Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arrrgh! Caramel!

Last night I:

Got to try out our new chairs with some dinner guests

Continued to feed my caramel craving

And found out that my 7X great-grandfather was a pirate


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We upgraded our dining room chairs tonight courtesy of Kijiji.
Old and New:

Prettier AND WAY more comfortable.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pepperoni and Cheese

When we first found our place we both called our parents to let them know we'd be moving and to tell them where. BOTH of their first reactions were, "I don't know, that's a bit of a bad neighbourhood". At first I shrugged it off but as we got that comment more and more I started to get a little paranoid. What were we getting ourselves into? As I do with most things in life, I turned to google and searched our street, our neighbourhood, etc. for some insight into the goings on in our then soon-to-be neighbourhood. Here is the article I found:

Follow the pepperoni

Published Friday November 20th, 2009


The bad guys made off with the dough Thursday night.

No weapons were involved and there were no threats of violence, but a couple of hungry thieves snatched $60 worth of New England brand pizza from the hands of a Capital Deliveries driver during the early evening.

Sgt. Matt Myers of the Fredericton Police Force said the driver had been dispatched to the Murray Avenue area when a couple of males grabbed the food from the driver's grasp and fled with it on foot.

Police are treating the incident as a theft and are asking for public assistance in tracking down the men with the munchies.

Anyone with information may call police headquarters at 460-2300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

So funny. I know some people would say that it is horrible to laugh at that. And a crime is a crime. And yadda yadda. But I'm not one of those people. It made me feel like I live in a funny neighbourhood instead of a rough one.

I wonder if Heather McLaughlin always dreamed that one day she would sit at a desk and dream up pizza puns. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This and That: The Random Edition

I'm starting to fall into old habits of not posting. Okay, so on second thought my last post was only Thursday and right now is Sunday night and for some reason I was thinking that that is four days. But I'm not going to make some joke about how math isn't my strong suit because it actually always was. Anyhow, the good new is that I only missed two days which isn't bad at all now is it? I've noticed in the blogging world that it is often commonplace for bloggers to write posts in advance and either save them for future use or have them post at a scheduled time. I was such a good little blogger the other weekend when I went away and  did just that; wrote a post for every day that I was going to be away and scheduled them to post automatically. Thinking about this made me consider writing posts and setting the date/time labels to the days that I missed. But that seems somehow wrong and like it would be cheating. Why is it okay for the future but not for the past? Kind of like setting a clock or watch by turning back the time? The way the days, weeks and months have been flying by, wouldn't that be nice.

Speaking of the blogging world I've recently started making use of the lovely website and I have to say I enjoy it quite a bit. I've tried Google Reader but I've never been a fan so I'm really pleased with the ultra simple layout of Blog Lovin'. I actually don't have very many blogs that I check regularly but this will help me check the ones that I do faster, and not bother checking one that hasn't updated. Oh, simple pleasures.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about photography and investing time in learning more and taking better photographs. I've been interested in photography since pretty much elementary school and I don't know why I haven't taken more time and effort into really developing my skills. I'm making it a point to do so, so with any luck (and a little effort) I'll have some nice photographs to post before too long. I have a roll of 220 in my Holga that I need to remember to get processed. That has little to do with photographic skill but I'm really excited to see what little treasures await there. Here is one photograph that I took that I'm not quite sure why, but I really like it.

I've been working away as usual on house stuff and various little projects. I just need to find fabric to upholster the bamboo chairs and they are done, my office chair just needs a cushion and it's done, the mudroom just needs the trim to be finished, shelving installed and a couple of finishing touches and it will be complete. I just bought a fun new toy to help with some of the projects I've been doing. Dave is convinced I'm going to cut my finger off. Doesn't he know that I was once the poster child for a national safety campaign?

In other important news, the quest for a squeeze bottle to fill with caramel is turning out to be a challenging one. Walmart and the Dollarstore both disappointed. If I had had one I could have drizzled the top of the banana bread I baked for Dave tonight with it. I would take a picture and post it but it will be gone before I get a chance. It's pretty much his favourite thing ever.

I had a pretty amazing experience on Saturday that I'd like to write about but I think it deserves its own post. and besides, it's sleepy time.

Goodnight. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I have always loved Caramel. Don't worry, it doesn't at all hinder my ability to also love chocolate.
Some favourites include:
And lets not forget one of my all-time favourites (and pretty much the reason why I sometimes convince myself that I simply cannot get any work done that particular day unless I bring my laptop to Starbucks); the Caramel Frappuchino

And in my quest for all things caramel I did something that I'm surprised I hadn't done before; I went to the grocery store and I bought a bottle of the stuff. (Yes, you CAN do that!)
This bottle to be precise:

And while I must first admit that I have sometimes found myself stuffing a butter knife down the neck of the bottle so that I could lick it off (and yes I "double-dipped" but don't judge me), I have to say that all around the purchase was disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it's delicious. It's the packaging that doesn't make sense to me. The label says to refrigerate once opened. No problem. But the sauce is so thick that it makes it impossible to drizzle. And refrigeration only compounds that problem. It also says to "shake before serving" which makes me laugh because when you shake it, the caramel doesn't move at all. And trying to drizzle pour it out of the bottle is impossible because it's as slow as molasses. You have to leave the bottle upside down for awhile to get any out and there will be no drizzling at any time. Why on earth does this not come in a squeeze bottle? It would be so much easier to squeeze into my mouth drizzle on dessert.

I have been trying to use it on my homemade iced coffee drinks but it's quite difficult and messy. I am planning on finding and purchasing a squeeze bottle, looking for a recipe on Recipe Zaar (which apparently is now called and making my own. I'll let you know how it goes. And yes, I know that this post would be better served had I actually done the making of the caramel before I actually posted about it. But I am of the camp that if I say I'm going to do it (even if it is just to my one faithful reader) than I'll do it. So, are you running out for some caramel yet? Happy Craving.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


A couple of years ago I picked up a Rubik's cube for Dave as I knew he had one at work that he liked playing with but it was falling apart. It went unsolved for quite awhile but then one day I decided that I was not going to bed until I solved it. It was far too late at night to make such a silly decision but about 45 minutes later I had it solved. I did so by researching the various steps and algorithms online. And let me tell you, even though you can find "directions" and videos to help you solve it; it is still not easy. After I'd done it several times, it got a tiny bit easier but I would often still mess up and have to start from scratch. Anyway, I solved it a few times and that was good enough for me. I do not have aspirations to become a speedcuber.

Shortly after we moved into our new place my parent's stopped in for a visit and my Dad picked up the Rubik's cube and was fiddling with it. After awhile he tossed it aside and my Mom said, "Here, I'll solve it for you!". I laughed at my silly Mom and asked her if she knew how to solve it. She told me that she solved one once before. I diverted my attention and eyes elsewhere and a few minutes later she passed me the solved cube. What?! I was impressed but immediately needed answers. Surely she had learned some algorithms or at least knew some method of solving it. I asked her again and again. And she told me, "I just play with it till I solve it". "But do you get a a 'T' on all sides first and then....", I asked trying to remember the steps I'd followed. She blinked twice and looked at me like I was insane, "I just play with it and work it until I get it". "You know that that is supposed to be virtually impossible to do right?", I added still a little bit skeptical. My Dad chimed in at this point adding that he'd been trying to solve it beforehand and so he had it partially solved for her. She looked at us both annoyed, but challenged and said, "Mess it up. I'll do it again." And so my Dad spent a couple of minutes unsolving the cube before handing it back to her. At this point I had absolutely no faith that she'd be able to do it again and thought it a complete fluke so I didn't pay much attention until lo and behold just a short few minutes later, she'd done it again. my Mom a genius?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Google is Killing Me

I have bad circulation but never thought much of it. But lately I have been getting that pins and needles feeling quite a lot and out of curiosity I googled "bad circulation" and found several articles that started with "Bad Circulation which is also known as the Silent Killer...." and now I think I'm dying.

The internet is amazing. The ability to "google" whatever I want whenever I want is something that I don't ever want to live without. I can think of very few negatives associated with the online world. The ability to search symptoms and diagnose yourself with insane illnesses and decide you are going to die soon is one of them.

My name is Natty and I was NOT a hypochondriac before Google made me one.

Undercover Karaoke with Jewel

This is pretty fun:

Although I would have liked it more had they not re-introduced her as Jewel and told everyone.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Little One

Today I happened upon Cain's medical record from his first shots before he was part of our family. Finding this gave me two very interesting pieces of information: a) his exact birthdate, May 24, 1996 (I knew it was sometime in May 1996) and b) the name given to him by the breeder, Three Patch. Three Patch? Good lord, they must have named a lot of dogs before they got to him. And yes, he does have three patches. I wonder what the other dogs in his litter were named; Two Patch and White and Brown? I tried to get him to come to Three Patch and he wouldn't. Which is very telling considering he would probably come to any name you call him. He's not dumb, he just LOVES attention. He's pretty cute, isn't he?:

So he just turned 14 a couple of months ago and I turn 28 this year. That means that he is now the age I was when we got him, older actually. And he's been in my life for over half of my life. He's the most loyal, funny, amazing little dog and one of my oldest friends. He's my best friend. And don't feel bad for me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

And here's one more picture of him (with some more kitchen progress in the background):

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Work Horse Not A Show Pony

I'm in the process of giving a couple of bamboo chairs a face lift. Want to see a before photo? I thought you might...

The chairs came from my Aunt who moved out West who got them from my sister who got them from a yard sale maybe? When I pulled off the seat from one of the chairs I saw something that I would like to think is a good omen:

If you knew me as a child you'd know that I used to write my name on everything. And yes, furniture is included in everything. So strange. It even looks like my six-year-old scrawling. There was also a sticker on one of the chairs. It said, "Do Not Move To New Building". Poor chairs. They got left at the old building.

I usually have a project or two on the go, and at least 100 plans and dreams and schemes in my head, waiting in the wings. And lately David has been complaining a lot about it and I don't understand why. I can see complaining about someone who is really lazy. Even lazy people think poorly of lazy people. But I'm working. Working really hard. And when is that a bad thing ever? Anyway. Speaking of working hard, the mudroom makeover is coming slowly but surely. Last night I got a coat of paint on the floor and tonight I did the finish coat. Looks much better than it did. After all that sweaty hard work, what better way to relax than with a blended iced coffee drink with caramel and whipped cream?

Why yes, I have been using my Copco Eco-First Sierra Tumbler. Thanks for asking.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cup of...

I don't usually like to waste money on trinkety novelty items. But every once in awhile I find something and I can't resist. This usually happens at Chapters and Winners. Funny I should say that because I found a reusable iced drink tumbler at Chapters I wanted but it was overpriced, I wasn't sure how much I'd use it and Dave laughed at them. But then Winners came to the rescue and I found this:

The Copco Eco-First Sierra Tumbler, much more reasonably priced, bigger, and better quality. I got the last one and Dave asked where his was. I originally had visions of homemade blended iced coffee drinks but now am also dreaming of daiquiris, milkshakes, smoothies, iced-teas, and ice-cream floats. Mmmmmmmm.......

Ps. I MAY have been sipping a virgin strawberry daiquiri yesterday as I drove over town. It felt naughty.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I'm home after a weekend away. Exhausted. Sunburned. Before I left the lake Sunday I had a shower (and did not go swimming afterward) and when I got home I had a bath. When I drained the bathtub there were PILES of sand sitting at the bottom. I have NO idea where it was all hiding. Pictures:

Such a GREAT weekend.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Graffiti Grimaces

Here are one of about ten photos I took while in Montreal. I snapped it quickly of my sister as we were walking while she grimaced and made statements about how much she hates having her picture taken. I love photographs of people. Why is everyone I know so damn camera shy?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Our little house in our rough little neighbourhood came with a rough little mudroom. The whole house is in pretty great shape, except of course the mudroom. A couple "before" pictures to show you what I mean:

Pretty mangey right? Anyway, I'm happy to report that a quick coat of paint made quite a difference but there are still quite a few things I want to accomplish in there in the next couple weeks. With any luck I'll be able to post some "after" photos soon. One of the projects that I had in mind for in there was to take some photos of flowers in our yard, frame them and put them up on the wall to brighten it up a bit and I thought it would be a nice way to remember the things that grow outside in the middle of winter when they are six feet under snow. I snapped a few the other day and am happy with the results. I had originally intended to pick a few favourites and frame and display them separately but when I put them into collage form, I really liked how they looked. So much so that I'll likely do something similar for the wall. I was eating Smartfood at the time so maybe that was it...

Speaking of taking pictures, I found a blog called Under the Sycamore written by a photographer. She has amazing photographs. Looking through her blog makes me want to a) take better photos and b) have said photos published into coffee table books (for my own coffee table). I shouldn't admit these things, should I?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Emphatic Empathy

I mentioned the other day about a trip to the grocery store to buy supplies for a retreat weekend turning into something that wasn't as much fun as it could have been. And to be honest the outing was bothering me more than perhaps something so small ever should. There were three of us responsible for planning, purchasing and providing everyone with breakfast one of the days and some additional snacks. There was a set amount we were to aim to spend and this is basically our "fee" for attending the weekend. We set a date and time and met at the grocery store. One of the women I know rather well and have been volunteering with for some time and would consider her a good friend outside of the organization. The other woman, I've only just met briefly. So basically what happened was that the woman that I've only just met sort of took over the show, made all of the decisions about what we'd buy and was a little dare I say it, aggressive about the whole thing. At first I was fine with it because I'm usually pretty go-with-the-flow with these types of things. I'm not a picky eater and if someone has preferences and ideas I have no problem with going with them. So for awhile I just went with it. But then I made a couple of suggestions that were rather, I felt, aggressively shut down. And then this person continued to make decisions and it didn't appear to me that as I would normally expect in that type of situation that she really cared to know our opinions on the matter. And I know that we are seriously talking about decisions on what food to buy. I know that that is silly. I know that. But when we started out we were three abroad and very quickly it started to feel like tagging along behind and I began to feel like a little kid asking Mom for stuff at the grocery store. And I felt, sort of, degraded to be honest. And then I shut down and decided that I was just going to wait for it to be all over. But I couldn't keep all of these negative thoughts from flooding in and I was just seriously annoyed with this person, how she was treating the situation, the decisions she was making, the things she was doing (and buying!). And I have to say, I probably didn't handle the situation very well. In the end, I was so annoyed and so put-off that it was probably obvious that I was displeased. I ended up carting away all of the (over budget) groceries to my car and home to my fridge/freezer (none of which I had picked and I have no idea when I was elected the designated bring the groceries home person). So, I'll say it. I was sort of pissed. And when you get into that frame of mind things just start to go wrong; it's the way of the world. And so as I let my poisonous attitude seep out into the universe, it made things worse and I couldn't get over how I was feeling. And a couple days later when I would look at the groceries in my fridge waiting to head out for the weekend, those same feelings would come flooding back. And as much as I know I should have just gotten over it, not a big deal and all that. And as much as Dave told me that it's not a big deal and I shouldn't dwell on it, and he's right, I couldn't help it. At the time, I thought the best way to go about the situation was to just let this person do what she wanted and move on in life. And maybe I was right. But the problem was that the whole event had me so irritated that even though I tried to do that, it's still bothering me to the point where my opinion of this person is ending up sort of tainted. And I know that's ridiculous, I do. But my brain appears to have a mind of its own and doesn't care. And in retrospect maybe the right thing to do for me was to make some demands of my own, which would make me feel a little more "heard" and as though I contributed and would potentially make the person a little more self-aware as to how she was treating the situation and her co-shoppers.

And I know that the whole situation seems ridiculous. But when someone else gets upset about something, even if I think it's ridiculous I at least try to see where they are coming from and act accordingly. And I also try to grant myself that same luxury. I'm not really sure why it bothered me as much as it did. But it did. It pissed me off and made me feel small and if that's how I feel, then I'm allowed to feel that way. And all that. But I also try to think about where the person was coming from and why they acted the way they did. In the movie, Mona Lisa Smile (which I don't really remember besides the scene I'm about to describe) there is a scene where Kirsten Dunst's character is screaming all of these horrible things at Maggie Gyllenhaal's character and instead of reacting with anger, or screaming back or whatever she basically opens her arms and lets Kirsten Dunst's screaming hateful character fall into them and she cries, etc. etc. (or at least that's how I remember it). ANYWAY, while I KNOW that these two situations are completely different and one of them is a MOVIE and not even REAL, that scene stuck with me. It stuck with me because I found it to be a really nice example of having empathy for another person. And realizing that when someone is treating you not-so-nicely it often has very little (if anything) to do with you. And being able to respond with love and empathy is a really difficult but amazing thing to do. So that brings me back around to my not-at-all like a movie situation in which I get really angry over a grocery shopping trip with a near stranger. The really immature and negative side of me was deciding that I didn't like this person and that I was just going to avoid spending time with her over the weekend, yadda yadda. But the mature, caring, compassionate, empathetic, Maggie Gyllenhaal side of me is going to realize that she is a mother and is probably used to making all of the food decisions for her family and careening young ones through the supermarket at top speed while she decides what she's going to cook for meals for the next day between dropping one off at soccer practice, picking one up from ballet and signing a report card with the opposite hand. And who knows, maybe we'll be friends.

Or something like that....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pack Rat

I have always loved and wanted a vintage suitcase. This is totally silly considering I rarely travel. But hey, if there is something that can make packing a little more fun, I'm all for it.

Why the thoughts on packing? Because I'm going away for the weekend and majorly putting off packing. I don't know why so many people complain about unpacking. It is SO much faster than packing. Step 1: bring your suitcase to the washing machine, drop clothes in washer. Step 2: Carry toiletry bag to bathroom, put away contents. Step 3: Put suitcase away. Congratulations you have just turned unpacking into a load of laundry. Whenever I go away I'm usually unpacked within five minutes of stepping in the door. Packing though, that's another story. It makes me feel like I have all this stuff that needs to be done but I just can't get myself to do it. And I hate the whole thing about packing where you have to leave some stuff out because you'll need it before you leave but then you worry the whole time that you'll forget to put it in and then you have to make a packing list and a separate, "Don't forget to pack this before you leave" list. Maybe I have some sort of compulsive packing disorder to go along with the obsessive compulsive disorder I think I may be mildly afflicted by. And the moral of the story? I am fairly certain SURE that a vintage suitcase could change all that. The End.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Locks of Love

I have an envelope downstairs waiting to be mailed to Locks of Love with five ponytails in it. Here's what they looked like last week still attached to my head:
Hopefully my ridiculously thick and long hair will be put to good use!
(psssst...there's a little sneak peek of the headboard in the background)

*Edit: Check out the thank-you postcard I received from Locks of Love here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Days like this

Today I felt bored and annoyed and the highlight of my day was to be grocery shopping for a retreat weekend. But then that turned into an even more annoying ordeal (to say the least) and then I went to run a few errands that I needed to run and I felt so off kilter that I was running around in circles and then my foot felt funny and I looked down to see that my favourite summer sandals were broken


I got this frame for $11.00 and that seemed to balance out my universe.
I still want to get this one:
(it's a lot bigger than the first one)

I like these Umbra Multiframes. Multiple frames, one nail in the wall. How clever!

Is ANYONE listening?

The other day I wrote a post asking Aliant if they were listening. If someone from Aliant someday reads it, that would be great but I obviously wrote it while acknowledging how highly doubtful it is that anyone would. They should be reading what's out there in the interwebs about them but I don't care to go on anymore about that. I also don't have the energy to talk about the fact that it took about six more phone calls with them to get anything any closer to straightened out and I'll believe it when I see it. ANYWAY, as I wrote, "Are you listening Aliant?" I couldn't help but wonder if anyone was. I don't want a blog so that I can have hundreds or even thousands of followers, I don't. That's far too much pressure and while I know I have interesting things to say, I'm not that interesting. And people will always say how if you want people to read your blog it needs to have a theme, a shtick. But what if I don't want one? I just want to write about whatever I want to write about. So, while I'm not interested in having tons of people reading what I'm putting out there, is it so terrible to want someone to read it? And someone does read my blog and no, it's not my boyfriend, though you would think he'd be compelled to. I've begged. He won't. The one person (that I know of) who reads this left a comment on my post the other day to the effect of, "This is too long so I didn't read it". Fair enough. Time is money and all that. Wait a minute. I just spent a considerable amount of time writing something that there is a good chance that no one will ever read, ever. What?! And while I haven't mass emailed my blog out to everyone I know, I have sent it to a select handful of people and the response ranged from no response to, "cool" (though I'm rather sure they never looked at it) to, "I'm not into that stuff. Sorry." It is really difficult to find the motivation to spend time writing and posting when I know there is a chance that no one will ever read it. But no one will ever want to read it if I haven't spent time developing it. Looks like I've got a case of the Catch-22s.

So what is it? And is anyone out there?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Time to vent...

Everywhere I want to buy or build a piece of furniture in our house there is a floor vent. SUPER annoying. Speaking of furniture, I promise to post pictures of my finished headboard soon. The email/comment requests for this has been overwhelming so I'm sorry it is taking so long! Haha.

Cooking a Kitchen

Mom and Dad's kitchen is starting to come together... Dad's 60th Birthday is in two weeks and the goal is to have it finished by then. Tick tock...