let's assume I have time to watch tv: fall 2011.

my favourite cast ever
Lately, I've been borrowing DVDs of my favourite tv show 'Allo 'Allo! from the library, watching them over and over, and renewing them as often as the library would let me so I can continue to watch them over and over.

OMG, this show is HILARIOUS.  It got me through university exams, providing me with some much needed comic relief without fail.

If you've never seen it yet, you should go to Youtube and watch some clips.  Go! Right now!  I'll wait for you.  Go on.

Back?  Okay.  Now, I've been watching 'Allo 'Allo! almost exclusively.  Almost.  Because as much as I love that show, and despite the conclusion of long running shows I've enjoyed (Smallville) and the cancellation of promising shows that were never given a chance (Stargate: Universe), there are still a handful of tv shows I look forward to watching every fall.

Here's the list of what I'm watching -- and not watching -- this season...

Shows I just can't miss:
Doctor Who - The season finale is tomorrow, so I'm sad, but it'll be time for the Christmas Special soon, so yay!  I think Matt Smith is my favourite Doctor.  The whole River Song story line is simply fascinating!
Torchwood - Not sure how they're going to top Miracle Day.  Also not sure when this will be on again.  By the way, am I the only one who thought The Blessing apertures looked like gigantic vulvas?  Ya?  Oh.  Okay, never mind.
Fringe - This show is seriously messed up.  Which is why I love it so.  And OMG Peter!
Eureka - I even loved it after Hottie McHotster Ed Quinn left the show.  Although Colin Ferguson made it really easy to tune in.  Creative and cool.  Final season.  Sad. At least I'll still have...
Warehouse 13 - The spin-off of Eureka.  Similar in their 'out there'-ness, so I hope it'll be enough to make me happy.  Because making me happy -- that's important.
Sanctuary - Abnormals.  Yeah, if you look up at this list, you'll see what I love.  Abnormals.  Plus, I adore Christopher Heyerdahl.  ADORE.  Have you heard his voice?!  It's like being wrapped up in luscious dark chocolate.  Ahem.  Anyway, abnormals.

Shows I thankfully enjoy because it's always on when my kids have the tv on:
Phineas & Ferb, Wizards of Waverly Place, Good Luck Charlie, iCarly

Shows that I just can't or won't get into for fear of it sucking me in and spitting out only a shell of the human I once was:
Dancing with the Stars, Gossip Girl, 90210, Survivor, Amazing Race, American Dad, American/Canadian Idol, Desperate Housewives, Biggest Loser, The X Factor... and those are the ones I can remember...

Shows people tell me I should watch:
Castle, Glee, Community, Parks & Recreation, Being Human, Supernatural

So, what are you watching?  What do you think *I* should be watching?

channelling the spirit of coffee.

I was sitting at home having an unusually strong craving for my fall coffee favourite -- a Starbucks decaf no-whip pumpkin spice latte.  Sadly, I couldn't leave the house to get one because my poor little Lam is sick and home from school for the 3rd day in a row.  See?...

napping with an ice bag to cool his fever

I had to wait 'til Roomie came home from work before I got some.  Coffee.  What else did you think I mean?!

See?  This one's mine*...

mmm... decaf venti pumpkin spice latte...

Anyway, LRM's enjoyment of her morning beverage and my craving for my own java-esque drink are quite remarkable because she and I are NOT frequent drinkers of coffee.  In fact, I think we're the only 2 of our village to not subsist on the stuff.

Except for today.  And I think I know the reason why.

It's National Coffee Day!!!

We're caught in some weird coffee field... or they've pumped some hallucinogenic drug into the air.  Or maybe The Man put some weird subliminal YOU WANT COFFEE TOMORROW message in a commercial on Global TV yesterday or something.

That's the only explanation I can think of.  Get your own cup of java and enjoy the day.  I don't think we have any choice but to do it. 

* - This is already empty.  It was good.  Yum.

getting to know me.

It's been so long since I've done one of these!  And if you look back through my archives, you'll see just how much I love them!!!

I found this one on Theta Mom® where the always-awesome Heather thought she'd give her many new readers a bit of a refresher on her.  I figure I should steal this do the same here... you know, as part of my fresh new start.  :)  Thanks, Heather!

a) If you feel I haven't yet overshared enough, please feel free to ask any question in the comments.
b) If you want to do this too, I'd love it if you would come back and share your link in the comments.

Okay, here we go...

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Bryan Adams

2. What has been your favorite age so far? 30...  It all started when Roomie threw me an awesome surprise birthday party.  Then, Roomie and I turned down a relocation by Nortel and subsequently got 2 severance packages that enabled us to take a year off, get married, and go on 2 honeymoons -- one to Cancun and the other to Drumheller.

3. Where did you meet your husband? in university.  it may have during calculus class, but neither of us are sure.  we may have both been drunk at the time.

4. How many children do you have? 2 and they are the most adorable children in the world.  truth.

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? yes, in church, when I was still a good Catholic girl and played the organ and sang in the choir.  my parents forced me to. it was a nightmare.

6. What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? height.  I love tall men.

7. What really turns you off?  the lack of consideration of others.

8. What do you order at Starbucks? during fall/winter: decaf pumpkin spice latte... during spring/summer: iced half-sweet shaken green tea.

9. What is your biggest mistake? not moving out of my parents house sooner.

10. As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? I wanted to be a nurse, then grew up to realize that I hate the sight of blood. nurses apparently have to deal with that sort of thing. hm.

11. Say something totally random about yourself. my thumbs are different.  from each other.

12. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? definitely, Phineas & Ferb is one of my favourite shows... and I will watch Max & Ruby when I'm sad and missing my kids' toddler years. I'm a sentimental fool sometimes.

13. Did you have braces? yes... from grade 9 to the beginning of grade 12.  with my big glasses and perm, I looked like your basic 80s nightmare.

14. Favorite Social Network? Facebook... for now...  until they do something to piss me off.  again.

15. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?  Roomie stood on a chair in the middle of a crowded lecture hall and declared that I was the most beautiful woman in the world.  thing is, I don't think his intention was in any way romantic.  and I don't think he knew he would end up married to his "most beautiful woman in the world".

16. When do you know it’s love?  when you can't imagine life without the other person. or the other person's rich. kidding.

17. Do you speak any other languages? my first language was Tagalog/Filipino.  

18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? do I look like I need to tan?!

19. What magazines do you read? I read the occasional MoneySense, InStyle, and Style at Home... and when I say occasional, I mean, once every 6-10 months.

20. What is playing on your iPod right now? Rihanna's Only Girl (In The World)

21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? yes, on the way back home from the airport upon our return from our Cancun honeymoon. it wasn't as awesome as I thought it would be.

22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? yes, my paternal grandfather.  I was his first ever grandchild, and he helped raised me when my parents and I still lived in the Philippines.  we were thick as thieves, and he approved of, when I, at the age of 2, beat up kids much older than me.

23. Do you watch MTV? nope, but I do watch MuchMoreMusic. #iamcanadian

24. What’s something that really annoys you? when my kids just drop stuff (toys, crayons, stuffies, pokemon cards, lego...) on the floor when they're done with it.  and then when I bring it to their attention, they say "I'll put it away in a bit, Mama" but then don't.  UGH.

25. Which television show were you sad to say goodbye to?  Friends... and Stargate Atlantis, SGU,...

26. Can you dance? yes, I dance Hawaiian Hula, Filipino cultural dances, tango, cha cha, waltz, and others when persuaded by Mr. GinAndTonic.

27. What’s your favorite place in the world? Hawai'i, as long as my husband and kids are with me.

28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? no.

29. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Gerard Butler, you know, so I can dazzle him with my beauty and wit, then despite all his begging, refuse to run away with him.

30. If you could change one thing in the world for your child, what would it be?  eliminate my daughter's peanut allergy.

bathroom: before & after.

I tend to anthropomorphize almost everything around me.  The snobby indignant cat.    My keys that take such pleasure in hiding from me.  The proud self-sacrificing sushi I ate last week.  (I know, crazy.  But if you've read me for a while, you can't be surprised.)

And after The Water Leak Disaster of 2009 I told you about, my bathroom was sad.  He (yeah, apparently, he's a boy) was feeling old, neglected, and... incontinent.  Sad.

See?  Look here.  He's all torn apart from in the water leak aftermath...


Fast forward 2 years.  I know I lasted 2 years with that disaster.  It wasn't pretty.

Now, thanks to the awesome Jared and his team at Winnipeg Building, who came through for us when other lame-o contractors wimped out and bailed, our bathroom isn't sad anymore.

It's simple and stylish.  And it looks BIGGER too.

THE AFTERS...(with commentary!)

Like in the rest of the house, we decided to stick to white walls with an accent colour.  In this room, the accent is obviously "espresso".  As you can see, we don't do matching towels.  Min likes pink.  Lam likes blue.  I like white.  Roomie just likes "soft and absorbent".  I also insisted on hooks, which make it much easier for kids to keep their towels in "not on floor" mode...

The shower head is on an adjustable bar so that it can be slid down for shorter people, and up for taller folk.  The curtain is on a curved rod for more elbow room.  We thought the covered bathtub/shower was going to be a space hog, but it's one of the elements that makes the room look huge...

We traded up from a pedestal sink to a spacesaver one with storage.  This bathroom was hurting for more storage.  It's where we store toilet paper and cleaning supplies...

Speaking of storage, we had the linen closet (the dark monolith on the left) built in so that we can have all the towels and bath crap IN the bathroom instead of the linen closet OUTside in the hall.  Mittens thinks it's all groovy...

Check out this awesome floor!  It's not heated, like I'd hoped, but despite being vinyl, it's incredibly warm to the touch.  And the textured bamboo pattern looks natural and beautiful.  I'm glad the flooring lady convinced us to take this...

Yes, we didn't get our heated floor, but instead, we got a heat lamp.  It's built into our exhaust fan, but on a different switch.  Isn't it great?!...

I hope y'all enjoyed my happy bathroom tour.  It's been a long time coming, but totally worth the wait.

my 8 fall fashion favourites.

I'm so happy it's Fall.  The kids are back at school.  The trees are turning all shades of gorgeous.  I don't have to shave my legs as often (Oh, yeah, I totally went there).  And I'm downing as many yummy Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Salted Caramel Mochas I can get my little mitts on.

And speaking of mitts, another perk of the season is that I can now once again wear all of my favourite clothes!  I love dressing for Fall.  It's still warm enough that I don't need my parka and Sorels yet, but it's cool enough that I'm not limited to just shorts and a tank top, which I gotta say was completely due to hot weather alone and not for fashion because um, hello, back-fat?

I list below my favourite fall pieces.  Some I have already, others I have to replace.  Check it out, and let me know what YOU plan on wearing this season...

1: Denim Trench, aka, my "Cowboy Matrix" coat.
This is my absolute fave.  FAVE.  I didn't bling it up as I'd planned, because I realized it's perfect as it is.  On me.  On the hanger, it looks kinda sad and crappy.  On me, it looks awesome, and makes me look like I can kick some Agent ass.

2: Jeans.
I'm short-waisted, so I need to wear low-rise jeans so as to not look like Steve Urkel.  Boot cut (see #3).  I love jeans.  Mini does not.  She also doesn't like chocolate so much.  We believe she might've been switched at birth.
Anyway, I want these Gap jeans.

3: Boots.
I don't like to own lots of footwear.  I'm so anti-Imelda.  Lam has more shoes than me.  And he's 9.  So, I like to buy footwear that covers more than one season.  Like boots.
When I choose the one pair of boots I'm willing to welcome into my life, I want them to be fashionable, good for casual and dressy, warm to -40C, good treads, and can last, which is, let's face it, a tall order for Winnipeg because the anti-slip salt we put all over the place is real killer for footwear.  And NO to the high stiletto heeled boots because I'm a spaz and I'll just break something wearing them.

But all that being said, Mama wants these LV boots.  Because, well, they're swank.

4: Gloves.
Simple, leather-ish.  No extra padding or insulation necessary.  I'll put my hands in my pockets if I have to.  I just need my fingers to be protected... and not useless.
Loving these driving gloves that I spotted on Asos.  They're Dents, who source their leather "as a by-product from the food industry".

5: Hat.
I am in love with these newsboy hats. I have a couple of 'em. Unfortunately, Roomie always calls me "Comrade" when I wear them. Weirdo. He's just jealous because, as he puts it, "Girls in hats look cute. Guys in hats look like idiots."

6: Big Bag.
Time to switch back to my big sling bag, aka, my Big Bag o' Trouble.  The strap is wide and sturdy, so I can sling it across my shoulder and be on my way, hands-free-like.  And it's big enough to handle all the gloves and hats I want to stuff in there... alongside my netbook, notebook, and slutty erotic-romance novel.

7: Chunky cardigan.
Couldn't you totally picture this cardigan underneath my cowboy matrix coat?!  OMG, in love.  It's long, which is perfect.  Zip, not button.  And it's a gorgeous colour.  My favourite, burgundy.  Hmmm...  oh, Santa...

8: Sarong.
Yes, sweeties, no need to move your eyes slightly back up to read it again. I said "sarong".  But not as a skirt.  Oh no.  Sarongs, with their soft texture and size, make the perfect scarf.  They're warm, big enough to wrap around several times, yet very light.  I've used them into the dead of winter.  I swear by 'em.  And they remind me of hot sunny tropical days... even when it's -40C outside.

And OMG, when did I get the lip implants?!  Angie Jolie much?

Okay, now you.  And... go.

beginning. again.

To my dear Facebook friends, remember when I posted this status a week or two ago?...

Yeah, this is the blog post I promised you last week as an explanation.  Sorry for the delay.  Love you guys xo


Riddle me this, darling readers who smell like cookies:
What do stay-at-home moms do when their kids go back to school?

If you said "have wine parties and go shopping", you would be absolutely right.  Then, after we recover from the inevitable hangovers, we power through laundry, vacuuming, meal planning, grocery shopping, floor washing, toilet scrubbing bonbons and soap operas.

Then, when the dust (and candy wrappers) finally settle, many of us make plans.  Plans for ourselves.  Because *Back to School* is a type of New Year, a new beginning when our focus shifts from caring for our kids 24/7 to once again having time for ourselves -- complete with wine parties, celebrations, and resolutions!  Oooh yeah.

In all seriousness, darling readers, this renewal couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

You see, over the past year, I lost that ever-so-fragile balance all moms strive to attain.  I worked too much, taking on project after project, all the while struggling to maintain my home and care for my family.  Next thing I knew, I was doing things I hated and no longer doing the things I loved.  I became frazzled.  I ignored the warning signals of my body and spiraled deeper into emotional and physical disarray.  I started having difficulty doing the simplest things.  I was sad and anxious all the time.  And if not for my dear Roomie and darling kids, I would've stopped laughing all together.

I tried to hide it, but inside, I was a wreck.

So now, after a year that started with me being scraped out and ended with me being hit repeatedly with the Anxiety Stick, I'm ready for a fresh restart.  Only then can I return to basics and fulfill my goal of living a simple, burden-free, family-and-friend-focused life.

Here's my action plan...

1: Cut down on current commitments that have nothing to do with my family and my home.  Like choosing to step down from my awesome editor job, after I see the gorgeous inaugural issue of the magazine through to the newsstand.  Among other projects.

2: Say 'no' to new outside-the-home projects.  Like teaching hula workshops and classes (for now), writing for new blogs, and taking on new jobs.

3: Focus on home projects.  The bathrooms are now finished!  And now I have to:
a) paint the side door, diningroom, foyer, and side door landing.
b) declutter the house and garage.  and the backyard. 
c) sell what I can via ebay/amazon/garage-sale/kijiji and put the proceeds toward our mortgage.

4: Spend more time enjoying and playing with my family.  Games with my kids and dates with Roomie.  Need I say more?

5: Write more.  Especially on Life Candy.  Really.  3-5 times a week.
Since I started this blog in 2007, I was consistent and dedicated, especially in 2009.  Then 2010 hit.  I didn't write much over the last year.  I couldn't.  I was too busy.  And it KILLED me.
Now, my writing muscle has totally atrophied.  Seriously.  Do you know how long it's taken me to write this post?!  For-freakin'-ever!!!  I started it on Sunday!  Ugh!

6: Take part in the blogging community like I did in 2008-2009.  My friend Loukia's post on Old School Blogging (on which I commented twice it was so important to me!) brought back how much I miss the days when all we had to do was tell a good story to get visitors and comments, and to make new friends.  Blog hops and giveaways were unnecessary to get comments and visits.
So, I'm going to do what I used to do before, what my friend Ali suggest we all do now, I'm going to read blogs and comment on 10-20 of them every day.  Time to rekindle some old friendships and make new ones.

6: Care for myself more.  Inside and out.
a) get myself down to 118-125 pounds eating and working out primally.
b) get to sleep at 9:30pm -- without my laptop.
c) rest when my body tells me to during the day.
d) continue to make daily skincare and body pampering a priority.
e) enjoy Alone Time and coffee time with friends without guilt.

7: Go out for dinner with my pretend boyfriend Gerard Butler, dazzle him with my beauty and wit, and despite all his begging, refuse to run away with him.  It's going to happen, you know.

Thanks to all my family and friends -- especially Roomie, Lam, and Mini -- who've been such a great support through this past year and have been great cheerleaders, so excited for me as I started this new phase in my life.  Again, I love you guys!

them on the first day of grade 2 & grade 4.

Look at my two gorgeous offspring!  This is the picture of them on their walk to school this morning.

Over the past week, we got ready for this day.  New clothes, new bags, new haircuts -- my son's like Sam Flynn here, my daughter's like Selena Gomez here.  Lam's all hairgel-ed up.  My little girl is even wearing press-on nails.  I know, right?!  And if that isn't awesome enough, they're *HELLO KITTY* press-on nails!  Crazy.

It's a far cry from the little ones from last year.  They're growing so quickly, changing interests, favourites, habits, and hobbies.  It's no longer Treehouse TV but YTV and Teletoon.  Max and Ruby have been replaced by iCarly and Redakai.

What will it be tomorrow?  I don't know for sure.  All I know is that I have today, and today, they're still my babies.  My hairgel- and press-on-nails-wearing babies.

So, here are my Mini and Lam, TODAY, snapshots at Grade 2 and Grade 4...

1 - What is your favourite colour?

mini: pink
lam: dark blue

2 - Who is your best friend(s)?

mini: Sydney & Chloe
lam: "I have more than one."

3 - What is your favourite treat food?

mini: lollipop
lam: Lay's Smokey Bacon chips

4 - What is your favourite good food?

mini: pizza
lam: salt-n-pepper wings

5 - What's your favourite treat drink?

mini: ginger ale
lam: coke

6 - What's your favourite good drink?

mini: grape juice
lam: iced tea

7 - What's your favourite dessert?

mini: strawberry cake
lam: root beer float

8 - What is your favourite game?

mini: Scribblenauts
lam: Pokemon Black Version

9 - What is your favourite website?

mini: webkinz.com
lam: newgrounds.com

10 - What is your favourite tv show?

mini: Phineas & Ferb
lam: Doctor Who

11 - What's your favourite movie?
mini: Sleeping Beauty/Harry Potter
lam: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part II

12 - What is the name of your favourite book?

mini: "Kittens" by Nicola Tuxworth
lam: Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Pokedex

13 - What's your favourite thing to do by yourself?

mini: play littlest pet shop/make crafts
lam: play video games

14 - What's your favourite thing to do with family?

mini: play with toys
lam: go to the mall

Have a great first day, my babies.  Mama and Daddy love you so much.

rebuilding the temple: so, Nenette, did you minimize yo' butt?

And... it's done.

Yes, dear readers, I actually did it.  As of August 31, I completed the 6-week Minimize Yo' Butt Challenge.  For a month and a half, I focused on getting all hot and healthy by eating primarily Paleo/Primal and moving my bum more.

Were you all wondering if I'd actually gone through with it?  It's okay.  I'd wonder too if I were you.  I did, after all, drop the "Me With" Photo Project as if it was all covered in peanut butter and red ants.  Yes, I hate peanut butter.  Probably more than I hate red ants.

And I haven't given an update since, well, the beginning.

But now it's done, and I'll now quickly share with you my results, conclusions, and things I've learned.

1: I lost 6 pounds.  

2: I didn't exercise, because I really hate exercising with others around to (in the case of the kids) interrupt me and (in the case of Roomie) stare at me. 

3: I ate paleo about 80% of the time, and it was easy when I focused on the stuff I was able to eat versus the things I wasn't allowed to eat.

4: I ate treat foods (like soft ice cream, chips, and burgers) 20% of the time and made it a point to enjoy them and not feel so guilty.  This put the focus, instead, on how physically crappy I felt the day after.

5: I aimed to eat 3 times a day: breakfast at around 7:00am, lunch at about 1:00pm, and dinner at 6:00pm-ish, which I managed to do about 70% of the time,...

6: ... because snacking will make me overeat, so I didn't do it.  Especially after dinner.  

7: And yet I was rarely ever hungry, because I stuck to mostly proteins.

8: Plus, I wasn't thinking about food, and my next meal, all the time.

9: After about 2 days of no grains, I stopped craving carbs.

10: The idea of eating carbs kinda makes me ill now.  It feels wrong and unnatural to do it.

11: My belly is becoming more mushy as the fat melts away.  Ew.  Okay, I know this is a good thing, but OMG, it's very disturbing.  Particularly when I run or jump up and down. 

12: Because my belly is less fat-dense, my jeans fit more easily.

13: ... and when I suck in, my belly actually does look a little flatter.

14:  I made a bigger effort in simplifying my life (more on this in another post), and focused on my family and fixing up our home instead of work.

15: ... and many of my anxiety issues have greatly diminished.

16: My skin cleared up, but that could also be because I'm actually caring for my skin these days.

17: Because I didn't fully commit to regular updates (at least I don't think I did... did I?), I wasn't constantly stressing about staying on a program.  It became a lifestyle.

So, all in all, I didn't sweat it, enjoyed it, and lost weight.  Yay me!

I think I've found my new permanent way of eating for life.  Again, yay me!

Stay tuned for the next Rebuilding the Temple complete with food thoughts, weight loss updates, and pics of the things I eat.  No, this will not turn into a food blog... you will still get updates on things like my kids, my hair... and women problems and stuff.

I know, you can barely contain your excitement!  :)