Friday, December 30, 2011

Projects for 2012

With 2012 right around the corner, I'm sure I'm not the only one going "holy CRAP how did that happen?".

Right? Please say I'm not the only one.

Otherwise I'll feel weird.

Moving on....

In the spirit of the New Year, I figured that it was as good of time as any to make a list of what I'd like to get done in the coming year. Resolutions, sort of. I don't really like calling them that because I don't want to feel bad if I don't accomplish them all :-)

So here top 5 projects for 2012 (yes, I know 'top ten' sounds better, but that seems a little ambitious for me. I'm the kind of girl who adds 'make a list' to my to-do lists so I can cross it off.)

1. Hang Stuff in my House

I have major problems committing to certain things, like hanging art/mirrors on the walls. It doesn't help that my walls are 60% plaster so hanging things is slightly more difficult than normal. I have piles of frames and artwork lying around in the house and I need to get busy and hang some of them!

Specifically, I need to order and install the mirror in the bathroom. Yes, that means we are still just living with the temporary mirror J put on the counter.

We also are planning on putting up a series of six frames over our sideboard in the dining room to spice things up a little. I'm hoping this gets done in the next little while (notice how I said 'next little while' and didn't commit to a specific time frame. Ha. I'm sneaky like that.)

2. Paint the Hallway

I've mentioned it before, but I *really* want to get our hallway painted this year. It is definitely looking worse for wear and the cracks in the plaster are getting more noticeable. I'm thinking we may hire someone to do is a HUGE job and we don't have the plaster fixing skills necessary. OR...maybe we can pull down the whole wall of plaster and lathe and install that sound proof drywall. THAT would be awesome. A dream, but an awesome dream.

3. Deal with our Leaky Roof Issue

Yes, I think that 2012 will bring a new roof for us. Which sucks. Because that can be very, very expensive. However, because of some poorly planned eaves troughs, one area of our roof has taken a huge beating thanks to 3/4s of all rain water being directed over that one particular spot. Awesome.

Handy Hubs got up there a month or two ago and redirected the water which has seemed to help our leaking issue, but it is something we'll have to deal with sooner rather than later, I think.

4. Figure Out the Guest Room

I think it was 7 or 8 months ago when I started thinking about the guest room. Striped walls? White walls?    I wanted somewhere that was lovely and comfortable for my guests. Um...yeah. It has turned into a bit of a storage room. Must do something with this. I have a few ideas though...all related to number 5.

and finally....


That's right, folks. J and I are having a real, live baby! No, we are not getting a puppy. I'm knocked up! With child. In a family way. Have a bun in the oven. FOR REAL.

So yeah - that is why I've been so MIA these past months. I wasn't feeling great and the last thing I wanted to do was a) do house projects or b) spend time on the computer. Plus keeping a secret is hard, yo!

We are 15 or so weeks along according to my doctor. I don't have a cute bump to show you yet, but I can show you this:

Yep - that is baby LB@30 right there!! 12w6d or something I think. Sleeping. haha

I was a little shocked when we found out (yes, it was planned), and it didn't really sink in for a while. Here is an idea of what I did to remind myself that yes, I was actually pregnant.

I'm not going to lie. I think I took at least 12 pregnancy tests. I know, I'm a nut.

Anyways, so that is our news :-) We are pretty excited about all of this and feel like we have a lot of projects coming up in preparation for the arrival of the little guy/girl.

There is definitely a blogger baby boom these days!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do You Agree?

Jennifer over at Rambling Renovators is hosting an awesome blog series again this year and she asked me to take part!

Basically, she's invited some seriously awesome bloggers (who knows how I made it with my AWOL-ness lately!) to share their favourite blog posts of 2011.

Head on over, check out some of the other awesome bloggers and let me know if you think that I picked well or whether you had a different favourite!!

In other news, I'm putting together a pretty insane 2012 resolution list that will be posted shortly :-)


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Spoiled at Christmas!

I love Christmas (as you all know) but (this might be shameful) but I LOVE getting presents! To be fair, I also love GIVING presents, so I'm not a total jerk, but I love getting gifts at Christmas and get so excited about it!

I love seeing the gifts under the tree and seeing what everyone received from their family. It is such a fun time! Of course, it is extra super fun when you get to watch your kids (or in my case, my nieces) open their gifts because kids are HILARIOUS at Christmas. They get gobs of gifts and usually end up playing with (and remembering) one or two.

Me: Kate - what did you get for Christmas?

Kate: I don't know.

Me: (looks around and sees stacks of kid-friendly gifts). Did you get that Yo-Yo?

Kate: umm...yeah I think so.

Me: Did you get that crazy microphone that makes you sound like a rock star?

Kate: Ya. (continues watching Elf on tv)

Me: What about that Leapster thing?

Kate: Ya - that too.

Kids are hilarious.

Anyways, back to me :-)

I was a lucky girl this year! I received a number of really amazing gifts from my family.

1. $$ for my iPad! My family, being the smart people they are, realized that I had mentioned that the new iPad is supposed to be released in the next few months and figured that I might want to wait for that, so they went the gift card route for me. Sweet!!  Of course, it is now burning a hole in my pocket and it will be a test of my patience as to whether I can wait!

2. Picture Frames - my brother in law and his girlfriend bought me all of the Ikea frames I asked for! Now I can get moving on my dining room 'tweak' :-) Smart kids - they bought the frames at the 50% off sale that Ikea had recently!!  Sweet!!

3. Accessories for my dining room - my mom did a little shopping at West Elm and picked up two of these beauties for me!

4. Chocolate - I did receive a Terry's Chocolate Mint from my Mother in law. I was seriously pumped when I opened it! It is half gone already. I'm not going to lie. Of course, I found some more on boxing day at half-off so I picked up a few replacements :-)

I did receive a few other awesome gifts but I will post about those in the coming days.

Pretty awesome right?! Anyways - I'm now enjoying my time off work - hubs is working so I'm watching  a Property Brothers marathon :-)

Hope you all had a great Christmas!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Christmas Eve is tomorrow and hubs is finishing up work for the next few days. Soon he'll be home and we will plan out what details we have left to take care of before CHRISTMAS!

Of course, in our house, Christmas Eve is filled with last minute shopping, wrapping presents and watching Love Actually. This year we are also going to a party at my Godparents' place so that will be fun :-)

So have a lovely holiday, friends. Enjoy the time off, the smell of turkey roasting in the oven and the satiated feeling that only a huge meal of turkey and stuffing can give you :-)

I'll be around so you might hear from me :-) - I promise that my blogging will get a little more frequent in the New Year!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Wishes, 2011 Edition

Last year around this time (actually, one day before), I wrote a quick post about what I wanted for Christmas...a healthy baby for my best friend!

If you remember (because I do talk about her quite often), she did have that beautiful baby and yesterday she turned ONE! Time certainly flies, doesn't it!?

So anyways - I figured now would be a good time to thrown in a few 2011 Christmas wishes! Everyone has them, right? Even if they are frivolous and unattainable :-)

Okay so here goes:

1. Ipad

I know Ipads are old news and all, but I still think it would be a really fun toy to play with. An expensive toy, yes, but one that I would love.

2. Picture Frames

I am still planning on doing a little revamp in the dining room and think that six of these babies will help:

Sure, I still have to figure out what photos to put in them, but I think they would be a nice change from all the brown that is going on in there.

3. Terry's Chocolate Mint

My absolute favourite chocolate treat at Christmas time...if you haven't tried one, DO IT!

That's right - it is chocolate, segmented into orange slices, that tastes like CHOCOLATE MINT!! I personally feel like the combo of chocolate and orange is RANCID but I love the interactive nature of this candy and was SO FLIPPIN HAPPY when it came out in the mint flavour.

When you open the box, you pull out the foil wrapped orange and you WHACK it on the table. This movement causes the chocolate to separate into delicious little slices of amazingness. Try it!

4. Some R&R

Today is my last day at work until January 3rd and I am very, very happy about that. I can't wait to sleep in, make breakfast, watch tv, shop, hang out with friends and generally relax. Hubs is working a bit over the holidays so I can indulge in my secret single behaviour during the day with no shame (ahem...wearing pyjamas all day long! eating a meal entirely based on cheese and crackers...)

That's about it - figured I couldn't ask for much when I had such a whopper in the #1 position!!  I'm not expecting an Ipad, just so you know. Just hoping for some $$ to go towards one.

So what is on your list? Anything frivolous? Or do you ask for practical things, like socks and underwear?


Monday, December 19, 2011

Now This is Embarrassing

Remember when I claimed the bathroom was almost done? Um...yeah...well we still haven't ordered the mirror. Oops.

This is what it looks like:

Oops. New Year's Resolution?


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don't Tell...

but remember my sad face over saying goodbye to my lovely little car?


...and remember how I mentioned that I shed a few tears when she left me?

That was all true. I swear.

Another true fact is that I realized how bloody fickle I am as we picked up our new (used) car and I very quickly started saying things like:

"The RSX never did that! Cool!"

"Wow, the road feels so much less bumpy in the new car"

"How did we ever live without a back up camera before?!"

Poor RSX. My grief was real, but my memory of that grief was clearly very short. Oops.


Friday, December 9, 2011

I Might Have Cried...

So after receiving a bunch of interest from scammers, people who wrote in an abridged form of English "I wud luv 2 c ur car", and some very nice people, I am happy/sad to report that my car has officially been sold.

I'm not going to lie. I cried as the new owner drove away from our house. Just a little bit though.

I wasn't surprised that I cried though. I started getting weepy as I walked home from work, after J called me and said "the buyer wants to come pick it up tonight" as opposed to Sunday as we had originally agreed.

Sniff sniff.

See - this car was my first, big, independent purchase as an adult (or something like an adult). I was 24 years old and I had just finished my undergraduate degree and was working a full time job, doing what I thought was my DREAM job. How does a 24 year old celebrate her new found independence?

Well she buys a car, OF COURSE!!

I remember the day I picked it up from the dealership. I was so flippin' excited. I couldn't believe that I was going to own a little black sports car. I had no clue what I was doing. I was supposed to walk around the car and check for any issues, and I think I just walked in circles thinking OH MY GOD I JUST BOUGHT A CAR.

I loved that car. It meant more to me than just a way to get around. As silly as it may sound, but it was an outward expression of who I was at that time. It wasn't a girly car by an stretch of the imagination. It was a way of saying "I can run with the boys". I loved that it impressed guys that I drove it (and that it was standard). It seemed to say that I didn't need a guy to drive me around, and I certainly didn't need to have him show me how to drive standard. Not to say that I bought the car for that reason - it was just an unanticipated bonus :-)

I actually was living with a boyfriend at the time who is not my current husband (thank god!). This car was also my first gut check with respect to that relationship. I remember sitting down working out the budget to see if I could afford the car, and found myself making sure that I could afford the car if I was paying for rent/bills by myself (if that doesn't sound like foreshadowing, I don't know what does!). I knew that buying a car was a big responsibility and I didn't want it locking me in to anything that I wasn't certain about.

Yeah, well, the relationship didn't make it but my car and I (and all the monthly bills) made it out unscathed. We were a good team. I was newly single and still loved my job. I was living in the country and relied on my car for a lot of things, including getting to work, groceries, and trying to open up a newly necessary social life that I didn't really have when I was in the relationship. Like I said...we were a good team.

Now, I am not saying that the car is what helped me snag J, but I like to think that it helped. I drove to pick him up for our first date on December 27, 2003. Right away, he knew that I was independent and COOL AS HECK. He tells me even today that he thought it was super hot that I drove standard (and better than him, if I might add that :-).

So yeah - this was more than a car for me. After helping me snag my super awesome husband, it came with me to grad school, came back to Toronto with me, and became the first car of our marriage.I think it makes sense that I cried a little bit when I said good-bye to her.

Of course, I needed a few pictures before she left...



And there she goes....


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Are You One?

A Holiday decorator, that is? I know I've told you before, but I LOVE Christmas. I love the music, the decorations, the food, the hustle and bustle and the excitement. I have some very specific traditions when it comes to Christmas, but unfortunately, decorating my house is NOT one of them.

Last year I bought a few cute things to spruce up the place but I haven't even pulled out the box this year to put the decorations out.

What is wrong with me?!

I would love a place that looked like this:

(all images sourced from Pinterest)

It actually even crossed my mind that *maybe* if I had a fake Christmas tree, I'd be more up for the decorating bit. I'm not sure why I find buying the tree, getting it home, decorating it and then dealing with the needles to be so...overwhelming, but I do.

I think part of the problem is that with all the renos, etc this year, the decorations from last year actually didn't come down until...well...WAY into 2011. Shameful, I know. 

Anyways - I'm going to *try* to step it up this weekend. I will never be a super decorator like some, but I could at least put out the few things that I bought, right? How tough can that be.

So now you know my Christmas secret - tell me what yours is? Do you decorate? Do you have a fake tree? Do you purchase Christmas cookies and pass them off as home made?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Crazy Scammers

Hubs and I are selling our first big-ish ticket item online (our car) and OMG I can't get over how many low-ballers and scammers there are out there.

In less than 12 hours, I have received 3 "serious buyers" who are willing to pay 25% less than asking or even less, and 2 'buyers' who are "very interested" and would like to pay via paypal and send their 'private agent' to pick the item up.

How do you know it is a scam? Well you get an email like this:

Good day, i want to buy your vehicle and i will like to know the present condition of it and also will like to know when last it was used. get back to me with your final selling price if you still have it available for sale. Regards, Luis

and then you get this:

Thanks for mailing back,i really appreciate it, am really interested
in it, and i will appreciate it if you can send me more pictures if
you have cause due to the nature of my job,phone calls making are
restricted. I can't be able to come and view it and pay in cash but i
have contacted a pick up company and they will be coming to pick it
after i have paid for it,i can only pay through Paypal as i don't have
access to my bank account online as i don't have internet banking,but
i have my bank account attached to my PayPal account and this is why i
insisted on paying you through PayPal,so kindly get back to me with
your full name and paypal email address so i can proceed with the
payment now, but if you don't have an account with them you can set up
a paypal account via it very easy and fast, it wont
take you much time to do that,I will proceed with the payment as soon
as you send me your paypal email address and contact the pick up agent
to arrange a convenient pickup time with you,once payment has been
transferred and cashed and let me know your final selling price.

I believe i can trust you on this transaction cause i need a faithfuland loyal person to transact business with not fraudster.I hope to
read back from you soon.
Luis thanks.

I will say that, after my years and years of Craigslist love, I am getting WAY more legitimate hits from Kijiji. Who knew?!

Anyways - I have learned a few things from this experience.

1. Selling a car is annoying.
2. Selling a car in the 'winter' is also super annoying, because people would like to see it in the daylight (fair enough) and there is almost no daylight around when we are not working.
3. Going back and forth with people over email only to have them 'disappear' is also annoying, but I know comes with the territory.
4. Scammers use Autotrader mostly. Just as a heads up :-)

So that's that. Selling our car while it is still worth something because we'd like something a little more winter-friendly (2 door, front wheel drive gets old when you are dealing with unplowed sidestreets and laneways in Toronto!).

Have you ever sold something for more than a few hundred bucks online? Any tips? Websites that I haven't thought of? Anyone want to buy an awesome car? :-)


Thursday, December 1, 2011

And now...a Post by ME!! Better Late Than Never...Right?

So a while back I received a few of the "Versatile Blogger" award from lovelies like Meg @ Nutmeg and Company and Jodi @ In Corners of my Mind (thanks girls!).

To accept this award, I must think the person(s) who awarded it to me and include a link to their blog (see above :-) I also am supposed to share 7 things about myself.

Okay goes!

1. I'm going prematurely grey. Yup. It SUCKS. I started going grey at an early age (thanks Mom and Dad ;-). I think I ignored it for a while, but eventually I realized HOLY CRAP, I'm dying my roots every 6 weeks. I think that is a sign that I am going grey.

Maybe it is ballsy or presumptuous to say that it is premature for me to go grey, but hey - I'm 32 and I've been dying my hair regularly since I was about 26 or 27. Before that I dyed my hair for fun once in a while...sigh...those days were great. Days when I didn't HAVE to sit in a chair at an overpriced salon for 3-4 hours (yes kids, its true. 3-4 friggin hours!!). Trust me when I tell you that 3-4 hours in a salon will take away any of the possible feeling of 'treating yourself' to a salon day. Ugh.

Since I'm being honest, and since I have been neglecting my hair recently because I'm lazy and cheap, I'm actually going to show you a picture of how grey I am. I'm crazy like that.


To be fair, I'm only going grey on one area (so far)....ON TOP. It is like a cruel joke.

2. I used to live on a horse farm. Cool, right? I used to ride horses (as you know) and was actually pretty involved in the horse world. I competed every weekend all summer and at least once a month in the winter. Trained daily, etc. Anyways - my parents had wanted to move to the country and since I was so into horses, had thought they'd find a place with a small 2-3 stall barn in the backyard so I could bring my horse home in the summer.

Instead, they ended up buying a 10 acre horse property with an 18 stall barn and an indoor arena! (talk about an upsell, eh?). It was like a dream come true for me! I got to spend my days at the barn, riding, working and training (when I wasn't in school, of course). My friends were able to come to pretty crazy 'field parties' on our property (in exchange for helping out when the hay arrived!). It was amazing and now that it is gone (sold a number of years ago), I think back to it with very fond memories.

Here's me and THE BEST DOG EVER on our front lawn:

Yes, I'm wearing a really awesome shirt :-) What can I say - I went to a high school where if you weren't wearing Birkenstocks and wool socks (together) with a hiking backpack, you were NOT cool.

And here is what it looked like in our backyard (well, the part that wasn't all forest) - including a picture of THE BEST HORSE EVER:

3. I love Christmas and as soon as it hits November 20th, I start listening to a radio station that plays ALL CHRISTMAS MUSIC, ALL THE TIME. It is the best. Last week, as I was driving to the movies (to see the new Twilight movie, of course!), I was stuck in traffic and flipped on the station and BAM. Felt like a million bucks. Singing, smiling and tapping the steering wheel. I must have looked pretty special to the people sitting in traffic next to me, but I didn't care!

#1 Favourite Christmas Song:

#2 Favourite - because it has my name and the name of my best friend in it!

I may not be big on decorating for the holidays (yet), but I'm a huge Christmas fan!

4.  I have a number of food aversions that make people label me as "picky". I hate mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and will not eat anything with them on or in it. Scrape mayo off the bread? HECK no. Cheesecake? No thanks. Cream cheese frosting? No way. If I had my way (and I often do) I wouldn't even sit near the open tub of sour cream and DEFINITELY wouldn't want to be the one to carry the dirty spoon to the dishwasher.

I'm a freak. I know. Lucky for me, most of those items aren't very good for me, so I don't feel too bad cutting them out of my diet. It does make me a tricky guest at a dinner party because I can't just 'grin and bear it' when it comes to those foods.

5. I (generally) enjoy travelling alone. It started when I was first out of undergrad and was working - wanted to go on a trip but didn't have anyone around who could take the time to go with me. I went on a cruise by myself and had a blast. I also had just met J so I racked up a HUGE cell phone bill. Ha. Young love...

In law school I travelled Europe for 6 weeks by myself. This was an incredible experience and I am so happy I did it. I met some interesting people (as well as some crazies), saw some beautiful cities and really learned how to take care of myself. By the end of it I was TIRED. It is hard work travelling alone (especially as a girl, I imagine) because you have to always be on guard and prepared.

I'm now at the point in my life where I'm ready to travel with my husband. I want to see Paris and Rome with him, and maybe check out Greece (never made it there). I like that I know I have the ability to travel (and eat) alone, but I think I'm keen to try out some real travelling with my hubs (and not just to an all inclusive :-)

6. I'm often self conscious about my itty bitty teeth. I find myself censoring my smile because I'm thinking about how people are probably staring. Funny how all it takes is one dumb boy in high school to point out "HEY. You have little teeth and when you smile, I see lots of your gums" and you're done. You are now going to be constantly aware of your little teeth and worry that everyone will think of you as the girl with the mini teeth.

Over time, I have been less worried about them, but I think that comes with the fact that I have learned to control my smile and rarely laugh with abandon anymore. Sad, right? The times that I do, I find myself often covering my mouth.

I need to just GET OVER IT. Seriously, Janice. As if this is a big problem!?

7. I've been stuck with a blinking cursor on 7 for a while now. I'm kind of stuck. So here is a bunch of stuff. I have blue eyes that change shades every now and then but are bluest when I cry. I cry at commercials on a regular basis. My sister and I used to really really dislike each other when we were kids but are now really good friends. We have had many many pets throughout my childhood and we often took in dogs without homes, but after losing my cat and my dog (see above) in about a year, I've kind of sworn off pets. Maybe one day...I've only recently started drinking brewed coffee and wonder why it took me so long (tea is NOT the same first thing in the morning). Once I slept over at a new friend's house and when her mom tried to feed me cereal for breakfast using powdered milk, I faked sick and ran home. I have a long distance best friend that I miss like crazy. I think putting ketchup on anything other than burgers and fries is just weird (Kraft Dinner? Eggs? Nasty).

So there you have it, my friends. Part of the 'award' is that I am supposed to pass it on to 15 other bloggers. Because I've taken so long, I think most people have received it so...well...if you haven't received it yet, go for it! Consider yourself 'awarded' :-)