Karen Ballum

Karen Ballum

Hi, I'm Karen Ballum. I'm a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. You might know me as Sassymonkey ...   see full bio

Karen Ballum

Hi, I'm Karen Ballum. I'm a Community Moderator on BlogHer.com. You might know me as Sassymonkey.

I live in Ottawa, Ontario -- Canada's national capital. Keeping me company are my husband and cat, commonly known on the internet as the Fake Husband and the Fake Cat. Last I checked they were both still very real to most people but according to Denise, it's not real unless she can see it. (She's met the fake husband and has seen pictures of the cat but once fake is always fake in her books.)

Karen Ballum Sassymonkey

I have been blogging about life (and food, I like food) since 2004 on my personal blog, Sassymonkey.ca, and started my book blog, Sassymonkey Reads, in August of 2005. I don't read quite as many books as I used to but I still love hearing about the books you love.

While I spent a LOT of time here on BlogHer.com you can also find on Twitter. If you want to judge for yourself whether or not my cat is fake, she features prominently in my Instagram stream. (But you never know, I could be using a stunt cat.)

I also have a slight addition to the overuse of parentheses. (Oops?)

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10 Christmas Wreaths You Can Make

When I think of Christmas wreaths I tend to think of evergreen boughs with ribbons and pine cones. They are the ones I buy almost every year and every year I think how I really could make my own. I went looking for homemade wreaths and I found that many of you already make your own. What really surprised me was how I fell in love with these 10 less traditional wreaths. There will always be a place for evergreen boughs, but I may need to work one of these wreaths into my holiday decor. ...more
This inspires me to start looking around more when I take the dogs out or when I am getting my ...more

10 Fun Snowflake Crafts You Can Make

The thought that there are no two snowflakes that are exactly like has always amazed me. You know what that means for crafts? When yours don't turn out perfectly it means you are doing it right. Your snowflakes are just behaving the way snowflakes are supposed to behave. But we don't think you'll have problems with these 10 snowflake crafts. ...more

Easy Starbucks-Inspired Red Cup Lattes You Can Make at Home

It's a very special time of the year. No, I'm not talking about the holidays. I'm talking about Starbucks red cup season! Alas, they are only here for a limited time and it's a busy time of year. It's not always possible for me to pop out to a Starbucks when I get a craving. Luckily, the internet has those moments covered. I was able to find speciality coffee recipes for all of our seasonal favorites. Click, brew, and enjoy! ...more
This is so awesome... Now I can make Creme Brulle Latte at home... Thanks for sharing! Lots of ...more

5 Easy and Fun Last-Minute Halloween Crafts

I know people who start their Halloween crafts in September. I applaud their obviously superior organization skills, because that is so not the way things roll for me. The way it works in my house: I look at the calendar, realize Halloween is a few days away, and then I say, "GAH!" So here's a list of crafts for the BlogHers like me out there who need fun Halloween crafts they can whip together quickly. ...more
Love love all the DIY ideas for the season! My favorite is the Mason Jar Creatures next up is ...more

The Ottawa Shootings Can't Take Away My Canadian Identity

I was sitting in a Starbucks in Toronto when I saw a tweet that stopped me in my tracks. A soldier had been shot at the National War Memorial in Ottawa—where I live. It was followed up by another tweet telling me that the shooter was in Centre Block of Parliament. I looked around … and no one was reacting. No one else knew. ...more
It was tragic and extremely shocking for our country.more

5 Easy Ways to Decorate Pumpkins This Fall

I love walking through my neighbourhood and checking out the fall decorations. I will always have a fondness for the traditional Jack-o'-lanterns I see perched on people's front steps, but I've never been a very good pumpkin carver. Luckily, pretty decorated pumpkins are completely within in my reach. I've seen some stunning decorated pumpkins online and what continues to surprise me is how easy they are to make. Here are five easy and pretty ways to decorate pumpkins. No-Mess Sprinkle Pumpkins...more
Julie Ross Godar So adorable. I really love that she used white pumpkins for them. I seem to ...more

5 Fall Wreaths and a Banner You Can Make. It's Easy!

It's easy to buy a wreath, but they are actually one of the easier decorations to make. I found five fall wreaths and a banner I would love to make and that can be made even by people, like me, who are not so very crafty. Some are best for inside while others will fare just fine hanging on your front door. ...more
Wonderful post and some really great Ideas!more

Waffle-ize It! 6 Dishes You Can Make In Your Waffle Iron

The idea of using your waffle iron to waffle-ize things that wouldn't normally make it into your waffle maker is rapidly gaining popularity. We've gathered up six recipes that you can make in your waffle iron. Grab it off the shelf, dust it off, and get ready to have some fun. ...more
Waffle omelet hmm! Surprisingly, I never knew that it is possible.more

It's Fall! Here Are 5 Scarves You Can Make at Home

Every year finds me dragging my feet into autumn. I never like how the temperature drops, but I do find things to love about fall. I love how the tree leaves burst into a brilliant display of color before dropping to crunch beneath my feet. We start piling up logs by the fireplace. I start pulling out my colder-weather clothes. I especially love scarves....more
Such cute scarves and ideas! I love wearing scarves! I definitely agree with you on how they can ...more

7 One-Pot Meal Ideas for Busy Nights

"What's for dinner?" It's a question we hear daily. There are days when we throw back an easy answer. There are other days when the question makes us want to throw our spatulas on the floor and wail. Here are seven one-pot meal ideas to get you through those busy weeknight dinners. ...more
I've made that, minus the spinach. It is pretty good!more