How to Make a Baby

Okay the title is misleading. Here are a few photos of the zillions I just edited, organized and purged. Note to all ~ never keep 12 000 photos on your laptop without an external drive. I just purged down to 4000 and backed them up. phew. Week 10 with Fern and time to get some projects finished and posted! Next project is blowing up and printing some family photos to make our family photo frame wall! stay tuned.

These again were taken by Bluetree Photography’s NJ. SOOO glad we had her to capture our process of baby making. These photos taken at 8.5 months pregnant, at the best beach on the east coast of Vancouver Island and the old growth forest beside it. I’m trying to post photos here that I didn’t on facebook.

Make Something Every Day

Naughty Kitty ~ Obviously Someone is Feeling Better.

IMG_3713This is a breakfast in bed (hello Trimester Three, perks!) PLAY BY PLAY…

The photos are blurry which sadly is what happens when your iphone camera lens gets all scratched up.

boo. You get the idea  though.

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Christmas DIY Card Tree

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE.

Here’s a quick craft I’m not sure where I say it first but it came to me as I was decorating the kitchen for xmas. I used approx 8 tacs and some green sparkly stretchy cord to fashion an xmas tree shape on the wall. Then as the cards came in, I filled it. We sent out cards this year with pride. Next year ( with a newborn may be a different story. Post Xmas, i used the sewing pinking sheers and a hole punch to create gift tags for next year. Yeah, upcycle, recycle. I also only bought one roll of paper and a thrift store bag of bows. All my ribbon was from years past.

There is still so much waste at xmas, it was the least I could do.

What did you craft this xmas?

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Turtles Cupcakes!

Today I made some Nestle turtle chocolate cupcakes. Basically, you bake chocolate cupcakes half way then place a turtle chocolate on them, with more cupcake mixture, and put it back in for another 10 minutes. The recipe is below. If you look at the photo  you can see that I left them in a little too long (we have a brand spankin’ new oven and all appliances.. thanks daddsy! ~and even though i put it on 15 degrees less than the recipe said- it cooked very quickly). So the photo at bottom is the halfway point. They were naughty and decent, not incredible. Husband review? “they would have been better heated up so they’d be gooey. (recipe actually says to do that) But they were cupcakes with turtles in them.. c’mooon!” IMG_3998

 

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click here for the Nestle Turtles Cupcakes recipe!

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We Are Getting Some Weather

Well, it looked like this on my commute to work this am.

We have moved.. so the commute is backwards to last year. This is north of Courtenay headed to Campbell River, BC.

Photo taken holding iphone out the window.

Imagine how awesome it could have been if I had the real camera?IMG_3771

And by the time dinner came, back in Courtenay, we took this photo out the front window.

I’m thinking maybe the end of the world IS coming?

 IMG_3821Happy Holidays! 

and

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Sexual Relations and Smoked Salmon

 

IMG_3748I love this cartoon, thought I’d share.

We spent the weekend xmas tree decorating, xmas card writing, wrapping and mailing packages for family and friends who live away, lighting up our yard etc.. very fun this year in our new house! Next year will be even more exciting and different with a newborn’s xmas! This week I also spent time decorating other parts of the house with swag. Messy and fun to be creating again ! This weekend and next week’s goals for me? The NURSERY and start some fun xmas baking. If you look back at last year’s xmas blog entries, we did a lot of firsts for baking. I’m thinking of redoing … mint and choc beaver damns and pine nut and smoked salmon tarts! For starters.

WHAT ARE YOU BAKING / CRAFTING FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

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The Nursery Before. It’s Happening.

Well blog friends, it’s HAPPENING! I’m officially in my third trimester and nesting like a mad womyn. With xmas coming and both working, we have a lot on the go and minimal time off but slowly we are making some changes in our awesome new house. I’m posting before nursery photos in order to motivate myself! Stay tuned in the next 2 weeks for the final room (before xmas for sure). I’ve also included a Pregnancy Breakfast of Champions shot. My awesome husband makes me a shake every morning ~ berries, greek yogurt, banana, almond milk. I take all the other vitamins with it, to make sure our future baby attends college.

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Who’se A Chubby Kitty?

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Well, I experimented with a second rescue remedy recipe for my cat Salal. Although he has perhaps doubled (?) his weight in a month ~ and for sure his energy and fiest has tripled.. I thought I’d vary up his diet and try this one. Again ~  easy to make  and he loves it. I promise to use cheaper chicken next time, babe.

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Kitty Does Have Nine Lives

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After our awesome, sweet heart of a dog passed on in May, I began to wonder if its best friend Salal ~was experiencing depression?  The grey, 11 year old cat from Haida Gwaii, lost his spunk & appetite in a matter of  3 weeks. Nothing we offered helped. I force fed him for weeks after our travelling vet told us it was renal (kidney) failure.  (which was not a joy for my husband or myself). He bit through endless syringes and turkey basters.  I was not giving up. Recently, we added the stress of moving to this list. The move went well. Plan B. We added a small dose of daily vallium to his routine. His appetite came back but he didn’t gain any weight. He also looked like a drunk at 2 am in his back legs, which was at first funny ~then sad.
Plan C!    I visited our new neighborhood vet, a naturopathic and Chinese medicine based healer. She was awesome! Tree of Life Vet. I didn’t have an ap’t but she answered my questions in the waiting room. She photocopied 2 recipes for cat renal failure and I bought a tub of powder to put on it.
I went from there to the grocer and spent $25 on 2 months fresh ingredients. The salmon was a score as I got a huge tray of ends (it didn’t need to be pretty).  It looked like poop, lol.  Long story shorter…. Salal is wolfing down his food – both the salmon recipe & regular kibble and is off the meds. His gaunt cheeks are regaining their chub! Yeah me & new vet! I’m making another batch today & will tell you about the chicken recipe next month.

Any questions, please comment below.

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Just beet it… October!

It has been a crazy busy where did this month go – October. For you as well? And what did I make to show for it? almost nothing.

THEN we went to COOMBS Goats on a Roof Country market and I got a 20 lb bag of beets. What more can a girl ask for?

After the lovely Nova Scotian Kate left from her awesome visit here.. I pickled beets last weekend! It was our first weekend alone as a couple in our new home and it seemed like just the right nesting thing to do. Below is a slideshow of the process. If you want the recipe, comment below.

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Pass the apple cashew stuffing and more turkey, please!

Happy belated Gobble Gobble.

Here’s a quick blog entry to let you all know that my intentions to blog have been over come by the move into our new house, have guests 4 days later, have a guest for week and a half, go to Vancouver and back and a fabulous turkey day celebration! Not to mention a bit of unpacking and re-organizing life.. oh and buying a Smartcar! I guess that’s a few updates, non? Did I mention I’m pregnant?

Any who… here’s my handsome husband’s turkey this year. We hosted 9 in our new house and it was awesome.

My parents took an annual turkey photo throughout their marriage so we are as well. Thanks to our family and Kate for joining us and Corey for being a great chef

and thanks to my Dad who buys the annual largest bird he can find. xo.

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Who is Peeing on the Carpet?

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Today is my first day alone in our new house! I’d say we are roughly 3/4 unpacked with several systems to set up yet. One of those is the cats.
Until our beautiful dog Amos passed in May, I almost didn’t realize we had 2 cats. They seemed to accessorize him. Now they get a lot more attention, as you can imagine. I know cats don’t adjust to moves very well, so we locked them in the spare bathroom with all their gear & needs during the move and the following couple days. Now that they are free, they are needy (& kneading my baby belly every chance I sit / lay still).
We have carpet. From an esthetics and germ perspective I despise carpet like I despise window treatments. It’s expensive ish berber & isn’t in the reno budget to rip out, this year. The stairwells have in the last three days become a stink bomb of either cat spray or pee!!! Uggg! Nothing worse than cat pee smell! Nothing. I have yet to catch anyone in the act (goddess help them if I do) as they do it after we leave for work. We’ve emptied a box of baking soda cat litter deo all over already. Any suggestions folks? Other than driving the kitties to “the farm”?
Happy times*! I’m hoping to unpack / find my craft supplies and set up a table today! Stay tuned.
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Storage Wars & Moving Day

 We have been loving this show. It’s so ridiculous but maybe it speaks to the voyeur or the thrifter in me? I do love looking in people’s windows at night and seeing their “stuff”. I admit it. So this reality  show is about auctioning unclaimed or unpaid storage units at locker facilities in the USA. There’s all kinds of copy cat shows out now that are not as good. Berry is my fav. We moved this past weekend from the small island to the big island. Between loads in the Budget truck I took this photo on our front lawn. It made me wonder about what people would bid on if this was a storage unit up for auction? lol. As well, it made me wonder about judgements people would make of us based on our stuff. It’s just stuff but it does say a lot about oneself.

On that note ~ while I was waiting for the delivery pizza on the small island that took over an hour and the guys that it was for were long gone on the ferry ~ the pizza guy / taxi man was circling my lawn items (5 minutes after he should have been gone). I came out and asked “what the?”. He started offering me money for the guitars!

I’m also cheating here a lot when i add these photos as part of my 38 Inspring Objects (before i turn 39 next month!).

#13    The CLOTHING OPTIONAL SIGN. This sign deserves it’s own blog entry but having moved, time is tight for creative writing. I painted this sign on sanded driftwood about 4 years ago when we first moved to Quadra. We have given this sign away and taken it back in a FREE pile at a garage sale. We have now moved again with and will find a saucy place to post it.

#14  The vintage French Provincial Chair. This chair was purchased as a set in kimberley Bc atthe last house I woned. My contractor knew a lady who was moving into a retirement home and had it in plastic for decades! I scored it. The couch was like 10 feet long so gifted it to my neighbour across the street who was also my rental care taker when i moved aaway and rented the place. They have been raising two awesome littel boys on it. wehen I got to uadra, i had the seat reupholstered in CR. It’s about to be the breast feeding chair in our nursery (in say 6 months). Love this chair. So does our cat Salal ( this the reupholsyter)

#15  my record collection. Have I already mentioned that? My other blog is click here for my JUST FOR THE RECORDS ~ DAILY DOSE OF VINYL 365 day project. Boxes and boxes of thrift and gifted records and some from my childhood that I’m creating a collection with.

#16 U Brew equipment. It may seem like a silly thing but we do enjoy (well until I recently got knocked up) making our own fun beverages at home. We’ve made all sorts of fruit beers, wines, port, champagne, mexican beer etc. Some from berries we’ve picked (as seen in previous posts).

#17  My wedding dress. Yes, if you look hard enough you can see my wedding dress in a pile. I’m thinking to Craigslist it next month but it was a surprisingly beautiful exereince shopping for and wearing it. love love love. See posts 2 years ago Feb for wedding photos.

#18 My Nana’s tea cups. My lovely late Nana left me (well my Dad) a lot of special and valuable antiques. We have been using some of it and storing and moving x4 most of it. I’m excited to use her tea cups in the new place!

THANK YOU to my sweetheart of a husband for doing MOST of the moving! I have a LOT of craft stuff. I mean, a LOT. And thanks to great friends Sean & Aren for showing up on move day! So sweet. And special thanks to Aren for the Lasagna, garlic bread and ceasar salad that we have been eating all week! Thanks Dad for helping unpack us!

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Dear Teacher: What I Did This Summer…

The ultimate do it yourself (DIY… but with my handsome husband)!

We made a baby. We will be brewing / perfecting it til March 2013!

My sweety already gave me some great creative sewing and crafts for babies books, at xmas.

stay tuned.

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38 inspiring objects
# 12 our baby!

Thus the much less frequent blogging here and on my Daily Dose of Vinyl record blog all summer.

I essentially slept all summer!~ justfortherecords BLOG click here
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Should we Fry our Green Tomatoes or store them?

If you read my last post, you’ll know we’ve been busy beavers all summer. And you’d know we bought a house and we move in just 2 weeks! That said, I’m wondering about the garden this weekend trying to decide what stays, goes, gets dehydrated etc. During my luxurious nap this afternoon (after which my husband made me homemade wide baked fries and chipolte aoile- he’s the best, non?).. I did some painful and some helpful youtube research on harvest. I learned that green tomatoes can be cut on their stem, wrapped in newspaper and stored in a dark, cold box to rippen. I was also educated that they give off a gas called ethalyne  (spell?) and that rippens them. You can fake that chemical by placing an apple in the box or even hanging it by a vine of tomatoes to make them turn quicker. I will try the latter and let you know if that works, If not, I’ll be boxing a tomatoe and a cherry tomatoe plant next weekend!  This guy explains to it well and is easy on the eyes: 

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We bought a HOUSE!

38 Inspiring Objects #11     our HOUSE!

I know, so exciting right? I keep hearing the price is right announcer bellowing out “Corey & Jen… you have  bought a house! C’moon down!” lol. With much love and support from family OXOXOX we will be moving into our first house together as a family, on September 15th! It’s in Courtenay BC, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. Otherwise known as “the big island”. We are stoked. I’ve already been taking paint swatches to bed and planning the move. But where will the craft room go? So that’s been keeping us pretty busy this summer. winks*

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Homemade Blackberry Fruit Roll Ups !

“Are you gunna make fruit roll ups today”? Nope, that is not a four year old. That was my husband bugging me for the last few days. So yes. Today I took my first shot at home made blackberry fruit roll ups, in our new dehydrator (see bottom).

And here’s how we did it.
1. Pick a big freezer bag size of local blackberries from all your neighbour’s bushes. Prime time= end of August.
2. Clean and dry.


3. Make an apple sauce in blender just in case whatever kind of berry you choose needs thickening. Use the fruit bowl apples you hoped said husband would take for lunches but never does.


4. Put bag of blackberries in blender on low til they produce a somewhat thick syrup. Use juice if needed to get the blender goin’. Yum.


5. Mix apple w blackberries.


6. Pam spray roll up flat inserts. We did three.


7. Pour mixture on evenly. Lick spatula.


8. Turn dehydrator on to 130-140 degrees for 4-8 hrs.


9. Take out when leathery dry.
10. Cut to size. Roll. Store individually in seran and store in a Ziploc in freezer. They come out looking like photo #7.

38 Inspiring Objects

#10  the New Lee Valley Dehydrator.

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Our Day in Local Produce

Although we can’t wait to move off this overpriced tourist destination of an island, I have to say in the summer there is something to be said for leading a lifestyle based on the 100 mile diet ~ if you can. Yesterday Corey forced me off the couch to go blackberry picking, again. It’s an annual tradition with us, one that we swore we’d take more seriously this season. It’s a dangerous but yummy sport. Full chain metal clothing required. Three afternoons have been spent so far with a few more to go. What are we using them for? Our morning smoothies, beer & wine making, fruit roll ups, desserts.. you name it. I’m considering writing a therapy article entitled something like “The Couple that Picks Berries Together, Stays Together“. What do you think?

After berry picking we head to Fox road to our favourite EGG guy. I also buy handmade croched face and kitchen cloths from his daughter. Both items are found with an honour system for cash trade in this adorable fridge at the end of their farm driveway. The cat in the egg photo is a curious Salal (our cat).

   

As we drove back down the road we spot this… (dad will surely comment on the budweiser flat)

Further around the corner we see two red coolers with a “VEGGIES” sign. We stop and again on the honour system purchase these yellow beans and 6 hot peppers. What a hoot. Total spent for local produce in one afternoon? $6.50.Now I’d love to be one of those righteous “organic” (said with nose in the air) people that we are about to surround ourselves with on our next move in two weeks.. SEE BLOG TOMORROW ! but the truth is ~ from there we went and purchased a $30 pizza. Yes, that’s what I said. A $30 pizza at the only place on the island to get take out pizza. lol. And it was good. We finished our pizza and bottled a pinot grigio wine, in our rental bathroom for the last time. Quadra Island your days are numbered.

Zuke’s  and beans for dinner tonight, my creative blogger friends. Do you shop locally? Organically? I will be harvesting the garden & plum, apple trees and dehydrating herbs ~basil, mint and cat mint and cherry and roma tomatoes from the topsy turvy experiment in the next 2 weeks so stay tuned… And thanxs for staying with me.  xo. 

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It looks & smells an awful lot like marijuana but it isn’t…

 But it’s got the same effect on the cats. Cat Mint! Also known as cat nip in it’s dried form. The plant started out teensy and died in the house because they wouldn’t leave it alone. Outside, in the ground after 2 months ~it’s spreading! I’ve been pinching of the flowering tops so it bushes out more. Is that the right thing to do. Can a gardner comment and tell me?

I’m assuming the flowers seed and spread the plant but I won’t be here next garden season and want the plant to get as huge as possible so I can dehydrate it this winter! Lemme know please !

The cats love it!

What are you growing for your pets this summer season?

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Please don’t call me “strawberry shortcake” (just cuz I have red hair)

So the topsy turvy experiment (see previous spring posts) is in full BLOOM now! These things are amazing ~ idiot proof. Also- I just saw the containers for $20 each at Zellers.. and I got them for $2 each at liquidation world. Yeah me. And yeah sun! We have been enjoying a super red tasty treat of strawberries, now and then – no huge crop at once yet. I’ve rotated them monthly and water them nightly. Easy peasey. The bottom shot is the cherry tomatoe plant that is covered in little green gems. The regular tomatoe plant is maybe a week behind and twice the size. Can’t wait to have more tomatoes than we know what to do with!

Speaking of which… I treated myself to the deluxe Lee Valley Dehydrator ! I know, right? I even ordered the extra trays and the extra flat roll sheet for making your own dried fruit roll ups! Also exciting news n the growing front.. we have a pear tree. I thought it was plums because they had bums a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for pear stuff end of September! 

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today is the best day of my life

 

…And it started with getting my legs waxed. Go figure!

Life is pretty busy this week ~working 13 hours today ~ so here’s a quicky post. I love this image.
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Berry Picking is a Labour of Love *or* What to Do with a Kajillion Huckleberries?

It’s that time of the year again. So much fun to wander around the yard in barely any clothes and pick your dessert… or pick your smoothie ingredients for the next day… or? What do you do with huckleberries?

We’ve never lived where there are so many bushes of them, so we thought we’d give it a go this year. My Love bought an actual Berry Scoop from Lee Valley, when we there earlier in the month. It’s pretty amazing. Though, it’s still a labour of love separating greenery and bugs etc from berries and storing them. We just started tonight. My Love had to climb the cherry tree ~ they are ready but super high up! I saw a raven the size of an eagle in that tree today.  Competition is tuff. It’s not even fully salmonberry or blackberry seasons yet. See blog posts this time last year. What we also have on the horizon are three kinds of apple trees and a plum tree. yippee. Missing in these photos? Strawberries ~ we ate them promptly while picking.

the berry scoop !

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “the mean reds” to describe her generalised anxiety:

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’ve been off the blog (& got back logged on my record a day blog) because we’ve been off line ~cruising around this wonderful province. The heat is here and we’ve got to get out while it lasts. Thats was one wet and long winter and spring, heh? Here’s a few snaps I took in Vancouver a couple weekends ago, while out playing. We saw Wimbledon Finals on the huge screen in 3D (thrilling and an new annual event for sure! federer is #1 again. All is well in the world), saw Spider-man in 3D (save your money ~it was medium at best), ate out,  ordered in (until you live remotely you never know how thrilling Thai food delivered to your door at odd hours is), shopped on Robson, slept like a king and queen in my in-laws incredible condo, had a Lee Vally and an Ikea visit (duh) and other fun stuff too. I love Vancouver. And I love my husband. All photos taken on my iphone, most while hanging out the car window. Some are from the Vancouver China Town summer night market. Can you spot my handsome husband in one of these photos?

 

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Japan Tsunami ~Coast of BC Canada Beaqch Cleanup.

I’ve signed up already. Will you!? Please read this article. danke. xo. love your beachcomber ~Fireygoddess.

Volunteers sought for West Coast tsunami debris cleanup

CBC News

Posted: May 11, 2012 2:21 PM PT – click on the triangle to view an informative video.

Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C.
Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/CP Images)The wave of debris from the Japanese tsunami that is starting to wash up on the West Coast has prompted a call for volunteers to clean up the trash.

The Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Fund are teaming up to recruit volunteers to pick up everything from bottles, to plastics, fishing paraphernalia to appliances, that is expected to wash up on North America’s coastline.   In recent months, some of the first debris that drifted across the Pacific has triggered international interest, including a container with a Harley Davidson motorcycle, some volleyballs that have been traced back to their owners, and even an unmanned fishing vesselthat was sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.

But residents in Alaska and Haida Gwaii, which used to be known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, have reported that more and more uninteresting trash has also been washing up.

Making a list to be ready

The aquarium’s Jill Dwyer is in charge of a registry of volunteers needed to collect the junk, and she said people can sign up for the cleanup registry at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

“We don’t really know when the majority of the debris is going to start hitting our shorelines, where it’s going to hit or how much,” Dwyer said Friday.

“What we’re doing is just getting a list of volunteers who would be willing to help when needed and then we’ll connect them with the site co-ordinator or the local people on the ground who would actually be organizing the cleanup.”

Dwyer said ocean debris could be harmful to wildlife if it contains chemicals or if animals ingest items or become entangled in them.

According to some estimates, the March 2011 tsunami washed between 1.5 and 18 million tonnes of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

The recruitment effort is separate from the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which has been happening across Canada every September for the last 19 years. A spring cleanup of shorelines involving students began in B.C. last year and has now started in Ontario.