Saturday, December 31, 2011
We made a little to do list the other day. Aaand have been working hard the past two days to get things done. The satisfaction in crossing things off that list is nearly audible...and I'm using a Sharpie so you know it's really done! A few of the other tasks are in progress but I'm pumped that by the time we go out tonight they will be all done. It will feel amazing to welcome 2012 into a clean and organized house. Oh lm getting old
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Obligatory glass of wine? Check
Oven on? Check
Christmas music blasting? Check
Various tasty things to bake? Check
Awkwardly self taken iPhone photo? Check
Presents wrapped? Check
Perfect Christmas Eve Day!!!
I've been spending the day finishing getting stuff ready for Christmas. LOVE IT! Tonight it's Christmas with G's mom and brother and tomorrow it's a Shaw/Welch/Orrom/Walsh/Renken/Nichols family Christmas! It truly is the most wonderful time of year. Merry christmas everyone!!!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="G informed me that we have to buy Molly presents with less pieces next time. She kept pointing and making him add more foam pieces to the little diorama he was making her"][/caption]
And Tara and Stephen (my childhood friend and her husband) were home visiting for the holidays so we got
to catch up as well. It was a really nice night and a total last minute get together which was awesome!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="482" caption="Cheers! We sent this pic to Tara's sister Michele so she could see what she was missing!"][/caption]
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
**Side Note: I don't know why but I tend to be quite anthropomorphic when it comes to most things in my life (cars, random animals, items around the house) I think it's quite an endearing habit I have whereas G seems to think it makes me a little "special".
So...as I was saying. Harrison and I were talking about this mouse. And I thought that perhaps it was some sort of musical prodigy. And we had a little giggle, and then Har found the following photos and I couldnt stop laughing...and at the same time felt like I could "nah nah nah" at Garret as this shows that clearly someone else is also weird like me, and takes it to another level
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
PUPPIES!!!! Elliott's girlfriend Ashley stopped by tonight with her new puppies. They are the cutest things ever. We chased them around the house a bit and snuggled them a bunch. It made me want a little dog sooooo badly. G said no....meanie!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
And I also love it because it shows off my new keychain that my friend Kelly gave me in our carpool secret Santa. It says "Julia *heart* Garret". Yeah you betcha!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Since wireless Internet isn't really a go in Cuba, and roaming charges would have been out of control, we both shelved our phones for the week. It took a day for me to get used to it and I have to say it was so nice! Don't get me wrong, I do heart my iPhone, but not worrying about emails, texts or Facebook was probably part of the relaxation. G and I both use our phones a lot during the day for work etc, but we are thinking of designating certain times in the evenings and on weekends to be phone free. It really is the way to go!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The final step in the process was "lift chair into box" see below for an image of the chair and why I couldn't quite manage:
I respectfully asked the delivery guy to do it as that chair could have crushed me if I stumbled. Ooooh work!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|2 1/2||cups all-purpose flour|
|2||teaspoons cream of tartar|
|1||teaspoon baking soda|
|1||cup unsalted butter|
|1 1/2||cups sugar|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
*In a small bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. (I think I only left it in for an hour...I was hungry and impatient)
*Preheat oven to 350?F.
*Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
*Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Then try to resist eating them all at once.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Next year's a bit tight cause of the wedding but me thinks we should save up for a trip. My cousins are super awesome and I never get to see them either :( I think we need to budget for an annual west coast family time!
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
It's only Monday so I think I can still feel optimistic about what we can get accomplished this week:
*put away the Halloween decorations that are all folded/piled up in the corner...I even have a bin in the basement for them!
*list and sell our old mattress on kijiji
*buy some bleach so I can fully scrub window frames. The cleaner I had at home just didn't cut it
*go through my clothes...this seems to be an ongoing process. We both are clothing hoarders "we might wear this someday" type of people. We need to realize that if we haven't worn it in a few months it's gota go!
What's everyone else up to this week?
Sunday, November 13, 2011
*We finished sanding the doors so now they just need to be stained and hung.
*G cleaned all the leaves etc out of the boat in the backyard and we covered it up to hopefully keep snow out (not sure if I have shared the story of the boat in the backyard...i'll make it short. When my dad passed away my brothers and I inherited his old speed boat. It has seen better days. Now it's living in our backyard until we have the money to make it amazing again)
*did more laundry---where does it all come from?
*got all patio furniture put away
*cleaned out shed and organized it
*set up our awesome new bed...cant wait to go to bed tonight!
*got some carpet tile to put down in the back room
So I'm feeling good! Wish we could have done a coat on those storm doors, but it will get done at some point....anyone want to start a pool of when they will get hung? My bets on January 17th ha
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Phase one of this has been a focus on meal planning. I used to feel really overwhelmed to come up with yummy healthy meals for every night, and I tended to be the main meal preparer in the house. I think recently G realized that he could lend a hand in this department and now he has been trading off with me and helping plan and prepare. He bought us a book called Living Lean and we have been looking at quick and easy recipes from there. I am also learning (yes mum I know you have told me this for 31 years) that if in the morning you know what you are having for dinner, your evening will run smoothly. Who knew? She was right! So I have been trying to make two meals some nights (like two things of soup on Sunday) and on some nights it is SO good to come home and reheat something healthy instead of caving while starved and getting pizza.
Phase two is getting out there and being active. I will be the first to admit that I don't love the gym. My brothers both get so excited to go and just LOVE being there....I am not there yet, but I have started less foot dragging when we go. We joined GoodLife in September and have been trying to make it out a few nights a week when we can. I recently joined a hot yoga studio with my girlfriends from my carpool and I LOVE IT. We had an introductory special this month so we have been going 2-3 times a week. I am feeling strong and my posture is phenomenal. There are some great crosscountry ski and snowshoe trails near us as well, so once we get a big dumping of snow I think we will start getting outdoors more often as well.
We don't want to go for a quick fix wedding weight loss plan, but something more we can incorporate into our lives and continue to be fit and fab moving forward!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Nothing exciting happened around the house last night as we were at the gym. So in keeping with the whole posting every day thing I'm going to share a slow cooker recipe I made Sunday that we had for dinner last night!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Crock pot edition)
*chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces (I was lazy and just ripped the meat off a BBQ chicken from Zehrs)
*jar of salsa (as spicy as you like)
*tin of black beans
*carton of chicken stock (but since I'm working on my Suzy Homemaker merit badge I used homemade stock)
*a few handfuls of frozen corn
*tin of green chilies (optional)
*tin of diced tomatoes
--Throw all this into slowcooker...top with chips, shredded cheese and cilantro (could also top with guacamole, sour cream etc)
I cooked it on high for the day...and served it with some crushed up nacho chips, chopped cilantro and shredded light cheese on top. Super yummy! I love this recipe because you could throw pretty much anything in with it and it would be delicious.
Monday, November 7, 2011
*Fought a losing battle against the leaves in the back and side yard. We were out there for a few hours, filled up 4 bags and then G mulched a pile. But then this morning I noticed a bunch more had fallen! Urgh...
*switched the light in the kitchen and dining room to dimmers...glorious mood lighting for cooking. I love it
*we took turns yesterday sanding the storm doors and I'm excited to say they are finally (almost) done. We just need to stain 'em and hang 'em back up and we are in business. Next time I'm going to convince G we should just buy doors cause this was a project I HATED. Once they are hung up I'll post a pic.
*we went to the Brick and bought a new mattress...it is like sleeping in heaven (or somewhere else heavenly) we've had an ikea mattress for the past 4 years and while G can easily sleep on a rock, or sitting up etc, my sleeping tastes are a bit more discerning so I'm extremely excited
We also caught up on laundry and made some meals for the week. I love the sense of accomplishment I get when it's Sunday night and i feel like we are ready to face the week ahead! What did everyone get up to this weekend?
Saturday, November 5, 2011
[caption id="attachment_283" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Happy Birthday Stranger"][/caption]
I LOVED this image and thought it was a really creative way to showcase a bunch of photos of the birthday boy or girl. I showed this to my friend Natalie who helped me make it even better! (and 10 years older)
[caption id="attachment_284" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Happy Birthday Mum"][/caption]
As per usual I didn't take a picture at the height of the decor (picture hot pink balloons and streamers) but I have to say that I was thrilled at how it turned out. It definitely makes me want to make more of an effort to actually attempt some of these things I want to try!
*Finish those stupid storm doors that we started in July (herein lies the ADD....we have started working on these twice, but I think because it is just such an annoying terrible job we kept putting it off. Now it's nearly winter and time to get those done!)
*Organize our clothes..summer stuff gets banished to bins in the basement and winter stuff rejoins us. The downside of having a small space is even smaller closet space (I am sure I have commented on this before!) so organization is the only way to go
*Rake the gigantic pile of leaves that have fallen on the yard. Trees are our best friends in the summer months, however in the fall they are proving to be more of a pain in the butt
*Weather strip the doors
*Clean the windows and window frames (the new pretty blinds deserve better!)
And likely a million other small jobs...let's see how many we actually can tackle
Friday, November 4, 2011
As luck would have it, when the furnace guy was checking things out on Wednesday, he noticed that our sensor was on the fritz. So, he removed it and is replacing it today (hopefully this helps with some of the heating issues we have been having. The unfortunate issue is that he had to remove it to fix it. So we haven't had heat since Wed afternoon. This morning was brutal. Our noses were frozen and they were the only things peeking out from our sea of blankets. Thankfully furnace guy is coming back today to put the sensor back in...because I really don't think I could have handled having it any colder. (and I dont think G could have handled listening to me say "...but I'm freeeeeeeezzzzziiiiiing" much longer) I have been reading some frugal living blogs lately and they talk about not turning the furnace on until Nov 1st. I am thinking maybe we should try that next year and save some moolah, however, I think I will need to insist on some sort of fuzzy rug on my side of the bed and a heat lamp in the upstairs bathroom!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
had turned into this:
[caption id="attachment_289" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Snazzy new blind!"][/caption]
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
come for a visit on Thursday and hung up our decorations! We were party ready way before guests even showed up...we've since discussed that we should have a party every weekend...think of all we'd get done. I hope everyone had a fun as safe Halloween.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I also just realized that it's 6 months since we have had cable. I was hesitant at first as we are big fans of the couch snuggle/tv watch...but to be honest I don't miss it! We got Netflicks which we can watch when we crave the lazy....but I'm impressed with how little I miss having TV!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Garret was manning the BBQ so I mentioned to Regan he could help me change the light out in the kitchen....you know, quick project while G finished dinner. He said "that will be a quick job no worries" he moved the ladder and got to work! About 3 minutes later he said that he had spoken too soon....and my heart sank. I have come to realize that no job in our house is a quick one! Turns out that the wires were super old and crappy and he wasn't comfortable hooking the light up to them. After freaking me out that he'd have to cut a giant hole in my wall and ceiling Regan and G did some sleuthing and made it work with just one small hole. Phew! I'm realizing that no matter how small/fast we think a job will be, we need to be sure to leave tons of time to do it.
I'll put up a pic of the new light later--I'm really happy with it (thankfully!!)
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Granted this would look more impressive if id waited til the fridge was put back to take the pic...or if I used our good camera and not my phone. But still...you get the jist. Now we just need to agree on a backsplash and change the lighting (we scored a sweet track/directional light from my mum), floor mat for the door....then I think we could call it quits in here. Oh...and a pot rack, I've got my shopping goggles on for just the right one. Then kitchen is done! And we will rock, paper, scissors to see if our bedroom or the front hall is the next project.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Then Sat and Sunday we did some cleaning as we were having all the neighbors in for a back yard BBQ on Sunday.( we decided we need to have guests every week it really makes us power tidy) So the back yard is just about ready for Fall and we had a blast getting to know our neighbours better.
This is Wendy our next door neighbour's dog. We LOVE her and hope to get one of her sisters or brothers some day. She was the guest of honor at the BBQ and loved snuggling. After everyone left and we had tidied up we thought we should start to tackle something we had been talking about forever---the chalkboard wall. We had taped it off probably a month ago so what was holding us back!? So I'm attaching some photos of the progression:
We are really happy with how it looks but we need to do another coat with the roller to smooth things out. Maybe this time G will let me paint.....?
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Sweet Potato and Coconut Quinoa Soup
2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup Quinoa
3 cups Vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Chili powder
1/4 cup plain yogurt (optional)
Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 2-3" pieces. Boil until just soft but not mushy (roughly 6 mins I found)
Place water and onion in large saucepan over medium heat and cook until the onions soften. Stir in quinoa and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 mins until quinoa is cooked.
Add sweet potato to the saucepan. Puree the mixture with a hand blender. Return to low heat and stir in coconut milk. Add cayenne and chili powder. (yogurt can be added on top when serving)
This was delicious and I am a crazy big fan of Quinoa!!! I would have added a bit more spice next time and I think if you want to reduce calories you could probably add less coconut milk. However it was super delicious and lasted me for quite a few lunches.
Creatures G vetoed me bringing home EVER as pets:
- Toads, Frogs or Newts
- Lizards including chameleons
- Rodents of any kind (yes including moles)
- Snakes (didnt really want one so its ok)
He is NO FUN AT ALL. I am however allowed to have a dog (yay) and one day soon we are going to get a Wiener dog named Gus and our family will be complete...for a while at least. I am pretty sure he only said yes to a dog in the hopes that it will make me want to wait 3 more years for a baby. (psssst just a secret between us? It won't work!)
***Just saw your comment Mum--no GusGus yet...but one day soon I hope!!!!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We also went and filled our freezer with a years supply of meat--it's obscene but will help with meal planning. "what shall we make tonight? Perhaps a metric ton of meat? Sounds amazing!"
Friday, September 2, 2011
*paint chalkboard wall
*remove the old door hardware that has been painted over in the door way
*fill in the holes this will leave
*clean and repaint the white trim
*do a backsplash
*paint and get countertop for our butcher block
*new light fixture (this is a want more than a need)
*cap the top of the cupboards so that the 8″ headspace is no longer a dust depository
Then happy dance….shortly followed by starting a new room to do list!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I'll leave you with a before and after.... Or you could call it the 20 min porch tweak.
Clearly we have a way to go on this porch re do!!!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
*make our engagement video ( this is getting done for sure as my friend is
Coming over with his video camera a bit later)
*Buy a chest freezer from Costco.(this has to happen as we have a large order of meat coming on Monday night)
*finish stripping the doors I started in June (blush)
*Paint wall in kitchen
*hand out block party invitations
*500 other things I will think of once G gets up and makes us coffee!!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
some neighbours that the lady who owned the house before the people we bought it from was lots of fun (ok that seemed complicated--hope we didn't lose anyone) She used to throw a party every year in the mega back yard and have neighbours over for a Pot luck BBQ. I loved that idea and G and I decided to bring it back! We are going to do this mid September and have a bocce ball/ horseshoe tournament/meet the new neighbours BBQ. Mum and I were feeling crafty the other weekend so we made some invitations:
This weekend I am going to add the where and when details and drop them off to the neighbours! We've met a few of them already but I'm looking forward to having them over to hang out in our backyard. Am just debating if I should buy Garret a kiss the cook/ grill master apron as he will be manning the grill.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
As the alarm begins to blare the next morning, we tend to snuggle up convincing ourselves and each other that snoozing is a far better option. We assure ourselves that we can get ready and leave the house in 7minutes flat. (this is a flat out lie...but we tell it to ourselves daily) Instead of a leisurely morning routine there we are fighting for prime real-estate--the upstairs bathroom mirror. We inevitably leave something behind remembering it as we close in on the city. Items forgotten include: sunglasses, cell phone, lunches, and one memorable morning: one contact lens!
This has all been happening in the spring and summer months. Mornings where at 6 or even before, the sun has started shining in our windows, rays creeping across the pillow causing me to bury my head further into blankets. Fall is approaching! This morning I noticed it was still dark when we finally raced out of bed. This is going to be problematic as the days get shorter and we can find better reasons to keep hibernating in our bed. Maybe I should inquire about the possibilities of working from home a few days a week. Surely no one would know I was answering emails and phone calls from
Monday, August 22, 2011
I will post some photos as there were a few classic moments for sure--- but I only have 1 on my phone:
My Nanny hit the dance floor and we rocked out to Justin Biebers "Baby" before she retired to drink some beer and people watch.
So Sunday was spent being lazy and eating grilled cheese sandwiches perfectly grilled by my mum. We had ice cream cake for Ashley's birthday and several naps. Nothing got done but it was SO worth it!
***Some additional glimpses of the night:
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
That's right ladies and gentlemen....I bought a car. It is by no means a new car. In fact by vehicle standards it would be considered elderly. But, it runs, it was inexpensive and most importantly it's MINE! I have learned over the years through sharing a car with my brother, then much later with G, that sharing a car is a fallacy. The vehicle most definitely belongs to one person and the other person is just allowed to use it on (rare) occasions. I'm excited to be able to have some more freedom and no longer rely on G, my mum and public transit like I was a teenager.
Drum roll please.....
Isn't it beautiful? G and I were throwing names around last night. I suggested Burt while he thought Sally Jesse Raphael (SJ) for short was a good option.(Garret is creative and weird and that is why I love him folks) Any other suggestions for names?
Monday, August 15, 2011
[caption id="attachment_167" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="pretty snazzy light fixture"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_168" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cover Piece"][/caption]
Absolutely stunning plates from Urban Outfitters! I think they are so awesome...I need to have another couple over to dinner soon so I can use these for either dessert or side plates. They will look really cool with our white dishes and serving plates. Maybe I can convince G we "need" a new black tablecloth. How funky would that look!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I have complained before about a lack of closet space and this is the area that bothers me the most--no front hall cupboard. Until such a time when we can make the back room our mud room, (likely1-2 years from now) our front door remains the main entrance. As much as we tried to make neat piles of shoes (and G even banished a few pairs of mine to the basement!!!!) this always looked like a cluttered area and it made me nuts. One quick trip to Costco and problem solved:
Granted a shoe rack in the dining room isn't exactly a high point for design, but at least it's cute and tidy.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Those of you who know me, or I should say knew what my bedroom looked like when I was growing up, could comment on my untidiness. In fact those who know my mum's obsessive tidy gene might question how I am her daughter. We would have countless "discussions" over the years about the need to have a clean bedroom. My argument was always that it took too long and that it would just get dirty again (excellent argument young Julia!!!) Over and over Mum would repeat her mantra "maintenance!!!!" if you do a little each day then it's never a big job. To which I would scoff as I put away my laundry by throwing it on the floor.....
Fast forward a few years to now. SHE WAS RIGHT!!! (And side note it is way more difficult keeping a house and yard clean than it was just my bedroom, or Garret and my teensy apartment!)
We have been away the past few weekends and going to the gym a few evenings a week which leaves minimal time for a big cleanup. So we had a chat last night about how to best keep stuff organized and you will never guess what we decided....new mantra for the ShWalsh family "maintenance"!
We are going to make a list each week with jobs on it so that we can make sure we are tackling more than just the kitchen and laundry. (and those two things sure pile up quickly too) I wonder how everyone else makes time?! Any pointers? (aside from "always listen to your mother")
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I should have got an "after" shot as well... She did not so much like the smooth smooth taste of palm bay, and she traded it in for a bud light lime instead!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
They look quite lovely but we have 2 weeks until the taste test will let us know for sure! We have started a list of everything else we want to can this year (while I am a newbie my mum has definitely done this before) We are going to do sweet peppers, pickled onions, dill pickles and an antipasti type of veggie. Is it super nerdly that I can't wait to see jars lined up in my basement so I can pretend to be Laura Ingalls?
Or I guess I could just say It never hurts to be prepared.... You know, just in case?