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Monthly Archives: December 2013

SAYING GOODBYE IS NEVER EASY

Good morning!  I hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend.  Unfortunately I have some sad news this morning.  The world lost an amazing woman yesterday.  One of the most lovely, thoughtful, inspirational, intelligent, and friendly person, which sums up my grandma, passed away quite suddenly.  I count my blessings every minute that I was able to enjoy so much time with her but will always wish I had more.

Grandma, I will miss you forever and love you for always.

Christine_John_0482

Friday Flash Freeze Warning!

Hi friends!   Wow Friday just doesn’t seem the same when you’ve had a week off haha.  I can’t believe that I have a whole other week off after this too 😀  So I have some good and bad news…. The good news is we finally got our furniture from Crate and Barrel… the bad news is we have to send back our couch because it is damaged 😦 Gah so frustrating.  At least the coffee table that we bought is in good shape.

So John and I have been a busy pair today.  We have started to fix up the shower in the bathroom upstairs.  It was needing some new grout and sealing.  Let’s just say we’ve learned a ton about grout… Who knew!

We have had some good eats along the way as well today.  Breakfast featured oatmeal.photo 1It’s been a while since I have actually wanted this for breakfast.  I think I oatmealed myself  out over the last few weeks.  I topped this lovely bowl with apples, coconut, and peanut butter.

We then headed out to Rona to pick up our supplies to start on the bathroom and then back to our house to start our project.  I think it came along quite well today.  We have to let the grout and any areas were water made it’s way in to dry out before we start patching it up.  Half way through the scraping we broke for lunchphoto 2

Left over split pea and ham soup that I made for dinner last night and a slice of home made bread.  It really hit the spot but I grabbed half of a cookie and an apple afterwards for something sweet.

I was able to head out the the gym for a super quick work out and was able to snap this picture of a storm rolling in over the cityphoto 3

We are in a flash freeze warning, ya I wasn’t sure about what this was but it sounded pretty epic.  Evidently the temperature is going to drop quite dramatically from the pleasantly warm temps we have had lately.  If all the water that is on the sidewalks and roads freezes overnight things are going to get quite treacherous.  Makes me wonder what the roads are going to be like tomorrow morning when we head out skiing for the first time this year.

Have a great night everyone!

Questions:

1) Have you ever had to return something you were really really looking forward to getting?

2) Have you had to do any home improvements lately?

3) What winter activities do you like?

A WIAW/THINKING OUT LOUD/CHRISTMAS RECAP

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful couple of days filled with lots of family, friends, food, love, and a gift or two 🙂

I know things were absolutely fantastic on my side.  I thought for this post I would combine a little WIAW/Thinking Out Loud/Christmas Day recap.  It was really nice to unplug for a day or two but I really need to get my thoughts and goings on written down before I start to forget the details.  Before I get to it I want to say thank you to Jenn and Amanda for hosting.

Thinking-Out-Loud1) I love Christmas Eve food!  It’s usually such a mash up of delicious yet random foods.  For example…

photo 1

Here we have a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast with PB and banana, caracara orange, and coffee.

photo 2

Remnants of left over salad with balsamic dressing

photo 4

Greens smoothie made with 1 banana, about 3/4 cup of frozen fruit medley, a couple of big Kale leaves, milk, and greek yogurt

And the main event….

photo 4

Chinese food for Christmas Eve dinner.  This was plate number one and then I went back for seconds.  This is actually the only day of the year that I usually eat Chinese take out and it is so good!

The above are just a sampling of the foods enjoyed!

2) I don’t know if I can look at another cookie for a couple of days.  I think I may have overdone it and now have a couple of cankers on my tongue

3) I can’t even express how good it was to have my immediate family all together for the last couple of days.  I love them all so much 🙂photo 3

4) We had a great chance on Christmas morning to chat with John’s sisters and their families.  I LOVE facetime.  It was so much fun seeing everyone and to experience a little of their day with them.  It looks like all the kiddies were having an absolute blast!

5) I loved catching up with my extended family as well.  My grandparents have been without power for the last couple of days due to the ice storms in Toronto.  I really hope things get back to normal for them today or ASAP!  I am just so happy to know that they are all safe and sound.  It’s just sad that it was a little bit of a downer Christmas but they all really did seem to be making the best of things.  I hope everyone else with families effected by any storms are safe and warm.

6) Christmas morning was so much fun.  John and I woke up in our house and went to check what Santa left us in our stockings 😀  I have some wonderful teas that I am dying to try plus many other goodies (inc. some new Almond butter… how did Santa know ;)).  After opening those we decided to break for breakfast…

photo 2

Smoked salmon, tomato, red onion, and cream cheese on a pumpernickel bagel (X2) and a cara cara Orange.

We then took off to my parents where we kept on feasting on cheese, crackers, left over Chinese food (BEST), and homemade goodies and…photo 3

Champagne and orange juice.  Christmas morning just doesn’t seem right without it!

Eventually we got around to opening gifts!

7) Another couple of the highlights of our  Christmas day were going for a lovely walk in a park by my parents.  It was such a nice and almost warm day and it was fun to see everyone else taking a pre Christmas dinner walk.  After we got back we played a few rounds of Settlers of Catan.  Has anyone else played this game?  If not I highly recommend it!settlers

8) Christmas dinner was absolutely amazing as always.  I don’t think anything can come close to the Turkey and trimming my parents can prepare.  My dad’s stuffing is absolute gold.  I think I could just eat a massive plate of that with a side of my mom’s cranberry sauce.  I really wish my camera didn’t die by this time 😦  But picture golden turkey, plump stuffing, heaps of peas, lovely mashed parsnip and carrots, fluffy mashed potatoes, and this all topped with home made gravy.  Makes me so sad that we won’t see this again until Thanksgiving.

9) I am currently of two minds of whether it would be smart to brave any boxing day sales.  I am thinking I might have better things to do but in the back of my mind I can hear the bargains calling!

10) This was the first Christmas in 16 years where my dog Teddy wasn’t present.  We had to put him down in the summer at the ripe old age of 16.  There definitely a little empty spot felt this Christmas…

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Questions 

1) What do you look forward to the most on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day?

2) Do you have Turkey for Christmas dinner?

3)  Do you like board games?  Have you ever played Settlers?

CHRISTMAS EVE!!

Good Tuesday morning everyone!  Things are really gearing up for Christmas around these parts so I have been pretty bad on the blogging front.  The days have been full of family, food, more food, and shopping.  I am SOOO okay with this.  I guess we left off on Saturday morning.  Since then we have been to a friends for a Christmas party with a table full of wonderful nibbles.  Sunday started off slow but then quickly became busy as we decided to have my parents and my brother over for a wonderful dinner made by John.  He did wonderful braised lamb shanks, wild mushroom risotto, and beats.  My contribution was salad haha.  My parents brought over a homemade pecan pie for dessert. Lots of drinks were had and it was a very merry time 🙂photo 3

Monday… I totally missed MIMM oops c’est la vie.  John and I got up early to meet a friend, who we haven’t seen in a few months, for breakfast.  It was so great to catch up and it had been way too long since we had gone out for breakfast.  I think I will always order poached eggs when we go out for breakie!  After breakfast we said goodbye and I took John to a meeting he had for work and then ran more Christmas errands.   I can proudly say I have most of the shopping now done apart from a couple gift certificates.  After that I finished up baking the gingerbread house (or so I thought).  I totally forgot one of the main support walls which I will have to bake today.  I really need to to this earlier next year!  When John was home we decided to grab some lunch at home and then head out for a run.

photo 2

It was so nice out we just had to take advantage of it.  Our route is starting to get easier which is great!  I love feeling the progression and feeling that I can start upping distances.

The run really helped make room for the wonderful meal my parents prepared for us Monday night.  Salad, pot stickers, homemade lasagna (homemade pasts too!), and two types of pie.  Yes I needed to try both and they of course were a la mode (cherry and chocolate).  We had to turn down the offer of chocolates.

photo 5Random Egg Nogg photo 😀

Today (Christmas Eve) is looking like it’s going to be a busy day as well.  We need to pick up groceries for Christmas breakfast, last minute shopping, a little bit of work, baking one last piece of the gingerbread house, wrapping, building the gingerbread house, and last but not least CHINESE FOOD FOR DINNER!!!  A long standing tradition around our house.

I hope everyone has an amazing day and that santa treats you well tomorrow!

Questions:

1) Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

2) Have you finished your shopping?

3) Have you had any bid meals leading up to Christmas?

John’s 30th surprise party!

Good Saturday morning everyone and happy start to the weekend! Well I have officially made it to HOLIDAY TIME!!  And they started off with a bang 🙂  I had been planning John a 30th birthday surprise party for about a month now.  Yes his actual birthday was a couple of weeks ago but GAH it’s so hard to find a Friday or Saturday night during December where there isn’t another birthday or Christmas party.  We had the party at the Newcastle pub that is just a couple of blocks from our house and has a good British theme to it as well as supporting John’s favourite football (soccer) team.  I had everyone arrive to the pub at 6pm and we showed up around 6:15 to find most of John’s nearest and dearest sitting around a table.  I don’t think that he expected a thing judging by the look on his face 😀  Well the night went off great and I think the Ice Cream cake I got for John was a highlight.  Thank you DQ!

photo (2)

Well by the end of the night John looked like this…

photo (3)

And nope he is not feeling to well this morning, but better than I anticipated 🙂  I would say it was a successful night!

Oh and a big congratulations to our friends who we just found out are expecting twin girls in the spring!  We couldn’t be happier for you!

Well I think the rest of the day will be hopefully filled with Christmasy things while John recovers for going over to our friends for dinner tonight!  Let the Christmas cheer commence!

Questions:

1) Have you ever planned a surprise party?

2) If you are a DQ Ice Cream cake fan do you prefer the original or the blizzard cake?

Just two will do today 🙂

Made it!

And then there was….one

ONE DAY LEFT!!!  We made it! It’s here!  The last day before two weeks off!  John and I already have some plans for the first couple of days including a pub night tonight, dinner with friends tomorrow night, and Christmas shopping.  I have a feeling these days are going to go by fast!

Well Happy Friday to everyone!  I should likely save this for Monday but it made me laugh so I thought I would share it today…

monday

Cute no?

Alright, how about a little bit of a life recap…

Yesterday went by pretty uneventfully and started off a little like this photo 2A recycled picture from earlier in the week but you get the idea.  I think I may have started a bad habit 😉  My breakfast soon followed and was another bowl of overnight oats.  Don’t get me wrong I really like them but man am I craving eggs, waffles, pancakes, French toast… just anything different and special!  Oh just writing this reminded me that I need some Egg Nogg.  It would go so well with most of those breakfast items…. and with some rum and a fire in the evenings!  WOW that was quite the tangent haha.

A lunch time run was then followed by a salmon salad sandwich and copious other bits and pieces such as veggies, crackers, humus, apple, trail mix, chocolate (some pictured and some not)…

  trail mix salmon

After work I had to make some returns to the mall downtown.  This has to be the least busy mall in Calgary during off hours (weekends and after work) just don’t go near it between 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  It is absolutely manic during those times.

I came home to a wonderful pasta dinner and salad that John had cooked up when I walked in.  I think pasta has to be up there on some of my favorite foods along with bread.  So basically last night’s dinner couldn’t be much better as I mopped up the last of my sauce with a piece of bread…. oh perfection.  I spent the rest of the night whipping up a double batch of gingerbread dough…. hmmm I wonder what that is going to be used for 😉  Although I did have a half fail.  As I started my second round of dough I saw the brown sugar sitting on the counter.  Funny, I didn’t put any of that into the first batch…. uh oh…. hahaha we’ll see how it turns out.  I might be making a third batch.  After the dough prep adventures I was more than ready to crash in front of the TV and watch the Modern Family Christmas special…. oh I laughed more than a few times!

Have a great Friday everyone!  Hopefully I have a chance to catch up with you during the weekend!

Questions:

1) What is your favourite sandwich filling?  I think I have to go with tuna or salmon for this one  oooo or left over turkey and cranberry sauce!

2) If you celebrate Christmas are you still working on your shopping or are you done?  I am 50/50 on this one.  I think a couple more trips should do it!

3) If you could have anything for dinner tonight what would it be?  I am craving a burger at the moment so it’s a good thing we are going to the pub for dinner!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday 19/12/2013

Well, welcome to another Thursday!  This mean only one more morning of waking up to the alarm clock blaring!  I hope everyone’s day is off to a good start.  I know mine is as I survived the freezing commute to work and am now sipping on another Starbucks.  I figure it’s the last week so I deserve it 🙂  Plus I had a gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket phone.  But let’s get down to business.  Last Thursday Amanda started Thinking Out Loud Thursday’s and I really enjoyed it last week so I thought I would give it another go!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) I am really looking forward to Christmas, like it’s getting bad.  And it’s not all because I get a bit of a brain break.  I think it’s more to do with having the immediate family all together.  It’s only going to be my parents, John, and my bro in town.  My brother moved to Vancouver at the end of the summer and has also been doing some traveling around Panama and Columbia so I am really looking forward to having him around.  However I will definitely miss having my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins around.

2) Has anyone seen this? http://www.calgaryherald.com/Record+breaking+lottery+winner+plans+honour+late+wife+with+donations/9292166/story.html I think everyone was absolutely amazed at the generosity of this man.  It gave me such a happy feeling to read this earlier in the week and I know everyone was talking about it the last few days around these parts.  I mean so many people say they would give a large sum to charity but this man actually acted on it and gave it ALL away!

3) I am thinking of switching gyms this coming year.  My friend has me pretty much convinced to join Goodlife which is where I had been taking a few Body Attack classes.  There is a Goodlife right beside my gym that I use close to work and another one kind of close to my house.  We will see….

4) So last week or the week before someone asked the question, at the end of their blog, if you like snickerdoodles?  I had to admit that I never tried them so I decided to remedy the situation last night.  Enter my first batch/taste of homemade snickerdoodle…

snickerdoodle

The verdict is….they are Ok.  I heard the collective gasp coming from many of you!  Please don’t be mad!  I feel like I should really like them I mean butter, sugar, and cinnamon… but there is a certain tang that I can’t get over.  I think it’s the cream of tarter.  I will eat the batch and see if my tune changes.  I know I need to make Amanda’s chewy white chocolate cranberry cookies very soon!

5) I bought this deodorant a while ago and love it!

photo 1It is from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company and doesn’t have any strange chemicals in it (i.e. aluminum oxide) and it really works!

6) I feel like I have mastered the messy bun this week… I just can’t get the gumption up to actually do anything to my hair.

7) I don’t think any of my nights are complete without a bowl of cereal before bed anymore.

8) I promise to put up my granola recipe.  But you might have to remind me.

9) I am looking forward to my WIAW next week because it will be done on Christmas Day!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHH how fun!  I might not post it until Thursday.

10) I really need to get my hair cut.  Maybe that is why I just don’t feel like doing my hair.

Well there are 10 thoughts for Thursday.  I know there are many more rolling around up there but I don’t want to keep you all day!

Have an amazing day!

Questions:

1) What would you do if you won $40 million?

2) Is there a cookie you don’t particularly enjoy?

3) Unscented or Scented deodorant, which do you prefer?

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