Tuesday, December 27, 2011
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
Sunday, November 13, 2011
This year we are starting a new tradition. The elf on a shelf is coming to live in our house. Every night in December, he will report to Santa about the kids' behaviour. When he returns in the morning, he will choose a different spot for observing the kids. When the kids wake up, they will have to find the elf. I think they'll love it. We'll see.
ps. I found the elf and story book at Chapters.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles,frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pinecones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been
deprived of the best part of...education.” Luther Burbank
Today, I found Joonas (once again) playing in the dirt. And you know what? I stopped myself from forbidding him. Kids are meant to explore and get dirty. They are meant to appreciate and have fun in the outdoors. They can't do that if they are never allowed to get dirty or sweaty or smelly. I shouldn't let my own laziness to help with the clean up afterwards stop them. So, I let him play.
Friday, August 19, 2011
One of my favourite things to do after the kids have gone to bed, is to sit on the patio. The weather cools down once the sun sets, but with a blanket, it's perfect. It's quiet. It's dark enough that candles don't seem out of place, but not dark enough to be depressing (winter). The geraniums are still blooming beautifully. A vanilla earl grey latte and I'm set.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
One of the many things that mark summer for me are fresh strawberries. Add a little whipped cream with cinnamon sugar on top and I'm in heaven! Unfortunately, I have found in recent years that local strawberries no longer taste as sweet as they used to. In fact, the California berries in big plastic containers taste way better. I wonder why? Maybe it's the rainy, cold springs here? The strawberries do kind of taste like mud...I like to eat local produce, but in this case, it's gonna be Californian or nothing!
Monday, June 27, 2011
I have this interesting curse. Products that I LOVE tend to get discontinued: makeup, food, tv shows, hairspray, clothing brands, restaurant menu items.... The hairspray that I used for years on my thin lifeless hair suddenly got "tweaked" and no longer works for me. My favourite tv show was canceled last month. I could go on...Recently, however, I have been forced to question whether this is actually a curse. Maybe it is in fact a blessing for someone so reticent to change, such as myself.
Case in point; I used to buy Costco's Tribe hummus. For years. I loved the stuff and never thought of buying hummus anywhere else. (I must be a marketers dream come true). That was until a few months ago when Costco discontinued my favourite hummus (as Costco has a bad habit of doing). I was left to complain bitterly to anyone who would listen and either a)try their new brand b)buy the Tribe hummus elsewhere or c)stop eating hummus. With much complaining and reluctance, I tried the new hummus at Costco. Okay, so it was pretty good. But in principle at least, I was annoyed that they had switched brands on me. This was a personal assault on faithful hummus-buying ways. But, I kept buying it because it was convenient, came in a two-pack and I was really starting to like the taste of it. A lot. Fast forward to this past week. I happened to be in Safeway and spotted some Tribe hummus. Yum! I thought I'd treat myself and bought some. If you haven't guessed already...I didn't like it! Compared to the "new" hummus I eat, this Tribe stuff is barely edible. So...maybe being forced into making changes isn't so bad. Imagine what I'd be missing out on if I was still eating bad hummus?
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Julie is great. Her twin boys are in Matias' class and play nicely with Matias and Joonas. On Friday, the husbands met for the first time when we went out for dinner downtown. It was a hit.
It's nice to have friends:)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Could you name one thousand gifts in your life? What do you think would happen if you tried? I'm reading this book pictured above, where the author decided to do just that. She wanted to appreciate the moments; she wanted to find joy in the now. So, I've started a list of my own. Every day I am adding things big and small as they happen. Today's highlights included dinner on the deck outside, sunshine glistening on the water in the pool, a morning sauna, and the excited yells of kids playing on the playground on a beautiful sunny day.
This book seems to fit into a theme in my life this year about gratitude and appreciation and slowing down. I don't know why I've been stuck on these ideas, but they just keep coming at me in unexpected ways. The pessimist in me thinks that perhaps something bad is about to happen. But is that any reason to not enjoy the moments now? In fact, if I KNEW something bad was going to happen, wouldn't I try even harder to appreciate every moment?
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I actually have really great neighbours. The older couple immediately next door always bring in our garbage and recycling (unless we get to it first and do theirs as well as our own). With two of the families who live in our "row", I started a rotating potluck. Every couple of months the three families get together at someone's house for a potluck. So far, I've really enjoyed it and highly recommend getting to know your neighbours.
Anyway, I am going to focus on kindness toward my neighbours: literally those who live near me, but also those who are my neighbours in a broader sense. Those with whom I interact in my daily life.
On a side note, the daffodils in the pic were a gift from a friend of mine. She bought herself one of these (fake) plants and thinking that I would like one too, bought one for me as well. Just like that. This is the example that I will follow this month, in things big and small.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
This year was the first time that we celebrated Matias' birthday at a venue, rather than at home. It went really well and considering that it was POURING rain that day, I was very happy to have booked a gymnastics party where the kids got to run around for 1.5 hours (especially since there were 14 of them)!
But, what I'm most happy about is the gift idea that I got from another mom. Instead of gifts for Matias, we had a "toonie party". This meant that each guest brought two toonies; no plastic toys from the dollar store, no wasted wrapping paper and no headache for the parents. Instead, they could bring two toonies. Matias would then take half the toonies ($2.00 coin in Canada) and use them to buy something he really wants for himself. The other half of the toonies, he will give to a charity or organization of his choosing. I love this idea! We have had some great conversations with Matias about who needs help and how we could help them. He hasn't decided for sure what he wants to do with the money, but I love the fact that he is thinking about it. I strongly believe that kids need to learn from an early age that they are able to contribute and "change the world".
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
So, Lent (the countdown to Easter) starts on Wednesday. As an exercise in self-discipline and going along with my focus on family this month, I have decided to give up the internet on Sundays. I could try to give it up for the entire six weeks of Lent, but that just isn't realistic. But since I am focusing on family this month anyway, no facebook for me on Sundays. No email either. Or surfing.
Some of you reading this may think that I am making too many lists and rules for myself. I disagree. I think that it's so much easier to focus on something by setting specific goals. It is very noble to decide to want to become a better person/spouse/parent/teacher/whatever, but without thinking about ways to get there, it will remain just that. A noble thought.
Monday, February 28, 2011
-clean out closets
-sort through teacher materials (this will kill me because there is SO. MUCH. PAPER.)
-clean up office
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I went for my first ever pedicure today. I don't know why I'd never gone since I've had facials and manicures before. Anyway, it was glorious. It was especially nice because I went with a friend and so we could sit side by side in self-massaging chairs, drink our Starbucks and chat while someone made our feet pretty.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
- Preheat oven to 400. Beat eggs with parsley, salt and pepper till well blended.
- Add in 3/4 cup mozzarella.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over med-high heat and add zucchini, onion, garlic, a dash of salt, and Italian seasoning. Cook till tender about seven minutes.
- Stir in egg mixture and cook until edges are set about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Top with slices of tomato. Put in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 mozzarella cheese and bake for five more minutes.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
So, in appreciating my health this month, I am trying to eat better. Truth be told, I am on a diet. I also joined a gym!! The trouble is that the weight that I have gained over years, doesn't melt off right away. I had been on my new diet for two days when I decided to weigh myself. I wasn't deluded in thinking that two days of dieting makes for major weight loss. However, two days of dieting seemed like such a long time that I figured it had been a week because that's what it felt like. So, I pulled out the scale and the number was EXACTLY the same; down to the nearest tenth of a pound. What?? How was that possibble?? Then, I realized, oh yeah, I had only eaten healthy for two days and laughed at myself.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I mentioned in a previous post that The Happiness Project was life-changing for me in 2010. It’s hard to explain why exactly. But one of the reasons is that the book made me think and re-evaluate things. One of the things I had to actually change was my attitude toward optimistic, cheery people. I used to think that those really bubbly, always positive people were shallow, dumb and downright annoying. (I’m being honest). But then I read the following: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” (G. K. Chesterton) In my effort to be a happier, more accepting, appreciative person, I realized that it is actually harder to be positive than negative. Cheerful optimists are not actually dumb; they just work harder to find the good in every situation. It turns out that to be negative and pessimistic is the easy road. In fact, I recently heard one of those perpetually positive people (who used to annoy me to no end) confess that she found herself in circumstances this past year where it was really hard for her to remain positive; she had to really work at it. Hmmm, who’d have thought?!
However, I do still maintain that there are oblivious people out there who always smile and think that things will work out. But why should I stress about them? Things usually DO work out for them just by dumb luck.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Here’s a list of the books that I read last year. There may be some that I have missed since it’s hard to keep track. Without a doubt, the best read of the year goes to The Happiness Project. I strongly believe that whether a particular book “moves” you depends on where you are in your life and what your interests are at that moment. For me, in 2010, The Happiness Project was life-changing. I will probably write about it in a later post. It’s one of those books that left me with lots of things to think about and mull over.
-The Happiness Project
-Shadow of the Wind
-Happily Ever After
-Time is a River
-Literacy and Longing in LA
-Love and Logic
-The Spellmans Strike Again
-The Girl Who Chased the Moon
-Is That A Fact?
-Savor the Moment
-The Red Tent
-A Fine Balance
-The Book of Negroes
-Knit the Season
-Three Day Road
-The Lost Symbol
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I have actually had the word appreciate in my mind every single day. I'm hoping that it really is making me slow down and reflect on what's important. No, I haven't met all my goals every day. Exercise, for example, is a tough one. That's why I am glad I am giving myself a month to focus on health and wellness. No guilt for the odd day when I forget/miss something.
Today I appreciate the following things that contributed to my health and wellness:
-swim and sauna
-a great cup of coffee
-an aunt who watches the boys and always cleans a little while doing so
PS. No, I won't always be posting about appreciating things. I'm still snarky, sarcastic me after all...
Monday, January 3, 2011
As I mentioned in my previous post, my word of the year is APPRECIATE. I have decided to choose one area for each month on which I would like to focus. It’s too overwhelming to think about appreciating everything in every area of my life. I think that the whole idea just gets lost. So, in choosing specific areas, I am hoping to focus my efforts. Of course a lot of the areas overlap. In focusing first on health and wellness, I am hoping that I am actually able to appreciate everything else on my list since I expect to be more engaged, alert and patient, less tired etc. However, I tried to pick logical times of year for certain areas. The boys are out of school in August, so that is a good time to focus on appreciating them (it’s not because they are my eighth priority). Anyway, here’s my list:
January: health and wellness
I’m not sure how much I will be sharing in my blog, but at least for January, I’ll share that I am also making a list of specific ways that I want to appreciate wellness and health. This may sound onerous to some, but I want my efforts to be somewhat measurable, even if only to myself. So, in order to achieve wellness and health in January, my goals are:
-watch less tv (no surfing channels for something to watch; recorded programs only)
-get enough sleep (absolute bedtime by 11:30)
-limit internet use (esp. facebook)
-eat more healthily (specifically cut down on butter use and baking)
-exercise of some form every day
-read at least three books
-drink more water
-no night snacking after dinner (other than fruit or decaf tea/coffee)
Sunday, January 2, 2011
A blog that I follow had an interesting idea. The author chooses one word each year to be her "word of the year". I kind of like that better than having a list of resolutions, which inevitably get broken. After giving it some thought, I think my word of the year will be APPRECIATE.
This evening as I was driving to the grocery store, I saw the most stunning sunset I have seen in years. I had to pull over and take a couple pictures and just stop to stare and appreciate.