"Sense"-ational Sundays

I think this week’s installment of Sense-ational Sundays is going to be harder than most simply because I feel like I’ve barely existed this week. It’s my long week of nights and I tend to function in a bit of a fog – as though the world around me exists separate to me existing in it. I’m not sure that would make sense to anyone other than those who have the joys of night shift, but it’s the best I could come up with 😉

So – here goes the old college try!

I see:
Eat Pray Love. I finished Breaking Dawn this week and it was a fantastic ending. I’m definitely going to miss Edward and Bella and suspect I’ll be going into withdrawal soon enough. However, out with the old, in with the new and on to something less fluff. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and I already identify with the author on so many levels. I’m liking it, but it’s definitely not the same as what I have been reading. (note the shameless plug for Penguin in the link!)

I hear:
A yowing kitty. Matisse is in heat again and we are both at our wits end with her. Thankfully the worst is over, and I definitely picked a good week to have a full week of work. Steve was less fortunate however.
I also hear College Football fight songs and marching bands! It was the start of the college football season this weekend. I am very sad to report my Wolverines lost, and Steve will probably happily report his Irish did not… they also didn’t play this weekend.
Finally, I hear weather reports about the impending Hurricane Gustav expected to make landfall as early as tomorrow. I assure you I will be glued to CNN and probably that link and everything I can to sponge it all in. I hope the hurricanes slow down soon, as we are planning our Mayan vacation that is 6 weeks out. Incidentally that Gustav link is really damn cool!!!

I taste:
Not enough apparently. These last few days I have had an absolutely ravenous appetite. I’m hoping it goes away soon or eases off. Thankfully I’m only barely going over my calories to keep the hunger monster at bay, and I’m still losing daily. The losing trend is good, and so worth it. This week I will make my high protein veggie chilli and try out the last Epicure seasoning I haven’t tried yet before my tasting party on Caturday.

I touch:
My scrapbook supplies! The joys of night shift have left me with 2 evenings this week to literally scrap the night away until the daylight come.. Day-O! I have mostly finished my Evolution album from CKU – all that is missing is 1 enlarged photo that I need to scan and then resize and print, then adhere to a chipboard page, and insert a transparent clock overlay. I should probably stamp some words on some of the transparent pages, but in the absence of the stamps and ink I want to use to do it, it will have to wait. The missing words don’t take away from the album anyway, and I *will* do it, I just need to order the stamps online (that I’m trying not to do), and then buy some ink I hate using. I also completed the My Little Yellow Bicycle acrylic mini album from CKU as well. It’s been a highly productive week, and it feels good.

I smell:
The end of summer. Up until earlier this week I wasn’t ready to let go of a summer that never did get overly warm, but now I’m ready for all the greatness that fall has to offer. Fall is by far my favourite season and I generally love everything fall – the sights, the smells, the moderate weather. I’ve spent part of my week looking at tropical real estate, and I think fall is the only season I would truly miss. And yes, I am actually quite serious about making a move to the tropics happen. I am so ready for it – the weather, the simpler lifestyle – now to just figure out a way to make it work…

That’s a wrap!

ETA: Yay! All but 1 link are broken. I can’t be bothered to try to fix it now. Perhaps I will sweet talk the man into fixing it for me…

ETA even later!: I think I fixed the blimey links myself! Go me!

"Sense"-ational Sundays

I see…
A PC that hasn’t been working properly since just before leaving for Utah. I just managed to get DH to have a look at it tonight after it remaining off for over a week in frustration. I know what I am not seeing – my sweet little sorceress in Diablo II killing little buggers that like to yell “Rakanishu!” and “Bishibosh!”before they attack me, and then I need to kill them, despite their overwhelming cuteness. I do also see Breaking Dawn, a very happy find at Costco this week. I’m already a good 150 pages into it and it’s awesome!

I hear…
A DH yelling angrily in frustration at said PC for not fixing as easily as it should.

I taste…
More deliciousness from Epicure. I’m making a point to try out everything I bought at Elaine’s tasting party before my own. On the menu last night was using the dijon-tarragon on pork grilled on the BBQ. OMG! So amazing! I’m yet to find an Epicure product I haven’t liked. I can’t wait for the new catalog to arrive in the mail so I can have a better look at all the new stuff for fall/winter.

I touch…
My Visa! It got a mini-workout today. As if my spree in Utah wasn’t enough, I came home wanting and needing more things. I wasn’t able to buy all the things on my wishlist, and some new things found their way there in a hurry after being there. So, today I managed to get the new Ranger Snow Cap pigment ink. I can’t wait to start playing with it! I have ordered a kit from Scraptivity that has a bunch of Little Yellow Bicycle Vita Bella product in it that I happened to fall in love with in Provo. I ordered it on Thursday night, it shipped Friday and will arrive tomorrow. That is amazing! I’m also loving the Scenic Route Scrap Strips and picked up a couple in Utah, and a couple more today, completely inspired by a mini-layout we did with Lisa Bearnson.

I smell…
New Scentports! Our cross border run netted us a functional Scentport for the front hallway, and I promptly placed Vanilla Coconut in both of the lower floor. I am more than content to have my house smelling like the tropics when I leave for them in roughly 6 weeks.

Omnivore 100

So, courtesy of google reader, and another Luxe girl, I was inspired to take on this blog challenge. However, as I started to read through the list I wondered why as I’m not at all food adventurous – in fact I remember crying as I awaited my order of “scary food” when I was in a somewhat forced adventure situation. I’m half expecting that at the end of this my list of no forkin way will I ever try x will be longer than what I have tried and will be willing to try combined. Feel free to play along!

So, here we go…

Here are the rules:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea – no forkin idea wtf this is…
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile – I’ve had alligator, and it was actually yummy.
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp – bottom feeder junk fish, no thanks…
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses – wtf is this??!?
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras – the liver filters toxins, somehow I’m not eating something that is full of toxins..no forkin way..hmm..I have had it, but I refuse to eat it, so I think refusal trumps here
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda – wtf is this?!
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl – hope to in New England in November
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail – does oxtail soup count?
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk – the cheese is too strong and pungent for me to be willing to try the source
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu – no fugu way will I try something called fugu..especially when i dont have a clue what it is either!
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi – is this like bishybosh?
53. Abalone – probably won’t try, but they are nice to wear as jewelery on the beach
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle – Zehnders makes the best!
57. Dirty gin martini – gin makes me vomit
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs – pas de cuisses de grenouille pour moi merci
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant – I wonder if the tasting evening at Le Blanc qualifies, because this was some crazy hardcore classy stuff, so elegant, and so awesome to have such neat dishes with wine pairings and a little story to go with it from the chef/server and sommelier. I really can’t wait to go here again, not sure if I’m brave enough to attempt others.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – really need to travel here soon and try it!
100. Snake

Ha! 38 things that I have tried. 29 are absolute no’s. The rest are undecided pending finding out what the hell they are or just haven’t tried but wouldn’t be opposed – like borscht.

"Sense"-ational Sundays…

I’ve been a follower of Emily Adams’ blog since I met her at CKU Detroit last year. On most Sundays she creates a “Sense-ational Sundays” post where she does a recap of her current world by way of her 5 senses. I’m going to attempt to follow the same and see how I do. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and her post just cropped up in my Google Reader and refreshed my memory.

I see..
Olympics! It’s unfortunate I’m working days all through the Olympics, because it would make for some great evening TV watching for a change.

I hear…
Cindy, my trainer, telling me that I’m going to “graduate” again this week to a tougher program. And after 3 weeks off from working out hard, I’m genuinely scared. The first session back didn’t really go as planned, so I’m hoping for a better week. Oy!

I taste…
Jenny Craig entrees. On Wednesday night I returned to the centre, and to Carm, and committed further to being healthier. I have a few short months until our Mexico vacation, and I am dead serious about being hot on the beach in a bikini. This has been a common thing for me for the last year, I just lacked the chutzpah to continue. But now, with that deadline looming ever closer, as well as some 20 odd Cindy sessions left, it’s time to get cracking and get the results I’ve been paying for and sabotaging with less than perfect eating habits.

I touch…
Eclipse. I just finished the third book in the Twilight series today. I can’t get over how amazing thse books are. I have one other book to read and then I am sure I’ll be ordering the fourth book, Breaking Dawn from Amazon. I’m a little angry with how the storyline started to turn a bit in this book – and I certainly won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet.

I smell…
The scentports and wallflowers all through my house all finally working properly. The main floor has “Stress Relief – Eucalyptus Spearmint” and the upstairs has a very pretty “Sweet Pea”. I have Pineapple Mango and Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin scentport refills to get us through the next few months. I really love having a nice smelling house. I don’t recall all the wallflowers I have left as well, but surely there is enough to get us through until November’s black Friday shopfest.

So, there is my first installment of “Sense”-ational Sundays. Hopefully next week, when I’m not at work I can be a little more multi-media like hers are.

Picasa Album for Provo

I’m testing out a Picasa album for my Provo photos. I’m normally a flickr girl, but I have such a small limit there. I may pay the upgrade to $25/yr for unlimited stuff, but I was eyeing up the mobile me from Mac, that replaces the .mac service that may actually be better for me, but it’s 99/yr. I also checked out smugmug but it was more expensive than flickr and so I didn’t really look closer at it at all.

So, here is the link for my Picasa Provo album.

CKU Provo 2008

CKU Provo 2008 – Day 5

Day 5 – Classes day.

We woke up that morning and made the decision to skip out on first class and go mail stuff home while we still could. I shipped 40 pounds and it cost just shy of $80 – but worth every penny as flying home with that would have cost me more in overweight baggage fees. Stephanie shipped slightly less than I did – I think about 30 pounds and it cost her about $60? I texted home to tell DH about it, and he jokingly replied that the box might make it home before I do… this will eventually grow to be less funny in less than 24 hours… I digress… After shipping we took the first bit of leisure time for just us. We hit up a great little coffee shop I discovered the day before and did a coffee run to. Coffee in Utah seems to generally be awful – I am sure it is to appease the Mormons, but it doesn’t appease the Starbucks lover in me. So, yummy mochas in hand on a gorgeous, hot sunny morning we took off to the top of the parking garage, sipped our coffees, took photos of the great scenery and just relaxed. For the first time all week we weren’t on the go and could just breathe.

So, back in to pick up our class kit from the first class. It was an acrylic mini-album from Little Yellow Bicycle and it was Hallowe’en themed. Their Hallowe’en papers are absolutely great! I really fell in love with their delicious Dolce Vita line on Thursday, but their Hallowe’en is stand out great as well. It was a well organized kit with lots of great instructions so I should be able to complete it at a crop no problem. Nice and easy. They also gave us a bonus tote bag and one extra sheet each of their Hallowe’en papers.

Second class was from Piggy Tales. I don’t necessarly *love* the paper used for this chipboard mini album, but I do love the chipboard mini album itself. It has a lot of fun sliding doors to hide things like journalling, or more photos, or patterned paper, or rub-ons – you get the idea. I did manage to get this one pretty much finished through class time and a bit over lunch.

Third class was from Scenic Route and was taught by Layle Koncar. She was great, really great. Fun woman, loves to talk, and the layout turned out really nice. I mostly got that one done too, just need to stick some of the flowers down that were covered in glossy accents and not yet dry. Either way – cute layout, cute teacher and Scenic Route is for the most part pretty fun paper too. Stephanie won some cute little acrylic stamps in this workshop too.

Fourth class was yet another amazing Tim Holtz project where we altered a mirror in very typical Tim Holtz style. It was fun to play with a lot of his products, and it looks awesome. He had a lot of his projects on display at the front of the room and I just love how creative he is. He adds things I’d never think of to add to a page and it just works, and looks awesome. He’s also a terrible enabler because every time I walk out of his workshops I have to have whatever it was we were working with because I devise ideas for what else I can do with the stuff once I get home for other layouts. He was also insanely generous with his loot. We got to work with distress inks, crackle paint, glossy accents, grunge board, paint dabbers, fragments and his amazing scissors. Every scrapbooker needs those scissors, seriously. He also got the CKU bookstore to set up a makeshift shop outside the room to sell his products only that we had to have as the shop would otherwise be closed when we got out. I wanted some fragments but there were only 4 packages left and they sold too fast for me to get my grubby little mitts on them. I did buy more grungeboard elements. Inks and paint make for great stocking stuffers from Santa…

That night was commencement crop. For me it was just ok. The slideshow was very long, and the photos less inspiring than past years when Candace Stringham was taking them. She is one talented lady, and her replacement just didn’t have the same eye that she does. I did, however, become a connoisseur of salt water taffy as it was everywhere on the tables – typical for the area. The crop carried on – we went out to hit the mall because I needed to buy some stuff from Bath and Body Works, and Stephanie needed to get back to Archivers to buy stamps that didn’t get bought on a previous trip. On a neat aside, we happened to see CD Muckosky shopping at Archivers when we were there as well. She didn’t seem to have anything to do with CKU – unless she was at the Scrapbooker of the Year banquet that we wound up missing because of the bus tour. When we got back to the crop, Lance Anderson from Rusty Pickle had set up a makeshift impromptu album workshop for $40. We went back to the room to finalize packing and get some semblance of sleep.

At 1AM, after I was done packing and took a shower so it was one less thing to do the next day I ventured down to the lobby to be sure there was bellmen on at 5AM when we would have to leave, as well as use the free wifi to check on our flights. Well, it was a good thing I did as our first leg of the trip was cancelled. So once again I am on the phone to United trying to arrange to get to our destination on the day we are supposed to get home. Neither of us relished the idea of spending another night in Utah, not to mention I had to work redonkulously early on Monday morning – so extra expense of hotel as well as loss of a day’s pay after that shop fest is a horrible idea all around. The first woman I spoke with was a little better than the second guy I talked to…

So – we left off with the first woman I spoke with at United. She attempted to be pretty helpful, but was limited in what flights she was able to view. From what she could see there was no way we were getting home at all on Sunday, but she asked for a number I could be reached at if she should find anything. In the interim she gave me the number for United central reservations to call as they have access to a greater number of flights to view and can get a little more creative. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with him, and he managed to find a way out for us – leaving now at 6AM, by way of Los Angeles and then on to Toronto. It was another code share with Air Canada, which is what we originally booked on, however the issue was the first plane was United. He was able to confirm us on the United flight no problem, but couldn’t reach anyone at Air Canada to confirm the second leg. I even sat on hold with Air Canada myself with no luck. With our flight now leaving at 6AM, it meant leaving the hotel at 3 to get to the airport for 4 and it was at this point pushing 2:30, with only one bellman on for the night. I asked this United guy if I could leave him a contact # so he could call me with confirmation numbers and he flat out refused to call me back. When I said to him “Clearly you’ve never been stranded before” it was met with silence, and then a persistent refusal to call me back.

We get to Salt Lake Airport and are directed to some special line – Stephanie was taking care of this initial part while I returned the rental car. We wind up getting served by some disgruntled employee who was frustrated with United and hated working for them. He refused to charge us for our second bags, and didn’t weigh them either – which was huge for Stephanie as her bags were definitely pushing the limit, if not over it. He also placed us in emergency exit row seating for the longest leg of the trip, which was also much appreciated.

I don’t really know much of the flights as it was the only sleep I was managing to grab in a 24 hour timespan. I slept the bulk of the way to LA, and from LA to Toronto I was awake for the small amount of time we were over Arizona, otherwise I was asleep. It was good to get home after more travel stress and ordeals. I didn’t relish the idea of being stuck in Salt Lake for another night, especially with having to work on Monday – and now needing to pay for a lot of shopping.

Customs was shockingly painless for both of us. We were both over and both claimed shipping items home that didn’t accompany us. Neither of us had to pay, which was nice.

The rumor mill has it that there will only be 2 CKU’s next year – one east cost, the other west coast. There is also a rumor there will be another similar CK event in December that will be announced by Lisa B soonish.

All the travel stresses were well worth it and I am filled with happy memories and lots of loot. The mecca was everything I hoped it would be and more. I really wish there was more time to go to some of the sales we missed, like Scenic Route, and DCWV and of course Cosmo Cricket and SEI. I can’t wait until my huge box arrives. I shipped most of my purchases and freebies so I would have lots of room for the day 2 projects, that wound up being not so necessary after all.

I know there are details I probably left out, but those days were just so jam packed and there was little sleep to be had – also so worth it! I can’t wait for the next one!

CKU Provo 2008 – Day 4

Day 4 – Album Track day for us, and we chose to do the Ali Edwards album Evolution. I took her album track in Nashville so I knew how much of a treat it is to spend a day with her, but it was a first for Stephanie. Also helping out with the class again today was her friend Paolo. He is a scream and so much fun. I was lobbying him to start up his own album track for next year as Ali will not be teaching at them for next year – possibly longer.

The album is absolutely gorgeous, and the pace was so laid back. There was no stress to complete it in the day as we were given awesome colour instructions for each part, but even then she really stresses making it your own and just going with the guidelines given. There was also minimal true instruction time, so there was no “put up a slide on the overhead, make your layout look like the slide and have it done before the slide comes down or else”. I already had an album track where that was absolutely the case and it was considerably less fun – but it was necessary for that album as it was all very uniform. We had great fun gabbing with someone at our table who was also from Toronto. That is part of the fun of these events is the people you meet – it’s becoming a reunion for me as I have a small few that I have kept in contact with and keep seeing at these events. Despite all of that I managed to get a lot of my album completed in the day – mine will take longer because I am adding to it and changing the format slightly, but that’s one of the joys of 3 ring albums. The album is a Maya Road 8×8 chipboard album, that was covered with KI Memories lace cardstock, and then painted. Ali loves to paint in her album track, so I went well prepared to get dirty and covered in paint. My camera bag is now a true scrapbooker bag as it too has paint on it, and on the strap, and on an inocuous spot on the lens.

Friday night was Paint Can swap night. There were so many amazing looking cans there, mine actually looked good next to all the cans. There was one that really stood out as being an awesome can, the rest were in similar quality. I can’t really say that I saw any that I didn’t want to recieve that night. Ironically, I wound up swapping with Gretchen’s friend Dee. She seems to have liked a lot of the items in her can, and they both raved about my piano hinge album – so it was totally worth all the blood, sweat, and tears to get it done. And now I want to make more of them because they just look that cool. And because I can 🙂

After swapping cans, we grabbed dinner at a great pizza and pasta place that came highly recommended on Trip Advisor. Joining us was a girl I met at last year’s CKU and her friend – Gretchen and Dee. Both are genuinely nice people and it was nice to get some time to catch up. This restaurant also brewed their own rootbeer. YUM! Seriously yum. They sell it by the bottle and I would have been all over trying to figure out a way to get it home, but had visions of it exploding in my luggage and then all over my clothes, or worse all my loot and projects…

We went back to the evening crop and had originally planned on staying for the bonus workshops. We got a coaster album as well as a Rusty Pickle layout. Unfortunately the album needed photos to be completed, and there was little that could be done to it without the photos, and the Rusty Pickle was a pirate themed layout with full instructions provided in the kit on how to complete. I had no interest in the layout, and Stephanie was stuck next to a highly annoying woman, so we opted to leave early, and start out early on our shopping ventures.

First stop – Pebbles In My Pocket, also known as Pebbles Inc. OMG!! I didn’t really expect much from this store as the only product of theirs I was familiar with was their chalks. I had forgotten about their ribbon iron that was featured in magazines a few years back as well. HOWEVER…they make their own paper, embellies, albums, page kits, etc. Their papers are awesome…seriously..there were so many papers there that we both fell in love with – and they were all 40% off that night. I seriously need to find a local store that carries their papers (hint hint) because they are absolutely fantastic. They also gave us a foam stamp alpha with both positives and negativess (and I think upper and lowercase too), as well as a bottle of paint and a card full of ribbon just for stopping in – on top of all the discounts.

Second stop was back to Archivers to pick up a few things with our coupons that were included in our CKU registration kit. Let me tell you a little thing about Ms. Stephanie. I went ready to shop with abandon because I’d been working so much overtime lately to do that. That woman put me to shame, serious shame. She shopped like a veritable madwoman and nothing was safe! 😉 I had a bit more restraint, but not a lot 😉 I was mostly about things I loved or had been wanting for a while. I was also concerned about getting stuff home, as well as I wanted to have some money left so I could perhaps shop a certain new store opening when it does…as well as on my Black Friday weekend…as well as leaving a few things for Santa to buy me because I’ve been a very good girl all year.

Back home to bed with more awesome loot in hand. We spent a little time trying to re-pack and re-organize stuff. I crashed early, she was a workhorse going to the wee hours of the morning. We also decided that night with the huge volume of loot that we were going to have to ship home. Yes, there just was that much stuff – both volume and weight wise.