Friday, 30 November 2012

23 before 24


Have you ever done a 23 before 24 type of list? It's kind of like a new years resolution that you do on your birthday to accomplish before your next.  Or rather a big list of things you want to do before next year. I was looking through my journal the other day and came across my list, want to have a look?

1) Start a blog (done!)

2) Try a martini (done! and ew! I'm not as classy as I'd hoped I'd be)

3) Make a souffle

4) Read more kid's books (done!)

5) Buy more kid's books

6) Knit something (almost done!)

7) See a symphony (done!)

8) Go to a show in town

9) Try a new local restaurant

10) Finish a journal and start a new one (almost there!)

11) Throw a party (new years, perhaps?)

12) Get a new haircut, with bangs (done!)

13) Go rock climbing

14) Master a yoga pose (does child's pose count?)

15) Actually attempt skating

16) Spend more time outside, especially in the winter

17) Go to London, France, and Italy (more on this later)

18) Not eat any kind of diet food (this was rather easy)

19) Take more pictures (ongoing)

20) Start a craft club/night (done!)

21) Go to the library on a regular basis (done!)

22) Disconnect the cable and TV (done-ish)

23) Sew something that I can wear, in public (done!)

24) Go for a walk with Dave and Gus everyday

So as you can see, there are definitely a lot more I hope to cross off before the year is up. Can you imagine what this will look like when I'm 40? Or 80? Would you ever make a list like this? And actually stick to it?

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Trade Secret: Cake Pops


Ah, the elusive cake pop. Many have attempted these tiny treats, but little have prevailed. Well, my mum and I happen to be the (modest) QUEENS of cake pops and are here today to share with you our process! Now I should warn you, these babies take A LOT of time and patience, so I would carve out at least 3 hours to make and assemble them all. Tonight we made Peppermint Brownie Cake Pops for my work's annual bazaar and bake sale. To begin, gather ye materials...




Cake mix, can of frosting, styrofoam block, chocolate wafers, candy sticks, candy bags, and stuff to decorate your pops with! We chose crushed candy cane and holiday sprinkles. You can find pretty much everything at Bulk Barn .



First, bake yer cake. We added some peppermint flavouring to the mix before baking. Now I forgot to take a picture of the next part, but just close your eyes and visualize it for me. After your cake has cooled, crumble it into fine crumbs into a big mixing bowl. Then add about 3/4 of the can of frosting into the bowl and mix it up until it turns into a chocolaty play doh.  If you're new to making cake pops, it's best to add the frosting in in small batches, because you don't want to add too much (read on).




My mum is the BOSS at rolling them into perfect little balls 


Now take your "dough" and roll it into small balls. If your dough cracks and falls apart, then add a bit more frosting to the mix. If it's too squishy and doesn't hold it's shape very well...well...you've messed up. And now you have a large bowl of chocolate cake dough to eat. (There are worst things)



Now you have a crazy amount of cake balls. (1 box of cake mix usually makes at least 50 pops) Take your chocolate wafers, put them in a plastic bowl (glass bowls heat up too much and burn the chocolate)  and microwave them in 30 second increments until its all melted. Then take your candy sticks, dunk them in the chocolate, and stick them in the cake balls. This will ensure that the cake ball does not slide down the stick. Just make sure to only push them halfway into the cake ball though, or the stick will show through the top.






Now you're on to the dunking stage. I warn you, this is the most tedious stage. You really have to be patient. There are many things have gone wrong for us in the past: the cake ball has fallen off the stick, the chocolate was not melted enough so it looked clumpy or the chocolate was too hot and globbed off in large blobs. Usually what we do is dunk them in the chocolate and tap off the excess, let them dry a little bit and then sprinkle/dunk them with sprinkles. After that, you push the stick into the styrafoam block to dry completely.


After they've dried, you can put them into individual candy bags and tie them with ribbon. And if you're feeling really festive, you put a few extra in a brown paper bag for your mister and friend ;)




Well that's it folks! I hope this helped explain the process of making cake pops. If you ever have a free afternoon and lots of ambition, whip some up yourself! They are big crowd pleasers :)

Christmas Wishlist

Is it too early for a Christmas wish list?I was going to wait until December to post this, it almost (almost) feels wrong to post this in November but oh well. I don't really expect to get all of these things for Christmas,it is called a wish list after all, but these are just a few things I've liked whilst perusing the internet (shopping for others of course!).

wishlist




1) Sheepskin 2) The Royal Tenenbaums DVD 3) A large supply of birthday cake tea 4) A rather nice ($$$) camera 5) Subscription to Gourmet Magazine 6) A necklace from Tiffany's

Monday, 26 November 2012

Music Monday

Ok, so I know I've posted a Father John Misty video before, but he's just soooooo good! Have a listen :)

[youtube=http://youtu.be/KtOToiIDNRA]

Father John Misty

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Sunday, 25 November 2012

This Week for Dinner


So Dave and I have been on a real cooking kick lately. Every week we plan out what we're going to cook for dinner every night, print off the recipes, make up a grocery list, write it on our weekly menu planner and go shopping. You'd be amazed how much money we've saved by only buying the ingredients we need rather than perusing the store picking out this and that (which we used to do).  Alright, so I totally sound like a middle aged mother of three here. Next thing you know I'll be clipping coupons and organizing them into neat binders (don't tempt me!).

Anyway, here's what's for dinner this week...

Monday



Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon


Tuesday



Roasted Tomato Soup


Wednesday



Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin


Thursday



Puff Pastry Pizza


Friday



Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken


Usually for the weekends we go to my parents or go out on a date. Or eat leftovers. But leftovers here rock! (not to brag of course) I can't wait until we can move out of our little apartment into a house and actually cook for other people! I always used to hate the people on house hunting shows who would say "oh we do a lot of entertaining so this dining room/kitchen is too small" but now I get it! Is this what growing up feels like? Oh dear.

Homemade Bath Salts

So for craft night this week we decided to do...Bath Salts! Perhaps I should say Epsom Salts instead? Who knows, maybe this will be my most popular post yet! Anyway this one was very very easy and I had pretty much all of the supplies on hand already. Here's what you would need:


Epsom salts, a few jars, essential oils, food colouring, and some glitter if you're feeling a little gaudy (as I often do).


Add some essential oils (we added sweet almond and cinnamon oil),some food colouring, and some glitter.



Put the lid on and shake that baby up! Who knew bath salts could make a person so happy and not crazy?!


Well that's pretty much it. I should mention that it's a little easier to put the salts and mixers in a plastic ziploc bag to mix them up. Just make sure not to get too happy with the bag or you'll end up with it all over the floor. In about an hour we concocted 5 different varieties and had glitter and bath salts everywhere.



The flavours we made were birthday cake (blue), mint (green), pink grapefruit (pink), sweet almond (yellow), and cinnamon (red). I used some of the cinnamon last night and it turned by bath water a lovely shade a pink but the glitter floated around in rather large, unappealing clumps. And stuck to the tub after I drained it. Oh dear. Well that's the price you pay sometimes for being a bit fancy.


Speaking of craft night, I'm excited because in the new year our crafty duo will be expanding into a...thrio? ...triforce? Oh man, I'm totally blanking on what the 3 one is. Anyway my friend Katherine is going to be joining us and is going to let us get our craft on at her new house!  She's a big sewer so hopefully we can expand to some fabric type crafts in the future? Can't wait!


TRIO!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Adventures in Soup

So tonight I made tomato soup (from scratch!) while waiting for Manny to come over for craft night. My friend Laura got me into making soups last year when literally, every time she came to visit we made some sort of soup and watched Pride and Prejudice. We have a deep dark love for Coin Firth as Mr.Darcy. Especially when he is in a bathtub.


(case in point: see above)


Anyway back to soup. It tastes pretty awesome. Except not as tomato-y as I'd hoped. But a good soup never the less! Here's the recipe I used. Adapted from this one.

Tomato-ish Soup

Ingredients:
1 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

salt & ground pepper to taste

2 stalks celery, diced

2 small carrots, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 cups chicken broth or whatever kind of broth you have

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/4 cup cream or milk

1/4 cup red wine

1 tbsp siraccha

(Here's a picture of what it's supposed to look like...)



1) Drain your tomatoes but keep the juice in a bowl and set aside. Place tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes in a 450 oven.

2) Add olive oil to a big pot with your celery, onions, garlic and carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft.

3) Add roasted tomatoes, reserved juice, chicken broth, siraccha and red wine. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

4) Add basil and cream, puree with an immersion blender.

Here's what mine actually looked like...



I added a glass of orange juice to up the ante. 


I like to simmer my soup for a little longer to develop the flavours a bit more, but feel free to eat it right away. Next time I think I'd add another can of tomatoes to make it a legit tomato soup.

Now go eat some soup!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Library Haul

So I was planning on going back to hot yoga tonight (I haven't been for awhile since I got sick) buuuuut I decided I'd rather go to the library. I'm a bit of a flip-flopper. Anyway here's what I grabbed:



Did you know during WWII Freud was granted an exit visa and allowed to list the people to take with him and he didn't bring any of his sisters? He brought his dog and maid, but left his sisters for the concentration camps. Whaaaaat? Then again, this is according to a historical fiction novel. I tend to read a lot of historical fictions and then assume that's what history was really like. Which is probably why I think Anne Boleyn was a horny vixen, and King Henry was tall and attractive (thank you Phillipa Gregory).




I'm not gonna lie, I grabbed this one for the cover, it looked so cozy!



Tis the season for bake sales!



And because I'm babysitting tomorrow...



Music Monday

Have you ever listened/watched Flight of the Conchords? Oh man.

Do IT.

NOW.

Jemaine (the large one) cracks me up. Have a listen!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/6lg51dzWHJE]

"The day after my birthday is not my birthday mum!"

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Craft Night

The Inspiration last week:


So on Saturday Manny and I went to Michaels to pick up some porcelain markers but lo and behold they discontinued them! So we got some Martha Stewart craft paints  instead that can be used on pretty much any surface:



And then headed on over to Talize and grabbed some dishware to paint on! I got a few tea cups and saucers and a really cute doily type plate.  Here's what I came up with:


Like how I said inspiration and then blatantly copied it? Ha! I do this a lot. I also did a little experimenting with some cups and a stencil Manny bought...




Manny made a pretty cool vase that she decorated with stencils but...I forgot to take photos of it. Whoops! It looked really good though, just take my word for it ;)


On a totally unrelated note, I'm seeing the last Twilight movie tonight! Please, reserve your judgments, however true they may be, because I'm pumped!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Music Monday

Now that it's starting to get cooler, I've been listening to some good old cozy music. Some bands just seem to be meant for winter listening while others are definitely for summer. Does anyone else feel this way? Anyway Fleet Foxes is one of my winter bands, and really how I could I just choose one song? They're so awesome! So I bring you 2, enjoy!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/DT-dxG4WWf4]

[youtube=http://youtu.be/DrQRS40OKNE]

Friday, 9 November 2012

A Solo Night In

(Michael Caine and Natalie Wood. Oh man)


Two posts in one day? I must have a lot of time on my hands. Dave went to a birthday party tonight so I have the whole place to myself! A good solo night is a rare treat and should really be appreciated. Now don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with Dave. A lot. I mean, I did marry the guy. But I think it's good for us to have our own nights to ourselves. When you live with someone I feel like you can easily become one person together.  Does that make sense? I think it's important to have our separate interests/friends/nights out once in a while. It keeps things interesting ;) Tonight my solo evening will consist of:

  • downloading getting some new music

  • a bottle of pink wine

  • watching too many youtube make-up videos

  • "winter forest" candle (I'm appealing to all of the senses tonight baby)

  • a bubble bath

  • dancing around the apartment in my underwear

  • listening to music Dave just can't appreciate


For example Lana Del Rey:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/JRWox-i6aAk]

Am I the only one who really enjoys her music? True, she is awkwardly awful live (I couldn't bear to watch her on Saturday Night Live, SO BAD) but a lot of her songs give me a total eargasm.

Anyway, do you ever enjoy a good solo night?

Craft Night Potentials

Guys. I know I have only had one craft night so far, but I am HOOKED. Why did I not think of this sooner? Why haven't you started a craft night?!  Anyway here are a few of the potential projects for Sunday night:



 

Hand painted mug. You all know that I am OBSESSED with tea lately and I always love to get a new mug once in a while. These should be relatively easy (I'm still not feeling 100% so the easier the better this week).


Tote bag. I love this tote bag and can almost definitely make it myself.



Button Earrings. I have a deep dark love for "gaudy" jewelry. You can really never have too much in my opinion. When I saw these I instantly thought of the giant bucket of random buttons at Len's Mills. A good handful could make quite a few earrings, for super cheap too!


Which one will make the cut this week?


P.S I found all of these on Pinterest. My best friend and worst enemy.

Friday, 2 November 2012

November & Pneumonia



Since I've been in a feverish drugged state for the past week (yay pneumonia!) I've just realized that October is over and it is indeed now November. Sadly, I missed out on my favourite part of October, Halloween, this year because I was sick.  (Although my brother did kindly mention that if I threw up on myself I would have a strikingly realistic costume of the girl from the Exorcist.) Anyway I've migrated back to my parents house this week. Let me just say I am the most pathetic sick person ever. Anyone in my family can attest to this sad fact. This is why I am at my parents house at the moment. With my husband. And my dog. My mom just knows how to take care of me really well ok? And I have pneumonia guys, it's serious. 

On the bright side, I can now walk to the bathroom without having to take a break halfway there and have now introduced real meals back into my strict nyquil, antibiotics and tylenol diet! Score. 

What I'm looking forward to this November:

  • Christmas starting everywhere! (yes, I am one of those people)

  • bare trees

  • perhaps a little snow? (but just a little)

  • getting ready for the holidays

  • mittens and hats

  • honey hot cocoa



  • looking for a new apartment


What are you looking forward to?
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