Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snowy day

Friday, January 29, 2010

Can I decorate YOUR house?

Is it wrong that we've only been in this house for under two years and I already want to repaint it? I think I have an addiction to decorating.

Lately, I've been thinking about different colours and, uh, kinda hating the colours I have here now. Well maybe hating is too strong a word, but I'm growing bored of the look. What I did here is mostly in the blue category. Our living room/dining room is painted in a teal colour.

The colour really changes depending on the light, doesn't it?

The entries (both back and front) are in a light grey. Our bedroom is in that same light grey.

The front entry.

The office is a sky blue.

You get office colour, floor colour, AND door colour all in one pic!

And the kitchen and bathroom are a shade of barely noticeable off-white with all the doors painted a really dark blue-grey. This arrangement works really nicely, don't get me wrong, it really does. I'm just bored of it already. It's not enough to just rearrange the furniture anymore, apparently. I want to get in with a brush.

The colours I'm feeling really drawn to right now are shades of green, brown, dark grey (almost black), and yellow.

Love: Pale avocado, sempervivum, park cactus, honeydew flesh, pea pod, marjoram, green leaf

Love: Green pear, olive butter, chameleon green, white lemon

Love Gazelles of the desert, homespun cotton, cotton duck, portobello, oyster mushroom, medieval manuscript
(paint colours from Sico -- the easiest website I found for getting a bunch of colour choices fast, but I have my own fandeck here -- I told you I'm hooked! -- so I'd go off of that in real life)

I would really like to redo the flooring, too, and get rid of this stupid yellow-toned wood laminate and put in something dark brown. Maybe not laminate. I'm starting to really hate laminate (but maybe it's because the previous owners didn't install it properly). And we desperately need to get rid of the awful rug in the living room/dining room because it's just awful. Who likes wall-to-wall carpeting anymore? And further more, who likes it light toned and really plush AND in your dining room. Worst place for a carpet ever? Maybe bathroom comes in first on that one (and yes, I've seen homes with carpeting in the bathroom before).

Speaking of bathrooms, we really need to redo ours. Mostly because we were told there was some slight water damage going on behind the tiles because they weren't sealed properly when they were installed. I don't know if I'd want to retile though. Maybe...I can't decide. But if I did, I'd go with white subway tile. I really love the look of that and I love keeping everything white in a bathroom because I love how white makes everything feel really clean. Plus it's easier to change out your style with accessories than having to rip out seriously outdated tile every 10 years.

Browny wispy tile with shiny gold and brown accent tiles anyone? Oh and I really love the scalloped soap holders they placed right in the middle of the wall (aka shoulder/elbow smashers).

And as much as I hate IKEA, I really love some of their kitchen designs. I'd probably keep everything white in there as well. I've always found that dark cabinets really make a room dark (even if that room has a lot of light coming in).
This is almost exactly how our kitchen layout is now, except the sink is where the oven is and the oven is where the sink is. Fancy that!

I love how open this is!

I adore the white with the dark wood top!

The only dark wood cabinets I did like. I think paired with white upper cabinets or shelving (like they did here) is the only way dark wood doesn't look dark and gloomy. Instead it kinda grounds everything.
(all pics from IKEA, duh)

There's my house wishlist 2010. I really like that we bought an older house that has so much potential. We can make this house whatever we want, and I like that idea. It's almost too easy to just go and buy a house that was built a month ago and there's absolutely nothing you really have to do to it...though, that's kinda appealing in it's own way, too...haha

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shhh I have to tell you something!

There's another Greek salad! Seriously. There's two of them! I know! I was just as shocked as you are right now!

So we're at this restaurant with Idle Husband's aunt, uncle and family, they've ordered for the whole table without seeing a menu -- apparently there was this huge debate/argument over what kind of meat I liked, because the only meat available that day was pork, and ohmygodwhatifshedoesn'tlikepork?!! Meanwhile, I had been sitting there, humming to myself, completely oblivious to the "problem" when IH looked over and asked me if pork was ok. Which, duh, of course it was. I don't care. And then I went back to humming. Crisis averted. You're welcome. Anyhoo, when the starters came, there was the traditional Greek salad -- you all know the one. Tomatoes, cucumber, feta, olives, olive oil -- and then there was another. Ever intrigued, I watched as they squirted copious amounts of lemon juice all over it and began passing it around. (fyi: the pork chop that was to come later, was about the size of my head but also the most delicious thing ever. I had to -- sadly -- quit my attempt at finishing it about a quarter way through). 

The salad was called maroulosalata, and it was delicious. I wasn't sure I'd be able to replicate it, but surprise surprise, I could! It's so simple and so good, and you know what? It's super nice to eat something so pretty and green after it's been grey and white outside for so long.

The Green Greek Salad (maroulosalata)

(I'm not going to tell you how much exactly. You know how to make a salad. Just use as much as you need to feed the people waiting to be fed)

Romaine lettuce (or other leaf lettuce)
Green onion
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt/pepper (to taste)
Dill (optional)

First, cut the lettuce in really thin, strips -- as though it's been shredded. Through snoopage, I discovered it's super easy to do this if you kinda roll the leaves together lengthwise, then slice the leaf across it's width in about 1 centimeter-sized strips. Easy! (I'm cutting all of my lettuce like this forever.) Chop up your onion (I'm not going to give you detailed instructions on that). Toss them together with the lettuce in a bowl, you caveman. Drizzle with a bit of oil (a little goes a long way), lemon juice (freshly squeezed if you're that kind of cook), salt and pepper it, and maybe add a sprinkling of either dried or fresh dill. Toss it all together and that's it. You're done. Now go teach your uncouth friends that there's more than just one salad choice when in Greece.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh, drab Wednesday

Normal Life Greek Joke
Ok, I suppose this isn't really a "normal life" Greek joke, but I'm trying to throw out some random post-its I have laying around and it was on one of them. Hey, if I've forgotten it up till now, there's a chance I'll forget it forever if I throw the post-it away without mentioning it.

You've seen the movie The Golden Compass, right? You know, the one with Nicole Kidman and their souls (I guess you can call it) walk around in the form of an animal and there's talking polar bears? Ok, well, I'm hoping you have cuz otherwise this won't make a stitch of sense.

Anyhoo, there's a device in the movie called an alethiometer. Apparently this device tells the truth and only one person in the movie can decipher it. It's pretty damn important in the scheme of things. So we're watching the movie, and Idle Husband turns to me and says, elethiometer (note: it's said more like this than with an 'a' sound) is basically like saying idiotmeter because elethio is Greek for idiot.

the idiotmeter

So here's this important device that's supposed to be telling the truth about people, things, whatever, but it feels (even more) bogus (than it should) because it's secretly called an idiotmeter. I guess you can look at it two ways. The person reading it is an idiot or it only measures idiots. Either way it's pretty suspect.

On an unrelated note:
I guess there's a lot of buzz over Apple's new iPad, but I wasn't aware of it until IH complained about it.
Firstly, this is the WORST NAME OF A PRODUCT IN THE HISTORY OF PRODUCT NAMES EVER. Honestly, I really can't get over the word "pad." It makes me think of lady hygiene products and that's so not cool. (and I'm not the only one)
Secondly, it seems to be a large, awkward version of the iTouch. Features include turning it whichever way you want and it adjusts. Wow. That's, like, so, like, um...we've seen that before.
Thirdly (and kinda off topic), who the hell dresses Steve Jobs? Honestly. He makes a kazillion dollars (that's a guesstimation) and he can't afford a stylist? In what era has too-large-for-you washed denim jeans and a tucked in black turtleneck (who looks good in those?!) been the vogue thing to wear? I could get it if he were actually stuck in a decade -- hey, I'm Steve Jobs and bell bottoms work for my figure! -- but I just don't get this look. Just the fact that this guy, in his baggy washed denim jeans and terrible black turtleneck sells a product that seems to define the "cool hipster indie geek" persona is so super backward and weird to me. It's a cool product sold by an uncool man who's oddly accepted by all the cool kids. FYI: this wouldn't happen in any other situation except this one. Ever. Also, I'm not going to spend that much money on an electronic gadget before first dressing myself. And that should really be everyone's motto.

For interests sake:
I'm going to start using Jay Leno as a way to describe someone who gives you something and then later wants it back.
possible usage: "You want that picture back?! You're such a Jay Leno!!"
I'm already using Jim Belushi as an expletive.
actual event: [after banging my finger between the wall and the vacuum cleaner] "Jim Belushi!!" (it's really important to emphasize the Jim part)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It. Was. Cold.

I mean, I shouldn't be complaining, really, because it wasn't as cold as it could have been. I'm really being a baby about the whole scenario -- normally I'd be scoffing at this temperature. Minus 15?! Ah hahaha! I laugh in your face, minus 15. That's nothing! I can stay out all day in that! But it felt oh so much colder for reasons I can't explain and since I can't really figure it out, I'm going to blame it on our two weeks spent in Greece which totally declimatized me for Canadian weather. Is declimatized even a word? I don't really care. That's the word that best describes it.

So here's this picture of the weird tree in our backyard. You can pretend you're me and stare at it blankly for 10 minutes. That kinda helped me forget my cold troubles (aka It's been 5 hours since I got home from my walk and I still can't feel my friggin' legs).

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's my hundredth post!

So here's some internet stuffs I like for reasons I can't explain.

Very Mary-Kate, Episode 4 from Mary-Kate Olsen on Vimeo.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I could never possibly express to you in words my hatred for Jay Leno. And not just because of this. I've ALWAYS hated him. Him and Charlie Sheen.

Tonight's Conan O'Brien's last night hosting the Tonight Show.

Let's have a moment of silence.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

hoar frost

I know winter can be...a bit of a bummer, but you can't deny how pretty it manages to be sometimes

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Now I feel like I have to finish cleaning that box out.

Mmm carroty

I made carrot soup last night. I got the idea here but didn't quite use her recipe right to the letter. Like, when do I ever use anyone's dinner recipe exactly? The only things I follow exactly are baking/dessert things, everything else is a free-for-all. Anyhoo, I just went on her method and the results were fantastic! It really reminds me of that time I made sweet potato soup, and it tasted so good with cranberry sauce dolloped in there. So after providing Idle Husband with some bread and condiments as a side, I gambled and discovered that this soup tastes really nice with a drizzle of honey. It sounds weird, but it works. What did I change?
The liquids: I made my own chicken stock with the carcass from our dinner the night before (and some other bones I had frozen previously), and I used light cream (no cornstarch, it was thick enough after that).
The spices: I didn't have marjoram, thyme, or parsley. Ah well. I used ginger, salt/pepper, vegetable seasoning, obvs the spices from the chicken stock, maybe nutmeg? I can't really remember right now. I just thought about spices that work in a carrot cake and used my brain that way.
Have you tried vegetable seasoning? Uh, specifically Club House vegetable seasoning? I put that shit on everything. Meat, salads, soups, sweet potato fries, baked into bread...It's only the best stuff ever. It makes everything taste just that much better. I swear.

There's plenty of soup leftover (even though I'm pretty sure I didn't end up with 6 cups of stock) and I feel like I should freeze it...but I had it for lunch today and I kinda wanna have it for lunch tomorrow, too.

On an unrelated note:
I accidentally took that soup photo without the memory card in and as soon as I found out, I was instantly pissed off. I had to go through THE BOX OF CORDS. Seriously. Does your husband do this? We have two bags of random cords in our storage room ("but what if I need them at some point in the future?" he says), and then I put all the useful charging cords in our office in a nice box. That I organized. Wrapping the cords neatly et cetera. I don't know how it became THE BOX OF CORDS FROM HELL, but it did. Anyway, amazingly, I found the cord that connects my camera to the computer in less than 5 minutes. I think the cord angels were smiling down on me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm still waiting for my damn response, Fage!

Remember my juice crystal rant? (how could you not? it was yesterday)

Well, I decided to go one step further, so I went to the website, ready to send them a rather unhappy email about my juice predicament (as I did once to Fage Greek yogurt. I think it's vastly unfair that countries such as America and everywhere else get to enjoy this product but Canada, and I also find it super stupid cuz hello! We're about as multi-cultural as any country could ever get! Why isn't Greek yogurt represented?). Kraft didn't have an email (surprise surprise), but they did have a facebook fan page.

Ah ha! I became a fan just to send them this message and literally, the next day, I got a response back:

Finally! After going for years suffering with this plight, someone had to do something. It's the little things that make everything better for everyone, you know.

So, in conclusion, you're welcome, world.

Winter fun

Nothing says, "I am Canadian" quite like eating an ice cream cone with mittens on

Please, pimp my car

We officially resumed our walks for 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010


Hate: juice crystal singles. Who the hell thought this environmentally-retarded idea up?
Love: juice crystal packages -- the large ones for making a whole jug. Please make them with all the flavours at some point in time, companies -- you know who you are. The fact that all the good flavours are in the singles ticks me right off.

On an unrelated note:
I tasted the Chinese food from The Lingnan over the weekend. I was so engrossed with this family during the last season of Family Restaurant that I just had to try them out. We ordered in since it's so far away from us, but because of our distance, we had to order at least $70 worth of food in order for them to deliver. Great. And I only really wanted to try three dishes max. Good thing my mom was there and was super excited to try other stuff out. I was super excited when I found myself ordering from Amy herself. She's too funny and super great to talk to, actually. I can see why she's got such a devoted following.

The food was kind of...unimpressive. I mean, it was typical Chinese food fare and when I realized that, my enthusiasm dropped dramatically. When we ordered, we ordered things like Sum Gum Goo Lo Pork and Singapore Noodles which turned out to be sweet and sour pork and those thin yellow noodles you find everywhere. Ho hum. These were all items I wouldn't choose for myself at a buffet-style Chinese restaurant. Two dishes I felt like I had to try were the Dry Spicy Chicken and the Kung Pao Chicken. The DS Chicken wasn't spicy at all, but salty instead. It was still good, crispy and golden. Not as exciting as the show lead me to believe, though. The KP Chicken was spicy. Not super spicy, but it did have you grabbing for something to drink (Amy sent the regular KP since she knew it was my "first time"). I liked it, but the vegetables (boo to sliced celery over and over again) weren't very interesting.

Anyway, we probably won't do it again but mostly because of their distance from us and because Idle Husband does not like Chinese food at all. I knew he wasn't fond of it, but I also knew he hadn't really had it before, so I tried to choose things he might like. He picked around and ate a little of the meat, a lot of the dry spicy chicken, but otherwise, I ended up being stuck with enough leftovers to feed a small village. Le sigh. As the only leftover eater in the house, there's only so much sauced vegetables I can take in a week, you know?

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's a new year and a new decade and I think it's time for a fresh start. So I'm thinking about revamping this blog and maybe changing the content, the look...something. I've been inspired by so many people this year and I want the blog to reflect that.

Of course, I have no idea how to do anything "internet" so I think one of my new New Year's resolutions is going to be to learn how which means it'll probably take me some time to figure everything out.

I'll post as I can, but I'm going to be taking a while to decide what I'm going to do and what direction I want to go. Please bear with me!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Greek Food

We did a lot of unusual sight seeing around Athens this trip. Unusual mostly because we did a lot of free stuff that just involved walking around the city. I'm sure Idle Husband had some idea, but when we arrived (on the 24th), everything was closed for Christmas until Monday. Everything. Good thing we had already been to all the museums last time, hey?

We spent a week at his family's house where we...ate. Ate and slept and that was about it, because by then it was New Year's and again everything had completely shut down until Monday. I think there was only a few days scattered here and there where things were open!

Anyway, because all we did was eat, I decided to take a lot of food pictures. That and because it's kinda interesting to see what other people are eating. Well, to me it is. And this isn't like, oh here we are eating a Greek salad in Greece! which is such a typical Greek vacation photo. This is like actual home cooked meals (and some take-out) from the home of a typical Greek family. Which makes it more interesting, no?

Our first "light" meal when we arrived.

Ok, my favourite meal IH's mom makes is stuffed tomatoes (and now stuffed eggplant -- or "little shoes" as they were called -- but I didn't get a pic of that cuz it was too delicious to stop to find my camera). It's such a simple dish, but the taste is divine. It's probably because of all the olive oil (as you can see there), but if I had been able to, I would have eaten both of those tomatoes plus IH's (he's not a fan). I also learned of another lesser known Greek salad. Even better than the first? Maybe! It's also super easy (most Greek food tends to be) as it was made up of only shredded lettuce, chopped green onions, olive oil, and a ton of lemon juice. So good! I'll be making that in the near future. Anyway, this meal was just to tide us over until dinner time which is crazy because to me that WAS dinner and it was at dinner time -- well, our dinner time of about 6. The actual dinner was to be served at 10:30 or 11.

Another light meal.

Let's see...there's tzatziki (natch), greek salad (obivously), feta and mozzarella, terrokafteri (which is like feta ground up with spices used as a dip), crepes filled with ham and cheese, moussaka, and mini cheese pies.

Pasticio. It's like lasagna only it's made with a macaroni-type noodle and it has a thick layer of bechamel sauce on top.

Mmmm fireplace meat. Honestly, I have no idea what kind of meat this was. I'm going to guess it was pork, but I have no idea. They had this twirling around in the fireplace pretty much nonstop since we arrived.

Saganaki. Breaded, fried cheese with lemon. You can make this with any hard white cheese and it's super easy, though I have one thing to say about it. It tastes so much better when it's burning hot right out of the pan. If you let it get even a touch cold, it's just like eating a block of cheese and it loses it's magic. Weird, that.

Pretty standard breakfasts included:

Greek pancakes. Like our pancakes but smaller, with no sugar and "deep fried" in olive oil (well duh). IH ate them with honey, but I preferred them with jam.

Pomegranite seeds. I did this once at home in Canada and hated it immensely. So much work, so much mess, and then they tasted awful. I loved them there. They were so much sweeter and tastier! Of course they were probably getting them from some tree in the village, I'm sure.

Greek yogurt. Oh how I wish we had proper greek yogurt here! I can't properly describe to you how good this is. Because I've been spoiled for having tasted the good stuff, I can't eat that runny crap they call yogurt here anymore.

And his mom would squeeze us fresh orange and blood orange juice every day. They had trees in their backyard. And orange trees lined every Athen's street. It's what I noticed most this trip. It kinda blew my mind though because no one picks the ones in Athens. They just grow, fall off, and rot in the streets. IH said it's because they're not very good. But I'm still like, "but they're free!"

Sweets were also served after dinner and again for breakfast

I don't know what this one was called, but it's IH's favourite cake. I wasn't that keen on it, it was too strange. I thought it was trying to be too many things at once. Jello, fruit salad, mousse, cake -- choose an option and stick with it, dessert!

Melomakarna. A traditional Greek Christmas cookie. It tasted very much like gingerbread (very nutmeg-y) but it was soaked in honey so it was very soft and sweet, but strangely not that sweet. We ate a lot of these.

Vassilopita. Greek New Year's cake. They bake a coin inside and whoever finds it has good luck for the new year. I really loved this cake. I would knock off all the icing sugar and eat it plain. It wasn't very sweet, but it had a really nice flavour all the same. I like how most of their desserts fall in the not-too-sweet category.

This was special just for us. They ordered a wedding cake so we could do that whole wedding-cake tradition and everyone could take pictures. It wasn't awkward at all. Nope. The cake was really good, though. Creamy, with cookie bits...pretty standard, I think.

IH told me these were the cookies I had last time on the ship. Remember those? Anyway, they were not the cookies I remember. We both had one of these and that was it. They were really dry and flavourless. I think my ship cookies are but a distant memory...

Some of our take-out meals included:

Authentic gyro. This is how it's done people: Warm pita, gyro meat, lots of tzatziki, tomatoes, purple onions, french fries. The end. They have those "Greek gyro" places here but they're not doing it right.

Cheese pie. It's actually really easy to make at home. Feta mashed with egg, add some seasoning if you like (I've added nutmeg), then pop it into some sort of pastry. There it's puff (I believe), I've used a standard hand-pie dough here. Whatever you like!

Gyro meat, this time minus the pita.

They have a fast food restaurant called Goody's and it's everywhere you go. This meal consisted of a chicky sandwich (chicken nuggets in a bun), a bowl of french fries, and the Goody's grill (three types of meat with salad and potato wedges). What I find fascinating about this fast food is the fact that they serve it on proper plates with forks and knives.

Mallioras' souvlaki, one of the best take-out meals we had, honestly. For our last meal there, this is what we ordered. IH wanted to get burgers from a new burger place there, but I was like, "burgers?! We can get a damn mushroom burger anywhere we want when we get home. I want Mallioras!" It's just so good.

And that's just a sampling of what we ate. There were lots of other foods I didn't manage to take pictures of. More desserts that I either loved so much I didn't take the time to capture it, or that I didn't like and it never got past the single bite stage, or that I ate while around IH's entire family and just couldn't find the opportunity. There was a pork chop the size of my head that I made a fair attempt at finishing. Some eggplant with mozzarella and tomato sauce, breaded chicken filets, crackers with jam, chestnuts (not what I expected at all). And some dining out with IH's friends where in one instance I forgot my camera and the other we ate at a traditional Italian restaurant and I just had a salad.

I'll post pics from around Athens and the activities we did soon!