Monthly Archives: March 2010

Three Gina’s, One Afternoon

What are the chances that the name “Gina” could figure so prominently in my Tuesday afternoon?

First, at 2 pm, I had an appointment to see my esthetician, Julia, at Gina’s Spa, for an eyebrow wax (please note that I normally would not be sharing my “personal upkeep appointments” with you…I’m solely doing so today for the sake of the blog and for the sake of the theme of this post!).

Love that I can walk to Gina's since it's just in Uptown Waterloo

Julia did not disappoint with her excellent abilities. We only disagree when I say I want thinner brows and she tries to keep them thicker. Today I am mucho pleased with the results:

View #1 (self-portrait, trying to get the angle right...)

too much nose, not enough brows...

the dead straight-on view...if only the brows would stay this way now!

OK, enough of that.

Then at 3:30 pm, one of my dearest friends – yes, Gina! – came by for a visit with her 10 month old baby, Marin (child #3). I sooooo appreciate that she was able to come over as she literally arrived in Ontario from Winnipeg earlier this afternoon and is only here until Good Friday. Gina left Hayes (4) and Hudson (2) at home with Hubby/Daddy Jeff and came out to visit her family here. Gina and I have been friends since age 5, attended high school together, kept in touch even after Gina became a Westerner (a Manitoba-ite?) and I so love when we can visit when she comes “home.”

This afternoon did not disappoint at all – amazing how much chatting we could fit in for a limited time. We just always seem to be able to pop so easily into conversation and easy laughter. Guess that’s what knowing someone for 35 years gives to our friendship!

Marin is an easy-going cutie-pie and I loved seeing her again (last time was last July when she was just a month old).

Marin would rather look out the window than at the camera!

Marin is wearing a sweater I made for her, and the blanket is also one that I made as a baby gift for her. I am really happy to hear that the sweater is getting lots of wear, and that Marin’s blanket is her go-to blanket of choice – apparently she likes to pluck at it and likes the feel of the different stitches! Very satisfying when a hand-knit is getting so much baby-time!

there, we found the camera (and mommy taking the picture!)

you just can't *pose* a baby, now can you?! but we're all happy!

until next time (hopefully this summer!)

My third Gina encounter of the day? Well, just a little plug for one of my fave websites of late: Gina happens to be the name of the peppy, positive, fun, blogger that you’ll find at this site. I totally suggest you check out the blog – Gina updates, like, at least twice a day, and her posts are full of vegan/raw food/healthy eats (cool reading and pics, even if that style of food is not your thing), exercise tips, and, well, it’s just fun to read and follow her day!

Off to see a movie tonight (will review in my “40 Movies” column) – if there is a character named Gina in the movie, I may very well drop my teeth!)

This Week: The Friday Photo = Saturday Snapshots!

I’m just back from spending a delightful two days in Toronto with Ana, E and C. With The Bro off doing some field work, it was another opportunity for the four girls to be together.

Part I

Our first Friday photos are from Thursday. At Beechwood Zehrs this week, I happened upon a Bunny House kit. (Think Christmas Gingerbread House but with an Easter theme). Awesome! Had no idea they had come up with such a creature. The kit kept E and me quite amused for a good hour.

a casa in progress...

please note the line of bunnies leading to the front door...

And Aunti with the finished product!…

Aunti with the Bunny House, as shot by Photographer E (not bad for age 3, eh?!)

 Part II

Our second set of photos is indeed from Friday. Out and about in the lovely  return-to-winter, cold (but sunny, I must say) morning weather, I glanced at the window of one of my favourite shops, and my heart skipped a beat when I spied THIS:

the one on the left

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING SO DIVINE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE??!!! As soon as the shop opened at 11, I was there. The congenial shop keeper shared that the dress is from Barcelona. Cool! Who doesn’t need a European Label in their closet?! Normally, I am not a dress girl – 99% of the time it’s tights and sweats, as you well know. But it was soooo love at first sight for me n this dress. But I decided to wait and get Ana’s and E’s opinions – can’t we girlz always use a second (and third) opinion, pre-purchase?! So we went back in the afternoon, I got the thumbs up, and the dress came home with me.

A few close ups – sorry no modeling as I haven’t showered yet today (TMI, I so know, sorry!) – that I simply must share:

the full view...

adore the flippy mini-skirt hem...

embroidered detailing at the high waist...

love the paper bag - it's a keeper, even if paper!

IS THIS NOT A KIKI DRESS OR WHAT, I ASK OF YOU???!! I will be searching for just the right occasion to bop out in my Barcelona Dress. (Yes, I name my clothes).

COLOUR was definitely the theme for this Thursday and Friday!

Friday’s Photos…are actually from Thursday!

Yesterday was a much more exciting day than today. So that’s what we’ll look at instead!

As per usual for a Thursday, I spent the day in TO with the girls. Since it was March Break, we did a special Girls Outing Road Trip. E. was most pleased by our stop at the ROM – she very nicely showed Aunti how to Dig for Dinosaurs and toured me through the Bat Cave. C. happily pulled her sock off during both car rides and proceeded to munch away on it…and Aunti? Aunti was beside herself with joy because after the ROM…we….went to….Whole Foods!!!!

I have been dy-ing to visit Whole Foods because you can’t read a foodie blog without hearing raves about this divine fine foods shop. With two small ones in tow, our visit wasn’t long…but who cares. It felt a little like a game show: “You have 9 minutes and 17 seconds to grab whatever you can! Go now!!!” Just enough time to scurry around the store for these most excellent finds:

I chose the denim n cream colour combo: seemed very Californian and earthy to me

Yes, I know, B, that I already have 37 (more or less) reusable totes in my possession. I am hearby formally declaring that I am making a collection of recyclable bags. Now I don’t have to feel guilty when I can’t resist just one more. And a Whole Foods tote was #1 on my priority list of What I Must Purchase When I Finally Get To Whole Foods. (An aside: I didn’t look at the price until after I was paying my final bill…$14.99!!! Gulp. But it’s a Whole Foods Bag!…and made in the U.S.A.!!! so it’s genuine WF!)

almond and apricot (L) & fruits and nuts (R)

Two KIND granola bars. These look Scrumpdilicious!

"un shampooing" as they say in french...

After seeing 103 labels on everything from noodles to diapers, I deduced, being the smarty that I am that “365” is the house brand for Whole Foods. Product Placement of this shampoo was perfect: right by the checkout. And I fell for it, lock stock n barrell. For $3.99, can you blame me? One whiff and I was in love – smells just like as if you smeared minty gum in your hair. This will be a lot easier to rince out, haha! 🙂

pieces de resistance

And lastly, but bestly, three jars of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butters. Lookit those flavours! Could not decide what to try…then reasond, that since I don’t know when a return trip to WF will be happening, I’ll just help myself to all three!

With temps hitting 19 degrees in TO yesterday, it was just a perfect outing with some of my very favourite people. Note to People Who Buy Me Christmas Gifts – all of the above are totally acceptable for Xmas 2010!

Hittin’-the-Mall Friday Photos

My bestest shopping partner ev-ah has always been my mom. We started regular shopping excursions to Fairview Park Mall when I was in my early teens. Many a Saturday was spent browsing through stores, trying on clothes, having lunch at Cultures, and talking non-stop the entire time. Well, life happens, and our shopping trips are not so frequent anymore. But today our schedules meshed and we did a tour out to Conestogo Mall. And since the Mall renovation was completed in the fall, it really is an enjoyable place to shop…not quite as super-cool as Sherway Gardens, but just fine for only having to drive 10 minutes to get to it.

As per our refined and defined style, we did a lap of the mall first (and chatted). Mom bought a picture frame, then we stopped for lunch at the new Food Court. Thumbs up to the bright and airy decor and the healthy food options available. We both chose the chicken pita wrap from the Greek Olive (?) and proceeded to eat (and talk) through our lunch break:

good thing we got the pic before eating - we are pretty sloppy wrap eaters! 🙂

 Seeing all the spring colours is so refreshing! We made note of the colours being featured (lots of brights) and styles (80’s are back in full force). Also, ruffles are huge (so very Sandra Pittana):

very nice!

 Wanting to mug for the camera, I grabbed these sunglasses and plunked them on:

so glam!

…but the funny thing is, upon further consideration, mom and I totally and genuinely loved how these looked! So I ended up getting them! (thanks, mom, for the treat!). So very J Lo!

While we didn’t purchase much today (did we seriously leave with just the photo frame and sunglasses?!), it was an A+ mother-daughter bonding time. We gotta do this more often!

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others…

So I managed to update three of my four categories in the Kiki Project today…before you look, guess which one did NOT get updated. Are you correct?!

A Sunny Friday Photo!

I snapped this photo right near the corner of Erb St & University Ave on my way to my massage appt. I saw what was going on and two people popped right into my mind – B and my SIL, Ana! These two are our “safety first” professionals of the family!

there are actually three men on this job...

 Just as I stopped at the red light (I was NOT driving and photo-ing!) the third guy popped down the manhole. Even to my untrained eye, I was thinking, ummm, should not there be a) a fencing-type of barrier around the hole? b) some orange pylons? c) possibly a lane blocked off? I just had to take a quick snap -sorry for the cruddy quality of the pic, but i had to work fast – i didn’t want any angry crew members chasing my car!!!

There IS a Doctor in the House!!!

Timeline of events:

Mid-December: receive a letter in the mail dated Dec 7th, that our family doctor, Dr F, is retiring in April 2010. Great. Now both B and i are very lax about visiting the doctor…neither of us has been in at least 8 years (i know, i know, slap on the wrist). To be honest, at my last eye doctor appt ( i am very good about seeing Dr S, the eye doc, regularly at least! and we both are excellent in seeing our dentist), Dr S asked me my family doctor’s name and i had a complete mind blank – had to come home and ask B who it is! But i do believe you need to be “under the care of someone” and at least have a doctor to go to if and when it’s necessary. Anyway, Dr F’s letter states that he has been unable to find someone to take over his practice, so our best bet is to find ourselves a new doctor, or to contact Health Care Connect Program for assistance.

Seeing as it’s almost Christmas and there is a ton of stuff going on, I put the Doctor Search on the backburner. 

Monday January 18th: Go pay a visit to mom and dad’s doctor’s office. I am hoping to get in with their Dr H because he has treated mom and dad very well, and is also NOT near retirement age. I hope that a personal visit and a link with mom and dad being patients will get us in the door…I get to speak with Receptionist R for a full 22 seconds. She makes a note with our names and says she’ll leave a note for Dr H and get back to me.

Monday January 25th: I think that enough time has passed for Dr H to decide YES or NO, and call Receptionist R. She says the note is still on his desk. I decide to back off so as not to get a rep as a nag and a bother.

Friday February 12th: Dad has an appt with Dr H and puts in a good word for us. Interestingly, Dr H asks if we have kids. Upon hearing no, it’s just the two of us, he says he would not accept us AT ALL if we had kids. So i take it that soon i will hear a positive reply. But i continue to hear nothing.

Monday February 22nd: After biding my time all month, I decide I really need an answer. If Dr H says no, I gotta get on the hunt. Call Receptionist R – oh yes, she has a note on her desk…Dr H has declined to accept us as patients. Well, not the response I was hoping for, but at least I have an answer! (notice, i had to call AGAIN, even though she had a note on her desk. BUT i  DO realize she is truly busy, the office is zany, and at least i got my answer).

Wednesday February 24th: Pop by Grandma’s doctor’s office. Dr B is located within a 7 minute drive which would be nice. A very nice receptionist (much friendlier than Receptionist R) tells me that Dr B is not accepting patients, in fact, he is looking to retire soon. I DID know that, but also know that someone will be taking over his practice. So no luck despite playing the Grandma card.

Thursday February 25th: Call my BFF Debbie’s doctor’s office. (Decide to save time by skipping a personal visit…losing faith that this approach works). Immediate negs on my question of whether they are accepting new patients…not surprised as Deb had warned that her own parents-in-law were turned down…but it was worth a shot.

Same Day: Call the Health Care Connect Program. At first, believe i am talking to a machine. After a few minutes, realize the monotone voice is indeed a real person, but script reading. Bottom line: they can do nothing to help us find a new doctor until Dr F is officially retired and we are indeed doctor-less. With this line of information sharing, the male voice on the other end has switched to “real talking” and says in order to get with their program, i would need to first ditch Dr F. I decide this program is f&$^#’d and i will wait til April.

I just want to note that while frustrated with the system, I was not angry. more appalled and saddened by the state of health care in our area. and we’ve got it good compared to some people and some communities and most countries!

i decided that my mantra of “things work out as they’re meant to be” would guide me, and i would keep the faith that something would work out for us.

Wednesday March 3: receive another envelope from Dr F’s office. Before opening it, I think, “great! they’re going to tell us to get a move on as they want to pass along our files.” But no!!!! The letter states us that Dr Mary-Melinda Gillies is taking over the care of Dr F’s patients. And the best part? Her office is on Albert St, beside the Waterloo Public Library – within WALKING distance of our condo. I am very pleased to try a female doctor (don’t know how b feels?!) and so happy that things DID work out as they were meant to be. Amen!