Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Closing the gate on 2008

We're having a fairly mellow New Years Eve this year, there will be no Party-Slava a la 2006/7. In fact, we've been pretty mellow since Christmas and I have enjoyed doing not much apart from drinking tea, spending the day in trackpants, baking....ok really mostly eating, reading, music listening to and hanging out with my favourite (who is on holiday, wahoo!).

Our Christmas was lovely, we ate pancakes while wearing our new sheepskin slippers (thank you Grandma!) and ventured out to see Frost Nixon in the evening. Who would've thought I'd cry over Richard Nixon.

Some present favourites...

- the stocking Richard sewed and embroidered for me
- yarn gift certificates
- the slippers
- the softest, softest cardy from Jigsaw (thank you Dad and Bev!)
- a lovely print
- fantastic Daiso calender
- Neil Young songbook
- lots of baking, chocolate and Icelandic vodka!
- owl undies! (Thanks Mum!)

The above* + movies + cheap champagne + Richard = how I will ring in the New Year, and I am very excited.

I hope you all have a fantastic New Years, thank you all for your friendship and encouragement throughout the year. I look forward to more kindred spirit-ness and baking tips in the new year.


*note how the fudge never leaves the shot....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chili for when it's chilly

The snow is still falling here in Vancouver, it started up again on Saturday evening and is still going strong. I am still excited to see it, and check out the window every five minutes to make sure that it hasn't stopped!
We've spent pretty much the whole day inside, aside from a quick walk to the local market for dinner and baking necessities. Richard whipped up a big batch of our favourite chili and I added some heart shaped biscuits for melting butter and dipping. Yum!

This recipe is so easy, delicious and nutritious so I thought I should share it with you all! Great for warming yourself up over winter! It's taken from Alex Jamieson's 'The Great American Detox Diet'. If you soak your own beans, you might want to add some salt.
2 c corn

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

15 oz can red kidney beans (1 1/2 c cooked beans)

24 oz can diced tomatoes


1. Saute onion in oil over medium heat for 2 min.

2. Add corn, tomatoes, beans, garlic, chili powder, cumin & cayenne. Stir well and cook for 2 min.
3. Simmer on low for 20min.

Easy, huh? So good too!

We curled up on the couch with our supper, half watching 'Raising Arizona' and half watching the beautiful winter scene outside our window - I love how the snow lights up the sky! It was lovely and cozy with the Christmas tree lights and solstice candles glowing while we filled our bellies.

Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year?!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baby it's cold outside.

Vancouver has had (more than) a dusting of snow twice in the past week, and with temperatures staying below zero it is sticking with much more to come! This year feels like my first 'real' Christmas in awhile, with the past two spent away from home with lovely friends, but never in my own home. This year I got to decorate, bake, take time to hand make presents and all the while listening to many a Christmas carol.

Apparently this is one of the white-est Christmas's Vancouver has seen in awhile, and it truly is magical. I think I'm on par with a certain 3yr old friend for Christmas excited-ness. I couldn't believe that while I was putting up the tree, I was watching huge, fat snowflakes fall outside! The cold has made the snow lovely and powdery, and so fun to walk through! I wish they didn't have to plow it, although I'm sure not many drivers share that wish... (for more frosty snaps, head over here)
We decided to attempt to make all our Christmas decorations (save for the lights) from things we already had, or could find. Neither of us wanted to get a real tree (ok, secretly I did because they are so pretty over here!!) or really pay for a fake tree, so Richard brought home some pine branches he found and we fashioned a Scandinavian inspired tree out of that. I love love love it! Combined with making origami wreaths out of left over wrapping paper and a vintage Golden Books dictionary (Domesticali has a great tutorial, which I found via Tiny Happy), drying orange slices and baking sugar cookies I have felt very Christmas-y and am super pleased with the results.

To make the orange decorations, I simply sliced a navel orange into thin slices, lay them on a parchment paper lined tray and popped them in the oven at 200 degrees F. Basically, you just want to leave them in there until they are dry and have lost most of their sticky-ness. I left mine in for a few hours, and then let them dry out over night. Once dry, using a needle I strung some embroidery floss through the top of the slice and tied on a cinnamon stick using the two strands of floss. I hope that last part makes sense!

Hoping that you're keeping warm (or cool, as the case may be) where you are! I have peppermint bark and chocolate dipped pretzels to check on!


Monday, December 15, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Vancouver got its first snow on the weekend, and I was just as excited as the wee girls I was with. Looking out the window and seeing a completely new city, blanketed in white is truly like magic!
I have finished, wrapped and sent my NZ/Australia presents (of course we were at the post office as it was closing...), and have vowed to have them ready to be sent by boat in October for next year. The house has been put back in some kind of order, we're putting our decorations up and dough for sugar cookies is chilling as we speak! Oh, I really really do love this time of year. Richard is also learning to love all the many Christmas carols I have been playing. Bless him.

And look, here he is. Just a wee thing with his big sister and possibly one of the strangest/scariest/most hilarious Santa photos I have ever seen.

I hope you are all enjoying some Christmas festivities where you are!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting closer.

The very latest I can send my Christmas presents home is this Wednesday. Ideally, I'll get them out today as the postage will be cheaper, know me. There are a few things still waiting for final details, etc, etc. So at the moment I'm feeling equal amounts of being overwhelmed and being excited.

This is most definitely helping with the excitement. Oh, how I love this man with his talk singing and dreamy voice.

Back to it!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Too much.

Just a quick post to show you what I am currently FREAKING out about. Those are acorn madeleines, made by the lovely ladies at Bread and Honey. I cannot handle the cuteness of them, and will probably go to Williams-Sonoma tomorrow in order to by the cakelet pan and make them myself. A cakelet pan! Could this get any cuter.

That's all.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Late night cookies

I should most definitely be in bed, but instead I am watching/listening to old America's Top Model episodes on Youtube, organising our den and my newly acquired fabric and yarn from up north. I'm being sustained by tea and the best vegan chocolate chip cookies ever.

Chocolate chip cookies are always a treat, and I've been playing around with the perfect combo of added extras - I think I've found it!


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 c vegan organic sugar

1/2 c brown sugar

1 c melted vegan butter (I use earth butter)

1 mashed banana

1 c oatmeal

1 c coconut

1 c chocolate chips

1/4-1/2 c chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 tsp baking powder


1. Cream together butter, banana, sugar and vanilla.

2. Add flour, baking powder, oatmeal and coconut. Combine.

3. Add chocolate chips and nuts, stir and fold these into the mixture.

4. Bake at 350 F for 12-15min.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Welcome to the world, baby-cakes!

Introducing the newest addition to my already pretty sprawling family. The cutie above is wee Cash Nathan, first born of my little sister (the short blond one in the pink bikini next to me, up there on the left). I'm an aunt! I love this first photo because he looks so serious and a bit like a front row forward (rugby reference, sorry non-antipodeans), haha exactly what you want in a babe!

He was born a couple of nights ago in Brisbane, Australia where my mum and sister live, and I have been ridiculously excited ever since. I am trying to come to terms with not being there, and find the money tree so that I can make a trip over there sometime very soon. Meanwhile, I'll most likely just spoil him rotten from afar by buying every cute thing that I lay eyes on.

Well done Shan, we are both so proud of you! He is beautiful, you have done an amazing job and I know you will continue to be the best mama. We can't wait to meet you, Cash!

Becka & Richard

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Francois Lake

We're home! There was snow aplenty, along with baking, knitting, snowball fights, homemade jam, fresh bread and of course the love company of Richard's folks. Yes, I did go on vacation to The Ingalls house. Haha,wow I sound wholesome.
Before I go any further, I must tell you my most exciting holiday story. I saw moose! TWO in fact. They were huge and slowly munching away on the side of the road. Moose!! I'm not sure how exciting this is for the Canadians I've been telling, but I was so hoping to see some, especially after noticing tracks in the snow at my in-laws place. Sadly we were driving at the time of the sighting, so no photos, but really I'm just grateful to have seen them. You know how there are some animals (like bears, I've still not seen a bear since being here) that just seem a little pretend because you've only ever seen them on TV or in books?
Anyway, of course we took millions of photos, so I'll let them do the rest of the talking.

We were hearing suspicious noises. I was half hoping/half terrified that it was wolves. Turns out someone has cows nearby....
I hope you're all having a fantastic week, I'm off to sleep and await the news that I am an aunt (!!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Wintery North

Just a quick note to let you all know that we are about to pop up north to Francois Lake and visit with Richard's parents for the week. I am really, really hoping for snow and cute woodland creatures so I have my camera at the ready.

Hope you all have a brilliant week, I better go board!


Joyeux anniversaire!

As it has just gone midnight, I thought now would be the perfect time to wish my dear friend Julie a very happy birthday! As you can see above (how cute is she?!), we had a wee tea party for her on Sunday night complete with lots of pink sugar, chocolate, doilies and general girlie-ness.

I even made vegan belgian biscuits, chocolate dipped shortbread and cupcakes, which were a lot of fun and rather delicious if I do say so myself. It was lovely hanging out, drinking tea, eating treats and laughing with the girls. Even if we spent most of it with our feet tucked underneath us on our chairs, terrified of the mouse that is in our house! Our cat is, you know the rest.

After tea, we headed off to a fancy schmancy piano bar/cocktail lounge complete with burgundy velvet chairs, a fireplace and complimentary almonds. We sipped champagne cocktails a la An Affair To Remember and knitting while laughing at our lack of ritzi-ness (I thought the cocktail stirrers were fancy glass straws at first..!).

Have a wonderful, wonderful day my friend! I am so grateful that I met you that one day at the community center amongst screaming, wet, naked children running under fountains. We are true kindred spirits, and I have met my equal when it comes to tea loving, fireside sitting, Anne of Green Gables watching, too many ideas having and Etsy/Ravelry obsessing.

You are loved!

Becka (and Richard)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Vintage Couples

There is a Vintage Couple's theme over at Mike's today, so here are a few of my picks!

James Taylor and Carly Simon

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre

Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullman

Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra (goodness, this woman's taste in men...)

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd

Join in if you like!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'Tache stash

Some of you may already know that November is now officially 'Movember' for many men, which is a great way to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men's health in general. Men all over grow a mo' for the month, raising not only awareness but also funds that go toward various cancer and urology research programs. Not bad, huh?

Amazing Mustache Pint Glass from Bread and Badger
Sadly, being a woman I can't participate in the traditional way. So I thought I would do a bit of a mo' hall o' fame here to bring awareness and do my bit for men's health. Enjoy!
A classic, Charlie Chaplin.

The Philospher, Friedrich Neitzche (I have to look that spelling up, every time).

Two for the price of one! Fawlty Towers, hilarity ensues.

My favourite Beatle, George Harrison (strangely hot with a mo...)
The moustache of my childhood, Merve the Swerve (Australian cricketer)
Two of my favouite ladies, incredible musicians and performers CocoRosie

Oh, the hearth throb. Also I figured the more appopriate moustache'd fascist to post...
Who is you favourite moustache wearer?