Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween... Arr!

I don't have kids to dress up for Halloween so I dress up "the Husband". Jeff's a teacher and the kids he teaches dress up so it works out for both of us. Besides he has better things to do than figure out a costume. Like Christmas, he would leave it until the night before.

Jeff's costume for this year started this summer, although I didn't know it at the time. I picked up a long stretchy wrap from Ardene's for a dollar ($1). I know! I'm such a bargain hunter. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but it was a good deal. When I was playing with it weeks later I came to the sudden conclusion that it would make a great headband for a pirate. And so it began...

The rest of the costume seemed to fall in place in bits and pieces. The white shirt he is wearing is actually from my closet. A period piece shirt I bought from the Modern Goddess. The pants are his cords, purchased this year as part of his back to school shopping.

The belt is from Value Village and is so cool. It looks like silver medallions strung together and it jiggles when he walks (there is a leaf that looks like a pot leaf embossed on each one but I hoped no one would be looking that close; besides maybe the pirates were into the ganja). It cost $4.99. The sword is also from Value Villiage and cost $4.99. Eye makeup - $1.

The vest and boot tops were made from a pair of pleather pants I bought from Value Village for $9.99. I cut the pants at the knees, cut a another strip above that which I inverted and sewed to the calf section then folded over at the seam. He's wearing his black leather boots to finish off the look. The vest was made from the remaining pleather, stitched at the shoulders with black wool, and tied at the sides with strips left over from the waistband.

He received rave reviews both from his students and from his peers. One student even asked if it was a rental. He proudly exclaimed that "it was custom made". At least that's what he tells me. I am quite impressed with myself though. Here's a closer view of the boots:

Next year... I have no idea.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

This has become my absolute favorite comfort food at the moment. I found this recipe when I was looking for Flickr recipes and photos to complement my Spicy Black Bean Burger Recipe lens.

I had to make some changes on the initial recipe because of product differences and not wanting to waste or have leftover ingredients. Here is the link to the original recipe with photo. Below is my updated version.

I'm sure any changes you would have to make would work out beautifully. This soup seriously rocks. I made it for the second time last night after having a hankering for something warm and cozy. It makes ten huge servings and freezes and reheats well.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cups vegetable stock (I use the reconstitute kind)
1 28 oz can diced tomato, in juice (Primo)
1 19 oz ca black beans, slightly rinsed and drained (Unico)
1 796 ml pure pumpkin (E.D. Smith)
1 cup of whipping cream (or heavy cream)
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Sprinkle of salt
fresh chives for garnish

Saute onions in oil for five minutes. Add all ingredients except cream and spices. Stir well, bring to boil over medium heat, reduce to med-low. Add spices and cream, stir well and simmer for another five - ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve, garnish and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Tagged Myself

This tag comes from my lazy friend Keris, ok, she's not totally lazy she's preggers. Other than being too lazy to tag people she has a great blog you should check out. She's cute, witty and has a cute family.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/quirks/habits about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

So, here goes:

1. When I go into the kitchen I have to close all the cupboards before I do anything else. Even if it's just a crack.

2. I dwell on things. Like our newish neighbour who has been incredibly weird, rude and downright miserable despite us trying to be good neighbours. I think about them two or three times a day. Jeff doesn't think about them until I mention them. Misery likes company!

3. I'm infatuated with the fur on top of my cat's nose. She on the other hand would probably be thrilled if I never touched it again.

4. I'm highly emotional. On any given day I could cry about anything. Like one of the fish getting sick. Or one of the Charmed ones dying (even though I know they'll be back). Or hearing a sad story on the radio. Or reading someone's blog. Or blogging about myself. It's uncontrollable and often embarrassing. I've been that way since I was a child. I like like to blame it on Disney's Bambi.

5. Since I had my grand mal seizures I've lost pieces of my memory. Stuff like which actor starred in which film (s) when. Important stuff I enjoyed! There's also real memories around that time that appear to be missing as well.

6. I'm a sucker for sad eyes. Just ask my dog. Works every time.

And I tag... Candie, Betty, Elle, Heidi, Kim, and The Writing Nag.

The Search Has Ended

After extensive research (on Jeff's part), interviews with owners, numerous test drives and comparisons, we've decided on the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Jeff is tired of paying a lease and the truck is probably on it's last leg so we're biting the bullet and buying it so we'll have a permanent vehicle.

I don't know why I feel weird about it. It's not like it wasn't money that was already going out the window anyway. It is however a heftier monthly payment which concerns me a bit since my income took a nose dive with the exchange this past year. Things are looking up though, hopefully the U.S. dollar will gain some more momentum before year end.

10 Things This Fat Girl Likes About the Hyundai Santa Fe
  1. Tons of leg room
  2. My butt fits in the seat
  3. The seatbelt is super long
  4. The steering wheel tilts up and down
  5. Considering the size it has a huge storage space in the back
  6. A mini light comes on when you open the vanity mirror
  7. The steel gray color (I missed the color of the Mazda we had)
  8. Lots of included options for the price (steering wheel controls, tinted windows, etc)
  9. Air conditioning of course (hello! it's southern Ontario)
  10. It's better on gas than the van we've been driving

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vehicle Shopping

Last night Jeff made a date for us to go vehicle shopping. The lease for our Toyota Sienna is up on December 1st so we need to decide on a replacement. Leases have gone in the bucket since the last time we signed a contract; either the companies don't offer them or the interest is so crazy that nobody will take them. It looks like we'll be buying instead of leasing this time.

I like having the opportunity to lease. This is our second leased vehicle. The first was a little silver Mazda that Jeff was to use when he was travelling back and forth to Orillia (it was my favorite vehicle and I still miss it). And we thought when the lease was up we could always change up the vehicle depending on our needs at the time. Next was the van. It has been great travelling back to Thunder Bay in it especially since the dog takes up so much room (and all of Jeff's suitcase - ha!) We've definitely learned once you go big it's hard to go small again.

Now that the choice of whether to lease or buy has pretty much taken care of itself we're trying to agree on the type of vehicle, price and number of years. So far, it hasn't happened.

Today we looked at and test drove a Ford Escape, GM Montana and the Mazda GT. We didn't really care for the Escape but it's a reasonable price for a basic utility vehicle. The Montana has an OK price but the seats behind the driver don't come out with ease, there's some vibration on the highway and Jeff kept hitting his elbow on the console between the two seats. The Mazda GT is like a petite van. I totally loved it. Jeff wouldn't even consider it because there wasn't a proper area for the dog. It was a tiring day which we both ended with headaches. The search will continue into next week.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Home for Plus Size Shopping Blog

My plus size shopping blog celebrated it's one year anniversary on June 14th. It wasn't until the new Blogger system started to give me a hard time that I decided to move the blog to my website server and give it it's own URL. I thought sinse I was moving it I might as well give it a new look too.

But lets face it. I'm a busy woman and a tad lazy and just didn't want to go through the process of learning something new (from scratch) at this moment in time. So I enlisted the aid of WordPress extraordinare Heather from Desperately Seeking WordPress and Jo-Lynne from DCR Designs to give me a hand. They were both incredibly helpful, affordable; and I think they did a beautiful job.

I present to you my new plus size shopping blog, My Favorite Things, under the url as in 'plus she'. If you say it fast it almost sounds like plushie which I think is cute. So pop over, play with the poll, leave a comment and do some shopping.