Thirty and Thankful

First of all, a big happy birthday to my marvelous momma Brennie the Babe!

Brennie the Babe

I apologize for the pixelated mess that is this picture but I feel like this picture appropriately captures my mother‘s spirit.  Yes, we were born a mere day apart. I’m sure she wanted to make it a same day event but considering she had already been in labour with me for 16 hours, she probably couldn’t hold out another 11 hours. It’s OK mom, I forgive you. I won’t reveal her age because she doesn’t look it, so I will leave it up to you to guess. I love my Brennie very much and I hope she has a beautiful day being the beautiful creature that she is.

Not only is it her day of birth but this post would not be complete without talking about my mom because when I reflect on what I’m thankful for in my life, my mom and my family are a huge piece of the gratefulness pie. I haven’t blogged in a while and I didn’t have a lot of desire to do so until a couple of things happened. One, I have not been feeling so hot these days with my pregnancy. Physically I’m a disaster and still have 10 weeks to go. Two, for some reason I’ve found myself doing a lot of ‘Facebook comparison creeping’ lately. Both of these things have resulted in me being a little down. However, after having a fabulous birthday dinner with all of my friends and reading these amazing and kind words by my buddy Evanoff (which also depict my birthday festivities), I realized I really needed to snap out of it because I have nothing to be down about. Interestingly enough, while I thought about writing this post, the episode of Friends is on where Rachel turns 30. They do a flashback to all of the ridiculous things that the friends did while turning 30. I came to the conclusion that a) they look like they’re 40, not 30 and b) I’m much happier with the state of my life than any of theirs and they’re on TV! So, I must be doing something right.

I’m going to make a little list and if it bores you, please stop reading and start reflecting on all of the things you are thankful for 🙂

1) As mentioned above, my family is numero uno. My mom and dad are still a big part of my life and they are both healthy and young at heart. My mom has always been one of my best friends and she still is. I’m grateful that this relationship has remained stable throughout my life and it did not suffer the ups and downs that usually come with being a teenager. I can only hope the same will happen with me and my babe as time progresses. Speaking of babes, I’m also grateful for my sister. Even though we are six years apart, we get along famously. We have the exact same sense of humour and I think we bring out the best in each other:

Melon and I #2 Melon and I

I am proud of my tiny dancer and am really enjoying the changes that have happened with her over the last year or so. She surprises me everyday, particularly in regards to how good she was with that rifle.

Of course a list of my family would also not be complete without talking about my hubby and best straight, Marko. He really is my soul mate I think. I’m not sure that’s really a concept I believe in, but we’re about as close as you can get.

Mountains 2

And dear Doge, he makes me happy. He’s kind, supportive, sweet, thoughtful, hardworking and generally an all around good person. He likes almost everything about me and tolerates the rest with a patience that has gone unmatched. Most importantly, he lets me be me and I actually think he enjoys all of the ridiculousness that comes with it and that my friends, is saying a lot. I am a difficult woman to love and he does a damn good job. Plus he’s kind of a hotdog, so that’s always an added bonus 🙂 I am so, so grateful he is the person that I am bringing a child into the world with because I can’t think of a better partner for what sounds like a biggest roller coaster of life.

2) My friends. For anyone who knows me, you know my friends are a huge part of my life. I am also very lucky because I have had the same group of friends since high school and in some cases, public school. We are hilarious to us. As Lindz mentioned in her blog, we’re not always hilarious to bouncers but for the most part, we are well received. Particularly as we get older. Although I’m thinking that the older we get we may have toned it down just a bit, resulting in a higher acceptance rate. But then when I look at recent pictures like this:

Emily's bday

….and maybe not so much. Maybe we are just getting older and people feel sorry for us so they accept us in our geriatric state. I’ll take either.

Not only do I have fantastic friends who have been a part of my life forever, I also have some amazing new ones that have become a part of our ‘group’, as well as some new beauties from the college. On that note, I am very grateful that Durham College started hiring lots and lots of instructors born in the same decade as me 🙂 That’ll do Durham, that’ll do.

I really could go on and on about the topic of my friends but since they are an integral part of my blog, I’ll leave it to you to do some exploring 😉

3) My career. This section is going to be a little long because I’ve never explained how I got where I currently am but it has been a series of really, really fortunate coincidences on my part and I feel they need to be discussed in detail. Yes, I have gone after and taken every opportunity that has come my way but lots of people do this and they have not been as successful. I know how lucky I am. I applied for a job as a learning facilitator at Durham College while finishing my Masters degree in 2011. Instead of being a successful candidate for this position, they hired me to teach. I would be lying if I said my whole life I have wanted to teach. Really, I was out of options in university and so I applied to Teachers College during the double cohort year. Not a wise choice but somehow I got in somewhere. I only got into one out of three choices, but I got in! After this I was again lucky enough to learn of a full time job in Calgary and for two years I taught in the elementary system out West. There were no jobs here and yet I was hired over the phone in Calgary. Lucky, yes. This gave me the experience to get into grad school and the experience that Durham was looking for to hire me. After only one semester as partial load at Durham, I was eligible for an interview for a full-time Communications position. I interviewed being told not to get my hopes up as I had limited experience and at first I did not get the job. However, through yet another series of fortunate events for me, I became the first choice and received full-time within four months of being hired. I’ve been told this doesn’t happen. I don’t know why it happened to me and not one of the dozens of other qualified, hard-working individuals I work with at Durham everyday but I am so grateful that it did. I love my job and I love Durham College. My boss has been the most supportive administrator I could have ever hoped for, not only through my hiring but into my pregnancy. I also have AMAZING colleagues. As I mentioned above the ‘face of Durham’ is changing and I work with so many talented, young and dynamic instructors who teach me new things everyday. Loving the people you work with at all levels is key in job satisfaction and I’m not sure I would be able to top this elsewhere.

The icing on the dream job cake was when I happened into a sessional instructor position at the university. This occurred a year after I received full-time at Durham. I will not go into detail but landing this was even more coincidental than Durham and it is pretty much my dream job. I teach teachers, how to teach. Somehow they let me do this. It’s pretty mind-blowing for me. I have been doing this in conjunction with Durham for a year and honestly, if it stayed like this for the rest of my life, I would be happy. Sometimes I complain about marking (really this is the only downfall to the job) but I know how lucky I am. Sometimes writing it out though really fills you with a sense of gratitude. I think more people should do this and they might realize things are a little better than they perceive them to be. Our generation LOVES to complain about their jobs and I really think this attitude is only going to get worse. Flashback 100 years ago to these children in their coal minery best and I think we can probably put it into perspective:

I am going to stop my list here. There are other things I am grateful for but I read a quote the other day, “If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy” and this list pretty much sums it up; Fab family, amazing amigos and a satisfying career.

And just to round it out because this post has been far too serious, lately I’ve been thankful for:


Just look it up. Having a little Shiba ourselves, Mark and I are dying right now for this somewhat despised meme. It’s been around for a while but all of a sudden it’s exploded all over the internet.

Home Alone 1 and 2:

I love Christmas and I love hijinks. These movies bring together the best of both worlds. Somehow I can pretty much find one of these movies on TV everyday in the month of December. It makes my heart happy. Side note: Ignore Home Alone 3 and 4. They are terrible and I pretend they don’t exist.

Jack Sparrow:

This music video makes me want to die. It’s old, I know. But Mark and I didn’t even discover it until a year or so ago and it is my go-to whenever I need a pick me up. I’m sure we all have that picture, image, song, etc. that can take us out of any terrible mood, this my mine. I love The Lonely Island and Michael Bolton is a straight up joke bag, so much like the Christmas/hijinks combo of Home Alone, this video does not disappoint.

Anyway my dears, that’s all for today and probably for a couple of weeks. Although I do have my next blog floating around in my head which makes it much easier to write. Perhaps I will surprise everyone, including myself with another posting soon! Thanks for reading and a question to prompt your genius; What are you most thankful for?


Georgia on My Mind….

I have to give my mom credit for the title of this post. When I found out I was going to Atlanta, Georgia for the Teaching Professor Technology Conference, I invited her along with me. For the next couple of weeks her email titles were very similar to the one on this post.

First up though, I wanted to show you this:

Fit to Teach Stats

Pretty exciting! Not really sure what is going on here, I know it has something to do with Miss Evanoff’s post but a lot of the views and visitors are random today. This little notification reminded me of playing the Sims and something like this would pop up:


Unexpected but always delightful.

Anyway, any traffic is good traffic, so keep it coming! Now let’s talk about some Atlanta adventures! I’m not going to tell you from start to finish because:

…but I will tell you some highlights.

When we first arrived in Atlanta we headed on over the Georgia Aquarium, which was the largest aquarium in the world when it opened. I am a poisson lover, with my very own tank of beauties, so this was very exciting for me. We immediately started off with the Dolphin Tales Show which we were told was a ‘must see’ by the front desk. I was expecting a lot of dolphins doing flips and shit but it was mostly this:

The creature in the middle singing with his merry men at his side. The highlight is when he dances out and twirls around the stage in an LED cape. My mom and I were laughing so hard we were crying. My initial impression of the aquarium was that it was ridiculous. It totally redeemed itself though when we got down to business and found the actual sea creatures that I hold so dear. The picture-taking was impressive:




They also had a gigantic aquarium with thousands of fish in it, including whale sharks, nurse sharks and the biggest sting rays I’ve ever seen. They built it over a tunnel so that you could go underneath and literally feel like you are swimming with the fishes. Luckily we were there during feeding time so we enjoyed the added bonus of scuba divers.



With the Aquarium under our belt, we felt we had a good start on the ‘touristy’ aspects of Atlanta.

Another obvious highlight for me and the whole reason I was able to go to Atlanta, was my presentation at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference. On Friday night, I did a poster presentation on my look at using social media in the college and university classroom. While it may sound like an obvious idea to use Facebook or Twitter with students, I’m finding there are only certain subjects and even certain programs that really adapt well to the use of these tools in an educational manner. Being the tech wizard that I am, I set myself up in e-poster form and the finished product looked like this:


Those handouts on the right hand side of the table were gone in less than half an hour, so needless to say, it was a busy night. I also have an affiliation with the Teaching Professor because I recently published in one of their online magazines. I feel like this is a great time for a shameless plug, so check out the article here:

I made a lot of interesting contacts that night and absolutely loved talking to my fellow instructors in America about our Canadian education system because talking to Americans, about anything, is always a good time:

I kid. No one at the conference thought we live in igloos.

On Saturday after the conference, we decided to do a little shopping. We also decided to take public transit. First step in the journey was this escalator:


It was the longest and steepest escalator of my life. I hated it. I had to close my eyes and Brennie told me when we got to the bottom.

We then encountered the issue of buying a ‘Breeze pass’ to get on the subway. As I stood there trying to use my credit card, the machine rejected me multiple times. I became pretty frustrated and complained loudly for a couple of minutes to my mom until a heavy set lady beside me started mumbling to herself about ‘all my noise.’ She then progressed to half facing me and saying, ‘You’re making all dis noise and nuttin’ happenin. Nuttin’ happenin!’ It was perhaps my favourite line of the trip. I wonder how many times random strangers have wanted to tell me and my friends and family members off when we randomly wail about something not working correctly or make way more noise than is necessary when something ‘bad’ happens. Good for this lady for finally telling me to shut it.

My mom and I made our way down to the platform and spotted an empty space on a bench. However, part of the bench had a piece of half eaten cake on it in a plastic container. Immediately my mom and I saw the cake and said almost in unison, ‘Oh look, cake! I sure am hungry.’ Which prompted the questionably homeless man beside the cake to put his hand on the plastic container and ever so slowly slide the cake over beside him. We’re still not sure if it was his to begin with, but we saw him get off the subway several stops later cradling that cake like it was his newborn child:

Image Source:

Later that evening, we decided to continue on with our public transit party and take it all the way to Marietta, Georgia, as we were booked for a ghost tour. By taxi, Marietta is about 25 minutes away. By public transit it is one subway, two buses and a short taxi ride away and boy was it a good time! People really were quite friendly and helpful but at the same time, I did fear for my safety when I was told that they only way to get off of the subway during peak time was to, ‘duck my head and charge through the crowd like an Atlanta Falcon.’ Now six months ago, they would have had me at using my body as a weapon but nowadays, it really isn’t a viable option.

Marietta was darling and the tour was pretty good. It was a little over the top, as I highly doubt that every store and street corner in the town is truly haunted, but you never know. The creepiest part of the tour for me was definitely this guy:


He was sitting in a window display in one of the hundred haunted stores in the town and I really just wasn’t liking his vibe. He had a couple of other buddies in the window that were not my cup of tea but he was the worst.

I also wanted to show a picture of their central park. The city does a scarecrow competition around this time of the year and places them throughout their town square. There were lots of amazing entries, but this one was my fave:


Mainly because it reminded me of Mark dressed up like a lady:

Spitting image right?

Sunday was the last day and the conference ended at noon, so my mom and I headed out to another must see, the Ferndale Natural History Museum. I actually love museums, so when this was recommended multiple times, I was down. It was probably the most beautiful and pristine museum I have ever been in.

Ferndale Natural History Museum

It had a lot of dinosaurs (a particular childhood fave of mine):


And it also had one of these guys:

Giant Tree Sloth

….a giant tree sloth. Which unfortunately don’t exist anymore. If they did, I’m pretty sure the panda and baby polar bear would be SOL in regards to being the most sought after zoo animal.

After perusing the museum for a few hours, it was time to catch our flight home. So we sped off to the airport in a fast and furious fashion……only to have our flight delayed by 5 hours due to Tropical Storm Karen.

They closed the airport for 15 minutes because of torrential downpour and during that time our flight came in, circled and went all the way back to South Carolina, hence the rather large delay. On a happier note, my mom and I watched The Heat on the way back with Sandy Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. So hilarious. My mom was laughing the entire time and she has a LOUD, infectious laugh. I loved it. It really kept my spirits up but I’m not sure about the other people around us who were clearly trying to sleep. It was the perfect way to end an amazing trip.

I don’t think I would go back to Atlanta because there are so many other cities in America I would like to explore but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of traveling to the Dirty South:

Dirty South

To end the post, a few other random goodies from the trip.

1) The view from our hotel room:

Westin Peachtree PlazaBy Day….

Westin Peachtree PlazaBy night….

Yes please! Our hotel was the Westin Peachtree Plaza, which is the tallest hotel in North America and they certainly make the most of their view.

2) The food!


Everyone from Canada who heads down to the States is just amazed by the portion sizes down there. Case in point, my mom’s salad:

Taco Salad

It was bigger than her head. However, she dealt with it like a champ. I ordered nachos and the same thing. Needless to say, no dinner was needed that night for either of us.

3) My mom would be very disappointed in both me and this post if I did not mention that at one point on the trip we tried to get on a Japanese tour bus. I have a proud history of getting on tour buses from other countries that clearly are not my own. I will stand there looking around until someone realizes I don’t belong and kicks me off. They laugh at me like I am a silly white girl and send me on my way. I find this very amusing. It’s been a lonngggg time since I did this, so my mom decided she wanted to give it a try. We followed behind a group of Japanese tourists and were just about to step on their bus when one of the passengers looked at us and said, ‘Where you think you going?’ Busted. The bus driver told us we clearly did not know what we were doing, to which my mom slyly lifted her sunglasses and winked at him. Again, we were laughed at and sent on our way but the memory will live on for a while from that one.

Next week I will tell some tales from the Wild, Wild West. But for now, I have a stack of midterms calling my name…..

Have a wonderful week friends 🙂

Penny Got Knocked Up By Robbie the Creep!

It’s true – I’m knocked up. My name isn’t Penny, my husband isn’t Robbie, and he really isn’t a creep but I felt this was a fitting way to tell the inter webs that I have a bun in the oven.  I certainly thought it was appropriate for Facebook:

Pregnancy Announcement

As the announcement alludes to, this is from Dirty Dancing, which is hands down one of my favourite movies. Leon, Julie and I can recite it almost word for word. If you don’t at least know the line, ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner,’ you are pretty much dead to me.

Now, I’m 5 months along, which doesn’t excuse my absence from blogging but for some of you out there who found yourselves unexpectedly pregnant, you can maybe sympathize with the fact that I simply have not had the mental fortitude to be able to blog and work a full and part-time teaching job. Pregnancy brain is real my friends.

I’m starting to get my feet back on the ground and get back into the groove of work but the last 5 weeks have been rough. Some nights I would come home so exhausted that I barely made it through dinner before I went to bed. I also became a fan of afternoon naps. However, that seems to be behind me. AND I honestly miss blogging. I can’t say I’m back three or four times a week but I would love to write weekly and put something out on Mondays or Tuesdays. I think that is reasonable….right? Right? Blogging friends, let me know. I feel guilty for giving it up but I just didn’t have the motivation and I didn’t want to be putting out forced garbage. You can always tell when someone is blogging for the sake of blogging. There’s also the little fact that I wasn’t over the moon when I found out I was pregnant. In fact, I probably looked more like this:

Baha, that one gets me every time.

So yeah, I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t excited, I was actually kind of terrified and mad. Odd combination but that’s the best I can identify. The staff at the doctor’s office kept asking me how excited I was and I would respond that I wasn’t. In one case, the medical assistant made an awkward face, turned on her heel and left the room. I don’t think she was used to that attitude from an appropriately aged mother-to-be. Needless to say, for the summer, I didn’t really felt like turning my blog into a baby blog because I didn’t wanted to talk about it. I could pretend it wasn’t a part of my life but it was a BIG part of it. Your whole life changes and your stomach becomes the center of your universe. I knew from June 18th on (my sister’s b-day) that I was rocking a blastocyst and I tried to keep blogging like normal but once I came back from Calgary I didn’t have the heart to keep going and ignoring the game changer growing inside me.

But happy news…I am now very, very excited! One of my best friends and my now sister-in-law, Leon, is having a baby (soon!) and baby fever is kind of spreading in our group of friends.  Here is a picture of the two of us crowning at Emily’s engagement party:

This baby love has really helped. With the exception of our friend Lisa, who had a baby when we were in our early 20’s, no one in our ‘group’ of high school friends has a child. We are pretty content to be in our twosomes and do carefree couples things, usually involving alcohol. I was not looking forward to giving this up and I didn’t know how my friends were going to react. However, they have all been gents about it, which shouldn’t surprise me. We have always been supportive of each other and our adventures, whether it be getting a pair of glasses tattooed on our faces, or growing a fetus.

Finally, my blog was also about my attempts to get back to the gym and lighter living and I can’t say that being pregnant really inspires this. I can’t fit into any of my old pants or jeans. I sometimes struggle with the lung capacity needed to teach some of my classes, which clearly doesn’t equate to full-blown gym workouts. My feet are already starting to swell. Today I looked down to my feet pushing up over my sandals. This.has.never.happened. I do not have wide feet. In fact, I quite like my feet. But I have a feeling those days are over. For example I feel like I could be sporting a pair of these beauties:

Fear not, this is not me…but I feel like it could be.

Last but not least….I am hungry. I’ve always liked food but now I’m actually hungry on a frequent basis. This is a deadly combination. I wanted to include a picture of a really large pregnant woman to forecast my pregnancy future but when I typed it into Google images of Jessica Simpson kept coming up, so I will save you the visual. You get the idea.

The summation of all of these factors hopefully gives you an idea of why I simply stopped blogging. However, I think I’m ready to get back on the wagon. Obviously the focus is going to change a little bit because my focus is going to be changing a little bit but being able to blog about my life will prove to me that I’m still a human being. Not just a human being maker. 

So if you can forgive me, please keep reading. I promise to make it up to you with tales from faraway lands in the very near future.

A Whole Lot of Nothing

I feel very, very busy lately and the days seem to pass by in the blink of an eye but I don’t really know what I’ve been doing.

There’s definitely been a lot of this:


And trust me I’m not complaining but I am triste about how quickly summer vacay seems to go. Most of you probably want to kill me since I essentially have three months off but trust me, it goes by faster than I can sing ‘Summer Lovin’. So what have a I been up to? I have found myself asking this exact question.

After the Baby Miyou adventure I took it pretty easy on Saturday night. I was supposed to go to a BBQ hosted by my new friend Cheryl but it was not to be. Markus got called into work, which seems to be an annoying trend these days any time he is on call. Since he doesn’t actually fix the machines anymore I don’t know what good he is during one of these ’emergencies’. I just envision him standing around the factory floor yelling at everyone, but this is not his style, so I honestly don’t know what he does.

Sunday ended up being gorgeous, even though the weatherman predicted otherwise. We decided to have our friends Rob and Julie over for a swim and a family dinner a la Snookie and pals. Mark’s friend Chase popped also over randomly and I felt it was a little reminiscent of Steve Urkell popping in on the Winslows. Although he did not cause any property damage or hit on our teenage daughter.


We had a delicious BBQ. Rob and Julie (or Khak and Kenny…long story) brought some meat and we had a salad…FRESH OUT OF OUR GARDEN!!!!! Yeahhhhh. So proud of our urban farming success.


Julie also insisted that we add a decoration from our tiki hut to the table to make it more authentically tropical.

Tiki Hut

While we set the table, Mark and the boys were the grill masters.

Grilling BBQ

I really, really wish Mark had been wearing his grill apron. Which I think you will agree would have been more appropriate for this occasion than his Larry Bird shirt:

BBQ apron

Here our friend Khalil models the apron, as well as an inner tube and someone’s training bra.  I think you can agree it is quite fetching. I also see a Troy Junior photobomb in the background.

After dinner we lounged around and Khaki and Ken’s pup Hal romped in the backyard with Bolt and Miyou. Meaning we tried to keep Miyou calm and not rip a stitch, while Bolt mostly ignored both of them when possible.

HallieJulie said Hallie is terrible at posing for pictures but I seem to have the dog photog touch. Isn’t she a sweet pea?

Monday was another one of these with this gal:

Melissa and Dawn

I apologize I recycled the pic but it pretty much was exactly the same. It rained for a wee bit and we headed out to Ardene to get our shop on. Seriously….that store is my dream. It it the cheapest thing ever. Their clothes literally cost 5-20 dollars and will last you a couple of seasons. I feel like I completely freshened up my wardrobe for my upcoming trip to Calgary and it was less than $100.

Monday turned into Tuesday and besides reading a mind-numbing ‘female friendly’ book called Unsuitable Men, I didn’t do much until the afternoon when I decided it was time get off my ass and clean the house. Which is what I did for a solid few hours. Mark was working a shut down so I headed over to my friend Sherrie’s house with Emilio and we immersed ourselves in a delightful BBQ. While it mostly looked like this outside:


….it didn’t matter. We were all smiles as Sherrie regaled us with her antics from her recent trip to Thailand:


I was enthralled as Sherrie told us about ‘Thai showers’, lady boys, ping pong shows and all of the international friends that she made. I was also a little jealous and definitely wish that I could have gone with her. I was seriously, seriously considering going with her but her timing coincided with Focus on Learning and that was one professional obligation that I definitely had to keep. The pictures were beautiful and I can tell she had the time of her life. She is a very brave soul. There is no way I could backpack by myself through the US, let alone somewhere like Thailand but good on her!

After this little love-in I headed to the movies with Marks (remember…Tuesday’s cheap night) and met up with my sis and her boytoy Kyle.

Boy Toy

As you can see, I was definitely a creeper with this pic.

We went and saw World War Z, which Mark and I had both been dying to see since we saw previews for it a couple of months ago. I totally enjoyed every minute of it. I’m pretty easy when it comes to movies but this was definitely a winner for me. I liked Star Trek a lot but this movie was in a different category all togetha.  I love zombie movies and apocalypse movies, so this was a beautiful combination, particular since good old Brad Pitt makes a delicious appearance. While he has certainly aged and is not physically the divine specimen we knew and loved in Troy, he is an amazing actor and I think this is what made the difference for me between this and any other zombie movie I’ve seen in a while. All in all, I clearly recommend it if this kind of movie is your jam.

Today is another beauty. However, instead of lounging on my chair like a lady or leisure, I have decided to get acquainted with my good ol’ laptop and not just for blogging purposes….although I am acutely aware I’m currently blogging instead of doing my work…BUT I think this outside office thing is a step in the right direction.


I even added our little tiki hut friend for that fun office vibe.

On that note, I’m going to get back to writing up my Pearson Publishing chapters and see where the afternoon takes me but I must say a big thank you for the distraction!

Just wondering: do you ever get to work from home? Do you have a job with flexibility? If so, do you often waste you time like me? (Shame on us.)

Baby Miyou’s Excellent Adventure!!

I put up an old post about a week ago that I wrote last year about our rescue pup Miyou.

Shiba Inu

If you didn’t read it and want to catch up, read all about it here.

Our darling has been with us for a year now and I must say, she has really grown on me and particularly Mark. She really is daddy’s little diva. You will see a lot of her on my blog and even other people’s blogs, as she is always a requested guest at our many get togethers. She is super social and loves any gathering in which any and all food tidbits go directly to her as resident cutie.

Some examples of her partying hard:

Miyoumiyou 2

I’m not 100% sure what’s going on in the second picture but it appears she is enjoying it. Needless to say, I was sad and a little anxious when it came time this Thursday to drive little Miyou up to Guelph to get spayed. Her situation was unique because when we got her last year we thought she was pregnant. However, this sadly proved not to be the case. Her belly was simply distended from lack of nutrition and as she stayed with us and received proper nutrition, she just kept getting sexier and sexier. By the time we figured out she was not expecting any Baby Miyous of her own, summer was over. Myy schedule would not allow me to get her to Guelph to be spayed by the rescue organization from which we got her. It had to wait until this summer. Unfortunately, this resulted in Miyou going through heat twice and dirty, old man, Bolt getting in on that action.

Bolt and Miyou Stuck

Yes, they are stuck together. I was ashamed and embarrassed to be their mother that day at the dog park.

As much as I think Miyou would have had some excellent babies, the right thing to do was to get her spayed, as I truly believe in rescues over breeding. So this leads us up to Baby Miyou’s Excellent Adventure. I think I will now let Miyou take over and tell her side of the story.

Hi I’m Miyou. I like food. And dad and mom and Bolt. In that order. Sometime someday (remember I have no sense of time) Mom and I got in the car. I like the car but it doesn’t like me. Sometimes I vomit during long any car ride, so I get spoiled and get to sit in the front. See.


No, that wasn’t comfortable, so I tried this.

Shiba Inu

Alright, finally, I found the right position. I like to rest my head on mom’s arm when she drives. Makes it just a little uncomfortable for her and that’s OK because I know I’m a babe.

Shiba Inu

We arrived at this place.

Vet Clinic

And I’m thinking there’s going to be some food because I haven’t had any all day. So I’m excited to all up in these people’s faces. I know once they see how cute I am they’re going to feed me, right? Wrong. They tricked me! All of a sudden, bam, I’m asleep, without any nourishment! I wake up and I’m stoned as can be. Those sadists cut my toe nails too! Then I was MAD. I decided to go haywire and crap myself and try to bite everyone around me. That will show them. Feces and fierceness, a potent combo. I succeeded in my mission because they ended up calling mom early to come get me. I could hear them on the phone, ‘Miyou has had enough of our company and you need to come get her.’ Damn right I had, you didn’t even give me food.

Mom came and got me and she looked pretty sad. Perfect, I’m going to play this up like nothing she’s ever seen. The whole way home I cried in the car like a dying monkey. Really, I was so stoned I didn’t feel a thing but I really wanted to make sure I got some cuddles. And I certainly did. As soon as we got back to this weird house we were staying at, I got wrapped up like a little baby and I’ve never gotten so much attention in my life.

Shiba Inu Cute

I also wasn’t hungry for the first time in my life and didn’t even eat my dinner but that’s OK, I could stand to lose a few ounces for bikini season. I literally slept all day and night and when I woke up the next day, Stella had her groove back!!! I decided to wake mom up properly by licking her face and scratching at her with my newly trimmed racoon’s paws. Considering I also now get carried up and down the stairs like the princess that I am, whatever they did to me, they can do it anytime!

Thanks Miyou for that informative narrative. I must admit, she has been bugging me to guest blog for a while, so that should get it out of her system for a solid month.

While my little darling was sleeping the sleep of the truly drugged I met up with my friend Anja, one half of the dynamic duo that Mark and I met while in Belize last year. We instantly hit it off and have been lucky enough to meet up a few times since then. They even came to our wedding in Jamaica.

Wedding Couple

Anja is a beauty. The first time my friend met her there were lots of questions surrounding her possibly being a model. Nope. She has brains and beauty and holds down a smarty pants job I could never do. She is one of God‘s special creatures. We met up at a restaurant in Guelph which coincidentally ended up being only a one minute drive from my parent’s rental property, which is where Miyou and I crashed for the evening. It was called Cusina Mediterranean Bistro and it was GOOD. I’ve travelled to Greece before and therefore have a hard time thinking any Greek cuisine here is comparable but this place was really close. I got the Tyropitakia Platter and it was massive.

Greek Food

I ate the fries and salad because those things are dirty leftover and took the rest with me. Anja also ordered chocolate cake, which you can see was bigger than her.

Chocolate Cake

Unfortunately, she said it wasn’t so great and most of it went home with her but everything else was fantastic. The restaurant has really great reviews and I can understand why. After a lengthy catch-up it was time to say our goodbyes but I’m really hoping she and her boytoy Jordan buy a house of their own in Guelph so we can become frequent house guests 🙂

Anja said she was excited to be part of the blog and that I had popped her ‘blog cherry’. I’m pretty sure statements like this could really inspire more men to become a part of the blogging community.

After dinner I headed back to my parent’s rental property and helped them with some clean up. Even the living room was filthy, so I attempted to remedy this. It wasn’t much but the tenants have left to much stuff in the house it is hard to work around it. My solution would be to hire a cleaning company and charge the clean up fee but sometimes Brennie is far too nice and she doesn’t find this appropriate. She is a kind soul and also one of God’s special creatures. We went to bed relatively early for a Friday night and headed back home on Saturday morning.

All in all, it was a good few days and Miyou has come through with flying colours. Her incision looks beautiful and she is back to her food loving ways. My prognosis is a speedy recovery. Before I depart I’ve gotta ask, how much do you love your pet? Does anyone out there have a positive vet story? What about just a pet story?


Melon’s Tantalizing 23rd

Yes, there are a lot of birthdays going down these days. As I mentioned yesterday, it was my sister’s b-day and obviously that needed to be celebrated.

To get a little healthy eating up in this blog, I started my morning off with this little gem:

Egg Omelette

I didn’t want to eat a lot because I knew the food consumption that evening was going to be spectacular.

Melon came over and we hung out a bit in the sunshiney weather for a while before my parents arrived around 5:30. As predicted, the food was dericious. That is not a typo. This is what we envision our dog Miyou thinking while she chows down her dinner in 9.7 seconds.

Thai Food

If you look to the left you can see that little pig. I know she was sniffing the air thinking, ‘dericious’.

It really was very, very good. We got it from Thai Hotspot, where I went with Mubeen and Alex last week. In fact, I think it is better than Azian, which is our usual standby. Sorry to rain on your parade Azian but it was cheaper, fresher and we had more leftovers when we were done.

We then got down to present opening because we wanted to delay the birthday cake serenading until Melon’s man arrived at our house.

Mel got some real gems, including a bacon card from my mother:

Bacon Card

Because she knows that Melon loves bacon:

Melon Bacon

My mom and dad also gave her some moolah and a gift certificate to her favourite boutique in Port Perry. I gave Melon the stupid part of her gift on the weekend, so tonight she received a very serious Kitchen Aid hand mixer, a book on the psyche of dogs (because she’s as much of a dog lover as me) and a BBQ lighter. She was the most excited about the lighter. Haha. She is afraid to use the mini lighters to light her candles so she was pretty excited about this easy to use version. I told her it was from the Dollar Store and I’m pretty sure I can afford to give her another one in the future.

GiftsAt this point Kyle arrived and gave Melon two gifts, one thoughtful and one hilarious. He gave her tickets to Medieval Times because she has never been; thoughtful. He also gave her this little beauty:

Ship for the Pool

Hilarious. It is an inflatable pirate ship for the pool. It has a gun on the front that collects water from the pool and shoots it out at all unsuspecting bathers. Kyle topped off the gift with a couple of swords. This was basically Melons dream.

Once we got finished singing Happy Birthday and Melissa did an attractive job of blowing out the candles on her Dairy Queen ice cream cake:

Birthday Candles

…..Mel decided it was time to test out her new water vehicle:

Melon in her ship

She is the most beautiful pirate I’ve ever seem.

Now on a final note and perhaps my favourite picture of the evening, we also celebrated Father’s Day with Melon’s b-day, as we have often done in the past. My parents were in Guelph this weekend and it just seemed like a good idea to do a combo. My dad removed his hat to be a gent during dinner and he revealed the most gorgeous tan pattern I’ve ever seen on a semi-bald head:

Bald Head

It looks like an arrow! We were all dying. The picture really did it justice too. I want to convince him to keep it up and perhaps make it even more prominent. What do you think? Is there another pattern you would prefer to see on my father? I’m sure he could do something in a diamond or a flower.

I love my little Melon and she loves moustaches, so this makes her a girl after my own heart. I’m glad I got to celebrate her b-day twice this week!


Do you have any siblings? Are you super close? I’d love to hear some sibling stories if you’re willing to share with the world.

Exquisite Emilio and Her Dirty Thirty

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this guy right here:


I love me some Emilio. She is just an absolutely amazing, supportive and wonderful friend. She has always had my back, as long as I can remember and we have had some HILARIOUS timones together. Case in point:


I feel like we have almost the exact same sense of humour and I can really talk to her about anything and everything and she will always, always support me. Her generosity with her friends really knows no bounds. This is why I was so excited to celebrate her thirtieth birthday this weekend!!!

Emily is known for being the Party Mama of the group. I love to host and entertain but I do not put nearly as much effort into the festivities.  When she told me she had left her 30th planning to her man Corey…I was a little concerned. Sorry Cork, but you do no scream Domestic Diva.

However, when arrived at 5:30, everything was looking pretty much the norm in the Party Mama’s abode.

Party tableCorey, smart fella that he is, enlisted the help of Emily’s mom and sister and therefore, the Party Mama legacy lived on. Corey was of course on hand to festively hand out beverages and this is all we can ask for in our men.

Birthday Shots

Dinner and the unreal amount of salads and other appetizers went unpictured but imagine the best BBQ you’ve ever been to and you would kind of get the point. If I had of taken a picture it probably would have looked like this:


You can see Corey wore his new black sandals for the occasion.

Anyway, after an unreal dinner, Emily cut the cake, which was lovingly prepared by Costco.

Birthday Cake

Unfortunately, the sparkler candles missed the memo that it was Em’s birthday and burnt her finger pretty badly. For some reason Emily decided to not rinse the burn under cold water as suggested and instead showed her very red and puffy finger to everyone for the next couple of hours with a sad face. However, we were able to turn the night around with some present opening.

Emilio and Gift #1

Emily really enjoyed her new hat and the rest of the presents contained within the creepiest gift bag ever. Ever. I found these bags at a dollar store near my old house and have been using them ever since.  To truly appreciate them I have provided a close up:

Creep Bag

Emily also got right into reading one the new books that I gave her:

Book Present

I gave Emilio some ‘serious’ presents but I also gave her an assortment of smaller items that I thought might come in hand as one begins the aging process the inevitably speeds up after the age of 30:

Old Person Gifts

Emily was actually really excited to get a shower cap (wrong) but her sister Sara was visibly saddened when she found out that I gave Emily a knee-board as an ‘old person gift’ because she loves her knee board for use in the garden. This really made me laugh hard but I do apologize Sara….I guess I just come from a genetic lot with really hearty knees.

After presents, the hi-jinx commenced with a little bit of cape wearing from my friend Julie’s dad, Kenny. Kenny is a bit of a legend around these parts and I think the following picture will demonstrate why:

Kenny and the Girls

And if him wrapping himself in the plastic table-cloth doesn’t convince you, Kenny happily accepted the challenge of ‘the boot’:

The boot

For those of you who are not aware of the boot from Beerfest, click here. It never ceases to amaze me when our parents become the life of the party.  I’m not really sure when this shift happened but there was a lot of this going on at my wedding in Jamaica last January.  One day I shall write a post on this and I believe it will be magical.

For now, let take a look at all of the fun times to be had at Emily’s b-day.

Glasses time in the basement:

Dawn and Mark


The classic glasses switch with Corey’s Uncle Keith:

Uncle Keith

We also had some good old fashioned rough housing with the birthday girl and our high school buddy, Joella:


Overall, it was a really fun night with my amazing friends and family (yup even my parents were there in full force until about 1am). There were quite a few shenanigans that went unpictured but I’ll tell what I couldn’t let go without being immortalized on this blog, the hideously creepy, birthday drop cloth that Emily and Corey used to keep their basement floor clean of spills. If this doesn’t give you nightmares, I don’t know what will!

Creepy Clown

You’re welcome.

Fortunately for us, Mark and I were feeling fine today and were able to accomplish a lot of work that needed doing in the backyard. I spent most of the afternoon cutting grass and edging everything out, while Mark created a beautiful little gate so that we have easier access to walk the dogs in the field behind our house.

I just thought I would share the sunshiney results of my efforts and hopefully brighten your day on what is supposed to be a very rainy Monday.


I  hope everyone’s weekend was as eventful and friend-filled as mine. What did you do to enjoy the sunshine?

Who Wears Short Shorts?

I started my weekend off with a little fun in the sun. The weather was GORGEOUS.  The first part of the day I cleaned the rim of the pool and the liner. I also cleaned up some of the random pool accessories that were left behind by the previous owners. For example:

Pool chair

I also got out our new lawn chairs and set them up. They are my absolute favourite colour and they were a super steal from IKEA. I can’t say I’ve had a chance to actually lie in them yet but I’ll keep you posted on their functionality.

IKEA chairs

Around 2PM my Momma Bear, Brennie, and my sis, Melon showed up and we had a lovely girl’s day in the sunshine.

Melissa and DawnMy mom even set herself up in my tiki hut and had her own little spa day.

Brennie the Babe

Melon brought over my fur nephew Rocky and he had a lovely little play with Miyou. They’re so awkward with each other because Rocky weighs three times as much as Miyou but they try and I admire their spirit.

Rocky and Miyou

Mark arrived home and tested out the durability of the the waterfall:


Fortunately he wasn’t completely silly and decided to jump in off of the side and not the waterfall.

Jumping in the pool

My fam went home around 5PM and Markus and I had some dinner. We had one of my favourite recipes that I haven’t made in ages; quinoa with feta, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I will reveal the recipe breakdown on Friday.

Quinoa Dinner

After dinner I went out for a swim and we both did our own thing for a bit and then came together to watch a movie. Mark’s X Box had a free movie rental on it this weekend for some zombie apocalypse movie and Mark and I love, love this genre. So we definitely had on our happy pants but unfortunately, whatever it was called (it was that memorable) will not be receiving any accolades anytime soon. It was a nice rest for my brain though.

Saturday, the daytime was filled with laundry and cleaning and I fit in some laps in the pool before it started pouring. After a  little BBQ with my main man we headed to my sister’s house. She and her beau Kyle were having some people over and kindly invited myself and all of my friends over as well. They just moved into a new condo and it was the first time I’ve seen it all decorated and clean and it looked just beautiful. We watched the hockey game, hung out and had some pops. Melon was looking very festive, although I’m not sure she realizes it is now June, not March.

Brooklin Fair Melon

We headed over the Brooklin Fair around 9:40. We got there a little before 10PM, which is a good thing because this is when they close the gates. Unfortunately, not our whole party was there on time; we still had to wait for Julie’s boyfriend Rob and Kyle and a couple of his friends were also missing in action. It took a lot of sweet talking and Melon basically standing in the way of the man closing the gates but they did, by some miracle, let Rob in at 10:10PM. Last year we showed up at 10:05 and were denied entrance and then ended up a much less desirable location than the fair. But this year, not to worry. We paid our $10 to get in and walked around and visited with some goats and other barnyard creatures and then headed over to meet everyone at the ‘New Beer Garden’. Now, I take umbrage with this title….yes, there was beer but there were no gardens. As someone who now appreciates a good garden, I thought this was an inappropriate moniker. It was beer being served in a tent. Hence why the name Beer Tent is always the way to go. No need to class it up. It is what it is.

When we arrived at the entrance of this magical Beer Garden, the line was easily 100 people long. Mark and Corey were already inside and our friend Lisa was half way up the line by herself, so really not an ideal situation. They were only letting in a few people at a time and by the time we were half-way up the line, Emily had to go home with Corey. So we lost them. Melissa, Kyle and friends also didn’t want to wait in line and apparently Melon was also sleeping on benches and they questioned whether she would be granted access. Considering the dozen or more cops patrolling the tent area, my guess is no.  So FINALLY, Julie, Robin (aka Khaki) and myself got in. It was another $2 to gain entrance into the Beer ‘Garden’. They then gave us wrist bands with four little tags on them. Once someone consumed their four beverages they were effectively cut off. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I mean, it’s a good attempt to cut down on drunk driving and fighting but honestly, it would be pretty easy to work your way around this system and I think they lost out on some revenue.

Once we got inside we caught up with Lisa for a bit.

Julie, Lisa and Dawn

However, she left pretty soon after this since we spent so much time in line.

Since there wasn’t a lot to do, the night then progressed into taking pictures of all of the interesting characters in the vicinity. We also discovered a disturbing new trend for guys in their early 20’s; bright, short, shorts. Not really sure what was going on there. We kept snapping pics ‘without people knowing’ but I tried to take a picture of the photobomber in the next photo because he was wearing lime green, short shorts but he and his friends (including creepy Harry Styles) caught me. They seemed to be OK with it though because they wanted to be in a picture with Mark.

Harry Styles

Then we spotted this beautiful creature and he was MORE than happy to let us pose with him.

Short Shorts

His face makes me die. Just a winner. He was so excited to pose for this picture too.

After this short short hunt, we decided to all just catch up and have a chat. We haven’t hung out with just Julie and Khaki in a while, so that was really nice. We left around 12:30 and headed home. Overall, I would give the Brooklin Fair experience a 5/10. Having to be there before 10PM and then waiting in line for half an hour was not fun. Then having to pay to get into the fair and then paying again to get into the Beer ‘Garden’, was a little much. They were also overkill on the police presence. I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong but it didn’t matter, I just felt nervous. I will not be returning, as I think the Brooklin Fair is getting too big for its britches. You’re not running a night club. You’re running a mud pit in Brooklin and you need to get back on board and get back to your roots.

Overall, I definitely don’t regret going. I got to see a lot of my friends and I also got to see some really ridiculous shorts….I don’t need a lot more in this world.

I’m off to Kingston for three days of professional development, so I may or may not be blogging. If not, you have yourselves a fabulous week and we’ll all catch up soon 🙂

Reunited and it Feels so Good!

On Saturday, after a bit of a sleep in for me and a verrry long sleep in for Mark (he was  functioning ‘normally’ by 7PM), my beautiful, kind and worldly friend Stephanie came to visit me. We have known each other since the first day of undergrad. I was a country bumpkin and she was a private school princess from Connecticut. Any unlikely combo. I kid, Steph is probably one of the least entitled people I’ve ever met in my life. We just had very different backgrounds and even personalities but none of this seemed to matter and Steph became my closest friend during first year university. A little pic of us circa Halloween 2002:

Steph and Dawn

We lived across the hall from each other, so this was also beneficial. When people would knock on our doors we would look out the peepholes to both determine if it was someone we wanted to open the door for and then converse about this over MSN. This bonding led to us living together in my parent’s rental home in Guelph in second year. In third year Steph transferred to go to school in TO and set up shop in an AMAZING condo. It was the nicest digs that I’ve ever seen for someone in their very early 20’s, so I obviously had no issues visiting her. A little pic from an 80’s party that I attended with her…probably around 2006:

Steph and Dawn2

Steph was there when I sprained my ankle very late at night and we went to the hospital in an ambulance. She was also there when, with my crutches, we got ourselves a motorized cart in the grocery store, donned reindeer antlers and talked the older gentlemen shopping in the store to help us with some ‘heavy’  items and put them into the little basket on my buggy. Steph does not have the exact same sense of humour as me but she always laughs and sometimes, like with the grocery store adventure, she’ll even join in. She’s a trooper.

As soon as Steph arrived she presented me with these gorgeous roses:


I told you, she’s a thoughtful one. We immediately sat down and had a lonnnggg chat. Even though we do not see each other often, it is always the same when we do; which I believe is a sign of a true and lasting friendship. We realized after a few hours that dinner was approaching and so we headed to the grocery store. No reindeer antlers this time but Steph certainly opened my eyes to the gluten-free world of grocery shopping. Our little gal is gluten intolerant and I am ignorant to this condition. Therefore, I wanted to create a healthy and gluten-free dinner that we could both enjoy; gluten tolerant and intolerant alike.

Steph had mentioned that she makes a gluten-free Mexican bowl. After describing this, it sounded pretty damn good so we went and picked up what we needed. The recipe called for; brown rice, peppers, onion, salsa, black-eyed peas, avocado (to make guac) and lettuce. I suggested we add some lean ground beef and Steph said A-OK. After rounding up these ingredients, Steph shopped for another 4 hours because ‘she loves grocery stores’ (weirdo) and then we went home to prepare our meal. As soon as Steph pulled the avocado out of the bag, she had a sad face. She said I was a bad avocado picker and told me there was no way there would be any guacamole being made that day. I felt like this inside:


Sadness. Anyway, instead of making a bowl, we decided to make Mexican lettuce wraps. And the recipe is as follows;

1) You cut up all the veggies. You can really use anything here but we used orange peppers and onion. Here is my house guest hard at work:


2) While your sous chef cuts up the veggies and washes the lettuce, you brown the lean ground beef and cook the brown rice. You then sauté the onions and peppers and combine with the beef, black-eyed peas and rice. It should look like this:


3) Then it is time to add the spices. We put in salt, pepper, oregano, chili flakes…..and then we put in the paprika and disaster struck. While trying to gently tap the paprika out of the bottom of the bottle the entire container smashed everywhere and glass went flying. Miyou, the food crazed pig, came RUNNING over and almost ate a shard of glass but Stephanie was a heroine and scooped her up and kicked her and Bolt downstairs. I was in bare feet as well so the vacuum needed to make an appearance.  A pic of the little troublemaker:


4) After we cleaned up the catastrophe, we went back to seasoning and I realized that I would have really loved chili powder and cumin in this recipe but had none on hand.  I highly recommend adding either of these spices to this meal as well.

5) Finally, take your washed lettuce leaf and place as much, or as little of this recipe as you want on the leaf. It would have been better to have actual lettuce wraps but the romaine worked alright as a stand in. It ended up more with the lettuce acting as a base, instead of a wrap but the leaf was strong enough to support the filling.  I then added some salsa and some cheese. Poor Uncle Stephan is also lactose intolerant, so she only partook in the salsa. I would also suggest some light sour cream if you have on hand but despite all of the tweaks that I suggested, it really was delicious.


After dinner Stephan and I returned to the living room and did not leave again until about 1am. We chatted, drank chocolate almond milk and watched Slice TV like it was our job. Thankfully we both enjoy everything and anything Gail Vaz-Oxlade. It really was a great way to catch up. Sometimes when you don’t see someone very often, going out muddies up the quality time that you get to spend with them. I think the last time I saw Steph was one of my bridal showers and I barely got to talk to her. This was much better. I liked it. We had a romantic brunch the next day and Mark kept trying to feed her eggs and dairy, both of which she can’t eat. It made me laugh because his discomfort was obvious. He tries so hard. Steph peaced out around noon with my promise to visit her in the big city of Kitchener next and I’m very looking forward to it.

Now, you make think my day was over but no, no. I was also reunited with my grandma. While it hasn’t been a year since I’ve seen her, it has been a while and I missed her face.  I call her Bing Bing sometimes, a nickname that I gave her when I was young and it stuck. She likes Bingo (and is good at it!) so the name worked. So Bing Bing, my mom, dad and their Chiweenie Rambo, came over for an afternoon visit. My grandma has never seen my new house, so I took her on the grand tour. I think the amount of stairs was a bit of a struggle but I’m glad she toughed it out. We hung out in the living room and my mom became a Dog Whisperer:


My grandma also had a cuddle with her faux great-grandchild:


This doll has become a replacement for Troy and yes, he is wearing swim goggles. You can check out our adventures with the dearly departed Troy here. Our new friend was given to Mark on his 27th birthday by Emily and Cork. I’m not sure if this was some kind of hint at impending fatherhood but more than likely he will become a suitable prop for our future adventures.

After chatting, we ordered some good old Azian. I’ve already mentioned Azian and it probably seems like I have it all the time….I really don’t. I’ve had it about 6 times in the last year, it just so happens my friends and family like it too, so it’s a good backup when you’re not sure what to have for dinner. It was delicious as usual.


Although I must say, for a family of 5 it was $80 and there were very few leftovers… I’m not too sure how impressed I am with the take-out prices. It seems you get more when you go there in person. The wait staff is also part of the experience. If you are thinking of trying Azian, go to the restaurant and make reservations – tip of the day.

Brennie, Bri Bear, Hazel and Rambo packed up and left around 7. Since it’s Wednesday night and I still have material to write about, it was one busy weekend. Somehow the next one starts again in two days…..

I’m now off to the gymbo with Markus, since he’s trying to become Fit to Supervise 🙂 Have a tip-top Thursday!