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?


Feeling the Love!

As I am in Calgary and will not be blogging extensively I thought I would quickly mention something that happened recently that I am so, so excited about!!!

I was recently nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Laura from I am so pumped about this, thank you!

I have only been blogging for a month or so, so this was really unexpected and certainly gave me the boost I needed to keep going. Not that I wanted to stop…..but last week wasn’t so great readership wise, so it was a little discouraging. This just pasted the smile right back on my face.


To be eligible for this award, I need to chat a little bit about myself and then nominate some more bloggers for this award.

Without further adieu, some random things…

1. Not that don’t already know but I love dogs. They are such a huge part of my life and can’t imagine my life without them. I also love people who love dogs. I think those who run rescue organizations are God’s special creatures.

2. I love to travel near and far. I’m starting to really enjoy exploring Ontario but I can’t wait for my next big trip out of the country. Hopefully Panama is next up on the list 🙂

3. I am scared to death of raising a teenager. I don’t have kids but I suspect one day I will and teenagers are terrible. From age 13-16 I basically feel like you have the spawn of Satan residing in your home.

4. One of my favourite things in life is meeting B List actors. Perhaps that will be a future post?

5. I also love mayors. Big city, small town. All kinds. As long as they’re old and male. Sign me up. (Definite future post!)

The people I am nominating for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

~ Lindsey from Happy or Hungry because she’s my girl, she makes me laugh and she’s my blogging inspiration

~ Melissa from The Tattoo Diaries because she’s my blood and because even though she’s a new kind on the blogging block, she making me laugh hard with her ridiculous posts and pics.

~Jules from Go Jules Go because she’s hilarious, she has amazing pictures with glasses and she’s been so, so helpful for someone I randomly just met on the internet. If I didn’t know better I would think she’s a gentlemen from overseas trying to get up in my grill.

I always enjoy reading all of these blogs, so check them out. Oh and have an AMAZING weekend!


The Time I Saw Fireworks Three Nights in a Row

As the title of this post indicated, there were a lot of fireworks this weekend. Which was great because I missed them last year and was quite sad inside. But I didn’t just sit in a lawn chair and watch fireworks for 72 hours, there were other activities occurring as well. On Saturday after a swim and some clean up, Mark and I headed to Khaki and Julie‘s cottage in Minden. Mark put on his best ventriloquist dummy smile for the ride:

Puppet Face

Over the years the word cottage has changed to the term ‘cottage cheese‘ and now it is just straight up ‘cheese.’ When you ask Julie what she’s doing in the summer, she is often ‘cheesing.’ Personally the term reminds me of cottage cheese cellulite, so it always makes me laugh when she says that since Julie is one of the fittest girls that I know.

After a beautiful 2 hour car ride with the pups we got arrived and Bolt ran out of the car and took a 4 minute pee. I’m not lying. He drank a ton of pool water when I was swimming and held it the whole way. He may have his faults but he is a champ at holding his bladder.

There were several kids on Khaki’s dock, which I’ve learned is Julie’s nightmare so we took the dogs for a walk. On the way back we met a new canine friend. A big black lab decided to follow us the entire way back to the cottage even though we repeatedly told it to go home. It also tried to be friends with Bolt because all dogs seem to gravitate towards him even though he is pretty antisocial. Bolt is hands down a people dog. He pretty much wants nothing more in life than to be a person. One day Facebook thought Bolt was a person and it was the best day of his life:

Facebook funnyAnyway, I was so, so proud of my little buddy. While he clearly wanted to bite the dog’s face, he listened to me while I repeatedly told him, ‘leave it’ which is his code word for chill out. It may have also had something to do with the fact that the dog had clearly just had surgery and did not pose much of a threat but I like to think he’s coming along…..just a bit.

We had a nice family BBQ dinner with Khaki, Julie, Rob, myself and Khaki’s daddio Lane. Lane was a high school visual arts teacher for many, many years, so I found him very easy to talk to. He also seemed to have a million stories about Mark’s relatives because he taught most of them at Port Perry High School. The antics were exactly what I expected; they featured a lot of trouble and even a shot gun.

After dinner I took a couple of pics off of the dock because it was seriously beautiful, this is my favourite:


Dinner was pretty late so by the time we were done it was time for fireworks. Lane and the neighbours put together their fireworks stock pile and we had a good old show. Mark was the firework’s photographer because we decided it was his talent in life.


Then I took a turn because I didn’t want to be upstaged by his talent:


We had a nice little fire after the big show.


Julie is a little camera shy but Hallie is not.

I also enjoyed some fireside snuggles with Bolter:


Apparently fireworks do wonders for my hair.

We went to bed around midnight but I must admit, I got into the book I was reading and was up until probably 2am or so. This led to a little sleep in the next day. After a late breakfast we went for a ride in Lane’s brand new boat. This was a highlight for me. The lake is gorgeous and so are the cottages on it. A couple of beings who did not enjoy it were Bolt and Miyou. Miyou kept trying to run to the back of the boat and walk dangerously close to the motor, while Bolt would not leave the front of the boat and Mark’s side.


After our boat ride we headed into town and then it was time for us to pack up and head to our next event, Emilio’s Canada Day BBQ. We said our goodbyes to the cutest cheese eva…


…and were on our way.

We arrived at Emily’s at 5, only to discover she had been detained at work until 6:15. Poor little gal. Luckily Cork is a hostess with the mostest and entertained Mark and Kris while I went and made myself at home with a little nap.

Everyone else (including Emilio) showed up around 6 and the festivities were underway. Dinner was delicious. Cork and Emilio made us BBQ, I brought a salad and there were tons of fruit and veggies with dip. However, I must say, dessert was the highlight and I rarely say this. My friend Joanna brought her amazing apple and caramel/Skor dip. There were also cookies. To top it off, Lindz and Evan brought little cakes which were topped with whip cream and homemade raspberry jam. So delicious. We lit those babies up with sparklers and sang a very loud and very patriotic Oh Canada. You can see I’m pretty into it here:


Mark and Corey…not so much.

But just look at how patriotic a dessert can be!


After dinner we had a fire and were treated to the most elaborate fireworks display I’ve ever seen in someone’s backyard,  courtesy of Emily and Corey’s neighbours. They had the craziest sounding fireworks any of us had ever heard, ever. They sounded like those sticks that you can buy at the dollar store that when you tip them back and forth they make odd, whiney sounds. This is what a couple of sets of the fireworks sounded like. It was pretty much my dream. It was really weird though. They were having this intense fireworks show, on which they must have spent almost a thousand dollars but no one was making a sound. It was like a ghost was setting them off. Obviously we helped to create the kind of cheering and fanfare that was necessary for such a spectacle but I really just don’t understand some people.

Speaking of not understanding some people… one point Corey fell asleep. He had been up for almost 28 hours at this point, so no one could blame him for that. However, Emily took it upon herself to first set a cup on his head and see if she could balance it. Once this was achieved a few times without him waking up, she then took to batting the cup off of his head with a giant stick.

Cup Smash

Let’s just say, Corey didn’t stay asleep after this. He was such a good sport about it though. That is true love. I would have thrown Emily and her stick into the fire. I was laughing so hard I was screaming though, so I’m glad someone invited that clown to the party.

This was pretty much our cue to head out and again we got home around midnight. It had been a pretty busy weekend so I don’t think either of us could last much longer.

Then, something incredible happened. We slept until NOON the next day. NOON. It was glorious. Mark was off and this rarely happens, so he really wanted to take advantage and make it the laziest day possible. I think he succeeded. He literally did nothing but sleep and play X Box. I managed to make it outside for a swim and to do a few sets of upper body exercises but overall, it was just a beautiful day.

Around 8:30PM we headed up to the fireworks spot that we stumbled upon last year. At one of the highest peaks in the city you can literally see all of the fireworks shows going on from Oshawa to Pickering, all the way out to Toronto. The peak also looks down in a neighbourhood that is very fireworks friendly, so at any given time you have three or four backyard fireworks going off and one major one on the horizon. We arrived at 9PM and were the second ones there.

Mark the Loner

By 9:30 there were cars parked up and down the sidewalk and the side of the road. There were easily 100 people there. Obviously it’s not a well-kept secret.

Busy Road

Other than being a beautiful display and a nice night, it was pretty uneventful. However, one funny moment for both of us occurred when an older couple came by with their tripod. The man wanted to take some professional pictures of the fireworks and of his wife with a sparkler. He lit the sparkler for his wife and she literally just stood there with it in her hand. The man had to direct her to wave it around, which she then did but made the most pitiful circles I’ve ever seen. If he hadn’t of told her to do anything she would have just stood there until it burned out. I couldn’t resist getting a picture because seriously…..who doesn’t know what to do with a sparkler!???

Sparkler Genius

I wanted to steal the sparkler out of her hand and show her just what she should have been drawing with it but I didn’t want to get burned. As far as I know she has only ever been trained to use a sparkler as a weapon.

How was your long weekend (or just weekend if your Americano)? What is your long weekend tradition?

A Fabulous 50th – ON A BOAT!

It’s been busy up in here. So much so that I will be breaking down my weekend into a couple of parts. It was a long weekend here in Canada land too, so I think that’s OK.

On Friday Mark and I were invited to the 50th birthday party of Marie, the mom of Mark’s  friend Cory. There was limited space on the boat so I was pretty honoured to be invited. It was also being held aboard the good old Woodman in Port Perry, which made it even more exciting. While I lived in Port almost my whole life, I’ve never been on the Woodman because it’s a pricey little beast, so it was amazing that Marie rented it out for the entire night. It was all decked out for the occasion:


I also enjoyed Marie’s sense of humour:


Marie was also looking amazing for her big day. She had extensions in and was a total birthday fox. Mark said he may even need to make some inappropriate remarks to Cory about his mom; always a guy’s dream. At the beginning of the night she was going around introducing herself to people because some of the guests didn’t recognize her. I loved that.  I can only hope I’m looking that good when I turn 50!

While we waited for the ship to set sail, Markus and I had a little couple time at the front of the boat.

Mark and Dawn

And admired the beautiful waterfront of Port Perry:

Port Perry Waterfront

The weather was supposed to be a steady downpour, so when the sun ended up shining for most of the night, we were pretty happy about this. It also gave us a chance to admire the effects of the sunset on the skyline:


We headed inside after chatting with some friends and Marie was cutting the cake. I tried to get a picture of her with her family and this is what I ended up with:


So clearly that worked out well. I did do a little better though with the cake cutting picture:

Cake Cutting

And for a little close up on Marie’s cake, because yes, those are giant breasts frosted on top:

Funny Cake

This was totally my kind of cake. I loved it. I had a similar cake for my bridal shower last summer bit it was a little less appropriate, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. Let’s just say it featured a pair of men’s shorts on the beach with a little something peeking out of them 😉

After the cake there were a few drinks for the boys:

The Boys

Mark enjoys being the meat in a plaid sandwich. Wink Wink.

Then we headed upstairs to get down on the dance floor:


Dance Floor

At one point when we were downstairs getting a drink, the dancing upstairs was so wild that the entire roof was shaking. The older folks on the boat looked a little concerned but Mark and I ran right back up there to contribute to the noise.

And this is random but one of my favourite finds of the night….Marie had a bunch of DVDs of pictures that were playing on a TV on the boat. On the front of one of the DVDs is her husband from back in the day when he had a glorious 80’s mustache. I absolutely needed a picture of this:


And you can tell the night then progressed into sloppiness for some people:

Chris Pinskey

I was DD, so drunk fools like this made my night. I also have a beautiful story with this young man from about three years ago featuring a blurry jeep ride, forgotten purse and an old, old man that I will tell one day when my life returns to curriculum and marking and I need to spice up the blog a bit.

While the mustache DVD was a highlight of the evening, the true treasure of the night was Barry, who had a real life mustache. Barry appeared to be the captain of the Woodman and I wasn’t too sure about him at first. He looked he could go either way on the niceness scale but he ended up being a gentleman and a scholar. After several attempts to get a picture with him (my camera was NOT co-operating in night mode) I finally managed to snap one of the two of us looking like we’re at prom together:


He did not give me that rose, Marie graciously provided them for all the ladies, but he did give me one of the balloons off of the Woodman. I treasured that balloon all weekend until it lost its air and had to go into the garbage. However, my memories of Barry will never end up in the trash. Mark was a little jealous but I told him, you can’t hold a playa like Barry down.

Tomorrow I will tell you the tale of the rest of the weekend, but it was a beautiful way to kick it off!

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?


Blue Mountain Birthday Babes – Part 1

The birthday celebrations for Emilio may have been in full swing last weekend…but it didn’t mean we were done! We headed up to Blue Mountain in Collingwood this weekend for Emily’s b-day round 2 and my sister’s 23rd birthday celebration.

After an early morning swim, I packed up, picked up Melon and headed to Leons. We were on our way to our big weekend before 11 am. Even our new buddy was along for the ride:

New Friend

You may remember my grandma cuddling him.

We made some friends along the way who enjoyed the assortment of goodies we had in our car:

Boys in Cars

We also drove past a rather witty restaurant that had some personal relevance to us all, as Leon has called her hubby Davey Crockett for quite some time:

Crock Block

We arrived in Collingwood around 1:30 and were immediately amazed by the beautiful chalet that Emily had booked for us. Melon and I got a beautiful room all to ourselves:

Chalet Room

We also had a lovely view of the mountian from our room.I think in the winter it would have been a spectacularly beautiful.

Blue Mountain

While we waited for the other girls, we posed for a family photo in front of our roaring fire:


After Lindz and Sara arrived we headed out into the town for some lunch. I have never been to the Blue Mountain village before and it was so cute! It was also really busy because they were having the Met Con Blue Mountain Adventure Race that day. There were lots of different teams dressed up in matching ensembles, which made for some great people watching.

Met Con Blue

Some of the participants were so hot in the blazing sun they decided to jump of the restaurant docks and go for a little impromptu swim:


We walked around and admired the views while trying to find a place to eat:

Downtown Blue MountainDSCN0281

Like I said, super cute village.

We finally settled on a little Irish Pub, MJ Barnes, for lunch and Lindsey decided to have a few drinks:


When we got to the restaurant there was only one patio table big enough for our posse and the table was absolutely rammed with empty glasses. For some reason it took our waitress about 20 minutes to clear our table… we took advantage of the time for some photo ops.

Girls at lunch

Lunch was definitely sub par, one of the meals was returned and the service was horrendous and when I looked the pub up online, I see that we are not the only group to receive the same treatment.

But oh well, the sun was shining and the company was spectacular so it wasn’t all bad news.

After lunch we headed to the hotel pool and hung out in the sunshine for a couple more hours, again, the views were just beautiful:

Spa CollingwoodIt reminded me a little of being in Banff. Obviously not quite as picturesque but for it being in Ontario, I was very impressed and can understand why everyone always raves about Collingwood.

After our spa date we headed back to the hotel room and had cozy, family dinner, Jersey Shore styles.

Family Dinner

The pasta salad that Leon brought was absolutely amazing. I’m pretty sure almost everyone ate too much of it and we were extremely full afterwards so we decided to save dessert for a little later. After dinner we relaxed for a bit and Julie tried to dethaw from the pumping AC Slater in her cape:


I also gave Melon the silly part of her birthday gift, a Ninja Turtle’s surprise bag. Contained within was a colouring book, markers, puzzle and balloon. These goodies came in VERY handy later on in the night. Emily liked.

Ninja Turtle

After we put on our big girl, party dresses, we decided to have a little beverage to say a festive happy birthday to Melon and Emily:


Since we had now digested, we also sang a  happy birthday to Melon with her really appropriate ‘birthday cake’:


At this point it was definitely time to head out for the second part of our adventure but I’ve decided that that is a whole ‘nother post. I’ll give you a little sneak peek though:


Stay tuned! And if you want to check out another take on the night, I’m sure this guy will have a good one.

Kick-Ass Colleagues and a Beautiful Day by the Pool

So I haven’t just been making food lately, I do a lot of ‘stuff’. On Tuesday night Markus and I planned a movie date. Not only because it had been a few weeks since we’ve been, but I LOVE Tuesday movie nights. If you go to Cineplex its $5.95. However, we ended up at Empire Theaters and while the discount was not quite as significant, it was still cheaper than their usual, ridiculous prices. Because of Mark’s annoying inconsistent hockey schedule we had to go to the 3D one as well, but considering we were going to see this:


…I felt like 3D would not be wasted and this assumption was verrrry correct. Now, I have no issues admitting I’m a bit of a Trekkie. I’ve seen every single episode of Star Trek the Next Generation and all of the times that Family Guy has made fun of Warf on the show:


I’ve seen a few of the older Star Trek series as well but it is not readily available on Net Flix, so I would say this has been the biggest deterrent in me seeing all five seasons. I’ve also seen several of the older movies and obviously the first of the new Star Trek revamps. The second didn’t disappoint. I’m really not sure which one I liked more. I love action/futuristic movies to begin with, so coupled with this genre and Spock‘s Vulcan death grip, it really couldn’t fail….and the new Kirk is looking pretty good, so even if you can’t stand these movies, you can always fall back on this. I rate the movie 8 beam me ups out of 10.

On the way out I took my Student ID card for Monster’s University:

Monsters Inc

Now, what I suspect will be the highlight of my week; I had a bunch of ladies over from my work for a pool party yesterday. I know all of these girls from different facets of the college and we all know each other in some way but I thought it would be good to get ‘the under 30’ club together to get to know each other on a different level. It’s easy to talk shop with someone who works in the same field as you but it’s not always as easy to get to know each other on a more personal level; so I was hoping to accomplish this mission yesterday.

Obviously with a girl’s day you are going to end up with a smorgasbord of food:


There was a nice mix of healthy and indulgent. Almost everyone had a couple of plates because you can’t go wrong filling up on fruit, veggies and hummus. My friend Kimi also brought guac straight from Jimmy Guaco’s…so I definitely took some tips on the consistency and flavour for my next guacamole attempt.

It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day for this. It rained Monday, Tuesday and today but Wednesday was a big ball of this:

sunny-dayMost of the girls came between 1-2.

Girls Day

And as you can see, not a cloud in the sky. Even the gardens were in full bloom for their arrival:


We spent the first part of the afternoon chatting and eating and then we headed over to the pool.

Pool Day

and so did Bolt.

My mom got the dogs this ball that floats on the top of the water and Bolt really, really wanted that ball. However, he couldn’t quite figure out that he had to get in the pool, swim over to the ball and retrieve it. Not his most brilliant moment. So he pretty much spent the entire afternoon at the steps smacking the water with his paw and craning his neck as if the ball would magically end up in his mouth this way. He was definitely the clown at the party.


Later he snuggled right up to Kristen and pretty much took over his towel but it was confirmed, Bolt loves his ladies.

When Mark got home from work we took advantage of the giant boulders in the backyard and got an expertly posed ladies picture.

Ladies by the Pool

And of course, Bolt got right in there. After this, most of the girls went home and the clouds actually rolled in (I told you, perfect weather!) and Alex, Mubeen and I headed out for dinner. Alex got to the party a little late because she had to work until 4 and I really wanted to catch up with her since she had some exciting news; she’s newly engaged! Her mom and my grandma are also friends, so I knew all about this but I wanted to hear some of the details straight from her. We had a lovely chat and some really good Thai food. I live close to Thai Hotspot so we decided to head there. It has bad reviews online but I don’t really understand this. The food is good, it’s well priced and the service is friendly and efficient. I had Malaysia Noodles and if I was smart and took a picture it would have looked like this:


It was also good to have a sit down with Mubeen. We did our Master’s together and I lovingly refer to her as my ‘M.Ed. Bestie’. Now that she works at the same college as me I get to see her on a semi-regular basis and that makes me a happy gal 🙂

Overall it was a great day, not only weather wise but with the company as well. I feel like I accomplished my mission of getting everyone together and getting to know each other on a non-teaching related level. One thing we definitely all agreed on, we love our jobs! In what other field are you going to be able to get together on a random Wednesday and eat, drink and be merry around the pool?  We’re planning on doing it all again in July 🙂

Do you love your job? Your colleagues? Any uplifting work stories out there? I’d love to hear them.

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?