It's been crazy around here lately and to make sense of all the madness I have been playing Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes pretty much non stop.  There were some video game deals a few weeks ago and I was able to pick it up for only $19.  With unparalleled dedication, I played, explored, unlocked, and collected everything within the game, reaching 100% earlier this evening.

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes 100% completion

I also recently purchased the newest game in the series: Lego The Lord of the Rings. I had a gift card when I bought it, making it only $20.  That is my Lego price!  I have only briefly explored the Lego The LOTR map so 100% won't be for a while yet.  Check out the trailer if interested; I know it is going to be a lot of fun!

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, December 11, 2012 7 comments
It is Elmvale Fair weekend in these parts, and though I wasn't attending the fair, I was in Elmvale yesterday to pick up some Library goodies.

As I exited my car, I had the following exchange with a young father, who was with his 3-year-old-ish son.

"Hey Kidless!" He jokingly called to me.  "You want a kid? Maybe you could take him to the fair?"

"Uh...I'm okay" I said politely. "Thanks anyways!" 

And we both laughed.

Posted by Jen B On Friday, October 05, 2012 1 comment
This time of year we eat a tonne of corn on the cob, and our local grower is so close to home that I got the idea to bike ride to corn! I put on a corn carrying backpack, made sure I had my wallet, and set off to get us some farmer corn.

Distance traveled on bike to get corn: 4.5 KM (each way)

Number of corn purchased: 6 (we can't eat a full dozen before it goes off)

Cost of 6 corn: $3

Weight of backpack full of corn (as measured on a mostly inaccurate bathroom scale): 8 lbs

Amount of transit time it took on my bike: 40 minutes

Amount of time it would take in the car: 8 minutes

Number of KM not put on car: 9 KM

Number of degrees it was outside: 27°C

Number of degrees it felt like carrying corn on my back: a million°C

Number of corn eaten by me: 2

Posted by Jen B On Monday, August 27, 2012 1 comment
Fact #46 about our kitten: she has two names that she goes by equally, Gary and The Bear.

Fact #72 about our kitten: Everything in our house belongs to her. It is something we accept in order to experience the joy of being in her presence on a daily basis.

Having said that, I give you: Musical Bears!

This might look like my Wii drum kit, but it is actually a cat pillow!!

This might look like John's guitar case, but it is actually Gary's office.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, August 20, 2012 1 comment
I stopped at a red light and heard the person in the car next to me say "Excuse me".  Because I live in a constant state of partial anxiety my first thought was: "Oh great, what did I do?"  I looked over and it was an older man who said: "I just wanted to let you know your left brake light is out".  I thanked him for letting me know and my next thought was: "Oh great, how much does that cost to fix?"

I was on my way to my parents place and in conversation with my dad he told me replacing the brake light was an "easy fix".  He went so far as to say, "The longest part is going to Canadian Tire to get a new bulb".  Now it almost hurts me to put this in writing, but my dad was right.  The second longest part was figuring out how the brake light assembly came apart, but once we got at it, we quickly removed the burnt out bulb.  Conveniently, the bulb number (or bulb type?) is written right in the plastic beside where the bulb goes. It is also imprinted right on the bulb, so picking up a new bulb was easy as pie.  It turns out replacing a brake light is really just replacing a light bulb.  Like dad said, it's an easy fix.

The brake light assembly is accessed through the trunk of the car. 

We removed the paneling/covering and three screws.  I initially thought the wires and the metal panel dislodged into the trunk so we could access the bulbs that way.  After a few failed attempts to get it to do that, John realized the brake light itself detached away from the vehicle.

The brake lights!  Inside out!

 Light bulb goes here!

Burnt out bulb!

Two bulbs at Canadian Tire were $4.99.  I only needed one so this repair was pretty cheap!!

Bulb replaced! I hit the brake to ensure it worked! It worked! 
We did it!

As it should be!!

Posted by Jen B On Monday, August 13, 2012 1 comment
I am always in the market for new notebooks, as I am quite obsessed with them and often have ten or more on the go. When purchasing notebooks, I flip through them to see and feel what the pages are like.  That is how I found this awesome leave behind by another shopper at Dollarama the other night:

Neat looking notebook:

Awesome leave behind:

People in Midland are funny!

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, August 09, 2012 2 comments
I have been going to Tim Horton's almost daily over the past few months, which is more times then I was there over the entirety of last year.  There are some valid reasons for my dramatic increase of Tim Horton's consumption.

Reason One: I make my own schedule right now and when I'm in charge, there is always time to stop for coffee.  When I was working, the day started at 8:00am sharp, and when one leaves the house at 7:48am for a 15 minute commute - there is no room for a drive through visit!  (I know the math doesn't make sense, but I was hardly ever late for work).

Reason Two: my mother underwent hip replacement surgery at the end of May, so I have been back and forth to Barrie every few days to spend time with her, clean up her apartment, and help her in her recovery.  As per reason number one, I make my own schedule for this, so I often stop at Tim Horton's on the way.  I stopped drinking coffee in January, but running the roads, the stress of being one day here and the next day gone*, sweating the small stuff (my dad's car battery died while I was driving, I ripped a tile out of the wall of their bathroom, as well as a few other choice things), and not getting enough sleep (or sometimes too much) has found me frequenting the drive through line.  Like the countless others before me, I've turned to a stimulant to help me cope with the stress of my life. 

Reason Three: I didn't admit to myself that I started drinking coffee again ("it's just a treat!"), so going to Tim's was my only option as I hadn't set up my coffee maker at home.

Thankfully for my finances, John and I plugged in our coffee maker last week, so I am a regular coffee drinker again.  When I gave it up in January I was drinking 2-3 cups a day, but so far I am sticking to only one cup (not 8 oz, a real cup!). If I feel like a second cup, I go for a tea, and so far that is working for me.  Even though I make coffee at home now, I'm already thinking about the Timmy run I will be making on my way to Barrie this Saturday.  One day at a time...

*Yep that is a Tom Cochrane lyric**

**Not Rascal Flatts (well, yes them too, but I was quoting Tom Cochrane).

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, August 02, 2012 2 comments
After an amazing afternoon at the beach, we went to our local Chip Wagon so I could let my Bro experience all the joy that is Perky's Fish and Chips. Every time we go there it is the best fish and chips we have ever had. And after a good long swim, it was even more perfect!! Super Yum!!!

Haddock + Chips + Coleslaw

Posted by Jen B On Friday, July 13, 2012 No comments
I have recently been craving the caramel popcorn my Mom makes at Christmas.  I made it myself this past Christmas, and realized it is an easy and fun treat to make. The original recipe is from Farm Journal's Country Cookbook, with some slight additions.  I thought you might enjoy the recipe too!  

Caramel Popcorn: A recipe in photos!

You need 5 quarts (20 cups) of popped popcorn.  I probably used about one cup of un-popped kernels to achieve this.

5 Quarts of popped popcorn is 5 of these!

As you are popping the popcorn, sift through it to make sure only the best pieces go into your caramel popcorn.  Pick out any kernels or loose shells and discard.

Place your 20 cups of popcorn into a large oven safe pan. Heat the popcorn in a 250°F oven to keep it nice and crisp while you prepare the caramel.

Caramel: Add 1 cup butter or margarine, 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, and 1 tsp of salt to a medium sized saucepan.  Place over medium heat and stir, mixing together.

Once mixed, stir periodically and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, set timer for 5 minutes and just let 'er boil.  No stirring!

This is what it looks like REALLY boiling (taken around the 3 minute mark).  At this same point, take your popcorn out of your hot oven and add 1 cup of salted peanuts and 1 cup of broken pretzels.  I use waffle pretzels and just love how the squares and broken bits fill with caramel.

When your 5 minute buzzer sounds, remove caramel from heat and add 1/2 tsp of baking soda, stirring in well.  The caramel will foam and get thick.

Pour caramel over popcorn/peanuts/pretzel mixture.

Using an egg lifter, stir the popcorn mixture to coat everything with yummy caramel.  Return the pan to the 250°F oven and heat for 15 minutes.  Remove the pan and stir the popcorn mixture again to ensure everything gets a good coating.  Return the mixuture to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, then give it a final stir.  Everything should be beautifully coated in caramel.

Pour caramel popcorn onto waxed or parchment paper to cool.

Here is a photo of the most amazing part of this process.  The handy egg lifter, when all it's jobs are complete, gets to be licked clean by the candy maker.  Super tasty bonus!

The recipe makes 2 large Ziploc bags (about 20 cups!) of caramel popcorn.  I made two separate batches and now have 4 bags of this glorious treat!  Total cost was proabably less than $7 for these four bags, and I still have a lot of unpopped popcorn left.  Economical, easy, and delish!


Posted by Jen B On Thursday, July 12, 2012 1 comment
Because we all love numbers that end with lots of zeros, I noticed this on my Google stats earlier today:

Thanks for being a part of this number! 

Posted by Jen B On Monday, July 02, 2012 No comments
Canada flag halifax 9 -04

Canada is celebrating 145 years today!! I hope you are having a great one!!

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, July 01, 2012 No comments
Heading north of Parry Sound today for a Cottage Weekend with my university crew.  We are only spending the day, but a mix is required for the car ride.  I'm into feel good music at the moment and this playlist reflects that for sure!

 1. Real Good Radio - Kira Isabella
 2. Banjo - Rascal Flatts
 3. Mississippi - Dixie Chicks
 4. Music Inferno -Madonna
 5. Party Rock Anthem - LMAFO
 6. Move In the Right Direction - Gossip
 7. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
 8. Forever - Chris Brown
 9. With a Little Luck - Paul McCartney and Wings
10. Marry You - Bruno Mars
11. Don't Tell Me - Madonna
12. Sun is Shining - Bob Marley
13. Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney and Wings
14. The Remedy (I Won't Worry) - Jason Mraz
15. Superbowl XLVI Halftime Show - Madonna

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, June 30, 2012 No comments
Okay, well I am outdoors again, testing out my blog preferences.  I am using the regular Blogger site (not the App), and with the aid of my Mac Whiz bro, I was able to pair my wireless keyboard to my iPod. I can't say that the mobile Blogger site is perfect, but it does have more features than just the App (my favourite being preview!).  But it is still pretty clunky, so I'm thinking the best way for me to blog outdoors is to type outside and edit inside.  I could use Blogger Mobile, the Blogger App, or even a writing App, and then make all the necessary edits and additions (photos, etc.) from my actual computer. That sounds like a workable plan and I'm looking forward to getting some Vitamin D while I write this summer!

This could be me!  Well, sort of.  My iPod/keyboard combo look a little different!

Posted by Jen B On Friday, June 29, 2012 No comments
I have an iPod Touch and since today is so beautiful out, I thought I would try blogging from outside. I think faster than I can type on the iPod keyboard, so the writing process is delayed a little bit, but being outside is worth it. I tried pairing my Bluetooth keyboard to the iPod but I was having technical difficulties so this one finger keyboard will have to do for now! I just took a photo of what I am surrounded by while typing. Such a beautiful day!

I am using the Blogger App and not sure it has enough features for my blogging style. If there is a preview button, I'm not sure where it is. And I have added a photo, but I'm not sure where it will end up in the published blog. Oh well, it feels great being out here and I can always edit it when I go back inside!! 

UPDATE:  Once back inside, I increased the font size, added a space between the text and the photo, added my labels, added my "share this" button, and wrote this sentence! :)

Posted by Jen B On Friday, June 29, 2012 2 comments
By now you have probably heard about the not-troversy surrounding this Oreo Cookies Gay Pride poster:

In celebration of Pride Week and in appreciation of rainbow cookies everywhere, I picked up a box of Rainbow Chips Ahoy! and will be enjoying an entire tray full!!

Happy Pride Week Everyone!!!

Posted by Jen B On Friday, June 29, 2012 2 comments
So I am still super obsessed with Lego games or "silly games" as my mother calls them.  Do they take up a lot of my time? Yes. Am I getting repetitive eye strain from staring at the screen for hours on end? Probably. Are they part of my balanced lifestyle? Of course.

Back in February I completed Lego Indiana Jones.  I found it the hardest of the Lego games, with too many enemies constantly attacking and causing me to lose all my studs! Getting "True Adventurer" status was pretty much impossible and it took forever to earn enough studs to unlock things that could help.  So I wasn't a huge fan and kept it on the shelf with only 7% completion. At some point I remembered you could enter cheat codes and I decided to enter the cheat code for Invincibility.  And from then on the game was awesome and super fun! Which is great because I love Indiana Jones and I really wanted the game to be fun.
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures - 100%

Over the past few months I have been playing Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7.  I picked it up in May when I realized it had dropped in price to $19.99.  That is my preferred price for video games and it only took six months for HP 5-7 to get there.  It was worth the brief wait.  I completed it last night:

Lego HP: Years 5-7 - 100%

I still have yet to complete Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (91.3% complete) and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (79.9% complete).  Lego Star Wars is all challenge now, as the 8.7% I have left to play is finding 10 hidden Blue Canisters, throughout the entirety of every single level, with only ten minutes per level to do it. So I basically have to play the whole game again and do it super fast.  I was attempting it the other night and the words "Out of Time" popped up on the screen so often that I had to turn it off for a while.  TCS might be incomplete for some time to come.  As for Lego Pirates, it is my least favourite of all the Lego games.  One reason is that I never really got into the Pirates movies (I've watched them all, but must not have paid attention because I don't know who anyone is!).  In order to complete Lego Pirates, I need to collect all the Ships in a Bottle and find all the Compass items.  I wasn't a big fan of the use of the Compass, so not sure when I am heading back to complete this one either!

But there are more games on the horizon!  Lego Batman 2: DC Superheros was just released, and it has gotten some pretty stellar reviews.  I am saving my pennies for that one.  And coming this fall will be Lego Lord of the Rings!  I am super excited about that one because I love the Lord of the Rings.  The trilogy is our go-to set of movies for when there is nothing on; it always satisfies.

In the mean time, I just realized there is another Lego Star Wars game about the Clone Wars.  I never watched that series, but it is only $19.99 so I'll probably get it to fill the void until Lego Batman 2 comes down in price.  Super Lego Fun!

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, June 28, 2012 4 comments
This little dude spent some time on the window after some rain.  I think he ate some bugs too!

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, June 19, 2012 1 comment
I couldn't let today go by without posting to celebrate Paul McCartney's 70th birthday!  He was my first love (I think I must be the 100,315,927th girl to ever say that!) and though many musicians have come and gone from my life, I will always have Paul.  So Happy 70th Birthday, Paul!!!

I wasn't sure what song to post, so I asked my iTunes to shuffle and it landed on Tug of War, a classic ballad from 1982.  Enjoy!!

Posted by Jen B On Monday, June 18, 2012 No comments
Sometimes you just gotta have it...

Posted by Jen B On Monday, June 18, 2012 No comments
Tag! I'm it.  Skwishee over at Just a Mum? tagged me in a random questions/random facts game.  I have been bad at answering the call of being tagged (I completely missed Awards Season this year!), so I am jumping on this opportunity before too much time goes by.  TashaB over at Awesomesauce & Other Experiments already responded with her answers and facts and now it's my turn! 

Ten Questions from Skwishee at Just a Mum?

1. Name a book that somehow changed you. How?

I guess it would be Lightning by Dean Koontz because it was the first adult book I remember reading. It had time travel, a female lead, and a character who met Paul McCartney.  It had everything my tween heart would love and it got me interested in reading books. 

2. If someone were to cook you the perfect meal, what would it be?

It would be the Ultimate Feast from Red Lobster, so I would need a chef from Red Lobster to come to my house please! 

3. Who do you want to be when you grow up?

This girl *points at self*, but older.

4. You find a wallet containing $20,000 on the ground, containing no identification. What do you do?

I would have to do as TashaB described and turn it in to the police.  If it was $20, however, I would be eating take out for dinner.

5. Name one completely irrational fear that you've got.

Just one? But I experience at least ten a day! I'll go with Monsters murdering me in the night.

6. Give me three songs that you're embarrassed to admit you like.

Banjo - Rascal Flatts
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
I'd Really Love To See You Tonight - England Dan and John Ford Coley 

7. What is one thing you absolutely love about yourself?

I love that I don't give a shit what I wear around the house/in the backyard.  The teen boys that live next store are getting a real life glimpse about what thirty-something girls are like! The colours never match, there are socks AND sandals, and of course oodles of track pants.  I told John yesterday that I am glad I am not a celebrity, because every week I would appear on the "Trash Your Stylist" list!

8. If you could be doing ANYTHING right now, what would it be?

Except for writing on my blog at the moment, I would love to be catching up on episodes of the BBC's Sherlock.  I think Martin Freeman is dreamy and funny.

9. What's the best thing that happened to you this week?

I went on an 11km bike ride today and it was amazing!

10. If you could perfect one skill overnight, what would it be?

I would really love to play guitar.  I have tried to learn a few times but I have gotten frustrated because I can't move my fingers fast enough to make chords.  I even suck at Rock Band guitar.  If I could learn overnight, that would be great! 

11. Tea or coffee?

I have to go with Coffee because I will always have a strong love for a Timmy's double double. I gave up drinking coffee in January and switched to Green tea, which I also love, but I could never forget my first love.  Coffee is now a treat, and incidentally a treat I have been indulging in all week!

Part two of the game is listing 11 random facts about myself, but I can't get it together to do that at the moment.  I will save the list for another day!  Stay tuned! :)

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, June 14, 2012 3 comments

It turns out I have been collecting sunglasses over the past while.  These are the five pairs I have in the current rotation. One for most every occasion.  The pair in the upper left of the photo are my dominant pair, however the sunglasses I can find the quickest are usually the pair I wear most often.

How many pairs do you own?  Do you have a dominant pair? Are you enjoying the sunshine?

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, May 27, 2012 7 comments
In my sushi making experience, I've made and consumed many California rolls (and posted about them here).  I recently became obsessed with spicy sauce and all the joyous possibilities associated with making spicy sushi maki at home.  I have been collecting ingredients over the past few weeks and yesterday it was finally Sushi Fun Day for me.

My morning started with how to videos on YouTube, as I was experimenting with hand rolls and trying to properly prepare the sushi rice (I picked up Rice Vinegar to add to it!).  My morning instructional videos got me pretty excited about the idea of eating a whole lotta yummy sushi!

Spicy California Hand Rolls

I shredded some imitation crab legs and tossed them with spicy mayo (mixture of Hellman's and Sriracha Sauce). So easy to make and super yummy to eat.

Also important were the avocados and cucumber!

I cut my Nori sheets in half and got down to business!  First I added rice on one end and made an indent for the filling:

Then I added my cucumber, avocado, and spicy crab meat:

Then I rolled it up!

Spicy California Inside Out Rolls

Another adventure in sushi for me yesterday was maki with the rice on the outside of the roll.  I wrapped my bamboo mat in plastic wrap and went for it!  I added rice to the Nori sheet and sprinkled it with toasted sesame seeds.

Then I flipped it over and put fillings on the non rice side:

And then rolled it up!

I ended up making a lot of these:

And If That Wasn't Enough...

I also made some smoked salmon and avocado hand and maki rolls, avocado maki, and avocado and cucumber maki.  I put some spicy sauce on some of the maki to make it look and taste amazing.  Not pictured are the four hand rolls John and I ate while I was preparing everything and the countless pieces of maki that accidentally got eaten.

And finally my beautiful plate that was quickly and happily devoured:

I can't wait to make it again!!  And we are eating leftovers for dinner tonight. Yay!!

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, April 22, 2012 1 comment
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