Tuesday, May 31, 2011

China - The Many Faces of Johnny Depp


Postcard from yxw0614 from China

Italy - Torino


Postcard from limoda from Italy

Canada - Degas


Postcard from Xabria from Chilliwack.

Description: "The Green Dancers" Edgar Degas - 1877-1879

Switzerland - Château de Chillon


Postcard from Sylvette from Switzerland.

Description: Château de Chillon near Montreux, Lake of Geneva and Dents-du-Midi

Ukraine - Coffee and Croissant


Postcard from cydulkina from Ukraine

Spain - Iberia Lineas Aereas de España


Postcard from Spain from sixel from Spain

Description: DC-9 Douglas Jet Series 30 with capacity for 100 passengers. Speed 900 km/h. Flown by Iberia on its European and domestic routes. Fly Iberia, where only the plane gets more attention than you.

Australia - Sydney Harbour Bridge


Postcard from Bill-Wood from Australia

Description: The giant span of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Monday, May 30, 2011

We're hungry over here

It's safe to say that last week's meals just didn't follow the plan. Partly because the bug pasta lasted FOREVER. Which is great when you're 2.5 and have decided that there are only a few things you'll eat. Not so great when you are an adult. Also, last week was busy. For no particular reason. Except maybe because it was a short week? I'm not sure. Other than bug pasta, we ended up with perogies, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't on Wednesday.

So here's hoping that this week I do a better job of sticking to the plan. I usually do my shopping on Monday at lunch but since I'm going in late today, I decided that probably wasn't a good idea, so I'll be going tomorrow. Hence tonight's breakfast for dinner.

Monday: Some kind of pancake with fruit

Tuesday: Red Snapper in cumin-cornmeal with rice and LOTS of vegetables

Wednesday: Lemony Dill Shrimp over Pasta

Thursday: Homemade Chicken Strips with sweet potato fries

Friday: Salmon Cakes

Saturday: Neighbourhood BBQ

Sunday: Chili

I'm linking up to I'm an Organizing Junkie - there's lots of great ideas over there. I'm going hunting for warm weather food...I think we're pretty close to the time of the year when I hate turning the stove or the oven on...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Germany - Flowers


Postcard from Lejune in Germany

Description: Glück ist das Licht, das unsere schönsten inneren Seiten zum Strahlen bringt
Google translates this to "Happiness is the light that brings our most beautiful sites on the inner radiation."

If your German is better than Google's, I'd love to know what it really says....

This is one of my favourite cards right now (and it matches the blog fairly well too!)

Russia - No Title

Postcard from Kovalena from Russia

Poland - Handmade


Postcard from asikwit from Poland

Description: Handmade! J loves it!

USA - Montana - Yellowstone National Park


Postcard from Mrsriley in Montana (actually, it's from Mrs. Riley's grade five class)

Description: Lower Falls. Standing 208 feet high, Lower Falls is Yellowstone National Park's highest waterfall. During the height of the runoff period, usually in June, some 63,500 gallons of water per second are estimated to pass over the Lower Falls. The green color of the water that extends partway down the falls is caused by a notch in the riverbed at the top of the falls. It allows the river to retain some of its natural color instead of immediately breaking into spray.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Me Time

There’s not a lot of me time in my life right now…I touched on it the other day, but basically my me time is short. If I’m lucky I get an hour or two after J goes to bed before I go to bed and the first thing I do with that time is the dishes or laundry or lunches or some other necessity. I’ve been trying to get out the door at lunch and get a walk in or sit somewhere other than my office and read or something, but that’s not always possible…but I do indulge and once a week we get a sitter for a couple of hours.

I was (when no one was sick) using my two hours to go to a run clinic, but it’s over now…when our sitter sent me a message to see if I wanted her tonight even though it was a holiday, I almost said no. But I’m glad I changed my mind…Although I had thought I’d spend the time on a project I’m working on, but then I thought about it and I’d end up not even making enough to pay the sitter if I did that…so I figured I’d take the time and hang out on my own, enjoy a coffee and just be by myself.

That was the best idea ever! Now I’m ready to head home, put J to bed, finish the dishes and then do some work. All good! I definitely needed a reminder to take some time for myself.

Post-less Weekends...

Apparently the weekend comes along and my computer goes into hibernation. I'm not really complaining...it usually means we're too busy doing fun stuff for me to sit down at the computer...more on that in a later post.

Life at our house has been a battle of wills lately...who will crack first, me or J...and it's around pretty much everything - bed time, getting up time, meals, clothes, everything! J gets some choice in some of those things - she is completely capable of picking out her own clothing, but bedtime is firm and not open to negotiation. We've started using a sticker chart and while it's currently undergoing more modifications, it's working. Except for food.

J eats breakfast...most morning. Some days she only wants part of it and takes the other part to have as a snack or with her lunch at daycare. But lunch has been coming home uneaten and dinner has been a no go. It doesn't matter what I put in her lunch or make for dinner. She's been having a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches for dinner, but daycare is a nut-free zone. We've tried having her select her lunch choices (from an either/or list -  do you want an apple or some strawberries). She's helped us plan dinner. But it's not working. So I called my mom. And she told me that for a while when we were kids, we were on a three day rotation of meals - macaroni and cheese, spaghetti or "special spaghetti" (lasagne...my sister would eat "special spaghetti" but not lasagne...it's all about the name) and one other thing that changed - sometimes it was fish sticks, sometimes it was chicken, sometimes it was chili.

I don't want to start cooking two meals every night, but I also don't want to eat the same three things over and over again, so I've thought about how I can make a base meal and make it both kid and grown up friendly without too much fuss.

In honour of my childhood eating (and in hopes that my own child will start eating a little bit more, so that she goes to bed a little easier because she's not hungry) here is our menu:

Monday: Bug pasta with cheese, peas and chicken and sweet potato oven fries (with green salad for the grown ups)

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Perogies with cauliflower and broccoli (and marinara sauce and salad for the grown ups)

Thursday: Homemade chicken strips with cauliflower, broccoli and sweet potato fries (and coleslaw for the grown ups)

Friday: Salmon cakes with sweet potato fries, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus (and coleslaw for the grown ups) or maybe dinner out for the three of us in honour of Alex's birthday

Saturday: Peanut butter and jam for J with leftovers for her sitter, dinner out for me and Alex

Sunday: Personal pizzas with Bop's pizza dough

If you'd like to see menus with more variety and that might be not as toddler friendly, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for her weekly link up.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Week 19: No Mom Jeans or Expired Medications

Wow, those are some crazy mom jeans and some old drugs!

If you ever see me wear mom jeans, please tell me to get rid of them!


Week nineteen questions:

1. Tell me one thing from your purge pile this week that you just can’t believe you were hanging on to. You do have a purge pile don’t you? :)
My painting clothes from last summer. I could have sworn I tossed them when I was done painting. The pants had multiple holes in inappropriate places...

2. Do you have medication in your cabinet older than 1999? Anyone? Anyone?
I do keep coming across expired medication, but there's nothing as old as 1999. I moved back to Vancouver in 2002 after three years of wandering, so that would be the absolute oldest...I think 2007 is the oldest I've found recently. We moved in January and again in August of 2008, so anything old most likely went...

3. What is on your organizing list for this week?
See my post from earlier today...clothing...for sure! But it's a long weekend, so who knows what else I'll get in there. If it rains, maybe a few things. If it's nice, probably nothing.

Week 18: Functional vs Fabulous

Okay, so I'm trying to catch up in the Organizing Junkie Challenge before tomorrow...which is really week 20...I might be able to do it, but I'm not sure. I guess it depends on how today goes...


I don't usually look at magazines for inspiration for tidying up clutter and organizing my life...more often than not the images are too sanitized. I find personal blogs a better place to look for that kind of thing - the solutions they're showing are real. Sometime you even see a bit of a mess or clutter or something that isn't quite working in a blog. You don't see that in a magazine. I know my house is never going to be "perfect" but I don't want it that way. I'd much prefer my house looked lived in than like a magazine spread. I want people to feel comfortable and at home in my house, not like they're in a museum or visiting the Queen...and I know I'm never going to get rid of ALL of my clutter...or my kid's toys.

Week eighteen questions:

1. Do you sometimes use limited funds as an excuse not to get organized?
I'm trying not to. I have one piece of organizing furniture that I want to get and I know it will help our organizing issues a lot, but the car decided it needed to get some new parts. And the washer and dryer are loads away from retiring. So, I have to work with what I've got. Which is why I haven't done anything about it. You can see two of the pieces I'm replacing here and the third one is where the black wire think is in this picture. I've created a plan for what I want to put there and what will go in it once it's there...and I'm trying to work around it. I'm trying to get rid of things on these current pieces of furniture that won't be on the new piece and if they're things I want to keep, I'm trying to find homes for them...then when the day comes (I'm hoping by the end of the summer, earlier if possible) I'll be ready to do a quick switcheroo.

2. What’s on your list to organize this week?
I'm still working on the clothing problem in the bedroom. I'd like to get our bedroom sorted out...there's just so much STUFF in there...big black garbage bags and recycling bins, here I come!

3. What one task do you notice yourself continually putting off? Why do you think that is?
The clothing...because I hate folding and putting away clothes. HATE IT. But it always looks so wonderful when I'm done. You'd think the reward was worth it...apparently not!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Week 17: Seasonal clothes switch out

Remember the 52 weeks of organizing challenge? Remember that I started late and then caught up and then was really good at posting weekly? Yeah, I remember that too. And then life happened. We had some holidays. We went away. J got sick.

But I don't feel too bad because some of my good habits stuck. We had company on Sunday for brunch and it took me 20 minutes to get the house ready for them. That includes vacuuming, tidying J's room and cleaning the bathroom. So I'm obviously learning and keeping so good habits.


Week 17, back at the end of April was all about the changing season and switching around wardrobes...I have a bit of a hate-on for clothing at the moment, so I wasn't looking forward to this post [I wrote about needing new clothes over at Get Fit Chicks and when I went to get new clothes, I ended up in the predictable situation of being between sizes...anyway...] I've had some time to reflect and it's all good. I can do this.

Last night I was working in our bedroom *AT OUR DESK* gasp. Unbelievable. Normally the desk is hidden. But it wasn't last night. I needed to be able to take a conference call and use the computer. Usually I sit at the dining room table and J sits at her table and cuts up magazines and glues them back together while I do this work, but last night my sister had offered to take her to the park. I didn't want to be in the dining room when they got home.

Anyway, I just cleared the stuff off my desk and put it on the bed. After the call, I sat at the desk and looked at the room and realized that there are currently two clutter problems with our room. One is paper. The other is clothes. And I've been focusing on the wrong one. If I just dealt with the clothes, the paper would be much easier to sort out...clothes are easy. They're dirty or they're clean. If they're dirty, they go in the laundry. If they're clean they get put away in the (pretty much empty) closet or the drawers or they get put in the donation bag. So tonight, that's what I'm going to tackle. The clothes.

Week seventeen questions:
1. Do you rotate your seasonal clothing? If so, have you done it yet?
Not really. Our closet is big enough for winter stuff to hang at the back in the summer and vice versa. J's clothes are going to be rotated out, but that's partly because she's outgrowing hers like crazy right now.

2. Are you celebrating your accomplishments as you go? It’s so important no matter how big or small the task is you complete!
YES! Because even the small things make a difference.

3. What’s on your list for this next week?

The clothes in our bedroom. And if I get through that, the paper in our bedroom. It was so nice to work at my desk last night and look out at the city as it got dark...much nicer than the dining room table!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What DO you call it?

Okay, you've been warned. I wrote this when I was tired and cranky. I think I made sense at the beginning, but it goes downhill...and then I get rambly...sorry...I'm not even sure I ever got to the point.

Somewhere along the information highway today I clicked on something that led me to something that led me to an article called "Married Single Mom." Charlotte Latvala over at Parenting.com wrote the article about her life as a mom to three kids and wife to husband with his own business that keeps him away from home for hours and hours every day.

I read the article and chuckled a bit and nodded in agreement and thought, wow, I sort of see my life. Sort of. But the title kind of bugged me.

I quickly forgot the title when I saw the mudslinging in the comments: single moms who were offended by a married woman using the words "single mom;" others, married or not, who seem to be offended by single moms. All kinds of assumptions. Like married women have it easy. That stay-at-home moms have the "princess shift." That married women have no financial concerns because they have working husbands. That married women can have "me time" whenever they want because their husbands will take their kids. That single moms get a break a few times a week or month (depending on arrangements) when the kids go to dads. That single moms do the jobs of dads, even if the dad is in the picture.

I don't understand these Mommy (and Daddy) wars. There was an essay in the Globe and Mail a few weeks ago by a single dad and the comment section was full of people accusing him of not being a *SINGLE* dad because he shared custody with his son's mother.

Why the hate??? WHY????

Everyone has a different situation, shouldn't we be supportive of each other, regardless of the situation? I know a couple of single moms. Some of them struggle to make ends meet, their children's fathers don't pay child support on time, or at all, the fathers don't show up when they're supposed to etc etc etc. I also know a couple who are financially well off, who have marvellous relationships with the children's fathers. But I also know married couples who worry about how they're going to get dinner on the table tomorrow and others who worry about how they're going to choose between a holiday in the Caribbean or in the Mediterranean. Marital status doesn't necessary dictate what a family's financial status will be.

I fall into the same category as Ms. Latvala. But I don't consider myself a Married Single Mom. I'm J's mom and Alex's wife and while I would love it if he was here more, that's not our reality at the moment. But I'm not a Married Single Mom.

I get up every morning just an hour or so after Alex goes to bed. J and I get ready for our day together and commute to the university together. I drop her off at daycare and get myself across campus to my office as quickly as I possibly can so that I can put my hours in and get back across campus as early as possible to pick J up. But it's still usually between 5:15 and 5:30 before we get home. Alex has to leave by 6:30 to go to work. We're still working out our afternoon routine - our schedule has been this way for eight months, but apparently it takes a year or so to really get a routine happening. Most nights I make dinner and ideally J and Alex get some time together. Some nights that doesn't happen for a multitude of reasons, but we try. Often there are tears when Alex leaves. Or some time later in the evening. Or at bedtime. On good nights we're able to eat dinner together before Alex goes. On not so great nights, we don't. I spend the evening with J. We go for a walk or to the park. I do the dishes. I do the laundry. I do bath time. I do story time. I do bedtime. I sweep the floor. I fall into bed exhausted at 10:00 (or 11:30 like tonight) and we do it all over again the next day. Weekends aren't even all ours...Alex doesn't get home until the early hours of Saturday morning, so that's another stolen morning.

There are many reasons this is our life right now. Some of them we can change. Some of them we can't. But we're working on it...but that's how it is at our house right now and I see no reason to defend it or make excuses for it.

So please don't hate me because even though most days I'm the one parenting, solo, and doing a lot of housework, I have husband. Don't hate me because some days it's a struggle, but I have a husband. Don't hate me because some days we worry about bills and finances and future tuition costs and maybe even retirement. Yes, I have a husband. But that doesn't mean I don't have those worries and concerns.

Instead, why not share the things that made you stronger. Maybe they'll help me. Maybe I can share what worked for us. And maybe one of those things might make your life a little easier. Maybe we can swap babysitting. Maybe you know a secret place to get 2 for 1 coupons for a bunch of the products I buy.

Parents, single, married, co-parenting, whatever, all have pretty much the same goal - to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids in the best possible environment. So instead of attacking each other because our family situations aren't the same, why don't we embrace each other and support each other and be kind? Hillary Clinton wrote It Takes a Village and years earlier (just before I was born) my grandmother told my dad that a child is raised by his or her parents with considerable support from their community (community defined by each family...each family's community is going to be different)...and they're right.

I don't know what we'd do without our family and friends to turn to for advice and support, our doctor for not only medical expertise, but helpful suggestions and assistance, community health nurses who not only figured out J wasn't gaining weight when she was tiny, but were also available to listen to my frustrations and fears in a safe and non-judgmental way, and of course our family and friends. Yes. They're there twice because that's the first and last place we (meaning me and Alex) tend to turn when we're stuck. Some of my community lives in the computer. Some of them are single moms. Some are moms with husbands who work somewhere else or work shift work or are unavailable to be full-time parents for some reason. Some are moms who have husbands who are able to share the household responsibilities 50/50. Some are stay-at-home moms or work-at-home moms. Some have nannies. Some haven't had a day away from their kids in months. Some are working moms with stay-at-home husbands. Some are single parents - for a whole bunch of reasons. Some are same-sex couples. We all have our challenges, but I'm ever so grateful that these moms aren't engaged in mommy-warfare...

Maybe you, my community can help me: I'm not sure what I'm called, but I'm still not a single married mom. I think I just want to be called Mom.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Here comes winter...

Last week feels like it was a blur and I'm not entirely sure why...maybe because there was nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary happening or maybe because it was a four day work week again? Who knows...

We did a fairly good job of following our menu plan last week...We didn't end up with fish or chili, but the spaghetti lasted an extra night and the roast beef was perfect...

It's kind of gross here. Like October in May. I'm not really enjoying the nasty weather...and my menu kind of reflects that...lots of warm, yummy food (and soup!)

Monday: Beef dip

Tuesday: Fish (maybe cumin and cornmeal)

Wednesday: Meatball soup

Thursday: Pasta

Friday: Emerald-Green Velvet Soup

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Something quick and easy in the slowcooker

If you are looking for more menu ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Technology blips...

So yesterday Blogger had a meltdown and took a sick day.

Then WordPress decided it would be fun to randomly add characters to the URL of my post so that browsers don't recognize it so I can't do anything with it. (It's the first post [for now] over at Get Fit Chicks) [I've tried to rename the URL, but it won't let me touch the random string of characters...if anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it!]

Facebook decided to give away the "key" to my account...makes me feel ever so secure about my personal information that they're "not" going to share....

And today? Twitter is being a tease.

Not that this should really make me all that upset. Because Blogger was down, I went to bed at a decent hour instead of writing a post. Which probably wouldn't have been all that interesting since I've totally forgotten *what* I was going to write about.

And my post is there at Get Fit Chicks. I just have to figure out how to make it not be a pain in the butt.

And Twitter, well, it's really just a time wasting device for me. But it's my lunch break and I want to see what random and wonderful stuff people are writing tweeting about.

But all of this (and my grouchiness around it) reminds me that maybe I did prefer the time when you had to put pen to paper to communicate. Or actually dial the phone. When was the last time I talked to someone other than my parents or my husband on the phone? NO IDEA. I probably emailed, texted, Facebooked or commented on their blog instead.

So instead of getting staying mad at technology I think I'm going to go for a walk.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yoga Interruptus

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I’ve only mentioned it a gazillion times, but for the last year I’ve been going to yoga at lunch time twice a week (ideally). Through the Health office at work, we can take advantage of a bunch of subsidized exercise and healthy living programs and yoga is one of them.

I HATED yoga when I started. Downward dog was the bane of my existence. Now, I love yoga. I can tell when I haven’t been able to go twice a week. My body complains when it misses yoga, not just when I go to yoga after too long away.
But I’m not going to yoga this month. Or next month.

Since the beginning of January I’ve paid for more yoga classes that I haven’t gone to than yoga classes that I have gone to. Unfortunately the program doesn’t have a drop-in option available – based on my calendar I sign up for how ever many classes I want in a two month block. Usually this isn’t a problem. I just enter the yoga classes into my calendar as I go. Both of my bosses have been respectful of that time in my week, even though it means I usually take a 75 minute lunch instead of a 60 minute lunch twice a week. I make that up by either staying a bit later or taking slightly shorter lunches the rest of the week.

But we’ve been busy lately. And J and I were both sick a lot in the first three months of the year. So instead of going to yoga, I’ve often had to work at lunch to get caught up and meet our deadlines.

So, I had to take a break. May and June were supposed to be jam packed busy and so far, I wouldn’t have been able to make yoga at all this month, so I’m not regretting it. Even though it’s subsidized, the fee is still a lot to pay for nothing!

But I’m stuck. I miss my yoga class and I don’t know what to do instead. I’ve been trying to do some yoga at home, but that can be hard. I’ve been trying to walk at lunch time, but with Mother Nature getting confuse about the order of the seasons and winter returning a bit prematurely, I haven’t really wanted to go out in the downpours...

Any suggestions? Lunch time or post-toddler-bedtime is the best time for me to exercise. My husband works nights so I’m home alone with the kidlet and can’t exactly go for a walk or to the gym when she’s in bed....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mommy, I drove a loader!

19.2 Go on 10 "adventures"

I was going to call our entire weekend an adventure, but we definitely had an adventure on Sunday (well, J certainly did, the rest of us just had a very nice Mothers' Day. Yes, Mother is plural. You'll see why)

Sunday morning we all piled in my parents' car and drove off to my aunt and uncle's farm for Mothers' Day Brunch. Mothers' because there were five moms there. And those five moms had six daughters between them (and one mom didn't have any children present). Oh and there were three dads and two uncles. And the three in-laws in the group were all boys. Lots of girls. Not so many boys.

We got to the farm and the sun was out - a nice switch from when we all woke up and it was pouring rain! It was still a bit chilly though...

meg and alexAlex and Meg had a great time getting warm and working up appetites playing catch in the yard. I'm not sure who had more fun!

driving a police carJ spent her warm up time driving this "police" car. They have a couple at daycare and one really is a police car. She would have puttered around in this thing for hours. When we have a place with a yard this is the first outdoor thing I'm investing in!

helping mama open her cardsJ was very helpful - she helped Mama open all of her cards. (Mama is my grandma and J's great grandma)

heading off on an adventure
After brunch it was finally warm enough to sit in the sun. Uncle Mike delighted J with her very own copy of Trader. Oh my goodness, a police car to drive, pancakes for breakfast and now a magazine about trucks. Could this day get any better? Oh yes, yes it could. Uncle Mike then offered to take her to see his big machines and trucks.

the loaderFirst J got to "drive" the loader.

driving the big truckThen she got to "drive" a big truck

let's go guysShe loved pretending she was driving. She didn't quite understand the bed in the back of the cab though (sorry no picture of that).

uncle mike what does this do?"Uncle Mike, what does this do?"

her very own rigJ got to pose with her very own rig...

uncle mike and jCan you believe the day is about to get even better? J and Uncle Mike hopped back into the loader.

that's my girl...and swung it around to where we could all see J driving the loader. Yes, J is driving. Uncle Mike is just holding on to her.

time for the load to have a restAfter a few turns around the field, J and Uncle Mike took the loader back to have a rest.

happy mothers day
Here we are (this is the best of a series of not great shots - it's hard to get all those people to look at the camera at once...). My dad took this picture so he's not in it, but here's the family who was there for Mothers' Day - my grandma, three of her daughters, two of her granddaughters, one of her great-granddaughters, two of her sons-in-law, and one of her grandsons-in-law. My grandma, the matriarch of our family, has six kids, fifteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She has five daughters, twelve granddaughters and three great-granddaughters...as this picture clearly illustrates, girls tend to out-number boys in our family!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Better late than never

We were out of town until last night and tonight my best friend migraine decided to stop by for a visit and had me in agony on the couch for a few hours, so I'm behind. On everything. I should really be making lunch and doing dishes. Instead I'm updating my blog and then going to sleep. Early.

So my uninspired, migraine-influenced menu is below. For more ideas (probably more inspiring too) head over to I'm an organizing Junkie.

Monday: Perogies, chicken and white bean soup (we had just come home from our trip...)

Tuesday: Pear puff (but really J had pb&j and some more perogies, I had some Coke and painkillers...migraines suck)

Wednesday: Spaghetti and homemade Italian sauce

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Fish that is not salmon (by request of Alex)

Saturday: Vegetarian chili (probably in the slowcooker)

Sunday: Roast beef, definitely in the slow cooker

When NOT to go to the grocery store

Many evenings when I pick J up from daycare, we head to the grocery store before we go home. I usually do our big shop for the week on Monday, but we often have to pick up some fresh produce or milk or fish or something at least one other day of the week. The two grocery stores we shop at each have a location that is on our way (or close to it) home.

Today was one of those days. We've been away for four days and we're doing okay in the food department, but we needed some supplies (J was quite upset there were no bananas for her smoothie this morning).

There were still some holes in my menu for the week, but I knew that we needed bananas and blueberries. I had a snack for J in the car. But I also had a migraine. So Coke was on the list, because it's a miracle drug for my migraines. If I catch them early enough I don't need to take the hardcore drugs...anyway.

They say you shouldn't grocery shop on an empty stomach...well...*I* probably shouldn't grocery shop when I have a migraine either...

Three things on the list...should be easy right?

Ummm...no. I spent almost $40.

Because we picked up some strawberries. And I thought maybe my migraine wanted a ham sandwich to eat, so I grabbed some not very healthy white cheesy buns and some ham. I picked up some chocolate. Some baked goods. Some chips. All stuff that wasn't on my list. We came home with TWO bunches of bananas...huh?

So note to self, do not go grocery shopping when you have a migraine. The only extra that would likely have found its way home with us on a normal day would be the strawberries...

Alex was thrilled to have a ham sandwich on a cheesy bun for his lunch tonight...and I'm sure he'll happily take care of the baked goods too!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Pizza Night with Bop

Warning: This post is kind of full of pictures of J….

We’ve been at my parents’ house for a few days and last night we decided to have pizza to go with the hockey game. My dad makes awesome pizza dough and we decided on personal pizzas for everyone. J was so excited and really wanted to help!

pizza dough lessons 1

While J gets her hands floured, Bop shows her how to knead the dough

pizza dough lessons 2

pizza dough lessons 3

Patting the dough down (J is not quite ready to punch it down yet…)

pizza dough lessons 4

J isn’t so sure about the gooey dough on her fingers

pizza dough lessons 5

Bop shows her how to roll the sticky bits off her hands (I think this is my favourite picture of the whole event!)

pizza dough lessons 6

Hard at work…

pizza dough lessons 7

Daddy the supervisor

pizza dough lessons 9

this is hard work

pizza dough lessons 10

What are you doing Bop?

making pizza

Creating her very own pizza

I didn’t manage to get a picture of the finished product, but J’s pizza was quite white – no sauce, just mozzarella, a couple slices of mushroom, some chicken, and a couple of slices of pancetta. I’ve never seen this kid eat pizza so quickly (there was a time when she didn’t even like pizza!)

We had a yummy dinner and we’ll be making our own pizzas at home…too bad about the Canucks though.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Clutter be gone

So it's no secret on this blog that I'm trying to get rid of all the clutter that is taking over our home...there are good days and bad days, productive weeks and unproductive weeks, but slowly but surely we are getting there. There being to a place where drawers close easily, where contents don't come flying out of closets when they are opened, where we only have enough of one item for our needs (ie we don't need three cheese graters, but we do need three cutting boards), where you could show up at our door RIGHT now and I'd be happy to let you in, not mentally ticking off all the things that should be tidied or put away.

We are getting there.

So it was timely that as I was munching on my coleslaw today at lunch, I happened across an article in the Globe and Mail about how much our clutter costs us. It made sense! We do not need to store junk in our place....They linked to a clutter assessment and I wandered over to take it, but I was a little scared of what it would tell me.

Not so bad. Apparently I'm a clutter victim.
Your total score is: 7.

Good news. You're a clutter victim. This may not sound like good news, but it means that you, like so many others, have fallen victim to the clutter buildup that's hard to avoid when you have a busy life, diverse interests, disposable income, family memorabilia and a steady influx of purchases and junk mail. Not to worry. With a reasonable amount of effort, you'll be able to get your clutter issues under control and keep them that way.
So there is hope for me and all the work I've been putting into our place since Christmas is going to pay off. I just wish there was a way to speed up the process (quitting my job would help, but there's that issue of needing to pay the bills and buy groceries)

Shopping time...

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Stacey and I must be on the same wave length…I woke up this morning and decided it was time to start posting over here again and when I got here, there was Stacey’s newest post too!

I have lots to say (as is usually the case when I go away for a while) but I’m going to try to keep it short today…I’m excited and apprehensive because this weekend I’m going to do something I haven’t done in ages – buy some new clothes. And not because I need something specific to wear somewhere specific but because I’ve hit a point where I have nothing to wear. My pants don’t fit and there is nothing in my stash of smaller clothes that fits me. It’s still all too small. HUH?

At first I was confused. When I started trying to lose weight and be healthier, I knew I had arrived to where I was weight-wise by gaining weight, one pound at a time. And I am certain I was clothed during that time.
But then I realized what was going on. The last time (the only time) I weighed the weight I am now, I was pregnant. I had a baby belly and a baby-carrying body. So I was wearing maternity clothes. No wonder none of the clothes packed away in the trunk in the basement fit. I never actually weighed what I weigh today when I wasn’t pregnant.

So, because my pants are all sliding down my hips and sagging in the butt, I’m off to get myself some new clothes this weekend. I’ve never been a big shopper and I’ve never enjoyed shopping, but I’m trying to convince myself this is a positive step, but I’m nervous. I’m not where I hoped to be by May, but I am losing weight, so I just need to keep reminding myself of those positives.

And I need to remember that in two months time the pants I buy this weekend should not fit anymore, so I should only buy one or two pairs. Because why spend more than I need to on something I won’t use for very long. And in two months it’s going to be summer anyway, so I’ll probably want capris and skirts…

If you have any suggestions of where to shop for not too expensive clothes, I’m all ears…

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The world has not stopped spinning

At least not yet…

At 7:01 last night I turned on the tv to see who the rest of Canada had voted for. I figured I’d check, turn the tv off and get on with my evening. And then I’d check again in an hour or so. Nope. The election had other plans. My stomach took up residence in my throat. I felt sick.

I hadn’t expected anything other than a Conservative government. I hadn’t expected the Liberals to gain seats. I had expected the Liberals to lose some seats. I had expected the NDP to gain seats. I had expected the Bloc to lose some seats. I was hoping for a Conservative minority. Hoping.

But no. I turned the tv on and the Conservatives had 140-something seats. They only needed 155 seats and they hadn’t even started counting the votes from British Columbia. And BC has 30-something ridings. Not good. Especially since the Conservatives are strong in BC.

And the NDP? Where did that come from? They ended up with over 100 seats. Well, it came from them annihilating the Bloc. It seemed obvious they were going to steal a few seats from the Bloc, but the Bloc lost over 40 seats.

Yup. Shock. And a bit of fear. This government is going to be different. The Conservatives have won the last two elections, but they were minorities. So they didn’t do anything crazy. But now they could. Because the government isn’t going to fall. Because they won 166 seats or something.

And social media. It changes things. I watched tweets and facebook statuses tell me what was happening and how people were feeling. I watched more than one person question HOW the Conservatives had won. Everyone they knew had voted and had not voted Conservative. What this election reinforced in my mind was that we tend to spend time with (and friend on Facebook) people who have similar values and political leanings to our own…I’m not surprised, but it seems to have shocked a number of people…

But I woke up this morning and life was going on. I guess it’s just one of those things where we’ll just have to see what happens. I voted. I did my part. Now I can complain as much as I want if I don’t like what the Conservatives do….

Philippines - Country Side Scene in Oil


Postcard from anjatadero from the Philippines

Descrption: Country Side Scene in Oil by Fernando Amorsolo

Monday, May 02, 2011

A(n extra long) weekend for the history books

We didn't get up to watch the Royal Wedding. I just couldn't drag myself out of bed at 2:00...I have seen it more than enough times now though...my favourite parts? When Harry whispers "Wait until you see her," when William tells Catherine "You look beautiful," and when Catherine asks William "Are you happy?" when they get in the carriage. What would we have done without the lip readers?!?!

I also loved her dress and the Aston Martin with the "L" on the front of it (L for love perhaps?).

balcony kiss
Oh, and the little girl covering her ears? Priceless!

Yes, the Royal Wedding was spectacular.

And then there was Obama's big announcement last night about Osama bin Laden. A friend posted this Martin Luther King, Jr. quote on Facebook and I think it's so appropriate!
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
I also saw someone on twitter who's son said something about celebrating that you're alive, not that someone else died (sorry, I can't remember who or when or I'd link)...smart kid!

And then there's tonight. Are we going to make history as Canadians and vote in the same government a third time? Or are we going to make history and vote in a new government? A majority? Maybe we'll just make history because we have a high voter turn out...go vote if you haven't - there are still just over two hours left in BC...

Escape Week

Last week I mentioned how excited I was to be under budget on our groceries and this week we were again! YAY! Maybe I've finally figured this grocery shopping thing out!

Somehow good scheduling means that we have 4 four-day (work) weeks in a row. Last Friday and Monday for Easter and the upcoming Friday and Monday because Alex decided I needed to go away for Mother's Day weekend...Which mean this is an easy week for a couple of reasons: it's short, by dinner time on Friday we'll be at my parents' house, and we're going out for dinner tomorrow...

Monday: Green soup and grilled cheese

Tuesday: Dinner at a friend's house (taking coleslaw)

Wednesday: Moroccan Chicken

Thursday: Leftovers - it's clear out the fridge time!

Friday: Away

Saturday: Away

Sunday: Away

If you're looking for more ideas (this menu is kind of blah and empty, but I think it will still be tasty...) check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Let’s have an adventure

19.1 Go on an 10 "adventures" every weekend for a month (Saturday or Sunday or both!)
I changed this. With Alex's crazy schedule I decided we'd do ten adventures in the next year because there is no way we'll do four in a row (now that I've typed that I'm sure we will...whatever, ten is way more fun!)

Two weeks ago we spent some time down at Granville Island and we noticed that Ocean Concrete was having a public open house yesterday.

open house (2)

J is obsessed with cement mixers and big trucks so we decided it was the perfect thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

It took a while to get there…we had to stop at look at the puppy at the tennis court, but it was worth waiting for.

checking out the puppy

J has been talking about TOUCHING a cement mixer all week! She couldn’t believe “the man” was actually going to let her touch his cement mixer. Boy was she in for a surprise…

The cement mixers are all nicely painted up:


My favourite – the corn cob

arts umbrella

The Arts Umbrella


A strawberry


some “pepperoni” aka asparagus (also an ad for the Public Market)

driving a strawberry

J got to “drive” the strawberry…it was so much fun!

driving a loader

Driving a loader…that bubble is soundproof…

taking daddy for a ride

Taking Daddy for a ride

not sure about the digger

Look at how big the digger’s shovel is! And J got a balloon…what a glorious day!


The flowers were out


The seawall was beautiful


We definitely had fun…what a great way to spend Saturday (Canucks game…not so much fun…)