Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

So I was at the mall tonight to buy my cousin and I matching 105 Singlets for the Sea Wheeze next month. We went with purple. And I thought I'd do the full walk around... and found a new store.

And subsequently had to buy a new shirt...because it was hanging front center, and brought me back to my highschool days in an instant.

Only once I got it home I released that if I wear this shirt into the lab, probably noone will know what it's from... since they're all either too old, too young or too male to appreciate Mean Girls.

I also picked up a black oversized tee, and a couple of cheap tanks from stores like old navy and bluenotes (you know, the kind of stores I feel too old going into).

In other news... I'm working on a new project (and not just the #100happydays that I've been doing on Instagram @Turner_SR )... So I've been busy as heck lately... Can't wait to share it here tho... in 19 more days!

Happy Humpday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cake Decorating at Michaels Lesson 2

So I think it's time to quit grad school and open up a bakery. I mean last week's cupcakes turned out pretty awesome, and this week was even better I think.

Week two of Michaels level 1 cake decorating class (using all Wilton products of course) required that we bake, fill, ice and decorate a layer cake. I'm still calorie counting this month (which means I wouldn't be eating my cake) so I went with a box cake mix, chocolate fudge. For the filling I simply mixed a can of chocolate icing with half a jar of strawberry jam. And I used the Wiltons icing that you can buy in the big jug at Micheals.

We gel transferred an image onto our cakes, and then went to town with the decorating.

My cousin's baby, Penelope, is turning one next month, and so I decided to make her a pre-birthday cake with a cute little owl (since she has a thing for owls).

I was seriously impressed with how the cake turned out, and Kevin informed me that despite being made from a box, it was quite delicious.

So what do you think? Should I decorate cakes for a living?

Week 1- cupcakes
Week 2- layer cake
Week 3 - decorate with flowers
Week 4 - ???

Easy Crochet Baby Blanket with Pattern

Everyone I know is having babies, or getting married...or having babies and getting married... or their babies are getting married. Anyways, as I usually like to hand make gifts for such important things in peoples lives I've been surrounded in yarn lately. I just finished up this pretty and simple crocheted baby blanket, it's adapted from a pattern from the 1960s or something from my grandmother. So I've included the simplified pattern below.

The finished blanket is actually pretty large (that's it taking up about a third of my double bed).

I really enjoy the fact that it looks almost like it was worked in squares and then assembled, but the easy 95% double crochet pattern means no seams and really quick work up.

The pattern is very straight forward. You can use any yarn you like (and the recommended hook size on the label), my blanket took just under 4 balls of Bernat Giggles in Giggling Green (although in these pictures it does look more blue) and the white yarn was just left over Red Heart Soft Touch, which is a bit smaller than the Bernat, but I thought it still looked fine.

Anyways, feel free to use this pattern, just link me back, and drop me a comment so I can come see how your project turned out.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Calgary Stampede 2014

This year I only made it out to stampede once, but had a great time there watching the rodeo with a friend, then meeting up with Kevin for beers, carnival games, baby animals and delicious food stuffs.

We watched the rodeo on Friday, with a full crowd. It was pretty close to sold out, Gabby and I bought tickets in separate sections, so we showed up a bit late, found some empty seats (corporate tickets holders often don't show up) and enjoyed the show.

The we wandered the fair grounds for a bit, and saw some dancing hiphop robot was weird.

We were hungry so I grabbed a sausage... turns out it was a 'Giant Western Sausage" and longer than my arm. The guy at the bbq snickered when I ordered it (go figure).

Then I met up with Kev, here's a picture of him with a cow (because his class are the you know, appropriate).

Next up was baby animals....Kevin wants a pot bellied pig one day, I want sheep... so I think we might have to live on a farm or something.

One thing everyone was talking about this year was the scorpion pizza, we found it, but there was no way I'd be eating it. Did anyone try it? one of the guys at school did, he said it didn't taste like anything but that the bugs were crunchy.

We went with pizza on a stick and deep fried cheesecake instead. Needless to say, I went way over my allotted calories that day, and had to make up for it all weekend.

Stampede was a gorgeous week of hot summer weather, but between my wanting to eat healthily this month and Kevin being on call all the time, we didn't Stampede nearly as hard as in previous years. In fact this year I did a little bit of volunteering for Stampede. The old folks home that I knit at every Monday needed volunteers to dress like cowboys, serve dinner and stick around to dance.

It turned out to be a completely great time, even tho I stepped all over one gentleman's feet while we danced to some super old love song. I'll have to be sure to do it again next year.

Monday, July 14, 2014

An unexpected dip in the Elbow River

Saturday afternoon was a scorcher here in Calgary, and the best way to beat the heat is definitely to get yourself out onto one of the rivers for a float. I've floated the Elbow River before, and it is such a relaxing ride, truly one of my favourite summer things in Calgary (although it doesn't quite make up for how much I miss cottage country back in Ontario). This time however we took an unexpected dip in the river.

I was floating with my friend Sarah (@setulk) and we were both on one of those large circular rafts. Like the highly educated young women we are, we forgot our paddles at home. Despite the lazy nature of the Elbow River, paddles are still a necessity to keep you off the shores and out of trees. So we improvised, I spotted a solid long branch, and we poled our raft along, Venetian style. Much to the ammusement of our fellow rafters, I might add, we got lots of comments about our 'paddle'. So many so that we began to boast and brag about the superior nature of the wooden branch for raft navigation.

Maybe we shouldn't have bragged.

Just after passing under the 4th St SW bridge, there is a small section of what likely can't actually be called rapids, but I'll call them rapids for the sake of excitement. A propper raft ahead of us (with propper paddles) went through no problem. As we entered the stretch however, we were quickly swept towards some low hanging branches. In an effort to use our stick to push off the shore and avoid the brush we capsized our raft and were dumped into the river.

My first thought? The Elbow River is pretty shallow, just stand up.

Nope, the current in some spots is pretty strong, standing up just wasn't an option. So instead I assumed the position we were taught when I did white water rafting in Colorado a few years ago. Sit your but down, bring your knees up in front of you and steer with your hands, face downstream and ride it out. (If you're a bylaw abiding Calgarian, the life jacket you're wearing makes this a lot easier...if you're like me, just rely on your core strength or something). So ride it out I did, getting swept maybe 150meters downstream and eventually catching up with the raft. Sarah trailed behind me through the water.

The whole dip in was actually quite a lot of fun, once you figured out how best not to smash your legs/knees on the rocky bottom of the river. And I was laughing as I climbed back onto the raft. Until Sarah shouted, "the Keys!"

You see the thing about rafting is you park one car down stream, then drive a second one upstream. Then ride the river down to the first car and drive back to the second.

Which means that while (if you're smart) you can leave your wallet and phone in the car, and not risk loosing them in the water, you do need to have car keys with you. Ours were in a little zip lock bag, sitting in the middle of our raft, underneath my tank top.

That is where they were sitting until our raft flipped over.

Somehow tho, the gods of the Elbow River were feeling generous that day, and just as we began to panic about having lost the keys I spotted my shirt floating towards us. And then Sarah spotted the keys in the little plastic bag floating ahead of it. Somehow the river was returning all it had taken from us. We even got our paddle/branch back...much good that it did us in preventing such mishaps.

Over all it was a great day of sunshine and water and mishaps. But if you're going to go rafting any time in the near future, make sure your keys are connected to you somehow. While the river may have been generous to us, she is a fickly beast and will likely not be so kind the next time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cake Decorating at Micheals Lesson 1

This afternoon, my friend Melissa and I attended our first cake decorating class at Michaels (an arts an crafts store). The class cost $20 to register, then about $40-$50 spent in buying Wilton's cake decorating equipment. And it runs for 2 hours a week for 4 weeks.

Tonight we brought in 6 cupcakes a piece and learned the basics.

First up we learned how to mix colours and fill icing bags, I went with a neon pink and a blue green swirl.

We then used a star tip to, well, make stars, do a star fill and make little swirls.

 We practised piping the icing with even pressure over long lines, then made some cute little loops.

Next up we pulled out the big tip to make roses and swirl cupcake toppers.

Finally we went to town and iced our 6 cupcakes each (mine are on the left). Too bad I am watching what I eat, so I can't enjoy any of these bad boys. I'm guessing my lab will be happy about that, since that is where they are going to end up! Next weeks lesson we ice and decorate a full cake!

So maybe the class is really just a great way to push Wilton products and sales. And maybe apart from us everyone else in the room was under the age of 18. But it was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to improve my skills.

Week 1- cupcakes
Week 2- layer cake
Week 3 - decorate with flowers
Week 4 - ??? 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DIY Ombre with Feria Wild Ombre 060

Sorry Mom.

I did a little experimenting with hair dye this afternoon. And I know how much you detest it when I dye my hair.

But I was feeling extra summery, and thought I'd give ombre a try and lighten the ends of my hair.

I picked up a box of Feria Wild Ombre, in the 060 shade, which is for medium to dark brown hair. Make sure you pick the colour that matches your starting point! It was on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $9.99, making this just about the cheapest hair colouring experiment I've ever done.

The box comes with  a little brush for easier application, and also I picture of a model who received an unfortunately severe dip dye.

I threw on an old t-shirt (Thank you Thor Labs for always giving away free t-shirts at Experimental Biology!) and took a before picture...all brown (with a couple hidden highlights).

How I did it? Watched youtube, there are dozens of people who have tutorials up, I worked it into may hair one section at a time, and was more generous on the lower sections than the top ones.

There's nothing like the smell of bleach in the morning! The box recommended leaving the colour in for 25-45min, I went with 20, since I didn't want to have it too light. Then rince and shampo and dry and straighten and voila:

Fun summer hair that looks sun kissed! Not a huge change, but I like it!