Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Small Claims Court Here We Come

Evil Landlady strikes again, our walkthrough did not go well and we'll now be fighting for our damage deposit back as well as the rent abatement. I guess adding a little more money is no big deal.

Sigh... here's hoping this gets cleared up quickly.
L

Santa's Bag

I was really lucky this Christmas and received so many awesome gifts. Over the next couple days I'll probably post about them and I thought I'd start with this one.

I am now the proud owner of this genius invention and I'm super excited about it! The Cupcake Courier. It's holds 36 cupcakes so I no longer need to worry about them sliding around and smooshing together, I think a large batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate are in order.
L

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Celebration

Brad - "My stomach is full of little blonde girls"

We celebrated the warm, unpacked apartment with a round of Shirley Temples.
L

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Genius Toolbar

My favourite new function of iTunes, The Genius Toolbar

This article gave a great explanation, “Once you opt in to the service, which sends your music library and usage data to Apple anonymously according to the company, iTunes can generate a list of music in your library that sounds similar to any song in it, from which you can make a playlist. The Genius sidebar … performs essentially the same function, except that it draws recommendations from the iTunes music store. Those recommendations include similar songs, top albums by the artist, songs by the artist missing from your collection and iTunes Essentials collections that include the song.”

So I click on a song that I want to listen to, then generate a Genius playlist and I have an awesome mix of music that is just what I’m in the mood for. If nothing else it’s a slightly less random use of the randomizer.
L

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let Me Tell You...

This new place is so great, here are the highlights.
  1. The bedrooom is big enough that we can finally bring over the pretty bench that we got as a wedding present
  2. The living room is big enough that we have the option of using my old coffee table again
  3. There are two bedrooms
  4. The bathroom fan doesn't make a sound that makes you want to pull your ears off
  5. There is a real front entrance, a non carpeted front entrance
  6. The carpet is a nice, normal grey colour, not green shag.
  7. A Full size fridge and stove
  8. Two SINKS!!
  9. Two bedrooms
  10. More cupboard space that I had at first though
  11. We've already met 2 of our 3 neighbors
  12. It's rigtht across the street from a Dollar Store, Little Ceaser's, Subway, M&M Meat Shops and a Drug store so when I'm at home without a car I can still go somewhere
  13. Moving in is a breeze, there aren't 3 flights of stairs to climb
  14. We only have to share the laundry room with 3 other people
  15. We have heat, real heat!
  16. There are big windows to let in lots of light

I'll take pictures eventually but we are so blessed to have gotten this suite, someone is looking out for us.
L

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Warm Place

Yay! We're not homeless, we've got a great new place to live and we can even more in today!

More details to follow but cheer for us, we needed some good news :)
L

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Leg I Stand On

There have been some comments about our landlady and people wondering what our rights are and so I thought I'd clarify by posting the letter that we've submitted to her. It clearly outlines what our rights are and that we're well within them and that she doesn't have a leg to stand on. It's in her best interest to just let us go with our damage deposit.


Subject: Breach of Contract

Dear Susan*:

For some time now we've been without a proper source of heat in our apartment and our frequent requests for a solution have been ignored. We discovered that this year we have zero heat and with the extreme cold of the past week our apartment has become unlivable. Concerned about your pipes freezing we've been running an electric heater and using our oven to provide some sort of warmth. Both are additional costs to us and we've decided it's in our best interest to find a new place to live.

As you have not complied with the Landlord Obligations as outlined in the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act we are submitting 14 days notice and will vacate the apartment by 12:00 noon on January 1st. We have listed the obligations below as well as the actions we are legally allowed to take.

Landlord's obligations



  • Make the premises available for the tenant on the agreed move-in date.
  • Not to disturb the tenant's possession or peaceful enjoyment of the premises. This means that the landlord is not to bother the tenant beyond what is necessary to do the landlord's business.
  • Make sure the premises meet the minimum requirements set out in the Housing Regulation and the Minimum Housing and Health Standards under Alberta's Public Health Act at the beginning and during the tenancy. The Minimum Housing and Health Standards can be found on the Service Alberta website.
  • Complete move in-and move-out inspection reports and provide copies to the tenant.
Below is an excerpt from the Public Health Act http://www.servicealberta.ca/pdf/consumers/housing99.pdf

8. Heating Facilities
(a) All heating facilities within a housing premises are to be properly installed and maintained in good working condition, and be capable of safely and adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet rooms within the building to a temperature of ;
(i) at least 22°C(710F), or
(ii) maintained at a temperature of at least 22°C(710F) when the control of the supplied heat in a dwelling is the responsibility of a person other than the occupant.

(b) When the outside temperature is colder than the winter design temperature as referenced in the Alberta Building Code(97) Section 2.2.1.1 and Appendix C, then the Executive Officer may permit an indoor temperature of less than 22°C(710F) but greater than 16°C (600F). (Without the use of extra heaters our temperature sits below 10°C)
(c) Cooking appliances and portable space heaters shall not be used as the primary source for the required heat to a habitable room.
(d) Every owner of a housing premises shall ensure a continuous supply of electricity, water and heat unless the rental agreement stipulates that such utility services are the sole responsibility of the occupant.

Voluntary Code of Practice - Alberta's Residential Tenancies Act
http://www.servicealberta.ca

Termination for substantial breach by landlord
28 (1) A tenant may apply to a court to terminate the tenancy or may terminate the tenancy by serving the landlord with a notice at least 14 days before the day that the tenancy is to terminate where
(a) the landlord commits a substantial breach of the residential tenancy agreement, and
(b) an executive officer has issued an order under section 62 of the Public Health Act in respect of the circumstances that constitute the substantial breach, and the tenant believes on reasonable grounds that the landlord has failed to comply with the order.
(2) The notice must
(a) be in writing,
(b) be signed by the tenant,
(c) set out the reasons for the termination, and
(d) set out the termination date.

We expect our full damage deposit back and we are prepared to follow the necessary steps to ensure it is received in a timely manner. We have put a stop-payment on all remaining cheques and would like them returned. We're happy to give access to our apartment for viewing with potential renters as long as 24 hour notice is given.

We respectfully request that all further communication be conducted in writing, either as a letter or an email and we've included all necessary contact information. Thank you very much.


Sincerely,
Brad & Laura Wiebe


*Names have been changes to protect the identity of our really crappy landlady.
L

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold Hands, Cold Heart

So the hoped for basement suite had some serious flaws. We're about to be homeless and we're depressed.

The cold has made us unproductive... laundry hasn't been done (I'm wearing Brad's socks today because I'm out of clean ones), house cleaning is being ignored, breakfast has been skipped every day this week. If it can't be done while I'm under the warmth of a blanket it's probably not going to get done. I dread that moment where it's time to take off the pajamas and put on real clothes; it must be done as quickly as possible.

Although she's clearly in the wrong I'm sure there's going to be a fight with our landlady and I'm afraid. I'm afraid of what's going to happen to us.

It seems like this past 6 months have been nothing but a string of bad luck. Hoping for a change and happier, warmer days.
L

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Way Out

I have this knot in my stomach that never loosens. My hands are a little shaky… I'm really nervous.

I was trying to be tough and managed to not complain at all on my blog about the temperature in our apartment. Last year we had really horrible heat so we expected it to be cold but we weren't prepared for the entire lack of heat that we've been experiencing. We get not a single bit of heat from our pipes and our landlady has done nothing to fix it. It's no way to live when it's minus 45 degrees outside.

So we've decided to move. We don't know where we're going but we're giving notice tomorrow and we're not giving 30 days and we're going to try our darndest to get our entire damage deposit back. I'm sure it's going to be an unpleasant fight where reason is thrown out the window on her end and we do our best to stay calm but the law is on our side.

So think about us and send support our way, we need it to deal with the worst woman you've ever met and wish us luck tonight as we go look at a place that seems like it'll be much better than where we are now. To end on a happy note I'm including pictures of the hoped for basement suite. The windows are small I know but it's bigger and a little cheaper than what we have now.
L






Friday, December 12, 2008

Tooting My Own Horn

This year Brad and I got together with his sister Rosie,her husband Byron and we sang and recorded some Christmas songs. We then took those songs and burned them to a cd and sent them out in some Christmas cards. The songs turned out really well so I thought I'd add them to the blog.

Enjoy!
L

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Out of My Control

  1. If I'm standing in a lineup and people need to cut through it they will always cut in front of me. Even if I stand especially close to the person in front, they still cut in front of me.
  2. I always accidentally sit by the table leg, so every time I move I kick the stupid thing and everyone's drinks wobble.
  3. If there's some sort of defect in a cosmetic problem I'm bound to buy that one.
    I had this lipgloss once that when you twisted the base the stick of lipgloss would turn instead of the base. So the angled part would move every time (I'm aware that this probably doesn't make any sense)
    I have this blush/bronzer stuff that I love and not two weeks after I got it the lid broke off.

These kinds of things happen all the time!

Funny how our luck works sometimes isn't it? We all have these little quirks, with Michelle her favorite products get discontinued. With Mom she has electronics problems. Maybe it's these silly things that make us each a little more individual.
L

Zoo Lights

Brad and I took a trip to Zoo Lights last night and we were reminded that it's really just a stroll through the closed Zoo with some lights. There were some highlights though, the free hotdog, chips and hot chocolate from his work, the fact that is was a really nice night and the roaring fire pits all made it enjoyable (especially since it was free).
L



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Walk Home with Me

My walk home from work yesterday took about double the normal time (I really will stop mentioning the toe any day now). I found that frequent stops were necessary but rather than just stop and stand I took out the camera and took a couple pictures on the way.

So take a walk with me and see what I see.

This was the first time I decided to take a rest so I looked over to my right and I loved the way the trees were all snowy with the bright buildings lights behind it. I’m sure this could have been a really great picture if I sort of knew what I was doing :)



This is one of the lamps on the Centre Street Bridge and I loved the orange glow against the darkening blue sky.



I tend to forget that after the snow has fallen this path is icy and treacherous and that I need to take the stairs. Yesterday was no exception so this section took and especially long time. The snow was all mounded up on the fence posts and I love the view of downtown.



It’s hard to see but somebody took the time to step off the path and make a snow angel, what a perfect celebration of the weather.



This is the home stretch, I’m almost there and I always think this street is so pretty. In the summer I get little cool patches of shade where the trees hang over.

There are lots of bushes like the one to the right and I think they look like they’re covered with mounds of dish soap bubles.


So there's a typical wintery walk home with me.
L

Monday, December 8, 2008

Photos

I know I said pictures wouldn't do it justice but it's such a pretty colour and really scary looking and frankly I'd like a little sympathy. I don't want you to think that this was just a little stub of the toe, so take a look and be forewarned... it's been a while since I had a pedicure :)

This is an album so if you click on it you'll be taken to a few more photos.
Bruised Toe


It'll be really interesting to see what it looks like in a day or too.
L

Found

As previously mentioned, today had no where to go but up.

I found my Starbuck card!

As a thank you from a co-worker I was given a gift card and I still had a balance of about $15 when I misplaced it. I looked in the wallet twice and the purse twice. I checked at Starbucks and at the lost and found. Today I decided to check my wallet one more time as that’s the most logical place. I don’t know where I was looking the previous times but it was there! Glad I can once again feel guilt free about my yummy purchases.
L

The Broken Toe

Some Mondays start in such a way they can’t possibly go anywhere but up.

As a wedding gift, among other things we received the gift of a cutting board. It was small and wood with a handle and I took one look at it and thought, “Well this is small, useless and ridiculous and I’ll never use it.”

But I was wrong. Turns out a small wood cutting board comes in handy fairly often and we’ve now used it so much that wood has begun to warp. Cutting on a bendy board is not an easy task so when I spied some fancy (cheap) bamboo ones at Safeway I quickly added it to the cart.

The new board is about 12 inches long and 8 inches wide in smooth, pretty bamboo. I pulled it out this morning to chop some tomatoes to add to my scrambled eggs. I’ll admit our kitchen isn’t entirely clean right now so the counter had some dishes and things on it. I slid the board as far as it would go so I could clear off the counter and place is securely for chopping, only as far as it would go just wasn’t far enough. My morning reflexes did not meet the necessary requirements and this lovely (heavy) cutting board hit me squarely on the toe.

I really do think it’s broken. I cried, I hopped, I iced and 6 ½ hour later I’m still smarting and limping. I attempted to photograph the ugliness of it for you but the photos just couldn't even begin to show the pain, the blue and the puffiness of it (consider yourself spared).

The only upside I can think of is that the board entirely missed the toenail so I don’t believe I’ll be losing that.

Good luck on your Monday, look out for wayward cutting boards.
L

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snow, Snow Snow

As much as I hate the snow it really is pretty out right now.

I'm a lousy photographer so these pictures don't do it justice. We had this beautiful snow fall today and surprisingly there really wasn't any wind so the snow piled up on even the skinniest of branches. It also wasn't terribly cold, a perfect night for ice skating; if only there was some ice.
L

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Old Fashioned Christmas

I went down to Magrath last weekend and the town was putting on an Old Fashioned Christmas, it's a new tradition they've started and it was a lot of fun.

All the shops on main street stayed open late and there was something fun to see in most of them. There was a big bonfire with free cookies and hot chocolate right on the sidewalk. Across the street at city hall you could get a treat bag after you'd visited Santa. The Co-op had a chocolate fondue and the Trading Company had hot chocolate, mini oranges and a train in the window. It looks like they're looking in an old fashioned toy store.

The trees were lit with mini lights and the high school band played some songs. There were carolers on the street corners and friends all around.

It's a great new tradition that was fun for the kids and I'd like to attend again.

What a great way to start the season, hope you're feeling as much of the season as I am.
L

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Facebook – One More Reason to Dislike You

Facebook gave me a virus.

I think I'm pretty computer smart, I don't fall for the average viruses and I'm careful about what I download but this one is smart, it duped me.

One of my friends sent me a Facebook message linking to a video. So I click on it and I'm taken to a window that looks kind of like youtube. The video starts to load and I think it said my java needed to update, something normal like that. So I click okay to update it and then it tells me there was a problem updating so I close the window, not concerned since I didn't want to see the stupid video anyway.

Then I start getting these messages. My McAfee deleted some Trojans and some stupid messages keep coming up, you know the kind, the spammy ones saying I should go to this link and download some spyware to fix the problem they created. So I finally decided it was time to alert my IT Guy, he knew immediately it was from Facebook and I'm not the only one. Hopefully it's not a big deal to fix but it wouldn't surprise me if this resulted in a Facebook ban at work.

So in conclusion... Sometimes friends are not so friendly, don't trust links to videos.

Thank goodness this didn't happen at home where I have no IT guy.
L

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

8 is a Big Number

I have a real post in the works I just keep forgetting to download the cute pictures that go with it. Until then this will have to do.

8 favorite TV shows
  1. Food Network Challenge – I could watch that show all day!
  2. Ace of Cakes – Again, this is an all day one
  3. Gossip Girl – I know it's made for 14 year old girls but I love it, such a guilty pleasure
  4. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – not as lame as it sounds and way better than the movies ever were :)
  5. How I Met Your Mother
  6. Grey's Anatomy
  7. Malcolm in the Middle & 2 1/2 Men – Brad didn't watch very much tv growing up and what he did watch was very wholesome so I've had to introduce him to the hilarity that comes from shows about really dysfunctional families
  8. The really strange documentaries on TLC every Sunday evening. Like the girl who didn't grow, the Woman who had this disease that made her legs grow to be HUGE or the people who are morbidly overweight. I get hooked and can't change the channel. My favorite was the one where people flew to Switzerland (?? I could be making that up, I saw it a while ago) to plan their own death because assisted suicide is legal.

8 Books you recommend

  1. The Life of Pi
  2. The Observations (odd but enjoyable)
  3. Wicked / Son of a Witch
  4. Chronicles of Narnia Series

The fact that I can't list 8 books doesn't mean I don't read, because I do, constantly. I'm just really critical about the books I read, they seldom make a huge impact.

8 things that happened yesterday

  1. Made the best Mac & Cheese, the cheese came all the way from New Zealand. It was brought back by Brad's co-worker (it really didn't taste any different than usual)
  2. Worked, and was super bored
  3. Created the greatest ice cream concoction. Melted some chocolate chips, peanut butter and a little cream together. Then stirred into ice cream. It got all chunky and super yummy.
  4. Attempted to make some room on my iPod before I really run out of space
  5. Played (and lost) Ticket to Ride
  6. Washed some dishes
  7. Had a long political discussion with Brad. He's so smart and is great at making sure I understand what's going on. I'm concerned about this coalition thing and upset that there's nothing I can do. All those out there who didn't vote in this past election? I blame you for this mess, I'm confidant that a majority Conservative Government was possible if more people had turned out.
  8. Went to sleep far too late, must kick that habit

8 things to look forward to
  1. Christmas Vacation - 2 weeks off is going to be a dream
  2. Zoo Lights
  3. Christmas Parties – 2 this week start off the season
  4. My kids moving from Sunbeams to CTR's. I'm excited to move with them.
  5. The end of the school semester for Brad
  6. Getting picked up 3 days a week next semester
  7. Living in a place with actual, working heat; and proper laundry facilities.
  8. Spending time with my nephews (don't know when that one will happen)
8 things on my wishlist
  1. A House
  2. Dining room set – it's the plan with this year's tax return
  3. New Couches – Mom's fulfilling this wish by giving me hers in September
  4. A budget that's not quite as tight but still lets us save as much
  5. A Cupcake Courier – such a brilliant invention
  6. A car of my very own, or perhaps a new car for Brad so I can have mine back.
  7. A Cell Phone – this one I get when Brad get's his new one from James
  8. A vacation to Hawaii in the middle of our winter. Hawaii is paradise.

8 things I love about fall
  1. It brings us closer to outdoor skating
  2. Sweater weather
  3. Soup season – I have a thing for soup
  4. There always seems to be a rush of new music released about this time
  5. It gets a little busier at work
  6. We get to use our heated mattress pad
  7. Time to listen to Christmas music
  8. An excuse to use our car starter

I hope your December isn't too busy yet, enjoy every minute of it.
L

Monday, December 1, 2008

We Are Stupid

Brad and I know we love Snow Patrol, have gone to their concert and loved it. They released a new album in October yet we didn't get it. I would remember occasionally and think, "Oh I'll get it later".

I've listened to the first song and half of the second and I'm sad that I've been missing this for so long.

Crack the shutters open wide
I want to bathe you in the light of day

And just watch you as the rays
Tangle up around your face and body

I could sit for hours
Finding new ways to be awed each minute

Cause the daylight seems to want you
Just as much as I want you

It's been minutes it's been days
It's been all I will remember

Even if the rest of the album is no good (unlikely) it's already a great new find. Good enough to beat out the Christmas music for a little while.
L

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

312

(I wasn't paying attention and missed post 300 so I thought I'd celebrate 312 instead)

I'd like to have 312…

  1. dollars
  2. days off a year
  3. pairs of jeans I love
  4. extra square feet in our apartment
  5. reasons to love my job
  6. great friends
  7. miles between me and my furthest family member, none of this Dubai distance
  8. ways to tell Brad I love him
  9. christmas Songs (Oh wait, I already have 340)

Happy Tuesday,
make someone smile today.
L

Monday, November 24, 2008

I feel so old…

Yesterday I was 10,000 days old.
Hard to believe I've been around that many days, here's to the next 10,000.
L

The Bug

I've caught the baking bug.

There are always so many new baking options at Christmas time, so many events to go to where you don't want to show up empty handed and so many seasonal edible treats to make.

This year apparently I wanted to make up for all the baking I didn't do last year so I've started early.

I made truffles yesterday, plan on making some peanut butter squares and considered making some pulled candy peppermint icicles. Luckily I snapped myself out of that one before I got started, that's a bit more of a project than I'm willing to handle but they just looked so pretty in the Martha Stewart Magazine (Brad should be grateful, the recipe called for an extra set of hands so he was going to be recruited).

Any other items I should add to my baking list? I'm open to suggestions.
L

Friday, November 21, 2008

Celebrate the Season

I know it's early for most of you but I hope you'll bear with me.

I've been ready for Christmas music for months now so I thought I'd start the sharing early. Just pause it if drives you crazy or make sure to hit mute before you visit the site next time.

Last year seemed like such a short Christmas season so I'm pretty sure I'll make up for it with an extra long one this year.
L

Following the Leader

Popular Items / Movies / Movements I never got into

  1. Napoleon Dynamite – didn’t' ever see it
  2. NKOTB's Comeback
  3. Twilight – book and movie
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean – the second was laughable, I didn't see the third
  5. National Treasure - Causes much eye rolling
  6. The Rocket Summer
  7. The iPhone
  8. Skinny leg jeans
  9. Voting for anyone's baby – Vibe 98.5 Calgary's Cutest Baby Contest

Trends I Have Succumbed To

  1. Blogging - though I've been doing it so long I think I started before it was trendy
  2. Facebook - it took a long time but eventually I gave in
  3. iPods
  4. Gmail

I'm sure there's more I just can't think of any right now.

So I know, 3 posts in one day is a bit much but there's very little work to do and I'm feeling very opinionated.
L

NKOTB

Am I the only one who had no desire to go?

New Kids on the Block must have made a killing at their concert the other day, it seems like just about everyone I know was there.
L

Good Treat Gone Bad

So I'm starting to have misgivings about Starbucks… perhaps I should cut myself off.

I needed a little something to get myself through the morning. Something more than my usual steamed milk; I wanted something yummy, blended and with whipped cream on top.

After careful inspection of the menu board I made my selection, a Chocolaty-Chip Frappucchino listed in the Coffee-free section (they're really just cream and ice blended with flavoring).

It only took a sip or two before I suspected that it was not as coffee-free as advertised but I just couldn't be sure. I took a few more sips trying to ignore that after-taste and finally decided to just go ask the lady if she put coffee in my coffee-free beverage. She assured me she didn't so I headed back to my office, not totally convinced.

By the time I got back to my desk I was really unsure so I got a second opinion and had a co-worker taste it. We still couldn't decide so I took it to the website.

The "coffee-free" Chocolaty-Chip Frappucchino is made with mocha syrup.

It was sad to watch my $3.00 treat run down the drain but at least I only got half the calories.
L

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Clueless

As previously mentioned I'm pretty good at what I do for work.
I know the Office suite of programs well and I can do some nifty things, I've always really liked that I know what I'm doing and that people come to me for help.

Well recently I've started trying to design a Christmas Card for us to send out and I decided I wanted to make it in Photoshop. There are so many awesome features and you can do some incredible things, there's only one problem.
I don't have a clue what I'm doing.

Tip: Photoshop is nothing like Microsoft Office.

I'm muddling my way through but it's tough for me to be so clueless and to only know how to use 0.5% of a programs features.

I found a good looking tutorial so at some point I think I'll make my way through that but for this year I'll just have to keep clicking my way through hoping I find some of the features I want.

Stay tuned for the end product.
L

It Pays to Blog

Recently, because of certain blog entries I've gotten the offer of someone's old microwave and a Palm for Brad. It definitely pays to blog.

Thanks for the generosity!
L

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sigh

This weekend was unmemorable and short which has led to a really long Monday.

Sunday we had another disappointment. We were really hoping our luck had changed for the better but Brad's Palm Pilot decided it's had enough and it seems to be really dead. A new one will be pricey but it's necessary, the Palm is Brad's brain. Mix that with the crappy weather and the short weekend and you have a feeling that can be expressed best with a …sigh

Here's hoping for a quick week a long weekend and something that makes me smile.
L

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ice Cream Heaven

Okay, I know… I've been slacking lately but there just hasn't been anything blog worth.

For a couple weeks now Brad and I (okay so it's really mostly me) keep randomly suggesting that we make a trip to the Chocolate Bar but then it never really happens.

Well last night after dinner I again made the offhand remark that we should go, never actually expecting it to happen. Brad was serious though and jumped on my suggestion so we called the Anviks and it wasn't long before we were seated.

The Chocolate Bar is a small coffee shop on 17th Ave that sells nothing but desserts.
There was a slight hiccup in the ordering when there was no Carrot Cake or Belgium waffles but substitutions were made.

They make these sundaes… (what I'd been wanting every time I suggested)
They serve them in deep wine glasses and cover the top in real whipped cream, topped with a cherry and its ice cream heaven.

Mine was yummy with pecans and chocolate and caramel sauce, I highly recommend if you're craving something sweet. Go for the half order though, I can't imagine anyone eating a full order.
L

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Slightly Blasphemous

In a Godless and Cruel World...
There is but one place to seek warmth and salvation

The Cult of Snuggie



We can't see the infomercial without thinking of cult robes, especially when they're standing making tea.

As silly as they look I could sure use one right now, my arms are cold as I type.
L

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Filler

Not the most entertaining I know, but it will have to do.

Last Movie I Saw In A Movie Theater? I think maybe it was Batman, that's the only one I can recall anyway. I'm not a big Theater person, I'd rather skip the lines and the ticket price watch in my living room.

What Book Are You Reading? “The Observations” by Jane Harris. I picked it up because it's by the same author as Chocolat and I liked that book a lot, this one is proving to have kind of a strange plot and I have no idea where the story is going to go.
– Funny story, I just went to look up how to spell Chocolat and apparently it was written by Joanne Harris, not Jane. So I just grabbed this book randomly then.

Favorite Board Game? Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride, they're a pretty even tie. Really though, I like any of those German games that win the Spiel des Jahres (German game of the year) award.

Favorite Magazine? Martha Stewart Living though lately Maclean's has been read more frequently and is close to over taking Martha. I like that it makes me smarter.

Favorite Smells? 8 by Abercrombie and Fitch, dinner in the oven.

Favorite Sounds? Anything from my iPod, Christmas Music. Our apartment building is on the fourth floor and we're right by the stairwell, so there's a door at the top of the stairs. When the door closes it makes a little thump noise that I only seem to hear when Brad's coming home from work, that's probably my favorite sound.

Worst Feeling In The World? Losing a friend

First Thing You Think of When You Wake? Can't I stay here for a little bit longer? I'm not ready yet.

Fast Food Place? I guess Taco del Mar, I'm not much of a fast food person but I do really like their black bean burritos.

Future Child’s Name? I really like the name Cossette, though I would never actually name a child that. We have a list of them on Brad's palm so when the time comes we'll have some ideas at least.

Finish This Statement—“If I Had a Lot of Money,” I would immediately fly to Hawaii with Brad (he's never been there) and then when we got back we'd buy a house, skipping out of our apartment and forgetting about our damage deposit so we don't have to deal with awful land lady. I'd also buy Brad an iPhone so he'd stop mentioning it.

Do You Drive Fast? When I first got my car I wanted to go fast all the time, it just felt good but now I've relaxed and I drive so seldom that I'm usually pretty responsible.

Favorite place you have visited? London, I saw Les Miserable, The Lion King, The Producers and Stomp all within the week and I've never eaten anything better than the Kensington Crêperie.

Storms—cool or scary? Cool. A couple times Brad and I sat on our balcony, shielded from the rain and bundled up in blankets and watched the lightning and rain.

What Was Your First Car? A red Honda Civic, I can't remember what year but it was definitely from the 80's. It ran great and had a sun roof, I think it made me far cooler in high school.

Favorite Drink? Water. I know it sounds lame but I used to drink a lot of apple juice (it's free at work). Then I did the South Beach, the only lasting effect being that I decided I didn't want to drink those calories anymore so now I stick with water.

Finish This Statement—“If I Had the Time, I Would…” bake a lot more than I do. I'd also be a scrapbooker.

Do You Eat the Stems on Broccoli? I like the stems peeled but I know others don't so if I'm not the only one eating whatever I'm making then I normally don’t'.

If You could Dye your Hair Any Other Color, What Would It Be? Dark brown. I really liked the dark brown but I can't be bothered with the upkeep.

Favorite Sport to Watch? Baseball. Football is the worst and Hockey is close behind which is unfortunate since Brad loves it.

What’s Under Your Bed? Christmas decorations, a wrapping paper rolly bin, luggage. It's really our only storage.

Morning Person or Night Owl? I guess morning person since I don't like to stay up but I don't really like getting up early either. Can I be a mid-day person?

Over Easy or Sunny Side Up? Anyway I can get them. I love eggs but I prefer a little bit of a soft yolk.

Favorite Place to Relax? Bed on Saturday morning.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor? Birthday Cake from Lics but sadly they discontinued it. It was vanilla ice cream with swirls of frosting and chunks of cake.

Hope you're having a good Wednesday, enjoy the first snowfall.
L

Monday, November 3, 2008

Commercial

I don't know what made me think of this, it was a random thought but I thought I'd share it with you so could enjoy the randomness.

L

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo





Happy Halloween

A few thoughts on Hallween this year

Brad and I carved a pumpkin this year with Jane and Ken and we're so proud of our efforts. Brad drew these incredible eyes and a cool mouth and he ended up looking intimidating and mean, just what we were going for. As the days pass he looks more and more like a scary old man who forgot to put his dentures in (pictures to come).

Every year at work we do a big fundraising kick for the United Way and today was the kick-off party where costumes were required or a fee of $5 would be charged. Call me a Halloween Scrooge but I don't want to wear a costume! So didn't. I'm kind of stubborn though, "charge me for not dressing up? I don't think so!" I sure showed them by not attending their stupid party.

We are attending a Halloween party tonight, we'll see what that brings, I better not have to wear a costume.

The Break-in

Poor luck has befallen us. They say bad things come in three's right?
  1. Our microwave broke. We're not as devastated as some would be and have even decided to go without for a while but I miss microwave popcorn, we need to get some Jiffy Pop.
  2. Then we had the pipe leak (pleased to say the fix has held up).
  3. The worst out of the three, and hopefully the last, our car was broken into.
    Parked in our designated parking stall at our building and of course they break that little back window, the really expensive one. So what did they take? First let's talk about what they didn't take… the iPod and a bunch of cd's. What did they take? It makes me a little sick to think about it.

    Brad's really nice backpack which happened to be full of $300 worth of text books, an $80 calculator and some crappy headphones; nothing of value to anyone but us.
    Jerks

Here's hoping for some better luck
L

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Couple Street

"We're going to win" - my initial reaction when asked to participate

Couple Street, a variation of Kid Street designed to help the youth of the ward learn about dating.

"Three pairs of siblings compete with each other to win toys and other prizes, with points awarded based on how much the siblings know about each other."



Who doesn't remember the clapping above the head, I'm impressed if you remember anything other than that. Sadly we didn't have cars to sit in but we certainly did a lot of clapping.

My prediction rang true and we won!
L

Ode to Denise

This will officially push me over the line from stalker to creepy stalker but it's my blog and I'll stalk if I want to.


One of us lives in the wrong city.

I'm addicted to Ticket to Ride, I play it far more often than most, you can even play it online (not as dorky as it sounds), ever played Carcassonne?

Often you start a box set a week or two after I've started the same box set … Veronica Mars, Samantha Who, HIMYM (you should check out Lipstick Jungle, it's mindless and girly)

More than once we've ended up at the same concerts, Jimmy Eat World, Sarah Slean.

We just need to fix the distance and we're best friends for sure
L

(I'm behind on my posts and there are more to come there just hasn't been any time)

Monday, October 27, 2008

What'd You Do This Weekend?

video


I know Brad posted this on Facebook but it seemed appropriate to put here.
The problem seems to be fixed, we'll just keep an eye on it.
L

Friday, October 24, 2008

Over Explaining

I'm good at my job, I've been doing it for a while now. So when people come by and give me ridiculously specific and dumbed down instructions it makes me annoyed. The rational side of me realizes that they're only trying to help but the unrational bristles immediately and gets defensive and not so pleasant.

I've done this a lot, I know what I'm doing, leave me your work and I'll complete it, if I have problems I'll call you. Stop Hovering!!

Finally it's Friday
L

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Never to Early

I think the Christmas music starts a little earlier every year. This might be a new record but yesterday I decided it was time and loaded all my music back onto the iPod.

I've enjoyed a day full of MOTAB and I'm looking forward to rediscovering all the gems I found last year.

It's never too early to feel the Christmas spirit.
L

Friday, October 17, 2008

View from the Top


The bright orange trees are gone and we've come to the stage where everything looks brown and dead. All that's left now is the waiting for the snow to come.
L

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Take it to the Polls – A kind of Boring Story

Brad and I have been looking forward to this election, interested to see how it would all turn out, so yesterday we headed over to our polling station. All interest faded as we saw the long line winding out through the church door and along the sidewalk.

We could have skipped the line if we'd had a polling registration card or knew our polling station number but we didn't so we dutifully got in the cold line thinking, "How long can it take really?" 20 minutes later I was whiny and cold, wishing for a warmer jacket.

There was a nice looking girl in the line behind us who pulled out her cell phone and called a friend for her polling station (brilliant!) and I was just about to ask her to look up ours as well when she snapped shut her phone and headed in side. About 45 seconds later she was back, finished and on her way home.

Well now I was really frustrated, we were officially going to be late for our evening plans, voting is not supposed to take 45 minutes, there must be a better way. The brilliant idea to call my Mom for our polling station would have been helpful earlier but we finally got inside, found our station and cast our vote.

Moral of the story, next election we've vowed to go to the early polls and skip the unpleasantness of busy election day.

I hope you voted, and that you're experience was better than ours.
Shame on Canada for it's poor, poor voting turnout.
L

Thanksgiving and the Foods I Skip

My brother James is a chef, and not just a run of the mill chef, he makes these incredible dishes and is fun to watch and is really good at what he does. A couple of years ago he managed to make it home for Thanksgiving with his wife and we ate ourselves silly.

Unfortunately there have been some side effects from that one year.

The dinner was especially great. James had improved on Grandpa's stuffing so it was even better than usual. I'm sure there was pecan pie and all sorts of vegetables and the usual turkey and potatoes. I definitely did not stop at pleasantly full.

I don't know who decided it was a good idea but that weekend also included Ribs. These weren't just any ribs though, they were fall off the bone, juicy, yummy ribs, and probably the best I've ever had.

These two meals were eaten very close together.

All would have been fine had I not been hit with the worst case of the flu I've ever had.

To this day I can no longer eat ribs or stuffing.
L

Pajamas, the Official Uniform of Thanksgiving 2008

It's possible I did something this year that I've never done before. Something that I think you'll all be proud of.

I was lucky enough to have two Thanksgiving dinners, one with my family and one with Brad's and they were both so different and so yummy!

Here's the amazing part, at both of those large turkey dinners I ate a very normal amount and came away feeling pleasantly satisfied, not ridiculously stuffed. I even remembered to save extra room for all the desserts at the Hudson's. I think it's a great accomplishment.

Things I’m thankful for this year
  1. Possibly the best part of the Thanksgiving season is that my favorite pie finally makes an appearance. I'm not sure who decided that it should only show up this time of year but every year the Pecan pie makes an appearance and I end up wanting more.
  2. The opportunity to vote
  3. Family
  4. Friends
  5. On-line Ticket to Ride
I hope your Thanksgiving was full of family and friends and sleeping in.
L

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mac & Cheese

I've recently come to realize just how much I love this dish (the homemade variety of course). It's my new favorite because of how versatile it is. It can be a basic cheese sauce thrown together in a few minutes when I have nothing but cheese and milk or it can be elaborate and baked with lots of yummy extras thrown in. However I make it I always think of my Mom because it's something she loves, I always think about the particular variation and what she would think of it.

Last week I came up with something new and I've been craving it ever since so I thought I'd post the recipe here. It's super yummy so make it for dinner tonight and enjoy! The secret is the extra aged cheese.

Sharp Rotini Mac & Cheese
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups rotini pasta
3 tomatoes, diced
4 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled

2 cups extra aged cheddar cheese, grated

Cheese Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp of dried mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste


Place the bread crumbs into a small bowl and mix well with the melted butter; set aside.
Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add butter and onions and cook 4-5 minutes, add flour and cook another minute. Whisk in milk and broth and bring to a bubble, season with salt, pepper and mustard. Lower heat and add cheese, stirring to melt, one minute. Stir in tomatoes, bacon and rotini.


Pour in casserole dish, top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until the top is golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Enjoy, from my kitchen to yours.
L

Monday, October 6, 2008

At Least the Coughing is a Workout for the Abs

A week of lying on the couch sick does not make for good blog entries. I am finally starting to feel better and just have this wheezy cough to get rid of.
I did learn one important lesson this week though.

If you're really stuffed up and are having difficulty breathing, don't watch Steel Magnolias. By the time you get to the cemetery scene the tears will have choked you up nearly completely.
L

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lotus

Yoga cures the common cold (okay, not really)

An amazing thing happened today, I actually enjoyed yoga. I had considered not going because I have a cold and I'm not feeling awesome but I stuck it out anyway. I took it easy for the first half and by the last half I was doing all the poses and I felt considerably better. I even found a pose that I'm awesome at! It's a bit of a shame today wasn’t the last class because I'd definitely sign up for another. I also discovered that I really enjoy floor work, it's always my favorite part of the class.

Here's to two more weeks and counting.
L

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yoga, a 3 Week Review

I'm sure you're all expecting that as I attend more classes I'll enjoy it a little more and start looking forward to it. You're wrong.

I hate yoga

This class is HARD! There was one pose today that I didn't have a hope of getting into, at least I wasn't the only one though.

Here's to only 4 more classes!
L

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall

Winter is coming, and I'm sad about it.
Things I'm not looking forward to:


  1. The lack of heat in our apartment

  2. Having to bundle up for my walk home from work

  3. Walking in the snow in Sunday shoes on the way to church

  4. Not being able to leave the windows open

  5. Not being able to cut fresh herbs from my flower box

  6. No more playing catch in the park and softball games in the sun
  7. Closing up the BBQ
  8. Putting away the sandals
  9. No more trips to the lake

This fall kind of snuck up on me and you can feel winter coming, those months of snow and cold are so long.

This I am looking forward to:

  1. Skating at Olympic Plaza
  2. Christmas and Christmas vacation
  3. Cozy sweaters
  4. Warm quilts

I'm not sure the pro's outweigh the con's but it will have to do.
L

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Post on Pregnancy Tests

I tend to be really cheap about some things. Like women's dress socks, they're so expensive that I wear mine until they are threadbare. And Pineapples, love them but they don't fit into the budget regularly.

There is a very large range in the price of pregnancy tests, at Walmart you can get them anywhere from $10 to $40. Here is where my penny pinching kicked in… I'm not willing to spend lots of money on a stick I'm going to pee on, especially if I'm going to be jumping the gun and testing early. So what's my solution? The dollar store. I know what you're thinking, "You can't get pregnancy tests from the dollar store!" To this I say, you bet you can, and they're only a buck so you can test anytime you want.

Mom is convinced it would take 4 dollar store tests put together to equal one regular (expensive) one or that I'd need to be halfway through my pregnancy but I'm determined to prove her wrong, they did after all both say negative and that was true.

So here's to a future dollar store test that will bring the news we're waiting for.
L

3 Years

There are 3 of us at my office that have been here for a significant amount of time. The number of years is different but we all started in August. As a celebration of our anniversaries my boss took us out to lunch and as we made our way to the restaurant Betty said the following:

"This must be where all the Lawyers hang out, Lawyers and Geologists."

You've got to appreciate the strangeness in that statement. I didn't realize Lawyers and Geologists spent so much time together.
L

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last Night

What'd you do last night?
Brad and I spent the evening plunging our kitchen sink.

On Tuesday we noticed that our sink was running slowly so we picked up some drano to fix the problem, only it made the problem worse. Now it wasn't draining at all.

Found out from our resident fix-it guy that plumbing is our responsibility, so we plunged. And then plunged some more. And when all hope was lost we plunged a little more and to our surprise the sink runs just fine now.

I was getting tired of eating on paper plates but I admit I'm a little disappointed we won't be ordering the pizza like we'd planned for tonight.

Lessons Learned from plunging the sink?
I'm a terrible plunger
It's a very gross job

L

So Strange

It's such an odd commercial, that I strangely enjoy.


L

Monday, September 15, 2008

Volunteer Punishment

3 games of softball, one yoga class later and my poor muscles are angry.
Not just tired but angry.

Luckily the memory of these classes wears off before the week is through or I'd never make it back.

I'm just happy I turned down the opportunity to play two games of laser tag tonight, I don't think I would have made it.
L

Friday, September 12, 2008

Funny Lady

Conversations with my Mom lately have revolved mainly around pregnancy and she keeps giving me these handy tips. Last nights was my favorite and Brad and I are still chuckling about it.

"Ultrasounds are great for finding Submarines, that's what they were designed for"

She read an article by a doctor who doesn't thing ultrasounds are awesome for the baby, regular ones are fine but forget the unnecessary 3-D ones, which I hadn't been planning on getting anyway.

She's a funny lady.
L

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can't Wait

I was driving home earlier this week and I got so excited! I couldn't wait until I could go to work and tell my co-worker: "guess what happens on such and such a day?! I'm gonna be a daddy!"

That will be a good day.

BW
You know that feeling you get after you've had a nap for just a little too long? You feel a little stuck between asleep and awake, that's the way I've been feeling lately.

I'd done a pretty good job of not letting myself get too excited about the idea of being pregnant until this started.

So I took a pregnancy test, and it was negative and I was disappointed. Not convinced, I took another the next morning, and again it was negative. Even more disappointed.

So now we wait a couple days until things sort themselves out and then we'll see.

Hoping to not be disappointed a third time.
L

Deny Everything

I've been sick the last couple days, the kind of sick where you do nothing but lie on the couch and watch tv. The kind where you'd like to read a book but you're too exhausted to hold your arms up. So I watched tv. One of the shows I caught is new this season, Fringe. A little gross to begin with as people's faces sort of melt off but it's definitely the new X-files and I think I love it.

If you ever loved X-files you should check it out.
L

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lessons Learned from Yoga

I hate yoga

Okay, so maybe I don’t hate it but it was harder than I had hoped it would be. It made me sweaty which I honestly didn't expect. My arms and legs feel slightly gelatinous and I'm not very stretchy. I'm not quitting just complaining, and I'm not doing that pose with the foot all raised behind, it's not happening.
L

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HEATHER WELLS ROCKS!

"Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two – and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student form heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls… and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen – not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where the lives – even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong…
"


I asked for a fluffy book so I suppose I've brought it on myself, but I think the chances of me liking this book are slim to none. Wish me luck.
L

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Me??

I signed up for a yoga class. Me, the girl who never works out.
I'm a little worried about it and not sure why I signed up but Suzanne was convincing.

Starting next week for the next 6 Mondays I'll be bending and stretching.
I'm sure there will be stories to follow.
L

Relaxing

This weekend was full of friends, sleeping in and yummy food… just the way I like them.

We managed to arrange the summer so that we had no plans on long weekends and it was perfect that way. We thought we might go on a hike on Monday but the threats of rain left us camped out inside instead enjoying the day off.

What's better than sleeping in, a French toast breakfast and then an afternoon of shopping?

I hope your long weekend was just as great.
L

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Miscellaneous Part II

A computer virus makes for a late night. Brad laptop somehow picked up a virus and there was lots of stress as we tried to remove it… we think the deed is done but time will tell.

I'm super competitive. I know this, I'm upfront about it and I really try to be a good sport and a gracious loser but don't be surprised if I cackle happily at my win.

That's all for today… perhaps the next post will be more inspired and entertaining.
L

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Truth is Out There

Brad and I have a love of tv box sets, we like that they can be either a short 40 minute time filler or 3 days of bingeing and so we've watched our fair share. To name a few; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Veronica Mars, Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother.

After seeing promos for the new X-files movie I remembered that I used to love that show and there are also tons of episodes I haven't seen so we've started making our way through. We just started season 2 and there are a few things that have become apparant.

  • X-files is old… just check out Scully's hair and shoulder pads for verification
  • The writing wasn't actually that great in the beginning, explains why it got such poor rating in the earlier seasons
  • Some episodes are down right silly
  • Some episodes are still really creepy
  • TV has come a long way in the last 15 years
  • It's a show that, 15 years later still keeps us hooked

L

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

????

Is everyone but me in love with Michael Phelps? Any why is he the only Olympic athlete anyone is talking about?

I read many blogs daily and in the last week there have been 6 different mentions of him… I just don't get it.
L

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pictures as Promised

Here's a slideshow of our time at the lake.



Wishing I was there right now.
L

Monday, August 18, 2008

Missing the Lake

This whole working thing is not so fun after a week off

Right Now I'd rather be:

  • Reading a book – I started and finished 5 while we were there
  • Swimming in the lake – the water is freezing but the heat outside makes it bearable
  • Eating something yummy – we stuck to two meals a day with snacks in between
  • Playing Carcassonne – all 5 expansions at once was highly successful

I'm already looking forward to next year
Pictures to follow
L

Friday, August 8, 2008

Going, Going, Gone

This is it for a whole week. Tomorrow morning Brad and I are off the Shushwap for an awesome week at the cabin (the internet free cabin), we're super excited about.

The apartment is clean, the food is prepared, all that's left to do is pack. We plan on sleeping in, reading, playing games, eating yummy foods and lots of swimming. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me.

As a final post I leave you with these thoughts

Things I'll Never Say
Crave Cupcake
? No thanks, I'll pass

Oh look, a spider, let's let it wander around for a while

A marathon, that's a great idea, I'm in!

I had a huge dinner last night and I'm still full today

Let's go to a Sum 41 concert

I think I'll ask to speak in Church

Can we please watch National Treasure, or the Mummy

We have to play softball again? But I hate softball

I hate the lake and especially swimming


I hope you have a great week!
L

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Playlist

I've hinted at it in the past with my Playlist.com addition but I thought I'd come out of the closet and make it well know.

I have a real weakness for really cheesy girl pop.

This isn't a blind love, it has its limits and does not extend to group like Girlicious or Miley Cyrus, I'm not that out of control and I cling to a hope that maybe the two I love the most aren't as bad as I think. These girls can actually sing, I've heard clips of them performing live and their sound doesn't come from recording genius but from actual talent.

As a tribute I've created a brand new playlist, all full of these little underrated gems. You never know, you just may hear something you like.
L

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nearly a Week Late

Brad and I headed down to the big Magrath Celebrations last weekend and I was excited to show him what I grew up with. It's always a big event and lots of people come back to town for it so there are familiar faces around.

The day starts with a parade at 11:00 (best start time ever) and then there's beef on a bun for dinner. We skipped it as we were still on South Beach. There's also a program in the park and then in the evening there are fireworks. They close the weekend with a massive bonfire and an outdoor dance that is largely attended by high school students.

I think Brad was most impressed with the fireworks. You sit at one end of the football field and they set them off at the other so you're super close. As a result each firework is huge and louder than you've ever heard before. It makes for a unique experience.

Click on the slideshow for pictures and more info about the weekend.

L

Monday, July 28, 2008

The End of South Beach

It's such a relief to be finished! To be able to eat fruit and yummy food again. We're really enjoying my Dad's multigrain bread and we celebrated with a nice ripe pineapple.

We're deeming South Beach a total success, we had a couple goals we were hoping to achieve:
1. Learn to be satisfied with smaller portions
2. Eat dessert less often
3. Eat healthier
4. Lose some weight

We feel that we've reached all of them; we often eat less at dinner yet still leave the talbe feeling satisfied. We know we'll need a snack later but as long as it's a healthy snack then there's nothing wrong with that. Cutting out all sugar for two weeks has helped us realize that dessert is not always necessary so we'll cut back on how much we eat.

And the big one, the weight loss… so how much did I lose in two weeks? 12 pounds! I'm pretty excited about that, I did a little better than I expected.

I don't think I'll weigh myself for a bit because I want to carry this 12 pound high and not worry about gaining a couple back (which I'm sure I will).

So my concluding thoughts on South Beach… it's hard. Really hard but definitely worth the sacrifice, especially if we can stick with these healthy habits.
L

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Cheated

I didn't mean to, really! This is what happens when we're not prepared.
Brad and I didn't have any food for lunch to do so we figured, no big deal we'll get a salad from Wendy's. I was careful to make sure the chicken was grilled, not breaded and I gave away my croutons.

Well halfway through lunch it occurred to me to check the dressing and make sure it's okay to eat… it had way too much sugar and was in general terrible for me. The salad also had bacon finely shredded, not pick out able. I've officially cheated and I feel guilty about it.

The saddest part of the story is that I very nearly went to Sunterra to the salad bar where I could have had a perfectly acceptable South Beach salad.
L

Annoyed

Anyone watch So You Think You Can Dance last night?

Anyone else hate Twitch a whole lot after the really annoying 4 Real thing he keeps doing with his arm? They all do it but Twitch is the worst, please… show less Twitch!
L

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A List of Sorts

Not the most interesting post but it will have to do for today.
Hopefully you'll learn something new you didn't know about me.

I am: happy
I know: lots about Microsoft Office programs. If you need help I probably know the answer (unless it's about Pivot Tables or Macros)
I want: a Crave Cupcake
I wish: we were ready to own a house
I hate: the green shag carpet in our apartment
I miss: Janine! and Chris and Irena and Dave and my family
I fear: that Brad won't get into UofC
I feel: lighter than I was a week ago
I hear: typing, all around me people are typing, and Steven is talking on the phone
I smell: office air, it doesn't really have a scent
I crave: dessert… cutting it all out for two weeks has been hard.
I search: for new blogs, ideally by people I know
I wonder: what my children will be like
I love: reading and should make time to do it more often
I ache: for my more time with my family and to see my newest nephew
I care: about how I make others feel
I always: put chocolate chips on my pancakes
I am not: always as nice as I should be
I dance: when I'm alone
I sing: in the car
I cry: often, it doesn't take much
I don't always: try as hard as I could
I write: on my blog and that's about it
I win: Carcassonne, especially when I play against Brad
I lose: Whenever I play a game with my brother Rob, though Carcassonne might be an exception
I never: take out the garbage, that's Brad's job
I listen: to music all the time. I'm always looking for a new artist I'll love
I can usually be found: in the kitchen
I need: family and friends around me
I am scared: I'll be forgettable
I am happy about: the end of Phase I on Sunday
I think: our week at the lake can't come soon enough
L

Monday, July 21, 2008

Time for Change

I figured after 3 1/2 years it was time to change the look of the blog. I'm not super happy with this yet but by the time I got this much done I was sick of playing with it. There will probably be more changes once I'm in the mood again.

There were a couple South Beach Free posts so I figure it's okay to share a few more thoughts. South Beach is hard. We went for dinner at my in-laws last night and there was so much yummy food that we couldn't eat. There was plenty that we could eat but we were left feeling unsatisfied and I was a little resentful towards those that got to enjoy the potato salad. Only one more week though, we can do it. It's definitely easier when we're at home and the temptation isn't there. I wonder if I'll initially feel guilty eating carbs again.

We decided to try going out for lunch this weekend and were really pleased with our food. We went to Red Lobster and both had some really yummy salmon, it was nice to go out and find food we could eat.

At the halfway point I'm feeling really good about things, I feel healthier and I definitely notice the weight loss, at the rate I'm going I think I'll be quite pleased with the results.
L

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Big Foot

Here's one thing you probably don't know about me... I hate buying shoes.

There are two different reasons, the first being I'm really bad at it. I know that sounds silly but I often buy these shoes that I think are great and then after one wear realize they're so painful I'll probably never use them again. It's really frustrating and has made me really wary of buying any, I don't want to waste my money if I'm not going to wear them.

The second is even worse, I was cursed with big feet. Nothing makes me feel more fat then going in and asking for big shoes, and my feet happen to be wide as well, it's not a good combination.

When one of my few trusted pairs finally gives out I put off getting new ones as long as possible and I dread the shopping trip every time. It's finally come to a point where new ones really are a necessity thought. The soul in the shoes I most often wear to work have collapsed and as a temporary fix I've stuffed them with napkins.

This weekend Brad and I went down to Magrath and as a belated birthday present my Mom gave me some money to buy something for myself. This was a perfect opportunity for some new shoes so I set out with Brad (he's proven to be a
great help in determining whether or not they're going to hurt me) and found these really cute black shoes that I'm a little in love with. I'm mostly posting the picture
s so Mom can see what a great gift she got me.

Thanks Mom, Love you!
L

Jimmy Reprise

Brad and I got to see Jimmy Eat World in concert in October so we were suprised, but super excited when they came back to town so soon. They played at Flames Central which was a place neither Brad and I had ever been but it turned out to be a really great venue. There's lots of standing room on the main level but we were lucky to get a seat on a padded booth on the 1st level, we had a great view of the stage but got to be comfy and seated the whole time.

The concert was incredible. The music was just as good as expected and you could tell the band was having a great time, they even declared it the best night on the tour.

Go see them if you get a chance, it's definitely worth the cash.



They played with a band called The Midway State, they weren't great in concert but show some potential, they have a new album coming out that might be great.

video

L

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Satisfied

Dear Red Lobster:

My husband and I have not been frequent visitors of your restaurant but in the recent past we’ve visited your Calgary NE location twice.

Both times we were so impressed with the service we received.

The first visit we were in a bit of a hurry so we let our server know this and she did everything she could to accommodate us. She brought our salad and appetizer together and our meal followed shortly after, the food came so quick and we had plenty of time to eat and enjoy the delicious food. She (we think maybe her name was Shauna) seemed to make a real effort to get us fed and out on our timetable.

Today we made a repeat visit. Trudy was especially friendly and made some great suggestions, including reviews from other customers on the specials. We informed her that we we’re on a carb free diet so she offered to take out the croutons from our salad. She showed a genuine interest in our satisfaction and since it wasn’t busy even took a few minutes to chat with us.

In a city like Calgary where there is a shortage of workers you often find employees who don’t care about the work they do, it was refreshing to have such wonderful service twice in a row. We’ll definitely be visiting the same location again.

Brad and Laura Wiebe

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Something's Missing

So I promise not every post will be about South Beach for two weeks but here's one more.

It's interesting the way the body reacts to this diet. We're eating yummy food that we love yet it's hard to feel satisified because you're missing the carbs that normally make you feel full. Things are still going well but it's definitely hard.

Also we discovered that light feta isn't so great.
L

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cheating

We made a great discovery last night… sugar free pudding is allowed.

The white chocolate was so yummy! It tastes so good part of me think we're cheating.

I was most concerned about the lack of dessert in this diet since that's what I crave most, it's nice to be able to eat a few sweet things and not feel guilty about them. Brad also introduced my to Baskin Robins sugar free hard candy, the Cookies & Cream and Mint Chocolate Chip are super yummy!

Day three is going well
L

Monday, July 14, 2008

South Beach

Brad and I have decided that we need a little kick to get us to lose some weight as we've both gained more than we'd like in the last year. To help us out we've started the South Beach Diet, we're going to do Phase I for two weeks.

For those of you unfamiliar with South Beach it's supposed to help you cut out bad carbs and fats but I'm not really interested in the diet long term. What I am interested in is Phase I. Long term, terribly unhealthy but short term it's great for you. You cut out all carbs including those that are naturally occurring which means no fruit and technically no carrots, we're modifying to include carrots though. You also cut out basically all sugar. Diary is allowed as long as it's low-fat or reduced fat. The science of it is that when we eat too many carbs our body stores them as fat, by cutting out all carbs you're body starts to burn the stored fat resulting in an average of 8-12 pounds weight loss.

After Phase I (which isn't recommended for longer than a three week period) you gradually add back in whole grains and some sugars. Phase II and III are about maintaining. We're hoping to build some good habits and break out of some bad ones in these two weeks.

We only started yesterday but so far it's been really easy. Yesterday and today for breakfast we had scrambled eggs with peppers, onion, low fat turkey and some low fat cheese. For lunch we ate bunless burgers with Greek salad and it was so yummy! We did cheat just a little yesterday as the Feta wasn’t low fat. It's what we had in the fridge though and we didn't want it to go bad. We used it all up and the new stuff we purchase will be low fat for sure. For dinner we had BBQ skewers with steak, shrimp, peppers and onion.

Today should be just as good, taco soup for lunch and we're having a yummy salad for dinner. I haven't missed the carbs one bit yet.

I also appreciate on South Beach that you're encouraged to eat until you're full. Don't over eat but you eat a good size meal since everything you're eating is great for you. Snacking is allowed as long as they are good snacks such as nuts or cheese and pickles are allowed.

I'm interested to see what results we get and I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
L

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Birthday Photos

As mentioned previousy here are some softball photos so you can share in the fun.



L

Double Booked

There are a few things I look forward to every summer
Softball
Stampede Breakfasts
Time at the lake
and possibly the most important one, the Global Fest Fireworks competition.

I really love fireworks. I love how the sound is so intense you feel it all through your body, I love the way the colors never cease to amaze. Sitting, on a blanket beside friends and family is my perfect summer activity (well okay, so there may have needed to be some softball earlier to really call it perfect). I had planned to link to previous posts where I'd mentioned fireworks but I discovered that there are 10 different entries, far too many to link too.

Today I made a very sad discovery.

Brad and I made our summer plans in January and we're spending a week out at Shushwap lake in August and we've been really looking forward to it, dreaming about it even. Today I realized that our week at the lake happens to also be the week of the fireworks.

Time will tell if the draw of the fireworks is enough to bring us home early from lake paradise.
L

Afterglow

I am in a seriously great mood. I even initiated a conversation with Betty (my really awkward co-worker) that turned out to be very normal. The cause of this mood? Well today's my birthday so to celebrate last night all of my Calgary friends and family got together for a game of softball.

Brad and I put a lot of work into this event, we scoped out baseball diamonds and debated about treats and we even officially booked the diamond. It was the perfect plan until the torrential downpour started yesterday at 4:00! The clouds were dark all day but started getting worse and worse and darker and darker so by the time it started to rain it looked like twilight. The rain came down in these heavy drops and sheets of rain blew all over... it took mere minutes for large puddles to form. It may sound a little silly but I was fairly devastated; I'd really got my heart set on softball.

We quickly made sure plan B was in place, games, treats and cake and then could only wait until it got closer to game time. We headed up to the field early to see how bad the damage was and couldn't have been more surprised! The outfield was sort of damp, not even squishy, it was game on for sure!

It really couldn't have been better. We had enough people for two teams and played a great game, my team even came out victorious! My birthday present this year was a new baseball bat and a pair of cleats and both were great purchases. We ate cake and lots of treats and were eaten alive by mosquitoes, no matter how well we coated in repellant.

Thanks to all who came, it was quite possibly my best birthday yet.
I have a few photos but they'll have to wait until a bit later.
L