2013, game on.

Monday, December 31, 2012

While the blog-o-sphere is buzzing with resolutions for 2013, I have just one...

Operation: Get on Amazing Race Canada.

Aside from my insatiable lemon meringue pie craving... mmmm citrus pie, competing for _______________ (insert prize here) is all I can think about.

Remember this Dec 15/11 confessions post:

Or this Oct 4/12 twitter exchange:



Needless to say I've been obsessing - and spamming local videographers - like crazy. What's even crazier is that I actually considered a $1200 quote for the creation of our 3 minute video application. Trev thinks we should channel our inner James Cameron {he's Canadian eh?} and compile the footage ourselves, but I'm not so convinced. Any film students out there looking for a pet project? *wink*

Of course your support means everything to us so please feel free to bribe the CTV producers with money, gifts, sexual favours*, etc. 

*Joan Harris and I have SO much in common that I sometimes forget my life isn't an episode of Mad Men - sorry 'bout that.

*** happy new years party people! *** 

we wish you the merriest...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry {belated} Christmas!
sure our season's greeting is a day late and never made it to the printers let alone your mailbox, but that's just how us Knols roll nowadays. Blame Gabe, he's the family scapegoat.

I figure this ol' neglected blog here is kinda like a year round Christmas letter so consider yourself in the official loop. Speaking of 'Saige Wisdom' the blog, I'm hoping to be back before 2013 with some long overdue confessions. Wouldn't want to ring in the new year with an unclean conscience. 

For starters I hid a bunch of Christmas gifts from the kids. As far as Saige & Gabriel are concerned they've opened all the presents under the tree. They don't yet know about the 4 giant boxes playing hide & seek in mom and dad's closet.

Yup my dear ol' dad must have confused our house with an orphanage [or Oprah's mansion] and forwarded the entire Toys R' Us website to our front porch. I wish I was exaggerating and I really wish the 'new wing' was open for business usage. We're drowning in a mountain of toys and Saige's 4th birthday is less than 2 weeks away! translation: more junk toys.


dear santa [the SARA edition].

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

For someone who didn't want to exchange gifts this holiday season, I sure have a lot of wishes on my wish list.

I'm pretty certain I've consumed more coffee in the last month than I have in my entire life. I've never been much of a hot caffeine fan {or cold for that matter}, but then Tim Horton's had to go and advertise their 'limited time only' promotion for $1 cappuccinos and now I'm a total drive thru junkie, ordering small french vanillas with 1/4 coffee like they be crack. 

I've read enough David Bach books in my day - 'Automatic Millionaire' anyone? - to not get sucked into his latte factor:

'an economics phenomenon whereby many small purchases add up to a significant expenditure overtime.'

so I'm thinking a switch to k-cups is my only financially responsible option. And since I don't know how to make a pot of coffee to save my life, I'm confident a new Keurig machine will not only save me money, but will make me a better host as well.

You may remember my confessions post and/or Facebook plea wanting the 411 on real Uggs within Canada's border without the real-ly insane price tag? Well I recently discovered the answer to my warm feet prayers... MTF came through in a BIG way and the free shipping was just the red nose on my reindeer.

Okay this is more a WRITE than a read, but I've been impatiently waiting for January to come so I can start this new journalling venture of mine. Ever since Becs brought the pinspiration to my attention, I've been raring to go. Clearly me blogging every is NOT going to happen, but writing a little sentence while brushing my teeth before bed seems manageable. I don't normally commit to anything lasting longer than a few months - let alone 1825 days - but I think this little project will be both fun and worthwhile. I like that the journal is small enough to stash in my make-up case so I can take it with us everywhere - camping, Mexico, slumber parties at Gramma & Papa's.

I need another striped shirt like Brangelina needs another orphaned child to adopt, but that didn't stop me from applying my 40% discount [it pays to call customer service every once in awhile] to this horizontally lined number. It's very reminiscent of the Kristen Wiig shirt I've been drooling over since 'Bridesmaids'. Speaking of my unhealthy obsession with stripes, what I wouldn't give to have Deb Morgan's shirt wardrobe from this season of Dexter [see below]. I'd also like a pair of her sweet a$$ aviators. Thanks Santa ;)

 k-cup coffeemaker - keurig elite kub40
warm winter booties - ugg classic short 
one line a day memory book - raincoast 
yet another striped shirt - gap

I think compiling this collage has made me an official creepy mc creeperstin.


linking up with my favourite Random Thursday trio...

dear santa [the SAIGE edition].

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What do you get when you have 2 parents, 5 grandparents, 2 great grandparents, 3 uncles, 2 aunts and enough extended family and close friends to fill a Boeing 757? [plus a mom with wee shopping addiction and a birthday 2 weeks post-Christmas?]


As a result we've scaled things waaaay back this holiday season and purchased our Saigerella just ONE gift over $25. Yup Trev-bob and I will be busy Christmas Eve playing with assembling her 'want' present. Here are the 3 other item I would have picked up for Saigers if she wasn't so darn naughty... {I jest} 

non-girly backpack for our non-girly girl - 77kids by american eagle

a play hospital for our playmobil addict/doctor-in-training - playmobil

my childhood favourite  'the jolly postman...' books by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

new red calculus kicks - tiny toms

I'm not sure how we'll ever get away from the 'spoil fest' that is end of December, beginning of January? In the past we've tried hosting the party on her half birthday and we've also tried a "books only" plea, but apparently we hang with people who think rules are meant to be broken. 

This Christmas we strongly hinted to family members that they could offer the kids an experience vs. a gift under the tree. For example loved ones could organize a trip to the aquatic centre or movie theatre or buy tickets for an upcoming hockey game. I know Saige would love a backyard camping date or lesson in horseback riding. The possibilities are endless and they don't even have to cost money. I'm so in love with the idea, that I myself am gifting memories instead of material items to my niece & nephew. Last year we paid for Caleb's skating lessons and I think my sister and brother-in-law really appreciated Cub having one less present to unwrap. 

* A little advice to anybody new to playmobil, set up can take HOURS especially if you're easily distracted by miniature blood pressure cuffs and x-ray machines like me. I'd highly recommend assembling the box of random parts before gifting.

** And if you're unfamiliar with the Jolly Postman books, you must familiarize yourself with them ASAP. They have these cute little envelopes with letters inside that you get to pull out and read - I'm pretty sure that's the very definition of awesome.

dear santa [the GABRIEL edition].

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm amazed at how many people have adopted the Need, Want, Wear, Read philosophy this year (as well as the Elf on the Shelf tradition). We first implemented this popular gift giving strategy back in 2010, but modified it a bit to Read, Wear, Play as our spoiled only child needed and wanted for nothing.

Fast forward to 2012 and the '4 gift only' rule is still in effect and being applied to our happy foursome. 

As you know the adults in our family aren't exchanging gifts this holiday season and it was only today that I finally got around to buying Gabriel his first - and only - present from Santa (see 'want' item below). 

But regardless of our low key, low budget Christmas, I still wanted to play along with some of my bestest bloggy friends (see here, here, here and here) and post the Knol's fantasy wish lists.

Babies first...
toddler multi-purpose helmet by little nutty - nutcase
pound and tap bench by hape
organic go go bag [sleep sack] by merino kids
books from the 'this is...' series by Miroslav Sasek

* * *
P.S. You guys sure know how to make a girl feel good (and missed). Thank you for being so awesome.

drivel: silly nonsense.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Anybody out there?

I am. 


Can you believe that I - 'lover of all things free' - didn't even get through my month of giftaways?! I must say the remaining 2 prizes are simply too good not to share so they'll be coming soon...


It seems I've once again underestimated just how difficult {read impossible} balancing it all can be - work, family, friends, home renovations, housework, special interests, online shopping, Pinspiration projects, maintaining an internet presence, blog reading, reading for realz, Dexter watching, etc.

So what have I been doing besides hiding tears at work? (more on that in a sec).

{a} Well someone got a haircut - or should I say buzz cut? - it literally took my breath away and not in a good way. First and last time I ever let Trev take clippers to our boy's head #markmywords.

{b} We also decided to make last year's Halcyon trip (see here) an annual thing and hit to road last weekend with our besties/co-parents for 3 days of relaxing hot springs. No internet, no cell service, no cameras, just cards, crab legs and endless hours of conversation. I secretly cringe when people use the word "blessed" but having Dean and Byron in our lives makes me feel a wee bit __________ (insert B word here); they're seriously that awesome. 

Okay I lied. There was a point and shoot camera on hand and after 15 "Saige look this way, Gabe over here, Trevor smile" we ended up with this... 
 that's about as good as it gets these days.

{c} I transformed my kitchen into a testing facility for Pinterest. There's nothing worse than having a mini-panic attack at 3:00 PM when you realize you have nothing planned for dinner, not even thawing chicken as a jumping off point. As you can imagine, I've been pinning crockpot meals like mad and using the kids as guinea pigs. While some of my food experiments have gone terribly wrong (read NEVER AGAIN), we've also found some new family faves: ** you can find these recipes and more on my Pinterest FOOD board - I've commented on all the ones we've tried so far.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 

1. mulligatawny soup - I cannot say enough about this curry and apple mouth orgasm. I don't even use the heavy cream at the end and it's still to die for.

2. pumpkin molasses cookies - stop everything you're doing and make these. I originally pinned these for Fall, but they're so freakishly delish that I've added their fluffy goodness to my  Christmas baking list as well.

3. mini-chicken pot pies - never in my life had I bought Bisquick until this Betty Crocker gem piqued my attention and taste buds. Super quick, super easy, super tasty.

4. better-than-take-out chicken fried rice - pretty sure sesame oil is the secret weapon and it more than satisfies my chinese food cravings (if only I could replicate those fuchsia sweet and sour pork balls at home). 

miserable #1

{d} Gabe's officially a talking machine and has finally started sleeping through the night #thankgawd. Last weekend he added "spaghettio" to the end of his "uh ohs" and proved he's just as much of a water baby as his big sis. You should have seen him swatting our hands away, acting like he could swim unassisted only to sink to the bottom totally unfazed.

miserable #2

{e} Saige got her preschool report card and it's basically a carbon copy of my own kindergarten progress report - perceptive, natural leader, wild imagination, has no problem standing up for herself or others. I'm pretty sure that all translates into her being bossy, stubborn and far too clever for her own good, but I'll take it {and that pout of hers}.

miserable #3

{f} Trev shaved off his disgusting lip warmer and has morphed back into my sexy 'no pictures please' beast.

{g} Our tree is up and there's not a single present underneath. Surprisingly I'm not the least bit stressed over it. 
Okay so why the tears at work? It has less to do with me missing my own kids and more to do with me being reminded daily hourly that there are children within arms reach of me who'd rather pee their pants than leave the safety of their bedrooms while their mom screams out for help from the other room. It breaks my heart knowing that there are children with starving bellies stealing fruit from classmates lunches to bring home to their equally hungry siblings. That there are children being neglected by addiction, being caught in the crosshairs of mental illness, becoming pregnant and parents themselves perpetuating the seemingly endless cycle of abuse. I'm finding it near impossible to not get choked up when I listen to these stories day in and day out.

Here I go dropping the B word again, but the fact that my children have lists of wants instead of needs means we are just that, blessed.

Maybe work is the reason I'm not losing sleep over our presentless tree. I'm sure we'll end up buying Gabriel a little something, but I doubt it'll be anything extravagant or memorable. Our money can be put to better uses this holiday season - helping.

Anyways things got a bit a lot heavy down here at the end. Maybe I should lighten the mood with a knock knock joke... or better yet a someecard:

{ sideways cross necklace } BEAZUNESS. ** CLOSED **

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Once upon a time I owned a 'SARA' necklace inspired by Sex and the City but instead of cursive, it came in boxy 'lost in Trevor translation' block letters.
The "Carrie"

I loved that necklace.
Wore it every day for 5 years.
Right up until it fell off my neck and out of my life.

My décolletage remained naked for many a years while I both mourned & carefully considered my replacement options. You see I'm a total minimalist when it comes to jewellery [a ha-larious factoid for anyone who knows my blinged out mom and her record breaking number of gold bangles].

Aside from my wedding ring and some pearl earrings, I don't wear a lot of precious metals or gems. Don't get me wrong I'm a BIG fan of accessories, just not on me. Sooooo after MUCH deliberation I finally settled on yet another TV inspired necklace:
as seen on The Rachel Zoe Project

Why the sideways cross style you ask? Well I wanted my new clavicle embellishment to be dainty, classic and wardrobe friendly [I needed it to play nice with the many personalities in my closet... stripes, stripes and more stripes, sweatpants, strapless dresses - you get the idea]. While I may not wear a ton of jewellery, the stuff I do strut rarely - if ever - comes off.

Meet Naomi and her Vancouver-based Etsy shop ...

Beazuness rocks and the new necklace I've been rocking satisfies all my above wants PLUS it's Canadian made, totally affordable and gets at least one compliment a day [more if you post it on Instagram].
I love that you can get it off-center [which I did] and I love that it arrived at my house in less than 3 days!! 

I must say I'm sure glad I knew exactly what I was looking for prior to stumbling upon Beazuness because that girl has style and SELECTION. 

Consider yourself warned - and encouraged to visit.

Okay I'm sure you've guessed it by now, but Naomi the Great is gifting one loyal follower with some neck candy of their very own! Did someone just say matching friendship necklaces?! I think so :D who wants to be my collar bone twin?

** open to followers in Canada and the U.S. 

{ let your walls become your canvas } UrbanWalls. **CLOSED**

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our next GIFTaway needs no introduction, UrbanWalls has taken home decor enthusiasts (and commitment phobs alike) by storm. With their wide selection of ridiculously well priced - and removable - wall decals they are being loved and shipped all over the world. 

Now meet the girl behind the decals...
I've been a HUGE fan of Ms. Hardy - and her family of handsome boys {big & small} - since the beginning of Instagram. I actually got to meet her for realz a few months back and she's like cRaZY beautiful + super down to earth... a hard combo to come by.   

Not only is Danielle my fashion icon, she also happens to be one helluva businesswoman. 

UrbanWalls is insanely popular...
and that's just the tip of the iceberg. 

Trev and I have been having some 'serious-for-us' conversations about our own parenting styles, our family goals, what our commitments to the kids should be. We're hoping that adult Saige and Gabriel will look back on their childhoods and appreciate our 'rearing' decisions. Of course there are the BIG things like saving for their futures, travelling as a family, helping them discover their passion(s), practicing giving without receiving, etc... but there are also the smaller things like: playing together, reading together, eating heathy(ish), not using words like "fat" and "stupid".

On the days I just wanna sit on the couch and watch 'Bachelor Pad' while eating Wendy's fries right out of the bag, it would be nice to have a giant reminder of my parental promises.

Cue two of my all-time favourite UrbanWalls' decals:
1.  //  2.

These are genius right? Of course being the indecisive shopper that I am, I can't decide which one to get?? and of course our house is too small for both {especially since I want the gold dots decals as well}.

Fortunately for you, Danielle & I took the guess work out of choosing and have a white 'In This House...' decal (#2) up for grabs.
What's your family motto? And if you WIN - #fingerscrossed - where do you envision hanging this bad boy? 

in your front foyer
heading down your stairwell
on a wall in your family room

I've always pictured my future URBANwalls' purchase livening up our boringly flat laundry room door, but then... my girl Kerry from First Time Fancy came up with this ahh-mazing idea... MELAMINE! making it a transferrable piece of art!
DIY instructions

Don't be shy, you've only got 5 days to enter...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I disappear from time to time all the time without warning - I'm just super annoying like that, it's how I roll.

I knew heading back to work would put a wrench in my blogging plans, but it turns out that the wrench is actually a bullet in disguise. What's the world coming to when you can't even trust that a wrench is a wrench?! 

So not only should I be stripped of my self-appointed bloggess title, but a few of these confessions are sure to make you think less of me... 

1. One of the main reasons I'm sticking with this blogging gig - aside from the obvious (ie. not being a quitter, wanting to document the kids' younger years, having a creative outlet, etc.) - is so I continue getting free stuff. 

2. Three months ago I threw a large jar of Nutella in the garbage; it had been sitting in our cupboard for who-knows-how-long barely touched and I couldn't find an expiry date. Fast forward 90 days and one mail sample later... I'm eating this Ferrero Rocher alternative like it's the doctor's order. Turns out I'm not a 'Nutella on toast' kinda girl, I prefer it on a spoon spatula multiple times throughout the day.  

3. I legitimately LOVE being back at work and I'm not just saying that so my stay-at-home mom friends can stop feeling sorry for me.
my view of "Entertainment Alley" 
drug busts, photo shoots, heavy petting sessions... I've seen it all. 

4. I'm fairly certain my co-workers think I'm disgustingly spoiled. Not only did I come back to the 'best schedule ever' (4 days one week / 3 days the next), but I got my corner office with a view back (see above) AND after 5 days on the job, went up to Sparkling Hills with Mr. Movember for a weekend getaway. With all this luck I'm thinking I must have been a leprechaun in my past life.
it's hard to take him seriously anywhere when his face is growing a rodent

5. Next to the definition of 'indecisive shopper' is a photo of me looking disgruntled. 
this is actually a photo of me being annoyed about the rain situation on 'straight hair day', 
but my pissed off face is fairly similar to my expression of uncertainty.

I'll pick something up, cart it around for awhile, tell myself "I don't really need that" and then discard it in some random aisle. I like to think of it as me familiarizing the departments with one another, but Trev doesn't see it that way. It drives Trev-bob bonkers and he now equates IKEA with his own personal hell. Not because he doesn't like Swedish-made goods (quite the contrary), it's because within those 4 walls his wife loses all control and ability to make up her flipping mind.

6. I was this close {picture my pointer finger and thumb almost touching} to buying myself a pair of Uggs 35 days before Christmas. The only thing stopping me from keeping them in my cart was that my preferred colour (camel) in my preferred size (9) was out of stock. In the end the chocolate pair I was hemming and hawing about got put down in the neighbouring book section... Warm Uggs meet risqué 50 Shades of Grey #matchmadeinCostcoheaven.

7. I'm not even sure I'll publish this nonsense, so if you're reading this consider yourself the same person minus 50 or more missing brain cells. 

** GIFTaway #4 is coming soon, but here's a sneak peek for those of your who have the patience of a 3 year old (namely Saige & I) **

{ celebrate YOUR story } gadanke! **CLOSED**

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No I didn't sneeze.

GADANKE (pronounced guh-dawn-kuh) is German for thought or idea, but for me it's synonymous with awesome sauce.
The last time I scrapbooked was in December 2008, I know this because it was my last month of childlessness (also known as the "good ol' days when free time was in abundance"). 
I used to LOVE scrapbooking and have 10+ bins of pretty paper to prove it {pretty paper & I sorta have a thing, don't tell Trev}.

But once Miss Muffet was born I quickly realized {basically in the delivery room} that my scrapbooking days were numbered and to this day, the 40+ page mini-albums I scrapped while preggers (see above) are completely void of any Saiger personality - no baby pictures, no mention of milestones, no teeny hospital ID bracelets, nothing. #momfail

You see my naughty itty Knol babies decided the only thing my arms should do is holding them, so that's what I did...

until GADANKE was mailed into my life.

GADANKE's anti-boring approach to journalling was the answer to my 'quick yet creative' documentation prayers; it's non-intimidating format allowed my busy mom hands to seize a few moments throughout the day to capture a baby story or two. 

Truth be told, Gabriel's 'you are loved' GADANKE journal is the only baby book I've managed to keep up with... poor kid has a bad case of 'Second Child Syndrome'. 
Each expandable GADANKE journal comes with 52 pages of clever writing prompts, charming eco-friendly papers and cute little inserts {ie. tags, envelopes, library cards} that make these keepsakes fun to not only fill but read and re-read.  
Katie - the brainchild behind GADANKE - is the epitome of "cool". She & her family live in a renovated airport hangar AAAAND she's gifting one Saige Wisdom follower with a $25 credit to her grandma inspired store -

What story would you want to celebrate?
for me the {become} journal is top on my Christmas wish list. 
(who am I kidding? they ALL are).

So you wanna get your story telling on? Well you best get better acquainted with GADANKE's awesome sauce newsletter & website then:

P.S. - I started reading some of the customer submissions in the Share Your Journal section and needed a kleenex after flipping through Jenn's {seeking grace} prayer journal...
so heart felt & beautiful
further proof that STORIES MATTER.

good luck & GADANKE mes amis!!


okay all you mathematicians out there, we have 4 GIFTaways left and our first winner... was it YOU? 

{ one click } ice time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

october twenty-seventh | 8:56 a.m.
'rink ready'

I interrupt this month of GIFTaways with my first non-iPhone pic in months *gasp*. Thanks to Photography Concentrate and their super awesome video tutorials, I'm sloooowly starting to get the hang of this whole Lightroom thing and as I move towards actual editing and not just uploading, I imagine I'll have even more photos to share *double gasp*.

Not only do you have 5 more giveaways to look forward to, but you'll also be getting countless photos of Gabriel's nerdy 1st birthday, Saige's 1st field trip at school, some Knol Halloween parties, our trick-or-treating adventures and so forth. How pumped are you?! ha.

Saige's fearlessness on the ice, in the pool, in life... it makes me ridiculously proud. My heart swells every time she looks over in my direction, making sure my thumbs remain in an upward position. 
She's kinda awesome. 
You know I'm not even the slightest bit disappointed that she didn't want to continue with ballet {my childhood passion}. As long as she's happy and active, I'll happily freeze my a$$ off in the stands, hide under an umbrella on the soccer field, ski  bunny runs {for her benefit of course} and learn the difference between a breast stroke and butterfly stroke. 
Yup our Saiger's is pretty awesome and don't even get me started about the awesomeness that is Gabe...
the boy who won't freeze his a$$ for anyone or anything.

{ hello dolly! } melissa love GIFTaway **CLOSED**

Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet Ethan & Eden.

When my baby sister and I found out we were preggers with a second batch of cousins, I knew I wanted to get our littlest of littles matching his & her dolls. Of course they had to be ahhh-dorable and of course I needed them to be one-of-a-kind... 

Fortunately - through the wonderful world of blogging - I knew just the gal for the job...
Melissa is truly LOVEly. Let's just say I was a lot naive when it came to the whole custom doll making process - so.many. choices. - and Melissa held my hand through every painstaking decision. She even went over & above and made Eden the striped leggings & tutu I begged for requested and Ethan his snazzy bow tie. 

They turned out so well that I ended up ordering a third for Miss Saigerella, a pretty little redhead named Eve:
See what I mean about choices? 
{move over Rachel Zoe, there's a new stylist in the toy box}

If being decisive isn't your cup of tea, pour yourself a chai and purchase one of the ready made dolls already in Melissa's shop. In fact, Melissa is GIFTING one Saige Wisdom reader with an already created cutie and all you have to do is...  

** Both dolls were named after the cousins' 'would-be' names: "Eden" was the name we picked had Gabe came out with girl parts and "Ethan" was Hanna's boy name. {Eve just went along with the already established "E" theme}. 

What were your baby name back ups?

don't forget about our other GIFTaway {ending soon}...

more to come!!

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