Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegan for a month

I have been dabbling in veganism for a while now and have decided that I will go totally vegan for the month of November.  I thought that November would be the most realistic month to try since it is after Thanksgiving and before my trip to Florida.

Quite a few of my meals are vegetarian and vegan already, but I want to see if cutting out all meat products for a month would improve my health.

I thought I would use this blog as a record for progress and changes if any and to see if eliminating meat really does improve your health.

Things to Do, Things to learn Thursday

I have started a list of things I want to do and things I want to learn.

So I thought I would post one thing from the list every Thursday.  All part of my accountability.

This week it is writing a children's book

This past weekend  we went to Word on the Street in support of our friend Michelle who has just stated her own publishing company well-read

While there Sam my 11 year old son got inspired to write his own book and have Michelle publish it.  My son is truly an inspiring person.  For the past two days he has been writing in his journal story ideas, coming up with characters he would like to write about and getting down on paper the basics of a story idea.  I have no doubt that within the year I will be showcasing his book on this blog.

Sam has inspired me to write my own book.  Although he and I have been working on a cookbook for a while now, I thought I would take some time out to work on a book idea that I have had for a while but never thought about doing anything about.  Why not?  Fear, not enough time, I'm not good enough, all of the same excuses that keep most people from doing the things they really want to do.  Like me starting this blog, sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet.

So I have started a children's book and have given myself a goal to be completed by Christmas so I can give it out as gifts to friends with young children.  I will also see if I can put it into an ebook format so that I can put it up on my blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wisdom Jar Week 3

There are quite a few Yogi Berra quotes in this group, mostly because they made me laugh so much.  They also reminded me of quotes from a good friend of ours Cathy, who always messes up quotes and sayings, so I've added a few of hers to the end.
  1. No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. - William Blake
  2. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. - Les Brown
  3. Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat Scottish Proverb
  4. Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change. - Golnik Eric
  5. Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account. - Euripides
  6. It's how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success. David Feherty
  7. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it - Dr. Horrible
  8. Some have been thought brave because they didn't have the courage to run away. - Proverb
  9. You've got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.  Ray Bradbury
  10. The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.  - Anonymous
  11. Confess you were wrong yesterday; it will show you are wise today. - Proverb
  12. Honesty is the best policy. - Benjamin Franklin
  13. Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. - Thomas Jefferson
  14. Assurance is two-thirds of success. - Scottish Proverb
  15. A man should go on living -- if only to satisfy his curiosity. Yiddish Proverb
  16. "It's like déjà vu all over again."  Yogi Berra
  17. "When you get to a fork in the road, take it" Yogi Berra
  18. "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore" Yogi Berra
  19. If you don’t know where you’re going, chances are you will end up somewhere else.Yogi Berra
  20. " The future ain't what it used to be " Yogi Berra
  21. You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
  22. A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. Anonymous
  23. Spel chekers, hoo neeeds em? -Alan James Bean
  24. A bird in the hand is worth two bushes - Cathy Shaw
  25. I’m tired of being a basketball case - Cathy Shaw
  26. Hindsight is 50 50 - Cathy Shaw

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23 Is International Minimalist Day

What a great idea this is.

Today in celebration of the first annual National Minimalist Day I plan to:
walk home from work
smell some flowers on the way
make a great dinner from food in the freezer
play a game with my son
get rid of 10 things that I no longer need.

Bee Well

BeeWell for Life is a website that I frequent.  Sponsored by Bumble Bee Foods, for every mile you log into your account, Bumble Bee will make a $0.15 donation to the Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

So Far this year I have logged 388 miles, just by walking alone.  My goal is to walk around 15 miles a week some weeks it is more and some it is less, but I have been averaging around that amount.
I have been using BeeWell to make a donation every time I walk, this year alone I have donated $58.20 to a great cause, just by recording my walking distances.  

I am also using the site as a way of doing a virtual walk.  I had decided in the spring to virtually walk from my home to my parents and when I made that walk easily I decided to continue the virtual walk to Walt Disney World in Florida.  So far I am just outside of Toledo, Ohio. I still have a long way to go, but I am not going to give up walking, so I’m confident that I’ll make it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

50 simple ways to show your kids you love them

I try every day to tell my son, Sam,  that I love him, but sometimes words are not enough.

We believe in discipline in our house and consequences for actions.  Most parents I know think that I am too hard on my son.  On the other side of that though, most parents also say that our son is one of the best behaved and well rounded children that they know.  
So, how do you find a balance between being a drill Sargent and a passive parent.

I have flat out asked Sam ‘You know I love you, right?’ and he always answers ‘Yes’ without any hesitation.  He knows that there are a lot of kids around him, school friends, family friends and family that have a much easier time and much less discipline in their lives, but he also knows that he is very much loved and appreciated.

I may not be the best mom out there but my child knows he is loved every moment of the day.  Here are some of the ways that I prove on a daily basis that I love my son.

  1. hugs
  2. kisses
  3. tell them “I love you”
  4. tuck them into bed
  5. cuddle under a blanket
  6. quote lines from their favourite movie, it’s like an inside joke that only the two of you will get.
  7. make their favourite dinner - it can be a grand gesture or just another item on the weeks meal plan
  8. pack a note in their lunch box - just for the heck of it or to give encouragement for a test or a race.
  9. squeeze on the shoulder or arm
  10. pat their leg
  11. put a photo of them up at your place of work
  12. thank them for helping out around the house, even if it is their chore to do.
  13. tell others of funny or great things they did when they are around to hear
  14. retell stories to them of when they were young
  15. make them laugh
  16. listen when they speak, really listen
  17. measure their body against yours for their growth
  18. play a game, either a board game or as simple as a thumb war.
  19. go for a walk
  20. ask how their day was, ask what the best and the worst thing of the day was
  21. high five them
  22. tickle them
  23. have a pillow fight
  24. read together
  25. hold their hand
  26. put a smiley face on their sandwich or apple
  27. make popcorn and watch a movie together
  28. make them healthy food
  29. go on a picnic even if it’s just a snack in the backyard or balcony
  30. let them get dirty
  31. let them have a bubble bath with extra bubbles
  32. always support your child, have their back.
  33. get them a small gift without them having to ask
  34. take time off work to go to a school assembly or on a class trip
  35. make one day a year not their birthday a special day to do all of their favourite things
  36. bake cookies together
  37. play rock paper scissors or eye spy when standing in line
  38. sing and dance around with the when no music is playing
  39. smile at them
  40. let them choose which snack or cereal to buy at the grocery store
  41. compliment them
  42. involve them in your hobby
  43. wake your child up with kind words, like “Good Morning Sunshine”
  44. make a special handshake together
  45. apologize when you are wrong
  46. ask their opinion
  47. give big bear hugs, lifting them off of the ground
  48. blow bubbles on a hot day
  49. make snow angles just after it snows
  50. tell them again you love them with words

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

World Carfree Day

This Wednesday is World Carfree Day.
here is how I plan to celebrate.
I will either walk to work, or take the subway, depending on the weather. (It’s suppose to rain all day tomorrow) Shawn ride his bike to work or take the subway.

I would ride my bike to work if there were more bike lanes, but I just don’t feel safe enough riding the city streets, so I would rather walk.  It may take me just under two hours, but I like to think of it as time for myself. Here is a great article over at mother earth news.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Week in Our Life

It was a crazy week.  Between illness, a jewish holiday and a lot of running around, I managed to finish the week of photo journaling.  I was a lot of fun.  It just proves how much we eat out in a week when our menu planning goes out the window.  I am really looking forward to scrapping the week and actually I am looking forward to doing this again.  There are many times through the week when I forgot to take a photo. All of the little moments that are so important to record went unnoticed and it wasn't until I reflected on the day that I  would hit my head and remember that I should have taken a photo.

Here is the week finished off.  I will post the scrapbook when I finish it, hopefully some time this week.

Yin & Yang cupcakes that I made for a friend's birthday
Making applesauce with Sam
Buying Sam's haloween costume at Value Village was so much fun.  I am constantly amazed at how creative Sam can be.
Sam playing at the park.
Yom Kippur dinner with family and puppy.
Brunch with family lots of travelling.

Finding time during the busy weekend to do homework
Dinner Sunday evening.
Family group shot, we had a contest to see who would take the best group shot, Sam won.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wisdom Jar

Here are the next set of quotes, sayings, movie lines.  My biggest worry in this is that I will have duplicate quotes. I have double checked, so I'm thinking not.
While out shopping a few days ago, I picked up the cutest little treasure chests at the dollar store to put all of the quotes into.  I am just hoping that 365 pieces of paper will not take up too much space.
My favourite in this batch is number 10.
  1. Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching? - Anonymous
  2. "You never know just how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have" - Unknown
  3. "....This above all, to thine own self be true" - Wm Shakespheare
  4. We must become the change we want to see - M. Ghandi
  5. Life is not always easy...but the joyful moments are there!
  6. "Fortune favors the bold."- Juvenal
  7. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!!
  8. The groundwork for all happiness is good health. - Leigh Hunt
  9. The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves." - Anonymous
  10. "Never discourage anyone who continuously makes progress. No matter how slow" - 'Aristotle'
  11. "If you think twice before speaking once, you will speak twice the better for it." -William Penn
  12. The object of art is to give life a shape. [Midsummer Nights Dream] - William Shakespeare
  13. Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women have a more subtle instinct: What they like is to be a man's last romance. - Oscar Wilde
  14. Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. - Oscar Wilde
  15. Be slow in choosing a friend, but slower in changing him. - Scottish Proverb
  16. The road to a friend's house is never long - Danish Proverb
  17. It doesn't work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps.
  18. If you don't ask, you don't get. - M. Ghandi
  19. Kermit: [singing] Life's like a movie, write your own ending...
  20. Fozzie: Ahh, a bear in his natural habitat - a Studebaker.
  21. Fozzie: Wacka, wacka.
  22. Batman: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.
  23. "My Mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.'" Forrest Gump 1994
  24. "There's no crying in baseball!" Jimmy Dugan - A league of their own
  25. No pressure, no diamonds.  -Mary Case
  26. Hasty climbers have sudden falls.  Italian Proverb

Christmas Planning

Had to post this right away.  Mandi of Organizing Your Way has created and posted a Christmas Planning Printables and an ebook. 

How wonderful is Mandi for doing this just when I needed it.  Now the stress I have been feeling has been lessened by this little bundle of printables.

Last month I started thinking about my Christmas budget, with the traveling I'm doing in December and the Bathroom Reno next month, I am completely frazzled with how to even begin to put my Christmas budget down of paper. = Stress

We have decided to do a Secret Santa among our close friends, so even though we are not buying individual gifts for everyone (except the children), that one gift for the one person has to be extra special. = Stress

I have decided that this is the year of Christmas Cards, every year previous, I am making cards the week of Christmas and handing them out as we go.  I want to be prepared this year. = Stress

A Christmas Elf has visited early this year.  All of my stress points are covered in this ebook.  Brilliant!!

Scrapbook Albums

Since last night was a complete write off with a cake mishap and delivery and not uploading yesterday's photos for the Week in Our Life series, I thought I would post my completed scrapbooks.  This is a way of keeping accountable for myself of what is completed and what is yet to be completed.  Hopefully by revisiting past albums it will give me inspiration for albums I am currently stalled on.

Sammy's Baby Blue album.  It is an 8X8 kit with 20 pages. I made this because I had so many baby photos of Sam that I had not scrapped and what do you do with them.  I can't for the life of me throw them out yet.  I will just have to find more albums to create.

The ABC's of Sam, is an 81/2 X 11 album that I made while on a scrapping retreat. That was the best time to do this album, because whenever I was stuck with an idea, there were always women around me that gave wonderful and creative ideas.  It is one of my favourite albums, mostly because it is so much fun.
This is our tiny 6X6 wedding album (Creative Memories) that has all of the fun, leftover photos of the wedding.  Looking back on past albums, I am amazed at how simplistic and plain they all are.  Now I rarely use white pages as background and I use far less stickers than I used to, I fill the pages with more journaling now.
This is our 6X6 honeymoon album.  It is a Creative Memories Disney album. This was made in my creative edging scissors that I was so fond of a few years ago.

Sam's first trip to Disney was in 2003 and for this I used another Creative Memories Disney album.

Our Great Wolf Lodge trip album.  Another 81/2 X 11 album that I bought at Walmart with a blue paper kit.
Words to Describe Sam album is a 6X8 album and using a Shopping Channel kit that my mother in law bought for me. This album only goes up to 10, mostly because once you are up to 10 words there is very little room to showcase photos.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Week in Our Life - Wednesday

Wednesday was one of those non stop days.  It is nice that I am photo journaling or I would not have remembered a thing about my day in the whirlwind.

I finally got a photo of Sam feeding his fish.  Sometimes he is just too quick for me.
More of the secret handshake, which as I write this is probably not as secret anymore, since I am deconstructing it through photographs.
View from my window at work.  Still amazed at how green this city is. The view looks toward the east end from downtown.
Lunch in the food court with friends

Quick stop after work to the craft supply store to pick up scrapping supplies that I am running low on.

Special DQ treat after dinner.
I also baked a cake and cupcakes that will be displayed tomorrow after decorated.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Week in Our Life - Tuesday

Not too many photos today.  I swear my second battery was charged, but alas nope.  That and Sam had a rough day at school, loosing a tooth and being kicked in the foot.  Tuesday was a mom to the rescue day and not a photo journalist day.

I don't know how I would start my day without The Weather Network

This mornings smoothie on the go was banana pumpkin.  Different by good.

The day started out fine with smiles.

Thankfully chores were completed earlier in the day.

Saying goodbye with the secret handshake again.  It's the rituals and routines that keep us going.

A missing molar, a sore foot and a bunch of cuddles and our day was done.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Week in Our Life - Monday

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to school is in full swing, we are finally back to our regular routine, well with a few changes, and all is going well.

Man, the days start early, and dark now. I respond much better to light in the morning.

Breakfast Monday morning consists of Earl Grey tea with Soy milk, 12 grain hot cereal with Soy milk, walnuts, pumpkin pie spice, sunflower seeds and ground flax seeds and 2 plums.

Ah my stability ball, the bane of my existence, yesterday was 21 crunches and 16 push ups with the ball at my hips.

Aren't they cute when they're asleep, so angelic and sweet and quiet.  But it is time to get up and take on the world.

My morning accessory kit: anniversary necklace, mickey mouse watch and pedometer.  Three things I don't leave the house with in the morning.

Kaylee the cat, greeting me on the stairs to start our day.

Making Sam's lunch - Adzuki bean, Dijon mustard and mozzarella cheese wrap, with lemonade.

Saying good-bye with a secret handshake.

And we're off to work, the weather was unpredictable sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny and bright. The day started out at 14 and went up to about 19.

I love that this is my view of the way into work, downtown Toronto and it is filled with trees and nature. How cool is that.

My home away from home. Tiny, sad and very sterile.  But I get paid well.

It seems my days are filled with stairs,
The stairs from the parking garage, Shawn doesn't do elevators.

The stairs from my floor (10th) to main, I hate waiting for the elevators, they are so slow.

The stairs to Sam's piano lesson.

Sam's piano lesson, (Serenade - first of the season, I am surprised he remembered as much as he did.


Waiting for Sam to finish his lesson by playing scrabble on Shawn's ipod touch.

After piano, it was home for dinner and home work, for me it was scrapbooking family album's for Shawn's family and for Sam it was 30 minutes of reading.


When all of the work is done, it's time to relax and watch a movie.  Tonight's selection was Season 2 of Remington Steele.

Bedtime routine, brush, floss, clean room and then to bed

How sad that I manage to go to bed before my son.  Sweet dreams!
Day one complete.  I am enjoying the photo journaling and the boys are not too annoyed with it all yet, in fact they are just as excited as I am to see how the week plays out.