Monday, December 7, 2009

Baking Fiascos of 2009

This time last year, Andrew and I were indulging in delicious goodies from a Christmas cookie swap organized by a friend in Fort st John.  It was so simple.  15 people were involved so all I had to do was bake 15 dozen of one kind of cookie.  Then we all got together and swaped a dozen for a dozen.  We came away with bars, balls and cookies of all kinds.  

This year, I gotta say, I am really missing the cookie swap.  So I figured how hard could it be to become Martha Stewart for a day and do all my own Christmas baking?  Well... For those of you who are attempting this impossible feat, I offer you some tips - the result of my own baking misadventures.

1.  Read the recipe before you start.
  It sounds so simple but it helps you to avoid uttering things like " I guess we'll just omit cream of tartar.  I know we don't have it cause I don't even know what it is..." and "what?? The dough has to rest in the fridge for SIX HOURS?? Crap!".

2.  Have all your tools at the ready.
  Kate has just finished assembling all the ingredients and is ready to bake.  Now, picture this phone call:
Kate "hi mom, it's kate."
Josette "Hi.  How are you?"
Kate "I'm fine.  I'm just doing some Christmas baking."
Josette "oh yeah?  How's it going?"
Kate "um... Fine... Can I borrow your baking sheets?  Mine are still in Fort st John..."
Josette "Oh, Kate!"

3.  Don't trust a picture.
  After flipping through my books, I settled on baking some 'sugar cookie jam rollups'.  They looked so good in the picture, and looked easy enough to assemble.  Well... The dough was so crumbly that it didn't roll up very nicely, or slice very nicely, or bake very nicely, or taste very nicely...

4.  Keep cooling cookies out of kid reach.
  You won't think you're hallucinating when you walk into the kitchen and find an empty cooling rack.  "I was SURE I put a dozen cookies there to cool..."


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Long time no blog

Wow, it has been a while since I last checked in on the daisee chain.  Let's see... What's new... Ah, yes.  We bought a house! We moved into the house.  We unpacked a couple of boxes and now we're living in a messy half unpacked house.  The frustrating part is realizing that we afe sorely lacking in furniture so I can't fully unpack cause I have nowhere to put anything.  The fun part though is that I get to go furniture shopping and can begin to dream about what my house could possibly look like.  I hope I can realize its fullest potential.

The best room in the house is my library.  Yes, people made fun of me for calling it a library.  A glorified den, they would say.  But now that the bookshelves are up spanning the entire length of the wall and my beauties are standing at categorical alphabetical attention, it most definitely is a library.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All fired up

Although I do enjoy watching 'So you think you can dance' and 'Project Runway' (because they appeal to my artistic sensibilities and my dashed dreams of being a professional dancing seamstress) I think it's fair to say that I'm not really a huge fan of reality tv or game shows.  I never got addicted to Survivor the way my college friends did or The Real Housewives of wherever but I am familiar with The Donald and his famous two and a half words: "You're Fired!".  I always thought how terrible it must have felt to have to tell people week after week that they were inadequate and useless in their vocation.

That is, until I got to utter those two and a half little words myself.  I'm not gonna lie.  It felt really good!

Allow me to explain.  I've been house hunting for the past two months and it has been so frustrating on account of the lousy realtor that I've been working with.  Our first encounter should have sent me running in the opposite direction.  Had I known it was all going to be downhill from there, I would have run.  But I didn't.  I was trying to be optimistic, trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.  In the end, I just couldn't take it anymore.  


Well, not exactly in those words, but it was satisfying nonetheless.  I'm just glad she didn't answer her phone and I could fire her via voicemail.  I think she finally got the message.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

There's no place like home

After a 12 hour delay in Paris which landed us in a double suite at the Radisson hotel for the night and a complementary meal, we have finally arrived in Vancouver. We are all tired, hungry, and a bit cranky, but are happy to be home. I have kept a travel journal while away and plan to update the blog with excerpts and photos from each day of our European adventure. We had a really great time and I can't wait to share it with you guys, but for now, sleep is calling.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kate is Happy

I'm happy for several reasons. First, we leave for Europe in 4 days! But yikes, am I behind on packing. I've discovered it's difficult to live out of a suitcase while trying to pack one. I'm sure I'll get a handle on everything. Probably best to conquer packing while the little ones are asleep.

I'm also happy because I spent a lovely day with 'Grandpa' today. Andy and the boys and I met for a park date which turned into lunch at Boston Pizza, then back to the park, and then dinner at the condo. We had herbed baked chicken with lemon dill squash and nonya seasoned stirfry veggies. Ethan is playing cars with Andy on the kitchen floor and after this post I'm going to put Rueben to bed. What a fun day.

I'm also very happy because we have been given good news about our mortgage situation. The gist of it is that we can afford more than what we thought we could. So now we're house hunting for an actual house, with a basement suit, garage and fenced yard. Things are looking up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Busy busy busy

Well, if you haven't guessed from the title of this post, we've been busy. I've been house hunting, getting ready for a month long European vacation, catching up with friends and family and partying at a wedding and all the while living out of a suitcase/cardboard box!

Big news on the Rueben front... "he has a big meggie!" as papa would say. The Canadian translation is that he has his first tooth! He's also on the cusp of crawling. He can bear his weight on his knees and elbows but just seems to plow his forhead into the floor. He's discovered though that in the all fours position he can rock himself back and forth. It's very neat to see because Ethan never really mastered the art of crawling.

Time to put the cranky ones to bed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The House hunt is on

I can't tell you what a thrill it was to be driving over the Port Mann Bridge at the break of dawn and thinking to myself "I'm home"! The boys and I left Fort St John at 10:30am and stopped just North of Hope at the lake of the woods rest stop at 1am. I unbuckled Ethan from his carseat cause I didn't think it fair that he should sleep sitting upright and I awoke at 5:30 to find him sprawled across my chest. We left Hope giddy with the thought that we would soon be rolling into the lowermainland. Smog and traffic congestion never looked so lovely, especially in the early morning sun. I litterally got goosebumps as we drove down Johnson hill, over the bridge and into Port Coquitlam. We spent the morning and early afternoon with Sylvia and Doug, and I'm glad we did cause they were planning to leave the next morning for a few weeks in California.

I've seen a few places already. Of them all, only one is really worth our time. I'm hoping we find something that we fall in love with. Our purchase in Fort St John just seemed meant to be. We weren't even looking and then one day while walking Lilly, I saw this house that met all of our criteria. Everything just fell into place, so I'm hoping the same thing happens down here for us too.

I'll keep you all posted on the progress.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I don't think I have enough bubble wrap!

Let's let the cat out of the bag, shall we?

Many of you have been asking me if we are moving and I haven't been giving a very definite answer until now. It's hard to keep these things under wraps, so I'll just blurt it out.

We're moving back to Vancouver!!!

We didn't want to say anything until our plans were concrete, but I figured you all might want to know. We have a few places in mind and I will be looking at them when I'm down next week. We have our lady at the bank at work to approve us for a second mortgage. It all depends on if she says it's a go. We are not selling our house up here. Andrew is not quitting his job up here.

How does that work? you ask...

He's going to either a 2 week on, 2 week off schedule, or 1 month on, 1 month off schedule and will travel between the Fort and Vancity to do that. Our friends will be renting the house up here, so Andrew can stay here when he needs to.

If all goes according to plan, we will be moved down by October at the latest.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Why anyone chooses to buy commercial baby food is beyond me. It's so easy to make your own at home and much cheaper too! All you have to do is steam some veggies, throw them in a blender or food processor with some liquid and then freeze in an ice cube tray.

I give you... pureed peas!

After they are frozen, pop them into freezer bags and mark the date. Then when it's feeding time, just take out a few cubes and pass them in the microwave until defrosted. So simple, so cheap, so fast, so go do it!

This is the reason why my house is never clean!


It seems like Rueben is hitting them one after another. He celebrated his 6 month birthday with a bowl full of pureed peas which he gobbled up. The first two bites were tentative when he realised it wasn't rice cereal, but sure enough he ate almost the whole bowl. He has such a different personality than Ethan. After the first few bites, every time I brought the spoon close to his mouth he tried to pry it from my hands... a defiant 'I want to do it myself, mom!', which I'm really not used to.

He has also discovered his feet and toes! And perhaps not as filling as the peas, they sure do make a great snack!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

All booked up

For those of you who have been asking, we have finally booked all the components for our trip to Europe this summer. You know who you are! So get your pencils and calendars ready cause here comes our info. Ethan, Rueben and I are driving down to Vancouver and expect to be there by the 9th of August, in time for my friends wedding. Note to Sylvia, I'm gonna need a babysitter. Andrew is flying to Vancouver on the afternoon of August18th and then we all fly out of Vancouver to Amsterdam on the afternoon of the 19th.

We arrive in Amsterdam on the 20th and spend one night there, waking early the next morning to board a train to Geneva, via Paris. My cousins live in a town called Annemasse, just across the Swiss border from Geneva so they will pick us up from the train station and we will spend a week and a half with them. I'm really excited to see them all again. I have a whole slew of second cousins who have been born since I last saw the fam. On September 1st, we pick up our motor home and bid adieu to France and say Ciao! to Italy.
This is the fancy dancy motorhome that we have rented. We plan to hit all the big touristy things... ie. Vatican city, sistine Chapel, Michealangelo's David, Pompeii, Davinci's the last supper, the Amalfi coast... and for Andrew, the lamborghini factory and museum.

We drop the camper back in France on the 11th of September and then spend 4 days in lovely Paris.

We arrive back in Vancouver on the 14th of September, and I suspect we'll stay in the lower mainland for a few days to take care of some businessy things. If you have any questions, just shoot me an email. I'm really very excited about this trip. I've never been to Italy before and cannot wait to see all the art and history there. I'm looking forward to Paris too.

A bientot!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Wow, It's going to be a hot one today! The house never really cooled down last night and there's not much of a breeze this morning so I think it's gonna get really hot here today. I was planning on taking the boys to the park, but might just go for a drive instead. We're supposed to hit 29*C this afternoon so I think I'd prefer to be enjoying the air conditioning!

Since Strongstart and Mothergoose are on hiatus for the summer, it's hard to keep up a routine with Ethan, so we've designated Mondays and Wednesdays as park days. Here are some pics of Ethan and his friends having fun at the park.

These are pictures from our park play date with my friend Carling and her son Braxton and baby Sophie. We went to Matthews park which is down the hill from us, behind the Walmart.

We also had a play date with my friend Arlyn and her son Breaden at Concord park. The dump truck was a big hit. She invited us back to her place for lunch afterward which was fun!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big boy toys

Andrew has a bad habit of going to Walmart and coming home with massive extravagant toys for Ethan. Here we have the John Deer chain driven push pedal front loader with a dump trailer. When we put it together in the living room last year, Ethan couldn't even reach the pedals. Still, he can't/won't peddle his tricycle, so this toy is not meeting it's full play potential. He also has a battery powered quad which he's only just figured out how to use, and only because my friends son was playing with it while Ethan watched.

A few more of Rueben

My new clothes drying rack...

Or so my mom would like to think. This is my new treadmill. I'm really enjoying using it. Ethan likes to use it too, although he tends to play cars on it more often than walking on it. All that playing sure can tucker a guy out!

Photo Update

Well, I've finally installed the software that came with my new Nikon D5000 so now I can upload photos for you guys to enjoy. My plan was to slap a ton of photos onto one post but the blogger uploader is taking for-ev-ah so I'll do a few at a time in separate posts. In the meantime, enjoy these pics of Rueben that I took when I first got the camera. We were still in Vancouver so probably a month and a half ago. He was around 4.5 months old.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Does this coat 'inspire your life"?

I just don't know what to say... Would you wear this Kermit the frog coat? How about the hat? Miss Piggy is not gonna be happy!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Get Moving

I recently bought a treadmill to help me in my fight against the baby bulge I've developed since giving birth to Rueben. Previously I had a gym membership to a gym in town but I found that the only time I could go was at 5am before Andrew left for work. Well, if you know me, you'd know that I'm not exactly a morning person. I mean, I can get up early if I need to, but to sustain it on a regular basis is questionable. Furthermore, to have to exercise at that early time is just downright ludicrous.

So, I bought a treadmill. Yes, mom, I'm actually using. It's not just a really expensive clothes drying rack... not yet anyway. Anyway, I bought the new Black Eyed Peas cd a few weeks ago and it has become my go-to cd for exercising. Pretty much all the songs are uptempo 'get-you-in-the-mood-to move' songs. Even Ethan has his favorite song. "mommy, please play the ring ring ring song?" No wonder they called it The E.N.D (energy never dies). So if you're looking for some good workout music, I definitely recomend it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hey Mr Postman.

So, I've been checking the mailbox for the last few days because I ordered some pretty shoes and I can't wait for them to arrive. They were a major deal. Regular price $269 each, I got them for $50 each! I would like to say they are a reward for having strapped on running shoes for the last month in my efforts to lose the baby weight, but who am I kidding! I just couldn't pass them up! Yes, the exclamation points are necessary! I'm excited for them to arrive!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

House Guests

Well, there's nothing like the impending arrival of house guests to get you in the cleaning mood. My good friend from Vancouver, Melissa, and her husband and two kids are arriving tonight to spend a few days here with us. She called about an hour ago from Prince George to let me know they're on their way. So that means I've got less than 5 hours to sweep, mop, finish the laundry, clean the bathroom and kitchen and take out the garbage.

Easy, right? Sure. Except I've got a three year old who promptly makes a mess of everything I clean. He also has a penchant for pressing buttons on the keyboard while I'm typing. It's taken me 25 minutes to type something that should have only taken 2. And to boot, I've lost precious cleaning time. Dang it, now Rueben has woken up. I can never win.2

On the Fritz

Our internet connection, that is. It seems as soon as I decide to give this blog thing a go, my efforts are squashed by a blinking light... literally. After several failed attempts to repair the problem on my end, I finally gave in and called our internet service provider. After following his instructions (double click this, open that, check mark here, click OK) he got me back up and running. Now the fan is making loud noises and the computer itself has slowed to a crawl. Frustrating? Yes. Just be glad it's me writing the blog and not my hubs, otherwise there would be computer bits strewn all over the driveway just in time for garbage collection. "We need a new computer anyway" he would justify. "This one sucks"!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Guns blazing

Well, this is it. I seem to be jumping on a lot of band wagons lately. Yesterday I bought the first installment of the twilight book series. Today, I'm a blogger. I hope this blog allows for all my family and friends, near and far, to keep track of my life. Now all I have to do is figure out when... I think there's an opening in my schedule at 3am, right after 'mindless internet surfing because I'm to wired to sleep' and 'slumped over the keyboard'. Needless to say, I'll keep you posted.