Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Resolutions for 2015

Yes, it's that time of year where everyone makes resolutions and then manages to keep them for about two weeks before falling back to their slovenly ways.  I try not to get too crazy with the resolutions, but I think it's nice to have some ideas in mind for the new year.  Self-improvement is always a good thing if you do it in an even-handed way, or at least I think so.  First, I'll fess up to how my resolutions from 2014 went over.

Food Journal/Spending Journal - I maintained the food journal for a few months (something I've had great success with in the past) but I eventually stopped.  Not because I fell off the wagon with it, but because I found it just didn't have the same effect it once did.  I used to be really into it - almost to a point that it was bad for me.  My brain can get obsessed with things in a bad way sometimes - damn that addictive personality.  This time around it was different though.  I would write things down and whether I was eating well or poorly it didn't really make a difference to me.  Same with the spending journal - I just wasn't finding that it was making a difference with how I was spending, so I gave it up.

The Bookshelf Challenge - I actually did way better on this one than I was expecting.  The only books I bought all year were either ones that I needed for book club/graphic novel group and couldn't get from the library, or were bought with a gift card (loophole!) or for a specific purpose.  For example, I bought one book in the spring because it was written by a blogger that I enjoy and I wanted to support her book launch.  It was fun to go through the books I already had and try to get through as many of them as I could.  I used my library a lot more (which was also a resolution!) which was lots of fun for both Vivian and myself!

Clothes that make me feel my best - I stuck with this one pretty well.  I found it was less of a resolution and more of a frame of mind.  If I was questioning myself in the change room or thinking "well, maybe if this shrinks up it will fit okay..." I just put it back.  I started to slip a little bit on this at the end of the year with a couple of online purchases that were only okay but for the most part I feel like I did well.

And so, for 2015...

  • Be good to myself.  Whenever I say something bold like "No more junk food!" or "I'm going to work out 3-5 times a week, no excuses!"  I end up falling off the little good intentions train in about two days.  This year, I just want to be good to myself.  Whether that means trying to be more active (which I need to be) trying to eat better (which I struggle with) or trying to sleep more (forever up too late) or trying to have less stress in my life by paying bills on time (never answer the phone at my house!) I just want to be better to myself, and try to put myself first sometimes.
  • Continue with the Bookshelf Challenge.  There are still far too many books on my TBR (To be read) list.  I've pulled them all off of my main bookshelf area and put them on my nightstand and on a smaller shelf on the other side of my bed so they are close at hand for when I need something to read.  Having them right out in the open makes it much easier.  The challenge was also great for keeping me out of the bargain books section at Chapters, which is basically the most dangerous place on Earth.  I'll keep my gift card loophole and buy books if I need them for book club and graphic novel group, but other than that I'm going to try to read what I've got and borrow what I need from the library.
Night stand TBR #1

Night stand TBR #2
  • Be more organized.  I'm a pretty organized person most of the time, but I have overflowing cupboards and piles of "deal with it later" paperwork on my desk and little bits of chaos all over the house.  I need to do a big sweep through all the closets, drawers, nooks, and crannies and get rid of things.  One tip I'll pass along that I've been using and has been really helpful is having a "get rid of it" bin.  I have a big Rubbermaid bin sitting in my office as a drop space for anything I want to donate.  So if I come across clothes that Vivian has outgrown or something that I don't need anymore, I can put it in there instead of putting it away to deal with it later.  That keeps it out of the general population and segregated until I can take a load to Goodwill or wherever else I'm taking it.  This is also going to include finishing projects that I start - it's all about the follow-through!
  • Be more creative.  I have my outlets for creativity - namely this blog.  I've also been writing in a journal a little bit, but I would like to use my sewing machine more.  I've only tried it a couple of times in the year since I've had it and I would really like to be more familiar with it to the point that I could do some simple projects for Vivian and I.  Who knows - maybe by the end of the year I won't have any more curtains that are hemmed with safety pins!
  • Continue with clothes that make me feel awesome.  This was a good one from last year!  Life is too short to wear clothes you don't like!
  • Watch more TV.  The way I watch TV is changing rapidly, as it is for many people right now.  I've been downloading more and watching more series as a binge instead of week to week.  I've dropped my satellite package down as low as I can to accommodate this change, and I feel like I've been watching more really great TV because of it.  I've been more discerning with what I've been watching - there's too much good entertainment out there to waste time on bad TV, unless it's bad enough to make it really worthwhile!  In 2015 I would like to finally get around to watching Buffy - I started it ages ago and got sidetracked.  I also need to watch Deadwood (I know, I know!  Don't throw things at me!) and I would love to do a rewatch of The X-Files.  Priorities, people.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

About The Tree

Well today is December 30th and my tree has been packed away since the 28th.  I might be a humbug, but I just can't deal with that tree being up a minute longer than it has to be!  I put away some of the loosey-goosey decorations on Boxing Day and tried to wait a bit longer to take down the tree, but I didn't make it.

A lot of people make a big deal about when you put your tree up - some people think that it shouldn't go up before December 1st.  Some people have real trees and put them up a bit later.  I like to put our tree up on December 9th so that we can get Vivian's birthday out of the way first.  I always say that the question isn't when do you put your tree up, but when do you take it down.

Personally, I just like to have my living room back.  My house isn't huge - I don't have a dedicated spot for the Christmas tree.  This year was the first year I put it right in the front window.  And it was nice having it there, it looked pretty from the street, all of that bullshit.  But I had to move a bunch of Vivian's toys to make room for it, which just made everything else that much more cluttered.  I also find that as long as the tree is up, the new shit doesn't seem to get put away as quickly.  As long as the tree is there new stuff seems to just find it's way under the tree and that's deemed as being put away.  No.  I can't deal with the chaos - I need things to go back to the way they were!

Vivian didn't seem the mind the tree coming down - she's been telling everyone that Christmas is over and is wondering what comes next (Uncle Brent's birthday and Daddy's birthday are up next on our schedule) but I've let her keep the small tree in her room for the time being, mostly because it's not in my immediate line of sight when I'm busy holding the couch down.

So there you have it - I might be a scrooge, but I just can't deal with the Christmas tree for much more than three weeks.  Let me know what your tree tolerance is!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Treats of the Week - A Week of Sundays

Happy post-Christmas friends! I hope you're lucky like me and are off work for a few days - enjoying that lazy period of time between Christmas and New Year's where ever day feels like a Sunday. I had a great Christmas and am not ready to go back to reality yet! 

My day today has been spent doing something I've wanted to do for years - a Star Wars marathon. Only Episode IV, V, and VI mind you, but it's still been a lovely day.

And it's been made even better by snacks!

I am notorious for judging wine by their labels. I've had my eye on this badass bottle for quite some time and can't wait to finally crack into it!

Like I said, we had a great Christmas. Vivian managed well with very few meltdowns and loved all of her gifts! 

Like many people I managed to watch The Interview after aome difficulty of managing stupid YouTube and my TV. I thought it was good, but not amazing. Mostly I'm just glad that I was able to watch it!

I also managed to burn my way through the first season of The Knick, which I really enjoyed. It was pretty dark but so well done - I especially loved the score. Looking forward to a second season for sure!

I put together a Lego set for Lucas that was for recommended ages 8-14. It was one of the most difficult tasks of my life.

Vivian has always been fond of spooky things and she's taking more of an interest in Tim Burton. We watched The Corpse Bride the other night and now she's asking to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I'm going to do another post about Vivian and her new drum pad, but I've been so pleased at how well she's taken to it! She even starts by saying, "A one, two, a one, two, three, four!

All right folks, I'm calling it quits because I'm posting from my phone and it's annoying. Enjoy yourselves ringing in 2015, even though New Year's Eve is a stupid dumb holiday. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

On Christmas Eve

If you're celebrating some form of Christmas tomorrow, I wish you all the wonder of the season.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Treats of the Week - Merry Everything

Down to the wire, everyone!  I still have one more day of work left, and I hope you're all close to that finish line too if you're not there already!  I'm still about 99% done because I'm the eternal procrastinator and it just wouldn't be Christmas if I wasn't out there on Christmas Eve standing in stupid lines at the grocery store and fighting crowds like a dummy.  Ah well, 'tis the season.

  • I'm not a candle person, but this time of year I cannot resist a Twisted Peppermint candle from Bath & Body Works!

  • I saw some really great movies this week - Citizenfour was the Edward Snowden documentary and was sufficiently terrifying.  Foxcatcher was frightening in its stillness and Steve Carell blew me away.  And I finally got around to watching Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert that had me in tears.  It takes a lot for a movie to get to me, and I thought I would be prepared for that one since I had read his memoir, but it still got to me.  I also randomly watched Point Break, which remains the best of all bank robbing-surfer movies.
  • A coworker got me some Kahlua flavoured coffee for my Keurig and it is delightful, even if it isn't alcoholic.
  • I forgot about this one last week, but I'll still list it here.  I was in some training for work and made one of my dumb comments which ended in, "This feels like a trap."  The guy sitting beside me didn't even miss a beat, he jumped right in with his best Admiral Ackbar impression, "It's a trap!"  So I'm pretty sure that that's the easiest way to identify a fellow nerd in the crowd.
  • I got a really awesome gift this past week, but I'll blog more about it later since there's a DIY aspect to it.  Suffice to say that I'll have some badass T-shirts soon!
  • I was satisfied with the finale of Serial, even though I know that some people were expecting more of a resolution.  This parody from SNL was amazing though - so spot on!  "But what about the Nisha call?"

  • Vivian has been working hard at her reading "homework" and can now identify the word "is"!  
  • Vivian also had her first Christmas concert last week - it was a bit of a mess, but adorable nonetheless!

  • Just getting through this week has been quite the treat - it's been one long week!
All the best this week, guys!  I've got another post or two planned for this week, but I know a lot of people slip into internet radio silence.  I hope if you're celebrating something you enjoy every minute of it!

Thursday, 18 December 2014


I've always liked personality quizzes - takes me back to the days of reading YM and Seventeen magazine (remember when they would have a whole issue that was ALL QUIZZES?!) and that feeling that you would be able to solve all your problems just as soon as you find out what your backpack says about you or some such shit.

I'd heard about the 16 Personalities quiz around the old interwebs but figured it would be just as silly and basic as any other quiz.  So I took it and was shocked when my results came up to be scary accurate.  Apparently I'm an ISFJ - dedicated, loyal, the social introvert who retains information like crazy, is always more concerned about others than myself, is somehow both a constant procrastinator and completely reliable, and has a tendency to bottle up my own emotions.  It was pretty amazing.  There was no part of it where I was thinking, "Hmm, nope that part's not me".  It was bang on.  It even said that ISFJs will commonly work as public servants.

It's a fun way to kill 10 minutes if nothing else - go check it out and let me know what you turn out to be!  You can take the quiz here.

ISFJs unite!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tell me I'm not the laziest person alive

A few weeks ago, Vivian and I made play-doh for her classroom.  In the same weekend, I made 14 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange.

There are still three spoons in my dishwasher from those events.

Now, it's not that I haven't run my dishwasher since then.  Quite the contrary, I've run it a few times since then.  But those particular spoons have proven to be quite stubborn and are still not clean.  And instead of being a grownup and taking them out of the dishwasher and cleaning them properly to be done with it, I keep putting them back in the dishwasher hoping that the next cycle will finally be the one to blast that last little bit off.

It's not the grown up way of handling it, and yet I just keep tossing it back in there.  So also: stains that I seem to think will come out if I just throw them back in the wash one more time.

So this is the part where you reassure me that I'm not the laziest person alive.  That you do similar things.  I'll even give you another one - I will push crumbs/dirt/etc. under my couch to avoid cleaning it up.  I shouldn't be allowed to live on my own.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Very Vivian - Some Things Never Change

A lot of things change as your kids grow up.  Toys and books come and go, clothes are outgrown, milestones are met.  For Vivian, one thing has remained constant.

She loves that blanket as much today as she does the very first time she grabbed it.  She still sleeps with her little hand stuck in the mitts (resulting in callouses on her wrists).  The head has been sewn back on (and needs to be repaired yet again).  She cries when she finds holes in him.  He soothes her when she's upset, follows her from home to daycare and back again, and keeps her warm every single night.  He's gone from being Bibby to Blanket and she loves that green thing.

It will be a sad day when she finally outgrows her beloved Blanket.  But when that day comes, even if all that's left is a worn little green square I'll be sure to tuck it away, and show her these pictures when she's grown up to remind her how much she loved her Blanket.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Treats of the Week - Crunch Time

December 15th - crunch time!  We are closing in on the holidays quickly and I'm actually feeling pretty prepared!  After a busy weekend (which included a trip to Waterloo to pick up Vivian's big present) I am 99% done with Christmas shopping and ready to start wrapping!  If that isn't a treat, I don't know what is!

  • I participated in a Christmas ornament exchange with my fellow Ham Cats from GOMI and was so pleased when mine arrived this week!  A Ham from Ottawa sent me these perfect maple leaf ornaments - you know those will end up on the Wall O Canadiana!

  • My house is a disaster, and will no doubt stay that way for the next few weeks.  I am, however, comforted by the fact that I finally got around to getting more bags and boards this week to organize my comics - small victories!

  • The gas prices are low, low, low which makes me happy, happy, happy!
  • I have to jay walk to get from where I park to where I work, and it's often a pain in the ass.  It made me laugh this week when one of the officers stopped the cruiser to let me cross.  Of course I yelled at him that he was blatantly letting me jay walk, but it was still very nice.
  • I watched the new HBO documentary Banksy Does New York and thought it was awesome.  I love Banksy's work, and this documentary really showed how people react to his work - which is even more interesting.  I thought it was really thought-provoking, especially as to ownership of art and its perceived value.
  • This bit of chocolate ridiculousness ended up on desk this week.  That's a chocolate donut with dark chocolate filling, chocolate icing, chocolate bits on top and a piece of dark chocolate just shoved right in there.  So it's a little sweet.

  • It was Christmas dinner with the book club ladies this week!  We went out for an awesome fancy meal at Waldo's on King.  It's not very often I go out for such a fancy dinner - this is probably my one time a year - so I thoroughly enjoyed it.  And I took pictures of my salad and salmon because of course I did.

  • I saw Horrible Bosses 2 and it actually wasn't terrible!  Definitely not as good as the original, but still a lot better than I was expecting!
  • I took Vivian to Crock A Doodle to make some Christmas gifts for the grandparents.  She had a blast - we will definitely be going back.  Can't wait to pick them up and see how they turn out!

  • This video popped up in my fee a couple of times today and I cannot get over it!  Amazing.

Happy holidays times, guys!  Hope you're getting ready to relax!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Easy Steps to a Tacky Christmas Tree

Complete with a fancy image, feel free to Pin it.

  • Get out Christmas tree and decorations, anticipating a lovely evening with your 4-year old.
  • Lose the child's interest approximately 2 minutes into the process.
  • Set up the tree.
  • Curse the tree.
  • Begin by arranging the ribbon.
  • Swear you had bought more ribbon last year.
  • Begin placing ornaments on the tree in a haphazard yet encompassing manner.
  • Get bored about 2/3rds of the way through the bin of ornaments.
  • Take a pizza break.
  • Continue to hang the decorations, now with the assistance of the 4-year old.
  • Stop caring about the placement of any and all ornaments.
  • Wonder why you have such small strands of garland.
  • Attempt to arrange the garland in some sort of arachnid-like bow.

  • Fail miserably.
  • Realize that the small garland was used to decorate the TV stand last year.
  • Stop caring.
  • Declare the tree done and Christmas season officially underway.
  • Take pictures of said tree.
  • Edit a picture for the sake of sarcasm and Pinterest.
  • Tell the internet about it.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Treats of the Week - FOUR!

It seems I've somehow managed to accidentally delete last week's Treats of the Week post.  I don't even know, it's been a weird day.

In other news - today is Vivian's 4th birthday!  She had an awesome birthday weekend complete with a trip to Niagara Falls and a birthday party at the movies.  It's hard to believe that she's already four, but at the same time she just keeps getting more and more fun and hilarious with every passing day and I can't wait to see what the coming years have in store for us!

  • This kid is always a treat.

  • Like I said - her birthday part was at Cineplex to go see The Penguins of Madagascar.  I really enjoyed the movie - it proves once again that Benedict Cumberbath is incapable of saying "penguin".  Why he keeps getting cast in penguin-related things, I'll never know.

  • The movie also had a hilarious and bizarre running joke.  I won't spoil it here, but it's definitely a great one for the parents in the audience to pick up on!
  • Vivian had an awesome birthday cake for her party - a custom made Coraline cake!  You can get in touch with Julie if you're interested in ordering your own tasty and awesome cake!

  • I love it when a waitress says that she appreciates my sarcasm, and she actually means it.  Everyone should appreciate my sarcasm.
  • I've watched an unholy amount of Inside Amy Schumer in the last couple of days.  Like I watched 14 episodes in one day.  She's just dropping truth bombs all over my life.
  • Hey look - my fence is upright!  Hooray!  I was very, very fortunate this week to have some amazing help from some family members - including my dad who stopped in to fix up my fence!

  • This gif.  OMG this gif.  I don't post gifs very often (unless it's a crazy post that's only gifs) but this one had me giggling at my desk for like 10 minutes.  I can't stop watching it - I've easily watched it 50 times.  It just keeps getting funnier the more you watch it!  

Have a great week, everyone!  I'll try to avoid deleting more posts!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Vivian's Stocking Stuffers

Stockings are obviously the best part about Christmas.  I go a little crazy with stockings, 
they're just so much fun!  Little stuff is always the best, and I love wrapping every little 
thing in those stockings!  I think Vivian's stocking last year ended up spilling into a grocery 
bag, but I'm fine with it.  Stockings are the best, there are no rules!  Here's what will be 
turning up in Vivian's stocking this year in case you need any ideas for your little ones!  

(P.S. - Did I do this last year?  I thought I had, but then I couldn't find the post so I'm 
probably just losing my mind.)

Vivian's stocking stuffers

Nat Geo has really stepped up their game for kids stuff.  Not only do they have awesome encyclopedias that are kid-friendly, they have loads of fun sticker books, joke books, activity books, and simple readers.  I found Vivian a couple of their basic readers for about $4 each.  Books are always perfect for the stocking!

Smencils are pretty awesome - all the fun of smelly markers, without the mess!  They've got special holiday scents which are perfect, especially since the full sets are a little pricey.

Pens and Notebooks

Vivian has been all about pens and notebooks lately.  She's been filling them up like crazy, so I made sure to grab a bunch of cute notebooks when I found some on clearance at Target.  You can never have too many on hand!  She also keeps stealing my Batman pens, so I might have to get her some Wonder Woman ones of her own.  She has a Monster High projector pen too and thinks it's just awesome, so a new projector pen just might find its way in there as well!

Vivian is crazy about blind bags.  She wants a new My Little Pony one every time we go to the grocery store.  Good thing I scored an awesome deal on a whole box of them back in October, I have a bunch tucked away.  You can find them for practically anything now - I want to get her some Lego blind bags as well.

I like sneaking some educational stuff in there too!  These Smarty Pants flash cards from Melissa & Doug seem cute and fun!

Similar to the blind bags are the mystery minis.  The toys are a bigger scale and have better detail.  Plus since she doesn't get these very often they will be even more exciting in her stocking!

Arts and craft supplies of any kind are awesome stocking stuffers!  

Kids love flashlights.  It's like a rule.  When I was a kid, we were allowed to open our stocking stuff first and play with that until it was a decent time for mom and dad to get up and do the rest of Christmas morning.  One year, we all got little flashlights in our stockings, which we of course put to good use creeping around the living room checking out the presents.  We weren't quite as sneaky as we thought though, since all of the flashing and "whispering" (seriously, anyone who knows me and my brother and sister knows that we're incapable of whispering) woke them up anyway.

I don't really get these things, but Vivian loves Shopkins.  They're like little food with faces or something?  I don't know, I think she found out about it on YouTube or something.

Yes, I would take apart a multi-pack of Play-Doh so I could wrap each tub individually for the stocking.  This is normal behaviour.


I think Vivian might have to get about 20 pairs of mittens in her stocking the way we've been running through them.  We have a whole lot of single mittens at this point, not many pairs.  It's nice to mix in some practical stuff - this also applies to socks and things like bubble bath and body wash.

Vivian loves her Calico Critters, and has a weird thing for pandas right now, so a little panda family will just be perfect in her stocking.

I'm sure there's some other stuff, but that's what I could come up with off the top of my head.  Basically anything that is smaller than a shoebox is fair game for a stocking, if you ask me.  And don't forget the candy!  Candy is basically required in a stocking.  How else can you have peanut butter cups for breakfast on Christmas morning?

(PS - the formatting is all messed up on this, probably since I uploaded the image from Polyvore.  I don't know, I'm too lazy to try and fix it.)