Tag Archives: blogs

two bloggers, two babies, r.a.o.k.#5!

before i started reading blogs, i used to entirely pooh-pooh the idea that online dating could ever work: how could you possibly get to know someone if your only contact was through messaging and emailing? hrumph, said my inner, cynical self.

well, since entering the world of blogging, i have changed my tune: i now believe that yes, over time, you can get a fairly accurate and true sense of a person’s personality via their online sharings, communications, and writing style.

i really like the blogs that i have in my current rotation! i visit my favourite blogs three times, twice daily -  and after more than two years of this routine, i do feel like i *know* these girls!

back in august, janae had the cutest little girl (baby brooke). janae has the best sense of humour (see yesterday morning’s post as an example), and i appreciate her love of her family and her enjoyment of running. her blog is among my very top picks.

then, just on september 7th, kath gave birth to mazen, a sweet baby boy! what exciting times in the blog world!

for some reason, i got the distinct vibe that i would like to celebrate each of these births with the new parents [i know myself: when i keep getting a recurring thought to do such-and-such, i really should just follow through]. so i decided to put together little gift packs [r.a.o.k.#3 was very similar - i gave my second cousin a "welcome, baby" set of presents. i like to mark happy baby occasions!!]. putting together unexpected surprises is much, much fun.

in terms of getting the packages to kath and janae, i knew i could send kath’s to her husband matt’s bakery in cville, va (the address is on the bakery website). i emailed janae through the “contact” button on her blog, and received the warmest reply back just a couple hours later. cool! time to put my plan into action!

i decided to send both janae/brooke and kath/maze a sweater from my handknit/personal design collection:

unique creations – i didn’t even record a pattern for the colour combos…

for brooke – a variety of bright colours!

for maze: hand print buttons, all different colours!

and i added a little something for the parents:

kath appreciates the “eat local” philosophy: apple butter from our nearby town of wellesley!

janae is a candy connaisseur, so two items that are uniquely canadian (president’s choice brand chocolate and smarties!)

all boxed up…

a little running humour for janae with that running recovery brew box!

…and ready for the post office!

(i added the addresses post-photo!).

safe travels, little boxes!

[sidenote, just to clarify: my motivation in completing this project was purely for the joy of planning out surprises; i am not trying to get exposure for my blog, my knitting or myself! babies + gifting is an act that makes me happy!].

how many blogs would you say you read iin a day? i find i have to put limits on my blog-perusing time or it could be a full-time commitment!

theme week: WIAW

of all of the themes that i’m participating in this week, what i ate wednesday baffles me the most.

1. for the uninitiated, there is a genre of blogging called “healthy living blogs.” some of these professional bloggers (example, example, example) make their living by photographing, writing about and posting ( up to three times daily!) what they eat (an how they work out) every day. kudos to these ladies for their devotion, i could not sustain that pace! i also cannot believe the popularity of these blogs – it’s a huge industry! i take it that we are to gather inspiration and ideas from these website food logs -  and that is also the purpose of WIAW.

2. to my mind, what i ate wednesday translates to what i ate ON wednesday. so i would take pictures on wednesday then post WIAW on thursday…ok, that’s confusing, i am obviously over-thinking things!

3. i would not want to open myself up to the criticism and scrutiny of posting every bite that goes into my mouth. snarkers are gonna snark, and it would not be fun to constantly receive comments that you eat too healthy, eat too many carbs, eat too much, eat too little, spend too much on food, get too many freebies…not my cup of tea. maybe i would think differently if i actually could make a living off of blogging?!

ok, so let’s move on to my version of WIAW

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or!…

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[i do not read jenn's blog, peas and crayons, (jenn is the founder and host of WIAW) but i think i am supposed to link to her if i use the WIAW button??!]

1. haha, again – things work out as they’re meant to be, because i have a great foodie photo from last week wednesday! remember when dad and g’ma and i went to swiss chalet for lunch?!

here is my quarter chicken dinner, dark meat, with fries and a roll, dipping sauce, and perrier water

all right! i am thumping my chest in glee that i have at least one interesting pic for you!

2. here is a new-to-me product that i tried this week:

i pan-fried the tempeh then added it to my salad!

ok, i am seriously laughing so hard because i am trying to picture the look on dad and the brother’s faces if i ever presented them with this *bacon* – even i can say that this is NOT anywhere CLOSE to “real” bacon!!! this product is tempeh pre-cut into bacon-ish slices, that is all.

this tempeh bacon was ok – i do love tempeh, but in future, i will go back to just buying regular tempeh. the smoky maple flavoured marinade was not bad, but i do prefer plain tempeh.

3. here are four photos of items that are regular staples:

i like an appetizer of fresh veggies dipped in that blue cheese salad dressing

those cherry tomatoes were a gift from my neighbour who has a garden plot and has been blessed with a proliferance of baby toms this summer. they’re delicious! and the taste exactly like the little tomatoes my grandpa c grew in his garden when i was little. nature’s candy!

yogurt, frozen, with choco chips on top

i’ve shared this *exciting recipe* with you before: you plop your favourite regular yogurt in a freezer-friendly container, add on some choco chips, and freeze. defrost, then enjoy!

a nutrient-balanced snack!

this concoction is a brainwave i am proud of: take a scoop of pro powder, add just enough water to make an icing-like consistency, then spread your mixture onto apple quarters. this is one of my favourite quick ‘n’ easy snack options.

i MUST have cereal before bed! this was a great bowl – there are at least six types of cereal in this mix! and i always use that pottery bowl!

i do have a dilemma for which i need to find a solution: i NEED cereal before bed! how am i going to transport several nights’ worth of cereal to florida for disney?? cereal is a totally necessary part of my carb-loading routine! again, i am chuckling because i can just see me checking a whole suitcase of cereal and almond milk on my flight down south…i need to think on this some more. either i seriously DO just pack a sh!tload of cereal or i have five months to find a new evening carb that fuels me up…good thing i have some time!

ok – your turn! what’s one thing you ate yesterday and/or a new product you have tried and/or would you ever want to be a food blogger?? today mom and i are off on a shopping adventure and we will be partaking in food court offerings!

it’s too bad there are only 26 letters in the alphabet

today’s blog post fulfills my last *duty* as a participant in the blogging from a-z april challenge.

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the challenge organizers invited us to post our thoughts in a final reflections post, today (monday, may 7th). so, with no further ado, here is my summary.

in a nutshell, i ♥ loved ♥ participating in the blogging challenge. i adored every aspect: the 30 day timeline (finite); the structure of using a new letter of the alphabet for each day’s blog entry; the unlimited creativity to interpret a-z as we wished; the interaction with other bloggers…i am so happy i jumped on board.

i first heard about the a-z challenge months ago on stephanie‘s blog when she mentioned it. i thought, hey! that would be super fun to do! then i completely forgot about the idea. a few days before the end of march, stephanie made reference once again to the challenge. i decided to participate for sure, but in very uncharacteristic kiki fashion, i only formally signed up about 24 hours before the official launch (my mind was fixed on editing my april fool’s joke). by posting a second post on april 1st, i was able to work in the letter a quite seamlessly!

some more random thoughts:

~ i am really glad i interpreted the challenge as i did -> using the letter of the alphabet as the first letter in my blog post title for the day. i can’t tell you how much fun i had thinking up quirky headlines! honestly, i cracked myself up some days (ex: butter of the almond variety, jar two). it was also bizarrely serendipitous how often a blog title easily lined up with a current life event. (ex: upgrade? yes or no, no stopping monday). for some letters, multiple ideas fought for exposure (ex: the letter “c”). for other letters, i had to scrounge deep into my brain for several days on end to come up with the eureka moment (ex: the letter “v”).

~ blog friends stephanie and fran also completed the challenge – i really looked forward to reading their blogs each day to see how they would interpret our letter of the day!

~ my blog has a steady readership, and the number of hits received each day is pretty stable. so you can imagine my astonishment when on days three and four (“c” and “d”), the blog measured more than six times the usual number of views! i have no clue how or why this occurred. was it simply because i was on the challenge list and other participants were eagerly reading every blog on the participation list? things gradually settled down back to normal, after that. puzzling.

~ speaking of other participants, it would have been super cool to read every a-z challenge blog at least once during the month. for that, however, i would have needed to be on full-time vacation! so many blogs, so little time….

[sidenote: my own opinion is that blogging this final post a week after the "z" entry is anti-climactic. i would have arranged it so that this entry appeared on tuesday, may 1st...].

finally, the a-z challenge presented a conundrum: i honestly love daily blogging – it’s a rhythm that sits well with me. so far in 2012, i have tried posting mon-wed-fri, and most recently, just whenever i feel like it. blogging 6/7 days was awesomely satisfying. however…with daily blogging, as i’ve said before, i really have to organize my time and make sure i have time to write. i get stressed if i have no ideas and/or if i have limited time! but, daily interaction with you is thoroughly enjoyable. i talk to my mom every day, i email with bff debbie every day…i genuinely enjoy blogging every day as a means of social communication and as a creative outlet (like knitting). so, where does that leave us for the rest of may? i honestly don’t know!! just a heads-up that i do have ideas for each day this week…i guess we’ll figure out the rest of the month as it unrolls! [ack! that is so not my style!].

did you celebrate cinco de mayo on saturday? me -> no. would you believe that i had not even heard of this festive drinking *holiday* until a couple of years ago?? i think i just live in the wrong climate. tangent: i have never had a margarita. note to self: organize as a new experience for 2013!

janetha saves the day

so, what do you do when the urge to blog strikes, but you have nothing even remotely interesting exceptional to say? why, you turn to a survey, of course! and luckily, janetha composed an a-z style questionnaire not too long ago. it’s funny because i had been thinking, “it sure would be fun to do a q & a session again,” then bingo, janetha posted her quiz. this techie/crafty girl even produced a template that you can access here should you, too, wish to play along on your blog!

a is for age shall we do the oil of olay “how old do you THINK i am??”

file photo from the december teeth whitening experiment; whiter teeth = a younger look, right?!

actually, since the name of my blog gives away my age, this question is not all that revealing. as of today, i am 42 years, two months and 12 days old.

b is for breakfast today the usual: oatmeal dolloped with peanut butter, apple spread with peanut butter. [it's getting too warm for hot oats and i am losing the love...].

c is for currently craving to SPRING CLEAN THE CONDO CASA. my fingers are positively ITCHING to get going on this! the overall feeling of dust and grime is driving me batty.

d is for dinner tonight a hugh jass salad including: tinned salmon; avocado; almonds; nutritional yeast; pickles; fresh veg; lite catalina. [sidenote: when i was little, i abhorred the bones in tinned salmon and would freak right out if my sandwich had stray "white crunchy bits" in it. now i LOVE the taste and texture of the salmon bones!]. and cereal before bed, bien sûr!

e is for favourite type of exercise do i have to pick only one?? no can choose between stairmaster and running. back in the day, i would have said aerobics!

f is for an irrational fear i am scared of cats, specifically the look in their eyes. they seem to look right into my interior, and i imagine they are going to bare fangs and pounce on my head. (apologies to all my cat-loving readers). remember, this is an IRRATIONAL fear!

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g is for gross food onions of any type, ham, rice pudding.

h is for hometown i was born in kitchener and now live about 10 km away in waterloo.

i is for something important living life with an attitude of optimism and positivity.

j is for current favourite jam as in fruit spread or music?! lately, i really light up when i hear i like how it feels by enrique iglesias.

k is for kids my nieces are the best!!

i love our annual gingerbread house decorating day!!

l is for current location well, it depends on when you are reading this! today i work at theOTHERstore til 5:15 p.m., and am going to friday night knitting club this evening.

m is for the most recent way you spent money groceries at food basics [followed by the dance of joy and chortles of delight because of all the money i saved!].

n is for something you need to win the lottery?? haha! the tanktop with eyeballs?? a facial??…let’s go back to that spring cleaning issue…

o is for occupation i am a proud retail sales professional (assistant manager at the store and theOTHERstore).

p is for pet peeve people who walk slowly, drive slowly, talk slowly, open doors slowly…

q is for a quote: “don’t ask what the world needs. ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ howard thurman [this is the quote that is on the bottom of emails i send out from my gmail account].

r is for a random fact about you i have not used an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning for at least the past 3-5 years. i just tell myself when i want to wake up, and it works!

s is for favourite healthy snack a protein bar and it must have chocolate in it.

t is for favourite treat any baked squares or cake or crisp with apples in it. the very best apple square can be found at tango palace in toronto.

u is for something that makes you unique i can squish more into a day than you would think possible. “pulling an erv day” is an inherited skill from dad!

v is for favourite vegetable broccoli is great! i would not have said that as a child!

w is for today’s workout today is a srd (scheduled rest day) and i will take a walk after work.

x is for xrays you’ve had teeth (never had a cavity) and lower extremities to rule out stress fractures (a couple of times when i was in my 20s).

y is for yesterday’s highlight a tie: 1) my friends from the store, lee and jeannie, popped in with darling, 10 DAY old baby e [a different "e" than my little e!]. and i got to hold her! chatting with lee and jeannie and snuggling the little newborn was the best. 2) i visited with bff debbie over at her house, last eve. there really is nothing as relaxing and FUN as getting together with a friend, in person. plus, we watched an home tour chez ♥george clooney♥ that debbie had pvr’d. much sighing ensued.

z is for your time zone eastern!

it’s your turn – share away! the key to answering questions like these is not to think too much – i like to shout out type the first responses that pop into my head!

fun facts – janetha also blogs entirely in lower case, is very close with her family, and ♥loves♥ cereal!

a santa’s sack of ideas

on the eighteenth day of december...

every week, stephanie shares a “reader grab bag” of cool-i-o blog posts or articles that she has found online. being that it’s the christmas season and all, today we have a santas sack in lieu of a grab bag. yes, i am blatantly stealing sharing [you can't write steal and christmas in the same sentence, it's a rule] stephanie’s idea, and below, you will find reads that are worth your time. enjoy!

*****

the perfect foods for health (for baby and you) – i just assumed that babies should eat rice cereal as their first solid food. in this post, on lisa’s blog, she proposes an alternative to that first food for baby. a fascinating read, even if you don’t have a baby.

*****

destination marathons lure casual runners – from last saturday’s k-w record. i am starting to bounce around the idea of doing a running event in a warmer climate in winter, 2013. this article gives a few suggestions of races to consider. i like that stephen of dream travel is quoted – i have dealt with him, personally, and he was super helpful, efficient and informative. ahhh, a get-away from ontario’s cold…i gotta get planning!

*****

my cousin joel’s account of his participation in a pharmaceutical drug trial…in australia, no less! part one, part two, and part three. joel and andrea just came home yesterday from australia – if you poke around further on joel’s blog, you’ll see he’s had quite the new experiences, himself, while living in the land down under!

*****

feeling stressed out of your tree about christmas? read the post “we all know where this leads,” from stephanie, the yarn harlot. i won’t spoil it – just read it, and you will feel better.

*****

sarah hampson, likely my favourite globe and mail writer, interviews regis, likely my favourite (ex)talk show host, in “what i learned from regis philbin.” i liked both the content and the style of this article.

*****

clay baboons: this is stephanie’s (yes, the same stephanie as above) blog which is dedicated solely to her plasticine stories (which also appear on tuesdays on her regular blog (yes, the same link as above). so far, my favourite story is my first running injury (not what you may think) although they are all super funny and fantastically creative.

*****

some children’s cereals have more sugar than a twinkie! click here to read a short news release, and here for the list of the top ten best and worst cereals. i am surprised that my beloved cap’n crunch is *only* number five! i’ve never had numbers 1-4 but based on what i know of the good cap’n, they must be sugar cubes dipped in sugar!

*****

i found this clip in the paper version of last saturday’s globe and mail – it’s so short, i doubt it’s online:

graphic designer christopher rouleau has developed the perfect passive-aggressive solution to the perils of urban co-existence. the toronto etiquette project, a series of cards with printed suggestions of public behaviour modifications, are designed to be handed out to offending strangers. self-righteousness, with a smile! [can you imagine?? "um, excuse me miss, but your high decibel shrieking into your cell phone is offending me. (hand her a card). have a nice day!" not something i see myself trying!].

*****

and lastly: sick of christmas music? play this song! loud!

what’s something neat and interesting that you’ve read this week? help me expand my mind!

blogging: change is in the air

my all-time favourite childhood movie was mary poppins. i always cried when she sang “feed the birds,” and again at the end, when she left the children. i wanted her to stay and be the nanny forever! but, mary poppins just knew it was time to leave when she sensed a change in the air.

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it’s time for me to make a blogging schedule change!

this is not going to be some melodramatic, sob-story post…no worries there! but, i do want to just have on record that i’m returning to my blogging roots. when i started the 1970kikiproject blog in january 2010, i only blogged when i had something to say about one of my projects.

in that same vein, i am going to switch up to blogging:

  • when i have a new experience to share with you
  • special occasions/holidays/celebrations
  • when i just can’t keep my mouth shut and am super-excited about something

like i said, this is really nbd – except for the fact that i am breaking my blogging streak of posting an entry every day in 2011 (and that is one of my eleven for ’11 goals, too). yes, that irks me. i’m a perfectionist, i like to stick by my word, i like to complete goals. [hey! now that i know i won't achieve all eleven goals, i don't have to start cooking! that was an "eleven for '11" goal that had yet to get off the ground!]

however, blogging is a hobby, and a creative outlet. and when i pressure myself (i fully realize these are self-imposed expectations) to come up with ideas, *make* blogging time happen when i’d rather be doing something else…well, something’s gotta give. i ♥ blogging and want to keep that enthusiasm intact!

it’s funny that we make new year’s resolutions anyway…a lot can happen in twelve little months! for sure, i am not the same person as i was back on january 1st – so as i evolve, it’s ok to have plans be malleable, too. [wow, that yoga stuff is rubbing off on my psyche, eh?!]

as mentioned earlier this week, i am having so much fun at work and am pouring more energy into those hours of the day. that is just perfect for this moment in time!

now, the funny thing is that i have a few new experiences on the horizon…so near-daily blog posts may continue in the coming week!

we’ll chat soon, friends!

Crashing the 7 Links Party

Within the last week, a very fun idea has been popping up on several of the blogs I like to read. Bloggers such as Caitlin, Monica and Gabriela have all participated in the “ My 7 Links” Challenge.From that link, here’s what it’s about:

The Goal: To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

The Rules:

1)     Blogger is nominated to take part. [C-R-A-S-H!]

2)     Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

The blogger then nominates five other bloggers to take part.

I ♥ this idea!

But, since I am but a small frog blog in a big pond, I could be waiting til I’m an old woman quite some time to be picked. So, hopefully I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes, but I’m just going to grab this idea and run with it!

Your most beautiful post: Any post about my family comes straight from my heart. One of my favourites, then, is this family review, “Friday Photos II: Feeling Thanksgiving-ish at Easter.”

Your most popular post: Well, the post that received by far the most hits was my review of the Stitch n Kitsch event. Someone very nicely posted a link to my blog post on the Stitch ‘n’ Kitsch Facebook page, so that explains that. But, anytime I talk about coffee, (?!) I receive a lot of feedback!

Your most controversial post: Haha, this one is not really applicable because I loathe and detest being involved in controversy, and am a commited confrontation-avoider! So, let’s go with the post, “U.S. Envy” because that could be construed as a little unpatriotic!

Your most helpful post: Well, I don’t really think I’m all that helpful on the blog, either! But, when I wrote “How to Blog Every Day and Stay Sane,” some commenters appreciated the sentiments expressed.

A post whose success surprised you: “Stashes!” Who knew that confessions about grocery hoarding would be so popular?!

A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved: Ok, this is my mini-rant. Sometimes, I’ll spend literally 1-2 hours on a blog post, and feel like screaming “Read me! Read me!” on twitter or facebook (or directly emailing friends and family) because I’m so proud of my efforts. Then, other days, I seriously just spout chitchat off the top of my head, and see tons of feedback via comments and hits. Go figure! For this category, I’ll go with “It’s Friday! Let’s Talk Books!” because it received zero comments, and I spent oodles of time on it, I remember.

The post you are most proud of: I am very happy with how my two solo travel experiences have gone: in July, 2010, I spent two weeks in Florida, then in March, 2011, I traveled to Aruba. So, let’s go with the Florida recap post, “Let’s Revisit Those Pre-Trip Predictions.”

Since I already broke Rule #1 of this Challenge, I really should just rhyme off five bloggers to whom I further bestow this challenge. Let me know if you want to participate and crash this blog party with me!

AND, I want to add one more category of my own to this challenge (since the rules are out the window, by this point, anyhow): the blog post you had the most fun composing. I remember when I wrote up “Magic Eight Ball Cookies,” I was laughing as I typed, kid you not!

~*~*~*~*~

I wanted to show you: I wore *the dress* to Toronto on Thursday. Not this dress (I’m not Aunti, the Disney Princess) but this *dress.*

I paired it up with granny conservative undergarments, and just didn’t venture far from The Brother and SIL Ana’s house. So cool!

yes, i cropped off my head - i couldn't get a good expression going!!

better with the glasses, no?!

pulling out all the stops with the nails!

Have you ever crashed a party? I have not. In fact, I haven’t even seen The Wedding Crashers (note to self: put this film on August’s To Do List…since there are no July To Do’s!)

Survey Sez!

It’s FRI-day!! And no one wants to think on a Friday.

[Tangent: best game show ever was Family Feud - yup, even better than The Price Is Right. I even had a play-at-home cardboard and paper version of FF when I was little!]

So let’s do a survey. It’s been a whole one week + since the last one, so let’s hop to it.

This ABC-style questionnaire is a popular one of late in the blog world. I found it first on Janetha‘s website, but Angela and Gabriela (among others) also have shared their answers.

A is for Apple. What’s your favourite variety? I ♥ apples a lot! I like any and all crisp, crunchy, hard apples. At the top of my list: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith; Red Delicious if they’re crisp and sweet (they can be mealy and mushy). In my fridge right now…

royal gala (L), fuji (R)

B is for Bread. Regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains, what is your favourite type of which to have a big slice? Preferring GF carb choices, I didn’t like rice bread all that much. But I do love the rice bagels (hey, also a B-word!) from Healthy Foods and More. Here are two more breads that stand out in my mind: my Auntie Anne’s homemade bread that she always served with dinner when we were over, and Beer Bread – this one was an oft-made recipe when we were teens. It went exceptionally well with BBQ’d steak and caesar salad. [I thought I had the recipe, but I can't find it - it's so good, I would have posted the how-to's right here, right now. You'll just have to trust me on this!].

C is for Cereal. What is your favourite kind currently? (just one!).

No fair! With a cupboard like this…

cereal space is full to capacity, right now!

…and, clearly, a refined cereal palate, this is a near-impossible question to answer. But I’ll go with Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins.

D is for Donuts. What kind do you fancy? Hmmm…another toughie. In general terms, anything with chocolate; specifically, chocolate glazed from Tim Horton’s.

E is for Eggs. How would you like yours prepared? Poached if I don’t have to do it; microwaved-scrambled if I do have to make them.

F is for Fat-Free. What is your favourite fat-free product? This salad dressing:

i never vary my choice

The Brother and I simply call it “Red.”

G is for Groceries. Where do you purchase yours? I live right across the street from Valumart, so 80-90% of my food purchases are made there. However, I also frequent health food stores and the market, when I can. Rarely do I drive anywhere to get groceries, which is kinda cool.

H is for Hot Beverages. What is your favourite hot drink? Haha! Had you asked me in early January, I would have replied, “I do not like hot beverages.” But since then…the previously dormant inner coffee giant has roared to life. Coffee it is! [Specifically, Starbucks Via individual packs].

I is for Ice Cream. Pick a favourite flavour and add a fun topping. Since childhood, I have loved chocolate chip ice cream. The best, to this day, remains Baskin Robbins. (BR even beats my Marble Slab cone). Let’s sprinkle on rainbow sprinkles for some fun.

J is for Jams or Jellies. Do you eat them, and if so, what flavour and kind? I don’t favour jams nor jellies. How can I be my mother’s daughter?!

K is for Kashi. Name your favourite Kashi Product. Kashi Go Lean Crunch [A cereal question? If there was a buzzer involved in this quiz, I'da been Quick Lightening in my response!]

L is for Lunch. What is yours today? Well, it’s < 7 a.m., so yesterday’s lunch (at the store): cottage cheese; rice bagel; apple with peanut butter; nuts and chocolate chips.

M is for Microwave. What is your favourite microwave meal or snack? Breakfast!! Oatmeal cooked in the microwave with peanut butter then spooned on top.

N is for Nutrients. Do you like carbs, proteins or fats best? Carbs! Specifically veggies, fruit and cereal.

O is for Oil. What kind do you like to use? Canola. Healthy and mild in flavour.

P is for Protein. How do you get yours? Here’s my five most frequent sources: tofu, seafood, cottage cheese, peanut butter, eggs.

Q is for Quaker. How do you like your oats? I like GF oats microwaved with peanut butter. [Dad would have a much more in-depth answer to this question. He is Hot Cereal King].

R is for Roasting. What is your favourite thing to roast? Can I say my skin? As in being outside in the sun?! Joke! I love portabella mushrooms, roasted.

S is for Sandwich. What is your favourite kind? DEFINITELY the ‘wich I had at thrive juice bar when I went there with Angela and Odette. It was a grilled portabello, tempeh and spinach sandwich on a GF bun. Note to self: go back there asap.

T is for Travel. How do you handle eating while travelling? On a plane, small snacks frequently as I can get a nauseous stomach easily.

U is for Unique. What is one of your weirdest food combos? Oh, this one is easy: a can of tuna mixed in a flavoured yogurt cup (like Danon or Silhouette). I used to eat this at the store all the time and everyone sneered at it – til they tried it, then they’d report back that it was delicious. AND I got the idea from the Food Network!

V is for Vitamins. What do you take? I take Vitamin C (chewable), Calcium (chewable) – - > because they taste good. Also glucosamine – taken that for years.

W is for Wasabi – yea or nay? Never had it, so I guess that’s a nay!

X is for X-Ray. If we x-rayed your belly right now, what food would we see? Since it’s < 7 a.m., you’d find leftovers from last night’s dinner!

Y is for Youth. What food reminds you of your childhood? Boy, have you got 30 minutes? The stories and items I could recount…! Here are five: homemade hamburgers; homemade macaroni and cheese; homemade cookies; homemade blueberry pie; homemade iced tea.

Z is for zucchini. How do you prepare it? Rinse it under cold water, cut into rings, eat raw (dipped in “Red!”)

Wow – that ended up being longer than I anticipated! It’s actually almost breakfast time!…

Take the first two letters of your first name, and answer those questions! I’d be CEREAL and APPLES for Cathy!

Best game show ever?? Can you believe I’ve never watched Wheel of Fortune!

How to Blog Every Day…And Stay Sane

Progress is coming along nicely on my 2011 Goals!

~ Travel: yup – thanks, Aruba

~ Outings of the Month: on track

~ Eclectic Dishes Collection: yes! proof positive: Meg, Lief and Robin; pottery mug + plate

~ Blogging Every Day: 82/82 !!

I started this blog in January 2010. Last year, I blogged whenever, but mostly just tracked the 1970 Kiki Projects.

For 2011, I wanted to see what it would be like to *have* to blog every day. I’d embark on a streak, so to say! Don’t say I never warned you about my addictive personality!

Here, then, are some random lessons gleaned from daily blogging

~ PLAN: We know I love to plan. I love to plan my plans. I plan my planning time. It’s no different when it comes to blogging. Due to work, family commitments, social outings, home responsibilities, I can’t blog at the same time every day. Once in a while, there is no time for blogging (thank you, WordPress Scheduler!).

my daily agenda with work, appts, to dos...still a paper and pen kinda gal...

...and then theres the BLOGGING agenda (seriously)! i block out blogging time and (possible) topics

~ determine your preferred schedule: As an early-bird, I am most creative in the morning, although before bed works, too, for some reason. Blogging should be a fun hobby. Write when you have the time, feel creative, and will enjoy the process.

go with your natural voice: I do best when I write as if I was chatting. Whenever I try to get more formal, I get stuck [even making this list is not flowing easily, right now...]. Some of my favourite posts are just the random this-’n’-that entries. Do you know how many times I have started an essay on “Jersey Shore and Body Image?!” – it’s just so not happening! [The ideas are in my head and won't come out in my typing!]. (Although, maybe you just can’t get *philosophical* when Jersey Shore is your theme?!) Over time, your “comfortable voice” will emerge most often.

~ choose a theme or a project: Any post relating to a 1970 Kiki Project practically writes itself!

~ vary your topics: It’d be a pretty boring blog if allll I did was talk about knitting, or the store, or the nieces [well, I wouldn't be bored at all by that last one!]

~ keep your eyes open:  I’ve learned to carry my camera and a pen with me at all times. A photo or an incident, a chance encounter, or a “deep thought” can trigger an idea for the blog. I may use the idea asap, or tuck it away for another day.

~ go with your vibe: The easiest writing just flows out the fingers. Trying to force a certain entry is tortuous [like this one]! I know it’s the right post for today when I hit publish and sigh a pleasant breath of contentment.

~ remember who you’re blogging for: What works for me: when I blog for myself [sounds selfish, but it's true]. I pretend: if no one read my blog at all, what would I say? I love entries that make me laugh, warm my heart, leave me with a sense of creative satisfaction.

[Honestly, I'm not thrilled with this post, isn't that ironic? When brainstorming ideas, I liked the turns of phrases that came to mind; right now, I'm challenged!]

What’s your ideal blogging schedule? I genuinely enjoy once-a-day blogging.

Some bloggers blog weekdays, others write six days a week…while some publish entries two or three times a day, every day!

Any blogging tips that work for you? Gina has had good luck setting a timer and writing only until she hears the “bing!”

Have a great day! I’m off to see the little ones! [I'm not planning to blog about it, this time!]

The Same, Yet Not

Tuesday, I had the day off work. Since I was all caught up on housework, errands, and just wasn’t feeling the urge to embark on spring cleaning tasks, I spent a lot of time blogging and knitting (these would be two of my favourite things).

For the blogging portion of the day, I sat for a while in the Huether Cafe.

It was quiet, and I could perch in the big front window, spread out my laptop and mouse (dislike doing lots of computer work without using my mouse), drink coffee, and peoplewatch. Doesn’t get much more enjoyable than that.

When I returned home to my knitting, I propped open the glass sliding doors in the Condo Casa and let the sunlight stream in, and the fresh breeze clear out some of the winter cobwebs – both in my head, and in the living room corners – haha!

Yesterday, I again had the day off. Seeing as Wednesday = Aunti Goes to Toronto Day, and being that I had no appointments scheduled in the morning, I hightailed it down the 401 relatively early in the morning, and passed a lovely day in Ontario’s Capital City.

(source)

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s sunshine turned into Wednesday’s rainshowers:

a good day to break out the (almost) duck-feet!

Once again, knitting and blogging were the themes of the day.

After arriving in TO, I worked on A’s sweater. Second sleeve = finito! I’m like a horse with blinders on, now, in regards to this project!

(source)

Around noon, I ventured to The Purple Purl. I’ve been approached about doing another commissioned knitting project, so I went to my favourite Toronto yarn shop to research wool.

now this is my idea of being like "a kid in a candy store!"

The afternoon was the perfect opportunity to visit the Dark Horse coffee shop – I’ve been dying to set up shop at their communal wooden table for years!

sharing a common (gorgeous wood) table adds a real sense of community to the coffee shop experience!

Of course, I had a coffee. Can’t absorb the atmosphere and not order something!

mmmm.....large decaf americano (brought my own stevia!)

Unfortunately, I could not connect to a network, despite repeated attempts PLUS three re-boots of my laptop, so I did not last long. Too bad – I really like the indy atmosphere in there:

i think they rotate the art on a frequent basis, and feature local artists

All in all, a very fine day. And the icing on the cake? Time spent with Little E and Baby C!

How do you like to spend a rainy day off?

*#*#*#*#*

Remember last week when I found a copy of the Oprah magazine in the Recycling Room?

i'd love to set up a more formal magazine lending library in our building! save trees and save $ - share!

I’ve finished paging through it. It was an OK read. I DO like Oprah, and I DO like the variety of topics covered in each issue of her magazine.

One pet peeve to comment on (note, this PP is not unique to this magazine – lots of other ‘zines grab our attention this way, too):

when i see a headline on the front cover, i expect in-depth coverage inside...

entire length of the feature? ONE PAGE!!! this is it!

And no blasts of brilliance on how to save your money, either. The four main points?

~ Go international

~ Look for in-season produce

~ Eat meatless or meat-light

~ Make your own (ex: salad dressing)

Nothing we haven’t seen before.

I don’t mind short ‘n’ sweet articles; just don’t make them out to be more than they are, by highlighting them on the front cover.

What’s one of your magazine pet peeves? Photoshopping and airbrushing also turn me off!

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