Friday, December 30, 2011

I LOVE Lists

There is something about me, something I love to do SO much, its surprising I haven't mentioned here on my blog before.  I absolutely love making lists, I'm obsessed, I'm addicted and I love it!  I have been keeping lists for years and years. Recently, I started keeping my lists in their own notebooks/on their own dry-erase boards because they started to take over my journals (which now only include full sentences and paragraphs). I use lists for many different purposes, as you will see below, and they all make me happy inside. (wow I'm such a geek)

List of instructions/Steps:  I use lists to help me remember things I don't do as often as I should.  My yoga routine being one of them.

My Daily Dry-Erase List:  This is my to-do list that I update and change everyday.  I just love crossing stuff off, but don't mind at all if I don't get around to everything, it just means I have one more thing for my list tomorrow :)

Fridge Lists:  I write lists on colourful paper and tack them onto the fridge to remind me of fun stuff I can do when I have some spare time.

Menu Board:  This is my pinterest-inspired dry-erase menu board that I crafted to match our kitchen.  I use it to plan out our weekly menu and have also started using the space at the bottom for jotting down items that I need to add to my next grocery list.

List Notebooks: These babies get quite a bit of use, I write any and all lists in here that don't have a place or space already.  I use lists to brainstorm ideas, I love having a place to record all of my thoughts and ideas that are related to a particular theme.  My Christmas Stocking-Stuffer List is shown below.

I like my notebooks to be of the bright and cheery variety.

I use lists to help me appreciate and acknowledge all that I love about the world.  My list of seasonal traditions is shown below.

I use lists to inspire me to try new things.   You will see one of my 'recipes to try' lists below (I have made four of them so far :)

Wishlists:  These lists are just fun downright fun to make!  I will rip this page out and take it with me the next time I go to Ikea, I really will.

Long-Term To-do list:  I usually make one of these every weekend and you can be sure that there are always items left over! (see my list below as an example).  I love list-making so much that there is no way I could actually accomplish everything in the time allotted... I just move those items onto next weekend's list :)

 My Pocket sized/Purse sized Notepad:  And last but not least, my ultra-important notepad that travels with me everywhere I go. This is where all of my shopping and grocery lists end up because I whip them out as soon as I get to the store.  I also write down phone numbers, addresses, directions and other useful information that I may need when I am out and about.  This little guy is a life saver!

Yep, it's safe to say that List-writing is a huge passion of mine!

We still play with Lego

 Two of the things I absolutely loved as a child were Legos and Martial arts. So when I heard that lego had come out with a new line of products called "Ninjago" which combined my love of both, I asked for some for Christmas!  I had so much fun putting it together on Christmas day that we had to go out and buy Luke his own Ninja as well.  The level of detail is just amazing, from the facial expressions to the weapons, I just can't get enough Ninjago :)
 Here is a cool fight scene that Luke created

We were so enthralled that we spent an hour exploring the Lego website... Did you know you can buy a Volkswagen Van?  It has over 1000 pieces and costs 129.99 but it looks awesome!  We might have to buy this so we have something to do together this winter when we are cooped up inside. Link here

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finger Knitting - Christmas Garland

 At the age of 29, I have become quite interested in knitting, which is a surprise to me. I had no desire to learn how to knit (or sew) up until now.  It must be all of the creative and inspiring blogs I've been following! I plan to enroll in a beginners knitting class that starts in February, but until then, I have been having fun knitting with just my fingers (who knew?)

Finger knitting is very easy and quite relaxing, you can find many you tube videos online and other great tutorials that make learning it a snap.
 The timing was great as I decided to make a Christmas tree garland and my first project.
 So far my foray into the world of knitting has been very enjoyable, I can't wait to start using my needles!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

Here is a glimpse into our lovely Christmas celebration.   Luke and I had a wonderfully relaxing day together, just the two of us.  I must admit, it is a very different experience being away from family over Christmas...  So, in an attempt to allow our family to feel closer to us, I took a TON of pictures! (just a warning ;)  I want them to see what our Christmas was like, and how special it was even though we were so far away.  

    Plump stockings.... the best kind :)

    Circus trying to get a peak inside his stocking

    He loved his new toy!  I was worried the wrapping paper would steal the thunder but oh how he put on a
    show for us with his new red ball.

    And of course the wrapping paper was irresistible too.


      Some of my awesome presents :)
    Luke's new pride and joy

    Wrench wraps being put to use right away ;)

                      Whipped cream on my coffee, just because its Christmas

    MMMMmmmmm Christmas Breakfast (with real maple syrup, what a treat)

    Note:  For the first time ever, I chose to alter my pictures below with photo editing software.  The reason I
    chose to break my own self-enforced rule was because the natural lighting was quite horrible by the time I
    got around to snapping these photos.  I have included one picture left in its natural state just to show how
    cold and lifeless the pictures turned out.... the reason I altered them was because I felt they did not
    accurately reflect the beauty and warmth of the environment at the time.   The sun was just starting to set
    and I refuse to use the flash on my camera so I was left with pictures like the one you see below.  (Oh how
    I wish mother nature had co-operated and provided us with a bright sunny day.... at least we had snow:)

    The remaining photos were all altered using Picasa, I used the 'warmify'  effect, and slightly heightened the
    colour saturation.  I feel like these photos are a more realistic portrayal of how the environment looked and
    felt at the time.  I must admit, this software really saved me in this instance! I took such a long time making  
    these 'displays' of our gifts and was soooooo disappointed when I finally transferred the pictures onto my
    computer.   This experience has given me new appreciation for having the option to use photo-editing
    software and I have a greater understanding of why people use these tools :)
    These are my amazing gifts!  Everything was so thoughtful and practical (well except for my hello kitty
    erasers because I don't plan on using them, they just make me smile :)

    And here is Luke's pile-o-presents

    And his new boots get featured in their own picture :)  He loved these so much

    Circus's Gifts  (the colours were perfect for Christmas and I didn't even plan it)

   Christmas Dinner:
    (As I'm sure you can tell, these are un-edited photos now ;)
    These are the ingredients for a delicious new recipe I tried: Creamy Crab and Red Pepper Spread. You
    can view the recipe here at Kraft's website, and I suggest you do!

    The cheeses are colour coded - red: edame, green: gouda, and yellow: white cheddar - you can laugh at
    me, yes I am a geek

    Halal Chicken just about to be popped into the oven

    I made homemade gravy for the first time ever and it was delicious!!!!   I'm not sure what scared
    me away from trying it before....  it was so easy!

    We ate so many appetizers (and chocolates) that all we wanted for the main course was chicken and
    mashed potatoes. And we had to save room for dessert of course!

    Please, everyone who has access to Presidents Choice products, go out and buy these next year. They are
    to die for!!!!! You can only buy these for a few weeks leading up to Christmas and the sell FAST! And
    don't bother reading the nutrition information, you won't care about any of that after you try your first bite :)

     I just wanted to include this picture of our Christmas 'leftovers' because I was pretty impressed at how
     little garbage we produced (remember it was just the two of us). That cardboard box is where I keep our
     recyclable items, it had a bunch of cans in the bottom from earlier in the week and we were still able to fit
     all of our wrapping paper in there.  The bag and bows I will reuse next year, and the plastic bag contains
     our garbage.  Next year I plan on using re-usable fabric bags for gift giving, I may or may not try to make
     them myself ;)

     I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!!