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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's Spring Break!

Hi everyone! It's spring break for us here in Edmonton, I noticed on some other blogs that some other areas just finished, and they had two weeks of spring break! We just have one, and it technically started early for my oldest daughter C, she had some sort of flu bug and had to stay home on Thursday and Friday. She was on the mend by Saturday, and we were able to head down to Calgary to visit my brother and sister-in-law. We hung out at their house and went out for dinner on Saturday night, stuffing ourselves with some yummy Chinese food.

We went to Banff the next morning, but a few hours later, little A was not feeling well. We headed back to Calgary to pack up our stuff, and then back home to Edmonton. A was sick a good number of times in the car on the way home, good thing I stocked up on plastic bags from my brother's house. We stopped by my parents' for dinner, and after some magical congee/jook, A seemed to be better. Indeed, by Monday, she was back to normal.

It has been awhile since we'd been to Banff, it's too bad we weren't able to stay longer. We had grand plans for the rest of our trip, stay in Banff for a bit, then get take out pho from Calgary. Monday would have been Cross Iron Mills. Oh well, next time.



The first day of official spring break, the girls and I did some painting on canvases. Today we had a play date with a friend from school and whose mom I am friends with. I made some play dough this morning in anticipation of letting the girls play with it this afternoon. It was the first time I'd made play dough at home, it was neat to make and felt really nice. A friend had made it before at a different play date and passed me the recipe. I'm not sure where online she got the recipe, but if you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Play Dough Recipe

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar (found in baking or spice aisle)
1 tbsp oil
1 cup water
food coloring of choice

*rubber gloves (food coloring stains the hands!)

1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a pan.
2. Add water and mix well, cooking over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Dough will become stiffer and form a clump.
3. Remove from pan and knead for about 5 minutes; add food coloring. Separate into different clumps for different colors as desired.
4. Store play dough in a covered container or sealed plastic bag.


Clearly the first color I made was blue, ha. I actually made two batches of the recipe, so I made two colors with each batch (green is missing from photo). Look how pretty my play dough looks! I've heard there are other recipes where you can use Jello or Kool-Aid to make the color and which also makes the play dough smell nice. I may have to try those next time.

Yawn, it's time for bed. Tomorrow I need to take my girls shoe shopping. C has one new pair that we bought last fall, while A has nothing, her shoes are either too small or still too big. She's been wearing her boots all week. 

Have a good night!

Monday, March 20, 2017

It was a Good Day

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend! I had a really good weekend, and I'm not just saying that for pleasantries.

It was a actually a long weekend, the kids had Friday off since it was a PD day. We spent a good part of the day at one of C's friends house, whose mom I am friends with too. It was a good play date for all of us.

Saturday was busy but a really good day. Our realtor had invited us to a special screening of Beauty and the Beast! It just opened in theatres on Friday, so this was a good chance for us to watch the movie. The theatre was packed, and the realtor and associates went all out, we each got popcorn and drinks, and the girls even got roses, a la Beauty and the Beast. We even won a door prize ($50 to Brown's Social House), and we never win anything.

I didn't really think about what the movie would be like, I figured it would be like the cartoon. It was verbatim with cartoon in some scenes, and there were a few added songs and slightly more character development as well. The girls enjoyed it, as did we. The movie was 2 hours long (we didn't even get previews), so it was a little bit longer than what the girls were used to sitting through at a movie theatre. It's funny, around that 90 minute mark, you could see younger kids in the theatre getting a little antsy, and needing bathroom breaks. We had a quick yummy lunch at Good Buddy, and then dropped the kids off at my parents' house.

Before we'd even planned on going to the movie, the husband and I had originally planned on doing a date day/night on his birthday weekend. A coworker of S had invited him to a movie premiere of a Canadian movie, Heel Kick, which his brother stars in. My husband asked if I wanted to go to this mocumentary about professional wrestling. I'm not a big wrestling fan (I'd caught some in the late 90s when my brother was watching the Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin et al), but thought what the heck, let's watch it. The movie was actually really funny, and they even had a Q and A with cast and crew after the movie, which was playing at the Garneau/Metro Cinema. Support Canadian movies!

Image result for heel kick movie


After the movie, we hustled over to Beaumont for a much anticipated dinner at Chartier. Chartier is located in a town just south of Edmonton, which opened last spring. This restaurant is interesting because the owners took to crowdsourcing to open it, which you can read about here. The menu is modern French Canadian, such as tortiere, which is what I ate, yum. There were so many options, and I was so tempted to get poutine as an appetizer, or the lobster meal for two which included poutine. So many choices, so little stomach room. My husband and I had mussels for the appetizer, and I had the tortiere, consisting of a flaky pastry, and a filling of pork, bison and duck confit. S had the pork chow chow, which I snuck a few bites of, and was really good too, the pork was so tender, and the lentils were tasty. We were stuffed and had the poor man's bread pudding for dessert.



Such a good meal, and service was good. We will visit again!

The kids had fun at the grandparents, when we left them in the afternoon, they were playing in the snow in the backyard. When I called them on the way back into Mill Woods after dinner, C said she was really tired, hahaha. The girls had a busy day.

Mmm, now I'm hungry again. Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wheatgrass

Hey everyone! Just a quick post for me today.

I want to talk wheatgrass. I was wandering around the produce area at Save On Foods the other day, and saw a little container of wheatgrass for just $2.99! I bought it, and went to look up how I can make it into a wheatgrass shot. I went simple and basically cut half the grass down, and blended it with about half a cup of water. I then froze the juice into blocks, using the baby block tray that I used when I made the girls pureed baby foods. Score one for keeping things (ahem, I'm not hoarding) that will be useful at another time.

Wheatgrass is weird. I'm not into juicing or even buying healthy smoothies (like the Mighty Kale that my husband likes at Jugo Juice, or was it Booster Juice, I don't even know), but I've heard there a benefits to wheatgrass, since you can add a wheatgrass shot into smoothies, and I read somewhere that a shot of wheatgrass is equivalent to the nutrients of  4 pounds of vegetables. But back to wheatgrass is weird. After I've blended it, it smells just like freshly cut grass! Hmm. Anyways, I've taken a couple shots, and I figure it can't hurt. And the wheatgrass plant looks nice on my kitchen counter. A touch of spring and nature in the kitchen.



What have I been Netflixing lately? I've been watching Jane the Virgin. I had meant to just check it out, as I thought the premise seemed kinda silly, however, the rating was nearly 5 stars on Netflix, it was just short a point on a star to be a perfect 5 stars. And oh my goodness, it is so funny. I've never actually watched a telanovella, but it is mocking/in homage of telanovellas. Long lost families! Twins! Narration! I'm on season two, and there are a lot of episodes in each season, I believe there are 3 seasons on Netflix. I'm always hesitant to start new shows that have a lot of seasons, as I usually get sucked in. This one is good since it's light and funny, it doesn't require as much concentration as, for example, a timepiece series. I need to finish watching The Crown, and start Downton Abbey.

Anyways, that's it for me today, have a great day!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Seriously, Daylight Saving...

Hi everyone. How is your morning after daylight savings? Why do we still do this? In all seriousness, an MLA in Edmnonton is championing getting rid of daylight saving, and I'm all for it. Let's live like the Saskatchewaners. (Saskatchewanite?)

We woke up at new 7:30 am yesterday morning, the first morning after, did a quick grocery run, and had skating lessons. Then I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the day, but all of a sudden it was dinner time. The husband made chicken pho for the first time, yum. C went to bed with no issues, but I think A knew something was up, she fussed for a bit before going to sleep. The kids slept in later today because of the time change, so that was good, since they wake up really early normally. I had a hard time waking up. Heh, even the roads seemed quieter on the way to school. I'm currently drinking coffee.

Did everyone have a good weekend? I went for a much needed girls night out. My four girlfriends and I went for an early pasta dinner, and then had a paint night planned. I'd never been to a paint night and was looking forward to it. The funniest thing happened, after we paid the bill, our server asked us what we were up to. We said we were going to paint night at ABC Bar and Grill*. The server made a face and we were like, what, is it not a good place? She said is was a bit sketchy. Later on she brought over a hostess for her opinion, and she dramatically same thing. A few minutes later, the manager came over and introduced himself, wished us luck, and hoped all of us would make it out of the bar together. Hahahaha! By now is was turning into a big funny exaggerated drama, so off we went to hesitantly check it out.

The bar was a dark neighbourhood dive, and the painting area was just in the back corner with about a dozen seats and easels. Another group joined us there. It was fun and fine! A friend who'd been to paint nights before said the last couple she'd gone to were at more mainstream larger pubs which were set up for more people to paint.

So here's some backstory that makes this night even more funny to my friends and I. We bought this paint night through Groupon. The friend who organized this girls night out and who had suggested the Groupon is notorious for her coupon outings. In the past, my friend, who I'll call Cece, had a coupon for a hotel for a trip to the Calgary Stampede. I was not part of this travel group, but I heard that the hotel (perhaps motel) was gross and sketchy. Another time time, Cece had a coupon to a bar/lounge. I can't even remember what the bar was or what the coupon was for, probably free admission and drinks. Anyways, there were strippers involved for whatever reason, and they were not exactly pleasant to the eye. I remember a lot of hair, I'm thinking mullets and an 80s look. Shudder. All I remember is we were at the back of the bar and praying that the guys weren't going to make their way to our table. So haha, one more coupon story! I guess we were due for one.

**



*Name has been changed so bar remains anonymous.
**The original painting had a girl and a cat, but I chose to do two girls to represent my girls.

On another note, I've been baking fresh bread like crazy. I made three last week (one was for my parents). I have a Zojirushi bread machine that my husband bought me for a past birthday. I love it! I actually haven't made bread in ages, but now I'm wondering why I've been putting it off so long. The recipe that came with the machine didn't seem to work for me, the bread always became hard the day after baking. But I got another recipe from a friend, and that one works really well. I don't know if my water is too hot, but my bread has been rising like crazy, it actually hits the top of the machine and is ready to explode out, haha.



Mmm, I'm going have some for lunch. Break time! Have a great day!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

MIA

Hi everyone! I know, I know, I've been MIA again lately. There was one week where I was hardly on social media, I guess I just needed to unplug a little bit.

What have I been up to as of late? Well, since I last posted, I managed to go to two movies. I know! This never gets to happen. The husband and I went on a day date and saw John Wick Chapter Two. It was good, such a simple storyline but so entertaining. Last week during Teacher's Convention, we went to see Ballerina. Daughter number two had seen the commercials on tv and declared that she wanted to see it. For a rough and tumble girl, she really likes the frou frou stuff. I went to watch Ballerina with no expectations (how exciting is a movie about an orphan aspiring to be a ballerina going to be?) but it was actually quite good. And it was made by a Canadian company, so good to support home grown entertainment.

I've been into organizing the house lately. So I've been doing even more Pinteresting than usual. Last week I rearranged the play room, so now I think it looks better. I'm hoping to put up some photos in there, and debating if I should put up a cork board. Next up is the basement. We have a craft/office/junk room that I cleared out a little bit yesterday. I moved all of the husband's MBA textbooks into my mom's room. My mom doesn't live with us, but that is her room when she stays overnight to help me if S is out of town. I don't want her room too cluttered since she stays there, and I think I need to up the decor in there. But I think the books in there are okay, they're nice and tidy on a bookshelf. I may need a bigger one to make it neater though. Next step is to re-org the craft room. Also, the living area of the basement is a glorified play area which we're thinking we need to organize into a real space now.

I'm also itching to get some new furniture. Our living room couch is brown leather from 10 years ago and looking quite dated, plus the leather is starting to come off in small patches, due to little fingers I believe. Realistically though, I think we'll wait a few more years so the girls don't destroy it. Hmm, maybe I can downgrade the bonus room sofa to the basement.

Spring is so close. But it has been so cold in Edmonton, winter's fingers are not letting go. It's supposed to snow again tomorrow! Argh. Anyways, since I've been away for awhile, I just wanted to write a quick post. Don't forget to set forward the clocks this Saturday!