Monday, July 30, 2012

True Story

1. The other night I went to breastfeed Penny and started to undo my pants rather than my bra.
2. I am addicted to sugar and the spoons I leave on the counter prove it.  First I dip in the peanut butter jar than the honey pot.
3. Coffee is my new best friend.  Stronger the better with a shit load of french vanilla creamer.
4. I now inhale my food because who has time to chew?? 
5. My armpits ALWAYS smell like they belong to a pubescent boy who just ran a marathon...damn hormones.
6. I wrote this post with one hand while nursing....go me!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Remember when I said I had a recipe for your garden herbs?? Well here it is and you put it in your cheese man.  I stumbled upon this recipe on GOOP.  If you haven't heard of GOOP it is a website Gwyneth Paltrow created to tell us what is cool and what she thinks we should buy, including her suggestions of the week like a paper tray for $270 or four Turkish towels for $240.  Umm...yah right.  So it really was a fluke to even end up on her website because based on her suggestions, I may not be her target audience.  What's even awesomer is that it really is Ina Garten's recipe who I love so much, I used to refer to her as my mom....she just seems so lovey dovey all the time.  And who wouldn't wanna come home to her home cooked meals?! HERE for the recipe or just follow my quick breakdown.

1. Gather your ingredients: White wine vinegar (3 tbsp), Whole Milk (500ml), Heavy Cream (250ml) and Kosher Salt (1 tbsp).
2. Add the milk, cream and salt to a stainless steel pot.  Set heat to medium and stir occasionally.
3. While your mixture is working up a boil, line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and sit over a deep bowl.
4. When it has come to a boil, remove from heat and add the vinegar.  The mixture will begin to curdle separating the curds and whey.
5. Pour into the lined sieve.  Let sit at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes or longer for a thicker, less moist consistency.
6. Add your desired extras to the cheese.  I separated my finished cheese into two parts. To one half I added finely chopped herbs, I used chives, basil and thyme but you could use whatever you liked! To the other half I added a good quality honey.
 Mmmm, the perfect summer snack or light lunch! The honey cheese pairs so good with fresh fruit and the herb cheese is best on toasted or grilled baguette.  So simple!

Wha?!? A raspberry eating dog??

Yes it's true, Stryker is the Mikey of Dogs.  He eats everything from Jiggs Dinner in someone's garbage (this is a story for another time but basically all the salt gave him an overdose which led to him disoriented and a night in the vet hooked up to i.v.), deer heads, watermelon and now raspberries.  The best part is how he so delicately plucks them off the branch and only the really ripe ones, if they are just a little white or pink he looks over them! Crazy Dog!

We did manage to pick ourselves a little bowl full ourselves before Stryker got to them all and made some kick ass raspberry pies while camping.  I just mashed them up with a little sugar, placed the mixture between two pieces of bread which were sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and then cooked over the fire in the camp cookers. Yum...the perfect desert!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy 1 Month Penny!

Penny is 1 month old today!! Where does the time go?!?!  While things can be very tiring and overwhelming sometimes, it is all bearable and I couldn't imagine life any different right now. Especially since she just started smiling two days adorable!

 Passing time and making memories on a rainy day...........

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Penny's Nursery: The Big Reveal!!

Finally the big reveal!! I am in love with Penny's room and I hope one day when she can see past 18" she will too!  It is just so bright and colourful with so much to look at but not overcrowded or too my opinion anyways. ;)

We took these shots at 5am when the sun was coming up which explains the brightness and since I am not the best photographer these are the pictures we are left with.

The cost breakdown:

Crib - $120 (Bought on Kijiji: The price included the change table which I didn't use and sold for $40)
Closet Doors - $35
Crib Skirt, Pillows, Curtains, Quilt and Ottoman Fabric - $75 (with fabric to spare)
Light Fixture - $30
Art - $50
Rag Rug from Etsy- $80
Chair from Kijiji- $50
Paint and Supplies - $40
Change Pad, Sheets, Change Pad Covers (2) - $70
Baskets, Pom Poms, Trash Can, Laundry Bin - $50
Mobile - $50
IKEA Ribba Shelves (Picture Ledge) - $17 x 3 =  $51
Hooks from Kijiji - $45

Total = $746
Subtract $40 for Change Table = $706
Add $50 for odds and ends (buttons, spray paint, ottoman legs etc.) = $756 (Approximately)
Mattress and Monitor = Approx. $230 (bought with Costco gift card)


The room consisted of a lot of DIY projects which were really fun to me and kept me busy during my early pregnancy months.  First was refinishing the dressers that I had when I was a kid which then led to lining the dresser drawers with polka dot wrapping paper.  Next was the sewing projects with Penny's great grandmother, she helped me make the nursery safe shades (the fabric was the first thing I bought for the room and served as the colour inspitration for the whole nursery) and the pillows. 

I then searched Kijiji for weeks for the perfect crib and nursing chair with some character and found both 500km away in Edmonton, luckily my wonderful family were able to pick them up for me.


Now for the closet doors which were the other biggest project of the room besides the dressers.  I couldn't imagine the room without them though, they just provide that extra design and personal touch.  As you can see in the picture above the light reflects the circles back on the walls for the coolest effect!

Smaller projects included:
  • Garden baskets which I spray painted gold to hold stuffed animals above the crib.
  • Homemade pom-poms hanging above the change table for a $5 project for so much impact! 
  • I Heart You picture I made using an old IKEA picture and frame I had laying around, filled the squares using burlap from our wedding table runners, spray painted wooden letters found at Wal-Mart and put it all together. 
  • The book shelves are actually picture ledges from IKEA, they are awesome to showcase all the books my cousin and I had when we were kids. Also super accessible for reading in the chair. 
  • P for Penny, again using a letter found at Wal-Mart and wrapping it in twine.
  • The ottoman which my Dad and I whipped up quickly. 
  • DIY crib skirt made using heat bond tape and velcro.

The hooks, chevron basket, rag rug and change pad covers were etsy finds.  After some use, I am so happy I went with topping the dresser with the change pad rather than using the change table, such a space saver and everything looks clean rather than having the open shelving that a change table has.  After she is out of diapers we don't have to worry about selling the change table and finding a dresser to fit the space.  The basket set-up next to the change pad really works for us too.  It contains diaper creams, a box of wipes and like ten diapers which we refill when necessary from the big diaper box hidden in the closet.

Other finishing touches include the mobile bought at a baby store in Edmonton, the owl clock and trash can found at Superstore, quilt made by Penny's great-grandma, laundry basket from Canadian Tire, the owl light given as a gift, the fox pelt given to me from a local trapper and the light fixture and picture above the changing dresser both found at IKEA.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Herb Box

There is no way better to improve a dish like fresh herbs, sure, dry ones will do in a bind like in the dead of winter when a pack of fresh herbs is $8.00 and the one you want is sold out.  I guess that's what you get when you live in Northern Canada and the only fresh herbs that are growing in January is 3300km away in California.

A few summer ago I asked Mr.Loonie to construct me a "box" to house my favorite herbs in neat little compartments.  Each hole measures 7" x7" x7" which allows a good amount of growing space. The outer edges measure 1.5" higher than the soil level. I stained the outside of the box and added handles for easy relocation when a storm is coming in (herbs are finicky and too much moisture can be a bad thing). I have also been thinking of adding wheels.

These pictures were taken a few weeks back shortly after planting.  I will admit that I am lazy and don't plant the herbs from seed but buy them already started from Superstore. :( One day.....

So this year, I planted (from left to right, top to bottom)...rosemary, chervil, thyme, oregano, sage, mint.   My two favorite herbs, basil and Italian parsley are in bigger pots. 

I have a yummy homemade cheese recipe coming up soon using these fresh herbs! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Penny's (The 4th Stryke) First Geocaching Adventure

It was a scorcher on the day of her first adventure! We found the first part of this multi-cache with no problems but the second part we were not so lucky and we had to give up our search early because of the heat. We did find out later that the cache was muggled....damn muggles! Hopefully we will have better luck on Penny's next cache.
This spot is awesome though, such an amazing view of the Athabasca River! It can either be accessed from behind Thickwood or on a trail leading up from the end of the water treatment plant road.