Friday, March 24, 2017

Where I've Been Spending My Money Lately

So it turns out when you don't blog for awhile, you run out of ideas and have to blatantly steal borrow blog topics from your friends. This one came from Amanda. So here's where I've been spending my money lately:

1) Tulips
As happens every winter, we've had fresh tulips in our house almost continuously since January. Since it's still rather cold here, these bring a little taste of spring to our house during the time I need it most. And bonus -- they're cheaper than a warm vacation :)

2) A new book
I am a bad Harry Potter fan because I didn't even realize this book existed until about a month ago. But I made sure I went out and got a copy. Now if only I remembered I owned it and actually made time to, you know, read it.

3) Baseball tickets
These are just a couple of the baseball games we're going to this year. I'm super excited to see the Buffalo Bisons (the Blue Jays' Triple A team) play and we're going as my birthday experience this year. Although honestly, with a name like the "IronPigs" I might just have to cheer for the opposing team :)

And I'm really excited that a group of us who go to a Blue Jays game together every year are going to go experience them in Detroit this summer. I'm excited to visit Comerica Park again and enjoy a little road trip away with good friends. Yay!

4) Our washing machine
This is a less exciting thing to be spending money on, unless you like clean clothes. I don't understand why the dryer, which I could happily live without, is fine but the washing machine broke. Doesn't it understand it's my favourite?!?!? Thankfully, the repair was fairly simple and cheaper than the cost of a new machine. Phew.

5) New shoes
I wanted a pair of shoes for wearing in the spring to run errands or to go pick the kids up from school. These bright red ones fit the bill and they were on sale. Bonus! And the layout of this picture came from my friend, Bekah, who had a similar picture on her Instagram. Thanks Bekah!

6) Our kids
the kids' allowance barns -- 
one each for spend, share (donate), and save

I kind of didn't count on how much money would come from "the Tooth Fairy" and how much having two kids with a weekly allowance would impact our spending. Ha!

Where have you been spending your money lately? If you're willing to share, that is!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

#tbt: Rachel's 5th Birthday

So apparently I missed blogging about a few major events last year :) Since I really do want this blog to be our family's memory book, and Sam's birthday is coming up next week, I thought I should document Rachel's birthday. This really is a legit #tbt because her birthday was in JUNE. #momfail
So this Rachel on her actual birthday and it's a good photo of her obsessions at the time: pink, dresses, make up, jewellery and buns in her hair. She was thrilled to be able to indulge in them all at once.
Since my parents were here for her actual birthday, we had a big dinner (probably BBQ although, to be honest, I don't remember!) with Dave's family, Tim and Janice, and all of us. Rachel asked for ice cream sundaes for dessert which was a fun change from cake.
For Rachel's party the next day, which was a tea party with her friends, I made a teapot cupcake cake. I decorated it to look like the special teapot Tim and Janice had given her for her birthday.
The girls came over and made necklaces until everyone had arrived. Then they decorated fancy hats for the tea party. They LOVED this and the whole process took about half an hour to forty-five minutes.
Then they all played outside and I got one picture of them in their fancy tea outfits and hats!
Inside the table was all set in pink and they ate various kinds of goldfish crackers, fruit, and cupcakes. We went to a thrift store and found little cups and saucers so each girl drank their tea out of a special cup and saucer which they got to take home, along with their hats, as party favours.

It was such a fun party to celebrate our girl turning five. And I would be remiss if I didn't do a shout out to my friend, Kendyll. Kendyll's daughter had a tea party for one of her birthdays and invited Rachel and I stole most of my ideas from her. It was just too much fun, and too sweet, to only experience once!

Friday, March 17, 2017

(Not) Late Breaking News

As my friend, Amy, says, "Good thing I am not paid to do national news or anything. Wednesday's kind of late for breaking weekend news." Well Amy, I've got you beat because it's technically this weekend, and I'm still talking about last weekend. Ha!
There are two reasons this post is late(r than I had intended):

1) I've been fighting a nasty, horrible cold all week. In fact, it started in earnest last Thursday, and we ended up throwing out our plans for a mini weekend getaway and staying home. And figuring out how to come up with a fun weekend to make it up to the kids.

2) It has been March Break this past week so I've either been a) working, b) sleeping, or c) watching four kids. And since it's been so cold outside I will declare that it has neither been "March" nor a "break," at least not for me.

So what did we end up doing last weekend? On Friday night Dave took the kids to the Purim party at the synagogue. You can read more about Purim here, but basically it's like Hallowe'en in March. Rachel dressed up as a princess (in case you couldn't guess) and Sam took inspiration from a musical we saw a few weekends ago and went as the Guard from Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.

I stayed home and acted like someone who has a horrible, nasty cold.

Saturday was one of our favourite days of the year in our city. It was CANstruction! We went to the mall to check out all the structures. As Canada is celebrating its 150th Birthday this year, there were many Canadiana themes, like the beaver dam below, which I LOVED!
The kids loved these Paw Patrol structures.
The drawbridge and the dragon on this castle actually moved. It was super-cool!
This voyageur was another piece of Canadiana which I loved!
I also liked the train and the scene of Niagara Falls. It just amazes me what (imaginative) people can build out of cans and boxes of food!
Did I mention it was a "Canada is turning 150" theme?
But I think the winner for my absolute favourite structure this year was the one below:
I think they did a pretty good job of re-creating our Parliament Buildings, don't you?
us in front of the (non-canned food) Parliament Buildings, April 2016
On Saturday night, Dave took the kids bowling. They LOVED it! And they've been asking to go again ever since.
And on Sunday, while I once again, stayed home and rested (and finished our road trip book from this past summer -- yay!), Dave took the kids to a board games cafe. While our weekend didn't look like what we thought it would, the kids ended up having a blast! And we still have our mini getaway to look forward to. We just postponed it by a few weeks.

And now, after all that excitement, it's the weekend again. Yay!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Totally Taco Tuesday

Last week my parents came for a visit. We didn't tell Sam and Rachel they were coming so when the kids woke up, and my mom and dad were here, the kids were pretty excited.
We had a good week with them and, of course, I didn't get around to taking pictures until the last night. But, as it was Taco Tuesday, it was a good picture taking night. At Christmas my dad discovered a homemade tortilla recipe and it just makes tacos that much better. Sam ate four!
After supper, the kids snuggled on the couch. First with my mom...
...and then with both of my parents.
We love it when my parents come to visit and can't wait until their next visit. Maybe we'll even tell the kids they're coming this time!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

20 Questions

Blogging material has been a little light lately, and since I love reading things like this, I thought I would steal borrow this blog post idea from Bekah. Thanks Bekah :)

1. Do you like blue cheese? NO! I really can't stand strong flavours but Dave can and he LOVES blue cheese. He also likes cilantro, spicy foods, and liver. Blech,

2. What flavor Kool-Aid? Ummm... orange? We don't make Kool-Aid all that often but we do still own this pitcher and once in awhile we break it out again.
Throwback to January 2012 when Sam was two
and the Kool-Aid pitcher was new!

3. Do you get nervous before a doctor's appointment? Not really. Not unless I'm going to see the doctor about a specific issue or if it's an appointment for Sam or Rachel.

4. What do you think of hot dogs?
We have recently rediscovered hot dogs as a quick and easy supper that the kids will eat. They're not my absolute favourite but I won't turn my nose up at them. Especially if they're roasted over a fire. In the winter!

Sam eating a hotdog at our outdoor wiener roast
at my parents' in Saskatchewan at Christmas. 

5. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee-hot chocolate, in one of my favourite coffee-hot chocolate mugs :)

Here is too much some insight into my quirky personality: I choose the mug to drink out of depending on my mood for the day. My Salty Dog Cafe mug is for days I want to travel. My flowered mug is from Target and I drink out of that one when I need cheering up because it's so bright. My Central Perk mug is for days when I want to experience something fun! My Chicago Cubs mug is for when I'm missing baseball, and my Words Worth Books mug is for days when I just want to sit and read a good book. (Yes, I put that mug in the cupboard dirty to get this picture because yesterday was cold and rainy and it was a Words Worth Books mug kind of day.)

6. Can you do a push-up? Depends on who you ask. If you ask me, I say, "Yes!" and if you ask Dave, he'd say, "NO!"

7. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? After I read Bekah's answer, I felt like I had to say my wedding ring, but honestly, I love all my necklaces. I haven't been wearing many this winter but as soon as summer hits, I'll be wearing a necklace every day. Yay!

My necklace collection

8. Do you have a hobby? Reading, reading, and reading again! Can traveling be considered a hobby, because if so, then add that to the list too.

9. Do you wear glasses? Only when I'm not wearing my contacts :) My glasses are ancient (like nine years old) so I should probably get them updated soon.

10. Who was your childhood idol? I think it was probably Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wanted to be a pioneer woman, wear a sunbonnet, and have braids with ribbons.

11. Name three drinks you drink regularly?
Coffee-hot chocolate, Coke, and tea.

Here is a gratuitous picture of my tea cupboard
with a closeup of some of my favourite tea mugs!

12. Favorite place to be? In the winter, I daydream about reading in bed, surrounded by flannel sheets with my comfort bag on my feet. In the summer, I love being in the backyard reading, watching the kids play.

13. How did you bring in the new year? We all drank some prosecco and then we put Rachel to bed and I read Harry Potter to Sam until midnight. It was very exciting.

Prosecco and Harry Potter for the win!

14. Where would you like to go? Everywhere! Ummm... the next adventure on my bucket list is an Eastern Canada road trip. I want to go to Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. If we could combine that with an Eastern US road swing as well, I'd be happy :) I also still want to drive Route 66.
At the beginning of Route 66 this past summer.
Sadly, we had a different road trip planned 
and this was as far as we got on Route 66.

15. Do you own slippers? Yes! I'm always wearing slippers. And in the summer, I wear flipflops in the house. I hate going barefoot inside.

16. Can you whistle? Sadly, no. Sam currently whistles while he's playing and I'm a little envious.


17. Last thing that made you laugh? Making a Bitmoji with my dad and trying on all the different costumes. We laughed until we were crying. We have a very exciting life :)
18. What's your favorite animal? None. I really don't have favourite animals. If I have to choose something, I'd say a fish.

19. Worst pain? I don't know. I don't have a good answer for this one, thankfully.

20. Do you like to dance? Yes! Am I good at it? No! But I LOVE to dance.

Let me know if you decide to answer these questions because, as I said above, I love reading posts like this.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017


After too many very busy, slightly insane, weekends, it was so nice that this past weekend was pretty empty. On Friday night we invaded the grocery store and bought a few bouquets of spring flowers. The kids each got to pick one, and I got to pick two. Yay!
On Saturday we got to listen to the first Blue Jays' game of the year. It was a Spring training game, and since last year, I've totally forgotten how unfamiliar all the names are during these games. This is basically the time of year when baseball management is determining who will make the Blue Jays' squad and who will end up in the minor leagues so you rarely get to hear the familiar names. Sometimes I couldn't even tell which team was up to bat. #firstworldproblems
For the past two weeks (is a tradition yet?!??!), we've made homemade pizzas. Sam is trying to perfect every symmetrical pizza he can. Rachel is trying to perfect the art of the cheese pizza. We all need goals, right?

Sunday was a long morning at church. I was in the nursery with Tessa and Anya and we had a college choir visiting. Our service is normally an hour and fifteen minutes (give or take). Well this one was almost two hours long. Ack :() It was a very long time to be on nursery duty.
We revived by cleaning the playroom in the afternoon, putting all of last year's photos into an album (508 photos for one year), and having a cuddly photo shoot. Okay, the kids spontaneously cuddled and I grabbed some pictures quickly before it devolved.
And that was our weekend. It may sound boring to you but I was excited because I got almost everything crossed off my to do list. I think that, right there, is the definition of being an adult, "When exciting is defined by if your 'to do list' gets finished." Ha!