Saturday, 31 December 2011

Interwebz

With today being new Year's Eve, I thought that a good website for this week would be Start A Resolution.
I stumbled across this website and really liked the concept. You enter your resolution (and then creat an account). The person who signed up before you, becomes your coach and the person who signs up after you becomes the person you coach. This helps you stay involved in the community and helps motivate you to keep your resolution.
Regardless if you make a New Year's resolution or not, I hope everyone has a great and SAFE NYE!

PLEASE NOTE:
If you're planning on going to any parties on New Year's, pay attention. Don't drink and drive - and don't ride with anybody who does.
Tipsy Tow is offered by AAA/CAA. You don't have to be a AAA/CAA member, from 6pm-6am on New Year's Eve/Day they will take your drunk ass and your car home for FREE. Save this number... 1-800-222-4357 .
This is nationwide In Canada and the US. Drunk driving kills...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Favourite Thing

This time of year is my favourite.

Not Christmas, New Year's or anything holiday related.

My favourite time of year, is the World Junior Championships (Hockey).

The International tournament starts every year on Dec 26, and this year goes until January 5. Almost two weeks of hockey. I love hockey to begin with, but I've always loved watching our Junior team play. The best under 20 hockey players show up to play some great hockey and represent their home country. These guys are playing for their country- it's not for money, NHL draft rankings or anything like that. It's simply national pride and the love of a sport.

I always plan my schedule around Team Canada's schedule at the WJC. I never miss a game, if I can help it. If you have any interest in hockey, or are Canadian, following the WJC is something worthy of your time.
Not only is the WJC a favourite thing of mine for the hockey, but it's a yearly reminder that national pride is alive and well in Canada.



On the subject of hockey...And another favourite thing happening in a matter of day... 2012 NHL Winter Classic will be taking place on January 2, when the Flyers and Rangers (GO RANGERS!!) will be facing off during this annual outdoor game.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Make With Me- One Minute To Midnight

With New Year's Eve just around the corner, why not make...

One Minute To Midnight


Ingredients:
  • 1 oz Lindermans Frambois (Belgian raspberry lambic beer)
  • 0.5 oz Creme du Mures
  • Lemon juice
  • Sparkling rose wine
  • Blackberries

To make:
  • Blend Lindemans Frambois, creme de mures and a dash of lemon juice
  • Top with sparkling rose
  • Serve in a chilled champagne glass
  • Garnis
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. Lindemans Frambois can be replaced with any raspberry beer or ale.
  2. Creme du Mures can be replaced with any blackberry flavoured liqueur.
  3. Being from the Niagara Region, I high recommend using a Niagara Wine.
  4. If you can't find a sparkling rose, you can replace with sparkling white wine. You can also do half sparkling white (for the bubbles) and half rose (for colour).
  5. Creme du Mures and blackberries can be replaced with anything you like with raspberries. I've made this using blueberry and it was also good.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Book, Song, Body

Today was Julia's funeral. You can read about her here.

Book- As mentioned above, Julia's funeral was today. The service was beautiful and, as a Catholic mass, there was mention of God and our eternal home, heaven- which helped me decide on this weeks book, The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

Many year's ago, Brittany (of happybrittany.com) wrote a MySpace blog about this book and I decided to pick up a copy. Every time I have read this book, it's been done in one sitting.

Eddie, the main character, dies early on in the book. He thinks that his life is meaningless and that he hasn't had any influence on anyone's life. As he works through the 'steps' of heaven, he encounters 5 people- some are people he knows, some are strangers, but he has encountered all in his life. Eddie learns the role he played in each of these people's lives.

I love this book, have read it numerous times, and highly recommend it. It's a beautiful story and a reminder that we touch and influence people without realizing it at times.

The message of this book, reminds me so much of Julia and the way that she touched thousands of lives. During her life, she may not have realized how influential and inspiring she really was. But any of the thousands of people who made it to her funeral and visitation will be able to tell you the ways in which Julia touched their life and inspired them.

Song- For this weeks song, I wanted to pick something that honoured Julia. There was a specific song that was dedicated to her during her battle with cancer and I thought of using that. After she died, there were a few songs that were written by people who knew her in her memory, and I thought about using one of those. At her funeral today, I was reminded that Julia was a devote Catholic and contemplated using a hymn from mass.

At the end of her funeral, right before leaving Church (second to last song), Notre Dame Our Mother (Alma Mater) was song. Julia was a student and ND and her parents are teacher there. Julia has been part of the ND Community since before she was born. I thought it was touching that the Alma Mater was included during her funeral. It's also a song that I have always loved (being an ND grad myself).

This weeks song is Notre Dame Our Mother (Alma Mater) as song by the University of Notre Dame Choir.

Body- This week's pick is a potato.

I'm going to share one of my beauty secrets... I've been blessed with good skin and never really had problems with blemishes, pimples or acne. But every once in awhile (especially if I'm super stressed out), I will get blemish or two. This is my no fail way to get rid of them!

Cut a potato, and place the inside of the potato on the blemish for a few minutes. There's something in the potato that takes away the redness of a blemish or pimple...I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it works! You can also use ice to take the swelling down a bit. Due this daily until the blemish is gone (for me, it's usually a day or two).

This idea taken from Brittany at happybrittany.com.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Hey! It's Ok

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To over indulge during the holidays. It's not your fault that everyone is having a party, or that there is so much good food during this time of year. It would be rude to not eat and enjoy this food, food that someone worked very hard to make.

To spend the day in pj's. It's the best way to be comfy and lazy. If you have nowhere to go, or anyone to see, why not spend the day in your comfiest clothes? I'm on day 2 of pj's only, knowing that tomorrow I'll have to be dressed in clothing that is slightly less comfortable (funeral and two holiday parties tomorrow).

To eat chocolate for breakfast. With chocolate in my stocking from Santa and the boxes received as gifts, it's just easier to reach for a piece then to make bacon and eggs. And really, if you only do it once in a blue moon, what's the harm? On top of that, chocolate does have calcium and iron (I think?) and other vitamins, so it's not THAT bad for you.

To be excited that the World Junior Championships (jr international hockey) started yesterday! Canada won their opener against Finland 8-1 and play the Czech Republic tomorrow at 8pm. It's also ok to plan your life for the next two weeks around Canada's game schedule (or whichever country you're cheering for).

To re-gift. Somethings just aren't worth keeping. If you have something that you don't particularly like, already have, etc and you honestly know someone who would enjoy/like/appreciate the item, it is totally ok to re-gift. It's not ok to re-gift if it's something no one would liek or that you wouldn't personally buy and give to someone (fruit cake? ugly sweater? ceramic rooster?)

Monday, 26 December 2011

i & i

i(nspiration)

&
i(dea)
Spend the day in pj's! After the hectic Christmas festivities, why not take a day to do nothing and be lazy? If you can (ie you have no where to go, people coming over. etc), spend the day in your pj's or comfiest pair of sweats. Perfect attire to watch tv, movies, read or enjoy Christmas presents that you received (that new wii game you got?).

I personally spent the day in a pair of LaSenza pj pants and my favourite sweatshirt, reading, watching parts of The Big Bang Theory marathon on Comedy and watching Canada's game 1 of the World Junior Championships (where they beat Finland 8-1!).



i & i (idea & inspiration) taken from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

LOL

In honour of Christmas, I've decided that this weeks entries will have a 'Christmas' theme.

HOLIDAY EATING TIPS
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat.. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labour Day ?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Interwebz

With Christmas days away, I've decided that this weeks entries will have a 'Christmas' theme. 

I have two websites this week:

Portable North Pole is website where you can have a custom message from Santa! It's super easy to set up the video! Messages can be customized for children or adults, and you can also indicate if they are on the 'naughty' or 'nice list'. Just fill in a few details about the recipient and you're done! The videos are cute and kinda funny.

NORAD Santa Tracker This is one of my favourite websites! NORAD tracks Santa. There's a map and you can see all the places he's been already, where he currently is and where his next stop will be (with a count down as to when he'll arrive). The map is interactive- There's a Santa icon on the map so you can see where he actually is, but after he leaves, it turns into a wrapped present. If you click on the present, it tells you the location and shows a picture. There is also an icon on the map for Santa Cam, which shows different parts of the World (ie Great Wall of China). This is a really great, fun website. I'm 27 and still check it out every year.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Favourite Thing- Julia Turner

Every Friday I write about something that is one of my favourite things. This week, in honour of Christmas, all entries were going to be Christmas themed or inspired.

Seeing how this is my blog, I can be forgiven for going off course.

I am home for the holidays and took the time this morning to go to my high school- I wanted to see a long time (family) friend who works there, I had something to drop off to the principal and I needed to see my former guidance counsellor (about a scholarship given to a graduating student).

I started by seeing the family friend. She told me that Julia had died that morning. I was shocked and sadden, at a loss for words.

I saw the principal, and spoke to him briefly. No mention of Julia, but I knew (because Karen had told me) that he was working on what he was going to say about Julia.

I went to guidance. While I was there, the principal came on over the P.A. system and announced to the student body that Julia had died that morning. His tribute of words were beautiful, as was the prayer that was said. I am blessed that I was there and feel lucky that I learned of Julia's passing while in the school, a place I still consider 'home'. The Chapel was opened and students were told that they were welcome to go there if they needed.

One of the guidance counsellors stayed in the guidance office, one was walking the halls checking on students and the other was in the chapel to offer support. My guidance counsellor was the one going to the chapel. She said to me, before I left, that Mr. Turner was always the one who was best at comforting students in times like this.

Julia's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Turner, are both teachers at the school.

Julia was 15 and died of cancer. In May, she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I didn't know her well, only having met her a handful of times. But she was always happy, smiling, laughing and a lot of fun to be around.

Her story and journey has touched thousands. She is seen, remembered, as inspirational, brave and a role model. Again, I consider myself blessed to have known her.

While I didn't know Julia (or her two sisters) well, I did know her parents extremely well.

Her mom, teaches science and the parenting class. I never had her as a teacher.

Her dad teaches Religion and is head of the Religion department. I never had him as a teacher either.

Her mom, also a breast cancer survivor, was responsible for organizing the school Toy Drive. Each home room class would be assigned a (needy) family and be responsible for buying gifts for that family. Mrs. Turner and student volunteers (which I was one of) would collect the toys from each home room and transport them to the local Christmas Bureau where the parents could pick up the gifts. Some classes would donate money instead of gifts, some staff, alumni or friends of the school would also donate money. Mrs. Turner would organize some student leaders (again, I was one of them) to go to the mall and pick out stuff.

Her dad, would organize several food drives throughout the year. He was also in charge of Social Climate- a group of student leaders that were responsible for several activities around the school and were seen as a sort of peer welcoming committee, very similar to a 'Perfect'. Mr. Turner and Social Climate oversaw the Walk Against Male Violence, Multi-Cultural Week/Assembly, Pilgrimage (a walk for our brothers and sisters in the third world, raising over $30,000 annually). This group promoted tolerance and social justice, and would often organize one off events, such as a candle light walk that we did in September of 2001 after the 9/11 attacks to show solidarity with the US.

Mr. and Mrs. Turner both organized students to serve at the local soup kitchen. They worked with the needy, homeless and less fortunate on a regular basis. They were big advocates of fair trade.

Something else that they did?

They hosted barbecues in September and June and a Christmas pot luck in December. They would open their home and invite students over to socialize. The invited students were members of Social Climate, students who were new to the school, exchange students or students who were seen by peers as 'outcasts'. They wanted everyone to feel welcomed and routinely reached out to students. Even after I graduated, as I stayed involved with the school, I would be invited to these events.

It was at the barbecues and pot lucks were I would see Julia and her sisters. Julia was always the most energetic of her sisters. I have a picture taken years ago of Julia and her sisters playing dress up with a classmate of mine. It was taken at the Christmas Social.

Ten years ago, December 26, 2011, my mom went into a coma. I saw Mr. Turner a few days later and told him. He hugged me and comforted me. He told me that him, Mrs Turner and the girls would be praying for her. He said to let him know if I need anything. Mr. Turner led morning prayer and when school resumed after Christmas break, every morning my mom was in a coma (27-29 days, I can't remember exactly) he would have the students pray for her.

There were days, when my mom was in a coma, that were tough for me. Mr. and Mrs Turner were always available to talk, offer hugs, prayer, words of support. They offered to watch my sister, who was in grade one at the time, if needed. There were days were Mr. Turner would sign me out of classes and let me hid out in his office. He would even sign a friend out so I wouldn't have to be alone. He opened the chapel for me.
I know that I was able to make it through that time because of Mr. and Mrs Turner. I know without them...I would be a different person. I wouldn't have handled the situation as well as I did.

I also know that the Turner's influenced me and my direction in life greatly.

I always thought I would be a politician or a businesswoman. I thought I'd be tough, powerful, icy. I saw myself as the stereotype power woman. That was my goal. I wanted to be powerful, influential, respected, well-known.

The Turner's opened my eyes to philanthropy. To giving, to charity, to non-profit. They showed me that you can be powerful, influential, respected and well-known without being in the corporate world. It is because of Mr. and Mrs. Turner that I decided that I wanted to go into non-profit fundraising. I currently work in non-profit fundraising...and I know if it weren't for Mr. and Mrs. Turner, I wouldn't be where I am today.

My heartbreaks for the Turner Family. I can't imagine what they are going through or dealing with. I am so sorry for their loss. They are such amazing people...No words would do them justice as to how amazing they actually are. I'm left wondering why God would let something like this happy to such a good family...A family that leads a Catholic lifestyle and follows His teachings. They are good people. Great people, a great family.


The holidays are supposed to be such happy, joyful times... I find it hard to be in the holiday spirit, to want to celebrate. But I think...What a great gift for Julia- she gets to meet her Maker. Plus she's no longer in pain or suffering. But how lucky is she... gets to meet God and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Julia- You have touched and inspired so many people in your lifetime. You truly made a difference in the lives of so many. You will be remembered for your ever smiling face, for your courage, for your strength. Rest in peace.

Turner Family- My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. You were blessed to have Julia as a daughter and sister. Take comfort in knowing she is in a better place and that her love and memory will live on in all the lives she has touched. I pray that God will give you the strength to get through this difficult time. You, and Julia, are loved and cared for by so many.

So wrap Your arms around her Lord and give her special care.
Make up for all she suffered and all that seemed unfair.

Rest In Peace Julia
December 23, 2011


Julia Turner's Facebook Page- Please check it out to see how loved Julia and her family are.

Please keep Julia and the Turner family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Make With Me

With Christmas days away, I've decided that this weeks entries will have a 'Christmas' theme. 

Mary's Lobster Coquille


Ingredients:
  • 4 or 5 lobster tails (1 lb)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 can cream of shrimp soup
  • 1/3 cup of table cream
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup old cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

To make:
  • Cook and cut lobster
  • Saute onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms until tender but not brown
  • Stir in soup
  • Gradually blend in cream, sherry, parsley and crumbs
  • Add lobster
  • Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly
  • Spoon into baking shells or individual casseroles
  • Combine 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs and 1/4 cup shredded old cheddar cheese and sprinkle over mixture
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes
  • Garnish with parsley
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. This recipe is my great-aunt Mary's and is served every year on Christmas Eve, making it a family classic and family tradition.
  2. Instead of lobster, you can use crab or shrimp. You could also use all three and make a seafood lover coquille.
  3. For non- seafood lovers (ahem, myself) chicken can be used in place of lobster/crab/shrimp.
  4. If you can't find cream of shrimp soup (or if using chicken in place of seafood), you can use cream of mushroom.
  5. I don't have baking shells or individual casserole dishes, so I just bake in a regular casserole dish.
  6. I also don't like mushrooms, so I don't use them in the recipe.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Book, Song, Body

With Christmas days away, I've decided to that this weeks enteries will have a 'Christmas' theme.

Book- There are soooo many great classic Chrismas book out there, but knew right away which book I would pick for this weeks entry. The Night Before Christmas. I think everyone is familiar with this story. As a child, I had several copies of this book and loved them all. This was a story that was read to me and by me every year.

I have a little cousin and every year for Christmas, as part of her gift, I get her a Christmas book. The Night Before Christmas is the first book I gave her.

As a child, we would go to my aunt and uncle's on Christmas Eve. My uncle's sister would read this book to us every year. While she was reading it, Santa would come to the house. It was magical thing, a family tradition and a happy childhood memory.

Song- Like books, there are so many Christmas songs that I love. First Noel, Silent Night, Hark! The Harold Angel Sings, Joy To The World...all come to mind. While these are considered traditional songs, and I do love them, I've decided to go with a 'modern' Christmas song:

I heard this song a few years ago and have loved it every since, frequently playing the song on repeat.

Body- It was hard to come up with a Christmas themed 'body' suggestion for this week. While it's not a Christmas product per say, it IS Christmas themed. Foaming Bath Ball from Fruits and Passion, which is in the shape of a Christmas ornament! This make great gifts, stocking stuffers or even decorations for your tree- not to mentionm, who doesn't enjoy a relaxing bubble bath? I personally like the Pear & Peony scent.

This idea taken from Brittany at happybrittany.com.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hey! It's Ok

With Christmas days away, I've decided to that this weeks enteries will have a 'Christmas' theme.

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To love that so many holiday movies are on TV right now and schedule your nights/days around the movies. I've watched at least a couple of movies every night and have even used time shift on tv so that I wouldn't miss out on anything I REALLY wanted to see- Elf, Christmas Vacation and a Charlie Brown Christmas come to mind....

To keep extra boxes of chocolate wrapped under the tree. You never know when you might need an extra gift (unexpected visitor, someone you forgot to buy for, invite to a last minute Christmas party) and a box of chocolate is a perfect gift. Who doesn't love chocolate? It doesn't have to be chocolate, but it's always a good idea to have a couple of extra, wrapped, gifts kicking around. Bottles of wine, candles and any kitchen item (ie serving trays) or Christmas themed decor item will work too.

To own an ugly Christmas sweater. The uglier, the tackier, the better. You never know when you will be invited to- or decide to host- an ugly Christmas sweater party. We all have at least one hiding in our closet, waiting to make it's special, yearly appearance.

To attempt to build a gingerbread house and fail. Miserably. It will never, no matter how hard you try and what you do, look like the picture on the box. The icing will be thin in spots, candies will slide down and out of place, your windows won't look like windows... My sister and I made one last year and the whole thing just collapsed on us.

To not have a perfectly decorated tree. Martha Stewart I am not. Nor am I an interior designer. I'm not the artsy, crafty type. And I am not anal. My ornaments are not spaced evenly, there is no theme to my tree, the garland is too small to cover the entire tree, My lights are wrapped around0 not weaved in and out of the branches- and I LIKE tinsel. My tree is good enough. Don't judge me on my lack of decorating skills. I'm still a nice person!

To get sucked into the magic of Santa. If I'm out with friends, and one of them suggests we have our picture taken with Santa, I'm in. If my little cousins are around, I'll help them write letters to Santa and leave out milk and cookies for him. I will have serious conversations with kids about Santa. I will listen to a local radio station, who every year tracks Santa on Christmas Eve and will follow the "Santa sightings". And, I may or may not, on Christmas Eve rush to the window if I think I hear hoofs on the roof or sleigh bells.

Monday, 19 December 2011

i & i

With Christmas days away, I've decided to that this weeks enteries will have a 'Christmas' theme.
i(nspiration)



& 

i(dea)

Build a Gingerbread House! My sister and I built one last year and it...didn't turn out as planned. The house ended up falling apart, caving in. Our Gingerbread House ended up a Gingerbread mess. Instead of being the centerpiece for our Christmas meal, I'm pretty sure it stayed on the counter where no one saw it.

Maybe we didn't build a successful Gingerbread House, but we had so much fun doing it. We spent time together, had fun, laughed and created a memory, that a year later is still talked about.

When I go home for Christmas in a few days, you can bet that my sister and I will build a Gingerbread House again this year. Hopefully, it stays in one piece this year!



i & i (idea & inspiration) taken from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

LOL

With Christmas one week from today(!!!), I've decided to post Christmas themed entries this week, starting today!

    



NOTE: This isn't so much an LOL as it is an interesting read. I didn't know which other day would be best to post it on, so I'm posting it today. Enjoy!

Physics of Santa

No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

There are two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total — 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of Rudolph 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second.

This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75½ million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

If every one of the 91.8 million homes with good children were to put out a single chocolate chip cookie and an 8 ounce glass of 2% milk, the total calories (needless to say other vitamins and minerals) would be approximately 225 calories (100 for the cookie, give or take, and 125 for the milk, give or take). Multiplying the number of calories per house by the number of homes (225 x 91.8 x 1000000), we get the total number of calories Santa consumes that night, which is 20,655,000,000 calories. To break it down further, 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories. Dividing our total number of calories by the number of calories in a pound (20655000000/3500) and we get the number of pounds Santa gains, 5901428.6, which is 2950.7 tons.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see above) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload (not even counting the weight of the sleigh) - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth. 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each.

In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion: If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Interwebz

donothingfor2minutes.com easier said then done!

I sent this link to a co-worker to try and she told me that she failed. Multiple times. Who knew it was so hard to do nothing for 2 minutes? I was able to do it, but it took a lot of work to do nothing. Give it a try. Good luck!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Favourite Thing

Christmas Crackers!
A number of years ago, my dad put a couple of Christmas crackers in our stockings. I'm not sure why he did...maybe a throw back to his childhood Christmas'? But I knew that Christmas crackers would have to be something I wanted to have for my future Christmas'. These, by most standards, are cheap. Some paper, a popper sound maker, a paper crown and a surprise- stickers, key chain, whistle. Nothing spectacular. But I loved them.

I have used these as place setting cards for Christmas meals and parties. It's fun to open them- pull on each, pop sound and they split open revealing the crown and surprise. It's become a ritual for us to open them before meal and put our paper crowns on. Some people wear the crown the entire meal, while other just put it on for a few minutes. 

Christmas crackers are just something small and silly. But I love them and I can't wait to open my Christmas cracker on Christmas day.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Make With Me

Breakfast Shake


Ingredients:
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 2 cups of ice.

To make:
  • Blend all ingredients
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1.   I add a little honey to add sweetness to the shake

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Book, Song, Body

Book- Remembering Christmas was one of those books I couldn't put down. Rick Denton finds himself back in Florida after his stepfather, Art, experiences health problems. His mother asked him to look after their book store while Art recovers, which Rick reluctantly agrees too. We find out that Rick resents Art and frequently thinks back to his biological father, who he had hoped would come back into his life. It's clear that Rick is unhappy to be back in Florida and that he can't wait to get back to his own life.

As Art recovers, with Rick's mother at Art's side the entire story, we see the relationship and softness Rick develops with his part-time co-worker Andrea, his attitude towards the homeless- specifically JD, and meet the customer's of the store. While there is a Christian overtone to the book, I would still recommend it.

What I love about this story? Besides the beautiful way it is written, this book is a reminder that not everything is what it seems. It is also a great display of holiday spirit and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas and what is important in life.

Song- Handel's "Messiah" the Hallelujah Chorus as performed by Chorus Niagara. This was a flash mob that was done last year. It's a beautiful rendition- something worth seeing and hearing.


With Christmas quickly approaching, I wanted to throw another great song out there; 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser.

.
Body- Ice Blue Soap by Lush. A couple of years ago, I received a gift pack for Christmas and this soap was part of it. While I'm not crazy about the smell (which isn't even THAT bad), I love this soap! I love the fact that there is sea salt in the soap. I have super dry skin, so the sea salt acts like a great exfoliate, my skin always feels so clean after using this soap.

This idea taken from Brittany at happybrittany.com.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Hey! It's Ok

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To lie to people and tell them that their baby is cute. Reality is that most babies are not even close to being cute when they are newborns. But you can't tell someone they have an ugly baby...well you could...but they'd likely get mad and not like you very much.

To have h'ordeuvres for dinner. Sometimes you just want some variety and something simple. Stick some frozen stuff in the oven for 10-20 minutes and voila. Mini quiche, mozza sticks, spring rolls...all yummy. Sometimes you just need a little bit of different things to satisfy your appetite.

To spend a night watching episode after episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sometimes you just need a night full of good laughs. And we all know that laughter makes everything all better.

To not have your shopping done...some people just like to leave it to the last minute and enjoy the pressure of finding the perfect gift just before Christmas. Others dread Christmas shopping so much that they just put it off until they can't put it off any more. I am not one of these people-  have all of our Christmas shopping done in November.

To like mahjong. It's an addicting game. Enough said.

Monday, 12 December 2011

i & i

i(nspiration)

& 
i(dea)
Watch a classic Christmas movie! Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Charlie Brown Christmas, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman. The list is endless. Not only will it help you get into the holiday spirit (if you're not in it already!) but it will bring you back to your childhood, and maybe even rekindle (or keep up with) an old tradition from when you were a kid. What kid didn't look forward to at least one of these classics every year? I knew that once these shows ended up on tv, that Christmas was really close. So put on your comfiest pj's, grab a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy one of these classic Christmas movies!



i & i (idea & inspiration) taken from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Interwebz

This weeks website is yearbookyourself.

This is just a fun site and super easy to use. Just upload a photo of yourself (or a friend) and click through the years, from the 1950's to the 1990's. Your face will be put into pictures showing fashions and hairstyles have that particular year. Always a good laugh. You can do portraits, most likely too..., or lifestyle pictures. Lots of fun to see what you could look like if you had gone to school in a different decade. Like I said,  just a fun site!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Favourite Thing

Girls night out! Especially with childhood friends! Especially if you're celebrating a birthday!

I bet you can't guess what I did tonight...

A childhood friend, who is still a good friend to this day, has a birthday coming up and we went out. We left our guys at home (some of them even had to watch the kids and get them to bed) and hit up a local pub. We had some food, we had some (or a lot) of drinks, we laughed, we talked, we sang, we danced. There was a band playing- they were really good! Great music and they kept acknowleding us. We all got free t-shirts (that said 'Property of Bad Santa Lap Dance Company') and beads. The birthday girl, after they found out it was her birthday, got a bikini (that said 'Party Like A Rockstar' across the butt).

It was so much fun to just go out with the girls, not worry about anything and have FUN. Love the night out and love my girls!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Make With Me

Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese & Pear

Ingredients:
  • 16 thin slices of pancetta
  • 16 tsp of soft goat cheese
  • 2 small very ripe pears, halved, cored & cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • Fresh thyme leaves

To make:
  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Place pancetta in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet
  • Bake about 10 minutes or until crisp
  • Using a spatula, slide pancetta crisps to platter
  • Top each with a tsp of goat cheese and 1 pear slice
  • Sprinkle with thyme
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. Thanks to my cousin, Kathleen, for this recipe.
  2. Pear can be substituted for avocado
  3. Pancetta will be VERY greasy after baking, I suggest patting the crisps with a paper towel to soak up some of the grease before adding the cheese and pears/avocado

Book, Song, Body

Book- Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. Funny, funny, funny. That's all I have to say. If you're looking for a laugh pick this book up. The book is exactly as the title says: Stuff white people like- film festivals, coffee, expensive sandwiches, graduate school (just to name a few).

Song- Christmas by the Lake (can't find a link to the school on youtube, my battery is dying and I'm late in posting this due to a busy night. So, you will have to find the song yourself, but trust me, it's GOOD and worth a listen). I heard this song on the radio for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I feel in love with it. I've downloaded it from itunes. 

Body- Water! I love water. We all know that we should drink about 8 glasses a day, which I try to do. It keeps your body hydrated. On top of that, when I feel that my skin is extra dry, I just splash some water on it to add instant moisture. Is there anything more relaxing than a long, hot bath? Or what about a refreshing shower?

This idea taken from Brittany at happybrittany.com.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Hey! It's Ok

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To stock up on all the different candy cane flavours. Candy canes are only available during the holidays and with so many different flavours (Orange Crush, Strawberry, French Vanilla, etc) out there, it's hard to pick a favourite. Plus you can only have so many candy canes in a single day, so why not buy boxes and save them for other times of the year.

To love the mint truffle Kisses and not share them! I have a bag in my desk draw that my co-workers don't know about. But I have a bowl of the regular milk chocolate flavoured ones on my desk that they are welcome to use.

To curse at the d-bag driving behind you with their high beams on. Not only is this annoying, but you are blinding me and giving me a headache, both of which causes me to drive slower. And you can bet, when you get annoyed with me driving the speed limit because of your high beams, when you go to pass me, I WILL turn my high beams on so you know what it's like.

To hire someone to do things you don't want to do. If you can afford it, what's so wrong with having a housekeeper? Or a gardener/lawn maintenance? Or snow removal person? I work hard and am busy, so in my free time I don't want to clean/cut the grass/shovel the driveway. I am willing to give up a few Starbucks runs/dinner out. etc in order to have someone do things for me that I don't really want to do.

To go to full service gas stations. I don't know how to pump gas because I've never had to learn. I've always gone to full service gas stations. My boyfriend always says he'll teach me, but he has yet to. It's not that I go to full service gas stations because I don't know how to pump gas or that I don't want to learn. I go because, you don't have to get out of your car if it's raining/cold, they wash your windows for you, they check your oil, break fluid, window washer fluid, etc for you too. It's just convenient.

Monday, 5 December 2011

i & I

i(nspiration)

& 
i(dea)

Send Christmas cards! Even if you just send one Christmas card... Not only are you spreading some Holiday cheer but you could also be making someone's day. Who doesn't love getting mail? Who doesn't love knowing that someone is thinking about them? Who doesn't love someone else taking some time out of there day to write a quick note?

I recieved my first two Christmas cards today and I mailed out my first round of Christmas cards today. In fact, after I'm done this blog entry, I'm going to watch The Sing-Off Christmas and work on round 2 of my Christmas cards!



i & i (idea & inspiration) taken from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Interwebz

This weeks website is deviantART, which is a website for artists to share their work.

I'm not an artist myself but I AM an art lover. I love just clicking through and looking at all the different pieces of art. There are different categories- digital, comic, photography, flash, etc. Tons of talent out there and you can even buy art from the site. I think it's a pretty cool site- I love seeing the different pieces of art in different mediums.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Favourite Thing

Crystal Light Singles!  I love Crystal Light and the Singles just makes it that much better. I actually keep a couple in my bag and a box at work, so there are always a few packs kicking around.

I love water and drink a lot of water on a daily basis, but every few glass you need some flavour. Crystal Light Singles are an easy way to do this. I haven't met a flavour I haven't liked and it's hard for me to pick a favourite flavour- they are all so good!

But I COULD go for a Peach Iced Tea right now.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Make With Me

Orange Crush

Ingredients:
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice (one orange per glass)
  • 1 oz orange vodka
  • 1oz triple sec
  • Sprite
  • Crushed ice

To make:
  • Mix orange juice, orange vodka, triple sec
  • Add crushed ice
  • Top with Sprite
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. Replace orange with grapefruit to make grapefruit crush.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Book, Song, Body

Book- Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster is a book that is currently going around our office. I had heard a lot about this book and asked for it last year for Christmas. I read it in a matter of days and loved this book. I had lent a co-worker some books, another co-worker asked if she could borrow a book or two, and I said sure. I lent her this book and she too loved it. She said that she literally laughed out loud while reading it- I did too, I must admit. A third co-worker heard the two of us discussing the book. She picked it up, read the first page, laughed, and asked if she could borrow it, which she is. The first co-worker, who started this whole book borrowing thing, has already requested to borrow it next.

The book is a memoir and follows Jen from childhood to adult life. Moments in her life are remembered by the fashion, the fashion is a minor character in this book, which adds to the humour and charm. I highly recommend this book to any girl who`s looking for a light, funny read.

Song-A show that I am addicted to in The Sing-Off. This week was the final episode *tear*, but thank goodness for youtube! I can continue to watch the episodes over and over. This seasons winner, and my favourite group from the beginning, was Pentatonix. So, in honour of their win, this weeks song is my favourite song of their's from the season: Video Killed The Radio Star. You can see the performance and listen to the song here. The song is also available on itunes.

Body- I once had a makeup artist say to me; 'Promise me you will never leave your house without putting mascara on. You have such long lashes, you need to make sure they get noticed. Even if you don't wear any other make up, promise me you'll always wear mascara.'

While it is not a promise I have kept (I don't wear makeup everyday), I do have to say that IF I do go to wear makeup, mascara is one of the few products I reach for. I personally love Oscillation by Lancome. I have a friend who used to work at the Lancome Beauty Counter, so she turned me on to their products. I've found that Lancome mascara's are easy to apply, don't clump (no spider eyes!) and don't smudge or rub off easily. However, at the end of the night, with a little makeup remover, the mascara comes off no problem. With Oscillation, all my eyelashes get coated, making them longer and bolder then they naturally are. While it is a bit expensive, I find it to be worth the price.

A more economically priced mascara brand that I also like is Cover Girl. No specific type of mascara, but the brand is pretty good (and one my sister swears by).

This idea taken from Brittany at happybrittany.com.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hey! It's Ok

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To be annoyed with American websites (bedbathandbeyond.com, amazon.com and nhl.com, I'm looking at you) that will not ship to Canada. Why? We are right beside you and we even have free trade agreements with your country. Why won't you ship items to us? It wouldn't be so bad if your Canadian version websites carried items at the same price (20% price increase at Bed Bath & Beyond) or carried the items in general (amazon.ca doesn't have half of the items amazon.com has). Not only is this super annoying and frustrating, but it makes me not want to buy from you. Ever.

To love product samples! I seriously LOVE samples, but who doesn't? My life was made this week when I found out about this great little company called My Dream Sample Box. The put together monthly themed boxes full of samples! I've ordered a couple of boxes and can't WAIT for them to come!

To throw your dry, clean clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes before you put them on. Makes your clothes warm, which will make you warm. This is especially great in colder months. There is no better feeling then putting on clothes fresh out of the dryer.

To watch the Victoria Secret Fashion shows and feel a bit of envy that, no matter how much you work out, watch what you eat, etc you will never look as good- or as tall- as the Angels. Plus, they usually have some good musical guests and it's fun to see the clothes.

To be playing Christmas music even though it's not even December yet. I've been playing Christmas music since Nov 12, right after Remembrance Day. It's one of the best and easiest ways to get into the Christmas spirit. And who doesn't love Christmas music? It's also ok to be super excited for next Monday, when The Sing-Off, one of my favourite shows, will have a special episode dedicated only to Christmas music. I'm counting down the days!

Monday, 28 November 2011

i & i

i(nspiration)

& 
i(dea)
Go for a walk. Today was 40 degrees, which for Ontario at the end of November is WARM! No ice, no snow...and no rain, at least here...making it a perfect day to go for a walk. Who knows how many more days we will have like this..before the snow and ice come...so why not go for a little stroll. The fresh air and exercise will be refreshing and a change from being inside all day.

And when you get home, why not make a warm cup of hot chocolate.



i & i (idea & inspiration) taken from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

LOL

It all began with an iPhone...


March was when our son celebrated his 17th birthday, and we got him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn't?

 


I celebrated my birthday in July, and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an 
iPad.


Our daughter's birthday was in August so we got her an iPod Touch.



My wife celebrated her birthday in September so I got her an iRon.








 
It was around then that the fight started...

What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean.

This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service.



I should be out of the hospital next week!!




 
 PS: iHurt!!!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Interwebz

Same Sky is a great fair trade company that employs women from Africa who have HIV/AIDS ans is an effort to get them out of poverty. You can visit the website to learn more about Same Sky and the work they do.

Also on the website, you can purchase the items that the women make, with proceeds going back to the organization- so they can purchase more material, employ more women and expand the organization into more countries.

I particularly like Fire Red, Glass Bead Bracelet and the Teenage Dream Long Fabric which can be worn as a bracelet, necklace or in your hair.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Favourite Thing

One of my favourite things is Gourmet du Village hot chocolate!

There's nothing better than a cup of cinnamon hot chocolate, especially on a cold day/night. There's nothing like curling up, on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

I usually add some milk/soy milk to my hot chocolate just to make it a bit thicker and/or cool it off a bit so I don't burn my tongue.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Make With Me

Chocolate Cookies & Cream Truffles
Ingredients:
  • 1 oz cream cheese
  • 1 package of oreos
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • Carmel or chocolate sauce
To make:
  • Chop cookies very finely
  • Mix cookie pieces and cream cheese together
  • Form small balls and refrigerate until hard (about an hour)
  • Melt chocolate chips
  • Dip balls in melted chocolate
  • Refrigerate to harden
  • Drizzle with Carmel or chocolate sauce, if desired
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. I made this recipe earlier this week and used all organic products. No one could taste the difference but were happy to hear that they were healthier due to the organic products.
  2. I also melted some chocolate chips and mixed them in with the cookies and cream cheese for extra chocolate flavour.
  3. Chocolate chips can be substituted with butterscotch or peanut butter chips

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Book, Song, Body

Book- One of my all time favourite books is Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is a book that I read several times a year and Lee Fiora (the main character) has been compared as a modern day Holden Caulfield. The novel is focused on Lee's high school years, where she attended a boarding school on scholarship. This book looks at different class, race and gender issues which add to making this book a captivating read. Lee is the outsider, in her eyes because she's on scholarship, and spends her years at boarding school observing her classmates. While this book isn't for everyone, I do highly recommend it. It brought me back to my high school years- although not similar to Lee's, I was still reminded of my formative years, my experiences and my friends in high school.

Song-One of my all time favourite songs in Nowhere With You by Joel Plaskett, a great Canadian musician. Like last weeks song, this song makes me just want to get up, dance and sing a long. To me, this is just a feel good, fun song that always puts me in a great mood. You can hear the song here.

Body- One of my all time favourite (yes, I realize I started all three topics the same way) beauty products is Hydra Bright by Estee Lauder. I have SUPER dry skin and this seems to be the only moisturizer which keeps my skin hydrated ALL day. Plus, it doesn't leave my skin feeling oily, heavy or anything like that. I notice a difference in the brightness and texture of my skin right away. It makes my skin feel less tight and super hydrated- like my skin just drank a tall glass of water. I have tried different kinds and types of moisturizer but this is the only one that I have come back to time and time again. Love it. As an added bonus, it also contains an SPF 15.

This idea taken from Brittany at happybrittany.com.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hey! It's Ok

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To not fully understand Black Friday. I know what Black Friday IS but don't understand why people get so crazy about it. Especially Canadians. I don't see the point of lining up at midnight, or whatever time, to fight tons of maniac people for some material objects. Sure, you can score great deals...but does it REALLY need to start at midnight? And do you REALLY need to line up for hours? In fact, I'd rather pay the higher price just to avoid the crazy crowds!

To attempt to bake using nothing but organic products. If it's going to be bad for your health (cookies, pie, etc), might as well use organic products to make it somewhat healthier. I attempted this tonight, but my cookies, while tasted good, didn't look that great. But that's more the baker (aka me) then the ingredients. It's also ok to use your co-workers as a tasting board before serving to family and friends.

To offer to bring dinner for a friend/co-worker after they have moved, instead of helping them pack/unpack, actually move or paint their new home. Even if the friend is 6+ months pregnant. And bring pizza, which you purchased instead of made yourself is acceptable.

To drink an entire bottle of wine by yourself over the course of one evening. As long as it happens once in a blue moon and you do not have any other responsibilities or have to drive anywhere that night. Sometimes, you just have one of those days.

To call in sick on American Thanksgiving, if you're Canadian, so you can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's a pretty good parade.

Monday, 21 November 2011

i & i

i(nspiration)


& 

i(dea)
Saturday November 26th is Small Business Saturday

What is Small Business Saturday? It's the day that people make a pledge to shop at small businesses. A pretty simple concept and with Christmas quickly coming up, a great way to kill two birds with one stone- participate in supporting small business and get some Christmas shopping done. 

So, this weekend when you are doing your Saturday shopping (Christmas or otherwise), remember to shop small.

P.S. Don't forget to 'like' Small Business Saturday on Facebook.



i & i (idea & inspiration) taken from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Interwebz

The website I'm going to recommend this week is milkandbookies.org.

Milk & Bookies is actually a non-profit organization that is a literacy initiative. It also teaches children about the importance of giving. Literacy and closing the education gap are important topics in today's society. Equally important is teaching kids about philanthropy so that when they are older, they continue to give back to the communities that they are apart of.

You can host your own Milk and Bookies event as away to support this super great organization. Or you can buy their book Sweet Pete- which makes a FANTASTIC Christmas present- with the proceeds going towards this great cause.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Favourite Things

One of my favourite things right now is my Kindle! I love it and take it with me everywhere.

I have the Kindle Keyboard 3G. I went with this version specifically for the 3G, but it also has wi-fi. Both of them are free (no additional charges). I love the fact that this device fits in my purse and can come with me everywhere. I love that I can be reading multiple books at once, have them all with me but not have to carry numerous books with me.

I can't even tell you how many times I've heard about a book and wanted to check it out, but would forget about it. With Kindle, I can look up the books right away and buy it, if I want it, in a matter of seconds. Or, I can add the book to my wishlist so I can look at it later- which is what I usually do.

Prices are pretty reasonable ($4.99 and $9.99 are popular prices but tons of books for free!) and it's environmentally friendly- saving all those trees.

What else do I like? It reads to you! Sure, the voice are options aren't amazing, but better then nothing. Plus, you can access the internet from it and load mp3s.

Yes, I love my Kindle and I can't imagine going back to life without one.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Make With Me- Vanilla Macchiato

Vanilla Macchiato

Ingredients:
  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • Vanilla syrup or flavour
To make:
  • Add vanilla syrup (2 teaspoons, as per the bottle of syrup I used) and steamed milk (directions below) to mug.
  • Top milk with foam and add freshly brewed espresso through the foam.
  • Enjoy!

Steamed milk:
  • Pour 1/2 cup of milk in a 16 ounce glass jar.
  • Cover jar and shake vigorously for 30-45 seconds. Milk should double in volume due to bubbles.
  • Remove cover and place jar in microwave. Microwave 30-45 seconds
  • Pour milk into prepared drink and spoon on the milk foam


Notes:
  1. I use coffee (instant or regular, depending on my mood and how much time I have) as I don't know how to make espresso.
  2. Any kind of milk can be used, including soy or almond. I have also used chocolate milk for a different flavour.
  3. I have substituted vanilla syrup for caramel syrup. I have also down one teaspoon of vanilla and one teaspoon of caramel.
  4. For steamed milk, I've used a cocktail shaker and then poured contents into a microwave safe container.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Book, Song, Body

This idea taken from Brittany at  happybrittany.com.

Book- The Great Gatsby is a book I recently read. I felt that it was one of those classic books that I should read, so I did. and I loved it. LOVED IT! I highly recommend this book and after reading it, I can see why it's considered a classic. Set in the 1920's (an era I am interested in and possibly was a part of in a past life) and told by Nick, who lives next door to Jay Gatsby who is in love with Nick's cousin Daisy. Daisy is married but her husband has a mistress. Gatsby's pursuit of Daisy- rising to wealth and buying a house near Daisy's, throwing lavish parties hoping that either Daisy will show up or someone who knows Daisy will appear and reunite them.This is a love story, and a well written, engaging one at that.  (You can buy this book for $0.99 on Kindle!)

Song-Let's go with something fun...Your Man by Down With Webster. This song is one of those songs I turn up and sing along with every time it's on the radio/my ipod. If I'm at home (and alone) it's one of those songs I get up and dance to. You can see the music video here and download the song from itunes.

Body- Coriander and Olive Tree Hand Wash from Fruits & Passion. I have been using this hand wash for years. I keep it in the kitchen. Years ago, I bought my mom some stuff from Fruits & Passion. Because I spent over a specified limit, I got a bottle of this hand wash for free. I went through the bottle and have bought refill after refill for it. My parents loved it too and bought a bottle for their house. My grandma, after spending a few days with me, loved it as well and asked for a bottle last year for Christmas (which we got her). Why do I love this? Not only does it get my hands clean and smell good (but not girly, so even guys will love it) but it leaves my skin feeling sooo good. Really soft, smooth and not at all dried out.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hey! It's Ok

This idea was taken from Whispering Writer.

It's ok...

To not care about Twilight. To have never seen any of the movies or read any of the books and not have any...ANY...desire to do so.

To not be into the entire vampire crazy- Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Secret Circle (is this even about vampires?). Or even understand the appeal of vampires.

To buy one of the chocolate advent calendars. Bringing you back to your childhood and a yummy way to count down the days until Christmas.

To not be as excited as everyone else that Brad Richards is now a New York Ranger. Don't get me wrong...I think he's a decent hockey player and I'm ok with him being a Ranger...I just don't get all the hype around him.

To hit the snooze button a handful of times each morning. As long as you get to work on time, what's so wrong about staying in bed for an extra 5-20 minutes? Bed, especially in the winter months, is just so warm and cozy.

Monday, 14 November 2011

i & i

i & i stands for inspiration & idea. I got this idea from Brittany at Happy Brittany.

So here we go...Inspiration:



Idea: Buy something for a child and give it to a charity or community Christmas project (ex Toys for Tots).

This idea is inspired by a trip I just took to a store (Zellers). As soon you walk in, there is a table set up a few a people standing near it. These people were asking shoppers to buy an extra toy and donate it to the local Christmas program. The items collected would be distributed to local families in need. 

You can take a stroll down the toy aisle and pick out a toy that was favourite of yours when you were a kid or a toy that you would like to have if you were a kid or maybe even a toy you wanted as a kid but never got. Books also make great kids gifts!

Please remember that kids of all ages (usually ages 0-16) are included in local toy drives (but check with your local organization for ages).

Can't buy a toy? What about volunteering your time with the organization? They rely on volunteers to collect toys, spread the word and staff the facility for when families come to pick up their items. 

What a great way to give back to the community, spread some holiday cheer and maybe even make someone's Christmas. 

If you are  unaware of an organization in your area that does this, contact your local town hall, chamber of commerce or BIA and they will most likely be able to put you in contact with an organization who is running the project. You can also contact your local police or fire stations as a lot of them run their own toy drives.