Things I Love Thursday: a ring, but no ordinary ring

tilt.jpgThis blog carnival is called Things I Love Thursday. The rules are simple: “pick an actual thing that you love. Feel free to do a product review, but make sure to let your readers know that you have been supplied with the product to review so we are keepin’ it honest.” This Thursday the thing I love is a ring that I can imagine on my finger right now, but sigh, it isn’t. This week’s item could also go under the catchy title “Things I Covet,” you know, things that I love that are completely, utterly, 100% unattainable by me, and even if I were given one, I likely couldn’t afford the insurance? I am not a social climber (well, if someone holds the ladder steady, I have a day to prepare and someone invites me…), so chances of me eventually owning it and being able to claim it is my favourite piece are zilch. I love this Dior ring, the Diorette. Isn’t is sweet? It is a perfect combination of sweet and over-the-top. It’s from last year’s collection, and can you believe it? No markdowns planned, not even for Black Friday. It is so insanely pretty! And from a mere $2,550 to $15,000 (this one, the one I need, is in the upper range) (of course). Sapphires, diamonds, amethyst, citrine, pink sapphire, amethyst, mandarin garnet, tsavorite, yellow sapphire, aquamarine. Aaahhhh! You can click here to go to the official site. QUESTIONS FOR YOU: what doth thou covet most? A finger bauble, a rope of Tahitian pearls, Jimmy Choo shoes, a shiny Porsche, or a killer 4 x 4? I want answers, here. Make it unattainable in this lifetime, like “teens who don’t fight” or “a husband who insists on doing the floors.” Over at The DiaperDiaries.net, Jill and her family are celebrating American Thanksgiving and so no links to go exploring on. So, then jump back a day or two to enter a contest to win a beautiful book about babies. The closing has been extended to December 7, so enter now!

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Works for Me Wednesday: lunch for breakfast


It takes a long time for brilliance to strike sometimes. Like, after raising two kids to high school age, and working on the third child in Grade 3, and BAM! There I was in the kitchen cooking up KD for his school lunch when I burnt the toast and dropped the grapes on the floor. Then, no warm butter. Aragh! I called out and said, “Luka, I am so sorry, but it’s Kraft Dinner for breakfast today!”

He came racing around the corner and hugged me ferociously around the legs. “I love you Mum! I love KD!”

And so began lunch for breakfast. Why was I killing myself making a different breakfast and a completely different lunch five days a week? Once we talked, and Luka said he had absolutely no problem having the same thing, it was toasted egg and cheese sandwiches for brekkie and then for lunch, KD, ham and cheese sandwiches and cucumber. He still has a bowl of cereal or pancakes or toast sometimes, but by combining the breakfast and lunch into one meal served twice, I’ve saved tons of time and stress. I even have time for coffee and food myself sometimes!

It works for me!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: Any other lunch ideas that work equally well for breakfast?

Leave me a hello if you can, and then check out tons of other tips of all kinds on Shannon’s blog. Now, click here so you can enter my contest to win one of two hardcover copies of Desmond Morris’s stunningly beautiful new book, Amazing Baby.

See you tomorrow!


Rant list #3: step on up and join the raving!

Taberon Kaiju, Tokidoki Version, is Italian designer Simone Legno’s contribution to the Kaiju For Grown Ups project. My oldest son, Graydon, is fascinated by these. I’ve chosen this one as my rant visual.
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The weekend is over and it’s time to detoxify for the week ahead!

My list (for public consumption, mind):

  1. ludicrous advertising slogans—”Change your TV, change your life.” I’m in;
  2. 65 firing days at the Franklin Mint or wherever they churn out commemorative plates, cars, mugs—HOW MANY UNITS PER DAY? 100 or 100,000?? OMG. What’s the 1-800 number for that Obama plate?
  3. people who berate their children instead of taking care of them: Zellers, 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, kidswear department. The child was wiped out, crying that she was hungry and tired, mum’s cart was jammed with stuff (they’d been shopping a long time), mom was blabbing on the phone about the new movie Twilight, and she yanked her attention from the phone three times to snap at the child to “Hurry up and pick out your damn underwear!” “Shut up that whining!” and I couldn’t believe my ears at this one: “I’ll give you something to cry about! Hey! Anybody want a spoiled rotten brat??” I wheeled my cart right up to hers and gave her the most astonished look I could muster. Another woman showed up at the exact same time. Motor-mouth mom snapped her phone shut and started flipping through the undies. I took my time looking at little socks. The scene still makes my blood boil;
  4. getting home and seeing the item that was marked $2.09 on the store shelf rang in at $2.99 on the bill;
  5. realizing I bought five of those $2.99 items, which means I’m out $4.50, and driving back and stating my case and factoring in the time it’ll take makes me figure it’s not worth it. Toys ‘R’ Us, shame on you!
  6. kids who cannot put wrappers of any kind in a garbage receptacle of any kind (my kids, my kids’ friends, your kids?).

Got a rant? Leave it here and cruise into the week having got it out of your system!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: what’s pressing your nerve these days? Would you have said something to the mother in point 3 above? Devil’s advocate: how do I know that was her mother? Maybe it was mean Aunt Jean or even an older sister. Can a TV change a life? Why would a TV manufacturer use this line?

Rant on! Then jump back a day or two to enter a contest to win a beautiful book about babies.


Friday Foto Finish Fiesta 4xF

This is my first time on Candid Carrie’s Friday blog carnival. The theme is simple one—post a favourite photo and say why it’s a fave. That’s her spelling up there in the title, and when you visit her site to see the other photos, you’ll see tons of creative Phriday spelling!

My entry:

This is Luka, my seven-and-less-than-one-month-away-from-eight year old and Lizzie, one of our two bunnies. This a favourite photo of mine because this is exactly how Luka is—gentle and full of love. This isn’t a staged photo; it’s a combination of Tessa’s talent with her camera and her timing, and Luka being himself.

Leave a comment, then click here to zip back one day so you can enter to win a harcover copy of Desmond Morris’s new book from Firefly Books. I can’t say evough good things about it—tons of beautiful photos and wise writing from an expert. And you can use the photos as inspiration as you document your amazing baby, and maybe the pic will end up in a Friday Foto Finish Fiesta 4xF!! (I’m hearing the strains of “The Circle of Life” in my head!)

Then hop (ha, ha, ha! I kill me!) on over to check out Candid Carrie!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: what are you doing with these dang digital photos? Are you saving them on your computer? On a photo-sharing site? Actually saving them over on CDs or memory sticks? Heaven forbid—are you getting prints and still slipping them all in photo albums? Is scrapbooking happening in Canada the way it has in the States?

Things I Love Thursday: Amazing Baby by Desmond Morris PLUS a contest!

tilt.jpgThis blog carnival is called Things I Love Thursday. The rules are simple: “pick an actual thing that you love. Feel free to do a product review, but make sure to let your readers know that you have been supplied with the product to review so we are keepin’ it honest.” This Thursday the thing I love is a book, Amazing Baby by Desmond Morris, and the publisher—Firefly Books—has given me two copies (hardcover, $40) and they’re both up to be won! Read on!

This post could also be called People I Love, and right there beside Tessa, Graydon and Luka (my three babies) would be Desmond Morris. It was his book The Naked Ape that made loving my babies as easy as it was. This new book—Amazing Baby—will do the same for every parent or parent-to-be who reads it. It is sumptuous to look at and hold, with the most beautiful photography and glassine paper overlays, and so freeing in the text that if you don’t have a baby to hold, I’m pretty sure you’ll be visiting a friend with a baby to get some cuddle time. I tried Ferberizing my first baby, and quit after about, well, one night. Morris gave me the permission I needed to respond to her cries and need to be held and fed when she wanted, not when a silly routine said to. He said we were the only mammal on earth to intentionally separate mother from baby, and that it was unnatural. That sounded sound to me. I responded to my babies’ cries, coos, outstretched arms, all on their schedules, not mine. Family bed, too. Attachment parenting is a lovely thing.

Amazing Baby traces the first two years of babies, with insight on their biology, development and behaviour. It’s an unmitigated lovefest of babies. You know who can say it best? Mr. Desmond. Click to see his two-minute spot on YouTube—again, I love this man.

Can you tell how much I love his book too???

So, how can you win one?

Answer this question: What is the most amazing thing about a baby in your life?

A panel of three will choose two lucky winners next Friday, November 28 December 7. I forgot my American readers will be having Thanksgiving and their Black Friday frenzy, so I’ve extended the contest a week. Grab a coffee and think about those warm, wonderful, trusting little humans and get writing!

For more excellent things that bloggers love, check out The DiaperDiaries.net.


Works for Me Wednesday: grocery shopping sorted!


This recession thing has finally gotten to me. My three kids and I (and the cat, puppy, two rabbits and 17 fishy things) have been weathering our own personal recession for the last three years, the last six months being the worst. Trendsetter that I am, the whole world seems to be following in my wake (no illusions of grandeur here, sir!). I started getting frugal ages ago, doing crazy things like stockpiling butter when I could find it half price and there was room in the freezer.

Once upon a time I shopped only at Loblaws. I bought every new thing they could throw at me. I did use a green grocer for some greens, but that was about it. Now, I’m shopping the way my mum shopped, glancing over the flyers, seeing who has what on sale and stopping by three or four grocery stores to get the specials. But that was in smalltownsville, where your four grocery stores are within a half mile radius and between a few of them there wasn’t even a stoplight.

Here, now, shopping for the loss leaders requires tactical manouevres, and I have them for you:

At this site (www.flyerland.ca) you can access zillions of flyers, all by entering your postal code. You’ll get the regional one that is right for you and the one that is time-effective for now. You can choose flyers by category even—grocery, hardware, clothing.

Then open up this site (www.DontForgetTheMilk.com) and create an account for yourself—super easy, I did it. There are fields for the item, the price, the store, the neighbourhood, if you have a coupon for the item, even additional comments (because another feature lets you email the list to a spouse, friend, teen, and you might want to add some commentary like “get bell, not jalapeno, peppers”).

Go between your flyers and the list and enter what you need. The site will sort your grocery list by store so you, or any other lucky shopper you appoint, can march into the right store, get the right stuff and even have a list of which coupons need to be presented at the checkout. And you can create more than one list, or even set a default list of the basics that you can add to each time. Works for me!

This was passed on to me by Tessa, my 17 year old and a list maker from a way back. Makes a mother proud! Leave me a hello if you can, and then check out tons of other tips of all kinds on Shannon’s blog. Come back tomorrow for a fabulous contest giveaway: a copy of Desmond Morris’s stunningly beautiful new book, Amazing Baby, of which you can have just a taste of below.

See you tomorrow!


From the mouths of babes: wot the !!*%%!

Limping in from the car last night, Tessa, Luka and I carried/dragged between us two backpacks, three bags of groceries, a dance bag, one happy puppy, one cup of coffee, one cup of tea, two purses and a briefcase-type-thing. As we jostled for position on the porch, I said, “Get out of the way, you guys, I have to do the door!” Immediately the path cleared, I unlocked the door and we all plowed through, me first to the kitchen.

I hear gasping behind me. It’s Luka, having a seizure of some kind—no wait—he’s laughing so hard he cannot breathe. Tessa and I stare at him.

“Are you OK? What’s so funny? Calm down and get some air!”

“Mum, Muuum, you are aaaahhhhhahahahahahah!!!!!”

Yes, I am a laugh-riot.

I’m curious, but not that curious, and I turn to return to the kitchen. Tessa presses on with the questioning, and finally Luka chokes out, “Mum, you said you had to do the door!!!” Whereupon Tessa shrieks and laughs and falls down on the stairs and the two of them carry on like, well, I don’t really know. Like it was the funniest thing in the world for a mother to say.

Memo to self: up the radar for double entendres.

I can’t believe a seven year old would get that out of what I said.

Can you?