Sunday, December 21, 2014

52 Weeks: 42/52

52 Weeks: One photo a week, every week, for a year.

I made a whole bunch of Christmas treats this last week. Rice Krispie squares, gingerbread cookies, shortbread cookies and chocolate caramel oreo cups, which were awesome and I will share the super easy recipe later this week!

I'm pretty much done all my Christmas shopping. I mean, I am, but I might head out there just to grab one more thing. I sort of don't want to go out shopping because I think it will be madness but at the same time, it's just one thing I want to get so maybe it won't be so bad.

Well, Aaron and I are on vacation now, so that's pretty sweet. Enjoy the holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Best Christmas Movies

Gremlins roasting in a microwave! Haha, this movie is a great one from the 80s. It's not really about Christmas, but set around that time. Billy receives a pet mogwai named Gizmo as a Christmas gift from his father (so cute, I want one). This never before seen type of pet has a few very simple rules to follow when caring for it, but of course, all these rules get broken and we end up with some Gremlins on our hands. There's a mix of horror and comedy that makes this movie really great. The Gremlins are out to kill... and ruin everything. But don't be scared, these little guys might just show up on your doorstep singing Christmas carols for you, which is pretty damn awesome.

A Christmas Story
An 80s classic. It really reminds me of my childhood as it was one of those movies that was always on TV around Christmas. My dad loves this movie. Even to this day, when we have our Christmas dinner with him, we always end up watching this movie together. It's like a tradition and I love it. That leg lamp with the fishnet stocking and the following "battle of the lamp", the bunny pajamas Ralphie gets, when that kid gets his tongue stuck to the freezing pole, Ralphie swearing in front of his dad, the frightening department store Santa and how all Ralphie wants for Christmas is a BB gun, even though his parents disapprove. This is a great reminder of what it's like to be a kid and the presents you're obsessed with getting.

Home Alone
This is such a great movie, and it was written by John Hughes (my fave) so even better. In it's own way, it emphasises the importance of family. When Kevin gets into a fight with his mother with his entire family over the night before they're heading off on a holiday family vacation, he wishes he didn't have a family. The next day he wakes up to find his wish came true (when in reality, his family forgot him at home, thinking he was in the van when they accidentally counted a neighbour kid who was hanging around during the head count). Kevin is left all alone and ends up having to fend off burglars in the most hilarious ways, but this also makes him miss and appreciate his family even more. At least he gets to drop a hot iron on a burglar's face during his time alone, that's gotta be sort of fun.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
The Griswold family is always great for a laugh. Another one written by John Hughes, this 80s movie is filled with hilarity and disaster. You can pretty much expect anything that could go wrong, will go wrong. Clark Griswold is always amusing. I really love the part when he puts up a ridiculous amount of Christmas lights on their house and then blows everyone and everything away with the brightness, even the power on the entire block goes out when he finally gets them to work. Another awesome part is when he gets all flustered around the pretty saleswoman and starts talking about nipples.

Edward Scissorhands
This movie isn't really about Christmas. It's just the season that's the setting, but it's a great love story with a Christmassy feel. It starts with an old woman telling her grandchild a story about where snow comes from. You can't help but fall in love with Edward, who is a man made creation of an inventor, who unfortunately died of a heart attack before he could complete him, leaving him with just scissors for hands. An avon lady decides to go to Edward's house to try and sell her products and ends up bringing Edward home with her, feeling sorry for him that he's all by himself up in a mansion in their little town. Edward falls in love with the avon lady's daughter Kim and at one point, sculpts an ice figure for her which produces a shower of snow in which she dances. Kim eventually falls for him too, but unfortunately he upsets the rest of the town, forcing him to retreat back to his mansion and hide, while Kim pretends she killed him in order to protect him from the towns people. In the end, it emerges that he’s continued to make snow for her every year despite their long separation.  So sweet. Excuse me for a moment, I just have something in my eye...

Garfield Christmas
This isn't exactly a movie, but it's pretty much the best Christmas special ever and a must so I had to include it. This is my all time favorite thing to watch at Christmas. I absolutely love Garfield and this Christmas special is so nostalgic for me. Jon sets out to his family's farm to celebrate Christmas with Garfield and Odie. I love every last bit of this special, from Grandma spicing up the gravy, to Odie making Garfield that present (so sweet), Jon and Doc Boy acting like kids and waking their dad up at 1:30am to see if it's time to open presents and when the Christmas tree lights up for the first time after they've decorated it and their mouths turn into circles. Garfield shares a little gem as well "It's not the giving, it's not the getting, it's the loving!"

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Another nostalgic cartoon special I always watch at Christmas. Charlie Brown's depressed around the holidays, no one sent him a Christmas card and he feels Christmas is over commercialized. Trying to get more into the Christmas spirit, he decides to direct the Christmas play. He has some trouble controlling the kids and decides to get a Christmas tree to bring on the holiday spirit a bit more. He gets laughed at for his choice of tree and begins to question if he really knows what Christmas is all about. Poor Charlie Brown, things always go wrong for him. But at least everyone comes together at the end and helps decorate Charlie's sad little tree and restore his faith in Christmas.

Jack Frost
This would actually fall on the list of worst Christmas movies ever, but I had to include it here on the best list in a sarcastic "it's so bad it's good" kind of way. The first time I saw this on TV a few years back, I actually thought it was a joke.

In possibly one of the most ridiculous movies ever, Michael Keaton plays a rock musician dad named Jack Frost, who dies in a car crash and then comes back to life as a snowman after his son summons him from beyond the grave by playing a magical harmonica. Yes, this is a real movie. Someone made this and they were serious. It's terrible, but you should watch it just for laughs, it's that bad.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Have a good one!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

52 Weeks: 41/52

52 Weeks: One photo a week, every week, for a year.

Something funny happened yesterday when I was out doing some shopping with my dad. I was unloading my cart and getting ready to pay. My dad was elsewhere doing his thing but he came up to me as I was about to pay for my stuff, just to ask me something. Right after he walked away from me the cashier said something like "I was going to ask if you were shopping all by yourself". I'm pretty sure she thought I was a kid and was concerned about why I was there all alone. Haha! Good Lord, this is what it was like. Do I really look that young? Wow. It was pretty funny though.

People always think I'm younger than I am, but not often do they think I'm that young. Something like that actually happened to me earlier this year as well. I was home alone, Aaron was at work and I had the day off. We had an appointment with our cable company to come over and fix something for us. So the guys come to the door for the appointment and ask me if I was home alone because they can't come in the house if it's just a minor there without any adult. Haha, I assured them I was an adult and they could come in.

Well, enjoy the weekend! I'm going to be baking some Christmas goodies, then making Aaron take them to school to give to all the kids so we don't go overboard and eat everything. It's also going to be pretty nice out today, so I think I'll take the cats outside for a little dip!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

52 Weeks: 40/52

52 Weeks: One photo a week, every week, for a year.

I sprained my neck Friday night. Has anyone ever had this happen to them? It's happened to me a handful of times. It's really hard to move certain ways, so I'm having trouble doing things. I have issues with my neck (and go to physio for it) and this is related to that. The way I hurt it is so ridiculous too... I was wrapping Christmas presents. Yes, my neck is that sensitive. I was wrapping for about an hour or so and my neck started to feel sore so I stopped. I just thought I had a sore neck and that it would go away by morning but I woke up with the sprain instead. So, it's been a slow (and painful) weekend to say the least!

This picture is from last weekend at my mom's. We went over there to hang out, watch The Grey Cup and eat some chinese food. It was good times. This week the temperature might hit +8. This is crazy for Winnipeg. but I'll take it over -30!

Have a good one!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

52 Weeks: 39/52

52 Weeks: One photo a week, every week, for a year.

I bought this little guy and another with a penguin inside it yesterday to add to the collection of Christmas decorations we have around the house. The cats like to knock things off the tree, Madison a little more than Hobbes but they both get into trouble with the decorations. Sometimes Madison pulls one of these with the tree as well, other times she attempts to eat the bristles.

On another note, when I went into the kitchen this morning to make coffee there were cherry tomatoes spilled all over the counter and floor. Looking into this further, there was also this pumpkin loaf we have turned upside down on the counter (still in the package though). That lead us to the culprit... Hobbes. She loves cake, cupcakes, pastries and all that. She gets pretty excited if we're eating this type of food and goes on her hind legs to beg for some. She goes crazy for it. Anyways, she must of been trying real hard to get into that loaf over night (she did not succeed) and made that huge mess of tomatoes in the process. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recipe: Black Bean Cookies

I made cookies from black beans recently and have fallen in love with them. I've made them a few times since the first. They're simple to make and are very moist, like super fudgey brownies. So good. They're not super pretty looking, but they taste amazing. The batter is really wet so it's kind of hard to actually form into a cookie shape. But really, who cares? We're just going to devour them anyways, so does it really matter what they look like? Not really!

This recipe will make about 16-18 cookies 

1 can (15 oz approx) of black beans
2 tbsp olive oil
2 heaping tbsp peanut butter *
2 tbsp almond milk
1/2 cup honey
5 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)

* If you're allergic to peanuts, you can still make this recipe! Just use Wow Butter instead. We're not allergic to peanuts but I often buy this anyways as we enjoy it. I found some at Walmart.

* Preheat oven to 375ยบ.

* Drain and rinse your black beans. Optional: you can set aside about 54 black beans (3 per cookie if there were 18 cookies) as decorations or "chocolate chips".

* In a food processor, toss in the black beans (except for the ones you've set aside if you choose to do that), 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, 2 tbsp of almond milk and 1/2 cup of honey. Blend until smooth.

* Next add in 5 tbsp of cocoa, 3 tbsp of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp chia seeds and 1 tsp of kosher or sea salt. Blend again until smooth. The batter should look like a thick mousse. You don't have to put the chia seeds in if you don't want to/have them. I like putting them in because they give the cookies a little bit of a crunch when you hit a seed and I love that.

* Grease a couple baking sheets and use a tablespoon to drop 16-18 drops of batter. You can attempt to make them look nicer, perhaps you'll have better luck than me. I tried to make them more rounded blobs but it wasn't happening for me, so I just left them as is.

* Bake for about 10 minutes or so, however ovens vary so watch them. They'll likely be a bit soft. You can try baking them longer if you like, but personally we love them when they're a bit soft and moist like that. As I said, they taste like really fudgey brownies, not like a traditional cookie which is more dry and crumbly. After they've cooled, if you want to put the "chocolate chips" (the beans you saved) on them, put about 3 per cookie as decorations.

That's it! The first time I made them, Aaron thought the beans on top were actually chocolate chips. When I told him they weren't and that they were actually beans, he didn't believe me at first. Then when I told him I was serious, he suggested next time I don't put them on because he doesn't want to think about eating beans while he's eating these cookies. Haha, too funny. You can't even taste them to be honest, they're just for decoration. If I didn't say anything, he would of kept on believing they were chocolate chips.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

52 Weeks: 38/52

52 Weeks: One photo a week, every week, for a year.

We found the cats both sleeping on the bed like this. They never do that, so it was pretty cute finding them both lounging there. Madison never really sleeps on the bed, Hobbes does sometimes. They're not hitting bums or anything, but this is still a huge step for them because like I said, they never sleep together or even near each other really. 

It started with me going to visit Hobbes in the room. I walked in there, not noticing Madison at first and then as soon as I did I pulled one of these because I didn't want to wreck anything. They ended up staying in there for a while. So much love!

Have an awesome day!