Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Highlights.

Friday was jeans day at work, which is always a great way to start the weekend. However, I knew I was ready for the day to be over when my brand new cardigan ripped and it almost brought me to tears at work. I knew at that moment that a glass of wine was in my future.

As soon as I got home from work I pretended the rest of the world didn't exist and got lost in The Language of Flowers. Whenever I start reading a really good book I obsess over it and can accomplish nothing remotely worthwhile until the last page has been read. I read this book in two days just so I could get my life back.

Do yourself a favor and read it. Sooooo good.

Instead of wine, Serge came over with coffees and we all enjoyed a coffee and Baileys. Usually we reserve this drink for playing in the snow but you'll be happy to know that it is just as delicious on a random Friday night in semi-warm weather.

On Saturday morning I finally made it to the market! I've been back in town for almost a month, which is borderline inexcusable. Lucky for me, nothing has changed and my favorite waffle lady is still in business and even remembered that I like a full banana on my waffle.


We had great weather all week, but the rain is back. I'm about over this rainy weekend trend we've been having.

Since any fun outdoor activities were rained out, I decided to make some crazy monstrous cookies. Reese's, white chocolate chips, toffee pieces, sprinkles, chocolate chips, nutella and pretzels bits. Like, whoa.

Praise the Lord, the Tennessee game was on CBS this weekend. For whatever reason, here in Canada we get ABC, CBS and NBC but no ESPN. Go figure. Another reason to praise the good Lord, Twisted Tea is now in Canada. Have you ever had one? It's not carbonated so it's basically the best game day drink ever.

Today was the Race for the Cure. I ran it last year (remember, you all generously supported me?!) but my leg isn't ready for a race yet this year. I still wanted to support the cause, so instead I volunteered to help out.

My post was the cake serving station. Seems a little contradictory, but whatever. I don't ever question the need for cake.

And judging by how awesome I look in the picture, I should probably lay off the cake and get my butt to the gym.

Every Sunday night we have dinner with TC's family. Two great things happened tonight. One - we had delicious homemade spaghetti. Two - TC got to spend his evening making animals out of pipe cleaners for our three year old niece. They had more fun than anyone.

And to finish off another awesome weekend, TC brought out a mini chocolate cream pie to split while I finished my homework.

God, I love him.

And, yes, I'm going to the gym tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Loaf with Frosting and Caramel.

I know its technically fall now, but seriously, where did September go? Tomorrow I'm going to the apple orchard and then Friday is Friday and then I've got football to watch on Saturday then I'm volunteering at Race for the Cure on Sunday and then it's October. Gah. I'm going to blink and it's going to be Thanksgiving. And then Christmas.

Oh my gosh, someone slow down the clock please.

There's probably no chance of that happening, is there?


Well, then let's embrace fall and make a pumpkin loaf, shall we?

To be honest, I made this twice already. The first time was when TC was out of town. And I ate the whole thing by myself. Thank you, Pinterest. I'll be at the gym if you need me.

Then I made it the second time for TC so he would have a treat to come home to. I was thinking it would last at least a week. Wrong. He ate the whole thing in two days. It's that good.

Actually, here's the truth. It's really good on it's own. But, if you heat it up and add a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream to it...well, you'll need to give yourself a shot of insulin. But at least you'd be able to die happy.

Perfect Pumpkin Bread with Carmel Drizzled Buttercream
(adapted from

For the bread:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

For the icing:
1/4 cup softened butter
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 confectioners sugar
2 tsp milk 

For the caramel drizzle:
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt

- Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.
- Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
- With a mixer beat the eggs. Add in brown sugar and sugar. Beat on medium speed. Add in vanilla, yogurt and oil. Beat well. Add flour and pumpkin. 
- Spread batter into loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes. Cool completely before spreading frosting.
- Once the bread is cool, make the frosting. Cream together butter and pumpkin puree. Add in cinnamon and vanilla. Slowly add confectioner's sugar and milk. Spread frosting over the top of the cooled bread.
- In a small saucepan, stir together brown sugar and water. Dissolve sugar over medium-high heat. Continue heating until caramel turns dark brown and starts to boil, making sure to stir constantly to avoid burning. Add butter and salt. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Continue stirring for another 1-2 minutes to cool the caramel somewhat before drizzling over the top of the frosting. 
- Enjoy!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Highlights.

Another exciting weekend in the books, people. I'm the biggest party animal in town these days. 

Seriously, how anti-social can I be? 

Check out my new friends, the leaves. They are literally turning red as we speak. That tree is going to be on fire soon.

Friday was my follow-up xray. Remember that stress fracture I had back in May? Yeah, I'm just now getting cleared to run again. 

Apparently I need more milk in my diet.

Saturday was my last day of single life so I felt that I needed to take full advantage and treat myself to pancakes. I make a damn good pancake too. Too bad TC insists on going out for breakfast every weekend morning. His loss.

It was super gross outside which kind of put a damper on all my fun plans for the day.

Instead I went all hurricane Kate on my kitchen and made a total mess. All in the name of a pumpkin loaf...

And because I'm really that cool, I organized my linen closet. Two years ago when I moved in with TC I made it perfect. TC does his own laundry, and I will be forever grateful for that, but dear Lord, how hard is it to fold a towel? How hard is it to put a beach towel with all the other beach towels? 

Until he learns to fold a towel in thirds, he's never allowed in there again. I'm sure he's crying his eyes out right now.

To relieve my linen closet stress, I went on over to the gym. I've been playing around and making up circuit workouts for myself lately, and this one was awesome. 

Get excited, you'll be seeing more of these in the future.

Finally, after ten long days of being gone, TC came home on Friday night. He's been off sailing in the World Championships in New York. They got 84th place! Or was it 85th place? Let's be real, I don't think it really matters at that level. Fact is, the boat didn't sink and he's home. 

All is well in the world.

This morning I woke up excited to go out to our usual Sunday breakfast but TC had a paper to write and bailed on me. I moped around for an hour or so until he decided that greasy food is more exciting than stupid graduate school homework. Obviously. I can't believe that was even in question.

To battle all the grease I headed back to the gym this morning for another awesome circuit. I love these things, they're short, sweet and sweaty. 

I'll love them even more if they get these extra ten pounds off me. But perhaps I should stop eating grease for breakfast first...

And then I went back to my computer for more homework. 

And then some more homework.

For a snack today I made a smoothie in the white blender. It's four years old, tops. Half way through the blending process today it died. Kaput. Toast. 

Thankfully, I have my mother's yellow blender that was her wedding present in 1978. Works like a charm. They just don't make things the way they used to.

I would like you all to take note of who is ironing his own clothes tonight. 


I am never going back to ironing. Never. never. never. 

Real men iron their own clothes.

How was your weekend? I'm sure it wasn't as rockin as mine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Coffee Creamer.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but fall is officially here. Goodbye, summer. I will miss you.

The weather is starting to cool and I've even seen the occasional red leaf. I haven't quite brought out the boots yet but my flip-flops have been collecting dust for almost a week. It's such an awkward in between stage for my feet.

The good news is that we can officially embrace fall activities - like all things pumpkin!

I'm back on the coffee wagon. Loud and proud. As in, I like a bit of coffee to go with my cream and sugar. I've been on a hazelnut kick lately but that will change as soon as my coffee brews tomorrow. 

Tomorrow, I drink pumpkin spice coffee. And it's going to be good.

So, I was thinking that I'd tell you how to do it too. That way you can make some and enjoy it this 
weekend. Really, it will be so delicious on a cool morning. Maybe Sunday? Yes, that should work nicely.

You'll need coffee cream, or half and half, to start.

And some pumpkin, of course.

Then you'll want to add some basic spices, maple syrup and vanilla while heating it all up in a saucepan.

Then you're going to strain it.

Then strain it again through mesh or a coffee filter. Trust me on this one.

Rumor is that the strength of the deliciousness will increase as it cools overnight. But I'm here to tell you that it is pretty wonderful straight from the stove too.


Homemade Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

2 cups Coffee Creamer
3-4 tablespoons Pumpkin Puree
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice OR 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp Allspice, 1/4 tsp Ginger
4 tablespoons Maple Syrup (the real stuff)
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine the cream, pumpkin, spices and maple syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat while stirring. When steam begins, remove it from heat and add the vanilla, stir. Strain once to transfer. Strain twice to really clean it up. To make it extra cute, consider transferring into a repurposed Fiji bottle!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Certain Sounds.

I just almost jumped out of my seat. I was excited enough that my eyes manically darted around the room, searching for the phone so I could call someone, ANYONE, and tell them that I am not a total freak.

I can't believe this amazing news I just found out via Pinterest. And then via Google. Clearly, its legitimate.

Wait. Let's back up...

Let me paint a picture for you. It's the middle of dinner at camp. We're having pizza. There are six hundred people eating and chatting in the dining hall. It's loud. I'm walking across the center of the dining hall when I hear it. Someone is scraping a metal spatula against the metal pizza tray. I know they are just trying to clean it. I know that. I know they aren't intentionally torturing me. But I am a freak and I can't stand the sound of metal on metal. I slam my hands into the side of my head to cover my ears, start shaking my head and run out of the dining room. The group of people I was just chatting with is left in my wake looking after me like I have officially lost my mind. They always knew I was a little weird, but I may have just crossed a line.

There are other examples too. TC slurps his coffee and I physically shudder. And get mad. Then I hit him in the leg.

A kid takes a big sniff instead of blowing their nose and I have to look the other way and gag.

Someone chews their food in a quiet place (cough, cough, TC). I get mad. Then I get goosebumps and want to puke.

Really, my weird sound issues are a problem. I manage it fairly well in public (sometimes) but it isn't easy.

Today I was scrolling through Pinterest and see this random fact about Misophonia, which I've obviously never heard of. Who has? It can't be real.

I can't believe it so instantly I get on Google to check it out. According to this is a legitimate disorder. It says that Misophonia is "literally the hatred of sound" and is usually a sound that most people generally ignore. It says that the sound actually causes rage and panic.

That's me!

Okay, in all fairness the article does also describe more extreme symptoms and issues, which I don't have. I think it is safe to say that I'm a fairly mild case. But nonetheless I have a legitimate excuse now! TC can no longer scowl at me when I hit him in the leg for slurping his coffee. Best news ever!

Has anyone heard of this disorder? Does anyone else have a hatred of certain sounds?

Maybe it's just me and I'm the only one who legitimately gets mad at coffee slurping, like the world has its own vendetta against me. cough, cough, TC...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Bucket List.

I have a bucket list for this winter. There is an obscene amount of normal winter activities that I haven't done yet. Like sledding. And building a snowman.

There is no excuse.

Anyway, I got to thinking that I should make a fall bucket list too.

So, I did.

Then I decided to experiment with my photos on for the first time.

And then I got carried away and made three versions.

Clearly I need a life.

What's on your bucket list for fall?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Husband, The Sailor.

Remember this crew of sailors? It's TC and his buddies. In the middle is John, he's the captain of their sailboat, Out of the Blue. OOTB is a J24, which means she's a twenty four foot boat that is designed to race. She's got a cabin and you could sleep there, but you probably wouldn't want to for more that a night. She's designed for racing, not vacationing.

J24s are a popular boat. You can probably find one in just about any marina. At our marina there are a handful of them. In fact, there are enough similar boats that they race twice a week all summer and sometimes even travel to Maine and Nova Scotia to race. In Canada, especially on the coast, sailing is really big. 

This week, the OOTB crew has a once in a lifetime chance - racing in the World Championship!

The Worlds are at a different location every year and this year the race is in Rochester, New York on Lake Ontario. I know, weird to be on a lake and not the ocean, but remember that Lake Ontario is like an ocean since it has big waves, tides and huge wind.

There are 15 countries represented and over 130 boats. The European boats were shipped over and the Japanese team unwrapped a brand new boat this weekend right there in New York. 

Not to be outdone, OOTB drove their thirty year old boat down and even managed to blow out a tire on the way. Everything is an adventure with these guys.

While some of the fancier, sponsored teams are living the high life in hotels, TC and the crew have set up what they are lovingly calling Camp Canada, which features a party/cooking tent, an old Canadian flag and another ten tents where all the Canadian boat crews are sleeping right at the marina.

Apparently they've become quite popular and the other boat crews like to come by and hang out. TC says it's because everyone around the world knows that Canadians are the most friendly and fun to hang out with. To this, I rolled my eyes.

So, they spent the weekend getting the boats ready to race. Each boat has to be weighed and measured so everything is even and fair. They measure and weigh everything they can get their hands on - ropes, anchors, pulleys, sails, life jackets...everything...including the crew. Sometimes a heavy boat is good. When there is a lot of wind you want a heavy boat for ballast. When the wind is light, you want a light boat so it doesn't drag. In these kind of races there are weight and size minimums and maximums on everything.

In this type of race the boats are not racing from point A to point B. Instead, a typical J24 race has two or three races per day. Each race is a course with big buoys that you have to go around. Sometimes the course is a triangle shape and sometimes it is a sausage. There are all kinds of rules and penalties but if you hit another boat or hit a buoy then you have to make your boat do a 360, which is a pain in the ass and time consuming.

Yesterday, the boys had a practice race to get used to the lake and make sure everything was working properly. It must have been, because they won! They were even awarded a big bottle of rum to bring back to Camp Canada.

The first day of official racing was today. Can you imagine being out there on the starting line with a hundred other boats? It's crazy! I don't know how they all don't tip over and crash into each other. It defies the laws of physics. 

I searched and searched for a photo of OOTB racing today, but to no avail. I also couldn't find the results. I'm not a very good sail widow.

In the mean time, thank you CJ and the World Championship FB page for letting me steal your photos.