that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.

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i’m here!

And what better time to kick start my re-entry to blogging but LENT – my own consistent blogging series. Mmhmm… missing my good friend Chrissy for this particular ‘event’ (see last year), especially in choosing what to give up, but I persevere.

First of all – I am going to make an effort to be on here more. I enjoy blogging a great deal, I just have too many hilarious and life changing moments that start with “Today, with my students, we…” and I have to watch it – for privacy and also for boredom…to you. I sound like a broken record most of the time but honestly. teaching is an honest-to-goodness-made-for-television style of entertainment. I will try to keep you in the loop much more.

So. Lent. Last year I gave up make up. It was a powerful time. While a time of healing, mostly for my face that had been covered up for over 10 years, the challenge/fast was habit forming and I haven’t touched foundation since, except to throw it away.

I also apparently gave up dessert. That didn’t happen very often though, there was always a justification and since I always wanted to reward myself for being so diligent in not wearing make up, it was a bad combo. Excuses, excuses. But seriously, that one was especially tough – largely in part due to my living situation at the time (coke floats that flowed…endlessly?).

So here we are, day one of the 2012 lenten fasting, and here are my sacrifices:

1. hitting the snooze button, even on weekends. A very good friend of mine is doing this and I think it is a great idea. It’ll be especially tough given the zero accountability but I’ve declared it, so here I go.

2. Staying at the school past 5. I know it’s crazy but some evenings I will be in my classroom until well into the evening and I need to work on this. It might be a “contradictory” sacrifice but any teachers out there, especially new ones, will understand this.

3. Watching TV shows/movies to fall asleep. I don’t remember when this habit started but I need to spend this time pleasure reading or with my devos or just thinking. When I consider how much of my day is filled with distractions, busyness, and talking to others, I need to bring in some quiet.

How’d I do today?


I hit snooze once. Oops

I left school at 5:10. BUT I was tutoring one of my kids later than planned so I think it was important for both of us.

I haven’t gone to bed yet. And I am blogging. But it’s quiet and there is hope for some committed success in this area.

What are you thinking of letting go of for this season?

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lent status update

So I am three weeks in. If you’ve forgotten – I gave up foundation (really, any type of powder, concealer, whatever) makeup and desserts.

Anyway. The make up has been awesome, rather – the lack of. I feel so good, I have not put ANYTHING on my face, save for mascara, in over three weeks. The first week was really rough, my skin went through a kind of detox so I had a lot of red splotches and breaking out a bit around my jaw. I figured that was minor pay back for covering it up for so many years (12 years, give or take). But now,  my skin is really evening out and it feels better than it ever has.  It’s funny, I never actually had bad skin to begin with so I am now wondering why I ever started wearing any makeup whatsoever. OH well. And at the recommendation of a friend, I’ve picked up a new moisturizer, the best one I’ve ever used (Dormer 211 — buy it) and that is making this whole fast thing awesome — at this rate, I have no plans to wear make up after this. Thanks Jes for the challenge. I think everyone should do this. I thought I’d see a direct correlation between clean and clear foundation-less skin and not eating desserts but I’d proven science and pore cleansing commercials, speaking about eating right for healthy skin, wrong becccccauuuseee….

I cheated on my dessert sacrifice about 5 days in. Let me explain. I don’t actually know why I gave up dessert to begin with. It’s not a crutch for me and it’s not something I have often enough to even notice if I don’t have it. As I thought about it more, I theorize that I only gave it up because Chrissy didn’t believe she has what it takes to give up something she’s passionate about (ice cream, graham crackers, chocolate, and bananas — yes, altogether. Amazing). So I guess when she suggested I give up dessert, it was actually so she could live vicariously through me and feel as though she is doing the fasting in her own small way. Maybe?

Not really, but I still don’t know why I gave it up. My dessert count it up to this:

1. sex in a pan (Sunday – 5 days in to lent)
2. sex in a pan leftovers (Monday – 6 days in to lent)
3. three bowls of ice cream at various times post-first cheat
4. Frozen yogurt with my almost-due preggo friend Rebecca (5 days ago)… we had to, she was craving! (I was craving? :))
5, Joy the Baker’s Butterscotch Pudding with Carmelized Bananas and Cream (2 nights ago)

PS Joy the Baker has changed my life. Anyway.

6. A piece of Connor’s birthday cake (yesterday)

Don’t ever say I am not accountable to my actions. And now that I’ve completed that list, it’s safe to say that three weeks in, I am officially giving up dessert for an extended-lent, possibly into my 26th year. I really don’t have  it often, I blame it on being influenced of those around me. So either the people or the dessert has to go. Bye bye deliciousness, here goes.

EXCEPT if I want frozen yogurt. Or Joy the [rockstar] Baker‘s grapefruit scones. Unreal. Lifechanging. Breakfast transforming. Amazing. Period.


when life gives you lemons…

Make Sticky Lemon Rolls (with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze) and feel good about yourself for not eating a Cinnamon Bun instead. Fruit, baby, fruit. Here it is in all of its citrus goodness…thanks for giving me the recipe and demanding I try these out so you can taste-test them, Chrissy. My only fail was not saving zest for presentation. Oh well, I am terrible at plating any how (hence why we lose Iron Chef every time). I wouldn’t call these photos food art but they are pretty darn good so I don’t care how the pictures make them look, it’s about how tasting them makes me feel. And that is all that matters:

If you want to make this variation of the Cinnamon Bun, go to The Kitchn (click on the link and you’ll get to the recipe). Enjoy.

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ramalama…bling, not dingdong

SO many things to say, SO little time…

First of all, Ky sent me this beautiful story via a beautiful link. Go read about a mama’s love story with her baby Nella by clicking on the link. THEN once you’ve read Nella’s story, subscribe to Kelle Hampton’s blog… it’s breathtaking. I don’t know why, but it gets me excited to read blogs. Not that I am not excited to read yours, cause I am, but her photography and joy is precious. I love her!

Happy Birthday to my most favourite 5 year old in the WORLD…Connor Joshua, I hope your birthday was filled with animals and candies and ice cream with sprinkles and all of your best things! I love that guy much more than I love most people, certainly more than I love Nella’s mom but really, go read her site.

In 4.5 WEEKS I am going to be a practicum student teacher. Are you praying for me? You better be! I am teaching Macbeth to English 11 and the War of 1812 to Social Studies 9. Should be interesting. And no, I am not prepared.

It’s been almost a month but we lost Iron Chef. Basically, it’s time to trade my partner or do some cook-searching (not to be confused with soul-searching). Also, I’ve embarked on a journey I like to call watching-all-the-Oscar-nominated-and-won-best-pictures. So far, not good showing.

I gave up bread for lent and I’ve failed twice. Mainly because I simply forgot. I am also currently 5/13 for Roll Up the Rim at Tim Horton’s… it’s basically and literally a competitive game out here; my friend even has a spreadsheet that charts his successes. It’s supposed to be 1/9 wins but I would argue against that. Luke and I pledged to split any big wins 50-50 (so the Rav 4, 10,000, or the 100 Tim Card). But I think if I win 10 G’s, I’ll buy him dinner then jet off to Mexico without him.

I bought the shoes I most covet today. Chrissy has them and I’ve hummed and hee-hawed over purchasing them for about 9 months… but I justify them via the fact that I can wear them teaching, they’ll be comfortable, etc. So here’s a pic, since it’s not very often I buy shoes:

Any who, that’s about all I have to say for now. Apparently not a ton worthwhile.



No seriously, CHEERS!

(I keep trying to delete cheers but it’s not working so I thought I’d add that last one for good measure…)

grace and peace.


Iron Chef 2010 – edited with lyrics

Countdown is on — Kitchen stadium opens Thursday for Battle YAM/SWEET POTATO. Check out our anthem:

Our pride was hurt last year

But now we’re coming back with a vengeance

Yams are the key

But without us they are nothing

Iron Chef is the game

Team Hardcore Power-house is our name

Redemption will be sweet

You amateur peasants

Our cooking is so much better

Why are we even here?

We are going to destroy you

…why don’t you just crrry abooouutt it.

Boo hoo.

Boo who?

Boo them.



[unsolicited] ramblings

Oh for the love of dark roast coffee, my practicum starts in 2 months and 12 days…eep. Aside from being utterly and totally unprepared, I am scared out of my dirty blond crowned mind. Why am I doing this? In fact, I’ve started having teacher anxiety dreams. I won’t go into detail but sometimes they involve me losing lesson plans while other times they involve my skirt tucked up in my panty hose (kinda like HERE). I don’t know what else to say about that… but I am freakin’ out [on the inside].

Speaking of school, this semester has been positively and completely draining. Part of our course load this term involves a class on Indigenous Peoples [in the classroom] and another on Disabled and Exceptional Students. Both of these classes are stretching me, challenging my biases, questioning my professional validity, and again, scaring me to know end as I wonder how to best serve those categorized students in my classroom. I guess not every student will come from a wasp-esque, middle class, Caucasian, able-bodied situation where they are both enthusiastic and excited to learn… right? No, I did not actually believe that going into my education, but these two specific courses are really, really pushing me. They are also making my bed look oh-so-appealing come 5:00 pm. Plus, we attend school in a cohort. That means for all six classes I am with the exact same people for every single one. Cabin fever much? We’re so connected that I can predict what is going to come out of certain people’s mouths before they even raise their hands. It’s hard to not get frustrated but seriously, the course load is so heavy, it’s exhausting. Plus, with all this work and emo feelings-discussions all the time, how will I ever prepare for my…eep…practicum?

2010 Olympics — did I mention my Dad is kickin’ it with the rockstars that run the show out there? Post-completion of the renos at Canada Place, Dad has been hired by Vanoc to do a whole bunch of maintenance-esque jobs around “town” for the Olympics. He’s rubbing shoulders with so many big-wigs that he was given 2 tickets to see the dress rehearsal to the Opening Ceremonies! I’ve stopped taking his calls until he can make some Team Canada hockey, curling, or figure skating tickets appear to me from thin air. Or bobsledding ones so I can channel my inner ‘Cool Runnings’ style dreams. I am kidding, but it is pretty cool to have my Dad so close to everything down there.

2010 Iron Chef — it’s happening all over again next week so stay tuned for some details, updates, and play-by-play action of the event… we’re considering streaming on the internet live for the whole thing. Grab your popcorn. Also, we’re still looking for judges for this year’s competition since the three from last year have all either moved away or been voted out of the ‘stadium’ because of their biased ignorance to our team being the very best. We will not allow judging that will rule against us. Period.

Also, I am considering a May 2010 trip out to Alberta post-practicum. Anyone think that would be fun should speak up so I know to take this seriously or not. Read: Weston, Auntie is coming! 🙂

Finally, for those of you inquiring minds wanting to know — dolphins are my spirit animal. Here’s why:

“The Dolphin – Symbol of Breath of Life, Love, Balance and Community
Dolphins Wisdom Includes – Knowledge of the sea, change, patron of
sailors, harmony, wisdom, balance, Communication skills, freedom, trust,
understanding the power of rhythm in your life, use of breath to release
intense emotions, water element magic, unselfishness. Dolphin reminds us
to get out, play and most importantly, to breathe.

Dolphins are connected with the power of breath and with emotional
release, which are also both deeply connected. One of the most important
factors in spiritual growth is to give ourselves the freedom of full
experiencing our feelings and emotions. Often negative emotions are
suppressed as we don’t want to be a part of them, so we try to stay apart
from them. Feelings of sadness, pain, anger, grief. Dolphins teach us that
we need to feel our feelings.

(Doesn’t that sound like ME?! haha FEELINGS)

Dolphins spend most of their day playing. Their life is lived in joyful
harmony with each other and their world. Apparently they have learned the
lesson that love is the most important factor in life. If dolphin is your
power animal he may be there to teach you how to love yourself and your
world more. A big part of Dolphins medicine is living in balanced,
harmonious communities.

If Dolphin is your power animal, you may do well using your voice for
healing or communicating, in day to day life with those nearest and
dearest to you..”

As always, grace and peace.

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fun is educational

We had dinner over at Trav and Chrissy’s the other night before playing (and winning… no big deal) a few games. I always get excited about invites to the Simpson’s because, in addition to their insanely handsome and hilarious son Eli, Chrissy is one of the best cooks I know. The best part is she makes some really weird things that always taste exceptionally delicious. Wednesday was no exception; in the car on the way over I said to Luke how curious and excited I was to see what was for dinner. Anyway, she made pineapple salsa, which was to die for, and a chicken soup where we put different veggies (I think you call them veggies?) on top… kind of like a spicy Mexican taco only the toppings went on soup, not in a shell. Interessssting. With Travis’ commentary, Eli’s dance moves (and fascinated staredown at Luke), this dinner was amazing. But the coolest thing were all the random ingredients that were in the dinner. Like I said, fun can be an education, so I’ve provided a list of definitions of what I learned that night for your own educational pleasure:

1. hominy- is dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali. Mexican recipes describe a preparation process consisting primarily of cooking in lime-water. The process removes the germ and the hard outer hull from the kernels, making them more palatable, easier to digest, and easier to process.

2. tomatillo – is a plant related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos, referred to as green tomato in Mexico, are a staple in Mexican cuisine.

3. jicama – also Yam and Mexican Turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant’s edible tuberous root.

4. radish – is an edible root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family that was domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world (JUST IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW).

5. wine – fermented grape juice.

6. corn bread – is a generic name for any number of quick breads (a bread leavened by an acid-base reaction, rather than by yeast) containing cornmeal.

7. friendship – s the cooperative and supportive relationship between people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, affection, and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other’s company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism.

8. poor losers/mean to kate in ‘the bucket king’ – Luke and Travis.

9. good host – Chrissy.

10. best dancer – Eli.