Sunday, February 27, 2011

Camera and ABCs ...


e are waiting for our new DSLR to arrive (ours was stolen, so we had to order a new one).  I knew the two week wait would be unbearable, so I decided to treat myself to a new point and shoot to get me by until the mailman brings my DSLR.  It will be nice to have this extra camera for days when I don't want to lug around the giant, heavy camera.

I played around with it a bit, trying to learn the settings.  I figure I should probably do the same with our DSLR when it arrives, since I had never even learned how to use our old one properly.

Last night I got to try it out when we went for dinner to celebrate some friends' birthdays.  
The hubby and I had some Thai pizza:

This morning I had cinnamon raisin toast and OJ while I did some homework.

We spent the day having lunch with my family, and then hanging out with our little nephew.  
The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.

Dinner at the in-laws included steak, baked potatoes, stuffed tomatoes, garlic toast and mushrooms.  I had a little of each, but a LOT of mushrooms!


Dessert was 2 milk chocolate covered strawberries and a mini blizzard.
(Georgia Mudfudge is the best!)

This ABC Meme is going around the blogosphere ... here are my answers:

ABC Meme

A. Age: 28
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you hate: Hanging up clothes or tidying
D. Dogs: Love them.  Had dogs growing up, but am too busy to be a great doggie parent right now.  We will get a dog or two once we have settled down with kids.
E. Essential start to your day: Shower
F. Favorite color: Black
G. Gold or silver: Gold for sure!
H. Height: 5' 6"
I. Instruments you play: None, but I have a piano and want to learn.
J. Job title: Teacher/ Student
K. Kids: Yes, definitely.  I want 4.
L. Live: Well
M. Mom’s name: Carol
N. Nicknames: Jo, Jonie (best friend calls me this sometimes), and then a bunch of silly ones that the hubby calls me :-)
O. Overnight hospital stays: Fortunately none.
P. Pet peeve: Quiet talkers, slow talkers, really long, boring story tellers.
Q. Quote from a movie: "Keep the change you filthy animal." - Home Alone
R. Right or left handed: Left
S. Siblings: Older brother and younger sister.
T. Time you wake up: Between 7:00 and 9:00 usually (depends on day of week).
U. Underwear: I wear it. 
V. Vegetables you dislike: I like them all.  Haven't had one that I didn't like.
W. What makes you run late: Not being able to find something to wear :-)
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Just teeth at the dentist, I think.
Y. Yummy food you make: Everything - duh!!  LOL :-)
Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Easy. The gorillas.  I made the hubby watch them with me for about 3 hours on our honeymoon.  I love them.  I want one.

What are some (or all) of your answers to the ABC questions?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Feel Lost ...

Without my camera.

Since my camera got stolen on Tuesday I have felt completely lost.  Since August of 2009 my camera has pretty much been like another appendage to me. I have lugged it around with me everyday, snapping up to 200 photos a day (more on vacations).  

My camera has become a part of me.  I spend time trying to get the perfect shot, styling my food, trying to make it look just right.  This morning I still grabbed a pretty bowl for my oatmeal, and I made it look picture perfect.  I have gotten so used to thinking about how I present my food, that I cannot not think about it.

Since I started my blog my photography has evolved and grown with me.

I have gone from this crap photography:

To something a little more visually appetizing:

I have learned how to have a photographer's eye, always watching for those perfect candid moments that are even better than I could have planned:

My camera is a part of me, and I miss it.

We just put in our claim with the insurance company today, but I can't wait for them to get it figured out.  This weekend I am going to get my new camera.

What would you be lost without?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bad News/ Good News

Bad News:

1) Our home was broken into yesterday afternoon.

2) The criminal stole my camera and lenses (among other things).

3) We have to pay a $500 dollar deductible.

Good News:

1) Our alarm kicked in right away and scared off the criminal before he could take too much.  The police officer said that we have the loudest alarm he has ever heard.  

2) Our house was not a mess, and the only damage was a broken window and some scratched paint where the glass hit the wall.  Other than that, nothing looked rummaged through or even touched.

3) Nothing irreplaceable was stolen or destroyed.

4) They caught the criminal and he is in jail (he was in violation of his parole, and was not from our area).  He will be charged.

5) The police were able to recover many of the smaller items (not the camera though!). 

6) I thought that the thief stole this ring:

But then I found it in an coat pocket :-)

The way I see it, the good outweighs the bad.  We are very lucky and fortunate, and my prayers on the way home yesterday (as I rushed home to see the damage) were answered.  It could have been much worse, and I am thankful for all of the good news we have received in the past 24 hours in regard to this situation.

Life goes on ...

Have you ever experienced a loss due to theft?  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dinner Party

Last night the hubby and I went to a dinner party at our friends Jeff and Alaina's house.

Jeff made some awesome buffalo and honey garlic chicken wings for an appetizer. 
They were served with some veggies and dip.


We enjoyed some bevvies throughout the evening ...

And a beautifully presented main course of slow-cooked lamb shanks, Yorkshire pudding, a duo of mashed potatoes (sweet and white), veggies and a flavourful gravy.

Dessert was peach crumble a la mode.

We had such a wonderful evening with our good friends!  We got home late, but luckily we didn't have to work today because it is a provincial holiday - Family Day.

The hubby and I spent the day running errands and lounging around at home.  

These were my eats for the day:

Organic Pink Grapefruit
Vegan Overnight Oat Parfait 

French Onion Soup
Mary's Crackers with Chipotle Hummus and 1 Laughing Cow Cheese
Sweet Potato and Bean Burritos
Did you work today (Monday)?  If not, how did you spend the day?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vegan Days 6 & 7 and Final Thoughts on Being Vegan for a Week

On Saturday morning I ate some vegan cinnamon raisin toast with Earth Balance before heading out to a florist appointment with my sister (for her wedding).

After our appointment we met our dad for lunch.  I had some mixed vegetables with rice and a spring roll (there were not a lot of vegan options at the Thia restaurant we went to).

For dinner I made a miso noodle soup with mushrooms, tofu and green onions.


Vegan Miso Noodle Soup

8 cups water
1/2 cup miso paste 
3 T soy sauce
sauteed sliced mushrooms (saute them ahead of time and set aside)
vermicelli noodles
Green onions

Bring the water to a boil.  Remove some of the water and mix it with the miso paste (I use a blender to mix them fully).  Add the miso water back to the pot.  Add soy sauce and noodles (approx. 200 g). The soup is ready when the noodles are cooked.

Put some sauteed mushrooms, green onions, and finely diced tofu into the bottom of the bowls.  Fill with the soup.  The hot broth will heat up the tofu (I used extra firm).


Last night we went out to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday!  
I drank red wine and a martini, and snacked on some vegetable tempura.

Today is day 7 of my vegan-for-a-week challenge.  

The hubby made vegan pancakes for breakfast, and they were quite possibly the BEST pancakes I have ever had in my life.  This will be the recipe that we use from now on when making pancakes from scratch. 

BEST Vegan Pancakes
(Recipe very slightly adapted from Salt and Paprika)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T canola oil
1 cup unsweetened Almond Breeze
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients.  
Add wet to dry and stir (don't over mix).  
Cook on a sprayed grill flipping when little bubbles appear on the surface.

I dipped mine in 100% pure maple syrup.

For lunch we had Amy's vegan pizza (with artichokes and mushrooms).

We have been invited to a dinner party this evening so our vegan week is officially over (one meal early).

Final Thoughts on Vegan Week

1) It was WAY easier than I expected it to be.

2) I didn't have any cravings during the week.

3) There are some foods that are surprisingly vegan! (Did you know that Oreos and Ritz crackers are vegan!!??  I didn't eat either of these, but it was interesting to find this out).

4) I didn't "cheat" at all on the vegan diet this week, and I didn't even miss cheese which really surprises me!

5) The hubby and I enjoyed this week, but it was just for a week ... we will now resume our usual eating habits which consist of a little of everything (but possibly more vegan choices in the future now that we have seen how good they can be).

Tonight we are going to a dinner party, and luckily tomorrow is a provincial holiday (Family Day) ... so the hubby and I both have the day off.

Could you go vegan for a week?  Day?  Forever?  Would you want to?  Why or why not?

The hubby and I liked the challenge of eating differently for a week, and might try something like this again some time ... maybe caveman for a week :-)  Hehe.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vegan Days 4 and 5

My vegan breakfast for the past two mornings consisted of a Green Monster (4 giant handfuls spinach, 1 scoop wheat grass, 1.5 cups almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tsp cocoa) and either a slice of toast or a glo-bar.

My lunches included an Amy's burrito and edamame beans, as well as some fruit:

Last night I made Averie's Caribbean coconut rice with garbanzo beans.  
This dish is becoming a new regular in our house.  We love it!

Dessert was a small vegan brownie.

I am so happy it is Friday, and that we have a long weekend (Family Day is Monday). 
It seemed like a really long week, and I am excited to catch up on some sleep this weekend.

After work I snacked on some chipotle hummus and crackers:

This evening the hubby and I went out for dinner, and I had a Lucky bowl (brown rice, raw veggies, marinated tofu and peanut sauce - all vegan).

This is one of my favourite meals in my city.   
It is featured in my header picture.

I am now enjoying a glass of red wine while I thoroughly enjoy last nights episode of American Idol.  Apparently it is National Wine Drinking day in the United States.  Now, I am not an American ... but I would never let something like that stand between me and a glass of Cabernet.

What do you have planned for the weekend?
What foodie/drink day would you look most forward to celebrating?

I want to know when national bacon day is!!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vegan Day 3 & The Greatest Vegan Pasta

Breakfast was pretty typical for me ...

Lunch was leftover butternut squash curry and jasmine rice (from yesterday) with an orange.

I snacked on this muffin, and some crackers with guacamole.

All pretty typical ...

But dinner!!!!!  Ohhhhhhh dinner!!!!  It was goooooooooood.

Angela can always be trusted for incredible recipes.  I have made more of her recipes than any other blogger, and I have never been disappointed.


I will definitely be making this vegan Alfredo pasta dish again, even after vegan-week is over.  It was incredibly easy, and the sauce was so good that the hubby used his slice of (vegan) toast to sop up the extra.
* There is NO "fake" cheese in this recipe, yet it still has a creamy, cheesy taste. 

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a "different" recipe?