Monday, September 21, 2009

My list of 10 honest things about myself....

1.) I can't say 'NO' - I try and do everything because of it which is why I am grumpy sometimes.. it drive my husband crazy!
2.) I am insanely emotional - and not just when I am PMSing.. I ball my eyes out at movies, sad stories, weddings..... anything!
3.) I love working - even though sometimes I don't think I do (Monday mornings) I like being busy.. and it is a different busy from being a Mum...
4.) I can sometimes seem confident and stand up for myself but deep down I am a big chicken :)
5.) I am very frustrated with my life from a career/education stand point - I know I can do more and be more successful, it's just doing it.
6.) I am a designer snob - I know what I would spend all my money on if I won the lottery... Designer clothes, shoes and purses...
7.) I loathe bad customer service - I will leave empty handed and never return.. it really doesn't take too much effort to be polite and courteous...
8.) I love shoes - I think you could wear sweat pants or a garbage bag and still feel incredibly sexy with a pair of amazing heels on.
9.) I hate public washrooms and won't pee for days if I have to use a public washroom... ok well maybe a slight exaggeration but you get the idea! (this is why I don't camp)
10.) I really feel like I have let myself go... I mean not in a majorly way. I still dress up to go to work and try and buy nice clothes but the days of new clothes every season, mani pedi's, a new hair do every 3 months, facials and heels are gone... now I am just 'basic'.

So that's it people!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An award from C

My friend C gave me this award..... I got one before from Kavita but wasn't sure really what to do with it so I will have to go back and look at it... anyways this is what is required of me for this one!

The award has two components. You have to first list 10 honest things about yourself (and make them interesting), and second present the award to seven other bloggers.

I don't actually know that many people that blog so nominating someone else shouldn't be too tough.... the list of 10 honest things?? That will be the next post... I promise.

Sorry to go on.....

BUT hmmmmm french fancies....

This is what I am having for lunch today...

And yes the pink ones are the best!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All things great and British!

My sis just came over for a weeks vacation... one of the most exciting parts of the trip for me? When she unpacks her suitcase and hands over bag after bag of delightful junk food from the UK that we can't buy here! Ok so all of it not technically British foods but just stuff that you can't get here that I fill my grocery cart with when I am in the UK.

My list:
1.) Jammie Dodgers - shortbread with strawberry jam in the middle
2.) Toasty Toppers - comes in different flavors, spred it on toast, broil until warm... yummmm...
3.) Penguin Bars - Chocolate covered biscuits, best soaked in hot tea then whipping out of mug and putting in your mouth just before all the chocolate and biscuit falls to the bottom of your mug!
4.) Mr Kiplings French Fancies - mini cakes with sugar cream and dipped in icing... pink ones definetly the best... MAJOR weakness in life.
5.) Ready Brek - add powder from box, add milk, zap in microwave... hmmm creamy porridge!
6.) Cadbury's Fudge - only 15p.. they still put that on the package! Fudge covered in chocolate..
7.) Cadbury's Curly Wurly's - braided caramel dipped in chocolate.. why you can't get this here I just don't know!
8.) Marmite - black stuff that you spread on toast. For me it HAS to be white toast or bread with lots of butter!
9.) Poppets - chocolate covered caramels, raisins.... one box missing, I think my hubby swiped it will have to have words when he comes home!

Other things not pictured here: Foxes candys, Barretts mints, Oxo cubes (you get the packets here but in the UK you get all kinds of different cubes) Pickapepper sauce (ok so again not really british but you can't buy it here!).

Off to make myself some tea and penguins!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I have a list of things I want to be when I grow up:

1.) Chef/Restaurant owner - I have ideas and ideas and ideas for menus, different kinds of restaurants, decors, ideal locations it goes on and on.... now if only I could disappear to culinary school without my kids and husband.........

2.) Pastry Chef/Bakery owner - Cakes.. I want to make cakes... birthday cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes... I am insanely jealous when I read blogs that I follow like Bakerella - she gets to do this for a living - make beautiful cakes and be on Martha, and attend seminars and meet other beautiful cake making people..... (sigh)

3.) Newsreader/journalist... I want on read the news on CNN or I would settle for the local channel and write magazine articles...!!

4.) Teach dance or horse riding full time - If I lived somewhere where I could do this full time I would.... I used to teach riding part time on weekends and evenings and I loved it. My time teaching ballet - loved it too... think how much skinnier I would be doing that then sitting at a desk in a bank all day.... (yawn)

5.) Wedding/function/party planner! I LOVE weddings and parties! I want to go wine and food tasting and pick colours, flowers...... I want to be like JLo in the wedding planner :) ......(sigh) I'll take the hunky man too....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A childhood Fav.

Apparently one of my favorite meals growing up as a child was stuffed marrow... What is a marrow? A giant zucchini.... I think. I was at the Farmers Market last Friday and Our Garden Path had these giant Zucchini's, I mean seriously look at the size of these things!

So I bought two and thought I would try and recreate my childhood meal. Ground beef, garlic, onions, seasoning..... So this is what it looked like.. it was pretty good. A really good comfort meal with veggies, mash & gravy! Not sure if it tasted how I remembered because to be honest.. I really don't remember!

Exciting day!

So yesterday was a sad day... but we also had a little bit of excitement.. Caleb had his open house at school! He officially starts next Wednesday but yesterday he got to meet his classmates, see his classroom, meet Mrs Morrison his teacher and go for a bus ride. I packed his backpack with all the stuff he had to leave there.. I hadn't showed him his backpack yet so he was SUPER excited that it was a Spiderman backpack (of course why would be buy anything else?) At the school they had an OPP officer come and talk to the kids about riding the bus, how to get on and off safely etc... then we got to go for a bus ride (Mums & Dads too!). He is so excited to start school and I will have my fingers crossed for Mrs Morrison.. they have 12 in the class... 10 boys, 2 girls. Maybe I'll say a prayer for her too....

Sad day......

Yesterday we discovered that our poor car Zoe was hit by a car sometime in the night. I found her in the middle of the road right in front of our house. So sad... this was the nicest cat I have ever known. I always have thought with cats it is hit and miss.. you never know what you are getting - if they will curl up and cuddle with you or scratch you eye balls out. I was also never a cat person growing up so I was never really 100% comfortable around them but Zoe made it hard not to love her. She was especially attached to Mason. When she saw or heard him coming she would run to his feet and wait for him to pet her or pick him up. Mason you grab her under her arms and she would just lay there limp and let him carry her around the room, or put her on his bed so they could cuddle together.

We decided to tell Caleb when he got out of bed and let him go and pet her so that he could say goodbye and have some understanding of what happened (also a good lesson - don't run in the road in front of cars). So he did and was upset (I thought Sean was going to ball his eyes out through this part, it was especially hard for him). But I don't think he really has an understanding as to what really happened as he keeps asking if the doctor is going to come to look a Zoe.. then I have to explain the whole thing again and remind him that he already said goodbye. It's a hard one and as traumatic as it would have been I almost think he should have been there when we buried her..? Maybe it would have just made it a little more final for him. It make sme so sad to think about it.. I still expect her to come around the corner outside or curl up with me on the couch.. :(

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So proud of my hubby!!

Headed out to Lorne Lake tonight for supper & a swim at Mike & Alice's place. We met Mike and Alice when they hired Sean to finish their cottage. When he first went and looked at it, it was just a wood shell, so he finished everything from the shingles on the roof, installing the bathroom & kitchen to the dry wall, painting and the custom trim & stair case that he made. This was a really great project as it gave him lots of room to be creative. Mike gave me a copy of 'Homes & Cottages' magazine once we got there and flicked through to an article written about their cottage and some of the features that it was finished off with complete with pictures! I am so proud of Sean!! There aren't a lot of before photos that I can find but I included a few... bad quality as they were taken from a palm pilot....

Drywall hung, temporary stairs & bridge built...

Kitchen down below, bedroom upstairs..

Custom Trim work...

Walk way Sean had just built....

Walk way finished!

Sitting area...

Custom staircase....

I can see why Mike and Alice love their waterfront get away... it is so peaceful and relaxing. We had a yummy supper (Lemon pepper pork chops from Burt's Farms), pasta salad, boiled new potatoes & cheese bread. To drift a little bit.... tomorrow is Monday so I am back on my diet again... I kind of fall off the wagon a little bit on the weekends but try to really stick to it during the week. I haven't weighed myself so I don't know if I have lost but I 'feel' like I have... so I guess that is all that really matters. Anyways some pictures from this afternoon, the boys on their boat ride and bike ride!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dinner at 'The School House' - Happy Birthday Ashley!

We are very lucky on this small island that we don't have to travel too far for a great meal.... Want to go out and treat yourself to a good meal???.... well this is the place to go! We headed to The School House on Friday night for a meal for Ashley's birthday, soon as it was so nice we got to sit outside which I have never had the opportunity to do... we must always go at night or when the weather isn't too good! This resturant is housed in a century old schoool house - the original Providence Bay Elementary School. It is quaint, relaxing and they make fabulous food!

When I go out for dinner somewhere were I know I won't be disappointed I always scour the menu for something different and definitely something that I usually wouldn't cook at home (if you know me though there is not much I won't tackle in the kitchen).... there are just some things that are better when they aren't cooked by you. For me one of those things is definitely Lamb... I LOVE lamb. Something I very rarely cook myself.......... So of course that's what I had for my main course. My appetizer... a very yummy crab in a creamy sauce served in a ramekin and for desert......

My all time weakness in life... Creme Brulee!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Notes from a hot hot house!!

So I have a feeling that when my husband comes home from being on a roof all day and the house is 45 degrees because the oven has been on and I serve him the hot soup I made today he probably will think I am crazy..... But I was feeling a little inspired to cook tonight...

I was watching restaurant makeover and the chef on the show made this soup that looked AMAZING! It was Roasted Cauliflower soup. I made it with a few changes.. really simple. Toss the Cauliflower in olive oil, salt, pepper (I also added Thyme as I had some fresh) and roast in your oven... when done add to a pot with red onions and veggie stock ( I put half veggie, half chicken and added some sweetcorn - a fave with the boys) and simmer.. then blend! Voila you have thick, creamy yummy yummy soup!!!

When we first got our satellite in this house I cheaped out and got the basic package. I have since upgraded and included the cooking network. I don't know how I went so long without it... When I was pregnant the channel never changed from it (which may explain my being over weight now!). Now I draw inspiration from a few other places... Since I started blogging I have found so many amazing blogs and met some pretty cool people. I read blogs that I have bookmarked most mornings with my coffee but the 3 below are ones I look at when I am stuck for something for supper, a dinner party, what to do with left over blueberries or what to make for a bake sale.... Check them out.... Who needs the food network anyways???

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The out of control muffin top......

The conversation went a little like this

Running into someone I haven't seen for a longtime, pleasantries exchanged then.....

"Wow!!" Reaching and patting my stomach "You're expecting again!!! When are you due??"

I mutter something about actually not being pregnant and stare at my feet...

(awkward moment & Perry's jaw hits the ground breaking the silence)

"I am so sorry" she is now bright red.

Oh no no it's ok....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Never judge a book by its cover... literally....

I hate Debbie Travis. I find her voice annoying to no end and I can't bear to watch her on TV. I am not into all those decorating shows to begin with. Another annoying one - Candice Olson. I mean it bugs me that anyone can be that enthusiastic about decorating. (side note - I feel the same way about some cooking shows, I mean are they really going to spend 30-60 mins cooking a dish then taste it at the end and screw their nose up in disgust???)

I mean sure, if I won the lottery (and had someone to do it for me), but how many times are you excited about painting a room, you get half way though it, loose steam and it is SUCH a chore to finish the rest - have you seen my front porch lately? half yellow, half ugly paneling. It also does not help that I am not creative in a kinda do it yourself way - cakes excepted. If I can't buy it, I don't want to MAKE it!...... My husband however, Mr Handy do it yourself-er PVRs all these shows and I have to on occasion sit through them before I am allowed to turn it to SYTYCD or 90210....

So when my friend Audrey show up with a Debbie Travis book (birthday present) called 'Not Guilty - My guide to working hard, raising kids and laughing through the chaos'.... I am thinking in my head 'great she paints and now she is also going to tell me how to raise my kids???' I am also thinking this will make its way into the box of books in the basement - sorry Audrey... but wait... keep reading this post....

I love this book!! I started reading it yesterday and today I am almost done. It is so funny and is full of stuff you can relate to as a parent. Screaming toddlers, the days when you loose it on your kids then feel guilty for days to come... and even the teenage years. I already know what kind of parent I'll be... yes I will be the parent that stays up to midnight baking cakes for the bake sale or finishing the school project. I mean I am already up till midnight typing my husbands invoices and baking cakes for the church, same difference? Maybe. She covers so many species of mothers - The competitive Mums... I can think of a few and I am not on the side lines of the soccer fields having to deal with this yet. I just listen to other peoples nightmares!! Yummy Mummys.. have I really lost myself because I leave the house wearing sweats and usually with no make-up?? The domestic diva - I think I struggle so hard to be this one!! I am just lacking in the organization and time department. The volunteer vulture - hello?? I am struggling to be the domestic diva and vacuum my floors everyday do you really think I have time to volunteer too????

I think one of the things that has stood out most to me is that we sometimes struggle as women and mothers. I mean the guilt of not staying home or staying home. Not having enough time. I mean does anyone else hate the fact that the babysitter spends more time with our kids than we do?? Guilt. But then there are some mornings where I can't get them there quick enough to have a moments peace before work! Guilt... again. I books like this where there are experiences in someone else's life you can read and relate to and laugh at how they dealt with the same situation you have been in or think 'hmmm... I could have handled that a little better'. I read Brooke Shields book 'Down came the rain' about post partum depression and there was so much in that book that I related to about how I felt or how I was dealing with things and people around me with all those CRAZY BABY hormones!!!

Read it!!! Whether your kids are little screaming tantrum throwers or calling you collect for money after you just wrote a cheque for the college bill. There is something in this book for every parent and a lot that made me laugh and think that maybe I am not so bad at this whole mummy thing after all!!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

How many times did I fall out of the boat tonight??


Yay for me!!

Maria - the non-sailor......

My birthday is soon so ages ago I told Sean for my birthday he could pay for me to do the sailing course put on by the Rotary Club. I figured I could learn how to sail a little better without my husband teaching me - this may save our marriage. Then, when we go sailing I would know what is going on and what to do to be a useful 'crew member' on the boat - again to help save our marriage! So off I go last night, for July it has been pretty un summer like and the water - freezing! So I am not too happy about that. I was also hoping I wouldn't actually know anyone on the course then I wouldn't look too stupid. Anyways down to the beach where a guy called 'Laser' and his assistant 'Star' teach us how to rig the boat (5 minutes), tell us how to right the boat if it capsizes (5 minutes) then send us down the dock to hop in and 'go at it'. You're kidding right??? No apparently they weren't. No class room time just get in the boat and go. This is what I am meant to look like.....

So this is what I looked like after I was smacked in the head with a mast (before I even go in the boat).... and after I capsized 6 times in 2 hours. I was exhausted and so cold that I couldn't feel my fingers or toes. It is pouring with rain and I have to go and do it again now.... this is meant to be fun?? Seriously???

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

'Date Day'!

Hubby and I decided to have a 'date day'. With two kids, work, ballet, the house, life.... it gets kinda busy and time to talk just seems impossible. It always seems to be as I am falling asleep and I may or may not have any recollection of it in the morning! So we left the kids at daycare and off we went.

Well it wasn't all date day, we had to run errands at Prov. Home Hardware, go to Beacon Images and order signage for the trailer, vehicle etc.... BUT soon as we were over that end of the Island guess where we went for lunch??? Hmmmm Garden Gate!!! I was reminded by C's blog the other day how delightfully dreamy (yeah that's right I said it) their Key Lime Pie is.. hmmmmm... So I had a salad which made me feel less guilty about the pie I devoured! So good! (To get side tracked a little I am looking for a dreamy Key Lime Pie recipie... send it my way if you have one.)

We then made our way to JD's Garden Centre.....

My husband who hates flowers and shopping at garden centres surprised himself! He walked away with 2 pear trees, 2 Christmas tree looking dwarf trees and a flat or two of flowers - which I have killed since then :( This is a great garden centre and I highly recommend it. It is well worth the hour drive across the Island. Everything I have ever got from there grows beautifully and always looks wonderful. Also the staff there are super helpful and extremely knowledgeable.

On the way back we stopped at this Falls view area. I have driven this highway lots of times and never seen the sign. We stopped to admire the beauty of where we live.... but some idiots had left garbage bags there, on the rock there was an empty bottle of booze, an empty drug container... so so sad that people choose to dump their garbage and/or not pick up after themselves.. Anyways we snapped a few really cute pics of ourselves... I like this one!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cute video....

I love my boys :)

The Garden is in!!!

Yay! I finally got around to planting the garden. After months of tending to these little seed pots it's a relief to finally have them in the ground and I don't have to worry about them too much. It's rained the last two days too - bonus! And my hubby even built a make shift fence out of bright orange snow fence around it to keep the deer out :) When he eventually finds the time to do it (downside of being married to a carpenter) we are going to put a fence around the whole back end of the house to keep the kids in. When they play outside they seem to always be attracted to the road. Funny how that works! We made a good start by setting the posts and one of these days Sean might find the time to get the boards on it! Then we can relax in the sun in our yard and not have to stress about the kids. The boys did get to have some fun with the tractor when Dad was ripping out trees and drilling the post holes :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where have I been for the last month??? Well let me see.....

Oh where do I start?? First of all things just got busy and once I get out of the habit of taking time to blog it snowballs... Summer is here I know because it is 9pm on a Friday and my hubby is at work and he won't be here Saturday or Sunday.. make hay when the sun shines... Isn't that the expression? One of the downfalls of where we live is that the season is very short, soon all the holiday people that want work on their cottages will go home and then it will snow and my husband will be here ALL the time driving me crazy (with love of course:)

I have also just been feeling down right lazy and a little stressed out! I have an exam on June 17th - a boring banking thing... So I am trying to work on that which is hard with kids, ballet, work etc etc etc... Ballet has been busy organizing fundraisers, exams, performances and our big end of year recital. Taxes - how long did it take me to do that?? Too long! Need to be better organized for next year! House garden renos - trying to paint my front porch, veggies still not in the ground but I did however sprinkle some grass seed around (not very ambitious I know). Family feuds.. errrrh say no more.

So there you go.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time for me to go to bed...

Yes I realize it is 6.15pm but I am exhausted! To think I used to party all hours of the night.... aah the good old days... I went smelt fishing Friday night and am still suffering from a lack of sleep as a result. What's a smelt?

Smelts are a family, Osmeridae, of small fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They are common in the North American Great Lakes, and in the lakes and seas of the northern part of Europe, and run in large schools along the coastline during their spring migration to their spawning streams.

It is one of the few fish that sportsmen are allowed to net, using dip nets, either along the coastline or in the streams. Some sportsmen also ice fish for smelt. Smelt are often fried and eaten whole.

They run very late at night, so off we go at 11.30am with our nets. This is all new to me... and this is where the 'city girl' on Manitoulin really presents itself. Off I go dressed warm in my Burberry (and my new Burberry ear muffs!) with my farmer boots on ready to do this thing! Sean (hubby) rolls his eyes at me, states he is not going (smart man). The fishing part was fun, there were TONS of them which I guess it hasn't been like that in a few years. When you looked into the creek all you could see is fish! One scoop and we were done which mean you didn't have to sit around and 'fish'. We were out of there in 10 minutes!

OK so the catching them is fun, also the eating... the cleaning?? Not so much! I guess you have to sit and clean them that night or they are rotten by the morning? Can't we just freeze them? or put them on ice and do this tomorrow?? Although I really wanted to fish and have the satisfaction of cooking something I had caught I was super grossed out by this whole cleaning process. For starters there is no way I am putting my hand in this bucket to pull out a handful of these things... Secondly I am not sticking my fingers in the guts and pulling out all the yellow eggs (that looks like puss) and guts etc... So I cut the heads off with scissors and cut the guts open but that was it. (Do you see why Sean didn't want to come now?) Oh and we got really excited about the fish and came back with 2 5 gallon pails full.... 3.30am... still cleaning fish.... I am thinking in my head... is this really happening? I mean I was meant to be in England this weekend for a family reunion.. I could be sat in some swank restaurant with my super hip sister but I am here covered in fish guts hoping that I don't squeeze the damn thing too hard and the stuff doesn't squirt out all over me!!!

It was fun! I had my Manitoulin experience.. and I would go again as long as I don't have to get up in the morning and do 3 hours of ballet then cook for 10 people as we had people coming for supper... See why I am exhausted??? BUT we did have the smelts as an appetizer and they were great! I forgot to take as picture, but tossed in seasoned flour, fried in a little butter and oil... yummy!!! SO worth it!!!


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