Friday, July 27, 2012

friday fixations: instagram edition

I'm officially in love with saskatoons. It probably helps that there are a ton of bushes just across the street that I can pick at my leisure for free, but they are really good and plump and juicy,too! I think I'll start freezing them now to enjoy in the winter months. (I should also mention that since I found the saskatoons, I've also found cherries and gooseberries in the same spot. What a gem! And it seems as though I'm the only person picking them. If you saw a girl picking berries right in the middle of a park/walking path/across from a grocery store, wouldn't you ask what's up? I'm pretty sure I would.)

I planted a variety of squashes this year thinking about trying squash blossoms (eating them, you know, as they do in the fancy places), but then I hesitated. Is it a specific squash blossom you can eat or any squash blossom? So I haven't eaten any but every morning, when they bloom, I stand at the window and contemplate it. And do I pick them when they open or after they close? I also suppose this is something I could google, but I keep forgetting to bother.

I chose a new carpet for the basement but we're still waiting for it to be installed. It's been over three months since we've used the basement and I have no idea how I can get this process to speed up. I'm getting so frustrated. I want my house back.

I've been doing a lot of shopping. Well, not buying necessarily, but going around and looking at stuff for inspiration. I saw these cute stuffed cactus plants at Anthropology and I want one immediately. Why is it that I always want the things in Anthro that aren't for sale?

Stupid picture, but I saw this super cute cooler at Home Sense (in the clearance section!) and instantly wished I was in need of such things. It's exactly like an ice cream cart -- tall legs, wheels, and the lid opens on both ends. It was also in orange, but I liked lime green better. Can you imagine how cute this'd be filled with freezies at a family picnic?

I also found this professional dehydrator at a thrift shop for next to nothing and low and behold, when I got it home and opened, it came with all the fancy stuff (non-stick covers and fruit leather trays) and it looked like it had never been used! I tested it by making some fruit leather with a jar of applesauce. OMG applesauce fruit leather is so good! Plus it made my house smell like cinnamon! Since my homegrown tomatoes were destroyed by hail, I bought lots of tomatoes from superstore to dry for the winter. Besides, it's kinda hard not to buy tomatoes when they're so cheap right now (they're drying as I type!). They also had clearance basil plants for 20 cents so I bought one of each type to dry, too. What else can I dehydrate?! I think I might try making jerky!

I was on a roll at the Goodwill last week! I found THE perfect jean jacket, some amazing sweaters, a skirt, and (the biggest surprise) one twin space invaders sheet! It was totally meant to be, I swear! I'll post what I did with it next week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

ikea 2013 catalogue

Those who know me well, know that I'm not that huge a fan of IKEA stuffs (they're not cheap or well made I don't care what anyone says) but despite that, I always go there and look around and check out their clearance section and like their ideas and request their catalogues. So... that's a little contradictory, but they do (admittedly) have some pretty good design and design ideas.

The new 2013 catalogue is out online, so I thought I'd show you some of the ideas I liked!

Ever since we got the bigger bed, I've been really obsessed with the concept of putting a dresser behind the bed as a headboard (with storage) or using the headboard as a divider to separate the room. Our master bedroom is kind of awkwardly designed so the builders (or the house designer) designed the bed to go on the wall adjacent the bathroom. But I hate sleeping with my head pointing towards the bathroom door. It just feels... uncomfortable. So I put the bed on the opposite wall which happens to be a little half wall that's shared with the master closet so the bed doesn't fit on the entire wall. It sticks out about two feet. I don't mind it, but there definitely needs to be some sort of division or pretend wall or extra wall to make up the difference. I never thought of curtains before! And if I had even more space, I love the idea of having the table behind the curtain. I wonder if I could fit one of their standing closets into our closet. I need to organize in there BIG TIME.

Why are bathrooms designed as shitty little piddly things here? I don't get it. Why do I need all these bedrooms when having a master bath like this would be such a dream? (For anyone -- don't give me that "resale" spiel.)

I just read an article about this and now I see it in IKEA. Apparently, in scandanavian countries, it's pretty typical to have a large bed with a set of sheets and blankets for each occupant. As above, they've got a queen bed and bedding folded in half each to their own comfort levels. At first I thought that was kind of a dumb way to sleep, but the article I read mentioned that if you're a light sleeper, you'll get an even better sleep not having to fight and wrestle for covers with your partner all night. I might give it a trial run. Idle Husband never grew up with the concept of an upper sheet and it totally stresses me out at night if the sheets are messed up and tangled. Maybe I could have the sheet and he could have his own duvet. (Regardless of what you think about this idea, you can't deny how cozy this bed looks!)

Finally, I loved how they tied the patterned portion up and let the liner hang loose on these curtains. It looks so fresh!

I also wanted to mention how inspiring I found the photography in this particular issue. The items were laid out and arranged in a very simple yet clever manner. Very nice!

Did you see anything in the catalogue that interested you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

garlic basil cream cheese spread

Last week was probably the hottest it's been in Edmonton ever so in an act of dinner desperation, I decided to do a sort of tapas spread and forgo my nightly routine of turning on the toaster oven (which is a godsend in extreme heat, by the way).

I picked up a variety of snacky treats so we could just nibble as we wanted (which is about all you want to do when it's hot anyway). I found some spicy olives and peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, triscuits, jalapeno jelly, brie and mozzarella, grapes and cherries, and thuringer sausage (which is the only sausage worth eating, if you ask me).

I paused for a moment in the cheese section and reviewed all of the different flavours of cream cheese dips and pondered getting one until I remembered I had a block at home and could probably whip something up myself (it was leftover from a failed cheesecake popsicle attempt -- either I did it wrong or the ones found on pinterest just look a lot better than they taste).

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, whipping up a flavoured cream cheese spread is super easy and pretty adaptable to any flavour you want. I don't even know why you'd want to buy them premade. It literally takes seconds to make one to suit your tastes and needs.

For mine, I used garlic as the main flavour and added the basil for a little bit of green, but that turned out to add a lot of really great flavour. We ate all of it in two dinners!

{garlic basil cream cheese spread}

1/2 package cream cheese (I used light)
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil (fresh would give a stronger flavour)
olive oil

The only planning ahead you have to do is to allow the cream cheese to soften to room temperature (which doesn't take long in this kind of heat). Then just add all the ingredients to the cream cheese and mix it together with a spoon. Let it sit for an hour or so to let the flavours permeate the cheese and serve at room temperature. 

You can customize the spread to suit your tastes, too. If you don't like raw garlic, you can roast it which gives it more of a caramelized, nutty flavour or you can also reduce the number of cloves. Salt and pepper is more to taste. It seems weird to add salt, but it really enhances the flavours. The basil is also adjustable or you can omit it altogether. I used just a drizzle or two of olive oil to increase the spreadability of the cream cheese. You don't want to go overboard with it, unless you want a really soft dip for lighter crackers.

I really loved it spread on a cracked black pepper triscuit with a spread of jalapeno jelly and topped with a thin slice of thuringer sausage.

Monday, July 16, 2012

in tribute

On Friday, mom woke up to find both of her giant goldfish dead and the loss has hit all of us pretty hard. I know most people wouldn't feel that way towards a goldfish, but we've had them in the family for 10 years and the thought of not seeing them swimming around just breaks my heart. They will be forever missed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

friday fixations

{henri the existential cat} So brooding. (And don't miss the love note from Anais Mittins.)

{our new bed} After our hotel experience, we set ourselves on the task of recreating the bed. We stumbled on an amazing one day sale last month, so we've found the perfect bed match and this week, we've finally slept on it (don't even get me started on The Bay and their terrible customer service). I think the bed's paying off already. I put in a lot of work on the garden the other day and not a bone or joint is sore. It's like I didn't work at all. I'm giving credit to the bed.

{t-rex disco} Yes!

{spitz} Yeah, the sunflower seeds. I'm totally addicted to them right now. I think my favourite flavour is the cracked black pepper. It's really spicy! Besides that, they keep my hands busy (and away from worse snacks).

{ask a zombie} This is full of laughs.

{ombre nail polish} I kinda used a mix of this tutorial and this tutorial to get my ombre effect. I think the results are pretty fantastic (it's hard to tell in the picture) and the technique is almost easier than applying polish normally. I think I'm going to fiddle with more colour combos, but the next one I do, I'm definitely going to apply a coat (or two) of the lighter shade before sponging on the ombre. I think the effect will be more... pronounced, though I do like nail polish that's not too blaring.

{bra fitting} I think my whole life has been plagued by this problem. I found this information so helpful and eye-opening! (And using their techniques, I just bought the best bra I've ever owned in my whole life.)

this has potential Ask Amy. Amy Poehler gives heartfelt advice to those who ask. I thought it would be funnier, but it was too sincere and nice for me to completely write it off. (I like it when girls are positive towards other girls.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

flower monday

I should just make this a feature for the summer, hey? Besides, it's too hot to think of blog stuff... uh post thingies and craft whatchamacallits and I can't even believe I'm freaking baking bread right now. But Idle Husband is in love with ciabatta this season and I really wanted to try this recipe so I finally got around to making the starter yesterday and it can't sit around for more than a day. (Note to self: purchase bread for the rest of the summer or live on flat bread cuz you grill that shitz). 

Also the computer is upstairs and upstairs is the temperature equivalent of hell and I don't know how to fix that. I keep the windows open at night to suck in the cool night air. I close them and the curtains during the day. And yet my glasses are still sliding down my sweaty nose from the exertion of just sitting here. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking 'ceiling fan' but that's almost my worst nightmare after being too hot.

These are some peonies mom brought me a week ago. Even though the opened flowers are now long spent, the buds have opened so I'm getting another week out of them. I love how peonies do that. Also mixed in some lamb's ears because that junk is like a weed and it lasts f o r e v e r in a vase (and I love that green/silver colour with pink).

Friday, July 6, 2012

two seconds in seattle

How could I forget pictures of Seattle?!

Especially since my favourite part of our whole trip was the EMP museum. Pop culture, movies, music -- it was awesome!

Some of these played music!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love William Shatner?

I wish I had more pictures from the museum, but I guess I was enjoying it too much to bother! Plus they had this huge movie screen where you could come and go as you pleased. They kept playing short films, so any time we wanted a break, we'd go there and watch a film. I really should've bought a David Bowie t-shirt. I kinda regret that now. What I really wanted was a Rolling Stones tee. Why no Rolling Stones, EMP?

I really hope this was graffiti

Short and sweet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

happy canada day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Canada Day! We've been to the festivities in Millwoods a lot but we've gotten really tired of the crowds there. So at the last minute, we decided to see what kind of a view we could get from the park by our house and I didn't think it was half bad! I brought a blanket and we sat on a little hill and enjoyed the fireworks just as much as we would have had we been closer -- actually, we enjoyed them more without having a dozen people butted up beside us.

I can't believe it's July already. This summer is going by too quickly!


By request (wink wink Lindsey!), July's calendar is of my favourite little squidgy jelly from the Vancouver aquarium! Get your sizes here:

Also if you're looking for a printable calendar, I've posted some for July as well.

outdoors (my favourite!)