Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toronto Thursday

I was at Yonge and Bloor subway station and these buskers were playing. There were two musicians playing. We have a lot of good buskers, however, these were drawing a crowd who were busy videoing and photographing them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday's Words

To all my gardening friends
I wonder whether they would look better on the kitchen table or in the entry?
I wonder if they come in different colors?
I wonder about the fragrance?
I wonder if they're cheaper by the dozen?
I wonder if it would help to put those  preservative packets in the water?
I wonder if they come in long-stemmed?
I wonder if they will bloom soon?
Captured  at 115th and  Allisonville Rd. in Fishers, Indiana. 
The sign is real and was up for two hours before someone stopped and told them how to spell PEONIES!!!

Wednesday's Words - Breaking Up

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 4 - Not Working

Today is Monday, my first official Monday that I don't have to get up and go out. It is also the first day that there aren't any painters in the house.
And it was a great one for it as we had thunder and lightening from around 7am until it would have been time for me to leave.
Slept in a little later and then poked around.
We still have lots to do to get house back to normal after all that painting last week. I started organizing and cleaning the pictures and what not and at least getting them into the right rooms for hanging.
DH put the stand back up in the hall but quickly announced that the colour was all wrong and we both said black simultaneously.

We had already stated that the tables in the TV room would need to be repainted black. So DH went off to get some paint brushes and took the items out the back to be painted. The paint that was leftover from the staircase was used.

BEFORE - will post AFTER tomorrow if I get a chance

I headed out downtown to get my hair cut and pick up some cleaning stuff at the Dollar store which is always a satisfactory shopping experience despite the very weird people who frequent it.

I've decided not to track my savings daily as it seems to be pretty standard coffee, and sometimes breakfast and/or lunch. The subway tokens will be saved some days but most days I will likely go out somewhere. 

My Recipe Box - Sweet and Sour Stir Fry

DH wanted a stir fry last night, not one of my favourites to make. I like them in a restaurant but never seem to get a tasty sauce/gravy at home.
Also I was spoiled once we went to China and had the best ever meals there.

All photos are my property

We had a top sirloin in the freezer, green peppers, onions and rice.
I found this recipe online and adapted it. It was not bad, I would use it again and perhaps add a little more soy and some Dijon mustard along with the yellow mustard.

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • Hot sauce to taste
Simply mix everything together and when your main ingredients are cooked pour this into the wok or pan.

Decorating - Canvas Prints

I want to make some photo canvases in black and white for our newly painted stairway. This wall used to be covered in travel photos from our trips. Our first photos were a Christmas gift to DH way back when we lived in Montreal and we took them with us. The idea was that we could just pick one photo that we felt represented that trip. It was fun choosing the photo but the wall has gotten too cluttered. OOPS some are crooked, another reason to remove them.

The hall now looks like this - a blank canvas after last week's painting. The palette is black, white and cream.
I'm thinking 5 16X24 black and white canvas from our travel photos of buildings or structures. This could work out to be an expensive project so I did some searching and found this DIY tutorial from Blue Cricket Design.

I'm off to select my photos, turn them into black and white and have them printed.
I'll be posting updates.

My Recipe Box - Aloo Gobi


This is a favourite of mine especially when I have cauliflower languishing in the fridge. It can be eaten on its own or with any meat. I used to love taking it for work lunches as it reheats very well.



  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • water for boiling
  • 1 cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water


Boil the potatoes in water for about 15 minutes, or until just barely tender. Remove from heat and drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the spices and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the onion, cauliflower and potatoes.
Allow the veggies to cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, then add the lemon juice and water.
Cover and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is done cooking.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

365 Decluttering

Not a whole lot done this week as there are a lot of things going on right now. I finally got a package from work (yay me!), the painters are here doing most of the house and we are in the middle of a huge heat wave like most of the continent.
More papers 

Pretty coasters from Belgium - received years ago from a friend and never used
Gift wine bag
Cute cat afghan bought in Natchez TN - lots of threads pulled by kittens
Great dish towel stored away - this is staying. DH will make a frame for it
Same thing - stored away taken out and will use

I had two pairs of this style and colour - also five years old - charity pile

CR that wouldn't record
Combined two open packages of green tea into one
Piece of wood from the laundry room ceiling which was replaced.

Some Entertaining Ideas

Have guests write their burger orders on paper plate bottoms, and stack them next to the BBQ for the chef.

Use cotton bandanas from the Dollar store as napkins for messy burger meals.

Have shawls or pashimas for guests as the evening cools. Or you can also find inexpensive throws to use.
We were in a pub in Edinburgh last year and they had plaid throws at each chair for the cooler evenings.

On the other hand, if it is warm have some fans from Chinatown available that guests can take home.

Buy some blank koozies from the Dollar store and have guests add their signatures with a sharpie to identify their drinks and will keep them cold.

Wine charms are available everywhere.

Have a basket filled with necessities such as sun screen lotion, bug repellents, hand sanitizers, floppy hats, to avoid having to keep running inside to get things for your guests.

New Blogs This Week

Five Days Five Ways

Food and thrift finds
Never Enough Thyme
Cosy Canadian Cottage
Personal Finance
Kylie Ofiu
The Frugal Girl
Our journey to zero  I enjoy his posts about cooking recipes from his favourite restaurants.

Recipes To Try

Some recipes I came across this week that sound promising.

Katy had a great omelet recipe.

Beef tagine with Butternut squash from

Greek Lemon potatoes from

panko basil and asiago crusted pork would be perfect the the potatoes above.

Sweet and Sour Pork from

Salisbury Steak

Tim Horton's ice cap

Stuffed chicken

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 3 - Not Working

Yesterday was Friday so I would have likely worked at home so not much in the savings department.

TV Room - Computer Nook 

 Living Room 

The painters finished on Friday. Have spent most of the day getting stuff back in place and that will continue all weekend.

Staircase being painted

Bedroom closet shelving has been put back as have the clothes.  The swords are back up on the walls.
Other stuff is making its way back to its rightful room.
Painted Front Door - colour is chocolate sparkles

I have cleaned down most of the stuff in the kitchen and office and some of the living room decor.
The living room was finished and we have done the first washing of the floor. We also decided to rearrange the furniture and I think it really opens up the room.

The cat after a stressful day being locked up

SAVINGS - none today as I normally work at home.

TOTAL TO DATE - $20.40

Friday, July 22, 2011

Recipes To Try

Chocolate cream cheese bars from 33 Shades of Green. I just happen to have everything I need in the house so these may get made shortly!
Smores cupcakes OMG to die for!!
Lemon blueberry yogurt cake
How good is this?? Crockpot carrot cake!

Koftas - I've been trying to find my recipe.
Beef dip sandwiches
Pork meatball banh mi another winner from Brenda over at her Canadian Kitchen.
Hawaiian pork chops

I was watching daytime TV (now that I'm home!!) and came across Rocco touting his new cookbook. I became intrigued when he said most of his recipes are really low in calories.
Flash Fried Finger Lickin Chicken

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Toronto Thursday

I headed downtown today by subway and when I arrived at St. George the platform was quite busy and the train took awhile to come (hardly a surprise on the TTC). However, when it came in I was thrilled to see it was
one of the new Rockets that started service today.

I quickly took some photos.

Day 2 - Not Working

Up at the crack of dawn again today as the painters arrived at 7:30 and are determined to finish by tomorrow night. It is a scorcher here today!

Morning was spent chatting with friends and doing emails. I headed out in this crazy weather to meet a GF for lunch, intending to go to Metro Hall Farmers' Market and try something tasty!
But once I met her I suggested that was too crazy to even attempt in this weather and we opted for the food court instead.
Back home and the painting is moving along slowly but surely.

Lots of priming to be done before the staircase can be painted!!!

Upstairs rooms are done. We reclaimed our bedroom last night and I tidied in there. Tomorrow DH will be home and will re-install the shelving in that closet so we can put that stuff away. Now the carpet needs cleaning.

There's not too much I can do here in the house other than read. There's no point in cleaning as they still have all the living room to do which needs sanding.
Don't even have to plan dinner as DH is out golfing!!
Will be able to tidy a bit more when they leave tonight, however they do plan on working late.

Homemade coffee - $1.40
Transportation -       $0.00 went downtown
Breakfast -               $4.00 had cereal instead of picking up something
Lunch -                    $5.00 lunch with a friend

TOTAL  TO DATE               $20.40