November 17, 2010

fantastic snacks

One of my favourite websites to peek at from time to time is Canadian Family. They link to great stories and ideas, and I usually find myself drawn into something on the site. So when I looked at it this morning, I fell in love with a new site: Little Nummies.Well, its new to me...looks like its been around for quite a while judging by the huge variety of ideas on the site.

I'm a big fan of putting together fun little snack plates for Lady M - food is just more exciting when its arranged in a fun way. I have mastered the cheese and berry sunshine plate, but am always looking to try something different. And who am I kidding, its a little creative outlet for me, so it makes me happy!

In any case, when I popped onto Canadian Family today, this is the picture I saw:

Is that adorable, or what? So then, upon further exploration, I discovered there is this whole fabulous site of creative and clever ideas that, even if you never put one together, are still just fun to look at.

Here are a couple more that are just too cute for words:

I feel totally inspired to make some cute snacks for Lady M. And what better way to get her to eat a great variety of foods at snack time, all while having fun! 

November 8, 2010

my vegetarian toddler?

Today I picked my munchkin up from daycare because she had spiked a low fever. Thankfully after a good nap and some snuggles she seemed to be somewhat back to normal. I guess after all the excitement of her second birthday yesterday she was just a little more worn out than usual.

She woke up from her nap, had a snack, and decided that she wanted to go visit her daddy at the office which is only a few minutes from our house. After a quick visit there, we all headed off to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the week.

After the fruits and veggies section, we were off to the meat counter. Lady M always enjoys checking out the meat and cheese counters and looking at the world of exciting food contained behind the glass. Today, I lifted her up so she could see up over the counter at the guy who was slicing another woman's meat order with lovely precision. When it was my turn, he asked what we'd like - "shaved, black forest ham", I replied, and the rest of the conversation went a little something like this:

Lady M asked: "Ham, Mummy?".
I said: "Yes, would you like some ham?" (She LOOOOOVES ham).
Lady M: No, I don't like ham.
Me: Oh, since when don't you like ham?
Lady M: I don't eat meat.

Alright, so she turned 2 yesterday, and today she is opinionated enough to float the idea of vegetarianism in front of me? Well, I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow when I give her some meat.

Something tells me the convictions won't stick just yet - but the decisive, determined little girl? She's here to stay. And as my husband and parents like to remind me: she's just like me!! I guess I should know how to handle the determined little attitude then, right? I guess we'll see!

October 30, 2010


My little sweetie is at such a fun stage right now; she is constantly chatting, telling us what she sees, what she's doing, and asking "what you doing?" or "where we going" incessantly. It's all very entertaining! But I think my favourite thing right now is her new-found love for singing. She sings 'twinkle twinkle little star' (or tinkle, tinkle little star, as she says), and can impressively sing the whole song! I read something a few weeks ago that said she should be able to string 3-word sentences together at her age; I think she's doing alright.

She also sings a terrific rendition of "Happy Birthday" as we prepare her for her 2nd birthday, coming up next weekend. When we say "how old are you going to be?", she very quickly responds: "2 minutes!!". Not sure where the minutes thing came from, but it makes me laugh every time!!

Lady M is full of spunk and entertainment lately, and there's never a dull moment when she's around. Sure, we're entering the land of mild tantrums, and getting her into her carseat when she stretches herself straight as an arrow can be a challenge, but all the fun stuff more than makes up for it. And the singing completely melts my heart every time she breaks into song.

She's also at the stage where she's just piecing life together, and making her comments about what she sees, hears and feels. My favourite comment of the week went like this:

(Lady M & I were walking out the front door the other morning, to a very hazy day)
Me: Wow, it sure is foggy this morning!
Lady M: Ribbit, ribbit.

Made me laugh all day long...

October 17, 2010

versatile blogger award

Well, don't I feel honoured!! The lovely writer of Nana Poppins, Patty, has given me the 'versatile blogger' sweet! So, now I get to pay it forward to some blogs that I really enjoy. Details below... Thanks Patty!!

This is just a fun way to meet other bloggers and get to know one another, by passing these fun bloggy awards to other bloggers that we like! There are some fun rules in accepting this bloggy award. 
  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award. 
  2. Share 7 things about yourself. 
  3. Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous. 
  4. Contact the bloggers you choose and let them know they won the award. 
As per the rules, here are 7 riveting things about me...
  1. The number one place I want to travel is Africa...yes, that's not overly specific, its a very large continent with numerous countries to explore, but I really want to go!
  2. I would love to take my husband and daughter to Karlstad, Sweden - a city where I lived and went to school for a while...Sweden is a gorgeous country. I'd especially like to go during their Midsummer celebrations, as I moved back home in May the year I lived there and missed them!

  3. I do not like the colour red. I never wear it and I don't like dressing my daughter in it either!

  4. If I won the lottery, I'd go back to school full-time and get several more degrees, appreciating the luxury and freedom of school life so much more than I did the first time around.

  5. In my downtime from school, I would travel the world with my family. Clearly, I would go to parts of Africa and Sweden, but I would also add Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Belize, India, and Indonesia to the ever-growing list... 
  6. I am happiest when I am tanned. (I'm pretty happy in general, but being tanned just takes me over the top!!)

  7. If I could have any job in the world, I'd be an astronaut. Who doesn't want to travel into space, experience zero gravity and drink all the Tang you want?

Now, more importantly, here are the blogs I'd like to pass this award along to...

I know, it says to pass it on to 15, but I don't want to pass it along just for the sake of doing so. These are 9 unique and creative blogs that I really enjoy...and I hope you will too!

    October 6, 2010

    more zumba please!

    I've been interested in trying a Zumba class for quite some time. I suppose its all the rage right now - the class everyone wants to try, and I happily jumped right on that bandwagon! When the fall classes were announced through my city's parks & recreation program I was happy to see several Zumba options. And even better, one of my friends who I run with said she'd be interested in trying the class too! Several weeks ago now we signed up, and tonight was our first class.

    It was SO MUCH FUN!! It was an amazing workout, and the hour flew by. Learning each of the routines was a very fast-paced challenge, but they were relatively easy to pick up. The music was so upbeat, and I'm pretty sure I worked every muscle in my body at some point...yes, as I write this, my legs are starting to burn. My friend and I both agreed we're glad we've been running, because at least our cardio conditioning is good - made the class a little easier!!

    So the verdict is this: I could Zumba every day; and I would love a two hour class, rather than just one. Moreover, I can't wait for next Wednesday to have the class again!!

    If you have thought about trying Zumba but haven't yet, go for it!! Shake, shimmy and sweat your little heart out...I know I will be!

    October 3, 2010

    the interview...

    As I mentioned, the lovely Steph over at Be Positive Mom asked to interview me for her working mom series...and its now posted!

    Check it out here...


    September 22, 2010

    feeling the love...

    Well, I'm quite excited to have been asked to participate in "The Working Mom Interviews" over at Be Positive Mom, a great blog I happened across as I was becoming acquainted with the world of blogging just a few short months ago. The author, Steph, is a wonderful and sweet person, and I've really enjoyed corresponding with her, and was so touched when she asked to interview me as part of her new series!

    The first interview (Working Mom Guilt) was published on September 1st, and mine will be coming out on October 1st, focusing on getting back to work after maternity leave. Exciting stuff, I tell you! Check out the 'up and coming' page and you'll see a link to my little ol' blog!

    So, I'll certainly let you know when the article is published, but until then, be sure to pop by and check out the first interview, and everything else Steph has to share on her fabulous site!

    September 20, 2010


    Well, its been several weeks since returning from camp. The week that was SO much fun, but completely ruined the sleeping habits of our sweet little girl. After a week of cuddling with mommy & daddy, returning home found her requiring the same attention - cuddles every night until she fell asleep. Well, tonight, after weeks of trying, she finally went to bed on her own again. Phewf!

    We've never had a challenge with getting Lady M to bed in the past; she's always been very good about singing a song, reading a book, getting a kiss and saying 'night-night'. Then, right before we left for camp, we had just settled her into her new room, and she'd gotten the hang out of sleeping in there, becoming familiar and comfortable with her new surroundings. Then one week went and changed it all. Screwed up all of our hard work!

    Its funny how with kids it just takes one small thing to really alter their habits (which of course are always changing anyways, and just when you think you've figured one out, something changes it...but I digress). This was probably one of the toughest though because it forced Cal or I into an 8:30pm slumber on many occasions each week (its tough not to pass out when you lay your head on the pillow!) Not that I'm completely opposed to that, mind you, I like my sleep (A LOT) but its just not always necessary!

    So, tonight its just Lady M and I, and she went to sleep with only my beautiful rendition of Baby Beluga, a kiss goodnight and a couple of tears. Success.

    Happily, I am now downstairs in the family room and thought to myself "great! I can get my reading for school done since I have class tomorrow!" Well, best laid plans. The hubby is out with my car, and my books are in the trunk.  So, if I can't read, I suppose I'll write!

    Hope everyone else is having a great night!

    September 15, 2010

    i'm a student again!

    Last night I began a new chapter in my life...I have gone back to school to begin my Masters degree. Its been part of my greater life plan for some time now, but the time has finally arrived!

    My week of teaching at camp each summer fills me with happiness. Several years ago when I was trying to figure out my next academic pursuit, it was my love for this one week that made my decision clear - I am meant to get a Master of Education degree. However, first things first.

    I already had a degree in English, and rather than jumping right into my MEd program, I decided I wanted to make use of a stepping stone that was dangled right before my eyes - a program that would grant me my Bachelor of Education in five short semesters, thanks to my past studies and the beautiful world of transfer credits. So, in September 2007 I began my BEd, and in June 2009 I graduated on a beautiful sunny day. In that same time period I became pregnant and had my daughter, so decided that rather than stick with my plan to begin my Masters in September 2009 I would enjoy the remainder of my maternity leave, soak up more playtime with my little sweetie and start the following year.
    So, here we are - the following year has arrived oh-so-quickly and its back to school time already. So, last night I headed to my first class - a foundational course that very broadly covers social and cultural contexts of education: aka. anything related to education. Fabulous!

    With the syllabus in hand, I now know that in the next twelve weeks I will produce two remarkable papers, and give one memorable ten-minute presentation. Not too shabby! But even more importantly, at the end of 12 weeks, I will be one step closer to having the next degree; the one I have looked forward to starting for a while now. And I must admit, I have missed being in school in the last year...I crave the added challenge, the learning, the interaction. I will miss reading for pleasure over the next few months as I work my way through my four textbooks, but will soak up everything I can in the meantime...

    September 13, 2010

    things that go bump in the night

    I suppose its natural that kids are going to fall out of bed, right? But aren't most kids under two in one of those little toddler beds with very little wiggle room? My little munchkin is in a beautiful, big queen sized bed, yet she still finds a way to wiggle her way right off the bed!

    She's been in that bed for probably two months, and we've rushed in to pick her up off the floor three times now. After the first tumble, we moved the room around a little bit making the potential falling space a little safer. (Namely, we moved the night table to a different space in her room). We also packed her in with more pillows on the two open sides of the bed (bed rails don't seem to fit her plush, pillow top mattress very well) and we thought we were doing just fine.

    But then, early on Sunday morning I heard the 'thump' and then the instant tears. I ran into her room, and there she was - at the end of the bed! She had wiggled her way all the way to the foot of the bed, and then taken the plunge from there. Perhaps, subconsciously, she was trying to get to her toys which are at that end of the room, but something tells me she's just a wiggler. That is the reason we moved her to a 'big-girl' bed at 18 months, after all. However, the mattress was on the floor back then, and she never fell out.

    I realize all kids fall out of bed at some point; surely I did too. However, its an awful sound to hear the thump and tears in the middle of the night. So, maybe now that she's fallen off every possible side of the bed, she has learned her lesson and we're in the clear? I guess we'll just wait and see...

    September 10, 2010

    30 day challenge - part v

    Time to finish off this 30 day challenge...this is part five. I know, its supposed to be done over 30 days, but sometimes I like to break the rules, so, in five rather quick installments, you have it all!  If you're wanting to catch up on parts one, two, three, or four, please feel free. Otherwise...let's finish this up! 
    Day 21 - a recipe
    I swear by the Kraft Canada website..I get lots of yummy recipes from there! 

    Day 22 - a website
    Hmm...there are lots that I like. I'm a fan of Canadian Family...People...Etsy...and lately I read a lot of blogs too! 

    Day 23 - a youtube video
    This is a favourite in our house right now as Lady M loves the monkey (aka 'ee-ee'!) Jack Johnson - Upside Down

    day 24 - where I have lived
    I've lived in five different cities in Ontario, Canada...two as a kid, one as a university student, and two with my hubby. I've also lived in Karlstad, Sweden where I studied abroad while completing my first degree. (As a note, I'd live in Scandinavia again in a heartbeat. Sweden was gorgeous, but I think I'd choose Norway next time...)

    day 25 - your day, in detail
    Today? I awoke around 6:30am, showered and then got the munchkin up around 7am. We all got ready and left for work together (the hubby was driving us, as he had to do some work out that way today - kind of a nice treat to be chauferred!) We dropped the munchkin at daycare, the hubby dropped me at work where I put in a day. Hubby picked me up at 4:30, we went to get Lady M and then decided to have dinner out as a family. Came the munchkin ready for bed, took out the garbage, cleaned dishes, and now here I am! 

    day 26 - your week, in detail
    This past week? Hmm...
    • Saturday...1st birthday party for my friends daughter, sister-in-law's birthday dinner in the evening
    • Sunday...beautiful wedding for some lovely friends
    • Monday...relax, relax, was Labour Day!
    • Tuesday...back to the all day, chill out at night
    •, home w/the fam
    •, home for dinner, then running with the girls (and the munchkin!)
    •, out for dinner, home for family playtime

    day 27 - pets
    My beautiful puppy Dakota....we got her the year we got engaged...although very high energy at times, she's a sweetheart. 

    day 28 - what's in my purse? 
    What isn't in my purse? Wallet, keys, phone, soothers, pens, notebooks, shopping bags, umbrella, pencil case, mail, toddler sunglasses, lip gloss...

    day 29 - hopes, dreams and plans for the next year
    Oh, I have lots!! You're going to have to follow my blog to find out...

    day 30 - dream for the future

    September 7, 2010

    back to school

    When you work in a post-secondary institution, the first day back to school brings a great deal of entertainment and observation. Although I didn't have to get my little one ready for school quite yet (thankfully we still have two more years before that) I felt the bustle of a new school year as we were getting ready this morning, and even more so on my drive in to the office.

    Here are my back to school observations:

    The first day of school brought additional traffic on my ride in, and as always, I wondered - how do all of these people get the summer off?!

    I discovered the obnoxious crossing guard at the corner by Lady M's daycare has returned to taunt me with his terrible road-crossing skills, walking as slowly as possible, oblivious to the fact he works at a very busy corner and should get the hell out of the way once the kids have safely crossed the road. And may I add, he is crossing high school students, so walk a little faster buddy, they're safe.

    I arrived to a very full parking lot at the office, which has been blissfully empty all summer. However, with the return of the faculty, it was bound to happen!

    Ahhh, the students. Each year they help make me feel a little older because, my goodness, they look so young! I am pleased to report, however, that during orientation last week I was not asked if I needed help finding a room as I have been every other year. I suppose its a little flattering though...

    The students clothing is perhaps the most enjoyable part of the first day back. As students try to make a smashing first impression, they pull out their best duds and my goodness, do we see some fascinating outfits. Give them a week and they'll start to slip into comfies, but we'll enjoy the fashion show in the hallways for the next few days!

    Its certainly an exciting time of year, and despite the added traffic and despicable crossing guard, I do enjoy the buzz that comes when the school fills up again for another school year.

    September 2, 2010

    30 day challenge - part iv

    Let's continue on with the exciting 30-day challenge! So far, its taken me four days to get through the first 20...I like this trend! Again, if you're itching to catch up, visit parts one, two and three by clicking on the respective number. Or, moving right along to days 11-20. Enjoy!

    Day 11 – a habit you wish you didn't have
    Well, I mentioned this in an earlier post (a pile of clothes), but I really wish I wasn't so inclined to having a pile of clothes on my bedroom floor! I think I've been better since I wrote that post (although there was a mild explosion upon returning from our week at camp, as the entire week's packing ended up beside my bed; but that's beside the point). Although improving, this is definitely a habit I wish I didn't have! 

    Day 12 – something you are OCD about
    My handwriting. Anyone who knows me will surely agree with me here - its very important for me to have tidy, beautiful handwriting, I just can't help it! But, it sure makes my work notes, school notes and to-do lists look very pretty! 

    Day 13 – a fictional book
    Hmm, I talked about some of my favourites in a recent post (my favourite reads...), but one I didn't mention there was The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Its a really interesting book - with a rather unique premise. I would definitely recommend reading it if you have a chance, or if you're feeling lazy, you can just watch the movie, which I haven't seen, so please don't ask me for my opinion!

    Day 14 – a non-fictional book
    I don't think you can ever go wrong with Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl. I'm not sure I can even count how many times I've read this one over the years. If you haven't read this, your school system has failed you. Please immediately run to your nearest bookstore or library and get a copy. Thank you.

    Day 15 – your dream house
    Ooh, I wonder if my wonderful real estate agent is reading this?! ha ha! My dream house will be large, but not too large! Minimum 4-bedrooms, 3-bathrooms with a spacious master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom that boasts a soaker tub and stall shower. 

    It will definitely have a big family room, big dining room and huge kitchen so I can entertain big groups of family and friends. And one GIANT pantry (that is perfectly organized and stocked) so I can entertain on a whim, and cook fabulous meals each night! In fact, everything will have awesome organizational ability - hidden drawers, closet organizers, secret storage compartments, etc. My home will also have a beautiful window seat on the sunniest side of the house, where I will sit and read!

    The basement will likely be converted to a music studio for my hubby, so he can have that floor. (Aren't I sweet honey?!)

    I will have a gardener who looks after all of my pristine landscaping, and a housekeeper who keeps my abode party-ready at any time. The house will be nice and tidy, but lived in and homey, and likely full of toys! Everything will have hand-selected designer furniture, decor and although my lovely dog Dakota will live there, it will somehow magically be dog-fur free!! 

    Excuse me, I need to go negotiate a raise.

    Day 16 – a song that makes you cry (or nearly)
    "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw. My dad played it for me at my wedding, and although I was so worried about the length of his speech in the moment (ever the planner), every time I listen to it now I'm in tears. Its beautiful. 

    Day 17 – an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)
    I most proudly display my daughter's art work right now...its the most adorable thing ever! 

    Day 18 – my wedding/future wedding/past wedding
    Ahh, my wedding. It was the most fabulous day...everything was done in teal and black, and it looked perfect for a good, Canadian winter wedding! (We were married in November). We had 4 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen and my photographer called me Tricia all day. Umm, thanks - my name is Kristin. 

    The party lasted to the wee hours of the morning, and I'm proud to say I still have friends who talk about our wedding nearly 4 years after the fact. I loved my dress, had a gorgeous coat that my mother-in-law handmade for me, and my girls looked stunning in their dresses too. Of course, mango calla lillies were our flowers! I'm happy to say that if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing...especially my groom.

    Day 19 – a talent of yours
    I can share a shot perfectly with my darling friend Ashley. We're very proud of this accomplishment. Just ask us; we'll show you. 

    Day 20 – a hobby of yours
    Right now, running! I took up running this past spring and I absolutely love it! I took a clinic through Running Room and completed my first 5k race in July. The girls in my clinic were awesome, and since the end of the clinic the group of us have continued running together on our own time and we are training to complete a 10k race at the beginning of November. 

    Until next time...

    August 30, 2010

    30 day challenge - part iii

    Here goes the third installment of the "30 day challenge" I'm doing on my own schedule! Part one and part two can be found here in case you're itching to get caught up! Otherwise, on to a little photo montage that will hopefully make you smile...

    Day 7 – a photo that makes you happy
    The first was taken at my daughters 1-year photo shoot. Its just so her - being silly, tumbling, and at the time, learning how to be steady on her legs. More importantly, she was full of laughter and glee every time her hands or bottom hit the ground. 

    The second was taken at Easter this year - the beautiful dress was given to us by our cousins in Florida, and she just looked like such a little lady as soon as we put it on her. And in typical Lady M fashion, it didn't slow her down from doing anything; she happily played in the garden, examining every rock she could find. Impressively, after playtime, the dress didn't have a speck of dirt on it!

    Day 8 – a photo that makes you sad
    Well, this one makes me happy and sad. This was taken of our extended family of dogs several years ago, and taking the picture was a hilarious venture in and of itself. It probably took us about 200 shots before we got this one. Even with a brilliant dog trainer in the family, getting six dogs to sit and look pretty in front of a roaring fireplace at the same moment is no easy task! The sad part of this is the sweet little man on the far right was my faithful companion for 14 years, and we had to say goodbye to him last August. So, like I said, happy and sad! 

    Day 9 – a photo of somewhere you've been
    Our beautiful honeymoon resort in Costa was stunning. This was the view from our 'club lounge'. If I could wake up to this every morning, I would be a happy girl!!! 

    Day 10 – a photo taken over 10 years ago of you
    Well, this is from well over 10 years but it makes me laugh every time I see it. This is my brother and I (clearly in the 80's) but on any given day, if you get the two of us together, we'll likely be seen making the same faces. Some things never change.