Friday, December 9, 2016

Top 5 Christmas Tunes

I don't like the traditional hymn type Christmas carols. But, I do like throwing these Christmas tunes up on the good ol' speakers every once in a while.

So let me introduce you to my 5 Favorite Christmas tunes:

Bandaid - Do They Know It's Christmas.

This is the newest compilation of this song, and as always features Bono.

Coldplay - Christmas Lights

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You... a classic

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Carol of the Bells.

Wham - Last Christmas

What are your favourite Christmas Tunes?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Triangles THREE FEMALE FRIENDS FACE MIDLIFE CRISES IN A NO-HOLDS-BARRED EXPLORATION OF SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters. Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost.Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers -goodreads

Triangles was my first ‘adult’ Ellen Hopkins book. And I was not disappointed. Not that I thought I would.  I’m going to go all fangirl on you for a moment- I love Ellen Hopkins. Something about turning poetry into a novel just excites me. She writes beautifully, and maybe it is the poetry, but every time I read a book of hers I feel like I can relate to every single person in some way or another and I'm just drawn in, making it extremely hard to put down!
Anyways, back to the point...
Triangles is a novel that concentrates on three different women; Holly, Marissa and Andrea.

Holly: She is pushing 40 and was going through a mid-life crisis. Focused on working out and trying to start it up as an erotic novelist, Holly gets bored of her life. She has 3 kids, a loving husband, great house, everything anyone would ever want. However... sometimes once you have everything you get bored. Holly starts experimenting in the sexual realm of things, saying it's all research for her book. She basically is throwing away something for a little excitement, instead of just talking to her husband!!

Marissa: A mother of a gay son (who by the way is amazing portrayed in this book- strong, sometimes rebellious, independent and trying to help out whenever he can) and of a terminally ill daughter. Oh she is also wife to a husband who is never there, always focused on work and not helping out with their daughters rigorous health routine. Once she learns a very detrimental secret of her husband she has to figure out what's in her best interest.  Tears were shed during her story.

Andrea: Is the middle thread as mentioned before. Holly is her best friend and Marissa is her sister.  Andrea, she goes from one bad guy to the next, never catching a break. She sees how great Holly and her husbands relationship is (on the outside) and how barren her sisters relationship is, and she is stuck between the two. Her story seemed the most lack lustre of all three of them to me, while it wasn't boring it just wasn't memorable, definitely getting the sense that she was the anchor to hold the two other stories together.

Now that the main character descriptions are out of they way, they all go through some coming of age dilemma. And as always, Hopkins tackle difficult subjects, Triangles being no exception. The central theme though is cheating with other topics ranging from threesomes, to sex parties, to accepting a gay child, to name a few.

I totally enjoyed this book. It was hard to keep down and I wanted to know about each character getting mad that their section ended, but then excited to read on to the next one.  The erotic/sex scenes were also written very tastefully so that if your teenager picked this up you wouldn't have to explain anything to embarrassing.

You know how much I love Ellen Hopkin, so please go and read this, or any of her novels. You will not be disappointed!
“Spilling a Secret

What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It’s not
possible to predict
what will happen
if you
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can’t
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
friend’s well-being
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
it be
mended again?
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
when it all falls to pieces?”
Ellen Hopkins, Triangles

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hunting Jewelry - Twelve:TwentyThree

As most of you know my hubby is a big hunter. I am not. However, being around the sport all the time, I get inspired by it when I sit down and make jewelry.

Above are some of my favourites that I have created recently.  Head on over to my etsy shop to check out them and more :)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

Check out my cool plate (from Home Sense)

These are delicious. I've made them twice so far. Which also means they are easy.

The Goods:

 - 2 cups of flour
- 1tbs pumpkin-pie spice
- 1tsp baking soda
- 3/4tsp salt
- 1 cup butter
- 11/4 cups of sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 package (or how many you want) of chocolate chips

The How To:

1) Preheat the oven to 350
2) Line with foil a 9x13 pan (although I am sure greasing a pan would work as well)
3) Cream butter and sugar together
4) Beat in egg and vanilla
5) Beat in pumpkin puree
6) Reduce to slow and add the rest of the dry ingredients
7) Fold in chocolate chips
8) Put in pan, spread out evenly
9) Bake for about 40 minutes
10) Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: The Light Between Oceans by R.L Stedman

The Light Between Oceans
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss. -goodreads

Would you do anything for the woman/man you love? And what would you do to get the one thing you want most in the world?

These are the two main questions presented in this book.

Tom is returning from war and doesn't want to be around anyone, so he enlists in a job to man a lighthouse on Janus Rock- which is off a little town in Australia.  He likes the routine and the meticulous nature of running it. On one of his breaks to the mainland, he meets Isabel. Eventually through letters, they are agree too marry. Then they move to the lighthouse. Here I have to give a standing ovation to Isabel. How hard would it be to move to a little lighthouse island, away from your friends and family all for your husbands work. I think after a few stints out there I would make my husband move back to socialization. Especially because she so desperately wants a baby.

However, that's not in her plans. Miscarriage after miscarriage, Isabel is devastated. And after a recent stillbirth, they happen upon a ship wreck, only to find a little baby girl. Isabel instantly switched to mother mood and started to nurse the infant and eventually claiming it as her own child. Tom being very honest, wasn't sure what to write in his ledgers, here his wife finally had what she wanted but it was wrong. But love prevailed and they 'adopted' the little girl.

Fast forward two years when they move back to the mainland. News of this shipwreck emerged and they realize this little girl who they took as their own, may have had another family looking,praying and grieving over her.   Enter guilt, resentment, love, hardship. What do you do know when the person you love the most risk losing the thing she loves?

This book, started slow. But it changed gears and instantly drew me in and I'm glad I stuck through to the end, as it is a very beautifully written novel. Those two questions I mentioned at the beginning prevailed throughout the entire book, and not only that the themes of forgiveness and learning from your mistakes and eventually accepting them runs through the book as well. I especially liked Tom's character. He faced such a moral dilemma and it was interesting to read and experience it.

All in all I rate this book 4 stars. It was written beautifully for a debut novel. The only downside was that it did start out slow.

“Perhaps when it comes to it, no one is just the worst thing they ever did.” 

(and now there is a movie adaptation of the book)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mugs.. Perfect for Fall

Mugs.. Perfect for Fall

Mugs.. Perfect for Fall by justaddchampagne featuring Sur La Table

One of my favourite parts of fall is curling up with a warm cup of coffee (or tea) on the couch with a good book (or movie).  And well for me it makes it so much more enjoyable when you have a fun mug to put it in.  Here is a collection of some that I am craving to add to my collection!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Golden Snitch How To

These are by far the easiest things I made for Hunter's Harry Potter Birthday

the suupplies

First buy some Ferrero Rochers and take the brown paper bit off.

Sample a few to make sure they are safe. heheh

Buy some white feathers.

Buy some tape.

Assemble - I wrapped the tape around a couple of times and it seemed to hold!

and Voila...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Harry Potter Birthday!

My little guy turned one just a little while ago, and I of course had to throw a spectacular birthday party for him. The theme: HARRY POTTER! I figured I'd make him have at least one of them (without argument).

The initial invite stated with a traditional (email) letter from Albus Dumbledore himself, encouraging people to dress in party attire (or muggle wear).

And from there... a party blossomed

As always, its all in the details:

Guests had to go through Platform 9 3/4 to arrive at the party. Thats my mom.

Sorting Hat Station
A friendly reminder

Various decorations - House cup colours, Time Turner, House Cup, Hedwig, Sweet pint glasses (which may or not have been ordered for other purposes than this party), Sunglasses from the Quibbler, Wine with appropriate labels)

A collection of all the treat bags!

My mom made these sweet party favour bags

Wands (also made by my mom) and Dumbledore Army's list
A better look at Ollivander's Wand Station and Golden Snitches

The monster book of Monsters, which my BFF made! This was a hit with the kids!

My Owlery - Creepy Demon Owls

A little potion book and some herbs
More herbs for potions

Professor Umbridge's Tea Corner 

The Reading Corner

Have to have the Hogwart's Crest

Photo props and Daily Prophet News Clippings
A great photo prop

Moaning Myrtle, snake leading up to the CHamber's of Secrets, and of course a warning to those Mudbloods that the chamber has been open

Free Doby! 

Photo Collage
The booze - it is a child's birthday party after all

My dad and hubby added this touch - oh yes we moved 3 days after this party!

 The Food:

   For every food item I had, I had a Harry Potter themed word to go with them.

 And another pic of my little guy:

I made his shirt with my Cricut, and thank god for bouncy castles and nice fall days!

It was a fantastic party, and despite how much work it was making sure all the detail was there (And fact checked!) it turned out great! Thanks to everyone who came out that day to celebrate little H turning ONE!

And soon there will be tutorials on how to make things like the golden snitch and the brick wall!

( I also find it ironic that I am wearing the same shirt while I write this blog post...coincidence?)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dear Mom of a 1 Year Old

Dear Momma of a ONE year old;

You made it one year!  Give yourself a pat on the back. Or better yet, pour yourself a glass of wine.  You deserve it. You somehow managed to survive. He somehow managed to survive.

You managed to somehow get by on a lack of sleep. And not that he isn't sleeping. He is. But he still whines and whimpers at least 3 times a night, so you don't exactly get a full 6-8 hours either. On those glorious nights where he manages to sleep in its entirety,  you feel like superwoman.  You get excited when 7pm gets closer and H actually wants to go to bed, and falls asleep quickly. You revel in that time off, to have some one on one time with G.

You managed to run a household. You know that when (and if) he decides to nap. its go time. You make coffee, you shower, you eat,  you cook, you clean, you packed up your entire house, you fold laundry, and yes sometimes you nap or watch something mindless on TV. Hell you need a break too sometime.

Especially now that Hunter is walking.  He wants to explore. Climb. He has already given himself a black eye. You know he is going to be a bruiser. And you know he is going to be exhausting. Some days all you can do turn on Paw Patrol and watch him play while you sit on the couch drinking your coffee wine, waiting for G to come home.  Somedays you have no energy to think of something new and exciting to do. And that's okay.  Know that he is learning so much right now, that even a simple trip to the grocery store is mind blowing to him.

The teething. The growing pains. All suck. But the snuggles.  You sure do love the snuggles, looking down at his sweet face, knowing that you are his only comfort at that moment in time. That makes the heart swoon. It makes it worth all the crying and sleepless nights.

The hair pulling and biting- well that can fuck right off. Who knew little hands and teeth could hurt so much. And H rolling around while getting his diaper changed, you pray he is ready for potty training sooner than later, but hell, at least you've mastered changing a diaper while standing up. And you've only had shit smeared on you a couple 6 times.

And at the end of the year of maternity leave, when most mom's are heading back into the work force, you decided to say goodbye to a career (at this time) and become a SAHM.  The pressure of wanting to raise a perfect little boy, while having fun and fulfilling activities to do all day - all while trying to make friends in a brand new (small) town... is daunting. It's on your mind a lot.  But remember, sometimes Paw Patrol will be enough.

Look back at the past year with fondness. With admiration. You raised a beautiful baby boy who is now a toddler. That year went by so fast. When you were so proud that he murmured for the first time, to rolling over, to sitting up, to crawling, now to walking. Soon he will be talking, potty trained, and then going to schools, playing sports and having his first love, moving out, travelling the world.   The growing up scares you, but you also cannot wait for Hunter to grow up. To experience all that the world has to offer.

You still can't believe that a year has gone. Also, don't ever apologize for posting to many pics on instagram. Your kid is the cutest kid alive and well everyone else just has to suck it up.

Love,  K

10 days old

363 days old

Monday, September 12, 2016

Blackened Salmon. Blackened Taste.

Our neighbour gave us a few frozen filets of salmon from his recent fishing trip. so I decided to go onto pinterest and find a new way to prepare it instead of my usual lemon/butter/thai chili flakes.

 And I came across a recipe for blackened salmon, and thought perfect! G and I both usually love that type of spice, so I thought it was gonna be a win for sure.

The actual seasoning isn't hard to make at all, just combine all of these spices:

2 teaspoons Garlic Salt 
1 teaspoon Paprika 
1 teaspoon  Onion Powder 
1 teaspoon Oregano 
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 
1/2 teaspoon Thyme

Then you rub it on the salmon.  Again, pretty easy.

I even pulled out my cast iron pan. 

G said it tasted old. And I had to agree, it just wasn't worth using the salmon for. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is because of my paprika, as its a sweet/"old" type version..

(also forgot to take a pic of it)