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Monday, December 26, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree :) !?

This year we got a real tree again. Normally I get an IKEA tree because of the $20 gift certificate to use later at IKEA, but this year there really was nothing I "needed" from IKEA. So we decided to go and chop our own.

Breton and I took turns sawing down the tree...

from our front garden!!!
Can you see B's feet?
I got the tree as a seedling given out at a parade.  It was probably about 14 years old.  It was blocking other plants in the garden so that is why I decided to use it as our Christmas tree.
Once inside, I had to reinforce it with dental floss (tied to the railing behind the tree) but in the end the tree just had a crooked trunk and depending on what angle you looked at maybe crooked or it looked perfectly straight.
and it never fell over!!!!
So I forgot to take a pic of the decorated tree!
But trust me it was so pretty.  I think it is my absolute favourite.  It smelled fresh, it didn't dry out and it is very Charlie Brown like!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Dollar Store Top 10 Deals

1.  With two BIG dogs we go through a lot of poop bags.  a deal Paul found at the Dollarama is instead of buying the colourful poop bags from there go a few aisles over to the baby section and grab the bags to put diapers in.  You save .75 cents and a bonus is that they smell like baby powder.  Come on if you are pooper scoopin might as well have a nice scent to kinda cover up the other smell....

2. Gum 65-77 cents or 2 for $1

3. Candy brand names or $1 versions of the brand names. Hit here before heading to the movies and fill your pockets (make sure they are big so you can even sneak in a drink cuz the $1 store has them too)

4. Baking needs. I try to stick to the brand names.

5. Again sticking to brand names, you can get a little bit of a deal on health and beauty products. I have purchased everything from wax for my brows to conditioner, deodorant and even hair dye. 

6. PARTY PARTY PARTY - party supplies from loot bag goodies to coordinated dining accessories (the napkins are soooo pretty!) 

7. If you are going to a party you can get a card, gift bag and tissue here. Why pay $5+ for a card? So it says exactly what you were thinking but why not purchase a simple $1 store card and write your own thoughts? 

8. Then you could decorate your card with stickers from the office/school supply aisle.  We have found some unique items here (AC/DC & KISS folders and pretty push pins) and Crayola products.

9. Along with the fun school supplies there are toys. Depending on the season 

10. If you are a teacher  or work with kids you already know that the dollar store is great for craft supplies.

Although all these items are from Dollarama, where prices range from .77 to $3.00, I would recommend DollarTree where everything is $1.25.

*****Oh and best location of a Dollarama: in Bells Corners because it is next to FreshCo!!!

Friday, July 29, 2016

New Favourite Show About One Of My Favourite Places

Hello, Goodbye on CBC is my new favourite show.

It takes place at Toronto Pearson International airport.  I love the airport.  It's one of my favourite places to be.  One reason would be, if I am there I might be flying somewhere but I love going to pick people up too. I am a people watcher so I love seeing people reuniting and I love reuniting with whomever I am picking up, Noelle my sister, coming home from Australia or Paul coming back from Toronto.

The show has me in tears the whole time. But it is sooooo good, especially the surprise pick ups (1st episode: boyfriend surprises girlfriend!) 

Tomorrow Paul and I are going to Las Vegas.  I am so excited!!! I will be watching the goodbyes and the reuniting hellos and of course anticipating the adventures with Paul in Las Vegas. 

 From the show, you never know what someone's story is...well that is true anytime.

So if you need a pick up from the airport call me.  I will be there early just to watch.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


"Ya Mom but they are still all looking at a screen."

This is what my son Breton tells me is a problem with the new Pokémon GO app/game.  Even though everyone is still looking at a screen, it is getting people outside!  Especially kids!  At this point, I do not care if they are looking at their screens.  People are outside and moving, walking around in order to collect and benefit themselves while playing Pokémon GO. 

This is very smart by the creators of Pokémon.  All these kids who originally collected and played the Pokémon card game are now twenty somethings, well versed in their personal technology and now they are back in the game.  It is not just the original players of Pokémon playing, children are out and about, even families.  Last night I had never seen so many people out walking in Barrhaven after dinner.

In our society, where obesity in children is so high, Pokémon GO makes me happy, to see kids being more active.  I have even heard of a boy on the Autism Spectrum, who rarely went outside but had a keen interest in technology, because of Pokémon GO, is now out the house collecting characters,

There is not only a physical benefit to this game but also a social element.  At a time when I have even admitted about all three of us in our household, sitting in the same room on different devices, Pokémon GO now has neighbours running into each other, helping one another find and collect these Pokémon characters.

Alas, I am somewhat sad to confess that my Iphone 4S is incapable of downloading Pokémon GO, well played Apple.  I will also admit I have an Iphone SE on order but it is not because I currently can not play Pokémon GO!  I got a really great deal and I am desperate for a better camera.  But honestly, Pokémon GO will be one of the first apps I download.  See ya on the streets of Barrhaven.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What's wrong with pink?

Recently I read Erica Phillips'  article in Canadian Running, "The Tyranny Of Pink" July/August 2016 issue. In it she complained about all the pink runners.  The photo accompanying the article shows several ladies running in pink tanks and Ts.  I just got my first pair of pink runners. I admit I tend to choose black runners with bright accents. So options other than pink are available.
I don't mind all the pink. To me pink represents support for the fight against breast cancer. I know not all pink wear is created for that purpose.

Maybe they need to make more pink items for men...

Friday, July 8, 2016

We Be Jammin'

Strawberry season is almost done but if you can get your hands on some strawberries try this:

Strawberry Freezer Jam!

This is the recipe from CERTO/Kraft website :  The purple instructions is how I tweaked mine.

·         2 cups prepared fruit (buy about 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries) I did 3 cups

·         4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl I only did 2 cups

·         1 pouch CERTO Fruit Pectin

·         2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice OMITTED

For one batch I used this pectin pouch so no sugar was needed.

I ladled my jam into 250ml jars, popped the lids on and put them in the freezer.  VOILA!!

I gave it as gifts and ate some myself


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pretty painters in the park!

Yesterday Daphne and I went to Ken Ross Park and did Painting In The Park!  It is put on by Pop Up Painters (see website below).  It was well organized and it started at 9:45 and we were done by 10:30.  They take you step by step through the painting. People ranged in age from 3 years old to 43 years old (ME)!  It is exactly like the paint notes you see advertised and probably know someone who has gone.  This only cost $10 and you don't have to purchase food or drinks, you can bring your own if you choose.

We are at the back!!painting-in-the-park-2016/tqejl

****Get there a wee bit early, it fills up fast. We were there at 9:30 and it was pretty much full. I believe 18 was there max.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hidden Gems

So spending time with Paul in Bells Corners has lead to the discovery of some hidden gems.

One of these gems is the Bells Corners Loblaws.  If you visit at the right time you can find some really great deals. It is a smaller store and I am not sure if it has as much traffic but they tend to drop prices, especially in their deli department, frequently to move stock out either because it is close to expiring (a lot of fancy cheeses we freeze) or the product just isn't moving quick enough but they need to make room for different newer items.  Whatever the reason, we are enjoying some exceptional lunches at the cottage.
Right beside the Loblaws (@Moodie and Richmond Rd) there is an Old Zellers.  This Zellers sells off overstock from The huge discounts. Up to 70% off.  It carries everything from furniture to appliances to shoes to kitchenware and tons of clothing. A lot is high end (Ann Taylor, Lacoste) at major discounts. I seriously regret not purchasing a classic navy blue dress by Ann Taylor for $6.97!  I got my sister a gorgeous plaid dress coat for $35. Again it was Ann Taylor and was regularly $170!

If you need something, anything it is worth a try.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Heading here this summer!!!

Any suggestions as to where to go?  We are going the long weekend in August and we are staying at the Flamingo... Can't wait!!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Worth the trip...

What is worth the trip?

Fresh Co. in Bells Corners!

Since dating Mr. Paul Grant I have been introduced to many new things.  One of them is going grocery shopping at Fresh Co.

Here is our top 10 reasons to shop there:

1. The store is cleaner than that other discount grocery store, especially the produce section.
2.  They price match.  They even do it for you, if they find somewhere else that has a lower price on something they will automatically reduce it in their store. Plus you can price match other items if you find them
3.  They sell gardening supplies from hanging baskets to mulch at lower prices
4.  They have $5 cakes that are perfect for dessert...Rolo Cake come on! Yum!
5.  They have a large ethnic section.
6.  They also have a health/organic section.
7.  Overall a good variety of items to select from, even some unique ones like coconut whipped cream!!
8.  Beyond their flyer, they have unique in store specials too
9.  Flyer starts Thursday and they keep deals in stock for the majority of the week unlike that other discount grocery store
10. Staff is very friendly. Paul has a "Norm from Cheers" relationship with them (he goes daily or more).
11.  It is located in a mall where there is a Dollarama so even more savings (Upcoming blog Top 10 things to buy at the dollar store).

We even know of someone that lives in Gatineau but will travel to the BC Fresh Co because the deals are that good!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Help Yourself Tuesday

So I once heard someone (I think Oprah)say that you have to be your own advocate.  The subject was your health.  I took it to mean you need to ask for more information and question the information you are given.

Due to events in my past, I feel when I go into new health situations, I always have my guard up.  Even to the point where I jumped down the throat of the mammogram nurse last time I was in for a mammogram.  I questioned the fact that I am always called back for either another mammogram or an ultrasound because I am smallish.  "Doesn't this expose me to more radiation doing it twice, therefore increasing my risks?"  The nurse explained that the newer machines are better at taking pictures and detecting concerns and they don't give off as much radiation and the machines are designed to protect.  I apologized for my tone and that it was based on past worrisome experiences.  She was kind and understood.

That brings me to another fact when advocating for yourself: do your research.  Now with the internet we have access to info...a lot of information.  This can cause more stress but you need to know your facts/information in order to ask good questions to ease your mind.  Whenever I go to my family doctor, Dr. L. Kent (woot woot she is awesome) I always have some internet info.  She is always patient and explains everything and answers all my questions.

There maybe times when you are not able to advocate for yourself so you need to find someone who will question for you and ask for more information. 

I know the doctors know more than me concerning health issues but we all can get in a rut and do the same old procedures so it is your right to question. It can ease your mind because there will be times that you will need a focused mind to heal, recoup or continue battling.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Grateful Gal

Grateful for:

Hot days and cool water
fireflies fish and frogs
compassionate people
generous people
The internet and WIFI
good food
walk in clinics


So there are times in my house when all three of us are together but on our "devices". At times I am disappointed, slightly depressed and somewhat disgusted that this is happening in my house! 

I am gonna say this and I feel old saying it but when I was younger, we played outside, building forts, catching salamanders and riding our bikes...
I also played games on our Commador 64, Nintendo original and watched TV.
I thought about it today, because of my worry over too much screen time, I am uber aware of doing things together...playing games, bike rides or even watching a movie together. But is our screen time today any different then when I was younger?

Way back then we didn't always watch TV together (we had two TVS), my Mom didn't play Nintendo with us and we were outside having adventures, Mom and Dad were doing their house things.

So is it a lack of time together or is it a lack of physical activity or is it a concern over what we are accessing or playing on these devices? Mindless, pointless games (or do they all have some benefit) and useless information about people who shouldn't this the downfall of technology today? 

Oh or is it that many "relationships" are cyber?

I think the biggest difference today is that our screens are portable. You can have access to your screens anywhere you go. You could possibly never get a break from your screens, except when you sleep.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Free 5K

Today Daphne and I are doing a 5K run.  At the Agricultural Museum, the first Saturday of every month from April to November, there is a timed 5K run.  You can register online or when you get there.  You can also go online afterwards and record your time.

A bonus after the race... they sometimes giveaway free t-shirts from other races (Race weekend) and books.  They also do draws for sports socks and ball caps.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Da bowls...

Slow down doggy

So I had an "AHA" moment recently while feeding Ruby and Phoenix, my two fur babies.  The two wolf down their food, to the point that they have occasionally choked.  Choked then ate it... Ewww 


I flip their bowls over.

Now they work harder to get their food therefore slowing down:)

So perfectly simple.  And I didn't have to purchase a fancy shmancy bowl.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fancy Dancy

So fancy...may I take your order?

At work we had a "fancy" day. You had to dress up in your fanciest.  I didn't know how fancy to go so I chose to dress "boy" fancy or  androgynous.
I wore a bowtie.
I did not like wearing a bow tie. It's not because one of the students said I looked like a magician but I did feel like a waiter though. Maybe it was the jacket...
I think boys and men who do wear bowties are adorable....maybe that was it...I looked "cute".
Well I can't say I will go this route the next fancy day... maybe I will breakout my ball gown.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Get me my coveralls! This girl's getting greasy!

Well maybe not greasy but I am doing some car maintenance on my own (with Paul as my teacher:). 

Recently I went for an oil change and attached to the receipt were a list of other items that were recommended to be done (see above).
Paul showed me how easy it is to do the air filter, cabin air filter and cooling system flush (we didn't flush but did top up fluids).  All were purchased at Canadian Tire and all were quite easy to do. Although I have claimed before that I would never do mechanical "fixes" these were easy. I am a hands on learner and having Paul show me once makes me feel confident to do it the next time.

The total cost would have been: 

By doing those three things on our own we saved $95. We didn't do the headlight but that is another one that we could do ourselves (for some reason it now is working?!?) and I am not sure the stabilizer bar kit could be done on our own... But I am willing to even try an oil change on my own:) next time.

Everyday there is something to be grateful for...

Today I am grateful for:

Cottage days
Everyone together 
Beautiful weather
Eye advice
Walk in clinics
Spring flowers
Good people to work with 
Quiet times

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Shingles not the ones on your roof

Making the shingles vaccine free for eligible Ontario seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 — saving them about $170.

From the Ontario Governments 2016 Budget Making everyday life easier.
 Paul is almost 48 and he has been suffering through shingles for three weeks.  He doesn't have the itchy rash, he has very painful tightening of his nerves in the upper part of his body, heat flashes and loss of sensation or tingling down his arm.   The nerve tightening sometimes makes his hand shake uncontrollably, gives him coughing spasms because the nerves in his lungs are effected and it hurts to touch (no hugging).

Paul was on antibiotics for some dental surgery, mixed with work stress and BAM=opened him up to rekindle and awaken his chicken box virus. 
Shingles is a painful skin rash . It is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Shingles usually appears in a band, a strip, or a small area on one side of the face or body. It is also called herpes zoster
Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weak immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medicines, or other reasons. Most people who get shingles will get better and will not get it again. But it is possible to get shingles more than once.

Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus "sleeps" (is dormant) in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus "wakes up" when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system. Some medicines may trigger the virus to wake up and cause a shingles rash. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.
You can't catch shingles from someone else who has shingles. But there is a small chance that a person with a shingles rash can spread the virus to another person who hasn't had chickenpox and who hasn't gotten the chickenpox vaccine.
Shingles symptoms happen in stages. At first you may have a headache or be sensitive to light. You may also feel like you have the flu but not have a fever.

Later, you may feel itching, tingling, or pain in a certain area. That's where a band, strip, or small area of rash may occur a few days later. The rash turns into clusters of blisters. The blisters fill with fluid and then crust over. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for the blisters to heal, and they may leave scars. Some people only get a mild rash. And some do not get a rash at all.
Taken from:opic-overview

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny came to our house!

Keeping the illusion alive! At 1:00AM

Although my kids are almost 12 and 14, we still do an Easter egg hunt. They get little egg chocolates to find but they also get clues to find other treats (including a clue making them go outside to our mailbox). 

To make it even more interesting this year the Easter Bunny left footprints!

To make:
Cut footprints out of card stock, then place where you want them. Shake baby powder (or flour or cornstarch) around the edges of the footprints. Gently lift off and continue for as many Bunny footprints you wish.