Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yummy food and a little scare!

Cool Picture of a "Bird on a Wire" I took on Friday morning from the window.

Thursday night was my first Cake Decorating class. We learned how to make a perfect buttercream icing (involving margerine to my dismay), how to cut a cake for filling, how to make a rose, and how to properly ice a cake. Next week we are bringing in an already iced cake and learning how to transfer cartoon characters onto our cakes from looking at a picture. I quickly signed up for course #3 (Fondant and Gum) which are mainly used for wedding cakes after the first class. I think I am going to have a lot of fun.

Last week I also tried Isa's tofu scramble from Vegan With a Vengeance. I do not know why I didn't try this before. I have had the book forever. It was sooooo yummy. This is coming from someone who is not really a fan of tofu. Ryan didn't enjoy it as much as I did but he still ate the whole thing regardless. Good man :) I also tried the vegan sausage recipe from Vegan Dad's blog and was pleasantly surprised. I may add some more red pepper flakes next time but we had them on buns off the BBQ. I am going to make a rendition of a Jambalaya this week with the leftover frozen sausages.

This weekend was fairly eventful. We got our upper kitchen cabinets on Friday night and then headed up to Ryan's parents afterward. They just got back from being in Florida for the winter. It was nice to see them. Unfortunately, their house isn't anywhere near baby proof and with 2 dogs plus ours who came along, you can imagine the floors weren't all that clean. Brendan was scooting around on the floor as usual and I was watching him. At one point I saw his hand go in his mouth and like a concerned mother I fished around to grab whatever it was out of his mouth. I didn't find anything. We left to go home and we ended up dropping Brendan off at my mom's as we had plans for the evening to go up to Peterborough for a friend's birthday. 2 hours later, as I am getting ready to leave, I get a call from my sister. They noticed something black and circular in the roof of Brendan's mouth. It didn't appear to be bothering him but they couldn't get it out and were worried he was going to choke on it and so were planning on taking him to the hospital. Frantic, I waited for them to come and get me - I had his health card. I felt so awful and was so worried about him. We got to the hospital and the triage nurse sent us right on through after remarking that she had never seen anything like it. Within 10 minutes, the doctor had come to look at him and got the nurse to hold him (swaddled) while he pulled the piece out with tweezers and Brendan screamed his head off which I guess was a good thing considering the doctor didn't have to pry his mouth open. It ended up that the piece was rubber and likely from the bottom of a chair or other piece of furniture. Luckily everything was okay and Ryan and I could go to our night out. This was such a scary experience. I felt my first wave of serious "motherly worry". Not fun. But this is... Brendan is pulling himself up and standing holding onto things for long periods of time!

Anyway... we had a fabulous night at La Hacienda, an authentic mexican restaurant in Peterborough for my friend Stef's birthday. I enjoyed a tasty fajita platter with rice, veggies, guacamole, sour cream and refried beans. We topped the meal off with a pitcher of Strawberry Margueritas. Delicious.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ahhh Spring..

This weekend we did lots of Spring cleaning and work around the house. My "office space" is just about complete now minus the window and door trim and the refinishing of the door.. See below!

We managed to get outside with Brendan a lot on the rollerblades. Ryan takes Brendan in the running stroller and the dog on a leash and I have hands free to just enjoy the blade. Here is a picture of the last time Brendan will ever be in the Jolly Jumper. He is just too big now. He can reach up and grab the plastic bar above him. haha.

I also got some seeds planted this weekend. Green Zebra tomato, Mariana tomato, chamomile, yellow pepper and parsley. I re-potted my garlic which seems to be thriving and my greens mix which was getting a little crowded. I can't wait until they start sprouting!

I managed to get the china cabinet that we inherited cleaned and filled with our stuff.

Here are some of the tea cups in my collection. I have a tea cup fetish. :).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Garden Politics

The Obamas Plant an Organic Veggie Garden!!!

One of the blogs that I follow mentioned today that Michelle Obama is planting an organic vegetable garden at the White House with the help of an elementary school class to supply the family with fresh veggies and to teach the importance of growing and eating locally (with minimal chemicals). This is also a response to the childhood obesity problem. The whole family, including the President will help out in the garden. Now if only we could get Mr. Harper to plant an organic vegetable garden at 24 Sussex. Likely? I think not.. we'd have better luck asking him to start a horse ranch.

Although a petition on this matter might actually get somewhere.. if the US is doing it, we tend to go with the flow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Tonight I watched the movie MILK starring Sean Penn, James Franco and a whole bunch of other people. Based on a true story about the first openly gay man to be elected to a supervisor position in San Francisco. FABULOUS movie... I would give it 6 out of 5 stars. Wonderful acting.. great story..inspiring and quite frankly anything with James Franco in it is fine by me..and oddly enough Sean Penn is ever so slightly charming as well :) . Unfortunately people in our country and the U.S. are still facing human rights violations when they are supposed to be protected under equality legislation but are not being heard or allowed to exercise these rights.

I have been spending a lot of time at the library working on my thesis paper trying to get it handed in by Sunday. I decided the other day to go to the cafeteria for lunch. I forgot how crummy cafeteria food is.

Look what I found when I was unpacking a box of stuff yesterday! Anyone have something like this? Or is it just me...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Positively Green!

Brendan pulled himself to standing this morning! I cannot believe I was just posting about him actually starting to crawl. Many people have said that it is not long from crawling to walking. I guess they were right! One step closer.

The weather has been so nice lately, everything is starting to turn green. We have tried to get outside as much as we possibly can in the good weather before mother nature decides that she has been too nice to us and blasts us with a snow storm or sub-zero temperatures. We have been to the neighbourhood park twice in the past few days. I didn't even know that park existed until the babysitter mentioned it and I decided we had to go. The park is awesome and Brendan absolutely loves the swing. See photo evidence below!

I have also been a good "green" consumer lately. I know, consumer and green.. not two words that go well together. While in Toronto last week visiting a friend, I stopped by the Grassroots Store on Bloor. I ended up leaving with a reuable hemp coffee filter that ended up not fitting my coffee maker UGH! and a few "Moontime" washable pads. These things looked so nice I couldn't resist buying them. I stopped in for lunch at Fresh on Bloor and enjoyed some tasty vegan-fare: sweet potato fries with miso gravy and spring rolls mmmmmmm.

In garden news, seedlings seem to be doing better this time around. My garlic is growing like crazy and the ovation greens mix have popped through the soil. No sign of the parsley, dill or thyme yet. I have also finished drawing out my garden plans for the front and back yards. In all likelihood it will take 5 years before they get to where I want the yard from now. The yard had not been looked after in YEARS. The man who owned the house before us was in his 90's and clearly was unable to keep up with any yard maintenace. Consequently.. we have a lot of tree removal, weeding, grass seeding and fencing to do this summer but each step brings us closer, right?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring is indeed on its way..

What a BEAUTIFUL Saturday.

The past couple days we've had some real teething issues with Brendan. Consequently, he has been really needy. Hopefully some teeth will poke through soon!

Finally some good weather to get outside. This morning I sowed some of my seeds. I had to replant. I neglected my plants and unfortunately they did not make it. This time I will be more of a responsible gardener hehe.

This afternoon we jumped into the car and headed over to Heber Down. A local conservation area - our favourite around here. When we got there there was only 3 other cars. By the time we left, the lot was almost full! Even Jake got to run off his leash for a while. We had a good time.

Here is a picture of our new front loaders. I totally love them. Only problem is.. do natural detergents come HE compatible? I've been using one that isn't. However, apparently it can wreck your machine not using the HE stuff!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring is near!

The weather has been tricking us lately. Snow one day, rain the next, snow again, bright sunny skies. I am convinced that Spring is coming though. Unfortunately I have been neglecting my seedlings just a wee bit and they are pretty darn dried out. Hopefully I wont have to start all over again. I have just been so busy with everything lately.

Thursday Brendan started actually crawling, moving hands and knees. It was so exciting to see.

On Saturday, the girls, my mom and I went out dress shopping and I got the PERFECT dress at the Bride's Project like I mentioned I was going to in my last post. I couldn't believe the price and I found out the owner is an Alumni of the same university as me (GO FIGURE) so I felt good supporting a fellow alum. It is not the "traditional" white wedding gown but that is alright because I am far from a traditional bride. We also decided on a sage green colour for the girls and a goldish colour for Ryan's neices. Getting the dress makes it all the more real. After shopping - it only took me two hours and I kept trying on dresses I'd never choose because they wanted me to try everything on just to make sure - we went to Pappas Grill on the Danforth. It is an awesome Greek place that my parents used to take us to a few times when we were younger. It seemed like a suiting place to go after dress shopping because the last time we were there was with my dad. I decided to go Greek and have Greek Salad and Greek Pizza. YUM. Saturday evening my aunts were at my mom's so I went over for a girl's night and drank wine and ate a fabulous meal.

I've gotten to spend a ton of time with Brendan this week because the sitter's oldest son got pink eye and together we thought it best that Brendan hold off until tomorrow to go back. :S . Unfortunately, I was depending on a free day to finish up a paper that is due this week for the Women and the Law course I am taking. Thankfully, my sister has agreed to watch him tonight so I can go work at the library. We also found a new food Brendan likes. Avocado blended with raw spinach. So healthy! I don't know why I didn't think of it before. The guy eats it up!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Frustration. Wedding Plans.

Why does everything with the label "wedding" cost so much????

PHOTOGRAPHY. I saw a friend's wedding photos which were absolutely gorgeous. Her photographer specialized in creative photography. The photos looked like they were straight out of Modern Bride. She honestly looked like a model. I asked her how much her photographer was.. $2200 - just to take the pictures! GET OUT. I started to reason with myself. The photos were really nice. I called the photographer just for fun. She was all booked up but referred me to another photographer who does similar stuff. Price tag: $3500 starting package. YEAH RIGHT. After seeing more and more similar pricetags, I started to play around with some of my photos in photo editing programs which is something I have never done. I actually achieved some similar looking photos using the effects. I think I have decided to "creatively" edit my own wedding photos and invest in a good photoshop program to do so. A family friend who takes really good pictures has offered to do my photography and put together an album as a wedding gift. This would save me thousands and hopefully I'd get comparable results and have the printing rights.

In the end I'll be marrying this guy - we'll have many years worth of photos. One day isn't so important.

DRESS. Most dresses I have seen are going for upward of $500 for really simple styles. I just can't justify spending this type of money for a dress I will wear once. (Especially since I can make whatever dress look like a red carpet gown using photoshop as I mentioned above). A couple of my girlfriends and my mother and I are going dress shopping downtown Toronto this weekend. We have an appointment at the Bride's Project. This shop donates the proceeds of sales to children with cancer. All of the dresses are donated by brides, shops, designers etc. I really loved this idea. Helping a cause and saving $$. This is also part of my vision of having a somewhat eco-friendly wedding. Wish me luck. Some dresses I like:

FOOD. I have looked into organic catering. We are having an evening wedding so no dinner. But we are having a cocktail reception and dance so we will require finger foods. Let me tell you, much like "wedding" anything with the label "organic" or "local" is atleast double the cost of anything non-organic. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to make my own food for the wedding and then I can shop for the ingredients at local farms - perfect since the wedding is in August. I am still planning on making my own wedding cake to practice the skills I will learn at my cake decorating courses I am taking this spring.

MUSIC. I have secured a DJ at $850 dollars. Expensive, I know. But the cheapest I could find that still offered lighting, selection of songs, option for guests to request, an MC, consultation and get this.. the most important "a properly attired DJ". Now for my song list...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Brendan at 10 months

Brendan has been doing wonderfully lately. I realized I hadn't done a post about him in awhile.

Here are his most recent developments:
--> He discovered his feet this month and loves to put them in his mouth
--> He pulls himself up to sitting from laying down
--> No crawling yet but does an "olympic" roll to get to anything he wishes
--> He rocks back and forth on all fours constantly
--> Loves to play in his playpen - a godsent for me considering I do not have to worry about his safety in my incredibly non-baby-proof house when I have to do something
-->He still has no teeth. Not even one! But gums little pieces of food and loves to sit and eat dinner with us. I think we'll all be happy when some finally cut through.
--> New loves... blueberries!, mango, cucumber, papaya, organic cheddar cheese, cheerios
--> Sleeping longer at night. He slept all the way through until 6am last night. Might have been because we are all sick with colds.

He went to the baby sitter's twice last week and apparently is well liked by all the other little kids and is a wonderful baby to look after. Napped perfectly for her. When we went to pick him up the first day he wasn't even happy to see me and continued playing with his toys when I called to him and then when I picked him up he reached his little arms out to Ryan! I guess I'll have to get used to it :)