Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday favorites.

I don't have much to add about this week since yesterday's post, except that I'm looking forward to a  restful weekend after this hectic week. Oh, except one more thing I'm grateful for: SNOW! I know some people think it's miserable and cold and a pain to shovel, but I'm Canadian. I spend a good chunk of my year with snow, and I've long since made my peace with that. Mostly I focus on how pretty it is, the stillness it imbues, and the fun to be had in it and on it. Snowmen ahoy!

{my girlfriends' backyard on the morning of the first snowfall. Gorgeous, eh?}

Here are the best links I came across on the internet this week.

Two cute videos for animal lovers: 1. Kitten Fight Club. 2. Lovely Owls.

Hangover cures for all those upcoming holiday parties. I like a big glass of water before bed, myself.

Here is a 21-pound layer cake with three layers, each of which contains a diffferent tyep of pieich contains a different type of pie (apple, cherry, and pumpkin, FYI).

Gorgeous production design images. Almost makes me wish I'd given it a try...

Why should grown women be ashamed of their teenage obsessions?

Miss Piggy's Top Ten fashion tips. My favorite is number 10.

A lady wore a wolf pelt named Wolf Blitzer to Breaking Dawn, and there are pictures.

In other Breaking Dawn news, awesome Twilight blogger and recapper Cleolinda wrote "Breaking Dawn in 15 Minutes". You should definitely read it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I have a lot to be thankful for, especially this week. I've had two job interviews (fingers crossed!), cuddles with my husband, and a lot of time spent with wonderful friends.

I also celebrated one year on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, perhaps my most significant achievement this week. It has been challenging at times, but it's so rewarding to be proactively fighting my illness every single day. To celebrate, John made me a lovely dinner of steak, onions and bacon, mushrooms in red wine sauce, meadow beans, and peppermint hot chocolate ice cream. We also tried out our first loaf of almond flour bread, since I've missed bread so much. It was better than coconut flour bread, but it was a bit too sweet and didn't rise as well as I would have liked. It was wonderful to eat a grilled cheese again, though.

We're having our "real" Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, complete with turkey and all the fixins, but tonight we came home after running some errands and made dinner to share with our pals who graciously drove us and all our groceries home. We sat around watching Adventure Time while chowing down on honey-garlic and buffalo chicken wings with carrot sticks and ranch dressing. We laughed and snuggled and I drew a pile of fanart.

What a wonderful night we had, and what a wonderful life I've been blessed with. I hope everyone is having as great of a time as I had today. Love.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday favorites.

This week I applied for jobs, ran errands, cleaned our kitchen and promptly messed it up again, and played video games with my husband (one morning I woke up to a pile of money and upgraded weapons! Woot!).

Here's some weekend reading for y'all: my favorite links this week.

Well-liked Canadian politician Jack Layton might be the feature of a biopic, three months after his death.

Sarah Blackwood on Bella Swan, teenage girls, the female body, realism in young adult fiction, and feminism. She raises some interesting points, and the comments section is great (I recommend the threat regarding novels featuring actualised women who like traditionally feminine pursuits). I'll have to read "Breaking Dawn" for myself to see if I agree or not. It would give me an excuse to read Cleolinda's awesome and hilarious recap again.

Need some motivation? Nubby Twiglet shares her tips.

I wasn't aware that Klout's privacy policy was so lax when I first joined. It's part of why I decided to leave, but here's the straw that broke the camel's back.

As a lover of maxi skirts year-round, I approve of Clothed Much featuring 5 ways to style a maxi in the colder months.

Two articles on writing: the first on finding your "cause", the second on "what to do when you feel like your writing is shit".

Happy weekend, everybody! I'm off to spend mine "occupying" my couch.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Writer's block cure?

I am so sick of writing cover letters. Sure, being unemployed means I can take video game breaks whenever I want (and I often have), but if I actually want a job I have to step away from the Playstation and get my nose back onto the grindstone (not nearly as fun).

Here's a little website called "Written? Kitten!" that rewards you for writing by giving you a picture of a kitten. Motivation: regained. ;)

(My first photo! So cute.)

What are your favorite self-motivation tricks and tactics?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Because I am a big animation nerd, I am super-super-super excited about Pixar's upcoming movie, Brave (their first with a female protagonist! Can I get a what what?). The first trailer for the film was released today, and you should watch it right the heck now.

I can safely say that I'll probably be spending half of the movie staring at Merida's glorious red curls. I wanted hair exactly like hers for YEARS (part of me still does... sigh).

What do you think? Are you all as psyched as I am to see a princess kicking butt in a Pixar movie?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

my favorite body wash.

I have a problem with bath and body products. When I see a sale sign next to a conditioner I've been meaning to try, I snap it up, even if I have other conditioners stockpiled already. My shower currently houses (and this doesn't include my husband's stuff!):

  • 2 bottles of shampoo and 3 of conditioner,
  • 2 hair treatments (colour enhancer and shine glaze),
  • 2 face products (tea tree oil cleanser and blackhead mask), and 
  • 3 bottles of body wash.
The most recent addition to my shower clan is a "body butter"-style body wash. I justified the purchase because winter is coming soon and I need a moisturizing body wash to keep my skin soft. Oh, and because it smells like CHOCOLATE FROSTING.

{Here it is in vanilla - the chocolate does not appear to exist on the internets.}

Every time I use this stuff, I want to eat it. It smells like I am cleaning myself with confectionary, and I LOVE IT. I would bathe in a vat of it, given the opportunity. I would like a lifetime supply of it, please. Could you make that happen, Softsoap? I'd give you my firstborn child, or something. Failing that, could it go on sale more often? 7 bucks for body wash is too rich for my student-loan-encumbered blood.

In conclusion? If you like chocolate, try this. You won't regret it. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Craft.

On Friday night, my husband showed me "The Craft" for the first time. I loved it. It was a bit crazy and shlocky, but it was fun and reminded me of being a teenager. Fairuza Balk was AWESOME! I also really want to replace my rapidly-aging black maxi skirt now...

When I woke up on Saturday morning, though, I noticed something strange. There were scratches on my arms... Coincidence?

"Honey? Have you been letting Fairuza Balk in at night again...?"

Probably. We do own two cats who love to crawl on us in our sleep.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a thought.

"In fact, the less I see my own body as a positive asset, the less I have wanted to interfere with what other women choose to do with theirs. If they want to parade in bikinis or shroud themselves in burkas, then so be it. I can see the pleasure in both.
To accuse them - as I used to do - of being the victims of social or commercial or religious control now seems to me to be a fairly cheap hit. How we present ourselves to the world is never a free choice. For both women and men dress is always the subject of social constraints.
The question is how you make those constraints work for you. Take women's make-up for example. It can be the ultimate symbol of an oppressive culture that refuses to accept women's faces as they really are; it can also be celebratory, joyous and fun."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day.

Here in Canada, November 11th is Remembrance Day - a day to reflect on all those who have served to protect our country in the past and present. I will be attending a service, as I always do when I'm able, and think fondly of my maternal grandfather, who fought in Europe in World War 2. I will recite this poem at least once, written on the battlefield by a Canadian soldier and memorised by schoolchildren ever since. 

Lest we forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

recovering sandwich addict.

I love sandwiches. Always have, probably always will. My love of bread was one of the things keeping me from starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It had a carby hold on me - especially after I met my husband, who went to baking school and makes a mean loaf of ciabatta. Why would I abandon a wonderful foodstuff that had never done anything but fill my belly and put a smile on my face?

Eventually, I got sick and tired enough that I decided to try to use the food I ate to help control my Crohn's disease, even if it meant giving up most dairy, and sugar, and starches... and bread.

Almost a year later, I'm feeling better than ever. I think the SCD is helping me a lot, and I feel wonderfully proactive every single day (the other treatment I use is a medication I get by IV every 8 weeks... pretty passive in comparison, wouldn't you say?).

However, I still miss sandwiches. Sometimes, things are just meant to be wedged between two slices of bread. Sadly, grain-free breads have disappointed me so far, what with expensive ingredients and lackluster results.

Here are a few of the ways I can console myself:

- Burgers with lettuce "buns" (usually boston lettuce, since it's strong). It's still pretty messy, though. I've also tried weaving bacon strips into "buns", but it ended in disaster. Lately, I just make a burger salad - my burger (sometimes topped with cheese, or with bacon on the side), my veggies, and my condiments all arranged prettily on the plate. Then I can vary my toppings from bite to bite! Yum.
(I haven't taken any photos of my salad, and all the hamburger salad images on these here internets are grotesque, so here! Have a hamburger dress instead. I think I've found next year's Hallowe'en costume!)

- A salad version of a BLT. I start off with bacon, lettuce, and tomato with a mayo-based dressing. Sometimes I add grilled chicken, or avocado, or cheddar cheese, or all three! Delightful. You can do this with pretty much any sandwich - get your favorite Subway sub as a salad (hold the dressing), serve your favorite chicken salad in lettuce cups, and so on.

- This recipe for grilled chicken burgers with peaches and honey mustard sauce (which I have yet to try) from My Big Fat Grain Free Life. Look at that deliciousness! Who needs a bun?!

- Or... I COULD give this extremely appealing grain-free bread recipe a try - no coconut flour, so it won't be dry, and it only calls for a bit of almond butter and almond flour. I find that baked goods with nut butters tend to come out better than nut flours, for some reason (dryness, maybe?), so the two combined should be tasty.

 AAAAAAA who am I kidding I'm so excited! This looks just like the real thing! I'm making this as soon as my clementine cake runs out!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mom's Thanksgiving idea.

This year, we went to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother's house. We were staying at my parents' house, though, so we had a lot of food to transport! This would have been easy, except we also needed to fit four adults into one small Echo.

Thank goodness for my mom. She grabbed a laundry basket and started piling in apple cider, mineral water, salad, stuffing (two kinds - SCD for me, normal for everyone else), pumpkin brownies, steamed asparagus, an entire carrot cake... and it all fit! We just stuck it in the trunk and off we went.

Obviously, other people have done this, as evidenced by these photos (neither of which are mine). I would never have thought of it, though - leave it to a Mom.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SCD chocolate chip cookies

Back in August, I had a craving for some chocolate chip cookies. I found this recipe on Comfy Belly and tried it out. It was wonderful. They don't taste like "normal person" chocolate chip cookies, but they are definitely close enough for me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

the full effect.

Alright. You've seen my desk go from naked:

To lightly decorated:

But things have changed since then.

I'd write more about the transformation, but Blogger has eaten my drafts twice now and I am tired. :(

Thursday, November 3, 2011

SCD fruit crisp a la Meg

What does one do with a bunch of nectarines and blueberries? Why, one makes a fruit crisp, of course!

Meg's Fruit Crisp
Recipe adapted from Maggie's Apple Crisp.

however much you want, whatever kind you prefer - I used blueberries and nectarines. You could also use peaches, cherries, raspberries, apples, pear, cranberries, or any other combination you can think of (kiwi and banana might be kind of gross for a crisp, though).
Enough honey to lightly coat most of the fruit - a few tablespoons should do the trick.

1/2 c. butter, softened enough to mix easily
1 & 1/2 c. almond flour
1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 c. honey
1 c. finely ground nuts (walnuts suggested - I tried cashews, but they got hard and added an unpleasant texture to the crisp. The next time, I just omitted them.)
splash of vanilla
spices if you're into that

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare fruit and place in baking dish. I find a taller, slimmer dish works better than a short, wide one, unless you want the fruit to absorb the crust. Add honey. Mix to coat fruit.
3. Place in preheating oven to soften fruit a bit. Take out after 5 minutes or so.
4. Work on topping: Combine all ingredients in no particular order. Consistency should be similar to cookie dough. If dough is too moist and sticky, add more dry ingredients. Try not to eat the dough as-is.
5. Place topping on top of fruit. I find it's easier to use my fingers than a utensil to spread the topping. Make sure that there is a way for bubbling fruit to escape onto the crust if needed.

8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes, or until top is golden brown. If you used a taller dish, the crust will be thicker and probably won't cook the whole way through. This is okay. The rawer crust is eggless, so it's safe to eat, and also delicious.

9. Try not to eat it all in one sitting. This goes very well with SCD yogurt or ice cream. YUM.


For any non-Canucks out there, the Great White North has already had its Thanksgiving weekend (unless you're like me and are married to an American, in which case it was "Thanksgiving: Part One of a Delicious Two-Part Series"). Thanksgiving is pretty much the best holiday - great weather, no gift-giving (seriously so stressful - I'm forcing my best friend to be my "present consultant" this year), a long weekend to spend with family and friends, and FOOD.

Of course, that last part becomes a bit more challenging on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. While turkey and veggies are usually okay, the fun and special Thanksgiving trappings like stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and DESSERT get a bit more complicated.

I started this diet last year right before American Thanksgiving, which was very discouraging, and the Christmas season was a very long exercise in willpower. I made it through with one cheat (a bite of brownie) and a bit of gastric distress.

This time, though, I was ready. My dear Mum made me a homemade cranberry sauce with spices, and I made myself some steamed asparagus, breadless vegan stuffing and almond butter pumpkin brownies with chocolate chips.

I was also an enabler, forcing the people around me to eat all the foods I could not consume. It was especially bad since I was sitting the middle of the table, with all the desserts in front of me, so I kept asking if anyone needed a slice of cake or pie. One of our guests said of the meal, "It was like Man vs. Food. I won Thanksgiving at your house!"

To see what I thought of the stuffing and brownie recipes, check out my mini-reviews on pinterest. I find it really helpful to have my impressions of a recipe there, since it's usually what I use to find my favorite internet recipes (and I hope it comes in handy for my fellow pinterest browsers).

As for American Thanksgiving, a.k.a. Part Two? I plan to make this stuffing again (sans tomato), attempt gravy made with a pureed onion, try mashed cauliflower, and try a different dessert (maybe do a test run for my birthday cake in December?

Next week, I want to feature another Thanksgiving idea, courtesy of my genius mom.