I feel terrible. Last night was one of the worst sleeps I have ever had. I started taking melatonin about a month ago and thought it was helping to at least improve the quality of sleep I was getting, but last night was just back to square 1. Pretty sure you are never supposed to see a clock say 4:00 AM. Why do I feel the most awake out of the whole day when I’m lying in bed?

In other news my new laptop is successfully dual-boot-ed and running great. I love it and loved sitting outside on the patio with it yesterday. On our new patio chairs that I found at the grocery store for $7.24/each. Sweet deal. The weather has been lovely for the past couple weeks.

Rosemarie came back to Vancouver and stayed with us for a night. We did errands and shopping all day, then painted our nails, went out for sushi, and played games. A fun day. Unfortunately now she has gone back to uni and is busy every day for the rest of her life, it seems.

Sushi was SO GOOD. We went back to The Eatery. It was really good going with Rosemarie because it meant I got to share and try 5 rolls, instead of only 2 or 3, since I can’t really share with Scott. We ordered a big list of rolls and they brought them all out on a huge platter that the three of us demolished. Yum yum yum. Again, no pictures because the giant paper maché octopus on the ceiling blocked out all the light.

We tried:

  • Italian Stallion: prosciutto, papaya, eel and cream cheese, hot pesto sauce (5/5 delicious! papaya was awesome)
  • X-Rated Roll: tuna, salmon, crab and eel, spicy misonnaise (5/5 yummmm)
  • The Beautiful: scallop, avocado and mayo topped w/ smoked salmon (3.9/5)
  • Jenny Salmon: salmon, green onion, avocado (3.6/5 good, but zzzz)
  • Miss Piggy Roll: bacon, scallops, asparagus, roe, unagi sauce (3.4/5 pretty weird, too salty)

Scott had:

  • Buddha Roll: tempura yams, red pepper, asparagus and lettuce, with dragon sauce (3.8/5 great sauce, needs avocado, tempura not crunchy)
  • John Lennon: asparagus tempura, carrot, avocado, cucumber, wrapped in a soybean sheet (3.1/5 tempura not crunchy, roll fell apart)
  • Yummy Yam Roll: loads of tempura yams (4/5 poorly tempura’d, but still nice)

Here is Rosemarie warming her hands on a fireplace on the outside of a McDonalds. What???

Oooh other exciting news: we booked a weekend trip to Seattle in early September. We are taking the train and only staying for one night. We get to stay at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Seattle thanks to Priceline’s Name Your Own Price thingy. Four stars!! I can’t wait!

I tried a new recipe the other day, another thing I found on Pinterest. Homemade Peppermint Patties. It was a pretty easy recipe, with pretty normal ingredients that I mostly had already. I didn’t have (or know what is) shortening so I just used cold butter, and that worked perfectly fine. They taste great, but I have zero skills in chocolate coatings so they look a little rough. Need practice. Here is my slightly adapted recipe.

Yield: 24 patties

  • 2.5 cups icing sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp water
  • 0.5 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • splash of milk

Mix the icing sugar, corn syrup, water, peppermint extract and cold butter in a bowl. I smushed the butter with a wooden spoon until it was in pretty small pieces, although it’s not important to get it totally totally mixed in. It should be a crumbly mixture.

Then dump it out on the counter and knead it until it makes a nice smooth white blob. Sprinkle icing sugar on the counter if it is sticking.

Roll/press it out on wax paper to about 1/4″ thick and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I highly recommend just using a simple circle shape. I didn’t have that so I used my star cutter, but it made it hard to coat in chocolate later, so I wouldn’t do that again. Put your cutouts on wax paper and then put it back in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Melt your chocolate, butter and a splash of milk if necessary in a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Dip your minty pieces in the chocolate, lay on wax paper and put back in freezer for another 20 minutes to firm up. Store in fridge.

As you can see, my chocolate skills are kind of lacking. My second batch of chocolate seized up. Ugh. Also the mint parts warm up when you put them in the chocolate and some of them broke. Circles would be a lot easier.

I thought I was going to have some exciting news for you, but I found out on Friday that I didn’t get the job. I had applied for a paid blogger position for BCIT where you blogged about what it’s like to be a student there every week. I got pretty excited because I was sure I was going to get it, I wrote a great cover letter and I have 5 years of blogging experience! But alas, I got rejected. WHYYYYY? The part that sucks the most is that I’m pretty much still going to do the job by posting in MY blog, but now I don’t get paid. Wahhhhh. That was a bummer.

On Friday night we went out to a concert at the Commodore. We saw a Mexican chick who was ok, Oh Land who was pretty awesome, and Sia who was hilarious and great and sooooo weird. It was a fun fun show. I liked that in between each song she would chit chat with the audience. 99% of what she said though was not blog appropriate. The set was very crafty DIY. She had a big back board with dot paintings and pom poms spelling out her name, and there were crocheted (that word does not look how it sounds!) blankets all over the place, and every microphone stand had a crocheted cozy for it. She also wore this crazy ruffled costume with neon lady parts embroidered on it.

Then after the show we dropped by Ryan’s goodbye party which was unfortunately in an extremely hot, sticky-floored, smelly dance club. We stayed there too long and missed the last Skytrain home. We had to take a bus that turned out to be a horrible horrible experience. I am never staying out past 12:45 am again!!!!

I slept in a lot on Saturday. Scott did not though, he woke up with a horrible toothache and swelling so he had to go to a dental clinic. They gave him some drugs, and I dragged him along on the plans we had already made for the day. Zsofi and Dylan picked us up and we went out to Alouette Lake, since it was TWENTY NINE DEGREES. WHATTTTT????

It was super nice there, very picturesque, but the water was soooooo cold! Didn’t do too much swimming. It was still nice though, and relaxing. We stayed there until Scott’s tooth was hurting too much and then we came home and I made quesadillas for dinner.

Zsofi and Scott.

Dylan, the only one of us who went all the way in!

See that annoying tree?

All of us!

Now Scott is out golfing with his work, and I am bumming around the apartment. I am officially on holiday now and that feels really nice. I expect the next couple weeks to be pretty busy though.

Saturday morning headed out to Michael’s early because they were having an extra 25% off sale in the morning. We got big canvases for super cheap. I thought they were $9.99 for each pack of two, so we got two packs, but then they rang up as only $4.99, and then 25% off of that, so I made the cashier wait while I grabbed another pack! Immediately after we left the store I realized I should have gotten the bigger size, since they were so cheap. I really wish there was such thing as rewind of life.

Anyway, 6 canvases for $11 is pretty good. Now we can do tons of masterpieces. Scott has another video game-y one in mind, and I have a geometric series idea and also a melted crayon thing I saw on Pinterest that looks super cool. It needs a hair dryer though and I don’t have one. Rosemarie???

After Michael’s we went by the old house to pick up our mail and then to the farmers market. We spent too much money a coffee, a korean short rib taco, homemade ginger ale, strawberries, tiny peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. I wanted to get some plants too, but we need to do a bit of research about what can grow indoors, in the dark.

We came home, and started the squares project. Then I decided we REALLY needed a level to do it so we hoofed it over to Metrotown to pick one up. We also got some Coldstone ice cream with a 50% off coupon. I had a cup with cookie dough, choc chips, caramel and fudge, and Scott had a mint one with brownie, choc chips and fudge. They were both very good, but too large, and neither of us really liked the chocolate chips. If we go back we will definitely share. On the way home we stopped by a girl’s apartment to pick up a desk chair I saw on Craigslist. It’s green and funky. She lived right around the corner so it was super convenient!

Scott made a pizza for dinner with sweet potato and lentils and some other things. He’s gotten quite good at making the crust, but the toppings were too carbolicious.

I just realized I never actually took any pictures of the other paintings I did, at the old apartment. I will, I promise! I only have one more week left of work (WOOHOOOOOOO) and then I will have lots of free time.

Sunday was mostly spent bumming around. We watched some Masterchef, the movie Paul, played Agricola, talked with Rosemarie, and now Scott is out at The Keg with some of his friends. I don’t know what he will get to eat there!

I also did some online shopping. We ordered this antenna thing to pick up free HD channels (bet you didn’t know about that!). Apparently there are 6 free HD channels floating around in Vancouver and all you need is an antenna to pick them up. You can get CBC, Global, CTV and three others that I forget right now. That’s all we need! We also ordered some new jeans for Scott and more of my favourite t-shirts for me. Yay!

So there is this thing floating around the blog world right now called the Pinterest Challenge. A few girls, including them on Young House Love (a blog I read) decided to set a challenge where they actually had to make something that they had pinned on Pinterest. Stop-pinning-start-doing type of idea.

Scott and I just finished a project that I originally saw on Pinterest so it fits the brief! We are thrilled with the way it came out.

This was my inspiration:

Unfortunately there weren’t any instructions, so we struggled a bit at first with getting ours to work but still managed to finish in one day, so that’s pretty good. Here is my tutorial:

Things you need:

  • 12″x12″ scrapbook paper (I needed 66 papers)
  • masking tape
  • some kind of level
  • scissors
  • something to make the gaps uniform (ruler, cardboard strip, etc.)

First thing I did was rip open the pack of paper and lay out the squares in the order I wanted (random) on the ground. I wanted it to be somewhat balanced and definitely not two of the same colour touching each other.

The part I was most concerned about was getting the squares level, because i thought you would be able to tell if it was crooked in real life. We didn’t have a level so I started off just measuring it off the floor and ceiling. Unfortunately it seems nothing in our apartment if square, flat or level, so that was annoying.

A laser level would most definitely be the best tool, but those were too expensive so we just bought a regular long level. Made of plastic… total garbage… will return this week.

I originally planned to have the gaps in between the papers be 1″, but the level itself was 1.25″ and it was a lot easier to just go with that, so we could hold the level against the ceiling/bottom of the papers, make it level, and then trace a line on the bottom edge of the level. Scott held the level and then I squeezed in and drew the line.

Then Scott attached four loops of masking tape on the back.

And then I lined the top edge up with the pencil line, and the right sized gap on the sides. At first I used a ruler that was also 1.25″ wide as a guide, but after the first row I just eyeballed it. And it looks even to me! I erased the pencil as I went along.

I had to cut around the light switch and plugs, which was pretty annoying. Please don’t look too close at them, haha.

All done. I love it! I can’t help but keep seeing that optical illusion with the black blobs in between the corners of the paper. Definitely livens up our otherwise beige apartment!

Add me on Pinterest if you want: http://pinterest.com/jornakat/