Monthly Archives: October 2015

94 – Family Jewels

So I was cleaning my room today…and got distracted by my bling. Naturally, I stopped amidst the mess of stuff on my bed and took photos. Here’s a few items and the stories behind them…

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Ring One: I bought this when I was in BC a couple years ago. A BC girl can’t resist beautiful artwork of an orca.
Ring Two: I bought this at my first ever Saskatoon Ex, and it became the first piece of jewelry that I ever wore consistently.
Rings Three: My mom and dad bought this for me while they took a mini second honeymoon years ago. I felt so grown up being given a ring!


These are two special childhood pieces. The first is a bracelet that I’ve had for longer than I can remember, and is has my initials R.T. engraved in the heart. I believe it was a gift from my mom and dad. The second is a the necklace I was given when I was a Jr Bridesmaid in my Aunt’s wedding. It is so unbelievably delicate, and even prettier in person. I will pass this on to my daughter.


Here are the wedding trio. First, is the necklace I wore to our wedding. It’s a simple cross, but had special significance because it was also a high school graduation gift from Bryan – before we even began dating. Second are my wedding and engagement rings. They fit a bit snugger now, and I’m quite allergic to them, but I still have to take them out every now and then to admire them and what they mean. The third is the ring I currently wear every day, and my Mother’s Day gift from this year. It represents not only my marriage, but my love for my daughter as well and I will pass this on to her one day too.


This trio consists of jewelry inherited from my Grandmother. These all have extreme sentimental value to me, whether or not their materials are genuine or not. The opal ring is my particular favourite.


This necklace is special because it is a souvenier from the Paul McCartney concert we went to a few years ago. A Paul McCartney concert was something I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would ever cross off my bucket list, and I am still flabbergasted by the fact that I actually saw Sir Paul perform.


And here is my jewelry box! When I was a little girl, I would sleep over at my Grandma and Poppa’s house fairly frequently, and after bathtime while Grandma blow dried and curled my hair, she would let me wind up the music box portion and watch the little people dance, while touching the little tassels and fabric. When I in my teen years, Grandma gave the jewelry box to me and it’s been a treasured item on my dresser ever since.

Do you have any treasured jewels? Interesting jewelry-related memories or stories?


93 – Roast Beast Pt 2

So when we left off, I’d put the roast in the crock pot on low, and the Yorkshire mix in the fridge to chill. Hours later…

I chopped and steamed (in the microwave) some broccoli and brussel sprouts, drizzled them with a smidge of oil, and then seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. These went into the oven for about an hour to get a bit crispy and brown.


Next up, I removed the roast and veggies from the crock pot. They had remained in there on low for about 8.5 hours. I put them all in a dish together, covered them, and then placed them on the stove top (not on an element) to keep warm til dinner. The meat was super tender, by the way.


I strained out any leftover veggies from the liquid remaining in the crock pot, and then poured said liquid into a small pot on the stovetop to make my gravy. I put a BUTTLOAD of Bisto, and about a cup of cold water into the pot, and then sitrred-stirred-stirred until the gravy thickened and turned into a beautiful deep, beefy brown. (Pardon my dirty stove, and the top pic is before Bisto and thickening, the bottom is the finished product.)



I began work on the potatoes probably an hour before meal time. I chopped (and peeled) them up into small pieces, tossed them in a pot, and let them boil til just soft. I had my brother strain them because it was a big pot and I’m a small girl, and then I had my sister do the honours of whipping them, since I was still terrified of the hand mixer which TURNED ON BY ITSELF AGAIN. Fortunately I did not sustain any further injury. I tossed in some margarine and milk, and then once mixed I put them back on the stove to stay warm. First picture is of my stove setup, second is an action shot of my sister.



And finally the Yorkshires. They cooked for about 25 minutes and came out of the oven beautifully.


Sorry these pics weren’t as nice as in part one, but things got frazzled what with my hand hurting, the toddler getting in the way forever, and my husband coming home from work sick. Everyone really enjoyed the meal, and the leftovers have been fantastic!


92 – Roast Beast Pt 1

Before I launch into the two part post, I’d like to say something: Getting your hand caught in a hand mixer BLOODY HURTS! I’m lucky my hand isn’t broken, and that I was able to de-tangle myself without further injury or needing to call for help. I wasn’t even being dumb – I checked and double checked that the mixer was off, and then somehow – I honestly can’t recall the sequence of events other than the double check – the machine turned on and the mixer thingers caught my hand HARD and tangled and wedged it into them. I shut it off FAST, but I was so thoroughly wedged that I couldn’t even eject the pieces. I managed to pull my hand out but it hurt and still hurts. Still can’t believe that happened to me. I could imagine it happening to Becca of 8 years ago, but not this girl. This girl is a pro. ANYHOOOOOO.

Roast Beef! It’s something I talk about a lot. A LOT. Classic Sunday roasts – English style – have been such a humongous part of my life. When I was a child we had a roast beef lunch EVER. SINGLE. SUNDAY. My grandparents were stationed at an old folks home, and an amazing roast dinner was served there every Sunday, but on the days when we’d just go to Grandma’s house, she’d have an even BETTER one waiting for us all to share. My mom’s roast dinners are also amazing, and I knew that when I grew up – if I ever became halfway competent in the kitchen – I would continue the tradition. There’s just something so utterly comforting and homey about a tender roast beef, roast or mashed potatoes, delicious soft vegetables, puffy Yorkshire puddings, all drizzled with a generous helping of thick beef gravy. Today I’m whipping up one of these dinners for my family and I’ve decided to document the process just for fun. Bragging moment here: I do frequently receive compliments on this particular meal of mine, so I’m really proud of how far I’ve come from being the girl who sets water on fire, to being the girl who makes food that people talk about without mocking her!

Let us begin.

I took the VERY frozen roast out of the freezer last night at about 10:30 and put it in the sink to thaw over night. By morning when I was ready to begin preparations, it was still a bit frozen in the middle which is just where I want it.

I began by chopping up the vegetables that will serve as a bed for the roast to lay on. Typically I stick to just onions and carrots, but I figured I should use up the mushrooms before they went bad. Once everything is in the pot, I season them to taste.

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Next up is the beef. Simply, I rub HP sauced all over, and then basically make a crust of Montreal Steak Spice, and black pepper. Badda bing badda boom.

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After the beef is seasoned, I lay it on the veggie bed and then pour in about a third of a carton of beef stock, and then some water until the liquid rises to about halfway up the beef. I then chop up a fourth onion to go on top, and add three generous pats of margarine. This gives the beef such a marvelous flavour when you cut into it later.


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The lid then goes on the crock pot, I set it to Low, and then forget about it until later on. It is at this point that I make my Yorkshire batter, which I ALWAYS make ahead for a couple reasons. First, means less to do later and Second, it’s good to chill it before pouring it in the pan for the oven!

Mix together eggs, milk, flour, and 2 tsp of coarse salt (I just eyeball this, and I use sea salt). You want the batter to be very bubbly, lots of air in it. Afterwards, cover with plastic wrap and toss in the fridge until later. Easy peasy.

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That’s it for part one! I’m REALLY hoping I don’t forget to document everything for part two.

Ah! And two more things. First thing: I always keep a small container of flour on my counter for daily cooking, and this has been immensely helpful, especially in a small kitchen. Second thing: this is the beef stock I use. It’s the best I’ve found and I love it. I typically get two roast dinners out of it. Their chicken stock is also very nice.


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91 – The Jaw

Our little vacay is over and while I had a really REALLY great time, I’m relieved. Sleeping in hotels is NEVER relaxing for me, no matter how comfortable the king size bed is. Last night at home I slept like a rock and it was glorious.

But enough about sleeping…here’s the tale of our trip.




We drove out to MJ on Monday morning, arriving several hours before hotel checkin. This turned out to be a mistake. We knew that we would be early, but had a few activities planned to keep us occupied…however we forgot that Monday was a holiday so EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED. So we basically wandered around town doing nothing from about 12:30 to 4:00. Also, rumours of a Swiss Chalet in MJ are FALSE FALSE FALSE. So disappointing. We ate at BP instead and I don’t even like that restaurant anymore, so that was a bit disappointing. Anyways, when we could finally got to our hotel room, we immediately filled up the jacuzzi (with mineral water, like the rest of the spa) and enjoyed a relaxing bath before heading out for a quick bite at McDonald’s, and then to the theatre to see Pan (which was fun). After we returned to the hotel, before bed, we took a dip up in the spa pool which was incredibly relaxing.




Tuesday, we woke up way too early considering we were on vacation, but I guess that’s what it’s like being grownups/parents. We went down for our free breakfast, which while delicious, was way too fancy for me. Also, the portion was far too large for my minuscule-morning gut. Afterwards, we went across the street to the Thrift Store where I bought 3 CS Lewis books, which I’m looking forward to reading. Next, after a brief snack back at the hotel, we went and explored the Capone tunnels which was a blast. I was even a participant! I got to threaten to kill everyone if they didn’t keep quiet. I enjoyed that. I enjoy silence. Once the tunnel adventure was over, we walked over to Deja Vu, our fav restaurant/wing joint and ordered some wings to take back to the hotel to dine on whilst watching ALADDIN!!! Great movie. Oh! And I forgot to mention: We stopped at Walmart super quick in the morning to pick up Aladdin, and while were waiting to pay, my sister’s ex-boyfriend’s wife stood in line behind us. So that was weird. We’ve never met her, so we didn’t say anything…it was just an odd encounter. ANYHOO! After watching Aladdin we just lounged around for a bit and then drove out to Regina to meet up with Bryan’s cousin and her BF and have dinner at Swiss Chalet. Yum.

A funny story: As the time to drive to Regina approached, I was getting dressed and ready to go, but Bryan had yet to move his butt from the comfort of the massive bed. I was pestering him to get a move on, but he was dawdling and saying, “I’ll get ready with my shoes on and everything, and you still won’t be ready to go yet, so I’m taking my time.” So I told him, “I guarantee you that I will be ready first. Now get dressed!” Now, I packed some nice-ish clothes for Bryan to wear to dinner, and I was POSITIVE he forgot – and I was correct. Bryan slithered off the bed like a slug (because he’s weird), and then he put on his jeans and t-shirt from earlier in the day, while I inwardly chuckled. He marched proudly past me to the door and just as he was putting his shoes on, he said “See, I’m ready!” And then I laughed evilly and said, “Yes, you’d think that, but you’d be wrong because you’re wearing the wrong clothes.” Bryan gave me a funny look and then I explained, “You were supposed to put on your nice clothes!” And then I laughed and laughed and he laughed too and in the end he was still ready before me because I forgot I had to pee, but it was all still great.





So after Swiss Chalet we returned to the hotel, went up to the pool, then back to the room were we watched some late night talk shows before turning in early. Wednesday morning we checked out, went to the mall, and had brunch at our other favourite local restaurant, Calico Junction, in the mall. Incidentally, it’s the ONLY restaurant in the mall, but even if it wasn’t I’d still love it. I can’t even tell you how many poutines I ate there back when I was preggers. Once the food was eaten, we drove back home to Saskatoon where we were reunited with our precious daughter who I actually missed SO MUCH those 2 days we were gone. Seeing her again was just an absolute treat and I’m so glad she’s mine. I’m also glad she was equally as excited to see us. Sometimes kids are weird about stuff like that, but she gave us big hugs and kisses and everything was lovely and mushy.





The trip was good, the hotel room was overpriced, the spa robes were SO COMFY, we ate like kings, I had THE BEST TIME with my BEST FRIEND, and I can’t wait for the next time we do something like this. Spending time with my Bryan is my favourite thing to do.

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90 – Odds and Ends

I finished my Red Riding Hood Project! It is a relief and a half, I tell you. Midway through, I discovered that my due date was not what I thought and then I got artist’s block. I’m the type of artist who can’t work unless I’m really feeling it, so this was bad. I would look at the list of images to get done and feel hopeless. But! It’s finished now! Here are the grandmother, evil author, huntsman, and big bad wolf (which I’m REALLY proud of).

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Now that it’s all finished, I can relax a bit, which will definitely be good. I’ve been sick since Saturday and being stressed out isn’t really the key to getting well. I was hit by a cold which turned into throwing up and then a cough (which is only just now leaving me). I’ve been exhausted all week and have had little to no motivation to get anything done. I’m glad I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, however, because we leave on Monday for our wee Moose Jaw getaway and I am SO looking forward to it.

In Ginny news…we’re working really hard lately on getting her to listen and obey. She’s in that stage of life where cleaning up isn’t high on her list of priorities, much to my annoyance. I do not mind a bit of clutter here and there – I like my home to feel lived in and I feel like seeing physical representations of each of us around the apartment contributes. Example: I leave books and art supplies everywhere, I often find Bryan’s socks scattered throughout, and from Ginny we get toys and stickers and crayons. It’s nice and it makes home feel like him. But…toys EVERYWHERE is not cool. And she likes small toys that impale your feet when you inevitably step on them. She is learning though, and I am remaining persistent in my efforts to teach her to mind me. It involves a lot of repeating myself, time outs, and toy confiscations, but I am finally beginning to see a bit of progress, so I’m pleased.

I know this isn’t exciting, but I bought a dayplanner over the weekend and seeing each day carefully organized with stickers and meticulous scheduling makes me happy. It also makes me wish I got out more, so I’d have more to write in it. For now I’ve settled for every birthday imaginable, every movie release from now until Christmas 2016, and I’m trying to keep track of what we eat everyday – and will eventually write my menu in as well (I’ve been too sick this week to bother meal planning).

Shows I’m watching: Hart of Dixie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The League

And thus ends this bloggy blog update. I imagine I’ll update again after our little trip – hopefully I remember to take my camera. Toodaloo.

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89 – Note Noter

So I’ve been nostalgic lately (well let’s be real here, I’m ALWAYS nostalgic), and I came across all my zillions of old facebook notes. I’m going to re-do them as a series here on the blog, just to see how things have changed. New answers will be bold.

How much you changed….

Ten years ago..

How old were you?
8 – 16

Where did you go to school?
W.E. Kinvig (grade 3)- Surrey, BC – Maple Creek Composite High

Where did you work?
I was unemployed – Unemployed

Where did you live?
6939 135th Street, Surrey, BC – Maple Creek

Where did you hang out?
Katie’s house/creek around there – At home. Maybe with Ashley?

What was your hair style?
Blonde…straight…ponytail, probably – Blonde, straight, ponytail. I’m unexciting.

Did you wear glasses?
I was just getting them – Yup.

Who were your best friends?
Katie Filby – Erin, Steph, Katelyn, Sarah, Ashley, Bryan, Matt, T-Bone…

How many tattoos did you have?
none –Zero

How many piercings did you have?:
none – Ears, but closed over

What car did you drive?
i didnt drive quite yet – Mama and Daddy’s sweet Army-leased Chevy Venture.

What was your worst fear?
i don’t remember – School people.

Had you been to a real party yet?
yeah man – No? 

Had your heart broken?
nope – Never.

Single – Super duper single.

Five years ago…

How old were you?
13 – 21

Where did you go to school ?
Hodgson SPS (grade 8), Toronto, ON – NO MORE SCHOOL!

Where did you work?
CFOT – babysitting – Unemployed…can you sense a trend?

Where did you live?
CFOT – Saskatoon!

Where did you hang out?
CFOT, Davisville Park thinger, Shivani’s place, Yazzie’s place…KFC…  – Erin’s, our place, other places…

How was your hair style?
Straight, blonde…ponytail – Straight, blonde, ponytail. Seriously…I never change.

Did you wear glasses?
Yes – You bet.

Who were your best friends?
Yasmin, Jen – Erin, my seester

Who was your regular-person crush?
I don’t remember. I didn’t get many crushes during the CFOT years – Bryan – my husband.

How many tattoos did you have?
None – Zero

How many piercings did you have?:
My earlobes – Earlobes, closed over.

What car did you drive?
i didnt drive quiiite yet – Grand Am/PT Cruiser (barf)

What was your favorite band/group?
Newsboys – Paul McCartney

What was your worst fear?
life – Life

Had you been to a real party yet?
no – No

Had your heart broken?
no – No

Single – Married as heck.


88 – Some History

As I mentioned previously, I signed up with Today I’d like to share a bit about my great-great-great grandfather, his family, and their work with The Salvation Army.

Now this was an interesting guy. He was there when The Salvation Army was founded, and took direct orders from William Booth himself which led him to some interesting adventures. General Booth commanded Abram and his family to head to Exeter (England) so that they could “open fire” and “attack the Devil” and “demon drink”. And that is exactly what they did. According to one account I found, great-great-great Grandpa Abram saved 300 sinners. He became a known figure in his Exeter neighbourhood, which was dilapidated and chocked full of more people in need of rescue. He was so thorough in his work that the pubs were complaining of lost profit, their regular drunks now heading out to church instead of to drink.


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It was around this time period (1880s) that the notorious Skeleton Army was formed. This group was created specifically to combat the work of The Salvation Army, and they would often resort to violence to get their point across. Ever wonder why female officers wore such sturdy bonnets? Likely it was to protect their skulls from being injured by bricks and stones being hurled at them. Abram Davey was not immune to the attacks of the Skeletons. In August 1881, an incident more violent than usual occurred, and Abram was sent to the hospital for several days to recover from being “knocked down and badly kicked”. Another time, Abram was conducting a service and a crowd of 1000 hostile people gathered outside, as well as various police constables who were there to protect the Salvationists. Abram ended up hiding out for the night, but some Skeletons went and damaged the family home. Crazy stuff!! Actually, due to continued opposition by the Skeleton Army, 16 Salvationists were sworn in as constables themselves in order to provide better protection. Eventually, Abram’s work in Exeter was finished, earning him a promotion and new adventures.

Unfortunately I’m having trouble finding the original article I read, but later on Abram, his wife Ellen, and their kids were sent by Booth to begin the Army’s work in Jamaica. While this mission ultimately did end up being successful, Abram kicked up a bit of trouble. Things started off well, but he wrote back home to England asking for support in a terrible way. He essentially just described the various terrible sins of the Jamaican people, how awful they were, and how much they needed saving. Obviously, the Jamaicans were offended. They also may have gotten violent. It wasn’t long before Booth gave the order for the Daveys to return to England. However, Abram was still recognized for his work there, and a stamp commemorating the starting of The Salvation Army in Jamaica features his face on it.


Here’s some more pictures of Abram and his family.

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Something interesting I discovered while reading about Abram and Co, was that his daughter, Ellen, ended up founding a school which still runs to this day (and is named for her). Ellen Tinkham School