30 While I’m 30 – or 31

First things first – I didn’t finish my list.  Is anyone surprised really?  I doubt it.

I did okay. Probably better than I thought I would truth be told.

  1. Take Gordon for 30 walks – little Gordon and I didn’t make it to 30.  We both blame Mother Nature.  Snow in late April?! Come on! What we did do is get back to a daily walk schedule.  Puppy is happy and so am I.
  2. 1 week moratorium on Starbucks I made it more than 1 week, 10 days in fact… but then I had training.  And turning 1 week into 3 all went to hell.
  3. 2 week moratorium on Starbucks – HA! The Boy and I agreed that this really isn’t the worst vice.  I had one yesterday for my free birthday drink… it wasn’t very good.  Whenever that happens I think I should just cut it out for good… but then the 2 o’clock sleepies kick in and I’m screwed.  Meh.
  4. Finish the ottoman
  5. Make a jewelry solution – I have the solution AND I have actually purchased part of the materials…  I still have not made it.
  6. Unpack my backpack (the last “real” box from our move) – the backpack is full of jewelry… see #5.
  7. Organize purses/purge for easier rotation
  8. Build a desk – HA! It might be changing to build a sewing table… we’ll see!
  9. Clean/organize office – Everyone needs a disaster room right?
  10. Take wedding dress to be cleaned
  11. Update resume – there are some jobs that have been posted, so this actually is going to happen this weekend.
  12. Take a long walk on the Tom Taylor Trail with my camera – Didn’t take the camera but we did go on a birthday walk.  It’s a lovely trail and we’ll definitely be back.
  13. Organize photos on new computer
  14. Frame canvases from Sista I’m picking them up from the framer today – I’ll post a picture when we hang them this weekend. They definitely deserve their own post.
  15. Decorate bathroom
  16. Go to a spin class – still thinking about it.
  17. Set up a regular RRSP contribution plan – I’m pretty sure this makes me an adult.
  18. Have Kristyn, John and Logan for dinner – or bring dinner to them – We split dinner and had it at Kristyn and John’s so that little Logan could go to bed.  Turns out he’s not interested in missing the party no matter where he is – so everyone had a great night! :)
  19. Organize knitting patterns
  20. Finish Tanis sweater
  21. Finish cowl
  22. Finish baby girl sweater
  23. Stencil bedroom
  24. Clean hall closet
  25. Surprise The Boy with a present
  26. Clean and shelf paper linen closet
  27. Vacuum and clean both cars – What is it that they say about good intentions?
  28. Plan a front garden
  29. Get kitchen table and chairs
  30. Make cupcakes – just because.

13/30… that’s not great but not bad.  I’m thinking about the year ahead and contemplating another list.  I like lists.  They ground me.  I never get through them, mostly because I move on to a new list before the first one is done.  Alas earwax.

As for the knitting on the list – I haven’t finished what I wanted to… because in my head those things are done so I have moved on to other things (are you seeing the theme).  But I did finish a pair of converse boots for a baby shower I went to recently.  They might have been shown up by a GORGEOUS stuffed hand knit elephant that was opened shortly afterward – but I still think they’re cute.

If you’re a knitter and looking for an easy baby gift I highly recommend them.  If you’re not a knitter you should either become one or befriend one and sweet talk them into making them for you.  I suggest flowers or chocolate…. or yarn, yarn would definitely work.

Yes I did take this picture while wrapping the gift in the car 2 minutes before going into the party.  What's your point

And finally, the Boy restrained himself from eating 1/4 of an ice cream cake that was left over in one sitting and instead had a normal size piece on Monday night and saved a piece for each of us for my birthday.  He gave it to me and said “This is better than any birthday gift I could ever give you.  I saved you some cake. That’s love because it was REALLY hard not to eat it.” So thanks buddy.  You’re right… that is true love.

30 While I’m 30 – Update

Less than a month to go to the big birthday.  And since I’m such a terrible blogger and haven’t been updating as I’ve gone – I thought I’d do a little halfway update. SPOILER ALERT – I’m not halfway through the list.

Shocking I know.

Here we go:

  1. Take Gordon for 30 walks – we’re making progress, but seriously Mother Nature, could you give up on winter and bring me some nice spring days. Puppy needs some walks!
  2. 1 week moratorium on Starbucks I made it more than 1 week, 10 days in fact… but then I had training.  And turning 1 week into 3 all went to hell.
  3. 2 week moratorium on Starbucks
  4. Finish the ottoman DEFINITELY a post to come about this experience.  M&D Enterprises we’re going into business.
  5. Make a jewelry solution – I have the solution… I have not made it.
  6. Unpack my backpack (the last “real” box from our move) – the backpack is full of jewelry… see #5.
  7. Organize purses/purge for easier rotation – halfway – I have purged.
  8. Build a desk
  9. Clean/organize office
  10. Take wedding dress to be cleaned
  11. Update resume
  12. Take a long walk on the Tom Taylor Trail with my camera
  13. Organize photos on new computer
  14. Frame canvases from Sista I’m picking them up from the framer today – I’ll post a picture when we hang them this weekend. They definitely deserve their own post.
  15. Decorate bathroom
  16. Go to a spin class
  17. Set up a regular RRSP contribution plan – I’m pretty sure this makes me an adult.
  18. Have Kristyn, John and Logan for dinner – or bring dinner to them – We split dinner and had it at Kristyn and John’s so that little Logan could go to bed.  Turns out he’s not interested in missing the party no matter where he is – so everyone had a great night! 🙂
  19. Organize knitting patterns
  20. Finish Tanis sweater
  21. Finish cowl
  22. Finish baby girl sweater
  23. Stencil bedroom
  24. Clean hall closet
  25. Surprise The Boy with a present – Apple TV – although The Boy still thinks that we need cable… argh.
  26. Clean and shelf paper linen closet
  27. Vacuum and clean both cars
  28. Plan a front garden
  29. Get kitchen table and chairs – We’re halfway there.  We got a pedestal round kitchen table with a 24″ leaf for $100 at the ReStore – SCORE!
  30. Make cupcakes – just because. Made Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter frosting for dinner with Kristyn and John.  We had leftovers and the Boy may have eaten 3 in one day.  When I told him that was slightly gross he said “aren’t they healthy cupcakes?! Usually when you make a dessert it’s got something good for you in it.”  I suppose the peanut butter frosting made with natural peanut butter could be good for you, but the 1/2 lb of icing sugar probably negates that.

Mmm Peanut Butter Cupcakes 

Lookin’ good – but I’ve definitely got some work to do this month.

Family Challenge

The Boy has been clean and sober for 7 months. No, he doesn’t have a secret problem with alcohol that I just forgot to mention or chose not to include in my or his online persona.  He is was a McDonald’s addict. Seven months McD’s free.

Congratulations Boy!!!

He’s still eating fast food, but McDonald’s was too big a part of his diet.  There’s one at the end of our street and it was a little too convenient for him to swing by on his way home from school when he was snacky.  It made me vomit everyday. He’s had other fast food since, but not McDonalds and therefore significantly less.
ANYWAY, I was listening to Here’s the Thing an NPR podcast hosted by Alec Baldwin and he was interviewing Dr. Robert Lustig this week about the poison that is fructose.  He has a lovely 89 minute lecture on it that is very sciencey or there’s the podcast that is 50 minutes and far more accessible (although the long version is also very interesting).  A large part of both talks is about how Coke is basically pure evil for your body.

Here’s the sciencey long version if you’re interested.

Here are my two favourite quotes from the long version:
On why fructose in fruit is okay, (I might be paraphrasing a little) “God is super smart and packaged the poison inside the antidote” Fibre is your friend and helps your body digest the fructose in a healthy way.
And on navigating what’s good for you, (no paraphrasing here) “If it doesn’t make you fart, it makes you fat.”
Love it.
I’ve already been thinking about my sugar intake and trying to do something about it – Sista directed me to Sarah Wilson’s e-book a few weeks ago which got me started thinking about it.  Do you ever find that information presents itself through your podcast at the perfect time.  I decided we needed a family challenge.
I would give up Starbucks Chai Tea Latte with Soy Extra Hot No Water No Foam. And the Boy would give up Coke.
I presented the idea to the Boy.  His first question – forever? I decided no. Since I’m not about giving up the things you like – we’ve got to live a little right? Plus I love me some Chai Tea Latte and I know I couldn’t give it up entirely forever. So I decided the summer.  It’s hot – why do I need an extra hot drink?
The Boy said he would think about it.
I started marking x’s on the calendar for me while he thought about it.
The next day I we had this conversation:
So I guess Taco Bell it is. Although between you and me we’re going to revisit this conversation once the fridge is free and clear of pop.  I’m voting for not having it in the house at all.
We’re tracking through the honesty policy and giving ourselves little Xs on our calendar.  The goal? Don’t break the chain.  (Another little podcast gem that I came across – apparently this is a trick that Jerry Seinfeld uses to make sure he writes everyday – don’t break the chain)
The last time I cut out sugar from my life it made significant changes in my body shape, my energy levels and the palatability of sweet stuff for a long time afterward.  But alas, sugar is SO yummy – so it didn’t stick.  I’m cool with that. But I’d like to take a little break from just this one Grande indulgence.
Have you done a sugar detox? Are you a Coke-fiend like the Boy? Or a Chai Tea Latte fiend like me?

This is why we call it Northern Ontario

I’m out on location this week folks! Okay, not really this week.  Just a couple days.  And it’s not really on location – since I live too close to the event, so I don’t qualify to stay “on location.”  But I am on my first real big girl job conference in the big beautiful city of Toronto.  And to save myself another morning of getting up in the 5s – that’s right THE FIVES – I’m staying with Sista overnight and soaking up all the city I can muster.

Yesterday, I took the GO train South, and felt like a true suburban commuter, putting to the test my claims that I wouldn’t mind being a public transit commuter.  Well, it was okay.  I still claim I could do it everyday, but why would you want to is the bigger question.  Sure I got to listen to a book for an hour while I drifted in and out of an extra hour of sleep. But do you know what’s better than that? Sleeping that extra hour+ in my bed and driving 2 minutes to work.  If I really wanted to listen to a book each morning there’s nothing stopping me from putting it on the stereo while I get ready, or God forbid walking to work (I promise I will when the weather gets nicer – Scout’s honour.)

I didn’t mind the view…

my 7:09am view

But I could do without it.

What I’ve been loving all week is being reconnected with my city.  It makes me say – Newmarket? Who are you trying to fool? You are no Toronto.  The ‘burbs work for the Boy and I entirely because we are close to work, but if we weren’t – there’s no way I would do the 3 hour round-trip commute each day, we’d be citified all the way.

In honour of my renewed love I give you top 10 reasons Newmarket is not Toronto.

  1. There isn’t a Starbucks on every corner of Newmarket, and they look at you like you have three heads when your order is complicated.  In Toronto, my app tells me there’s 3 within walking distance of my conference all are bubbling with fellow city-dwellers who are just as Chai Tea Latte with Soy, Extra Hot, No Water, No Foam loving as I am.
  2. The smell.  Toronto stinks this week.  Likely due to the crazy warm weather the river is thawing and it stinks like spring. It’s disgusting and industrial but passing. Springtime in the ‘burbs smells like manure all the time – which is just gross.
  3. Sista and I went for a walk last night and there were about a dozen different stores that I want to come back and wander  through.  On our nightly Newmarket stroll, there is 1.  It’s the yarn store on Main Street. And the Boy won’t let me go in there every night.
  4. Speaking of yarn – I may have snuck into The Purple Purl yesterday post-doctor’s appointment – pre-conference.  It was glorious! I may have gotten so overwhelmed by the potential that I only bought a skein of sock yarn and vowed to come back with back-up opinions. Toronto is great because their yarn stores have character and are plentiful.
  5. Sista’s apartment is adorable – bigger and for less people.  Weird.  It is substantially more money but come on, totally worth it.
  6. There are a MILLION restaurants.  On our walk of one block I saw at least 8 that I would want to try. In N-dot, we’ve got one of each type.  And that’s it.
  7. Everything is SO close. And I’ve been reminded of my love of the TTC monthly pass. Want to go somewhere? Jump on public transit.  Touchy subject public transit in the ‘burbs right now (though they are back to work after 3 months of being on strike) but even when it is up and running at full steam – it’s not convenient to use at all.
  8. AND I got to go on a new subway train…. and even though it still smelled like BO and urine – it’s the consistencies in this crazy city that are just part of its charm.
  9. The city by day and the city by night.  My conference is in an area of the city that I have only really experienced at night in the last 10 years.  It’s so interesting to see it by the light of day.  You guys know my hatred of Winners and other such rummagey stores but the Winners on Front Street looks like a cute little boutique.  Winners in Newmarket scares me. And don’t get me started on the “night life” in Newmarket – non-existent or nightmarish take your pick.  All I’m asking for is just one little pub that doesn’t scream townie – is that too much to ask?
  10. One word.  Gelato.  Toronto has one on every corner.  Newmarket – nada.  Enough said.

Tomorrow I return to my suburban life, and sure there are things I like about it, like our skating rink and our farmer’s market.  But this week I have simply been reminded that Toronto has those things too, only more and bigger, and all year round.  Newmarket, is really just kidding itself.

It’s not Toronto.

Not even a little.

 

Hurry Up and Wait

We left off with hair complete and heading back to the hotel, with a quick detour to pick up lunch for the girls and the boys from Edward Street Bistro. It was delish – or so I was told… though I tried, food was not my friend on w-morning/afternoon.

Once we all rendezvoused back at the hotel it was time to get this party started.

We put on my wedding mix, Sista hit up the local Starbucks seeking out a Chai Tea IV drip, and then we sat around and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

As beautiful Anita took each and every lovely lady, including both moms and the Nanny and turned us from naturally beautiful to simply stunning.

But beautifying 8 women makes for a slow morning for those not in the chair.  I didn’t really think about this part in the planning process.  I was ready to go – let’s GO GO GO! My stomach is in knots let’s just get this party started!  But no.  We had to wait. And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

So, what did we do?  Well, we talked babies with BFF Kristyn.  BFF Kate’s man-friend ran some errands for us.  I checked in with some family members arriving from out-of-town.  Kristyn and I did some yoga breathing.  Sista wrote her speech.  Erin had a beer.

And I told each girl at some point that I loved them and thanked them for being there.  And that they looked beautiful.  All true.

I checked in with the Boy and tried to calm his nerves by reminding him that I would be at the front of the church too and he wasn’t alone in his nervous stomach.  I also told him to drink some water and eat something (words I should have listened to myself). I sent messages to the Boy’s boys since I didn’t actually print off the schedules and jobs I typed out for them – yes I really did that.  I put one in charge of making sure he ate something and another in charge of keeping him calm and hydrated.  (I had tried to put another in charge of making sure he didn’t drink too much the night before… it didn’t work but he did make it to the church on time and was long past feeling hung over and that’s all I ask really).

So what would I suggest for the morning/hours before the big moment?

Get an order down for photos. We went with the “whoever sits in the chair next gets their makeup done next” method.  What we should have done?  Made a logical order and stuck to it. Specifically I probably should have been done earlier and Sista probably should have been done earlier.  Our lovely photographer had to hurry up and wait a bit himself, which I felt bad about – if I was ready to go a bit earlier all of those bridal photos might not have felt so rushed.

In the end we all got to the church on time and we all looked stunning.  Win/win!

*I know I missed last week – so next week 2 posts! Both with LOTS of pictures!!! You’re welcome.

All photos are the wonderful work of West Photo – enjoy, but don’t take what’s not yours.

3 Minutes Early

Starbucks on Briggate

Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard the news? Tazo Tea Time is back at Starbucks. From 2-5pm February 11 – 20, you can get your favourite Tazo Tea for half price.

Oh it’s a great promotion – if you disregard the fact that Starbucks is probably still making money on their half-price tea.  Curse it’s deliciousness!

My favourite as you know is Chai Tea Latte, Soy, Extra Hot, No Water, No Foam

But I digress… this is not a post about my love of Starbucks.

Today I was out of the office at just about the right time.  Knowing I was going back for an exhilarating staff meeting I thought I deserved a half-price treat.

I made my way into my local Starbucks.

Me – “Is it 2:00 yet?”

Starbucks Guy – “Not yet.”

Me – “Drat, do I have to wait or can you just do it?”

SG – “Yeah you have to wait, it won’t let me take half off until 2:00.”

Me – Okay

Mystery voice – “I’m waiting too!”

I turned to discover a fellow half-price tea lover, who was also a few minutes early.  A chatty tea lover at that.

At first I thought I was in for a repeat of the over-sharer from the waiting room.  But instead I found myself a Tea Loving Knitter!

We talked about my mittens – she’s made the same ones for her kids and LOVES them. I suggested the Kitchener Knitting Fair, she said being around that much yarn is too tempting, it could be disastrous.  I told her it most certainly would be – but that’s the BEST part!

It occurred to me that I was being one of the crazies. Talking to strangers, Talking about knitting with strangers. But I couldn’t help myself.

Maybe it was my desperation for delicious half-price tea.

Maybe it was my love of knitting.

I think it was a little bit of both.

Where does the time go?

Oh Facebook, what did we do before you? Talk to people? Boo.

This morning I came to work, checked my all of email accounts and checked my Facebook.  On my Facebook home page is a status update from a friend from High School that her and her manfriend are celebrating their 10th anniversary.  OMG that’s a long time, and I feel old. 

I went to send a message and thought I could add a little note about something that seems central to our lives now – that did not exist 10 years ago.  So I Googled, and came across a WHOLE list of 50 things we didn’t have in the year 2000. 

So my friend has inadvertently inspired my post.  I’ll give you some highlights, but you can find the whole article 50 ways life has changed in the last 10 years.

Things I do/use daily that apparently I couldn’t have 10 years ago:

CAMERAS: Remember those trips to get film developed? Nope? Even your grandmother has a digital camera, and she’s probably emailing you photos right now or uploading them to a photo-sharing site.

Your grandmother may be able to email and upload her photos – but mine cannot.  She does still have a digital camera, but like many of us all of her pictures are safely stored on her camera… to be seen by no one. 

FACEBOOK: Can you believe this social networking site was once limited only to Harvard students? Now it’s a time-sucking obsession for more than 300 million users globally and a whole new form of social etiquette: Who to friend on Facebook?

Without Facebook – I wouldn’t have thought of this post.  And then where would be?  Wandering aimlessly through the world –  that’s where.

GOING GREEN: From the kind of light bulbs we use to the kind of shopping bags we carry to the cars we drive, “going green” took hold this decade. Now, it’s not strange to hear a school kid tell a parent to use a cloth grocery bag.

Going green also means that if you forget your bags when off to the grocery store – you feel like you are single-handedly killing our planet.  So you buy another green bag… I don’t think the Boy and I are the only ones that are feeling overrun by our green bags.

GOOGLE: This was the decade that Google became a part of our brain function. You know that guy who was in that movie – when was it? Just Google it.

I ask people on a pretty regular basis what people did before Google… I for one would really be lost without it.

IPODS: An icon of the digital age, it’s hard to believe this portable media player was first launched in 2001. Six years later the 100 millionth iPod was sold.

Again something that I seriously can’t live without.  I get to listen to music constantly and of course my podcasts!  Way to be Steve Jobs.

ORGANIC: Americans rushed to fill their grocery carts with organic food, making it big business – now a $21-billion industry, up from $3.6 billion in 1997. At decade’s end, Michelle Obama planted the first White House organic vegetable garden.

I know people say organic is all a lie.  Alls I know is I can’t eat regular bananas without my throat closing up… but I can eat Organic without an issue.  So there.

STARBUCKS: It’s a cliché that there’s one on every block, but sometimes it seemed like it – and millions now consider it normal to spend $4 or so on a coffee drink in the morning, perhaps a venti half-caf half-decaf vanilla latte with an extra shot.

Everytime I go to Starbucks it makes me think of Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail.  “The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

$2.95 must be American 1998 prices – because my Grande Chai Tea Latte with Soy, Extra Hot, No Water, No Foam is $5.14 or $4.64 with my registered Starbucks card.

WIKIPEDIA: A boon to lazy students everywhere, the open-source encyclopedia used the masses to police its entries and keep them (mostly) (sometimes) accurate.

I don’t use Wikipedia daily, and I do refrain from saying “that’s what Wikipedia tells me.”   But I do like that you can look up any date and find out fun  facts about this day in history.

Example: May 20th, 1940 the first prisoners arrive at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz

May 20th, 1980 60% of Quebec voters vote No in Referendum for separate from Canada 

and last but certainly not least…

BLOG: I blog, you blog, he blogs … How did we spend our time before blogging? There are more than 100 million of these web logs out there in cyberspace.

I don’t know what I did before my blog.  Kept my opinions to myself I guess.  Boring!

Happy Anniversary Facebook Friend!

Pictures from here, here, here, here