Sherlock Holmes!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm also a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, having watched many, many episodes of the British series starring Jeremy Brett, and I've read many of the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Boyle. Imagine my delight when I heard that one of my all time favourite actors was to play the famous detective in a big-budget, Hollywood movie! I love Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law isn't too hard on the eyes, either. The previews looked good, and Mindy was available to go with me.

Robert Downey Jr. is getting older, and with a fake nose in one scene, he looked disturbingly similar to Dustin Hoffman, but his misanthropic, dishevelled, and brilliant Sherlock Holmes was fantastic. He was all arrogance, and genius, similar to his character in Iron Man, and a little bit like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.

Jude Law was good as the put-upon Dr. Watson, and he had a bit more personality than in the books.

Other than Robert Downey Jr.'s accent and Jude Law with a mustache, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, especially the action, cinematography, sets, directing, costumes, dialogue, plot, etc., etc.

My favourite line in the movie is uttered by Sherlock himself as he assists the police at a murder scene. Upon asking them if they have checked various things at the scene and finding out they haven't, he says in his most irreverent tone, "Data, data, data. I can't make bricks without clay."

This movie deserves to be one of my "favourite things."

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Nine

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I went to see the movie Nine on Monday with my mom, AMF and Sheila. Great costumes, good acting and some good singing, too. It's a shame there was no plot. The guy at the CBC agrees.

I love Marion Cottilard, par exemple. She's adorable, and was totally channeling Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, even though RH took place in 1953 and Nine was supposed to be set in 1965. I also loved her in Public Enemies, a movie where Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger, which was a decent movie I also saw with my mom.

Tonight, I'm off to see Sherlock Holmes with Mindy. I LOVE Robert Downey Jr., and Jude Law, so as long as they're on-screen a lot, I'll be happy.

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Santa Came to Visit!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Wednesday night, we went to a special Christmas gathering at Aunt Janet's house. Many of my relatives were there, including my cousin, his wife, and their two young daughters. I really enjoyed visiting with everyone, and the food was delicious!

The best part of the night was right after Suzanne read Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Santa showed up. Everyone was so excited and the kids were filled with wonder. Sweet Pea was a bit sceptical, but she sat on Santa's lap anyway. After Santa gave each child a small gift, we all got family photos with the man in red.

On the left are my brother and Anne Marie. DH, Precious and I in the back. Sweet Pea and Mr. Boy are in the front. My mom is in the front, and her sister-in-law, Suzanne, is behind.
It sure was nice seeing Santa, even though he didn't bring me anything.

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Girls Rock!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Sweet Pea is 6. She's wearing the Girls Rock! t-shirt we got her for her birthday. She's lost two teeth. She loves making crafts, having her nails painted, wearing jewellry, and playing music. She dislikes having her hair brushed. She wants a guitar, and to go skating and swimming. And yes, she rocks.

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Where to Begin?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Work
I started a new job last Thursday. I am enjoying it so far. I feel a little lost, but that's normal after only three days.
Work is hosting a kids' Christmas party tomorrow, and I have it on good authority that Santa will be there! My director emailed me and asked me if I was bringing the kids. Of course! I'm very excited.
DH's company is being sold in bits and pieces, and a stalking horse bid was finally made on his business line. It was inevitable that a big change was coming, and now we know when it will happen.

Home
Sunday, Sweet Pea turned 6. We had a brunch for her and some family came. I'll post pictures when I get a chance.
I am finishing up a quilt that I made for Precious, and which has sat, almost finished, for close to three years. I have about an hour of work left on it. I hope to finish it this afternoon

Christmas
We're hosting Christmas again this year. We're only expecting 24 people this year. The rental chairs, tables, dishes, etc. are coming sometime today. The turkeys are defrosting and the groceries are bought.
We got a gorgeous, fresh-cut tree this year, and then some dough-head (me!) forgot to water it for 48 hours, it dried up and now the cut is sealed up with sap and the tree is dropping needles like there's no tomorrow. Rather than take all of the decorations off and re-cut it, we tried drilling holes into the trunk, under the water line. It is working somewhat, but we're still going to have a mess of needles to deal with when this is over!
We're off to a family party tonight and I heard Santa was going to be there, too. That sure is one busy guy.
Christmas Eve, we're going to my cousin's place for supper.
Christmas morning, we're hosting a gift opening for Uncle Tyler, AMF, and the grandparents, then we kick into high gear for hosting at night.
After Christmas, we're hoping to host some friends here and there, but we don't have any firm plans yet.

I feel like the Little Train that Could. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

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Days of December at Designer Digitals

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas comes early at Designer Digitals! Every day for much of the month of December, they have been offering one special item at 25 cents, and a bunch more at a discount. If you aren't already a member, it's free, and easy, and they have two 25 cents every week the rest of the year, and no annoying spam email. They also have three other freebies every week, and the most amazing products for purchase by the most amazing designers. I especially love Katie Pertiet, owner and designer extraordinaire, and Anna Aspnes, another great designer.

This is the last week for their Days of December which ends on Friday morning.

Once you have an account, look up some of the amazing pages submitted by users. Don't miss AbbyG's pages!

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Christmas Concert

Friday, December 18, 2009

Precious had a Christmas concert at school today. DH, Grammy and I were all there.

We brought Precious to school for 9:00, dressed in a Christmas dress and even brought special 'party' shoes. The adults went into the large room room, and a few minutes later, the children all came over from the classroom, in procession, singing "Jingle Bells". Precious had a tambourine, and I was concerned a few times about the skulls of the the children around her! She's nothing if not enthusiastic!
They sang many songs; some in English, some in French. We had to hold our applause to the end, which was hard because they were so cute. They each sad on a little carpet sample to 'remind' them of their spot. See - that's my kids back there in the left-hand corner with the green bow!

After a special snack back in the classroom, we all went back in to the larger room again and Santa came! It was very exciting and he even had a present for Precious. She was fine going to see the man in red, as long as I was holding her hand.
It was a very cute concert and it was fun to see my youngest doing her best and only occasionally yelling out "Hi Mommy!" for all to hear!

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A Whole New World

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I started my new job today.

I got an opportunity to go to a meeting with several directors, and get an overview of the issues in the organization. I attended a pot luck Christmas lunch and even did some real work in the afternoon. My boss asked me to take a couple of briefing notes to the deputy minister, a couple of emails, and a lessons learned document and merge them all into some slides for a deck she's presenting on January 15th.

I was in heaven, doing something I love to do, and learning about my new organization in the process. I credit my boss for being able to break off a manageable chunk of work for me, and also for making me feel so welcome.

She ensured I had a building pass waiting for me at 8:00 a.m., a network account, an office and a computer, along with a pile of office supplies sitting on my desk when I got in. She even offered me her parking pass during the Christmas break.

I know I'm in the honeymoon phase, but every single person I met said that I would love it in my new job, and I believe them!

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End of an Era

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today was my last day working the government department I've called home for over 12 years. I saw an opportunity at a different department, and decided it was time to make a change. I feel a little sad leaving when I used to be so happy at my current (now former, I guess) department, but I am excited at the possibilities in my new job! I start on Thursday and my boss already has me sitting in on an executive meeting for the better part of the morning. I smell a shopping trip for dressier work clothes coming!

So much has been going on around here and I promise to try to post more over the next couple of weeks to catch up on all of the stuff I've been meaning to tell you!

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Birthday Party for Sweet Pea

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sweet Pea is turning 6 on December 20th, and we had her party today. She had 6 friends over, plus her brother and sister were here, too.

The kids decorated 'gingerbread' houses made of graham crackers, played Webkinz, ate pizza, chips and cake, and drank pink Kool-Aid.
I spent the better part of five hours last night, on my feet, getting the graham cracker houses assembled, baking the cake, decorating it, setting the table, etc. I had everything ready so I could still make it to the gym this morning before the party, but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

At 3:00 this morning, Precious thought it was morning, so she got up, made her bed, got dressed, and came downstairs and started yelling "Mommy, Mommy" repeatedly. I woke up, convinced her it was still nighttime, and she came into my bed to go back to sleep. By 4, she still wasn't asleep, so I went with her into her room, and laid down with her, and fell asleep in there at some point. Around 6:30 this morning, she was up-and-at-them again and definitely not going back to sleep. I was so tired that DH couldn't even wake me at 8:00 this morning when he asked if I was going to the gym.

The cake is mostly gone, the dishes are all put away, and the dining room is vacuumed. Sweet Pea got some fantastic gifts, and she seems happy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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First Snowstorm

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, the weatherman was predicting 25 - 35 centimetres of snow. We didn't get that much, more like 11 centimetres, with a little more falling today. The roads were a mess yesterday, and the school buses were canceled.

Last night, after picking up the kids at school, it took me the better part of an hour to shovel the driveway. After shoveling, we went toboganning behind our house, and after having gone to a Body Pump class in the morning, my arms and legs were getting tired. At hockey last night, my legs felt like damp noodles.

DH shovelled again in the evening as more snow had fallen. I'm taking the day off exercise!

It definitely feels a lot more like Christmas now and I'm looking forward to going to the tree farm to get a fresh tree this weekend.

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Great Pot Luck Recipe

Monday, December 7, 2009

I watched the Food Network a few months ago and stumbled across the show Eat, Shrink and be Merry. I have their recipe book, and I love that the sisters who wrote the book are local.

In the show, the sisters find people who make delicious recipes and then they re-do them in a lower cal and lower fat version. At the end of the show, the original recipe is pitted against the re-do and I've only seen the show once, but of course the sisters won!

The episode I saw was a re-do of the classic 7-layer dip. Who doesn't love the salsa, cream cheese, cheese, etc., paired with delicious corn chips?

I have to tell you that the Macho Nacho dip whipped up by the sisters is delicious and definitely something you want to bring to a holiday party, especially if you want to get invited again! The dip is delicious, lower cal, and lower fat than the original. The guacamole is really good on its own, and it can be frozen. Just leave yourself 45 minutes to make the dip, and enough time to let it set.

This recipe makes a ton of dip and it doesn't keep well, so bring it to your friend's place next time you're invited. It's sure to be a hit.

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Great Spa Experience

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mindy and I went to Le Nordik spa today for some relaxation. It was fantastic. We went in the hot tub, followed by the steam room, then through the cold waterfall, and then for some relaxation on the wooden benches inside. We enjoyed the fireplace room, some hot tea, a nap in the bunkie, and the finnish sauna, too.

I told Mindy the only way it could be better is if it started snowing, and lo and behold, beautiful soft white flakes started falling soon after. By the time we woke up from our nap, everything was dusted with white. It wasn't as deep as this photo, taken from the website, but it was really pretty and magical. I will not have any trouble sleeping tonight, that's for sure. And I pray it won't be another year before I get to Le Nordik again.

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Bad Kitty, Part Two

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We've started letting our cat Lexi outside. It was such a pain to try to keep her inside when she was always bolting for the door. I dislike when others let their cats roam the neighbourhood, but here I am doing it, too.

We let her out on Friday evening, and over a 12-hour period, Friday night and Saturday morning, we got no less than 5 phone calls from people saying that Lexi was trying to get in their house. We have a tag on her collar with her name and our phone number. She had gone into one house and the man was reluctant to let her outside in case she tried to cross a busy street. DH just told him to put her out anyway. The same guy called back twice more, torn between his desire to do as DH asked, and his fear for the cat.

Eventually he did let out the cat, and a few minutes later, at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, someone else called to say that the cat was at his door, trying to get in. We said "just don't let her in."

At 9:00 on Saturday morning, we got yet another call from a woman who said that Lexi jumped in her car when she herself was getting in. She was worried that maybe the cat was neglected or a stray. I assured her that the cat had been on the loose for no more than 10 - 12 hours and that she would be o.k. At this point I'd had enough, so I went to the caller's house and picked up the cat in the car. I figured it was the only way to make the phone calls stop.

Bad kitty.

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Starting to pack for the Carribean

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I know, I know. We're not leaving for another two months, but DH and I are pretty excited to celebrate our anniversary in the Carribean this year. It'll be a whole week of pampering, relaxation, sun, and fun at an yet-to-be-determined all-inclusive. I got a new bathing suit a week or two ago. It's basic black, which is SO not me, but it fit me so well and was only available in black.

I used to have a vintage-looking one-piece; brown with orange, green and yellow, that I loved so much. It finally got so worn out, it was transparent in inappropriate places.

Yesterday I stumbled across this bathing suit in the Trends section of Lou Lou magazine's website. It wa's an older posting, so I missed my chance to pick up the bathing suit at H&M. Now I am on a mission to find one like this before we go South. I know I already have a new suit, but I'll need at least two, right?

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