Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Forever and a Day

Hi. It’s been forever and a day, hasn’t it? I fell into a major blogging rut, which sort of carried over into a creativity rut. Not only have I not been blogging, but I also haven’t been crafting or baking. Ok, I still bake occasionally, just not as much as I used to. When I think about this creative rut, it saddens me. I love doing all of those things, so what’s stopping me from doing them? Who knows. I do want to get back into it all though. I miss all of those creative outlets in my life. Enough of this though. Let’s catch you up on what’s been going on lately, shall we?
My sister is getting married in less than a month. I can’t believe that July is sneaking up on me like it is. In May, I hosted her bridal shower, and then earlier this month, I hosted her Bachelorette Party. Both were successful, thankfully!
TP BridesToilet Paper Brides
CupcakesBridal shower cupcakes
Suck for a buckBachelorette party silliness
Work has kept me busy, but has been good. I finished working with my Friday boys. I can’t even tell you how sad I was to leave them, but it was in my best interests. They sent me off feeling very loved though, dropping by with mini cupcakes, roses and some homemade cards.
I’m now down to working 5 days a week with one family. Well, I do still have my nanny share going on, which means another family drops off their little boy several times a month. I’ve been switched over to salary, which means I now get plenty of paid vacation. We’ve been keeping busy with crafts and trips to the park and zoo. Never a dull moment around here.
PeacockWe got up close and personal with this guy
Rainy day fun
As for my down time, well, I’ve been trying to fill it up with things to do as well. We’ve been cat sitting for my old nanny family for over two months now. They’ve been trying to sell their house, and don’t want a cat to deter potential buyers. Casey is adorable, so I don’t mind. Stephen and I have been trying to get out for more walks now that the weather has warmed up. I love exploring our community; it seems like we live in such a good one. There was even a quick day trip to the mountains recently.
Oh, and I’ve taught myself how to crochet. I’m working on a baby blanket for my aunt and uncle, who are due in October.
Casey Cat
Mountains just outside of Banff
Pink flowersPink flowers and gray skies
I’m hoping that by writing this post, I’ll be inspired to blog more. Keep checking back, I promise that I’m not ready yet to abandon this blog forever.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Who is your favorite talk show host?
Ever since I started my current job, I watch a lot of day time TV (during nap time), which means there's not a whole lot on. I've started watching more talk shows, and Anderson is a close second to Ellen.

2. How do you style your hair on a daily basis?
I flat iron my hair (my hair is unruly), then stick it in a ponytail. I am wearing braided pigtails today though, because I was too lazy to flat iron my hair.

3. If you were stuck in your bedroom for a week, what would you need in order to not go crazy?
My laptop, cell phone, books and food. I've already got a TV in there, and we have an ensuite bathroom with shower.

4. What are the best non-reality shows on television?
Game of Thrones is my current favorites

5. Do you mow your own lawn and clean your own house?
I clean my own house, but neither of us mow our lawn. We live in a townhouse complex, so all lawn care is taken care of by someone else. Such a relief!

6. As an adult, what is the best part of summer?
More daylight, warmer weather, barbecue and yummy fruit.

7. If you could ask one celebrity one question, who and what would you ask?
I'd ask Jake Gyllenhaal if he'd like to make out, or something.

8. Post a picture.
We're cat sitting for my Friday Family while they try to sell their house. This is Casey. Isn't she cute?

9. How many books do you read a year?
I've never kept track, but I'd estimate a dozen or so.

10. Which national chain makes the best delivery pizza?
We usually just order from wherever is closest to us. It was Panago at the last place, but now we order from Pizza 73.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. What TV commercial do you think is the most annoying?
The one with the squealing pig racing down the hill next to a guy. I have no idea what it's for (Geico?), but it's super annoying.

2. What is the weirdest gift you have ever received?
I once received a coat hanger. Ok, so it was actually just a gag gift!

3. What is a song you thought you knew the words and then later found out you were wrong?
Pretty much every song I've ever listened to. I'm awful for just making up my own words to songs.

4. What are you most looking forward to this month?
My sister's bridal shower next weekend!

5. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? Explain.
I was going to say my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but I think I'm actually going to go with my dishwasher. I hate washing dishes by hand, so that thing is a lifesaver!

6. If you could have a gift card to anywhere right now, where would you choose? Why?
The place where we want to order our sectional from. I can't remember the name, but it's an online furniture warehouse.

7. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Feta, spinach and basically any other veggie. Oh! I've actually been on a real big BBQ chicken kick lately.

8. Name something you’re thankful for aside from obvious answers (i.e. family, job, faith, etc.).
My Nespresso. I adore that thing so dang much.

9. What was your least favorite rule growing up?
I don't remember any rules that I hated. I guess my parents weren't all that strict.

10. If you could train your pet to do one thing, what would it be? Example, “Weego” from the Bud Light commercial:
I don't have a pet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4 Years and Counting

At the end of March, Stephen and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary. I’m amazed that so much time has gone by, yet it feels like it was just yesterday that we had met. We didn’t have anything particularly special planned to celebrate, just dinner and a movie. I should have known better though, because this year, Stephen has been on a roll with getting me awesome gifts. I’ve been downright spoiled!

Stephen likes to watch me look at Pinterest every so often. Normally, it’s so he can insist that I need to make every delicious looking recipe that I come across, but sometimes, he’ll point out a cool project. It all started with this project that I pinned:

Pinterest{Project via Our Fifth House}

Since Stephen and I have moved around a lot since we first moved in together, we both agreed that it was a neat idea, so I pinned it with the intention of making it someday.

In the weeks leading up to our anniversary, Stephen alluded to the fact that he had an awesome gift planned out for me. I could hardly wait to find out what it was, but I tried to push it out of my mind so that I wouldn’t go crazy. When Stephen got home from work, he presented me with my gift. He had gone downtown one day to take pictures of the first two places that we lived, then put it all together for me.

March 28 1116 Pt2

March 28 1111

We decided to hang the frames up by the front door, so that when friends and family come to visit, they can reminisce with us about our old places. I blocked out our current address in the first photo, by the way.

What I love about Stephen’s version of the project, is that he stuck pictures of us from the time we lived in each of those places.

March 28 1112

This was back in the first place, which I only lived in for roughly 6 months. Stephen had a roommate, and we knew that we wanted to live on our own. The apartment wasn’t fantastic, but it was my first time living away from home, so I have fond memories of it.

March 28 1113

This is from the condo. We both loved that place, but quickly realized that it was just much too small for us. That, and it got so unbelievably hot in there, that we didn’t turn on the heat until it hit –10C outside.

March 28 1114

The last place, which I have mixed feelings about. It was our biggest place so far (at the time), so I loved that about it. I also loved that we finally had laundry in our own house, and we had a large kitchen. That was about it. We didn’t intend to move from there after only 1 year, but our landlord decided he wanted to renovate and charge more for the place.

March 28 1115 Pt2

Our current, and most favorite place. It’s the biggest, and the nicest. We don’t plan on moving from here for a long time, so keep your fingers crossed that no one has other plans for us.

I’m a ridiculously sentimental person, so this was the perfect gift for me. It didn’t cost a lot to make, but to me, it means more than an expensive gift. I’m excited to see how the pictures will change in the years to come. (Hopefully we only have one or two more frames to fill!) Stephen sure knows the way to my heart.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Would you rather give up pedicures or flat/curling irons?Pedicures, because I've never actually had one. Crazy, I know. 

2. Does your middle name have a family meaning?Technically, no. My middle name is after the family friend that was supposed to be my God Mother. She passed away just before I was born though. I'd say that she was family though. 

3. Do you like to sneeze?I'm indifferent to sneezing. Never really thought about the fact that some people may enjoy it!

4. Do you think kids should need to learn cursive?It didn't kill me to learn cursive, so I say why not?

5. When you go to the beach for the day, what do you take?I don't ever get to go to the beach for the day (no beaches around here), but I assume I would take a towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, a chair, food and reading material. 

6. Which decade had the best music?The 90's, clearly. 

7. Are you a good hand-shaker?I'd say that I am. I can't stand the limp handshake that a lot of women seem to do, I'd rather not shake hands with a limp fish, thank you very much! 
8. Do you have a go-to meal for when you are at a restaurant and you can’t decide?Some sort of pasta dish, usually tortellini. 

9. Do you have slippers?Yes. I get over heated quite easily if my feet are hot though, so I don't wear them often. I'd love to find a cooler pair then the giant purple ones I own. (Cooler in both senses, ha!)

10. Are you easily grossed out?
Most times, yeah. Then again, I am a nanny, and when I'm at work, I'm the only one there to deal with the gross issues, so I just suck it up and do it. I've got a few gross stories that people groan about when I try to tell them. So...maybe I'm not actually that easily grossed out. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Just a quick little update for you guys...
My laptop randomly decided to quit workingthis week, so I don't have much access to a computer, other than on my phone. Luckily, my nanny family lets me use their tablet, so I am still able to read a few blogs during nap time. My only complaint is that I have to read blogs in Google Reader, and not with the Google Next button, which I've come to love. Google Reader is just so plain!
Stephen and I had been talking about getting me a better laptop in the next few months, so he went ahead and surprised me by ordering me a new one while I was sleeping. He's a keeper.

I can't rember if I talked about it here yet, but I've started my nanny share. It's going well, and the extra money is always nice. The warm weather we've had lately meand that we've been spending a lot of time at the park. I can't even tell you how nice it is to get out of the house and meet new people.

There won't be any new blog posts from me until the new laptop shows up. When it comes in, I do believe I owe you guys a post about my anniversary present. It's a good one, trust me.

Tell me, how have you been? What's new in your life?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Do you prefer fabric or plastic plasters? (or Band-Aids if American)
Plastic. I don't know if it's just me, but when I wear the fabric ones, I seem to get them all dirty and gross.

2. Do you prefer gel pens, biro or fine liners for everyday writing?
Fine liners. Sharpie pens are my favorite at the moment.

3. Do you have a fear or needles/dentists/blood (if all three, which is the worst) and is there a story behind it?
I get a bit anxious at the thought of needles, but nothing too bad. As for blood, too much of it icks me out, but as a nanny, it's just a natural part of my job. Dentists though, well, they give me major anxiety. No story behind the reason why, they just do.

4. Do you like jelly? Do you eat it at any time other than when poorly?
Jelly, as in Jell-O? I rarely eat it. I don't find anything wrong with it; it just doesn't excite me. I also don't eat it when sick. Just chicken noodle soup for me!

5. What are your Easter traditions? (if not Christian, insert your own meaningful festival here and tell us about that instead)
Other than the family getting together and having a turkey dinner, we don't have any. As kids, we did wake up to find Easter baskets filled with chocolate and a small gift. I can't wait to have my own kids to start our own Easter traditions!

6. What’s your favourite book that you have read so far this year?
I am seriously slacking when it comes to reading; I've only read Bossypants by Tina Fey. I plan to remedy that soon and start reading more. I miss it.

7. Do you have any magazine subscriptions or recommendations that we should know about?
I've never really been one to have a magazine subscription. I did subscribe to Martha Stewart for a little while though!

8. Favourite etsy store (if you know the owner IRL, also include your favourite that you didn’t originally know IRL)?
I browse Etsy every so often, but don't have a favorite store. I did recently buy some washi tape from here though.

9. If you had play money (£100/$150) that could only be used on shoes, what shoes would you buy?
I need a new pair of every day runners. Not sure what brand I would buy, just whatever catches my eye.

10. If you were going pet shopping tomorrow, what would you choose?
A dog. I've been wanting a dog for so long that it's driving me crazy. We're not allowed to have pets in our townhouse though, so I'll have to wait a few more years.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Peek Around My House

Several weeks ago, I promised that I would share some glimpses of my home (after Stephen bought me all of the awesome new furniture). I never got around to that, but I’m hoping you don’t mind, because I’m going to do it right now! If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you’ve probably already seen these pictures. Sorry for the repeats.
Let’s start with my living room, shall we? In my opinion, our living room is rather long. In one corner, we have our couch, loveseat and TV, along with end tables and a coffee table. The other end of the living room was quite bare when we moved in, so Stephen and I decided that we wanted to fill it with a desk and bookshelf. A sort of mini office, if you will. Well, Stephen, being the amazing gift giver that he is, picked out a desk for me for my birthday.
March 28 1085
On the left, is the bookshelf and on the right, is another shelf that houses our printer. The desk, is obviously in the middle. The wall above it is rather and tall and obviously empty. Our plans are to buy some shelves to put above it. You know, when we get around to having enough money to do so. Our house is a work in progress.
March 28 1086
Here’s a better look at the bookshelf, where it becomes painfully obvious that I love all things French.
March 28 1088
My parents took me shopping for my birthday, which is where I picked up this candle holder. I picked up last minute on a whim, yet it has become one of my favorite items. I adore it!
Now onto my bedroom. Stephen also surprised me with two nightstands, a bedframe, and a dresser for my birthday. Yes, I was spoiled rotten. And yes, we were broke after that. Also, yes, it was totally worth it.
March 28 1078
So that’s a pretty awful picture, but when I was going around taking pictures of the new stuff, I forgot to take a new one of the bedframe. Since this picture was taken, we’ve hung a map above the bed, and cleared out the junk on the right. Just so you know, it’s been a year since we’ve had a bedframe. Our last one broke in the last move.
March 28 1093
The new dresser! I had originally wanted the taller version of this one, but I love this dresser so much more. I just wish I had fresh flowers on there all the time. Those were my Valentine flowers from Stephen. Oh yeah, he takes good care of me.
March 28 1091
Last crummy picture. The lighting in the hallway is bad, and my photography skills (plus lack of photo editing knowledge) means that this picture is rather yellow. I still wanted to show you my ampersand though, I’m quite proud of it! As you can see, we have this funny little ledge over our stairwell (that’s the messy kitchen below!), so I stuck a couple of things up there. I didn’t even notice this ledge until February, which is 2 months after we had moved in!
So there you have it, a few glimpses of my home. Pretty soon, I’ll come back and share my anniversary present from Stephen. That deserves a post all on its own.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

I'm sorry that all of my posts lately have been ToT's. I've been in some sort of weird funk lately, that I believe had to do with the winter weather. Now that there's a lot more sunshine, and the weather has been warmer, I've been feeling more like my normal self. Hopefully that means more blogging in the near future!

1. How do you feel about April Fool’s Day?
I think it's lame. The Facebook/all other social media jokes are over played and boring.

2. Do you like birds?
They're ok. I'm not a fan of Magpies and Crows though, they're just loud and annoying. While I don't mind birds, I'm not interested in having one as a pet.

3. How often do you wear your hair in a ponytail?
Every day. I'm the worst at doing my own hair.

4. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I used to think I did, but I'm not so sure anymore. Though I do have to admit that the first time I saw Stephen, I knew there was something pretty special about him.

5. What is your favorite appetizer?
Nachos. Or spinach dip. Or potato wedges. Or all the food, really.

6. What is your favorite brand of heels?
I don't wear heels, so I don't have a favorite brand.

7. Are you a picky eater?
I like to think I'm not, but I don't eat any seafood. I think everyone's a bit picky, really.

8. Is there a tv show you like that nobody ever talks about?
Nope. I like what everyone else seems to like. Although Full House and Who's the Boss have become favorites once again. It's on every morning, while at work!

9. Do you prefer hot tea or cold tea?
No tea. I used to like hot tea, but when I started drinking strong coffee, I lost my love for tea. I haven't liked iced tea since I was a kid.

10. Gayle or Peeta? (If you don’t know how to answer, read The Hunger Games.)
I still haven't read The Hunger Games.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday#121 at Roots and Rings
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a ToT post, but I had to participate this week, because I love the questions!
1. Ikea: over-hyped and confusing or genius furniture company? Genius furniture company. I love that I can afford the furniture, and for the most part, it’s good quality. I didn’t always think it was good quality though. I used to think good quality furniture came from places like The Brick, until I bought a dining room table from there and it’s not falling apart. I dream of owning an Ikea dining room table and chairs.
2. Your favorite interior-decorator-type person wants to makeover one room in your house. Which room do you choose and why? Do I get to have a free makeover? If so, then I pick the living room. We’re in need of some shelves, artwork and a sectional sofa. If I have to pay for it all out of pocket, then I pick our bedroom, because it only need a TV stand and a piece of artwork or two. It would be more fun to be able to show off our beautifully decorated living room though.
3. Describe the furniture in your childhood bedroom. Did you like it? Where is that furniture now? To be honest, I don’t remember much about the furniture in my childhood bedroom. It was all hand-me-downs, and I shared a room with my sisters for a good long time, so the furniture wasn’t really anything special. Some of the furniture (bed and dresser) is still at my parent’s house. Fun fact: I’ve never owned a brand new bed frame until this year, when Stephen bought me one for my birthday. I’ve still never owned a brand new mattress, but thankfully, the mattress Stephen brought into our relationship was bought brand new after he met me. I went shopping for it with him. 
4. When you’re done with furniture, what do you do with it? Donate it to Goodwill OR Sell it on Craigslist OR Put it by the curb and hope the trash guys take it? Depends on how old it is. I usually just want it out of my house, so whoever is willing to take it off my hands can have it. We’re planning on buying a sectional soon(ish), so when we do, we’ll try and sell our current couch and loveseat on Kijiji.
5. My Pinterest furniture style could best be described as
antique/shabby chic
so random and varied it’s undefinable.
So random and varied it’s undefinable. I like a good mixture of antique and modern.
6. Name the most important furniture/toy in a toddler’s playroom. And why? A toy box. You need somewhere to be able to toss all of the miscellaneous toys at the end of the day. When the kids are really young, I don’t see a need to sort out the toys, so I like the ease of being able to just toss it all into one bin at the end of the day.
7. Your parents (or grandparents or other relative) are giving away all their furniture. Which piece do you really want? Nothing, actually. My style is different than both my parents and grandparents, that I really don’t think I want any of their furniture. My great grandma did give me a side table last year, but we’re only using it until we buy our new couch. Once we buy new end tables, it’ll be banished to the basement, along with another mismatched side table.
8. Your biggest furniture buying or home decorating regret? Buying a counter height dining room table and chairs from The Brick. It’s poorly made, no one thinks they’re comfortable, and only 4 people can sit at it (5 if we squish). I can’t wait until it’s in our budget to buy a bigger table!
9. $1000 gift card! Do you want it to Ethan Allen, ikea, Pottery Barn Kids? I don’t think we have an Ethan Allen here, and I don’t have any kids yet, so that means IKEA! I’d have a blast spending that $1000.
10. Bunk beds, loft beds, trundle beds, or canopy beds? If the answer has to be from this list, then I’ll settle for a canopy bed. If it doesn’t have to been from this list, then I pick a sleigh bed. I’ve always wanted one!

Friday, March 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes

1. I'm still finding it hard to find something to write about here lately. My life has been rather uneventful, and that doesn't make for very exciting blog posts. I also haven't picked up my camera in a few weeks, which makes me sad. I need to remedy these problems soon.

2. Stephen got a new job, that he started a week ago! He has officially left the restaurant industry, and become the produce manager at a grocery store across the street from our house. He's thankful to trade in a 1.5 hour (each way) commute for a 5 minute walk.

3. Speaking of work, I'll be starting a part time nanny share in two weeks. For those of you who don't know, a nanny share is when two families come
together and combine childcare with one nanny. This means that the families each get to pay the nanny less, but the nanny ends up making more money! This nanny share is only 4 or so days a month, but the extra money will be nice.

4. I've got my sister's wedding on the brain. Her wedding is less than 4 months away, and I feel like she's behind in planning it. She hasn't even figured out who's going to make her wedding cake yet!

5. I'm in charge of the bridal shower in May, so I've been working on invites. Those need to go out in the next week, so I need to get those finished off. We'll also be ordering our bridesmaids dresses before the weekend is over.

6. Tomorrow is mine and Stephen's 4 year anniversary. I can't believe it's already been 4 years! So much has changed in the short amount of time, that I feel like surely I must have known him longer than I really have. Since Stephen changed jobs, he's now stuck working, so we don't really have much planned. I'll have to cook him a nice dinner, and bake something delicious, of course!

7. Did I mention that this is my first full two day weekend in weeks? I've been picking up a bunch of extra babysitting on weekends, but I am so thankful to get a full two days off now. Can't wait to sleep in tomorrow.

What are your plans this weekend?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BBBS: An Update

Last year, around April, I convinced Stephen that we should volunteer as a Big Couple with Big Brothers Big Sisters. After a very long 7 month wait, we were matched with a Little Brother. After 2 months of trying to make it work, Stephen and I decided (in February) that it actually wasn’t working out and that we had to end the match. Please understand that this is hard for me to write, because I hate giving up on something that was so important to me. I do feel the need to share this here so that you guys can get an update on how things were going (in case you cared), and I find it’s always good therapy to write out your feelings.

Let’s start with a little bit of what was going on in mine and Stephen’s life around the end of November, when we were matched. We were in the process of moving, which came unexpectedly when our landlord decided to give us one month notice that he wanted to sell our townhouse. Stephen was also in the process of trying to switch locations with his job, but ended up being screwed over and was out of a job for a month. So, during the month of December, not only did we have the responsibility of unpacking our house in time to host Christmas dinner, but Stephen also had to job hunt while I was working insanely long hours and often giving up my weekends to work. We needed to make money, and I wanted to pull my weight. December burned both of us out, but we decided to try our hardest to make our match work. You’re supposed to see your Little every week, for 2-5hours/week. We missed two weeks that month, due to the move and Christmas.

January rolled around, and Stephen was back to work. Unfortunately, the only job he could find at the time was at a restaurant that would require 3 hours of travel a day, on top of 8+ hours of work. My work schedule was about the same as it had been since September, but even with that in mind, I work 10 hour days. Despite that, we resolved to continue to do our best with the match.

Around the end of January, Stephen and I both started to realize that maybe the match wasn’t working out so well after all. We had originally said that our best day to meet up is Sundays, which the family agreed to. What we didn’t realize is that they go to church on Sundays (often not getting home until 3pm or later), and that the Mom would suddenly start telling us that too many things were being scheduled on a Sunday and she didn’t want to tire out Little Brother.

By February, Stephen and I had missed two weeks in a row with LB, when we realized that things weren’t working out. We were really struggling to find something in common with LB, as all he wanted to do when we got together was play video games (which isn’t the point of these matches). We did have some fun times outside of our home, but we realized he was only having fun when we were spending money. We couldn’t afford to keep him happy like that each week, and once again, that wasn’t the point of these matches.

Shortly after my birthday, Stephen and I both agreed (after quite a few tears on my part) that it was time to end the match. This was especially hard for me, because I felt like I was giving up. What we didn’t realize when we signed up is that the matching process is quite lengthy. I had been hearing how much of a wait that Little Brothers have, so I assumed that it would be a much quicker matching process. I just wish they had warned us. If we had been matched sooner, things could have worked out better. Stephen and I were working much less at the time, and would have had an easier time adjusting to our new life (with LB, of course) once December rolled around, because we would have had that extra time to form a great bond. I feel like our Little Brother didn’t really need the program. He wasn’t struggling as much as his mother lead us to believe, but if he could benefit at all from BBBS, it would be from a match with a Big Brother.

While this match didn’t work out the way I had anticipated, I’m still glad that we attempted it. I learned a lot about myself, and about Stephen. Once life has settled down again (more life changes coming up soon for Stephen), we may revisit the idea of volunteering again. It’s something that’s important to me (I volunteered all through Jr. High and high school), and I want to make it a part of our lives that we can share with our future family. Who knows what the near future will bring.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday

#118 at Roots and Rings

1. What are your designated chores in your home?
We don’t really have designated chores around our house, but I do have to admit that most of them end up being my responsibility anyway.

2. What is your least favorite chore to do around the hose?
Cleaning the bathrooms.

3. What was your designated chore growing up?
Cleaning my room, doing the dishes and making school lunches.

4. Did you get paid to do chores or was your allowance connected to you completing your chores?
We didn’t really have an allowance, so I definitely didn’t get paid to do chores!

5. If you had a bit of extra money, would you hire a cleaning person or would you save the money for something else?
I always say that I would hire a cleaning person, but the truth is, I probably wouldn’t. There’s always something more important that that extra money could go toward.

6. What chores will you make your kids do around the house?
Cleaning their rooms, picking up their toys around the house and putting away their own laundry. I used to make my old nanny kids put away their own laundry and they hated it!

7. How frequently do you do laundry? Wash your sheets? Dust?
I do laundry whenever I start to notice it piling up, so about every 2 to 3 days or so. As for our sheets, I don’t have a consistent schedule, just whenever I notice that they need washing. Same goes for dusting.

8. Do you have a designated “chore day” during the week?
No, but then again, I usually end up doing chores on the weekend, as I hate cleaning on workdays.

9. What is your favorite chore–if such a thing exists?
I don’t mind loading the dishwasher (I hate unloading it though) and I don’t mind doing laundry.

10. Do you do anything to help pass the time while doing chores (music, TV, etc.)?
I’ve always got music on. Singing along to the radio helps pass the time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where to Find Me

With Google Friend Connect disappearing, I just thought I would let you know some alternative ways to follow my blog.

You can find me on bloglovin’ here.

You can find me on feedburner here.

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Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday

#117 at Roots and Rings

1. What did you do this weekend?
Friday night, my sister and I went to a game night at my friend’s house. Saturday night consisted of a double feature (The Help and Friends With Benefits). Sunday consisted of cleaning, prepping crockpot meals for the freezer and making homemade French bread.

2. Do you prefer short fingernails or long fingernails?
In between. I have a bad habit of biting my nails though, so my nails are usually on the shorter side.

3. What is your favorite use for Pinterest?
Looking for recipes and crafts. I’ve made plenty of both from the site!

4. Do you sleep with your mouth open?
I think about half the time. It’s not exactly something I can control once I’m asleep!

5. Where did you have the best pizza you’ve ever eaten?
I’ve never really had truly memorable pizza. I do love making homemade pizza though!

6. What do you eat for breakfast on weekdays?
Usually cereal or a bagel.

7. Do you watch awards shows? Why or why not?
Nope; I find them boring. I also hate when Twitter gets overrun by awards show tweets. I’m so thankful that Echofon has a mute function!

8. Can you whistle? Snap? Curl your tongue? Bend down and touch your palms to the ground?
I can whistle, snap and curl my tongue. I can’t bend down and touch my palms to the ground though!

9. What email service do you use?
Gmail.  I still have my hotmail account, but never log into it. I keep it around for MSN messenger, but I don’t even use that anymore.

10. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Just about anything! Walking, hiking, picnics…I just love being outdoors.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Friendship

I was just making my way through my Google Reader when I came across this post (Friendship Truths) by Amy at Just a Titch. The paragraph she wrote about Three Strikes. She tries to make plans three times with new friends, and if they deny her three times, she’ll move on. I think that sounds like a great idea, but what do you do when it’s your old friends that are turning you down consistently?

I’ve been having this problem lately, with two friends in particular. We’ll make plans, and they’ll consistently flake on me. The worst is when they flake on me at the last minute, after I’ve already put all other plans aside and I’ve made the time for them. This just happened this past weekend, and I’m kind of getting tired of it. It’s harder because these girls are friends from high school, meaning we’ve known each other for nearly ten years. I’m kind of getting tired of this happening, and if I followed Amy’s three strike rule, that would mean it’s time for me to move on. Stephen insists that I speak up and say something to them, but I feel like doing so will start some sort of drama, and I’m just not that kind of person.

Not that my solution is any better, I’ve just stopped trying to make plans with them. If they make plans and invite me along, I’ll come, but I won’t go out of my way to make plans with them anymore. The disappointment that comes from them cancelling every single time is too much. To be honest, I feel like this is a high school type of problem, and I figured that at the age of 26, I wouldn’t be dealing with silly things like this anymore.

Now, to get to the point of me writing this post; I’d like to ask for your advice. If you were in this situation, what would you do? Would you speak up and risk upsetting your friends? (One of them in particular is overly sensitive.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

0.01×10^2. What was your best/worst day in math class?
I swear that math is my arch nemesis, so pretty much every day was a bad day. I can't even name my best day.

20×10^-1. Who was your favorite/least favorite math teacher? Why?
I've never had a math teacher that I didn't like, but my favorite would have to be my tenth and eleventh grade teacher Ms. Dressler. She made math bearable!

3×10^0. Is it okay to be bad at math if English is more your thing?
Yes, provided you at least gave math your best shot. I'm definitely more of an arts/languages type person, so I would definitely agree with this statement.

0.4×10^1. How does this video make you feel?
It's a joke, right? As much as I can't stand math, I realize the importance of it.

500×10^-2. What do you like/not like about math?
I hate everything about it. Anything involving numbers is the bane of my existence.

0.006×10^3. What makes someone a nerd?
I think I get nerds and geeks mixed up all the time, so I'm not sure I know the answer to this question.

7×10^0. Who is the nerdiest person you know?
None of my friends are truly nerdy, but I tease Stephen occasionally for being a nerd.

80×10^-1. What is the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done?
I once contemplated joining the science Olympics team in junior high. I even went to one meeting, but realized it wasn't for me.

0.9×10^1. Do you think GraphJam is funny?
I've never heard about it until now, but I do find it funny.

10×10^1. Have you ever used math outside of school?
Of course. Not the more advanced math we learned later in my school years, but I use basic math all the time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 67)

1. I can’t believe it’s already Friday again. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working so hard that time has just flown by. Within a two week period, I managed to work 109 hours. I also managed to pick up a nasty cold along the way, which means I haven’t been taking very good care of myself.

2. Thankfully, I have today off.  My regular Friday family is in Mexico, and my other nanny family didn’t need me today. I got a whole 12 hours of sleep; I can’t even tell you the last time that happened! I also get Monday off, because it’s Family Day here in Alberta. 4 whole days off sounds absolutely amazing to me.

3. Speaking of the weekend, want to know my plans? I was offered an awesome opportunity to go get photos taken at a new photography studio here in Calgary (in exchange for writing about it on my blog). Stephen and I have very few photos together (since I’m usually the one taking the pictures), so I jumped on this opportunity, and I’m dragging him along with me.

4. Later that night, we’ll be meeting up with some friends for coffee and dessert. We were supposed to go to a lacrosse game, but some poor planning hindered that opportunity. I don’t care what we do though, I’ll be happy just getting out of the house and spending time with some of my favorite people!

5. Valentine’s Day was this week, and of course I need to mention what Stephen did for me. We’ve never been the type of couple to really celebrate Valentine’s Day. With it being so close to my birthday, and with Stephen usually working late that day, it’s never been our holiday. This year though, I bought Stephen a couple of little chocolates and left them for him to find when he woke up. Of course he had to go and outdo me though. What I didn’t know is that he had planned to take the day off work, so that he could go out and buy the bench that I wanted for our front hallway. Since the one I wanted wasn’t in stock (it was a bench with storage), he grabbed another one, and bought a little chest to stick underneath for storage. What I didn’t realize is that he had stuck some roses and chocolate in there! This was completely unexpected, especially after the surprise he pulled off for my birthday not so long ago. He said that he also really wanted me to have the bench that I wanted!

6. We also went to the movies that night. Our original plan was to join my sister and her boyfriend to see The Vow, but of course, it was sold out. We ended up seeing Contraband, which I happened to really like anyway. I’ve been absolutely spoiled this month, and it turns out, Stephen’s already planning something for our anniversary next month. He’s not normally the kind of guy to go all out for every single holiday/special occasion. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but I sure do love it!

7. I’ve been mentioning this furniture that Stephen bought me for my birthday. My Mom has been begging me for pictures of it, which I plan on taking at some point today. I think I’ll share them here next week.

Hopefully you have an amazing weekend! What do you have planned?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?
I love it. Even when I was single, I was never bitter about Valentine's Day. I suppose I'm a real girly girl in the sense that I love hearts, pink and red.

2. Are you in love?
Very much so.

3. What is your favorite love song?
I don't really have one. Stephen and I don't even have a song like most couples seem to. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy sappy lovey music.

4. Did your parents do anything for you on Valentine’s Day when you were a child?
Yes. They always left us little gifts of chocolate and a card, sometimes even a little gift like a stuffed animal, Valentine's socks, and even jewelry when we were older. Nothing expensive or over the top, but a little token to show us they love us.

5. What is your love language? (Click here if you want to take the quiz.)
I took this quiz ages ago, and found out my love language is touch. Makes sense, since I'm always touching Stephen in some way.

6. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Gifts? Dinner?
We really don't do much, since my birthday is so close (it was on the 5th). Despite that, we'll still do something small, like cook a nice dinner, or Stephen will buy me flowers.

7. What is your favorite flower?

8. What is your favorite love story? (Book and/or movie.)
Maybe The Notebook. Despite the fact that I love to watch/read romantic movies and books, I don't really have a clear favorite. My problem is I just love too many things!

9. What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you? Or you have done for someone?
For our first date, Stephen made me a three course dinner. He set the table nicely and even lit some candles. It was perfect! He may not show it often, but he's a very romantic guy.

10. How did you meet your spouse/significant other?
We met online. Some friends were signed up on a dating website and decided that I needed to join them. They made me a profile, and within a week, Stephen had found me and was sending me messages.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Photo a Day

Last year, I attempted to do the photo a day challenge, but failed miserably. I didn’t even complete a month! I didn’t think I wanted to try it again this year, but I found an app called Photo 365. I figured it would help me out if I used my phone to take my pictures (it’s always with me), and the app has a reminder function. I downloaded and started using it, but quickly found that some days, nothing photo worthy really happens. It was around this time that I started noticing the January Photo a Day challenge (started by Fat Mum Slim) floating around on Twitter. I didn’t really want to start part way through the month, so I decided to wait for February to start. Having this little list of inspiration has made a huge difference, and I haven’t missed taking a photo since I started on January 14th. I have missed two days of the February Photo a Day, but I just replaced them with other photos taken that day.

I won’t share every single picture I’ve taken since January 14th, but I thought I’d share my February photos. Depending on how well I keep up with this challenge (there should hopefully be a new list up every month), I’ll do a recap at the end of every month here on my blog!

Day 1

Day 1: Taken on my walk back from the park with Baby E.

Day 2

Day 2: One of my favorite onesies that E owns.

Day 3

Day 3: Those chubby baby hands kill me. So adorable.

Day 4

Day 4: This was a sneaky photo of a stranger. There was construction going on right outside my front door, so I sneakily took this picture from the door.

Day 5

Day 5: Even though this day was my birthday, I was wrapping up a gift for someone else.

Day 6: I forgot to take a picture of my dinner, but added in a picture of Baby E. I can’t share it here though!

Day 7

Day 7: A peek at my button collection.

Day 8

Day 8: The view of the sun outside my front door.

Day 9

Day 9: A crooked picture of my front door, which is on the right.

DAy 10

Day 10: A screenshot of the tweet that says it all.

Day 11

Day 11: Baby E makes me really happy! He’s got the best giggle ever.

DAy 12

Day 12: Inside my messy closet.

Day 13

Day 13: My kitchen is blue.

Are you participating in the February Photo a Day challenge? Have you ever done the 365 photo challenge? How did you do?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Surprise Party

This past Sunday was my 26th birthday. If you remember this post, then you’ll remember that I was less than enthused about it. I had been trying to plan something with my friends and family, but they all kept turning me down, telling me that they would have to make it up to me later in the month. I eventually settled on having Stephen take me out to dinner, and a friend invited me over for lunch.

Lunch was really good. It was with one of my really good friends (who’s birthday is the day before mine) and her 2 year old twins. It was nice having that time out of the house. She drove me home after lunch, so that I could get my present from Stephen, then go out to dinner. Stephen met me out at the van, with a scarf that he used as a blindfold. He brought me in and surprised me with a desk and chair for the corner of our living room. I hadn’t picked one out, but wanted one because I felt our living room was incomplete. When I went to give him a hug, it was then that I noticed everyone else. Turns out, Stephen had planned me a little surprise party! Both of my sisters were there (with their boyfriends), my friend Izel as well as my other friend and her twins. All that time I spent sad that no one would hang out with me was just silly, they were all just trying to keep a secret from me!

February 7 009{He even surprised me with a cake from my favorite cupcake bakery; complete with ridiculous pet name.}

Stephen then brought me upstairs to our bedroom for one last surprise: a new bedframe, two nightstands and a dresser! We’ve been needing a new bedroom set for ages, but I figured we would have to wait a few months yet for it. While I was out at lunch, Stephen was at home trying to build all of the furniture as quickly as possible. He didn’t get the dresser done in time, but it didn’t matter to me. I was just thrilled that Stephen took the time and effort to do this for me! Can you believe that he had been planning this since over Christmas vacation? I did notice some things out of the ordinary, like more texts than normal and some very strange phone calls, but I still didn’t suspect what he was actually doing. In the end, I had a fantastic birthday, surrounded by those who love me.

I want to share pictures of the snazzy new furniture we got, but I’m going to wait until I have time to finish setting things up fully. Has anyone ever thrown you a surprise party?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday

#114 at Roots and Rings

1. How do you feel about Groundhog’s Day?
I could care less about it either way. I do get a little bit curious halfway through the day, whether or not the groundhog saw its shadow.

2. What color are your fingernails right now? (Bonus points if you include a picture.)
I don’t paint my fingernails. I chip them so badly, that they never stay looking nice for more than a few hours. It’s not worth the hassle to me.

3. Do you like riddles?
If I can solve them, then I like them.

4. When you were 10, how old did you think “old” was? At your current age, how old do you think “old” is?
I don’t quite remember, but I’m sure I thought 40ish was old. Now, I think 90 is old.

5. Do you wish on stars?
I have to admit that I occasionally do. I’m cheesy like that.

6. Do you recycle?
Since the curbside recycling program was introduced, we’ve always lived in apartments/condos where there was no recycling. We finally live in a place where there is recycling pickup, but we haven’t gotten into  the groove of recycling. I blame it on the fact that we didn’t even have garbage keys for a month, so we had to store garbage in our garage. With the move and Christmas, that produced a ton of garbage, so we’re still trying to take it out. I think that once we finally get our garage cleared of garbage (it’s mostly boxes, nothing that smells), we’ll get the recycling situation sorted out.

7. On a scale from 1-10, how good of a cook are you?
I’m going to say 6. I’ve come a long way since moving out a few years ago, but I still have a lot to learn.

8. Do you color your hair? Professionally or at home?
I don’t color my hair. I have dyed it, I think twice, but I never kept up with it.

9. One a scale from 1-10, how do you rate your manners?
Probably a 7. I’m sure I could be a lot better.

10. Who are the last 5 people you have texted?
b)My sister Jessica
d)My boss’ friend (she was looking for babysitting)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

I couldn't pass up ToT this week, because the questions are courtesy of one my favorite bloggers; Kara from Kara's Chatter!

1. What’s your variety of apple?
I've never bothered to find a favorite. I normally just eat whatever I'm given, or buy whatever's on sale. I'm not a big fan of apple skin (which may have to do with the varieties I've been eating?), so I typically peel the apple and then slice it before eating.

2. Do you prefer Long-English or Field cucumbers?
Again, haven't really made the effort to find out the difference. I typically buy Long English cucumbers though, just because they're longer!

3. Tomatoes – Delicious or disgusting?
Delicious! I even went through a phase one summer where I would eat tomato tomato slices with a bit of salt and pepper. It was a thing I picked up after staying at my Uncle's parents' cottage for a week.

4. What’s one fruit or vegetable that you can’t stand and why is that?
Okra. I tried frozen okra, and it was slimy and disgusting. I have no interest in even trying fresh okra.

5. What’s your favourite way to prepare veggies? (Grilled, boiled, roasted, sautéed, etc.)
I'll take them anyway I can get them, but I've recently discovered the joy of roasted veggies. I make roasted broccoli from a recipe I found on Pinterest that is amazing!

6. Sweet potato pie: Love it or hate it?
Never actually had it.

7. What’s your favourite “style” of French fry? Wedges, shoelace, curly, crinkle-cut or other?
The thicker, the better. I'm kind of funny about my fries; the thicker ones are the good ones, and the little crispy ones are the bad ones. Stephen will try to steal fries from me, and I always get mad at him for taking the good ones.

8. What’s your favourite fruit-pie filling?
I think lemon (as in lemon meringue). Although any fruit pie is amazing. It has to be homemade though, because it makes it so much better.

9. When you were a kid did your parents make you sit at the table until all your veggies were eaten off your plate?
I can't remember if they did, so I'm going to say no.

10. Do you drink veggie & fruit juice blends (such as V8, etc.) or make them yourself?
I rarely buy them, but I occasionally do.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Recap

Before I get into what I did over the weekend, I'd like to address my blogging schedule as of late. My 5 day a week blogging schedule just isn't cutting it anymore. There was a time when I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, and had lots to say. Now that my hours at work have increased, I'm left with little free time. Little free time means less things to go out and do, then blog about. Some days, I really wish that I could blog about work, though that would make me straddle the mommy blogger line. I'd start a whole new blogging niche; nanny blogging! Anyway, those aren't my stories to share. I've decided to make peace with the fact that I just can't blog 5 days a week anymore. I don't want to give up blogging, because I still love it. I'll just pop in here and write whenever I have something to say; whether it be once a week or 4 times a week. Hopefully the readers that have stuck around this long will continue to stick around!

Now, on to my weekend. Saturday evening was our night to hang out with our Little Brother, so we had him over for sugar cookie baking and video games. I was excited to try out a recipe that was supposed to mimic a popular store brand soft sugar cookie, but was sorely disappointed. I'm not sure if I did something wrong, but they weren't very exciting. Despite that, we still had fun decorating them.

{This is what gingerbread men look like after Christmas!}

Sunday evening consisted of some babysitting. While not normally very noteworthy, last night brought some drama. Not even 5 minutes after the parents had left, the fire alarm in the condo was pulled. (Cue panic!) A neighbor knocked on the door, letting me know that she had pulled the alarm because smoke was coming out of a neighbors door. Just lovely. Luckily, this family lives on the main floor with a patio door that opens up into the parking lot, so it was very easy to get the boys standing outside while I grabbed their coats. I made the decision to call their parents to let them know what was happening, and try made their way back home. The boys and I hung around outside, chatting with the neighbors and watching the firemen do their work. Turns out a neighbor had put a pot on the stove and then went out, leaving the stove turned on! How they could be so foolish, I don't know. Luckily, there was no damage and the boys and I were never in any danger. I really didn't even need to call the parents, but it's always better safe than sorry. The parents went back out after that (since they had concert tickets) and I got the boys settled and into bed. Surprisingly enough, they went to bed quite easily, despite the excitement of the evening.

All of that excitement must be every parent's worst nightmare when leaving their kids with a caregiver. Actually, as a caregiver, it's one of my worst nightmares!
How was your weekend? Was it anywhere near as exciting as my night was last night?
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