Monthly Archives: April 2016

140 – OK. Ok. OK.

*Insert ramble about how I suck at exercising and I’m trying to get back on track…again*

So right now, I have a REAL goal to work towards. Not just some random date selected because I think it’s a decent time frame. No, I want to lose a bit around the midsection and I only have until July to do this. Why? Because I’ma be a bridesmaid! And I want to look lovely in my dress. I’ve been procrastinating ever since purchasing the dress, but now it’s finally time to get into gear.

Will my efforts take this time? Maybe. Just maybe. Why? Because of the following reasons.

  1. The dress looks good no matter what, so no pressure.
  2. I’ve been doing really good in regards to junk food. I falter sometimes (now is one of those times), but then I get back on track far more easily than I ever did before.
  3. I came across a youtuber with workout videos that I actually enjoy. I did her Iron Man Abs workout today, and while I didn’t complete it 100%, I didn’t feel discouraged and I did considerably better than I’ve done with any other videos.
  4. I have a gym membership. I don’t use it nearly enough, but I will. It’s all a matter of making time, and I think now is the time.
  5. I have so many inspiring friends who make me want to do better! From my runner friends, to my beachbody friends, they all make me want to be a better me. I never feel jealous, I never feel less adequate. I just feel like I want to be healthier physically, and seeing all the photos on facebook help me to get motivated.

Now. This is hard.

I took some really cruddy ‘before’ pictures and I’m going to share them here. Here we go. I guess. Haha.

Weight: 180 on the button.

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So. That is my baby belly. Ever since I was about 19, my belly has been pudgy, but it really changes when you have a baby. The stretchmarks grew, and I’ve had to find creative ways to tuck my tummy into my jeans (high-waisted jeggings for the win). I know I won’t be able to get rid of this completely, but if I can lose a little bit of the jelly hiding in there, I’ll be satisfied. All I really want in this life is to wear a t-shirt comfortably.

Blahhh, I can’t believe I shared those pictures, hahaha. I mean…it’s not REALLY a big deal, because that’s just how I look and people see me looking like that all the time. But in this setting it’s just..different. I can’t wait to also share photos of the bridesmaid dress though – it’s smoking, you guys.

Also…I just feel so darn good about myself right now. I’ve finally found my personal style, and I’ve been going hard at maintaining it – feeling comfortable in your clothes goes a long way toward feeling more confident. Once I figured out what works for me, I went all out – bought 3 of the same shirt in different colours, and 2 pairs of identical pants. I freak out about my clothes SO much less often now, and I always know that I have something cute to wear no matter where I’m going.

I can’t wait to see how I do with this!

Do you have ‘before’ and/or ‘after’ pictures on your blog? Link to it in the comments, I’d love to see!

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139 – Thingies

First of all, the thing I couldn’t talk about yet was WE GOT A NEW CARRRR. We didn’t know yet if we were approved when I wrote my last post, but we were approved and then Saturday morning we went and picked up our sweet new ride.

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We love it. It is so so so so so SO SO SO much better than our previous vehicle.

Funny story: the first time I drove it was Saturday night, and I immediately backed into a bush. Just…of course I did that. Hahahaha. Idiot.

Next up! Here’s the dinner I cooked up for my sweetie husband on Saturday evening:

We picked up a couple nice sirloins. I cooked mine to medium well (and then I didn’t even eat more than 1 bite because I’m not really a fan of steak outside of a restaurant setting – but Bryan had it for lunch the next day). Bryan’s, I dropped a pat of margarine in the pan, then tossed in some chopped shallots and fresh garlic. Put the steak in and cooked it to a perfecto medium rare, adding in the mushrooms when I flipped it over the first time. Bryan loved it, I’m happy to say. The asparagus was just steamed, and the rice was just plain. All in all, a delicious meal. Here’s the dessert (which we didn’t end up eating until Sunday evening):

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Oreo cookie crust (followed the package directions, though i used less butter than called for)
1 box of Nutriwhip – hand whipped because we don’t have a mixer…our arms were sore, dude
About a cup or so of peanut butter
Chopped peanut butter cups
More cookie crumbs
Mini marshmallows
Spray whip

This was a super easy dessert to make, and even I, the person who never EVER eats desserts, loved it. It was light but decadent. Basically, once the Nutriwhip was whipped, I mixed in the peanut butter (which I had softened in the microwave) and a bit more of the crumbs, then topped it with the chopped chocolate, marshmallows, whipped cream, and MORE crumbs. Stuck it in the fridge for a few hours and we were golden.

Sunday night we had our Game of Thrones do. I didn’t end up taking many pictures because I was kind of having a bad day, but the menu was this:

Roast beef – smothered in HP sauce, seasoned with S&P, Keg steak spice, bit of onion powder. Slow roasted in the oven at 275 for 4 hours, then I raised the heat to 375 for the last hour. The meat cooked atop a bed of chopped and sauteed carrots and spanish onions which added so much flavour. I added about 2 cups of water, as well as a box of beef stock.
Roast potatoes – Bryan washed and then I chopped up 7 or 8 massive potatoes, leaving the skin on. I put them  in a large pot to boil until I was just able to stick a fork in them with ease. I then strained the water out, then dumped the potatoes into a glass roasting dish. I lightly coated them in oil, salt and pepper, before drizzling about 1/4 cup of margarine over top. Stuck these in the oven at 475 to get crispy. This is my favourite way to cook potatoes – they always end up brown and crispy on the outside, but perfectly fluffy and soft on the inside.
Corn – our friends supplied this
Yorkshires – again, our friends supplied these yummy yummers. We just tossed them in the oven a few minutes before dinner began.

I did manage to snag a photo of the roast just before i took it out of the oven. Look at that crust, guys. (Also, note to self: Clean oven)

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The meal was delish. I had leftovers for breakfast, haha. So yummy. Also, if you’re even coming to my house for roast beef, you better believe I’m going to have the biggest vat of gravy you’ve seen. I’m crazy for gravy, and my roast gravy is especially delicious. I strain the liquid that the roast cooked in, add some cold water, then while the stove is on high, I whisk in a ton of beef gravy bisto. The flavour is so rich, and the gravy gets just thick enough. I would eat it straight from the pot with a spoon, but I’m not allowed to do that anymore because once I start, I can’t stop and then things get out of control and next thing you know, I’m a feral creature crouched on the counter top, gravy and roast beef drippings coating my skin, while fiercely licking my fingers and wielding a ladle. It’s not a pretty sight.

So all in all…it was a good weekend. I got to spend a TON of quality time with my husband, just us alone with no sister and no kid. It was wonderful. It really refreshed us and I feel really good going into this new week. And at the end of this week? Salvation Army moves come out! CAN’T WAIT CAN’T WAIT. It’s always a date I look forward to, as there are always folks I know on the list.

OK! BLOG POST DONE!!

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138 – Weekend Plans

Bryan’s birthday was a couple weeks ago, and while we did do a small celebration on the day, we decided to wait until this upcoming weekend to REALLY party. And by really party, I mean ship the kid off to the grandparents and eat ALL THE FOOD.

On Bryan’s birthday itself, I roasted a whole chicken (yum – way prefer it to buying a rotisserie bird at the grocery store), and served it with some veggies and potatoes. We also got an ice cream cake, which was super yummy but made me feel so sick (I’m guessing it was the dairy?).

For his b-day celebration this weekend, here are the plans:
Friday – we go out for dinner, probably Canadian Brewhouse or somewhere similar. Canadian Brewhouse is our new favourite, by the way. So much choice and even I, a picky eater, have trouble choosing what to eat because everything looks super yummy.
Saturday – I’m cooking Bryan a ‘gourmet’ dinner. I’m going shopping with my bro in the morning to get all the ingredients while Bryan sleeps in. The menu I’m putting together will consist of: steak (I’m hoping to find a nice filet mignon), rice or potatoes, asparagus, squash, and a peanut butter pie concoction for dessert. Wish me luck!

On Sunday, we pick up our daughter to bring home and then we’re having a straight-up party, though this one has nothing to do with Bryan’s birthday. Game of Thrones premieres Sunday night, and we’re celebrating in style. I picked up a massive roast beef to cook, and I have a friend bringing over some sides to enjoy with it. I can’t wait. This roast is so big and is gonna be so tasty. We’ll dine on the beast, drinking blood red soda from our dragon wine goblets, and then watch the season 5 finale before the season 6 premiere. It’s gonna be awesome. I’ll probably take pictures.

There’s also something else that may be happening this weekend, but because it’s not a for sure yet, I can’t say anything. But if it works out, it’s going to be AWESOME. Cross your fingers, people.

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137 – Leg Hair and a Cute Kid

If I’m being perfectly honest, and I see no reason why not to, then I must tell you that until this afternoon I had not shaved a single hair off my legs since 2015. So I made it 108 days, 16 hours, and about 20 minutes into 2016 without grooming my gams. So anyways…my legs are super smooth now.

Now, onto the cute kid. I took Ginny to the park this morning and we just hung out on the grass, spinning in circles and cuddling and chatting. Then we walked to a convenience store and I got a Coke and she got a popsicle. It was really nice! Here’s some pictures:

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136 – Cross Stitch

Soooo…a few weeks ago my sister bought me a cross stitching kit. It was a really cute one that I had been wanting because A) cross stitch/embroidery has fascinated me for a while now and B) it was a pattern that reminds me of my Grandma. So anyways, I completed the pattern, framed it, and hung it on my wall.

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I immediately took a keen liking to this craft. There have been other hobbies I’ve attempted to take up – crochet for instance – that I failed miserably at. But this? This was so natural. I LOVE IT. And so, I hit up Michael’s and picked up some supplies. I also purchased a nerdy Super Nintendo pattern at a craft fair. Oh, and I pilfered all of my mother-in-law’s old cross stitching thread, needles, and pattern books (which are oh-so-’80s) since she didn’t need them anymore. Then…I got to work. I think I prefer to do stuff out of my head, so that’s what I’ve been doing over the past week. Here’s my first creation:

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This is one of my favourite quotes from the movie American Hustle. Look up the scene on youtube, it’s pretty good. This piece is not perfect BY FAR. So many easy-to-see mistakes. But it was my first attempt and I’m proud – especially of the flame.

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Next up, is this one that I made for my sister. This quote is from the show Parks and Recreation, which we both love. She’s my bud. So I wanted to make her something in honour of that. Have ovaries (and a uterus) ever looked so cute? No. No they haven’t.

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This one is special for two reasons. First, it’s Sebastian and Sebastian is the bomb and he is so cute with his lil’ smile and googly eyes. Second, it was my first attempt at free-handing something more fluid in style. I looked up a screenshot from The Little Mermaid, and then just worked off of that – no pencils first, just following my heart. I was really proud of how it turned out, even with the one glaring error that stares me right in the face (do you see it?)

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Finally, I made this one this afternoon. A very famous quote from my favourite husband’s favourite show. You have no idea how frustrating this was at some points. I kept making boneheaded spelling mistakes, which involved tedious picking-out of those tiny stitches and it drove me insane. I am not that dumb! I KNOW that NOTHING is not spelled NOTHIG. Arrrgh. But anyways, I’m happy with the result and I think Bryan will like it too.

ANYWAYS I LOVE CROSS STITCHING AND EMBROIDERY OKAY BYE!

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135 – Hemsworth

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Liam Hemsworth for my sister as a gift for one of her coworkers. I like how it turned out. pencil on bristol.

134 – New Bible

For several years now, I’ve been wanting a new Bible. I wanted a Bible though, that would cater specifically to me. My old Bible, which I bought in 2007 was great – nice cover, nice pages, decent sized print, but no matter how many times I tried to read it, I could never make it out of Exodus. I needed a new Book that would be more conducive to me as a visual learner. And then, out of the blue last week, I found one.

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A beautiful leather bound cover, elastic to hold it shut, built-in bookmark. The outside is attractive and not busy. It’s the inside though, that really drew me to purchase this.

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This Bible was made specifically for creative journaling, and the images throughout are beautiful and I can’t wait to colour them in over the years. Not only does it have these pictures for colouring though, it also has nice big margins to write in (which I have already been making good use of). Excellent footnotes combined with an easy to read translation are making this more of a joy to read than my previous Bible. Reading this Book makes me feel inspired, and is also making me feel more willing to take on the task of reading God’s word, cover to cover. You’ll also notice the sides of the pages have a lovely print of flowers and butterflies as well.

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I realize that this post almost sounds sponsored, but it’s not. I’m just so excited about this! It was such a cool and unexpected find. A Bible just for me.

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133 – More Tea

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Today I’m drinking Jumpy Monkey from DavidsTea. I’m hoping the bit of coffee in it will help perk me up a bit. I’m not doing too poorly today, but I feel like I need a little something something.

Ginny and I just got home from our first visit to the park this spring. She had a blast, I thought it was alright, and we didn’t get too chilly. Also, she was incredibly well-behaved. Often when it’s time to head home, she puts up a huge fight but that was not the case today. She dutifully held my hand and didn’t fuss when I wouldn’t carry her.

In art-related news, I’ve got a few projects on the go. Still working on my CS Lewis piece, I have a couple colouring pages I’m working on, and I’m currently drawing a portrait of Liam Hemsworth for my sister to give to her co-worker.

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In other news…well there isn’t really any other news right now. We lead boring lives around these here parts. We watch TV, we eat, we sleep…that’s about it. I WILL have a post coming soon though, about the new Bible I recently purchased, and in a few months I will hopefully have a post about the bridal shower I’m throwing for the my best bud.

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132 – BOOK QUIZ

BOOK QUIZ

Book Quiz 55 Questions on Books

1. Favorite childhood book?

Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder

2. What are you reading right now?

Nothing at the moment, though lately I’ve had a hankering to read The Lovely Bones, and I have a massive graphic novel coming in the mail (Blankets).

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I don’t have a library card and I didn’t even know where the library was until a couple weeks ago.

4. Bad book habit? 

Leaving them EVERYWHERE. The worst though, is leaving a book in the bathroom and then finding it has warped a bit.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing. 😦

6. Do you have an e-reader?

I have a Kindle, and it’s wonderful. I typically prefer physical books but e-readers are a marvelous invention. Unfortunately, my Kindle isn’t working right now 😦

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

I prefer to read one at a time, but sometimes I deviate.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Nope. Well, technically yes, but not because of the blog.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)

The Revenant. Was a disappointment after seeing the movie which was AMAZING. It’s not very often that the movie is better than the book.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

Probably Yes Please. I love Amy Poehler, and it was a really good read.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Not too often. I read so much less than I used to, that I’ve become much more picky about what I’m reading. I try to choose books that I know I will love – which is doubly important because I really prefer to buy my books to keep forever.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

Old favourites, and new ones that are like the old ones 🙂

13. Can you read on the bus?

Yep. I can even read while reading. Let me explain. In high school, my English teacher would make us read our novel studies aloud – something that baffled me because it dragged the book out for SO LONG. But anyways, I would read ahead because I have no patience for slow reading, but still keep track of where the class was in the book so that when it was my turn to read I’d be ready. I never once screwed up. Typically, I’d end up reading the novel at least 3 times before the rest of the class finally finished.

14. Favorite place to read?

My bedroom on my second bed.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I try to avoid it unless I trust the person. I don’t want to not get my book back. Plus, if you bend the spine you’re dead. Only I may bend my spines, and it depends on the book.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

On occasion. I try to avoid it, but I also like my books to look well loved and I feel dog-earing the pages adds to the charm. But only sometimes!!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Only Jane Eyre – I bought a copy specifically for this purpose.

18. Not even with text books?

Nope. I didn’t go to uni, so my text book experience is limited to high school, and I would never write in a book belonging to the school.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

English, please.

20. What makes you love a book?

Everything. From the cover to the index. The font, the story, the illustrations. The tone of the book, the feelings I get. The feeling of the cover, the feeling of the print when it’s raised off the page ever so slightly. The smell of the pages. I. Love. Books.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

If I find myself thinking of someone in particular while I’m reading, then I’ll recommend it to that person afterward.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) 

Fantasy/Sci-Fi

24. Favorite biography?

Pioneer Girl (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? 

Probably?

26. Favorite cookbook? 

Jamie’s Comfort Food. First of all, the cover is gorgeous. Second, the food inside is ahhhhmazing.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?

Not a Fan. It’s about drawing closer to Christ, and really made me think and feel inspired to rethink some aspects of my faith.

28. Favorite reading snack?

Tea, Coke, popcorn, chips…plate of spaghetti. Anything, really.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

Catcher in the Rye. SO much hype over this book and I felt that it was incredibly disappointing and underrated. I do not understand how people consider this book to be a life changer.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

Moderately? I dunno. I don’t usually read what the critics say when I’m buying a book. I buy what I like.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I feel a bit bad, but only because I want so very much to love every book I read. When I do need to give a bad review, I don’t mind actually typing out the words though. Bad is bad.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? 

Welsh. That would be hella interesting.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

Les Miserables. It’s taking me years to get through it.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

The rest of the Game of Thrones series. I read the first 2.5, and then kinda lost interest because of the insane amount of characters. I want to read the rest, but I’m nervous about failing again.

35. Favorite Poet? 

I’m partial to Marlowe. Thanks to my sister I also really like Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And thanks to Ted Mosby, I enjoy some Pablo Neruda. Then there’s e.e.cummings. I like beautiful poetry. My favourite poem is The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? 

Back when I was a library regular, I’d usually take out the max.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread? 

60/40.

38. Favorite fictional character? 

I adore Jane Eyre. Also Batman. And Snape.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

Voldie is pretty good. So is John Hammond in Jurassic Park.

40. Books you’re most likely to bring on vacation? 

Old favourites.

41. The longest you’ve gone without reading.

I don’t know because every once in a while I’ll think, “Gee, I haven’t read anything in a while” and then I’ll realize that I literally read 2 books the previous week. I read without thinking about it. They just sneak in there somehow.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Wuthering Heights. I’m trying. I’m really trying. But it is so annoying.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

My child.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

Little Women (Winona Ryder) is a pretty good adaptation. Jurassic Park was too, deviating in the right spots.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation? 

TIMELINE. Oh my gosh. SOOOO SO SO SO SO disappointing. The book was phenomenal and the movie just 100% failed.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

I don’t know…I just spent $76 on Indigo’s website the other day…

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? 

Rarely. I probably will skim it a bit if the beginning isn’t hooking me.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

If it sucked, or was upsetting me too much.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

Yes, but it’s hard in my present living situation. I did do a spot of organizing recently, wherein I took the dust jackets off of a bunch of the books to show off their beautiful binding.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

KEEP! Gotta re-read them!

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

The Bible. It’s such a monumental read, and anytime I’ve tried I have failed. Just ordered a new one though, and I’m hoping the layout and style will help me out a bit. More on that when it arrives!!

52. Name a book that made you angry.

Bittersweet. It was just so utterly disappointing and I felt it was a waste of time. I ended up not even keeping it.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

Planet X. It was a Star Trek/X-Men crossover novel and it was awesome.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

The Revenant.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Any old well-beloved series – Anne of Green Gables, Little House, Potter…

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