February 1

IMG_7545I feel like my January was really on point.  How was yours?  Every goal I had for the month was achieved, I’m feeling on top of things.  Not that I usually feel all that bogged down, but January can be a tough month emotionally.  We’ve had plenty of sunny days (even a few warm ones!), which has made all the difference.  Our financial goals are going strong, we’ve switched over to an online bank, and February’s goal is to close down our Scotiabank account so we can stop paying $15 a month in fees, grrrr.  I booked my first flight with airmiles we earned buying groceries, instead of miles we paid cash for, which was a great feeling.  Until the amount I paid for a 1-way flight was the same amount as a return flight.  GRRRRRR!  I’m angry about that, but I really need to see my sister, so what can you do?  I feel like it was still worth it since it was technically free.  And in my proudest moment this month, I took the plunge and invested our RRSPs myself this year!  Scary…big, but in the end not a huge deal.  I feel so accomplished!  Two weeks later we had an appointment with Investor’s Group (where we have last year’s RRSPs being held) and of course our advisor pretty much said “I know what I’m doing, this is my job, you aren’t going to do better then I am”.  Ugh, I’m not good at defending myself.  But he isn’t going to change my mind, and I’m not going to change his, so it doesn’t really matter. (more…)

A San Francisco Road Trip Recap – 7 Years Late

So this is a weird post, feel free to skip it, but I was uploading old photos from my external hard drive last night and came across these wonderful photos.  They had me laughing my butt off one second and cringing the next!  Two of my sisters (Natasha and Stephlynne) and I road tripped from Chilliwack to San Francisco and back in 2010.  THESE PICTURES ARE 7 YEARS OLD, PLEASE BE KIND TO US!  I don’t remember doing much planning for this trip, we just decided to do it. (Right Tash?)  Can you even imagine doing that now?  I’ve never laughed so hard or so frequently.   We were so young!  I was 19, Natasha 18 and Steph was days away from 17 (I think!).  Anyway, most of these were never posted and a trip of the magnitude needs recording.  I love these memories and I love these girls.  I have no idea why we took half the pictures we took…like pictures of every single spill on our clothing?  Really?  We thought it was hilarious at the time though!  Oh, and every single beverage we drank.  Why I saved 100s of blurry photos is beyond me.  We took like fifty pictures of the inside of a lighthouse, which you can imagine are NOT INTERESTING AT ALL!  Please forgive me sisters, but this is happening.DSCF1006 7 (more…)

Chocolate Heart Layer Cake with Chocolate-Cinnamon Mousse

IMG_2474 A very happy belated International Chocolate Cake day to you!  It was yesterday for those of you who don’t include this joyous occasion in your family traditions.  I know I’m crazy, and we don’t celebrate very many, but I am in love with certain food “days”.  You know?  That arbitrary calendar some random dude made up?  I’ve taken the very best from the entire year and made them into celebratory occasions.  Because who couldn’t use a reason to celebrate a slice of chocolate cake in January?  Other food holidays we take advantage of: Pancake Day (Feb 28, Shane’s birthday), Waffle Day (March 25), Donut Day (June 3), S’mores Day (Aug 10), Cheeseburger Day (Sept 18).  If you know of any especially good ones, please share, I’m open to adding a few more. (Particularly to months that are not currently celebrated.) (more…)

January 23

IMG_7530Was anyone else moved by the Women’s March that happened Saturday?  I don’t feel like I have anything to offer on the subject, my voice is so small and my opinions so uninformed.  But regardless, it meant so much to me to see sisterhood around the world standing up for our rights and freedoms.  Regardless of politics, the economy, climate change or any of that huge and important stuff, EQUALITY FOR ALL IS THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE.  I’m just one tiny (very remote) Canadian woman, but I was in tears over the passion and togetherness and strength represented in all those people standing united for each other.  It blew me away.IMG_2370In very depressing news, I AM SO SICK OF BEING SICK!  And I’m taking dramatic measures against illness.  1. I’m only leaving the house for playgroups twice a week, instead of five times.  I’d cut it back more, but one of the groups is swimming where we don’t touch each other.  2.  Hand washing constantly.  I was pretty lax about it, but we’re washing all. the. time. (and my poor hands are suffering)  3. Lysol wipe down every night.   All of these come with major challenges, but we’re doing them anyway because I don’t think I’ve been healthy for more then a week straight for months.  In fact, on Wednesday I woke up with a cold, by 1pm I came down with the flu, and then at 11pm (TMI!!) I got my period.  It was the worst day ever.  Shane and I both got the flu within three hours of each other and it was a doozy. (Hazel had had it two days before).  It should be a crime for both parents to be struck down with an illness at the same time.  Hell, it was hell.IMG_2375As for not leaving the house…omg.  I can’t wait for warmer weather.  I’ve been making us get out despite the frigid temperatures.  I put us each in three layers each, which makes it very hard for Hazel to move.  It’s not so bad if we keep moving.  When Hazel falls down though, she just lies there on the ground.  She doesn’t even try!  She is never stoked to be outside in the cold, and this is a girl who never came inside during the summer/fall without throwing a huge fit!  I’ve also been trying to find activities that keep Hazel’s interest for more than five minutes.  She enjoys painting/stickers/colouring, but 10 minutes TOPS!  She loves reading, but I get sick of it after the 20th book. (Or the same book the 20th time.)  We bake/cook almost every day.  I find it so hard to be home all day and not snack out of boredom, (Hazel does too.)   The other day I gave her an empty water bottle and some raw penne noodles, which bought me 15 minutes of independent play!  Have you got any great ideas?  I’ve got this pinterest board started with some idea.  I don’t like putting in a lot of effort/resources only to have her leave the activity in 5 minutes.  I’d love some suggestions if you have them.  And if the dumb comments won’t work then please email or facebook me!IMG_7455To update you on our progress finishing our bedroom (goal for completion: before we leave in February (16th): SHANE HUNG UP THE CLOSET DOORS!  They need finishing touches yet, but they look amazing!  Now there is one big project left: the crown moulding.  Then the touch ups for that and hanging curtains.  I need to buy a curtain rod when we come down, so I can have that done as soon as we return. YAY! I’m so pleased. IMG_2363Isn’t it funny how different these two pictures are?  Hazel drew the one on the left and Isla the one on the right.

Brandysnaps with Lemon Curd Ice Cream and Blackberries & Chocolate Orange Biscotti

IMG_7541I’m making this a double header, since no one except me gives a crap about these silly posts. HAHA!  I made the lemon ice cream dessert to end an excellent date night meal.  The theme was “dinner in the dark”, which involved me cooking dinner and the both of us sitting down in the pitch dark while we ate, one course at a time.  It was a blast!  When planning the menu I really though about textures and temperatures.  The snappy basket, the tart cold ice cream, the warm lemon curd on top.  Perfect!IMG_7544As for these chocolate orange biscotti, it was just a matter of wanting to bake with Hazel.  We go kinda crazy on these looong, cold, very dark days.  And now that we’re always sick…BAKING IT IS! (She loves to measure and mix, and taste everything including the flour).  These little cookies are very addictive.  I love that they are small, so you can have a few.  They’re easily edible without dunking (huge plus!), though a cup of tea is always welcome too.  They’re very crisp and buttery.  I love a classic orange-chocolate combo, but I could probably do without the walnuts (which I subbed for pecans), they don’t seem to add anything for me.  Those chocolate oranges at Christmas are one of my favourite things.  I would definitely make these again.  

Baking notes:

-I didn’t change a thing in the brandysnap/lemon ice cream recipe.

-Biscottis…yum yum yum

The recipe for Brandysnaps with Lemon Curd Ice Cream and Blackberries can be found on the epicurious website.

The recipe for Chocolate Orange Biscotti can be found on the epicurious website.

149 & 150/569

A Day in the Life – Jan 15

Hey! I thought I’d do another one of these on our lazy Sunday at home.  It ended with Hazel being sick, so this isn’t typical of our days.  But seriously, no two days are the same here, so this is just par for the course.  IMG_73705:30 – Dark and early, as usual Hazel is up.  I went to sleep at 8:30 last night, so I’m well rested.  I’m finally getting the hang of this getting up crazy early thing.  Hazel wakes up with a congested, runny nose and a barking cough.  Dang, she didn’t go to bed sick. (more…)

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