Thursday, June 27, 2013

before I dive into today's post, I just want need to let you all know how full my heart is and optimistic my future seems after receiving all 87 of your phone calls, emails, comments, texts & tweets. somewhere along the way - as I strained to become somebody I'm not - I lost my voice and your words were like smelling salts, reminding me that "I'm enough".

here's a shortlist of the little things bringing me BIG joy these days...

[uno.] Scott McGillivray. who?
this guy.

the sleeveless wonder behind my all-time favourite HGTV show 'Income Property'. It's not his striking resemblance to every known Disney prince that gets me giddy [tell me he doesn't look like Rapunzel's love interest from 'Tangled'], it's his stellar hosting and renovating abilities (although his Colgate commercial grin doesn't hurt either). When I first tuned in to Mr. Flowy Locks he was helping homeowners suite out their basements but now he's assisting income property virgins with the actual purchase and transformation of their rental homes. I can't get enough of him his show, it's very educational since real estate investment is high on my priority list.

[dos.] Little Blue Truck. 
Oh how I love a good rhyming book and apparently so does Gabe; especially ones on the topic of trucks [and farm animals]. Little Blue Truck has quickly become the most requested bedtime story in Knol family history; second only to Boo Hoo Bird which was Saige's nightly obsession for a good year or so. Hosting a 'books only' party for Gabriel's 1st birthday was the best decision I  ever made [I highly recommend it]. We have Auntie Dean and Uncle BoBo to thank for our nightly reading ritual and I also have to thank Value Village for placing Little Blue Truck's twin at eye level with Gabe. It's a good thing it was a bargain at 99 cents because the kung fu grip on that kid is impenetrable. 

[tres.] Buying Used Sh*t. Not to brag or anything but I'm kinda a ninja when it comes to winning contests and finding deals. I've been hitting up thrift stores lately looking for answers in the pages of self-help books. ** I'm especially entertained when I stumble across the homework assignments from previous book owners ** Moving on... during my Value Village vision quest, I took a stroll through the kids section and accessory aisle and found: TWO Matt & Nat bags in amazing condition [$10 a purse], a real genuine leather camel moto jacket for $9 [currently at the cleaners but looks similar to this], a vintage 'Masters of the Universe'/He-man sweatshirt for Saige [so much awesomeness for 50 cents], a handful of brand name summer clothes for the kids [less than $2/piece] and these brand new Tiny Toms for $7.99 + an additional 25% off!
it was a good day.

[four. Spanish lessons are so in my future.] The Secret Room. The basement in the 'new house' is gonna free up a ton of space in the old basement making our storage issues a non-issue. As a result we've decided to transform the new attic into a fun little getaway space. We're not 100% sure what it'll be exactly - media room, library, slumber party headquarters, craft space, ?? - but I'm super pumped about it's existence [and the hideaway stairs]... [and the free skylights].

[cinqo.] Hint Water & Silver Hills Bread. They don't have to be served together, but hey why not. Neither of these companies know I exist let alone pay me to promote their products, but I feel compelled to tell you about their goodness. Hint Water is unlike any other flavoured agua out there, with a delicious aftertaste and NO sugar bugs it's my new favourite beverage. 
The fact that Silver Hills Bakery was born right here in the Okanagan Valley is almost as amazing as their bread. My Silver Hills loaf du jour is Ali's Alpine Grain, but they're best known for their Squirrelly loaves.

So there you have it, my Top Fives in June. Now tell me, what's been floating your boat?

my quarter life crisis.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

things have gotten all sorts of complicated and I'm not even sure where to begin? how about here:

I took an unplanned leave from work.

yup after years of hearing, "I don't know how you do it", the heat finally got to me and I had to get out the kitchen.

it was [and continues to be] both humbling and humiliating. to throw my hands in the air and admit to the world that I'm broken was/is exceptionally difficult especially since I pride myself on fixing things; made a career out of it even. 

my whole life I've been intensely empathic; I know no other way of being, but my greatest gift can also be my kryptonite. if anything I've learned that you can't save those who don't want rescuing. they'll just kick and flail and spew ugliness until you yourself get injured and hurt.

the other night Saige chose The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein [#lovehim] as her bedtime story and my eyes stung with tears as I read the line, "I'm sorry but I have nothing more to give". I get choked up just typing that because it's become my self-induced reality, I have nothing left to give.

my passion for helping others has become my own undoing and now I'm stuck. do I leave social work? do I quit a profession I've dedicated 5 years of schooling and another 6+ years of service to? do I abandon a career that offers safety and security (pension, benefits, salary) to pursue a new happiness and other passions, something more creative perhaps?

I'm not certain I can bring myself to publish this post. like so many before it, this entry may be doomed to draft for the rest of eternity. acknowledging my failures amongst a sea of seemingly flawless Superwomen is a painful truth. to be honest I've stopped commenting and even reading a lot of blogs that appear too perfect. I just can't relate. 

I can't relate to the moms who whip up labour intensive recipes from their backyard gardens and take beautiful photos of homemade gluten-free organic parsnip muffins and/or their impeccably dressed kids munching on homegrown carrot sticks like they were Twix candy bars or something. I can't relate to the same blog moms who craft pinworthy DIY's, host magazine worthy book club parties and run bi-weekly half-marathons all the while looking amazing in the selfies they post on instagram posing in front of fingerprint-free mirrors with pristine white walls and well decorated rooms in the background. I know these women do exist and I applaud them for doing the perfect thing so perfectly, but I just can't relate. wish I could, but I can't.

what I can relate to is the wise words of Teddy Roosevelt:

phew. how's that for a confessions post? bet you didn't see that one coming [or maybe you did]. just another example of me keeping it real really awkward. maybe I'll try to lighten things up a bit with the obsessions post that's sure to follow. xo

camping 101: memorable meals.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Over the years taco salad has solidified itself as a Knol family favourite and even comes camping with us now. I typically make the filling ahead of time - following this recipe [with a few adaptations*] - and then I'll reheat over the camping stove or fire. I didn't think my 10 minute taco salad recipe could get any easier, or tastier, until the "walking tacos" pin came into my life.

walking whaaa? 


how is it that 30 year old me only learned about the beautiful marriage between taco salad and snack size bags of Doritos a few weeks ago?! all you do is cut the top off a mini bag of Doritos [or Fritos] spoon in your toppings, shake vigorously and serve with a fork.

shut the front door right?

Unless I host a future Mexican themed party, I've decided to reserve our newfound 'tacos in a bag' recipe for camping trips only. I think it'll make them all the more special and delicious [just like my annual Pirate cookie glutton fest].

We tried a bunch of different Pinterest camping recipes including: campfire orange cinnamon rolls [epic fail], ham & swiss campfire loaf [tastebud worthy], digestive cookie s'mores [oh em gee YES!] and of course our banana boat tradition courtesy of the MacMillan's.

Our Father's Day weekend camping adventure was as memorable as our Pinterest menu. Gabe had marshmallows for breakfast one morning, Saige had her first official bike accident, I fell more in love with cherry whiskey, Trev got some fishing in and the boys kicked the girls' asses in ladder golf. I gotta say I'm kinda obsessed with puttering along the shoreline and gawking at all the million dollar lakefront properties - one of the infinity pools has a patio umbrella larger than our house!

And with #casaknol taking up the first 2 pages of our honeydew list, I'm not sure how much camping we'll get in this summer. We can't even backyard camp since what's-left-of-the-lawn is littered with random building materials.

Anyways I have MUCH to fill you in on, but for now I'll leave you with some snaps from our outdoorsy weekend.

* in case you were wondering, I use pork & beans instead of red kidney beans and salsa in lieu of the chili sauce #yumma

you can follow @saigewisdom on instagram or friend me on Facebook for more #casaknol progress pics and BIG confessions. 


Friday, June 7, 2013

Ask my dad where he's going and you're sure to get, "crazy wanna come?"...

well dad my bags are packed.

I can't tell if my life is spinning out of control or in the right direction? All I know is when you find yourself putting milk away in the cereal cupboard and start missing the turn off to a street you've lived on for the past decade, you shouldn't be making decisions any grander than pie or ice cream for dessert. 

Tonight I opted for both. It's been one of those weeks (read EPICALLY BAD).

apparently crazy doesn't fall far from the tree 

On the topic of dad-isms, Trev is KING. Poor Saige and Gabe will spend their lifetimes avoiding the use of "hey!" and "so..." courtesy of dear old - annoying - dad.

They say: "hey!"
He says: "hay is for horses not for cows the pigs would eat it but they don't know how"
I say: "sigh"

They say: "sooo...?"
He says: "not if I don't have to" (as in sew)
I say: "sigh"

They say: "I'm hungry"
He says: "I'm Turkey" (as in the country).
I say: "sigh"

** what dad-isms do you remember from childhood?

having a field day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Couldn't resist pulling over and stealing a moment amongst the pretty purple petals with my pretty little girl. Work has gotten really ugly so it's a good thing my days off are filled with beauty and laughter (and handfuls of real fruit gummies).

* this post is not sponsored I just really like orchard flavoured candy and fields of lavender-hued blossoms.

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