Easter was postponed

We postponed our first Easter dinner as a married couple. With good reason.

During the weekends, Scott likes to get a couple of long bike rides in. Last weekend he biked 30km up a mountain while I drove up it just 30 minutes quicker. That’s how fast he is. Mind you, I did only end up going no faster than 25km/hr due to the fear factor of me not wanting to drive straight off the cliff. I felt so stomach sick, I was that terrified. The switchbacks were frequent, the roads were narrow. It took ages to get to the top.

But this time he was invited to go on a huge bike ride with a friend and he took the opportunity to do so.  I told him to go on and not worry about dinner because he works such long hours, I find that he doesn’t have as much fun as he should. Plus, we could have it the next night.

They went for 5+ hours with a group of cyclists and did some major ride around the area. When he came back he jumped in the shower for a quick scrub, then I drove him to downtown San Jose for an NHL Sharks game! I’m personally not into watching hockey on TV but if I’m there in person, I find it way more interactive, and entertaining. Unfortunately his co-worker’s friend couldn’t make it to the game and only had 1 ticket to spare. He asked Scott if he wanted it, thus the rush for me to drive him downtown in time to make it to the game.

Monday night I ended up making our Easter dinner. I believe this was the tastiest Easter dinner I’ve ever had the pleasure of diving into. Gotta say, I am a pretty good cook when I want to be! Hashtag brag. Probably all thanks to my meat thermometer I got for Christmas. I can now leave stuff alone instead of constantly cutting into the meat and having the juices evaporate out of it and potentially ruining it.

Mid-cooking selfie.

easter dinnerI served up our plates with tons of cooked vegetables and delicious ham. I made scalloped potatoes, tri colour carrots (from Trader Joe’s), cauliflower, and broccoli. On the side we had spinach salads where I dumped anything and everything from the kitchen sink into it. Bell peppers, tomatoes, pecans, cucumber, cheese… I don’t even know what else. For dessert, simply cut up fresh pineapple and strawberries.

Easter DinnerI scarfed it down in no time. As you would. I posted two pictures of the same meal, different angles. Am I a food blogger now? Just kidding :)

So there you have it, a little postponed, but still pretty special. We had leftovers for days. I hate leftovers.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you how I did something completely out of my comfort zone the other day! No cheating, if you already know :)

Branding and Blog Re-Design

Surprise! My blog has a completely new look.

out-with-old-in-with-newOut with the old, in with the new.

For the past 8 years, I have had the same template on my blog. I thought if it wasn’t broke, I shouldn’t fix it. I loved the design and it worked well for me. Thing is, new people visiting my website didn’t seem to think so. Nobody knew what ‘spiffykerms’ was all about, let alone how to pronounce it.

In a community blogging thread over at Facebook, a friend notified us all about this free website analyser called Peek User Testing. A person visits your site for the first time, films their 5 minute visit to the site, answering 3 questions. First being their first impression. Two, describing their experience. And lastly, if they’d be back.

I can’t stand listening to the first video of my website being reviewed. I entered my website in twice, and both times the new visitors could not tell what kind of site they were visiting. The users equally suggested branding, proper navigation and an about page that was more of what the blog was about — not who I was. Mind you, I did tweak my about page to cater to both.

Upon watching the two videos, I became apprehensive of their reviews. I inarguably cursed on them a few times but it was evident to take the constructive criticism and change spiffykerms.com for the better. Second guy had some valid points to offer, without sounding condescending.

Hence, the branding and blog re-design of spiffykerms! What do you think of it all? Definitely cleaner, and easier to navigate through, right?

Finally I decided to go through and submit my blog for a final review after the re-design. Not impressed by what this woman had to say about my site for the first few minutes. The name sounds crazy and looks obscene? Therefore, she doesn’t know if she wants to continue reading? What?

I can’t win.

Not everyone will like what you have to offer, I understand that after 3 not so positive reviews. Is all this site for criticising? Or do they ever like a website they visit.

The turn-around for getting your site analysed on Peek User Testing is around 2-3 days. Think you’re ready to give your website a try?

This is clearly not a sponsored post. Thought I’d let you in on why I decided to randomly revamp my entire blog.

Spiffykerms Style Easter Edition

Awww it’s our first Easter weekend as a married couple. I can hear you hurling up your chocolate eggs now. Don’t worry, I’m not the mushy type of person anyway. Today I’m talking about the outfits I’ve been wearing and posting on Instagram. It’s also shared on twitter if you search the hashtag #SpiffykermsStyle.

Again, our kitchen floor débuts and the outfits are positioned just so. Still wanted to keep the OOTD (outfit of the day) posts still going. And this is what we’re workin’ with here, people!

I’m eyeing this shirt from NorCal CrossFit. I visited one of their locations and got a tour from the merch guy. I’m 99% sure I’ll be signing up, and when I do I’m going to buy this sweet tank. Scott said “You don’t like caffeine!” Huh? Dude. I love tea, root beer, pepsi, coke and iced coffees. Whatchu talkin’ bout.

Have a great Easter weekend! Are you cooking something special? I’m thinking of making ham and scalloped potatoes for us.

What are you wearing today?

Do you prefer to wear flats or heels?

Is this something you’d like to see regularly on the blog? Or would you like me to keep it to Instagram only?

Must-have-hand-creams

Hand Creams I’m Currently Using

I love hand creams. Wait, I should rephrase that. I need to love hand creams because throughout my entire life, I’ve had cold, scaly dry man-hands. I’ve been called lizard hands by someone in the past. I can see why they said that. Painted a pretty picture for you, didn’t I?

I always have hand creams in various places of our home, my car, and my purse. Needless to say, I don’t always apply it. I really should.

Here are a few not necessarily top picks that I’ve been using since moving to California, where my hands are still going to continue being dry. That’s okay. I’ve learned to live with it, no matter how far away, or close I am, to an ocean.

4 hand creams I’m currently using

Must-have-hand-creams

Caudalíe

This hand cream is pretty great when and is the most reached-for cream on this list. I’ve purchased more than a handful of tubes of these creams. It’s the most lightweight feeling of the four shown above. I’ll definitely keep buying this. $19CDN // $15USD at Sephora.

Bobbi Brown Extra

A little luxury to my collection, I’ve recently added this one to my assortment of hand creams. The Bobbi Brown counter at Macy’s lured me in. Had no idea Bobbi made hand cream. I tried it out, loved the way it made my hands feel. Then left without purchasing. Thinking about it constantly the next few days, I popped into Sephora to see if they sold any, which they didn’t. A few days later I headed back to Macy’s and asked for it. Luckily they had some in stock. It flies off the shelves, apparently. I don’t really know why. It’s $31. It’s expensive. It just seems like a regular hand cream, just in some fancy name brand packaging. It’s nice though. I’d repurchase it. However, I’m going to use this sparingly because it was so costly. I want to enjoy it. Would I recommend it? Only if you’re a hand-cream addict like myself. $31USD at Macys.

 World Market Hand Cream

Ok. I have no idea who makes this since there’s a bunch of names spewed all over the packaging. I bought it at World Market, thus the title. It feels, not greasy but quite silky once applied. After a few minutes, it evaporates and keeps my hands from feeling dehydrated and gives it a healthy look. Comes in a variety of scents, but I love anything citrus so the Grapefruit & Tangerine went in my shopping basket immediately after I smelled it. $4.99USD at World Market.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

I’m not the biggest fan of the scent with this product. But it’s bearable. I’ve heard a lot of great things with this brand healing eczema prone skin, and I received a sample of this a long time ago. I only just found it in my hand-cream stash so I thought I’d keep it around to try it out. Not sure I’ll purchase it in full-size when I like other hand creams better. $15CDN // $12USD at Sephora.

Honourable mentions

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula

As much as I still dislike to admit it, Mothers are always right. The top pick I recommend to anyone who wants a non-greasy formula, that is incredibly powerful and keeps your hands moisturized after many hand-washes, is still Neutrogena Norwegian Formula. It’s like a thick ointment-like consistency and is scent-free. It’s just so hard to rub in, especially when your hands are really dry or chapped. A lot of my climbing friends back in Newfoundland still use this product. I haven’t looked for it here in the USA yet, but I presume it’s readily available at any drug store. Read more about my rave reviews on it from 2012. $7.99CDN on Well.ca // $5.29USD at ULTA.

Ahava hand cream

I never thought I’d be able to find it again. It was whisked off the shelves in Ontario, Canada. I went through 3 or 4 tubes of this. Hands down, my #1 splurge for a hand cream. It has the most spa-like smelling hand cream I’ve ever tried. When I had an office and I applied it, my old co-workers walked down the hallway, asking who sprayed on perfume, or who smelled so good. It was always my hand cream. Not one person who tried it, didn’t like it. I bought it for my boss before I left work to head down to the states here. I was surprised to find it at ULTA. For the Canadians who’d like to try it, you can get it for  $22CDN on Well.ca // $21USD at ULTA.

Everything was purchased by me.

What are your favourite hand creams?