Movie Weekend Recap

Taylor and I went to the movies twice this weekend. On Saturday we saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with my friend Morgan. I thought it was good, I really like the graphic novels and I was apprehensive that Michael Cera would RUIN IT because basically:
a) Michael Cera plays one character in everything, and that character is Michael Cera.
b) his face is really weird. He did not grow up cute.
HOWEVER the movie was really cute and clever and fun and actually made me hate Michael Cera LESS.



On Friday I learned about another free outdoor movie that was happening in David Lam Park in Yaletown on Sunday night. It was a screening of Back to the Future so OBVIOUSLY I had to go. Symphony didn’t want to go so she stayed over an extra night at her dad’s (which worked well since she missed a night last Thursday when she went to Sasamat Lake with her friend Ali and didn’t get home until bedtime). Taylor and I invited our friends Rich and Jenn to come with, and after our learning experience t the Karate Kid we were much better prepared!

Tips for an outdoor movie night:
1. CHAIRS CHAIRS OMG BRING CHAIRS. Sitting on the ground for a picnic or event where you are getting up and doing stuff is fine, but for a two-hour movie it is NOT. I picked these sweet rainbow beach chairs at London Drugs for 50% off and there were a life/leg/butt/spine saver.
2. Think hard about your food choices. Stuff you can eat with your hands is good. Stuff that requires cutlery and a table-surface is not. Taylor and I brought poutine to The Karate Kid and it was almost impossible to eat because the containers were too hot and I spilled gravy on my blanket.
3. Bring a garbage bag and just take your trash with you instead of stumbling around in the dark looking for a bin.
4. A cooler is good, but you don’t need to CRAM it with ice since outdoor movies generally show at night. If it’s big enough to hold stuff like cups and a water bowl for the dogs (if you have dogs, and if you don’t have dogs, WHY NOT??) that’s a bonus. You don’t want to be shoving sticky, wet dishes in your purse at the end of the night.
5. Don’t bother sitting too close. If you sit further back you’ll have more room to set up camp and the audio sometimes has a weird echo at the front.
6. If you are planning on drinking (and I mean drinking anything, even water), be aware of bathroom situations. In some parks the facilities close at dusk so you might have to hold it all night.
7. Have fun!

Movie Night @ David Lam Park

Our sweet camp: rainbow chairs, my Birds of a Feather rug from UO, dogs (Georgie is behind Taylor), snacks, friends.

Movie in the Park
Movie in the Park
Movie in the Park

Some of our sweet snack spread. Rich and Jenn brought 3 kinds of Kettle Chips, crackers & brie, lemonade and cider. Taylor and I brought peach slices, strawberries, champagne grapes (they are tiny!), sparkling lemonade and pomegranate soda, and of course, mini donuts! These were cinnamon sugar donuts I made with the recipe that came with the donut maker. They’re good but the recipe made FORTY-TWO donuts omg.

Movie Night @ David Lam Park
Movie in the Park
Movie in the Park
Movie in the Park
Movie Night @ David Lam Park
Movie in the Park

Happily, this movie started earlier than The Karate Kid and since we got a ride home Taylor was able to stay for the whole thing instead of bailing before the exciting conclusion.

Movie in the Park

One Day I Need to Sit Out Here

I realized I forgot to post about (mostly) finishing my patio makeover!

I haven’t exactly figured out how I’m going to transform the rainbow umbrella into a patio umbrella yet- I keep vacillating between attaching it to the fence, attaching it to the table and making it free-standing. I’ll probably figure it out sometime around next May, but for now, here’s my finished patio furniture in its natural habitat.


Patio Before


Patio After

These pictures really highlight the progress the ivy has made! The before was from May 2008 and the after is from today.

It’s been rained on a few times and at first it seeped a milky liquid, which was gross, but now it seems to be fully “cured,” which is good because it this didn’t work out I was going to have to scrap the whole set. Now I just need to find the time to actually sit out there!

Popsicle Party

Popsicle Party Banner

You all probably thought I quit popsicles in favour of mini doughnuts. NOT SO, and last night after doughnuts but before dinner Sym and I made…

Super Strawberry Popsicles

What made these popsicles super strawberry? We used TWO POUNDS of strawberries to make them!

Super Strawberry Popsicles

step one: wash, hull & quarter

Super Strawberry Popsicles

step two: apply blender We used no extra liquid for these so to get the blending started I put in about half the berries and mashed them down with a spoon. Once they were blended I added the rest.

Super Strawberry Popsicles

step three: strain out any big chunks using a colander & bowl

Super Strawberry Popsicles

step four: using cheesecloth, strain out as many seeds as possible I probably could have gotten even more seeds out if I’d done this a second time but I was feeling impatient and it was almost 7pm by this point.

Super Strawberry Popsicles

step five: make popsicles! After being strained twice, we had enough (very thick) juice for eight big popsicles, six small popsicles and for Sym to have a mini-glass to drink.

Super Strawberry Popsicles

step six: enjoy! These popsicles weren’t overly sweet because I didn’t add any sugar/sweetener or other juice; just pure strawberry goodness.

Super Strawberry Popsicles

Sym’s verdict: “Strawbalicious!”

Mini Doughnut Party

Today I was finally able to test out my mini doughnut maker! I needed a pastry bag to pipe the batter but I picked one up earlier today. The doughnut maker came with a recipe for cinnamon sugar doughnuts but I didn’t feel like mixing up flour and eggs and what have you so I decided to use cake mix instead.

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

I had half a box of chocolate fudge mix left over from last time I made mini cupcakes so I took about half of that (so a quarter of the whole box) and mixed it with some Dr Pepper. I didn’t bother measuring- I know what cake batter should look like so I just added a little at a time until it was the right consistency.

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

Once I had it right, with Sym’s help I poured it into the pastry bag and I was ready to doughnut! I unfortunately wasn’t really able to take pictures of this part of the process because I only have two hands and you need to move pretty quickly since it only takes 4 minutes for each batch to cook. It’s a fairly simple process- just remember to spray with Pam (or other non-stick cooking spray) between each batch and don’t overfill the doughnut reservoirs! With my quarter-batch of batter I was able to make 20 itty-bitty chocolate doughnuts.

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts
Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

Now, they probably would have been fine plain, but I’m a dummy and decided to try glazing them. This didn’t really turn out for two reasons:
1. baked cake doughnuts like these don’t have the fried skin of proper doughnuts and are therefore too absorbent
2. unlike cake batter, I DON’T know what glaze should look like and it ended up far to liquid-y and exacerbated the absorbing problem

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

Doughnut glaze is simple- milk, icing sugar and a smidge of vanilla. I had the ingredients right, it’s just the proportions I messed up.

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

They kind of look spooged over, haha. Gross. So yeah, obviously my glaze was way too watery (or milky, I guess) but I learned some valuable lessons about glazed chocolate doughnut making. Next time I’ll use much less milk to get a thicker glaze, and I’ll use a denser batter, like brownie batter or something.

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

I let them sit for a while on parchment paper to dry out a little and then it was testing time!

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

My official kitchen tester.

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

“Moist…” (lol maybe because they were soaked in sugar milk)

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts


Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

“You can’t really see the glaze and…”

Chocolate Glazed Mini Doughnuts

“They need more monkeys!”

More monkeys indeed. I tried one too and they were in fact moist & yummy. All in all I’m pretty stoked with my mini doughnut maker purchase and have lots of ideas for new and exciting mini doughnuts to come!

Happy Friday

Hooray for almost the weekend! I can’t believe how painlessly I’ve made it (almost) through this first week back at work after vacation. There have been some hiccups- B wasn’t happy about coming back and had a total breakdown on Wednesday, CF and her acting out/lashing out at the other kids, and I have a little girl (CL) here just for two weeks while here regular child care provider is on vacation and she’s cried and cried every day. These kids, I tell you. I’m keeping it together though.

There have been some enrollment changes around here, some kids leaving, some going down to part-time and I have some new ones starting.
V, my most long-term client, left in the spring because of a financial situation
CF is here today and Monday and then she’s done
B is now down to part-time because her mom had a baby
CP, who was already part-time, is now like, PART part-time for the same reason

Only CT, K and M are still on the same schedule.

For new kids, I booked a new baby girl, E, to start in October, and yesterday I just booked an adorable 3-year-old French girl, MM, to start in September. She doesn’t speak any English and my French is limited to what I learned from grades 5-10 so this will be a challenge! I’ve had non-English speaking kids before- Japanese, Bulgarian, Arabic and one kid who spoke a kind of pidgin mix of Russian, Hebrew and English so that most of his family couldn’t even understand him! At least I know a TINY bit of French!

In other news, I fell asleep with wet hair last night and I was expecting to find a HAIR DISASTER when I woke up, but it actually looks okay.


How is this bedhead??? It’s barely messy at all, I’m totally baffled. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Friday and an AWESOME weekend 😀

ps rainbow text is the new black.

Puppies and Sleepies

Last night was supposed to be my triumphant return to the gym, since I didn’t go at all last week (due to the neck problem). I was really gung-ho about it at 9am but by the time 7pm rolled around I was almost asleep on the living room floor, so Taylor absolved me of the gym and instead we just played with dogs and had ice cream. That’s kind of the same as working out, right?

I think Georgie looks silly with clothes on, I put this old t-shirt of Kichou’s on as a joke. Kichou loves wearing clothes though, whenever he’s feeling blue we put an outfit on him and he’s instantly cheered up.

Husband & Dogs

Taylor was sleepy too, but not as sleepy as me- I fell asleep at 10:30 with all my clothes on and Taylor was able to wreak his horrible revenge for all the pictures I take of him sleeping.

Taylor's Revenge

Before all the sleepiness took over we went to the post office to pick up my MINI DOUGHNUT MAKER.

Doughnut Machine!

Get excited, because as soon as I can go to the store for flour (since I used all mine up making cookies yesterday) it will be MINI DOUGHNUT DAY. Like, every day.

Today in the mail I got this AWESOME necklace from my friend Natalya:

Pinecone Necklace

It’s a little pine cone dipped in silver, how cute! She traded it to me for the 30 feet of bunting I made the other week so I feel like I really earned it.

Other than having naps, puppy parties and getting lots of stuff in the mail (I also got my J Crew business sweats, which are great but need a teeny alteration, and my Kristiana Parn print, which I need to have framed) I have been hard at work on my latest project. Here’s another sneak peek:

Sneak Peek #2

The little can at the corner of the island is plastic wood, which STINKS SO BAD OMG. I remember my dad using it to fill holes in things he’d made when I was a kid, but I don’t remember it smelling so terrible! Anyway I fully expect to finish this in the next week, and then it’s on to my next project: The Curio Shelf.

Curio Shelf

Chocolate/Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Yesterday afternoon Symphony, Ana Lucia and I baked cookies. My favorite recipe right now is this one from Crepes of Wrath, although as per usual I made some changes- we used half chocolate chips and half butterscotch, which turned out really delicious. Also, after taking great pains to make sure I had the right number of eggs for this recipe, I neglected to see how much flour I had. WHOOPS. I had just enough to do a half batch, which called for some interesting mathmetizing, since I didn’t know off the top of my head what half of 3/4 of a cup is.

The cookies turned kind of flat, but still delicious. They were also a scootch undercooked since I had to take Georgie out and it was either leave them in to get burned or take them out a minute early. OH WELL.

Serious Cookies

Of course taking a picture of Sym with the cookies was an exercise in drama. This creepy, googly-eyed Sadie stare is actually the best one, if you can believe it. I just don’t know why this kid has to be so weird.

Extreme Zoom


Quiet Time

Nap time is my favorite time of the work day. It’s when I get my “break.” I can read and relax, eat lunch without sharing, get the laundry and dishes done and work on whatever project I have going currently*. With all the daycare kids napping the house is quiet and calm and we all get a chance to recharge before they all wake up and the craziness starts again.

Doughnut Dog
Taylor & Georgie
Poor Puppy
Normally during the day I shut the bedroom door so the dogs don’t keep Taylor up, but Georgie hurt her paw on something outside and she was very sad about it so I let her sleep in there today.
Sym & Ana Lucia
Sym & Ana Lucia have been going back and forth between apartments all afternoon, playing and watching cartoons and snacking. Clearly, being eight is the right thing to be.
Dining Room
I rearranged the “dining room” last week and moved Claire’s Fortress of Impenetrable Cattitude in there to stop her from clambering down the piano and knocking stuff over..

*Here’s a sneak peek at what I’m working on:

Sneak Peek

Intriguing, I know. What could it be? How mysterious! You’ll all have to wait a few more days until it’s done to find out!