Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gluten Free Sausage Balls

Hey there! It's been a while, hasn't it? I haven't been doing a whole lot of crafting here lately...the hubs was furloughed during the government shutdown, and we have been super busy with soccer as well. Thankfully both are over. 
We now have a few weeks to breathe before the holiday rush:o)
I have been doing some baking and sewing the past few days, and just happened to have my camera handy while doing so.
I had to go gluten free after my gall bladder surgery...crazy, but kind of good as well. I have had to make healthier choices since the can't go wrong there!
Anyway, now that the holidays are approaching, I am trying to find ways to make some of my favorite cool weather foods into gluten free renditions.
I love the taste, but I think I love them more because my mother used to make them for us all the time. Especially when we were going on vacation. That was our staple breakfast car food. Memories:o) I actually do the same thing with my kiddos on long car trips...making memories of my own now!

Most sausage ball recipes call for Bisquick...Bisquick has! Now that gluten intolerance is more prevalent, there are more gluten free options available in local grocery stores. I found a baking mix at Publix that is gluten free...score!
So are you wanting to try your own?
Here's what you'll need:
2 cups of Gluten Free Baking Mix(I used Namaste)
2 cups of sharp cheddar
1 pound of your favorite sausage
Work the mixture in a large bowl with both hands. You will want to make sure that all of the baking mixture is thoroughly combined with the sausage and cheese. Your arms will hate you, but your taste buds will be thanking you very soon!
Roll out into little 1"-2" balls. Place on parchment paper...makes clean-up a breeze.
Bake at 350 degrees for around 15-18 minutes. 
The taste is slightly different, but not by much. They taste super yummy and are a great option for G.F. folks!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween! Looks like ours will get rained out, but I have a back up plan;o)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Got to shut it down for now...

Sorry friends I have to close the blog for now due to personal circumstances. Maybe one day in the future it will pop up again. It has been fun reading the tea-leaves of RE, and then some, for the last few years.

Wish you all health and success whichever side of the fence you are on.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A graph to digest...

Not able to put up a proper post, just more food for thought. THIS is why so many of us are bearish (and yet we have been confounded by the tardiness of the correction)...

Source : BCA Research

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The Averages powered up in September per Larry's numbers.

Not altogether unexpected. While not as strong as August, September this year was a lot stronger than 2012. Was this the last of the pre-approvals going through? Certainly there seemed to be a division later in the month with lower sales/list showing up.

We have also had some big sales. As I documented earlier in the month, there were two $7 Million + sales in West Van alone (and a slew of $4-5 M sales). One was to a local buyer and one to a HAM from what I can ascertain. These numbers certainly baffle me. To spend $7 M on a house, requires a net worth at least twice that, and at a tax rate of even 30%, that's over $20 Million of earnings!

How many people have that sort of income?

Then I remembered that some banks were paying their senior executives over $10 M every year as was Telus.

MOI ends the month at over 7 for SFH and 6 for Apartments.

The bubble is not restricted to residential BTW. I spoke with a  commercial realtor a few days ago and he said there is so much money in this town looking for a home, that yields on smaller, good retail and office packages have reached silly low levels.

The money is local professionals looking for diversification, Eastern retired money and of course hot offshore money. "If there is a tenant turn-over, the lost rent and expenses associated with tenant inducements and costs can bring the yield down to zero for that year. They just want a low yield in a tangible asset that can keep up with inflation. Of course if there is a serious recession in our city, there will be a LOT of unhappy landlords".

He explained that is one reason for the high turn-over of tenants in particularly retail businesses. "The rents are just too high". For example it is cheaper for a landlord to leave a unit empty until it finally rents, even to a weaker tenant , and lose the few % return while he/she waits RATHER than lower the rent much.  If you lower the rent say 10%, that could drop the value of your property significantly in this bloated market, where every dollar of return is accounted for in the price.

Whence go we? The pre-approvals must be done. The market now sinks or swims on it's own. I suspect the HPI will still come in lower for September (it will if compiled fairly by the REBGV IMHO).

We should know soon if this is the case. As for the blog, I will be going fallow for a couple of weeks. I have a few matters to attend to and hope to be done near mid-month. If all goes well, I will return with commentary and the numbers at that time. May throw stuff in the comments from time to time.

Have a great October.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Yummiest Popcorn Ever

Today I share with you my favorite snack recipe, stove-top popcorn. 
We gave up microwave popcorn a long time ago. After we started eating cleaner, I began to think about all of the fake stuff that is in the microwave popcorn. I always felt sick after eating it, so I decided to start popping it on the stove.
It tasted a lot better to me after cooking it on the stove top and I didn't feel sick after eating it. Super bonus!
For a while I was using canola oil, but then I started using coconut oil.
That could have been one of my best decisions:o)
I HATE coconut, but I love what this oil does to the popcorn. It's delicious.
Coconut oil is actually one of the healthiest oils out right now.
When we have a bunch of kids over to play, this is my go-to snack, and they all LOVE it! Crowd-pleasing, cheap snack-ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!!

So here's how you make it.
What you need:
Large pot with lid
Popcorn kernels
(click on the above link to's cheaper on Amazon than in stores)
 Measure out 3 tablespoons. The oil is in a hardened state, but melts quickly.
Turn your stove on medium high. The oil will melt in just a few seconds.
 Pour 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels into pan, and cover with a lid.
 Once you start hearing the kernels popping, you will want to stand over the pan. I hold the lid while scooting the pan back and forth across the eye of the stove to keep the kernels from sticking to the bottom...usually about every 15-20 seconds.
There will be rapid popping kernels for about 25-30 seconds and then it will slow down to about 5-6 kernels per second. That's when I remove the pan from the heat, and let it sit for about 30 seconds. You don't want it to sit too long on the heat because the popcorn will burn and then your house will fun! Been there, done that!!
 When you remove the lid, this is what you should have.
Dump the popcorn in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. The salt will stick to the popcorn, and it's wonderful!
Let me know if you have tried it! I want to know if anyone else loves it as much as us!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some anecdotal stuff

This conversation was over heard on the GG Gondola by a friend. Not by me, but by a friend who is reliable and does not exaggerate.

Lady. "I am 53 and thought I was going to retire when I was 60, but I just took out a second mortgage to help my son buy an apartment. That just buries me in debt again".

Friend: " I am even older and thought I would be free of debt by now, but my mortgage hasn't been paid out, and I haven't been able to clear my credit card debt before another holiday comes along".

Male friend: " I recently went into my bank to get an higher limit on my credit card for a month, and the   bank employee kept trying to sell me on getting a $25,000 line of credit. "Just sign here and $25,000 will be deposited into your account".  I had to fight her off.

They then discussed how the banks almost forced debt on people. "Quite the difference from a few years ago, when you had to prove you could replay them. Now they don't care if you are nearly broke with debt. "Just get more debt to pay off the old debt."

Then another occupant of the gondola spoke up and said he worked for CIBC and that they had quotas of credit cards and personal debt to meet, and if they don't there was pressure from Managers to get there, that's why they kept pushing customers to get into more debt.

That is were we have got to. The banks have become drug pushers. Except the drug is debt. We are supposed to hope the addict will quit using themselves. And if you can't get your drug from the banks, there are dozens of fringe outfits willing to give you money..'If you have equity in your home'. Which just drains whatever equity you have managed to build up in your home.

This can only end badly.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Changing Table -Turned Dog Bed

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a beat up, run down changing table on the side of the road. It was no longer safe to put a baby on. It was missing two shelves, and was super rickety. Because it was made of real wood and had interesting spindles, I felt the need to bring it home and make something out of it.
The hubs was obviously unhappy that I was bringing more junk home;o) Story of our lives, right?
Anyway, I thought it would make a perfect pet bed.
 This is how it started out. 
I used an electric hand saw and chopped the legs off. That was definitely an experience. Note to self...use a sharp blade next time. I was literally shaking so hard that I had blurred vision while cutting this piece because the blade wouldn't cut through the wood:o) 
I sanded down the feet to get a nice edge.
I then ripped the safety buckles off of the bottom.
And then spray painted it.
The cushion is made from painters' canvas and two large pillows from my couch in the bonus room.
I made the cover removable by adding a zipper to the back. That way when it gets dirty, I can just throw it in the wash.
Not bad for a roadside rescue?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Old Drawer Turned Jewelry Organizer

My master bathroom is in need of some serious organization AND upgrading. Everything, and I mean everything is still builder basic. We have been in our house for almost 4 years, and haven't touched a thing in there. Unbelievable, right? I have so many ideas on what I want to do with my bathroom, unfortunately, we don't have the funds to anything about it right now. 
Tile in the shower, tile on the floor, a beautiful arch above our tub...
(I would love a claw foot tub, but that will never happen...the hubs must have his jacuzzi tub;o)) ...We would love to have separate vanities instead of a double vanity, and big chunky mirrors. The list keeps going, right? 
So, I'll continue to dream; peruse Pinterest and magazines; walking the aisles of Lowes and Home Depot; adding to the list of wants;o)
For my UK readers, if you are in the market for a new bathroom, check out these UK bathroom brands.
So since I can't overhaul our bathroom, I figured I would at least tackle the organization part.
 Today I am sharing another old drawer re-do.
If you guys remember, a couple of weeks ago I shared with you my drawer turned bathroom shelf.
The drawer I am sharing today, is it's little sister.
I found it along side the other drawer.
It's new purpose is a jewelry organizer.
My inspiration for the jewelry organizer came from this picture. When I came across it on Google, I thought to myself, "Hey, I have something like that!"
(source unknown)
As you can see below, my jewelry organization was a bad sort of way. I can't tell you how many times I have stood in my bathroom untangling necklaces and earrings. SO very frustrating. 
So here is baby sister in all of her glory. A diamond in the rough.
 I used the same technique of stripping the 4 layers of paint off of the drawer. 
I did wear a mask this time...but I wore flips flops while scraping the paint and burned a couple of holes in my toes. Dumb. 
One of these days I will actually wear all the proper safety gear!
 I attached some glass knobs from Hobby Lobby to hang necklaces from. I also installed baby cup hooks in the top, spray painted this pretty little Union Jack aluminum sheet and hung it off of the hooks.
Now my earrings have a pretty place to be displayed.
No more tangled mess!
Isn't this way better than shoving everything under the sink and hoping for the best?

This post contains links to affiliates. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throw Back Thursday-Pumpkin Bread

I thought I would change things up a bit and take a trip down memory lane. For those of you who have been with me from the beginning, you will remember this post. 
I made these little pumpkin loaves 3 years ago. My how time flies! They have been a huge hit across the web. Even Hershey's saw it and posted it on their Facebook page....I felt pretty awesome after seeing that!
Anyway, you can click
to read more.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

And then some....

The US Fed blinked. Actually it did't blink, it closed it's eyes and assumed the fetal position.

After talking tough about backing off on buying the US Government debt (the definition of ponzi btw), it stood pat and said.."we will..we will...keep buying! forget what we said earlier this year".

Actually it worked out ok for me, as my poor preferred shares which had been beaten into mush caught a bid.

However it did bring interest rates down a notch now that everyone sees the Fed for the blow-hard-but-do-nothing that it is.

The Canadian bond market which is tied by it's apron strings to the US one also got a bounce and rates dropped.

Now how about September? What are we looking at. Well so far it looks to em like we are going to get some weakness in the HPI and averages for the month.

I see mid range homes (would be super upper end anywhere else) $1.2-$1.6 M selling for a 4-8 % below asking. Of course the asking prices are pretty crazy, made up numbers , but that didn't deter the delusional buyers before.

I have said before that if September didn't show some weakness that I would probably suspend or close this blog but it looks like you may have to put up with me a bit longer. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Currency around Malaysia

The following shows a list of a few currency compare to Malaysia Ringgit.  Basically the higher the graph the better it is for the Malaysian - "I can get more of their money with my money."

In short ... 
For those who earn Malaysia Ringgit, its good to go spend in USA and Indonesia.  On the other hand, those who are working in China and Singapore are laughing when spending their money back in Malaysia.








You can investigate more yourself by visiting to

Monday, September 16, 2013

Coffee Table Redo-Part3

Our coffee table serves many purposes. It's the place where the kids do homework, make crafts, sometimes eat their dinners. It's also a foot rest, and occasionally used in pillow/blanket forts.
It's used A LOT, and had been showing lots of wear here lately.
This coffee table has gone through a couple of transformations.
To see the actual before, you can go here.
I had not been planning on re-doing the coffee table. It sort of just struck me last Friday that I needed to strip all of the nasty paint off of it. 
This was part two...the center is chalkboard paint. I had found some inspiration on Mrs. Mustard Seed's blog with some chalkboard tables she had created. At the time of the second re-do, my children had a nasty habit of writing on furniture. I came up with what I thought was an ingenious idea to paint chalkboard paint on the top of the coffee table; that way they could have at least one piece of furniture in the house to write on with out mommy fussing.
Well, it's been a few years and the kids are past the graffiti-on-my-furniture phase, thankfully. However, this table has been put through the ringer.
 As you can see there are tons of nicks, and scratches all over the top. There was also this weird film that developed...not exactly sure if it was from the chalkboard paint, or if we're just that nasty.
Regardless, it needed to come off. 
After two coats of paint stripper and a little bit of sanding, I was able to restore the wood to it's natural state.
 I applied the same stain I used for the old bench.
I let the stain sit for 15 minutes before wiping it off. I'm not one for waiting hours to reapply coats of stain to get what I think is basically the same result.
And this is the finished result. A beautiful stained wood top.
A much needed improvement.
I haven't applied the coats of poly yet. We had way too much going on over the weekend to get that done.
I love my big coffee table, and love that it serves so many purposes. Styling it, is an issue all on it's own. Because it has so many jobs, leaving things on it isn't an option.
But, the kids and the hubs are away, so mommy gets to play around with some fun styling:o)
 I love these old Bibles. I think they are so beautiful. The thicker ones belonged to the hubs' grandfather. The smaller one was my mother's cousin's Bible that was given to him when he was fighting in the war. They were to put them in their pocket to figuratively and literally protect their hearts.
Definitely a treasure.
 I can't get enough of these old blue mason jars either.
I have them scatted throughout the whole house. 
I have three more projects that I am in the process of finishing. I can't wait to share them with you all!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Busy Beaver

I have been working the day away trying to get several things done. Laundry, cleaning the house, hanging things on the wall, stripping paint off of furniture(as seen below), sanding, etc. This is the first time since my surgery that I have felt well enough to tackle multiple projects at once. I actually have 3 in the process of being completed. And I'm just a little jazzed at how they are turning out:o)
The weather couldn't be anymore perfect for this sort of thing either. So grateful for Fall-esque weather.
We have a big weekend ahead of us. We have 2 kids' birthday parties to attend, a soccer game, and the hubs is having a birthday on Sunday. 
Busy, busy, busy.
Today I just wanted to fill you in on what's going on behind the scenes with my blog. 
As you have probably noticed, the appearance has changed over the past few weeks. I have been working really hard trying to spruce things up and make it seem more appealing. I have scoured the internet for different tutorials on how to make these changes. 
If you check out my Blogger Tutorials Pinterest Page, you can see where I have gotten all of these great ideas.
I have been playing around with this blog for a little over 3 years now. I have had so much fun learning, creating and sharing with you guys.
Now that my kiddos are at the age where they are in school full time, I have a few extra hours in the day where I can get through more projects.
I also have more time to dedicate to this blog and trying to make it grow. 
Growing will hopefully mean turning a profit...yep, I said it. I want to earn an income from blogging. I absolutely love crafting, sewing, DIY'ing, and everything that goes along with blogging. Why not try to make money at something I love doing?
So, hopefully in the not-so-distant future, I will be looking for sponsors. People who I feel my readers, that's you, would want to purchase from.  That part is still in the works right now. Other ways I am earning, is through ads. Every ad-click counts towards me earning a little if you see something that interests you, click on it:o)
I appreciate each and every one of my readers. I am so thankful that you guys take time out of your day to see what I have been up to. You are what makes doing all of these projects more enjoyable. It's fun when you get to share something you're excited about with other people who will get excited right along with you. I hope that you will stick around and help this little blog continue to grow!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bicycle Art

It seems like ages ago I told you that I would have a fun little art project for S.R.'s room. Well, I finally got around to making one.
I just needed the right inspiration!
I wanted to do something with a bike, but just wasn't sure what. I came across this really cute vinyl cruiser on Etsy , and knew it was exactly what I needed.

And this is what I came up with.
FrogTape makes a chevron painter's tape. Crazy! I know!
 It's super easy to use! 

I found some at Lowes the other day, but you can also purchase it from Amazon. 
Click the link below and it will take you directly to Amazon.

The tape isn't recommended for use on textured surfaces...says so right on the box. As you can see below, my canvas is a textured surface. I went with it anyway because sometimes you can bend the rules a bit in the crafting world. 
I used a scrap piece of tape to keep my lines even.
Once all of the tape was down on my canvas board, I smoothed out all of the edges, painted, and promptly removed the tape.
After letting the paint dry for about 30 minutes, I placed the vinyl bike on top of the painting.
You have to be patient with vinyl. It can tear easily, and can stick together if you don't follow the instructions.
Once in place, I smoothed it out to make sure there weren't any bubbles.
I had the large frame on hand. I was actually using the frame as a Christmas card holder. However, last year, the cards never made it to the frame. 
So I figured I would make good use out of it, paint it purple, and hang it in S.R.'s room.
I don't normally do anything with colors this bright or go with things that are this contemporary because it's not my style. I'm more of a classic style kind of girl.
However, it is S.R.'s I'm goin' with it;o)

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. By clicking on said links, you help me make money. It wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if you decided to click and buy;o)


Craft Dictator