Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Trails: Jacob's Landing Trail

We chose another trail out of the book to explore last weekend and struck out again I think... Jacob's Landing Trail is in what is considered "Old Hespeler" and has a ton of charm.

The one problem... it seems a good portion of this trail has been turned into private property. The red arrow is the point that we shouldn't have crossed. We went a little further along the railroad tracks. It was still a gorgeous walk around Mill Pond.

Lots of birds on the lake too... including a white swan!

The trail starts with a dam next to an old saw mill. The river is super shallow but I was still surprised to see how close you could get to the water's edge.

It was really disappointing that the trail was so short... about 1 kilometer was cut off. I would still come back for the walk though.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet The Bears!

I realized this weekend that I haven't introduced anyone to our bears. When we first went to Seattle, we fell in love with the bear footstool in our room at the Edgewater. We planned on buying one when we came back for our honeymoon. We hadn't planned on the mini-bears...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Months To Go!

There are only 2 months left until we get handed the keys to our beautiful house. It is amazing how fast time goes. Almost 1 year ago, our lot looked like this...

...and now it looks like this!

It is overwhelming and extremely exciting all at the same time. Movers are booked. Boxes are packed aside from essentials. Purchases are planned. Oh boy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Nerdy Cook

On Saturdays, Ian and I decide on the menu for the week and go shopping on Sunday. Because of this, we are always on the lookout for new recipes to keep it interesting. This has led to a pile up of recipes. I tried different ways to organize them... It got harder to keep it all neat and up to date. Last Friday, I googled for a Recipe Manager in Excel. I got a template and went from there.

It's very easy to use. I just enter each recipe into a table, give it a type (Asian, Mexican, BBQ, etc) and all the instructions. Then I used pivot tables to get the list pictured above. The best part... I can pick a recipe from this drop down:

...and it auto-formats the recipe into a nice printout. It's so simple that it will be easy to keep up. Nerds + Cooks = Awesome

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Coop Scoop - Alphabet Soup Time

A, b, c, d, e, f, uh, g, h, i, k, m, m, l, mo, q, r, s, t, u, v, double x, y, zeezee. YAY!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brittany Proof

A follow up to the Phone Debacle post. I received the phone on Friday. I had it one whole night and I was absolutely terrified of it. Not only do I lose things... I also break things. I had my Canadian 3g phone for about week before the screen was shattered. Holding the iPhone 4... I could just feel the potential for broken screens and tears. I carried it around like a delicate egg as I roamed the apartment. I knew I had to get a case for it.

We headed to Best Buy and there were some cute ones... blue... green.. teal... I almost went for one that matched my new glasses. But none of them said "You can throw me under a bus, drop me off a building, and set me on fire - your phone will still look brand new". And if they didn't say that... they sure as heck didn't say "Brittany-Proof". Then I came across... Roots Tuff Skin. Stamped right on the front "4FT. DROP-TEST PASSED/REUSSIT ESSAI D'IMPACT 4PI". I threw in the French part to make the French Speakers feel special. Anyway... it's exactly what I wanted. As I said to Ian, I feel like I can throw it out the car window and it would survive. He politely asked me not to. =]

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Trails: Riverside Park

I've been wanting to crack open this book:

I decided this was the weekend to do it. I was slightly wrong when I judged the season. Summer doesn't officially start until late June. I thought it would be fine because the weather was going to be nice and sunny. What I wasn't prepared for was the mud. Oh, the mud. We ended up doing the Riverside Park Loop here in Cambridge.

It is estimated to be a 4km loop but by the time we got back to the car we were sure we took a wrong turn somewhere. You'll see on the map above a dotted red line. We think we missed a turn and cut across what turned out to be a VERY muddy patch. How muddy? Yeah...

The trail started with a bridge over Speed River. We saw quite a few geese trying to "paddle" upstream - that was amusing.

Ian spotted Mr. Turtle on a log as we were crossing the bridge.

I even snuck in a picture of Ian. "Why are you taking ANOTHER picture?" =P

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Max Quacks - I'm Awesome

I love that he hits the slide on his belly and then laughs for a second. He is awesome.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Phone Debacle

I will be the first to admit... I lose things. I'm absent-minded. I've got a lot going on in my head; half of which is totally unnecessary. I'm sure Ian would argue more than half. A good portion of my brain is probably just singing some song lyrics. Honestly, I wake up singing to myself. This morning it was this song:

This week has been a little rough. Ian's plane from Vegas was delayed an hour and a half. We got home really late and my sleep schedule is all off. On Monday, I heard that a good friend/work colleague of mine is ill. She will be fine I'm sure... but my worrywart brain is distracted by this. Around noon on Monday, I went to the kitchen at work and came back to find my whiteboard knocked down from the wall. It was very odd... about 20 minutes later I realized that my phone was missing. I'm definitely not someone who jumps to the conclusion that someone stole it. I've looked EVERYWHERE. I have turned my desk, my bags, my car, my house upside down. The cleaning lady at work even looked through the trash. I went to all the places I would have had it and called it. My phone is just... gone.

I finally gave up hope. I called Rogers (horrible telephone company) and they said because I was eligible for an upgrade, I could just upgrade my lost phone and buy a new SIM card. I started to try and find an iPhone in my area. Short Summary of the Next Events: Local stores refused to sell their IN STOCK phones to me because I was an upgrade and not a new customer. One Rogers phone rep said they could do that, another said they couldn't. They were going to order me a phone but it could take up to six weeks. I took to Twitter to voice my frustration. Did help any? Probably not... Did it make me feel a bit better? Absolutely. Shortly after that I got an email that my phone was shipped and should be delivered by the end of today. It's frustrating.

Anyway, it's been both good and bad to be a bit disconnected. I'm looking forward to my new phone though.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

True Statement

I would like to hand this out to a few people I work with.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Packing Music

Music helps me... I don't know. Do stuff? I want to pack... clean... organize... whenever music is on. It makes me dance around the apartment and make a fool of myself. These are the songs currently keeping me dancing...

Ok I'll Wear Them!!

Something strange just happened. I'm still wearing my old glasses. Why aren't I wearing my snazzy new glasses? Couple reasons... I am doing a lot of crappy work around here... cleaning... packing... sweating... and I really didn't want my brand new glasses in all that. Also, my prescription has changed and when that happens I usually get headaches. I didn't feel like dealing with them just yet. This morning I took my old glasses off and set them on the night stand. When I went to put them back on, I found them like this:

The ear piece was snapped! I can't believe it... I guess it's a sign I should be wearing my new ones! Okay!!

Vegas Memory Lane

Ian is going to Vegas this weekend. It got me thinking about all of the times I happened to visit Sin City. One really fun time was with my mom and sister. We stayed at the Bellagio... my sister flew in from Virginia. This was a picture taken of us at the hotel. Also, I'm pretty amused right now... I NEVER would have remembered when this picture was taken. But thanks to Kodak processing I know... February 2002! (Date was typed on the back~)

Friday, May 13, 2011

The One Thing I Will Miss

Living in an apartment is not fun. I've written about it before. Dealing with elevators and loud neighbors, etc. I think the worst part for me is that we are in this concrete block. We are in a corner unit that has a lot of windows but I feel disconnected from the outside world. I'm really looking forward to taking a few steps and being on grass. But this is the only thing I will miss...

I Dared!

I decided to go for it... and I'm in love with them!

From a different angle... you can kind of see the color... Teal Blue. =D

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Ian!

I met him when he was 21...

...I moved to Canada when he was 22...

...we saw our first Red Sox game when he was 23...

...and got married when he was 24!

Now he's turning 25!

He will add "Homeowner" to his life resume. Can you spot the Ian in this picture? =P Happy Birthday love!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yummy Spring/Summer Dinner

A couple weeks ago, we had an idea for a "refreshing" type of dinner. Tuna lettuce wraps and a fresh berry smoothie. It was drool inducing. We will definitely have to do it again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Future Shopping

On Saturday, Ian and I did a bunch of shopping for the future. We didn't purchase anything yet... but picked out some essential pieces for the house. We have a formal dining room and a set to go in it... But nothing to go in the dinette. After the 3rd store, we were pretty shocked we hadn't found any candidates. At least candidates that were reasonable! At the fourth store, we were pleasantly surprised to find pieces in our style.

We need a dinette table, chairs and barstools. Fortunately, the store offered furniture from a company that will customize all of the pieces for us. Let me know what you think! The fabric is the same in both pictures... but comes off blue in one and green in another.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bear Tagging In Algonquin Park

In July we are heading to Algonquin Park to camp with Ian's parents. To be honest, my co-workers are freaking me out with horror stories about the bugs. But after seeing this video, I really want to go. Mainly to pick up a bear or two. The video is really worth the 7 minutes. I've never seen an entire Rick Mercer report... but he seems to be the embodiment of Canadian humor. His breaking news report on SNOW in Toronto was hilarious! Anyway, laugh and enjoy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

"In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by numbers of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit."

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful Ma! I couldn't ask to have a better mother. We have so much fun when we are together. Last year I met my goal of seeing her once a quarter but this year I will most certainly fail. The consolation prize is that when she comes to visit I will have a real place for her to stay. I can't wait for her to see the house and see how successful she has helped me become. I owe her tremendously.

I also can't wait to get pictures like this of my kids and her. I love you Ma!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Do I Dare?

I have a chance to get another pair of glasses. These look pretty good on me... but they are a little bold!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coop Scoop - Best Hits

I haven't had any solid videos of Cooper recently.... so I decided to post his best hits. Or best hit. =]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Congratulations Canada!

Your political system is just as messed up as the US! (I'm leaning towards more...)

DISCLAIMER: I really don't know exactly how the system works. The following information was gathered from different resources - Ian, Media (heh), and Wikipedia. I'm probably going to get a lot of it wrong... but the basic jist is still the same - it's a messed up system. A note in this disclaimer: I hate politics, no matter what country.

Let me break it down. (Yeah, I SAID IT!) There are 5 political parties in Canada.

  • Conservative Party of Canada (referred to as PC or Tories): Currently hold power. Their leader Steven Harper is the Prime Minister.

  • New Democratic Party (NDP): They are *GASP* a socialist party. Socialism is currently a dirty word in the US... but probably for all the wrong reasons. Their leader is Jack Layton.

  • Liberal Party of Canada: You guessed it - they are liberals. I don't pay a lot of attention to the political news here but the liberal party seems to be the most vocal. Their leader, up until last night, was Michael Ignatieff.

  • Bloc Quebecois: Their ideology is left wing... but as you can probably tell from the name, mostly concerned with Quebec's interests. Their leader, up until last night, was Gilles Duceppe. (Side note: I call them a party but according to news reports, they didn't win enough seats in the House of Commons to be considered a party anymore.)

  • Green Party: Oh, Ralph Nader would be proud. There is a tree hugging party up in Canada. They are led by Elizabeth May but have as much of a chance at leading Canada as Ralph does of the US.

As I mentioned a couple times above... there was an election last night. Ian just recently explained that voters do not vote specifically for Stephen Harper or Jack Layton. The election is to vote in specific members of parliament (308 spread over the country). The majority party's leader becomes Prime Minister. Here is the part where Canada gets classified as messed up. The winning party last night won by getting 36% of the vote. The winning party was PC and their leader, Stephen Harper is once again the Prime Minister. See below.

That's right - this GOOBER is Prime Minister once again. I don't know what it is... but he just... looks and sounds like giant GOOBER. I am sure after last night he has said something along the lines of "The Canadian people have spoken." Really? REALLY? 36% of them?

I can't see why the NDP and Liberal Party can't figure this one out. You can't split the vote 3 ways. Canada is a socialist/liberal country. But if they keep splitting the vote, it will always be run by a Conservative Party. It's very simple! Politics here are the same as in the US though... attack ad after attack ad. The NDP leader, Jack Layton, once spent some time at a massage palor 15 years ago *GASP*. The former Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff, lived outside of Canada for too long. The Prime Minister is a GOOBER. It's all the same - all very tiring.

Last point. Elections cost money. Money paid by taxpayers. This was election came early because a vote of No Confidence passed in parliament. But it didn't matter because the two parties wishing to overthrow the Goober's Government wouldn't join together.

[In a last minute fact checking run... I see different reports about the winning percentages - some 36.. some 39. Either way, NDP was 30% and Liberal 18%. Do the math and you get a more appropriate majority government. Also, there are "other" parties as I am sure there are in other countries. But when I looked at the list... a few awesome ones jumped out - The Rhinoceros Party, The Pirate Party & The Marxist-Leninist Party. The full list is below~]