Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts of Spring...

So, spring is literally just around the corner! Yesterday, I started planning my gardening by flipping through the Veseys 2013 Seed Catalogue. I made a list of what vegetables I wanted to plant this year. It's pretty ambitious but here's what I'm thinking thus far:

  • Yellow Beans
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Arugula
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
Jere and I also decided we'd make the garden bigger which has me ridiculously excited (if I could turn the entire backyard into a vegetable garden, I would...complete with a few backyard chickens even though I'm  pescetarian. Jere eats that would be okay). Corn needs a lot of space to grow and so do tomatoes (unless I do them in containers. Haven't decided for sure yet). I'm going to plant some veggies in the garden plots in the backyard AND also do container gardening.

The garden bug has really bit me this year since this morning I went out to TSC and picked up some organic seeds, potting soil mix, and some little terracotta pots (okay, I got those at the Dollar Store) because after yesterday I AM READY TO GARDEN!! Really, I'm sick of winter of winter and this is my way of fighting back.

So, I've got the seeds:

That's actually just a few of my seeds. Most of them I bought today but a couple packages are from last year and I'm hoping (*fingers crossed*), they will grow!

I mixed two types of potting mix, put it in the little terracotta pots and VOILA:

It's nice to see this sitting by the front window. It reminds of spring and how much I enjoy gardening. In case you can't read it, I have planted so far: Garlic Chives, Parsley, Basil and Spinach. I have two more pots to get ready this afternoon. I'll probably plant some Arugula and one other herb (haven't decided which one yet). 

Now I'm eagerly awaiting May 24 weekend when I can start gardening OUTSIDE! I'm hoping the last frost will have happened by then and that we don't have a shitty spring like we did last year. 

If you garden, have you thought about your 2013 garden yet? What are you going to plant? 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another recipe...

Thought I'd share another recipe with all of you today. Again, there was the ripe bananas on the counter & I felt like baking. Good combo, eh? Today, I made chocolate cupcakes using a recipe I adapted from Vegetarian Times.

  • 1 1/2 cups of Spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sweetener
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Almond milk and added about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/3 cup of applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk non-dairy milk with about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Set aside. 
  3. Mash the banana. Add applesauce and vanilla to the banana and mix together. Add the sour milk to this mixture and mix again. 
  4. Mix together all the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together. 
  6. Pour into muffin tins. Makes 12 cupcakes.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in through the centre comes out clean. 
These turned out pretty good! They're moist and Jeremy enjoyed one for his afternoon snack today. These would be great with some icing on them (not for me though...I do not have a sweet tooth and I hate icing!).

If you end up making these, please let me know what you think and if you changed anything. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

'Nuff said...

A friend of mine had this posted on Facebook. I think this sums up every cat I have known. Ever.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


As a kid, I spent a lot of time with my grandma. Her and I would bake together and this is why I have such a passion for baking. She was an all-around awesome lady in every way, shape & form that a person can be awesome. Baking was just part of this and besides making what is perhaps the world's best apple pie, she also made some kick-ass bran muffins. While I am never able to replicate the deliciousness that was her bran muffins, I have found a recipe for bran muffins I am happy with. I adapted it from one of my "go-to" baking books (which I have mentioned before in this entry), "The Cookie and Biscuit Bible".

I'm having one of "those" mornings that accompany a shitty sleep. Being as baking is a way I cope with anxiety/stress AND I happened to have some ripe bananas on the counter, I decided to bake some bran muffins. I also needed an idea for a blog post for today so I thought I would share this recipe.

  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of flour (the original recipe uses two different types of flour. Feel free to use two different types such as brown rice & spelt, oat & spelt or whatever you desire. Also, you can just use one type and because I suck at math, I'm not going to work out how many cups that is total so just deal with. 'K thanks...)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (again, I am a cinnamon fiend so feel free to use less. I don't know why you would though because cinnamon is AWESOME and you would doing yourself a disserve to use any less than this...)
  • 1/2 cup bran (I use real bran but feel free to use All-Bran cereal. Just soak it in the Almond milk and add it to the dry ingredients when you add the wet ingredients. I really don't know if All-Bran will work for this because I've never actually tried. So, if you try it, please let me know if it actually works. If not...sorry...whatevs...)
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg or equivalent egg replacer powder
  1. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Mash the banana. Add the molasses, almond milk & egg replacer powder. Mix together. 
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix together.
  5. Pour into muffins tins. Makes about 12 muffins.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean. 
  7. Enjoy.
A few notes...

  • Instead of one banana, you can use a 1/4 cup of pumpkin. If you do this, add ginger and pumpkin pie spice to the recipe AS WELL AS the cinnamon. Just add to taste basically. I think I usually add between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of each. Basically, a 1/4 cup of any fruit puree would work for this. 
  • THESE ARE FREAKING DELICIOUS WITH PEANUT BUTTER OR APPLE BUTTER (the natural stuff. Not the shit that has high-frutose corn syrup/glucose-fructose/fructose-glucose).
One change I want to try and make to this recipe, is to find a source of fiber instead of bran. I'm thinking psyllium husks, since (and please don't quote me on this) this is a gentler source of bran. Bran can be harsh on some people's digestive tracts and I'd like to find something else to use. Any suggestions?

If you end up trying this recipe, please let me know what you think of it and if you make any changes.

Have a good day :)

Friday, February 22, 2013


Need a book for the weekend? Here's a few I've read recently that I've really enjoyed:

"February" by Lisa Moore is winner of Canada Reads 2013 and one of the best books I've ever read. This is the story of Helen O'Mara, whose husband was killed when the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank in 1982. Lisa Moore is a beautiful writer and I could not put this book down. The book slips between past and present. It is not plot driven but Moore's writing style makes you want to keep reading. Right from the beginning, I cared about the characters and I wanted to know how their story played out. I won't say anymore about it. Just read it!

"Secrets From The Vinyl Cafe" by Stuart McLean is a collection of short stories revolving around one family, their friends & neighbors. I stumbled upon the Vinyl Cafe stories through CBC radio and fell in love with Stuart McLean's story telling. The book? Just as awesome. It's perfect if you've just got five minutes to sit and read. The stories are hilarious yet I could still relate to the characters. Perfect if you're looking for something funny to read!

"The Secret Keeper" by Kate Morton is a wonderful book. Again, another "can't put it down" read. Morton is a wonderful story teller and really, if you can't find "The Secret Keeper" at your local bookstore or library, just read any of her books. I've also read "The House At Riverton" and "The Forgotten Garden" and yes, I could not put them down! She weaves a story from the viewpoint of a few characters and as always, there is a twist. As in her other books, you get to know the characters and you want to follow them on their journey, usually solving a family mystery. 

Those are just a few books I've read recently and very much enjoyed!

What are you reading this weekend??

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Current Playlist

It's one of those days where I just can't think of anything to write. I'm just fiddling around on the interwebz and of course, I've got music on. I hate silence so I always have music or CBC radio on. I'm building a playlist in grooveshark of my current favourites (believe me, the current favourites will change in a few days).

So, just what is on my playlist?

  • "Wonderwall" by Oasis
  • "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers
  • "I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons
  • "Lover's Eyes" by Mumford & Sons
  • "Broken Crown" by Mumford & Sons
  • "Man Of Two Minds" by the Trews
  • "Highway of Heroes" by the Trews
  • "Gods Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash 
  • "Anything Could Happen" by Ellie Goulding
  • "The Times They Are A-Changin" by Bob Dylan
  • "Run" by Collective Soul
And that's what I've got so far! What I want to listen to all depends on the mood in.

I've also got this crazy talent of being able to memorize the lyrics of a song after the second time hearing it (or close to memorizing). The problem? I can't sing worth a shit! ;)

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Yesterday, I finished "February" by Lisa Moore (on a side note, this book is the winner of Canada Reads 2013). It was an amazing book, one of the best I've ever read! Immediately (and I mean immediately) after finishing it, I picked up my next book, "Two Solitudes" by Hugh MacLennan and read the forward by the author (all of two pages). It's a 509 page book and I'm 35 pages in. I'm gonna be at least a week reading it. Yet...I got antsy.

Yeah, I'm that type of reader. The type that gets antsy if they don't have a book to immediately grab when they finish one book. Now, I do have a few books on hold at the library but some of them I'm 5 or 6 in the queue. It'll be awhile before I get them. I am "1" in the queue for "1982" by Jian Ghomeshi. could be a couple of weeks before I get this book.

Would it surprise you that I ended up at the library this afternoon? Yup, I went out in the shitty winter weather to take "February" back. And since I had to go inside the library , I decided to grab another book. Just one to have waiting in the wings for when I finish "Two Solitudes". I ended up getting "Vinyl Cafe Unplugged" by Stuart McLean. I LOVE the vinyl cafe stories! Last week, I had just started "February" and went to the library on Friday. Luckily, "Two Solitudes" was waiting for me so I picked it up. I was antsy since I didn't have a book to grab immediately when I finished "February". Weird, I know.

Okay, I know, you're thinking..."Wait, don't you have books at home?! Why run out to the library? And wait...don't you work in a bookstore?". Yes, on both counts. This is going to sound weird but I read more when I check books out of the library. It gives me a deadline to finish them by and plus, if I don't like a book, I can just take it back and I'm not out any money. If I bought all the books I read, we'd be broke!

If you're a book geek like me, do you get antsy if you don't have a book waiting in the wings? Or do you take a break for a day?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


In mid-March, Jere and I will be headed with 8 of our friends to PAX East in Boston. We are both super excited about this trip!! Neither of us has ever been to Boston OR to PAX. While I only be spending one day at PAX and than I think the plan is to do some site seeing with my gal pals on the other two days we are there, I still wanted to have a costume.

And I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with me.

And...I had NOTHING! And it was stressing me out...seriously, it was.

In a bit of Twitter conversation earlier today, my friend suggested My Little Pony costume for myself and our other friend. Needless to say, it totally inspired me. My friend is going as a MLP. I started looking around for MLP cosplay and LOVED what I saw. I started looking on Etsy and within five minutes declared to myself "I WANT ALL THE PONY STUFF!". So MLP costume it shall be for me at PAX East. Which one? Well, I haven't decided 100% but I am learning towards Applejack:

Now, comes the fun part...throwing together the costume! I have about a month to do so.

My "dream" item for the costume is this wig made by GimmCat:

I'm sure I'll blog more about my progress and of course, I'll post a pic of me in said costume. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Coming Of Age Movies...

Can't get much more blunt than that title, eh? Or much more Canadian than saying "eh". ;)

On Saturday morning on CBC Radio 1, there was a discussion about coming of age movies. They had a few teenagers on the show chatting about what their favourite coming of age movies were. They also read listeners' e-mails about the same subject. Jere and I got to chatting about what some of our favourites were. I sent a couple e-mails to CBC (and although they weren't mentioned on the air, the movies I said were my favourite "Coming Of Age" movies were mentioned on the CBC Fresh Air Facebook page!). So, what were my coming of age movies? Here we go:

  • Dazed & Confused
  • Stand By Me
  • Now & Then
  • American Graffiti
  • The Breakfast Club
  • How To Make An American Quilt
One of the teens on the radio mentioned "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" as being a coming of age movie for them. Jere and I chatted about this and while it is an awesome movie and a favourite of ours, for both of us it is not one we consider a "coming of age" movie. I think for me, it's cause I didn't really relate to the characters. At least not in the way, I related to at least one or two of the characters in the movies I mentioned above. In "Now & Then", I totally related to Christina Ricci's character Roberta, and in "The Breakfast Club", it was the character of Allison I identified with (I think everyone has a character they can identify with in that movie). 

It was a very cool discussion and brought back lots of great memories of watching these movies with friends and how totally into them we were. I still enjoy watching all of these movies and it reminds me I haven't seen some of them in years. Clearly, I need to do some movie watching! ;)

What are some of the movies you consider to be "coming of age" movies? 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


By that I mean the good kind of "lost". You know, when you watch a movie or book and you get totally drawn into the story and the characters.

All my life, I have enjoyed reading. I was always reading as kid. In grade 5, I remember getting in trouble because I would read during math (this probably explains why I suck at the subject). I still won the reading award that year though.

I love getting lost in a good book. You know, one where you really get to know the characters and you become so immersed in the world that author has created? Lost in the sense you can't put the book down? When you're away from the book and not reading it, you're thinking about and you absolutely can't wait to get back to that book to see what happens? Yeah, that kind of lost. It is awesome.

Right now, the book I am "lost" in is "February" by Lisa Moore. This novel is the winner of CBC's 2013 Canada Reads competition. It's the story of a woman named Helen who's husband Cal died in 1982 while working on the oil rig Ocean Ranger. I had never heard of this disaster until I heard of this book. Already, this book is scoring major points with me because I'm a history geek and I love to learn and this is a sad event in Canadian history that I'm wondering just how many people know about. It's something they should know about. Now, they can through this book.

I was drawn into the story from the beginning. I'm only half way through and I'm itching to read a bit more. It's a sad novel but I love the characters and I love Lisa Moore's writing style. I already know I want to read more of her books. I was "lost" in this book from the beginning.

Next up for me to read is "Two Solitudes" by Hugh MacLennan. It is not a book I ever would have thought of reading but I decided to read all the contenders in Canada Reads this year. Hearing the debates on CBC though, I am looking forward to reading this book.

I've already read "Away" by Jane Urquhart, another contender in Canada Reads 2013. This book was beautifully written but left me with a "meh" kind of feeling because I could not connect with the characters and (to be blunt), I didn't really give two shits about the characters. Some of it, I thought, "Um yeah...that never would have happened". I just felt disconnected from it.

What book are you currently "lost" in? Were you "lost" in it from the beginning or did it take awhile?

Whatever you are reading, I hope you are enjoying it :)

Friday, February 15, 2013


"Winter is coming".

Fans of the "Song Of Ice & Fire" series by freaking amazing author George R.R. Martin & the TV series based on the books, "Game Of Thrones", will know this as the motto of House Stark.  In Canada, this pretty well describes how I (and, I'm sure, other people) feel from spring right through to whenever the hell the snow decides to fly.

As a kid, I don't recall hating winter. Hell, I don't even recall ever feeling cold! I had frostbite in grade 3 and didn't realize it until my teacher pointed it out after recess and I think my reaction was "Oh...that's why hands and wrists are white". I remember the recess, too. The snow banks were piled freaking high and I remember something about "King of the castle" and getting pushed around in the snow a lot, laughing and somewhere in there, losing a mitten and a not giving two shits about it. I wasn't cold or I didn't feel it, that's for sure.

I also went tobogganing and don't recall feeling the cold. I went cross country skiing a few times. Winter was fun.

I remember I was around 17 or 18 when I finally felt the cold one winter. A bitter cold winter night and all I could think was "for shitshakes, are winter's getting colder?". Visions of Florida danced in my head and at the time, my family and I would take regular trips there.

I now can proudly proclaim I HATE WINTER. I have no desire to do winter sports, I hate the cold and I am counting down the days until spring! Last winter, we were lucky here in Canada and had a rather mild winter. This winter? I'm done. And I'm pretty sure it's not as bad as some of the previous winters we had back when I was a kid. I swear I now wear like 50 layers before going outside and about 25 when I'm in the house. Maybe I'm getting old ;)

My partner and I have pretty much decided that IF we win the lotto, we are packing our shit up and moving to Florida. Well, at least for the winter. He hates the winter, too.

Also, if I won the lotto, I would have a house in Tennessee because who wouldn't want to wake up to this everyday:

I'm pretty sure Tennessee has milder winters than here. I could live with that.  :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent - Does it have to be about giving up?

Lent began yesterday. It's a time when you give up something, usually a luxury, for 40 days. If you want to know more, google it.

I'm not Catholic. I'm not Christian. I haven't been for ages (really, it seems like forever ago that I said "F IT!" it organized religion but that is besides the point here). I had a friend ask me though a few weeks ago, "What are you giving up for Lent?". Well, I replied, I hadn't really thought about but maybe I will give something up. In the past, myself & lapse-Catholic partner have given up things just for fun. To challenge ourselves, I guess one could say. One year it was fast food (those that know me laugh are probably thinking "She once ate fast food?". Yes, I did. On a regular basis. Now I will not touch a Big Mac or "chicken" McNuggets with a 20 foot pole while wearing a biohazard suit. McDonald's does have decent coffee & green tea though so that is the only time I will darken their doorstep), another year we gave up potato chips. Neither of us have given anything up for a few years. This year? Well, I hadn't followed Lent in a few years. I'm not religious so really, why would I? I also couldn't think of anything to give up.

But, I got to thinking and was inspired by the discussion about Lent on CBC Radio 1 the other day (I am a CBC radio 1 junkie). I thought "what could I give up? Or do?". Than I thought...I've really been wanting to post more on this blog. So, for Lent I'm giving up not posting enough on this blog. I know, it might seem silly but I really want to make a habit of writing more because I do enjoy writing. So, for the next 40 days (and yes, I realize I'm a day late so I'll do posts today) I'll write a post a day. It does not have to be anything profound and it can be totally random but I will sit down, write/type and hit PUBLISH.

So, this shall be entry number 1 in the 40 days of posting.

And just out of curiousity, did you give anything up for Lent? Or not?

I leave you with a few Lent-related links of the different things are happening surrounding it:

40acts - based out of the UK, a very cool thing to do. Basically, random acts of kindness.

40 Random Acts Of Kindness

Do you know of any other Lent-related movements that are happening? Let me know and I'll add the link to this entry.