Thursday, February 28, 2008

A freebie day!

So, I was thinking's February 28th, which would normally be the last day of this short month, but not this year! It's a leap year. So, out of curiousity, I googled why we have leap years (I had no idea!) and found this...
"We say there are 365 days in the year and by this we mean that it takes the earth 365 days to make its annual trip around the sun. Actually, though, it takes the earth 365-1/4 days to make this trip. This means that every year we gain one-fourth of a day and every four years we gain one full day. If we did nothing about this, our calendar would move backward one full day every four years relative to our seasons. To keep this from happening, we capture the extra day every four years and put it into our smallest month, February."
Then I heard them refer to the the extra day on the radio as the day that the earth re-balances itself. They were asking people what they were planning to do with this extra day to re-balance themselves. I think this is such a great way to look at this day! It's a whole extra day that we are only given every 4 years, we should make the most of it and do something extra special for ourselves! So, now I'm deciding what I want to do tomorrow. What are you going to do to celebrate this freebie day??
I was also told by a patient at work that women are supposed to ask men to marry them when it's a leap year! So, for all you ladies out there waiting for your man to pop the question...maybe this is your year to do the asking!!! ;)
I reckon (Aussie moment!) leap years are exciting!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MacPurdys' gathering

Darryl and Stacey hosted their first dinner gathering in Australia last Saturday night. They made a yummy dinner (roasted pork with sweet potatoe and pear!) and the boys entertained us throughout the evening with their guitars. It felt like a down home get together! Lots of wine and lots of fun! Even Mr. Potato head was there! Some pics...
The girls decided to bake dessert. Not such an easy task when you've all had too much to drink already! But it was fun and made for lots of laughs!

Breagha liked the guitar!
The boys checking out the view from the Purdys' apartment.
Not such a lady like picture of me!
Can you see me now?
Umm...what's Stacey about to do to poor Vic??
It's really nice having the Purdys here!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I love baking. I have always enjoyed baking but lately, I love it. There's something about turning up the tunes and losing yourself in a good recipe, with the delicious smells and heat filling the kitchen and overflowing into the whole house. I swear it's like therapy for me. It takes my mind off anything that's bothering me and makes me feel creative. I read today (yes, in one of my many self-help books...which by the way...I don't really need thaaaat much self-help, I just find them inspiring!) that when you're feeling creative, or at peace, you're acting in your higher, more confident self...the happiest place you can be. Guess that's the me that shines through when I bake. Now, if only I could make a living baking, I'd be all set! What activity do you do that makes you feel creative, happy and at peace? It's unfortunate that mine doesn't involve exercise and in fact is the complete opposite! ;)
My pal Kristi first told me about these chocolate chip cookies, which have since seemed to become a legend! Everyone is buzzing about them! I know I posted cookies awhile back that I said were healthy but really, truly, these ones are!! Not only do they have chick peas in them, but I used my usual dairy free margarine, gluten free flour and dairy free dark chocolate and boy are they yum!
Kristi posted the original recipe on the "Yum, Fun and then Some" blog ( but here's what I did to make them Cari proof (a.k.a wheat and dairy free), just in case anyone reading this has to eat like me! I'm not sure if all these ingredients are sold in Canada, but it's worth a look! Might be able to find something similar.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. Nuttelex ( Side note: Nuttelex is amazing! It tastes just like regular margarine and is perfect for baking!
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla
15 oz. can of chick peas (rinsed and drained)
~ 1 c. dark chocolate. (I bought a Lindt 70% cocoa bar and chopped it up in very small pieces). The original recipe calls for regular chocolate chips.
2 c. Orgran Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats (luckily, I can eat gluten, just not wheat!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees or 176 degrees Celsius for those of you baking in Australia!
Beat sugar and butter until smooth.
Beat in egg whites and vanilla, then chick peas and chocolate.
Sift in flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
Mix until a dough forms.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Drop by tablespoon on cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes. Do not overbake. I don't know if it was because I changed the recipe but I found that they don't really spread out, so it's hard to tell when they are cooked, but exactly 13 minutes in my oven left them golden brown on the bottom and on the peaks of each cookie.
And that's it! Thanks Kristi! Enjoy everyone!
By the way, it's chilly today, well by Aussie standards, it's chilly. It's 25 degrees today and raining, so the perfect day to bake! I actually had to get out my slippers, as I found the floors cold! Sounds crazy, but seeing as it hit a sunny 40.2 degrees on Saturday (that's without factoring in humidy!!), 25 degrees really does seem cool!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Boys and their toys

Well, winter is on it's way here in Australia, so that means its prime running season. I started running back in April of 2007, (at a weight of 215 pounds) at first I walked at lunch, then walking with a little running, eventually it became all running. I really enjoy my lunch time runs, it helps to break up the work day and my route along the Brisbane river is fantastic, I never get bored of seeing pelicans, lizards, fish jumping and topless sun bathers. (I've only seen topless sun bathers 3 times, but who's counting) My lunch time route varies between 5km and 10km in length.
So, to kick off a new season on the run, I went out and picked up some new kit. First off, I needed a new pair of runners, my old shoes were passed the replacement stage, so I have retired them to "walking the dog shoes". Second, I picked up a new pair of Adidas running shorts (the really short ones with the slits up the side) and a running shirt, my old ones still have a lot of life in them, but if I run 2 or 3 days in a row, I have to wash them constantly, so I wanted to have another outfit to spread out the wear and tear. Third, I got myself a gadget!!! I'm excited about my new toy!!! Its a Polar RS200sd heart rate monitor. This sweet little computer will do the following...
- Store laps and view lap times
- View your current heart rate.
- Calories burned
- Check your speed/pace
- Check the distance you have run so far
- Check your target heart rate zone and check whether you are within your target limits.
You can see in the above pic there's a black pod attached to the top of my new shoe, that keeps track of my pace and distance. It looks really big, but I don't notice it at all when I run. I'm really looking forward to seeing if the heart rate monitor will help me with my weight loss and my running performance. There's 7 fun run/races coming up that I want to enter, a lot of them are trail runs(with distances of 10, 30, 50, 80, 100 and 160km, I would start off with the 30km ditance)
I am also aiming to do some triathalons this year, or at least start training for 2009, I've been looking into getting a second hand road bike but I'm really picky when it comes to bikes, plus I only have a certain amount that I'm willing to spend, so its going to be a slow go. I've bid on 2 so far on ebay but lost both auctions.
Currently, my weight is about 188 - 190 pounds. I have a birthday goal (june 15th) of reaching 170 pounds. At that point my focus will be less on weight loss and more on endurance and speed.
Steve (40 is only 9 years away) Dickinson

Blogging Book Club catch up

Remember how I said that I would catch up on what I've been reading? Well, I'm finally doing it! Here's the 3 books that I've read since just before Christmas...
I recently re-read "Living with Joy" (ignore the crappy picture, it's the only one I could find!), because I was given the next book in the series for Christmas and wanted to remember the first before I read the second. Plus, this a great book to read over and over, as it really helps to put things into perspective and build you back up, if you're feeling down. I love this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys self-help kinds of books. I'm a sucker for them! Keep in mind that you do have to be open-minded, as the author writes the book through her higher power that comes to her while meditating. It sounds a bit coo-coo, I know, but the information is great! I'm looking forward to reading the next book. I hear it's just as good.

I read this book while we were on our cruise. I thought it was a very interesting read and I learned a lot about life in Afghanistan that I didn't know. However, it was also a tough read at times, as I don't cope well with knowing that other people live such pain. I'm way too sensitive and usually lose sleep thinking about this stuff! Seeing as the book is the true story of one woman's life growing up in this country, it was even harder! Although, having said that, I am glad that I read this book and would suggest others read it. It really makes you appreciate the life we live as women in our countries.

It feels like ages ago that I read this book! It was okay. I love biographies and I like self-help books, so of course I had to give this a try. She makes some interesting points at times in this book and a couple of things that she wrote about do stand out in my mind, but I'm not sure that I would say it's a must run out and read. She seems lovely and I did relate to her a bit, but not completely. It does make you realize that life isn't always greener on the other side of the fence though. Money and success do not buy happiness.

Okay, so at the moment I'm reading 3 little books that I picked up at a used bookstore for $1 each. They're called, "Take Care of Yourself", "The Little Book of Wellbeing" and "The Little Book of Confidence". I wasn't joking when I said that I like self-help kinds of books! Anyway, I haven't decided what I want to read next. I bought a couple of books awhile ago and I have the book that I got for Christmas, but I'm thinking I'd like to read a Jane Austen book. We had a girls movie night last Tuesday and we saw the movie "The Jane Austen Book Club" and I felt inspired to read one of her books that I haven't read before. Anyway, once I finally make up my mind, I will post a picture of what I'm reading! Here's a pic of our last girls' movie night, minus Brianna and I...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What I've been doing...

I've been feeling creative lately and am putting that feeling to work. We bought 2 white lamps a year ago and lately they've been looking pretty grimy and blah, so I decided to spice them up. I'm really happy with how they turned out! It was super easy, just needed some fabric, ribbon and fabric glue. The lamp before is above. The lamp after is below...
It looks really cool when it's turned on and the light shines through. Anyway, I bought way too much fabric (you could only get it by the metre), so to use up some of the extra, I decided to make a wreath for the front door. Something to help attract the positive chi into the house (I've been reading about feng shui!). Just added a bit of other fabric, courtesy of one of Steve's shirts that doesn't fit him anymore and one of my old dresses...

...and voila! It doesn't get wet because our door is covered. It was put to the test last night in the heavy rain. Now, the next project on my list is to refinish a table and chair set that I bought off my old boss for $10. I've been wanting to do it for awhile and just haven't. I'll keep you posted on how it goes...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Au revoir Brianna!

Friday night we all got together to celabrate/mourn Brianna's approaching departure. At the end of the month Brianna will be moving to Montreal. She held a party at her and Adam's loft with a shivery theme.

Me getting warmed up with a glass of wine.

Some of the "ladies"

You can take the girl out of Bridgewater, but you can't take the Bridgwater out of the girl.

Pure Evil

Mr. Jeff (I'm single) Goslan

Another glass of wine for me.


I'm trying my best to play a didgeridoo, all that came out was a cross between a fog horn and a whale fart.

The pics below were stolen off Brianna's facebook.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sugar bugs

Yesterday was by far the sweetest Valentine's Day EVER! Sweet in that Steve gave me an adorable card and a facial and we went out for a yummy V'Day brekky, but mostly sweet in that I have never eaten that much sugar in one day ever. I actually had cookies and cupcakes for lunch. I have NEVER done that EVER. I felt disgusting! Especially since I usually don't eat a whole lot of sugar...I really felt it. I can't imagine what it must be like for people who eat junk and drink things like pop everyday and feel like that all the time. Ick. I had a monster salad for dinner, I've been drinking dandelion tea to detox and Steve and I took Jesse on a 45 minute super walk this morning to work off the junk. I'm just finally getting rid of my sugar headache and icky tummy. I seriously can't believe how badly sugar overload can make you feel when you're not used to having it! I can see why people have sugar withdrawl when they first start low GI diets. You're body really reacts to that crap!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cari, Steve and Jesse

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Congratulations... Steve's brother, John and his "fiance", Skye on their engagement! We're very excited for you both! There's just so much to look forward to!
They are getting married in November, which means, Steve and I are going to do our best to make it home for the wedding. Which means, if all goes well, our 2009 trip will become a 2008 trip instead. No promises, but here's hoping!!! We would both really like to see them get married and we would both really like to see our families! We'll keep you posted!

Last weekend in review...

It's almost another weekend, we're over hump day and here I am just posting last weekend's events. The sun came out for both Saturday and Sunday (yeah!) and so, we headed off to the beach. The above pic is Jes waiting to leave for the beach. He actually hates going in the hatch of the car. I think we may have traumatized him by taking him with us when Steve was learning to drive a standard. He bumped his head a lot. Poor Jeddy.
We packed our usual picnic. Lots of food.
Jesse tied to a surfboard, while we ate lunch. He's just staring at the water.

We did lots of body boarding. Fun, fun! Rej and Clo in this pic, waiting to catch a wave.
Ah Jeddy, we love you! He's such a good puppy!
Stacey and Breagha. Breagha loved the water!
Jesse deciding if Steve is worth the hassle of overtaking the waves.
The beach can be so exhausting! Shamus having a snooze...

Action shot.
It took Shamus a little while to brave the ocean waves, but once he got used to it, he seemed to have a great time!


On Sunday, we went to Southbank lagoon (man-made beach in the city) with the Purdys. This guy was making a chess board.
We also went for lunch and sat outside. They had gluten free pizza! It's been awhile since I've had pizza...what a treat! This guy was hanging out around our table, waiting for some scraps. He's pretty big! There was also this guy...he's smaller and missing part of his tail...I've been in Australia for a year now and seeing creatures like these running around our lunch table just doesn't seem to get old!

It's been raining again this week, but hopefully it'll be another beautiful weekend!