Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Making a list and checking it twice

of stuff I still have to get done before Christmas!

Ack - I don't know why it seems that every year, I leave things later and later to get done. When I was younger, I used to have all my shopping completed by the end of November or sooner. Now I have less people to buy for and it seems to take WAY longer!

Yesterday was DH's birthday. We decided to go to the Mandarin for dinner, it is a chinese buffet restuarant. Well they have holiday pricing on now, which translates to high prices all week instead of just on the weekends like they normally do. Also, my 13 yr old can no longer get the children's price, which stops at age 12 and so we paid almost $24 for him to eat fries, battered fish and chicken, a tiny bit of caesar salad and a dish of ice cream. Had I know of the holiday pricing, I would have suggested we go elsewhere. Oh well.

DH and I did manage to grout the remainder of the repaired tiles so my guests will have a completely finished floor to walk on on Boxing day for the first time in 3 years :)

I submitted the final copy for my contract work this morning, so I shouldn't have to deal with any changes there until after boxing day, so that is off my plate. Whew!

The tree is bought and in the stand but not decorated yet.

The house isn't fully decorated, stairs, upper landing and front livingroom still to be decorated (family room done).

Two more kinds (at least) of cookies to be baked.

Entire house needs cleaning - must be done by Boxing day when I have a crowd coming over.

Gifts are all finally bought but not one wrapped as yet.

We are going to friends nearby for Christmas dinner, but I will be providing the homemade sausage stuffing, so that has to be made on Friday.

We have to pick up the last of the food required for boxing day this evening. I didn't want to buy things like veggies too far in advance.

So I guess I should get off the computer and get some of this cra...ummm stuff done huh? :)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Day dreaming

I like to imagine all the nice stuff I would buy if I won the lottery. I plan the ultimate kitchen in my head, the grandest of living rooms and all the rest.

Of course, when I discuss this with DH, all he is interested in is a largest TV available. While the TV itself doesn't thrill me, the choice of TV stands does.

It has to be wood and not ultra modern. I really like this one, this one and although a little rustic, this one too.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Book Review - Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson







Publisher's blurb:

Sometimes the best gift is a second chance
Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?
Reading Christmas at Harrington's, a story full of redemption and true holiday spirit, will be your newest Christmas tradition.

My review:  I enjoyed reading this story - it was a quick and an easy read. It was heart warming, uplifting and just right for this time of year. It provides the message to lend a helping hand even if you are down and out - karma has a way of coming back to you. While sometimes predictable, it was still enjoyable and I would recommend it to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

Monday, 13 December 2010

Couple Photos

So I did manage to get one type of cookie baked today.

These are called Peanut Butter Blossoms - I got the recipe off the back of the mini chocolate kisses bag.

I also wanted to show you a picture of my McGyvering of Peanut's winter coat.

Here she is in it the winter of 2008

Apparently, she too has gained some weight. Here she is in it today, with the added tummy strip - she wasn't being very co-operative because putting the coat on usually means we are going for a walk and she didn't want to just sit around posing.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

This & That UPDATED

See update at bottom:


Weekends are getting busy with trying to fit Christmas shopping in. I really don't have many people to buy for, but even just buying for a few is proving difficult. DH is hard to buy for as he pretty much just buys stuff when he wants it so really doesn't need anything.

My sis and I decided to tackle the mall on Saturday evening. I did manage to find a couple things. While at the mall I managed to fit in getting my eyebrows threaded - have you ever had your eyebrows threaded? I think it is WAY less painfull than getting them waxed. With tip is was $13.50 and only took 10 mins.

DH & I have also been working on repairing a few of our ceramic tiles in our eat in kitchen area this weekend. These tiles have been in need of repair for quite awhile, in fact two have been removed for a couple years now - yes we had a 2-tile gap in our floor for at least two years :) I put my food down on this and said it had to be fixed for Christmas this year.

Now when we went to remove the crumbling grout around that area (former owners did a really crappy patch job) we have found that they also replaced several tiles and set them in place with grout, instead of tile adhesive - so they didn't stick and all came loose as well. So right now we have 7 tiles missing from our floor. DH has to chip up all the old grout/adhesive and wire mesh underlay and put down new wire mesh underlay, staple it in place and lay a layer of thinset over the mesh. That has to cure for 48 hours before we can put down more thinset and set the tile in place. Once the tiles are set, we have to wait another 48 hours before grouting them - I think we may just get finished before Christmas :)

The plan is (key word being plan) to do a bunch of baking tomorrow. I have about 6 cookie recipes I want to try. I have a house full of baking supplies. I plan to make cookies as gifts for friends. I always plan to do this and rarely do it.

We bought a Keurig coffee machine today. It came with a sample pack of different flavor coffee pods. There is one that is called Bold - I think I will start with one of those first thing in the morning and hope it keeps me going all day :)

Tasks I need to do tomorrow (Monday):
  • Laundry - only 2 loads, kid's already done.
  • Baking - as much as possible then freeze them
  • Christmas decorating
  • Change Kid's bedding to flannel
  • Hem DH's new pants (2 pair)
  • Give Peanut a bath - it has been really rainy and muddy here lately
UPDATE
Well there has been a slight change of plans. A small job for the company my brother works for has fallen into place. I will be rewritting their website content for them. It is a small job that they want done ASAP (of course).

So, so far today (2:30pm) I have half the laundry done, and the website project underway. Nothing else on my To do list has been accomplished. I am hoping to do some of the baking this evening. We shall see.

    Wednesday, 8 December 2010

    Posting on a Wednesday for a change :)

    Winter is coming! We have a bit of snow (1-2 inches), nothing to really complain about compared to those a little south west of us. One town got 144 cm (57 inches) so far in the past few days! And it has been SO cold the past couple days too - just walking around the corner to the mailbox nearly froze me to death.

    Peanut's winter coat was a little tight on her this year, she has gained a bit. I checked a few stores for a new winter coat for her (she really doesn't have much fur to keep her warm) but couldn't find anything to compare to her shearling-like coat. So I McGyvered it :)

    It closes with a long piece of velcro down the tummy. I unstitched one side of the velcro, found a plaid fabric that had the same carmel colour as the coat in it and made a 2 inch wide strip that I sewed onto one side of the coat where I removed the velcro - following so far?

    Then I sewed the piece of velcro onto the opposite side of the plaid patch. It took me all of 15 minutes and Voila! Peanut's coat now fits her just fine! She was very glad to have it on our short walk tonight.

    I haven't finished my Christmas decorating yet - I did the family room then kind of stopped. I have to get back on that. I should really do at least a little Christmas baking too. Only 16 days to go - yikes!

    Monday, 29 November 2010

    Another Monday Update

    I know I have to get better organized and start blogging more frequently.

    I went out last week to buy new jeans. The 2 pair I have at home are too snug ACK HEM...they must have shrunk :)

    So I went to the store looking for the next size up - they were way too big. So I got a pair my regular size but in stretch demin. They seemed to fit fine at the store, but when I wore them grocery shopping on Sunday, they wouldn't stay up! I was constantly hauling my drawers up! It was embarassing and when I was carrying groceries into the house from the car, they started slidding WAY down - it is a good thing my coat is thigh length! So I am off to the store tomorrow to return them for the next size down.

    It finally snowed here during the day Friday, but it didn't stay, however, we woke up Saturday morning to about an inch on the ground - it is all gone now though. It looks nice, but I don't much care for the stuff.

    I have started my Christmas decorating - and before the first of December too! Woo Hoo. I even have a few Chrismas cards started. I didn't even bother with them last year.

    DH & I decided to try the local pub for dinner tonight. It was wing night - a pound of wings for $7. I asked if these came with fries, the answer was no. However, the menu had a pound of wings with fires and veggie sticks for $10 - we ordered 2 of these. The wings were huge but a couple were not cooked enough for my liking (even though I asked for mine to be well done as I like crispy wings). The fries tasted stale and twice fried. Not a meal worth remembering.

    When we got the bill, I was surprised to see that we charged $7x2 for the wings and $5x2 for the fries. I asked about this and said I had ordered the $10 meal out of the menu. The waitress said since it was wing night, we couldn't order that. What!? She did end up removing one order of fries off the bill and said we would have receive a lot less fries with the the $10 meal (which would have been just fine with me). I won't go back there. Food was only OK and the service was crap - we waited 15 minutes after she cleared our plates for the bill - there was only one other table with 2 people in the place.

    Oh I forgot to mention - I am going to be a great aunt again! My nephew and his girlfriend are expecting their 1st baby in March. So I have to start the next baby quilt pretty soon. They have found out it is a girl. Why do people always find out now-a-days?

    When I was pregnant with my son, I had a blood test done that said I was at high risk of having a down's baby, so I had an amniosentisis (sp?) done. It took 5 wks before they called me to tell the baby was fine - then they asked if I wanted to know the sex of the baby. I was so surprised - I hadn't expected them to offer that info. I said no as it was the only surprise I had left :)

    I actually found out I was having a boy just before my son was born. I had a scheduled C-section (because of ovarian cysts) and while they were prepping me and DH was out of the room, my Dr asked me what boy names I had chosen. After I told him, he didn't say anything for a few minutes and then as if he remembered, also asked what girl's names I had picked. So I knew it was a boy :)

    Only 26 days until Christmas! Are you ready? I have bought my son a few gifts but not the big one yet as he keeps changing his mind and also a few stocking stuffers. That is it - I have to get cracking!

    Monday, 22 November 2010

    Dreary Rainy Monday

    I am sick of all the rian we have been having - go away! And it was very cold on Sunday too - winter is definitely on its' way.

    My sister came over today with her carpet cleaner and did my family room carpet for me. We have cream coloured carpet and two dark coloured dogs.

    I made her homemade wonton soup for lunch in return. It was my first time making it but it truned out pretty good.

    The filling for the wontons was ground pork, diced water chestnuts, chopped green onion, sesame oil, ginger powder, garlic and fish sauce - don't ask me how much of everything, I never measure.

    I put about a teaspoon of filling in each wonton wrapper (store bought).

    The soup was chicken stock (8 cups), 2 cups water, salt, pepper, soy sauce, ginger powder & sesame oil.

    I brought the broth to a soft boil and cooked the wontons for about 10 mins.

    Fresh chopped green onion was added to the bowls before I laddled the soup and wontons in. We each had 2 bowls :) Filling and relatively lowfat. And nice and warm on such a yucky day.

    Now that my house is somewhat clean, I need to start decorating it. I did buy 2 artifical but very real looking pointsettia plants for my family room  mantel.

    DH has gone to Ottawa for a few days for work. He will be back on Wednesday. Maybe I'll have the house all decorated by then.

    Friday, 19 November 2010

    Nothing lasts anymore

    Last year while I was working, I often had to schelp my laptop around. Instead of carrying my heavy laptop case, I thought I would buy a backpack and carry the laptop that way. It worked out pretty well.

    Fast forward to the beginning of the school year. J needed a new backpack, so we decided since I wasn't using mine anymore and it was pretty new he would use that.

    So here it is only 3 months into the school year and the backpack is almost totally wrecked! He probably throws it around more than I ever did, but still.

    So this weekend we will be hunting for kids backpacks.

    Too bad these are out of stock

    or Peanut would probably be getting one :)




    Doggie Snowsuit

    Thursday, 18 November 2010

    Seriously?

    there are only 5 weeks til Christmas...seriously? Where the heck did the year go to? I am NOT ready for Christmas. I haven't even begun to think about being ready for Christmas.

    It seems each year, I get closer and closer to the date before I actually feel like I am in a Christmasy mood.

    So...I have decided, I am going to do a major clean this weekend and start decorating.  The Toronto Santa Claus Parade is on Sunday - we can watch it on TV and drink hot chocolate with the fireplace lit. I hope this gets me in the Christmas mood.

    I get gift cards for many of the people I buy for, but there is still some I have to shop for.

    5 weeks...wow, I am so not ready *sigh*


    P.S. We are going to see the 2nd last installment of the Harry Potter movies tomorrow night - we will go out for dinner 1st and make a night of it. So excited! I LOVE Harry Potter almost as much as the kid does.

    Wednesday, 17 November 2010

    Works For Me Wednesday - Easier Juicer Cleanup

    For the past week or so I have been drinking fresh vegetable & fruit juice. I have a pretty decent juicer that takes just a minute or two to juice half an English cucumber, a small beet, 3 stalks of celery and a large apple. The juicing part is simple. The cleanup, not so much.

    I have found a way to simplify it a bit. I am reusing those plastic produce bags to line the pulp catcher (yes that is the technical name :)) Make sure to fold it over the edge and the lid will hold it in place.

    Many people reuse the veggie pulp in things like meatloaves or the fruit pulp in muffins, if you plan to do that, line the pulp catcher with a ziplock bag so you can close it and put in the fridge or freezer. Since I mix the both veggies & fruit, I don't save my pulp for anything.

    So once I have made my juice, I simply wash all the removeable parts and toss the bag of pulp - I don't have to wash or dump the pulp catcher. It saves me a bit of hassle.


    The juice looks a bit better once I stir it - and it actually taste pretty good too :)

    Friday, 12 November 2010

    Book Review - While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin


    Publisher's blurb:
    In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother. Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war. And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary.
    But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse. Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love... even when He is silent.

    My review:
    I really enjoyed this book. It held my interest enough that I read it in one day. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Penny as she begins to conquer her fears and starts to come into her own. The various story lines were never boring and allowed a peek into the some of the lives affected by WWII. Recommended for a nice light read.

    "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc
    Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

    Thursday, 11 November 2010

    What's been happening...

    So kiddo came down with strep throat on Saturday. He missed school on Mon & Tues because of it and a high fever. Last week, he also had Mon & Tues off because he went hunting with his Dad - school knew he wasn't off sick. He returned to school Wed last week. It was pizza day but the grade 8s (his grade) had been gone all day touring the highschool in prep for next year. They returned to school around 3pm - and were given their pizza lunch (that had been sitting since noon). J downed his chocolate milk, realizing only after, that it tasted funny. A few other students noticed that the chocolate milk was expired - by about a 10 days!

    When he got home he said he didn't feel very well and was soon suffering diarhea. This continued all night - so he stayed home on Thursday since the school doesn't allow kids to use the washroom much (stupid rule) and I didn't want any accidents.

    So anyhow...on Tuesday morning this week, I called his teacher to say he wouldn't be in and if he could send homework home with a family friend, also a teacher at the school, so that J wouldn't fall behind. He said yes, but also informed me that he was obligated to report J's many absences to the school board because there had been so many in such a short time.

    We went over the fact that the first 2 days were not sick days, the 3rd was due to the school providing expired milk and the 4th and 5th because he had strep throat which is highly contagious. He still plans to report it - whatever! J is not in any danger of falling behind so I don't care what the school has to say. If more parents kept sick kids home, maybe MY kid wouldn;t be sick now!

    I had a telephone interview with a company in downtown Toronto last week, for a perm position. It went well. Tomorrow I have an in-person interview with them. As a consultant, I have interviewed MANY times, I still get nervious. Wish me luck :)

    For the past 6 days I have been having fresh green juice every morning. It consits of 1/2 an English cucumber, 3 stalks of celery and an apple. The apple makes it tolerable. Celery & cucumber are supposed to be good in lowering blood pressure...so are husbands and kids who listen...just saying :P

    Peanut has an ear infection and is on meds (ear drops). J is on antibiotics for his strep throat. I don't know which one is harder to administrate.

    Christmas is coming! Did you realise that? I have to start deep cleaning my house so that I can start decorating at the beginning of December. Last year we didn't decorate until about the week before Christmas, I want to start much earlier this year.

    If I get this job, I will have to start it right away and will not have time to clean - but if I am working, I can justify hiring someone to come in and clean right? :)

    Wednesday, 3 November 2010

    That time of year again...

    The dreaded yearly physical.

    So yesterday I had my yearly physical.

    The boys were away hunting so I had to take public transit. My Dr's office is about 2 kms away but it was very cold so I decided to take the bus. Because I live in a small town, the busses do loops and do not travel both ways - so to get to where I needed to be, I had to ride the bus approx. 6km, switch busses in downtown, ride the 2nd bus another 6 km to reach my destination that was ony 2 km away from where I originally caught the bus - you get that?

    After the 30 minute bus rides, I arrive at my Dr office 30 minutes early.

    The nurse calls me in to weight me - I weight too much, to take my blood pressure - it is too high and to measure my waist - it is too big.

    Then I get taken into the exam room where I am given a serviette and a paper towel to cover up with. Why do they bother? I put on the paper gown which actually covers the front of me but leaves my back end hanging in the breeze.

    The Dr comes in and she does the regular physical exam and chitchat. Then comes time for the Pap test. Let's get this over with. I lay back and look at the poster of a freaky monkey on the ceiling with the caption "I need to relax" Cute.

    The little swing lamp the Dr uses to see what she is doing is being finicky and keeps shutting off by itself. She tries to fix it. She is still prefoming the Pap test. She suddenly says "hang on, I'm going to get the nurse to hold a light for me". She leaves the room with me in this lovely position. It is actually the receptionist she brings back ACK!!! to hold the light. I do not make eye contact with anyone. I stare at the goofy monkey on the ceiling, pretending my bits are not on display to this woman who is not my Dr. The Pap is finished, the receptionist leaves.

    The Dr leaves so I can dress, ya like I have any dignity left.

    When she returns she asks if I want a flu shot - sure, I usually get one.

    She asks when my last tetanus shot was. I can't recall, so she decides I should have one. So bad memory equals lots of shots.

    I also have to schedule a mammogram as it has been 2 yrs since my last one and I have a family history of breast cancer. Great I get to have the girls squished again.

    I go see the nurse again to get my 2 shots.

    I have fasted since the previous night so I go down to the lab for my blood work. It isn't too bad this time - only get poked once. I have very deep slippery veins and I usually get poked several times before they decide to take the blood from my hand which hurts like a ....

    I also have to get an EKG since I am over 40. Off with the top half of clothes again - paper sheet over me. The technician sticks 9 sticky things all over me, attaches the electrodes or whatever and a couple minutes later rips off the sticky things and tells me I am done. I redress and thankfully head home.

    I left the house at 8:10am and return at 11am. Not too bad and I am done for another whole year...well except for the mammogram.

    Later in the afternoon my boys return home. I tell my needle-fearing son I got the flu shot - he is 13 now and swears he can decide for himself and he is NOT getting the flu shot this year. I say fine, and that he should be really thankful that he is not female as the flu shot would be the least of his worries!

    Monday, 25 October 2010

    More Monday Musings

    It was pretty chilly here last week but we have still managed to keep the heat turned off.

    J wears a fleece hoody to school and with the cooler temps, it is just not cutting it anymore. The wind goes right through it.

    We decide to go shopping for a fall coat on Saturday - we got up, went to breakfast at our local diner, they have a great breakfast for a decent price. And then we were off to the big mall in the next town/city over (The Oshawa Centre).

    We went to The Bay first but didn't have any luck, they only had winter coats out (his still fits from last year thank god.)

    The we decided to look at Sport Chek. I found a really nice Columbia jacket that was marked down from $139.99 to $49.99. It was his size too. After trying it on, we decided it fit him a little too snug, the larger size would be better. We scoured the racks and DH finally found the next size up - it fit a bit loose but J likes it better that way and I hope to get another year out of it. When we go to the cash the final price with taxes was $32 score!

    And of course since he now has a nice fall jacket, the temps have gone up! All this week it is supposed to be nice and mild :) Means we still don't have to turn the heat on.

    We did change to flannel sheets and put the electric blanket on our bed. I used the electric blanket to warm the bed last night - DH's side doesn't seem to be working though. Our last electric blanket did the same thing. This one is only 3 yrs old, it shouldn't be doing this already.

    I still have to switch J's bed to flannel sheets - he sleeps with Peanut, so they keep each other warm  :)

    I am making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight using this recipe. It is the first time I have ever cooked the meatballs right in the sauce. I also made another 2 dozen meatballs and froze them raw.

    Tomorrow will be leftovers of some type or something easy as J has cadets at 6:30pm.

    I will be making chili on Wednesday as well - a big pot so I can freeze some. We will have chili on Wed and chili-dogs on Thursday or Friday. J doesn't like chili so will eat something else on the chili night and plain hotdogs on the chili-dog night.

    I still have not heard about that job I interviewed for but I told a fellow tech writer about it. She submitted, did the test, was interviewed and they they contacted her for a different role they have available. So she is being submitted for that instead. She was told they are hiring approx. 22 ppl and that the positions are still open, so hopefully I still have a shot.

    Still they are not very organized. They sent her the info for the test then called her up one day out of the blue to interview her without prior scheduling it with her.

    I didn't win the Lottomax last week - it is now up to 50 million I think. Dh says that is too much money, I told him that's ok, then I will only give him 1 million if I win :P

    Monday, 18 October 2010

    Monday Musings

    Update below


    I just checked out the book The Power from the library. Maybe you have read the prequel to this one, The Secret? It is all about the power of attraction - not to each other but to what you want out of life.

    The Power just builds on that same theory. In a nutshell...what it says is: what you put out there, is what you get back. Put out positive energy, get positive results back. Be negative and send negative energy out into the universe, that is what you will get back.

    I have to make a concerted effort to always think positively. It is too easy to get caught up in a complaining cycle, which is negative.

    On a positive note...that work at home job I interviewed for a couple weeks back? I hadn't heard back from them so assumed they were not interested and emailed to confirm. Seems they are just running behind schedule and will be deciding this week, so I am still in the running.

    Last night we ate leftovers and I had leftover pasta again for bunch this morning. Gotta stay on top of using those leftovers.

    I took 2 chicken breasts out of the freezer and will make these Crispy Chicken Fingers tonight for J & I. We will have a noodle side dish and salad with it. I'll let you know if they turn out well, they sure like yummy!


    UPDATE
    I made the chicken fingers only I left the breast whole after flattening. They were really good - I seasoned up the flour with seasoning salt, garlic powder and a Parm & herb seasoning blend. Not something you want to make too often as you do need a fair amount (1/4 cup) of oil to fry them in.

    Sunday, 17 October 2010

    Time to eat from the pantry/freezer again

    We have too much food and too little money - which is not as bad as it could be, I suppose.

    I need to find a job, but that is proving more difficult this time around.

    Like I said, we do have a lot of food in the pantry and the freezer which is great - we just have to work on using it up and not buying anything other than essentials each week.

    Just got back from grocery shopping a couple hours ago - didn't do too badly. $88 and change. I am trying to keep it under $100 each week, we can probably even do better than that. Hubby did pick up pork ribs because they were on sale, and we got 2 cases of 12 cans of apple juice for the kid, came to 50 cents for a large can, that usually about a buck each. He should have apple juice for awhile.

    Dinner tonight will be leftover Arroz con pollo (for me & DH) and leftover alfredo penne for the kid.

    Hubby is going out of town tomorrow and will be back Tuesday evening, so Monday dinner will be just the kid & I. I'll probably doctor up some mini frozen pizzas, I add green olives and a bit more cheese.

    We have 2 large packs of lean ground beef in the freezer, as well as several 1 lb packs. I am thinking to make chili, some mini meatloaves, a sheppard's pie and meatballs from these. The ribs DH just bought will probably be next Sunday's dinner when we have his father over.We also have various chicken parts, small pork tenderloin, and other frozen odds & ends.

    We definitely have enough food for a couple weeks of meals. I really need to get planning and only buy the bare essentials, bread, milk, eggs, veggies & fruit.

    We had Applefest here in Bowmanville this Saturday and I picked up a 4 liter basket of Mutsu apples, these are very firm/crisp and a bit tart. So we have enough apples for a week or so too.

    Look for some creative menu planning in the days ahead :)

    Wednesday, 13 October 2010

    CSN Review Time Again!

    Yes! I have once again been contacted by CSN Stores to review a product of theirs.

    I get to pick the product, but it is SO hard!

    They literally carry everything there! I mean everything!

    You can find purses & bags, kitchenware, home decor and all kinds of furniture, including an ottoman coffee table. These are great dual purposes pieces.


    I'll let you all know as soon as I have decided on an item. Oh the choices...

    Monday, 11 October 2010

    Book Review - Have a New You by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman



    I have to say right off the top, I was given this book to review, so didn't actually spend any money on it, however, I had previously purchased "Have a new KID by friday" by the same author.

    I gotta say, niether impressed me much. I find his approach too simplistic. More or less, Just do it! Well If I could do that, I wouldn't be reading your books now would I?

    People buy his books because the title offers near instant results - Friday isn't that far away, no matter what day of the week it is. We all want to find that magic key, pill or bullet that will fix whatever we think is wrong with us (or our kids).

    About the book - early on he compares people to dogs depending on their birth order. I like dogs, so didn't take offense to this. But unlike (apparently) most lastborns, I am not akin to a Yorkie dog. I am not high strung, popular, loud, a partier, irresponsible, disorganizer and lack budgeting skills.

    Oh but wait, since I was an only child at home since I was 9 yrs old, I could be considered a firstborn or even an only child. But wait, that means I should be a perfectionist (riiiiight), neat (hmmmm), a list maker (that I am), a leader (nah) and ultra-organized (uh uh).

    So am I just special and don't fit into one of his neat lil moulds? I don't think so. It is too easy to try to pigion-hole personalities. I think if we all just fit into the few models available, the world would be a very dull place.

    Another thing I didn't care about in the book is how there are testiments to Dr. Leman's brilliance peppered throughout. So called followers with screwed up lives, that after only one book read or seminar made miraculous changes and fixed their lives for the better...all due to Dr. Leman. O.K.

    The one positive thing I can say about this book is that it makes you think about your life and what you like or dislike about it. If thinking about those issues helps you make positive changes, then the book helped.

    Honestly though, I learned more about Dr. Leman's life than about my own. If you do not know yourself enough to know what needs to change, then you need more than a book to change your life.

    Would I recommend this book? Hmmm, maybe pick it up at the library, don't spend money on it though.
     

    "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc
    Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

    Wednesday, 6 October 2010

    Week in Review

    DH came home from his business trip on Friday, having picked up his Mother on the way, from her sister's, where she had been visiting for 3 weeks. He also brought home a cold which I caught on Sunday.

    Monday I had a telephone interview. It was shceduled at 11am. Dh had to drive J to school as there was a soccer tournament he was in and he had to be there early. Once the boys left, I climbed back into bed for an hour because I felt so crappy. I got up at 9:50 am and decided to make some tea and then research the company I was interviewing for.

    The interview people called me at 10 am, they are in New Brunswick and it was 11 am there. I asked them to call me back in 10 minutes and scrambled to get ready.
    The interview took 45 minutes (I think it went well) and then I had to do an online written test which took 2 hours and 15 minutes then I again climbed back into bed. I should hear something by the end of the week about the job which is completely work-from-home YES!

    J's school took 2nd place in the soccer tournament out of eight teams. J came down with the cold too. He has been home the past 2 days and looks like he will be home again tomorrow. I too am still feeling crappy - this cold is really hanging on.

    A good friend lost her mother on Tuesday. She had been ill for awhile, but it is still devastating.

    We had a soccer game tonight with J's house leage coach and his (coach's) school team (coach teaches at and coaches at a private school). So the private school grade 10 team and our grade 8 team went head to head tonight. J played but probably shouldn't have. Anyway, we were creamed 7-0.

    Last week I called the VP at J's school to let her know he was being bullied on the school bus (as he has been for the past 3 yrs). She said she would look into it and spoke to both boys. She determined that J has said some things in retaliation for the bullying so she punished both boys by moving them on the bus. Even though this kid is bullying J, pushing him etc...they get the same punishment. I called her up and said I was not impressed with how she handled the issue as we were the ones to call her. She said she would again look into it and call me back - that was Friday and again I have not heard from her.

    It is Thanksgiving this coming Monday in Canada. I went and bought all the fixings but don't much feel like cooking any of it right now - hopefully will feel better by Sunday.

    It has cooled down quite a bit here. We haven't yet had to turn on the heat, I want to hold off on that as long as possible but may end up putting the flannel sheets and electric blanket on the bed this weekend.

    Also, Saturday marked 8 years since I quit smoking.

    Saturday, 2 October 2010

    BostoberFest

    There was a Boston Terrier meetup on today. It was a fund raiser for the Boston Terrier Rescue group. We decided to take Peanut and my friend Lisa also came with her Boston Maggie. All the dogs had a great time.

    It is in an enclosed area and you just let the dogs loose. Peanut has a solid pink harness on, so we could spot her once in awhile.

    Pics with a couple videos as well

    Enjoy!

















    video

    Wednesday, 29 September 2010

    Works For Me Wednesday - Finding Recipes on the Internet



    Recently on a blog I read, the question was posed, "What are you favourite cookbooks?"

    I have about 8 cookbooks. They have never even been unpacked since I moved to this house 3 years ago.

    I don't need cook books. I never follow recipes to the letter, I always tweek it a bit.

    But ...I always get my recipes off the Internet. Who needs actual cook books when you have recipe sites galore?!

    Some of my favourites include:

    Allrecipes.com - you can search by dish name or plug in some ingredients and see what matches up. I love that most have photos and they have ratings to tell you what others thought of the dish.

    FoodGawker.com - Absolutely mouthwatering photos and simpy by clicking the link, you are taken to the blog of the recipe maker. This is a greaqt way to find new food blogs. You can also seasch by dish name or ingredient.

    The Pioneer Woman - you'd have to have been living under a rock not to know who this is. She has great recipes in her Cooking section and she also started the spin-off cooking site, TastyKitchen where members can contribute. Again lots of photos and reviews.


    Gina's Skinny Recipes - low fat recipes that still look amazingly appetizing, included WW points

    For more great Works for me Wednesday tips, pop over to We are THAT family.

    Sunday, 26 September 2010

    Peanut stops tennis ball with eye

    So we had a little accident on Saturday. J went to toss the tennis ball at Peanut's behind, but she swung around and caught the ball in the face instead. It hit her right in one of her big bulgy eyes. Her eye got red and a little swollen but we were hoping she would be OK. After several hours and she was still extremely sensitive, I decided to take her to the emergency vet at 10pm on Saturday evening. Yes we did  something similar this time last year.

    When we got there, there was already 2 critical cases that the Dr was working on so we had to wait about an hour before being seen.

    Finally, we were called in. They put a freezing drop in her eye, then green dye to look for scratches etc...none of which were found. Then she was given something to dilate her pupil and then anti-inflammatory drops that we have to administer 4 times per day.

    I have to take her to our regular vet as soon as possible, I will call Monday morning.

    I got up at 6am to give her her drop and she seems much better today.

    So the visit to the emergency vet, the single drop of green dye they put in her eye and the anti-inflammatory, cost me a whopping $245 ($140 visit, $28 dye, 48 anti-inflammatory, and taxes).

    Saturday, 25 September 2010

    Wednesday, 22 September 2010

    Ultimate Recipe Swap - Favourite Fall Dish



    My favourite fall dish to make would be homemade mac & cheese.

    My son is sick of sandwiches for lunches and has requested I make enough of this on the weekend so that he has lunches all week (and a few dinners).

    I don't really have a set recipe - I improvise.

    Melt a couple tbsps of butter
    Add couple tbsps of flour to melted butter


    Wisk together and allow to cook for a few mins

    Add some milk

    Add some more milk - prob 2 cups total

    Add garlic powder, seasoning salt & pepper

    Mozza, cheddar & Velveeta cheese

    Mix in grated cheeses

    Stir till melted and combined
    Stir some more
    Add mustard powder & onion powder (I forgot before)
    Add Velveeta
    Wisk until smooth
    Once water has boiled...
    throw in some pasta
    Decided at this point to make taco mac & cheese and added some cumin & chili powder
    Remix
    Add sauce to cooked pasta
    Plate and enjoy
    Can you see the spices? Yummy!

    Monday, 20 September 2010

    1st night of Fall TV

    Ok so I PVRed the season premiere of House, I'll watch that tomorrow.

    Watched The Event...Oh my god was that annoying! They kept jumping the timeline, now it's 11 days earlier, then 13 months prior, then present day, then 5 minutes before present day...KNOCK IT OFF! It is LOST all over again. I will not be watching this again.

    Hawaii Five-0 was not bad. Of course I love it just because Alex O'Loughlin is so freakin HOT! I was so disappointed when his previous show Moonlight was canceled.




    Ya I could watch this guy in pretty much any show :)
    His voice is hot too which is odd because it really isn't his voice. He is actually Australian or something and has an accent. Drives me nuts when I find out actors don't sound like I think they do.

    Huge Laurie of House - that was just shocking the first time I heard his real voice. So many of fav actors have fake voices - disappointing. Simon Baker of the Mentalist has an accent as well.

    Tomorrow is the new season of the Biggest Loser and then Parenthood.
    J's soccer team is in the semi finals, playing tomorrow night at 6pm.