Friday, December 28, 2007

Hello Everybody

Our holidays were wonderfully spent with family and friends (with still more celebrating to come tomorrow and again in the new's an extended event in our families). Much fun was had with good food and good games (chairs (highly recommended if you can get your hands on was a Christmas gift last year and I think we have the ONLY game) Blokus, and Guitar Hero III (I suck BTW)).

I'll be back in blogging business in the next couple days but I might need a day or two to recover and arrange my new kitchen. I was was spoilt and Mike bought me a complete set of Corelle Heartstone dishes and much of the serving trays and thing a my jiggies that you can get as well so I need to figure out where I'm going to store it all.

Enjoy whatever time you have left of the holidays and I'll see you back here more regularly by next week for sure. Looking forward to getting back into a more regular schedule.....holidays are nice....but so is routine!!   

Friday, December 21, 2007


Holly_3 You darkness, that I come from, 
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything;
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them!—
powers and people—
and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.
I have faith in nights.

-  Rainer Maria Rilke, On Darkness

On this shortest day of the year take a moment to reflect on the darkness but then gracefully and graciously step into the light of a new day. Embrace those around you and celebrate a new dawn, a new light, a new day. Many blessing to you and yours as you celebrate solstice and Christmas with those that are dear to you and much love and light as you head into a new year filled with new beginnings.

Namaste....Blessed Be

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Cookies

My absolute favorite part of the holidays is the baking. I have very fond memories of baking with my mother. She always made a wide array of cookies in the month leading up to Christmas: a caramel fudge square with red or green srinkles on top, a chocolate log filled with multicoloured marshmallows and rolled in coconut, nanimo bars, fruit cake (sometimes....I didn't get to help with this), short bread (with chopped up red or green marachino cherries on top), ginger bread, and I am sure there was many more. She'd keep them in a red container in the basement and I am sure that I wasn't the only one that would sneak one out on occasion. I loved that there was always an assortment of goodies for when someone stopped by. I loved that she'd attend an annual Christmas cookie exchange a come home with even more goodies. Most of all I loved spending time in the kitchen with my Mum.

It's definitely a tradition worth passing down......


My head hurts

I'm not around very much because my head hurts lots.....almost all the time. I've started some really fun (yeah, right) medication and I have a few tests coming up (with the general consensus being that I having some funky facial neuralgia/migraine stuff of unknown origin that'll either get better or worst). I had high hopes that I would start this medication and the headaches would go away (which is why I mentioned that I would start posting more regularly again here...I figured I'd adjust to the medication) but instead I'm doped up and still have headaches so yeah, writing on a daily basis is the furthest thing from my mind (though I love you all to bits and I want to write I really REALLY want to). 

So anyways, I'm still around and I will post when I can....I will try to keep it interesting...and starting in the new year I'll have new ideas coming up (that I'll write in advance sometimes so even when I don't feel like writing you'll still have cool stuff to read...).

I'll get up a new Epicure recipe in the next day or two as well...I know you are all dying for something new (and NON-Newfie!!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Umm, Winter Wonderland???


or Nightmare before Christmas? Another record snowfall here, folks, which leaves us with a record amount of snow for this time of the year with a forcast calling for snow for the next 4 days changing to rain (please, please, please, rain and not freezing rain) on the weekend.

We ended up staying with the inlaws yesterday and when we came home the lovely plow had pile a lovely border of snow into our drivway that was OVER the top of my 4 1/2 year old sons head. So that's what we've been doing today (oh, yes, of course my man took time out to go snowboarding!!). We've got to keep up with it because it it rains on top of this we're finished, it's the end, caput.

Don't you love winter? 

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Giving

So along with holidays comes the made rush to finish up all the countless projects the I've begun in the previous weeks that were to become gifts for unsuspecting (and suspecting) people.

This year we have matching hats for the family....mine and Liam's are completed. Here is Daddy's:


And Morgaine's (a ways to go on that one, eh?)


I'm also doing a skirt for Morgaine. A simple in the round pattern from me head decreasing with an i-cord at the top. I still have a ways to go. We are relatively modest here (AKA Mike) so this dress needs to be significantly longer.  I haven't any idea how it will turn out (the picture is really bad too).


Oh, and here's my biggest project that so will not get done, aprons and paint smocks for the kids out of an old sheet. I really had good intentions of pulling out my sewing machine before the end of the year (see 10 things to do before the end of the year) but I don't see it happening any more with just a little over a week before the holiday and a ton of other things going on in between now and then.


Sometimes it's the thought that counts though, right?

Let the holiday rush begin!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Playing the Newfie Card-Fish Cakes

Okay, since Toutons seem to have gotten my blog the most views ever at 50 (WOW, eh?) Mike suggested I play the Newfie card again and come up with another Newfie recipe. This was not my idea and I have to say that I have been putting off making this meal for a year (yes, Rick, a whole year *hanging head in shame*).

I don't live in Newfoundland anymore so I don't get Newfie treats very often. In fact I haven't been back in YEARS. Luckily enough my sister found herself a Newfie man though so when we go up her way we sometimes get treated to some good old Purity goodies (ooh, the peppermint nobs and Lemon Cream Biscuits). Last November (2006) though we got a tin of Purity salt fish. Now, I like salt fish and all. Any good Newfie does. But well, I like, my salt fish from the ocean and not from a tin so this can of fish kicked around our cupboard for a year with Mike occasionally asking me what my plans were for it. i told him he could do what he wanted with it because I wasn't going to touch the stuff (and the longer it was there the less likely I ever would touch it).

Well, last Friday, we ran out of food again. We'd had wonderful success with the toutons on the blog the day before and Mike was like "Come on, we have to eat. Do the Newfie thing and make fish cakes." So well, I was hungry, I didn't want to argue over a tin of fish so here you go.

Newfoundland Fish Cakes   

  • 1 can of Purity salt fish

  • 5-7 potatoes

  • 1 medium onion

  • oil or salt pork to fry fish cakes

  • milk

  • butter or margerine

  • flour

Peel and wash potatoes and boil til cooked.


Open can of salt fish and admire (such a pretty happy label).


Fry onion and salt fish in a little bit of oil until onions are cooked well.


Mix potatoes, milk and butter til you get a mashed potato like mixture (it doesn't have to be as smooth...some people don't add the milk and butter but we like the consistancy it gives...I don't add quite as much as I would to mashed potatoes though. Add the salt fish mixture and blend well. Dscf1017

Roll mixture into balls and press into hamburger pattie forms (you'll want to flour your hands...this is a sticky job). Coat with flour and fry until gloden.




These were so good that I didn't have to cover them with mustard like I did when I was a child to force them down. I have to say that I was beyond pleasantly surprised with this meal so if you are reading this Rick and you'd like to send down and a tin or two (or five) of salt fish and some peppermint nobs feel free *laughs*.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wood Brown Table


In honour of Steel White Table. Views of my site have gone up astronomically (from 3 to a few more) since I got mention in their blog last week. How cool is that? Perhaps it's just Jody drooling over my pesto but I still feel it deserves mention!

PS. Yes, I asked Mike to clean the table before he took the picture, but did he?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Salt Dough Memories

When I was a kid there was a decoration that hung on our Christmas tree that absolutely scared the bejeepers out of me every year. I was (and probably still am to some degree) a complete germ o phobe. There was this ugly (so to my sister's who might be reading this who might have made this lovely decoration) man (i suppose gingerbread guy) made out of salt dough and being a kid I couldn't understand how a cookie could stay good all those years, what with the milk and eggs in it, you know? So I hated this decoration. I was scared of it. I wanted nothing to do with it. No one ever explained to me that there was nothing in this guy to go bad. That he was purly salt and flour. Oh, the trauma that I could have been spared.

Then there was the time in, I think, grade 3 when we made salt dough in class and I was ever so proud of my creation. Tied up with it's little green twist tie I held in in my hand ever so carefully on my way home from school so it wouldn't get lost in the bottom of my backpack. I was so excited. It was winter. There was a lot of snow. I droped my salt dough off the side of the hill on the way home and it got burried under deep fluffy snow. I tried to find it. I dug. But I just couldn't. I was soooooo upset. I found my salt dough in the spring. It was soggy. I hated the smell of salt dough from that moment on.

I swept all memories of salt dough from my mind actually until a couple weeks ago and salt dough starting coming up in conversations every where- at play group, in other blogs I frequent, on my message boards. So, I took it as a sign that I needed to make salt dough.

So that is what I did.....mine is cinnamon scented though!!Dscf1012

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Newfoundland Toutons

Yes, I am a Newfie (and darn proud of it)!

So, I have a splitting headache. I've had a splitting headache since yesterday morning and I've done EVERYTHING imaginable to try and get rid of it, to no avail. This morning my daughter got up insisting that I get her BREAKFAST. Picture this. I stumbled-half drugged, half asleep- out of bed (which pretty much means I'm really not there). I'm gropped around for my glasses I can't find and she's yelling at me for BREAKFAST. "Breakfast cereal or Breakfast bread" I say as I haul on my robe.

"BREAKFAST" she insists.

"Do you want a banana? An orange?" I finally find my glasses and stumble on out into the kitchen an open the fridge door.


This goes on and on with me naming every breakfast food I can think of. I'm loosing my patience. I am tired. I want to crawl back in bed. I desperately go into the room where Mike is laying there and he says "she's so pleasant this morning, isn't she?" All the while the kid is screaming, screaming, SCREAMING and I am getting very near wanted to run and hide under my bed.

Finally, a breakthrough "Syrup, breakfast" she says.

"Oh, I say, you want pancakes".

"Pancakes." she replies.

I don't feel like making pancakes at 7am. She screams and cries. We convince her that I'm going to rest for half and hour and then I'll get up and make pancakes. "I PROMISE."

So half and hour later I drag myself out of bed and there are no eggs in the fridge. What do you do? Make Newfie toutons. I mean all you need is flour and water and a little bit of yeast. Who doesn't have that? So at 7:45 this morning I am making homemade bread dough so that we can have toutons for breakfast. I'm cheating and I'm going to send you here for the recipe as I love  the guys over at  Steel White Table for the sheer randomness of their posts and their little taste of home every now and again.

So anyways, an hour later we sit down to a meal of newfoundland toutons minus the salt pork and molassas (can you tell I really wasn't prepared for toutons this morning either?). It's a Newfie treat we have maybe twice a year by b'y is it some good.


For those that can't wait a moment longer





Styled a la Katrina


I'm not sure what I think of the white blond tuft of high-lights they added at the front but in reality I have a very white tuft of natural high light their so I guess their theory is when my hair grows out the grey won't be so noticable!!!

Oh, and I have to say that Liam is REALLY mad at me because he want them to make my hair long. He is totally into princesses and wants my hair to be down to my bum. So this is the last time I get to go short. I've made a promise to my little man that I was going to let it grow for him.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Snow Day

Today brought record breaking snowfall to our part of the world and we enjoyed it to the fullest. It's such a pleasure to take the children out when the snow is gently falling and it's just the right temperature to be comfortable. There are not many days that are just perfect. Today was one of them. I would not have changed a minute  of it.


Nothing is better then rosy, healthy cheeks of my children.


No snow day is complete without hot caoco.


Knitting by the Christmas tree.


Spiced ginger butternut squash soup

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pesto Pasta

This is my quick and easy I don't know what to have for supper meal.

First add 2 tbsp of VE Pesto Mix (you can use real pesto of your favorite vaiety for this recipe if you wish) to about a 1/4 of olive oil and let sit for about 15 minutes to mellow.


(don't mind the state of my kitchen there was serious holiday baking going on)

Then you fry up red and green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and brocolli in a littl bit of oil.


When they are cook you add slices of fresh tomoto and cook just enough to heat.


Toss veggies with pesto and oil mix and serve on top of your favorite pasta (normally we use whole grain spagettini...seriously...but we were out) and top with crumbled feta.Dscf0858

A healthy and yummy meal in 15 minutes (and it only takes that long because you are supposed to let the spices mellow for that amount of time).

After almost 4 years

Tables and decorations. A first for us.




Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I tend to be pretty holistic and natural minded. I've spent the last few year dabbling in herbs and homeopathy and I more like to turn to my homeopathics then to tylenol for my children's fevers or teething pain. My friends come to me to blend them up some herbs for tea for whatever ails them in pregnancy or breastfeeding. I have an extensive collection of essential oils that I use for everything from cleaning to body aches and colds to swelling and many more common (and not so common) uses. I try to live as green as possible. We recycle. We buy from, and donate to, thrift stores. You'd be amazed at the number of people who I meet who assume I also eat a saintly vegan organic diet. So not true. There are many days that I wish that I did but is reality my diet is far from that. Some days I'd be ashamed to admit the eating habits of our family, it's far from perfect, it's....HUMAN.

Voila, this is our fridge


(I'm posting a picture for the time simple fact that this is the cleanest my fridge has been in a long time and I am darn proud of it)

My confessions

There is always a bottle of Coke open in my fridge. This stuff is seriously not fit for human consumption but I am seriously adicted to it. I'm ashamed to say I used to be able to go through a 2 litre bottle a day and now it takes a week so that is great progress. Imagine the calories that I am saving now. It's a little pleasure to get my day going that I won't be giving up any time soon. Some people have their coffee. I have my glass of coke.

My kids have super sweet breakfast cereal a couple times a week. Their favourite being Lucky Charms which is just about as bad as it gets. Sweet cereal with Sweet marshmallows (and you thought my coke was bad).

My kids have had McDonald's and beg to go to McDonald's EVERYTIME we get in the car. We don't go weekly and we don't even go monthly but my kids are obsessed, totally obsessed, with McDonalds. We have to listen to them beg to go there everytime we get in the car. It doesn't help that there seems to be a McD's on EVERY street corner.

We eat meat at least once a day, If not Mike begins to throw "fits". I love lentils and make some pretty nifty vegetarian dishes that Mike won't touch with a 10 foot pole. Let's just say he's a meat eater. I could live without the stuff but then I got pregnant for the first time and since then I've always craved the stuff especially of the red variety *shudders*.

There's always something baked in our fridge. My son loves to bake and I want to foster his interests, so we bake. A LOT. Mike is rarely home and usually only has a bite of whatever we've made and I don't quite have that control (and I don't want him to think his baking is bad, right?) so I've grown a little tummy.

We buy a loaf of sliced white bread every week. Mike has the same aversion to whole wheat as he does to lentils. I manage to make a homemade loaf of multi-grain or vaious seeds for myself but much admit that sometimes a white bread sandwhich is so comforting. Kind of reminds you of eating those ham and cheese sandwiches dad after day in grade 1.

We don't eat near enough organic. Money is an issue for us. We dream of the day when we can eat organic but right now there's only a select few things we buy organic.

We eat hotdog (regularly) in summer. Nothing is better and quicker then a hotdog on the girll in summer. What can I say?

What we Do

Eat our fair share of veggies. Most days I usually end up stir frying a bunch of veggies and usually meat for one of out meals or I make a big vegetable soup. I'm a big fan of vegetables and am likely to eat vegetable stirfry for breakfast if we have left overs. Our favorites are brocoli, red peppers, tomatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts.

Try to cook mostly from scratch. We try not to buy prepared meals (frozen or otherwise). Our meals end up healthier and cost less. We try to avoid as many preservatives as possible. I've started making our own preserves in the fall as well. I feel very domesticated.

Avoid feeding dairy to our kids. We also rarely drink milk ourselves. Many people will find this weird but I am of the strong belief that cow milk is for baby cows and not for humans. When we think of the antibiotics and hormones that are added to the milk I think it's a recipe for disaster. My son was a mess as an toddler. Not gaining weight. Terrible rashes on his arms. Horrible gastro stuff. Immune suppression (evident on blood tests at that). He was tested for EVERYTHING. He was below the 3rd % on the weight charts and then we cut out milk completely and totally and now he is right there at average. Both kids get an alternating schedule of soy, rice and almond based products (we are slightly weary of soy).

Always have nuts on hand, These are our super foods. Although they can be highly caloric they are packed with healthy oils and protein. A nice energy pick up and the kids love them.

Anyways, I believe in moderation and for to most part I am happy with the choices that we make (except for the sugar cereal for breakfast *tsk tsk* and the fact that the kids are McDonald's obsessed but that not my's there's for putting slides in their restaurants....what a HORRIBLE marketing scheme). I'd love to eat more organic but we just aren't there yet. I'd love to have 3 vegetarian days a week but it isn't going to happen with my man. I'd love to have a green drink every morning (I'm a little obsessed with Kris Carr since I saw her documentary on TLC. I however, need more moderation then that, much more moderation then that.

I'm think a green drink for breakfast might be nice though.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


A little over 5 years ago I happened to find myself pregnant and longing to connect with other mothers who were going through the same things that I was and a stumbled onto a little online group (y'all know who you are) and I have found myself to have been incredibly blessed by knowing these women whom have become a part of my family as my own family grew and evolved. I've been on other groups before, a number of them actually, but none of them have had the impact that these Mamas have. To have come together because of something so random as a due date but to have stayed together because we've formed something so unique and special is just awesome. Over the years we've shared eachother joys, and there have been many. The arrival of all of our little babies plus futher down the line the arrival of sibblings for those babies. There have been weddings and promotions and the wonders of mother hood. There have also been difficult times. One women lost her family home to a fire within months of the arrival of her baby. Two women have survived cancer. One woman miraculously received a heart transplant within months of the arrival of a new baby. There have been family deaths and divorces. Through all of this we have laugh, cried, and lived together. I don't know that there is a regular member that wouldn't say that the women of this board have become to an extent a part of their family or at least their lives.

So obviously when I was faced with the decision to blog or spend a wonderful evening with one of these Mamas, the evening with that Mama won hands down. She welcomed us into her home ever so graciously on like 24 hour notice. Seriously, I e-mailed her the morning before and said "guess what? Mike needs to be in your neck of the woods, want company?". We had a lovely evening together and it was so totally worth it. Unfortunately, I Miss bundle of shyness so I might have come of as nervous (but honestly, I was totally comfortable). We've planned to get together again and usually by third visits I'm right as rain (you have been warned, Shari). Anyways, I was away visiting my cyber family (oh yeah, and Mike had a business meeting) and that is why (mostly) I've been away from the computer.

Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know how blessed I feel to have this wonderful group in my life. Each time I get to meet one of you is a blessing. Getting to share in your stories, joys, triumphs and sadness is a privledge. I love each and every one of you Mamas.

I'll see you  on the board!!

10 Things to do-Update Nov 27

1. Send out Christmas cards.

2. Do something (anything) on the lethe Mike bought me.

3. Do something (anything) with the sculpting tools Mike bought me.

4. Finish 2 assignments for my university course.

5. Cut down Liam's time on the computer significantly.

6. Finish Liam's Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten level.

7. Work on "Frederick the Literate" paint by number I started two years ago.

8. Pull out the sewing machine and do a couple little projects.

9. Write out the recipes I've printing off of the computer onto index cards.

10. Get my hair cut and styled.

At least I have my goals for Liam under control.

Leave of Absence

I've been missing in action. I know it. I haven't forgotten about you. I promise. I haven't given up on writing. I promise. Life is going good. I promise. My post might be slightly more erratic over the next couple weeks (with spurts of several posts a day and then a day or two without) but life is sometimes like that.

I'll post more tonight. I promise!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Garden Harvest Potage


After a busy day playing in the snow (okay, we really only played in the snow for 45 minutes becuase the rest of the day it was miserable freezing rain instead of the snow we were supposed to receive), I decided to make a personal favorite of mine, vegetable potage. This is a super simple meal that will warm you up and you can pretty much use whatever you have in the fridge and whatever spices you fancy in the moment.

Tonight's Version

  • 2 medium turnips

  • 5-6 potatoes

  • 3 large carrots

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 head of brocoli

  • Victorian Epicure Herb and Garlic Dip Mix (I'd substitute parsley, garlic, and celery seed if I didn't have the dip mix.

  • a few tablespoons of salted butter

  • Victorian Epicure Giardino Sea Salt (to die for...all the VE Sea Salts are awesome) and Victorian Epicure 4 Peppercorn Pepper

So basically you cook up the veggies with just a little bit more water then you need to cover them and throw the spices right in there while they are cooking. When everything gets good a cook you throw it into a blender in batches and puree it. When I blend it I usually add butter to the batch for the grown-ups (my son is allergic to milk). I love the taste the butter gives. If you like your soup to be more liquidly then you can add as much milk/cream/water as you desire. Serve with ground sea salt and pepper on top. It is the perfect snow day meal.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Winter Wonderland


Here's a pic of the fluffy white stuff we woke up to this morning.

PS. I'll be back to my regular posting self in the next day or two!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We woke up to the first snowfall of the season this morning. It was a wee bit of the white stuff but it was enough to cover the ground and last the whole day without disappearing as the rain of the rest of the day fell. However, it wasn't enough that I got all excited and pulled out my carema to take pictures of it. I did however pull out my box of Christmas decorations and even the Christmas tree.

If you know me well, you probably know that i am not a big fan of Christmas. As a child it felt magical and special. My Mum loved Christmas and was busy making Christmas crafts all year long. I ofter remember her wrapping Christmas presents in September (and sneaking into her closet to try and see if any of them were mine). Christmas cookies and Cristmas visits were never scarce. It felt like there was a lot of tradition to the holiday season. My Mum passed away and Christmas changed. Then I met my partner and Christmas changed even more. There doesn't seem to be any Christmas tradition within their family (unless their tradition is to have Christmas whenever they feel like it). In the 8 years we've been together we've celebrated Christmas anywhere from the 23rd to the 31st. Sometimes we have a meal. Sometimes we have hors d'oeurves. Nothing, nothing is ever the same from year to year. Most often we don't do anything on actual Christmas day because either we celebrated before or most often we'll be celebrating later.

Christmas is also very commercial for them and it is mostly about the presents. I have no idea how many times they've told Liam that the best part of Christmas is the gifts and Santa (ARG!!!!!). I'm trying to teach him that the best part is being with family and doing things together but it's all about that man in the red suit and they want want WANT all the newest/"coolest" toys.

So anyways, I decided that this year I am going to get into the holiday season. I figure that if I start early I'll have time to get into the holiday season by Christmas (or I'll be terribly sick of it). So I pull out the box of decorations and lug up our artifical tree (whose had better years....we got it for 19.99 at a hardware store 5 years ago and it's travelled a lot with us). I put on some coffee and the radio station (we convieiently have one that plays Christmas music 24/7 starting the day after Hallowe'en). I spent the whole morning untangling lights and bead garland and finally get it up on our tree. Liam was thrilled and says "Mommy, wow, we are putting up the tree on the first day it snows. It's a tradition." So I guess that I'll have to do this each year and pray for no snow in October!


Our half decorated tree (I figure I have a MONTH to get it all decorated, right?)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Liam's Half Birthday

We had a birthday party yesterday. Liam turned 4 1/2 years old. I thought I'd tell you about my little boy in celebration of his half birthday.


I don't really know where to begin. Liam is a wise little soul. He always has been. When you looking into his eyes you see someone that is much older than his 4 1/2 years. He is serious. He is focused. He can work happily on a project for hours at a time. He's always been interested in how things work. His favourite passtime is playing with his woonden blocks and train set. He's had these toys for two years but never grows tired of playing with them. He's a master of the double (and even triple) decker train track. He also loves Wedgits and can build all the complicated models (using two sets) but his favourites are his imagination models. He loves to read and is learning to read quite well on his own. He loves the computer and is better at many of the games then his Mama is. He loves to eat and his favorites are chicken nuggets, brocoli, and tofu cheese (firm tofu....he is allergic to milk). He hates onions. It's hard to get him to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Like his Mama he has a lot of seasonal allergies and is allergic to flies and unfortunately we found severely allergic to bee stings. So it has to be a really special occasion (like grandma and grandpa coming over) to pull him away from his books, blocks and computer to get him outside. The best we do is get him outside to go check the mail and walk around the block. In the summer he'll go to the park but it is a struggle with the fall here and winter soon to come. Liam is pretty shy and is certainly a quite boy. Not at all rough and tumble. He's sweet and caring but he also knows the things that drive his Mama crazy (he likes to have Mama do EVERYTHING for him) and likes to take lots of time to settle in bed at night (more water, I have to pee, another book, Mum can you cuddle, Mum can I tell you another story, Mum, Mum, Mum). However, there is nothing better than cuddling with my boy at the end of day!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tiramisu Muffins

So I'm taking this from a board, who took this from a board, who took it from a Senior Unit leader from Epicure selections. It is quite a yummy treat. Being that Mike and I are not big on desert we found it to be rather sweet and I'd probably make a few adjustments to the recipe if I were to make it again (hey maybe I'll try that a post it here). If you have a sweet tooth though this desert is for you!! Any changes we made are in brackets. While they call for Epicure products for EVERYTHING we used only the Epicure Tiramisu Dip Mix (a must for the I told you the ingredients I'd have to shoot you *lol*) and the Epicure Vanilla Extract.

Sharon's Tiramisu Muffins

You'll need (curious two year old optional)


Tiramisu Spread
½ cup soft cream cheese
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. VE Tiramisu Dip Mix
¼ cup VE Milk Belgian Chocolate

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup milk
¾ cup sugar ¼ light veg. oil
3 ½ Tsp. VE Baking Powder 1 egg
1 Tsp. VE Ground Cinnamon 1 Tsp. VE Vanilla
½ Tsp. VE Ground Sea Salt ¾ cup VE Milk Belgian Choc.
2 Tbsp. VE Tiramisu Dip Mix
1/4 cup VE Milk Belgian Chocolate (we used Chipets Semi-Sweet chips)

Blend spread ingredients really well and let sit. (I found this spread to be much too hard for muffins so I added a good spoonful of sour cream to the mix...I didn't get a picture after I added the sour cream was nice a creamy instead of firm)


In a bowl combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl combine all wet ingredients and
beat well.


Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet
ingredients into it. Stir with a wooden spoon until all dry
ingredients is wet about 16 stirs. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill silicone baking cups about two thirds full. Bake at 375 degrees
for about 17-20 minutes until starting to brown and they spring back
when touched.


Cool for 5 minutes before removing from cups to wire
rack. Serve with Tiramisu spread (we found it best when we cut open the muffin and put a layer of the cream inside and well as on top). Yum!


Sharon Statham
Sr. Unit Leader

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One Week Challenge-Results!!


Kids corner with some of their favorite toys and books and a chair to sit in (and they actually do).


Markers, crayons and pencil colours for the kids (and the kid in me).


Original artwork (that will change from time to time).


Writing stuff (books, note book and sketch others are still missing).


I even found a blanket.


We put aside our clunker of a printer that doesn't work and I tried to make a bit of a pretty corner. The plants will hopefully take so that I'll be able to pot them.

I think this fulfilled all my goals. The only money we spent was $17.53 on the cork for the bullentin board. Everything else in the room is stuff that we had around or I got from my mother-in-law.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I feel sick

I am the world's most unorganised person. I don't hide that fact. My head is always in the clouds and I lay things down and not have any idea where I've put them. I can never find my wallet or my keys and I KNOW I'll have to search for them before I go anywhere.

The killer though is when you are certain, certain beyond a doubt, where something is only to find it is not there. In setting up my office (tomorrow is my big reveal day) I went looking for my sketch books and I cannot find two of my most precious ones. I've had them recently. I LOVE them so much. They've been with me for years and now they are gone. I've looked in every closet. In every cupboard (including the kitchen). In our book shelves to no avail. I was sure SURE they were with my other art supplies but no. I feel like a part of me is missing (and I'm not even an artist). There filled with doodles of pregnant bellies and women's bodies and cute little babies (I was obsessed with birth long before I became a doula or had kids of my own). Filled with dragons and faeries and pain and joy and now they are gone.

I'm feeling pretty unsettled this evening...

10 things to do before the end of the year

1. Send out Christmas cards. I vow that this year I will send out Christmas cards to the people I know who celebrate. It'll be a first for me but a tradition I feel that is worth it.

2. Do something (anything) on the lethe Mike bought me. Mike and I dream of making wooden toys for kids and we've purchased a number of tools. Mike bought the lethe special for me but it's been sitting there so I want to do something with it.

3. Do something (anything) with the sculpting tools Mike bought me. Ditto the above comment on the lethe.

4. Finish 2 assignments for my university course. One is well under way. The other I still have to interview a woman that is different from me in two ways (race, religion, class, nationality, sexual orientation, etc, etc). Anyone know anybody?

5. Cut down Liam's time on the computer significantly. This is a struggle. He wants to be on the computer all the time and I'm having a hard time finding ideas to keep his mind off the computer. He fights any suggestion I've. It's come down to me saying no computer at all but I'd rather it be a mutual decision.

6. Finish Liam's Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten level. He's an awesome little reader and is ready to get his "I did it" sticker and start on Grade 1 phonics (which we'll be getting him this holiday season).

7. Work on "Frederick the Literate" paint by number I started two years ago. Yes, I did fine arts but I still do paint by numbers. I want to get this painting done at some point but it is HUGE!

8. Pull out the sewing machine and do a couple little projects. I pull out my sewing machine about once a year but I want to start using it a lot more. I really need to practice so I have a couple small projects in mind.

9. Write out the recipes I've printing off of the computer onto index cards. They are getting ruined and I want to find a way to keep them all together.

10. Get my hair cut and styled. I have a gift certificate from a friend that I got a while back and it needs to be used. We are known to let these things expire and I really could use a change.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Magic Hour

In The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children Nancy Lamb describes the time before you fall asleep and the time just before you wake up as the magic hour and how as a writer you should try to get this time every day where you can just relax and let your mind wonder wherever it wants to go. She says that this time of day is when we are most creative and when most of our problem solving gets done. All I could think was "wow, an uninterrupted hour when I can sleep."

Being the lovely partner he is, Mike decided to give me my magic hour on Saturday morning. I took a few deep breaths and rolled over to relax and let my mind wonder. My daughter screamed outside the door "I want Mommy. I want Mommy. I WANT MOMMY." Finally Mike convinced her to go downstairs with him. Ah peace. Then bang, bang, BANG. "MOMMY". Then 10 minutes later. knock. knock. knock. knock. knock. Then quiet. I drift off. The visions start coming to me. They are so close. Then BANG and "MOMMY" and cries all at once and I am up in Mommy mode and all is forgotten.

I didn't even get my magic 15 minutes. I'm thinking Nancy Lamb doesn't have children.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I'm in Heaven

I was going to tell you about Christmas in November (which, by the way, was totally a mother's worst nightmare but funny just the same), however, my doorbell rang at 6:30 this evening and changed all that. One my step was a tall dark stanger, a tall dark stranger bearing books, at that. It seems Canada Post dropped the package off at his place, that was no where even near in the vicinity of mine. I wasn't expecting this package for a couple weeks as I'd only ordered it two days before and Amazon's expected delivery date was between the 18th and the 22nd. I live no where near the Amazon warehouse AND according to their site one of the books ships in 1-3 weeks so hmm, to get it pretty much over night was pretty unexpected but I couldn't be more thrilled. I actually want to throw down my pen (or rather keyboard) and curl up with my books but aw, yes, here I am writing instead (as a good writer does).

Take a peak at the books that I got:


The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children

Creating Characters Kids Will Love

Childrens Writer's and Illustrator's Market

Books, totally for me, only for me, and purely to get my creative juices flowing. I so rarely get new things for myself that I decided to go all out (I was originally in search of the Childrens Writer's and Illustrator's Market only). I figure that this will be a complete starting over process given the fact that my life has changed so completely from the last time I've written. I've always written young adult fiction with a focus on tough stuff. As a teen I was a bit cancer obsessed (perhaps this comes from losing my Mum to the disease at such a pivotal time in life). I was completely Lurlene McDaniel obsessed and while everyone else was reading Goosebumps I was devouring books on kids facing extraordinary challenges. I've got quite the collection of books. I've written a couple of naive novellas of that sort that I would love to some day refine and publish as they are near and dear to my heart being my first pieces of work (and for the fact the Ms. Lurlene McDaniel has held them in her very own hands *lol*) but there is something about having my own precious little ones that makes me less inclined to want to deal with children's mortality. It is certainly a reality that we all potentially face as parents but not one that is easy to come to terms with.

When I am older and stronger I will go back and finish those books. For now, I am looking for something new. Maybe something for younger kids, maybe not. Maybe fiction, maybe not. Who knows what the future will bring. There are so many options out there and so many directions to go. The world is a blank canvas (or is that a blank notebook).

For now I am off to discover. 

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Original Artwork

I decided to let the kids in on the fun of creating the original artwork for my office. They're free, they're effective and they had a blast!


Oh so careful.


Planning out his piece.


Painting our cat, Mikula.


Distracted! (She sure is focused on her arm painting though.)


Finishing touches.