Saturday, December 17, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane!

Sorry for being MIA for the last few days. It's been a pretty busy week and I'm actually at the Toronto airport waiting for a connecting flight to Vancouver which will take me and my family to...


We managed to squeak onto a flight this morning to in running after the last passenger had boarded. This is why we always only bring carry-on!! 

Two weeks worth of clothes/necessities...right here

The bonus to getting on the Ottawa flight? Executive class :)

It was a relaxing flight. I always love staring at the clouds from above!

And I also got to read an excellent article on my favourite artist, the Beibz

The layover to Toronto was pretty short but me and my sisters managed to take a few shots :)

Does my smile look stiff? I hope not! I just got all four wisdom teeth out on Thursday which is part of the reason I haven't blogged for a couple days. No complications, thankfully except for left diplopia but it went away after a couple minutes! Just feeling pretty tired. I actually decided to go with local anaesthetic and skipped the IV sedation because I wanted to be relatively productive for the rest of the day. The most painful part was the needle but I didn't even feel the extractions!!

I snapped this picture right when I got into recovery. Soooo attractive :P. My mouth is actually packed with a million pieces of gauze here. My roomie also took a video of me on the drive home which I'm sure will be used to haunt me one day!!

Right now I'm on a soft foods diet, which means smoothies and yogurt for me! I made sure my last real meal was a good Peter's place of course!

And last night was a full-blown Christmas celebration with my roomies. We decided to do a gift exchange which was pretty much the most exciting thing ever!

The aftermath: sooo much wrapping paper!

Stuffies on the couch!

Well, I'm not sure when I'll have internet access again. Maybe in Australia, maybe not. If that's the case then I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! It's the most wonderful time of the year :).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I know what you're thinking: Silly girl, dessert doesn't have three esses. Well, that's true...unless you have 3 desserts in one day!

Lucky me ;)

It started off with one of Tish's coconut vanilla bean cupcakes. Heavenly! Absolutely delightful! Words can't even describe what perfection this reached!

The picture says it all...
I actually scarfed down the cupcake on the way to Cafe Istanbul where my procomp tutorial group was meeting for lunch. I enjoyed the shish wrap (grilled lamb skewers) with a side of salad. Anytime lamb presents itself to me on a menu I order it in an attempt to break out of my chicken rut. This wrap did not disappoint! A bonus? It was local meat so I could feel good about what I was eating.

Lunch was followed by coffee and dessert #2. This was a double layered pumpkin cheesecake on a gingerbread crust, garnished with real whip cream and slivered almonds. I also thoroughly enjoyed this dessert, although it may have been spoiled a tad by the cupcake. It's so hard being me sometimes.

And finally, dessert #3 was homemade cookies from one of our tutors! I'm not 100% sure what type they were but they reminded me a bit of a snickerdoodle. Can you tell what I thought of them?

And in case you're wondering, my group DID indeed discuss the case. How could you even doubt? :P

So to be honest it's been a while since my body has been exposed to so much sugar in a short period of time, and I'm definitely feeling the effects. I guess it's just providing me with lots of fuel for a long 6am run tomorrow! Woo hoo! Yeah...we'll see if that happens...

Happy Tuesday (although it feels like it should be Thursday already)!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Master Procrastinator

After hours of hair-pulling, soul-searching, and divine inspiration my ProComp paper is FINALLY done! And what do I have to show? The 7 deadly methods of procrastination.

1. Decorating the apartment for Christmas!

2. Taking pictures of Matt the Mole.

 3. Checking facebook multiple times during the day...even when I knew there would be no new stories.

4. Making a random trip to Pete's Frootique and buying exotic fruit that was on sale.

5. Watching youtube videos of cute animals...pretty sure that consumed at least 45 minutes of my life yesterday...

 6. Procrastibaking. See yesterday's blog post.

7. Trying a random recipe for Chicken Fingers, found at Busy Girl Healthy Life. Of all times to deviate from my quickie staples and go for something new...but it was delicious!

There are other things that should be on the list, such as online window shopping, napping, and searching recipes for a potluck this coming Thursday. Needless to say, the paper is done...and was handed in a whole 68 minutes early! Now if that isn't keen, I don't know what is ;).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baking ALWAYS wins

Once again I've been hit with another bad case of procrastibaking. This is ignorance at its worst finest. What splendorous recipe is calling my name this time?

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I searched high and low for the perfect recipe and finally found one on The Food Network by Paula Deen. Usually before trying a recipe I take a quick look over the comments/reviews and I'm SO glad I did because I ended up changing quite a few things in the recipe. And don't worry, I've already gotten the thumbs up from my two roomies, my parents and my sister (who took a boulanger and baking arts course) so they're safe ;).

If you would like to try these revised cupcakes you will need:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar + enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp red food colouring
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together.

3. Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. And yes, this includes the massive volumes of red food colouring!

4. Sift the dry ingredients and mix with wet ingredients until well-combined.

5. Spoon into lined cupcake pan (batter was quite runny for me but turned out perfectly in the end).

6. Bake for 20 minutes.

And what are cupcakes without frosting? I added the cream cheese frosting included in Paula Deen's recipe and just decreased the sugar by 1 was still plenty sweet! Also, this made a TON of frosting!! I would suggest doing only half of the recipe below and you will still have leftovers. I guess it's incentive to make another batch in the near future :).

For the cream cheese frosting you will need:
  • 2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (original called for 4 cups...eek!)

 Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add sifted confectioner's sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Then, beat on high until light and fluffy.

Now for the fun part: ice the cupcakes and sprinkle with red sprinkles if you so desire!

Finally, eat and enjoy!

Back in the day

Do you remember the good 'ol days when it seemed like I went to the Farmers Market every single weekend? I think that trend is coming back ;).

Christmas cookies at Mary's Bread Basket. I love the round Santa faces!

New to us was a chalkboard that anyone could write on. My roomie pointed out the phrase below which appropriately describes our feelings towards the market (and no, it's not Steve <3's Carol).

We <3 the Farmer's Market!!
It was one of my favourite trips of the year, partially because of the Christmas spirit in the air and also because we were able to take our merry old time. I also got some presents which I can't post here unfortunately! Believe me, I wish I could!

For the afternoon/ evening I was at church to help out with our annual Christmas play: This Very Night. This year I served on the tech crew for 3/6 productions! Here are a few pics I took from the sound booth.

Opening was a full house!
Market scene - do you see the live sheep in the aisle? The whole flock (aka 2 of them) were quite vocal this year :D.
Me and my sister in the sound booth. We soooo fly. haha...not.
Hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Choo choo!

Last night me and my roomies had a mini Christmas party! And when I say Christmas party I mean building a gingerbread train, watching White Christmas and drinking egg nog.

Our train set from good 'ol Walmart!

 Instructions were on the back of the box but we just ignored that part ;)

Caution: construction in progress...

And the finished product!

Do you like our work of art?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Today I came to the realization that my childhood was deprived of one thing:

Well, maybe I was deprived of a few other things like Full House and TMNT, but at least I was aware of those.

Have you ever heard of this book? I'm really starting to feel like I missed out! It started yesterday when I read my friend Deb's blog. It was her daughter's birthday over the weekend and she made cupcakes themed after The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I was impressed as it was until my roomie said, "Oh my goodness, they look exactly like they're from the book!!" To which I replied, "Huh? There's a book?"

*roommate stares in disbelief*

Who knows, maybe I did read the book and it left little impact on me. Or maybe I was traumatized by something in the storyline and purposefully blocked it from my memory. In any case, I quickly got myself up to speed on this childhood classic thanks to good 'ol YouTube.

I actually felt like I was 3 years old when watching this video. I was smiling and giggling and counting on my fingers. Oh the days when life was simple!

And because every children's story has a moral behind it, my roomie and I did a quick google search and came across this article. To summarize it, some life lessons we can learn in Eric Carle's book are:

  • Don't try to be someone you're not
  • You need friends who care about you.
  • Overindulging is never an answer
  • When things go wrong, return to what you know.

(For an elaboration on these points, read the full article. It's a very interesting analysis).

The Verdict? I have officially fallen in love with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. If I ever have nieces or nephews this will be one of the stories that Auntie Rebekah reads to them. Heck, maybe I'll just buy it for myself and read it at bedtime!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lab goggles and Christmas parties

During my undergrad, there were a few courses I took which required lab goggles. Sure they protected my eyes from spashes of acidic liquids and dissection specimens during organic chemistry and plant & animal diversity. But beyond the lab setting I've had no use for them...

...until this past weekend...

Say hello to the solution for teary eyes when cutting onions. Well, actually I can't vouch for it but my roomie seemed to think it made a difference while making Buble's guacamole! And what was the occassion? Only the first Christmas party of the season hosted by the barefoot contessa/host extraordinaire!

If you're looking at the guy on the right you've got the wrong person. Sorry Mike, you didn't quite make the cut :P. I went over to Gill's place on Saturday for an amazing Christmas dinner. Apparently this girl was cooking since 8am!! I've hosted dinner parties before but they were waaaay different in that:
a) I had the help of my roomies
b) We chose the most hassle-free recipes...i.e. build your own fajita.

Now THIS was a feast!

Perhaps the most impressive item was the cupcake tree. Not only esthetically amazing but equally delicious!

So thank you Gill, for taking the time to treat me to an incredible meal. I appreciated it SO much as did everyone else (especially after eating like crap for the past month while studying neuro). I don't know how you did it but you were superwoman that night :).

Love you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmastime is here

Ever since my exam my body has been completely off schedule. What happened to the days of waking up with all the energy of the world at 6am? What happened to being 110% motivated to run down to the gym to do cardio and weights? What happened to my perfect clean eating streak?

Fine, fine...I am stretching the truth...a lot :P. I think I've actually needed this whole week to recover physically and mentally from the exam. There's a part of me that's in Christmas mode and wants to shop shop shop and then there's the responsible side that knows I have a million things to do in the next 2 weeks. Guess which side has won out so far? In my defense, Spring Garden Road was tax-free and as a result most of my Christmas shopping is officially done (along with some personal shopping...*ahem*).

Speaking of are some things I'm loving:

Egg nog lattes at the Smiling Goat

Actually, I'm just loving egg nog in general!

Poinsettias at the market!

Christmas trees!

And some non-holiday things I'm loving:

Schoolhouse quinoa granola, aka best granola I have tasted in my life!

A haircut! Well, it's actually just a trim but it feels good to have all the split ends off. I had a coupon which included a cut at the Concepts School of Cosmetology so I decided to be brave and let a student cut my hair. She ended up doing a nice job!

Hope you're getting in the Christmas/Holiday spirit!

Note: I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas so this post may seem a bit exclusive even though it's not meant to be. Since this is a personal blog it reflects personal views and the truth is that me and my family have always celebrated Christmas...and it is what I continue to celebrate now that I'm out on my own. However, in no way, shape or form am I against others taking part in other holidays and festivities at this time of year.