Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter Weekend Everyone!

I know a lot of people are finished Lent yesterday, and I am pretty sure that means it is time to eat all yummy things! I hope the Easter Bunny is good to you and helps restock your chocolate and candy supplies, but if not, I thought I would share some delicious dessert recipes that I have blogged about.

I didn't do any Easter baking this year (sorry family), so please enjoy a gander at these yummy brownie cookies bombs I made last year!

Other yummy dessert recipes found (and taste tested by me) on Waffling:

Banana Cupcakes
Peppermint Candies
Colourful Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mini Apple and Pumpkin Pies
Pancake Cupcakes
Shortbread Cookies
Peanut Butter Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie Cake

Please share your favourite dessert for Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kitchen Counter Organization

I have this spot on my kitchen counters that is generally used as a landing spot for all sorts of random things. I don't really use this little bit of counter for cooking or baking unless I am doing a really big recipe, so it generally collects other things like my Magic Bullet, my hair things, plates, bills, and random junk.

I removed the dishes for your viewing pleasure. And you can ignore the drill battery in the upper right corner- it is no longer works and I need to properly dispose of it. Oh and ignore all the mess in the hallway on the right- those are the pillows that are waiting to go on the balcony (Spring! Where did you go??)

Everything else I need to stay on the counter. The pink things are my shampoo and conditioner. I wear a wig and wash my hair in the kitchen sink with the vegetable sprayer so I need to keep this kind of stuff in my kitchen. I have tried keeping it in the bathroom but it always comes back out and then I am too lazy to put it away.

I have a theory that everything looks neater when in a tray. I did this in my bathroom and never looked back! So for the past little bit I have been on the lookout for the perfect tray for this space to corral all these random things- and last night I finally found one at Marshalls.

They had a bunch of sizes, and I wasn't sure what size I needed...but I think I picked right! It fits everything just right. It was $25 too, so not cheap but not terribly expensive for such a pretty tray. I love the mother of pearl finish and that it goes with the beige backsplash. Plus it will be easy to wipe clean, which is handy since I am pretty messy :)

Oh and this isn't a wide-angle trick, the long edges are actually curved. I love that all these random things finally have a pretty place to go and that more than half the countertop is now clean (and ready for more dirty dishes to pile up on it).

Do you have a go-to trick for looking instantly organized?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In Defense of White Appliances

You may have noticed that my kitchen has white appliances.

If you watch House Hunters (and the like) on HGTV, you may have noticed that a lot of people don't like white appliances.

This needs to change!

I happen to love my appliances. They do an amazing job keeping my food cold, then hot, then cleaning the plates I eat off of :). I also LIKE that they are white. I find they blend in more, and match the white furniture that adorns the rest of the condo. I am not sure why there is this trend to making your appliances more is like trying to make your furnace more visible!

Now, I am not going against stainless steel, white, or even pink appliances! Different rooms call for difference styles, and that is why different coloured appliances exist in the first place. I just feel like for my space, white is the best option and I hope that when I go to sell one day the people touring my place don't go all HGTV on me.

Here are some other great kitchens with white appliances!


So tell me- what is your favourite "line" from House Hunters? Mine was the lady who almost didn't buy a house because the kitchen didn't have a built in microwave. I know it is a fixed show, but I do love the crazy things people pick on!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now...

The mud is gone! On my windows, that is.

This weekend I finally found nice enough weather/free time that allowed me to spend a couple hours to wash wash wash those nasty windows! I hate how I can barely see out of them during the winter- and my windows are all sheltered from direct weather! Window washing is pretty boring but I basically do this
- Fill bucket with soapy water (I threw in some vinegar too)
- Use a squeegee to sop that stuff all over the windows. I don't bother squeegeeing them clear yet
- Empty bucket (in sink- downstairs neighbours don't like unexpected showers) and refill with soapy vinegar water
- Squeegee again, but this time wipe clean after
- Finish with glass cleaner and paper towels. Do inside windows too

I didn't quite finish as I ran out of glass cleaner and papertowel- so the railing and the dividing wall are still a bit dirty- but it is a HUGE improvement and the whole condo looks cleaner!

Also this happened:

Yay furniture is out!! It needs a good cleaning, but I needed to pick up a good scrub brush as a sponge just wasn't cutting it. The cushions are waiting patiently in the hall :). Sorry the colours are a little washed out, it was an awkward time of day apparently.

In not too long it will hopefully look like this again out here:

I do have a bit of a to-do list for out here (though I am very happy with this "room"!)

1. Paint top of table
The table is so worn out from exposure and I think it would be fun to paint it a bright colour! What do you think? What colour?

2. Redo Black Trim
I never really liked how the black trim turned out- I think maybe something beefier is needed? And it would need to be nailed down (unlike this one, that is attached by heavy duty velcro).

3. Buy New Plants
Most of these plants have died (and in the last couple weeks the tree-like one has really started to go downhill). I don't mind buying new plants though- that one should be fun!

I don't think too much else is needed out here- do you have any suggestions on some changes?

PS- I wrote this post on Monday night when it was warm. I am just dreaming of being out on this balcony right now because it is supposed to get COLD again for a couple days. Argh Canada! Just bring me summer, please!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 7

Current Weight: 158.8 (down 6.2 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.9

Woohoo! My BMI is now considered in the "normal weight range"! That is pretty exciting :) 

This week was tough. I lost 2.2lbs, but it wasn't through any sort of crazy dieting or exercise. It was stress. Holy Moly did stress take a toll on me this week. It was just one of those weeks where everything went wrong at work. I won't get into details. I lost my appetite from it all, but I was still eating around the same calories so I don't think I lost the weight from not eating! Just stress itself...eating away at Casey.

However by Thursday/Friday the stress had dissipated somewhat and I actually found it hard to not overeat once my appetite comes back. Kind of how you can lose a lot of weight with the stomach flu, but once you are better all you want to do is eat! I was also pretty good with exercise this week too- no strength workout but I ran about 25km over the course of the week (10K last Sunday, 5K on Mon, Thurs, Sat). Getting geared up for my 10K run in only a month!

I've got to say, while I am super happy to being pretty close to 1lbs weight loss per week (my goal), it is sure isn't easy some days! I am learning a lot about portion control and how much I actually need to eat in a meal or a snack. I am also getting pretty good and not eating things that aren't delicious (like a snack that I thought would be yummers...but isn't...I just don't finish it!)

But I am getting so much better and learning that I can actually survive on UNDER 1400 calories if I am eating lots of healthy, filling foods. There really is no secret to weight loss except to eat less and move more. Calorie counting has been the bees knees for me to be able to stay on track, because even fruit adds up fast on the ol' intake list! I also signed up for two 10Ks and a 15K this summer (WHO AM I??) and those goals ensure that I am getting up and moving at least every other day. And I try not to eat more on workout days because really, you do not burn a lot of calories in a 5K. Sorry. It's true :(

So I am going to leave you today and celebrate my 6.2lbs weight loss...with a coke zero and a 8K run. Le sigh.

Today's Pump You Up Song: Push Push by Kat Deluna

Friday, April 11, 2014

Indigo Spring/Summer Launch

Hi. Remember me? I used to blog. And then life hit me square in the face with some personal stress and some work stress. Long hours this week meant I was getting home, eating some dinner, and climbing my stressed out body into bed. Sigh. But things have started to turn around! Hurrah!

Anyway, last week I was invited to go to the launch of Indigo/Chapter's Spring and Summer Collection! It was pretty fun. I got a media bracelet and people kept bringing me food. My kinda party. Anyway I wandered around and I snapped some shots of the beautiful things that caught my eye.

I think Indigo has the most beautiful accessories. The scarves, the jewellery, the pretty tea tins. I swooooon every time I go in. I pet the blankets, smell all the candles, and try on the bracelets. They even have adorable entertaining dishes now- like mason jar shot glasses. I mean, c'mon. Adorbs. I tried to take shots of just the new lines, but some other gorgeous things caught my eye and my lens!

Did you know that Indigo now sells Etsy items? They were such lovely items! I liked the Toronto candle, but I will admit that it smelled more like pine trees than Toronto. And this, people, is a very good thing. Especially if you have ever walked downwind of the meat processing plant in King West. Also, I really love journals, but I suck at journalling so I always just stare wistfully at them.

My two favourite items?

1. These Salad Spoons

I don't even like salad, so I will probably never have a need for these, but I loved the ombre paint on the handles. So pretty!!!

2. This Easter Dinner Setup

I loved the idea of a little nest for the plates. And the egg cups were so pretty!! I should mention here that I never eat hard or soft boiled eggs. So I never will have use of these egg cups! Why do I love all the things I have no use for??

PS- I feel like I need to mention here that my birthday is coming up next month. And Indigo has the prettiest stuff. AHEM. That is all.

Anywho, that was the fun of my Thursday last week! As a thank you for coming Indigo gave me an awesome mug and candle (and caramel popcorn that I am regifting because those calories ain't fitting in my daily goal). However, they did not ask me to write anything- I just wanted to share the eye candy with you guys because it is only ONE month until Mother's Day! I know my mom would like any of this stuff :)

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