Myers Farm, Annihilated Dog Toys, Wine And Weight Watchers

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This is the second year in a row a friend and I have went to Myer’s Apple Farm http://www.myersapples.com/ for pick your own apples.  It’s a shame that I didn’t get a picture of the farm but as per my usual, I forgot my camera!  I should really just leave it in my bag at all times.  The above photo is my apple haul.  And yes, I am going to eat all those apples!!!  The apples on the left are a kind I’ve never had before.  They are called Golden Russet (I think) and so sweet!  They don’t look like anything you would want to eat, but they are so good!  The apples on the right are my pick your own.  I got some Empire, Ambrosia, and the bulk of the lot was my second favourite kind, the Mutsu.  Mutsu apples are HUGE and one apple can leave you feeling stuffed.  I kind of want to make an apple pie, cobbler or crisp at least once, although that an be tricky with weight watchers…

Speaking of weight watchers, I have lost two pounds after the first week which surprised me since things fell apart on the weekend and I ate out a few times (nope I did not order the salad, fuck that shit!).  I save all my cheater points for the weekend, but since I bottled two batches of wine on this fine Wednesday (a Muscato and a Torrontes) I did have to at least try a glass each.  There go 6 of my cheater points and I’m starving right now.  I am just going to have to go find one of those apples.

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How does your dog let you know when she’s bored of a toy?  Mine will gut it and walk away from it in disdain.

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Poor little Flea.  He was one of the longer lasting toys.  She still has her favourite blue bear that has lasted for years now.  I think she still loves it.

My back is a bit achy right now.  It’s not easy to haul a 23L glass jug of wine off the floor and onto the kitchen cupboard.  I am always scared it’s going to crash through the kitchen counter!  I wonder if bottling wine counts toward activity points…  I hope you all get a good nights sleep.  I should after two glasses of wine!

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The Making Of A Pinterest Fail

I hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving.  I certainly did, filled with delicious food and time spent with the family.  I made a rustic roasted vegetable galette, roasted red pepper soup, mashed potatoes, no bake cheesecake and mom brought stuffing. I got the galette recipe from this website: http://www.onceuponacuttingboard.com/2011/10/thanksgiving-week-day-6-roasted.html and it was so good!  I made sure all the leftovers went home with the folks because today was day one of hopping back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon.  I had been doing good for so long, buuuuut, as I always do every year, I slacked off this Summer.  I always promise I wont, I will eat right and keep exercising.  Well that didn’t happen and now I am not fitting into my favourite clothes at all.  I’m not the only one, half the office is going to be joining me on this one and I am so glad because we are all horrible for bringing in deadly snacks and desserts.

Last Tuesday I had started up jogging again, it is Monday night now and my calves are still sore!  I guess you can’t slack off for 2 months and then expect to be where you had left off lol.  So today I had an apple for breakfast (I usually have much bigger breakfasts, but so happy because I have enough points for the wine I am currently drinking!), my roasted red pepper soup for lunch and for dinner I made a roasted vegetable, bean and rice dish.  The dinner at 1 1/2 cup servings is about 6.52 weight watchers plus points and I have enough points left for the previously mentioned wine.  I must say, it is a little painful to be measuring out your wine :(, but I was going to cut down my wine intake anyway and weight watchers certainly helps with that.

Ah, but onto the potential Pinterest fail.  So I saw this beautiful moss shower mat online: http://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/moss-bath-mat and I loved this idea.   I figured I would make my own out of an old yoga mat (as someone suggested somewhere on a website showing this mat) since I had an old, disgusting,  funky one that was ready for the trash heap.  Waste not want not right?

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I cut two sections off the yoga mat, drew some random shapes on the one piece and then cut them out.

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I just used a hot glue gun to stick it together, I doubt it will stay glued long when the water and dirt work it’s way in, but I am not about to go out and buy special glue when my DIY projects usually aren’t quite what I’d hoped for lol.

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I filled the holes with potting soil.

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I added moss I had collected the day before in one of Kitchener’s green spaces.  There were a few people walking on the trail and I wonder how nuts I looked carrying a knife through a wooded area sawing off bits of moss.  Are you even allowed to carry a knife around like that?  No idea, but nobody was hurt in the making of this epic monstrosity (so far anyway).  I put the leftover part of the yoga mat under it and will leave it there until I know it’s not going to leak and wreck the floor under it.  My bathroom never gets any light so I want to keep the bath mat by the balcony doors until the moss situates itself and roots into the new soil I added.  Maybe once it fills out it will look a little bit better… maybe…

DSC00960On the plus side, because I had lugged out the dirt, I finally got Figgy my fig tree repotted.

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Does anyone know how long it takes for fig trees to grow figs?  I just picked this one up last Summer at the Superstore.  I must remember to water it more often…

I hope all of you had a happy, safe Thanksgiving.

Amber

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Dog V.S. Guinea Pig

Pet sitting for the neighbours again while they were vacationing.  Chewy the guinea pig is pretty laid back with people and animals, but don’t try to touch her food bowl!  Even to add food to it!  She’s kind of a jerk about it!  Here’s a video of Tanuki and Chewy hanging out on Tanuki’s blanket.

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Wellesley Apple Butter Festival and Outgoing Mail

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It was a beautiful weekend in the KW area.  It was a perfect day to go to the Wellesley Apple Butter Festival.  We stopped at the Nith River Chop House for lunch where I had the mushroom linguini and the best garlic bread I’ve ever had.  There isn’t much left of the bread in the picture I posted as I was so starving I ate most of it before I took a photo.  My friend ordered the schnitzel and holy schnitzel Batman!  I think they used an entire animal for that dish.  A local brewer was sampling out beer as well at the restaurant that day, but I  don’t remember the name of the brewery.

One of my favourite things they did at the festival was a tour and demonstration of the local cider mill.

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The apples are washed in the second photo you see and then ground into pulp.  The third picture is the machine they use to press the apples.  The juice is then pasteurized and bottled.  I am guessing the last pic is the bottling machine.  Then the best part of the tour… the samples!  It was so delicious!  I love cider!  There was plenty of cider available for purchase out at most of the vendors of the festival.  It was available in either hot or cold.  I have my doubts about how much hot cider they sold as it was like a hot Summer day out there.  My companion and I were even a touch sun burnt by the end of the day.

We watched a quilt auction (unfortunately no photos) and they went for pretty amazing prices.  There were also many beautiful quilts available for sale from some of the vendors.  I spotted a beautiful brown quilt that I absolutely loved.  I wish I had gotten a photo to show.  Now I’m wondering if I should try my hand at quilt making…  Bad idea I bet!  Lol maybe I’ll try a place-mat and see what I’m in for first…

There were lots of crafty things and food vendors to go through.  I bought a monster bottle of maple syrup and my friend picked up hot pepper jelly.  We got some hot apple dumplings to go, but I forgot mine in his car and the pleasure is all his.  Maybe I should bake some as I heard they are delectable.

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There was a dairy farm tour, but we didn’t make it to that one, lots of music and dancing presentations and a remote control boat regatta happening as well.  It is starting to get busy there.  I think the festival is really starting to gain a lot of popularity.  At one of the stores I spotted a dream lawn mower for my dad.

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It was a really fun festival and we finished off the day stopping at the locally famous Herrle’s Market in St Agatha just outside of Waterloo.  I picked up some corn on the cob and my favourite variety of apple, the Honey Crisp.  Before we left we enjoyed icy treats in the parking lot, myself a pumpkin gelato and for my friend a strawberry frozen yogurt.  I must make it back there to try the mint gelato next!

It was a pretty lazy Sunday today and I managed to get around to answering some mail.  It was a beautiful weekend and I am hoping to make it to the festival again next year.

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Fraggles and Shoes!

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Meet Wembley Fraggle, the newest member of the family.  I spotted his buddy Boober at the window of Baby Charlotte in Belmont Village here in Kitchener yesterday.  The store was closed and I came back for him today.  As cute as Boober was, he turned out to be a hand puppet that was only half a Fraggle.  Only Wembley and Sprocket were available in the whole body.  They had my favourite fraggle Mokey as well, but alas, my beloved fraggle was also only available in the half puppet.  I LUV Mokey!  She is the fraggle I identify with the most and one day I hope to come across full length Mokey so she can join Wembley here at chez Amber and Tanuki.  I do feel a little silly buying a toy, but it’s quirky and I love him.  And how does Tanuki feel about our new friend?  A little blasé….

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I also had a pair of shoes repaired for the first time. I went to Pfeifer’s Shoe Repair located at 18 Duke St E, Kitchener, ON N2H 1A3 and I was very pleased.  It was a pair of super cute strappy high heels that like to chew up my feet, but I like them all the same.  I walk EVERYWHERE and my footwear takes a beating.  The lifts went, I had worn them all the way down to the metal pin.  For that fix I only had to wait about 15 minutes and the cost was around $15.  They had good reviews on the internet and I am very happy with the results.  The people who work there were also super friendly.  I would go there again and I recommend them.

I will leave you with a few words from some wise friends:

Dance your cares away
Worry’s for another day
Let the music play…

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Hoards of Gourds at Nauman’s Farm

DSC00870 This is the second year I’ve been to Nauman’s Farm and as always it’s so much fun.  I go for the squash and stay for the corn maze.

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This is the ultimate corn maze, they change it every year.  The average time to get through  is 45 minutes.

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It’s not like you can just look over the top and spot your way out, the corn is crazy tall!  I think we did it so fast this year (45 minutes)  because we had the help of other people traversing the maze at the same time (some of them pretty easy on the eyes).

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There is a play area for the kids with a rope maze and a spider web chain play equipment thing.  I didn’t get a picture of the slide that leads down to the play area and the chain web play thing isn’t showing up on the photos.  If I was a kid I would have loved that.  I admit I kind of wanted to go down the slide.

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After the corn maze it was time to pick out pumpkins and gourds.  My very favourite squash of all time is there (the kabocha) and I got a couple others as well, a pie pumpkin, ghost squash and a mini jack-o-lantern pumpkin.  Now, does anybody have any delicious ideas for all these beautiful squashes and pumpkins?

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Gourd haul 2014

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Tanuki inspecting the squash (lol just kidding!  She was running away from all the gourd posing)

Tanuki inspecting the squash (lol just kidding! She was running away from all the gourd posing)

There is a store with preserves and snacks there.  One great thing about farms with preserves, is that they almost always have something atypical that you wont find in the grocery store.  This year it was a relish type thing called Chow Chow and Dandelion Jelly.  I haven’t tried the jelly yet, but the chow chow was awesome on a veggie dog.

DSC00891After all the hard work we did picking out pumpkins and working our way through the maze it was time to hit the snack bar

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The farm also has a pumpkin sling shot game (we didn’t do that this year, but had a blast doing it last year) and a Halloween store.  I will leave you with a few other sites from around the farm and wish you all a fun filled weekend!

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The Wonder Cloth… Not So Wonderful

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I watched a girl review The Magic Eraser on YouTube and I wanted to try it too.  This is a facecloth that you don’t use soap with.  You wet it and wipe your face off then rinse it off and it’s supposed to be okay for about a week before you wash it.  I went into the Bed Bath And Beyond Store at the Boardwalk plaza in Kitchener and although I didn’t find Magic Eraser, I found the Wonder Cloth instead, which does the same thing.  It cost $13.99 before taxes and felt very soft.  It did seem to take all my makeup off, but I don’t use waterproof eye makeup and I only use powder on my face instead of foundation so I don’t know how it would work on makeup like that.  All went well for about a week or two, but then my skin started to break out pretty bad.  I will stick with washing my face with soap and water.

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I made some vegetarian sushi that turned out okay.  My favourite is avocado and sprouts, but I mixed things up this time and used carrots, green onion and black sesame seeds.  It was pretty good and you don’t have a ton of dishes to take care of after.  It also makes great leftovers!

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At The CNE in Toronto

DSC00790I went to the CNE for the first time this Summer and it was pretty great.  There were a lot of fun things to see there (and eat).  I got to cross off deep fried Oreos from my Must Try This list.  Now if only I could find deep fried ice cream!

 

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Do you remember making sand castles when you were young?  I would love to do that again.  I haven’t been to the beach in forever and this will definitely be on the list of things to do when I’m there.  These people took it to a whole new level.

 

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There was also butter sculpting!!  Butter Jaba!  I was impressed.  I want to slather Jaba onto my pancakes!

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There were lots of interesting sights to see.

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Including these insane people.  They are balanced on bikes on a tight rope with a pole between them, with a dare devil woman balancing on a chair.  Then they bicycled across the tight rope.  It was sort of terrifying to watch.  I was relieved when they were finished.

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The midway is in the background but unfortunately you can’t see the rides.  There were lots that would offer chills and thrills.  We walked passed tons of games.  So many people were carrying giant stuffed animals that they had won.  The games looked easy, but when we watched people playing they kept missing.  I was feeling particularly frugal that day and didn’t play any of the games.  But then again what was I going to do with a giant stuffed animal? 

There was some great food samples there.  I think that’s what we did for lunch.  I tried the most AMAZING beer jam there.  I thought it was going to be disgusting but it was AWESOME.  I will now have to be more adventurous and try more new things.  They had an IPA beer jam and stout beer jam.  I LOVED the IPA, but didn’t care for the stout very much.  I am going to have to make this myself.  I found a recipe for it online that I will try.  I will just switch out the stout beer for the IPA.  http://growitcookitcanit.com/2011/03/17/stout-beer-jelly/ 

I also bought some new sheets there.  The recent set I bought felt like sandpaper.  I felt like I was exfoliating every night.  These were 100% cotton and felt super soft.  They dry in about an hour after coming out of the washing machine and cotton usually takes forever to dry…  so I’m not sure how altered they are..  but meh.  They will work for now.

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Drank Like A Teenager… And Paid For It

DSC00753It was a gorgeous night, warm and balmy and I got to wear a pretty dress!  My friend’s parents were renewing their vows and I went out to celebrate with them, and celebrate I did!  Somehow my wine glass just kept filling itself (I believe the guilty party was the blond in the middle).  It was a fun night, but I’m pretty sure I threw up on my handbag sometime after I got home and I spent the whole next day in bed wondering what the hell I was thinking.  It’s going to take awhile before I feel like drinking wine again.  I do plan on starting another wine kit when I get back from my vacation though, a favourite, Torrontes.

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I was playing with my nail stamper as well.  I found a nail polish I really like.  La CC.  It stayed on really well, which happened to be a few days on my fingers, which is some sort of record.  Usually polish on my finger nails is chipping the next day.

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I had a pedicure done a few weeks ago.  I go to Nails For You on Ira Needles.  They do an awesome job and give you some pretty great pampering for only $30.  I might give it a go myself, but have never used cuticle cutters before.  I went to the Sally Beauty Supply outlet in Waterloo and picked up what I needed.  I am hoping I don’t end up cutting off a toe!

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Feeling The Burn

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Why is this broad so happy?  I did so well hitting my 5km jogging challenge that I threw in an extra block this evening and almost hit 5.5km (5.44km to be exact).  I had a small stone in my right shoe and my left calve muscle was close to pulling for the last couple km, but I’m pretty bad ass and kept going lol.  It was also a bit of s struggle for me so I think I’ll hold it there for awhile.

Diet wise I’m not doing too bad.  I seem to have given up on being a vegan recently in favour of going back to a vegetarian which I have mixed feelings about.  So far I’m being really good about portion sizes, but snacking a little more than I should be.

Doggy is a champ and walked pretty far today.  She did a mean 5.4km (walking) herself.  I let her jump in the fountain again since she wanted to lay down really early in the walk which worried me a little bit, but once she hit the fountain she walked the rest of the way without laying down again. It wasn’t hot out at all today so maybe she is just insanely heat sensitive lately. 

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