Monday, January 31, 2011

coasters and ugly fans

You might have noticed in the photo from this post my coasters. I made 'em!

We had leftover tiles from our shower (still under progress) that weren't being productive and we needed coasters so I stuck them on the end table which they promptly scratched. (We have those cheap ikea tables and they mark up so easily and attract dust to no end.) So I glued felt to the underside of four of them and they work perfectly. Ever since I've been scoping out all the clearance sections at the home stores for cheap tiles for more coasters (cute gifts no?!) and nothing. nada. zilch.

I love the clearance sections. And if you know the right people (yah we spend a lot of time in them) you can usually beg a bigger discount. We chewed them down on our fridge, stove, washer, various lights and fans..... :)

(Fact: fans are ugly. Fact: we have no air conditioner. Fact: I love fans.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

cookies vs fruit

This is why I've never been skinny. Would you rather eat


or this?

Yah. I picked the same one you did. (Peanut Butter cookies from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. So good.)

I've been trying to cook differently the past couple months, namely we eat more fruits and veggies. According to the Mayo Clinic food pyramid I should be eating at a minimum: 3 servings a day of fruit and 4 of vegetables. Right. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA......! And those serving sizes are enormous! So my day should look like this: 2 fruit at breakfast, 2 veggies at lunch, 2 veggies at supper and 1 fruit for snack. My day usually looks like this: 1 fruit at breakfast (I am in love with grapefruit), 1 veggie for lunch and 2 veggies at supper. It's not perfect but it is better. I'm noticing a tiny difference in how I feel.

On a side note: the mayo clinic triangle lets you have ONLY 75 CALORIES OF SWEETS A DAY!!!!!! I ignore that rule. Also the fat allowance?!?! I also ignore that one. I figure one diet for life change at a time is about all I can handle.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

borscht and black bread

Don't you hate when you cook something and it's the biggest fail in the known universe? And isn't it even worse when it happens to be for company? First there's the case of the brown tough pork but that is still too embarrassing to talk about so instead I'll talk about C and T's last night here.

I made Ukrainian Red Borscht (similar to the version on under the same name) and some Russian Black Bread. The Borscht turned out all right (T loved it, which for a 2 year old is quite a compliment) although Aaron says I messed up on some quantities. (I will admit that he makes it better than I.) But the bread failed. I found the recipe here and thought it would be so yummy just because of the random ingredients included in it (chocolate, coffee, vinegar...).

Not. Entirely my fault though. See I heated up the chocolate mixture to melt said chocolate at the same time that my yeast was bubbling away in the PERFECT temperature water. (The recipe said 105-115 degrees and our water heater is set to 110 degrees so, yah, perfect.) So I mix the wheaty stuff, pour in my hot chocolate mixture, pour in my perfectly temperatured yeast.... and the yeast dies. DUH. So I attempt to save the loaf and continue and nope. Loaf is rock hard and unedible. Nice. Poor C and T. We bought C ice cream later that night to attempt to make up for it. I think it worked.

I made the black bread again two nights later and it turned out a'ight!!! Here's picture proof:

Monday, January 24, 2011


Aaron happens to be in almost every single post. So do I tag him in every one? Even if the post really has nothing to do with him?? I must love him or something.

Us on our honeymoon:)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

sea green/blue pretties

Aaron bought me a rug for our living room back in July for my birthday that has pretty much all the colours we planned on using in our house- dark brown, beige, red, cream, and sea green/blue. Check out the rug here (It doesn't include grey which we are planning on for the kitchen and den but I'll use colours from the rug to tie into the grey.) So far all the things we own are tending toward the blah colours in the rug- lots of browns and creams and not much else. But have you ever tried finding the perfect sea green/blue??! Yah. IMPOSSIBLE! Until C bought me the prettiest little vase in.... the perfect sea green/blue!

Now I have an item I can take shopping with me when I look for fabrics or paints. You can also look at the the link posted above for a picture of the chair that we intend to recover. I'm looking for an upholstery fabric with a large scale floral print with that aforementioned blue and some of the other rug colours on a crisp cream background. It's gonna be purdy! If I can figure out how to recover. That's a big if. I hate staple guns. They scare me. What if I shoot myself?! Here's a link to a recovering chair tutorial that'll I'll refer too. Unfortunately it doesn't come with staple gun instructions.

Oh- did I mention that that chair cost us ten dollars!!! Yah. TEN DOLLARS!! We love it.

(By the way- when I say "we", I mean "we". I can not do ANYTHING around the house without Aaron's aok. Not even move furniture. ESPECIALLY not move furniture. Fortunately he actually has really good taste. Hopefully he doesn't read this confession or I'll never hear the end of it.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

fuzzy headed little boy

Well C and T are gone. I drove them to the airport this morning, all by myself! Yes, this included crossing the border with my NEW GREEN CARD!! I was all concerned that the crossing would take hours for no reason other than I worry about stuff like that and (as Aaron predicted) both crossings took about 2 minutes. I still got all nervous and twitchy though. I think maybe my fear of border crossings is a direct result of my dad's intense lectures all through childhood of NOT TALKING, SINGING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM, sneezing, giggling , looking cross eyed, slouching, arguing, reading, listing to music etc while crossing. And border guards look so mean. Seriously, if I met them on the sidewalk I would NOT make eye contact, I would even think about crossing the street only I wouldn't because I wouldn't want them to know I was scared and then have them prey on me. That's also how I reacted mean looking, stinking smelling people on the bus in my home town. No eye contact and a desperate wish to be somewhere else.

I love Canadian stores. Jacob and RW&Co. I miss them. My wallet doesn't though. Neither does my husband's wallet. I got to go there during my five hours in Canada!! AND THE JACOB OUTLET I WENT TO WAS CLOSING DOWN AND I GOT 70% OFF OF SALE PRICES. 22 bucks and 6 shirts later!

So dropping C and T off at the airport. T (a 2 year old) was pushing his stroller slloooowwly into security and had to give it up to the scanner. Screaming commenced with outstretched arms attempting to encourage said stroller to return to him. There was no way he was leaving the scene of the last sighting of said stroller. He was NOT. GOING. TO. LEAVE. So the airport people got C to go through the metal detector first and then they all attempted waving various items belonging to T in front of the metal detector to get him to walk through. It was like what a mouse trap must look like to observing mice. T did not bite till they waved the stroller. Screaming stopped.

We had fun while they were here. Some instances follow:

T likes being read to. His favorite book while he was here was a hard cover book of different types of trucks. One million different types. Of which every one had to be read then parroted. (Excavator, excavator, dump truck, dump truck, cement truck, cement truck, semi, semi, bulldozer, bulldozer....) Somehow it was enjoyable. Maybe because his fuzzy little head was so close and smelt so babyish.

We only have a shower. T hates showers. So we filled the top of a rubbermaid with water and T bathed in there. He hated it. But he cuddled afterwards!

T helping me make cookies (and whenever I neglected to say, "Good job!" after each cookie was scooped on to the pan he said it for me.)

T playing it up while eating his beans. He had us all in stitches.

C does dishes. I do not have a dishwasher.

C lets me talk, she listens.

C likes shopping.

C played games with me (settlers of catan card game for 2 people and ticket to ride).

T saying "Auntie".

T's grin.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sleepovers and Frenchdoors

Why do I always leave things till the last minute? You know- the whole bloody chicken thing???! C and Th (my sister and her little boy) are coming to spend a week with me and I spent all day yesterday painting the french doors into the room that they'll be sleeping in. So the house is covered in yucky dust, I haven't folded about 4 loads of laundry and I leave in one hour to pick them up. That's what I love about sisters. She won't care. Ohhhhh the french doors look good:):) We got them from my in-laws garage. They were supposed to go into a house they built in 2005. Picture doors sitting in a garage for over 5 years. Yah. But once they shrunk down and unwarped by hanging unfinished for 3 months they're starting to look normal. AND with white paint they look so crisp. OH and SEETHROUGHABLE as opposed to the nasty plastic that comes from the factory that was filthy. I'll post pictures later. As aforementioned- I am too busy to be blogging:P:P

Monday, January 10, 2011

Civil War Musters

This post is for the Canadians- did you know that Americans have Civil War reenactments all over the USA? Weird right?!

Normal people make it their hobby to collect items from that time period and then they dress up and take part in the battles and the encampments behind the battle lines. There's the amputation tent, dress maker shops, candy shops, blacksmith shops, little kids running around in period costume, ladies in massive dresses with hope skirts taking photos with digital cameras, cannon's going off, cavalry, sand bags, filth, hand made goods, milliner shops, artillery, army, and all different ranks. And they all do this voluntarily. Some people even take their summers and travel to all the different musters as participants! Double weird.

One of Aaron's life long ambitions has been to participate in one (or two, three, four... etc). To have his whole family decked out in period custom and him waving a pistol and winning some glorious (or not so glorious) battle. Right. What have I married?!

Friday, January 7, 2011

What company came to see!

This is what company saw when the walked through the door (Sorry for the bad quality picture- it was taken after dark):

All in under 24 hours. Becca (Aaron's sister) came over Thursday night and helped (!) cleaning up all the dust, then we painted, and painted, and painted. We finished painting at 4 pm on Friday. Aaron and I then cleaned, hung fixtures, installed electrical covers and ran around like chickens with our heads chopped off (well- he was pretty calm and moving like molasses in January, I was the chicken).

Dinner was 35 minutes late and as I was setting it out on the table I realized. I forgot to cook. Noodles. Chicken and sauce needs noodles. Anyway they forgave me. I was too stressed to take pictures. I did take a picture of what was left of desert though! See Aaron and I had to dip into it again after company left to have with our coffee (WHY can I not lose weight?!?!). Banoffee pie. First time I ate it was at the T's in Scotland. Second time my mom tried to make it the sweetened condensed milk blew up all over the kitchen (you have to boil the milk in the tin for 4 hours and the pot boiled dry) so I never ate it that time. And third, voilĂ :

Chocolate, bananas, toffee, whipped cream and heath. Good stuff.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Company is Coming

We're having company over. Tomorrow night. This is what our living room looks like:

Are we crazy?! But what this means is that a thing called PAINT will SOON BE UPON IT!!! WOOOOOOTTTTT!!!!! The window trim has been roughly sanded and all the staples pulled out. The mudding is almost done. One final sanding and then I need to somehow get three coats on it plus make a nice meal for tomorrow and clean everything. I'm thinking it may be a late night:)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dining Room Fixture

I used to be a brand snob. Especially with clothing. Not such a brand snob that I’d spend hundred’s of dollars on jeans, but enough of one that buying clothes at a grocery store was below me. Enough of one that my mother was horrified at my expenditures. Enough of one that I wouldn’t tell my sisters how much I had spent. See, they were all married before me and knew what it was to have BILLS, BUDGETS and BABIES. Therefore they spent no extra money. I wondered how they survived.

Now I know. (Sort of. Kammy says I still spend way too much on groceries.)

Translate this to house goods. We can not afford fancy shmancy house stores so we live in Home Depot, Lowes and Menards. We know exactly where all the clearence sections are. I know the lighting guy in Lowes so well he practically jumps up and down waving when he sees me. Apparently I’ve asked him for a few too many discounts. We do have a couple SWEET fixtures though! Aaron converted a foyer light into our den light and I love it. We also got some grey metal pendants from Ikea. I love them too. But I have one more fixture to buy and I really want it to be something special. Something that you can’t find in the clearance section at a big box store. I want this for my dining room, a transition between the more contemporary fixtures in my kitchen and my bronze traditional fan in the living room:

What do you think?

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Duties

I am now a housewife, with what will one day be the cutest little house ever. Unfortunately that “one day” seems in the rather distant future. So until then I am extraordinary or uncommon in that I live, cook and clean in a perpetual construction zone. When afters occur I’ll post them but I’ll leave the before shots to your imagination.

We moved in right after our wedding with limited lights, the drywall and plaster in a state of disrepair (ie barely holding on to the walls), floors covered in an embedded layer of plaster dust and dirt, bags and boxes of old plaster, tools and materials over every available surface, plexiglass/plywood windows and my most darling honey. Our kitchen was livable. I had a gorgeous stove, old fridge, plastic laundry tub for a kitchen sink, utility shelf for cupboards and folding table for my countertop. Our living room was inhabited by a little table with two chairs, a pull out couch and a lazy-boy. My mother and aunt went crazy before the wedding trying to get our bedroom painted- accomplished! And while we were on our honeymoon my in-laws carpeted our bedroom. The bathroom was started but my husband wanted this really intense shower made with a mix of glass block and tile. He ran out of time so for the first four months of marriage we showered at my in-laws. Oh the day he finished it, I will never again underestimate the joy of being able to shower when it’s wanted rather than desperately needed!

My dad was working on the electrical while Aaron was setting up our “kitchen sink” and was commenting that I actually had it pretty good. My husband cared enough about me to make sure I had running water in my kitchen. Not so his wife. Mom and Dad built a house when I was 5-10 (yes, it took them that long) and when they moved in Mom had to get her water from the bathroom all the way across the house and lug it to the kitchen to do her housewifely duties.

Have I ever mentioned how much I admire my mom?!