Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How many bears???

We are now back from our weekend away at Whistler. It was mix of sun and rain (at times heavy) and very cold up there.

The cabin we stayed in was very lovely and comfortable. We had the furnace turned on and the fireplace going - it even had floor heating in the tiled areas!

We ate out a lot (even tried Fondue one night),

shopped (I got a new bathingsuit),

hiked (got lost in the pouring rain!) below is a photo of us after we took off our rain jackets,

soaked in the backyard hot tub,

and had a really nice home cooked Turkey dinner on the Sunday. Home cooked by my hubby that is!

But I have to say that the highlight of the trip was seeing the BEARS!! We thought there might be some bears around because we kept seeing little piles like this:

Another big clue was all the WARNING SIGNS!

But we did NOT expect to see any up close - But OH YES - we saw 3 bears on 3 separate occasions.

This first bear was eating berries in a tree at the corner of a busy street. Directly below him is a walkway and people were just walking by nonchalantly - that is until they noticed the bear!

The second bear we saw was right in the backyard! My daughter and I were sitting by the glass sliders when I saw the bear meandering by the backyard so I yelled BEAR! My daughter screamed in shock and wouldn't you know the bear turned around and looked at us!

The third bear was just strolling through the backyard again checking out what the last bear left. Yes there were lots of bear droppings - in the backyard!

The amazing thing is that there are paved walkways right beside where these bears were just strolling by. A lot of cars stopped to look at the bears but most of the hikers and especially those with dogs turned around and just avoided the bears.

And for those of who who have been reading my blog for a while I just want to say that I did NOT bring home any baby bears!

All in all it was a very relaxing weekend - No time for stamping but I've got a few classes coming up and I'll be stamping some samples up this week.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Going Away....

I'm working today and then we're off for a long weekend getaway so I won't be posting anything over the next few days.

Have a great weekend and if you're Canadian - Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

You know you're getting OLD when...

...you FORGET things like birthdays!

I know we all forget birthdays but when you forget your own birthday - you know you're in trouble!!!

Yes, I totally forgot that it was my birthday this weekend!

I knew it was coming up but it kind of snuck up on me....I've been busy this week with the kids' activities, finishing up a swap, swapping out and mailing a swap, preparing for classes, and getting ready to go away for our 4 day Thanksgiving weekend up at Whistler. You guessed I've been doing laundry!

To top it off my husband decided that we should get new tires on our 4x4 BEFORE we go away. So I've had to squeeze in a few tire quotes and an installation too. I guess this would be my RUBBER birthday. Reminds me of the WOOD birthday I had a few years ago when we needed a new roof!

Seriously, it's not that bad - he asked me what I wanted and I said more COPICS. So he's giving me a gift certificate to the art store. He really is a great guy!

It's easy to see with all the running around that I've been doing how I could forget that my birthday is THIS Sunday.

However, yesterday I was pleasantly reminded of that fact when I received a couple of great birthday cards in the mail from people I don't even kow. How sweet is that? I must be on some US RAK lilst but not only did these ladies send me beautiful handmade cards, they got them mailed to me on time AND they wrote the sweetest messages inside.

BUT wait! My birthday is this weekend! My driver's licence expires and I'll be up at Whistler for a long weekend - a HOLIDAY weekend!!!

As luck would have it I just so happened to be driving by the Driver's Centre when I realized that I needed to get my drivier's licence renewed. Our BC driver's licences are good for 5 years so it's easy to forget when they need to be renewed but the government tries to make this easier by having them expire your birthday.

Happy Birthday to me!!!! I am soooo excited to be getting a new licence photo. You see my old one is HIDEOUS!!! I know lots of people say that their licence photo is bad but mine really was sooooo bad.

Unlike Posh Spice I did not have my hair and makeup people on hand the last time I had my driver's licence photo taken. I was sick with a cold, my eyes were droopy and watering, my hair (much shorter than it is now) was all curly and stuck to my head in places and to top it off it was raining that day and my makeup was running. Why did I go that day you might ask? Well I tried to wait but I wasn't feeling any better and I was already driving on an expired licence.

It was so bad that I was constantly apologizing to people that asked for it as ID. Can you imagine being stuck with that photo for 5 YEARS??? No one believed it was me - that's how bad it was. I always won the "my driver's licence photo is worse than yours" game. That's how bad it was. You get the picture?

So I popped into the Driver's Centre, took a number and had the whole thing done in 10 minutes. The man even offered to let me look at the photo and have a re-take if I wanted. I told him that even though it wasn't a "glamour shot" it was light years better than the one I had before.

He agreed... I told you it was bad!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Happy Friday!

I hope that you are having a great Friday!

I'm having a great day today....

1. The kids got up when their alarms went off.

2. The kids didn't fight over the bathroom.

3. My son found his socks all by himself (he's 12!).

4. My daughter (14) only changed her outfit once.

5. We left for school on time (actually early) and there weren't any incidents on the way!

6. I'm almost finished my first week of school volunteer duties.

7. I'm ready for the start of the soccer season tomorrow (I'm the age group coordinator for 5 boys' teams and also a team manager).

8. I'm feeling the love of stamping again and have new stamps to play with!

AND the best thing ever about today...

9. Before I even paid for my Starbucks Venti Iced Vanilla Latte it was waiting for me at the cash register. My favourite barrista was on duty today and he made it up for me as soon as he saw me in line!!! I'm LOVING that!!!

How is your day going?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

She's at it AGAIN!

You might remember a post I did a while ago about my daughter who likes to tattoo.

Well she's at it again! This time she's only tattooing herself and has left her brother alone.

She offered to give me one but I declined. Too much to do to keep my arm, hand, leg, ankle or foot still long enough for her to ink me!

It's not a real tattoo only FAKE and totally washable. She uses a combination of sharpies, white gel pens, coloured gel pens, coloured markers and EYELINER! Yes that's eyeliner like the kind you put on your eyes! Anything she can get her hands on and will work she'll use it.
ETA: I talked to my daughter about not using markers and she tells me
that she is using only liquid eyeliner and eye pencils now for her
designs. Thanks for the safety advice and suggestions!

God help me! I think I've got a Kat Von D (from Miami Ink) wannabe on my hands!

SAM-I-AM Better!

My dog Sam (his real name is Sam-I-Am) has finished his course of antibiotics and is feeling much better!

Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments and suggestions!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

{Giving Doggie Pills Suggestions}

Thanks for the comments & suggestions for giving my dog his meds.

I tried the peanut butter (he threw it ALL up), I tried crushing it in with his food (he wouldn't eat) and I tried using the cheese (finally success!!!).

I just wanted to post and let you know that what worked for us was wrapping the pill in a strip of process cheese - pinching the sides closed - and then giving the little "package" to him.

He ate it up and was even beggin' for more! Hopefully he'll start to feel better soon...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Self-Discovery Exercise

I found this journal exercise on Amy's blog (Heartfeltgreetings). It's meant to be a "self-discovery" exercise I guess.

I thought it might make for some fun scrap titles and pages? If you feel like joining in add a comment with a link to your blog so we can check it out and get to know each other better.

•I'm happiest when...I'm doing something I enjoy.
•Someday I'm going to...finish my scrapbooks!
•When I'm really down, what I want to do is...go back to bed and not get up although I never do this I just keep on trucking until I get over it!
•I feel anxious when...I'm away from my children for too long.
•I'm afraid that...I'll never lose these last 10 pounds!
•I like people who...are real!
•All it takes to make me happy is...new toys!
•What I really want to do is...have a clean house for longer than a day.
•I wish that...I had more time in the day!
•I don't like people who...are phony and pushy!
•A person really should...do something they like to do everyday!
•I just hate it that...there are still wars going on in this world.
•I have everything I need, however...I'd love more time to enjoy it all!
•If I could do whatever I wanted, I would...win the lottery and give half away!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Martha Stewart Halloween Line

Have you seen the new Martha Stewart line for Halloween?
Check it out here and here .

It looks so nice. I just love LOOKING at all this stuff.

But REALLY! Would I use it? I don't know about you but other than a few scrapbook pages I don't stamp or create too much at Halloween.

What would I use all this stuff for? I don't believe that we Canadians "celebrate" Halloween as much as Americans do. Do you?

If all this was available at your Michaels would you buy it? What would you use it for?

I guess because my kids are older (12 & 14) and starting to lose interest in Halloween (other than the candy) I'm starting to feel the same way.

Last year I made one of those ghost sucker pots with the little kiss treat holders (see below) but I don't really have any plans to make anything decorative for Halloween this year nor send any Halloween cards.

Don't get me wrong. I'll still drag out the cemetary and outdoor decorations for our little neighbourhood treat or trickers but decorating the inside of the house and making cards - no I don't think so.

I'd rather spend the time making my Christmas cards! Now that's a holiday I still celebrate with full force!

I can't believe I'm posting about Halloween and Christmas already AND did you see that Walmart already has back to school stuff in!

No wonder I feel like time is speeding by...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Marie needs...

I saw this on Emily's blog. It's so funny I just had to try it.

All you do is type your name and then "needs" into the google search bar. Then write down the top 10 things.

Here's what Marie needs...

1. Marie needs your help

2. Marie needs lots of patience

3. Marie needs red bull

4. Marie needs a boyfriend

5. Marie needs to give the NDP the boot

6. Marie needs to get a better hairstyle

7. Marie: kind of crunchy needs milk

8. Marie still needs a home

That's all I found before it became too dilluted. I thought some of these were hillarious!

I especially like the boyfriend part - more like sugar daddy!

If you try it please add a link so we can all have a good laugh!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


After I posted the photo of my newly framed painting I realized that it didn't look that big.

It's amazing how deceptive photos can be.

So from now on, where appropriate, I'm going to include a point of reference like a penny, a ruler or even a body to give my photos a better perspective.

Here is that photo again but this time I asked my 5'6" daughter to stand in front of the fireplace.

I'm ok with the size of it now and have started taking a closer look at some of our other artwork to be reframed.


This is a whole new area of where I can spend more money. Not sure I want to go there.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Away on vacation...

Just in case you start to wonder - I thought I should let you all know that I will be away from my computer for the next week or so.

We're going back East for my Dad's 70th Birthday. And NO I haven't made his card yet!!!

You'll know I'm back when I start to post again!

Have a great week!

Friday, June 22, 2007

So sad..

Nature has taken it's course and the little bird is now dead.

Right after I posted about it a crow came along and took it.

I won't go into the details...

Letting Nature take it's course...

This morning when we were leaving for school, my son and I saw this young injured bird on our front lawn. I think it's a woodpecker? I say young because the woodpeckers here are very large and this one is not so big.

It was sqawking something fierce and looked like it had been injured somehow - maybe a cat? It couldn't fly.

My son was very distressed by it and kept asking what we could do. I told him that nature needed to take it's course.

When I arrived back home (honestly I'd already forgotten about the bird) I found him on the driveway. I was able to squeeze my car in and avoid running him over.

But now what? He's not sqawking anymore but he's not dead either. I can see that he is badly injured on his face and wing but I don't think he will die of his injuries. He's just a sitting duck out there for all the neighbourhood cats and crows.

Besides moving him off the driveway so I don't run him over - I'm not sure what to do...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just one more post before I go...

I found this post at Bloghore and thought it might be fun to try.

I'm not going to "tag" anybody with it but you can cut and paste it to your own blog. If you do leave me a comment with a link so we can all check it out and get to know each other better.

1. Are you taller than your mom?Yes - my mom was 5'3" and I'm 5'7" (just got measured for a school project tonight!).
2. What color is your car?Actually my car is Black but since the weather turned nice my husband has taken the convertible and I'm driving a White SUV.
3. What is the closest thing to you that is red?My daughter's Fortune Telling Birthday Book.
4. What is your ringtone?I just got a new phone (Palm Treo) and I have no idea. People are asking me why I don't answer my cell phone but it's because I don't recognize the ring.
5. Are you sick?I'm sick and tired of laundry - does that count?
6. What color is your favorite pillow?I don't have a favourite pillow. I'm yo-yo-ma and I sleep in everyone else's bed throughout the night.
7.What is your favorite video game?LOVE WordPop and now the kids are playing it. I think it's educational and you get points and bonus tiles!
8. Had a nap today?I've had too much coffee to even go to bed now - nevermind a nap.
9. Gold or Silver?I prefer Silver but I'll take what's given to me.
10.Is there an animal that creeps you out?I don't like rodents - squirrels, rats, mice, raccoons, small children with runny noses (oh that doesn't count?)
11.Who was the last person you rode an elevator with?I don't remember the last time I was in an elevator - oh wait I was in one a couple of weeks ago with a drug dealer - I mean a pharmaceutical rep. It was in a Medical Arts building.
12. Did you go iceskating as a kid?Yes. Grew up on Lake Ontario and we used to skate behind my dad's car while he towed us. Don't tell my kids!
13. Ever have stitches?Not from an accident but had them with both of my children's births.
14. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?Iced Venti Vanilla Latte from Starbucks
15. How long ago did you kiss someone?This morning.
16. What's something you want to do before you die?Realistically - Get my kitchen renovated.
17. Have you ever caught something on fire?Yes my oven caught on fire last year and I accidentally caught the garbage under the kitchen sink on fire when I tried to clean up the oven.
18. Have you ever seen a ghost?Never SEEN one, but the woman who lived here before us (died in a car accident right after she moved out) used to haunt the place for a bit. I think she's gone now.
19. Have you ever seen the northern lights?Yes.
20. Do you know how to use chop sticks?Yes but I have the cheater ones or I have them tie them up for me with elastics.
21. Name something good that happened today.Momma got new shoes.
22. What room are you in?In my den.
23. Are you worried about something you can't control?I'm always worried about something - my kids, my dog, my disappearing waistline...
24. Do you take daily medications?No - what are you suggesting?
25. Ever been in a fight?Yes with my sister over a card game.
26. Are you wearing nailpolish?No.
27. Favorite color?Chocolate Brown.
28. Innie or Outie?Innie
29. Ever used a Ouija board?No - I've seen too many movies.
30. Sweet or Sour?Sweet.
31. Sun or Moon?Moon.
32. What shoes did you wear today? I started out with my old Red Crocs and then switched to my new White Mary Jane Crocs.
33. Favorite eye color of the opposite sex?I like blue eyes.
34. Most important quality in any relationship?Trust.
35. Favorite zombie movie?Shawn of the Dead.
36. Time of day you were born?I think I was born in the morning - I don't remember - I was very young at the time.
37. Do you know your blood type?A Neg.
38. What would you spend 5000 dollars on right now if you were handed it?I'd buy something special for all of us - me, my hubby, and my 2 kids.
39. Name something annoying in public transit?I don't ride it enough to know what the fare is and so when I do ride it I'm always afraid I don't have the right change.
40. Did you grow up in the city or country?Small town - suburb.
41. Would you ever consider going on a reality tv show if offered a large sum of money?No - I've seen too many of them and I don't know what these people were thinking when they signed on.
42. Have you flown in your dreams?Yes.
43. Hugs or kisses?Hugs.
44. You have 10 dollars to spend in the dollar store..what do you get?Craft supplies.
45. Slurpee flavor?Orange

Friday, June 15, 2007

How to Decoupage on Tiles

I've had a few requests on how to make the Decoupaged Tiles so I'll attempt to explain it - sorry I don't have time to put together a tutorial right now!

The first step is to prepare your glazed tile to accept various mediums for antiquing and staining.

1. Take a plain white glazed tile and apply a thin coat of white glue to the surface.

2. Adhere a piece of solid coloured tissue paper (cut to size close to the tile size) in a light neutral colour - I like to use vanilla.

3. Gently press out the bumps and air pockets of glue being careful not to tear or "smoosh" the tissue too much.

4. Allow to dry completely.

5. Trim off excess tissue using an exacto and/or a fine sanding block.

Now it's time to decorate your tile. I like to use designer paper napkins that are 3 ply or printed tissue paper to add images to the tiles.

1. Prepare your design by trimming out images from printed tissue paper or designer paper napkins (if using 3 ply separate plys after you have trimmed the images).

2. Apply glue to area of PREPARED TILE (one that already has a layer of tissue paper on it!) and then apply the trimmed images from step 1.

3. Press out air bubbles being careful not to tear or "smoosh" the images.

4. Continue with step 2 until your design is complete.

5. For borders I like to piece together greetings and/or smaller images from other napkins or tissue paper. However you could add stamped greetings when the tile is DRY. Do not stamp into wet/gluey tissue.

6. Allow glued images and entire tile to dry completely.

7. Complete your tile by adding metallic accents or borders using KRYLON markers or acrylic paint and adding colour washes using ink refills or acrylic paint (thinned out with water).

8. Allow to dry again and then coat with spray on Krylon sealon or applying coats of Modge Podge or Anita's Polyurethane Water Based Sealer.

9. Allow to dry from sealer step 8 and then add cork feet or a hanger clip (using E6000 glue).

There you have it! It's very easy once you get used to the process of working with tissue and glue and the results are amazing!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Remembering to take more photos

In April, supposedly for my husband's birthday, I bought a new Canon Power Shot SD600 Digital Elph camera. I know it was a bit much on top of everything else I got him, but really it was a "sharing" gift for both of us. I told him it was for me too - for Mother's Day- from the kids.

I have an old bulky digital camera that cost the earth and doesn't take great photos (that's when they first came out) and he has a fairly new SLR digital with all kinds of lens and attachments.

I love this little Canon because it fits in my front jeans pocket or other places without taking up too much room.

Right after I gave it to him, my husband used it for a weekend in Orgeon when he went golfing with his buddies. It's the perfect size for fitting in his golf bag and it takes GREAT photos. I really like how portable it is and the battery is rechargeable.

I often carry it in my purse and actually remember to pull it out on occasion. I'm trying to take more photos.

So if you don't mind I'll share with you some photos I took with "my" new little Elph camera and my new Palm Treo camera.

Yesterday I ran some errands and popped into the Michaels in the village at the shopping mall.

They have the coolest window displays in this little add-on to the mall called Park Royal Village. The windows are done up in all one colour (pink, light blue, green and yellow) and everything - I mean EVERYTHING - is spray painted that colour.

Last night we went out to my husband's golf club and had dinner with some friends. The main room was set up for a wedding reception that was happening today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Computers!!! Woe is me...

I wish I knew more about what I can do on my computer.

I get around alright but I know there is so much more I could be doing to make my life "prettier" and "easier".

On the "prettier" note - I see these beautiful blog banners and the way some of the other bloggers post their photos and text and I wish I could do that.

Here's few of my favourite banners:




and I especially like this one that Anna Wight painted herself!


I guess I'm doing ok with my standard blogspot banner and layout. The black background helps to make the photos stand out more.

BUT to have my own design as a banner would be precious....

On to the "easier" part - I finally figured out that I can add a faux "watermark" to my photos with the Redcastle Resizing software - using the text feature. Not only does it do the watermark for me but it also resizes my photos so that I can upload more than 1 at a time!

I'm sure if I applied myself I could figure out the banner thing but right now I've got too many other things to do. Maybe I'll play around with it over the summer...

My kids are super smart on the computer - especially my 14 year old girl. I'd ask her but she's grounded from the computer until school's over!

What did she do? Nothing really and that's the problem. She's supposed to be studying for her final exams but she's always on MSN and FACEBOOK.

How do I block MSN and FACEBOOK? I'm sure there's a way to do that without taking down the modem.

I'm going to pop into the local computer store later today and see if they have any suggestions or pointers...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I just can't do it all...

I have so much on my to do list and I've come to realize that I just can't do it all in one day anymore!!

Yesterday morning I sat down and wrote out my "Monday, June 4th To Do List". I had 20 items on it ranging from "drop off Carlotte's SU! glue sticks" to "call Molly Maid".

It's now Tuesday night and I've only been able to cross off 10 items.

There's still some hefty items on this list but I have gone through the list again and written in more realistic deadlines for them. I've spread them out over the week and added a couple of new ones.

It is now my "Week of June 5 To Do List".

Who was I kidding? I wouldn't be able to do all of these things much less:

"finalize guest list for July 20th BBQ",

"hold mail for upcoming June vacation",

and sadly I did NOT "call Molly Maid"....

But on a brighter note - Carlotte got her glue sticks!

After Photos...

My sister (who lives in another province) asked me why I hadn't posted "after" photos of my house since the painters have been gone over a week now.

They weren't here for very long - 7/8 painters working for 2 days straight. It was a big job getting ready for them and it took me longer to do that than to actually have the house painted. I had to empty the house of all the chachkies (sp?) that I've accumulated over the years.

There was a time that I had no furniture or knick knacks and yearned for a finished and fully decorated/accessorized home.

But the truth is...

when I took all that "stuff" out I kind of liked it! Mind you it did echo for a while but I've put the drapes up and now it's better.

Still I'm not in a hurry to put the paintings & artwork up (that would mean I'd have to hammer holes in my freshly repaired and painted walls) nor am I eager to put up the 3 bookcases and all the "crap" that went in them.

All the open space feels nice - now I know why people purge their homes. It's very enlightening...

The garage on the other hand is full of "crap" and I'll have to do something about that!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Mantra Monday

And the mantra for today's Monday Mantra is:
Some days you are the bug,
some days you are
the windshield.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Holed up!

I feel like one of those of embedded CNN reporters - I'm holed up in my small den. Yes the painters have arrived en masse!

There are 7 of them here working like the dickens taking things apart, moving furniture, sanding walls, and filling holes.

A few minutes ago there was a flurry of different activity and I discovered that the "head" painter had just returned with the paints. One guy has already started putting a coat of paint on in the living room.

Uh oh! I'm having "paint colour remorse" and I'm not sure if I picked the right colour for the living room. I don't think it's going to be dark enough but I'll wait until they get the first coat up and see if it dries darker.

I'm a nervous wreck and I know should stop drinking coffee NOW!
I don't want to go out and leave the dog & the painters "unattended" but I don't want to stay and keep spying on them...

Now you know another reason why we haven't painted in 10 years.
Yes I'm a bit of a control freak!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

BEFORE Photos!

I'm in the "crunch time" now before the painters come tomorrow morning AND I actually remembered to take some before photos!!

Here is where the bookcases were in the family room. This room will be repainted a similiar colour but in a much deeper tone. It's call Kauai Jungle by Ralph Lauren.

and this is how much stuff I took out of it.

Really there were more boxes but I'm giving away a ton of stuff and this is all that I am going to keep. It's hard to believe that this was all in 3 bookcases but it did take me HOURS yesterday to pack this up!

The following BEFORE photos are from my living room & dining room. I bought the little testers and put them up on the walls in areas where the light changes to help me decide which colour to paint. You can see the colour we chose on the first photo - it's the one in the middle.

Some of the features of the room are the natural stone fireplace, oxblood red leather chairs in the living room and the chocolate brown drapes in the dining room (shown in the above photo).

Here is a shot of my daughter's messy room and the colours we were debating. In the end she chose something from the paint chip fan - a nice mellow yellow.

Here are a couple of photos of the kids bathroom. The walls were stripped of the wallpaper last year but that's as far as I got. In a couple of days the walls will be a nice warm ARIZONA TAN colour. The black and white shower curtain will stay as well as the medicine cabinet.

Well I should really get off the computer and pack up the lamps, paintings and other objects d'arts (i.e., all the crap in the room that is not furniture!)
I will try and remember to post AFTER photos next week!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Getting ready for the painters!!!

I have spent this weekend getting ready for the painters who are coming on Wednesday to paint the inside of my house - 6 rooms and my entryway and hallway.

We are NOT painting the master bedroom, my son's room, the kitchen, the den, the laundry room or the downstairs powder room. Maybe I should have just said we ARE painting the living room & dining room, my daughter's room, the family room, the kids' bathroom and our master bathroom.

Now it may not sound like a big deal to you but to me it sure is!!!

When we first bought our house the living & dining rooms were painted baby pink and the entry way and upstairs hallway were baby blue. Even though we did NOT have much furniture we knew those colours would not work for us.

So we painted all of the interior while the house was empty. Most of the living area was painted a neutral Chamois colour (kind of a butter yellowy-beige).

Now this colour scheme worked for a while but fast forward 10 years and we need to not only repaint (lots of dings and scuffs) but also choose colours that compliment our furniture and artwork.

I choose some colours and then my "colour blind but opinionated" husband choose some colours . I bought the little testers and we applied them to different areas of the house. Since we were entertaining friends and family this weekend I asked everyone to vote on thier favourites.

After this complicated process we have come up with some colours.

We are painting the living room and dining room Benjamin Moore Capilano Bridge (very fitting since we live close to Capilano Bridge!). It's a dark beigey taupe colour. The hallway will be painted another shade of this but lighter - we still have to pick that colour. Yes I know the painters are coming on Wednesday!

My daughter's room is still under debate - she wants red and we want NOT RED!

The kids' bathroom will be painted Benjamin Moore Arizona Tan (tanny kind of yellow), the master bath BM Tyler Taupe (grey taupe to match our tiles), and the family room Crab Apple (very dark caramelly colour).

I purposely am picking neutrals because of our furniture, drapes and fireplace - Red leather chairs in the living room, dark chocolate chairs in the dining room, dark green velvet drapes, dark chocolate drapes, and natural stone fireplace.

So today I spent HOURS emptying out a 3 piece BILLY (from IKEA) bookcase that was JAM PACKED with books and magazines and other things. At one point I was tempted to say we'll just paint around it but I really don't like the clutter and see this as my opportunity to get rid of the bookcases! We'll see what happens when I'm done.

I still have to put away all the lamps, knick knacks, paintings, pillows, throws, dining room chairs, glass coffee table and well the list goes on. I can't even think about the bathrooms - my daughter has so much STUFF on her bathroom vanity and IN the bath/shower.

Since we are painting so many rooms at once I have to move everything to the garage and park the car on the driveway. I didn't really think out the logistics of all this very well other than the fact that I wanted the house painted and we found a painter who could do it right away.

Speaking of which - while I was unpacking the bookcases the painter called to ask if he could start tomorrow instead of Wednesday. I said NO (I'm getting really good at that) and said that I was counting on that extra day to get ready for him. I can't believe how much stuff there is to put away before we can even move the furniture away from the walls!

I'm taking a break for a cup of tea and a quick catch up on the computer but I really must get back and finish packing up.

My husband has taken my son to the garden centre (hubby's hurt his back and needs the boy to lift stuff for him) so I'm on my own with the packing up.

That's what I'm up to on this sunny Holiday Monday. What are you doing today?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cat & Dog Diaries - Too Funny!

My sister (who has both a dog and a cat) sent this email to me yesterday. I too, have had both dogs and cats and thought this was too funny and had to share it with you!
These are photos of my dog SAM.

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary*

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

* Excerpts from a Cat's Diary*

Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.
In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a good little hunter" I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.

The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe, for now..........

Friday, April 13, 2007

AFTER Photos!

Well I remembered to take the BEFORE photos and today I remembered to take the AFTER photos!

Even though it was Friday the 13th and the we had torrential rains with wind I'm happy to report that the doors were installed without any problems!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Spring Cleaning Tips!

I'm really enjoying reading the Spring Cleaning tips. Please keep them coming!

It seems that music is important, opening the windows and not trying to do it all at once. That's very good advice.

I also like the idea of hiring someone to do it but it's not just cleaning it's a lot of purging too. I've got closets to clear out and piles of magazines to go through. It's a big job of sorting and clearing out rather than the nitty gritty cleaning and so can only be done by me.

Now that the pest guy has been I'm afraid I'm going to have do some heavy duty wall scrubbing and repairing now too. You know he actually drilled holes in my dining room & living room walls!!!! It looks like there's been a drive by shooting here.

I'm hoping that the ants are now dead and there won't be any more surprises when the door gets installed next Friday. But you know - it's Friday the 13th - who knows what else they'll find when the wall comes down!

Renovation Update

Today the electrician showed up and everything seemed to be going smoothly - he's MOVING my plugs not disconnecting as I orginally thought, he's installing my outside motion sensor light fixture and installing an outdoor plug on the front of my house. The outdoor plug is something extra I asked for and not part of the dining room door renovation.

Like I said everything was going to go well until he opened up my dining room wall to move the plugs.

You would NOT believe the amount of carpenter ants he found living in the wall!!! I swear there were MILLIONS!!! I had to dash out to the hardware store to pick up bug killer before he could do anything else. I had no idea that I had ants - I don't even own any RAID. I mean on occasion I'll see an ant - so far 3 since the weather warmed up this week. BUT I had no clue that there were TRILLIONS living in my wall. The walls aren't even damp or rotten so it's got me scratching my head in more ways than one!

Of course you know me....I grabbed my vacuum before I even thought to grab my camera. Now I wish I had taken a picture before I vacuumed them all up! You wouldn't have believed it.

I got out the yellow pages and the pest guy is coming this afternoon to spray into the wall before the door guys come to rip open the rest of the wall.

Here's what it looks like now. Yes that's my FISKARS rotary trimmer on the dining room table. I was trying to get some swaps done before the guys showed up this morning!

LOL! We did NOT get an organ!

Yesterday I was talking on the phone to my sister in Ontario (I'm in BC).

We must have had a bad connection because she could hardly hear me - or maybe we are just getting OLD?

Anyway, I told her my husband went to OREGON. To which she replied "What? You got an organ? Who plays the organ there?".

I said "NO. Miles has gone to OREGON".

She came back with "Did he take the organ with him?" Now I knew she was joking with me but I couldn't let it drop.

I said "Yes he took all his organs with him!". We both had a good laugh over that one!

Friday, April 6, 2007

I knew that I'd forget the BEFORE!

First off I want to say that last night's Explosion/Squash Book class at the LSS went very well and we were done in record time. Thanks to everyone who wished me good luck with my new format. Having the customers pick their own paper worked out well and the customers loved it!

I've got 3 more classes to prep for this week but also a little home renovation that I need to prep for. Here's where I forgot all about the BEFORE!

I'm talking about a BEFORE photo. It seems that whenever I make changes around the house I get so excited about how it's going to turn out that I forget to document it. I love looking in home magazines and seeing the BEFORE and AFTER pictures and I always tell myself that I should do that. BUT I always forget to take the BEFORE photo!

I'm having a large 10 foot window in my dining room replaced with glass doors. There will be 4 panels of glass and the 2 middle ones will slide to the sides to open.

The electrician is coming bright and early tomorrow morning to move two plugs and install a switch and an outdoor motion sensor light. So today I needed to move some stuff so he can work but also to prepare for the actual doors which will be installed next week.

Luckily I remembered about the BEFORE photo and although I'd already started I took this photo.

Now this really isn't the BEFORE photo since I've already taken down the curtain rod, the curtains and the blind. BUT it still shows the window and how the wall looked BEFORE the doors come in. Oh and my hubby will be so pleased - I did a bit of recycling. I used the blind from this window on another window with a broken blind. It was exactly the same size!
On Friday - yes April 13th - the door guys are coming to cut out the opening and install the new glass doors. I'm hoping that I will have GOOD LUCK and everything goes smoothly!
I'll post an AFTER photo when it's all done.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Like the sands through an hour glass...

Where did the weekend go?

Saturday we had a trip to the local mall for new runners for my boy (school track & field starts this week), a few things needed for around the house, and some groceries (mostly ingredients for that night's appetizer).

I spent the late afternoon making afore-mentioned appetizers for a soccer wrap up party on Saturday night where I drank way too much wine and ate too much apple tart! Check the bottom of this post for my Asparagus Appetizer recipe.

Today I started the day off puttering around and spent the morning "bonding" with the kids - ok we watched a couple of movies and I caught up on some laundry! I didn't make it out of my pjs until almost 3 pm!

Every once in a while I'd go and check my emails, bounce around a few blogs and waste some time on the computer. If my husband asks - I'm doing "research" for my May classes. Which is kind of true!

It's almost dinner time here and so far today I've done 4 loads, walked the dog down to the beach and back, LOTS of "research" and I'm now waiting on my husband to come home from shopping for new runners for my boy. Apparently he didn't like the ones that we picked out yesterday and went in search of the "right" ones. We'll see what he returns with!

I did kind of have a lazy weekend but I'm still amazed at how quickly the time has slipped away...

Tomorrow we will be back to the hustle and bustle of the week - back to school, back to work and back to my "research"!

Marie's Asparagus Appetizer

1 bunch of Asparagus
1 package of garlic & fine herbs Boursin cheese spread
sliced prosciutto (I buy the president's choice brand in the 125 g package)

1. Rinse and then snap off the ends of the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus and then set aside to drain. * I boil until slightly tender in my big pasta pot with the strainer. Then I take the strainer out of the pot and set it in a large bowl of ice water. Then I take the strainer out of the bowl and set it in the sink to drain.
2. Take a slice of the prosciutto and spread the Boursin on it. * You only need to wrap this once around the asparagus. The president's choice prosciutto is almost 7 inches long so I cut it in half to wrap around 2 pieces of asparagus.
3. Take a piece of asparagus and wrap the prosciutto around it. Lay it on a baking pan.
4. Repeat steps 1 - 3 until you have used up your ingredients. * Yesterday I made 46 of these suckers - I used 3 bunches of asparagus, 3 packages of prosciutto and 2 packages of Bornsin (I had a bit of Borsin leftover).
5. These are meant to be baked in the oven but if you want to make them ahead of time they can be covered with plastic wrap and kept refridgerated until you need them.
6. Bake these (uncovered on the baking pan) in a 375 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.
7. Serve warm.

I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from another friend and so on. I'm not even sure this is the same recipe as the original but this is how I make it and they were a big hit at the party last night!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I have a confession to make. I don't really like to shop...

I mean I love it when I find something but most of the time the "looking" and running in and out of stores tires me out mentally. I get overwhelmed and just shut down.

So this trip we did some shopping but it was a little at a time and we SKIPPED the huge-gantic shopping mall - Scottsdale Fashion Square - but stuck to the smaller ones like Desert Hills, Paradise Valley and Kierland Commons.

I discovered a store called Anthropologie and found a great crimson cardigan sweater with "princess" sleeves and top made out of mesh with brown and black. They're both kind of funky but really suited to my style.

I also discovered DSW. Which means "Designer Shoe Warehouse". It's a great store with rows upon rows of ladies shoes. I found some cute ballet flats and a nice brown leather pair of wedges. I have foot problems so a lot of the shoe styles don't work for me. It's great when I can find something I like and that I can actually wear.

I did some shopping in Target and got some lovely linen pieces - a white button up top, a beige a-line skirt, and 2 pairs of capris in white and caramel. I've already had to wash the caramel ones (a little run in with some salsa) and they came out beautiful - one of my fears of buying cheap clothing is that it is "disposable".

My daughter did more shopping than me and bought all kinds of stylish clothes at various stores that we don't have here - Hollister, Wet Seal, No Fear, as well as Target.
She also ended up with 4 new pairs of shoes from DSW.
I bought some cool stuff at Joann's and a local Scrapbooking store but that's another post...

Friday, March 9, 2007

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Yes I'm leaving on a jet plane and I won't be back until Tuesday, March 20!

I'm off to warm and sunny Arizona with my family for 10 days starting on Saturday, March 10. That's tomorrow!
We've rented the same house we used last time - check out the photo of the kids in our private pool from 2005. That's the view from our backyard - it's totally amazing there! You see those rocks in the background? They're actually BOULDERS about 20 minutes hike away and there's all kinds of wildlife living up there. We saw & heard wolves in those very rocks right behind our house.

Yikes! I'm not even packed and we have to be at the airport by 5 AM.

Have a great March Break wherever you are or are going and I'll be thinking of all of my cyber-friends while I sit by the pool sipping my frothy drink with an umbrella in it!

And you better believe that when I'm not by the pool I'll be checking out stuff at Target, Joann's and other scrapbooking/stamp stores in Arizona!!

I'll share all my new goodies when I get back...