Friday, December 15, 2017

This Week

What a week it’s been. Monday I successfully veganized a family favourite cookie recipe. This was my second attempt. The first batch didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted and it really bothered the perfectionist in me, so out went the cookies (sad, I know). Then I did a little research, wrote up a new recipe and baked a new batch. When they were ready, I broke a piece off one cookie to taste the results and... HOLYFRESHLYBAKEDCOOKIES, I DID IT! I danced around the kitchen with joy. Don’t I rock? Yeah, I rock. All of this effort is for my younger daughter, so she can enjoy them like everyone else when she’s here on Christmas day. They are truly made with love.

Tuesday was another great day because we took a drive to IKEA !!! *squee* I love going there even if I don’t buy anything. But we did pick up a few things on this visit. Our goal was to finish our dining area and have it ready for Christmas day for the family gathering. So we lugged a few things home and this is where we’re at now.

Like every other room this one is also in need of artwork and pictures on the wall. But we’re going to wait until we find things we like and things we can afford. Regardless, I think it’s a good start for now.

Then later in the week there was more rejoicing when this Christmas card arrived in the mail:

OHMYGOSH... Isn’t it beautiful?

Getting Christmas cards in the mail is one of my favourite things. Getting one from a blogging pal is even more fun. And getting one from a blogging pal who actually painted this gorgeous winter scene herself is absolutely mind-blowing. It’s from blogging friend, Rain, who I think is superwoman. You should see all the things she bakes/creates/grows/makes/knits/paints/draws/cooks, right down to homemade cheese. Go visit her here if you haven’t already. I am convinced she secretly wears a super hero cape (that she made). I just need some proof.

Thank you, Rain!

Art. I’ve done some of that, too. Finding time for drawing has been a real struggle this month but that's the way it goes this time of year. Here are a few I've managed to get done:

I never got around to making cookies yesterday. The day got away from me. I don’t mind since I’ve still got enough time from now until Christmas to finish all my baking. I did, however, make my marinara sauce between coats of paint and it came out great. The sauce and the paint (haha). Click here for the recipe.

And I think that’s a wrap for this week. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Just Who Is This Guy Named Santa?

This morning I'm doing some painting. Nothing major. The big projects are finished in our home and now there are little minor ones left to do. Since I have to wait 4 to 6 hours before I can apply a second coat, I'll bake in the interim. Maybe some mini pecan pies. Or some raspberry thumbprint cookies. And if I'm feeling really ambitious, I might even get a pot of pasta sauce going. I'm thinking marinara. I've got a recipe boasting about taking ten minutes to prepare this sauce. IDONTBELIEVEIT. It takes me about ten minutes just to locate the ingredients needed. But I'll keep an open mind.

Now, just what do we really know about Santa? Who is this guy? And why are we okay with him breaking into our homes? I'll leave you with this:

And what the heck, I'll also leave you with one of my favourite holiday tunes by Trans-Siberian Orchestra; an American progressive rock band.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

(Holiday) Question Of The Day

When my daughters were little, my favourite holiday tradition was taking them to visit Santa. We did this every year and we'd make a day of it with lunch, shopping and photos with Santa. Some years I would sit for a photo together with the girls and Santa would ask me, too, what I wanted for Christmas. I always asked for a vacation. Santa would laugh, my girls would laugh and some people within earshot would laugh. The vacation never came, though. I think that's when I stopped believing in Santa.

Those days are over *sigh* but other traditions continue. Here are three ongoing favourites:

- Decorating the tree
- Baking cookies
- Christmas day lunch with the family

Your turn!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

And here we are with another Monday rolling in. How are you all doing? Was the weekend a good one? What's going on with you? Share whatever you'd like in the comments. I always enjoy hearing from blogging pals. Speaking of blogging pals, if you're new around here and haven't commented yet, please do so. I'd love to hear from you. Meeting new people is fun. And It'll also give me the opportunity to visit your blog if you have one. Go on. Don't be shy. We're a nice bunch here.

Now let's get to some funny stuff.

Have a good one!

Friday, December 8, 2017

This Week

Is it Friday again? It certainly is. This week I had periods of super productiveness and periods of total sluggishness. Monday was the busiest of all. I cooked and baked up a storm. I covered all our meals up until yesterday’s dinner and even threw a few things into the freezer for another day.

Our weather is pretty erratic. It’s cold. It’s mild. It’s freezing. It’s mild again. We’ve had snow, so I get my winter boots out. Then it melts and I get my shoes out. And back and forth it goes. How’s your weather these days?

Yesterday I went to pick up some groceries and when I returned to my car with my shopping cart I noticed that the vehicle next to me was parked so badly it was taking up two spaces in the parking lot. I didn’t snap a photo but it was something like this (image from internet):

This is not the first time I’ve seen bad parking. And this is certainly not the worst. I once saw a pickup truck that was parked sideways. Why do people do this? Do they not care? Do they not know how to park? Perhaps more practice is needed. Or a little consideration. I live in a small city and parking is not an issue, but in big cities where parking spaces are limited, people can and will lose their minds when someone takes up two - sometimes three - spaces. At the risk of offending anyone, it’s your responsibility as a driver to learn how to park properly.

End of rant.

Next up: art. Because this month is a busy one with the upcoming holidays, and I have less free time for drawing and such things, I do quick and fun sketches whenever possible just to keep practicing. Here are a few examples:

The past couple of weeks I feel like I’m more relaxed and certainly more content. I like when things are in place and there is some type of order around me. It’s nice to finally be able to walk through a room and be pleased with the surroundings instead of seeing boxes and dirty walls and misplaced furniture...month after month after month. Below is an example of a room that makes me happy. We put up our holiday decorations early this year for this reason. A visual reward for our hard work.

We will hang artwork and picture frames at some point in the future.

Speaking of home renovations, our cats were very helpful, especially when we were painting. How helpful? This much:

Our fuball, Mocha, loves basking in the sun.

They sure do have it hard around here, don’t they?

And that’s it for now, friends. Thanks for popping in for a visit.Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Handsy Man

I ran across the video below yesterday and shared it on my Facebook page. Now I'm sharing it with all of you.

In the words of Tracee Ellis Ross who is featured in the video: “Treating another human with respect isn’t complicated, but it seems a bit confusing for a lot of men out there,” Ross said. “So I wrote a book.”

This video is hilarious, but it also conveys a very important message. Take a moment to watch it. You'll be glad you did. And after you're done, go here for a post by Natalie related to this topic. It's upsetting to read, so you can just imagine how she felt that day. Go show her some love and support. Thank you, Natalie, for courageously sharing your own #metoo experience.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

(Holiday) Question Of The Day

You know, I really love Christmas songs, so for me to actually dislike one...well, let me tell you, it really takes a lot. There aren't that many that make me crazy but here's one that feels like a hammer is pounding on my brain:

"Santa Baby" sung by Madonna


I was going to share the video but I don't want to contaminate this blog. If you've never heard it and want to, go here. At your own risk. If you actually like this song by Madonna... !!!! wHy?

Your turn. Which Christmas song makes you cringe?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, friends. What's new? How was your weekend? Saturday morning I drove to the city of Vaudreuil in Quebec to meet my brother for coffee and a chat. It had been quite some time since we'd done this. I got there an hour earlier so I could visit some stores that we don't have here. I generally don't care for shopping but this time of year, with all the holiday decorations, I enjoy browsing the stores. There are so many pretty things to see.

Today I'm going to keep busy with some cooking and baking. I'm going to attempt to veganize a family favourite cookie recipe with my younger daughter in mind. We're planning to get together here for Christmas and I'd like to prepare a few things for her to enjoy and to take back home to Ottawa. Because that's what mamas do.

Now let's get to the funny stuff.
(The entire month will consist of holiday type humour.)

Have a good one!

Friday, December 1, 2017

This Week

Happy Friday, everyone, and happy December! We’re counting down to the holidays. Can you believe it? This year has just WHOOSHED right by. That’s what happens when you’ve been busy scrubbing and disinfecting and painting and installing and upgrading and renovating and unpacking and sorting and assembling and disposing and donating and recycling and organizing...month after month after month. WHOOOOOSH

After the holidays I will share before and after photos of our home to share our pain frustration joy. And we’ll even get to play “Guess what those yellow stains running down the wall were?” That’s probably more information than you care to know. Let’s just say that there were ‘questionable’ stains on some walls. Thank goodness for TSP; one of the best cleaners for preparing surfaces for painting.

I keep mentioning that I’m cooking and baking a lot of new goodies lately. But I never share the recipes. Janie called me on this when she commented “I think you need to share some recipes, young lady.” She called me “young lady”! Flattery works every time, so here are a few links for you:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Easy Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup
Gooey Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
Vegan Maple Doughnuts
Chickpea Soup (I added vegetable broth for more flavor)
Spanakopita Crescent Rolls
Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll share more at another time. You can thank Janie for nagging reminding me.

Our trips to the Salvation Army have stopped. For now. I’d like to get rid of more stuff but that won’t happen until after the holidays. Because baking cookies is a priority in December!

We don’t have a lot of things left to sort through, so it’ll get easier and easier to do cleanups. I love the minimalist lifestyle and always eliminate the excess throughout the year, but my biggest weakness is books that have accumulated over time. Since we moved to this home in February, I have been chipping away at the amount we have and donated about 20%. My goal is to donate at least twice that amount by spring, preferably more.

Yes, I am continuing to draw, thank you for asking. Life is keeping me busy and I’m not doing as much art as I’d like to, but I’m definitely squeezing it in when I can. Here are some of my masterpieces amateur efforts:

How about the news lately with so many men being called out on their bad behaviour? I wasn’t going to comment on this (I try to keep my blog from getting serious) but I feel like there’s some type of awakening going on. A very important one. Women are rising up and taking back their power. It’s time to put the spotlight on sexual harassment and abuse, talk about these things and change our thoughts and behaviours about them. A lot of it begins at home. How many of my female blogging pals can recall being told as little girls “Boys will be boys” or “Oh, that just means he likes you” after telling a grownup that a boy had pulled your hair or teased you or pushed you or touched you?

Being belittled, disrespected and coerced are not signs of endearment at any age. We must reject and dispose of this foolish and dangerous mentality. And parents should raise their children to respect boundaries and personal space, to behave better.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Add your own thoughts in the comments below. Or not.

And have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, blogging friends. How are you all doing? What have you been up to? I've been busy around the house. Last week we dropped off our last load of donations to the Salvation Army and I cleaned the place from top to bottom. Then we put up our Christmas decorations! Perhaps a little early, but after all the hard work we've done on this home since we came here in February, and all the exhaustion that came with it, the festive d├ęcor was a much-needed happiness boost. I also found the time to do some baking. I made brownies, chocolate chip cookies with a marshmallow center and maple glazed donuts. But the best part of the week was having my older daughter and her boyfriend over for dinner Saturday night. Family gatherings, especially where my daughters are involved, are what I love most.

How about you? What's going on? Share in the comments below.

And let's start the week with some laughter...

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone. How is everyone doing? How was your weekend? Yesterday I woke up to snow. Now, I'm not a big fan of winter but I do love the first snowfall. It is very special and very exciting and takes me all the way back to my childhood; back when I enjoyed building snow forts and having snowball fights and making snow angels. So each year when I open up my blinds and see that first snowfall, I feel that familiar squeeze in my heart brought on by nostalgia. How is your weather?

And how about some humour? Here we go...

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 17, 2017

This Week


Ah, there you are! Remember me? It’s been a while since I did one of these posts. Did you miss my blah, blah, blah?

As I mentioned earlier this week, we’ve been insanely busy. Our place is really coming together. All our boxes are unpacked and almost everything is where it should be. There are a few odds and ends to tackle but it looks like a home now.

Saturday we dropped off a big load of donations at the Salvation Army and then went back on Monday and dropped off an even bigger load. As a minimalist, I can’t tell you how liberating it is to get rid of stuff and have an airy feel in the home. I’d like to ditch more items but I’ll get to that later on. Right now I’d like to concentrate on wrapping up the settling of our place so I can focus on the holidays. There are cookies that need to be baked, people!

You know what else we did on Monday? We took a trip to IKEA. !!! As most of you know, I love this store. Yeah yeah, I know...not everyone is a fan. But I am and I make no apologies. Anyhow, we took a drive to the Montreal location to pick up a few things we needed, one being dining chairs, which we didn’t have since we got rid of our old kitchen table and chairs before we left Kingston. It was a fun day.

Incidentally, the most amazing man in the world has assembled so much IKEA stuff over the years that he’s a pro at it. He does it with ease and doesn’t break out in a sweat like many of us, or lose his cool and storm off in frustration. I told him he should be working an IKEA hotline for assembly assistance.

We removed all the wall to wall carpet in the house and replaced it with flooring. So now whenever one of our fur babies yacks it’ll be easy to clean up. Or so you’d think. A couple of weeks ago my tabby, Mocha, threw up and instead of doing it on any one of the floors around the house she decided to walk over to a tiny rug in front of the patio door and unload there. I swear these little furballs of ours do this on purpose and chuckle and snort and giggle as we struggle to clean up the mess.

My baking, cooking, photography and art have all suffered because of how busy I’ve been. But I’ve tried to squeeze in some time for things I enjoy whenever possible. Below are three drawings I did before the craziness began.

Now here's a tiny rant. About the preachy types. Don't they make you crazy? Here’s something to ponder for those who are so self righteous on social media (or anywhere else) it makes me roll my eyes all the way to the back of my head.

Yeah. !!!!!

I have more to say but I’ve run out of time. I’ve got a lot to do today and need to get started. And with that, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!