Oh No He Didn’t! (Chapter of Wayne – Part 2)

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As promised after our first meeting at the pub that night, Wayne did call me and we planned a date. We set up a time and place and decided on sushi and a movie. Don’t even ask me what movie we went to see, I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. However, what I do clearly remember is I definitely was no where near being ready to jump into dating, let alone a relationship. Now looking back, in hindsight, I had issues and needed time. Last thing I should’ve did was date, anyone. I should’ve believed when people said it takes time after divorce and dating complicates matters.  I definitely wasn’t over my ex husband (of 20 years) by a long shot. Even though I swore I was. Hmmmm… let’s call my ex husband, Damian. Yes, Damian. It’s a very ‘Harlequin Romance‘ kinda name don’t ya think?  It’s my story, I can assign whatever name I choose. Anyways,  if you asked me at the time I’d say ‘hell ya I’m over him!’  But hell no I wasn’t! I admit it. Apparently for every 5 years you are with someone, it takes approximately 1 year to ‘get over‘ them. So I was with Damian for 20 years… well, that’s 5 LONG fricking years of waiting to get over him! I ain’t got time for that!
Of course I wasn’t over my ex husband. Hell, I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely over him

So, almost a year after separating from my husband and having gone on numerous online dating meet and greets, I naively jump in and start dating Wayne. Immediately I’m comparing every little thing Wayne does to that of my ex husband. I mean everything. The way he speaks to the server (very telling you know?)  the way he eats his food, how many drinks he consumed in such a short time frame (don’t think I didn’t notice), the way he puts way too much sushi in his mouth at once. (Hello!)
All of these teenie tiny signs combined equals one great, big Red Flag.
My girlfriends at the time would say I constantly compare, compare, compare. They’re all like, ‘You’re not being fair to Wayne. Stop comparing, everyone’s different.’ On and on. I was just simply pointing out that Damian did things a certain way. And ehm, well, Wayne doesn’t. That’s all.

I clearly remember sitting across from Wayne at the sushi restaurant and thinking, I’m not completely attracted to him in that way. I mean, he was attractive yes, but something wasn’t quite right. I remember on our first date being uncomfortable when dinner was over and the waitress brought the bill. He kinda just continued letting it sit there, between us. It got very uncomfortable. It felt like he was waiting for me to take care of it. Or maybe it was all in my mind. But no, I don’t think so. From previous posts you know I do have some issues with that. Completely out of touch with the times and rules of dating. Who pays? What’s the dating etiquette? I figure if you get asked out on a first date, the man should pay, no? Red flag #2 because ‘who pays’ later became an issue in our relationship.
An issue because guess who ended up always paying?
Yours truly.

Wayne and I had been dating for a couple of months. Like clock work, every Friday night you could guarantee a party at his place. Now this wasn’t a problem for me initially. Remember, I had been solely a wife and mother for the past 20 years, so it almost seemed like I was making up for lost party time in a sense. I was with my ex husband since I was 18 so I missed the whole partying and going out stage. Wayne and I had so much fun. I have since realized that we had the most fun when we were drinking.  It’s not like we didn’t have fun ever without alcohol, but let’s just say we had more fun with alcohol. And for me, 2 glasses of red wine is all it takes.

The alcohol was a good thing and a bad thing. Good in that when both of us were intoxicated, we let many potential spats slip by. Bad because the ones that didn’t slip by were ridiculous and typically made no sense what so ever. Obviously the communication between two intoxicated people can sometimes get construed and not make any bloody sense. We would then proceed to beat that particular subject up to no avail.  That combined with my disagreeing/debating style (at the time) typically consisted of just shutting down and giving him the good ol’ silent treatment. I know how much men love that. You can imagine how well that worked out. I have to say that method was all I’d ever done in my marriage so that’s what I naturally turned to. Wayne couldn’t tolerate that at all and would insist we talk it out.  He would always say that I put up walls, and I swear to God if I heard him say one more time “Oh, there’s them walls you put up!” I’m pretty certain I was gonna lose my mind.
Looking back, I think know those walls were actually me not being completely into him. Thing is I was a confused mess, I liked him a lot, but I didn’t. I was particularily needy after being married and he wasn’t Damian. That was perfectly clear.

But some things I really liked about Wayne. He was the only guy I knew who actually wanted to dance with me, all of the time. Even when friends were around. He didn’t care. I loved that he would take my hand and lead me to the dance floor or to the middle of the living room and waltz with me. That was something I remember my parents doing plenty of times when my sister and I were growing up. They would dance and talk all night long, I loved that aspect of their marriage. I told Wayne that too. He knew how special that was to me. Those kinds of moments are so simple yet last forever in your memories. 

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There was always something that felt off with my feelings towards Wayne. Like when we would be out at friends homes, a pub, or anywhere around other people and alcohol, I would become uptight and nervous. I would be embarrassed at the things he would say, the unpredictability of what he might say. The way he would act after a number of beers. Almost confrontational with anyone he might be talking with. He was an up tight kind of guy, and I can be an uptight kind of girl. Not the greatest combo. But afterwards when we would go home and we were alone, it would all be okay.  It became obvious that he was less uptight when he was drinking and when no one else was around. I became more attracted to that guy. That’s the guy I liked best unfortunately. He’d be completely focused on me, treating me like a princess and I would forget all about any inappropriate behavior he had displayed earlier. This became a routine in our relationship. The times we were by ourselves it was different. It was better. So eventually without even realizing what I was doing I would make excuses for us to stay in, not have friends over.  Instead insisting we stay at home, alone.  He rarely disagreed. Instead we started sharing some amazing Friday nights at home alone. Clearly the makings of a very bad dysfunctional relationship. He loved to cook and was a fabulous cook, I’d sip red wine while assisting him. By assisting I mean watching. You know, keeping him company in the kitchen.
We would put the music on, have drinks, dance and talk all night long. All seemed good. That part of the relationship was the good part and was so different for me. It’s what I needed at the time and what I had lacked in my marriage.  It was what I kept hanging onto. That part was fun. Obviously not the components of a lasting relationship, but fun for the time being.

We were only seeing each other once a week, twice at most, and that would usually be Friday nights. Saturday nights he would play poker with the guys. Religiously. I didn’t mind at all except if for some reason or another we couldn’t see each other on the Friday night and he wouldn’t give up poker on Saturday night to spend it with me. You know what they say? He’s just not that into you! If he was, well, he surely would choose spending time with me over poker at least some of the time.  Well, I hadn’t read He’s Just Not That Into You yet so I was not getting it. Plus I was so damn needy then. Couldn’t stand being single, alone, lonely, always wanting to be with someone. Coincidentally he was that someone at that time.

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That was until one particular Saturday night while he was at poker and we were texting each other back and forth. I sensed something was off.  He finally tells me, via text, that his on again-off again ex girlfriend he dated before me wanted to get back together. Turns out the friends house he plays poker at was the ex girlfriend’s brother. Ahhh, perfect. She wanted to give it another try. Uhh… okay? Well, that’s very unexpected. I remember being completely shocked.  Not heart broken, just shocked. No one likes rejection.

He’s breaking up with me? pffft! Isn’t that ironic?

Laura xo

The One & Only Chocolate Chip Cookies

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After searching high & low for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I have finally found the one!
I have eaten many (far, far too many) chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime, and my mom and I have tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes over the years so believe me when I say – this recipe is the best homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe out there right now. They are so, so good, it’s insane. And yeah, I ate over ten of these babies tonight. (I don’t curr, I’ll admit it.)

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You may be asking how this recipe is any different than the other billions of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there? Well let me tell ya – the main reason for their goodness, and the secret ingredient to making these cookies so thick, soft, gorgeous & chewy is….

CORNSTARCH! 

Cornstarch is the ingredient that makes these cookies so thick & chewy, and gives them that delicious soft-baked quality.
Funny how one ingredient can make all the difference! All of the chocolate chip cookie recipes I have made in the past did not use cornstarch. The difference in cookies using cornstarch was like night & day.
The other main component as to why these cookies are so chewy and moist is because of the higher ratio of brown sugar to white.

Not only is this recipe the BEST tasting, it is also super easy & straightforward. No crazy ingredients are used – you’ll probably already have all of the needed ingredients in your cupboard!

This is the recipe that I’ve been looking for, the classic chocolate chip cookie – the one that I’ll be making over and over again for years.

I thank the cookie heavens for creating a cookie so perfect –  the One & Only Chocolate Chip Cookie. ­čśë

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The One & Only Chocolate Chip Cookies
(This glorious chocolate chip recipe is from Anna Olson (Food Network), which can be found here. I have adapted the recipe slightly.)

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 3 dozen cookies)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar (the darker the sugar, the better)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, (preferably at room temperature)
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon cornstarch (the magical ingredient!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light & fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda & salt. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until all ingredients are evenly combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper. (If you don’t have parchment paper, just leave the cookie sheet plain.) Using your hands to form the balls, roll dough into 1 Tbsp-sized balls and place onto cookie sheets. If you want extra chocolaty cookies, press a few chocolate chips onto the top of the dough balls.

3. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. They will almost look uncooked. Do not leave cookies in oven over 10 minutes! Remove and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy for your liking, gently press down on them with the back of a spoon.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Note: Cookies stay chewy and fresh for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

The Ultimate Thick and Chewy M&M Cookie Bars

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I was going to make this M&M Cookie Bar recipe with my little cousin when she slept over the other night but we got so busy doing crafts and other fun stuff that we had to skip it! So I decided to whip them up tonight to try them out and see how they taste.

Oh. my. word. They are seriously amazing.
Remember those huge giant sized packaged cookies that were basically the size of your head that you used to get as a kid? These taste 100x better than any of those if you can believe it!

The cookie dough is thick, chewy and golden and the M&M chocolates are perfectly melted. It’s honestly taking all of my willpower not to gobble down the whole pan.

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The recipe is super simple & quick and you don’t even need an electric mixer.
These cookie bars would be so perfect for a kids sleepover or birthday party!

The recipe I used is by Christine at Fantastic Family Favorites. Click here for the recipe.

* The only change I made to the recipe was that I used dark chocolate flavored M&M’s instead of the milk chocolate because I didn’t want the bars to be too sweet.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

Spooktacular Halloween Milkshake

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After searching through everything-Fall related on Pinterest, I came across a few different Halloween Milkshakes. I thought they were so cute, I had to re-create one and make my own Spooktacular Halloween Milkshake! It’s an extremely easy, classic vanilla milkshake recipe with some added Halloween treats to add some spookiness! It’s so festive & fun, and kids will love it!

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Spooktacular Halloween Milkshake Ingredients & Directions:

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 small ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • orange or brown food dye (or whichever colour you prefer)
  • whipping cream
  • sprinkles

Directions:

  • Blend vanilla ice cream, milk, ice cubes, & vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in food colouring. Top with whip cream & Halloween sprinkles!
  • To decorate the rim of the glass with sprinkles: Rub cornstarch along the rim of the glass, than dip the glass into sprinkles.

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Wishing all fellow Canadians a very happy Thanksgiving! 

Enjoy!

Xo Natasha