Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wilton Decorating Basics, Class 3

It's Thursday again, so that means it's Wilton night!

This was tonight's agenda:
  • Drop Flower, Rosette
  • Dimensional Decorating
  • Shell
  • Pompom Flower, Leaves
  • Filling and Icing a Cupcake

I made 18 cupcakes on Tuesday and followed our instructor's guidelines on how to improve upon boxed cake mix. She suggests adding an extra egg, using milk instead of water (when called for), and adding a pudding cup. Let me tell you, those were some damn good tips. My cupcakes turned out fluffy, light, and delicious. I will definitely keep that up.

I ended up forgetting my lesson book and between that, not having the practice board, and not owning 2 of the tips we needed, I found the class hectic and overwhelming. I also wish we had more workspace and garbage cans next to our chairs. That would make the class a million times easier.


First of all, I hate the drop flower. My icing was a little too thin this week so it was not cooperating.



The rosette was much easier and everyone in our class agreed they liked it much more than the drop flower.



The shell was also somewhat difficult, again due to my thinner icing consistency. I can see myself using this as a border so I guess I better practice!



The ugliest flower, the pompom flower, was not fun. I was too busy trying to fill my decorating bags and I kind of lost track of instruction. Mine looked nowhere this nice as you will see later in photos.

Leaves, my favourite of the night. These actually looked somewhat decent. They are incredibly easy to make, too.


What the heck is this, I mean really?! Okay, they call it a shaggy mum, but I call it ugly. I will probably never do this again.


After the flowers, we filled our cupcakes. I brought vanilla pudding to fill mine. I've never filled a cupcake with anything before but since it was so easy, I will probably fill them again in the future. Cream cheese filling anyone?

So, time to decorate our filled cupcakes. Mine did not turn out very good at all. Don't even look at my pompom flower, okay? Just don't. Not only did I suck with a capital TERRIBLE at them, they also got kind of pushed around and had things bump into them.

These were my 6 in-class decorated cupcakes. Two of the worst pompom flowers surrounded by pink uh, spaghetti? And 3 ugly shaggy mums. Just all around ugly. The used and abused muffin pan is not helping the ugliness, either.


When I got home, I was trying to balance my purse, my keys, my decorator kit, and my pan of cupcakes (I have a brownie pan that has a lid with a handle). I noticed the lid kept kind of sliding off the pan with the cupcakes, but I only had a few more feet to walk. Unfortunately the lid wouldn't hold on that long and bam, cupcakes on the carpet. The law of gravity says cupcakes will always land icing side down.
Truth be told, I was kind of relieved I didn't have to take those ugly-ass cupcakes to work.

Not one to be defeated by a cupcake, I redecorated the ones that fell as well as the other cupcakes I had at home. I like this swirl design. All you need to do is put 2 colours in your piping bag. It helps if you keep the colours on opposite sides of the bag but anything goes. Now I get to bring in these Barbie cupcakes to an office full of dudes tomorrow. They're going to love them.

P.S. Did you notice there aren't 18 cupcakes here? I'm never making extra again, all I do is eat them!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beginner Quilting, Class 1

Last night was my first quilting class at The Quilt Shoppe. I wasn't nervous at all about it until I got there and realized I'm starting at square one with this whole sewing thing. My only prior sewing experience was in Home Ec. as a kid (though it had been rebranded to the more politically correct "Design and Tech"). I had asked before signing up how much sewing skill I would need and was told none. Works for me!

We have 2 instructors, Donna and Diana and I really like them both. The class is small, 8 people, which is great. I'm also not the only person in their 20s so that's nice, too. I love the fabric the other younger girl picked out, but I'm excited to see everybody's quilts when all is said and done.

Diana started off by talking about the tools needed to quilt. First and foremost, fabric. We talked about how you always cut across the width of the fabric, never the length. The fabric stays folded like it is on the bolt and you always cut with the fold next to your body. Next, you never use scissors to cut so we need to buy a rotary cutter. We also need to buy a ruler and a cutting mat. So much for my plans to cut back on spending, these classes are getting expensive. I've spent a few hundred dollars so far this month which is a lot in my world. Jo Ann is pretty much my new favourite store.

One thing they talked about which I found surprising was that fabric manufacturers do not sell their high-end fabric in chain stores (think Jo Ann and Fabricland). Apparently if you see the same bolt of fabric in Jo Ann and in an independent quilt store, the fabric in the quilt store will be of higher quality. They did say it's okay to use lesser quality fabric, it's just something to consider when buying fabric.

Thankfully we were not bombarded with too much too soon as all this new information was freaking out my brain. I want to write an entry later on about how learning skills as an adult is different than as a kid. I don't remember being this freaked out by new information as a kid! We took to some tables to cut scraps of fabric for practice. I was struggling a little bit as my ruler kept slipping and the store's rotary cutter I was using had gotten somewhat dull.

By the time we finished class, I'd cut some of my fabric and sewn some of it together with quarter-inch seams. I struggled a little bit with sewing the seam as my fabric kept feeding in on an angle. We have to finish cutting and sewing our fabric strips together this week and I am positively nervous about it. I'm so scared to make a mistake.

Diana kept saying to our class, "This is not supposed to be stressful! Quilting is supposed to be fun!" but as I looked around at my classmates, I could see some other stressed out faces. Hopefully things become easier as the class goes on. I have taken for granted how naturally the cake decorating comes to me. As I was cutting my scraps of fabric, I wished I was decorating a cake instead. At least I'm good at that!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In the Midst of Things

Whew, things are getting busy! Tonight I start my beginners quilt class but I also need to find time to prepare for my third cake decorating class. In the meantime, I finished my first knitting project. Wow does football ever afford a lot of time to knit! If you know my boyfriend Anthony at all, you can probably imagine all the things I'll have time to make!

This was supposed to be a blanket but I made it far too wide and didn't have enough yarn to compensate. I didn't make this how you would normally make a scarf, either. The entire length of the scarf was on my knitting needle! Rookie mistake. At least I'll know better for next time. I loved this ball of yarn but it wasn't very good quality. I'm surprised it didn't ever rip on me but it came pretty close on some stitches.


THIS!! is what I'm going to be making in quilting class, but with my own choice of fabric. They showed this to me yesterday and I immediately said, "I'm going to make that?!" Right now I'm not sure I believe it yet!

This the fabric I'll be using. I laid them out so you can see what part of the above quilt they'll be used for. The brown will be the wide border and one of the rail swatches, the green will be the small border, and the 3 remaining pieces will be the rail pieces. I apologize for the low quality of the photo, I do need to start taking photos with a real camera and in natural light.

Leah trying on the "blanket" that was supposed to be for her. She was none too impressed with me.


Leah says, "Here, use your new sewing machine and make me something else instead."
This is IKEA's sewing machine, Sy. I'm not a big fan of IKEA (gasp, sacrilege, I know) so the idea of buying a sewing machine made by them wasn't my first choice. But for $70, it's hard to beat the price tag. If I want something nicer later, at least I'll have better knowledge.

Leah has been working on several of her own projects, namely, destroying her brand new toys.

Taking a break after the "kill."

This is my next knitting project! I'm going to make a patchwork/checkerboard afghan. I haven't learned any new stitches yet so it's just going to be the regular knit stitch. I was told to do a few projects before attempting to learn more so that's what I intend to do. I couldn't decide on 2 colours so I went with the easy choice, University of Michigan colours.


I am starting to feel a little too busy now that I have 2 classes this week but I'm excited nonetheless. I'm not sure my sewing class in October is going to happen as I have the inside scoop that I'm still the only person signed up. My mom might take it with me but the store requires at least 4 participants.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wilton Decorating Basics, Class 2

Well, tonight was the big night. Time to decorate our first cake!

We started out class by taking the time to level our cake, add the filling, and frost our cakes. This was time consuming, mostly because my chocolate icing was a little too stiff, but I was ready to go with my cake leveler (such a godsend) and my cherry pie filling. I really wanted to take photos as I was performing the various steps but I have weird hang-ups about taking photos in front of people. I don't know why, I just do. So there are no photos of that.

After we had all frosted our cakes, the instructor went over how to do the wavy line border (kind of pointless, especially with the #2 star tip) and the zigzag. We also covered "dots and blobs" (like this) which our class thought was funny.

After we practiced these techniques, we were given time to decorate our cake. Surprisingly, it seemed I was the only one who came prepared with an idea. I had my gel colours ready to go with my pattern cut out. It seemed everybody else sort of hummed-and-hawed over what to do. Not me! I've known for a week what I've wanted to do!

So, the moment you've all been waiting for...

 Autumn themed cake, just in time for the first day of autumn.


 I used a #3 circle tip for the veins and a #18 star tip to fill in the leaves. 

I had a little trouble with the rope border as you can see in this photo. I'd never done it before and we haven't learned it in class yet. I tried it out on a plate and decided, heck, I'm not learning anything by not making an attempt. They say to pipe in a sideways S shape but that seemed to cause me problems. When I didn't think about it too hard, it worked out okay.

Before this class, I always wondered how people were so good at essentially drawing on their cake. This class has opened my eyes. What I did for my leaves was I googled "autumn coloring book" to find basic leaf shapes. I printed off a few I liked, decided on one, then traced it onto parchment paper. Then I took clear piping gel (I bought the little pre-made tube in translucent yellow for this cake) and traced over the pen on the parchment paper. Then I flipped it gel side down, GENTLY laid it on the cake, and used a decorator brush to GENTLY transfer the gel onto the cake. Note the keyword "gently" as you don't want to smudge and smear the gel. Once I'd done that, I piped the veins. I filled in the leaves with the small star tip and then did a second layer of the veins so they'd pop out.

So there you have it.

Next week I start my quilting class and at cake decorating we're filling and decorating cupcakes. 

Wilton Classes Warning

After slaving away for an about an hour tonight in preparation for my second class tomorrow, I decided it would be wise of me to provide a disclaimer to anyone interested in taking the Wilton method of cake decorating classes.

This is neither a cheap nor a small side project. It is actually quite a bit of work preparing everything.

For example, here is everything I have to bring tomorrow, laid out on my carpet:



If it doesn't look like a lot, consider the fact there are a lot of odds and ends in my kit trays. Not only do you have to bring all these things, but you have to buy them, make them, and then remember to bring them!

Making your cakes and frosting is the most time-consuming part, and consider that you spend time going to the store to buy the items as well, plus the clean up afterwards.
Making frosting. 

So to sum up, you shouldn't take these courses unless you have the time and money...specifically:

1. The money to buy all the decorating items you need. Do you need a big kit like mine? No, probably not, but many of the items in there make life a lot easier. Even if you are going to cut corners by using parchment bags and buy items only as you need them, there are still several items you need: cake pans, food colours, spatulas, etc...

2. The money to buy the cake/frosting ingredients you'll need. Eggs, milk, oil, sugar, flour, icing sugar, shortening/butter, vanilla...at the very least.

3. The time to bake cakes and prepare frosting. Cutting corners by buying frosting is not going to help you since icing consistency and icing recipes are a big part of the course. Your projects may not turn out very well if you buy premade frosting, not to mention you are specifically asked in the course to make a specific recipe. And if you want to cut corners, it begs the question as to why you would take up a hobby that requires such painstaking attention to detail?

4. The time to go out and buy groceries, attend every 2-hour class (4/course), and clean up your mess afterwards at home and at the course. Unless you have a personal assistant, there is no getting out of these.

If you've read all these and it doesn't sound like a big deal to you, then have at 'er. But if you are a busy person with precious few hours to spare, you may want to think about it in detail before you decide to commit. That's the thing, learning to decorate cakes (or really anything) is a commitment and you should be fully-invested or else you are not going to receive the full benefit of the instruction.


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If you're curious as to what's in the first photo, here's a list of everything:
Wilton gel colouring pack, 3 Wilton gel colours, J-Cloth, cake pattern, Decorating Basics lesson plan, Wilton no-colour butter flavour, Wilton meringue powder, cherry pie filling, top shelf of Wilton Decorator Preferred Kit (inside top shelf: couplers, silicone tip covers, tips, notepad, pen, piping gel, toothpicks, decorator brushes), 2 chocolate cake layers, Wilton ready-to-use decorator icing, cake leveler, icing sugar, 1 batch medium consistency frosting, 1 batch thin consistency chocolate frosting, Wilton disposable bags package, bottom tray of the WDPK (pictured inside are featherweight decorating bags, disposable bags, flower sticker templates, cake strips, flower lifter), cake carry-and-display case, small angled spatula, large angled spatula, scissors, Wilton show-and-serve cake board, 3 small plastic containers


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In other news, I am having a hard time typing the words came, cane, case, care, cape...my hands automatically type cake!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bulk Barn Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Alright, here we go. My first recipe post! Keep in mind that I am in no way some kind of creator of recipes, I just post recipes I've found.

I love Bulk Barn. Seriously. I think it's one of the best parts about being Canadian. I have not found a comparable store in the States. Anthony insists I take him to Bulk Barn whenever he comes to Sarnia and I'm always happy to oblige. On Monday I took a trip to Bulk Barn to pick up ingredients for the cake I'm decorating in class on Thursday. Besides bulk food, Bulk Barn also sells a large assortment of Wilton items and British foods. I always leave Bulk Barn with a few extra items that weren't on my list.

On Monday I discovered their pumpkin spice loaf/muffin mix. I've been saying that I want to make as many pumpkin-flavoured items as possible this autumn and a simple muffin mix seemed like a good way to start. So without further ado...

Bulk Barn Pumpkin Spice Muffins


Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups Bulk Barn Pumpkin Spice Loaf Mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs


Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease loaf or muffin pan.
2. Pour mix into a large mixing bowl. Add water, oil, and eggs.
3. Mix for 2 minutes either by hand or with a mixer. If by hand, be sure to get all the lumps out.
4. Pour batter into pan. Bake in centre of oven for 40-45 minutes or for muffins, 20 minutes.
5. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the centre; it will come out clean when done.
6. Wait 10 minutes before removing from pan.
7. Enjoy with a glass of milk or apple cider.

Yield: 1 loaf or 12-15 muffins (depending how high you fill the muffin cups)

They look a little wonky because there was a little too much batter for 12 muffins but I was too lazy to do another batch.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nesting

Monday again! The weekend went by way too fast. Fortunately my weeks have been going by quickly too, especially since I've been baking so much.

I've noticed that every fall, I go into this nesting phase. I don't know how else to describe it. It's like my normally dormant maternal instincts come out and all I want to do is cook, clean, and make things for people. Now that Pinterest is a part of life, my pinning has gone into high gear this September.

I have another funny story. As you may remember, last Tuesday was my knitting class. My late grandmother used to be quite the crafts lady. It seemed like she knew how to do everything. Knit, quilt, crochet, cross-stitch, latch hook, everything. As a kid I was never into these crafts, despite her trying to teach me. While knitting my blanket for Leah (which is slow going because I've been so busy), I've been wondering to myself what Nana would say if she knew I was learning to knit. 

Anyway, my Nana was a big fan of Mary Maxim, a store here in Ontario that specializes in needlework crafts. I had completely forgotten all about the existence of Mary Maxim until Wednesday, when their Christmas catalogue arrived in my mailbox, addressed to me. I'd never received a Mary Maxim catalogue before and I don't know how they got my name. But seeing the familiar logo, I instantly thought of my Nana. What a coincidence that it arrived the day after my introduction to the needlework world. If I was more religious, I'd have to wonder if it was a message from Nana.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wilton Decorating Basics, Class 1

Well, today was the big day. First day of Wilton course 1, class 1!

Funny story before I begin, but apparently I have a little obsession with Wilton because as soon as I start typing "www" into my browser, Chrome is all like, OOH OOH! You're going to www.wilton.com again aren't you?! Here's the URL, all ready to go for you! You weren't going to some other website, were you? ...Thaaaat's right. I KNEW you were going to Wilton's website again!

I've been so excited for this class, today I felt like a kid starting the first day of school. I had my Wilton Decorator Preferred Decorating kit and my other necessities for the class all ready to go. I arrived early and laid out my kit, a notepad, pen, my icing, and some sugar cookies I made last night to decorate on. Some other girls came into the class, saw my keener set up and were like, "Whoa." I proudly told them about how I got my kit for $54 whereas no more than 15 feet from our classroom, Michaels was selling it for $129.99.

As the rest of the students came in, I was clearly going to be the keener of the class. I was the only one with a kit and I think probably the only one looking like a child on a sugar high. Hurry up get in here I want to start the class come on! Let's go let's go let's go! Fortunately, two people arrived later on with even bigger Wilton kits so alas, I didn't look so crazy.

Official lesson plan:

How to Bake a Great Cake
Buttercream Icing
Using Decorating Bags and Couplers
Icing the Cake
Leveling and Torting the Cake
Using the Star Tip


It was more or less just how to bake a cake, make the Wilton buttercream icing recipe, how to ice a cake, how to use a coupler and decorating bag, and 500 Wilton accessories you should buy because we say so. Wilton's stuff is a little pricey (more so in Canada and even worse at Michaels) but I will say they have some very innovative products. For example, the lid of my kit fits underneath the kit. The icing bag holder has little holes to hold flower nails. Clever little things where it's obvious they have put time into developing the products.

Our instructor gave us some great tips on how to improve boxed cake mix, how to fill a decorating bag without the icing ever actually touching the bag (seriously, watch the video, it's genius), and some other random tidbits. She did warn us she was teaching some things that weren't Wilton-approved but they were all the best tips!

I will say that after today, my Amazon wish list is going to get even longer. There are so many things I want to buy now, like the Tilt n Turn Ultra Cake Turntable and a bunch of other things.

We don't actually decorate a cake until next week, we just tried on our cookies tonight. Here are mine. I took the photo in my car because I was too embarrassed to photograph my lame cookies in front of everyone else, haha. They're not perfect as you'll see but as we all know, practice makes perfect.

Actual size.

If you're reading this and you want more specific information about what's covered in the class(es), please comment and let me know. This week was just a grab bag of basic information ("this is a decorating bag, this is a spatula") so I didn't want to write it all out.

And in case you want more information about Wilton classes or to find out where in your area they're held, check out Wilton's website. And no, I'm not getting paid to promo the hell out of Wilton, despite how my enthusiasm comes across.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Learning to Knit

Yesterday I went to my first hobby class, learning to knit. The course was from 3-5pm so that meant I got to leave work early, which is always nice.

Over the weekend when I was in Michigan, I picked up what I needed for the course: a ball of yarn, size 9 knitting needles, and a yarn needle. This cost me $8 at Jo Ann Fabrics so I was more than happy about that. Sometimes I feel guilty about buying pretty much everything in the USA but I figure I might as well help the economy of the country I'm planning on moving to in the future.

When I arrived at Michaels, I took a peek around to see what my Jo Ann purchases would have cost me there. I didn't have a lot of time but did see size 9 knitting needles for $12. Yikes! Mine were about $4.50!

As it turned out, I was the only person in the class which was great. I'm glad that Michaels doesn't require a minimum class size. I ended up getting one-on-one help for 2.5 hours (the instructor ran into overtime!). I learned to cast on two different ways, do a garter stitch, cast off, and seam two things together. I like seaming the best, it's easy.

I'm not sure yet how into knitting I'm going to get, but I would really like to knit afghans and mittens. I've already started my first project, a little blanket for my cat. She sleeps on my bed when I'm at work so I'm going to lay this blanket down and hopefully she'll sleep on it instead of getting fur on my nice duvet!

Here are some pictures!

Casting on.

My progress so far. About 5 or 6 rows.

I realized that knitting will be perfect for those long college football Saturdays I endure every weekend in Michigan. Instead of mindlessly browsing Reddit, I can actually make something. I look forward to it!

Tomorrow is my first cake decorating class and I'm so unbelievably excited! I ran into the instructor yesterday at Michaels and apparently it's going to be a full house.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I've Made

One of my favourite things to do is to bake goodies! I have a huge sweet tooth which I can never seem to satisfy. I've never been much of a cook (working on it) but I have always loved to make desserts.

I'd like to start sharing some of the things I make, whether it be a dessert or not. For me when it comes to cooking, the work has to be worth the pay off. I am not one for recipes with a million ingredients. I like my recipes simple. I buy cookbooks that promise a single digit number of ingredients "or less." I Google "easy" before the name of the recipe I want. Any recipe I write about will be easy to follow, with easy-to-find, low-cost ingredients. I am also not a photographer and take my food photos with my iPhone camera. This will not be some fancy-dancy cooking blog, there are plenty of those already (and thank god). I'd say this ain't your mother's cooking blog, but yeah, it probably will be. I'm into simple comfort food, not gourmet and exotic dishes. I aim to make things easy enough to be incorporated into a regular rotation.

Now that we have that out of the way, here's a sampling of some of things I've made recently!

Peanut butter rice krispie footballs, chocolate football cake, University of Michigan cookies

Bacon cheddar deviled eggs...they had been sitting out for awhile at this point so they got kind of melty

Bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit muffin things

Peanut butter truffles and Oreo truffles (Anthony's Valentine's gift)

S'mores cookies

Chocolate-covered gingers (my mom's birthday gift, her favourite)

Leah Maria's Tijuana Lager (Vienna lager made with my Mr. Beer kit)

Basic cupcakes (first time doing a swirl top, why didn't I do this earlier?!)

Family tradition, "chocolate log" AKA old school icebox cake.

Peanut butter pretzel sandwiches, dipped in chocolate (a lot of work but so worth it)


I've made lots of other stuff but I don't always take photos. Out of all these things, I get bugged the most to make the pretzels and the Oreo truffles again. Last year I gave out the Oreo truffles as a Christmas present and I plan to do that again. I'm planning to make everyone a goody basket of Christmas treats. I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Direction

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a new plan for my blog and my main motivation is the hobby classes I'm taking this fall.

Starting next week, I'm enrolled in the following classes:

1. Learn to Knit. This is a one-day class offered by Michael's. I've semi-learned to knit in the past but it never stuck. I'm looking forward to it. I'm not sure how much time I'll end up devoting to knitting since I have so many other things going on, but I'd at least like to try and make a scarf.

2. Wilton Method of Cake Decorating, class 1. This is a 4-week (4 classes) class, also offered by Michael's. I'm most looking forward to this as I love making cakes. I've been looking at pictures and videos of the cakes students complete in this class and I've been blown away. No way I ever thought I'd ever be able to make those fancy icing roses. I'm so very excited for this class. Prepare for lots of entries about it!

3. Beginner Quilting. This is a 5-week (5 classes) class offered by a local store called The Quilt Shoppe. I've been wanting to learn to quilt for a few years now and my eagerness (read: jealousy) was kicked into high gear when I saw a quilt my coworker's wife had sewn.

4. Beginner Sewing. This is an 8-week (8 classes) class being put on by Fabricland. This will overlap with the quilting a little bit (mostly the classes learning about the sewing machine) so I'm sure that will be helpful.

Since I'm taking all these classes, I knew I'd want to write about them and take photos of what I'm working on. I'd also like to remember what I've learned and since I'm doing so much this fall, writing will hopefully help me absorb what I'm learning.

Throw curling (and maybe hockey but I'm not hopeful) into all of this and you have my fall/winter so far! Assuming all goes well, I want to sign up for succeeding classes for Wilton and sewing. Just call me Martha Stewart, apparently!

My big goal for all of this is to become a little more domesticated. I'd like to be able to have the skills to make nice things on my own. I want to be the go-to person for kick-ass cakes; I want to be able to mend my own clothes if need be; and I want to be able to create beautiful quilts that I can give as gifts. 

A friend of mine joked that my fall sounds makes me sound like a typical Canadian grandma. That's okay by me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Well, I'm back apparently! Due to (a lack of) popular demand, I decided to start blogging again. I've missed it this past 14 months.

My big motivation to restart my blog is that this fall, I'm taking several hobby classes and I know I'm going to want to take photos and write about what I'm making. Jaime's learning skills!

First, a little catch up. Chances are if you're reading this, you already know me. But if not, this is what I've been up to...

-I'm still living with my dad in Sarnia, still working at the same place. I was supposed to be transferred to Windsor this spring but it was put on hold until next year. This is actually fine by me, but I'm just hoping they still want to/can hire me next year. It's been a big source of stress for me not knowing what's around the corner.

-Anthony and I are still together and going strong. We went to Seattle earlier this year with some of his friends and it was fun. Our 3rd anniversary is coming up which is just bonkers. I can't believe how fast time is flying but I guess it means I'm having fun!


Seattle Pike Place Market

-In July, I went back to Iqaluit for 2 weeks. It was very surreal at first but once the weirdness wore off, I realized the place hadn't changed at all. I had been missing Nunavut pretty hard before my trip but now that I've been back, I feel much more settled in Ontario. I feel more appreciative now of the things I have access to down here. When I first moved back, I was mostly appreciative of cheap groceries and 24-hour businesses. Now I'm appreciative of access to cheap everything in Michigan and Chipotle. Yes, Chipotle, but really, any giant burrito will do. Gotta have my burritos now. I blame Anthony for my crippling addiction.


One of the highlights of my Iqaluit trip, The Snack!

-I've also been to Toronto several times since you last heard from me. Most recently, my best friend, Tori, and I went to the Canadian National Exhibition. I recently had a matricectomy so I was a little miserable until I bought some Teva sandals. Despite my only having 9 toenails, we had a blast. I even got to buy Tori her first ever deep-fried Oreos. She probably wishes she never let me force her to try them. If you've ever had them, you know what I'm talking about. Those suckers are addictive.


The CNE

So that's about all. In my next entries, I'll focus more on the future of this blog, which I'm excited about and hopefully you are too!
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