Monthly Archives: January 2016

118 – Present Day Things

Just a list of things going on right now:

  1. I’m growing my hair out. It’s an awkward process. I refuse to cut it until it’s long enough that it won’t feel like I’m moving backwards, but the last cut I got was an asymmetrical bob so it’s growing weird. Anyways, I’m taking steps to really care for my hair now. Because I know you’re dying to hear about it, this is my hair care routine: I shower when I can. Sometimes it’s every day, sometimes it’s every 3 days – just depends what I’ve been doing and what I will be doing and how the kid is behaving. I shampoo my scalp, focusing on the roots and really massaging my head. Rinse, and then condition the ends, leaving my scalp alone. Until a couple weeks ago I applied my shampoo and conditioner both the same way, but since starting to do roots vs ends, I’ve noticed a bit less frizz. Finally, I put on a hair mask for 2-3 minutes. My hair is soft and healthy, though it obviously needs a trim. I use Dove shampoo/conditioner and a L’Oreal mask.
  2. I’m doing a major spring clean. We’ve been overdue for some junk-purging and I’m feeling really motivated at the moment. I’ve already tackled a few problem areas with success, but I still have so much more to get done.
  3. Tonight we’re going to see The Hateful Eight. I love me a good Tarantino.
  4. Potty training continues to not be successful, though I would not call it a failure.
  5. We are just about out of debt!!! And that means we can get a new car (finally!) and begin saving to buy a house. I can’t wait to buy a house. This blog will get a heck of a lot more exciting when it happens. I’ma DIY the snot out of my home.
  6. Ginny and I are watching The Little Mermaid right now, and it warms my heart seeing her love Ariel so much.

Well…I guess that’s it. Just felt like blogging.

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117 – No Will Power

So…I have 2 bags of chips.

BUT!

It’s my husband’s fault.

He bought them.

Not me.

I just…didn’t tell him NOT to buy them.

I promise to be conservative with my consumption of them.

 

116 – A Music Post

I listen to A LOT of music. And my taste is extremely VERY eclectic, as you will see. Today I’m going to share 2 things. First, my latest favourite soundtrack. Second, the latest playlist I’ve been cultivating over at my youtube account.

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Hamilton. Is. AMAZING. I have listening to this cast recording approximately 85 million times since early December and I am not anywhere near being sick of it. I love unexpected uses of music and storytelling, and this definitely fits the bill. All of the music – which varies from more standard broadway tunes to hip hop to rap – is exceptional. The story as well is exceptional. I haven’t seen the musical, but listening to it is almost enough – the lyrics tell such a strong and vivid story. Alexander Hamilton never interested me before, but now I probably know way too much about him. Below are links to my favourite songs.

Alright! Next up, my playlist entitled: All the Feels. Basically, when a song gives me a strong feeling I add it to the list. I only started it about a week ago, so there are still many more songs to add yet. Let’s go.

Ok, so these SHOULD all play consecutively, and then below I have a list of who and what and why.

Writing’s on the Wall – Sam Smith
Wasn’t a Sam Smith fan until I heard this song, and even now I’m not sure I’d buy a full album. However this has moved VERY high in my ranking of Bond theme songs. It suited the tone of the movie (Spectre) so well, and I could listen to this song all day – which I did recently.

Perfect Day – Lou Reed
I don’t know exactly what it is about this song, but it makes me feel so many feelings and all of them strong. It makes me feel sad, it makes me feel in love, it makes me feel happy. I listen to this almost every single day, and have been doing so for close to a year.

Deliver Us – Prince of Egypt soundtrack
This song…it can only be described as powerful. The story it tells is one of my favourites from the Bible, and it is from one of the best animated films of all time. The music really digs in deep inside me and it conveys so much. It’s amazing how sometimes simple cartoons can leave such a mark, but this one really does.

Africa – Toto
You’re really starting to see how eclectic this list is, haha. But I just really like this song! The chorus in particular is what gets to me the most. It’s also fun to sing, even though it drives my sister crazy. She sang it with her school choir one year and so is kinda sick of it. Not me though. Love it.

Into the West – Annie Lennox
If you know me, you know that I am in love with The Lord of the Rings film series. Everything about them. I love the cast, the characters, the sets, the effects, the story, the music…and this song captures the feeling of all of it so well. Annie Lennox was the only choice for a song like this, and it’s beautiful and haunting. It makes me nostalgic for the movies. It makes me dream of riding a horse through Middle Earth. It makes me not fear death. Might sound a little dramatic, but music can make you feel things!!

The Last Goodbye – Billy Boyd
This song goes hand in hand with the previous, and the next song will join them on their walk as well. This song concluded the Hobbit series, and it was a perfect way to finish things off. Billy Boyd sang a beautiful little song in Return of the King, and bringing him back to sing this for the Hobbit films was a bit of a genius idea. His voice suits the world of Middle Earth, and this song gives me many of the same feelings as Into the West – the nostalgia in particular.

I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
I was literally avoiding listening anything to do with this guy because some friends of mine liked him a lot, and I typically have very VERY different musical tastes from them. I wish I hadn’t been dumb about that, haha. I finally gave in and took a listen and I love his stuff! In particular though, this song. Anything to do with Lord of the Rings is okie dokie artichokie in my book (you’d best not get me started of Led Zeppelin or we’ll be here a while). This song makes me want to dance, and sleep, and fall in love in Middle Earth.

*side note* I may be…a bit of a nerd. Not a bad thing. Just sayin’.

What Happens Tomorrow – Duran Duran
I freaking love Duran Duran. If I’d been born much earlier, Duran Duran posters definitely would have graced me walls. I dunno…I just love them! This is one of their more recent songs and it came out when I was in high school and addicted to much and muchmore music. I literally recorded this onto a vhs tape and would watch it all the time. Just a feel-good kind of song.

Perfect Day – Duran Duran
Yep, it’s the same as the Lou Reed one. Duran Duran covered this and I couldn’t be happier that they did. It’s a tough song to cover, but they nailed it.

California – Phantom Planet
I did not watch The O.C. But that didn’t stop me from latching on to this song. It’s great. It feels like summer and the way it builds up in places just really gels with me.

Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
I cannot get enough of this song. I just put it on repeat for like, hours. I had NO idea it was from the 50 Shades soundtrack though, lol. I would just pop the song on then go to another tab or whatever and it was days before I actually watched the video and I was rather confused for a moment. But anyways, Ellie’s voice is so unique and this song just makes me want to kiss my husband. Right on his face. His adorable face.

Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford & Sons
This was literally the first song of theirs I ever heard, and it was only because the video is so ridiculous and was recommended to me from some internet list. Seriously…watch this video. If you listen to nothing else on this list, go to this one and listen and also watch. Hilarious. Also…Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman are just…all of the yes. That beard…those folksy clothes. But anyways the song itself is FANTASTIC. Makes me want to go out and be brave.

Eternal Flame – The Bangles
This song, plain and simple, just makes me feel in love. Reminds me of when I first started dating. It brings back those early feelings of love and that makes me happy.

 

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115 – Will Power

Repeat after me:

I WILL NOT BUY CHIPS TOMORROW

I WILL NOT BUY CHIPS TOMORROW

I WILL NOT BUY CHIPS TOMORROW

I WILL NOT BUY CHIPS TOMORROW

I HAVE SELF CONTROL

I DO NOT NEED FLAVOURED POTATO CRISPS TO MAKE MYSELF HAPPY

THEY’RE SO GOOD THOUGH

I WANNA EAT THEM SO BAD

BUT I WON’T

PROBABLY

I PROBABLY WON’T

I WON’T

I WILL NOT BUY CHIPS TOMORROW

I WILL SIT AT HOME QUIETLY AND DRINK A CUP OF TEA INSTEAD

I HAVE WILL POWER

I DO

SERIOUSLY

I REALLY DO

I DON’T, BUT MAYBE I CAN TRICK MYSELF

LET’S DO THIS

OR NOT…LIKE…

OK

I WILL NOT BUY CHIPS TOMORROW

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114 – 2015 in Movies

WARNING: THIS POST IS SUUUUPER LONG.

If you know me, you know that I love movies. Not just watching them, but learning about them. I love reading about the goings on behind the scenes, the actors’ experiences, and the visual effects (particularly the practical). 2015 was a pretty good year for movies, and I managed to get out to see a lot more than usual thanks to in-house babysitters and a child who is growing up.

Without further ado, here is the list of movies produced in 2015 that I saw – either at home or in the theatre. Note, a couple of the movies I actually didn’t manage to watch until 2016, but obviously this new year is still a baby so I’m still going to include them. (There are also still many 2015 movies that I hope to see yet! And I watched WAAAY more movies than represented on this list, but they were all older.) This list is ranked from least to most favourite.

22. AGE OF ULTRON – I’m not going to say much about this movie. There was so much I didn’t like about it. To be honest though, I’m growing out of super hero movies in general. That’s not to say that I think I’m too good for them or something, they’re just not necessarily something I’m as interested in anymore. I think the epic levels of destruction and the high number of heroes in each movie are just exhausting for me. I find it’s more about the action than the characters and I’m just not the right audience for that. Not a bad movie, just not for me. Also, side note, it was at this movie that we learned front row in the VIP theatre isn’t so great, and is especially uncomfortable with 3D glasses and a meal.

21. PAN – Bryan and I saw this over our little anniversary break in Moose Jaw. It’s definitely not the best Peter Pan adaptation out there – many more would rank much higher on my list – however I would not say that it is bad. It got a really bad rep before release due to the fact that they hired a white actress to play Tiger Lily, which really hurt its numbers. I will say that the actress they hired (Rooney Mara) really suited the tone of the movie, but it was definitely a missed opportunity to make a more diverse choice. This isn’t why the movie didn’t do well though. While the movie was a fun distraction, the plot was muddled and the characters undeveloped. Beautiful visuals and the fabulous Hugh Jackman weren’t enough to save this already sinking ship. It’s a fun watch, but don’t go in expecting to be swept away by the same magic as Disney’s Peter Pan or the classic Hook.

20. THE PEANUTS MOVIE – Being a lifelong admirer of the Peanuts (really, who isn’t?), I was pretty excited for this movie to come out. The animation was brought into the present day without losing the charm of the old Peanuts specials. My brother and I took Ginny to see this one afternoon, and while Ginny absolutely loved it, it was clear that the movie was targeted more toward her than us grownups. While it was a quick and pleasant watch, it didn’t leave me with the same feeling I would have from watching the older Charlie Brown specials. Still, it was a nice way to introduce Ginny to Charlie Brown and Snoopy and Linus (who she keeps calling ‘Charlie Brown’s friend’ even though I’ve corrected her a million times).

19. THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER – A decent chunk of this list is consisted of animated movies. This is not because we have a kid, but because even though we’ve grown into adults our appreciating of cartoons has not lessened. I LOVE animation (particularly Disney). Anyways, Bryan and I went out and saw this one night and we really enjoyed it. It was silly and insane, just as Spongebob should be. We’re Spongebob fans around here, and it did not disappoint us. *bought on bluray*

18. CINDERELLA – This is one of the few that I did not see in the theatre. I was very hesitant to see it at all, as it just looked too glowy and mushy for me. Also, and I still had this issue even after I watched it, I didn’t like the design of Cinderella’s hair and ball gown. Anyways, it popped up on Netflix one day so I spent an afternoon watching it. It was MUCH better than I had anticipated. It retained the feeling of the cartoon version, and added elements that were welcome and easy to accept. The casting choices were brilliant – Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother? YES. My only complaint (other than the dress thing) was that the movie fell into the obnoxious ugly sister trap that most Cinderella movies fall into. I just feel like there was an opportunity to give them better, less vapid personalities. Think the stepsisters in Ever After. All in all, it was worth a watch and it is definitely one that I’ll be buying at some point.

17. PAPER TOWNS – I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but the YA genre of books and movies is not directed at me anymore so I have a hard time enjoying that stuff. Paper Towns however, was a book that I LOVED and the movie was a very fair adaptation. It captured the spirit of the book, featured actors who actually seemed the ages they were playing, and any changes made from page-to-screen were intelligent and logical. It’s not a favourite movie, but I was really impressed at what they did with it.

16. THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. – This movie didn’t do so well, but I personally really enjoyed it. I love handsome men in handsome suits, and seeing Hugh Grant for the first time in forever was a delight. It was a fun date movie, and both Bryan and I were really glad we sprung to see it on the big screen.

15. SAN ANDREAS – Mindless disaster flick starring Dwayne Johnson. It was EXACTLY what I was expecting, which wasn’t a bad thing. Sometimes it’s really nice to just pop a movie on, know what you’re in for, and be perfectly satisfied. Did it have a corny romantic subplot? Yup. Were there ample shots of The Rock’s muscles? Yes sir. Fun special effects? You bet. I love world destruction movies, which I realize is interesting considering what I said about disliking the destruction in Age of Ultron, but this is very different. Anyways, it was a great movie that I got to enjoy in the comfort of my living room with my family. This is one that I caught in the first week of 2016 as well.

14. THE NIGHT BEFORE – This was a wild card movie. I typically do not go to see these kind of movies in the theatre because I just feel I shouldn’t spend money on something that is going to offend me. However, Ginny was away for the night, and Bryan and Phil and I felt like just heading out for some brainless entertainment. And then my sister ended up coming along too! This movie was hilarious. SO inappropriate, but so hilarious. Seth Rogan was my fav. I’m sick of that little pixie Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Anthony Mackie is cute. The cameos were great. But like yeah…not a family friendly holiday film.

13. MINIONS – This is another movie that we took Ginny to, her second on the big screen (her first was An American Tail). She laughed her head off through the whole thing, and I must say that the movie earned it. It was so goofy. I kind of hate minions because I’m so SICK of all the minion memes floating around on facebook. Like seriously…why do you need a picture of a minion to express how you feel about middle age? I don’t get it. Great movie though. Good animation, good voice cast, good plot. We’ve watched it a couple times and I enjoy it as much if not more than the Despicable Me movies. *bought on bluray*

12. ANT-MAN – Well looky here! Another super hero movie, and it isn’t ranked low! Ant-Man was so much fun! It was different from the other Marvel movies and I had a much easier time really getting into it and enjoying it. It’s funny because if you had showed me the Age of Ultron trailer and the Ant-Man trailer side by side, I would have predicted myself enjoying Ultron much better. I could have seen this in the theatre with no regrets. As it was, I watched it in my little bro’s living room with my family (again, first week of 2016), which turned out to be fun. We all really liked the movie. The Thomas the Tank Engine thing killed me.

11. THE GOOD DINOSAUR – Even a poor Pixar movie is still really good. As far as Pixars go, this really would not rank high on my list. However, that doesn’t make it bad at all. The animation, as per usual, was STUNNING. The water effects blew my mind. We took Ginny to see this in the theatre (first week of 2016…we saw a lotta movies, haha), and we were literally the only people in the room so she was free to chatter excitedly about the plot and characters. It was a really cute movie, not too scary (for a kid…obviously I wasn’t scared of a cute dinosaur), and had a really nice voice cast. Sam Elliot plays a steer-wrangling T-rex and I can’t think of anything more perfect than that. It’s for sure on our to-buy list when it is released on bluray.

10. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE : ROGUE NATION – It’s IMPOSSIBLE to not enjoy the Mission Impossible movies. See what I did there? Ha. Ok anyways, this is probably one of my favourites of the series, though I’m pretty sure I say that every time they release a new one. Tom Cruise IS Ethan Hunt, and these movies are always a good time despite not really straying from the same basic idea. I love the action, the stunts, the story, the masks, and of course I love Tom Cruise – he’s such a lovable kook.

9. IN THE HEART OF THE SEA – This movie met and exceeded my expectations. From the first time I saw the trailer last year, I was excited to see this. You may not know this about me, but I LOVE reading about whaling ships and old timey sea adventures, in particular early arctic exploration. This movie fell into that circle of interest and also included a Hemsworth brother and was directed by Ron Howard who is one my favourites. What I’m trying to say, is that this movie had a lot going for it. We sprung for D-Box seats for this one, which was also in 3D, and it was worth the extra money. The motion of the ocean really added to the whole movie-going experience. The story of the whaling ship Essex is SO utterly fascinating – it inspired the novel Moby Dick. It was amazing to see this astonishing true story put on the big screen, and I really think they did such a great job. I can’t wait til it’s released on home video so I can see it again. And again.

8. SISTERS – Confession: I saw this in the theatre twice in one week. I really like Tina Fey and I adore Amy Pohler. It was a really solid female driven comedy. Waaaay better than Bridesmaids which I thought was absolutely awful. There was enough silly humour to balance out the more questionable content, and to be honest I would go see it in the theatre again if movies weren’t so darn expensive. I dunno…I just REALLY liked it for some reason. Didn’t see this one til 2016, btw.

7. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – The first trailer I saw for this hooked me. It was just so BIG, and the music was so epic. I have attempted to watch the original Mad Max films, but I just wasn’t into them. This didn’t deter me from seeing this new one though, and I’m so glad I did. It was STUNNING. The plot was like…whatever, just a general movie plot, but it LOOKED SO GOOD. Furiosa was so cool. The effects were so cool. It was just one of the coolest movies I’ve seen. As I was watching it, I was like, “What am I watching?” but by the time it ended and by the time I got home that night, I was like, “MAD MAAAAAX! I WANNA WATCH AGAAAAIN! FURIOOOOOSAAAAAA!” So yeah. In conclusion, I loved it. *bought on bluray*

6. INSIDE OUT – Another Pixar! Let’s start with the obvious: the animation was amaaaaazing! The characters were charming! And of course, it made me cry. Pixar movies do that to me. This movie ranked high on my list though, for personal reasons. I have NEVER related to a movie more than I did to this one. It was unreal. I was sitting in my seat in the theatre literally sobbing. I had zero control over the situation. I related to not only the main character (Riley) but also her parents. After the movie ended, we went quietly out to the car where I proceeded to sob even more. That movie just effected me. When it came out on bluray we made sure to snap that up, and when I watched it again at home it didn’t effect me any less. I just sat on the couch crying like a baby. This is a movie I don’t allow anyone else to watch with me because my reaction to it is so embarassing. Also, I’d like to make clear: it’s also a funny movie, and has classic Pixar humour and good voice acting and is just all around great. It’s going to win the Oscar, easy. *bought on bluray*

5. SPECTRE – Daniel. Craig. In. A. Suit. That is something that I enjoy. Very much. But obviously Spectre was so much more than that. Perhaps it did not necessarily have the strongest Bond story, but I personally really liked it and it is easily my favourite of the Craig Bond films (my least favourite is Quantum of Solace, in case you were wondering). I don’t know…just everything about this movie was so striking to me, and it gave me strong feelings as I watched. The look of the movie was so big and beautiful. It had the cars, it had the girls. The opening sequence was interesting, and I loved Sam Smith’s song (can’t even count how many times I’ve listened to it). This movie was just the perfect Bond movie for Becca, though i’m well aware that not everyone feels the same way about this one. I can definitely see why a lot of people didn’t dig this one, but that’s the fun thing about being a human: You can posses different opinions and different interests!

4. CRIMSON PEAK – I know that so many people will disagree with me on the specialness of this movie. To me though, this movie was perfect. A love letter to fans of the gothic romance genre, it hit all the right marks. I’m about to use the word stunning a lot here, but I truly mean it in every case. The sets were stunning – Allerdale Hall, the beautiful house that is the amazing setpiece for this story, was a character in and of itself. The architectural detail and hidden symbolism in the fixtures and furniture and finishings was such a cool thing to see. It felt like the house was alive, even as it sank into the crimson clay and fell into decay from years of being neglected. The costumes were stunning – I love a good costume movie, and this one went above and beyond. As I said, there was hidden symbolism in the house, but also in most other aspects of the movie as well, costumes included. The textures, fabric, design, and method of construction conveyed all of the thought and care and time that went into dressing the tragic characters of this movie. The colour story told was powerful, and really connected well to the plot. The effects were stunning – practical effects were used as much as possible, and used well. I am a firm believer that in film-making, practical effects should always be used over digital as much as possible. I also believe that digital effects are are a great way to enhance the practical. This movie combined the practical and digital seamlessly and beautifully. The ghosts in particular were a spectacle to behold, so uniquely designed and strikingly executed on the screen. The story was predictable. This is a complaint I have heard from people who didn’t like the movie, but it wasn’t supposed to be a mystery for the viewer so much as it was supposed to be a mystery for the characters in the movie itself. The entire film was an homage to the genre, and Guillermo del Toro did a really fantastic job making it right. Crimson Peak didn’t need strong suspense or heavy jump-scares to suck the viewers in. That is, the viewers it was intended for. This is not a movie for everyone. Honestly, I have only one friend who I would actually recommend it to. The fans of this movie are niche, and that’s perfectly ok. I’m just so glad I got to see this on the big screen, and I’m already counting the days until the bluray release so I can watch it again.

3. THE MARTIAN – Despite the fact that outer space scares the poops outta me, I really do love space movies. I love Space Cowboys, Interstellar, Alien/s, Prometheus, Gravity, Apollo 13, Galaxy Quest, Star Trek/Wars… The idea of space exploration frightens me and makes me feel claustrophobic, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying movies about it. I read the book first, and it was one that I couldn’t put down. I plopped down on my bed and didn’t get up again until I was done. As such, I was REALLY excited for the movie, and it did NOT disappoint. Matt Damon was perfect. The rest of the casting was perfect. The humour was there, the science was there, the space was there. One of the best book adaptations I’ve seen, and probably one of my favourite space movies now. Matt Damon is also becoming cemented as my favourite actor (move over DiCaprio). Great GREAT movie. One of the best of the year, easy.

2. JURASSIC WORLD – As you may know, Jurassic Park is my favourite movie. I can’t necessarily explain why – I just love it. When I heard they were making a fourth in the series, I had no hesitation in being excited. Even if it was bad, it was still going to be good. Jurassic 3 isn’t very good, but I still watch it all the dang time. Jurassic World was released right around my birthday, so I knew it would be the perfect way to ring in my 26th year. Thankfully, the movie turned out to be good. It was just so much fun! The dinosaurs were cool, the effects were good, Chris Pratt was super awesome, and the return of BD Wong really excited me. I don’t know what it is about dinosaurs, but I just love ’em. I ended up seeing this twice in the theatre in the span of about a week – once with my Bryan and once with a group of friends for my birthday. I enjoyed it thoroughly both times and I have also really enjoyed watching it at home in my living room. Great addition to the Jurassic series, and I really look forward to seeing more! *bought on bluray*

1. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Star Wars. STAR WARS. A new Star Wars movie. The start of a new trilogy. The return of old favourites. The introduction of new favourites. Classic music. Classic lines. Everything about this new Star Wars movie was great. I can’t even say much because what can you say about Star Wars, really? This might be my favourite out of the 7. I loved Rey. I loved Kylo Ren (shocking because I don’t like Adam Driver). I loved the last two minutes the most. John Boyega is a delightful cinnamon bun. Poe Dameron is just cool. Gah. This movie was just great. Zero disappointment. Only minor complaints that aren’t even worth mentioning. I loved it. Best movie of the year.

 

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113 – HARVEST MEDLEY

Time for some food, y’all! I call this recipe my ‘harvest medley’ because it always reminds me of fall and the harvest time. This is a super easy thing to make, is ultra delicious, and is relatively healthy!

Let us begin.

INGREDIENTS
1 Butternut squash (medium)
2 Yams (small)
2 Carrots (large)
Oil
Marg/Butter
Seasonings

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Preheat your oven to 375F.

Cut butternut squash in half, remove skin, then dice. Sometimes I save the seeds for roasting, but I did not do that today. I cut around the innards. You want small, even cubes. Then, put them in a large mixing bowl.

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Next, peel and and cube the yams so that they are about the same size as the squash cubes. Add them to the bowl of squash. Below is also a photo of the yam size I used.

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Peel and slice the carrots. I didn’t worry about cubing them as I did with the other veg, I just tried to get them as thin as possible because carrot cooks agonizingly slow. Add ’em to the bowl.

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Drizzle some oil into the bowl – you want just enough that everything will be coated. Today I used my trusty Becel oil (it’s not too greasy and I can use less), but next time I’ll probably try the coconut oil I recently bought. After, add the seasonings on top. I used a generous helping of onion powder, some regular table pepper, and just a bit of ground sea salt.

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Get in there with your (clean, duh) hands, and mix everything together until the seasonings and oil are well distributed. Then, dump everything out onto an aluminum foil covered pan. Why the foil? Because I don’t like doing dishes and this minimizes the mess. You don’t have to cover your pan if you don’t want to – I’m not the boss of you. Make sure the pieces of veg are spread out as evenly as possible. Then give a quick spritz of cooking spray on top. I used coconut spray.

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Before placing in the oven, I give a quick sprinkle of some extra onion powder and pepper. The tray goes in the oven for roughly 40-45 minutes. You should check about midway through just to make sure everything is softening correctly. The food is ready when it is starting to brown slightly on the top, and you can squish the carrots without force.

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Dump everything into an oven safe dish and then mash! Make sure you get the carrots mashed too – those little devils are sneaky and will try hide from you. Once mashed, add a few dollops of margarine or butter. I used Becel vegan margarine because I had extra left over from Friendsgivingmas and I am almost out of regular. Also, it tastes exactly the same.

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Finally, stir the margarine in and then chuck it in the fridge until later. I always make this dish HOURS before dinner, just because I can. When dinner time arrives, pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes to heat it up. IT’S DELISH, YOU GUYS!!! I know it looks like babyfood, but it seriously is super yummy.

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112 – Slegging

We took Ginny out on her sleg the other day! Not sure why she calls it that, as she is 100% capable of making the d sound, but hey we’re just gonna go with it! She had a BLAST. I was EXHAUSTED! But, we also snapped some great pictures because it was an absolutely beautiful morning out. Observe:

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111 – Christmas Time

Christmas was REDONK. The plan was to have a quiet Christmas, just us Reilly 3 plus Phil. Christmas Eve we went out to church for the candlelight service which was beautiful as per usual, then we went back to the apartment for snacks and movies – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (classic one), and Home Alone. Phil went home for the night and Bryan and I went to bed. Morning arrived, I woke up Ginny, Phil came over, and we did gifts which was fun. Ginny was so excited. We skyped with my mom and dad, then the boys went and picked up some fast food for lunch while I got the turkey ready to go in the oven for dinner. After lunch, I had a delightful Christmas nap, and then I got up to finish making dinner (which was delish). Around 10:15, it was time to go with Phil to pick my sister up from her boyfriend’s house where she had spent her Christmas.

AND THEN WE WENT TO THE AIRPORT TO PICK UP MY MOM AND DAD.

They surprised me!! My mom had kinda blown it a bit on Skype earlier that day, but I had ZERO INKLING THAT THEY WERE COMING RIGHT ON CHRISTMAS. How much was I not expecting it? I had anticipated sitting in Phil’s car without the need to get out, as we were just picking Sarah and up and going home. So I crammed my jammie pants (which are actually Bryan’s so they don’t fit right) into my boots, put a jacket on over a hoodie (also Bryan’s), and then wrapped my Ewok scarf around my head. I was dressed in optimal remaining in the car comfort, not pick up my parents at the airport attire. Anyways, it was a good surprise. I love my mom and dad and I hadn’t seen them since July 2014, so it was a long overdue visit. They booked a room at a hotel, so I didn’t have to worry TOO much about the fact that my apartment was a disaster zone – but I did still worry a bit because that’s who I am.

Boxing Day we all went over to Bryan’s folks’ house for a day of gifts and food and games. It was really awesome having both families together for the day. I’m endlessly thankful for the fact that our parents are friends.

The rest of my mom and dad’s visit was spent eating, hanging, watching movies, shopping, playing games, and just being silly which is our custom. Ginny was spoiled, of course, but nobody minds that. It was a GREAT Christmas, all told.

Behold, our family photos. The first we’d taken in AGES.

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110 – NYR

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

REVIEW OF 2015

1. Lose 30 lbs.
This has been a goal for the past few years, and I’ve yet to achieve it. I’m not too discouraged though – making dietary and fitness changes is HARD for EVERYONE. It’s not something that can happen overnight. Slowly but surely, I’m making healthier choices.

2. Engage Ginny EVEN MORE.
Check! Still room for improvement.

3. FINALLY do some daily devotions.
Gahhh. I lost my wind in February. Gotta pick it up again!!

4. Start writing a novel.
Check! I did 10 000 words. That’s jolly successful if I do say so myself!

5. Set a weekly menu, and eat healthier.
Check! Sometimes I wasn’t good at sticking to it, and sometimes I forgot to make the menu at all, but it helped TREMENDOUSLY.

6. Start seriously thinking about my future.
Nope, didn’t do this. Reason? Because I very seriously panic. Instant crying. Instant fear. I need to do something about that.

2016 RESOLUTIONS

  1. Lose 30lbs.
    This is going to remain on my list until I achieve it!
  2. Expand my cooking repertoire and meal plan more efficiently.
  3. Finish paying off our debt and GET RID OF THE DANG PT CRUISER!!!
  4. Read more!
  5. Open Etsy shop again and create original works to sell.

I feel like I had more resolutions to make this year, but for the life of me I can’t remember what else I had come up with! So perhaps I’ll just add on when I think of it.

Also, I know I said there’d be Christmas stuff in this post, but I lied. Next post!!

 

109 – SURVEY

Before I get down to business with a New Year resolution post, here’s a survey about the year 2015. Can’t recall if I’ve filled this one out before, but here’s this year’s.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

I submitted artwork to a magazine and had it published – TWICE. Bigger than that though, was attending the launch parties and attempting to get over some social fear (still have a lonnnnnng way to go before I conquer that).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Kept some, didn’t keep others. I’ll speak more on that in my next post where I will also talk about my new resolutions for 2016.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not really. I have never had a close friend give birth. It’s always been casual friends/acquaintances, long-lost high school/elementary school friends, or friends of friends. The closest would be my best friend’s sister, who I am friends with, but not necessarily close with. Our daughters are super tight though. Her baby is ULTRA cute, btw.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed right here in Canada. Didn’t even leave Saskatchewan.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Less weight on my body. More confidence socially.

7. What moments from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Seeing Star Wars opening night, Punch magazine/s, Ginny’s excitement for Christmas, my parents surprising me on Christmas.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Punch!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not losing any weight at all – though I did not gain.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Probably clothes. I’m way better at clothesing now.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Bryan and Ginny. Bryan always goes above and beyond as a husband, and Ginny is making strides toward potty training and developing into a real human.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Mostly folks in the news, sadly a few people I know.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills. WE’RE 98% (rough estimate) OF THE WAY DONE PAYING OFF OUR DEBT.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Star Wars.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

The Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier. 2015 was GOOD.
b) Same. Didn’t lose weight, but didn’t gain any.
c) Richer. Because we’re just about out of debt, but also because we are just so happy.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercise.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Nothing. Meaning, I need to stop doing so much of nothing all the time.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Well…I thought I was just going to spend it with Bryan and Ginny but things escalated quickly when my mom and dad showed up unexpectedly! More about that in the next post as well.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Of course. I re-fall in love with Bryan on a regular basis.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The Great British Bake-Off, Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope, I don’t hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Royal We.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hamilton the Musical. LISTEN TO IT! IT’S SO GOOOOOOD!

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted just a couple things for Christmas, and Bryan got all of them for me. Illustrated HP, headphones, a few movies.

27. What did you want and not get?

I wanted Ginny to be potty trained. We’re making progress though.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Crimson Peak. Obsessed. Just ordered two books about it which should arrive this week or the next. Such a gorgeous movie.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We went to see Jurassic World! And it was super ultra rad. Loved it. I turned 26. Mid to late twenties, baby! Can’t wait to hit 30.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having a cell phone. I seriously need one of those.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Grown Up Becca. I’m attempting to mature my wardrobe. It’s tough beans, but I’m doin’ it. Adding more classic pieces, and being a titch more adventurous where and when I can be.

32. What kept you sane?

Bryan.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

John Boyega. Chris Pratt. Colin Firth.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election.

35. Who did you miss?

My mommy and daddy.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

No clue. I don’t meet new people.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN – YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOUR MOM MIGHT SHOW UP UNEXPECTEDLY FOR A VISIT!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“Oh it’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you.” (Lou Reed)

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