First customer.

by Destini

My first customer for a custom Red Rover collar and lead for none other than Sparrow sister Ember in Maple Ridge. She's the perfect model since they are both a lovely red and the same size.

Steveston Farmers Market

by Destini

Living in Steveston can sometimes make a person quite jaded... In the summer, we rarely go down to the dock unless its a week day to avoid the hordes of crowds. It's a cross we share with locations like White Rock, Kits beach, and likely any other tourist trap hocking a waterfront experience and ice cream flavored summers. 

I will make some exceptions however, like these last few weeks of Spot Prawn Season... I braved the unwashed masses to get my last batch of fresh sweet prawns.

Every other Sunday, one of the local business owners hosts a Steveston Farmers Market, and since we believed most non-locals had gotten Steveston out of their system during the Canada Day Salmonfest BBQ on Friday, we felt it was safe to ride down on our bikes to check out this year's market. (re: the Barbeque, the salmon lineup began at 9am!! the Philipino BBQ Pork Skewers were TEH WIN as usual, but the Church's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - which is my whole reason for going... was disappointing.)

The usual suspects of jewellery, soaps, Belts, Granola, and produce... Pies at a shocking $14 a piece (John should be sooo grateful whenever I bake a pie!). We came across this delightful little bakery booth. Don't get my wrong, alot of the bakery booths are pedestrian, dry cupcakes, overly sweet cookies, and mushy pies, but this place was a cut above with their giant chocolate crumble cookies and ginger sparkles... also juicy looking pies and tarts. We opted to pick up tarts for dessert - Sour Cherry for John, Pear for me and Chocolate Pecan. All three were a huge hit. 

Also an impressive newcomer to the fair was a japanese potter. Her work was exceptional but above my price point ($80-$120 a bowl) Wish I had thought to take photos but often crafters do not like people to take photos of their product for fear of stealing their idea. I also met a gentleman leatherworker, whom I've managed to convince it would be FUN to teach me how to do leatherworking.... working my way up to making leather leashes and collars for Red Rover!  Can't wait!

I also came home with my usual Farmhouse Fresh Chevre from Agassiz. Check out this picture of a baby lamb from their farm. Cute right?

We were surprised to see La Brasserie at the Farmers market! Food carts represent!

We shared a sandwich, then savored fresh organic lime and mango ice pops (basically frozen organic fruit puree) from Soylent Green. Yummy, and I bet pretty easy to make, if I had the patience and will to peel and mash enough mangos to make a pop! In that moment, it was absolutely worth the money to enjoy the cool refreshing sweetness with my man and our bikes.

by Destini

In true Ivy Fashion, I decided to cook a dinner last night without a recipe... Anything kicking around the kitchen...

Looking around the house, I had slim pickings. I had recently bought some fresh shrimp from steveston that afternoon, but after spending 30 mins peeling the tiny shrimp (and them disappearing into my mouth), I knew I wouldn't get enough to make an appy for one.I settled on a butternut squash I had scuttled away and set about roasting it in the oven at 350 until tender. I let it sit to cool a bit while I dug out the Pasta Machine.

I scraped out the soft pulp and tasted it... Roasted butternut squash is a good thing - sweet and caramelized, but its also bland so I seasoned in with cayenne and cinnamon liberally, feeling a bit of anxiety and remorse over seasoning with such gusto without trying it on a small amount of the pulp first. Nothing lost nothing gained, I supposed. Thankfully, it was delicious with a little bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper to bring out the flavors. I then caramelized some white onion, shallots, and 4 cloves of garlic in a fry pan, then added them to the mix, with 4 drops of white truffle oil.

I whipped up a simple pasta dough, then cranked it through the machine at 2, 4 then 5 settings, to make long flat sheets of pasta dough. Carefully I used a small teaspon to stack the squash mash on the dough and formed the raviolis with a stamp careful to be as generous as possible without the ravioli leaking. 


Home made Roasted Butternut squash and caramelized onions,shallot/garlic Ravioli. The recipe called for 2 mins of cooking, but it actually took 15 mins to get then tender. I would even dare make the pasta even thinner for a more tender product. I might try coloring a future batch with beets. Fun.

Served this with a Rose sauce, a dollop of fresh chevre, fresh parmesan, and bbqed italian sausage. While it was subtle, the white truffle oil was the secret ingredient to this dish adding an amazing depth and richness to an otherwise average meal. Highly recommend the investment in it as it lasts forever, due to being extremely pungent and only requiring a few drops here and there.

Ivy's Pandesal

by Destini

I woke up with a huge craving for bread.... fresh bread. Straight out of the oven, hot and soft. But alas, I've never made bread before.... so I took the plunge and decided to try Pandesal - a sweet philipino bread. And of course, inspired by the sugar buns by Giovane. It wouldn't be an Ivy cooking experience if I stuck to the recipe.. so I had to deviate a little from the recipe and add a sweet twist... cinnamon sugar.

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour - I used bread flour.
1 egg
cinnamon sugar

I mixed some warm tap water in a small mixing bowl and add the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the oil and mix until smooth. Add the salt, 1 cup of flour and the yeast mixture; stir well. Add the remaining 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Now the original recipe calls for half the sugar and salt, but countless reviewers said it lacked in this department and highly recommended adding more sugar and salt. I followed their directions and have no regrets.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, supple and elastic; about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in it and turn to coat the dough with oil.

Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume; about 1 hour. Our house is cold so I heated the oven to the lowest setting, then placed a damp tea towel under the metal mixing bowl, and another covering it, and let it rise in the oven. Don't be impatient. It really does take atleast 1 hour. It does not rise as quick as cinnamon buns or pizza dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough is warm and soft like baby skin and feels great! Forming each piece a log with 2 inches in diameter. Using a knife or string, I cut the 1 inch sections, rounding them lightly in my hands before placing them on the cookie sheet. Pretty sure this isn't how you are SUPPOSED to do it but the end results were good looking so I'll likely do it again.
I recommend laying them in a pattern so that the finish product looks more professional. I left only .5 inches between each dough ball with the hope they'd crowd each other a bit. I would recommend letting them be even closer  for more squishiness. Crack open an egg and beat it with a brush and give them a quick egg wash before you bake. A required step imho tho it too is not included in the original recipe.
Sprinkle with Cinnamon sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Voila! As they came out of the oven they were sweet hot yummy goodness. AMAZING with a cup of tea.

The 9 are covered in cinnamon sugar with a hint of vanilla paste from Maison Cote. Delicious but not neccessary as the buns were AMAZING even without the sugar. the 6 on the top right are just plain without cinnamon sugar, and were really great with honey ham and cheese. The buns had a soft fluffy brioche like quality. An easy recipe but very time consuming. 24 hours later, all buns are missing in action. 

The best thing on Glee is the Warblers

by Destini

I've become O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D- with Darren Criss and the Warblers. Their infectious harmonies and sychronized dance moves are a lethal dose of ZOMG. I haven't been this crazed since I read Twilight and joined Team Jacob. It's disturbing and I hate myself a little for it....

It began as a slow simmer, I was first introduced to the Warblers and Darren Criss as I was steaming up the car windows with Jenny Lee. It's not what you think. We were parked outside her condo, huddled around my iPhone to catch up on our Glee Season 2, piping the sound through my  Mini Coopers speakers.

Since then, they've never failed to disappoint. It's built to a fevered pitch from their rendition of Bills Bills Bills.

I can't get enough.. and it seems I won't have to. Announced yesterday Darren Criss and the Warblers will be putting out their own Glee album with songs they've performed on the show, and unreleased content. Sign. Me. Up.

The Warblers are voiced by the real-life Tufts University a capella group called The Beelzebubs

Here is their version of Bills from 2009. Isn't it interesting that the Version they voiced on Glee has almost 2 million views and their version only has 38k views? That's the power of branding.

A fan filming the performance at one of their shows: Worth a watch,

It's true, they aren't as slick, well clothed or as choreographed as the Warblers but they certainly have charisma. I love how genuine they are.

More Naptime Macro...

by Destini

More naptime photos...  Here's Minka with her newfound big sister patience as she settles in to nap with the baby pup who can't seem to settle down. 

Scratch the dot for maximum happiness.

We're best friends now and we sleep with our feet touching like best buddies.

Nap time with Sparrow

by Destini

It's been a while since I've posted pictures of Sparrow. She's a big girl now weighing in at 12 lbs soaking wet! One of the best things is laying in bed with my little girl and enjoying her spunky personality. I like holding her as she sleeps and then being there when she wakes up and wants to cause some trouble. Puppies are great!

I'm feeling kinda sleepy. Shall we take a nap?

dozing off.

400 thread count egyptian cotton right? mmm clean sheets.

I'm very very tired. You should let me sleep. Put the camera away, mom.

Minka and I are taking a nap.

Did someone say 'Walk'? I*'m awake now.

I've got little teef for biting you. nom nom
Update from Sparrow: Last week I learned to jump onto the bed, but not to jump off. The bed is very high you know! It's a bit of a effort but I can make it. I also learned just yesterday how to cry at the door so I can be let out to do my business. Mom is very happy about this.

Minka appears to be less interested in me these days. She slept with Don for the first time since my arrival which leads me to think she's letting her guard down. It's only a matter of time now, before I can steal all the cookies without her interference.

I'm going on long walks with Dad now. We're walking 45 minutes at a time, and I pass out for hours after. I love a good work out.


by Destini

I have big ears today. I look more like a Joey than a whippet. Nom nom. Where's my food?

Puppy is doing great. She’s going outside with Minka to do her business now rather than us escorting her (still supervised) and so far, is super on the leash. She’s eating well and adores the family. I worry that she won't love me as much as Minka does, but Jong insists this is a good thing as Minka is pretty needy.

Sparrow met Uncle Chewy and Auntie Willow (the greyhounds) the other day, and terrified them. They were walking through the kitchen to go outside for a walk and the puppy was having her breakfast. Sparrow ran up to Chewy and nibbled on his ears in play before we could grab her and pull her away. He was at a loss of what to do (and likely in some pain).

When the greyhounds returned from the walk, Chewy was afraid to come inside (and through the kitchen) because he remembered the holy terror that traumatized him the last time he was in there.. Took about 10 mins to coax the boy inside…. It's quite funny that Chewy - a HUGE greyhound is intimidated by the innocuous play nibbles of a very small whippet puppy.

When Minka was a puppy, she looked at Chewy with hero worship. One day, if she ate her kibble, she could grow up to be as big as Uncle Chewy. Minka still aspires to be as big as Uncle Chewy...

Remember when I was little and you were big, Chewy? Huh huh?

Puppy Update

by Ivy Haisell

Sparrow's fur is markably darker today. It's normally a beechy color but this morning over breakfast I could see her fur was almost dirty in appearance.

She's growing like a weed. Her body and tail elongated overnight without notifying the rest of her body. Looks strange. I know John looks forward to her training to be complete and she becomes a full grown dog. I love the puppy. Puppy kisses, puppy breath and puppy love. Yes its gud!

The novelty is over for Minka who can barely rouse from bed to halfheartedly lay some sisterly smack down.

For the last couple of nights the puppy has been obsessed with sleeping close to my face. She likes to sleep on my shoulder or on my chest to smell my breathe and chew on my hair. I often wake up to puppy snorings in my ear or my hair being gnawed on. It's cute right now. But John wants me to discourage it right now to avoid a "thighs situation" like we do with Minka.

First nail clippings last night as well. Puppy was chill. Minka may very well have been tortured from all her wailing.

Missing my girls and eager to get home soon to see what I've missed while I was at work.

Project: Dog Collar

by Destini

I repurposed the hardware from Willow’s manky old collar and made this new wiener dog collar for Minka last night. I’m quite pleased with the results and it only took me 15 minutes.

My first effort was too small as I didn’t’ take into account the excess for wrapping the edges but we think the little pink cup cake collar will be great for our puppy arriving next week. Can you believe it? She’s coming!


Decluttering Sentimental Items from your Home

by Destini

From We Live Simply…


In our recent reader’s survey several of you asked about decluttering sentimental items.

I have to admit, sentimental items are one of the hardest things for me to declutter in my home as well.

Whether it’s something from my childhood that I hoping my boys will enjoy someday — or something that’s been handed down from other family members, I’m always slow to remove those items from my home.

However, while I tell myself (and others) how valuable these things are to me — more often than not they’re not displayed in a place of honor — they’re boxed and hidden in a closet or attic.

So what should we do with these treasured items that we’re afraid to get rid of? has some great pointers…

As you go through each room, make three stacks (similar to what we’ve mentioned before).

·                    Stack 1: Items that can be scanned, photographed or digitized for saving

·                    Stack 2: Items you want to display proudly on shelves or other areas in your homes

·                    Stack 3: Items you’re not sure about

And don’t forget — while decluttering you may always come across those items you’re ready to simply give away and forget about. No need to stack them into a pile — simply carry them straight to your donation box.

In several rounds of decluttering I’ve come across a number of things I’ve forgotten about, or as Miss Minimalist suggests — I’ve realized the item’s perceived value is no where near the value of the space I’ve used to store it in.

Some of these items include baseball cards from my youth — gave them to my friends’ kids — and old newspapers of big sporting events from my youth — gave them to a sport fan at work.

Once you have your three stacks you can begin digitizing, photographing or scanning the items.

·                    For some tips on photographing items visit DPS’ post on How to Shoot Items for eBay.

·                    You can scan photographs and other items at home or hire someone else to do it for you. Using a flatbed scanner and Photoshop, I recently scanned and cropped 250 or so photos and posted them to Flickr in roughly 4 hours. Your time will vary depending on how high a resolution you use, so you may want to consider the time and energy involved before you decide on doing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it.

·                    Once you’ve photographed or scanned your collection, you can now find unique ways to share and keep your collection. Perhaps storing and sharing on or Picasa, or creating a digital scrapbook that can be viewed on your DVD player.

With the second pile, begin finding places throughout your homes to display your treasures. This might also give you a chance to get rid of a few other things that aren’t as treasured. Or — if your shelf space is limited, you may opt to keep some of your items together and rotate your displayed items with the season. Rather than buying new trinkets and decorations for various times of the year, simply trade out your displayed items with treasures from your past. You’ll feel a greater attachment to the decorations and it will keep your house looking freshly redecorated.

Finally, with the third pile, place the items in a box and mark them the date. In six months, anything you haven’t touched can be photographed and donated to someone in need. If you haven’t used the items in six month, see it as a sign to move your collection elsewhere. A photograph will likely be all you’ll need to keep the memories alive.

What other steps have you taken to help declutter sentimental items in your home?


Baby Whippet Cuteness Overload.

by Destini

After spending days reading the Daily Coyote I’m inspired to try to do the same thing with our new whippet puppy, name to be determined. This woman documented almost every day of the coyote’s life(so far 3 years and running).. and I think I could do something similar except with my iphone. True the photo quality would poor in comparison but it would still catalog the memories. The question is, are you ready for a daily bombardment of whippet baby updates? Let’s give it some thought.


Here are some photos Jenny took of the baby whippets when we visited them a few weeks ago. The puppies were only 2 weeks old at the time. It’s really fantastic to have Jenny involved right at the beginning with these puppies as she missed Minka’s early development during her pilgrimage to Taiwan. The puppy stage is really one of the best stages! So cuddly, soft, and gentle. Mid January people….


John’s notified Minka that in one month she can no longer be a puppy… Time to shape up and be a role model.


Coming up for Air.

by Destini

It's been 36 hours since I hit level 85 in World of Warcraft so I'm coming up for air. Yesterday John and I went for a lonnnngg 2 hour walk to compensate for eating like shit the last few days during our gaming binge. Now we begin the srs business of gearing up.

Here are notes I've made for Heroic Dungeon Strats in Cataclysm.


  • Everyone should stay on the same side of the room.
  • Move out of the crystals. It's like Archavon.
  • 2 AOE Ranged should be designated to killing the adds that spawn from the crystals.
  • Make sure you cleanse the debuff - Dampening Wave
  • Worm will submerge. Avoid the rumbling earth.
  • Tank picks up the rock biter spiders. DPS should use snares and slows (cone of cold etc) to help dps the adds down.
Stabhide the Dragon
  • Stay out of the piss like pools.
  • Avoid Shadows - Shards will fall from the sky.
  • He'll cast Crystal Storm after he goes into the sky. - LOS hide or you'll take crazy amounts of dmg. Pick one more than 15yards away.
  • Stay in LOS of healer.
  • Tank needs to move dragon to space with less shards.
  • Tank should pull boss behind him into the corridor. Facing away from the raid but against the wall.
  • DPS and healers stack outside for easy healing.
  • Only tank should be close to him as he'll do a Shatter, and anyone within 15 yards of him will take dmg. Tank must also run out during shatter.Tank moves to other side of hallway when shatter is done.
  • Do not spell steal the bulwark. You need it to break paralyse.
  • Dps and healers need to keep dot dmg on him so it reflects and frees you from paralyse. Trinkets and Every Man Human Ability will also free you.
  • Casters should stop dpsing when the bulwark up except they can leave a dot to help break them out.
High Priestess Azil

  • Stay out of purple holes.
  • Avoid boulder in sky.
  • DPS adds
  • Interrupt force grip



Rom'Ogg Bone Crusher:
  • DPS the chains. Run out immediately. atleast 15 yards.

  • Pick three people to stand in the beams between the npc and the wall.
  • Ranged DPS is best to do beams but tank can do middle beam. strafe out at 70 stacks of debuff or you will be Mind controlled.
  • Having healer stand under the beams but help stand in beams between heals when dps is out helps to extend enrage timer (enlightened npc) when you have low DPS.

  • Don't stand in the red mesh.
  • Tank to kite in and out of the silver. Quickly.
  • Kill Adds
  • Puddles behave the same [Quicksilver debuff as Centre fire. Kite. DPS should move out,
  • If you allow the stacks to build more gradually, pulling him into the fire so that just his foot touches and pulling him back out, you can add stacks 1-2 at a time. This gives dps more time and saves the healers mana. Repeat to 10-12 stacks, then let the stacks fall off. If it gets too high (we found 12 or more) the healer cannot keep up. When the stacks fall off, adds will spawn, hold him at zero stacks until the adds are dead and then repeat. Should be dead by the time you get to 7-8 stacks on the second buildup.
  • One person kites
  • Tank away from the adds, he will switch.

  • Charge
  • Fear.
  • CC each puppy. They are beasts so you can sleep and sheep. Tank away from Runty. Burn boss.


  • Two phases. Tank and spank in phase 1. Dodge the fire cutters and focus fire on the boss in phase 2.
  • Easy peasy.

Helix Gearbreaker
  • Almost a tank and spank
  • Avoid the bombs.

  • Periodically hits OverDrive - behaves initially like Marrowgar's Bonestorm.
  • Picks a person, marks a ground target and whirlwinds to it. Wait a sec before you start running.
  • Use the Prototype Reaper to kill the adds. 1 builds rage, 2 is charge, 3 is dps.

Lord Walden:
Move when the green light shines.

Baron Silverlane
Burn the boss. Ignore the adds.

Lord Godrey
  • Stay out of dmg.
  • Tank him away. He has projectile purple bullets of vomit.
  • Ignore Adds.
  • Tank move away from Crystal Barrage.
  • Decurse

  • Stand in the middle.
  • AOE heal when hurricanes are in

  • Avoid the Cyclones, Stand upwind. Spread out so your healer can heal through the breath.
  • Stay inside the triangle.
  • Dispel magic. To conserve on mana, healer can dispel tank, ranged and healer on triangle phases, melee dps all the time. Mages and Druids do not require dispelling as they can shape shift.
Heroic Halls of Origination

Temple Guardian Anhuur (snake boss)
DPS boss until sheilds go up. Everyone moves together down one side. one person is pulls and holds lever for 10 secs channel. Everyone else kills adds. Repeat on other side then go back up to burn boss. Repeat.

camel guy: Kill adds. burn boss

Earth Rager Patah: (camel boss)
Kill Adds when up.

Purple pools persist. Don't stand on them. Watch boss to cast the spell on person. move away. try to move together but move quickly out of them. to minimize mount of purple runes on the ground.

Stay out of the purple ground effects
Don't get aggro from the mobs.
Burn the boss.

Healer and tank pick up the adds: kill the portals.

Fire tornadoes leave at trail on it's path. Stay out.
when he's in the middle run to his feet and burn him.


DPS the small sparks
Stay out of the beams
Turn around for the Nova
When she splits focus fire one at a time down

Kill adds Quickly and early. as they get stronger and higher hps as time progresses.

Animal Jenga

by Destini

What will the Japanese think of next? I bet Foxy would have been good at this game.

I seem to remember Shianne hosting a similiar video. Ahh yes.. Here it is...

The disease spreads.

Whippet Babies - Deja vu

by Destini

Not sure if I mentioned it.. but Jong and I are getting another whippet… I had planned on getting another eskie, but the way things worked out this is our best chance to get a great whippet from a fantastic breeder/friend in Squamish.

We went up to visit Friday, just to check them out and fell in love with the little red girls. 5 girls, 3 boys, all red sable except for one girl who is blue fawn like her grandma (the breeders dog). They are only 9 days old so don’t do much right now other than crawl around, sleep and eat. Their eyes are not yet open.

These are two different color babies. The blue fawn is the one the breeder is keeping. The red one is one of the many we are interested in. Waiting til they get a bit rambunctious before we find out which one is ours. I'd like a smart one. Jong wants a crazy.