Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tandoori chicen tacos

So, in an attempt to eat more healthily ( and frankly its both easy and enjoyable) I am trying to make a new recipe each week - heres one that I need to list here as I MUST remember to try it this week. I must

Tandoori Chicken tacos - clean eating

Its taken from the oh so wonderful Bragglife Blog that I follow, that lady has some kick that fat ass recipes!

credit card crisis meeting

Tonight we have called a "credit card crisis meeting" as our card is way up again. I dont know why so we need to discuss it.
On my lunchtime walk today I have been doing a mental inventory of all the pairs of leggings that we have for the girls. Both of mine do not seem to like wearing jeans AT ALL. So cue leggings for school. I think I have enough until mid November when I will need to go and purchase some with soft fleecy linings. And Lilys snowboots require some sewing up where the velcro is. School starts again next Thursday and my Chloe will need to go in wearing her new retainer which she is fretting about (and which frankly is breaking my heart) and Lily of course starts for the first time.

Its weightwatchers weigh in day - everything is crossed. My trousers pants are so loose there is a danger that I will walk out of them, I am so pleased except obviously I need to do something about this. I dont want to buy any more yet as I still have a good 20 lbs to go so I need to make them last a while longer, and obviously buying interim pants does not bode well for credit cards.

Thats it really, except that its a lovely sunny 22C out, with 26C and 28C forecast for the next two days and those poor people in New Orleans are facing Hurricane Isaac. I am tracking Hurricane Kirk thats in the Atlantic

Monday, 27 August 2012

Fall mornings

I think Fall is coming, I think this because the mornings are cool and I can now sit around firepits at night without mosquitos joining me. I have decided that I love Spring and Fall firepits. The heat from the flames is actually welcoming and I can stay out without being driven in the house by biting insects.
There is good conversation around firepits at this time of year too, that and good food which I am avoiding like the plague.

I had a chat briefly on FB this morning with a friend in England and I asked if it feels like Autumn there yet, and her reply was "oh yes, its very grey now and cooler" and I looked out at the morning mist that was burning off and I felt the cooler air and I hugged myself.

Our Fall is made up of bright sunshine, some rain, lots of thunderstorms, 25C+ days and good firepit evenings with the stars out. There are very few grey skies and for that I am thankful. I am pleased that Fall no longer represents grey skies to me, I find grey skies depressing.

Today the humidity is making an appearance again and its going to be 28C, its a pool evening day. Tomorrow is due to be a storm day, rain and some thunder in the afternoon and then great for the rest of the week.

The forecast is for above average Fall temperatures and a good Thanksgiving weekend in October. The ocean is still very warm, people are nervous and discussing hurricane threats. Paul and I have put a plan in place for if something bigger than a Tropical Storm goes through. We have a great finished basement to hang out in, I am in charge of food, he is in charge of lighting options.

I look out of my office window and the sun is glinting off the Northwest Arm Bay. I know I love this place.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

ok rewind

I had my second weight Watchers weigh in yesterday and am down another 2.2lbs - woot! I wish I could see it more on me but I cant.

So yesterday I was feeling all Fall-like and wishing for pumpkin pie. Last night I went home, walked the doofus pup with the family in the big green field and then we all swam in the pool at 8pm.

Its now getting dark at 8.30pm, so at that time the girls went into have their baths and I stayed in the pool by myself. It was bliss. I did my exercise in the pool and then lay on my back and watched the sky turn from pink to mauve. The sunset was mirrored on the upstairs windows and the trees became black silouettes.

I could hear happy chatter from the bathroom and the cicadas all around me and I thought - This is the Life, I will do this again tomorrow evening, dont go summer!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

hump day

Its Hump day today, already the middle of the week, time is flying these days.
I am starting to look forward to Fall. I will miss the heat and the summer ambience but Fall is next and I am getting ready - already.
I so know that I may well regret this desire to move to the next season whilst its still only August. I am knowing this may well happen in November and will definately happen in January and February and probably March and April when I am dreaming and wishing of summer again.
We are still enjoying summer evenings in the pool although its now dark by 8.30. 8.30!!!!! And its cooler at night by a long shot already.

This is our current evening:

Dukie waiting for a walk, oh those eyes are so expressive:

The side of our home, a little pretty glade:

I have some new Fall scents in my Scentsy warmer, I am thinking of hot apple pie, and pumpkin pie and pumpkins on doorsteps. I am thinking of fleeces worn around firepits and hot chocolate consumed again. I am looking forward to roast dinners with roast parsnips and chillis and cottage pie. All the food that I cant bear to cook and consume as its just too hot.
I am looking forward to that first snowfall and the noise of it crunching underfoot in the dark. But I am getting a little ahead of myself here! (am I CRAZY?!!!)
Tropical Storm Isaac is already making it into the news, its still way down south, but we know about it, its being talked about and now I am tracking it. I think I should have been a storm chaser, these things really do it for me.

Monday, 20 August 2012

weekend of nothing and everything

Its been a good weekend. We tried to do nothing but nothing turned into some time with friends around the firepit, a lot of manual labour, the loss of a rug, some sweat and sweat (humidity and heat were on HIGH) and some pool time. It also involved some naps and a great deal of heavy rain. We even got a small thunderstorm on Saturday night which freaked Lily out.

Time with Friends

On Friday evening Paul and I hung out at the neighbours firepit, we were in easy shouting distance from the house, the dogs were in situ (we still have Miss Lexus on her sleepover), the girls were asleep and the front door was locked.
It was lovely, chilled, relaxed and great. I steered clear of all alcohol and felt better for it. It was also really nice to spend this time with Paul and other adults. The cicadas were noisy around us and the stars were out. Theres something that touches me when I get to stare at stars through pine trees.

Manual Labour
Saturday morning started way too early at 6am as Duke had a really upset tummy and there was majpr diarrhea all over the front room floor including our GBP200 rug. We cleaned it up and decided to get a carpet cleaner to wash it all and the stair carpet, something that had been on our list for a while as that rug had been used by a small puppy as a toilet (no names mentioned) so we got the cleaner and the rug looked as good as new. It smelt disgusting though and I mean hideous. Three deep cleans and it just got worse, it smelt like dog pee and crap and there was only one answer for it. Its now out in the garbage and I have a new rug to buy = not happy!

Its been a heavy rain weekend but in fits and starts so we also had some good pool time. I got some exersize in but not enough by any means. I took Dukie for a quick walk at 6pm as I could hear thunder rolling around. On my way back I could hear the rain pounding down behind me,I looked and I could see it falling in a sheet down the road. So I ran down the hill in my flipflops but it engulfed me right outside the house. That was the one of the oddest experiences.

On Saturday afternoon I was really tired. I had swollen eyes from some reaction and was tired from the late firepit night and the early diarrhea morning so I got a rare couple of hours napping. I went to sleep to the sound of the ceiling fans and the trees outside. It was simply wonderful.

Saturdays freakish rain turned into a full on thunderstorm with high wind, intense rain and loud cracks of thunder and lightening. Thankfully it lasted all of 20 mins which was convenient as Lily was so stressed out that she was being sick. I need to think about how to deal with this going forward as thunderstorms are on the weeks forecast.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

bites and weigh in day

Yesterday I spent way too much time at the Walk In Medical centre. I had been bitten in the dark by God knows what insect on the calf of each leg on Monday night. Yesterday the bites were enormous dinner plate sized red hot itching areas with a raised surrounding white area. A swift google search for bites informed me that I had cellutitus and needed to get it sorted or risk septacaemia and other lovely outcomes.

So I drove to the walkin at 2.15pm and proceeded to hangout in a relatively empty waiting room. I was called in to the ward area at 3.45 and felt a premature exhaltation at being seen. It was premature because I then sat on a chair and observed a number of empty rooms and doctors and nurses engaging in spirited happy conversation. At 5.15pm just as I had given up and run out of time for this and was leaving I was suddenly whisked in a room by the doctor for a whole 2 minutes. He informed to take Benadryl and ice my legs and come back if the swelling didnt subside in the morning.

So I left, $3 lighter with the parking fee and aware that the walkin is not unlike UK casualty but with cleaner floors.

I then went to my first weigh in at Weight Watchers and woop, I have lost 4.8lbs in one week! I was consumed and I mean consumed with joy!
So since my misery on the scales at the vets 2.5 weeks ago I am now 7.8lbs lighter, way to go!

On the way home I briefly toyed with the idea of getting a small donair pizza and then realised that that is exactly why I would fail on this quest to achieve my pre-baby weight.
My goal is to lose 30lbs by March 2013 but 10lbs at least by September the 19th this year. If I carry on with a decline in weight each week I should achieve that and more.

So - lunchtime today is sushi, its pay day and its low in points and fills me up so I can have it!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

hot again

I think I am going through a blogging splurge lately, cant seem to keep off it.
It was uber hot last night, we spent a whole lot of the evening in the pool, or looking at the pool as the evening grew darker or under a ceiling fan.
Today its meant to be 26C with a humidex of 33C and the next 7 days look like more of the same. There is some rain involved too but it comes down in small showers for a few minutes at a time and makes it seem hotter and damper - gah.
So outside looks overcast at times which my brain still equals to cool until I go out there and the heat hits.

I was watching CTV news the other night and they are forecasting a more "exciting" than normal Hurricane Season. I am a little worried as we are surrounded by lots of trees, the one out the front is huge and frankly I could do without that crashing down. Thank goodness we have our basement all done out, as long as no one is staying, if a Hurricane comes through that is where we shall be.

At least I can keep my laundry up to date down there as thats where that room is but of course thats silly as Hurricanes equal power outages dont they. Tropical storms are fine, we can stay upstairs and whilst its marginally alarming how those trees whip around I dont feel like my life is at risk.

So now, I am keeping this at the forefront of my mind, I think I will the keep the freezer contents as cheapish and not chockablock and the tins of food at a good supply and the propane for the bbq topped up. Our bbq also has a burner for a pot so thats helpful. NS is good at having power outages and they tend to last awhile, it only has to get a bit windy and out the power goes.

Big congrats goes to my wonderful husband who has just been given a promotion at work to a supervisor role, something for him to use the bossy side of his personality. I knew he had it for a reason. I am super proud of him, work for him is really starting to look up here now.

Food update - I am easing off on the needing lots of food in me, the cravings are starting to vanish although really I think thats because I gave into a Fruit and Nut yesterday afternoon and I  loved. every. mouthful!

Todays coffee - I have Folgers French Vanilla this morning in my cup with soya milk and it smells divine.

Monday, 13 August 2012

back at work

OK so I am back at work and I want to be at home SO MUCH. I cant allow myself to think like this.

Last night we laid out some maps and traced the I-95 down to Miami and had some discussion about skirting the likes of New York and Washington. We were chatting with our friend Don about this, hes a seasoned road-tripper so its good to have his input. We really need to put together more of a plan regarding rest stops and the like. I have heard of those that drive straight through and I know that COULD be fun but I doubt it and really we wont know until we get to that point. Also, its not just us going, so its not just our call on rest stops.
Our accompanying friends have family over to stay for the rest of this month and we have some in September - BIG HURRAH!!!! - so we will probably catch up after everyone has gone home.

More excitement - our bathroom renovation is booked in for the end of October. I just need to make a commitment on tiles now. Now this is a big deal - its the last piece of planned work on the house this year (and I love a plan) and it means that we are on track (I love that too!)

I am starting to really not look forward to the end of summer coming, I know I am doing this as its in my thoughts all the time (that and food!) and its only the 13th of August. I am not afraid of winter but I am afraid of that feeling of bereavement when I notice that the humidity has gone and I know its gone for months!

Lily is now accompanying me on dog walks on her little bike and shes getting so good. Shes also pretty much turning into a fish now shes shed her floaty jacket. She dons goggles and swims under water. Shes so like Chloe, I love watching them together.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

out of sorts

I am feeling all out of sorts today. Its Sunday and the last day of my 10 days off. I dont want to leave the house, I am not in an entertaining mood either. I have just been to Costco and back in less than an hour - that alone should make me gleeful.

The house is pretty clean, due to my cleaning frenzy yesterday which also included some sarky outbursts towards my children when they were less than keen to pitch in.

Outside its overcast and damp and sticky and muggy and hot but not hot - its hard to explain. Its thunderstorm weather and I wish it would just get on with it.

I just totted up the amounts on the credit card that are PEI related and am shocked to see that the whole lot is coming in to about $500 - two nights alone in Canadas "Best Value" Inn was $200, I would hate to see what the price would be in Canadas super expensive Inn.

I think I need to get off my behind and take off the pool cover and get the pump going as that sound always makes me feel peaceful.

I am also hungry. I am on Day 4 of my first WW week and I want to eat ALL THE TIME. I know this is psychological and I am determined not to fail here ($59 per month!!!) but gah - I am thinking about food 24/7 at the moment.

Ok -off to sort out the pool and get out of this here funk!

But finally - just quickly - my friend Jenne just drove with her two kids 35 hours across 5 states in the US. This is making me feel very positive about next years road trip. She even went across a desert in her drive!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Back into austerity

Last year we descended into austerity in September and were very very conscious of our spending and keeping it to a minimum, this is mainly due to trying to maintain our new attitude of saving rather than throwing it all on a credit card and dealing with the aftermarth.
The austerity was lifted in about May, I would say after we had bought this winters wood supply and we have enjoyed more fun times since then and not really thought about it but just bought what we need want.
Due to the measures, we have almost managed to fulfil this years quota of planned work on the house - water heater (tick), fence (tick), new bathroom - almost tick. The cash is there and saved and the contractor is due to start mid October.
He would have started mid September but we have guests due - BIG HURRAH! - and need both bathrooms in the house.

We have of course bought two new cars also but those were long term saving measures - daily for my car and long term for the van/SUV as the Uplander was on the road to nowhere except big repair bills.

Anyway now we have enjoyed two weekend trips - whales and PEI - the cost of which pretty much equals that of a week away and are just making sure its paid off, we are back to austerity and it feels good.
It will be lifted a teeny bit when the Grandparents are here in September but not to the extent of being in Gap, Banana Republic or The Childrens Place.

So, these new measures are all aimed at next years trip - coined (by me so not official) as RoadTrip I95! Its the one which will take us all down the East Coast of the US to the Florida Keys with a layover in Orlando to ensure advantage is taken of Disney and Universal Studios!

I nearly had a coronary when I saw the price of the parks so its been decided that they will be this years Christmas presents for us all in ticket form.

Of course one of the points of this trip is to obtain (finally!!!) my eternity ring. I will get this with my children present at the exact place where we got married just over 10 years ago and I cant flippin wait! I have been idly browsing Tiffany online for one as I love my Tiffany bracelet and frankly a Tiffany ring would be just amazing BUT thats not really me. The cheapest I found is USD 1900. I cant spend THAT!

So, we wont.

So, I need to get off here and onto a spreadsheet to start planning the budget of what we need to spend on this roadtrip of roadtrips. I will just finish my coffee first.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


OK, so I am back in my favourite morning spot to write my PEI post and can I just mention that this precious week at home is going WAY too fast. I have managed to get school supplies and now we have substantially less cash in the bank and it was a horrible experience. I also got updated on my volunteer book-keeping for the recreation society - 5 hours on that yesterday and I am way behind with vacumming the dog hair out of the house as Paul has been on nights since we got back, anyway.....

So PEI. We set off at 9am gaily packed into the car, met with Ruby and clan at theirs and then made our way to the ferry at Pictou. We arrived at 11am and then waited until 12.40pm to board (gah), it was hot and hot and hot and we ate lunch in the car which was good fun. The ferry departed at 1.30 and 70 mins later arrived at PEI. The ferry was cool but the floor was searingly hot. We had Mr Duke with us on deck and I had a panic attack whilst looking for a cool spot for his feet.

We then drove for about an hour at least through THE neatest countryside I have seen I think ever. It was like  being in the set of "Runaway Bride" - lots of neatly manicured potato, corn and clover (?) fields and grass that looked like we were on a golf course. I think the clover is for the cows there, they do after all have to produce that scrumptious Cows Icecream and apparently you are what you eat!

We got to our Inn which was basic but fabulous. The basic side meant it felt like we were doing glamourous camping but the fabulous side was the site, the view, the management and the fact that we could keep up with the Olympics on the TV in our room at times - go Team GB! We are proud of you!

We let the kids play outside alot on the grass and in the pool and spent the morning at Chelten Beach which had red sand and warm waters and a view of the Confederation Bridge. Chloe kicked a rock which resulted in blood and skin disappearing and very nice lifeguard fixed that in a jiffy.

Ruby and I took some time to go to Cavendish to Anne of Green Gables to pick up a very special fridge magnet for a friend in the UK. The trip there was fab, all fresh air and lots to see. We plan to take the kids there next year as that area requires a money tree. Once I managed to track down the fridge magnet Ruby and I hugged in the car, honestly that magnet is a big deal.
Can I just add that I saw a space shuttle in a field! I have no clue if it was real or a very good mockup but I was impressed.

On our way home we went via the bridge which cost us a whopping $44.25. I am pleased that you only pay to leave the Island and the bridge really is something else - at 8 miles long it is the longest bridge over iced water. In fact i am sure that a few years ago we watched this being built on Mega Structures or Extreme Engineering or something like that.

We drove through New Brunswick on the way home which was very pretty and then back into Nova Scotia. It was a much faster journey than the ferry option but I am pleased we had both experiences.

I have now added this little very pretty Island to our annual "must do" list.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

favourite places

I am sitting in my new favourite morning spot in the house. I am on the sofa by by the front room window which is open so that I can hear the ciccadas which is one of my favourite sounds - its the sound of an American summer to me. It was the first sound I really heard when I stepped out of Miami airport back in 1999 at 1am

I can see my beautiful front room that makes me feel so serene (even when there is a train track setup on the floor)

It very quiet apart from the ciccadas, the noise of the dog and his claws clicking around on the back deck which is drifting in through the kitchen window and the soft swish of the ceiling fans upstairs.

I have a fresh cup of coffee and the light is steadily increasing in the room as the morning gets later. I always know that I have anything from 30 minutes of this magical silent time up to 1.5 hours.

Then I will be joined by the girls if its the weekend or I will need to get up and get in the shower if its a workday.

This is my time. Lately I have come to realise that out of my closest friends I am one of the few that actually works full time. They get more time at home to be in their home and do their laundry etc than I do. This is my only "me time" and I treasure it.

Today is day 5 of my 10 day vacation and its going to be a peaceful one. I have some volunteer book-keeping to do, some mail to post, some laundry to attend to, a lovely breakfast to indulge in, a lovely lunch to do the same with and some dusting. I look forward to it all.
We had a great couple of days in PEI and I will write that post up with pictures very soon, right now I am going back to my coffee.

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Meeting Goals:
I was perusing through my blog in a tired kind of way as I was awake all flippin night last night and I came across my post in February 2012 called “calling Spring”
I was reading where I was bored of winter and wanting icecreams outside of Averys and hot Potato Salad again, green trees and chalk drawings on the driveway.
Well I am pleased to report that’s all been real life for the last two months and I am looking forward to a third month of all that as its just the start of August. Its also been humidity, heat, pool, beach, shorts and t-shirt and flipflops.
I now cant imagine snow and ice and freezing rain although I do know that its in the post (that’s Rubys saying and I like it!)
Weather update
Today its raining AGAIN, tomorrow its forecast at 28C feels like 35C double woot! And something similar for the next 4 days.
August Holiday:
I am off ALL next week, in fact my vacation starts in 20 minutes and I am SO pleased. Its my first ever August vacation and at home too.  We really have managed to build a life where it feels like we reside in a vacation spot. I no longer walk around our neighbourhood sobbing at the knowledge that we made it, I now just know it. I hope I don’t start to take it for granted
I have a 45 min drive home shortly, thank goodness I managed to plug my Ipod into my car this morning and can now listen to all the music on it, that should keep me entertained until I hit the home straight!
House Update:
So we have been able to tick two items off this years house “to do” list and that is the fence and the water heater. We now have just agreed a quote for our bathroom reno and that starts in September.  That will be a nightmare and great all at once.
So next year is still the vacation to spend money on and I want to spend some energy in the garden, I have high plans for tomatoes and lettuce and maybe peppers next year. Oh and strawberries. In the spirit of saving money I also plan to move some existing plants around.
Our property renovations guy is so reasonable and good and I am so blown away by his workmanship in the house across from us that I think I may see if he can do our new shelves and cupboards in our family room next year too. It would be good to stretch to that.
Oh and the current idea is to replace one window a year so that isn’t an enormous expense. I am all for spending money wisely on our asset.