Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

If there's one thing that I say that annoys people, it's "I have a system!"  I'm perfectly aware that I'm stubborn and difficult and this personality trait spills into many facets of my life.  The way that I do things definitely doesn't always make sense to everyone, but it makes sense to me, so that's good enough.

One example of this?  My system of waking up.

On a typical work morning, I set three alarms on my cell phone.

Alarm 1 - 5:45 a.m.  This is when I really should be waking up in order to do everything that I need to do - packing a lunch, getting Vivian's stuff ready, blow drying my hair, all that fun stuff.  I never wake up at 5:45.  Sometimes I'll lay in bed and check things out on the computer, but I never actually get out of bed at this time.  The other morning I woke up on my own at 5:42 and still went back to sleep.

Alarm 2 - 6:00 a.m.  This is when I can still wake up and get everything done with no room for error.  If there's something I need in the dryer in the basement, I'm behind schedule.  There's also a very good chance that my hair isn't going to be totally blow dried, if at all.  This is mostly due to the fact that even though my alarm goes off at 6:00, I just turn on the lamp and lay there for a few minutes, thinking about the upcoming day.  I'll mentally pick out what I'm going to wear, try to remind myself of anything I need to get done that day, and yes, maybe doze off a little bit.  Which is why I have...

Alarm 3 - 6:15 a.m.  This is the "you really need to get your ass out of bed because you fell back asleep and now you're going to be late" alarm.  This alarm usually means that I won't be able to dry my hair at all, and there's a very good chance that I'll be putting makeup on at work, or foregoing it altogether.  Breakfast may have to be eaten while driving.

This schedule also fluctuates depending on the season.  In all actuality, I should be getting up earlier in the winter in case I need more time for driving.  In the summer I can get away with not drying my hair or wearing makeup much more easily than in the winter.

This whole method only came about because of having a cell phone with three separate alarms.  When I still used an alarm clock, I was a big fan of setting it a few minutes ahead to try and get a jump on the day.  Of course, this whole plan falls apart when you know how fast the clock is, because then you just lay there doing the math to think about how many more minutes of sleep you can get.  My mom is notorious for setting her alarm clock like 45 minutes fast.  The trick here is to have someone else set it a few minutes ahead.  This also works with the clock in the car, but is easily figured out when there are radio DJs who announce the time every other minute in the morning.

Of course, there are some people who would say that you should trick yourself in other ways - try setting your alarm clock up across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.  Tried it - I would still crawl back to bed.  What can I say?  I'm not exactly a  morning person. 

What about you?  Any tricks for getting yourself up in the morning, or any rituals?  When I was in school I would wake up in the morning and lay there going through each class I had that day and whether or not there were any quizzes/test/assignments due before getting out of bed.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

She knows I'm writing this

So it was almost a month ago that I went to visit the psychic, and I still haven't done a little recap here.  Actually one of the first things she said to me when I sat down was, "Are you a writer?  Did you write about this?  You haven't been writing much lately, you need to write more often."

That got my attention.

So here's a quick breakdown of some of the things she told me and my thoughts on them.  Again, this was all for fun, I'm certainly not going to be making major life changes based on this or anything.
  • The woman I saw is a psychic and a medium, so she communicates with spirits.  I was interested in this part since I have been lucky enough not to have many people who are very close to me pass away, so I was interested to see who might come through.  There were a lot of names thrown around that I didn't recognize - Who's Beth?  Who's Ruth?  Who's George?  In hindsight, I probably should have looked into my family tree a bit closer to see if any names would have rang any bells.
  • One of the first things she said was that she sees me moving somewhere - no plans to do so right now!
  • She told me a few times that she saw me taking a trip - first somewhere with a W and S, then a P, then a B.  I should have asked if these were all separate trips, but I didn't.
  • She did a lot of, "I see a man wh ois about 48-52 years old with light hair and light glasses and I see you signing papers with him."  Super describing people that I would be having interactions with - very bizarre.
  • She told me I would be having problems with my sinuses very soon, and I actually had a bit of a sinus infection a week later.
  • She said she saw something happening to my jaws or the back of my mouth - I haven't had my wisdom teeth taken out.
  • She asked what I did to my wrist - I told her I'd fallen down some stairs a few months ago and kind of hurt it, but didn't think anything of it.  She said something hadn't set right and I should get it checked out - this past week my wrists have been causing me terrible pain, stupid carpal tunnel.
  • She asked me about coconut - something to do with my grandma and coconut.  I told her my Great Grandma Grace always had coconut cookies at her place.  Apparently Great Grandma Grace does not care for my gardens (she really wouldn't like them, they're way too messy!), and she says to turn the TV down in Vivian's room.  Sorry Grandma.
  • Apparently Viviann has had past lives that included being present at the Russian Revolution and the cruxifiction of Christ.  I forgot to ask about my own past lives.
  • When I asked if Vivian would be my only child, the answer was "If you don't want to get pregnant again, you'll have to be very careful."  A non-answer if I've ever heard one.
  • Apparently there's a woman named Stephanie who wears glasses that I can't trust.
  • I should be learning about lunar magic and how to use it to my advantage.
  • She asked me about my forehead - why were the spirits showing her my forehead, had something happened?  I had a birthmark on my forehead that was removed when I was little.  There's a scar, but it's very hard to see, and my bangs cover it now anyway.
  • I need to learn how to ask for the things I want.  Easier said than done.
  • My Great Aunt Vivian wants me to pay attention to my feet (?) and to sing.
  • She sees me receiving 5 bits of money between now and July 2014 - I should have asked for more clarification on what that means.
  • I need to get outside more to revive my energy and outlook.
  • There is a spirit named Ray who is attached to the house and looks over Vivian, but he might scare her sometimes which could be why she isn't a good sleeper.
  • When I'm 55 she sees me teaching something that I know.
  • She sees me going to 4 weddings, and 3 of them will be surprises.
  • She saw the deaths of 3 men and 2 women - should have asked about the timeline on this one.
So that was mostly what she told me - you don't get to hear all of it!  The session was a little over an hour and cost $40, so I think it was worth it for the entertainment.  If I did it again, I would be better prepared with questions and would bring something to record it instead of scribbling down notes that barely make sense.  My mom says that I give away too much information too, but it's hard because she starts out by asking your name and date of birth and the names and date of birth for any other significant people in your lift so she can do the whole astrological dealio.  Like I said, I would also take a glance at the old family tree to brush up on some names to try and make sense of everyone.

Oh, and she told me that I needed new boots, but they're held together with duct tape, so I don't know how much credit she gets for that one.

Has a psychic ever said anything crazy to you?  Crazily accurate or crazily random?      

Monday, 28 January 2013

Very Vivian - Apparently events at Chapters aren't really secret

Well we survived the Princess Sofia event at Chapters on the weekend.  I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting it to be busy at all.  I mean, it was only being advertised on  Disney Junior every 10 minutes for weeks, how many people could possibly attend?

My friend Amanda and I packed the kids up and headed in to Chapters.  After about a half hour wait in line, the kids got their goodie bags with stickers and paper crowns and got to tackle the different activities - waltzing lessons, storytime, and craft making.  The girls had a blast wearing their princess dresses and seeing everyone else in theirs (there was a little girl behind us who had a beautiful full-on Cinderella ballgown.  Someone obviously put a lot of love into making that dress - Vivian kept calling her Cinderella.)  And Sam the Knight kept everyone in line.

I got a kick out of all the princesses in their heavy winter boots.

Sure it was a pain to wait in line, and they ended up running out of the actual Princess Sofia books, but what more can you ask for out of a free event?  The kids were in a good enough mood after a trip to McDonalds for some Happy Meals (and they had Hello Kitty toys - perfect!) that we even managed to drag them all to Costco - no small feat for this crew.

All in all, quite the successful Saturday.  And I have no idea why Vivian is all of a sudden smiling with her tongue out in both of these pictures.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Very Vivian - Princess Vivian

Despite my best gender-neutral encouraging efforst, the princesses have invaded.

This is what I generally see in the morning when I wake Vivian up.

A tiny girl, awash in pillows, blankets and toys (she's a total hoarder) with princess dresses on over her pajamas.

We play with the princesses, we put on princess temporary tattoos, we watch the movies, the princesses have taken over.

So far her favourite is Cinderella, which is great because it's hilarious to hear her try to say it.  It goes a little something like, "Linlerlellelelalla".  On Saturday there's a Princess Sofia event at Chapters, so we'll be heading out for that little adventure.

I know that the princess obsession won't be burning out any time soon, so I've already started stocking up for Christmas - I got some princess wrapping paper and gift bags on clearance, and found some $5 clearance backpacks that might get tucked away for another day.

I must admit though, I take quite a bit of pride when she's wearing her princess dresses layered over her Buzz Lightyear shirt.

So, how long do I have to last with the princess thing?  Another four or five years at least? 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Outfit of the Day - Flower Power

So it's been quite some time since I've done an outfit of the day post.  This is due to a couple of factors - firstly, I've been wearing all the same things.  So just review my old posts from last winter and you'll know what's been going on.  And secondly, I've been putting on my pajamas basically 3 seconds after walking in the door after work, making it difficult to take pictures.

But today I wore something different, so you're in luck!  See, back in the summer I bought this amazing vintage dress from Lovesick.  I saw it on the Facebook page, fell in love and luckily enough - it fit me.  Shopping for vintage clothes can really break your heart sometimes, but it's all worth it when something lovely falls into your lap.

So since then the dress has been hanging in my closet, just waiting.  It's pretty bold - when I showed it to my friend Jenn for the first time I believe her reaction was, "Huh, I'm interested to see how you wear that."  I couldn't quite decide if it was a summertime dress or if it was better as a winter dress or what.  So here's what I finally did with it.

Belting a cardigan is not my usual deal, but I thought since the dress was so loud, I would tone it down as best as I could at first, and then try different looks later.  So here's the dress with a belted cardigan...

 ...just giving a hint of the dress with all black to tone it down.  That black trim at the bottom is a little lace detail.

I usually go for the open cardigan with dresses, but I feel like it sometimes just adds too much weight.  I do like having the option of taking off the cardigan easily though, especially when I have to put my robes on for court.

Here's a little closeup of all that awesome vintage-y flowerness.  The dress must be handmade - there's no tags or anything on it.

It really is a great, versatile little dress, even if it does end up being a little bit short when it's belted.  Here it is without a cardigan for when the weather gets warmer - and it has a pocket!  Just one though - Kim at Lovesick said it would have been for cigarettes.

And here it is unbelted in all its swingy glory.  I feel like in person it's very mumu-ish, but in this picture it doesn't look so bad.  Or maybe it does and you will all quickly correct me.

So what do you think of my vintage lovely?  Is it a little too tablecloth-ish for your tastes?  It's okay, you can tell me.  I'll still love it.  Which way do you think it looks best?  I'm still not totally sold on how to wear it - maybe I should try a wider belt?

Dress - Vintage from Lovesick
Tights - Winners
Boots - Payless
Cardigan - Walmart
Belt - Walmart

Monday, 14 January 2013

Very Vivian - A jar of flour can be fascinating

I've been told from Vivian's daycare that she loves to help bake - but hates the actual baking process.  She just doesn't like it to be over - she wants to keep mixing and mixing, and really could not care less about the finished product.  So the other day Vivian and I made some cookies, but she freaked out when they were made so I just set her up to do her own little "baking".

It really is amazing the things that can fascinate a toddler.  I gave her her own bowl and some measuring spoons, threw some oats, an egg and some water into the bowl and let her go to town with a jar of flour.

Worked like a charm - she stirred and measured that flour while I was able to clean up my cookie mess and get them baked.  Sure there was a little flour on the floor and all over her, but it was totally worth it for 15 or so quiet minutes. 

Any other toddler baking tips?  Vivian is sooooo keen to help with everything right now, sometimes it's a struggle to find ways that she can be helpful and do chores.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Yes, I've watched Girls enough times to start noticing minute details.

Girls comes back on Sunday and I, for one, could not possibly be more excited.  I love love love this show, and you should too.

So upon one of my many (many, many) rewatches of the first season since I've gotten the Blurays, I started to notice how much I love the jewellery on the show.  A lot has been said of the clothes on the show and how they go to great lengths to make series-creator Lena Dunham took like she has no idea what she's doing when she gets dressed, but I haven't heard much about the jewellery.  And for someone like me, who is not much of a jewellery person, to notice things like this, well I thought attention should be paid.

So here's some of my favourite pieces from Season 1 of Girls, along with some links to some similar pieces on Etsy.

All of the screencaps were stolen from and some of them aren't the best quality for showing what I'm talking about, but just work with me.

In "Leave me Alone" Hannah spends much of the episode in a dainty double hoop necklace to go with her "cute top and jeans with a slim leg".

For a similar look, check out this delicate necklace., perfect for readings or fighting with your best friend.

"She Did" showed us all the girls done up in their finest for a surprise party (no spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet!)  Hannah even manages to pull an outfit together, including some sweet little starfish earrings that match her dress and her shoes - kinda.

Get your hands (or ears) on your own pair here.

The pilot introduced the ladies, and quickly established Marnie's uptight and perfectly done style.  I fell for her cute bow brooch that dresses anything up.

This vintage one is a little less blingy, but still lovely.

Marnie also sports these cameo earrings that would go with everything.  While they suit Marnie's style perfectly, I think they could also be a nice contrast for a more dressed-down look, or even a scarily hot slash amazing goth look.

Check out these vintage beauties here.

This was the necklace that really made me first take notice - Hannah's rainbow necklace from "All Adventurous Women Do".  It seems perfect for Hannah, like something that she wore when she was fully into a Lisa Frank phase when she was a kid, and then continued to wear ironically as an adult, but still secretly loved that Lisa Frank flair.

I couldn't find anything exactly the same, but I am digging this vintage unicorn or this hippie dippy rainbow pendant

What about you?  Are you as obsesssed with Girls as I am?  If you haven't seen it, come over when you have 5 hours to spare and I'll watch the whole season with you and point out all the good parts.  For reals, yo.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Resolutions I might actually keep

I'm not really one for resolutions.  I'm too stubborn for my own good - I'm even stubborn against myself.  Like the second I say, "That's it!  No more fast food!" I start to argue with myself that there's some good reason why I can have some, whether it be that I exercised and earned it, or skipped lunch so it all balances out, or because I'm an adult, dammit.

You can see how this goes downhill quickly.

That being said, I thought this year I would set some goals and resolutions that I might actually stand a chance at keeping.

  • I resolve to eat more nachos.  Do you realize how delicious nachos are?  I could probably eat them every day, and have eaten them for many days in a row.  They're quick and easy and awesome.
  • I resolve to watch more TV.  Some people might think that this is impossible for me, but I recorded like a dozen episodes of Community the other day and there's a new season of the Kardashians starting.
  • I resolve to wear pajamas more.  Because I have to dress like a grown-up during the day Monday to Friday, evenings and weekends are pajama time unless real pants are absolutely necessary.  Luckily I got a Lulu Lemon gift card for Christmas and Lulus are like socially acceptable pajama pants that make your butt look awesome.
  • I resolve to go to bed when I want to.  Those nights when I just want to crawl into bed at 9:00?  I think I just might.  Laundry can wait for another day.
  • I resolve to spray paint more junk.  Do you know how long it's been since I've spray painted something?  Far too long!  My trigger finger is itchy!
  • I resolve to remember that sometimes "okay" is good enough.  Things don't always have to be perfect, or even great.  Sometimes it's enough to just be okay.  And things aren't always as bad as they seem, sometimes they're really just okay.  And that's okay.
  • I resolve to write here more.  The last few months have been rough, and instead of using this blog as an outlet, I found I often couldn't find the words and just ignored it instead.  So hopefully you'll see much more regular posting in 2013.
Did you make any resolutions this year?  If so - good luck!  Does it irritate anyone else that this time of year everyone is always "boo, last year was awful!  This year is going to be so much better!"  All those people who are championing that 2013 is going to be THE year will be the same ones who are ready to get it over with in December and ready for 2014 to be THE year.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Post-Christmas Thrifting

I stopped by Talize the other day to kill some time and had some really good luck in the toy section.  Remember how I mentioned that I kind of regretted not getting Vivian a princess castle for Christmas?  Well look what I found for $4.

Sure she doesn't need any new toys right after Christmas, but it's a Fisher Prince Little People castle for $4.  These things are usually $50.  It didn't have any people with it, but everything on it still works perfectly fine, and Vivian loves it.  She got right in there with all of her princesses, and Buzz Lightyear even joined in on the fun.

They also had a few bags of random My Little Ponies for like $3, so I grabbed one of those too.  The ponies have been having fun frolicking in the castle with the princesses.

As for me, I found this little brass mouse for $3.  I constantly see small vintage brass animals pop up on Pinterest and other blogs, so I've made a point of keeping an eye out for them.  The mouse was too cute to pass up!

Anyone else have a chance to do any thrifting lately?  Maybe after Christmas is a good time to check out toys at thrift stores?  I've never really thought about it, but I suppose it makes sense!  Now it's one less thing for the Easter Bunny to pick up!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Very Vivian - All Dressed Up

Vivian is becoming more and more particular about what she wears lately.  You know, because she's a 2 year-old and has an opinion on everything.  I mostly just go with it because as long as what she's wearing is appropriate for the weather, I don't really care about the rest.

So these days I let her pick out her shirt and then I usually match up the rest and that seems to be good enough for her.  But one day last week she had a few more opinions.  First she picked out her Buzz Lightyear shirt - fine, no problem.  She wore a Hello Kitty shirt every day for over a month, but recently she's been rocking Buzz.  But when I went to put some jeans on her, she asked to wear her princess skirt.  Sure, whatever.  Here's your princess skirt and some leggings, have a blast at daycare.  But then she upped the ante by asking to wear her housecoat.

So that's how she went to daycare - grey leggings, purple tutu, Buzz Lightyear shirt and a purple housecoat.  I tried to get pictures, but of course she wanted nothing to do with it.

She was mad at the housecoat at that point for some reason, but she wore it all the way to daycare underneath of her winter coat.

Since then we haven't seen anything quite so exciting, but I'm sure that the day is rapidly approaching when she'll want to wear one of her dress-up princess dresses out in public.  And that's okay, because there are really bigger battles to be had with her.

Have your kids ever worn something outrageous out in public?  Or have you ever seen a kid in a full-on costume out somewhere?  I always love seeing kids in crazy outfits, because really who cares what they wear?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

I sincerely hope there's a crystal ball.

So don't laugh, but I'm going to see a psychic today.

I know, I know.

I've actually been to one a couple of times before, and I've always looked at it as a fun splurge, kind of like getting a pedicure.  You spend a little money and do something nice and different for yourself.  I don't put too much stock into it (although it would be awesome if she said I was about to win the lottery or something) and just try to find the positive in it and maybe learn a bit about yourself.  Sometimes even just hearing someone else speculating about something can give you a different perspective about things in your life.

One of the strangest things a psychic ever told me was that I have excessively lined hands.  Like oddly so.  She went to read my palm, turned my hand over and looked visibly surprised at how line-y my hands are.  Isn't that the strangest thing to comment on?  Because of my overly lined hands, she was able to clearly see that I would only have one pregnancy - and it would be one strong child out of it.  Possibly even twins it looked so strong.  I think Vivian qualifies.

But like I said, it's all just for fun.  I wouldn't do anything different than I normally do because of something a psychic said (or because of what most people say for that point, I've been told I'm rather stubborn) but instead just take what I can out of the experience and move forward.

What do you think?  Have you ever been to a psychic before, or wouuld you go?  Do you have lineiest hands ever too?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Very Vivian - This Christmas

Hey, remember how it was Christmas over a week ago and I haven't said anything about it yet?  Well that's kind of how Christmas goes - things get crazy, kids get cranky, days get confused, and before you know it it's time to go back to work (which is me today).

But that doesn't mean I don't have anything to show you!

I didn't end up taking a lot of pictures over the holidays or of Christmas morning because I wanted to kind of just be there and enjoy myself and try to relax and let Vivian do her thing instead of asking her to look at the camera the whole time.

So here's what Santa left for Vivian on Christmas Eve...

I'm in love with her kitchen.  It is such awesome quality, I'm so happy I went with the wooden one.  It was actually really easy to put together too, and it fits neatly into my kitchen so she can play along while I'm in the kitchen.  The mini pots and pans on the stove are from IKEA (if you need some for your kids, they're really the cheapest ones around and are super nice quality) and that mixer on top of the kitchen is Kidcraft and was a gift from one of my coworkers.  Yes, Vivian is even spoiled by my coworkers.  Her stocking is over there with Hello Kitty peeking out (she ended up getting 3 small Hello Kitties for Christmas and has been dragging them around with her ever since) and I got that Disney Princess Christmas bag as a stocking overflow.  It was just too easy to get her stocking stuff this year - you can go nuts at the dollar store for kids this age and they think it's great - stickers, tattoos, painting sheets, colouring books, crayons - foolproof.

Vivian loved opening presents - and after everything she unwrapped she wanted it out of the package immediately, so the kitchen ended up filled with garbage.  It was a bit of a free-for-all, but I was glad that she really wanted to see each toy instead of just opening one and tossing it aside for the next one.

That big Hello Kitty was actually from a trip to Build-A-Bear for her birthday.  And she wore that "princess skirt" all day on the 23rd, 24th and 25th.  She even slept in it on Christmas Eve.  Whatever, I don't care what she wears.

Christmas got a little crazy when we ended up staying an extra night at my mom's place because of a bunch of snow we got on Boxing Day, but only in the sense that it kind of threw off the rest of the week and I felt awful that Vivian basically opened her presents on Christmas morning and then didn't see them again until the end of the day on the 27th.  Next year will be different though - it's already been decided that Vivian will get to stay at home for Christmas day, and Blair will get to stay at her house on Christmas day, and then my mom and her crew will just visit us both at home.  That way the girls can just spend a nice day at home with their toys and just hang out in their pajamas if they want instead of having to run out the door.  I'm actually already looking forward to being home for the day and just having some snacky things ready for visitors.  This was probably the last Christmas where Vivian won't expect anything - next year will be all about Santa and writing letters and knowing what's coming.  It's kind of funny at this age when they go to bed no problem on Christmas Eve because they have no idea what the next morning will bring. 

Of course now I'm dealing with the post-Christmas guilt.  Do you get that?  See, last year everyone told me to get Vivian the kitchen for Christmas, but I thought she was too young.  But then on Christmas Eve I put together a kitchen for one of mom's foster kids and Vivian lost her mind for it.  She loved it, couldn't get enough of playing with it.  And I felt like the worst parent ever for not getting her one.  It always seems that there's something that you don't think to get for the kids or there's something they play with at someone else's house and they just love.  And when they're a December baby it's even worse, because then you don't get that other chance to spoil them. 

Except for Easter - the Easter Bunny might have to bring Vivian a princess castle of some sort.

So that was Christmas - nothing flashing, just too many days strung together of too much food, too little napping, and not enough good stuff on TV.

How was your Christmas?  What was the biggest hit on Christmas morning?  At my mom's house everyone fought over this stupid little Magna Doodle thing.  Of course if everyone had gotten one for Christmas, then no one would have wanted to play with it.