Friday, 30 August 2013

Very Vivian - Hypochondriac

Miss Vivian has never been a good sleeper.  It's something that we're still actively working on.  The idea of her sleeping through the night on a consistent basis is something of a dream of mine.  At the moment a good night is her waking up once or twice and a bad night is three or more times.  A couple of weeks ago she had a night where she was up every hour - she's just a giant newborn sometimes.

But what's funny is the reasons she gives for waking up.  Most of the time she wants more milk or water, but lately I've been getting some different excuses.

"Mommy, my sick."

"Mommy, my need a doctor."

She's becoming quite the little hypochondriac.  During the day there's always some mysterious problem (usually involving an ant "biting" her) and at night she becomes very "sick" and needs to see the doctor immediately.

Lucky for me a little body lotion on the affected area seems to do the trick.  And if I need to pull out the real big guns, there's always a Phineas and Ferb bandaid.






Thursday, 29 August 2013

Fall TV 2013

Here it is, the list of what I'll be watching this fall.  There is about a metric shit ton of new shows this season - and another slew just waiting for midseason.  As usual, I'm casting a wide net and planning on checking out a whole bunch of stuff, and will whittle things down from there.  That being said, I do have to sleep at some point, so this isn't an exhaustive list of everything out there.  All of the new shows are linked to a trailer or sneak peek if you want to check it out - I didn't embed the videos or else it would take forever to load.  Here's a link if you want a quick run down of all the new fall shows.

If you need me, I'll be right here.


Here we go!

SUNDAY

Once Upon A Time - ABC, September 29 at 8:00 p.m. - I'll be honest, the last season wasn't the greatest for me.  I do like the new direction that they seem to be taking things with Neverland though, so I'm still holding on at this point.

Revenge - ABC, September 29 at 9:00 p.m. - Another show that didn't have the greatest second season, but I will definitely still be tuning in for.  I actually don't love it in a Sunday night slot, I thought it was more fun having it on Wednesday nights where it was kind of a juicy bit of fun in the middle of the week.  However, I do have hope for this next season now that they seem to have streamlined a few random plots.

Boardwalk Empire - HBO, September 8 at 9:00 p.m. - Season 3 was completely bananas, and I have zero idea where they'll take it next.  I really love the look of this show, but I'm worried that it can't sustain many more seasons.  I would love to see them go out after 5 seasons or so rather than keep it limping along.

The Walking Dead - AMC, October 14 at 9:00 p.m. - I have to admit, I find this show to generally be a bit of a snoozefest.  It's one that tends to pile up on my PVR and then I go back and watch the whole season as a marathon.  Everyone else in the world seems to love it though, so I have to stay in touch!

Betrayal - ABC, September 29 at 10:00 p.m. - ABC seems to be trying to recreate the magic of Revenge with this new sudsy drama.  The trailer seems like it's a bit of a bore, but I'll check it out at least a couple of times.

Hello Ladies - HBO, September 29 at 10:30 p.m. - I love, love, love Stephen Merchant in all of his awkward, gangly glory.  I'm really looking forward to seeing him carry a show on his own.


MONDAY

How I Met Your Mother - CBS, September 23 at 8:00 p.m. - For their final season, they're going extremely high concept.  If you haven't heard, the entire final season will play out over the course of the wedding that the whole gang is attending (I won't say whose wedding in case people are crazy spoilerphobes) and will culminate in Ted finally meeting the titular mother.  It's really risky, but they have a bunch of guest stars (Anna Camp and Sherri Shepherd, for starters) who should help keep things fun.

Almost Human - FOX, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. - Ah yes, who doesn't love a high concept, expensive sci-fi project on FOX?  Oh wait...those don't seem to fare very well, do they?  But they did keep Fringe around, so hopefully Almost Human can follow in its footsteps, as this show is also from the mind of JJ Abrams.

We Are Men - CBS, September 30 at 8:30 p.m. - I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Jerry O'Connell.  I don't know why, but I do (You'll notice as we go along that I will watch a lot of shows based solely on the fact that I like one of the actors).  So even though this appears to be completely ripping off the dearly departed Happy Endings with that wedding sequence, I'll check this one out.

2 Broke Girls - CBS, September 23 at 9:00 p.m. - They started to lose me a little bit with this show, but I still adore Kat Dennings enough to keep watching.

Sleepy Hollow - FOX, September 16 at 9:00 p.m. - The trailer didn't completely sell me on this whole updated Sleepy Hollow, but I've got to give them points for being gutsy and a bit out there.  I'll check it out.

Mom - CBS, September 23 at 9:30 p.m. - This looks pretty terrible, actually.  I just have such a hard time buying into the whole traditional sitcom format anymore.  But for Anna Faris and Allison Janney I will at least try one episode.

Hostages - CBS, September 23 at 10:00 p.m.- Finally, here's one that I'm actually really excited about.  It's based on an Israeli series and features and awesome cast.  Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott, anyone?  Toni Collette plays a surgeon who is scheduled to operate on the President of the United States when her family is taken hostage.  She's then ordered to kill the President if she wants to save her family.  It seems very Homeland-ish to me.

Blacklist - NBC, September 23 at 10:00 p.m. - Oh boy, are they ever hyping this one up.  You've no doubt seen the ads by now - I barely even watch any NBC shows and I've seen it about 20 times.  James Spader is an international criminal who turns himself over to the FBI - what does he want?  Tune in to see James Spader acting creepy-crazy to find out!


TUESDAY

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - ABC, September 24 at 8:00 p.m. - This is the big one.  Rarely does a show come along with so much fanfare and sky-high expectations.  I have tremendous respect for what has been built with the Marvel Universe and am super excited to see how it progresses on the small screen  Plus, Agent Coulson apparently comes back from the dead or something - do they have a Lazarus Pit in the Marvel Universe?

Dads - FOX, September 17th at 8:00 p.m. - Ugh, I want this show to be better, but it just looks brutal.  I'm only going to try to watch it because I love Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi so much.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - FOX, September 17 at 8:30 p.m. - Andy Samberg and Terry Crews are zany cops or something.  I'm really just looking forward to watching this because I find both Samberg and Crews to be eternally funny.

The Goldbergs - ABC, September 24 at 9:00 p.m. - Yep, this looks terrible.  Jeff Garlin is enough to get me to bite for one episode though.

New Girl - FOX, September 17 at 9:00 p.m. - Oh New Girl.  There are few shows that I look forward to enough to make absolutely sure to watch them the same night that they're aired, and this is one of them.  It's always hilarious, endlessly quotable, and left us with enough of a cliffhanger that this season should be a lot of fun.

The Mindy Project - FOX, September 17 at 9:30 p.m. - This started out super blah for me last season, but after some tweaking and reworking they really had me hooked by the end.  Season 2 has James Franco and Adam Pally stopping by, which I'm really looking forward to seeing.  Now if only they would get rid of that terrible theme song...

Trophy Wife - ABC, September 24 at 9:30 p.m. - Seems pretty fluffy, but I really love Malin Akerman and I think she's a really great comedic actress so I'll tune in.

Lucky 7 - ABC, September 24 at 10:00 p.m. - This show seems just weird enough for me to tune in.  I can't quite tell if it's a comedy or a drama, but who doesn't dream about winning the lottery?


WEDNESDAY

Arrow - CW, October 9 at 8:00 p.m. - I will continue watching for as long as Stephen Amell continues to take his shirt off.  Also, I love Katie Cassidy.

Back in the Game - ABC, September 25 at 8:30 p.m. - I don't usually go for the forced "grown daughter returns home and reconnects with her dad" kind of storyline, but when that dad is James Caan?  I'll give it a shot.

Modern Family - ABC, September 25 at 9:00 p.m. - I know everyone still loves Modern Family, but the last season was a real dip in quality for me.  There were many episodes that were just meh, and not the "gotta rewind it because the last part was so funny that I missed a whole other joke" that it used to be.

Super Fun Night - ABC, October 2 at 9:30 p.m. - This is really interesting because ABC picked up this Rebel Wilson comedy last year, but held it over until they had a spot for it this year.  I'm a big fan of Rebel Wilson, and they seem to be really taking the angle of "Hey, remember her?  You think she's funny - watch this show!"  The only thing I don't like from the trailers is the whole angle of the funny fat girl.  Oh it's so funny to see her try to get in the club - she thinks she looks so good, but she's just a fat girl!  I really think it would make such a bigger statement if they just played everything straight and her body wasn't even an issue (this was also my problem with Mike & Molly)

Nashville - ABC, September 25 at 10:00 p.m. - Nashville was a huge surprise for me last year.  I started watching it expecting it to be okay, but just not for me.  It ended up being one of my favourite shows - the music is amazing, the actors are all awesome, it's soapy and dramatic enough to be exciting, but still has really genuine moments.  Love this show!

Ironside - NBC, October 2 at 10:00 p.m. - A conversation I had with a coworker who is a big Sex and the City fan - Her: "So there's a remake of that show Ironside.  And Blair Underwood is in it, so I thought you would want to know."  Me:  "Sold."  Blair Underwood is so darn handsome, and I do enjoy a good procedural.  I'm not familiar with the original 60s series, so I'll be going into it fresh.


THURSDAY

Once Upon A Time in Wonderland - ABC, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. - If the show ends up being as good and intriguing as the trailer promises, I think I'll end up liking it more than the original OUAT.  I like the idea of having this as a spinoff, but I do worry that it will be a bit of storybook overload.  On the other hand, Naveen Andrews is on it, and that's never a bad thing.

The Big Bang Theory - CBS, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. - I've gone from not understanding the appeal of this show to laughing along with it every week.  I haven't heard much about guest stars for this season, but that's probably just because I haven't been paying attention.

Parks & Recreation - NBC, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. - This should be an interesting season for a fantastic show.  There's rumour that it may be the final season, especially considering that Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones are both leaving midway through the season.  If you haven't been watching it - definitely give it a shot.  It's so fantastically written, and the cast is all stellar.  Maybe I have a soft spot for it because I work in municipal government, but I just think it's an awesome, awesome show.

The Millers - CBS, September 26 at 8:30 p.m. - Much like "The Goldbergs" this is a traditional sitcom that just doesn't sit well with me.  I'll give it a shot because of Will Arnett and JB Smoove.

Grey's Anatomy - ABC, September 26 at 9:00 p.m. - Grey's Anatomy is that rare show that got so bad that I stopped watching, but somehow manage to pull me back in.  This is the 10th season for the medical drama, and it will definitely be a dramatic one.  Sandra Oh has already announced that this will be her final season, and contracts are up in the air for the rest of the original cast.  Will they end it all?  Will they continue on with the new doctors?  Will they continue to be able to come up with natural disasters to befall these poor doctors?  Tune in and find out!

The Crazy Ones - CBS, September 26 at 9:00 p.m. - A little Robin Williams can be a great thing.  A lot of Robin Williams week after week could be a different story, however.  But when you combine Robin Williams with Sarah Michelle Gellar and the always awesome James Wolk?  Well then you convince me to check it out.

Sean Saves the World - NBC, October 3 at 9:00 p.m. - It's been a long time since Will & Grace, but NBC is putting Sean Hayes back in the spotlight in that magic Thursday night timeslot.  This one could really go either way for me.

Reign - CW, October 17 at 9:00 p.m. - The CW seems to have a lot of new shows coming out this year that are kind of in that Young Adult distopian future vein, which don't really appeal to me.  Reign sounded promising - the untold story of a 15-year old Mary Queen of Scots, sounds exciting!  A little history, a little intrigue, sounds fun.  But watching the sneak peek didn't really go as I thought - it seems a little too polished and pretty.  We'll see.

The Michael J. Fox Show - NBC, September 26 at 9:30 p.m. - Is there anyone who doesn't like Michael J. Fox?  I should hope not.  He's so funny, so hardworking, so inspiring.  I'm really looking forward to his new show, it seems like it should be a good one!

Scandal - ABC, October 3 at 10:00 p.m. - OMG SCANDAL.  Seriously, this show is so freaking good, you need to be watching it.  NEED.  Kerry Washington is like the classiest, most amazing person ever.  I just want to hang out with her watch her be awesome.  Lisa Kudrow is joining the show this season which should make things very interesting!

Elementary - CBS, September 26 at 10:00 p.m. - I really enjoyed the first season of Elementary.  I thought they did a good job of balancing "monster of the week" type of storylines along with broader arcs.  I will admit to letting this one pile up on the PVR though, so I will probably end up doing the same this season.


FRIDAY

The Carrie Diaries - CW, October 25 at 8:00 p.m. - I'm the first to admit that this is far from a perfect show, but I still that sometimes you just need some fluffy entertainment.  I like having this show on hand for when I just need something on in the background while I'm folding laundry or something.  This season we meet Samantha Jones, so maybe that will make things a bit more interesting!

Dracula - NBC, October 25 at 10:00 p.m. - NBC is doing something a little different with this series, and I like it.  I feel almost like this is a counterpart to their Hannibal series from the spring.  Sadly, I didn't watch Hannibal because I was sure that they would can it after just a few episodes.  I hear that Hannibal is really great though, so I'll definitely be trying to get caught up there.  With Dracula, they're offering a 10-episode series.  I really like that idea of smaller runs, it makes it easier to get invested.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers is Dracula, which isn't terrible to see.  They're also being smart pairing it up with Grimm and premiering it right at Halloween.  I hate to give NBC props, but I think they're doing the right thing with this one.

So there's what I'll be up to this fall, in case you were wondering why I'm never seen outside of the house anymore.  Hell, I still have a bunch of shows waiting on my PVR from February and March.  Of course, this will definitely be thinned out after a few weeks which is good for all those midseason shows just waiting in the wings!  I'll do a post about the midseason shows along the way at some point - don't want to get too ahead of myself!




Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Painting With DIY Chalk Paint

If you've been on Pinterest or read any DIY or shelter blogs or known someone who goes on Pinterest or reads DIY or shelter blogs in the last couple of years, you've no doubt heard of chalk paint.  Chalk paint is supposed to be this glorious paint that can go on any surface without needing to be sanded or prepped.  Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, this chalk paint is usually associated with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the best of the best.  As far as I know, they were the first ones to come out with the stuff, and it's pretty remarkable.  Gone are the days of being unable to paint laminate furniture or having to spend hours sanding things down.  Just slap on some ASCP and you're good to go.  It's usually used with pieces that get distressed and then waxed to get that shabby chic look that some people really go for.  The distressing is an important aspect of the chalk paint, because normal latex paint just peels away if you try to sand it down, where chalk paint will give you that worn down edge.

Anyway, chalk paint is cool, but it comes with some issues.  First, it's a little too expensive for a cheapo like me.  Second, it isn't carried by everyone.  I believe there's a store in St. Thomas that carries it, but that's the closest retailer that I know of.  Third, it comes in a limited range of colours.  They're beautiful colours, but limited nonetheless.

So I thought I would give one of the DIY chalk paint recipes a try and see how it goes.  I used this tutorial, which I liked since it gave a couple of different options and compared the results to ASCP.  For my purposes, I decided to use the plaster of Paris method which seemed to be the easiest/cheapest option.  Basically, you use 1 part hot water mixed with 1 part plaster of Paris.  Mix that together well, then add 3 parts of your paint.  To do this piece, I used 1/2 cup water and PofP with 1 1/2 cups paint.  I did another piece that was bigger so I doubled it (I don't have pictures of that yet though) and I found it to be a little difficult to mix that much paint, so I would suggest doing a smaller batch and then just doing another batch for your second coat.

Chalk paint is different that regular paint in a few ways - mainly that it's thinner and grainier.  It really sticks to whatever you're painting and it dries quite a bit quicker than regular latex paint.  I was pretty happy with the results - check it out!

I decided to finally give a coat of paint to that little campaign-y style dresser that I got for Vivian's room.  You might remember it from this post.  Here's what it looked like before...


And here's how it's looking now...



I took off all of the hardware - including the corner bits - and polished them all up with some Brasso, following Centsational Girl's advice.  The corner pieces cleaned up really nicely, but the drawer pulls were tougher since they had more nooks and crannies and weren't real brass.



I'm still pretty happy with how they turned out though.  Any rough spots are just going to be called patina.

Because the paint was thinner, it was pretty easy to get it to fit into all of the bits of cane on the face of it without having big globs of paint everywhere, like you probably would with just plain latex paint.  And it was definitely easier than spray painting it.

I had it in my mind to paint it a nice, bright blue and then realized that I already have a bunch of blue paint sitting around from the basement, so I just used that instead of getting something else.  Because you thin the paint down, it's a bit lighter than it started out, but I'm still pretty pleased with it!

And so was Vivian!




(And this picture is why I took the initial pictures in the much brighter living room!)

So that's a very long winded explanation to what I was up to last night.  Have you tried out chalk paint yet?  I didn't wax this piece, because I kind of like the grittier surface of just the plain chalk paint (and yes, also because I couldn't find the wax in the store) but I might want to try waxing even just the top to make it easier to wipe down.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Treats of the Week - Where has August gone?

I'm told this is the last week of August, which is just weird.


  • Batfleck.  The internet exploded at the news that Ben Affleck will be the next actor to don the cowl.  And you know what?  I'm going to say I'm excited.  Because sometimes it's just more fun to be excited about things than to stick your nose in the air and say, "Worst. Casting. Ever."  And Batman and Superman being in the same movie is definitely something to be exciting about.
  • Grilled cheese and ketchup flavoured chips are distinctly not bad.  They are kind of like a milder version of ketchup chips mixed with all dressed.
  • Jenn and I are going to see the powerful Joe Rogan in September AND I CAN'T CONTROL MY VOLUME I'M SO EXCITED!
  • Catching up with my friend Kimberly over burgers and drinks.
  • Going swimming on a hot summer day.
  • Vivian being the naked kid at a birthday party
  • Being able to be there for people that you care about when they're going through a rough time.
  • This dance on SYTYCD.
  • Meeting up with mom for a Costco adventure - with no kids with us!  Definitely a treat!
  • Grilled shrimp and Greek salad - I ripped my only pair of shorts when I was getting dressed on Saturday.  I'm choosing to chalk it up more to the actual age of the shorts than to the fact that I'm a fatty McButterpants, but I've still been trying to eat slightly better in the aftermath.  Grilled shrimp on a Greek salad is my new favourite, followed closely by ice cream sandwiches.  You pick your battles.
  • It was the absolute perfect temperature this morning as I was leaving for work - you couldn't even feel anything, because it was just that perfect mild temperature with just barely a hint of breeze.  Love those cool nights.
  • Getting new books in the mail.



  • FREAKING BREAKING BAD LAST NIGHT.  It was an insane episode - like jaw on the floor every 10 minutes kind of insane awesome.  
  • Starting to paint something new - hopefully will have picture soon!
Have an (ice cream) treat-filled week!



Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Concert Tickets on Display!

I've been shuffling things around like crazy lately.  Not sure why - maybe it's the whole feeling of a fresh start that comes with back to school time?  For whatever reason I've been tidying things up, moving things around, and wanting to paint anything I can get my hands on.  So when the old corkboard covered in concert tickets in my office wasn't doing it for me anymore, I thought I would try something different.

I used the frame that I had previously tried to update in this post , but had never really been happy with it.  So this time I thought I'd try giving it a coat of black paint and then just put a new piece of of foam board from the dollar store in and started laying out the concert tickets.  Coincidentally, while I was pondering this particular little project, I noticed on facebook that my friend Nina had done the same thing - so great minds think alike!


I tried to arrange them in a semi-visually pleasing way.  I didn't quite have enough to fill it, but I thought I would rather leave blank space for future tickets rather than fill it in with some sports tickets.  I have all my sports tickets kept aside still, so maybe I'll get another frame and do them up separately.



Until then, I'm kind of liking the patchwork look of this.  I love seeing people's concert tickets, so it makes me happy to have this out where people can see it.  Because really, everyone who comes over definitely wants to see my old ticket stubs from Sum 41 and Bif Naked.


Sorry the pictures are extra-bad - I tried like four times to get decent pictures, and tried in three different rooms and it just wasn't working out.  Instead you are welcome to come over and marvel at it in person.

What do you guys do with old ticket stubs?  Hang em up?  Stick them in a box?  Throw them out and forget it ever happened?  Stupid online ordering is ruining ticket stubs!  I shake my cane at printable tickets!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Very Vivian - Bringing the wild animals to the zoo

Mom and I got brave on the weekend and took the kids out to Greenview Aviaries for a little day trip.  It's a really great sized zoo for kids this age - it's got lots to see, but is small enough that they can run around on their own and you don't have to worry about dragging a stroller around.

The day started out on a good note - everyone was excited to be there and see everything.  So let's start with a picture - first Vivian on the elephant statue...



Awesome!  Now let's try adding Blair and L to the equation...


 And little miss only child freaks at the idea of sharing anything.



Much better.

We watched Madagascar 3 on the drive there (for about the 47,000th time) so it was fun going around the zoo and pointing out "Alex the lion" and "Marty the zebra" to the kids.  They were pretty excited to see Alex so close to them, they kept yelling "Hi Alex!"




 I love seeing zebras up close - I never get tired of it.  They just don't even look real when you get right up to them, they really do look like they've been painted.


Blair was just the sweetest - she's such a little animal lover.  Every animal we encountered would get a sweet little greeting from Blair.  "Oh hi, duckies!"  She was constantly crouched down talking quietly to all the animals while Vivian would be throwing the food and yelling to get their attention.


 Vivian took charge of the map of the park, walking around with her head buried right into it.  She's such a know-it-all, no idea where that came from.


 Vivian also really liked seeing all the birds - especially the eagles.  Of course the kids thought that all the seagulls were part of the zoo, so that was pretty exciting.

Greenview also has a lot of stuff to keep the kids occupied outside of the zoo area, which can be really nice.  Well, it can be if people aren't camped out hogging picnic tables for the entire day.  We literally saw coolers just sitting on empty picnic tables and it staying like that for hours.  It seemed that some people would just put their stuff down to reserve their spot while they wandered around the park, leaving the rest of us to have a little tailgate party.  The kids didn't want to sit and eat anyway, so it was just an adult annoyance.  Being around big groups like that just turns me into a grumpy old many anymore, what can I say.



Monday, 19 August 2013

Treats of the Week (and one I forgot from last week)

  • One I forgot from last week that can't go unmentioned - I got carded!  Woo!
  • Vivian and I have been doing lots of chalk drawings lately, which is lovely.  Except for some reason she always insists on adding a bum to her pictures of me...rude.



  • I got a nice little package of free samples in the mail.  I've signed up for so many mailing lists and surveys and stuff, every now and again I get freebies in the mail.



  • I got an awesome catch-up hangout night with Jenn so I got to hear all about her amazing European vacation.  I'm so glad that she had such a great trip - and even more glad that I finally got to try some Popeye's Chicken while we had our gab session!  
  • Fresh corn on the cob - I love the maple sweet corn here in Strathroy, it's amazing!  Really good corn on the cob is one of those things that I forget how awesome it is until that first bite.
  • Lunchables keep going on sale for back to school, and there's nothing I like better than a lunchable!
  • I've been catching up on Freaks and Geeks on Netflix, finally.  I missed this one when it was on originally (although I did watch Undeclared and loved it) so I'm really enjoying being able to marathon through it now.  What an awesome show that was just ridiculously well cast.
  • Scored an amazing deal on the season 2 combo pack for GIRLS - price at the front of Future Shop?  $32.99.  Price at the back of Future Shop?  $26.99.  So when it rang up at $32.99, they adjusted the price to the $26.99 one, then did the $10 off thanks to the scanning code of practice.  Can't beat $16.99 for a BluRay combo pack!



Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wild Flamingo Hunting

I tend to get obsessed with things easily.  Every now and then I'll come across something and then spend a significant amount of time obsessing over how it keeps popping up everywhere - clearly a sign that I should have it.

So this time it's flamingos.  Flamingos must be in right now, because I just kept coming across them.  I'd see a blogger post about a flamingo iPhone cover, then I'd see a hat with flamingos on it at Aldo, then I'd come across another blogger with some flamingo print in their house.  (These two blogs definitely helped to push me over the edge.)

So I decided that yes, I need a flamingo somewhere in my life.  But not just any flamingo - the right one.  After checking out Kijiji and spending some time scrounging around my favourite thrift stores to no avail, I started perusing Etsy.  And there I kept seeing the same image over and over again - the Audubon flamingo.

Apparently John James Audubon was a painter and naturalist who created The Birds of America between 1827 and 1839, this amazing work filled with beautiful paintings of every kind of bird you can imagine.  I completely fell in love with his flamingo - the position of it is so much different than you typically see for a flamingo, and the pink is so dark and rich.  I needed it.

Of course there were lots of different vintage options (that is, expensive options) but I went with a cheaper, but still good quality, print from DaVinci Art Prints.  I got a great 13x19 print for a great price (about $13).  Of course then it cost just as much to ship it here.  Totally worth it though - I love it!


I lucked out and it fit in an old IKEA Ribba frame that I already had.  I'd been wanting to switch out the prints in these frames anyway, so it worked out well.  I just need to find the perfect place to hang it now though - for now I just threw it back on the wall in the same place it was before.


And I also have that "These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty"  print that I thought might work in one of the other frames, but not so much.

I loved Vivian's reaction to it - when she saw it she said, "Oh, you paint that mommy?"  She thinks I'm so talented.

Now I kind of want to get more Audubon prints and then maybe hang them all together - I would really like to get one of the hawks, but I can't decide which one.

So that's my new flamingo friend - anyone else have any Audubon prints?  Seriously - do some Googling and check them out, they're so pretty I just can't resist them!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Very Vivian - The Tomboy Beauty Queen

Vivian's personality has always killed me.  Even when she was a newborn, she just had the biggest personality.  She was never just a little lump, she's always been her own person.  I really do my best to foster all the different aspects that make her so interesting, especially as she gets older.  Right now she can exist in that bubble where she can be whatever she wants - she doesn't think about what's for girls or what's for boys or what someone might think about her, she can just be herself.

So as you might expect, we see a lot of dichotomies with Vivian.  She'll wear superhero shoes with a dress, she'll play with cars and Barbies, all normal Vivian stuff.

But the other night she did something so girlie and hilarious that I had to take a picture.  She's been really into playing with her little beauty salon stuff (and she's been really into big trucks lately - go figure) and the other night she couldn't even bear to be away from it, she had to go to bed with her littler hair straightener, curling iron, blow dryer, and hairbrush.  All tucked in right beside her to go to sleep.  Here she is, carefully applying her play lipstick before drifting off to sleep.


Don't ever change, Vivian.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Treats of the Week - Oo-de-lally!

  • First and foremost - BREAKING BAD is back in a big, bad way.  I don't want to be the one to post any spoilers, but after just the first hour it's definitely proving why it's one of the best written and acted series on TV.
  • Oh no big deal, just found Robin Hood!  I love the Disney Robin Hood - we used to rent it all the time when we were kids (back in the day when we had to rent the VCR along with the movie!) and I totally had a rush on Robin.  He really is a fox.  When I saw it on the shelf at Costco I literally burst out a little, "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!"  Hooray for things being released from the Disney vault - they just released the Sword in the Stone too, another fave of mine.



  • My lovely friend Jenn has returned safe and sound from her grand European adventure.  Since I was charged with checking on her happy home and picking up her mail while she was gone, she managed to find a little bit of space in her very tightly-packed suitcase to bring me back a fun little present from the Palace of Versailles.  She brought me the one souvenir anyone would want from France - a Palace of Versaille Rubik's cube, obviously. 



It's adorable, I love it.  But I will never move it, since I'm terrible at Rubik's cubes.
  • I lucked out and managed to land myself a bunch of yummy leftovers including sandwiches, homemade soup, potato skins and bacon wrapped bits of goodness.  Yay me!
  • Sitting out in the sun on Saturday watching the race boats.
  • I saw Elysium on Friday and while it wasn't as good as District 9, I really enjoyed it.  It was a little bit heavy handed in some places, but I thought it was pretty visually amazing.  And Robo-Damon is pretty damn awesome.
  • Vivian and Blair got some hangout time on Sunday - a trip to go see Turbo and then playing at Grandma's house.  They're really starting to interact together, and it's hilarious.  They had a little bathing suit and cheese party out on the deck where I managed to get this picture-perfect moment where Vivian seems to be disappointed that her cheese isn't brie or something.

 

  • All the back to school sales are on, which is always super exciting.  I cashing in on the sales for arts and crafts supplies for Vivian, and to tuck some away to help Santa when it comes time to fill those stockings.  I can't believe that this time next year I'll be doing back to school shopping for real!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Outfit of the Day - My Favourite Casual Friday Look

Lately I've been wearing pretty much the same thing every week for casual Friday.  I got this top at Maurice's a couple months ago and it has quickly become my go-to top.


It fits nicely where it's supposed to, and it looser in enough areas that I don't spend the whole day obsessing over what it's doing.  It's dressy enough that if I'm doing something after work I don't have to worry about getting changed, but not so dressy that I feel out of place.  It's a great top and I've been getting lots of compliments on it, which is always nice.

The only problem with it?  Because it has a wide elastic-y waistband, it gives me a little shirt penis.


Awesome.

It always reminds me of Larry David and his little pants tent.



I went all-out this time and did a full-on bathroom mirror selfie for this one so you could see the detail in the shirt.  I wasn't getting enough light in the bedroom (but you'll notice I actually made my bed this time!)


So comfy - and great under a cardigan too, so this will still be working for me all through winter!

Top - Maurices
Jeans - Gap
Bracelet - Chamilia

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Tickle Suitcase - a smaller version of the Tickle Trunk

I hate finding something while thrifting and then not using it.  What's the point in finding a treasure, only to have it sit in a closet?  


So this pretty blue suitcase was still sitting in my office closet and I couldn't think of anything to use it for.  I would love to have it be a table, but it's a soft sided suitcase so I couldn't figure out how to make that work.  And I'm sorry, but I'm just not twee enough to just have it sit around as storage for my doilies and antique handkerchiefs or whatever.

So when I realized that Vivian's bin for dress-up clothes was looking like this...


That is one sad little fox.

I thought the suitcase could be a great solution.


This way it's easy to tuck under her bed and easy for her to get into everything.  I like having things placed so that she can get to them and doesn't have to ask for help (well, with some things at least!)  There's the little pocket inside that is great for some of the smaller items and it's easy to just toss everything back in and kick it out of the way when she's done.  And hey, she can even use the suitcase as a part of the dress-up game!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The OMG So Sparkly Bed

After months of having Vivian sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and about six cans of sparkly spray paint, Vivian finally has a real big girl bed.


She's also easily distracted by iPads.

I used Rustoleum spray paint in Brushed Nickel.  I wanted something fun, but decided against anything too bright or wild that she would outgrow too quickly.  My original leaning was to paint the whole thing gold, but that seemed like something that I would immediately regret.  This paint wasn't too silvery, and not too goldy - closer to a champagne colour than some of the other paints and oh so sparkly that I just couldn't resist it.



I mean, who doesn't want a glitter bed?  Hell, I kind of want one now.

Because it's a daybed, it leads to some difficulties when it comes to arranging furniture.  Vivian falls asleep with a TV on, but the foot of this bed is so high that I would have to find something else to put her TV on in order for her to see it, so it's positioned to the side.  But that makes it difficult to put up a bedrail, because that would block the TV.  I honestly wasn't all that worried about her falling out of the bed - I mean, she's slept on the same mattress on the floor for months and only rolled out of it once (on her very first night) so why would she roll out of it now that it's up off the floor?

But, because this bed sits higher up than most, I wanted something in there at least to start.  So because I needed something low I decided to go the classy route by duct taping three pool noodles together and shoving them under her fitted sheet.



She promptly fell out of the bed twice.

I tried to secure the pool noodles a little more with some velcro, but that didn't seem to help.  Then as I was putting her to bed I watched her lean out of the bed to reach the little princess table beside her so she could set her water bottle on it.  I realized that when she was down on the floor she had a little stool to set her drinks on, but now it was out of her reach and that's when she was falling out of the bed - when she was trying to get to the table.

So as a quick fix I stuck my little bookshelf behind her bed so she has a little ledge for her drinks.  Since then, no troubles with her falling out.



It's not the most elegant solution, but it will do until I can get a proper shelf mounted next to her bed or something.

Unfortunately, with all of the shuffling of furniture around she insisted on bringing up a couple of the larger toys from the basement which has made her whole room a little crazy.



There is definitely going to have to be some toy clean-out happening before we get close to her birthday/Christmas.  At least having the bed in there gives us some extra storage space under the bed!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Exterior paint - or is it?!

You may remember my $5 a gallon (originally $54 a gallon) mistinted paint that I found a little while back.


Turns out that even though I could have sworn I looked it over carefully in the store, it is actually exterior paint.  This fact somehow eluded me even though it's clearly printed at the top of the can there in the orange bar.  I literally didn't even realize this until I was wandering around Lowe's looking for something else and couldn't figure out why this brand of paint was sitting in the exterior paint section.

So I did some online research and came to the conclusion that since it's latex exterior paint, it should be okay.  We're going by the rule of thumb that outdoor stuff can be used inside, but inside stuff can't be used outside - I most commonly apply this rule to Christmas lights.  Had it been oil-based paint, the fumes would have probably been way too overwhelming for inside.

Just to be sure, I did a little test patch on a cupboard door just to live with it for awhile and see if I even liked the colour.  I was concerned that it was a little more greige than grey, but figured what the hell.  For the price of this paint it was worth a shot.  I rationalized that since this paint is made to withstand the elements, surely it's a great option for kitchen cupboards?


So, with a Friday off and a long weekend following it I finally started on the task.  I took the doors off to make things a little easier on myself and to hopefully get some really even coverage.


After the first coat I was hating myself for even starting the project.  This is pretty common of all my projects.


I decided to only tackle the one section of cupboards around the sink - divide and conquer.  So I still have this little bank of cupboards waiting for me for some other weekend when I feel like pulling out the fridge.


I'm happy to say that the paint worked out really well.  It went on really nice and thick and seems to dry to a nice, hard finish.  It's super glossy, so it should be good to wipe off messes and whatnot.  I was totally lazy and only painted the outsides of the cupboards - no way in hell was I taking everything out and painting the insides.  I did both sides of the doors, that's about the best that I can manage.


While I was at it, I realized that my hardware was now a pretty perfect match to the cupboards, which wasn't my favourite look.  So I gave the hardware a quick coat of black spray paint and I'm really happy with the result.



 Not going to lie - per usual, the paint job is far from perfect.  I didn't tape anything off (when do I ever?) and I cannot get it through my head that thin and even coats are the way to go - even if you have to do more of them.  I'm much more in the camp of, "But if I do one really thick coat, then I can be done quicker!" which of course leads to drips and globs everywhere.  But whatever - these are not fancy cupboards.  If I was ever serious about making a change in the kitchen, they would all have to come out anyway.  This was purely to freshen things up and to make use of that sweet deal I got on the paint.  I'm also actually kind of liking how the grey looks with my green walls - I was sure that after painting the cupboards I would want to repaint the walls.  It may still happen at some point, but not immediately or anything.

The best part is how little paint it took - this stuff really stretches.  To do two coats on this section of cabinets took about 1/4 gallon, so I still have loads left over for the other section (remember that I got two gallons of the stuff).  And since it's exterior paint, I may even have to slap a coat on my front door or something, just for the hell of it.

I feel like I've stumbled onto some sort of paint secret here - exterior paint is an awesome option if you're painting cabinets or anything else that needs a really tough coat of paint!  Has anyone else ever used exterior paint on something unusual?



Monday, 5 August 2013

Treats of the Week - August?

So apparently it's August now, and that's weird.


  • Vivian told me that Tinkerbell was in a tree in our yard, which was hilarious and adorable.
  • I finally got the hole in my deck fixed - yay for getting rid of death traps!

  • I saw 2 Guns and thought it was super fun - what can I say, I have a soft spot for funny Mark Wahlberg.
  • Last year's episodes of Breaking Bad are finally up on Netflix - just in time for a rewatch before the final 8 episodes begin next Sunday!
  • I took Vivian to Ribfest on Sunday to see her dad's band play.  It was her first time seeing him on stage, and even though I don't think she really understood what was going on, it was great to be able to take her.
  • I got Roundup for all the weeds in my driveway and sidewalk and stuff (the real stuff!) and am having a really perversely good time watching them all slowly die.  Muahahaha.
  • Mom and I took the kids to the beach today and even though it was cold-ish out and really busy, it was great to just be outside and see the kids playing, and to be in a bikini and not really giving a shit about how I looked.
  • A long weekend that was both relaxing and productive.