I am a British born, living in Canada since May of 1989. My blog is about all aspects of my daily life.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Go to India
Live in the country on an acre of land with chickens
VII Things I do now:
Plan to change the curtains in the lounge ( still planning- this type of stuff terrifies me)
Use moisturiser every day
Watch Celebrity Get Me Out of Here ( teenager loves it and is glued every night). It is so bad it is compelling.
Hate the rain
Get lots of sleep
Enjoy my current work projects
Look forward to 2009VII Things I can't do:
watch soap operas
hang curtains ( see above)
stay cross with Other half or teenager for long
VII Things that attract me in the opposite sex:
strength ( physical
strength ( emotional)
big build ( rugby, American football types)
VII Things I say most often:
Where are we going for coffee?
Where are we going for lunch?
Shall we have red or white?
What's the score?
It can't be raining again?
Are you taking a coat or a warm top?
Where does the time go?
VII Celebrities that I admire
VII Favourite foods:
homemade Mac & Cheese
Fresh Baked Bread
Penne A La Vodka
VII Bloggers who are not obliged to do this if they don't want to:
Gill that British Woman
Jessica ( Jessica's World)
Where I Blog from.........
I do the majority of my blogging on my laptop, which I do in the family room. We do have a desktop computer which is in the spare bedroom, so will blog from there as well.
I normally blog in the other corner of the family room, but we have moved that chair out (same as the one in the photo) while the house is up for sale.
So, now for the fun part, if you're reading this you're tagged....I know what a pain, but it will be interesting to see where you blog from, also you're not allowed to tidy up the area!!
Adding: What's in the cd player- the two on the left are the Amy Winehouse discs from her "Back To Black" cd (I think that's the title), on the left I got a freebie cd at a show for the "Jersey Boys" (top), and on the bottom, it's Celine Dion's new disc, don't remember the title though.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Crockpot Beans and Sausage Casserole........
1 package of Breakfast Sausages, I used the Maple flavoured ones, regular sausage will work just the same
2 Cans of Baked Beans
2 Onions Sliced
Potatoes, enough to feed your family, cubed, or frozen baby potatoes.
Slice the onions and place them on the bottom of the crock pot. Cut sausages into bite size pieces, place on top of onions, then put in the potatoes. I use frozen baby potatoes, as buy them on sale with a coupon for 99 cents.
Pour the cans of baked beans on top of the potatoes. I used southwestern baked beans, which have corn and peppers in them. I got them given, and wanted to use them.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
We had it with bread and butter, it was good, and so simple.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
For more Skywatch Friday photos click on this link.
A Sparkling Christmas Tree.....
One thing I wanted to do was take photos of the Christmas Windows at the Bay, but I forgot!!! However I took photos of the beautiful Christmas tree in the Mall. It was so sparkly, as it was covered with Swarovski Crystal's, it was stunning.
Now as we were passing through The Bay, we saw what looked like a tv, but its an electric fireplace, neat or what!!!!
Also did you know that there 27 kilometers of underground walkways in Toronto that link together shopping, services and entertainment. If you live downtown, you don't have to go outside you can get from A to Z along these underground Walkways. This is called P.A.T.H. I have never been "down there" before and its very pleasant. Dd worked down there for a while, so knows the area well.
(as always click on the photos to get more details)
Oh, and I almost forgot, Santa was walking through the mall, and he was lovely, we had a good old chit-chat, dd was just laughing at the pair of us chatting.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This photo was taken at the Aquarium, which I featured last week. I think Mr. Frog was enjoying the breeze from the river.
For more Watery Wednesday photos click on this link.
50 + 1 Recipes for Cauliflower............
1. Creamy Chopped Cauliflower Salad
2. Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
3. Basmati Rice & Curry Casserole (Chana aur Sarson ka Saag Biryani)
4. Cauliflower and Couscous Pilaf
5. Cauliflower and Red Lentil Curry
6. Cauliflower with Gruyere Sauce
7. Cauliflower with New Mornay Sauce
8. Creamy Cauliflower Puree
9. Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower
10. Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower
11. Ginger, Split Pea & Vegetable Curry (Subzi dalcha)
12. Indian-Spiced Eggplant & Cauliflower Stew
13. Quick Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry
14. Roasted Florets
15. Roasted Winter Vegetable with Cheesy Polenta - this sounds so good
16. Sauté of Cauliflower & Mustard Greens with Peanuts - never had mustard greens before
17. Skillet Cauliflower Gratin - make this all the time
18. Tangy Cauliflower Salad
19. Vegetable Satay
20. Parmesan Cauliflower and Parsley Salad
21. Vegan Italian-Style Wild Rice and Vegetables
22. Cauliflower and Carrot Gratin
23. Roasted Cauliflower
24. Danny's Pickled Cauliflower
25. Golden Autumn Soup
26. Cauliflower Soup
27. Chilly Cauliflower Vichyssoise
28. Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Butter
29. Cauliflower Casserole
30. Creamy Cauliflower and Broccoli Crunch
31. Mashed Cauliflower with Goat Cheese
32. Rich and Creamy Mashed Cauliflower - this sounds different, and good
33. Creamy Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon and Snap Peas
34. Apple Cauliflower Soup with Lacy Parmesan Tuiles
35. Indian Spiced Cauliflower Soup
36. Quick Cauliflower Masala
37. Fried Cauliflower
38. Cauliflower and Shrimps
39. Cauliflower with Tomato Sauce
40. Savory Cauliflower Pie
41. Cauliflower Deluxe
42. Cauliflower Fritters
43. Cauliflower Amandine
44. Cauliflower and Ham au Gratin
45. Cauliflower Provencal
46. Spaghetti with Cauliflower and Parmesan
47. Gobi Mutter Masala
48. Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower with Nuts
49. Cauliflower and Lentil Curry
50. Veggie Mash - this sounds really good and a nice alternative to regular mashed potatoes
51. Gran's Piccalilli
There you go, some really good recipes there.
Next week it's lettuce, and I have to say there are some really good recipes on there.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Creamy Mac and Cheese
2 cups uncooked macaroni or rotini pasta
1 can (370ml) Evaporated milk
3 tbsp All purpose/plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard, I didn't have dry, so just used a squirt of regular mustard
1/4 cup light cream cheese (I just used regular)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
black pepper (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Put flour in pan, and whisk in a little of the milk, to make a paste. Slowly add the rest of the milk, whisking all the time.
Add the salt, mustard and the cream cheese and continue whisking until all mixed in, and thickened. I cut the cream cheese into little pieces to make it easier to mix in.
Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
Stir pasta into cheese sauce.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I've been tagged!!!
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, my mother wanted to call me Stephanie, but her mother said no!!!
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? When Vera died on Coronation Street......don't ask!!!
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I don't dislike it, but it could be neater
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Canned corned beef, it's a British thing!
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, a son and a daughter.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? what a silly question, of course I would be...
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? If you ask dh he will say yes..
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS. No, had them out in my late 20's
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? NO, NO, NO
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I'm into honey nut granola at the moment.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Most of time
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically, no, emotionally probably
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Not a big ice cream lover, if I had to choose though Pralines and Cream.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? I really don't know?
15. RED OR PINK? Red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My weight
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My family back in England
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Yes :)
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Ice-cream, which is funny, when you see my answer for #13
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the news on tv
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Red
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Line dried sheets, flowers
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My brother in Scotland
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes!
26.FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I don't watch sports
27. HAIR COLOR? Brown/Grey, until I dye it then it should only be brown!!
28. EYE COLOR? Blue
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Pasta with shrimp and Alfredo sauce
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy ending.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Cheaper By The Dozen 2
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Green
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer
35. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Creme Caramel
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Whoever feels like it
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND. Whoever doesn’t feel like it
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? None
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Some computer programme, dh got it for free
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Dh had the hockey game on, I was surfing the net
42. FAVORITE SOUND. I don't have one, though I love to hear birds chirping.......
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I guess travelling back and forward between Canada and England would be the farthest
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? None that I know off!!!
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Carlisle, England
Now for the real kicker, if you're reading this, guess what you're tagged!!!! Don't you just love me!!!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
More de-cluttering and garbage........
It cost us an $8 disposal fee, but it was so worth it. We were not allowed to put any of those things in our regular garbage.
We are only allowed to put out two garbage bags a week. We normally have a large grocery bag of garbage a week on a normal week. We put out our blue box on a weekly basis
This is what we are allowed to put in there We also have a grey bin that we put paper products in.
We also have a Green bin:
We put all food waste in there, here is a link to what we can and cannot put in the bin. We also have yard waste collection though that varies depending on the time of year. I know this next week is the last yard waste pickup until next spring. We MUST put yard waste in paper yard waste bags or open top containers.
Overall I must say I am happy with the system we have got. Also me and my neighbours put garbage on one another's lot's when we have more than our two bags. As if you want to put out more than two bags of garbage you have to buy garbage tags at $1 a piece.
In the summer I usually give the garbage men a can of pop or a bottle of water when I see them, as honestly working in the heat and with the smell must be awful.
Are you happy with your garbage pick-up?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I have a thing for Christmas decorations and over the years have accumulated a ton of them. When we had a finished basement we would put two trees up. One in the living room and one down the basement. Since we have been in this house, we have only ever put up the one tree in the living room.
Both our trees were at least 15 years old and had seen their better days. A friend mentioned she was looking for a tree, so I gave her one of ours. I then decided to buy a new tree which already had the lights on it, as I find that a bind putting the lights on the tree. However I still had the one tree, plus a ton of ornaments and lights, so I gathered them all together along with other Christmas items that we no longer use and took them to the women's shelter (Salvation Army).
There were enough decorations including a small table top tree and a tree for the creatively challenged (it was plastic with slots to put the ornaments in, any one could decorate that one!!) and the regular 6 foot tree, so three households could have some sort of Christmas decorations in the house.
Now the reason I am telling you this story, is that you don't have to give money all the time, if you do have spare Christmas ornaments or a spare tree, this is the time of year to be donating them!!!
This was a big deal for me, as I never ever thought I would part with a lot of my Christmas stuff. We also now have a lot more room in the area in the basement where I keep all the Christmas stuff. Also maybe I was planning ahead, as I know when we moved into this house, dh whined for days about how much Christmas stuff we had!!
I am going to tackle dh's closet this weekend, as CP (cerebral palsy) is coming to pick up used clothing the beginning of December, I donate to them on a regular basis as well. Also for those of you in Canada, Fruits and Passion, have a nice bottle of bubble bath on sale, where part of the proceeds go to Habitat For Humanity.
I am also going to make a point of buying a few extra cans of food this weekend to pop into the food bank boxes, as every little helps.
Friday, November 21, 2008
WARNING.....if you're a male I would advise you to skip this post......
About a month ago I was sitting in the doctors with dh waiting to go into see the doctor with dh, when I decided wouldn't it be a good idea for me to have a pap smear (okay hit me on the head now!) So I made the appointment for today (20th), as our doctor was away and you know I had a visit in between hands...........
So the big day arrives and off I trot to the doctors. Now to keep my mind off things, I take the car in for a service first thing this morning and spend the rest of the morning shopping, so didn't have too much time to dwell on THE VISIT!!
I get into the doctors office and the nurse says are you here for a physical......nope......just the dreaded pap smear. She asks me what I weigh, I politely tell her too much, she says well lets go and weigh you, again I say nope, as I know I weigh too much and I don't want a lecture!!
So she tells me to remove my clothing from the waist down, and leaves the room. So I strip off and discover she has left me not one but two paper sheets. I decide that rather than laying on the regular old paper I would lay a sheet down on the bench thingy. I am busy doing this when the doctor walks in. He's all embarrassed that I am not laying down. I tell him don't worry about it and tell him once you have had children nothing is sacred anymore.
He then tells me if you have children in a teaching hospital you can expect a crowd in a hospital room especially if you're having an unusual birthing experience, as all the students want to have a looksy. As I had ds in a smaller hospital and dd in what we call a "cottage hospital," I never had that pleasure.
By the way the "cottage hospital," was a tiny hospital where there were wards for older patients, a maternity ward, though only for straight forward births, I don't even think there was an emergency department. It was like a hotel, I requested a transfer there when I had ds as soon as I was able. I had ds at the other hospital as the drugs they gave me, sent me to sleep for hours, and the doctor couldn't be bothered to sit up all night at the cottage hospital waiting for me to give birth.
Anyhow, back to topic on hand. So I lay on the bench thingy, put my feet in those stirrups , I did leave my socks on, and the doctor did his thing. To be fair I have no problem having it done, it's over with in no time flat and as me the doctor and the nurse chit chat the whole time, none of us are really aware of what is really happening, if you know what I mean.
Now this one is a true story and I first read this back in 2002 on Main Street Moms and this is funny:
This is a laugh for all those women out there who so look forward to that wonderful time once a year when they get to become "intimate" with their OB/GYN doctor. In Sydney, Australia one of the radio stations pays($1000-$5000) for people to tell their most embarrassing stories. This one netted the winner $5000....
I was due later in the week for an appointment with the gynecologist! Early one morning I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for early that morning at 9:30a.m. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45a.m. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare. As most women do, I like to freshen up when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So I rushed upstairs, threw off my dressing gown, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in "That area" to make sure I was at least Presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.
I was waiting in the waiting room only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "my, we have made an extra effort this morning haven't we?" but I didn't respond.
When the appointment was over, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal.. Some shopping, cleaning, cooking,act. After school when my six year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, "Mum,where's my washcloth?" I told her to get another one from the cupboard. She replied, "No, I need the one that was here by the sink it had all my glitter and sparkles in it.
This still makes me laugh!!!
By the way I had no idea what I was going to write about today...........
Thursday, November 20, 2008
For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on the link.
I have a weather announcement for you....
We have gone and bought a snow thrower, this one to be precise. So it's guaranteed that as we have bought a snow thrower finally, it's bound to be a snow less year, it's sod's law.
Not sure why it has taken us over 19 years of living in Canada to finally get around to buying one. It may be something to do with the fact that me and dh are getting older and our body aches in places it didn't in prior years, and shovelling snow doesn't help the situation. Or it could be the fact we live on the bend of a crescent and the snow plow driver just loves to dump 4 feet of heavy wet snow on the end of our driveway, which has had me in tears a few times wondering how on earth we were going to move it?
I do know after last years continuous snowfall we knew there was no way we were going through another winter without a snow thrower. The one we have bought is a bit big for our current driveway, but it will be great for when I move into the country.
So there you go, aren't you glad we bought a snow thrower!!!!
P.S. As I am writing this, Wednesday evening, it's snowing........but we'll just ignore that!!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
For more Watery Wednesday click on the link.
50 + 1 Recipes for Sweet/Bell Peppers
1. Bell Pepper Soup with Sour Cream and Dill
2. Fettuccini with Sweet Peppers & Pinenuts
3. Goat Cheese with Bell Pepper Dressing
4. Grilled Sweet Pepper
5. Stuffed Bell Peppers - it's ages since I have made these, they are good.
6. Three Pepper Salad
7. Sweet Pepper Burritos
8. Sweet Pepper Bean Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
9. Sweet Pepper Stuffed Pork Chops
11. Rainbow Roasted Pepper Soup
12. Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
13. Green Pepper Tomato Salad
14. Sausage Pepper Skillet
15. Tuna Salad with Olives, Orange and Bell Pepper
16. Bell Pepper Delight with Green Tomatoes
17. Bell Pepper Feta Pasta
18. Grilled Three Pepper Turkey Pizza - will work just as well with chicken
19. Risotto With Mixed Bell Peppers And Sicilian Sausage
20. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Casserole - this makes a huge amount, good for a party......
21. Spicy Bell Pepper Salad
22. Vegan Bell Pepper Soup
23. Bell Pepper Salsa
24. Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce
25. Garlic and Herb Sautéed Bell Pepper Strips
26. Spicy Beef and Bean Stuffed Peppers
27. Italian Sausage and Peppers
28. Summer Vegetable and Sweet Pepper Skewers
29. Fresh Red Pepper Marinara Sauce
30. Roasted Peppers and Seasonal Vegetables
31. Red Hot Chilli Pepper Soup
32. Red Pepper Aioli
33. Tempura Vegetables
34. Bell Pepper Cheese Spread
35. Sweet Pepper Relish
36. Carrot and Bell Pepper Salad
37. Pork and Bell Pepper Stir Fry
38. Bell Pepper Dip
39. Bell Pepper Muffins
40. Bell Pepper Nachos
41. Goat Cheese and Roasted Bell Pepper Panini
42. Bell Pepper Omelet
43. Chilled Red Bell Pepper and Habanero Soup
44. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus
45. Bell Pepper and Mushroom Risotto
46. Smoked salmon and bell pepper coulis
47. Tex-Mex Chicken with Bell Pepper
48. Bell Pepper Crackers
49. Red Bell Pepper and Broccoli Pasta Sauce
50. Grilled Bell Pepper Salad
51. Bell Pepper Quiche
There is quite a variety of recipes there. I hope you find one you may want to try?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
More deals and some ideas for stocking stuffers....
ALSO NOTHING TO REPORT ON RE: THE HOUSE, VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH IT ALL!
I went grocery shopping today and one of the places I went was the dreaded Wal-Mart. Now I will say I call it "the dreaded Wal-Mart" as the Wal-Mart near me employs employees who leave their common sense at home. Now as I had a few coupons and my Wal-Mart, just can't get their heads around coupons, I decided it was easier going to the Wal-Mart by my dad's and visit him and my step-mother while there.
Below is what I bought, and it cost me just over $17 for that little lot and I am going to get $20 back in Wal-Mart gift cards.
So how did I do that you ask. Well first of all, look at the Glade Candles, do you see a sticker on them that says $5? If you can find the Glade products with the $5 stickers on them, what that means is that if you mail in the UPC on them, plus the $5 sticker and your sales receipt, they will mail you a $5 Wal-Mart gift card back. The candles were $2.97 + taxes for each one, plus I had two buy on get one free coupons. There is a limit of 8 redemption's on this promotion. So if you buy 8 candles at $2.97 each that is going to cost you $23.76 + taxes in Ontario's case 13% = $26.85, + the cost of a stamp 55 cents for a total of $27.40, and you will get $40 back in Wal-Mart gift cards. You will also have 8 nice candles that would make ideal teachers gifts, stocking stuffer or a just because gift, or even just keep them for yourself.
Now the other deal on there is the Tylenol. Here is a link to a $3 off coupon. I bought the 24 packs of Tylenol at Wal-Mart for $3.37 a pack. You have to pay taxes on the whole $3.37 which is 44 cents, + the 37 cents after they have taken the coupon off, for a total of 81 cents a pack. If you can find them cheaper, then you get them cheaper. Now would be the time to stock up on this sort of thing. Here is a thread on Frugal Shopper with all sorts of other good deals and links to coupons for the Canadians. The $10 off Oil of Olay coupon is a good one to have!!
I got a box in the mail today and it contained this:
I got all of this as I am taking part in a Bzz Agent promotion for Fruits and Passion. I think this is a campaign for both Canada and the States, and have to say I was totally impressed with what I got in the box, which included $75 worth of gift certificates for the store. I also know Bzz Agent is in Britain as well, no idea though about Australia or other parts of the world. I have had some really neat things from them, and all you have to do is tell people about the products and write a couple of reports on the Bzz site to tell them what was said and how people reacted, how simple is that? I know I will be using some of my gift cards to buy a couple more presents for Christmas. I do know that you guys in the States get a lot more offers and often better than us in Canada.
Another way of getting stocking stuffer etc, is by joining Points and Prizes You have to find words and input them into the site, which in turn gives you more points, which you can cash in for prizes. I have just cashed in my points for a dvd, for someones stocking, and I cashed in before that for a book. I joined in May so it doesn't take too long to accumulate the points. This is just for the States and Canada. If you do decide to join send me a comment with your email address in it (I won't publish it), as I will give you some tips on where to find more words etc.
Another couple of things, create an account at the online Wal-Mart photo centre and you can get 50 free prints, see here . Also when you spend $50 on certain products see this link you will recive a $20 Wal-Mart gift card.
Monday, November 17, 2008
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped potatoes (about 2 medium)
1 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (would you believe I was able to still pick mine from the garden, and its the middle of November)
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fround cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (I didn't have this)
8 oz small mushrooms, cut in halves, I slice mine
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained, or do what I do, buy the diced tomatoes, less work.
Heat oil in large pan, cook onion and garlic in oil, stirring frequently until onion is tender.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, break up the tomatoes (that's why I use the diced ones).
Heat to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until are tender. Serves 6. I generally make a loaf of bread to go with this to soak up the juices......I love having the leftover's for lunch.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Christmas thoughts and other bits and bobs....
So back to the Christmas section of this post.My neighbour behind us has her Christmas tree up, and it has been up for a few days now. This is normal for her, but what always surprises me, is that they have three year old twin boys, and a seven year old girl. I know when our kids were toddlers we put the tree up just before Christmas and it was back down just after Christmas, as they were forever "re-decorating" it. For years our trees always had a heck of a lean when all the ornaments had accumulated. Another neighbour down the road has their tree up as well. Don't you think it's a bit early?
I know I do.Well its that time of year for me, the dreaded Christmas letter. I always put a Christmas "newsletter" in with my cards, and ever year I totally stress over it. As although you want to sing the praises of your kids, it is annoying for the people reading the letter to have to read all about your "bragging." So it has to be a happy medium, but what do you write in there, when you have a boring life? I normally start my letter at the beginning of the month and it takes me until closer to the end of the month to finish it. I am behind schedule this year, as I haven't started it yet!!
Today (Saturday) one of my jobs is to write all the Christmas cards. I need to get them off by the end of November (the overseas ones). However this year I may leave it until the end of the first week of December, just for a change, and to be daring!!
Do you remember the Coach purse I got dd for her birthday? Well dd rang me up yesterday to ask me if I had stolen it??????? I ask why, well it seems every store she went in yesterday it set off the beepers/alarms. They searched through the purse to make sure the security tag wasn't on (I knew it wasn't, as I saw the guy take it off) In the end when they set off the beeper in HMV, they got them to run it over the alarm thing so that it would stop beeping!!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Saw Tina Turner in concert Thursday night.......
Now on the tickets it said that no photography was allowed, so I didn't take my camera, big mistake, as other people brought cameras. Dh took some photos with his cell phone, but they were awful.
She had a few outfit changes, and from what I can gather her outfits were designed by Bob Mackie, they were all lovely. She suited the short mini dresses the best in my opinion, as her legs are so long.
We had floor seats, which meant we stood most of the time, and as I am not the tallest out there, it was hard to see at times. I found it easier to watch the big screens. Here is a link which shows a video of her and you'll see some of the costumes and music. Also here is the review from our newspaper.
This is what she sang:
River Deep, Mountain High
What You Get Is What You See
Better Be Good To Me/Won't Get Fooled Again
What's Love Got To Do With It
We Don't Need Another Hero
Undercover Agent for the Blues
Let's Stay Together
I Can't Stand the Rain
Jumpin' Jack Flash/It's Only Rock and Roll
Addicted to Love
Nutbush City Limits
Be Tender With Me, Baby
If any of you have an opportunity to see her in concert, do go as it really is worth it.
That's it for us for concerts this year. Haven't got tickets yet for anything in 2009.
Friday, November 14, 2008
For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on the link.
Here's why I have been busy.......
I am absolutely pooped with all the work. First let me say, and I am not bragging here, but everyone says our house is really nice, I keep it clean, and one neighbour is always saying its like living next door to "Better Homes and Gardens." After this past week though and with all the "staging" and sorting out that has been done, I feel as though our house was a real dump, that couldn't sell the way it was before hand.
I personally didn't think our house was cluttered in the first place, but our real estate agent kept going on at us, less is more. Now our real estate agent is a super person, but good grief she wears you down. Dh doesn't like her at all, but as I keep telling him, don't worry about it, as I only chose her because she'll sell the house...........we hope!! Mind you dh doesn't like most people, so honestly its really no reflection on her.
One thing I do know is that as long as I keep the real estate agent and dh apart we'll be fine. If you are a real estate agent, I would skip the next line, as you may not be happy with me!!! I have no loyalty to real estate agents. Our last two houses have sold in less than a week. The last house, the real estate agent had a buyer all lined up for our house, and she only dropped her commission 1/2%, I was happy she sold the house, I wasn't happy though that she charged us so much for doing so little.
I am guessing you want to know where we are moving to...........we don't know. We had looked at a place and put an offer in last month but that fell through, and not 100% sure if we are going back to that house. There are a couple of other properties that we are interested in. All are in the country and all are on a minimum of 1 acre+.
Another house has come up for sale on our street, that is why we decided to put ours on the market. The other house has only 3 bedrooms, ours has 4. Also we have an over sized pie shaped lot, one of the largest on the subdivision so we are hoping that will sell the house as well.
So wish us luck, and pray this house will sell super fast, as I am going to be demented trying to keep this house perfect!!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Another way of making ends meet........
Dd got a set of stackable boxes one year at Christmas, she never used them so I "borrowed" them and set them up as boxes to put money away each week.
I go to the bank once a week (generally a Friday) and withdraw a set amount each week. From that amount I put $20 in one box for Christmas, I put $20 in another box for birthdays, and $10 in another box for special occasions. I also transfer $60 a week into the ING account for vacation.
Now the goal behind all this is that when Christmas comes I am not scrambling to find money to pay for things. I put money in there every single week of the year, so there is always some money in there, so when I see something I want for Christmas there is always money there to pay for it. This has been a life saver for me, as I find Christmas very, very stressful, and this is one thing I don't stress out about, having money to pay for everything. Now $20 works for me, you may find you have to save less or even save more weekly, but believe me this is so worth while.
The idea behind the birthday box is the same. Having that money in there, is great so any time there is a birthday, there is always money in there to pay for it. The only draw back to this box is that it takes time to get going. As no doubt like many of you, we have certain months of the year that are very busy for birthdays and certain months of the year, where there are no birthdays. So I found it took over a year to make sure there was always money in the box to cover what birthdays were coming up. It does work though, and again is a life saver.
The special occasions box came about a couple of years ago when dd was turning 21 that year. 21 is a big birthday for the British as is the 18th birthday. So we gave the kids money to invest both times, I decided to put $10 away each week, there that I didn't have to scramble trying to find $500, or whatever weeks before her birthday. We then went on to have a couple of 60th birthdays and some special anniversary's etc. So again this box has proved to be a great help. I know when it was dh's 50th this year I was able to pay for a full set of golf clubs in cash for his birthday, as I had put the money away weekly for him.
Then there is the vacation "box" which isn't technically a box, as I transfer money into the ING each week for that. That $60 a week, doesn't actually pay for the full vacation, but it generally pays for the bulk of it each year. Again I don't miss $60 a week, whereas I would struggle to come up with $3,000 just like that for a vacation.
So basically what I am saying, finding a small amount each week to put away in an account or a box is a heck of a lot easier than probably coming up with $500 just like that. If you think you will "dip" into the pot/box and "borrow" money then by all means don't set up the pot system, move money directly into your savings account. I like the birthday money on hand, it's easier for me, the same with the Christmas pot. It's funny I rarely "borrow" money from the pots, and if I do, I do put it back in.
Just to say, the amounts I have mentioned works for me, however if you can't afford that much or you want to save more, go ahead, its the idea behind all this that I am hoping may help you.
Hopefully this has given you food for thought? Also if you have a minute I got this article in my in box this week with more money saving tips.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The pond was built specifically so that it would reflect the house.
By the pond was sitting this fella, it was a baby as it was only 2 or 3 feet long. Dh was yelling at me not to get too close, he's such a baby!!!! At least I saw this gator, which was more than I can say about the photo I took last week!!
For more Watery Wednesday photos, please click on the link. (as always click on the photo's for more detail)
50 + 1 Recipes for Kale
Here are some recipes:
1. Curried Potato Kale Galette
2. Lemon Kale with Chickpeas
3. Bean and Ham Hock Soup with Kale and Croutons
4. Kale and Pancetta Quiche - love quiche and this sounds so different to my usual recipe.
5. Gemelli with Kale, Sage and Potatoes - Gemelli is a type of pasta, you can substitute
6. Kale and Chickpea Soup - this sounds yummy with a loaf of bread..........
7. White Bean and Kale Soup
8. Squash and Kale Phyllo Pie
9. Toscana Soup
10. Bean Soup with Kale
11. Winter Vegetable Hash
12. Sweet Pepper Pasta Toss with kale
13. Rich Italian Sausage and Potato Soup
14. Sweet and Savory Kale
15. Kielbasa Kale Stew
16. Ruth's Red Lentil and Potato Soup
17. Portuguese Kale Soup
18. Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)
19. Bean and Kale Ragu
20. Spanish Style White Bean and Sausage Soup
21. Cannellini Bean with Flat Leaf Kale
22. Kale Puttanesca
23. Baked Kale Chips
24. Simple Kale Soup
25. Roasted Kale
26. Rustic Tomato Pie with Kale Pesto Sauce
27. Spicy African Kale and Yams
28. Chinese Sesame Kale
29. Austrian Kale
30. Braised Tuscan Kale
31. Italian Pork Chops with Kale
32. Crispy Kale
33. Kale and Parsnips
34. Baked Curly Kale with Potatoes, Olives and Garlic
35. Kale Cream Sauce over Pasta
36. Basmati Rice and Kale Gratin
37. Beer Batter-Fried Kale
38. Cajun Kale Salad
39. Cornmeal and Kale Spoon Bread with Red Peppers
40. Curried Lentils and Kale Greens
41. Garlicky Kale with New Potatoes
42. Kale and Leek Pie
43. Kale and Onion Stir Fry
44. Kale and Spinach Bake
45. Kale Crunch
46. Kale Mashed Potatoes
47. Kale Ricotta Dumplings with Sage Brown Butter
48. Kale, Sausage and Mushroom Stew
49. Kale Stuffed Onions
50. Polenta "Pizza" with Kale Topping
51. Rice with Kale and Tomatoes
There you go, an interesting mix of recipes.
Nutritional Info, please click on this link.
Next week it's Sweet/Bell Peppers
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I did go to Fortino's to pick up a few things yesterday, but I didn't take a photo of everything.
I went to No Frills today and I picked up the three packets of McCain's Frozen Fries @ $1.99 each, I have a coupon for $4 off when you buy three packets so ended up getting all three for $1.97. Here is a link to the coupon for the Canadians out there. Milk was $3.97 for a 4 litre bag.
I then went to Price Chopper and got everything in the photo below. The best deal was the Nabob coffee which was on sale at $3 a can. I had 8 x $2 off coupons from when I did a Bzz Agent promotion. So ended up paying only $1 a can. All the fish had $1 coupons on the boxes, so they only cost $1.77 a box, which is a great price. The coffee creamer I got free as I had a Free Product coupon for that which dd gave me. The pies were on sale for $1 each, haven't had them in so long, so thought it would make a change.
Finally I called in at Sobey's and picked up the soup, again had a FPC. Then the apples were on sale for 47 cents a pound so picked up just over 10 pounds of apples.
So this week I spent $70.62 and had savings of $31.44. I was out for 1 3/4 hours and I also ran a couple of other errands while I was out. I drove probably 10 to 15 km's total.
We got outside into the garden on Saturday to cut the grass and I did some weeding. This is part of our front garden. We are on a corner lo...
The other day I was at the grocery store with my grandson. Had him in the shopping trolley buckled in and while we were waiting to cash out...
I had my telephone appointment with the doctor yesterday to go over my blood work that I had done last week. The one thing about getting bl...
Now I have to say I am not a big fan of cruises or ship's, or basically anything to do with boats, but what I am about to talk about fas...