Thursday, December 20, 2007


We decorated last night :-). I put on Christmas music...deocrated our little 3 foot tree. So, I bought ornaments at Ikea. They were a nice little matchy set, that I knew would be just about the right amount for our tree, and inexpensive, so I thought "okay, perfect." I opened them up last night and realized that a) They didn't have string to hang them attached to them but b) They came with string (this plasticy stuff that was IMPOSSIBLE to tie a knot in, and all pieces were too short) so that I could c) Spend about 1.5 hours tying and stringing the strings on the ornaments!!! "Some assembly required." Bah! Anyhoo, D. helped me finish them and they're up.

I did discover the benefit to decorating on Dec. 19 - I went to Michael's yesterday and all decorations were 50-70 percent off! I actually bought a garland for the stairs railing, along with the tree and a couple of other things. Very excellent. It's all fake this year. I can't wait until we have our own place/ a bigger place so that we can buy a big real tree.

I'll be like a ping pong ball over the next week and a half. I'm on the mainland today for work, then back home tonight, then back over there on the 24, back to Vic on the 26, back to the mainland on the 30, back to Vic again on the 1. Crazy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today plans for today:
1) Get caught up on all my other client work...and various bits and pieces related to work.
2) Do my out-of-the-house work.
3) Find a small Christmas tree and finish buying the little extras for Christmas gifts.
4) CLEAN my house.
5) Go to the gym if there's time. I recently went to the gym I used to go to before we moved to MA with a client, and remembered how much I loved it there. I think I'm going to try to get back into the habit of going there while I have a break from school and finding the time is a bit easier. Mostly because I had forgotten what an escape going there was. As soon as I walked in I felt more relaxed - so I think I will go back there :-).

I think life will be easier when I don't have school. I just realized yesterday that all I have to do this week is work, and that that actually makes a big difference. Not that I've been putting tons of time into school (as I should be) but it's just the fact that I don't have that, or marking hanging over me needing to be done in all my spare time. One day I'll be there!! Then I'm sure though, that something else will replace school!! Ah well..I will enjoy these little breaks while I have them :-).

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Livingroom BEFORE: Livingroom After:

Well, it's all done. Not QUITE as exciting in th pictures as it is in person (the room just feels much better), but it definately makes a difference :-). Mellowing it out and adding some art definately helps the small room. This was a low-budget that we didn't buy any furniture, just "accents" and a cheap Ikea area rug and art, throw pillows etc. But I'm happy with it :-) . I couldn't find my camera (ug!) so took the pictures with my their not super good quality. There's also a cool new hanging lamp in the staircase that you can't see in these pictures..the only downside to it is that it is much brighter (even with a low-watt bulb) thn I had planned on...I was looking for mood lighting, not light the whole room lighting! That's okay though. I hung a bamboo blind on the wall behind it so that it wouldn't reflect off the glaring white wall as much and that seems to have helped.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Well, at LONG last a) My classes are finished for the semester and b) I've finished my stack of marking!

I now have a bunch of other stuff to get caught up on that I have neglected over the last week...but this frees me up to do that, thankfully.

This also means that as soon as I have a moment (well more than a moment) to spare I can re-decorate the livingroom. I am very excited about this :-).

I thought I had more to say. Hmm.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Salt and Pepper Oatmeal

I was just telling friends about this yesterday..and that make me crave it this morning. When I was growing up, my dad would often have oatmeal with butter, salt, and pepper rather than the usual sweet accompaniments.

So, this morning, I made oatmeal, added the margarine, salt and pepper and mmmmm! I forgot how good it is. I know it sounds weird, but it IS pretty tasty :-).

The dinner at Cafe Brio last night was amazing. By no means fast-friendly, but it was soooooo good. Unfortunately we missed the appetizers because D. had the start time off by about an hour or hour and a half! But we made it in time for the dinner and socializing afterwards.

They had, as the "activities" for the evening both a gift exchange and a gingerbread house making contest. They got gingerbread house kits from Thriftys that had everything you need to make the house. Alas, we didn't win the contest...but it was fun anyways.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Whirlwind times and reinforcement contingencies

Whirlwind times these are. DH was away for work for 1 week, then home for a two days, then gone for another week, then home for a day and a half, then gone for another three days. Then, a day later I was gone for work! There was actually a point in there where we were both on the mainland for work, and didn't see each other. Mad? Yes.

I just returned home from a mainland trip. I went over Thursday night, worked all day Friday, had a relaxing evening by the fire with my in-laws visiting,, I went to Ikea!! D.'s sister and I have been wanting to go to Ikea together for a while, and as luck had it she was available today. So, I introduced her to the full T. Ikea experience (This is the Ikea experience I was inducted to by Magnificent M. I can't help but think of her whenever I'm there...):

1) Make the "Whaaaaa!!!" sound as you spot the sleek blue and yellow building that holds so many wonderful things from the highway.
2) Start in the cafe, get a coffee...smell the cinammon buns so that you can start looking forward to one at the end of the trip.
3) Proceed up to the showroom (never skip the showroom).
4) Visit the couch you'll get when you have the room and the money.
5) Visit the various kitchens...decide which one is the one you'll get when you have your own house and the money to afford it.
6) Oooh and awww over various decorating ideas and specific items throughout the showroom.
7) After about an hour and a half of showroom browsing stop in the cafeteria for lunch. Of course, spend no more than 5.00 on a yummmy lunch.
8) Debate which items you will/will not purchase, what items will go together and fit in your rooms.
9) Refreshed, head down to the self-serve area.
10) Debate for ridiculous amounts of time what to buy. Go back and forth through the shortcuts to compare artwork with rugs, with lighting.
11) Once said debates are resolved, pick up various bits and pieces needed (serving spoon, candles, measuring spoons, kitchen sheers) for very very low prices :-).
12) Cart full, head to browse the "before you line up" area. Today I picked up Christmas ornaments, wrapping paper and gift tags.
13) Normally scope out the self-serve area, but we skipped this step today.
14) Line, up, mentally calculate the cost of the items in your cart, then decide what to take out and leave in the shopping bag bins by the till. Today, I was caught re-handed ditching items by an Ikea employee...she was nice about it though :-).
15) Pay, congratulate yourself on how full your cart is for such a reasonable price, and on NOT buying the various items you visited but resisted buying.
16) Purchase any 1-2 of the following from the cafe: Frozen yogurt, hot dog, or cinnamon bun. Today it was cinnamon bun.

Can you tell it's been a while since I've been to Ikea?? Lol. I managed, for a ridiculously low price, to purchase items for an almost complete living room makeover. No furniture, but all accents that will greatly improve the feel of the living room! My SIL was an incredibly good sport, and provided the necessary assurances that I "needed" various items, and suffered through my indecisiveness about what to purchase without giving even the slightest hint that she was becoming irritated with me (ANYone who has been with me at this shopping stage KNOWS how irritating my indecisiveness gets!!).

So, now to the reinforcement contingency: I am not allowing myself (and D. will hold me to it) to set up the new living room until I've finished marking the pile of exams that are still looming. I think I am now significantly motivated!

Tomorrow we have Church, and D's work Christmas party, so I won't have much time to mark, especially since I have two exams to write myself on Monday. So, Monday night, Tuesday, maybe Wednesday will be marking mania in and around my other work. Then I will get the room set up.

I will post pictures when it's done (before and after of course)!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Mmmmm....I thought to make this on my way home for lunch and I have NO idea why I thought of it, aside from the fact that I had all the ingredients, and thought it might taste good.

Saute a bunch ( I used 2 handfulls of leaves) of spinach in olive oil, with one clove of crushed garlic, and salt and pepper.
Just as the first leaves start to wilt, add in pre-cooked, thawed shrimp (I think I used about 1/2 or 3/4 cup).
Saute for a minute or two, squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Saute until leaves are just wilted and shrimp is heated through.

SO good!! I think it would be good over rice or somthing as well, because the combination of the wilting spinach, and the garlic and lemon created a really yummy broth!

SO good.