Saturday, October 30, 2010

I love baking

I just love my kitchen, we can comfortably lots of people running around baking and cooking. I pretty spent the whole of Friday baking for our housewarming party and somehow managed to convince Shirlz to take the day off to join me =) I'm such a good influence.

My recipe book - has every recipe on the planet
Check out the 2.4kg choc chip packet!
My pink cupcakes

Mixing banana cake
Banana cake batter
Banana bread - all gone before the housewarming
Check out the 10kg bag of flour
Jell-O is not jelly...jelly means jam here.
Colourful Jell-O
Cute button cookies
Our baked buttons...delicious
Base for pies
Nanaimo Bars
Cooking dinner in the middle of baking, our amazing ability to multitask
We can cook from the other side of the bench too, awesomeness.
Our baking team!!
It's so annoying having to convert from Australian units such as mL to cups or cups to grams or Celsius to Fahrenheit. I remember baking my first banana cake here and not converting anything. My cake spent 2 hours in the oven to cook because the oven operated in Fahrenheit and I thought it was Celcius =P

Anyway, there will be more photos to come on our awesome Housewarming!! WOOHOO..and more baking to come =D

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let's carve some pumpkins

Carving pumpkins is a Halloween tradition. And this is going to be my first ever proper Halloween in North America =)

And here is a step-by-step guide on how to carve a pumpkin:

Pumpkin carving tools
 A pumpkin (quite important)
On a side note, I've had this particular conversation with my fellow Canadians numerous times. The photo above is of a pumpkin, that I agree with. But in Australia, the picture below is also known as a pumpkin. In fact, its a butternut pumpkin - but in Canada, they refer to that as a squash. So basically everything I called a pumpkin back home is actually a squash here. Might not seem like such a big deal but this issue has come up a few times already and I will stand my ground and refuse this a squash. I don't care if no one understands what I'm talking about!

Butternut pumpkin

Same thing with capsicums..they have no idea what I'm talking about when I say that, its called "peppers" here. And do you know how they pronounce aluminium? Not al-lu-mi-nium, which in my opinion, is how its pronounced. But they say eh-loo-meh-num. Say what?! Is that even English? And every time I say lollies, people would usually giggle. They say candy instead. Apparently, lollies is what little kids say.

Oh, and yesterday, when I was moving my bed (yay, I have a bed now!) Jon said he could use his truck to help me out (thanks Jon!), so I expected to see this:

But instead, I saw this:

So I said, 'Oh, you mean its a ute'
'A what?'
'A know, a a utility vehicle'
'Oh, you're speaking Australian again'

I am so misunderstood! Anyway, enough of my ranting, back to pumpkin carving...

Taking off the top

"Gutting" the pumpkin
Pumpkin guts - delicious
And the carving begins..
Kelly's bear carving
My very own carving
W00T! My first pumpkin ever.
The pumpkin carving team. Brian too embarrassed to show his face =P

And that, my friends, is how to carve a pumpkin =)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic

We set Saturday aside for our epic shopping adventure and it was epic indeed - all 8.5 hours of it!

On the way to Richmond, I had to take this photo - look at how pretty all the trees are =)

Fall in Vancouver

Our first stop was Daiso in Richmond. Daiso is a two dollar Japanese store filled with so much stuff you didn't even know existed.

It probably wasn't a good idea to leave four girls to their own devices at this place. You could just browse and browse through the 100,000 different items they have in store - all small, cutesy, Jap products. I don't even remember how long we shopped for but it was long!

Our next pit stop was Ikea. I lovvvvveeeeeeeee Ikea and I'm glad its pretty stock standard - its the same no matter where in the world you are. Yet, I still manage to get lost on the way back from the washroom. But then again, that would probably happen in Perth too =P Not surprisingly, we lost track of time at Ikea as well...

We all deserve a treat for our hard work.

Then finally after Ikea, we went home to unload and for some of us, nap. Actually, we all wanted to nap and postpone the grocery shopping until the next day but we had nothing left in the fridge so Shirlz and I soldiered on to Canada's Superstore. It was like 7:30 by the time we got home and we still had to cook dinner. Welcome to real world where a nice, home cooked meal does not magically appear on the table -.- These are the little things I miss about home, just the little things.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hello again Seattle...

I've barely been in Vancouver for two weeks and here I am going off to Seattle again...oh who can say no to shopping? I'm not a big shopper but I have been deprived for weeeeeekkksssss. It's not fun living out of a suitcase so now that I've got my own place and a HUGGGGEEEEEEEEE walk in wardrobe to fill, I can't think of a better time to go. OK, I hear people say perhaps after I get a job and earn money to spend..minor detail I say. Actually, its a blessing in disguise that I went there with limited cash because that was the only thing stopping me from buying more.

Getting ready for the road trip, my second cup of coffee before 10am

How I got to Seattle =)


Just before the border of the US Customs

Yep, we're heading the right direction.

Made a stopover at a field of pumpkins. Look how GINOURMOUS they are!

It was quite a productive day of shopping, I purchased most of the winter gear I required for Canadian weather:

- A pair of sketchers
- Two pairs of waterproof boots
- A coat
- Sunnies - maybe not really required in winter but I lost mine that day =(

 Apparently this year is going to be a really bad winter but I am prepared so I say, bring it on! Hahaha..I will probably regret saying that. Ask me again in two weeks.

Getting past the US border was a bit of a hassle for me. Americans and Canadians can apply for a nexus card where you get quick entry in and out the border without having to queue in line. Whereas, because I'm Australian, I don't get that priviledge...and now, no one wants to take me across the border because they know its a bit of a hassle taking an Australian around. C'mon guys! But on a serious note, I do need to head back soon, I got a voucher for spending it up and I need to use it before it expires. Seattle, you will be seeing me again very shortly.

My First Thanksgiving - Canadian style

As I mentioned in the previous post, I arrived just before the Thanksgiving weekend. When I was telling everyone it was my first Thanksgiving celebration, they were pretty surprised until I reminded them that we don't celebrate it in Australia. I was lucky enough to be invited not to one, but TWO Thanksgiving dinners.

The first one was with Della and her family. I met Della on Sunday and she invited me to her place for Thanksgiving dinner that night. They were super sweet and really welcoming.
Setting the table up for a feast
Look at all that Turkey..

Time to chow down

My second Thanksgiving dinner was with Nick and his friends.

Prep time

Check out the purple corn, they come in purple!

Getting ready to serve dinner
Enough Turkey to last us one week..

And that was the weekend of glutony.

I'm glad we don't have bathroom scales in the house and I'm pretty sure my jeans are only feeling tighter because of they shrunk in dryer...