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Homemade Scones and an Awkward Flashback

Whoawhoawhoa.

How is it Friday again already?? And where did this day go?? One of those days that started out with a long list of things to do, then all of a sudden it was 4:30pm and only one of them got done.

Well, I did also pound out 6 miles on the treadmill thanks to a stellar new iPod playlist and The View being on the gym TV. It’s been rainy all week, so I took it indoors, going for my favourite 6-mile tempo run.

Then I met up with my mom and Nana at a diner where I enjoyed a big juicy hamburger and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Somehow this feast managed to escape the camera’s eye ;)

It did get me thinking about baking though. The strawberry shortcake was made with scones, and I’ve never made scones before. Once I get something in my head, it’s hard to shake it. I came home determined to whip up a batch of my own.

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Mom doesn’t have a whole lot of ingredients currently on hand, so after a lot of perusing, I decided on this Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Scone recipe.

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From Eggs on Sunday

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup oat flour (such as Arrowhead Mills brand; if you can’t find that substitute King Arthur white whole wheat flour) whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup yogurt (preferably Greek or whole-milk)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

*Note: you can substitute 2/3 buttermilk for the milk + yogurt if you’d rather.

For brushing and sprinkling on top of the scones:
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp oats

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I mixed together the dry ingredients, then pulsed them in the food processor, adding the butter one hunk at a time.

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Once it started to get crumbly, I put it back into the mixing bowl and poured in the syrup, milk and yogurt.

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I looked into why instructions always say to mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. Some sources said because the dry ingredients are more evenly distributed. Others said because powder/soda will begin to react immediately when they get wet.

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Short answer is that it’s how good bakers always do it, and so it’s what you should do too ;)

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Instead of rolling the dough out into one big round, I divided it into two, shaping 6 triangles out of each.

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And of course, we must make it pretty with a little oatmeal glaze ;)

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Baked for 15 minutes exactly and they came out perfectly!!

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They smelled sooooo good. It was just my mom and Mark home this evening, but even they were starting to wander into the kitchen once the scent hit the air.

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I am proud of my first batch of scones! Even more, impressed by how easy they were! I’ve never considered myself much of a baker, but it’s a really fun hobby when you have a nice kitchen to do it in :)

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They are very crumbly and biscuit-like, but with a sweet oatmeal and maple flavour. Mark gave them a “gold star.”

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Baked goods must be enjoyed almost immediately out of the oven with butter slathered on top. It’s the rules!!

For the sake of balance, I paired my scone with a salmon salad for dinner.

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Hamburgers and homemade scones all in one day. It was a good day :)

 

Flashback Friday – The Awkward Years

I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I seem to be all too enthusiastic to embarrass myself on this blog. Hence, the theme of this week’s Flashback Friday.

I thought it would be fun to go back to the dozens of different hair colours and styles I’ve had over the years. I couldn’t find a picture for each, as the colour and cut were at times changing monthly. I’ve had my hair buzzed short and grown to the middle of my back. It’s been black, brown, red, purple, pink, green, blue, blonde, orange, and all the lovely shades in between.

I first started dying my hair when I was 13 years old. I was a natural blonde, so obviously I wanted to go dark. 

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I get a kick out of this picture because it’s before my mom’s kitchen was renovated! It looks so different! That plant in the back is where the stove/oven is now – we didn’t have one back then!

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When I was 14, I chopped it all off in the back and dyed the front pieces pink. I thought it was so badass. This was 10 years ago when my big sis Jane graduated high school!

Jane went on to La Belle Quebec, and we visited her when I was in Grade 9.

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Awkward growing out stage with the hair. When it got long enough I wore it in pigtails all the time. This was also the beginning of my baby-bang phase. Sigh. Why?

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I think this is the Christmas I was 15. Posing with my sisters and their beautiful natural hair. Me in my black hair and baby bangs.

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When I was 16, I went to Mexico with my mom to visit Sara who was studying there at the time. Everyone had been telling me to go back to blonde… so I bleached it. Shortly after returning home, I dyed the whole thing hot pink.

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I think this was the summer I was 17? This is close to my natural hair colour! But I specifically remember dying it strawberry blonde. The bangs are at least more under control. Don’t ask about that t-shirt. I found it in a Salvation Army bin, then traded it for a sweet 1970s Boston shirt with one of my friends ;)

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My high school grad photo, taken in the fall I was 17. My best friend Desiree had died my hair the night before. I forgot to add that I used to braid my wet hair at night to make it wavy like that. Awful.

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I went blonde again by the time prom rolled around. Notice the pretty girl on the right? That’s the bestie Meghan!! The girl on the left is Desiree, and she was my date. My boyfriend at the time was in the army and off training. Me and Des did the whole walk thing together when we arrived. It was hilarious.

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Cropped Sister Sara out of this one because her eyes are closed, and I hate to embarrass anyone besides myself here ;) I think this was taken the summer after I graduated high school and moved to Fredericton with that army ex-boyfriend of mine. I actually kind of like my hair in this photo!

So what does it look like today??

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Normal!!
Haha. It’s not that different than it was in the pic in the sidebar – but I just got a bunch lopped off. I dunno, maybe I’m getting old or something, but long hair drives me nuts now. I’m also growing out my natural hair colour which is more of a dark-blonde these days. I did it a couple years ago, but it was when I was co-hosting a TV show and the light colour didn’t look all that great on camera. In person though, it’s still what everyone says looks best on me. Guess we’ll see – I’m too broke to keep dying it! :P

 

I can thank this gorgeous lady for my unruly locks…

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That’s okay. I’ll take it if I can age as well as she did too ;)

 

Question of the Day: What were some of your worst hair offences? I showed you mine! Tell me about yours!!

Bonus Question: What’s your favourite kind of scone? Meghan used to make amaaaazing cream cheese and chive scones!

My Favourite Restaurant + An Early Flashback

Tough day.

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Watching cars drive by all day.

Barking at the occasional dog passing by.

I only joined him for part of it ;)

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I dunno you guys, but I’ve been waking up every morning dreaming of runny eggs on toast.

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I tend to go through phases with breakfasts, where I’ll eat the same thing everyday for a couple weeks.

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Except for that period in high school – when I got up and made myself french toast every day for a couple of years. Seriously. I think it lasted over 700 days.

I met up with my dad today for a noon hour spin class! My dad is what I call an “h-core cyclist.” He’s been road and mountain biking for as long as I can remember, and bikes to work everyday only to change into a suit after.

His office building has a gym in the basement with a spin set-up. It was kinda cool – the instructor set one of those light-up disco balls on the floor and shut off the lights. At first it was off-putting, but ended up being fun because no one could see me dying on the spin bike! 40-minute class, and got my heart pumping. Lots of low hovers over the seat which kills my glutes.

Afterward, my dad and I hit up my fave restaurant in town, Calactus. It’s vegetarian/vegan, which works out well now that I’m off the dairy!

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I opted for the special, which started with a squash and lentil soup.

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The main dish was a hummus and olive flute with a side of their amazing tabbouleh. The “flute” is essentially a wrap in their homemade (and to die for) lavash bread.

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Dad got their burrito which I ordered here.

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And his favourite chocolate banana soy smoothie. I had a sip. It’s dang good.

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Me and the old man! I think he may have kicked my butt at spin today ;)

Came home to a message from a gym in Toronto who want to set up an interview for a personal training job when I get there! Yayyy! Even if nothing happens from it, it’s at least nice to finally get a callback from all those resumes I sent out :D

Took the puppers for a walk in my new hiking shoes, and my feet were happy campers. So weird that my feet are fine running, but I get shooting pain after long walks. No picture of that walk though – my hands were full with the two leashes ;)

Supper was a smattering of leftovers.

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Leftover egg noodes, eggplant chicken tomato soup, and spicy buffalo buffalo meatballs. 

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Had to make up for that vegan lunch somehow!!

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Lots of carrot snacking on the side. Will be orange by 2011.

My mother keeps (and has always kept) healthy food in the house. 

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Except, I keep finding boxes of specialty chocolate in the back of her fridge. Dangerous for a person like me!

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I always say that I like dark chocolate, but sometimes a melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate can’t be beat.

After dinner, I went up to my old middle school to see my step-brother in a school play. Walking in, I realized it’s been ten years since I last walked through those doors. I was only there for Grade 8, but it will always stand out in my memory as a fun and formative year.

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Mind the blurry cell phone photo. I tracked down my class on the wall and had to snap a pic. We don’t own these school photos, so it was fun to see my 14-year-old self immortalized on the wall :)

 

That’s all for this fine Thursday – I have to go get some guest posts ready! I’m going to Halifax this weekend to visit my Best Friend Forever (BFF). This weekend will be the start of a Blogger Interview Series that I’ll be posting during all the moving and travel madness over the next month. Y’all are in for some great stuff – so many fun bloggies to feature!

See ya with a trip recap and goal check-in on Sunday!

 

Question of the Day: What was you favourite age/school grade growing up? Grade 8 was definitely fun for me because I made some new and great friends. Grade 6 will always stand out too – my friends and I used to take off on our bikes for hours, and then always end up at the local ice cream shop :)

Flashback Friday – One Year as a University Grad

Archie fun fact of the day: he crosses his paws like a lady.

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He looks so pathetic in this picture. He’s just playing it up for the camera ;)

Those protein cookies I had last night were fabbity fab.

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Mixed up 2 tbsp chocolate whey powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, packet stevia, vanilla extract and a touch of water. I stuck them in the freezer for about 10 minutes and was left with chocolate-y gooey cookies. Ohmy.

Went to the campus gym again today! The cardio machines suck and the weight area is old school. Big metal dumbbells that clink and rickety old cables. I don’t know why, but I love that. Makes weight lifting feel more hardcore ;)

Today really was an upper body day because my legs hate me lately. Started off with 20 minutes sprint intervals on the elliptical (which by the way, made a high pitched scraping noise with each turn).

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Muscle
Straight sets:        
Assisted pull-up  74 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Alternating sets:        
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lbs 8-12 3 Back, Hamstrings
Arnold press  15 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Shoulders
Straight set:        
Lunge 15 lbs (ea) 50 1 Quads, Glutes
Alternating sets:        
Dumbbell fly  15 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Chest, Front deltoid
Incline dumbbell shoulder press  20 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Shoulder
Straight set:        
Lunge 15 lbs (ea) 50 1 Quads, Glutes
Alternating sets:        
Incline curl  10 lbs (ea) 8-12 3 Biceps
Tricep extension  20 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps

Then hopped on the rowing machine for 5 minutes, finishing off with an ab circuit:

x3!!

Working out with students in the weight area is SO funny. At my usual gym, the weight area is filled with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Most people don’t look twice at you if you do something funny. Dudes at the university gym though are so scared of girls in the weight area. All I got were looks of apprehension. I also watched two guys do nothing but bicep curls for 45 minutes, and have very inappropriate conversations for a public setting!!

Work was kinda slow today – I only have one week left! Crazy. I’m going to be sad to go :(

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Lunch was leftovers from my tofu faux alfredo. May-jah yums!

After next week, I’m going to dedicate my time to getting rid of everything, and taking some things to my mom’s place. Hoping to spend the majority of May living at my mom’s before I take off to the big city. We should be adequately sick of each other by the time I leave :P

I hadn’t had bread all day, so I remedied it at suppertime.

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Mixed up a can of mustard sardines with onions and pickles, and put it on a toasted bun with hummus and a tomato.

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With a thinly sliced red delicious on the side. Sardines are your friend! I’ve worked really hard on getting rid of that animal/food separation in my head. And that means mashing up little fish and devouring them for dinner ;)

 

Flashback Friday – One Year As a University Grad

Almost exactly one year ago today, on April 24, 2009, I handed in my last assignment, marking the end of my undergraduate experience.

My school story is a little different. I graduated high school in 2004 (after attending three high schools, but that is for another post). I moved to my current city to live with my then boyfriend. He was in the army, and I had no plans for my life. I was working at Starbucks at the time, and got transferred to the location here.

I quickly fell into the manager position, and at the age of 18 found myself in a job much too mature for myself. I quickly became unhappy, and after briefly contemplating life as a flight attendant (no joke), I instead applied to university.

I chose the Liberal Arts university because it felt like a good fit. Small, cozy, with lots of English and Political Science classes (my favourites). I enrolled in three classes that January after finishing high school, and immediately fell in love.

Come September, it was clear that I needed to start up full-time and do a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree. One of those first courses I took was “Law in the Media.” I’d taken journalism in high school, but this class really ignited my interest. I had an enthusiastic professor who saw something in me, and I set my sights on journalism and writing.

By this time, my high school boyfriend and I had parted ways. I had a solid group of friends I met through Starbucks, and I settled into life here. I narrowed my focus on being the best goddamn journalist I could be, and didn’t take a step back until I’d graduated, 4.5 years later.

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One week after graduating university, I started working full-time in a permanent position as a radio reporter. I barely had time to catch my breath, I just kept speeding forward on that path I decided on so many years ago.

I’d had inklings, or rather, a gut feeling, that this wasn’t the life for me. But I continued on because that’s what “sane” people do. Well, I’m not sane. And settling into a life that was not for me drove me even more insane. I wanted to stick it out in that first job for a year, but after six months I realized that for the sake of my mental health, I needed to call it quits.

Most of you know the story from here. I reverted back to my old job at Starbucks, was seen working there and got offered my current job, decided to turn my real passion of fitness, writing and helping others into a job, and leave the city that was never really my home.

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If you had told me one year ago, after handing in that last assignment, where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed it. My post-grad journey as been more of a detour. But it was a learning process I wouldn’t trade in for the world. I’ve always been the type of person who is just a smidge unsatisfied. But words can’t describe how excited I am about what the future holds. My life is pretty messy, but I have peace of mind now knowing that I’m finally doing something that feels right. 

So all you soon-to-be graduates out there: now is your time to pursue your dreams and make mistakes. DO IT. And don’t regret a thing along the way :)

 

Question of the Day: Did you have any detours to bring you where you are today? To be honest, I don’t think my detours are over. I’m definitely taking the scenic route ;)

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