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Archive | February, 2018

Good Times On Mt Seymour

28 Feb

Snowshoeing, I hate typing that word, it feels awkward, but it is a fun activity so alas, I will be doomed to keep typing it. Oh what a hard life I lead *pauses for a dramatic swoon*

swoon

Some friends and I went up to Mt. Seymour to go snowshoeing and had a blast! Hmm…I’ve really gotta learn some new slang…

The day started with dragon boat practice (for two of us), then brunch, then snowshoeing. So ya know, just a slightly active day. πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t sure my suv would be allowed up the mountain, if the roads are bad they make you park at the bottom and take a shuttle up but nobody checked us so up we went…slowly…as in old granny slow…the higher we got the more the snow was swirling around and the more wintry it became. It always amazes me how you can go from city to mountain so quickly here.

Because we were snowshoeing and not skiing or snowboarding we had to park farther away, snowshoe discrimination! πŸ˜‰ It is actually ok because it gave us time to get used to walking on the snowshoes.

Once we were strapped in and on our way it was basically just fun. The whole time. I mean c’mon, get four friends together, strap their feet to snowshoes, set them on a trail, and how could that not be fun?

I did learn that all my survival knowledge is basically theoretical and does not kick in as an automatic response when faced with a potentially dangerous situation…great thing to learn up on a mountain in winter lol

See, we were trekking along this one narrow stretch where you have to go single file and all of a sudden snow is falling on us. And not the snow that had been falling all day, no no, I mean big poofy coming from the side of the mountain snow. There is technically a potential of avalanche and part of my brain kept thinking “keep moving. you have to keep moving. woman move your feet!” but in actuality all the four of us did was turn around, look up at the mountain to see where the snow was coming from, start laughing and wondering what was happening. So yeah, the survival skills of my friends and I are maybe not the absolute highest they could be…but I’m sure somewhere out there someone is worse than us…right?

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All in all it was a great day, as you can see in the above pictures. I wish there could be more like that. πŸ™‚

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Women’s Canada vs USA Gold Medal Hockey Game 2018

22 Feb

Words.

I don’t know that I have the words to properly describe just how proud I am of our Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.

2018-womens-olympic-team-announcement-photo

They were amazing! That final game against the USA had me feeling all the possible emotions.Β There was excitement, fear, nerves, stress, joy, and yes some grief when the Americans scored the winning goal. For those of you who scoff at the idea of feeling grief during a hockey game, well, hey, it’s a Canadian thing. πŸ˜‰

canada-hockey-fanatic

Did I start watching that game expecting my team to win gold? Sure. How could I not? I expect all the Canadian athletes to win gold whether the stats show they most likely will or not. Am I delusional? No. I like to think of it as hopeful, and proud of our athletes.

Now, I’m not some expert hockey watcher, I can’t pick apart the game and discuss what was done wrong, what should be changed for next time, things like that. I can tell you that as a spectator that game had it all. At various times throughout the game I was leaping from my seat to cheer, yelling at the ref’s calls, sitting on the edge of my seat, fist pumping the air, swearing, rocking back and forth in an attempt to self-soothe, and I will admit, at the end my head was hanging and I had tears in my eyes. Not for me. Not even for my nation’s pride (which is so closely tied to our hockey), but for our athletes who worked so hard, pushed themselves so far, were riding on adrenaline to help mask the exhaustion their bodies were feeling. I was overwhelmed with sadness for them. Knowing that they not only are feeling the deepest levels of despair but that it is being televised and will be picked apart for years to come.

Our Women’s Olympic Hockey Team won SILVER! And that is awesome!

That should be celebrated, not discussed like it is a failure. All those people who think the Silver isn’t good enough, I’d love to know what medals they have won at the Olympics lately.

 

 

Accidental Brownie

21 Feb

Sooooo, I sorta made a brownie-in-a-mug this evening when I thought I was going to be making hot chocolate.

Oops?

Although, are brownies ever reeeally an accident? πŸ˜‰

My mom received a cute little jar with dry ingredients layered in it and instructions as to how to turn the contents in to a brownie-in-a-mug. She oh so sweetly gave it to me…mostly she gave it to me because she has stronger will power while I tend to go off the rails a tad more often, so really, I think it was to get temptation out of her pantry and put it in mine lol

For some reason when I read the tag I thought it said it was to make hot chocolate, which confused me because the instructions say to add melted butter, and why would I put melted butter in to hot chocolate? So instead of, oh I dunno, re-reading what it was, I just assumed it was some sort of fancy hot chocolate deal and tucked it aside for when I wanted fancy hot chocolate.

Today was the perfect day for hot chocolate! It was snowy, and chilly but not cold, a great day for being cozy inside with a cup of hot chocolate and a book. πŸ™‚

Again, without re-reading the name of what I was making I poured the dry ingredients in to a mug, added the milk and melted butter, popped the whole thing in the microwave and eagerly awaited my hot chocolate.

Now, the instructions say to let it cool because it will be very hot but you can’t let hot chocolate cool too much or it becomes not as yummy, plus I have noooo patience lol. So it was out of the microwave maybe 30 seconds and I took a spoon to it – I’m that weirdo that likes to drink my hot chocolate by the spoonful instead of sipping from the side of the cup.

I dipped my spoon in and came up with some mighty thick hot chocolate *rolls eyes at self* Not to be deterred, and hello, it is chocolate so no matter what it is going to be good, I tried it and oh man was it good!

Definitely not hot chocolate though! πŸ˜›

It turned in to a fudgey, gooey, chocolate brownie….that just so happened to be in a mug.

There were milk and dark chocolate chips in it, which did not melt, but they were soft so when you got one on the spoon that bite had a little extra Mmm! to it. The bottom part of the brownie was a bit more dry than the top part, but still delish.

I did go take a second look at the instructions that came with the jar and only then noticed that is clearly says “Double Chocolate Mug Brownie”…hey, I never claimed to be super observant…

cake in mug 2

How I thought “hot chocolate” after seeing this I do not know.

cake in mug 3

The little jar it came in. The doily was on top of the lid to make it cuter.

cake in mug 5

Trust me, it tastes better than it looks!

cake in mug 1

The back of the tag – who doesn’t go “awww” when seeing those two hug?

So yeah, not quite the treat I was expecting, but lovely all the same. Now if only I could figure out exactly what was in the dry ingredients and the quantities so I could make it again! I can figure out the basics, but I’ve had cake-in-a-mug before and it was never as good as this one so something is different here…just not sure what.

Looks like I’ll be forced to taste test experiments until I figure it out – oh what a hard life! πŸ˜‰

Book Review: Before We Were Yours

13 Feb

I did that thing that pisses me off when other people do it. I got a book from the library that sounded good, didn’t just snatch it from the shelf but took the time to request it and then go pick it up once my name got to the top of the list. Then I bring the book home and…don’t read it. I Just kinda put it in a pile with other books I want to read and left it there. sigh.

Then when the book is due and I try to renew it only to discover I can’t because 22 other people are waiting for it I don’t immediately return it, I keep it another couple days and finally read it.

I get so irritated when I’m on a waiting list for a book and people have over due copies and yet, this week, that person was me. *rolls eyes*

On a good note, I read the book today and am taking it back tomorrow, so others can stop cursing me lol

On to the book review!

before we were yours

I can’t remember where I heard about “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate but I’m glad the book popped in to my radar.

It is a fictional story based on a true event, something I tend to find fascinating, well, if it is written well, which this book is.

The story is told in two timelines. We follow Avery in present day who is part of a prominent family, has her life all mapped out for her, she stumbles across what might be an old family scandal so she goes digging to find out more. Then there is Rill, her story starts back in the late 1930’s, she is the oldest child in a poor but happy family. All the children are taken to a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage even though they aren’t orphans and experience horrible things over the coming months all while trying to figure out how to get back to their parents.

The story of Rill and her siblings intersects with Avery and her family in ways I won’t detail since I don’t want to spoil the story for you. Suffice to say you are left to do some detective work alongside Avery as you try to sort out the mystery, while suffering alongside poor Rill and her siblings as they go through things no children should.

Avery, Rill, and the other children and family members in this book are fiction, the orphanage, woman who ran it, and the way children were sold as commodities, are true. A woman named Georgia Tann ran a bizarre organization that flourished thanks to bribing various officials, having a large spotting network to help her find suitable looking children to kidnap, and the lack of regulation within the adoption system at that time.

It really is amazing, in a horrible way, what she was able to get away with for so long.

Despite how dark I am making it seem it isn’t a depressing book. It is an easy read, it all just sort of flows along. I liked a lot of the characters, even the annoying ones lol, I don’t want to discuss the ending because I don’t like giving spoilers but it won’t make you unhappy…probably…how would I know what ending you would prefer? πŸ˜‰ lol

So there you have it, my first book review…hopefully I get better at this! πŸ˜€

Chicken Pot Pie

10 Feb

Time for another recipe! Well…it was sort-of a recipe, more like recommendations of ingredients with vague comments about how to put them together lol

I wanted to try making Chicken Pot Pie, the kind with the biscuits on top, but had no idea how. So I did what I always do, I YouTubed and Googled and came up with lots of recipes but also lots of questions.

All the recipes mentioned needing whatever quantity of cooked chicken, but none of them said how to cook the chicken. Am I supposed to bake it? Grill it? Boil it? Why don’t these recipes start with “Step 1: cook the chicken in such-n-such a manner”? Won’t the chicken cook when it is in the oven mixed with all the other ingredients?

That was my main line of confusion, so then I did what I always do when confused by recipes, I emailed my mom. I basically sent her the questions I typed in the above paragraph with a desperate plea for help.

She took pity on me, probably while shaking her head wondering how I function as an adult when left to my own devices, and replied with the tidbit of information thatΒ chicken pot pie is designed to use up left over chicken, which is why the recipes don’t say how to cook the chicken.

Oops!

Then she sent a recipe for chicken pot pie she has from a relative…

1 can mushroom or celery soup (Aunt Jude used one of each as she was making a 9 x 13 pan)
Cooked chicken, cubed
chopped onion, celery, mushrooms
frozen mixed vegetables, or left over veggies
seasonings
milk
Mix soup and small amount of milk in a large bowl. Stir in cooked chicken and chopped onion, celery and mushrooms, add frozen veggies (or a mix of frozen/left over veg) till you like the quantity. Pour into casserole dish, top with pastry lid. Bake at 375 for 25 mins, or until pastry looks cooked.
This is not a recipe!
This has vague measurements, and even vaguer details.Β  A small amount of milk? What is a “small amount”? When I asked her she said “until it looks right”. *rolls eyes*
And uh, hello, “seasonings”…what seasonings? Which ones? How much of each?
Some of us need a detailed road map when cooking and the above recipe was not that!
Not wanting to admit defeat I attempted to make the recipe, only smaller as I didn’t want endless left overs. I used one can of the mushroom soup, 1/4 of a can of milk, half a bag of mixed frozen veggies (Compliments brand, they are meant for soup so lots of celery, carrots, things like that), a bunch of shredded chicken that I bought from Safeway, and for seasonings I used parsley, oregano, basil, and jalapeno red pepper flakes…what can I say, I wanted a bit of a kick to the flavour.
The kick didn’t really happen, it is a bit bland but not in a bad way, which sounds weird I know. It actually ended up tasting fairly good, it isn’t pretty but oh well. It also isn’t some strongly flavoured dish but I don’t think it is supposed to be and maybe it wouldn’t taste like chicken pot pie if it was…deep thoughts to ponder on some other day lol
I didn’t make the biscuits, or give it a pastry top. I was going to make an individual biscuit using the two ingredient dough that has exploded in popularity all over the internet but was too lazy and didn’t lol I didn’t want to make the biscuits or pastry lid like on traditional pot pies because I thought they would get soggy after being on there for a while and since it is only me eating this thing I was betting on the leftovers lasting for days, and days, and then being frozen to last a little bit longer…and none of that made me feel confident in the biscuit life span. Go figure, I’m a bit of a cynic πŸ˜‰
chicken pot pie
chicken pot pie 2
It turns out that the recipe that isn’t a recipe made a pretty good meal, that has fed me for daaaaays. Tomorrow will be my last serving of it and I’m gonna kinda miss it. I just might have to add this one in to my rotation of meals I make on a more regular basis…not that I actually have a list like that, but grown-ups seem to so maybe I should make a list…can putting “ordering pizza”on the top of a list like that count? Hmm…more deep thoughts to ponder… πŸ˜‰

FitBit Love

7 Feb

I have had a FitBit on my wrist for about 4 years now and I love it just as much now as I did when I first strapped one on. Maybe even more now, since I have a newer, snazzier, version than the one I started out with.

My first FitBit was a Flex, the one that is semi-water proof and the display shows 5 dots. The dots light up when you tap the FitBit to show you how many steps you have taken that day. I had my step goal set at 10,000 steps per day so each dot represented 2,000 steps. While it was good, all tech has it’s flaws. It could go in to sleep mode if you were pushing a grocery cart across a parking lot (from the bumps I guess), it often thought my chopping vegetables was me stepping (it was amazing how many more “steps” I got on days I did veggie prep! lol), and well, it only gave me limited information. For detailed info about how I was doing that day I had to sign in to my app, which yes ok, not like that is a big deal or even hard to do, but c’mon, I’m lazy, which ironically enough, is why I invested in a FitBit in the first place lol

That first FitBit, I had epic plans for it. I bought it a short time before I was going on vacation, what was going to be a very active vacation, and I couldn’t wait to see how many steps I could rack up while in Northern Wales. Well yeah, that didn’t work, because it broke after I had it for a month or so? I was so upset! I contacted FitBit to let them know it broke, actually I think I contacted them to ask what I could do to fix it, and by default let them know it broke. They gave me some things to try, that didn’t work, and then they did something awesome…they sent me a brand new FitBit Flex for free!

Talk about amazing customer service! πŸ˜€

I didn’t get the replacement FitBit in time for my vacation, but hey, whatcha gonna do? *shrug*

Once I returned from my trip my new FitBit Flex and I became inseparable. Literally. The only times I took it off were when I showered and when it had to charge. I even covered it in saran wrap and wore it when taking part in a muddy obstacle course and more importantly, when dragon boating. Well, to be fair, I only covered it in saran wrap when dragon boating if it was pouring rain, on non-rainy days I just made sure to wear it on the arm that didn’t get submerged into the water with every stroke of my paddle. Splashing I knew it could handle!

Two Christmases ago I took the Flex out of it’s wrist band and tucked it in my clothes, in what I thought was a secure spot, because I was going to my work Christmas party and the band was not what one would call fancy looking. I absolutely couldn’t wear it with my dress, so into my cleavage it went. Don’t judge, I’ve done it before and it worked great! That particular time it didn’t work out all that well and somewhere during the night I lost it. Sadness. 😦 I tried calling the party venue, left them multiple messages, describing what it looked like, but nobody ever called me back so I’m assuming they either (1) didn’t listen to their messages, (2) didn’t care, (3) didn’t find it and didn’t care if they told me that or not. Which fair enough, why should they care that I was stupid and lost my FitBit and was now frantically hoping beyond all hope it would magically re-appear in to my life.

I was so upset I posted to social media about having lost it and someone I have never met, who lives on the other side of the country, said they had just upgraded their FitBit and no longer needed their Flex and get this, they sent me their Flex for free! With the band and charger and dongle!

People can be amazing sometimes. Absolutely amazing. πŸ˜€

When it arrived in the mail I was so incredibly grateful that I immediately sent them a Thank You card with a gift card inside. I mean wow, who does things like that not just in general but for someone they never met? Blows your mind a little doesn’t it?

Then another amazing thing happened, for Christmas that year I received a FitBit Alta as a gift from my parents. I had been wanting to upgrade but couldn’t justify or afford the cost and they knew this, so being the awesome parents that they are, that is what they bought me.

So now I had my replacement Flex and a new Alta. For a while I thought I would wear the Alta most of the time but swap out to the Flex when dragon boating but that didn’t really pan out. Instead the Alta and I became best friends and inseparable and now it only comes off my wrist when I am showering or charging it.

Then a crisis!

This happened…

fitbit flex

The strap broke! NoooOOOooo!

I wasn’t even doing anything interesting when it broke, the silicone part just came off of the clip part that attaches to the actual tech part of the FitBit Alta.

Travesty! The horrors! What was I to do??

Well I’ll tell ya what I did, I went searching for my crazy glue hoping I could fix it only to find my crazy glue had become a solid mass, I mean what, did it glue itself to itself? So then I started tucking the tech part in to my sock / boot / waist band / pocket (depending on what I was wearing) because I couldn’t be without it but I didn’t know how best to carry it around. I was constantly worrying it would fall out and I wouldn’t notice and then I’d not only not have a wrist band for it but I wouldn’t have the Alta at all! *cue the dramatic music*

Being the broke person that I am I chose to order a knock-off band from eBay instead of forking over $40 for a real replacement from FitBit and boy did I regret that. It didn’t fit as well, it was different material and not as comfortable, it was starting to give me a rash, just not good things.

So I did what I did last time I had a problem, I emailed FitBit and told them what happened. I didn’t ask them for a new band, I was past warranty and didn’t think that was right. But I did tell them the circumstances under which the band broke, and how it wasn’t fixable, and now I was wearing it tucked in my boot, and maybe they should look in to the problem because if this is a product flaw they may want to address it.

I got a very polite response asking me for some more information, which I provided, and then I got an even better email from them saying I was past warranty but sometimes rules are meant to be broken and they were going to send me a replacement band anyways!

This! This is why I love this company and will keep buying their products! Well, this and the fact that I love their products lol

Not only did they send me a replacement band they sent me the newer version of the band, so instead of a clip type closure it is a, umm, I don’t know what the type of closure is called, it is like a belt or a watch closure…here lemme put a picture in to show you what I mean…

fitbit band

See what I mean? My closure is like that, only my band is black, like I’d ever buy it in baby pink. πŸ˜›Β  lol

Now, my Alta and I are back to being inseparable…on my wrist, not in my boot! πŸ™‚

Here is a link to the FitBit Alta that I have on Amazon…in case you are interested in getting one yourself!

http://amzn.to/2E6jwaY

 

Dragon Boat Swag

5 Feb

In honour of my dragon boat team’s training season officially starting (we had our first practice of the season this past Saturday at 9am) I thought I’d share an etsy store that sells dragon boat related swag that I love.

Disclaimer! My friend created this shop, and designed everything in it, and arranged for all items to be locally made, so I maaaay be a tad biased…but! I can guarantee you that if I didn’t know her, and I stumbled on to it by fluke I would still love it! (And for the cynics out there, no I am not getting paid to tell you about her shop *rolls eyes*)

Here is a link to her shop:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DoodledeeCreative/items

Or if you are on etsy and want to search for her shop it is DoodledeeCreative.

So far I have bought this key chain…

dragon boat keychain

Which I absolutely love! LOVE! It is hand made, adorable, and well, functional I guess, but something doesn’t have to be functional to be loved by me lol

I want oh so many of the t-shirts she has listed but I am one of those weirdos that lives on a budget and I don’t have a lot of extra money floating around to buy things solely because I want them. Le sigh.Β  Doesn’t mean I’m not planning on buying some of them as the season progresses though, so be warned, you’ll be reading posts throughout the year filled with me sharing my excitement over a new piece of dragon boat swag.

See, at every race regatta and festival there are always booths set up selling tanks, and tees, and various pieces of swag, all related to dragon boating. Don’t get me wrong, they are great, but there isn’t a lot of variety and it doesn’t take very long to have one of every quote that you like on a shirt, and just because a new season has rolled around doesn’t mean the companies bringing those items to the festivals have come up with any new great quotes. I mean sure, sometimes they do, but mostly you’re seeing the same things year after year. Kinda gets old, ya know?

But D’s shop is original, it is designs she has come up with, new quotes and images on the tees and tanks and stickers, it is the opportunity to buy something not everyone has. Plus, the little bamboo key chain can go with me everywhere, so I can show off my dragon boater pride whenever I want lol

So yeah, if you are a dragon boater, or know a dragon boater, or are curious about dragon boating, I highly encourage you to go check out her shop. You can spoil yourself, spoil that special dragon boater that is in your life, enjoy buying something you know is an original design and is made in Canada, all good things people! Good things!

Paddles Up! πŸ™‚

 

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