Thursday, January 29, 2015

Question....

I recently came upon a list of questions on Helen's blog over at I Will Bloom.  I love these interview style posts where readers get to catch a little bit more of a glimpse of who we really are.  It has been far too long since I did one of these posts, so here goes.  :)


What are you wearing?

Jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt.

Ever been in love?

Yes, and still am.

Ever had a terrible break up?

Yes but looking back to teenage years, who didn't.... drama!  ;)

How tall are you?

5'7"

How much do you weigh?

Too much!  I've been wearing my "fat" pants far too much recently.  :(

Any tattoos?

No but I toy with the idea of getting one with Rob.  Something that will connect to his.

Piercings?

Ears

OTP (One True Pairing)?

Rob

Favourite show?

The Goldbergs.  I love Beverly Goldberg and the reminders of the 80's makes me chuckle.

Favourite Band?

Maroon 5

Something I miss?

My girls being little.

Favourite song?

Lips are Movin' by Meghan Trainor (this week anyway)

How old are you?

50

Zodiac sign?

Cancer

Quality you look for in a partner?

Honesty and the ability to make me laugh.

Favourite quote?

"A mother is only ever as happy as her least happy child. "  Not sure who said this.

Favourite actor?

I don't really have one.

Favourite colour?

Gold!!

Loud or soft music?

Soft music.  Loud gets on my nerves after a short period of time.

Where do you go when you are sad?

Inside my head.

How long does it take you to shower?

10 minutes.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

I'm not a morning person and need to ease into my day with some tea and blog time.  From shower to dressed is about 40 minutes.

Ever been in a physical fight?

Never

The reason you started blogging?

To share my scrapbooking pages.

Fears?

Getting lost.  I have a bad sense of direction.  Actually, I have NO sense of direction.

Last thing that made you cry?

Watching the three sons of the RCMP member who was killed on duty recently.  They were invited to an Oilers game to drop the puck.  We were watching it on the computer.  So sad that their father is gone.

Last time you said you loved someone?

Today.  I tell Rob daily... many times.

Meaning behind your blog name?

I'm always on a tangent.  I start something and then I am totally into that thing for a period of time until the next thing comes up.

Last book you read?

Gone Girl.  Loved it and then saw the movie.

The book your reading currently?

Nothing on the go.

Last show you watched?

Downton Abbey.  Love it!!

Last person you talked to?

Rob

The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

I don't text.  I don't even own a cell phone.  Last person standing I think.

Favourite food?

BLT from The Sandwich Shoppe in Sherwood Park.  Yummy!!

Place you want to visit?

I want go back to Montreal to see Thomas, and his parents, of course.  ;)

Last place you were?

Banff

Do you have a crush?

Yes, it's Kevin Costner.  He's my Hollywood husband!

Last time you were insulted?

Can't think of when.  It's been awhile thankfully.

Favourite flavour of sweet?

Chocolate and more chocolate, hence the "fat" pants.  ;)

What instruments do you play?

None.

Favourite pieces of jewellery?

My two Pandora bracelets.

Last sport you played?

Probably dodge ball in grade 10 gym class.  I'm not athletic at all.

Last song you sang?

Lips are Movin'.  It's stuck in my head.

Favourite chat up line?

I don't do this.

Last time you hung out with anyone?

Other than Rob and the dogs that would be last Monday when Susan and I got together to knit.

Who should answer these questions next?

Are any of my readers up for the challenge?  Lynette?  You usually like these posts too?

Jen

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm a "Clean Mama"

Warning:  If you hate cleaning chit chat just skip this post because it will totally bore you.  ;)

Earlier this month I posted about a new cleaning routine that I was giving a go.  My plan was to follow it through January and then decide if it was a good fit.  Well, it is the perfect fit!  Clean Mama focuses on doing just a little bit each day so that you stay on top of things.  I don't think I will ever clean another way again.  My house stays clean and presentable on an ongoing basis and I never spend the whole day cleaning, doing laundry and changing sheets on the same day.  It doesn't bother me that my entire house isn't totally clean at the same time because I am always keeping up on things.  I may not have cleaned my bathrooms on the same day I did the floors but you can be sure I have checked the bathrooms over and done a quick wipe up if needed.  I am a happier person if my surroundings are clean and organized.

As for the laundry, Rob and I don't generate too much laundry.  Back in the day when I had two teenage daughters that machine was always going.  But, I still like that I do a load most days and don't have to spend one day pumping through multiple loads.

There are free monthly printout schedules on the Clean Mama site as well as kits you can buy.  I spent $15 Canadian so I could set up this binder.


Having said that, other than the fact that you are getting empty documents that you can customize to your own plan and documents that set your cleaning up on a weekly basis etc. you can get most of this on the blog as far as information and the free monthly schedule.  I will use the empty documents to fill in for upcoming years, or will just wait and print out monthly schedules.  It does look pretty all together in a binder though and I have also incorporated a section for meal planning in hopes of keeping us on track with home cooked suppers and staying out of the restaurants.  ;)

Last year I purchased this book from Clean Mama for $18 and I have to say that it is worth every penny!  I bought mine through Amazon.


There are so many amazing cleaning recipes in here and the tricks of cleaning up specific issues are amazing!  Once I finish up my green cleaning products that are store bought, I am going 100% homemade on cleaners.  Most things can get cleaned perfectly if you have, baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, oil and washing soda on hand.  Throw in some essential oils and it all smells amazing.

Target has been my go to place for green cleaners and since it is closing out in Canada, I decided to give a few more prepared green cleaners a try,  in the past two weeks.  I figured that if there was anything totally amazing, I could order it on Well. ca.  Hmmmm  I think that homemade is the way to go.


The Seventh Generation bathroom cleaner worked great on the sink and toilet.  I never got to trying it on the tub because I couldn't get past the scent of it.  I hate the smell of lemongrass.  There is nothing lemony about it.  To me it smells like rubber tires.  You know the smell that hits you when you walk into Canadian Tire.... that's the smell of lemongrass.  It is going in the garbage. :(  The Method bathroom cleaner is terrific on sinks and I love the peppermint smell, but it does not cut through soap scum on the tub and tiles like it says it will.  And I have soft water so soap scum stays at a minimum.  I won't be buying it again.  The "Even the Kitchen Sink" worked okay on the kitchen sink but I think I can get a better clean with a baking soda and castile soap scrub.  I haven't given it a go on the tub yet but I'm not holding out hope.  I have yet to try the Attitude brand.  I'll let you know if I discover anything epic, but I think that is not likely.  So far the best green cleaners I have bought is the Green Works brand by Clorox.  The bathroom cleaner works great on the tub and is 99% natural.  The glass and surface cleaner is 95% natural.  They don't have the fancy amazing scents or the fancy packaging that usually draws me in but they work and are actually a better price point.

I am happy to say that I did finish my deep clean.... in a totally tangent manner.  ;)  I am now ready to receive the Queen!  Do you think she would be interested in popping over?  ;)

Jen

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Found at "Find"

Rob and I recently learned of a thrift store in Edmonton that we were unaware of.  It is called, "Find".  We decided to check it out.  It is situated in an old grocery store building.  It is quite run down but its size makes it perfect for holding lots of old furniture.  The mission of this place is to totally set up people with furniture and home goods who have been previously homeless and are coming in off the streets.  I know that any future furniture I have to find a home for will be donated here.  They steam clean all of the furniture and even have sniffer dogs check for bed bug infestations.  I will be so happy when this problem becomes a thing of the past.  Ick!  How can an old problem like this suddenly become a concern for people again?

I was very excited when I found this beauty in the housewares section for $5!


So, Rob didn't see it as quite as beautiful as I do but he seems to have adjusted to seeing it sit out on the kitchen counter.  It is empty now but will likely house some large dog treats for the pups.

I just love this little mushroom top!  It is just so 70's!!


Jen

Sunday, January 25, 2015

That 70's Tangent ~ Thrifting Update

There has been some thrifting going on as of late.  I just haven't gotten around to documenting most of it.  Here's the update.


My friend Terry and fellow thrifter has gifted me with a set of the Woodland Brown hook handle tea cups (which I thought I would never be lucky enough to own) and these amazing milk glass custard cups!  She is like a little thrifting fairy who knows exactly what I love!


I found this casserole in the Butterfly Gold #1 pattern.  I already own it in Butterfly Gold #2 but for $4.49 at Salvation Army, I couldn't pass it up.



These retro glasses where found at Goodwill for 50 cents each.  They are not my usually style as they scream out 60's to me but they are so unique.


I think they might even compliment these new glasses I bought at Ikea on the same day.


Behold the "fruit nappy"!  They are hard to come by.  It is not in one of the four pattens that I collect, however it compliments well.  It is called "Morning Blue" and is from 1982.  I see that some people mix it into the four vintage 70's patterns that I collect.


And lastly a new baking dish.  It is a Termo-Rey.  Love the colours and the pattern is so 70's.  It is made in Brazil and many of their patterns were made to mimic the popular Corelle patterns of the time.  It has no pattern name.



One more thrifty find that is far from vintage is this David's Tea mug.  I recognized that pattern from David's Tea and couldn't resist the beautiful turquoise.  Who would give this away?  I picked it up for a loonie!  Score!!


Needless to say, the kitchen cupboards are at full capacity.  I actually have a "surplus" area in one of my basement cabinets that is holding extras.  I think this might be one of the first behaviours exhibited in "early onset hoarding".  ;)

Jen

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's Pink!

I've finally found my first piece of "Solid Pink" Pyrex.  It was sitting on a shelf at The Goodwill near Susan's house.  It was in pretty rough shape with some marks on it and looking very dull.  It only cost $3 but that wasn't what drew me in to buy it.  It was made in Canada!  I never knew that Pyrex was made in Canada.  Apparently there was one plant that opened in 1946 in Ontario.  Who knew?


This piece is the casserole 024.  The "Solid Pink" series came out in 1956 and was discontinued by 1963.  I was born in 1964, therefore this piece is older than me.

A good scrubbing with Barkeeper's Friend got the marks off of it but the finish is still quite dull.  A nice coating of vegetable oil gives it a good shine.  This trick makes it beautiful for display purposes but since I hope to use this piece, I'll just embrace the dull finish as due to it's age and many years of use.  This leads me to wonder what dishes were served out of this dish decades ago and what would this deep, feminine, almost bedroom tone of pink be doing on kitchen Pyrex?  This is why.


and this...


and this...


and this.


I always thought that only Barbie had a pink kitchen.  Apparently not!  I guess it was very popular in the 1950's.  So the shade of this casserole makes total sense.

Update ~ Since writing this post I have found a duplicate in excellent shape.  However, it isn't made in Canada and so I am keeping both of them.  ;)


Jen

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's New to Me

Recently, I have been stumbling upon some amazingly cheap scrapbooking goodies.  I haven't really bought much in the last year or two which makes sales of the older lines a perfect fit!  Last week while milling around HomeSense looking for organizational supplies, I came upon the 2014 Teresa Collins line, "Save the Date" for only $4.99.  Then a few days ago while searching for yet another storage container for dog supplies, I came upon another Teresa Collins line from 2014, "Daily Stories", also for $4.99.  It felt so great to pick up supplies at such a cheap price.


Yesterday, I was feeling antsy and decided to take a boo down at my local scrapbooking store here in Sherwood Park.  I hadn't been in for months.  I was quite excited when the saleslady informed me that almost the entire store was 50% off.  The sale excluded a few of the newer lines and adhesives.  I picked through the store and picked up some lines from 2013 and 2014.  This entire table of goodies cost me all of $124!  (Sorry for the bad photos.  It is dreary here and it still gets dark quite early.)


This is definitely the way to buy scrappy goodies.  It may be older stuff but it is all new to me.  I am going to try to pretty much continue this shopping trend by delaying buying the new releases.  I'd rather buy them a year later at half the price.  Sure there will be the odd thing that I love and screams out for me to buy it NOW, but for the most part.... I can wait!  Shimelle collections can't wait.  I'll be running into the city as soon as I see those gorgeous papers up on the store blog. haha

What are your plans for shopping?  Are any of the new release peeks calling your name?

Jen

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's New?

I haven't posted for awhile.  Life has been busy lately.  We had a fun weekend with some great dinners out and a visit from both Lisa & Steve and Diane & Eric.  The cleaning tangent finally fizzled out leaving me with a few kitchen projects to still get through.  I'll try not to procrastinate too long.  But I have to say that the house is more organized than it has ever been and that feels good.

Susan and I got together for some craft time yesterday.  We have decided to devote all of our Crafty Tuesdays to working on our knitting for charity.  We figure we can build up quite a collection by the time the weather gets cold again next October.  I've been lazy lately with taking tea photographs.  I'll have to get back on it.  Yesterday Susan brought over an amazing chocolate and cinnamon loaf that she baked.  It was delicious!


And finally, Thomas turned 5 yesterday!


He is now the proud owner of a fish!


We are Facetiming tonight to hear all of the details of his big day and to meet this new pet.

Wishing you all a good day!

Jen

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Girlies

I don't often blog about the girls.  I try to respect their privacy and not be telling stories that are not mine to tell.  Plus, I rarely have a good photo of them that I could even add to a post.  They still hide from my camera, pull a face or even scold me that they are not picture ready.  Either their hair is not good or they just plain look like "crap".  Their words, not mine.  I think they look terrific.  This is why last summer when Uncle Andrew was visiting and asked for one photo of them, I was pretty happy. They politely agreed, stood appropriately and smiled for the camera.  Who are these girls and why can't they be like this for their mother?  ;)  There was a day, many moons ago, when they loved getting their picture taken.


Rob has started another photography course.  This one is all about photo editing with Light Room.  He is only one class in but I am already excited to think of the knowledge he will have that will make photos look amazing.  He scanned some old negatives of the girls and started putting some of his new skills to work. Check out these and the cool 90's fashions.  hee hee





When I first looked at these images, they pulled at my heart strings.   They were just so cute!

Jen

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Greetings From the Maid

I'm still here cleaning my little heart out.  It's a full on tangent.  I have a severe case of "dish pan hands" but other than that I'm surviving.  I'm actually not as achy and sore as I thought I would be. Could I be building up strength and stamina?

I have finished the Clutter Challenge for this month. Yes, I went ahead and to be honest it really wasn't much of a challenge for me.  I guess it is easy to do something that comes to us naturally.  I am an organized person by nature.  I get it from my father.  I told Susan yesterday, that if I really wanted to challenge myself, I should have tried a driving challenge.  Day One: Drive outside of the bounds of Sherwood Park without getting an anxiety attack.  LOL

I am basically nearing the home stretch of the deep clean.  Today I was emptying and cleaning closets and more drawers.  Why does every piece of furniture I own have drawers?


I am washing the duvet cover from the guest room.


And ironing the duvet cover too.  Urrgghh a boring task.


You know you are deep into the abyss when you are cleaning the cleaning closet!


Tonight I am going to be enlisting the Big Guy to help me reach some high up dusting.  He's taller than me, isn't uncoordinated on a ladder and doesn't have a fear of falling and dislocating an elbow... again!

Okay, I'm off to put some moisturizer on these hands.

Jen

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Starting to Snowball

So I started my new cleaning routine last week.  It's from Clean Mama and it is supposed to inspire me to be up to date on my housework by doing just a little bit each day.  It's going great and I have been maintaining both my daily chores and my weekly chores.  But, living on a tangent has me doing way more than just a small bit of cleaning.  I have spiralled into a full on deep cleaning.  I'm stuck in the vortex.  I figure I had better ride this one out as long as I can because once it spits me out,  the sudden need to re-organize and clean every nook and cranny of my home will suddenly cease.

Yesterday Rob and I ventured down to the basement to de-clutter.  Turns out that I don't have much clutter.  Boxes stored away in the basement and unlabelled is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.  What is in those boxes?  If I can't remember what a box contains, do I really need to own any of its contents? I think it came from years of not knowing if we would be transferred and would have to move our worldly belongings.  Not that we ever did end up moving much.  I live by this mantra!


Rob,  on the other hand, not so much.  We found boxes that I had labelled "Rob's Junk", from our last move.  Although I am a bit of a neat freak, I respect that not everyone lives that way.  Rob's zones of the house are usually a bit of a mess and I am okay with just looking the other way (most of the time), as it is not my area.  As much as we can't find the copies of our wills that went MIA in the last move, we did find a receipt for a supper we had at the Bar-B-Barn in Montreal in October of 2010.  Hmmm  Good thing the lawyer's office keeps copies of the wills in a fire proof safe.  ;)

I also learned that I have a bunch of other people's junk in my house.  The girls!  Three boxes of college text books belonging to Lisa and three boxes of childhood memories will be dropped off when next we meet.  We found three boxes of Diane's childhood memories which will be delivered as a house warming gift as soon as her and Eric's house is built.  Don't even get me started on golf clubs, snowboards and tires that live in our garage and don't belong to us.  Do they ever truly leave home?  ;)

Today I'm into the kitchen.  Suddenly everything needs a home urgently.  I re-purposed this scrappy supply jar.


Oh and this one too!


I've been into the spice drawer.  It was scary.


I came upon these empty spice jars at Bed Bath and Beyond for only $1 each. Yes, I have been milling around every organizational section of many stores this past weekend.


But it is so nice when in the end the spice drawer looks like this.  A picture pretty enough to scrap I dare say.


And, under the kitchen sink looks like this.


I have realized that I am a sucker for packaging.  Remember how I am supposed to be making my own cleaners?  Well, I did scrub some shower grout yesterday with a mixture of cream of tarter and lemon juice, but today while at Target I fell for this.


I love Seventh Generation products.  It is furniture polish and it is "Lemon and Chamomile" and it was $5.50.  :(  I came home and gave it a go and yeah, I could have made this with distilled water, vinegar, almond oil and lemon essential oil.  But I do plan on keeping this container to make my own next go around.  It has a really good sprayer and is not a huge bottle.

Lastly, in the interest of all things clean around here, the girlies went for a grooming this morning.  Now they are recovering together.  haha


Well, got to go.  The vortex is sucking me back in.  Time to go through the kitchen cupboards.  I wonder what treasures and messes I will find.  Tonight Rob and I are finding a new home for all of his  photography equipment and re-organizing book shelves in the den.  We do know how to live it up on a Monday night!  LOL

Jen

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Done Done Done

Well, these last two pages represent the last of the "Shimelle" collection for me.  It was amazing but I have to say that I am ready to move onto another paper line at his point.  I didn't have enough paper to complete my entire summer album.  I'm a few pages short.  I'll try to keep in a somewhat similar colour palette with the last pages in hopes of a cohesive look.

First up, is me behind the camera.  Rob snapped it of me as I was taking a photo of Tom.




The sketch used is from Citrus Twist.


Next up is a photo that Rob snapped of this sweet little girl playing at the park with her big brother.   Thomas aka Mr. Friendly was quick to make friends.  




And another sketch from Citrus Twist.


Okay, time to keep scrapping on.  I'm about 4 pages short of finishing my summer album!

A happy thought, if I start mourning the end of this amazing "Shimelle" collection, no worries, she has a new one coming out!  "True Stories" will definitely be making it's way onto my desk at some point.  Pure yummy!  :)



Jen
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