Wednesday, June 17, 2015

mixed berry scones

Scones! I have never actually made them before, but recently I had an incredibly delicious blueberry one at my cousin's baby shower and then several weeks later thought.... hey I should make some of those, but I didn't have any blueberries and as is often true with me and baking I was feeling too impatient to wait. I haven't been doing much baking lately, things have been busy, but the inspiration struck me and I was unwilling to let the moment pass.

To pinterest we go!

I did a search based on what I had on the house.... frozen mixed berries and was rewarded with this....

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Pinterest was flooded with pictures of these mixed berry scones, I took that as a good sign.

So I grabbed my trusty kitchen aid mixer and got to work.

Into the bowl I tossed
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
and a pinch of salt if you'd like

I gave that a little stir to mix it all together and then threw in..
 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

I set my mixer to stir and let it go until it was sufficiently cut in. Think pea sized and smaller butter balls.

Next to go into the mixer....
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream (I actually used greek vanilla yogurt)
 1 tsp vanilla

Again I set my mixer to stir and mix until the dough comes together do not over mix.

Last to go in the bowl...
1 slightly heaping cup of frozen mixed berries
Either fold into the dough by hand and with the mixer until they are just combined.

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and knead it into an 8 inch round disk. If the dough is overly sticky sprinkle it with additional flour. Using a sharp knife, cut the disk into 8 equal wedges. Move to a baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Oh my goodness these were so so good. The kids, of course, couldn't be bothered with them, but Mike and I both thought they were a home run. They didn't even need butter, they were that tasty. Making these in the mixer, they came together so quick and with little mess. My favourite kind of recipe.

You can check out the original recipe at Averie Cooks. I skipped the glaze her recipe called for. I just didn't think it was necessary.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

our 5th relay for life

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Yesterday The Jersey Girls celebrated their 5th Relay for Life anniversary at our new Relay event. It was a lot of changes squished into a new shorter format, but the event as a whole got a thumbs up from the JG's. Our team suffered some fresh losses this year, so we cried a little bit more and hugged a little bit longer and harder.

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Thanks to one of the wonderful teachers at Maya's school, Maya had a small bit of Miss Galligan's sparkle to carry with her as she walked yesterday. I wasn't aware this was going to happen and the below picture is Maya telling me what she has in her hand. I was smiling then, but when the weight of what she was telling me hit, I won't lie I was a bit of a mess.

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Maya took her job of ushering Miss Galligan's sparkle around the track very seriously and when she took a break from walking she would hand her off to me so she was always on the track. Maya said later that she was glad to have Miss Galligan with her because it made her feel happy.

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Things didn't get quite as punch drunk as they do at our regular twelve hour over night event, but there was still plenty of laughs to be had in amongst the tears, the hugs and the hand holding. The organizers put together a tremendous event, everything from the food to the activities to the music was top drawer. Each hour had a theme: beach (beach balls, limbo, grass skirts), crazy hour (thunder sticks, make your own noise makers, leis), country (cowboy hats, bandanas) and a colour fight.

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I steered clear of that one, but the majority of the JG's joined in the fun. The only thing we were kind of meh about this year was the luminary ceremony. With this being held during the day, the luminaries had very little impact compared to the evening luminary ceremonies we have participated in prior to this year. I'd like to see it change to a memory/honour wall with photos instead. They did show a slide show, but with it being so bright it was very hard to see. That really was the only tiny complaint we had.

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This year I am so proud to say that we indeed hit the goal we've been chasing for the past two years and we raised $5,662.10, bring our five year total to $22,042.70!! I am just staggered by the support we girls have received and the hard work my JG's have put into this project!

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The last lap seemed to come far too quickly and I spent today being a little melancholy about having to put the JG fun to rest for a little while, but of course I am already planning and strategizing in my head for next year. The teams ahead of us pulled some really big and impressive numbers and I am keen to close the gap a bit next year.

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Don't feel bad if you missed the boat, there is still time to donate, our online page stays open until the end of July. You can donate here!

As for me, y'all know I like to work hard for your donations and this year was no exception. I give you my fitbit stats for the day....

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And you probably won't be surprised to see/hear....

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See you in 2016!!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

times they are a changing

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Change isn't always the easiest thing to deal with. I mean it certainly was never my strong shoot. There is just something about change and anxiety that doesn't mix, ya know what I mean? The Jersey Girls are facing some big changes this year as the decision has been made to discontinue the Ancaster/Dundas relay this year and our team was encouraged to join one of two other Relays in our area. So that in itself was big and as a group we had discussions about what we wanted to do until we ultimately decided to join the Hamilton event which led us to being a Juravinski team. If only that were it,

In the previous four years of Relaying with the Jersey Girls our home event was an over night, 12 hour Relay which we all really enjoyed even though by 3am we always questioned just what in the hell we were even thinking to sign up for this? Our new event happens over 6 hours in the daytime, now this change isn't specific to just our new Relay event. This is a change you see coming across the board for Relay for Life events. They were finding that getting people to commit to an event that took 12 hours to complete over night was becoming a hard sell. I get that, I so get that. As a person who is always looking for volunteers for a variety of different projects..... I know getting people to commit to even the smallest of jobs can be a struggle.

We are going into Saturday a bit like a brand new team, even as we celebrate our 5th Relay anniversary! We're in a new location, with new teams to hang out with. We aren't sure of the protocols or how our day is going to play out. It's equal parts exciting and nerve wracking. The Jersey Girls still plan on working hard and walking many many laps to adequately thank all of our donators. I am curious to see how many steps I manage to accumulate this year (55,000+ last year), I have half the walking time, but I still aim to pull numbers that impress you. The hows and the wheres and the whys aside, this much I know to be true.... on Saturday The Jersey Girls will be having the best fun celebrating the completion of our very best fundraising year to date!

And don't worry there is still time to donate! Really help push us over the top this year!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#whyirelay

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This is my sweet Grandma, Emily. She lost her battle with cancer when I was in my teens and my desire to honour her memory is the driving force behind my involvement in Relay for Life. I spent many an hour sitting with my Grandma as she underwent treatments at what is now the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. This year for the very first time The Jersey Girls have registered to be a Juravinski team, which means 100% of the funds raised by The Jersey Girls will stay at JHCC and help fund the purchase of a new anesthesia machine. I am so excited to be able to repay some of the care and kindness shown to my Grandma during her fight with cancer while also helping bring a much needed piece of medical equipment to our community.

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I wish I could say the story ended there. I wish I could tell you I had no other reasons to walk, but I can't. That lovely lady there is Papa Joyce, Great Grandma extraordinaire to our Abby girl. Unfortunately Maya was not yet ready to meet the world when we lost Papa Joyce, but it was our honour and pleasure to name Maya after her. The handsome gent beside her is Papa Al who is continuing to show cancer who's boss even at 92. If only my list ended there.... I walk for Cliff, Hamburger Bob, Papa Mark, Sue, Janet and UG. This year Abby, Maya and I are dedicating our walk in memory of Miss Galligan a beloved teacher at our school. I feel so incredibly blessed that my girls had her as a teacher if even in just a small measure. She was an incredibly lovely lady and she will be greatly missed.

In my experience grief is never ending. It changes, for sure. You learn to live with it. It becomes less acute over time, but there is never a time I don't miss my Grandma or Papa Joyce. Relay for Life allows me the opportunity to not only mourn my lost loved ones, but also celebrate them and do some good for the community at large. I am only one person, but put me together with a handful of my best girls and then put us together with dozens of other teams and that translates into tens of thousands of dollars that go towards medical research, cancer support services and programs, advocacy and medical equipment. When we walk on Saturday the Jersey Girls will share some tears, some hugs, we'll hold hands and there will be laughs and lots of lots of walking. We work hard for your donations on Relay day, we sure do. Thanks to all who have made a donation to The Jersey Girls (don't worry there's still time left to donate) it is appreciated more than I can say!

Monday, May 25, 2015

it was the style at the time

Lets see if I remember how to do this.

Me: So do you think I've changed at all in the past couple of years?
Child Who Shall Remain Nameless: Well, your style has.
Me: Oh really? How do you think my style has changed?
CWSRN: Well you don't wear overalls anymore.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

sunday randoms

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. I spent it with ML at a volunteer conference. So it was full of meetings, seminars, discussions and team building exercises. Yeah, I did all that and it was fine. I lived to tell you all about it. Here's the thing Shanny a few years ago wouldn't have made that trip for all the gold in the world. Shanny a few years ago would have shriveled up and died at the thought of sitting at a table and having a discussion with people she'd only met 30 seconds prior. Overall it was very good. I learned a lot, heard a lot of good ideas and met some interesting people. I learned I have two dominant leadership styles, participating and coaching, but I can access the other two (delegating and directing) if the situation requires it. That was pretty interesting. I wonder if the people I've "lead" would agree with that assessment?

We also had the chance to watch a TED Talk on Positive Youth Development that was completely fascinating, not just as a leader of young people, but as a parent. It was all about finding a youth's spark and using it to help them thrive. There's definitely a post rolling around in my head about that one. Honestly, I can't stop thinking about it.

To circle the wagons back around to my original point..... Saturday was a full day of talks and meetings, beginning at breakfast and going until dinner time, then we attended a banquet (the food was incredible all weekend!) and by nine o'clock I was done. I may be light years ahead of where I was in terms of how I am able to manage myself socially, but I ended my day completely exhausted. That was a incredible test for the new Shanny and she pretty much rocked it, but jammies, one of my besties and a Jason Batemen movie back in the room as exactly what the doctor ordered.

And to make this weekend completely perfect I got to hug a friend that could really use one and I found exactly what I needed for our spaghetti dinner in the quantity that I needed.

Oh and I stopped panicking about spaghetti dinner coming together. I know we'll rock it just like we rocked the three prior to this one. I always just want this to be the best event I can make it because I don't want to let my Jersey Girls down after all the hard work they put into this and I certainly don't want to let down the people we honour with this fundraising. I am very excited to have the Jersey Girls be a Juravinski Cancer Centre registered team, so all of our fundraising will go straight to the JCC to help with the purchase of a new anesthesia machine. It's an incredible opportunity to be a smll part of such a great community project. If you're local and haven't bought your April 11th Spaghetti Dinner tickets..... you're not going to want to miss this, message me for details.

Monday, March 23, 2015

she cracks me up.... most of the time

This morning found me home with an under the weather Abby. Which meant that Maya was home as well instead of going to the sitters. She was not excited about that change of venue, but that's a story for another time. Now yes, I am a working mother and don't very often have the chance to send the kids off to school in the morning, but it's sort of my business to have an idea of how that process works.

Maya: Mom, can I get ready for school yet?
Me: No, you don't have to leave for another hour.
Maya: Are you sure?
Me: Positive.

Fast forward 7 minutes.

Maya: Now? Should I get ready now?
Me; No, it's literally been seven minutes since you asked the last time.
Maya: Are you sure?
Me: I'm positive.
Maya: Are these clocks right?
Me: They are.
Maya: Do you even know what you're doing?
Me: I do.

Fast forward twelve minutes.

Maya: Shouldn't I be getting ready for school?
Me: Not yet.
Maya: Are you sure I haven't missed my bus?
Me: Yes I am 100% sure.
Maya: Are you really sure these clocks are right? Grandma doesn't use this clock, she uses the clock in the living room.
Me: It's fine. You're fine. You haven't missed your bus.

Repeat this process several more times before I finally let her get ready for school and we head out the door.

Maya: Did we leave at the right time?
Me: A couple of minutes early even.
Maya: Why did we leave early?
Me: Because I didn't think you could wait any longer.
Maya: I don't think we did this right, where's (the other girl who waits for the bus with her)?
Me: Maybe she's sick too.
Maya: Are you sure you know what you're doing?
Me: I am.
Maya: Okay never mind, you do know what you're doing.
Me: Well thanks for that.
Maya: Well those kids are out for the bus too.

Zero faith in her mother, but total faith in the neighbour Mom.