Monday, 31 October 2011


Happy Halloween!

We were sitting in the living room last night, pumpkins aglow, and invited our little friend Leroy (you might have heard of him) in to visit.  Normally he isn't allowed into the living or dining rooms but we felt bad with him laying in the doorway watching us.  He spent all of three minutes with us before he decided it wasn't so interesting in there after all.  He went back into the kitchen and stayed there all night without trying to sneak in once!  I guess it's sort of the forbidden fruit phenomenon.
I ain't afraid a no ghosts.

The caped crusader himself.
It's the bat signal!
Some last minute baking found here.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


It seems a little early for snow but Mother Nature's a stubborn lady.  In the spirit of winter here are a few prints from Sarah Jane Studios (a really cute etsy shop I found via Style at Home magazine).  Her vintage inspired prints are just lovely and she just illustrated a children's Christmas book this year.
Snow on Snow.
Winter Cheer.
Wellesley and Winslow, Christmas Post.

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Here come the Men in Black... Galaxy defenders. (MIBs.)
Costumes extraordinaire 2011.  Hubby and I were Men in Black and Leroy was an alien!  I actually had never seen the movie which became very apparent as people kept making reference to a flash thing that erases your memory?  I had no idea what they were talking about and hubby had to sadly explain I had never seen the movie and just watched the music video for Will Smith's song "Men in Black" as we were getting ready for the party.  Oh well.

I must say Leroy made a very good alien.  It was a bit of an experiment taking him to a setting with 60 people but he did very well!  He didn't even mind his costume (a feather boa, wire necklace from the dollar store and two styrofoam balls as extra 'eyes'.  I think because it wrapped around his neck he just thought it was his collar.  Apparently the feathers got stuck in his mouth sometimes but I didn't actually witness this myself.  He was a hit, I think.  What a good boy. :)

Our little alien.
Trying to determine what to do with the extra-terrestrial threat to our city.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Potluck or potlucky??  Potlucky because you get to eat my delicious cake. :)

Last night I slaved away on this cake (not really) for our Halloween party tonight at school.  I cheated and used a cake mix but I don't feel guilty at all.  I just didn't have time to produce anything from scratch.  I did, however, make the frosting using this recipe:
1/2 cup butter (I used margarine)
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
4 tbsp milk (divided)
10 drops of neon green food colouring
1 drop blue food colouring
Mix together with an electric mixer and add the milk as needed for the correct consistency.
My first cake tip is: using parchment paper!!  Line the bottom of your pan with it and your cake won't stick.  Once it's out of the oven, flip the pan over and peel the paper off your baked goods.
I trace the bottom of the pan and then use scissors to cut the parchment paper.
My next tip is to crumb coat the cake before you start spreading the icing on thickly.  This keeps the crumbs at bay.  This is easiest if the icing is a relatively soft consistency.

A crumb coat is a very thin layer of frosting over the whole cake.
Then you spread the rest of the frosting over your layers (I personally like a lot of it)!  Stack your cakes if you are using more than one tier.  Roll out the fondant (I use store bought after one particularly horrible incident of trying to make my own) and use icing sugar so it doesn't stick to the counter or rolling pin.  I realized after I started making the cake I left my decorating kit at my parents' house on Thanksgiving, so I used a sandwich baggie with a tiny hole in order to pipe on the spider web.  A little more frosting around the bottom of the cake and then I stuck on the candies.  Halloween spider rings on top and you're done!

These candies are from Bulk Barn.
Ta Da!  (The boa is part of Leroy's costume.)

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I love dressing up for Halloween because there just aren't enough occasions in life to wear a costume.  This year I've been trying to think of theme costumes for the three of us and it's a little harder than I expected.  I can come up with all kinds of ideas but most of them were too difficult (like Dorothy, Toto, and the Tin Man/Scarecrow/Lion).  Finally I've decided on our Halloween trio for 2011 but you'll have to wait till after Friday's Halloween potluck to see it!

On another note, we let Leroy sleep out of his kennel last night which we have been attempting on occasion recently.  He's in his crate all day so it would be nice if he could have some freedom at night.  Things went okay until I felt him land on me after a running leap at 4 am.  Ha!  Then he snuggled in between us and hubby seemed to think it was me crowding him off the bed (until he reached over and felt Leroy's fur, that is).  Then it was back to the kennel for him!  What a cutie.

Back to Halloween, here are a couple of super easy costumes I found from What I Wore - links here and here.  The last picture is my costume from 2009.
Carmen Sandiego
Rosie the Riveter.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I haven't posted in a few days because things have been incredibly busy!!  On the weekend my boys went on a duck/partridge hunting trip.  This was Leroy's first real "boys' weekend" and apparently he loved it.  I mean, what dog wouldn't love running through the woods and sniffing dead birds??  He also made friends with Kona, a black lab that also attended this little expedition.  I must say it was strange not having Leroy home.  It was strange not to see his kennel at the top of the stairs or for him to fly down the stairs behind me when I'm doing laundry.  And I should probably mention Kona ate almost the entire box of milk bones we had packed for the trip.  (Reason #1 to kennel train your dog.)

Leroy sitting on Dave's packed hunting gear.  He's saying, "Please take me with you!"

Friday, 21 October 2011


Last fall we were visiting new friends of ours from church and I told them how much I liked their wingback chairs.  Immediately they begged us to take them far, far away where they would never have to see them again (besides when they come over to our house).  A bit of an exaggeration, but for some reason, they really did want to get rid of these chairs.  At the time we had to say we couldn't do such a thing because we were living in a tiny little apartment, but a few months later when we bought a house, they brought the chairs over on moving day.  I live for free furniture (and hubby doesn't mind it either).

A little background: before these chairs belonged to our friends, D and H, they belonged to their country church back home.  H's mom picked them out as the pastor's chairs which sat on the altar.  I can't quite remember all the details but their church closed maybe...and H's mom decided she was reclaiming the chairs.  So these wingbacks upon which now sit our bums, once sat D and H's bums, once sat Holy bums for the Lord. :)

Long story short - one of them is now reupholstered!  It is in all its glory, living up to its full potential.  I can practically hear it shouting, "Thank you!" from the living room.  Covered in floral/paisley fabric from and navy piping - it looks fab!  Can't wait for chair #2!


Thursday, 20 October 2011


In my second blog post I mentioned a recent trip to Prague.  This summer I went on a long awaited Europe trip.  During my undergrad I always felt like I was the only person in the world who hadn't been to Europe.  In first year university I often called my parents on a Saturday morning and said, "Whyyyy didn't you take me to Europe??  Everyone has been there except for meee!"  (I don't know if you can really appreciate through text but I said this in an extremely whiny 18 year old voice.)

This summer I decided to bite the bullet even though I'm a poor student.  You can't live life for tomorrow so I figured I might as well fulfill my travel dreams today - poor and all.  I went with two friends (hubby stayed home for a variety of reasons) and we had an excellent girls' trip.  We went to Austria (Schladming, Salzburg, and Vienna), Czech Republic (Prague), and Hungary (Budapest).

Of the cities we went to, Prague was by far my favourite.  Everything there was clean and beautiful.  Each building was old with incredible architecture.  An unforgettable moment from the trip was watching sunrise over Charles Bridge.

If Budapest hadn't been so warm (37 before the humidex) it might have been a close second to Prague.  It is a city with a lot of character.  A little rundown, I can imagine it being a bit more of a funky place (if the locals had ventured out of their homes while we were I said - it was HOT).

However, the most breathtaking moment from my first trip to Europe was climbing Guttenburg, which is a mountain in Schladming, Austria.  The views were incredible and I felt so accomplished having climbed to the top of an Alp (the Alps?).  I huffed and puffed my way up there but it was totally worth it!  And at the top I ate an Austrian streudel. :)

Sunrise over Charles Bridge.  Prague, Czech Republic.
Climbing Guttenburg.  Schladming, Austria.
My favourite fountain of the trip.  Castle Hill, Budapest, Hungary.
Put on your dirndl!  Salzburg, Austria.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


I'm home sick today which is quite boring.  I have things I need to do but I don't feel well enough to do them.  Mostly I've sat on the couch with a box of kleenex and bottle of advil nearby.  Leroy has been pretty helpful.  He lays beside me and checks to make sure I'm still breathing.

In the midst of my boredom I started internet browsing and came across some fun cakes on the Apartment Therapy site called ohdeedo.  I haven't quite figured out how Apartment Therapy works but it seems like a combination of many blogs.  Who knows?  Regardless, you can find some great things there, including these cakes!

And just for fun I'm including a photo of the first (and thus far, only) cake I have made.  It's an ultimate frisbee cake I made this summer.
Doodle Cake.  How fun would it be for a kid to write on their own birthday cake?!
The Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) cake.  We used to read this book when I was a kid.
A forest cake.  What a cute little deer.
My first cake.  An ultimate frisbee cake for my hubby.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Of all the design shows I love, Sarah's House is my favourite.  Season 4 starts tonight!  It's an exciting day in this household.  We are currently having a debate about whether we should watch Sarah's House or X Factor tonight.  That's what happens when you only have one television.  We have 13 minutes to come to a conclusion...stay tuned.

I'm currently browsing through some of my favourite rooms from past seasons.  There's just something about a daybed (season 1) and I love the pale neutrals in this bedroom (season 2).  She knows what she's doing, that lady (and I can't forget Tommy)!

Sarah's House Season 1
Sarah's House Season 2

Monday, 17 October 2011


When we bought our house last winter, we chose it because no work needed to be done.  However, this summer with a little time on my hands I decided the living and dining rooms needed a new paint job.  The old colours were ugly shades of beige.  I'm not a hater of all things beige but these colours were gross.  I also spruced up the beautiful original moldings with some white paint (after much debate with my hubby).  It was the classic "to paint the woodwork or not" with men always on the side of natural wood.

I also bought some (double wide) material at Fabricville for curtains.  If you don't know anything about upholstery fabric, it comes in regular width or double wide.  For something like long, full curtains you have to buy double wide so it fits.

With some blue paint on the walls and a silvery sage green on the ceiling I think it looks much better!  A relatively inexpensive fix...although painting is a lot of work!

Living room before.
Living room after.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


My father in law was here to visit yesterday and brought his 1 1/2 year old brittany spaniel, Lizzie.  She makes Leroy look like an old man.  So much energy!  Leroy used to be terrified of Lizzie but these days he's becoming the more - shall we say - dominant of the two.

We've told Leroy he comes from a good Christian home and certain things have to wait till marriage but he doesn't seem to care.  Poor Lizzie.  Leroy really is a nice guy; he's just confused.

Leroy on my birthday hike this fall.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


I sometimes think I would like to be more "into" independent music so when I discovered my hosts in Prague this summer like independent music, I was quite excited.  They introduced me to a few new bands including Dead Man's Bones which features frontman Ryan Gosling (and as Jay Onrait would say - Canadian).

I ordered their cd and it arrived last week (why is amazon so slow?) so I've been listening to it ever since.  I had fallen in love with their song "Name in Stone" and was a little disappointed to find out it isn't on their cd.  Oh well.

I would describe their sound as 50s music meets zombies... Their songs are full of "shooby dooby doos" and the like.  There just aren't enough shooby dooby doos in the world, are there?

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Well, I'm doing it.

I've been debating starting a blog for a couple of months now and I'm finally taking action.  This blog is mostly just for my own peace of mind because sometimes medicine and science are a little (lot) overwhelming.  I hope this will give me the opportunity to explore the left side of my brain (which I know way too much about).  We'll see how it goes!

The blog is named after my 8 month old border collie, Leroy.  He's adorable.  You'd love him.

So this first post is slightly useless but I'm sure I'll have interesting things to talk about and show you someday soon.