Stationary Drifting


Best Of: March

best of March

last of winter

march doggies

flowers & cards

/// quality time in Jarry Park && sun for longer && the last of winter /// Mars and Josie being adorable /// dog parking at Marche Jean Talon /// Consulting the cards /// Spring flowers to brighten grey days ///

I can’t believe its the end of March already! I feel like I just wrote the Best of Feb and Best of Blogs: Feb posts. If this blog is any indication of what my life is like, I pretty much DID just write those posts….March flew by and I have been fighting to keep on track with my life schedule. I didn’t blog as much as I would have liked to unfortunately. It slipped away in a flurry of sewing, applying for jobs, marking, and writing. And a little friend and couple time mixed in.

Here are some highlights:

Life:

march bowling

/// me lovin my new talent. Is it possible to be a bowling alley shark? /// Mars celebrating yet another spare, he is also better at bowling than pool ///

I think the thing I was the most excited about this month (besides sewing) was the oncoming spring. Winter is not my favourite. At all. I get really depressed with all the grey and I hate trying to get around in the snow. Montreal is a walking/biking city, the transit is decent but ALL of these modes of transport are a pain in the winter. Walking is hard, biking is impossible (for me, some people I know still do it), and transit is packed, hot and often late. Because of all of this I stay home a lot, taking my vitamin D pills and trying to remember times when I could go outside without 18 layers. Spring was in the air early this year, and although we got one last snow storm this month it has been warmer, sunnier and the snow is mostly gone. Which pleases me to no end. Also daylight savings means its lighter in the hours I’m awake, which does wonders for my mood. Saskatchewan has it right with the no daylight savings, its the worst.

2 of my favourite friends have birthdays in March. My platonic wife Corrie lives in Winnipeg so I didn’t get to celebrate her like I want to but my longest friend Felicia moved back to Montreal and we went bowling like a bunch of REALLY COOL 30 year olds. I turned out to be a lot better at bowling than pool and got TONS of strikes! It was a black light, jams from 1999 kind of night and we all danced and sang and cheered on each other for hours. I loved it. More bowling on the menu from now on.

Speaking of birthdays, we had a very belated birthday party for Mars on Corrie’s birthday. Since we were out west for his birthday and he didn’t get to celebrate with friends I wanted to make sure that he was celebrated properly in Montreal. An awesome group of people showed up to our favourite Salvadorian restaurant to eat a ridiculous amount of pupusas, then came back to our place for cake (a flourless chili chocolate cake I should post about), tequila sunrises and late night confessions of childhood crushes (mine was Leonardo Dicaprio). It was really lovely and I think my guy had a nice, if very bemused time. The flowers above are the leftovers from the bouquet I got him in celebration. The next day we went and saw a play about Mahalia Jackson. Which felt fancy and was a nice night out for the two of us.

I went to a few great shows this month, including a jam packed with talent show headlined by Invincible (Detroit) and hometown hero Akua. I got to meet a bunch of really talented people and sway to really great music (including my all time favourite MC who jumped on stage for a track <3).

Other than that it was all job applications, academic articles, marking and sick days on the couch. A classic March.

Crafts:

Sewing away to my heart’s content, which I’m planning a whole separate post for. So far I’ve made 3 dresses and 2 skirts. They turned out really well and I wear them all the time! I love planning up new things and trying to figure out how to make them. I’m still pretty impatient when I sew. I want to wear them immediately! I have to learn how to enjoy the process more, and also iron… I’m pretty proud of myself for not using patterns and still having pretty awesome results. I could use access to a serger though, jersey is kind of hard to sew with a regular machine.

Books:

Still reading White Teeth. BUT I’m almost done!

Recipes:

march food

/// my winning ribs before they were cooked, no after picture. I was too ready to eat a million ribs by the time they were done and forgot to take a photo /// one of my favourite, filling soup recipes from 101 cookbooks. Its especially good when sick like I was a few times this month ///

Mid month a group of friends and us had a rib off, where we all submitted a rack of ribs, ate our faces off and voted. I WON!! It was my first time ever making ribs and I won! I’m pretty damn chuffed with myself for it because I had some stiff competition. Also, I’m not usually the come-in-first type so it did wonders for my ego. Everyone’s were really really good though and the real winner was my stomach! We’ve been organizing chosen-family get togethers pretty often these days and its awesome. I love having amazing people to laugh with and talk about real shit with. Makes life so much sweeter.

And because I’m a firm believer is sharing recipes I’m going to post my Keetha’s 2 Die 4 Dry Rubbed Ribs this week!

In the meantime check out 101 cookbooks for the above soup’s recipe, Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. 101 cookbooks is one of the best cooking sites I know. I have one of Heidi’s books [super natural every day] and its great but you don’t need to buy a book (though I recommend it!) to access her recipes. The 101 cookbooks site is incredible, searchable, and super varied. Her food is healthy, simple, seasonal,and delicious. I really like this soup because its so hearty with the lentil and rice, it has greens and is flavoured with tumeric, cumin and mustard seeds. Add a the suggested spinach, and some yogurt or peppers goat cheese and its basically the best ever.¬† I ate it for 2 whole days when I was sick this month and it made me feel so much better. I actually made it again yesterday and I’m still loving it.

Music:

I’m still obsessed with songza and have been exploring all sorts of genres. My current favs (besides 90ies), are latin lady MCs, reggae, and bluegrass.

Sidenote:

I’m still trying to figure out good ways to post pictures. Sorry if things are weird. I’m struggling with sizing…

March in a nutshell. I can’t believe its over. April is going to have to be a bang up month so that I can catch up!


Small Things Project: Day 34 to 42

Day 34: (March 27)

Back at it after a 10 day break.

Today I’m happy that I have one more day to mark all these papers and that I had nothing to do today other than mark so I could procrastinate a bit (a lot).

I’m happy that M took on cleaning and cooking today so I could focus. I like it when he does that and I like being able to keep my mind in one place for a while.

I had a nice weekend celebrating Felicia’s 30th. I’m glad I got to be a part of it. I’m also pumped about the new cake recipe I found, I’m writing a post about it but it didn’t last long enough to take a picture. It was a hit at the party.

MJ Cirque du Soleil show for Felicia's birthday. I wasn't allowed to take pictures during the show.

Day 35: (March 28)

Today I’m happy I have one more night to finish marking this god forsaken papers. I’m happy that the prof I’m working for didn’t really care that I’m not done and I’m happy that although its mind numbing work its relatively easy and pays decent.

I’m happy that Marseau is dealing with finding us food because the fridge is near empty and I’m hungry but too tired and with too much work to want to do anything about it.

Day 36: (March 29)

Today I’m so happy that I finished marking all those gd papers and got to finally get the sleep I was needing. Even when I don’t procrastinate marking is pretty painful (the novelty of it wore off after my first year as a TA), but when I do procrastinate and have 60+ papers to mark in 2 days its ridiculous. I’m glad that I was able to give the attention to each paper that they deserved, I’m also happy that there weren’t too many that were awful.

I’m happy that I’m finally rested up to clean the house. It got into total chaos mode with me working and Marseau’s busy schedule this week. I just got out of bed (after pulling 2 all nighters in a row) and survey’d the mess, its a little ridiculous. Enough to give me energy to tackle it even on my total sleep deprivation. I’ve turned into a serious neat freak since moving into my own place last year. Something about everything being in its place makes me feel like the world is right.

I’m happy to go back to my quiet life of work, crafts, social life, and regular sleeping patterns.

had to put up the fuzzy picture because I didn't want to show off someone else's work

Day 37: (March 30)

Sun! Even if its cold-ish out I’m happy for sun. I wonder how many times I’ve written that in this project. Clearly I’m a sun loving person, sun sensitive.

I’m happy for a fridge full of groceries, its been a little empty this week since M and I have both been so busy. I’m looking forward to having food at home to eat again.

I’m working away on Corrie’s bday present. Its late, as usual, which is kind of my (and her) style. Late presents are nice though, I like getting presents any time of the year and I like taking the time I need to make a nice present for someone instead of going out and buying the something and hoping they like it.

I’m happy that I’ve caught up on my sleep and am feeling more normal again. I’m getting too old of all nighters.

Day 38: (march 31)

I’m happy for a quiet day at home and the return to somewhat normal.

I’m happy that we’ve finally agreed on a wedding invitation design and that I was able to put it together myself. I feel really strongly about making as much as possible ourselves. Having a really personal/personalized day is very important to me. Plus I love an excuse to play around on photoshop, I don’t get a lot of chances to exercise those muscles these days. I have a ‘life after school’ folder in my head and taking some photography and photoshop/indesign classes are in that plan. I really do love graphic design but I’m so self taught I know that there are a lot of things I could do that I can’t figure out how to.

Day 39: (april 1)

I’m excited for my new spring plans! Today I’m going to the gym, that I signed up for yesterday. I’m going to try a spinning class. Its been years, a fair amount of weight gain and starting smoking since I last did a spinning class. I’m nervous but excited. New healthy lifestyle here I come!

ran into the bike demo against the proposed raise in tuition here. It was awesome, I wish I had biked in it.

Day 40: (april 2)

I’m excited for Game of Thrones, the tv series that M and I just started watching. This is runs somewhat contrary to my get my life together plan but still I’m enjoying it.

I’m also excited to quit smoking, though I really really want a smoke right now I’m still trying to resist because I’m excited about having healthier lungs.

Day 41: (April 4)

I’m happy for the fact that I’m still keeping up with my gym plan, and excited to start my cleanse soon. My abs are killing me but I’m happy about that, means I’m really getting into it. I’m still avoiding smoking during the day, which has been hard but I’m doing pretty good. I have smoked before 6 the past couple of days but didn’t break until 5:30. I also am not really enjoying the smokes I have. Which is good, I gotta learn to dislike them if I’m going to make this permanent. I’m looking forward to quitting.

I’m happy for the nice lunch I had with Marty and running into Mood and Corrie (separately) on the way home. I love living in a neighbourhood with lots of friends. Makes me feel so at home. Which was something I always missed after leaving Halifax and am happy to have going on again.

I’m excited about the spike in readership on this blog lately. I think my Eating: peanut Butter and ganache brownie recipe got posted on The Kitchen Sink, so a lot of people are clicking over from there. Thanks folks! I hope you like it once you get here.

Day 42: (April 5)

Today I’m happy for a quiet day at home to work on school stuff. I got a really good pep talk from Marty yesterday and she’s motivated me to get back to it.

I’m happy that its my brother Riley’s 28th birthday and I’m sending him lots of love for the next year. I wish I could be there to take him out for beers but he lives on the other side of the country. Sigh.

I’m happy for my sore muscles, it means that I’ve been working them hard! I’m excited for my session with the personal trainer tonight. I’m looking forward to getting some personalized advice, particularly for working out the shoulder and arm that I had surgery on. They are so much weaker than my right side and I want to figure out how to work out without injuring myself and getting back to myself. My arms are pretty powerful, I’ve always liked that, and I want it back.


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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.


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


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Cross-Stitch: Tiny Michael Jackson

One of my oldest friends is turning thirty today. She is also without a doubt the biggest Michael Jackson fan I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of MJ fans.

As luck would have it the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal Tour is coming through Montreal this week. Felicia bought tickets over a year ago. She is beyond excited. I’m excited too, I’ve never seen Cirque and I can’t wait to see her face at the show.

In honour of this momentous occasion I came up with the idea of making a tiny cross-stitch MJ for her. I got the idea from Black and White and Loved All Over who recently made one of her family. Following the pattern from Martha Stewart‘s site I made some tweaks and did the best MJ cross-stitch impression I could come up with.

my michael jackson cross stitch pattern

michael jackson crossstitch (click this link to download the word file with graph paper so you can tweak for yourself)

It didn’t actually take that long to come together. A couple of episodes of Numb3rs and I was done the MJ part. I was really in love with it from early on.

in progress

I mean seriously, its so adorable its almost hard to give away. Good thing she’s such a fan.

Anyway, the MJ part took maybe 2 hours once I got it started. The lettering a little bit longer because I was being really meticulous and a bit of a perfectionist. I’m normally not but Felicia is and plus its her all time favourite performer and her 30th birthday, its got to be good.

Overall I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out. I went for later day MJ because I didn’t have any brown embroidery floss in my jar. But I agree with Marseau that it would have been a lot cooler if I had made early day MJ. I also didn’t have any white so I made his shirt blue. I wish I had made it white though, and been able to put a little roll in his pants with the white socks. I don’t know why but that’s what I remember the most from his famous moon-walking performance. If I had more time I would have made him bigger so I could do the one glove thing.

But still, its pretty damn awesome.

Now I just need to figure out how to frame it….