Friday, September 30, 2011

Scary way to wake up!!!!!!!

This morning, at 4:45, Graham BOLTED up in bed, SCREAMING repeatedly!!!!  I kept asking him what was wrong and he would NOT answer me!  I wasn't sure if he was having a nightmare, or if something else was wrong and he couldn't talk through it.  SCARY!  He was also hitting the bed, which made me think that he was being bit by something, grossing me out to know end!

After he stopped screaming, he finally told me that he just got THE WORST LEG CRAMP OF HIS LIFE.  He just woke up, wincing in pain and had to hit his leg to try to get the pain to go away!  Poor guy!  I had no idea what to do for him, as he lay there in pain, but once the leg cramp subsided, all he wanted to do was cuddle up and stop shaking.

What a way to start the day!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Winner, winner, lasagne dinner!

Lately, as I have been working mostly afternoons and evenings, as well as weekends, my amazing husband has been doing a lot of the cooking.  I have enjoyed this immensely, as I was in a bit of a cooking rut anyway.  The last couple days, I worked in the mornings and had the afternoons off, so I wanted to cook a few meals, to thank him for his hard work!

Yesterday, I made burrito bowls, we LOVE these from Chipotle and it's one of Graham's favourite meals that I make at home!  So easy, healthy and fresh!  Lettuce, homemade guacamole, homemade pico de gallo, chicken, black beans and some sour cream.  DELICIOUS!

Tonight, I decided to make one of Graham's other favourites, my lasagne!  I usually make it with a TON of veggies, but as grocery day is approaching, I used whatever we had on hand.  I am NOT a fan of bechamel sauce (neither is Graham), so I tend to go more low fat with cottage cheese and ricotta.  YUM!  He was a happy man when he came home and we had a lovely dinner.  I have to work most of the weekend, so it was nice to sit down and have a meal with him!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Help.

Last night, Graham took me on a date to the movies!  I LOVE going to the movies, I love the ambience, the previews, the snacks, everything!  Graham is the opposite!  While he loves going to the movies, he DOES NOT eat the snacks, does not like waiting for the movie to start and gets annoyed when people talk too loudly before the movie starts even.  So funny! 

We saw, "The Help".  It was an excellent movie, very thought provoking and eye opening.  I found it an emotional movie to watch, both because it was so heart breaking at times and because there were parts that were just SO INCREDIBLY FUNNY.  Both of us would recommend this movie to anyone.

While I don't want to go into any details about the movie, I do want to share something that I couldn't stop thinking about, the entire time we were watching the movie...

When our kids or friends kids go to the movies 20 or so years from now, will they be watching a movie just like this...but reflecting STRAIGHT VS. HOMOSEXUALS?

It made me feel sad.  It made me feel sad, because it is not our place to judge or treat any other human being like they are "not worthy", "deserving", or "beneath" the RESPECT that the rest of us deserve.  Not one is better than the other, yet so much of society still views S vs. H as a comparison.  Why can't we all just be treated equal?  Why does one side have to fight for their rights more than the other? 

I found my thoughts racing.  I found myself angry that what happened between whites and blacks NOT THAT LONG AGO, is happening in the world that we live in today...just between two different "types" of people.  SAD.

Needless to say, please go out and see this movie.  Sorry if this is a bit of a heavy read for today, I just feel passionate about equality amongst people, no matter what race, gender, sexuality etc.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Lazy, lazy day!

Today, after spending hours blogging our Hawaii trip, I felt like this, so I did it!  Love a day or two like this once and awhile!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My favourite!

I just wanted to give a shout out to a very special someone, who has been so supportive, generous and loving...


Babe, I love you so much and am so lucky to be married to you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Travel Lovers!

Graham and I are both VERY avid travellers.  Usually travelling involves new cultures, experiences and foods for's what keeps it exciting for us.  While we both have country pride (I am DYING to road trip the East Coast with Graham and he is DYING to take me to Italy...hey, at least it's still Europe), we also love to travel the exotic, interesting and out of this world places.

We are EXTREMELY blessed and fortunate people to have been around the world as much as we have, either for personal travel, gifts to each other or business.  We have found some favourite "I want to come back here again, for sure" places, as well as some "I'd prefer to not have a holiday here again", the latter, usually because it just feels too "easy" to us (we're NOT all-inclusive people, we like to be with the locals).

The moment that The Amazing Race comes back on TV, Graham gets REALLY excited!  He isn't usually excited about anything on TV (unless it's a war show/movie, people shooting each other, or something boring about science etc...yup, just like DAD!), but this show, we both love.  It opens our mind to travel to new places, get excited about our next bit of adventure as well as reminisce about the past.

I wonder where life will take us next?  We'd love to say, Africa, as Graham has missed it since living there 6 years ago, but who knows!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Turkey Lurkey!

We LOVE going to dinner at Mom and Dad's.  We love even more when that dinner, is a BIG family dinner...always involving WAY TOO MUCH FOOD (who's family DOESN'T have leftovers, after family dinner?!?!?), laughter and a bunch of catching up here and there.

We have all been bringing a dish or two for the last few years, to try to share the work, bring new food ideas and just to make sure that we all have time to socialize and not spend all the time in the kitchen.  I get so excited about having a nice, big dinner, that I always forget to take a photo memory...every year.

While I don't have any photo evidence, I can tell you, that dinner was incredibly delcious and the turkey that Mom and Dad did, was so good, Graham took home leftovers and ate most of it for lunch!  Good job Mom and Dad!

Thanks family for a great dinner, great food, great laughs and memories for years to come!

One of my favourite family photos to date!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun with Jack!

Our friends Mat (from England) and Julie (from Canada), who I worked with when I lived in England, asked us if we could look after their son, Jack today.  They had a wedding to attend, and wanted to know if Graham could do some guestbook photos for it, as well as have us watch Jack.  We were honoured and excited, as he is truly, one of the BEST babies that we have ever looked after!  Between him and our other friend's son, Brayden, we can't believe how well behaved these little boys are!

Jack was so much fun to play with and cuddle!  He is SO smart, cooing, babbling and CRAWLING already!!!!!!!!!!  He is cuddly, adorable and has the best SILENT laugh in the world!  Seriously, not a peep out of him when he laughs, it's the cutest thing.

We spent some time at the wedding reception, where he was so extremely well behaved!  We spent the rest of the night playing, reading stories and having cuddles, before Mom and Dad came back to the hotel for the night.  We had some HILARIOUS 2am laughs (man, I miss those times/memories!) and love every minute that we get to spend with friends!

Congrats Trish and Blair on your wedding and we had a lot of fun helping with photos!  Thanks Julie and Mat for letting us have Jack for the night!  What fun!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I used to watch Grey's every Thursday night...either with Dana, Kathryn, Selina or Tanner...or any of the above, whenever they could make it.  It started when I lived in Brantford, then moved to Hamilton and the ritual was lost when we moved to T.O.

It took me an entire year of trying to convince Graham to make a new ritual and watch it with me and he is now hooked.  I.LOVE.IT.  I am so glad I don't have to PVR it, or watch it alone anymore and that he gets as excited to watch it as I do.

Last night, we decided to have a mini date and go for PHO before sitting down to watch the Season Premiere.  It was perfect.  Sometimes having a cheap dinner out for PHO (really, we get the fresh rolls, a large PHO, which is huge and walk away paying $15!), for a price that you can't really find anywhere anymore!  We love it!  Simple, fresh, salty, sweet, sour...all the goodness in one meal!

I love my husband.  I love how he finally *cracked* and now enjoys Thursday nights with me!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Feet!

I love, no make that LOVE getting a pedicure.  Only a pedicure.  Manicures make me cringe, to the point that I let them buff, but never file my nails.  Even on our wedding day, I had manicured nails...just not filed to perfection.  Anyone else find it like hearing nails on a chalkboard. Yuck!

Back to pedicures.  I find them one of the best ways to relax and get spoiled.  I love getting a massage the most, but with benefits that pretty much only cover the cost of the paper they print the form on and the stamp to send in the receipts, it's just too costly for me now.  So, I opt for the $25 pedicure.  The place I go to, has massaging chairs, so I pretend I'm in complete bliss :)

Yesterday, I was looking at my feet, noticing how terrible they looked and decided to have a little treat!  I picked up a mindless magazine (READ: In Touch or People etc), a drink and headed on over.  It was completely quiet in there, something that I am not used to, which made for an even better morning!

If you've never had a pedicure, please do try!  If you have and haven't had one in awhile, treat yourself!  I'm sure you deserve it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to our regular scheduled programming!

Yay!  Good TV is back! 

While Graham and I try not to watch too much TV, we do have some favourites, that we either watch or PVR.  Those being: Biggest Loser, Grey's Anatomy, House, Amazing Race and I PVR the Bachelor(ette).  Not that we don't watch anything else, but those are usually our go-to's.

Tonight, we will be re-starting our Tuesday ritual of...

YAY!  It's one of our favourites!  I hope that it hasn't changed too much with Jillian gone!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!

It's not very often that I spend money wastefully on a treat for myself (I mean a bag of chips with groceries here, or a cupcake there...but nothing that's overpriced usually).  Today though, I was at the mall and decided that I really wanted a Caramel apple from Rocky Mountain.  I remember on conferences in Toronto, stopping in with my CAS girls, them always getting one and me always saying "No".  I don't know why, other than it's an expensive snack, but I should have said yes!

It doesn't help that this place has samples!  Usually of their most expensive flavour!  ARGH!  I tried the cheesecake one a few weeks back as a sample...could have died and gone to heaven!  Hey, at least the majority of it's an apple right?!  This time, I decided to go all out and buy myself one!

The apple pie.


I have since found a recipe to make homemade ones, and think that for the next gathering we host, I will be making these!  WATCH OUT!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Golf Tournament

Today, was the annual golf tournament for Graham's work.  Last year was our first year attending and Mom and Dad joined us.  We are all terrible golfers, but it's a lot of fun.  The last few holes are always the most ready to be done, but we laugh a lot and have a lot of memories!  This year, they joined us again...We think Dad was just hoping to win another great prize (he won an ipod last year), but was a good sport even though he didn't win anything!

It is held at Lakeridge Links and Whispering Ridge golf course in Whitby.  It's a really pretty course, out in the country, which Graham and I love! 

While we had a HORRIBLE score, we had fun!  We didn't win as many prizes as last year, but Mom took home a pretty good prize and I got a $25 gift card to Starbucks!  SCORE! 

Here's to next year and either getting a better golf score, or even better prizes!  One year, we'll win the 50/50!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Savour the Season

Tonight, we had dinner with Mom and Dad.  We try to make it at least a monthy occurance to get together, but it doesn't always happen that way.  We either go there, they come here, or we go out for dinner somewhere.  This weekend, they were sleeping over, as we have Graham's work golf tournament, so we went out for dinner and then played cards.  Love playing games!

We decided to go to the Port.  It's kind of our "go to" place, as Pickering doesn't have too many "nicer" restaurants.  Not fancy, but just good, local food, food that's not chain restaurant food.  We arrived, not knowing that there was a Savour the Season menu.  A 3 course prix fix menu, all made with ingredients that are from the Durham region.

We all had great food, but were WAY too busy eating, to stop to take a picture!  I had a deconstructed cassoulet, which was incredible (duck, homemade sausages and pork belly- not my fave, but I tried it!).  Everyone really enjoyed their meals and we tried to pass bites around of what we were having.  My favourite way to eat.  Graham and I tend to order similar items at restaurants, unless it's a special event, so that we can taste as many dishes as possible.

I love when restaurants use local farms/butchers for their food.  It makes me feel like I am not paying for food that only benefits the restaurant, but benefits small businesses as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 degrees in the morning? I think it's time to prepare for FALL!

I am a BIG fan of seasons.  It's one of the things that I really missed while living in England.  SEASONS.  There it seems to be rain= Spring, summer, fall and sometimes winter and rain/snow= winter and sometimes fall.  Yes, we'd have the glorious summer days, but those always seemed to fall when I was working, or on holidays out of the country anyway.  Yes, I loved England, but I did NOT love the amount of rain we got every year!

I digress...

Here, I find we have 4 distinct seasons, which I love.  I am not the biggest fan of winter, but I'll take it for a short while.  Some years it seems like we have longer seasons of one vs. another, but it all seems to balance itself out eventually.

This morning we woke up to a VERY cold house.  It was only 18C in the house, so we knew it HAD to be cold outside.  Our trusty thermometer, read 5C.  Umm..WHAT?  It's not NOVEMBER!  I decided that it would be a big kick in the pants to start packing up some more summer stuff and putting it in storage this weekend.  Sad :(  While we always leave a few pieces out, just in case we get an Indian summer in October, we pack mostly everything up. 

I realized that this year, we both have a lot of recycled clothes from last year, as well as not as many clothes as we usually do.  I realized that NEITHER of us have gone shopping for clothes this summer, the only few pieces I did buy, was in the spring, right before the honeymoon.  I also realized that somehow, either in the move, or purging for the move, I have the smallest fall wardrobe ever.  I searched for my clothes anywhere and everywhere and cannot find any extra boxes.  Apart from jeans, some light sweater, hoodies and bulkier sweaters, I cannot find my "staples" that I can't live without every year...STRANGE.  My side of the closet looks extremely empty and as I am not the biggest fan of spending money, or clothes shopping...I am not looking forward to replacing a few basic items that I can't find (long sleeve shirts, cardigans, the typical black dress pants and any of my winter dresses/skirts).  I have a feeling that we are missing a box of stuff.  ARGH!

Anyways, everything is now all neatly folded, put into storage bags and summer is mostly gone from our closets.  I feel slightly sad...but then again, fall is my FAVOURITE season of the year!

All of my summer clothes fit into one bag!

Graham's took two!  Either that shows how many more clothes Graham has, or how much "less" ladies clothes are made out of!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

PICKLES, pickles and more pickles!

Over the last month, Graham's garden has proven us fruitful!!!  We have had a KILLER amount of gherkins, as well as cherry 100 tomatoes, carrots and beets.  We have FULL GROWN corn, instead of the baby corn, the package from Thailand promised us, as well as herbs and lettuce galore!  It was an experimental garden this year, planted a bit too late (due to our honeymoon), so next year, he has a whole mapped out plan.

Graham has become "best friends" with his garden.  It's his solitary time and really enjoys bringing stuff in for me, while I cook...usually in PURE EXCITEMENT! I am so proud of him, and am glad that he has found a passion since we moved into this house!

Needless to say, I have spent the last month, almost every other day, making between 3-4 jars of pickles.  I found an easy recipe for refrigerator pickles, as we don't have a canner, and our pots are "too nice" to boil vinegar etc in them, in fear that we will ruin them.  Looks like next year, I will be on the hunt for a canner. We are fully ready to hand some of these experimental pickles over to family and friends, as we have about 20+ jars in the fridge as I write!!!

Some turned out more like a sweet pickle, some turned out a bit too sour, some are garlicky and some are just right (kind of reminds me of Goldilocks and the 3 bears, no?).  We love opening a new jar and seeing what the taste will be like.  But this pickle loving freak knows this...

I WILL ALMOST NEVER BUY ANOTHER JAR OF STORE BOUGHT PICKLES AGAIN.  The crunch, taste, freshness and joy you get out of homemade pickles, is like nothing I can describe.  All I can say is, even if they aren't "perfect", they are WAY better than anything that I have ever bought!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Books, books and more books!

I love, no make that, LOVE bookstores.  They have SO many books to read, in all different shapes, sizes and styles.  NOTE: I DETEST ALL HARDCOVER BOOKS- but grin and bear it for cookbooks.  I don't like the weight of them, the way that it's too hard to flip page to page, or how "clunky" they are.  I like the sound of breaking open a new soft cover, smelling the fresh pages and hearing the crisp sound of the page turn.

Does that make me strange?  Maybe.  But I.DON'T.CARE.  I love me some good books!

What's even better?  When you can get a Starbucks, pull up a chair by a window and read as many books as you want, for as many hours as you'd like.  None of that guilty, "grab a magazine and read it as quickly as possible in a store reads...before a store person tells you to just spend the $3-5 and buy it".  Just good ol' free reading, usually inspiring and informative at the same time.

Yes, I am Dutch.  Yes, I have passed this on to my husband.  Yes, I will enjoy it forever.  No, you cannot tell me you haven't done it once or twice, or even a lot.  If you seriously can tell me that you haven't spent a few hours perusing a book store, you're really missing out!  Grab a coffee/drink of choice, your stack of books to flip through and forget your phone in the car/at home.

No one hates anything more than trying to read while someone's chatting on their phone in a bookstore right beside you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boxes aren't just for moving!

I have been getting trained at work in all aspects of the store.  I really enjoy that aspect of it, as it means that if the store isn't as busy, I can keep busy doing anything that needs to get done.  It REALLY makes the time fly by!

Today, I started training in shipping and receiving.  Boxes, orders, labels, product and numbers everywhere!  It all starts to mesh together after a while, and this is what I spent my shift looking at today:

Our warehouse is packed pretty high with so many boxes and labels.  It makes for an interesting time when trying to search for a small piece of item to shelve!  We've heard it becomes even more crazy when Christmas product comes in...which is crazily enough...NEXT WEEK!  YIKES!

At least, if we move again (which we'd love to NOT do for a REALLY long time), I know where to get boxes from!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Planes, trains and automobiles!

Holy Moly, today was a LONG 20 hours of travelling!  We ended up taking EVERY mode of transportation, apart from a motorcycle/scooter.  It was NUTS!  We were so excited to finally walk in our door, that I can't describe it in words.  Instead you can maybe understand how exhausting it is, once you see all of these pics in order of how we got home today!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our last day on the Island!

Today was a morning of packing, eating whatever was left in the hotel fridge and lounging by the pool, till our evening flight.  It was a great last day!

I spent a HUGE chunk of the morning/afternoon, totally engrossed in finishing Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol".  It was a great read!

The grounds at the Hilton beside us.

One of my favourite, crazy trees!

The last of the gorgeous views!

Off to a SUPER long flight and then a short one from NJ to T.O.  What a great trip it was!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hawaii is expensive, but if you talk to the locals, you score!

I can't even describe how expensive it is to eat, drink or pretty much do anything in Hawaii!  A pot of yogurt, cost us $7 at Wal-Mart, 1 apple, cost me $3 one day for a snack!  I was in shock!  We knew it would be expensive, but OH.MY.GOODNESS!  It's just nuts!

Our plan of attack, was either to ask the locals where they eat (which usually involved in fast food or spam, both things we didn't want to explore...), or to find livingsocial/groupon deals.  We found a couple of good Groupon deals, so that was great...and we got some awesome recommendations for local happy hours/lunch places to go!

We forgot to take photos of the food, but we left here, having lunch and only paying $15 for our meals!  It was delicious!  I had the coconut and fresh pineapple pancakes, with this delicious coconut syrup.  Graham had a mahi mahi dinner, with baked potatoes, salad bar and dessert.  It was a great meal and a great find!

Off we went for dinenr later, to P.F Chang's!  It was a favourite of mine, when living in the U.S, although expensive.  They have a KILLER happy hour menu, so after doing some shopping in the afternoon, we headed here for dinner and drinks!  They have the most POTENT mai tai's and Graham was in love!

No, we did not just order dessert, but it was so pretty, we just had to photograph it!  The lemon pie to the right, was by far our favourite, but the tiramisu was delicious as well!

We then took our nightly stroll along the beach and finally got a successful STRANGER picture!  We do have other photos together, but either the view, our heads or part of our bodies were cut off!

Another gorgeous sunset, on our last full day here!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Surf and local life!

On Friday Graham wanted to surf.  We decided to stay local, as we wanted to enjoy the fireworks that the Hilton, right next to us, puts on for free as well!  It was a REALLY fun day!

My little surfer dude!  While, I would have loved to get photos of him actually surfing, he had a 1.5 mile paddle out, and we don't have a mega zoom lens, but I can assure you, he had fun!

Then it was off to fireworks, which were gorgeous!

Tourists and locals waiting in anticipation.

It was a gorgeous and fun night, a perfect end to a perfect day!