Saturday, February 28, 2015

Foodie Pen Pals - February Reveal day!

Jen was my penpal this month. I sent her some delicious soup mixes that were healthy, local, and vegan. I hope she liked them, she said she did. She sent me a package that was delightfully full of all different kinds of yummies. There was chocolate, crackers, olives, rice, tea, nuts, raisins, chips, and more chocolate. It was a delightful array of delishious treats and such a diverse collection.

The sweet potato chips were incredible. I think they are my new favorite chip! The chocolate was all very delicious, but I think the chocolate covered dried cheries were my favorite. They are delightfully tangy with that sweet cherry flavour mixed with dark chocolate... oh man, they are delightful! We still have a tiny bit because we have been savouring them!!

We munched through the crackers, and while they aren't my preffered taste, they were very well paired with tea. That was Justins' idea! :) The package of mixed fruit and nuts was a perfect treat for the ski hill and that's exactly where it was eaten! A great source of natural sugar and protien - we will be using the idea of the different nuts and raisins and craisins for a trail mix that we can take on our hikes. :) We've yet to try the rice, olives or tea, but all in good time.

I sometimes feel that I get the better deal in these foodie exchanges, and I sincerely hope that the people I send my packages to feel the same. Either way, thank you Jen for the delicious variety of nummies this month... we have almost eaten our way through it already! :)

If you are interested in being a part of this and you live in Canada or the US - go here to sign up! http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/ 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Renovations are a pain!

This is what our house looked like at it's nicest. Christmas is my favourite time of year, and we did it up right with a real tree (thanks to Justin) and all the fixins. We were getting ready for our Christmas/Birthday party with our friends - it was an epic night.


Now, we are in the middle of renovations. We have decided to re-paint the 1990's decorated condo to update it and get rid of things that are old and try and refresh the place so it looks more modern and fits our style.

We have found a great colour for the walls and have finished all the painting (except the bathroom, that is a weekend job for me) - it is looking really fresh and clean and I love it! We have also been re-purposing some of the furniture that we have to make it fresher and fit with our new colour scheme. Once it is all done, it's going to look FAB-U-LOUS! (more pictures to come)

 

Last night, we tore up all the carpet in the main living rooms. It was gross and difficult and dusty work. The temperature has gone down about 5 degrees since taking out the carpet and I think it will help with trying to keep the condo cool. Thank goodness! Anyone who has spent time in our condo knows that it can get toasty really quickly! We are ripping out the lino today and Friday we start installing the laminate flooring. It is going to be nice, fresh, and cool! YES!!

 

We are still on the hunt for some great looking tile for the foyer and back splash for the kitchen, but I think we will find it when we go and purchase the laminate today. It's going to be a lot of work this weekend but once we are done the floor, we will be ready to put up our pictures and decorate the house as we want it. It's going to be our home for at least the next 3 years, so we might as well make it comfortable. Along with the renovations, Chris moves out in 2 weeks as well so we can start using the space that he was taking up with all his stuff. It is going to feel like a nice, cosy home for our little family soon.

Once we are done with the renos to the house, we are going to build our own couches. This should be an adventure for sure. Along with couches, I have to sew curtains and I am knitting our bed spread for our bed. Lots of projects coming up this year - and that falls in line with my resolution to be creative! :) 2015 is starting out being a great year so far!

I will surely update the blog when we have finished everything and it looks the way we want it to.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

You can never go back

About 15 years ago, in one of my college classes (The Sociology of the Family, I believe) I shared with the class a story that was not mine. I didn't share names, only the circumstance. It was an incredibly private and personal story that I didn't know all the details about. While the story was completely relevant to the class discussion, the story was not mine to tell. Turns out that the person the story was about had a roommate in that very class. The roommate told the person that I told the story and she was understandably upset.

About a week later, this person spotted me studying and having lunch. She approached me and calmly, but firmly told me that I need to mind my own business. She told me that her roommate was in my class and that I shouldn't tell stories about things I don't understand or weren't a part of. She was visibly angry and was shaking. I sat, maintained eye contact, and let her speak her say. I didn't say anything until she was through and then I apologized. What more could I say? She was 100% correct in all she said. I couldn't help but think about how brave she was to approach someone who said something wrong about her and how she stood up for herself so well. She was an excellent advocate for her life, and I still remember how that conversation felt, 15 years later.

We had been friends in grade 9 and I remember sneaking out of her basement window to go and hang out with boys, only we almost got caught and I had to dive back in through the window. I remember another time in her basement where one of our friends' little brother drank an entire bottle of vodka and then puked it up on her floor. I stood watching, waiting for her parents to come home while they cleaned up the mess. We went our separate ways once she started dating the boy I had a crush on and we never re-united our friendship. While we were cordial to each other, we weren't always kind. I regret that. We should always try to be kind.

I learned today that this old friend of mine died in a head on collision a couple days ago and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. She was a beautiful, hard working mother of 3 who created a great life for herself. She was my age, which means way, way too young to leave this earth.

I hope that she continuously felt loved and cared for in her time here on earth. I hope she felt peace and no pain as she passed from this world to the next. I pray that her family will always remember her easy smile, her compassion and her kind heart. I pray that her children will grow up knowing their mothers memory and that they bring her with them in each milestone they have in their life. I pray that they know how much she inevitably loved them.

There are many things that I wish were different in this world. One of them is that I wish the final words I said to this lady were of kindness, compassion and regret. I wish I had been a softer person in high school so that I could have remained friends with her and we could have shared many more memories. I do know that I will not forget her, ever. I am heart broken for her family, they lost a beautiful woman on February 24th, and that is something that won't change. I wish that were different also.

Rest in Peace beautiful lady.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Foodie Penpals - Reveal day!

The Lean Green Bean
This month I was paired with a wonderful Foodie Pen Pal! Jenn is from Ottawa and sent me a delightful array of nummies! Justin was looking over my shoulder as I revealed each part of the parcel and we delighted together in our great fortune of a wonderful Foodie Pen Pal!

The package included a lovely card and come serviettes that are in the same colour as my beloved retro 1950's kitchen table. I can't wait until the reno's are over so that we can have people over for a classy cocktail party!
Jenn also included some DELICIOUS chocolate which we admittedly devoured the very night that we got the parcel! For dessert of course! In the package there was some awesome rice pasta that shockingly we really liked. I had always wanted to try it but was just so scared to buy it for fear that I would not like it. As it turned out, the day we got the package, we didn't have any supper plans so we made spaghetti and it was superb! An array of teas and lattes were also included and they have all since disappeared. We really liked the french cafe lattes she sent and the ginger latte package was very interesting. We have yet to try the salt flakes and Lemongrass she got due to us liking Vietnamese, I am looking for a delish recipe so we can try our hand at homemade pho!!! The package was topped off with a lovely little stick of cotton candy lip chap... all the yummy, none of the calories! It was a superb package and we oooh'd and awww'd when we opened each individually wrapped and labelled piece.

Jenn has a lovely little blog that you can check out here: http://www.bakeandbemerry.wordpress.com/. She has posted what I had sent to her if you'd like to see what she got in return! I think I got the better deal, but Jenn seemed delighted with what was in her package, so I think this month was a success.

I have signed up for next month and if you'd like to join, simply go here: http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/