Monday, 20 June 2016

Treats of the Week - Solstice

Happy Solstice, everyone!  It's the longest day of the year, and miraculously it didn't feel that way at work today!  Today is also the first time since 1967 that it's a full Strawberry moon on the same day as the Solstice, so get out there to check it out tonight if you can!

  • Thursday night was a concert night!  Jenn and I had a little road trip across the border to see Flight of the Conchords in Detroit and it was so great!  They put on an amazing show - if you ever get a chance to see them live you should definitely do it!

  • Hey hey hey, look who finally painted the coffee table!  My initial plan was to sand it down and stain it, but per usual I got bored of that and decided to just paint it instead.  It's so nice having a coffee table in the living room again and equally nice to have the space back in the garage!

  • Today was 50% off day at Talize and not only did I score some great books (David Rakoff?  Yes, please!) I also managed to pillage the pin and brooch section for a few scores.

  • The bulk of the week was taken up with the dance recital which happened on Saturday.  Not only was Vivian in four numbers and I was in two numbers but I was also recruited at the last minute to be the MC again.  Everything went off beautifully - the kids were adorable and talented, I babbled my way through the nearly five hour recital and even managed to pull off the dance routines with minimum errors.  It was a great, albeit long, day.  I'm so relieved to have it over for a little while before Circus Camp starts up in the summer (Vivian is already asking when that will be)

I love being a part of a dance family and being engaged and involved in what happens behind the scenes, but holy cow can it ever be exhausting.  This week is our first week of no yoga, no swimming, no dance, just baseball on Saturday and I am SO RELIEVED.  It's so nice for it to finally be summer and just enjoy some quiet nights.  I haven't had much freelance work lately, which really sucks for the ol' bank account but has been nice for time.  I've been reading a lot and should be working on my final paper for my program.  Just having quiet nights at home with Vivian has been a real treat - and I can't wait for her to be done school so we can enjoy our summer nights even more.  Not much longer before my vacation time kicks in on July 1st and then I will really be able to get some things done around here!

Monday, 13 June 2016

Treats of the Week - New Track Pants Make Me Happy

It seems we get no reprieve from bad news these days.  Having access to the news 24 hours a day means we wake up to horrors on our phones before we even have our coffee.  It's heartbreaking, and it's exhausting.  I certainly don't have any answers (although maybe not allowing civilians to have assault rifles would be a good place to start, but what do I know?) but I know what treats make me feel better.

First and foremost - it's Monday which means there's a new episode of UnREAL (which is the best show and you need to be watching it!!!) and I'm wearing  my comfy new Walmart special track pants so I'm pretty cozy on my couch tonight.  (I needed the track pants for my dance costume next weekend.  The fact that they're perfectly soft and warm on a cool night like this was perfectly serendipitous.)

  • YOU GUYS - Breaking the Magician's Code is on Netflix!  I remember being so torn about this when it came out.  I love magic, but I don't necessarily want to know how it works.  I am, however, a ruiner of things at heart so I had to watch it.  I had no idea it was an ongoing series though - I remember it being a special or two?  Maybe it was like a two-hour special that they've broken into half hour episodes for Netflix or something.  In any event, the Masked Magician is back!

  • I got carded at the LCBO last week, which isn't all that unusual for me.  (Hooray!)  I loved the cashier's reaction though - she said I was "very well preserved" and that she never would have guessed I was 33.  I'll take it!
  • I went back to the Mission Store and got the attention of one of the little old ladies to open the case for me.  I totally scored on pins!  Western, Ontario, Sudbury Police, a moth, that amazing Lambton County Science Fair, Dick Tracy, and the Musical Ride?!  I ended up spending a whopping $3.50 on this collection of bad boys and couldn't have been more pleased!

  • Jenn and I had our first Earls patio of the season on Friday and it was lovely.  They have the best patio, my favourite menus, my favourite sushi, amazing beer, and we had the same hot waiter we had last year.  Couldn't have asked for a better evening.

  • Vivian had her long 3-night stretch with her dad this past weekend, which always makes for an extra-cuddly Sunday for us when she gets home.  She was spending Sunday night at my mom's because of a dance performance today, but I was more than happy to cuddle her and let her fall asleep on my shoulder last night.
  • I was pretty amused by this old sign - can anyone guess where I found it?

  • The dance recital is coming together quickly - final runs are this week and I have a horse costume to start working on tonight.  Vivian and I are so excited - and I finally feel like I really have a handle on the Dance Moms routine!
  • Friday night was a Kula Mall at Brown & Dickson and I met some lovely vendors and ended up with some great finds.  I really do love buying things from small businesses - you get such a special connection with people and end up with such wonderful stories.  
  • Vivian has been asking for ages to have a playdate with her buddy Lily.  Now that they go to different schools they don't get to see each other as often.  We finally got our schedules together to head to the park on Sunday for a playdate - and actually managed to catch the little train in the park.  Clearly it was a very sunny day.

  • I got a little visit in with this fluffy haired little devil today - he couldn't possibly being any cuter and he loves being held and snuggled - just what Aunt Ashlie likes.

Think happy thoughts everyone - let's take care of each other.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Treats of the Week - Random Encounters

It's been a weird week for encountering people.  Some of the encounters are good - like the gentleman and his son who offered me change for the meter when I was parking downtown.  Some of them are hilariously weird - like the dude who was in line in Dollarama and in a complete panic because he thought he was really close to Guelph but was actually over an hour away.  There was also the kind but odd man in the park who asked me to coffee (apparently I look like Geri from the Spice Girls and he could tell how beautiful my eyes were even though I had sunglasses on).  Then tonight there were the kids who I invited in from the storm, rather than leaving them to huddle together under a tree.  When I offered the one kid my phone to call his parents for a ride, he told them that "A really nice lady" let them in.  It's nice to be a nice.

Other treats!

  • Yesterday was the 6th birthday of my niece Blair, the sweetest little pixie of a person I've ever met.  Happy Birthday, Blair!  I said we would celebrate by having a special day with just her and Vivian - maybe a trip to the movies or the children's museum and a sleepover.
  • I forgot to mention last week that I got these awesome stickers from Runout Records at the Novack's building.  In addition to all kinds of great records there's also a selection of stickers and buttons.  This of course immediately drew my attention.  These two stickers are now happily living as magnets on my fridge.

  • I had all kinds of plans this weekend - Fringe Festival, Block Party, Gathering on the Green, Nuit Blanche, Forest City Flea - but all of that was replaced with dance dance and more dance.  All told Vivian had three hours of dance this weekend and I had six hours with the dance moms.  Somehow I managed to survive the three-hour hip hop rehearsals with the Dance Moms - the routine is insane but is going to be SO AWESOME.  Such is the life at recital time of year - all plans get put on hold.
  • The Mission Store at Rectory and York is open now, which is great for me since it's very close to my work.  I went to check it out on my lunch break the other day, and was pretty excited to see a selection of pins in the display case.  I wasn't able to get a close look though since apparently it takes all three little old ladies to run the till at once so they didn't notice me waiting to have the case opened.  
  • On another thrifting run to Value Village I managed to score this Pyrex Friendship pattern Cinderella bowl!  I love the Friendship pattern, but it's usually really expensive since the pattern is so collectible.  Value Village has caught on to the collectors and has started pricing things accordingly.  This bowl was sticker priced at $12.99 but I had a 30% coupon from dropping items off a couple days before.  Hooray!

  • In not so treat news - I also found this set of Pyrex Cinderella bowls - I think they used to be Gooseberry pattern.  Such a shame - don't put vintage dishes in the dishwasher!

  • My brother is the king of the bizarre and hilarious tattoos.  I legit laughed out loud when I saw this new one pop up on Instagram.  If you go to the Subway in Grand Bend, say hi to him.

  • All of the dance sessions this weekend meant that we had time to kill in between.  Luckily there is a lovely park nearby with a playground and a splash pad.  It worked out perfectly.  Also fun for killing time?  Introducing kids to phone booths.  They had no idea what it was and were delighted that there was a voice on the other end of the phone.

I'm running out of time before the best treat starts - Season 2 premiere of UnREAL!  If you're not watching this show, you definitely need to be.  It's SO GOOD.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Treats of the Week - Showers

Between the sweltering heat, the hours of hip hop practice, and the time spent cutting the grass, it seems like I'm constantly showering these days.  I'm not complaining - it can be so refreshing to get in a nice, cool shower after being out in the heat and just rinsing all that grossness away.  Relaxing, yet energizing.  Amidst all the awesome, exciting things happening in the area this weekend, some really terrible things happened as well.  There were five separate stabbings in the City of London this weekend alone.  Once the temperatures rise, so too go the tempers.  Let's all try to stay chill, hmm?  Enjoy a nice cool shower, and bask in the good things around us.

  • This weekend marked my first outing at Shock Stock - London't horror and exploitation convention.  It was a really great time - don't know what's kept me away so long.  I always love to shop the floor at a con and this was no exception.  Since I'm not the type to dig through a box of weird old VHS tapes (although I was with a dude who is) I was happy to pick up some other weird items - some porcupine quills, a polished leopard serpentine stone for a necklace, some buttons and a Cinema Sewer pin, and this amazing coffee.  Deadly Grounds has all kinds of awesome varieties, but I was smitten with the Death by Chocolate, which they were serving iced.  SO GOOD.  The names are adorable too - Never Sleep Again, Dot's Die-ner, Haunted House - I loved them.  Although apparently it's weird to call horror stuff "adorable".

  • Also at Shock Stock I got to do another escape room - this time a special mini room that was put on by Sin Labs.  It was a horror themed one and only 30 minutes, but it was super hard.  They said it was 6 challenges in 30 minutes and we ran out of time on the final two.  Well, if I had finished wrestling with the stupid combination lock it would have been just the final one.  In any event, it was pretty fun.
  • Dustin gave his talk at Kangaroo Variety and it went so well!  Even with a late night the evening before of folding and cutting and folding and cutting it all managed to get done on time.  The talk was awesome - I was super proud.

  • Have the distance to empty reading on my new car has basically been the worst and best thing to ever happen to me.  With Foxy I would just hit the reset on the odometer when the gas light came on and guess how far I could go.  My record was 64 kilometers.  But now I know exactly how far I have to go and I definitely pushed it to the limit this week - sitting at 0 kilometers to empty at the gas station.  Kramer would be so proud of me.

  • I made it to the museum on Saturday to check out the Remember When exhibit.  It was pretty interesting - my favourite piece was a model of the Victoria steamer made from pieces of the wreckage.  I would have liked to check it out a little longer but we showed up 20 minutes before the museum closed.
  • Saturday was also the Grickle Grass Festival at the Children's Museum.  I'd never been before, but it was really cool to be in the museum after hours and just seeing grownups hanging out everywhere.  There was even an old dude rolling around on a Segway.  I wasn't cool enough to know any of the bands (except for Motherhood, who also played at Kangaroo Variety the night before) or any of the people, but it was still a great time.  PLUS I brought my dinosaur purse and basically everyone loved it.

  • Finally on Saturday night we hit Call the Office for the Shock Stock after party (yeah, Saturday was nuts.  We walked like 20 kilometers)  CTO is always a good time and it was awesome to see friends in Sprocket Damage close out the night.  Plus the dude who played the kid Jason in the first Friday the 13th has apparently banked a whole career on being "The First Jason" and we saw his band play.  He plays the keytar, and actually said, "Can we turn up the mic on the keytar?"  So that was worth it.

  • My irises are blooming in the front garden which makes me feel like things aren't quite such a mess.  My favourite flower is currently this one sitting next to me on my desk - a sweet little flower put there by a sweet little girl.

Be cool, honey bunnies!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Whatcha Doin'?

All of a sudden it seems like there's a million things happening in London - and it's not even festival season yet!  I thought I would do a post about some of the events coming up in the next couple of weeks that I'm hoping/planning on attending.  Hit me up!

Friday, May 27
The Kangaroo Variety live magazines have become one of my favourite local events.  They're held once a month in the upper level of the old Novack's building.  This month is extra-special because my friend Dan Brown and my dude Dustin Adrian are both presenting.  If you dig storytelling or podcasts then you should definitely check it out!

Saturday, May 28
This Saturday night is also Grickle Grass, which is somehow even more hipster than Kangaroo Variety.  I haven't been before, but it's a party in the Children's Museum with live music and art, which sounds pretty awesome. 

Friday, May 27 - Sunday, May 29
If the hipsters aren't your scene, this weekend is also Shock Stock - Canada's Premier Horror/Exploitation convention.  This is another one I haven't gone to before, but I'm really excited to check it out.  There's vendors and screenings and parties, but I'm mostly excited for the horror-themed escape room!

There's also a new exhibit at Museum London that I want to check out - Remember When: an exhibition of souvenirs and mementos.  I kind of have a thing for souvenirs and local souvenirs especially, so this one is right up my alley!  It runs until September 11th so you have lots of time!

The next couple weekends are equally packed...

June 4 - Is the Gathering on the Green in Wortley Village, and the London Fringe Block Party during the day and then Nuit Blanche at night!  I'm hoping to take Vivian to check things out!

June 5 - Is the Forest City Flea - which was one of my favourite events of last year!  Hooray for local vendors! 

June 10 - There's a KULA Mall Night Market at the Novack's Building - perfect for any vendors you might have missed the weekend before. 

June 11 - There's a Touch a Truck event at the Strathroy Community Christian School for the kids. 

June 18 - Andrea's Dance School's annual recital at the high school in Strathroy!  The kids work so hard - and I guarantee you, this is not a lame recital.  The routines are amazing (I can't wait to see Fury Road, the big senior acro routine!) and there's the added bonus of seeing us moms get up there to dance.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Treats of the Week (and a half)

Man, I'm getting bad at these posts.  Especially with a long weekend the time just gets away from me and I don't get things posted!  I'm also going to rely heavily on the excuse that I threw my back out last week and was basically just on the couch watching documentaries for a couple days.  How did I come to do such a thing?  Well I'm thinking it had something to do with trying to do acro on Sunday, cutting the grass on Monday, organizing the garage on Tuesday, and then dragging around a way too heavy purse on Wednesday.  By the end of my lunch break on Wednesday I was shuffling along and taking way too long to sit down.  By Sunday I was pretty well back to normal though, so I still salvaged some weekend!

  • I took Vivian to the drive-in for the first time on Saturday and she LOVED it.  She went straight for the playground and played while I got our snacks then she settled in to the front seat to watch Angry Birds.  We found it worked best to have her booster seat up in the passenger seat so she could see.  She loved eating her popcorn and being able to chat with me during the movie.  She managed to stay awake for the whole thing too - I think it will definitely be a routine this summer!
  • I've started hip hop for the Dance Moms routine at the dance recital and it is no joke!  I was going to do tap, but couldn't make a session on the weekend because of my back and was going to miss another one which would have put me too far behind.  Hip hop was three hours on Sunday and even though it's super tough I think it's going to be really fun.  The recital is on June 18th if you want to come see me dance!  And, y'know, Vivian and the other kids.
  • Vivian has also been enjoying her yoga classes and finally got her own yoga mat yesterday from my mom and she couldn't be more proud.  She looks weird in the picture, but trust me she's thrilled.  She's really enjoying taking yoga - and it seems to be helping her calm down!

  • It is so nice and warm out!  I'm so glad to be able to wear dresses and not have to freeze in the morning.  I even got a little bit of colour on the weekend - although I doubt I'll be anywhere near as dark as I was last year!
  • I am a sucker for a grab bag - she when Kate Gabrielle had some for $10 I couldn't resist!  My package arrived yesterday and it's pretty much the most perfect thing ever.  You guys, it's a velociraptor brooch.  I've been thinking a lot about getting a dinosaur tattoo and this pretty much seals the deal.  Now who wants to pay for it?

  • On Monday mom and I took the crew out to African Lion Safari.  We went last year on the Monday of May 2-4 weekend as well and it worked out really well.  The crowds aren't too bad and it isn't too hot yet.  The kids loved it - I was grumbling before we got in the gate.  (Seriously, there were people who had pulled over and were taking pictures with the directional signs pointing the way to the park.  Not even at the actual park yet.  The worst.)  I think my favourite part was this ostrich who didn't give a fuck and laid down beside this van until a zookeeper had to come over and bang a stick on the ground to get him to move.  He promptly sat down on the opposite side of the vehicle.  You do you, ostrich.

  • I've totally got that spring cleaning bug - which works out well since my anxiety has been bad this past week and organizing helps me to calm down.  I've been organizing drawers and the garage and closets and it feels so good to get rid of things - even if it prompts Dustin to say things like, "What's going on?  Why are you organizing?  Are  you upset?"  Sometimes you just gotta organize.  Now if only I could get a truck to come and take away all this excess stuff - then I would really be in business!

Kind of quiet this week - but this weekend is crazy busy so there should be lots of treats there!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Treats of the Week - Bright Ideas

I do a lot of dumb things.  I would even say that I do dumb things on a fairly regular basis.  I'm a smart person, but that doesn't always equate smart actions.  So when a survey came around for this year's edition of Dance Moms for Vivian's dance recital, I clicked that I would be interested in Beginner Acro.  And so I spent the better part of two hours yesterday tumbling, cartwheeling, handstanding, and backbending.  I am definitely feeling it today.  Luckily, there wasn't enough interest for a mom acro routine in the recital, but it sounds like I'll at least be doing hip hop, and potentially jazz and tap as well.  I'm probably crazy for it, but it's fun and Vivian gets a kick out of seeing me dance.  I think it's important for her to see me trying things and being okay with looking silly or imperfect.

How about some less painful treats, yes?

  • My coffee was happy to see me the other day - and I was just as happy to see it.

  • I was out on Saturday night for my friend Kimberly's birthday.  Not only did I have a delicious marlin dinner at Lola's in Sarnia, but I also found $10 at the bowling alley after!  I was the top bowler as well - quite the feather in my cap.
  • I cut the grass tonight, which isn't exactly a treat.  But I did manage to finish cutting it just before it started to rain.  This seemed like enough of a reason to order pizza for dinner.
  • There's nothing quite like new stamps for work!

  • I had some successful thrifting today - I found another copy of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which makes my second complete set.  I gave the first set to Dustin for Christmas, and this second set is for me, but if I find a third set I will be putting it up for sale!

  • I got carded TWICE this weekend - once while wearing makeup and once with no makeup.  I'm going to chalk this up as a win rather than focusing on the fact that I went to the LCBO twice in one weekend.
  • I made the mistake of trying the fancy new raspberry truffle donut from Tim Horton's today.  That was a poor but delicious choice.
  • In related news, those new Smores Oreo cookies are not very good.  If you have any in your home, you should probably just bring them to me so I can dispose of them for you.