Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Resolutions!

Its almost that time of year...making new resolutions and keeping the ones that you didn't achieve from last year!

Mine include:

  • Making more use of the gym at work! yes I had this one on the list last year too
  • Cooking healthier and enjoying baking again
  • Being more organised
  • Getting into the great outdoor more often
  • Embrace the recycling food waste initiative in our community

All are totally achievable I know at the moment I don't do any of them enough.

Whats you're New Years resolutions?

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

from me :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Don't you just hate em? Chores! they consume my 'free-time' they're boring and I still haven't found a way to make them fun. Lets face it what's fun about washing, drying, etc other than clean clothes and a tidy homestead at the end of it, perhaps I should start rewarding myself to do it :)

Today's tasks are laundry, ironing, clean the hubby's kitchen mess, and take the Christmas tree down! I may as well get THAT chore out of the way now than leave it till next weekend. Doesn't the room feel so much bigger once all the clutter is out of the way till next year? 

Well best get on with it...if only I could drag myself away from the computer!

Have a great day!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Big-batch Kris Kringle cookies

Confession time! The last few cookie batches have been shop bought mixes!!!! I know I know totally inappropriate, but I was testing out the oven temperature's and timings HONEST!

Anyway I decided enough was enough and embarked on making my first batch following a recipe and fresh ingredients, I found this easy recipe in the 'What's Cooking Festive 2012' edition published by Kraft Foods......

Prep time 15mins...Total 30mins ...Batch size 66!!!

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened; 1 cup of granulated sugar; 1/2 cup packed brown sugar; 2 eggs; 1 tsp of vanilla; 2 cups all purpose flour; 2 tsp,baking soda; 2 packs (12 squares) Bakers white chocolate although I used Hershey's white choc chips, 1 & 1/2 cups each of chopped pecans and cranberry's (or other nuts and fruit of your choice).

Directions: Heat oven to 375; using my shiny new kitchen aid mixer I put the butter and sugars into the mixing bowl and using the flat beater mixed them together until creamy; blend in the vanilla and eggs next.

Mix the flour and baking soda and add gradually to the mixture, beat after each addition until mixed together; finally add the fruit, chocolate and nuts of your choice.

Onto a non-stick baking tray drop tablespoons of dough at 2inches apart onto the tray and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire trays till cool completely.

Finally INDULGE!

Here's is the finished product:

The batch really did make 66 cookies :) word of warning don't over do the timings, I had a couple of trays that slightly browned on the bottom, I blame the electric oven!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

So i decided to start baking again, I did a few batches of chocolate chip cookies, I didnt use my new mixer, hubby loved the cookies they were a little on the 'done' side I think he tried to make me feel better by saying he likes em like that...LOL!

I made the following on christmas day:

my little GB men! a total of 40 from 1 batch :) aren't they cute?

 Then today whilst the hubby was at work I made these:

This cute gift for my two fav doggies was purchased at my fav store HSit came with the cutest bone cookie cutter- just add water and oil ........


 Cut out and bake for 40-50 minutes then cool on a wire tray, the whole batch made 60 cookies :) ............

Then it was time to do a taste test.... as you can see she loved them!

Christmas Day happiness

Christmas day started with a Merry Christmas text from a co-worker :) after that i was wide awake as was the dogs, it was 06.17 precisely i was wired and giddy like a little kid, after that the rest of Christmas day started in the usual way for me, those emotions over came the morning and lasted for about an hour, its the 14th year without my dad, having passed so suddenly day after boxing day. He loved Christmas and John Lennon would always be playing in the background so it was only fitting that I played the Imagine album while i did the busy wife saver breakfast prior to opening our presents, if only i could get the hubby to get up and see what Santa brought him.

The hubby and I had breakfast and then i found a lovely radio station playing Christmas carols, with those playing and a little singing along we opened our presents:
My hubby has great taste! I'm looking forward to next Christmas to test out some of Nigella's recipes :)

This could spell trouble :)

This lot should cure my sweet tooth, thanks to family from the UK who sent the English chocolate x
My hubby also got power tools and I bought him a Gordon Ramsey cook book. I also had a spending spree for baking goodies, such as baking tins/trays, ingredients, utensils and numerous other things to start my baking 'fad' off on the right foot.

After opening our presents we went for a short walk with the dogs and then i skyped with my mum, she had opened her gift we sent and i sent her X-large cupcake papers, she thought they were coffee filter papers and that we had sent them as a joke! Hilarious, she loved her Le vie n rose PJ's, fluffy slippers and the Maple leaf cookie cutter. We chatted for a while, childhood memories came flooding back of being a kid and having to wait till dad had lit the wood burning fire and shook the reindeer bells to let me and my siblings know the big guy had been. Mum had a great time with her sister during the day which was wonderful to hear.

The rest of the day for me was spent in and out of the kitchen coordinating a turkey and beef roast, hubby doesn't like turkey..'its too dry and boring' well it was anything but, having marinaded it in rosemary, black pepper, sea salt, basil and a bay leaf then topped with maple bacon and cooked for 3 hrs it was delicious, Colin's roast beef was done the same except different herbs and minus the bacon, it was done in the slow cooker for 8 hours, accompanied by herb and garlic roast potatoes, a whole ream of veg and gravy, it was soooooo good! and it started to snow whilst we was having dinner, how perfect!!!!

Christmas day ended in traditional fashion, a nap, spritzers, a movie and then off to bed. A truly wonderful day :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Well its Christmas Eve! this time last week I had picked up a night shift for this very night, kerching in the pocket but at what cost of being at home with my hubby, instead I'm here blogging. I spent the day navigating through insane traffic, bought a few things from over the border, got the last few items for Christmas dinner and couldn't wait to get home and put my feet up....did I? NO!

I was in the kitchen practising my baking skills, more cookies :) the hubby seems to like them, i prepped all the veg for Xmas dinner and herb rubbed the meat for tomorrow. Wrapped the last few items for the hubby, and then i poured myself a lovely spritzer and skyped with the sis-in-law for an hour.

Ive had the urge to watch a really good Christmas movie, but could i find one no, we ended up watching 'Finding Nemo' such a great movie! nemo is such a cutie :).

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, I'm skyping with my mum, hope she likes what Santa brought her, then I'm skyping again with the sis-in-law. I also need to email my nephew, hes on tour right now with the navy, do hope they are able to have some Christmas with the troops! I know his girlfriend will miss him not being home for Christmas, i must remember to inbox her.

Well that's all for now, so merry Christmas readers, I hope you've all been good and Santa is kind to you all x

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Im getting so excited!!!!

Less than 24 hours away from vacation, so ready for that and need it as my last vacay was july, thats such a long time ago.

My cooker still isnt fixed so im not sure if were going to be having christmas dinner at home or not, it still amazes me the kindness offered from friends that they would offer 2 extra places at there table, we have truly great friends here in BC and thankyou for your kindness. I keep nagging the hubby to try to get the coils fixed after the oven blew up, we replaced the main board it works but the coils dont so no grill and no oven. Im desperate for them to work as ive decided to take up baking again, I did cookery at school in fact i chose it as a GCSE option, though hubby is a better cook than I.

Ive been treating myself to a few baking items and im hoping santa will bring a Kitchenaid power mixer! a nice red, chrome or black one will look lovely in my kitchen. I guess i will have to see how much of a good girl i have been this year.

There are a few of my co-workers on vacation over the holiday season, im going to miss them all and you know who you are!

Merry Christmas everyone! oxox

Monday, December 17, 2012


What a day at work today, I work on a 10 bedded unit, all single rooms and all the team go above and beyond for all our Pt's, so much so that some don't want to leave! Today i get to work to find 3 empty beds and 2 further Pt's for discharge!!!!!!!!!!! what a crazy few hours trying to find appropriate Pt's for our empty beds. I wore many hats today, saleswoman to many Pt's all who were so glad to have a single room.

Needless to say after 3 admissions and 2 discharges i left an hour later than i should have done and we still had the fourth admission to do, my heart sank at the start of the day as Mondays truly are the worst day at work with a huge team meeting which today lasted well over an hour. I truly thought it was going to be such a stressful day with all the movement, trying to coordinate everything but it was calmness, organised movement and great nurses who just all said 'no worries, head down and get the admits done' it was great and I'm truly blessed to work with such wonderful people.

The best part of my day was walking through the door and being greeted by waggly bottoms and snuggles of the dogs 'unconditional love' is there much joy they give me. Then hubby finally got home from Vancouver, its an awful drive after such a long day for him, we made dinner together, yes its highly unusual he's very much the boss in the kitchen and if you asked him its the only place he's boss.

So now I'm blogging to who ever pops by here to read about my life or see that I'm moaning again! hubby is catching up on the golf and the waggly tails are fast asleep just the usual grind in my life but I'm blessed with health and happiness and really haven't got anything to moan about, in my line of work there's always someone worst of than me, I'm the lucky one.

Friday, December 14, 2012

vacation is almost here :)

Another week over, yippee not that I'm wishing my life away but come next Friday I'm on vacation till the new year and I cannot wait to have some me time, spend the usual Christmas festivities skyping with family, some of the time off maybe spent revising for the CNA exam i have next year. The past week at the office has been 'okay' as far as the office goes, its always a extra difficult time working in palliative care. The team did a surprise for one of our long stay Pt's, we decorated the room for Xmas, what a wonderful reaction we got, sometimes its those moments that make the job so worthwhile!

what are friends for?

Recently a friend of mine had a recent loss. This friend had to make the hardest decision of taking her loving companion of 18yrs to the vets to go for the long sleep, clearly heartbreaking, I'm an animal lover myself. I dread the day when I have to take anyone of my pets to be put to sleep. I know this friend will read this soon and I just wanted her to know that despite the heartache and pain that your feeling you had no choice but to try and hope for the best but it wasn't meant to be, you're sadness will take a long time to subside and things will ease in your heart eventually! This blog update isn't to upset you but to show you how much you are loved and your friends care so very much

I came across this quote and just wanted to share it with you as I know you'll be reading my blog:

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
A.A. Milne

Sunday, December 9, 2012

a little OT

Did a little overtime night shift last night, first time in a long time and it came at just the right time with Christmas just around the corner. Its the first OT in a long time, well i do work Monday to Friday. Trying to sleep before shift was a complete nightmare i lay there for hours with rubbish going round and round in my head, needless to say i didn't sleep so bye the time i got home this morning i had been awake for 24 hours! not to be recommended. Luckily the shift was quite nice, no issues and wonderful co-workers. Slept till 2pm then got up to watch the UK X-Factor results and I am sooooooo  happy that James Arthur won, he will be an international star!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


So glad the working week is finally over, its been totally stressful for everyone, with the increased acuity on the unit, patients coming and going so fast, emotions running high, two very emotional losses for the team that affected everyone for a number of days, and the the education for the 'chosen ones' for the purpose of the drug study. All in all it has been a testing week and the reality is cancer sucks!!!!!

On top of all of that myself and broke shopaholic had our cheques cashed so it means we are both committed to taking the Canadian Nurses Association exam in Hospice Palliative Care Nursing, so its head down and get studying for the exam in April 2013.

On the plus side I've had numerous accounts of good news- the process for my bestie and family to emigrate next year has started. I also recently won tickets for the Largest dog show in Canada and some abbotsford heat tickets... that will be a first! never been to a hockey match before.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the past years highlights

Well as i mentioned the other day its been 18months since I blogged, in that time my bestie and family visited Canada, my step-son tom was also here and it was wonderful for such a fun packed McGuinness reunion. Tom missed his girlfriend whilst he was here but had many late nights staying in touch with the lovely Charis through Skype. Koli thoroughly enjoyed her time with her cousin Tom, they did lots of things together. We were blessed with wonderful weather well until the week they had to return home, when it rained for a few days, after Tom went home my mum arrived for her annual visit, my wonderful husband waited on her hand and foot, she does get on with him so well...its a good job really.

Work has continued to be busy, the weeks fly by and with the job comes many patients and families that present new challenges and experiences for the wonderful team i work with. So many changes have happened at work in the day to day stuff, to lots of new staff, those more experienced are my saviour in supporting the new comers to there careers in palliative care nursing, its certainly not for the faint hearted. Ive been adjusting to the role of Patient Care Coordinator (head nurse) and there are days when i really wonder what on earth i was thinking when i applied for the job, the biggest loss is time away from the job, Mon-Friday is extremely hard on our unit, whilst i don't miss the 12hour shifts i do miss the 4-5days off, i know its a compromise but i miss not being able to chill out, meet up with my friends and have some me time instead I'm consumed by chores on my days off and just vegetate, is this really what i want from my job? Who knows!

Christmas 2011 flew bye and here we are approaching Christmas 2012!!!!!! I have done all my Christmas shopping, went to the postal service in the U.S today and sent everything off for family in the UK. Ive even bought my hubby his Xmas pressies, they are wrapped and this weekend I will be putting up our tree, its not the easiest tree to put up, should have thought of that when we purchased it. But i make it a fun occasion, Christmas music is usually playing and this year I'm skyping with Lindsay..aka my bestie and we`ll put our trees up together-totally looking forward to that. My nephew and I surprised my mum with a paid flight from the UK to Canada next year how funny it was to tell her that she was so happy, so she will be here next year for a month. Before she arrives Tom will be here with his girlfriend, its introduce my girlfriend to my dad`situation, we have lots planned and were really excited about meeting her...cant wait to meet you Charis.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

ive been away sooooooo long!!!!!

WOW has it really been 18months since I last blogged, how time flies by and i wish i could say I've been having fun all the time but alas that's not been the case. I will no doubt spend the next 18 months catching up on the last. My last entry back in June 2011 was a few days before the arrival of my Bestie, her hubby and my niece, that was such a long time ago. The 2 week vacation came and went so quickly i found myself at YVR departures in what felt like a blink of an eye, that was such a sad day BUT the fun filled days in between were a blast.

Here are a few photos.....

This is me and my best friend sat at our bar having a few spritzers I'm sure this was the day after they had arrived!!! It felt like we had never been apart, you know that feeling just pick up where you left off, it was great, my hubby is serving the drinks and generally doing a great job of keeping everyone happy

Me and my Bestie...Lindsay
Me and my Niece....Koli

This is Koli one of my nieces, some say she could pass as my daughter, id agree, she is a typical red head! so full of beans and really had a great time in Canada, she was truly the entertainment factor on the trip, took easily to scrap booking and had a great time.

 We all went for a few days to Whistler, my favourite place so far, our family was in awe of the scenery, the drive up there alone is breathtaking. We made the usual stops on the way, walmart for supplies and we took them to Brandy Wine Falls, Koli proved she has no fear of heights, they loved the waterfall and the walk down to the lake. Chris took many photos for his album, he has been studying photography at university in the UK so he was able to get some fantastic shots for his portfolio.

On our way into Whistler village we heard the train coming, off the guys go to get some shots and came back with these.... The Rocky Mountaineer!

The rocky Mountaineer

We went around the shops...well it would have been rude not to...Koli found this its one of the stores window displays, the picture doesn't do it justice, the whole Grizzly Bear Skeleton is stood up in the window, the look on her face at the size of it was so funny.