Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mother Nature Dressed Up as Winter for Halloween.

Dear Mother Nature,

I see you are dressing up as winter for Halloween. Good costume.

I'll have you know that I was all nice and cuddled up on the couch with The Canadian today. You see, I am sick. I've been sick for a week and have barely left my house. It was torrential rain this morning but, being the loving wife that I am, I sent TC out into the wind and rain to get us a movie to watch for the afternoon. 

From my position on the couch I could not see the window. As the movie ended, I reluctantly peeled myself off the couch to get a drink of water. It was then that I, regrettably, looked out the window. And what did I find? Snow.

Is this your Halloween costume? It had better be. It is far too early in the year for snow season to start. There better be some sunshine and high temperatures coming my way this week to make up for your funny little prank.

I would also like to inform you that this little trick caused me to leave my humble abode. I was forced to put on boots and a jacket (but left my sweat pants on) and get into my car. I was simply drawn to the flurries and had an unquenchable need to try and photograph falling snow flakes at the park. Yes, I realize that this is partly due to the photography tutorial I read online yesterday in my boredom. But, nevertheless, I place most the blame on you. 

I'll have you know that I was not successful in my quest either. Your snow was falling too fast. And the flakes were too small. 

So next time, do you think you could afford me the small favor of big, pretty, fluffy snowflakes? Oh, and preferably not until December at the earliest.

I'd be much obliged.


Your very southern photographer


Workout - still nothing. maybe tomorrow. i feel almost human again. almost.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Love Me Some Buffalo.

It's probably my favorite flavor. I crave it all the time. It's so potent. So sinus-clearing. So delicious.

Yup, me and buffalo, we love each other.

This cold of mine is slowly killing me. Over the past few days I have been robbed of all my energy. Not to mention that my throat, ears, chest and back are killing me. Apparently my taste buds have gone into hibernation too. It's lovely, really.

Anywhoo, buffalo chicken sandwiches seemed like the perfect meal for dinner tonight. Dear God, I love my crock pot. It saves my ass all the time.

I sucked it up, put on my big girl panties and touched the raw chicken. Gross. A couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts went into the pot.

Then I added about half of a pack of ranch mix (or about 2 teaspoons). I'm not sure it matters how much you use, there can never be too much ranch.

Careful not to spill ranch mix all over the floor or you'll get a free floor cleaning. Scary how much her tongue looks like a chewed up piece of bubble gum.

Next, I added about 1/3 of the bottle of Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce. This isn't an exact science, people. If you feel like living on the edge, pour in a little more.

So far, so good. I set the crock pot to cook on low for the next several hours while I went back to watching a Criminal Minds marathon on the couch. Too bad the Kardashians weren't on TV. I try to be as productive as possible when I'm home sick from work.

After four hours remove the chicken and shred it into small pieces. I should also mention that this step is not the most opportune time to scratch your itchy eyeball. It burns. Bad. Trust me on this.

While the chicken is out of the crock pot add a bit of butter to the buffalo sauce. Or you can be cool like me and use spreadable margarine if that is all you've got on hand.

Let it cook for another hour or so just to be sure the chicken is completely coated and delicious.

Finally, serve it up on a bun with a slice of cheese and prepare to clear your sinuses. 

It is allergy season, right?


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Calm down, Hobie. Just calm right down. You're out of control.

And why are there legs growing out of your head? How many deformities do you have?

Oh, Maple. Why can't you just be normal?

Hello. Paging all genetic engineers. Genetic engineers please report to the front office. 

Is it possible to combine the personality of one dog with the physical traits of a different dog?

I'm thinking if we take Hobie's laid back demeanor and pair it with Maple's non-smelly, short haired body then I would have the perfect mutt. Hmmmm...

The down side to this plan is that I would also have a dog with shaggy hair, smelly everything, droopy eyes, drool and a bonehead personality that requires a helmet.

The other day I told The Canadian that I want to trade in the dogs and get a new one for Christmas. His response? I'm getting you a zebra.

I'm surrounded. Is it too much to ask to have at least one normal creature in my life?

If you need me, I'll be out buying a goldfish.


Workout - nothing. i'm still sick. working out while hacking up a lung? rude.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Trip to the Mall.

The tailor is my new best friend. Recently I decided I was sick of walking around on all my pant legs at work. Even though I almost exclusively wear flats to work, I never hem  my dress pants. Surely one of these days I'll go back to a lifestyle where I need dress pants that go with my highest heels...or not. As it turns out, I don't lead that kind of life. I wear jeans. And even if I did, you'd have to be a fool to wear heels around here in the winter. Finally admitting this to myself, I decided to take in some of my pants to be hemmed. Thus, I went to the mall to find the tailor. I liked my new properly fitting pants so much that I took in another pair. Then another when I picked up the previous pair. It's a vicious cycle.

Anyway, I picked up my final alterations load today. Which required yet another trip to the mall. I hate the mall. Actually, I hate the parking lot. And I hate how much time and money I can waste in one place. And by hate, I mean love. You get the point. 

Canadian malls are not like typical American malls. The stores aren't the same. No Banana, no J.Crew, no Victoria Secret. We do have Gap and H&M. But we also have the grocery store and WalMart in place of where the department stores would be in an American mall. Close your eyes and imagine the Bloomingdale's sign morphing into WalMart. Nice, isn't it?

I treated myself to a fun new scarf. Because I'm uncool and unfashionable, my collection only consisted of purple, black, brown and cream. Until today. Now I have a new obsession. I love it so much that I'm basing tomorrow's entire outfit around this fun print. Feel free to fill my Christmas stocking with colorful scarves. 

tap. tap. is this thing on? Mom? Marissa? are you listenting?

Pretending it was Bloomy's I wandered into WalMart. For  the record, I hate WalMart more than I hate the parking lot. Despite this I managed to procure an amazing new jumbo sized cupcake pan. Right, because my thighs need more cupcakes in their lives. This photo doesn't do it justice. It just looks like a normal cupcake size. Trust me when I tell you it is not. Man, now I'm going to have to whip up a batch tomorrow just to prove my point.

Is anyone else completely dependent on Bath and Body Works Wallflowers? No? Well, I am. Of course, my house constantly smells like gross Newfoundland dog. I bet yours doesn't. Thats because you were smart enough to get a non-gross dog. Now my house smells like a lovely mix of gross dog and Salted Carmel. Yum.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Check. 

I'm sooooo American.

First of all, stop staring at my awesome legs. Second, stop staring at my awesome rolled up khakis. Focus on the task at hand. Which pair of boots are less hideous? Pick your poison -- Manly or Native American?

I know they're not the most attractive boots in the world but completely waterproof, super warm boots are a must for this winter. Frankly, it's a miracle I survived last winter without them. Like it or not, the snow is right around the corner. Until you have to stand outside at recess, in deep snow and slush, for 45 minutes everyday or until you spend a day running errands in a blizzard or shoveling your driveway for two hours, you don't get to judge my boots. Serious winters require serious boots.

Both are completely waterproof and lined with fleece and other warm material. I could only wear them in the store for a minute before I started sweating. I think I like the gray and black the best. It doesn't seem as if they're trying to hide their functionality. The black ones are trying to be cute. And it's not working. Plus, the black and gray kind of remind me of Crocs. I don't know why I think that is a good thing... 


Are you jealous of the fun things I found at our awesome mall? 


Workout - nothing. i'm sick. shopping wore me out. don't judge. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Emailing Postcards.

I have a new discovery that I must share. I found it a few days ago and it may be the coolest thing I've found on Pinterest. Thank God for Pinterest, what else would I do with all of my free time between the hours of 12-1am every night?

My Grandmother is the best. She's adorable, sweet and gives great gifts. Plus, she knits a mean scarf. The problem is that she is not, how should I say, technologically inclined. That is, I think VHS is too advanced for her. But bless her heart, that woman still clips recipes from the newspaper and sends them to me. You know what? They're just as good as the ones I find on the internet.

Here's my point. She and I don't talk enough. I blame this on the fact that (1) I am not a good granddaughter, (2) she doesn't email and (3) she doesn't text either. Therefore I am left with snail mail and international phone calls.

It's always on my to-do list to print off photos, write a quick explanation on the back and pop them in the mail to her. Yeah, that happens maybe once a year, if I'm on top of my game. My dad, on the other hand, is really good about this. For as long as I can remember he has called her every Sunday night. Like clock work. He mails her clippings, prints off my blog and writes her letters. He's a good son.  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's always the simple ideas, people. 

Have you heard of It's brilliant. 

Basically, it's an email/postcard system designed to put the technology enhanced generation in touch with the non-technology people out there. Like grandparents.

Exhibit A:



It's pretty simple. You go to and set up an account. In this account you create a unique postcardly email address for your grandmother (for example): The website will prompt you to link the email address to their mailing address. Next you simply go to your normal email account and send an email to your grandmother and attach a photo. Then the good people at Postcardly get your email and print it as a postcard. The photo is the front and your message is on the back of the postcard. They stamp it and send it off that day via US mail.

Let's recap. I send my grandmother an email and she gets it as a postcard in the mail. I can do this from my phone or laptop, anywhere in the world.

Exhibit B:



I'm pretty sure I win Granddaughter of the Year for this.

I know what you're much does this cute little service cost? The short answer is $1/per card. Not bad, considering printing and the stamp is included. The first three are free and then you have to buy a $5 minimum. It's like iTunes. They charge your account when you send a postcard. The efficiency is priceless. 

Think how much your grandmother would love a weekly postcard from you! I'm not discriminating here, you can send them to granddads too. Or maybe you have an email-less sister. Or a technologically-declined aunt. Or maybe when your kid is at camp you'll want to send them a post card of the dog. 

I don't know, get creative. Go forth and conquer the postcard!

Click here to visit Postcardly. This is a public service announcement. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

I regret to inform you that at this time Postcardly is only capable of sending postcards to US addresses. Sorry Canadians.


Workout: Body Flow. Have you tried it? It's awesome.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Canadian's Masterpiece.

Look what The Canadian made at work on Friday! I'm so proud of him. I think he just might pass 2nd grade art this year. Fingers crossed.

This is what happens when your husband goes to an art seminar for the day. He learned all about colors and textures and cutting and ripping and glueing too. It was a big day for him. Emotionally, I think it took a lot out of him. Channeling your creative genius isn't easy, ya know.

It's so realistic that you can barely tell the tissue paper leaves from the real leaves on the deck. I'm so proud of my little artist.

He walked in the door on Friday afternoon, held out his work and proudly announced, "Here honey! I made you something!" It was very cute but I had to do a quick reality check and make sure I was looking at my 33 year old husband and not my nonexistent 8 year old child. 

Which begs the question, what do you do with your kid's husband's prized artwork? Especially the 3D type? I can't just hang it on the refrigerator, it'll poke someone in the eye. This is new to me. I don't have kids, so fun art work just does not come into my house everyday. I can't bring myself to throw it away either, it's too cute! So what happens to all the art kids bring home? All you parents out there, how do you handle this? I feel like I would end up with every ounce of wall space covered in finger paintings and paper mache. I'm such a sucker for arts and crafts.

I guess it will just keep sitting on my counter until the tree finally gets ruined. Surely at some point this week cake batter or spaghetti sauce or Hobie drool will land on it. Until then I'll just keep looking at it and silently singing, Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road...we're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz... (go ahead, sing along)

Yes, I know it's a green road. 

The wires are crossed in my brain. 

In my defense, there is no song about a green road.


Workout: (I'm sick. It's a miracle I made it out of the house. I felt like maybe I could sweat out some of my cold. It didn't work.) Cardio - 45 minutes (Ocean's 11 was on. I got sucked in.) Other - squats with bicep curls, lunges with shoulder press, crunches on the ball, jumprope, push-ups with feet on the ball, side planks

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fire and Rain.

Part of the reason I like having a blog so much is because it forces me to do stuff. But some days, like today, I didn't do anything. Not blog worthy anyway. I didn't take any photos either.

It was raining this morning. I got up, made coffee, showered, got dressed and headed out the door. My car was parked outside as always. When it rains there is always a gigantic puddle right next to my door. In my hurry, with my hands full, I attempted to leap over the puddle and stretch my right leg into the car while keeping my left leg on the other side of the puddle in order to save my shoes from an early morning swim. As I was mid stretch I head a riiiiiiiip. That would be the seam of my pants. Awesome. Once I was safely in the car I inspected the damage. Yup, there was a nice little big hole right below my zipper. Realizing I was late for work, and considering the downpour, I turned the car on and left. With a hole in my pants.

The beauty of a rainy day like today is that it eases my irrational fear of my house burning down. Every afternoon when I turn the corner onto our street I lean forward to make sure there are no signs of fire trucks sitting at the curb. You think I'm kidding. As I make the turn I'm simultaneously going through my fire prevention check that I did that morning. I turned off the coffee pot. I turned off my flat iron. I turned off the oven last night. The dryer is not running. But when it rains I figure there can't be a fire. Fires can't burn in rain, right? Even if I left every single appliance on, the house couldn't burn down if it tried. Why? Because rain is like nature's fire prevention. Please don't tell me otherwise.

My point is, while the rain caused me to split my pants this morning it also relieved my daily burden of worrying about a fire. Hole in my crotch versus burned down house....hmmm...

Alex, I take hole in my crotch for $500 please.

Maple doesn't worry about any of these things. Do you think she wants to trade brains with me sometime?

Speaking of yawning, I don't have to work tomorrow. Which means that I'll be sleeping in tomorrow morning. Which means that I can have an extra glass of wine right now. Thankyouverymuch.

Maybe I'll be able to find the time to finish up going through Carla's prego photos that I took last week.

What do you think? Boy or girl? Carla and her husband are letting it be a surprise! We have to wait until Christmas to find out. For the record, I think it's a sweet baby girl.


Workout: Elliptical - 30 minutes, Circuit - 60 jump ropes, 25 crunches on a ball, 10 "real" push-ups, 10 squats with 10lb bicep curls, 12 tricep dips with feet on a ball, 20 mountain climbers. 4 times

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Motivation. Getting it Back.

I am lacking motivation, people. Someone send help immediately.

Last spring I was on a workout kick. Every night you could find me at the gym happily crankin' out a 90 minute workout. Some nights I would be there for 2 hours if I was really feeling it. The goal was to lose twenty pounds and get back in shape. 

Now, several months later, I've met my goal and managed to maintain it. Here's the problem: it's not enough. In June my new weight felt awesome and strong. Now I've gotten used to it and it feels like flab. Crazy, right? 

It's not about the weight anymore. Or the actual size. It's about how strong I feel. And right now, I don't feel strong, I feel like a marshmallow.

This seems like an easy fix. Continue my workouts and continue our healthy eating plan. But I'm not continuing my workouts. I'm barely eating healthy. I've fallen off the wagon. If I don't get back on soon those pounds are going to find their way back to my thighs and then I'm really going to be pissed.

Why is the gym suddenly boring? Why is it that I can't stand the elliptical or treadmill for more than 15 minutes? Why do I walk out of the gym instead of going towards the weights? It's madness, I tell you.

After giving this some serious thought I came up with a solution -- go back to classes. I'm talking spin, yoga, Body Pump, Zumba, the whole lot of them. In fact, I planned on going to a class every night this week. But instead I missed them all in favor of a quick nap on the couch. 

Don't get me wrong, I've still been going to the gym. I've just been lacking gusto. For the past few weeks I've been averaging about 15 minutes of cardio per night, a few sets of lunges or squats and some abdominal work. This is lacking but it has showed me something -- I'm drawn to the gym's studio.

The studio is gorgeous. It has nice hard wood floors, good lighting, big mirrors and no weights or machines. This is where I do my lunges. Or squats. Or whatever else I can come up for entertainment.

Here's my point. I'm nixing the classes and my traditional workouts. I'm going to start doing circuits. I'm also going back to posting my general workout at the bottom of my blog posts. Torture for you, but accountability for me. In fact, I decided this tonight as I was pedaling away on the elliptical. That decision in and of itself was enough to make me reach my 30 minute goal. I'd be mortified if I had to admit to an embarrassing 15 minutes or cardio. 

So, help me out here. Point and laugh shamelessly if I post lame workouts. Remind me of how nice it is to be able to wear all my clothes. Remind me that I've never regretted a workout. Remind me that I cannot blame my tight jeans on the dryer anymore.

Thanks in advance for the pointing and laughing.


Workout: Cardio - 30 minutes, Lunges with bicep curls, Abs, Burpies

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baking The Canadian's Way. Then My Way.


This afternoon The Canadian finally got around to doing something with the 8 million apples that have been invading my kitchen ever since our apple picking expedition a week ago. His one and only baking claim to fame is his apple crisp. I've been hearing about it for years so all week I've been encouraging him to show off his skills and get rid of all the darn apples. He finally agreed but he coincidentally lost his recipe. Frankly, I was shocked there was ever a recipe to begin with.

Not to be deterred, I googled an apple crisp recipe and set up my lap top on the counter for him to follow.

I don't know why I bothered. The only guideline he followed was the amount of sugar. And that was because he allowed me to measure it. Everything else was a free for all.

I can't even think about it without laughing out loud.

Here he was in his work clothes, in a grumpy mood, measuring flour in a liquid measuring cup. He needed 1 1/4 cup (according to the recipe) so he dumped the flour right on in the gigantic 4c liquid measuring cup. Apparently he poured too much so he proceeded to bang the entire thing on the counter repeatedly to compress it down to 1 cup and even it out.

The other 1/4 cup? He decided to use cake flour for that portion. Claims it makes it "more cakey and delicious."

He also didn't really feel the need to layer the apples with sugar and cinnamon as the recipe suggested. And forget measuring the apples...those are details he couldn't be bothered with.

And when he measured the cinnamon he shoved the measuring spoon in at such an angle that he lost most of the cinnamon upon removal. I'm not even sure he noticed.

At this point I was laughing so hard that I was crying. This he didn't appreciate at all. He kept turning his back to me and yelling "No pictures!"

When it came time to mix up the flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon he conveniently forgot that step too. Plus, he decided that the butter didn't need to be mixed in either.

And it definitely didn't need to be softened. No, slicing the cold, hard butter across the top would do just fine.

He did manage to bake it at the correct temperature, but decided to shave ten minutes off the specified cooking time. Why? I don't know.

Oh, and he added some last minute chocolate chips to the topping just to sweeten the deal.

He's awesome like that.

After his little escapade I set about making my own mini blueberry crisp. The crisp part sounded so good, but I hate apples so I substituted blueberries.

There weren't too many blueberries on hand so I dug out a small bowl and decided to make up my own recipe.

Now, I have never ever made anything in the kitchen without a very clear recipe to follow religiously. I was feeling rebellious and hungry so I decided to go for it.

I took a 6oz package of blueberries and made a thin layer. Then I coated it with a tablespoon of sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I repeated that 3 times.

In a bowl I combined 2 tablespoons of oats, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and a big shake of cinnamon. With my hands I worked in 1/4 stick of softened butter. Then I added 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Don't blueberries and chocolate go hand in hand? I think I read that somewhere.

After pouring the dry ingredients over the top of the blueberries I baked it at 350 for 45 minutes.

I don't know what blueberry crisp or blueberry tart is supposed to taste like, but this tasted like heaven. Perfect for two people. Or one hungry girl like myself.

Part tart, part sweet, part awesome.

Go ahead and try it. The blueberry crisp I mean. Don't even bother trying to recreate The Canadian's concoction. It's sealed in the recipe vault wouldn't be able to do it justice.

You can thank me later.