Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good enough

A good reminder from one of my favourite bloggers, galadarling...

"Stop comparing yourself to other girls, no matter how pretty, clever, cool or cashed-up they are.

No one will ever have your unique twist of talents, perspectives or beauty.

You do enough. You have enough. You are enough.

Stop comparing yourself to other girls, no matter how talented, well-dressed, popular or capable they are.

You improve the world more than you can possibly comprehend, just by being true to who you are every day.

Go outside & be fabulous. Watching who you are, & seeing what you’re becoming, makes us so proud to know you. The world delights in your presence. We all love you very much."

Amen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cops for Cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley wrapped up last week, and look who was a not only a rider, but who donated her ponytail! Yes, that's Jilly, my favourite cop.
The riders arrived at Central City at 9 am Friday morning, where tons of volunteers and students cheered them on after days of gruelling biking 800 kms around the Fraser Valley (see Jill's blog for exact route). There was a donated pancake breakfast and the "corporate headshave," where people who've raised money toward cancer either chop their ponytail to donate to be used as wigs for cancer patients, or shave their head completely! One cop decided that day he would shave his head if he raised $1,000. Not only did people standing around donate the amount, the manager of the Central City Brew Pub threw in $2,000. Way to go!
All in all, Tour de Valley (only one of four tours) raised more than $213,000 for kids living with cancer.
This year, our corporate headshaven exec was our VP of Marketing, Lawrie Ferguson. She raised over $6,000 to shave her head and boy, does she look great.
Here she is before...she has quite a mop of thick hair!

Her donation.

The result. A success.
Here is the video of the riders arriving - it was quite emotional, actually. I got choked up thinking about the time these folks have spent on their bikes, training and riding, visiting schools, and getting almost no sleep. They really are champions for kids with cancer.


video

Until next year, guys!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Home

While the week in Quebec was wild and crazy (man, I am glad I'll never need to be in another wedding - it's fun, but tiring!), I am so glad to be home, in my quiet, clean house, with my sweet fuzzy roommate, Dora. We missed each other very much and our reunion rivalled that of long lost twins - okay, maybe not. But I was happy to see her nonetheless. Nana & Papa Baxter took good care of their furgrandbaby.

I ended up not taking many pics, as Remy's camera takes better shots anyway. I must say, we looked hot, all of us. The different coloured dresses were gorgeous (Danya has had this fall wedding planned for as long as I can remember!) and even though we had a hair fiasco (aren't the French supposed to be style leaders? - my "updo" consisted of 5 bobby pins and a look reminiscent of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), it was a glorious day. I ended up redoing Remy's and my hair, as well as Kate's, and all was well.

I could live in Quebec - the people are so gracious and kind, even if their English is as poor as my French. It's so neat to learn about another Canadian culture. Their wine may be quesitonable, but the beer is amazing. I proudly purchased Wayne a La Fin du Monde beer glass, because we buy a beer glass at every destination we travel to.

Here is a shot of my furkid from Nana B. from while I was away. Wedding pics will come in the next week or so. Salut!



Sunday, September 14, 2008

Safe and sound

Just arrived at Danya's quaint little home in Quebec! What a beautiful city this is, although it's grey, foggy and rainy (we left behind 30 degree weather for this?!). I'm 3 hours from my hubby but cannot see him. Ah, well...

French, French, everywhere...I gotta learn this language! And beer at the gas station and grocery store -w00t!

Pictures to come!

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get married..."

Yes, that's White Rock pier. Yes, we're jumping off in our skivvies at midnight. This was about four years ago. The scaredy cat at the top of the pic is Danya, a BFF. She's getting married next Saturday! And I get to travel to good ol' Quebec, where she transplanted herself, to be in her wedding. Remy and I leave tomorrow night.

Here is an ode to Danya, with pics revealing only a sliver of the shenanigans BFFs get into over the course of 13 years!
::Saying goodbye to "the girls" as she heads off to Quebec to follow a "boy" - her soon-to-be-husband, Dominic Lambert, also a respectable soldier for the Armed Forces::


:: Doing what she does best::

:: Helping me at my wedding dress fitting in 2006::

::Not real, but cute nonetheless - Danya, circa 1994::

::Before jumping off the pier::

::I was her date for a wedding where she performed::


::At 1827, in Fort Langley - a Christmas girls' night!Look how French she's become - such style! A certain je nesais quoi, oui?::

::Hm...spilled something on her front and getting personal with the automatic dryer at a club downtown while at a Swingset Champion show::


::Ah, the same show...pre-stain::

Can't wait to get there, Danya. Your wedding will be a blast! Bon soir!



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sniff

Sure do miss my hubby. This is a pic of us at his going-away BBQ. I figure it's not too incriminating - if one of his platoon mates stumbles across this photo, they wouldn't tease him or anything...right?
I leave on Sunday for Danya's wedding in Quebec - I'll be a half-hour away from St-Jean Garrison, where Wayne is training...but I can't see him. Boo.
He is doing okay, even though his feet are all ripped up from doing so much running and marching. Yesterday they had pool drills: they had to plunge off the high dive board into a pool in full gear and tread water for a certain time, among other exercises. Sounded scary to me, but Wayne said he "killed it."
That's my man.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

**New series!** Recipes I shouldn't make in a one-person household

Episode 1
::Pretzel-Toffee Chip Brownies::
Photo credit: Recipegirl.com

So these are pretty much the fulfillment of every woman's PMS-induced fits of rage, uh, I mean dreams.
Pretzel-toffee chip brownies. Salty, sweet, chocolate, chewy, crunchy - what more could you ask for? I stumbled across this on Foodgawker the other day thought it would be wrong of me to not try these out. So after church, on my socially jam-packed Saturday night (gross popularity exaggeration), I whipped these together in about 20 mins., popped 'em in the oven and drank decaf tea and watched an episode of Walker (hey, don't knock it til you've tried it) while waiting for these to bake. FYI, I found these needed an extra five minutes - maybe because I intentionally left out the chocolate chips? But they sure are yummy.
Needless to say, while I froze a few to keep for cravings, there's no way I should, I mean can, eat all of these. Even if Wayne were home, he's not a huge choclate fan (I know - why is it that men are denied this gene?!), so they still would need to be eaten somehow. And I have to fit into a bridesmaid dress in two weeks, anyway, so these ain't gonna help matters at all.
This is where my trusty coworkers come in. Homemade goodies don't last long in our department, so I always know where I can take the balance of my baked goodness. Angela, Erin, Sheira, Elaine and Divine - tomorrow, you can look forward to a Pretzle-toffee chip brownie invasion in the Corporate Communications department!
::Pretzel- Toffee Chip Brownies::

½ cup butter (1 stick)

Two 1oz. squares unsweetened chocolate

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup flour

2 large egg, well beaten

8 ounce bag toffee chips (I used 4 Skor bars ground in my mixer, instead)

11.5 ounce bag Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips (I left these out completely)

1 cup broken up stick pretzels

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a square pan with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray or grease with butter.
2 Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan. Transfer to a bowl. Add sugar, flour, and eggs and whisk together. Add chocolate chips, toffee bits, and pretzels.
3 Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly (batter will be thick and chunky). Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until brownies appear firm and done.

Yield: 2 dozen brownies (yeah, right. More like 16 decent-sized ones - hey, just being honest)

Recipe Source: Adapted from San Diego County Fair 2007 Cookbook

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday love list, a la Sharon

Inspired by Sharon – a Friday “love list”:

Song you love: Right now, I’d have to say Hosanna by Hillsong United.
My favourite part is the bridge:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
As I go from nothing to
Eternity

Word you love: I’m currently a fan of saying “supermarket,” rather than “grocery store.” Very American, I know, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. Angela at work brought up another good one today: “chesterfield,” instead of “couch.” That’s commitment right there, folks.

Academic subject you love: I really loved Media and Society – could’ve been because our instructor was so awesome.

Hobby you love: Cooking…and decorating. But cooking’s cheaper, so I tend to lean toward that one. I love cooking the best when there’s someone waiting for a hot meal. That’s a deadline-driven journalism grad for ya!

Type of baked good you love: Anything chocolate – and fresh croissants. Mmmmmm…

Type of sky you love: Streaked with the magical colours of a summer sunset hovering over the Pacific.

Beverage you love: Currently digging vitao, by Nestea. Favourite flavour: mandarin white tea.

Vacation you love: Europe. Haha. No seriously, though. I would move to Germany in a heartbeat.

Restaurant you love: The Harbour House on Crescent Beach...before it was taken over by Lebanese people, who changed the wicked West Coast menu. :(
Now, I'd say Cielo's on White Rock beach, or Capone's, on Hamilton.

Way of getting around that you love: Dreaming. :)

Person you love: Wayne. I miss him terribly.

Room in your home you love: I’m loving our main floor (all one room) more and more. I finally hung drapes and bought a new rug – it’s becoming very stylie!

Movie you love: The Notebook. ‘Nuff said. (sniff)

Book you love: I really loved The Birth House and Clara Callan. Any reasonably modern Canadian fiction is good for me!

City you love: Vancouver, B.C. No matter where we move to, this will always be my home. I’d still love to own a condo on Beach Ave. or in Yaletown one day.

Future plan you love: Babies. (sigh) I can’t enough of ‘em.

Form of communication you love: Writing. Duh.

Junk food you love: Dark chocolate. 70% or higher. Yum.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

H.A.G.S.

Ah, yes. Don't you remember the ultimate "I have nothing nice or creative to say to you so I'll just write this" yearbook insult?

H.A.G.S. = Have a Great Summer

What a cop out this silly saying was. However, I must say that my little generation must have been ahead of the curve on the current text-talk craze, since we clearly were brilliant enough to come up with this catch phrase.

Ok, maybe not.

But seriously, isn't it SO true that if you conjured up the courage to FINALLY ask your high school crush to sign your yearbook on the last day of school, and he wrote this thoughtless, patronizing acronym, it was a surefire way of telling that he wasn't really into you?

{Side note: You leave it until the last day so that if he scoffs at you for walking near him without bowing down in worship, at least you wouldn't have to see him for the next two months!}

I digress. "Why is she writing about yearbooks?" you ask. "Isn't she, like 35? When was the last time she wrote in a yearbook?" ;)

In my blog journeys today, I noticed that VDO Princess posted a new link to one of her favourite timewasters: http://www.yearbookyourself.com/. This nifty site allows you to upload your (or someone else's) photo and it takes you on a high school journey from 1950 to 2000, revealing your youth in all its generational glory! What a fun time I had with this - I thought you'd get a kick outta these:


::1996::
Very Becky from Roseanne, don't you think?
(The first Becky, not Sarah Chalke)
Denim vests, anyone? You know you had one...

::2000::

I'm pretty sure I looked NOTHING like this

when I acually graduated that year.


::1952::

So sweet, isn't it? LOVE the finger waves. How'd they do that?

::1960::
Lisa Loeb/librarian wannabe?

::1970::

Yes, a fresh "Donna" from That '70s Show look will do just fine.

Maybe I will be able to pull off long hair, after all.

::1980::

Nothing good came out of the '80s. Nothing.

And this is proof.

And finally...

::1994::

Watch out! That hand under the chin is SO sincere.

It's my tribute to Napoleon Dynamite's Uncle Rico.

Try it out and send me your pics! They're awesome.