Tuesday, March 30, 2010

on the move

As you may have noticed from a few not-so-subtle mentions, we are finally moving! In the end, we put our house hunt on hold until Husband finds the perfect permanent teaching job where we will settle down. In the meantime, we've found a great new place with lots more space — almost double the square footage, in fact!

(and yes, the move is still a month away, but half of our apartment is already packed)

Our rental is a duplex in a cozy little neighbourhood, not far from where we live now. It has a front door on ground level, which is huge for us after years in massive apartment buildings. It even has a back door with a little patio and a backyard!

The biggest changes for us will be three bedrooms instead of two (one for us, one for little baby and one for guests), two bathrooms instead of one (an en-suite for us = YAY!), and possibly the biggest perk of all: A WASHER AND DRYER. Sorry, I didn't mean to yell. I'm just so thrilled to finally live in a place with its own laundry facilities. I've dealt with coin-operated, shared laundry rooms for almost three years and I have had enough.

So that's the update and you can be sure that there are many packing, moving, redecorating posts where that came from.

Monday, March 29, 2010

not me monday

— I did not make a lovely pot of homemade chicken noodle soup last week that may or may not have poisoned my husband. He was not sick all night and we did not pour the soup out, just incase.

— I did not "sleep in" on Sunday morning, only to wake up at 7:21 a.m. I would never whisper loudly and impatiently poke Husband until he decided that he was awake, too.

— I had a craving for a cookie this afternoon and was extremely proud of myself for not indulging. So I definitely did not buy a massive, bulk package of chocolate chip, M&M cookies at Costco after work, proceed to munch guilt-free, and pack a cookie in my lunch for tomorrow.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

$5 challenge: the entry

I really had no idea where to start with the $5 challenge this year. That's probably why I put it off until the night before it was due. Luckily I finally reconnected for craft night with my lovely friend HH and we hit the Dollarama looking for supplies. Incase you missed it before, the challenge is put on by blogger Living with Lindsay and the rules are simple: Spend just $5 (before tax) at a dollar store and create something new for your home. You're allowed to use items you already have in your crafty cupboard as well. Here's my entry from last year.

This year, I wanted to try something totally different, and I wasn't sure it would work.

Here are my supplies:
- 2 packages of decorative straw/grass/reeds ($1 each)
- 1 package of decorative curly straw ($1.25)
- 1 package of rafia ($1)
- 1 roll of twine
- Scrapbooking embellishments

The blades of grass had little seashells attached, so the first thing I did was cut those off. Then I spread the straight strands out and using twine — and a whole lot of patience — formed them into a wreath, like so:

Not too pretty, I know. This is the moment when I thought I wouldn't have an entry to this year's contest. But I sat back, took a deep breath, and carried on.

I tucked in as many of the edges as I could and started adding in the curly straw.

After a whole lot of tucking, trimming and hot gluing, it actually formed together pretty well. To embellish the wreath, I wound it with a narrow strip of the rafia and added some scrapbooking embellishments, like flowers and leaves. The rustic stars were saved from an old centrepiece that I parted with years ago. I love it when I make use of something I've saved.

Here's how it looks up close:

And here's the finished product. I'm very pleased with the final result and wish I could show it to you in person. I photographed it in front of a red wall because the front door of our new home is nearly the same shade. I can't wait to hang it up on moving day!

What do you think? Now head on over to view all of the other entries here. Wish me luck! The finalists will be announced at the end of next week.

Monday, March 22, 2010

not me monday

— I have not started packing for our move that isn't happening until the end of April. I didn't pack all of our extra sets of sheets and spend a very aggravated 20 minutes searching for them before eventually putting the dirty sheets back on the bed because it was to late to do the laundry.

— I did not fall asleep at 9 p.m. on Friday. I am a fun and exciting 25-year-old who does fun and exciting things on Friday nights.

— I did not flat-out refuse to buy maternity underwear when shopping this weekend with lovely sister-in-law C. I certainly wouldn't vow to make it through this entire pregnancy without buying a single pair of these unmentionables. I wouldn't simply go up a size in the stretchiest LaSenza style to make them to fit comfortably around my expanding waistline.

— I did not accidentally delete all of my Try It Tuesday photos for this week. I'll totally do it all over again to make sure you get the pictures you deserve with that post.

— I did not go ass-end into the toilet around 5 a.m. this morning because Husband failed to put the seat down in the middle of the night. I did not get mad at him like he does it all the time, even though it was the first time in the seven years we've been together that he's ever done such a thing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

clutter, clutter everywhere

Put your thinking caps on — I need some opinions.

From time to time I become obsessed with clutter. Now would be one of those times. I'm my own worst enemy really, since I allow these things to pile up in the first place, until it drives me crazy, but that's beside the point. I feel like our closets are packed to the brim with things we don't really need. I think anyone who lives in a 750ish square foot apartment with a husband and two cats could understand where I'm coming from. Less is definitely more.
Let's consider this an informal poll. My question for you is, where do you the draw the purging line? There's sentimental value, and then there's letting crap pile up for no good reason. What's worth keeping?

I have three shoe boxes full of relationship memorabilia with Husband — cards, ticket stubs, notes, little gifts. I can't bare to part with any of it, but man it takes up a lot of space. What should I keep? What needs to go?

What about cards from other people? Do you keep them? How long?

Once you've graduated university, do you draw the line at high school memorabilia? Do you think it's crazy for a 25-year-old to still have things packed away from her high school days?

We are thankfully moving into a bigger place in six weeks, but it seems ridiculous to move things that we really don't need. Now is the time for some major decision making. Help!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

what's that? it's march?

I totally forgot to wrap up my February goals, which means I also haven't thought to set any March goals. Is it too early to blame baby brain for these things? What if I take the unfinished business from February and carry it over with the extended deadline of March 31?

1. Knit something new. FAIL. Didn't pick up my knitting needles once. And really, I find it hard to imagine this happening in the next two weeks. I naturally gravitate to knitting when the weather starts to turn cold around November, but we've been treated to so many warm, sunny days here lately that I think it's time to tuck my knitting away for another season.

2. Make a new recipe once a week. This more-or-less worked out. I tried several new recipes in February, including a tasty squash and pasta casserole that I made with my mom-in-law when home for a visit. She and I also whipped up a tangy broccoli salad with a vinegar-dijon sauce. Lovely friend A and I loved our lentil tacos for Try It Tuesday. I also made vegan chocolate chip cookies that tasted just like the real thing. Hmm ... what can I make this month?

3. Clean and reorganize as if we're moving. This one is actually more exciting now, since we are moving! More about that later though. I did manage to sort out a couple of bags of clothes we never wear and miscellaneous items around the apartment that had no use. We don't actually relocate for six weeks, but I'm already tucking things into boxes that we don't use regularly to make the moving process more gradual. The next step — spring cleaning!

4. Run a half marathon. Success! And the fact that I was secretly 9 weeks pregnant made it even more rewarding.

5. Go to yoga at least once a week. This is going really well and I plan to carry this goal throughout March and beyond. I take one class each Tuesday, but I'm hoping to be able to sign up for a prenatal yoga workshop over the summer.

6. Send more mail to friends and family. Aside from birthdays and other occasions, I didn't send any mail just for fun. I must get on this one.

7. Prepare for tax season. I've started this process! I'll be so glad when it's over.

What do you plan to accomplish before the end of the month?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

try it tuesday

I'm always looking for inexpensive, healthy, vegetarian recipes. Especially recipes that are easily adaptable for meat eaters, too.

I printed a recipe for Easy, Inexpensive Lentil Tacos a while ago and finally got around to trying them over the weekend.

It's pretty simple, and I adapted it to make it even easier.

Put into a pot:
3/4 c. dry brown lentils (I used green because that's what I had)
3/4 c. brown rice
4 bouillon cubes (I used chicken. Yes, I am a veggie who isn't afraid of chicken flavour.)
4 c. water

It then called for a variety of spices that I didn't have readily available, so I used the Old El Paso taco seasoning that came in the kit. Combine everything in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and let it simmer on medium until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Voila. That's your filling. Easy peasy.

Lovely friend A and I chopped up some green pepper and cucumbers and grated some cheddar for the top.

I prefer soft tacos to the hard ones, so we wrapped them all up and added some taco sauce to the top.

The result — total deliciousness! They taste like a cross between a soft taco and a burrito and the filling is super flavourful. It would be great on top of a taco salad. The texture is reasonable for meat eaters, too.

I give this recipes 5 stars. It was super cheap, very easy and I can't wait to eat more leftovers for supper tonight! Try it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

the ultimate diy project

It seems that lately I've been reading a lot of apologetic posts from some of my favourite bloggers. Many of them have taken brief hiatuses from blogging and returned to admit that the reason they were sluggish — they're pregnant and the first trimester sickness, fatigue and all-around yucky-ness had kept them away from their regularly scheduled blogging.

Well, here I am, friends, providing the same excuse. Husband and I are expecting our first baby in September!

We found out just after New Year's that we were expecting, and while I tried to convince myself that I wasn't suffering from the typical first trimester tiredness, I soon realized that my dear little blog had become suspiciously quiet. Each day in January, as much as I tried to be productive, just resulted in whole lot of laying on the couch.

Now that I have officially bid goodbye to the first trimester, I promise to be back to my regular blogging self. I have many projects up my sleeve — both baby and non-baby related.

I look forward to any questions and advice you may have! And as always, thanks for reading!