May 24, 2014

It's Saturday!

Have you ever had one of those weeks?

One of those weeks that felt like it would never ever end?

I'm having one this week.

Nothing particularly horrible has happened. It's just been super long (even though technically it's been a short week!), and I'm super tired.

So, for just a second, I wanted to remind myself about some of the things I'm thankful for this week...

1. I'm thankful for my husband. J can tell that I'm tired and feeling a little bit off so he's been extra kind and extra helpful. He even suggested we get take-out for supper last night. (And that's pretty rare!)

2. I'm thankful the girls are healthy. We had Daisy and Sydney to the vet last night and they both left with a clean bill of health. (Though poor Sydney has inflammed gums around one tooth and needs to switch to oral health food.)

Daisy was a very good girl! (Sydney wouldn't stand still long enough for a picture.)
3. I'm thankful that J and I are going on vacation in 3 weeks. We don't have any huge plans, but his sister is coming home from Florida and we're really looking forward to seeing her and spending some time relaxing and checking out our beautiful province.

Enjoy your Saturday!
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May 23, 2014

Breakfast Poutine

I love breakfast. Like a lot. But not healthy breakfast. Oh no, I like fried eggs and bacon and hashbrowns and white toast covered in butter or waffles covered in fruit and whipped cream and icing sugar or delicious eggs benedict with rich hollandaise sauce. So when my second, Melissa, submitted a breakfast poutine recipe for our staff cookbook I knew it was something I would have to try. And soon!

I made some tweaks and was really happy with the final product. J approved too, though he admitted he would prefer traditional eggs benedict. The only thing I didn't really like about this dish was that is used a lot of dishes.

Breakfast Poutine
  • 4 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 bag home fries/hash browns (I used a 750g bag of McCain's Home Fries)
  • Swiss cheese, shredded (the amount depends on how much cheese you want)
  • Prepared Hollandaise sauce (I used a Knorr packet, but you could make it from scratch if you're really talented!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large pan fry up the hashbrowns. (I seasoned mine with a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper)
  3. Meanwhile begin cooking ground sausage.
  4. Once it's cooked remove the sausage from the pan and cook your scrambled eggs.
  5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  6. Place hashbrowns in your prepared pan and top with sausage, eggs, and cheese. Pour Hollandaise on top.
  7. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


I've never written out a recipe like this before, so please let me know if you have any questions or need any clarification. And huge thanks to Melissa and her family for introducing me to breakfast poutine!

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May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday Stories: Daisy's "Before" Photo

I thought I would like up with Jessica from The Mom Collective again this week. I love getting to share some of my older pictures and share the story behind them.

This is Daisy the day we met her for the first time at the SPCA in June 2011. I never wanted a dog, we always had cats growing up and I knew that when I got married I wanted at least one cat in our home. J wasn't opposed to a cat - but he wanted a dog too. So when we got married I promised him that when we bought a house we would get a dog. I think I thought that day would never come.

But it did come. And as soon as we put in an offer J was online looking for dogs. We decided that we wanted to adopt, we wanted to rescue a dog who needed us. J wanted a german shepherd or a boxer and I wanted a pug or another small breed. We checked out lots of local rescues like the East Coast German Shepherd Rescue and the Atlantic Small Dog Rescue but we had adopted our cat, Sydney, from the SPCA so we decided to see if they had a dog that was just right for us.

Daisy was the first and only dog we walked at the SPCA. She really was perfect for us. She wasn't too big and she wasn't too small. And the sweetest little pup I had ever met. This little beagle has been part of our lives for almost three years now and I can't imagine my life without her in it. She is spoiled rotten, and not particularly well-trained, but she's my baby. I'm glad I let J convince me that I could be a dog-person and a cat person.

Have a great day!

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May 21, 2014


Ten years ago today my life changed forever when my little brother was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia.

This (extremely blurry) picture of me, my brother and my mom was taken on May 14th, 2004 after my graduation from MSVU. What you can't see in this picture is that my brother's skin has taken on a bit of a yellowish tinge and that he has huge bags under his eyes despite sleeping all the time. My parents think the jaundice is from too much time in his basement bedroom and that the bags are from being up playing video games and not sleeping enough. To this day my mother still hates herself for that.
A few days later when the my brother's skin has turned even more yellow my mom decides to try to get him a doctor's appointment. Our family doctor had retired several years earlier, but we were always very healthy so it didn't matter. She managed to get him in to a clinic down the street from our house on Friday, May 21st at lunch time. The plan was that he would go to school in the morning, go to his appointment, and be back at school for his afternoon classes.  
Things did not go as planned.
The doctor took a quick look at Jon, asked him a few questions, and sent him off to get blood work done immediately. At this point my mom called my dad who left work to meet them. I was still at home, playing around on the computer, unaware that anything unusual was going on.
I was a great big sister...
Shortly after they took Jon's blood a doctor told my parents they were transferring him to the hospital - by ambulance. No one would tell my parents what exactly was going on, only that they needed to get him to the hospital as soon as possible. At this point my dad called me at home to tell me what was going on, and that he would be there shortly to pick me up.

I was supposed to work that night and I can remember calling my boss and trying so hard not to start sobbing. She was wonderful, she even made sure someone was coming to get me so I wouldn't have to drive myself to the hospital. In the end she was one of the first people who knew, I was supposed to work at 7am the next day as well and had to call and explain why I wouldn't be there.

The hospital is a blur for me.

The doctor on-call in the emergency room was a hematologist who knew exactly what we were dealing with as soon as my brother's test results came in. He had more blood drawn and other extremely painful tests before we were given the official word.
Mom and I had just gotten back from a quick coffee run when we were called in to the little curtained examining room.
It was cancer.
My heart stopped. I didn't cry.
I didn't do anything except stand there in stunned disbelief.
This was my baby brother. 
My only brother.
Was he going to die?
His treatments started right away, even though it was the long weekend.
Christmas 2004 - Jon is in the middle of treatments.
He was so brave. The nurses loved him. Because he was 17 they let him choose whether he wanted to stay at the children's hospital or the adult hospital. My brother has never been a lover of kids so he chose they adult hospital. He was the youngest person on his floor and kept a positive attitude throughout his whole treatment.
I know that most cancer stories don't end the same way my brother's does. He went into remission nearly immediately. He currently doesn't take any medication and no longer meets with his oncologist. He is working a full-time job in his field of study and is dating a wonderful young woman. Looking at him today you'd never know how sick he was 10 years ago.
In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday, in others it feels like a lifetime.
I am so grateful to have my brother here with me, healthy and happy.

Ember Grey

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May 20, 2014

Literary Junkies; May

Pink Heels Pink Truck

I know, two posts in one day is kind of overkill. But I forgot that today was the third Tuesday of the month which means that it's time for the Literary Junkies link party. I think this is yet another sign that I need a planner for my blog, then I'll remember stuff like this and not schedule another post for the same day...

Anyway, on to the questions!

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!
I'm currently reading Barbie and Ruth by Robin Gerber. It's a different type of book for me, but I'm enjoying it.

Goodreads says...
"Barbie and Ruth is the entwined story of two exceptional women. There's Barbie: the diminutive yet arrestingly voluptuous doll unveiled at the 1959 Toy Fair who became the treasure of 90 percent of American girls and their counterparts in 150 countries. She went on to compete as an Olympic athlete, serve as an air force pilot, work as a boutique owner, run as a presidential candidate, and ignite a cultural firestorm.

And then there's Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator: the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants, a passionately competitive and creative business pioneer, and a mother and wife who wanted it all. After a business scandal that forced Ruth out of Mattel, the company she founded, she drew on her experience as a breast cancer survivor to start a business that changed women's lives. She was ultimately honored as a pioneer, humanitarian, and masterful entrepreneur."
 2. Do you judge a book by its cover? What cover elements make you not want to pick up a book?
I think everyone does to a certain extent. I like covers that are well done. Nice colours, nice artwork. Nobody half naked on the cover...
3. Do you participate in any other bookish link-ups? Tell us about them so we can join next time!
I don't participate in any other link ups, but I am participating in the Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge. (That's what made me pick up Barbie and Ruth in the first place, one of the categories is biography, autobiography or memoir.)
4. Have you ever watched a movie that was better than its book version? Explain yourself!
No, I haven't. More often than not I avoid movies made from books I enjoyed. I have watched all the Harry Potter movies, and the Hunger Games and while they were good, I definitely don't think they were better than the book.
5. Summer is here! Do you read more often during any particular season?
I don't. I tend to read the most on my lunch break and that doesn't change. In the colder months I'll read snuggled up on the couch, and in the warmer months I'll read out on the patio.
6. What is the worst book you’ve read this year? Why?
I don't think I can really pick a "worst" book. I've had a couple that I've struggled to get into, but I've finished everything I started.

I won't be able to join the Twitter chat tonight, but I did read Where'd You Go, Bernadette? and I enjoyed it. It was actually one of those books I had a hard time getting in to, but once I did I was hooked. It was different from my usual book choice so I'm glad I read it. One of my goals for the summer is to expand my reading horizons a bit.

Are you reading anything really good right now? Have you read anything recently that was just bad?

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Weekend Update

I'm posting my weekend update on Tuesday again because it was a long weekend and I was off for three whole (glorious!) days.

Friday night started with a potluck dinner at my parents' house. We wanted to have a potluck so we could take part in the #PotluckChallenge. It was a good night, even if most of my friends couldn't make it. We got to spend some time with my family and we ate a ton of delicious food. See that little clown on my cake? My grandmother bought that for my very first birthday cake. I went through those years where I was too embarrassed to use it, but now it comes out for every family birthday. And I'm so glad my mom held on to it for all these years!

Saturday morning we got a bit of a late start, but I'm not complaining. I think we both needed the sleep. It's so rare that Daisy lets us sleep in that getting up at 9am was a huge treat. We took a run to Tim Horton's for breakfast and they were giving out free birthday cake donuts. It's like they knew I was celebrating my birthday this weekend. (Or maybe it's because the were celebrating their 50th birthday...)

We got on the road around noon to head out to the Seaside Adjunct. It's a little over a 2 hour drive and we were a little worried about Daisy but she handled it like a champ. It's worth it too, so beautiful. You can read all about our day here, but the long story short is that it was totally amazing and just what we needed.

Sunday was the usual. Sunday school, church, and a delicious dinner at J's folks. I chatted with J's sister, Rachel, for a bit. She's coming home next month and we can't wait to see her. Hoping to get to do lots of fun touristy things while she's home. (Hopefully cross a couple things off my Summer Bucket List!)

Yesterday we decided at the last minute to head to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park with J's brother and his fiance. We've all been there before, but it was still nice to get out and do something a little bit different. The weather was supposed to be pretty gross but it actually turned out not too bad so we stopped for ice cream on the way home. Of course I had to try the confetti cake blizzard! (Delicious in case you were wondering.)

Unfortunately when we got home we had a bit of a scare, we found a tick on Daisy. Unfortunately it's a holiday so our vet isn't open. We called the Metro Emergency Animal Hospital and they told us how to remove them. We've kept them so we can take them to our vet to have them tested for Lyme disease. I'm a bit of a wreck right now. Crossing my fingers, I've read that most ticks don't actually carry diseases so hopefully the one we found on Daisy was safe.

Other than the whole tick thing our weekend was pretty fantastic. Hope you enjoyed yours too!

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May 19, 2014

Wild, Wild Life

We were really disappointed when we saw the weather forecast for today earlier this week. We were hoping for a day like Saturday, which was absolutely gorgeous. Warm (but not too hot) and sunny. Unfortunately today's forecast was pretty bleak. Cloudy with a 60% chance of showers all day. And cold. Boo. We've been wanting to go to the zoo with David (J's younger brother) and Tracey (David's fiance) since it opened Easter Weekend. We all ended up with today off but with the weather forecast we weren't sure we wanted to drive all that way.

At the last minute we decided to head to the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park and I'm really glad we did. The weather was warmer than we expected and it didn't rain at all. It was so nice that we even stopped for ice cream on the way home. It was a great way to end our long weekend.

There are peacocks everywhere!
We found a couple of love-birds roaming around. ;-)
Canada Geese and their babies!
He was so cute! He did a couple turns, just like Daisy, before settling down.
Posing with my new friend the Artic Wolf.
I love raccoons. I know they're basically pests, but I just think they're super cute.
David and Tracey checking out the otters. They look so graceful in the water, but so awkward on land.
Of course we had to pose with the bear!
 I loved having three days off in a row this weekend. J and I really enjoyed the time together and it was so nice not having to set an alarm. Hope you enjoyed your weekend, especially those of you in Canada celebrating Victoria Day!

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'H2O' On The Go

Trying to take a selfie with Daisy in the car. :-)
Daisy was three when we adopted her from the SPCA. Prior to coming to live with us she had been used for breeding. The couple who owned her were retiring so they surrendered her to the SPCA. It was obvious that she hadn't really been a "pet." She didn't know how to play, she wasn't completely house-broken (which is why we're in the process if replacing our flooring...) and she had major separation anxiety. She was also scared to death of water - pools, lakes, streams, everything.

Gradually she got more comfortable with us, and she even plays with her toys now. She doesn't fetch, but she loves chasing you and playing tug-of-war with one of her stuffies.

One of the best "investments" we made when it comes to pet supplies was buy a Gulpy. We bought ours at a local pet store for around $10 and it is so handy. It's basically a waterbottle for your dog, and it has a built-in bowl. You squeeze the water out into the resevoir for them to drink. J clips it onto his built when we go hiking and it's always available for Daisy if she needs it. It's such a simple thing, but it really makes life a lot easier.

Do you have any pet supplies that you can't live without?

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PS: This post wasn't sponsored or anything. We just really like our Gulpy and I wanted to share one of my favourite products. :-)

May 18, 2014

An Afternoon by the Atlantic

This weekend is a long weekend here in Canada, and two small miracles happened. One, the weather yesterday was absolutely amazing and two, I'm off! I'm off for three whole days and I couldn't be  more excited. J and I have been really busy with work the past couple weeks and haven't had a lot of time to spend together so having three days off together is just what we needed. After writing about how much I loved the Seaside Adjunct and how perfect our day was there the first time we were there we decided that's where we would take Daisy.

The weather was absolutely perfect, and it was just as beautiful as I remembered. We spent a couple of hours roaming the beach and climbing the rocks. I took a ton of pictures, though I don't think any of them actually do the area justice. We basically had the place to ourselves which made for an extra peaceful afternoon.

Daisy absolutely loved it. I really wish we could let her off-leash but with a beagle who wasn't trained as a puppy it's just not something we want to try. She still enjoyed all the smells and all the new places to explore. She didn't seem to be overly fond of the waves though!

We saw seals too. Lots and lots of them. I love getting to see wildlife when we're out on our adventures.

The best part of the day was just that we got to totally relax. I left my cellphone in the car and we spent a couple hours just talking, laughing and catching up. I really think that's crucial to making a marriage work.

Daisy was exhausted by the time we were on our way home and actually slept most of the drive home.

It was pretty much the perfect Saturday. Hope you had a great Saturday too!

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