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Christmas Through a Viewfinder

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all had a wonderful day :D I sure did – I got my baby!!

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A Canon EOS Rebel XS. Lovelovelove. (ps that’s one of my craft projects in the back – a painted ceramic beer mug I gave to my sis!)

Goodbye old Kodak Easy Share. You were a trooper, but it was time to go…

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Now get ready for a plethora of photos taken with my wonderful new camera today ;)

It was a glorious Christmas morning around these parts. I was the first one up because of that faithful body clock of mine. Had an egg + ham + cheese sammie on ezekiel bread while brewing a ginormous pot of coffee to lure the sleepy heads out of bed.

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My mom put together a gorgeous “Montreal” brunch for us. The star of the show was this GIANT hunk of smoked meat courtesy of Costco.

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Served with rye bread, swiss cheese, mustard and relish.

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Leftover meat pie and scrambled eggs (with cottage cheese – so good!)

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Baked beans…

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And tea! Special Twinnings “Lady Grey” tea my sister picked up in England. It’s got bergamot with orange and is so good.

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My plate…

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Definitely a protein-filled meal. We were joking about how us girls were all vegetarians at one point – and now we eat like this!!

After brunch, my mom and I got started on the next feast. My mom’s bird ready to go in the oven…

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I got started on Martha Stewart’s Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

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It turned out awesome!! It’s a little on the tart side and yummmm-y. I highly recommend you put this one on file!

Then it was on to my first ever homemade pie.

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This was a Chef Michael Smith recipe (Yay At Home Chef in P.E.I.!) Whole Grain Crusted Pie with Maple Yogurt Topping.

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My mom and I agreed the crust might me a little too much on the top as well, so I added some butter and honey and crumbled it on top instead. It was a solid decision on our part ;)

Then it was time for the Sweet Potato, Parmesan & Goat Cheese Galette that Janetha made for her Thanksgiving feast. Sweet potato and goat cheese?? Yes please!!

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Everything my mom has is giant – even her sweet potatoes!!! I think it’s a Costco thing ;)

The galette was delicious, although, it could have used a little more time in the oven. Will make for good leftovers!

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Meanwhile, as I was puttering away in the kitchen, my family was having fun with my new camera…

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Cutest photo ever.

Okay, back to the food. My mom and I had all four burners going…

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What’s that I spy in the frying pan? Brussel sprouts, Bacon & Figs a la Agharad.

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Put bacon in anything and anyone will eat it ;)

My plate!

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Also featured is my mommy’s mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots & turnip and gravy.

The requisite Christmas table photo!

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Looking at this, I realize we didn’t do paper hats this year. Sorry Ellie!

Then the wine started flowing..

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Which I didn’t partake in. I don’t like wine, but I’m also DD to take Nana home tonight.

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Once we’d digested enough room for even more food, I pulled out the pie!

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My piece, with the maple yogurt topping. 

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I was scared the crust wasn’t going to work – but it was really good! It turned out quite soft. And the topping was deeelicious.

Paired with more of the Queen’s tea ;)

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Now my family is talking about Glee :)  

I’m with Archie…

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Sister Sara and I are doing treadmill and weight lifting tomorrow. She tried to get me running in the snow, but I’m not hardcore enough. Instead, I’m putting her through one of my weight routines ;)

Loved hearing everyone’s favourite foods from yesterday! So many fun and interesting things. I polled my family, and here’s what their food highlights from today were..

Jane – Pie, smoked meat

Sara – Stuffing with cranberry sauce on top

Nana – The tea

Mom – Sweet potato galette

Me – Turkey with cranberry sauce

Mark is unavailable for comment. I think he’s passed out in his “man cave” :P

 

Hope you all had a wonderful, fun, relaxing and delicious holiday!!! xoxo

Question of the Day: Spill it. What did ya get for Christmas?? Besides my camera I got lots o’ cold hard cash ;)

Home for the Holidays

I’m home!!!

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My mom has gone Charlie Brown this year. She says it’s because she spent all her money on our high end Christmas presents. I’ll take an SLR over a Christmas tree any day ;)

Thank you sosososo much for all the congratulatory comments on my new job!! I’m still in shock about it really! I still haven’t hammered all the details out yet, seeing as it’s the holidays. But I’ll know everything for sure after this weekend :)

Was up early today determined to 1) Run, 2) Drive home! Ate a small breakfast first.

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Two Nature’s Path pomegranate waffles, almond butter, honey. Powered me through 30 minutes of shovelling my car out, then 60 minutes on the treadmill! Did my usual 5.3 mile speedwork.

On a 1% incline:
2 min @ 3.2 mph
3 min @ 3.7 mph
5 min @ 5.6 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.0 & 6.4 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.2 & 6.6 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.4 & 6.8 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.6 & 7.0 mph
5 min @ 5.8 mph
3 min @ 3.7 mph
2 min @ 3.2 mph

Pheeooowee! My ticker was definitely working hard today. Must have been that tough shovelling workout first ;)

Came back and had a real breakfast after.

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Soft-fried eggs on whole grain toast and sweet potato hash browns with onions. Seriously, seriously yummy meal. Felt like I was on vacation. Wait! I am! ;)

Then I hit the road and had a verrrry boring 90 minute drive home. Walked in the door as my mom was assembling the meat pie! 

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She makes tons of meat pies every year. I asked, and this is an English/French tradition that started in my nana’s family. My mom’s pies have chicken, pork and beef. Now that I’m an everythingtarian, this is my first year eating meat pie since childhood!

We hit up my mom’s boyfriend’s parent’s place for a little Christmas Eve get together. From now on, my mom’s BF will be referred to as Mark, for clarity’s sake ;)

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The spread. I only reeeally took this picture because there was a goat cheese blueberry spread that was delish. And the biggest grapes I’ve ever seen. The size of plums!

We came back to my mom’s place for the real feast though. She went all out.

A lasagna:

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Meat pie:
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And I threw together a salad so our meal didn’t consist of ground meat alone:

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My plate: 

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The meat pie was even better than I remember it!! I put some green chow chow on top and it was awesome. The lasagne was fab too. The whole time my mom kept saying it was the best she ever made :P

My mom’s place is really dim, I apologize for the awful flash photography!

My subjects are at least beautiful ;)

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Daughter and mother (ie my mom and nana).

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Sister Jane posing next to a self-portrait she did in high school :P I don’t know why, but this really cracked me up.

But wait! We can’t forget dessert!

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I must point out sister Sara’s homemade sesame cookies. However, I went straight for the butter.

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Shortbread with almonds. Melted in my mouth.

Then some music with the step-family.

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Christmas carols lose their appeal when you work in a mall :\

That’s all for tonight, short and sweet. I’m beat. But I’m also embarrassed to go to bed before the kids. I may wait it out. Have a wonderful Christmas!!! I will hopefully be updating Christmas Day with some better-than-usual pics ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s the best thing you ate on Christmas Eve? Mine was meat pie!!

Flashing Back to Christmases of Past

Woooo!!! It’s the weekend!!! I just realized I’ve only had one day off over the past 22 days. So these next two days off will be glorious :D Well, actually, I have a lot of catching up to do. But crossing things off my to-do list feels pretty glorious anyways.

Loved hearing all the other career paths y’all would like to pursue!! Seems like jobs involving animals, travel and food were the most popular :)

I had custard oats on the brain again this a.m. Well, that and mollases. And coconut chia granola.

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There’s almond butter hiding under there too. Dare I say this was better than the first time around? Yum!!!

Worked 8-4:30 today. I’ve taken to not working out when I do this shift. The days are pretty  busy and I need to be on my “A” game!! Also, I’m still sore from Tuesday’s weight lifting workout. That’s some persistent DOMS!!

Packed the usual lunch for today (we don’t have a microwave at the Bucks).

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Smoked tofurkey slices, mustard, swiss + veggies on lavash bread. And a melt-in your mouth ripe pear!

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Janetha posted an apple-pear comparison the other day. Did you know pears are lower in calories, carbs and sugar than apples, and also have more fibre and potassium?? They’re also cheaper these days. The price of apples has for some reason skyrocketed this month!

Oh, and I’ve been studying my personal training textbook on my breaks. Hence all the words in the background ;)

On my afternoon break, I had my first Vega Vibrancy Bar in the wholesome original flavour.

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To be honest, i did not have high hopes for this bar. It just looked too “healthy!”

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Can’t really argue with those stats or ingredients.

Of course, it’s how the thing tastes that’s reeeally important ;)

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It’s a date-based bar, much like a Larabar. But it tastes so different – I loved it!! You can taste the dates, but dates are one of my favourite foods, so that’s always a bonus for me. The little specks you see in there aren’t all nut pieces, but grains. It made for a wonderful texture. And the flavour was really “mellow” with nothing in particular standing out. It’s small, but still managed to hold me over for the last couple hours of work until I made it home for dinner. This gets a thumbs up!

That dinner I made was some standard Friday Night Fare. Burger and fries.

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Friday Flashbacks… Christmas Edition!!!

Last Flashback Friday before Christmas!! Actually, Christmas is technically on a Flashback Friday this year. How fitting :)

Here are some random family photos from over the past four years (as far back as I can find). I stole some off my sister and mother’s Facebooks, so I can’t take credit for all of them.

My wonderful mom in her Christmas morning apparel, drinking coffee and awaiting the Queen’s Message…

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My Dad, looking very studious and lawyer-like. Actually, I think that’s a Stuart Maclean book I bought him one year.

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Sara, Jane and I, three sheets to the wind on Christmas Eve, re-enacting childhood games.

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Archie, napping under the piano, exhausted from all the Christmas excitement.

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Me and Nana (my mom’s mom)

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After the unwrapping frenzy on Christmas morning. I can’t believe my mother actually allowed her home looking like this get caught on film :P

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Last year’s dead bird, courtesy my mom’s new favourite Oprah recipe.

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Last year’s Christmas dinner! This is sister Sara’s plate. I think someone is a budding food blogger ;)

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My three favourite girls, two of which are in the most hideous winter coats I’ve ever seen. How can people who live in and near Quebec not remember to pack warm coats!? And why is my mom still holding on to these!?

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Girls, I will not be letting this happen again this year. :P

 

I’m starting to get really excited to go home! I leave Wednesday afternoon and I’m counting down the days. Almost all my gifts are taken care of. Hopefully I’ll get the rest this weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the same room as my mom and two sisters at once (last Christmas maybe?). Life has been such a rollercoaster lately, it will be nice to be in familiar surroundings with the people I love most :)

 

Question of the Day: What are you hoping to get for Christmas? Yup, I want a completely selfish, material answer for this one!! I think my mommy got me an SLR camera. Not sure what kind yet, but anything will be a step up from my current camera!

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