Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Quest for the Dress Part II

And now, as promised, the happy near-ending to my dress shopping frustration.

I mentioned in my other post that my next step was to try on bridesmaid dresses that could be ordered in ivory.  LADIES WHO ARE GETTING MARRIED:  listen up!!!!  This was maybe one of my smartest ideas in life.  If you want a simple, non-poofy wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses in ivory or white are where it's at.

My friend Danielle and I went to two wedding stores and found so many dresses that were more in tune with what I want in a dress.  I was actually pulling dresses off the rack and actually looking forward to trying them on rather than being like "well I guess I have to try SOMETHING on and maybe this will look okay."

I found 3 dresses I liked at one store and I think 5 at the other store - people, this did NOT happen when I was trying on actual wedding dresses.  When I was trying on actual wedding dresses I found 3 dresses I liked IN TOTAL from looking at 4 different stores.

Maybe the best bonus of all from this - the most expensive dress was $323, and the rest were all under $250.  I am going to be bragging about my cheap wedding dress so much.

Am I perhaps actually excited to get a dress now?  I think I am!  Knowing that I have a pool of several dresses that I like enough that I would wear any one of them to my wedding and all I have to do is pick which one I like best is a nice relief.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jeans Wedding

On the note of sweatpants and wedding dresses, I recently remembered that when I was a sweatpants-wearing kid, I somehow got the idea into my head that I was going to have a "jeans wedding."  Meaning, everyone (including me) would wear jeans.  And knowing my fashion sense at the time, probably denim shirts to match.

Please try to picture this without throwing up in your mouth.  I am all for getting married in what you feel comfortable in but maybe I would draw the line at jeans with a matching denim shirt.

I guess there would be a lot of something blues anyway.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Recipe to Riches

I don't know if you've heard of the Food Network/Global TV show Recipe to Riches, but I have to say I am super impressed by it.  Not necessarily by the show itself (although I caught one episode and it was a decent, fun show), but more by the concept.  Like, whoever thought of the idea for the show should be promoted to the Loblaws president of marketing, stat.

The premise of the show is a cooking competition reality show, which are all the rage right now, with sort of an American Idol type audition twist - real home cooks from across the country brought in their specialties to open auditions to compete for the chance for their food to become a President's Choice product.  The judges pick a few people from the auditions to advance in certain categories (snacks, savoury pies, etc.) and then the finalists compete for best taste, marketing, etc. and then the winning food from each category becomes a PC product.

The smartest part of the whole premise is that for anyone watching the show, or who at least knows the premise of the show somewhat, if they see the product in the store they know it's something that was invented by a real person and taste tested by a ton of people before winning a coveted spot on the PC menu.  So you can feel confident that you aren't wasting your money by purchasing it because it must be good if it beat out thousands of other recipes, and if you actually watched the episode where it won, chances are you'll want to run out to Superstore and try it out.  And while you're there you'll probably pick up a few other groceries too.

Brilliant.  Ultimately this cooking competition show is just one big PC commercial (although there isn't much mention of PC other than at the end when they announce the prize and Galen Weston shows up to help judge, which is another intelligent move - keep the advertising as subtle as possible) but even though I understand that, I actually think that any company who can come up with such a smart marketing idea almost deserves my business.

Nice work, Loblaws.  I for one am actually very excited to try some of the winning recipes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Quest for the Dress

You might recall how I was planning on having wedding dress shopping be as painless and easy as possible... HA, as if that was going to happen.  I don't understand why it is so hard to find a dress that is not poofy and not over a thousand dollars - shouldn't affordable, simple dresses be a dime a dozen?  Apparently not.

I've now been to all 4 bridal shops in Saskatoon and found 3 dresses I might consider buying but still not totally what I'm looking for.  I've resigned myself to the fact that I might have to wear strapless or add straps onto a strapless dress because the non-strapless style I'm looking for just doesn't seem to exist, and I don't care enough about finding The Perfect Dress that I will travel out of province to look for it.  The next step in this process that I'm getting sick of is look at bridesmaid dresses that can be ordered in ivory. 

Megan and I were looking through a bridal magazine at hideous dress after hideous dress and all of a sudden we both saw a dress we liked - who was the designer?  Of course it would turn out that the ONLY dress we liked in the entire magazine was in an ad for menswear!  The one dress I like, and the bride is just a prop for the guy's tux.

So anyway I feel a little bit like a bad bride because all the other girls who are trying on dresses in the store are like WOOOOOOOOO I JUST GOT ENGAGED YESTERDAY AND I ALREADY FOUND MY DRESS AND I'M SO EXCITED TO BE TRYING ON ALL THESE DRESSESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! and I'm just sort of like, meh, and getting slightly frustrated that every dress is a size 12 so I have no idea what it would actually look like on me if it came in my size.  I'm sure the bridal consultants think I am super weird or socially inept or something because I'm not like DRESSES YAY SHOPPING YAY LOOK AT MY RING YAY YAY but what can you do.  Maybe I should stop making fun of the dresses.

The truth is I do want to really like, perhaps love, my dress as I'll probably be displaying pictures of myself in it for the rest of my life, but I don't want it to be the focal point of my wedding.  I don't want people to be like "you know what my favourite part of that wedding was, her DRESS" so I'm not really associating it with my wedding in the sense that it's an important part of the day, so it just feels like something I have to shop for rather than something I'm super excited to find.

I AM super excited to shop for things like a house, a stand mixer, a fancy washer and dryer, a puppy, a BBQ, and all that stuff that will actually contribute to having a fun married life.  There is no doubt in my mind that when we go and make our registry that I will be as excited as all the girls in the bridal shops.  Unfortunately before I can start looking for that stuff I have to find a dress.

UPDATE:  I actually wrote this post on Sunday so there is a happy ending to my venting!  Stay tuned for Part II coming soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Same

Every year when the weather starts getting colder, I usually wait a while before turning my heat on for the winter, because chances are the weather is going to bounce back to 20+ degrees again and then the house will be too hot.  If this sounds unreasonable, you are not alone in thinking this, because Brahm always makes fun of me for it.  But I feel like if you can solve your problem of being too cold by putting on a sweater and slippers, you don't need to turn the heat on yet.

So anyway, imagine my excitement at a recent Google Chat conversation:

Brahm:  I haven't turned on my heat yet this year so my apartment is a bit chilly.
Me:  OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH look who doesn't want to turn on his heat but is always making fun of me for not turning mine on!!!!!!!!!
Brahm:  Yeah but this is different!  I don't want it to overheat in here!
Me:  Face it sweetie, we are THE SAME.

So when we have our own house, don't be surprised if you come to visit in the fall and our house is slightly chilly.  Bring a sweater and some slippers and you'll be okay.

Friday, November 18, 2011


My sister told me about an assignment she recently gave her grade 8 students, to write about how they think the next year is going to be different.  One of the answers was "I will age, maybe start wearing jeans" because apparently this student just realized that she only wears sweats.

It made me recall my own relationship with sweatpants in elementary school.  I think there comes a time for everyone where mayyyybe wearing sweats out in public isn't the most appropriate thing to do for everyday clothes (I don't care if you want to do a lazy ice cream run to the store or whatever, but wearing sweats as your normal pants is weird). 

As a determinedly unfashionable 12 year old, the jeans vs. sweats idea never really crossed my mind.  I did not want to wear shirts that could be thought of as "tight" so I wore at least size medium unisex printed t-shirts (usually souvenir), and jeans or sweats.  They were interchangeable as far as I was concerned, until the one day in grade 6 where one of my best friends took me aside and said "Robyn, I'm only saying this because I'm your friend, but I really hate those pants."  I was wearing gross baggy black sweats.

I was DEVASTATED.  How could she say something like that?  How did she have the right to criticize my amazing, march-to-my-own drum fashion sense?  I dressed like Kristy from The Baby-Sitters Club, no one ever told Kristy that they hated her sweats!

I believe I actually stayed home from school crying that afternoon, while my mom tried to nicely tell me that maybe I shouldn't wear sweats to school anymore.  I don't really know how the whole thing got resolved, but I believe one day soon after the sweatpants fiasco I wore a different pair of sweats to school - ones I had personally sewn myself (you can imagine how incredibly fashionable a pair of sweats that a grade 6 girl made in sewing class would have been), and I suddenly felt very self-conscious in them.  I finally saw them for what they were:  schlubby, oversized, too-casual-for-school clothes.  I'm not sure if it had anything to do with my friend's frank confession or if I would have come to the conclusion on my own, but after that day I stopped being the girl who wore sweatpants to school.

I still dressed like Kristy for a few more years though until I realized that oversized souvenir t-shirts were the torso equivalent of sweatpants.

You're welcome, internet.  Yes, this is actually me in grade 5, and not wearing a Halloween costume.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Birthday Email

I woke up the morning after my birthday (at work) to this:

Mom:  Did you get dad email took him forever to type it them him deleted it by mistake and him type it over again Haha good nite happy birthday

There was no email.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Kitchen Explosion

A couple weeks ago at Sobeys I noticed winter squash on sale for $0.99/lb.  Having always wanted to try making butternut squash soup, I brought home a squash, looked up a recipe, and realized that realistically I could create a pot of soup in half an hour or less.

So, I set to work to find out if making delicious butternut squash was as easy as the internet said.  Being an intuitive cook I looked at a few recipes to determine approximate ingredient ratios, and invented the following recipe:

1 butternut squash
6 cups chicken stock
Olive oil
1 Spanish onion (because it was the only onion in the house)
Curry powder
1 cinnamon stick
Powdered ginger
Cream (a few tbsps)

I poked a bunch of holes in the squash and microwaved it for 10 minutes, which made it easy to peel and chop and almost cooked the whole thing all the way through.  I scooped out the seeds, peeled off the skin, and cut the squash in with the chicken stock to simmer.  In the meantime I caramelized the onion in some olive oil, and when it was done I put it into the soup.  I added some pepper, a cinnamon stick, nutmeg, curry powder, and ginger to the stock as well.

When the squash was cooked (5-10 minutes), I put the soup into the blender in small batches (it took about 4 batches) and pureed it until it was smooth.  At the end, I added a splash of cream to the whole batch.

It went well except when I tried to blend it, THIS happened:

(Unfortunately I decided to take these pictures after starting to clean up the multiple explosions so you don't quite get the full effect.)

I don't know why, apparently I forget how to use a blender?  I have made blended soups before and have never had this happen.  Opening the top to let a bit of air out produced the same results, and the only way I could get it to not explode in the end was to hold the top down with all my strength.

So, it made a bit of a mess, but it was so worth it because the soup was AWESOME, and truly as easy as the internet said, with the exception of the blender mishap.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Me:  Blah blah blah when we get married blah blah
Brahm:  We're getting married.
Me:  Yeah.  You're going to be my husband.  HAHAHA
Brahm:  Is that funny?
Me:  No...
Brahm:  It's a little bit funny.
Me:  Yeah.  It's weird haha.

I think the way titles change in a relationship is really weird.  Especially when someone goes from your boyfriend to your fiance (I HATE that word for the record, it sounds so pretentious to me) to your husband in a very short time - it's a lot of getting used to when it's not like your feelings for the person or (too much) about the nature of your relationship changes significantly during that period either.  (I know being married is different than not being married, but I also recognize it's a gradual change that you get used to, whereas the titles change instantly.) 

Plus, I have such a strong aversion to using the word fiance but also if I don't people are like "uh, don't you mean your FIANCE or are you not getting married anymore" it's just easier to use it but I feel like a jerk when I say it.  I am ashamed to say I have on occasion remained quiet in conversations at work sometimes when I wanted to share a story about my "fiance" because I didn't want to use that word, or have people question my non-use of it.  Lately I've been biting the bullet and using it but I still feel annoyed at myself when I say it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fiddles on the Roof

Mom:  Was there snow at work when you left
Me: Yeah not a lot though
Mom:  It makes the air cooler when snow on the ground is brahm still working long days
Me:  No today is his last day and he has been only doing 12 hour days since Monday.  He might have to work a bit late tonight but only like 8 pm.
Mom:  When duz him go back to montreal


Mom:  Do you want to have cake this weekend sometime for your birthday ppl are phoning Haha
Me:  Tomorrow me and Brahm are going out for my birthday but maybe on Sunday?
Me:  Not too long of a thing, maybe we can have supper the next weekend that I'm home
Mom:  We can o it next time youre home if you prefer it up to you
Mom:  We can talk ltdr dad and i may do fiddles on the roof tönite are you interested

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Google Plus... Penises

Me:  I joined Google+ and today I logged in and at the top of my news feed there was a picture of a guy playing naked rugby with a dog about to bite his penis
Sherri:  Ew
Sherri:  Google porn
Me:  Totally
Sherri:  I guess that's what the added plus includes.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I dropped Brahm off at the airport this morning and started reflecting on our situation as I drove away.  This past year and a bit has been quite different than I ever expected.  If you'd asked me a year and a half ago what I thought would be happening in my life right now, I don't think I would have expected to be a shiftworker, or actually using my engineering degree, or 9 months into a long-distance relationship.  Not that any of that is necessarily bad, because I also probably wouldn't have expected that by this point Brahm and I would be rolling in enough savings that we can pretty much buy any house we want when he moves back either.

Something that has definitely changed, and I'm sad about, is my overall attitude towards airports.  Going to the airport before all these big changes in our lives happened used to always fill me with a sense of excitement.  Even if I wasn't going somewhere fun myself, at least it meant someone else was going somewhere awesome or I was picking someone up from somewhere cool.  It would make me remember past vacations, or get excited for upcoming ones.  But now, much more often than not, going to the airport means going to work, or goodbye.

Sometimes though, it still means vacations, or getting to see Brahm again after several weeks apart.  But I can't wait for the day that those instances are the norm again rather than the exception.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Regularly Scheduled Posting

I've been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin lately, and I've been really enjoying it.  It's a book about a woman with a perfectly great life (happy marriage, job she loves, two great kids, no family drama, etc.) who didn't really feel like she was as happy as she could be, so she embarked on a year-long "happiness project" to try and make little changes to see if she could make herself feel happier and more fulfilled. 

While the book doesn't make me want to necessarily start my own intensive happiness project, it has made me think and reflect on little changes I could make to improve my overall happiness or just things I could do to suddenly make my day a little better.  A lot of those things involve finishing projects, or committing to things that sometimes seem like a chore but give a lot of satisfaction in the end.

With that in mind, one thing I want to start doing is have a regular posting schedule for my blog.  I don't know how many people actually read it regularly but I know I have a few "fans" and one thing that makes me happy is writing and having people read and enjoy my writing, and I think forcing myself to commit to a certain number of posts a week will be a commitment that, for the most part, will make me happier.  I've been trying to post more lately anyway and having a schedule to stick to will make it easier for me and also easier for those readers who don't use RSS feeds so just continually check the page for new posts.

From now on, unless I'm ridiculously busy or on an extended vacation, I should have a new post up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  If something super exciting happens I might add in some extra posts every once in a while, but 3 posts/week is a schedule I can easily stick to.

And if you're looking for something else interesting to read in the meantime, I would totally recommend The Happiness Project!  (I think there's a blog for it too but I'm too lazy to find it.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Carving and Google+

My entry in the pumpkin carving contest at work this week (recall that I literally live at work half the time so no, I don't work at a place that let us carve pumpkins on the company's dime).


Get it?  Because it has pins in it like acupuncture.

Also I just signed up for Google+ and I only added 3 friends so far and it was like "Are you sure you don't want to add more friends?  You are going to be lonely."  Shut up Google+, I'm already regretting getting you.  Although also I don't think it was suggesting accurate friends either because it suggested MY DAD who barely knows how to email let alone would ever use social media soooo I don't think Google+ knows what it's talking about anyway.