Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The times, they are a-changin.

Life isn't quite the same without my sewing machine back in working order. I have had to find other things to do. I have emailed a repair shop and was quoted at repairs costing more than my machine originally cost. I love my Brother, but I just don't know if he's worth that much! This has been somewhat traumatizing.

However, starting my new elective in Family Therapy has been very exciting and so far very interesting. I feel like I can get used to this whole 9-to-5 deal (haha, except this has been more of a 10-to-4 deal - really rough, I know). Go to clinic, see patients, come home, eat dinner and socialize with the Mr., do yoga and assorted other hobbies GUILT FREE. So far, amazing.

So all in all, the first two days of clerkship haven't been what they were originally predicted to be, they've been better!
I worry though that there is a serious degree of spoiling going on, and by that I mean, I'm being incredibly spoiled by this first elective. While some of my classmates are slaving away (and by slaving, I mean really, like full-on 12-14 hour shifts), being pimped relentlessly and assigned multiple "light reading" assignments (which are never really light), I'm happily blogging, relaxing, cooking, cleaning and the activity which has been the most dreaded for me lately - packing. Ugh. Even saying it sucks.

So being that my sewing machine has been under the weather (see post regarding thread tension - still grumbling) , and at a loss of what to do with myself with all of this new-found free time, I figured I needed another hobby that would make me more like a 75 year old woman.  So I had Ms. Cho teach me how to knit.

And knit I have been doing. But just knitting, no purling, no curling, no bla bla bla that I don't understand. Just knit, knit, knit, knit. Repetitive, and mindless. In my opinion, perfect for my restless mind.

My first "scarf" is about 2.5 feet long now, and I'm just waiting for the final ball of yarn to finish (when will it ever ennnndddddd?).

My next project: a baby blanket for our first born.
Haha, I figure it will take me about that long to make it, that by the time it's finished, we might actually be considering having kids.

I've already bought the yarn and I'm going to use it as a way to learn new stitches and stuff. I will post updates of this proposed blankie as it becomes a reality.

Knitting is a great hobby though because you can do it while doing other things - like watching TV, waiting for the kettle to boil, listening to music, etc. And so far, the Mr. has been accepting enough of my lightly tapping needles during our new addiction to True Blood.

We're on Season 2. We're addicted. It's bad. This new free time is doing nothing for my productivity.

Oh! Also picked up the beautiful teacup sets that Seester and I painted during the surprise birthday weekend. They turned out so pretty! I'll post pictures as soon as I'm not lazy and craving a glass of wine.

Mr. is home now. Time to relax and unwind.

A latte love,


Monday, February 20, 2012

What a stressful morning.

Warning: the diagram above makes this whole concept seem simpler than it apparently is.

Don't laugh when I tell you that I have spent the last two hours trying to bring my faithful Brother LX3125 sewing machine back from the depths of thread tension hell.

Here I was, just happily sewing along with that mysterious dial factory set at 4, never before considering thread tension when disaster struck.

I was nearing completion of an adorable laptop sleeve for Ms. Cho when everything went haywire. Thread on the bottom flap of the sleeve began to look pulled, stitches became uneven, my life unraveled!

I speak of this in such dramatic terms because it has essentially brought creative production to a screaming halt. The laptop sleeve sits unfinished and my hair is frazzled. Help me!

I frantically have been reading articles and watching video tutorials about the mystery that is thread tension, but no life saving maneuvers have been successful thus far. This is devastating to me.

If anyone knows anything about thread tension, please come to my house and save my Brother. The growth of my creative neurons is becoming stunted!

I've taken to eating Fudge-O truffles to calm my nerves. I've taken the machine apart, cleaned what I could reach, and even did what has probably sealed my fate - I adjusted the bobbin tension. I probably shouldn't have because now I can't remember where it was originally. 

Brother and I might be taking a trip to a sewing repair shop soon :(

A very sad,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My floors are not dirty - it's my dogs' paw art.

Ha, keep calm is right.

If I'm lucky, I'll get through this blog post without some significant grumbling and whining and pawing and chewing of socks. DevilDog's tolerance for me sitting and doing something that does not include entertaining him is very limited, usually to only one post per day/one craft project. So I must choose wisely. 

This dog is giving me grey hair.  

Anyways, I promised I would post proof that my canine children are clearly budding Picassos. Ahem, Paw-cassos.
In fact, if you combine "paw arteest" with "search and rescue extraordinaire (glow balls only)" and "ultimate destroyer of expensive things like Lulu Lemon hats", DevilDog's resume is becoming quite impressive. 

Actually, with his more recent antics, his name may be upgraded to DestructoDog to more accurately characterize him.

These projects were done when Seester was down, so I must provide credit where it's due. This is definitely a two, if not three-person job, depending on your particular canine Pawcasso.

We purchased small art canvasses from the Dollar Giant and some washable, non-toxic paint for this project. The whole thing came in under $5. 

If you notice, Ruru's is a bit different. This is due to the technique that you use to produce your paw art. We found that actually painting the paint onto the pads only of the paws works best. 

If you just dunk the paw in the paint and then plop it down on the canvas, you get more of a reverse-paw image, where the paint is mostly in the furry in-between parts, and pushed out from underneath the actual pads. 

Totally your prerogative, but I prefer the paint-on-pads technique - gives a more clear paw print.

Have fun with your own Pawcassos!

A latte love,


This blog is becoming more about food than crafts.

With clerkship literally just around the corner (first elective starts next week!), I have been using my unusually significant free time to catch up on some crafting and cooking that I've been meaning to do. 

It is unbelievable to me that the whole classroom portion of medical school is more or less finished. Could've sworn I just started a month or so ago. Apparently, I know things now (*cue sheer panic*).

Also, I don't think I realize how often I'm cooking and eating until I go to write a blog post, and find a collection of pictures of meals that we've made. 

I recommend eating before viewing this post, as it may or may not induce serious cravings! 

Valentine's Day/Anti-Valentine's Day

I thought something crafty was necessary for the Mr. on Valentine's. Good ol' Martha had this adorable idea for a spinning Valentine's message thing (not exactly sure what to call it), so I got started. Instead of using the pictures she provides, I added in my own funny little images to make personalized sayings. So fun!

It was a book-kind of Valentine's day apparently, as we both got eachother adorable little books for V-day. 
My gift to Mr.

 This is such a cute little book. All of the pages have "something without something", like these ones - hair without do, foot without shoe. Our favourite was zoo without gnu.
He knows me too well.
Our actual Valentine's day "celebration" was post-poned by one day for the Mr. and I. He's busy busy busy studying and working lately, and so V-day landed on one of his class nights this year. 

However, with the impending doom of clerkship, I wasn't particularly feeling very lovey-dovey for Valentine's anyways.  This turned out to be perfect, as I have an excellent girlfriend who was similarly in the mood for an Anti-Valentine's Day date. Combine a little wine (ok, maybe a little more than a little), an absolutely delicious meal, some quality girl talk time, and soaking in a hottub until we were raisins and you've got yourself one dandy replacement V-day celebration (ahem, I mean anti-V-day's celebration).
I was lucky enough that the Mr. decided on our meal for our V-day do-over the next day: AAA striploin steaks and shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta. Yummo.
Here's the low down on our meal that night:
The setting:
 A romantic meal just wouldn't be right without the perfect setting. And by setting, I mean place setting. The Mr. and I had yet to use our wedding china for a romantic dinner for just the two of us, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. With our one year anniversary just around the corner (holy moly spicoli), I feel like the china might make a reappearance for that dinner as well :)

 We started off with some Asparagus Bruschetta on rosemary baguette. An interesting take on one of our favourites, this recipe combines lime juice, blanched asparagus, tomatoes, fresh basil and goat cheese. As I'm not a huge fan of goat cheese, I replaced it with fresh parmesan. I also replaced the green onions with red onion. Next time, I'll reduce the amount of lime juice, as it was a little tangy for our tastes.
You can find the recipe here. Be prepared for some killer garlic breath!

The main course:
My mouth is watering just looking at this amazing meal.
I had never made Shrimp Scampi before, but was thrilled with how easy it was to make, and also how delicious it was! The Mr. remarked that it was just like Red Lobster!
I love recipes that use just a few ingredients and you get a WOW product. Here's the shrimp scampi recipe I used.

Addendum to the recipe however: I do not believe in "discarding" garlic, which is what this recipe recommends. In fact, I added an extra clove out of spite for the recipe. I also added some basil, and loved the bread crumbs for their ability to easily thicken the sauce. Next time, adding in some more salt and pepper. Top with fresh parmesan and voila! Magnificent!

To me, chocolate screams Valentine's Day. I had come across a recipe for easy Oreo Truffles on HowDoesShe.com, and decided to try them.

And easy they are! I am going crazy imagining all of the possibilities for this recipe. I originally used Oreos as recommended, but since then have also repeated the same idea with Fudg-e-Os, and it turned out just as great!

Find this recipe here. I assumed I'd be eating more than one of these, and so took the liberty and used reduced fat cream cheese.

No chocolate should ever be wasted, so with some lonely naked strawberries lying around, what better way to use it up?

Hope you all had wonderful Valentines or Anti-Valentines celebrations this year, whichever tickles your fancy. 

A latte love,


Monday, February 13, 2012

How do people make it through life without a sister?

The best weekends are unplanned.

The most wonderful surprises are those you really never knew were happening.
The greatest gift in life is a Sister.

Or in my case, a Seester.

I like to think that very few things get past me, but boy was I surprised when the two secret agents in my life were in cahoots for the ultimate birthday surprise - Seester flew all the way from out east for my birthday.

I was so excited I cried. 

What a jam packed and fun weekend it was! Despite being out to the wee hours of the morning on Friday, we were up at the crack of dawn causing trouble the next day - There's no time to waste when it's Seester time!

Mostly this post will detail the amazing meals we prepared during the weekend.
All of the recipes are from my new favourite addiction Pinterest, however we kind of winged it. Have fun with cooking, it's supposed to be creative right?

Saturday was Pinterest Appetizer Day. Here's some deets about our delicious creations.

Partners in crime (with a heart)
Mmmm smelly onions
Stuffed zucchini
 We stuffed the zucchinis with ground turkey, onion and lots of garlic. If you try this at home, add salt, pepper, and maybe create a lovely sauce to go with it. Ours didn't have a sauce, but would've been nice with perhaps a marinara!
Stuffing for Four Cheese Stuffed Portobellos
 A combination of Ricotta cheese, Parmesan, Mozzarella and Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese for our delicious and delightful stuffed portobello mushrooms.

The finished products prior to cooking - YUM
The third dish we made was probably the grand winner of all three that day. We didn't take too many pictures of it but it's an easy and very adaptable dish that has endless variations. From Rachel Ray, it's a layered casserole made with tortillas, grilled chicken, salsa, spinach and mozzarella cheese. I can envision many variations of this - especially something scrumptious like grilled chicken, parmesan, pesto and dried cranberries.
Yum, that's gonna be the next version for sure!

The last night (tres sad) Seester was here, Mr. made an unbelievable meal. He used one of our favourite recipes (Slammin Salmon - AllRecipes.com) and one he found from Food Network. O.M.G. One of the best meals I've ever had.
Slammin' Salmon

The most amazing mushroom risotto using arborio rice, shitake, button, and portobello mushrooms, white wine, bay leaves, thyme and a whole lot of deliciousness. AMAZING.

The finished meal complete with homemade salad dressing (of my own recipe)!
The rest of the weekend was made up of dancing, drinks, delicious meals out at restaurants, shopping (naturally), lots of warm beverages, and of course, crafting. We found adorable clothing at our favourite store Zoe's, and these adorable brass owls. $6 - what a steal.
Hoo, Hooty and Hooter.
I'll post the canine's new paw art that we made as soon as I get around to taking pictures of their masterpieces.

Unfortunately though, like all good meals, even the best of weekends end. We go back to our respective lives and wait until we can be together again for laughs, drinks and lots of sister time.

Until next time,
A latte love,