Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello World!

Welcome Aboard! originally uploaded by girl from finito.
Welcome to our new shared blog... Right now it's just Mary and I blogging here but maybe, possibly, we can convince Andrea to also start blogging.. (about her rowing.. maybe?...hint, hint).

Anyways, all our old posts are here so look around and I'll try to get a page set up soon for our trip posts that has proper links... soon

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Washing DC... for a day

Rally for Sanity/Fear, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
Mary, my sister, came east for a meeting and had a four day window to visit me.
We took the opportunity to hop on a bus down to Washington DC to attend Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

The bus trip, organized by the good people at the Torontoist and sponsored by Bud Lite, was a 36 hour whirlwind trip. The coverage by the Torontoist is here
The rally was crazy.. so many people.. so many stars (I saw Cat Stevens perform Peace Train!)
But the best part, oddly enough, was visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of the Native American. That weekend they had Día de los Muertos celebrations, exhibits and activities. It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nuit Blanche

I must admit I found this years Nuit Blanche a little underwhelming.

I don't know if it was the poor use of space or the weariness of traveling across town to get to most of the main exhibits.
Still it is nice to see the streets filled with so many people wandering about at 1 am appreciating art and the city.

Cottage Weekend

Cottage Weekend
Cottage Weekend, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

I didn't travel much this summer (actually I have only been out of the country for a day and a half this year!) so it was really lovely to be invited to my pal Katie's family's cottage on the Ottawa River (Quebec side).
It was a wonderful, relaxing girls weekend away.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Birthday Macarons

My pal Ayalah has her birthday in the summer which was the perfect timing for a picnic!
Because she has a serious sweet tooth and also loves France I made her some macarons.
Birthday Macarons
I picked up the cutest book (I heart macarons) at a cooking store in St. Johns and was itching to use it.
I made yellow with chocolate ganache filling and a cinnamon with cardamon milk tea filling. TASTY!

Birthday Macarons

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trinity and back to St. John's - Newfoundland

Trinity, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

We took a slightly more lazy route back to St. John's. We headed across the bulk of the island and spent a night at a B&B before heading to Trinity for a day and a half.
Trinity was awesome. We stayed in a little cabin that Mary and I imagined what vacationing was probably like in the 50's.. really cute!

It was really quiet in Trinity (we couldn't find a place to eat that was open) but we walked around the town taking in all the lovely buildings. The Shipping News was filmed in Trinity and nearby a whole fake fishing village was recreated for the filming of Remote Passage for the CBC. Mary and I, after finally finding somewhere to eat decided to check out the Maritime Museum in Bonavista.

On the way there I forced Mary to drive through Elliston, the root cellar captital of the world, which seemed a little unfriendly. Also we didn't see a lot of root cellars.

Bonavista - Harbour
Bonavista - Harbour, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

Bonavista was great though. While signing into the museum we noticed that another group of yukoners were in the museum (they had gone to the same conference as Mary and were really nice). So after a little hunting we found them and ended the evening with a lovely lobster and toutons with molasses (my favorite  newfie food .. hard bread and salt cod - I recommend you pass on them).

Back to St. John's for the last bit of shopping and wandering around (the Rooms! Viking demonstrations! Joe Fresh!).
Newfoundland - highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Western Brook Pond - Newfoundland

The last day in Gros Morne National Park we went for a hike to Western Brook Pond. Another of the guided walks It was really cool to learn so much about the area.
The geography was really influenced by glaciation (it was carved out by glaciers and then, when they receeded the land rebounded cutting off the pond from the ocean). Also - the part I found really cool was the rippling of the bedrock which caused alternating bogs (pictured above) and limestone ridges which are forrested (below)
The guides from the park were really into showing off different parts of the bog and forrest, even to the extent of reaching into the bog to pull out peat. We also spotted an arctic hare and pitcher plants (the provincial flower). Very cool.

An acidic lake fed by the bog.

Lime stone ridges.

The ultimate destination - Western Brook Pond.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trails, Tales and Tunes - Newfoundland

Norris Point and the nearby (slightly larger) town of Rocky Harbour were amazing. t was like being home but with a different forrest.
We decided to go there for 2 reasons. The first was because Mary's friend from the conference was going to be there, and the second was because of the park. What sealed the deal though was the trails tales and tunes festival that was going on that weekend.
The festival is mostly for the locals - kind of a kick off to the tourist season. Almost all of the activities we participated in were outdoors. There were guided hikes every day - almost all of them ending in homemade pie and treats. So nice!
There were also live performances that we took in and listened to on the radio. It was really fun and we had a fantastic time.

We ended up renting a cabin and were amazed at how big it was (a bedroom each!).. We also discovered there wasn't really a proper grocery store in town. What we did find though was hard tack (which we attempted to cook), salted cod (that stunk up our cabin), and local jams (which we started a collection of).

Our time in Norris Point was really a highlight of our stay in Newfoundland and I would encourage anyone to go.

A lot (and I mean A LOT) of my photos are not uploaded yet as they are on my sisters computer - in Whitehorse. so this post (and possibly a few other posts) will be updated with more pictures from Norris Point, Rocky Harbour and Mary and my awesome take on the Discover Newfoundland ads.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Travel - Newfoundland

After the conference was complete Mary and I rented a car and headed across the island.

Our original plan was to go over to St. Pierre and Miquelon but that proved to be too difficult due to the time we were traveling (May is not high season).

So when I said we headed across the island I really do mean that literally. From St. John's it took two days of almost solid driving (by Mary - bless her) to get to Gros Morne National Park and the little cabin we rented in Norris Point.

View Larger Map

I seem to be missing a few pictures so I'll update this later if I can find a good shot of the highway - I remember taking a few :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Around St. John's - Newfoundland

The first few days we were in St. John's Mary was at her conference and I got to explore a little bit of the city.

I walked up and around signal hill - a little dangerous.

And Mary and I went on a few trips - to Ferryland an active archeological site which was very cool and whale watching in a huge windy storm (which resulted in the boat turning around and no wildlife being seen.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I know this is a little late but I'd still like to share some pics and stories from Mary and my trip to Newfoundland. Every year Mary attends a museums conference somewhere in Canada and I am lucky enough to often tag along. Trips to Ottawa, Victoria and err.. Toronto (we ended up going to Iceland after that one) have sprouted from these meetings and I love that every year we get to meet up and spend 2 weeks together.

Newfoundland was the last maritime province that I needed to visit, we didn't make it there with the family and I wish we had. Dad, I think, will love Newfoundland.. This trip also means that I only have one more province (Saskatchewan) to go and then I've been to them all (not including territories). I must say I wish I had gone to Newfoundland sooner. I really loved it there - lots of culture and energy - plus the whole province felt like a bigger east coast version of the Vancouver Island in my head (ie/ the 80's). I loved all the small towns and crazy food.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hey Family!

Family (Smith side), originally uploaded by girl from finito.
keep being awesome.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chinese New Year cupcakes

Wow - old pictures!
I made these the day I left for the west coast. Awesome Chinese New Years cupcakes for my friend Fran and her family (note for reading the story below.. this friend is Chinese)

Fran: thanks for coming by and dropping off some awesome cupcakes.
cats, eh?...or tigers?...damn! whatever!...they were awesome and cute...geez...i thought just icing was fancy...but had to go ALL out and put characters on mine...

i'm sure xavier will be like, "look! it's a cat...a cat...see...a you see the cat?"...
me: "yes xavier. it's a cat. it's very nice"...
x: "do you see it?...look right here! it's a cat...see A CAT!...seeeeee!"...
me: "yes...yes...i see it"...
x: "i'm going to eat the cat!...the cat, right here. see this cat!...on the cupcake there's a cat!"...
me: [shoots herself].

Me: They were tigers

Fran: yes...yes...i realized that now...

"happy lunar new year"....yes...yes...the asian got it wrong.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Birthday Flowers (2 months late in posting)

Birthday Flowers, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
mom - did I ever send you pictures of what the flowers you sent looked like? They were beautiful!

Birthday Flowers, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

5 x July a full circle (almost)

It's funny to see things come back around.

little italy
little italy, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

new hair!
new hair!, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

lemonade, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

Quilt doubles
Quilt doubles, originally uploaded by girl from finito.

July 9, 2006
I could only afford to take off one afternoon in the middle of the final stretch of my masters project to watch the final game of the World Cup.

July 5, 2007
Major haircut - it stayed like this for quite a while.

July 6, 2008
In the middle of cooking and baking challenges.

July 12, 2009
The start of a new project - that I'm just getting back to.

July 11, 2010
World cup watching again... this time on the patio at the Drake. And check out all the Holland fans! I wasn't all alone all decked in orange (but I was all alone at my table).

EDIT.. this was all set to be published last week but somehow I dropped the ball.. oops

Monday, July 12, 2010


MYSTERY GIFT!, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
well not really a mystery for me... but can you guess what's in the box?... I can lie down on my couch with room to spare for a size reference.

annnd.. this was in the crate... A beautiful replica of part of the Bayeux Tapestry. THAT MY MOM MADE!

The original (in Bayeux, France) is 70 meters long and not technically a tapestry (it's embroidered cloth). It depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England (by William the Conqueror) as well as the events of the invasion itself.

I love this section with the ships and all the horses lined up inside of them.

It's hanging above the couch and looks oh so good.
Thanks mom!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mary Mitchell in Mackenzie

Mitch, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
Right after the big Olympics trip I decided that enough time had passed and it was finally my turn to visit my best friend. She moved to Mackenzie BC while I was still living in Vancouver - so that has to be 6 or more years ago. I've seen her many times since then - but never up there.
As can be imagined it was the best ending to the trip possible. Mackenzie was a winter wonderland and any time I get to hang out with Mary is never long enough (yes, my best friend and my middle sister have the same name). We went for walks across frozen lakes, cross-country skiing (though the cross-country skiing was a TERRIBLE idea or well skiing on the hills was a terrible idea) and fixed things.. McGuiver style. The photo below is a terrible picture of our repair of the dishwasher, with a zip tie (the black one). It worked wonderfully!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

cute mitts

Mitered Mittens (May) by Elizabeth Zimmermann
wool: Noro Silk Garden
weekend knit (started Friday after work and finished on Monday)

ez at perfection! i think this might be the perfect car knitting pattern ever … small/portable, ideal mix of mindless stockinette but miters keep it interesting… feeling inspired to make a bunch on the upcoming road trip into BC
love love love!
used the gusset thumb thanks to grace ivy

i have narrow hands so adjusted the stitch count
CO 48st and reduced to 36st (so a flared long cuff)
gusset thumb: 12 st

ps crazy how these ending lining up! it is like i planned it (not at all)

tricky relations (clarified!)

I had this problem come up a few times since I've moved to Ontario. How do I refer to some of my more distant and differently connected family when talking about them to other people? Living closer, and interacting more, with a greater array of my families relatives is really cool but ultimately brings up the problem that I never know the exact term for people. When I was younger I called most of them aunt and uncle (and still do with most of my dad's cousins who live in Tofino) but now that I am older, and my age is closer to some of these people, this won't work.

Just today I read a really cool post from Lifehacker (one of my favorite blogs). It talked about using the "computational knowledge engine" Wolfram-Alpha (similar to searching through a encyclopedia.. ?? but with the ability to do math or compare things?) to understand familial connections.. so I searched "mom's cousin's son" and got this:

Mystery solved.

Monday, June 21, 2010

1st day of Summer

sprinkler fest, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
I can't imagine it getting so hot in Victoria that I would need to run through the sprinklers - but it apparently happened.
Happy summer everyone.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Olympics - Hockey!

Hockey - Vancouver 2010, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
Oh man! this was exciting - a round robin match between underdogs Latvia and the Czechs. Somehow we got amazing seats .. just to the side of the goal in the 6th row. The atmosphere in the arena was amazing an it was so cool to see the crowd erupt when Latvia finally scored.

Hockey - Vancouver 2010, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
Though Latvia lost the game there was lots to celebrate.. That day they had won their first Olympic Medal ever! and later in the games they would come back to defeat the Czechs. Below is a little slide show of some of the pictures I took that day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Practice Lines

One of my favorite things that I didn't expect.. before the games start they run practice lines!
The men tended to do them more than the women -
very cool.

this video unfortunately is pretty shoddy - I shot it with my phone.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Olympics - curling

Curling - Vancouver 2010, originally uploaded by girl from finito.
So I've finally gotten around to uploading my pictures from the Olympics. There will be more in the coming week now that things with the freelance work is becoming more relaxed.
This is one of my favorite shots that I've come across (so far I've only looked at a third of the photos I took).
This was the first day of curling we saw (round robin #4 for the men). The Canada v. Sweden game ended before the others that's why there is a page empty.

spruce tip jelly

yes, you read the title correctly .... spruce tip

it is spruce tip collecting time in the Yukon ... or really the end of it. For a couple weeks in May you can go collect the new 'buds' just before the brown papery covering has fallen off .... before they get too mature. You can eat them right off the tree - they taste almost lemony. So Christine and I inspired by our new Miche Genest cookbooks went out into the woods to gather them up. Many bug bites later we emerged with a bag each!

The jelly is quite delicate tasting - I can see why many people say they use it like honey - a teaspoon in their tea. Apparently spruce tips are very rich in Vitamin C (and are brewed into a tea for sore throats/colds).


Pick roundabout four cups of spruce tips. Rinse in cold water and give a light chopping. Cover the tips with water and simmer for 10 minutes. Let stand overnight, strain with jelly bag or cheesecloth.

3 1/2 cups spruce tip juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 package (dry) fruit pectin
5 cups sugar

Mix juice with lemon juice and pectin, stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil - add sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. Ladle into jars.

More about spruce tips here and thank you to Miche - do check out her great cookbook: The Boreal Gourmet (review here)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tomorrow night, as an early birthday present Jodi is taking me to see Jónsi (the side project of the lead singer of Sigur Ros)
From what I've heard so far I think It'll be fantastic!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

raspberry lemon jam

raspberry-lemon jam (with kiwi and grapefruit marmalade behind)

last night i made this jam - i had frozen raspberries and a bunch of lemons in the house - it is pretty tasty! i love raspberry jam - it has always been a favourite and I have to say the addition of lemon is a great sweet/tart combo.

Raspberry Lemon Jam

  • 4 medium lemons
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (to adjust acidity)
  • one package (600 grams) frozen raspberries
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 (3 ounce) pouch liquid fruit pectin
1. Slice the lemons in half (along equator) and remove any seeds . Place in a deep pot and bring to boil, simmer, covered, for about 30 min. or until rind is soft. * I thinly sliced half of the lemons into rounds (these didn't go into the food processor) I don't think I'd bother again - the rounds are pretty but kind of a pain to spread on toast

2. Toss the boiled lemons in the food processor until its a nice even pulp

3. Meanwhile defrost raspberries

4. Place lemon pulp and defrosted raspberries into pot - i use my le creuset (dutch oven), bring to a boil, slowly add sugar, stir over heat, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, boil uncovered
for 2 minutes. Quickly stir in pectin; return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off any foam.

5. Pour into hot sterilized jars; leaving 1/4-in. headspace, seal.

Yields: about 8 cups