Wednesday, April 28, 2010


How much do I love this vanity/sink from Magickwoods?

Perhaps slightly impractical. (How on earth would you clean UNDER a raised vanity? I mean, talk about a dust-bunny collector.) But stunning, nonetheless.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bathroom Inspiration

I want to re-do our bathroom. In our house, we have a full bathroom, a three-piece ensuite bathroom, and a "half" bathroom (that is also our laundry room). Um, that is WAY more bathrooms than two people need, IMO, but oh well.

I definitely want to re-do the full bathroom. Let me quantify that: paint the walls, change the vanity/counter, change the flooring and change the towel racks. And maybe change the lighting fixtures. The plumbing, bath tub and toilet are fine.

I want to make some more minor changes in the ensuite, including changing the vanity/counters, and maybe making a change to the shower stall. Not sure.

And while I'm changing the other two bathrooms, I might as well change the vanity/counters in the half-bath / laundry room. I mean, what's another vanity/counter, right? :) (Famous last words, I know.)

I emailed Wade some ideas that I like, compiled in this picture:

I'm thinking the ensuite will be teal / aqua blue; the half bath / laundry room will be either bright red or marine blue, and the full bathroom will be either marine blue or bright red (undecided which will be which).

I love vessel sinks and "water fall" facets especially. I don't know how to describe the images I like (above). Are they modern? I don't know. If you have any ideas of how to describe the look in the photo, let me know! I'd love to have some adjectives at my disposal to describe my plan.

I can't source the photos in the above collage. Most of them were either from various national and local vendors, or from just googling various key phrases (such as "vessel sinks") in google images. Sorry, I didn't think I'd be sharing it on here!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Wade and I went to a potluck hosted by one of my coworkers in honour of Earth Day. There was a symbolic prize for the person who got there in the most earth-friendly manner. The winner was one person who bicycled 40 km (which took her about 2 hours) to get here. Dedication. (Her husband drove, bringing out their contribution. And they drove home together. But still - impressive.)

I brought out a "soy meat" lasagna. People seemed to like it, and a couple people's jaws dropped when I said it was "Earth friendly" and vegetarian. (The vegetarian part was why they were shocked.) I didn't follow a recipe. I basically cooked the lasagna noodles according to the instructions, cooked the "soy meat" with pasta sauce (Ragu) and spices (oregano and whatever else I thought would mix well). I then put a layer of noodles, a layer of "meat", a layer of noodles, a layer of Ragu, and a layer of cheese. A lot of shredded cheese (a pre-shredded mix of cheddar and mozarrella).

I realize lasagna usually has more layers, including ricotta (or cottage cheese as an excellent substitute). My mom does a great lasagna with cottage chese. I think having cottage cheese (or ricotta) would have completed the lasagna. But it was a "meaty" (in texture) lasagna, which is probably why the men liked it. (I personally always preferred a lasagna that was semi-meaty and semi-cheesy. I don't like the lasagna to be overwhelmed by meat or cheese, which I find they often are.)

I'll have to ask my mom if she has a recipe for her lasagna. My mom doesn't do a lot from scratch, but when she does, many of her regulars don't have recipes (her amazing potato salad, for example, is just done by "feel"). She follows recipes for baking, mostly, but she's definitely not afraid to make substitutions when she thinks they're logical.

If she doesn't have a recipe, I'll have to follow her "approximations" and maybe read a few different recipes on All Recipes. I'll read at least four or five, or sometimes more recipes to find one I like, or maybe combine two or three based on each recipe's comments.

Note that I've mastered my Mom's most amazing potato salad based on her directions, but it took about 2-dozen phone calls over two potato salads to get it right. With a few phone calls and some ideas from All Recipes I should be able to figure something out for lasagna.

Does anyone have any tips for lasagna? I kinda like my approach to cooking the noodles and "meat" separately, then combining them, then just putting it in the oven long enough to warm it up and melt the cheese. It seemed easy. But maybe using the "no boil" lasagna noodles and just assembling and baking (as if it's a casserole) would be easy, too? I don't know! Yesterday was my first lasagna. I think I'll add the cottage cheese. I also think using parmesan and mozzarella (instead of cheddar) would have been better.

Any thoughts?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Places to See: Scotland

A couple years ago, Wade became interested in his genealogical roots. His father's side descends from the Scottish Clan Hannay, however directly or indirectly is unknown until we look into it further. In his research into this ancient clan, he discovered there was once a clan castle:

(Source: Clan Hannay U.S. website)

This castle still exists, but looks a little different:

(Source: Scottish Field)

So, I think it's unnecessary to say that we'd like to visit Sorbie Tower on a trip to Scotland.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Post

Seeing wedding blogs makes me want to get married again. To Wade, of course. I've made that comment to him, and he looks at me like I'm crazy. I don't mean the stress, of course, but the day.

Helping my best friend and maid of honour (and recently engaged) Jocelyn plan her wedding will be fun. I admit, I'm envious of her getting to do this. This does not for one second effect my ability to help her. I know I had my day, and now she'll have her day, and anything I can do as a friend to plan or relieve her stress will make her day that much better. But still, I envy her! :)

Wade and I are having a fabulous anniversary party ... well, two. Wade doesn't know about the one. We're having a belated anniversary / housewarming party in early July. (In the near future, I'll write the reasons we didn't do a housewarming when we bought the house six months ago. But not today.) That party is for friends. I'd like to have a family anniversary party a bit earlier. I haven't run this idea by Wade, but I'm sure he'll agree if I offer to make a compromise, such as "allowing" him to watch a number of Nascar races without me complaining once. (The easiest way to accommodate that promise is for me to leave the house on a couple Nascar race afternoons!)

Also, Wade and I are thinking of a trip this summer. Not sure where. Newfoundland? Scotland? India? Our budget will impact where we go.

Plus we're still decorating our house. We I want to paint and make a couple changes to the bathroom. That hasn't happened yet.

So in honour of what's coming up in the next couple months, I'll start posting about these things: travel, decorating, two anniversary / housewarming parties, and Jocelyn's wedding planning.

If I wasn't at work, I'd definitely post pictures in the above post to make it prettier and more reader-friendly. Maybe I'll get around to it tonight.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I had a busy week-end. Kinda. On Sunday, I volunteered with St. John Ambulance. I've been volunteering with them since September, and Sunday was the first time I actually provided first-aid on a duty. For privacy reasons, I can't disclose the name or details of the first-aid I provided, and I intend to honour that requirement. However, I can say that the event was a triathlon. I can also say that at triathlons, a common cause of injury is due to falling off bicycles (not due to lack of skill). So you can guess what kind of care was required.

Later in the day, Princess & I went to a farm. My friend Teresa married a farmer. She is not a farmer, but she somehow ended up a farm-wife! Her hubby took us around and introduced us to the animals. There was one pig, one calf, two cows, a bunch of sheep and lambs, one ram (the male sheep) and one horse.

They only have one pig. They had two plus a bunch of piglets. They recently sold the piglets, and of their two adult pigs, only Sammy is still there. I petted Sammy on the head - apparently, she likes head rubs. Sammy's companion was Hammy, and I don't need to think too hard to figure out where Hammy went.

Of the lambs, most were running free, but two were still isolated with their mommy because they were so young. Teresa and I each held one lamb. I have to say, they look waaaay softer than they feel. Their wool was actually rough compared to what I was expected. We cuddled them both, but their poor hearts were just pounding! We didn't cuddle them long and we returned them to their very worried mum.

The calf was named Angus. He's an Angus cow, and he's going to become Angus steak. I forget what the other two cows were named, but apparently their days were numbered.

Princess and Marley (Teresa's chocolate lab) did NOT get along. I think Diesel (8 month old black lab neighbour) would have gotten along, but Marley and Princess were so wound up by each other that no one was able to get along. Marley's also a trained duck-hunting dog, and she seemed friendly. Other than trying to eat Princess, that is. But Princess was trying to fight back, like the scrappy stray she is. It was almost funny watching how much those two hated each other. I think they would really have injured each other if we weren't there, but it's hard to say.

So that was my exciting week-end. What did you do?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Miners Died Today

We have the technology to make mining safe. In fact, we have the technology to make every industry safe: we can ensure there are no mining fatalities or occupational diseases; we can even make it safe for nurses to lift patients without throwing out their backs. And do we?

Many people, myself included, are quick to judge "third world" countries' health and safety track records. China and India, with two of the largest populations, are free-for-alls with regards to many things, including human rights and occupational health and safety. But while we're quick to judge, we must remember we're not perfect.

Case in point: while a large mining accident this past week in China has (surprisingly) recovered over 100 workers, I suspect there will be many deaths once everything is settled. However, today's mining accident in West Virginia reminds me that we (being the "developed" world) ignore these very technologies we've developed for safety.

What is the reason of this most recent mining accident? Who knows, and the mining company is rightfully focussed on life saving efforts of the survivors. However, we know that mining can be done safely, so there was an error somewhere - whether an engineering issue or cultural (from not accounting for geographic issues to not enforcing safety regulations).

By the way, in Ontario (my province of Canada), mining is significantly safer than working in a hospital. I suspect that statistic is the same throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Surprised? Well, we don't "perceive" hospitals as dangerous, so we don't always adequately address the safety hazards (such as lifting patients, mixing cleaning chemicals, being attacked by dementia patients or even emotional family members can all cause significant injuries to workers).

Remember, everywhere in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and most other developed nations, you have the right to refuse unsafe work, the right to know about the safety hazards you're working with/around, and the right to training on these hazards. Don't be afraid to exercise your rights. If you're unsure, google your appropriate authority (such as provincial ministries in Canada, OSHA in the U.S., HSE in the U.K., etc.)

Please take a moment to remember those who died needlessly for their job.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

In honour of Easter, some images of the Easter Bunny (or at least bunnies that you're looking at during Easter):

(Source of the above pictures: Peonies and Polaroids)

(Source: wikipedia)

(Source: The Guardian)

(Thank Rachel at Girl Learning Along The Way to thank for this picture!)

(Source: email forwards.)

I have bad news for the bottom two bunnies. I think I'll let them remain oblivious for now. Ignorance is, after all, bliss.