#Twinsters

I can’t imagine never growing up with my twin, and missing out on that experience of having my twin being my best-friend.  It happened to these two, Anais and Samantha, who found each other via social media, and finally reunited.  They are in post-production of their documentary, and here is a link to the trailer #Twinsters.  They are also looking for some crowd-sourcing to help them with post-production, so if this touches you, and you’d like to donate, click on the link at the end of the video to find out how you can help.

 

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Chicken and Dumpling Soup – My First Time!

I’ve been surfing the web for various recipe ideas, and I’ve stumbled across something called Chicken and Dumpling Soup. Yum, soup!

And dumplings? Even better.

So despite my “need” to avoid dairy, I tried this recipe anyway, and it turned out delicious, rich, and flavourful. A few modifications to the recipe included the omission of green beans, and parsley, and the addition of extra broth into the soup. I also used meat from half a chicken, rather than from a whole chicken. Future modifications to the recipe, would be less dumplings. While I enjoyed the addition of the dumplings, I thought it was too much for my liking, and thickened the soup too much. I think, had I not made these modifications, my soup would have turned out to be more of a stew, than a soup. But perhaps that is the selling point of this soup. It’s a thick, flavourful and rich soup, that can stand alone on it’s own, as a meal.

I may try another Chicken and Dumpling soup recipe, to make a better comparison of what constitutes as a good Chicken and Dumpling Soup. I’m not fully convinced that the recipe that I tried, is the best one, especially as I mentioned a bit earlier, it was more of a stew than a soup.

Here is the recipe I chose to try:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/chicken-dumpling-soup-recipe/index.html

If anybody else can recommend another variation on this recipe, please let me know!  I would definitely be willing to give it a try!

Cineplex Community Day (Free Movie) Sat Nov 16 9am!!

If you do not mind waking early to watch a free movie Saturday morn, then this event is for you!

Cineplex Odeon is having their Community Day this Saturday, with theatres opening their doors at 8:30 am, to show free movies beginning between 9am and 10am.  Check your local theatre for more info, on specific times and movies, as they can vary depending on location.  Concession snacks will be $2 each, with all the proceeds being donated to the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

I think this is the perfect event for those with families, where the cost of paying full admission can be prohibitive.  How much damage can “free” make to your wallet?  The only thing is that you will most likely have to deal with a nice line-up before the start of the movie!

 

One Cupcake at a Time

I’m slowly gaining weight, one cupcake at a time, or one sugar treat at a time.  Okay, more like 2 or 3 sugar treats at a time, because who can resist the call of Halloween candy, sitting in the box, teasing and taunting you while in the kitchen?  So how do cupcakes fall into this?  During Halloween week, I made a batch of cupcakes for my toddler.  They were vanilla-sugary delicious.  Too sugary, for my taste, but then again, I’m not usually a huge cake fan.  We still have half the batch in our fridge, and they will go in the garbage this week.  (Garbage??  I know, I’m sorry, but nobody in this household can eat them all up before they dry out!)  Also, as previously mentioned, we still have Halloween candy sitting in our kitchen, still in it’s box, calling out to us each time we are in the kitchen.  It says “Heloooo, EAT ME!”  So how can I not??

In the past two weeks, I’ve also baked 4 pies.  Two pies each, of Apple, and Pumpkin.  The apple pies turned out delicious, and the pumpkin pies could use improvement – perhaps a different recipe too, and perhaps a graham cracker crust instead of a pie crust?  I’ll experiment more with pumpkin pies, next year.

Anyway, these past 3 weeks have been full of sugar, more than usual.  And in 6.5 weeks, Christmas will be here, so it will only get worse when December hits, with cookies and pastries galore coming out of the woodwork (or oven), not to mention hot cocoa, apple cider, and candy canes!  Oh my!!

Well, for anybody interested, here is the recipe I used for my cupcakes.  The cupcakes were delicious, but just knowing how much sugar is used in the recipe has made me feel too guilty about eating them up.  We also limit our toddler’s consumption of sugar (sweet desserts), and my husband does not eat cupcakes – hence, why we ended up with so many sitting in our fridge.  BUT if you enjoy cupcakes, maybe you can give this recipe a try!

http://www.marthastewart.com/353205/billys-vanilla-vanilla-cupcakes

The Facebook Fan

How much of a fan are you, of a particular company?  Do you “like” pages of companies and celebrities, to follow them on your Facebook feed?

If you “like” someone or something, you are allowing that entity to access your page – to see your friends lists, birthdate, photos and other likes, etc..  For this reason, you should be wary of what or who you like.

There are some companies in which I do not mind giving them this info.  My page is “locked” down, in any case.  Only certain people can access my photos, and not just anybody can add me as a friend.  My page is also not public.  I’m sure if I had hours to go through each privacy element in Facebook, I could lock it down some more, but I don’t have the time.  Frankly, that is what Facebook is hoping for – make it so tedious to lockdown your Facebook page, that only the dedicated and very concerned individual would spend the time that it takes to tighten all the security features.  Facebook’s business, afterall, is to sell your information – to give your information away to advertisers.  Facebook is an advertising tool, a data mining tool.

Therefore, I highly discriminate against who or what I like, and everybody should do the same too.  Protect your information.  Be a snob when it comes to who you “like” or share things with.  Your information is treasure to others.  When you have a bit of time in your day, and you are logged into Facebook, review your privacy settings, and review your likes and shares.  I do this from time to time, and “unlike” and “like” in a picky manner.  There is nothing wrong with refusing to share certain pieces of information about yourself!

BookCrossing

Earlier this week, I found a book near the check-out of the library. At first, I was like… “uh-oh, somebody forgot their book!” I was about to return it to the Librarian when I noticed a sticker on the front of the book. It read:

Howdy! Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag!
I’m a very special book. You see, I’m traveling around the world making new friends. I hope I’ve met another friend in you. Please go to www.BookCrossing.com and enter my BCID number (shown below). You’ll discover where I’ve been and who has read me, and can let them know I’m safe here in your hands. Then… READ and RELEASE me!

How neat is that?? So of course, I took the book home with me, to read, and afterwards, i will “release” it back into another public space!  (I’ve also registered the book online too, for others to track and see where it’s been and where it’s going).

I was very excited to find this book, because years ago (more than 10  years), I stumbled across another book that was part of the BookCrossing circulation.  I stumbled across Wayson Choy’s the Jade Peony.  Unfortunately, it was a book that I just couldn’t get into, so I passed it onto my sister, who then left it at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).  Where it went, I wasn’t certain, but somebody (I’m hoping) must have picked it up, and kept it going!

The book I found earlier this week, is The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz.  Life has been hectic for me this week, so I haven’t gotten past the first few pages of this book, but I WILL read this book, and I WILL re-circulate this book after I’ve finished.  I actually have no idea what this book is about, but I’m sure I will enjoy it.

In any case, to find out more about BookCrossing, check out their website.  I hope to find a few more of their books after I’ve finished with this one!

Fall is Here?? Deny Deny Deny!

It’s dawned on me that those who commit fashion faux-pas around this time, are just confused and in denial that cooler weather is upon us.

Is it sunny?  Wonderful. Is it a bit cool and breezy?  Chance of showers?  No problem.  I’ll just put on my cropped pants, summer top, and summer shoes to accommodate the sunniness, then, throw on a creepy-looking trench coat over my summer-wear, and carry my umbrella.  Voila.  I have an outfit for sunny weather, and rain.  Ummm… NO.  (And yes, I saw someone with this exact outfit, just yesterday).

Sunny Autumn weather usually means a more crisp cold air.  It’s completely inappropriate (and weird) to be wearing summer wear, with Autumn layers and jackets, etc..  It just simply looks odd.  If you are looking for “in-between” outfits while you wait for the warmish-sunny weather to turn cooler, please choose your clothing items with more care, and layer your clothing more appropriately.  Turn to warmer Fall colours, longer pant lengths, and layers up top.

I am far from being the fashion-police, but when your outfit screams multiple-season disorder,  and if it looks like you just threw on whatever available clothes were on the floor (whether clean or dirty), then you are a walking fashion no-no.  Yikes!  An extra few minutes to take care of your appearance goes a long way, in making good impressions, not to mention that a good appearance helps boost your own self-confidence!

So, yes, Fall is here.  Denial won’t prevent the weather from cooling down, so just roll with it, and embrace the new season.  Put away your summer clothes, and move on!

 

My Summer has Ended

For me, Summer has ended.  I just recently returned from a weekend trip to Whistler, and that marks the end of my “summer days.”  I always try to plan a vacation in the month of September, when the weather is still nice, but not too hot.

This year, though, the weather stayed blazing hot, making it feel as though it were still August.  I don’t like the blazing hot sun… especially when the hotel you are staying at has no air-conditioning.  No A/C?  What???  Yes, I knew there would be no A/C.  I read many hotel reviews online, before selecting this hotel.  There were few complaints about this hotel, other than the lack of air-conditioning.  So why did we choose this hotel?  It had almost everything that we wanted, and the price was satisfactory to the wallet.  Who knew that Whistler in September would be between 28 to 31 degrees Celsius, at it’s high??  My family and I figured A/C would not be needed in September weather.  We were wrong.  Thank goodness for swimming pools.

Yes, swimming pools.  I haven’t been in a pool or large body of water since my honeymoon, in 2007.  YES, that long!  But in any case, out of desperation to cool down, some of us headed to the pool.  What fun!  And how hungry-inducing it was, too!  Yes, we burned calories, merely by splashing in the water – muscle-meets-resistance means very hungry people, afterwards.  But I’d rather be cool and hungry, than hot and cranky – which is what we were before splashing into the pool.  In any case, while we enjoyed our time in the pool, and cooled ourselves off in the water, it did not make up for the lack of A/C in our rooms.  But it did provide some reprieve.

So having said that, I am now revising my list of wants and needs, when booking accommodations for vacations and other trips.  Swimming pools are now a “want” (or bonus), and air-conditioning almost at a need.  The majority of customer reviews must be all positive, and the price must offer good value for the type of accommodation.  There are a few other points to my list, but they are mostly “wants” and not “needs”, depending on the type of vacation and who my vacation companions are.

In any case, my weekend and my Summer “ended” as we drove from blazing hot Whistler, to cloudy and windy Squamish, to rainy and cloudy Vancouver coast.  I look forward to pulling out my sweaters, jeans, boots, and scarves.  I welcome Fall weather.  I’ve had my fun in the sun, and now I await the cooler weather, and for the holidays that come with it!

McDonald’s Coupons are In!

Woot, I love finding McDonald’s coupons in my mailbox!  Why?  Because that’s the only time I will ever go to McDonalds, is with a coupon (well, with the exception of when I’m on a road trip.  Road trips inevitably lead to fast-food meals).

My favourite purchase (with a coupon) at McDonald’s has to be their breakfasts.  I’m not fussy about the burgers, or McCafe drinks, but I do love their hasbrowns and Egg McMuffins, served with a nice hot coffee.  There’s something about their McMuffins that can’t be reproduced at home, in your very own kitchen.  Although, if anybody reading this has their own method of making an Egg McMuffin (from home), I’d appreciate the recipe.  I’m willing to keep trying!

In any case, McDonald’s breakfasts, here I come!  🙂