Sunday, May 29, 2011

Finding Stuff in Other People's Basements

Went to visit my brother and sister-in-law's house this weekend for the first time and during a tour of the house and the basement, I happened upon two of these:

I just love them (the pictures don't do them justice).  They have an older feel to them, but are not beat up and over the top antiquey like most you find discarded in basements. A bit too much for a hallway (unless you have more of a Victorian/ornate  feel to your home), but perfect for a master bathroom (think over top of a big tub) or in our sunroom or office :)

The best part is (apart from them not being a line item on my credit card) I don't have to do anything to them. There is this fine beaded detail around all of the metal which gives them even more depth and makes them exquisite up close.  They are clean with no chipping or scratches and a nice antiqued beige, which fits perfectly in my home. 


P.S. Big month coming up on Cashmere & Carrotsticks. If you haven't already, sign up for email or become a follower so you can qualify for all the goodies coming your way in the weeks to come.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday's Controversial Read: A Follow Up

For those of you who read this article posted on Friday about the family raising a "genderless" baby, below is a link to a letter that the Mom wrote to the media in response to all of the attention she and her family were receiving.  Thought I would share:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friday's Controversial Read

I'm not sure how I came across this article yesterday, but wanted to share it with you.  It's a very controversial story about a family that has decided to raise a "genderless" child.  This does not mean that the child does not have a gender - they definitely have all of the parts of male or female - the parents are just choosing to withhold the gender from anyone but themselves, allowing the child to be free of all of the gender stereotypes and pressures they feel exist in the world. 

It's definitely an interesting story and one that caused a lot of strong emotions to surface within me.  I'm not going to share my opinion on this before you all get to read it. 

If you have a few minutes, take a gander and let me know your thoughts (the link is below):

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm So Excited ... Over Deodorant

I just ordered new deodorant online.

Yes, seems like a very odd thing to order online and get all giddy about, but this is some special, long awaited for deodorant.

If you read this blog often, you will know that I recently read Gillian Deacon's There's Lead in Your Lipstick and have been trying to "green" up my personal care products.

In the book, Gillian talks about natural deodorant very honestly i.e. its tendency not to work when you need it the most.  For anyone that has tried natural deodorant, you will know what I mean. Gillian goes on to talk about a specific deodorant by a Toronto company - Crawford Street Skin Care - that she happened to try on one of the most stressful and demanding days of her life (we're talking missed flights, airport mayhem, physical activity, critical presentations in front of senior executives, stress over rescheduling upcoming chemotherapy appointments, etc. etc.) and this natural deodorant held its own and worked miraculously.

After I read her experience, I was sold and wanted this odour-solving solution immediately.  Unfortunately when I went online to Crawford Street Skin Care's website .... the beloved "Lemon Deodorant Cream" that she was referring to was sold out. Boo hoo!  I was forced, for my sake and those around me, to revert to my pore-clogging, health-threatening, regular ol' antiperspirant.

That is until TONIGHT!

Tonight I revisited the site and voila, no more back order. Bingo Bango Pay Pal and two packages of the holy cream is being sent to yours truly. 

I have set some pretty high expectations and hope it can live up to them. I really would like to be able to move away from anti perspirant as I do feel that there is something wrong with blocking our body's ability to sweat and rid itself of its toxins the way it was meant to. Where do those toxins go when they can't get sweated out?  I know the scientific evidence and findings are varied, but as someone whose Mom died from breast cancer, I'm not taking any chances.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grey Spandex is a No No

Grey spandex just isn't flattering, no matter who you are.

Just got back from a Booty Camp Fitness class tonight and there were a few victims of grey lycra out there with us.  I don't know what it is, but grey just doesn't do it and does not look good - it shows every nook and cranny, every little skin divot, every single spot that you don't want people staring at  .... god forbid if you actually do have some trouble areas because grey will call them out.  I guess the only exception may be Cameron Diaz if she chose to grey-it-up or maybe Kate Hudson ... but for the rest of us who still have fitness goals to achieve, I would air on the side of caution and steer away from the cloudy hue.

I love the colour grey so would love to jump on the bandwagon of fitness clothes in this wonderful shade, but I'm sticking to black. Black is a gal's best friend in this department; it hides, blends, shadows those "dimples" we're all so fond of and it creates illusions. Grey ... not so much. Just to be clear: grey is fine in loose fitting fitness clothing (i.e. something that doesn't hug your skin) and for shirts, tanks and undergarments. It's the bottoms I'm referring to.

Sorry if you have grey spandex in your fitness apparel repertoire. Perhaps you are the anomaly in this fashion situation or just so fit you can pull it off.

Be thankful that when I googled "bad grey spandex," no applicable images were to be found.

P.S. As I mentioned yesterday, lots of amazing things planned for June (only one week away), so hurry up and sign up to become a "follower" of this blog or subscribe to receive email updates. This will not only allow you to keep up-to-date with everything that is happening, but it will also be required to qualify to win all of the great giveaways!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reese is 0/2 at the Movies

I am by no means a movie critic, but, at the same time, am not afraid to share my opinion (in case you didn't already know this).

Happened to watch two Reese Witherspoon movies this week, and, if I am completely honest, they both were not good.  One of them was one of the worst I've seen in a long time.

Now before you think I have the hate on for Reese, let me tell you that I am normally a fan, quite enjoy her and don't have anything against her and her cute smile, bright blue eyes and friendly southern girl thing she's got going on.

Last Wednesday husband and I were lucky to sneak out for a date night. We love going to the movies, but it's an activity that we don't get to do very often anymore because the times never seem to correspond to when the babysitter is here i.e. they start too early or end too late (for a week night).  Well on Wednesday we made it work, and Water For Elephants starring our girl Reese and Robert Pattinson (Twilight) was the lucky winner whose time lined up with our babysitter. Not totally unbearable, but moments of boredom and awkwardness. Definitely not a theater, maybe a rental if there's nothing else topping your list, but definitely not one I am recommending. No tears were shed, no laughter heard and no swooning over our boy Rob.

Next up was Saturday night and it was my choice for rental. There was nothing that was standing out so I went with How Do You Know, starring Reese, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd. Pretty big cast right? I knew we were getting into cheesy Romantic Comedy territory but I like a good RomCom, but this was NOT it. A lot of time during these types of movies I know that deep down I may be enjoying the flick but know that the material is not to my husband's liking ... nope, not to either of our liking. So disjointed, not believable, overdone humour and no attachment to the characters.

Sorry Reese. Here's hoping the next one is a bit better.  I guess I can always fall back on Sweet Home Alabama next weekend :)

P.S. On some other more exciting news ... I have some really fun stuff planned for next month which is coming really quick. You like giveaways?  Then stay tuned and get ready for June.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Help & Food Are On The Way

How many of you have heard of Grocery Gateway?

Grocery Gateway is a grocery-delivery service. Yup, you order the goods online and magically, some guy is kindly dropping off those same goods at your door the next day.

For some this may seem a bit lazy. I mean although grocery shopping is not the favourite activity, it's not that bad. But for others, say those carting a newborn baby in one of those bucket seats that weighs way too much as well as a toddler in the rain or snow, this service is a life saver, stress saver, and all around God send.

How it works?  You log onto the Grocery Gateway website, sign up and then shop til you drop.  It takes a bit to get used to how they list their foods and the quantities that are shown, but there are all sorts of tools to help you out so that you can, for example, save lists of foods that you order all of the time so that you can just add them to your cart each time without having to search for them again.  Once you're all done, you review your list, tell them how you'd like to pay, pick a delivery time any time from 6 a.m. till later in the evening (two hour windows so that's not so bad) and then you are good to go.  You can even go back in and edit your order up until a specified cut off time.

Your groceries are delivered by a big truck, friendly person and in cardboard boxes. If you are lucky enough to have "Robbie" as your delivery person, you will be overwhelmed by his zest and friendly service. My son looked forward to his visits.

If, after the fact, you find anything wrong with your order, simply call their customer service line and they will help out - they have always been super helpful to me.

I found the prices to be reasonable. The delivery fee was only $10 (I think it has gone up since), but they often sent out coupons for $5 off delivery which helped out and made the extra cost minimal.

Just because you're stressed and juggling, doesn't mean you have to go hungry!  If you find yourself overwhelmed and utterly freaked out by the thought of braving the grocery store, I urge you to give it a try ...especially during bad weather and the winter.  I think I am now past my stage of needing grocery gateway on a regular basis but I found it incredibly helpful during the extreme juggling stages.

(Sorry to those of you outside of the GTA, this post may not apply, but I'm sure there are similar services of another name in your area that can be found.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lack of Sleep - Can't Blame The Kids

I have been walking around exhausted lately, but I can't blame the kids. In fact, they have been sleeping really well of late (knock on wood).  The culprit is me rediscovering my love of reading novels. Magazines are great and all but their pages are distracting and I find it takes me quite a bit of effort to read a whole page, let alone an entire magazine, not to mention, they never leave me feeling satisfied and rarely like I've come away with any great information.  With novels, you know you're getting a fully story and it's nice to read a page where you know you'll keep up just as long as you follow from left to right, line by line.

Anyways, I have found myself staying up until midnight or after (I normally try to hit the hay close to 10)  tearing up a couple of books - One Day by Dave Nicholls and Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

I'm not going to do a full review of each but I'll just say that I really really enjoyed both of them. I literally couldn't put the books down. (But take this with a grain of salt as I also loved the Twilight series and was mildly obsessed for a few months.)

Up until recently, the thought of reading seemed alien. Maybe the fact that I am now able to get through a novel in less than a year means I am exiting the pure exhaustion stage of sleep-deprived mother-of -two toddlers and entering a new stage ... (perhaps pulling my hair out, peace maker and constant supervisor of two very active boys will work).

If you're up for a new book and can squeeze in a few moments during your day (maybe during the Backyardigans), these picks would be a good start. Not too heavy, not too light.  Just enough to get you thinking, not enough to make you depressed, a little love, a little sad, but all in all, perfect Mom read.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Something To Do Today!

If you live in York Region or in the Aurora area - head to the Children's Trunk Show today.

Great place filled with lots of amazing kid stuff and original gift ideas. Lots of Mompreneurs strutting their stuff. I know a few of the people who will be selling there and the stuff is amazing, including Baby Magoo.

Take a peak at the link. I will be going in about 10 minutes. Perfect break on a rainy day.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Those Words I Never Quite Got

So this post has nothing to do with motherhood, being at home, kids, fashion, or anything I have written about in the past. Today's post is just a snip it I'd like to share with you. Perhaps you can relate...

Am I the only one out there that recently discovered they were misspelling a very common word on a regular basis without knowing it? 

Being that my background is in communications which involves a heck of a lot of writing and proof reading, this is embarrassing to admit, but, there are a few words out there that I consistently misspell and honestly, only realized I was doing it within the past few years.  The culprits:  at least (I spelled it atleast) and definitely (I spelled it definately). I was shocked. Thrown back. In awe of my ignorance. Again, you have to understand I copy edit for goodness sakes and just discovered that "at least" had a space less than 12 months ago.  (Even as I type, I have to force myself to add the space).  Where was the spell check? Was I simply choosing to ignore the red squiggly lines in my documents, assuming I was smarter than the computer?  Sure misspelling "embarrassing" or "recommend" could be forgiven - lots of double letters and they're fairly long (maybe they're even misspelled here), but "at least" come on - brutal!

And on another different, but related "misinformed" note, I remember growing up and being a teenager and discovering that there were words that I was mispronouncing that I never figured out when I was young.  A good example, I thought it was a "hard attack" not a "heart attack" and I thought when someone sneezed you say "Bleshoo" not "Bless you."  It's those funny little words that sneak by and our pronunciation may be close enough not to be corrected or stared down with bewilderment, but the error passes through years and then (hopefully) at some moment you read it, or catch on and it is the funniest thing - like you have just been let in on the joke everyone was telling.

So, anyone have any confessions they would like to share?

Oops - That's Where My Sock Went!

So the other day I had a super Mom moment. You know, the times where for some odd reason you have a surge of energy and pull out the almighty glue and craft bin and get creative on some project.

The other day it was "project sock puppets."

Step One: Find some lone socks to use. This step is never hard as I can never seem to find socks to match one another after I do laundry.  I found approximately four socks and then my son and I went to town with buttons, hot glue, shredded paper and paint. It was fun, and the end result was cute:

One of the more "minimal" versions without paint!

And then  yesterday Iwas going through some of my drawers looking for something and guess what I happened upon? ...

The missing sock

Oops! That's where my sock went! I guess I still had the pair after all. Should have gone with one of the older lone socks.

Luckily hot glue and buttons, as well as shredded paper adhered by hot glue are easily removed (as I found out this morning).

Today I enjoyed my new found socks! And they were happy to be worn again ... together ... on my feet.

Let's just hope my son doesn't notice and ask for the fourth puppet :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Final Car Decision ...

has been made.

And we are proud new owners of a lightly used Toyota Highlander.

New Perks:
  • way bigger interior area to sit and maneuver
  • optional 3rd row seating for friends, visiting family, etc.
  • bigger cargo area
  • much bigger front window (sounds funny, but our jeep's was tiny)
  • touch button trunk close
  • lots of extra keys (lost a key for my previous vehicle in a Christmas bag filled with tissue paper somewhere)
  • great little stuff compartments
  • console in between the kids for drinks and stowing away of wipes and emergency items (where's that soother?!)
  • Bigger but not huge for driving and parking
  • White exterior - nice and fresh and happy looking :)
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my husband and I do not enjoy car shopping and this was no different but it turned out great.

Our local Jeep dealer (whom I did not lease our vehicle from) really made life difficult yesterday when amidst trying to juggle dropping off a vehicle with two kids, their associated schedules, picking up a new car, license plate switching, insurance juggling, etc, they decided they would not take my vehicle back as I did not purchase the lease through them (although I have done my servicing their exclusively for four years!). Errrrrr. Nevertheless, we made it through and got the old car returned, the new one picked up and home by 9:00 p.m. with kids both wide awake, blood racing from too many Timbits and screaming the whole way because they wanted to "drive with Daddy!"


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mommy, I Smell Something In Your Mouth

You can't get anything by my three (almost four)-year-old.

Not even a quick bite of chocolate mint ice cream after you have put him to bed.

Our bedtime routine, like many, involve multiple trips back to reassure, hydrate, hug, etc. and without a doubt, if I or my husband have ingested anything whatsoever in between checking back with my son, we are greeted by,

"Mommy, I smell something in your mouth ... what you eating?"

And then usually he gives his best guess, which ten times out of ten, is wickedly on target.  Tonight it was ice cream .... our response was of course that we just brushed our teeth ;)

He has also nailed me on chocolate, wine and ju jubes. Always the good stuff that would just make him yearn even more to be awake and scarfing tasty edibles down with binge eaters Mom and Dad.

I always remember just as I'm leaning in, trying to hold my breath in time, but he's quick and he's good and like I said, knows his smells ... especially when it comes to protecting his Easter basket of goodies.

Happy late night nibbling!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To The Top Of Poop Hill

This my friends ....

... is Poop Hill.

Or at least how we refer to this steep neighbourhood terrain in our household. Why Poop Hill you ask? Well, because there always seems to be some smelly debris left by considerate dogs in the area. Without a doubt, there is always something worthy of swerving to avoid on our morning commutes up and down the hill.

Apart from its smelly name, Poop Hill does have a major benefit:  its cardiovascular requirements for getting up while pushing a double stroller or pulling a double occupancy wagon.  Walking up and down this a couple times a day is how I justify that I have had a workout, when in fact no gym was visited or exercise video viewed.  Add in a bit of ice and the poop and you've got one interesting journey.

On a recent walk my son took with his class, he proudly pointed out Poop Hill. Of course all the kids instantly started scouring the ground in front of them searching for the prized sighting!

Hope you're enjoying getting out and about in the spring weather!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Necessity For Every Fitness Enthusiast

Whether you work out at home, in a gym or in the town park ... whether you like to run, row or stand by the water cooler, it's important to know exactly what you are doing and whether you are progressing.  (Who wants to work out for months for fun? ... let's see some abs damn it!)

A friend of mine developed the Personal Trainer Guide to Weight Training and Nutrition  It's an unbelievable guidebook produced by Myfit that is packed with fitness and nutrition information, examples of exercises complete with pictures and descriptions and tons of pages to record all of your workouts, results and food intake - this way you can track your progress.  The best part:  it's about the size of your hand so it's easy to carry with you or tuck in a pocket and use while you are working out.

I have used this training journal myself and find it to be really helpful. Bored with your glute exercises? ... it's got lots of suggestions.  Not sure if you're doing your side raises just right? ... check out the handy pictures included.  Wondering if it's all worth it? ...for motivation, check out page 58 for your "pre" measurements you wrote down. Not  quite sure what an oblique is? ... check out page 7 for a picture of the muscles in your body.

I think you get the picture - super helpful, really informative and a great little resource to have in your gym bag.

Congratulations to Anne and Designwali who have won a Myfit Personal Trainer Guide to Weight Training & Nutrition book.  Thank you both for your comments and involvement last week.

I encourage everyone else to check out for other amazing health information.

Go and Vote ... Now!

Today is election day in Canada.

I'm hoping everyone reading is going out to vote, regardless of political preference.

If you are debating it or thinking that you won't, I urge you to get your umbrella out (in Ontario), and set aside 20 minutes to go and get it done. Think about the millions of people around the world that are not able to vote for a variety of different reasons and would die just to have this right that we take for granted.

At the very least, by casting your vote, you have license to complain about the results and the aftermath... If you don't... plan to keep your mouth shut as you have no right to say anything. You gave that up when you "decided" to stay home on election day.

So get out there.

If you have any questions, go to

Anxious to hear what transpires today. Seems like three parties are all feeling the same.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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