Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I want for Xmas.....

Well I don't really yearn for fantabulous things this year and that is okay.

Afterall I have a new front porch/balcony, a new stove and fan, a new microwave....But these are material things.

I am blessed with love, joy and friendship, health and cat love! And a job I love more and more each day.; so life is good.

But being the season for gifts I was asked what I wanted.

So here goes:

I think I need a new wallet.
This looks actually better since I doctored it with the glue gun.
A new slowcooker would be nice, an horizontal one , I find
that most cuts of meat would  fit better in one....like this
Doesn't have to be programmable...but you know....LOL
 A gift card from Bath and Body Works would be great...
I could indulge in candles...
Love their candles...
Let's face it I'm pretty easy with where the gift cards come from...I always find ways to spend
Of course Pyrex would be nice....
And believe it or not I love getting pijamas!
Have a great night! :) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Leftover KD

For years, leftover KD made me want to throw up....really.

But a couple of months ago with the mac 'n' cheese craze I decided to try some ideas and fiddle with it to see what I could come up with.

1) I brown some ground chuck that I add to the KD along with some chopped parsley
2) the next day I pre-heat the oven to 350 and take some individual baking dishes (AKA Pyrex Pixie casseroles) ....
3) I mix the leftover KD with milk and cubed cheese (the quantity is up to you)
4) I pour the mix in the casseroles and top with italian bread crumbs mixed with a bit of EVOO to moisten.
5) I bake it for 25-30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned.

And this is the only way I'll eat leftover KD.
It made a mighty fine Monday supper, nom!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


It is by no means grand but it looks great in the bathroom....

This morning I've been scoping out crystals on Etsy....

Here it is!

It was the pic I could get with the bathroom's poor lighting.
And we installed the new kitchen fan and in a calm and orderly fashion!
No yelling!
                                        All shinny and bright. I think it will actually make a difference when I cook.

This my new cooking buddy.
My old one went to the big appliance heaven in late September.
It is the oven that died and since I didn't want to have it repaired (again)....
Off to the store we went.
Yes there was the really basic white like I had with coils....but it wasn't really cheaper than the one with the flat top.
And one exactly like the one in the picture but with coils was only $20 less.
It is really hard to keep clean, but I definitely LOVE all the bells and whistles on it.
The timer, the bip when it's ready, the keep warm zone, the expendable element, the auto clean feature, but I have to admit that one scares me....  

Well I'm off to fawn over the fan....lol!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mixed Bag 'O' Stuff

Well dear readers,

I haven't been posting for 9 days.....YIKES!

Since the balcony, front porch has been finished, we've had more renos in the basement....

They are installing a sump pump...which should (finally) take care of the water seeping in the basement.
They also took care of the grade on one side of the house.

But there is much more to do, so that means that I'm not able to put up Xmas lights yet.....Sad face.

All that aside we are checking off things on our to do list!

We bought a new toilet bowl and had every intention of installing it ourselves....but guess what? The old one was more than 15 years old and the sizes are not the same, which means we have to get an adaptor and even change the pipe in the floor and basement...


Sorry about the language. The plumber is coming over next friday to install it. I'll keep you posted on that.

We finally re-installed the chandelier in the bathroom, Dan sprayed it black and it is beautiful!
I put some crystals on it but I need to get more! MORE, MORE!

And we removed the kitchen fan over the range....eeeewwww! Holly caked on grease Batman!

And I fiddled with the new fan (I.E. reading the instructions and figuring out what they meant!) we will install it tomorrow morning.....I'm crossing my fingers that all goes smoothly.

I finally decided to spend some of my B-Day money from Dad and I got red boots!

I love them. I love red just like my grandma, GranMimi.


 Not cowboy boots, I'll have to take a pick of the heel.
Here it is the IN heel.
Thanks Dad!
I had to bring Dan's Ipod to it's final resting place....
I'm sure I'm not the only one.
It's like it is a huge sect and you don't know how it works....and noboby will tell you but they will give you an appointment to meet a genius....
Well we got a replacement Ipod and now the energy is right again at casa de Vonlipi.
I hope all my south of the border readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Remember that turkey is very low calorie!
I'm starting on my Xmas list and I hope to share it soon
Sleep tight and be well :)  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finished ....for now

Well faithful readers....

This is it. The time we've all been waiting for.

The balcony is finished! I can't believe it. This certainly gave me some grey hairs....That I proceeded to remove immediatly.

We just could not believe it. It is so much better than we thought, so much.

I gave a couple of instructions to Dan who gave them to the foreman.

                                I still can't figure out why they put those ciment blocks in front..
                                we used them for one of the planks while we didn't  have steps....

                                            Our very own steps!

Here's the view from our balcony,
thre will be many a coffee drunk there....and many a Xmas light!
I smell a blowmold fest!
Tonight Dan took the broken shower door and took it to the curb.
I then proceeded to install the curtain pole and shower curtain!
Stuff is totally happening at Vonlipi's place!
See you soon and stay warm and toasty! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Sealed Pot Challenge

You want to save for a special occasion? A special trip, an anniversary, a b-day? Whatever!

Stretching a buck is a major endeavour! But let's face it we all have some change weighing down our purses, wallets and pockets....and even a loose dollar (loonie) or even a twonie!

I'm always looking for a way to stash money, especially with the crazy renos at Vonlipi's Palace of Pyrex (nice name, eh?)

I was blog hopping last weekend when I read Living Rich on the Cheap , great blog from a fellow Canadian and I saw the Sealed Pot challenge from SFT (saving for travel).

Here's the link: Sealed Pot Challenge

Easy peasy: you sign up, you pick a jar, and activity and you start put moolah in the jar on Dec 4th.

VERY IMPORTANT! You do not unseal the jar....you open it only on Dec 3rd 2013 and get to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

Here's how I crafted my jar

I took a big empty coffee can and I turned the lid  so the printed side lies on the table. I used duct tape to mark a rectangle large enough so I can fit folded bills (one never knows) and I used an xacto knife to cut it.

I then replaced the lid on the jar and sealed it with duct tape.

I made a PARIS label for it because we have our hearts set on it.
 Dan just passed by and dumped some change in it! It's not December 4th yet! Well it won't hurt he said.

True, every little bit helps.

So we will see

Now I would've liked to show you some pics, but for some reason the server is rejecting mine, I'm not worried it was that kind of day! NOV 14th 2012 I was able to download pics! YAY!

Now while Dan snores on the sofa I will multi task and watch Dexter AND chopped at the same time! LOL

Have a good night :)
So we will see

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Food Network CRUSH

Funny how I thought I was the only one to get crushes on food celebrities...

I loooovvvveeeddd Jamie Oliver but never tried one of his recipes....

I loooovvvveeeddd Nigella Lawson but only make the cupcake recipe, I'm afraid the mixing everything with the hands kinds of puts me off and her kids seem selfish, uninterested and weird.
Is your mother on a TV show? Well get with the program because she is your meal ticket!

I even had a cook crush on Paula Deen, I wanted to get adopted and dipped in butter but the Y'ALL and the way she says oil (OLE) kind of turned me off.

But for about six weeks I've had a sunday morning crush....and 3 weeks ago Dan told me: Are we going to watch the Jamie guy? Because I like him and he's so soothing and calming.

We both have a food crush on Jamie Deen! Every week I want to make his super easy recipes....And I did try the Pimento Cheese!

Boy was it ever delicious!

Here's the recipe:

Pimento Cheese Dip

  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack (there is NO Pepper Jack cheese in Quebec, so I used some Jalapeno Havarti)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pimentos (roasted red peppers)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • I added a dash of Tabasco sauce for some kick
Add the Cheddar and pepper jack to a bowl with the cream cheese. Add in the pimentos and salt and pepper to taste. Using a hand mixer, begin to blend together. Add in the mayonnaise and continue mixing until creamy.
©TelevisionFood Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved.
I dn't know how long it keeps in the fridge but I made it last Sunday and it is still good
It used light cheeses so it is about 60 calories for a tablespoon.
it is delicious on crackers, on a tasted bagel and in a grilled cheese!
This was my Sunday breakfast!
Totally yummy and goey.
Today he made a butterflied chicken which looked so good!
I might need to try it next week :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

We got.....


I kept repeating : I have a balcony like a fool.

It's not finished yet but it is a HUGE improvement!

                                Our very own new steps

                                Bandito is checking if every thing is up to code!

Before the wood was touching the soil...not anymore!
I love that railling
I can't wait to decorate it for Xmas
Speaking of Xmas....
Not bad eh?
The stockings will go in the store as well as the ornements, Santa will be taking
the train next week because I will bring him to work with me to infuse me and my
coworkers with seasonal joy!
Gotta go, I'm off to make sure my balcony is still there! LOL

Friday, November 9, 2012


You know I've been feeling bad about the rotten wood on the house, the absence of a balcony and the fact that I felt we were left behind by the reno workers.

Of course I'm not in charge of this project....Dan is and I never seem to get all the facts!

Last night I was getting stressed nearing the house...there was talk of work and wood, and measurements, railling.....

So last night we came home to this....Keep in mind that I could not take a pic last night.

This tiny tiny wood step ladder.
We were laughing so hard! Of course most of the workers are in their 20's or 30's.
They can't imagine that quasi-seniors live here!
The earth was loose and the ladder tippy!
I'm happy to report that all the rotted wood was removed and replace with new treated wood and a vapor barrier was installed as well.
 I will have more progress updates for you soon.
Now for some shopping/thrifting front.
I went on my annual window shopping trip to Holt & Renfrew, Montreal very chichi departement store.
And I was shocked by what I saw! Is it that because you are rich , your common sense leaves you?
That you don't mind paying $25 for a dozen shortbread cookies?
That a sweater for your dog costs $90, the price of a trip to the grocery store?
Cute dog sweater....
Scary price tag!
Tower of cookies
Yep you saw that right!
$120 for a tower of cookies! Are they hand crafted by vestal virgins on the slopes of
Mount Vesuvius?
I don't think so.
I took Dan there tonight for a show and tell...It gave us some great conversations!
And it make me feel good that I spent $5.99 at Renaissance and I actually used some Sears points to purchase a Xmas gift!
Now I promise that tomorrow I will take some pictures of my Xmassy thrifty finds to show you.
I hope you're all toasty warm with a full belly snuggled up next to your loved ones, furry and otherwise.
Sandy's damage was a big shock for us, let's face it usually this kind of  crazy bad destruction is seen in warmer climes....
so we've been gathering some emergency stuff. I will take some pics to share with you and of course your suggestions and comments are always welcomed!   

Saturday, November 3, 2012


As the days grow shorter and the temp cooler, even colder; I find myself really grateful for my house, for heat , light , for a great partner, for being resourceful, handy, crafty, quirky pets, for a full freezer,
for money to pay the bills, for a good job, for flannel sheets, hot water, for soup

and for being able to go in the backyard and harvest a big bowl of greens....

 Fresh greens from the veggie garden.
Right arugula, left baby collards and in the Pyrex bowl a mix of arugula, baby collards and winter greens.
I'm thinking of sauteing some in butter for a side dish tonight.
Here's what the view looks like this afternoon. 
 The week was stressful....
We watched the news about Sandy approaching.
They predicted really bad things here and I was worried about the old tree in the backyard that should be cut....and the roof
But nothing really happened.
Instead we watched and gasped at the devastation in New England and New York city.
 We are praying and sending you all good vibes.
People are suprinsingly resilient and strong in emergency situation like that.
I would've freaked out at first to loose my house or have damage to it.
I know because I freaked out Thursday night when we came home....
The workers came and removed all the ciment, that was rotting the house, good, but
they didn't install anything so we could get in the house....
Now the front door is boobage level!
It was dark and rainy and muddy...but we draged adirondak chairs and a plank and were finally able to reach the door... but we couldn't  unlock it because the house had shifted.
There was a lot of fiddling involved and finally I was able to get in and feed the cats while Dan (crafty devil) fiddled some more so we could lock the door.
Yes that was part of the freak out, I also ranted that we should call the foreman because you don't let people stranded like THAT! Imagine if we were seniors or not as crafty!
These are my feet and you can see the chairs and the plank and a saucer because the black stray
came for a light lunch.
 I'm praying all this gets fixed soon...
To all my readers that were affected by Sandy be safe, be well.
 to the rest....well keep out of trouble! lol