Thursday, February 25, 2010


Ever buy something solely based on the packaging? You know you do.

This is all I've got for you today. We've got a very serious, perhaps fatal, case of Olympic fever going on in this house.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bee-yooo-ti-ful Borscht

I posted about this over at The Fickle Housewife, but it was so pretty, I thought I'd share it here too. It's the Backseat Gourmet borscht. It was delicious. And picky little Ruby actually ate some of it because she was promised that it would turn her pee pink. And I tell ya, that girl loves pink.

Okay, gotta run. Ice Dancing is on, you know.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Help For Haiti — Delicious Edition

Look what the post brought me today. It's the Help For Haiti cookbook, as spearheaded by Julie Van Rosendaal who is a bit of a local celeb in these parts. Featuring recipes from all sorts of food bloggers, it's chock full of great food ideas.

Unfortunately, they closed production of these books (they're actually Blurb prints, which is how they got it out so quickly) to coincide with the deadline for the Canadian government to match charitable donations to Haitian earthquake relief. I've heard rumours that it might return though, but I'm not sure. Either way, I've already got some beets roasting to make Cheryl's borscht. Stay tuned to The Fickle Housewife to see how it goes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Day, New Blog

Okay, party faithful, I'm taking a short break from my non-stop Olympic watching to let you know I have a new blog. Yeah, I know, since I'm so good at keeping this one updated, I really have time for another one. But, here's the scoop: most of my creative energy has been going towards cooking these days. Because I am a fickle soul, I get bored of recipes really quickly, so I'm constantly combing books and magazines for new taste sensations. Since cooking as a project is much more fun than just cooking to feed your family, I'll chronicle the trials and errors of new recipes with my new blog.

It's called The Fickle Housewife. Please check it out. Feel free to comment. Heck, go ahead and become a follower!

And don't worry, I'll still keep up with Elizaboothy for all my other goings-on. If my children ever give me a chance to spend free time doing anything of any sort every again (it's been one of those weeks).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love To Love You, Baby

We took an impromptu trip up to Edmonton to celebrate the Valentine's/Family Day weekend. You know, Edmonton gets its knocks down here in Calgary, but I gotta say, we had a ton of fun. First up, we stayed at the Hotel Macdonald, which is beyond luxurious. I've been in a lot of Fairmont hotels for visits, lunch, and sometimes even interviews, but I've never actually stayed in one. What an amazing brand they have. Expensive, usually, but we got a great deal and it was really fun to live the high life. Plus there were loads of weddings going on because of the romantic calendar date, so the hotel was full of great energy.

We also took the kids to the World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall, which was so much fun. It was made all the better by the fact that the mall also houses the only Anthropologie in Western Canada (I only allowed myself to shop off the sale rack). We rounded our trip out by a visit to the brand new Art Gallery of Alberta, which is frickin' amazing. Seriously — the exhibits are decent and they really go the extra mile to get the whole family interested in art. The featured exhibit for winter/spring is Degas sculptures, so they had ballet dancing and batik making for the kids. Ruby had a blast. I highly recommend that anyone in Alberta try to make it to Edmonton to check out the gallery, especially for the All-Day Sundays, when they have free crafts and such. Ruby and I made the pendant and card above as part of their Vintage Valentine activity. Fun!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I Heart You

I knew I was going to do it. After helping Ruby to make her paper hearts garland, I needed to make a fabric Valentine's banner. I NEEDED to. Actually, it was practical, because I had this really cute V-Day fabric that I bought from Sew Mama Sew some time ago (sorry, I'm really bad at keeping track of fabric names/designers/etc). It's adorably cute and I was thinking of making a Valentine's apron with it, but I like this even better. I ended up wasting a lot of it to get the motifs I liked (and even then I didn't really take the time to centre them properly), but I'm glad it got put to use. The other fabric (the one with the little people) used is another Sew Mama Sew purchase and then a floral vintage thing I had lying around.

I used the Birthday Banner pattern from Alicia's book Stitched In Time, except without the stenciled letters. I also backed each panel with pink fabric because I am notoriously cheap when it comes to my patterned fabric (which is why you see the same patterns show up in a lot of the stuff I make). You can see the pink when the light shines through, which is okay, since I chose pretty non-Valentine-y fabrics so that the men folk in the house would be able to live with it.

Overall I loved making this thing — it was easy, and lets the cute fabric shine. I kind of want to make one for Henry's birthday too, but it's so hard not to just move on to the next thing.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Paper Hearts

I will not lie -- it has not been a great week in these parts. Ruby's birthday weekend was a blur that ended in us all becoming sick and tired -- both figuratively and literally. The kids and I have lost patience with each other and the times friends, have not been fun. But we did manage to pull off a fun V-Day craft.

For Valentine's, Ruby's class decided to turn their playhouse into a restaurant, but Ruby was dismayed that the restaurant didn't feature any "beautiful decorations." So she suggested that we paint some paper, cut out some hearts and string them together. So we did. We started by painting:

And then cut the painting into hearts. I simply ran them together through the sewing machine and had an instant garland. Easy peasy. It did hurt a bit to cut up the painting because it's so awesome, and it also hurt to hand it over to her teacher, because I kind of wanted to keep it. And I'm understanding how so many blogger types go garland crazy, because garlands are pretty boss. I really want to make a fabric Valentine's garland, but am far too exhausted.

Oh, and have you heard about the Blog Aid cookbook for Haiti? There's more info on that here. It looks totally awesome and I can hardly wait to find mine in the mail. Because, like garlands, a girl can never have too many recipes.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Magically Revolting

From top to bottom: Shrimp Cucumber Diadem, Wiener Tiara, Macaroni Loaf

This weekend we threw a Nostalgic Nosh party, where all participants had to cook a dish or two from a vintage cookbook. It was really fun (perhaps the cocktails that Aaron was pouring helped on that front), and for the most part, the food was... well, edible. I made the Diadem (a double layered jelly salad with the top layer being gelatin flavoured with chicken broth and onion with shrimp, and the bottom being cucumber, lime jello, mayo and sour cream), the Wiener Tiara (with a orange-flavoured Stove Top Stuffing centre) and a Lime Angel Pouf Pie (not pictured). I had to include this Macaroni Loaf that my friend Jane made because it is so beautiful.

Does the Diadem look gross to you? Well, it was. Everyone tried some, and some people said it was okay, neither Aaron nor I needed to be that polite and we admitted that it was disgusting. Sometimes recipes should stay in the vault. With that said, next time I'm trying the jellied corned beef/potato salad diadem. It has horseradish!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Dear Ruby (Part 5)

Dear Ruby,

You are now five. Every year I like to write you an open letter around the time of your birthday, although this year I hardly feel like it because, lady, I am exhausted. At least in our world, five is the first year a kid has real friends. Friends who come to a fun birthday party. Yesterday we had a birthday party with eight of your friends and my darling, it nearly killed me. Though it was so lovely to see you sequestered with the girls in your room, dressing like princesses while the boys chased each other and pretended they were monsters.

So, five. Your changes are so much more subtle every year and I can see you growing into a very poised and charming girl. You have your quirks: you are stubborn and seem to possess the Finnish trait called Sisu -- but your stormy nature is usually overrun by your kindness, your sweetness and your zest for life. When you get excited, like when you talk about your trip to Disneyland, you are so full of words that you can barely contain yourself. You love playing with your friends and have become a natural leader at your school. The other kids seem to adore you and flock around you, wanting your attention.

But, as much as you love your friends, you love your family even more. Your little brother is, in your words, a pain in the butt, but you do your best to keep him happy and are genuinely kind and loving to him. And you give me the best hugs and kisses in the world. Boy, do I ever feel loved. And I hope more than anything that you feel the same from me. Because, my princess I love you more than you could ever imagine. Even more than you love the colour pink.