Tag Archives: christmas

christmas wrap!

happy wrestling boxing day, friends![<-standard family joke that never grows old!]

i hope you have enjoyed much merriment over the last couple of days and felt the christmas spirit in your heart. our celebrations were delightful:

sunday, december 23rd:

the traditional "around the table" photo!

the traditional “around the table” photo!

mom MADE cute pompom present toppings for us all! (i wore mine the next day as a headband - haha!).

mom MADE cute pompom present toppings for us all!

our table gift theme was "books" - i received this one (from my list) - can't wait to get reading it!

our table gift theme was “books” – i received this one (from my list) – can’t wait to get reading it!

santa, baby!

santa, baby!

~little darlings~

~little darlings~

proof #1 that my family *gets* me:

the same tee! from the brother/sil ana/the girls and then from mom and dad - purchased in two different cities, two different stores!

the same tee! from the brother/sil ana/the girls and then from mom and dad – purchased in two different cities, two different stores!

i have already exchanged one sleeping leopard for two rollerskating kitties!

i have already exchanged one sleeping leopard for two rollerskating kitties!

december 25th, morn:

a beautiful tree - part of paul sharon's wonderful xmas decor.

a beautiful tree – part of paul and sharon’s welcoming xmas decor.

the traditional xmas morn "five cousins" pic!

the traditional xmas morn “five cousins” pic!

posing a dog is definitely harder than children!

posing a dog is definitely harder than children! shadow did not wish to look at the camera, despite numerous attempts!

sharon, little e, cutie c!

sharon, little e, cutie c!

proof #2 that my family *gets* me:


THE COUSINS FOUND ME THE LONG-DESIRED MADONNA TSHIRT!! and check out the pattern/colours on the BUFF headwear!

proof #3 that my family *gets* me:

a cardinal floor mat from paul and sharon; cardinal tea towels from "santa!"

a cardinal floor mat from paul and sharon; cardinal tea towels from “santa!”

what a morning of laughter, food, and togetherness!

december 25th, eve:

mom the cook...

mom the cook…

...dad the carver!

…dad the carver!

i can help serve!

i can help serve!

traditional around-the-table photo #2!

traditional around-the-table photo #2!

i so appreciate family time! this christmas was definitely relaxing and FUN.

are you still participating in social get-togethers today or will you be searching out boxing day sales? i work til 3:30 this aft, then plan to hit michael’s and maybe chapters!

~merry christmas~

~may love and joy fill your heart.~

~may you experience peace and goodwill during this most special of holiday seasons.~

merry christmas, friends!

and for the fashionable christmas runner…

my list of new holiday running gear that i covet is starting to sound a lot like “this is the house that jack built” (you know that children’s ditty where you add on another item to your list with each go-round).

to go with the pro compression socks i showed you the other day…


…please, please, santa bring me the holiday sweater long sleeve tech shirt!!


^^ here, the shirt is modeled by runner’s world celeb, bart yasso. i first saw this fabulous xmas tech item here on the rw website on friday. how GREAT would it be to run in this shirt…(i’ll show you another view…)


or, for doing a tready run, how about this santa tank?

as seen at "harmony by earthwinds" in uptown

as seen at “harmony by earthwinds” in uptown

[might have to scoot by and pick that up today, before they are all gone…].

just for laughs, i also would wear this tank to a race in say, june! hey, christmas is in our hearts year-round, right?!

i think the winning fashion item of the season is still the jamie oliver pullover – perfect for après-run knitting/movie time!


have you bought any new festive attire (running or normal-wear) this year? my stuff never wears out! i’ve got a sweater, two sweatshirts and two turtlenecks that are at least fifteen years old. because the pieces see the light of day one month per year, they will likely last another fifteen years!


i feel a lot of sadness as i reflect on the tragic shootings that occurred in newtown. i can’t comprehend the pain the families are feeling…what a senseless act of violence. i guess all we can do is send supportive thoughts and prayers to everyone affected and hug our own loved ones at every opportunity.

r.a.o.k.#8: in the spirit of christmas

the idea for r.a.o.k. #8 popped into my head early wednesday morning, out of the blue green and red! [->a little christmas humour, there!…].

as you’ll recall, i was in toronto on wednesday for aunti day. the date of 12-12-12 was supposed to be a lucky day; if i did a r.a.o.k., someone would have a nice day!

outside the local shoppers drug mart store, there is usually a homeless man (not always the same person) looking for a handout. these men are not aggressive or talkative, they just stand patiently by the entrance to the store.

here was my idea:

if a destitute person was outside of shoppers on this wednesday (the random part of my plan), i would give them an early christmas gift of a shoppers gift card. i liked the idea of buying a shoppers drug mart gift card because you can get everything at shoppers from groceries to socks to hygiene items.

as i approached the shoppers, i saw that there was indeed a man standing outside. you get to recognize “the regulars,” but i do not recall seeing this young man in the past.

i went into shoppers…

the sunny sky matched my cheery heart!

the sunny sky matched my cheery heart!

…and purchased a $25 gift card:

a festive selection!

a festive selection!

i felt a bit nervous as i exited the store!

i approached the young man and handed him the gift card: “i hope you have a safe christmas. all the best to you,” i said.

the young man was so polite as he thanked me.

i DID request permission to take this photo!

i DID request permission to take this photo!

the young fellow asked me my name, and in the spirit of r.a.o.k. #8, i told him it was kiki. he said his name was john.

i wished him the best, one last time, he wished me a very nice day, and i went on my way…with a warm heart.

~for it is in giving that we receive.~

st francis of assisi

new tradition, old tradition

this eve, sharon and i walked through waterloo park to see the wonders of winter. the annual lights display started on december 1st, but this was the first time i’ve been through this year!

got the "winter" part, missed "the wonders of" !!

got the “winter” part, missed “the wonders of” !!

even though the displays were the same as other years, we loved our walk n talk and taking in the sights…and bonus fun to not freeze (no snow, above-zero temps). sharon and i declared that this park tour is going to become our new annual tradition. yea for great ideas!


how funny that the old tradition involves the little ones!

our annual and traditional gingerbread kit decorating party was a great success, last eve! little e, cutie c and i had so much fun. this was the first year that little e squeezed out the sticky-icing all on her own; cutie c did all of the candy placements on her own; aunti applied the icing, as directed!

the girls decided to wear their hallowe'en costumes to the g'bread house party! (??!)

the girls decided to wear their hallowe’en costumes to the g’bread house party! (??!)

hard at work!

hard at work!

our final products!

our final products! ta da!

any new or old traditions chez vous this year? i need to watch “how the grinch stole christmas” at some point!

my meeting with bryan

same place, different photo for you!

photo #1: same place, different photo for you!

photo #2: the display of tattoo ideas you can flip through...

photo #2: the display of tattoo ideas you can flip through…

photo #3: whoa, that is....quite colourful?!!

photo #3: whoa, that is….quite colourful?!!

photo #4: mid-consult with bryan as he sketches some ideas.

photo #4: mid-consult with bryan as he sketches some ideas.

photo #5: 12 noon, january 8th, i will be at tora!

photo #5: 12 noon, january 8th, i will be at tora!

the cards are divided by delivery option!

photo #6: the cards are divided by delivery option!

mom gets me, too! a cardinal christmas card - perfect!

photo #7: mom and dad get me, too! a cardinal christmas card – perfect!

this morning, i had my previously-booked consult appt at tora tattoo (photo #1)

i arrived a few minutes early, so had time to peruse the selection of sample tats on display in the waiting area (photo #2)

think i’ll pass on this one, thanks! (photo #3)

bryan and i had a very productive collaboration-session – i had printed off 5-6 examples of designs/colours/ideas that i liked. being the artist and professional that he is, bryan will draw up the tattoo design then email it to me to look over (photo #4)

i really like bryan! and he “gets” me – that is a wonderful thing!

i really wanted to get tat #3 inked on my bday, wednesday, january 9th, but unfortunately, bryan is already booked up that day. however, we set an appt time for tuesday january 8th (photo #5). i work late afts on tuesday, so that appt time will work out just fine (bryan said it will likely be a 2.5 hour session).

yea! i will have my new tat FOR my birthday instead of ON my birthday. nbd!


in other (christmas) news, my cards are all done! (photo #6)

i will mail/distribute them this week.

and i RECEIVED my first card! (photo #7)


in other other news, as you can see, wordpress is acting wonky, still, with the photo uploading process…i refuse to get angsty/ragey as i typically do with techie issues. the worst case scenario is that i have bizarre blog post layouts…forever! we can live with that, right?!

operation christmas cards!

what a dull, dreary and dismal day…

we are severely lacking in daylight, today - grey! grey! grey!

we are severely lacking in daylight, today – grey! grey! grey!




yesterday, i put out a few xmas touches:

the manger scene belonged to g'ma; tiki is already in the christmas spirit!

the manger scene belonged to g’ma; tiki is already looking forward to christmas!

now, i am about to begin CHRISTMAS CARDS!!!

all the necessary pieces for doing up my holiday greetings - it's a major process!

all the necessary pieces for doing up my holiday greetings – it’s a major process!

longtime readers will remember that last year, i made my own christmas cards as one of my 41 new experiences.

NOT embarking upon that adventure creative undertaking this year! once was enough!

a little background music…

a top-three christmas album favourite!

a christmas album favourite in my collection!

ready, set, write/address/stamp!

do you send out holiday cards? i LOVE sending and receiving cards – there are a lot of people with whom i am in touch each year only via our card exchange, but i really look forward to this tradition! my goal is to have my card party completed by next weekend.

1, 2, 3, it’s thursday!

1. i started my christmas shopping yesterday!


[and that’s all i can say about that!]

2. because it was frickin’ freezing *quite* chilly out yesterday, i grabbed the opportunity to wear my free new saucony compression tights all day out and about, and to work in the evening:

well, that’s a bit of an awkward angle…

…is this a bit better? (fake running!)

the material is fantastically silky! it feels like you’re wearing pj’s. now in terms of compression….i did not actually feel anything in that regard. maybe i am used to how compression socks really support the lower legs?? i felt like i was wearing just a normal pair of leggings with these saucony tights. that is still a very comfortable feeling, but not a compression-y feel. i do like them immensely, though, and envision much wearing of them this coming winter!

3. vfbf joanne and i met at noon for a power visit yesterday. we had a limited timeframe available to us, so we made the most of our minutes, and not even two seconds of silence existed from our “helloooo’s!” to our “see ya’s!” – we are efficient conversationalists! we made plans to go see the movie pitch perfect next week – anyone seen it?? from the preview i saw this summer, it looks like a fun girls’ night out film!

movie suggestions?? i appreciate receiving ideas for films to watch -> it was only thanks to zo‘s mention of moonrise kingdom that i went to see it this summer, and i’d say it was my favourite movie of 2012, so far!

it’s tradition

on the thirty-first day of december...

thursday, we gathered at mom and dad’s for an immediate-family christmas celebration. after all, to go all dr seuss on you, christmas is not a date on the calendar, it’s a feeling in your (two sizes too big) heart, right?!

we trooped in to mom and dad’s late afternoon-ish. i worked til mid-afternoon, and cutie c had time for a nap before the toronto family trekked up the 401. happily, a few centimetres of snow falling did not hinder our plans!

family christmas, for us, is all about favourite traditions:

it’s tradition that we start off by opening our stockings:

santa gives stockings to kids little AND big!

it’s tradition that we chant, “one, two, three, pull!” and withdraw a surprise:

ohhh! ahhh!

then we all compare picks.

[santa sure did his homework! he obviously scrutinized my 100 item christmas list as my stocking included such wishes as…

  • #15 – nail polish in bright colours
  • #32 – brightly coloured sticky notes
  • #34 – puffins cereal
  • #57 – black eyeliner pencil
  • #59 – the burlap recyclable tote from “ruby eats”
  • #64 – fluffy warm socks
  • #81 – wrapping paper (tissue paper in many hues!)

and i have to show you…

knitting socks!

THANK YOU, santa!]

it’s tradition that after stockings, we convene to the table:

we'll get to the menu in a minute...

it’s tradition that we open a “table gift” before eating!

it’s tradition that we feast on ribs and pigtails; kfc chicken; chips and dip; rootbeer.

the chips and dip MUST be served in mom's vintage bowl set!

the traditional seated-at-the-table pic!

it’s tradition that mom uses her good poinsettia china to add to our festive cheer:

mom started collecting these place settings and serving pieces when i was little!

after dinner, it is time for traditional photos!

aunti and the girls!

four generations!

the parents!

and my very favourite traditional shot…

the brother and i each holding a gift and being cheesy

it’ become tradition over the last few years that i wrap the brother’s gift…*uniquely.* this year, my theme was vector (since he is a fan, too)!!

it’s tradition that it’s now time to open presents!

mom and i found the yarn winder for sil ana way back in sept!

little e receives her very first barbie! aunti had fun choosing which one to get!

much joy with toys!

yippee! i will enjoy cosy toes!

suggestion #50!

it’s tradition that at least one gift will make me squeal! my biggest dance of joy came when i received MY STINKY TOFU TSHIRT!!! (list item #3). three years of dreaming finally realized!

and - bonus! a cute bubble tea tee!

AND…some people may covet an italian wine. but me? direct from italy…

italian cereal!! "kellogs's" is the only english word on the box!

for a cereal afficiando, what a treat! i may have to frame that box!

thoughtfulness and expressions of love – that is what present exchanges are all about.

it’s tradition that we end our evening with dessert – our traditional cookie  and squares selection!

it's tradition that i arrange the squares and cookies plates!

it’s tradition that our christmas celebration is a time to share, visit, and enjoy being together.

and this blog post marks the end of all christmas all the time – except that glow in the heart may stay for a while!

happy new year’s eve! how are you marking the end of 2011 and welcoming 2012? i think a movie is on the agenda…and i have been in bed before midnight for umpteen years, now. i’d rather be gung-ho for new year’s day!

new experience #39: whiten my teeth

on the thirtieth day of december...

there is no better time of year than christmas to display dazzling teeth. photo! smile! “cheese!” ’tis the season to strike a pose flash a bright grin!

i’ve asked my dentist a few times, over the years, about different methods to make my pearly whites whiter. so, i basically decided on this kiki project just out of curiosity. i got a giggle out of pursuing this idea because it seems so self-absorbed and hollywood-esque! heck, i should get a spray-on tan and fake boobs and blond highlights while i’m at it!

i procrastinated on starting this project for a good few months. i wanted to get the whitening kit when it was on sale, but even when i did see it on sale, i put off committing to the purchase because of the cost: $44.99 (sale price) for a 28 day supply. i dove in when i decided to use my shoppers drug mart points. ah, what i don’t do for the kiki project

the kit i purchased

i was impressed when i read the instructions: all you need is five minutes a day. hey, that’s a piece of cake! i needed to find a set point in the day (routine lover that i am), and i would have picked wake-up/first thing in the morning, but the directions advised not to do the treatments right after brushing your teeth. so, i settled on taking five minutes while i got ready for work/got organized (or about 8:30 a.m. every day).

first impressions:

~ the strips are thinner than saran wrap! i had envisioned insertable trays, like what the dentist uses for fluoride treatments.

two strips - the longer one for your upper teeth, shorter for the bottom

~ tastes fresh, like toothpaste, and is a teensy bit foamy like toothpaste, too.

~ creates lots of garbage, what with the outer box, the individual pouches, the clear plastic to which the adhesive upper and lower strips are attached, and the strips themselves.

an example of a day's pouch - strips are inside

i actually started this blog post back on december 1st so that i could keep a photo journal and comment log as the 28 days ticked by…on day one, i was most curious about what my teeth would look like on day 28! would there be a noticeable difference?

day one:

a regular pose...need more teeth!

a little better...

out to attack!!

day two: the instructions warn that you may experience sensitivity. i was a bit worried because when i’ve tried whitening toothpaste before, i’ve had to discontinue it due to sore gums. but the strips don’t bug me at all! and i love the fresh, minty, clean feeling after i use them!

day three: at stitch n kitsch, mom tells me my teeth are “glistening.” [does that mean they will be “blinding” by day 28?!].

day four:

is there a difference? can YOU see a difference?!

day five: this is the first morning where applying the white strips feels like part of my getting-ready routine. just like remembering to put on (tie-dyed) underwear and to comb my hair.

day six: dentist appt this aft! now my teeth will be even more sparkly, i hope! i tell my dentist how whitening toothpastes have made my gums and teeth feel sensitive but the strips do not bug me at all. he says there are so many chemicals (*nice*) in the pastes that the combo in the strips may omit one ingredient to which i have reacted, before.

day seven: it’s official – i’m addicted to that super-clean mouth feel, after removing the strips.

day eight:

is it the reflection off the turtleneck, or are we seeing more whiteness??!

hey, if you want a close up of the teeth, you're gonna get a view up my nose, too...

day nine: i was totally rushed this morning and flubbed the application of the strip onto my bottom teeth. so my upper choppers now have a +1 advantage.

day ten: i ♥ love ♥ this new experience!!!!

day eleven: i wear lipgloss to the carols + lessons service at church. let’s draw attention to the teeth! [maybe this project is not such a good thing – it’s encouraging me to be self-centred!].

day twelve:

i'm keeping the background and the time of day the same for each photo update so that the lighting is consistent

i'm getting more daring with the close-ups!

day thirteen: a bit of gum sensitivity on the upper right side – i just apply the top strip to avoid this section – problem solved, and it’s fine the next day.

day fourteen: a customer at the store has glaringly white teeth. i hope i do not stare – i think i talked to her teeth during her sales transaction. it’s on the tip of my tongue to ask how she got that gleam!

day fifteen: valumart will have the crest 3D strips on sale, 30% off, next week!! so tempting!…[i resist buying another round].

day sixteen:

blurry photo cuz i did something to the camera settings during my walk thru the park last eve - will fix asap!

[i am out of thoughts for the in-between picture days].

day twenty:

if we were holding up paint chip samples, i'd say we've moved a coupla shades down the line!

day twenty-four! (merry christmas!)

think we've plateau'd over the past few days...we do have whiter choppers for christmas, though!

day 28 (last day, boo hoo!):

here’s what the strips look like on your teeth:

all my teeth shots look like i am about to pounce on you. sorry!

and the final photo! as white as we’re going to get!…

twenty-eight days of daily applications later...

ok! now let’s go back to day one…

day one - just so you don't have to scroll up...

and again with day twenty-eight…

ta da!

and back to day one…joking!!

definitely a difference, eh?

CONS [get the negative out of the way first!]:


~environmentally unfriendly


~very easy to apply

~only requires five minutes per day

~did not irritate my gums or make my teeth sensitive to hot and cold

~i did see results

~lovely taste and do leave your mouth feeling very clean and fresh **this amazing clean feel is what i will miss most, truly.**

conclusion: would i buy whitestrips again? heck, yes! ->IF i feel like doling out the cash – the price is a significant limiting factor.

now i’ll be interested to see how long the added whiteness lasts!

let’s talk teeth! how often do you see your dentist (every six months), did you wear braces (yes, nine years), have you ever whitened your teeth? (i have now!).