3 October 2011

In the Works: Knitting!

I've been keeping busy during the cooler weather with Ruby and work ventures. In those tiny bits of in-between time, I've been rediscovering knitting.  Has been a great time-passer during the really stressful bits here and there (ie when Ruby got spayed last week). And, it's a great replacement for television. It's nice to just knit and listen to the rain. 

Here is what i'm working on now: It's a cowl in a waffle-like stitch, super thick and squishy, made of the best wool that i got in Canmore. I can not seem to find it anywhere else in North America...but here is the website for Madelinetosh.

And below is Ruby in her cone, followed by Ruby without the cone when we went down to the lake last weekend.

We are heading to a cottage this thanksgiving weekend for food, board games, and lakeside fires. Also, it's Tom Mosher's birthday tomorrow! I am currently baking a giant cheesecake in the oven. Lucky boy. Will also be playing alot of St Petersburg, our new favourite board game (which i bought for tom for his bday).

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

3 September 2011

DIY: Deoderant

In an effort to stop as many harsh chemicals as we can from entering our bodies, I decided to give this recipe a try.  My friend Mat passed it on when i found a small pot of white paste in his bathroom and i asked what it was. Simple, invisible, and nice smelling, why keep putting aluminum and all that other toxic crap into your bloodstream?

1/4 cup baking soda (aluminum free)
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
4 tablespoons Coconut Oil (comes in solid form in a jar)
15-20 drops essential oil (i used jasmine)

Cream it all together in a bowl, adding the essential oil last.  The recipe probably last for five months or so, the cocunut oil is good for two years.  Keep cool or in the fridge when it is hot. 

It IS that easy. Just apply a tiny amount in the morning with your fingers like lotion. The cocunut oil will not remain greasy, your clothes will not be stained. Baking soda is a natural odor eliminator.

Summer Vacation

It has been much too long since i've last posted - work has been extremely busy for both myself and Tom and we've used most of our free time playing with Ruby and doing all our other hobbies.  It was long overdue that we take a couple of weeks off and visit with friends and family.  My very good friend Maggie got married in Winnipeg, which also gave me a great reason to spend time with my parents, my sisters, and their families.

Maggie is a redhead, she looked beautiful in her vintage-inspired wedding dress. She also rarely expresses her emotions this loudly - she must be happy! Steve is a joker, Tom and I love his enlightening personality.

I tried to dress like an adult for my girl's wedding. I made my necklace from wonky fresh water pearls.

Tom also dressed like an adult. Together, we make a very fine adult-looking couple!  The wedding took place at Oodena Circle in Winnipeg, an outdoor amphitheatre that pays homage to 6000 years of Aboriginal Peoples in the area.

My family needed a new family portrait that included all of the boyfriends and grandchildren, so we set up a camera in the backyard.  I love my new extended family! And congratulations to my wee sister Kristin (the tiny one beside Gramps) and her ginger-haired boyfriend for getting engaged!

And of course my nieces (Brea and Andrew's beauties) steal my attention all the time!  This is Hannah, five years old, outgoing and super intelligent.

This mini-me is Madeline, introverted, quirky and super cool. She is also in love with Tom, my studly boyfriend. Good taste she has.

She's often found away from the crowd in some imaginary world and perfectly happy! And this is my mom's bountiful and beautiful garden.  Mom attracts hummingbirds and creatures galore with her flowers, greenery and vegetables.

We moved on to Calgary to visit this hip family. Katie, Mat and their baby Archie entertained us for a few days in Calgary, Canmore and Kananaskis.  Their smiley son Archie below.

We rafted the bow river, played St Petersburg, sampled some awesome beers. Mat (below lurking in the background) taught us a little more about Scotch and we sampled.  His wife Katie taught me a little more about knitting...I hope to pick that up again and post some soon!

I am back in love with Scotch. Still loving Whiskey and Bourbon, though. Dalmore was my favourite out of this bunch.


Mat and Katie drove us up to Kananaskis for a hike through a ravine, we saw some Indian pictographs! Tom is still representing Ynot Cycle even when he is on vacation. <3  Glad he came with me, he's been working so hard lately. 

More posts to come! In the meantime, enjoy the approach of Fall.

12 June 2011

Oh my, It's a GARDEN!

Over the last few weeks, we have been growing many, many plants and a puppy. Our very early mornings and mid-sleep pee breaks have kept us too busy to be doing much else. But we are loving it nonetheless! We have so many more puppy friends through puppy school and our romps in the park. And then she falls asleep on us...

We did have time to enjoy a great day for bbqing. We picked up two racks of side ribs and made our favourite ribs yet: a very easy recipe from Primal Grill, our favourite saturday morning television show about grilling. It is a bit like Bob Ross  but with charcoal and large chunks of meat, rubs and marinades galore. Use the recipe here, but skip the lemon bbq sauce at the end. The spicy rub and bourbon-cider-butter grilling juice are more than enough for a very nice dinner.

As a side for same dinner, we had a fresh batch of home-grown arugula in a vinaigrette. I harvested the arugula from our own garden shown below! Our friend, Andrius (shown below in white hat), has been our gardening mentor and has guided us through the growing process to lead us to this back-yard utopia of veggies! It is so rewarding to harvest from your own backyard. 

The pink Columbine (above middle) seems to pop up in cracks of pavement on sidewalks and between buildings. It is a beautiful little surprise all over the city! Look at that bed of lettuce, spinach, arugula, leeks, peas, chives, and tomatoes climbing in the back! Also seen are golden raspberries, wild strawberries, chives, cabbage, kale, radishes and some herbs. Below are my two favourite gardeners, my boy Tom and my little lady Ruby. Awww. Ruby has become a great little gardener, sniffing about but not stepping on anything! She has a green paw.

This weekend we got up early enough to hit the Palmerston Street Yard Sale, a wealthier strip in the hood that has good 'crap'. We came home with a new skateboard, some fenders, many new clothes, and a few cupcakes. Tom also found some 75 litre planters on the roadside and HAD to ride them home on his bike. They went into the garden as planters. Tom has set up a rainwater collection system in the back yard so that we just use rainwater to irrigate the garden. It's great living with a Mechanical Engineer.

30 May 2011

New family member!

Tom and I welcomed a new little puppy into our home last weekend. She has been taking up every bit of our spare time and spare energy. Ruby is a boxer from North Perth, Ontario. Also known as 'beast', 'beastor' or 'little monster', she chews everything, jumps alot, attracts alot of attention from strangers, and will only fall asleep on my lap. She'll get to be 60-70 lbs, so this must all stop soon! Thanks to her Aunty Cat and Crazy Uncle Z (pictured in my last post) we've managed to get through work days without having to worry about her during the day.

16 May 2011

Spring and new things

It has been a busy couple of weeks with some nice weather and some rain. Last weekend, i took advantage of some sun and the cherry blossom festival at high park with some friends on a blanket! The park was a flutter with photographers and wedding photo opportunities.

Also happening at the park was the high park native plant sale. I picked up a wild strawberry plant, hoping that it would spread through the garden but somehow stay out of the mouths and bellies of squirrels and raccoons. These little berries are much tastier and much smaller than the generic, massive white berry that we are used to from the grocery store.  A perfect bite size. It was planted in the garden recently, after a long session of clearing away years of weeds and unwanted nettles from the garden.  With the help of a few eager friends, we prepared half of the back yard for planting in less than one afternoon! Tom even relocated a few small trees to maximise soil square inches.

As we faced a rainier period this last weekend, Tom and I ventured 2 hours north west of Toronto to Listowel (also hometown of my friend Melodie).

It was a beautiful stretch of farmland that led us to our breeder's farm, and eventually, our new little puppy 'Ruby'! We picked her out based on her calm, centred and independant personality. We get to pick her up and bring her home next weekend! This week will be filled with puppy-proofing our house and yard. We can't wait!

She is a dark brown brindle boxer. She will be spoiled. We welcome all puppy visitors next week!

5 May 2011

Garden in Progress

Here's a sneak peak into what's been growing inside just waiting to be planted in the yard this weekend! We started this sweet potato in the jar by suspending it with toothpics. It sprouted almost immediately, now we have a bit of a tree. You can use the same trick on a potato or an avocado pit. Just let the roots develop in water, wait for some kind of green growth to sprout out the top, and plant it in the ground!

There is a gigantic patch of stinging nettle spreading through the garden. After last year's attack on my legs, I am dreading even going near this stuff! Do not mistake it for mint. It is not pleasant to any skin that touches it. My legs burned and itched for days.

In addition to tackling the garden, I am also looking forward to the High Park Native Plant Sale this Sunday. Hoping to find some grasses and wild flowers to let loose!