Snapshot into Home Renos

Shawn has done so much to our house it's hard to explain... 
He's basically gutted it and we are almost to the stage that we can put things back together... 
Just imagine a house and then imagine having to change everything; walls, ceilings, floors, cupboards, light fixtures, plug-ins, light switches, appliances, etc... 
That's what we need to do

It still is a LONG way to go but I am so excited because I can see how amazing it will be in the end... 

Gotta Keep Traditions

Last year Shawn and I wanted to carve pumpkins but every grocery store was sold out so Shawn went out of his way to go to a farmer and get some that were still growing... 
... and then my little brother stole them and carved them both 
So no pumpkin carving...

This year we decided to take back the tradition...
AND we might have rocked the pumpkins...
and I actually free carved it, woot woot

Finished masterpieces... Just in time for Halloween...

Things I Learned at a Halloween Party...

1. There are some super crafty people when it comes to making costumes

Robin Hood and Maid Marion (home-made)
Luna and Neville
complete with Mandrake, glasses and
radish earrings
A homemade Mandrake
2. Shawn is wicked awesome at bobbing for apples and not afraid to get a lil wet

3. All my "People" magazine reading has rubbed onto Shawn. When we played games when you had to explain to your teammates who a particular famous person, it was Shawn's turn and he not only did he know who Tim Burton was but he knew who his wife is... Impressive.

4. Shawn's and my taste in ties are not similar... When it came to our costumes, (me: a flapper girl, him: a hobo) I picked out a good "hobo" tie. When Shawn came to the party dressed up as his hobo his reaction was "She picked out my favorite tie to be the hobo tie!"      Whoops

5. Thanks to timbits, chocolate, sprinkles and pretzels you can make adorable acorns. Pinterest is such a fantastic site to find ideas for everything! These were so easy to make and so cute!


The Ill-Fated Trip

We decided at 2 pm on Saturday to go for a quick trip to the Great Falls' Home Depot with plans to be back home by midnight. The trailer was hitched and we were getting ready to go when we hit our first snag. 

Missing passport.

Now, depending on whom you ask it was either Shawn, me or Chelsey who lost Shawn's passport. (Shawn just threw the whole "Chelsey" option out there as if she was a gremlin who likes to go through our belongings and lose things on purpose just to see us fight over who lost something... ha ha... She denies this allegation) After an hour of ransaking my car (random benefit... my car got cleaned up 10x faster then if we hadn't lost the passport) Shawn came outside from the bedroom with the missing passport in hand, and somehow still found a way to blame me...
I think my bad memory is making me an easy scapegoat.

We were only 20 miles away from Great Falls when we hit our second snag. The low diesel light came on. We were a lil stressed until we hit Great Falls, took our first exit and cruised into a gas station on fumes... And realized they didn't sell diesel. We crossed all our fingers and all our toes and turned out in search of the next station when we definitely, totally...

Ran out of diesel.  

Running out of gas? No big deal. Used to do it so often that all my closest acquaintances would carry a jerry can just in case. Something I learned since being married to Shawn: It's not so easy when you run out of diesel. What an ordeal! Geez, makes me glad that I never got the diesel Jetta I wanted so badly when I was younger.
Shawn and I decided that Chelsey would baby-sit the truck as we ran to the nearest diesel gas station. I am not a runner. Period. So I am impressed I made it a kilometer before I decided to screw that and flag down the nearest car and bum a ride. Shawn was a lil hesitant if anyone would drive us but the two nicest local girls picked us up drove us the last 3 km and dropped us back at the truck. Love them.

Shawn was able to prime the air out of the engine enough to restart the truck (with the help of a kind local gentleman with a wrench) and we were on our way... for about 30 yards and then we sputtered again... so Shawn primed the engine again and then we were on our way for another 30 yards and then we sputtered until we finally got it all out of the engine and we were on our way to Home Depot with 45 minutes to spare before it closed. We could still do this. Until...

The lug-knut do-dad thing busted..
Shawn the next morning with the needed piece.
Such a bad picture but it shows you
how tiny the piece that foiled us was.

 I don't think I can explain much better than that.. ha ha.. All I know is that it was fiddled with one too many times, broke, and needed to be replaced or air would keep getting into the system causing the engine to stale... Shawn did his best to use his Mexican skills to find a way to fix it till we could drive home but it just needed the real deal which wasn't that available at 9 pm. Which meant we were in for an unplanned overnighter! Chelsey is a genius and got us an awesome deal on a Super 8 hotel room (where the smoke alarm went off only once) and the next morning after a free continental brekkie we were ready for a re-do. And it went smoothly. 
We were tired, dirty and
frustrated but it's always
an adventure... 

-Bought all our home reno supplies needed.
-Ate some yummy Fuddruckers burgers.
-Bought the do-dad and placed it in it's rightful spot.
-Drove home just in time for turkey dinner.

All's well that ends real right?

Well, the next night Shawn and I were talking about the trip when Shawn mentioned how surprised he was about the final tally at Home Depot. He thought it was a lil high, so we pulled out the receipt and went through the list as good as we could (no words, just numbers) when we saw "84" of  item 39382829 for $9.95 each for a total of $780. We were 99% sure we didn't buy 84 of anything so I thought I would give Home Depot a call and just clarify which item that was....

The lovely Home Depot lady informed me that we were charged for 84.... door knobs. Now I don't know about your house but I can guarantee that our house does not have 84 doors. We were charged for an extra 76 doorknobs. For real. For real. That's an extra $740. Yep. That makes the trip just that much more awesome... I should have had them pay me back for the duty I had to pay at the border.

Must say, to their credit, they didn't hesitate to credit the full amount back to our card. But all in all, what a ill-fated trip.

Turkey Pumpkin Risotto

Every thanksgiving I find myself with heaps of left-over turkey and one can have only so many turkey sandwiches so I decided I needed to find a good go-to recipe for turkey leftovers.

My mum always had made Turkey Divan each year but last year I tried it out on Shawn and he's not a huge fan. Luckily I wasn't that attached to Turkey Divan so I was able to shake off the shadows of my childhood memories and start my search for a new recipe. And then I thought of it.

Chicken Pumpkin Risotto...

When I was in Australia living with my Aunt and Uncle I was treated to some of the most amazing cooking I have ever had. My aunt is amazing. Every night she would pump out a 3-part dinner that was different than the day before, healthy and ridiculously delicious. If I could be 1/10th of a cook she is... but that's prob not gonna happen. So I will settle for stealing one of her recipes.

Just to set some things straight first: in Australia they refer to Butternut Squash as 'pumpkin' and measure ingredients by weight (inconvenient I know, luckily Chelsey has a food scale) and I obviously swapped turkey for the chicken. The other thing is the picture... I forgot to take a picture of the dish until Shawn and I had devoured half of it so this is why the food looks a lil pushed off to the side, promise it tastes so much better than my pictures suggest.

In Canada we tend to think of pumpkin/butternut squash primarily for deserts but Australia taught me that it can shine in savory dishes. And here's the main thing, this is delicious! It seems like such a fancy dinner but here's the even better thing. It's so easy! It's the easiest risotto you will ever make. Hands down. So if you find yourself with lots of extra turkey then you need to try this.

2 c.      Arborio Rice
5 c.      chicken stock
120 g.  butter (I never use the whole amount)
700 g.  diced pumpkin (butternut squash)
700 g.  turkey leftovers
1/4 c.   freshly grated Parmesan 
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 190 C (oh ya, they actually use Celsius on their oven...)
2. If you are not using turkey leftovers or a precooked chicken then you will want to cook the meat as to your liking.
3. Combine the rice, chicken stock, diced pumpkin, and chicken in a casserole dish that has a lid.
4. Cook for 30-60 minutes (once the pumpkin is tender and the stock has been absorbed it is done)
5. Mix in the fresh grated parmesan and add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and a touch of salt. 
6. Enjoy and bask in the glory of how delicious and easy this whole thing was.

*this recipe makes ALOT so if it's just you and your hubby or for just a few people, try halving the recipe so you won't be eating leftovers for 3 weeks.