Sunday, August 31, 2008

This favorite fabric/craft supplies shop

In response to this weeks question posed by Handmaiden, my absolute favorite fabric/craft supplies shop is Fabricland. Be forewarned before you click on the link to their site; it has a jingle song. I get caught lurking there EVERY time by my Big Man because of that stupid jingle!!

I also enjoy the following stores:

Michaeals is way overpriced but the 40-50% off coupons are great to use on magazines.

Quilters Cupboard is a very cute store and the owners are always very helpful.

Ultimate Sewing Centre I like because every meter of fabric in the store is only $12.00.

I've been a bit slack on the posting. I have been really busy; but also feeling just a smidge under the weather, nothing serious just a little tired at the end of the day. I do have a great wine review for you and an amazing recipe for "Baked Potato Skins" coming up.
Come back soon and I promise to be a better bloggy friend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is...

I joined a meme group today called "This is...". It started over at Three Buttons last January.

Every Wednesday she will ask a member of the group to create a "This is..." statement. Today's was created by Hand Maiden: This is...your favorite fabric/craft supplies shop.

Each participant has until the following Sunday to create a blog post in response to the provided statement. I am super excited about this. It will provide me with a weekly post where you will learn something new and interesting about me; along with the opportunity to view other fantastic blogs! Whee!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mmmm Saturday

Today has been a great Saturday!! It started out with brisk 5 KM walk with my Girl. Then it was over to the Ultimate Sewing Centre for their "Huge Tent Sale". Did very well, picked up some lovely fabric, scraps and "mystery bags" for a total of about $40.00.


My work is a total of 54 KM (33 Miles) from my house; and most of my friends do not live that close to me. A co-worker just recently moved two streets away from me. This afternoon she dropped by for wine (Rosemount Diamond Cab Sauv) and goodies. It was a wonderful afternoon and I think gained another great friend. You don't know how nice it is to have someone close to home, my age who loves to snack, drink and shop!

Mmmm, no calories when shared!

Earlier today I was discussing the format of our blogs with my friend "Quilting Newbie". She was upset that my blog had not been updated lately and requested to see a food post. I think I am going to share my recipe for "Sweet Potato Chili"...I know sounds yucky but on the contrary is very yummy!! Recipe at bottom of post......







Within each season the Longo's grocery store sends out a magazine in the local paper. Basically it showcases thier new products but also has recipes. I only ripped out the page, but is probably from thier fall promotion of 2006.

Sweet Potato Chili

A chunky orange chili is a nice option for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Serve this warm comfort dish with fresh Longo's bakery biscuits after a cool evening out or after the hockey game (tell me their not trying to market to Canadian's eh?). Make it ahead and reheat for an easy and quick meal.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable stock
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes DO NOT DRAIN (28 oz/796 ml)
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (19 oz/540 ml)
1 green pepper, diced
Salt and Pepper

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon for five minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with flour and cook stirring for one minute. Add stock and stir until smooth.

Add sweet potaotes and tomatoes, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or untill amlomst tender. Add beans and green pepper and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Makes 4 servings, 5 WW points per serving or about 250 calories, only my caluculations.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Last Weekend

On Saturday I met up with my friend T and Quilting Newbie. Together we are all part of a Round Robbin Quilting group. To participate, you make you own centre square and then each month your square is passed along to another member in the group to add borders of varying width. This was our 3rd border of 5 inches. I added all the blue coloured fabrics.

Round Robbin Cherries


On Sunday I felt like having a nice Greek dinner so I invited my friends T and J over (you met them previously) along with my girlfriend M and of course my Big Man and dog.


We started off with some drinks, red pepper hummus, pita, crackers, olives and nuts. For dinner we had homemade BBQ'd Pork Souvlaki, Tzatziki and Greek Style Potatoes.


These potatoes are SO GOOD. I found the recipe a few years ago on "All Recipes". I used fresh Thyme and Rosemary snipped from my herb garden. I suggest making enough so you have enough leftovers to fry up in the morning for breakkie!

Greek Potatoes

For desert I wanted something nice, light and easy to prepare. I had bought some Ontario peaches from the Brooklin Farmers Market the day before. I thought they would be nice grilled on the BBQ.


I served each bowl with two peach halves and a splash of Icewine. I think they turned out really tasty and were the perfect end to a fun afternoon with friends.



Mosquitoes were out in full force, not sure if these lamps actually work or not but they sure do add a nice ambiance to the night sky. The bug spray was passed around like a fine cologne.



M gave us lovely flowers and wine; while J and T brought along a fantastic bottle of wine from their collection brought back from their last trip out to British Columbia.

Smooches and Thanks to all of you for a fantastic Sunday Supper.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hills

I was all prepared to sit down tonight and create a lovely entry surrounding my weekend activities.....HOWEVER; I just remembered a new season of The Hills starts tonight!

This is my absolute favourite show of mind numbing non-consequential-crap! Trust me ask my poor husband, he only suffers through it to watch Jessie and Dan on the after show on MTV...check it out.

Sorry friends, looks like you're gonna have to wait till tomorrow!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ireland, I miss you

I don't have any vacation left until the end of October. Since nothing exciting is going on other than the regular day-to-day stuff, I thought I would take a walk down memory lane.

From October 2-16, 2004 I went on a "Fascinating Pilgrimage Tour of Ireland" other words a bus trip with a bunch of "churchies". I went along with my Mum (bless her Catholic heart) my Aunt and about 40 other people. I was a bit leery about the "seriousness" of the trip. HA! I was pretty much hammed for 14 days straight!! Thanks Churchies great trip!!

Below is a statue of Daniel O'Connell. It was surrounded by construction while we were there.

This picture was taken on O'Connell Street in Dublin. You can see in the background the Spire of Dublin along with the statue above.

Downtown Dublin is separated in by the River Liffey, with bridges to connect the two sides of the city. Dublin is so cosmopolitan! Everyone is dressed smartly while the food, shopping and scenery is fab.

St. Patrick's Cathedral located in Dublin.

The beautiful Irish countryside. Not sure where this was but basically, this it the view most of the time.

Along with smatterings of old churches and cemeteries everywhere. Ireland has a reputation of poor weather conditions. EVERY day was sunny, crisp and lovely. It only rained on the day we left, we figured Ireland was just so sad to see us leave.

I absolutely loved all of the gravestones each one was so beautiful. The Celtic Cross inspired especially. When I go back I am going to take paper and make rubbings, would be fantastic framed.

On to Blarney Castle in County Cork. This was so much fun. Of course no elevator, so it was all uphill and straight up teeny-tiny steps. I was very proud of my Mum, she did not kiss the stone but made it all the way up to the top.

Below, see that little open part near the top, middle section, that is where the Blarney Stone is.

And here's me coming up from the big smooch! Kind of disgusting if you really think about many people have kissed the Stone of Eloquence (Blarney Stone) that it has been rubbed smooth. It was like kissing cold glass. Folklore states kissing the stone will give you the "gift of gab"; not sure how well it worked on me, usually not chatty till my 3rd drink!

Next stop was the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Breathtaking. Pay attention to the white shelf of rock in the first picture.

This is the view of that rock shelf from the other side of the cliff. See the crazy people standing near the ledge. Of course I was one of those crazy people. Your not supposed to walk beyond an enclosing fence, everyone did though. Needless to say a few unlucky souls tumble from the cliffs every year as they naturally erode and fall off. It was not until I looked at the pictures later that I noticed how stupid it was.

A nice view of the City of Galway.

A Master at Waterford Crystal.

We visited Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Knock and then back to Dublin.

The whole trip was fantastic, our bus driver was hilarious and made the whole trip with all his witty remarks and information. The food was gourmet quality and every hotel was gorgeous. For my flight, hotel, meals and attraction admissions; I think I paid around $2,000.00. Worth EVERY PENNY! I miss you Ireland, don't worry, I'll be back some day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Week 5 of 32point5 Plan

Since it is the beginning of week 5 for the 32point5 plan I though it was about time I threw out some numbers to show that I have made progress:
  • I have walked 100 km (62 miles--txs SD) in the last 29 days
  • My last timed walk/jog of 5 km came in at 40:40 down from 47:00
  • Lost 5.8 pounds in 28 days
  • Lost 8 inches total from Bust, Waist, Hips, Thighs and Arms (BWHTA)

Meh, OK I guess. Obviously need to try a bit harder for the next big update which will come at the start of week 10.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Update

Out of all my plans for this weekend, this is the only one I can scratch off my to-do list. I have 18 cupboards in my kitchen but for some reason I can not find the perfect flow for all my stuff. Out of that 18 I would say 7 of them are useless because of where they are positioned. I decided to put my "dry goods" in the top of my kitchen buffet.


I used to have all my wine and martini glasses in there. Now with all this stuff in there it was looking pretty ugly. I decided to line the back of the glass with fabric.

I chose the fabric mostly because of the colour but also because the pattern reminds me of Sashiko Japanese Embroidery.


It was easy project to complete:

1) removed the glass that was being held in place with those little tabs like you find on the back of picture frames or really old mirrors

2) rough cut the fabric and used some spray starch on the back of the to give it a little more body
3) spray glued the back of the fabric and stuck it to some brown poster board

4) trimmed the fabric piece along with a secondary piece of poster board to fit the size of the glass

5) reattached the glass, fabric, second poster board and all secured with the tabs

Pretty simple, about 2 hours beginning to end with a total cost around $12.00.

Plants from Mister R's garden


Now on to the unplanned part of the weekend. Remember my friends Mr. Mister....? Well Mister R. called this afternoon and asked if I wanted to swing by and pick up some plants. That's right people, look at that bounty of FREE plants. It filled the back of my trunk and then some.


Mister R. generously gave me Hosta's, Day Lilly's, Iris's, Coral Bell's, Ornamental Grass, Coreopsis and one other tall plant below on the right that I have already forgotten the name of. I spread them throughout the side and back yard. I hope all will survive.

Before Mister R. calling, I had a very unexpected phone call. About a month ago, we went to a house party at a colleague of my husbands that live in the same town we do. Out of the blue his wife called today and asked if I wanted to go out for a walk. This was so nice of her and it was really great to make a new friend so close to home.

Ultimately nothing went according to plan this weekend, but it turned out better than I could have ever anticipated. Hope you weekend was great as well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Flyer and Fine Wine Night

The paper boy must have somehow received my constructive feedback regarding on time paper delivery. My paper is here, on time with all the appropriate flyers. Nice to see the Michael's flyer is finally back, gotta love the 40% off coupon.

I worked on a little craft project with my kitchen buffet hutch this evening. Will provide an update tomorrow when I can take a better after picture. Again, my Big Man is working this weekend so I have some free time for myself to complete some long overdue craft projects. Should be a fun weekend!. (Plus tons of Summer Olympic Games on HD)

On to the wine portion of "Friday Flyer and Fine Wine" night. We're planning on having a really nice steak dinner tomorrow night so I wanted to keep my higher priced bottle till then. I thought I would let you in on my everyday wine. Not to say that I like to drink everyday (I would, but I do love my liver!) but during the week we enjoy a brand called "Gray Fox Vineyards" Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes from California and is only $7.90 a bottle from the LCBO.

If you keep the price point in mind, this is a great wine just to come home to at the end of the day. Light, easy tasting and gives a nice little buzz. Perfect to sip when you just need that little something without feeling guilty about the price point. Happy weekend and see you soon!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lunch at Work

Nothing too exciting has happened since the weekend, so I thought I would invite you to have lunch with me today at work.

New KitchenAid Knife

My salad consisted of tomato, cucumber, red onion and navy beans, topped off with some fresh parsley and sage from my herb garden. For the dressing I squeezed a lime with some olive oil, Splenda, salt, pepper, dry mustard powder, a pinch of cumin and chili powder. I also cut up an apple and an orange for snacks before and after the salad.

I purchased a new KitchenAid 7 inch Santoku Knife, which normally sells for $24.99 on sale for $9.97 this weekend from Canadian Tire. This knife is fantastically sharp. It is totally making prep work so much fun; I do however foresee stitches or a lopped off finger sometime in my future.

I like my BYO Rambler Lunch Bag; it's made from the same stuff as wet-suits. It keeps things cool if you put a tiny ice pack inside and is cute looking. Just a tad too small in my opinion. I guess that might be a good thing, cause really, how much does one need to eat for lunch at work? (Hence need for 32point5 plan, notice the book where I write everything down, cough). *Breakfast was Wasa crackers topped with cottage cheese and pepper, mmm fiber and protein*

Desk View

This is the view (almost) from my desk. If you look way off in the distance you can see the CN Tower. It was kind of cloudy today, so not the best picture. Thanks for sharing lunch with me today. See you soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Long Weekend!

Today's post will be a recap of all the things I accomplished during this past Long Weekend. I started out on Saturday by tackling my Cherry Tree below and the back garden surrounding it.

Saturday = Full and Overgrown

Sunday = Neat and Tidy

It took two days to get everything back to normal. Since I work afternoons, I was spending too much of my mornings out walking and had sort of let things slide in the yard. With all the rain we have been having, it just got out of control. I think I am going to dedicate Wednesday and Saturday mornings to yard work from now on.

New to Me Shoes from Double V

I hooked up with a girlfriend on Saturday afternoon for a little break from yard work. We went to Fabricland, Value Village and then had Chinese Buffet for dinner. (I swear, cough, I tried to be good!).

I know, eww, I bought second hand shoes but look at them, their great! The top ones are Nine West; not sure about the bottom, but hey cut out Mary-Janes how could I leave them behind. I think they will look great in the winter with dark tights. Kinda hard to tell in the picture, but I also bought a Melmac-Melamine bowl resembling a Rachel Ray garbage bowl. Mine was considerably cheaper at $1.99.



Just as I was finishing up on Sunday I noticed a butterfly/moth? lounging about on my purple cone flowers. I scooted inside for the camera. Thankfully it was nice enough to stick around for a couple of snaps! I've had my camera for about 2 years now. I've never really used it much before, so I'm just starting to learn all the settings. I've borrowed a book from the Library called Digital Photography for Dummies. Hopefully, this might make an improvement in picture quality, that is if I ever find the time to read the book!


My Girl

My Girl sat out and supervised, happily drinking water and apparently eating too much grass. I only know this fact because of the lovely pile of half digested grass that was barfed (sorry) up on my kitchen floor this morning! Such a nice thing to deal with before coffee.

Completely exhausted, no make-up, bed head, probably not smelling my finest!


A co-worker gave me a bulb to plant this past spring. She said it was a Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia). I'm not sure that's true because it doesn't look like one according to Wiki. Who has totally exceeded all of my expectations!! I love it when people walk past the house and point!! That's the best compliment of all. If you happen to know what it's "really" called, please let me know in the comments.

My Big Man spent some time on Sunday giving me a set of back brakes. These new ones are just perfect, the last set I had were "grabbing". Thanks Babe!! I love them.

Other than that, just got back from lunch at Swiss Chalet with some friends who we should be hooking up with for a movie later tonight.

Oh yeah, since it's Monday it is time for a 32point5 update. I have more shrinkage, but no droppage of pounds (sigh) still the same number. Oh well better to be the same than up eh? I promise that before this year is up, 32point5 will be met. Phew, at least I've got another 11 months to get there!