• holiday fun,  jinx

    that time our dog beat us at cards

    Christmas vacation means that I get to spend time with one of my dearest friends, Jill. We’ve been friends since the first day of high school, way back in 1988. Yikes. We’re old. Jill is also Jinx’s girlfriend. He looooooooves her so much. More than I have ever seen him love any other female we have had over. Jill’s visit this year was during our huge snowstorm (45.5 cm in one day!) and it was iffy getting her to our house, but we managed. Sadly, our traditional meal of St Hubert BBQ chicken wasn’t a reality since the restaurant was closed due to the storm. (It takes a LOT for something in our area to close for snow, so that’s an idea of how bad it was out.) Jill brought with her a card game, much like Apples to Apples only for people with sick and twisted minds. Cards Against Humanity is a game of association. Everyone gets dealt a hand of 10 white cards and with each turn one person turns over a black card and you have to put down what you think would go best with the prompt. The person whose turn it is picks which response is best. If your card is chosen, you get to keep the black card. Jinx started off all sweetness and light, with “cuddling”. You need at least four people to play this game so Jill dealt a faux hand, then Jinx settled himself down next to the cards on the…

  • holiday fun

    virtual advent tour 2012 – please stand by

    So today’s my day for the Virtual Advent Tour, though due to unforeseen CRAZY CRAZY BUSY ALL OF THE THINGS life right now, I am delayed. I hope to have something up by end of day tomorrow. I have my staff Christmas party tonight and I won’t be home forever… at least it feels that way. Sorry to let you all down. I look forward to this every year. ;(  

  • finnegan d ephelant,  food,  holiday fun

    24 days of tea – days 5, 6 & 7!

    Day 5 – Organic Cream of Earl Grey Finding time to blog this month is proving to be difficult. I have been updating my 24 Days of Tea collages though on Instagram, so if you follow me there (or on twitter, or facebook) you can see them. I happen to love the tea from Day 5 and I have a can of it in my kitchen already. It was late at night by the time I got to open my calendar and I wasn’t about to have caffeine or tea before bed (awake & peeing all night? No thank you!) I am happy to have a fresher stash of this tea though, since mine is pretty old. I did bring it to work but didn’t drink it because Day 6’s tea is one of my all-time FAVOURITES! Organic Cream of Earl Grey Black tea, cornflowers, with natural vanilla and bergamot flavouring. Day 6 – Glitter & Gold I LOVE this tea! It sparkles and it tastes like Golden Grahams cereal. I think I have talked about it before on the blog (or maybe on my book blog?) either way, this is one of my favourites! Alas, the sparkle in the tea does not show up in iPhone photos, so you’ll have to take my word for it. This is one yummy tea! Finnegan made sure it steeped properly by keeping the lid on nice and tight with his big ol’ ephelant bottom. He’s getting pretty good at making tea. Glitter…

  • finnegan d ephelant,  food,  holiday fun

    24 days of tea – day 4 – salted caramel

    Day 4: Salted Caramel As much as I wanted to open my tea this morning, I was having a Typical Cat Morning where nothing was going right and I was lucky enough to leave the house wearing clothes. (I am not the best of morning people.) So, since I’d forgotten Finnegan upstairs after going up there TWICE before I left, I just said “Forget it! I’ll do it tonight!” So of course I was spoiled on what today’s tea was by the time I got home, but I’m also happy to see that the teas aren’t coming out of the box in alphabetical order. That was a worry for a while (and takes all the excitement out of it!) I’m a little weary about having a caffeinated drink in the evening, but I didn’t have a lot of tea – despite how large my mug is. 😉 However, I’m falling asleep as I type up this post, so I think I should be fine tonight. I think this tea would be better if it didn’t have coconut in it. It was VERY coconutty to me and not so much carameley. And on the subject of coconut – WHY DO ALL THESE TEAS HAVE COCONUT IN THEM? I hate coconut. Argh. Twenty days of tea to go! Perhaps on the weekend we’ll get video-ish with Finnegan. After all, Christmas is Finnegan’s time to SHINE! Salted Caramel Black tea, coconut (argh!), caramel bits, English toffee bits (yum!), sea salt.

  • finnegan d ephelant,  food,  holiday fun

    24 days of tea – day 3 – coco chai rooibos

    Day 3: Coco Chai Rooibos Finnegan is back in his Festive Hat! I even brought him to work with me today so we could continue this silly idea of capturing my tea of the day through Finnegan montages. I will now have to bring him back and forth to work every day. What was I thinking? I know we’re only 3 days in, but I really enjoyed today’s tea! I am very happy there’s enough for a second cup. AND I actually filled my cup up twice with the first half. Yum. I have a bunch of rooibos (red tea) in the office already and I mix it with mint. It’s decaf and has a light taste. I think red tea is my second favourite after black tea. As you can see I even have a new festive winter mug from DAVIDsTEA which I shall leave at the office for those tea days. I have my own Christmas mug at home and a ball infuser for the tea. Trying to find ways to get myself, the mug and Finnegan in the photo is becoming more difficult though. Especially when taking your own photograph. I’d be happy if my phone had a timer. Alas. You likely all couldn’t care less about my tea of the day, but this is what you’re getting for holiday posting, so deal with it. Heh. Coco Chai Rooibos Rooibos, coconut, cinnamon, ginger root, cardamom, cloves, pink peppercorn.

  • finnegan d ephelant,  food,  holiday fun

    24 days of tea – day 2 – chocolate rocket

    Day 2: Chocolate Rocket I will admit, that I was sceptical about today’s tea. I don’t like chocolate and I don’t like pieces of nuts in things (and thankfully, this year I discovered that my tree nut allergy seems to have vanished!) But I am game to try each tea from this 24 days of Tea. I will find something new I love and I will undoubtedly discover teas that I do not like. But in the spirit of a surprise tea each day, I shall suck it up and try something even if I don’t think I will like it. And I didn’t hate today’s tea. It doesn’t taste chocolatey at all. Although it did need a pinch of sugar and a dollop of milk (nowhere near what I put in regular tea!) Yesterday’s tea I had without sugar and with just a smidge of milk. But that was black tea and black tea needs milk, yo. I will still visiting Monkey this morning so we opened our teas together. I had mine right away since I wanted to have the tea out of my system before I got on the train. Tea makes me pee. I can’t help it. And I hate having to pee every five seconds when I’m traveling! I realize I will have to bring Finnegan to work with me this week for the rest of these photos. My brilliant idea to have Finnegan’s 24 Days of Christmas Tea is slightly hampered by the fact…

  • finnegan d ephelant,  food,  holiday fun

    24 days of tea – day 1 – buttered rum

    Day 1: Organic Buttered Rum Last year I found out about DAVIDsTEA‘s 24 Days of Tea too late. I believe each of the stores in Montreal only received 3 boxes each and I didn’t even know you could order online (maybe last year you couldn’t?). This year I was following DAVIDsTEA on every social media platform I could and as soon as I saw them post about the advent calendar on facebook I went and looked it up. A friend mentioned ordering it online and I thought, YES! That is exactly what I’ll do since who knows if I’ll find it in the store and who knows when I’ll get to a store! I was thrilled when it came in. It smells so wonderful. And of course, I packed the ENTIRE THING when I came to visit Monkey for the weekend because it’s December 1st today (hello, Christmas blog theme!) and there was no way I was a) going to miss out on the first two days of December and b) open it EARLY. I’m persnickety about calendars that way. And who better to help me go through all 24 days of tea, than the Internet Sensation Finnegan D Ephelant himself! I am going to try and get a Finnegan photo each of the 24 days of tea. I make no promises, but I need an excuse to blog about something, so why not this? The tea was delicious! Finnegan enjoys the fact that it comes in a tiny container that he…

  • holiday fun

    christmas contentment

    Internet, it is no secret that I just haven’t been feeling festive this year. There’s just been so much negative and so little snow, that it’s been hard for me to find that Christmas feeling. Yet, as I sit here on the couch, in my Christmas pajamas in the middle of a snowy Christmas afternoon, I have to say, I’m pretty content. Christmas morning was celebrated after sleeping in until 10am (after being woken up at 6am by a very, very sick Jinx. And in my rush to get him downstairs to let him out, I managed to step in dog barf TWICE. Merry Christmas!) and we made tea, sat by the tree and opened up stockings. It was a small Christmas, without much money, but really, money doesn’t make Christmas. Love does. Yet, our tree was still surrounded by stuff all cheerily wrapped. Oddly, we got each other very similar cards. They were the same colour, the same sparkly, had eerily similar wording and we wrote pretty much the same things inside to each other. About how all our struggles have actually made us stronger together, when stuff like that often drives people apart. If we ever needed proof that we were meant for each other, I think these cards are it. I got Shawn some pretty fun things, if I do say so myself. He seems to be very happy with them. It was all about a Geeky Christmas for him. My husband will have the best desk…

  • holiday fun

    christmas q&a

    I have been a bad blogger this month. Forget the fact that we have no idea what to do for a Christmas Finnegan video apart from the trailer I made, I have not had time or energy to even write a post! I haven’t even READ ANY BOOKS this month so my book blog has fallen silent as well. Oh, dear. I saw this Q&A on my friend’s book blog and though I’d answer the festive questions to at least post something on here so that you don’t all forget about me. 🙂 Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I don’t like either, to be honest. But if I had to choose, I’d choose hot chocolate. I think. Sometimes I have eggnog cravings, but that hasn’t happened yet this year. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? I have no idea. I think he has the elves wrap them. If he’s as poor a wrapper as I am, he should have elves do it. I’d have them wrap presents for me if I had elves. They’d also make wallets and t-shirts in my basement. Oh, wait, that’s what young children are for… Colored lights on tree/house or white? WHITE! I hate coloured lights. Though I will admit that occasionally I have seen some tasteful red & green lights strung up outside of houses in my town. I can accept red & green lights, but not the multi-coloured ones with all the other colours. The ONLY time I…

  • holiday fun

    virtual advent tour 2011 – grandparents & christmas

     I think next year I’ll have to make a Virtual Advent video about how Virtual Advent is my newest tradition. I get SO excited about this tour it’s not even funny. I adore jumping from blog to blog to blog and reading about people’s Christmas traditions and ideas. It’s late and I am falling asleep, so I am going to be lazy and just link you to the Advent Blog page for December 13 so you can check out all the other participants today! Merry Christmas!

  • holiday fun

    Virtual Advent Tour 2011 – Sign up now!

    (Cross-posted from Beyond Books) Why yes! It is that time of year again. (Well, almost!) The sign up has begun to participate in the 2011 Virtual Advent Tour! This will be my third year participating and it’s possibly one of the most fun blog events of the year. I absolutely LOVE visiting all the blogger who participate and learn a little more about how others celebrate the Christmas season, through crafts, memories, baking, whatever. I have laughed, cried (well, teared up) and just amazed by the stories other Virtual Advent participants have shared over the years. I have discovered interesting new holiday goodies and nifty craft ideas that make me wish I had a crafty bone in my body. (I outgrew my craftiness when I came out of puberty it seems. The Virtual Advent Tour goes from December 1 – 24, just like regular Advent (if you were raised Catholic/Christian, then you know about the dates already). I’m scheduled for December 13th, so I have a little time to figure out what the heck I want to blog about this year. Like the last two years I plan on making a video, because I seem to have become addicted to making video blogs. Here’s more info from the Advent Tour site: Each day anyone who wants to participate takes turns sharing a treat with our friends here in blogland. For example it could be something about your family traditions, recipes, your country’s holiday traditions, or a favourite Christmas memory, movie, book, song…anything you like.…

  • holiday fun

    christmas 2010

    Another Christmas has come and gone and despite all the crap that has been cluttering this year, I have to say this was one of the best Christmases I have ever had in a long time. Christmas Eve was spent with my in-laws, my father-in-law confined to a chair as he has a herniated disk and spent 24 hours last week in the hospital with it. Earlier this month my mother-in-law was also in the ER when she slipped on ice and knocked herself unconscious. Understandably, having Christmas dinner with them was very important to us. They put us through quite the scares this month. Family is so important. I sang at midnight-ish mass that evening. I was sort of disappointed to find that the Church wasn’t packed full of people like I remember it. It was a shock as well. Christmas Day we had dinner with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and niece. We don’t normally crowd all of us into that tiny kitchen anymore as it’s just too small and way too stressful, but as this is probably the last Christmas we’ll ever spend in that house, my sister and I thought it was important to squish us all together. Dinner and gift exchanges were calm and bright (ha!) it was pretty much stress-free which is very rare for my family when we’re all together. 😉 My own parents are dealing with health things, too, so here was one more Very Important Family Togetherness thing that made the day…