goal lists, non-recipe posts

A Baby Quilt for Bowen!

baby quilt
Exciting news! I have reached the age where my friends are having babies. I am so pumped about this stage. As evidenced by many recipes on this blog, I quite like tiny things. And new babies are the perfect excuse to pick up a new skill. When my friend Melissa told me she was pregnant, I thought about trying to knit some little booties or a hat. But eugh, my knitting skills really wax and wane sometimes. I’ve given people far too many scarves with holes in them and that just wouldn’t do for a sweet new baby!

baby quilt

And then I remembered my goals list from a few years ago, when I decided I wanted to make a quilt. OK, an adult sized quilt seems a bit ambitious for a first quilt. But a teensy tiny baby one! I could totally handle that.

I bought the patterns from Poise Gets Cosy and I would highly recommend it for a first time quilter. Her instructions were simple and easy to understand. The few times I was confused by something (namely the binding and how to make the corners turn out neat!), it just required some squinting at the photos until it started to make sense.

baby quilt
I also liked how her instructions included the best way to mix up your patterns, because I was getting totally neurotic about that. As if the baby is going to care that there’s an elephant next to an elephant, right?

baby quilt

There are lots of tiny animals on it, including octopuses, foxes, squids, crabs and elephants.

baby quilt
Lastly, I love how when the light shines through it, it looks almost like stained glass!

I’m excited to be able to cross something off my life list and celebrate a new baby while I’m at it. Welcome to the world Bowen! I hope you enjoy your quilt.

goal lists, non-recipe posts

Strawberry picking

starberries

I’m so pleased that we go to pick strawberries this weekend! It was on my to-do list last summer, but by the time we had a free weekend, it thunder-stormed the whole time and we missed our chance. But this year it was clear and sunny – maybe a bit too sunny for my easily-sunburned boyfriend!

starberries

starberries

(you can’t even imagine how good this field smelled)

We went to Big’r Apple Farm near Brampton and it was just lovely. To get to the strawberry fields, we drove through a little apple orchard which just made me crave fall. The fields were full of families picking (and little kids demanding their parents inspect every berry they picked!). It took us less than an hour to pick one giant basket of strawberries and a smaller basket of sweet peas. And at $15 for a giant basket of strawberries and $8 for half a basket of peas, it was way cheaper than what I’d been paying at the farmers market.

starberries

(look at those curly little pea vines!)

starberries

Will and I are both from the country, and although we love living in Toronto, I think we do miss it a lot. It’s crazy that only 45 minutes away, you can get such a full-immersed country experience.

We basically ate raw strawberries and peas all weekend long, and then yesterday I used some of the berries to do a batch of freezer jam. Since this was my first attempt at jam, I’m going to wait a bit before I post the recipe, because I’m worried it hasn’t gelled as much as it should (oh my, I just had a flashback to reading Little Women where newly-wed Meg can’t get her jams to jell). Even if it ends up too runny, I think I’m enjoy it on toast and scones anyway, since there’s such a sense of accomplishment to making something with fruit you’ve picked yourself!

jam jam jam
All in all, a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. I was so glad we fit it in considering what a short season strawberries have!

starberries   starberries

(the cheese we paired with the strawberries was this balsamic infused one, and it was the perfect pairing for strawberries and red wine – so rich and wine-y itself!)

goal lists

Maintaining That General Sense of Accomplishment & July Goals

My original goal for this blog was to do at least one recipe post a week, but then Toronto finally got proper summer weather, and all I wanted to consume were potato chips and ice cream and wine.

goals post goals post

(oh and I also ate some donuts from the newly opened Jelly Modern. The smores one was especially good!)

So instead, let’s talk about goals!

I read this Door Sixteen post on goals, and it’s one of the few things she wrote that I didn’t really relate to (although I do relate to her lack of career ambition) (but seriously, Anna is the best. Read her “It’s OK” post for further proof of this). I am SUCH a goals person. And actually, so is Will, which is why we go so well together. I once told him that he’s basically “goals wrapped in gingham” and he said it was his favourite thing anyone had said about him!

to do list

(this is the nightly to-do list of a person who likes to plan)

The year before I turned 26, I did a 26 things before 26 list, and ended up accomplishing almost all the things on my list. And it felt great. And it also feels great to be able to go back and look at the list and realize how much I got done just because I wrote it down and convinced myself to do it. This year I did a 13 things in 2013 list, but I’m totally lagging on it right now. I did manage to pay off my overdraft (goal #11!), but I’m kind of ignoring the other ones.

So I’d like to start posting my monthly goals here. I think it keeps me a lot more accountable. Plus, even this this is mainly a space to talk about food, I want to talk about other parts of life too, and goals and life planning is one side of that! (not to mention, an embarrassing number of my goals this month are food-related. Oops!)

  1. Check Value Village for old frames for a chalkboard project
  2. Make apple pancakes
  3. Call about making changes to my internet service
  4. Start practicing the family dance for my sister’s wedding in August
  5. Go strawberry picking
  6. Go to a comedy show (Will has a groupon for this!)
  7. Go on a haunted tour (ditto)
  8. Sew too-big Joe Fresh t-shirt
  9. Stick to new allowance (since I’m trying to pay my debt off faster)
  10. Make sangria (I have so much homemade wine to use for this!)

goals post goals post

(shirt for #8 is picture here, on the far right. And an additional goal for some other month: watch all the Babysitters Club episodes that recently showed up on Netflix!)

July is turning into a busy month already, so I’ve got to get started on these this weekend! Hopefully the first thing will be strawberry picking, since I don’t want to miss their short season AGAIN this year.