Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The things you can say without words

Juliette won't trust you when she first meets you - and you'll be able to tell.

Maybe she'll scowl at you or maybe she'll just look really skeptical.

When she's not being wildly surprised or shocked...

But she'll realize again, she's not so sure about you.

Good thing she warms up with some beautiful smiles eventually :)

Uppercase Living - my newest project

I've been up to something new! Something else to add to my boring and dull existence ;)

I've joined Uppercase Living as a demonstrator!!

When I first saw their product a little over a month ago at a small entrepreneur show I got really excited - I LOVE wall decals!! And these ones are totally customizable - colour, size, and if they don't have the words I want, I can simply create them!

Anyways, I fell instantly in love with the idea and joined pretty much right away. I've officially launched so feel free to check it out. You can shop online (Canada or the US) from my web site, or I can come to you and do a bit of a presentation and you get all kinds of host benefits.

Check it out! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kiernan gets a haircut

This morning Brie wrote a post for Kids in the Capital about cutting her kids' hair and I was inspired. I've been wanting to try it for awhile and I Kiernan was BADLY in need of a cut. Very badly!

Then we wet it and made funny faces.

I started with scissors. This did not work well. He wiggled, he thought everything tickled, he would get up and leave, he just about made me insane.

With half his hair cut I got really ticked and threatened to take him to a barber. Instead I brought him upstairs, stripped him down and stuck him in the tub and used Eric's clippers.

In the end that worked really well - although I wouldn't do it naked again. Made him very itchy and I felt bad about that. Maybe outside would work better.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and am sure I'll do this again - cheaper than going to a barber! And I think he looks pretty darned handsome!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Atelier Restaurant

It's not often Eric comes home talking excitedly about a restaurant he's heard about, but what he heard about Atelier Restaurant immediately intrigued him. He started watching the youtube videos and reading the blog and would tell me all about the interesting things they were doing.

The restaurant is pricey so we couldn't justify it for just any occasion, but our fifth wedding anniversary seemed worthy. And for this night, Losing it in Ottawa did not enter into my head :)

I wasn't going to bring my camera in... I get shy taking photos in public. But once I saw someone with their point and shoot taking flash photos of every course I figured I could take some subtle photos without the flash. :)

The food at Atelier is a work of art. Each piece of each meal is carefully thought out in terms of look and taste and how it all works together. Each course as in all 12 of them! Atelier has what they call a blind menu - essentially you eat what they're making that night. They do ask if you have any allergies, dislikes, etc before you start. We decided to just go with whatever came at us.

We started with Down by the Bay - it not only had "sea foam", an oyster and was served on a river rock.... there was grilled watermelon (which was a HEAVENLY mouthful). Genius start to the meal.

The presentation was divine and there were so many flavours that I am usually not the biggest fan of that just WORKED when put into these combinations.

This course was called cocktail party and you ate them in a specific order. Each piece was on a piece of cheddar and ranged from "french onion soup" to a jalapeno popper with dehydrated bacon, and apple pie.

What's a tomato salad with a dehydrated tomato chip on top?

I don't really like goat's cheese. Eric doesn't like sweet potato. I've never had duck before. All three things together was one of the most pleasant taste experiences of my life. Drool.... drool!

This was squab. I'd never heard of squab. It was cooked using this method of cooking called sous-vide that Eric has been telling me about for a long time. Again, I'm obviously no food writer because all I want to say is OMG DROOL DROOL SO YUMMY!

Three dessert courses my friends! This one was called high five.

This one came out smoking :)

I didn't take a photo of every course, but every course was divine. The wine pairings were a highlight for Eric - I chose to just have a couple of glasses of white because red gives me headaches.

The meal isn't cheap, but it was worth every penny - and we intend to go back for Eric's birthday! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark's made me feel like a million bucks

I was lucky enough to be one of the people who knew that Mark's Work Wearhouse is more than just boots and uniforms and clothing for working outside. I've shopped there for myself a little (one of my FAVOURITE pairs of PJs is from there) and Eric has quite a bit of his clothing from there.

I like them enough that a month or two ago when I drove by two stores and their signs were coming down I was in a bit of a panic and ran to twitter to find out what was going on!! Fiouf - just a rebrand... their signs quickly went back up as Mark's.

Because really, Mark's Work Wearhouse really isn't the right name any more. Their store is full of fabulous and fashionable clothing for women and men, on top of their workhorse clothing.

And Mark's is all about innovations that are handy for everyone! Hello? Ironfree clothing - count us in! Salt resistant boots for Ottawa is pretty much genius, and so is their tmax insulation, because sadly we live in a city that often goes to very depressingly low temperatures. Also, shape retention and 100 wash clothing - fabulous! A few other cool things I didn't know they did - you can get an appointment with a personal shopper to come and help you pick out clothing FOR FREE! And you can have at home shopping parties where they bring the clothing to you, and like all at home parties, the hostess gets some extra goodies for themselves towards their own purchases.

They also have fun stations around the store to test out their clothing and... entertain the customers :)

Test out that footwear!

How well is that winter gear you're about to buy going to hold up to our winters?
Test it out (tip - do NOT got in in a tshirt. brr)

They invited a bunch of bloggers marksovers in one of the newly branded Ottawa stores and I was super excited to get to attend! What I didn't expect was that so much would fit me. As thrilled as I was to head to this makeover there was this part of me that was nervous - they didn't ask me what size I wear, can they accommodate someone in a size bigger than a 14 or 16? I knew I had PJs that fit, but stretchy pjs and pants are two completely different things. And I admit I haven't tried to find anything for myself since pre-pregnancy days at Mark's. They go up to 18-20 in the pants and XXL in many things (although I was pleased to find myself in XL and not XXL).

The experience itself was stellar. We got pampered - makeup, hair, personal stylist. And then a photoshoot - all making us feel like a million bucks. That was something this mama really needed! And I requested an outfit that was easy to care for, comfortable, but also something I could go out with (not just the yoga pant/tshirt combo). I love love my outfit down to the little heels that go with it.

Thank you so much Mark's for a great day and for making me realize you're a store I need to be shopping at more often!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I can't believe he's four. He goes to school - every day, all day. He has long (ohhh how they are long) and complicated conversations. He remembers SO much! He loves his brother and sister. He still loves to give hugs and kisses. He still likes to sit on my knee, although it's too annoying to stand because he never stops moving.

He went from this

to this:

in a heartbeat.

Sometimes I wish it would slow down. But mostly, I am honoured to get to witness him live and grow.

Happy birthday to the most amazing four year old I know :) (no offense to all the other fabulous four year olds ;)

Meal Plan - week 1

Over at Losing it in Ottawa I promised I would put together a full meal plan for this week and post it on my blog. So here it is! A bunch are new recipes, I'll let you know how they turn out.

Dirty rice is an easy throw it all together meal I've made many times over the years and I made Tinbuktuna for the first time last week and it was the only week all meal the entire family ate. If for that alone, I will make it weekly from now on if I need to ;)

Also, I'm having a giveaway over on my Losing it Post - so go check it out!

I have no idea why the table is way the heck down the post so... scroll down wouldya? :)

flavoured tuna & cucumber on pita
The thigh who loved me
Crazy Plates, pg 97
Crumpet and peanut butter
tv dinner (weight watchers or lean cuisine)
Ham and cheese eggs
Out for dinner
ham sandwich
Sizzling Sesame Shrimp
Crumpet and peanut butter
tuna sandwich
Dirty Rice
Nephew's birthday *fingers crossed*
Loafstyles of the Rich and Famous
Turkey meatloaf - Looney Spoons pg 92
pancakes and eggs
Beef stew

Thursday, September 09, 2010

365 update - the one where I almost quit

I almost quit 365 this week. In fact, I almost quit 365 on day 100.

Why? Because I found myself struggling to take a photo every day. Some days I had many great ones, but all too often I was taking a photo of a wall in my house at 11 at night just to say I took something. For some reason I am stuck on the fact that the photo NEEDS to be from the day it's supposed to be from - no fudging. And if I can't do that, I may as well quit.

Day 100 was the worst. I pathetically took a photo at 11ish with my iphone - too lazy to go out to the van to get my real camera.

100 : 365

In case you missed it, the muffins say 100 - but I can't take credit for that, Angela helped me figure out SOMETHING. You know, at 11 at night.

The next morning I had pretty much decided to quit. But, I am a tweeter. I tweeted my intent. And I was talked out of it :)

Apparently some of you like looking at my photos? (oh look, she's blatantly asking for praise ;) I'm told the lame photos are more than made up for by the good ones. And I admit that being forced to pick up my camera (almost) daily has made for some photos I probably never would have gotten otherwise.

I think it's been too long for me to go through ALL the photos I took since my last update post, so instead here are some of my favourites:

Juliette - the personality pours out of every pore
84: 365

Quinn - could he look any more pleased with himself?
85 : 365

Kiernan - sitting in the tall grass at Eric's family's farm
89 : 365

We drive to get the babies to sleep a lot. Now I stop and take photos
90 : 365

Kiernan at the MacKenzie King Estate
91 : 365

First day of school. First day on the bus. Big big day
94: 365

Happy boys in a cow train
98: 365 Cow barrel riders

I am very proud of this one. There are others from the set here if you're interested.
99 : 365

The day I didn't quit (day 101)
101 : 365

I guess I'm glad I didn't quit :)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

First day of school

Today Kiernan went to school. For the whole day by himself! Like the totally big boy that he is; even when Mommy wants to live in denial.

We've been talking about school for a long time. Months and months. And he was excited! But this past week he started getting hesitant. He was more shy than I think I'd ever seen him during the one on one interview with the teacher and that kind of threw me off.

Then he announced he didn't want to go to school - he was afraid of his teachers, he told me. And he didn't want to take the school bus.


In the end, I thought it would be good for him to take the bus so we convinced him to take the bus but that we would be at school to meet him and make sure it went well. We got him all ready, put on his big backpack.

Then we removed his big backpack, took out about half the stuff he needed to take for his first day and put it in a separate bag that I brought for him. Man they need a lot of stuff!

Then we put the backpack back on and walked to the corner to meet the bus.

It was a very emotional moment, I must admit. But he got on no problem and off to school he went. And we rushed back home, got the twins in the car and headed over to the school. Where we had to wait a good 10-15 minutes for the bus to arrive. After about five minutes my anxiety started building, because you know, obviously something happened to the bus in the tiny distance it had to go ;)

But finally it arrived and I could see that there was an older girl on the bus helping him put his backpack back on and he got off the bus happy and told me the bus was fun. Yay! Success!

We went into the school and started walking towards his class when he said "so we're going to meet the teacher?" uh oh. I told him no, he was going to be staying there for the day and he started to whine and say he wanted to go home. The instant he saw the teacher he threw himself behind me and started to sob. oh boy.

After about 5 minutes of sobbing and talking I got him into the classroom and got his bag on his hook and the teacher said she'd take over. Ok. I knew it was the right thing to do so I left my sobbing baby with this stranger at SCHOOL. And then I peered in the window on the other side of the classroom as I left and saw him standing there holding the teacher's hand sobbing. And it sucked my friends, it sucked.

But I left and I tried to relax and I went home. And I reminded myself that Kiernan is good in new situations, that he's social and he's smart and he could deal with being at school. And I convinced myself it was true - lord help me if I hadn't been able to, I would have spent the day crying in the dark or something.

I went out to meet the bus early, just in case. And the bus pulled up and no Kiernan came out. And the bus driver called for him and .... nothin'. So I got on the bus and I found Kiernan disoriented with a paper crown over his face - he'd fallen asleep on the bus ride home after a long and tiring day of school :)

And as we walked home with him in his paper crown and sporting a new tshirt with the picture of his new school mascot over the one he was already wearing he told me that he'd had a good day and school was fun. And he told me that he cried in the morning because he thought he didn't want to go to school. But actually, he did want to go to school. And that made me a very happy mommy indeed.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The one where the mama can't believe her baby is starting school tomorrow

Tomorrow my baby...

this one:

or maybe this one:

ok... actually this one...

is going to don his flashing spiderman backpack and his flashing firebolt sketchers and start kindergarden....

... and this mama's nerves are completely on edge.

How did my baby get to be old enough to start school?!

I am nervous for him because I know it won't always be easy. I am nervous for him because I never liked school and it was a long long road for me to get through. I hope for him that this will be a good experience. I hope for him that he will make friends and learn French quickly. I hope he will be happy and I hope he has fun.

And I hope I make it through tomorrow without ending up at the school trying to peer through windows making sure he's ok ;)