Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo To You

Happy Halloween. I'm not a huge Halloween person (no holiday can hold a light to Christmas), but I am a fan of anything that's fun for my kids. Yesterday Ruby's school held a class party and it was really fun. Ruby has recycled her Queen costume from last year (it's actually a princess costume, but she insists on being the Queen), which made for way less work for me, since I refuse to buy a pre-made costume. She's so cute and is excited for Halloween to come and go, since she knows Christmas follows fairly soon after. The apple does not fall far from the tree with this one.

This morning we carved up our pumpkins, with Ruby drawing the faces. I love these. She's still pretty new at actually drawing stuff that looks like stuff, so I cherish every attempt. And I'm sure once lit, these things will actually look kind of scary.

On a side note, has anyone seen any examples of Obama-themed cupcakes online? I want to make a special treat for Tuesday to celebrate (or alternately, drown our sorrows in sugar) with.

UPDATE: Check this out for all your Barack-baking needs. And, on a similar note, this has been making me smile all week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stacking The Pages

So I have been slowly working on Henry's knitted book. Dudes, I'm not so sure how this one is going to turn out. Intarsia is not my forte, that I have leaned. I don't know if I didn't choose the best possible gauge or yarn, but it's not looking nearly as tight as any of the other ones on Ravelry. Or it just could be that I'm not a tight enough knitter and not very details oriented. Or it might all look way better once I block it.

I'm pretty happy with the almost finished moon, which was way easier because of the minimal colour changes. The other page you see here is a fish, in case you were wondering. Either way, I'm kind of glad that this gift is staying in the family (and going to a baby), since it may not end up being my best work.

I have one page to go. It's the sun, which is one of the most complicated of the bunch. Hopefully I'll get a start on it tonight over some Barack Obama infomercial action and a marathon session of CNN.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Off Topic...

Okay, I know, this is totally off topic and not in line with what I usually write about. But, what is with the voting in the U.S.? Like a lot of other people in Canada, I am pretty fixated with your election, my American friends, and spend a lot of time watching CNN. I see long long lines, a full week before the election. Problems with machines. Confusion. People being denied. What's up.

In Canada we go to our polling station and usually don't have to wait at all. They give us a ballot and a golf pencil. We draw an X by the candidate of our choice. If there is more than one vote that day they give us multiple pieces of paper. We drop our paper in a box. They count them and release the results later that night.

I know there are 10 times as many people in the States, but there should also be 10 times as many poll workers, right? So why does television footage of your voting process look like that of a third world country?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brownies For Boys

Ten years ago, like most people in their early 30s, I assume, my life was much different than it is now. I was single, living downtown, working as the music editor at an free urban weekly, and hosting a campus radio show. I had been through my first big real heartbreak, went out almost every night and relied very heavily on my very close-knit group of friends. I think everyone goes through a phase in their life where the friends they make will be the friends that they'll have for the rest of their life -- for some it's high school, for others it's their first few years of working in an office or a bar or a store. For me, it's the people I met during my last few years of university and the year or two after I graduated. Not surprisingly, I didn't talk to them daily when I was living in Toronto for those five years, but, for the most part, they were all still here when Aaron and I returned.

When we first got back to Calgary I thought "oh my God, no one has changed a bit!" But that wasn't really true. Some of them still live downtown, but others have settled down, bought houses on the outskirts of the inner city and stay in way more than they go out. While we all used to obsess over the Gintastic (an invention of a bartender at our favourite indie rock club), we now have wine tasting parties. Most of us now know how to cook (my goodness!) and when we get together, we go to expensive restaurants and order fancy meals. And now, we're getting together with our babies.

I made the brownie that you see above (from Jamie Oliver's Cook With Jamie) to take to a get together today featuring four of us who have had baby boys this year (there's another who also had a little boy very recently who is still recovering from her C-section). Four baby boys. I really never thought I would see this day, and it makes me so happy.

P.s. Okay, and as for the brownie, I don't think I would recommend it -- it's too much. The recipe urges you to undercook it -- which I did -- and it was way too gooey. Like pudding. I popped it back in the oven (after I let it cool, since I trusted Jamie when he said it would firm up), and it got a bit more solid, but it was almost too rich to eat. It's basically just chocolate and butter. Delicious, but tummy ache-inducing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Peeps

To cheer ourselves up and usher in Halloween, I picked up a little pumpkin painting kit, consisting of some paint, a brush and six little pumpkins. Simple, no? I was hoping that it would entertain Ruby for a good part of the afternoon, but she didn't want to get fancy with her pumpkin faces, so it only took up a mere 15 minutes of our day (why is it so hard to entertain a pre-schooler when you don't feel like going outside?). But, I think she actually did a pretty good job on the faces, especially since this is a kid who does not really enjoying drawing stuff that actually looks like, you know, stuff.

I've lovingly named the pumpkins: Barack, Joe, Anderson, Campbell, Hilary and Tina Fey. I am watching way too much CNN. November 4 can not come quickly enough. And I'm not even American.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Still here. I know this is becoming a reoccurring theme around here, and my sagging webstats show it. I just went through the Thanksgiving weekend from hell though: husband with pneumonia, which sent him on an ambulance trip to the emergency room and a few days in hospital. Believe me, trying to comfort an ailing husband in the ER and wait for a doctor to find out what's going on while tending to a baby (who can't be left with grandparents because he's still nursing) is not fun. So yes, still here. Perhaps I'll try to blog every day in November to inject some life into this sad blog. Or perhaps I'll crawl into a cave and sleep for a month.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rice Krispie Pie

I've never been big on Rice Krispie squares -- in our house if it ain't chocolate, no one is interested (I don't think Ruby has even tried non-chocolate ice cream. I blame it on all the chocolate she consumed in utero). But, kids seem nutty over Rice Krispie treats, so when I stumbled across the recipe for Chocolate Marshmallow Squares in the new issue of Everyday Food (sorry, too lazy to link, but I'm sure the recipe is also on the Martha Stewart website, they're pretty good that way), I had to make them. Basically, it's just regular Krispie squares with some cocoa thrown in with the melted marshmallows, then some bittersweet chocolate melted and drizzled on top. Goodness me, they were delicious. And trust me, they did not last long.

And, it turned into a Rice Krispie pie, because I weirdly don't have an 8 by 8 baking dish. Next time I'm going to double up and make it in a bigger pan, because it'll be worth my while for sure.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Finnish Start

Did you know that there's a Marimekko store in Vancouver? I almost wish I didn't know -- since we do make it out to Vancouver a fair bit, this could get me in trouble. Aaron's parents were out there last month and Leena stopped in and, being the good Nana that she is, picked up some things for the kids.

Here's the thing: Leena is Finnish (well, she's Canadian, but her family comes from Finland), which makes my kids a full quarter Finnish. I'm not sure why, but this makes me really proud, and in a weird way, it makes me kind of feel Finnish myself (for the record, there's not a drop of Finnish blood in my German/Ukrainian/Irish self). So, I definitely have an affinity for anything Marimekko. And I feel like my kids should indulge in their Finnish heritage via cute clothes and fabrics.

Anyway, here's Ruby's adorable pink Marimekko giraffe dress. It's perfect, since giraffes are her favourite animal. Off to a good Finnish start.