Just a Girl Trying to Find Her Place in This World

Oh I'm just a girl on a mission…

Category Archives: Personal

“Sally the (Tall Girl) had (New Shoes)…!”

So I have some super exciting news for any of giant friends out there!

All my life, I’ve been the tallest of my friends, the person stuck in the back row on picture day, the girl afraid to wear heels because she already towers over most of the guys she knows. I’ve suffered finding pants that fit length wise, shoes that don’t have more than a 2 inch heel…. shoe’s that fit my US size 12 feet….

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being tall, really I do. I’ll like it even more once I tone up a bit more, but sometimes it just gets really frustrating trying to find clothes and shoes that FIT.

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there though suffering from these things, so today, I am going to share with y’all a very exciting discovery I made today – Long Tall Sally.

Long Tall Sally is an online store for tall girls! AND they carry shoes up to size 13!!!!! I am beyond thrilled right now! I was so happy, I bought these lovely knee high boots…

I’m so excited now. Anywho, I suggest y’all go check out the site! It’s totally worth it!

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“Pour Some Sugar on [Your Painter’s Pallet]…”

So, as promised, let’s rewind about two weeks now…

Once upon a time, in a cozy little downtown Hamilton art gallery called “Sketch” (let’s laugh at the irony fellow Hamiltonians), a select few McMaster University 3rd and 4th year students presented the art show, “Asterix.” Now, I just happen to be a lucky enough person to have two friends in this particular art show, one of which is one of my best friends. (The same best friend who made me the beautiful Taylor Swift picture you can find here) Now, being the person that I am, who’s currently hooked on an extreme baking spree, I decided that my baking adventure for the week would be cookies for the art show. Now, I’m not a huge fan of making cookies, they seem like simple, time consuming work and  just aren’t as gratifying to me when they’re done as a good cupcake is.

But that’s just me.

So to make my cupcake adventure more appealing to myself, I decided I’m gonna try some grand design that will look pretty and make me feel better…

SPAINTERS PALLET COOKIES

Of course, I made this decision, NOT thinking that I’d then be taking said “masterpieces” to an art show, full of art students, who take art critique as a class…. That didn’t set in until AFTER I finished the cookies.

Now, the sugar cookie recipe itself is quite simple really;

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (IF you want, you can seperate the eggs and save the egg whites for the icing, but you don’t have to)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350

2.  Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl

3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth.

4. In a seperate bowl, combing flour and baking powder and blend together. Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well. Form dough into a ball and place in fridge to chill slightly.

5. Sprinkle your working surface with flour so the dough doesn’t stick, as well as the rolling pin. When dough has a slight chill to it, roll it out to about 1/8 inch. Use a circle cookie cutter (or just a glass) to cut circles out of dough.

6. Next, get two small circles (you could use a thimble, or a lid off a small container (I personally used the lid off the new bottle of nail polish remover I bought – after washing it thouroughly of course!) any small circle will work, I also used two at once as I found it easier, but that isn’t necessary) Use the thimble to cut out a 2/3 circle from the side of your cookie, DON’T life the thimble to remove the dough, drag it sideways, this helps shape the cookie.

7. Use the thimble again to cut out a circle beside the newly shaped indent.

8. Bake in oven (on a lined cookie sheet) for about 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely as sugar cookies burn easily. Remove from oven and allow them to cook completely.

Icing/Decorations:

2 eggs
2 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Food colouring of choice
Pretzel sticks

1. Seprate the egg whites from the yolk (you don’t need the yolk)

2. Mix in 1 cup of icing sugar per egg, if the icing is not at a consistency you want, feel free to add a bit more icing sugar to thicken it)

3. Bland the vanilla into the mixture.

4. With your white icing, cover each cookie (It will seem thin, don’t worry) WORK FAST before the icing starts to harden, and place a pretzel stick across the ‘finger hole’ of each cookie to represent the ‘paint brush’.

5. Divide your remaining icing (you made need to make a second batch depending on how many cookies you have) into 3-4 parts. Add food colouring to each part until you get the colour you want (in this case, dark colours work well)

6. Put your coloured icing into piping bags (or ziploc baggies – put about 3 or 4 layers of scotch tape on one corner and snip a small hole off the corner) and drop one drop of each colour on each of your cookies. Get creative, remember, it’s a painters palet, they don’t all look exactly the same, and painters aren’t too specific about where they put the paint.

I left the cookies out overnight (because I always bake at like 8 or 9 at night) on cookie trays and plates to make sure the icing hardened completely before stacking them. Then just store them in an airtight container until ready to use them.

Turns out, all my panic over the artists criticizing my work (because let’s face it, I know nothing about art) actually was just simple worry… people loved them! And I really did enjoy making them.

Just for any interested, here’s a few pictures from the art show as well:

Some of the best people you will ever meet...

Shona makes pretty art...

More pretty art, with Shona

Emily makes pretty art too...

Shona's art...

More art

 

“[The Internet] is back ALRIGHT!”

Ok

I know I have this tendency to disapear for chuncks of time, and I truly do appologize for that, it hasn’t been super long this time, so we’re good still right? This time it legitimately was not my fault. My internet was not working for some odd reason (lots of phone calls and service calls later) and its back up, then this past week I’ve been insanely busy with finishing up on school assignments (some of which are late because I refused to stay extra long at school when my internet was out). So, now that I finally have a bit of downtime today (I get to watch my TV shows tonight too that I’m behind on) I figured I better get these posts up and running again!

On a very positive and uplifting note however, I now have almost two full weeks of daily posts planned out for y’all! Yay! I have some fitness things to discuss, some monthly goals to go over, some to create…And the baking!

OH the baking! My oh my! I’ve made THREE things this week already, cookies and strawberry cheesecake bites, I plan on baking again Friday, I have a tea party to go to on Tuesday I’ll need to bake for, and then the following weekend is my work Christmas party (haha I know… don’t ask) and I plan on baking TWO things for that… so… yea. Prepare yourselves!

So I’m going to TRY and go in order of how things happened, how my posts would have turned out had I been able to get on the internet from home, or enough time to focus on my blog instead of the copius amounts of homework… But alas, it catches up. I will do my best. And I promise it will be epic though. Especially the baking.

Gotta love the baking.

I promise I will post again tonight, my first recipe for the week, but unfortunately, I do not have the recipe on me at the moment as I’m in class and supposed to be paying attention to my professor.

I love y’all for hanging around while I went on a temporary hiatus, and I promise it won’t happen again (at least not until finals come around in April :P)

Hearts all around! ❤

 

“This Little Piggy Went to the Market, This Little Piggy Stayed Home…”


And this little piggy became lunch!

So surprise!

Did I ever have a blast today! Not only did it (finally) snow here.

Not only did I get a GREAT TurboJam workout in.

Not only did someone tell me that they can see I’ve lost weight!

Not only did the Toronto Maple Leafs break their recent losing streak and win 4-1 tonight!

But I made these BEAUTIFUL cupcakes, that even my mom said were really good…. and she’s my worst critic. Tells it as it is.

The recipe was relatively easy too… All from scratch… and made with fresh strawberries… none of that geletin stuff.

So just for all you amazing people… Strawberry Piggy Cupcakes (which you can of course, just make strawberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting, and not decorate it… you know… if you’re boring and have no inner child)

Strawberry Cupcake Recipe:

3 cups Self-Rising Flour (Or make your own by adding baking soda and baking powder to all purpose flour, like this)
2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups Pureed Strawberries Strained (That’s about 3 cups chopped strawberries before you puree them)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
4 Large Eggs, Beaten
Red F00d Colouring

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F and line cupcake tray with cupcake papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and eggs (beat first).

3. Puree strawberries in blender, strain them, then add to the mix. Add 2-4 drops of red food colouring (if you’d like) to darken the red tone.

4. Divide evenly into cupcake papers and bake for 15-24 minutes (I’ll admit… I suck at timing things) or until a toothpick can be inserted into the tallest cupcake and come out clean.

5. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them at all.

Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter, Softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups Powdered Sugar (Confectioners sugar, icing sugar)
2 tablespoons of milk
Food Colouring

Directions:

1. In a large bowl,  cream shortening and butter with an electric mixer. Add vanilla.

2. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed. The icing will appear dry at this point.

3. Add milk and continue beating on medium speed. If more milk is needed, continue to add it… I put in about 5 tablespoons I think.

4. Add food colouring and mix until well blended.

5. Spread icing on cupcakes

Again, if you have managed to suffocate your inner child, feel free to stop here… OR you can be creative and go on.

Piggy Faces

1. Cut a large marshmallow in half and place on frosted cupcake

2. Add two mini chocolate chips as eyes.

3. Cut a pink wafer cookie (you know, the ones with icing layered in them) into a triangle… you’ll get about 8 or 10 triangles out of each cookie, depending on how big you make them. (This is supposed to be the hardest part, but I found if you use a sharp knife, and leave the cookies at room temperature, it works really well) stick them in the icing as ears.

4. Put a tablespoon of icing in a piping bag (or in a sandwich baggie – put scotch tape on the corner to make it stronger, then snip off the end) and make two nostril dots on the marshmallow.

5. Enjoy!

 

“Oh This is the Night, What a Beautiful Night…”

So I think I’m lonnnnnng overdue with a post… and since it’s been SO long, I’ve decided to include a special treat for you… A RECIPE!

However! This is not just any baking recipe, no…. this is a DINNER recipe! I’m broadening my horizon… Today I made Lasagna Cupcakes (which my friend named them, and, lets face it, it sounds so much cooler than individual lasagna cups…) I actually saw the idea on Pinterest.com – a website I have become absolutely addicted to… I just wish I could get my own invite for it… sigh. Anywho… Before I give you this fantastic recipe, a quick goal update.

First off: New Years Resolutions: I’ve lost 2 inches around my waist, and have been eating all healthy (I gave up pizza and only had one piece of lasagna today) other than on Saturday at work, when I ate a macaroni and cheese that contained 123% of your daily intake of saturated fat. That’s right. 123%. We sell them at work, and they’re oh so good… but oh so bad… Anywho, I hadn’t eaten anything all day, it was like 5:30pm….  Let’s just never speak of that again.

Monthly Goals: Saturday was another challange…. after going almost two weeks without Tim Horton’s (Saturday would have been day 11) I got stuck working in the freezer for 3 hours, and was then asked if I was going to Tim Horton’s…so I went. HOWEVER, my friend gave me a $5.00 gift card for Tim Horton’s for going, and told me to use it and keep whatever was left after I bought his tea… So TECHNICALLY I didn’t spend any money on Tim Hortons… I made a $1.95 for going…. So can I still count Saturday as a day I did not spend money at Tim Horton’s…. keep my streak going? Please?

Ok, so, before I bore you anymore, LASAGNA CUPCAKES! Now, if you make your own lasagna already, you can simply use your own recipe for the fillings… if you don’t never fear! I never have either!

So I got my recipe off a lasagna noodle box… but I had a bit of trouble converting the measurements… So I estimated a bit… and it turned out great! I got 3 opinions from school (two people I only met today) and 3 family opinions, and 2 work opinions… and everyone liked it, so yay! The outer shells were a little dry as they stuck out of the cupcake trays and therefore had no sauce on them to moisten them… but they were still edible. I am going to try something different next time to try and avoid the outer shell from drying up.

Lasagna Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 package lasagna noodles
680 ml of spaghetti sauce
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup of water (I actually think I skipped this… my spaghetti sauce was thin enough)
450 grams (1 pound) of Ricotta Cheese
1 egg beaten
2 cups shredded cheese (I bought a bag of 4 cheese Italiano mixed – Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and Provolone  – but you can also use a mix of just Mozzarella and shredded Parmesan)
12 Cupcake papers

Directions:

(Keep an eye on the lasagna cupcake second from the left on the top row… I referred to it as the ‘perfect one’ as everything seemed to work out perfectly for it right from the very beginning.)

1. Preheat oven to 200C (375F) and line a cupcake tray with squares of parchment paper (I actually prefered using cupcake papers, I did some with parchment paper squares and some with cupcake papers… and I found the cupcake papers helped hold the shape better – the ‘perfect one’ was made in a cupcake paper)

2. Boil your lasagna noodles for 2 minutes less than the box instructs you to (I used oven ready lasagna noodles and boiled them slightly to soften them enough to work with. This may have been my first mistake. Next time I’m going to use the regular lasagna noodles that need to be boiled first… maybe boiling oven ready ones overcooked them?)

3. When the noodles are soft enough, allow them to cool slightly (so you don’t burn yourself) and form them into a circle in the cupcake  holders (the noodle will overlap a bit, about 2 inches) Cut the remaining noodles into squares (You’ll get approximately 4-5 squares per noodle, depending on the size your cupcakes – I also found it was easier if I removed the bumpy edge of the lasagna noodle from these squares)

4. In a saucepan, brown your ground beef. When it’s browned, drain the grease and add the pasta sauce to the pan and bring it to a simmer.

5. While your beef is browning, you can mix up your cheeses. Beat your egg, then add the ricotta cheese and the shredded cheese blend. Beat it all together with an electric mixer. (You can also add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg if you desire)

6. Put a small drop of your sauce mixture on the bottom of each cupcake tin. Place a square of lasagna noodle on the bottom of the cupcake tin.

7. Add a teaspoon of your sauce mixture into the lasagna cup. Then add a teaspoon of your cheese mixture. Don’t be stingy. Top these two layers with a square of lasagna noodle. Repeat once more.

8. On top of your last lasagna noodle square, place another teaspoon of your sauce mixture, then sprinkle with some shredded cheese (or use half a teaspoon of your cheese mixture if any remains)

9. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven or until the edges are a dark golden/light brown colour and the cheese on top is darkened. Remove from the oven, sprinkle each cupcake with a pinch of shredded cheese, then place them back in the oven only long enough for the cheese to melt on top.

10. Remove from oven and serve hot. (You can add a teaspoon of lasagna sauce to the finished lasagna cupcake in order soften the outer shell a bit if you’d like)

Just as a side note, the next time I try this recipe, I’m going to cover the cupcake tray with aluminum foil to try and lock the moisture in and stop the outer shell from drying out. I may also try soaking the outer noodle in pasta sauce to help it keep the moisture…

“You’re my Cuppy-Cake, Gum Drop, Snoogums, Boogums, You’re… the Apple of my Eye…”

Oh my Gosh guys!

I have officially made it a full week without buying any Tim Horton’s! I am beyond impressed with myself…. I didn’t even really need to think twice today when I walked past the Tim Horton’s on campus! One week! I feel like I deserve a badge or something to commemorate the moment or something… I haven’t even been drinking that much homemade tea to make up for it…

I’ve also decided to add something else to my bucket list. “Take a Cake Decorating Class”. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I actually enjoy baking… and then when I was watching Two Broke Girls today (love the show) they took a decorating class for their cupcake business. Now, I was joking around with my 12 year old cousin last week when she showed me the 40 cupcakes she decorated in 15 minutes, these are them…

Anywho, I was joking around with her that I should drop out of school, open a bakery, and hire her on to do the decorating…. but then I remembered she’s 12 and I should probably encourage her to stay in school so her mom and dad don’t get mad at me.

But the point is,  it did get me thinking. I could never do something that cool, unless maybe if I took a class. Maybe I’ll see if she wants to go with me. I’m looking into classes though around the city and hopefully I’ll find a good decorating class (for a good student affordable price) that I can go to. It’d be nice to have someone go with me though, so I’ll have to look into that too. Scheduling multiple people is so frustrating though.

Anywho, I hope you enjoy the mouth watering picture of cupcakes, and I’d like to thank everyone who liked yesterdays blog. I had a record breaking number of views yesterday, and my friend was ecstatic that so many people ‘liked’ the post her drawing was featured in. I don’t see why, it’s an amazing sketch.

Ta-ta for now!

“Our Song is the Slammin` Screen Door…“

So I know I didn`t get this post up last night like I had hoped, but I was having a few difficulties getting on. So, here it is.

First off, I want to wish one of my best friends a very happy 21st birthday! I met her in my first year at university, and I simply adore her. We talk all the time, I know she`s always there to listen, and I to her, and I can`t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn`t eavesdropped on her convos with other people in our one class… 😛

On that note, she also happens to be an incredible artist, and for my birthday last year, did this drawing of Taylor Swift for me.

I love it, and I love her, and I hope she had an incredible birthday full of bananas. 😀

My other update for yesterday was that I have successfully made it through a full 8 hour shift at work without going to Tim Hortons on any of my three breaks, or getting one of the guys to go to Tim Horton`s for me on any of theirs. This may not sound like much… but I work directly across the street from Tim Horton`s and we all go there on a daily work basis… and I`m known to make coffee runs at least twice a shift. I`m known for it. That`s how bad I got at spending money at Tim Horton`s. But, I made it through yesterday! That`s one more day!

“My Game is Really Slick, I’m Unstoppable, Unstoppable…”

So I have great news!

Everyone loved the leftover chocolate tarts from yesterday. They were a great hit… and I was talked into having half. Half a tart I think is acceptable… I skipped my pre workout snack because of it though… so that was a little tiring tonight, but the chicken I had for dinner was still kicking around come 9pm. Yes, that’s right, I did my TurboJam at 9:00 at night… I did it. That’s what counts. I make sure I get it in, even if it’s a little late. I also need to wait for my mom to go to bed so I can use the kitchen space. Haha.

Anywho, back to the chocolate tarts. I have I think four left (I saved them at home) so I’ll take those to work tomorrow and continue seeing everyone’s reactions. They’re officially really good though. Just saying.

So I’m not to sure what else I can talk about today, I found a new website that may help me stick to my fitness goal, but I’m still feeling my way around the site to see if I like it, so we shall see if it makes an appearance in a future blog.

On a side note however, while killing time at school today with my friend on ‘Pinterest’, I discovered about five new recipes I want to try… so we shall see how those turn out over the next couple weeks. I’m telling you, y’all will love them. Sneak peak, one of them involves marshmallows and chocolate! But I’m going to save that one for February so I can enjoy it too without breaking my ‘no junk food’ rule.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these motivation posters/phrases I found (mostly) on pinterest…

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“And We’re the (Four) Best Friends That Anyone Could Have…”

Woohoo what a day!

I got an awesome workout in with TurboJam this morning, got all  my laundry done, did some baking, and then enjoyed a fabulous dinner with my best friends in the world! The four of us have been friends now for almost 15 years… and they are literally like sisters to me. It’s been too long since we’ve all gotten together, what with life, school, and work getting in the way… but when we’re together it’s awesome. I love them all dearly and miss them already… especially since I know two of them leave this weekend for school and I won’t see them until the end of February. 😦 BUT we had a blast tonight, and we did our secret santa gift swap, shared some stories, gave advice, made resolutions (Actually my one friend made our resolutions for us… her word is law though. Always has been.), serenaded some waiters… Barrel of laughs like always.

My sisters and I this past summer

Anywho, along with that awesome day, I did a little bit of baking. I figured, tomorrow will be my first time hanging out with people at school… so why not get some baking in for them while I can. 🙂

Today I made left over chocolate tarts…. they taste a lot better than they sound. Truth is I don’t actually know the name, I saw the recipe at Halloween time on Rachel Ray – featuring Buddy the Cake Boss. It’s not so much a recipe as a way to rid the house of all the left over chocolate and candy.

Basically, whatever chocolate/candy you have left over, you put into a pie crust (obviously try a little bit to pay some attention to flavours) and then you bake it and serve it. I did a mini version…. Tart size.

First I baked my tart shells slightly, just enough to get them a real light golden colour… then I took them out and while they were still warm, I put a reese peanut butter cup in the bottom of each (the warmth started softening the chocolate right away so I could push it down a bit) after that I added a piece of a mini Aero bar into each tart…

Then I added a piece of Hershey Milk Chocolate with Almonds… and a piece of a crunch bar… and to top it off and add some colour, a sprinkle of reeses pieces candy. Then I stuck it back in the oven enough to melt the chocolate.

I cooked it for a little bit, maybe 10 minutes, honestly I just watched for the shells to darken more, I didn’t want to overcook it (though a few of the chocolate pieces that stuck up burnt a little bit… my bad)

I think they look good… unfortunately I’m watching what I eat (I researched all my options tonight for dinner before we went and I got a lovely 8oz steak (no sauce) and a side salad (dressing on the side) for only 400 calories… love it!) so I have yet to actually taste these… however, I will let you know tomorrow how the verdict turns out. 🙂

“If You’re Happy and You Know it Shout Hooray!”

Hooray!

Guess what!?

I said ‘no!’ to potato chips today! I get it’s not a huge deal, but to me it is. Potato Chips… Mrs. Vickies salt and vinegar mainly, are my downfall. I have major issues with chips. Buuuuut I. Said. No. 😀 Proud moment for me ok.

Instead today I made myself a lovely haddock fillet with brown rice for dinner. And an incredible strawberry smoothie for a late breakfast (since I overslept a bit more than I should have). It was a really good supper though, and like I said I’d do in my resolutions, I turned the tv off while I was eating my dinner, and focused only on it. Little by little I’m going to get myself back on track to a healthy eating habit. Baby steps.

I also didn’t buy any Tim Horton’s today… put $1.60 in my Jar instead and made a tea. 🙂

The highlight of my day however, TurboJam. Today was the first time I’ve gotten all of the moves completely right the first time, and didn’t have to slow down a lot because I was tired. Not saying I wasn’t tired or sweating like a pig, but I pushed myself through it and didn’t give up. I just hope I can keep it up. I know I can.

Other than that today wasn’t too interesting. I went back to classes today at McMaster. I only made 1 of 4 of them…. but it was the most important one. *blushes* In all honesty, my mom was sick most of the night and in the morning, and I can only get my grandma to stay with her for so long, so I chose my afternoon class instead of the morning, because I get participation marks for the afternoon class. It was fun going back though! I got to see some of my cool people, not everyone, and not for long, but I did get to see some cool people.

Also, here’s a treat for you, my friend just got this necklace for her birthday, I think it’s incredible. It’s not this exact necklace, but very similar. Enjoy.