Friday, February 29, 2008

Fashion Forward

It was a happy mail day! Early this morning my Dad came over with the remaining turtle things we got at the baby sale. We ordered the t-shirts online because they were $10 in the US and $20 here... um yeah, it was a no brainer. Plus I had a 20% off coupon, so they really were $8 each. Oh yeah, I love my Gymbo, but I don't pay the big prices. Yay. Here are a few pics of the fashion girl. Excuse the odd faces, she had a mouth full of fish crackers. Lol.

This morning was coffee party, and that was lots of fun. I finally talked about my weight loss with the ladies there. Yes, its not really a secret... well, it was but there comes a time when you really can't hide it anymore... especially physically. Basically, after new years, I came home from our trip ready to try the Biggest Loser fitness and food plan. I loved the show, and I have tried many things in the past but with my food allergies, I have never been able to do a program properly, this one was perfect for me, FINALLY! So as of this morning, I have lost 26.5 lb. (Yes Amy, my face got slimmer, lol)

The only ones who really knew about this was my friends on the 'Born in August' message board. We have a little weight loss thread going and a contest for a gift certificate for the person who lost the most in the first month. Well, I got my gift certificate in the mail last week, yes I won! I was floored, seriously! Actually its good because I need to buy some clothes that fit me better now. Anyhoo, I am aiming to be at 30lb lost by Easter, hopefully sooner. I want to continue and try and lose another 20-30lb and reach my pre-marriage weight again. Woot. Our Disneyland trip is the big reward for the hard work, and then I hope another baby will follow too. All things in time.

So when Ariel and I returned from coffee, the neighbor brought over a parcel that the mail man left this morning. I love our neighbors, they are so nice. Anyways, he held on to it so I didn't have to go to the post office tomorrow. Yay. This parcel was for Ariel from her Grammy Liz! She got 2 new outfits and a cute pair of shoes. Of course we had to wear them to send pictures and a thank you. Very cute indeed.

Tomorrow we have some fun things planned. Ariel and I are seeing Mike, Jo and Nana and Papa for breakfast, yay! Then later when Ken gets home, we are going to have dinner with one of his co workers and his wife and kids. Then Sunday is church and its a soup and bun lunch afterwards! So lots planned and I am very excited. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring has Sprung... kinda

Hey everyone! Can you believe its almost the weekend again!? Its been a beautiful week here and we have been getting out so much that its strange to think there is a forecast of rain all weekend. Boo. Well, they did say rain this week too and it didn't really happen, so lets hope that is the case again.

Thank you all who commented on our Oscar goodies. As promised, here are the recipes. They are all from the Biggest Loser Cookbook, which I HIGHLY recommend! They are all low calorie meals and they taste great. Yummy!

Stuffed Mushrooms

4 mushrooms
1 1/2 tbsp crumbed fat free feta cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne

Preheat oven to 425°F, mist pan with oil. Remove stems and mince. Add cheese, parsley, oil and cayenne, and mix well. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps. Bake for 12-15 minutes. 4 mushrooms are a serving that equals 48 calories!

Lettuce Wraps

1 can bamboo shoots (drained and minced)
1 can of water chestnuts (drained and minced)
3 tbsp sherry (I didn't have any so I didn't add it to mine)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 packets of splenda (or sugar substitute)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup minced onion
1/2 pound ground chicken breast
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
8 leaves of butter lettuce
1 whole chopped green onion
1 small cucumber, sliced into 1" strips

In bowl combine bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, sherry, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce and sugar sub. Mix well, set aside. In skillet, spray with oil and over medium heat cook garlic for 2 min. Add onion, cook for 3-4 min. Add chicken, ginger and salt. Cook until chicken no longer pink. Add bamboo mixture. Cook until hot, stir in sesame oil. Remove from heat, add the green onion and cucumber. Put some in lettuce leaf and roll and eat. A serving (about 2-3 leaves) is 191 calories!


1/2 cup of cold milk
1/4 kahlua or coffee flavored liqueur (didn't have it so didn't add it)
1 envelop sugar free, low fat chocolate mousse mix
1 tbsp unsweetened coco powder
2 chocolate graham crackers crushed into crumbs
1 cup thawed fat free frozen whipped topping

Mix milk, kahlua, mousse mix and coco with electric blender. Whip until blended, then increase speed until fluffy. In wine glasses, layer mouse, 2 tsp crumbs and 2 tbsp of topping. Repeat once more, sprinkle top with remaining crumbs. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 4 and each is 145 calories!

So I hope you enjoy those. We sure did. Yesterday Ariel and I decided to go to Costco as we were running low on toilet paper and paper towel. When we arrived the first thing I saw when entering was this wonderful set of luggage. Ken and I have never had our own set, we have been borrowing stuff from Nana for years and it takes up a lot of room. This set fits all inside each other, and with the more traveling Ken is doing these days, makes sense to get our own. It was $200, but with the special door coupon this week was only $150! Woot! I was pretty pumped! Can't wait to use it on our Disney trip this fall.

We also got a couple of super thick beach towels. Ariel was the only one with a real towel in the house, and if we plan to go swimming and to the water park more this summer, they be good to have on hand. Plus they are gorgeous colors! Ariel liked them too. I love this picture. What a cutie!

Today was a bright and sunny day. We met Nana and Papa for coffee then went on a big walk around town. We saw several dogs and nearly lost Ariel's little baby. She at some point dropped her and didn't say anything. Good thing I realized when I did, so we were able to go back and find her. I need a bungee cord for her toys. Haha.

Before going home we stopped to visit Stella at the quilt shop. Saw some really cute fabric bits in bundles, so I am hoping I will be able to get some for a craft idea I have for Ariel's second birthday. Hee.

As we were heading to put the stroller away, I decided to briefly go by the wharf so Ariel could see the boats and ducks. She quite liked that, and I was taken by the stillness of the water today. Very pretty.

Once we were home, I noticed a little something poking out of one of my deck pots. Sure enough a little Spring friend arrived. A nice surprise, especially since I didn't think I had any bulbs left in the pot.

Ariel snuck out behind me during that time and wanted to drive her car. Its was almost warm enough to not have a coat on... but not quite. Sorry kiddo, go get that coat on!

We had a nice lunch, played with some toys and read a few books. Ariel liked being the princess on her throne of towels. She was demanding milk and fish crackers, what a diva!

During her nap, I rested myself. Ken was working late tonight, so I need my strength. I was surprised how long she slept though, so it was a pleasant surprise and I got to catch up on some friends blogs. When she got up, we made some dinner and had a quiet meal for 2.

After dinner Ariel got her second wind and was running around, such a little goofy girl.

Lots of laughing followed. Ariel has the best laugh. Hee.

Then on to bath and bed again. She was sad to go to bed, more so because she hadn't seen Daddy today. Oh well. Tomorrow is coffee party, so that will be fun. I think I may head to bed soon myself, yawn. So that ends another day in the life of Jay and Ariel. Good night!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Oscar goes to...

...does it matter? Sorry, I really wasn't interested in any of the films this year, except Ratatouille, and I am happy it won for Animated feature. Woot! Jon Stewart was good, and it was how I expected it would be... somewhat ok. Coming out of a writers strike is never usually a good thing, and so the script was indeed shorter than usual. Overall there were some beautiful gowns, some great speeches from the not so famous people (frankly those ones are my favs anyways) and some good laughs at the Republicans expense. Hee.

By far the main even for us was the yummy dishes I cooked up for the festivities. We had some yummy mushroom caps...

...lettuce wraps...

What! None for me?

and yummy parfaits for dessert. Oh soooooo good.

Ariel enjoyed the musical numbers and was dancing around the living room. She also got excited when ever she saw Jon Stewart back on. Even at one point we are sure we heard her say 'its Jon!' Too funny. She also seemed taken with Johnny Depp, like every other girl in the country.

When the show got too boring for Ariel, she turned to playing with the shoes. What a lady!

Monday was a wonderful sunny day.We were both up at the crack of dawn since Ken was leaving early for orientation day at the school, as the new students were starting. So we were out the door by 10 to 9am. Had coffee with Nana and had a long walk around town. We picked up some stuff at the store for dinners this week, and came home. Apparently, the rain is coming... we shall see. Hard to believe when its so beautiful out that you can see the mountains perfectly.

This morning it was more of an overcast day, with a few sprinkles, but good enough for us to go walking again. Before we could go, the mailman came by with a special parcel for Ariel. YAY, her passport arrived! Ok, I believe thats a record. I went last week!

Just for fun, here she is the first time she got her passport back in April 2007. Talk about growing up!

We went out and got some organic homo milk for Ariel, as they were sold out yesterday. Saw a fire truck zoom by with its lights and siren on. Bought some of my cereal that was on sale at Safeway this week, and then just took our time going home. I know the rain is really coming soon... sigh.

When we got home, Ariel played with her toys while I made lunch. She was in a really goofy mood today, singing funny little songs to herself. She also showed off her letter skills, pointing out the letter i (while saying 'i') in the word zuchini! Must be all that Sesame Street her and Daddy have been watching together.

When Ariel went down for a nap, I decided to set up the Easter stuff. Its so weird that its really early this year, and I am still trying to get use to it. Anyhoo, I set up the Easter tree and other decorations on the dinning hutch.

Our new addition this year are the 'Resurrection Eggs' that I got in Michigan during our last visit. There is a little booklet, and for the last 12 days before Easter, you open the particular egg and it has a little thing inside that goes with the story in the book. I look forward to using these as a family tradition every year.

I also put out my totally old school chicken placemats. I used these back when I was a kid and I still LOVE THEM! They are looking a little old, and part of me wants to make some new ones one day, especially when it comes time for Ariel to need a placemat. But for now, we use my old reliable ones. I love you little chickens!

After dinner tonight, Ariel and Ken were playing their silly little game... thought you might like to see too.

I am thinking about going to Costco tomorrow since we are nearly out of toilet paper and paper towel again, so that might be a fun change of pace. Until then, I leave you with our hero, riding into the sunset. Have a good night!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

After all is said and done...

The last few nights I have been slowly finishing the church directory that I have been working on for the past few weeks. Tomorrow the draft will be out at church for people to check, and frankly I have already found several changes to make. Ugh. Either way, its all good since the majority of it all is finished, and I can breath a little easier. The hard part has been mostly getting all the information from people, as they tend to forget to submit it when asked... and asked... and asked again. Sigh.

On Thursday night we allowed Ariel to treat us to dinner at the Keg (since thats when they seem to be open only around here). It was also the last day we could use the gift certificate that Ariel had won in the radio station contest several months ago. Shows how often we have time for things like this. Haha. It was a good break from the work and a nice time together in a place that was a bit more fancy than we usually go to these days. The waiter was super sweet to Ariel, and brought her sippy cup filled with water on his serving tray with the glasses of wine for the table next to us. Awe. Something really cute about that.

We had the most amazing meal, it was the special of the night, steak and veggies with with a sauce with lobster added. Yum!!! Ariel had the BBQ chicken, and I was most impressed with the kids menu having a VEGGIE opinion! Most places its just fries, but no you could get a side of veg, always nice to see. She ended up bringing half her dinner home since she filled up on the bread basket.

We got home and Ken headed out to be a guest speaker at another Bible study group. While he was out, my Dad called and we got invited to breakfast the next morning. Woot. Then it was bath time for the bubble shark. She is gonna get ya!

Next day we went for breakfast with Dad and Rita, and they had gifts for Ariel from their vacation in Florida and Disneyworld. Some cute clothes and a stuffed alligator that became the toy of the day in Ariel's eyes. Later when we were out at the store people were laughing at the pink princess and her scary looking gater. Kinda a funny sight. Hee.

Anyhoo, after breakfast, Ariel and I spent the morning with a friend from church, Lesley. She is in the middle of writing music for the next Christmas concert, and asked me if I could do the script for her. So we brainstormed and I got to hear the music she has written thus far. Its going to be a neat project indeed. It was nice to visit with her too, since its been awhile since we have had the opportunity to do so. I use to babysit for her back in the year when I was getting married, gack, almost seven years ago. Now I have the little one, how times flies.

So then last night I stayed up till past midnight finishing the draft directory, since today was my self appointed deadline. Yawn, so a little tired today. Especially since we were up early for the church's AGM meeting. I was helping introducing the new logo, so I had to be up bright and early. Gack. Since Ariel wasn't keen on staying for the whole meeting, we met up with my Dad so he could help me replace the front headlight of our car that had burnt out and put on new windshield wipers. Yay, the car is happy again.

I also picked up Ken's picture at the framers, looks good, now to find the right wall. Also in was the new bathing suit I ordered. Not sure if there is anything more frightening than bathing suit shopping. Ugh. I actually picked it out online, using the Sears online virtual model. Very cool. I made up a person that looked like me and had it try on the suits for me. WOOT! So I ordered the one I thought looked the best and when I tried it on today, I must say, I was VERY happy. I got a Tankini that had a skirted bottom, which I love. Here is the online catalog picture of the suit.
The fit was great and I love the skirt, since I am not a fan of reveling too much of myself. This was a suit I would have never picked for myself, so I am just tickled how cute it is and so youthful feeling compared to my last swimsuit that was a maternity one, ugh. I just signed Ariel up for her next level of swimming lessons in March, so we are now all ready to go! Mommy has to look good next to Ariel, hee.

Tomorrow is Oscar night, and I have a yummy list of treats prepared out of my favorite new cookbook, and they are healthy too! Woot. Ken and I live for Oscar night, so we are very excited to see it is actually happening after coming close to being canceled due to the writers strike. Ariel will be excited to see her buddy Jon Stewart hosting, so it should be a fun night. Maybe as much fun as a barrel of monkeys... er basket of baby.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One of those days...

Sometimes I just can't win. Blah. Today had a lot of promise, Nana and I were going to town for shopping, taking in Ariel's passport stuff and a free lunch with the gift certificate I still had for the Keg. Seemed flawless right? Naw, this is me your talking about. Haha.

So we get on the road and arrive at the mall bright and early. Ariel was happy to be at her favorite Gymboree store for the big baby sale. Sadly she sat still for only 5 minutes and from then on was taking all the hair clips from the accessory stand and handing them out to all the babies in buggies. It was really cute actually, but when I tried to get things to the register to pay, Ariel pitched a fit that not every girl had enough clips. Good grief.

That ended once she saw her new purse mommy got her. Yes, I thought my sweetie would love a little purse to for dress up, and boy was I RIGHT! As we left the store, she happily carried her new purse, showing anyone who caught her eye. We also managed to attract enough attention that people were asking where they could go buy one of the purses. I think I need a commission, because I think they will have sold at least 5 thanks to me and Ariel. Haha.

Next stop was the passport office. The night before I had put everything in my bag that I would need... or so I thought. Get through only to have them realize that I need to show Ariel's birth certificate. Crud. I thought with only her picture being updated on her passport, that was all that was needed along with the form, I stand corrected. So now we will be going back tomorrow morning to finish up everything. At least she gave me a form that will bypass the long lines, bless her heart. Apparently, passport Canada has hired nice people. What a change. Even the security guard had a smile and a wave for Ariel. Makes for a pleasant visit, even with the mix up on my part. Oh well.

Ariel ended up slipping on her coat while waiting with Nana and cut her inner lip. She cried, we hugged and there was blood. It was gone pretty fast and no chipped teeth, so we are all good. She was checking out all the other little babies getting passports. Luckily she didn't poke anyone's eyes out. We finally got her to know her eyes (she always pointed to ears since she thought they sounded the same, lol) but she now wants to point them out, er poke them, on everyone.

So then it was off to lunch... again so I thought. Get to the Keg only to see this location only does dinner. Call Ken and he calls a few and gets the same response. At this point I am practically crying in the car. Mostly due to PMS but either way, I wasn't happy. We head back home to have lunch at the Boot, only to wait forever since there is only ONE waitress during the lunch crowd? What gives!?

Lunch was good when it finally arrived... of course that was after the big group next to us already had their food and they came in AFTER us. Boo! I split everything in half and got a doggy bag for a yummy leftover lunch tomorrow. So that is a positive. Hee. Ariel was thrilled with her mac & cheese, the girl was starving at that point. She finished everything pretty quick and then made friends with the little girl in the next booth.

Came home and stripped her down since her dress, tight and sweater were showing all signs of our morning from dirt, blood and mac & cheese. Lovely eh? Got her changed and into bed, and she slept for a long time.

Other news, turns out I will be getting a credit on the Otter film since I helped Ken out! Too cool, I must say I am excited, and its a nice treat after helping Ken till 1am those few nights.

Well, I have some work to do, so I better get going. Tomorrow will be better... it always is.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Now a word from Ariel

Hi people that read my mommy's blog thing! This is Ariel, filling in tonight since my mommy is helping Daddy finish some work. They aren't letting me help, apparently my scribbles aren't up to standard yet. If this is what living with 2 artists is going to be like, I might need to become an lawyer, just to bug them. Hehe.

Anyways, what has Mommy been saying about me lately? She didn't tell the pee on the floor story did she? I will never be able to show my face at Gymboree again if she did. I know she wanted me to sit on that potty thing, but puppy REALLY had to go, so really I was helping.

Mommy and I went to the store today for veggies and diapers. We ran into Aunty Lala shopping and buying peanut butter. I don't eat a lot of peanut butter, I prefer more complex flavors like salmon and spinach. Don't get me wrong, if its food I will eat it, I am not picky.

We went through the tight area where the nice people talk to me, put our food in bags and mommy gives over that little plastic card. I am never allowed to read the pretty magazines they have beside me. I wanted to know why they always have big chocolate cakes on the weight loss ones. Hmmm cake. I like cake, its one of my favorite words these days. Somehow I thought if I learned to say something I would get it... not so true with the cake word. Need to work on that.

On the way home we saw Nana and Papa. I enjoy visiting them, but they never let me play on the computer... again, I think Mommy has them convinced that I shouldn't. I was showing off my climbing skills today, I got on Nana's bed all by myself. Even I amaze myself sometimes.

When we got home I got a yummy lunch. Afterwards we got to open a special parcel from some of Mommy's internet mommy friends. We had sent a valentines gift to someone and today we got one too!

I got a cute dolly, I love her!

Mommy got some low calorie candy, which apparently is the good kind because I don't think Daddy is allowed to have any... or me for that matter, even though I am trying hard in this picture to steal some.

Thank you so much Sarah Rachel and Jackson for our nice present and cards. Mommy told me its important to say thank you, and how blessed we are for nice friends that live all over the world. Thats pretty neat. I hope I can meet some of them soon. Mommy says we will get to see some of them when we go to Disneyland, so I am very excited!

Well, I just had 2 pieces of chicken for dinner. Both Mommy and Daddy couldn't believe I ate that much... then I had some cookies. I love cookies. Now I am going to go have a bath with my friend turtle. He squirts water and I think he is funny. I will probably have to go to bed after that, so I better say bye bye now. Thanks for letting me talk to you... and don't believe everything Mommy says... cuz I am a perfect princess!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend Update

Ariel was planning on blogging for me tonight, but since she needed to go to bed, it will have to wait until next time.

Is it really Sunday night already? Oh well, on to another week of fun right? After our busy Friday with friends, we kept things low key on Saturday. After a great late sleep in, Ariel and I went for a walk into town for a few things and then stopped to visit Nana and Papa. Came home for lunch and a nap, during which Ken came home. Did I mention how much I am loving my hubby home early on Saturdays? Hee.

Ariel is also enjoying having Daddy home to play and read with her. They spend a long time looking at the photo albums while I made dinner last night. She is starting to recognize people more in pictures lately and trying to say their names. Its a work in progress for sure and a fun one to boot. Whee.

One thing we did yesterday was go out and get Ariel's passport photos. She has a passport but since she was under a year when she got it, is allowed a free update since they wanted updated photos for babies. After looking at the old picture, it is safe to say she has the same expression but she has more hair now. Haha. Will take the forms in person sometime this week, and thankfully it shouldn't take anywhere the length of time it took last year. One more step in the Disneyland prep. Whee. Speaking of which, the travel agent should be calling tomorrow with some package ideas for us. Yay.

Today we ended up missing church since Uncle Bill and Aunty Penny were stopping in town briefly on their way home from Mexico. We had brunch with them and Nana and Papa. I tried something different, a breakfast bowl, very yummy. It managed to fill me up and I didn't need lunch. Unfortunately, it was super busy and they seemed short staffed. Poor Ariel was really hungry since she had only nursed prior to us coming was losing her patience, so she ate 2 little packets of jam and some crackers until her eggs and pancakes arrived. She was very happy when her tummy was full and she walked without the stroller, all the way back to Nana's house afterwards. She was in her cute red coat and we kept getting stopped by people commenting on how she looked like a little doll, awe. Once at the house, Ariel was happy to play with the toys while we had a chance to visit.

She also rotated between people to read her the alphabet book. Haha.

She was very sad to leave and there were tears. Boo. Before heading home, we picked up some salmon for dinner and I stopped into Joanie's shop to check on the order of Ariel's little white shoes for Easter and summer. We got home and Ariel pretty much went upstairs on her own to her room, she knew she needed a nap. What a sweetie.

During Ariel's nap I helped Ken. He has been busy finishing some freelance animation over this past week and I have been helping shade in some otters... let me rephrase... lots of otters and a few bunnies and ducks.

Ariel was up a few hours later and was eager for her fish dinner. While it cooked she helped me put the laundry away. She happily passed me socks and underwear to put away in the drawers, and after each pass squealed with joy that she was helping like a big girl. She is growing up so fast and seems to be changing daily. Crazy.

I thought I'd end tonight with a few new Ariel fun facts and stories. First off, she has entered the phase of wanting to hoard things. She tends to grab several stuffies and toys and make her way up or down the stairs.

She is also showing signs of understanding the concept of the potty, even if she won't go on it yet. Several times this week she would point to it and say 'peeeee.' I brought it upstairs to our bathroom in hopes we might get a chance to try it if the moment presented itself. After her bath, I pointed to the potty asking if she had to go and sit on it. Well, she sat her toy dog on it.... then peed on my floor. The score stands at Ariel 1 and Mommy 0. Oh and I am sure we will have lots of these fun stories to come.
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