Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Securing My Retirement Fund

I learned something about myself this weekend... I think it was an important lesson. One I’ll try to remember my whole life.

I should never gamble!

Some friends and I decided to go on a big group date to Chuck E. Cheese. Each couple was given 20 (ish) tokens and whoever got the most tickets at the end won. Bradley and I weren’t so into this competition. We played a game here or there but neither of us really felt a need to win or to play many games, I was just starting to decide those 40 tokens were going to take a long time to get rid of when I saw it...

It sat, glowing with such a beauty that I knew we had been destined to find each other

Here’s a breakdown of the game...

“FLAMIN' FINGER is an unique, maze-themed redemption game.

Using their finger, players trace over a LED maze in an attempt to escape the maze within the predetermined time limit. If the player is successful they win the jackpot! Failure in completing the maze earns the player tickets based on the total distance that they completed within the maze.

Since game-play is time based, it is intense, yet short. The player turnover is quick but unlike other quick coin games, there is real skill and a real fun factor. Once you start you can't stop playing! The big plus is the game is completely unique to the redemption market. Tired of coin roll downs or spinning wheel games? Flamin' Finger is what you're looking for.”

All it took was one try... I was hooked! I couldn’t put the tokens in fast enough! Finally I realized I had a problem and made Bradley take me away, but I was distracted. We would play other games but none of them were the same, none of them excited me the way it had. Deciding I’d calmed down and could control myself we headed back to the Finger. I would get so close every time... so close, only to have the time end. “But I can do this!!” I thought. I was just coming to realize this game had me beat and would steal my tokens and my life if I let it, the unthinkable happened... I WON!!! 108 tickets later all my energies were renewed.

I’d been playing long enough now to realize that although I’m in love with Flamin’ Finger and it makes me unspeakable happy there’s a truth I must admit...

Flamin’ Finger cheats

I did some good old google searching and found a forum on Flamin’ Finger (yes, there’s an actual forum :)

“The game needs to be played X numbers of times (As set by the owner) before the difficulty level becomes easy enough for the jackpot to be won.”


“Our company is manufacturing a 8 player version of the Flamin' Finger and I found out that the single player version is nothing more than a slot machine that will pay when it is good and ready. I watched a number of free plays and noticed one time clock was down to 2 seconds which shouldve been plenty of time to finish last two rows, but all of a sudden it finished well within 1 second. So you are fooled into an illusion of racing to win but the machine adjusts the time automatically and will allow you to win when it is ready just like Pachislo and other slots. And you have numerous settings, one is the pay-off, all controlled from inside the machine of course.”

Just watch the clock in this video

If a simple game of Flamin’ Finger can do this to me, what would an actual slot machine do? I think it’s best for all involved if I don’t find out.

p.s. Thanks to Flamin’ Finger Bradley and I came in second place, that night will always hold a special place in my heart.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cookie Dreams

At Christmas time my roommate made these sugar cookies. She didn't want to ice them, but me being me, I refused to let her get away with that, you just have to ice sugar cookies. So she made me help her ice them :)

Helping myself to a finished cookies, I took one bite and was immediately 11 years old, sitting in my Mom's kitchen at the counter helping her ice, eat and package cookies to send to my siblings who no longer lived at home. This was one of the traditions her and I had. We did it every year. They had to be heart shaped and had to have pink icing piped on them, preferably in two different colours. I'm sure the cookies broke in the mail when they were shipped but it was the thought that counted.

After that one cookie at Christmas I knew I had to have heart shaped cookies on Valentine's Day. When the Bishop gave me my new calling as the Enrichment Leader my first thought was, Enrichment icing Valentines cookies! So that's the plan!

I'm thrilled to share my Valentine's tradition with those around me, if you're lucky I may even save you a cookie :)

Friday, January 26, 2007


I, like many others have discovered and loved Crave Bakery. They make these delicious, yet pricy cupcakes. My favorite being the Princess, they were in fact the inspiration behind the cupcakes I made. But my faith in them has recently been destroyed. I feel this is info I must pass on to fellow Crave lovers... I feel deceived.

Crave does not bake their own Cupcakes, they're outsourced. I can accept that, what I can't accept is where they get the cupcakes from. I've been willing to pay the expensive price... but no longer. Their cupcakes come from SAFEWAY! I can't support that. The price markup is outrageous, and they lead us to believe they make their own cakes.

I went onto their website to see exactly what they say...

“About Crave
The initial Craving started in our Mom’s kitchen. As three young girls growing up on a farm outside High River, Alberta, Mom always had buckets of cookies in the freezer to satisfy our sweet tooth. The recipes she used are the ones we bake with at crave today. And for us, every time we bit into one of our cookies we taste a little bit of our childhood.

What made Mom’s recipes so great is she understood her baking was an indulgence for the three of us. She always used the best ingredients and loaded up the fillings. This belief in indulgence was also transferred to everything we do at Crave. Using the best ingredients and paying attention to every detail makes ever bit of a Crave Cupcake, Cookies or Cake a moment of enjoyment for a sophisticated pallet.

So after celebrating our first year baking together, and supplying cupcakes for events from birthday parties to elegant dinner parties and everything in between, we’re glad we brought these recipes in from the country. Because there’s nothing like seeing so many people enjoy baking just like Mom used to make.”

Now I’ll give them some credit... nowhere in there do they actually claim that they make them but it’s certainly alluded to. They say they bake with the recipes Mom used, I find it hard to believe that Safeway and Mom have the same recipe.

So in short... I’m not sure I can go back. The image has been ruined for me... I can’t justify the price mark up and I can make a cupcake just as good as Crave.

I have heard of Buttercream Bake Shoppe on 17th Ave, I have it on good authority that they actually make their own cupcakes. Anyone want to go with me to try it?

Saturday afternoon maybe?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

5 Things

At break today Kim was telling me about an episode of Oprah she watched last night.It was about marriage and making it work. They had some couples on who loved each other, and wanted to be married but their marriage wasn’t working very well. They were trying to identify things they could do to make it better.

Oprah had them come up with 5 adjectives to describe their relationship. Most of them said things like, boring or tiring. Not good words. I think it’s an interesting thought though... I may not be married but I’ve made a list, 5 adjectives to describe my current relationship.
  • Exciting
  • Fun
  • Comfortable
  • Surprising
  • Caring
Feel free to add your own list :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy National Compliments Day!

Here are some compliments for people that I love... maybe one’s about you? You’ll just have interpret and choose the one you like best :)

  • You look cute in a hoodie
  • You make the best cookies I've ever eaten
  • You smell so good :)
  • You make me feel needed
  • You’re so good at sharing personal stuff... it makes people feel how much you care about them
  • You’re probably the best guy I know... I have nothing but good things to say about you and you deserve nothing less than the greatest girl. Stop dating those girls that don't deserve you.
  • Best cheek rubs... oh how they linger ;)
  • You’re my Best friend and you always know the right thing to say
  • So willing to share... so willing to help and such a desire to make others happy
  • Probably the best roommate I’ve ever had
  • You make work bearable, even enjoyable at times :)
  • Best big brother I have
  • Oh how I love thee dear, just because you’re you
  • That candy graham still makes me smile
  • Yay to new friends!
  • Hardly any time spent together these days... I miss you
  • Sunday Dinner wouldn’t happen without you
  • I miss our dinner’s together... can we start them up again?

I know some really amazing people... thanks for being so wonderful!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Gasp! It just can't be!

I have this morning routine... it's been in place for years... probably 5 or 6.

I get to work in the morning, turn on my computer and immediately go to

This is an important part of my day, I just HAVE to know what happened on Passions yesterday :) I've been following (through the internet, I never actually watch the show) these characters lives since almost the beginning of the show.

This morning, as usual I go the the website only to see something that has shocked me!

How can it be cancelled? It's my guilty pleasure! Will Teresa ever be with Ethan? Did Grace really die? But Sheridan and Luis aren't together yet! And Kay just married Fox, she needs time to find out he was lying so she can finally be with Miguel!

It's not right and they'll be dearly missed

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Insomnia - My new best friend

Remember when I used to sleep... sigh... me either.
2:00 am and I are becoming very familiar with each other.

Things you can’t do at 2:00 am

  1. Call you’re mother just to visit
  2. Make strawberry-rhubarb pie (no ingredients and no where open to buy them)
  3. Sleep!

I fully intend to use some sort of sleep aid tonight... I’m sick of this!

If only my mind would just stop working...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Turns out Darling, Dear or Sweetheart don't hold a candle against
Ma Chere

Translation = My Dear


Friday, January 12, 2007

I need a nap

I've decided I'm tired of being responsible about when I go to sleep at night.

Work shmerk

I'm determined to condition my body to only need 6ish hours of sleep... so far I can't say I've been successful, today I'm tired. No time for a nap either.

I'm heading up to Edmonton this weekend. There's a dance tonight and tomorrow a bunch of us are going to Galaxyland, I really should have rested in preparation. I'll try to keep my cranky undercontrol :)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My Turkish Lover

I'm blowdrying my hair on Sunday, listening to music when someone requests to add me to their msn. I figure I'm fine with this.
So the conversation opens with the usual, "How are you?" I try to be polilte while I figure out who I'm talking to but it's not long before I fess up to the fact that I have no clue who it is.

So it's Nail. From Turkey. Am I familiar with his Country? With Turkey? Yeah, I know his country. He's from Instanbul.
Come on, I'm supposed to take that seriously? So I'm sure this is just one of my friends being goofy.

Doesn't help when he asks, "You married?"

"No, I'm not married"

"I'm sorry"
"For bad english"

So by now I'm really confused. Nail asks if I have a different msn picture. I play along and say sure. Apparantly the new picture is "Very Wonderful"

Nail tries to have a web chat with me. As previously mentioned I'm in the middle of blowdrying my hair so I decline but open his anyway thinking this is a great way to finally figure out who this is. Get this... It's actually Nail, from Istanbul!! Apparantly he got my msn address from MSN Live Spaces.
He tries to start my web cam again, and again I decline. He asks why, so I tell him I'm doing my hair. He asks when? I tell him probably never, I'm not really an online dater. So Nail and I say our goodbyes and I figure that's the last of him. I have every intention of removing him from my msn list (he was a little creepy) but in the rush to get to church on time I forgot.

So Monday comes and I'm back at work, talking to Amber on msn when who should start talking to me but NAIL!
I try to be polite but he's actually pretty creepy. So I block and remove him from my msn list like I meant to on Sunday. But wait! Nail will not be removed! Somehow he still manages to talk to me. He asks something like, do I want to be friends with him. Amber advised me to tell him I'd like to be friends as badly as I want to gouge out my eyes... I attempt to water down that response to politely get rid of him but since he's blocked I can't respond... but how can he talk to me? So odd, stupid ebuddy. He comes to the right conclusion after I don't respond and I think I'm rid of him now. He's actually blocked and removed now.

Maybe one day I'll look back and regret that I gave up the opportunity to have a Turkish husband, maybe Nail was the one.
I'll take my chances, I prefer my men creep free

Monday, January 8, 2007

Vacation Over

Things I learned from my vacation

  1. If I have time where I'm allowed to do absolutely nothing, that's precisely what I'll do
  2. Cleaning is not something I'll do on a day off, it's something I'll do after work
  3. I've become super critical of movies
  4. Blackberry frozen yogurt makes me happy
  5. The alarm clock is evil
  6. I love to hostess
  7. Nail from Istanbul creeps me out
  8. "Girls don't like nice boys" - Absolutely TRUE, any girl who denies it is LYING!

I think I went back to work just in time, the days upon days of nothing was starting to feel like real life

Surprisingly, as much as I dreaded coming back, it's just not that bad

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


It's official, New Yea'rs Party 2006 was successful!! My Mom had this brilliant idea that I should use mini lights around the house so shesent a ton home with me. Fantastic roommate Janine and I hung mini lights all around the ceiling in the living room / dining room upstairs. We put lights on the baseboard of the wall that leads to the basement, went around the kitchen door, down the stairs and had lights all around the ceiling and the baseboards downstairs too. It looked fantastic! We had icicle lights hanging in front of the window upstairs. There was food and music downstairs as well as up. I forgot to count but I think at midnight we probably had 40 ish people here? I bought noisemakers, those things you blow that unroll (you know what I mean?) and sparklers to light after midnight.Someone brilliant took the liberty of finding a New Year's countdown on line so we could all watch my laptop. Auld Lang Syne played in the background as we lit our sparklers and hugged and wished each other a great New Years... it was pretty magical really :) I finallymade it to bed around 5 am.The next morning was a standard New Year's day... breakfast (with the neighbors) and lots and lots of lounging. A relaxed trip to the mall and a super satisfying nap rounded out the day.

I expected this year to be a bit of a let down, last year I was in London standing by the river Thames watching some of the best fireworks I've ever seen. Sat on plastic wrapped newspaper provided by super thoughful British Men and ate British candy to keep us warm. I held the hand of a British Boy (and we know how I feel about hand holding ;) and shoved through some of the biggest crowds I've ever seen. Got slightly stalked by a super creep on a double decker bus, watched as men from the same bus bounced a parked car out of the way so the bus could make the tight turn. Tried to find a bathroom while everything was closed and froze in the coldest winter in London in years. Of course I would take the cold with me :)

This year somehow managed to stand up next to all that though. I hosted a succesful party where everyone seemed happy. Had an extremely loud countdown. Got nuzzled on the neck and the offer of a kiss. The crowd cheered my name and I blushed. The house looked fantastic, I managed to clear up all three of my dramas so I started the New Years drama free, friends on with all. I got to spend this year with all of my friends. I got to kiss (on the cheek) at midnight and basked in the glow of the ambiance of my mini light lit house.

Not a bad way to start the year
Thanks for helping
Happy New Year to all

I'm in Love with Amber Hughes

In the past on this blog I've tried to leave out names... to let people remain anonymous but not this time, I'm making sure everyone knows that I love Amber Hughes and her cohorts.

I arrived home late this evening to find a note on the front entry floor that says, "Laura. Follow the Candy Cane Trail!!!" Sure enough there is a trail of mini candy canes leading through the living room and dining room, down the hall and the stairs into my room and onto my bed. Poking out under my blakets is a little bit of fluorescent pink. I pull back the covers to reveal the best looking Candy Grahm!

I'll try to post a picture eventually but to hold you over until then here's what it says

Thank you for the (BOUNTY) of fun that your party was. You were an (EXTRA) wicked awesome host!
Your food was a (DELIGHT), we wish we could (EAT-MORE).
We're pretty sure your party was a (SKOR). The lights added a great touch to the (PREMIUM DARK)ness.
We've got a theme for your next party, we think it would be (WUNDERBAR) if we could all wear (SNICKERS).
Love a bunch of (FRISKIES) (SMARTIES)!
Here's to discovering new people!
p.s. more to come about the New Year's party later... still to tired