Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favourites.

1. You may remember my obsession with Serial the podcast before Christmas.  I started listening to This American Life, and it is a favourite part of my week.  I love learning new things and being exposed to things I may never have heard.  

2.  As part of my celebration of Lent I am trying to play more hymns on the piano.  My favourite hymn is Abide with Me, but I've been playing a lot of Lent and Easter songs too.

3. Evening light in the winter is some comfort during the cold temperatures, and photos like these, although not as good as the real thing, are my favourites.

4. Lunch dates with Dave are my favourite.  Although he has an office in the same areas as I do, he usually works from home so it is rare that we get to meet up for lunch.  This week we did get the opportunity to grab something to eat and it was great!

5. Road trips are my favourite, and we are off on a road trip this weekend. Lake Placid, NY, here we come!   Pictures coming up next week!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Current List

I always have a running list on my phone of things I need to get done.  Sometimes it gets really detailed and includes everything from picking up a card for someone to painting a room.  If I don't write down the things swirling around in my head, then I start feeling panicky but as soon as they are on a list, I feel better.

My current list includes:

Rugs - I've taped off the shape of some rugs I think would work in the living room and our room.  They are both huge rugs so kind of a big investment and we want to make sure we get the "right" ones for the house.

Print pictures for framing - We have hung a few picture frames on the wall of our new house but there are always lots of places for more.  I don't need formal photos, just casual shots of family and friends.
(Note the one in the upper left corner on it's side, we need a replacement for that frame)

Redecorate my office - I've been in this office for almost 7 years and it has looked pretty much the same.  I exchanged a bookcase for a filing cabinet that I can use to clear my desk off.  With that gone I have a bit more wall space to hang some new pictures.
This is a picture of my office from the summer.  Will try out some new photos, pretty boxes for supplies, and maybe a desk lamp.

E's school papers - E starts school in September, which I cannot believe, and I need to fill in his enrolment papers and drop them off at the school before mid-March.

Dave's birthday gifts - Dave's birthday is in March.  I have a few ideas already so I just need to buy them now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Media Wednesday

Okay, we're down to the final two girls (as Chris calls them) on the Bachelor.   I thought I would revisit my original post on the Bachelor when the show began this season.

My first impression of Britt was that she was too skinny.  That isn't necessarily a criticism, just something I noticed.  She is definitely beautiful.  She cried when she first met him, and now I think we know why - she was struck by her own beauty when she caught a glimpse of herself in the limo.  You could totally tell she was fake after only a couple of episodes and it was sweet justice when her true self was revealed to Chris.  The cracking of the knuckles was the icing on the cake.

Jillian wasn't able to make it in Iowa because she has no long term vision.  I mean, who can't give a decent answer to "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"  Sure, it's not an easy question, but to completely disregard it and then practically ignore your date altogether is not the way to approach a relationship.

Whitney's voice is getting better, and look, she's in the final two!  She does seem genuinely sweet, and she always seemed so at ease in every situation.   I think she is quite well suited to Chris.

I have completed changed my mind about Kaitlyn.  No, I wouldn't tell a raunchy joke right out of the limo, but it worked for her, she got his attention, kept up the funny and was always very comfortable with Chris.

I sort of made fun of Carly (did you know Zack Waddell from Des's season is her brother?) but she was great.  Too much in the friend zone with Chris but she seems like a cool girl.  I hope she does well for herself.  She is a great singer and when she wrote the song for Chris, I was super impressed.

I did pick Megan, Jade, and Becca as high points. I think Kelsey could have been a fan favourite if she wasn't extremely self-centred.  I have all the sympathy in the world for someone whose husband has died, but she milked that for all it was worth.   I know part of it is editing, but she really said those things.

Can't wait until The Women Tell All!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekend Recap

On Friday we had a sort of surprise visitor.  My cousin's boyfriend was in town this week working,  which we knew about, but then he was able to come for supper on Friday and spend the night.  It was nice to have some family visiting and we were pleased he was able to come over and hang out with us.  He came back on Sunday, and I made him watch the Oscars (after Walking Dead). 

It snowed ALL day on Saturday.  After swimming and some errands (including E's favourite store, Home Depot), we headed home for my favourite lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches; perfect for a wintry day.  Then we started some projects, a magnetic chalkboard wall, and a new coat of paint for a dresser.  I will share these with you soon.

I didn't want E helping with the magnetic paint because it is very strong smelling, and it is nearly impossible to get off your skin, so we let him watch some TV while we did the painting.  We did let him help with the sanding of the old dresser.

Safety First

This is a little blurry but you get the idea. He sanded away while I used the bigger sander for the top of the dresser.  Dave was our contractor for this project.  

I found a Keg gift card in my purse so we decided to go out for supper.  We took the subway down to the Keg Mansion.  This Keg is in an old mansion on Jarvis Street in Toronto and rumour has it that it's haunted.

It was really nice being out in the snow (without having to drive in it). 

We waited for our table upstairs in the bar area.  I tried moving over to side of the couch near E but he informed me that someone else was sitting there. Haunted eh?
I swear this was just bad timing for a picture, but it does look like E saw a ghost (if you believe in that sort of thing). We enjoyed our meal.  I had the prime rib and it was amazing as always.  For some reason the horseradish at the Keg is always stronger than anywhere else, but it is tasty.  When E and I were headed up the stairs to the bathroom a waiter was coming down.  E says "Hello Captain".  The waiter was nice and responded "Hello Sir".  He was wearing a white shirt and tie, not sure why E thought he was a Captain but it was cute. 

On Sunday we did the usual things like go to church, get groceries, and play outside.  I made homemade pad thai for supper and it was so yummy.  Then we launched into the Oscar coverage.  I thought it was an okay show this year.  A few winners I loved, but I guess I need to Birdman to see what all the fuss is about.  Neil Patrick Harris was okay but I thought he could have done better.  

Leftover caesar salad is one of my favourite things. I love the wilted lettuce and soggy croutons.  I got to eat it for lunch on Sunday.

The sky on Sunday night  Beautiful colours.  I'm glad I caught a picture even though I went outside in slippers and short sleeves and it was a little bit cold!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Brownies, Guides, and Scouts

Yesterday was World Thinking Day, which is celebrated by Scouts and Guides.  I was a Brownie and a Guide when I was growing up and Dave was a Beaver and Scout.  I think his dad was even one of their leaders.  We will likely sign E up when he is old enough.  I have fond memories of Brownies and Guides - and it really is a place where you can become so well rounded.  It's not just sports, music, crafts, or camping, it's everything.  A scout troop meets at our church during the week so they attended the service on Sunday and we recognized Thinking Day.  I remember wearing my uniform to school if Thinking Day fell on a weekday, we thought this was so special.  They asked everyone who had been in Scouts or Guides to stand up, and then we got to make a name tag and write our troop on it.

1st Shelburne Brownies (and then just Guides, not enough for two troops)

(Dave is lucky, I couldn't find any old pictures of him as a Scout)

This was the night we "flew up" (I think that's what it was called, I can't remember).  Our uniforms were soon full of badges, crests, and pins.

Since we are holding candles, this is probably the equivalent ceremony for Guides.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favourites.

1. My favourite drive to work is Friday morning because of the Roz and Mocha Remix on Kiss 92.5 FM in Toronto. It starts at 8:00 am and runs about an hour.  Even if you don't live here, if you have the opportunity you should listen to it through their website.  Have you ever heard a remix of My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) and Juicy by Notorious BIG?  What about Ice Ice Baby and Uptown Funk?  Good stuff, and a great kick off to your weekend. 

2. My favourite place earlier this week was the Canada Passport Office.  It was open on Monday when everything else was closed for the provincial Family Day holiday.  We were in and out in about 15 minutes to renew E's passport.  We had to pay extra for the expedited process but we will have the passport in plenty of time for our trip next week.  This is E's passport photo.  

3. My favourite holiday is Easter. I like it more than Christmas.  Lent started this week, so we are counting down to Easter. 

4. Avocado is my new favourite food.  I've definitely always liked it but this week I bought a bag of ripe avocados. I made guacamole twice, made an egg salad sandwich with avocado, and mashed an avocado on toast with only some lemon juice and salt.

This was the last one in the bag, I got it just in time before it started turning brown.

In case you don't already know this, leave the avocado pits in your guacamole and it won't turn brown.

5.  E's favourite song (and mine) of the moment is Uptown Funk.  He chimes in for the "ooh" parts, 
and says "Uptown, buck y'up".  If Bruno Mars is doing all of the singing, then why is the song "ft. Bruno Mars"?  What is Mark Ronson's contribution? I don't get it.  

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Lent began yesterday and I'm still trying to figure out what to give up.  I believe Lent is more than just a period of self-control and denial, it is also a time in which to reflect and better yourself.

In grade 4 I remember giving up gum.  I don't ever remember being a big gum chewer but I guess I thought it was important enough to give up.  I remember one day someone gave me a big piece of bubble gum, like Hubba Bubba or something, and I started chewing it before remembering I had given it up for Lent, so I spit it out.

Another year I gave up chips, but allowed myself to eat pretzels.  Needless to say I am still sick of pretzels and can only eat them when there is nothing else.

In law school I gave up gossiping.  Let me tell you, that was more difficult than it sounded, and I don't think I actually lasted the entire Lenten season.

I also remember, growing up, attending the Lenten Lunches at the Anglican Church.  Not only was it a special treat to leave school at lunch time, we could walk over to the church to meet our parents, the weather was starting to get nicer, and they usually had cherry cheesecake for dessert.

Some of the ideas I've had so far for this year are: alcohol, butter, anything with white flour, cheese, and chocolate.  I've also thought of taking up a good habit like drinking a certain amount of water, eating a salad everyday, doing 50 crunches, or doing a Lenten devotional series.

We often get so caught up with the Christmas season and the celebration of Advent, I'm sure the Advent calendar market is huge, but we often glaze right over the Lenten season.  Our church offered a Lenten calendar that includes an activity for each day, plus a modified one for families.  I think I'll try to following it along:

Oh, and give up some sort of food or drink.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Want it Wednesday

I haven't done a Want it Wednesday in a few weeks. If you are buried in snow, or layers of clothing, then here is some spring motivation.  Spring will come again, we must persevere!

I have this blouse from Loft in a black and white pattern.  This one looks more fun for spring and summer.  It washes well (I hang it to dry), doesn't need to be ironed, and works well with skirt or pants.

I went to Old Navy last week to get E a Valentine's shirt and I wanted so many of their new clothes, I had to force myself to walk away.  I had my eye on these items:

Polka Dot Pants (this style comes in so many colours)

Striped Tunic (not sure if this style would look good of me but I like the pattern)

Sweater (again the style may not work for me but I love mint green and navy together)

And a clothing post would not be complete without Anthropologie.  I get daily emails from them which mostly serve to remind me I never get to shop at this store.

Maxi Dress (for the record I would never spend almost $400 on a maxi dress but it is very beautiful)

For now I'll just carry on with my Uggs and North Face parka!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday

Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesdays.

Today's topic is how you met your spouse and how you got engaged. 

I met Dave in the summer of 2002.  He was a friend of a friend and was at my apartment one night when I got home from work.  My friends were all going out but I decided to stay home after working a long day.  I had heard of Dave before, as we had many mutual friends, and the constant description was that he was "so funny".  I wasn't really interested in him at the time I first met him, but I do remember thinking "I could like this guy".  Months went by and we were both involved with other people.  It wasn't until the following winter when we actually hung out.  I think I still used ICQ back then, and I had MSN Messenger, but no Facebook, no cell phone, no texting, no digital photos shared instantly; it's a wonder we were able to find each other.  Luckily we still had those mutual friends, and Halifax is a small city, so we ran into each other a number of times.

We dated for a year and then we moved to Fredericton so I could go to law school.  After I graduated and started articling in Saint John, Dave got a job in Toronto.  We decided it was a good opportunity to try out a new city for a little while, and so he moved up in November of 2007, and then I followed in June of 2008 when I completed my articles. 

We had never really discussed getting married, although I guess it was assumed that if I was moving several provinces then it would happen.  I remember joking to some friends that if he hadn't proposed by the end of summer, I would have to say something.   I didn't have to wait that long.  Within a week of arriving in Toronto, Dave said he had a special night planned, and he wouldn't tell me where we were going.  We drove downtown (from our apartment in Rexdale (!). Rexdale, people! If you are from Toronto you know we clearly had no idea what we were doing when we first moved here) and went to Brant House on King West for dinner.  This restaurant is closed now.  This was one of my first experiences where you had to order your sides separately (how unsophisticated we were coming from New Brunswick at that time), but I remember really enjoying our meals.  Then we walked down to the theatre district, again me still not knowing where we were going, and we headed for Dirty Dancing that was playing at the time.  This is hands down one of my favourite movies and the theatre show was really good.  I am not a huge fan of the theatre but when I already know the story and the songs, I like it.  It was a great choice for a surprise night out.  Then we headed back to our apartment and it started raining.  One of my favourite things of that year when I moved to Toronto were the constant thunder storms.  They would roll in late afternoon, pour rain for less than an hour, with a terrific show of lightning and thunder, and then clear out.  This would happen several times a week.  We went out onto our balcony to watch the lightning and then Dave asked me to marry him. I can't really remember what exactly he said but my answer was yes, or some variation, and I was so excited!   

I have no photos to show of when we first met and started dating.  I didn't have a digital camera at that time, and my photos are packed away right now.  

This was taken about a week after we got engaged at my Call to the Bar dinner in Fredericton.

We travelled to California in the year between getting engaged and our wedding.  We were in Disneyland on Valentine's Day so we enjoyed a heart shaped cookie. 

Watching the NBA All-Star Skills Competition at the ESPN bar in Downtown Disney.

Santa Monica.  I love LA by the way, we were only there for 4 days but I thought it was great.  I totally fall for those California commercials.

Looking forward to reading other stories in the link up, love hearing about love!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

Our weekend is still happening as we are enjoying the Family Day holiday.  Although I had planned to stay at home, make mini-pizzas, watch a movie and stay cozy, we are headed out to renew E's passport.  We are headed to the US in a couple of weeks and I just noticed this weekend that his passport is expired (eek!).  I think we can do the expedited process and get it in a couple of days so thank goodness I figured this out now and not at the border.  Since the passport office is federal it is not subject to the provincial holiday (ahh, Federalism), I'm hoping no one will realize this and we won't have to wait long.

E had a Valentine's Party at school on Friday.  So he was dressed in head to toe red.

(He asked to move the bird seed so it would be in the picture.)

Love this guy!  (but when he wasn't looking I moved the bird seed)

When I got home from work on Friday evening Dave said "go get ready, we are going out". (And then I said, "I don't look ready? What's wrong with my casual Friday, no make-up look?  kidding, I did not say that.)  He had found some friends to look after E and he'd made reservations for us at Drake One Fifty.  We don't get out too often and although we like taking E out to eat, it is very nice to go out by ourselves.  We went to Nikai for drinks.  This is part of the momofuku restaurants at the Shangri-La Hotel.  Very nice, and I'd really like to head back to the noodle bar to eat sometime.  We are so fortunate to have good friends to watch E on occasion.

Hopped on the subway to head downtown.

Dave ordered the Black Cod.

 Chicken Parm was delicious! (We also had oysters, of course, and onion rings battered in potato chips, amazing!)

I set my alarm early for Saturday morning to prepare my own surprise.  E and I made Dave's grandmother's recipe for cinnamon buns.  They started out really well and looked amazing.

However, this did not seem to be the way to bake them.  They baked together and they were still raw in the middle even after 30 minutes (the recipe said 15-20).  Not sure what I did wrong (Aunt Isabel, any hints?), but I eventually separated them, moved them onto a baking sheet so they could cook individually, and then it worked. Despite all of this, they were very tasty and Dave appreciated the effort. 

Some Valentine's treats for Dave.

And for E.

After swimming lessons, we headed to the library for crafts.  
Cutting out a card.

Decorating the butterfly

Playing with play dough

Making a snowman

Making our own play dough to take home.

Making a bracelet.  It was a great little set up, and we were pleased to take advantage of what the library has to offer.

Then E got a much needed haircut, and I picked up a few groceries.  In the afternoon we took a walk to E's school that he'll be starting the fall.  
You know the school was built awhile ago when there are separate entrances for boys and girls incorporated directly into the brick work.

That evening we made two pizzas, one of them heart shaped.  After E went to bed Dave and I watched the NBA All-Star Skills Competition.  And some curling.  

Kale pesto, roasted red pepper, artichokes, and goat cheese.

The standards

Our heart shaped pizza, before it went into the oven.

Sunday was coooooold, our coldest day of the year so far.  I went to church by myself and then to the grocery store.  When I got to the grocery store the fire alarm was ringing but the store wasn't being evacuated so I just carried on.  It turned off after awhile and I found out later that a pipe had burst and water was running down the inside of the windows by an exit and into the street. The fire department was there, over their ankles in water, digging through the snow to make a trench to the drain.  God bless those people who work outside on days like that!

Of course I needed to pump gas on the coldest day of the year. 

To combat the cold, we made Mexican food and I picked up some Coronas while I was out.  It's amazing how a taste of that beer can take me right back to a patio in Halifax in the summer. 

Stay warm!!