Friday, December 12, 2008

Big Picture Post

I keep meaning to post so of the funny happenings here in Ottawa for a while now, however I am a procrastinator so they tend to pile up. Sp here we go...

Our little get-in-skie loves to climb on top of things. She uses any box or container she can find to climb up and get to items that are high up, like stuff in our tv armoire. Notice that she is holding a tooth brush. Well it is mine and about 1 minute later she shoved it into the subwoofer that she is standing on. Now my tooth brush and a couple of small toys are stuck inside.

She is also really good at climbing into things. In and out and then in and out of the bathtub. In and out of this recycling box. Days of fun have been spent pushing this box around and throwing various toys inside and then climbing in for them.

We have been trying to take a couple of good Christmas pictures but this little girl does not want to cooperate.

This little monkey loves to watch movies, so much in fact that she will do anything to get to them. Example, she now climbs up on the arm of the sofa and reaches for movies in the shelf next to the sofa.

Have any of you ever met my slurpee loving husband. He is rarely without this giant cup of slurpee. Well, he has passed this love on to his daughter.

And finally, this is what -20 degrees and 2 feet of snow look like.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Food at the Pinette Sandor House

I have decided to start a series of posts revolving around the food we eat here at the Pinette Sandor house. Why? Well, I don't know what to post most of the time (I can't show your the Christmas presents that I am making), and that way all my recipes will be in one location in case I get lost and Adam has to fend for himself. Hopefully it will not be too boring for any of you. Just some info before we begin: I do not take good food photos, there is not natural light after 3 p.m. here and I have never been good at food photography so the pictures will not be representative of the yummyness of the food, also I have almost no original ideas, I find most of my recipes on line via food blog or through tastespotting. and then either leave it alone if it is good are more often tweak it a bit to my liking. After all I am was taught to cook by my father, a man who could not leave a recipe alone if he had to.
You will find that a large amount of the food we eat is of a foreign nature. This is because my silly white Canadian husband does not actually believe that he is from Canada but from every country that he believes has better food than what he refers to as "white people food". While in the UK, where food sucks and take out is too expensive and here in Canada when we have no money for going out I have been forced to figure out how to make our favorite food from various countries.
So, I bring you Mapu Tofu
This recipe is from my friend Heather. She is half Chinese and after seeing me order this at every Chinese restaurant we have gone to together she finally gave me the recipe. It is soooo easy and soooo tasty. Anya loves it, and will usually eat tons and tons of the tofu. I generally make it with Honey Ginger Carrots from Steamy Kitchen

Mapu Tofu
Mix together for sauce:
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp sesame oil

Mix together:
6 oz ground pork
1 Tbs oyster sauce

In large pot heat 2 Tbs oil, then add 1 tsp minced garlic and 1 tsp minced ginger. Stir until fragrant then add ground pork mixture and cook until pork is done. Add sauce and 16 oz medium tofu, cut up into cubes. Cook until bubbly. Thicken sauce with 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed in a little water. Serve over rice. Yummy!

By the way, I used firm tofu today, and it looks funny to me, and is not quite as good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Smiles

I just wanted to clarify- my bad picture taking must not be because Anya does not smile for the camera- so the other explanation is that it gets dark at 4 pm, it is snowing so there is no natural light during the day, and the light in our apartment sucks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Explanation

Some of yous peoples may have notices an addition of 'want lists' to the side of this blog. I believe this requires an explanation. We have had a couple of you loved one's ask us for ideas of Christmas presents this year. Since we live so far from most of you, I felt that it would be OK to post such info on two conditions.
1- in no way does this list mean that we want or expect gifts from anyone, as always we would much rather have a nice Christmasy note of love than a gift so please do not feel the need to give anything.
2- This list is not a hard and fast list of requests, we would love any thoughtful gift, but if you feel the need to buy one of us anything you will notice themes in the individual lists- Adam loves TV and books- but we currently don't get any TV stations, so seasons of his favorites are great for him as are gift cards for book stores. Chrys loves kitchen stuff so anything in that department is appreciated (you may even get a return on you investment in the form of cooked items :). And Anya loves good quality learning toys- we hate having a house full of toys so the smaller is better.

Once again I would like to emphasize the fact that we do not expect any gifts from anyone- a nice email or phone call would be loved just as much- and as you all know I never buy Christmas gifts- handmade is much nicer to me so don't feel like you have to buy anything.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halloween and my fantastic child!

So I just remembered that I did not actually post photos from trick or treating. We went we some friends who have 3 little girls (and one baby boy, but he did not go out). Anya loves these girls so we knew that she would follow them and do what ever they were doing. It worked well, she had a good time if only I was able to get a good photo of her. She does not want to look at the camera lately so It is hard to get good shots- sorry. In other news I just wanted to tell you what a great little girl she is. I am trying to finish up two university courses by the end on November and I still have a ton of work to do- so Anya had been babysat a lot these days- and most of the time by people that she has never met before. Thankfully she is such a happy, friendly little girl that she really does not care who is watching her. I drop her off at various peoples homes, she plays and plays and then cries when I try to take her away- young women come to our home to watch her and she wonders why they have to leave at the end of the night. I am so glad that she is so easy going- it makes trying to do homework a lot easier.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Hey all! I know you are all extremely mad at me for the super long absence, time just got away from me. We are more than slightly busy around here so posting just keeps getting pushed to the end of the to do list. Now that I am here I should probably tell you what has been going on. We are back in Ottawa, and like I expected we really miss Aberystwyth. I guess that is the way life goes. We are living in a two and a half bedroom apartment in little Italy. It is on the top floor of a nice house owned by a cute older Italian couple who live in the rest of the house. They are super nice, always giving us homemade pasta sauce and the yummyest homemade cheese. The apartment is pretty great and super big: an office off of our room that is made into Anya's room which gives us a spare bedroom for guests and rock bands that sleep over, a huge walk in closet, a pantry with a door that closes, and a outside storage unit for all our random stuff. The only problem is that our couch did not fit up the super skinny staircase, so we currently are sitting on our one comfy chair and dining room chairs to watch TV which is not ideal. Anyway, we have almost finished moving everything in so it is feeling like home more each day. On to the pictures eh? I have a ton that have piled up over the last two months so... here are a few

This little girl loves to play at the playground. She runs all over the place trying out every slide they have and has even mastered climbing the rope stair things instead of using the stairs. She may be tiny but she can climb anything.

Loving slurpies, just like her dad!

Playing with uncle David. (Adams older brother)

We went to Florida with my parents to visit my grandparents and had loads of fun. Thanks grandma and grandpa, and great grandma and great grandpa!

Just eating some Tofu and watching TV.

Playing in some leaves.

Anya is going as little red ridding hood for halloween. I had some red and white wool felt lying around that I made into a cloak with a big huge hood, and got a really cute clasp for the front. I have a cool little picnic basket that I got when I was a kid from my cousins in the Azores. At first she did not like the cloak, but after a while it seems that she might do ok. We are going trick or treating with some friends from church, we are hoping that she figures out what to do. I am going to try to get better pictures of her tonight when she is all dressed up, but here are some starter ones.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Leaving Aber

Well, we are leaving Aber in two days and we are feeling bittersweet. We have really enjoyed our time here. It is beautiful and the town is great to walk around. I have loved being able to walk everywhere. We have made some lovely friends, here is a photo of Anya with a family from church

Many of the people we have met and befriended will be friends for a long time and we will miss them much. However we are really excited to be going home. It has been a year and a half since we have had our stuff, and as much as I try my hardest to not be attached to possessions, I love my furniture and kitchen ware. It has been difficult to live in two separate apartments that have been outfitted with the bare minimum of essentials, non of which have been quality. I cook a lot and we love to entertain but it is hard to prepare many dishes without proper kitchen essentials. I also have missed being in a ward. Our branch has been lovely, but it has many, many problems that wards do not, or maybe I just don't see the same problems because the group is so much larger. I will be glad to not have callings that needs my full attention during every hour of church, but our little girl will miss being so loved by the church members here.

Anyway, we are very busy cleaning out our apartment and giving away stuff. Sunday we will drive to Manchester and Monday we will be flying to Detroit and then drive up to Ottawa. We have found a great apartment there and then hopefully we will find jobs. Here are a couple of pictures of our girl for you to enjoy.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Miss Getinski

Our small sized girl is a crazy getinski. Like most little ones, she loves to go all the places that we do not want her to. Lately she has taken to pulling everything, and I mean everything out of all the cupboards that she can reach. Since we have a small kitchen these cupboards have lots of stuff that she should not be playing with. Here she is getting into the flour.

That same cupboard actually has all of our food products, so it is very important to reach the very back and pull everything out.

In our living room is a sliding glass door that opens up onto a glass partition preventing you from falling the two stories down. Anya loves to sit with the door open up against the glass partition and look outside, especially when it is raining out. Quite often she takes random items and shoves them under the glass, to a dreadful demise on the rocks below. Anyway- the other day she climbed from the couch onto the end tables and then peaked over the banister. at one point she had pulled herself up in a pull up on the railing. Yea, fun!

These are just super cute, because we all know she is-

In other news, some folks have been asking what we are doing with ourselves next. This is a very interesting question. The current plan is that we are moving back to Ottawa September 1. Adam is currently finishing his masters degree here in Aber, and will be done at the end of this month. He applied to 3 Phd programs that he was interested in, here in Aber, McMaster in Hamilton, Ontario, and Arizona State in Phoenix. He was accepted here and in Arizona, but missed McMaster by one spot. So it all came down to money. They do things a little bit different here than they do in the UK. They do not have funding for all the people they accept to Phd programs. Some funding is available but thye pass it out really slowly as thye receive various grants and such come from the government. Arizona offered Adam funding but in order to go there Adam needs a visa and since the US visa department is backlogged forever we have to defer for a year. So we decided to move to Ottawa in order to live for a year until the US visa comes through. If Adam gets a good job that he likes than we might stay there. Yesterday Adam had a meeting with one of the professors at the school. The Prof basically told him that money was coming to Adam very soon and that they really want him to stay here. Although this is great news, there are many problems. The money that they can give him is not quite enough for us to live in this very expensive place. Also, we have all of our furniture and stuff in storage at home that we are paying for, and we miss North America. So, we might have some decisions to make soon. I was so excited about going home that it is hard to get excited about staying here for three more years, but at the same time the thought of doing a Phd for three years instead of five or six in the States would be great. Like everything in life, it all comes down to money I think, and really I should not be worrying about this since nothing is set.
So there you go, life is pretty up in the air right now. But for now, we will be moving to Ottawa in September and hopefully finding jobs and such there.