E-Bay Rules!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I have had so much fun buying things on e-bay. I bought a bunch of clothes for the girls, at great prices. I made one little mistake and accidentally bid on a shirt that was too small for either girl, but luckily, I got outbid at the last second and 'lost' the auction. I also had an email altercation with one vendor who surprised me with her shipping charges, despite saying that shipping to Canada was included in the price.

So my new approach to bidding, aside from avoiding one particular vendor, is to bid just over the current price of an item I want. Within the next day or so, depending on the end date of the auction, I look at the item again, with a more critical eye, and decide how much I am willing to pay. (Note to self: AND CHECK THE SIZE!). At that point, I put in my 'max bid', which is usually about a quarter of the actual price of the items. Then I leave it alone and wait and see if I win. E-bay will automatically increase the amount of my bid to outbid someone else, but only by a bit, until I eventually get to the max bid. If no one outbids me, I never get to my max bid and only pay the lesser amount.

Sorry if this is redundant to most of you. Maybe you are all e-bay Jedi.

My excitement was overwhelming when I received my first package of goods yesterday. The girls are so happy with these clothes, and so am I. What a great deal.

I got another package today and it was three lots that I won, all from the same vendor. I can't believe the great condition of these clothes. Most of them still have the label, and what I paid for them should be criminal!
My addiction may be getting out of hand. Last night, I even dreamed that I bid $350 on a ride in an Audi, and regretted it. My neighbour has an Audi, and I'm sure he'd give me a ride in it for much less than $350. DH sees it as a sign that I should stop using E-bay, for a while, anyway. He's right when he says that the girls now have enough clothes.

That doesn't mean I can't look for the silver metallic bag I didn't find in Montreal!


Bad Kitty

Monday, September 28, 2009

We got our new kitty Lexi on July 11th. She was about 8 months old at the time. She came home and was freakin' adorable and won us over pretty quickly. Then she started scratching the furniture, so we went out and bought two different scratching posts, which she used when they were nearby. We went through some growing pains as she would wake up at 3:30 a.m. and start batting at the metal pull on DH's bedside lamp, waking both of us up. Then scratching the furniture became Lexi's favourite hobby. Then she ran away, twice, and got 70 feet up in a tree. Then she started peeing near the back door. Then she started peeing in the dining room. Then she started peeing in DH's closet.

We took Lexi in to have her front claws removed and during her pre-surgery assessment, I asked about her peeing inside. The vet figured the cat was marking her territory. She suggested cleaning the brick and the back door, and spraying it with citrus oil. I also read about putting tin foil where the cat is marking, as they dislike the noise when they step on it. I went one step further and sprayed the tin foil with citrus oil. I also went downstairs and cleaned her litter, making sure it was pristine.

No sooner had I done that than she peed on the tin foil which was sprayed with citrus oil!

The good news is the de-clawing went well, and she was fine after about 3 days. Other than the cost, it was a fantastic decision. Our furniture is no longer in jeopardy. About a week after the surgery, Lexi started peeing near the back door again and I caught her peeing in DH's closet on the weekend!

Bad kitty!

For now, we're keeping the door to the back hall and DH's closet closed as we can't figure out how to stop her from peeing in our house.


Digital scrapbook challenge #13

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The digital scrapbook challenge this week is to use 5 equally sized photos on the page. I was inspired by this page by Heidi2008.
You don't have to use this LO or even rectangles. Your pictures can be circles, squares, or whatever, just as long as there are 5 of them and they are all the same size.

Link up here by next Sunday. Christine, will you post a challenge next week?


All's Fair...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We went to the local fair this weekend; one that we often attend. We parked in a big field, and went through the gates near the horse competition rings. We saw some miniature horses being judged, then junior hunting riders.

We headed over for a pony ride after that. Precious was ready to go until she was eye-to-eye with the pony she was to ride. Considering she's even afraid of dogs smaller than her, it was no big surprise that she got too scared to actually get on the pony.

Mr. Boy enjoyed his ride on "Red" and Sweet Pea absolutely beamed the whole time she was on "Smokey". She probably could have stayed on that pony all day. Too bad horseback riding is such an expensive hobby. It would be fun to sign her up.
Precious waiting outside the fence at the pony ride.

After the pony rides, we walked around a bit and eventually made our way to the rides. We met up with quite a few people that we know. After close to an hour going on rides and walking around the rides, the amount of strollers in the area was unbelievable. We could hardly move!

Sweet Pea was mad that she wasn't big enough to drive her own bumper car, and Precious was scared to death on the one ride she did go on, and she cried and clutched madly at her sister, but overall the rides were a big hit with the kids.

When the ride tickets ran out, we bought a lunch of almost exclusively deep-fried food and went to the big family tent to eat. The kids saw some cows, sheep, pigs, goats, etc., and Mr. Boy even fed a cow. The sign outside the pen said "Beef" instead of "cow" and Mr. Boy asked why. DH explained that the animal was destined to be eaten, and said "doesn't his rump look delicious?" I thought that was pretty funny, and Mr. Boy laughed, too.

The parade was starting as we were getting ready to leave. We got to see the bagpipe band and a bunch of classic cars. DH expressed an interest in playing the bagpipes. I guess he's not satisfied with playing 78 other musical instruments but figures he'd better learn at least one more!


E-Bay Newbie/Addict

Friday, September 25, 2009

I've had an e-bay account for a while now. I just never used it. In fact, I would look at stuff (mostly scrapbooking supplies) and never actually bid on anything. Or I would bit on something, and get outbid.

Mindy told me that she buys designer purses and some of her son's clothes on e-bay. I told her that I appreciate my neighbours' hand-me-downs, but that I would love to buy a bunch of stuff from one collection of Gymboree. The first and only time I bought a substantial number of items from one collection was with the "grown with love" collection by Gymboree, which I bought when Sweet Pea was 18 months old, over 4 years ago.

Usually I just buy a piece of clothing here, a piece of clothing there. Most of it can mix and match just fine, but I wish the girls had more 'outfits'.

So last night I decided to look on e-bay. Mindy assured me that people sold Gymboree collections in lots and I that there was a lot to choose from. Boy did I ever get excited when I started looking! I discovered I really like the "Lots of Dots" collection. I have no idea how long ago that was in the stores, but I really don't care, as the colour scheme is perfect for Precious, who is the one that needs the clothes.

I am currently 'winning' 12 e-bay auctions for kids clothes, some of Lots of Dots. I lost on 12 others last night, right at the last second. I have no idea how to actually win these auctions! I guess I need to read e-bay's "strategies to win" link, but I can't for the life of me find it right now. Maybe it'll pop up the next time I lose an auction.

In the meantime, wish me luck with my shopping. I'm going to need all the help I can get!


Halloween Party

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I made a mock-up of an invitation for a Halloween party DH and I may host this year. I think they are kind of eerie and cool.DH wondered why they didn't say Halloween on them anywhere.


Digital scrapbook challenge

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here's a page I just finished.
It feels good to scrapbook again.


Fall is Here!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The crisp air. The leaves that are starting to turn. Rural fairs are back. School. Getting dark around 8:00 p.m.

All the signs are there. Fall is in the air. I can't wait for the gorgeous fall colours and the beautiful fall light. It feels like ages since I've taken a photo, even though it's only been two weeks.

I pulled out my scrapbooking stuff (virtually anyway since I digital scrapbook) and did a few pages with Mindy for her family reunion this past summer. Then I got the urge to do some more pages and I made a page of the kids at the cottage. I may post it if I finish it tomorrow. I may even start posting scrapbook challenges again. I'm itching to get creative.

Is fall getting you excited or bringing you down? For me, it's one of the best times of year, even if I don't get to go to school anymore. I'm particularly excited this year as I'm going on a scrapbook retreat in November, and I'll get to scrap a lot, catch up with a couple of my friends, and have some down time.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Lately I have been listening to the CBC, radio one, (Canadian Broadcast Corporation for you non-Canadians), and I laugh everytime I hear Jonathan Goldstein on Wiretap. I have yet to listen to a full show, but I've heard bits of different shows and I really enjoy his sense of humour. The one that was on last night was about him going to the gym.

His drone and his self-deprecating humour make me laugh.

BTW, the gas is up and running and we have hot water again!


Take It All Back

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I had a benevolent attitude on my last post, thinking "I am such a nice neighbour to let my neighbour route his gas line through my yard." I take it all back.

This evening, I went to run the bath, and discovered that the water wasn't warming up. Having been gone to work all day, and having bathed the kids at the pool last night after swimming lessons, and also having showered myself at work this morning, I hadn't noticed that there was no hot water in our house and probably hadn't been since the installers were here yesterday.

DH did some investigating when I noticed that we had no hot water and he noticed that the natural gas BBQ was also on the fritz. The furnace likely isn't working either.

As it turns out, best as I can determine anyway, when they came yesterday morning at 7:30 to install the gas line to my neighbour's house, they disconnected the gas AND FORGOT TO TURN IT BACK ON!! Either that, or they screwed up something even worse.

What if there is some reason that my neighbour and I can't both have gas to our houses? What if the gas line installers actually damaged my own gas line during the installation?

All I know is that I have neither hot water, nor heat (not that I need it tonight), and to make matters worse, DH stayed up until midnight waiting for the repair guy to show. When I got home from hockey, I relieved him from his vigil, and called the gas company right after might. After navigating the phone system from hell, I finally got through to the gas company, waited on hold for a long while, then discovered that I'd been bumped for an emergency call, and now I have to be home between 8 and 12 tomorrow so they can come and fix their mistake.

I was planning to go shopping tomorrow morning and that plan is ruined. Phooey.


It's a Gas!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our neighbour approached us a few months back to see if we would be o.k. with having some construction done on our property near our driveway so he could get the gas company to route natural gas to his house. The only affordable way was to come up the street, under our lawn, under our driveway, and over to his house. We have a natural rocky outcropping on our property, and we were pretty sure that would complicate things.

We were convinced they would have to cut our asphalt driveway, which they would repair, but it wouldn't be as nice as it is now. We aren't ready or willing to replace our driveway right now either.

The gas line guys showed up unannounced at 7:15 this morning and had everything done by about 12:30. They didn't end up having to cut the driveway, and they tidied up everything quite nicely. They even swept the driveway where they had a pile of dirt.

They didn't replace the sod on one side of the driveway, but overseeded it, and when the inspector came a half hour after they left, I asked him for sod and he said he would have someone come back and re-sod for us.

I'm glad I asked!


Precious' First Day of School

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Precious had her first day of school on the 8th of September. DH took her and our nanny picked her up on the city bus. She had a great first day. She is learning the first letter of her name, and the letter A.
We chose this school because there are a maximum of 8 kids in her class. We had also signed her up for public school, and there were 16 kids in the class. The provincial cap is 20 per class. We withdrew her since she is still napping in the afternoons.

We're excited because Precious seems to be doing well at this school, other parents have raved about it, and the teachers are very accommodating. They will tailor the curriculum to Precious' abilities.

We have high hopes for this school year.


Miss Fancy Pants

Friday, September 11, 2009

I have been getting a lot of positive feedback on my mini-makeover, which started with a shopping trip to Montreal, and ended with a new haircut last Saturday. When I got home from Montreal, I put all of my stretched out t-shirts, and the ones with the little holes on the front (does that happen to you?) in the garbage, and all of the ill-fitting and round-neck shirts in the charity pile. Anything that was too small was banished. Anything that DH disliked was gone.

I carefully hung my new clothes in categories. Sleeveless tops. Short-sleeved t-shirts. Long-sleeved t-shirts. Blouses. Sweaters. Vests. Jackets.

Aside from the decadence of having so many categories of clothes, and the guilt I feel about using non-organic cotton, it felt good to see all of my cute things together! It all fits, and I have layering pieces and accessories for most of it.

I really need to get some more bottoms, but the days when I wake up and think "going shopping and trying on pants sounds like fun!" are few and far between!

I showed up at school today to pick up the kids wearing my leopard print sleeveless top, with a white a-line skirt, and some bronze metallic ballet flats. I felt like a million bucks. The other moms asked me "is it dress-up day and no one told me?" They joked that I was a Miss Fancy Pants, but they were kind about it.

I blame all of this on the TV show What Not To Wear. I am addicted to that show, and since we got a PVR, I always have 5 episodes saved on our PVR and I usually watch that on days when DH is busy and can't watch True Blood, Hung or a movie with me.

I've learned a lot on What Not To Wear and I've decided that dressing for my current size doesn't mean that I have given up on losing weight. I just plan to look good at whatever weight I am.

And if that makes a Miss Fancy Pants, I don't mind one bit.


Last Wedding Photos

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I didn't take many photos at the wedding. I would love to get my hands on the professional photos that were taken, but no such luck with the bride and groom out of town on their honeymoon. For now, I'll have to be satisfied with looking at the same 20 photos over and over again, and checking Facebook regularly to see if any other friends or relatives added their photos there. I just love Lori's photos and she's sending me all those she took!

The rings.
Sweet Pea had her hair done at a kids' hair salon. It was a spectacular updo, even though she was unhappy as the actual hairstyling stretched out past 30 minutes and onto 45!
Mr. Boy was an usher and he looked handsome in his black chinos and white oxford shirt, with black silk tie.
Uncle Tyler looked great in his black tux with silver tie, vest and pocket square.
At the reception, Mom and I posed for DH.
Maia got to try one of the violins of the string trio. The musician was encouraging all the kids to try and then reminded them that it isn't too early to learn the violin!

I rarely have my photo taken, so it was nice having the camera turned on me so much at the wedding.
Precious got tired, although in this photo, she was only pretending to be asleep.
That's all the photos I have for now. Hopefully I can get my hot little hands on some others soon!


More Wedding Photos

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Here are a couple of more pics from the wedding on Saturday.

Checking out Uncle Tyler's cuff links.

Sweet Pea was a flower girl.

So was Precious

Derick and AMB's sister Bettina sat at our table with their son, Max.
Uncle Bob and nephew Max.

Sweet Pea caught the bouquet (while being held in my cousin Angela's arms, so Angela is next in line to be married, not SP. Heavens, no).One more wedding recap to come. Maybe I'll even be able to scrounge up a photo of the bride and groom!


A Quote That Speaks To Me

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.


Bachelorette Party

Monday, September 7, 2009

I didn't get a chance to post about the bachelorette party because I was a little too busy, but here are the photos! It was an intimate evening, and a lot of fun. I think AMB (now AMF, I guess) enjoyed the attention and we just wanted to make her feel special.
From the left - Tonja, Beth, AMF, Sheila.
It was a rather cool night and we went to pick AMF up. We drove downtown to the market. AMF reluctantly agreed to the 'cactus-sized' drink at the Mexican restaurant, and it took her the whole meal to finish it! You can see the goldfish bowl-sized drinks on the table. I had one, too. We walked around the market after supper and a few people made funny comments like "don't do it!" AMF was blushing a little, but I think she liked everyone making a fuss.

After dinner, we went to glow-in-the-dark mini putting. AMF got a hole-in-one. I think Tonja got two! I didn't have the best game ever, but it was a lot of fun, and I wore a white shirt under my sweater so I would glow in the black lights!
We called it an early night and everyone was happy to be heading home to their warm beds. Especially Sheila because she didn't have a sweater!


Wedding Sneak Peak

Sunday, September 6, 2009

No time to retouch any of these right now, but I thought I'd post just a couple of shots from last night at my brother's wedding.

Since I was in the wedding party, I didn't have that many chances to take photos.

The first dance.
The 5 flower girls. From left to right: Hannah, Julia, Maia, Sweet Pea, Precious.
The best man (me!) on the left, and Sheila, the maid of honour, on the right.
Everything went well. Kind of like the charmed romance the couple has had so far.

A good time was had by all and now I'm off to brunch!


Today's the Big Day!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Today is my brother's wedding. My little brother is getting married. Wow.

I am beyond excited, and a tiny bit tired, too. I don't know what time Tyler and AMB finished up at the hall, but I had to leave at 10:30 to get the teenage helpers I hired back home. Last I heard, they'd be home by around midnight. The hall looks amazing. Really transformed.

We've been busy over these last eight weeks, ever since Tyler proposed to AMB, who will be AMF by about 3:30 this afternoon.

I've had my pedicure, got my dress and shoes, written my speech and got the kids' clothes. Everything's ironed, planned and ready.

Everytime I thought about writing my 'best man' speech, I would get tears in my eyes, so I immediately went out and bought waterproof mascara. I have a feeling I may be crying tonight as I try to get out the words I have written. Kind words about my brother. Heartfelt words. And every single one of them, completely and fully true.

In an hour, I'll be bringing Sweet Pea to the stylist for her updo. I'll be off to the spa with the female members of the wedding party (for three hours!), then back home to help the kids get ready (all three are in the wedding party), and to help my brother and dad get ready.

Then we're off to the ceremony location to get my brother married.

The sun is shining and it promises to be perfect weather to get married.

Wish him luck!


Last Montreal Update

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Near the end of the shopping day in Montreal, Sylvie and I went to the store San Francisco. I found quite a few work separates there. I got an a-line skirt.
A plaid vest, with adorable little bows on the pockets, and a nice detail on the waist.
A blazer that fits like a dream and gives an hour-glass shape.
The back has three little buttons that flare out a bit, and give more curves.
Probably my favourite purchase of the day, a magenta knit top with the most adorable bow on the back. Funny part is that Sylvie really disliked this top, but I love it!
The back of the top is so cute.
A fitted white shirt which is always useful.
I dropped about half of my money at San Francisco, but I am happy with everything I bought. Since I'm increasing to working three days a week, starting in September, I will definitely use the clothes, and some of them are casual enough to wear around the house, too.

Around 5 p.m. on our shopping days, one of the malls closed, but some other stores stayed open, including the Bay. I broke my rule and went to a store we have at home, but I got the most adorable wool hat. And it fits! I could not remember what colour my winter coat is, but somehow remembered that it is lilac, so the dark purple will look cute with it. I'm still looking for a matching scarf and gloves.
The shopping trip was a success. I love everything that I bought. It all fits well. I probably didn't need all of the tops I got, but don't ask me to pick one to give back! I bought a hair band at H&M that is way too small. I can give that to the girls. I bought two leather belts, and I probably didn't need both. I didn't find a leather jacket or a metallic bag. I spent more than I thought I would. I wish I had tried on more pants, so I'd have at least one pair of trousers for work.

All that being said, it was such a fun time, Sylvie and I were joking that we're going back in October! I don't know how Fran├žois would feel about that!


Montreal Rules Some More!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

See Part I of the Montreal trip wrap-up here.

I had intended to use Marie-Eve's design guide to Montreal on Design Sponge to plan out a course in Montreal. In the end, Sylvie and I went downtown and really didn't run out of stores until we ran out of energy. We never made it to Le Plateau, or to Lola and Emily. That'll be for the next time, when DH and I take a weekend and getaway there for some shopping, eating and nightlife.

After hitting Zara and Simons, Sylvie and I had lunch at Reuben's, a Montreal landmark, famous for smoked meat sandwiches. The platters were enormous, so we could have shared one, but I ate most of mine and wasn't hungry for another 8 hours! Thanks for lunch, Sylvie!

Right before lunch, we headed to H&M. I love their accessories, and their kids' clothes. I wasn't shopping for the kids, and this store didn't have any kids' clothes anyway. I went to the men's section and looked at hats and other stuff for DH, but didn't get anything. I went to the ladies' accessories and picked up earrings, a hair barrette, and a belt.
After lunch, we criss-crossed downtown for a while longer. One minute, I'm standing in a store thinking there's really nothing I like in the place, and the next minute, Sylvie is holding up a top, which is the exact right colour of nude to look good on me. I love this top with a pink tank top layered underneath. I've worn it twice already, which is good since the summer weather seems to have disappeared! Next was a shoe store, where I went a little crazy. It had been at least an hour since I had bought something and I had hardly spent any money all day. I bought two pairs of shoes in one store, something I've probably never done! Actually, it was a pair of shoes and a pair of Peter Pan getaway boots! I can't wait to wear these boots with tights or with jeans.
I also found a pair of gladiator sandals at Steve Madden. I was hoping for animal print gladiators, but these were cute, and such a good price. At this point, I was getting a little tired, and I'm regretting not holding out for the animal print shoes, but DH loves these shoes, so if he's happy, I'm happy.
I really think I've suddenly developed a bit of a shoe fetish. I used to walk past shoe stores with nary a glance and since Montreal, all I want to do it look at each shoe in every shoe store. I have one or two more shoe purchases in mind. If only I had some cash lying around!

There's one more Montreal trip recap to come later this week.


First Day of School

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today is the first day of school. I'm not sure about the teachers my kids got, but we'll see!

They were beyond excited.

I miss them already!

Mr. Boy starting grade two.
Sweet Pea starting grade 1.


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