Monthly Archives: January 2013

three is my karmic number

scenes from a happy birthday:

i am standing on paper towel as my shoes were wet, post-run and i wanted a pic of the full was nice n mild out!

i am standing on paper towel as my shoes were wet, post-run, and i wanted a pic of the full ensemble…it was nice n mild out!

i signed up for the one month unlimited hot yoga! i start tomorrow!

bday self-present #2 (tat was #1) – i signed up for the one month unlimited hot yoga! first class =  thursday!

the birthday lunching spot!

the birthday lunching spot!

i COULD have chosen diet coke...but opted for sparkle water - wow!

i COULD have chosen diet coke…but opted for sparkle water – wow!

got my choco chip cone - just as delicious as anticipated!

got my choco chip cone – just as delicious as anticipated!

movie recap: tommy=****, movie =**1/2 (intense at times!)

movie recap: tommy=****, movie =**1/2 (intense at times!)


  • i taught school for three years
  • i worked at the insurance company for three years
  • i worked from home for three years
  • we vacationed in aruba three weeks at a time
  • when i was aunti-nanny for little e, i took care of her three days a week
  • i have run the boston marathon three times
  • my marathon PB is three hours (plus forty-three seconds)
  • steve sax, my favouritest baseball player of all time, wore uniform number three for the dodgers
  • i have three awesome cousins (kate, joel, alex)
  • i would not object to being an aunti for a third time
  • i have three kick-ass tattoos (!!!)
  • i own three madonna CDs
  • each of my ears has three earrings
  • i turned forty-THREE today!
  • i have written 768 blog posts  -> that number is divisible by three!
  • i have completed three kikiprojects!

kikiproject #1

kikiproject #2

kikiproject #3

for the past three years, i have announced the year’s kikiproject on my birthday. this year, the vibe is right to conclude my *blogging career* with this post.

i debated back n forth, up n down, about whether to continue blogging or not, as i have had no zowie ideas/a-ha moments for a fourth kikiproject, despite lots of brainstorming. i realize i could just blog about nothing…but that idea is tiresome. i’d rather make like a pro athlete and retire on a high note.

thank you for reading ~ i have reconnected with old friends, kept in touch with family, made new blends…and i have enjoyed so very much sharing creatively through the blog. it’s super cool to have a photographic + written record of the past three years…a lot of water under the bridge! i am going to miss the creative writing process – i have had a lot of fun concocting april fool’s jokes, themes-o’-the-month, alliterative titles…and just plain chatting away.

local friends and fam, you know that i am always up for a s’bux outing; friends at a distance, lmk if you are ever in the uptown waterloo ‘hood. blogging is awesome, but in-person chats are even better!







may the road rise up to meet you.

may the wind be always at your back. [esp if you are running!]

may the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

bday plans + tat #3!

yup, today is my birthday day -> it’s the big 43. and that’s ok! i feel great about celebrating my bday this year!

as things work out, i happen to have today off of work (wednesday is my usual day off). here is the celebration agenda:

  • run 43 miles (joke! although i could go 4.3 miles…or for 43 minutes?? or 7 miles [4+3]??!)
  • knitting + blog reading + coffee drinking
  • gourmet pizza for lunch (as in that is the name of the pizza place, i am not going out for really fancy pizza)
  • shopping around uptown with mom
  • baskin robbins for bday ice cream -> it will be my favourite: choco chip icey cream in a waffle cone (this is in lieu of bday cake)
  • an evening with tom cruise (going to see jack reacher! never read the books upon which this movie is based, i do not care at all what the film is about or if it is any good, i just want to stare at my tommy for 2 hours on my bday!).

how’s that for a good, good day?! i’m excited!


and now for the grand reveal…

yesterday was tattoo tuesday. joining mr cardinal (tattoo #1) and the ode to the boston marathon (tattoo #2)…

tattoo #3 can be called "a celebration of life"

tattoo #3: “a celebration of life”

[sidenote: this photo was taken right when bryan finished the tattoo which is why there is redness; tats look best after they have *settled* for a couple of weeks].

for this tattoo, i wanted to go with “something pretty” -> i wanted symmetry, colour, vines n flowers…and a bluebird. i did some internet googling a few weeks ago, and found some ideas which i took to bryan at tora tattoo back on the day we had our consult appt:

my favourite designs that i found

my favourite designs that i found

from those ideas, bryan came up with…

i took the photo of his stencil once back at home, yesterday aft.

i took the photo of his stencil once back at home, yesterday aft.

yesterday morning, i grabbed one last pic of  my untouched skin!

no turning back now!

no turning back now!

the tat appt went super well: we finished in under two hours and the final cost was less than predicted, too.

self-portrait with bryan! (i cut off his fantastic eyeball tshirt, however!).

self-portrait with bryan! (i cut off his fantastic eyeball tshirt, however!).

so, am i done with tattoos? hard to say. according to bryan, i “sit like a champ” -> i do not find tattooing painful in the least (compared to sports massage and underarm waxing, it is a walk in the park, honest). maybe ONE more??! (i have a body place and an idea ready to go!!). at this time, though, i adore my “pretty tattoo.” as always, i am thrilled with bryan’s artistry, and i am super-pleased with my 43rd bday gift-to-self.

we need one more close up!!!



now it’s time to embrace the day!


kikiproject #3: the final recap


it feels like new year’s eve all over again!! today’s blog post is an opportunity to look back at the last twelve months and evaluate the goals that i set at this time last year for the third annual kikiproject.

let’s review! in order to have an all-encompassing record, i am going to include lists where possible (thanks to my excel spreadsheet, i have precise documentation), and also give myself a THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN, or THUMBS SIDEWAYS grade for each project that helped to make up the 12 days of kiki.

1. record at least one positive thing every day in my gratitude journal excel spreadsheet. THUMBS UP. i am on line 983 of my excel spreadsheet today which gives an average, then, of 2.7 thankfulnesses noted for each day. every day since january 9, 2012 has a positive item next to its date. some days have one line, some have upwards of six or eight. this project helped keep me centred and also helped me see many instances of “coincidence? i think not!”

2. babysit little e and cutie c two times so that the brother and sil ana can enjoy a significant date or special event. THUMBS UP.

my favourite photo from this year

my favourite photo from this year

it’s too bad we could not work in one or two more extended babysitting dates, but i exceeded my goal, closing with 3.5 extended-aunti-ing dates, AND, in addition, we maintained regular aunti visits (mostly on wednesdays). yippee!

3. blog three times per week (monday-wednesday-friday). modified on february 13th to: leave a comment on a minimum of three blogs, every day. THUMBS UP. if memory serves, i believe i missed one day where i did not comment three times. sundays continued to be the most challenging day to *find* three blog posts from blends; on those days, i opted to comment on “popular” blogs and made sure my comments were neither gushy nor insincere. i look forward to commenting on my friends’ blogs, from today onwards, and it will be lovely to comment once or fifty times per day, as i am so inspired!

4. run four (point two) km…times ten. THUMBS DOWWWWWN. do we have to talk about this one?? so….i did not run a marathon in 2012. my workaround that i figured out way back last year was that i would go out and run a 4.2 km block around my ‘hood ten times over the course of a few days if i did not end up ‘thoning. well, i did not do those ten loops. i could have. i kept procrastinating – from october forward! now let’s get philosophical: back when i was on my florida vacation in july, 2010, i wrote this blog post about a shell i found (that is sitting on my window ledge to this day, i can see it as i type). the lesson: i do not need to be perfect – i cannot be perfect. so while i am truly, deeply troubled/irked/chagrined that not fulfilling this project #4 wrecks getting 100% on this year’s kiki project (and makes this the first kikiproject of the three where i have NOT gotten 100%)…it’s a life lesson. on a positive note, let me throw in that i had the best year of running in at least the past ten years, so i do feel running-satisfied…i guess.

5. eat five wildly decadent and delicious desserts. THUMBS SIDEWAYS. yes, i enjoyed my official five desserts:

  • sunday, march 25: yogen fruz fro yo with choco chips and oreo
  • sunday, may 28: s’bux icey, chocolatey drink thing
  • saturday, june 23: baskin robbins choco chip ice cream in a waffle cone
  • sunday, july 1: laura secord choco chip ice cream in a SPRINKLES waffle cone
  • sunday, july 8: pb/pb chip ice cream in a sprinkle waffle cone

…but i could have had more variety and they could have been gooey-er! i pressured myself to get this project done, i recall. i learned i prefer “every day” sweets like coffee cake and choco chip cookies and mom’s apple crisp to over-the-top specialties.

6. finish a minimum of six knitting projects. THUMBS UP. i surpassed my goal by finishing twelve knits!

  • log cabin throw in malabrigo yarn for the mcc relief sale – sunday, march 18
  • seed stitch baby blanket in noro sock yarn – monday, april 23
  • variegated, sparkly scarf for g’ma’s bday – thursday, may 10
  • purple lace socks for mom’s bday – thursday, may 31
  • orange “$4 sweater” for me – tuesday, june 26
  • orange baby blanket – saturday, august 18
  • ballet sweaters for little e and cutie c for xmas – wednesday, sept 19
  • socks for SIL ana for xmas – friday, november 23
  • variegated blanket in honour of g’ma for project linus – saturday, dec 8
  • 2nd pair of socks for SIL ana for xmas – thursday, december 15
  • baby sweater from leftover sock yarn – monday dec 24
  • baby sweater from leftover sock yarn – sunday january 6

here are the three projects you have yet to see:

sil ana had requested "knee socks" for xmas so i made her (L) argyle knee sox and (R) over-the-knee striped sox!

sil ana had requested “knee socks” for xmas so i made her (L) argyle knee sox and (R) over-the-knee striped sox!

there was so much sock yarn left over that i whipped up a baby cardi...

there was so much sock yarn left over that i whipped up a baby cardi…

...and it already has a home! (and why are these two pics upside down?!).

…and it already has a home! (and why are these two pics upside down?!).

...and there was STILL sock yarn left over! so i produced a baby brother...

…and there was STILL sock yarn left over! so i produced a baby brother…

...who has yet to find a home!

…who has yet to find a home!

7. read seven books, and hopefully more. THUMBS UP. i more than doubled my initial reading projection! i read sixteen books to completion:

  • irma voth by miriam toews, finished january 24, **1/2
  • the friday night knitting club, kate jacobs, march 5, **1/2
  • something borrowed, emily giffin, march 31, ****
  • baby proof, emily giffiin, april, 29, ***1/2
  • something blue, emily giffin, may 26, **
  • she’s come undone, wally lamb, july 4, ****
  • shoe addicts anonymous, beth harbison, july 15, **1/2
  • the undomestic goddess, sophie kinsella, july 25, ****
  • explosive eighteen, janet evanovich, july 28, **
  • *fifty shades of grey, e.l. james, august 8, ***1/2
  • *fifty shades darker, e.l. james, august 20, ***
  • *fifty shades freed, e.l. james, sept 3, ***1/2
  • r is for ricochet, sue grafton, sept 23, **1/2
  • fly away home, jennifer weiner, sept 25, ***
  • t is for trespass, sue grafton, october 18, ***1/2
  • the jane austen book club, susan joy fowler, october 20, *1/2
  • u is for undertow, sue grafton, november 12, ***
  • ready player one, ernest cline, december 18, **1/2

(*the fifty shades trilogy counted as “one book”)

right now, i am into state of wonder by ann patchett (*** rating thus far) and circle of friends by maeve binchy (*** thus far). reading is like taking two steps forward and three steps back – i cannot keep up with all the books i want to read!

8. perform eight random acts of kindness. THUMBS UP. i DID do eight official r.a.o.k.s and i tried to be a nice person at other times.

  • gave the guy ahead of me at food basics change towards his grocery bill –
  • filled two bags with food for the food bank – feb 29
  • gift pack for my cousin, hubby, toddler, new baby – may 26
  • mystery r.a.o.k. for a friend – june 26
  • baby gifties for bloggers janae and kath – sept 11
  • tidied apparel racks at zellers – sept 12
  • gave s’bux GCs to my building supers, just because – nov 12
  • gave a $25 shoppers GC to a homeless gent – dec 12

[tangent rant: i rarely receive cowardly anonymous snark comments, for which i am thankful; would you believe the most snide remarks received came from r.a.o.k. posts?? ironic, eh? i wish people would keep negativity to themselves].

9. watch nine different and new-to-me tv shows (either online, on dvd, or on tv). THUMBS SIDEWAYS. my reaction to this project was a complete surprise! i would never have guessed that i disliked so intensely watching and reviewing tv shows…and i don’t get it because i quite enjoy reviewing movies and books! i love how it worked out that i could take a silly way out and include a few children’s shows…i did not plan that way back before the project started:

  • republic of doyle, january 20, *1/2
  • you gotta eat here, january + february, **
  • big ban theory, april 14, ***
  • mr maker, may 2, **
  • octonauts, month of may, **
  • number jacks, june 27, *
  • real housewives of vancouver, june 30, ***
  • 2012 summer olympics, july-august, ***
  • inspector lewis, august 20, **

10. refrain from chewing gum for ten months. THUMBS UP. totally rocked this one! not only did i not chew gum, i realized i no longer LIKE chewing gum! this project inspired my 2013 resolution of not chewing gum the entire year.

11. abstain from drinking diet pop (any pop) for eleven months. THUMBS UP, UP, AND AWAY!! this is the project with which i had the most giddy enthusiasm, each month, when writing the monthly review. i loved that i accomplished this project, adored that i am cured of my addiction. this was the toughest project in terms of giving me cravings, though. but as with most things in life, the harder you have to work, the bigger the reward and the greater the feeling of accomplishment. and i get to have dc with fast food in 2013!!! (dance!)

12. meet with at least twelve different friends for a social get-together. THUMBS UP, DOWN, and SIDEWAYS. this project is complex to analyze: YES, i met up with more than twelve friends (21, total). BUT…i totally lost steam and momentum part way through, esp from the summer on. i EASILY could have met up with 42 different people (as juanita had initially suggested, way back when i was brainstorming kikiprojects) had i put more vigour and enthusiasm into contacting and scheduling friends, family, neighbours, acquaintances. for example, it is inexcusable that i did not get out with SIL ana or uncle paul! to end with a positive word: i DO like that my final tally was 21 which is half of 42 – that is excellent symmetry.

  • joanne, thursday january 12
  • cathie, saturday january 14
  • debbie, saturday january 22
  • the brother, wednesday january 25
  • angela, saturday january 28
  • cousin joel, friday february 10
  • sarah, monday february 20
  • mom and dad, monday february 20
  • tricia, monday february 20
  • andrea, sunday february 26
  • manager nicole, saturday march 3
  • sharon, sunday march 4
  • neighbour katie, friday march 30
  • little e, wednesday april 4
  • cousin kate, friday april 6
  • juanita, saturday april 7
  • neighbours stephen and rhonda, wednesday may 9
  • neighbours jeff and katie, friday may 18
  • manager paul and annette, sunday june 3
  • grandma (and dad), wednesday august 15
  • ken and bonnie, friday november 23

[i met up with some of the above-noted folks more than once].


in conclusion, i rate this year’s kikiproject a SUCCESS. i had a lot of fun (for the most part!) and i really liked having the twelve different goals to chase after – the mix of long-term and short-term projects was great. to complete today’s chronicle, here are the links to the monthly recaps:

february 9: the 12 days of kiki: one month in

march 9: the 12 days of kiki: 2 months down, 10 to go

april 9: HOW are we doing at the three month mark??

may 9: the 12 days of kiki: already FOUR months down!

june 9: kikiproject: high five!

july 9: kikiproject: we’re half way!

august 9: kikiproject update: lucky number seven

september 9: kikiproject update: eight is great!

october 9: kikiproject: a nifty nine months old!

november 9: TEN!!!!

december 9: kikiproject update: the eleventh hour


thanks for reading!

three things on a (january 3rd) thursday

today IS thursday, right? i am so befuddled with the days of the week, thanks to the hols.

number one thing:

i saw this tea box yesterday at vincenzo’s. i did not buy it. i should have, though:

fact: you can never have too many cardinals in the home.

fact: you can never have too many cardinals in the home.

 number two thing:

joanne and i had a fabulous visit, as always:

jo, i lied, our photo IS on the blog, after all!!!

jo, i lied, our photo IS on the blog, after all!!!

number three thing:

i am now the highly embarrassed proud owner of a puffy coat:

it is impossible to take a *great* pic while wearing a puffy coat.

fact: it is impossible to take a *great* pic while wearing a puffy coat.

i had surprisingly wonderful luck at mark’s work wearhouse yesterday [fellow canadians, i know that the store is now called “marks,” but this retail establishment will be engrained in my head as “mark’s work wearhouse,” forever and ever].

this coat fit all my requirements: it’s warm (downfilled), hooded (and this one zips off), w.a.r.m. (WARM!!), black (the only colour i would consider), warm (i hate being cold), and was reasonably priced. then – bonus!!! i got to the cash register and the jacket was 50% off, something i did not know prior to paying! that cardinal sighting at vincenzo’s had something to do with my luck, i just know it!…


wishing YOU a lucky thursday!

a holly, jolly january 1st!

yesterday was a very fun first day of 2013!

  • a sleep-in…until 6:45 a.m.!
  • a balanced cardio/weights/stretching workout
  • the traditional watching of the rose bowl parade with dad [sidenote: no one in the family can stand watching the parade except for me and dad; our tradition of plunking down in front of the tv and viewing the spectacular floats and invigorating marching bands dates back to at least 1980! a new year’s day without the rose bowl is just not the same!].


  • the traditional cleaning of the condo casa: i gave myself 1.5 hours to power-cleanse -> that time frame proved sufficient!
  • the traditional mid-afternoon walk: yesterday was sunny and crisp -> thoroughly enjoyable and mind-clearing!
  • family + social time at uncle paul and sharon’s from late-aft to early eve, with mom and dad, cousins joel and alex -> i loved meeting up with the fam!
  • throw in some knitting, some reading, some tooth flossing, and january 1st, 2013 was an all-around great day.

on today’s agenda:

  • a noon-time catch-up visit with joanne
  • winter coat shopping -> i am seriously considering a puffy coat, i cannot believe i am typing those words


  • the store this eve: it’s run club night so it’ll be social city! love it!

what was the best thing about YOUR new year’s day? i liked how BALANCED my day felt!