Friday, 31 August 2012

The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

We are getting ready to head up to the ranch for the Labour Day long weekend. As we'll definitely have a full house up there, it's time to get our bake on! This Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe is my absolute favourite.

A few weeks ago, I posted what was declared to be 'The Real Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe'.  While yes, it was scrumptious, I still believe our original recipe trumps it. This is a family 'go-to', and has been for years. It is also the recipe I make over and over again for Friday treats in the staff room at work.


1/2 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 Large Egg (lightly beaten)

1 Cup Flower

1 1/2 Cups Fine Oatmeal

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

4 oz chocolate chips (1/2 to 3/4 of a least!!)


Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream together butter, egg, and vanilla and put aside. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients, and add to wet. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from BTBU

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from BTBU

Bake for 10 minutes. You can press them down with a fork after pulling them out of the oven if they don't flatten on their own while baking. Makes about 18 medium sized cookies (if you don't eat too much of the dough).


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Winter White (and my new jacket).

White Tweed Jacket - ZARA
Is anyone else as excited as I am to throw caution to the wind and wear white after Labour Day? It's true, 'Winter White' is trending this fall, so now is as good a time as any to give it a try.

The above white tweed jacket is my latest purchase. I bought it on Monday from Zara. I justified the purchase of this Chanel inspired coat because I thought it was the epitome of what  'London-Fun-Courtenay' should look like. Don't you agree?

Now how should I wear it?

Look from Atlantic-Pacific

image from here.

image found here

image from here
Talbots (old)

image from here.

Some tips for wearing 'Winter White': (found here)

1) Off-white, ivory, and cream tones are easier to pull off in the cooler weather than pure white (Yes, I'm slightly concerned that my new little jacket is a little bright- I guess we'll see)

2)  White knits, corduroys, leathers, thick cottons and heavy laces will all look great in the winter. Light materials such as linen and sheer fabrics look more summery

3)Toughen up a white outfit with boots, a knit hat, or a scarf to create an intentional winter look.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Deep Dark Woods.

The Deep Dark Woods
Image from here
August has been fun, as I've recently been catching up with a friend I hadn't been in contact with for ten years. As we were comparing notes, and updating each other on our lives, we realized that our siblings shared a common love of music. I was telling him about Pat's band, Coldwater Road (and their upcoming tour), when he chimed in that his brother was on tour also. It turns out his brother's band is one of my brother's favourites (yes, Patrick was very thrilled). The band is called The Deep Dark Woods. You've probably heard of them already, as I'm usually the last to get the memo (apparently I need to get out more), but I thought I'd share this little discovery in case you hadn't. 

As I would never consider myself a music aficianado, classifying a band into a genre is always difficult for me. Like Patrick's band, there's a country / folk-rock sound, but don't quote me on this! Did I mention they're awesome? They are awesome. I've purchased a few of the songs on itunes already, and just noticed tonight that there are a few live concerts available for download on their website.
**Note: I'm too tired to figure out why there is a box around the first two paragraphs and not the one below, so please ignore. Back to the band...

They contributed an original song "Charlie's (Is Coming Down)", to CBC Radio 2's Great Canadian Song Quest (2009), and were nominated for Roots and Traditional Group Album of the Year at the 2012 Junos. In September, they will be in Nashville, as they were recently nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year at this year's Americana Music Awards.

This is my favourite song so far...


Here they are looking sharp at this year's Juno Awards:

The Deep Dark Woods at the Junos
If you like their sound, visit their website to download some music and check out their tour dates (I wish I'd had a heads up when they were in Vancouver on August 11th).

Wow, look at me, another music post. I warned you that I had no idea what direction this blog might take! 

Thanks again for visiting.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Last Bat @ the Nat.

After a Saturday night for the record books (which I will not blog about for fear of jinxing), it was only fitting that we 'take back Sunday'. My brother Patrick has always had strong feelings of animosity towards 'the Sunday feeling'. You know, that feeling one gets on Sunday (regardless of the fact that it is still the weekend), knowing full well the work week is looming? Patrick has always maintained that we should (in his words), "F$%@ Monday, and take back Sunday". His philosophy basically entails taking part in Saturday-esq activities on a Sunday (no winding down required).

This Sunday was the last regular season home game (and a nooner at that) for the Vancouver Canadians. It was also officially the 'worst Sunday feeling of the year' as it meant back to work on Monday for the teacher contingent of my social circle (in the summer, this is most of my social circle, as who else do I have to play with?). The nooner was the perfect activity for this Sunday crew (after a few gatorades to repair Saturday's damage), as we remained in utter denial of Summer's end. It should be noted, I don't actually have to work tomorrow, or the next day, or for 365 days after that, as of course I'm off to London, but I thought it only appropriate that I join the others in their mourning.

Here are a few photos from this summer at Nat Bailey...

Our muster station outside (usually the last few minutes of shade prior to 9 innings)

It's actually a MUCH better idea to hit up the stand in the family section (shorter line-ups!)

...seems about right.

The one game we didn't sit in section 10. Boo.

The nooner turns into a nighter.

The beers turn to wine.

The awesome dancing grounds crew.

The 'Last Bat' crew.

Here's to the play-offs!

Friday, 24 August 2012

This and That.

The fact that I'm leaving for a year is finally getting real. To say I'm nervous is an understatement. My cousin Sarah has lost ten pounds stressing (did I mention she's going also?), and while I haven't measured-in lately, I'm quite confident my looser fitting shorts are not on account of exercise. I found the above illustration and quote on Pinterest.  If that's not the Thames, I don't know what is. While my 'us' in the quote, has changed in the last six weeks, I'm sure Sarah will agree to hold my hand.

Here are a few snippets from the last couple of weeks...

Happy Birthday Lawrence! (losing our Whitecaps Virginity with a bunch of friends)

A light summer lunch and some HEAVY reading.

A light summer dinner (I joke)

The neighbours take a survey.

Lattes in bowls and Ham & Cheese Croissants (Breakfast @ Marche St. Georges)

There are actually monkeys in this monkey tree!

Making Saturday night's curled hair-do last as Sunday's beach hair (sneaky sneaky).
Checking out the talent at Beach Nationals (Spanish Banks)

Collingwood's Coaching Talent

Winning the 50/50 at the Legion's Quiz Night (68 Big ones!). Also a first.
The view from Lower Lonsdale.

This week I also caught up with a couple of old friends, discovered some new music, and received my U.K. visa in the mail. The countdown continues...