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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cookies!

My new office is hosting an open house this week. Our Director came up with the idea of a one-way cookie exchange for our guests. So we basically bring in cookies and give them away.

So being one of the newbies and all, I decided to try something a little more inspired.

Behold! My new twist on the sugar cookie:

First I separated the dough into 3 and left one white, and dyed the other 2 red & green.



I used basic, liquid food colouring instead of the Wilton this time. The red is a bit pinky so next time I will try the Wilton.




I let the dough chill for about an hour. Then I rolled each colour out between 2 sheets of slightly floured waxed paper. I had never tried that before and it worked so great!

Next I layered the 3 and rolled them up like a cinnamon bun:



I chopped off the ends for a cleaner look. Next I rolled my "cookie burrito" in some sprinkles, covered it in plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge.

Not one to let anything go to waste, I put the remaining dough in my cookie press:



And I made some bonus cookies:



And when cooked:



I let my burrito chill overnight. Today I took it out and made some cookie slices:



Once sliced, I popped them into the oven for a few minutes:



And, voilà! My very own Pinterest success!!



I think they turned out pretty good. Maybe not 100% how I had envisioned but pretty close.

Next challenge: making birthday cupcakes for my too soon to be 2 year old!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Halloween Tradition

Yesterday was Halloween. In the past I've decorated the house and yard and planned elaborate costumes. Now I'm happy if we have candy to hand out. I'm sure I'll get more into it as Nathan gets older.

Despite my holiday ennui I still manage to bake some witches fingers for the office.

In the oven:



Up close:



I feel like a serial killer with a Tupperware container full of trophies:



My efforts were appreciated. I did save a couple for Nathan to try, but he was only interested in the container. Kids, go figure!

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Procrastinating by Baking

In 6 days I have an exam. It's an industry certification exam and it cost me $500 just for the privilege to write it. If I don't pass, it will be 6 months and another $500 to re-take it.

I am woefully behind in studying. Like I'm on chapter 4 of 25 behind.

So what did I do during the Babe's nap today? I baked chocolate zucchini cake.




I'm going to go ahead and blame Pinterest. I've been spending a but of time browsing and everyone is pinning tasty baked treats. This is my family's recipe and not from Pinterest though.

Now I just need to wait for it to cool enough to cut!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade Detergent

Thanks to Pinterest several of the moms in my Playgroup have made their own laundry soap. Ever since then they have been raving about it.

I wanted to try it for myself, but alas, one of the main ingredients is not available in Canada. Every recipe that I could find online called for Fels Naptha brand laundry bar soap. After much searching I found that you can also use Sunlight bar soap, which is available in Canada, but I could not find any information on whether it was safe to use on cloth diapers,

So I ordered some online and had it delivered to my brother's house. They were coming for a visit and were able to bring it to me.

So here are the ingredients: Borax, washing soda, and Fels Naptha soap.




I grated one bar of soap:



One of my mom friends then puts it into her food processor to break it down into smaller pieces. You could also use a blender or a Magic Bullet.

To the grated soap I added 1 cup each of washing soda and Borax. You can also add baking soda, but I am out.

Here it is:




It kind of looks like grated cheddar in flour - smells better though.

But does it work? My first test was a cloth diaper load. With only a tablespoon of my detergent, they came out clean, white, and fresh. So I guess it works!




As for cost savings, you won't really see any on the first or second batch. But the good news is that my boxes of Borax and washing soda are still nearly full. It will be a very long time before they run out.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

* Warning * Gross Photos Posted

On Monday when I picked Nathan up from his dayhome I noticed a few red marks on his leg. I asked his caregiver (who also happens to be a licensed nurse) if they were bug bites or an allergy. She had a look a said "definitely bug bites".

Fast forward to that night. The house was extremely hot and Nathan was cranky and not sleeping. Around 2 am I brought him to the basement to watch some t.v. and to cool down. I noticed that he was scratching his other leg My thought went to: bed bug bites (thank you mainstream news) or chicken pox (but he was vaccinated).

By morning his legs were worse and he and I were supposed to fly out to visit my parents. Hoping that I was overreacting we left anyway. On the plane his spots spread. Now there were several on his feet and some on his arms.

When we arrived we went to a medical clinic. Other than the spots starting on his extremities instead of his torso, the doctor said that it sure looked liked the chicken pox. In fact, they had seen several cases recently of vaccinated kids getting the chicken pox.

So we're on vacation at my parents and stuck at home. At least it's air conditioned!

In case you are need of a good scratch:







Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

If there's one thing I've learned from being an Infertile it's that things don't always go according to "plan". The "plan" was to have timed intercourse and get pregnant. The "plan" was never meant to take 4 years, a miscarriage, and IVF treatments.

I think it's because of this that I don't have any plans about parenting. I'm kind of just "winging it".

When I was pregnant I never came up with a theme for the nursery. During our prenatal classes I never wrote up a birth plan either. Other than planning to cloth diaper, we're making it up as we go along.

Now I'm also a realist and a pragmatist. Being Infertile gives you lots of time to read up on things. I didn't do a theme in Nathan's room because I didn't know what he'd be into. I didn't want to go crazy with one thing (eg Sesame Street) only to have him hate that but be really into dinosaurs or something. We can always decorate later.

I didn't do up a birth plan because I can't think of one person that I know, whose birth went according to plan. So why set myself up for disappointment? This way I had no preconceived expectations and I just let whatever had to happen, happen.

What prompted this post was a post by a group that I follow on Facebook about car seat safety. Someone recently posted this comment about extended rear facing: "when my daughter was a baby I thought I had to turn her at 12 months & 20 pounds. I'm so glad that I learned the truth when she was still a baby and I still have her rear facing at 3 years 8 months".

I'm not critiquing or criticizing, or mocking her in any way, I'm simply surprised that anyone thought in advance about when they would turn their child from rear facing to forward facing. I never even looked into it, at all. I can't remember if I learned via Facebook, the public health nurse, or from the instruction manual. All I know is that the minimum requirements, where I live, to turn your child is that s/he must be 1 year old, walking, and 22 pounds. I don't advocate either way as long as the minimum requirements have been met.

I suppose I should start to plan a bit more in our son's life. Maybe we should sign him up for some classes this fall or something. But what? Swimming? Gym? Kinder Musik? I think I prefer winging it!



- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, May 21, 2012

Newest & Last (?) Diaper

We just got our custom order from Rumpkinz the other day.



Funny thing is, when I put it on him his mood improved dramatically.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, May 18, 2012

Confession

I have a problem. When we decided to use cloth diapers one if the main reasons was cost. And we're very happy with our decision, but there's a hidden, secret cost to cloth diapering that no one tells you about.

Nathan's first cloth diapers were purchased used. I really loved the brand (Fuzzi Bunz) so as he started to outgrow the first batch I sought out more of the same used. And I found some. They were in good condition but some were older than others, so I bought a few new ones to add to my stash.

Then a friend of mine told me about Sun Baby diapers. She was placing an order for herself and asked if I wanted any (you can only order in lots, no single diapers). I saw this skull diaper and couldn't resist.



Then one day I realised that Nathan would probably outgrow his Fuzzi Bunz soon. I did find a few used in the next size up, but they weren't in the best condition. So I ordered 12 from Sunbaby. And I ordered a few more from Alva Baby too. Eventually I ordered a few more. Throw in a couple of custom made diapers that I had made, and that's a lot of diapers!




I could rationalize it - after all I have sold all of the diapers that he's outgrown and that money has more than paid for his new ones. But this is getting ridiculous!

So I'm trying to bring a little more pragmatism to our diapers. Nathan is only going to need them for about another year. All of the ones we have now are one-size, so he's not likely to outgrow them.

I am going to resist buying any more. It will be hard when I see new prints or if there's a sale. But resist I must!




- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day - 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms out there.  Be you a mom to be, mom to an angel, mom in waiting, birth mom, or just plain mom.

You have all sacrificed and struggled, and shed many a tear to get here. You deserve a day just for you.  So sleep in, soak in the tub, drink that glass of wine - you earned it!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Product Review - E Salon

Recently I read an article about eSalon. They are an online company comprised of professional hair colourists. All you need to do us set up an account, answer a few questions, upload a photo (optional), and they will custom blend a hair colour for you. You can even interact directly with the pros.

I looked them up and discovered that they were running a promotion. So for $4.95 (including shipping) I got my own custom-blended hair colour. Compare that to upwards of $120 in a salon or even $20 at the drugstore.

You should first know that I'm both cheap and lazy. I hate paying $60 for a haircut so I only go when absolutely necessary. I'm also too lazy to deal with roots in my hair so I rarely ever colour it. When I do, I do it at home with a temporary colour.

Through eSalon I was able to request a Demi permanent colour. I let the experts know that I have fine hair that some describe as dark blonde, and others as light brown. My hair also has a hint of red in it.

Earlier this week my product arrived.

First off; I was super impressed with the packaging. They even included a professional applicator brush:









My name is on the bottle which is to lets know that this is my hair colour, and no one else's.

I admit that I was a little nervous. And as I applied the colour and realized that it looked nothing like any previous haircolour that I've used, I grew more nervous.

Oh well, it's only hair right?

Before I took off the towel I had a vivid memory surface.  Years ago I had my hair done.  The stylist is very good and I trusted him completely with my hair (I don't see him anymore because he charges way too much for me now).  I had asked him to brighten up my hair, possibly with a "coppery-bronze look".  When he took of the towel both of our jaws dropped!  My hair had picked up all of the red in the dye and it was the same colour as Ronald McDonald's hair (maybe I'm exaggerating slightly, but only slightly).  Needless to say I was very hesitant to remove the towel.

I did and it looks great.  It's a hint darker than I like and when I re-order I will let them know to adjust the formula.  My hair feels fantastic too!  There are a few greys that are still visible, but that's okay, it makes it look more natural that way.

Well done eSalon!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Another Overdue Update

I've been such a neglectful blogger, even more now that I'm back at work.  Truth be told, I only seem to turn my laptop on once every 3 or 4 days.  Yes, I can blog from my phone, but that's hard (I have big fingers).  I guess it's a good thing that this is a non-revenue generating blog or I'd be broke!

Hubby started a new job in early April.  He had to travel for the first 2 weeks and so I got to experience what life as a single, working mother was like.  I didn't like it one bit.  But Hubby is back now and his new job comes with a home office so he is able to take the Babe to daycare in the mornings.

Speaking of day care, our day home has increased her rates dramatically.  I think she bit off more that she could chew!  She has 2 employees that help her during the day, plus she brings in experts each day (Kindermusik, arts & crafts, dance, etc) and that costs her quite a bit.  I'm still on the hunt for childcare with a better location for us, but the longer the Babe is there, the better he is adjusting.  I don't look forward to switching and having him get re-integrated.

I am actually enjoying being back at work, but I've started to put out some feelers for a new job.  I do enjoy my job, but it's been time for a change for many, many years now.  I'm being picky though, wherever I go must have the right culture for me.  I acknowledge that I have it pretty good where I am now, I only work 4 days a week, I have the luxury of coming in late if I have to, and I can leave early too!  Of course, I'm only paid for the hours that I'm there, and I'm okay with that!  But our benefits suck and there's no retirement package either.

Nathan is doing well.  He's walking all over the place.  It's become difficult to take him anywhere because all he wants to do is go!  I hope that he gets over that before our next visit to my family (as I'll be alone with him in the airport).

He's not talking yet, which I admit, has me somewhat concerned.  At least he jibber jabbers a lot and he does recognise words, even if he won't repeat them.  He can do some signs - but only when he wants to.  I think he knows that this frustrates me and that's why he won't communicate!  Of course there's always the risk that once he does start talking, he won't shut up!

I apologize that I have no photos to share - they are all on my phone and I haven't synched my phone in months!  Hopefully I'll make up for that soon!



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Okay folks, I don't have a lot of time here.  The Babe is down for a nap and has a nasty habit of waking up just as I start to get productive (you know, like when I eat lunch or something).  So let me catch you up on my life since my last post.

You already know that I started back to work and that Nathan doesn't like to be left at Daycare.  Hmm, maybe you don't.  Okay - January 3rd I started back to work.  Nathan cries every single time I leave him at daycare.  Which really sucks because I know that he likes to play with the other kids there.  At first we would distract him and I would sneak away, that worked a few times.  Then he caught on.  Now it's harder and harder to leave him.  I usually end up sitting there with him for 20 - 30 minutes while he settles in.  He still cries when I leave but only for a few minutes.  The one day that I couldn't do that he cried for hours.

So 2 weeks into the new year, and me back at work, Hubby gets laid off.  This came as a total shock to us as he works for a very large and stable company.  Basically they have acquired a couple of new divisions and had some duplication of work and they opted to lay off the people in our city.  It was a small layoff, only a handful of people, but it was still a shock.  He hadn't been there a year yet so there was no severance or anything.  But, on the bright side, I don't have to take Nathan to daycare anymore!

It's no big secret that I don't really like my job.  Well, that's not entirely true, I do like my job, but I'm over it.  I've been there since 2002 and it was time for some new challenges several years ago.  So I suggested to Hubby that we use his layoff as an opportunity to potentially relocate.  We have no family where we live, and Nathan is not in school yet, so now is a good time to move.  He isn't limiting his search to out of province but he has expanded it there.

So you haven't heard from me lately (unless you follow me on Twitter) because I am now 1- working full time, 2 - spending my time at home with Nathan so Hubby gets a break and can search for work, and 3 - I'm more exhausted than ever!  Believe me I'd love to be using this blog as an outlet for what's happening, but I never get computer time at home anymore and my darn morals and ethics won't let me use company time to blog!  I could blog from my phone but I have way too much to say for that tiny keyboard.

I promise to try to do better to keep you updated on what's happening.  Right now we're in hurry up and wait mode.

I will leave you of a recent photo of my beloved progeny, helping me with the laundry.


Friday, January 13, 2012

New Obsession

I know that by now you've all heard of Pinterest. If you haven't, where have you been? The best way that I can describe it is that it's like a virtual bulletin board for you to sort anything from recipes to home decor ideas.

Tonight I decided to try one of my "pins", the one for a "Mug Cake". You can Goggle it and hundreds of pages come up with as many recipes. I'm normally not a fan of chocolate but AF arrived this morning. In light of this I chose a brownie recipe.

Here it is all mixed up and ready for the microwave:




Here it is 1 minute later (I added the marshmallows):





Yum!





Very tasty! I will definitely try this again.

- Posted from my iPhone

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