiving at my parent’s place. My great grandma and her boyfriend made the drive from Vulcan to Calgary to join us.
2. What are you most thankful for this year? I realize that his happened after Thanksgiving, but at this moment, I am most thankful for the fact that we were able to find a place (that we love) to live in.
3. Do you have any traditions on Thanksgiving? The parade? Football? Long naps? We really don’t have any traditions that everyone can think of. Everyone just shows up, we eat good food and hang out. I couldn’t ask for anything better!
4. Is it called stuffing or dressing? Is it in the bird or a separate dish? It’s called stuffing, and we cook some in the turkey, as well as a separate dish of it. We’re big stuffing lovers, so we have to make sure we have plenty to go around (plus leftovers).
5. Do you cook? Nope. We all know by now that I can’t cook. My Dad is normally the cook, but if we were to host Thanksgiving, Stephen would do the cooking. I do, however, do the baking.
6. What is your favorite dish? Stuffing. It’s delish!
7. What is your dessert preference? Pumpkin pie. Hands down.
8. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? This is probably going to sound awful, but I don’t really have one that stands out. When I think of Thanksgiving, I just get warm feelings of love and good food. I do think that Canadian Thanksgiving isn’t celebrate in quite the same way as American Thanksgiving. At least, I feel like it’s not quite the big deal in our family as it would be for a family in the States.
9. Do you plan to shop on Black Friday? Nope, we don’t have Black Friday here.
10. What are you most dreading about Thanksgiving this year? I’ve never dreaded anything about Thanksgiving. I just love it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Recap

I originally had a different post planned for today, but I’ve been having technical difficulties with it. I’m waiting on an answer to an email I sent, hence the late blog post today. The other post will have to wait for another day.
Now on to my weekend!

I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t a relaxing weekend for me. Saturday morning started off nice and early because this little nugget was dropped off at my house:


Her Mom was going to be the nail model for my sister who was taking her certification test. It was a fairly easy morning, since she was in a good mood and was all smiles for me. She was picked up shortly after lunch, and I had a couple of hours free.


Not too long afterward though, I had to venture out into the cold to go babysit for the evening. See how cold it was? Did you notice the “Feels Like” temperature? Yeah, it was COLD outside! I was finished babysitting by 10pm, but then I had to venture back out into that crappy weather and take a train and walk home afterward. I was so glad to get into bed that night!


Guess who made a return appearance at my house on Sunday? Her Mom wanted to go see Twilight, so we both figured that since Saturday was so easy, we’d hang out again on Sunday. Yeah, it wasn’t a piece of cake. Little Emily screamed nearly the entire time her Mom was gone. She’s the loudest baby I have ever cared for, and she was inconsolable. I’ve never had so many problems with a baby in my life! As cute as she is, I was thankful when her Mom came and picked her up.

Stephen and I made a quick trip to Bed Bath and Beyond that night to pick up a new mop (the “Slim” version of this Shark mop.) We may have also picked up our first Christmas gift this year! We found an awesome one for our twin niece and nephew.

There’s my weekend in a nutshell! What did you get up to over the weekend? Was yours more relaxing than mine?

Friday, November 18, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 61)

1. I didn’t blog on Wednesday. I’m trying to be ok with the fact that sometimes, I just don’t have anything to say. I really like blogging, and I do like blogging 5 days a week, but if nothing is going on, then I just don’t have much to say.

2. We finally found a place to live! It’s a bigger townhouse than the one we currently live in. It has 2 master bedrooms (both with ensuites!), an unfinished basement, a garage, a balcony off the kitchen and a patio off the living room. Best thing about the townhouse? I’ll be able to walk to work! We sign the lease papers Monday, and then move the first weekend in December.

3. I suppose that means that I better get serious about this packing business. I have done some packing, but now that we’ve found a place to live, I feel like this is actually happening, and I better get my but in gear!

4. I think Baby E helped seal the deal with this new townhouse. We went to look at it while I was working, so E came along. The lady showing us the place loved him, and when she called our references, she even talked to E’s Mom about how cute he is. We’ll be signing the lease during my work hours, so I guess she’ll get to see Baby E again!

5. Stephen and I have become an aunt and uncle! No, none of our siblings had any babies. Some really close friends of ours has adopted twins, and they’ve asked us to be Auntie and Uncle. I cannot wait for the kids to get settled enough for us to meet them, because I want to spoil them!

6. It’s officially winter here. Our high today will be –16C (but will feel like –24C) and we’ve got a good dusting of snow on the ground. *sigh*

7. My Saturday will be spent babysitting for a friend’s baby in the morning, then some rambunctious boys in the evening. I suppose I’ll be spending Sunday packing up a storm. What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

This is yet another Pinterest recipe. You know, someone posed this question on Twitter recently: “Will the internet replace cookbooks?” I realized lately that a lot of the recipes I bake from have come from the internet. I don’t often set out to look for recipes online, and with a large cookbook collection, you would think that I would never have to. I just happen to spend a lot of time online, and subscribe to quite a few food blogs. Between those and Pinterest, it’s inevitable that I’ll come across delicious looking recipes.

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Anyway, back to this recipe. I’m a big fan of quick and easy recipes. What person isn’t, right? I love recipes involving popcorn for this very reason, most of them seem easy and quick. Popcorn is also the perfect snacking food! By now, you have to know that I bookmark practically every recipe that involves chocolate and peanut butter. If it involves Reese’s, you know that I’m going to be pinning it. This recipe is originally pinned on Pinterest as “Reese’s Popcorn”, but I’m not buying that. Just because it involves chocolate and peanut butter, doesn’t make it Reese’s. However, this is still good popcorn. I recommend using a bag of popcorn that has very little butter in it, otherwise you’ll get too much of a butter taste.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
Found on Pinterest

1 bag of popcorn, popped
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
Icing sugar for sprinkling

1. In a medium microwavable bowl, melt together chocolate, peanut butter and butter. Stir in vanilla.
2. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate mixture with the popcorn. Stir to coat evenly.
3. Spread the popcorn onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with icing sugar.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What are your pantry staples?
Off the top of my head: diced tomatoes, black beans, chick peas, cereal, tomato paste, pasta, and pasta sauce.

2. What are your refrigerator staples?
Condiments of all sorts, cheese (no fake stuff like Kraft slices), eggs, butter and/or margarine, and milk.

3. You already look like Heidi Klum (or your favorite supermodel). Now, what are the top three non-physical things you would change about yourself?
I wouldn't so lazy, I'd stress less and I'd be a better cook.

4. What’s holding you back from your dream job? (If you already have your dream job, how did you get there?)
I have a job (as a nanny) that is pretty dang close to my dream job. I never set out to be a nanny, but now that I work for two families that I adore, I can confidently say that I love my job. The pay isn't all that fantastic (the only downside to working for a "normal" family), but I'd take happiness over money. I'm also incredibly lucky to be with a guy who supports me and my job.

5. You have $500 to spend but it has to be on one item only. Go.
The responsible side of me says that I should spend it on something I need like a bed frame or dresser. (I'm assuming that paying bills is out of the question.) The impractical, selfish side of me would go out and upgrade to an iPhone 4S.

6. What is something that you are embarrassed to admit you buy on a regular basis?
I've been trying to think of an answer for this, but I can't come up with anything. I guess I'm just not ashamed of the things I buy!

7. What’s in/on your bed every night?
4 pillows, a fitted sheet (we both hate top sheets), a duvet and Stephen.

8. What is a non-necessity item that, no matter how expensive it gets or how tight your budget if, you will always find room for it?
Coffee. Although, at this point, it's totally a necessity! I order my K-cups online to get more bang for my buck.

9. What is the weirdest sandwich you've ever made?
I don't think I make weird sandwiches. Although, if I don't feel like having plain old Mayo, I'll replace it with a little bit of ranch dressing. Is that weird?

10. Would you rather: Be banned from Pinterest forever, but gain a million captive Twitter followers; or, never get on Facebook again but gain five thousand blog readers?
I adore Pinterest too much to never e able to go on it again, so I'd have to pick giving up Facebook. I just hope that those 5000 blog readers like comment/interact with me, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Weekend in Instagrams

Despite the fact that I had a three day weekend, it just seemed to fly by. We’re at the time of year where everyone’s to-do lists are a mile long, and when you add on the fact that we have to  move in a few short weeks, then my list seems almost unbearable.

Cupcake Liners

The last thing I need to be doing is buying more stuff for the house, but when I went to the dollar store and found a bunch of cute cupcake liners, I snatched them right up. At only $1/60, I’m tempted to go back and buy more. (There was purple, pink, green and blue gingham, roses and polka dots.)


Whenever I got a free moment this weekend, I worked on making some Christmas cards. I embossed one thing, and was covered in sparkles for the rest of the weekend. Always a sign of a good crafting session!


On Saturday, I got down to business and removed (and packed) all of the pictures and art work in our place. I was sad when it came time to take down my gallery wall, but I hope to be able to recreate it in our new place.

Board Games

I swear that we own more board games than anyone I know! Believe it or not, I’d say that about 95% of them were gifts. We don’t play all of them (The OC board game is the worst of the bunch), so I really should go through them and donate the unused ones.


We won’t be having anymore guests over in our current place, since this is what one area of our living room looks like. Random observation: ever since we found out we had to move, I’ve stopped referring to our house as a home. Knowing that we won’t be here much longer makes me feel like I’m no longer living in a home.

Saturday night, we went out and looked at two more places. I can’t believe that we’re halfway through the month and we have yet to find a place to live! Stephen and I are both starting to feel the stress. If one of the places that we really want falls through, then we’ll need to start looking in different areas of the city.

Hershey's Pie

Since we were looking at places to live right over the dinner hour on Saturday, Stephen and I decided to eat at Burger King. Ages ago, Rebel Mel and I had a conversation about these pies. She loves them, but I didn’t realize that Burger King sold them! Since I rarely eat at Burger King (it’s one of my least favorite fast food place), I finally got the chance to try it out. Verdict: not half bad for fast food pie!

Sunday was a quiet day that consisted of more packing and catching up on some PVR’ed shows. Nothing to write home about.
How was your weekend?

Friday, November 11, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 60)

1. Today is Remembrance Day, so I’ve got the day off from work. I’ve been working so hard lately, that I’m thankful to get an extra day to catch up on my sleep. I know the true meaning of this holiday though, so I’ll be keeping veterans everywhere in my thoughts today.

2. We found out this week that two of the places that we had applied for (to move) have turned us down. I think the worst part is not knowing why the first place turned us down. We’ve got more viewings scheduled for this weekend, so please keep your fingers crossed for us, we’re starting to stress about finding a place to live!

3. I got a very important phone call last night; it looks like we may finally have a match for Big Brothers Big Sisters! Our worker is talking with the boy’s Mom to try and schedule a time for us to meet to see if we’d be a good fit for each other. He’s on the older end of the age range that we said that we wanted, so I’m a bit nervous. I know that I’m a nanny,  but my strengths truly lie with younger kids. What the heck do I do with a 9 year old boy? Thankfully, Stephen and I are doing this together, so I know that he’ll be great at it, and will definitely know what to do.

4. The Calgary Herald is launching a section on their website devoted to local bloggers, and yours truly is going to be apart of it! You’ll be able to find me under the food blogs section, which is rather exciting! If you click on the link above, you’ll notice that there are still some things to be worked out, like the load time, which is super slow. If you’re a Calgary blogger not on the website, apply here.

5. There was a launch party this week for the new bloggers section of the Calgary Herald’s website, and I’m sad to say that I had to miss it due to work. In fact, I often miss things because of my work hours, which are a bit longer than most people’s. The party looks like it was a lot of fun though, and I wish I could have gone!

6. I didn’t get around to crafting last weekend like I had hoped I would, so I’m bound and determined to do it this weekend. I’ll put off packing for one day, and devote today to Christmas card making. If I don’t get it done this weekend, I don’t know if I’ll ever get it done/

7. That’s about all that has happened this week. The move has consumed my every thought, so I haven’t been very exciting lately. What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Apple Bars

Stephen and I love having people over for dinner. I think we’re both homebodies, so if we can invite over our favorite people to partake in one of our favorite activities, then we’re game for it. Here’s the thing though, I often forget to make dessert. I can hear you over there, all “What the heck Angela?”. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but I just forget to make it. I focus so much on cleaning the house and making sure that we have everything for dinner that I’ll often just skip over dessert entirely. I’m trying to get better about this though. A couple of weeks ago, we had our favorite couple over for lunch, and I actually remembered to make something sweet to eat before we went out for a movie.

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I was nervous about this dessert at first, because when I sampled the naked peanut butter apple bar, I wasn’t impressed with it. Stephen assured me that it was still fine to serve, so I finished it off by making the peanut butter glaze. I originally cut the bars into small slices, not expecting anyone to really want more. Turns out I was totally wrong, because these bars were amazing once they were all dressed up. So amazing that I had to bring out the rest of them, and everyone filled up on these before the movie. Now that’s a successful dessert!

Peanut Butter Apple Bars
From Two Peas and Their Pod

1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup diced apples

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x13 pan.
2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt together the butter and brown sugar, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and mix in the peanut butter until fully combined. Let cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, into the peanut butter mixture. Add in the vanilla extract. Combine with the dry ingredients. Fold in the diced apples.
5. Pour the batter into the greased pan, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Cool bars on a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Glaze

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Whisk together the ingredients until smooth.
2. Drizzle over cut and cooled bars.



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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays


Since I talk about Pinterest enough on my blog, I figured it might be fun for those of you who don’t use Pinterest to get a glimpse of the things that I’m pinning right now. If you’re on Pinterest, and we’re not friends yet, find me here!

Bucket List.

How cute is this bucket list? (I can’t find the original source for this idea, so speak up if you know it!) I’ve been wanting to make a bucket list with Stephen for quite some time, and I think that this would be a fun visual reminder of it, not to mention a great conversation piece for guests. Definitely an idea for the new place.


Embroidered States: I’m a very sentimental (or is it sappy?) person, so I think this is sweet. It would be fun to embroider the state and province where Stephen and I were born, then frame it to go up on our gallery wall. This would also be a fun Christmas gift.


Reese’s peanut butter banana bread: I think at least half my pins have to be food related. I saw this and pinned it immediately, but now I’m wondering why the heck I haven’t made it yet. I see this in my very near future.


Recipe on a jar: What a genius idea! I think the recipe I’d use is probably banana bread, since it’s a family recipe and I’ll never make a different recipe. This would be such a thoughtful wedding gift as well.

The only problem with writing this post is that it took me so long to get it done because I was too busy looking at more pins!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What’s your favorite television show for each day of the week?
Thanks to our PVR, I rarely watch shows as they air, which means that half the time, I don't even realize what day they air on. Regardless, here's a few of the shows that I'm in to at the moment:
The Walking Dead
Pan Am
Terra Nova
New Girl
The Real Housewives of New Jersey and New York

2. How many times do you wear your jeans before you watch them?
2-3 times, though I may wash them sooner depending on how out of shape or dirty they get.

3. What is your favorite pasta shape?
I think bow ties, though I don't have any particular reason why.

4. Do you read newspapers?
I read the Metro every morning because it's free.

5. Do you sleep in socks?
Never. I actually wear socks as little as possible.

6. Favorite genre of movies?
I think comedies, but really, I'll watch any movie that looks interesting.

7. How do you feel about wrestling?
I don't care for it. My Dad was (and still is) big into wrestling, and I always hated watching it. Thank goodness my sister is dating a guy who will watch it with my Dad!

8. Should men pluck their eyebrows?
If they want to, as long as they don't go overboard.

9. Do you have dimples?
I occasionally have dimples that show up when I smile. I always forget about them though, because they only show up when I smile a certain way.

10. Do you like to camp?
I love camping. I wish we could go more!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where Did the Weekend Go?

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The past several weekends have been kind of slow for me, but this past weekend was nonstop busy. My uncle was visiting from Toronto, and since we rarely get to see him, I spent the weekend with him and my family. Saturday afternoon was spent at the Military Museum here in Calgary. Here’s the thing that you need to know: half my family is totally into things like that, the other half isn’t quite so in to it. I’m in the half that’s not too in to it. I do have to admit that this museum is pretty awesome though, and it held my attention much longer than I expected it to. This museum is definitely worth a visit, and the best part? It’s an affordable family activity! The rest of the day consisted of dinner, and then board games at my parent’s house. I capped off the evening with a trip to Peter’s Drive Thru for late night milkshakes, while the rest of the family went back home to watch Bridesmaids.

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Sunday was another busy day for me. I woke up early to get started on packing. I’ve already packed away all of the knick knacks from the upstairs and all of my cookbooks. The kitchen is already starting to feel naked without those! In the early afternoon, my uncle picked me up so that we could head to Vulcan to visit my great grandma and my sister. It was a good trip, filled with family stories that I had never heard before. My sister had us over for dinner, where her and her fiancĂ© fed us steaks that were half the size of the dinner plate! No one was able to finish their steaks, so the dogs ate well that night!

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When you fit an entire weekend into just a few short paragraphs, it doesn’t sound nearly as exhausting as it was. What did you do over the weekend? Was it a busy one, or more laid back?

Friday, November 4, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 59)

1. Let's just talk about Halloween quickly here. This year was the first time in a while that I felt like Halloween wasn't a holiday. I didn't go to any parties, and I only had one trick or treater. That trick or treater was a little boy, around 5 years old, WHO DIDN'T EVEN DRESS UP. He was too busy eating candy to even say Trick or Treat! Talk about a disappointment. If I was meaner, I wouldn't have even given him candy for that.

2. Still no progress on the house hunting process. We're still waiting to hear back from that one landlord, who is supposed to be calling our references. I know people have busy lives, but come on! We need to know wether or not to move on and find a different place! Patience is a virtue that I clearly lack at the moment.

3. My uncle is visiting from Toronto right now, so we had him over for dinner last night, along with my sister and her boyfriend. They showed up with my favorite cupcakes, and....Sambuca. I'm really not much of a drinker, and so to make me do a shot of (a disgusting, black licorice flavored) drink is not a good thing. All it took was one shot to do me in. I'm a lightweight!

4. It's cold and snowy this morning. When I left for work, it felt like -12C with the windchill. Here's the thing: if this was as bad as winter got for us, then I wouldn't mind it. It's knowing that this only the beginning and that it will get much colder is what gets to me.

{I had to drag out my scarf and mitts this morning!}

5. Packing begins this weekend. I'm not
looking forward to it at all. It seems like we've accumulated so much stuff over the last year! I'm going to have to start purging some things.

6. I'm also going to try and fit in some crafting time over the weekend. I have a bunch of Christmas cards that I want to make, but won't have time for them at the end of the month/beginning of December.

7. I should probably try to fit in some baking as well. I won't be able to do that in a few short weeks, so I'll need to stock up to hold us over!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Morning Glory Cupcakes

If I could, I would eat things like cookies and cupcakes for breakfast, every day. If there are leftover cupcakes in my house, I may occasionally indulge in a cupcake with my morning coffee. Realistically though, there are rarely leftover cupcakes in my house. Since sugar laden baked goods for breakfast isn’t a practical thing to do, I have to turn to muffins to get that fix. I’ve had various different morning glory muffin recipes saved, but for some reason, I just never got around to making them. When Ezra Pound Cake posted this recipe, I knew that I had to stop procrastinating and just make them.

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Let me just say that these muffins were a hit. They were so moist and chock full of yummy add-ins that it was almost impossible to put them down. In fact, the two dozen muffins that I made were gone in less than three days, actually, it may have only been two. Stephen loved them so much that he ate them for every meal until they were gone, and then begged me to make more. Can you believe that this kid complains that I never bake enough for him? Honestly, everyone in my life complains that I don’t bake enough for them! Baking for others gets expensive rather quickly, but if they all started paying me, then I’d totally bake for them more often. Anyway, I’m getting off topic here. Just trust me on these muffins; they’d make a delicious breakfast and go well with your morning cup of java.

Morning Glory Muffins
From Ezra Pound Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
3/4 cups raisins
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line or grease a muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix in the coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots and walnuts.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add in the oil and vanilla.
4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
5. Spoon the batter into muffin pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moving on Up.

Last week, Stephen got a call from our landlord; he wants to fix up our townhouse so that he can sell it. We've got until the end of our lease, then we have to be out. Our lease is up at the end of this month.

Talk about a slap in the face! When we first met our landlord, he said he was looking for more long term tenants, which was perfect for Stephen and I because we didn't want to move for a couple of years. Then, out of nowhere, we're told that we have to leave. We weren't planning on moving, so we don't have any money saved up for this. We were looking forward to hosting Christmas, and for once, weren't overly stressed about money. Now we've got a month to come up with moving funds and to find a new place to live.

I think that we were supposed to be given 3 months notice, even if our lease is up in a month. If we were to fight for those 3 months, that would see us moving out at the end of January. As much as we hate moving in the winter, we've had relatively good luck at the end of November; with little to no snow and temperatures that aren't downright frigid. Moving at the end of January could very likely see us with deep snow and temperatures that are well below -20C. Not exactly moving weather. We've decided to just go ahead and try our hardest to find a new place to live in this short amount of time.

Here's the upside to moving: we've increased our rent limit (due to raises at work for me!), so we're really hoping to find a bigger place. We've already looked at one townhouse that we want (so dang bad), but have yet to hear back from that landlord. I'm preparing myself for bad news. We've already had friends step up and offer their help when moving day comes around. We've even had friends that have offered to let us stay with them for a month, if needed. We'll only take them up on that offer in a dire situation, but it's nice to know that we have friends who are there for us.

So there's a glimpse of my life at the moment. Anyone who knows me will be able to vouch for the fact that November is going to be a stressful month for me. We're tired of moving every year, but everything happens for a reason. Call us crazy, but we're still planning on hosting Christmas, if the place we find is big enough to squeeze everyone in.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite month?
My answer to this question used to be February, which is my birthday month. However, two people very close to me have passed away in February, which no longer makes it such a fun month. Now, I don't really have a favorite month.

2. What is the best candy to get while trick or treating?
Chocolate, especially if it's a full sized chocolate bar! I'm not picky which kind, since I like some variety.

3. What kind of pen do you use?
I prefer a pen with gel ink, not to be confused with a gel pen. Gel ink just seems to flow nicer.

4. You go to a new Italian restaurant, what is your go-to order?
You can never go wrong with some sort of cheesy pasta. I think I tend to lean toward tortellini.

5. If you could choose to have any celebrity’s hair, who’s would you choose?
I've never really had celebrity hair envy, although I can appreciate beautiful hair. Pretty much anyone with long, wavy hair. Actually, I'd be ok with my hair if I had a hair stylist at my disposal every day!

6. What’s your favorite board game?
It's currently Settlers of Catan, even if we haven't played it in what feels like months.

7. Do you know how to play poker?
Nope. People have tried to teach me before, but I don't really care to learn.

8. What do you think about Old Navy commercials?
I hate them. How does Old Navy think it's ok to put their name with those commercials? I'd be embarrassed!

9. What hurts worse- a stubbed toe or a paper cut?
A paper cut. The pain from a stubbed toe goes away a lot faster than the pain from a paper cut.

10. What’s your favorite kind of pie?
This is a tough one...maybe pumpkin pie? Lemon meringue is a really close second though.
This is like asking me to pick a favorite child; this really isn't fair!
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