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.