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.

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.


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 


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*


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.
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.

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.

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

Thursday, December 8, 2011


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:

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


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.

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