Monthly Archives: November 2010

30 Days Hath November

The last day of the month! Where has the time gone?! Whoosh, welcome December!
In case you hadn’t noticed, I tried an experiment for the month of November: blogging every day. I wanted to see if I would enjoy frequent posting (yup) or if I would run out of things to say (nope, not a chance!). I did miss one day: last Monday when we were down and out with the flu. I remember I awoke at some point and thought of the blogging streak and that I should post at least a little something, but at the moment, it all just seemed like too. much. effort. I rolled over and went back to sleep. You’ll notice a couple days on the November calendar (sidebar, at left) where there is no blog entry – those dates I did do something with either the recipe, reads, or movie categories of the 1970 Kiki Project.
For December, I am going to play it by ear…there’s lots of fun and blog-worthy activities and social events on our calendar, and lots of hours at the store! We’ll see what time permits…
If I bored you or annoyed you, consider this fair warning as I am contemplating frequent blogging for the 2011 edition of the 1970 Kiki Project. I have yet to define exactly how blogging and The Project shall intermingle…I’ll figure it out by my birthday!
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CHRISTMAS IS IN DA HOUSE!

front hall decor

As per my usual modus operandi, I gave the condo casa a thorough cleaning this morning before Operation Deck the Halls began.

I love the way the condo looks at Christmas time! The rest of the year, we favour a minimal, bare look for our home; at Christmas, we love colour, texture, sound (well, I am a fan of Christmas music!).

Here’s a few before and after shots, starting with our main room:

tv area…
window area…
ta da!

The Kitchen:

plain jane…
all decked out!

Downstairs Bath:

devoid of colour…

...and a few touches of colour!

In the Master Bath, I only switch up the towels:

off-white walls accomodate any secondary palette…
…which at christmas is GREEN! we love snowflake towels!

That’s the home tour…I’m actually late this year in doing my decorating! I ‘m of the school that likes to get everything out early…and then put Christmas away come Boxing Day. At least I am ready to go for the first day of the Advent Calendar which is tomorrow! (Saint) Nick o’ time!

And now for a few of my traditional decorations! All of my favourite items hold great sentimental value – I love putting them out each year because of who gave them to me. Here’s a TOP FIVE:

1. Wooden Advent Calendar - Dad bought this for me in the early ’90′s from Ten Thousand Villages. The Brother got one, too! (which he also uses, each year!).

as it will look on dec 24th, when complete…
…and ready to go for tomorrow morning, dec 1st! i keep the pieces for each day in the santa container…

2. Ceramic Christmas Tree – my Grandma gave this to me. It’s the only Christmas tree we put up each year! The condo has rules against live trees, and since we are always at my parents for Christmas, this is our only tree. The little lights light up – it’s so cute!

o tannenbaum, o tannenbaum…

3. Glass Christmas Tree – my same Grandma gave me this little tree as a gift when I was about 13 years old (my cousin Kate got one, too, and I remember she was just a baby at the time). The little glass ornaments are each separate, so you can “decorate” the tree how you see fit. I treasure this tree.

it’s only about 3″ high!

4. Knitted Throw Blanket – I made this one ages ago…honestly, could be 15-25 years ago, I forget. Perfect for snuggling and watching Christmas crap tv movies and specials!

always has its same place on the back of the couch!

5. Stained Glass Angel – When my Grandpa died, we each chose some of his possessions which held sentimental value for us. I chose this angel. A couple years ago, it fell off the window, and I literally cried when it cracked in couple spots. I am very careful now about how and where I hang it.

angels we have heard on high...

And just to finish off, a few more decorations:

here comes santa claus…
teddy bears’ christmas (not PICNIC in the winter, silly!)
i love christmas floor mats! i have six scattered thru the kitchen and main room!
creche scene – also from ten thousand villages

We are now running the risk of Christmas Overload so I’ll stop here – for today!

Have you started decorating? Do you plan to decorate? What are some of your favourite items that you display each year?

And now, I face a dilemma: watch a movie or bake a recipe…I’m leaning to baking because I know B will go insane for this recipe…I’ll let you know tomorrow what ends up happening…

welcome! our front door...

Still Waffling

I went back to Shoes 22 this aft to look again at my Uggs:

I’ve narrowed down my choices: all colours are OUT except for the sand/chestnut colour (classic Ugg colour, in my book). I tried on

 (source)

Classic Tall Ugg

Love this model! It’s totally cosy.

Styles that did NOT make the cut:

 (source)

Classic Uggs Mini

I couldn’t even get these on my feet! Despite much tugging and pulling, almost working my way into a sweat, I gave up. Even if I did manage to get them on after much effort, do I really want to go through that each time I wear them? I know that if that’s the case, I’ll not wear them.

This style is not available at Shoes 22 in sand:

 (source)

Classic Ugg Short Boot

That leaves me one less option, at least – haha!

So here’s why I’m still undecided, and left the store sans boots:

  • the price: they’re $275 and there’s a promo for $20 off right now, so that’s $255; to be honest, this price is still freaking me out. That’s 2.5 pairs of Vibrams!!!
  • the fact that I can’t wear them in the snow. The Uggs are yummy warm and I love how they hug my feet and calves, making my legs super comfy and cosy. They’d be perfect for right now. But the minute it snows, they’ll need to be cast aside.
  • the treads are non-existent. Since I can’t wear them in the snow anyway, it’s not super important that the Uggs have grippy treads, but if I ever get caught on some ice, I’m toast.

So I’m back to a state of contemplation. To buy or not to buy? That is the question.

If I do get them, I’ll have them for years…If I do get them, I’ll stop obsessing about them. If I do get them, can I not feel guilty over the price?

I’ll sleep on it another night.

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I have read thirty-nine/forty books for the 1970 KikiProject. I have THREE options right now with which I could finish the 40 Reads Project. I should be able to share, this week, the three candidates for final book, and which one wins as official final entry! Stay tuned!

Grey Cup Sunday, A Birthday Celebration, and…

…NEW SHOES!!!

Sorry, I just have to laugh at myself. This -

my front door shoe pile (not to be confused with my front closet collection!)

is getting to be a little ridiculous!

So we’re out for a walk this aft, up near Adventure Guide and B mentions rather casually that our neighbour Jeff bought his daughter Jillian a pair of Vibrams. My ears perk up and I hippity-hop like a rabbit. Vibrams are back in stock at Adventure Guide? And we’re, like, 100 metres from the store entrance? Right this way, s’il vous plait!!!

In we go, and sure enough, they have Vibrams!! And a model I don’t have!!! Meet the Bikila

different colour combo than ANYTHING i currently have!

which now joins the SPRINT model that I know and love already!

helllloooo there, sista!

The Bikila model is a bit more robust, a bit thicker on the sole, and you’ll note the added mesh on the shoe upper. Don’t think they’re wearable in Ontario Winter, but I’ll just wear ‘em around the condo casa instead of slippers for the next while!

Sadly/happily, Adventure Guide had a couple of other styles of Vibrams in now, too…like a groovy all-leather purple model…it’s a-callin’ me BY NAME, i’m telling you!!! For tonight now, I am just tres gleeful that I was in the right place at the right time for the smashing Bikila model!!

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Another happy for today: we were able to get together with mom and dad this eve for dad’s birthday celebration! Mom and Dad are both feeling much better, and our scheduled dinner + Yahtzee match was a go!

official birthday portrait!

feeling better - ex-sickies, mom and dad!

happy birthday, dad!

official birthday dessert: cream horns!

An inspired game of Yahtzee followed the present opening (new golf vest!)  – and guess who won, rightly so?!

two yahtzees - that'll win it for you!

Actually, B, Dad and I each had a score of over 300 points…pretty unusual to score that high and NOT be able to win!

So, better late than never – glad we got to visit and commemorate Dad’s special day! The best gift is a return to health, right, everyone?!

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Today is also Grey Cup Sunday here in Canada. It’s our sorry striving answer to the Super Bowl. It lacks. We had the game on in the background at mom and dad’s…

saskatchewan vs montreal this year...

…and now I have the half time show on in the background while I blog. While the NFL attracts the likes of U2, Prince, or Aerosmith, who did the CFL coerce to provide entertainment this year?

bachman and turner getting a groove on...sorta

This is painful. Coupla old dudes playing songs that are 30+ years past their prime, and there’s random smoke bombs going off, a few strobe lights and dancing 13 year olds. Meanwhile the crowd goes wild. Well, we are talking Edmonton here….at least the game is close: Saskatchewan is leading Montreal by a score of 11-8. *Woo-hoo.* I’ll try to contain myself and get to bed on time. Yawn.

Now Super Bowl….eeeeeee-ooowwww!!! Can’t wait! Excited already! Will be wearing Vibrams and jumping around come February 6th, 2011. Two things the Americans know how to do for sure: throw half time bashes and host marathons. Edmonton, watch and learn on both accounts!

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Tomorrow I have to go footwear shopping. No, I’m serious! I need winter boots, as in it’s not a want but a necessity. The problem is that I want the Uggs from last week. I need trail shoes or boots with treads. Do I get both? One? Which one? This could be a sleepless night of tough decisions. Maybe I should just wear Vibrams year-round…

Christmas Gathering of the Clan

Tonight, Christmas social season opened!

The first of our Christmas gatherings was a family dinner outing. For the second year in a row, we enjoyed a family get-together with B’s extended family “pre-Christmas.” This year, we all met at The Huether where we had a private room, all to ourselves. Going out to a restaurant works for so many reasons: no one has to cook/host, so everyone can visit and mix; the vast menu allows everyone to choose a dinner of their liking; the private setting this year meant that we could socialize and change up seats freely – no need to be quiet or mindful of nearby diners!

This is a true family celebration: in addition to ourselves and Brad’s parents, we meet up with B’s mom’s side of the family as well as B’s dad’s. One occasion, multiple visits! B’s parents will soon depart for Florida for the winter (lucky, lucky!) so tonight really was our Christmas with the family.

this room at the huether is so cool! like being in a cosy cave!

Meet the family!…

mom and dad k!

b and me!

One side of the extended fam:

aunt kathy and uncle bob!

isabelle and cousin jen!

milla and cousin sara!

….And the other side!…

uncle roger and debbie!

cousin andrew and alison!

cousin daniel and ashley; cousin matthew

We mingled during “cocktail hour,” then sat down for food. One long table accomodated all of us!

la grande table!

I liked this seating arrangement more than the two shorter tables we had at our get-together last year. Even though we were spread out down the table, it seemed like a more cohesive unit than being at smaller, separate tables.

We exchanged gifts with mom and dad K; B received his favourite annual treat:

if this year is like other years, these turtles will be gonzo in <24 hours!

Below, a few tips for organizing large family gatherings:

  • pick a date early in order to ensure 100% attendance (our gathering tonight was booked at least two months ago)
  • designate one person to reserve the location (thanks, cousin sara, for getting us our private spot at The Huether!)
  • choose a central location that is easiest for the majority of family members to get to (mom and dad K and Andrew and Alison were the only attendees who needed to travel  – and many thanks to them for driving in for our celebration)
  • pick a date far enough away from Christmas so that people will not have conflicting engagements (our last-weekend-in-November date beats the Christmas social rush)

Tonight was a lovely lead-in to four more weeks of festivities! So nice to catch up with everyone, again. Even the weather was on the Christmas-y side: it’s been snowing off and on today and again, tonight, the white stuff was lightly falling.

All in all, this was a lovely evening. The best part is the visiting and conversation – lots to catch up on from everyone! Good times!

Now That’s Just Not Fair!

This:

 (source)

+

This:

(source)

should just not be allowed!

Yup, poor Birthday Dads has been struck by the nasty bug that hit the offspring earlier this week. And he’s not the only one – Mumsy is also down for the count. So, we’ll let them heal up, and hopefully we all will be able to celebrate Dad’s birthday on Sunday, as previously planned!

Dad's present sits and waits!

We’ll use a photo of Mr Birthday from the archives…don’t think Dear Dad would appreciate a knock on the door from me, right about now, with a request for a photo for the blog. :)

feel better soon, Birthday Erv!

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My time has run away from me this eve (that’s what working a 7.5 hour work day will get ya!) so while “Christmas Decorating” will not be checked off the Holiday Prep List, at least the decorations are in the Condo Castle!

Each unit in our building has a cage-type storage unit in the basement. We call our space “the jail,” and it’s the perfect place to stash crap we don’t know what to do with rarely used items – like Christmas decorations!

the usual precarious piles don't seem so bad right now - b must have cleaned up!

“Family Rule” is that The Jail is B’s domain and I don’t go near it unless accompanied by him! That’s how we roll….

The Christmas decs, of course, were way in the back corner…

b navigates the obstacles...i stand back and give directions!

yup, we need that one!

Naturally, being a Nosy Parker Curious George, I take a casual gander at the other “jails.”

betcha there's a good story to go with this!

Now that my supplies are within my easy reach, I can decorate any day now.

i’ve whittled down my decorations over the years so that now only my favourites remain

Decorating will be prefaced by a thorough Condo Casa cleaning, though. All part of my yearly routine. And Christmas music will be playing. Oooo, I’m looking forward to this! Is 9 pm really too late to clean, and start decorating?!

 

i’ve got the fev-ah! thank goodness, it’s of the holiday variety!

 Any festive plans for you this weekend? We have our first family social gathering with B’s side of the family tomorrow eve! Get the party started!

In Honour of American Thanksgiving

Happy American Thanksgiving!

OK, it’s not a national day of feasting and celebrating for us, exactly, but I’m in the mood to celebrate giving thanks! And in the mood for a little lighthearted fun!

Thus, here are FIVE THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR in FIVE DIVERSE CATEGORIES:

CATEGORY: NATURE

1. rainbows

2. sunsets

3. clear blue skies

4. clean, white, newly-fallen snow

5. a forest of brightly-hued leaves in autumn

CATEGORY: SWEET TREATS

1. apple crisp

2. butter cream frosting

3. Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

4. chocolate chip ice cream

5. bread pudding

CATEGORY: HOBBIES

1. knitting

2. blogging

3. giant jigsaw puzzles

4. easy crossword puzzles

5. Woody Allen movie watching

CATEGORY: SPORTS IN WHICH I CAN VICARIOUSLY PARTICATE, THANKS TO TV

1. Hawaii Ironman Triathlon

2. The Olympics (Summer and Winter)

3. Hockey

4. Figure Skating

5. Football

CATEGORY: INVENTIONS IN THE RUNNING WORLD

1. chip timing devices at races

2. Walkman cassette players –> handheld CD players –>iPod Shuffle

3. vaseline (for face protection on a cold day)

4. shoe brands galore!

5. a solo sport (every runner for him/herself) that you can make social

Take a moment today and give thanks for the big and/or little things in life that you appreciate!

Oh – and we’re one day closer to Christmas now – haha! :)

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We watched Movie #33 last eve – see here for the review. It was really a close call as to whether to award 2.5 or 3 stars…

Comments have been posted here on Recipe #35 (Childhood Bran Muffins). We have a differing of opinion concerning one ingredient, in particular!…

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Tomorrow is a special day for a special person….we’ll pay tribute to a certain someone’s birthday!…plus, I hope to check a Christmas To Do off my list (I don’t mean to make this sound like a chore…I do enjoy this part of Christmas prep!).

I’m A Sugar Cookie!

Today is special!!! Because…

 (source)

EXACTLY ONE MONTH FROM TODAY IS CHRISTMAS EVE DAY!!!

Quiz Time! Was your initial reaction to the above statement:

a) horror

b) excitement and glee

c) wailing with a side of teeth gnashing

d) ambivalence because you are not responsible for anything Christmas-related anyhow?!

Me? I go with answer b) this year. I am 90% finished my shopping (and will be 100% finished by the end of this week); I have a To Do List for what I wish to do (decorate, send out cards, wrap gifts, etc) – a plan makes all the difference in the world to my little Type A brain.

In keeping with the theme of Quiz Time, here’s a quick and fun one for you to try:

Which Christmas Cookie Are You? It’s only 10 questions long and will give you some Holiday Spirit (or else make your tummy growl). Click here to try it! I’d love to hear your answer as apart from “Sugar Cookie,” I don’t know what the other choices are!

Bonus: you get a recipe when your cookie type is revealed! Now I really will have to make and decorate sugar cookies this year (which I do genuinely love to do!).

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Flu Bug Update: Happily, I am 99.5% better today. Yesterday I was still “rubbery around the edges,” especially later in the day. B is back in bed today, kind of knocked out with a second round of this bug. Hope he can rest up and feel better soon! (I need him to go get my Christmas boxes out of storage!).

:)

SideSwiped

The past 24+ hours have not been fun. :(

I woke up yesterday (Monday) at 5 a.m. as per usual, and immediately sensed that something was off. I definitely felt woozy, slightly dizzy and brain-fuzzy. By the time I got downstairs to the kitchen, I KNEW I was under-the-weather. Back upstairs to bed. And I didn’t leave said bed until 7 a.m. this morning (Tuesday). (Except for sick trips to the loo – will leave it at that). Whooooa. I tell you, I have not been hit by the flu bug like that since Teacher’s College – we’re talking about 17 years ago, here. I feel like I was sucked into a time tunnel for 24 hours and a complete day disappeared into never-never land.

Unfortunately, I was not the only one gobsmacked by this bug: B came home from work at noon with it, too. AND The Brother, Little E and Baby C felt its impact, as well. Since we were all together on Saturday, it’s really no surprise! (We don’t believe it’s food poisoning as we have headaches, body aches and crave sleep – all symptoms of the classic flu bug).

Happily, this morning both B and I are feeling better and on the road to recovery (as are the little nieces and The Brother, thank goodness). I just feel extremely rubbery and lack energy. Threw in a load of puked upon laundry and needed to lie down for half an hour. Went out to Tim Hortons (what the what?!?!) cuz I needed two donuts (double chocolate and sour cream glazed), then flaked out on the couch for an hour. So today is definitely low key, and I’ll take the rest of this week to build up my strength and ease into routine again.

Sadly, I had to call in sick to the store yesterday – first time in 5.5 years. Luckily, it was an overlap shift with my manager, so it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. Things work out!

Obviously, I did not have the opportunity (or the energy or desire) to update the 40 Recipes page with the latest muffin recipe. So that has now been completed! See here for Recipe #35 – Childhood Bran Muffins.

OK, guess what? Time for a nap!

Adventures in Babysitting, Round 2

Saturday saw Aunti and Uncle B once again putting their *parenting* skills to good use. With SIL Ana hosting a baby shower for her sister, and The Brother socializing with the associated menfolk, we were all to happy to travel to Toronto to look after Baby C and Little E for the afternoon and early evening.

fun times!

So, what exactly goes on when the parents are away and Aunti and Uncle are in charge??? Well, here’s the censored version a behind-the-scenes look, in photos!…

baby c's preferred seating arrangement for story time!

baby c loves lift-the-flap books!

hey! we're both wearing hoodies! how fun! and we both luvvv colouring! how fun!

 Sshhhh!…

but of course you can wear your winter boots indoors, baby c!

but of course aunti will make you an alternate lunch if planned lunch #1 is not to your liking! (scrambled egg - a hit!)

Baby C enjoyed a gi-normous nap in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Uncle got some relaxation time, too….

little e deemed it "pampering spa day" for uncle b, and set up a relaxing treatment...

apparently, uncle b was not yet sufficiently relaxed - add more treatment products!!!

After naptime/spa time, we all headed out for a special treat…

a cosy spot for...ice cream/yogurt!

Sshhhhh….

just a little mango tango for one and a bit of chocolate for the other...not popular, no, not at all...

A park outing was in the cards, next!

whee!!!

ready, steady...

up, up and away!

whoooosh!!!

A little chillin’ time before supper…

sisterly love...

And then it was time to feed everyone, clean up, and enjoy a little Treehouse before SIL Ana arrived home to tuck in the children. And that was that!

B and I both love the opportunity to spend this extended time with our favourite girls. The pictures capture some of our fun n games, but the best parts go undocumented: walking down the sidewalk holding hands with Little E; making Baby C giggle when I change her diaper; snuggling with Little E on the couch while watching the antics of the WotWots (whatwhats??); guiding Baby C’s hand as she grasps a magic marker – precious and unforgettable moments.

Here’s hoping you have busy schedules in the near future, Brother and SIL Ana!

:)

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Thought I’d provide an update on the rejection of turning back the clocks – two weeks in, I’m still on the revised schedule! Loving the early morning quietness and productivity, and welcoming an early bed time which provides extended reading time! B is still with me on the early bed time…although he’s still sleeping til 6 a.m.; guess he needs the rest! Extra sleep never hurts!

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Off to make muffins now! Recipe will be added to the 40 Recipes List  tomorrow!

Super Saturday!

Sunday, shall share some stories! :)

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