Thursday, December 18, 2014


Mom and I did a large blackberry jam making session on Sunday and it came out perfectly.  Now I have another skill under my belt that I was previously clueless about. I was actually surprised how easy it was.  My freezer is now 12 cups of berries lighter and we have lots of blackberry jam to last us through until next August when they are ready to pick again.  Husband immediately topped his ice cream with it and declared it a roaring success.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

On Holidays

So we are officially on two weeks of stay at home holidays which I wanted to celebrate with these yummy mint chocolate chip cookies.  They taste like an After Eight chocolate in cookie form -  delicious!  I will be making at least one batch every November now as a kick off to the holiday season.  No, my food photos will never be Pinterest-worthy, I am a real life cook/baker and let my cookies cool off on the counter overtop newspaper and the parchment paper they were baked on. Who needs to spend money on cooling racks?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stop the Rain

As others deal with mountains of snow we on Vancouver Island are dealing with massive amounts of rain - unusually high.  In September after a long hot dry summer we were told to ration water as our reservoir that serves three towns may run out.   Today that same reservoir, Comox Lake is overflowing its confines at a 50 year high.  It has rained 150 mm since Monday.  Many in our Comox Valley (Cumberland, Courtenay,Comox) are being evacuated out of their homes if anywhere near 3 of our rivers.  We have two bridges that connect Comox to the rest of Vancouver Island, one has been closed due to flooding along with many businesses in the area.
Borrowed from City of Courtenay

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Prize

Gift Basket Prize (yes, that is green grass out the patio window - yay winter on Vancouver Island!)
The gift basket I won from the grocery store is shown above.  Hubby and stepdaughter were hoping for things like hot chocolate (stepdaughter is addicted), chocolate(both) and bath products(both). What we got were baking products - score for me!  The only bad thing about this basket?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I Won Something!

We have had our first snow - that is if 8 or 9 flakes count.  It frosted and was beautiful all last week and on the day it changed to rain and warmed up winter showed its face for a few minutes.  Then it melted-the benefit of living in one of the most moderate climates in North America.

This week we have been busy with our company wind down - just five more days of work and then we are shutting it down until after Christmas with exception of a couple of hours worth of accounting.  On Friday we went to the Christmas party of the company that I quit in October  as they very kindly invited us. It was great to see my friends and it was a nice night out.  I did not go buy a new fancy-smancy outfit.  I wore one of the two dressy outfits I have for dressing up (wore other one last year) and timed my haircut to have it on the same day and only paid $10 extra for them to do up my hair.  An inexpensive fun night out all around.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sealed Pot Results

Yesterday was results day for SFT's Sealed Pot Challenge.  You pick a goal of your choosing each year, then save bits and bobs every single week year round and at the end you get to see what you managed to save.  My can is an old coffee can that I pasted travel pictures to - as my goal is a weekends away fund.

This year we broke into the can in July for our kayaking weekend away (see post here).  I was going to break into the fund again in October for our second weekend away but due to a refund of an overpaid bill that did not happen.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

And So It Begins

We had a nice visit to Edmonton to see family and friends and do some business for our company last week.  We have a November Christmas dinner in our favorite Vietnamese restaurant with the boys (19, 21 and 22) and visited Baba who loved getting a copy of hubby's book and our family picture calendar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


A fast post - bit of a whirlwind week:

1.  We started teaching my Stepdaughter how to drive.  Hubby gave 1 lesson and I gave 2 plus 1 private lesson from a driving instructor.  Let me say, she likes speed.  I was clutching the door, I really have to find a way not to be petrified while at the same time teach her how to drive.  We have a lot of long driving hours ahead of us lol.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thrift Store Finds - A Good Haul!

November 12th is the day that all of the thrift stores in our town put out their Christmas goodies.  They wait until that day to honor Remembrance Day properly before switching over to Christmas.  I was there bright and early Wednesday morning to partake in some vintage Christmas hunting.  I collect vintage ornaments, mainly glass.  I found these little treasures -  Under the "No more Christmas crap campaign" these are permitted as they are used(*one of the primary guidelines for saving money at Christmas - perhaps I should change the name to buy no more "NEW" Christmas crap lol as used is OK).

Monday, November 10, 2014

The 30 day mark and a change in plans

I believe this is a Sandpiper (feel free to correct me :))
 I have included a few more shots of our recent trip to Quadra Island as haven't taken any pictures for a few weeks.  Today marks 30 days since my Stepdaughter moved in with us full-time permanently.  Things have gone much smoother than we could have even hoped for.  We have accomplished a lot of things that needed to be sorted like getting her in school, rewriting her learners license for driving, signing her up for driver training, and looking for a job.  We all seem to be getting back into the family groove and there is peace and happiness in the household (fingers and toes crossed it continues :)).