Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

I couldn't pass up ToT this week, because the questions are courtesy of one my favorite bloggers; Kara from Kara's Chatter!

1. What’s your variety of apple?
I've never bothered to find a favorite. I normally just eat whatever I'm given, or buy whatever's on sale. I'm not a big fan of apple skin (which may have to do with the varieties I've been eating?), so I typically peel the apple and then slice it before eating.

2. Do you prefer Long-English or Field cucumbers?
Again, haven't really made the effort to find out the difference. I typically buy Long English cucumbers though, just because they're longer!

3. Tomatoes – Delicious or disgusting?
Delicious! I even went through a phase one summer where I would eat tomato tomato slices with a bit of salt and pepper. It was a thing I picked up after staying at my Uncle's parents' cottage for a week.

4. What’s one fruit or vegetable that you can’t stand and why is that?
Okra. I tried frozen okra, and it was slimy and disgusting. I have no interest in even trying fresh okra.

5. What’s your favourite way to prepare veggies? (Grilled, boiled, roasted, sautĂ©ed, etc.)
I'll take them anyway I can get them, but I've recently discovered the joy of roasted veggies. I make roasted broccoli from a recipe I found on Pinterest that is amazing!

6. Sweet potato pie: Love it or hate it?
Never actually had it.

7. What’s your favourite “style” of French fry? Wedges, shoelace, curly, crinkle-cut or other?
The thicker, the better. I'm kind of funny about my fries; the thicker ones are the good ones, and the little crispy ones are the bad ones. Stephen will try to steal fries from me, and I always get mad at him for taking the good ones.

8. What’s your favourite fruit-pie filling?
I think lemon (as in lemon meringue). Although any fruit pie is amazing. It has to be homemade though, because it makes it so much better.

9. When you were a kid did your parents make you sit at the table until all your veggies were eaten off your plate?
I can't remember if they did, so I'm going to say no.

10. Do you drink veggie & fruit juice blends (such as V8, etc.) or make them yourself?
I rarely buy them, but I occasionally do.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Recap

Before I get into what I did over the weekend, I'd like to address my blogging schedule as of late. My 5 day a week blogging schedule just isn't cutting it anymore. There was a time when I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, and had lots to say. Now that my hours at work have increased, I'm left with little free time. Little free time means less things to go out and do, then blog about. Some days, I really wish that I could blog about work, though that would make me straddle the mommy blogger line. I'd start a whole new blogging niche; nanny blogging! Anyway, those aren't my stories to share. I've decided to make peace with the fact that I just can't blog 5 days a week anymore. I don't want to give up blogging, because I still love it. I'll just pop in here and write whenever I have something to say; whether it be once a week or 4 times a week. Hopefully the readers that have stuck around this long will continue to stick around!

Now, on to my weekend. Saturday evening was our night to hang out with our Little Brother, so we had him over for sugar cookie baking and video games. I was excited to try out a recipe that was supposed to mimic a popular store brand soft sugar cookie, but was sorely disappointed. I'm not sure if I did something wrong, but they weren't very exciting. Despite that, we still had fun decorating them.

{This is what gingerbread men look like after Christmas!}

Sunday evening consisted of some babysitting. While not normally very noteworthy, last night brought some drama. Not even 5 minutes after the parents had left, the fire alarm in the condo was pulled. (Cue panic!) A neighbor knocked on the door, letting me know that she had pulled the alarm because smoke was coming out of a neighbors door. Just lovely. Luckily, this family lives on the main floor with a patio door that opens up into the parking lot, so it was very easy to get the boys standing outside while I grabbed their coats. I made the decision to call their parents to let them know what was happening, and try made their way back home. The boys and I hung around outside, chatting with the neighbors and watching the firemen do their work. Turns out a neighbor had put a pot on the stove and then went out, leaving the stove turned on! How they could be so foolish, I don't know. Luckily, there was no damage and the boys and I were never in any danger. I really didn't even need to call the parents, but it's always better safe than sorry. The parents went back out after that (since they had concert tickets) and I got the boys settled and into bed. Surprisingly enough, they went to bed quite easily, despite the excitement of the evening.

All of that excitement must be every parent's worst nightmare when leaving their kids with a caregiver. Actually, as a caregiver, it's one of my worst nightmares!
How was your weekend? Was it anywhere near as exciting as my night was last night?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In a Funk

My 26th birthday is only eleven days away. Normally, this is a really exciting thing for me, as it means that I have an excuse to get friends together. I've usually already been planning some sort of celebration for a few weeks now. Nothing too exciting, just a nice dinner out or a get together at my house.

For some reason, this year is different. I'm not typically one to get depressed about turning another year older, but something is different this year. Thinking of my birthday is making me kind of sad, and I don't have anything planned. I have halfheartedly tried to put something together, but my friends and family are all too busy to see me, asking instead if we can do something later in the month. I think that this is exactly why I'm so unenthusiastic about my birthday this year; my friends are so difficult to get together. I can only try so many times before I give up.

Instead of a birthday celebration, I've opted to have a nice dinner with Stephen, and the sister (and her boyfriend) that lives with me. I couldn't even think of a restaurant that I wanted to eat at; nothing has sounded appealing. I've settled on The Keg, unless something better pops up in the next week and a bit.

I'm tired of feeling this way, so I need to do something to shake myself of this feeling. Have you ever been in a pre-birthday funk? What did you do to get yourself out of it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

After a less than stellar week last week, I was more than ready for the weekend.
Stephen and I started off our weekend by taking our Little Brother to a Hitmen hockey game.

Actually, let's go to just before that. I met Stephen and LB at the train station, where Stephen informed me that he left his iPhone on the bus. Obviously, we were both rather upset by this, but there wasn't much we could do. Soon after telling me though, i received a phone call...from Stephen's phone! I had texted him just before meeting up with him, and the man that found his phone figured he would try calling me to see if I could get Stephen his phone. I was so relieved to get that call! We headed right over to that man's house and got the phone back. I'm so thankful that there are good, honest people out there!
Now that that ordeal was over, we were able to head to the game and have a good time. It was LB's first hockey game, so he was very excited, and full of questions! The hockey game was definitely not dull, as it was full of fights. Only at a hockey game would I ever point out a fight to a kid and tell them how awesome it is, ha! The Hitmen won; 5-1.
Saturday and Sunday were low key days. I did, however, get some baking in on Sunday. It's been forever since I've tried out some new recipes, so I was glad to get in the kitchen. I made some amazing brownies....
...that was topped with these Reese's peanut butter cups. Recipe to come soon.
I also made some caramel pretzel popcorn bars that are amazing to snack on.
Overall, it was a pretty good weekend! What did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 66)

I realize that today is only Thursday, and 7 Quick Takes normally comes on Fridays. For some reason, I'm just over this week. I decided to just go ahead and post this today and take a few days off from blogging.

1. The topic of the week in Calgary has been the weather, so naturally, I have to talk about it here. We've had a mild winter, so Mother Nature decided to get us back by blasting us with arctic weather. It's been hovering around the -30C mark, then with windchill added on, it's reached -40C.

See the overnight low in the picture above? I can hardly even fathom that temperature! I'm so thankful that I live close to work and spend minimal time outside.

2. Since it has been so stinking cold, I've been changing into my pajama bottoms at work. I love that I work at a job where I can hang out in my pajamas if I want to!

3.Baby E has started walking! He's been doing a 5 step shuffle for a couple of weeks, but yesterday, he started walking up a storm! It's adorable how excited he gets.

4. I feel like such an old woman sometimes. I've been going to bed by ten all week, yet I'm still exhausted when I wake up in the morning. I need to figure out what's going on and make a change in my routine, as this is getting ridiculous.

5. Tomorrow, Stephen and I are taking our Little Brother to the Hitmen hockey game. I think we're all pretty excited for it! Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary makes various tickets available to matches to use free of charge, which is fantastic. It also helps on the wallet, since all costs are our responsibility. They encourage free activities, but it's nice to get out and do fun things like hockey games!

6.My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and for probably the first time ever, I can't decide what I want to do. Do I want to go out to dinner with friends? Have friends over to my place? Or just go to a nice dinner with Stephen? I have no idea what I want.

7. I haven't baked since before Christmas, and I'm just itching to get back in the kitchen. I've already bookmarked some yummy looking cookies this morning, but I'm open up to more suggestions. Got any recipes you're willing to share?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

101 in 1001: My Last Update.

I’m not sure if you’ve been following along with my project 101 in 1001, but I have my list posted in a tab, up at the top of my blog. (I’ll be leaving it up there for a few more days.) If you have been following along, then you may have noticed that my completion date of December 6th has come and gone.

Out of the 101 items on my list, I completed around 44 of them. While I initially thought that this was a failure (less than half of the items were completed), I realized that it really wasn’t. This was a learning experience for me, and every item completed was a way to make me a better person. Some of items were frivolous, but that’s ok. Every once in a while, we need to give ourselves permission to be more frivolous. Other items were intended to push me out of my comfort zone, and while those were the ones that weren’t completed, they were still in my mind. I’ve acknowledged the fact that I need to push myself out of my comfort zone, so that’s progress, right? Ok, maybe it’s just a teeny little baby step.

When I made this list, I was a completely different person; it was early on in my relationship with Stephen. While my relationship with him doesn’t dictate who I am as a person, it does shape it. My priorities have changed since we’ve become serious, so I feel like if I were to write a new 101 in 1001 list, it would be filled with things much different than what was on my previous list. They’d be bigger things that would change my whole life. I suppose that’s just natural, as I am getting older. I thought for sure that I would write a new 101 list as soon as this deadline is up, but I’m not sure that I will. I don’t want to fill it with silly little things that won’t be relevant to me in a year; but I don’t want to put such big items on it  that I’ll have no way of accomplishing in 1001 days.

I think that this is where a bucket list comes in. It’s no secret that I love lists, so the thought of not having some sort of life list makes me sad. I like the idea of having a bucket list though, as there is no end date to work toward! I think that I’m going to start working on a bucket list, and when I have a few items on my list, I’ll share it here. It’ll replace my 101 list in the tabs at the top.

Have you ever attempted the 101 in 1001 project? Do you have a bucket list? If you do, please leave me a link to them in the comments. I love reading other peoples lists!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Life in Instagrams

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my Instagram photos, so I thought I would do just that. I love using Instagram for every day picture taking with my iPhone. It’s so convenient, and a great app for keeping connected with other friend’s photos.
Side note: I’ve downloaded an app to help me attempt to do a 365 photo challenge. I tried it last year, but failed miserably. I’m hoping that this app will help me out, since you can set it to give you daily reminders. I don’t know if I’ll be sharing those photos here, but they may pop up occasionally!
Zoo Lights
Stephen and I took our Little Brother to Zoo Lights just after Christmas. This has always been one of my favorite light displays. Those monkeys you see up above actually move across that rope!
Christmas Decorations
This was a small sampling of my Christmas tree decorations as I was taking them down after Christmas. I realized that they perfectly represent me, and the things I love: Paris, Coffee/Starbucks, travel and cupcakes!
Cupcake Mug
Speaking of Christmas and cupcakes, I received this cupcake mug as a gift! The funny thing is, Stephen and I saw it in Walmart just before Christmas, and I told him that I just knew someone in my family was going to buy it for me as a gift. Good guess, hey?
Not too long ago, I finally bought the Nespresso machine I’ve been coveting for ages. This was my very first shipment of Nespresso pods. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning opening up all of those little boxes!
Tree Hugger
I found this bag tucked away in my closet, and used it to carry Christmas presents to work. I received it one year, from an old nanny family that had used it to hold all of my Christmas gifts. That bag has been put to good use.
That same nanny family brought me back a little gift from their vacation over Christmas this year. In case you can’t read it in the picture, it’s black popcorn kernels that pop snow white. They’re pretty awesome, and much crunchier than the regular popcorn we buy.
Cleaning Toys
A little glimpse of one of my chores as a nanny. Baby E’s grandma had brought him a bunch of toys that she had collected from garage sales over the summer, and they needed a good cleaning since they were dirty. A quick run through the dishwasher saved me a bunch of hands on cleaning time.
Movie Coupons
Two weekends ago, Stephen and I took our Little Brother to the movies to see TinTin. Luckily, we had some movie coupons that made the night a bit cheaper!
Downtown Calgary
This is a view of downtown Calgary this past weekend. We brought our Little Brother downtown to grab some lunch on our way to Tommy K Play. I miss living downtown.
Tuxedo Cake
Definitely one of my favorite recent pictures: Stephen’s birthday cake. It’s a Tuxedo cake. I normally adorn it with chocolate covered strawberries, but they’re expensive this time of year, so I left them off. They certainly weren’t missed, and the chocolate ganache looked perfect all on it’s own.
What have you taken photos of lately?

Friday, January 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 65)

1. As you may have noticed, it’s been rather quiet on my blog this week. I’m having a hard time getting back into the groove of blogging. I miss it though, so I do want to come back and post more.

2. I think the fact that I worked very few hours this week didn’t help my blogging schedule. Baby E’s grandma was in town, so I only worked about 4 hours a day. I’m used to blogging during Baby E’s morning nap, but didn’t get that time this week. I think I may need to rethink the time that I use to blog.

3. Stephen had an awful toothache this week, which lead to an appointment to get it pulled (it was a wisdom tooth). I was all prepared to hang out in the waiting room for ages, then struggle to get a drugged up Stephen home by myself. Turns out, it took less than half an hour from the time we showed up until the time we walked out the door, and he doesn’t seem to have much pain at all! Guess I didn’t need to go buy all that soup, popsicles and ice cream.

4. My youngest sister moved in last weekend. So far, it’s been rather uneventful, but I do have to admit that it’s been kind of nice having another person around that cleans up a bit! It’s nice having the company as well.

5. Tomorrow, Stephen and I are taking our Little Brother to some sort of indoor playground. It should be fun for LB, but I’m just a tad disappointed that we can’t join him in the fun.

6. Tomorrow evening, we’ll be babysitting our niece and nephew. I just hope they’re still awake when we get there, so that we can play for a bit! If I’m babysitting for free, I want to at least see these guys.

7. Next week, I’m finally back to my normal work hours. It’ll be nice to be making normal money again, because things were getting tight around here! I’m hoping next week also brings back my normal blogging schedule.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011: A Year In Review

a I realize that I’m about 9 days later than the rest of the internet in getting this post up, but they’re always fun for me to look back upon, so I’m putting it up anyway. You can read 2010’s recap here. As for right now, let’s look back on what happened in 2011.


-Stephen turned 24, so we celebrated by hosting a fondue party (oil, cheese and chocolate fondues)!
-Stephen’s Mom, as well as his Sister in Law and our nephew came to visit for a weekend.
-Since Stephen and I have birthdays only a month(ish) apart, and one of our good friends has a birthday the day before mine, we decided to combine our celebrations and went to a Brazilian steak house. It was my first time, and it was amazing!
-I got my hands on some old family photos and took a trip down memory lane.


-I turned 25, and celebrated by hosting a cupcake fondue party! Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds!
-I planned and hosted a Valentine’s day party for the 4 year old boy that I nanny. So much fun!
-My MWF nanny family decided to let me go. I’m still rather bitter about the way it ended, and miss Baby C quite a bit. What I didn’t know at the time though was that this would turn out to be a really good thing for me.
-I attended my first ever Calgary bloggers meetup! It was really neat getting to meet such a wide variety of bloggers.
-I finally bought my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. This may not be a noteworthy thing to most people, but I had been wanting it for ages.
-One of the girls that I used to nanny for stopped by for the first time since I stopped being her nanny. We spent the day baking.


-I found a new job! I started work with 3 month old Baby E. It started off with only one day a week (before finally moving on to full time hours later in the year).
-I also found a new family to work with on the weekends. When I first started with them, I would give up one or two weekends a month to work.
-I attended another Calgary bloggers meetup; a potluck that was delish.
-Stephen and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary! Stephen surprised me with dinner reservations and tickets to the ballet. He’s a keeper.
-After a many years long struggle, I finally got my Proof of Canadian Citizenship. It’s something I never talked about on my blog, as it was a dark place in my life, but that’s no longer the case! This was a huge moment for me!


-We built a bigger cage for the guinea pigs. They took up a large corner in our living room, but it was so worth it.
-I rediscovered my love for the library, and was going at least once a week. I read a lot of good books this month.
-We celebrated my Dad’s birthday with a family dinner, then tried out a new board game; Quelf. It’s a fun one.
-Stephen and I started the application process to become a Big Couple with Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary.
-My friend Hannah came to visit from Abu Dhabi.
-Stephen and I hosted Easter dinner.


-Stephen and I both applied to go back to school in the fall.
-We celebrated Mother’s Day by going to one of my favorite brunch spots (Cora’s).
-I went to the casino for the first time ever. I went in with $20, made it up to $30, then promptly lost it all. I discovered that I’m just not a fan of the casino.
-Stephen and I started our little balcony garden. We had Sungold tomatoes, some herbs, and a hanging planter of strawberries.
-Stephen’s Mom and grandparents came to stay with us for the weekend. We celebrated his Mom’s birthday by hosting a little get together at our place.
-We bought a membership to Costco. That may not be exciting to most people, but to us, it was a big deal!
-Stephen and I had interviews with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
-I had a craft night with my sister.


-I won a $100 gift card through a twitter contest!
-Some good friends of mine and Stephen’s asked Stephen and I to be Auntie and Uncle to their future children. (They were in the process of adopting.) This was a really exciting moment for me!
-We did some dog sitting for my sister. We had 2 big Boxers and a little Maltese/Chihuahua come stay with us.
-I started a Gymboree art class with the boy that I nanny. It was fun having that time out of the house together.
-The family made a trip to Taber to visit the place where my Grandma was buried. It was nice to have that family time and to visit that particular spot.
-I documented a day in my life through Instagram photos.
-The baby I nanny for started solid food this month. It was an adventure for both of us!
-Stephen and I attended a BBQ at a friend’s house, and I brought along cheesecake stuffed strawberries. They were a huge hit!
-My sister’s friend had her baby, and I attended her baby shower.


-We hosted a Canada Day BBQ at our place.
-We did some cat sitting for my nanny family.
-I made a really awesome Angry Birds craft for the boys that I nanny.
-I also did some ice cube painting with the boys.
-I reconnected with an old friend from High School. She lives close to where I work, so we started having regular play dates at the park.
-I ordered a pair of glasses from Clearly Contacts, and they only cost me $30! Amazing.
-I babysat at a wedding reception. It was held on a Monday evening (so I went straight from work to the reception), and was quite challenging. I did make good money though…
-I sold my first ever cake!
-I attended the Calgary Stampede with Stephen, his Dad and his Dad’s girlfriend. We tried a donut burger, a deep fried Snickers and deep fried pop tarts. All equally amazing.
-Stephen’s Mom got sick and was in and out of the hospital for a few days. Stephen went up to Edmonton for a week, then I met him there on the weekend. Thankfully, she made a quick recovery.
-Stephen’s brother’s girlfriend (Sharon) and our nephew (Kolton) were visiting, so I took them to the zoo with my nanny boys. Always fun!


-I went wedding dress shopping with my sister, and was surprised when she actually found the dress! We only went to 2 bridal shops, but had found it at the first one. It was such a fun day!
-I started a new work schedule. I went to 4 days a week with Baby E. My other nanny family went away for the month of August.
-An old friend of mine moved back home to Calgary.
-Stephen surprised me with a brand new camera!
-Stephen and I had a project weekend. We worked on my gallery wall and made some crayon art. We still get compliments on the crayon art when guests see it!
-A friend from high school passed away unexpectedly. We weren’t close in her last days, but I attended the funeral regardless, to let her family (and her) know that I was thinking about her always.
-Stephen and I were finally approved to start being matched to a Little Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary.
-Stephen realized that he couldn’t get the money he needed to start school in the fall. His school plans had to be put on hold.


-I continued working 4 days a week with Baby E, but had to cut down to one day a week (from 2) with my other boys. The youngest started kindergarten, so my hours were being cut down anyway.
-I attend Calgary’s Pride Parade with my sister and her boyfriend.
-One of the girls that I used to nanny came over for a baking day; we made lion cupcakes.
-I revealed my gallery wall.
- I found out at the last possible minute that I applied for the wrong loan for school, and would have no money to pay for school. I had to drop out the day before classes started. I had a rough couple of weeks dealing with my feelings on this, but realized in the end that I was happy where I was in terms of my job. Maybe something bigger and better is waiting for me around the corner.
-Stephen and I attended Bacon Fest and had some delicious food from a food truck.
-We also went to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.


-I posted about my love for ampersands.
-Stephen finally convinced me to play a computer game (Sims 3), and I actually liked it.
-I roasted my first ever pumpkin and made my own pumpkin puree.
-We celebrated Thanksgiving at my parent’s place. I made some pumpkin pie cupcakes and pumpkin pie ice cream.
-Baby E finally mastered crawling, so my job got a whole lot more active.
-I got a raise from both of my nanny families.
-I had my first ever canning adventure; I made some apple butter, that I saved to give out as Christmas presents.
-Stephen and I found out that our landlord wanted to sell our townhouse, and that we had to be out when our lease was up, at the end of November. It was super stressful, as we had no intention of moving and hadn’t been saving up for that.
-We celebrated Halloween by carving some pumpkins and just hanging out at home. We only had one trick or treater; a little boy that wasn’t in costume and didn’t even yell out trick or treat! He was too busy eating candy, so his Mom said it for him. I was mighty disappointed.


-This was a month of packing and house hunting. We looked at 5 places, and while we were certain that we were going to get the first place we saw, we didn’t. In the end, it worked out for the best, because we ended up with an amazing townhouse that’s bigger (and nicer) than our last one.
-My uncle from Toronto came to visit us. Stephen and I had him and my sister and her boyfriend over for dinner. They showed up with cupcakes and Sambuca.
-The whole family checked out the military museum.
-I took a little road trip with my uncle to visit my great grandma and sister and Vulcan.
-Stephen and I got a call that we were finally matched with a Little Brother! We had our first outing together at the end of the month.
-Our good friends adopted their twins this month. We met them toward the end of the month, and I have to say that they are some of the cutest kids I’ve ever met. I seriously love them.
-Calgary had quite the wind storm, and it damaged our screen door. Gotta love having to repair things the weekend before you move.


-December was a chaotic month. We finally moved into our new townhouse, and began the process of unpacking.
-We were left without a garbage key, or a mail key for the whole month. Thankfully, we had a garage to stick our garbage in, but it was still not fun to deal with.
-Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Stephen was out of work for nearly a month (which started off in November). It was a pretty crappy deal at a crappy time of year, but he thankfully found another job.
-I worked extra long hours to make up for the fact that we were down to one income. It was stressful, but necessary.
-We hosted our first Christmas. The whole family came over on Christmas Eve to spend the night, then we had more people show up Christmas day for dinner. I baked an overabundance of sweets, and Stephen was a superstar chef! He made a Turchicken: a turkey, stuffed with stuffing and two chickens. It was the star of the show.
-Boxing Day was spent at my uncle’s house, where we had more good food and sang Christmas carols.
-Stephen and I did some dog sitting for my old nanny family.
-Stephen’s Mom came and stayed with us for a week and a bit.

2011 was quite the eventful year, but I’m glad that it’s behind us. I can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring my way!

Friday, January 6, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 64)

1. I’ve only worked 3 days (including today) this week, yet I feel like time has been dragging. I guess it’s that post holiday limbo. It’s always hard going to back to work after 2 weeks off.
2. I took down the Christmas decorations last weekend, and quickly realized that our living room was lacking in light. We hadn’t noticed until now, because we’ve had Christmas lights up since we moved in. It finally started driving us nuts, so we went to Walmart for a quick fix. 3 lamps, on sale for only $39? Yes, please! They’re cheap enough that we won’t feel guilty about replacing them someday, if needed.
3. Stephen’s Mom stayed with us over the holidays, and just went back home on Wednesday. The house is feeling a little bit lonelier now.
4. Oh, and Bailey (the dog) went home on Tuesday. We were dogsitting her for my old Nanny family, and I never expected to be so sad when she left. She holds a special place in my heart, and in fact, always has. I would love nothing more than to get a dog of my own, but we’re not allowed dogs here. I can’t wait until the day we finally buy a house.
5. Stephen’s birthday is coming up this weekend; he’ll be turning 25! (We’ll be the same age for about a month!) We’re keeping his birthday celebrations low key and just inviting a few friends over for dinner and cake. He’s requested that I make a tuxedo cake, so I think I better start working on that!
6. We’re taking our Little Brother out to the movies this weekend. He wants to see Chipwrecked, Stephen wants to see Tin Tin and I want to see We Bought a Zoo. We’re still trying to figure out which one to see based on show times….I’m hoping that my choice will win out!
7. My youngest sister Jessica is moving in this weekend. She’s had bad experiences with roommates, so Stephen and I offered to let her live with us for a while. We can’t help her move in though, because we’ll be attending Baby E’s first birthday party! That’s right, the adorable little baby that I started nannying for at 3 months old just turned one yesterday! I can’t believe how fast time passes these days.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I’m working on an end of the year recap, but (like everything in my life right now) it’s taking longer than expected. I usually like to have these posts up right at the beginning of January, but I’ve found myself with very little time lately.

Today, I have a random day off. Ok, maybe not so random; Baby E is turning one today and his parents wanted to be home with him. I’m putting this day to good use though and going bridesmaid dress shopping with my sister and the rest of the bridesmaids. Please keep your fingers crossed that we find something awesome and affordable! There were rumors that we’d be coming back to my place afterward for a Jersey Shore party. I hate to admit it, but Jersey Shore is a total guilty pleasure of mine.

This post is being kept short and sweet because I’ve got a million and one things to do before heading off to meet the bridesmaids. What are you up to on this beautiful Thursday? Back at work? Day off? Please tell!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Recap

Looking back on it, Christmas was a chaotic whirlwind for us. Not only did we move at the beginning of December, but we decided to host Christmas. This was a pretty big deal for Stephen and I, so there was no way we were going to give that up.

My Christmas vacation started early, which was perfect, because I had a lot to get done around the house before guests arrived. We also did some dogsitting for my old nanny family, so this sweet pup showed up a few days before Christmas. Meet Bailey:

January 4 2011 011

My family started showing up on Christmas Eve, because we all like to wake up together on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve was filled with a  ton of food, including way too many baked goods. We each opened up a present, which was our traditional Christmas jammies. We may have even tuned into the Santa Tracker channel on Telus TV for a late night round of Christmas karaoke. Despite our awful singing, it was absolutely perfect in my mind.

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Christmas morning started off with Dad waking us up with a hand bell and a bull horn. I have no idea what possessed him to do that, but it was one heck of a way to wake up. We started off with stockings, then took a break for breakfast while we waited for Stephen’s Mom to get here from Edmonton. We opened up our presents (always way too many!) a bit later than normal (around 11am I believe), but it was so much fun. There were a few presents that stole the show: my Dad surprised my Mom with jewelry, which made her cry; the family all pitched in on an EReader for my Uncle D’arcy; and the family pitched in again on a TV and Blu-Ray player for my parents. While those were definitely the stand out gifts, everyone else received some awesome gifts, for sure.

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This gift deserves a special mention…I was told that I have to blog about it or it gets returned, ha! My sister Jessica and her boyfriend Daniel went above our set present budget and got Stephen and I the Eye-Fi memory card that we had wanted so very much. It was unexpected, but such a welcome surprise. I can’t wait to get a moment to set it up and put it to good use. Thanks Jess and Daniel!

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Christmas afternoon brought more guests: my other sister and her fiancĂ©; our old roommate Cam; and my great grandma and her boyfriend. To add to the chaos, 4 more dogs showed up. If you’re keeping track, there were 5 dogs in our house, ranging from tiny lap dogs to giant boxers. Never a dull moment in our household!

Christmas dinner was a feast, and Stephen outdid himself. His original plan was to make a Turducken, but not enough people like duck for that to become a reality. Stephen revised that plan and made a turkey stuffed with two chickens. This crazy turchicken (as we so lovingly called it) was a beast, and required two people to lift it! We were left with so many leftovers that we could have easily hosted a second Christmas dinner with it.

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The celebrations continued on Boxing Day with a family dinner at my Uncles’ house. There was a fun present exchange (where I won a lottery ticket) and more Christmas carols sung around the piano. It’s a family tradition that I look forward to every year!

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If you’ve made it to the end of this post, then you have to know that this is only a sampling of the Christmas chaos at my place. I’m still recovering, even though I had two weeks off over the holidays!
How was your Christmas holidays?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ten On Tuesday

I'm easing my way back into blogging, and what better way to start off than with some Ten on Tuesday questions?

1. What did you get for Christmas?
A bunch of gift cards and some things to hang in our new place, along with a bunch of little things.

2. Have you taken down your Christmas decorations?
We did that yesterday. Our tree was dead and needed to come down, so I figured that I may as well take down the rest of the decorations with it.

3. What did you do for New Years Eve?
Just stayed home and celebrated with Stephen and his Mom. It was really low key.

4. Do you like accents?
Yes, provided I can understand them.

5. What kind of television do you have?
We've got a 42 inch Samsung flat screen TV. At least, I think it's Samsung? I don't pay too much attention to those sorts of things.

6. Did you make any changes at the beginning of 2012?
Not yet. Stephen and I do have plans of eating healthier, and just trying to lead an overall healthier lifestyle, but that hasn't started yet. I wouldn't call it a New Year's resolution though, it's something that we decided to do after the Christmas season is over.

7. What’s the last book you read and do you recommend it?
Confession: I can't remember the last book that I've read. It pains me to say that, considering how much I love to read. I resolve to read more this year though, and blogs don't count.

8. Do you stay current on celebrity gossip?
Not really, no. I usually hear of stuff through Twitter, and via Stephen, of he reads something good on Reddit.

9. Do you know the words to Bohemian Rhapsody? Gangstas Paradise? Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?
I know most of the words to Bohemian Rhapsody, I'm fairly certain that I know all the words to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and I only know one line of Gangstas Paradise.

10. What is your favorite education television show?
Umm...I'm not really sure that I watch any educational shows, at least, none that I can think of right now. I'm a bit of a reality junky.
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