Tuesday, July 31, 2012

101 in 1001 Update!

I have finally crossed off enough things that I think it warrants a list update! The completed items are in purple and striked through, the pink items are in progress. I think I am off to a pretty good start. These lists are so much fun, because I am a total list maker. Sometimes I will write something on my to-do list that I've already done, just so I am cross it off!! Tell me I am not alone in doing that?

  • Start blogging (Started in May 2012)
  • Take a photography class
  • Take a cake decorating class (Completed in April 2012 at Michael's)
  • Blog every day for 30 days
  • Go to NYC (Went for our 1st anniversary in May 2012)
  • Plant a vegetable garden (Planted a veggie garden with my mom in June 2012)
  • Sell 1 item a month from our Etsy shop
  • Lose 20 pounds (get to 160 lbs)
  • Maintain weight for 6 months
  • Refinish a piece of furniture
  • Reupholster an old piece of furniture
  • Go to Las Vegas
  • Take a knitting class
  • Knit a winter hat
  • Take one photo I am really proud of
  • Take a photograph of a rainbow
  • Say “yes” to something I wouldn’t normally
  • Host a dinner party for 8
  • Go a week without buying anything
  • Read 40 books (It's sad, but I have read 1 so far - The Help. I have edited this and picked a better number, 100 in 1001 days?? Yikes. Who can read 1 book every 10 days??)
  • Don’t say anything negative for one day
  • Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  • Try a sport I've never tried before (DH and I are playing flag football this summer 2012!)
  • Donate money to a charity
  • Kiss in the rain
  • Make spaghetti sauce from scratch
  • Bake and decorate a birthday cake for someone (Baked my husband's birthday cake in June 2012)
  • Try a new recipe once a month for a year
  • Find out my blood type
  • Go to the gym 5 days a week for a month
  • Take a cooking class
  • Send a hand written letter
  • Spend a weekend without the internet
  • Make bread without the bread maker
  • Train Leroy to come when called
  • Learn how to cook fish!
  • Finish the photo wall going to the basement
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Watch Gone With the Wind (Loved it! July 2012)
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Figure out what to do with my wedding dress
  • Send in the paperwork and get my PEng
  • Have a blog post published on a well known blog
  • Have my blog redesigned to have a more personal style (Thanks to Emily at oh hello, love! this has been completed, July 14, 2012)
  • Make a meal with all ingredients bought at the farmer's market
  • Throw a surprise party for someone
  • Go on a girl's weekend with my sister
  • Have a will written
  • Try being vegetarian for one week
  • Write 100 thank you notes
  • Meet an internet friend in person
  • Go on a picnic
  • Go camping with the dog (We are going camping about an hour away this weekend so I am crossing this off, August 2012)
  • Go to trivia night
  • Be professionally fitted for a bra
  • Send at least 3 letters to the editor of our local paper
  • Move my blog to self hosted
  • Give up Facebook for a week
  • Try 10 beers I have never tried before (Rickard's White, Molson Canadian 67 Sublime, Upper Canada Lager)
  • Go to an exercise class that makes me feel awkward
  • See 45 movies in the theatre
  • Go for a ride in a helicopter
  • Get a promotion
  • Eat at 10 new restaurants
  • Host Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner
  • Make a surprise visit home to see my family
  • Spend 1 day a week television free for 6 months (Started this in July 2012, we're going with Wednesdays!)
  • De-clutter our house
  • Go to a comedy show (went to Absolute Comedy with two of my coworkers! July 2012)
  • See The Nutcracker at the NAC
  • Do something nice for someone anonymously
  • Go to a spa
  • Go to a Green Bay Packers game
  • Give a 100% tip
  • Have a booth at a craft sale
  • Take a spontaneous road trip
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Decorate Christmas cookies
  • Finish bathroom and back room in basement
  • Finish the fence in the backyard (Last pieces went up in May 2012!)
  • Buy a mouse pad for my desk at work (Just did this! I got a mouse pad AND a keyboard wrist rest. July 2012)
  • Learn how to use all of the applications on my Mac
  • Grow and use 3 varieties of herbs (Grew basil, oregano, and parsley, used all 3 in my roasted red pepper soup! July 2012)
  • Organize all of the documents/photos on my computer
  • Finally load up my digital picture frame
  • Go to a drive-in movie theatre
  • Have someone guest post on my blog
  • Go on a date night once a month with my husband (Edited to add a timeframe - let's go with a year! Started this in July 2012)
  • Get 5,000 views of my blog (1800 of 5000)
  • See the Best Picture Oscar winner from the last 10 years.
  • Enter a photo contest
  • Complete a crossword puzzle
  • Host a poker night
  • Buy a bigger TV for our basement den
  • Plant a tree
  • Read a novel in french
  • Make homemade jam
  • Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  • Write a list of 101 things I have already achieved in life
  • Celebrate finishing this list!
  • Monday, July 30, 2012

    Weekend Recap, Vol. 3...

    Happy Monday friends! Not much to write about following this weekend. I was off on Friday, and spent a lot of time reading through many new blogs. I also cleaned the house (not exactly any blogging material there...). While I did all of those things, Leroy laid around:
    On Saturday we got up early to play golf, and then we did a bit of shopping. We're going camping this coming weekend, so we bought ourselves a tent, and then practiced putting it up in the backyard. We also bought some paint for a little furniture project that I'll hopefully be sharing next week!

    I know I've shown so many tomato photos, but look at the redness of the garden tomatoes. They are so much prettier than any tomatoes I have ever bought in the store. This weekend we went ultra classy and used them in our grilled cheese sandwiches.
    On Sunday we got up really early. I made french toast and it was delicious! It made 5 slices, and consisted of 2 eggs, 2/3 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. It really reminded me of egg nog! I ate it with a banana and table syrup. Weird fact about me: I hate real maple syrup. Yep, it's true. I'm told this makes me crazy...

    Later, we took Leroy on a long walk along the river here. The weather was great and we had a great time! I didn't take any photos for some reason, I really need to get better with that! My husband headed to football. I missed it this week because of a recurrent back injury :(. We lost, I think it's because I wasn't there :P As per usual, we had supper at the in-laws and I ate too much!

    That's about it. I told you it would be boring!!! How was your weekend?

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Pumpkin Spice Muffins...

    Today I took my last container of frozen pumpkin puree. At halloween I bought a huge pumpkin and cooked and pureed it, and froze it. I have been swimming in pumpkin ever since, and finally I have used it all up!
    These might be my favourite muffins. They scream Autumn, which is a little weird in the middle of summer, but whatever! They were delicious.
    Here's the recipe:

    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon of all spice
    • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh - fresh is obviously best!!!)
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup honey

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line or grease your muffin pan. Sift the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl.  Mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Make a little well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add all of the wet ingredients into this well. Don't worry too much, it will definitely not stay in the well, it'll go everywhere. Add the raisins, and mix well. 

    • Then you're ready to go! Pour the batter into the muffin tins. Makes 12 muffins

    • Voila! I hope you try this, and enjoy because they are sooooo good! My husband hates raisins and he still really likes these muffins. You can also add nuts, like walnuts if you want. I didn't have any on hand today or I would have!

    • Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Friday Blog Favourites...

    I wanted to give a shout out to my favourite blogs I have read this week! I am new to the blog world, and I have been reading a lot of blogs lately. I can't believe I never really got into this before, even just as a reader. There is so much incredible talent out there, and there are so many great thoughts and ideas all over! They're everywhere!
    Now, without further ado, here are my top 5 favourite blogs this week!

    1. The Daily Tay... Taylor is hilarious. Her writing voice is just awesome and funny. She's got that sarcastic kind of humour that I just LOVE. Her post this week about the dog beach really sealed the deal for me! She already has tons of followers, but go check her out, I'm sure she'd love more!!

    2. Our Little Balham Life... I like Nicola's blog so much, I've added her button! She's super cute, and talks about her life in England with her boyfriend, and her cat. Check it out!

    3. Living Beautifully DIY... I love me some DIY, and some lovely Canadians! Something as seemingly boring as fixing up the pool shed is made interesting somehow. Follow along as they transform their house, one DIY at a time!

    4. The Strawberry Blonde Life... Jill is awesome (she is Mrs. Snow Cone on Weddingbee!!). I love her newlywed blog. Her daily outfit posts have inspired me to do something similar! Go on over and say hi, and check out her button on my sidebar :)

    5. Love and Renovations... Go say hi to Amanda over at Love and Renovations, she is Mrs. Cardigan on Weddingbee! Her and her hubby are slowly renovating their home, and she's got lots of DIY projects going on. Also, I love her Friday Finds posts! I spend more time looking for deals now :)

    So that does it! It was so so so hard to pick 5. I have found so many awesome blogs this week, I definitely have enough to keep doing this post for quite a few weeks, and possibly forever. Tune in next week for 5 more awesome blogs!!!

    I have been spending my day off doing laundry and cleaning our house. I did sleep in though, so it hasn't been a totally awful day, lol. Tonight my hubby is taking me out on a date night, we're going out to dinner and heading to see The Dark Knight Rises. I'm pretty pumped! Other than that, our weekend should be pretty relaxing.

    What about you? Big plans for the weekend? What blogs are you loving lately?

    Buttons, buttons, buttons!

    Happy Friday to all!! I am home today, one of the benefits of my job is the option to work a compressed work week. Basically I work and extra 30 mins a day, and have every third Friday off! This is especially awesome because I am paid based on a 37.5 hour work week, but in my last job worked a 40 hour work week. This means that when I started my new job I worked the same number of hours, but had a day off every 3 weeks! Awesome perk, if you ask me.
    Anyway, you may have noticed I recently put up some lovely social media buttons above my lovely mug over there on the right sidebar. Please click on them and follow me, I promise I can be entertaining! Although, if you don't want endless photos of my ridicilous dog, I wouldn't suggest following me on Instagram...
    Although come to mention it, I do talk a lot about Leroy on twitter too...

    Oh the joys of dog ownership! Waiting for the bus, reach into my pocket and what do I find? Poop bags of course! 

    But I swear, I say other funny and awesome things too!!!

    Also, Emily has also designed a blog button for me!! I am definitely interested in a button swap, so if you'd like me to display your button here in exchange for you displaying mine over on your blog, contact me!

    I'll be back later today with a possible weekly Friday post, my favorite new blogs of the week! Stay tuned!

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    More cupcakes...

    I made these chocolate cupcakes for my coworker's wedding shower a couple of weeks ago. I made 30+ chocolate cupcakes, some with buttercream frosting, some with chocolate buttercream. You can see the cake and icing recipe here.
    I decorated some with Smarties, and others with Reese's peanut butter cups. The red sprinkle ones are leftover red velvet cupcakes from Canada Day! I think they turned out great! You can't really see the peanut butter cup, the picture is too dark, and I put them on the ones with the chocolate icing. Just wanted to share :)
    Also, I am off tomorrow, so today is what I like to call "Faux-Friday". Anyone else celebrating Faux-Friday today? SO excited to sleep in tomorrow!

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Our wedding cake - 1 year later...

    I have been meaning to blog about our year old wedding cake experience for a month or so, or really, since May 21st when we celebrated our anniversary! As I mentioned before, my mom baked our wedding cake. She has a small cake business, because she is ultra-talented. Not only does she do a great job decorating, but she also bakes a delicious cake. We decided to go with a small, 2 layer cake, the bottom layer was chocolate and the top layer was coconut. We also had many cupcakes, which were chocolate pound as well!
    We always intended to save the top layer of our cake, in the typical wedding tradition. That's mostly why we went with coconut, it's a favourite of both of ours! Anyway, my mom wrapped up the cake in a layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and then a plastic bag, and placed in the freezer of our refrigerator.
    So, almost 2 months a go we finally got to take it out and see how it held up! We were pretty excited, not only for the cake, but also to get our freezer space back since we don't have a deep freeze and like to buy meat on sale! Anyhow, I excitedly unwrapped the layers.
    We brewed up some coffee, and set up out on our deck. It was a gorgeous day for a cake testing! The layer of fondant was peeled off before eating, to reveal a little layer of buttercream frosting. The final verdict: a little dry, but overall still pretty tasty!! I would say it kept pretty well for an entire year.
    We loved taking part in this tradition! And since we didn't remember to feed cake to each other on our actual wedding day, we totes mah goats took this opportunity to create that memory. It was pretty cheesy but also hilarious. And yes, those are definitely bride and groom (Mr. and Mrs.) mugs that our friend gave us as a wedding gift!!!

    There you have it! If you're married, did you save your cake too?

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    I've got a confession to make...

    Anyone singing that Foo Fighters song? Perfect. Mission accomplished.
    Ok here it goes: I quit Weight Watchers.

    Yep, I did. After all of the posting about it, I decided that it just wasn’t worth the money right now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great way to lose weight, and I do feel that they really promote a healthy lifestyle and not just a fad method of losing weight fast. It’s great, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to drop a few (or many) pounds.

    Why did I quit? It goes back to struggling with my self-esteem. I got so focused on weight loss, and I am not sure it was good for me. I felt guilty every single time I strayed from my points. I guess that’s pretty normal, but the issue for me was, I am not overweight. I don’t have a ton to lose, and I am trying really hard to actually create a lifestyle I am happy with, and feeling guilty about having one cookie is just not my idea of a good time.

    Here I am looking happy! I heard you shouldn't blog without photos so that's why this is here, awkwardly placed in the middle of a wordy blog post :P
    So, about 2 weeks ago, I quit. I decided to lose the last 5 or 6 pounds on my own, with the tools that WW has taught me. In two weeks I have only lost 1 pound, but I am happy about it. I have been exercising a lot more, and having treats on the weekends, and overall I just feel happier. Yesterday I ate a muffin because I haven’t had one in months and really felt like it, and then I went to the gym.
    This is exactly the kind of relationship I want with food. One where I typically eat very health and get lots of exercise, and as a result, treat myself on occasion without feeling guilty. I'm hoping this doesn't end with me gaining back the 15 pounds I have lost... only time will tell. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to hit the gym!

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Weekend recap, Vol. 2

    Well, yet another eventful weekend has passed! Sadly, I am a bad newbie blogger and didn't take any pictures. The other reason being I was unsure if our friends would appreciate photos of their house all over the internet! Anyway, the pool was pretty close to as awesome as in my head. It was amazing guys. The landscaping around it was beautiful, it was salt water, and diving depth! We had an amazing time, and only got slightly burnt.

    We came back to this:
    Leroy spent the weekend with my in-laws, and I think it's safe to say he had a great time! He's so spoiled while he's there, it's insane. I think he gets a lot more attention from them than he gets from us... haha.

    We made it back in time to get to our football game, which we WON. Awesome. The heat was sweltering though, and we only had 2 girls. The rule is 2 girls on the field at all times so yeah, I played the whole game. It's two 45 minute halves guys. That's an hour and a half of standing out the sun with a bunch of running around. It wasn't super pleasant, but it's so much fun, so it's worth it! Oh, and we started to get red tomatoes :)
    And lastly, another request to hit the facebook button on the right sidebar and go like my page! I have 11 likes and would LIKE a whole lot more!!!!!

    What did you guys do this weekend?

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Happy Friday (and a favor)!!

    Finally, it's the end of the week. It's been a very long week for some reason. Nothing has really happened, but I have just been dragging the whole time! I couldn't be more excited that we're approaching the weekend, and the weather is supposed to be amazing. We have another jam packed couple of days ahead of ourselves, including a mini road-trip to see some friends and check out their new pool.
    In my head, this is what their pool will look like... ;)
    While I have you all here, I just created a facebook page for my blog, I would absolutely love you forever if you clicked on the little facebook button over on the right hand sidebar there, and headed on over and "Liked" my page!!!! It would mean the world to me. Plus, they tell me if I get 30 likes they'll give me more information about my page... that's so mean!! They sure know how to make a girl desperate... PLEASE HELP ME UNLOCK THE MAGIC INFORMATION!!!!! :)

    I hope you all have a lovely weekend, see you Monday!!!

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Our Wedding Part 3 - In which we eat, drink, and dance!

    Miss a wedding recap? Get up caught up!!
    Our Wedding Part 1
    Our Wedding Part 2

    After we had a bunch of photos taken, we headed to the restaurant for our reception. Our reception was at a beautiful restaurant downtown, with amazing cobblestones and exposed brick. The space had so much character and really added to the old-fashioned, "vintage" feel I was hoping for. I loved the rectangular tables and the whole atmosphere just felt amazing. My mom and I handled all of the decor. She arranged the flowers in the mason jars, and my dad and husband cut out the wooden table numbers, and "love" clips. We used black and white wedding photos from all of our guests and family who couldn't make it. People really enjoyed looking at them!
    Throughout the dinner, everyone was laughing and chatting and all around having a great time. It made me smile so much to look around at all of our guests and feeling like everything worked out exactly as I had imagined it. Our photographer managed to capture one of my favourite shots of me and my dad.
    The food came out a little slowly, but no one seemed to notice too much, and those that did just headed over to our candy buffet to have a little snack! My mom and I made all of the decorations, she is so creative. Also through dinner, my dad, FIL, sister, and my husband's best man all gave some really great speeches. We were very touched, and have never felt so loved! They all did such an amazing job.
    After supper, my husband and I got up and said a few words of thanks. Actually, my husband did all of the talking because I am pretty shy in crowds! He did a great job and managed not to forget anyone.
    At last, we cut the cake (did I mention my mom also made AND decorated our amazing cake??), had our first dance, and I danced with my dad, and my husband danced with his mom. Then everyone let lose and had a blast dancing up a storm! The photographer left by this point, so I don't have any professional photos to share, plus I am a little wary of posting pictures of people without getting their permission... so no real photos here... Sorry!!
    Well, that about sums up our wedding! I could have gone into a lot more detail, but quite frankly, I am lazy. There are so many pictures to sort through and I don't want to overload everyone with too many. Hopefully you've enjoyed reading along, and if you have any questions about any specific parts, please feel free to comment here or send me an email and I will definitely share more :)

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    What I like about him...

    This post was much easier for me to write than the one I wrote about myself! I could easily come up with 100 things I love about my husband. I feel so blessed to have found the one for me early on in life (I was 22 when we met). The last 5.5 years have been nothing short of awesome, and I have him to thank for a lot of that! He’s my best friend, my world, my everything. How cheesy did that just sound? I don’t care! I want everyone to know just how much I love him and appreciate him. He takes care of me when I am feeling down, or when I am sick. He laughs at all of my bad jokes, and I just want to spend all of my time around him. Ok, so enough gushing, let’s move on to the list (a.k.a. more gushing). Here are the top 10 things I love about my husband.
    1. He’s so handsome!
    2. He’s hilarious, in the same dry, sarcastic way I am so it’s very convenient. He makes me laugh SO much.
    3. He’s incredibly driven. He has career goals laid out for years to come and he works very hard to achieve them. He’s going to be extremely successful and I couldn’t be more proud.
    4. He’s physically active! He used to play hockey until a series of concussions forced him to stop. Now, he does a lot of working out at home, and likes to run for cardio. He also pushed me to join the flag football league we’re in. which leads me to my next point…
    5. He pushes me. He encourages me to try things I wouldn’t normally try. He clearly thinks I am capable of a lot more than I think I am. It’s so great to have such a supportive partner through all of the ups and downs!
    6. His family rocks! This is really important since family is such a huge part of my life. I couldn’t have asked for better in-laws, they are truly awesome!
    7. His curly hair. Love love love.
    8. His blue eyes. So yummy!!
    9. He’s tall. Being a tall gal, I have always looked for and dated guys who are taller than me. My husband is about 3 inches taller than me which is perfect because I never wear heels much taller than 2 inches anyways, and it means I can still feel small in his arms!
    10. He is so incredibly smart. He’s intelligent in a lot of ways, he’s great with numbers, words, and life! It’s very attractive in a man :)
    I could really go on and on and on, but I’ll stop there.
    What’s your favourite thing about your partner? If you’re single, what’s the #1 thing you look for in a partner?

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Tuesday's iPhone photo of the day...

    I went back into the archive for this one! Leroy isn't crated anymore because he's been behaving pretty well. His penchant for destroying things seems to have disappeared by this point *fingers crossed*. One day, about a year a go, I came home to this. Look at the look on his face too, he doesn't even think he's done anything wrong! And I put that blanket in there to make him more comfortable... What a guy.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Weekend recap, Vol. 1...

    Happy Monday! We had quite a busy, whirlwind weekend. Friday night was spent at Ottawa's biggest music festival, Bluesfest. It runs for 10 days (I think, don't quote me on that!) every year, and there are usually some pretty kick ass bands in the lineup. I have only been one other time, a few years ago. It's great to find a day when more than one band you like is playing, which makes it really worth your money. We paid $40 to see 3 bands we really like... ok... two bands WE really like, and 3 bands I really like! They're all Canadian bands: Hey Rosetta!, Our Lady Peace, and Blue Rodeo. We had an amazing time, but they wouldn't let me bring my DSLR onto the grounds. I was really bummed. I had been hoping to get some great photos to post here! Instead you'll have to settle for iPhone pics.
    Then on Saturday we went golfing. We have a membership at a little 9 hole par 3 course about a 5 minute drive from our house. I've just been learning this year, but I'm really enjoying it so far. I like that it's something my husband and I enjoy doing together, and it's active! Plus, it is awesome to be spending so much time outside this summer. Saturday evening I made supper for my in-laws, that was fun too. We used a green pepper and tomatoes from our garden! They brought over a boardgame and as per usual, I kicked everyone's butt. I am unstoppable at super nerdy games!!! Apparently it's my hidden talent? I should have put that on my list of things I like about myself :P. In case anyone is wondering, super nerdy games include Settler's of Catan and Dominion. There may or may not be a couple of expansion packs included...
    Finally, on Sunday we went to Calypso! It's a big waterpark near us. It was so much fun. The weather was great, hot, but not too sunny, so we didn't get burnt! We went on as many rides as we could when it first opened, and then we had lunch and spent the rest of the time floating down the lazy river, and hanging out in the wave pool. There was even a candy buffet! I love me some gummy candy and liquorice!!
    We also play in a flag football league on Sundays, so we had that too. I didn't take any photos though, but maybe one of these days I will... Oh, and also, I have discovered instagram! I am always so behind the times when it comes to social media stuff, but I am getting caught up! If you want to follow me, I'm mcsarahanne! As a sample of my "work", here's a gem (haha) I took of Leroy.
    What did you do this weekend?

    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    A brand new look!

    I wasn't planning on posting this weekend, but if you've been to my blog before, you've probably noticed a little something different the last couple of days. I have a whole new look! This is all thanks to Emily, over at oh, hello love!. She did such an amazing job, and I couldn't be happier. Please head over and show her some love on her blog :)

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Happy Friday!

    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We have lots of stuff going on this weekend so I will be back Monday with a round up of all of that! Look what I spied in out garden this morning...

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    What I like about me...

    I have been feeling pretty down lately, lots of things going on that I don’t really want to get in to right now. I’ve been really negative and pessimistic, and I finally decided that I’d really like to snap out of it. I also decided that by deciding to snap out of it, it would just be over and I would automatically become positive. It’s been two days and it’s actually been going pretty well, and I feel a lot better. So, in the spirit of positivity and feeling good about myself, I decided to come up with 10 things I like about myself.

     This was a lot harder than I thought it would be, which, if you really think about it is quite sad. I actually got stuck on the last one. I had nine items on the list for the longest time, trying to rack my brain to find just one more thing I like about myself. This actually had the opposite of the intended effect, it made me feel bad about myself!!! How pathetic am I that I couldn’t come up with 10 nice things to say about myself? It is so awful that I could come up with 25 things I DON’T like about myself in an instant. What an eye-opener this was, honestly.
    I really need to work on being nicer to myself. This is probably the key to good self-esteem I have been searching for all of these years. It’s not weight loss, or nicer clothes, or a bigger house, or a better job, or a more well behaved dog (haha). The key to great self-esteem is actually liking the person you are. I don’t need to change anything about myself. What I need to do to feel better is start talking to myself with a less critical, less Mean Girls-esque voice. I would never talk to my friends the way I talk to myself. Never. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t have friends anymore. Why is it ok to put myself down? Obviously, the answer is, it’s not. It’s not ok. After this little exercise I made the conscious decision to say 3 nice things to myself every day. Today I told myself I liked my outfit, that my butt looked good, and that I am great at my job.

     I’m hoping in the future it won’t be so hard, and I’ll be able to list off 100 things no problem. Until then, here are the ten I came up with (in no particular order, although I would say #1 is the #1 thing I like about myself!):

    1. am funny. It’s a fact, and I know this because so many laugh with me, although sometimes it’s at me, I’m sure. I credit most of my funniness to my dad. We share the same deadpan, dry, sarcastic sense of humour. Actually, come to think of it, my whole family shares this. We make each other laugh A LOT. It’s one of the things I really miss, living away from them. My husband and I make each other laugh a lot too though, so it’s not so bad.
    2. My teeth. Thank you Mom and Dad for the braces!!
    3. My figure. There are definitely things about my body that I don’t like, but I do feel very blessed to gain most of my weight in my lower half. I have never had “love-handles”, and I can gain 10-15 pounds with basically no one noticing. This is probably also a function of my height, 10 pounds on 5’ 11” definitely shows less than on shorter people! I am very fortunate!
    4. My eyes. I just love my blue eyes! They’ve always been my favourite feature J
    5. My hair. I have thick, wavy, dirty blonde hair that I spruce up with highlights! The individual strands are thin, not coarse, I just have a lot of them. It makes my hair pretty easy to style. I can do curly or straight pretty easily, and both will hold all day long. I’ve always liked my hair!
    6. I am stylish. Or at least I think I am, and I hope other people think so too or else I am in trouble! I haven’t been as adventurous with fashion since I started a real job, but I do like to try new things, fun trends, and bright colors! I should start sharing some of my outfits on the blog. I’d also include my home d├ęcor skills in here. I think I have pretty awesome taste. I’ll also need to post pictures of some of that stuff soon!!!
    7. I am an excellent baker. I know this because everyone tells me so, plus I just genuinely think so myself. I make a mean cupcake. I think what makes me good at this is the fact that I LOVE baking, and I am not scared to try new things. A couple of weeks ago I made a pineapple upside down cake for my father-in-law. Not only had I never made one before, I had also never even tasted one! It turned out so well and was so delicious. One day I am going to open my own bakery. That’s the dream!
    8. I am very punctual. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have been late for anything. I am punctual almost to a fault, I am usually really early for everything, just because I fear being late so much. People being late is one of my biggest pet peeves!! I like that I can always be counted on to arrive somewhere on time, and I rarely keep anyone waiting.
    9. I’m adventurous. I like trying new things. I packed up and moved to a city I didn’t know that well to be with my husband. I didn’t have a job, I just knew we’d make it work. I went away to university in my first year. I’m not particularly scared of change, and that keeps things interesting. We have roots here now, but we’re not opposed to moving somewhere else in the future, and that’s really exciting!!
    10. I like being home. I am a homebody. I don’t need a blossoming social life to be happy. I can entertain myself pretty well. Luckily, my husband is the same way, otherwise I doubt we would be married!
     I encourage you to reflect upon your relationship with yourself. Can you list 10 things you like?

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Going meatless...

    No, we're not going vegetarian, but my husband and I decided to try to eat at least one meatless supper a week. Mostly, this is for economical reasons, but also, it keeps things interesting and I love trying new things! First on the menu was the Spicy Black Bean Burgers, from Skinny Taste. They were pretty easy to make, but you have to make them in advance because they absolutely have to be frozen when you cook them, otherwise they will not stick together and it would be really messy.

    I forgot the hot sauce, which was unfortunate, but the chipotle mayo did add some kick, so it worked out ok. I also couldn't find chipotle peppers, so I bought a chipotle salsa and made the mayo that way, which was also great! Plus, it was so much easier because I didn't have to cut up the peppers or anything.
    Don't be alarmed when the "burgers" are really sloppy before freezing. There is no way you could cook them without freezing first, they don't stick together at all. Again, you must freeze BEFORE cooking!!!!! Don't say I didn't warn you :P To freeze, line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Let them freeze this way for 2 hours, then move them to containers.

    When BBQ'ing, put the burgers on a sheet of oiled aluminum foil. I used Pam to oil the foil (wow, that was an amazing rhyme - lol). I cooked them for about 6 minutes on each side and they were perfect. We topped them with 1/4 of an avocado and about a tablespoon of the chipotle mayo.
    The other awesome thing about our supper tonight? We had tomatoes from our garden in our salad!! We had a few ripe yellow and red cherry tomatoes. They were absolutely delicious!! Wow. So much better than store bought tomatoes. I can't wait to get some more ripe ones.
    So, overall this meal was amazing. My husband was a huge fan too. According to Skinny Taste, this is about 9 WW points, plus the salad was 2, so a total of 11 points for supper. That's pretty comparable to what I normally allot for supper, so I was happy. We'll definitely be making more of these in the future!

    Has anyone tried any meatless recipes lately? I'd love some recommendations!

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Tuesday photo of the day...

    As a way to beat the Tuesday blahs, I'm going to start these posts. This is the kind of thing that makes me smile even when I'm having the worst day. I know I'm biased but he's just so damn cute! Happy Tuesday everyone!

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    We have veggies!

    It's so exciting, look what's growing in our garden! I took the photos with my iPhone, so they're not the best quality, but I did get to use my favorite photo editor ap (BeFunky) to make them all look like I took them with an instant camera!
    Yummy cherry tomatoes, there are red and yellow ones!
    Banana peppers! There are 4 or 5 growing on the one plant

    And lastly, the green pepper was being a bit shy, since it's growing in the very back of our garden and I couldn't really get a clear shot! There is one big one, which you see here, and about 3 tiny ones growing on the other plants. There are 6 plants total, so we'll see how many we get!
    Has anyone else been growing anything this summer? What do you plan to do with your goodies? We are going to be overloaded with tomatoes so I am searching for lots of yummy tomato recipes. I'm thinking homemade fresh salsa, bruschetta, and tomato and basil salad. They are not pictured, but we also have parsley, basil, oregano, and chives, all growing quite nicely :)

    Thursday, July 5, 2012


    Why, hello there, morning. I can't say I am happy to see you again. You always seem to sneak up on me when I least expect it and am completely unprepared. Sometimes you aren't so bad, especially in the summer, when the sun has already risen by the time I face you, but typically, you just make me really cranky. How do you take over my body and make me act like a completely irrational bitch? It's creepy. My husband doesn't appreciate it one bit. Please go away.



    Bow down to the vacuum gods...

    Leroy worships the vacuum. He must know how awesome Dyson is.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    My two greatest loves...

    Well, excluding my husband. My two greatest loves are chocolate and peanut butter, and what's better than your two greatest loves together in one great concoction? Not much I say!
    Last year I had some of my coworkers over to our house for a barbecue, and I made a chocolate peanut butter cake, with Reese's peanut butter cups and everything. When I planned another barbecue for this year, I had many requests for a repeat! Not one to make the same thing twice, I went searching for a similar but different option. This is what I came up with: Peanut Butter Chocolate PIE.
    The crust is oreo cookie crumbs, which I bought pre-crushed. You prepare them according to the directions on the box, and press it into a 9 inch pie plate. The set it aside and prepare the filling.
    Peanut butter filling:

    8 ounces of cream cheese (1 block)
    1 cup of peanut putter (I used No Name and it was great!)
    1 cup of sugar
    2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
    1 cup of heavy cream (I used whipping cream)

    In a large bowl, use a hand held mixer to beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. In a second bowl, whip the whipping cream until firm (firmer than if you wanted whipped cream). Mix the cream with the cream cheese and peanut butter mixture. Spoon the filling into the crust. Put this in the fridge, uncovered, for an hour.
    Chocolate Ganache Topping:

    1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup of heavy cream
    1/2 cup of chopped peanuts

    Put the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 15 second increments until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour mixture over the peanut butter layer, and then sprinkle the peanuts all over the top. Refrigerate uncovered for about 3 hours.

    Voila! Pretty easy and impressive dessert. Enjoy!

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