Thursday, January 20, 2011

Multitasking is...

...finding a couple dollops of paint on your perogies at lunchtime

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Love Thy Neighbour

Or at least try not to hate them...

I've been thinking a lot lately about how interesting neighbours are. It's such a strange relationship compared to most others. In what other circumstance do you often see the same people every day without often even knowing their names. You can grow to like or dislike people without ever having a conversation with them. Just because of how they drive their car, and how tidy (or untidy) they keep their lawn.

One neighbour I'm never pleased to see is the guy who plows the snow from his driveway onto our lawn and drops his plow low enough that it digs up all the grass. He also baby-sits his preschool-aged children by sticking them in his truck unsupervised and lets them honk the horn for hours on end.

One neighbour I'm always happy to see is Bill Murray. 

Which is weirder, naming your neighbour's cat, letting it into your house whenever it wants and feeding it treats, or taking its picture and posting it on your blog? Bill even made an appearance at my birthday party this year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wait a minute....

So am I a Scorpio?

Or a Virgo?

Guess I'll just have to wait for the next issue of The Coffee News to find out...
Don't know what I'm talking about? Click here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DIY Calf Stretcher

Along with the meditation bench, my dad and I built an adjustable platform calf stretcher for my sister that folds for easy storage when you're not using it. She has had one on her wishlist for a few years now but they are hard to find and sometimes expensive. She describes her calves as stubbornly tight and although we built it because we knew she wanted one, I was skeptical of how useful a piece of equipment it would be. To my way of thinking there was really no difference between the old "prop your foot against a wall" method. From what I read while researching them, a platform stretcher is really useful because not only can you stretch both legs at once, it shows you instantly how tight your calves are and if one is consistently worse than the other. Once we got it together I stepped on to try it out and fell in love. It feels SO good. I may just have to whip one up for myself.

If you want more details on how we built it just leave a comment and ask!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Credenza Influenza

I don't know what it means but it sure has a ring to it, doesn't it? After the busy evening I had, and a couple of nights with lacklustre sleep, I'm feeling a little low energy. This resulted in the pick-up of my latest kijiji purchase being a tad painful. Ah well, I managed. With a compact car and a boyfriend out of town I had to rely on a commenting comrade for help (and a vehicle large enough to carry it). Thanks Bray! Behold my heavy heavenly friend in all her (former) glory. After photo to follow.

(photo via kijiji)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


For some reason when Dave goes away I turn into such a.... Bachelor. And not in any kind of skeevy way. It's worse. A disgusting, I've forgotten how to clean up after myself, what personal hygiene and a nutritional balanced meal is kind of way. When Dave went to Montreal last month I didn't shower for days, I lived off of pizza delivery, taquitos and mail-order danishes for the entire long weekend. I let the house get messy. No, slothenly. It was so entirely out of character. And now that I've painted that dazzling picture of myself, let me just say: although I miss Dave when he's not here, I don't think that that's the reason for my complete disregard for all things I normally stand for. I think I just do it because I can. Dave left very early this morning for a (very) short business trip and before I even realized what I was doing it was Montreal all over again. By noon the house was a mess and there were dishes everywhere. I went through the Wendy's drive-thru for supper. And then I decided to do something very me. I tackled my to-do list. Take that silly bachelordom. I will fight you and I will win!


-Clean/scrub bathroom
-Wash shower curtain
-Take down and pack away remaining Christmas decorations
-Sew and hang curtains in bedroom
-Water plants
-Fold and put away bedding
-Wash, dry and put away baking dishes
-Empty and reload dishwasher
-Take out garbage
-Salt walkway and deck
-Straighten/tidy house
-Hand wash sweaters and winter gloves and hats
-Finish cleaning/organizing bedroom closet
-Do load of laundry

And now I feel like shouting, "Yatta!"

and going to bed...

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm weird. But only as weird as my mum. But that's still pretty weird.

For as long as I can remember my mum would gaze out the window watching birds, calling me over and telling me what species she spotted and exactly how many of each visited her feeders regularly. She would excitedly point out the birds, and proudly tell stories about them like they were her own. I would usually try to humour her for a minute or two but would quickly grow impatient as she would call me back to the window again and again when a robin, or finch or blue-jay would appear. It always seemed so silly. So boring. I've wanted to hang a feeder up in our yard for awhile and I figured that Winter; when a lot of people stop putting seed out, would be a good time to start. A day and a half after I hung it, three or four chickadees came calling and have been feeding from it for the last two weeks. Today was the first day other species came calling. And I didn't know what they were. I immediately called my mother and described them to her. I googled. I tried to take pictures with my cellphone. I tried to take pictures with my Nikon. They were too quick for me. They disappeared before I had the chance. I had a birdwatching adrenaline rush. I think it was a finch and a sapsucker but only time will tell. And don't worry, I'll keep you posted.

Sorry Mum. I get it now. 

(Chickadee that wasn't camera-shy)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Meditation Bench and Zabuton

Dave has been starting to practice meditation some but found he was struggling with maintaining posture and that back pain was distracting him. I built him a meditation bench out of pine for Christmas and sewed a cushion (zabuton) out of grey canvas with blue piping.

I won't bother to write out a tutorial or directions but if you found this post while looking for a how-to for either of these items and are interested in measurements or how I made them, just leave a comment and I'll add more information.

(image from here)

Friday, January 7, 2011


Last Summer when we moved I decided to remedy the fact that we were without headboard ever since we replaced our boxsping and mattress and got rid of our old bed. In our last place we had a ledge and window above our bed which made the floating bed look a little less displeasing. In our new shiny white bedroom though, it was pretty sad looking. I would post a before photo but due to computer issues including my laptop's hard-drive dying and our external hard-drive misbehaving I can't at the moment. I would also like to apologize for the quality of the after photos as I have also lost my ability to tweak, crop and straighten in photoshop which died along with my laptop.

With all that said, here is the headboard I built when we moved in using Ana White's plans although I made several small changes to the plans along the way.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


A fantastic song just got a little more fantastic

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Double Chocolate Biscotti

I usually do quite a bit of baking around the holiday season. I like giving out trays of sweets as gifts and just having lots of goodies on hand for guests. This year I hardly did any. And now that the holidays are over I feel like baking up a storm! I really wanted to get some biscotti whipped up before Christmas but it didn't happen. I managed to throw a batch together the other day and considering they were my first foray into biscotti-land, I'd say they turned out pretty darn good. I had shopped around for recipes online looking for the most popular/highest reviewed and had my eye on a couple. I ended up using this one though because pretty much all of the ingredients are things I generally have in my pantry. The recipe claims it yields three dozen cookies but I would say that even two is a stretch (I ended up with about 20). I used 1 teaspoon of baking powder instead of 2 following advice I found in comments and I used white chocolate chips instead of squares (4 squares equals out to about 2/3 cup) and because I was feeling a bit adventurous I decided to drizzle some melted chocolate over one side of them. My drizzling skills left much to be desired but the extra chocolate does make them that tiny bit more decadent.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cream and Sugar

I picked up a cute little sugar dish a month or two ago but decided against buying the creamer. I figured that we didn't need it, wouldn't use it often, etc. etc. But then I felt sort of sad about it. That's weird right? Some things are just meant to be purchased in pairs. I decided that if the creamer went on sale I'd buy it.  Hilarious that that was my rationale since it was only $4.00 to start with. It went on sale. They look so happy together.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Crackers

We made our own personalized Christmas crackers this year. My sister and I sought out personal gifts for each person along with the standard hats and jokes and chocolate. There were multi-tools, knives, miniature tools, chopstick rests, henna and oil, leather bookmarks and no-drip spoons. The gifts were a little difficult to find. I think I'll start early this year. Next week maybe.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Resolution Run

As I mentioned before, I took part in the 2011 Resolution Run, sponsored by Brita and put on by the Running Room. As a bonus for registering you get the fab limited edition jacket along with that warm fuzzy proud feeling for getting up on New Year's Day and doing something active rather than staying in bed. I was hoping that my new Garmin would come before the New Year so that I would be able to track all my distances and times for the year. It was kind of nice that it didn't though as it was rather nice just to put one foot in front of the other without thinking at all about speed and times.

Me and my running (and otherwise) buddy Amanda
starting the year off right!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's to a new year. As cheesy as I think the whole new year, new beginning thing is; I think there's a little something to it. There is comfort in knowing that no matter how good or bad the past year was, you have a new one to do whatever you want with. I haven't tended to make resolutions in the past but this year I have two:

-Concentrate on running faster instead of farther. My goal this year is not to complete a half or full marathon but to complete as many shorter (5 and 10K) runs as possible improving my speed by: [now this is a very precise and measurable goal] a lot.

-Sew a quilt. I need to learn how to quilt, pick a pattern, pick some fabric (Amy Butler maybe?), and actually complete it. This will be a slow process. But that's okay.

As a bonus I have some extra "goals":

-Learn more about photography and how to use my camera better/take better photographs.

-I have some financial "be debt free by _____" and "save $_____ by the end of the year" goals.

-I want to build more stuff.

Wishing a Happy and Healthy New Year to You and Yours!