drooling over Nanaimo bars…

For those of you who don’t know, my Dad is from Canada. Born in Alberta, he actually grew up in British Columbia….one of the most beautiful places on earth. Honestly.

Since I’ve been alive, we’ve lived in a lot of different places…mostly the Southern U.S. And because of cost constraints we didn’t get to visit my Dad’s home region very often, but there was a love of certain Canadian things he passed on to us even from 3,000 miles away…mostly of the food sort.

Roger’s Golden Syrup, plum pudding and hard sauce (actually an English tradition), White Spot Restaurant and…Nanaimo bars.

sugar heaven

Now, if you’ve never had a Nanaimo bar…or heard of them…you don’t know what you’re missing. We dream of these sweet treats, the only problem is the custard powder required to make them is very difficult to get here in the South. (You can substitute instant vanilla pudding, but can it really be considered authentic then?)

They were first invented in a town called…uh, Nanaimo, B.C. Shocking, right? According to legend, a housewife entered the recipe into a contest and history was made. People make these bars using all different variations…cranberry, mint, mocha…but original is still amazing in and of itself!

My brother has talked about these wonderful creations so incessantly that his wife, my sister-in-law Brittney, contacted my older sister, Michelle (who still lives in Canada), to have her send some custard powder our way.

Brittney made the bars last week and it took every once of self-control I had not to dive right in, since Michael and I aren’t eating sugar this month.

However, our sugar fast ends this weekend and the first thing I’m making is…you guessed it: Nanaimo bars!! Michael has never had one and I’m dying to try my hand at making them.

For now, I’ll continue to drool over the pictures attached to the recipe. 🙂

v-day gift ideas…

Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday, as my husband likes to remind me….still…I love it.

I know, I know…we shouldn’t need a specifically sanctioned day to show our loved one that we do indeed love them, but isn’t it nice to get that chance? To say, “I love you everyday, but today I want to make sure I express that in a way that is not usual.”

After all, I don’t know about the rest of you, but daily living gets tedious and neither myself, nor Michael, always remembers to consistently surprise the other with a note or special meal or flowers or whatever it may be that’s out of the ordinary.

So, that’s why I love Valentine’s Day…it’s the day I get to do that. 🙂

We’ll be in Italy for Valentine’s Day this year (have I mentioned that? 😉 ), so I’m working on Michael’s present now…a photo-centric gift from snapfish.com. Not that I’m worried he’ll read this, but just in case I won’t say exactly what it is….

I wanted to share this with you, because right now snapfish.com is running a deal: free shipping on orders over $20 until Feb. 6.

I love good deals and that’s a pretty good one, as far as gift ideas go in my opinion. We’ll see if Michael agrees when I give it to him in Rome! 🙂

fashion in miniature…

I know this is unprecedented, but I am uploading a second post today! I can just imagine the thrill you three readers must be feeling right now…lol!

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post a picture to facebook, but I haven’t gotten around to it. And really, why waste an FB post, when I can go a little more in depth on here? 🙂

Anyway, I really love fashion…not necessarily right-off-the-runway fashion, but the type of fashion when people have taken bits of styles they love and pair it all together.

Patterns with patterns, bold colors with bold colors, masculine with feminine-it all can go together! For instance, who would have thought that stripes and flowers would work, but that’s what we’re seeing right now and I love it! It’s unexpected and its creative!

Right now, I’m really into skirts with pockets…particularly mini-skirts with pockets. Holly, who had no idea of my love for this look, saw a skirt in Australia that she thought was me and brought it home…I absolutely died and went to heaven!

Here is a pic of the trend, which I found after I wore it out (notice the girl on the far left)…

…and here is my version (we cut off my no-make up/morning-head face and i’m wearing patent black flats with it)….

thanks holls!!

Christy Parry is amazing!

Hello to everyone out in blog land…even though my consistent readership marks only about three 😉

After watching “Julie & Julia” the other night, I was inspired to dive into this blog with new abandon…however, I don’t have any seemingly original thoughts with which to jazz up the page right now. But, you’ll be the first to know if/when inspiration strikes!

For now, I realized that I hadn’t put any photos up from our Christy Parry photoshoot in December…She really is so talented and I love how we get awesome pictures when all we’re really doing is walking around and hanging out with each other. I have some up on facebook already, but here are a few that I haven’t published thus far….

iPhone love…

I don’t have much to say right now…

It’s been a rough couple of days actually, but I felt the need to write…to focus on something else. Anything else.

So I’m just going to say that the iPhone is amazing.

Seriously.

Who knew the my entire electronic life could be wrapped up in one tiny package so neatly? It’s like a clutter-hater’s dream!

Of course, there are so many iPhone apps that it’s hard to choose a favorite.

But for me, in these last couple of days especially, the “Holy Bible” app has been an easy go-to resource when I’m feeling low and need to seek God’s Word for myself…right then. If that’s the only reason I loved the iPhone, I think that would still make it one of the best investments of my life.

So, thank you Dad and Mom.

looking forward toward adventure…

Well, hello! It’s been a while…

Since I’ve written last, we’ve seen another Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the media blitz of “Winter Storm 2010” (pronounced “twenty-ten”) come and gone. And that’s not to mention all the little mundane things that truly make up the days of our lives…like overcoming a sickness or installing a toilet or mopping the floors. Because when we get right down to it…that’s what we’ve been doing in this house lately!

Anyway, we leave for Rome in exactly one month from today so I’m brushing up on my Italian travel knowledge and learning some bad words (thank you Chris Foster) that I’m sure won’t come in handy. My sister-in-law gave me a bunch of books and maps and a journal for Christmas so I’m already jotting down some must-sees and getting really excited! The last time I was in Rome was five years ago and it was only for a few days during a whirlwind tour of Europe. This time we’ll be there for nine whole days and I want to make the most of it!

Of course we’re going to hit the major sights like: Vatican City, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, the Roman Forums and the Imperial Forums. But I also want to make a point to see lesser known spots like: Catacombe di San Sabastiano, the Keats-Shelley House, Pincio Hill, Terme di Caracalla, Trastevere, Piazza Navona, and Villa Borghese. And if possible, I would love to take a day trip up to Florence (a favorite city of mine) and perhaps a day trip out to the coast (since I’ve never been), but we’ll see.

I’ve also thought it might be fun to rent a Vespa…calling to life all those “Roman Holiday” fantasies, and what girl doesn’t have them?…but then again, I’ve heard it’s like taking your life in your own hands. So I’m guessing that will also be a wait-and-see activity as well.

For now, I’m studying weather patterns, reading up on Italian history and gazing wistfully at pictures…soon, very soon…

the Spanish Steps

view of St. Peter's

Trevi Fountain at night

a typical street cafe