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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Suck it up sweetie

It's been an emotionally trying couple of days and I am in no mood to host people (read: friends) for Terry's birthday but I have to.  I have to suck it up and be a good wife when all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide from the world.

Le sigh

Friday, 18 November 2011

2 Weeks In and Feeling Pretty Darn Good!

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.  ~Plato

It has been 2 weeks since my first co-training session at The Motion Room.  Since then I have had 4 more co-training sessions (with another tonight) and have attended 4 Re-Energizer Boot Camps.

I was (or am?) an athlete so it hasn't been too difficult to get back into the groove of training.  I was surprised at how strong I still was during my first co-training session and even added weight and reps during my second session.

I am excited to continue on this path of good health but have to admit that with the upcoming holiday season, do feel a bit anxious over finding the time to train.  This past week was an example of what I have in store starting November 28.

I had three HUGE events.  I slept thru my training on Monday.  I was so exhausted from the weekend and just wanted to grab a few winks before I headed to the gym.  Next thing I knew, it was 8:30pm.  Tuesday I had to work from 10am-12am.  I attempted Wednesday morning boot camp at 6am and felt so sick and faint - I left after two rounds.  What did I learn?

A)  Do not go to the gym on only 4 hours of sleep.
B)  I am NOT a morning gym person

Yesterday I had to work from 11am-2am so the gym was out of the question so today I will have my first co-training of the week and tomorrow I will do a boot camp.  I am worried that all the time off will have stunted my progress or that I will have regressed but I am trying to stay positive :)

All-in-all, I am pretty stoked on the gym and have rediscovered my love of training!  I feel SO GOOD after a hard training session. I will keep y'all posted on my progress.

xo M

Sunday, 13 November 2011

I'm Stuck On You

This was another card that I made for a challenge but missed out on it :(  Oh well.  It was also a learning card.  I have never used pins as embellishments or ripped & antiqued my edges before.


If you're into crafting and are a card-maker or want to learn how to make cards, check out my group on meetup.com.  We have a card-making night coming up on Wednesday, November 23 and everyone is welcome :)  http://www.meetup.com/Queen-West-Scrapbookers/

xo M

Merry & Bright!

Here's another card I made recently for the One Crazy Stamper blog challenge.  One day I will give you all the materials I used like a real professional card maker but for now here's the card :)


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Santa Baby

Christmas is just over 6 weeks away and I have diligently been putting my list together.  Yes, I am 30 years old and still make a Christmas list.  Don't you?  I have been trying to be a good little saver and not buy everything I want as soon as I want it.  My mom also asks us for our list right about this time.  Thus far, the following items have made the cut:

1.  Canon EOS Rebel T3.  I want this baby sooo bad.  I just got a camera last Christmas but I am ready to make the leap to SLR photo imaging.  I see it as a necessary work expense :)

2.  Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.  A MUST for any foodie worth their salt.  (see what I did there? Lol.  I crack myself up.)  I have coveted this beautiful piece of kitchen gadgetry for years and never had the space to house it nor the culinary wherewithal to use it.  Well, I do now.  Purple Please :)




3.  The next book in the Sookie Stackhouse series: Dead Reckoning.  I started reading this series about 7 years ago.  I loved it immediately.  Then my dreams came true and HBO created a series based on the books; True Blood.  Which I also love.  I usually try and hold out until the paperback is published but I don't know if I can do that this time.  



4.  Marc by Marc Jacobs Pedal to the Metal Flap Pouchette.  I know this is a last season bag but I LOVE it and I want it sooooo badly.  I have put off buying a number of other teeny bags in hopes that this one would magically show up on my doorstep.  Alas, it has yet to happen.  


5.  Ipod Classic.  I cannot for the life of me find my Nano :(  I just got it a year and a half ago but have lost it in the move.  Now that I have become a gym rat/fitness junkie, I really need it.  No fancy touch for me.  I like the classic.  I wouldn't mind the new tiny Nano either.  As long as I also got a cool wrist band to put it in :)

6.  Cricut Cuttlebug.  My creativity is stifled without a Cuttlebug.  I sometimes have to stop the tears from falling on my crafts as I think of all the great things I could be making if only I had a Cuttlebug...


And last but certainly not least:


7.  A wee babby goat or chicken or pig for a family in need.  Every year, I buy an animal for a community in need through World Vision's Gift Catalogue.  You can also purchase school supplies, medical supplies, agricultural items and more.  I have purchased gifts in other people's names and it always makes the holidays mean just a little bit more :)  Visit the World Vision Gift Catalogue Here

What's on your Christmas list this year?  


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

OBSESSED

I have been playing this song over and over and over for about a month now.  I would say I am obsessed.  You will be too.


You're welcome :) xo M

Sundays in The Kitchen: Classic Split Pea & Ham Soup

I LOVE soup.  It is probably one of my favourite things to eat and to cook.  There is nothing better than a bowl of homemade soup on a chilly evening, when you're not feeling well or just because :)  One of my faves is Split Pea with Ham.  I have been making it for a few years and have finally perfected my recipe.  It is simple and delicious :)

Ingredients: 

1 bone from cooked ham - I always use the bone from my mother-in-law's holiday hams :)
1 tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped * 
2 each of carrots & celery stalks, finely chopped *
2 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 cups sodium-reduced chicken stock
2 cups dry green or yellow split peas
salt & pepper to taste
*I like to use a mini food processor

Preparation:

Using a paring knife, peel off and discard skin and fat from ham bone.  Set aside. 
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves and ham bone; stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened.  About 5 minutes.  
Add stock, peas and 2 cups of water.  Bring to boil over med-high heat, skimming off any foam from the top. Cover and simmer over med-low heat until peas break down and meat is tender enough to fall off of the bone; about 2 hours.
Remove ham bone.  Pull off and shred meat.  Set meat aside.  Discard ham bone and bay leaves.  In a blender, puree half of the soup; return to the pot along with meat.  Stir and serve! Makes 8 servings.

Some tips:  If you are going to put this soup in the freezer or even the fridge, reconstitute it with a wee bit of water or even chicken stock as it really thickens up.  I also don't add any salt as the ham tends to be salty enough.

I like to serve it with some crispy ham and a wee dollop of sour cream on top :)  ENJOY!  Let me know if you try it out and your results.





Friday, 4 November 2011

I'm so conflicted!!!

Ripley's is set to build a $130 million aquarium at the base of the CN tower which will open the Summer of 2013.  It is estimated that it will create 600 jobs and generate over $25 million in taxes for the gov't while in production and employ up to 350 people once open.  It will be the first new tourist attraction to the city since the Hockey hall of Fame 20 years ago.  


Check out the prototype.  Pretty dope but will those pools have a retractable roof?  What happens in the Winter..?

So, what do I think of this new Aquarium?  The kid in me in super stoked!  I mean I lived the first 8 years of my life in Calgary and instead of going "Up North" in the Summer, we went to Oakanagan Falls, BC which always included a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium.  I LOVED it.  There is something so serene and magical about the sea.  Standing in a dark room in front of a giant piece of glass, watching fish... You're already relaxed, I can tell.  Once I moved to Toronto, my Aquarium visits became few and far between.  And no, Marineland doesn't count.  Which brings me to the issues that I have with the aquarium...

1.)  Will they have Orca and dolphins and will they be forced to perform for guests?  I am NOT a fan of Marineland or Sea World and even take issue with some Zoos.  I don't want to spark an ethical debate because really, I just don't have it in me today but there is something that really boils my blood about a "dolphin cove" or "Arctic Cove" where people can touch and pet dolphins, beluga and orca.  I don't know how I feel in general about wild animals in captivity but that is another post in and of itself.  Let's just agree that Marineland and Sea World are not Aquariums. 

2.)  How will they procure the inhabitants of the aquarium?  I'd like to believe that other aquariums around North America will supply our aquariums with fish bred in captivity and that the Toronto aquarium will also be part of a breeding program, helping to repopulate endangered fish species.  This may actually be part of how those tanks get filled however, I am not so naive to think that it is the only way.  I can't help but think of little Nemo, being captured by a diver, taken from his dad and dropped in a tank at a dentist's office.




3.)  The city couldn't find $11 million to fund new and improved exhibits at the Toronto Zoo for animals already in captivity who need better and more spacious habitats - the Elephants pavilion for example. BUT they can fork over $26 million for the aquarium?  They also don't have the money to maintain public swimming pools or cultural events but I suppose the misdistribution  of funds isn't new. 

Anyway, I'm excited and curious nonetheless and will hopefully score an invite to the grand opening :)

Have a great weekend everyone!  M xo

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Just Thought I'd Share This...

"A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform: she had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now......... even though t...hey said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. Those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bullies another child--they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home" 

Out with the Old...

And in with the new!  I spent some time jazzing up the old blog and adding some stuff to it last night.  I should have been sleeping but this was far more important :)

Hmm...what have been up to?  Working like crazy.  Making cards.  Joining a gym :)  Yup I finally got my ass in gear and have my first assessment and training session tomorrow at 5pm! I'm super excited and a little nervous bc I know I'm crazy out-of-shape.

Anywho, let me know what you think of the new blog layout.  I still need to figure out how to jazz it up a bit more and I think I may have to get it hosted.

I leave you with a picture of recent balloon decor I did  xo M


Cloud 9 Cluster in a new print: Gothic Scroll.  LOVES!