Saturday, December 31, 2011

Counting down the hours.

Today it the last day of 2011.

I'm not a big believer in the whole 'it's a new year, fresh start' deal.
Sure, it's good to make resolutions if you are the type who will actually persevere and see them through. But if you are the person who just makes them because that's the thing to do, and then a week later you quit, well then, what's the point?

I looked through my January posts of this year and couldn't find my 2011 resolutions, which might be a good thing because I only vaguely remember some, and I definitely did not complete them. Did I attempt, and go for more than a week? Yes. So I think it's safe to say I can try again this year.

Looking back on 2011, I had some fun times, but I wouldn't say it was a spectacular year. Just a normal one. This year I moved away from home, applied for Bible School and made some new quality friendships. But it also just felt like a waiting year. Nothing big was happening and I was always just wanting to be at the next step already. I don't regret anything I did, though. And I think that's a pretty good sign.

Towards the start of the year I found a song that I made into my 'song of the year' and I tried to remember to play it whenever I was feeling down and discouraged. And when it did randomly play on my ipod I used that time to think about life and just be glad for where I was in it. I'm sad this year has ended if only because that means I have to leave that song behind and pick a new one.

It even has a focus on England, which is neat because it's my life goal to live there.
Oh p.s. I found this song BEFORE it became a top 40 hit. just an fyi.



So, my goals for 2012 are these:

1. Spend more time with Reggie. I thought I'd start out nice and easy with a light hearted one :). But a little more seriously. The idea of stopping what I'm doing, taking a seat and spending time without distractions.
I know I have been spending more time at home so it might not feel like I am as busy, but even when I am at home I fill that time up. Usually with the computer, or watching movies. So I need to learn how to clear my head, and think about things that really need to be addressed. I am not so great with that.

2. Get baptized. My pseudo sister has actually already drawn out a contract and forced me to sign :) so expect that to be happening very soon.

3.Start my post secondary education. I don't try to hide the fact that I hate school, and I'm not very good at it. Partner that with the fact that I have no idea what I want to do, and it makes it an impossible situation. But I'm hoping that in my time at Bible school I will be able to learn enough about myself that I will have an idea what should be happening next.

4.Write 1 original song and record it. There is back story behind that, but I don't feel like going into it.

I'm going to stop there.
I feel as these things will give me enough on my plate without adding any more.

Happy New Years!
And let's all try and get used to writing a new year down instead of 2011, I know it will take me a couple weeks at least.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Layered Pumpkin Loaf Recipe.


Yumm!
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 egg whites, divided
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 reduced fat), softened
1/4 cup pepitas, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a large bowl, stir pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3 egg whites, buttermilk and oil, until combined. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.  Add to pumpkin mixture and fold gently just until moistened.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining granulated sugar and remaining egg white until well blended.
Spoon half the pumpkin batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the cream cheese mixture in a layer over that batter.  Top cream cheese layer with remaining pumpkin batter (You will want to spread the top pumpkin layer a little bit with a silicone spatula, but it is ok if a little cream cheese is still visible). 
Sprinkle the top layer with chopped pepitas, if desired.  It helps to gently pat the pepitas into the batter
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Loosen bread from sides of pan; cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Hannah's Notes: I didn't add the pepitas.

                             There seemed to be a little too much cream cheese mixture.
                              Also a little too much batter in general. Maybe do two small loaf pans
                              instead of the one 5 by 9, or risk filling it too full and having it rise way 
                              too high and falling a lot.
                              I will definitely be trying this recipe to make muffins at a later date.

Original recipe source here.

Rolled Sugar Cookies Recipe.


You can find the original source here.
I encourage you to click on the link and check out her blog. She has lots of other yummy recipes.
But I made a simplified look for those of you who would like to print the recipe out and try it.
You can find that here.

It says only to cook them for 5 minutes or they will brown and turn crunchy.
But personally, I like them crunchy :).
And if you are like me, you will open a tub of store bought icing rather than making a homemade one. Icing has never been one of my specialties.

Cranberry Bliss Bar Recipe

I'm doing the recipes on different posts for sake of short posts and easier referencing later.

Have you ever been to Starbucks and tried their Cranberry Bliss Bar?
To be honest, I never have. But I figured if it's from Starbucks it must be good.
Now, I'm sorry to the person who originally pointed me in the direction, but I've completely forgotten who you were/are :).

Of course, I've never had the actual thing so I don't know for sure this is what it should taste like, but it tastes pretty great to me, anyway.




Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed 
3 eggs 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 
1 teaspoon ginger 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks 

Frosting

4-ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

Drizzled Icing

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening 


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries and white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour batter into a well-greased 9x13" baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow cake to cool. 

3. Make frosting by combining softened cream cheese, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. When the cake has cooled, use a spatula to spread frosting over the top of the cake.

4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.

5. Whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over the cranberries in a sweeping motion or use a pastry bag with a fine tip to drizzle frosting across the top of the cake.

6. Allow cake to sit for several hours, then slice the cake lengthwise (the long way) through the middle. Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices. Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

T.I.L.T. *Christmas Edition*

1. Taking a walk down the road early Christmas morning before everyone else has woken up.
2. Not working for 9 whole days!
3.Hanging out with my family. That great sense of happiness and perfection when you are all gathered around, joking and laughing over things that happened years ago.
4. Boxing day shopping. Hah. This is only the second time I have been. And I don't mind it that much. It's all just a bunch of waiting in lines, which I might have liked better if I had though to bring my book. But then I would probably have looked too nerdy.
5. The great things that come from boxing day shopping. Example: A scarf with giraffes on it!
You cannot imagine the rush of excitement I got when I saw this thing. There was a never a doubt in my mind about buying it.
Giraffes? Brilliant!

6. Inviting non related friends to the Christmas dinner and giving them the third degree the entire night.
Poor Brian. I guess since we all know each other, dinners like this get a tad old, so we bring in new comers to spice things up. We pummeled him with questions about his life pretty much all night.
7. Turkey Sandwiches. Bread, mayo, cranberry sauce, turkey and just the right amount of salt and pepper. It might sound less than delectable, but to me it is the ultimate combination of tastes.
8. Doing Christmas baking AFTER Christmas. Less stress, and then you don't have to share with your holiday guests :D.
I will be posting recipes for three yummy recipes as a follow up later.


In the case of this post, I believe less is more,
you get just a little hint of what makes my Christmas happy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back to work blues...

My weekend was amazing.
What makes it so great, you ask?

Answer: The absence of everything.

Once upon a time I was a social butterfly that couldn't imagine spending 5 waking hours at home, much less a whole weekend. But I've grown up, and now it's my favorite thing to do.

It's not that I sleep the day away.
Oh, no.
Being a 'mature' adult comes with a mature internal alarm clock that wakes me up at seven thirty on a Saturday. But I read in bed for hours, which is a luxury that is unimaginable on a weekday.

And when it comes to Sunday night, the thought of having to start a new week does not lift my spirits one bit. It makes me quite cranky.

So here are five happy things, since in a round about way this post has been a complaint :).

1. 9 days off at Christmas.
2. Tuesday dinner with the Pseudo family.
3. Expensive, almost-never-been-used hand me downs.
4. Eating fatty foods all day Saturday but not gaining a pound.
5. Sleep. Goodnight....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Every day I'm shovelin'

I guess one of the reasons I have been avoiding this post is because there is so much I could say, but it also seems like there isn't anything to say at all.
I'll give it a whirl anyways.

I have a new job. Well, been at it for 3 weeks now but it still feels pretty new.
I work on a construction site.

*pause for astonished gasps and questioning looks*

Yupp.

Okay, okay. I'll try and explain myself.

Rewind three and a half weeks earlier.

While still happily working away in my Arbys occupation, I get an offer to work on a construction site as a cleaner (I'm not sure there is an official term for what I do). They didn't really give me much description of the job or really anything information about...anything. But all I did know was it was full time hours and a heck of a lot more than I was getting paid at my current job. So I agreed to go in for an interview.

Pretty sure what I experienced cannot be considered an interview in any way.
Kind of went like this. *yes I admit I will be exaggerating but not by much*

Bossman: We need someone to clean, and pick up nails.
Me: I love to clean.
Bossman: You'll be getting paid ~~/per hour, is that alright?
Me: Yupp.
Bossman: Can you start tomorrow?

Honestly that was it. That and a little speech about how if any of the guys were to give me problems I should tell him straight away.
I didn't even give a resume.

So that was on a Wednesday but I didn't start until the Monday after. And the whole weekend I was just a bundle of nerves seeing as I didn't even really know what I was going to be required to do!
I had no clue what cleaning a construction site would entail.

I got the cutest boots though. Haha, listen to me being all girly. They are steel toed because it's a requirement. A high visibility safety vest and a hard hat are also requirements, which is why you will not be seeing a picture of my day to day work 'uniform'.

The cuteness of my boots only lasted the two days before I started work though, because all I did the first day was sweep the underground parking lot. And by the end of the day, those boots looked like they had already been in service for years. I was quite disappointed.

I don't want to bore you with details of that first day of sweeping.
But I'll tell you that that is what I do the most.
Sweep.
Because of course twenty minutes after I sweep a certain spot it just gets dirty again. So it makes for a never ending job.

I have dabbled in other things as well.

Vacuuming.
Stripping. Hah. Funny story. I was taking some nails out of a board and one of the guys walks by and he asks if I had gotten any stripper jokes yet. And I was just so confused, until he explained that the job I was doing was called stripping.

On that side note: The guys that I work with are really nice. I know the cliche construction man is rude, inappropriate and all of that but the only thing I have had a problem with so far is their language. Oh my, do these guys swear up a storm. Not pleasant to listen to at all.

Shoveling.
Since it has snowed the last couple days that it what I do all day, instead of sweeping. I guess it makes for a fit body at least. Cause that snow is sure heavy.

So that is just a little hint of what I am doing right now, I'm sure as the days go on I will have many more little stories that may include some of the nicknames I have created for the guys in my head, such as 'Creepy man', 'Gramps', or 'Dobby'.

Oh. By the way, it is a hotel construction site. Building a new Sandman hotel which is apparently going to have a 4.5 star rating. If you ever want to check out the building, you can find us on Lorne Street across from Riverside Park.

P.s. I bought a tool belt yesterday. It's getting pretty official.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things that are yummy.


Michael Bublé

Sometimes you just have to remember that I'm a teenage girl :).

To be honest, I've never really listened to his music. But when you get a free song from Starbucks 'Pick of the Week', you go for it. And I actually have been tempted to buy his Christmas album.
We shall see.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Iris = Message.


A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

(review from Amazon.com)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday.

1. *sometimes* I get the urge to write sentences sans capitals. I think it looks cute. But only sometimes (read: almost never). All the other times I can't stand not having capitals. I 'm confusing like that.
2. saying the word sans instead of no. It makes me seem more french, oui? :D




3. Dressing up on the weekends. When you work a job like mine, and you feel nasty and unattractive all week it's nice to slip on a dress and look good for a change.
4. The boss letting you off an hour and half early.


5. Spending a little time before bed each night, with the lights off and my little fake candles flickering in the darkness.
6.Crossing off the to do list.

7. Getting texts that ACTUALLY make me 'lol'. (That's the best you are going to get, buddy.)
8.Unexpected happiness.

9. My purple pen. Strange, since I don't like purple.
10. My new Visa!

11. Peppermint Mocha's. Okay, I know I have already gone on about these things, but seriously? They are the best! I sat in Starbucks for a while after work yesterday, reading my book and sipping my PM and it was just a delightful time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ravings of a Tuesday.

Something that I dislike:
Politeness.

Hah.
I better explain myself here, before I lose all of my followers.

I dislike the forced politeness, the kind that doesn't really mean anything, and doesn't help at all.
Case in point:

"Hey, how are you?"

Now, if you are friends with the person and they honestly want to know how you are, that is one thing.
When the person is just asking out of 'politeness' and doesn't even really stop to hear the answer, that is when it annoys me.

And nobody ever really tells the truth anyway. It's always "Fine", "Good", "Great", etc.

I would rather we skip all that and go with just a nice "Hello" instead of going through the stages of common courtesy.

*Moving on to next segment*

Today at work, Sparky*, asked me how I was doing. Now this is a guy who actually stops to talk to me so I knew it was more than just going through the motions. I paused, and said "Good, I guess.". He replied with, "Good? A 'you are alive and here' type of thing?". And I agreed.

Which brings me to my main point of the day.

A lot of us when we reply to this question say something neutral, usually tending to go with the "Fine"s and "Not too bad"s. Because in our mind, we aren't doing too great, although we don't want to admit it in polite conversation.
But honestly? We are doing way better than we think we are.

Here are some #Firstworldproblems that we face, click on the link if you want to laugh at how needy North Americans are.

Now, I wasn't expecting this post to go in the directing of 'the glad game', but why not? (if you have never read or watched Pollyanna then I'm disappointed.)

I could say I'm not doing so well because I had to wake up at six in the morning to drive twenty minutes to work only to get there and have to work for 8 hours in the cold.
Or I could be thankful for the fact that I am alive(!), have a job, a car, and a body that is able to work. The list could go on but I'm just giving you an example here.

Living here in Canada, we are blessed with SO MUCH. But we don't even realize it. It's sad really.
I have been privileged to travel to Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico and I have seen people living in desperate situations. My heart was saddened by this, but not enough apparently, because I still complain when Tim Hortons messes up my order three times in a row.

Over this next week. every time I complain or think I am having a bad day, I am going to challenge myself to think of five things I am blessed to have.
I encourage you to do the same, or just take moment now to.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent(or not so)

P.s. One of these days I'm planning on writing a post on my new job. I keep having great ideas for it, but by the time it gets around to writing, I have forgotten them all.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sometimes...

I'm trying to decide why you read my blog.
There are a couple categories that you might label yourself as.
1. My mother, trying to find out information about my life, since I withhold it from her in 'real life'.
2. My stalker. People always warn you from saying too much personal information online just in case someone is collecting that info and using it against you. But I really can't be bothered with thinking through everything I say. Maybe I'm hoping if I say something too personal, you will warn me and I can remove it before I am murdered in my sleep.
3. The friends that feel obligated to read just in case I ask them at any given moment "Did you read my blog?"
4. Then, I like to believe there is a small group of faithful readers who read my thoughts because they actually enjoy them. Maybe not to learn new things, I hardly think I am teaching you guys anything, but to laugh, because laughing is good for the soul.

The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed. ~Nicolas Chamfort

If you have any other categories you would like to share, go ahead. Maybe you will be able to make me laugh as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Second day at work.

Boy at work: Hey, Hannah. Do you like to party?
Hannah: No.
A couple minutes of him trying to figure out why not.
B.A.W.: Well, I'm having a party at my place in Saturday if you want to come.
H: Uhhhhhh. No, thanks.

Then B.A.W. gets in trouble for talking to a girl instead of doing his job.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I love Thursday.

1.peppermint mocha
2.free stuff
3.I want you-Andrew Allen
4.ranch dressing
5.the post it note feature on my laptop
6.sleeping for almost eleven hours, but all before the hour of 10 am
7.packages that come right to the door(doesn't matter that they aren't for me)
8.excitement
9.peanut butter cups
10.Taylor Swift. She just fits every mood.
11.Can't Breathe- Fefe Dobson
12.making other peoples birthday special
13.Organizing and cleaning.
14getting three dollar tips
15.long weekends
16.payday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

things to know about me.

1. I like watching movies with subtitles. Not foreign films with English subtitles, but English movies with English subtitles.
2.I use black ink pens. And I would go out of my way to find one before having to settle for a blue, or horrors, RED!
3. I prefer Goodhost iced tea. And I've been having cravings for it all the time.
4.You know all those hair product/dye commercials with all the super shiny, smooth, soft hair? I have that hair. But I don't need computer editing or a special shampoo to achieve it. I'm not trying to be arrogant. It's just truth.
5.I'm not a huge fan of cats. But I do enjoy owning black cats, as long as I get to start from kittenhood. And they are all named Merlin.
6. I don't watch horror movies, scary movies at all really. That's two hours of your life that you will never get back and they aren't enjoyable. I make an exception for zombies. You've got to keep informed.
7.I am very orderly...in some departments. It drives me nuts to have emails in my inbox, so almost immediately after being read they either get sent off to the deleted, or one of my many folders designated for certain people or topics. Also that way if I need to reply to a message it shortens up my procrastination period since I get frustrated seeing them in my inbox waiting every time I log on to hotmail.
My texting inbox used to work the exact same way. Only now with my new black berry I can't do that anymore since I have "threads"(one of the reasons I do not use gmail). I'm still getting used to it. The fruit technology and I are not yet in a happy place with each other.
8. To say I'm picky when in comes to food, could possibly be an understatement. There is a list longer than my two arms length put together of food that I do not touch. Included in that list is: Raisins, Olives, Rootbeer, watermelon, pineapple(exceptions when eating it in a country where it is grown.), Pie and icecream, blueberries, cream soda,
9.I dddddooonnn'tt like water on my face. Like being splashed, or going underwater, or even washing my face. I still do that last one :) I just try and get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
10. I cry. I am a sympathetic crier. Whether it's in a book, movie, tv show or real life...if it is sad, I will cry.
11. I don't like being judged. Apparently I'm not an open book, and people can't read me right. Because I am frequently surprising people who didn't think I would 'do that' or 'say that' or 'like that'. It upsets me.
Just because you know me, don't think you know every little detail about me.
12. One of my biggest pet peeves is people spelling names without capitalization. Especially my name.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New toys!

 

The night I got home from hanging with Kelsey, I found a surprise in the kitchen, and I could not wait until the next day to test it out.

My new flat top oven.
This baby has features ‘to die for’, although I don’t see the point for some.
Who needs a warming drawer? You might use that once a year at Christmas, if that.
IMG_0428

But I definitely do like the convection oven. Even more so now that I have tried it out.

I never expected my best batch of cookies to be gluten free.
If this oven can turn gluten free items into glimpses of heaven, I can only imagine what my cookies will taste like when I return to eating normally.

For the interested, here is the recipe I used this time. Similar to my last cookie recipe seeing as this one calls for Tahini but since I didn’t have any I just substituted peanut butter .

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip & Tahini Cookies .

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Embarrassing secret time?

The title was just to hook you :).
It's not actually embarrassing.

I have a thing for...black and white polka dots.
And this was confirmed to me when I walked into Value Village today, and spotted these beauties.



It didn't matter that,
1. My feet hate flats. Legitimately. They are either too loose and rub, or too tight. Never a happy medium. And already I was feeling a bit of rubbing, but I convinced myself that these shoes were different.
2. I have so many shoes! And some have not even trotted out of the house on my feet yet!
3. I really am not supposed to be spending money at the moment. And I have been doing a good job of that, until today.

The second I laid eyes on them, I knew they were coming home with me.

This will be added to my collection which includes: two bathing suits, and one finely accessorized Rae (my Canon Rebel. Should my love for naming inanimate objects be another blog post?).
My spread might seem small, but even I, the very fashion illiterate, know that not every polka dotted item is a find. And going through the racks of the second hand store today proved to me that it can be super cute, or super hideous.
It will take years and a cautious mind to round out the hoard.


P.S. Well, it's a good thing I procrastinate publishing my posts for hours, because it gave me time to find another dotty item that I possess.
It's a purse.
And please forgive me for buying something name branded. It is not usually my custom.
But it was on sale and I love the colours so it was a must.  On that side note: I have never been a fan for pink but I have fallen in love with salmon-ey pinks recently.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hey, soul sister.

Now, I know I don't have a legitimate sister, and can't say I've ever had a deep craving for one.
But I have the closest thing next to that. And it is definitely more than I could hope for.

Meet my 'sister' Kelsey.

Photo Credit: Rebekah H.

I love this girl, and the accompanying family that comes with, so very much!
She is the kind of friend who, it doesn't matter if its been days, weeks or months since you last saw her, she is still as close as ever and you can talk about anything with.

She makes me feel good to just be around her, and she challenges me to be a better person.
But when I haven't been 'the better person' that doesn't stop her from loving me the same.

Not only is she special and fun, she is also has celiac disease which makes switching over that much easier since I already have an idea of what to do and what not to eat thanks to years of making Gluten free meals with her.

I spent my Friday night with her. It's amazing how quickly time can pass without having much to show for the hours. We made some cookies, and they are amazing.
And this is well deserved praise coming from the girl who rarely eats her own baking and had not eaten a cookie in months just because I don't like them enough to.

I ate three! And then another two in the morning (by the way, morning after tasted almost as good).
Maybe I just enjoy GF more than I ever would normal food.

Unbelievably fabulous: Gluten Free Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Gluten Free Gobsmacked

Download a copy of this recipe here.

Recipe makes 24 -28 small (1.5 inch) cookies or 12 -18 large (2.5 inch+) cookies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, cold but not hard
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 egg
1 1/12 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup GF Flour OR 2/3 cup millet flour + 1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 GF-certified oats (OR 1/2-2/3 cup sliced almonds)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (OR peanut butter-chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks, etc)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F if baking (not freezing) the cookies.
Cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar for 4 minutes on medium.
Add vanilla and egg. Beat mixture again for 2 minutes on medium-high.
Add peanut butter. Beat again for 2 minutes on medium-high.
Add flour(s), oats, baking soda and salt. Mix again. Dough will be exactly like regular cookie dough.
Quickly and carefully (so as not to mash them) mix in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.
If you are freezing the cookies, form in to the size ball that you want. Place the balls on a plate so that they are not touching. Place the plate of cookie balls with a loose covering of plastic wrap in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. When the balls have hardened and are no longer super-sticky, move them into a freezer-ready package (freezer bag or other type of freezer container). Use as you would any other frozen cookie ball. Remove as many as you wish and bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes (small cookies) or 22-25 minutes (larger ones). Watch the baking time as it will vary based on the size of your cookie, how frozen/cold the cookie dough, and your oven. The photo above shows the golden brown tinges that you are looking for to determine “doneness”.
If you are baking the cookies right away, shape into balls. (I use my ice cream scoop when wickedly lazy and wish for large cookies. It works great with this recipe. I might just have to invest in the little cookie scoops.)
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 11-13 minutes for small cookies or for 15 – 18 minutes for large ones.
Remove from the oven when the top begins to turn golden brown. (See the photo above.) Allow the cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes before attempting to move them on to a cooling rack. Cool and pack for transport to work (or to a hiding place in the kitchen for your secret stash of goodness).

*If you visit her website she has a recipe for her GF flour, or just use your usual method of flours.
Kels handled that part so I don't know which ones we used.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

General Report.

Hey Guys.
So my posts have been so all over the place I really don't know what YOU know.
Which means I will just ramble on about my life of late, and you can skip the parts you already know about.
Because I realize that some of you might get duplicate messages sometimes since you talk to me in person and read my blog.

At the very end of August I packed up my car, and drove back to Kamloops for the time being.
Even from the start of September I was already job hunting since that was one of the biggest reasons I was excited to be home. Working at childrens camp can be really fun and rewarding but it never felt like work to me. And I sort of need that feeling.

But the job market here has not been so swell. That, and the fact that I can be pretty picky.
Well, the time for pickiness was over as the weeks crept by and still there were no 'perfect' prospects for me. So, one day, while on kijiji.com scouting out the latest job postings, I noticed an ad for Arby's.

The Job
I was at a low point.
And they were hiring full time.
I applied.

I got the job!
Only they tricked me and it wasn't full time.

So for the last month, I have been working at Arby's.  And I enjoy it.
I was just realizing that I love customer interaction, and I get plenty of that there.
Also 50% off all Arby's food. (confession:before starting there I had never had any of the food except for the milkshakes and curly fries, oh and a potato. So I'm a pretty big newb.)
One thing I have had to get used to it the change of pace.
Tim Hortons is always go, go, go. And there is ALWAYS something to do.
Arby's has its rushes. But it also has a lot of down time, where there is nothing to do. And it's hard for me to just stand there and not be working. And it makes the day go that much slower.

The Work Out!
Um. Where are all my accountability partners? Because the work out has come to a halt and I need motivation.
But honestly, since I have slacked off and not done the physical exercise, I have felt worse. And guilty.
So..tomorrow I will get back on that horse.

On a maybe somewhat related note:

The Diet! 
No eye rolling, people!
I am making wise, healthy choices.
And I am on a wheat free/gluten free diet for a while.
Don't actually know how long I will be able to keep it up, but hopefully somewhere along the lines of a month. Or longer, but I already told my mother I'm calling it quits for Christmas.
I don't know if I should be feeling the difference, already. I haven't really thought of noticing differences yet. So we'll just leave that for a while.

Other than that..nothing much goes on in my little life.
I am pretty reclusive outside of my work life. And I tend to spend my weekends at home instead of out and about. I read a lot, and I keep up with quite a few tv shows.

The brother is away on vacation in Mexico right now, but once he returns I will forcing him to work on those renos every waking non-working moment until it is finished.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Forgotten Appreciation Syndrome.

  Today as I was driving home sipping my melted iced capp from Tim Hortons it brought memories.
When I lived on the little Quadra Island I had to drive 5 minutes to a ferry, take a ten minute ferry, then walk 5-10 minutes to get to my nearest Timmies. Quite the hassle for a frozen beverage, especially when you factor in that it is now costing you five dollars more(the cost of a ferry ticket).

But I would make that trek. And if I knew somebody was coming back from Campbell River I would request that they bring me an iced capp because I would rather a warm melted one over nothing at all.

While I was living there, I had to go without many things and each of those things seemed so important at the time I kept telling myself that when I got back to living in 'civilization', I would be constantly thankful for being able to get or get to everything so easily.

But it rarely happens.

Or like when you have a cold and your nose is all stuffed up and you are just generally feeling quite horrible.  And you think that once that is gone you will appreciate every uninhibited breath you take in.
It doesn't happen.

My mind just went blank, so I don't really know where I was going with this. Maybe I didn't have a point in the beginning...so I'll just end here.
Next post up will be a general life post seeing as it's been a while since I told you what I'm up too.
I will unveil the exciting new job news and how my workout plan is progressing(or not progressing)

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthdays are all about:

Free drinks from Starbucks.
Dressing up with your bestie.
Flowers from your boyfriend.
Treating yourself to something you usually wouldn't buy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feel the burn...and do it anyway.

*Disclaimer: I'm sure as some of you read this, you will scoff, and do a funny little pained laugh. You might even mutter under your breath, "This little teeny, stick-like girl has no idea what weight gain and fatty issues are!". So I want to be sure that you realize I'm past wanting to lose weight for the sake of looking thinner and I'm in the game to make myself healthier. Basically, I want to be able to run a kilometer without stopping to gasp for breath, and also crave good food instead of junk.*

Before I left for the island, I was a nice comfortable weight. I was happy with myself, and I even decided that I would use this time away from home to make myself even healthier and happier.

HA!

Reality hit.
A reality that is eating three meals a day, plus snacks! Oh, and the cook's specialty was bread so there was plenty of grains (CARBS!) every day.

My metabolism had never been put to the test that hard before. And the thing about my homeschooled self is, we aren't really familiar with tests...point of the matter is...it failed, hard.

I gained 17 pounds.
Every time I think about that, I shock myself again. 17 pounds. How is that possible?
It didn't show that much. But I was just a little thicker all around.

In May I tried to fix it.
I set up a schedule, ran every day. Put myself on a food plan that included: No caffeine, no white flour, limited sugars, no food after eight.
But living at camp and trying to have a restricted diet doesn't work that well, and it was hard to find time to squeeze in my runs.

So here I am.
I have the time, the lack of funds for eating out, and (what I hope will be) dedication.
Oh and the motivation now that I'm posting this online where all my readers can see.

I will be biking/running on even days and working on my core on odd days.
Hopefully, we'll see results in time.
But don't worry, I will not be doing one of those horrid before and after pictures where I display myself in a minuscule bikini.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A night of orange.

To tell you the truth, I am not a big fan of Halloween.
So what if I was born on the day, maybe that in part is one of the reasons I don't particularly like this holiday(if you can call it that.)

North America spends millions of dollars on candy, decorations, and costumes just for ONE DAY!
And unlike Christmas you can't even dig into down to the actual 'reason for the season' cause there is none. Well, not a very important one at least.

Okay maybe I'm just bitter because I was never allowed to go trick-or-treating and there never seems to be time for a birthday dinner ON my birthday. But I like to think its a less selfish reason than that.

Or maybe I'm just stressed over my birthday. I do believe I am the only eighteen year old out there that can't sleep because she is hyperventilating about her birthday. Don't ask.

Now, although I might not like America's reason to spend more money, I do apparently love fall.
I've never really been enthused about fall before, because I guess it's back to school, and it's only reminding me that winter, and SNOW :( is coming.

But the photographer in me has been rejoicing this autumn. It seems almost every day I just glance outside and am compelled to run out with my Canon and snap a few photos of the colour change.
It is SO beautiful!

Another thing I enjoy about this season is pumpkin. As soon as the Pumpkin Spice Muffins are in stock at Tim Hortons, you know I will be slipping in there more than my usual. But the lack of funds have made me reconsider my bakery visit. So instead, I've made it my mission to find the perfect muffin recipe, so I can eat my fill and not worry about paying 1.29 a piece.

Last night I found one at The Pioneer Woman.
She calls it a moist pumpkin spice muffin, but to me it seemed a little too moist.
So after your toothpick comes out clean you might want to wait a couple extra minutes.

I also candied the seeds that came out of my pumpkin, so I could put some on top of my muffins.
I'll tell you one thing, it might work for Starbucks and Tim Hortons, but it does not work for me. So next time I will stop trying to be fancy and omit that part.


It started as a pumpkin. (his name is Progie)

Which then turned into tasty candied treats.

And finally ending on my yummy muffins.

But no pumpkin muffin would be complete without it's cream cheese icing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm a sucker for romance.


Sean said."I wouldn't have sent you red roses."
  She opened her eyes and looked at him. He reached out and put his hand on her cheek, then ran his fingers through her hair.
  "I would have sent multicolored daisies, dozens of them in yellow and white and blue and purple and pink and every color I could find."
  "Why daisies?" she whispered.
  "Because they would make you smile, then laugh, and you would smile again every time you looked at them.
Everytime you saw a daisy, you would think of me. Because no one else would give you such a whimsical bouqet of flowers."

I'd tell what book it was that I read this in...but I cannot remember the title. Maybe it will come to me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nostalgia is...

Chestnuts.

I grew up with a Chestnut tree outside my front door.
We climbed in it a lot.
We played in the dead leaves in the fall.
We had the most fun with the chestnuts when it got to the season when the hard greeny spiky shell could be cracked open and inside was a little brown chestnut. So exciting.
Or just throwing the whole green spiky chestnut at someone. Also very exciting.

So, fast forward six years (at least).
Me and Superman are walking through the park when I kick something in front of me on the pathway.

I looked down.
A small spiky green ball.
It took me a moment to clue in, but when I did I got intensely happy and I promptly stomped on it.

And out shot one of my most favoritest things.














Take a moment to reminisce your childhood.
Or don't.



Just please don't dwell on the fact that I just had a twenty minute photoshoot with a nut. A real nut.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Having a coke with you



is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I'm with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o'clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it's in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven't gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn't pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

—Frank O'Hara

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm thankful for...

                                             Reno projects that actually start to look good!

For the two days I didn't report, there was nothing to say. The stuff he worked on was not very exciting and blog worthy. But now things are shaping up and beginning to make it look like a normal bathroom. I won't be going over there every day anymore, but I will hopefully be able to snap a few more pictures for you. An 'After' picture at least.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Renovations day 5: Just a short update tonight.

We had been laughing and joking about spicy ketchup, eye doctors and Tim Hortons regulars, when Behn saw a drop of water hit the linoleum.
His eyes slowing traveled upward to the ceiling, where there was water coming through from upstairs.
If I had not been raised right, this would have been the part where I started muttering expletives
I did not.

I just followed Behn upstairs, where we somberly started singing together...

"Every town,
has its ups and downs.
Sometimes ups,
outnumber the downs.
But not in Nottingham."

Goodnight everyone.
Better luck tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Renos day #4: God provides.

I love it when prayers get answered.
There is warm tingly feeling in my soul, which has been there for most of today now.

A couple weeks ago I lost my ipod touch. This was upsetting since 1. I had just purchased it in the last year and it was quite expensive and 2. I remember exactly where I had it last and since it was not there half of my mind believed that it must have been stolen, although I ALWAYS lock my doors(of my car). It made me sick to think about it, so I tried not to as much as possible, but every time it did run through my head I would go through that day again trying to remember each little detail wondering where I went wrong.

Fast forward to today.

I'm in a pretty good mood, I mean come on, I have an interview! That's enough to brighten my day all by itself. And I woke up and hour earlier than usual so I had plenty of time to do some cleaning, feed the animals, and even bake a couple batches of cookies.

I really had no reason to bake the cookies but I tried to make myself feel better by creating reasons.
1.I have so many eggs, I need to get rid of them somehow (eggs, anybody? Still have a dozen or so.)
2.My new spatula! iloveitiloveitiloveit. I needed to test it out.
3.The working man. What better way to put Behn in the mood for renos than home baked goodies??
Thee Spatula. Works like a charm. Tupperware, everyone.

Even I couldn't resist these treats.


I can never stop multi-tasking so while I was making the cookies I was getting ready for the interview. Must have gone through five different outfits, but other than that my nerves were fine. Very surprising seeing as I was just a quivering mass of jello for the last interview and I had known that guy for at least two years!

*pause* Getting pretty annoyed with the amount of 'I's' in this story, but there is not much to do about it *

I(!) went to my closet to get out a purse that I was switching my stuff over too and as I pull it out, something heavy drops out onto the ground. MY IPOD!
The sense of relief I had. I cannot even explain it.
As soon as I saw it I let out a "Thank the Lord."

With a light and even happier heart I left for the interview.

The manager was busy, so I sat down at a table to wait. Thinking about how awkward it would be if I got a call during the talk I turned my phone to silent. And waited..
All of the sudden I glance down, I'm receiving a call! I shouldn't answer, but I don't have caller id so I won't know who to call back. I answer it. Just as I say hello I see the manager walking towards me.

Awkward.

I tell him I'll be a second.

It's the manager from another store that I have been waiting to hear from, asking me if I'd like an interview.

The whole situation was a little hilarious and doubly awkward all at the same time.
What are the chances.

The interview went well, I should be getting an answer back either today or tomorrow.
And who knows, maybe I'll end up having two jobs. I think I can manage.

I drove to Behns feeling just so incredibly happy.
I wanted to tell my mother right away! But...figures, she is always out of town when I have something important to tell her.

Oh right. Renos. :).
Nothing really major happened today.
We got the tub put in! Not totally but hopefully the drywall, tub siding and all that jazz will be in tomorrow.
I put a little time in Matthews room again. It frustrates me so much though. So much stuff crammed into a tiny little room so I have nowhere to put everything. And he paints miniatures. I will a get a picture of those next time and explain a little about how much they are a pain in the ass for me when I am trying to clean.
A nice little before/after of his carpet. Probably hadn't been vacuumed since I did at least a year ago.
P.s. Vacuuming has got to be one of my most favorite activities.

Meal of the day. See? I put some health in there.


Behn decided to play some ball hockey tonight so I have the night off!


Psalm 118:24

King James Version (KJV)

 24This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Renovations #3: Little by little...

I woke up with a splitting headache and I just don't know why.
But I forgot about the headache after the rain starting pouring down, I got a job interview and I received two letters in the mail (one being from my favorite superhero)!

I spent awhile zipping around town doing errands. That's one of my favorite things to do. Nothing like having a full list and being able to check off every single item.

I got a lot done today.
Tidied up the front porch so we would no longer be an embarrassment to the neighbours (I'm just guessing that fact, I haven't actually heard anything).
Filed all of Behns papers. The worst.














Started Matthews bedroom..even worse than filing papers.But sorry, no pictures. It will have to be an ongoing project since it is so messy and it makes me sad to even be in there.

Our dinner was less than elegant. But hey, it was in the freezer and since everything has to go at some time or the other, why not? Although I might think about adding vegetables to the menu tomorrow. I am supposed to be the good example.















The male half of our team did... a lot. It just might not seem like a lot.
He is an electrician, not a plumber so this is all a first time thing for him.
Spent a while soldering everything together only to have it leak when he turned the water back on.
So back to undo everything so he could tighten some stuff.





















I keep telling him that this is all the hard stuff and it only gets easier from here.

For myself I have the motto "Everything must get worse before it gets better". I must have said that to myself at least 5 times while working on Matthew's room tonight.

Now onto another sleepless night! At least I have the sound of rain pattering on the roof.
Such a lovely noise.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Renos day two:total fail.

Remember that optimism I was talking about yesterday? It never arrived.
And just walking into Behn's house and seeing boxes of stuff everywhere barely even giving me space to walk across the room...well, my mood wasn't pleasant and I just wanted to turn around and go back home.
But of course I'm a work-a-holic so the show went on.

Another hour and bit spent at Home Depot. I recognized some of the staff from yesterday, it was almost like we are regulars.

Then we took a little break from the hard stuff and played soccer for a while.

We might as well not even gone back the house. Behn figured out he is missing a crucial part so he ran back up to  HOME DEPOT. I could not stand going into that store one more time so I stayed home to make supper.
Oh! But the best part happened next. Right before Behn left I went to turn on the kitchen tap and water started spraying EVERYWHERE.
I told Behn it was a test to see how strong under pressure we are. Let's just say we(and only certain parts of we) are pretty weak. But I made him keep going. And it got fixed.

Dinner! This is one of the new projects I'm starting. It's called the 'get rid of all the stuff in the freezer' project. So rather than use my two can dine for 8.99 coupon for Burger King, I burrowed my way through the freezer trying to find some edibles. It was a combination of perogies, italian sausage, tacitos and chicken wings. Not the greatest of meals, but we aren't looking for style and health points at the moment.

So, that's that.
Tomorrow will be better.
We will get lots of work done.
And I will have more pictures for you.

But I have to tell you. This whole running two houses at one time is catching up to me already.
I am going constantly all day. And having really bad sleeps.
And not really taking much time to just relax and enjoy life.
Hopefully I'll find a way to fix this dilemma.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Renovations post #1:What the heck did we get into?!?!

Something you might need to know before we start this adventure. Us, Lefebvres, are not the DIY type of people. We need to buy it ready to go, or hire somebody to do it for us. So I did not grow up learning out to reno because it just didn't happen at our house. If you can recall the bathroom project of '09.
So, this project is a big deal. It's going to take a lot of work. A lot of money. A lot of "don't you dare take another coffee break, you have only been working for  ten minutes!". And since we don't know how to do any of this stuff it might be a little trial and error as well :).

Behn and I had been planning these renovations for a very long time. Well, I've had it in my mind for probably about a year, but I made him aware of it last time I was home for a visit :).
We put it off until now, since our family(part of it at least) is out of town so we didn't have to worry about Matthew being in the way and Behn can come over to the main house for showers.

A couple reasons why this needed to happen.

1. The bathtub. I usually have a pretty good stomach when it comes to cleaning the boys house. But the tub is one thing I couldn't handle. I only remember cleaning it once in the fourish years Behn has lived there.
2. It has carpeted floors. Need I say more?

My morning started a little bit rocky. I woke up at five thirty and could not get back to sleep for a couple hours. When I finally dragged myself out of bed at 9:30am I told myself Behn deserved to sleep in so I wouldn't go over until later.
I texted him at 10:50 giving the half an hour warning.
When I showed up at 11:30 the lights were on and tv was going but he was no where in sight.
I went upstairs to find this:



I gave him a three minute warning and went back down the stairs.

I'm actually not really a part of the reno crew. I'm just more like a cheerleader. I also clean and am very supportive when picking out bathroom appliances, we'll get to that.

So, for the first 4 1/2 hours, he demolished, and I cleaned.

I would now like to introduce you to my best cleaning friend.
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of great friends that have helped me clean before (the fact that they would clean this house proves how great they are.), but this one tops all.

Today I discovered a relative of his, let me tell ya, we hit it off quite nicely.
*pause* the fact that I am talking about a bleach's family might show you how much of this stuff I inhaled today, wasn't pretty.*
I used that stuff EVERYWHERE. Not too sure if it was meant for linoleum though, so we might have to redo the main floors too :D.



A cautionary note though.
Your best friend does have the capability of back stabbing you, it's the hard, sad truth. So before you get down to work please change out of that new shirt you just bought yesterday :( :(.

About ten to four we had to get the show moving since we had a truckload full of garbage and the city landfill closes at four thirty. It is kind of satisfying getting rid of all that stuff.
Out with the old, in with the new.

The next part, I don't even want to think about.
SHOPPING.
Not my favorite activity.
Especially when in a place like Home Depot. Boring.

We spent two hours in there.
I had a headache within the first ten minutes.
That's all I really want to say about that.

When we came home, I then had to make dinner. Now I know what it feels like to be mother. I am definitely willing to hold that off for a couple more years.

I don't really have any energy to type out all the funny little anecdotes that I was planning while I scrubbed the counters so I will just leave you with the before pictures and go curl up with a chick flick and ice cream. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow with maybe a little bit more optimism.

A before of the vanity.

Before: The tub.

The carpet. Ew.


:) a nice little 'during demolition'.

"Oh my gosh, I don't know if we can do this!"

All ready for the new.

Not looking so bad after all?

To be continued...

Friday, September 30, 2011

These shoes.


These Shoes.
(a Haiku* by Hannah)

these shoes like to dance.
these toenails like going out.
they are very sad.



*haiku in the very loosest of terms. I am sure there is more to it than 5/7/5.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest post from Reggie.



Things are getting pretty bad over here guys.

First she buys a water filter for me. Disguised as a gift, but I've noticed this way she doesn't have to spend as much time catering to my every need.

Now she's forgetting to give me my three square meals a day. She tries to make herself feel better about this by providing me with a new tank seeing as she broke the last one.

And now this! She's been fraternizing with the ENEMY!



I don't know when or how everything will be going down but, trust me, you'll be the first to know.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My brain is smarter than I am?

I guess it possible, and probable.


While texting someone today I wrote out a word.

I didn't know what that word meant.

I had to look it up in the dictionary.

FYI: Dictionary.com is one of my favorite haunts on the world wide web.

To my surprise, the word meant exactly what I had wrote it out to mean.


I guess this comes from my years of learning new words through crossword puzzles.

I'm definitely not a "lol haha :):):) how r u?!" When it comes to texting.

My word?


tor·tu·ous

  [tawr-choo-uhs]  Show IPA
adjective
1.
full of twists, turns, or bends; twisting, winding, or crooked:a tortuous path.
2.
not direct or straightforward, as in procedure or speech;intricate; circuitous: tortuous negotiations lasting formonths.
3.
deceitfully indirect or morally crooked, as proceedings,methods, or policy; devious.

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