Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcoming 2011

Hello all,

          I can't believe we are on the eve of welcoming in a new year. 2010 was a fun year with lots of change and fun adventures.

Here's a short re-cap:

1. Lived in one of the beautiful cities for 9 months. There were many struggles and hard times but I look back at our time with great fondness. The good times definitely outweighed the bad!! We both grew in so many ways and I'm very grateful for that.

Also, let's not forget that Nelson was also the place where we welcomed Nemo into our family:)

                                                         Such a ball of love!!

2. After Ryan was finished school we finally got to move into the house we bought nearly a year before. I rented places all my life and it was surreal to walk into the house that we bought together.

3. I entered into the Turbulance Training Transformation Contest. I didn't win but what I got out of the experience was more than worth it. 

 4. I ventured into many different food realms. There was the fermentation projects, fruit picking, many local farm visits, canning adventures,  and chocolate journeys, amongst many others.

5. Changed my attitude from a lot of negative, to a lot of positive! I used to talk about everything negative in my life and loathe in self-pity. There are lessons to be learned in good times and more importantly, in the bad. I cannot tell you how much this has improved my life!! I have a long way to go, but I feel more prepared to ride the wave of life than ever before.

6. I applied to ND school!! I've been dreaming of entering the field of naturopathy for a long time now and I can't believe 2011 could be the year I start school. January 6th is my interview and hopefully I'll know soon after if I'm in or not.

There was so much going on in 2010 but these are some of the biggies!! It's fun to look back at everything I accomplished and all the fun adventures.
2011 is going to bringing tons of new adventures and I'm so excited:)

 Goals for 2011

1. Learn a new language. I love the Spanish language and so I'm going to find a class or use language software like RosettaStone.

2. Volunteer again. I think the local animal shelter is where I'm going to connect with.

3. Take photography classes. I could learn on my own but I really would like some extra guidance at the beginning to cement in the basic concepts.

4. Hike and camp more. I did neither last year and missed it so much.

5. Get defined abs. I have really wanted to "see" my abs for a long time and I've never actually pushed myself to the level that I need to in order for the definition to come. I'll talk more about this in the new year.

6. Try to tackle the emotional eating. I  haven't talked much about this but I do have some emotional tenancies when it comes to food and eating past the point of being full.

7. Be more spontaneous!!!

8. Connect with friends more

What are your goals for the new year?

I wish you a wonderful night tonight whatever your New Years Eve brings!! Cheers to 2011!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Christmas through pictures!

Hello Everyone!!

           How was your Christmas? Mine was filled with laughter, great conversation, amazing food, and lots of love. Christmas eve my mom came over and we exchanged gifts as the morning on my side is so busy! Christmas day was split between our families. One day Christmas will be at our day:)

Was Christmas at your house this year or did you have to make the rounds?

I have tons to share with you so here it goes!!

Christmas Eve gift opening!

The loot:)

Holly's Christmas Crack and Averie's Rice Krispie treats with chocolate peanut butter coconut oil frosting. Both were a huge hit!! There are also a few chocolate covered almond butter dates on there too.

Mmm...chocolate craving is returning:)

Christmas morning with my family!

 Gorgeous little ones!

 Some major cuteness!

Oh so much!!

 Jam packed rooms!!

Has had enough of the paparazzi:)

 There was cribbage!!

 There were smiles that caused my heart to nearly burst:)

There were sing-a-longs!!

Gifts a plenty!

**Intermission** Drive, Drive, Drive...time for Christmas #2!!

 A huge feast!! My sis-in-law can't wait!!

A beautiful salad with pears, walnuts, and pomegranates

 There were glares...Ha!

 There were smiles

There were fun hats!

My box of goodies! A mandolin, a set of glass bowls, mini-Tabasco's, candles, crystal nail fail, and the HUGE How To Cook Everything Vegetarian:)
 Can you tell the hubby and I are different...he's excited over his massive wet/dry vac!

 Delicious goodies!

 Some good laughs!!

Posing as per our photographer's went something like this:  Shoulders out, chin over the fence, and pretend you have a pencil in between your teeth. Ha!! A little too much grit on that pencil Ry!!

After the festivities we went over to my sis-in-laws house and played Super Mario on the Wii. Oh man did that bring back memories!! Such a blast:)

Have a great rest of your Tuesday!! Can you believe 2011 is just around the corner?  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Hello all,

        Just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas from our family..... yours LOL!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's chocolate time!!

Happy Thursday everyone!

          Anyone still out there? I hope you are almost off work or are spending some quality time with your family.

My mom arrived yesterday so we got together for some shopping and we also visited my grandma. She was recently put in a care home so it was a bittersweet visit. Leaving your loved ones in the care of strangers is a very difficult thing to do but it was the right decision. My grandma has Alzheimer's disease but she is still pretty witty. With this progressive disease, she no longer speaks English, it's all low German.  As my mom is fluent it was helpful that she was there and it was a happy, laugh filled visit. Although very difficult to leaver her there:( We talked to the staff and they said that we were allowed to bring pets into her room for a visit so her dog Goldie is heading there today. I plan on bringing Oddie there as well in the near future. She actually asked me about him during our visit, referring to him as my baby:)

Going back in time a little bit. I forgot to share with you about my Christmas party at work. It was a blast!! We had a limo bus to a place called Giggle Dam. Its a comedy dinner theatre. I was a little nervous as they pick people from the crowd to take part in certain skits but luckily I just got to enjoy the show:)

I was laughing the entire time! The serving staff are awesome and they remembered your name from the minute you walk through the doors. Here are some pictures so get what I'm talking about...

The grandma in the above picture did an Elvis tribute at the end of the show. He picked an older lady from the crowd and they danced on stage together. Oh man, so hilarious!!

 Now for some chocolate!!

Some mishaped vegan peanut butter cups!! These are mighty addicting..mmm! I followed Angela's recipe and used some of my homemade graham crackers:)

Creepy Santa Claus chocolates were made. I simply melted some chocolate bars and poured it into the mold. Simple! The green Santa was white chocolate with some food coloring added. 

No words!!! These vegan Nanaimo bars are so awesome!! You will never miss the dairy-filled version!! 
Thank you Angela for allowing me to devour my all time favorite dessert:)

Toffee Cappuccino Bark inspired by the recipe in Chatelaine Magazine. This stuff is SO good. I gave some to my assistant and she raved about it! So easy to make too. So, if you are in a pinch and need to bring something to Christmas dinner..make these!

The underside!! White and dark chocolate swirls:) Reminds me I need to make more for tomorrow!

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!! I'm cleaning the house and about to go grab some groceries for dinner tonight with my mom. Talk about last minute Larry over here ha! 
I'll be back tonight with some holiday wishes!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The holiday baking begins!

Hello all,

        This week is going faster than I expected! It's been a fun week and a half as my boss and I are off wooing clients and taking them for lunch:)

I am still finding myself not head-over-heels into the Christmas season which I usually am. I really need to slow down and take everything in as it's one of my favorite times of the year. Although I am definitely into the spirit of holiday baking:)

I found these cute Christmas cookie cutters at the dollar store and they came in handy for making Angela's Graham Crackers.I haven't made a roll-out cookie in a long time so this was super fun!

They actually tasted like the real graham crackers!! I left mine in the oven a bit too long so they were nice and crunchy but the flavor still rocked!

They even come in ninja shapes!!

I didn't just make these for snacking..they are going to become part of my favorite dessert..more on that tomorrow:)

Then it was raw cookie time!! Carrots in cookies? Trust me on this one:)

I was browsing Food Gawker (love that site!) and found these Carrot Cake Cookies from Cate's World Kitchen.

These are one of the best raw cookies I've had. If you love carrot cake, these are for you!! Super healthy and great to have around the holiday treat table. You could even make a healthy icing for we're talking!!

I have so much more to share with you so stay tuned for the next episode that is all things CHOCOLATE!!

These may or may not have been involved:)

On Saturday night we watched The Fighter. AWESOME movie! Mark Wahlberg was really great but Christian Bale was absolutely incredible. It's a great movie about family, never giving up, and overcoming huge challenges.

Then Sunday rolled around and it was off to the mall for a little more shopping and the hubby had an eye exam. This was a Christmas present unto itself because he has really bad vision but I could never get him to go see the doc about it. Until now:) Surprisingly his eyes aren't too bad but the real problem is astigmatism.

Then Sunday night we had a friend over and so we had fajita night and watched the A-Team lol!

 Oh the goodness!

The filling platter!! There were fried onions, sauteed peppers,sauteed mushrooms, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole, and goat cheese. Add in Ezekiel sprouted tortilla shells and you've got dinner:)

I'll be chatting more tomorrow! Hope you are having fun with family and friends. And for the working crowd..Friday is almost here!!

PS Contagious Health just had it's first Birthday!!
I'll be having a giveaway soon to celebrate:)

Off to do some more wooing!!! Have an AWESOME day:)