Addicted to stuff

My mom and aunt asked if I wanted to go to Tyjo's, they were having a sale. Of course I went. I do not need any fabric, I have nothing in mind that I want to make. But I still bought a bunch of fat quarters, at $1 each, how could I not? Her regular priced fq's were on for 6 for the price of 4, and I'm a sucker for anything Amy Butler so I bought most of what she had left.  The stuff on the left matches the quilt kit I got for Christmas from my mom.
I'm still getting grief over using part of the kit to make this banner. ( I don't recall saying I was making the quilt, just that I loved the fabric!)  Just a note: I only spent $25, not like some people with rooms of fabric, who spent way more. 
I am thinking I need a sewing room. Good thing Kerry doesn't read the blog.
 I made a few cards with the new Stampin' Up stuff.
 I am loving that pennant punch and matching stamp set. It's very versatile.
 The triple layer punches are pretty neat too.
 I'm loving the Beyond the Garden patterned paper.
 I copied the next two cards right out of the catalogue because I loved them so much.

 The kid counted and inventoried all her Copic markers, 103. She coloured the cover of her inventory book, she's so amazing with those markers. And she was quick to point out that 103 markers isn't even half of what is out there. Nice.
 I finally got around to hanging up one of 4 vinyl wall art things, I have a hard time putting something fairly permanent on things.  I snapped a quick photo of the chalkboard one on my antique filing cabinet, with a very meaningful message I wrote on it.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.

Little Bit Older, Little Bit Bolder

A very late birthday post. :) A very hectic month, indeed. Some say the busier we get, time flew a lot faster. Isn't it? Feels like my sweet seventeen birthday was only a few months ago, and hey, I'm 18 now!

I thought my birthday was just gonna be a normal birthday without any surprises --which I'll still be thankful & happy about it, I'm always excited on birthdays! But Audrio came right on the night before my birthday, gave me a birthday cake with 18-shaped candles on it, and a birthday present, a polaroid instax camera!! A birthday surprise given by an uber-lovely boyfriend on my birthday... I couldn't ask for more. :)

Blowing the candles reminds me of how God takes care of me though out this 18 wonderful years of me living on earth, and still counting. God provides me exactly anything & everything I need, from the beginning until the end, He is the alpha and omega. :) Thank You God for lovely people You've put in my life, who means a lot to me, called family & friends. And of course, Audrio.

Family dinner with mom, dad, my brothers & sister, Cheryl, Audrio and his mom and dad... then spending the rest of the night at the park :)

Cheryl and her quirkiness. :)

The bridge hold challenge, too many beers and holiday type (dis)organisation.

Well, some big news now; Exams are finally over! After three weeks of the f***ers (clearly this is a G-rated blog), all I can say is PHEW!

Needless to say the end of exams was marked by a few sneaky beerios and the obligtory bridging contest in the middle of the Normanby. After about four minutes of bridge hold it was bordering on ridiculous so Grant's cousin and I truced to share the glory of '2011 Bridge Holder of the year, uni student in pub edition'

As a result, my intercostals now feel like someone has taken to them with a mallet. Strangely enough though, my abs are fine.

So this brings me to the strange predicament of not really knowing what to do for the next two weeks. Of course I still have to work and earn a few clams when I can, but after such a hectic semester at uni I almost am relishing the opportunity to become housewifey, doing the washing, hanging out on FB and watching daytime repeats of Neighbours from the 90's while perfecting my cheese cube and gherkin canapes.

Nonetheless, I don't want to get bored so I have decided to make a list of things to keep me occupied these holidays...

•Learn to make a mean satay sauce
•Perfect the art of poaching pears in alchoholic beverages
•Now that exams are over, moderate my nightly wine intake and perhaps ration it down a bit. It's a costly affair, after all
•Fix my race bike when my crank arrives, ride said bike
•Maybe pick up the roadie and start doing some riding again that goes further than the BMX track
•Practice my cyclocross dismounts and remounts
•Clean the coffee machine more frequently

Half Way There

I finally decided to do something about my flabby, fat and lazy body.  I don't like sweating. I'll never go to the pool, I won't go to a gym. I cut back on my portions, and am trying to make better choices at meal times.  And even though I don't watch the Biggest Loser, I thought I'd invite Jillian to the party. The pity party.
Well, after 15 days, 14 of which I hated, I have lost 5 or more inches and get this I've not lost a single pound! Not ONE! Not TWO! Zero, Zilch, Nada...but that's okay, I can do my belt up one or two notches tighter, depending on the pants. I feel better. I guess Jillian can stay another 15 days. 

Review for Team Realtree Outdoor Energy--Blaze Orange


Like the original, I couldn’t find a caffeine content for this drink anywhere.  Unknown.


At least around here, any Team Realtree Outdoor Energy product is found at only one location, the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Idaho Falls.  Good news for those who frequent the store, bad news for those who don't.


Team Realtree Outdoor Energy—Blaze Orange comes in the same thick aluminum bottle as the other Team Realtree products (love the thick aluminum bottles), but is easy to distinguish from the others by its singularly ostentatious orange paint job (perhaps chosen to prevent the drink from getting shot).  I’m not as wild about the getup on this one as I am the original, but it still gives me nothing to complain about, succeeding in its own right.


The taste is similar to Tang, except very heavily carbonated and with a distinct and somewhat disagreeable aftertaste—not medicinal, as with drinks like Red Bull, but seems more related to the orange flavor than anything else.  I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t downed the bottle in such a hurry—with carbonation like this, which I ordinarily very much appreciate, you kind of have to take it slow or it gets a little overwhelming.  Still, I can’t say it’s bad, just not a personal favorite.


Stronger and markedly less subtle in its action than the original, perhaps owing to the somewhat higher sugar content, but I’m not sure—since I can’t find a caffeine content for any of the flavors, I couldn’t tell you if there’s a difference between them.


No real difference from the original, though as noted, the effect is much less subtle and feels slightly more artificial.


Can't say there's a whole lot that's subtle about this drink—the look, the taste, the kick—it’s all very showy.  If you like your drinks more intense, I'd go with this one above the original, though I have to say I like the latter more, given the fact that it provided me with an experience unique among energy drinks, though this one is more standard. 


KEYWORDS: Team Realtree Blaze Orange Energy Drink review, sportsman's drink, outdoorsman's drink

The importance of real Joy.

In the Book of Psalms, King David says, “Serve G-d in Joy, come before Him in Song.” and in our daily prayers we say regarding G-d, “He prefers melodious song...”

The great Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchok Luria once said to his student, the reason why he merited the holy prophetic spirit of G-d, was because of his great joy when performing G-d’s commandments.

Here we have a very important point to be made, which is expressed in the following law.

Maimonides writes in his Code of Jewish Law, although it’s a mitzvah- an important deed, to drink a cup of wine on the holidays, one should not over indulge in drinking and frivolity, and claim he is increasing in joy. For this is only an expression of being wild and frivolity. We are commanded to be joyous and happy, which is a great service of G-d, and this cannot be fulfilled when wild and drunk.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy – “Because you did not serve G-d in joy and with a good plentiful heart, you will serve your enemies.” Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi explains, that the true enemies of a person are the destructive thoughts and internal challenges. These enemies are eradicated, and to begin with, not given a chance to come into our minds, through the joy of serving G-d. King Solomon already counsels us, “In ALL your ways you shall know Him.”

Once, a student came to Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi and said, “He was being assaulted and overwhelmed with bad thoughts.” The Rabbi told him, “They gather in empty spaces”. Rabbi Schneerson explained, “If a person would fill his mind and heart with the joy and delight, with the richness and fullness of serving G-d, there would be no room for the emptiness and darkness to take hold.”

When a person feels an excitement in his heart that he is able to give pleasure to his Creator by serving him, this strikes a certain chord deep down inside that sparks light and vibrancy all over a person’s body and life.

There will always be those who will mock, since this is their mechanism for overcoming their own jealousy and guilt. A person should just ignore those who mock him and who only derive pleasure from physical materialistic pursuits.

There is a saying in the name of the Baal Shem Tov. “ Foolishness, sadness and a haughty feeling of self worth is considered in many ways, as like a terrible sin of the Bible ( although not actually) and, discriminating perception, joy brought about through finding the good in everything, and a calm swiftness are considered ( again, although not actually ) a Commandment of the Bible”.

Once, a great Rabbi saw someone dancing to his morning prayers. It was quite obvious this person felt and understood the true joy and meaning of what he was saying. The Rabbi commented, “Great things will come from these prayers.” Another time, this same Rabbi saw someone dancing, called him by name, and said, “What a pity to wear out a good pair of shoes.”

Cheers, Cars, Crying, and Creating

A very shy, but possibly proud kid was the only grade 9 kid receiving an award for Academics in Art. Very sweet moment for us. She let me take a picture, her choice of spots, in front of the trash bins, in full sun at her school. I think I did pretty decent at making do with what I had.
 After the ceremony, she got to go back to hanging out with these two. And again, making do with what I had. Or maybe it's a bit of "Can't have my cake and eat it too." I learned that in a little class by Karen Russell. I got the group shot, with the friends, sort of everyone looking at the camera. I also got the sun flare, which I love, I really do. But I got half the Future Shop sign, van mirror (I'm in the passenger seat leaning over Kerry) and the sun flare washed everything out.  But I'm okay with it. I love it.
 Dad rode his Harley down and met us in Penticton for the Beach Cruise car show. Over 800 cars, and I think we may have seen about half of them. It's so sad the amount I am learning about cars. 
 We were totally surprised to see not one, but two Subarus at the show. Kerry says people here don't show them because they are too busy driving them. I snapped quickly when I realized he was wearing his Subaru shirt.
 It was a sad day for him, he decided his very old, flannel brown plaid shirt was too worn to wear anymore. (Again, he's wearing a Subaru shirt!)
 While he has a week off, the week of the Jinky Art Retreat, we will be painting the stair case, and possibly the main room in the basement. I'm leaning towards muted. Grey. I wanted Green, like Mojito but decided it was actually quite dark for that area. I think we are going with the bottom Grey. It looks the best with the red wood hard wood, and the tile on the landing.
 I made a few cards in the last couple weeks. This one was copied and altered quite a bit from the Cricut magazine. Don't forget to get August's and October's!
 This idea came from another card magazine.
 I had to use some new goodies from the almost released 2011 Idea Book.
 And I used some hoarded Imaginesce paper I bought last summer while in Langley/Surrey. Can't pass up a paper sale!

Chihuly at MFA

 I'm back in Georgia, but certainly am missing Massachusetts. During my mom's visit for my graduation, we went to the MFA. While we spent nearly six hours wandering around the exhibits, I thought the Chihuly exhibit was too pretty not to share with all of you. I had missed the Chihuly exhibit they had at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens a few years ago, so it was great to see this exhibition in full. If you're in the Boston area sometime this summer, make sure to stop by and see this!

Suits Your Fancy

It's been quite a long time since I invest my extra-time for designers' menswear collections and drool over them. But on 2012 spring collection, they're all seem like exploiting happy, delicate & earthy colors (which ALL are my favorite colors) in the very best way, so I guess I'll be pleased to post em & I would love to apply these color palette on my outfits. Here's my picks for Spring 2012. :)

Acne. loves: collars with different colors, velvet-ish jacket

And Kenzo launched even the dreamier colors & motives, dominated by light pink & baby blue.

And, fortunately, for you guys who doesn't love pastel colors that much, here's another sets (which I STILL crave to have, even it's menswear collection) of Maison Martin Margiela, Dior Homme & Paul Smith.

Leather shirts. Yum. Check the leather patched on the pants below.

Review for Team Realtree Outdoor Energy


Couldn't find it for the life of me.


Only place I’ve ever seen this stuff is at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Idaho Falls.  I don’t know that it’s carried at other S. W. locations or at other outdoorsman’s chains, but at least around here this stuff is pretty scarce.


Having grown up in Connecticut, I’m a sucker for forests, so naturally the woodland motif of the thick aluminum bottle very much appealed to me.  It’s clearly meant to be an outdoorsman’s energy drink and looks exactly like an outdoorsman’s energy drink should, though I could see how losing the drink after setting it down while roughing it could be a problem.


I peered inside the bottle before I tried the stuff, and was a little startled at the color—an alarming fluorescent green, with the slightest tinge of yellow.  The first sip made me think of Mountain Dew, but the rest of the drink was unmistakably ginger ale-esque—about time somebody tried to appeal to that demographic (I am exceptionally pleased that it’s not a Red Bull rip-off, which seems to be the case quite often when I think I’ve found something new and unique).  Being a ginger ale fan, I was naturally quite pleased with the stuff, though I’m taking a point off for the mild but persistent aftertaste that’s still lingering a few minutes after the fact.


This is a very slow and mildly acting energy drink, but there’s no questioning its effectiveness.  It’s the kind of drink that doesn’t really shock you into a high-energy state; it just clears out all of the cobwebs and makes you decidedly awake and alert, without jitters or crash at the end.  I guess if I had to sum up the experience in one word, it would be "natural."  I can see how it would be made for the hunting type, who need to lie still and quiet but awake while waiting for their target game to come along and would not benefit from a higher octane beverage.


After the wake-you-up, the effects are not especially tangible, so subtle that you wonder if it just woke you up and dissipated.  It really does feel like you’re awake under your own steam, which makes it hard to tell how long it really lasts.  I was quite awake for a good while after the fact; I’m going to give credit to the drink for that.


Even if not for intensity, this is the kind of drink that leaves an impression on you—in addition to tasting very different from just about every other energy drink in existence, it’s action is one of the most subtle I’ve ever had, but paradoxically does not compromise effectiveness in the least.  This is one of those drinks you really do have to try, offering a positive experience like none other I’ve had in my career of energy drinking.


KEYWORDS: Team Realtree Energy Drink review, ginger ale, sportsman's drink, outdoorsman's drink

Review for Rockstar Recovery--Orange


160 mg/16 oz. can
240 mg/24 oz. can


This stuff was fairly uncommon when it first came out, but not long after it completely inundated the market.  Don’t expect to look long or hard.


The drink comes in a can that follows the typical Rockstar motif, with the logo and the background, the difference being the principal color scheme, which centers around two shades of orange and some white lettering with lots of black accenting.  The look is an overall success.


Tastes like Tang, and I like Tang.  What’s really impressive about the flavor, however, is the fact that there are only 20 calories per can, yet it does not taste watered down (as does Rockstar Recovery—Grape) or have any hints of artificial sweetening to mar the experience (contrast with Rockstar Pink).  This makes the success of the flavor all the more impressive.  Word to the wise: makes sure you drink it cold.  I had the 24 oz. can when it was only somewhat chilled and my feelings weren’t so positive.

16 OZ. CAN


The drink was slow at getting started, and I was almost ready to dismiss the kick as average before it really hit—and let me tell you, this is some pretty hardcore stuff, much after the tradition of the original.  Between the original Rockstar and Rockstar Energy Cola, I would say that this is one of the strongest Rockstar prudicts on the market—I have not been so affected by a drink in a very long time, perhaps only two or three times since I started drinking energy drinks a couple of years ago.  There was nothing to do at that point but study for my anatomy test with exceeding efficiency, and listen to “Battlefield” by Blind Guardian over and over (a total of at least 20 times…seemed appropriate).


This drink really went into uncharted territory in terms of duration—the peak of effectiveness lasted for an hour and a half to two hours before it started to wear, off, and even then, it wore off VERY slowly, taking an additional four hours to get back to the point where I didn’t feel any effects.  And, wonder of wonders, there was no crash at the end to set me back.


While I can’t vouch for the hydration claim (the drink had a very significant diuretic effect), I can say that this is hands-down one of the most effective energy drinks I’ve ever had.  I really can’t find anything bad to say about it.  All I can say is that this drink rocks, and should be a first choice for anyone who really needs to get their hands on a serious energy drink.  Well done, Rockstar.  Well done….

24 OZ. CAN


I consumed the 24 oz. can under different circumstances than the 16 oz. can—with the latter, I was studying for an anatomy test, and with the former, I needed a boost to get me ready for work.  Needless to say, it’s pretty hard to compare the two—the 16 oz. can had me vibrating out of my seat because I was so freakin’ wired, and the 24 oz. can had me bouncing around the vet clinic where I work for the same reason.  As I recall, the perceived energy levels were more or less the same, but that is probably because it was easier for me to notice the effects when I was sitting and studying than when I was up and running.  Call the 24 oz. stronger, just because it managed to deliver the same formidable energy when I was moving around as the 16 oz. when I was sitting.


Again, what I perceived after drinking the 24 oz. can was about the same as after I drank the 16 oz. can (5-5½ hours), but as I was up and running, I find it a little more impressive that the drink was still able to deliver so well.


If you’ve had the 16 oz. can and liked it, you can plan on liking the 24 oz. can—I was extremely impressed with the former, and the latter was not too shabby, either.  Either will work; which you choose is up to whether you are fond of the flavor.

KEYWORDS: Rockstar Recovery Orange Energy Drink review, electrolytes, hydration, diuretic, 10 calories per serving, 20 calories, Rockstar Recovery Orange 16 oz. review, Rockstar Recovery Orange 24 oz. review, 16 ounces, 24 ounces