Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Urns, Outfits and Blogs Oh My!

I've never made urns for my porch before or anywhere else for that matter. This year I wanted to and this weekend was go-time. 

They feature a little of this and a little of that, mostly from shrubs and trees around my yard ... and I quite like how they turned out.

And since they're on my porch and won't be seen by too many people, you can be the first. From me to you, voila:

It's funny how this blog evolves as I never thought I would be posting my DIY home projects or pictures of myself in outfits, but I have and I just did:)  Oh well, it's all a part of my life at home - whether it's a carrot stick or a cashmere, not quite sure.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snow Tires or Bedroom Makeover?

If there's one $500+ purchase that I don't like forking cash out for, it's snow tires (laugh all you want you southern climaters).

I mean I shouldn't, they're potentially life-saving, fear-avoiding and will make a difference when the white stuff finally takes up residence here in Ontario.

I don't mind the snow itself ... I don't particularly enjoy dressing toddlers for it and the time it takes,  but it's paying $700 for snow tires when I'd rather be directing those funds towards transforming my bedroom into a romantic oasis or outfitting myself with something sparkly for the holidays ... or Christmas bills.

Regardless of how I feel, the snow tires were put on this weekend, the charge put on my visa to be paid off this week and I look forward to fewer white knuckles this winter season.

Here's to your safe driving this winter!

Friday, November 26, 2010

40 per cent off = FREE

Last weekend, the family and I went to the mall to try and get some Christmas shopping done. I went into a kids' store to try and find some kids' pyjamas and look up to see an excited look on my husband's face motioning for me to join him at the next store ...

Baby Gap - 40 % off the entire store, including sale items. What?! It's not even Black Friday yet or December. Sort of made the "25 % off selected styles" sign at the store next to the Gap look pretty lame.

And as Moms, and females, we know that if you see a sign that says 40% off, it basically reads FREE!

And then what we all end up doing is buying way more than we came for, wanted or needed and spend waaay more than what we saved with our 40% off.  It's just the way it works.  I guess that's why the stores do it.

For the record, in this specific instance, I spent less than what I was intending, did pick up two kids' coats I was in the market for, two extra (not on the list) shirts and put back six other items while coming to my senses and waiting in an insane long line and overheating in my winter jacket.

In honour of American Thanksgiving yesterday - Happy Turkey Day! - and in honour of the craziness that will exist in every retail facility today, being that it is Black Friday, one word of advice (actually a few):

  • Pay cash
  • Stick to your list (and budget)
  • Christmas is coming - buy for others
  • Large credit card statements in January SUCK! (and paying Christmas bills until the summer sucks even more)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Words That Touched Me

Since beginning to blog a few months ago, I have been in search of a Mom who blogs whom I can really relate to. So far, not much luck, except until I found the post below.

You Matter

"I never pictured myself in a traditional homemaker role. I grew up in the 1970′s when the women’s movement had already come of age. We had figured out that we could do anything. We could be leaders, serve in the military, have careers. We could sing “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” and no one batted a fake eyelash at it.

Unfortunately, along with all of the advancements came a subtle undercurrent of disdain for women who chose a traditional homemaker role. It certainly always overt, but I grew up with the sense that women who chose that role were selling themselves short. That they could do so much more.

And so, with my college-diploma in hand, I set out to become the successful career-gal that I’d always wanted to be. I worked hard and created a successful career for myself. I didn’t always love what I did, but I was good at it and I was rewarded for it.

Then came marriage and children…I married my dear husband and when our first child came along, we made the decision that I would stay home. I was in favor of that because by then my attitudes had changed remarkably and I really felt like that was where I should be. We were lucky that it was an option for us.

But I was a bit stuck…I didn’t understand my new role. I didn’t know how to be the primary caregiver to my home and family. Not because my mom didn’t try and teach me as I was growing up (thanks, Mom!) but because I wasn’t paying attention since it wasn’t a role that I cherished (sorry, Mom!).

I can look back now and honestly say that the first few years at home, I felt devalued. Like what I was doing wasn’t as important as what I could have been doing. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be at home but something didn’t feel right on the inside.

Whenever I met someone new and they asked “What do you do?”, my answer went like this, “Right now I’m a stay-at-home-mom, but I USED to…”. As if I had to justify my service to my family.

Through lots of prayer, study and reflection, I have since let go of those misconceptions. I won’t bombard you with a bunch of bible passages talking about a woman’s cherished role in her family (Prov 12:4; Prov 14:1; Prov 31:10-31, if you’re interested). But I will say this…

What you do matters. Listen to me closely. If we were having coffee together, I would lean across the table and look right into your eyes and say it again. What. You. Do. Matters. It is not beneath you. It is important work. Don’t just gloss over that and say “uh-huh, uh-huh”. Go back and read it again. I’ll wait.

Every diaper you change, every load of laundry that you fold, every carpool you drive, every meal that you make…it matters. Even for you moms who are working because you want to or because you need to. You set the tone in your home because you matter.

Serving your family is an important calling. You should never feel diminished or unimportant because what you do matters."

This post really touched me and spoke so closely to how I sometimes feel.  I hope you enjoyed it too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Splurge on the Shampoo

I have always been a no nonsense cosmetics and beauty product kind of gal.
 My girlfriends in high school would cringe when I pulled out my dove soap to wash my face, and jaws dropped to the floor when I lathered on the Vaseline Intensive Care for my face moisturizer (still have a bottle tucked away, but now use mostly for below the neck).  What can I say? I never really broke out or had skin issues so why change anything?  It worked.

This simple and frugal approach was also applied to hair products ... and then enter my organic stage and I'm sudsing the locks with organic shampoo and conditioner.  That is until one day, post haircut when I was caught up in the spending flurry of a girls day at the spa, my stylist convinced me to purchase some salon products ... you know the ones .... $18 for the shampoo and conditioner ... EACH! Well ladies, I have never looked back.  These pricey products in extremely small bottles make a difference. I have straight, fine hair with little body and I don't colour my hair a lot (at all really) so I don't have the benefit of some damage to lift up my roots.  The products (I use L'Oreal Professional something) seem to make my hair thicker with more body and oomph.

Pre-expensive products, there was no way, except for the odd time (and I felt gross all day), that I would ever skip a day of washing my hair. If I did, it looked stringy and gross while down and slicked to my head if I wore it back. And I hear some people say they only wash their hair every few days? I wondered why my locks were soooo different.

I'm not saying I wait three days to wash my hair now, but to skip a day is absolutely no big deal and I don't feel gross or self conscious. If anything my hair sometimes has more body the second day ?! Go figure.

Anyways, if you're still Herbal Essencing it (I do love the scents), may want to treat yourself at your next haircut and see what you think. I still cringe whenever I peak at the price, but considering how non-existent my beauty routine is right now, I figure it's the little splurge I deserve.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Last Minute Wardrobe Change and Malfunction

Thank you to "Anonymous" yesterday who gave me some honest advice and the push I needed to break out my NYC ankle boots. 

I ended up removing the belt, keeping the necklace and going with this on the bottom half:

This look was not achieved before making a mad dash into Shopper's Drug Mart for some opaque tights as the ones that I put on (and seemed fine as I was standing in my bedroom) decided to, within taking 15 steps, creep and fall 1/2 way down my butt (apparently they had no elastic left in the waistband). It was a total flashback of wearing leotards as a six-year-old.  Anyways, I remedied the situation with some "slimmers" that stayed up and more.  So we were good to go and had a good evening.

Thanks for your input... and thanks to Wendy for watching the kids :)

Get Those Skulls Off My Kids' Clothes

I don't know what it is, I just can't get my head wrapped around skull images on baby/toddler clothing.  Call me old-fashioned, preppy or out-of-the-loop, but I think it's a bit morbid.  Think about what a skull actually is.

Absolutely no offence to those who may choose to outfit their offspring or relatives in this type of attire, it's just a personal thing for me - like pure white dress shoes and mixing black and navy (although I'm starting to come around on this one).

It seems skulls have become somewhat more main-stream fashion in the past few years as they are everywhere ... including kids' clothing.  I was in the GAP this weekend and they were on their hoodies. They didn't look THAT bad, but when I see a skull, I think of scary, goth, tattoos, hard rock and roll, motorcycle gangs ... not a googly, chubby-cheeked, innocent, sweet baby. 

Maybe it's just me - sorry.  And I must clarify that I have been given some clothing with skulls embroidered and my son does where these articles from time to time.  Although, again, getting dressed for Grandma's house and throw on the skull shirt - not quite.  Ready for your first day of nursery school, time to slip on the pants with the skulls on them - yuck!  Or the best, time for bed my sweetie pie, let's snuggle into your skull jammies ?!? No way jose!

Okay so I'm exaggerating a bit, but not a fan of skulls ... especially on my sweet little boys. They're only little once. And something tells me, oh in about ten years time, skulls and other wonderful symbols will be showing up all over my sons so best try to exude my influence now :)

I will though, take the odd skull here and there if it means I can avoid Sponge Bob Square Pants or whatever the heck his name is.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On Your Mark, Get Set, What Am I Going To Wear?

These days, I don't get out much. I mean, I'm not playing my little violin or anything, I just mean, compared to when we didn't have kids and well, we were just "out" a lot more. Not sure doing what exactly as my memory isn't what it used to be but we went "out" a lot.

My husband got invited to a charity event being held tonight - short notice, but hey, a girl has got to jump when she gets an opportunity to get all gussied up and walk on her husband's arm.
Being the silly gal I am, I waited until Sunday evening to try on my various fashion options (very silly considering I was at two malls this weekend and walked past many many very nice stores for moi beckoning for me to enter and flashing their holiday garb through the window).

Luckily, a little black number came through. No, not the new grey dress I bought this fall paired with the black ankle boots from NYC I was conjuring up in my mind ... tried it on, but then dug to the bag of my closet for the ol' faithful.  For this event I am turning to an old friend - a tried and true number I have had for almost a decade, made of beyond-comfortable jersey material (with ruching in all of the right places), got on sale for $39 or something crazy like that and long sleeved (which is so nice for the cold weather).  funny thing is, I bought this dress on a girls' weekend and all of the girls that were in the store bought the same dress because we all loved it (and live in different postal codes). I guarantee you all of my friends have said au revoir to their LBD years ago.

Dressing for these types of evening, business-attire events are a bit tricky.  If it was a gala, that's easier - bust out the sequins, but business attire is a bit more tricky, especially if you're not coming straight from work. You don't want to go too cocktail, don't want to go too casual or super trendy (it is a business event after all).  So this is the dress and this is the look:

It's professional enough to fit in with the suits, dressy enough to fit in with the cocktail people and comfortable enough so I can enjoy some food and walk without teetering and tottering all over the place.

I may try out the opaque black tights and ankle boots tomorrow during nap time, but we shall see.  If it looks brutal, do let me know before 3 p.m. so I can make some revisions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Home Decor Done Really Right - Don't Miss This!

Last week hubby and I went to our friends' house for dinner ... you may remember the night I attempted The Torte.

These friends - Audrey & Scott - just bought a new home and completely gutted and renovated it during the past seven months.  For those of you who have experienced a renovation first hand, you know it's exhausting, costs can spiral out of control, paint colours never quite end up how you hoped, it's dusty and dirty, never ending and if you end up with something close to what you wanted and spent close to what you budgeted, you are in good shape. The actual decorating can take years, gradually working room by room until each space begins to feel like you.

Scott & Audrey's place ... forget years, it was decorated beyond belief.  Each room is breath taking and layered with complementary decor for a final and finished touch that is sophisticated, yet inviting and cozy. 

Audrey - definitely CDO (Chief Decorating Officer) of the house - seems to be armed with a natural gift for decorating and completing every little detail to the nth degree. I asked if there was any inspiration, perhaps a few magazine spreads from House & Home that she copied, but nope, she just went with what she liked!!??? If only I was so lucky.  I present to you, the pictures ....

Living Room
Living Room cont.

Amazing kitchen for entertaining
Dining Room with homemade harvest table

Upstairs "Cozy Room" I'll call it
Cozy Room cont.
Cozy Room cont.

My favorite (turquoise) nook in the house
Guest Room

Master (picture doesn't do it justice)
Seating area in Master

Some wall stuff

Very cool bamboo sinks
So are you with me? She's got a knack for home design doesn't she?
If you like something you see, have design questions, or wonder where specific pieces came from, drop me a line or leave a comment and I will happily get Audrey in on some discussions and answer your questions.

Oh and the company and food was wonderful too!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If You Have Boys ... A Book For You

Preference in reading material is very personal and unique to each individual, especially parenting books. Each parent has a different set of values, opinions on the right way to raise children, personal experience to draw from and style.  That being said, I'm going to go ahead and recommend one anyways ...

"Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons" by Meg Meeker, M.D., is an easy read, paper back that I picked up over the holidays last year for my husband.

I don't know what it is, I either totally click with a parenting book, or turn my nose up in the air and abort my mission before the first chapter's over.  This book, I like. It's easy to read, easy to understand, and most importantly, talks to a lot of concerns I have - the push to register, register, register into teams and groups and clubs, overuse of television and electronics, the inappropriate depiction of females and relationships (and sex!) in the media and everywhere you look, the importance of strong role models, necessity of values and morals and ... I'll get off my soap box now.

Anyhoo, if you like to read the odd parenting book and are tired of reading Today's Parent, this may be the book for you.  Or if you have family members blessed with beautiful boy children, perhaps a  good present for the holidays.

The author, Dr. Meg Meeker, also has other books (that I have not read, but that seem to be interesting titles and may look into for Christmas):

If you have any must-read parenting books, would love to hear about them - please leave a comment. Another one of mine - The Baby Whisperer.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tiffany & Co.

The name speaks for itself.

When the word "Tiffany's" is whispered, there's a certain shiver that goes up a female's spine.  If not a shiver, a memory, an image of Audrey Hepburn, a thought of something sparkly.
I'm not a jewellery-focused female, but still, the words "Tiffany & Co." are special.

I was touched earlier this year when my thoughtful husband christened me with my first turquoise Tiffany box(es), and the beautiful earrings and bracelet that was enveloped within.  I felt like I was an official member of Club Tiffany.

While in NYC, I accompanied my girlfriend into THE Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue.  Multiple floors of loveliness, the pulsing of estrogen in every square foot and bling everywhere.  After a few glances around, we face reality and headed for the "sterling silver" floor.

My friend treated herself to a beautiful pair of mid-sized bead earrings and later texted her husband,

"Dear Sweetheart:  FYI- I have officially begun my Tiffany & Co. collection.  Feel free to add to it whenever you like."

I myself did not make a purchase, maybe next time (haven't had a salary let alone an increase in a few years). I did however, thoroughly enjoy seeing and experiencing the always referred-to jewellery mecca.

Yours in turquoise,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Heart Porter Airlines

It's not often that you return home from a trip without some frustration/complaint/annoyance with your airline. Perhaps your flight was late? Missing or damaged bags? Rude stewardesses? Lack of accommodation? Freaking brutal cost of food (whatever happened to that infamous airplane food? Could they have taken all of our complaining to heart?)? Increase in incidental fees? (so a $500 ticket does not include being allowed to check a bag free-of-charge?).

After flying Porter Airlines out of the Toronto island airport for my first time this past weekend, I can honestly say- no regrets! No complaints, no extra fees and no hassles.

I have never had such a nice travel experience (and I have travelled quite a bit). Need I say complimentary (and unlimited) lattes and biscotti while waiting for your flight? Not to mention juice, water, cookies, leather chairs, work stations, no lines, friendly employees, no problem switching to an earlier flight, smiles and a beautiful view of the Toronto skyline while you wait too. Oh and you only have to be there sixty minutes ahead of time for a US flight? I practically felt like I was flying in a private jet.

In the future whenever possible I will definitely be choosing Porter whenever I can. If you are from Toronto and planning a trip, do yourselves a favor and introduce yourselves to Porter! (remember, lattes and biscotti).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaack

New York City was amazing.  Had a wonderful time and the city really surprised me. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I was utterly impressed. It was clean, beautiful, an interesting mix of city and nature, old and new, and I felt safer than I do in Toronto.  I think I was asked for money twice, maybe saw one homeless person and well, our dollar was at par, so no hesitations when perusing their wonderful shopping stores. It's incredible at how many daily references are made to NYC landmarks and I'm excited to now have visuals of a lot of those.

Upon my return, it was great to see my boys. I was wearing a funky hat and big earrings (which i don't normally do) when they picked me up and my son said, "Mommy, me missed you. You pretty. You princess, me king."  Heart melt ... oh and my husband brought flowers! ... then within the hour they were screaming, acting out, spilling entire cups of milk on the floor, quarrelling over toys and officially welcoming their mother home.

I have to be honest the last 18 hours have been very overwhelming and I have experienced multiple and varying emotions.  Satisfied at having a wonderful time away, pleased that my husband did so well and had fun with the boys, fearful of being on my own with both boys today, guilt for not being able to adjust more quickly to life with two energetic and needy boys, gratitude to my mother in law for helping out while I was gone, and bowled over by how different of an effort and energy level is needed in my day-to-day life compared to what was required during the past four.

Here are some pics:
Where it all happens

Time Square's Naked Cowboy

New York Stock Exchange

Statue of Liberty

View of NYC from the water

Three Inch Thick Deli Sandwiches

Central Park - more beautiful than I imagined.
Many more posts to come this week, plus a new look and feel for this blog.  Please stay tuned.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Trip Away From My Boys

I leave this morning to go on my first trip without all three of my boys.

I am excited, but sad to leave them too.
How often I say, "I need a break" or yearn to sleep in until my body chooses and now the opportunity has arrived and hesitation? apprehension? 

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to have a blast, but when you're used to having two little ones within twenty feet of you twenty-four hours-a-day, it is a bit of a shock to the system when you are on your own. All alone with none of your usual tag alongs.

I guess it's NYC here I come. Girls' weekend with my friend J. - a roommate from university whom I have stayed close to throughout the years. Never been to THE CITY before so don't quite know what to expect, but that's always the best way right?

May or may not post tomorrow.  If I do not, check this post out and just do yourselves a favour and watch it, would you please? I would not lie about this.

This post is dedicated to all the Mom's who are not on a girls' trip this weekend.  I'll enjoy my sleep, my lattes, sight seeing, lone bathroom trips and shopping for you!


P.S. Hubby: Reminder: No more than two hours of television a day!

P.P.S. For those of you reading that think two hours of television a day is too much, there's not much else an adult mind can take at 5:30 a.m. with two kids in tow. Most of our time is racked up before breakfast, not throughout the day ... until dinner preparation arrives :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Library Visit Gone Wrong

Dear Perfect Library Ladies:

You know who you are. The ones that apparently have never raised children or been around any boys under the age of five prior to today. Yes, you the unhelpful ones that didn't even acknowledge me today. Thanks for making a difficult trip to the library even harder.

Let me explain ....

My friend and I went to the library today with four sons (two each).  Given the colder weather, we thought a quick stop at the library and its adjacent coffee shop would be fun.  We are fortunate that our public library has an enclosed children's room on the 2nd floor where kids can attempt their library voices but do not distract other patrons if their attempts fall short ;)

I knew the visit wasn't going to go so well when my son saw his two friends enter the premises and proceeded to lean over the library's second-floor railing, yelling out their names at the top of his lungs. Needless to say we had everyone's attention and the visit had officially begun. (Note: I, of course, explained to my son about the need to talk softly and avoid running).

As usual, our boys were excited to see each other.  They quickly started playing hide-and-seek behind the book shelves and whatever other super high-energy activities they could think of. Fortunately there was only one other little girl and her dad in the room, oh and one perfect library lady. 

Again, let me stress my friend and I both spoke to our boys continuously, trying to calm them down, explaining that people were trying to read and that the librarian was going to ask us to leave if we didn't stop running. We thought we would at least get a grin from the library lady that was within ear shot, or you know the "been there, I understand" look or even for her to kindly play along saying something to the boys. Nope, nothing. Little Miss Stoic couldn't budge any expression other than b-i-t- ... oops, won't go there.

So being the responsible Moms we are, we decided to take a rain check on the library and move the play date out to the nearby park.  Down the elevator we go, to the exit desk to check out our books.  The only visible library lady (one who had already given us a snot look) sat nearby helping someone apply for a new card. Anyone close by would have known we were struggling with some rambunctious boys, but were trying to do the right thing and leave ... so throw us a bone! Nope. The library lady just sat there. Didn't call a colleague. Didn't look up. Didn't acknowledge us. Didn't check us out.  Nothing. Plllleeeeaaaasse.

Then the boys decided it would be fun to run away from the Mommies. Yeah, not so much fun.

I quickly grabbed my son (other son was luckily contained in the stroller) and patiently waited for a library lady to finally check us out. When one did arrive, again, no acknowledgement of how tough of a situation we might be in. Nose in the air, no comments or greeting to us, total snotville. More like "yes, please leave and take your wild animals with you" look.

I understand that loud, energetic kids can be annoying to others, but let me make two points:  for the majority of our visit, we were in a children-only, sealed-off room; and given the behavior of our boys, we chose to leave and remedy the situation. It's not like we were parading them around the Canadian History section or letting them run wild with no attempt to corral them into control.

Anyways, I am ranting.

How could I translate this into a resume line item? Hmmm ....  extreme patience...  diplomatic individual capable of discipline and schedule changes ... highly motivated and works well under pressure ... experience in behaviour management ....thrives in fast-paced work environment.

Any suggestions?

My resume sure is going to be packed when I update it!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taste Buds' Weekend Report Part II

Sunday night brought an evening of entertaining, complete with kids.  Been trying to get together with a couple for ages, but nothing was working so we decided to meet at our house with all family members, hire two babysitters to watch the (five) kids, and attempt to have a mature, adult-only event in a separate room.  I must say, it worked.  Because this is a "Taste Buds' Report", I will not digress, onto the menu:

Mixed Greens Salad with Pear, Walnut & Goat Cheese

Fennel Risotto with Ricotta and Dried Chili

Jamie Oliver's Cheeky Chocolate Mousse

And before everyone starts thinking I cook all of the time because I have been talking so much about my culinary happenings in the past couple of weeks, let me explain. I tend to go in spurts. I will cook my brains out for a couple of weeks, trying a bunch of new recipes and then take six weeks off preparing nothing more exciting than spaghetti or gasp! Kraft Dinner.

Take care and try something new this week ... even if it's on a menu!


Taste Buds' Weekend Report

This past weekend was full of culinary delights, attempts, failures and face-stuffing deliciousness.

This post will focus on the somewhat successful Apple Toffee Torte I mentioned on Friday's post.

Well, what can I say?  It was well received, I learned a lot, I don't think it turned out perfect, and there are too many segments to it that are not conducive to a day of errands and nursery school pick ups (it would be a lot easier if you were nestled in at home for the day).  For example, something needs to boil for three hours, the dough needs to refrigerate for an hour and then once a crust needs to be frozen for an hour, etc. etc. Too many lengthy steps.

See below as the Torte comes to fruition:
The dough after one hour of refrigeration

Neat way to make a pie crust using discs of dough

The Pastry shell riding shot gun to pick up my husband en route to friends' house

My friend tossing apples in icing sugar

Voila - the final result
Things I learned:
  • "Scant" cup of something means just shy of a cup while measuring
  • "Blind baking" a pie crust means to pre-cook it slightly without its filling
  • If you boil an unopened can of condensed milk for three hours, it turns into toffee. Who knew?
And lastly but THE most important thing that I knew already but should have reminded myself ...
  • ALWAYS finish making and baking your dessert before drinking more than one glass of wine :)
Worth a try if you love apple and toffee sweetness.


P.S. More food reports on their way

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear Kidless Friends: I'm Sorry

Dear my friends with and without kids: 

I'm sorry. 

I'm sorry I don't call more.

I'm sorry I'm not available on a whim to get together.

I'm sorry I don't like getting together on Saturdays because that is time I love to spend with my family. 

Being a mom changes a lot.  Spare time and energy levels are the biggies ... not to mention stomach shape as I have mentioned previously here, sleep required to function, vacation destinations, one's acceptance of bodily excrement and the approval of the minivan.

I am fortunate to have wonderful friends whom (I think) understand all of these things. We connect, share and meet when we can.  The gaps in between, well, they could always be smaller, but we always seem to pick up exactly where we left off.

Apparently, everyone out there is not so fortunate as to have understanding friends who "get it".  If you haven't read this article yet from the Washington Post, it's a goodie.  I will say though, although the article attempts to be specific, it's impossible to capture exactly the chaos that is life with kids as a stay-at-home mom.  Why do you think so many women say they go back to work for the break? :) Toughest job I've ever had, but the non-monetary rewards are the best!



Friday, November 5, 2010

To Do Today: Run Around Like A Chicken ...

Today I have quite the challenge in front of me and will be undoubtedly running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I have all of the usual stuff to do - existing with two kids, naps, dishwasher, meals, nursery school drop offs and pick ups, etc. plus ...
  • attempting to make a fancy dessert I have never tried before for a dinner party with friends, complete with pastry and something that needs to be cooked for three hours?!?  Why do I do this to myself. I could have just bought something! Here's hoping Jamie Oliver pulls through again.
    Jamie Oliver's Apple Toffee Torte (Source)
  • grocery shop
  • play date with friends I haven't seen since high school (yeah, no pressure)
  • prepping house, spare room, kids and notes for kind family member who is watching the kids while we go out
  • get dinner ready for kids
  • oh yes, and let's not forget get me ready - must schedule this or it won't happen and I'll walk out of the house, with, well, have you seen the clothes featured in this post
Anyways, you get the idea. Busy day. I will definitely let you know how it goes.

Lots going on this weekend too - cooking, entertaining, playing, shopping ...

Let me know what you want to hear about - the food (more Jamie of course)? the activities? the fashion? the table decor? how the kids behaved while we were gone? or all the juicy stuff?  If you write me a note, I'll set some good posts up for next week.

Have a wonderful weekend. Perhaps one of our last here in Ontario without snow?  I don't care, it doesn't scare me ... especially now that I have my coat!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our Brand New Harvest Table ... but it doesn't fit!

Let me present to you our brand new harvest table.

But there is one additional piece of information that is important ... (drum roll please) ... we made it ourselves.

Yes, that's right. With the help of a wonderful family friend who has a lot of super duper huge wood working tools, we created this beautiful piece of furniture.

My excitement quickly fizzled though at the reminder that the table is too big for our current house. We don't have a formal dining room and it's too big to fit in our eating area.  Let me explain ...

While we were creating the table (did I mention we built it ourselves!), we had to choose how big i.e. long we wanted the table to be. We thought about going shorter so it would fit in our house, but the thought was that you get a chance to make an awesomely huge harvest table once in your life, so let's not skimp. Let's be dramatic (it's eight feet long). We hope to put it in a cottage (yet to be built but on the five-year plan) or a future home. For now, it has a date with our garage or sun room.

Our final task before storing her away is to stain and protect.  We have been debating what colour to go with. Although I love dark wood, I hesitate to finish in a walnut as there are such beautiful details to the wood that would disappear under such a dark finish.  As far as other options, I am not a fan of cherry or that really bright golden pine look. I love the look featured in Restoration Hardware right now and that is what we used as a design inspiration for ours. I'm thinking we may just use a clear stain and protector. I know, kind of boring, but I love the look of it as is so why mess with it right?  Plus, there are a lot of different types of wood used on the table top so I'm worried that a stain would be soaked up differently by each type, creating a weird stripe look.

Does anyone have any ideas?  Any experience with table stain? Any projects gone wrong to share?


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