don't buy it. blog it.

I've been busy writing, decluttering, being an editor, reading, waking up my garden, planning bus trips, taking bus trips, volunteering at my kids' school, and losing 2 more pounds (yay!).

I've also seen some things online that I like.  Pretty things.  Expensive things.  Things that, the second it comes into my home, I'd be all "ugh, I have to deal with that now too!" about.

Since I can't un-see these things, I'll make you all see them too.  Share the love.  And the angst.  (Still, I love you, my darling readers.)  And if you too are trying to get rid of stuff, remember, you don't have to buy it... just blog it.  :)

+ Makes me want a Mac even more. (Re-Nest)

+ Mini wants to live here. (design*sponge)

+ And I want to cook here.  (design*sponge)

+ Not sure if this is good feng shui, but can you imagine doing the deed on this bad boy?!  Woo hoo!  (the architecture blog)

+ I'm the Earthy Kitchen type.  (House Beautiful)

Bonus... 

+ If I do this, Roomie's going to want to smooch with me even more than he already does.  Hell, I'd smooch me! (Instructables)

small simple things.

It hasn't been an easy month.  We found that our car is undrivable.  And we have appointments and lessons we now have to get to by bus.  Our bathrooms are still a disgusting mess, and I found out it will likely cost us $6000+ to fix them.  I'm now sick.  So is Lam.  The clutter is everywhere, and I'm too tired to do anything about it right now.

Oh, and the weather sucks donkey balls.

But then, while making dinner, I open the kitchen spice drawer and find...


... a handwritten lovenote from my darling husband.

Suddenly, my world is wonderful again.

What do the contents of your handbag/purse "say" about you?


It's been a long time since I've done one of those full disclosure purse thingies. Judging from all the emails I got the last time I displayed the contents of my Big Bag o' Trouble, I think I gave you nightmares for a week! 

But I'm doing the minimalish-ist thing, so I think my purse will be less scary.  (I don't know -- do any of you consider a Hello Kitty lanyard scary?)  I don't just shove anything in there anymore.  Every item has a reason for being.  And this is more important now than ever before because I'm going car-free and don't necessarily want to lug extra crap around if I don't have to.

Now what if an alien (like one of the hot Star Trek aliens that look human... think: The Outrageous Capt. Thadiun Okona) or your neighbourhood hobo happened across my forgotten bag?  What would they think this person is?  (I'll include my take too.)

1: Sponge Bob Bag (borrowed from Mini)
Alien: "Fun-loving.  I'd like to hang out with this person."
Hobo: "I can wear it as a hat."
Me: "This is a 12-year-old girl or boy."

2: Aveda Lip Tint in Cocoplum
Alien: "She's a woman... Oooh, yeaaah..."
Hobo: "Can I eat that?"
Me: "Oh, she is a girl.  Or a boy who stole his sister's lipstick.  Or a boy who wears lipstick."

3: Historical Romance Novel
Alien: "She loves romance.  Romance with hot humanoids like me."
Hobo: "Oh, toilet paper!"
Me: "She's an adult.  Who loves romance novels.  Probably likes to read them when she has to wait for long periods of time."

4: Antibacterial wash
Alien: "I like a clean woman." Um. Okay.
Hobo: "What is this shit? I wouldn't know.  I don't have cable.  Hey, this belongs to a woman with cable!"
Me: "She hates germs.  Probably likes to use it just before she eats.  She likes going to restaurants."

5: Aveda Lotion
Alien: "She has soft skin."
Hobo:  "Smells like stuff I can eat."
Me: "She probably lives in a very dry area, and her skin gets parched."

6: Notebook
Alien: "I wonder if she writes down her fantasies." This dude's getting weird and creepy.
Hobo: "More toilet paper!"
Me:  "She likes to stay organized.  And when she gets an idea, she doesn't want to lose it, so she jots it down."

7: Advil
Alien: "I bet these are her birth control pills."  Really, dude?  And are your headache pills as big as apples?
Hobo: "This isn't much of a meal."
Me: "She gets headaches or really bad PMS, and she wants to be prepared.  She won't let headaches or cramps put a damper on her day!"

8: Wallet
Alien: "Hey, her husband's cute too.  Maybe he'll be interested in a threesome!" Oh, for the love of-!
Hobo: "She's got no cash.  Hey, but there's a lot of toilet paper in here too!
Me: "She's a mom and wife, and her family is everything to her.  And she's everything to them -- a couple of "I love Mom" notes from her kids.  A Starbucks card -- she loves her coffee.  Oh, a receipt... decaf.  Another receipt... tea.  She's nice -- she's signed her donor card."

9: Keys
Alien: "Only 2 keys.  It'll be easy to figure out which one goes to her bedroom. Hehehe..."
Hobo: "Great.  I can pick the wax outta my ears with this here long key."
Me:  "She has a yoga key fob.  She likes yoga and staying healthy.  And not a lot of keys.  She has a house and a car.  Very simple."

10: MP3 player with Hello Kitty lanyard (not in photo: ladybug ear buds)
Alien: "I bet she has hot sexy music on this thing."
Hobo: "Maybe I can trade this for a shopping cart.  Oh!  Or a tinfoil hat."
Me:  "Hmm. Maybe she is a 12-year-old girl."

11: Razr Cell Phone
Alien: "Oh, I'll call her and see if she's home."  I hope he doesn't find out where I live.
Hobo: "I can get a second tinfoil hat with this!"
Me:  "She's social.  And she has many friends she can call and who love her."

12: Reusable Shopping Bag
Alien: He's already left for my house.
Hobo: "I can use this for my tinfoil hats.  And as a shirt when it's hot."
Me:  "She respects the environment.  Good girl."

How about you?  What's in your bag?!

This post brought to you by:


Mama’s Losin’ It

so long, car, and thanks for all the memories.

"Sorry, but if I were you, I'd just get rid of this car and get a new one."  And with those words, my mechanic signaled the beginning of the end for our little Tercel.

You see, the car's front right suspension coil broke on Sunday.  Fixing it and all the other problems with the 20-year-old vehicle would cost us so much moolah that we might as well get a new one... or at least a new-to-us one. 

But since we prefer to do our research before making such a major purchase -- especially with our super limited budget -- and it's Spring anyway, we'll be car-free for a while.

Okay, call me crazy, but a part of me feels skeevy getting a replacement for our little Tercel, like I'm cheating on her or something.  You see, to us, she's so much more than just our car.
She ...
  • was the first one Roomie and I owned together.

  • was the one that Roomie taught me how to drive stick-shift with. 

  • had the awesome 12 CD disk changer that we would load up with music from The Cranberries, SClub7, and Weird Al and sing loud and crazy to while driving down the streets of Winnipeg.

  • was our carriage to restaurants, concerts, and festivals before we had our babies.

  • brought us through 2 provinces to the Tyrell Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller for our honeymoon.

  • safely brought our babies home from the hospital.

  • took us to countless trips to the beach and camping where we had fun with family and friends.

I know she has to go, but I'll miss her.  She played such a big part in many of the major events of our lives.  It'll be like losing a member of our family.

A-Z Meme

Today's post is brought to you by the letters A and Z... and all the other ones in between, because Mini and I were battling some evil stomach bug this weekend, and it left me with nothing interesting to post.

But one of the bazillion voices in my head said "You need to write something today!"  So, before that other voice -- you know, the one that screams "Kill them all!!!" -- decided to speak up again and get me all sidetracked, I rushed around to find something to post.

I stole the idea for this post from my fellow sick person Stephanie at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs (although she down with the flu and not a stomach bug) who called this her "Sick Meme".

Go ahead.  You steal it too.  And no, you don't have to be sick to do it.

A. Age: 41... so I'm still young.  yes, I am.  stop laughing.

B. Bed size: Queen.  we were going to upgrade to King, but the rest of the bed would just be wasted space.  We love to cuddle.  See? 


C. Chore you dislikewashing floors.  Ugh!  So gross.

D. Dogsyes...  small, two-year-old, brown and black, and answers to the name Mittens.  Oh, and she's the cat variety of dog.

E. Essential start to your daymy cup of green tea.  After that, I'm awake enough to make breakfast and pack lunch before my kids come down and demand to give Mommy-fortifying cuddles.

F. Favorite colorburgundy.  I love it so much, I'd paint the right side of my body with it.  Okay, I lie.  I'd paint the left side of my body with it.

G. Gold or silver: Gold.  Silver is too cold.
 
H. Height: 5' 3".  I thought I was 5'4" for the longest time.  Then I was measured just before my surgery last September.  Yup, I'm shrinking.

I. Instruments you play(ed): piano, organ, bass guitar.  See?

my bass & me - circa 1987
J. Job title: SAHM, freelance word person, hula instructor.

K. Kids:  I have 2 of 'em!  Lam - my handsome little brainiac, who'll probably use his computer genius to make his first billion at 15, then spend it all on french fries and video games.  And Mini - my gorgeous gamer, who'll be the first rocket scientist supermodel, freaking out the boys with her beauty, intelligence, and lightning fast wit.

L. Live: In Canada. In the middle of a flood plain.  Thank heavens for the Red River Floodway, or we'd be spit-shining our canoes about now.  Which would be bad since I don't have a canoe... so, I'd just be spitting.

M. Mom’s namePetronila.

N. NicknamesCandy, Nette, NenGirlie used to be one of them, but then I gave birth to Mini and had to relinquish that title to her.

O. Overnight hospital staystwice.  For Baby #1 and for Baby #2... so only for awesome life-altering events, not bad life-altering events.

P. Pet peeves: too many... for the complete list, check out this post.

Q. Quote from a movie: "Goin' on a year now I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!" - Serenity

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty.  But, to be fair and give you a fighting chance, I will duel with you with my left.

S. Siblings: One older sister, who I love to pieces and has been through hell with me.

T. Time you wake up4am with a truck load of anxiety.  Then after I talk myself off the crazy bus and get back to sleep, I wake at 6:30-ish.  Yes, even on weekends and holidays.

U. UnderwearBlack panties.  Always.

V. Vegetables you don’t like:  I like to eat all veggies, but I don't like to prepare all veggies.  Some are just way too freakin' high-maintenance.  Like potatoes.  Stupid potatoes.

W. What makes you run lateGetting my kids ready.  "Mom, where's my x?!"  "I don't want to wear my boots!"  "Oh, wait, Mom, could you get my watch on the nightstand?"  Next thing you know, they're out the door, and I've only managed to put mascara on one eye and my hair looks like Zoolander.

X. X-rays you’ve hadMy teeth and my spine.  My spine is gorgeous by the way.

Y. Yummy food you make:   Tocino.  It's a filipino pork dish.  My kids snarf this stuff down like it's their job!

Z. Zoo Animal Favouritesprairie dogs here at Assiniboine Park Zoo.  They pop out of their holes and start to chirp.  It's awesome!  Once I've seen them, I can go home... zoo trip is officially a success.

rebuilding the temple - month 2: reaching the limit.

I pack fat on my body in this order...

1: belly
2: back
3: busom
4: face

Usually when I get to "4:", aka Stay-Puft-Marshmallow-Man face, I'm feeling tired, sickly, uncomfortable, and foggy-brained on a daily basis.

And it sneaks up on me.  I think I'm all hot and shit, then -- BAM! -- I look like I should be stomping down the streets of New York in my gigantic puffy feet to the sweet sound of Ray Parker Jr.

Anyway, that's the limit.  That's when I know I have to stop, regroup, and do The Usual, ie. things I do to stop feeling like crap...

1: Cut out sugar, wheat products (breads, pasta, cakes, etc.) and other grains.
2: Cut out dairy (milk, cheese, etc.).
3: Drink water and green tea only.
4: Eat only 3 meals per day.
5: No snacking after dinner.
6: Eat more veggies and fruit.
7: Dance hula almost every day.
8: Do weights at least twice a week.

And way back in my 20s and 30s, all I had to do was "1:", and I was back to my hot awesome self in no time. You know, like this...


Sadly, these days, I have to do ALL those things, and it usually takes much longer to achieve goal thanks to my current health issues and, well, age. 

Which freaks me out because I have to look all hot and goddess-y by June 4!!!

That, my dear friends, is the day of Mini's dance recital at the Centennial Concert Hall.

And, heaven help me, it's also the day that I will be dancing the *Mom & Me* number with Mini at the very same dance recital.  At the same ginormous Centennial Concert Hall.  In front of a bajillion people.

This is SO. NOT. GOOD.

Because kick my ass and call me soccer ball, I NOW look like this...


... which -- you can't deny it, people -- also looks frighteningly close to...


Hold me.

big steaming mess. and mixing metaphors. i think.

Remember when I said it usually looks bad before it look good.  Or something like that.  I'm paraphrasing.  Anyway.  You can usually replace "it" with "my hair", "my garden in spring", "the flan I made last night", etc.

Today, it's my house.  There are mounds of clutter everywhere on their way out of my house.  Unfortunately, I can't really tackle them with Lam and me sick... again.  Sigh.

It's times like these that I sit on the couch, box of tissues in one hand and remote control in the other, and stare at the crap and wonder when my house will ever look the minimalish paradise I plan it to be.

So, I have to remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, and you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

It then follows that my journey to my Roman construction site with a mouth full of elephant will start with my diningroom...




See?  It's a freakin' CAVE!  How cavey?  We have to always turn on the light in the daytime to have lunch.  Not good.
The clutter is leaving, and in a move that I know would make Francine of Miss Minimalist cheer, I'm painting the walls white.  Okay, three of them white.  One will stay red.

Super, mondo excited.

Deadline:  May 31.  Sigh.  Wish me luck.

project 333: spring 2011. oh, and a recap of fall 2010.

Think, if you will, back to October last year.  You there?  Okay, bitchin'.  You may remember that I took part in a minimalish-ist wardrobe project called Project 333.

According to the rules, I had to pear my wardrobe down to 33 items of clothing that would last me for 3 months.

Despite my *ACK! I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!* terror, I was fine.  Yes, I'm a sahm/wahm, and for the most part, I work in my loungewear (which is not included in the 33), but I also have a bff who drags me out of the house for coffee many times, I have to grocery shop, and I'm the dentist/dr-appointments-swimming-dance-class-birthday-party chauffeur.

Do I really want to run into an ex-boyfriend or my old nemesis looking frumpy and sloppy in a ketchup-stained t-shirt and a pair of yoga pants that have a hole in them thanks to an unfortunate scissor mishap?  Hell no!

In those 3 short months, I learned a few things about myself and my clothes:
  • I'd been there before.  I mean that, back around '95-'01, I wore a very basic wardrobe.  I was very "should I wear this white tee or this white tee with my jeans?".  Then I'd embellish with a sweater or a jacket.  Change up the shoes depending on occasion.
  • I didn't like a lot of my clothes.  Oh, I'd wear them because they were there, and they fit.  But they weren't my favourites, and now, I think of some of them and wonder what kind of weird drugs I'd been on to keep that stuff in my closet all this time.
  • I didn't have that many clothes to begin with.  As a sahm, I don't need that many, and I've gotten rid of clothes over the years as I've, ahem, gained weight.
  • It was easy to purge.  I had no emotional attachment to my clothes.  At least, that's been the case since I've had kids.  With the exception of a few key pieces, they're just things I put on to keep me warm, to keep me dry, and to keep people from staring at my boobs my back fat the weird birthmark on my ass (I wish I was kidding about that last one).
  • I need to find my style -- again.  The Fall 2010 Edition of Project 333 forced me to reassess and care about how I presented myself to the world.  I didn't want the few pieces in my closet to be all weird and of disjoint styles.  They had to go in the same direction.
Now, fast forward.  Okay.  I didn't take part in the January-March 333 phase, but I'm back for the Spring April-June Phase of Project 333!!!  Woohoo!!!

So, in lieu of this week's regularly scheduled Five post (which would've been late anyway), you get to see my wardrobe.  Lucky you!

The Spring 33.

Clothing...
1: jeans
2: khaki pants
3: black shorts
4: black shorts 2
5: denim capris
6: black scoop-neck swing shirt
7: black v-neck shirt
8: black v-neck shirt 2
9: black tank
10: white print scoop-neck shirt
11: white print swing shirt
12: white scoop-neck shirt
13: white tank
14: black hooded cardigan
15: black zip sweater

Accessories...
1: blue/black sarong
2: red/black sarong
3: black scarf
4: sun glasses

Jewelry...
1: 2-inch diameter gold hoop earrings
2: jade fish necklace

Outwear...
1: denim coat
2: black trench
3: long Hellraiser-ish winter coat
4: short black jacket

Shoes...
1: black flats
2: black heels
3: white heels
4: winter boots
5: rain boots
6: brown leather flipflops
7: black flipflops
8: black sandals
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