Monday, January 30, 2012

Cake Baby!!

Check out this masterpiece...yep, it's a CAKE!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fridays with Finn!

I cannot believe how fast this puppy is growing!!!!!

Finn, 8.5 weeks old

We've spent our week hanging out, and learning not to bite. I look like a drug addict with tracks up both my arms because of this puppy's sharp teeth! He has a few gaps still so I think he's teething pretty bad.

I took him for a walk around the block yesterday and he did GREAT for half the block then he sat down and started to shake so bad! I don't know if he was cold or scared but I had to carry him the rest of the way LOL!

Stitching and snowstorm's the perfect kind of day :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

My First Day as a Mama!!

Well, it finally happened, I picked up my puppy Finn yesterday! I'm not sure what I think quite yet. I LOVE him, he's perfect...but holy crap it's a lot of work!

I got off pretty lucky because I was assigned the most laid-back of all the puppies. He slept for the whole 2 hour ride home...

...and then slept some more when we got home...

...then he posed for a "welcome home" picture

And then he played with Holly and Cait for a while...

Annnnnnnd back to sleep!

I think my second thoughts stem from the fact that, as a Shiloh Shepherd, he'll weigh between 120 and 130 pounds when he's full grown, which means I have to, without question, have him trained properly to listen to me. Having an out of control dog who weighs more than you do is a bad, bad idea. All of the training techniques I studied seemed so easy in theory but now that he's actually here, there's nothing easy about it! YEEK!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stash Enhancement in London!

One of my favourite things to do when I visit Erin in London is to go to the Thread and Eye cross-stitch shop. It's fantastic, and has such a huge variety of stuff. I only get to London twice a year, so it's always quite an event! This time around though, things didn't quite go as planned.

I was only supposed to stay in London until Monday, but when we got to the shop Monday morning we discovered that they're closed Sundays and Mondays. We were so disappointed....but I decided to switch work stuff around at home and stay until today so that we could visit the shop....and it was sooooo worth it!! Here's what I got...

Erin got a handfull of patterns too, but I didn't get a picture. I had to drop her off at school and start my trip back home as soon as we were finished. If you're ever in London, make sure you visit this shop!! The woman who was working was so friendly and helpful. In fact, when we left, Erin said "wow, I can't believe how much I just learned in such a short period of time." They're awesome in there!

Other trip highlights include.....

-me driving on the 401 all the way from Peterborough to London, right through Toronto...this is a first time for that, I usually go a different way to avoid the highway because I'm terrified of it...but I did it! Twice, and LIVED! It even cut my trip from 6 hours down to 3.5!

-our delicious pizza making...

Erin and the best pizza ever!

-watching the final episode of our favourite show, One Life to Live together (which was soooo awful, and ended with a major cliffhanger that's going to drive me crazy for the rest of my life!)


-the ill-fated hike, which I feel no need to re-hash LOL!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Two Blondes and a Blue Trail

*hum the Gilligan's Island tune as you proceed*

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful hike.....
That started on this blue-marked trail,

Watching birds that we did like.

The mate was a mighty travelling girl,
The skipper runs, knits and purls...
Together they set out at four o'clock,
For a one hour walk.

The weather started getting cold,
Our thighs felt bitten by frost....
We saw a cabin that looked quite old,
And realized we were lost.

The forest started getting dark,
The snow was really deep....
We looked for the trail that was once marked,
Our courage we did not keep.

We emerged into an open space,
No footprints could be seen...
The sun was moving from it's place,
Into the dark we would have been.

But then we saw a yellow thing,
Sticking high out of the snow....
We now had hope from which to cling,
We were in a golf course, we now did know.

We found a fence and a trail beyond,
We approached it, our hope refusing to fail...
And although we're hindered by our hair of blonde,
We found the blue trail....
We found the blue trail.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I'm so excited to introduce my new puppy Finnigan (Finn) to you all!!

Finn is 6 1/2 weeks old....he's a Shiloh Shepherd, and I'm totally in love with him! I've been waiting a LONG time for this puppy!!

I've been waiting a really, really long time for this little guy! It all started a year ago when I was out running with my group and a woman we didn't know joined us, and she had this giant dog that looked like a German Shepherd, but bigger. I was too shy to ask what it was so my friend Todd went over and asked her. She told him it was a Shiloh. I went home and researched the breed, and fell in love instantly.

I grew up with German Shepherds but didn't want one in the city. They have such strong protective instincts that I don't really think it's safe....not for me anyways. Shilohs have the same colouring, look and size but lack the aggression and protectiveness. They're incredibly smart and loyal.

I couldn't have pets in the basement apartment I was living in so I put the idea away in a corner of my mind for later. As soon as I moved into my house I started researching breeders, found one, and was approved for a puppy. Sadly, the mother got an infection a week before the puppies were due and lost them all. So I started back at square one, found another excellent breeder,'s FINN!!!!! I get him in a week and a half :-) SOOOOOO excited!

Monday, January 9, 2012

WIPocalypse Check-In #1!

I've actually made more progress than I had expected in the last coupld of weeks! I've been working on this piece, called "Flower Vignette," for a Love Quilts child who's theme is "flowers"

...and the other WIP I've been working on is this one!

The Bookshelf by LHN is my main focus right now. I really like how it's coming along, and I'd like to frame it and display it in my room o' books LOL!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


8:30am- run 16k in -15c weather....check!

1pm- snowshoe for 2 hours...check!

9:15pm- laying on the couch crippled....check!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mmmmm Coconut!

My roommate and I went to a nutritionist a few months ago and he encouraged us to eat more fat....imagine that!!! Not Big Mac type fat though, it had to be natural fats, found in foods like coconuts. We started putting coconut milk in our oatmeal (delicious!!) and cooking with coconut oil.

Then yesterday I was reading a magazine and came across a huge article about coconut oil and all of the benefits it has. Coconut oil has something in it called medium-chain fatty acids, which are a unique group of fats that are absorbed into active cells, which are used by your body for energy, growth, and repair.  They neutralize free-radicals (cancer-causing cells), and also reduce inflammation. Cool!

According to the article I read, they can:

-help you lose weight because they prompt your liver cells to burn fat 50% faster than normal

-speed up the production of white blood cells, which fight off infections, therefore preventing colds and flu!

-make your hair soft and shiny (massage 2 tbsp into dry hair and scalp, leave on 30 mins, then shampoo)

-heal irritated skin (dab onto trouble spots twice daily)

-speed up your thyroid glands

-relieve feminine dryness (I'll let you figure this one out LOL)

Anyways, I like to cook with it because it gives things a sweet flavour...I find that it takes the edge off bitter veggies. I also melt it and use it with vinegar and lemon juice as a homemade salad dressing....yummy!

I have stitching updates too! I'll share later :-) Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

This is my first finished book of 2012...and I read it quite by accident. It's not sitting on my shelves at home waiting to be picked up, it's not on my list of things to eventually read, and it wasn't reccommended by a friend. I went to Chapters yesterday morning after running errands, got a nice warm latte from the Starbucks nestled inside, and settled in for an afternoon of magazine reading. It just so happened that someone left this book sitting on the chair I sat down in, and there weren't many interesting magazines that were calling to me so I picked it up.

If you haven't heard of it, it's the memoir of Amy Chua; the story of how she, a Chinese woman married to a Jewish man, raised her two daughters Sophia and Lulu according to the Chinese principles of parenting that she was raised by. The problem here is that they live in America, where such principles are often viewed as abusive.

For example, Chua once referred to one of her daughters as "garbage" because she didn't play her piece on the piano perfectly, or because she spoke disrespectfully to her. She didn't allow them to attend or have sleepovers, play sports, get any grade lower than an A, and forced them to practice the piano and violin for hours and hours every single day, even when they were sick or on vacation. She would say terrible things to them, about how they were disgraceful, lazy and pathetic in order to get them to do what she wanted.

She claims that she did these things solely for Sophia and Lulu. I think that she thinks she did, but really, her reasons were also somewhat selfish. She hereself states that she liked to show off her daughers talents to others. Throughout the book she writes about the fights she frequently had with Lulu over practicing the violin and not letting her do things with her friends. But she also writes about the successes of her daughters. Sophia played the piano at Carnegie Hall, and Lulu auditioned for Julliard and studied with world renowned violinists. Both girls seem to be incredibly talented and brilliant.

In the end, after months of enduring Lulu not speaking to her and telling her how much she hates her and her life frequently, she decides that she has no choice but to loosen her grip a little bit out of fear of losing Lulu. She relented and let Lulu quit violin and start playing tennis.

What are my thoughts on this book? Well, I'm not sure I'm entitled to comment on parenting when I have never been one. My parents were somewhat distracted and the "let's just be friends" type. They were polar opposited to the Chuas. I personally feel that Chua's style of parenting has pros and cons. It's clearly too extreme, but as a result she has incredibly smart and talented daughters. Who knows what sort of great things I could have done with my life if I had been forced to learn something with the same intensity that Sophia and Lulu were. But I also think that she was verbally and emotionally abusive, and that children shouldn't be told over and over again that they're lazy, pathetic and stupid. They also need time to be kids, play, and have friends.

I loved this book...I read it in just over 2 hours and couldn't stop. Whether you agree or not with Chua's parenting, this is a book that will keep you turning the pages. It's also a good commentary on the differences in the attitudes of Westerners and Easterners.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bring On 2012!

Well, the bad news is that getting up at 4am for work on New Year's Eve puts a serious kink in the festivities....

The good news is that I started 2012 off on the right foot by running the Resolution Run at the Running Room last night with many of my running buddies. It was a great run, and symbolized the commitment to be active in the coming year. It was sooo great to see so many people out....people I've never seen at the RR before chosing to come out and commit to better health :-)

My best friend Erin has been in Italy for the last 2 months, but she's home now and came to spend New Years with me...which is our usual tradition. I'm sad to say that after one drink and half a movie, I was asleep on the couch....and it was before 10. She woke me up just before midnight....and then it was bedtime LOL.

This morning I made us whole wheat blueberry pancakes with whip cream and maple syrup...then we went for a beautiful walk through Jackson Park....

There were soooo many people out walking, running, cross country skiing, etc....the vibe was great. It was a nice, mild day, which made for a very relaxing and invigorating walk :-)

Resolutions for 2012

I think that New Year's Resolutions are great. A lot of people don't like them because nobody sticks to them and they can have some negative connotations attached to them because of that. Personally, I love them. I think that everyone should have personal goals, and for me, writing them down and reviewing them once in a while gives me a feeling of stability and purpose. They aren't anything grand and some people might find them downright ridiculous and pointless, but they're important to me, and whether I accomplish them or not is irrelavent....what's most important is to have something to work towards. So...without further comment.....

1. Complete the WIPocalypse

2. Stitch 4 squares for Love Quilts

3. Finish my 2009 Christmas quilt

4. Start a new quilt

5. Run a 10k in under 1 hour

6. Run a half marathon in 2:15

7. Strengthen my core

8. Study yoga

9. Learn to play chess

10. Read more books than last year (at least 19)

11. Read more scripture

12. Call my Grandpa every week

13. Put others first more often

14. Be more organized

It seems like an exhausting list but it really isn't. A lot of these resolutions (or intentions perhaps) are things that I've been working on for years, months, or weeks, depending. Some of them are new, and I'm looking forward to getting going on them :-)

I hope 2012 is good to you all!!