Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sorry for the lack of posts recently!

We've spent the last week moving into our new place.
I'm completely in love with it and thought I'd have a much harder time saying goodbye to the apartment we've lived in for the past 6 years.
I guess it's hard to be sad about a dishwasher, a garden, a big back yard, etc.

There's also another reason I've been busy...

John and I are going to be parents!

The little bean is due in December.
I had my first ultrasound about a week and a half ago and saw it's little heart fluttering and watched it stretch out it's legs.

I've never fallen so hopelessly in love with another person so immediately.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baby Shower Invitations

Last Sunday I had the honour of attending my good friend's baby shower. 
She's due early next month and, although she looks beautiful and content, she is ready to get that baby moving (her poor swollen feet & ankles)! 

She, along with another friend who just gave birth to her daughter this week, have made me keenly aware that my group of friends has started the move from bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings, to pregnancies and baby showers. 

Inspired by a template I came across, I decided to mock up some baby shower invitations for anyone thinking about hosting a baby shower. 
I had so much fun creating my wedding RSVP cards and I wanted to create something else.

Keep in mind these are incredibly tailored to my personal preferences (I love old school Winnie and also books). If you have an idea in mind I highly recommend you do what I did: find a template or an image that you like, open it in Picmonkey and edit away!

But if you like either of my invite templates feel free to save the image, open them in Picmonkey or any other photo editing site you like, and add in the missing details like the mom-to-be's name and the party details. 

1. The template that got me thinking about baby shower invitations

(with matching book mark template!)

2. Winnie the Pooh

3. A Book Shower

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Because I'm Happy...

A few months back I got a letter in the mail asking me to fill out a questionnaire to see if I qualified for jury duty.
Then I got a letter summoning me to jury duty selection today.

I was dreading it for weeks leading up to it.

No one ever speaks highly of jury duty. 
One coworker kind of enjoyed it as her number was called and she got to hear the details of the trial but ultimately wasn't picked to be on the jury. 
Everyone else told me that it'd be boring and that I'd sit in a room for hours and to bring lots to keep myself entertained. 

I had my excuses for being excused ready but lots of people also offered better suggestions for avoiding being selected.
These included dropping racial slurs, crying when called before the lawyers, and my personal favourite: arriving drunk and explaining that I'd just had my morning medicine. 

But being a good citizen, I downloaded 3 books, stocked up on snacks, packed my magazines and my phone charger and was ready to spend the day sitting in a waiting room. 

I arrived on time, in wet shoes from the rain, made friends with a nice woman (she asked if I was there for jury duty, I joked that it was easy to tell who was there for jury duty by their unimpressed faces), and got myself settled into my chair in the waiting area - all by 8:30.

We watched a 20 minute video on the jury duty process then a court representative came to give us an orientation talk. 

He thanked us for coming and then explained that the selection process often requires potential jurors to be there for 3 days to a full week. He then explained that mid-week panels are often auxiliary panels and it's usually the Monday panels that go that length of time. 
So mid-week panels are basically just back up. 
And we weren't needed.
So we were released.
At 9:15 am.

There was a round of applause in the room and I practically skipped home.

The downside was I only got to read about 1/4 of my book.

So here's what I learned:
  • Jury duty is an important civic duty.
  • If you get summoned to a mid-week (Wednesday on I assume) panel you might be sent home sooner.
  • If you're summoned on a Monday.... start brushing up on how to be excused as a juror.

Friday, June 6, 2014

100 Happy Days: Week 14

Week 14 - the pen-ultimate week! 
Next week really only has 2 days to go before I hit 100 but I might extend it to Friday just to end it on a nice round note. 

And look who's on time this week with her post!

Day 92: Friday.
My birthday loves. 
30 years & 1 year.

Day 93: Saturday.
She likes to bring us toys when we come home and recently she's figured out how to get two toys in her mouth. It was picture worthy that she managed to get THREE in her jaws to bring to the door (fox, a yellow pillow, and Doug the duck).

Day 94: Sunday.
Our garden. We went over to water it and put in the last of the herbs, as well as do a little trimming of the trees.
We're growing zucchini (the big mothers, the one's that grow to 10 x the size of supermarket zucchini), beets, carrots, 2 types of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, rhubarb, beans, .... 

Day 95: Monday.
One thing I'll miss about our current home is how close we are to the park. I know there's another park near our new home but Sherwood has come to be one of my all time favourite places. 
Reese and I have been taking extra long walks this week to enjoy every last moment of our neighbourhood.

Day 96: Tuesday.
Our soon-to-be new backyard. 
Look how perfect it is. I'm completely smitten. 
Not pictured is our storage shed just in behind the hedge on the left hand side and the BBQ which is further over to the left. Our garden is in the back right hand corner in a perfect patch of almost constant sunlight. 

Day 97: Wednesday.
John got us rhubarb to plant in the garden and he brought some home as well. That was all the inspiration needed to do some baking. 

Day 98: Thursday.
Another park shot. I don't know what percentage of my 100 days are park pictures but my guess would be high. A high percentage. It's hard not to be happy surrounded by lush greenery, warm sunshine, and a very happy dog. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rhubarb Tart

In celebration of our new garden, I decided to bake up a rhubarb desert.
We're growing rhubarb in the garden among the veggies and herbs and it's something I don't use nearly enough in my baking. 
Also we're going for dinner at our friends' place tonight so we volunteered to bring the desert. 

After a quick google search ('what parts of rhubarb will kill me?')* and a Pinterest search for recipes, I settled on a rhubarb tart with shortbread crust. 
The picture looked delicious and I'm sure the finished result with taste as good as it looks (in the picture on Pinterest, mine doesn't look super appetizing unfortunately).

*FYI - you can eat the stalks, just don't eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant. Those might kill you.

Rhubarb Tart 
(adapted from Taste of Home recipe) 

1. In a large saucepan bring 3 3/4 cups chopped rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 tbsp water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the rhubarb is tender, string often. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup cold cubed butter. Use a pastry cutter to blend until the butter is the size of peas. Pour into an ungreased tart pan with removable bottom and press into the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. 
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk 6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar1 tbsp lemon juice and the rhubarb puree until blended. Mix in 5 tbsp butter and whisk until melted then remove from heat. Add in a few drops of red food colouring if you're not satisfied with the colour. 
4. Pour into the crust and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until the centre is almost set. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least one hour . Then serve and enjoy!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

100 Happy Days: Week 13

Late again, although having been late with these the last few weeks I feel like it's become the standard and I don't need to apologize!
Busy weekend filled with birthdays and wedding celebrations and dog walks and gardening at our soon to be new place.

Day 85: Friday.
My best friend celebrated her 29th birthday with a bang - a murder mystery bang. We went to a dinner theater for good food, good company, and good entertainment.

Day 86: Saturday.
This guy.
Pictures of the dog have taken over so this guy needed some lovin' too. 

Day 87: Sunday.
I went to visit my parents and picked up a windmill for my dad - he was so happy you would have thought I had given him a winning lottery ticket. It was a nice reminder that the smallest things often mean the most.

Day 88: Monday.
Date night. John and I decided to go see 'Neighbors' and treated ourselves to some hotdogs and giant theatre drinks. The movie is hilarious and I highly recommend it to anyone in need of a good laugh. I had tears running down my face during the 'milking' scene.

Day 89: Tuesday.
I found ice cream for 99 cents at the grocery store.
Enough said.

Day 90: Wednesday.
In anticipation of John's 30th birthday I tried to do something nice for him everyday last week.
On Wednesday I brought him home a cinnabon. It worked out well for me because he's the kind of guy to share. 

Day 91: Thursday.
To celebrate his last day in his 20s we went out for dinner at Rodney's Oyster House. 
For someone who doesn't like seafood I give this place my endorsement. It was really good. 
John had oysters (of course) and the scallops (which were quite tasty) and I - being adventurous - ordered a lobster. We'll definitely be going back some day.