Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Potty training!! Some successes, some not soo much...

We have started potty training in this house, and like many mom's have said to me before, it's not going the way I expected. She gets the idea of it, as she wakes up in the morning (albeit with a wet diaper), and tells me (as I am changing her diaper),"I go pee", and she proceeds to go to her potty and pee on it (successfully the last three mornings - so I count that as routine now lol - it happened the magical three times). We get really excited, cheering and clapping, and she is clearly really proud of herself, and she gets two jelly beans of her choosing for pees, and 5 for poops. But then, after breakfast I try everything but standing on my head to get her to go potty (because surely she has to go again after her breakfast milk), and it is not happening.

She then will pee after her afternoon nap, and sometimes wakes up from her nap exclaiming "I pee", and if I can get in there fast enough get her pants off, and get her to the potty we have success, but if not, then I find a warm wet diaper, so it seems she knows she is peeing when she pees. She tells me after she pees "I'm soaked mommy", and as cute as it is to see her say, I feel defeated.

I really imagined this being like a one week project that only involved pull-ups over night, and no pants during the say until she was trained, but that is just not happening. She hates the idea of wearing no pants, and kicks up a stink to have her pants put back on, and I tell her it's easier to not have to worry about that part just yet. It seems she just wants to potty when she wants too, and not when the "I Go Potty" app chimes her too, or mommy or daddy prompt her too.

Help!! Any tips ideas, or suggestions are very welcome!! PLEASE.....

Hope everyone's having a great day!!


Friday, June 24, 2011

"The Postmistress" - Sarah Blake - Book Review Journal Entry #1 Book Club and Boost My Blog Friday!!

"What would happen if a postmistress chose not to deliver the mail?

It is 1940. While the war is raging in Europe, President Roosevelt promises he won't send American boys over to fight.

Iris James is the postmistress of Franklin, Massachusetts a small town at the end of Cape Cod. She firmly believes her job is to deliver and keep people's secrets, to pass along the news of love and sorrow that letters carry. Faithfully she stamps and sends the letters between people such as the newlyweds Emma and Will Fitch, who has gone to London to help out during the Blitz. But one day she slips a letter into her pocket, and leaves it there.

Meanwhile, seemingly fearless radio gal, Frankie Bard is reporting the Blitz from London, her dispatches crinkling across the Atlantic, imploring listeners to pay attention. Then in the last desperate days of the summer of 1941, she rides the trains out of Germany, reporting on what is happening to the refugees there.
Alternating between an America on the eve of entering into World War II, still safe and snug in its inability to grasp the danger at hand, an a Europe being torn apart by war, the two stories collide in a letter, bringing the war finally home to Franklin. " via
This book is quite a lengthy one, and I have to praise Sarah Blake on her attention to detail. It's as if you can see the story coming alive right up off the page. Her descriptions of the surroundings of the characters is very realistic, and not too lengthy. I don't tend to like book about war, which sounds quite hypocritical because I have high praise for all then men and women who are involved in any aspect of the war. For some reason though I don't usually enjoy reading about it. This book is about everyday life amongst the war, and is told from almost every angle. It was easy to imagine yourself in the positions of the characters, but impossible to understand what it was that got them through what had to be the most challenging and heart wrenching times of their lives. Here are some of the excerpts that I love:
"'Put yourself in the place of any of these men,' she said as she slowed to her ending. 'Not one of them wants to be the one who gets it. Still, there comes a wild, intoxicating rush where you take your heart in your hands and hurl yourself right into the teeth of the danger, to forget the danger. So be it, you think, it's all up to God' - she smiled - ' and some men. Over here, you close your eyes, do your job, and fling yourself toward it - whatever it may be.'" page 41

I think this quote says a lot about the mindset of the people who were enlisted in the war, voluntarily, or called to serve. I don't think anyone person looked forward to engaging themselves in it but it was a reality that you couldn't blatantly ignore. And just knowing the possibility of enlisting is looming would be scary enough, I can't even begin to imagine what it's like the very first time you show up at a hospital to work the front lines. I imagine that you really can't be shocked by it. You really do have to close your eyes and fling yourself at it, not knowing exactly what you could be getting yourself into.
"'Sweetheart, there are people over there who need help, who need another pair of hands, and I can bring them. That's the deal. That's what you were saying without saying it right out. When we know there are people in need, right now, in the same breath as what we are breathing, we cannot look away. It is not abstract. We have to go. That is humanity. The whole thing relies on it. Human beings do not look away.'" page 93

This quote was one that as a wife of a firefighter, I often find aspects of his job unimaginable. I don't want my husband to be the guy that's going into a building that's roof could collapse, or a car that could catch on fire any second, but he does it without even thinking about it. It's his job, and I think if he stopped to think about it, then that's when it would/could trip him up. That said, I also cannot look away, if there's a car accident that I end up at with my husband, then I am soo very concerned about the people, and how their families are going to react, how they are just going about their business, and are about to get a call that will stop their day to a grinding halt. So, you go, you help, you do whatever you can to get these people through a terrible time in their life, and it is soo true humanity relies upon people like my husband, and each and every one of us, to fulfill the needs in our societies. Just look at all those places facing devastation from storm damage, and how their communities have rallied, and turned something terrible into an experience that has shaped them as a person and as a community.

Overall, I would recommend this book as a winter read, not a summer read, it's the kind of book that makes you want to cuddle your family close at the end of a long cold day and be thankful for everything around you. It's also a longer book, and I find in the summer time I like to read shorter books. And that my friends, is my link up for Book Club Fridays today, head on over there and check out what other bloggers are reading this week. Stay tuned for the second half of my book review next week.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!


P.S - I'm also linking up with Design in Chic for Boost My Blog Fridays!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Am Loving Wednesday!!

So, it's that time again for What I'm Loving Wednesdays!!

I am loving our gorgeous weather we have been having, and that I have air conditioning to block out all the things I am allergic to!!

I also LOVED Ashley's necklace (seen here on the Bachelorette) from Monday night, and am working on making myself one similar..

I am also loving my sweet girl Hannah (yah I know what else is new...) LOL

I am also loving that the bead organization is 90% done so that portion of cleaning up and organizing the spare bedroom is almost done.

I am loving my Kobo, because it means I can donate my books!! Clearing out some more room in my spare room.

I am loving the new show "The Voice", it's really great!!

That's about it!! Hope everyone's having a great Wednesday!!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Recap!!

Yes, I know it's a Tuesday, but I had such a fun weekend I decided to extend it into Monday (and truth be told I spent yesterday doing all the things I didn't get done on the weekend because I was too busy having fun).

Friday night we spent the evening at home playing with Hannah and the neighbours. Once Hannah was down for the count Eric and I watched the movie "Just Go With It", he liked it better then I did, it was okay, nothing remarkable, and not overly funny.

Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast together and then packed up the car and headed to Grandmas (where we were meeting to walk down to Kidsfest - it's a 2 minute walk from her place). So we met up with Grandma, slathered on the sunscreen and headed to the park. Hannah LOVED kidsfest, they had bouncy obstacle courses, kiddy rides, a ginormous slide, ice cream and all kinds of fun food. She played steadily until about 2:30pm when it was soo hot she started to get cranky, so we figured we'd head back to mom's, change her into her swimsuit and head down to the splash pad instead. But Hannah had other plans, she fell asleep on daddy in just her diaper. It was soo cute!! So we let her sleep for an hour and a half, and then we headed out for dinner, got some organizing done around Grandma's place, she still settling in from the big move. Had a delicious dinner at Jack Astor's, and then headed home after supper. It was a great day. Minus my freaking allergies, they can take a vacation anytime now...

Sunday, Hannah and I started off the day by letting daddy sleep in. Happy Father's Day daddy (or 'Happy Cake' as Hannah calls it). I baked him a carrot cake to take for dinner and boiled some eggs for the caesar salad we were bringing to dinner at his parents house. He didn't want to have anyone over for Father's Day this year (like we usually do), so we headed into town to meet up with my dad for brunch. That was lots of fun, then we came home and he relaxed around the yard, Hannah helped him work/play in the gardens. he spent the day doing whatever he wanted. Then we headed down to his parents for dinner, came home and went to bed. We were exhausted. What a busy weekend, and we hadn't even done groceries.

Monday, we headed into town for my dr's apt, then headed to the grocery stores to get some food. That took all morning and part of the afternoon. I had a nap while Hannah nap, since I am having issues sleeping at night thanks to these stinking allergies. Then we had some supper, played outside for a while. We went and visited the ducks, that just had baby duckies, so that was super cute to see. Then some Mennonites came and delivered some fresh local strawberries (can you say delicious). Hannah was super thrilled to see the horsies. I tucked her into bed, and started making Eric some homemade hamburgers. What a process but he had them for lunch today and said they were delicious.

So, that's my weekend recap, on a Tuesday, with no pictures because I forgot the memory card for the camera at home. So I apologize.

Hope everyone had a great weekend too\


Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Club Friday - "The Wedding" - Book Review Journal Entry

After thirty years of marriage, Wilson Lewis, son-in-law of Allie and Noah Calhoun (of The Notebook), is forced to admit that the romance has gone out of his marriage. Desperate to win back his wife, Jane's, heart, he must figure out how to make her fall in love with him... again. Despite the shining example of Allie and Noah's marriage, Wilson is himself a man unable to easily express his emotions. A successful estate attorney, he has provided well for his family, but now, with his daughter's upcoming wedding, he is forced to face the fact that he and Jane have grown apart and he wonders if she even loves him anymore. Wilson is sure of one thing--his love for his wife has only deepened and intensified over the years. Now, with the memories of his in-laws' magnificent fifty-year love affair as his guide, Wilson struggles to find his way back into the heart of the woman he adores.-via

I really loved this book. Such a great story about a mans love for a woman, its nice to know that men can (in fiction and hopefully in real life think the way Wilson does. I loved reading about the process of Wilson falling in love with his wife all over again, and would highly recommend this book as a great summer read. A love story, or a love that was always there, but not always acknowledged. A couple of the excerpts I love are:

"All of those events create their own stresses, and when two people live together, the stress flows both ways. This, I've come to believe, is both the blessing and the curse of marriage. It's a blessing because there's an outlet for the everyday strains of life; it's a curse because the outlet is someone you care deeply about" - page 9

I loved this quote because it is soo very true. Everyday life gets in the way of marriage, at the exact same time as it weaves you and your spouse together. Some it truly is a blessing and a curse. Some of the best of times in my marriage are watching my hubby doing a mundane task (like painting Hannah's bedroom), and some of my most frustrating times in my marriage have been the daily grind that happens when I have to constantly remind my hubby the dishwasher needs to be empty, laundry in the hamper, garbage out... etc. It really is a great comfort to know that someone is on this road with you. Someone whom you can go to when you don't know what to do, or where to go.

"But love, I've come to understand, is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day." page 53

Again, this quote is soo true, its  so easy to say those three words and go to sleep, and think you are doing your piece in showing your partner that you love them. But it really is a case of actions speak louder then words. And my hubby unloading the dishwasher without needing to be asked shows me that he loves me more then three words muttered somewhat obligatorily. When I see him being patient with my daughter I love him more, and I take the opportunity to go in and show him that love with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and telling him how much I love seeing him with her.

"I learned, for instance, that while wounds can be inflicted easily upon those we love, it's often much more difficult to heal them. Yet the process of healing those wounds provided the richest experience of my life, leading me to believe that while I've often overestimated what I could accomplish in a day, I had underestimated what I could do in a year. But most of all, I learned that it's possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there's been a lifetime of disappointment between them." page 190

I also loved this quote, and everything it says. It speaks volumes about how love can stand the test of time and the strains of life, and triumph in the end. I especially liked reading this passage after a rather disappointing night in my own marriage, where I didn't feel like I was being heard, and he didn't seem to care that he wasn't hearing me. It was good to know it will get better, and has, and will continue to go back and forth I'm sure, because real relationships are work, and that they are the most precious thing you can have.

So, I highly recommend this book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it! It may even be a book I go back and read again and again.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!


P.S - I've linked up with Heather and her Book Club Fridays so be sure to check out the other reviews!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Can you see it?

You can barely see it...

and again it just looks like I forgot to shut the front door...

You can kinda see it here...
It being my new screen door, it really is invisible!! Dakota already tried to run right through it and bounced off (lucky for him and me, I would have been soo upset if just one full day after installation it got destroyed). Here's a few shots of some of the changes that have been happening around here:

on the stair case going up

close up

on the staircase going down...

I also have the new ottoman, and some new happenings in Hannah's bedroom, so stay tuned for those pics...


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I Am Loving Wednesday!!

It's that time of week again, I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday

I am loving that I found this super fun event to take Hannah to on Saturday, so I am looking forward to a super fun family day out at Kidfest on Saturday. They have carnival rides, and games, and food, and it's all oriented to kids 3-15 (even though Hannah's only 2 and a bit she's still going to LOVE it). And as an added bonus it's supposed to be super nice out Saturday, so if we get hot, they have an awesome splash pad just down the street we could take her to to cool down!! Really excited (as I am sure you can tell...)

I am loving my new screen door, and so is Bits, she has been sitting in front of it the whole day.

I am loving the fact that it's much warmer out today, and it looks like we are in for a warmer stretch.

I am loving my new coffee table storage ottoman. After literally YEARS, of looking I found one that goes really well with our couch. It was soo hard to find a leather one to match, so we went with upholstered instead, but I am loving it. (I promise I will take pics of it in my room really soon).

And of course I am loving sweet sweet Hannah!! That girl seriously is my LIFE!!!

What are you loving today?

Hope everyone's having a great Wednesday!!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

52 Books in 1 Year!!

That is my goal!! And I think I can do it!! I found a cool little tracker challengey thing on Goodreads and thought it would be fun to see if I can make it happen. So I've created a page on my blog (for all you non-Goodread-ers) to track my progress. So far this year I have read 13 books, which doesn't sound like that much considering we are 6 months into the year, but hey I started the challenge late and I am still hoping to achieve my goal!! I love to read, and although my Kobo sometimes gives me grief I LOVE reading on an e-Reader that tracks my progress through the book and saves my pages.

So, if you are a member on Goodreads, come find me, according to them, having friends makes it more fun, which made me laugh reading that!!!

As for today, I'm just waiting for the screen door installers to come and install my new screen door, and for my new storage ottoman (don't worry pics will be coming).

Hope everyone's having a great day!!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Recap!!

I'm posting later in the day today because I have had a hell of a day. I have been all over the map emotionally, and I am finally going to write this mish-mash post that will hopefully recap my weekend, and some things I am feeling right now so I can put them to rest.

For starters, my weekend, Fri night, Eric was working, so I pretty much beaded jewelry and relaxed at home with Hannah.

Saturday, Eric was also working all day, so I hung out with Hannah at home and just had a low key day. When he got home we went back into town to get groceries, and at Hannah's adorable request picked up pizza for supper. We just had a quiet night at home, nothing exciting. Eric was exhausted from working afternoon shift to day shift, and then throw into the mix a firecall which he had to wear an air mask for 2 hrs straight.

Hannah got into my 'ipstick' on Saturday afternoon, I just loved this shot of her, what a little bum!!!
Sunday we "decorated" Hannah's bedroom in the morning, and Eric got some things hung around the house I had been wanting put up for a while (pics to come soon). We wanted to get some work done outside, but it was cold and yucky out... We had a nice dinner together and enjoyed some quiet time at home with Hannah. Eric went down to his parents to install their new-to-them dishwasher. he came home and went for a walk with one of his buddies.

Today, has been a rough day. For some reason Hannah has been ultra-clutzy, or just coincidentally has gotten hurt soo many times today. We have had lots of melt downs to the point that Mommy might have one soon. I'm sure that I am just already stressing because I am disappointed in how a friend handled a situation and that's left me feeling like I got slapped across the face by someone who I felt close to, and who I thought understood what I have been going through. When in reality, she was lying, and I was very sympathetic to her situation, offering any encouragement I could, meanwhile the entire time, she was lying to me, and was not going through what she said she was. And now I am hurt, because, not only did she out and out lie to me, she made me feel sorry for her, and what she was going through, because I am also going through it, but she really isn't/wasn't. So I feel betrayed, and then like she slapped me across the face with my own set of circumstances. It sucks. I don't want to be mad, I just don't know how to handle it? And ideas on how I deal with it when she actually tells me she has been lying? I value our relationship, I'm just quite hurt right now.

So, back to today, Hannah has been elbowed in the nose (BY ME - accidentally of course - making me feel like worlds worst mommy, when I was just trying to get her dressed), she did a face plant off the slide and split her lip open and then banged her head hard on the wall during a temper tantrum because she wanted to go outside and I (Heaven help me) had to go pee. So, we had a great time at the park with a friend and her boys, which was awesome, but Hannah's had a rough day, not soo awesome. Plus I'm feeling offended, and hurt, and apparently have a short fuse today (according to my oh-so-supportive hubby (NOT). He just informed me that if I continue to be in a bad mood I will not be getting my promised foot rub tonight.... like that's going to help turn my mood around. Anyhow, like I said, a range of emotions today, and on that note I am signing off.

Hope everyone's having a better day then me....


Friday, June 10, 2011

"Eat, Pray, Love" - Book Review Journal #2 and Book Club Friday!!

So today I am linking up with Heather to finish my review of "Eat, Pray, Love"(you can read the first part here). I loved all the comments I got last week and welcome my newest followers, remember, when I hit 50 followers I am going to do a giveaway (read the details about that here). So, in the final installation of my review of this book (I definitely needed two since it was over 500 pages), I chose the excerpts that spoke to me the most. The first one was:

"...I see how everyone is held so reassuringly in their positions over the years. First you are a child, then you are a teenager, then you are a young married person, then you are a parent, then you are retired, then you are a grandparent - at every stage you know who you are, you know what your duty is and you know where to sit at a reunion. You sit with the other children, or teenagers, or young parents, or retirees. Until at last you are sitting with the ninety-year-olds in the shade, watching over your progeny with satisfaction. Who are you? No problem - you're the person who created all this. The satisfaction of this knowledge is immediate, and moreover, it's universally recognized. How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well." - page 165

Elizabeth spends a lot of time in the book trying to define herself and become grounded, and it is quite a struggle, especially when she's used to being defined based on her relationships with other people. This is something I think we can all relate to, and I don't know if its a good thing or a bad thing. Everyone struggles to be autonomous, yet at the same time be the best mom, best employee, best wife, so do all those things combined make me the best ME, or am I nothing more then the best employee, when I am an employee, and then not when I'm not in that setting? I must say I look forward to future family reunions when I can look around at my progeny and have that be part of how I define myself, and I feel it will be the strongest suit I could wear to any business meeting, because raising a family is hard work, maintaining relationships is hard work, its not always fun, but it really is an amazing accomplishment, and to be able to look back on that someday I feel as though I will beem with pride. I struggle with being able to define myself, so truthfully I don't define myself, I just live each and every day to the fullest and enjoy moments that come and go with my friends and family, and try my best to savor these relationships, because I believe they really do help keep me grounded in ways I would not even know how to do myself.

"The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past, or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in the moment. It's something like the habit of my dear friend Susan who - whenever she sees a beautiful place - exclaims in near panic, 'It's so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday!' and it takes all of my persuasive powers to try and convince her that she is already here. If you're looking for a union with the divine, this forward/backward whirling is a problem. There's a reason they call God a presense - because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time." - page 223

Ugh!! I do this all the time and I hate it, I'm in Florida on vacation and loving my vacation and already thinking about the next time I come back instead of truly being in the MOMENT. I feel the strong emotions of absolutely loving where I am, yet my mind starts wandering to the next time I can come back. Have you ever struggled with that? It's so true that living in the present is so key to finding peace within yourself, if only I could find the key for living 100% in the present...
"I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many ways, and all these acquisitions and accomplishments - they run you down in the end. Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. Time - when pursued like a bandit - will behave like one: always remaining in one county or one room ahead of you, changing its name and hair color to elude you, slipping out the back door of the motel just as you're banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you. At some point you have to stop because it won't. You have to admit that you won't catch it. That you're not supposed to catch it. At some point, as Richard keeps telling me, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you." page 259

I need to remind myself this excerpt over and over, I have gone back and read it soo many times. I feel like I am always chasing something, especially with a two year old, chasing the goal of potty training, when I really feel like she will get a hang of it on her terms not mine, but I feel this strong source of pressure, that I think I am imposing upon myself to have her potty trained. maybe it's induced by society, maybe it's wishful thinking, but it really does feel urgent. And then I give up, and she tells me, "mommy I poop on potty", and that sense of urgency floods right back in. No contentment, just pure frustration. Which can't be helping anyone, and certainly isn't getting her potty trained. Contentment is a lot like the previous excerpt describes, you need to learn to savor and enjoy the fact that she isn't potty trained, and that is isn't the end of the world, and admire how cute her little padded bum looks in a diaper, and how adorable she is when she exclaims "I'm soaked" even though you wanted her to go on the potty more then you had any idea.

"You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be." - page 251

I like this one because I often wish my life away, only to disappoint myself. This week will be the week that I.... and then disappointment, instead of just being content or better yet making things happen for myself. I think that is the key, we all need to stop wearing our wishbones, and grow a backbone, and make things happen for ourselves, instead of wishing your life away.

Overall, this book had a lot of great analogies, but they really were well hidden in the midst of an entire chapter about an Ashram, or yoga. Not a quick read by any stretch of the imagination, and probably not something I would want to read again. I really looked forward to the movie, figuring it wold be a shorter version of the movie and the messages would come across a lot clearer, but the movie also dragged and I had to watch it in two sittings because it was quite slow moving. It would be really hard for me to recommend reading either the book or watching the movie because neither was great, but both had the potential to be amazing.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hat lovin Hannah style!!!

So, I apologize about the lack of posting yesterday, after all those crazy thunderstorms rolled through our area I was left without internet, or intermittent internet at the least. So, hopefully we are back up and running, but they are calling for more storms today, so hopefully I stay running...

After a gloriously quiet morning to myself spent organizing the bead/spare room(which it doesn't even look like I made a dent), Hannah decided she wasn't going to nap, so I figured what better way to tire her out then to take her outside and let her play with her sand and water table (which let me give you a quick review of that one - BUY ONE WITH A LID - unless you like slimy algae water - which I do not). So I changed her into her swimsuit, it was crazy humid and hot out, and slathered on the sunscreen and told her to go and get her hat so we could go outside.

Not quite the hat I had in mind, but I sure did have a good laugh. The things this girl comes up with never cease to amaze me. She is soo hilarious and she doesn't even know it yet.

Hope everyone is having an awesome Thursday!!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mommy Needs a Nap!!

Well, sorry for being M.I.A yesterday, it was a crazy busy day, that I hoped would end earlier then it did, or start later then it did, or maybe include a nap for everyone involved, but that was not in the plans. But you'll hear all about my truly manic monday shortly....

To start off my weekend recap right Friday night I worked on some beading projects for an upcoming shower (on Monday), and ran some errands, getting groceries etc. Went to bed nice and early as we had to get up super early Saturday morning thanks in part to my genius hubby....

Saturday morning got up at 7am to head to town to get our brand new Dodge Journey serviced, it felt like it was always pulling to the right, so hubby felt it needed an alignment, and with only 1500km on it, it needed to be taken care of... So we headed into town, and my mom met us at the car dealership so we could do some shopping (again for the Monday shower). We went out for an amazing breakfast at Cora's (where Hannah LOVED french toast, so I can find a way to get some eggs into her...), and then got a crazy thunderstorm, and headed to the mall to check out the bride's registry's and secretly look for a dress to the wedding for me. I had found one I liked at Sears, but it's strapless, and I'm not loving that idea with a two year old, who is also the flower girl in the wedding, so I was looking for something equally nice, but not as high maintenance we'll say. So after checking out the bride's registry and discovering soo many things were discontinued on it, I decided to make up my own gift including some of my favorite household things. So I got her a Pizza Stone set, and a Starfrit Rotato (because they are AMAZING and really do peel a potato perfectly in 10 seconds), and a can opener I also love. I also made her an anklet for her wedding day that is made out of the same beads I am using to make her bridal parties jewelry. Then we hit up the dress stores. Le Chateau had amazing, gorgeous short(er) dresses, but they were sooo ridiculously priced I walked right out. I mean come on $179.95 for a knee length dress is a bit much. I had a budget of $50. We walked around the mall a little more and decided to head out to Winner's and Homesense to check out there selection, and as we were walking back to the exit door we stumbled upon an amazing sale at Suzy Shier. I managed to find not one but two dresses, and one was 40% off the regular price of $40.00 (the one I am wearing to the wedding - I so wish their website had a picture of it on it so I could show you all, you'll just have to stay tuned for the wedding), and the other one was 50% off 40.00, so for the price of the one dress I ordered from Sears I have two. The one I chose for the wedding fits me perfectly, and it's purple (the color of Hannah's sash on her flower girl dress so we'll look cute in pictures, afterall who knows if she'll ever be a flower girl again), and the other one is grey but it has sleeves, so it would be nice for a fall occasion or something, but I liked it and the price was right so I bought it too!! Eric enjoyed a movie while mom, Hannah and I shopped, we then went and picked up our new aligned car and headed home. Eric went over to the neighbours to help tile his backsplash and I hung out with Hannah.

Sunday Eric got called into work in the morning so we had a quick trip up there, and then came home and got ready for my dad's 59th birthday party that was happening here (and my camera died so I have no pics...). I BBQ'd ribs and made caesar salad and caesar potatoes and we had a really nice time. After supper Hannah wanted to walk down and see the ducks so we went for a short walk and fed them some bread. Hannah was so excited to show off her duckies, it was soo cute.

And then Monday happened... To start the day off I went to the wrong dr's apt, I thought I had physio, when I was supposed to be at massage (and I had my hair down not up so massage was going to ruin that). Then I had to quickly find Hannah some white sandals to wear to the bridal shower to go with her dress. Luckily Payless had some super cute ones, and I managed to get myself some cute ones for the wedding and a new purse soo, I suck at BOGO (buy one get one half off ). You see it didn't make sense to me to just by my $44.99 pair of shoes and then get half off Hannah's $12.99 pair of shoes when there was this gorgeous white purse calling my name and it was $39.99, so well worth the half off. So I buy all three... yep I went in for a $12.99 pair of shoes and left with $80 worth... I already said it I suck. Then I headed home to finish up the jewelry and get myself ready for the shower, and Ash and I attempted to head to the shower and then her car tire decided it wanted to unattach itself, so we ended up having to wait to get a tow and then headed to the shower. We met up with our mom first at Jack Astor's for a delicious dinner (we ordered sirloin steak off the kids menu... loldr's apt, I thought I had physio, when I was supposed to be at massage (and I had my hair down not up so massage was going to ruin that). Then I had to quickly find Hannah some white sandals to wear to the bridal shower to go with her dress. Luckily Payless had some super cute ones, and I managed to get myself some cute ones for the wedding and a new purse soo, I suck at BOGO (buy one get one half off ). You see it didn't make sense to me to just by my $44.99 pair of shoes and then get half off Hannah's $12.99 pair of shoes when there was this gorgeous white purse calling my name and it was $39.99, so well worth the half off. So I buy all three... yep I went in for a $12.99 pair of shoes and left with $80 worth... I already said it I suck. Then I headed home to finish up the jewelry and get myself ready for the shower, and Ash and I attempted to head to the shower and then her car tire decided it wanted to unattach itself, so we ended up having to wait to get a tow and then headed to the shower. We met up with our mom first at Jack Astor's for a delicious dinner (we ordered sirloin steak off the kids menu... lol). It was perfect. Then hit the shower after some last minute gift scrambling of Ash's behalf. Then we drove Ash home and got home and got home ourselves at 10pm, much later then anticipated and much later then a little girls 7:30 - 8:00 bedtime, and she wasn't sleeping on the way home but rather loudly talking. So I got changed, put on some laundry and attempted to start watching The Bachelorette, but was getting really pissy with Bentley, so I headed to bed. And that was my truly manic monday.

To add insult to injury I had a terrible night of sleep. My allergies were ridiculous and then we got a really bad and long thunderstorm just as I finally got to sleep, which woke Hannah up, with cries of "Mommy I scared". It was a super intense storm, but man could I ever use a nap...

Hope your weekend was less eventful


Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Club Fridays!! "Eat, Pray, Love" Book Review Journal Entry #1

I thought it would be fun to link up with Heather for Book Club Fridays!!

And the book I have chosen to review this week is "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

"At 32 years old, Elizabeth Gilbert was educated, had a home, a husband, and a successful career as a writer. However, she was unhappy in her marriage and often spent the night sleeping on her bathroom floor. After separating from her husband and initiating a divorce, which he contested, she embarked on a rebound relationship which continued for some time but did not work out, leaving her devastated and alone.
Afterwards, while writing an article on yoga vacations in Bali, Gilbert met a ninth-generation medicine man who told her she would one day come back and study with him. After finalizing her difficult divorce, Gilbert spent the next year traveling around the world. The trip was paid for in advance with a book deal from the publisher.
She spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life ("Eat"). She spent three months in India, finding her spirituality ("Pray"). She ended the year in Bali, Indonesia, looking for "balance" of the two and found love ("Love") in the form of a dashing Brazilian factory owner." - via

I have got to admit this book kind of drove me crazy. It had some really, really amazing parts to it, seemingly mashed in with a lot of long descriptions of Italy or the various places she traveled to. But the amazing parts did make it worthwhile, and let me tell you I had high hopes for the movie being an abbreviated version of the book (as they wouldn't have to spend all kinds of time describing Italy, as it would be set in Italy), however, wrong again...

Here are some of the excerpts that I did love though, and some of my thoughts on how they reflect on my life, and what they meant to me:

"Oh, but it wasn't all bad, those few years.... Because God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies (or however the old adage goes), some wonderful things did happen to me in the shadow of all that sorrow." - page 45

I think that this excerpt is sooo very true, retrospection does tend to taint things, and looking back, new experiences often make previous bad experiences not seem so bad, and in some ways can even make them a good thing, and at the very least an opportunity to learn and grow. For Elizabeth, in the wake of a series of bad failed relationships, she really came into her own in the midst of her personal tragedy. Elizabeth grew into herself as they say. I've been through some pretty horrible stuff in my day, and all of that pales in comparison to the birth of my daughter, something truly amazing and beautiful. And while it was a struggle to get to have her she is a miracle, and a true gift. I had soo many demons to fight in the years leading up to her conception, and then birth (a whole new set of struggles), but the fight of my life has led me to her, and what a gift she is. She reminds me everyday as I pick myself up off the floor that it really is going to be okay in the end. And she finds a way to make light of something that she doesn't even know she's making easier for me. She just is.

"My sense of helplessness was overwhelming. What I wanted to do was pull some massive emergency brake on the universe, like the brakes I'd seen on the subways during our school trip to New York City. I wanted to call a time out, to demand that everybody just STOP until I could understand everything. I suppose this urge to force the universe to stop in its tracks until I could get a grip on myself might have been the beginning of what my dear friend Richard from Texas calls my 'control issues.' Of course, my efforts and worry were futile. The closer I watched time, the faster it spun, and the summer went by so quickly that it made my head hurt, and at the end of everyday I remember thinking, 'Another one gone,' and bursting into tears." page 255

That first part of the excerpt really spoke to me, as I was struggling adjusting through my life after the accident, I really did want to make time stop. It was as if the hits just kept coming, and I was floating along, seeking answers to questions I didn't understand why I was asking, and couldn't begin to comprehend what magnitude my injuries would have not only on me, but on the people around me that loved me and were watching me struggle, and try to come into my own, or get back up and fight. The trouble was I was fighting myself, and had been blindsided, and didn't know where the next hit was going to come from. The medical field, which I normally wouldn't subject myself to, but I was without a choice and literally at their mercy, was failing me big time and at that rate yet again. And then everyone's life seemed to go one without me, friends started families, jobs were filled, life kept moving for everyone but me, I was trying to claw my way back into my own old life, but didn't even have a shred of it to hold onto. I didn't understand how this could happen? why is it happening to me? why do I need this procedure? what do you mean you can't do anything? how was I to make decisions in the midst of all this? was I even capable of making a decision? I really needed one of those emergency brakes Elizabeth was desperately seeking. But eventually you get it, you get a grip, you become capable of holding more then one thing in your head at a time, it's almost like you acclimatize to your own new life.

"...She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you are in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments... I'm putting this happiness in a bank somewhere, not merely FDIC protected but guarded by my four spirit brothers, held there for insurance against future trials in life. This is a practice I've come to call 'Diligent Joy'. As I focus on Diligent Joy, I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcey told me once - that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. Not only in the big global Hitler-'n'-Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level. Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people. " - page 427-428

I LOVED this excerpt, and I think it is so very true, soo many people sit back and wait for happy to come to them, well they will be waiting a LONG LONG time. To be happy is work, and some of the work isn't easy, but the harder you work the sweeter the reward. You really get the feeling that it's paid off. And, in order to help preserve the happiness around you, it would be amazing if each person took responsibility for their own happiness, not relying on their partner or the universe to make them happy. It's unreasonable, and stealing someone elses happiness does nothing more then make two miserable people. Focus on the positive, and strive to see it in every day situations, and when it's not there create it. Invite it in, host it readily, and nurture it. Because the second you stop, poof it's gone. And finding it again is a real process.

Stay tuned for the second part of this review. What was your opinions of this book? or movie?

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

DIY Dining Room Chair Makeover!!

So, as I have alluded to in previous posts, I decided (rather quickly) to re-upholster my dining room chairs. They are our everyday chairs, as we have a large great room which encompasses our dining area, kitchen and family room (aka "great room"), so you see them everyday. And everyday for the last year I have been reminded that those chairs need to be recovered. You see this very lovely cat, Gizmo (who we had to say good bye to this time last year, as he was sick and had lost bladder control, in addition to peeing blood), did a number on our chairs. No, lucky for us he didn't pee on them, but he had this problem with his back claws (he was front declawed for this very reason), he didn't know how to put his back claws in, so I have poke holes in all my furniture, especially my dining room chairs, as he loved to chill on them. Hiding in plain view we'll say.

Gizmo relaxing in the sun at our old house in our bay window seat

So, on Saturday, while Hannah napped and Eric was helping his grandparents I went and found myself a screwdriver and the staple gun and set to work on revamping my chair covered (unannounced to my hubby - boy was he thrilled when he got home and saw me operating the staple gun - let's just say there have been previous disaster with that thing.... I can never remember which end the staple comes out of.... pathetic I know). Anyways, a couple of weeks ago I was perusing and found a fabric I LOVED, and although the shipping to Canada isn't that great, after looking at local stores and finding nothing that compared, or that I even liked, I decided to bite the bullet and clicked order. It took just over a week to get here, and I wasn't planning on doing it right away, but then I had some time to myself Saturday afternoon, and thought what the heck, what have I got to lose. This is a shot of the fabric we chose along with the before of the chair pad, you'll notice the nice poke holes:

And here's a shot of our chairs before:

And this is how I did it:
  1. Lay out the fabric to establish the size of the piece you need to cut, be sure to cut it large enough to generously wrap over the edges of the chair (I had three inches on each size which may have been slight overkill, but I was also working with the potential for a large margin of error LOL)
  2. Unscrew chair pads from chair frame, I imagine a drill would have been handier for this, but my hubby had his with him.
  3. I was also covering my chairs in clear vinyl over the cotton fabric I selected as I have a two year old and we all know how messy they are. So I also had to measure out the vinyl fabric and cut it into squares, but if you don't have children feel free to skip this particular step.
  4. Since I was using a cotton fabric, I had to iron all of the squares I had cut out prior to putting them on the chair, as I'm sure you can see they were quite wrinkly. Ironing was a breeze though, not how I remember ironing ever going, so that only took about 2 mins a square, and I did one square at a time, so were all freshly pressed.
  5. Now the fun part begins, stapling the fabric to the chair, although I am proud to say I only had one staple go in backwards (because I was holding the staple gun the wrong way), so I started at the back of the chair pad (the part that tucks into the frame of the chair - figuring if I screwed up it would be well hidden), and pulled the fabric REALLY tight, and stapled in the center then the sides. Then I stapled the opposite end of the chair pad (where your legs go), again holding it really tight, leaving the corners to be dealt with at the end, because they are trickier. So then I stapled the center of the sides, and got to work on the corners. This part would probably be easier with two people I've decided, but since my hubby wasn't home, and may or may not have supported my fabric selection I decided to continue on my own rather then wait til he got home. So, I held with one hand really tight on the corner and stapled with the other, and just continued along the fabric working out the wrinkles as best I could. Then I repeated the whole process with the vinyl, which I'll tell you was a lot trickier then the cotton, and a lot thicker too. Repeat this whole process six times (as I have six chairs).
  6. The next step is re-attaching the chair pads to the chair, and this is where I hit a hurdle, you see, I couldn't get the screwdriver to drive the screws through the freshly installed vinyl, so I had to wait for Eric to get home and use the drill. Which worked like a charm, although he wasn't thrilled (as I suspected he wouldn't be with my fabric selection, however, he doesn't have the best taste when it comes to home decorating...
So, the whole process took about 2 hours, give or take, but all in all the time of a two year olds nap. She woke up just as Eric started the drill, go figure, but kinda perfect timing. So here's the finished product:

Looks great eh? We have been looking for a storage ottoman for quite sometime and I had seen one I loved over that was similar to this fabric (but was way too much money and my hubby nixed it right away), so I figured I'd incorporate it my own way, and within a reasonable budget. Here's a breakdown of how much this cost me:

  • staple gun and staples (which I needed a lot of...) - free already owned
  • screwdriver (again already owned)
  • drill (already owned)
  • 4 yards of fabric with shipping (and I didn't need 4 I totally could have got three but now I can make some throw pillows or something) $56.00
  • Roll of vinyl which was three yards and I needed every inch of it $15.96
So the total cost of the project was $71.96, which divided by six chairs is only $11.99, which I think is pretty good, and I love the finished product!!! What do you guys think?


And this is my Thrilling Thursdays link up!! So be sure to head over to Paisley Passions and see what everyone else has made today!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I Am Loving Wednesday and Wandering Wednesday!!

So, yet again this week I am linking up with Jamie, at This Kind of Love, for her What I Am Loving Wednesdays, and I gotta say, I am loving a lot these days...

First and foremost, I am LOVING little miss Hannah Jane, she is loving this weather, and has been in a great mood for the past couple of days (I'm sure because we have spent soo much time outside), and as an added what I'm loving, that this weather is forecasted to stay for the next little while, right through the weekend.

I am loving this super cute swimsuit and floppy hat on Hannah.

I am also loving that she is all about her daddy these days, up until lately it was mommy mommy mommy, and I loved it, but she really didn't seem to want much to do with Eric, which made me sad, so I am loving that everything these days is Daddy.

I am also loving that I am almost done sorting my newest selection of beads, so soon, very soon, you will all be invited to watch me transform my craft room.

I am also loving the new lighting my hubby installed out on our back deck last night. His buddies were complaining about being under the spotlight literally when they were drinking on the back deck, and we already had the lighting so it finally got put up last night (pictures to follow soon).

And one last little thing that I would LOVE, is to hit 50 followers, and get this giveaway started!! So lets get this little old blog up to 50!!

I am also linking up Paisley Passions for Wandering Wednesdays, and I am excited about her Thrilling Thursdays link up tomorrow, where I can reveal my "project" I worked on this past weekend!!\

Hope you are all having a great week too!!