Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Candace's Wedding Weekend

I am tired but oh so happy. It is sunny and warm. My hair looks good. My fridge is full. AND my dear friend Candace got married on Sunday. (Candace is one of my best friends and has been living with us for the past 4 months until her wedding).

Wednesday night, Candace’s maid of Honour arrived from the States. Amber is awesome. I like her TONS. I stayed up waaay to late chatting with them on Thursday night (and managed to gesture wildly and take a small chunk of nose skin off with my nail. I need baby mittens) but thankfully I didn’t work Friday (woo) as I’d taken the day off to help Candace with wedding stuff. After the four of us (girls plus Paul) had a Mexican breakfast (in honour of our southern guest) the girls headed out for a day of errands. We got all the food we’d need for the big stagette that evening and while Candace headed off for an afternoon of tanning and mani/pedi’s Amber and I chatted happily and prepped dinner.
• Honey Garlic Salmon
• Roasted Veggies in Honey Garlic Sauce
• Rice
• Ice Cream with whipped cream, chocolate & caramel sauce and fresh berries.
It was awesome. Not only was the food great, but taking a few hours to prep food and then also have help made it oh so relaxing.

Candace’s sister, Jenny, arrived (also very sweet) and jumped right in to helping us decorate and get my basement suite ready for a party! Girls slowly arrived to join us and I got to enjoy being surrounded by southern accents. Joy. The rest of the bridal party arrived (Carol, Ashley, Sarah and Tiffany) and we were joined by some of Candace’s Vancouver friends. We ate, shared Champagne, told stories of why we love Candace and played hilarious games. Before we knew it, it was midnight and the party was winding down…we knew that in the morning we’d be making all the bouquets and centerpieces and that we should probably get some sleep.

Saturday I picked up the flowers and drove to where the bridal party was staying. As mentioned above we made the centerpieces and bouquets (as seen in the photos below), ate chips, and talked. 

Eventually I headed home to rest before the rehearsal dinner. I had a glorious shower and nap and Paul and I were dressed up and out the door heading to Langley half an hour late, haha. The Rehearsal Dinner was lovely – Earl’s mom Sara is a phenomenal hostess, and the food was amazing! It was a relaxing evening. Early on I ditched Paul to hang out with the bridesmaids since they’re only here for such a short time – thankfully though, Paul found some American men to talk football with and even got to talk about politics. His heart was very happy. I had a great time chatting with Candace’s wonderful southern friends; telling stories over dinner and wine. It was a perfect night.

Sunday was particularly nice, as the wedding wasn’t until 6pm. Paul and I were doing set up at the reception tent, but that didn’t even need to happen until 3pm. We slept in, ate food, relaxed and eventually headed over to Burnaby. (I definitely wore leggings to work in – so important to be comfortable…plus I just like my leggings). It only took us an hour to put out the centerpieces, candles and table numbers. We added the small touches around the place (seating chart on a chalk board & a large black and white painting of a bare tree so guests could leave a green finger print. Fun!) and were able to get dressed in peace in the hall. Candace got married at the Hart House – with both the ceremony and reception outside. Thankfully the reception was in a tent, it got cooler later on.

The ceremony was beautiful and touching and official – Candace and Earl were married! Candace of course looked stunning and the bridesmaids looked great in their dresses. Candace and Earl looked so happy, and at peace. It was wonderful to see. The reception was perfect as well. No problems or mistakes. Great speeches. Amazing Food. I got to sit with Jenna and Paul so I was sooooo happy. We had a rad dance party – I managed to keep my heels on until the last song or two! As well, when the time came to take down the decorations we put up, people stuck around to help and we were done in half an hour. We got to keep the flowers and my living room is now COVERED in Peonies and it’s awesome.

It feels like we’ve been playing “hot potato” with the bridesmaids at our house – Wednesday and Thursday Amber was there, Sunday night Sarah and Ashley were there. Last night Tiffany and Carol were there and tonight only Carol remains. Phew. I’m glad though, to offer a home base for these girls to see the city from. I love getting to know them, and I’m stoked to have dinner with Carol tonight. No wonder Candace loves them all so much, they are really great. I had such trouble going to bed last night as I kept wanting to stay up and talk with Tiffany and Carol. I LOVE having company in my house. I went to sleep so happy to know there were people in our home.

Well on that note, I should probably get back to work. The photos below are from people on FB who haven’t lost their camera cord (like I have)…enjoy!

 Not only gorgeous...but look at those bouquets! Woo.

 So happy!

 Centerpieces - so beautiful in the big outdoor tent.

Me and my sister - thoroughly enjoying the wedding

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here is my list for the 33 week organizational Challenge. This week I should be working on number 3. Instead, it’s Candace’s Stagette and Wedding weekend so I’m pretty sure I’ll be going crazy shortly. The bolded ones are the ones I haven’t even started on. Woo. And I volunteered for this!

1. Sort Papers – Consolidate (from EVERYWHERE in house) and Conquer

2. Sort out storage area & organize Shopping Bags into a good system

3. Junk Drawer in Kitchen

4. Homestay Bedroom

5. Swap Winter and Summer Clothes/Shoes

6. Basket & Car Bin in Bedroom

7. Make Egg Muffins (24)

8. Apply for Nexus (and other such tasks hanging over my head)

9. Closet in Bedroom

10. Make Egg Muffins (24)

11. Reorganize Big & Little Freezer (as they go hand in hand)

12. Sort bookshelf – books in order and by type! & reorder Games Shelf

13. Assemble Craft Station

14. Fill Craft Station

15. Make Egg Muffins (24)

16. Organize Far left Kitchen Cupboard

17. Closet in Bathroom – PROCESS

18. Bedside Drawers

19. Make Cards for all occasions (Goal of 30)

20. Make Egg Muffins (24)

21. Sort clothes/shoes and books for donations

22. Make Front Door Area look nice (outside)

23. Make Front Door Area look nice (inside)

24. Reorganize Pantry

25. Make Egg Muffins (24)

26. Print, frame and put up pictures

27. Re organize bottom Kitchen Shelving Area

28. Reorganize Africa Corner

29. Top of Fridge, Top of Microwave & outside of Fridge

30. Make Egg Muffins (24)

31. Grill Chicken Breasts and Hamburgers for easy meals

32. Picture Frames by bookshelves

33. Paint Turquoise Shelf Brown

Laura at the Org Challenge says not to be discouraged if you fall behind. I refuse to be upset. I’m busy. Life is busy. A dear friend is getting married. Life is wonderful.

Someone at work gave me flowers since it was raining (still unsure how that connects) and my boss complimented me. I am wearing a jean skirt and leggings. I don’t work tomorrow. Life is great.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long Weekend Monday

I have had a wonderful time today. Long weekend Monday. Ahhh. 

Last night we stayed up until almost 3am watching movies in bed (edited to add - originaly sentace read: "Last night we stayed up until almost 3am watching Harry Potter in bed" sounded very creepy). Excellent. We did not get up until 11:30 - glorious. I did some work on Candace's Bachelorette party invites and caught up on some more Glee and worked on cards for the many Morgan birthdays in May. We headed out to Delta for an afternoon BBQ and enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing family time. It was so nice. Sun, wine, burgers and great company. 

We headed home (with a brief detour at Sears to buy Crocs for both of us, as per the Chiropractor, for use around the house) and I got to hang out with Candace for a few hours. It's been a great night resting, relaxing and chatting. Catching up on Glee, eating chips, and preparing lunches and breakfasts for the week ahead. 

All in all it's been a great Holiday Monday - and it's a short week for me as I've taken Friday off to be on Wedding Duty. Woo!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Green Party

So casserole day was 98% a success. I made 14 of 16 - and the only reason I didn't make all 16 was that somehow I miscalculated and managed to only have enough ingredients for 14. Seriously don't know how that happened. 

We now have 14 casseroles in the freezer. On top of that I got to sleep in with my dear husband, and enjoy a great morning with him, and then get started on food prep. I worked from 12:30pm until 5:30pm - and have so many casseroles to show for it. 

After that I lounged around, read some Little house on the Prarie, drank some wine and relaxed thoroughly. Afterwards Paul and I attended our friend Sarah's Green Birthday Party. Green is her favorite colour, so all the candy and clothes were green!
It was a great party!

Sunday morning we woke up to no alarm - awesome. Then I joined Jenna and Connor at the play place at Oakridge and came back to cook a Mexican Fiesta Breakfast at Lunchtime. I am so enjoying the long weekend. 
We ran coffee service at church for our Reception Sunday, had a great worship service and then had my parents over for dinner. We are now catching up on some TV and enjoying some relaxed time. Looking forward to getting some work done tomorrow and joining Paul's family for birthday lunch. WOo!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday of a long weekend *sigh of happiness*

I am so happy. It is gorgeously sunny outside. On top of that one of the managers just came by to tell me that I could go home at 3pm today. 3pm!! Just that new knowledge was enough to push my mood from “happy, but starting a work day”, to “Happy!! And starting a work day!” Awesome.

My boss comes in on Tuesday from Toronto to talk with me about how to proceed with the big office move. We have years of folder and files stored here. On top of that we have even more years of files stored at a storage facility. This was all originally documented well, and now it’s a bit all over the place.

We have stationary. Tons of stationary. Binder, paper, pens, etc. We have kitchen things. We have so much to move. I’m very glad she’ll be here in person to lead me through how to proceed.

(P.S. if they’re wanting to get rid of the awesome white bowls I totally call dibs.)

Tonight is our friend Mike’s Birthday. Paul and I will rest at home and then head over there. In the morning we will sleep in!!, then I’ll go for a walk with Candace while Paul gets started on homework. When I return I will make 16 casseroles; 11am until 6pm is officially food prep time! Then we’ll head over to our friend Sarah’s birthday party. Sunday is a walk with Katie and then back storage area time and paper sorting (numbers 1 and 2 on my list for 33 weeks of Organization, until church. After church we’re having my parents over for dinner and a visit. Monday (love long weekends) we will again sleep in, I will make lunches and breakfasts for the week and we will head out to Delta for a family dinner with Paul’s family for my, Katie’s, Ted’s and Janice’s Birthdays. Afterwards I will make sure all laundry is folded and put away. Our house will be in some order! Paul has a dinner meeting, but I will enjoy an evening in with tasty healthy food…hopefully followed up with a book or some TV catch up.

I’m very excited for this weekend and the chance to get some things done. It helps it not hang over my head the way it could. I have trouble relaxing when I know there are things that need to get done. Doing the 33 week challenge helps because I know it will get done; and having a weekend to start really helps as well. Phew.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

33 Week Organization Challenge

Ok, so I’ve decided to follow along with Org Junkie’s 52 weeks of Organization and will start at week 33 since they’ve already completed 19 weeks, I can’t come up with more than 33 things (as we’ve been working steadily on the house for a year) and I want to be realistic with what I can accomplish. And as tomorrow marks the cutoff for week 19 and I don’t have any time tonight, I’ll be doing week 19 and 20 this weekend (which would be weeks 1 and 2 on my list. Phew). I also need to make breakfasts to take to work every morning so I stop eating bagels all the time, so roughly every 4 weeks I’ve got one of my tasks to be make 24 breakfasts.

Here is my list:

1. Sort Papers – Consolidate (from EVERYWHERE in house) and Conquer

2. Sort out storage area & organize Shopping Bags into a good system

3. Junk Drawer in Kitchen & deal with Car Bin in Bedroom

4. Basket in Bedroom

5. Make Egg Muffins (24)

6. Swap Winter and Summer Clothes/Shoes

7. Homestay Bedroom

8. Apply for Nexus (and other such tasks hanging over my head)

9. Closet in Bedroom

10. Make Egg Muffins (24)

11. Reorganize Big & Little Freezer (as they go hand in hand)

12. Sort bookshelf – books in order and by type! & reorder Games Shelf

13. Assemble Craft Station

14. Fill Craft Station

15. Make Egg Muffins (24)

16. Organize Far left Kitchen Cupboard

17. Closet in Bathroom – PROCESS

18. Bedside Drawers

19. Make Cards for all occasions (Goal of 30)

20. Make Egg Muffins (24)

21. Sort clothes/shoes and books for donations

22. Make Front Door Area look nice (outside)

23. Make Front Door Area look nice (inside)

24. Reorganize Pantry

25. Make Egg Muffins (24)

26. Print, frame and put up pictures

27. Re organize bottom Kitchen Shelving Area

28. Reorganize Africa Corner

29. Top of Fridge, Top of Microwave & outside of Fridge

30. Make Egg Muffins (24)

31. Grill Chicken Breasts and Hamburgers for easy meals

32. Picture Frames by bookshelves

33. Paint Turquoise Shelf Brown

Outside of this list I will be continuing to make 10-15 casseroles every 2 months for D Group, and for tired nights. I will also be doing my regular chores, as will Paul. Hopefully this will eventually get us to a place where we can finally have our house deeply organized and just maintain!

Also for June we will be doing the No Spend Month from Small Notebook. They usually do theirs in July, but June works better for us as we have numerous stag’s and stagette’s and weddings in July and will have to spend. We’ll be doing it slightly differently as we are not basing it off of a total budget…but realistically looking at the things we have to buy in June (food, gas, bills, etc) and then agreeing to cut out the extra’s. We will each forfeit our monthly “spending allowance” and we will only buy basic groceries (no chips, etc). We are taking two trips to the states during that month so we will be picking up things for the stag/stagette but those are budgeted for and are not extra spending. We may need to eat out with friends during that time, but we will have a small budget for the travelling meals – ONLY with people. Other than that we will be packing food from home for our trips!

I’m excited for this. It is good for my heart. It’s a bit like fasting with money. My heart gets greedy. I want want want want. I am a CONSUMER. Paul says advertisements were made for me; whenever I see food on TV I want it! Now! When I take a break from consuming, and focus on what I have and the riches God has blessed me with, I find I need less and I want less.

This is also really important for me as I am finally paying down my debt and I want to be able to advance forward in life without feeling the need to spend and consume. Through taxes and severance and bonuses God has really blessed us and we will finally be debt free. God is a good God and I want to honor the blessings he’s given us.

For Paul (who could go months without spending and only has a spending allowance because I made it so) this will just be a treat. He loves to be frugal.

I’ve decided that I will start by myself to keep my costs down. From now until June I will not spend on myself. We have bday parties to go to so we have to eat out but aside from that I will not spend. I decided this yesterday. It was the hardest time walking home past Tim Hortons and the flower shop and so many stores. Day 1 and the temptation was already extreme!

Tonight I am making Shrimp Alfredo Linguini (really Spaghetti Noodle, not Linguini), Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf and Zucchini Loaf with Chocolate Chips. I will then hang out with my sister and my nephews. It is a good night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 30: DOne!

As we’re almost done the 30 day bog challenge I’ve been thinking about starting a new challenge. One Paul might actually understand (he was so confused about why anyone would challenge themselves to blog for 30 days, haha).

I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs this week all centering around the 52 Weeks of Organization challenge  hosted by Laura  at OrgJunkie. I love seeing organization come together! Now they’re already on to week 20 (I think) of the challenge so I’m debating if I should a) Double up the first 40 weeks, so two things a week for 40 weeks and one thing a week for 12 weeks or b) Do one thing on my list each day, until I’ve caught up to their weeks, and then change to a weekly thing. I think that would be about 25-30 days of daily. Tasks.


Well to start, I can fill out the 52 Weeks of Organizing chart found here. Maybe that will help me determine which way to do this? Either way, I’ll be posting regularly about my progress, helps keep me accountable!

1. Sort Papers – Consolidate (from EVERYWHERE in house) and Conquer

2. Junk Drawer in Kitchen

3. Basket in Bedroom

4. Reorganize Pantry

5. Homestay Bedroom

6. Organize Shopping Bags into a good system

7. Closet in Bedroom

8. Swap Winter and Summer Clothes/Shoes

9. Reorganize Big & Little Freezer (as they go hand in hand)

10. Sort bookshelf – books in order and by type!

11. Assemble Craft Station

12. Fill Craft Station

13. Organize Far left Kitchen Cupboard

14. Closet in Bathroom – PROCESS

15. Bedside Drawers

16. Make Cards for all occasions (Goal of 30)

So that’s all I have for now. More tomorrow. Maybe I can just join up and do the rest since I’ll need 33 then. Wooo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 29: Plan B and Mailout

Last night was all about Plan B. My first plan was to go grocery shopping, get home to make dinner, and spend the evening working on prep. Then my friend Kaela was in the hospital, so we added her to the plan. Go grocery shopping, stop by the hospital to visit Kaela for an hour or so, then go home eat and do food prep. Then I realized, since I was making a Mexican fiesta for dinner we should really have our friend Lyndsay over for dinner since we all get along with her really well and she loves Mexican.

Here’s how the night actually went; Grocery shopping with Paul, Hospital to visit Kaela and her family, and then Mexican Fiesta Dinner with Lyndsay, Candace and Paul – there was a lot of food, laughing, and then eventually TV watching. I did manage to get the last of last week’s veggie’s chopped and in the freezer to make in to soup later (not as ideal as actually making soup, but more ideal than throwing it away), and Lyndsay talked with me while I put all the groceries away. It was a lovely evening, even if not what I’d originally planned.

Today is tedious. I've printed 230 letters. Printed labels for 230 companies. I have folded 230 letters. I have labeled 230 envelopes. I am now stuffing all of them and next I will glue them shut and apply postage. Yech. 230 times.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 28: Mexican Fiesta!

I am very happy today. After church last night we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s to hang out with family and celebrate my aunt’s birthday. We watched the hockey game (GO Canucks!), ate good food, and had great conversation. I went to bed before 11(!!) but then just before 12 Paul got in to bed, and woke me up to chat as I’d been away all weekend and he missed me. It was sweet and tiring. We stayed up until 1:30 taking and then finally I got to go back to sleep.

Throughout church and the hangout with family people kept complimenting me on the women’s retreat. It’s so cool that people loved it so much! It was important that we build a place for God to move, and boy did he! Can’t wait to plan more in the future!

Tonight I will be making a Mexican Fiesta Dinner. Chicken Fajitas with homemade Guacamole and homemade Salsa. Mmmmm. We will have Sangria to go with that. Ole!

Afterwards I am going to make a large vat of veggie soup, more chocolate Zucchini Loaf (we all liked it so much, we want to try it with chocolate chips in it now) and Egg Muffins for the week (trying for 2 weeks worth of healthy breakfasts). Afterwards, Laundry will be done and then Paul and I will watch the How I met your Mother season Finale. Phew!

Yesterday I got the chance to clean out our fridge and figure out which veggies leftovers needed to be turned in to soup (just spinach and carrots – so spinach soup, here we come!). Our fridge is empty and ready to be filled again. In 15 minutes I will leave work and meet Paul at the Costco downtown. We’ll get groceries, socks and some sort of treat for a friend who we’re visiting in the hospital after. We will stop by to see our friend, and then head home for the Mexican Fiesta.

Paul tells me that he has done some things around the house that I’m going to like, but that I’ll have to figure out what they are. Suspicious and exciting.

I wish I could find my camera cord as I have lots of food pictures to post – wait, maybe you readers are happy that I can’t find my cord, haha.

Alright, off to costco, the hospital to see our dear friend and then home for the fiesta!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 27: Back from the Women's Retreat

Back from the Women's Retreat. What an amazing time. 

All that planning and prep and so wonderful. 

Here is the group that was still around on Sunday morning
I got to lead some of the sessions and ask women about their relationships with God. So cool!

God moved in awesome ways. I'm exhausted. and it was a wonderful time. 

Came home to church, guest speaker, reception sunday, family dinner and now finally bed!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 25: Friday, yeah.

Last night was wonderful, despite the fact that right after work I headed to the dentist for a filing. Lame. BUT the time after that rocked.

I got home around 6:30 and decided to try a new meal recipe, complete with fancy plating. I baked veggies and chicken (separately) in the oven. I made a tasty red sauce. When my veggies were baked I mixed them with the red sauce and poured them over the baked chicken. On the side I served Zucchini that I breaded with parmesan and broiled. SO tasty. I took pictures but I can’t find the camera cord, so you don’t get to see how pretty it was.

After this lovely dinner (which we ate with Candace and Earl), Candace and Earl did the dishes and I got to sit on the couch and read. It was so magnificent. I was so happy. I baked two loaves of chocolate Zucchini bread (which was fantastic), packed for the weekend and generally rested with my hubby and a book and our PVR. Perfect night.

Today I leave for the women’s retreat in White Rock all weekend. I doubt there is internet there, so I will most likely be taking a one day break from this challenge.

I’m so excited for this weekend; I believe that something powerful happens when women get to go away together and focus on God. So good.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 24: Zucchini Lasagne

Wow, I rarely receive such a response to a dinner idea that I post on FB. I was amazed! Sounds like everyone wanted the recipe. I’m happy to oblige!

But first, a tidbit about me. I love to read food blogs. There are a few in particular that I follow and get many many ideas from; Kalyns Kitchen (first and foremost), The Polymath Chronicles (though I often enjoy reading about them more than actually making them as they are at a slightly higher skill level than I), and Siriously Delicious (I actually have yet to try any of hers but they look so great!). I love that they show step by step pictures of what they did. So helpful. I love to hear their personal stories of the trials and victories.

As I mentioned yesterday, Google is the other main way I get recipes. I particularly like when google gives me links to “allrecipes” or “cooks.com”. Great!

This now brings me to last night’s recipe “Grilled Zucchini Lasagna.” I got it from Kalyn’s Kitchen.
Now I’ll tell you another truth about me. I’m not great at following recipes. I’ll make substations if needed (I.e. I don’t have a grill, I just have my oven so I broil rather than grill). Also, not great at reading them to make sure I have all the ingredients (which means I was about to make Lasagne with no cottage cheese!). So here is what I ended up doing (though I’m sure it would have been even better had I followed her recipe to a T).

Grilled Zucchini "Lasagna" with Ground Beef

(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn and altered by Tara.)

  •  6 small zucchinis, cut into lengthwise slices about 5/8 inch thick (enough zucchini slices to make three layers)
  • Pam Spray
  • 1 Jar of Hunts 4 Cheese Marinara
  • 1 small package of Ground Beef (or really any type of meet, cooked and chopped in to small pieces)
  • 3 cups grated mozarella cheese (I’m fairly certain this recipe would also be great with soy cheese if you can’t do dairy).
  • 8 large mushrooms
Spray pan with Pam Spray so Zucchini won’t stick.

Turn your oven on to Broil.

Cut Zucchini into slices about 5/8 inch thick.

Broil zucchini slices on one side until it is tender, but not fully cooked, about 7 minutes.

Make your Marinara/Meat Sauce Mix. I cooked my ground beef in garlic and onion salts. I then sautéed my mushrooms, sliced, in becel with garlic and onion salts and then combined both of those things with my jar of Sauce. (If I’d have had more time I would have added more veggies…like peppers, asparagus, etc).

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spray heavy ceramic or glass lasagna dish with non-stick spray or olive oil. (Be sure your dish isn't too shallow; I use a dish that's 3 inches deep, and 9" by 11" long.) Then layer “lasagna slices”, a layer of sauce, and a layer of cheese. Top with next layer of grilled lasagna slices, sauce, and cheese. I made 3 layers and then of course, made sure there was much cheese on the top level.

Bake about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned on top and mixture is slightly bubbling.

Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting, then cut into pieces and serve hot. Because I was missing some of the ingredients from the original recipe, my “lasagna” was quite runny, but oh so tasty so we didn’t mind.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 23: Random

I’ve been writing all morning. I’m sharing at our church’s women’s retreat on Friday and I’ve been working away on what it feels that God wants to share with them. It’s been another great, productive day though. Finished all the random admin I can do for the day, and am feeling fairly pleased with my talk for Friday.

It’s so strange at work right now. Out of the 25 person office 6 have moved to Toronto and right now 10 are travelling for board meetings and such. There are only 6 or so of us in the office and it’s very quiet! Most of them go out for “meetings” and don’t return for hours. It’s great though, as that means I can practice my talk for Friday and not look crazy!

This afternoon I am heading to my chiropractor’s office to have my back adjusted, and then I’ll head home to experiment with a new recipe: Zucchini Lasagna. I am so excited to try…It should be tasty, and I have SO MUCH Zucchini at home. Usually we use so much, but I’ve been away two weekends and Candace has been away a week and it messed up our food consumption which I somehow did not take in to account when I went grocery shopping. So, tomorrow night we’ll be having Parmesan Zucchini with baked chicken and veggie loaded marinara meat sauce. So excited.

I only recently discovered my love of Zucchini. In fact I hated it for years. I only allowed myself to eat it if it were made in to a loaf or cake with chocolate. Somewhere in the past year I just started to like Zucchini. I can’t explain. I have no reason for it. It happened and I am so glad it did.

Normally I buy 2 bags of the costco mini Zucchini’s. This time I thought I’d buy 3 since I’m always running out. Ridiculously did not think about how rarely we’d be home.

So on top of dinner for the next two nights I will also be attempting Zucchini loaf and Zucchini Cake for the first time. I will make both to see which I prefer for the future. I’m not sure if I’m more of a loaf or cake person in this instance.

AND this is why I love google. Seriously. Google is a cook’s best friend. Need a recipe? Just type it in and you’ll have hundreds of recipes with photos and directions. You’ll find blogs with extra details and helpful hints!

Sometimes I’ll come to google with a list of ingredients and ask it to find me a recipe with all of those ingredients. 9 times out of 10 it does! Oh google, you make my life so wonderfully easy.

In a continued shout out to google, I also love google reader that allows me to follow my favorite blogs. I follow, I think, about 20 blogs. I can read on my phone, my iPod touch, our iPad or my computer. Cause google rocks. I can go online at work and type in my schedule for the week, and immediately my husband can check my schedule on his phone at school. Google FTW! Also, Gmail. Needs no explanation, other than I love it. It’s awesome.

It is very rainy outside. I am not looking forward to the many bus rides I have ahead of me. Thankfully I have my rain coat and umbrella, but unfortunately I do not have my rain boots

I am wearing a hoodie to work today. It is awesome. Hoodies make me happy.

Energy drinks keep me awake…and give me a headache.

I have drank 3 large glasses of water today. I had a salad for lunch. I got to wake up half an hour later than normal (and will get to continue doing so for 1 and a half weeks due to scheduling at work). My husband drove me to the sky train this morning (rare and happy occurrence). I have 3 containers on my desk for organization; they contain binder clips, paper clips, random things and more binder clips. Next to that I have a cup full of pens, pencils and scissors.

Alright, time to get back to work – because boy do I have random things to do! Like sort out recycling and run the dishwasher. Woooooo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 22: Second Birthday Party

Second Birthday Party! Woo!

Tonight was my actual birthday party. Woo. I got flowers and now there are flowers all over the house! That makes me so very happy.

I had a great dinner with some wonderful ladies and then a great party at our friends house. We ate chips and cake and played "Chaboo". They said nice things about me and we had a lot of fun. It's the final birthday moments and I am having a glass of Sangria with my husband. :)

Today was a very productive day! The office is almost completely empty at work right now (Out of town board meetings) so there is a lot of time to fill which is perfect as the women's retreat I'm helping plan is on Friday. I spent much of the day working on the final details and working on my brief talk for Friday. It was productive and fun! Definitely looking forward to the weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 21 Part 2

This weekend we have a women's retreat that I have planned with a group of ladies. Planning, plus I"m speaking on Friday...so the prep for this weekend is generally fairly intense.

So tonight was my night to get stuff around the house done. Tuesdays I feed a group of 7 women and I had run out of casseroles so I needed to make a meal for tomorrow. I needed to prep desserts for the weekend. I needed to do one load of laundry and fold 4. I needed to shower (trust me, you'll thank me if you get to smell me, haha), and dry my hair (which takes freaking forever since I have super thick hair). I needed to tidy the house and ESPECIALLY the bedroom, out of respect for my wonderful husband. I needed to finish prepping the food I bought in the states (divide, package and freeze beef, shred cheese to freeze, etc).

Phew. I managed to do it all! AND I am so excited to eat the casserole I made up for tomorrow. Plus the Peanut Butter Bark I made is possibly the best dessert I have ever attempted. It is the perfect mix of my Peanut Butter Cups and my Peppermint Bark. I think the best part of the night though was the fact that I've also managed to watch 2 episodes of America's Next Top Model and 1 episode of Grey's Anatomy. The fact that I've enjoyed a glass of Sangria and felt relaxed is a dream.

I will lay on this couch for half an hour until Paul comes home and then we shall chat and laugh and be in love. :)

I very much like my husband. I woke up late today and Paul was totally happy to drive me downtown to work. Afterwards he came downtown for lunch as well! Oh I like my husband!

Day 21: Seattle expanded

What a great weekend!

Friday night Paul and I joined Kari and her kids and Lyndsay for dinner. As soon as dinner was over Kari, Kaela, Lyndsay and I headed out for Seattle, while Paul stayed behind to be with the rest of Kari’s kids for the weekend. We love Kari and her family. For both of us this was a great weekend! Paul got to hang out with her two boys and her youngest daughter (who baked for them all weekend) and I got to hang out with Kari and her oldest daughter, Kaela. The only sad part was that Doug, her husband, was in Alberta working…we would have loved to hang out with him as well. Kari and Doug did our premarital and we so appreciate them.

Anywys, Friday night the 4 of us headed out to Seattle. We had the strangest line of questioning at the border. The border guard first asked Kari to introduce everyone in the van (I’ve definitely never been asked that before). When he asked how we all knew each other, she said we were friends from church. He asked the name of our church. Then the denomination. Kari said, “Charismatic”. He asked if it was kind of Pentecostal. She said yes. He asked if we spoke in tongues. Kari said “some people do”. It was all very strange. I’ve definitely never been asked that before! Not entirely sure of the relevance for ent4ring the country – though I assume he was trying to ask random questions to throw us off in case we were lying about anything. We arrived at our hotel in Bothell at about 10:30. We checked in and then hung out in the cozy beautiful lobby for a few hours, drinking free coffee and hot chocolates and laughing. We went back to our room for manicures and conversation and finally started to go to bed around 2:30am. It was great but oh so late!

Saturday we woke up and were overjoyed to discover that the free continental breakfast was actually a real breakfast! Eggs, Sausage, Potatoes, Waffles…it was an excellent surprise! After breakfast we headed to downtown Seattle to see Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and Elliot Bay Bookstore. We had a lovely time! I love Pike Place Market. If I lived in Seattle I would have a lot more fresh flowers! Some might say that the Market and Granville Island were similar but they don’t feel the same to me. Around two we decided to stop being tourists and headed to Everett for lunch at the Olive Garden (mmmm soup, salad and breadsticks) and Trader Joes. Afterwards we made our way to Marysville to go to Costco and Seattle’s Premium Outlets. We were all very successful in our shopping! I got all the groceries I wanted AND two dresses! We slowly made our way home stopping at Target and Jack in the Box in Burlington. I did not realize that Jack in the Box was so awesome. Also you get to order for yourself on a touch screen. It was excellent…and my pita wrap was better than any other snack wrap I’ve had at a fast food joint. We finally made it home around 11:30. We relieved Paul of his kid sitting duties, unloaded our vehicles and Paul and I were home, unpacked and watching SNL by 12:45.

The trip was not just wonderful because of all of our shopping and sightseeing but also because of the great company and conversation. It was such a treat to be away with 3 women I so enjoy! It didn’t matter how we split up or if we were all together all the time, we could all have great conversations. That is a rare and wonderful thing!

Today is very slow at work but I have tons of productive things to do for keeping my life organized, so it’s nice to get a head start on that. My arm is sore from typing so I’m going to sign off for now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 20: Birthday

It's my birthday! I'm 28.

Today I got to sleep in til 12:30 with my lovely hubby. I cooked up a ham for dinner after church and Paul bought me timmies, a magazine and flowers. We headed to church to teach kids church and see baptisms and then back home to have the Maxwell's, Laura, Leah and Lyndsay over (at various times in the evening). Got to enjoy ham, veggies, salad and great company. Food, friends and games. Woo!

Time for bed, and sleep. Also...I get to sleep in and my hubby will wake up early and drive me to work. Yay.

Day 19: Seattle

Just got home from Seattle...and while technically it is the "next day" I have not gone to bed yet, so I am still blogging on MY saturday.

Weekend was great, will post more tomorrow (ON MY BIRTHDAY - 28 here I come!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 18: Birthdays and Books

Last night was lovely. I hung out with my sister, my husband and my two favorites nephews. Connor and I played catch for quite some time and he was being soooo cute. Giggling like a maniac. I loved it. I’m so glad to have a sister that is a safe, restful and enjoyable friend.

My birthday is coming up on Sunday and Jenna’s is coming up on Tuesday. We were born two years and two days apart. We will be having a combined birthday dinner on Sunday...just a few friends as many of our closest friends are out of town at the moment. We’re looking forward to a nice night in with people we love.

Heading to the states tonight and I can’t wait! I love getting out and about, especially with lovely ladies and I love to buy groceries for cheap! It’s the best of all worlds.

Lately I’ve ended up reading 4 different fiction books about World War 2, 3 specifically placed in Germany. I have been enjoying reading the history aspect, as well as the story aspect. Of course, it is a gruesome topic and has made me quite nervous and sad at times when reading. On the whole though I am glad to be informed about what has happened in the past. For me, historical fiction is the only way I will learn it. I have such trouble remembering or learning about history until I read about it in a story. I am glad there are people who write that way. Right now I am reading a story and I’m feeling very caught up in the emotion of it all - it’s sad to think about what people have gone through in the past, especially when I read the paper and am reminded that all around the world there are still terrible things happening to people. In the face of tragedy like that, I do not know how to respond. I wish I could help. I wonder what I would have done as a Christian if I had been born in a place going through turmoil. Would I meekly follow along trying not to stand out or would I take a stand or make a difference? I like to think I’d be heroic, but I don’t think we can know that until we’re in a time and place to be tried.

On a slightly more upbeat tone...I love books. I love stories. I love characters. I get so engrossed in my books. I am thankful that reading exists. I love turning off my mind and diving in to a story. Oh joy.

Alright. Back to life. Back to work. Back to printing out directions for our trip to Seattle. Woot woot!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 17: One of those days...

I just did something that I love to do. I got to take people and put them in to groups. This is one of my strengths. I love this ability. It made wedding planning and trip planning for campus ministry so much fun!

Right now I am in charge of receiving all the room requests for our upcoming women’s retreat and putting them all together. I have 7-10 rooms to play with all ranging from 5-8 places each. I had 37 women to find rooms for, and did not want to have a lot of empty spaces.

By the end I had narrowed it down to 7 cabins, and had filled every roommate request. I am happy with the groupings and more importantly I think the people in them will be too.

For some reason though I feel anxious about it. It seems a sensitive thing to arrange. What if someone is unhappy? The people pleaser in me is half excited to make people happy and half nervous to let people down. Ridiculous.

Today is one of “those” days… The day isn’t bad. The day is productive. The day even holds good things in it with people I love. BUT…all I want to do is be in bed, sleeping. I long for sleep.

I’m heading to the chiropractors after work, then dinner with Paul, then hangout with my sister then coffee with my friend Stef. It will be long but nice evening with some of my favorite people.

Friday I am headed to Seattle with 3 wonderful women (Lyndsay, Kari and Kaela) and I am so excited! We did pre marital with Kari and her husband and we love them dearly – so a chance to be with her is always lovely. Kaela is Kari’s daughter and I think she is awesome. I really look forward to getting to know her better. We had a lunch date a few months back that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lyndsay is a dear friend, former roommate (in two different places, wooo) and a great lady. We are going to have an awesome time and we will laugh a lot. And sit in the Hot Tub. Oh yeah.

We’ll head back Saturday night because both Kari and I have birthdays on Sunday (and it’s mothers day for her!) so we want to be back in our homes with our families. I’m looking forward to sleeping in with Paul, hanging out for the morning, going to church and then having some friends over for a birthday thing. Not sure on the details – am having trouble making a plan.

I am frustrated. I had a tiff with a friend over email today and it makes me sad. I really care about this friend and we have an annoying habit of miscommunication in a way that makes us annoyed with each other. I don’t know how to resolve the feelings. We both shared our frustrations, we both made it clear we didn’t mean to frustrate the other…but oh man, it’s hard to just move on in my heart sometimes. But I know that this friendship is worth sticking it out for. I know that this friendship is enjoyable, and life bringing. I know when we choose to put God first he is glorified and he is in our relationship. Actually just typing all that made my heart feel a lot better.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 16: Survey

Five Rapid Fire Questions

1. Favorite book?

Blue Castle – Lucy Maud Montgomery

2. Favorite television show?

The Office followed by Hellcats and ANTM

3. Favorite movie?

Anchorman, then Blades of Glory and then Blind Side

4. Favorite fictional character?

Pam Beasley from the office – We are both receptionists and I think she’s awesome.

5. Favorite Meal?

Appies! Deep fried Appies!

Four Hypothetical Questions

1. You are invited to participate in the Laser Tag Championship game, which is no doubt sponsored by ESPN and Geico. Name the 3 people you would select for your team and why.

Paul and Prakash for sure! Actually I think I’d get my friend Laura F to help. I don’t say that because she is one of the like 10 people that reads my blog, but in fact it is because she is competitive, feisty and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

2. Let's assume you are a musician. An angel of the Lord visits you one night and tells you that you have two choices.
A.) You can be the most popular musician in the world, but anyone of intellectual significance will realize your music is really just crap. But your popularity means you will be unfathomably wealthy, famous, and the opinion of critics will have no adverse affect on you or your family.
B.) You can be a nobody musician while you are alive. You will literally have no fans outside of your family, but after you are dead, your work will be regarded as genius and you will be hailed as a prodigy. No one from your immediate family will ever be aware of this change in public opinion though.
Which scenario do you choose?

I would most definitely pick A. I’d love to be able to give up my job and do ministry…and if I made enough money quickly I could give up music and just be with people! Woo!

3. If, in the near future, your entrance into any restaurant, business, party, etc. could be prefaced by introduction music, what song would you choose and why?

“Walking on Sunshine/Halo” mashup by Glee.

4. Let's assume that in the near future, scientists invent a dream DVR that records your nightly dreams with excruciating detail. They appear as though they were a HD television show each time you dream and no details are left out. The feelings, emotions, and action within your dreams are all expressed and contextualized properly.
However, the only way you can watch these dreams is if 10 of your closest friends / family assemble to watch your dreams with you. Do you agree to this?

Heck no. Even if it’s just a dream, my dreams are vivid and I am generally a giant wimp in them. No way. Plus lately it’s all zombie movies and there is no way I want to see that again!

Three Final Random Questions

1. What’s something the average human would be surprised to learn about you?

I am weird about hangers. I have favorite hangers and I feel bad for the clothes that get hung on the less favorite hangers. I prefer the nice plastic hangers (not giant, normal sized) and HATE wire hangers and every time I hang something on a wire hanger I feel like a mean person for subjecting my clothes to that hanger.

2. What is your biggest pipedream?

I want to be in full time women’s/family ministry. I want to be able to be financially secure and do the ministry that is on my heart. I want to have a large home that we own that people can come in and stay at, or visit at, or drop by. I want to bless people abundantly with my giant home, and create a safe haven for people, a place where people come and immediately feel at home. I want to not raise support.

I live in Vancouver. Both of these dreams seem very pipe-ish. But I am praying that God will find a way to provide, because oh man, these are the dreams of my heart!

3. In 10 years, where do you hope to find yourself?

I want to be friends with everyone I am friends with now, plus more awesome people. I want to be closer to my family than I am now, and I want to be spending more time on the things I love to do and less on the things I don’t really care for.

**Laura, feel free to steal this and use it for inspiration - I know you're feeling uninspired today!**

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 15

I was going to write a big blog entry at work but alas...work was crazy busy! I loved it! I got to be productive, helpful and bless my co workers. Awesome. had lunch with my dear friend, Laura (my co blog challenge mate), and had dinner wth the women of my D Group. We had an AMAZING Life Group - prophesy, prayer, worship. So great. Encouraging!

It was go go go, non stop from 6:30am until just now at 11:22pm...I am writting this and then going to sleep...but the perk is I am sitting next to my husband with Amazing Race on in the background and a Sangria in front of me. Ahhhh.

Tomorrow is work, lunch with my sister and her friend Krista, then a Dentist Apt, dinner and an 8pm meeting at my house for the Women's Retreat. Phew.

Sunday is my birthday. I will be 28. Woooo....

Ok. GOod night

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 14: Back Home

Just got back from Tofino with my sweet love husband!

Got home 2 and a half hours ago and we revamped our cupaboards and kitchen areas, and cleaned our and reloaded our fridge. Glad to start off the week with an organized Kitchen, and lunch made for tomorrow! Woo.

I promise these updates will be less brief now that I'm not on my anniversary weekend.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 13: Tofino Continued

Today was again, wonderful. 

We slept in until 11, then ate a Mexican breakfast and took a hike around the beach and rocks. Afterwards we ate a healthy lunch and headed in to Ucluelet and visited the lighthouse and did some more rock climbing. Afterwards we came back to swim, and BBQ steak, prawns wrapped in Bacon, Asparagus and Mushrooms. We then played two rounds of settlers and are now debating if 11 is too early to go to bed, or if we can give in and sleep early. Last night we went to bed to watch a movie but ended up passing out by 10pm. We're getting old!

Speaking of getting old, I turn 28 next Sunday. Today I got confused and thought it was my birthday and was so excited. Embarrassing, I know. I got confused about my own bday. 

Ok...the place we can go on the computer and play games and eat has bench seats which give me a backache, so I'm off to lay in bed. Yay. 


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