how to avoid getting hit by lightning.

It's like clockwork. Around these parts, when you get 2-3 days of super hot weather, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a couple of super rainy weather very soon after.

Yesterday, we even got lightning and thunder! It was scary, yo. Getting hit by lightning is one of my BIG fears, but I had to face it to go out to see my chiropractor for my adjustment.

Luckily, I went online and got some awesome advice on how to not get hit, and what to do if I do get zapped. You gotta love the internets...

A Note to Pre-Baby Me

Originally published on on September 21, 2009, this post is probably my favourite 'mommy' piece I've ever written. It became my second article with Canada Moms chosen for syndication. I'm moving it here with permission as part of the SVMoms Group shutdown. It struck a note with many moms, and I wish I could also move their lovely comments here too. Enjoy...

Sometimes, I wish I were you. Yes, you. Over there. My younger, pre-child self. The one not covered in spilled apple juice, hot chocolate, or dish soap. The one not still in glasses and pajamas at 1 in the afternoon. The one who didn't have to stop yet another fight between her son and daughter over who should move further down the couch, who touched who, who should clean up the mess, or who farted without apologizing.

I'm talking to you, who didn't have to search for a pair of "non-holey, non-painty" jeans for the 7-year-old 15 minutes before bedtime because he refused to get into his pajamas until the last possible minute. Nor did you have to watch the 5-year-old's daredevil dance performance where she unexpectedly catapults herself off the couch to narrowly miss all the pointy toys strewn all over the floor.

You didn't have to take the stove apart and fish around the corner underneath where the mouse lived last year before the cat killed it for the Bakugan brawler that rolled under there -- you know, the brawler your little weeping boy had his heart set on bringing to school for Show & Tell that day.

No one knocked furiously on your door the last time you went to the bathroom only to let you know they could hear you pee.

Today, I want to switch places with you so I can do my hair without interruption and put on make up that other people will see. I want to wear nice fashionable clothes and impractical footwear.

For a little while, I want to leave behind the messy house and messy kids. I want to have mature conversations with people who don't have to be reminded that a sentence with "bum" as every second word isn't really that funny. I want to eat lunch with people who will eat what is put in front of them, mop up their own spills, and get their own drinks.
I want to go somewhere where I get paid to use my brain just so I'm reminded that I have one.

For just a few minutes, I want to be independent and stylish. I want to leave it all behind and be you again.

But only for a moment, because when the moment's gone, I'll immediately wish I were me again. I'll miss the little hugs and kisses that fuel me and give me all the love and appreciation I need.

You have so much that I wish I still had. But I also have something you don't have -- even with all the chaos, noise, and mess, I have the two little people who make me smile even on my darkest days, who mean more to me than life itself, who make my heart swell by just saying "I love you, Mama". I have my babies.

Don't worry. One day, you'll be me.

.: This is an original Canada Moms Blog post by NenetteAM who also writes about her favourite people, places, and things at Life Candy, tweets at @NenetteAM, and is right now having another "Calgon, take me away" moment because her kids are fighting... again.

kitchen/family room: before & after.

My husband is not only cute, he is also very smart. Smart enough -- 5 years ago -- to know that you do not argue with your 6-months-pregnant wife, no matter how incredibly, obviously WRONG she is.
Like when she decides that the most perfectly gorgeous colour for the cedar-ceilinged, open-concept kitchen/familyroom addition is... green.

Oh, he's clever, so he knew we'd end up with...

Kitchen - Before

Family Room - Before

...and still he said nothing. I think he was afraid I'd finally go through with my threat of sitting on him. I was a very heavy pregnant lady.

Luckily, after Mini was born, the pregnancy hormones washed away, the fog lifted, and I realized my terrible sin against the gods of good home aesthetics.

Look at it! It was like living in a cave! A cave where the Vim Monster came and threw up.  And made a mess of my house. Threw toys around. Put various papers on our counter, and littered our fridge door.  Uh, yeah, the Vim Monster did all of that. Bad, bad messy Vim Monster...


Anyway, so what now? Well, I knew that...

(a) the green walls are competing with all the wood, so the wall had to be neutral to allow the real showpiece of the room to shine: the cedar ceiling.
(b) the ceiling made the room dark, so the walls had to be light.
(c) we would NEVER paint the cedar ceilings.
(d) Roomie hates beige.
(e) I've always wanted all-white walls.

So, after 6 bloody years of staring at depressing Vim-puke walls, I hopped on our new ladder and started slapping on the same white paint I used in the livingroom, and ended up with...

Kitchen - After (Night)

Family Room - After (Day)

Gorgeous, eh?!!!

Oh, but check how this room shines at night!

Family Room - After (Night)

I still need to get new window dressing for the kitchen and iron the curtain in the family room, but still, OMG, what a difference!!! Very happy. The work was worth it.

Yes, you may now applaud. xo

rebuilding the temple. a post *not* about my kitchen/familyroom reno. that's for another post. maybe tomorrow.

This is a picture of me NOT at 140.

It is however a picture of me in my new vest that my darling daughter tried to dissuade me from buying. Oh, she thought Mommy looked "very nice" in it, but since I told her that I didn't want to spend any money that day, she did all she could to be helpful.
Seriously, she was chasing me around the store, "No, Mama! Don't buy it! Don't buy it!", screaming like a cute, tiny banshee. Hm. I wonder who she got that from.

But, as you can see, I bought it anyway, and Mini learned that her mother has very little willpower.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, 140. I topped 140 not long ago. Not a good thing, when...

.: you are a small-boned 5'4"
.: you've been told you are healthiest at around 115-120 (and you feel it too)
.: you were diagnosed with insulin resistance
.: you have borderline high cholesterol
.: you're trying to get all hot and bikini-ready for the summer

And I know many of you are saying "What? 140 isn't bad!". Well, it is, when about 38% of it is fat. When you feel like crap. When your sarong-wearing self is struttin' all hot-n-sexy down the beach boardwalk at Spruce Woods, sucking in your gut, and daring everyone the entire time with your evil eye to ask you when your "baby" is due!

But look, there's less of me now! I'm not sure what I weigh at the mo'. I'm not sure I want to check. All I know is that I feel good and can now wear some of my favourite t-shirts without looking like a stuffed eggroll. Or a certain wallet that will go nameless.

How, Nenette? How are you doing it?

I've gone Primal, baby! It's basically how I used to eat when I lost weight and got heathy in 2006 doing CRON -- low carb/high nutrition -- but without the calorie restriction. In a nutshell, primal eating means no grains, no starchy carbs, no sugar. And No. Tracking. Calories.

Just quality protein, veggies, fruit, healthy fats, and dairy in yogurt form only. (At least for me. Other primal folk use other forms of dairy as well.)

My sugar addiction is gone, and my appetite is nowhere near the Feed Me NOW! it was before. This, I can do, sustain, and not be afraid that my son will "type my lunch on the computer just like Mama". Yeah, that actually happened. Frightening.

Anyway, if you're curious to go primal too, check these...

.: Mark's Daily Apple - the BEST Primal How-To blog around.
.: Primal Matriarch - the lovely and delicious AndreAnna shares some frickin' tasty recipes and some valuable insight into her Primal journey.
.: Primal Toad - Todd's casual style and desire to create a community of like-minded folk makes Primal living easy, approachable, and fun.

For more Primal goodness, check out more of the blogs in my Daily Treats blogroll in the side bar.

just say 'no' to malls.

These are my kids:

"What a pretty day..." at Lower Fort Garry

These are my kids on malls:

"GIVE ME TOYS!!!" at St. Vital Shopping Mall

Just say 'no' to malls.

mixtape tuesday. (I know it's wednesday. don't judge.)

Songs that are making me smile these days, make me think of summer, no particular order...

1: California Gurls - Katy Perry
- makes me want to be a California Gurl

2: Telephone - Lady Gaga & Beyonce

3: Squeeze me - Kraak & Smaak

4: So Fine - Sean Paul

5: Hella Good - No Doubt

6: Wonderful Night - Fatboy Slim
- when will I ever get sick of this song?... um, never.

7: Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf

8: Naturally - Selena Gomez & the Scene

What's on your mixtape?

my life list.

I was inspired by Maggie ages ago to dig out my old "bucket list" and update it, and now I've finally gotten off my bum and actually finished it to "publishable status".
It's good to have goals. And these are mine to do before I kick the bucket, meet the wormies, and come back as a pampered house cat without the opposable thumbs I need to complete any of these...

1: Spend a week in New York.
2: Visit a castle in Scotland.
3: Go on a historical tour of Bath.
4: Become a minimalist.
5: Visit the Philippines with my husband and kids.
6: Meet Rougie, AndreAnna, Adam, Loukia, Haley'O, Jenny, Ali, and all of my other favourite online folks in person.
7: Make a decent living from home online.
8: Live in Hawai'i.
9: Enjoy croissant and cafe au lait at a Parisian cafe.
10: Have an outdoor wedding.
11: Have kids.
12: Live long enough to get to know and enjoy my grandkids.
13: Dance on the Great Wall of China.
14: Take a cooking class in Thailand.
15: Give my pretend boyfriend Gerard Butler a big hug. Yes, just a hug.
16: Complete and publish my erotic fiction novel.
17: Live in an eco-friendly home.
18: Be mortgage and debt-free.
19: Get Lasik eye surgery.
20: Participate in a parade.
21: Join the Mile High Club
22: Live off the Grid
23: Finish knitting my daughter's blanket
24: Learn to play poker. (was: Have a portrait of myself painted. See #37. Thanks, AB!)
25: Learn to speak fluent Spanish
26: Set foot on all 7 continents
27: Weight 115 pounds naked
28: Drive a stick shift.
29: Walk on a volcano.
30: Eat sushi in Japan.
31: Finish my front yard garden.
32: Have a Guinness in Ireland.
33: Hang out in Jamaica for at least 2 weeks.
34: Go to an Ayurvedic Spa
35: Visit Stonehenge.
36: Visit every province in Canada by train.
37: Have my portrait painted.
38: Organize a spa retreat with friends
39: Go a day without speaking
40: Write a $1,000,000 cheque to a charity.
41: Own a small (1000 sq.ft.) house on a large riverside patch of land.
42: Own a hybrid vehicle.
43: Visit the pyramids in Egypt.
44: Ride an elephant.
45: Ride a camel.
46: Have a small speaking part in a movie.
47: Own a small shop.
48: Spend Christmas in Hawai'i, where I won't experience a white Christmas for a change.
49: Find my doppelganger.
50: Spend a whole 24-hour period naked.
51: Host 10 dinner parties in one year.
52: Get my belly button pierced.
53: Drink 2 litres of water every day for one month.
54: Learn basic sign language.
55: Go on a girls' weekend trip out of town with just my daughter.
56: Busk - as a hula dancer.
57: Play in a band. (I was The Contrast's bass guitarist.)
58: Visit the Vatican.
59: Go on another nerd honeymoon with Roomie: Macchu Picchu.
60: Write an ebook.
61: Complete the Road to Hana. (We only got half way due to my motion sickness.)
62: Visit the Playboy Mansion.
63: Own a beach vacation home.
64: Create my family tree.
65: Help during the birth of a baby.
66: Ride a gondola in Venice.
67: Drive a car in England.
68: Make a pavlova.
69: Relax and enjoy mulled cider in a ski lodge in Switzerland.
70: ...

Visit again to see any new additions and/or completed goals.

How about you? Have you made your own life list? If so, be sure to let me know! I'd love to see it.

now that's my kind of tea party.

Tea & biscuits is so 5-minutes-ago. At Mini's, it's tea & bacon. Wouldn't you love to be invited to one of these parties?! Mmmm... bacon...

Yes, that's real bacon.

look back, then forward.

There's nothing like a health alert and a crazy-whacked-out camping trip to hit you on the head and scream at you to "wake up, you crazy bitch!" bring you clarity, perspective, and understanding about the things in your life.

One thing that came crystal clear to me was: I miss blogging.

Not this occasional, "hey, we did x today" stuff. I mean the real crap. You know, the sharing of thoughts, interests, and things we do that make life so sweet that your teeth fall out and you'll need dentures, but because my awesome blog posts have given you a new sense of adventure, you get dentures that are all blingy and shiny, like Flavour Flav's (I swear he's haunting me -- and can someone please stop me from Canadianizing his name!).

Anyway, I'm now getting back on track -- with a whopping 3 post per week!!! -- but geez, I'm rusty! So, what do I do? I look back on my archives. For inspiration. For ideas. For reassurance that I truly am an entertaining blogger and that my life is cool enough to write about.

So, you can imaging my glee when I found that Darren at Problogger recently challenged his readers to link to 7 blog posts that fit 7 different themes. Whoa! A dare with built-in blog archive surfing!!!

Anyway, here's me, looking back at my writing, revisiting, and getting inspired...
  1. Your first post – What an appropriate title: A Good Place to Start. You can totally see that this blog started as a healthy-living blog. If you didn't know that fact, you'd wonder what the hell the point of the post was. At least I would.
  2. A post you enjoyed writing the mostMy F*ck It List was my favourite one to write. I was totally in the burnt-out, "I'm so sick of all this crap" frame of mind. Cathartic post. Totally. Stopped me from getting hammered and running thought the neighbourhood naked and screaming profanities at fire hydrants.
  3. A post which had a great discussion – Oh, god, the Freebie 5 lists, hands down! Please -- everyone, even me!, seems to have an opinion on Brad Pitt's shapely ass, or the like.
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written – I haven't done any open letters to anyone here just yet, but when I do, I'd want it to be as funny as this one by Jenny. Good heavens, this woman could make me laugh so hard, I almost pee. I hope that one day my writing will make my readers pee.
  5. A post with a title that you are proud of – I thought *for my leg is hollow, and I have eaten pie* was so clever. It was my take on the Star Trek episode called "For the World is Hollow, and I have Touched the Sky". The post had nothing to do with the episode, or anything Star Trek for that matter. Just my family. Who I often suspect of having been replaced by aliens anyway.
  6. A post that you wish more people had read – The engagement-present post I wrote for my cousin Glo and her now-husband Shaun. It captured how fun-loving this crazy couple is. And everything I wrote? All totally true. I'm such a liar.
  7. Your most visited post ever8 Skills Every Woman Should Master had mixed reviews. I suspect most of the negative nellies had no concept of "tongue in cheek" -- I suspect they had their tongues in other cheeks places.
So, how about you bloggers out there? What are your Super 7?

pimp my wardrobe: jean coat.

My husband calls it my "country matrix" coat, which is better than what I initially called it. (Hint: the first word of this post's title.) Really, with its wide lapels, this bad boy's screaming to be paired up with a feathered hat, large sunglasses, and enough bling to make Flavor Flav weep.

Seriously, though, despite being on the plain side, I love this coat. It cost me just $3.96 at Goodwill, and look at it! Oh, the potential! But sadly, if left to my own devices, I'd ruin it with my "creativity". I tend to be heavy-handed when it comes to fringe! Mmmm... fringe...

So, I'm asking you, my lovelies, what should I do? How should I improve it and make it ab-fab without looking like I should expect Isaac Hayes to jump out of the bushes and start singing the theme to Shaft when I wear it?

Which would be really creepy, because I think Isaac Hayes is dead.