31 October 2011

Standing on a line...

I am addicted to sugar...some may laugh but it is truly an addiction, and like an addict, I cannot allow myself any sugar or it sets me down a very slippery slope,of desire and craving that eventually gets the better of me.

For those who do not know I am amid a journey to a healthy weight and lifestyle. It began last February after I thought I was having a heart attack and spent the day in hospital. As I sat there wondering what was happening to my body I could not stop thinking about the fact that I have two young daughters...and a daughter who is just at the beginning of her adult life...not to mention my loving husband sitting next to me. What had I done...how did get this far? I was not having a heart attack, but a prolonged anxiety attack they figure. Regardless something had to give.

Long story short I started this journey I am on and have lost 40lbs along the way this far. Except I have slipped...fallen off the wagon as it were over the last couple of months. It happens slowly at first with a small treat here or there and then the old patterns take hold and you fall into the 'but I've been so good' trap or the 'whats one more' trap. Then you get to the 'oh who cares anymore' phase. Truth is I care. And so it is that today marks day one...again. The new goal is to lose another 40lbs. I have not put a timeline on it, but have challenged myself to workout at least 30minutes once every day for the next 30days.

via pinterest
So here I stand...on the line but I am not giving up! This morning was 30 minutes of cardio and weight training...feels good really. So day one is off to a good start.

Happy Monday all! And Happy Halloween!

25 October 2011

Allow me to step on my soap box ...

Hello all...Happy Tuesday!
Okay...I'm gonna get on my soap box...about what you ask? Well, about how we choose to spend our money particularly as the holiday season approaches.

As many of you know I own an art gallery/ gift shop, so the idea of buying handmade, local or from a small independent retailer is close to my heart as it affects me greatly.
Handmade necklace out of recalimed wood, by Adea Chung of Billy Would
Buying handmade can have such an impact on so many people on so many levels. Consider how you feel when you get something that has been made for you, and only you, it is a feeling that cannot be compared. Consider how it feels to receive a one-of-a-kind gift that no one else in the world will own except you, and consider how much care and consideration went into choosing that gift specifically for you, because you are special. It's a pretty great feeling right? Now imagine buying handmade for the people in your life, and imagine passing along such wonderful feelings with each gift you give...imagine what a happy holiday season it would be.
Handmade Serving Bowl by Antje Gagne

Consider how it affects everyone when you buy local. Think of your local merchants and remember that they are also your neighbours. If everyone spent just $50 at a local/independent retailers each month the impact would be huge. The 3/50 project is an online movement that began in 2009 as way to encourage and empower people to heal the economy through mindful spending. The statistics (based on U.S. numbers) are staggering; "If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month at independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000 in revenue". Imagine how that would affect your community, and your neighbours.

Handmade Piggy Bank by Thomas Suh
With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement which calls attention to the disparity of income between the upper and middle class perhaps it is time to make some simple shifts in our shopping habits. Simple changes that while individually are a drop in the pond, when we all focus our attention on them, become waves. Think about buying quality over quantity, about buying ethically over conveniently.

I have adopted a slogan of sorts as the holiday season approaches (only 9 Saturdays until Christmas) 'Buy local or buy handmade, either way you will positively affect someone's bottom line, but it won't be Wall Street's.'

Buying local or handmade is a gift that keeps on giving, to you, to your community, to your recipient.

Who is your favourite local merchant, or handmade artisan?

Thanks for sticking around, I'll step off the box now :c) Have a great day!

24 October 2011

I'm so touched...

I had an email from a fellow blogger this morning directing me to check out her blog because....she passed along an award to me.

Now this fellow blogger is not a newbie like me, she is a well established blogger with more than 100x the followers I currently have. This fellow blogger is one of the reasons I started following blogs...hers was my first and why I decided to take a crack at blogging myself...she was/is an inspiration to me. So to you Lisa Roy  I say thank you. I am honored and touched that you thought of me :c). If you haven't checked out her blog you should.

To accept this award, thank the person who awarded it to you
and include a link to their blog. Then choose up to 15 fellow bloggers
that you've recently discovered or follow regularly
to pass the award along to and share 7 things about yourself.

 Okeedokee...7 things about myself...hmmm

1. I love sushi! More than that, I love all you can eat sushi, but I have to learn to stop before I feel like I'm gonna be sick...it ruins the whole experience.

2. My husband is my best friend and I never tire of him (well almost never).

3. Secretly I would love to write a book one day.

4. I have no idea what I would do without my mom...she is amazing and does so much for me...however I'm about to find out as she and my dad take a long deserved month long RV trip.

5. I love being a mom...I wish it came with a paycheck so I could just be a mom

6. I used to be so messy...now I am a perpetual tidier...I hate things out of place.

7. I love the world of blogs...and I look forward to reading my favs each day.

So...speaking of favs...I am choosing to pass this award along to:

10 Rooms
Charcoal and Crayons
Life begins at thirty, right?
The marion house book
His & Hers
The Design Pages
Rambling Renovators

Happy Monday All...off to buy a new car...maybe

21 October 2011

Happy Friday!

I thought I would share some of my favorite funny things found on Pinterest...my addiction btw...am I alone?

Happy Friday everyone! Have a  great weekend...did you know there are only 10 Saturdays until Christmas...sorry ;)

Shop local or buy handmade...you have the power to affect someones bottom line.

19 October 2011

How long does itt ake you to get ready?...

So as I was getting ready this morning I was recalling an episode of  Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Princess where the money maven gets a young woman's spending under control.

First of all, I love Gail, she is an amazing financial expert whose approach to money and debt makes so much sense to the lay person...she should be setting up curriculum in high schools that all teens should have to take before graduating...it would save so many from the throes of debt. I digress...as usual

The reason I got to thinking about Princess is because the young woman that was featured the other night was 26, and it took her no less than three to four hours to get ready each day. Now I'm not talking getting ready for a night on the town, I am talking get ready for work, or school. Crazy right?

9 step dark smokey eye tutorial via pinterest ... 9 steps
 Now this morning as I was getting ready I took stock of what that took for me (not including a shower); 1. select clothes, approx 3min. (this sometimes takes 10 minutes itself if I am feeling indecisive)
2. get dressed, approx 1min.
3. fix hair, approx 5min. (it is really short for this very reason)
4. do makeup, approx 2min.
There you have it, 11 minutes to get ready. Is that enough time? Do I really look ready?

via pinterest
 To me I do. I decide to keep my hair short because I have three children two of them quite young still, I run a household, and own a business, I need life to be as easy as possible. I wear makeup, but not a lot. My regime consists of moisturizer, some blush, a nude eye shadow, mascara (I can do without everything else, but I have to have my mascara on), and lip balm...that's it.  Don't get me wrong I can  doll it up nicely when going out on the town, but lets face it, how often does that happen?

How long does it take you to get ready? Would you ever take 4 hours?

Happy Wednesday All!

17 October 2011

Imitation; the sincerest form of flattery...

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
I am struggling with this today. 1: because I fear I have been one to imitate in the past and 2: because I am the one who has been imitated today.

Okay so when I say I have imitated before I am really referring to what I consider being inspired by others and moved to act myself. Primarily I have done this in my young blogging life where I am trying to create content that is interesting, and important to me. Often times I have been inspired by something I read or saw on anothers blog and have always linked back to that blog for reference. Is this imitation? Is it flattering?

Now as the one who was imitated I am trying to decide if I am flattered or frustrated.
As some of you may know I own an art gallery  (Silver Bridge Gallery) in the small town I call home up here in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. Two weeks ago I started a Christmas advertising campaign called '12 Saturdays Until Christmas'...it is something I did last year and am doing again. Each week on our Facebook page I post a gift idea from within our gallery which features original art and artisan made products. Just about everything in my gallery is handmade and it is my way of featuring the artists and artisans while possibly giving someone a light bulb moment for that hard to buy for individual. I digress...

I had a customer in the gallery late last week who was from an artists collective two hours north of us. We spoke about our businesses and I expressed a desire to go north and visit her in her business. As we discussed the importance of buying handmade I spoke about my little ad campaign and how it helped draw people in last year and I hoped it would do the same this year.

Here we are! 12 more Saturdays until Christmas...Time flies, so why not get ahead of the game?
Each week for the next 12 weeks, we will provide a gift idea for all the special people in your life.
This week we will start with wonderful jewelery by Adea Chung of Billy Would Designs.

Each unique piece is handmade using recycled and reclaimed hardwood.
Rescuing exotic hardwoods from various local woodworkers and factories
where the size of the wood is no longer usable for them.
Come in and see our selection of Necklaces and Earrings.

Silver Bridge Gallery...two rooms full of beautiful things.
Shop local...Save on gas!
 Following our exchange of information, I 'liked' her business on Facebook. I then logged into Facebook last night only to see a post from her business noting '10 more Saturdays until Christmas'. Now, by no means do I own the rights to this phrase, nor the idea , but I just felt it was a little obvious, and I felt a little sting when I read it. Kinda like a 'hey that was my idea' sting, a 'give credit where credit is due' sort of sting if you will.

11 Saturdays until Christmas...still lots of time, but why not get ahead this year!
This week we will focus on Potter Antje Gagne. Antje used to live in
Port Sydney and though she has moved to the Midland/Penatang area, we still claim her as local.
Antje's pottery has a refined rustic quality about it.
She creates amazing forms which are at once beautiful and functional.
From mirrors and birdhouses to vases and trivets to pie plates and serving bowls,
Antje has something for just about anyone on your list. Come in and see her great selection today.
Silver Bridge Gallery...two rooms full of beautiful things. Shop local...Save on gas!

It is of little consequence as her business is not competition for me, nor would it serve the same clientele so at the end of the day I have decided to be flattered that my idea is so good someone else decided to use it.

But it got me thinking and wondering am I causing a sting to someone else when I use their blog post as inspiration for my thoughts or opinions? I sincerely hope not. What do you think?

BTW...only 10 more Saturdays until Christmas. Please consider supporting your local merchants this Christmas, or choose to buy handmade, either way you will affect someones bottom line...and it won't be Wall Street's.

13 October 2011

Thanksgiving...the Verdict

I figured I could not leave all 6 of you hanging (yes I only have 6 followers...but I'm new so it's okay). Thanksgiving as hosted by my 21 year old daughter was fabulous!

It was a bit hectic the night we arrived and my little girls (2.5 and almost 4) did not manage to fall asleep until midnight and even then it was a fitful night sleep with me lying on the floor with them rubbing backs and cheeks to lull them back to slumber...I was tired the next day. But we woke Sunday morning to a wonderful warm day with the sun shining. Jake and Caitlin worked out the timing of the meal and that was it for us until it was time to eat.

Caitlin set a beautiful table...as you recall she said prepare to be amazed...and amazed I was...sort of. To say I was amazed would imply that I had little faith in her abilities, which is not true. I knew she would do a great job and she did.

The turkey was cooked to perfection, the ham as well, fluffy mashed potatoes, the best candied carrots I've ever had and a wonderful new addition of panko breaded asparagus spears. Yum! Of course the meal was followed by dessert which as always was sublime with her fresh apple and pumpkin pies and whipped cream and ice cream. My waistline suffered, but my palette did not.

Apart from doing the dishes I did not lift a finger all day...it was wonderful!

It was one of the nicest Thanksgivings on record and Caitlin and her boyfriend Max proved to be wonderful hosts...so much so that Jake and I would like to make it a new tradition...what do you think Cait?

Monday saw us enjoying the Kitchener Oktoberfest/Thanksgiving Day parade which was amazing and kept the girls thoroughly entertained for almost two hours (and we left before the parade was over).

After that we headed on over to St. Jacobs to explore the village this time (you may recall we loved the market). It is a lovely little village and thanks to fellow blogger Lisa Roy who mentioned in a comment on my last St. Jacobs post that the Bakery there was a must see...oh we saw...we ate and we loved! My mouth waters at the memory.

Hope your Thanksgiving (if you celebrated) was as glorious as ours was.

7 October 2011


And so it is that as fall takes it's hold on us here at the top of the northern hemisphere, it is our Canadian Thanksgiving. This is truly my favorite time of year as I have posted about before. I love the changing colours, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the chance to wear the boots, leggings and warm knits that have been tucked away all summer. But what I love the most is the time for reflection that Thanksgiving brings.

via pinterest
This weekend we will be travelling as a family to stay at my oldest daughter Caitlin's apartment. She will be, at the fair age of 21, hosting her first family Thanksgiving. We came upon the idea when she and I were enjoying the St. Jacobs Market a couple of weeks ago...you can read about it here, and ever since she has been a ball of excitement at the idea of it all. Jake and I have been telling her not to get stressed over it, it is just us after all...and she insists she is not, and I believe her. So sweet is she, that  she even started a Pinterest board for Thanksgiving ideas. Her words to me last week were "prepare to be amazed". To say that we are proud and excited would be an understatement. I have been getting a play by play all week about her preparations, list making, grocery buying schedule etc.,  and with each call or Facebook message my smile grows just a bit bigger.


via Caitlin's pinterest

As my smile grows I reflect on how thankful I am that my daughter is growing up to be such a mature responsible young adult. She is thoughtful, caring, and funny and of all the paths that teenagers can travel down she went the right way. I am thankful that though for much of her life I was considered a 'single parent' I was not, as she and I had the love and support of my parents.

I can only hope that I can get it right with my two little girls who I am so thankful to have in my life. They bring me such joy each and every day with something as simple as a look or just the sound of their giggles. I am thankful that I still have the love and support of my parents who are part of my little girls lives on a daily basis...what would I do without them? 

my mom and dad at the 'X' 1966
I am thankful for the love, support, friendship, strength and humility of my husband. I wonder often where life would have taken me if I had not met him, and shudder to think of a life without him. He is my rock even though he gets tired of that every now and again. He makes my heart smile every day and what a joy that is.

I am thankful for wonderful friends too many to mention, and above all else thankful for my health and wellness.

I hope everyone out there whether celebrating Thanksgiving or not can take a moment to be thankful for someone or something in their lives.

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!