Friday, September 30, 2011

International Pole Camp 4!

Two weekends ago was the Fourth Annual International Pole Camp. IPC for short. I have gone every year and wouldn't miss it.
More information here: and at

The first year I attended I had been dancing for about 4 months. I was nervous and scared, but figured what did I have to lose. I gained so much knowledge that first year it makes me incredibly happy to think of how many people get the same experience I did.
Going into this weekend I was thinking I wouldn't learn a whole lot. My wrist has been really bugging me and I haven't touched a pole (other than teaching) since April(? I'm guessing that's how long it's been, might have been May). Having not been practicing at all, I wasn't sure how much I was going to learn. I learned a lot for a short period of time. I learned some limits, some strengths and made some new friends, and rekindled with old ones.

Here's a run down of the weekend:

Thursday, Day 1: I didn't particpate this day. I was working, and then needed a night with my husband before I abandoned him for the weekend.

Friday, Day 2: Worked day job and then headed to the hotel to take care of registrations for people coming to the banquet and out on the pole crawl. (Like a pub crawl, but better... we have poles). We had a wonderful dinner, introduced ourselves to the whole group and then went out on the town. Two buses with poles in them picked us all up, we headed to a bar where two stages were set up for us, and we spent the night playing and dancing. I left early enough that I could get some rest for the day coming.
Saturday, Day 3: Morning was spent checking people in to their various workshops and taking one myself. We had the lovely Jamilla Deville as our guest instructor this year. What an honour to take a class from her!!
I spent the afternoon helping people out with moves I already knew how to do and imparting knowledge. Have the fun is sharing what you know and watching someone's face light up when they get a new move.
During the evening, we went back the hotel and had another dinner, door prizes and awards.
I have now gotten 2 trophies that say "Best Booty Shaker" All because I don't mind making an idiot out of myself at the bar

Sunday, Day 4: I learned 5 new moves on the last day of camp. WOOhOO!! I had a great time hanging out with friends, learning and teaching. It was a great end to the wonderful weekend. Can't wait for next year!

Here are pics of 3 of the moves I learned
The Q

Top Handed Viva


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

French Toast Baked in honey-pecan sauce

This is by far the best French Toast recipe I've ever had. It's perfect for a weekend. Make half the night before, and bake it in the morning. It's a huge sugar overload, so make sure you have something light to go along with it.

From The New Intercourses (an aphrodisiac cookbook) pg 87

4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 slices day old French bread

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Combine Eggs, half-and-half, brown sugar and vanilla extract in small bowl.
Pour HALF the mixture into a baking dish.
Place bread in the pan and top with other half of mixture.
Refrigerate covered overnight.

Next Day:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in oven in a baking dish.
When melted, stir in brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and pecans.
Set soaked bread on top of pecan mixture.

Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Remove with spatula and invert each slice onto plates. Spoon remaining syrup and nuts on top.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In which I am a bad wife (according to me)

**this morphed into a very long post. I won't be offended if you don't make it to the bottom of my rant and raving and self-loathing**

I've been struggling with this wife thing. I love being married. I love my husband. My problem is that I have an idea in my head of what a wife should be and I'm not getting a good report card. This is all according to the toughest critic: Me.

Let's revisit the 1950's:
Wife stays home and takes care of everything home related. Husband goes to work and brings in money and does man things.

Fastforward to today (high level overview):
Rules don't apply. Everything is all mixed together and there is a shift depending on who the breadwinner is. Both do house work, both do yard work, both take care of children (fur or human)

My version: A mix of both.
Wife does most of the housework but husband helps where he can.
Husband does more of the outdoor work, wife helps where she can. Keeps the cars in running order
Take care of our furbaby together
Both work full time.

We both work full time jobs and I work a second part time job 1 - 3 times a week. It varies depending on how many students I get signed up for classes. I love working Job#2 but sometimes it's a lot when all I want is to sit at home with my husband.
I'm a huge planner and I think that sometimes that works against me. Our entire life is planned out to some extent and there's very little room to go off the path. Note that I'M a planner. Frenchie goes along with "the plan" and gets very frustrated when everything is the same every week for what days we do what and when. I agree with him on most accounts, but how else would be get anything done if it wasn't planned?

The part I'm struggling with is how do I do all the wifely tasks I feel I should do and still spend time with my husband and friends. I fail at the housework section of my definition.
I'm lazy. I'll be the first to admit what Frenchie already knows. I get distracted easily. I'll say I'm going to cook and then turn on the computer or grab a book and forget what I said I was going to do.
I hate cleaning unless I'm in a bad mood, then it's a release. My tolerance for dirt is lower than his so by the time the house is dirty enough for me to notice, he's already cleaned it. Which makes me feel crappy because that's my job and I didn't do it.
I love to bake and do that well. Point for me!
I like to cook, but somehow hardy ever seem to do it. I feel like I turn around and Frenchie is cooking up dinner again for the millionth time. Let's face it, if he waited for me to get off my butt and do it, we'd never eat. I'm not a horrible cook. Follow the directions the first time you make a meal and ad lib the next time to suit your tastes.
I've gotten us to meal plan and that's made a big difference for us having more time in the evenings. We don't play the "what do you want for supper?" "doesn't matter, what do you feel like?" game anymore because what we're eating is marked on the fridge.
I do the laundry, but never manage to iron or fold. He ends up folding after the clothes has sat on the couch for a week and wrinkled. Ironing is a lot longer.
Is it just me or do I sound like a lazy wife. My husband holds up his end the relationship. The yard and cars are always well cared for (expect the flower beds, which is my section and those rarely get touched) Then he does half of my things.
Any advice to whip my butt into "wife shape"? I am the baby of a family and with the age difference I grew up through my teenage years as an only child. Is this just who I am or do you think there's hope? How the heck are we ever going to have a somewhat smoothly running household when we have kids if I can't even keep my end of the deal up with the two of us??

Friday, September 2, 2011

32/50: Water for Elephants by Sera Gruen

Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me a long time to listen to this book. I liked the story, I liked the narrator, I just wasn't grabbed. I could put it away and come back to it a week later without feeling that pull. I wanted really badly to love this book because of all the wonderful things I'd heard about it.

I liked the characters. The way they were written made you feel exactly how you were supposed to about them.  I hated August. I thought Marlena was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I thought Jacob was likable enough as a young man, and loved him as a 93 year old.
The secondary characters were great as well. Such dynamics. Walter grew on me throughout the story. He ended up being one of my favorites.

The alternating point of views from Old Jacob remembering to Young Jacob telling the story first hand was great. The book wouldn't have had the same effect without the reminiscing chapters.

It's hard to review books you don't love or hate. There was nothing spectacular in it that made me want to recommend it to everyone I know. There was nothing in it that made me say no way, don't read it. It was a good book, and I can see why people loved it, it just wasn't my favorite.
I do however want to see the movie now because I have finished reading it. I think it would translate well into film. As much as I am not a Robert Pattinson fan, I think he would do a great job of playing Jacob.
SuBC 2011: Book on a summer reading list - 10 points
Book Journey 2011: United States.

View all my reviews


August 2011 Recap

Books read to date: 32/50
Pages read to date: 10636

Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) by J.R. Ward (review here)

Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) by Mira Grant

Monthly savings: $26.22
Year-to-date savings: $281.78

Book Journey
Caldwell, New York
Manhattan, New York