Archive of ‘Spring and Summer’ category

Lost Sock Memorial Day

At the foot of my bed sits a laundry basket. Not a clean basket for folding, not a dirty basket getting ready to be washed. No, this basket is a special kind of basket that bugs me EVERY SINGLE TIME I LOOK AT IT.

This basket is filled with the bane of my laundry existence, UNMATCHED SOCKS.

Socks of every size, texture, shape and colour. Sweat socks, toe socks, dress socks, ankle, knee. Even old baby socks are in there, and my youngest is 10!

WHY does this happen? They go in to the wash in pairs, but somehow come out solo. I throw them in the basket, thinking eventually the second one will turn up, BUT IT NEVER DOES!!!

In the past, I have done creative things with the lone ones. I’ve used buttons and yarn to make sock puppets. I have tried using them as dusters, to clean the house. Problem is I am a lousy housekeeper, so I’d only use one a month. I’d never get rid of them at that rate!

I am going to be stuck with a basket of mismatched socks FOREVER. I can’t bring myself to throwing them out. I can’t increase my carbon footprint with something that makes a footprint! I am trapped.

Or, at least I thought I would be, until I learned that May 9th is unofficially “Lost Sock Memorial Day.”

Yes. That’s right, a made-up day that is giving me permission to THROW OUT THE OLD SOCKS. I will have one last look, try to match up a few, and then take a moment and thank all those socks for keeping my family’s toes warm throughout the winter, and then PITCH THEM IN THE GARBAGE, GUILT FREE!

PLUS. Sandal season is almost here! You know what that means??!!?? NO SOCKS FOR 4 MONTHS!

Imagine the space I will have now at the end of my bed, instead of a laundry basket mocking me! I will put that basket in the basement and be free of mismatched socks!

For now.

Eventually they will pile up again; I am sad to say I know this. But hey, at least I have until September.

So, go ahead. On May 9th, you have official permission to throw out those lone socks.

And, if you can’t bring yourself to do it, may I suggest a sock themed craft for Mother’s Day? The pass off is maybe your only chance!!!

 

 

Back To School Posts? NO THANK-YOU!

For the past few weeks I’ve seen a tonne of back to school posts, ranging in everything from lunch container ideas for kids to ones giving up alcohol and chips for adults. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I don’t read any of them, and I’ll tell you why!

I’m lucky enough this year to be able to take August off and spend it at the beach with my children. My guys are still young enough to have some carefree summers, but I know that won’t last forever. So for now, and hopefully always, I want to make this weekend last as long as possible.

So instead of back to school shopping, we are going to swim in the lake. Instead of me cutting up sandwiches with cookie cutters and writing love notes, we are going to dig in the sand and make sandcastles, instead of me feeling guilty about having a beer, I’m going to have two. We are going to drag this out until the bittersweet end.

We will head home tomorrow and go back to reality. We will be sun kissed, our bellies full of food and our hearts filled with love. We will crank our “Beach Mix 2016” playlist and sing, windows down and wind in our faces, and crawl into our beds sandy and sleepy.

Tuesday morning we will head off to school, a bit sleepy, but luckily my guys get back into the swing of things without much adjustment time. I won’t pack up a fancy container for lunch in a brand new lunch bag, I’ll send them off with last year’s bag with more of a June lunch than a September one.

Wednesday we will be back to “normal” and in full fall mode, but I will already be plotting how to be off again next summer. At the end of it all, I’m pretty sure my guys are going to remember that night we swam until dark over that time I spent a mortgage payment on Sistema lunch containers.

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One Man’s Trash…

 

Early on a weekend morning you find yourself carting boxes full of old books and toys out on to your front lawn. Clothes you no longer wear, furniture that’s chipped, VHS tapes you’ve found in the basement; you put all those out too. You felt like you were up early enough yet there are already people there, ready to rummage through your stuff.

You my friend are having a garage sale.

I have VERY mixed feelings on garage sales. They really are a weird event. A plan to get rid of all your old things that never really works out for me. First of all, if I bring a box up from the basement full of toys my kids haven’t played with in years, they suddenly have interest in them again and simply CANNOT part with them. Now dusty old baby toys are scattered around my living room floor. I also don’t like people trying to barter with me over things I’ve owned and loved, trying to talk me down from the Toonie I am charging.

“No, I won’t take a quarter for it. It’s an end table!!”

I stand there, on my lawn, with a good portion of our lives out for display knowing that if it doesn’t sell I will have to load all of it up in our car and take it to a donation centre. I look at the handful of change I’ve earned so far, which is barely enough to buy a coffee, and start wondering if I just should have not bothered with the sale, but just headed right for the dump.

My kids, who were the ones who talked me in to having a sale in the first place, have long lost interest and have gone to the park to play. I can’t stop thinking of the guy that bought all our DVD’s for $5. He was so excited and kept saying “I can’t believe you don’t want these!!” I am starting to regret selling them. DO I want these? Now it’s too late. Would we ever watch Cannonball Run 3 again? I highly doubt it, but I am still feeling regretful.

The only thing worse for me than having a garage sale is the slightly embarrassing fact that I LOVE going to them. I can’t help myself. I pull over all the time and shop on people’s lawns. Over the years I have picked up so many things that will be great “DIY fixer upper projects.” I buy all kinds of furniture that I could easily refinish and that would be AMAZING when I’m done. Problem is, I don’t ever do it. NOT EVER. I don’t even know how! I usually keep all this junk in my basement for two years and then resell it to some other poor sucker off my lawn.

Despite all of this, I know that I will continue to stop at garage and yard sales. I just can’t help it. Once again my kids will leave with old DVD’s and giant sized toys and I will leave with a broken chair and some useless knickknacks.

Oh well, at least we will have some new things to sell off next year!

My latest purchase. It's salt and pepper shakers that are also a bottle opener AND a corkscrew! How could I resist?!?

 

Letting Kids Dress For Success

Hot pink slip on shoes. Black capri leggings with small white stars on them. A denim tunic with a turquoise t-shirt underneath. Messy curls scooped up into a ponytail on the top of the head. A flower patterned purse and oversized sunglasses. Wow. That outfit makes a statement!

The age old debate of letting small children dress themselves. Some parents cringe at what their children put on, some make them change, and some pick out their outfits for them.

I have always been a fan of letting kids wear what they want. Turtleneck and bow tie? Go for it. Seven different patterns, none matching? Perfect. Mismatched socks. Sure. Goggles all day long? Whatever makes them happy! As long as it is functional and seasonally appropriate, I don’t really see why it matters what they wear.

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I think it’s important for children to dress themselves. It’s a skill that promotes independence, and it makes them feel proud. It also saves a busy parent time in the mornings, so win-win!

Adults have so many rules. We have to conform, dress appropriately and behave in a certain way. Children will eventually have to do this too, so why can’t we just let them enjoy their wardrobe choices now? More than anything, I think a colour explosion of a fashion choice really let’s a child express their personality. This is so important. I want my children to think and feel for themselves. Telling them something they’ve picked out for themselves is not okay, is telling them they are wrong for liking it. I want my kids to know who they are, so if later in life they are wearing a uniform on the outside, they are still rainbow sparkles and stripes on the inside. Why should we stop that because we think it looks goofy? No one sees a flashy five-year-old’s kooky outfit and thinks “What kind of parent would let their child wear that?” They think “Oh yeah, that kid dressed himself!”

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Life is short. Let people, including children, enjoy themselves. Even if it means cringe worthy outfits. It’s a way for them to express their wonderful personalities. Boring choices are, well, BORING. We could all learn to live a little. I am firm believer that clothes represent the person. If you feel bright and colourful, show it!

Now go back and reread the outfit described in the first paragraph. Who do you think is wearing that? Hint. Not one of my children. 😉

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Hey, You Look Like A Lady Who Could Use A Hot Dog!

I just had my coffee and read thirty five some internet articles. One was about a woman who sabotaged herself and ruined every trip she’s ever gone on, by not being organized. Wow. She’s got the problems! I can’t imagine living your life like that! Speaking of trips…

I am leaving tomorrow for a much needed one. You know, to give me a break from my job of doing nothing all day long. I fly out at 8 am, so I need to pack today.

I also need to clean my house. My sister is moving in for the week, to help out my children. Knowing that I was flying out on June 6th, I decided from May 6th on not to clean or put anything away. WHY BOTHER. I will just have to do it the day before she comes anyway, because I live with three boys and a giant dog. (Hoarders were like “Naw, this is too much, even for us.”) So the cleaning and packing should commence, NOW. Oh. I also have to wash what I want to pack, since I only own three outfits. None of which are really even appropriate for the trip. What should I wear to tour Alcatraz, PJs or a formal gown? You decide.

This should all be easy enough right? Right. BUT I do need to clean the backyard first. Why you ask? Because today is the day! We have old propane tanks scattered around, broken equipment, toboggans and recycling. SO. MANY. WINE. BOTTLES. Will my sister be in the back yard? NO. But this should only take a few minutes. Let me just load up the car for a quick run to Big Box Land to return all this junk. Easy Peasy. THEN I will clean and pack. Here we go.

GARDEN CENTRE? Ohhhhh. A place for people who care about their yards. (I wish I was one of those people.) Annuals on for .99 cents? Hmmmm. Well, the front of the house does look bare. I can’t imagine weeding a garden and planting a few dozen flowers can take that long, right? I know I need to clean but I still have a few hours before the dog groomer shows up. Yes. I decided my dog needs a haircut before I leave. It only makes sense to spend as much money as possible before a trip. I love to feel anxious about cash flow while on a vacation. I want to make good and sure to keep this whirlwind of chaos going until I board that plane.

At the hardware store, I unload all the propane tanks. Did I mention they aren’t even mine? They were in the yard 6 years ago when we bought our house. So you can totally see the need to return them TODAY. Had to be done. They were crazy heavy, and I struggled all across the parking lot with NO ONE offering to help me. Whatever.

On my way back out, the hot dog cart man called out to me.

“HEY! You look like a lady who could use a hot dog.”

Dude’s not wrong. 99% of the time I pretty much look like a lady who could use a hot dog. I’ll take this as some serious high praise, considering the source!

I wander over.

“If I was allowed to leave my cart, I would have totally helped you carry those tanks!”

See. Chivalry is not dead.

“That’s disgusting the way NO ONE helped you, struggling like that. In YOUR condition. Let me treat you to a hot dog.”

There it is. My condition. Hot dog man thinks I’m pregnant.

I am not.

I am, however, interested in that free hot dog.

“What’ll it be?” he asks.

“Something’s telling me…chicken wiener.” (  I say this in a side talking, high pitched voice. Chiiiken WEEN AHHH)

Let me just say this. At NO point in anyone’s life, should something in their brain or body tell them chicken wiener.

“Coming right up!”

YESSSS. I am totally owning today. I take my free chicken dog and LOAD IT UP with all my favourite unrefrigerated toppings, which are just warming up nicely in the sun. Sauerkraut, corn relish, hot sauce, ketchup. Mmmmm. I thank my Knight in Shining Tin Foil, head to the car, and scarf down my snack.

As I wiped my face up with a bit of leftover bun, I glanced down to see it’s only 10:30am. Hmm. Maybe that was a food mistake before noon. Hmm. Maybe it was a food mistake before a 5 hour flight. But hey! I still have plenty of time to get at that gardening. I crank some Dexy’s Midnight Runners on the radio and I cruise on home.

It’s late afternoon now and NOTHING in the house is done, but I am still super excited for my trip. I am meeting my hubby for a sweet big city rendezvous. He’s been away for a week now, and I miss him. I sent him some sexy boudoir photos to remind him what’s coming his way in two days. I’ll share one with you now, if you promise not to show anyone. I don’t want them leaked like Jennifer Lawrence’s!

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Okay. That’s it. I need to stop wasting time and GET READY.

Just as soon as I finish off that project piece chair I garbage picked two years ago. I really feel like it needs to get done today. Now where’s that sander?

P.S. If you read this, and thought, hey, pregnant ladies shouldn’t eat hot dogs! You are right!! Pat yourself on the back for nailing this parenting thing! We are all doing alright.

Alpha Mom, Emasculation and Helicopter Wife-ing

“I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss.” – Beyoncé. Queen of All Things.

I am the boss of my house. I believe everyone that lives here will agree to that. I am the Alpha Mom.  I am not bossy, but I do tend to steamroll decisions for most things, making them go my way.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

Well, yesterday I was called out by a family friend for “emasculating” my husband. Now, before you go getting your hate on for me, let me explain…

First of all, we are urban city folk, through and through. My son thinks camping is sleeping in his Spiderman tent in the living room. Our hiking is through High Park, ending off at a wine bar to celebrate us getting out there and enjoying nature! Our “backyard” is a 200 square foot area that we fondly refer to as “The Dirt Pit” and right in the middle of this is a cluster of old, rotten tree stumps.

My Husband wandered in from the back, in his “gardening clothes” which consisted of expensive gym shoes and his leather gloves he wears to work, and announced he was going to buy a chainsaw. He said he can’t dig the stumps out, that the roots run too deep, he needs to cut them.

I laughed and said “OH NO YOU’RE NOT.” He then said he could rent one.

“DOUBLE NO.” I laughed even harder.

“NOT EVEN AN AXE!” I yelled as he headed back outside.

So, I ask you, was that emasculating? Maybe.

Want to know what else is? CHOPPING YOUR LEG OFF IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD.

My husband is great at many things. He can hold his own tasting first growth Bordeaux with a Baron in France, and can sing Karaoke backed by a live band. He’s funny and charming, but he has never really used any sort of equipment like this.

So I am straight up saying he’s not allowed to have a chainsaw. Or really any other power tools. My mocking tone was very similar to Ralphie’s mom in a Christmas Story. I won’t let my husband “shoot his eye out.” Moms are right, everyone else is wrong!

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am a Helicopter Parent, but I have been known to make my son get out of the tree, because I’m quite sure he’s going to fall and impale himself on the spiked fence below. I also yell “HOLD THE RAILING” every single time he comes down the stairs, because I am certain one of these times he’s going to fall, knocking out his front teeth. So, maybe I tend to over worry…

You’ve heard of Helicopter Parenting? How these parents won’t let the kids have any fun on their own? How they hover around making sure they don’t fall in the playground, making them wear safety gear to ride their bikes? Never letting them out of their sight, and making sure every activity they do is safe and structured?

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Well, I am Helicopter Wife-ing.

If my husband really wants to use a chainsaw, he will have to take a class. If he wants to throw an axe, he can join the Axe Throwing League. I will only let him do these activities in a safe, controlled environment. I will pick him up after his class, take him out for a drink, and ask all about how it went, just like I do with my kids. Fun right? Problem solved, no more worrying about backyard dismemberment!

Maybe he will be really great at using these types of equipment, take a real shine to it, and will end up being quite the Handyman. But, until then. NO CHAINSAWS!

So maybe this is emasculating. Maybe I tend to hover. Maybe I worry too much, but I just want my family to be safe, including my Husband.

I love him to pieces.

But I do not want him in pieces.

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Dressing Right For Your Body Type AKA Kiss My Sweet A**

Spring is almost here. Beautiful, airy fashions are flooding into stores, and online for shopping. Heavy boots are being tucked away for more fashion friendly footwear. It’s a great time for updating wardrobes!

Around this time of year, I see lots of articles pop up on how to know what sort of clothes suit you, especially if you have a less than perfect body shape. Some even have handy charts, showing whether you are an apple, pear, rectangle, hourglass, or wedge. Tall and skinny, or short and fat? Big boobs, small boobs, no boobs? Someone can fix that! There are all kinds of tips for you, especially for every woman’s favourite thing, bathing suit shopping!

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Well, I thought I’d make up a list, to help get you through the spring and summer wardrobe season. I’ve narrowed it down to three simple rules, hopefully you will find these helpful!

  1. Wear whatever the F*** you like. Do you like something? Then buy it. If it’s tight, loose, short, long, striped, checked, coloured, covers up, let’s it all hang out, in fashion, out of style, boring, outrageous, or anything else you can think of, if you like it, YOU WEAR IT.
  2. Stop buying magazines and reading articles and listening to anyone or anything that makes you feel bad about yourself and your choices. If you feel good in something, then you look good in it too! Don’t spend another summer hating yourself and covering up because you feel less than perfect. It’s too hot for that bulls***!
  3. Be kind to yourself. We are our own worst enemies. Be healthy, take care of your body, but take care of your heart and soul too. Enjoy your life. You will waste so many years putting things off if you wait “until you lose that twenty pounds.” Swim with your children, be in family photos, take a dance class. Your children don’t care how you look, they love you as you are. By accepting and caring for yourself, and trying to be healthy mentally and physically, you are setting such a great example for your family!

Well, there you have it. My shopping tips. Now go buy yourself something you absolutely love and feel great in! My current fav? A cherry print bathing suit. A little spill going on over the top, a little jiggle going on at the bottom, and a whole lotta sexy going on right in the middle!

http://www.blackdaffodil.ca/collections/swimsuits

http://www.yourbigsisterscloset.com/

These are two stores I love, that carry local human sized clothing. Something for everyone!