28 April, 2008

Obviously, Mr. Rogers Rocks.

Good grief! 175 entries! Imagine that! Have you people nothing better to do with your time than enter contests? Kidding, kidding...it was a busy Bloggy Giveaway week last week and the moment you've all been waiting for is here: EG from Stuff Growing is the winner! Go check out her blog; in addition to claiming she never wins anything, she's got some very cute pictures of her very own little Lands' End model posted.

Just in case you're wondering, and I know you are, Mr. J. helped me tally the results of the contest question. The question asked who you would rather serve your star cupcakes to and the choices were the Pope, Mr. Rogers, or Queen Elizabeth II. Give or take a couple people who didn't answer the question properly (ahem....), this is how the 'poll' breaks down:

The Pope: 13 votes
The Queen: 37 votes
Mr. Rogers: 115 votes

I have to say, my personal choice would've been the Queen. Hands down. It would possibly mean a trip to England, and of course a new dress. Plus, I'd actually have an excuse to buy a fancy hat. I don't know how it happened, but I look good in hats. When do I ever have a reason to wear a hat though, much less buy one? In addition, if I met the Queen and she saw how cute the Little Goat is, maybe we could broker some sort of arranged-marriage deal between the LG and a future royal grandchild thus ensuring our wealth for generations to come. Or not.

The Pope? Well, I'm not Catholic either and while it would be interesting to meet him (he would be Mr. J.'s first choice) I don't think I'd have a clue what to say to him and even though he speaks English, I have a hard time understanding him.

Lastly, but not leastly, there's Mr. Rogers. I don't know....I grew up in Canada and I don't remember seeing him on TV that much. Mr. Dressup sure, but not Mr. Rogers, and I like cardigans and trolleys and all, but I don't fancy having to bring along snazzy indoor shoes.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if the cupcake serving meant having to host one of those people in my one home.....my choice just might be Mr. Rogers after all. He might even pet our fat furry cats!

Anyway, thanks to everyone that entered my first Bloggy Giveaway. I had fun and I've got some ideas to improve things next time (July). If you're a new, post-giveaway reader, welcome here! It's always fun getting to know new friends in Bloggityville. I'm looking forward to spending some time over the next month visiting all the blogs of those who entered the giveaway.

In other news, this past weekend the lovely and handsome Mr. J. and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. We dropped the LG off to spend the afternoon with friends and we checked out a new restaurant in town where I enjoyed THE BEST grilled ham and cheese (with red onions and mango chutney) panini I've ever eaten (ever!), mixed greens with vinaigrette, cranberries and gorgonzola, and some tasty chickpea salad. Then we wandered around downtown and checked out a few shops we've been wanting to visit for a while. Then we went to the local dairy bar that just opened for the season and enjoyed - what else - lemonade! I had a hankering for lemonade and had already made a fancy anniversary cake so no ice cream for us. It wasn't an elaborate celebration but it was sweet and nice and we enjoyed being 'childless' for an afternoon (although we felt slightly naked).

We picked the Little Goat up three hours later - she hardly seemed to miss us - harumph! She had gone for a walk, had a trip to Walmart and a few other stores, AND got a new toy so she was doing just fine.

Oh, I took a couple pictures of the cake but haven't got them uploaded yet but as soon as I do I'll post them. I better skeedaddle though...it's naptime!

25 April, 2008

Look, Mom! I Did It!

My Mom makes THE BEST strawberry jam ON EARTH. (And don't anybody dispute my cause we may just have to meet Out Back if you know what I mean.) Every time we visit my parents, at the top of my To-Do List is: "Raid Shelves for Fresh S-berry Jam." (My brother, he asks for perogies...I ask for strawberry jam...um...among other things.) Similarly, when my parents come here to visit, Mom always brings along several jars of tasty tasty jam.

Alas, about three weeks ago, we ran out. The last jar in our stash finally ran dry. No more jam. I thought I could hang on until the next time we saw each other but when it actually sunk in that that wouldn't be until sometime this fall, Mr. J. and I swallowed our pride and *gasp* bought strawberry jam. Of course, since we're doing this (retarded) refined sugar fast for April (which ends tomorrow - THANK. GOODNESS.), we thought we should be 'good' and buy the 1/3 less sugar jam.

What were we thinking?! Ugh. It reminds me of jello with fruit in it and neither of us like jello with fruit in it.

Then it finally occurred to both of us that hey, we keep buying all these strawberries to eat fresh, why not try making our own jam? Duh. So, Mom, I did it. I made strawberry jam. And true to the culinary genes I've inherited, my jam is, I think, nearly perfect. Look!

Now, Mom, don't go getting any ideas. This doesn't mean that you can stop bringing me jam. It was probably just beginners luck or a fluke or something. Really. And yes, I will save you a jar. Hopefully. You better get here quick!

I also made some lime curd (hooray for long naps!) using a lemon curd recipe from Martha Stewart. I added a couple drops of green food colouring to make it look a little more limey and it is FANTASTIC. I could sit and eat it by the spoonful, but I'm saving it to use as the filling for our anniversary cake which I will create tonight and tomorrow for our 6th anniversary on Sunday.

Oh, and for good measure, I'm throwing in a picture of the Little Goat (because goodness knows it's probably been, like, two whole posts since you saw her last) who is now a pro at eating Cheerios on her own. Indeed, she is perfect and cute and Cheerios might just be her new favourite food. She's also waking up. See you all later!(Ignore the Home Clothes - we don't actually take her out looking quite so mismatched.)

21 April, 2008

There's a First Time for Everything

Contest is now closed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Okay, well last time I spent altogether too much time entering giveaways and not hosting one of my own so this time, I'm in.

I'll post a picture tomorrow of The Prize but I will tell you now that it is a Wilton silicone 6-star pan. Which basically (oh why am I too lazy to get a picture up tonight?) means it's a pan that has six star-shaped receptacles for cake batter. Also, I'm throwing in a couple of decorating items as you will see in said forthcoming picture. Edit: The end of laziness! Here are the pictures! (Sorry the second one is blurry...I'm sure you get the idea.)

But wait! You know I have to make you work for it so in your comment (only one per person, please), tell me who you'd rather serve your star cupcakes to and why. Would it be:
a) The Pope?
b) Mr. Rogers?
c) Queen Elizabeth II?*

Contest will be closing at midnight (EST) on...let's see....Saturday. The winner will be chosen at random by our 10 month-old Little Goat and hopefully we will see who the winner is before she eats the paper with the name written on it. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and if you have say....three or four hours to kill entering giveaways/contests, click here for The List.

The Fine Print: This contest is open to anybody in Canada or the US. If you aren't a blogger, please leave a way to contact you if you're the winner. Oh, and if you don't answer the question, no entry for you - sorry!

*And yes, I know that Mr. Rogers isn't alive anymore...this is hypothetical, my friends....

Go Buy This Book, Okay?

Okay, I don't push too many 'products' (okay, none that I can recall) on this blog, but a friend of mine from college just published her first children's book and you all should head out and buy it. Particularly those of you of the Canadian persuasion....because her book takes place in the most important Province in the universe!! (Sorry, Beck...but if you're as far north as I think you are, you can loop yourself in with us. :) )

Check out her book blog here: Mary's Atlas by Gwen Smid

16 April, 2008


So today marks the Little Goat's 10-month birthday. "And how are you celebrating?" you might ask.

Well, the LG is sleeping the sleep of the medicated, she being in the process of cutting her other top middle tooth over these last few days. Mr. J. and I are exhausted having been fully immersed in the process (hellish chore?) of moving a friend of ours. Don't get me wrong, she's a sweet girl, it's just...well...it's kind of how I imagine it might be if we were moving an 80-year-old woman who had lived in the same house for 60 years and never thrown ANYTHING away.

I'm not so sure you'd call any of that celebrating...but we're too tired and in pain anyway.

Oh! Oh! I am almost ecstatic to report that our driveway is 95% snow-free! Our lawn? Not so much...but it has been above zero (Celsius, people, Celsius) and sunny for four days in a row now and we are LOVING IT. I've even been outside without a jacket on TWICE in the last couple days. To add to my amazement, on Saturday morning I woke up to that sweet sweet sound of Spring. Yes, mine eyes hath seen, mine ears hath heard...


03 April, 2008

Week Two

Well, the Little Goat had her first misadventure yesterday. I was in the kitchen making biscuits and she was sitting on the couch with Mr. J. Well I guess she got a little excited about her fake credit card she was playing with and started rocking back and forth with a little too much vigour and "flew off" the couch into the coffee table. Argh. There's just a mark on her forehead now - no bruise and no big bump. Phew!

I contemplated staying home from my La Leche League meeting, or at least leaving the LG at home because I felt like such a bad parent, but guess what? There were four kids there including the LG. Johnny, the youngest isn't sitting on his own yet. That leaves the other two girls, BOTH of whom made significant contact with...THE COFFEE TABLE! Hah! I mean, okay, it wasn't funny really at the time, but it was a little coincidental, don't you think? At least I felt better.

Anyway, it's been just over a week since I last posted and in that post I told you about our plans for a refined-sugar 'fast' for the month of April. Okay, not all of April, just until the 27th (I'm not giving up sugar on our Anniversary thank you very much.)

Things have been going okay so far. I thought I would take a minute to clarify what's still on the menu versus what's been taken off. I already mentioned pretty much what's been taken off: cookies, pies, cakes - desserts in general; pop (which we don't drink much of anyway), and candy. Still on the list: certain cereals that aren't blatantly full of sugar like say, Fruit Loops, muffins (the recipe I usually make has about 1/3 cup of sugar in the whole batch), and a reasonable amount of sweetener in coffee or tea. Honey, in small quantities, is also allowed since it's unrefined. Mr. J. is also allowing himself the occasional graham cracker.

As with any adjustment in eating, one must take the good with the bad. As in, my cravings for sweets are BAD, but overall (the GOOD), I'm feeling a lot...healthier already. NoMo asked in the comments if I could document my weightloss, but we very intentionally, do not own a scale. Wait. No, we do, but it can only weigh up to one pound and it's the scale Mr. J. uses to weigh out coffee beans before roasting. (Yes, he roasts his own coffee, my Renaissance Man.) I can tell you though, that last time we did this, the results must have been noticeable because after just one month, people started to comment. And of course, I'll let you know if my jeans feel any looser. (I also found out at my doctors appointment last week that I've lost five pounds since I was there last. I kept asking if it was a mistake and finally stopped when the nurse looked like she might slap me if I asked again. That in itself is a little bittersweet - could I have lost more if I'd actually been trying?)

Jenn asked what I find hardest to stay away from. There's not one specific food item that I find hard to stay away from....we do still have candy in the house, but as mentioned in the last post, it's 'hidden' away in the back of the freezer. Generally for me, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. And if I know I can't have it and other people are going to be checking on me, I find it pretty easy to avoid. It becomes almost like a game. I am definitely most tempted in the afternoon though. I hate not having something sweet to finish off my lunch so when I made muffins the other day, I made some mini ones that are about two-bites-big so it's just enough sweet to make me feel satisfied.

So far, my most exciting accomplishment on this fast is an apple tart I made last week with apples, walnuts and honey...and it was wonderful!

It is now nearly naptime. The LG and I are off to visit Mr. J. at work today. He, or a 'volunteer' from his department is going to watch the LG while I go and get bloodwork done, have some x-rays and an ultrasound (which is not in ANY WAY PREGNANCY-RELATED). Yippee!! See you later!

P.S. How's everybody's Spring coming along? It has been sunny here for three days in a row and *GASP* the snow has begun to melt!