Thursday, December 31, 2009

I resolve to not hate on the new years resolution gym people (starting tomorrow)

The New Years Resolution crew is hitting the gym early this year - it was absolutely packed this morning. Compared to this time of day two weeks ago, we're looking at about 200% more people. I'm such a jerk to mock these people's efforts at resolving to lose weight for the new year, but it's always the same, isn't it? Everyone makes a resolution to lose weight, then they flood the gyms and the yoga studios through January and the better part of March, then just as swiftly as they appeared, they disappear and are never to be seen again.

I think it's great that so many people want to better themselves and lead healthier lifestyles, but I'll be honest, it grates on my nerves when all of the elliptical machines are taken because 15 chicks in brand new workout gear are slowly bouncing up and down on them as they focus 99% of their attention on the US Weekly magazine in their non-sweaty palms. And I'll be honest, I'm completely one of those people who keeps trying to lose weight and get into perfect shape (I feel like I've been on a diet for the past 10 years of my life) and will never be happy with their body - but at least when I go the gym, I work my ass off. Starting January 1, 2010, BC is banning cellphones while driving - they should do the same for the gym. Because no matter what anyone tells you regarding the magic of workout balls, sitting on one while talking on your cellphone will not help you lose weight.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Design Stuff

These are links to some portfolio material from my Masters of Publishing program. I'll be making periodical additions, and nothing boring for now - just design stuff! I've also added all of my blog banners.

Book Redesign

Magazine Redesign

Catalogue Redesign

Blog Banners

And if you'd like to see the rest, you can find them here:

Obsessed with

Avocado slices drizzled with ranch dressing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Our new Cuisinart knife that could cut through a frozen turkey stuffed with rocks. Yes, it's that awesome.

Messing with a good thing

I got the cutest apron in my Christmas stocking from Luc's parents - it looks like a saucy little cocktail dress. Luc got one too, but his is much more manly. And since receiving these aprons, we've had several culinary adventures, including homemade guacamole and my very first lasagna.

Tonight was the lasagna. We were at Superstore when I decided that I would make one, and since I've never made one before, I nipped over to the book section and grabbed a cookbook that could tell me everything I would need to make a lasagna. But of course, I missed something - BASIL! Who doesn't have basil at home? Apparently we don't, but my neighbour Callie (who is also a wizard in the kitchen and one of my lovely bridesmaids) always has a stocked kitchen. And as I ran across the street to borrow basil from Callie, decked out in my new apron, I didn't even feel silly. From behind, I was dressed normally, and from the front, it pretty much looked like I was wearing a dress....with jeans maybe a tiny bit silly?

I found a recipe online for a meat lasagna, and it had a ton of great ratings. So, naturally, I made some substitutions, added some stuff, and then kinda winged it. I'm writing this as it bakes in the oven, so I don't even know yet if it turned out well. Fingers crossed!

The original recipe only called for a meat sauce, but that seemed kind of boring.

One of the additions I made was vegetables: mushrooms, red peppers, celery, and carrots.

I also added chopped spinach to the cheese mixture and used 1/2 ricotta and 1/2 cottage cheese rather than only cottage cheese. So nothing revolutionary - just tidbits from other recipes. I'm not going to add this to my list of "healthy go-to recipes"...because I'm pretty sure this contains somewhere between 8-10 pounds of cheese.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

It was Miller Time...a week ago

What's worse than leaving a can of pop in the freezer overnight?

Leaving a glass bottle of beer in the freezer for a week and having it explode glass and frozen beer everywhere.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Home for the holidays

We're flying out to Saskatchewan in a few hours to Luc's home town. It's always really fun when we visit, and this time there's something even more exciting than Christmas to celebrate - we have a new baby nephew (as of yesterday morning) to visit!! 

We'll be flying home on Christmas Day for dinner with my family, and hopefully the flights this year will go smoothly. This will be fourth time that we've flown home from SK to BC on Christmas Day, and so far only once have we spent the day drunk in the airport because of delayed flights.  

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Looking for an out

Walking up the 3 flights of stairs from the parking lot to the gym.

Me: smells like someone's been burning candles.
Luc: Maybe the gym's on fire and we can go home and eat.
Me: No....
Luc: But maybe?

#63 - Being festive

63: Paint my nails candy-apple red

My original intentions for going to Shopper's Drug Mart were to mail Christmas cards and buy Christmas cards. After mailing the cards, I was left to battle with about 5 old ladies who were also buying Christmas cards. They were all crowded around the rows that held "for someone special", "for mom", "for dad", and "funny", leaving me with the "for grand-daughter", "for grand-son", "religious", and all of the other crappy ones. It's just that I don't have any grandchildren yet, and I don't like to be too intense with my card-giving. So to kill time before the crowds around the good cards cleared, I loitered in the makeup section. I ended up picking up some red nail polish, and voila! 

Going for a manicure would have been way more fun than painting my own nails while watching Seinfeld reruns, but this still turned out all right.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time to get real with myself

I'm sick of complaining about trying to lose weight. I'm done with going to the gym and getting no results. I'm going to actually try really hard and get into great shape. Please note, this is not me fishing for compliments. The reason I'm writing about this is because if I actually announce my intentions (rather than continue with my secret futile efforts), then I at least have some real expectations to live up to. I know what it takes - really hard work at the gym, dedication, and clean eating habits. So hear me now, I'm done with eating cookies then bitching about my love handles. I'm giving myself 6 weeks and it's going to happen. I won't bore you with the details and the numbers, but know that I have a goal and I'm going to reach it!

Monday, December 14, 2009


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley

The Avocado-Oven Club

I love our apartment, but there are parts of it that are vaguely reminiscent straight out of the 50's. Exhibit A: our stove. Our stove prompted the beginning of a club called the "avocado-oven club", because the colour looks like someone fed a bag of avocados to a dog, then the dog pooped them out, then a designer saw the poop and said "hey, this would be a smashing good colour for a stove, dontcha think?" Keep in mind this all happened in the 1950's so it's not like it's part stainless steel with a funky avocado trim. Our other good friends have the same 50's stove, so the four of us are the reluctant members of the avocado-oven club.

Last Friday, after an eleven-hour day at work, my darling fiance came home with a frozen pizza the size of an elephant's head. All he wanted was to eat it, and to eat it now. I was on board. Nothing starts off a lazy weekend of binge-drinking like a frozen pizza that you bought on sale. But to our horror, the oven wouldn't heat up. That avocado-coloured sonofabitch chose the one night that we not just desperately wanted a frozen pizza, we freaking needed this thing. I was no help, of course. I draped myself across the couch, sighing with utter melodrama at the tragedy that had befallen us while Luc broke the frozen pizza into pieces and started cooking it in the toaster oven. Yes, in the end, we got our pizza, but a week later something even more sensational than pizza on a Friday night happened.

Actually, it happened this morning. Our landlord arrived at the door with the best Christmas present I'll get this year (unless I get a hardcover Oxford English Dictionary...seriously), a new oven!! A non-avocado oven! See below, as it sits in our kitchen in all its non-avocado glory.

To celebrate, I'm going to bake a lasagna. I've never made a lasagna before so this should be fun. First though, I have to devise a plan to destroy the yellow countertops so that it's not actually my fault wherein we have to pay for new ones, but so that they're so incredibly damaged that we need new ones. I know, it's never going to happen, but is it wrong to dream of a world where mustard-yellow and avocado-poop-green aren't the main players in my kitchen's colour palette?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fantastic Mr Fox

Last night Luc and I saw "Fantastic Mr Fox" and it was a quirky delight. The combination of dry humour, off-beat music, stop-motion animation (which never ceases to amaze me), and a clever story made for a one-of-a-kind movie. And the casting was spot on - the voices enhanced the look of each fuzzy little character. I sat there with raised eyebrows and a cartoonish grin the entire time.

Initially, I didn't understand why there were so many children in the audience, because the humour must have flown right over their heads. However, I think a person of any age could appreciate the movie for the characters alone. Each one is so irresistibly adorable and charming. If you haven't seen this movie yet - I urge you....go now!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

#30 - Basically using whatever is left in the fridge

30: Come up with 12 healthy "go to" dinner recipes (5/12)

Chunky Salad on Rice

2 coarsely chopped avocados
1 coarsely chopped red Pepper
3/4 of one long english cucumber coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion (or more if you're a big onion person)

Toss ingredients (delicately) in a bowl

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp paprika
dash of salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a container with a lid that won't leak. I like to use one of my magic bullet containers and the screw on lid. Once all of the ingredients are inside, throw that lid on and shake like hell.

*You can play around with the portions of dressing ingredients - I always just wing it, eyeball it, whatever you want to call it.

Basmati Rice
*I like to use basmati rice and cook it with slightly less water so it turns out light and fluffy.

Serve the salad on top of a pile of rice and drizzle (or dump on!) as much dressing as you prefer. I don't dump, but I drizzle until it's smothered...

My voracious appetite got in the way of remembering to take a photo of the finished product, but I'll be sure to snap some next time around and post the photos here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Obsessed with

French Onion Soup

I said "yes" to the dress (and got a free veil!)

I honestly thought I would never have the decisiveness to pick out a wedding dress I loved, and then actually go so far as to PAY for it, thus making the decision official. But I did! I found the one! I fell so far in love with this one dress that when we went to another store, I was totally disinterested...I didn't want to try on any other dresses than this one dress. This is how it all went down....

It was the last dress I tried on at Store #1; the fabric was the kind I had always pictured myself wearing, the style was a hybrid of my favourite dresses so far, the silhouette was incredibly flattering, and it had a badass train, but the price tag gave me the same feeling as the flower appointment. I couldn't move on though - I really loved the dress, and so did my lovely fan club (my mom, cousin [the matron of honour] and aunt). We moved on to Store #2, hoping that they would also carry "the" dress but at a better price. While the saleswoman searched their stock for "the" dress, I busied myself by trying on a dress from my first excursion a few weeks ago. All of my bridesmaids had loved this dress, but I had some uncertainties about it, and my mom still hadn't seen me in it. I put it on and felt underwhelmed - all of the uncertainties were now magnified, and everything that I didn't like about this dress was perfect in "the" dress.

The saleswoman returned to tell us that they could order "the" dress in, but they didn't have it in stock at the moment for me to try on. They also offered a way better price than Store #1. I won't bore you with the details of our back and forth between Store #1 and #2, but the point is - after a long lunch at Cactus Club and some clinking of glasses, we went to Store #3 (the place I went a few weeks back), who also carried "the" dress, tried it on again, and after my amazing matron of honour chatted the store manager down to a WAY better price than Store #1 AND Store #2 (and a free veil), I was getting measured for the garment of a lifetime!!

I called Luc asap to tell him the good news. When I got home, I marched in the front door wearing my veil, feeling very giddy and bridal. And wouldn't you know, that sweetheart was waiting for me with a big box of chocolates to say congrats on finding my dress. It's a good thing the dress doesn't come for another 5 months though, because I would probably wear it around the house every day. The number of times I've put on my veil already is incalculable. I may even be wearing it right now....but nobody will ever know!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finally understanding why brides stress out

I had my first wedding flower consultation today. Why did I think it was going to be quick? Or simple? Or remotely within the budget? It was all so much more than I thought. I was just thinking of centerpieces - but there's corsages, and boutonnieres, and the bride's bouquet, and bridesmaids' bouquets, and flower girl gear, and ceremony arrangements, and cake flowers.....and about a million choices for each one. And wouldn't you know it, all of my favourite flowers are the pricey ones. And when I asked her about peonies in September. Her answer: "mortgage your house", and my answer: "what house?" The verdict: we were over budget before even discussing the centerpieces or large ceremony arrangements.

It wasn't until the end of the appointment, when I was actually contemplating carnations to save money, that I realized I was completely overwhelmed and we had gotten off track. Needless to say, I won't be walking down the aisle with a bouquet that looks like a high school Valentine's gift, but there's much more work, number crunching and deciding to be done.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesdays with Luc

This afternoon Luc and I did some Christmas shopping and celebrated Taco Tuesday in the food court in the mall. We're fancy like that.

We even went to costco, which was 100% more pleasant than the last time we went. Our first mistake was going on a Sunday afternoon when the entire city is also doing their grocery shopping. This time we went on a weekday morning, and the crowds were as thinned out as a 13 year old's first mustache. Even still, I got lost within 2 minutes of walking in. Luc found me shuffling around in the electronics section - proof that I was seriously lost, why else would I be in the electronics section when there are food sample booths to be exploited?

The rest of the week is chockfull of wedding stuff - flowers, decor, dresses, guest lists....and the gym every day so that I can fit into a sample wedding dress straight off the rack, save millions of dollars and go for a 3-month honeymoon on our own private island. That's what I tell myself to get to the gym every day. Crazy, but crazy seems to be working these days.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Displaying a giant poster for "The Taking of Pelham 123" in the sky train seems.....kinda dumb.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

27 - Being all domestic...or giving it my best shot

#27: Bake a batch of cookies and surprise a friend (in this case...I gave cookies to the neighbours, still counts!)

Friday night, making cookies with my friend....

The instructions say to "put the butter and sugars in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment..."

So naturally, I pull out this....

Please note the tape holding it together, the stylish shade of green (yellow?), and that both of the beaters are broken on the ends where they are inserted. And so, my dear friend Kate, not wanting to make me feel bad, goes along with it and tries to mix the batter with this ugly, semi-functioning, relic of a hand mixer. One minute later...

Kate: " it supposed to sound like that? I....I think it's broken."
Me: "Yeah....yeah don't worry, it always sounds like that...and smells like that...."

a few minutes of futile effort pass....

Me: "You know what, maybe we should just use a wooden spoon?"

And that is why the first item on our wedding registry will be a kitchen aid mixer.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

79 - Does this count?

#79: Do a hilarious group costume for Halloween

Just to prove that I haven't completely forgotten or abandoned my "101 Things to do in 1001 Days" list, I'm doing a few posts on things missed and things recently accomplished.

Yes, this is old news ....but since Halloween fell on a weekend, which is (as my friend put it) "the last time we'll have Halloween on a weekend before we have KIDS"'s worth reposting!

It's a good thing

With only 3 classes left this term, my giddy Christmas break grin is beginning to broaden. I already finished one for-pleasure book, and started my (December) wedding to do list. The newest development is that I've decided on decor for the ends of the church pews. Originally, I envisioned lush bunches of flowers tied to each wooden pew, but my budget-savvy cousin told me that it wasn't a good idea - it ends up costing too much. For what it adds to the aisle (she said nobody really notices anyway), the juice isn't worth the squeeze. However, I still like the idea of walking down a semi-decorated aisle, so I'm amending the idea with some budget-friendly tweaks. I'm tossing aside the real flowers for tissue paper creations. And rather than getting the decorator to do it, I'm going to DIY the hell out of these things! And the part that I'm MOST excited about....this is definitely a project that I can turn into a wine-soaked, bridesmaid event!

Monthly Photo - December 2009

In anticipation of a great snowshoeing season....

December Banner