Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Very Vivian - "I just want to say something"

It's only Tuesday and it's already been a rough week for Vivian's sleep habits.  Sunday night saw her passed out at 6:00 p.m. and then awake from midnight until 3:00 a.m.  This, of course, led to her being completely passed out after school on Monday and me having to wake her up at 6:00 p.m.  By 7:30 last night she asked to go to bed, but then was awake in her room until close to midnight.  She even popped into my room at around 11:30 asking for clips in her hair.

I was hoping that all of that would mean that we would be back on track tonight.  I picked her up from daycare and was told that she was weepy at the end of the day at school, but didn't fall asleep and was in a good mood at that point.  We got home and had dinner and coloured and played and had a nice evening.  Her bath was late, but by 8:30 it was time for her to get into bed.  That's when it started - "But I'm not tired."  "Well, that's too bad.  It's bedtime, you can watch a movie in your room or something until you're tired."  I know that she's tired - she has to be tired.  She rarely fights me at bedtime like this.

Soon enough it was a crying fit.  She wouldn't get into her bed.  She just wanted to stand in the middle of her room.  I turned out the lights, told her to do whatever she wanted and walked out of the room.  I had just settled on the couch and was listening to her crying down the hall, considering whether or not this was a good time for a beer (obviously it was) when I heard the door open and little footsteps down the hall.

"Mommy?  I just want to say something."  Her little voice still catching from her sobs.
"Yes, Vivian?  What is it?  You need to be in bed."
"I'm sorry, Mommy."

And that's how she suckers me into cuddling in bed with her while we watch YouTube videos.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Treats of the Week - March needs to end

I feel like everyone has a certain time of year that is fraught with change.  For me, it always seems to be March and October.  If there's something big happening, odds are pretty good that it's in one of those two months.  It can make me a little apprehensive of those months, because things can be good or bad.  March hasn't been particularly great - lots of ups and downs and paperwork (currently dealing with a mortgage renewal/lawyers drawing up papers/roof that needs replaced/car that needs replaced).

So yeah.  March needs to end.  Bring it, April.  I need to feel a little bit less like this...

And a little bit more like this.

Time for treats!

  • I upgraded my phone this week - went from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 6.  It's been nice - I was having a lot of trouble with my old phone so it's nice to have something that doesn't just crash out of the middle of nowhere.  Plus Vivian is loving having may hand-me-down.
  • It was the season finale of the The Mindy Project on Tuesday - and then bam!  Wednesday it showed up on Netflix.  ALL THE SHOWS NEED TO DO THIS.  I've already rewatched the entire third season.
  • I like having chocolate soy or almond milk for lunch, but it fequently leads to disaster when my purple cup loses its lid and I end up accidentally dumping my whole lunch down the drain.  Yes, that happened at work a couple of weeks ago.  These new tetra packs should help save me. 

  • Vivian had her skating carnival on Saturday and she did so well!  It's always so great to see how excited the kids are when they're all dressed up in their costumes!

  • Scoring a parking lot close enough to the mall that I could ditch my coat in the car and just walk right in.  That happened twice this week - can't beat that.
  • I spent most of the day on Saturday binge watching Empire.  Can I join the Smollett family?  Because there is way too much pretty happening there between Jussie and Jurnee.
  • I've been organizing Operation Chair Lift at work.  Basically there's an old chair in a back room that I'm obsessed with and need to have it.  I want it even more now that I found two identical chairs at the antique mall on the weekend for $225/pair.  THE CHAIR MUST BE MINE.

  • Have you been watching Last Man on Earth?  It's pretty offbeat, but I am really enjoying it.  I need a margarita pool in my life.
  • I'm super bummed about Target closing - but I was happy to snag this plaid area rug that I had been eyeing up!  $45 and it was mine, and I even managed to cram it into old Foxy!

Have an Easter-treaty week, you guys.  I am so glad that it's a short week this week (and next week!) I'll do my best to remember to post Treats next Monday, but I tend to screw it up with the holiday weekends.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Outfit of the Day - Girl Gone Geek

I like bringing out my inner (well, it's pretty outer too) geek/nerd at the office.  I like the challenge of balancing the more casual stuff with my business casual self.  I think it brings more personality to my outfits and lets people know a little more about me.

The other day I had some training so I felt like I could go a little more casual than usual.  This isn't something I would typically wear if I was going to be in court for the day, but for off-site training it seemed fine!  Plus, someone recognized my shirt which always means bonus cool points to me.

I'm actually pretty iffy on this skirt.  It was an online order from Old Navy and it doesn't fit quite right - it's just a tad too big and I think it makes the shape a little weird.  I should try messing around with it and see if I can take it in a touch or something just to give it a better shape.  But, it's plaid so it gets a pass.  Because plaid.

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein shirt was one of those homemade wonders that I've been getting so much mileage out of - I definitely feel like pairing them with a cardigan or a blazer makes them more than office appropriate.

Had I been at work, I would have gone with dressier flats or heels just to kick things up a notch.  But again, sitting in training all day meant that it was a Converse kind of day.

Try it out - I maintain that any graphic tee can work for the office if you make the rest of the outfit pretty normal!

Cardigan - Joe Fresh
Tee - Old Navy with custom graphic
Skirt - Old Navy
Tights - Joe Fresh
Shoes - Converse

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Spring Fever Basement Switch

I've been wanting to rearrange the basement forever.  In preparing to write this post I realized that I never really went back and showed you guys where the basement ended up.  It's been moderately useful for the last year or more, but I rarely go down there.  Something about the setup just didn't seem comfortable, especially for me down there by myself.  I had a plan in mind of how I wanted to change things but kept holding off on doing it because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the floors.  See, if I was going to paint then there wasn't any sense in rearranging unless I was doing that.  And if I was going to put down flooring then I should just hold off too.  Finally this past Saturday night I needed a project to keep me busy so I figured I would just go ahead and move things around.

I realized after the fact that I didn't have any pictures of the initial set up.  I'm a terrible blogger - no before pictures.  Never fear though, because I'm so good to you, my beloved readers, I went and drew up a handy dandy diagram for you.

Totes to scale.  

Basically all the furniture was scrunched up into the smaller section of the basement, while the larger area sat mostly empty except for the wall of crates tucked off in the back.  It fit and it seemed to make sense but I just felt like the space could be better used.

Here's an equally to scale diagram of the after.

But for the after I took real pictures for you.  You're welcome.

I moved all the crates over to the corner by the stairs - I like the way that the books kind of wrap around you now and seem to have a smaller footprint.  Corners are always tricky, and what better way to fill them up than with books?

The longer side of the room is now the TV viewing area.  It's a little bit narrow, but that can't be helped because of the support beam in the middle of the room.  But you know, gotta keep the house from falling down.  I like it though - it feels much cozier.

So now the empty area is the smaller part of the basement - have no fear though, I have a plan.  See, I want to get a new kitchen table (well, not a real new one.  I want to get an old dinette set for the kitchen) and move the round table down here to use for crafts and cards and games and stuff.  I hate having a round table in the kitchen, I never ever use it.  It feels like it will be better used down here.  Then that wall with the curtain there?  That's just a small wall that closes off a storage area.  It just so happens to be the perfect length to float a little bar out in front of it and hopefully mount some shelves on there.  You know, whenever I get around to finding a nice little bar.

I'm still going back and forth on whether or not I should paint the floors down there.  On the one hand it seems like a great temporary solution, but on the other hand it feels like a lot of effort for something that I would eventually want to cover up.  I have a few area rugs I can spread around for now, and might be grabbing another one from Target since they're 50% off so maybe that will be good enough for the time being?  What do you guys think?  Paint, no paint?

It's a cozy little zone now, and hopefully one that Vivian and I will find ourselves using more often.  It's so strange having half of a house that's rarely used!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Treats of the Week - Curve Balls

I'm not a big baseball fan, but I do enjoy the metaphors.  This week has been a week of curve balls.  You know that feeling - standing at the plate, thinking you know what's coming at you but that's just not the way it goes.  It's been a swing and a miss kind of week, guys.  As hard as it is, focusing on the treats always makes things a little bit easier.

  • Jenn knows that one thing that will always cheer anyone up is Natalie Portman rapping.  Thank you for reminding me!

  • One of my favourite officers - someone I haven't seen in years - showed up at court this week and was nice enough to take me out for lunch to True Taco where I had THE BEST burrito I have ever had.  

  • I'm notoriously bad at impressions.  So when I was making a joke about how I'm basically Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep combined, this was the response I received.

  • Vivian spent a lot of time away from home over March Break - lots of fun things happening and visits.  While it was nice to have some time to get things done around the house, I much preferred getting my cuddly girl back and hearing "Mommy, I missed you."  It's nice to be missed.
  • The snow has finally melted enough that I was able to put the garbage and recycling right on the grass this week instead of precariously perched on a snow/ice bank.  It really is the little things.
  • I have this one belt that is a little too long when I'm wearing a dress with no loops, but doesn't knot well.  My solution this week was to use a binder clip to keep it together.  I was pretty pleased with myself.

  • I finally got a Chromecast and am slowly updating my whole method of watching TV (I might do a blog post about it if people are interested).  Part of this whole process was getting Crave TV, which seems pretty decent so far.  My favourite find has been this hippo documentary - I spend far too much time looking for hippo attack videos on YouTube (hippos will fuck you up!), so Pablo Escobar's hippos are definitely something I need to see!

Keep swinging out there, guys.  I'll try to take my own advice.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Thrifted Organzing

It's no secret that I love me some thrifting.  I don't like just buying things for the sake of having them though.  I try to only bring things home if I truly love them, have a place for them, or will actually use them.  Because of my fondness for vintage kitchenwares I try to really make sure that I use them, otherwise my kitchen would just be overrun with pretty things in cabinets.  

I thought it might be fun to show you some of the ways that I use my Pyrex bowls and whatnot around the house.  Or it will be incredibly boring.  You'll be sitting there saying, "Holy shit, Ashlie.  You put stuff in bowls.  What groundbreaking information."  To that I say, "Well hey, that's kind of mean.  I'm doing my best over here."

So yeah...stuff in bowls.

In the kitchen I like to use my Fiesta pitcher to hold my utensils, and keep one of my Pyrex mixing bowls beside it to hold napkins.

The office has this little bowl for iPods and accessories.

Also in the office is this little card holder - I like to have blank cards on hand instead of running out to buy greeting cards all the time.  I also use a vintage ice bucket for pens and pencils.

Back in the kitchen (because I uploaded the pictures in a funny order and am too lazy to switch them around) I keep my Federal bowls on the kitchen table to hold random Vivian stuff.  It makes for a nice drop off spot for all those odds and ends that come home in her backpack.

I also like to have a Pyrex bowl in the pantry for lunch snacks.  I hate having boxes with only one granola bar left in them, so instead I fill up the bowl with lunchy snacks so I can just grab them for Vivian's lunch, or she can grab one for herself if she needs a snack.

I use some of the smaller Pyrex bowls for my coffee stuff, and my straws in another vintage ice bucket.

And another big one on the counter for my Keurig pods!

Like I said, it's not exactly groundbreaking organization here or anything but I like having pretty things around me and especially like it when they're being useful!  I think it's always better to put something to use than to have it collecting dust on a shelf.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Treats of the Week - March Break

Oh hello March Break!  Hello week of not having to bother with packing lunches!  It's so nice to see you!  Sadly, I'm working all of March Break, but Vivian has lots of fun activities coming up.  It got started off with a bit of a rough weekend - my dad has been in the hospital, but should be home soon.  Nothing like some treats to make things a little brighter!

  • The biggest treat of this past week was finally going to see Amy Schumer in Windsor with Jenn!  We were completely spoiled with a room, tickets, and meals thanks to her lovely mom.  Hooray for gamblers!  Amy was amazing - I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard!

  • It was so nice to have a night out and be fancy with my bestie - much needed!

  • I also loved the opener for the show - Mike Normand.  Something about his delivery just killed me.

  • Having someone fetch me a coffee first thing in the morning is always a welcome treat.
  • Vivian has gotten really into old music videos for some reason.  She's loving Spice Girls, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Wham, Michael Jackson...girls's got taste.
  • Hearing an oddly upbeat song first thing in the morning.  This morning is was Britney Spears' Toxic at like 7:23 a.m.  Obviously it still needed to be cranked.
  • Being able to go to work today without wearing boots and carrying indoor shoes was definitely a treat.
  • While at the grocery store the other day a woman grabbed me to point out a crazy Nutella sale.  It made me laugh because it's exactly the kind of thing I would have done.
  • Kevin Smith has announced he's going to be doing a Mallrats 2 and I am beyond excited!
  • At long, long last, Vivian has mastered the fine art of pumping on a swing.  Finally I'll be able to sit on a bench and read instead of standing around pushing her for an hour at the park!

Have a great week, everyone!  Enjoy the melting snow!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Very Vivian - en Fran├žais

After much debate and consideration, Vivian is all signed up for French Immersion!  I was pretty disappointed that our school district didn't offer French Immersion in junior kindergarten, only in senior kindergarten.  This wouldn't have been a huge deal except for the fact that the French Immersion program in Strathroy is at an entirely French Immersion school, rather than just being a stream in an otherwise English school.  So we had to spend one year at our current school - which we love - and will be making the switch in the fall to our new school.

We didn't want to enrol her in the program unless we were sure we could handle it, and I'm confident that she will do well.  The school and staff all seem awesome, and I was pleased to see that some of her friends will also be making the switch.  I'm so proud that she will be starting French Immersion just like I did so many years ago.

She already has lots of French books and seems pretty excited to start at her "New French School".  Hopefully that positivity extends into the fall!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Treats of the Week - Smells like Sunshine

YOU GUYS, I don't want to alarm anyone but there seems to be a large ball of fire in the sky that is making things warm and melty.  I'm so confused, but I'll take it.

  • The Goldbergs is one of my favourite shows right now - it's consistently funny and clever and I love me some nostalgia.  They completely knocked it out of the park with the Ferris Bueller episode though - that was gold!
  • My cousin Adam has been dabbling in some stand up comedy, which is crazy brave!  Check out his set!

  • In other TV news - I also love Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Detective Amy Santiago is my spirit animal.  Need further proof?  Check out this clip that I expertly recorded with my phone from the tv.  Guess who else played French Horn in jazz band (and still has their cummerbund).  Yep, that would be me.  HER LIFE IS MY LIFE.

  • My mom has noticed a startling resemblance between Lena Dunham and Vivian.  I even dug back through Lena's Instagram for a picture of her when she was younger, and it's totally Vivian!  It's making it pretty weird for me to enjoy watching Girls now.

  • Something about spring-like temperatures makes me want to shop.  It's dangerous.  I am now a massive fan of that Banana Republic Factory Store - I went there twice on Friday and the staff recognized me.  I also scored an insane deal on a skirt at The Gap - on clearance for $6.97, then with an additional clearance discount meant that I walked out of there with a skirt for $5.51 after taxes.  I spent more at Taco Bell than on that skirt.
  • We took the kids out to Grand Bend to enjoy the warmer temperatures and check out the frozen lake.  Vivian was exhausted, but still loved the adventure!

  • It's so nice to have wonderful neighbours - especially when a mixup on a Friday afternoon means you need someone to pick up Vivian from school!  Thanks so much, Sherilyn!  You're a lifesaver!
  • I found $20 in my car, which was obviously an invitation to spend it on something pretty.
  • While making out way out of a grocery store on Saturday, a friend and I noticed a ridiculous car parked in the lot with the windows down and the music just cranked.  We were already making fun of the situation when I realized that the song was Crazy Town's "Butterfly".  That made us burst into a fit of laughter over how amazing the whole thing was.

  • A Saturday night games night with good friends was just the way to get through another cold night!
Have a great, melty week out there guys!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Treats of the Week - Smarch

At long, long last it is MARCH!  It may not be an instant spring out there, but it's something.  I'm already getting that spring cleaning itch!

  • Vivian and I got to hang out with some friends on Saturday night - she was so pumped to play with a baby!  I was pretty happy about it too!  And it was fun to hang out with the moms!

  • It was time to say goodbye to Parks & Recreation this past week - one of my favourite shows.  I loved the ending, it just warmed my little public servant heart.
  • Very exciting news this week since both Chuck Palahniuk and Ernest Cline have new books coming out!
  • This picture just makes me so happy.  And yes, apparently I was up checking Instagram at midnight taking screencaps of things.  Be envious of my life.

  • I had a meeting at the bank this week (mortgage renewal, super fun stuff) and the bank only has metered parking.  Not a big deal, I threw some money in the meter and hoped for the best.  As I was leaving, the advisor asked how much I had spent on parking so she could reimburse me.  I said I wasn't sure, it wasn't a big deal I had just thrown whatever change I had in there.  She then reached in the drawer and handed me like $4.  I was completely amused by a bank just handing me money for nothing.
  • After months of searching I finally found a Wonder Woman toy that is appropriate for a 4 year old girl.  It was shockingly difficult and became a massive thorn in my side.  I haven't given her the set yet, I'm thinking of saving it until Easter.  She'll be so pumped though!

  • Vivian is turning into quite the little movie buff.  She's discovered The Wizard of Oz now and told me today, "It's a really great movie, mommy."
  • The only thing that elevates a VIP movie experience is wearing my new dress and eating deep fried pickles when I'm there!
  • It was my lovely grandma's birthday yesterday and it was so nice for us to get together for a dinner with her.  Lucas wasn't thrilled about those sparklers, but Vivian loved handing out the cupcakes to everyone!

  • Is there anything better in the world than fresh sheets on a bed?

Enjoy this week, guys!  It's supposed to go all the way up to 0 degrees tomorrow!  Time to bust out the shorts!