Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh the English language

So back in say March I was sending my brothers some packages from the Netherlands back to Canada, mostly the packages included delicious stroopwafels. That is, however, beside the point.

I had to find a store that I could buy packing materials and pay for postage, etc to send the aforementioned  packages.

So I found a TNT shop, went in, picked out two large envelopes and proceeded to ask the attendant if I should pay for the package then pay for the shipping or if I could address the envelopes, pack them, and then pay for shipping altogether.

At this point the sale lady looked at me and said "We don't ship them, they will go by air"

I paused, thinking for a moment, nodded and rephrased my question.

Oh English, you are a silly thing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dream a dream...

Oh Amsterdam!

Let there be oats!

I'm not much of a breakfast person, my stomach has never been able to handle great deals of food early in the morning. So you'll never find me flipping eggs or frying bacon in the morning, well unless it is the weekend and I've sat around for a long lazy morning. I find those are brunch foods, but thats mostly because the thought of eating them first thing in the morning make me queasy. 

That said, I still need to eat something in the morning (at least something in my stomach to calm all the coffee I drink). The problem is, I like to eat either on the way to of when I first get to work. This can be tough and means that I have to think ahead of time what I'll be taking, and it needs to transport well and be easy to eat. Although I do enjoy a bowl of cereal with banana in it, it doesn't really work all that great in a car.

For this reason I am attempting to find a great muffin recipe. Now when I say great I mean it needs to simultaneously be healthy for me, filling enough to get me through to lunch, and delicious. Now I have no aversion to health food so I'm not afraid to bake with whole grains, oat, add nuts, raisins, dates, ground flax, wheat germ, and other hearty things. The only issue with these things is, when done wrong, they end up being dry, dense, and generally not that enjoyable. 

For round 1 I found a 'breakfast muffin' recipe online that I thought sounded good that included many of the above mentioned ingredients. I quickly discovered, however, that my muffin pans are still at my mother's house from my last move, or maybe the second last move, who really knows? 

So I decided to try and make it in a pie plate and just cut it up into bits. I'll say that the product is better looking that it is tasting and I am embarrassed to say I forgot to put in the egg and I think I had too little yogurt (it called for yogurt and orange juice as opposed to other liquids). So the muffin loaf tastes alright it is very dry and very dense. Even with the egg and some extra liquid I don't think I'll be trying this one again.

Do you have any great healthy/hearty breakfast muffin/loaf recipes? Willing to share? 

I'll keep you posted on the other recipes I try :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I'm tentatively on bloglovin because newsfire (the rss feed I was using before) now wants to charge me. Not really sure how I feel about it, but follow my blog with Bloglovin :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Knitting Lately

Well friends I've been crazy busy, but I've tried to make time to knit this cute infinity scarf. It was beyond easy. I had to sew the two ends together and I'm not totally happy with the seam so I'm still working on it. I think it'll be a good addition to my unnecessarily huge scarf collection. Knit on friends! Knit on!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


One of my all time favorite things about traveling around Europe is the experience of walking out of a metro station. It has to be one of the most magical moments you can have. You really don't know what to expect and so often it can take your breath away. I saw this video the other day and it took me right back to my travels.

Sub City Paris from Redglass Pictures on Vimeo.

I hope one day you get to experience this, if you haven't already done so. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Greatness and Stress

Well I had a lovely relaxing weekend. I successfully ran my second 10km race, it feels great to have another race under my belt and I feel like I will keep doing it, at least for a little while. I am really happy with this race because my body hurts considerably less this time around then compared to time #1 also I ran it in almost the same time!

 In other news my Mac died Sunday night so I'm in the midst of tying to get that organized and kicking myself for waiting so long in between backing my data up. Now I've been assured that noohing is ever really lost (if you are willing to pay for it). Because I have no idea what kind bill it'll run me, at this time I'm ping to commit to trying to get my pictures back because so help me if I lose my Europe pictures twice, even if it is only some of them.

 So until that is fixed and back to normal I'll be away from here because blogging from an iPhone is not an activity I enjoy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What A Week and Why I Listen to Country 105

This week was a proverbial "big week" for me. I started a new job. New things and changes are always a little nerve wracking but generally I like to face them head on and try to get excited instead of afraid. I started Tuesday at the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and I must say that I am really genuinely excited about it. I am excited because it is an actual foundation that does amazing things for kids and families dealing with cancer, also I am excited about it because it consists of a staff of more than 5 people - which has not been the case in any of my other positions. Also, I get to work with other people, and people who are close to my age. Anyways it was a good week because I got to start something new and although I spent most of my time reading policy manuals and entering data into a database I am totally stoked for this position!

Now, this position is also quite ideally located. Well it is ideally located in that if there is no traffic I can get there in less than 10 minutes, however, as this is not the case I find myself spending a great deal of time in my car. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to take the bus to save money and have the convenience of reading to and from work it takes about twice as long to get there. I digress. My point is, while sitting in traffic I need something good to listen to. As usually happens my radio dial usually switches regularly between any one of the multiple stations Calgary has to offer. This can get annoying so in the mornings there is a good chance my radio is tuned to CBC Radio 1 or 2. They offer a good variety of interesting material and something other than some stupid 'top 40s' hit. As it were if you are looking for good music post 9pm in this city you should tune your radio to 97.7 as they play local, Canadian, and folk music. Very choice.

Well to make a roundabout to my point, the top 40 stations can be great when you are cruising along with the windows down, but when it comes to actual musical enjoyment I think we should all give Country 105 a chance. My reasons are simple. Country music is so closely linked to folk music, and I love folk music. Folk music has meaning, class, and a message. So I implore you to try listening to country every now and then. I'm not saying there won't be the stereotypical, my dog died, my wife left me, and my truck quit working song, but it is worth a shot, you can always switch the station back and forth.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Staying Warm and Looking Great

In an attempt to make some useful crafts I've been spending my time knitting and crocheting a few headbands/ear warmers. Now the first two went really quickly but the third one (of which I bought the pattern off of etsy) has been causing me some problems. My gauge is seemingly correct but it ends up way too huge for my head so although I have already done it once, torn it out, and redone it, I think I will just have to tear it all out a second time and reduce the number of rows I crochet.

The first headband I made was a simple 15 chain (the pattern recommended 11 but I wanted it wider), crochet in the back of the stitch until if fits your head sort of thing. It is a little big for me so I am thinking I might try to take a row or two out. Also I am pretty proud of my rose, even if it sticks out really far.

The second headband, my favorite, and by far the easiest was done by knitting. Cast on 20 stitches, then knit 14 inches (I did more as my head is clearly bigger than the girl who made the pattern). Then you sew the ends together, cinch them up and wrap your extra yarn around. It is totally adorable. You can find the free pdf to download here.

Hopefully I'll be able to show you the third one soon but honestly, I've lost a little bit of my motivation for it. First I am going to make the second one in at least 2 more colours!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Live a Little

I'm not really an overly optimistic person, that's not to say I'm a pessimist. Basically I like to take it as I see it and I understand that things don't always work out and sometimes bad things happen. This considered, it wouldn't be surprising that I generally find 'goal' setting activities somewhat mundane and useless. When I think about the times we were forced to do these activities in school I really feel like they didn't work because they were not about things that I genuinely cared about. For example, although making goals for how I will improve myself in my work terms is likely a very worthwhile activity I find it unrealistic and annoying, if I'm being honest.

However, when I take those same principles and apply them to goal setting for my life I find it a hugely rewarding activity. Why did I go through all the work to tell you that this defies my reasoning? Basically because I want to convince you to do it to. Now even as I write this I feel hoakie.

The thing is, these goals can be just for you and when you achieve them it is amazing. I also think that writing them out or even making something a goal is like a little commitment to yourself to work towards achieving. 

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day (who is moving to Korea to teach English). She was talking about how a friend of hers had commented on how well she had her 'shit together' in order for her to get organized to go. This led us to discuss how so many people talk of awesome things they want to do, but never actually do them. These people frustrate me. If you want something, go out and get it!

This is where these lists can come in handy. I remember seeing an Oprah or some similar show about making life lists and well, I made one. This was quite a few years ago and it included things like:
  • Maintain a B+ average
  • Live in a foreign country
  • Finish my coop 
I wish I could remember more but my computer that has the list is not currently working. The point is, I wrote them down and when I went back I realized that I had done almost everything on the list or was well on the way to completing it. This was phenomenal. It gave me such a sense of achievement.

This past weekend I, for the first time ever, entered a 10km race and ran then entire thing. I had never ran that distance before. It was so great. Now I don't mean I did so great, what I mean was, it was a goal I set for myself that I didn't actually think I could achieve but I pushed myself to try because the worst thing that could happen was I would fail and have to try again.

Traveling and having so many new experiences has pushed me to continue to pursuing the scary things I don't think I can do or the things I've never tried that I'm scared I'll suck at. Because if you can have a sense of humour about it, the worst thing is you'll discover that you aren't good at something then you can move onto the next thing.

So my friends, throw caution to the wind, try something scary, make a list, you really can do whatever you want! And it feels fabulous :)

Recent addition to my list:
  • Learn to ride a motorcycle
Should be fun!