Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An EXTRA Long Weekend!!

Bonjour!!  I finally found a few minutes to type up a post!  Life continues to be busy, but in a good way now, unlike a month ago.  So Monday was a holiday here in Canada which meant no work (YAY!!) and I took Friday off as well so it was like a mini holiday for me.  It also felt like Sarah-fest as my baby girl turned 12 on Friday and the “party” continued over the course of the 4 days.IMG_0508  
How it happened that she is already 12, I have no idea.  My hubby and I are stumped as to where the years have gone.  Yikes!
We had to go to Toronto on Friday for an appointment with Sarah so we decided to make a day of it.  We were done at the hospital by 11am and seeing as the weather was beautiful we walked a few blocks over to the Eaton Centre for some shopping.  I snapped some photos along the way…
 IMG_5692IMG_5713IMG_5694 IMG_5707 IMG_5710 IMG_5711 IMG_5712 IMG_5693  The kids were starving so we stopped at a random Swiss Chalet for some eats.  I rolled with a chicken wrap and side salad:IMG_5702
I didn’t care much for the white wrap; it was like glue on my teeth….but I did eat the insides.  Noah put back a 1/3 rack of ribs and most of his Caesar salad!  He was a hungry pussy cat!IMG_5703
At the mall we walked and shopped and walked and shopped some more!  My back was KILLING me by the time we left.  Look how tired everyone was!!IMG_5705  
I did find a few things that I bought which I think are pretty sweet!  These ever so comfy pair of Gee WaWa flats:IMG_5749 The ever popular NARS Illuminator in Orgasm: IMG_5719 IMG_5720
BTW, this stuff is GREAT!!  Totally worth the dinero.  And we couldn’t leave without hitting up Lululemon, of course!  I behaved this time and only bought a t-shirt and tank, both in red:

These are 2 of my favourite styles at Lulu.  The racer backs are AWESOME on their own or for layering.  The best purchase of the day made the birthday girl VERY happy; a Blackberry Curve!IMG_5706 See that grin?  HA!  She had no idea we were buying that for her and was clueless when we went into the TELUS store because she though her Dad was buying a new case for his iphone!  LOL  We rolled into town around 6pm and made one last stop for dinner at Kelsey’s where I enjoyed a fresh, delicious salad:IMG_5718 We did start the meal with some calamari; another b-day request!IMG_5717
Saturday was demo day…we’re redoing our rec room.  I’ve been taking lots of before, middle and after pictures for another post, but here’s a glimpse at what I spent most of the day hauling from the room up a flight of stairs to a dumpster in our drive way:IMG_5721 Once we were showered and presentable we made a Costco and Home Depot run for BBQ and reno supplies.  We spent the evening thoroughly enjoying the nice weather out on our deck.  At 9pm hubby and I decided to go for a 4 mile walk while the kids watched Ace Venture: Pet Detective.  I swear they could watch that a thousand times and not get sick of it!  HA!
Sunday was family BBQ day for Sarah’s birthday.  We kept it casual with 3 salads (Caesar, pasta & corn), sausages, burgers and an Oreo ice cream cake; birthday girls choice.  Around the goodie table!!IMG_5743   Here’s a look at the pasta and corn salads:IMG_5734
I threw the pasta one together with ingredients I had on hand; 2 cups cooked pasta, 1 head of romaine, a yellow bell pepper, half a red onion, black olives, feta, cherry tomatoes, Italian parsley and green beans.  I dressed it with Kraft Fig Balsamic dressing.IMG_5736   The corn salad was from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry.IMG_5735   It’s got a Southwestern flair that I love.  Every time I make it the kids think I’m cooking tacos!  LOL  Table snacks included cherries (no photo), Food Should Taste Good multi grain chips and PB stuffed pretzels:IMG_5740 IMG_5738   Here are some photos from the night!IMG_5742 IMG_0582 IMG_0551 IMG_0555 IMG_0573
Monday was a glorious, free day!  A no make up, hair in a pony tail, comfy clothes kinda day!  Our new windows were installed in the rec room.  They look awesome!  While my hubby and his buddy were at that I did some weeding, transplanted a few plants, baked 2 batches of muffins, read magazines that have been accumulating and watched TV.   Eats looked like this:IMG_5627 IMG_0353 IMG_5650
Before I take off I wanted to show you a little pick me up gift that I received in the mail from a fellow Canadian blogger!   Carla knew that April was a rough month for me so she hooked me up with a homemade coffee cuff and coaster!  IMG_0430
How awesome is that?!  She’s a great seamstress to be sure.  I also placed an order with her for a custom table runner for my new dining room sideboard:IMG_0447 IMG_0444 IMG_0445 IMG_0446
I emailed her about this on a Thursday night.  By Friday morning she sent me some fabric samples, I picked the combo I liked and she had it in the mail for me by Friday night.  How’s THAT for great service!!  Check out her site; My 1/2 Dozen Daily….you’ll be glad you  did!!
Well, I’m off to get some blog reading done before I catch some zzz’s.  Take care!
Bye for now!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coconut Crazy (Cookies)

***I tried to post this last night but Blogger was down…***
We stopped by Starbucks on our way home from one of Noah’s practices last night and boy, oh boy was I ever STOKED to see the addition of coconut to the menu!!  IMG_5679 IMG_5677
I could hardly contain my excitement and all but drilled the poor barista on all things coconut.  Was it here to stay?  Could I add it to anything I wanted?  What would he think it’d be best in?  And on and on.  Going in I had intended to by an iced green tea, but I walked out with a NF Coconut Crème Frap!IMG_5680
Heaven to my taste buds, to be sure!   As we arrived home I was hit with a strong urge to bake something involving coconut.  I “borrowed” one of my own recipes and tweaked it to suit my coconut desires!
Coconut Dark Chocolate “Cookies”IMG_0435IMG_0436
  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 2/3 cup Bisquick
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tsp light margarine (I used Becel)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Pre heat oven to 400*
  1. combine first 7 ingredients
  2. Fold in coconut and dark chocolate chips
  3. form into 10 “balls”, flatten slightly and place on greased baking sheet
  4. Bake for 17-20 minutes IMG_0438 These babies are a neat cross between a cookie/biscuit/muffin top.  In other words…AMAZING!!!'IMG_0439
If you like coconut, these are a must add to your next baking extravaganza!! 
Bye for now!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Way Back Play Back

Huge THANKS to all for the positive feedback on the vlog I did the other day!  That’s something I would definitely like to do more of.  :)  I decided to get retro with this post by going back to my original format of daily eats and activities.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve done that and felt like switching it up.  Not that I’ll be going that route permanently…just here and there.  Let’s begin;
It’s been really tough getting out of bed this week!  I’m thinking the dreary weather has quite a bit to do with that.  Never the less, my hubby prepared the kids sandwiches so I had time to make some stovetop oats.  Due to the cold temps my coconut butter is solid and won’t “melt” properly.  One way I’ve gotten around this is by “digging” at it with a butter knife then dumping the scrapings into the boiling water just before adding my oats.  Works like a charm to distribute the coconutty goodness!  I added my (frozen) blueberries right at the end to warm through then topped the loveliness off with some granola that I whipped up last night.IMG_0350
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup Quaker oats
-1-ish tbsp coconut butter
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries & 2 tbsp granolaIMG_0349 My morning snack has typically been a Lara Bar; varied flavours.  Today was a PB Chocolate chip:

This one is a fave along with key lime pie and chocolate chip.  I’d love to get my grubby paws on the new blueberry muffin & carrot cake flavours!
In the gym I’ve been rocking either the elliptical or treadmill.  I’m slowly getting back into running.  I find at this point that any more than once a week and my joints start to ache so I’m being mindful there.  Today I felt like zoning out so I jumped on the elliptical with my headphones and watched some home reno shows.

Time: 45 minutes
Avg HR: 141
Max Hr: 156
Calories Torched: 372
Distance: 4.6 miles

Lunch was a massive salad!  I used these Jalapeno pretzel sticks that I received as a free sample as “croutons”IMG_5654   In the salad was spring mix, cherry tomatoes, blackberries and baked tofu.  I topped it off with mango chipotle dressing:IMG_5655 My afternoon snack was a pint of raspberries:IMG_5649
Dinner was a quick pasta dish which included grilled yellow bell peppers and zucchini.  I simply added some EVOO and freshly grated parmesan.  IMG_5660
As soon as dinner was done we were out the door.  Imagine that, eh?  LOL!  Noah had a soccer practice that we had to be at.
When we got home I couldn’t resist this bag of cinnamon sugar kettle corn:
At only 140 calories for 2 cups I dug right in!IMG_5652
As I mentioned in the vlog, I had some ripe bananas that I wanted to use in some baking.  I did manage to find the time; first thing…even before breakfast….Sunday morning.  All the following photos were taken with the Rebel.  I was just shooting away from different angels and distances.IMG_0204  IMG_0198 IMG_0199 IMG_0200   
The recipe is from my Eat, Shrink & Be Merry cookbook and includes walnuts and dark chocolate chips.  They’ve made for great snacks this week so far!!
Welp!  That’s all for now.  I’m off to watch some Vampire Dairies!!!  :)
Bye for now!!