National Novel Writing Month: Not again!

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November has, for the last 5 or 6 years, become significant to me – not for mustaches & Movember – but for the phenomena known as “NaNoWriMo” – or National Novel Writing Month. A month where participants around the world, take on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word book in one month.
Almost every year since I learned about NaNoWriMo, I have taken on the challenge. Never, not once, have I accomplished writing 50k+words. Ever. I think the closest I got one year was 15k.
This year, I totally forgot about it, until I was 2 weeks in, frantically wrote for an evening, and got 2014 words.
I calculated that if I wrote the same amount every night for the rest of the month, I could do it!
And then forgot about it again, until today.
Whoops.

Next year.

You would think, that with all the technology at my finger tips – cell phone, a laptop, and a tablet – and an abundance of notebooks and paper and pens kicking around our house – that I would have no excuse for not writing.
In fact, that one night of frantic writing I did, was done on my cellphone. On the bus!

Next year I will bring my Kindle with me, and write every day when I have a few spare moments.

Someone hold me to this?

So, what was I doing instead of writing, you ask?

Good question.

I finished playing BioShock, and got another 15% progress on my 100% completion of Lego Star Wars (that’s 65% completion, everyone!).

I made my Christmas present for my brother-in-law.

I painted and decupaged 3 Christmas ornaments (and will continue painting them this week and the next….pictures to come soon!)

I started organizing our library and my craft room. Paul will have to take responsibility for his comics though – I don’t want to mess up his what-order-to-read-them-in…

I made rice krispie squares, according to the previous post – although I did not have time to dip them in chocolate. I’ll be making them again soon though, they were really good!!
(Seriously, Dip It In Chocolate, new favorite blog of all time!)

And tonight, I am waiting for meat loaf to cook in the oven (and once again, did not write down what I put in it.) – apparently experimental meatloaf is a hit though, ’cause Paul never complains about it!

And since there is 5 minutes left on the timer, I will be signing off – maybe January is when I’ll actually get to writing….

Chocolate dipped Rice Crispy squares?

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Chocolate-dipped Caramel Rice Krispy Squares from Dip It in Chocolate.

I just had to share this – it sounds SO GOOD.

I think I would attempt these – as well as a version minus the caramel, but with a layer of peanut butter spread on top of the squares, before the chocolate was added.

Man, my mouth is watering already!

When I make these (oh, I WILL make these), I will post my results, and let you know!!

Colds are Horrible.

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I sat down to write some fun content for WW today, but just looking at food is making me feel woozy.

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The Toy Traders booth at Vancouver Mega Comicon

I spent 6 days in a row working, and first day was 15 hours in total. I got up at 5am, got to work, and from there went and worked all day at Vancouver Mega Comicon – which, although not a complete bust, certainly wasn’t the biggest and bestest convention I’ve ever attended. Although for my first experience working at a convention, I was glad it was as calm as it was. It made it much less overwhelming – and when faced with large crowds of people, I can get overwhelmed rather easily.

However, 6 days was enough to send my immune system over the edge, and I now have a cold.

Head colds are horrible.

On the plus side, I’m going to Knit City tomorrow with my friend Karen. I’m looking forward to it, and will be taking some Nighttime Cold & Sinus Tylenol tonight to help me get a good nights sleep before we leave. We’re hoping to get there early enough to be one of the first 50 people in line, so we can get a free swag bag.

At $10 for the entire weekend, I’d say it’s going to be a good show. Even the cheapest comic/pop culture conventions cost 3x as much!

Hopefully I can control the cold enough to enjoy the show! Right now I just feel woozy, and have no desire to do anything other than curl up in bed. Which is what I plan on doing right now.

Wedding DIY: Paper Flowers

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Here you can see some of my flowers floating in water along with floating tealights. These were our centerpieces at our reception.

This is the first of the DIY projects I want to share with you, that I found while planning my wedding.

This is one that I actually used!

I found this tutorial and immediately knew what I wanted to do with it: Make flowers out of old comic book pages!!

http://www.photographybysusie.com/blog/how-to-make-paper-roses-maryland-wedding-photographers/

I found the flowers simple to make, although time consuming. Each flower took between 15-20 minutes, depending on how focused I was, and whether or not the glue wanted to co-operate.

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My wedding bouquet: Silk flowers, comic book flowers, and crystal beads.

The flowers I floated in water (see above) I dipped in wax to water proof them, although this did not prevent them from catching fire! Throughout the reception, many of the floating flowers caught fire – luckily my guests are smart, and they were immediately dunked in the water to put out any flames before they became dangerous.

The other flowers were combined with silk flowers, crystal beads, and ribbon to make the beautiful bouquets that I and my bridesmaids all held.

I chose older comics, with non-glossy paper, as I felt they held the curled edges better – however older comics printed on newsprint, are not as colourful, and don’t stand out as well.

Overall, the flowers were a hit, and my bouquet will be something I can save and cherish for many, many years.

These flowers could be used to create fun and unique centerpieces; easy non-floral bouquets or hair decorations!

Gather a group of bridesmaids and friends, and you can power through 100 of these in one afternoon!

Lengthy Absence.

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My appologies, I have been gone for far too long!

We have been moving over the course of September (bigger…hopefully better place!) – it’s a bit stressful, but we’re pulling through!

A couple things I have planned for the next few posts:

  • A selection of DIY Christmas crafts I’ve found.
  • And a selection of DIY Wedding crafts I found back last year when I was planning my wedding.
  • And shared cooking and baking fun!

The first to come up will be the Christmas one – because one can never get an early enough start on their Christmas crafts! Especially when they’re kept busy every day!

One other thing, if you live in the Vancouver, BC area, check out Vancouver Mega Comic-Con October 6 and 7th! It probably won’t be as big as Fan Expo Vancouver was earlier this year, but I’m hoping with some good backers, and big local vendors bringing in their customers, this brand-new comic convention, will survive to come again next year.

Nom-noms! Food things!

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I’ve had a week of fun in the world of food this week!

Starting with Sunday’s offering of turkey meat-loaf! Paul decided that once he returned from his annual golf trip, he wanted to start a diet (for health, with the added bonus of loosing a few pounds). Since meat-loaf is his favorite meal, he requested it for his last meal before the diet.

Home made Turkey Meat-loaf and baked veggies!

It was DEEEELISHOUS! My best yet! – The only problem is, I never write down what I do with my meat-loafs, so I apologize. The best I can say is I picked up one package of lean ground turkey, mixed that up with crushed crackers, one egg, and some frozen peas and carrots. I threw in a small amount of flour to keep it all together, and threw in some spices (oregano, basil, and cayenne powder). I formed it into a loaf-like shape, put it into the casserole, mixed together some ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and maple syrup (yes! maple syrup!) and poured it over the top. Then I added baby carrots, and sliced potatoes, with some margarine around the edges.

My once a week diet-break: Poutine made with yam fries.

The other night, I decided to go to Paul’s hockey game (he plays in a casual league in Coquitlam, BC) – two of the ice rinks you can see from the upstairs bar, and that nights game was in one of them. So, I chose to watch from there and have dinner at the same time. As a lover of poutine, a fine Canadian delicacy, I felt I would try their spin on it. As a lover of yam fries as well, I chose to mix the two together and asked if it could be done. And it could! – I can’t say they make “normal” poutine – instead of cheese curds, they put grated cheese on top. I’m not sure if I like the difference or not. The gravy was good ol’ beef gravy, and was just the right amount of salty to balance the sweetness of the yam fries.

Apple Salad with “homemade” dressing

The last item I’ll share is the salad I made for tonights dinner. Unlike the meatloaf, I did mentally record what I did for it. Paul seemed uneasy about it at first, but he was licking his fork clean at the end, and wanted more.

Apple Salad

  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 3/4 cup of red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Boathouse Tropical Mango Vinaigrette dressing (or other similar fruit-based vinaigrette)
  • cashews
  • dried asian noodles
  • onion crisps (the kind you can find in the salad-making area of your grocery store.) or croutons
  • 2 medium gala apples (or whatever sweet, crisp apples you prefer)

Mix the lettuce, cabbage, carrots and apple together with the cashews and dried noodles. Apples should be fresh and crisp, as should the lettuce.

In a separate bowl, beat mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and mango vinaigrette together. Amounts can be adjusted to taste. Should be slightly sour, but still sweet. Make more or less according to how much you would like on your salad.

Mix the mayonnaise dressing into the salad, lettuce should be thinly coated (but not too thin!) with the dressing. Top with onion crisps or croutons, and serve.

Makes a sweet but refreshing salad for a warm summer night. Not that it was warm or anything like summer tonight (even though it’s almost half way into June!).

I had intended to include grated marble cheese, but quite forgot. I’ll have to add some for next time.

Adventures in Breadmaking

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So, last Sunday I was waiting for Paul to come home from his golf tournament, and decided that I should finally take a turn at making bread.

Now with adorable owl timer!

I chose a very simple recipe I found in the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, by Jennifer Reese. It was easy to follow, and required no kneading. This was a key point for me, because this was what had been holding me back from making bread in the past.

I chose to use water, and instead of part whole wheat, part white flour, I used all white flour.

It took longer to rise than expected, but I blame that in part on myself. I should have let it rise on the oven as it was heating, but instead set on the counter. If I had left them on the oven, it wouldn’t have taken an extra hour and a half to rise.

Baking in the oven!

After they finished in the oven, they turned into thick, heavy, doughy loaves. Not the usual white fluffy stuff I’m used to picking up from the grocery store! But! I sliced off an end, and it tasted SO VERY GOOD!

Fresh and tasty!

For anyone looking to try their hand at bread making, it was a simple and easy introduction for me to the art. Next time I’ll try something a little more complicated, and with a little more kneading. It’s been very satisfying eating home made bread for the last week.