Saturday, November 21, 2009

Snowy Saturday

What a snowy wonderland I woke up to this morning! It's not much, and since we are in the last few weeks of November, we're expecting much, much more.

Sadly there isn't enough out there to make a snowman, but probably enough to make a decent snowball or two.

It's a lovely sunny day, and maybe Jeremie and I will go out for a walk, but first there is the ever insistent packing that has to be done.

Yesterday while doing some Christmas shopping, I came across this stationary. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I have a serious problem with stationary. I love it! And this beauty was opened allowing me to feel the paper and envelopes.

Because I have such a wonderful husband, he didn't mind me taking this stationary home - as long as I used it to write Christmas letters!
I told him that wouldn't be a problem.

The blue reminds me very much of Wedgwood blue, though the photo's don't do the colour justice. It's embossed with silver and has a beautiful pattern on the inside of the envelopes.

Today will be mostly a home day, doing lots of packing and probably some letter writing. ;)
We are meeting up with friends later for dinner and games, but that will be a whole different post tomorrow.
- Jenny

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Look

I have a bright and shiny new look. I thought it may be time to change it up again so I did some digging and came up with this!

I like it and I think it suits me. :)

I have been doing more packing and more preparing, that counter at the top of my blog is a good reminder of how few days (yay!) that I have left here in Alberta. It's motivation to keep me going and to have my eyes on the prize.

I came home from work yesterday to find the entire craft room packed and my crafting table taken apart and all the screws and nuts in a neatly labeled bag: "kitchen table."

My husband is absolutely wonderful - especially considering he took very well the fact that I had recently visited Value Village and got some new winter clothing. In my defense though, I did get him a rather spiffy, looking button-down that he quite likes.

I have been journaling more and have re-claimed my desk from the clutter that had been slowly taking over. It took me a while, mostly because of all the papers that had to be filed and put away properly, but I did it.

It's amazing how one area of organization can calm your whole demeanor - I find when my home is cluttered and messy, it makes me anxious and crabby. Like my mother I need a clean house to be able to relax.

Although don't assume that I can't have my couch-potato days! That can still come easily enough.

Church was good today - it's so ironic that as soon as Jeremie and I are packing to move we then find a church we both really like. It's called North Pointe Community Church; its quite large but the Pastor is very good.

The last two weeks he's been talking about 2012. The supposed "end times" that the media has been harping about. The sermons aren't about the end times though - he's more pulling it back to the Mayan calender and how even in the earliest history of mankind, we have been able to 'count on the stars' - and how God is a God of order and reliability.

And next week! I'm so EXCITED! Kim Phuc will be coming to speak - if you haven't heard of her, she's the young girl in the famous photograph.

Wikipedia Article: "Phan Thị Kim Phúc, O.Ont (born 1963) is a Vietnamese-Canadian best known as the child subject of a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8 1972. The iconic photo taken in Trang Bang by AP photographer Nick Ut shows her at about age nine running naked on the street after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack."

She is apparently an AMAZING speaker and I cannot wait to hear her speak on forgiveness.
It's an opportunity I'm very blessed to been given.

Other than that things have been going quite well here - and I am looking forward to another productive week.

God Bless!

~ Jenny

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holy Crackers!

I cannot believe how close I am to the big moving day. It's overwhelming and I'm so excited.
We're still more than a month away from December, but when I was at the mall this afternoon, they were already playing Christmas music! Can we really be that close to Christmas already??

I walked through a few stores that I'm partial to - meaning I like their products and "look." Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.
Both very vintage, classic clothing/decor stores.
We had to buy Jeremie some shoes - his old ones were two years old and were only $20.00 from WalMart.
So we got him some very attractive green Vans. A good company, quality wise.

It was interesting though looking through racks of clothing that I loved but not only were they overpriced ($90.00 for a cotton shirt?!?) but I couldn't help feeling guilty for wanting it, knowing that they all had their clothing produced en masse from poor countries, where they payed pennies to child workers.
Now I love clothing. Almost as much as I love books - I'm a huge clothes horse; so it can really feel like I'm torn in half.

Me: That skirt is adorable! I could get so much use out of that! . . . . . I wonder what poor child made that and how much money will be lining some company owners pocket.

It's a dilemma alright. I bought all my summer clothes from a fair-trade store this summer. But the clothing is all made from linen and lightweight. Most certainly not winter clothes.
I'll probably be going to some second-hand stores for some winter clothes soon after we move. At least it'll be reusing clothes - maybe I'll even be able to alter them.

I working on a lot of my Christmas gifts already - sadly I can't even tell you all about them because I know my family reads this and I haven't decided what is going to who yet!

Has anyone else starting their homemade Christmas gifts yet?

Well, I better be going - gotta keep workin' on those gifts.

- Jenny

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Nature Treasures

Today was a beautiful fall day. Cool and sunny - perfect sweater weather. Jeremie and I decided that today would be a great day to go for a walk, so we piled into the car and drove to Sir Wilfred Laurier Park, or better known as the "dog park."
It is an off-leash dog park and on a beautiful Sunday like today, it was packed full of people with their dogs. I felt a tad out of place not having a dog following our heels, but the park is so beautiful by itself and has so many nature trails that all we had to do was break off on one of the trails and we wouldn't see a soul for a good 10 minutes or so.

Jeremie loves nature, absolutely adores it. He's very knowledgeable and found me quite a few treasures today!

On one of the secluded paths, we saw an older gentleman with a small bucket collecting these bright berries. We talked only briefly as English was not his first language, but he did tell us that these berries lowered his wife's blood pressure. Huh. I took him at his word, but would never eat the things. I had always been told that berries that look like this tend to be poisonous. Possibly they are - but I brought a little bunch home to look up and find out exactly what type of berry they are. (the reference librarian in me is dying to know.)

Jeremie also found me this birds-nest. I have no idea what type it is, only that it's probably a small bird, like a chickadee or a finch. I was hoping to find some broken shells, but they had all been cleared away.

Jeremie has a particular fondness for wasps and hornets, so when he found a giant nest (about the size of his head) in great condition, he was eager to show/tell me all about it. This photo is of a hornet's nest, it had layers upon layers of that paper type weaving (pictured behind) and it felt like the most delicate rice-paper. It is, I learned, bark fibers and hornet spit. (great)
Deep inside the nest is the comb, much like a bee's nest, but instead of honey, it's more like bedrooms for little larvae to grow. Jeremie pointed out the white 'cap' on certain parts of the comb. He told me that, that's how you could tell if a larvae had hatched from it. If there was no cap - no new hornets.

Here is a tiny little nest we found, probably belonging to Wasps'. When I asked why it was so small, Jeremie told me that either one of two scenario's probably happened:
1) The Queen died no new eggs were laid, leaving the other wasps to die out.
Or 2) The original nest was damaged. If this happens the hive will move to a new location.
Jeremie told me that he would think latter happened. This new small hive was misshaped and hastily "slapped together." He said that when they first start to build they will take more time to secure the nest and make it 'pretty.
We walked for a good hour and a bit. It was so much fun having Jeremie there to tell me new things and watch him forage through the dense trees and undergrowth just to get me a birds nest. What a sweetie!
It got fairly cool as soon as the sun started to set - my hands were freezing and Jeremie was staring to get cold as well, it was time to pack it in, take our little treasures home and show them to you!
But tomorrow is back to work and back to packing!
Cold but happy,
- Jenny

Friday, October 23, 2009

Feelin' Rather Good About Myself

I now have officially sorted and gotten rid of more than half the junk in my basement!! I am obscenely proud of myself, seeing as I had to root through all my precious books that had been stored away for safe keeping and decide what I would keep and what I would donate.
For some reason, all I could think of was the movie "Sophie's Choice." Deciding which books were more valuable than others hurt, but I got stronger and more decisive (or cruel) when sorting.
"I can get this at the Library."
"I hardly read this anymore."
"Yes! We can throw that one away! What?...oh, right..that's your book."
I was on a sorting, chucking, donating spree! And boy it felt gooood! I wouldn't say I'm a huge pack rat, but I do tend to hold onto a lot of books. I'm a re-reader. If I like it, the odds are I'll read it again - and working at Libraries means lots of opportunities to get my mitts on weeded books that I still want.
Of course, that being said, I had lots of books too that I "couldn't bare to get rid of." Or "Loved like crazy." Or "Wait! That's a classic and I'm sure worth something!" (yeah right.)
But I don't judge myself too harshly. I can get rid of lots of things easily, just books are difficult.
Jeremie was pretty good and only really started to shake his head a little grinning, while I explained how continuing to own this book was imperative to our future happiness.
Now that the basements done, the real challenge begins!
I have to sort through all the stuff in the rest of the house! We only have an 8x8x8.5 pod to pack this all in - so I have to be sure.
All the furniture will be flattened (excluding the couch of course), we will stack the boxes as high as we can, and are going to mark out the exact measurement of the pod in the floor of the basement with masking tape to make sure everything fits. (Great tip pop!)
The only "odd" items will be things like Jeremie's guitar and my spinning wheel, since we can't get those into a box.
Its funny going through the house, and evaluating its worth and deciding if its worth keeping or if we should leave it.
We've considered leaving the t.v., several bookcases, my desk, and even my bureau.
I really have to think of it all in tiny little steps, or I begin to get anxious and overwhelmed. So I plan out my days with 3 or 4 things to do, and I seem to be getting quite a lot done!
Lets hope it stays that way!
Still packing,
~ Jenny

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where Has Reality Gone?

I saw this ad today - and I could not believe it.
This is a read ad by Ralph Lauren and frankly, it disgusted me.
Her body has been so distorted by Photoshop that she actually looks deformed or on her death bed.

Her head is actually larger than her pelvis. Who on earth could look at this and decide that this is what a person should look like?
Sadly, I wish this were a joke but this is a real ad, and Ralph Lauren has yet to post or comment on it.
Is our perspective on what reality is so twisted that this can actually be published and put out for the public to view and accept??

It's really no wonder that we have so many girls and now boys, suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Or teens who have to have plastic surgery because of how "horrible" they look.
Its creating an entire generation of people who automatically believe that they are unattractive and of little value because the media is setting standards that are not even humanly possible!

Ugh, it fires me up so much, and makes me madder then I'm even willing to admit.
It just leaves such a horrible taste in my mouth.

Oh, and by the way - this model was later fired for being too 'fat' at 120lbs. This she told interviewers herself.

Anger and sadness thats what I feel when I think of 12 year old girls being exposed to all of this - I can't imagine what they must feel.

Full Article
Another Impossibly Skinny Ralph Lauren Model (don'cha just love seeing the model's ribcage through her shirt??)

- Jenny

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our "Prairie" Home No Longer???

It seems that a big change will be happening soon to my little family.
Jeremie and I always have planned to move back to Ontario after our lease was up on the house we were renting.
We would rent a UHaul truck and make our way through Canada in April. That was the plan anyway.
One thing I've learned very well since being married is that no matter how much I plan, rarely does it happen that way.

A week ago we received a "Happy Thanksgiving" phone call from my family in Ontario. It was a nice chat and it reminded me again of how much I miss my family and cannot wait to celebrate with them again.
I was surprised when my Mum told me that Cory - my brother-in-law, wanted to chat with me.
We haven't chatted in a while, and normally our "hello's" are sent through my sister to him.
But happily I agreed to chat.

Cory told me, rather convincingly, that Jeremie and I would save money if we moved down at Christmas instead of waiting for April.
He listed a whole bunch of reasons that sounded good to me, but, of course, Jeremie would have to hear it too.
So I put Jeremie on the phone with Cory, never thinking that just one week later, we'd be all set to move to Ontario in just a few short months.

Everything seems to be falling into place, it will be work and I cringe at the amount of packing I have to do - but it'll be all worth it when I climb onto that plane knowing that I won't have to return to Alberta after just a few short weeks.

Jeremie and I prayed, talked to parents and to Jeremie's sister and her husband, who share this house with us. Everybody saw the logic and sense the move made.

I am simply on pins and needles waiting for December now. I never thought I'd get what I really wanted for Christmas - to be with my family again, and start putting down some roots.
We have work to do, but it will all be worth it in the end.

All this talk about moving back to Ontario and being able to really "settle" has inspired me to start thinking of my own home.
I came across this book in the Library.

It's a beautiful decorating book, full of bright vibrant photographs. It's such a unique style, but fit me perfectly.
I have always loved the retro/vintage/antique look, but never really knew how to combine with my own love of country decor as well. In this book, Robin Brown - the founder of "Magnolia Pearl" interior designs, takes you on a guided tour of her own home.
I was in heaven! She talks about 'layering beauty' and not being afraid of too much colour. How brocade, silk, lace and velvet can all be used in the same room and bring it together beautifully.

She designs from the heart and is not afraid of being proud of what she "loves" even if not everyone else shares her opinion.
It's very reminiscent of the Victorian style of "clutter" but more refined.
This book also gives some great "How to's" like tea-dying lace, how to make a carpet Mosaic on your wall and how to distinguish between junk and treasure.

I hope to incorporate some of those techniques into my own home.

Well I better go, lots to do and it seems like too little time in which to do it.

~ Jenny

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

We've had quite the snow here lately. Flurries have been on and off for the last three days; it seems we missed Fall altogether and went straight to Winter.
The trees were taken by surprise, and just started dumping their leaves without even bothering to change colour.

I took these pictures this morning. Only Jeremie and I seem to be excited about the snow, the others in the household not so much.
I am very thankful for my winter boots, hats and home-made mittens right now!

I suppose some people would be upset at having a snowy Thanksgiving - even the news man said that this has been the coldest Thanksgiving weekend in 50 years!
I'll believe that!

So we are all snuggled down on this Sunday morning, while it's snowing outside, the house quiet except for the furnace which will humm now and again.
Today seems like the perfect time to work on a few home-made Christmas gifts, get my Pumpkin pie bakes and ready for tomorrow and maybe bundle up for a quiet walk in the snow with my husband.

Happy Thanksgiving!
- Jenny

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Snow Today?!?

Crazy, but true!
Jeremie and I were just stepping out of the car to go into the Gym, when he pointed out the first few flakes. They were tiny and few and far between - but they were there!
I was excited, snow means winter, winter means Christmas and Christmas now means back in Ottawa for almost 3 whole weeks!
I really was not expecting to go back to Ottawa for Christmas this year, since we're planning on moving there come Spring, we decided it would be most frugal to stay home this holiday and save for the move.
However, my family had different plans it seemed! I found out, only about a week ago that my entire family chipped in to buy Jeremie and I plane tickets to fly down for Christmas. Such an amazing, generous gift!! We are both so spoiled with wonderful families.

Sadly, the snow had ended when Jeremie and I left the gym to go home and start supper.
Together we made my Mothers "Baked Egg Casserole" the ultimate in easy casseroles and unbelievably delicious!

This is the casserole before I threw it in the oven for 45 minutes at 375'.

I found the recipe accidentally when looking for my home-made Peanut Butter Cup recipe. I hadn't looked through my old Recipe Book in a while. I believe my Mum and Dad gave it to me on my 16th birthday.
My Mum always writes such lovely things on the inside of books whenever she gives them as a gift, and this recipe book was no different. It's such a great keepsake because of it.
I have found a wonderful store in downtown Edmonton called "Notables Stationary." Quite a deadly place for me as I am completely addicted to stationary of any kind. Cards, Papers, Journals, Pens, Inks...anything really!
I did however splurge on this paper when I saw it. 100% cotton and so soft! I prefer to write with a dip-ink pen when I write letters because I feel it makes it more personal. So I got some Chocolate brown ink to go on my new paper.
I do love my colour too however, and I try to use my two little ink bottles of bright blue and red whenever I can. Not to mention I love the bottles themselves and the illustrations on them. It's so kitchy!

Well, I smell that casserole a'cookin, so I better go check on it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Fair at Fort Edmonton and Catching Up

Hello my friends,
I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while - things have been pretty busy here! My work at the Library is going very well and I'm really enjoying my job.
Fall is in full swing here, easily noticeable by the high of +13 degrees today. The wind has been crazy; we had a wind storm three days ago and the wind is still going strong.

A few weeks ago, Jeremie and I went to Fort Edmonton for their Fall Fair. It was a glorious sunny day with a cool breeze. Jeremie and I got to watch soap making, spinning, live musicians, historical demonstrations and were able to participate in free classes such as "Wheat Weaving." It was so much fun! Below are a few of the many pictures I took while we were there:

(He was kind enough to pose for me mid-song.)

(This lady was in the middle of making bannock. )

(A live black-powder gun demonstration - which scared the heck out of everyone when it was fired. )

A few days later, Jeremie and I visited a corn maze with friends. It was huge! We made the mistake (on purpose) to go at night. We were wandering around a huge corn-maze in the pitch black and all we had was the light from my cell-phone, as our flashlight decided just then to die on us.

This farm, however was not just a maze. It had a petting zoo, a boutique, a BBQ, little classes on how to make corn-husk dolls, and a haunted house!

This was at the corn maze, the poem reads:
"Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater, had a wife but couldn't keep her.
So he stuck her in a pumpkin shell, and there he kept her very well."

Jeremie and I picked up this bird feeder today. I wanted to get something for the birds that stayed here over the winter, which are especially harsh here in Alberta.
It's right outside the kitchen window, so we can watch the birdies closely, and so it can drive the cat crazy. :D
Well, that's it for my quick catch-up! I will try to post again soon!
God Bless,
~ Jenny

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Picnic Time

Jeremie and I had a lovely picnic today in Hawrelak Park. It warm, but with a cooling breeze and very quiet - no busy, crazy families today!
We went to the grocery store and bought our favourite picnic food: Kaiser Buns, Cheese, Ham and Potato Salad; we brought grapes and apple sauce from home
A big old comforter was spread out and a couch pillow finished the set-up.
With us came books, my sketch-book and a writing tablet.
It's funny how we always bring so much to "amuse" ourselves with, but all we end up doing is lounging and chatting.
Before we knew it, two hours had flown by; so we packed up our gear, threw it in the car and went for a nice walk.

It was so nice sitting by water again, even if it is just a large pond. The sound is always so soothing and I would have fallen asleep lying there in the sun, had I not felt a tickling on my face and had to fight a long piece of grass out of Jeremie's teasing hands.

It was a very nice day indeed. I wish I had remembered my camera, but this post will have to do for now.

- Jenny

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Art Room

I have successfully turned ugly room into a fairly nice crafting room. It has since become my place of refuge and peace. When its messy, crazy and loud in the rest of the house I find myself holing up here and relaxing.
Here is a picture of my desk - well, technically table. My sister-in-law and her husband recently bought a very cool retro looking table, so mine was no longer needed.

I have my sewing machine, my books and pencil crayons all ready!

This is my bookshelf that currently wasn't being used either. I have here an unfinished sock monkey, an unfinished sock goblin and Mr. Bunkins, who unfortunately cannot be seen from behind the sock goblin.
My little stereo is lovely for playing music while I work or listening to books on tape.

My mother would be so proud! I folded and organized all my material. Previously it was all either in a plastic bin or plastic garbage bags! This is definitely an organized step up!

I have recently (very recently) taken up water-color painting. I bought this small palette of paints and two brushes to add to my already existing collection of brushes. I have a new found and deep respect for watercolor artists. It is unbelievably difficult! And I would be the first to tell about my own horrible ability concerning any art with colour. I have always been a strict black-and-white girl. But I wanted to try something new.

This is my first pitiful attempt. I seriously considered not to post this as it hurts the pride more then I'm willing to admit, but it's good to see your development. If you're wondering what that writing is in the top-right hand corner; it's notes. Notes to myself. Here's my first entry:

"My first attempt. Pretty horrible, feeling discouraged.
Jeremie says I need more practice. Maybe."

This is my second attempt. A landscape scene. It still makes me cringe.

My third attempt. Finally some encouragement! I tried my hand at some flowers.

I decided then that maybe I should stick to Flowers for the time being. I did these two and was pretty happy with the result. They didn't look like blobs and that was good enough for me! :)

I did this one today - and it was crazily difficult despite the easy-looking composition. The background I'm not happy with, but I like the shading on the building and the foliage.

Jeremie has been my biggest supporter. Even when I wanted to throw the sketchbook out the window and just admit defeat, he's been so encouraging and helpful. Reminding me to just practice, and how no matter how critical I am of my artwork, he always seems to find so much in it to compliment me on. <3

We'll see if I can keep up the trend of slowly getting better with each piece of artwork. In the meantime I'm reading every watercolour book I can get my hands on, and just remembering to stay encouraged.

- Jenny

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tale Of The Missing Wallet and Heritage Day '09

Last week was Heritage Days in Edmonton. 5 days where you can walk around one of our parks and visit the entire world (more or less) by visiting the booths and vendors all run by people representing that country.
Despite being a rainy, cloudy day, it was the most fun I've had yet at any of Edmonton's many fairs.
Here's Jeremie and I sitting outside of the Eritrean booth.

We walked around all day and was thrilled when the sun decided to make an appearance. We ate ethnic food and drink. Did a bit of shopping and watched the many presentations that day.
Here the women of Lao are dancing. It was all very cool.

However one of the most interesting and amazing presentations was the Dragon dancing. It was spectacular. The aerobics and stunts these young children can do are mind boggling.
Their show lasted a good 20 minutes. When it was over, the boys under the dragon were sweating buckets - I don't blame them!
The dragons themselves were completely adorable, and did everything from wink, flutter their ears and wag their tails!
Not only did they preform, but they did it all standing on small poles and stilts!
Here I believe we were in Africa, but it may have been the Congo. I told Jeremie we should get one of those masks to hang on the wall, but he said they "creeped him out". Lol! I wanted the Zebra one. It's almost right in the middle on the left, with the strips and little ears.

So the day went by wonderfully until we got home and Emilie and I decided to get a Starbucks iced tea. I went to pay and I felt my stomach drop to my toes.
My wallet wasn't there! I have a pretty deep purse, one of those sling/bag types and I just about dumped my purse in the Starbucks to find it.
Emilie was kind enough to pay for my drink and encouraged me by insisting it must be in the car. I ran back to the car and dug under all the seats - Jeremie (who was waiting there) asked me wide-eyed what was wrong.
Almost crying now I told him I lost my wallet.

This was monumental for me. I've never lost my keys, my purse, my cell phone and definitely not my wallet. Needless to say, I did when I generally do, and freaked out.

But I called my bank and cancelled my credit card and debit right away. As it was a holiday I couldn't phone the police or call the Registration office.
This was a big loss, not only did my drivers licence and health card reside there, but my SIN card and birth certificate was in there as well.
The chances of my wallet being returned if a good Samaritan found were even slimmer as the address on my license was my old address, previous to Edmonton.

I knew it'd take months to get all ID back not to mention the mound of paper work I'd have to fill out.
That night I had a nightmare about my lost wallet, and I woke up relieved, then had that horrible sinking feeling again.

I slouched to the computer and checked my email. An interesting email appeared from the youth pastor of my former church.

"Jen - I got a weird phone call from a lady who needs to get in touch with you immediately. ..It could be about your wallet??" He gave me the name and phone number.

Holding my breath I dialed it right away and was soon was talking to a nice woman who said that yes she did have my wallet.
I could have kissed this woman - I did a happy dance while writing down her address and had a fit of hysterical laughter that brought most of the house questioning my sanity.

An hour later I was on my way to the house with a bunch of flowers as a "thank you." Jeremie and I were greeted by a lovely older Mexican couple who invited us in and gave me a good talking-to about not having all my ID in one wallet.
They apparently had looked for an hour for me, online, the yellow-pages and my ID. They had found my youth pastors photography card and rang him. And he knew how to contact me.

Truly the power of prayer!

- Jenny

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cookin' Time

Today is my day off - so I have time to make a good dinner tonight. I'll be making Chicken with a sauce I got from the blog: "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" It's simply called "Yummy Sauce for Chicken," and it sure looks like it!

I've also been creeping all over again. I keep forgetting that it's such a great site. I found this recipe for Creamy Rice Pudding which will be dessert tonight.

I also made, from that site a Triple Threat Fruit Smoothie. I used all fresh fruit: Kiwi's, bananas, blueberries, then added orange juice, ice and vanilla yogurt.
No sweetener added, just all the fruity-goodness.

I made two large glasses and put them in the fridge, the top covered with Saran-wrap. I wanted Jeremie to have a nice shot of fruit for the morning, which worked out well. Except that the fruit and the juice separated. Once stirred it was fine, but it definitely wasn't as sweet and fresh as when I made it the night before.
Is it possible to keep smoothies overnight and have them nice and fresh??

In other news I got some fun stuff from the library. I was able to borrow "Hell's Kitchen Season 1" for Jeremie, he just loves that show.

And for me, I got "Project Runway" - unlike America's Next Top Model, this has nothing to do with catty, prissy models.
It's all about the poor designers that have to work with them.

A group of 12 designers, ranging in age from 22 to 45, are given challenges to complete and at the end of the challenge have to show their clothing on the cat-walk in front of judges. (using models of course.)
These people are amazingly talented - creating a wedding dress in two days, a new outfit for Banana Republic in one day, or a bathing suit in just 5 hours!
The skill astounds me, and it's so great to watch.

So I'll be cooking and watching fashion today! Good day to me. :D

- Jenny

Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting Organized - A Lovely Day Off

Today I was lucky enough to have the day off and get myself organized.
I was relaxing and enjoying the quiet morning when I realized I had not prepared anything for dinner - or had anything planned.
Quickly I strode to the freezer and glanced at the clock. Only noon - Good I have lots of time. Hubs wasn't expected home until 5:30 - so most of the afternoon was free for me to make a scrumptious dinner - If I had the ingredients.
My face fell when I saw the two pounds of hamburger meat chilling. I had just made meatloaf a few days ago, and didn't feel like making another loaf.
I thought and thought, before finally remembering I had a honest-to-goodness live recipe book with all the answers just a phone call away!

"Mom?. . . I have two pounds of ground beef. What should I make?"

"Well you just did Shepherds pie right?" Darn! I did too! "What about meatloaf?"

"I made that just a few days ago!" I said dismayed.

From the background noise I heard my sister yell: "Meatballs!"

I thought for a moment and realized I had pasta and sauce, I supposed I could throw in a few meatballs to spice it up.

"What about Sweet and Sour Meatballs on rice?"

"Perfect! But how do I make it?"

We figured it all out, and apparently I had the recipe in my Company's Coming Crock-Pot Recipe book.
Bizarrely I even had the cranberry sauce in the cupboard - a left over from Thanksgiving it seemed.
Everything went smoothly until it told me to broil the meatballs before placing them in the sauce in the crock-pot.
I called up mom again.

"Jen - there's three ways to make meatballs: Broil them, Bake them or Boil them. Boiling being the quickest."

Since it was now 2:00 and the crock pot recipe called for 4 -6 hours of cooking time, quick sounded pretty good.
I carefully placed my meatballs in the boiling water, my expectant face furrowing when I saw all the floating bits of onion and meat.

AHHH! They're falling apart!! It was a big deal! I was on a time limit here! I didn't have time for crumbly meatballs!

Well, they didn't crumble completely, but they sure seemed a lot smaller out of the pot than when they went in.
Sadly I dumped them into the crock-pot and gingerly tried to coat them in the sauce. The delicate meatballs however burst apart at the softest touch from my wooden spoon.
Completely upset now I called mom.

"Jen it's okay! It'll all taste fine - don't worry!"

Well, it sure didn't look like the picture in the recipe book, but it did taste pretty good.

"Jen, just call it sweet and sour beef on rice" Nessa suggested.

I had to laugh - okay, I guess I could do that. Jeremie loved it regardless, just like I knew he would, and now we have very nice lunches for tomorrow.

My other accomplishment today was organizing Ugly Room. We had moved into that room a week ago, but due to work and general busy-ness, it never got done.
Well I had finally had, had enough of tripping over baskets of laundry, and my little woven baskets of knick-knacks.

Here is the end result:

I even hung a little picture - It's amazing what a little colour in a white room can do!

The end of our bed, and dresser that fits quite nicely between the two closets.

A lovely rug I bought at Safeway for an awesome $39.00

So all in all it's been a very good, organized day!
- Jenny