Friday, 28 June 2013

Outfit of the Day - Tucking

I do these Outfit of the Day posts of a few different reasons - to encourage myself to put more thought into my appearance, to acknowledge to myself when I look good instead of focusing on the negative, and because sometimes you really need to take a picture of yourself to know how something looks.  Cher was right about many things in Clueless, you can't trust mirrors.  Always trust polaroids - or selfies in your bedroom mirror.  (Also, Cher was totally right that if a young Paul Rudd is your stepbrother, it doesn't even matter if it's icky, you go for it.)

Case in point - the other day I had to work in Brantford.  Brantford court is interesting to me because they don't have to wear robes.  Here I have to/get to wear a robe when I'm in court.  This has pros and cons.  One of the pros is that I can be a little bit sloppier/more casual when I'm in court because I'm just going to throw on a stupid robe.  Also it keeps me warm when the courtroom is freezing and I don't have to worry if my skirt is riding up or something.  But in Brantford, there's no robes so I feel like I need to put in a little bit more effort.  So I threw this together...

And yes, I'm making some weird face because that is like the 12th picture I'd taken and my phone kept fucking up and it was driving me crazy and I just wanted to put my comfy clothes on.

Now in the morning when I got dressed I'd toyed with the idea of tucking in that blouse, but decided against it.  I'm generally against tucking things in for me - because I'm so top-heavy, I always need to elongate my torso, otherwise I end up just looking like a giant boob.  I tucked the top in just to try it out, but decided against it.  Then I got home and took a picture to illustrate for all you fine folks what I thought was going to be a picture of how ridiculous I look with a top tucked in and instead I saw this.

What the hell.  Why did it look so stupid in my bathroom mirror, but now looks kind of awesome?  Because you can't trust mirrors!  Although if this is a picture of a mirror image, does that still apply?  This has all of a sudden turned into a bizarre philosophical argument.

Top - Old Navy
Skirt - Smart Set
Sandals - Sam & Libby for Target

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Very Vivian - Trendsetter

Vivian has long been very particular about her clothes.  This hasn't slowed at all as she's gotten older.  Now we're into the stage where she wants to dress herself.  She's been doing really well with it, and gets so excited.  "I did it!" and jumping and hugs typically follow any successful donning of clothes.

So I thought you might be interested in this little number from the other day.

 Cute little one-shouldered top, right?  But wait...something doesn't seem quite right...

Yes, it's actually a tank top but she stuck her arm through the neck hole at some point while she was at daycare.  Then she refused to wear it any other way.  If it got fixed, she would just move it right back.

I'm quite sure that that's how all the toddlers in Paris are wearing their tank tops these days.  Or at least they will be.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Treats of the Week

This has been an exceptionally shitty week filled with fuckery.  I'm blaming the solstice/supermoon.  Stupid moon.  Despite all of that, I did manage to find a few bright spots out of the week.

  • Because of all the fuckery of this past week, I was exceptionally grateful that there was beer in the fridge all week.
  • When we were at the grocery store the other day the nice deli counter girl gave Vivian a piece of bologna.  Vivian didn't care much for it though, so I appreciated the snack while I was shopping.
  • On occasion I'm needed at other courts when they have a French day scheduled.  These are nice for a few reasons - I get to see how different courts work, I get my name out there, and I get to make a little extra cash on the side.  It's even better when I'm in and out of their court in like an hour and a half and get home by 11:00 a.m. to get stuff done at home, like I was on Thursday.
  • On Saturday Vivian and I went to Blair and L's (mom's foster son) dance recital.  It was amazing - that whole dance school is like a mini-Cirque du Soleil.  The kids did a fantastic job and Vivian loved watching them.  All night tonight she was saying how she wanted to dance, so I can't wait to get her started in dance classes there.  Here's a pic of Blair and L in their tap costumes.  L did me a solid by moving his head so his face is blurred in the picture.  

  • Sunday was Vivian's last class at gymnastics and I was really looking forward to it.  Most of the 10 weeks was spent with her crying and wanting to be held and just not seeming to get it.  Then of course, in true Vivian form, she totally clicked on the last day.  All of a sudden she was listening and doing somersaults and all kinds of things that she had always refused to do.  I think part of it was from seeing the dance recital the previous day - like she finally understood what all of this stuff was all about.  She got a certificate at the end and was so freaking proud of herself, it was adorable.
  • Also on Sunday my mom and I took the kids to see Monsters University at the new theater in Sarnia. The movie was adorable, per usual (Monsters Inc. is definitely one of my all-time favourites) but the best surprise was that the new theater serves soft pretzels!  My favourite food, that I only get a couple of times a year, and now I can enjoy it with a movie.  Perfection.  Vivian did super well watching the movie this time too, which is awesome.
  • Sweet, sweet central air.  How I love thee.

Anyone else have a week filled with fuckery?  Seriously, last week was messed up.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Very Vivian - Princess Party

A couple of weeks ago Vivian had a very important date planned - a tea party with Cinderella and Snow White.

Marcanda Gifts, Tea Room and Boutique in Wyoming was having a princess party, so of course we had to go.  It was a really nice event - nothing overly fancy or planned, just a couple of hours with yummy snacks, nail painting, story telling, and fun in princess dresses.

It was pretty adorable.  They staff were really great with all the kids.  They made a big deal out of everyone's dresses and were calling everyone Princess.

She LOVED having her nails painted.  Not even a brownie and ice cream in a tea cup could distract her from admiring them.

She wasn't super keen on hanging out with Cinderella - I think she was thrown by the unlicensed dress.

But she ran up to Snow White and jumped into her arms.

Luckily I got her in my arms too.

The kids all seemed to really enjoy themselves.  It was much nicer once we got outside though - the space inside was a bit cramped and crowded.

You can see Vivian right up front - somehow she and her buddy Ellyot managed to score front-row seats for the group picture.  Ellyot was hilarious - she had this whole Cyndi Lauper princess look going on.

Marcanda is hosting another larger princess event in August as a fundraiser for a local family.  Their little girl needs a heart and double-lung transplant and the mother has run out of compassionate leave and has been forced back to work, so they're hoping to raise some funds to help them.  That event is supposed to be much larger, with 10 or more princesses attending, so it should be a great event.  You can find more information on the Facebook event here.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Unshushables

Until this past Friday night, I had never shushed someone in a movie theater in my life.  I've given the Jerry Seinfeld over the shoulder eye roll/glare, but that's about it.  That's all changed now though!  Allow me to set the scene.

It's the opening night, 7:40 p.m. show of Man of Steel.  Not just any opening night show though, this is the IMAX 3D show.  We're talking $17.50 a ticket, so one would expect the theater to be full of go-hards and big fans - maybe not even particularly Superman fans, but people are a fan of the movie-going experience at the very least.  I love being able to see a great movie on a giant screen with amazing sound.  Some people don't care, they don't mind to watch a movie at home.  But I would like to think that most people who are willing to fight the crowds on an opening night for an IMAX show are there because they genuinely are excited for the experience.

So there's me.  To my right are people as far as I can see.  There's a person to my left, then an empty seat, then these other two people.  Movie starts and what do I hear coming from those two people who are two seats away?

Chat, chat, chat.  Not just whispered reactions - I totally get the whispered reactions.  Something good happens, or you want to point something out to your friend or whatever, that's cool.  I can get on board with that.  But if I can hear you talking away consistently through the first 15 minutes of the movie, your ass is getting a shushing.

I waited until I couldn't stand it any longer, then finally leaned over as far as I could and gave them a big ol' SHHHHHHH!!!!  And I swear, the look the guy gave me was so shocked you would have thought that I'd just burst into his living room, dumped a drink in his lap and then punched him in the face.  He seemed to have no concept that they were bothering anyone.

So my shush worked for all of about 20 minutes before chatter started again, at least there was chatter in between the insanely loud eating that was happening.  You know how sometimes you can hear someone in a theater who is not only chewing loudly but seems incapable of moving without making excessive amounts of noise from the packaging of whatever they're eating?  That was this guy.  Chomp, chomp, chomp, rustle, rustle, chatter.  Ugh.

So the movie ends, they get up to leave while my group and I wait through the credits for any secrets (spoiler alert, there are none).  After the noise factory leaves we were talking about the shush heard round the theater.  Two guys in the row ahead of us even thanked me for shushing them because they had been so bothered by the talking - and they had to put up with the noisy-pants also kicking their seats the entire time, not to mention they had a Tommy Texter beside them.

I told them I'd noticed the Tommy Texter and he was driving me crazy too, but he was outside my shushing jurisdiction.  That one was on them.  Tommy Texter was also that guy who had to jump up and leave the theater TWO MINUTES into the movie, then continued to walk in and out of the theater several times after that, until finally he just didn't come back.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?  I don't ask for much.  I'll let some shit slide.  Like I said, a whisper reaction or two is fine.  I'll even let you check your phone once or twice if you need to quickly see something.  But when you make it constant and when you've already been made aware of the fact that you're actively bothering people around you, at that point a public flogging should be allowed or something.

So there you go.  Consider yourselves warned.  My name is Ashlie, and I will shush your ass when necessary.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Treats of the Week

  • Summer storms!  Even though it's been cooler and wetter than usual, I haven't minded it one bit.  I love a good thunderstorm, and there's one rolling in as I type this.
  • The annual Kilworth yard sales were this past Saturday!  For anyone who hasn't been, it's a massive town-wide yard sale in quite the hoity-toity neighbourhood.  It's a total zoo, and really fun to check out.  Even though I only walked away with a $1 truck for Vivian, it was a nice day out walking around and getting caught up with friends.  Here's some pictures of the cars lining the street and main highway.  Just a fraction of the people there!

  • I'm too cheap to buy the parking pass for the adjacent lot at my work, so I park in the free lot about a block away.  Not a big deal, just kind of a pain in the ass since I have to jaywalk across Dundas Street every day which can be kind of tricky at times.  However, with all of the lovely construction happening in the fair City of London, one of my coworkers has been detouring through my parking lot and giving me a lift, which I greatly appreciate!
  • I went to see Man of Steel on Friday night and actually really enjoyed it.  The reviews have been mixed, and I will concede that it's far from a perfect movie.  I'm not a big Superman fan, but I really liked the angle that they took with it and thought it was nicely updated.  I really want to see DC be able to produce the kind of movie series that Marvel has done, even though I think they have a much harder battle to get it done.  Check out my friend's blog here, I'm sure his movie review will be up soon!
  • I'm starting to make plans for the summer, mostly just day trip stuff with Vivian.  Nothing too exciting, but I'm really looking forward to being able to take her places this year now that she's at such a good age to do things.
  • My friend Jenn is leaving on a big European vacation in July, so we've been trying to make lots of plans together before she leaves.  This week we managed to see each other 3 days in a row - which is  quite the accomplishment for two busy adults!
  • It was my youngest brother's 17th birthday yesterday.  While I love having a brother and a sister who are close to me in age, there's something so special about having siblings with a big age gap.  I was 13 when Matthew was born (and I have another sister who is 19 years younger than I am) and it's been so amazing to really see him grow up.  With Brent and Courtney we all grew up together, so there's so many things that I forget just by nature of being a kid at the same time.  With Matthew I can remember the first time I held him, watching him learn to walk and slowly become the too-cool-for-school teenager that he is now.  Since I'm quite sure that he and his friends are way too cool to read my silly blog, I think it's safe to say here that I love that kid like crazy, and I'm super proud of him.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Goodbye, Stupid Cupboard!

So about this cupboard.  I don't like this cupboard.  It's set off to the side from the rest of the kitchen and doesn't match the rest of the cupboards.

I thought I had a better picture of the whole kitchen, but all I could find was this one from the previous owners.  See the sliver of cupboard in the top right corner?  That's the one I'm talking about.  You know, the cupboard that is on the other side of that little bit of wall.

So yeah, I don't like that cupboard.  It was clearly added later on, which is fine, except that there's a gap between the top of the cupboard and the bulkhead, it's laminate so it may be difficult to paint along with the other cupboards, it's super close to the window so it's hard to have a curtain rod in there, and I just don't really need it.

A few months ago I took off the doors to see if that would help - just to open it up a bit.

Meh, it was okay.  Still not great.  I managed to rearrange my other cupboards enough that I didn't even need this space, so last night I did this.

Yeah...that was interesting.  That gap between the top of the cupboard and the bulkhead turned out to be a lovely spot of paint peeling off in big chunks.

Everything's dry, so I'm not really sure what's going on there.  I feel like maybe at one point someone painted latex paint over melamine paint though?  I don't know.

Oh, and I have these giant holes.

The cupboard itself was really only hung on two big screws into the stud, then four more screws that were just into nothing.  So once I got the ones out of the studs, I literally was able to just pull the whole thing off the wall.  I feel like there's a "that's what she said" in there somewhere.  Too many mentions of "screws" and "studs" and "big ones".

So now I have a lovely little mess to clean up.  We'll see how long that takes.  But this also means that I'm committed to painting the other cupboards!  No idea when I'll be starting that, but the longer I look at them, the more I realize how badly it needs to be done.  And maybe this empty space would be better suited to some open shelves?  What do you think?

Oh, and I also have that under-counter radio/CD player thing sitting around now.  Anyone want it?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Very Vivian - This is why I can't have nice things.

When Vivian wants a drink, she can't be bothered to wait around for me to do it for her.

I have moved her cups to a lower cupboard.  They're not even in there in these pictures, this was just her realizing that.  She has no problems with dragging a chair around and just climbing up to whatever it is that she needs.  There is definitely no fear of heights with this girl.  The boots on the counter were a nice touch.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Treats of the Week

  • I finished watching "The Following" after having recorded the entire first season.  I really enjoyed it - what's not to love about James Purefoy?  A little slow in some sections, but overall I really liked it.  We'll see if I watch Season 2 week-to-week or record it all again.
  • I went to a stag and doe on the weekend for the first time in ages.  It was a blast - they had a great turnout and it was awesome to see so many people again.  It would have been better if my kid had been asleep when I got home late after having more than a couple of drinks, but what can ya do.
  • I forgot to post it last week, but I got through all of the new episodes of Arrested Development too.  While I was worried after the first couple of episodes, I thought the new season really gelled by the end.  It's kind of like watching Pulp Fiction where you get bits and pieces of the storyline as you go, so I think it will fare better with time as you realize just how layered it really is.
  • My mom was sick last week, and I had to leave work one day to go home and help her out.  While that wasn't the treatiest part of my week, it did make me appreciate that I have a job that allows me to do that.  My job sure isn't perfect, but it is nice knowing that I can leave if I need to and don't have to worry about it affecting my pay at the end of the week.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have banks of overtime, or sick time, or vacation time so it made me feel very grateful.  Also, mom said that Courtney and I passed the little "In Case of Emergency" test, so that was nice.
  • Shaken black iced tea with lemonade and a shot of raspberry from Starbucks.  I stopped in at Starbucks a week or so ago to get one, but couldn't remember if it had a special name or not.  So here's me at the drive-thru, "Um, yeah, last year there was like a shaken black iced tea with lemonade thing, but I don't know what it was called."  "Oh that would be the shaken black iced tea with lemonade."  Thanks for that.  But the guy recommended adding the shot of raspberry and it's amazing.  I loves me some Starbucks, but I try to keep it as a treat.  Otherwise I would probably have to sell my car to keep up with my habit.
  • I was exhausted last night.  I forced myself to stay up long enough to watch all of Game of Thrones and Mad Men, then quickly went to bed and had an amazing sleep.  It rained through the night and I had the bedroom window open so I had that perfect combo of white noise and fresh air.  I definitely made getting out of bed on a drab, wet Monday morning a little bit easier after having a really good night's sleep.
  • Getting to see family at a barbeque, especially on what turned out to be a perfectly beautiful day.
  • Having someone else make me dinner.  Always a welcome treat.
  • MY DISHWASHER FREAKING WORKS!  I've thought for the last few months that the dishwasher was broken after it didn't drain a few times.  I ignored it, didn't want to fix it, and just made do with washing dishes by hand.  Tonight I randomly decide to run it through, just for fun and the damn thing works!  Hooray!
Next week I'm hoping to be able to say that I've made it through an entire week without any kind of medical issue.  I think it's been a solid month of having some sort of doctor's appointment/sick day/trip to the walk-in/trip to emerg at least once a week.  Fingers crossed that Vivian and I don't end up with the flu that my mom had!  Fingers crossed for you too - there seems to be a lot of nasty bugs going around right now!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Outfit of the Day - Does Size Matter?

I am not a small person.

Never have been, never will be.  Even when I was working out all the time and was quite a bit smaller than I am now, I was still pretty firmly in double digit pants.  I could maybe squeeze into a size 8 if it was a skirt or shorts and therefore didn't really need to fit my thighs.  These days though, I'm usually somewhere between a 12 and a 14 depending on what I'm wearing and who made it.  And that's okay, I really don't care.  I feel pretty good about myself.

So I was wandering around a Smart Set the other day and found this skirt on the clearance rack.  Nothing too special - just a nice black skirt.  It had nice seaming along the sides to curve it and shape it.  And marked down to $14.99 so it seemed like the perfect skirt to wear with pretty much anything, no matter the season.  Only problem?  The only sizes left on the rack were a 4 and a 16.

So I grabbed the 16 and tried it on - worth a shot, right?  And it fit beautifully.

Now here's where I could be vain and say I just couldn't bear to buy something in a 16.  Am I really a size 16?  Should I be worried about it?

But really, I just didn't care.  It fit, I felt good in it, and I felt like I looked good in it.  I didn't care what number was sewn on the inside of the skirt.  A month or so before I tried on a different skirt there in an XL and it was way too big so I had to go with the L and really could have probably even tried a M.  Things change depending on how they're made and designed.  After all, when I took off this skirt in the change room I went back to my size 12 jeans.
And really does the number on your ass matter?  Because to me, it matters a lot more how my ass looks in something.  And I think it looks pretty damn good in my size 16 skirt.

I just had to add this one for Vivian running in the background.  And the flyers by my feet are her "mail".

Cardigan - Old Navy
Top - Maurices
Skirt - Smart Set
Shoes - Old Navy (you can't tell, but they're leopard print.)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Roadside Find - Mad Men Style

It was town-wide yard sales in Strathroy a couple of weeks ago, but I was strong and didn't check any out.  I'm holding out for the big show in Kilworth next weekend.  I did take a little cruise through the neighbourhood at one point through, just to see what I could see.  And what did I spy at a sale just down the street from me?  This lovely little loveseat.

But I was good!  I kept on driving by.  I did, however, keep it in the back of my mind in a "gee, I wouldn't be mad if that was sitting out at the curb at the end of the day." 

So when I went for my drive around looking for post-town-wide-yard-sale-curbside-finds time I could barely contain my excitement when I did indeed see it sitting out at the curb!

A quick trip and some helping hands later and this beauty is hanging out in my garage.

(Note the piles of paint on the garage floor from stripping that stupid dresser)

Isn't it cute?  I just love the lines of it, even though it could stand to be cleaned up a bit.  I haven't found any major stains, just a couple of little drips.  I would love to get it reuphostered one day, but for now I'm planning on just spritzing it a few dozen times with a bottle of Febreeze before it comes into the house.

Not sure where to put it yet, but how could I resist having such a Don Draper-esque couch?  Can't you just picture me lounging on it, drinking some rye and smoking while coming up with my next great ad campaign?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

As Is, No Returns

Do you ever check the mistints at the hardware store?  I always make a point of checking to see if there's anything worthwhile there - especially since that's usually where the clearance spray paint hangs out.  So the other day at Lowe's I was checking out the mistints when I saw these two sitting there.

Yep, regular $54.97, marked down to $5.00 each.

It's Valspar Duramax Paint + Primer, which I've never used but sounds very fancy.  The problem is that it's semi-gloss.  I'm wondering if that was what made it a mistint - because who needs two gallons of grey semi-gloss paint?

There's a close up of the colour...

So I stood there debating for a little while - did I need both?  What would I do with it?  But it was just such a good deal, I couldn't resist.  The girl at the counter said she'd never even seen a gallon of mistint marked down that far, so it was definitely a good deal.

And since my kitchen cabinets look like this...

I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to slap some paint on them.  I'm not totally sold on having grey cabinets in the kitchen (I don't know how it will look with the green walls, but I've never really been happy with the colour on the walls, so if I didn't like it together I wouldn't be too upset to repaint the walls) but it might be worthwhile to use the good paint to get the cabinets cleaned up and then just go from there.

What do you guys think?  Good score?  Grey cabinets, yes/no?  Got any cans of mistints sitting around your house?

Monday, 3 June 2013

Treats of the Week

  • Game of Thrones was back in a big way last night - I missed it so much last week, I can't believe there's only one new episode left!  I have only read the first book, but I'm a terrible person so I've read all the wiki articles, so I knew that the Red Wedding was coming.  I had to laugh when my phone started blowing up with texts immediately after the show ended.  My favourite ones?  "Aaaajuswsdbjwwjsw" and "AOMGAAAHysuekedn f"
  • My irises have started to bloom!  My garden isn't much to look at - I just keep throwing things in there and figure as long as it's green I'm not doing too bad.  The irises popping up has made such a difference though!  I like these yellow and purple ones the best.  Sorry the pic is blurry - I was trying to take a picture this morning without seeming like a crazy person out taking pictures of their garden at 6:50 a.m.
  • I go to my mom's pretty much every Sunday for a visit and there's about a million different ways to drive from my place to hers.  Lately I've been taking Sylvan Road all the way from Townsend Line to Bog Line (sorry to the non-locals!) and it's quickly become my favourite.  I've discovered two completely amazing houses on that route - the most perfect A-frame house ever in Sylvan, and a fantastic looking midcentury sloped-roof beauty in Hungry Hollow.  Do you do that?  Take different routes to gawk at houses?  I do.  And last night on my drive home there was an older lady out walking a dog down Sylvan Road and she waved at me.  Didn't know her, she didn't know me, but it was a nice, friendly, country-folk wave and it made me smile.
  • I got my hair cut and coloured while I was at mom's yesterday (ding dong the greys are gone!  At least for a few weeks...) and when it was done Vivian got in my lap, touched my hair and said, "Oh, nice hair!"  Completely adorable - it's still so funny to me to hear her speaking so clearly.
  • My mom has a "fish guy" who comes and sells her fresh fish out of a van.  Seriously.  We had some for dinner yesterday and it was so incredible and fresh!  I could have had a million pieces.  Looking forward to leftovers for dinner tonight.
  • I love impromptu plans that just work out - Jenn and I quickly made plans to see Now You See Me on Thursday night.  It just worked out that it happened to be showing at one theater, even though it didn't technically open until Friday.  And it also happened to be the last day to use the BOGO coupons from the cereal boxes.  Perfect timing!
  • I was supposed to be in court last Friday for a full-day trial, but it managed to get resolved ahead of time.  Which was exciting, since I would have been able to wear jeans on Friday (I hate it when I have court and can't wear my casual Friday jeans!) but then I ended up losing my voice on Thursday and was home sick on Friday.  So good/bad?
  • Do you ever hear about a movie and are dying to see it, but then it ends up being a stupid low-budget indie movie that seems to be impossible to track down?  I've been wanting to see Bachelorette for ages, but couldn't find it anywhere.  I managed to track it down at Target though and it was so worth it!  Super fun movie - I definitely recommend it.
  • Also in the movie-realm (it was actually a pretty busy week for movies!) I saw Fast and Furious 6 and it was everything I'd hoped it would be!