Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!!!

It’s here!  IT’S FINALLY HERE!!

Christmas Eve!!!  My favourite day of the year!!!

Friends, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas this year.  Soak up your time with family & friends, and make lasting memories that you’ll hold in your hearts all the year through.  Enjoy the twinkling lights and decorations, savour every taste of delicious food & drink, and carry out all of your favourite traditions with a joyful smile and a sparkle in your eye.  And may Santa be good to each and every one of you!

Be safe, be merry, and be bright…

I will see you all in 2014!!!


Monday, December 23, 2013

25 Christmassy Things About Me

Over the years, I’ve shared many of those “getting to know you” type posts.  But I think it’s time for a CHRISTMAS edition!!

Here are 25 Christmassy Things About Me (that you may or may not already know):

1. When I was a kid (maybe Grade 6-ish?), I was at a sleepover with my friends one Friday night in December, and I had a full-blown meltdown because they didn’t want to watch Frosty the Snowman on TV.


2. I remember the day my mom came home with a black & white VHS copy of Miracle on 34th Street.  I was disappointed with her selection.  Until I watched it.  It became my favourite Christmas movie that day.

3. Since then, I’ve developed a tradition of watching it every year on Christmas Eve day.


4. Elf comes in a close second on my list of favourite Christmas movies.

5. My eyes will pop open anytime after 4 AM (and no later than 6 AM) on Christmas morning.  And then I won’t be able to fall back asleep.  Doesn’t seem to matter how late I stay up.

6. My Aunt Marion started a BINGO tree tradition many years ago.  She filled her Christmas tree with BINGO scratch lottery tickets, and everyone was allowed to take one.  I now believe BINGO tickets make wonderful Christmas tree decorations.

7.  I believed in Santa until I was 12 years old, and I only gave it up because kids at school were teasing me so badly about it that I finally asked my mom.  And I think she couldn’t believe that I was truly still holding on to it.

8.  Actually, I still prefer to believe.  It’s way more fun that way.

9.  I always tell little kids that Santa comes to my house first – the very first.  They always argue with me.  But I firmly believe I am right.  It’s because I’ve been such a good girl, you know.

10. When we were kids on Christmas Eve, my little cousins and I used to do a “Young Family” version of The 12 Days of Christmas.  It included such gems as “10 Garry & Brent’s a-plumbing”, “5 Golden Donnas”, and “A Tiffany in a Christmas Tree”.

11. In our house, we always opened gifts on Christmas morning.  Some kids got to open one – or ALL – of their gifts on Christmas Eve, but our tree was always bare beneath it until Santa came during the night.

12. I still get a shiver of excitement when I wake up and see the beautifully wrapped gifts piled under the tree.


13. I hate fruitcake.  Even Granny Young’s recipe, which I’m told even fruitcake haters love.  Not I!

14. I have been searching for the perfect Nativity scene for a really long time.  And I still haven’t found it.

15.  As a kid, I loathed The Muppets A Christmas Carol.  I now love it, and include it right up there with Mickey’s version on my list of favourites.

muppets christmas carol

16. Yes, I CAN name all of Santa’s reindeer.

17. Food that I associate with Christmas:  Turkey dinner with all the trimmings (of course), Mom’s cookies (particularly, iced sugar cookies and refrigerator shortbread), my cousin Donna’s bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, Randy’s little cut up pieces of sausage with a variety of mustards, Grandma’s buns (I miss those), sticky buns and wife saver casserole for Christmas morning, dry roasted or honey roasted peanuts, Lindor and/or Ferrero Rocher chocolates… I’m sure there’s more, but I’m drooling just thinking about it so I better stop there.

18.  Christmas Eve is not complete without going to church.  It is EXTRA- special when you walk out afterwards and a perfect Christmas Eve snow is falling…

19. And yes, I have been known to cry if I think it might not be a White Christmas.  (Fortunately, I haven’t had to worry about it this year, and thus, I’ve made a deal with Mother Nature to call a halt to the snow.  A snow cease-fire, if you will, for the holidays.  The snowplow guys deserve the break.)

20.  My dad always liked checking in with NORAD’s Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve, and I still make sure to look it up on-line at some point.

21.  Despite my adoration for Christmas, I was terrified of Santa as a kid.  I hated having to go sit on his knee.  I actually was afraid of catching him in my house.  I once had a nightmare as a young child of Santa looking in my bedroom window at me.


22. The main reason I learned to play guitar was because I just loved listening to my Uncle Garry and my cousin Troy (and sometimes my dad) play on Christmas Eve, and I wanted to be able to join them.

23. Dinner at Aunt Marion & Uncle Eric’s always included Christmas Crackers.  I don’t think I’ve ever opened one successfully.  However, once someone else opens it for me, I will always wear the crown proudly.

broken open christmas cracker with hat joke and novelty item usually used at christmas

24. Christmas is not complete without Rolly playing “Silent Night” on guitar to end our Christmas Eve church service.  When the lights go down and the candles are lit, it is absolute and pure magic for me.

25.  I have a lot of favourite Christmas songs.  But my all-time favourite is not a Christmas song at all.  It is my Young family belting “The Coconut Song” at the top of their lungs.  Over and over and over.  I can never hear it too many times.

And there we have it! 25 Christmassy Things About Me!  What are the moments you look forward to each year?  What are your traditions?

Whatever they are, I hope all your Christmas dreams come true this year! :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last-Friday-Before-Christmas-Confessions. !!!

We’re 5 days away, friends.


And it’s Friday.  Which kind of makes it feel like Christmas is tomorrow.  But it’s not.  I have to keep reminding myself of that…

One whole snowy weekend + one work day + Christmas Eve come first.  Before we get there, let’s confess.

friday confessional

Linking up with Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love.

I confess… that I’m missing something.  I have the groceries done.  I have the shopping done.  I have the wrapping done.  I have the baking done.  And there are still five days to go.  Seriously… what am I missing??  I have never been ready this early before…

I confess… that I might be a lone wolf, but a snowstormy weekend sounds heavenly to me.  I have eight hundred Christmas shows and movies to watch, and all the time in the world to watch ‘em.   Making a serious date with the couch, quilt, hot chocolate, popcorn & DVD player/PVR!

I confess… that with the fear of having no snow for Christmas being completely unnecessary this year, I’ve moved on to the fear of being sick.  Last night, after watching the Sens game with Mom, I mentioned to her that my upper arms were aching, and I couldn’t figure out why.  She said, “Maybe you’re getting the flu.”  I scoffed.  “Just in my upper arms??”  But the seed had been planted.  By the time I got home, no more than 10 minutes later, I had the full-blown FLU.  (which means, my arms were aching and I thought maybe my stomach felt funny. maybe). I popped two Advil and two Pepto Bismal tablets and prayed I’d “caught it early enough” and went to bed.  This morning, I woke up at 4:58 AM and lay in bed for a full 10 minutes trying to decide if I had the flu or not.

I confess…  that I got up, worked out, ate breakfast, and I still seem to be OK.  So it appears that I only had the imaginary flu.  phewf.

I confess… that my grocery cart yesterday did not reflect my healthy eating ways of the past almost-year.  But you know what?  It’s Christmas.  I’m allowed.  (for a few days, anyways.)

I confess… that when I had the “flu”, that was probably my greatest sadness.  “I bought all that junk food – chips & dip & nuts & cheese & crackers & egg nogg – and now I’m going to be too sick to eat any of it!!!”

I confess… that my flu is quite likely not only just imaginary, but also the pre-Christmas butterflies that I have had all week.  Except they are even more fluttery now.

I confess… that my cousin Kenny asked me to learn “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes for Christmas Eve this year, and I have failed miserably.  The strumming part is easy-peasy.  The singing part?  Not so much.  I’ll keep practicing, but so far, it’s lookin’ like Jill ain’t got those kind of pipes, folks.

I confess… I’m ready.  So very, ever-lovin’ ready.  And part of me feels like I want these next few days of building anticipation to last forever, but the other part of me wants get this Christmas show on the ROAD!!!

I confess… that I kind of keep forgetting that not only is it soon Christmas, but as of Tuesday, I’m on holidays for two weeks.  Two weeks of no alarm clock, lounging around drinking coffee and not rushing to get out of the pj’s… bliss.

I confess… that I think I might have the flu again.


Have a wonderful last-weekend-before-Christmas, friends! ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Wish List: 2013 Edition

One week.


Oh my gosh, you guys, I’m just SO damned excited, I can’t even contain myself.  Did you think turning 30 would change me?  Did you think it would squash the little kid inside of me who still can’t wait for Santa to just GET HERE already??

Of course it didn’t.  I’m a 5-year-old at heart this time of year, and the bubbling anticipation as each day draws us nearer is the same as any other year.

Bring it.  I’m READY!!!

I realized last night that I have not yet done my Wish List post.  With Christmas only one week away now, I suppose it’s a little late to get this list in to the big lad, but I’m going to put it out there anyways.

As you all know, this is just a fantasy wish list.  We do Secret Santa at our house – we exchange names, we have a spending cap, there is no way I will get even a quarter of what’s on this list.  To be honest, I can’t even remember what all was on my original list that I submitted back on Thanksgiving.

But let’s just pretend Santa decides I’ve been such a good girl this year that he goes a little over-board…

This is what I’m wishing for in 2013:



Yes.  A breadmaker.  Again.  I think this has been on the Wish List three years straight.  And there’s a reason why I never get it:  It’s because Santa KNOWS I will be excited about it for 2 weeks, and then it will get shoved in a cupboard and collect dust for the rest of my life.  Plus, also, Healthy Jill isn’t supposed to eat much bread.  Whatever.  I still want a breadmaker.



A new and extensive wardrobe.  Losing 75+ lbs. in one year has been awesome, but it has made dressing myself a little tricky, and it has been a costly endeavour to keep my ass clothed sensibly.  I’ve gone through sizes so quickly over the course of 11 months that I don’t feel like I have much of a wardrobe anymore.  I have the staples, and I can get by with what I have – but I’m still missing a lot of stuff that I used to have in “big sizes”.   I would love a closet-full of new clothes that fit me, that look cool, and that I don’t have to pay for.  Make it so, Santa.  Make it so.


long red coat


A new winter coat.  I suppose this could be lumped in with the new wardrobe, but I’m giving it it’s own spot on the list.  I’m wearing an old jacket that I bought 8 years ago (the last time I lost a significant amount of weight).  It’s  a little big on me now, and…well… it’s old.  I’m making do, and it’s doing the job.  But I saw a friend of mine wearing a long red coat a few weeks ago, and then I took note of it again when I saw one of the characters wearing one in the movie Love, Actually.    Black would probably be more practical, of course, but I’m definitely crushing on the long red winter coat right now.



There are lots of shows on DVD that I want to watch.  I need to finish Dexter, and catch up on Grey’s Anatomy, and I want to watch Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.  But The Big Bang tops ‘em all.  I missed most of last season because of my TV/satellite issues at the time, and I’d love to spend cozy weekend mornings this winter watching my beloved Sheldon and Leonard and the gang.  (PS – To my Secret Santa who may be reading this, Season 6 is currently on sale at Amazon.ca!!!  Although, you should be done your shopping by now!!!)


Sens heritage jersey 

sens heritage jersey 2 

The Sens’ Heritage jerseys are by far my favourite, and I’d love to have one.  Now they’ve come out with the white ones in time for the Heritage Classic this season, and I honestly don’t know which one I like more.  I’m still leaning towards black, I think.



I have a million books on my shelf to read, and yet, I love books and always want more.  Specifically, the few that I need for Book Club this coming year.  I already own a few of them, but I need to add Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman, The Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart, The Virgin Cure by Amy McKay, and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.



I got a bottle of CK One for Christmas last year, and it’s lasted the whole year.  It’s just starting to run low.  I really like it.  Refill, please, Santa.


area rug

It’s on the list again.  An area rug.  I don’t know if this one would work anymore with my newly painted grey walls, but I feel like I need something to fill in the big empty space in the middle of my living room floor.


jewelry organizer 

A big jewelry organizer, preferably one that goes on the wall.  I’ve got a ton of little jewelry boxes, but everything gets so badly mixed up.  I’ve got necklaces strung from corners of mirrors.  Take one down, and they all fall. I can never find what I’m looking for.  It’s a mess.  This is something I could really use.


samsung tv



Has anything really changed since last year?  Well, yes.  Last year, it was the PVR I wanted to go along with the big screen TV.  I finally did get that, so I’ve now replaced it with a Blu Ray player.  I always swore I’d never go Blu Ray, I REFUSE TO GIVE IN TO NEW TECHNOLOGY, DVD ALL THE WAY!!! – but if I’m getting the big HD TV, might as well go Blu Ray too? I hear they’ll still play my regular DVD’s?  So yes.  This would be absolutely rad.  Go to town, Santa Claus!!

There we have it!  The 2013 Edition of Jill’s Wish List!

But you know what?  For the very first time in my life, I can honestly say that I’m not really in need of a lot.  My wants are many, but my actual needs are very few. 

It’s been a good year for me.  I think I’ve come a long way in personal growth, and I’ve also ticked a lot of “necessities” off my list.  I’m feeing blessed.  I can honestly say I’ll be content Christmas morning to sit back and just enjoy spending time with my family.  Despite the five-year-old inside of me jumping up and down with excitement, and the fact that of course I still want presents, it really is just about the “presence” this year.

Would ya look at that.  Maybe I am a grown-up now, after all. ;)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Feeling Festive! And Random, of course.

Tuesday!  ONE WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE!!!  Let’s get random!!!

  • Those of you who know me, or who have been reading this blog for any length of time, know that this absolutely 100% my favourite time of the year.  I’m walking around with butterflies in my stomach and a big smile on my face.  I’m kind of a Christmas freak.
  • This morning, my eyes popped open at 5:30.  Forty-five minutes before my alarm was set to go off.  And it will only get earlier from here on out.
  • What a festive weekend of celebrating I just had!  Friday night, my friends and their kiddies gathered at my place for our annual potluck & gift exchange.  It was a fun evening of snacking & visiting!  I really enjoyed it!!  Afterwards, I headed over to Christmas Winefest at Audrey’s and had a great time chatting with the ladies there, too.  So much festive in one night!!

pot luck 2_thumb[1]Tanner, Daniel & Maddy (photo stolen from Linds) 

Christmas Winefest 2013 Photo courtesy of Dolan Art & Photography

  • Saturday morning I was up early to work out, then got ready and headed to my sister’s place to be an “elf” at my niece Danica’s 5th birthday party.  She had a Christmas-themed PJ & Pancake party.  We decorated tree ornaments, iced Gingerbread Man cookies, painted nails red & green, played “pass the present”, ate pancakes and Santa cupcakes, and overall just had a lot of fun!  It was a really cute group of kids, and I know the Birthday Girl had a blast!

Danica's birthday 2013

Danica's Birthday 2013 2

  • That afternoon I rushed home to get supper on, as I had my whole family coming for a spaghetti dinner and to watch the parade.  It was really cold on Saturday – REALLY cold – and so I didn’t think the parade would be much this year.  Kind of just expected a few fire trucks and Santa.  But I was so impressed with the spirit and resiliency of the people in my town who braved the –20 temps to decorate their floats and take part in the parade on such a snowy, blowy frigid night!  The parade was excellent!!  Congratulations to all involved on a job very well done!!

December 2013

December 2013 4

December 2013 3 

Parade 2013 Photo courtesy of Dolan Art & Photography

  • I had Caden for a sleepover that night, so we made popcorn and watched a few Christmas shows.  I was zonked, though, and we went to bed pretty early!  Sunday morning, we were up and getting ready for the Christmas Pageant at church when I got word that it was cancelled due to the snow that had fallen over night.  (It will be this Sunday instead now.)  With that news,  I slowed my pace, took time lingering over coffee and catching up on the PVR.
  • After getting ready, I headed to Mom’s for Danica’s birthday brunch.   Aunt Marion, Uncle Eric, David, Dawn, Dillon, Grace, Donna and Eric all joined us for a delicious spread of brunchy goodness.  Danica opened gifts, and then, yes, there was MORE cake.  (I *may* have overdone it on the treats this past weekend… and the scales showed it this morning!)

Danica's Birthday 2013 4

Danica's birthday 2013 6

Danica's birthday 2013 5

  • I napped late Sunday afternoon.  Is there anything more wonderful than a late afternoon nap snuggled on the couch, with a full tummy and the glow of the Christmas tree nearby?  I think not.
  • I put on my Facebook status Sunday night that after a weekend spent celebrating the season with family and friends that my heart was full.  And I don’t think I could have come up with a truer statement.  My heart was so full, it was bursting
  • Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year??? ;)
  • This week is a little more low-key and laid-back, which is A-OK in my books.  I’ll take time in the evenings this week to wrap presents and watch the rest of the shows and movies that are still on my list to watch.  I’m also looking forward to our “Christmas Outing” on Thursday at work with Sue & Lindsay.  Usually in the week before Christmas, we take a day to go out for a “business lunch” (*wink, wink*) and do some last-minute running around for Christmas.  It’s always a lot of fun and I’m so looking forward to it!
  • It’s really frigging cold out today.  I don’t ever remember going through a December Deep Freeze like the one we’ve been going through lately.  It’s like –30 out today.  Not even the long johns are keeping me warm today!
  • And yet, I can’t even muster up the enthusiasm to be grumpy about it.  I’m just so happy. :)  It’s CHRISTMAS, after all!!

Danica's Birthday 2013 3

Linking up with Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday!


Friday, December 13, 2013

A festive weekend ahead. But first… Confessions.

It’s almost time to start swinging from the chandelier and spreading Christmas cheer…!!!!!!!!!!

(OK. So I don’t have a chandelier.  Whatever.)

But first!!  Confessions!!

Friday confessional high heeled love

Linking up with Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love!

I confess… that I froze my ass off yesterday.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, as it was pretty frosty in these parts, but this hatred for being cold is new to me.  I’m the big sweaty girl, y’know?  “I’d rather be cold than hot!”  Not true anymore.  I loathe being cold now.

I confess… that after a day of freezing my ass off, I knew I had to stop at the ol’ GT Boutique last night after Zumba and pick up some long johns.  Of course, they have a cooler name than that.  They are called “Microfibre Thermal Pants” and I also picked up a thermal top, too.  This is my first pair of “adult long underwear”.  I don’t think I’ve worn long johns since I was four or five years old!

I confess… that it feels really weird wearing 2 pairs of pants.

I confess… that I heard them play this on the radio on my short drive to work this morning, and I was AMAZED.  LOVED it.

I confess… that hearing it put me in such a wonderful mood. :)  I’ve watched it twice this morning.  I want this kid to be my friend, just so he can follow me around and sing to me.

I confess… that I really appreciate something that puts me in a wonderful mood right off the bat first thing in the morning.  I give credit to David Thibault this morning, but every other morning, I have to give it to the Morning Hot Tub on the New Hot 89.9.  I used to listen to the Team 1200 every morning (I enjoyed listening to the Three Guys On the Radio, catching up on Sens news, and I still believe Steve Warne is one of the best sports talk guys in the business) – but during the lock-out last year, I switched to Hot.  I don’t know if I’ll ever switch back.  Mauler, Rush, Jenni & Josie make me laugh every.single.morning.  And it just sets you off on a great day.  You can’t put a price on that!

the morning hot tub

I confess… that I sometimes go into the spare room and just look at the table of Christmas presents and stocking stuffers all laid out, waiting to be wrapped.  And I smile.

I confess… that I may be a teensy bit too excited about my long johns.  I just got a call from one of the guys at Mountainview’s sister company.  I’ve met this guy only once, and I talk to him on the phone from time to time, but I really don’t know him.  And I just told him about my long johns.

I confess… that he sounded a little weirded out by me rambling on about my long johns.  I guess I can’t blame the guy.

I confess… that I’m so SO excited for this weekend.  Gatherings with friends & family, Santa Claus Parade of Lights, White Gift & Pageant at church, Danica’s birthday celebrations… it’s a weekend just BURSTING with fun, and it really is what this time of year is all about!!

I confess… that I think I already said that once before this week.  But I really, really mean it.

Christmas friends 2012

I confess… that it seems surreal that Danica is turning five years old.  FIVE.  Crazy.  It just feels like yesterday that the anticipation of Christmas was foreshadowed by a new baby on the way… what an exciting December that was!!  Happy Birthday Dan!!

Danica Canada Day 2013

I confess… that I had a vision this morning of my friends and I bundling up all their kids and going Caroling tonight.  It looked like so much fun in my vision.  The problem is that it’s going to be like –30 tonight…so I somehow doubt any of them are going to want to come with me.

I confess… that maybe I’ll go Caroling by myself.  After all, I do have the toasty new long johns… –30 can’t hold me back! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!! :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I’m alive. And rambly as ever.

It’s been awhile.  I’m still here, just busy.  No time on Monday or Tuesday to blog, had the day off yesterday to Christmas shop… and that brings us to today.  What else to do after a hiatus like that but to ramble?

  • It is amazing the weight that lifts from one’s shoulders once Christmas shopping is finished.  I didn’t think I was really stressed out about it all – I had picked up a few things here and there over the past month, I knew exactly what I needed to complete crossing the items off my list, and I booked a day off mid-week to do it all when the stores would hopefully be a little less crazy – but last night, when I finally crawled into bed and mentally ticked off my list again, I was breathing calm and easy again. I woke up this morning feeling lighter.  I didn’t even realize it was weighing me down until it was done.

Shopping for Gifts

  • That calm & light feeling was so welcome this morning.  You know, a day of “shop-til-you-drop” sounds like fun in theory, but in reality, it’s not.  It’s stressful.  There were no major hiccups or problems or crazy crowds, I stuck to my list, and I was very successful - but I was still weary when I got home.
  • No rest for the wicked, though!!!  I had bark to make and spaghetti sauce to get simmering and presents to wrap and food prep to do for all of this upcoming weekend’s pot lucks and parties and gatherings.   I seriously wished for a day off to recover from my day off!
  • The good news is that all the baking is now done (at least, I think), I have a good handle on prep for the weekend, the shopping is done, the decorating is done… which means all that’s really left to do is wrap (my fave part), watch movies & shows (my other fave part), and spend time hollying & jollying with family and friends (my absolute fave part).  The fun stuff.  No more stress stuff.
  • Oh, who am I kidding.  I’m still going to stress.  Probably mostly about getting sick  (always a fear of mine during the holiday season), and the weather.  I always worry that it’s going to rain on Christmas Eve and melt my snow.  The long range is saying I have nothing to worry about, but… you know.  Me and my weatherman trust issues.


  • This upcoming weekend is literally jam-packed with festive gatherings – from get-togethers with friends, to the Santa Claus Parade, to White Gift & Pageant Sunday at church, to Danica’s 5th birthday celebrations.  What this time of year is all about, right?!  So excited for all of it.
  • On the other hand, next weekend is kind of quiet and tame in comparison.  I really have nothing on except for a hair appointment on Saturday.  And truthfully, I’m OK with that.  It will give me a chance to watch all of the movies and specials I haven’t had time to watch yet, and to just relax, decompress, and let the excitement for the days ahead continue to build…
  • Oh.  I also need to seriously tune up the guitar and get some practicing in.  I need to be Christmas Eve prepared!!  So far, I’ve been a big fail on that one.
  • I saw Stuntman Stu at Carlingwood yesterday.  (A local radio personality, and also the announcer for the Sens games.)  Not quite as exciting as seeing Wade Redden at Bayshore a few weeks ago, but still.  Pretty cool.  (I live in QUYON, people.  The famous people are few & far between. ;))


  • Those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook are probably already well aware of my sore-cracked-dry-skin hand problem (and the 50+ comments I received when I asked for recommendations on how to treat it.  seriously.  I thought I might get a few helpful hints.  Over 50?  Crazy.  Alarming was that many of the comments were from people I didn’t even know.  Apparently my FB security settings aren’t quite as tight as I thought they were. eep.)  ANYways… one of the suggestions I got was to try The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector.  It was on sale yesterday, so I picked up two of them (one for home, one for work).  Here’s the NEW problem:  Many of my helpful commenters told me to make sure and apply whatever cream I decided to try after every time I washed my hands.  I pee eight million times a day, guys.  So I wash my hands eight million times a day.  And this stuff costs $20/bottle.  (OK, I got it on sale for $10/bottle, whatever.  Still pretty pricey stuff.)    And so this morning, every time I wash my hands I feel like I’m washing money down the drain.  BAH.  Damn crusty sore alligator skin hands!!!!!


  • The good news:  I’ve been using this Hemp Hand Protector stuff for a little over 12 hours now, and it’s the first time the nasty hack on the corner of my right thumb has started to show signs of healing in over a week.  Hallelujah.  I guess it’s worth it.
  • Tonight, I have my last Zumba class before breaking for Christmas.  I’m a little sad, as I’ve really enjoyed this session of Zumba… yet also a little excited to be taking a break.  I’ll be substituting it with a work-out at home, and I’ll be getting my new Beachbody program in the mail any day now – I’m excited for the change, I guess!
  • PS – I’m freezing my frigging face off today.   And I need to buy longjohns. That is all.

OK…that’s enough rambling for one day.  Hope you’re all having a good week!! :)

Friday, December 06, 2013

It’ssssssss FRIDAY!!!

Woo Hoo!  Favourite day of the week!!  Ready for all the fun this weekend is going to bring!!

But first… the confessions.

Friday confessional high heeled love

Linking up with Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love :)

I confess… that I still keep thinking someone’s going to pop up one day and say that Paul Walker isn’t really dead; that it really IS a hoax.  All of the stories that are coming out now about what a great guy he was, and all the charity work he did, makes me respect him even more.  Usually after a celeb dies, you hear about all the bad – but there seems to be very little bad out there about Paul.  Just a genuine good guy with a big heart.  It’d be much easier if he was a jackass.  So sad.


I confess… that several of my friends on Facebook have shared a link to a video about Paul Walker’s death, and in the image that shows up in my newsfeed, there’s a very brutal image of a badly mangled face – which I doubt is even him - but it makes me shudder every.damn.time.

I confess… that I had to PVR the live Sound of Music show with Carrie Underwood last night because I just couldn’t keep my peepers open.  I was so excited for it too.  *sigh*

the sound of music live

I confess… that I’m getting a little panicky that I have so many movies and shows to watch in the next three weeks that I won’t get them all in.  I know.  How silly is that?  Stressing over not having enough time to watch Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.  yeesh.

christmas movies

I confess… that the Christmas Tour on Monday night has really inspired me, and I think I might actually put my house on it next year.  I’d have to get my room painted, and clean out the junk room, and possibly just shut the door on the never-ending-mouldy bathroom… but I can’t stop thinking of different decorating ideas!

I confess… that I seem to forget each year how to properly make a snowflake.  The first two or three suck big time, until I get the hang of it.

paper snowflakes

I confess… that I’m not done my shopping yet.  I usually make it a goal to be done by the end of November, but it didn’t happen this year.  I still have stocking stuffers and a few odds and ends to pick up, but I’ve booked a day off work to finish up next week, and I’m really looking forward to it!  Then it’s on to my favourite part … WRAPPING!!!!

I confess… that I’m ridiculously excited for my niece’s birthday party next Saturday.  She’s having a Christmas-themed PJ & pancake party with her friends, and I’m going to help my sister out with the party.  Can I have a Christmas-themed PJ & pancake party for MY birthday next year?!?!  July schmuly!!!


I confess… that sometimes I find myself wishing for a boyfriend – especially this time of year.  I mean, I always wish for a boyfriend, but there’s something about this time of year that REALLY makes me wish I had one.  And then I remember that I’m busy enough these days.  I have no time for a dumb boy.

I confess…   that I really haven’t played guitar in a million years.  Christmas Eve is coming up quickly… I need to get some practicing in!!

OK, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks!  Have a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Dear Technology, can you please give me a break? Any damn day now.

I haven’t complained about technology in a while.  Probably not since I got a functioning TV and satellite receiver with PVR capabilities.  So, I guess I’m due.  I mean, after two years of whining about my TV, my life has felt kind of empty without having anything technological to complain about for the past two months.

Ah, DVD Player, you finicky little devil.  I knew you wouldn’t let me down!

That’s right.  I’m now having DVD player problems.  RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF PRIME CHRISTMAS DVD WATCHING TIME. 

Like, as IF!!!!

I have a little el cheapo DVD player that I bought from Wal-Mart a few years ago for my room.  It skips and jumps and won’t even play 74% of the DVDs I own.  But it plays Dexter, so really, it has served it’s purpose.  I had another DVD player downstairs that I was given second-hand that crapped out right in the midst of all the TV/satellite/PVR drama of Fall 2013.  Really, it was a very terrible time in my life that I don’t even like to talk about.

Because a DVD player was really the only thing keeping me connected to watching things on a screen bigger than my Blackberry at that time, I had no choice but to steal my mom’s DVD player from her basement.  She rarely rarely rarely uses the basement technology, and doesn’t even know how to use DVD players in general, so I knew she wouldn’t miss it.

And so I kept the el cheapo up in my room (for Dex), put the thieved one downstairs (for everything else), got the TV/satellite issues solved, and all was right and good in my world.

Until last night.

Last night, I decided it was time to write my Christmas cards, and I needed a holiday movie playing in the background while I worked on them.  So I popped in “Four Christmases”.  And nothing happened.   It just stayed on that beginning screen for a few minutes.  And then it spit the DVD back out at me.

So I tried “Eight Crazy Nights”.  Same result.  And then the same thing happened with “A Christmas Carol”.

I wondered if maybe this DVD player had a problem with Christmas.  Like, was it discriminating against Christmas or something?  So I then tried three other “normal” DVDs – “The Notebook”, “Anchorman”, and “The Dark Knight”, to be precise – all with the same results.

DVD player = Done.  Finito. Crapped right out.


It never ends.

So until I solve this new DVD player mystery, I guess I have to come with other game plans for watching Christmas movies and specials.  Like,  actually watching them on TV.  The horrors.

There is one thing though that might help for the time being.  And that is this little internet tool called “YouTube”.

I found something really cool on YouTube.  See, when we were kids, my mom got us a VHS tape one year with a bunch of old Christmas cartoons on it.  I have no idea where she bought it, or what ever happened to it (trust me, I’ve searched high and low, and it is gone, probably lost to one of my mother’s garage sales) – but I remember really liking it.

At this time of year, I can often be heard singing this little ditty:  Christmas comes but once a year, now it’s here, now it’s here. Bringing lots of joy and cheer, tra-la-la-la-la!

Someone heard me singing it once a few years back and asked what song it was.  I had to search my memory banks, but finally came to the realization that it was a song from one of those old Christmas cartoons on that tape.  I had no idea what the collection was called, or even what the titles of those cartoon shorts were.  So I just plugged the line from that song into the ol’ google machine, and sure enough, it led me to this little cartoon on YouTube!

Oh, the memories of Christmases from my childhood!  They all came whirling back while I watched this.  And it also led me to a bunch of other Max Fleischer cartoons that were also on that same long-lost videotape.

Is anyone else familiar with these Christmas clips?  Or was it just us??  I think they’re so cute and old-fashioned and I LOVE them.  What old long-lost Christmas shows/specials did you love when you were a kid?  If you’re sad and miss them, check YouTube.  I bet it has them.  The interwebs has everything.

Thank you, YouTube, for filling in while DVD Player has his meltdown.

I guess I have to add a DVD player now to my Christmas Wishlist.  frig.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

There’s a lot of stuff going on in this post. Buckle up.

The things that have happened in the past five or so days probably each deserve their own post.  But instead, I’m going to smash ‘em all into one.  Here we go.

  • It was a busy weekend.  It kicked off with our company Christmas party on Friday night, and it was such a fun night.  Even though I’ve been all hyped up for Christmas since the Halloween stuff came down, I’ve always looked upon the MVT Christmas party (always the last Friday in November) as the “official kick-off” to the Christmas season.  We had a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings, a fun gift exchange, and just a great evening chatting and laughing!  Thank you to my Mountainview family for a wonderful night – it was the perfect way to wrap up another successful season!

mvt xmas (14)[3] Our annual Movember pic – stolen from Lindsay

  • Saturday was a jam-packed day of fun!!  I was up early for my work-out, then got ready to head out to Bayshore with Lindsay.  Our reason for heading to Bayshore:  Landyn’s 2nd birthday party at Build-A-Bear!!  It was such a cute idea for a birthday party, and the kids had a great time choosing their bears, naming them, and getting them all dressed up.  Afterwards, we headed to Timothy’s for cupcakes and Landyn opened his gifts.  I think he had a really fun time turning 2! :)

landyn turns 2

landyn turns 2.2

  • I have Landyn to thank for bringing me to Bayshore that day, because a miracle happened while I was there.  Linds and I were doing some pre-party shopping when I got a text from my friend Ricky (who was also at the mall for the party with his family) telling me to get my butt up to the food court STAT, because the one & only WADE REDDEN was there.  I kinda thought Ricky was pulling my leg, but we decided to head up there anyways… just in case.  Unfortunately, by the time we got to the food court, Wade and his entourage had left, but Ricky showed me a picture he had taken with him on his phone.  I joked that I’d have to search the mall high & low to find him now, but I didn’t really expect I’d actually see him.  Imagine my excitement when we went to Timothy’s after Landyn’s party and discovered Wade in line at the Booster Juice nearby!

Wade Conference Champ

  • OK.  So.  He’s a hockey player way past his prime – so far past that he didn’t even get signed anywhere this season – but no other person would have my heart racing the way it did when I realized I was within shouting distance of him!  I couldn’t muster up the courage to go say hi – even though everyone was encouraging me to do so. I was just too shy, especially since he was out with his wife & kids.  But I did take creepy stalker pics of him from a distance. That’s way more cool, right?  Riiiiiight.

wade 2

  • After grabbing a bite to eat at the mall, Lindsay and I decided it was a perfect opportunity to head over to the movie theatre and catch a late-afternoon showing of Catching Fire.  We’re both big fans of The Hunger Games books, and loved the first movie, so I knew the second one wouldn’t disappoint!  I really enjoyed the movie and can’t wait to see what they will do with the third one.  Bonus:  I didn’t get butter all over my jeans like I did the last time I went to the movies.  Thank the Lord.


  • I came home, tired but very happy & thankful for such a fun day with friend and their super-cute kiddos.  I put on a Christmas movie and settled down on the couch to relax, but it wasn’t long until I started reading disturbing news on my Twitter and Facebook feeds.  Paul Walker?  Died in a car crash?  No way… Then there was the “it’s a hoax”/ “no it’s not a hoax” scramble, which had me believing it couldn’t possibly be true.  But it wasn’t long until reputable celeb news sites were posting it as true.  I was so sad.  No, I can’t claim to be the biggest Paul Walker fan in the history of the world, but… dude was hot.  While I’d never turn down the opportunity to see him and Vin Diesel on-screen at the same time, it was actually his non-Fast&Furious movies that stand out to me more.  Into the Blue.  The Skulls.  She’s All That.  Eight Below.  Joy Ride.  Varsity Blues.  I’ve seen pretty much every movie he’s ever been in, and it makes me so sad to think that he’s gone.  :(

paul walker

paul walker 2

paul walker 3

  • Sunday was “The Return of Alfie”.  The big game.  The one most Sens fans have had circled on their calendars since the official schedule was released for this season.  And you know what?  I missed it.  Not the whole game, but the beginning part when they honoured Alfie and welcomed him home.  I was too interested in my pizza, apparently.  oops.

alfie welcome home

  • Yesterday was a big day.  For months, I, along with my church fund-raising committee, have been gearing up for our annual Christmas Tour.  This was actually one of the easiest tours I’ve ever been involved in organizing, because people actually approached us this year wanting to be part of the tour, instead of us having to hunt and beg and plead.  We had five stops on the tour this year – the most we’ve ever had – including three unique homes, an old church that is being de-commissioned, and a local business’ boutique.  I had a great evening “touring” with friends & visiting with so many friendly faces in the church basement afterwards.  A HUGE thank you to our wonderful hosts – Shannon, Jeanne, Jason & Meaghan, Doug & Joanne at Lavender Ridge, and Kate at Zion United Church – as well as to everyone who bought tickets for the tour, provided food, joined us for fellowship, and bought tickets on our Christmas basket draw!  The whole evening was a wonderful success!!

House tour 1

house tour 2

house tour 3

house tour 4

house tour 5

house tour 6Photos courtesy of Dolan Art & Photography

  • And now… it’s December 3rd.  TWENTY-TWO DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.  I kind of can’t believe it!!  I have so many movies to watch, and baking still to be done… Christmas cards to write and presents to wrap… so much hollying & jollying to do in the weeks to come!  I so so so so SO can’t wait.

Sorry for the big mash-up folks.  Had a lot of bases to cover… good thing it’s Random Tuesday with Stacy Uncorked!! ;)