Stationary Drifting


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Homemade Holidays: Valentine’s Day

valentine's dayI never used to be much of a Valentine’s Day person before I started dating Mars. In fact I can’t remember ever celebrating with anyone other than my mom before. Mars changed that in my life because he’s a true romantic and even though I protested at first I knew it really loved it so now I’m a Valentine’s day person. Who knew that would happen? Its cute though because it kind of feels like every year is a celebration of our time together and of celebrating itself!

This year was our 3rd Valentine’s day together. We tend to celebrate with sweet gestures for each other and homemade gifts. Above is my love mobile for Mars. I crocheted a little red hearts for every month that we’ve been together and 3 hearts of different colours to represent each of our Valentine’s days together (using a variation of this pattern). Then I made a little scalloped top and crochet chained each heart up to to the top.

Then I hung it above the table and set it up for a nice breakfast with homemade Strawberry Chocolate Scones (using a variation of this recipe from madebyandi), homemade mocha lattes and a little card of the variety that I usually made Mars. Hand-drawn on a small blank cue card.

IMG_2118IMG_2123I took care of the morning and Mars took care of the evening with an at-home spa treatment including a massage, and a mani/pedi with chocolates, candles and music. He also made me a really awesome painting of my name. The whole thing was lovely.

Homemade holidays take a little more work and a little more time but in the end they can be really fun, inexpensive, and from the heart (most important).

We ain’t got money but we got a lot of love.

keetha base

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Whoa

Someone/some people have been googling the shit out of me lately. I have a tracker that comes with my academic social media page that sends me emails every time my name is googled and wordpress tells me how people get to my site. This week it was from people specifically looking for me/my blog. Which is rare, and exciting, and a little nerve wracking. Who are you people that are looking for me and going back through my old old archives? Welcome, and please don’t judge me.

This is something that I struggle with all the time about having a blog. I can’t remember if I ever wrote that post I meant to write about invading my own privacy and how I feel about exposing my thought to the www. It feels odd, and exciting, and definitely interesting. I haven’t looked at my blog in a solid 2 week and just came back to see a giant spike in readership. I love that, until I think about it too much. I wonder how other bloggers/people deal with having a web personality? I’ve definitely wondered how people that I don’t know feel about me reading their blogs. Suddenly I’m having concerns about not being deep enough in my blog…

All of this is to say that I’m happy you’re here. Don’t feel like I want you to stop reading but if you felt like leaving a little hello comment I would love to hear from you.

In other news I’m feeling a little less angry. I’ve fallen back into my old patterns of working and cooking and cleaning all the time (god M and I can be messy people). I’m busy with contracts and organizing. I’m trying to find time to work on my thesis and do some marking. I’ve done a little sewing (that I will post later) and a fair bit of baking experiments with mixed results. I miss the productivity of working full time but I don’t miss the total lack of personal time or seeing my partner or having any time to do anything. So if you were worried or whatever I’m feeling better fyi.

Gonna post this before my computer dies from lack of power at this coffee shop that doesn’t have outlets. Feeling blog-y again today so maybe I’ll post more tonight…

here’s a picture of me and my excitement about my growing hair, purple lipstick, and classic denim vest last weekend.

sorry for the shitty phone picture focus, quality & focus quality. Let’s be honest, its more convenient and my other digital camera isn’t much better


Small Things Project: Day 50-53

I’m posting another batch of small things because I’ve decided to stop gathering them for a week (or several months) and posting all at once and instead post day by day as I write them. That way they don’t moulder in my drafts folder and I can stop feeling bad about the huge gaps in time. So yeah, new plan….

Day 50: (Aug 21)

Today I am happy for a slow start and some quality time with M. It hasn’t been an easy month for either of us and unfortunately when we get busy and stressed we tend to make each other last. So it was nice to have a moment to talk and be together last night and to wake up slowly together this morning.

I’m also especially super grateful to my mom today (and most days) for her help in getting me out of a tough spot financially. I’m not super happy with myself for being almost 30 and still needing help but I’m so so happy that I have the kind of parents that are willing to provide a bit of a safety net for when I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Its a privilege I don’t take lightly.

I’m happy that I’ve had a couple of interviews in the past week and I have my fingers crossed as usual that I’ll finally catch a break and get a job. Its been a long process, and not a little depressing. I’m really looking forward to the day that I don’t have to be counting pennies quite so much.

Day 51: (Aug 23)

Today I’m struggling to be happy about anything. I’m happy that we found M’s phone because it was really going to suck to have to buy him a new one, and the look of yay and relief on his face when I pulled it out of the couch after looking in it for the millionth time was really sweet. I’m happy that I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything with anybody today. I’m not feeling particularly social of late. I’m happy that Mood, Mars and I got to go to a restaurant pre-opening last night and eat a ton of really good food for free. That was pretty awesome.

Day 53: (Aug 25)

Yesterday wasn’t a day worth writing about. It was the kind of day where reading one article and having a shower qualified as productive. Today is the kind of day where I’m making new (secret) plans and am considering doing some baking, which would require cleaning the kitchen so how ’bout that for productivity.


Small Things Project: Day 43 to 49

[warning: this post is a little disjointed because it happens over a 5 month span. There are no pictures and frankly I’m just posting it so I can start anew]

Day 43: (april 8)

Today I’m happy for my easter gift to myself, fancy new nail polish in spring colours, and M’s gift of lunch. And Sil’s gift of a few hours doing laundry by myself in her quiet apartment with her lovely and loving cat.

I’m happy that I came home to a tidied up apartment and dinner on the stove. My fiance is so great.

I’m happy for the grey, spring Sunday light that made everything feel in slow motion. I love slow motion sundays.

I’m happy that I got to sleep in, and that I took the weekend off from the gym but that I’m excited to get back to it tomorrow. Operation get healthy is still in effect. I was too hungover yesterday from Friday night to start my cleanse but I’m getting to it tomorrow. And I’m excited for that too.

Day 44: (april 9)

Today I’m happy that M & I got our health nut lifestyle on and went to the gym for a spinning class. I’m happy that we are really on the same page about this. We even worked out for another 45mins after spinning for an hour. The best part was when I was slowing down in class and sweating my life away and M looked over at me and told me that I could do it. Having a gym buddy is really great.

I’m happy that we got a bunch of good foods at the market and now, as I drink my cleanse tea (which is so far going great), M is preparing us a really good smelling lunch. I’m telling ya, spring is the time for resolutions. M is even quitting smoking!

Today I’m also very excited about my writing more for my brother’s magazine. Check out my Field of View post or the website to see more.

Day 45: (may 10)

Phew, a whole month went by, I don’t know what happened…But I’m back at it! So today I’m happy for not beating myself up about small things and for not giving up. I’m happy for allowing myself to enjoy my routines in their own time and to allow myself to prioritize as needed.

I’m still glowing from my long walk with Josie yesterday and for knocking a bunch of chores off my list of things to do. Today I’m happy for my coffee, the fact that I’m still working towards feeling healthier, and a full day of work ahead of me. I’m also really really grateful for all the great friends and family who have offered so many ways of helping with this wedding planning. I’m so lucky to have these amazing people in my life.

Day 45: (may 15)

Today I’m happy for all the love and support we enjoyed at last night’s fundraiser. I’m grateful to Mars for cooking up a storm and for everyone that came and ate soul food, enjoyed the beautiful evening with us and donated towards our marriage.

I’m happy for the quiet train ride to snooze and reflect. I’m excited to be in the states again an am looking forward to eating a cheesesteak!

I’m looking forward to being done traveling for the day and for getting shit done tomorrow.

Day 46: (aug 9)

Today I am happy to get back to my blog. Too long, WAY too long since my last post.

As much as I was annoyed have having to stay home and wait for the Internet guy today (it’s been out for 2days) I was happy to spend some time in the kitchen. It’s been such a hot summer and I’ve been so distracted that I haven’t really cooked in ages. I made bread (from this recipe), banana bread (from here), an extremely spicy fried rice and some extremely spicy spiced tea. M said I was a spicy lady today, which was probably my inadvertent desire to burn the exhaustion out of me (I suspect it’s due to germs). On a side note: I experienced my first chili on skin burn today and yow did it hurt. After trying a few Internet suggestions I finally succumbed to M’s suggestion and sat for almost an hour with my hand in a bowl of iced milk. It still stings under my thumb nail but its so much better than it was I’m not complaining. The burn set in just as the Internet guy arrived, I think he probably thought I was insane as I kept disappearing to the bathroom to wash my hands, and at one point cut a lime in half and took it to the bathroom (where I squeezed it on my hand).

I’m happy for the cooler day today. It’s been a really hot summer, consistently hovering at 30 so that only my heartiest plants (the chilies and the Mediterranean rosemary and lavender) are still doing okay. I’m sad for my lost strawberries just as they were strawb’ing. The cool-ish weather and rain today was most appreciated.

I’m happy that my grant proposal is written and ready to be sent, and that my summer internship is drawing to a close. I am once again redoubling my thesis efforts. I really want to be done before I’m 30 but would settle for before the end of 2012 if I must, either way that requires writing though so I’m going to be off to the library and other quiet places lots in the next weeks.

Day 47: (aug 10)

Today I am glad for rainy, cool, grey, quiet afternoons. I’m happy for some solid perspective in the form of a presentation by a fierce lady named Kim Pate about Prisoner Justice for women. I’m happy for a new blog to read (hey there the stork and the beanstalk, you’re very cute). I’m happy for some quiet dinner and reading and for the fact that M is throwing a really great party tonight for 2-qtpoc.

Day 48: (aug 11)

Today I’m happy for a successful and SO full Transformative Justice workshop. Everyone was so inspiring and awesome. We worked through some really heavy things and although we didn’t come to any definitive conclusions I certainly came away with a sense of community interest and support.

I’m happy for tea with a sweet friend post workshop where we talked about life stuff. I feel like I should have taken a different path and become a counselor….

I’m happy for a job interview at an interesting organization. I’ve been to SO many job interviews in the past while that I don’t have my hopes up but I was happy to have gotten a call back, I wasn’t expecting one.

I’m thankful for a quiet night at home. This week has been epic. To say the least.

Day 49: (aug 13)

Today I’m happy for it being the last day of work so I can focus on writing for the rest of the month.

I’m happy that my best buddy is home and available for hang outs again. It’s been a minute too long that he was away.

Mostly I’m proud of myself for mcguyvering the bathtub with a ton of baking soda, vinegar and a plunger and finally getting it to drain properly. It look me a while and spot a small amount of frustration but I didn’t break and go get drano, which makes me super happy! No harsh chemicals for me or M!!


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Eating: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Bars

I have one helluva sweet tooth. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that yet. Don’t let the nice bread and humus recipes fool you. I would live off baked goods if I could manage it. Anything with chocolate, whipped cream/icing, and cupcakes is a-okay by me. I’m the person who reads the desert menu first when I get to a restaurant, meals are often means to a (desert) ends. I love eating and good food of all kinds but give me a dense, sweet baked good any day. Just ask my parents, I could put away a box of chocolates in an hour without getting sick. I can still do that now, I just try harder not to.

Case in point. I made this chipotle flourless chocolate cake twice last week (which I found over at the Kitchen Sink). Once for Felicia’s 30th birthday party. It was a hit there by the way, gone before I could take a picture. And once just for me and M, where it was also gone in about a day before I could take a picture again. It’s really really good, especially warm out of the oven. I highly suggest taking the recipe makers advice and getting good ingredients because there are so few of them. I used a block of semi-sweet calibault chocolate (again, I love living near Little Italy). I couldn’t find chipolte up here, which I found weird. So I used regular chili, which was still good. The sweetness of the cake coupled with the burn of the spices is incredible.

I also made these Peanut Butter Brownies, from Smitten Kitchen the other week around the time of the soul food night. I’ve been have a lot of late night baking urges recently and this was one of those times. I was surprised how easy making ganache is. Its the perfect top to contrast the salty peanut butter bottom. They lasted a bit longer than the cake and made excellent evening snacks for a little while.

This baked up super fast. Though I think I over cooked it a little bit (my oven runs hot) because it was a little dry-er than I hoped. Its good enough to put in rotation in the baked goods tupperwear though. I took it to my friends’ for dinner and they fought over who got the bigger piece.

Off to get more butter for more baking.


Eating: Marseau Makes Meat (& cheese)

Marseau and I have come to an unspoken understanding about making food. I made big things occasionally (big meals, baked goods, soups to be frozen) and some staples (humus, bread) and he makes the in between meals. The delicious every day lunches and dinners. I like this set up a lot because it means that we eat well every day and have lots of yummy treats and snack foods. Plus it plays on our strengths, particularly mine of having bursts of energy around big projects and then sinking into cooking apathy. The decision on both our parts to stop eating out so much and start eating good, well-balance, homemade foods has been a good one. I feel a lot healthier, I eat better and more often, we save money, I feel nice and home-y when there is something delicious smelling cooking/baking away in the kitchen.

Sometimes we reverse our method though and Marseau cooks a huge meal. The kind that leaves me in a food coma and feeling so good. That guy can cook his ass off and knows his way around the spice shelf like no one I’ve met before.

Here are some of my favourites from the past little while.

The Stay-Home Date:

Pepperoni, spinach, hot peppers and cheeeeeese.

cheezy goodness

One day the other week we decided to have a stay home date. The kind where we make a delicious meal, drink some wine from the SAQ not the dep, and converse, maybe watch a movie on netflix in bed. A cozy night where we glory in the fact that we now live together. On this nights menu was homemade pizza. We took a stroll on over to Milano’s (the Italian grocery store in the neighbourhood) and got ourselves some of their pre-made pizza dough and some fresh sliced pepperoni that is so delicious it melts in the mouth. Living on the edge of Little Italy has its perks. Coupling that with spinach from the market and Silvie’s homemade pickled hot peppers we were on a pizza roll. It baked up so delicious and greasy, Marseau was adorable and insisted on serving me every slice I went back for and seasoning it himself with oregano and other good spices.

The Soul Food Night:

Featuring fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, garlic butter string beans and biscuits (that we didn’t eat because I eff’d them up)

one of the only shots I got because I was too busy eating. nom.

Marseau was missing the food back home in Philly, as well as the rest of home, so late one Friday night we decided to do up a soul food feast. Marseau was in charge of the fried chicken (breast not wings because I don’t like wings and he loves me that much), and the mac’ n cheese. I had the beans and the biscuits. Besides the small fire in the oven we caused when the oven and pan decided they couldn’t handle all the amazing mac n’ cheese deliciousness going on, Marseau cooked his ass off and prepped one helluva meal. I, on the other hand, didn’t really keep up my end of the bargain. I tried a new recipe from one of my healthy cookbooks for the biscuits (note to self: never try and make healthy biscuits again) which were too dense, barely rose and not buttery enough. Also as a result of the above mentioned small oven fire I had to take my dough over to our neighbour Jackie’s house to bake them and then proceeded to burn the bottoms of every single one. Total biscuit fail. Marseau doesn’t trust that I can make good biscuits now and I’m determined to prove that normally I make delicious ones (I made another batch this week that received a B grade. What a jerk)! On the up side Jackie joined us for the feast and we all laid around comatose for a good while after that. The beans were good too by the way, really garlic and butter-y just how I like them. Too garlicy for Marseau though, and I left him to cook them while I left to burn the hell out of the biscuits. Like I said, I really didn’t hold up my end of the deal on this dinner. I like to think I was a good conversationalist during it though…

I took almost no photos because I was too busy cooking and then eating. We had barely any leftovers, and what we jealously guarded from other people (no guests!) still only lasted one day.

Upside: we’re thinking of holding Soul Food Sundays as a fundraiser for our wedding! Must perfect biscuit recipe soon….

Burgers for the hell of it:

Cheeseburger (cheese INSIDE the burger) with maple glazed caramelized onions, chips and salsa, beer

caramelized onions are our new favourite garnish for everything

I don’t think we had a reason to make this big meal besides the fact that we were both craving protein and had the desire to eat our faces off (again). We were trying to pretend we were excited to make some sort of healthy rice and bean with veggies dish but as soon as Marseau proposed burgers I was down.

Marseau did up these thick, delicious burgers with lots of spice and (like the genius he is) put the cheese INSIDE the meat so that when they fried up the cheese melted ON THE INSIDE! I never thought of doing that, its crazy good. He also started a now household obsession for caramelized onions. These ones were a maple glazed version that added an amazing, sweet-ish tang to the spicey burger. Topped with lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard and the mayo/ketchup staples these monsters hit the spot like no other. They were so big though that it was hard to eat the chips and salad that went along with them.

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I’m stupid lucky to have this wonderful guy and amazing cook in my life, though I’m pretty sure he’s trying to fatten me up. With food like this though I’m more than happy to let him!

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I have some other food related posts coming up since I’ve been baking up a storm lately. Also a couple of knitting/craft ones. I’ve been really behind on my Small Things and 52 Themes projects so I’m going to try and catch up with those this week. Maybe I’ll do a personal post or something different soon too…I don’t know, my enthusiasm for blogging wanes slightly when I have a lot of work to do. These days I’m marking a ridiculous amount of undergrad papers and I feel like all my brain cells are being stolen. That said I do really like this space to write so keep checking back. I’ll have more rambling and hopefully somewhat interesting posts up here soon.


Small Things Project: Days 28 to 33

Day 28: (March 13)

some of the toppings

Today I am happy for long conversations with important people in my life. For breakfast with Corrie where we let our words carry us around ideas, dreams, thoughts and plans. For skyping with Jared, who always makes me laugh, whose perspective on the big picture is sibling close, who reminds me of the millions of fascinating things there are to do in the world. For Marseau who reminds me that there is still millions of things we can learn about each other, and how exciting that is, for his infinite interest in what I have to say and his ability to capture my attention forever.

I’m happy for the stay at home date M and I had tonight. Where we made pizza from (almost) scratch, drank a bottle of wine, and I baked a new thing. Peanut chocolate bars that we didn’t eat because we were too full. I loved that M wanted to cut me every new piece and season it perfectly for me, and I wanted to bake him sweet things and tell him sweet things.

I’m excited about Jared’s pictures from 52 Themes this week. They were way better than mine and made me laugh a bunch. It’s given me motivation to think out this week’s theme more intentionally and have some I’m really excited about for my post next Monday.

day 29: (march 14)

Today I’m happy for dinner and long, complicated conversations with friends that I really get and who really get me. I’m happy for the ways in which we challenge each other to push our understandings and how we do that with love.

I’m happy for a quiet night with the bed to myself and I’m happy that M will be coming home to get into bed with me later, when he’s done his night out.

I’m happy for starting to make concrete marriage plans after months of keeping it quiet and not knowing if we’ll be able to afford it.

Today I’m happy for very big news! Marseau and I are finally able to announce the news that we’re getting married!!!

Day 30: (march 16)

Today I’m happy for soul food night and a new full sized fridge! No more bar fridge whoooo!

Day 31: (march 17)

Today I’m happy for the spring air coming through my open windows. I’m happy to the late sun now that daylight savings has passed.

fading tulips mean spring is here

Day 32: (march 19)

Sun! Tshirts! Open windows! Warm breeze! Spring has come very early this year and though I never want to encourage global warming I can’t say I’m sad about it. I got to wander the market in a tshirt, picking up fresh food for our new fridge. Then I’m heading home to throw open the windows, dream about gardening, and do some cooking. Can’t get much more happy than that.

Day 33: (march 21)

I made the most awesome present for Felicia to celebrate her 30th birthday last night and so I’m spending the day being excited to give it to her. I also finished my mom’s shawl and blocked it yesterday in time to sent it for her birthday. It’s blocked to my couch right now and I’m loving checking it out in all it’s lacey glory whenever I walk by.

I’m happy that the warm weather is continuing (26 Celsius!) and I can air out the apartment after long winter months.

market ice cream and shorts. Different kind of march