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:

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