Category Archives: Project 52

Dear Diary…

So the last 6 months kind of got away on me. In a whirlwind second half of 2011 I:

  • Moved in with my parents
  • Went on a road trip to Edmonton
  • Went on a crazy road trip to Toronto for the better part of July
  • Took my grandparents on a road trip through Alberta
  • Got settled into teaching Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2
  • Coached senior boys volleyball
  • Took a road trip to Calgary
  • And that was only the big stuff!

This blog was always in the back of my mind, as was my Project 52, but life got to be rather overwhelming for awhile and sadly my blog was pushed to the back burner. I continued to work on my Project 52 though without the blog to publish what I had accomplished, I definitely wasn’t as successful at getting things done. Now that 2011 is over and I’ve had a chance to reread the list I am disappointed at what I didn’t get done. There were definitely a few items on my list that I could have crossed off if I’d reread my list a few more times!

Here is a recap of my 2011 Project 52:

  1. Read 12 new books.While I didn’t read 12 books I did read Diary of a Whimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, Ahmek, Diary of a Whimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, The Help, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, and So Many Books So Little Time. 8/12 is a lot higher than I originally thought I’d gotten.
  2. Complete a Day in the Life scrapbook project. Done. I took the pictures for it, but never did anything more with it.
  3. Try 100 NEW recipes. I’m not sure what my total number is at, but I got very close to 100. Since I stopped blogging them I lost track of what number I was on, but I still have a lot of the recipes to post. I’m guessing I made it to between 80 and 90 recipes.
  4. Send more random gifts and thoughtful mail. I totally failed on this one, with the exception of the mountain of cards and presents I sent out after Christmas, though they were really all just Christmas related and I’d have sent them anyway.
  5. Do a Photo a Day project for a month. This should have been an easy one to finish and I never did it.
  6. Finish two quilts.Done and done. I actually finished both of those, and started multiple others.
  7. Travel some place totally new.Done. And done again multiple times over the summer between my road trip to Ontario and throughout Alberta. Lots of memorable experiences in the travel department this year, especially in my own country.
  8. Make a butterfly wall hanging. Done. I even made another one for a friend.
  9. Enlarge and frame one of my own pictures. No, but this will make the 2012 Project 52 list because I know which pictures I’d like to enlarge.
  10. Host and/or attend a retreat. I had plans to do this with some of my extended family and have a sewing weekend, but the stars just didn’t align. Maybe in 2012?
  11. Host a dinner party. I did this multiple times throughout the first part of the year, and heavily in the month of June once I knew I was moving.
  12. Do a Layout a Day for a month. No. No month ever seemed to be in favour of being calm enough for me to actually accomplish this.
  13. Eat meat free for a week.Done. I don’t think I’ll be trying this again in 2012 for the fact that I’m living at home with my parents currently and there is no way my dad will accept the idea of meat free meals for a week.
  14. Eat gluten free for a week. I’d still like to try this in 2012.
  15. Finish Mom & Dad’s PEI scrapbook. Not even close, though now that I’m living with my parents it should be easier to ask about what was happening in the pictures and get it done.
  16. Complete an Encyclopedia of Me scrapbook. Sadly no.
  17. Make a wreath. I wanted to do this for Christmas but my time leading up to Christmas was absolute chaos. I will definitely be adding this to the 2012 list.
  18. Sew a table runner for myself. Done, although after I made it I decided that since I was moving home I would rather give it as a gift, so I wrapped it up for my friend’s birthday.
  19. Make and mail Christmas cards. Success! Luckily I had made some Christmas cards way back in July so there was no pressure to get this done in the busy month of December.
  20. Take an art class.Done. I even have three finished projects to show for it!
  21. Take a sewing/quilting class. No, though I have already checked out the classes being offered at my local quilt store for the upcoming year.
  22. Paint everyday for a week. No!
  23. Sing in public. The school had a talent show so I even had the opportunity, but I chickened out.
  24. Frame student art for the classroom. This didn’t happen in the way I intended it to, but in a round about way it did happen.
  25. Make my own subway art. On the agenda for 2012!
  26. Take a Big Picture Scrapbooking class and actually do the work. I didn’t do this, though at least I didn’t sign up for a class and then do nothing with it either.
  27. Frame my Bachelor of Arts degree. This didn’t get done, though in hindsight since I have nowhere to hang it anyway it would likely just find a spot under my bed beside my B.Ed.
  28. Paint my bedroom. I had plans to do this over the summer and then surprisingly ended up moving home and back into my room. It would have been easier to paint it when I wasn’t actually living in it.
  29. Make a Christmas Memories scrapbook. I didn’t start this, but I have the template made to start it in 2012!
  30. Make a Christmas Ornament scrapbook. Same as the above!
  31. Go to the drive in movie theater. I had this all planned for the summer only to find out that the drive in theater in Saskatoon was CLOSED! I don’t think there are many drive ins left!
  32. Pay off credit card. Not entirely, though it is paid down.
  33. Go to a Roughrider game. Even better, I went to TWO!
  34. Make homemade ice cream. When I added this to the list I had planned on using my roommates ice cream maker, so when I moved I was without an ice cream maker. I did just find a recipe for making ice cream without a machine, so this will be a 2012 project.
  35. Go to an Oilers game. Moving didn’t help this one!
  36. Watch 12 new movies. I put this on the list because I have a tendency to watch the same movies over and over, and I managed to watch a ton of new movies this year, including a couple in the theater even – Bad Teacher, Bridesmaids and The Help!
  37. Donate blood. Ridiculous fear kept me from this one.
  38. Go golfing twice. Yes! Plus I got a set of clubs this summer so bring on the golf season!
  39. Get new glasses. Done. Two pairs even!
  40. Complete a December Daily scrapbook. I have decided that December is not the right time of year for me to try and accomplish a scrapbooking project. There is simply not enough time.
  41. Stay up and watch a meteor shower. Yes! During the summer my friend Amber and I laid out on the beach in front of our cabin and watched the meteor shower.
  42. Volunteer. I earned almost 300 volunteer hours this year through coaching, so although that’s not what I meant
  43. Get a massage. First massage ever in June to relieve some of the stress of moving. It was wonderful! I’ll definitely be trying to fit a massage into my regular schedule in 2012.
  44. Lose 50 lbs. I don’t know if I weighed myself once after January. This is a goal on the forefront of 2012.
  45. Go for a walk 2 times or more a week. While I wasn’t necessarily walking I did start going to zumba before I moved, and when I moved home I started going to zumba and yoga classes twice a week.
  46. Edit, delete, and back up photos every month. I did this for the first couple of months and then my external hard drive failed! Living on the edge I didn’t get the hard drive replaced until December. The new drive though is much better than the old one, and will automatically back up my photos for me!
  47. Floss regularly. My dentist would say that I failed this one.
  48. Attend a concert. Yes! Kings of Leon in October and it was AMAZING!
  49. Make a once a month all about me scrapbook page. Blah, another no!
  50. Clean up for 10 minutes before bed. This has become a pretty regular habit because I hate waking up to a mess in the morning!
  51. Make 12 meaningful phone calls to friends. I could have done a better job at this for sure, but because I moved I did try to make a few phone calls to keep in touch with friends I left behind.
  52. Get more real plants for the classroom and home. Well since I moved home my mom has a wealth of plants in our living room, but I’ve got a handful of plants in my classroom now. Check!

Maybe 52 goals was too lofty a plan, but I could have gotten more of these accomplished with a little more motivation and a little less procrastination! Approximately 22/52 projects accomplished. Some of these will definitely be making their way into the 2012 Project 52 list, coming up this week!

Recipe #55: Chinese Honey Chicken

I resisted the urge to join Pinterest for quite a few months because I kept thinking do I really need another social networking obsession? I will admit that I did sign up for Twitter a few months ago but have used it less times than I can count on one hand because nobody I actually know in person even uses it. I got sucked into Pinterest though and am now kicking myself in the butt for not getting sucked into it months earlier! That place is awesome and it’s where I found the recipe for this Chinese Honey Chicken!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
  • Oil (for deep frying)

Batter-

  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white

Sauce-

  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to sit for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat. Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry chicken bits in patches for 2 minutes or until batter becomes firm. Drain on paper towels.

To make the sauce heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in your wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and Simmer for 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with white rice.

When I picked this recipe I didn’t realize it involved using the deep fryer and I’m scared of the deep fryer. Lucky for me my Mom came home from work right around the time I was ready for that step and I gladly passed that part of the process on to her! While she deep fried the battered chicken I made the sauce and between the two of us supper actually came together smoothly. I think it would have been a different story if I had been tackling this one alone!

We sat down to eat and I asked my very picky father what he thought of the chicken and he said, “I’ve definitely had WORSE in a restaurant.” I’ll take that as a compliment! The chicken had a nice sweet and tangy flavour to it and you could definitely taste the garlic and the ginger. It seemed like the recipe called for so much of each that I cut back a little because I was worried it was going to be too much, but it ended up being a great dish! I used just a splash of regular vinegar in the sauce because I didn’t have any rice wine vinegar and I also left out the sesame seeds because we didn’t have any!

Is this a repeat? It will be if I can conquer my deep fryer fears!

Hopscotch Too, Complete!

In an unexpected turn of events I miraculously finished my Hopscotch Too quilt before August! With my upcoming move I’ve been packing things up and initially had this quilt packed up in it’s unfinished state, but it was bothering me that I was packing up something that wasn’t done. During my last day off from work I decided enough was enough and instead of packing, I put the binding on this quilt.

I don’t have a picture of the back, but I used some green Moda fabric that I had picked up from Fabricland during a buy 1 meter get 2 meters free sale. Because I had so much fabric I used the same stuff to make the binding.

The wind was not cooperating with me when I was trying to take pictures and this was the best of the bunch. The quilt was small enough to tackle myself on my sewing machine, so I sewed across the diagonals of the squares and did straight stitching around the borders. I am very pleased with how it turned out!

With this quilt I can cross project #6 off of my list as this is my second completed quilt. Quilt number three however has been cut out and partially sewn, and perhaps could see the light of daily usage by sometime this fall. Perhaps.