September 30, 2007


So I'm looking for a little somethin somethin for a certain someone.
Could I be any more vague?
This could also be called procrastination considering I'm supposed to be working on an essay talking about whether war is ever justified. By the way, since I'm sure you're dying to know my stance on this issue, it is justified in some instances. Self defense baby!

Back to the point of this post. I stumbled upon a FANTASTIC little blog called
Rare Bird Finds and I believe I have found a little piece of heaven. There's nothing better than a funky cool unique gift (whether it's for me or someone else) and this site will certainly help me with my future shopping adventures. Super funktified.

September 29, 2007

I like your cake

This one's for you baby; Figured you'd have a laugh over the post title.
Huh wha? Nobody else get it? Good! It's an inside joke and very rude of me to start things off this way isn't it? oh well.

My big bro John's wife Sarah turned 35 on September 24th!

I should note that Sarah is John's one and only wife. Re-reading that sentence (above the pic) made me laugh, it sounds like I was clarifying which wife I was referring to.

We celebrated on Wednesday because it was the earliest we could get everyone together.
My monkey of a niece Neve
started pre-school last week and had her first run in with the law (pre-school laws that is) Wednesday afternoon. She and another peanut were kicking each other under the table, the other kid was pulled away and smarty pants Neve slid down on her chair and kept kicking. Atta girl! just kidding! Have I mentioned that Neve is two and a half? She knows what she wants, when she wants it and how she wants it and isn't afraid to tell anyone. I asked her if she likes the teachers and she told me that she liked one but not the other. Guess who was the one disciplining her earlier that day? ha!

The amount that this child talks blows me away. Those who know me know that I can talk for hours on end and I think it's safe to say that I was even chattier as a child. I'm getting the impression that Neve is a second generation Jaime. She has so much to say she can't get it out fast enough and then gets frustrated when her words are jumbled up and unintelligible. I don't know how many times she was told to "slow down" by one of us in hopes of lessening her frustrations with herself and us. Silly rabbit.

On our wedding day - a shot of Neve playing quietly. Imagine that!

Neve is also learning the art of persuasion. She begged me to stay and play with her when I said it was time to go. She pulled on my arm, whined, made me chicken nuggets (aka a rock) in her little kitchen, told me she loved me, changed the subject, suggested that Uncle Mikey (aka Fred) go home without me and finally resorted to trying to entice me with guilt by proclaiming "I fed you!" (referring to the rock nuggets). I adore that little girl!

So the cake was made by yours truly. I have no trouble admitting it certainly isn't the prettiest thing I've ever made; far from it actually. I love to bake but don't "do" cakes usually. The adventures of the ladybug cupcakes inspired me. It's a boxed sucka so you might say I cheated but it tasted damn good so call me names if you must!
There are a few things I'll do differently next time:

1. I'll cut the top of the cake off so that it doesn't look like the thing is lopsided. My brother asked me if I made the cake myself - smartass. What gave it away?
2. I'll put more jam in between the layers. When I was slathering the raspberry jam on top of the base I thought that I was using too much. I didn't consider the fact that it would be absorbed into the cake. Definitely liked the touch of jam though! YUM!
3. I'll use 'real' cake decorating thingos. I resorted to using a baggie with a corner cut off and although it worked it wasn't ideal and I think I cut too much of the corner off because the 'stream' was pretty thick.
4. I'll make my own icing. I cheated big time for this thing. Next round I'm going to make Grandma's amazing icing. I'll post the recipe following my attempt.

And that's that.

September 27, 2007

Girlie Goodness & Yummy Treats too!

I meant to post sooner but I'm drowning in chaos right now so whateva. Better late than neva.

Where do I begin?
The Girlie Party was freaking fantastic!
Becky & Mir threw another phenomenal event - how the hell are they going to top it next year?

Here's a shot of the two beautiful hostesses during our final preparations Saturday morning.
The cottage was PERFECT! Waaay bigger than I thought it would be.
I'm thinking it might be a contender for our cottage week with Jess & Colin next year.

I only knew a few of the ladies but as usual the girls were amazing and super easy to get along with - Mir & Becky wouldn't have it any other way.
If you suck you certainly won't be attending the GP. It's for fabulous Chiquitas only. The first three pictures below are thanks to Missy and they're proof of the fabulousness that took place.

Only Truly Outrageous women would find themselves dressed in prom dresses and pjs walking down the street on a saturday afternoon.

Or jumping up and down on the beach and ending up with a perfect picture on the first attempt.

This here is only part of Becky's prom dress collection - she hunts for these fabulous finds at only the best prom dress shops: Value Village and other stellar Thrift shops.

If only I had a sound bite of lil Becky's laugh. It really should be found next to the definition of the word giggle. It's PERFECT and makes me smile whenever I hear it. I could be a block away and hear only the tiniest tinkle of her giggle and I would still be grinning from ear to ear.
It is truly one of my most favorite sounds in the world!

Oh! And we're local celebrities now! No seriously, a woman who works for the newspaper took a pic of us to put in the paper. How funny is that?
Not only were we giggling but we had people smiling all around us.
Why doesn't everyone dress in prom dresses and feather boas on Saturday afternoons?
The world would be a happier place... let's stick G.W. in a prom dress and see what happens.

And then there was the food! One of my favorite parts of the Girlie Parties is the silly amount of phenomenal food that makes its way to the table. Everyone is encouraged to bring something to share with the other ladies and because we're girls more often than not the sharing items is FOOD. Check out this spread:


Oh and there were a few things to drink as well...


Check out the amazing cupcakes that I helped Mir put together - so easy to make and mega yummy. I had to eat one eventually just so people would dig in, that's the problem with pretty treats, nobody wants to ruin them!

This idea was thanks to Martha Stewart. So cute and such a hit!
This adventure in cupcake decorating has definitely got me interested in trying out some cake decorating. Just what I need, a hobby involving chocolate.

Oh and there was the fantastic fruit salsa and cinnamon chips! So yummy!
I don't have a picture so I'm borrowing the one from

Annie's Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
snagged from

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes (Mir found that 5 minutes was enough). Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit and spice mixture.

And the topper to all of this fabulousness (and trust me when I say I could go on and on and on about the food that was there)...

Orange Jello Shots

A bit of a pain in the arse to make but OH... MY... GOD. So good. They taste like creamsicles. Mmmm!

The original recipe idea came from the Surreal Gourmet but we didn't make them as potent as he did and we made a double batch. This is how we made them:
A pile of oranges (I think we used 15 oranges in total but I might be off on that - i know, not very helpful am I?)
2 packages of orange Jello
2 cups of Vanilla vodka
2 cups boiling water

Be patient! This can be a slow process and it's a bit messy.
  1. Slice oranges in half. Using a spoon, scoop out all the flesh and divider pith. Reserve.
  2. In a medium bowl, add Jello and boiling water. When Jello has dissolved, add vodka. In other words follow the Jello package directions but replace the cup of cold water with a cup of Vanilla Vodka! (that's a cup per package so in case you've eaten a bunch of shooters before reading this that means 2 cups if you make two boxes like we did).
  3. Pour liquid Jello into orange halves. Mir came up with the idea of placing the halves in muffin tins so that they would be held steady - brilliant!
  4. Refrigerate for appx. 4 hours, or until firm. To serve, slice each half into 3 wedges.

    Eat 'em up!

Please note the fab backdrop. That's just a handful of the 100 balloons Leslie, Missy and I filled with air from our lungs on friday night. (Ok jaime give credit where credit's due: Mir blew up a handful of them too)

And the final thing to note today is the craft table! Only at a GP could you request that each guest personalize a mug upon entry AND only at a GP would every girl be thrilled to do so!
We each took our Krunk Cup home with us so not only did it act as our chalice for the evening but it was a sweet souvenir too!

It definitely looks better in reality. This picture has terrible lighting but you get the jist.
Isn't it tacky?! Love it!

And that is that.
The countdown is on... I can't wait for the 6th Annual Girlie Party!
What am I going to wear?!

September 20, 2007

What to wear?!

The 5th annual Girlie Party is this weekend and I'm leaving it until the evening before my departure to sort out what I'm wearing!! EEK! What is a girl to do?

Call on the drama queen for help that's what! Tanya what the hell should I wear?! Here is what I HAVE decided on:

Basically my head is sorted out but my body is up in the air. not literally, i just don't know what to cover it with! The theme this year is Totally Outrageous and I have to wear something I can sleep in, or at least be comfortable in for a long ass time. I've managed to wedge my way into my Prom dress believe it or not (yesssssssssss! let's pretend it doesn't stretch... a lot) but although my full body sequin look is pretty freaking outrageous (i look like a peach mermaid) I'm not sure I can pull it off for the entire day/evening. Thoughts?

I'm stoked for this weekend! Miranda & Becky know how to throw one killer party and this one will surely be taking the cake. We're off to a cottage in Wasaga for the weekend - I'm honoured to be one of a few who will be heading up tomorrow to prepare for the arrival of the others - I think there is a grand total of 25 girls which is, well, OUTRAGEOUS.

The invites for this years festivities are the best yet and believe me the invites for the past few years have been simply fabulous: tiny sleeping bags & pillows with the invite tucked inside; flower pots with bright flowers and the invite on a tiny post (this one was handed to me while I was dancing at a club - such a great surprise); pink pillows with little pockets sewed on them to hold the invitation and... oh no I'm going blank... I'll have to think on the other two!

Point being the invites from past years are out of this world and as hard as it is to believe, the girls have outdone themselves this year. The invites were sent out attached to letters that looked as if they came from a credit card company. At the bottom of the fabulously worded letter to the "valued lady" was this card (minus the pink background) :

Front & Back



Oh the games to play and fun to be had!! A giant slumber party oozing Pink Pink and more Pink! I can hardly contain myself!

I'll be back on sunday or monday to report on the trouble and fun. Mike's hoping I'll have pillow fight pictures to share with him *insert eye roll here* because you know that's what the girls do at a girlie party... after the jello wrestling of course.

I meant to give a montreal update before this but I've been sick all week and haven't felt like doing much more than absolutely necessary!! Short rundown is that we had a great time but I don't think I'll plan a quick weekend trip to Montreal like that again - felt like I spent all weekend in the car. ick.

Gotta run!! Wish me luck with my get-up dilemma!

September 13, 2007

I am slow-ly go-ing cra-zy 1-2-3-4-5-6 switch

Every term I think to myself - a fresh start, I'm going to take it easy and not overbook my time so that I have less stress and more time to breathe. LIES, all lies. There must be some sick part of me hidden deep inside that I'm not aware of that likes torture.

Whatever. The point is I'm a busy busy girl and it's only week one of classes and week two of work. Lots of reading, lectures and assignments coming up and those will be squeezed into weeknights because our weekends look crazy for the next month. The good thing is that our weekends are filled with fun stuff so although I might look like a zombie for the next month I'm going to have a damn good time earning those bags!

Here's a sample of stressed out me:
Ha! This shot taken by the amazing mike makes me laugh. I laugh even harder when I see the whole shot which you won't see here unless my sis (in-law) Joanne gives me permission to post it. Can you believe we were doing a birthday dance? Well we weren't.

We may have been dancing to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (believe it or not) or possibly an Irish tune. Mom M's birthday was this past Monday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY - so we hosted the family birthday dinner last Saturday. I lucked out when it comes to in-laws, oh yeah and that husband of mine was a fab find too! I love my Irish family to bits - they know how to have a damn good time.

I spent Sunday recovering.
As you can see I was very stressed out.

This weekend we're off to Montreal, heading out at 5pm tomorrow and returning sometime Sunday. Looking forward to seeing Jackie! Mike is coming too and he's planning on tossing himself down Mount Bromont alongside Colin and Ian. Sounds like a good time. Sense the sarcasm? Seriously, it's a big ass mountain, they're insane.

September 9, 2007

Simple Things

As I've stated in two of my posts this week: 6am sucks. I should say that 6am-630am sucks to be honest about when I actually drag my butt out of bed, I do well on Mondays but by Friday I'm pushing my luck and end up running around like a chicken with its head cut-off trying to pull myself into a semi-presentable state for work.

The positive thing about my ridiculously early departure time of 7am(ish) is the sunrise. I pull out of my driveway and head east for one block and it's a fantastic way to start the day. The sky always looks amazing because the sun is still low -- cotton candy skies greet me on many mornings. This past Thursday the sky was particularly pretty and although I was running behind I zipped back into the house and snagged the camera to grab a quick shot. Not the best pic but I didn't have time to waste so whatever! Sometimes it's the simple things in life that make my day.

Glub, glub rectangle

Well it's a damn good thing I didn't create a cooking blog like I originally considered because it would be a nearly blank blog. Mike & I aren't starving, I just haven't made a whole lot recently that would deserve a pic and a post.

This one is really for Tanya. I'm being a good girl and making my lunches for work more regularly this year. It's one of my 'school years resolutions' - hopefully I don't break it. So I made a tuna casserole last weekend, cut it into 8 portions and froze the individual portions. Easy peasy lunches. That's the key to me keeping this resolution, I have to make my lunches in advance because there's no way I'll be doing it in the morning, 6am sucks bad enough without adding an extra task to my morning routine. Anyways, Tanya is trying to behave herself and make her lunches too so I brought her in a sample of my casserole. UGH, why does the thought of me making a casserole make me feel ancient? It's the word, I don't like it. casserole. Maybe I should come up with a new word to replace that one, I don't even like the way it sounds in my head when I read it. Let's go with rectangle. A "glub glub rectangle" -- the modern woman's tuna casserole. There we go, problem solved.

Sorry, back to Tanya. She liked the rectangle and wants the recipe so here we are. I'm a dork and knew I would end up posting this so yes I took a picture of the rectangle and trust me when I say it tastes better than it looks. I'm posting the pic taken from the side because the one taken from above makes the rectangle look a bit like dog puke. Yum.

This is a weight watchers recipe - 6 points per serving if you cut it into 4 but I knock it down to 3 points for 8 servings. Small servings this way but for lunch it's perfect with a salad.

1 1/2 cup medium egg noodles
2 onions chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green, red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup thawed frozen corn kernels (i use canned)
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans chunk light water packed tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 cup fat free milk (I use 1%)
2 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3-4 drops hot red pepper sauce
2 slices whole wheat bread made into crumbs
4 tsp grated Parmesan
2 tomatoes, sliced (I don't use these when I'm freezing the rectangle-the tomatoes get mushy when thawed and heated and it's nasty)

1) Preheat oven to 350; spray a shallow 2qt. casserole with nonstick coking spray. Cook noodles according to pkg directions; drain.

2) Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Saute the onions and celery until tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and corn. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the soup, tuna, milk, parsley, pepper and pepper sauce. Remove from the heat; stir in the noodles. Transfer to the casserole.

3) Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and cheese. Top with the tomatoes if you're using them. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes.

September 5, 2007

Back to reality and not pregnant thank you very much

First day back to the grind yesterday and two words can describe my thoughts regarding my return to work: 6am sucks. I'm tired, have suffered two sicko headaches and am feeling the nasty woman in me stirring and it's only day 2. I'll have to figure out how many days until next summer vacation, that should cheer me up. I usually pay attention to the number come march break but a friend of mine will have it sorted out already so I'll find out from her and let you know since I know you're dying to hear when poor me will be released for my next 2 month holiday. muah ha ha ha ha. evil you say? yep.

Tanya picked me up yesterday and the first thing I said to her (following our unison groan of self-pity) was that I wore the wrong shirt for the first day of school. Someone posted on our school message board that a mystery person is expecting and bonehead Jaime decides to wear a shirt that makes her look pregnant on the first day back from summer holidays. Dumb dumb dumb.

The first person I saw inside the school told me I was radiant (aka glowing), I replied with "thanks but I'm not pregnant". He tried to backpedal but it was too late and I assured him that I wasn't insulted because I was wearing a puffy shirt that could easily be mistaken for a maternity top and knew how it looked. Throughout the day two other teachers came straight out and asked me if I was pregnant - both of them were bubbling with happiness when they asked, big ass grins plastered on their faces. oh boy. The finale was a lovely woman coming up to me to congratulate me following the staff meeting. Argh.

The good thing is that I recognized my mistake before I walked into the school; if I had NOT realized that the shirt I wore could be mistaken for a maternity shirt I would have ended the day with one very bruised ego. Rather than being insulted I had a good giggle about it.

The moral of this story:
If you are having a crap day and want people to be nice to you tell them you're pregnant. When I announced I was engaged people looked genuinely happy for me but just by looking pregnant I had colleagues bubbling with happiness, grinning from ear to ear and rushing to congratulate me.

September 3, 2007

Shh it's a secret!

I'm thrilled to be in my good friend Tanya's Creative Writing class this year - well technically the student I work with is in the class but since I attend class with her I'll be there too - Tanya stumbled upon this very cool mini-movie that is linked to a super cool blog titled PostSecret. I think her idea of having the kids in her class create a postcard is a fabulous idea! Maybe I'll send one too... what will I write? Well I'm certainly not telling you - it's a secret silly.

September 1, 2007

The End of Harry Potter

This is me while reading the final Harry Potter. Notice I'm smiling? Well if I had a pic of me the next day I would not have that same smile on my face because I was in mourning. Sound ridiculous? Maybe so but it's true.

The series was complete and I was depressed. I had been warned that I would feel that way but didn't think it would hit me like it did. For the past 7 years I've looked forward to the next book in the Harry Potter series and now there is no more 'looking forward'. Of course the book was phenomenal and Rowling tied up all the loose ends but I am still wishing there was more. What an amazing author J.K. Rowling is!

I am going to hold off for awhile but it will be interesting to read the series from start to finish once more now that I know how it ends. There were so many webs woven by that woman and they all untangled in such an amazing way! What I would give to live in her mind for a day. I so wish I could write like her, to have a small portion of her imagination even.

I was able to pick up a book by the end of the first day of mourning and that certainly helped me get through my grief. Kite Runner was an excellent book and I'm looking forward to reading A Thousand Splendid Suns written by the same author. I knew nothing of Afghanistan's history prior to reading Kite Runner except for what the media has chosen to feed us since 9/11 so I definitely learned a thing or two from this sad story.

I also read Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult which was a good summer read. Sucks you in and makes you wonder while not making you think too hard. Only a few characters to keep in mind and although it involved Wicca and teenage girls it didn't dive too deeply into it (this would have turned it into The Craft in my mind and I can watch the movie if I have a screaming desire for teenage witches turned bad). Highschool teacher wrongly accused of nasty things begins a new life in Salem Falls and a witch of a girl (get it? witch) starts round two of hell for the poor guy while he falls in love with the small town diners owner who has a closet full of her own skeletons. Not too difficult to guess the ending but fun getting there anyways!

Cotton Candy Skies, Scabs and more...

This stellar picture taken by Mike pretty much sums up our week in Wasaga. Jessy described one sunset as 'cotton candy' and it wasn't even the one in the pic above that she was referring to. This phenomenal view was from the front of our cottage. Beachfront and beautiful! I spent 5 days parked on a comfy chair gazing at the lake while reading and crocheting - believe it or not I am 29 not 69. Jess & I were like too little old ladies dropping our books long enough to have a laugh, a glass of wine, a snack or a swim and then back into our own little worlds we went. Heavenly. I love vacationing with Jess - some days we sit for hours barely speaking at all and other days we yap all day long - the perfect friend to relax with, no expectations but fabulous company.

The boys did what they do best: threw themselves down Blue Mountain wearing full body armour on 50 lb bicycles. Crazy. They were in their own little heaven with the mountain being just 20 minutes from the cottage. Nobody was damaged too badly this trip - some new scabs to add to the scab cake (a sick inside joke) and a few temporary purpley green tats. Not too bad considering they're flying down a mountain of trees. Freaks. Colin says that Mike outbiked him on a couple days this time round so my husband is one happy guy - he's only been tumbling down moutains for a year now and I'm happy so say that it seems as if he's 'got it' now. A broken collar bone (that was due to dirt jumps and he's had enough of those thankfully), some stitches and too many bruises/scabs to count - he's still going strong and has come lightyears with his biking abilities so obviously he's found something that he loves (next to me and music of course) so I'll grin and bear it and pray to the great samsquanch that he stays out of the hospital for the rest of his biking days.

We took one trip to Collingwood with the boys so that we could check out the village at Blue Mountain, visit the Scenic Caves and hit the water slides. We had a yummy lunch in the village and then took a gondola up the mountain - what a view! I really can't believe my husband chucks himself down that 'hill' on a regular basis.

Scenic Caves should be called Rip Off Caves. They were neat to see but certainly not worth the $18 buck a person entry fee. We didn't make it to the waterslides because the rain and thunder came so everything shut down at Blue. Jess & I headed back to the cottage and spent the remainder of the day curled up in the cottage reading books.

I really hope we end up at Wasaga for our yearly vacation again next year. I love that place. The beach is extra wide and the water is shallow for what seems like forever! 5 sandbars and clear water = happy jaime. Shortly after arriving at the cottage Mike said that the beach reminded him of Jamaica and I agreed 100%. The layout of the land was just like Whitehouse where we spent our two week honeymoon - with us being set in a bay. The sunsets were nearly as good too! So many childhood memories were stirred up while sitting on our perch overlooking the beach this week; when Mike and I have our own wee ones we'll definitely be taking them there for family vacations.