Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Weekend Recap: Home Sweet Home

I love quiet weekends at home spending time around the house and the husband... as long as I have wine (or beer or tequila etc.) then I love to hermit away at home.  And for this reason I don't have very much to say about our weekend, hubby worked Saturday morning and I slept in... I took the dog out and then we ran a couple errands, and we ended the day in sun in our yard.  Sunday was much of the same :)

I am so into Orange is the New Black that I had to find a spot in the yard with wifi
(our house is really old so the signal strength sucks).  I am on the last episode - when does season 3 come out??
I souped up my bike a little bit... got a new wider seat (the pain down under was totally uncool with the stock seat!), attached a water bottle and got a pouch for my handle bars to store my keys, Milo's leash, phone and chopstick.

The lavender I received from a good friend for my birthday... I love the scent and the pot is beautiful!
Plus a wine I had to taste purely for the label - anytime is Wine O'clock for me!

Too much fun in the dirt means a bath for someone... someone who hates baths!

And this was his after-face, "Hey Lady, I am pretty sure you owe me a cookie!"

Look at that face!  He got quite a few.

I also gave our vegetable garden a little TLC - look at the lettuce!! 

I am linking up with (Dateless in Dallas and Showered With Design) for this weekend recap... and please come back for next week's because we will be on vacation at my husband's family cabin - first trip of the summer!

Dateless in Dallas

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Last Supper Meal Plan

Happy Summer Everyone! How crazy is it that yesterday was the first day of summer??  Don't get me wrong, it's amazing and I love summer because of all the fun it brings, but isn't it scary how fast time goes by now?  I remember being a kid and feeling like summer would never arrive and now I know I will wake up in September in what feels like a week from now.  So I just need to remember to take advantage and actually enjoy as much as I can.

We had another awesome weekend and I will recap for tomorrow but tonight I managed to pull together a dinner plan for the week.  

Sunday: I am starting a weight loss challenge with my sisters tomorrow and tonight felt like I was having a "last supper" (although we do have the rest of the summer to get through!) so we had fried chicken, fries with gravy and coleslaw.  So so so yummy.

Monday: I made and froze cannelloni for our trip next week and I ended up with extra filling so for dinner I am going to roll to up in lasagna noodles, top with pasta sauce and cheese and then bake.  I really hope it's good!

Tuesday: I have a golf lesson after work (one of the women I work with is teaching me and a friend) so hubby is on dinner and although willing to do it, he is exhausted after work and cooking is the last thing he wants to do.  He loves to make chili and especially loves that he can throw the ingredients in the crockpot.

Wednesday: always quick and always delicious - breakfast for dinner!  Probably just scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and fruit salad.

Thursday: My sister and nephews are coming to town for the weekend but because I am away I am meeting them for dinner and possibly a movie.  

Friday: after work I will have to pack and get everything ready to leave Saturday morning... we will be getting up at 4am to leave at 5am... so I think I will pick up sushi on the way home.

For me to succeed in the challenge with my sisters I am definitely going to need to start making two dinner plans - one for me and one for hubby.  All in good time.

Does anyone else out there make two different dinners??  If you have any secrets please pass them on!

Friday, 20 June 2014

5 on Friday: Happily Annoyed

I have been somewhat slacking lately but really wanted to partake in TGIF festivities so I was thinking last night about what my 5 on Friday topic would be when I came across a Gilmore Girls reference and BAM! I had it!  Because I am new to them (gifs) and have only built one post around the,  I would find 5 Gilmore Girls gifs to illustrate my week.  Brilliant right??  Wrong.  GG is one of my favourite shows but I only found one gif worth using.  So then I decided to try and find 5 gifs to document my week and include the GG one I had liked… do you think I could find a gif of someone throwing a golf club??  (that was my Tuesday at the driving range, my club flew right out of my hands, thankfully behind me!)
So I turned off my laptop and watched a Big Bang Theory rerun.
This morning I was still idealess but then I came across Erin’s post and I love the idea so I am copying her (this is ok because I am giving her credit right??) and turning it into… 5 things I am happy about and 5 things I am annoyed about.

I am happy because…
1)     It’s Friday (again, sorry Erin but how can I not include this??)
2)     It’s pay day!
3)     I have NO commitments this weekend!  I can drink, sleep and laze in around as I please J
4)     We are only one week away from our first trip up to hubby’s family cabin on the lake and I am beyond excited!!  Our first wine tastings of the year, happy hours on the deck, relaxing with the most amazing scenery ever, watching Milo play on the beach, watching hubby ride his Seadoo (his eternal happy place)… the list is endless!
5)     I am taking one of my good friends out for lunch for her birthday today and it has been a long time since we have caught up outside of work and golf lessons
I am annoyed because…
1)     Gilmore Girls is seriously lacking in gifs
2)     I have to wait until next weekend to go to paradise and we only have four days there
3)     I am missing both my sisters coming to town next weekend (this is purely selfish because I am the one going away when they are planning to come but I gots to get my lake and cabin on!
4)     Hubby and I got new bikes last weekend and even though I put a gel seat pad on, it still hurts my crotch so much.  I need to buy one of those cruiser bike seats.
5)     My one pair of jeans that fit are getting worn in the crotch… and if I’m being honest actually have a small hole way up there that I pray no can see.  I refuse to buy a larger size.
Oh and that gif I did find?  This was me on Monday… but then again I’m pretty sure it’s me every Monday…
Have a GREAT weekend everyone!
Linking up with darciaprilchristina & Natasha...

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Creative Jealousy

There is so much creativity in this world and I am so frigging jealous of it.  My whole family is creative... my mom is an awesome quilter (I am actually in the process of setting up an Etsy shop because she loves quilting and is constantly making things, more on that in the future), my older sister is a scrapbooker and card maker, my younger sister is pretty good with fashion and accessories, and all the amazing things she did for my wedding, one of my favourites was the super funky program.  My stepdad can build anything - I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to projects I want him to do for me.

I am so not creative.  I am boring when it comes to graphic design, I can't learn to knit or crochet at all, I tried quilting but it just didn't grab hold of me like it does my mom.  There is nothing creative or artistic that I can lose myself in that fills the void I have.  Because believe me, I want to be creative... and I have a bunch of DIY projects in various stages packed away into different corners of our house.  Oh and the supplies!  I keep buying supplies!!  Anyone need mason jars?  I have a bunch, in both clear and blue... or canvases?  Spray paint in four different shades of purple? It's like my hobby is surfing Pinterest to find DIY projects that I pin, plan for, buy for, but never actually DO.

And now blogland has shown me so many more amazing creative people... where do these geniuses ladies come up with these things?!?!

A few that are making me green with envy my favourites finds so far...

Whitney designs t-shirts every month!

Amanda's gold foil print is my week-long mantra... and a few of my co-workers are picking it up too!  She has a huge selection and it took me forever to pick one.  I'm sure a second is sure to follow.

Not only does Erin do crazy awesome blog design (don't you love mine ;) but this talented chick was having so much fun designing things for her NYC apartment that she opened an Etsy shop to sell them (and they're a wicked price!).

Megan is getting crafty and actually makes and sells jewelry.  I read her updates and can totally imagine her drinking a cocktail or four while sitting on her deck and creating her little heart away.  I love it!

I guess I will keep surfing Pinterest and maybe (hopefully!) I will finally discover my creativity.  Or I will collect a huge supply of DIY "things" and maybe at some point sell them.  In the meantime, hit me up if you need a mason jar... I also see green in my future.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Roast Beef Feast & Meal Plan Monday

After the amazing roast beef dinner I made last night it was pretty tough to bang out another delicious meal tonight so I took to super easy road and put some tortellini on and while it was cooking, threw minced garlic, zucchini and mushrooms into tomato sauce to simmer.  Throw the pasta in when cooked and voila, I had dinner on the table in about 18 minutes.  Perfection for a Monday.

But my roast beef dinner? AMAZING.  When asked what he wanted for Father's Day my stepdad responded: roast beef dinner.  For some reason the man always wants me to cook for him.  And I am the only one living in the same city so how could I say no?  

It was my first time cooking a roast beef so I picked out a good looking (at least to me) sirloin tip roast and googled recipes while out for drinks with hubby on Saturday.  I decided to cook it in the oven and it turned out soooo good. I made a rub of mostly Keg Steak Spice, garlic salt and seasoning salt.  I rubbed it all over that sucker, left it to soak in the rub flavours for 1.5 hours and then placed it to cook directly on the rack in the oven.  It came out with the most amazing crust!

I also sautéed green beans in butter, threw in some sliced almonds and seasoned with salt and pepper. And then I went... packaged?  I whipped up yorkshire puddings (from a package) and cooked up some gravy (from a package) to which I added sautéed mushrooms and the drippings from the roast... best gravy I've ever made.

Yup, that's my Father's Day Dinner Masterpiece - makes you hungry doesn't it?  (Sorry vegetarians!)

We do have to eat for the rest of the week though so this is what we have going on:

Any suggestions to try and make my next roast even better? I would love to hear them!

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Simply Delicious Spinach Dip

Every time we have people over K asks what appie she should bring and I always ask for the same thing: spinach dip.  It's amazing, so easy to make and always a crowd pleaser... except for my husband who for some crazy reason isn't a fan but really that just means there is more for me!
A huge thank you to K for introducing this deliciousness into my life!

1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 package dry vegetable soup mix (I use Knorr)
1 can water chestnuts
1 cup mayo
1 cup greek yogurt 
1. thaw spinach, squeeze out all excess liquid* 
2. chop water chestnuts 
3. throw spinach, water chestnuts, soup mix, mayo and greek yogurt into a bowl and mix it all together
4. Serve and enjoy!
My favourite way to devour this dip is dipping big chunks of sourdough bread into the bowl but it's also delicious with tortilla chips, pita bread, carrots... the options are endless!  
What are some of your favourite appetizer recipes?


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Weekend Recap: Celebrations with Friends

If you’re new to these parts then you may not be aware that when it comes to my birthday, I am completely over the top, want tons of attention and endless celebrations.  It’s a holiday that should be celebrated by everyone!  The weather has been amazing the past couple weeks so we decided to have our friends over for a BBQ and it just so happened that two of hubby’s friends are also Gemini babies so I decided to step off my pedestal for once and share the spotlight (a little bit, I still managed to take most of it ;).

The BBQ was planned for Saturday night so I knew it would be a busy day getting everything ready and made sure to take a few minutes and enjoy my morning (bailey’s) coffee in the sun and check on my veggies.

Enjoying my coffee after picking our strawberries!

Two beautiful ladies

Another Gemini (and the man I was supposed to be set up with the night I met my husband and mistook him for my date... it turned out well, he was the fourth groomsman at our wedding!)

The gorgeous K enjoying the sun and the sangria (see ladle in watermelon, thank you Pinterest)... so deliciously strong it was dangerous!  I will post the recipe so you all can enjoy.
I compromised with purple decorations in a nautical theme for the boys... fair no?

A group shot!  And the third Gemini sneaking in on the left

I actually brought out my DSLR for the evening and as you can tell I need some serious on my photography skills.  What are the best tutorials you have found?

Linking up with Dateless in Dallas and Showered With Design!

Dateless in Dallas

Sunday, 8 June 2014

What's for Dinner

Now that it feels like summer is really here (thank you Mother Nature!) it’s even harder when Sunday evenings roll around.  Monday is coming. That sucks. And it doesn’t help that I was so hungover today that I wasted it in bed and on the couch and I’m pretty sure that I swore off drinking… ahhh the silly things I say.

The hangover was totally worth it though - we had a few good friends over for a BBQ on Saturday and K made one of her best sangrias batches yet.  But wasting a whole day on a stupid hangover sucks so hopefully I can play next weekend a little smarter.

The one thing I did do today was make a meal plan because last week was basically a write-off.

Sunday: we had leftover burgers and hot dogs from the BBQ and I was in no shape to cook!

Monday: My body is literally craving greens so I thought a taco salad made with ground turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, a bit of cheese and topped off with salsa and greek yogurt.

Tuesday: hubby is on dinner duty and he loves a good shake & bake chicken and I am going to sneak in cauliflower mash.

Wednesday: mid-week is when I start to get really lazy and takeout is a threat so something simple and quick like tortellini pasta in tomato sauce will (hopefully) keep me on track. Toss together a green salad and we have dinner.

Thursday: a veggie scramble with toast and fruit on the side

Friday: dinner out with the lovely ladies from my book club!  

What are you having for dinner?

Friday, 6 June 2014

5 on Friday: My Mom

Why hello Friday, thanks for showing up so quickly.  Part of me is jumping for joy but part of me is sad.  Not because it's Friday but because something horrible happened to someone in my "new" family.  

One of my sister-in-laws lost her mother yesterday.  They found out she was very sick only a few weeks ago and in what seems like the blink of an eye, she is gone.  I have only seen my SIL twice since she found out and it was heartbreaking to see how devastated she already was. The youngest and only daughter of 6 kids, she is... I guess now was... so close to her mom. I can't even imagine the pain she is going through and it sucks knowing I can't do anything to make it even a tiny bit better.  None of us can.  

So today in my link-up with the 5 on Friday ladies, 
darciaprilchristina & natasha, I am going to talk about 5 reasons I am thankful for my mom.  

1) My mom is the strongest person I know. Basically putting her grief aside, she packed up my little sister and what was left of our life after my dad died in Peru and moved home.  Home to where my older sister and I were waiting for her.  And we built a new life.
2) She makes the best shepherd's pie ever... it's my ultimate comfort food.
3) She is always there to help me when I need her.  Always.

4) My mom made my wedding cake.  My mom had never made a wedding cake and she practiced with fondant for two months.

My wedding cake
5) My mom loves me and that hasn’t always been the easiest thing.

And the next time I see her I am going to hug her a little bit harder and a little bit longer.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Birthday Hooky

I played hooky yesterday.  And I loved it.  I wasn't 100% certain until Sunday evening (I was about 98.44% sure Friday afternoon) that I was going to take my birthday off but I decided to take the plunge.  My hubby (M) had to work and it was perfect because I wanted to do something I haven't had the guts to.  My facebook feed has been blowing up with photos of the view from the top of a hike that overlooks the water.  But I haven't been the most active person so I knew it would be hard.  And I didn't want to pass out.  And most of all I didn't want to start it with someone and not be able to finish it... so the stars aligned and Sunday night I decided to do it on my birthday. 
I didn't say a word to anyone, I woke up early and had coffee with M before he left for work and then I slowly got myself organized and headed out.  I drove the 10 minutes to the start of the trail and parked. 
I'm not going to like, it was a dicey beginning because the first 5-10 minutes looked similar to this:
Milo is the white blur in front.. he was over the moon!
A lot of stairs.  But then it started leveling out like this...

A bit easier to walk on, forgive my foggy camera lens!

This guy find every mud puddle possible

And after 1 hour and 15 minutes WE (well I) MADE IT TO THE TOP!!  Check out that gorgeous view!!!   And these are the two photos I texted to M to show him how I spent my birthday morning.  He was totally shocked but proud of me :-)


After my triumphant hike I went out to meet my mom for an afternoon of pampering, some shopping, coffee and tasty treats.  It was just what I needed!  I got home about the same time as M and we ordered in one of my guiltiest pleasures - Chinese food. 

the results of my mani/pedi (and our Chinese in the background)

I discovered a new wine last night... I knew we didn't have any cold wine in the fridge and that wouldn't do on my birthday so I stopped to pick something up and this label attracted me right away.  I bought it purely for the label and I love it!  It's on the sweet side and it even has a bit of fizziness so it's kind of like I'm drinking champagne which I also love.

And below is a blurry photo of my new golf hat from my mother-in-law... she loves golf and is so happy that I've taken it up.  Of course she found a bunch of purple stuff for me ;)

And that was my day!  Thank you everyone who made my birthday so special... and I can't wait to celebrate with all our friends at our BBQ next weekend!

Ahhh birthdays!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Happy Birthday to ME!

And it's finally here, the day that's all about ME - my birthday!  I am shamelessly obsessed with my birthday and as my actual birthday falls on a Monday this year, I decided to make it a special day and spend it doing things for me.  This is an extra special birthday for me because I hope to be a mother or at least pregnant by my next one.  I wonder often how motherhood would change me... will I be less obsessed with with events that centre around me?  Probably not lol but at least I will also have other events to focus on. 

I am excited to get this day started so am about to head out (I took the day off work to enjoy to the fullest extent!) but before I go I want to tell you all about a little giveaway I am taking part in!  Jen is the host and I am so happy to be involved - check out the Rafflecopter below to win some money!!

Enjoy your day and come back tomorrow for a rundown of mine!