Thursday, 20 December 2012
today was my last day of work of 2012. this is the first year that i haven't been in school for at least part of the year. it feels really good to be doing a job that i love. and it feels amazing to have a few weeks off. i'll still be blogging a bit from j's mom's place in PEI, and my parents place in NB during the holidays. looking forward to some of my mom's gingerbread men, and j's mom's roti and curry.
we have been asking all the kids we see at work what they want for christmas. most of them say video games or ipods or laptops or easy bake ovens. but j asked a six-year-old the other day, and he said he didn't want much, just maybe a sled, and for everyone else to have a good christmas. and that's what i want. maybe some snowshoes or something, but mostly for everyone to have a good holiday.
Monday, 17 December 2012
(christmas supper and kraft paper)
(sunday morning winter walk)
(my secret santa gift. love him)
(sparkly bauble for the tree)
(my christmas present to me)
the days are getting soo short. it might just be the extended darkness, but i feel like i need way more rest during this time of year. this is what i've been doing to try to combat the fatigue: napping after work and in the afternoon on weekends, reducing my gym time to only half an hour every few days, going to bed ridiculously early. avoiding shopping. and watching christmas movies instead of doing actual housework. let's just say j and i will be eating out quite a bit for the next week. i think other people get this pre-holiday mid-December exhaustion? i am trying to embrace it. i'm sure it's healthy to go into hibernation mode a little once in a while.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
there are so many sweets in my life right now. there was the cookie exchange on the weekend, so now i have 15 different types of amazing super sugary cookies. and at work, there seems to always be a package of those butter cookies that come in a blue round tin. and there's candy. and candied nuts, and the boxes of chocolates where you have to bite into a bunch before you find a good one. so i made these larabars. they seem healthier and more filling than candy. and super easy. and really really good. they taste just like my favourite larabar flavour.
homemade coconut cream larabars
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dates
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (optional, but awesome)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (also optional)
throw the almonds in the food processor and process to a fine crumb
add the coconut and process some more
then add the dates. i add them one by one through the appendage on my food processor
then add the melted coconut oil and the vanilla and process a little more
take the mixture and push it onto a cookie sheet. parchment paper makes the whole thing easier
let it cool in the fridge for an hour or so before you cut it into bars
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
(a little bit more snow)
(chilling with a familiar pound pup, Striker)
(someone's getting a new sign)
(homemade oreos from here)
(confetti sugar cookies for a cookie swap)
such a good weekend. there was a double date dinner, hot yoga with j, puppy walking, a visit to the pool hall. we watched 'A nightmare before christmas', which was pretty good. we are totally addicted to game of thrones, though i think it's giving me nightmares. they keep chopping people's heads off.
in other news, my billiard skills are seriously sharpening. i am getting a few balls in every time. this is major. i plan to be pro by the end of the winter.
Monday, 10 December 2012
j and i have been married for almost five months now, and it's got me thinking about what it was like to start dating over 5 years ago. the moment that i really thought we would end up together is so clear in my head that i feel like i have a photo of it. j was waiting for me at the corner of hollis and morris in halifax. he was wearing this big woolen navy blue sweater and faded jeans. as i walked down the hill toward him, a man and his big dog walked near j. he immediately bend down to pet the dog, and started chatting with the man. when he looked up and saw me, he had a huge smile on his face. i just thought that he was exactly where i wanted to be. i thought that his whole approach to life seemed to be caught in that moment with the dog and the stranger and me. he treats the world and everyone in it with such a positive energy. people really are drawn to him. and me most of all.
i really knew after that moment that i loved him and wanted nothing more than to spend as much time with him as i could. it was another year before he realized he felt that way about me. so funny to think about that now.
Friday, 7 December 2012
(j loading up our tree last year)
i feel like december moves faster than most months. this is true, right? at work, the christmas tunes are playing and there are decorations everywhere. i honestly feel like it makes people more cheery. this weekend j is taking me out for supper, and i'll be baking christmas cookies. since we are heading to the mainland in two short weeks, a christmas tree may not be in the cards for us this year. but i am so ready to watch a few classic christmas movies like elf or the family stone.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
it was the kind of working weekend where i barely took a picture. the santa clause parade was soo cold (minus 15) that i could barely keep my camera in my hand. we went last year too. this time we drank coconut hot chocolate, and wore full snow suits. it really put me in the holiday spirit. december is such an awesome month. i love seeing the christmas trees in living room windows as we take our long commute home. over the next few weeks we have a christmas party or five to attend, a cookie swap, and the nutcracker ballet.
my favourite thing lately is to ask every kid i see what they want from santa. i am shocked by the responses. laptops and ipads seem to be the main thing kids want. crazy.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
(errand time with my man)
(raw brownies and blondies. the secret is to make them really smooth with a spoon)
(enjoyed christmas carols from a live band and barbershop quartet)
(our town is looking white and festive)
(though my fav mug's handle broke, i still love it)
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
(last year's tree)
i don't actually think i could do it, but lots of people are trying to buy nothing for the rest of the year. did you know that black friday got it's name from everyone hating how jammed up the streets got when everyone tried to go shopping on the same day? yup, i actually wiki'd it. i was curious.
for the last 7 years or so, my family and i have travelled south around christmas, forgoing gifts. we still spent the same amount of money (or more), but we didn't end up with any useless objects. but i really do think that buying gifts at christmas can be really fun. opening a few gifts is awesome. it's so fun to sit around with rum and eggnog or mimosas on christmas morning and take turns opening little gifts.
what i'm not into is people stressing that they need to find more stuff to buy their friends and family. i'm guessing the whole point is not to make each other stressed about spending a certain amount, having a certain number of gifts under the tree.
so what my family is doing this year is a swap. we all buy a gift worth a certain amount, then we swap them around on christmas morning. i am so into it! and j and i will get each other a tiny something. i usually get him a book or new album. what do other people do?
also, other non-gift sweet holiday traditions in our family:
- going to the movies on christmas or boxing day
- cocktails. we get pretty serious about this. my mother has her signature "double d", and we love winter sangria, and rum and eggnog. i am also into apple schnapps at christmas
- watching national lampoons christmas vacation. has to be done
- making puzzles. so relaxing. goes well with cocktails
- monopoly night.
- driving around looking at lights. my sister insists on bringing her cocktail
- go to the gym. as a family. this is something we do with my mother in law. you never regret it.
- and i am totally starting a new one this year. family photo. cocktails optional.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
maybe this doesn't look super appealing, but for real, it is awesome. i never had meatloaf as a kid, but i'd imagine this lentil loaf is similar. i made it on sunday, and j and i had it gone by monday. soo good. i followed this recipe from oh she glows pretty much exactly. the only issue is that your kitchen will look like a tornado hit. but it was worth all the mess. i'll probably start making this every couple weeks. i didn't bother to make a fancy glaze. i just used some barbeque sauce we had kicking around. make this.
Monday, 26 November 2012
(Gander Flyers on the weekend)
just in the past few weeks we have gone to a hypnotist show, a play, a few concerts, a hockey game, a bowl-athon. in a bigger city, i would probably pass on a few of these activities, but here, there is not much else to do, so we get tickets. and the thing is, we pretty much always have an awesome time. we never regret going to community events. this week we are heading to concert called "a jazzy christmas" and the week after i am going to the ballet "the nutcracker". might as well.
Friday, 23 November 2012
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
it's getting cold. there is a bit of snow still on the ground from a snowfall a few nights ago. i kind of have to amp myself up for winter as it's not really by fav season. but. there are some good things.
these are all pics from last year. j and i took pretty good advantage of the snow and ice last year. i want more of the same this year. these are my winter plans:
- take a few more snowboarding lessons
- skate. we have to clear the pond by hand to skate outside, and we are competing with the many, many skidoos flying all over the pond. but still. there's also indoor skating where they play pop music and charge a few dollars
- walk dogs. we are pretty committed SPCA volunteers
- cross country ski. tough to find skis in this town, but the trails are so pretty and lit up at night. i have never done this, so very excited
- pay it forward. we have gotten so many little gifts over the past year or so (i have mentioned this before, but seriously: snow crabs, bottled fruit, jam, cod, moose, cooked dinner, etc, etc). i want to start giving gifts for no reason. maybe baked goods? maybe cactus?
- relax. this has to be on every list of plans/goals i ever make, because it's something i actually have to remind myself to do sometimes. i think hot yoga will be part of this.
also, unrelated: last night i went to a few grocery stores, did laundry, went to the bank. people seemed to be looking at me a little funny. i did not know why. when i got home and looked in the mirror i found a large smear of nutella on my chin from the toast and nutella snack i had after work. awesome. i think maybe we should install a mirror near the front door.
Monday, 19 November 2012
(our apartment's bathroom in halifax, plus nail polish)
due to being in bed with a head cold ALL DAY on sunday, i ended up reading all of this book and hours worth of this blog. i came upon a post about being nostalgic for teenage things. the music you loved as a teen, your clothes, your room.
it got me thinking about my true obsession with nail polish. i had maybe 200 bottles (i used my babysitting money). i had a special case for it, which of course i had painted completely with nail polish. the polishes were organized by colour. i used to paint my latest colours on a piece of looseleaf, which i would then send to my best friend. i didn't even paint my fingernails that often. i used the polish to paint my nightstand, my mirror, my alarm clock. i still wake up every day to the 80's big white sony alarm clock covered in nail polish. only i can work it, since you can't see the writing on the buttons due to the polish.
anyway, when i was 15 we moved, and i couldn't take all my nail polish with me. now i have maybe six nail polished, with three bottles of mint sprint by sally hansen, because i am always scared of running out, i love it that much.
other things i was obsessed with as a teen: smashing pumpkins (billy corgan, not jack-o-lanterns), beads, allure magazine, cosmetics (especially wet & wild and covergirl), this one pair of non-stretchy bell bottomed silver jeans, thrift shopping, making collages, disposable cameras, doc martins.
Friday, 16 November 2012
(a rainbow on the way back from the airport)
(j making brunch. and mimosas)
(remembrance day ceremony on water street)
(the signal hill hike)
(a work i loved at the rooms)
(blurry pic of matt mays)
(our view at the matt mays show)
(after much searching, perfect new travel coffee mugs)
we stayed at the battery house vacation rental with my family over the weekend. there were three bedrooms with double beds, perfect for 3 couples.
(the main room)
(one of the smaller bedrooms)
(view from the front step)
price: around $300 per night. this was the off season rate.
bathroom: the main bathroom had a huge bathtub, which no one used. it also had the only shower in the house, which was tiny and had the weakest pressure ever.
breakfast: there was a full kitchen, and grocery stores nearby. j made breakfast each morning.
wifi: yes, free
tv: the tv was smallish and housed in a big wall unit (90's style)
location: my favourite thing. the signal hill hike ends nearby, which is nice. and we walked to downtown. it took maybe 15 minutes.
parking: room for one vehicle.
- this place was nothing fancy. the furniture seemed sort of cheap and old. the second bathroom was teeny tiny. there were tons of dusty plastic flowers everywhere.
- but, it was completely functional. there was a dining room table where we ate, played cards, hung out. there were books, board games, cards. it was 100% fine
Thursday, 15 November 2012
j and i stayed at the franklin hotel for two nights. we were there to go to the matt mayes show, which was completely amazing.
price: around $145 per night, plus around $20 per day for parking
bathroom: the shower was huge with a rain head and a regular head. really nice
wifi: yes, free.
tv: there was a big flatscreen hanging super high on the wall. we watched some kardashians and storage wars. high quality tv
location: so good. the matt mayes show was in a bar on george street, and it was a 5 minute walk. and there is a really good coffee shop right across the street.
- this was a tiny hotel. there was no lobby, and the restaurant in the bottom of the hotel was closed the entire time we were there. you couldn't order room service or anything, which was fine with us.
- the parking sucked. they don't have any parking, so you have to get up and feed your meter at 8 am, or move your car in the morning to a parking garage, which is closed at night. j didn't mind this. he got up both mornings to move the car and get us coffee.
- there is no gym in the hotel. or sauna. or pool. or hot tub. but, there is a nice gym two minutes away, and a hot yoga studio two blocks away. j and i took advantage. the hot yoga was almost as good as sauna/hot tub time.
- the bedding was sweet. fluffy, cozy duvet. also, wall to wall carpeting. j was a fan, i was not.
- overall, i really liked this hotel, even though it lacked most of the usual hotel amenities.
(the view from the cafe in the rooms)
j and i had such a great time in st john's with the fam over the weekend. i have lots more pics coming up. we also finally got a chance to check out the rooms. it's sort of part art gallery, part museum, with a restaurant on the top. i was loving it. the museum part is cool. i liked looking at old shoes and fancy outfits from a hundred years ago. j liked looking at whale skeletons and giant squid in formaldehyde. there were also some crazy pics from this "seal disaster" that happened one hundred years ago. the cafe on the top had probably the best view in the city. we had cupcakes and coffee. we'll definitely go back again when the mary pratt exhibit happens in the spring.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Friday, 9 November 2012
(this time last year: wedding planning and keith's white)