Thursday, March 31, 2016

Guys Behind The Blog: March

This month Betsy and Laura Jean didn't provide a list of questions and instead instructed bloggers to create their own. Well, I half listened. I couldn't think of anything to ask Mike that I didn't already know the answer to. So instead, I cheated and used last March's questions since I wasn't participating in the party back then.



Q: Do you have a good luck charm or ritual? (like a lucky coin, or you always used to listen to a certain pump-up song when you played sports in high school or college?)
A: I'm not a very superstitious person in general. I am a sane and rational person who knows that something like where you sit on the couch during a game has absolutely no impact on what will happen in a game that you are not even involved in............ but sports do weird things to sane and rational people. If I'm wearing a particular shirt and Carolina wins, well you better believe that the thought at least crosses my mind that I should wear that shirt the next game as well. But I'd say that's about the extent of my superstitious tendencies.

(Mike watching the UNC game in Chapel Hill last Friday. He did not  wear this shirt again on Sunday.)

Q: What is your favorite dish that your wife makes for you? Do you have any fun memories of a time when she tried to cook and it totally flopped or does she get it right every time?
A: I love when Evelina makes Polish food. It's something that I didn't grow up with and is difficult to find in restaurants, so this is the only time I really get to enjoy such cuisine. My favourite is zurek, which is a sour soup with hardboiled eggs and Polish sausage inside. My other favourite is kotlety mielone which is kind of like meatballs made with ground pork and special spices. They're also fried instead of baked. I'd say that just about everything that Evelina or I attempt to make at least turns out edible. Total flops are few and far between, but one thing that Evelina just has not been able to figure out is Rice Krispie Squares. I really don't know why, she follows the same recipe my mom uses, she makes it the same way, and yet they always come out as hard as a hockey puck. I think we've pretty well given up on that and just hope for my mom to make them occasionally.
Me: He is not exaggerating. Rice Krispie squares are my nemesis.

(Making szarlotka. I love knowing how to make all the Polish food I ate growing up!)

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: Growing up I was a hopeful child who set his sights high. Like most people, those hopes came crashing down to earth once I got a dose of harsh reality. I thought I was a pretty good athlete as a kid. I was coordinated as a child and always pushed myself playing with my brother who is 8 years older than I am. I was constantly immersed in sports and knew all the rules, so while my contemporaries were busy running to third base instead of first base, shooting the ball in the wrong basket, or dribbling the ball off of their feet, I was (not to brag) pretty much dominating the world of youth sports. That was until sixth grade or so. Around this time kids started to grow, they figured out the rules, and they got more coordinated. I remember getting my rear end handed to me in a basketball game and I had no idea what hit me. While I still play basketball at a recreational level, I realized that becoming a professional basketball player was not in my future. I still hadn't given up on playing baseball at a serious level and actually ended up playing collegiately and at a semi-professional level, but any thoughts of reaching the big leagues were replaced with a sobering sense of reality - it just wasn't gonna happen. Paraphrasing the wise words of Homer Simpson, "No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you." I studied Business in university with the idea that if I couldn't play baseball, I could work in the front office for a professional baseball team some day. After applying for a few unpaid internships and getting no reply, I quickly realized that the path to that dream would be long, arduous, most likely unfruitful and unfulfilling financially. So I did what everybody would do! I gave up. I didn't expect to be a teacher or dream of being a teacher, but it's steady and satisfying work that pays the bills. I certainly don't regret giving up on my dreams and am happy with my career even if it's not what I had envisioned when I was a child.

(Mike, age 4, avid Pirates fan. Seriously, the cutest.)

Q: Which of the five senses is your strongest?
A: That's a tough question. I'll have to go over the options individually. My -3.75 prescription would seem to remove sight from the discussion. It's definitely not touch and I don't think it's smell. Usually when people are saying, "something smells funny, do you smell that," I usually don't. That leaves hearing and taste. I think an argument can be made for both, but I'll go with hearing. I hear just about everything and I feel like I am very perceptive when it comes to sounds. I can pick up accents and cadences in voices - it's why I think I can actually do some decent impressions! Also, if you ever need somebody to name that tune? I am your man. True story - I won a name that tune trivia contest naming some songs after hearing the very first note of the song. My opponents thought I had to be cheating. So I apologize for the long winded answer, but it's definitely hearing.
Me: After reading this, I questioned Mike about the times I ask him to do chores and he doesn't answer. He admitted that he hears me but ignores me. #wifelife

Q: Would you ever run for president?
A: We'd have to imagine for the sake of this question that my Canadian birth would not preclude me from running for the presidency and also assume that I would be willing to put myself and my family in the public spotlight, but I think I'd make a pretty good president. I think the debates would be my favourite part of running. Nothing would bring me greater joy than tearing apart the dumb things my opponents say in front of the entire country. I'd rather not get into what my platform would be because I believe that nothing good comes from talking politics with strangers. There are two things that I believe should stay out of conversations - politics and religion. I have pretty strong political opinions and I wouldn't want to think differently of people I'd ordinarily respect just because we disagree on politics. My favourite perks of being president would be throwing out the first pitch at baseball games (George W. Bush's first pitch before the 2001 World Series is one of the coolest things I've ever seen) and having a full segment on ESPN where I unveil my NCAA Tournament bracket. (Spoiler alert: Carolina would be my pick to win every single year).
Me: First Lady Evelina! I like it.

Read more of Mike's thoughts herehereherehere, and here

Linking up with Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura Jean. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Egg-stra Egg-cellent Tutorials

Like I mentioned yesterday, we skipped out on Easter this year to do a little travelling. We just couldn't say no to a four day weekend but that meant that we didn't do all the fun Easter things that come along with the holiday.

One of my favourite memories from Easter was decorating eggs with my mom. I came across some adorable and gorgeous DIY tutorials this year that I totally want to remember for future years. Ours never looked as good as these but now they will!!








That fourth one totally matches my blog! Looove.

Did you decorate eggs this year? My mom and brother made some really fun sports-themed ones this year! 

Also, how fun are egg puns? They crack me up every time. 

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Linking up with
Jenn and Jessi for their What's Hap-Pinning Wednesday link-up

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Oops! We Skipped Easter!

We totally didn't do Easter this year for the first time EVER!

Not because we're boycotting or anything mean, but we took the opportunity to travel! Mike and I both had Friday and Monday off from work and we knew we wanted to go SOMEWHERE. We were toying with Philadelphia to see UNC play in the March Madness tournament but the tickets were to expensive and we just couldn't swing it. Next best thing: go to North Carolina to celebrate the team's success with other fans! That, and see some real spring because lawd knows it's not here in Ontario yet. (Southern talk makes me so happy.)






I pretty much stopped to take a photo of every single flower and blooming tree I saw. If you follow me on snapchat, I am totally guilty of oversnapping our vaca and for that I apologize. We just had such a wonderful time! I will do a proper recap of the trip as soon as I get all my thoughts and photos in order.

Since we were away, we sadly missed out on the holiday get togethers with family but we will be seeing them this week and we will give my niece and nephew their Easter baskets.

I did manage to put a couple of Easter touches up around the house before we left.





So how was your long weekend? Did you celebrate Easter? Are you in a chocolate coma? Don't mind me. I'll just be over here quietly weeping while putting my spring dresses and sandals back in the closet for another month or so.

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Birthday FORTUNATE HOUSE!

Today marks the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of when I hit publish on my first post! Huge. I didn't really know what to expect when I decided that I wanted to start a blog but this past year has been so amazing. I have learned more than I can put into words and for that I am extremely grateful. I love the amazing friendships that come from this community and I love having an outlet for my voice.


So let's break this year down by the numbers:

174: Number of posts written to date

1879: Number of comments received (I love each one of you guys!)

6: Average number of times I retake the exact same photo from a different angle

90: Percent of photos taken with my iPhone

12: Number of post ideas I have scribbled down in my Notes app

2: Number of posts I have sitting in my Drafts folder

66: Percent of my readers which live in America

26: Number of posts on my Instagram (@fortunatehouseblog)

3: Average number of Snapchat posts per day (@evelinafortuna) -- will be way more this weekend!

71: Number of link ups joined in the past year

7: Number of Guys Behind The Blog posts

3: Number of recipes posted

3: Number of times I have said the word "y'all" -- also the number of times I shouldn't have said the word "y'all" because I'm not from the South (but often wish I was!)

123,456,789: Number of kisses I am sending out to you for visiting my little slice of the Internet.

Today is such a special day for me and I hope you will celebrate with me! Mike and I are planning to have dinner at a nice restaurant, maybe with a slice of cheesecake?

Oh and in case you were waiting at the edge of your seat... Remember when I mentioned that we couldn't decide if we will travel this weekend? Well, we are roadtripping to North Carolina!!

I'm so excited!


I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter long weekend. May the Easter Bunny bring you lots of chocolate! See you on Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Easter Bunny Swung By Our House!

Guys. Can you believe that Easter is three days away? It feels SO early this year. We still have Valentine's chocolate laying around! And we're currently dealing with a freezing rain warning. 

We are still trying to decide if we will be traveling over the holidays, which would allow us to run away from the cold. Maybe North Carolina, maybe Philadelphia, maybe both, maybe neither. I'll let you know next week what we ended up deciding! It's so impromptu but I love that we are able to decide at the last minute. It comes down to our budget and how UNC does in the March Madness tournament. 

The sad part about not being around for Easter is missing out on celebrating with my little niece and nephew. I've said it before, but kids make the holidays so much more exciting! And just in case we will be away, we have prepared their little Easter gift baskets in advance. 


I mainly hit up the Target dollar spot and Dollarama for their goodies. Again this year I tried to stay away from too much candy and chocolate and focused more on toys and things they could use. My niece's goodies are on the left and my nephew's are on the right. 


My niece is a toddler so I was able to get things that she will be able to play with and use. In her basket are pencils, straws, sidewalk chalk, sunglasses, and a bracelet to name a few. My nephew is a couple years younger than her and in his basket I included more baby-appropriate items like a bib, bath toys, a little bow tie, and a board book.

In all honesty, I'm not the best at knowing what kids their age like playing with but I'm sure at least some of these things will be a hit! And worse case scenario, they can swap and share if they want to. 


The baskets are also from the dollar store and they will work great as crayon storage or little toy containers afterwards. I tried to stay away from Easter-specific baskets so that they could be reused and not thrown our right after. To make them more festive, I printed out their names on triangles to create a custom little flag banner!


Here's the basket we gave to my niece last year, before her brother made his entrance into the world. I think she really loved it!

I'm joining some fabulous blog ladies for the #easterbasket2016 link up! Can't wait to see what everyone else put together for their little ones! 


By the way, tomorrow is my one-year blogging anniversary! I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. Thank you to everyone who visits my little slice of the internet and especially those who take the time to comment. I am sending you very warm non-creepy virtual hugs right now! Xoxo

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

To-Do List: Spring 2016

It's that time of the year again! I didn't create a list for winter cleaning because things were bonkers with the holidays but I really benefit from putting a list like this together. It helps me remember all the things that need to get done. Not necessary super fun, but we all know it's very necessary!


1. Power wash garage floor
2. Clean up front garden
3. Create a walkway in front of our front steps
4. Recycle cardboard boxes from basement
5. Clean BBQ
6. Fix up backyard
7. Fix lawnmower
8. Clean kitchen cabinets + appliances
9. Wash windows
10. Wash curtains
11. Fix peeling part on dining room table
12. Remove old mailbox
13. Fix seal on patio door
14. Clean the insides of both cars
15. Organize medicine cabinet

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch but this is a good start. The weather is slooooowly getting better (despite the little bit of snow we got today, boo!) so soon we will be able start working outside.

So tell me, what is on your spring cleaning list? Have you been able to do any gardening yet?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekending

Hello, hello! Happy Monday and happy Spring!


This weekend was a nice low-key one for us. We didn't have a lot of plans or obligations. It was a nice change of pace from our other weekends which usually tend to be on the busy side. Sometimes I really look forward to just relaxing. I think our lack of plans was mostly a result of Mike wanting to watch March Madness. But I am happy to report that I have a very happy husband because UNC -- and his bracket -- are doing well!

On Friday we had his parents over for dinner and some basketball watching. We made a new recipe that we found on Buzzfeed Tasty and it actually turned out really well! I was really nervous because making something for the first time ever and for company could go really wrong. It was called a meatball sub bake.


We also tried Tasty's Chicken Bombs on Sunday for dinner and this was also really delicious but we struggled a little more at getting it right. Once we ironed out the kinks, we were really happy with it!

Saturday we drove across the border to pick up a couple online orders at our mailbox. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of people out and about. The borders were a little busy but not too bad. Well, except that we had our car searched! We only had about $75 to declare and I guess that was abnormally low so they wanted to take a look to make sure we weren't hiding anything. And of course, they found nothing! While in the States, we lunched at Qdoba, our new favourite quick meal spot. I can't believe how long we have been missing out! But they just recently opened a location in Niagara Falls, NY so it wasn't really accessible before.



On Saturday night I was catching up on blogging and I came across Sara's post (from Running From Law) on her first Geocaching experience. I had heard about Geocaching before but never really knew the ins and outs. Basically, it's a world-wide scavenger hunt where items are placed for others to find. Her post really inspired me to give it a try and Mike and I went searching on Sunday! According to the website, there were several caches within walking distance of our house and we found two! I had so much fun and definitely plan on doing this again!


It turns out this seriously is a worldwide phenomenon because there's a bunch hidden around my grandparents' house in Poland! I immediately called them on Skype to tell them all about it and we are planning on going hunting when Mike and I visit in Poland! So fun. Thanks Sara!!

This past Sunday was also my cat Lenny's 16th birthday! For his birthday, he asked for an extra long fur brushing, a new box to play in, and no guests. We were happy to make all his wishes come true! He's such a sweet little guy. I love you, Lenny Benny!


Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five on Friday

One
My tassel fell off my Kendra Scott necklace and it's lost. I'm devastated. I posted about it as one of my wish list items and Mike surprised me with it a few weeks later. I really really loved it and wore it all the time. Then one day, I went to take it off at the end of the day and the tassel was missing! The little loop that held it had opened just enough for it to have slipped off. It was been several days and I have looked everywhere but have had no success. All the tears.


Two
I actually really enjoyed Ariana Grande on SNL last weekend! I'm usually not a fan of hers but her music is always really catchy. I thought her monologue was hilarious and the skits were really well done as well! And her live songs were alright too.


Three
I made these yummy treats last night and they got a big thumbs up from Mike and myself! I found the recipe on the back of a Reece Peanut Butter minis bag. So good!


Four
Have you heard the news about Instagram? Apparently they are switching from a chronological order to what they think will interest you. What this could mean is that you could miss posts from the little guys, like me! (@fortunatehouseblog) To avoid this, turn on post notifications by clicking on the three little dots in the corner of my profile. I will greatly appreciate it and send each of you a very warm virtual hug!


Ok I'm cutting it short here. I hope you have a very wonderful weekend!

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Linking up with ChristinaAprilDarci, and Natasha for Five on Friday

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Today I Confess


... that almost every day this week has felt like a Friday to me. We're almost there. I think it's probably because Mike was off from work all week for March Break.

... that I'm not celebrating St. Patrick's Day today. I know it's customary for everyone to join in but I'm not Irish so it doesn't make sense for me to celebrate. I mean, non-Polish people don't celebrate the Polish holidays! I feel like a total party pooper admitting this.

... that I loved reading everyone's middle name stories on Friday! It was so fun to see how many people were named after family members and some of the creative names that were given. Thank you all for sharing!

... that we still don't know if we're going on vacation during Easter. And it's a week away! If we go anywhere, it would be to Philadelphia for UNC basketball (Mike) and sightseeing (me). But we're trying to be smart with our money and maybe it's not the best idea. But yolo. Ah. Can't decide.

... that I set up an investment portfolio yesterday! I learned about risk vs reward and what I am comfortable with. This is for my RRSP so it's very long term but I'm super excited to have something in place.

... that the lilies Mike got me for International Women's Day are all open and so gorgeous! I posted a picture of them on last week's Confessions post and they looked so different then! Actually, there are still some buds that have not yet opened so they will be around for a good while longer. They live on my nightstand and I love waking up next to them every morning! I took this photo last night. I'd take pictures of flowers all day every day if I could.


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Linking up with
Jessica at The Newly for her Confessional Thursday link-up
Sarah at Plucky In Love for her Humpday Confessions link-up



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March Madness Pinspiration

March Madness is officially here. And if you talk to Mike for more than five minutes, you will quickly find out that he loves UNC. Tar Heel basketball is consuming our conversations, television, and radio. They recently won their conference tournament and are projected to do really well going forward. And what better way to celebrate a good season? Why, themed food of course! I have rounded up some fun Pinterest finds for a March Madness get together. Most of these are UNC themed but they can be customized for any school you wish (other than NC State and Duke, lol.)

These cakes are amazing!

1  |  2  |  3

A little healthier...

1  |  2

Fun pretzel options

1  |  2  |  3

Festive cookies

1  |  2  |  3

Other yummies

1  |  2  |  3

Confession: some of these pins were found by searching "Frozen" and "baby boy shower". Whatever works!

So tell me, which team is your house rooting for this month?

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Linking up with
Jenn and Jessi for their What's Hap-Pinning Wednesday link-up

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Canada Blooms

Over the weekend, I went to Canada Blooms with my mom and broski in Toronto. Canada Blooms is Canada's largest annual flower and garden festival and features lots of different flower types, arrangements and landscaping.


The only other time I have been was in 1998 when I was 10 years old, also with my mom. Growing up, my mom owned a flower shop. We were always around flowers so it was nice to walk around with her 18 years later and teach my little brother about different things.


The lighting wasn't exactly a dream back then or today but I am sharing some photos anyway! If you follow my on snapchat (evelinafortuna), then I already spammed you with these and tons more pictures. I was so excited to be there!









This year they also merged with the National Home Show and I had all the heart eye emojis for the gorgeous kitchen displays. I can't wait to build our future house (through a builder) one day and choose all of our finishes! 

Once we were done with Canada Blooms, we hung around Exhibition Place (aka CNE, aka The Ex) to take in the sights and, of course, take pictures. 




For all my local Ontario readers, Canada Blooms and the National Home Show is still on until the end of the week. And it's a pretty family-friendly place so I recommend it as a good March Break activity!