Thursday, June 21, 2012

and so ...

An overwhelming feeling came over me yesterday. It might not have been the first time I'd considered it, but this instinct was for real. I decided to sleep on it.

Now, it's Thursday. And I'm still feeling the same thing.

I think the little hamster on his wheel has come full circle. It's time to take a break from the blog.

Three years and 750 posts later.

The thing is, I'm busy. All the time. Not surprised, I know. When I'm not expending time and energy wrangling the most amazing toddler ever, I'm hard at work growing his new sibling. There's house work to be done, meals to be made, projects to enjoy, family and friend time to savour. It's all part of the chaos that I really, truly love.

I'm not fitting the blogging thing in very well anymore (shocker). I neglect it, feel guilty, throw posts together, and I'm not satisfied. This blog isn't reflecting what I had originally hoped and intended. I'm not sharing as many how-tos or before and afters as I once did, and it's not even a sample of my best writing (not that it was ever meant to be Pulitzer-worthy, but you know what I mean).

I'm not saying I'm gone forever, but definitely for now. Who knows what will happen a month or a year or five years from now, or what iteration my online writing will take in the future. Who knows, I might miss it horribly and come back sooner than I expect, or this may be it for good. Only time will tell.

But I wanted to say thank you, so much, for reading, commenting and making this fun for me. It's been a truly unique experience.


P.S. I'll still be writing about My Hectic Home and I'm sure I'll be seeing you on Pinterest.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

our #1

To the very best dad & husband,

We can't imagine spending our everydays without you to take care of us, keep us safe, love us and hug us.

Thank you for all that you are and all that you do, today and always.

We three love you more than you know xo

(Pictured: a pretty perfect way to spend a lazy father's day afternoon, don't you think?)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the difference a year makes

One year ago today, I ended my maternity leave early and went back to work full-time. The job was, and still is, the job. Through my excitement at the time, there was apprehension. I wondered then if I would look back and regret leaving Jacob with Husband for the summer, when I could've been home with them for two months of family freedom.

One year later, I can honestly say that I don't. My work is a part of who I am, and I would have regretted passing up the opportunity to find a comfortable place in my field again.

Now, I'm in a settled groove at work, taking on new projects and I genuinely look forward to going to the office each morning. And I know how insanely lucky I am.

On this day last year, Jacob was a still-nursing, not-yet-walking, rolly-polly babe. Now, he's an energy-filled, running-and-jumping, hilarious and sweet toddler that I just can't get enough of. We are beyond fortunate to have a wonderful home to leave him at each day, with the sweetest caregiver and her loving family. He's made many new friends and learned so much. Even now, I have butterflies every day as I make the short trip from my office to the door where I pick him up. I am thrilled to see him at the end of a busy day and relish the moment he screams "Mummy!" and jumps into my arms.

What a difference a year makes. It feels like I've come full-circle in many ways. I'm expecting again. I'm in the planning stages of another maternity leave, anticipating some time to spend all of my energy on my family.

Here's to the past year, everything it's meant to me, and knock on wood that the next is just as lucky.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

to dos for June

Ten to-dos in June:

1) Finish the flower beds, with the help of my "gardening lesson" tomorrow ... more on that later.
2) Walk. Walk. Walk. Get out for exercise as much as possible.
3) Try three new recipes.
4) Read three books. Nearly half-way through our latest book club selection, Before I Go to Sleep.
5) Bake at least once a week. Started this last weekend with chocolate chip muffins.
6) Sew and hang J's big-boy room curtains.
7) Have friends over for a backyard summer barbecue, provided the weather eventually cooperates.
8) Return our digital box and start living cable free, for at least the summer. We've enjoyed so little TV lately that it just doesn't seem worth the money. I'll report back on this later.
9) Celebrate father's day with Husband and J (which includes thinking up something special to do for him).
10) Find out the sex of our newest bundle!

Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writers' prompt.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the old-fashioned way

As you may or may not know, because I never actually published Jacob's birth story, I was fortunate to give birth naturally last time. I say fortunate only because it's what I really wanted. With the help of acupuncture from a naturopathic doctor, I was able to go into labour on my own at 10 days overdue, and was relieved to avoid the induction process (which friends have said is really horrible).

And by naturally, I must preface that I had a dose of morphine around the six-cm mark, and went to town on some laughing gas while I pushed. Worth noting: everyone I know who has asked for the gas agrees, there's nothing worth laughing about. In childbirth, the stuff serves no purpose, unless it's to encourage you to inhale like a maniac.

This time, I'm planning and hoping to do it the same way, but hopefully with less yelling. I'm not even joking. I know there are lots of mamas out there who call me crazy. What about an epidural, you ask? Frankly, I am absolutely terrified of the thought of that needle, which far outweighs the pain of the alternative. That's just me.

This time, I want to learn more relaxation and focusing techniques to help manage the contractions and make for a smooth, stress-free experience. I know that birthing babies is an extremely unpredictable process, and while I thoughtfully wrote my birth plan last time, I wasn't married to it. I know that unforeseen circumstances arise all the time that warrant sudden changes. That's partially why I'm more comfortable birthing in a hospital setting. No matter what the outcome, I'd like to do a bit of advanced preparation to help guide the process as much as I'm able.

But all of this blabber brings me to my main question, what are the best resources for this sort of thing? And by thing, I mean natural ways to manage pain and promote/facilitate easier child birth. I just got "The Official Lamaze Guide" from the library as a start. I haven't started reading it yet, but the table of contents looks promising. Have you or someone you know taken a Lamaze class? All I know is that they seem expensive ($300 for a two-day session)? What about the Bradley Method? Any others?

Monday, June 4, 2012

dreaming nursery dreams

In case you're not following me on Pinterest, I thought I'd throw together some nursery thoughts to share ... I'd love to know what you think. It's a fairly unisex scheme, even though we should know if it's dude or dudette by the end of this month!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

pinned it and did it

The more I pin and the less I do, I more I start to feel stressed. I'm finally entering that second-trimester phase of must-get-everything-done-immediately energy, which means I'm irrational and certainly not accomplishing enough to suit my inner, overly-ambitious freak.

That said, I'm not completely sedentary and I have pinned it and done it a few times of late. 

First up, our new family fave: pumpkin pancakes. This is a Martha Stewart recipe (how can you go wrong?) and I've doubled it both times I've made it. Such a delicious twist on a weekend staple, plus some added veggies in our breakfast. I'm thinking of trying sweet potato pancakes next week.

I pinned a list, 17 ways to make your life easier, and I've already put a couple into practice, like #14 (shave legs with conditioner -- works so well and I always end up with a surplus of conditioner when the shampoo is gone, so this makes perfect sense), #16 (using cornmeal to get rid of ants, results TBA), and #17 (washing out dryer filters regularly). 

I loved this image (right) so much that I printed it, framed it and put it on our mantel.

We've had organizational issues in our bathroom drawers since we moved. I loved this idea, to house all our dental hygiene items in one, labeled place. So I picked up a silverware tray at the dollar store and turned the before into the after. Will show you the  results later this week! 

I made these parmesan hash brown cups as an appetizer for a couple friends a few weeks ago. When I make them again, and I will, I'll add less oil, or maybe none at all, and I'll add some chopped veggies, like peppers, to make them more interesting. I would definitely use them as a side dish for brunch.

What have you pinned and done lately?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

t minus five minutes until snack time

108 days. That's how long I was able to hold out before sending my husband on a somewhat emergency French fry run at 9:45 p.m. 108 days.

Does a gal get any credit for that?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

reading by the day

I've decided that the only way I can read everything that I need and want to read in the time that I have is by sticking to a schedule. It sounds crazy, I know. Something I do for pleasure is really starting to take over my life a little. But I'm OK with that. I just need a plan.

It starts with the book club books. And I'm not complaining. I genuinely want to read them. The trick is that we've been slacking a little of late and we want to pickup the pace to an every-three-weeks meeting routine. And these are good books (mostly), I might add, so it shouldn't take nearly three weeks to read one, which should provide downtime for reading other books.

Admittedly, I was practically narcoleptic for the first three months of this pregnancy, so any and all reading time was unceremoniously dumped in favour of sleep. This set me a little behind. So, I was relieved when the last book club meeting was postponed and I had a little more time to finish A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Confession: I still haven't finished. Next on the LitWits roster is A Dive From Clausen's Pier. Haven't cracked it. In fact, I lent my library copy to another club member because I knew she would read it faster and then she'd give it back to me to read myself. *In fact, since I started drafting this post, she already finished it and returned it to me and I have yet to crack the cover. I am the biggest book club failure. I have six days to complete it before our next meeting.

On my own, I have a few books on the go. I was about half-way through the second Hunger Games book, Catching Fire, when I had to put it down in favour of a time-sensitive book-club read and failed to pick it up again. I want to get back to that soon.

I've also been bitten by the 50 Shades of Grey bug. I'm about half-way through that one, too.

And then, a co-worker lent me a copy of Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by The Bloggess Jenny Lawson. If you read The Bloggess, you have to know why her book made it to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List ... this gal is hysterical. I can't wait to dive into her book. But, where to find the time?

So here's the plan: Book club books at night before bed. Every night. Even if it's only two or three pages before I'm nodding off. I've got to be in the habit. My personal book picks on weekends or in spare time. This is often hard to come by, but for the right book, I'll make the time. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And now I'm now thinking about the sewing projects that need to be completed, scrapbooks that need to be updated ... the list goes on. How do you find time for "me" stuff, like reading or hobbies? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a letter to the little one

Dear sweet baby,

Being pregnant with you is nothing like it was when I was carrying your older brother. Last time, I was reading the prenatal books week by week, keeping track of all the tiny milestones that are happening in there by the minute.

This time, I'm not. And it's not because I don't care or don't wonder how your doing. I just trust that you're OK. I'm keeping care of you on the outside so you can do your thing on the inside. And you are already doing so well. Last week, at my first prenatal appointment, I got to hear the familiar chugga chugga chugga of your strong baby heartbeat. It warmed my heart and made you feel much more present in my life. This week, you've really started to move around, reminding me now and then that you're there. I almost forgot how much absolutely love that feeling.

The first few months were rougher than I expected they'd be; you must be a little fire cracker! Now that I'm getting my energy back, I'm daydreaming more and more about who you are and what you'll be like.

Since we're starting to get more acquainted, let me fill you in on a few things. Your dad is, in my humble opinion, the best one around. He's going to take you outside to play and make sure you get lots of yummy healthy snacks and he'll pretty much always read you an extra book at bedtime if you ask super nicely. Your brother is smart and caring and hilarious, and you are going to love him as much as we do. He will teach you how to get into all kinds of trouble, but I'm OK with that. And me? Well, I'm already your biggest fan. I'll bake you cookies and snuggle you at any hour and tickle you for days. I can't wait.

I'm very much looking forward to the next 25(ish) weeks, and even more to meeting you.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a first for us

Write about a time your child embarrassed you in public.

It was mother's day of all days, and in the library of all places.

Part of my mama-chosen fun for the day was a family trip to the library. Jacob loves it there - checking out the toys and books and talking to new kids. I love browsing, especially when I have extra hands to keep an eye on our roving toddler.

About 10 minutes before we were set to leave, Husband gave J a five-minute warning, to which J stomped and squealed a bit, but he became tight lipped after we both gave him the stink eye and told him to behave nicely.

So, I wandered off for my last few moments of browsing in the parenting and pregnancy section, and I swear no sooner had I picked up a book about toddler discipline, when I heard the ruckus coming from the children's section. Someone was very unhappy about having to clean up and get ready to leave.

But this went beyond the normal realm of J expressing his unhappy feelings. He freaked. Full-tilt screaming. Huge tears. Meltdown. No, he was not going to clean up the toys. No, he was not going to leave the library. No, No, No.

Colour me crimson. The silent library was not so quiet as he continued to lose it while Husband insisted that he return his toys to the shelf before we left. He did so, and at the end of the 30-second tidy that felt like 30 hours, I sent them out to the car while I checked out our selections at the front desk.

I felt rotten. Not because he was loud in the library. Not because he'd thrown an utter tantrum in public. Not because I was embarrassed, though I was. It was more so because I couldn't reach him. I was talking to him, holding him, looking him in the eye, but he wasn't seeing me or hearing me. All he knew was that he was not happy about what was taking place and he was going to let us know, damnit.

It was a first for us, and certainly not the last, I know. I hopped in the backseat and chatted with J during the ride home. Once he was calm, we talked about what happened and why it wasn't nice. I'm sure he'd long-since forgotten about it by the time we reached our house, but I felt a little better, having done my due-diligence in explaining right and wrong. But it still bothered me for the rest of the day, knowing that he really does have that toddler side to him, and even though I knew it would one day make its appearance, it was still surprising and kind of sad. Sigh.

Come on, mamas, share your moments, too. We've all been there!


Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

pregnancy #2: 9 weeks

9 weeks (week 10): April 11 to 18

I am tired. Tireddd. Like, lay down on the kitchen floor while I wait for the cookies to bake for 9 minutes tired. Yeah, I'm not kidding. I did that. This is basically pregnancy, as I knew it, on steroids. The nausea is full-on cookie woofing, the fatigue is falling asleep while M is putting J down for the night (yes, I'm sleeping as long as the toddler), and the belly ... just don't even get me started. Where did that thing come from? I walked up the driveway to the backyard at J's daycare yesterday and his wonderful daycare provider (my lovely friend) says, "Umm, how long do you think you're going to keep that a secret?"

Come onnn, second trimester!

It's not all bad, of course. Just look at this list of very-true pregnancy perks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

pregnancy #2: 6 weeks

6 weeks (Week 7) - March 21 to March 28

So far, this pregnancy is nothing like the last one. Not at all. So, instead of going into it with all the confidence of a seasoned veteran, I'm a little bewildered and trying to keep up with the bevy of symptoms that are assaulting me from every direction. Here's a list:

Whoa morning-noon-night sickness. What the? At this point last time, I was three weeks away from running a half marathon, which meant training runs five days a week. And not just little runs; 14, 16, 18k, and I had no problems. This time, the only place I'm running is to the toilet. Woof.

Aversions. I remember being somewhat grossed out by a few things here and there throughout my last pregnancy. This time, there's already a substantial list of must-not-eats: veggie burgers (made by me at home; I can handle some restaurant ones), perogies, butter, ginger (perhaps from ODing on ginger everything in an attempt to quell symptom #1), and many others.

Fatigue. Was I this tired last time? Maybe. I can't really remember, but I'm managing a solid nine hours a night and it doesn't feel like nearly enough. I'm absolutely wiped.

Bloat. Aww, what a cute little bloat baby. Not. Where did that belly come from? It can't be the real deal yet, can it?

On the sunny side of the street, it has been really fun to think about what we will all be like as a family of four. We have already been explaining to Jacob that we're going to be bringing home a new baby. He loves to lift up my shirt and kiss my belly. He says "Hi, baby" and "Bye bye, baby" when he does it. It's pretty adorable. He's not quite understanding fully, since he lifts his own shirt and says baby, and does the same to daddy. But he only kisses and talks to my belly, so maybe he senses a difference.

So, if you're keeping track, my official guess for this little peanut is girl, because my boy didn't cause me any of the aforementioned issues. Any guesses?

(Photo credit)

Monday, May 14, 2012


I hate eggs, always have.
I'm a vegetarian, so I don't eat bacon.
But I wanttt them! I craveee them!
For the love of God, whyyy?!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

on being a mama

It's just been one of those weeks. The wonderful kind.

On Monday, I got a massage. Ahhh.

On Tuesday, lovely friend A surprised me with a shellac pedicure, early for Mother's Day, which was such a relaxing treat.

On Thursday, I got my hair cut. It's not something I do too often, so it feels like a special occasion.

On Saturday morning, Jacob slept for an extra hour, giving us an extra restful night. We got up and I made bacon and eggs for my boys. Then, we threw on our sweats and went out to the yard, scooping leaves, pulling weeds and acting silly. It was already warm for a May morning, and we stayed out for nearly four hours. We visited with family, did some home repairs, and last night, Mike and I got out for a date. It wasn't extravagant -- we went to Swiss Chalet and to see The Avengers -- but it was perfect.

I took my boy to swimming lessons today, as I do each Sunday morning. I looked at the other mums at the pool and smiled, hoping they were having the same kind of day, and week, that I've been having.

I'm sure you'd agree that it's not about the things or the gestures, it's just about being a mum. With my sweet boy and another little one on the way, I am busting, today and every day, that I have this life.

Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful Mum, my lovely mother-in-law, and all of my dear friends who are celebrating today with their families xo

(photo credit)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

i'm not giving you my money for free

I'm about to release my inner geek. Actually, it's not really inner, since I just had a 10 minute conversation with a co-worker all about this, and others listened in. It's pretty much public knowledge that I'm a geek, but I'm a money-saving geek. So there.

Yesterday, I made a list of a bunch of groceries we needed at home, and noticed that several items would be more cost effective if purchased at Costco. So, I reviewed the Superstore flyer, wrote down prices, and headed to Costco, determined to get the best deals. Here's what went down (items marked with the * are the ones that I purchased):

*Costco: 4 kg box of frozen chicken breasts - $29.99 ($7.50 per kg)
Superstore: 3 kg box of frozen chicken breasts - $31.99 ($10.66 per kg)
Savings: $12.65

*Costco: 1 litre of coffee cream - $2.59
Superstore: 1 litre of coffee cream - $3.69
Savings: $1.10

*Costco: Folgers coffee (1.39 kg) - $9.99 (on sale for $3 off) ($7.18/kg)
Superstore: Folgers coffee (584 g) - $7.99 ($13.68/kg)
Savings: $9.04 ($6.50/kg)

*Costco: Kirkland marinara sauce (the best ever), 3 one-litre jars - $6.79 ($2.26/litre)
Superstore: Ragu (640 ml) - $2.59 each ($7.77 for 3) ($4.04/litre)
Savings: $5.34 ($1.78/litre)

*Costco: 3 loaves of Ben's Smart bread - $7.39
Superstore: Wonderbread (on sale) - $2.22 ($6.66 for 3)
Deduction: $0.73

*Costco: Kraft parmesan cheese, 500 g - $10.99
Superstore: Kraft parmesan cheese, 250 g - $7.19 ($14.38 for an equal quantity)
Savings: $3.39

*Costco: 4 litre Baxters milk - $5.19
Superstore: 2 litre Baxters milk (SS doesn't carry gallons in Baxters) - $3.99 ($7.98 for equal quantity)
Savings: $2.79

Costco: Eggs (18) - $3.79
*Superstore: Eggs (12) - $2.50 ($3.75 for 18)
Deduction: $0.04

Costco: Cracker Barrell cheese, 1 kg - $10.99
*Superstore: Cracker Barrell cheese, 500 g - $4.44 (I bought two for $8.88)
Savings: $2.11


It pays to pay attention to prices. In this case, I didn't even use coupons. I just made a quick note of the prices of the items on my list, and compared as I shopped. Going to two stores, organized with a list, is just as quick as going to one store without a plan.

Have you scored any great deals lately? Do tell!

Friday, May 4, 2012

a few favourites for friday

For lack of a better topic of conversation, here are some of my favourite pins from the week:

How cute is this (?!) idea to honour your favourite dates, which I stole from Amy just this morning.


This veggie pot pie recipe popped in from my latest Today's Parent email ... doesn't it look drool-worthy?


I love the feel of this room. I'm thinking green might be a perfect colour to cover our pull-out couch.


I bought a body pillow last week with the least-offensive cover for it, and it turns out that its inspired us to re-do our bedroom in this sort of scheme ... do you like?


And a little Cinco de Mayo eve deliciousness:


Share some links -- what are your favourite pins of the week?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

mama's day

The perfect Mother's Day consists of ...

Quality time with my boys, of course. Early morning snuggles, hot breakfast (not in bed), hours of silliness in pajamas.

Yard work. The tulips are starting to make their appearance in the backyard, so it's time to weed and rake and get our little yard ready for spring.

A trip to the farmers' market. Buying fresh fruits, veggies and bread, and maybe a bouquet of flowers for the house.

Dinner that I don't have to plan or make.

Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

things I love

With our new house, came a whole lot of new space. Now that we're several months into home ownershop, and mostly settled, here are a few things that I can't believe I previously did without.

A designated place for gift-a-palooza. 
At any given time, I usually have a least a half dozen miscellaneous gifts stashed for upcoming events and occasions. Plus, there are cards, wrapping materials and the like. In my apartment life, this stuff was spread everywhere, stuck in baskets, cabinets and drawers all over the place. Now, I've taken our former laundry cabinet and turned it into present central. Awesome.

A laundry room, complete with storage.
I was able to give my lovely white laundry cabinet a new life because I have a built-in laundry nook with cabinets. Honestly though, I was over the moon about this area until we moved and I realized that ... wait a minute, what else am I going to put in here besides detergent? But since then, I've included our iron, some stain remover, a basket for rags, and some downstairs cleaning supplies. The middle cabinet below also hides the garbage can, which I love.

The workshop ...
... in which there's a place for everything and everything's in its place. Sort of. OK, I lie. This space is still a disaster of unpack boxes, unorganized tools and miscellaneous stuff that doesn't belong anywhere else. Dealing with this space is on my to-do list every weekend, and once it's eventually taken care of, we'll never have to hunt for a tape measure or the perfect-sized screw again.

Our cozy rec room.
It wasn't always an easy process, but now that the rec room is complete, I can't imagine life without it. It's a warm, snugly place (thanks to the wood stove) to read, watch TV, think and play. It's also great, and I mean this in the nicest way of course, to have more than one living area, so when you need some time to yourself, you don't have to retreat to the bedroom or the shower.

Our growing yard. 
Every day, more flowers, plants and lush blades of grass are popping up all over our yard. Jacob loves being outside and we're so happy to have the space to let him run and play. It's going to be such a great summer outside in the sun.

What are your home's best characteristics? 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

warning: don't read when hungry

If you had one day to eat anything you want and not gain a single ounce what would it be?

Well now, that's my kind of writer's prompt. I love food. I've never been able to deprive myself of something I really truly wanted. Moderation, sure, and exercise to balance these indulgences. Logical, no? So, since we're momentarily living in a world where calories don't count, let's make a list, shall we?

1) A huge heap of hot, crispy, homemade fries. With salt and Heinz ketchup. And a tall, ice-cold Pepsi.

2) I was going to say pasta in general, but that's not true. I point to the trifecta of deliciousness: fettuccine alfredo, homemade mac and cheese, and tortellini with marinara sauce. Any of the above with a healthy unhealthy portion of salty garlic bread.

3) A veggie burger. Not just any veggie burger either. The one piled high with sauteed mushrooms and grated cheddar on a delicious onion-y bun at Jack Astor's. It is the best.

4) Anything vegetarian and Mexican, especially burritos, with lots of fresh salsa and guacamole. An icy margarita on the side doesn't hurt, either.

5) Fresh-from-the-oven, homemade chocolate chip cookies with a huge mug of hot coffee with milk.

6) Homemade falafel with homemade tortillas. I don't make the latter often, but the former is so easy and delicious. Topped with tatziki, naturally.

7) A perfect sandwich. That means a lightly toasted ciabatta bun, or the like, with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado, lots of cheese (I don't play favourites with cheese) and sweet-with-heat mustard.

8) Garlic fingers. With lots of garlic and cheese. And unlimited donair sauce. This must also be accompanied with a carbonated beverage.

9) Turkey dinner sans turkey. I love a hot plate of all the fixins ... whipped potatoes, carrots, corn, green bean casserole, squash casserole, stuffing and gravy.

10) Homemade baked beans, with a generous side of hash-brown bake, and hot brown bread toast with butter.

Hungry now? You're welcome.

Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the Writer's Prompt.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

our house this morning

Our sweet toddler prefers to go to the potty in private. Can you blame him? I do too, don't you?

So this morning, we heard the patter of little feet in the bathroom, before he called out "Mommy, Daddy, I done!" Husband opened the door to discover that he had, indeed, got up off the potty and started walking around, when he wasn't ... umm ... finished, leaving a trail of ... well, you know.

Then, I came around the corner, into the hallway.

Me: Oh my God.
Husband: What now?
Me: [Examining a foreign object on the carpet] ... oh, nevermind, it's just a raisin.

Ahh. Never a dull moment.

Friday, April 13, 2012

friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th. How does that make you feel? My co-worker is flying out today, on Friday the 13th, for vacation and he'll catch a cruise that sets sail tomorrow ... on the 100th anniversary of the day the Titanic sunk. If he were superstitious, I'm thinking he might have reconsidered.

For me, today means pizza, of course. It's Pizza Friday and that's all I need to know. I'm not on the lookout for black cats or broken mirrors. Rather, I'm considering the bevy of pizza options at my disposal in Sackvegas. Tell me locals, what's you're preferred pizza place?


And just so you're not like, WTF kind of post was that?! Here are a few Friday links for your perusal.

A few posts from My Hectic Home:
Mum-approved Easter dinner
When kids say the darndest things
Pinching pennies
The idea sharer
Her own way to paint
Doing the potty dance

And a few things I've starred, pinned and bookmarked of late:

We're working on compiling ideas for Jacob's big-boy room. Given that he is obsessed with balls, it only makes sense that we incorporate as many as we can into his new digs. Like this, from Pinterest >>

I'm intrigued by Ashley's Project 333, where she's cut down her wardrobe to just 33 items. Think it's doable?

If you feel the same way about The Hunger Games that I do, you may also be interested in this recipe for District 11 bread.

Speaking of delicious, I tried Suzie the Foodie's recipe for Subway cookies last week (opting for mini eggs instead of chocolate chips) and they were delish! Definitely worth a try.


Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

winter pinterest challenge

I originally wrote this post a couple weeks ago, but just as I was ready to hit publish, I managed to close it, accidentally losing the whole thing. I'm just now getting over it enough to start again.

Some of my favourite bloggers (like this gal and this gal) have created a fun little Pinterest Challenge, which encourages us to actually try the things we pin. This is a great concept because I am one of those people who pins like mad and rarely follows through.

I decided to try out a Mexican Quinoa Casserole I had pinned, which would work perfectly for our vegetarian family meal swap.

The thing that really makes you go "Mmmm, what is that?" is the grated sweet potato. Mixed with cooked quinoa, black beans, and combined with a sauce of salsa, cheese, egg, and cumin, it makes a delicious combo.

Then, if you're smart like lovely friend A, you'll think to scoop it with nacho chips. Then we got really crazy and filled tortillas with the casserole and grilled them for tasty quinoa burritos. This is really a versatile and super simple supper.

It also appears that, after losing the original version of this post, I also lost the "after" photo of this delicious dish. Take my word for it; it's awesome.

What have you made from Pinterest lately?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

it works!

Who knew? I'm married to Mr. Fix-it.

Last week, the unthinkable happened. Our dryer ceased to dry. Well, it decided not to turn on at all. Not good for an already laundry-challenged household such as ours.

Basically, the spring-loaded start switch on our Frigidaire Gallery dryer wasn't starting the cycle. It wasn't doing anything. I called around to a few local appliance repair places, to find that to have a serviceman come to the house would cost $50 to start. Then, once you get into the parts and additional visit for the fix, it can get pricey. For an appliance that can be replaced entirely for $400, we wanted to keep repair costs as low as possible.

Enter Mr. Fix-it. He opened up the dryer, looked it all over, and started Googling. He read forums for similar problems, and, using our model number, was able to pin-point the exact part he thought we'd need to fix the issue. I picked up the part for $25, and with the help of an online video, he swapped out the old for the new.

The moment he turned the knob was very Frankenstein ... it's ALIVE! And thankfully, we all have clean undies once again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

growing by the minute: 18 months

This is a couple days late, but I wanted to wait until J's appointment late yesterday so I knew how he was fairing in the growth department. He took his 18-month needle like a champ, but gave the doctor the stink eye.

Vital stats: He's a growing boy at 32.5 inches tall (50th percentile), 26.5 lbs. (75th percentile) and a 20-inch head circumference (95th+ percentile).

Milestones and firsts: Using the potty! I didn't want to mention this too early, because I didn't want to jinx our progress, but J is on his way to self-potty-training. Don't even ask me why or how. At about 17 months, he started to tell us "I pee" or "I poop" and then he started heading to the bathroom and attempting to climb up on the toilet. So, before and after his baths, and when we'd change his clothes, we'd give him the opportunity to sit on his own potty. He doesn't like to use it with an audience, so we tell him to call for us when he's done, and when we return, he shows us that he used to potty. We've now started extending this experiment to include big-boy underwear. In the mornings and evenings during the week and on weekends at home, we let him wear his own underwear, and we remind him now and then to tell us if he has to go. So far, he's had just one accident. We aren't pushing him, since he's still young, but we are encouraging his self-directed process, and we have all of our fingers crossed!

Teeth: 11 ... possibly 12. It's hard to keep track which ones have cut through, but I'd say he'll have a few more within a month or two.

Speech: He's a motor mouth, that's for sure. And a parrot. He's willing and able to repeat just about everything we say, which means we've had to try especially hard to curb our curse words. After hearing our toddler say "oh shit" once, we learned to watch our language pretty quickly.

Zzzzzzz: Jacob is still a strong sleeper, taking a nap each day around lunchtime for about two hours and sleeping from about 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night.

Om nom nom: He likes to tell you what he wants to eat, and nine times out of 10 that means "pizza" but that doesn't mean that's what he's going to get. Good try, buddy. Other frequent requests are cheese, cookie and cracker. He also loves to eat whole apples on his own and doesn't even want to give it up when it's down to the very last bit of core.

Likes: Balls are his absolute obsession, and have been for a long time, to the point that we're thinking that his big-boy room should have a ball theme. He's also really enjoying Legos and blocks, building towers and knocking them down over and over. It's fun to watch him concentrate on his project and dissolve in a fit of laughter when the whole thing comes crashing down.

Dislikes: He really doesn't like it when you take something that he wants, like balls that he needs to leave at daycare at the end of the day. Since the weather has been nice, he also likes to cause a scene in the yard when it's time to go inside, yelling "outside! outside! outside!" until we carry him through the front door.

Looking forward to: A summer of fun in our big back yard and starting swimming lessons in two weeks.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

you know you're a parent when ...

... your idea of an awesome spring break includes being in bed before 10 p.m. and getting to sleep in until 7:30 a.m.


Living the high life, yes we are!

The good news is that we've done a bunch of little projects that I'm preparing to share with you over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

and the final rose goes to ...

On The Bachelor, a rose is given to the women he could really see himself spending the rest of his life with. What six things in your life would you like to give a rose to and why? 

Given that I could give roses to all of my favourite people, I've decided to approach this question from an entirely materialistic angle ... the six products, gadgets, conveniences, and worldly possessions I consider must-haves.

1) Our humble little abode. This is a big-ticket item, but it's something I couldn't give up. It's a warm happy place to raise my family, not to mention all of the projects we've been doing to make it our own. I'm very attached.

2) My cellphone. When it goes dead, I feel lost. I don't like the feeling of missing a call or not being able to get in touch with someone, if needed. It feels crazy to say, considering I didn't have a cellphone just 10 years ago.

3) My MacBook. A place to write; upload, store and edit photos; access the world. It's my go-to for phone numbers, addresses, recipes, definitions, and news. Plus, how else would I write these stimulating blogs? Ha.

4) Mr. Singer. I put that bad boy to good use this week, making curtains for my nephew-to-be's nursery, and I've got a list of other projects in the works.

5) Kitchen must-haves. This isn't limited to one. I have so many tools that I use nearly daily, including my Pampered Chef manual food processor, my Hamilton Beech programmable slow cooker, and my drawer of favourite tools, like PC bamboo spoons, rubber scrapers and spatulas.

6) Coffee. This is beyond trivial, but I love having a delicious, hot cup of coffee. I love the taste, the comfort, the social aspect of enjoying coffee and conversation with others.

What are your daily must-haves?

P.S. I strongly supported team Kacie B. until she came back for closure and pulled the don't-pick-Courtney stunt. Guess what KB, it's not your choice any more. Move on. Now that the choice are limited, Lindzi for the win. 

Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a little mid-week roundup

  • I am super stunned this week with a cold that just won't quit. I was super tempted to call in sick yesterday and stay home with my boys on their snow day, but I powered through. I have a slightly irrational guilt complex when it comes to calling in sick. I am, however, entirely rational in knowing that the place wouldn't come close to falling apart without me.
  • I've just charged my Kobo for the first time in many months and bought a copy of The Night Circus. It's our next LitWits book club selection. We've decided to try something new; each member is picking a book and she will lead the group discussion on her choice. The upcoming roster is an exciting mix of new books and classics. I picked The Happiness Project, a book that I've yet to read, but I've heard good things.
  • I hosted two very fun baby showers over the past couple weeks, for sister-in-law C who is giving us a new nephew, and for lovely friend H who is sharing a sweet little girl, both due in April. I am so excited for them both and can't wait to snuggle their little babies. 
  • Since it's a leap year, we get to celebrate Ayyam-i-ha for an extra day this year, so we're enjoying some special family time, a decorated house and Husband and I are going ... wait for it ... on a date tomorrow. Plus, we get to continue the fun with family in Cape Breton over March Break.
What's new and exciting in your world?

Friday, February 24, 2012


Amy at Rainy Saturday invited me to take part in a get-to-know-you meme, which I think is perfect fodder for a Friday, wouldn't you agree? Here's how it works:

The Rules:

  • Post these rules
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
  • No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 random facts about me: 

  1. I have a tendency to overbook myself. I'm quick to jump on any fun opportunity, but it rarely leaves me much downtime and also eliminates much room for spontaneity. 
  2. I hate Kraft Dinner. Absolutely detest. I am, however, a huge mac and cheese fan. But since KD is not really mac and cheese, I guess that is a moot point.
  3. I'm starting swimming lessons in April. And by that, I, of course, mean that I'll be joining the jellyfish class with Jacob. I hope he will have a life-long love of swimming like his Mama.
  4. I have no desire to be on video of any kind. Unless it's a home movie of me and my boys, count me out. When I was in journalism school, people constantly asked if I would pursue a career in television. Nope. I just feel awkward.
  5. I'm extremely cheap when it comes to getting my hair cut. I wait until I can't stand it any more, and then I must get a significant cut so I feel like I got my money's worth. I know I'm neurotic; it's a fact of my life.
  6. I'm a hopeless control freak. Today, however, I gave Husband a list of things to get at the grocery store instead of going myself. It might have been detailed, including brand and sale prices, but at least I am relinquishing my grasp at least a little. Baby steps.
  7. I can't have artificial sweetener of any kind. It gives me headaches/migraines like you wouldn't believe. That stuff is bad news.
  8. I rarely sleep in pyjamas. Shorts or yoga pants, Tshirts or sweaters usually do the trick. 
  9. I've never taken an all-inclusive, hot and sunny vacation. A fact that I hope to change sometime soon.
  10. I can't garden worth a damn. I don't think this is new to any of you. I actually fear for the yard of our little house. Who will take care of the precious living plants?
  11. I can't sleep if I have anything on my mind, and neither can Husband because I keep whispering "I can't sleeeeeep." So I keep a notepad on my night stand to help rid my brain of the things I'm making myself crazy to remember.

Amy's questions for me:
  1. What's your favourite body part and why? Arms, all the better to hug you with, my dear.
  2. Salty snacks or sweet treats? While I value a good cookie, I'm a salty girl. French fries are my drug of choice.
  3. What's your dream job? Honestly, I had the job at The Daily News, and now I am so unbelievably fortunate to be doing that job again at The Chronicle Herald. Editor by day, writer/blogger by night. Perfect.
  4. If you could spend the day hanging out with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do? Whoa, Amy, bringing out the big guns. It would have to be a writer ... Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath, Jane Austen ... it's so hard to choose. I would pick their brain about their writing process and their inspirations. 
  5. Would you rather live on the North Pole or the Equator? Definitely the Equator, says the girl who has had eeenough of winter.
  6. Favourite Beatle? I don't feel qualified to answer this question. I like them all, together, singing.
  7. What's "your" drink? Coffee.
  8. What do you order when you go to Starbucks (or Tim Horton's, or Dunkin' Donuts, or wherever, YOU MUST GO SOMEWHERE WITH HOT BEVERAGES COME ON) Grande non-fat latte at Starbucks for a treat. Under no circumstances do I drink Tim Horton's coffee. Can you even call that coffee?
  9. Would you rather go naked or wear fur? It depends, how cold is it outside?
  10. What's your biggest fear? Losing someone I love.
  11. Your favourite foreign accent? Australian. And it has nothing to do with how often I watch The Wiggles.
My questions:

  1. What was your favourite food as a child? 
  2. What's your favourite food now? 
  3. What is your favourite quote?
  4. If your life had a soundtrack, who would sing it?
  5. If you could be a fictional character, who would you choose?
  6. What makes you most nervous?
  7. What was your last big-ticket purchase?
  8. Which chore do you hate the most?
  9. You have one day of completely free time. What do you do?
  10. If you could receive any gift, what would it be?
  11. What happened in the last dream you remember?

I tag...*
Heather at Laptops to Lullabies
Tracy at The Vegan Butcher
Lyndsey at The Loftlands
Molly at the grownup diaries
Ashley at Our Little Apartment
Sheena at Butter vs. Burpees
Dusty at All Things G&D
Erin at Domestic Adventure
Molly at These Little Moments
Kim at NewlyWoodwards
Lauren at Life Uncluttered

*No pressure to participate, of course! And sorry if you've already been tagged!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a blind eye

Our basement windows are weird -- 43 inches wide -- and I'm having a hard time finding something perfect to fit. My budget-conscious self wants to try to come up with a solution that won't break the bank like many custom options can (read: I don't want to spend $100+ per window, and I know that might sound unrealistic, but I don't).

I've been researching options for DIY roman shades. Many are no-sew options, like this (pictured right). But then you can't adjust them, and I'm going to want to have the shades open during the day, and closed at night.

I'm intrigued by the idea of jazzing up boring roller blinds, as seen on Design Sponge, but finding the perfect fabric is always a challenge. I want something bold and something simple at the same time. Sewing curtains is, of course, a possibility, too, if the right fabric came along.

Or there's always the possibility of using cheap-o mini blinds, and customizing them into something prettier, like this, but again, I'm not sure I can find them in a 43" width.

Besides defaulting to a custom wood or faux-wood option, do you have any ideas for me?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

getting off my butt

So, I'm taking part in a Biggest Loser competition in my office. A simple premise: half the winnings go to the biggest loser (duh) and the second half goes to the person who loses weight on the most number of weeks. The thing is, I use the words "taking part" loosely, as I am not really "trying." I use the competition as my motivation to stay on track with appropriate eating habits (and it helps), but I have yet to carve extra time out of my busy working-mum schedule for designated exercise like running or going to the gym. I should note, too, that I'm in awe of some of my co-workers and their impressive results to-date.

Hoisting a 27ish-lb. toddler around has to count for something, though, right? I can say that my upper body strength is the best it's probably ever been, thanks to our growing boy. But certainly, that isn't enough. And honestly, when I do have time to myself, I tend to want to spend it cooking, crafting or just relaxing. Yoga is definitely on my list of to-dos, and I'm hoping to sign up for a regular class soon and make practices a regular part of my routine again. Tell me, Mamas, do you have specific exercise that you accomplish each week? How do you make it work?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

where's jacob?

Capture what it’s like to spend a day or a moment talking with your kiddo.

I think these two photos paint a picture of our boy's 17-month-old personality.

Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

meant to be

True love is when not only did you and your husband buy each other the same card for Valentine's Day, but the punch line on the inside of the card is about couponing.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours xo

Monday, February 13, 2012

10 years

Ten years ago on this day, I was… 

 ... in high school. Grade 12, to be specific. I was a senior, anxious to get on with my life and terrified of the prospect. Oh man, if I could only have known then what I know now. If I could, I'd tell the 17 year old me that it's all going to work out. Despite one particular university rejection letter, a couple stressful breakups, and getting laid off ... twice. I would tell her to save more of that student loan money so she wouldn't have to pay it back later. I'd remind her say yes to as many unique opportunities as she can. I'd insist that she worry less about body image and focus more on being healthy. I might even give her a hint about the love that was waiting around the corner and about how motherhood would change her forever.

 It's hard to believe that this summer we'll mark our 10 year reunion, and I'll celebrate 10 years of being a Haligonian. Time really does fly when you're having fun. Where were you 10 years ago?

 Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

try it tuesday: laying tile

Well, I'll be damned. It's Try it Tuesday.

In our ongoing adventures in home ownership, we had to tackle the landing at our back door. The linoleum there was just plain yucky. Our plan: cheap and easy. Enter Traffic Master groutable vinyl tile

One box was more than enough. The tiles, while they look like ceramic, are actually vinyl. That means we were able to cut them with a utility knife, rather than having to rent a tile cutter. The great thing about these tiles, though, is that they're super thick and tough, so they resemble ceramic completely, but there more forgiving when you walk on them and don't get as cold.

Since we were dealing with a small space, we just arranged the tiles a few times (with the backing still on) until we were happy with the general placement. Then we removed the backing and stuck each tile in place over the old floor. We used plastic spacers to give a 1/8 inch space on all sides for grout.

Husband did a fantastic job trimming all sides so they fit the wall perfectly (with many thanks to the school board for giving him a snow day on which to do the work).

I don't have an official before photo, but please journey back up to the first photo to note the difference between the grungy grey-blue from before, and this after:

We are beyond happy with the way it turned out and would highly recommend this to reno novices like us.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


It's 8:30 am, and I've already been awake for five hours. FIVE. How does that make you feel? It makes me feel like I need another cup of coffee.

Jacob is getting molars, and if I ever said I understood what a teething baby was like, you should've slapped me, because frankly, I had no idea. He jumps between his normal happy-go-lucky self, to completely inconsolable, to sheer exhaustion from dealing with the discomfort.

And I know it's worse for him than it is for me, but I'm starting to feel like a walking zombie. I'm not a fan of complaining about lack of sleep because I chose to become a parent, and sleep deprivation was in the fine print. But commiserate with me for just a sec. I'm tired.

So I'm looking for advice, helpful hints and anything else you can throw my way. What are your favourite teething tactics and remedies?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5 to 2

Enter this scene as Husband and I discuss baby names.

DISCLAIMER: Not pregnant. Our bro-sis-besties are giving us a new nephew, and a good friend is having a girl, both in April, so babies are top of mind. 

Me: I really like E********* (names have been hidden to protect from name stealers).
Husband: Me too. Maybe our kids initials could spell a word. J ... E ... Jello!
Me: Oh, so we're having five kids now, are we?
Husband: Hmm. How about Je? It's French.

Monday, January 23, 2012

another monday

What a weekend. We did nothing and everything all at once. It all started with a snow storm. We were planning to visit family, specifically this weekend in honour of our sweet niece's second birthday. Sadly though, we were kept back by the weather.

Ah that snow. It's the kind that crunches under your boots and almost doesn't seem real because it's so sparkly. As much as I can detest winter, I can't bring myself to hate the winter wonderland that our yard has become. Maybe I love it too because it's on our yard. We were out and about plenty this weekend, but the time we spent in under (and around) our little roof was just perfect. Playing outside, rearranging furniture, cooking and baking, laughing and hiding and finding and laughing some more. We did errands, went on a wonderful play date, got lots done and spent lots of glorious time doing nothing.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

the current

listening CBC.
eating pumpkin cranberry scone.
drinking coffee.
wearing a bracelet I forgot I owned.
feeling ambitious.
weather c-c-cold.
wanting a power nap.
needing to do laundry.
thinking constantly.
enjoying wearing winter hats.
creating birthday cards.
pondering d├ęcor.
loving my boy's mischievous laugh.
anticipating the weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the day our tub became a toilet

Husband: Wife?
Me: Yeah?
Husband: Can you come here? [... he asks from the bathroom, where he's scrubbing up the toddler.]
Me: Just a sec; I'm in the middle of something.
Husband: No, nowww.
Me: [annoyed] Agh, what is so important?

Then I round the corner to see Husband, holding up our dripping-wet son over the tub. Toddler grinning from ear to ear. Husband raises his eyebrows, glances down, and nearly drops the soaking kid as he busts a gut laughing.

Me: Oh. My. God.
[Trying to keep a straight face.]
Me: Jacobbb! What did you do?!
[Cracking up at the look on J's face, to which we all completely laugh out loud.]
Me: Guess daddy's got some fishing to do!

Moms, please tell me, after this happened once, did it happen again? I'm really hoping he doesn't decide use the tub as his own impromptu version of potty training.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

no-spend week: attempt #1

The very fact that this post has the word "attempt" in the title sort of foreshadows the ending, doesn't it?

This week, Husband and I decided to try a no-spend week. It's all part of wanting to save more in 2012. We usually don't spend too much during a work week anyway, but making it official made it feel more difficult for some reason.

We started Monday, which was easy. But by Tuesday, we had failed. On Day 2, Husband forgot his lunch at home, so he had to spend $5 to eat. Then, after work, I took J for his planned haircut. In all fairness, I took him on Tuesday because it was cheap day at a local shop and it only cost $10 with tip, but still, it cost money.

And then, knowing that we had already lost the no-spend game. I bought a coffee at work on Wednesday, because apparently I have no self-control. None.

* In all honesty, I started typing up this post on Wednesday, while the memory of my forbidden coffee still sat as an empty cup on my desk, and guilt overcame me.

As a result, Thursday and Friday? Both winners! So we had a no-spend three days. This really doesn't amount to anything in terms of our budget, but it did give me a bit of a rude awakening about how easy it really is to drop $20. Turns out, way too easy.

We're planning to give it a go again on Monday. The real premise is to not waste money on things we don't need, like purchased lunches and coffee, and also to thing twice about any spending ... if we want/need something on Monday and it's still important come Saturday, then we'll know better whether it's worthy of our hard-earned bucks.

Friday, January 13, 2012

waa hoo

Our carpet is in! Our carpet is in! Our carpet is in!

And by end-of-day tomorrow, it'll be in our house! Eeeeppp!

After going several rounds with a certain big, orange box store, our custom-ordered carpet is ready to be installed. I can't wait to do a proper before and after reveal.

Martha Stewart Living Wilderstein carpet in brook trout. Love.

Now ... accessories, coffee table, storage, TV (yay or nay?) ... so many decisions. I will be back for your opinions soon!


What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

what's on a mantel?

Do you have a mantel? What's on it? Tell me, please, in detail. Because I can't figure out, for the life of me, what to do with mine.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

our casa

I keep forgetting to formally introduce you to our new house. 

She's warm, inviting and even has a sense of humour ... by way of wallpaper. But I'll get to that.

Our main level is exactly what we wanted: three bedrooms, a spacious bathroom, linen closet, broom closet, coat closet, open-concept living and dining areas, and an eat in kitchen with a pantry. Believe it or not, for a girl with a whole lot of cookbooks and gadgets, I actually have empty cabinets in my kitchen. Once things are just the way I want them, I'll give you a full-meal-deal tour. Until then, on to the renos.

So, when we moved in on December 9, we decided to only live on the main level in order to tackle some of the aspects we weren't so in love with in the finished basement.

The lower level of our back-split home featured floral wallpaper, country-scene border, dark, forest green trim and dark brown carpet. It's split into the following areas: play room, living room, laundry room, foyer and half bath. The remaining side of the basement, which is closed off by a door, houses our workshop, and the furnace and wood room.

There's nothing inviting about that (except for the amazing wood stove and brick surround, which you can't see in this picture anyway, so you are getting an accurate depiction of why I had. to. change. it. yesterday.)

Step 1: Peel the wallpaper. After living only 12 hours in our house, I decided to take the plunge and just grabbed a corner of the paper and start ripping. To my surprise, it came off with relative ease.

Hidden behind the smaller floral design was a layer of whoa-70s-inspired poppies. And honestly, if a wall of this paper had remained intact, I probably would've kept it. Sadly though, it all was ripped in the process, so was inevitably removed.

If you've ever peeled wallpaper before, you know that it isn't an easy feat that the best of times. The second layer was less than a picnic, but with generous assistance from friends and family, and a whole lot of elbow grease, we de-wallpapered, crack-filled, sanded, crack-filled some more, sanded some more, and finally* got to a place where we could re-paint.

Oh, and you may have noticed, we ripped up that terrible-awful-no-good-very-bad carpet, too.

A rare photo of Husband and his twin bro in matching T-shirts.

Picking colours was tough, but now that the walls are completed, I couldn't be happier with our choices. The walls in the play room, family room and foyer area are CIL's light taupe.

I wanted to do something different in the laundry area, and with inspiration from John and Sherry's grellow (green + yellow), I chose CIL's spring thaw.

It's a work in progress -- more after photos to come!

*Take the word finally with a grain of salt, of course, because we painted less than two weeks after moving day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

year in review

We travelled to Cape Breton to celebrate our niece Niamey's first birthday.

We enjoyed a great visit from NB family and friends.
Jacob started using his big boy high chair and eating more solids.

Jacob welcomed buddy Ethan Andrew to the world.
Jacob marked several milestones, including sitting up like a champ, learning to clap and his first haircut.
We celebrated Ayyam-i-ha over March Break in Cape Breton.

Jacob cut his first tooth.
We spent Easter in New Brunswick with family.

Jacob and I enjoyed our first Mother's Day.

Jacob started crawling!
We travelled to Cape Breton to celebrate two good friends' wedding.
Jacob and Daddy celebrated Father's Day.
I got a new job at The Chronicle Herald.

Husband turned 27.
Jacob got to stay home for two whole months with Daddy.

Spent a week lake-side and pool-side with family in New Brunswick.
Jacob took his first steps.

Spent the long weekend in Cape Breton with family.
We celebrated Jacob's first birthday!

Husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary!
We carved pumpkins.

I turned 27.
We put in an offer on a house, and it was accepted!

We moved into our first house!
We spent the last week of the year with both sides of our big, happy family ... a perfect way to round out a wonderful 2011!