Friday

Our Halloween tradition dies tonight...

 
 
For the first time ever, I will be without my bodyguard on the scariest night of the year. I'm sad. After all, a tradition is a tradition because it's something you love and look forward to, you don't just skip a year and be happy about it. G has meetings first thing tomorrow morning in Halifax, so he needs to leave tonight. He won't be home to set the scary scene in hopes of scaring the crap out of children that come trick or treating, I won't have anyone to share some delicious snacks with, and no one to cuddle up to during the scary parts of a horror movie. The worst part, he won't be here to answer the door when the ghosts and goblins come knocking...
 
I'm such a wimp. Having said all that, I don't think there is a chance in hell that I will spend the night home alone. We live on a quiet dirt road in the middle of no where, haven't you seen The Strangers!
 
Next year, our tradition rises from the dead.
 
Muahaha...
 
Rachel Emmilee
 
 
Do you have a Halloween tradition?

Saturday

Home Improvement: Getting Started...

Our house is thirty years old and since we've moved in almost three years ago, we've consistently picked away at the outdated details. Some rooms got a paint job while others got new flooring and all the light fixtures were replaced, but no room got a complete makeover. Apparently the unseen details like the heating system, ceptic system and insulation are more important than matching color schemes and modern décor. Psh! Who says? 
 
I have a long list of things I want to change around here, and they are all big projects. Projects that take time and patience, which I don't always have when it comes to home improvements. I've pinned, I've researched, I've talked to the pros and I've kept our local hardware store in business... Finally, it's time!
 
1st Project:
 
- Painting the foyer walls
 
- Priming and painting the foyer door and trim.
 
- Refinishing ceramic tile flooring which includes sanding, TSP washing, 2 X priming with an oil based strong adhesive, 2X painting with a semi-gloss top coat and 2X sealing with a water based urethane.
 
... Preparing the surfaces are the hardest part. We've been working hard since midweek and nothing says progress like strained hamstrings, a sore back, callused palms and a messy house. Thankfully I'm so high off paint fumes I couldn't care any less. 
 
Wish me luck!
 
Rachel
 
 

Falling Into Fall



The sun is shining on this fabulous Saturday morning, but it's no beach day. I have spent my morning under a quilt, sipping on coffee and watching Breaking Bad with G. We had a lovely little breakfast and I've been browsing through a Pinterest board that is polluted with fall inspired crafts, outfits, recipes and decor. I love, love, love it.

This time of year is my favorite. As summer slowly turns into fall, I become so inspired. I make it my mission to settle into the new season with lots of things to do while enjoying the comfort of my home. We have to use our imagination around here because as the warm weather goes away, so does our social life. This is when I like to dive head first into scrapbooking, meal planning, reading, writing and of course, an exciting new television series or five.

Like everyone else, I like to fall into fall with a few goals in mind...

I absolutely love the switch from quick and easy meals, to meals that are hearty and comforting. Goodbye BBQ hot dogs and cold salads, hello soups, chowders and pasta! 
  • Visit the Farmers market for vegetables to pickle, make applesauce and jelly with our own apples.
  • Make a meal from my oriental cook book and eat the entire thing with chop sticks.
  • Learn the tricks of my food processor, use it often.
  • Buy a new cutting board.
  • Visit Liquid Gold and stock up on infused cooking oils and balsamic vinegar.
  • Use our dining room more often.
I've always wanted to know how to create my own clothing, scarves and quilts from a piece of fabric. I want to follow a pattern and finish with a product I would actually wear.
  • Buy a new sewing machine.
  • Collect fabric and sewing supplies.
  • Find someone willing to teach me a few tricks.
  • Pin sewing patterns and blogs.
  • Wear my creations.
Although I love finding a good show to watch every night of the week, I don't want to get sucked into every hot TV series going. I'd like to spend more time reading.
  • Find a magazine that touches on all of my interests, subscribe to it.
  • Exchange must-reads with someone.
  • Browse the shelves of Chapters and leave with a big bag of books.
I'd like to play my guitar again, which means dusting it off and picking up where I left off...
  • Spend evenings following YouTube tutorials.
  • Create a songbook.
  • Learn a song from start to finish.
Other goals include sending and receiving mail, making handmade Christmas gifts, visiting craft fairs, going on a hike and planning a week away. If I can achieve all of these goals by the end of winter, I'll be a very happy gal. Stay tuned for updates!


Rachel Emmilee
XO


Thursday

The time I got a phone call from a famous actor...

 It was during the Toronto International Film Festival. I was sitting at work and my phone rings.
 
I answer.

 A familiar voice with a strong British accent asks, "Would this be Rachel?"
 
Oh, by the way you need to read this conversation with your best accent. Except my parts, of course. Unless you're already British, then you can read my parts in your best Canadian accent...

"Yes, this is Rachel... Who is this?"

"Well. This is Bill."

"Okay... Hi Bill..."

"I just met your father, he says you're a fan of my films."

I laughed nervously, "Okay..."

"I told him to ring you up on the tele and I'd say hello. It's Bill."
 
"Okay... Hi Bill... I'm not quite sure if I..."

Confused, I stopped to think, but he quickly chimed in with something along the lines of...

"Bloody hell you either know me or your father is rather dodgy now isn't he?"
 

 
And then it occurred to me that I was actually speaking to Billy Mack from Love Actually. My Dad bumped into him at a café downtown Toronto and explained that Love Actually is my all time favorite movie. I think I went on to repeat this is so cool about four times until I couldn't anymore and he just wished me "luck and happiness and all that good stuff" before hanging up the phone.

And that's pretty much it, but how cool is that?
 

 
 

Tuesday

Goodbye August...





All summer long, because of the intense heat upstairs, G and I slept in the guest room downstairs. Rarely with anything more than a sheet covering us, and always with the window open. See, upstairs in our bedroom we only have doors that lead to a deck and we lazy people never looked into putting screens on them to keep the bugs out. Instead, we'd get a comfortable sleep downstairs and make our way upstairs to our closets and bathroom every morning to get ready for work. No big deal.

This morning however, I woke to the sound of rain against the window and a chill across my face. It was dark, the room was damp, and the breeze was not the summer breeze I welcomed in for the last few months. It was enough to push me out of bed, because a bed with one thin sheet was no longer warm and comfortable.

I began walking up the stairs with every intention of getting ready for work, but couldn't resist the temptation to crawl back under the covers. To be honest, as soon as my eyes focused on my perfectly made bed across the hall I didn't think twice. I jumped into the warm, fluffy cloud of blankets and for the first time in months I pulled the sheet, duvet and quilt up to my neck. It was as if I was coming in from the cold, or like I had the entire day to sleep away. If only...

I set my iPod alarm for twenty-five minutes, because twenty-five minutes wouldn't hurt would it? Then, as I sank into the pillow-top mattress, allowing the warm blankets to settle around me, it hit me that summer is coming to an end...

When did it hit you?

Rachel Emmilee
XO


*The photo above is of a calm, romantic evening on the water in Port Hood. Just me and hubby, floating and watching for black fish. I admired his profile and held on tight as he drove us through the waves, and I felt the wind in my hair at top speed. It was the last beach night of 2013, a night I hope to always remember.*

Friday

It's Written In Stone.

I visited my Sister's grave yesterday for the first time in a long time. It was her Birthday and I had spent the entire day thinking about her, so I talked myself into paying her a little visit. It's very hard to bring myself there, but I knew it would be a good place to be alone with my thoughts as it's a safe place to cry, and a quiet place to talk out loud.

Standing over her grave, I thought about all the things we would have in common if she was still here. Her being twenty-three and me twenty-six, I bet we'd be the best of friends - no different than before. I wondered how would she celebrate her big day and quickly realized it would be like every other Birthday, starting off with Eggo Waffles soaked in syrup while she watched A Baby Story, A Wedding Story and What Not To Wear. She would have made her way up to our pool or down to the beach where she'd sit with her favorite book, a bag of Munchies and a cold can of Nestea. She'd be listening to her favorite music in her van and dreading any kind of party Mom was planning because she hated when people made a fuss over her. She never enjoyed the excitement of a party, she only ever wanted to spend quality time with those she loved most. Us.

Through watering eyes I read CHRISTINE ELIZABETH on the big, black block of granite. There was a strange feeling of unfamiliarity seeing her full name written on the stone, like it had been ages since I've seen it written on anything. Between sobs, with a cracking voice, I said her name over and over and even hearing her full name said out loud was strange. I continued to say it in hopes that the strangeness of it would go away, and even changed my voice to say it the way she would. It's no surprise that saying, "Tristine Ewizabet" finally brought a smile to my face.

Happy memories and sad memories raced through my head faster than I could organize them. One memory after another, skipping years ahead and then going back so long in time I wondered how I even remembered them at all. I pictured her and my Dad dancing in the kitchen while Mom made brunch. I remembered when we'd pretend to film, "Cooking With Chris" and how I would do everything in my power to convince her that Kraft Dinner was not going to kill her. I remember gathering all the pillows and blankets we owned to make the best floor bed for Disney marathons on Friday nights. I closed my eyes and saw her doodling in her sketchbooks and reading her favorite book for the tenth time. I imagined her browsing through Chapters, sitting at her computer typing and I saw her excited face on Christmas morning.

Then the heartache set in as I thought of the hundred times she would call and Facebook me throughout the day when I lived away, and how sometimes I just didn't want to talk. I didn't have the time or the desire to talk for the third time that day and I often made up excuses. I remembered the times I would poke fun at her for wanting to watch The Magic School Bus, telling her it was a baby show and wishing she'd watch something I liked instead...

... And of course, as I sat 6 feet over, I remembered the yellow and black dress that Mom picked out for her for the last time. I imagined her wearing those purple glasses with the fake diamonds on the arms, her favorite blanket resting over her little body, and all her books at her side.

I cried and cried. Sitting on my knees I ran my hands through the blades of green grass in denial that she was gone long enough for them to grow in so thick. I looked around at the weathered stones and runaway weeds and it pained me to think that time will continue to pass, years will go by, and this will not get easier.

There is nothing I wouldn't give to hear Ms. Frizzle's voice coming from my Mom and Dad's living room again. To hear the phone ringing and know it was her, to see her face, to touch her skin or to hear her voice, I would give anything.

But, she's gone. It's written in stone.



Tuesday

The Summer Seemed To Last Forever...




We've been taking advantage of every moment to have fun in the sun. Planning everyday to meet up with friends and family, spending hours upon hours on the beach, afternoons at local watering holes and late nights at festival events is what Summer is all about. We haven't stopped. Both of our families and almost all of our friends come home this time of year to relax, unwind and catch up with everyone. It's called Gathering Week, and it's a complete shit show to be perfectly honest.

 
 
"Shit Show:   
 
 
Used when “shenanigans” is just not adequate. A shit show denotes general craziness, debauchery, alcohol use, drama and sheer insanity all occurring simultaneously. One does not usually realize the shit show is occurring until the following day."
 
 Some highlights include, in no particular order...
  • Being G's biggest fan, following his band around like it's my job and being especially proud of him during the last Opry Tribute.
  • Sipping on ice cold margaritas, iced coffees and Keith's Light on the sand.
  • Jigging fish and sunbathing on a friends fishing boat.
  • Enjoying quiet evenings at home, writing and sipping on tea.
  • Watching the sun go down and fireworks go up.
  • Dancing in puddles under outdoor beer tents.
  • Waking up needing coffee like we've never needed coffee before.
  • Tailgating the 57th Annual Broad Cove Concert and tapping our feet along to the Ashley Mac Isaac who opened for the Gordie Sampson
  • Partying with all of our favorite people at all hours of the night.
  • Welcoming friends' babies into the world with lots of kisses and cuddles.
  • Eating our fair share of beach burgers and BBQ. 
  • Never missing an episode of Big Brother. 
  • Tanning, sippin' and girl talkin' beside the pool.
  • Skipping down to the beach for a quick dip after work.

The thought of having another whole month of summer ahead of us is both exciting and overwhelming.  At this very moment however, it's pouring down rain and thunder is rolling overhead shaking the entire house. I am so, so happy for this. I woke up this morning and actually prayed for nasty weather so come tonight, we'd have a good excuse to relax at home. I got in from work, locked the door behind me and here I am. I am so exhausted, and this post is the extent of my productivity today.

Summer is kicking my ass, but I love it.


Rachel Emmilee
XO

Normal people usually just go for dinner...

To be totally honest with you, I had high expectations of what our wedding anniversary weekend should be like, and those expectations were not met. For weeks leading up to it we were I was thinking of ways we could celebrate. I wanted to get away for the weekend and do fun romantic things, but G was stuck on the fact that normal people usually just go for dinner and wondered why I had to make a whole weekend out of it. I just thought, because we happened to get married on a long weekend, why not make a habit of going away on a little adventure each year?

So we I thought about going to Prince Edward Island. We'd take in a big outdoor concert, visit some friends, book a photographer for a little photo shoot, pack a picnic basket, make reservations at a fancy restaurant and yadda yadda.

Didn't happen. G wasn't particularly stoked about the photo shoot idea, the performers at the concert weren't exactly in our top ten and the fact that they were calling for rain all weekend put a damper on any fun, scenic exploration.

So we decide to go to Halifax on Saturday. I mean, we can't go wrong visiting our old stomping grounds, right? We checked into a Hotel and decided right away to go for pizza, in which I insisted on trying something new instead of going with something we knew we loved. Sadly, the pizza wasn't all it was cracked up to be and I left feeling super unsatisfied. Sigh. Why oh why didn't we just go with something we knew we loved!? Moving on, we had to find something to do inside because of the rain, so we decided to go to a movie just like old times. Now get this, the movie was such a let down that we left within the first 40 minutes. We looked at each other several times, rolled our eyes until we couldn't take it anymore and left. Back to the hotel we went...

I woke up Sunday, June 30th feeling so excited. I was ecstatic to say we'd been married a whole year and for a few minutes we happily reminisced. I planned that we'd go get breakfast somewhere new and fancy, but learned quickly that G, knowing I wasn't sleeping well lately, let me sleep in and grabbed himself some breakfast downstairs. No big deal, this just meant that I'd eat by myself and we'd get on with our day quicker than I thought.

The first thing I wanted to do was drive downtown to the Sunday market to look around. I remember going there once thinking G would love it, the delicious snack stands and the music... I imagined us strolling through the market hand in hand, shopping and tasting new foods... But...
 
One way streets... No parking... Pouring rain... Screw the market. 

We turned around and bypassed the rush of downtown, and I thought of swinging into the Freak Lunchbox to grab some candy. I always enjoyed a grab bag full of my old favorite candy, and figured they'd be great to snack on while spending an hour or two at the Clay Café, except...

G not having a sweet tooth made for the quickest and most boring browse through the candy store, and after thirty minutes at the Clay Café with a party of fourteen children running and screaming...We left. 
 
We ran from the Jeep through the rain to a place for lunch, and then onto a bar for a drink. It was a dark bar that we had never been to, and I was very turned off by the hot headed bar tender who was loud, rude and making me very uncomfortable. I tried to focus on coming up with a solid, fun plan for the day but couldn't shake feeling discouraged that so far we've yet to have any real fun. So, without ordering a second drink, we left to head back to the hotel where we crashed for a few hours.

As I got ready for the evening I had a glass of our wedding wine. G doesn't like wine, so I drank alone. For some reason, I get it in my head that he will learn to like wine just for me. So we can be that couple that drinks wine together, you know? Anyway, not this time. I was wearing my wedding day ear rings, lipstick and even my wedding shoes that so perfectly matched my new dress, and I was quietly overjoyed to sport these items for the second time. However, to my surprise, G didn't pack the appropriate clothes for a fancy dinner out, he apparently wasn't thinking that we needed to be fancy at all, so I had no choice but to change. I toned it down to jeans and a top, minus this that and everything that I planned to wear.

Are you catching my drift here? See where I'm going with this?

Needless to say, I was a bit upset going out the door, dwelling on the fact that things weren't unfolding the way I had planned and that G wasn't going out of his way to be romantic or excited about our anniversary. I mean, he only packed flip flops.

I stewed and made it clear that I had wanted more out of our day, but G asked me to stop thinking of how the weekend could have been and start thinking of how the weekend should have been. It should have just been easy. He reminded me that this time last year, all I cared about was just being with him and nothing else mattered. Coming home to our humble abode on our Wedding night made me happier than any fancy hotel ever could, and having coffee from our own kitchen and relaxing in our own bed beats any expensive weekend in the city. I've never stressed about what to wear, where to go, what to do and how much to spend... Why start now?

So I stopped over thinking everything. Our dinner date at The Keg turned out to be great, like always the meal was fantastic and it wouldn't have been any better in a dress and heels. From there, I scratched the idea that we needed to be alone to celebrate our anniversary, so we took a cab across the city to a small pub where our friends were playing a fundraiser, we had some drinks and finally relaxed. Our friend gave us a special shout out over the speakers and on top of that, I met a friend of a friend who wanted to hear all about our Wedding day and even see pictures. I was happy to show pictures and do my own reflecting on how lovely our wedding day was, and let me tell you, nothing beats a trip down memory lane with a few glasses of wine pumping through your veins.

In the end, the highlights of our anniversary weekend were the little things that we didn't plan. I didn't schedule in the few times G gave me an unexpected kiss or held my hand, and I didn't plan the mid-afternoon cuddle session while watching some of the NHL Draft. I also didn't plan on finding his hidden love note in the Sunday Herald crossword puzzle, or being given a few hours to myself to enjoy a venti caramel macchiato with my thoughts and a blank journal. Those were the happiest moments, and they weren't written in my agenda.

So, the best part of our anniversary was going with G's plan all along, which was just being us. Just being normal people who go for dinner on their Anniversary.

There's nothing wrong with just being normal people.

Rachel Emmilee
XO





Those Suh-hummer Naaa-hights...

 
 
 I am sitting outside at a wooden table and chair set that G surprised me with a few weeks ago. It sits below a bird feeder so I had to dust some cracked seeds off the seat before I got comfortable. There is a bee buzzing in the background and what seems like a hundred birds chirping in the trees around me... *cheese-burger* *cheese-burger*... Besides the birds and the bees, all I hear is the clicking from my nails as I type. I hear nothing else. I smell fresh cut grass and clean, unpolluted air. Every now and then a fresh breeze passes across my face but I am quickly reminded that today was a hot, summer day. I smashed a mosquito against my arm. OB is walking around the grass driving his nose into little ant holes, lifting his leg on the odd bush and coming back every so often for a treat. The sun is going down. I'm appreciating that every inch of our property is budding new life in a different color and that this is the most peaceful and beautiful place I have ever known. I'm sipping on a chilled glass of wine, and this is the life.
 
Ah, summer.
 
Xo

I DID IT!

I decided enough is enough. If cheesy dips, pasta, beer, loaded baked potatoes, extra sour cream and desserts are going to be in my life forever, I better leave some room for exercise. I buy the sneakers, I pin the running programs, I live in the country with endless dirt roads and beautiful walking trails and I have a great playlist on my iPod.

There is no excuse.

I've always wanted to be one of those people who go running before breakfast or on their lunch break. I want to come home from work with the desire to get outside and run. I want to train for something, I want to wear a number on my shirt, I want to challenge myself. I want to run a marathon and feel the high of crossing the finish line.

My problem? Constantly giving into the other option. Go for a run or meet friends for wings and a beer? Go for a run or waste my hour break on social media? Go for a run or sleep in? No matter what the other option is, it always sounds better.

Today was different.

I came home from work and didn't so much look in the direction of my living room. I didn't look at the couch with the blanket resting just how I left it, or at the iPhone charger I so desperately needed, or the remote, the dishes that needed to be put in the dishwasher, or even my animals. Nope. G and I changed into sweats and sneakers and despite the rain, kept right back outside to the truck. We went to that beautiful walking trail and we ran, dammit we ran! Although G could have ran the entire 5K without a break, he stuck by my side and pushed me to complete one minute of running and one minute of walking for thirty minutes. Shut up, it's a start. I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday!

My stomach was in knots the whole time. I was dizzy. I had a muscle spasm. My ass hurts. My legs are restless and the heat from the laptop is soothing the deep ache in my quads. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring but I'm already super excited for my second run. I feel great, like I accomplished something huge.

I DID IT!


Rachel Emmilee
XO

Monday

Although I have missed you all so much...




Yep, I couldn't have said it better myself. I took a much needed break from the normal everyday, but I'm back in full swing.

It's officially Spring and although I am excited that the days are getting longer and warmer, I find this time of year a bit stressful, do you? For one, I feel a lot of pressure to update my entire wardrobe with trendy, spring fashion. Secondly our lawn and gardens are a mess, our pool looks more like a swamp and there are a million projects staring me in the face each time I pull into our driveway. I have no idea where to start! Once inside, I'm faced with windows that need cleaning, trim that needs a second coat of paint, dust and fingerprints that I never noticed in the darkness of Winter. I swear I need to take a week long vacation to get ready for Summer!

With that being said I did start, and even completed a few home projects. Thanks to my one stop shop, Winners, I gave our bedroom a beautiful makeover, hung some new art and curtains throughout the house, added to my tea pot collection and finally framed some of our sweet wedding photos. Doing this inspired me to paint our kitchen a nice fresh color to brighten the space, and I gave some of our wood furniture a face lift.  I get so much out of making these little changes, there's nothing more satisfying than putting a finishing touch on a space that you love to live in.

The last few months have been action packed with a lot of change. I promise to fill you in by finally publishing the several drafts that I have started over the last few weeks, but until then I'll fast forward to right now.This weekend came and went with mixed emotions. It marked another year that my sister has been gone which brought back a lot of painful memories no matter how hard I tried to think of the good ones. It was hard, but thankfully I was surrounded by family and friends.

On the plus side, over the weekend G's band pulled off another amazing Opry tribute and sold out to two awesome, high energy crowds. It's so fun to be a part of such an amazing production. The time, energy, dedication and talent that goes into it is so impressive! Thankfully, I was able to take my mind of how hard this weekend was four years ago and enjoy great music, great company and my cute guy in a cowboy hat.

More to come...

Rachel Emmilee
XO






Sunday

How do YOU prevent spots and dots?

As a 26 year old female who obviously cares about her appearance by means of wearing makeup, visiting a hair salon on a way-too-regular basis and getting sucked into fashion trends, you may find this hard to believe...

I do not use skin care products. Products that prevent dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles, acne, dryness and the aging process in general, do not live here. I would be lying if I told you I washed my face before going to bed at night let alone treated it with anti-this and anti-that cream.

This post was inspired by two things.

1) Recently, I had friends visit for a weekend. They each had morning and evening face cleansing routines that made my head spin. Cleansing, toning, preventing and peeling as I stood in the mirror watching with a raised eyebrow. Should I be doing this?

2) My husband's co-worker is selling a line of skincare and gave me a one time, six step cleansing product to sample. I read the benefits, testimonials and success stories with a raised eyebrow. It sounds so necessary, should I be doing this?

After many years of sunbathing in oil, I finally understand that SPF application is very important. On our recent vacation south I was very careful not to expose my skin to direct sunlight without SPF protection. Sure, being sun kissed makes you feel and even look more attractive, but the consequences are not pretty.

At my age and in this environment I feel my face is as fresh, toned and as young as it could possibly be. I'm not saying I'm flawless. Would I like to get rid of some spots and dots and prevent wrinkles? Um, yeah. Do I get on board with using skin care products? Should I explore natural home remedies? Or is my skin healthy because I left it alone all these years?

How do you prevent the ugly stuff?

Rachel Emmilee




Thursday

#ThrowBackThursday - G & R in the DR


If only I could tap the heels of my flip-flops together and go back to the Dominican Republic...
















Monday

Caramel Banana Pie


There are no words to describe how delicious this pie is, so in this post, there are no words to explain how to make it. Just watch and learn. It's as easy as pie!
  

Boil a can of sweetened condensed milk for three whole hours. Just like this, fully submerged in boiling water.


After three hours of boiling, carefully peel the lid off the can of sweetened condensed milk. Hello, caramel sauce!


Toasted coconut



Mac N' Cheese

Friends,

You need a Mac N' Cheese recipe in your recipe box! Not something heavy and complicated, nothing that calls for an egg, five types of cheese, a tbsp of mustard and the kitchen sink. You need an old reliable, simple and delicious recipe that is just as good the next day. Set a bowl of this goodness on your lap while watching TV and enjoy comfort at its finest.

Rachel Emmilee
XO



In a deep, nonstick frying pan melt three tbsp of butter on medium-high. Once melted, add three tbsp of flour and whisk together into a paste. Add 3 cups of milk, whisk until there are no lumps and until it thickens into a béchamel sauce. 

Add 1/3 block of cream cheese cubed, 2 cups of shredded old cheddar cheese and one block of cubed Velveeta cheese. IMPORTANT: Add either 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes, and whisk until cheese melts and all ingredients combine. (I personally like only a little beat of heat, so I go with the flakes.)

In salted water, cook and drain macaroni pasta. Do not rinse the pasta! Doing this will remove the starch that helps the sauce stick.

Back in the pot pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and coat well. Transfer the Mac N' Cheese into a casserole dish, sprinkle generously with panko bread crumbs and broil until brown, crispy and bubbly. 

Now serve to your family, and give me the credit for this amazing dish!




Saturday

Breakfast Crepes

Good Morning!

My Saturday is off to a great start, how about yours? It's almost noon but I'm still in my PJs, sipping on a soothing cup of coffee and full from a sinfully delicious breakfast. 

Here's the quick and easy recipe for delicious breakfast crepes, my way!

Enjoy!




In a blender crack three eggs, add 3/4 cup of cold water, 1 cup of milk, 3 tbsp of melted butter, 1 heaping cup of flour and a tsp of almond extract. If you feel the batter is too thick, add a touch of milk.

See? How easy is that.

Blend the mixture well and let it sit in the fridge for as long as you can. An hour in the fridge will allow the bubbles to escape and strengthen the batter so it won't crack while cooking. The batter will keep in the fridge up to 48 hours, so this is a great breakfast to prepare in advance of a busy weekend!

In a butter coated, nonstick frying pan on high, pour just enough batter for a thin, even layer. It won't take long to cook through, and when you can easily move it around the pan it's ready to flip. At this point the crepe is ready, so a few seconds on the flipped side is enough.

Roll and fill with toppings of your choice, but sugared strawberries, whipped cream and maple syrup is where it's at.

XO


Sunday

#LOVE

G had already left for the day so my personal alarm was disabled. In other words, when he's not there to wake me, I sleep in. It was my own fault that when I finally got up, I had no choice but to rush from washroom to washroom and closet to laundry room to get ready for work.  I stood in the mirror and quickly got ready, applying some bright red lipstick in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. I  then pulled on some cute animal print tights, slipped into my heels and felt especially pretty and ready to start the day.
 
Without breakfast, coffee or a packed lunch I was out the door and regretting that I hadn't given myself more time to get ready. I hate feeling so rushed. I put the car in reverse, both hands on the steering wheel and just as I was about to pull away, I realized I left my rings on the night stand! On Valentine's Day of all days, I was not going to work without my engagement and wedding rings. I turned the car off and ran back into the house, scurried upstairs to the bedroom, grabbed my rings, and turned right back around.  But wait, in the corner of my eye, I notice a pink envelope sitting on the dresser. I stopped dead in my tracks and for a quick moment, the racing of my heart stopped, and even my dog stopped to watch me open the envelope. 
I stood in awe reading the sweetest message written on the bottom of a card that I swear was made just for me. Then I read it again, and then again. Sometimes cards really get it right, don’t they? With the panic to get out the door on hold, I sat down and called G to thank him for such a lovely surprise. 
I was almost late for work, but so grateful that I slowed down long enough to smell the roses. It was a great start to our first Valentine's day as husband and wife!

"If you're always rushing to the next moment, what happens to the one you're in?"
Happy Valentine's Day!
Rachel Emmilee
XO

Heart Image found here!

Thursday

Did I Mention...





Did I mention there is a lot happening with me right now?

Well, there is.

A lot.

Work things are happening. BIG things. Scary, intimidating but very good things. More on that a little later.

Did I mention that I love cooking and hosting parties?

Well, I do.

So GUESS WHAT... I am responsible for catering a hospitality suite this weekend in Halifax. It's kind of a big deal. The function will host upwards of 800 people from all across Nova Scotia. When the AGM events are over both Friday and Saturday evening, folks mix and mingle throughout the Marriott Hotel getting their drink on in the suites. That's where you'll find me! Last year I only mingled, but this year I'll both mingle and take the credit for the delicious snack table.

I've spent the last 24 hours planning, making lists and packing the Jeep with everything I'm going to need to prepare and serve. By the way, shopping for food for events is stressful and buying 12 blocks of cream cheese at a time is embarrassing. We leave for Halifax tomorrow morning and once I'm there I have to rush to meetings, rush back to bombard my friends kitchen, then run back to the Hotel to set up the suite and serve my h'orderves. It's going to be a long night and I have to be on my game; not only do I want the snacks to be a success, but the annual-mingle-with-work-big-wigs is intimidating. 

Did I mention there is a mother of a storm coming?

Well, there is.

So that means if we leave here by 7am, we arrive in the city by noon. Yawn.

In other news. We've gone back to talking about the idea of building a new home. There has been some talk about having our engagement story published in a book, and last but not least... I am going to be a student again! Yep, turning my brain on and enrolling in some online courses. Like I said, cha-cha-cha-changes!

Change is good. I didn't think I needed change, but all of a sudden I feel very free... Content... Secure... And just positive overall.

So, did I mention there is a lot happening with me right now?

Well, there is!

Rachel Emmilee
XO

Tuesday

What He Said...

So...

I thought I would have been all over a vacation post, but... I've been a bit overwhelmed with the whole catch up at work game, the shovel a path to the doorstep game, and the get back into normal eating game. Plus, I figure I've tortured you enough with my sunny pictures and my boasting about long walks on the Dominican beach...

With that being said, I am really and truly a hardcore homebody. As much as I love seeing other parts of the world, I know in my heart there is no place like home. The adventure was amazing, but there is nothing I love more than being in my home with my loves, doing things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, if I could blink right now and be back on the beach with the smell of SPF 40 sizzling off my skin, I would... This winter weather is horrible.

There has also been a lot on my mind lately. Nothing anyone should worry about, but enough to distract me from the Blogosphere. I might share it with you soon, but for now I need to focus and figure stuff out. It won't take long, I promise. Until then...
                                                   


... What he said.

Rachel Emmilee
XO

Saturday

Travelling With Him

 
 
Ohla!

I know I've been a stranger, but I can explain!

G and I decided to take a spontaneous vacation, so in the last few weeks we've been planning and preparing our home and offices for our time away.

We are in the beautiful Dominican Republic without a worry in the world... It's fantastic. We gather from our Facebook friends back home that we picked a great week to get away, as it's minus thirty in some parts of Nova Scotia! Yikes!

We're missing our family and especially our dear little OB but, the heat is so wonderful. We're sun burnt and buzzed off beach cocktails, enjoying long walks on the white sand, swimming in the turquoise ocean and sunning by the pool. We've explored the villages on bicycles which was fun and romantic, we've had many opportunities to get dressed up fancy and have had lots of time for sleep.

I'm looking forward to catching up with all of your Blogs and sharing details of our Vacation when we return.

Rachel Emmilee
XO






Wednesday

So far, in 2013...


  • I have made a conscious effort to see what my laundry room floor looks like. One of my dirty little secrets of  2012 was that there was never a time where I didn't have a pile of laundry building up on my laundry room floor. I promised myself I would a) keep up with our laundry by doing a little each day and b) throw away or give away all clothes we aren't wearing and c) organize our laundry area so I actually enjoy being in it and d) stop using a new towel every time I shower and e) stop forgetting about the wet clothes in the washer for days at a time and f) just kidding, I'm done now.

  • I started the decluttering process. Inspired by Amy at Rainy Saturday, I decided it was time to get rid of all the makeup, perfumes and other beauty products that are taking up space and not being used. I've also given away two of my four hair straighteners and tossed at least ten razors that I no longer buy blades for. Another one of my little secrets is that I have two too many junk drawers in my kitchen. Oh, and a junk closet. That's three drawers and one closet that most definitely should be used to organize important things, but instead they're full of dead batteries, old bills, loose change, light bulbs, pens, pencils, notepads and other junk. As for the linen closet upstairs that gets stuffed with laundry when company comes unexpected, unfolded fitted sheets and curtains I will NEVER hang in my house... I'm coming for you.

  • I haven't been drinking alcohol or soda. I'm telling you, waking up on New Years Day without a hangover felt amazing and it challenged me to see how long I can go without drinking. Unlike some people, I can have fun without drinking and when I do drink, it takes me days to recover. So why even bother? It's never worth it anyway. My water intake in 2012 was horrible, in fact, I rarely ever chose water over something sugary. So far this year, water has been my number one choice and I can already feel the benefits.

  • I'm eating breakfast! Yogurt, bran buds, berries and a drizzle of honey. Healthy and a great start to my day.

  • I've been hungry for change. I always considered myself to be a healthy eater, but boy did I get a wake up call. After watching Hungry For Change, I realized what I thought was healthy is actually not healthy. We learned we have to pay close attention to what we're eating and to always look for healthy alternatives. So far, our meals have been balanced and we're feeling better overall. We want to live a long life, that's all there is to it.

  • I'm reading a book! Yep, diving into a book any chance I can get. It's not a computer, it involves quiet time and I'm wishing I did more of it in 2012.

  • We're planning a vacation. We don't know where, or when we're going but we're going. I need to feel heat on my face and sand in my toes and a mojito in my... I mean, a tall glass of water in my hand...

  • We're insulating our basement and installing a new heating system. Which means the pool table will finally go downstairs and we'll no longer have a man cave on our main level! Oh yeah, and I guess it's important that we'll stop losing heat and stop paying ridiculously high oil bills.

  • I'm watching too much TV. #TheBachelor, of course. The first episode promised a winter of drama so my #mondayblues don't stand a chance. Don't roll your eyes at me, have you seen this guy?
 Also, GIRLS on HBO, The Big C and all that other MTV and E! junk. Guilty.


  • I have been sharing my Blog. I have to admit, for the longest time I have avoided talking about my Blog with people for fear of being criticised. I decided I would be more confident this year, and if given the opportunity, I'd be proud to show people my work!


So I guess 2013 is off to a good start for me. How are you doing with your goals and resolutions?

Rachel Emmilee
XO

Thursday

The Grand Ole Opry



 

Howdy!

For the last five months, G has dedicated two nights a week and every single Saturday to band practice. Being a drummer, he was asked to be in the house band for the Grand Ole Opry Tribute production scheduled to open over the Holidays. All three shows were sold out in less than an hour and for months it's all people have been talking about. Looking back on it's success, I think it will be talked about for a long time and I'm sure there will be demand for more shows in the future!

In my house growing up, Mom listened to old country music all the time. Let's just say, I'm a little bit country and G's a little bit rock n' roll. From an early age I've been a fan of Conway, George Jones, Dolly and Loretta Lynn but G never listened to the old stuff. Now, after months of listening to the songs, singing along and dressing the part I think it's safe to say he's officially converted.

The show was amazing. Every performance was great and I truly felt like I was in Nashville all weekend long. The set, the costumes and the over all energy made it feel like the real thing. Being a volunteer, I also had to dress in costume and channel a southern bell. I had access to the green room, helped out backstage and watch the performers prepare for the show. Over thirty people were involved so by the end of it, the cast and crew felt like a great big family. I'm sad to see it come to an end, but a tiny bit excited to have my husband back...

 ... just hoping he keeps the cowboy hat, tight jeans and boots!


Yeehaw!


Tuesday

2012 is History, 2013 is a Mystery. Happy New Year!

 

2012 was an amazing year. It came and went leaving me healthy and happier than ever. I got married, felt an indescribable comfort and closeness to my husband, home and family. It brought with it high highs and low lows, but it taught me a lot of lessons and made me realize on many occasions that I am very blessed and very fortunate to have what I have.

For the first time in years G and I had a quiet New Years Eve. We visited family, ate some great food and watched fireworks light up the night sky. I enjoyed waking up this morning craving my morning coffee with no headaches or tummy aches but instead, feeling rested and ready for the day. I think it was a great way to start 2013 and I think I just might run with this... Resolution: Make healthier choices?

We're currently cuddled up in bed watching Netflix and scrolling through potential vacation packages as OB snoozes at the bottom of the bed. With the curtain drawn at 1pm, he still believes it's night time, and as long as we stay in bed he won't move. If only the coffee pot could come to us, all would be perfect.

To my readers, you have all been an incredible support in the last year. Blogging has become a passion and your encouraging words has made it that much better.

Wishing you all a year full of love and luck!

Rachel Emmilee
XO