Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Preggo Geocaching Sunday - April 22, 2012

I just spent the most relaxing weekend with my bestie and her amazing little family. She is due with her second princess in only 4 weeks, which means only 8 more weeks left for me; the next time we see each other we will both have babies!  We shopped till our swollen feet couldn't take another step and ate ourselves into temporary comas.  On my last day I was there we needed some fresh air so geocaching it was.  I'm so happy to spread the adventure of geocaching to a new family. Team Flatline found their first two caches on Sunday!

Prego Caching

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This DIY project has been brought to you by the letter...P!

When we first got pregnant, we decided that no matter what name we decide on we will keep it a secret until she is born to avoid judgement from friends and family. I didn't want their opinions to sway us on a name we really loved. After Penny topped our list for sometime and my blog name just came to me without much thought, there wasn't much point hiding our love for the name.  Since the blog has been up and running, people have been asking if Penny is really the name we are going with, at first I beat around the bush a bit saying it was just for the blog but in the end I would usually fess up. Most people like it but we do get the occasional "ohhhh, that's nice" comment with the totally obvious lying face.  It is actually pretty hilarious, people are not good at hiding their true feelings.

So....with this post there should be no questions about it..........Penny is her name..........maybe! ;p

I started with a P from Wal-Mart, a hot glue gun and twine (left over from our wedding party decor).

Wrap the P with twine securing with hot glue as you go. Some areas will need two layers so that all the white it covered up. There really isn't a method except keep the amount of cuts you make to a minimum to have long consistent lines. 

Next up is a ribbon flower.  I searched for inspiration and found this type of flower the easiest to make. 
  • Cut four pieces of ribbon the same length, glue the end of each piece together to close the loop.
  • Layer loops in alternating directons and glue in between to secure loops together.
  • Push down and glue in between each layer (inside the loops).
  • Glue a matching button to the middle of the flower.
  • Glue on finished flower to the letter.


 Currently the P is hanging on Penny's bedroom door, I'm not sure if it will stay there or end up being hung in her room.  But for right now I love walking by knowing soon enough, it really will be HER room!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quick Bathroom Organize: Earrings and Bobby Pins

While cleaning out my "getting ready room" for the nursery transformation, I realized I was hoarding a shit load of lotions, makeup and jewelry. Most of it was expired and nasty....and was either wrapped up in hairballs (mostly my own) and/or covered in leaky creams, oils, dust, etc.  Please tell me I am not as disgusting as it seems........

The main washroom is the new home for all such things, therefore it needed some organization.  The bobby pin idea was one of the first things I ever pinned on pinterest, and what a great idea it is! For only a $4 adhesive magnetic strip from the dollar store stuck to the back of the cabinet door, it is the perfect solution.  

The ice cube tray took some "earring organization" searching on pinterest.  I love how each earring set is individually seperated for easy access that requires no digging around in a dark bottomless bag! The trays can also hold other small items such as rings or pendants.  I used 4 trays stacked 2 and 2 but took the top two off for the purpose of the photo.  

Hopefully these ideas are useful to you too! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baked Tempura Sesame Veggies

There are two things in the culinary world that makes Mr.Loonie go loonie.....deep fried broccoli and soy sauce.  Not the cheap soy sauce either, it has to be the dark and salty "China Lily" brand.  I am always up for some salt but broccoli, not so much, it is actually pretty nasty stuff.  I honestly only started eating asparagus this past year, either my taste buds are numb or I am getting over my stubbornness (who cares if my pee stinks right?). 

So to make this dish a little more healthy and to avoid the work of dealing with the deep fryer, I opted on baking the veggies till crispy and they actually turned out pretty damn good.

Step 1: Start with your favorite veggies, as you can see I used red onion, broccoli and asparagus.  Snap peas, mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower and yam would also be delicious (besides the fungus). Heat oven to 375°C.

Step 2: Toast up 1/4 cup of sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until golden brown. Add to a plate of panko crumbs and mix.

Step 3: Prepare mayo mixture (used to hold panko to veggies).  Mix to taste and to the quantity needed as per the amount of veggies you are using.  For the plate above and rack pictured, this was my quantities: 1/2c mayo, 2 tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar and good grate of fresh ginger.

Step 4: Set up an assembly line.  Roll veggies in mayo mixture to coat.  Transfer to panko/sesame seed mixture and roll to coat.  Place on rack (no need to flip half way using the rack).  For the broccoli, I only dipped the heads.

Step 5: Bake 15-20min on 375°C until golden brown.

Step 6: Prepare a dish for dipping,  I just used soy sauce with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The "Stink Bomb"

The "Stink Bomb".  WTF is it really? Does it even stink? As kids, when we found these nasty little bundles of fungi spores, it turned out to be a recipe for revenge! You could either try and pick it very carefully to throw at your sibling (fart-sack little brother) or wait until he/she came near to kick it so it explodes and you disappear like a magician!
Mr.Loonie and I found these extra large mutated "bombs" in a field by our house last night, unfortunately we love each other too much and didn't sabotage one another.  We are old and boring, I know.

After many google searches, the real identity of the "Stink Bomb" is still a mystery.  Someone, please help! My inner environmental nerd, is dying to know the species and family they belong to!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Monday Geocaching - April 9, 2012

Bathroom Renovation: The Before and The Inspiration

It has been years coming....but we have finally begun our main bathroom renovation!!  When we bought the house, there were three things we needed/wanted to reno. The first was the unfinished basement, the second was the dated kitchen and the third was the nasty main bathroom.  The basement and kitchen were both completed within the first 6 months of moving in.  This May will be 4 years in this house, I think it may be about time to tackle the bathroom! Now this bathroom has some issues including mold around the bath fixtures and in the shower wall tile grout, the walls are green and in pretty rough shape, the linoleum is pink and blue with green paint splatters, the tub, toilet and sink are all a dirty almond colour and although don't look that bad, the cabinets are a cheap laminate which is slowly chipping away revealing the particle board underneath.  With Penny's arrival quickly approaching, it was important to me to get this bathroom cleaned up and looking pretty since we will be spending a lot of time in there bathing and cleaning the cloth diapers.  We expect to be done by mid May.  So far, the shower has been demoed and the new tub and surround shower has been put in, thanks to Mr. Loonie and our amazing friend. The next step will be replacing the cabinets and counter top which are expected to arrive in 2 more weeks.  First, the before shots:

Now, for the inspiration picture:

I love everything about this picture including the hexagon tile, white cabinets, chrome details, bead board wainscotting, dark grey paint job and light counter tops! So my goal is to pretty much re-create this look but I am sure on much less of a budget.  I have created a board showing items we have already purchased, diy projects and items on the wish list.

1. Countertop - Formica FX line, colour: Travertine Silver purchased
2. Frame out existing mirror
3. Hexagon Floor Tile (currently pricing out - cheapest so far $4.99sq/ft, we need approx. 50sq.ft)
4. Bead Board Shaker Style cabinets (see design I selected below) purchased
5. Option for towel storage for wall on either side of cabinet
6. Retro Style lighting
7. Price Pfister lavatory facet and matching shower set purchased
8. Apothecary Jars own
9. Above the counter sink  purchased at Rona (see here)
10. 3 piece bath and shower purchased
11. White waffle shower curtain purchased
12. Chevron bath mat
13. Train Rack for towel storage (for wall above toilet)
14. Vintage botanical prints in silver frames (there are a lot of free printables to be found)

*A new toilet has also already been purchased.
**Note: The toilet, 3 piece shower and bath, sink and faucets were all picked up at Rona on their "15% off Bathroom Product" promotion last month, for all under $1400! Steal of a deal!

Cabinet design (24"drawers, 30" doors, 24" drawers):

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nursery Safe Shades

A few weekends ago, Grams and I wiped up some shades for Penny's room.  I was going to just use white curtains for her room, but I decided to take the wise advice given by my friends with little ones and go with something that blocks out the sunlight for those daytime naps.  Anything to keep baby sleeping! The idea of the shades came after researching "safe window treatments for nursery" since it looks like the room arrangement may end up having the crib underneath the window so dangling strings and loose fabric within baby's reach could be dangerous.  This website came up in the search and I thought they "Hey! those look pretty easy to make!", with Grandma's help of course....I am still just a beginner sewer and probably will be for quite some time!

I bought the fabric months ago from IKEA with the intentions of making book slings (still to come), and the colours have served as my "jumping off point" for the whole scheme of the nursery. The heavy weight of the fabric ended up being perfect for the shade and since I bought 6 meters (for $6/m), I have more than enough for both projects.  For the extra layer of lining, we cut up an old white IKEA curtain, I had kicking around (teaser: the other panel will be used for the ottoman I am working on).

Step 1: Measure inside of window frame by height and width.  Cut outer fabric to dimensions with an extra 2 inches on each side for hem - this is for three of the sides.  For the top of the curtain, leave enough to make a pocket for your rod depending on its circumference (we left an extra 6 inches). 

Step 2: Cut inner "blackout" fabric to exact window dimensions and lay inside outer fabric.

Step 3: Fold outer fabric edge over once and then over once again, it should now cover and lock in the inner later. Pin folds down for sewing.  Repeat for three sides, except for the top.  For the top, make fold to accommodate for the rod pocket and sew as you would the other three sides.  (As you can tell from my instructions, I am not an expert sewer at all, Google or your Grandma may be your best resource for information here).

Step 4: Use a kit to cover the buttons with the corresponding fabric where you want the buttons to lie. The shade has 2 folds to bring it up to about the half the window (you can decide if you want the shade to hang lower or higher when "up").  Attach the button with needle and thread to shade (not the fold).

Step 5: Make loop with scrap fabric.  We use a 5cm long piece approximately an inch wide and folded the edges into itself and sewed down the one side.  Line up with button and sew onto the fold of the shade.

Step 6: Use tension rod for the pocket and hang shade inside the window frame.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dad's Sweet and Sour Spareribs

There are a handful of Sunday dinners that I could not live with out and this is one of them, this recipe is the definition of comfort food for me.  While my brother and I were growing up, the recipe card was a mess due to the fact that we were bottomless pits! The ingredient measurements were continously scratched out and new outrageous portions were scribbled in. I was hoping to find the original recipe card in the box but it has since been re-written. The amount of spareribs needed isn't clear but I would double the amount of meat I had in the pan for the amount of sauce this makes.  Or just cut the sauce down by 1/4 (if you like a lot of sauce..and who doesn't) or by a 1/2.  

Dad's S&S Spareribs

STEP 1: Brown ribs in a tbsp of oil and sprinkle with flour, place into oven safe dish or dutch oven.

STEP 2: Combine the following in pot on a low-medium heat:

3/4 c      soy sauce
5 tsp      salt
2 1/2 c   cold water
3/4 c      vinegar
1 c         sugar
5 tbsp     cornstarch (mix in small cup with a bit of water and whisk into pot, it will start to        
              thicken but will continue in the oven)

STEP 3: Pour sauce over ribs and bake with lid on @ 350 for approximately 1.5 hours or until meat is separating from bones.



Ooops forgot the vinegar in the pic!


Serve on white or fried rice...YUM!

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Spring!!!!

It's everyone's favorite time of year.....the sun is shining, daily temperatures are no longer negative, the sun hangs around for the evening and people just feel good! I look forward to walks with Stryker in our little neighborhood, people are smiling while walking with a friend, working in their yard, washing their car or playing street hockey (those boys have been waiting all winter for this)! Whatever we are all doing, we are just happy to be outside!! All the photos below are taken within a kilometer from our house and I couldn't ask for a more beautiful setting.
Tulips in the window
Bella planning her escape after a long cooped up winter.
Best buds watching the snow melt.
It was a LOOOOOONG winter....we swear he didn't have gray hair in the fall!
28 week baby bump.
Surfing the icebergs on the Hangingstone River.
Hangingstone River melt.
Boys and their street hockey........"CAR!!!"
The park is melting....
Green grass and blue skies.