Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Year in Review

This past year was pretty exciting for me. Here is a quick recap of what I have been up to. 

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Some fun winter activities included:

Ice Climbing in Banff

Playing hockey on Lake Louise

Tilly took me dog sledding in Canmore for my birthday



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In April, Tilly and I took a quick trip to Edmonton where my awesome friends Jody and Jill spoiled us for a day.

Jill is a marine biologist.


She hooked us up and Tilly and I got to hold a penguin!
  



If that wasn't enough, after the penguin visit, we bolted over to the rink to watch an Oilers game that her husband hooked us up with. Pretty awesome people those two are.

 




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 I upgraded my camera this year and continue to love the fascinating art of photography. It's a great hobby and I am slowly improving a little bit every year. I've definitely come a long way, but I have much more to learn.

Some of my favourite shots from the year are:






 My favourite photo of the year
 



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I played a few shows to packed audiences



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Tilly and I went to Kelowna in May for the wedding of her friends Ryan and Jill.


We had a great dinner at a winery in Penticton


In August, Tilly's friend's Meghan and Rodney got married in Kananaskis.

I played the fiddle at their wedding and Tilly made their wedding cake.



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 This summer I made a surprise visit home to Cape Breton while my parents were in Europe and did a few jobs around the house before they got home.



While I was there, I got to attend a birthday party for this lovely lady who turned 100!


I gave my niece some piano lessons




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I kept my food blog going, although I didn't post as much as I would like to. Hopefully I'll do more in 2014. 







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In October my friends from London, Lauren and Paul, came for a visit.





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On November 24th, my sister Lindsay gave birth to this beast of a son. Ryden Joseph McNeil will be playing in the NHL in about 20 years. I'll be the proud Godfather in the stands cheering him on.





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In December, Tilly and I, along with two other couples, Jeff & Tosha, and Brandon & Nicole went to Las Vegas for a little holiday.


This is Tilly and I at the Bellagio, 20 minutes after we robbed it with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

We ate at lots of great restaurants and went to see Shania Twain and two Cirque de Soleil shows (Zarkana and O).

Tilly at the Bellagio

The Bellagio Christmas Tree 

Tilly and I stayed an extra few days and drove to the Grand Canyon. It's pretty impressive.



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This biggest news of the year for me was that in December, I bought my first house. It's an older home that needs some renos which are already well underway. It's fun to be working on my own house for a change instead of someone else's. Stay tuned for updated pictures as I renovate it.



That's it! Happy New Year. I hope 2014 brings you health and happiness.












Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mars Bar Rice Krispie Squares


There isn't much to say about these things. Make a batch and they'll be gone in a day. Don't be surprised if you find yourself sneaking out of bed for a late night snack. Don't feel bad about it either. They really are THAT good.


This recipe comes from my good friends and London landlords, Brandon and Nicole. I first had these squares at their wedding rehearsal party. I literally almost ate the entire tray.


RECIPE:
- 4 Mars Bars (cut up into chunks)
- 1/2 Cup of butter
- 4 Cups Rice Krispies
- 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips for drizzling on top (optional)

METHOD:
- Melt the Mars bars and the butter on VERY low heat, stirring as they melt. It is really important that you do this around 3 or 4. If you do it too hot, the butter and the Mars bars won't combine properly and you'll have to throw it away and start over. I've made this mistake several times.

- Once they have melted and are smooth, remove from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. Pour into a greased 9x9 pan and allow to cool.

- OPTIONAL: Using the double boiler method (place a heat proof glass bowl on a simmering pot of boiling water) melt the white chocolate chips. Stir them until they are smooth and with a spoon, drizzle the melted white chocolate on top of the mixture in the pan. You could use any chocolate chips, but I like using white chocolate because of the contrast of colour to the squares.

- Once everything has cooled, remove from the pan and cut them into any size you would like. 






Saturday, October 12, 2013

Calgary Zombie Walk 2013

Here's some shots I took at the 2013 Calgary Zombie Walk. It was my first time attending this event. It was very cool. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. Congrats to the organizers!



















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