January 31, 2009

I {Heart} Pancakes

Today was a sleep-in morning, which was much deserved after the very busy workweek I've had! And what better way to top off a sleep-in Saturday than with a plateful of yummy-delish pancakes.

My BH (brilliant husband) called his mother for his favourite childhood pancake recipe and together we whipped up a thick batch of pancake batter. Managed to do it without too much mess on the counter to boot!

To the hot griddle they went (thanks again mom for the awesome xmas gift!):

It was just a few moments before the bubbles cracked the surface and it was time to flip those flapjacks. I stood idly by with camera in hand while BH took over the cooking. Such a good man.

I topped mine with a little butter and maple syrup and enjoyed a hot cup freshly brewed Atlantica blend coffee from Coffee & Company on the side. Yummy delish! Now that's a good start to a Saturday.

January 28, 2009

crazy days

Somehow, sometimes, life just gets away from you. Every once in a while, I catch myself thinking 'its what day??? how can that be?? where did my week go?!?'.

I caught myself doing that today and its only Wednesday! Staring at the growing mound of laundry, the unopened mail, the dirty and messily stacked dishes in the dishwasher, and the empty fridge - I sighed and thought, 'it'll have to wait another day'.

Between work, the gym, eating and sleeping, I don't have time for much more this week. It makes me long for the days of Christmas when all I had to do was sit on the sofa with my hubby, with a fire in the fireplace, a coffee in my hand and a magazine to pass the time ... *sigh*

And still, there's a silver lining. Amid the crazy busy of the week, I have my handsome husband to share daily life with. And that makes it all OK.

Remember, finding the silver lining in any day makes any day bearable.

January 25, 2009

These are the days...

Life has been good to me. Really and truly. Tonight I sit on a comfy couch with my handsome husband whom I love deeply. There's a fire in the fireplace while the wind whistles outside our window. There's a glass of very delicious Shiraz within arms reach. Today, I've slept in, praised God, sipped a latte, cooked a Sunday supper and now await a favourite TV program. I've programmed the coffee pot for the morning and pressed my clothes, all without interruption, saving on the morning rush. Flannel sheets on the bed and a job to go to in the morning. Health, love and happiness can be found in abundance. All small blessings in and of themselves. Collectively, they make me smile and think, life has been good to me indeed.

Counting your blessings make them that much greater.

January 23, 2009

Enjoying Discomfort

I experienced a moment today where I actually enjoyed discomfort. While working on a pretty important project at work, I had this niggling feeling in my belly. I know you've all had it before . Its those unexpected butterflies that tell you you're anxious. That slight tightening of the chest and waver in your rhythmic breathing. Its usually sign to stop, change, run.

Instead, today I embraced the discomfort knowing it was a good sign. It was a sign that I was out of my comfort zone. It was a sign that I was moving out of the safe and secure and challenging myself. By blurring the edges a little and that is how we grow. Moving beyond the familiar, beyond the routine (which, again, I looooove) we stretch ourselves to new limits. We can prove we can do better, be more.

So, as I ventured outside the defined boundaries and felt that niggling unease, I was grateful for all it represented. We should all try something new everyday. Or at least every week. A little discomfort is good for the mind, body and soul. Try it sometime, you might enjoy it.

January 22, 2009

A Good Dog

He was a good dog. Like most, he was reliable, affectionate and trusting of those who loved him. Yet, he was different too - in an awesome way. There was such charm in the rumble of his snore as he slept. There was his sweet patience while awaiting the human food he knew would inevitably come his way. There was love in the way he welcomed us as family when we visited his home, his family. In fact, Lerie Richardson was more than a good dog. He was an amazing dog. One of the best.

Having done all that could be done, the decision to allow him to rest is a decision that did not come easy. My heart goes out to the Richardsons as they grapple with a loss that can only be appreciated by those who have loved and lost a beloved four-legged family member.

We were blessed to have Lerie live with us in our home for a short time and I recall that time fondly, even the picking up of stray hairs that seemed to linger for months after he and his family settled in their new home. Tears have been shed for Lerie, including my own. He is already sorely missed. And he will be forever loved.

Good bye Lerie boy.

January 20, 2009

History in the Making

Every moment that passes us by is history in the making. Yet, some of those moments are bigger than others. The moments where you know before or as they happen that they'll be recorded in history books. The moments where you will always remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. The moments that will forever change the way we live our lives. Today offers such a moment.

While I'm Canadian, I cannot help but be in awe of what Americans have chosen to do. In electing Barack Obama they have chosen the face of change for their country. And that shows strength and courage. While it is too early to gauge the true impact of President Obama, one thing is for certain: he will lead a different country than his predecessor. For that, even I am truly grateful.

image from CNN.com

And, so as not to mislead you into thinking I'm only politically interested, I love the suit that Michelle Obama has selected for the occasion. Simple and conservative with a nice pop of colour. Good choice for a first lady if you ask me.
Today, I will proudly join millions in watching the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th American President knowing that, forever more, I will remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the day the world changed.

January 17, 2009

Another Take on Kristina's Color Inspiration

I know I said yesterday that I'm not a huge fan of the orange/pink combo - and here I am using it two days in a row! I just liked the way my card turned out and I had this picture of mom and I that was just calling for the same color combination. So, here's Kristina's color inspiration #38 take 2:

Anyways gotta scoot, I'm babysitting two handsome little boys for my best friend tonight while her and her hubby go to dinner and while my hubby has a boys night watching the Barrett Jackson auction.

supplies: patterned paper & date sticker is scenic route, solid is SU! cardstock, ribbon from a jumbo pack from costco, flowers are prima, clip & brads are making memories, as are gems I think, and rub-on is from fancy pants design. The pen and ink are both unmarked :)

January 15, 2009

Color Inspiration #38

Well, this will be my first official submission into Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration challenge - and it was a bit of a challenge for me as I'm not a huge fan of orange or the orange/pink combo. I know, I know, some people love it. Anywhoo here's the inspiration source (love that mousepad!):

And my card:Even though I'm not a fan of the orange and pink combo, I liked how it turned out - simple & sweet.

Thanks for looking and Happy Friday!

Supplies: The cardstock and paper were from my scrap piles again, which are excellent for cardmaking, but not for tracking paper sources. The two flowers are from Prima, the orange brad is from Making Memories, the Birthday Wishes stamp is from Stampin' Up's 'sincere salutations' set, and the rub-on beneath the greeting is from Fancy Pants Design. It's hard to see in the picture but the greeting has also been embossed with Stampin' Up's iridescent ice powder. Edited: The ribbon is from a jumbo pack I picked up at costco.

Miracles Happen Every Day

... and the US Airways crash into the Hudson River today is evidence of that! I am absolutely amazed at the outcome of what could have been massive tragedy. Thanks to the calm, quick-thinking of the pilot and flight crew, all 140+ passengers survived. The strategic 'ditching' effort on the part of the pilot and the ability of the flight crew to keep all those people assengers calm during evacuation in the icy waters reminds me that there are indeed angels among us.

Photo from http://www.msnbc.msn.com

Just look at all those people standing on the wings of a sinking plane. Incredible.

Remember to always count your blessings. Life is too short to do anything but.

January 13, 2009

Color Inspiration

This weekend, I decided to take a stab at Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration challenge for the first time. By the time I got around to it, it was past the submission deadline - but I still like it and thought I'd share it anyway :)

Here's the inspiration source from Kristina:

And here's my take on it:

Sorry, I didn't track the products on it ... the strips are from my scrap piles. The white cardstock might be Bazzill. The greeting stamp is from Stampin' Up and the rub-on might be from KC&Co. Not sure about the gems. Anyways, I hope you like it!

January 12, 2009

Just That Kind of Day

I know everyone has 'one of those days' every once in a while. Well, today is that day for me. Awoke to feeling icky and to 15+ cms of snow on the ground. Driving around to the doctor's office and work was slow and sticky and - for me, in a standard - that also means it was a little stressful. It was a busy day at the office, packed from end to end. Followed by still feeling icky, a trip to the gym, a couple of fruitless errands, home to supper, dishes and a shower. By the time I finally sat down it was:

And, for the record, I REALLY REALLY dislike the long days during the week. I know its the price to pay for a post-work workout. Still, somehow, 8:24pm seems a little too late to be finally sitting down. And even then, I was sitting down to more work.

On the upside: my brother-in-law dropped by and plowed the piles of snow out of our looong driveway ... so already tomorrow is off to a much better start!

January 8, 2009

Thank God Its .... Thursday

Top three reasons I'm thankful today is Thursday

  1. The resume of new Grey's Anatomy shows
  2. Enjoying hot chocolate with my husband on the couch
  3. Only one more day until the weekend begins

All good stuff. Always grateful for the good stuff.

January 7, 2009

Hero Arts Anyone?

The new Hero Arts catalogue is here! Yay!!!!

Seriously, for stampers, card-makers and scrapbookers this is a BIG deal. Well at least for this scrapbooker it is. After perusing the pages, I settled on just a couple, which I've pre-ordered through my local scrapbooking store (LSS), the Paperie. I wanted this one and this one and this one too ... but decided on these two for now:

Misty Swirl Background

This is gonna make a super card background!

Favorite Journal Clear Designs

I can't wait to use this one on my version of Project 365

Happy stamping!

January 6, 2009


I'm still sorting and sending pics to print. I think I'll be at this a while ... and then comes photo album organization. I expect to be done by this project this time next year ;) Nah, maybe by the end of the month. I'm still enjoying it - tonight I came across this delightful reminder of summer:

Its my version of the Med Salad at one of mine and Des' fave restaurants, the Casbah. We love to go there on any occasion, but especially after work on a warm summer day and enjoy this fresh salad with a glass of the house red vino. Yum-o!!! We love it so much, I came up with this close replica to enjoy at home.

There is no written recipe, its really just a guesstimate each and every time - so feel free to adjust to taste:

Colleen's Take on the Casbah Med
(serves 2 large salads)

4 cups of mixed salad greens (or spinach, or arugula, whatever is fresh and available)
10-12 olives (I use the unpitted mixed ones from the supermarket deli)
Sun dried tomatoes (maybe about a 1/3 of a small jar, oil packed)
2-3 ounces of feta cheese
2 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
Balsamic Vinaigrette to taste (recipe follows)

Toss first five ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette just before serving. Toss and plate.

And there you have it folks, easy-peasy. If you want to make it prettier for presentation, reserve a few of olives, tomatoes, and feta to put on top of the tossed and dressed salad. Recipe can be easily double and tripled too, which I did for the above pic.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
(makes about a cup)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp of grainy/coarse Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1 clove of finely minced garlic
pinch of salt & pepper
2/3-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything but olive oil together first, in a small bowl. Then stream in EVOO slowly while whisking to combine.


January 5, 2009

Order in the House

I mentioned yesterday that I like a little bit of order and routine ... well, OK, I actually love order, period. There's something calming in everything having a place of its own. I think it helps me to live a simpler, more content life. Now, that doesn't mean I'm obsessed with it - nope, not at all. Like everyone else, things get pushed aside and procrastinated. I can always find a distraction. Life just gets in the way. Still, every so often I get the urge to purge. I get inspired to sort and order, putting things where they belong.

Like at the beginning of a New Year. Like today.

For the last few years, my photos have been trapped inside my PC. I sometimes post a few to facebook, though I rarely print any. Mostly only when I want a few for scrapbooking. The rest remain locked up in the computer behind my password for only me to see. And let's be honest, there's no fun in that! When that happens, everyone misses out pics like this:

Isn't he just the sweetest? My handsome nephew Logan on his christening day.

So, tonight I am finally sending these pics to print. Uploading as I blog. And, I might add enjoying what was perceived to be a tedious task. I get to relive some of the best memories ... like this:

mmmm, Grimaldi's pizza in Brooklyn anyone? Order is good.

January 4, 2009

Hello 2009...

Well, here it is. Sunday night. The last night of a very much enjoyed two-week holiday break. As much as I enjoyed celebrating the Christmas season with family and friends and as much as I would LOOOVE to have just a few more days to myself, I am looking forward to tomorrow. It marks my first day of work in 2009. It brings the return of routine and order (and for those who don't know me, I looove order!). It is my beginning of the new year.

I always enjoy the fresh start that creeps in when the clock turns midnight on December 31, don't you? The making of resolutions and looking ahead to what might lie before us, while reflecting on the year passed. Such fun reminders that life is to be lived. (albeit maybe with a little less chocolate and wine for the next few months ... OK, maybe the next few weeks ;)

My 2009 resolution is to live intentionally. To intentionally find time for the things I truly enjoy, like scrapbooking, cooking, being creative, being active, and spending quality time with my husband, family and friends. I don't know about you, but more often than I like, I find myself caught up in the busy-ness of life - running errands, doing chores, work, and other obligations. I've come to believe that is NOT the way to find enjoyment and fulfillment in my every day ... yes, I know, I know, the floors must still be swept so that the dust-dollies don't carry me away, but I just plan to ignore that fact every so often and invite the dust-dollies to play a while instead ;)

And that is what I'm doing right now. I am intentionally not vacuuming the pine needles collecting in the corner of my living room around the wilting Christmas tree. Instead, I am writing my first blog post. I am taking the time to write for no other reason than for fun. I am enjoying the glow of those Christmas lights a little longer and sharing a few of my thoughts with you.

I hope you too can say a big happy hello to 2009.