Monday, September 28, 2009

Stay home, Santa!

* My mom received Lowe's monthly Creative Ideas magazine, and it had a few Halloween projects in it.

Amazingly simple - ghosts made of tomato cages, rope lights and drop cloths!

I also like the "hanging ghouls" from shepherd's hooks.

These are much nicer than the usual stuff they actually sell. And now they are on the BAD LIST for putting Christmas trees next to their Halloween decor. C'mon now, stop intruding on my holiday with yer trees - there's plenty of time for that later.

* Meanwhile, Dollar Tree pulls through again with 10 small plastic skeleton hands for $1 (ha ha, and on Etsy it's $2.25 for just one pair?). They also had some great stickers, and glow sticks of all kinds. They were still putting some stuff out, but they are also on the BAD LIST with aisles of tinsel and wreaths next to the skellies.

* I'm thinking of making gift boxes for my coworkers' candy treats this year, so I picked up a paper mache box at Michael's to experiment. (the skeleton hands would make a nice handle or border around the edge - I may even add some glitter ;). I also got a paper mache book. Hmm, Necronomicon maybe? :bwaa haa haa:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun in BC (part 2)

continuing story ...

* Wednesday we spent the day in Vancouver. We barely made the ferry, it was raining but I was excited. The ride over was not what I expected; the ferry is kinda like a floating airport lounge.

Our first stop in Vancouver was The Daiso! Which totally deserves an exclamation point! It was completely awesome and fun and when I live up there will require at least 2 trips a year. For my ghoulish gals I got a fake gory brain and fake gory ear - that's right, even at a Japanese dollar store in Vancouver I head straight for the Halloween stuff. They are deliciously gooey. I also got some play money, dish towels, colored ballpoint pens, a couple of notebooks, embroidery thread (in fall colors) and a id badge holder. Yeah, they have everything. Only the size of my suitcase (and my wallet) limited my purchases. They have kitchen containers that are so specialized - one for yakisoba, one for marinating tofu, one for edamame, one for rice cakes ...

Afterwards, we walked around the rest of the mall. Aberdeen Centre is in Richmond, which has a big Asian population, so the stores were amazing. There's even a Ferrari dealership in there!

After a bit of driving around we got hungry, so we went to Moderne Burger (which came highly recommended by Lisa). What a groovy joint! The menu is simple: burgers, fries and shakes are the focus. Glen got a creamsicle shake and I got the chocolate covered cherry. They give you the shake in a proper old-fashioned glass AND give you the leftovers in a metal cup - these folks know what they are doing. I got a turkey burger but Glen went for the steak burger, and he definately won in the flavor department. We got one order of fries between us and it was more than enough, as you can see.

Thus satiated, Glen played tour guide once again and drove me around different parts of Vancouver: across the Lions Gate Bridge, through Stanley Park and through some of downtown. I look forward to going back for a long weekend and exploring!

The final stop on our whirlwind tour was Ikea! I've never been to one (the closest one to me is 6 hours away, either Atlanta or Orlando) so it was a treat. Once again my suitcase limited my purchases to a couple pairs of rubber gloves and a squeegee, but I spent plenty in my mind. And it gave Glen and me a good chance to discuss future decorating ideas: he's a neutrals kind of guy and I'm a fan of theme decor, but I think we can successfully combine the two :)
The ride home was ... interesting, to say the least. SO interesting that I'll hand the mike over to Glen to tell that story. :makes shooing motion with hand:

* Coming soon: part three!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fun in BC (part one)

I was lucky enough to visit Victoria BC and my adorable fiance earlier this month. I can't wait to move up there! Here's the details ...

* Flew up there on Friday. Not a bad trip, except I went the wrong way looking for lunch in the Seattle airport and ended up outside the secure zone so had to stand in line for 35 min to go through security again. D'oh!

* Saturday we went to the Saanich Fall Fair! Although it was raining up until the time we got to the front gate, the sun quickly showed and we had a wonderful time. I was quite the tourist, taking photos of all the cute farm animals (I saw a goat being milked!) and gawking at the fruit and veg display (huge pumpkin! tiny melons! long string beans!). And the baked goods competition made my stomach growl even though I had just eaten bratwurst and sauerkraut from the German stand (Glen stuck with a weiner and potato salad). My favorite part was the kids craft display - not only baked goods and sewing, but even a Lego competition! So cute!

We didn't even make it to the midway, but our feet were so tired.

* Sunday we joined Glen's mum, sister and sister's friend for brunch. I've never seen a buffet that had breakfast food like scrambled eggs right next to lunch food like salad. Afterwards we hung out with them for a bit at his mum's house to have a small birthday celebration for Glen.

* Monday was Labour Day so we took it easy - did some walking around town.

* Tuesday we had dinner with the H clan - chicken breasts stuffed with homemade pesto and wrapped in prosciutto (mmm); risotto with parsley, peas and parmesan; roasted squash; and rolls. I had fun discussing the merits of robots with the boys, and after dinner we played Hand and Foot.

* Sometime later this week I'll post part two!

Monday, September 21, 2009

look out below!

* This find surprised me - I've been a fan of Flor for a while now and still get their catalogs, and their colors are gorgeous. Now they enter the spooky realm with Arachnophobia, a spiderweb-patterned series of tiles with random placement of spider! I love that they give you the names of styles that will coordinate with the spider-print so you can customize your horror. It's available in Raven/Pumpkin and Raven/Ash, but I think the Raven/Ash would spookily match with Skully and some plain black tiles.

* Tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox, the beginning of Fall. I expect to wake up to cool air, orange and brown leaves, and NO HUMIDITY. Ha ha ha!
Ming's cupcake today is Chocolate Coffee Cupcake with Baileys Irish Cream Frosting, mmm. Autumn is the season for baking.

* I'm putting my house on the market next week. Hardwood floors, corner lot on a hill, new roof - what's not to like? Wish me (and my realtor) luck! Even though the end result will make me very very happy, the idea of a major life change is still overwhelming.

* Have a gander at my Flickr page to see photos from my Victoria vacation - I'm working on matching blog posts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


* During my wonderful whirlwind 8-day trip to Victoria, I was lucky enough to visit not one but TWO delicious cupcake stores!

Glen's mom pointed us to Ooh La La, in a tiny mall on a corner. Oh my is it difficult to decide among frosted yummy goodness perched daintily under glass on cake stands. Their cupcakes are the size of large muffins! I narrowed my choice to Monkey Business (of course) and Twist and Shout.

Monkey Business is "lucious banana cake with a cream cheese icing and topped with Calibeault white chocolate curls." (mine had a banana chip instead of chocolate curls) DEEElicious! The frosting was thick and sweet, the cake almost like a banana bread. I thought, "ooh, I should have gotten 2 of this one."

Then I tried Twist and Shout, "a moist lemon cake with a surprise raspberry filling all topped off with lemon buttercream icing with a lemon twist on top," and was glad I didn't get both the same! The flavor was perfect, like the tartest lemonade on a hot day in the Panhandle. The raspberry got lost in all that lemon, but what tasty lemon is was!

Special cupcake store #2 is downtown, within walking distance (uh oh). Pink Sugar Cupcakery attracted my eye down the block with its PINK awning, then drew me in with a poster of an awesome retro pin-up girl posed with a stand of cupcakes. I didn't find out until later that their treats are vegan - go them, I wouldn't have thought it possible!

Pink Sugar offers bite-sized mini cupcakes but I had to go for the gusto: one Chocolate Orange and one Peanut Butter. These cupcakes were more traditionally sized, and I just realized now that both of the ones I tasted were chocolate. Chocolate Orange had "hint of orange buttercream" frosting, and Peanut Butter had chocolate frosting with peanut butter on the inside of the cupcake. Mmmm I love chocolate, and these were chocolatey indeed! I carried the Chocolate Orange one through the Victoria Airport and the Seattle Airport to save it for my 4 1/2-hr plane ride and boy was I glad - it sure beat a handful of peanuts!

I'm leaning towards the Peanut Butter one as my favorite from this store.

* I can't wait to go back to Victoria and try the rest of the flavors!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Horror in Orlando!

* Last year I went to Orlando for scary good times in October. My zombie-lovin' girlfriends and I attended Spooky Empire's Horror Weekend (then called ScreamFest).

I spent the next week with Gosamyr going to Disney (Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom) and Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights. It was SO! MUCH! FUN! The theme for this year's HHN is Ripped From the Silver Screen, capitalizing on two of Universal's current scary franchises (Saw and Chucky) and pumping up their new version of the Wolfman. They have put much more info on their site since my last visit, and it looks great! Scare zones include Apocalypse: City of Canibals with creepy vaguely human creatures, War of the Living Dead with Nazi zombies, and Containment with a "toxic green mist that turns anyone in comes in contact with into an infected, melting glob of flesh and blood." W00t! I liked the scare zones more than the houses because the actors are right out there in the open interacting with passers-by.

I doubt I'll be going this year but it's fun to dream.
* This has been a pre-prepared post - I'll be back in the next few days to wax poetic on my wonderful visit to Canada!