It’s an Etsy Christmas encore…

Who doesn’t love Etsy? It’s a mecca of amazement designed especially for all you Christmas gift hunter-gatherers out there. I’ve been trolling the site looking for gift ideas and just thought I’d share these little treasures…

Wooden Emergency Moustache Stand  by MrMoustacheMan

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Silver Angel Wing Necklace by 2SistersHandcrafted

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Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins Christmas Cards by Feb10Designs

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Ugly Christmas Sweater by DrowsySwords

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Vintage Baseball Trophies by EdithAndEvelyn

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Soap for Men by SamsNatural

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Boot Cuffs by Jean

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Vintage 1950s Wolf Dress Forms by Haus Proud!

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Liebster Blog Award…

I’m giddy! I was nominated for my first blogging award–the Liebster Blog Award!!! I know, right?!

I was nominated by my good buddy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4 (that’s right…WTF 4). She’s a brilliant photographer and raconteur! She gave me a list of five questions I have to answer, and then I get to add five random facts about myself and nominate five more blogs with fewer than 200 followers. So now it’s my turn to spread the love…

1. Who/what do you want to be “when you grow up”?
I want to be a world traveler, a famous actress, a photographer, an artist, a race car driver, a homicide investigater (I watch a lot of First48), and an awesome grandma.

2. What one thing would make your life better?
Money. A whoooole lotta money.

3. What one quote best resonates with you?
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” ―Rumi

4. What one living person – that you don’t know personally – inspires you?
Tina Fey…she’s incredibly funny and smart. In a “man’s world” of comedy, she smashed through all the barriers. I have dreams of her and I just hanging out being hilarious together!!!

5. If you could spend one entire day how you wanted, what would you do?
I would ski all day at Sun Peaks with my family and a bunch of close friends. Afterwards, we’d all soak in a gigantic hot tub with a glass of wine while the snow falls around us. Then we’d all sit around a huge harvest table eating fondue and drinking wine! We’d laugh into the night, and somebody would push back the furniture so we could dance to 70’s music!!!!!

Random things about me…

1.  I am obsessed with the Twilight movie series. I’ve probably watched Twilight at least 100 times.

2.  My grandma was the first woman in North America to fly a glider airplane. She was an artist and a poet. Her poem “Cherry Snow” was published in the New Yorker magazine.

3.  Elton John stood beside me and smiled at me when I was 11 years old. I was in Disneyland with my family, and we were standing on a mezzanine in a hotel. Nobody else was around and he walked up to me and we both stood there looking at a bulletin board together. I turned to look at him, and he smiled back, he kept watching me (creeper) and I took a couple of glances at his cool glasses before the nickel dropped and I realized who he was.

4.  I hate going under bridges in boats. Anything that disappears into deep water scares me, like the fallen trees that sink into the blackness of Lightening Lake.

5.  I was one of the “Smile of the Day” girls in The Province newspaper when I worked at Expo86 as a guest relations babe!

6. One of my favourite and most vivid childhood memories is the time my mom whisked me away from elementary school to go watch the huge storm waves at White Rock Beach. Some things are just way more important than learning your times table.

7.  The car I was riding in was struck by lightening on the way to a Gino Vanelli concert in Vancouver when I was about 15 years old. I like to believe it was a sign that Gino, and his long glistening black curly hair, was meant to be mine!

I was going to nominate five other bloggers, but I’m so technically challenged that I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how many followers they have, and I don’t want anybody’s nose to be out of joint if I get it wrong.  I will however list eight of my favourite blogs….they are definitely worthy of a visit!!! I have left off so many blogs that I regularly follow. I am giving you a cross-sectiong of my interests here.

1.  Colored Brush…my dear friend, Patty Ripley, is a gifted artist and she shared her inspiration, process and paintings on this lovely blog.

2. Hazy Shades of Me…a dear friend, Alana Agerbo, with a penchant for writing fiction. I’m stunned by how well she writes. It’s time the girl had a book deal!!!!

3.  Diary of a House Elf…a hilarious collection of musings from my dear friend (they’re all so dear to me), Sarah Johnson. It’s insightful, funny and honest, and I love it.

4.  Geninne’s Art Blog…a gorgeous collection of arts and crafts. It makes me want to get out my pencil crayons and paper!

5.  Click It Up A Notch…an awesome photography blog where I get loads of tips and inspiration for my photography.

6.  Birch & Bird…a wonderland of vintagey wonderfulness.

7.  Tracey Ayton Photography…Tracey is a gifted photographer and I love the photos she shares on her blog. She inspires me to keep learning about the craft of photography.

8.  The Design Pages…another amazing friend, Carol Smyth, writes this wonderful blog full of interior design DIY and advice. She’s a powerhouse of ideas!!!!

Win a Polished Aluminum Stag Head…

I’m celebrating my new blog, and giving away a polished aluminum stag head (retails for $159.99)!!!!! These are one of my top three selling products ever, and if you see one in person, you’ll know why. They’re gorgeous! One of my interior designer clients used five of them to line a hallway in a beautiful ski chalet – fabulous!

polished aluminum stag head

Polished Aluminum Stag Head

If you’re new to my blog, you’re going to find out that I LOVE doing giveaways!!! It’s so much fun, and always such a good way to meet new folks in the social media universe 🙂 I try to make it easy, so

To Enter the Draw:
1. Click here to visit my new Facebook page (Coffee & Couch). Make sure you “like” the whole page, ’cause that’s how I pick my winner 🙂

2. For extra chances to win, you’ll get one extra entry for each time you do the following…

– Share the giveaway post on your Facebook page

– Twitter about the giveaway by using “@coffeeandcouch is giving away a #silverstaghead http://ow.ly/en44s”

– Pinterest the photo of the stag and come back here to let me know you pinned it

3. Cross your fingers, eyes, toes…

Here are the gruesome fine print details:

To win, you must be 18 years or older and live in Canada or the contiguous United States. Only valid where it’s legal to participate (sorry Quebec looks like I can’t include you). Void where prohibited.

Draw Date: Friday, October 26

Happy Day 🙂

Casbah take me away…

You know that feeling when you’ve been away on a vacation but you’re dying to come home (OMG…I really need a trip somewhere)? It’s like that for me with spas.

photo courtesy Casbah Spa

My every waking hour could be spent getting rubbed, waxed, plucked, and painted in spas, so I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. And I enjoy visiting new spas, but I NEVER find any quite as fabulous as the gem right in my “back yard” — Casbah Day Spa in South Surrey. It’s the Cat’s Meow, the Lamb’s Lettuce and the Bee’s Knees all wrapped up into one glorious location.

photo courtesy Casbah Spa

It’s the type of place that makes your heart skip a beat when you receive a gift certificate, and I want my bloggy pals to get that tingly feeling, so I’m giving away a…

$50 gift certificate for Casbah Spa’s services or products.

Hey…if you’re not local, but you know someone who is, you can still enter the draw and look like a hero when you give it to them. Otherwise, it’s worth a car/plane/boat trip just for the sheer pleasure of it.

Jane Iredale cosmetics photo courtesy Casbah Spa

Perhaps you missed the hidden meaning in this blog post. Let me thump you on forehead with it….

“Dearest husband, I have adored you for 23 years, but let’s face it, you’re a bit “planning” challenged. Mother’s Day is approaching quickly, and I know you haven’t thought about what your loving wife would like from “the kids”. Two words: CASBAH SPA!!!!!!!!”

How to enter:

1. Click here and I’ll take you for a ride on the World Wide Web right to my Facebook page where you can click on “like”. If you’re already a “liker”, you’re already entered.

2. Earn an extra entry every time you tweet about the giveaway. Make sure to include a link to this post and my Twitter name. You can just use, “I want to win @nicolejanehome’s $50 Casbah Spa giveaway http://bit.ly/J9TfSU”.

3. Earn an extra entry every time you Facebook about the giveaway. But make sure to come back here and tell me each time.

Draw Date: Saturday, May 5

Here’s the pesky fine print: Must be 18 years or older and eligible to participate under local/federal laws.

sparkly pink bike love…

Ooooooh…it’s a good day at Casa Findlay!!!! Lovely hubby went “to America” to pick up the pink cruiser bike I ordered on Benny’s Bike Store. Said lovely hubby is under the weather, and he had to go into the office for an event all evening. So the fact that he got up early to get my bike, and immediately got to work putting it together speaks volumes for what a sweetie pie he is!

Now it’s safely tucked away for the night. Tomorrow, hubby’s attaching the basket and adjusting the brakes–then I’ll know if he really loves me…or not….gulp!!!! I’ll post some photos once it’s all done. Maybe I’ll put on the new polka-dot dress I bought yesterday at LUCY, and ride around Ocean Park.

Who wants to go bike riding?!

stuff a cookie in it…

You know how sometimes you’re giving a presentation on the joys of blogging, and you say something flippant, like…oh…I don’t know…maybe, “If you ever see me blogging about food and recipes, you’ll know I have writer’s block!!”?

And then you go home and think about it for a while, and you realize that you probably just insulted half of the attendees in the room and flipped the bird at one of the things that gives you great pleasure?

Was I drunk?

Do you want to know what the kicker is? I used to have a baking business called Sugar Drops, and I loved baking! Duh.

So, as a peace offering to all the food bloggers out there (and there are a frighteningly high number of you), here is my highly-coveted SUGARDROP’S CHARLIE BROWN COOKIES recipe. Ta Da (said in a pathetic eating-crow kinda voice). They’re Charlie Browns ’cause there are peanuts and chocolate in them…get it? I know. Brilliant, right?

Makes about 40 absolutely amazingly delicious peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, if you like that sort of thing. They’re perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time.

1 cup unsalted butter (if you even think about using margarine, I’m gonna come over there and smack you with my spatula) room temp

1 cup peanut butter chunky or smooth (I use KRAFT unsweetened unsalted ’cause it actually tastes like peanuts)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (shelled…duh)

5 ounces or more Bernard Callebaut milk chocolate (I use Callebaut ’cause it’s AWESOME. If you love something else, use it.) chopped into 1/2-inch chunks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (You can use an ungreased pan if you don’t have parchment. For the love-of-Pete, go buy some parchment!).

In a mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and mix well. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix.

Sift dry ingredients together and then add them to the butter and mix well. Fold in peanuts and chocolate by hand so they don’t get crushed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto pan about 2″ apart (they spread out), and pat down with a fork dipped in flour. Bake on the middle rack for approximately 15 minutes. Leave on the pan for a couple of minutes on top of the oven before removing to cool.

Bon Appetit!!!!

i know what you did last weekend…

I am soooo happy it’s springtime and the robins have come back out to sing! My toes are particularly tickled when I get to visit Canada’s jewel–the Okanagan–at this time of year. I lucked out marrying an Okanagan farm boy, ’cause I get to go visit the in-laws on their beautiful farm in Armstrong, at least a couple of times every year. And that’s exactly what we did last weekend.

The view from one of the top fields, looking south over Otter Lake

Jane on her favourite farm toy!!

Happiest dog on the planet when she's at the farm--doggy DisneyWorld!!!!

Look what the Easter Bunny left on the wood pile!!!!

Our weiner roasts always involve some epic mooching!

There are always cool little things on farms, like this haunted bird mansion!

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