Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Friday & House Tour

Happy Friday!! Today is especially sweet because not only is the weekend just around the corner but it is a long weekend!! Woo Hoo!!! There is something so magical about a long weekend. It's a great feeling when the Sunday feels like a Saturday.

Not to many things going on this weekend. Ryan works every morning which really sucks but it is his last weekend for a whole month!!! Tonight I work but tomorrow I have plans to sleep in and putter around the house. Sunday night we are celebrating some lovely ladies (Hi Jill & Josee!) birthdays with supper out. That is it. Not too many plans which I love.
The even better news...1 week from today I will be starting my holidays!! Never have I taken any summer holidays because of our busy summer season. This year I am taking 1 whole week to myself to do what I want!! So excited! Countdown is on!!

I had a thought the other day when I was doing my yearly cleaning of my closet. I thought, I should share this space on my blog. I took everything off all the shelves, dusted and tossed anything I don't wear anymore. It was actually kind of embarrassing the stuff I was holding onto. I had shirts and jeans from high school!! I guess in the back of my mind I was going to fit into those one day. But in reality I don't think I want to fit into them because they are so out of style!

Once everything was all clean in my closet, it looked really good. Like the day I got it installed. When the house finally became mine the first thing I wanted to tackle was the upstairs. On that list, the closet. My parents old closet was big and long. It was the whole length of a wall like this:

Not thier actual closet. I wish I got a before picture :-( But it looked kind of like it one.

The rest of the room was used as Mom's sewing room. It worked for them but I had always dreamed of having a walk in closet.

So, that's what I did. I made a wall closing off the area and hung a door. I then hired California Closet's to come in. They took inventory of what I had and talked to me about what I wanted. Honestly, it was a little pricey but SOOOO worth it. They knew what kind of storage I needed and came with ideas. Thing I would have never thought of. Then after the design was done they custom made the units and installed it. All I had to do was paint before the came.

Here are the before, during and after pictures:



Before the closet come

Before the closet came


After- The ceiling is made of cedar boards because it reduces smells and keeps clothes smelling fresh.

So there it is my walk-in closet. I love it! Everything has it's place and I know what I have because things aren't stuffed in every corner. It is like shopping every morning. If you are ever considering putting in a walk in closet go to the professionals! Save your money and spend a little extra to have professionals come in and assess what your personal needs are. The units are really great quality and will last a lifetime.

Some people might think it was selfish/shallow to start my house renovations with a walk-in closet. However, I knew that if I didn't do it at that time then I probably would of gotten comfortable with what I had and never got it done. I'm so glad that I proceeded with it and I love the outcome! I love my closet!

I hope everyone has a great, long and fun weekend!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still Sleepy...

Ok, remember when I said on Monday morning that I was sleepy? Well I still am!!! Agh and it is only Wednesday. Knowing that there is a long weekend approaching makes me want it to come more quickly!!

My summer days and nights are so busy so alot of the time my 8:00 bedtime gets pushed back much later. Oh, well I am still making great memories so it is worth it!

Last night Ryan and I went out with friends for a birthday dinner. We went to a Mexican restaurant called the Blue Cactus. It was right smack downtown Ottawa. It was so much fun because neither of us had ever been there and we never go downtown. It was a treat that is for sure.
So here is what I am working on lately......

My weight/fitness.

I cannot believe I am confessing this but I think if I share that it might give me even more motivation to do something about it.

You see I have always had somewhat of a slimmer figure. I have never really had a problem with my weight. All the sudden I started to notice a difference around my 21st birthday. It was like BAM, everything I ate made me gain weight, I started getting zits again like a teenager and I felt like I had no energy. I was so discouraged.

Skinny me at 18.

I have kind of tried to ignore it for the last year but now I have had enough!

This little jacket was on sale and in my size(so I thought)! I was so excited but when I buttoned it up it wouldn't fit over my gut. It's hard to see in this picture but the buttons are all pulling. I want to fit into it!

I have had enough with being miserable getting dressed because nothing in my closet fits me!

I have had enough with trying to suck in my gut!
I have had enough with feeling sluggish!

I have had enough with looking at pictures and not liking what I see!


So here is the plan Stan, who's Stan? Oh nevermind!

Here is a before picture, I can't believe I am posting this.....


Before weight: 160 lbs

What I want to be: 140

What I want to be even more: Healthy!

No, I couldn't bare (get it? ha ha) a bikini shot. I am FAR to0 modest. Well not really but maybe when I am ready for an after picture.

The best part is that I have an AMAZING boyfriend who is going to help me along. And this is a big deal because he is very anti-healthy! But he as already switched to eating whole wheat bread instead of white just for me! (You have no idea how big of a deal that is!!)

I have decided that I don't want this to be a "fad" diet. I want to do this smart. Eat food that I like but just a lot less of it. Incorporate healthier choices and start to get more active! I need to get moving more often.

I know I am going to struggle. It will be so hard to not be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want and how much I normally want. I think the hardest thing for me is that I do so well at eating during the week but when the weekend comes I stuff my face. Also, it will be hard to not eat during times of boredom.

So, now I ask you, what do you do for exercise? What are your tips for weight loss and living a healthy life? Please share with me your wisdom!

Have a great day!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Dare #42

Oh BOY! I am sleepy this morning! That just means it was a great weekend right? I had such a successful weekend. A little work, a little play and a little relaxing. Perfect.

Here is your dare this week:

Dare # 42

Eat some local, fresh produce!
I have lots of pictures and fun stories from the weekend but that is going to have to wait until I get the "sleepies" out of my eyes!
So for now, let me know how your weekend went!

Hope you all have a great Monday morning!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Company Golf Tournament

Today is no ordinary day. No, today is not just any other Friday. Today is the company golf tournament!! At noon today all the guys (and a few girls too) will be loaded up and hitting the dirt road to a local golf course for some fun, supper, drinks and even prizes! I cannot wait! This has to be one of my favorite times of year.

This year we are going to Pontiac Golf Club which I have actually never been to before. It is suppose to be a beautiful course and the food is apparently amazing.

I love watching all the guys (and girls) relax and have some fun because they all work so hard all summer long and deserve a break. We really are like a family here and we always end up having a blast every year. Even last year when we didn't even get to golf becasue it was raining so hard! ha ha Last year was a mini putt golf tournament!

Can't wait!

About two weeks ago Ryan won tickets on a local radio station to go to Wild Wings for supper and a chance to win some prizes. This was my first time there last night and let me tell you, YUMMY! I am a girl who loves sauces (just like my mom) and they have over 100 different kinds of wing sauces. I was in heaven. I got a sampler plate so I could try 4 different flavors. It was a challenge to just pick 4! It was fun but the best part was the ride home. Jill and I were in the back seat rocking out with her blackberry and dancing the "cha, cha, cha". Ha ha

For some weird reason being careless on a night where I would normally go to bed at 8 PM and driving around singing and dancing like a crazy person made it feel like summer. I can't explain why but it did and it was a great feeling!

Anyways, enough with my blabbing I'm off to go shine my clubs and stock my bag with essentials (Aka: Booze, bug spray and lipgloss). I hope everyone has a quick Friday so that their weekend comes fast!

Have a great weekend!!

FOREEE......(Who am I kidding I can't hit it far enough) ha ha


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Diaper Bag

Earlier in the year when I found out friends of Ryan and I were expecting (Hi Sara and Graham!) my creative juices began to flow and I knew I wanted to make Sara something special for her baby shower.

Sara and Graham, New Years 2009

It took me a while to come up with an idea, as well as gain enough confidence in my sewing abilities. After some time an idea finally came to mind. A diaper bag. But not just an ordinary diaper bag. One that is stylish and undiaper bag like. I began researching and trying to find a pattern but finally gave up! I stole measurements from another diaper bag and decided to just make my own pattern. While doing so I decided that I wanted to make a pattern for a matching changing pad.

After the pattern was made I got to do the best for material! I already had it in my head that I wanted to have a black and white polka dot ribbon tied around the exterior so I went and found the perfect, sturdy black fabric. This was going to be used for the exterior of the bag, exterior of the changing pad, bag handles and homemade bias tape.

I wanted the interior to be fun but not too wild. It took me a long time but finally I found the perfect black, white and red floral pattern that I thought was fun and not your typical "granny" floral. I used this fabric for the changing pad, bag interior, and the bottle holders on the interior.

It was finally coming together except for one thing. The changing pad interior. I wanted to make something that they could actually use so it had to be convenient. After a little bit of research I found this stuff called, fusible clear vinyl. This stuff is great! You just put it on the fabric that you want to use it for, iron, and ta-da.....a wipeable changing pad.

First, I made the changing pad. Sewed together the exterior, a layer of cotton, and vinyl interior using the homemade bias tape to give it a clean look. I folded it and hot glued then sewed four 1 inch pieces of Velcro to the interior and exterior. I included a package of wipes and it was ready to go.

I then sew the interior pieces together.

I then attached the bottle holders. I inserted a piece of elastic to the top so that when a bottle is there it is tight enough to hold it in place.

The exterior of the bag was next. I took all the pieces and sewed them together.

I then attached the ribbon and hand sewed all around the exterior to keep it in place. This had to be done before I put the interior in. I tied a bow at the front and secured it with a couple of stitches.

Finally, I sewed the handle pieces together making them about 1 inch thick.

After all that was accomplished it was time to put all the pieces together. First I attached the handles to the inside of the exterior.

I then placed the interior liner inside the exterior. Then I folded the exterior and interior top pieces down 1/4 inch and sewed it all together. (This gives it a clean line without bias tape) Lastly, inserted the homemade changing pad inside the bag.

And there you have it....a stylish homemade diaper bag. Before the shower I made sure to buy the appropriate diaper bag articles such as a onsie, blanket, and other baby essentials to put in it. I was very excited to finish this project and give it to Sara at her baby shower. It was a lot of work but completely worth it.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Dare # 41

Welcome back to Monday! And a rainy one at that! When it is a rainy, dark morning the last thing that I want to do is get up and go to work. Can't we invent a new holiday? National stay in bed all day, day? Oh well, a girl can dream!

Here is your dare this week:
Dare # 41

Go for a boat ride!

There is nothing more fun to do then chill out of a boat in the summer. If you live in my small town, yes the ferry counts. :-)

I have to say I failed at last week's dare. During the week I was very good. 8 glasses of water no problems. As soon Saturday hit it was like the last thing I wanted to drink was water! Every other drink looked much more appealing. 5 out of 7 times isn't bad right?

It is so hard to drink plain ol' water when you are at festivities that have so many more yummy drinks.

On Friday night the local ball team had a double header so Ry and I decided it would be fun to go and watch. They sell cheap beer, 2 for 5$. To me baseball and beer just go hand in hand.

Saturday morning I had a baby shower for a good friend Sara (Hi Sara!). Last Friday my original post I had mentioned that I had a shower that weekend but quickly had to change it because I forgot that it was a surprise. ha ha Woops! Anyways, at the shower there was so much yummy food and this even yummier punch! Hence, no water.

Saturday afternoon Sara and her hubby, Graham came over for supper (homemade pizza) and then we all headed to Low for a wedding reception. Again, no water because I was in the mood for a Caesar. We couldn't stay long because Ryan had to work the next day but we had a blast while we were there.

Sunday morning I puttered around the house and then headed to Mom and Dad's for brunch. After I got home with a full stomach I had to take a little cat nap. When Ry returned home we loaded up the cooler (not with water) and headed to a friends family cottage on Johnston's lake! We went boating, fishing, ate supper and Ryan attempted to water ski.

Notice the UBER excitement in my face? ha ha

It was a blast! I hadn't been boating/fishing since I was kid. I even managed to catch a few fish! I was so excited! ha ha It was so wonderful spending time relaxing on the lake with good friends!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a good Monday morning!


Thursday, July 15, 2010


Hello Friday! How nice it is to see you today! I have been thinking it has been a day ahead of the actually day all week! But alas, you are here and I am thankful!

Excuse me, I just realized that it is friggin July 16th...Where the heck did the first two weeks of July go? Down the toilet? In two weeks it will be AUGUST! I am having way too much fun this summer for it to end!

So, this might be TMI (too much info) but I feel like all I have done this week is PEE! I swear this week's dare is going to make my calf muscles super strong from going up and down the stairs to the bathroom every hour! My skin better be a glowing by the end of the week with all of this hydration!

I have a super fun but busy week planned and I cannot wait for it to start. 2 for $5 drinks at the ball field and boating, it will be great! But for now I wanted to share with you a song I heard on the radio yesterday that made me smile and think of home. I would strongly suggest downloading it, even if you aren't a country music fan, ha ha!

Jason Michael Carroll
Where I'm From

On a three hour flight from Memphis to LA
I was silently celebrating my first class upgrade
Laughing at my jeans and my boots
Beside those high dollar shoes and Armani suits
When the gentleman next to me said the drinks up here are free
So if you'd like the first one can be on me
He said i'm headin back from business in New York and Rome
Tell me son, Where do you call home

I said I'm from the front pew of a wooden white church

The courthouse clock it still don't work
Where a man's word means everything

Where moms and dads were high school flings
Gave their children grandmothers maiden name
Yes it may not sound like much

But its where I'm from

So we drank that round and then another
There wasn't a topic in this world we did not cover
He said I headed out west when I was barely 19
Just a kid chasing my dreams
I said I'm flying out here to pick up my big brother
He's been fighting the cancer they discovered
But he called last night and said I think this is the end
So come take me home to my family and my friends

Where the quarterback dates the homecoming queen

The truck's a ford and the tractor's green

And Amazing Grace is what we sing

Well there's a county fair every fall

And your friends are there no matter when you call

Yeah It may not sound like much but it's
Where I'm from

And as we stood to claim the bags we checked
He said I'll pray for your brother and did I mention that
Italian suits haven't always been my style
See I was quarterback of my high school team
We took state back in '63
And my wife, she's still my homecoming queen

Cause I'm from the front pew of a wooden white church
A courthouse clock that still don't work
Where a man's word means everything

Where moms and dads were high school flings

Gave their children grandmothers maiden name

Yes it may not sound like much

I said it may not sound like much

but it's where I'm from

it's where I'm from

Where I'm from
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound......

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's Go On A Vacation

For those of you who do not know me I have a obsessive, controlling, "A type" personality. I love to plan things, sometimes years in advance! The thing that I love to plan the most? Vacation getaways!

I think it is really important for each person to get away once in a while. It doesn't always have to be an extravagant vacation but just getting around from your normal routine can really "de-stress" you.

There are so many different kind of vacations you can take.

- Day trips
- Weekend trips
- Extravagant trips

The list can go on and on but there is one factor that does play a role in any type of getaway....MONEY!

As easy as it is to charge your vacation and pay for it later, there can be more satisfaction in knowing that once your vacation is over you don't have that debt hanging over your head!

Here are some things that Ryan and I do in order to save up enough money for our trips, big or small:

1. Every week Ryan and I EACH take $20.00 out of our bank accounts and put it in a small plastic baggie designated for vacation fund. After doing so for a year we save over $2000.00 in cash for a trip.

2. Change jar! We have a change jar in the shape of a frog that we call our "Vacation Froggie". Yes, we can be dorks. Every time we find change or have some extra change it goes in that frog! When it gets full we roll it all and to the bank it goes for cash! The last time we rolled our money we had $240.00. If we roll our change 4 times a year we would have $960.00.

3. Thank you Air miles! I have been saving air mile points for as long as I can remember. This summer Ryan and I really wanted to go on a getaway during our holidays. However, with major house renovations we were not sure if we would be able to do so. After checking my air miles we discovered that we could get 2 nights free at a Hilton hotel and $50.00 worth of gift certificates for supper! We were so excited that now we can have a small trip to Gananoque without having to break the bank account.

4. Reduce, re-use and RECYCLE! I don't drink a lot of pop but Ryan loves his fuzzy drinks so why not get some money back for it? We always save our pop cans and once a bag is full you get $12.00 at the store. I know it doesn't seem like much but add that up as well as what you get on beer cases and there is some spending money for your vacation!

5. Get a deal! When considering going on a vacation consider the timing. Is it their peak season when it is more expensive? Try going on the "off" season when there are sales and reduced room rates. This does not have to be like that commercial where they are getting attacked by bugs because it is the off season althought that one still cracks me up! For example, right after Christmas, around New Years is considered "off season" for down south. You can find great deals, and seat sales for all inclusive resorts at this time.

6. Plan and budget. If your vacation is not to an "all inclusive" location then you have to find your own entertainment and eating facilities. You need to seriously consider the amount of money it is going to cost for food, tours, entertainment and shopping. Be realistic and don't UNDER budget your trip. Once you have this number then you can work towards it.

7. Consider your currency rates. If you plan on travelling somewhere that requires you to use a different currency then exchange when it is low and back away when it is high!

8. Let's face it ladies, if we are going away we want to add some special pieces to our wardrobe. This can be very costly! If you are going away somewhere warm in the winter it can be very difficult to find cute "summery" pieces in the winter! At the end of August/beginning of September you can walk right past those back-to-school rakes and right to the sale items where they have slashed the prices on some awesome summer clothes. Take inventory of what you have and what you will need for your trip at this time. No use buying something you won't wear.

9. For a day trip, pack a picnic. Picnics can be fun, romantic and a real money saver! If you are spending the day at the water park pack all your drinks and food. If you are expecting a long drive then bring your own snacks so that you don't even have to go into a convenience store. Ryan and I have been able to really enjoy some beautiful parks when enjoying our our packed lunches. It gives us some peaceful time to unwind without the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant.

10. Lastly, be creative and do your research. Sometimes the best ways to unwind are right around where you live. A trip to the museum, local beach, airline seat sales, camping, hikes, last minute deals, road trips, local attractions, the list can go on and on. A little bit of research can go a long way. You might be able to find cheaper loop holes and local events that you might be interested in.

Happy Vacationing! 23 days until mine starts! Woo hoo!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Dare # 40

Hello Monday! Goodbye weekend! I am sad to see you leave! Weekends in the summer always seem so fulfilling because they are always so full of activity!

Before I continue on with my weekend here is your dare this week:

Dare #40:

Everyday this week drink eight glasses of water. This is a very hard task for me because I don't really like drinking water during the day but I am going to try to complete this dare.

This was another week where I felt like I got to a good mix of both fun and accomplishment.

Friday night I went out to supper at Kelsey's with some lovely ladies and then to a movie to see these lovely ladies....

The movie was a lot better then the reviews were saying. The whole theatre was giggling throughout the whole movie! I think you can put those 4 ladies in any country or setting and they would some how make it fabulous.

Saturday morning I woke up early to do some groceries but then had to take a nap so that I would be rested for work. When Ryan arrived home at noon from work we decided to load up my parents beetle convertible and took a tour. We went up the Gatineau Hills to the Champlain lookout and then to Wakefield for some ice cream. It was a great way to pass the afternoon.

Sunday I got a whole lot of stuff done around the house and even managed to squeeze in a nap. After Ryan got home from work we worked on the vegetable and flower gardens for a couple of hours. It was pretty hot yesterday so to clean off we jumped in the pool and spent 20 minutes racing back and forth in the pool. Mostly, I won. ha ha

Unfortunately, it is Monday again but hopefully the weekend comes quickly!

How was your weekend? Busy, relaxing, quiet?

I hope you have a great week!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Reason #95 Why I Love My Small Town

I love the fact that when a neighbouring farmer drives by in the tractor to pick up a load of hay and see's you are outside he will stop for a chat and an ice cold beverage.

I love my small town!

Thank goodness for Fridays! I hope everyone has a great, relaxing, and safe weekend!