Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Bamboo Lounge

In it's current state.
You will recall I named it this because of the funky wallpaper and carpet. Recently A replaced the baseboard heater and the temperature in there often borders on tropical. I was planning to do an accent colour of apple green in this room when it finally gets redone so when I saw these cute green pillow very much on sale at Pier One I had to grab them. Hey if you can't beat em, incorporate them into your design plan!And yes, this is what it looks like when it is clean!

See there on top of the TV...the black thingy next to a smaller green thingy? That is my kettlebell (15lbs- black) next to R's little kettlebell (5lbs- green). Wow, do we have a lot of toys or what!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Master Needs work

Plain Jane and pretty much undecorated.
Sadly this Master bedroom that is slept in almost round the clock sometimes (due to shift work) is neglected.
This new duvet cover is light blue and the white bedskirt is new too, but still it is pretty lacking. I have to say I don't really even have any ideas because I am focusing my design energy on the basement. I did decide on pale blue and grey for a colour scheme. I have loved blue forever and it seems calming and quiet to me. Otherwise, I am stumped. This is another situation where the wawawa of the Backyardigains secret agents getting caught in a booby trap come to mind.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kids Rooms Update

I know I am so uncreative with the titles. Sigh. Sorry can't help it I am a little tired and I feel a cold coming on. Creativity is gone. Here are some pictures of the kids rooms in their brief clean state!!
These are little shelves in the shape of red airplanes that I got at the LTO dutch auction last year. They have been sitting in the closet since then waiting to be hung up. When they announced that the dutch auction is coming up again I was shamed into forcing A to hang them once I realized it had been a whole year! Now the boys each have a little place to put their treasures at night.

This is their room, besides the shelves and the new car shaped night light on the dresser it is pretty much the same as always.
L got a lower case l on her wall thanks to a vinyl decal that was on sale at HomeSense. Every time she looks at it she points and says Mama because she saw me putting it up. Everyone says it looks like a #1, but it is an L I tell you!
I still have fabric stars that I would like to stick to the wall around that decal, but I don't know if that will actually ever happen. I also have white fabric for roman shades and cute trim fabric for each bedroom, but I would need a good day to make those so maybe in April I will get to it! Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Song Lyrics Sunday

by Chris Tomlin

Open up the skies of mercy
And rain down the cleansing flood
Healing waters rise around us
Hear our cries Lord let 'em rise
Open up the skies of mercy
And rain down the cleansing flood
Healing waters rise around us
Hear our cries Lord let 'em rise

It's Your kindness Lord
That leads us to repentance
Your favor Lord, is our desire
It's Your beauty Lord
That makes us stand in silence
Your love
Your love
Is better than life

There are a few more verses, but this is what I was thinking about today.

Living Room

More updates. This is the living room now.

I am still uncertain about the fireplace. I painted the mantel Chelsea Gray and I like it. I thought it looked too choppy with black bookcases around a white mantel. But I think I would like it better if the mantel, bricks and bookcases were all white. But the thought of all that painting makes me want to take a nap, so it is gray for now.

The new pics are our Christmas Photo shoot pictures. I smile so big every time I look at those. Love em.

I am still looking for a new living room rug to buy with my Christmas money. This old green one has done it's time for sure.

Here is a little before so you can see what it looked like when we bought the place. Pink and blue striped drapes and all.

And here is my Grandpa's rolltop dresser, providing tons of storage here in the living room. The chairs were A's grandparents then his parents then ours when we first got married.
Well that's what it looks like now!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I had friends over the other day and that necessitated a little house cleaning. So I took the opportunity to take a few pics before it all got messed up again.

Here is the current incarnation of the Kitchen and Dining Room. Did I mention the weather was like spring - clear, sunny and mild.
When we first moved into this house I thought the kitchen redo was high on my list of priorities. But now I really think I am learning to like it with just the white paint and new handles. The floor is even growing on me.
Subway tiled backsplash is still on the to do list, and some day a new counter, but really I am enjoying the openness and space.

Even though it is a bit oversized I am still loving the table and chairs and think it was the right choice for us and the space. But the dining room light is my favorite thing in this space.

That's it! Stay tuned for more house updates!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I know no one else wants to see this...

But I know next year I will want to know how I decorated! So here is Christmas...

Each boy had one of these trees in their room. L had a different mini tree in her room.This is the advent calendar my mom bought for us. They loved it!
Here is my live arrangement I made at Ladies Time Out with the candles my mom gave me.
Here is my silver tray turned chalk board. I got the idea from the shabby nest
Somehow I didn't get a picture of the whole mantel, but here is half the decorations anyway. Note my supercute sconces and the "joy" hanging that I also made at LTO.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

10 years!

We have been married for 10 full years. Wow. People aren't kidding when they say it feels like they have been married forever. Truly it is hard to remember the wedding, engagement stage of our life. We dated for 5 years before we were married so really we have been together half or lives now.
We celebrated our anniversary with a trip downtown, we were gone for three nights and it seemed long, extravagant and relaxing. Thanks again to the grandparents for taking the kids. Between you and me I think they are still recovering!

A at the Teahouse where we got engaged, at the very bench in fact where we got engaged. This time we had a lovely brunch there.
The two of us from the same spot. Can you believe how gorgeous his eyes are? And all the kids have blue eyes. Oh, the weather wasn't great so we didn't sit and reminisce for long.
We went out to one fancy dinner at a French restaurant, it was yummy. We dressed up like fancy grown ups.
This was the view from the hotel room, nice.
Highlight of the trip included the two of us shopping, eating out, working out, sleeping in, getting a massage, having coffee sitting down and walking a lot. The best part was that we were ready to get back to the kiddies when Monday rolled around! All in all a perfect anniversary.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Laundry Room update

Well. The laundry room is functional so my hubby is done. Great, thanks honey. It works but still needs a good coat of white on all the trim/bench/ etc.
My favorite part is the laundry chute. My knees are so thankful for all the trips up and down the stairs this prevents. So thankful!Here is what my beautiful laundry chute looks like from the outside....
And these are the unpainted shelves and bench. This is much needed storage for our busy family. And so great that the boys can put away their own stuff when we come home. It is prettier than this now but I don't have a current picture. I am working on it though, an updated picture will be coming soon-ish!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Resolution update

I think I should address how I am doing with my New Year's goals. Let me see, what were they again... oh ya.

1- Meal planning: wa, wa, wa. That's the sound the Backyardigans make when they are secret agents and they get caught in a booby trap. In other words- not so good. I planned and made about 3 meals per week over the last 2 weeks. I have also fed the kids Mickey D's once already and it's only the second week of January.

2- Exercising. I was hoping to fit in a bunch of mini workouts and enjoy them. The first week I did 3 workouts, this past week I only did 2. I wanted to do more but with work and feeling sick 2 of the nights the time got away from me. I am shooting for 3 this week and planning to up my water intake. The best plan would be to wake early to exercise, shower and then pray and get all my goals going before anyone else wakes up, but that is easier said than done. And it requires going to sleep early, I have trouble with that even if I am in bed by 9. I blame the shift work ;^)

3- Then we come to praying. I have been setting aside 15 minutes a day and journaling my prayers. I am finding it enjoyable, comforting. I am trying to focus on listening too. I like what Pastor Chris said today about starting where you are. I am at 15 minutes, and it is a good place to grow from.
All in all I think I am getting there! Ok, except for the meal part. We are having salmon and salad tomorrow though, ok?

Song Lyric Sunday

I Waited (from Psalm 40)

I originally sang this song at camp so I am not really sure who wrote it. And when I searched I found it attributed
to Petra. It pains me to even write that ;^) We sang a version of Psalm 40 at church that reminded me of this version.

I waited

For the Lord on High

I waited

And he heard my cry.


He pulled me out of my despair
And showed me where to walk:
From fear into security
From quicksand into rock.


I sing to let the people know
That I have been restored.
So they will kneel and understand
To return and trust in the Lord.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sweet No Guilt Treat

If you have had a night shift with me, oh say in the last 6 months, you know I am now very much into Agave Nectar, as a replacement for sugar, honey, syrup, and all things sweet. It is sweeter than honey, it is WAY lower on the glycemic index (means it won't raise blood sugar, won't get stored as fat, is generally better for you), and it tastes good. I discovered a recipe for brownies that have no sugar, only Agave. No white flower, instead spelt and whole wheat flour. And no butter, just olive oil. Oh, and there is cooked sweet potato in there too. Sound gross? Gagging on your crunchy granola? They are not. They are good. So good that my kids love them, even the picky one (that would be K. This is L in the picture). I have to hide them so my kids can't gobble them all up, because they will!

I would give you the recipe, but I left it at work, doh!
Here is a link to someone else who likes them too and took the time to type out the recipe, you gotta try these Brownies.
PS- I just found this blog by googling clean eating brownies, I have no idea what else is on there!
PPS- I recently discovered there is some controversy over Agave brands, I am looking into the Superstore brand to see if it is ok or not. The stuff I get at Planet Organic was highly recommended, so I might go back to that just to be safe.


I have been wanting to write about my Dad for a bit, but I haven't. I haven't really written anything for a while. I guess you noticed that.
Sometimes I have been just sitting around on my butt. Lack of motivation. When the kids are occupied I just sit.
Sometimes I am in over my head. Busy with stuff. Work, Christmas, chores. You know there is always something to do.
Sometimes I have been too tired. I started a new medication a while ago that makes me exhausted, so it has been hard for me to keep up with the regular tasks, let alone sitting quietly and thinking and writing those thoughts out.
But enough with excuses and back to my sweet Dad who turned 65 yesterday.
He doesn't really know we are visiting him, or who we are if we do. But I still miss him when I can't get over there to say hello. There are many things to lament about the horrible villain we call Alzheimer's Disease. Like how he will never call my kids by name, or watch them play soccer and teach them about positioning. He will never paint another picture or carve a rustic figure again. Or the torture caused by his own mind as he hallucinates terrible things. But those are things that are and can't be changed.
I am thankful he was a great Dad, coming to every soccer game, explaining how things worked, delighting in my quirky uniqueness and that of my sister. He was gentle and loving, he helped with homework and drove for school field trips. He did my hair while we watched Hockey Night in Canada. I remember him very fondly when my son asks me how the TV works and when we are setting up the Christmas tree. He was a good Dad and I am thankful to have had him to love me and set me an example. Happy Birthday Dad!
As an aside, L is next to me and keeps saying "Bapa!" every time she sees his picture!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Totally random thoughts...

I should be posting lots of things, as lots of things have happened and I have a few pictures to prove it, but.... I would rather write about the random thoughts bouncing around my head and get to the practical (and interesting) stuff later.

I didn't really feel the Christmas spirit this year and I think it was because there were no surprises for me. Except from my own Mummy. I did aim for stress free, and it was fun but pretty low key, no panic, no over doing it and NO GUILT. That is a major accomplishment for me. To let things go and not lament the lack of them, or think how better of a person I would be if they got done (or done properly). We did a gingerbread house, we did Christmas concerts, we did cards (eventually), and we downscaled the family presents. My mom gave my kids a children's literature collection that was mine from my Grandpa in 1985, and a ring given to her by my late Grandma. All very treasured and meaningful and essentially free. Love that.

The other day at IKEA we saw a lady walking around in a full burqa. I told you this was going to be random! She was wearing a cream coloured floor length outfit and boots with a caramel coloured robe over it- long sleeved and just a bit shorter than her full length dress. And then she had a full head covering with a veil so only the small area around her eyes was showing. I noticed right away and A noticed shortly there after. He just remarked it was unusual to see a lady with her whole face covered around here. And it is. There is a fairly large Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern population around here, I personally know many people who immigrated from Iran. And it is not out of the ordinary to see a lady with her hair covered. But this was surprising.
I also noticed that my kids didn't blink an eye, didn't say what's that or anything. I initially felt bad, wondering if she had any autonomy and if she was respected. Then I watched as she and her husband browsed and held hands, and their body language did not portray any such issues. SO then I felt bad for assuming things based on religious choices. Why was I so ready to judge?
Any way I thought about it quite a bit and decided I am thankful for my own exposure to different ways of doing things and that my kids will see how so many different people live. That is amazing and exciting.

On a completely different note...
I worked a lot this year. A and I only had 3 days off together in October and 4 or 5 in November. Busy for us, for the kids, for everyone. I am going to try and work a bit less this year. I only went back to work in April (maybe the end of March) but I checked my pay stub before Christmas and I grossed more than some entire families that I know. Wow. That means I was up a lot of nights. I am happy that I was able to contribute and happy that despite the major basement renos (we are at the insulation stage in case you are wondering) we have only a few hundred $$ on our line of credit. I think that is great. Really, a bit of an accomplishment. Still since all (or at least most) of the professional stuff is done, it should be less expensive to do this stage. Right? Or do tiles cost more than plumbers? I hope not.

I am making resolutions for 2010, sort of. I am making general goals and moving away from the all-or-nothing 'oh no I failed again' Jessica of years passed.

I am again choosing to seek out exercise that I enjoy. This was a goal last year and I did stay active more than my usual. I liked it. I walk R to school and back (that's 4 trips up my street) 3 days a week and I drive the other 2 only because K's preschool is basically at the same time as Kindergarten so the distance and 2 location issue makes our walk impossible. That's an hour a week of enjoyable exercise built in to my life. Nice!

Then this year I discovered the Kettlebell. Oh I am so hooked, I love that thing. If you don't know what I mean you should type it into you tube and watch for a bit. It is cardio, weights, functional training and intervals all in one little (heavy) package. It makes me feel like a kid, and like an athlete all at once. I am just mastering snatches, which are tricky, but make me feel like an olympic weight lifter, only with 15lbs ;^) I think the mental key for me is to associate myself with the athletic side and not to picture myself as a girlie at the gym just trying to be skinny. The goal is to do better than I have in the past and have fun sweating, not to loose a certain amount of weight.

So I found a bunch of interval style workouts, using the Kbell, stability ball and bodyweight. All workouts 12 minutes long. I am aiming to add this to my life because it seems doable. This week 2 workouts and I will hopefully go up from there.

Also I am resolving to work on my prayer life. I am going to be doing a book on prayer with my beloved homegroup and am much looking forward to that. I even got a second copy for A so he can read it too. But he is becoming a bit of an ebook snob and asked if there was a digital version. You're welcome honey, I know you're glad I thought of you...

Also meal planning to feed my family better and to keep sending in check, not that we are really extravagant, but it is a good idea. I just dislike the whole thing, but I am going to work on it.

As always there are lots of other things floating around this disorganized head, but I think I shall stop right here. The boys are watching a movie and L is sleeping (yeah Naps!) and all that will end sooner or later. The dirty dishes on the counter are calling my name.