Day 39 – February 8

Vancouver doesn’t really do wind. Not like home in Newfoundland where the wind shapes the trees and you can’t own nice things like trampolines.
So when it was National Kite Flying Day I knew I was gonna have to pass.

I was forced to focus on Boy Scouts Day even though I am not a Boy Scout and had no idea how to go about celebrating them.

Luckily I have the world’s cutest dog, some skill with scissors and my buttons from Buttons Pinz and Thingz had arrived!

Duncan made a great little boy scout… although he is, like,  never prepared.

THEN I found out through one of my Insta friends that it was National Potato Lovers Day so Chrissy and I went and got   Fancy Poutines at Frites on Granville! Mine was Pad Thai – amazing.

Pretty great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 38 – February 7

National Send a Friend A Card Day!

National Fettuccini Alfredo Day!

And Tuesday!

A Day where I have no school, no practicum and no work !

I had grand visions of going to a cute stationary store near our apartment and picking out a few cards with Duncan after having a run around Kits Beach.

But a few things happened that made me make alternative decisions.

First thing on the beach, a couple of Japanese tourists were Face-timing family back home (I presume) in a crouched down position.

Duncan managed to barge through them from behind and in a single leap land on the man’s lap and photo bomb the live feed, giving them the start of their lives.

They did see the humour in it.

Next up was a mom with a baby strapped to her chest and a toddler at her side at waters edge. Now Duncan loves toddlers so of course he lunged for him nearly knocking him right into the February sea. Luckily the toddler took the spill sand-ward and no one got soaked.

Mother was rotted.

And then finally we encounter a young artist, sitting on a log with his sketch book and supplies spread out accordingly, staring at the sea.

Duncan, with Magic Mike like agility, jumped onto his lap, splaying oil pastels and pencils everywhere. The artist did get a kick out of it, but that was the end of Duncan’s reign of terror.

I leashed him up and aimed for the card store. En route I noticed Duncan was no longer on leash. The clasp had broken. So I tied it on and just headed home.

 

Once home I realized I didn’t want to leave again. So I used what I had on hand which was some pretty cute origami paper ! I looked up how to make ‘cards’ and found instructions to make these hearts

Three Hearts for three people! I won’t say in case they are reading – it won’t be a surprise!

When the cards were folded and enveloped, stamped and posted, it was time to focus on the star cause for celebration this particular day – Fettuccini Alfredo. 

 

I have never ever made Fettuccini Alfredo before and honestly don’t think I have ever really eaten it before.

I researched some recipes and decided to make a fusion of the best ideas

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 brick of cream cheese (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil

Sautee garlic, diced in butter. Then combine rest of ingredients. It will thicken like cray so be vigilant and don’t make it too early in advance of serving.

 

 

I bought two packages of locally made fresh fettuccine

I also prepared some Tofurkey chicken and Chrissy made a salad

We had Kathleen, Graham and Molly over and hit the wine. It was delightful and we made drunken plans of renting a river boat in the summer.

They also brought me a card in honour of  National Send a Card to a Friend Day!

So cute!!!!

 

Day 37 – February 6

Another day, another chance for Vancouver to prove its incapacity to deal with snow.

There was a lot of hype about this snow day – my pretentious chiropractor assured me Monday was going to be ‘the worst day yet’. I had received an email the night before from the director of my school saying that school will likely be closed.

It wasn’t. A lot of other stuff was shut down though.  I was really looking forward to having the day off so I was sulking about having to go in when the storm didn’t play out as horribly as planned. But then I saw through one of my fellow holiday celebrators Instagram account that Monday February 6 is SMUNDAY ! The official day to call in sick to work or skip school in the UK and the day after the Super Bowl in USA!

SO I DID! I just did it. Emailed in to say I wasn’t well and not coming in. I just couldn’t fathom being in that building seeing the same people I’ve been holed up with all weekend again. Just couldn’t do it. Plus I gotta do whatever holiday is presented to me so, onward ho!

Duncan took to Smunday (or Smonday) like a fish to water… or a bulldog to napping!

With a whole new day ahead of me I got to work catching up on blog posts, getting school assignments started and some even finished, and eating some froyo for National Frozen Yogurt Day!

Kathleen graciously agreed to partake in celebrating this particular day with me. We deliberated about going to Menchie’s but ultimately decided to support a local small business that was actually closer to where we live. Scoop! on 4th !

It’s not quite as DIY as Menchie’s and other froyo vendors of that nature – the counter attendant handled all the froyo dispensing- no getting carried away and ending up with a 40$ bill

They had toppings galore and you could serve yourself

Quite fancy indeed

 

I went with Chocolate Hazelnut frozen yogurt and added Oreo, brownies, yogurt chips, marshmallow sauce and salted caramel sauce.. and a few sprinkles to enhance the photogenicness of it all

Kathleen followed suit more or less- looks like she wailed on the coconut and chocolate almonds

We were really cold and eating frozen yogurt in February in a ‘snow storm’ after emailing in to school ‘sick’ is pretty ridiculous, I must say

It was really good- and yogurty 

And then to really top off Smunday, Christina and I went to Mount Seymour for some $10 Ladies Night Night Skiing!

 

 

Skipping school was the best thing I’ve done so far on this celebratory journey, if I’m being honest.

 

 

 

Day 36 – February 5th

For breakfast I had a banana with Nutella because it was …

World Nutella Day!!

This was pretty much the highlight of my day. It was all downhill from there.

My “Advanced Counselling Skills” Workshop Part II rolled out shortly afterwards.  I was completely dreading it. When I arrived at school, everyone was complaining in whispers about how much they were not enjoying the content. I found a great sense of joy know everyone was suffering as badly as I. One classmate didn’t show up, another left part way through saying they didn’t feel well, and another had a ‘family’ thing to attend to. So the class was whittled down to the courageous few who plodded forward with the draining and deranged activities we were forced to do.

Here is a sentence from the article we had to read to prepare for the course:

“A mythopoetic inquiry is a kind of ‘soul tracking’ by way of footprints of the emerging autonomous images from the unconscious that present themselves symbolically suggesting that developing the ability to see symbolically and that this way of seeing could allow the possibility of loving one’s fate: a secret way of seeing.”

So like, yeah.

It was SUPPOSED to be National Shower with a Friend Day and Christina had booked us a hotel at Harrison Hot Springs and a few of us were going to go and get out of town and have massages and facials and drink wine and lounge in hot tubs and take glamour shots and have a great time …

…but nooooooo I had stay here and go explore my unconscious using charcoal and ink and found objects

There it is everybody – the abyss that is my soul. Happy Nutella Day !

 

 

Day 35 – February 4th

Well National Homemade Soup Day was exactly as boring as it sounds!

Now, before all you soup lovers get up in arms.. or the very least hold a rally with witty signs, let me say, for the record,  no one likes soup more than me.

It was just a really long weird day because I had school on a Saturday.

I made a curried soup for the occasion.

Let’s see if I can recall all the ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • shredded kale
  • 1 head of broccoli, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, diced
  • 1 potato
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon curry
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tumeric
  • 1 heaping tablespoon garam masala
  • freshly grated ginger
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili flakes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained

In a large pot, I sautéed onions and garlic until soft. Then I filled pot with coconut milk, diced tomatoes and water. Then I added remaining vegetables and spices.

It was great. But having to go to an  “Advanced Counselling Skills”workshop all weekend was not. Not at all. It was actually the worst. I’m not ready to talk about it yet.

But I’d like to take a moment to commend soup for all it’s warmth, all it’s nourishment, and all it’s deliciousness. Happy National Homemade Soup Day everyone !

Day 34 – February 3rd

Well today was a shocker
It snowed! A lot ! In Vancouver ! In February!
Apparently it’s supposed to be spring by the end of January. Schools were closed, flights delayed, busses off the road, total pandemonium !

I didn’t have school or work but plenty of school work.
But I decided to err on the side of complete negligence and not do anything productive in that realm.

I put everything into National Women Physician Day ! National Carrot Cake Day! National Wear Red Day!

I trudged through the snow (barely ankle high but still warranting everything in the city to shut down more or less) to my chiropractor appointment. I supposed she is a doctor and may count, but she is the snobbiest person I ever met- I kinda love it it’s a riot, but the last thing I want to do is inflate her ego any further. It would be dangerous.

I chose, rather,  to celebrate my ‘Woman Physician’ back home in NL – Dr. M. I often think if Sarah had had Dr. M as a doctor instead of all the incompetent, unconcerned, criminally negligent, lazy practitioners and specialists that over saw her health, she would still be alive. Dr. M leaves no stone unturned whenever I have had the slightest of ailments. She even humoured me with a follow up ultrasound on a benign breast lump I have after Sarah died just to give me additional peace of mind about the matter.  She listens, doesn’t speak condescendingly, and doesn’t dismiss, all the while being super fast, as her waiting room is always blocked

Dr. M also came though big time with the note that allowed Duncan on the plane with me. I can never thank her enough for that – without it there was no way to get him here (Air Canada doesn’t allow bulldogs of any sort in cargo or baggage because they are high risk of dying while in air apparently).

I got this photo of Duncan in this quintessential Vancouver location printed:

And a thank you card

and wrote a little note and put it in the mail. Hope it doesn’t weird her out!

As I said earlier it was snowy af out and the city was all out of whack. I took it as a great opportunity to stay indoors and celebrate National Carrot Cake Day by baking one from scratch – is there any other way to bake?

So Carrot Cakes are my maternal grandmother Nana Byrne’s claim to fame. She makes the best carrot cake and even baked one for Terry Fox (my absolute hero) when he ran through her town. Now I have never made one with her or even overseen the operation. But I do know she used a jar or two of carrot baby food in her recipe. It was the ‘secret’ element. I could’t find any baby food that was carrot only so I got a mango apple carrot one.

I scoured the web to find one that had that but couldn’t see any so I just sort of made up my own recipe through an amalgamation of other recipes and my own guesses about what would work – I am really good as far as I’m concerned.

To make a carrot cake the way I did, you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • three carrots grated
  • 1 pack mango apple carrot baby pureed food
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla

I combined these well using brute strength and a whisk. I didn’t have a cake pan so I made cupcakes. I baked at 350 for just shy of 30 minutes. Our oven is very hot here so I checked on them obsessively.

When cooled I iced them with frosting I made by combining :

  • 1  8oz brick of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar

Again I used my whisk to mix this. I didn’t get the thick ‘whipped’ consistency I am sure I could have gotten with my $400 Kitchenaid stand mixer back in my beautifully equipped kitchen in Newfoundland that’s now being used by a high end call girl who doesn’t know how thermostats work.

The yield of my labour was 12 super moist, deliciously carroty cupcakes with thing but delicious cream cheese icing

It’s true – they were delicious – these guys thought so!

After writing cards and baking cakes I realized I had almost missed the easiest thing to celebrate- Wear Red Day!

I felt so dumb ! It was almost too easy

I pulled my favourite sweater out of the closet and hauled it on. Took a few selfies from the front…

 

…and the back

I met the man that would become my husband in this sweater. He told me he had a dog that looked just like it growing up – Jim Jim. The rest is history.

Next up is National Homemade Soup Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 33 – February 2nd

So today was National Heavenly Hash Day and Groundhog Day.

I discovered, through one of my newfound Instagram friends, that it was also National Crepe Day so I decided to go with that ( I had ice cream yesterday with the Baked Alaska and I was dreading eating more. And, well, Groundhog Day has been done… over and over …and over  😉 )

Thursdays I go to an elementary school and therapize a bunch of kids. It was an exceptional day on that front- made some breakthroughs with these little people. But when the last bell rang for the day, it was time to get down to serious business.

There is a cafe about three blocks from my house called Crepe Cafe. It doesn’t allow dogs despite having a water bowl inside and several large French bulldog statues on display (above left)

So after ordering a Nutella Strawberry Banana crepe (is there even any other kind?) I was swiftly kicked out for bringing Duncan inside by the teenage crepe master who looked remarkably like the lead singer of  the most aggravating band in world, Mariana’s Trench

So Duncan and I dined outside thanks to that guy … and food safety

I was sort of expecting that getting a crepe at a place that’s called Crepe Cafe was going to send me into the next crepe dimension

It didn’t

Duncan is still honing his Jedi mind tricks

As I ate that unremarkable crepe, I felt really depressed. It is sad ‘celebrating’ every day alone with your dog …who isn’t even allowed in most places (I wasn’t gonna pull out my Emotional Support Animal letter for Mariana’s Trench back there). I have a nice big house and an amazing husband and a whole other cute dog on the other side of the country and here I am eating crepes, alone outside, for blog content. The whole point of a marriage is to celebrate life together. I had a bit of an crepe induced existential melt down, dear readers, I must admit.

This photo really captures the doleful sentiment of crepe day

I went back to my apartment and pacified myself by watching The Thin Blue Line… well part of it. I got really agitated part way though with the hill billy accents and the repeated referencing of the defence attorney as ‘the lady lawyer’,  so I ended it early to put myself out of misery

YAY Crepe Day!

 

 

Day 32 – February 1st

 

February 1st marks the beginning of a whole new month of celebrations!

National Get Up Day,  National Freedom DayNational Baked Alaska Day & National Serpent Day!

National Get Up Day has something to do with skating, but I decided to interpret it to mean ‘get up’. Which I did, first thing.

Now National Freedom Day is an American holiday celebrating that time Abe Lincoln (my birthday twinsie) outlawed slavery. Thank goodness for that. It is also the start of Black History Month. Check out Donald’s latest speech to learn alllll about what it’s like to be black : Absolutely riveting

Now, for all you fine folk who think Canadians only claim to shame was our complete mistreatment of our indigenous peoples (genocide, residential schools, bum land trades, forced sterilization, germicide, etc), boy are you in for a treat!

We indeed had slaves! Mind you, Wikipedia likes to call the amount of African slavery “insignificant” (and then quickly point out that the native nations enslaved each other).

So the idea is that if it isn’t that many, it doesn’t really count.  We get to be holier than thou towards our American neighbours forever because we didn’t use as many. I’m just beaming with Canadian pride over here.

I read all about it here

They faced the same shit and some even fled to the freed states in America from Canada.

Found this – so sweet, having a clearance sale because he’s heading back to the motherland…

In French and English, all Canadian-like!

So that’s how I celebrated American Freedom Day, by taking the time to learn about Canada’s true history using Google.

That brings us to National Baked Alaska Day !

I was really looking forward to this one because I have never had it before and was completely mystified.

Baked Alaska is cake or crust, ice cream and meringue. It all goes in the oven at some point and the ice cream doesn’t melt, by the grace of god, I presume.

So I did a graham crust, baked that. Then layered on the ice cream. I froze the ice cream and crust together then got to work on the meringue.

I combined 3 egg whites, a dash of salt, a dash of cream of tartar and about 1/3 cup of sugar and got to whipping. I don’t have a stand or hand mixer so it was all ‘elbow grease’ as they say, which is just a revolting idiom for ‘hard fucking manual labour’. So I whipped and whipped and whipped. And whipped. And whipped.

I can’t believe I hand whipped meringue. Holy fuck. I feel like I could win Chopped now… Chopped Canada at the very least. When I got my ‘soft peaks’, I layered the meringue mixture over the ice cream layer, sprinkled some additional graham crumbs on top

Then I put it in the over under the broiler for about 5 minutes

Magic

It was pretty good

The ice cream was completely melted so I guess that wasn’t quite right.

It was also quite substantial. I had no one to share it with and it’s not a dessert that ‘keeps’ so I had to let Duncan in on the action.

But I had to be careful – he’s a puker…

Oh and it was Serpent Day but idgaf. I hate snakes ever since everyone attacked Taylor by flooding her Instagram with the snake emoji that time Kim released the secret recording of Taylor agreeing to some of the lyrics in Kanye’s song but not the lyrics she was upset about (“I made that bitch famous”) (… which is sooo not true, for the record, get over yourself Kanye) (she made you famous, if anything, give me a break) so it proved nothing but Kim fans are all total losers and need to get lives and ruined Instagram completely for like 2 weeks. So rude.

#teamtaylor

Just kidding – I hate teams- I think everyone should win

Join me tomorrow for more ice cream- National Heavenly Hash Day… as well as  Ground hog day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 31 – January 31st

My First Full Month of Celebrating is complete!

Whoop whoop

The last day of the month was National Backwards Day & National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day.

Things have been backwards enough in the world lately (the Muslim ban, the Quebec City shooting, etc) and I don’t think it warrants ‘celebration’ whatsoever.

I will be attending the candle light vigil at Al Jamia Masjid Vancouver mosque on Saturday in memory of Azzeddine Soufian, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane, Ibrahma Barry, and Mamadou Tanou Barry, and in protest of celebrating ‘backwards‘. I could go on forever about my disgust and shame about the whole matter but there is nothing new to say.  I find it all pretty telling that there’s no ‘make your profile pic a maple leaf for the victims of the Canadian terrorist attack’ movement going on, like there is every time white folk get killed.

Hopefully this is just a backwards start to a year and soon there will be some progressive leaps forward. I will gladly get behind celebrating that.

I had grand plans of going to the Vancouver Art Gallery (the ‘VAG’…like why wouldn’t they have called it the Art Gallery of Vancouver? Like who in the fuck made that decision? ) for free night to see their Juxtapoz show (my absolute favourite art magazine).

However I had a job interview at a restaurant and got the job!

Which is great because I am one broke motherblogger and we still haven’t found anyone to take over the tenancy of our prostitenant (who, btw, texted today to tell me we are out of propane and most of the radiators in the house are ‘broken’…nothing in the house runs on propane and she had no idea that there were ‘valves’ that had to be ‘open’ for hot water radiation to work.. fucking moron).

But this meant I had to get my “Serving it Right” certification (which is pretty hilarious- apparently Newfoundland is the only province not to have this requirement to serve alcohol? Lawless).

So instead of celebrating Inspire your heart with Art through a trip to the VAG, I celebrated getting a serving job by getting that certificate, which took way longer than anticipated.

I did get it – 97% on the exam.

When that was over with I figured I would do a little doodling and exploration with water colour to inspire my heart.

The end of month one!

 

 

Day 30 – January 30th

Creeping to the end of the first full month of celebrating.

January 30th is National Croissant Day & National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.

These are two pretty straightforward things to celebrate… or so I thought.

I fucking love croissants so I have been eagerly awaiting this day for a long time now.  I had school for the majority of the day so I was crawling out of my skin to get out of there to go get some croissants.

I originally envisioned getting an almond croissant from Platform 7, on the corner of Vine & Broadway. I had one before and it was easily one of the best things I have ever eaten. But I was told by a friend of a croissant connoisseur that Beaucoup Bakery on Fir Street makes THE best croissants. I figured I would give it a whirl seeing as how it would be a new experience and it isn’t far from my school.

CLOSED MONDAYS.
FUCK SAKES.

So I head back home, leash up Duncan and go back to Plan A, which is now Plan B I suppose- Platform 7. I tie up little Duncan outside and go in to nab me a croissant or two.

SOLD OUT.
FUCK OFF.

The barista was apologetic but also enchanted by the fact that I knew it was National Croissant Day and had come specifically to get a croissant for such reason. I should get business cards printed.

I untied Duncan and decided to head down Broadway towards Point Grey area. There are lots of bakeries and cafes that way. There is a cafe that looks like a cozy cottage I’ve been meaning to check out. Benny’s…Bagels. No croissants.

NONE AT ALL.
ROTTED.

A little further down Broadway there is a French patisserie with some sort of swanky man name. We headed for it. Thomas Haas. Reeeal swanky man name.

CLOSED MONDAYS.

I don’t know how much more I can take. I think – there’s a Terra Breads and a Cobb’s Breads right by my apartment. I devise a plan to head back and if they don’t have any I’ll buy some Pilsbury doughboy crescent rolls at the grocery store and give up.

Terra Breads didn’t appear to have any from what I could see through the window and there was no where nearby to tie up Duncan (except where he could run into traffic -he likes chasing cars) to go in to investigate the matter further.

So I trudged on to Cobb’s Bread

CROISSANTS!

I could see them from the street. I tied Duncan to a tree and went in. They were sold out of plain ones but they still had spinach & feta ones as well as chocolate. I got one of each – dinner and dessert.

I was really hungry at this stage and deliberating eating something more ‘sensible’ first. But after a brief photo shoot became ravenous and there was no time for ‘sensible’. I ate them back to back. They were mediocre at best.

Once the hunger beast was satiated, I was able to focus on the next item on the celebratory check list – bubble wrap. I had hoarded some pieces of bubble wrap in a kitchen drawer in preparation of this day.

I popped a few individually and did a few twists -popping several at once. Duncan wanted to help. Such a dear.

 

And just like that *pop* pop*, the day was all celebrated up.

Oh and I also made a new Instagram friend who makes pins of all the daily holidays !! I was over the moon about this and ordered a few for February

They can be purchased here : http://www.buttonspinzandthingz.com/

So awesome. There are some discrepancies of the days but I really like that Paul Bunyan Day is my birthday and not Plum Pudding Day as my original source declared.

I can’t wait to get them and to order more as the month progresses!

Tomorrow : National Inspire you Heart With Art Day & National Backwards Day!