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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My Cat From Hell

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We have watched a couple of episodes of this show on Animal Planet, lately. click here for tv show info. We are now thinking our cats are pretty awesome! Lol. Our grey cat Salal is at optimal health once again (see previous posts of vet / home made medicine recipes), and getting into everything! Awesome! I forgot how he loves to eat wrapping ribbon. Those festive barfs sure keep us on our toes.
Here’s holiday greetings from our frisky friends to you, my favourite blog following friends!
Warm hugs and all the Kongs & ocean swims in the universe, to our late best dog friend Amos. I miss you & put a photo of you on our tree, this year. Xo.

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Mint Chocolate Chip or Butterscotch HayStacks, anyone?

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20121222-092713.jpg I wrote a lengthy blog to go with these photos but it didn’t publish! Something was lost between iPhone publish, slow Internet upstairs and space, I guess. I also experimented with a new app called “vintique” which has old filters and text options. So I messed up the gingerbread photo but you get the idea.
Haystack recipe is from my late Nana ~ recipe found on this blog last Xmas.
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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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Diners & Dinosaur Birthday parties

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20121117-234009.jpg Since moving to the big island, we’ve spent our Saturday mornings together exploring our new hood. The above photos are from our new fav hole in the wall (or should I say hole in the air walk park?). The food, ambience & the ladies are just fabulous! Trimester two has brought on a hefty morning appetite! We live near a paved walkway that is approx 5km long. It meanders through a bird estuary, along the ocean & river, taking you past a community air park where small planes take off all day and by marinas and shops. It’s pretty great. The diner is right on the path in a portable looking, non description exterior. But “it’s where friends meet”.
Shown here also, my hunky husband reading the local rag. We had already planned to visit the giant “fiesta!” Fair Trade craft market downtown. Being a womyn who never turns down a good fiesta, we made one stop first!

20121117-234629.jpg We attended our first Dinosaur birthday party! I had heard from my friend Aren that the Courtenay museum of Paleontology was awesome. And she was correct. My sweety had birthday cake in his hands moments after arrival & I was blown away by their fossil collection. Not to mention..

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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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My Husband is a Tart

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No, he’s not really. But it sounds catchier than “my husband makes amazing chicken pot pie”. Smerk*. I mentioned to my husband a week ago that my current pregnancy craving was for chicken pot pie – home style comfort food. A couple days later, I came home from work and he had baked a dozen giant ones from scratch! So sweet, heh? His first crust was too pie like (tho lovely + buttery), so we cheated and got tender flake mini pie crusts, to use up the rest of the filling last night. I think I ate 7 of them. Don’t judge me… I’m pregnant. I love you baby and baby.
Care for the recipe? Comment below and I’ll ask the chef.
House Reno “make” “DIY” updates to come this week. We’ve been busy!
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Borscht!

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20121027-205521.jpg Today I made Russian style Borscht! I finished by giant bag of Coombs market BC beets. It was good but not great. After feedback, I experimented with extras… And now it is good, ya! I also put it all in the blender before ziploc freezing. Yum, hello fall, I admit you are here by opening my soup making season. Please comment if you’d like the recipe.
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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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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’s my job to marinate the Sockeye Salmon

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And marinate I did. It’s a foggy day at Alder Bay (across from Alert Bay on Bc’s north Vancouver Island coast ~ also around the corner from Telegraph Cove ~ for those google mapping). My sweety went to do a scuba job in Port McNeill for the afternoon and I’m chillin by the fire, watching fishing boats come in. After my blueberry snack I’m heading out with my trusty slr camera. I’m bringing my biggest member because size counts when photographing eagles & the whales, that I’m most certain are waiting for me. Smerk* Other excitement today was the lady that ran from from site to site inviting us to the dock. “In 10 mins the Stanley Cup is being helicoptered over”. I’m guessing the winning team had a player from Port McNeil (name lost on this artist already…). Proud Canadians jumped and waved in the 2 secs it took to fly by. I was at least hoping it would be dangling below it? Non.

Back to our dinner. Actually bought this fish in CR the other day while visiting the fishing dock with my sweet dad. I just did the simple BC BBQ marinade: deboned her, split her open, fresh lemon squeezed and sliced, some chives, some fresh dill. Tin foiled her up, zip locked her to be “cooler safe” & laid her on a bed of ice til the chef gets home. I’m guessing hibachi bbq’d not campfire. What are you having for dinner?

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PS. This blog was photographed & submitted entirely on my iPhone by the campfire. We can’t even get cel coverage at home! Yeah!
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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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