Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snip snip

Peter Callesen is one talented man. Check out a few of my favorite pieces of his work created with just paper and glue.

All in All

White Hand

Inpenetrable Castle

Looking back
Down the River

The Short Distance Between Time and Shadow

To check out more of his fabulous work check out his site.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tantalizing Tuesday

I hosted a Pampered Chef party tonight: good times. Girlfriends, gadgets and food are three of my most favourite things so of course I enjoyed myself...

The recipe featured tonight was super easy and super yummy. Give it a whirl!

Tangy Pepper-Pecan Brie
c/o Pampered Chef

What you need:
1/4 cup pecan halves chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded & chopped
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 brie cheese, 3 inch round at room temp
1 French baguette, sliced
vegetable oil

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In small bowl combine peppers and apricot preserves.
3. Cut the brie in half horizontally.
4. Place one half of brie cut side up onto center of a large round stone (a baking sheet would work).
5. Spread half the apricot mixture on top.
6. Top with half the pecans.
7. Place remaining brie on top (cut side up).
8. Spread remaining apricot mixture on top & top off with remaining pecans.
9. Arrange the baguette slices around the brie.
10. Spray or brush baguette slices with vegetable oil.
11. Bake 8-10 minutes or until baguette slices are golden brown & Brie begins to soften.
12. Removed from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Next time I make this (and yes there will be a next time) I'll use more jalapeno peppers and more apricot jam to give it an extra boost of flava flav.

Yum yum good.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is...

Me taking a picture of myself in the mirror with my favourite accessory.

Okay it's actually me taking multiple pictures of myself in the mirror with my fav accessory. Do you know how hard it is to get a decent shot without looking through the viewfinder?

I'm posting a few shots that I played around with in PS. The colours are pretty vivid, maybe too much? Those strawberry daiquiri walls do make a nice backdrop...

My favorite accessory this year is a beautiful handmade scarf that I received for Christmas. Don't you love it?! It's made of the most beautiful wool and the colour is fab. I wear it folded in half as a scarf but it can be worn as a shawl or even a head wrap. Love it so much that you would like your own? Be sure to check out my favorite knitwear company EterKnity.
They have an Etsy shop as well - I love their cabled corsets and the cabled halter is hot hot hot!

For those who might be wondering what it is I'm doing with my hand in this second shot, it's not a gang sign (as suggested by my husband), it's me pointing at my fav scarf. duh.

"This is..." theme for this week was chosen by One Red Robin.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Parenting 101

New parent looking for some helpful hints? Check these out. Hilarious.

Thanks to Dooce for sharing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

30 and FAB if I don't say so myself.

Happy Birthday yesterday to moi!

It's official, I'm a member of the Dirty Thirty club and pleased to say that I feel no more mature today than I did last week... or last year for that matter. PHEW!

My birthday celebrations started a week ago: Mike arranged an evening of fun fun fun with a pile of our friends last Friday. Drinks and yummy chow at a local watering hole Barley Works HELLO it's our new pre-party feedery - $20 for a bottle of wine? what the...? followed by an evening of rump shakin' at Starlight equals good times had by all. I was thrilled to see my favorite faces showed up to help me celebrate, I had no idea who was actually coming, we had a blast! We opened up the club and nearly closed it - disco and funk kept us on the dance floor from ten till two. A truly fabulous night!

Yesterday was my actual birthday and it was a fantastic day! My girl Tanya was super cute and had my b-day announced at school, she also brought in a... errr... lovely pink BIRTHDAY GIRL ribbon for me to wear. I made a valiant effort to wear the sucker but it kept falling off. oops.

Unfortunately Mike has been in Orlando on business since Monday - he felt really awful about being away but of course I understood SOB - he surprised me yesterday by having a ridiculously huge and stunning bouquet of tropical flowers sent to my work! The office ladies were gushing over my delivery when I slipped in to pick it up. Honestly these are the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen! Thanks babe!

After work I went to The Cake Box with my mom for cupcakes and had the BEST cupcake EVER. Seriously. A chocolate peanut butter cupcake? Peanut butter flavored butter cream icing? Oh my delish.

I worked off the cupcake during my pilates class that followed - I love it more this round than I did last - then headed to an amazing little Italian restaurant, Casa Rugantino, to pick up the pizza Tanya had ordered for our dinner. YUM!

My wonderfully simple yet fabulous birthday was topped off when I arrived at Tanya's place . I was expecting an evening of pizza, a movie and maybe some Scrabble but walked in to find balloons, streamers, and some of the fabulous women I love gathered together. We ate, drank, watched the lunar eclipse and laughed!! I am so unbelievably lucky; I have the best people in my world.

It really was a very happy birthday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Freaky Horoscope

Isn't it weird how some days it's as if your hororscope was written just for you?

Tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. EST my interview for teacher's college will be taking place. EEEEEEEK! Send me some positive energy people!

Check out my horoscope for today:
"You are standing at the very edge of an opening and you will get to walk through this window of opportunity over the next few days. In the meantime, make the most of where you are by paying close attention to what's happening. Watching how others respond to you is one way, but don't forget to also tune into your own inner process. If it happens in your imagination, it can also happen in your real life."

Window of opportunity here I come! Oh and the whole, "if it happens in your imagination" bit... do you remember this converstation?! Weird.

Cutting and Photoshopping

My less than thrilled kitty cat is modeling my first attempt at papercutting. Follow the link to snag yourself a template and instructions. Do yourself a favor and puchase spray-on glue or use a glue stick. Plain white glue leaves glue bumps visible on your finished project - grrr.

The pic above is one of my first shots at improving a pic using Photoshop. A big thank you goes to Stacy over at The Land of K.A. for providing some fabulous Photoshop tutorials and providing me with a new addiction. Unlike the PS help menu Stacy's tips are easy to follow and actually make sense to me. Be sure to slip over to her blog to check our her beautiful children and phenomenal photos.

Here's another pic I fixed up using Stacy's simple steps for defoging and using the free plugin she suggested, it's called Virtual Photographer.


After (effect is SPICE from VP):

This last shot is one I have been hoping to fix for a couple years now... check out the before and after. I think it looks way better now.


I have a long way to go but this is certainly a starting point!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is... what makes me laugh out loud

Old School is one of my all time favourite movies: Will Ferrell kills me. Watching just a clip means you're missing the build up so it's not as funny as it is when you see the movie from start to finish but this clip still makes me laugh out loud. "You're cra... you're craaaazy!" The F-bomb is dropped so if you might not want your kids sitting next to you when you watch this.

Another thing that makes me laugh out loud is the thought of my brother's 30th birthday party. John's birthday is on December 22nd, my sister-in-law decided to throw his party on Halloween with the hope of surprising him. In early October my parents invited John & Sarah to join them on Halloween evening for a costume party at the Legion, of course they accepted the invite.

A couple weeks before Halloween we were having dinner at my parents and my brother was discussing the party, he wasn't sure what he should wear. I, being a loving and thoughful little sister, suggested he go dressed as a woman: "Why not John? It's not like there's going to be anyone you know there, the party's at the legion!" Thankfully he agreed with me, he thought it would be funny and since it would only be my parents and a few other family members why not have a good laugh? I was stoked when he took it one step further and remembered a friend of his had a costume that would likely fit him. Here's John on the big night:

Imagine his shock when he walked into the Legion to find appx. 150 of his closest friends, family and colleagues yelling surprise. Classic! This moment will forever be etched in my brain.

Poppalina chose the topic for this week's edition of "This is..."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tantalizing Tuesday one day late

All of these snow days are throwing me off, my apologies! I had another day of relaxation on Monday due to 'blowing snow' that caused the country buses to be cancelled which in turn closed our entire school (bus dependent schools shut right down on these joyous occasions). I love my job but an extra day in bed is nothing to complain about unless of course you're my husband who believes the school board closes my school just to torture him, it's a tough life.

The point of my jabbering is that I missed a Tantalizing Tuesday post because Monday felt like Sunday and Tuesday felt like Monday; I know you're all in tears over this sorry mom so I'm making it up to you today by posting a great recipe for Valentine's Day!

These brownies are by far the best I've ever had and I've eaten a fair number of brownies in my life, chocolate is my drug of choice don't you know. My favourite way to eat these babies is with ice cream, hot fudge, raspberries and peanuts BUT eating them as I am right this now, naked with a glass of milk, is a close second. Whoa, let me clarify: the brownie is naked, I am clothed.
Tomorrow I'm taking my fav dessert to a whole new level, since it's V day we're having hot fudge brownie sundaes with pink champagne. Do I hear a "OH MY YUM"?

When I made this recipe on Monday I halved it and Mike was not a happy man, he told me that there was no reason to deprive him of the best brownies on earth and assured me that the entire pan would have been consumed had I made the full amount. I explained to him that I knew very well that they would have been eaten and that this was the precise reason why I had cut the recipe. Two people do not need to eat an entire tray of brownies in just a few sittings. geesh.

So consider this a warning, don't blame me if you find yourself standing in your kitchen at 4 am stuffing brownies down your throat after tasting one of these beautiful bits.

Best Brownies EVER
thanks to Shannon for sharing this delish recipe

Whatcha Need:
1/2 lb butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups white sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

Whatcha Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350
2. In a double broiler melt butter and chocolate squares.
3. Pour chocolate/butter mixture into a bowl. Add sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla. Stir.
4. Make a hole in the mixture. Add lightly whisked eggs.
5. Add chocolate chips. Stir
6. Grease 9 by 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (mine don't take this long but my oven is crazy hot)
7. Let cool before cutting & gobbling up

Ummm I skip step seven but I usually burn my fingers and face eating them while they're still hot - the chocolate chips are all melty inside so if you take the risk of eating while hot you're bound to burn.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Global Moms Promo

What a fantastic project this is!
I'm looking forward to watching the documentary Global Moms and also plan to look for Promises this week!

Education is the key to change. In an ideal world there would be little conflict, you may not think that this is a realistic goal, and maybe it's not, but it is certainly one we can strive to reach. Exposing our children to cultures other than their own & encouraging them to explore similarities while respecting differences is one very manageable thing each and every one of us can do to make a difference. Baby steps!

For more info on the project Global Moms visit Promises Films

This is... Sunday lunch.

Our Sunday lunch usually consists of a Tim Horton's bagel and a large half coffee & half hot chocolate - pretty exciting huh? Sunday is our day of laziness so our lunch is technically breakfast and when you're eating breakfast between 11 and 12 you want something fast, easy and yummy: Timmy's is the winner.

It's just the two of us so an all out Sunday brunch is not unheard of but quite unusual; some day in the future we'll quite likely have a weekend breakfast tradition of pancakes/hashbrowns/eggs & bacon etc, that will be waaaay down the road when we have additional mouths to feed. As a kid I loved when my mom & dad made big weekend brunches, waking up to the smell of bacon mmm there's nothing quite like it.

Today I had a grocery store stop to make so we had sandwiches insteadof drive-thru bagels. Not the usual but it was delish: turkey and salami with jalepeno havarti cheese, lettuce, peppers, cucumber and mayo on a calabrese bun = yum. Oh and I certainly couldn't skip the hot chocolate, it's a vital part of my Sunday routine.

Another edition of the "This is..." meme; today's theme was chosen by Allison at Lark.

My Monkey's Three!

Today we are celebrating my niece's third birthday. Neve's actual birthday was on February 8th but her mommy and daddy were out of town on business so she thinks her special day is today. One of the benefits of being three: you can celebrate your birthday late, early, or every day and think that it is perfectly normal.

I made the card pictured above for the little nut. Couldn't resist posting the pic of EC with the finished product, she looks angry and that's because I kept calling her name trying to get her to look at the camera and she, like her cousin Neve, isn't a fan of the paparazzi (aka moi snapping pictures) - this dirty look was the closest she came to posing. I do like the way the light fell on the card though. I forgot how much I love rub-on transfers! I enjoyed crafting with them when I was a kid and found out last night that I still feel oddly satisfied after applying them even as an adult - hey, I never claimed to be 'normal'.

Miss. Neve is my most favourite little girl on earth. I fell in love with my monkey the first day I laid eyes on her - my bro John tricked us into thinking the adoption had been delayed and that we needed to sign paperwork to get things back on track. When we got to the house he handed each of us a portfolio with the 'paper work' inside and we opened it up to see photos of Neve for the first time. Tears flowed freely that day and everyone gushed about how cute she was, I was smitten and eyed those pictures every day after that until the next shots were posted on John's blog following Gotcha day.

November 11th 2005 was the day Neve arrived in Canada and the day I held her for the first time. It is hard to believe that Neve has been part of my life for just a few short years, it seems like she has been a part of my heart for much longer than that. I smother her in hugs and kisses every time I see her and the smile that takes over all of her little features when she sees me melts my heart. Neve is growing up so fast and has become one of the most beautiful, strong willed, loving, talkative little people I know. My life has certainly been enriched by Neve's existence - I love you my little monkey! Happy Birthday Neve!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One Step Closer!

Well apparently the hard work I put in to completing my teacher's college application for my dream school and all the positive thinking I've been focusing on have paid off. I received a phone call today from a lovely lady congratulating me on being chosen for an interview! February 19th at 10:00 a.m. will be the moment of truth. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!!

I'm one step closer to being accepted, how fantastic is that?! Now I need to focus on happy thoughts for the interview - ugh how I hate interviews. Thankfully it is only 15 minutes long and there will be a panal of just two interviewers (likely retired principals). I'm going to ask my current principal to sit down and have a practice interview with me, the more prepared I feel I amthe less likely it is that I'll melt into a puddle of nerves on the big day.

I'm so excited!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This is... my collection

Better late than never; I have joined the "This is..." meme started by Three Buttons and technically this should have been posted on Sunday. I was in recovery from the disco party I attended Saturday night (details coming soon) so I apologize for my late post. I think this meme might be a fun way for you to get to know me a little better and it's an excuse for me to start taking pictures more regularly.

I collect children's books.

These are just a handful of my books; the entire collection isn't huge but it is constantly growing. My dream is to one day have a house with a little library, books lining the walls!

Friday, February 1, 2008

One Fabulous Year Down


At this moment one year ago our wedding ceremony was taking place. It was truly an amazing day: we laughed and cried and laughed some more. I wish we could do it all over again; I wouldn't change a thing!

Here are a few of pics to celebrate us!

The last year has flown by so it feels like just yesterday that we were saying "I do." We are going on eight years together as a couple and I think we laugh harder and more often today than we ever have.
I love you more than anything Michael, you complete me.