Monday, January 31, 2011

Gearing up for the month of LOVE...

I've signed up for this freebie... The joy of love.I think this one starts tomorrow on February 1st. I have done a couple of on-line classes through Willette, one being the 'finding the joy' class. I think she'd be horribly disappointed to know that I went through my January pictures, and I show up in them ONCE... Obviously I didn't learn a thing. I had to quickly do a mirror picture, to round off the month... So there's 2 of me for January.

I thought a neat challenge I could give myself would be "Self Portrait Sunday...." But based on the fact that 5 Sunday's have gone by, and I have NOT taken a single self portrait, I think I can forget about that... Who knows... Perhaps it's not too late? After last years, 365 days challenge, I hate to corral myself into HAVING to do things on certain days... Seriously, it was a very full year... There was a LOT of guilt associated with NOT having my camera at my side, at all times.

Having said that, I am very drawn to the idea of Wordless Wednesdays... Having nothing to say, just let a picture do all the talking. We'll see... Seriously, I think I over did it last year...

I recently sent some pictures to Persnickety to be printed. They should arrive within the next couple of weeks. The quality is outstanding. I highly recommend them. Worth the shipping cost indeed [and it still ends up being cheaper than Costco] Any way, in that shipment is my last few pages for my 365 album for 2010... I'm so excited to look at it completely finished.

It is my intention to group and post my favourite monthly pictures. I'm using the template provided by Rebecca Cooper, you can find it here... It looks so crisp and clean. Love looking at all my favs at the very same time... LOVE taking pictures!

Who can believe that January is already behind us?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

An Impressive Display from Mother Nature

I stand corrected. It did snow. And it snowed a fairly impressive amount. I don't know what the official amount was, but I did our own unofficial backyard measure, and check it out:

Nearly 8 inches of snow. Not bad for a day and a half. Shortly after this picture was taken, the kids dressed up in their snow gear and headed into the back yard. It is no longer pristine and untouched, but it is still fresh and clean looking!

Unfortunately, with the snow, has come the cold temperatures again. Last week we were basking in a record high of 13°, and today it was -18° not including the wind chill. It's the wind chill that gets you every time. That doesn't stop two kids, who are excited to get out into the white stuff! They didn't last long, but they had fun while they were out there.

The kids have the day off school tomorrow. I'm going to pack up some Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, and distribute them to a couple of neighbors. They're too darn good tasting! After a weekend of being somewhat snowed in, I've gotta get 'em outta here! We worked on thank you cards this weekend, the kids and I. [That's right, from Christmas... Yes, we're a little bit on the tardy side. But better late than never right?] Tomorrow we're going to deliver some thank yous and cookies. Imagine how excited the recipients will be!

We're also planning on our first 'video conference' with Ama & Baba, who are as I type, tucked away in a delightfully seasonal part of Arizona... And by seasonal I mean capri pants and flip flops. A light coat for the wind if they need it... Sunscreen.... Margaritas, oh my... We're somewhat jealous when we imagine what your landscape looks like, cactus and all, then look out the window at ours... Eeks... And we continually ask ourselves the question, why do we live here, and where on earth would we go? It's not like we have many choices... Snow and cold, or more snow and even colder... At least we get the chinooks...

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Starting to Snow

Which makes me laugh a little bit, because I've been waiting for it to start since I picked the girl up from Kindergarten at 11:25. I was greeted by a group of Mum's with this: "Hey, did you hear Calgary has a snowstorm advisory in effect?" As a matter of fact, I hadn't heard. It's always been my experience that the storms they're predicting usually amount to nothing, while the ones they had no idea were coming, usually get us good.

The idea of a snowstorm has me kind of excited on a number of levels. I was picking Mad up from school with a car full of groceries... So we're totally okay food wise. [You know, just in case we're snowed in and all... As if THAT ever happens in this city]. I had picked up heart shaped Reece's Peanut butter cups, after reading this blog yesterday... [Are they still called cups, if they're heart shaped?] And I'll be honest, the peanut butter cups and our lack of milk were the main reason for my trip to the grocery store. Seriously... Did you LOOK at those cookies? They were ALL I could think about this morning, as I was getting the kids out the door for school.

So, the fact that I have Reece's Peanut Butter Hearts at the ready, and that we haven't had a good dump of snow since the beginning of December, have me kind of excited... The alleged amount of snow we're to receive... 25 cms. Yowser, that's 9.8 inches of snow [did that conversion especially for you Mum!]. We've hardly got any snow left, and what is left, is filthy. It's time to freshen the landscape up, and believe me, 25 cms of snow will do that just fine!

And as for the cookies.... Check them out...

I've got 38, oops I mean, 37 of these little gems sitting on the counter just waiting to be consumed... It would be even better eating them while the snow outside is swirling around... They are indeed as good as they look. I did use a different recipe however... The recipe on the blog called for shortening... Ugh... The idea of shortening actually makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. [which might be a bonus, if I begin to eat too many of these] So I googled and searched and decided upon the following recipe:

Peanut Blossom Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix butter, sugars, and peanut butter together until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt, continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scrape bowl often, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1" rolls [you might have to refrigerate the dough, I didn't have to] Roll balls in the 1/4 cup of sugar, and place 2" apart on cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until they become golden in color. Remove from oven, and immediately place chocolate into the center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet. [I had to pop the cookies into the fridge right away, after about half and hour, they were ready to eat...]

Okay alleged snowfall advisory, show us what you've got!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Conversation with Madelyn

Madelyn: "Mummy, Mason said there are such things as Peaking Toms... He said they peak into your windows, to see all your special treasures..."
Me: "Well, people do glance into your windows, especially when you leave your lights on, but no one can see your special treasures, you're on the 2nd floor"
Madelyn: "That's good, I guess I don't have to hide my soccer medal any more"

Monday, January 24, 2011

So Windy...

We're onto day 5 of a chinook here. What does that mean? It means we have had a huge temperature shift, the temperature is on the plus side of zero, but it's WINDY like crazy. And I mean REALLY crazy. Things blowing out of yards crazy. Things getting knocked over, wind chimes getting blown off trees windy...

The wind is good, in a sense, nearly all our snow is melted. It's shocking what has disappeared since Friday. I should have done a before and after picture... Next time I'll have to give it some thought. But with the melted snow, also comes the absolute filth... Filth that you have to see to believe.

The roads are a nightmare, you don't want to leave your house right now, without first checking you're topped up with windshield washer fluid. If you run out, you've got yourself one major problem. You don't really want to wash your car right now, that's not true, you DO want to wash your car, because it's so dirty, but you know that the money is a complete waste, because the moment you leave the car wash, the car will morph back into filth a mere nano second later.

Everything is disgustingly dirty right now [have I mentioned that already?] All the gravel that gets put down for winter driving, is lying all over the roads, just waiting to put a chip in your windshield. Everything is a gross brown/grey color. And the wind... It just never stops. It blows debris into your eyes, it knocks things over, it messes up your hair. It makes opening a car door, quite exciting when you're traveling with kids; they don't understand the delicate nature of not letting the wind catch your door. It causes tears to stream down your cheeks. It even causes headaches. The older I get, the more susceptible I am to chinook headaches, it's awful. Thankfully, the don't often turn into migraines, but every once in awhile... Watch out. The wind does however, melt the snow... I guess that's one positive...

Wait, there is another positive! Just TRY to take a picture of my license plate when I run through a yellow light... [Not that I run through many yellow lights, but at this time of year, I have to admit, it's slightly more tempting to NOT stop!]

Now, having said that I can also tell you first hand, that the police WILL indeed pull you over and threaten to give you a ticket, when they can't read your license plate... This I know from experience... We take our chances here in chinook country... Perhaps tomorrow I'll go through the car wash.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Computer Whiz...

Seriously... How excited do you think I am? I'll give you a hint... SUPER excited... Check out the blog button to the right hand side of post... {ODG} Photo-a-Day See it? Huh? Do ya? Well, what are you waiting for? CLICK ON IT!!

Well, will you look at that! She's gone done created herself another little ole blog... The ODG of course, stands for OopsaDaisyGirl!

Remember when I said I wasn't planning on doing another 365 Day Project? Well, I really am not planning on doing it in the physical sense, creating layouts, making a book etc. But I did want to try to capture the year in photos on a much simpler level. I'll tell you right now, it's not going to be a daily update. It might not even be weekly [though so far it has been] What I intend to do is capture the year in pictures. Simple pictures. Every day pictures. Things that will be a distant memory 5 years down the road. But something I'll have documented.

Of course a BIG thank you goes to Libby. [Thank you Libby - for coming to my rescue and helping me sort this button thing out; we did it!] She has got the most awesome blog tutorials, if you're feeling fancy and have 8 spare hours, lol. Check her different tutorials out here.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Is a word I would use to describe myself quite accurately. I pick up my keys, do something, head to the front door, and forget where my keys are... Or I get handed a note, and then moments later, have no recollection of what I've done with it. The other day, I dropped Mad off in her class room, turned and left, only to get to the car and I realize I still had her back pack on my arm...

Scattered... So it's really no surprise I completely forgot about sharing my December Daily album. After all, Christmas is in the distant past...

There are a few things I have to say about embarking on the December Daily journey:

  1. Don't kid yourself, it's a LOT of work. It helps immensely to get things ready before hand.
  2. You need to keep up, believe me, it's not something you're going to want to come back to, especially when December keeps us so darn busy.
  3. I ONLY do up to December 25th. I suppose it would be neat to go right up until the 31st, after all, it IS called December Daily book... But by the 25th, I don't even want to talk about it any more.
  4. You will realize how many pictures you take of your husband and your kids, and you will think, Gee whiz, I need to get into more pictures.
  5. You will never regret doing this book. It's the 2nd year in a row that I've done it, it's a lot of work during the duration, but the memories are wonderful to have.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

At long last...

290 loads of laundry... Not quite as impressive as 6,500 pictures for the year, but still, a fairly notable number. If I had done a load a day [which I didn't] that would have been quite something, to miss only 75 out of 365 days...

My laundry documenting for 2010, has done nothing but make me question why ON EARTH have I never done anything with my laundry room? [On account of how much time I spend in there and all...] And I seem to be on a bit of a decorating kick lately... That's right, decorating. Don't laugh too hard. I don't have a clue how to decorate myself, and I certainly don't have knack for it, or a flair. But I do have eyes, and I see things I like. Simple as that. And then I try to re-create them at home. Simple as that. What I've learned, is I don't need to have a knack or a flair, I just need to be able to re-create...

One of my most favourite new terms is this one: DIY [Do It Yourself] And that's exactly what I'm doing... Trying things, doing stuff myself, stepping out of my comfort zone.

Now, having said that, with my new eyes, seeing things differently, liking different ideas and styles, paying more attention to object placement, can you imagine how my poor eyes began to burn, when I walked into our laundry room and saw this:

And so, a monster has been released. The state of my laundry room, will just not do another moment longer. I have had a vision and I'm in the process of trying to re-create it. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Boys are Gone...

They've gone off to Cub camp for the weekend. No one here but us girls... So far so good. Last night we watched a show together [it doesn't get much better than Harold and the Purple Crayon... or does it?] Then I snuggled the girl into bed, and scrapped booked until the wee hours... It was dreamy... Love, love, love it!

I'm sure I mentioned this before, but I think if I could go back to 1998 [eeks, the year I graduated from high school, NOT the year I was born] knowing what I know now, I would TOTALLY have gone to school to become a graphic designer... I just love it, and people always say, 'do what you love'. I'm thinking it's a little late for me now, to go back to school that is... To be honest, I just don't know if I have it in me to go back to school. I was not what you might call an over-achiever in school. And I'm okay with that. I don't know how I'd be able to juggle being a Mum, being a room parent for grade 3, being a volunteer for Kindergarten, being a taxi, chef, maid [to name a few] and being a student. So, for now I'll just continue doing what I love, knowing that I don't get paid for it, but MAN, I love it just the same!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11 on January 11th, 2011

I don’t care for the cold. There’s nothing about it I like. Not even one tiny bit. I particularly hate hot tears streaming down my cheeks, as I go meet the school bus, because that darn Arctic wind is blowing like mad.

I went to Michael’s yesterday, and the Christmas stuff is marked down LIKE CRAZY. Seriously, with prices so good, it would be a crime to walk past them. But I did walk past them, and feel like I need a pat on the back…

I am in my "beginning of the year purge mode"… Yesterday I threw out 8 VCR tapes, and I have NO idea what was on them. [Possibly the Melrose Place season finale of 1999] But seriously, does it matter? I’ve never even watched our wedding tape that is now 12 1/2 years old [eeks] Of course, I didn’t throw that one away… Again, I feel the need for a pat on the back.

I know it’s been a while since I mentioned this… But guess what’s in the 'ole crock pot for dinner tonight? If you guessed Asian Peanut Butter Pork, you’re right! After a nearly 3 week long break, Tuesdays are now our busiest night again, so it’s great to have a yummy warm meal waiting for us at dinner time. [And the smell… Seriously, it’s awesome]

Last May, I gave up sugar, dairy and wheat. [only for 12 days] But I managed to stay away from sugar… I did phenomenal, up until about 3 weeks ago. I’m sad to say that I kind of fell off the sugar wagon… Needless to say, my taste for sugar is back and unwelcome. I need to wean myself off it again. But first, I must get rid of everything that tastes so darn good, so there isn’t that temptation in the cupboard. It can be done.

I want these… I want to see the look on Mason’s face, when I serve him pancakes that look like this…

Because this child is Star Wars crazy. Still. Can’t get seem to get enough. Of anything Star Wars related, books, games, Lego [most important] I happen to know some folks heading down to Arizona… Mum, you just might have to look for these little gems. They sell them here, but they’re $10 MORE… That’s crazy!

I want to read more… I have FINALLY picked up this book and begun to read it. I was able to read, uninterrupted yesterday afternoon for an hour [while Madelyn was at gymnastics]. It was just long enough to get involved in the story. Maybe I’ll be able to at least read a book a month for 2011, then really go to town during the summer.

I was going through some pictures recently [I know, how odd] and I felt the need to scrapbook a New Years picture. I then came to the shocking discovery that Barry and I just spent our 17th New Year’s Eve together… Holy Cow… [and we still like one another]

Barry and I decided for Christmas this year, to treat ourselves to a PVR... One of those devices, that you can record shows, then watch them again. Very similar to a VCR, only much more current. [And since I just threw out all my old VCR tapes, I can tell it's going to come in very handy] I have loved watching Ellen while I'm making dinner. [I totally vote for her to take over Oprah's time slot] The sooner the better.

Now that Christmas is over [my house is clean, boxes are finally put away, and everything looks back to normal again] we're gearing up for Valentines Day. Eeks, already. So many neat ideas out there in cyber space... Aren't these super cute? This could totally be used as a Valentine's theme no?

During my blog surfing [which is border-lining on becoming a problem] I came across this recipe... Sweet Mother of Pearl... Doesn't it make you want to simply reach into your monitor? I don't even love potatoes, and that makes me want to reach into the monitor. In fact, I think I drooled a little, when I saw the picture... Mmmmmmm. I'm gonna try this recipe for my sweetheart one of these days.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Goals for 2011

I try not to make resolutions. There is something about the word itself... If you resolve to do something [dictionary says this about the word resolve: [verb] to come to a firm decision about something, or cause somebody to do this] It seems so final. Like you either change or you don't. You succeed or you fail. And let's be honest, how many of us succeed with our resolutions? So to me, spouting off a list of 'resolutions' is setting one's self up for sure fire failure.

Having said that, I love the idea of a new year. I love the 'clean-slate' of the calendar. I love the potential that a new beginning brings. So, I do have goals for 2011. Goals is a word that makes so much more sense to me. If you have a goal, then you're looking ahead to achieve something... It doesn't say, if you don't achieve this you fail. To me, if I don't achieve it, then I can re-set my goals.

My 11 goals for 2011 are:

  • to be more organized
  • to be in more pictures
  • to actually do what I say I'm going to do
  • to be a more patient mother... [this one will be a real challenge, I won't lie]
  • to drink more water
  • to drink less coffee
  • to be more thankful for the things I have
  • to simplify [keeping in mind, that I live with Barry, who doesn't understand that word]
  • to spend more time outdoors this year, as a family
  • to know when to say no, and actually say it [I hate over-extending myself]
  • to sort out our basement, laundry room, main floor bathroom and storage room [eeks]
Here is my mantra for 2011. I'm going to put it somewhere I can look at it every day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Wait, before you get too excited, this number is NOT how many loads of laundry I did through 2010. [Seriously, that number is still coming] What I did do for 2010 however, was take 6,502 pictures.

Isn't that absolutely INSANE? Before Madelyn joined our family in 2005, I had a couple of cameras, they were the old fashioned ones. You might know of what I speak when I say cameras that required film... And film wasn't exactly cheap... Especially if you got the good stuff, or tinkered with black and white. Not to mention that processing the film was costly. [And if you did tinker with a roll of black and white film, it had to be sent away to be processed] I would say, on average, it cost about $20 (including the film and processing) to get your hands on 24 pics. [I didn't do 36 back then, because a roll of 36 was just that much more expensive] And I would say that on average, I probably shot 1 - 2 rolls of film a month. Which was between 24-48 pictures, in a month...

And for arguments sake, let's just go ahead and say that I shot 2 rolls of film a month, for twelve months. In one year that would have been 576 pictures. Or approximately one 500 page photo album a year.

And then, along came digital cameras... Why take 1 picture, when you can take 37, and select the best ones. Now you don't have to pay for processing a roll of film. You only have to pay to process the pictures you want!! [A major break through indeed!] The problem is... out of 37 pictures, how do you select ONE picture? I'm sure there are at least 8 you like. But do you print 8 pictures that are almost identical? Well, I don't. No, I just don't print the pictures off at all... I scrapbook my favourites, or the ones I want to tell a story about, and the rest sit on my computer. I shudder to think how many pictures sit on my computer, from 2005 on. From my first beloved digital camera. I'm sure the amount is staggering...

To get to the point [5 paragraphs later] I wanted to post some of my choice pictures from 2010. I have scrapbooked a few of the following pictures, but to be honest, most of them will probably never be printed off. [Isn't that sad?] Here are some favourites:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back on Track Again

Dear Food,

It has indeed been a pleasure to have you here these last few weeks. There has been morning, afternoon and evening snacking. [Oddly enough, time of day has not stopped the urge to snack]

There have been home made nuts, pecans actually... [thanks Mum, I still don't think Barry knows they even exist... Is that okay do you think? Or a tad selfish on my part?]

There have been cookies, cakes and squares, oh my.

I've I mean we've nearly finished off the last of the Crock Pot Nuts 'n Bolts... I mean come on, they can't be THAT fattening can they?

There has been dips and brie and other special cheeses... [How come I'm the only one who will eat up warmed brie and cranberries?] Trust me people, it's JUST AS GOOD re-heated...

There has been mucho wine-o, cranberry concoctions, can you say Crantini? There has been Bailey's, (which is fine with coffee OR tea, FYI) Speaking of tea, Blueberry Tea is another favorite.

The amount of forbidden food around the house seems to peak at Christmas. And I was okay with the sweets until I broke a little piece of this log and ate it. Sigh... Bernard Callebaut Chocolate. Nothing else quite compares... One itty-bitty bite of that FINE chocolate, sends you into a complete tail spin... Or is that just me? You just can't stop at one itty-bitty piece... And you would not dream of disposing that fine chocolate anywhere but your belly.

It's tough when the kids are off school... Our routine changes enough, that I don't eat a proper breakfast. A bowl of porridge at 7:30 makes sense, but by 9:oo-9:30, it seems kind of silly. Lunch has consisted of eating rich leftovers... [Not that I'm complaining, who doesn't love rich leftovers?] Salads have pretty much been moved to the back burner altogether... I've basically fallen off the water drinking wagon completely, I can't believe how much good water does do a body.

So, food, thank you. I enjoyed your stay. My cupboards are nearly free of salty chips and sweet-sweets. I've shoved the rest of the baking into the freezer. Off you go. Please
be on your way. We hope to see you again in such abundance next year, until then...

I've made myself porridge the last 2 mornings, and had my handful of almonds around 10:30 am. Things are slowly getting back on track...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

One, One and two little Ones [or 01-01-11]

Happy New Year!
Welcome 2011.
This is how we started the new year off:

This little pond is two blocks away from our house, and every time we go, we have so much fun, and can't believe that we don't go more often. The kids are both getting so good on skates, it gets more fun each time we go. I'm thinking we need to have a skating party... Doesn't that sound fun? Ideas are in the works.

This afternoon we had it almost all to ourselves for the first little while, then it began to get really busy. No problem, we headed home for some hot chocolate!

One more day off, then the kids head back to school. Phew... Is Christmas vacation over already? Seriously, where do the days go? Wishing you all the best for 2011!