Archive of ‘birthday’ category

Pre-Birthday Dinner

laughter around the makeshift dining table

 We’re going home so soon, which makes me sad. We had a wonderful early birthday party with all the family here tonight. We had pasta dinner with Gramma, Phil and Nancy, who drove down from the lake district. Very tasty meal…but of course it was…how could it not be with all the best foods; tomato sauce and rice pasta (and Daiya cheeze!). Heaven. Both sets of aunts and uncles, my big cuz Evan, Gramma, and of course Mum and I.

love at first bite!

We had fun picking the cupcakes for tonight’s birthday celebration. I will really miss KindFood, and their delicious vegan/gf B.L.A.T sandwiches, not to mention the goodies. There is something so exhilarating about being able to order a sandwich just the way it was written up on the menu, without substitutions or missing ingredients!
I am feeling quite low on energy these days, but somehow I found the strength to eat a cupcake. I know. We are talking about huge expenditures of energy, and a deficit of calories, but I did my best :p. We all survived. Somehow teeheehee.

Travellers by Train

mint and vanilla
Cuz eating a vegan/gf cupcake with a smile πŸ˜›

It just so happened that Amy was able to come down from Ottawa and visit for 2 days this weekend, as she never has classes on Monday. Yay! She took the train down and arrived yesterday evening. We visited a little bit and relaxed at the condo, and then Amy went to stay at Gramma’s house, just down the block! Amy and I had girl time today when we went to pick up early-birthday cupcakes at Kind Food. Yay for girl time :). It is very exciting to be sharing a birthday (almost on the right date!) with my family, because we usually live so far away that this isn’t possible. I have spend a few birthdays with Amy, but obviously I’d love to see her everyday, and on my birthday :). She’s like my big sis, and I love that! 

I feel much more like my “normal” sick self, now that we have been here a few days and the affect of the elevation of flying have worn off. I feel a bit sluggish, like I’m dragging myself along the bottom of a river with each step.

hot pink & lime green
monet’s garden

Something I am enjoying a lot of lately that doesn’t involve a lot of energy on my part is knitting. I have knit several PICC line armbands since I have been here, and they are already up on my Etsy Shop. At this rate I am going to run out of yarn before we get home! Whatever will I do? πŸ˜›

My big cuz also helped me out with a rad impromptu photo-shoot for my latest PICC line armbands!

wonder-woman! showing off the Tahitian sunset armband

Vegan Cupcakes Invade My Oven…

…and it isn’t exactly a hostile take-over. πŸ˜‰

Wowzer. I was flipping through the cupcake book this afternoon, drooling at every single picture, and imagining all the wonderful parings of frosting and cupcakes I could create, when I realized I could be baking them right then and there. So I carefully got up from my chair (so as not to arouse suspicion from my Mum), and began to curdle my soy and coconut milk in the kitchen. I usually make a big mess when I bake, but then am not so good at the cleaning up part- in my defense, the sink is really high and I can’t really reach into it very easily.

I decided to bake a simple Agave Vanilla Cupcake, but added a little coconut milk (oh, the decadence!), and maple syrup for extra yum yum factor. They came together beautifully; the batter was so thick and creamy that it reminded me of Belgium waffle dough. They were this lovely golden brown color, thanks to the maple syrup, agave and copious teaspoons of vanilla I added to them. And 18 minutes later, they magically reappeared from the oven looking golden-er and smelling vanilla-ier than before! I hate waiting for them to cool, but every darn cookbook mentions this. Soooo I am being very patient, but am itching to frost them. I am thinking of adding some melted chocolate to a coconut based icing that we have. These thoughts are rather torturous to one who is immersed in the sweet smell of a dozen fresh baked cupcakes, so I will regretfully move from this topic to an equally wonderful one.

I received a letter from my good friend, Jess, who has left the island for Georgia, USA, to do what she loves; play the viola. Any booyyyyy does she play…I am so happy for her that she gets to do that all day long!! Paradise, but hard work. I feel so very fortunate to know such amazing talented, kind, generous people. We have been such wonderful friends since I arrived at GNS! Cornrowing each others hair at sleepovers, making ‘menus’, playing outside, choir several times a week, lunchtimes on the field gossiping, helping each other in school and bemoaning IB work. I miss her like bread misses butter. Can’t wait til Christmas break! Love you, Jessi <3

The cupcakes are cooling… 

Kristin is so wonderful and caring, and I look forward to our piano lessons together so much! We always have so much fun -> no ruler-hitting.-work-to-the-bone,-and-never-right,-and-mean teacher here, but there is oodles and oodles of learning happen’. You train a dog with biscuits, not kicks. :D. I write down my questions for her as I am practicing during the week, that way when we meet I can remember what parts I had trouble with. Kristin gave me a wonderful gift for my birthday: a pashmina scarf with piano notes and symbols on it in pink and l(y)me green, a CD of all the out-of-print jazz “Fake Books”, and a wonderful book of Chopin pieces, including all my favorite mazurkas, waltzes and preludes. Because I can play all the tricky Debussy pieces (nearly!), Chopin can’t be far behind. I wish that I had a prehensile pinky finger…that would really help playing his pieces!

Today, I was grilled on this incredible beautiful Chopin Waltz (posth., from the Trio Valses #2). It is very depressing to admit that although I am working hard on it and think I am playing it very fast, I am barely beyond half-speed!! It is played at a break-necked pace that surely no dancer could keep to, and my fingers sorely object. I do have all the notes in generally the right places which is always promising, but now I have to add in all the fiddly bits which are most time consuming; the pedaling, trills and occasionally fix up the odd slowdown/speedup’s that happen when one is learning. The other piece is Schuberts’ “Herberge”, which means a country inn. It is a delightful work with all this majestic dotted rhythm that carry me away in their boom. It moves from the sweetest pianissimo staccato passages to these sweeping, swelling chords. There is much room to rubato (classical musics’ ‘swing’ or stretching, in a way) and add emotion, which I do anyways, regardless of the rules.

Ah, music. Imagine if the early peoples had not felt the urge for rhythm, to beat on drums and to sing, to create primitive flute-esque and stringed instruments. What if no one had thought to use strings from the stomach of a goat?, a horse tail brush?, mahogany body?, black and white keys?, brass curves? It would be just us, alone in a wave of rhythm crying out for sound, and noise begging to be sculpted. The cacophony of life and the music inside. 


I am exhausted, but in that good way, which means that you have belly-laughed for such an extended period of time, that it feels like you were doing Pilates instead. So much fun this evening! Four of my good friends came over to help celebrate my birthday! These are four of the silliest, giggliest, weirdest, most wonderful friends you could ever ask for. Even if you special-requested that combination of silly-giggly-weird-wonderful that is the five of us, I would doubt you could get anything nearly as crazy. Stray, Lisa, Sarah, Angie and I shared pizza and a lot of laughs. Angie brought the best-est vegan coconut cupcakes, and we all made wishes together.

We had a girls night, and instead of watching chick-flicks and gossiping (ohhkay, there was a little tiny bit of gossip), we played Clue! For some reason, all the adults I have met have despised the game, but all my friends go crazy for it. It was a cut-throat game; names were named, people were accused of crimes they did not commit- especially poor Colonel Mustard- but just as we thought it was a cold case, or someone had tampered with the evidence, Sarah uncovered the murderer in our midst. Oh, the drama! It was all very exciting. We kept getting louder and louder as the night progressed, and began to use sillier and sillier accents. We always seem to get that way when we are together. It was simply a perfect evening.

Games night rematch, anyone? I’ll keep you ladies posted. All my love!

Wait for the Cake!

18. Holy shit. I can no longer laugh at my friends for being ‘old’. I don’t feel a great epiphany or awakening or anything of that nonsense, but rather the same as I did a few days ago, much to my disappointment. I was hoping that I would magically be healed on such a very important day- sort of the reverse of Cinderella turning back into her old self. Alas, Disney gave us all rather impractical solutions to our problems.

I had a really wonderful time on my birthday the other day. Nancy and Phil came down from up Island for the day, and we had a big family dinner. My auntie and uncle went with me to this seriously awesome wool shop downtown called “Knotty by Nature“, which has everything fiber you could possibly desire, while greatly supporting our local sheep and shepherds! Now when I go into a wool store, I simple must touch everything. There are all these strange and wonderful blends of fiber…merino, cashmere, bamboo, linen, alpaca, kid mohair…each with their own addictive feel and story. After much stroking and color combination, I finally decided on 4 braids of unspun wool (the colors on my lap in this picture) in a blueberry, sky blue, stormy gray, and deep lilac. I can’t wait to start spinning them! I haven’t used a drop spindle in a very long time (actually, a decade), but the motion is one that comes relatively naturally. Just need to get my hands on one, and then I will be set.

Rows of dyed wool braids, and hand-dyed bits below.

After our sojourn to the yarn store, we arrived home in time to start dinner. The menu-> veg Phad Thai, which is possibly my favorite food ever, and for dessert a Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream frosting. A unique culture-clash. Heaven. We tried the pressed tofu, which is probably the tastiest ‘lil protein pack I have ever had the pleasure of sampling.

Tossing in the sprouts…

Crushed peanuts, lime juice, bean sprouts, tamarind, garlic, tomato paste: these flavors jump right off the plate, fresh from a well-seasoned wok. 

A wish.

Like most birthday girls, I find the wait for the cake almost impossible. No matter how fine a main course, or salad, it is the desert that is the show-stopper.

After much searching and deliberation, I adapted this recipe from one I found on the nakedeats Blog; Community Vegan Carrot Cake.

~Naked Carrot Cake~

    ⁃    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour  (1.25 cup AP, 1 WW)
    ⁃    1 heaping T cinnamon
    ⁃    2.5 teaspoons all spice
    ⁃    2 teaspoons fresh-ground nutmeg
    ⁃    1/2 teaspoons cardamom, ground
    ⁃    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ⁃    2 teaspoons baking soda
    ⁃    1 teaspoon salt
    ⁃    1/4 cup agave
    ⁃    3 teaspoons vanilla
    ⁃    1 cup olive oil
    ⁃    2 cups finely grated carrots
    ⁃    1 cup crushed pineapple including juice
    ⁃    1 cup shredded coconut
    ⁃    2/3 cup chopped pecans
    ⁃    1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grind all spices (cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, cardamom). Mix together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
Mix the agave with the olive oil in an electric mixer, then drizzle in the fragrant vanilla.
Slowly fold in the dry ingredients mixture. It may seem dry, but not once all the fruits and veggies are added. :D. Add the pineapple and juice and mix. Then add the carrots, coconut, raisons, and nuts. Don’t overland.
Grease and flour a round 9”pan (easiest with a spring-form pan). Pour in the cake batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is pulling away from the sides.

I know it is hard, but let it cool completely before frosting and eating. Gets better with age! ~

The results were sensational: a pleasantly fragrant and fruity cake, not too sweet, but dense and chewy. Just the way it should be. It got rave reviews and clean plates from the rest of the family. A job well done if I do say so! After such an eventful day, the only missing from this picture of happiness was to register to vote! I’ve had a SIN# in the States since birth, so it was easy to register to vote down there, but alas, the next election isn’t until 2012. And I was so looking forward to exercising my democratic rights. When one comes of age, you can vote, and be in a porno, which were both very exciting options, but I stuck with voting :P. I realized that I didn’t have a Canadian SIN#, so I will have to get one very soon so I can register to vote here. Because the elections happen whenever the parties want (a very odd policy, in my opinion. I like knowing we can get rid of people after four years, thank-you-very-much!), there is no set date for an election, but I bet there is a municipal one sooner or later! One can only hope!

All and all, I had a rather wonderful day. For some reason, people seem to enjoy saying “You are only 18 once”, but it is true of every other age as well! Undoubtedly this year will bring me closer to that elusive “health” and the pursuit of dreams beyond. <3

Jolly Good!

Today was a super super busy day! First off…its my mama’s birthday and my aunties (they are twins!). Of course, being the wonderful daughter and niece that I am, I completely forgot that it was the 10 of June. In my defense, I have very little use for a calendar in my day to day life…what use is it knowing the day, if it is so jarring to find out! We had a lovely birthday dinner for Mum though, which was nice, and cake. I gave her my grad picture (how modest, I know :P), with the inscription: Hell froze.

Today was also my grad luncheon at the Union Club downtown. It is like the last time we are all together and having fun outside of school stuff for awhile, besides exams and grad, and prom. But still, one of the last! We had a wonderful buffet lunch, and just got to have a laugh. As our goodbye gifts, and as our initiation into the GNS Alumnus, we were given pewter tankards with the GNS crest, and our Alumni pin, also emblazoned with our symbol! Tres cool. It officially makes me a grad, and means that my life is, yet again, moving off in another direction. Soon I will be pushing off from shore, and sailing…where?…who knows?

As if the day couldn’t get any more exciting, I finally finished my sweater and its beautiful! Its sort of a dark periwinkle color, and just Knit/Purl – very simple – but I did it all myself, and it turned out!

Unfortunately, not the most attractive picture. In part, because its like 2 in the morning, I’m in a bathroom, and I’m trying desperately to hold myself up!


The other day was my birthday.
Its infuriating. I am 17, but how? At last count, I was fifteen…how strange it is that I am two years older and yet I am not. It is a difficult thing to wrap my head around. The passage of time is always hard to wrap your head around…but especially if there is nothing to hold on to, no memories to cement the passing of time. I’m floating out in space without it.

I felt especially crappy that day. It felt like the Lyme bugs were doing it on purpose, ruining my day. Sometime the pain gets so bad that its hard to breathe.

Amy is here…my cousin from Ontario! She is so wonderful and it is amazing to have her here (love ya!). We’re hopefully going to do some fun cousin things, just hang out have fun! They are currently making carrot cake (my favorite!). I am very excited.

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times.

Its been busy around here! Haven’t written in awhile!

They upped my amount of Doxy (an antibiotic!) and its been making me feel super nauseous and foggy, which is always a drag!

Amy, my cousin, celebrated her 23rd birthday a few days ago! 23! Yikes! We went to the reptile zoo together with my dad. It was fun, but kinda creepy. There were some really pretty snakes and frogs though! Even a crocodile! Gosh!

We went out for Thai food this week (OMG! its too good to be true!) but I felt too nauseous to eat (oh…it WAS to good to be true!) which kind of put a damper on my eagerness to eat Thai. Its just a side effect from the drugs, which is super icky! One of my personal least-favorite side effects to be truthful.
Yesterday my big cousin Jenn came down (or up the map, not sure actually) to visit! It was so lovely to see her and we had such a good time. She is a physiotherapist so she brought me some exercises to do. We made satay chicken and peanut sauce for dinner! Way cool.

Today was real pretty out, and sorta warmish, around 20 C (68F). We went to the Zoo today and saw a bunch of cute animals (wallabies, cougars, monkeys) etc. It was a bit depressing because a lot of the animals were in really small cages! So horrid.

My PICC arm kinda hurts today. I think we are going to change the dressing soon. Super tired. Ta ta!

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