Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Leftovers Edition

This is an interesting week. Friday I made enough food to feed closer to 100 people for a party of 55 people. As per usual, I always cook too much! I was able to freeze most of it but there were some things that needed to be eaten.
So my menu plan this week revolves around taking the leftovers and turning them in to something else, rather than eat plain leftovers all week, which we’ve already done all weekend.

Original > Mini meatloaf cupcakes.
New Dish > Mini meatloaf cupcakes turned meatballs, saut̩ed with becel, onions, garlic and zucchini. Simmered in leftover marinara sauce and a can of Alfredo sauce. Served on a bed of Penne tossed with becel and parmesan. I sure can say it was served with rave reviews Рour company ate it right up!

Original, now sauteeing

Finished Product. Sooo tasty

Orginal >Roasted Ham, served cold and leftover veggies
New Dish > Spaghetti Ham Bake, using leftover veggies from the party to toss in the casserole.

Original > Roasted Ham, served cold, mashed potato “icing” and  Veggies & Dip
New Dish > Ham & mashed potato sandwich, served with Veggies & Dip

Original > Leftover Turkey & Celery
New Dish > Turkey melts w. celery on thin bread. Served with leftover Hummus and Pita and Chips and Guacamole.

Friday Paul is going to a guys event and I’m going to a girls event – for dinner I’ll be eating at the girls event and Paul will use leftover meat from the party to whip up a curry for him and Karen. Paul will also be taking the leftover Corn Chips and Pita Dip to the guys event with him.

Saturday we’ll be eating at a friends house and Sunday we’ll be serving frozen Lasagna to friends that are coming over.

Tonight we had our lifegroup over. Not only did they love my new dish (raved as one of my bests ever) we also had some great conversation out of our lifegroup. We read Galations 1 and it generated some interesting discourse! Afterwards Lyndsay and I went grocery shopping, and then head yet another awesome conversation in her car. We have TONS of great conversations constantly and so often in cars.

Now there is much laundry to fold. Ugh. Soon I’ll show you what our place looks like – thanks Nancy for the decorating help!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend Catch up

What a weekend. What a week in fact. 

Paul's party went Awesomely on Friday. My wonderful friend and fellow blogger Laura took photos - so I'll post hers when I get them!

Saturday we woke up at 8 and joined Nancy, Katie and Joel (Katie's boyfriend) for breakfast at Solly's and the winter's farmers market - all in the rain! Afterwards I took a lovely hot bath, complete with sangria and iPad (catching up on Once Upon a Time). We lounged around the house and unchilled from the outside. It was lovely. We then headed out to Queen Elizabeth Park - Bloedel Conservatory to take family pictures as a Christmas gift to Nancy. Paul, Katie, Nancy and I had fun taking pictures - rain pouring outside, us warm in a tropical conservatory. Lovely. We did get a few wintery rainy photos outdoors to keep with the Pacific Northwest location.

Braving the weather

Taste Testing

Purdy's Ice Cream Bar

A sneak peak at our pictures.

And a sneak peak at the party food!
Later in the evening we joined up with friends of ours for an american thanksgiving dinner. There were 12 of us in total. It was a LOVELY evening. After dinner we all stayed up to play games - I stayed up with some girls and we played quite a rousing game of Dutch Blitz...and by quite rousing I mean hysterical, full of screams and tons of laughter We were fairly ridiculous and it was awesome. I was reminded again of how amazingly lucky I feel to have the friends and family I have. I am pretty amazingly lucky. 

Sunday I got to sleep in until 10, and then woke up (an hour before my alarm) feeling rested. It motivated me to get up and clean the house - we had brought in all the stuff from the party but only put the fridge stuff it was quite a lot of crap we had laying around. It felt great to finally clean that up. Then Paul and Nancy came back and we decorated the house. Nancy is an interior designer - I'm generally terrible at knowing what design stuff looks great. We had tons of pictures - but I have no idea where to put them up. So after a year and a half we finally got them up! I'll post pictures tomorrow or soon, haha. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paul's UBC Graduation

Sitting very proudly, watching my husband graduate from UBC. Finally done, way to go love!

There is something about symphony music, tradition & strange outfits that actually bring much emotion and importance to a moment.

After 2 very serious talks, it is amusing to hear from one of the graduating students. He is a young man from South Africa and he is amusing and grateful. Very well spoken, witty and socially responsible.

And then they went through the grads: yay for Paul John Morgan! I missed the photo opportunity as I was trying to capture it on my real camera which totally didn't work. Oh well, between the 7 of us I'm sure they'll be one great photo.

And there you have it - sweet love is graduated. Next up a party to celebrate!

I posted this with the iPhone Blogger you can see, it loads pictures poorly. Lame!

Suspenders. So proud.
The professors, Chancellor and President.
The proud grad himself. Paul John Morgan.
Nancy and Katie ready to watch Paul walk the stage!
I knew two people graduating in this ceremony - Paul and Holly...they were next to each other. So random.
We were the first to get seated!
So many speeches...but this was the vibrant african.
Paul singing "O Canada" among his peers.
Paul proudly walking the stage.
Look! Holly's Parents.
Paul, getting ready to walk the stage.
Me and my sweet love! So proud!
Trying to hide from the rain before pictures.
Paul and his proud Papa.

Day One of Crazy Party Food Prep

Today after work, I biked home, went out for dinner with Paul and his Mom (yay for Pho Hong), picked up Irene and headed to Costco. All the veggies and Canadian Goods needed for the party are now purchased. Our house is party command station.

Tonight I worked my way through 6 items on the party list: Double Batch of Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf, Double Batch of Apple Brownies, Mint Fudge, Skor Fudge, Peppermint Chocolate Bark and a Honey Glazed ham. Phew.

We also have all the goodies for the party located in two spots: the kitchen floor and the fridge. In a house with almost no counter space, we need all that we have for the actual cooking!

Tomorrow Paul graduates at 9:30am - EEEP. So early. We have to be there by 8am to grab his we're aiming to be there by 7:45. Definitely not a sleep in on a day off!

After the grad, we'll all have lunch together and then head back to our house to work on food prep.
We need to make Cheesecake Caramel Pumpkin Cups, Reece's Chocolate Bark, Cucumber Shrimp Rounds, Rice Crispy Chocolate Balls, Wings, Cream Cheese Wraps, Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes, and Broccoli & Rice Casserole.

Considering Paul's mom and sister  cut all the veggies for veggies and dip, all the cheese and sausage and cucumbers....AND put together the food tags. I think we're in good shape! We can definitely nail this!

It's 1:07am...I should probably go to bed...but I'm so wired from all the work! Maybe I'll shower and head to bed shortly...we'll see!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

USA shopping and Winter Stock Up

Today I headed down to the USA to stock up on food, have coffee with an old camp friend and pick Paul's mom up from the Amtrak Station in Bellingham. I woke up early and headed to White Rock with Paul to drop him off at work, and then crossed the border in record time! Seriously like 2 minutes total. Awesome. I then headed down to Marysville to WinCo - most favorite store ever! Cheap, awesome goods. Between Marysville WinCo, Burlington Walmart and Bellingham Costco - I got everything I needed for Paul's Grad Party, stocked up for the winter and bought almost everything I needed for Christmas, Christmas Dinner, Christmas Gift Giving and Christmas Baking - so stoked! $550 and ready to go!

Before the sorting

 So much stuff...and this is only part of it

My Christmas Baking Box - these are only the non-standard items. 
Flour, sugar, etc are still packed away in the cupboard.

Finally all in the pantry...including 12 Alfredo's and 10 Cheese Sauces. Too many Ziplock Bags. Non Christmas Baking Goods and all sorts of asian sauce mixes.

14 Hunt's 4 Cheese Tomato Sauce (that's for you Candace), 8 Roasted Peppers, 14 salad dressing mixes, plus 2 boxes of ranch dressing powder, and all sorts of added spices.

20 Chili's, 20 Soups, Monster Energy Drinks for me and Guinness for Paul.

Our drinks cupboard backup cupboard: 
Chai, Almond Milk, Sangria, Pop and many many Starbucks Syrups.

Also: Dinner for Monday - we had the leftovers tonight...sooooo tasty.

I'm so glad to have Paul's mom in town. I like her a lot and Paul is soooo excited to have her here. 
It's gonna be a great week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday, Weekend Recap and Grad party to do list!

Monday: Wings, Veggies & Dip, Potatoes & Carrots, Rice, Caesar Salad, & Pita Crisps
6pm - 8pm > Women's Minstry meeting & Dinner at our place. 8pm - 10pm > Worship Meeting for Youth.
Tuesday: Paul to make dinner
7:30pm > Arrive home from states / work on party prep!
Wednesday: Chicken Toquitoes
Party Prep!
Thusday: Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Paul's grad in AM, family lunch, then work on Party Prep!
Friday: Paul’s Grad Party
Saturday: American Thanksgiving
Sunday: Dinner out with family

This weekend was quite full. Friday evening and all day Saturday we were with the leaders of our church for a vision retreat. Friday night was full of games and laughter, and some great prayer/prophecy. Saturday was filled with talks, small groups and eating together. Below are pictures of the lunch – and wow! So great. It felt like family.

So much food!
I love that this shot captures food and friendship.
I love seeing some of my friends in the background thoroughly enjoying being together!
Saturday evening we had my Nana over for dinner. It is always such a great treat to spend time with her – and because I love her I didn’t try to get a picture of us together for the blog – because she is not a fan of being in pictures! But regardless, our time together was absolutely lovely. As per usual we had excellent conversation and a warm time. After she left Paul and I lounged and did, basically, nothing. It was also pretty wonderful.

Sunday I got together with my friend Stephanie (also pictured below) for coffee – we talked for hours and had an amazing connection time. I like her so much. It was lovely to get to catch up and be in relationship together…so good.

Without knowing it, Stephanie and I showed up to the vision retreat in virtually identical outfits. This happens to us often...and never on purpose! 
After coffee was church – Irene and I helped lead the service, which is always nerve wracking but it was a great time! Then we headed to my parents for dinner – I’ll admit by that point I was so exhausted I could barely move. Though the weekend wasn’t stressful and I got good long sleeps each night, there was something about having deep, moving conversations all weekend that wore me out! Every where I went all weekend, I was engaging in conversations with people that were real, and deep and wonderful, but also often heavy as we worked through issues and talked about truth. It felt like a weekend full of counseling – in both roles! So we did not stay too long at my parents (I was so tired I was near tears….being a woman is annoying). When we got home Paul tucked me in to our couch with our duvet and sangria. We watched mindless comedy and where in bed by 10. I felt so much better once I woke up!

This morning I awoke to rain and sleet…..snow on the ground near my house, and stinging rain on the way downtown – but I got out, and on my bike and made it to work! I was TOTALLY soaked through, and very glad for a hot shower. I can’t believe I actually stuck with it – Discipline is so rare for me!

This week is strange as I have Tuesday, Thursday and half of Friday off work. Tomorrow I am driving down to Bellingham to pick Paul’s mom, shopping for the party and then heading back here, where Paul and his sister Katie will be anxiously awaiting her arrival. Thursday is the day of Paul’s grad and much food prep for his party! Friday is a funeral for a family member, followed by Paul’s grad party (obviously we planned the party before we knew a funeral would be happening that day). Busy week!

Here’s my party to do list:

To Do:
Work on Decorations
Cream Cheese Wraps
Cheesecake Caramel Pumpkin Cups
Chocolate Bark (Reece’s & Peppermint)

Grocery Shopping in WA
Work on Decorations
Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes (Make Mixture & bake ahead – heat in microwave day of)

Grocery Shopping at Costco/CA
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf (Make Dough ahead, unfreeze Wednesday / Bake Thursday)
Apple Brownies (Make Dough Wednesday night – fridge! / Bake Thursday / Make icing Thursday)
Cheesecake Caramel Pumpkin Cups (Make Dough ahead, unfreeze Wednesday / Make icing Thursday)
Fudge (Mint & Caramel) (Make Wednesday)
Broccoli & Rice Casserole (Make Ahead)

Cucumber Shrimp Rounds (Make Mixture Thursday, plate at party)
Potstickers (Cook Thursday / Reheat day of)
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf (Make Dough ahead, unfreeze Wednesday / Bake Thursday)
Apple Brownies (Make Dough Wednesday night – fridge! / Bake Thursday / Make icing Thursday)
Cheesecake Caramel Pumpkin Cups (Make Dough ahead, unfreeze Wednesday / Make icing Thursday)
No Bake Rice Crispy Chocolate Balls (Make Thursday)
Wings (Hot & Honey Garlic) (Marinade ahead, bake day before, reheat day of)
Meatballs (Mix with Sauce ahead & cook in crockpot day of)
Boursin & Crackers (Plate Day of)
Wings (Hot & Honey Garlic) (Marinade ahead, bake day before, reheat day of)
Meatballs (Mix with Sauce ahead & cook in crockpot day of)
Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes (Make Mixture & bake ahead – heat in microwave day of)
Velveeta Dip (Day of)
Chili Velveeta Dip (Day of)
Cucumber Shrimp Rounds (Make Mixture Thursday, plate at party)
Sweet Pickles (Plate Day of)
Regular Pickles (Plate Day of)
Potstickers (Cook Thursday / Reheat day of)
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf (Make Dough ahead, unfreeze Wednesday / Bake Thursday)
Chocolate Truffles (Costco / Plate day of)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Of Rants and Facebook

Have you seen this meme on Facebook:
“,I cant hold it anymore WE'RE EXPECTING :D 6 weeks!!! I know, I know it's crazy isn't it? Can't believe it myself -I wasn't going to put it on here but wanted to make it official, I mean who would have guessed that we're expecting!!! Yup, it's official, we are expecting Christmas in just over 6 weeks!!!
Re-post if u have a sense of humor...& feel like giving your family & friends a heart attack.

Or this one, meant to raise breast cancer awareness:
“I’m 6 weeks and craving skittles”

I thought they were silly when I first saw them. In fact I refused to participate because I thought it was dumb…but I didn’t realize how hurtful it could be until I read the following blog entries:

I’m Zero Weeks and Craving Baby
Oh Facebook
Pretending you’re pregnant isn’t cute
I’m pregnant, just kidding, new facebook meme for breast cancer awareness
I’m a liar.
Regarding facebook breast cancer


Now I try to avoid posting ANYTHING controversial on facebook. I have too many “friends” who can spew vitriol like nothing else. I HATE being attacked for having an opinion; I don’t think it’s appropriate…so I keep my thoughts to myself on facebook, except for happy /shallow things and I’m OK with that. I’ll talk to you in person about what I care about, in fact I prefer it because then we get to have a coffee date.

BUT this time I felt I should post something…I have lots of kind, gracious, godly friends who are posting these meme’s who think it is all fun and games and someone needs to tell them! Even at the risk of backlash.

The next topic I didn’t know how to address today: Occupy Vancouver and the protesters march on Brookfield Properties.

I work for Brookfield Asset Management in Vancouver…less than 2 blocks from the Brookfield Properties site, and of course, as the name suggests, we are affiliated with them…strongly.

This is a great company. I work in an office that deals with asset management: specifically timberlands, energy and finance (like building hospitals and rail projects). This company treats its employees well, doesn’t burn through money at a ridiculous rate (like other corporate companies I could name), and works to preserve the environment in its dealings.

So I don’t get why we’re public enemy number one at the moment. Oh wait, is it because Brookfield Properties asked illegal squatters to move off of Brookfield Properties Property, and after 2 months of asking nicely, finally used police force to evict them?? Wait, why is that bad? I don’t get it. If you came and camped illegally on my lawn I’d ask you to leave too…and if you didn’t I’d get Paul to come help, and if that didn’t work I’d sure call the police a lot sooner than 2 months.

And if you’re mad at Brookfield Properties for trying to not let their personal belongings get wrecked (audacious, I know) then why in the world do you think a solution to that frustration is to get a bunch of people together on a work day, block traffic in the downtown core of a town in a different city and country, and try to interrupt people doing work? People who literally had nothing to do with your “friends” in New York being evicted. Hmmm? I still don’t get it.

I’m going to stop now…because I could get in to a rant about protesting and occupy Vancouver and all sorts of things, but I hate arguing…and I’m going to get enough flack for this as it is.

In other news, we had our friends the Chibota’s over last night for dinner (which I posted about last night) and great conversation. The night before we both had bible study and then I had my dear friend Lyndsay over…we talked from 7:45 until 11:30 and only stopped because we both needed to part ways so we could get some sleep.

Tonight is a hang out with my sister, then bed by 9:30 (hopefully) and tomorrow night is an early dinner and then a church vision retreat meeting, which lasts most of Friday evening and all of Saturday. After that we’re having my nana over for dinner Saturday and Sunday I am spending the day with my friend Sarah, making cards for an upcoming craft fair. I won’t even get in to the details of next week because it gets even busier from here!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Awesome dinner - details to follow!

Prepping the Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Icing
All complete!
Veggies getting prepped for breading and baking
Top Left: Breaded Veggies. Next left: Caesar Salad
Top Right: Shrimp Cucumber Rounds. Bottom Right: Meatloaf Cupcakes

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - on Tuesday, again.

Monday: Chicken and Noodle Stirfry, Steamed Garlic Asparagus and Sauteed Mushrooms.
Tuesday: Pizza (with sausage added) and Salad for Paul and Karen. Pumpkin Soup for Tara and Stefany (at bible study)
Wednesday: Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Icing, and Roasted Vegetables.
Thursday: Tomato/Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese and Ham.
Friday: Potstickers w. Yoshida Chicken
Saturday: Soya Chicken Kabobs, Basmati Rice, Steamed Asparagus and Parmesan Zucchini
Sunday: Turkey melts for lunch. Hummus, Pita and Veggies, Wings and Zucchini Chips for Dinner.

Yesterday was surprisingly hectic. I worked late, making sure to get board binders ready for a big board meeting today. We received the final proof at 2pm – and each was 75 pages long. We had to print 15, insert tabs and bind. I got done at 4:30.

I rushed home (and by rushed home I mean I still rode my bike all the way home, just as quickly as possible), made dinner, ate dinner with Karen and Paul, had a shower (on account of the crazy bike ride home), head lifegroup over from 7-8:30 and then had my sisters (Jenna and my SIL Katie) over until 11. Paul was at a men’s meeting from 8:30 until 10:30 (and then chatting in our alley with his Dad until 11:30). Bed felt so late at midnight since I knew I’d be waking up with Paul this morning at 5:45am. Gross.

This weekend was great though. I visited my friend Rebekah down in Seattle. We had a lovely time chatting, eating, resting and shopping. It was a perfect time. I always love time spent with her – and we always have great conversations.

I got back late Saturday night (made it through the border in 8 minutes despite everyone else waiting for 40….I picked the right lane for sure!). Since I had like TONS of groceries there was a flurry of activity when I first got home, followed by drinks and SNL with my sweetest love.

Sunday morning we slept in, lounged in bed for a bit, and then headed out for brunch (I had a coupon). We had a lovely morning together. Then he had a meeting at church and I had to head home and prep for running registration at church for the Christmas Banquet. Church was good – I didn’t get to enjoy most of it because I was looking after my nephews since my sister and her husband were helping the youth lead the service. I had a great time with the boys though.

After church we headed straight home. We rested for one hour, had dinner (Tomato/Basil Soup with Biscuits), and then spent the rest of the night cleaning. We started by 7pm and stopped at 11:30pm. BUT our house is finally in order again. Until last night the main areas looked clean (but weren’t actually organized) and our bedroom was a disaster zone (95% my fault). Now the house is clean and organized. It is so much easier to exist in.

Now that I’ve tackled the worst of the mess/disorganization there are 10 main areas I want to deal with. Following the basic principles from Org Junkie (which I’ve been following for the past few months) I’ve picked one to do each week. Since I’ve started this system I’ve gone from 32 spots to organize to 10. Here is what I have left:

1. Paperwork: (Nov 14 – Nov 20)
• Apply for Nexus, Call Craft Desk ppl, Chiropractic forms & CRC to langara
2. Sort Papers – Consolidate from craftroom and Conquer (Nov 21 – Nov 27)
3. Sort out storage area (House / Events / Crafts / Seasonal) (Nov 28 – Dec 4)
4. Organize Shopping Bags into a good system (Dec 5 – Dec 11)
5. Fill Craft Station (Dec 5 – Dec 11)
6. Reorder Bookshelves and Games (Dec 12 – Dec 18)
7. Bedside Drawers (Dec 19 – Dec 25)
8. Make Cards for all occasions (Goal of 30) (Dec 26 – Jan 1)
9. Reorganize Africa Corner / Possible move (Jan 2 – Jan 8)
10. Organize Bedroom Closet (Jan 9 – Jan 15)

My mother in law gave me a Crate & Barrel Gift Certificate 2 christmases ago, but since we don't ahve them here I wasn't able to use it until this weekend in Seattle when I found myself at a starbucks next door to Crate & Barrel. So stoked. I bought two christmas mugs (one is pictured below), a cookie scoop, a spoon stand and christmas baking gift boxes.

We've also hit the start of the Christmas Season - Peppermint Bark, Peppermint Mocha's and Christmas Mugs...I sure do love Christmas!

And lastly....Paul's beloved team, the Green Bay Packers, are having a great season (following a superbowl winner last year). This makes him happy. So happy, he splurged and bought me a matching Tshirt so I can stand with him in fandom (not that I understand football in the slightest - but I sure do love to match).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Weekend Away

I'm headed down to the States this weekend to visit my friend Rebekah. I went there last December and visited with her for the weekend and it was lovely. I'm stoked to do it again. Autumn/Winter season, Seattle, a great godly friend - perfect!

I'll be buying MANY groceries since I haven't been down there for shopping since early August!

Alright - time to start getting ready to go....still have to bike home from work, return my iPhone case at Rogers (I HATE it), make dinner for Paul and Karen, do laundry, pack, meet a friend for coffee and then head out. Phew!

But in good news - I can't wait to drive our new truck down there!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Date Night

Paul and I had a date night tonight

Vietnamese in the car overlooking the city from Stanley Park
Lemongrass Chicken with Vermicelli Rice and Spring Rolls

Leisurely drive to Horseshoe Bay

Christmas at Starbucks
Peppermint Mocha for me (with Caramel Brule Candy toppings) and an Eggnog latte for Paul.

Now full, and ready for bed.

Traffic...oh Vancouver
Van love!
Me with our new car!
Christmas at Starbucks - love!
Happy in love...and with drinks


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