Monday, 30 January 2012


I bought a "whole whack" of fabric last winter (around this time) and had curtains made for the living room, dining room, and entryway.  The width of the fabric is 2.5 times the width of the windows so the window coverings are nice and full.  I bought grommets for each set and weights to hold down the light, sheer fabric in the living room.  If you don't know how to sew (much like myself and my mother) the employees at fabric stores are incredibly helpful!  Just tell them how you want the product to look and give them measurements.  They can help you with the rest.

Those in the living and dining rooms were mostly for looks - I just like the way full length drapes make a room feel cozy and finished.  The curtains hanging in the entryway are for privacy.  The back of our home is directly facing the back of our neighbour's home.  At nighttime (pre-curtains) I'm sure she could see absolutely everything that goes on in our mudroom/kitchen.  I feel a little more modest knowing our comings and goings are a bit more secretive.  Some might say it fells quite stealthy.  And let me tell you, it is hard to match the burnt orange colour on our walls!  The kitchen and mudroom were this colour when we moved in and I must say it has grown on me.  However, like I said, it is impossible to match!  So I went with beige, which I normally find quite boring.  In this case, I think the beige works perfectly because I wouldn't want a pattern to compete with the wall colour.

It's much less expensive to buy fabric if you have a membership card to a store like Fabricville.  When you become a member you will receive fliers notifying you about special sales that are open to members only.  

Our mudroom - curtains, boots, and all!
Curtains in the living room.  They're my favourite.
The dining room drapes are the most elaborate.

Friday, 27 January 2012


The treadmill and I are on-again/off-again.  It's a love hate relationship.  (Mostly I hate the treadmill and it loves me.)  I would certainly not call myself a runner, even when I've been running a lot.  It's not one of my talents, and it isn't something I particularly enjoy.  Mainly the only reason I jog is to feel healthy or to check an item off my to-do list.  Exercise.  Check.

Like every other person in the world, getting in shape was my new year's resolution.  2011 was a fairly good exercise year for me until school started again in September and neuro killed my hopes and dreams.  I was running seven kilometres over the summer and hadn't tried to increase distance after that.  Seven km seemed pretty fair... It was further than I had ever ran before (at least I think so).

This week I pulled on my new Nike Shox (love!) and ran five km on the treadmill!  That was quite a feat for someone who has hardly ran since August, I must say.  Hopefully this is the beginning of staying on the wagon.  Would someone just chain me to the wagon already so I can't possibly fall off???

And as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize."

As a side note - as I trudged unwillingly off to the gym, someone else at my house was eating this.  (And yes, that is two cups of ice cream in a measuring cup.  We were out of bowls.)  The sad thing is, that person can still run more than I can and never seems to put on any weight.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Last night we finally sat down and tried to decide where we want to visit this summer.  This will be my last summer "off" and I want to make the most of it!  I am in love with Europe and desperately want to take hubby there (because he's never been).

Originally we thought about Iceland because we heard it's inexpensive and the photos look beautiful!  Then we discovered the northern lights are only visible between September and April... I don't want to visit a country at a time when its main attraction is invisible!

I listed hubby every country in Europe and he told me "yes" or "no".  Unfortunately there were very few "no's" on the list.  With the Olympics being in London this summer I would prefer to steer clear of Britain because of crowds and expenses.  I have been to: Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary so for this year those are out - although I would like to go back to all of these countries.

The places still on our list: Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, and Greece.  I'm excited to see where we end up!

Hungarian Parliament.
Having a "Maria moment" in Salzburg.  The hills are alive and all that.
Hiking in Schladming we came across a field of sheep!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Someone I love showed me this video last year and I was amazed.  Somehow this is exactly the type of thing I find funny.  And when the second video was posted on youtube this year, the same someone made sure I knew.  What a good friend.

You have probably already watched them, but here they are just in case.  They completely brighten my day so I could watch them a thousand times!

Monday, 23 January 2012


Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:10-17.

The Armor of God. Ink and watercolour on paper, 2012.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


I kind of love/kind of hate Valentine's Day.  I detest holidays that only consist of buying presents - frivolous, consumeristic...  On the other hand, love deserves to be celebrated!  So I always feel a little torn on February 14th.

Either way, here are some of my favourite Valentine's Day pins from pinterest.
Find here.
Find here.
Find here.
Find here.
Find here.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


That's what I am.

Look what I get to snuggle up to at night - a hubby who is reading (insert fanfare here) and a baby puppy curled up under our bed.  Does it get any better than that?!

Hubby's only flaw is he's not a reader.  He finished The Catcher in the Rye on the way home from Florida and it only took him...TWO YEARS to complete.  This isn't a large book, people.  After some quick calculations we figured he had read one page every three days for the last two years.  Sad.  Just sad.  I asked him constantly over the course of our vacation to start reading The Hunger Games (alright, fine...I nagged).  I knew he would love it - wilderness survival, hunting, politics, love...  Finally he conceded and I think he is enjoying it more than he lets on.  This is the first book I have ever seen him read without my constant persuasion.

We had a moment the other day.  Watching tv, a movie trailer came on featuring Josh Hutcherson, the boy cast as Peeta.  I told hubby this actor would be playing Peeta in The Hunger Games movie and added he doesn't look like the Peeta I picture in my head.  "Not at all.  I picture him to be much bigger and stronger," said my husband.  My husband.  The man who does not read for fun.  Sigh.  I think I fell in love a little.

And that takes me back to how I found my boys in bed this week.  One under the covers reading (without being nagged) and the other in their favourite spot under the bed.  [And yes - we have a very high bed.]

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Pronounced: Nan-ee-row-nees
From the Italian word: macaroni

I always call homemade mac n cheese "Nannie-ronis" because my Nannie always made this dish when I was a kid.  Still one of my favourite meals I sometimes make it for our lunches and this week I cooked it with a twist!

You will need:
1 1/2 cups of macaroni
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 green chili pepper (chopped and seeded)
3 pieces of bacon
1 cup of cheddar cheese
2 cups of milk

Cook the macaroni in a boiling pot of water until tender.  Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Fry the bacon, remove from the pan, and coarsely chop.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the chili pepper and cook for a few minutes.  Mix in the flour as a thickener and stir until smooth.  Add the milk and turn the burner up to medium-high heat.  When the milk is warm, grate and stir in the cheddar cheese.  Allow the cheese to melt.  Add the black pepper and bacon.
Place the macaroni into ramekins and pour the cheese sauce over top.  You may add a few cubes of cheddar cheese to this if desired.  Also, you may sprinkle breadcrumbs or crumbled soda crackers on top.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the cheese is bubbly.  Make sure you don't leave it in too long or the macaroni will be a bit crunchy.

Monday, 16 January 2012


This summer a friend of mine thought she wanted a tattoo of Hermione's wand.  (Yes, you read that correctly - and she knows who she is.)

To prevent this from happening I made her a painting for her birthday to try to satisfy her tattoo craving.  It's water colour and pen on paper.

Hermione's wand.  Original watercolour.

Friday, 13 January 2012


Some of my best friends are books.  I have fond memories of laying in my "reading chair" in my parents' living room with my feet on the wall reading for hours.  My grandparents lived 7 hours from my family and I often spent the entire drive engrossed in a book.  Often I had two or three on the go and would finish a chapter in one just to move onto the next novel.

My parents might account my poor eyesight to my love of reading, actually.  This is because when I was supposed to be asleep I would read by the light of my nightlight so they couldn't tell I was still awake.  It became a bit of a problem...

In kindergarten I read books to my classmates.  In grade one I finished The Babysitter's Club series.  In grade two I read The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White and the Little House on the Prairie books.  From there I went on to tackle Nancy Drew, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Phantom Tollbooth, and many more!  As I said before - some of my best friends are books!

If you can also be found late at night saying, "Just one more page!", hiding your current novel under the desk during lecture, gabbing non-stop to whoever will listen about, "This great book I just read!" then you need to watch this video.  It will make your heart happy.

Thursday, 12 January 2012


There's something about a chair, isn't there?

Maybe it's because they come in every shape imaginable.  Or maybe because they can be any colour, pattern, or print you can envision (like these ones I had made).  Perhaps still it's because they serve a practical purpose.  Whatever the reason, I love them and one day hope to have a chair in every room (bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen)...  Here are a few vintage chairs I have found during my online travels.

Find here.
Find here.
Find here.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Hubby sent me this photo last week.  This summer a friend looked after Leroy for the day and somehow the little rascal always seems to end up in peoples' flower gardens.  We don't have any gardens of our own so maybe he's just trying to decide if they're fun to play in?  I became Mother Nature's enemy this summer while I destroyed any plant on our property that wasn't grass.  I think flowers are beautiful but I have no idea how to look after them (nor the time it takes) so it seemed easier to dig them up.

Whatever the reason, dogsitters beware - if you have shrubs/flowers/potted plants in your yard - our little guy will find his way into them and probably will destroy them.  But could you really be mad at that face??

Time to play a little game called: Find Leroy!

Monday, 9 January 2012


This Christmas we:

Saw a whole new world with Aladdin (or Steppenwolf - whichever you prefer).
Had our head stuck in a book with Belle.
Got down to business with Mulan (to defeat...the Huns).
Were a part of Ariel's world.
Washed the dishes with Cinderella.
Marched off to work with Snow White.
Painted the colours of the wind with Pocahontas.

And I'm pretty sure we loved every second of it!

Animal Kingdom.
Lamps in Animal Kingdom.

How would you ever choose?
Something I normally wouldn't think twice about, but the balloons were fantastic!

Sunday, 8 January 2012


A classmate recently heard The Sheepdogs in concert and had posted one of their music videos on her facebook.  Until recently I had sort of forgotten about this and this week I began conducting a little musical research, if you will.

Their sound is very old school rock and roll.  They definitely have a 70s feel and I'm diggin' it!  (Did they say that in the 70s??)  I won't try to compare them to other bands because if I was a professional musician that would drive me crazy.  I'm sure they would like to be known for their own sound and not someone else's.  On a different note, if I'm not mistaken they are from Saskatoon - Canadian - which only adds to their cool factor.

Probably you've already heard of them, considering they were on the cover of Rolling Stone recently (I think)...  Here's a video in case you're interested!

Side note: seems like a very appropriate band to post about considering I have a sheepdog of my very own sitting at my feet!

Saturday, 7 January 2012


A couple of summers ago I worked as a waitress at a pizza place.  It was something I had always wanted to do and knowing it was probably my last "summer job" that didn't pertain to medicine, I was determined to waitress no matter what.  Believe it or not, with no experience it can be quite difficult to find a serving position.

The restaurant made a pasta dish I always thought looked quite tasty and I thought I would put my cooking abilities to the test.  If you want to try it (take my word for it - it's delicious and easy) here is what you will need:
1 or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 tbsp butter or margarine
 1 or 2 tbsp flour
2 cloves of garlic
~ 1 cup parmesan Cheese (the real stuff)
1/2 bottle of spaghetti sauce

I always start the chicken first.  Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Cut the breasts into bite sized pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fry in the pan until cooked all the way through.  Set aside.

Cook the fettuccine in a pot of boiling water, drain, and rinse with water.  Put back in the pot and set aside (it should be removed from heat at this point).

Next you prepare the alfredo sauce (from scratch).  Sounds exciting, doesn't it??  I have faith in you.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Crush the garlic and add to the pan.  Mix in the flour until smooth.  This next part requires your own judgement.  This is where you're going to add the milk but it's important to remember in cooking you can always add more but you can never take anything away. In other words, don't add too much milk because you can never go back.  Start with 3/4 cup or 1 cup of milk stirred into the the butter/flour/garlic mixture.  Wait until the milk has warmed up before adding the parmesan cheese.  Tip: it's important you don't use Kraft parmesan cheese because it is incredibly salty when you use it in large quantities.  I buy parmesan in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store already shredded in a little tub.  

Now back to the good part (Jack Sparrow reference - ha).  You don't want the sauce to be too thin or liquidy, which is why the milk to cheese proportion has to be just right (as Goldilocks would say).  Play around with it.  When you're happy with the consistency, add basil.  I only use dry herbs because fresh ones would go to waste around here, and I use probably 1/2 tsp. 

The sauce is almost done - you're doing great!  Add 1/2 bottle of your favourite spaghetti sauce (or more if desired) and the sauce is complete!

I like to add the chicken to the pot of fettuccine and then pour the sauce over the pasta and chicken.  Depending on the temperature of the pasta, you can turn the burner on low and reheat the dish if necessary.  Put in bowls, sprinkle a pinch of parmesan and parsley on top.  Enjoy!

Thursday, 5 January 2012


We spent our Christmas at the place where dreams come true - which is why I haven't been blogging.  I was too busy having fun and making wishes!

This was my second trip to Disney (or Bizney as my little sister used to say).  The first time my family went Mom was pregnant with my sister and this trip was for her to experience the magic.  It was also the first vacation we have gone on as a family for quite a few years and with the work world approaching me, (albeit still in the distance,) who knows when we will have another?

This photo is a sneak peak.  I must say I'm quite happy with it because it is darn hard to get a picture of that castle without a million heads in the way!!!  When I snapped this I was actually standing somewhere you're not allowed to stand, apparently.  A "cast member" (or as the rest of the world knows them - employee) asked me to move and I didn't until I had taken the photo.  Hubby thought I was being rebellious but I assure you, as someone born without a rebellious bone in their body, I just didn't hear the lady!

More to come later!