2/29/2012

Running

I'm not a big fan of running. I do it... but it's never that enjoyable. I always hear about some sort of 'runner's high' that people get, but it has always eluded me. Every once in a while, I get the idea that maybe I should start getting more serious about running and start some type of training plan. But unless I had something specific to train for (which I don't), it's pretty easy to give up on it. Which makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I should sign up for some sort of run in a couple months time so that I have a specific goal to train for.

I also get motivation from some blogs I have been reading. Ashley, on (never home) home maker has some great tips on running. And, she just had a baby and she got right back into it!

My biggest motivation is probably new work-out clothes! My go-to store is LuLuLemon. They have THE BEST yoga wear, but their clothes work for all types of exercise, not just yoga. Here are some of the pieces that would make me want to get to the gym.




2/28/2012

Back to Work

It's 11pm, so I am just sneaking in with a little post for Tuesday. Today was a loooong day, but it was a good one!

I survived my first day back at work! I am only working one day per week, Tuesdays, until my maternity leave is over at the end of May. It was a little strange waking up to an alarm at 6:15, and immediately getting dressed and ready to leave the house. Even if the Littlest Linden is up early, we typically don't have anywhere we need to be early in the mornings, so we laze around in our pj's. Not today. I was on the bus by 7:45, and at the office just past 8. It was good to be back, and good to see all of my co-workers. There is something very relaxing in being able to drink a cup of coffee and read your emails without a baby in the background. But I did miss him, a lot. Lunch was kind of sad - me eating alone at my desk and thinking that we had never spent a lunch apart... but apparently he ate more than he's ever eaten at his grandparents, so clearly he was ok to eat without me! The kid weighs 17lbs, and somehow he ate THREE containers of yogurt today!!

I didn't get home from work until after 5pm, and that makes me really sad for the upcoming months. One day a week is fine, but I can't imagine only getting to spend a couple hours a day with him, once I go back to work full time. I will basically see him at breakfast and dinner, and then get to put him to bed. I'm sure it will be ok once we get used to it, but for now it all just seems a little sad.

Our night wasn't over as Tyler and I had our first stained glass class this evening! I had no idea what to expect, I wasn't even clear on what stained glass is, exactly. The instructor was really nice, and so passionate about what he does. I love seeing people who are clearly doing a job they love, and who get to share their joy with others. It was fun to try something new with Tyler, and hopefully we will bring home some nice pieces of art in 6 weeks. If not 'nice', at least they will be 'interesting', and we will have some good memories of how we made them. Or maybe we will be amazing stained glass artists one day, and create things like this: (ha! We are NOT artistic people...)

image from Apartment Therapy 

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies


These are hands down, my favourite chocolate chip cookies. I usually make them about once a week, and keep them frozen in freezer. That way I can pop a couple in my lunch, and enjoy anytime! Sadly, I don't have any in the freezer right now, and I can't make any tonight as I am out of eggs, butter, and chocolate chips (kind of the star ingredients!). I've tried dozens of recipes, and now I never deviate from this one.

image borrowed from here Mine look exactly the same!
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups of flour (I sometimes use half whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of butter, room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs, room temp
1 cup plus a few more chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat for 30 sec or until well mixed. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop heaping spoonfuls of cookie dough onto cookie sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will look slightly underdone when you take them out. Let cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I find I can usually get 36 mid-sized cookies per batch.


2/26/2012

Oscar Sunday

The Oscars are just finishing up on TV, and I just returned from an Oscar party. I'm feeling slightly ill from eating too many treats and candy, which always seems to contradict watching these beautiful, skinny girls dressed up in amazing gowns!

It seemed to me like white was the colour of choice for the stars to wear... which is totally opposite from the bright prints and colours that are coming out for spring. My favourite white gown was this one that 'Girl With a Dragon Tattoo' star Rooney Mara was wearing. I have yet to see the movie, but I want to. I read the whole trilogy of books, and it's always interesting to see how books are adapted onto the big screen.

It is feeling more like a real Sunday to me this week, because I am going back to work on Tuesday. I'm only going to be working one day a week, for now, but I'm still feeling like I need to prepare for my 'work week'. Soren is going to be staying with his grandparents on Tuesdays, and the Littlest Linden is in for a treat! His grandma has spoiled him and created a wonderful playroom, complete with more toys than he has ever seen before and a lovely collection of books. While it will be an adjustment for me to have a full 8 hours apart from the little guy, it's nice to know he will be in such a wonderful place.

2/25/2012

A Game

Speed skating: Dutch skaters Lijkle Poepjes and B. van der Zee standing ready for the start of a skating race in Leeuwarden (the Netherlands), 1914. 

I'm watching my brother on TV right now! Last week he raced in the World All Round Championships in Moscow, and CBC is broadcasting the races right now. Stefan has been training for years, and this has been his best year so far. It's very exciting to watch him race against the strongest skaters in the world. 

Tomorrow, my mom and aunt are off to Amsterdam to watch Stefan skate in the World Cup All Distances next week-end. While I've been to the Amsterdam airport several times, that is the closest I've gotten to spending any time in the Netherlands. It has always been a country that I would like to visit, so I'll be looking forward to hearing about all of their travel tips when they return. 

I love the vintage speed skating image that I found, above. Vintage sports pictures always strike me because it looks so much like the athletes are playing a game. Some sports have become so technical now, that it doesn't always look like the athletes are having fun. Can you imagine a speed-skater showing up to a race now in baggy pants?! 

Here are some images of vintage athletes that struck me.

She won the gold in 1908, at the age of 53. Still the oldest female gold winner at an olympic games!

These shorts look a little inappropriate! 1899

Roller Skating, 1905

Football Player for Georgetown, 1911

Girls Rifle Team, 1922

The first Tour de France, 1903
All images from here

2/23/2012

H20... how I like you hot!

Isn't it beautiful? Great lines... good shape... what a colour! sigh.

Rather than pretend shop for clothes, I am searching for a New Hot Water Heater. While trying to give the Littlest Linden a bath a couple hours ago, we realized the hot water wasn't working. After checking the breaker, and a quick call to the hydro company, we've realized we need a new hot water tank.

Since buying paper towels is a budget stretch for us right now, I'm not sure where we are possibly going to come up with the money for a new hot water tank. Earlier today I was worrying about what we would do if any emergencies arose, since we don't have an emergency budget. I must have sensed that something was about to happen.

Luckily, we have a electrician friend who has offered to do the installation for us, which means we just have to pay for the cost of the tank. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! That will be a huge help, as the labour is usually the biggest cost of the job.

For now, we will have to take cold showers and boil water to use for the dishes. Things could be worse. But they sure would be a lot better if I could go and take a hot bath right now!!

Littlest Linden Things


Here are some things that the Littlest Linden has been up to!

  • He is learning how to wave 
  • He survived his first bout of the stomach flu. It was sad... perhaps more so for me than for him
  • He's talking a lot, in his own baby way. We wake up to 'dana...DA!...gagagaga...nana...dadada' etc. It's fun going into his room and seeing him chattering away in his crib
  • His new favourite food is blackberries. Unfortunately, this is about the messiest food there is! After eating them he usually needs a bath
  • He dances. We were at baby rhyme time the other day, and the instructor started singing a song. Soren had crawled away from me and was sitting directly in front of her, by himself, and as soon as she started in on the little song he started bopping away. Pretty cute!
  • He stands on absolutely everything! We have little hand prints on the tv, the coffee table, the fridge, windows, etc. I think I am going to be buying a lot of Windex over the next few months

2/22/2012

Wishful Shopping

Sadly, I can't afford anything new for my wardrobe right now. But sometimes it's almost as much fun to 'pretend' to shop from the comfort of my living room. On the positive side, my lack of funds is forcing me to be more creative with everything that I already own, which can lead to some great new outfits! Here are some things I might buy if I had the chance.


1. J Crew Blythe blouse in neon rose. I also love the royal blue colour!
2. Zappos.com Seychelles Hydrangea
3. Joes Jeans Pink Skinny's
4. Joe Fresh Marine Dress

2/21/2012

Tasty Tuesdays are back!


I kind of failed on my 'Tasty Tuesdays'. I made soup on the First Week, a Turkey on Week Two, and then I took a little break. So here I am, back bright and early with Berry Muffins! Basically, I wanted to make muffins but did not have any of the usual muffin ingredients on hand. Most recipes call for plain yogurt, which I didn't have. A lot of recipes call for bananas, which I also didn't have. I thought I might be able to whip up something with carrots, but unfortunately I was out of carrots too! So, here is the recipe I came up with, which I think turned out pretty well.

Berry Muffins

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of regular flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
pinch of salt

1 - 2 cups of frozen berries

Wet Ingrediants:
1 cup of buttermilk (I used a cup of skim milk with a tbsp of vinegar)
1/2 cup oil (I used sunflower)
a good splash of vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method:
Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the frozen berries. Mix the wet ingredients together and slowly fold into the dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Divide batter into 12 muffin cups, and bake at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

That's it! I like to make muffins at the beginning of the week, and put them in the freezer. When Tyler or I are heading to work, we grab one from the freezer to add to our lunch (or breakfast). By the time we're at work and hungry, the muffins are thawed and ready to eat.

2/20/2012

The Story of Us... so cheesy

Whenever I find a new blog, I like to learn a little background about the author. Usually, I'll read a couple of the newer posts, and then dig deeper to read their first blog posts, wedding stories, or birth stories. So... here is the story of how Tyler and I came to be husband and wife!


We met at a bar. A bar we both worked at. He was a bartender and I was a cocktail waitress. I am laughing out loud just typing that, it sounds so ridiculous. I don't think the term 'cocktail waitress' is even used anymore... but Tyler tends to use it when he explains how we met. Anyways, we both happened to be working at the same Restaurant / Lounge in the summer of 2004. We were both dating other people at the time, and our relationship didn't start off as much. Although I do remember the first time I saw him. I can't say it was his best look... he had just returned from a week-end camping trip with a group of guys!



Fast forward into the spring of 2005, when we found ourselves single. We started talking at work, hanging out in groups, and must have exchanged phone numbers at some point. I can't believe this was a time before texting!! Tyler didn't even have a cell phone... so we must have had to talk on regular old land-lines. Our first official date was to a greasy burger joint... and the rest was history! Not quite, but we ended up having a wonderful summer together and spending practically every second together. We were both still in school, and figuring out what to do with our lives.



After 3 years of dating, I found myself on a business trip to Thailand and Bahrain. On my way home, I was planning to meet Tyler in Vancouver for a week of vacation together. When he picked me up at the airport I had been travelling for about 40 hours, and had just spent 2 gruelling weeks working 14 hour days. I was exhausted. And sooo happy to see him, and some of our friends, and temperatures below 100... If you've ever travelled internationally you know how great it is to be back in your home country. It's amazing how much you take for granted, like reading a menu in English!



We met up with some of our best friends, and went out for dinner to a really cute restaurant. It was the beginning of our vacation, and we were celebrating being together again and seeing our friends. Quite a few bottles of wine were consumed. After dinner, we all wandered back to our friends place for some more vino. He had the most amazing rooftop patio with views of the Vancouver harbour and the mountains in behind. It was a beautiful night, and I can still feel how happy I was, in that moment. Tyler called me over to the side of the balcony, away from our friends, and we started talking. And then HE PROPOSED!! I was SHOCKED! After spending some time by ourselves, we joined the rest of the group. I had a huge smile on my face and we must have looked like we had a secret to share... so my friend immediately asked what was up. She was just as shocked as I was! We had discussed marriage, a lot, but I honestly had no idea that he was going to ask me to marry him.



We called our parents right away, and a couple of my close friends. I had lost my phone on the way home from Thailand, so I didn't have any of my friends numbers, which was a big problem as I wanted to share the news with them right away!! The rest of our vacation was wonderful, and I loved staring at my left hand as often as I could:)




2/19/2012

DIY weekend project

I just came across this image on Pinterest. I LOVE it! I wonder if I can convince Tyler to help me with this?! The tutorial (and image) can be found here. It doesn't look too hard... I think I am off to find some supplies! The Littlest Linden is sick right now so we can't do too much outside the house. It's his first sickness and it's pretty sad to watch him. He's still smiling, but you can tell he feels terrible. I'm hoping it's just a 24-hour bug and he will be back to himself tomorrow. For now, we are enjoying the extra cuddles.

2/17/2012

Kate and Birdie

I fell in love with this stationery company a few years back when I saw a feature of them in House and Home magazine. I had seen some of their cards at book stores, but I had no idea that they were from Winnipeg! At the time I was busy planning my wedding, and I wanted something unique for my invitations. I called Gloria, the owner of Kate and Birdie, and was able to come to her studio to meet with her and discuss card options. I ended up going with a simple one-sided card, and I ordered a custom made stamp with the wedding details on it. I loved how my invites turned out, and I always search for Kate and Birdies newest creations whenever I am looking for a card.



Last year I was in Toronto for a girls week-end, and I found the cutest wrapping paper in a specialty store. I was pregnant at the time, and I couldn't resist buying a piece of paper with the intention of framing it and hanging it in the nursery. It wasn't until I got home that I realized the paper was none other than Kate and Birdie! Here's how it looks now, in the nursery.

2/16/2012

California Cool

I love the bright, geometric piece of art here. Palm Springs has lots of amazing modern architecture, which contrasts so well against the desert landscape.
image from architecturelist.com

2/15/2012

Swimmingly

I am loving these one piece suits from J. Crew. I think one of these swimsuits would be just the inspiration I need to get myself back into the gym on a regular basis! One of my New Years Resolutions was to work out 3 times per week, and I think I am failing at this so far. My back was really bothering me during most of January, but over the last week I have been feeling a lot better. I think it's time to step it up a notch and dust off my running shoes!!


2/14/2012

The Valentine's Day Baby


Happy Valentines Day! My mom dressed me up in this silly outfit... 
(which I hastily threw together as he was having his morning nap. I really got into the Valentine's Day spirit after my SURPRISING gift, described below)



Now, let me get this hat off!

For Valentines day, I had planned on making the cinnamon buns I made for Tyler's Birthday. However, when my alarm clock went off at 6:30 this morning I didn't exactly get up. So I was still in bed at 8am when Tyler brought me my Valentines gift. He handed me a magazine with a piece of stained glass on the front, which confused me a little. I might try to do the occasional craft, but stained glass is definitely out of my league! There was a little note on the front of the magazine saying that he had signed us both up to take a Stained Glass workshop! The class runs every Tuesday night for 6 weeks, and he has even organized baby-sitting in advance! I am always saying that I wish the two of us could do more different and interesting things together, and this definitely fits the bill. 

Friends of our have a beautiful antique piece of stained glass in their kitchen, and we have admired it on a few occasions. Tyler decided to look for a piece we could use in our front window, but everything he saw was way too expensive. When he was out on one of his antiquing quests, he started talking to an elderly man who suggested that instead of buying a piece of Stained Glass, he should learn how to make one himself. He found a studio in Winnipeg that offers classes, and signed us up! I am so excited to learn how to do something new together! This has got to be one of the most original Valentine's day gifts ever. Which made me feel bad that I couldn't even get up a couple minutes early to bake some cinnamon buns... I did manage to make them this morning, and they are delicious as an afternoon snack. 

We are off to a hockey game tonight, to watch the Jets take on the New York Islanders. GO JETS!! 

2/13/2012

Mail!

I absolutely love getting mail... especially cute baby clothes! The Littlest Linden likes presents too, but he prefers the wrapping to the actual gift. Thank you to our cousins Lawson and Harlan who sent the beautiful gifts. I really like Mexx clothing for the babe, mostly due to his small stature. Mexx seems to have a narrow fit, especially compared to The Gap or Carters. While he started off as a big baby, he seems to be constantly getting leaner, despite eating EVERYTHING in site. We seem to have a bottomless pit on our hands...

2/12/2012

Californian Crib

How cool is this 'crib'? Soren sure loved it!!

We just got back from a wonderful week in Palm Springs. I've spent the last couple hours telling Tyler all of things the Littlest Linden learned in California. (Like learning how to wave!) The weather was amazing, we enjoyed walks every day, and ate delicious meals with family every evening.

It seemed very luxurious to be able to pick our breakfast in the morning! Grapefruit, Orange, and Lemon trees were everywhere.

We did a little hiking in the desert,

A little bit of swimming,


And lots of playing in the sun! 


2/08/2012

Hello from Palm Springs!

We are enjoying the Californian sun here in the desert! Lots of pictures and updates will be up next week. Soren is teething... so unfortunately he is not quite as happy as usual. Last night we had a bit of a rough time, and it doesn't help that I am still feeling under the weather. I'm typing this post on a blackberry playbook which I am totally unfamiliar with, so I'm going to wrap this up. Off to enjoy the day!!

2/04/2012

Cake Pops

I am going to a 30th Birthday Party tonight, and I wanted to try out some delicious Cake Pops that I have seen in cupcake stores. They are actually pretty easy to make, and I can imagine making them as decorations for lots of different events. I think the hardest part might be coming up with creative ways to display them!

I adapted a recipe that I found on Bakerella. What a cute site that is! I found lots of great ideas that I can't wait to try out. I wanted to make Red Velvet Cupcakes, but unfortunately the grocery store was out of the boxed mix. (I normally make cakes from scratch, however this recipe called for cake mix from a box, so I figured it would be easier.) I had to settle for Chocolate Fudge, which I baked last night before bed. Boxed cakes are so, so, so easy to make!!


Cake pops just out of the freezer
Cake pop Birthday Cake!

I think it looks festive... even if my critics might think it looks a little sloppy! I think I will have fun with these in the future.

2/02/2012

The Littlest Reader



A new favourite activity is reading! Well, one of us may like to eat the books more than read them...
This is motivating me to organize our guest/junk room and turn it into a proper playroom, with space to put all of his books and toys. I have a couple book shelves that need to be cleaned and painted, which I would love to do as soon as it's warm enough to paint outside. The way the weathers going, that could be in the next couple of weeks!

2/01/2012

Winter Walk

We bundled up today and headed out for a walk. It was good to escape the germs circulating in our house! I tried to get the Littlest Linden to sit up nicely on a blanket for a photo shoot. It didn't work so well. He cried when I sat him up, and then immediately flipped onto his side and rolled into the snow. Without any gloves on. Opps...
 It wasn't too cold for the swing!

Kya even escaped off of her leash, and had a great time running around the park. She hasn't gotten to do this in a loooong time. She used to get all of our attention. And then Rupert came along, and she had to share the attention with another dog. I think she adjusted well to that change. And then, THE BABY came along, which basically changes everything in a dog's life. While I still love Kya and Rupert a lot, I definitely do not spend nearly as much time with them as I did before LL's arrival. Good thing they don't hold grudges! One afternoon in the park and everything is forgotten:)