Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday links during move week

^^^ #fact

We are officially in "move week" mode on Newton Avenue. Brace yo'self.

I am being a good girl and packing tonight, but I wanted to share the links I lovingly curated (Ha!) for you this week. Slowly but surely our apartment is being taken over by brown boxes, which gives me an unwarranted sense of accomplishment. I still have much to do. Weirdly, I am being calm about this whole endeavour which is making my sweet husband nervous!

I don't love packing, but I do love throwing things away. Jeff not so much. Happily he is very busy becoming a financier (I literally cannot wait to call him that), so I am in charge of this move. Watch out clutter, I'm coming for you!

Have a lovely weekend friends, meet you back here on Monday. (I reserve the right to be in full blown panic mode by then. You understand.)

 According to the Internet:

I'm not the only one loving brogues for spring (Jeff is not loving them along with me)

People love Jennifer Lawrence as much as they hate Anne Hathaway

Women should stop thinking that their salary pays for childcare, hear hear

This recipe was made for me (as a lover of marzipan how have I never made frangipane?)

The Place Beyond the Pines is worth watching for Gosling alone **

**Not exactly what the review says, but a fact universally agreed upon by women. Am I right?

 Image source: here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Banana oat muffins (aka I don't want to pack)

I don't normally eat gluten-free or sugar-free. Why start now? I am obviously procrastinating because I move in exactly one week. ONE WEEK! I have packed a total of four boxes (easy things to pack no less). Enough about that. I'm giving myself anxiety. Let's talk muffins.

I came across the recipe for these little gems yesterday on one of my daily reads (here). They are super-duper easy and really tasty. They are gluten-free (make sure to use gf oats) and sugar free (until you add the chocolate chips). Okay, so they are gluten-free if you try hard and not quite sugar-free, but they are better than a cupcake. Baby steps.

Vi and I whipped these up while I was making super, they are that easy. They are kid friendly too -- you put everything in one bowl and stir. Violet basically made these herself. We were a little heavy handed with the chocolate chips, but if you subbed in berries or nuts these would be a delicious breakfast to-go. Violet is so not a morning person (her only genetic difference from me) and it is hard to get her to eat before school. Think of how much packing I can avoid if I make these every few days. All in the name of a nutritious start to the day for my girl, of course!

If any of you have something you really ought to be doing, I hope these help you procrastinate and much as they have helped me (#payitforward).

Here is the recipe. I made a few little changes from the link I provided above:

2 1/2 C raw oats
1 cup full fat plain yogurt
1/4 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
a handful of chocolate chips (I added two, I have a problem)


dump everything in a mixing bowl and let your kid stir. pour into paper lined muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes at 400. I made 11 big muffins.

pretty cups make everything better

^^I told you the recipe made 11

yummy and oh so easy



Tuesday, April 16, 2013


^^^love these ladies to death
^^ telling stories at Ox
Oh, we told stories. 

There is something about old friends. The way you slip so comfortably back into sisterhood. As my friend Aja pointed out, it was like I never left. Great friends -- kindred spirits -- are like that. We laughed. We ate. We cried, but only because we were laughing so hard. We also talked a lot about cosmetics (that is an inside joke feminist friends, which better be all my friends come to think of it). The weekend was the perfect balance of reminiscing and creating new memories. 

Calgary tried to ruin our visit by pretending it was always winter and never Christmas, but even snow in April didn't dampen our spirits. I had an amazing mini-vacation and only the thought of our next holiday together can ease the pain of not being able to spend weekly afternoons drinking coffee, sipping smoothies or eating legumes with my lady friends. 



ps -- my hair misses Calgary just as much as I do. Humidity, you make my skin feel amazing and I can breath without feeling knives in my nose, but I would trade you for smooth hair any day of the week. 

Here are some pictures of a few of my favourite people: 

one of my three fur nieces, Penny
^^^dinner at Una

^^^drank lots of this stuff, the three hour time change did me in
gorgeous Jayme
^^family photo
^^kindred spirits 
another set of sisters

^^dinner at Ox

^^I don't know who that is, but isn't the Ox and Angela pretty?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

a sleepover for grown-ups

I am going to visit my best girlfriends in Calgary tomorrow morning. I literally cannot wait. We're going to spend half our time in the city and the other half in Canmore. My amazing friend Jayme owns two restaurants in Calgary (here & here) and my other amazing friend Aja manages one of them. I've spent the last three years hearing about how awesome these restaurants are (from people who have eaten there, not from them) and and I am so excited to finally try them myself. I am equally excited to see the burgeoning belly of my sweet friend Quinny. She's having her first baby this summer. I love me a pregnant belly!

I'm a little apprehensive leaving Violet, she is home sick today, poor bean, and I hate to leave her when she is under the weather. I am also triple quadruple crossing my fingers that I don't get sick while I am away. That would be the worst. I am exercising mind over matter at this point. I will not get sick, I will not get sick. (I've always considered us a healthy bunch, but this winter has been a doozy. When we've gotten hit, we've been hit hard. Just another reason I cannot wait for Spring!) Send some good health vibes our way if you think of it.

An all girls weekend is just what the doctor ordered. As I've mentioned before, you can't beat a good girlfriend. I am so looking forward to a weekend full of good food, great chats and lots of laughs.

I'll undoubtedly take a million pictures while I'm there. Consider yourself warned.



Image Source: Carraig Beag

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We bought a house!

Yup, a real house.

Jeff and I have been sort of thinking about buying a house for a while now, but we really like our apartment so we didn't feel that much pressure to move. We spent the last year looking at viewpoint off and on, just to see what was out there. Our big dream was to live somewhere close enough to work so that we could continue to walk.

We found the little charmer you see above with the help of our awesome agent, James. We only saw two houses! It is in the North End, which we love, and it has a pretty decent size backyard (for the city), which is an added bonus. The house is super cute on the inside and it oozes with charm, which I am a total sucker for. Of course, it is 80 years old so it has a few quirks -- we already have a few projects lined up. All in good time, of course.

Moving day is just around the corner and aside from filling up our house with boxes, I haven't done very much yet. I can't wait to get into our new place and make it feel like our home.

I can't wait to share more pictures with you when we actually get in there.



Friday, April 5, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

Four day work weeks are the best (assuming three, two and one day work weeks are off the table). Woo hoo the weekend is upon us. We don't have any crazy plans, but tomorrow I'm going to be geeking it out at a one day course called "Ladies Learning Code". You see what I do for you my fine friends, I'm trying to improve this old blog for your viewing pleasure and I think I need to understand a little more about the technical side of the interweb. I have no idea what HTML or CSS are, but by tomorrow at five I will. Not sure it will make one iota of difference in how I blog, but it may. I'm up for the challenge.

By the way, who wouldn't want to sign up for a seminar called Ladies Learning Code -- such a cute name. (Yes, that is in large part why I enrolled. Don't judge).

In other news, my cold is still hanging on but since my goal in life is to defy Margaret Wente I came to work every day this week (like the vast majority of public servants would). I found myself googling tuberculosis last night, so maybe I should have just stayed home...

Here are some snaps of our Easter weekend and some links to things I learned online this week. Do you guys like the links? Should I keep sharing? I know you have google too...

Have a lovely weekend friends, meet you back here on Monday.



{Violet in her Parasian scarf at the market. So continental for a Satuday morning.}
{I meant to say this last weekend...}
{better late than never?}
{Rhymic gymnastics are where it is at. Thanks Sopie for the awesome birthday present}
{and she hasn't even seen Clueless...yet}
{dance moves like her mama...yikes!}
{she knows she's got it!}
{I said, "Act natural Violet". This is actually quite natural for her. Fair enough.}
According to the internet:

Bed time with kids doesn't have to be torture

You should marry young

You should not marry young

A healthy relationship doesn't depend on your age or maritial status, and if you happen to be in one thank your lucky stars

(the internet can be confusing)

Money cannot buy good taste, but it can buy you a giant dollar sign lit up like a Christmas tree which is way better anyway

There is a yummy new restaurant coming to the North End

It is impossible to read this article and not think of Gweneth Paltrow, am I right? (This is the funniest thing I have read in a while)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

banana cream pie...sort of

{banana cream before the cream}
Hi! How was your Easter weekend? Ours was very relaxed, which was just what the doctor ordered. Well, that might not be completely true because somehow I have ended up with the worst early spring head cold of all time. I've been crawling into bed right after supper for the last few nights (hence why all has been quiet on the western front). I am, however, feeling better (huzzah) and I'm ready to share a very yummy recipe with you. I had to wait until I felt better to share this one, because although my banana cream pie looks pretty and it tasted really good, there were a few, ahem, issues. I couldn’t take your judgement and my aching sinuses at the same time. You understand.

I had never had banana cream pie before this weekend. Have you had it? I tend to be a fruit-filled pie sort of girl (don’t get me started on strawberry rhubarb, or for that matter cherry or peach), but I do love coconut cream and pecan pie. I guess when I put it that way I am not that picky when it comes to pie. Slap something sweet between a light flakey crust and you’ll have yourself a happy girl. I don’t even need two crusts, but I digress. I had never had banana cream pie and after seeing a really delicious recipe while I was trying to find the end of the internet one night I decided to make it for Easter.

My pie looked really pretty, it even tasted really good, but unfortunately the custard was much more like a trifle custard than a pie filling -- runny nation. Not so good for photos (or for eating with a fork for that matter). Speaking of trifle, my mum is just the sweetest thing and she said, don’t worry, we’ll serve it in bowls, it will be just like a banana cream trifle. It was well received by all, although it looked rather embarrassing next to my father’s perfect rhubarb pie. Yes, my dad makes pie, pie and Yorkshire puddings. You can be jealous. He is amazing.

Anyhow, here is the moral of the story: if a recipe says use a candy thermometer to judge the temperature of custard, there is probably a reason for it. I know you may fancy yourself a custard connoisseur; I did too before this weekend. My custard looked really thick in the pot on my stove and it was time consuming to get through the sieve, I swear. Despite this my pie was soupy, so do yourself a favour, spend the $15 and buy a candy thermometer for the two times a year you’ll use it. Or, you could just get used to trifle, which isn't the worst thing to have to get used to is it?



Here is a link to the recipe I followed. I take full responsibility for the soupy nature of my pie. It was me, not the recipe I swear. I’d definitely make this again.

{be ready to use a lot of eggs}
{don't even mention the word cholesterol}
{my favourite way to photograph bananas}