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Oh I'm just a girl on a mission…
First off, my title yesterday, did not work as well as the snow one did. I am still as broke as I was then. Sadly. Maybe even more so as I bought groceries today…. No magic titles for me I guess.
So again, not an extremely fascinating day… It was kind of a lazy day for me… figured I’d get one in before I head back to school next week. Watched the rest of season 2 of Breaking Bad (I cannot to wait to curl up and watch season 3! Lol) planned out some stuff for new years eve with my friends… re-wrote another two chapters for my fanfiction story so I can actually get around to finishing it (yay!)… but generally was just lazy and slept till noon… my bad.
I have been thinking a lot about the new year however, how I can make it one of the best and hopefully figure out what’s best for me and where I should be putting my focus, while still being able to enjoy life fully. Recently my friend showed me this list I would like to share with y’all, and I must say, it’s had a large impact on me lately. I’ve read over it twice already!
It’s called “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself” and I absolutely love it. Most of them are so true, and they are things I do all of the time. I know it’s not my own words, but I feel as though this is a list everyone should see at one point or another, so I wanted to share it with you. The link to the original version can be found here if you would like to share your comments with it’s original writer, but I’m going to share the list with you all now as well…
I’m guilty of a lot of the things on this list, and I plan on printing off a copy of it and hanging it beside my new Taylor Swift calendar as a reminder each day to get out there and stop being so hard on myself. It’s truly inspirational, and I hope you all agree with me. Sadly, I learnt number one the hard way, and I struggled for almost two years trying to get out of a toxic friendship… only to put myself back into another one – which I figured out much quicker was toxic… though not soon enough, and this time it affected another friend as well. Fortunately we both survived it, and are both happier then ever now.
So on that note, I hope you enjoy the words of wisdom I was lucky enough to find.
Before I start, I just want to let y’all know, I say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, and I respect that you might not celebrate Christmas, and in that case I hope you had a great holiday, whatever it was…. but I celebrated Christmas, so I’m not going to call it ‘the holiday’ throughout my post. It was Christmas for me. And Christmas it shall stay. I really have no intention of offending anyone – there’s just been so much hoopla on facebook lately though about Happy Holidays VS Merry Christmas, I wanted to make that clear that I don’t mean to offend anyone by saying it…. and on that note:
Merry (Belated) Christmas everyone!
So I know it’s been a while since my last post, but Christmas this year got a lot more hectic than I thought it would, and well, these things happen. I honestly thought I’d have time to update more often, and planned out titles and everything for the days leading up to Christmas… but alas, I was overruled. (I even stopped watching Christmas movies in full – I fell asleep watching the claymation ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’ on Christmas Eve!) Hopefully I can make it up to you with this delicious cinnamon bun recipe I tried out today. Y’all are gonna love it. I’ll get to that in a little bit though.
First off! How was everyone’s Christmas/Holiday season?? Like I said ours was hectic and busy, I worked, I had three dinners to go to (bless my family with all the food we enjoy – there are too many of us to all show up at once, but being right around the corner from my grandma, my mom and I are always there for all three) I think I’m still pretty stuffed from the dinners… deep fried turkey, baked ham, cabbage rolls, perogies, stuffing, mashed potatoes, kielbasa, vegetables, meatballs, lasagna…. and let’s not even start on the desserts! I did get a nice recipe however I’ll need to try. 😉 Then there was the pancake breakfast I had with my ‘sisters’ on the Friday…. So much food, such a short week.
Also, guess what!? On December 27, 2011, we got our first snowfall of the season! And it was gone by this morning. But it was beautiful yesterday – even while I helped bring in the shopping carts from the parking lot at work… I wanted to have a snowball fight with someone, but nobody was around…. Maybe I’ll get to put out a new Ice Wreath soon though! It’s definitely getting cold enough 🙂 I’m excited to get more…. though not too much. Humans are so picky aren’t we? In winter, it’s too cold, we can’t wait for summer, then summer comes, and it’s too hot, then we want snow, but when it comes, we don’t want to shovel it so we hate it…. Mother Nature really is just in a lose-lose-lose situation….
Anywho, New Year’s is coming up (I promise I won’t leave my blog unattended that long again) so I’m starting to think about some good new year goals and resolutions, any ideas? I’m going to go over my December goal list again this week and see what I accomplished, but not tonight, I’m still way too tired (does anyone else get this tired after Christmas? Like, no matter how much I sleep, I can’t seem to catch up, this is worst than exams – granted I didn’t work during exams either) I’ll get my New Years list up shortly though… first I want to plan out some schedules to maybe help me stick to it better.
Now however, as promised, here is the recipe I found for:
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls:
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. For the filling, in a small bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to form a crumbly mixture
3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture over the bottom of a 9×9 pan (I only did a bit at first, then after I put the filling on the dough, I sprinkled what I had left into the pan)
4. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
5. Cut in softened butter (sometimes your hands are the best tools – sometimes 15 seconds in the microwave works too).
6. Stir in milk to form a soft dough. (Your hands can come in handy here… I found it easier to kneed the dough as I added the milk…)
7. Roll out dough on a lightly floured into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
8. Spread the remaining filling on the rolled out dough.
9. Roll up the rectangle, with a sharp knife slice into 18 small rolls (12 if you want them a little bigger) (I found that my dough was a little soft to cut nicely, (or my knife was a little dull maybe) but it was easier if I wrapped the rolled up dough in seran wrap and stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes – just until I did the dishes and tidied up the rest of the mess)
11. For glaze, combine powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth. (I do this by eye, but typically it’s two parts icing sugar/powdered sugar per every one part milk… but you can add more or less of each as needed)
Once rolls are finished, drizzle on glaze and serve warm.
And there ya have it! It was quite easy, and no waiting for yeast to rise or anything! The only thing I might try differently next time is the icing… this icing is good, but it’s more of a sugar cookie base icing, I feel like cinnamon rolls need a different type of icing… maybe one with cream cheese in it next time. 🙂 Until then though, I’m quite proud how these turned out… I guess my dog kicking me out of my bed at 8:30 in the morning so that she could take it over payed off afterall!
Hey all! Guess what! Today’s my FIFTEENTH post! I feel excited! Thank you everyone who’s been following me and reading my posts every day! I hope I can continue to entertain you, and hopefully entertain you better as I get even more familiar with blogging! Y’all are great!
So, the last couple of days, I’ve been trying to organize a few things in my life; trying to figure out a more concrete workout schedule for when school starts back up, figuring out what readings I should start doing for the new semester, New Years plans, Christmas plans with my sisters, organizing my closet (ok, so I dumped all the clothes on the bed today and then something came up, so now they’re all piled beside the closet/in the closet, I’ll need to finish that in the AM). Another thing I’ve been looking at closely is new ways to save up some money (I have every intention to start the Tim Horton’s save jar… I have a clear one now, so seeing the money inside inspires me to keep going).
I’ve also been paying close attention to ways to save a bit on Christmas gifts this year. (Hence all the baking experiments) No Hippopotamus for me this year the way my bank account looks! I don’t have a lot of gifts I actually need to buy, but I also haven’t had a busy work schedule with school, so between the cell phone and groceries, my Christmas budget is pretty minimal.
On my quest, one website I found is called DailyFeats. It combines two of my (currently) favourite things; goal setting, and savings. DailyFeats is a website that rewards you with a giftcard when you acomplish so many goals. The goals range everywhere from ‘iworkout’ to ‘playwithyourpet’, to ‘includesomeone’…. the list goes on. There are so many categories, work, fitness, meals, friends, children (I saw one for ‘tuckinyourkid’) the lists go on. For each feat you accomplish, you get a point, and when you accumulate so many points, you redeem them for gift cards (the values of points and values of gift cards vary). They have a wide variety of gift cards as well, starbucks, bowling, restaurant savings, concert savings, and even charities you can donate to. I really enjoy the site, I’ve been on it for two days and I’ve already accumulated $16 worth of points.
I also saved a bit of money on my phone/internet bill by calling the company, they looked up the amount of internet the house uses on a daily basis, and turns out they were able to cut our internet down from 4GB to 2GB because we were paying for a ton of GB that we don’t use – I think we saved over $20 a month doing that – so I strongly suggest you check in with your internet provider and see how many GB you use and need…. saves a bit of money for sure. We also saved some money on a few tv channels we didn’t even know we recieved. So take a closer look at your bill and give the company a call.
Those are probably two of the best tips I can give right now, if I find more I will DEFINITELY share them with you. Please feel free to do the same – pun intended.
As for my nightly Christmas Movie, tonight I watched ‘Stealing Christmas’ about a bank robber who, while posing as a Santa in a small town while planning to break into the bank, has a sudden change of heart and, well… turns into a really good story. It’s a great story about family, community, and romance, with the right mix of humour to help out. So go check it out!
HAPPY HUMP DAY
Soooo it’s Wednesday, middle of the week, another day closer to Christmas (10 more days!)
To mark today, let’s do a Challenge update:
1) Cook Healthier: Ok, I’ll admit, not doing the greatest on this one, I have been EATING healthier, more fruits and veggies, less chips and pop…. but cooking, well…. not really. I did make macaroni and cheese the other day though from scratch, and a chicken and vegetable pie… that was pretty healthy I guess.
2) Tone up fro Christmas: I got another great workout in today, so that’s good, slow and steady.
3) Save Time Hortons Money: Haha…ha… yeaaaaaa…. About that….
4) Stories: I haven’t written any new stories, but I have been editing/re-aquainting myself with my fanfiction trilogy so I can finish it this month… so, kind of getting in more writing. But to be fair, I took a mini break after the week and a half of straight essays I had. Lol
5) Try at least three new recipes: Well I did the hot chocolate truffles… and the whie hot chocolate truffles? But I guess we’ll count that as one. Then the shortbread cookies I made are two…. and the other shortbread cookies? Well, We’re going to say two, I’m sure I’ll fit something else in before New Years!
6) Read Some Good Books: Yea, no. I’m sorry. I’ve been too busy consuming my free time with baking and Christmas movies.
7) Try Some New Hair Styles: I’ve done this a bit… crunched my hair the other day because it was raining, and when ever I walk home in the rain my hair curls a bit, but by the time I got to school it had stopped raining and it kinda looked pathetic (my hair)… planning on a different type of braid tomorrow though 🙂
8) Photography: I’ve done this! What I can at least… still waiting for some snow…. Check it out!
9) Daily Christmas Movies: I’m on top of this one and y’all know it! Today’s Daily Christmas Movie: Holiday Engagement! It’s about a girl who hires a ‘fake fiancee’ after hers breaks up with her to advance his career. The break up comes a week before Thanksgiving, where her entire family is anxiously waiting to meet the long awaited fiancee. Her mother is very adamant about all three of her daughters being in relationships, and naturally, all hilarity breaks out when David is hired to pretend to be her fiancee Jason. It’s an incredible movie! One of my new favourites! Go check it out y’all!
On a side note, I also got to watch Glee’s Christmas special/midseason finale. That was really enjoyable as well.
Man, one of the best feelings in the world is a nice morning workout, an even better feeling is a nice hot shower after said workout though. I am officially back on track with my TurboJam schedule (although doing a 45 minute intense workout right before going to work and lifting crates of milk for hours probably wasn’t one of my best ideas – 4 hours into my shift it really caught up to me). Such a good feeling though today… once I worked through the pain left from yesterday. LOL) It felt good to come home and settle back on the couch and watch Frosty the Snowman (the original cartoon one!) which was yesterday’s daily Christmas movie…. guess what today’s was? FROSTY RETURNS! (and I might watch another one depending on what time the hockey game ends tonight (GO LEAFS GO) and if I’m not too tired.)
Then there was the lovely, homemade, white hot chocolate I
knew hoped would be waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday that I was looking forward to sipping on while I watched my Christmas movie….
I tried the Hot Chocolate Truffle Balls recipe with white chocolate this time… It didn’t really work out, but I think that’s because I used the wrong cream, it tastes good though. The recipe calls for heavy cream…. and being a 20 year old with no baking experience prior to last month, I had no clue what classified as ‘heavy’ cream. So…
So for my first attempt at the hot chocolate truffles, found here, that I was linked to from the post “50 Things to do with Kids in December” (I suggest checking out the post, there are a ton of great ideas – I got the idea for the Ice Wreath there as well)
Anywho, the recipe calls for Heavy Cream, so I went to my nearby grocery store/workplace (I have to support my own paycheck afterall) and looked for the highest percentage of cream, the most I found was 18% *blushes* so I bought it. Now, I knew we carried a 35% whipping cream as well, but we were sold out, and I was anxious to try out the recipe. So I bought a carton of 18% “heavy cream” and my chocolate and skipped home to bake (actually I drove, but for the stories sake lets go with skipping)
Once home, I followed the recipe to a ‘T’ (the best I could with my 18% cream); melted the chocolate into the cream, mixed all till it was smooth, let it set on the counter for 10 minutes, left it in the fridge for 2 hours covered (the recipe calls for 2-3…it was 10:30 at night, probably another thing I should have left longer) But at 10:30 that night I scooped up the chocolate and set it on a baking sheet and placed it in the fridge for another half hour.
When the chocolate was (a little) hardened, I scooped them up (although the recipe calls for you to be able to form them into balls, this was not my case) so I scooped them up and placed them in the saran wrap and stuck ’em in the freezer. They actually turned out alright, a little soft, not real hard like they were supposed to be, but easy enough to unwrap and put in the cup of milk, as a ball of chocolate. Then you just heat it up, and stir.
All in all, they turned out tasty!
Then the real story begins,
I decided, ‘let’s try white hot chocolate!’ But when I went to buy more cream, they had the 35% whipping cream that, I thought, would be better since 35% meant it was ‘heavier’ than 18%…right? Right??
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
It started out alright, looked like everything was going great…
It looked like it was supposed to when it was ready to set in the fridge…. but, it never really set (and I left it for almost 4 hours this time too!)
But it was settled enough I could put it on a tray and leave it uncovered in the fridge (figured that would help it settle more too…)
I left them on trays OVERNIGHT in the fridge and in the morning they were still really hard to scoop up onto the saran wrap…. but I thought I’ d try, and maybe when I put the make-shift balls in the freezer they’d harden enough to hold shape.
They haven’t hardened at all, they’re just kinda, blobs….in saran wrap….
HOWEVER! They are still tasty, you just need to scrap them off the saran with a spoon and drop it into the cup…
So the white hot chocolate is scrape, add milk, heat, and stir…. And it does taste delicious still, so that’s always a good thing.
Rest assured though, I plan on going out and FINDING the proper cream so that I can make these the PROPER way and maybe give them away as Christmas gifts, You get about 10 balls from each batch, so just mix some white chocolate and some regular chocolate balls in a mug, wrap it, and give it as a gift. I think that would be a nice idea. Just don’t use 35% whipping cream…
So what did I learn?
“Heavy Cream” does not mean 18% table cream or 35% whipping cream, however, if forced to choose between the two, 18% table cream will be thicker than 35% whipping cream, so buy that.
On the bright side, I now have a supply of whipping cream in my fridge and made myself some fresh, homemade whip cream topping for hot chocolate 😀
Christmas Movies make me happy. That’s that. Tonight’s daily Christmas movie; Snowglobe. This movie is one of my all-time favourites. It’s about a girl, Angela, who has a crazy family that keeps trying to set her up with guys and invade her personal space, and she wishes she could get away from it all – just for one Christmas. She then gets a snowglobe from an anonymous sender, which transport her inside the snowglobe at night while she sleeps. Then one day the boy she meets in the snowglobe follows her out, and well, let’s just go with – chaos follows. It’s an absolutely hilarious movie that everyone would love. I strongly recommend it.
On a side note, instead of baking I did a bit of a craft yesterday. I made an ice wreath – better than the last one. It’s quite easy to do actually, all you need is a round bundt cake pan, water, and something to decorate it with… I choose cranberries and blueberries, and leafs are a nice touch as well (or lettuce) t0 add a bit of colour.