Welcome to my blog:. Lifestyles of the Broke and Unfamous. This is the blog of a happy, go lucky, Canadian, that loves to laugh and share experiences. At the time of writing this I am a thirty something Canadian, currently residing in Kitchener Ontario. Kitchener is a big city with a small town feel and several green spaces. I love this city and have lived here for about twelve years. I work as a receptionist with some great people and live with my dog. Some of my favourite things to do are cross country ski, kayak, home brew, make preserves, nature walks, read and watch movies.
So now, I have introduced myself and I look forward to sharing my life experiences with you in the future!
I was recently at one of the local thrift shops and wandered through the housewares department. A thrift shop is a little like an appliance graveyard for trendy appliances of years gone by. I admit to being a bit of a kitchen gadget whore in the past and had done a major purge of all my wacky, single use appliances and gadgets. Well, I fell off the wagon and came home with a cotton candy maker for $10. Now what does one put in a cotton candy maker? Sugar? Yeeess, but what kind? I had no idea, so I did some Googling and read that people have put hard candy in their appliances, and I wanted to try it. I came home with Jolly Ranchers. Will Jolly Ranchers cotton candy?
Yes, yes they will! I am likely going to need dental work from all this sugar after! Jolly Ranches make great cotton candy! It sticks to your teeth like crazy when the sugary strands dissolve in your mouth though. I think I am going to need some practice rolling the cotton candy onto a stick too (I used a wooden spoon lol). I think Jolly Ranchers are vegan too.
It was an awesome day at the post office today. I found this unexpected package waiting for me. I LOVE getting surprises in the mail! So sweet and thoughtful! It made my day. To the lovely lady out east, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I’ve taken up knitting again. I saw this chunky yarn at the store on a cold day and I knew it was meant to be a scarf. The greatest thing ever about chunky wool is how fast it knits up. I managed to double the length while watching a movie on Netflix. The pattern is just one I thought up on my own which it just four rows of knitting and then ten rows of knitting and purling, while keeping the four stitches on each end knit with no purling. I was hoping the four rows of straight knitting would keep it from curling, but it still curls. I will iron it out once I am finished. We are expecting some snow Saturday and Sunday (yayyy! That is not sarcasm folks, I want me some snow!). I want to finish the scarf before Sunday as I am going for a walk along one of my favourite paths in Kitchener(and maybe some geocaching!). I lost my favourite scarf last year and in need of one. A scarf is a Winter necessity, along with long johns, a hood and warm mittens.
I am drinking my second martini of the night (raspberry vodka, casis and soda water with a couple black berries floating in it). It’s okay, but it needs work. I want it sweeter. Maybe grenadine? Apparently I like my martinis sweet as candy and loaded with sugar. I have until this weekend to get the martini phase out of my system; starting Monday I am revisiting Weight Watchers. It really does work for me, but I usually end up screwing it up because I get sick of counting points and being prone to binging, I’ll screw it up and then never get myself back on the wagon. I have managed to gain around 5-7lbs and my clothes aren’t fitting properly anymore. Enough is enough. Maybe I will finally stick with it this time? Maybe that flattering (err WAS flattering) red Ralph Lauren will be looking fab again by the holidays! Wish me luck!
I have a shadow, it’s a pug. He is tiny, adorable, and likes to walk at my heels. This little loud mouth likes to follow me around, including when I’m having a bath (there is not a lot of privacy in this home lol).
Tanuki has never spent longer then a day with another dog and I am not sure she knows what to make of it. She is pretty intimidated by this tiny little creature (that’s my brave baby), but they pretty much ignore each other all day long. I am going to have report to my little visitor’s fur parent that he likes tofu and noodles in squash sauce 😀
Recently I went to a popular chain book store to look for a book called Blender For Dummies. It was $47 and some change in store. While in that section I also found another book I wanted,WordPress Bible, which was $60 in store. Being the broke, unfamous lady that I am, the price of these books was a little steep for me at the time and I decided to look for them online. I found the online used bookstore http://www.thriftbooks.com. I found both of those books for $4 and some change! I read several reviews on this website and there were a LOT of complaints. Things were taking too long to get there, bad condition, terrible shipping packaging, missing packages, books in horrible condition, and the like. I was really nervous to order anything from there, but I really wanted these book and the price was fantastic. Too good to be true? While on that same site I found another three books I wanted and went ahead and placed an order. All books ranged in price from $3.59 to $5.35 and were anywhere from acceptable condition to good condition (I think it goes up to excellent condition). I ordered five books and the total came to $37.39 American, including shipping! Most of the books came in a condition that I would have described as excellent (you could tell they were used, but still), except Joyland which had faded marks on the cover. Blender for Dummies had a bent cover, but I think that was from the postman stuffing it into a postal box that was half the size of the book. I had a hard time getting it out! The only complaints I have, are that one of the packages came packaged terribly
and that there was a $0.50 sticker on the 11/22/63 book (I paid $5.35 and could have done without seeing it).
How this site seems to work is that they are connected with several American used book stores. My order came from four different places. Would I recommend shopping there? Yes, definitely from the experience I had. I was very happy. Take it with a grain of salt though, as I previously mentioned this online store has had numerous complaints against it. I think that is because it depends on the store the actual books are being mailed out from. I must have had all good ones. A lot of the complainers said their money was refunded. I wouldn’t count on this website if you wanted a book in phenomenal condition, but all in all I would definitely order from there again. Yes, yes and yes.
It’s the long weekend! At least here in Canada it is, for Thanksgiving. I think American’s have theirs at a later date, maybe sometime in November? It’s the first day of the long weekend and I spent a lazy morning hanging out with my dog and watching Netflix. Brunch was a monster bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup, defatted peanut butter powder and an apple. I have mixed feelings about defatted peanut butter. I think things should stay in their natural whole state, but low fat peanut butter… yes please! What are your thoughts on it? I am iffy and leaning towards almond butter ground from whole almonds in my food processor. I forgot steel cut oats make way bigger portions than the rolled ones, so my bowl of oatmeal was gigantic. The dog was happy, she got my leftovers.
The afternoon was a round of golf with my besty. She spotted this unfortunate infant snapping turtle that had managed to make its way onto the green. It is Fall now here in Canada and all our turtles are hibernating. It was a warm sunny day and possibly the warmer air managed to wake this poor little turtle. It was too sluggish from the cold to do much and could barely move. We tried to put him back in the pond to see if it would be able to swim down and redig itself back into the mud, but it just floated there not moving. I took the turtle home and it has perked up a lot. I fed it some turtle food, but I think it’s too nervous and scared to eat. I hope it survives the weekend. I might call a couple wild life rescue agencies on Tuesday and see what they advise. I am not sure I want to pet sit a snapping turtle for the next six months until it’s warm enough to put it back in a pond! I named it Jalazepuss after the bully in one of C.K. Lewis’s stand up comedy bits. This turtle is anything but a bully though. It hasn’t tried to bite once.
Last weekend I did something I look forward to every year; apple picking! I went with my two best friends to Myer’s Farm ( http://www.myersapples.com/ ) out in the Hamilton area. The weather, although not sunny was pretty nice and it was a good day. I got my usual HUGE haul of apples. I picked the bag you see in the above photo which was a mix of mutsu, courtland, spartan and empire. My favourite apples of all time are not available for pick your own there so I also bought a big bag of honey crisp apples inside their store. I mostly just eat the apples as they are but I am feeling apple tarts this season, or at the very least an apple crisp! Yum!
After apple picking we ended up going out for dinner at Beertown (love the veggie burger!) and then ended up in Party City looking through the Halloween section (good times had by all).
Usually I don’t buy these child like things, but I loved this hat. It might end up being my ski hat, but then again I have a pair of heart shaped fluffy ear muffs that I also adore. The inner child is strong in this one.
We stopped by my friend’s garden along the way and I had my usual wander around and snack session (concord grapes and raspberries) and saw these beautiful black chili peppers. I have never seen black chili peppers before!
So I tried out this garden thing at one of Kitchener’s community garden plots and it turns out I am not the urban farmer I always thought I would be. It turns out I am a tad neglectful. I am glad I put straw down because I’ve only weeded the plot 3 times and I’ve only watered it about 7 times. I have been pretty lucky as it rained a lot and I’ve even managed to get some delicious produce out of it with minimal effort. The above photo is today’s tomato haul and as you can see I turned it into salsa, which I am eating right now and can I say YUM!. I just picked them today and there was quite a lot. It filled up the whole mixing bowl and weighed almost 3kg.
Kale also grew really well under my seriously neglectful conditions and peas too. I have an eggplant in there with lots of flowers, but no eggplant yet and it didn’t get very big. My cauliflower is seriously gross and didn’t work at all and pepper plants I don’t think even reached a foot tall, but there are peppers growing them.
I can’t remember anything else I’ve planted, but I’m sure I’m missing a bunch. Whoever owned the plot the previous year had tomatoes in their garden and they have reseeded, grew and are producing tomatoes. I think if I do the garden again next year it will be mostly peas and tomatoes (they seem to stand up well to my abuse).